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Take Away the Pain

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*L*

Lucy had been lying awake in her bed, listening to the rain pouring outside of her window for nearly an hour. She had woken up as soon as the first drop hit the roof. But, unlike most people, she had woken up delighted.

“Lucy!” She sat up quickly when she heard her father call out, afraid he was mad with her for some reason. “Don’t forget that your cousins will be here today, in the afternoon.”

She looked over at her clock. It was only six-thirty in the morning. She smiled and then called back to her father. “Of course!” Lucy pushed herself out of bed, straightening her top, and walking over to her balcony. She pushed open the doors, and the sound of thunder clapping against the sky made her jump. She could feel the brush of light rain against her bare legs. Walking over to the railing, she crossed her arms and leaned down, humming to herself. Her room was the only one given this view.

The view, not of land stretched out, owned by her family for miles to go. Instead, her view was that of society. Not the bustling society that had taken over nearly the whole world. Not the sweet society of a small knit town. No, it was just enough society that she could see one other house, the shared plot of land that her father had not managed to snag.

She smiled as she thought of the neighbors. She knew, only through talk of the servants of course, that they were rich as well. Their land, stretching the opposite of her father’s. They were divided, only by a dirt road.

Lucy sighed. Her servants, whom she considered more like family, had often told her that the neighboring couple had two children; one, her age and the other, four or five years younger. She had always been in her studies or locked in her room when the couple came over for business meetings with her father, so she had never met them. In fact, she had never really socialized with anyone who wasn’t her family or servants since her mother passed away.

Movement caught her eye, and Lucy turned her focus to the balcony across from hers. The door was being opened and she pulled back from the railing shocked. Lucy was unsure whether to hide, or whether to greet the person. Or even whether they would hear her from across the way. Shaking her head, she turned and darted back inside her room.

*N*

The sound of his door opening woke Natsu up, but he could sense that it was his sister and kept his eyes closed. That is, until he was jumped on. “Natsu!” He just grunted and opened one eye. She giggled at him. “You’re like a sleeping dragon, being woken up after a hundred years of peaceful sleep.”

At this he raised his eyebrows, his other eye opening as well. “Yeah? Well then,” he grabbed his sister and flipped her under him as she squealed in delight. “You shouldn’t have woken me up.” With this he flopped down on top of her and pretended to snore loudly. She poked his face.

Once. Twice. Three times. “Natsu.” Again, once. Twice. Three times. “Natsu?” She pushed his face, squishing his cheeks in the process, and laughed at the face he made.

What?” He asked his younger sister. He knew what she wanted. Of course he knew. He had heard the rain the moment it began falling down.

“Can we?” She had gotten him to sit up, and tackled his back. “Please?”

Natsu pretended to think about it, tilting his head to the side. Then, although he knew both of them could see just fine in the darkness, he lit his hand on fire and touched the candle wick of the non-scented candle that stayed by his bed every night. Snuffing his fire out, he stood with his younger sister on his back, then grabbed the candle and walked into the hallway.

Natsu frowned for a moment at the silence in the house. Normally, he would hear his mother getting ready for work at this time, or his father making coffee, but there was nothing. His parents were away on a business trip. They would have taken the children, had school not been starting the next day.

He walked to his parents’ room, and slightly pushed open the door. The balcony door made the rain sound louder and his sister gripped him tighter in anticipation. She had always told him that the air tasted better just before and just after a rainstorm, but that it tasted the best during the rainstorm. He set the candle down on the nightstand by the door, and then stood in front of it. Again his sister gripped him tighter, nearly having him in a choke hold.

“Okay, you ready Wen?” He felt her nod, and breathe out, exhaling all her old air. Just before she ran out, he yanked the door open slightly, and she sucked all of the air she could in. Then she licked her lips as though she had just had the best meal ever.

“Thank you Natsu.”

She jumped down from his back and he turned to crouch down next to her. “All right. Time for you to go back to bed Wendy. Got it?” She smiled sleepily at him and nodded, turning and walking back to her own room down the hall. Natsu, on the other hand, could smell something out in the rain. Something he smelled often, although only faintly. But this time it was strong. He turned back to the door and slowly opened it all the way. He stepped out, onto the balcony, just in time to see blonde hair, disappearing through the doorway on the balcony across the way.

Natsu sighed to himself, breathing in her scent as it began to fade. He didn’t know why he could smell it. He had even asked Wendy once if she had been able to, but she just gave him her ‘what are you even talking about’ look, and he didn’t try asking again. Instead, settling for the few glimpses he would get of the girl from across the way as he would leave for school with Wendy, or when he would have to be the greeter at any fancy party their family threw, and she would be on one of her weekend runs. Natsu sighed and shook his head, turning around and heading back inside to go find out if any of his other friends were awake because of the rain.

*L*

There was a knock on her bedroom door, and Lucy looked at it pointedly as she stepped in the room. It wasn’t as though she was mad at the person behind it. No, rather she was mad at herself for being so cowardly just a moment ago. “Good morning, Princess.” Virgo began as she came over and ushered her charge inside. “You should get in the shower, you are soaking. Don’t worry, I will get your clothing laid out for you.”

Lucy frowned at the glint in her maid’s eyes. It was never a good sign. “Thank you, Virgo.” Lucy said, knowing that even if she refused, the maid would just dress her herself if the girl didn’t agree. So, leaving her pink haired friend to rummage through Lucy’s closet, Lucy walked into her bathroom.

She turned the shower on and sat down on the toilet, waiting for her shower to warm up. Lucy wondered what her cousins would be like, especially after having been alone all these years. She imagined that it must be hard, having your parents send you away for your last year of high school, to a cousin whom you barely even knew. Rubbing her eyes to remove the sleep, she got up and checked the warmth of the shower. She hissed when it burned her skin slightly, but slowly stepped in.

The two boys also probably didn’t favor her anymore either. After all, they were only sent away to go to school here, because she was a spoiled brat who wanted to go to school instead of stay home schooled.

Tomorrow started Lucy’s first day at a public school, or at any actual school period. It was also her, and her cousins’, senior year in high school. Her father finally conceded and was allowing her to leave the house for school, but only if her cousins and bodyguard were attending as well.

Before this year, Lucy had only ever been home schooled. According to her father it was with the best tutors for each subject. He hadn’t wanted to have her leave the house if she could get the best education at home. In reality, she knew he really just didn’t trust her not to be sullied by outside influences. So all in all, she was nervous about going to a public school, not knowing what to expect from the experience, but over all excited.

Lucy reached behind herself and shut the shower off, then pulled one towel to her face, drying it off before flipping her hair forward, wrapping it up in the towel. Before she stepped out, she wrapped the other towel around her body and closed the curtain behind her roughly. With a yank, she opened the bathroom door and walked to her bed, where Virgo had laid out her clothes for her.

When Lucy saw what was laid out for her, she nearly stomped downstairs to throttle Virgo. Instead, she dressed in the blue half top and short skirt that were there. She slipped the belt on over her skirt, and hung her keys and whip off of their hooks. Then she pulled up the knee high socks and slipped on the shoes before releasing her hair from the towel. She put her hair up in the ribbon Virgo had left for her and read the note that had been covered. It was a simple note, saying that Lucy’s other pink haired friend, Aries, was cooking breakfast.

She quickly tiptoed downstairs, carefully listening at his office door to see if her father was busy. If he was, he wouldn’t want to be bothered. She didn’t hear him talking on the phone or anything, so she knocked on his office door.

“Come in.” Slowly, Lucy entered, careful not to startle her father.

“Father, breakfast will be ready shortly.”

Her father looked up at her and sighed. “Just have Capricorn bring it to me here; I have too much work.” Lucy’s face turned bright red from embarrassment and she slowly turned around after nodding politely to him.

Ever since her mother had died from the sickness, her father was always too busy with work to spend any time with her. She was worried about him, his mental health especially. But more-so, she was worried that he would start drinking again.

Shaking her head in disappointment at the thought, she began walking to the dining room when the doorbell rang. Lucy looked towards the door, squinting hard as though she could see through it, then sighed, realizing she didn’t have that kind of power. “I’ll get it!” She called out and ran to the door.

Lucy’s mind was turning. Was it them already? It couldn’t be. Her cousins weren’t supposed to be here until later this afternoon and it was only nine in the morning. However, opening the door revealed that it was them. She smiled as the two boys in front of her simultaneously hugged her and called out her name in excitement. Instead of saying their names back, she stood on her tiptoes and looked over their shoulders. “Where are your cats?”

“Ouch blondie! That hurts.”

She smiled and laughed. “You know you’re blond too, right Sting?” She looked up into his laughing blue eyes. Then she turned to the stoic black-haired, red-eyed boy who stood, if not slightly behind, relatively beside him. “Hi Rogue.”

Chapter Text

*L*

Lucy could feel someone watching them and looked up. Her eyes skimmed over the taxi, noticing that the boys’ things were sitting on the curb in the rain as the driver backed out of the driveway. It hadn’t been the driver watching them then. She tilted her head and looked across at the other house. There was a car driving up, but besides that, nothing and no one.

A movement in the window caught her eye and she saw a head of blue hair. It seemed that this was the younger sibling, and Lucy smiled, her cousins giving her a weird look. “Why are you smiling blondie?”

Lucy shook her head, not answering Sting’s question. Across the way, two car doors slammed and the boys in front of her turned their heads at the sound. Lucy saw a red haired female get out of the driver’s side, and a black haired male get out of the passenger’s side. Lucy’s attention was brought back to the window as the blue haired person disappeared from sight. Before the door could open across the way, Lucy grabbed her cousins by their shoulders and dragged them inside, deciding she would contemplate the feeling of still being watched later. “I will have Taurus bring in your stuff.” She began to usher them to the dining room, when she heard a noise. She looked at the floor left and right, then at the two boys who were trying — and failing — to not laugh. She heard the sound again and watched as a pink frog head popped out of Rogue’s dark jacket.

Instantly, she tackled him, aiming for the dressed up green cat. The cat jumped into her arms gladly as Rogue toppled over, and purred when Lucy began petting the feline. “Hello Frosch!” Suddenly another ball of fur jumped at her, this one red as opposed to Frosch’s green. “Oh, hello Lector.” Taurus walked over to see what the commotion was and Lucy remembered the luggage still out in the rain. “Hey Taurus, would you mind getting the boys’ bags and bringing them to their room?”

“Of course miss Lucy! Anything for you.” Taurus walked out into the rain to get their things, while Lucy grimaced.

She turned to see the two boys staring at her with sly grins. “Just wait until you meet Loke.” They gave her a weird look but she just smiled and pulled them to the dining room, the two cats sitting on her shoulder.

*N*

Natsu could smell her again. The rain was doing nothing to drown out her scent, and he went down the stairs to have a look, only to see Wendy already sitting on the couch, snooping. “Hey Natsu, she has guests. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her have guests before, have you?”

Natsu shook his head, knowing Wendy could feel the shift in the air. “You know it’s rude to snoop, right Wendy?”

“Yeah.” He watched as she nodded.

“Okay, good, now scoot over, I want to look too.”

Natsu came up behind his sister, just as Wendy pulled back a little, shocked, knocking her head into his. “She saw me. She smiled at me.”

“What’s so wrong with that?” Natsu asked as he backed away from the dangerous child in front of him.

Wendy just shook her head. “Oh, Erza and Gray just showed up.” Natsu made a panicked face and dove under the couch, Wendy laughing at him. “What are you doing?”

“Shh. I’m not here okay?” At this Wendy laughed even harder, but she stopped when the doorbell rang.

Natsu listened quietly to the exchange going on at the now open door, which made the scent he desired even stronger. It took all of his willpower not to roll out from under the couch and dash into the house across the way.

“Hello Erza.” Wendy greeted the scarlet haired girl with an intense hug.

“Hello Wendy. Wonderful to see you again. Are you liking the weather?” Wendy nodded and made a point to breathe in. The other girl came in and looked around, “where is that idiot brother of yours?”

“Ah,” Wendy looked pointedly at the couch, and suddenly Natsu was being dragged out from his little hiding spot.

*L*

Lucy walked behind her cousins into the dining room and sat at the table where their food was already served and waiting. Capricorn had already brought Lucy’s father his food. “Pancakes!” Sting shouted, making Lucy jump. She turned red and watched as the two boys began to eat their breakfast as though they had been starved, then ate her own.

After showing the boys to their rooms and reminding them that they all have school tomorrow, Lucy went into her own room and began packing her backpack for the next day. She didn’t know what she would need since she had never been to a school. At home all she needed was a pen and a notebook. So, she packed a few mechanical pencils, a zippy eraser — as she liked to call them, seven different colored pens (cause who knew when she would get bored), and some loose leaf paper packed in a binder. She made sure she had her uniform out and ready, as well as her towels.

A knock sounded on her door and she walked over, pulling it open. Loke was standing there, and she shrugged as a sign for him to speak. “Your father wishes to see you Lucy.” Loke watched her movements carefully, barely seeing her clench her teeth together. She let out a breath and nodded, then walked past him.

Calling out behind her, Lucy reminded Loke, “make sure you have your uniform ready. We start school tomorrow.” She laughed when she heard him groan, and continued down the silent hallway.

Reaching her father’s office, Lucy knocked lightly before entering. “You wanted to see me father.” He nodded and didn’t look up at her. She rocked from foot to foot for a minute, then spoke again. “What about?”

This time he did look at her, and she wished she hadn’t spoken. His black eyes showed no emotion as he spoke. “As you know, you are starting school tomorrow and your cousins are going with you. Make sure you all get there early enough to get your schedule. Oh, and you are signed up for a zero hour.”

Lucy looked at her father confused. “A zero hour?”

“It means you have a class before first hour. School for you will start at six-thirty in the morning instead of seven-thirty.”

Lucy frowned and then looked at her father. “Okay father. Is that all you needed?” He nodded and looked back down at his work as she walked away. “Goodnight father.” She whispered so he wouldn’t hear.

Chapter Text

*L*

Lucy opened her balcony doors for the second time that day, stepping out into the open air. She found that it was sprinkling, and sighed lightly, leaning against the railing. She looked across the way. The balcony doors of the other house were open and she could hear giggling from inside. The two people that had driven over earlier, were long gone by then, only the imprint of tire marks in the dirt proof of their visit.

There was a loud squeal of laughter and Lucy looked up at the balcony again. She smiled at the sight, seeing that the two siblings were playing. The younger one was on top of the elder one, her body flung over his head as she kicked at his back. “Let me down!” The giggle was abruptly stopped, replaced with her concerned voice instead. “What is it?” After that, she was unable to make out any words, hushed voices were all she could hear. Then the girl looked out of the balcony doors to see Lucy standing on her own balcony.

Lucy had the feeling of being watched again and saw that the boy was also watching her. The young girl reached her arms towards the doors, not touching, and blew. The doors slammed shut and Lucy jumped. Her hand went over her heart and she frowned. Was it him that had been watching her earlier?

Lucy twisted under the sheets, only half conscious. She didn’t want to get up just yet and groaned as her alarm clock went off. Reaching over to hit the snooze button, her hand was intercepted.

“No,” a familiar voice said, not relenting on their grip. “Get up.” Lucy couldn’t place the voice as her mind was still fogged with sleep. Shaking her head, she pulled her wrist out of the grip.

“Nm-mm,” she groaned instead, ignoring it. “Five more minutes.” Lucy reached out again. This time however, she was picked up out of her bed, blankets and all. Before she had any time to speak, or get a good grip on the guy holding her, he dropped her on her — luckily — carpeted floor. It still hurt a lot though. “Loke.” She exaggerated his name, annoyed. “Not so early.”

Loke just laughed at Lucy, who stayed laying down on the floor until Virgo came in. “Princess!” The maid cried out. “What are you doing on the ground?” Lucy pointed at where she assumed the orange-haired male stood above her. Virgo quickly ushered him out of the room and hit the off button on the alarm, giving Lucy peace and quiet. She sighed happily, until Virgo leaned down and pulled at the girl. “Up Princess. It is time for you to get ready for school.”

Lucy nodded, and allowing Virgo to help her, got up from the floor to trudge to the bathroom. Ugh, too early. She knew she shouldn’t be complaining, but seriously, how could students do this day after day? Lucy rubbed at her eyes, thankful that Virgo had already started her shower and all she had to do was get in.

Quickly washing, Lucy grimaced when she soaped over the cuts and scars that were on her wrists. She dropped her hand to her waist and sighed, that familiar emptiness filling her with a weight. Ironic wasn’t it? She wished her mother were there, to look at the stars with her, as they used to. One of Lucy’s favorite ways to escape now was to climb on her roof and lay back, stargazing. She wished her mother was there to read to her, Lucy’s escape during the daytime when only one star could be seen. But what she really wished her mother were there to do, was to hold her. That was all she truly wanted. She was afraid of the loneliness that was settling inside of her, of the aching that she did something wrong. That she was something wrong.

Her heart thumped loudly and she shook her head, rinsing off and getting out. Lucy picked up the uniform she had laid out the night before, careful not to wrinkle it. The shirt was nearly too small, but the jacket that went on over it was just right. Her skirt was short, but not too short, and her socks went to just above her knees. Lucy slipped on the flats and then looked at herself in the full length mirror. She reached up to yank her hair into a ponytail, using the band that Virgo had left out for her. Lucy grabbed her backpack on her way downstairs to the dining room. Rogue and Sting were both already there, eating breakfast. Lucy quietly sat down and drank her coffee. She ate the bagel on her plate, not looking at the boys until she noticed it had gone silent, where previously the two had been conversing.

“What?” She asked as she saw them staring at her. “Is there something wrong?” She noticed that their outfits were similar to her own, and the school symbol was proudly displayed on the pocket over the heart.

The two boys were watching her closely, seeming to take in every detail. “No, nothing.” Sting claimed, but Lucy didn’t believe him and turned to Rogue, who she knew would give her a real answer.

“Rogue, what is it you guys aren’t telling me?”

Rogue’s eyes widened, realizing she was asking him for the truth before he grimaced. “You look hot.” Lucy blushed a deep scarlet and looked down at her plate again.

“Oh.” She said quietly. “Thank you, I think.” The two boys nodded and the three of them ate the rest of their breakfast in silence. Lucy would glance up every now and then, wondering if they were just messing with her, but they paid no attention to her, instead taking a great interest in their meals and soon empty plates.

Loke burst through the dining room doors, his orange hair was spiked and he was in his uniform, but he looked to be in a serious rush. “We are gonna be late! Come on, get up, let’s go.” He went around and ushered the boys up, then grabbed Lucy’s hand and tugged her out the door. She tried hard to reach for the rest of her coffee, but he yanked her away. After Loke had pushed her into the car and sat next to her, she turned to glare at him. “What?” He said innocently, obviously not realizing his mistake.

She raised an eyebrow and calmed down. Loke knew this was a sign that he was in trouble. “I didn’t get to finish my coffee. You made me leave without a full cup of caffeine in my system.” Loke became pale and he turned to the driver — Capricorn.

“Umm, hey Caprico? Can we get miss Heartfilia some coffee on the way?” Lucy looked at him shocked. Then realized that they were in an enclosed space and he was probably scared of her.

“Sure Leo!” Capricorn shouted back and Loke scrunched his face up in dislike at the nickname but made no comment.

*N*

Natsu once again woke to his sister jumping on him. He groaned and blinked himself awake. “What Wendy?”

“School!” She said excitedly. Yes, his little sister was excited about school. Natsu rolled over and fell off the bed with a grunt.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m getting up.” While Natsu was a senior in high school, Wendy was only a freshman. “Go get dressed.” At this, Wendy ran out of Natsu’s room, leaving him to get off of the floor and walk across the hall to the bathroom. Natsu heard his sister talking to her cat, and smiled, wondering if Happy was in there as well. After all, he did have a crush on Carla, who was Wendy’s cat. Turning on the shower, Natsu turned and went to get a towel. Quickly showering and dressing, he came out to Wendy bumping into him.

“Oh, sorry Natsu!” Natsu had put his hands out to steady his younger sister and gave her a smile. He saw that she was already in her own uniform and had her backpack slung over her shoulder.

“Where are ya going in such a hurry?” Wendy looked up at Natsu and tilted her head.

“Breakfast.”

Natsu grinned and then ran to his room, grabbing his backpack, before he dashed back out, his shoes only half on his feet. “All right, let’s go!”

Together the two raced out the door, running to their favorite breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all around just favorite place: Fairy Tail.

Just Fairy Tail. It was in the same neighborhood as Fairy Tail Elementary, Fairy Tail Junior High, Fairy Tail High, and Fairy Tail University. So, following the trend, the name was Fairy Tail. It was a bar, cafe, diner, nearly anything it could be. But most importantly, it was a hang out spot.

By the time the two siblings had gotten there, their friends were already sitting at the usual table. Erza and Gray had come over the day before, and the three seniors had compared schedules. No classes together; which Natsu was thankful for. Cana and her younger cousin, Romeo, whom was about Wendy’s age, was also sitting at the table, along with Levy and Lisanna. Mira was working before school started, and was standing beside the table, her uniform slung over her arm, and her brother Elfman was already at school apparently.

Natsu walked over and Wendy ran to Romeo, comparing their schedules. Lisanna, Levy, Cana, and Mira all turned to Natsu, wanting to compare their schedules with his own. Cana had none, Mira had one class with him along with Lisanna. Great, both Strauss sisters in one room, not fun. Levy, on the other hand had three of the five classes with him.

Lisanna, Natsu, Levy, and Gray had all started school at the same time as Erza, Cana, and Mira, making the three older girls still in the same grade. When the four used to tease them about it, they all got beatings. Especially Natsu and Gray.

Mira went behind the bar to grab Natsu and Wendy’s food, which she had already taken the liberty of ordering for them. After that, she disappeared to change into her uniform.

“So, Wendy, have any classes with Romeo?” Cana watched Wendy’s face light up.

“All but one!” The two went back and forth, Natsu deciding his food was more important began to focus on eating when he caught the scent from yesterday again.

By the time Mira had come out, both Natsu and Wendy were finished eating and all were ready to go.

Levy turned around excitedly. “So, who’s ready for the first day of our last year in high school?”

At this, Wendy spoke up, “Romeo and I aren’t in our last year of high school Levy.”

Levy looked embarrassed, but everyone just laughed.

*L*

Lucy walked into the hangout place known as Fairy Tail, and went over to the bar to order a coffee. 

“What can I get for you miss?” Lucy looked up and smiled at the man.

“Coffee.”

“What type?”

“Whatever you want to give me.” The man nodded and got to work. She turned around and leaned her back against the bar. She watched as a group of people who had on the same uniform as her, were laughing at a blushing blue haired girl in the middle. However, what caught her eye was the pink haired boy who looked up and made eye contact with her.

Suddenly, she was tapped on her shoulder and turned around. “Your coffee miss.”

She smiled gratefully at the person who handed her the drink, giving him the money she owed. “Thank you.”

“No problem, please come again.” Lucy took a sip of the mystery coffee and groaned.

“I most definitely will! I think this is my new favorite place!” The man behind the bar chuckled and nodded.

“See you around then miss.” Lucy looked over at the pink haired boy again as she walked out, focusing on his smile as he laughed with his group of friends. She walked to the car, sipping on her coffee and wondering about him. She wondered if she would run into them at all as she opened the car door, sliding in next to Loke.

From there, the group of four made it to the school. It took a while to get there, as the streetlights were never in their favor. They each stepped out of the car, carefully making their way up the path. Even though it was only six in the morning, there were a lot of people lounging around and talking. Lucy looked up and smiled as she saw the name of the school, thinking that it was a fitting name: Fairy Tail High.

Chapter Text

*L*

People were greeting their friends and showing each other their schedules, hoping they had the same classes. It was interesting for Lucy to see, and she smiled at all of the interactions around her. “What are you smiling about blondie?” Lucy turned to see Loke, Sting, and Rogue ahead of her. She shook her head, not letting the smile slip and ran to catch up.

The four of them walked inside and went to the office. There was a picture of the principal, and Lucy was shocked that she was a petite blonde woman with green eyes, and someone Lucy knew very well. She must have been the one who persuaded Lucy’s father to allow the teen to go to school. Her name was Mavis Vermilion. 

The vice-principal, Makarov Dreyar, was the one who gave them all their schedules. He was very short, and for an old man, very hyper. After accepting their schedules, each of them looked to see if they had any classes together. Loke, Sting, and Rogue all had multiple, but no one had any classes with her. “Will you be okay blondie?” Sting asked.

“Of course!” Lucy exclaimed. “Now, we really should get going! Class starts soon.” As if on cue, the bell rang, signaling they had seven minutes to get to class. They each said their goodbyes, all hugging her one at a time before walking off to class together laughing at something Loke said. Lucy looked around her for any cue of where she was going. She had English as her first class of the day. 

Walking back outside of the administration building, she looked around, hoping to see a map of the school, but there was none. Across the way, Lucy saw a petite blue-haired girl sitting under a tree reading a book. Feeling that this person would be nice, she began walking over there, but bumped into someone before she got even halfway.

Lucy’s heart stuttered, and she gasped, throwing her hand over the ache. She grimaced a little, but she wasn’t in any pain, it was more of an intense need that she felt, and she accidentally gripped onto the person. “Sorry.” She said, letting go, and turning to look at the person. It was the guy with pink hair from Fairy Tail, and there was something a bit familiar about him.

He looked down at her and she could see his eyes were onyx, with specks of green. Lucy blinked. When their eyes first met, she could have sworn one of his eyes flashed a brown color. They blinked again, and it was gone. What the hell was that? They both wondered.

“It’s all right.” The guy replied. “Are you new?”

Lucy blushed and nodded. “Is it that obvious?”

The guy laughed and Lucy was enchanted. “No, no. I just know most people here. I would have felt bad if you said no. Oh, I’m Natsu by the way!”

Lucy smiled at him. “I’m Lucy. It’s nice to meet you Natsu.” She liked the sound of his name on her tongue and the way it easily rolled. She was glad that people here were nice.

“Yeah, you too. Hey what’s your schedule?” He leaned over her shoulder to look at her schedule and she stiffened at the sudden touch. Natsu didn’t seem to notice, just kept studying her schedule. Finally, he nodded, smiling, and stepped back. He grabbed her wrist and tugged her along. “Come on!”

“Where are we going?” She stuttered.

“Class.” Natsu stopped and laughed, then pulled his schedule out and placed it alongside hers. They had every single class together.

*N*

Natsu waved to Wendy as they went their separate ways. Everyone else had already gone to their respective classes, leaving only Natsu, Wendy, and Romeo left. He heard the seven minute bell ring and took off at a run. He didn’t make it far before he bumped into someone.

He didn’t say anything, confused as to what was going on with him. Her scent overwhelmed him and Natsu knew, that this was the girl who lived in the other house. He heard her gasp and looked down at her concerned. One of her hands was over her heart, and the other gripped his shirt just over his own heart. He was concerned at why his own heart was beating so fast.

She let go of his shirt and apologized to him, but Natsu was more concerned with the fact that he saw one of her eyes flash a green-onyx color. He leaned down a bit to look closer, noticing that both of her eyes were brown. He wanted to get closer to her, her scent was so intoxicating. “It’s all right.” Natsu realized she probably had no idea where she was going when he saw her looking around. “Are you new?”

Of course, Natsu already knew that she was, but he didn’t think she would trust him if he said that. The girl blushed, ducking her head and nodding. “Is it that obvious?”

Natsu laughed, understanding that she was a bit scared of the stranger. “No, no. I just know most people here. I would have felt bad if you said no.” He paused, thinking of what else he should say. “Oh, I’m Natsu by the way!”

The girl smiled at him and Natsu decided he had to make her smile as much as possible. “I’m Lucy. It’s nice to meet you Natsu.” Lucy, Natsu liked that name, but he would have to figure out a nickname for this girl. One that was unique to him.

“Yeah, you too.” He wanted to keep talking to her. “Hey what’s your schedule?” Natsu stepped closer and leaned over her shoulder. He noticed her stiffen, but didn’t comment on it, too excited as he kept going down her class list. When he was done, he stepped away and grabbed her wrist. Only pausing in their race against time when she asked where they were going. He was too excited to say much more than one word, setting his schedule next to hers. He had every single class with this girl, and he was over the moon about it.

*L*

Natsu dragged Lucy to each of their classes. She followed the pink-haired male dutifully, sticking close to him. In their first, second and third classes he had multiple classmates come up to him and a petite blue haired girl, that Lucy recognized from both the cafe and reading the book, was in those classes. The two didn’t talk though. In their third period class, also their fourth class of the day, there were two white haired girls who had talked non-stop with Natsu and sat on either side of him, leaving Lucy to slide to the back of the class by herself. When fourth hour came, she was wandering the halls alone again, Natsu having been held back, and Lucy not wanting to interrupt.

He found her and dragged her to their last class of the day and she smiled gratefully that he remembered her. However, when lunch came around, Lucy walked out of the classroom curiously, and looked around for her cousins. When she felt a presence next to her, she looked up to see Natsu. “What do you want?”

“What, I can’t stand with my friend?” Natsu grinned; his cheeky smile still captivating her.

“Friend?” She stuttered. Then smiled at him, glad to have made a friend that was outside of her household. “Sure. I’m waiting for my—”

“Hey blondie, come on!” Lucy looked up to see Sting, Rogue, and Loke.

“Hey, baby.” Loke called and Lucy blushed angrily. Natsu looked at her confused.

Lucy waved them over to her instead of going over to them. “Guys, this is Natsu Dragneel.” She had learned his last name through the multiple roll calls in each of their classes. “Natsu, the blonde is Sting, the player here is Loke, and the last one is Rogue.”

“Why am I last?” Rogue complained.

“Because you were the only one who didn’t speak.” Lucy looked at the boys in front of her and noticed they were glaring at Natsu, who glared right back. “Umm, guys? Why are you in a staring contest?” She wasn’t stupid, but also had no idea as to why they were feeling threatened by Natsu.

Sting stood up straighter and shrugged, “We’re not. Come on, let’s get home.”

“Home?” Natsu questioned.

“Yeah, we’re all half-day’s. So that class was our last.” Lucy thought for a minute, not understanding what he meant by the question, before realizing something. “It was yours too, wasn’t it?”

Natsu laughed, “Yeah. It was!” Then he turned to Lucy, pouting. “But, I wanted to introduce you to all my friends!”

Lucy smiled back at him and almost said yes. Then her stomach complained and she groaned. “Maybe next time. Right now I’m starving. We should—”

“Wait, you can have some of my lunch! Please stay and meet them!”

“Fine.” She couldn’t say no to him even though she knew she wouldn’t take him up on his offer of food. But she decided it was worth saying yes when he grabbed her hand and dragged her away with him once again, leaving her cousins and bodyguard behind them.

Chapter Text

*L*

Lucy was out of breath after being dragged around to her classes all day and then to the cafeteria. Natsu, on the other hand, seemed perfectly fine. Lucy went with him to the line as he bought some food. She smiled when he offered her some of his fries, but refused, pulling out an already sliced green apple instead. Natsu laughed at her, then dragged her over to a table with what she assumed were his friends. She looked behind them to see Sting, Rogue, and Loke standing behind her awkwardly. Lucy jerked her head, nodding them over.

“All right Luce, there’s a lot of-” Lucy looked up at him sharply and he cut off his sentence. “What?”

“Nothing.” She frowned. “Just, Luce?”

He smiled brightly and she couldn’t help but return it. “Yeah! It’s your nickname.” Then he looked at her in concern. “Do you not like it?”

“No, it’s fine, I was just-“

“Hey, flame brain!” A voice called out from behind them and suddenly the murmurs in the cafeteria silenced. Lucy felt something cold sliding down her back and tried to look over her shoulder. But Natsu stopped her by grabbing her chin.

“Don’t. Trust me, you don’t want to look. I’ll be right back okay?” Lucy nodded as he ran from her to approach the culprit, then took a peek at her back. There was vanilla ice cream sliding down her back. She had long ago stripped her jacket, and the ice cream had created a see-through patch before falling to the ground.

“Yo, ice popsicle! You hit Lucy!” Hearing her name, Lucy turned around to see Natsu fighting with another guy. The other guy had black hair and dark blue eyes. Lucy jumped back as they came closer to her. The other guy was wearing no shirt and seemed to be in the process of stripping his pants. Lucy’s eyes widened and she took another step back when she felt someone’s hand on her shoulder.

Lucy turned and noticed that the girl who had three of her classes with her was standing next to her. “Are they always like that?”

The girl next to her sighed and nodded. “Yeah, they always fight if that’s what you mean. Gray usually doesn’t start it explicitly though. Although, I guess since they didn’t have any classes together, this is to be expected.”

“What do you mean?”

“Normally it’s just words, not throwing things. Sorry you got hit with that ice cream cone. I have an extra shirt in my bag if you want it.” Lucy looked down at the girl and made a face.

“Sorry, I’m not sure I would fit in your clothes. Thanks for the offer though.” She watched as the girl’s face fell, then tried to find a way to make the girl happy again. She realized then that she didn’t know the girl’s name. “By the way, I’m Lucy!”

“I’m Levy, nice to meet you Lucy.” Lucy smiled at Levy and said her thanks, then watched as Loke came up behind the smaller blue haired girl, his undershirt off.

“Lucy, go put this on.” He handed the shirt to her and walked away looking nervous and not making sure that she actually used it.

Lucy followed his directions, and walked to the girls’ bathroom right across the way. She closed the door behind her and turned the lock, so no one would come in.

*N*

Natsu watched as Gray stripped his pants, and he turned around to say something about it to Lucy, only to see her talking to Levy. He was going to walk over to her when Loke walked over and gave her his shirt. Natsu huffed and turned back to Gray, who smirked knowingly.

“New toy?”

“She’s not a toy.”

“Oh, isn’t she the princess who lives across from you?”

Natsu turned around fast to look at her, already knowing the answer, but she was already heading into the bathroom. “What?” Gray didn’t need to know that Natsu was already addicted to her scent, or else he would never hear the end of it.

“You didn’t know?”

“Well, I’ve never met her before.”

“Even I’ve met ‘Lucky Lucy Heartfilia.’ Not that she would remember me.”

“Well, if she did, it would probably be as a stripper.”

“Yeah, but I’m sure she would have liked what she saw.” Natsu frowned at Gray and then stepped forward.

“Fight me!”

“We were already fighting you dumbass!”

Instead of answering, Natsu just threw a punch at Gray, who then followed suit. The brawl was going strongly until Erza stepped in.

“Knock it off you two.”

“Yes ma’am.” Gray replied, throwing his arm around Natsu’s shoulder.

“Aye.” Natsu said doing the same.

*L*

Lucy took off her ice cream stained uniform shirt and set it in the sink. She looked up into the mirror and sighed when she saw the bruises littered across her stomach. She knew it wasn’t worth it to worry about them, they would fade in time, just as her scars would.

She took in a deep breath and held it as Loke’s shirt went over her head, then let it out when the shirt was on.

Someone knocked on the door to the bathroom and Lucy went to unlock it. She opened it to see Levy standing there, looking anxious. Levy’s eyes traveled down Lucy’s body and noticed her shirt seemed to be caught and was still pulled up to where she could see the bruises. “What happened?”

Lucy looked down and yanked the shirt down. “Nothing. Don’t worry about it.” She couldn’t believe she hadn’t pulled the shirt all the way down, it was a simple yet stupid mistake. Levy nodded and stepped inside the bathroom. Lucy turned around and went to her shirt she had set in the sink. She turned it so the water would spray on the ice cream and pushed the sinks button.

Pulling the extra hair tie from her hair, Lucy used it to make the shirt she was wearing a little shorter. She tucked in the tail that was made and sighed as the water shut off. She squeezed out the excess water and went over to the hand dryer, putting her shirt underneath it as Levy pushed the button.

“Hey Lu?”

“Yeah Levy?” Lucy looked over to where Levy was and saw her pursing her lips.

“You can talk to me if you need to okay?”

“Yeah.” She lied.

Chapter Text

*L*

Lucy pulled her shirt out from under the hand dryer and rubbed her fingers over the fabric cautiously. It was still a little bit damp, but not so terribly damp that it would ruin everything that she had in her backpack when she shoved it in there.

She frowned when the bell rang overhead, signaling the end of lunch and a limited passing period. Lucy began walking out, heading to the cafeteria again and hoping everyone had left. But Levy caught her arm. “Hey, are you a half day?” Levy continued after Lucy nodded. “We’re all going to Fairy Tail, do you want to come and hang out with us?”

“I would love to!” She pulled Levy into a quick hug and smiled at her fellow book nerd. They had gotten to talk during the amount of time it took to get her shirt semi dry, and Lucy had instantlyfound a best friend in her. Lucy walked out of the bathroom with her shirt slung over her forearm. The girl beside her immediately ducked behind the taller girl’s body, and Lucy craned her neck over her shoulder. “What is it Levy?”

Before the petite girl could answer she was picked up with a loud squeak, and an annoyed look on her face. “Oi, it’s bunny girl.” Lucy looked up with an annoyed look as well, knowing there was only one person who called her that. She was met with red eyes and long black hair, a lot like Rogue; it was a wonder they weren’t brothers.

“Gajeel.” She sighed as he set Levy down and wrapped Lucy into a hug.

“I thought I wouldn’t see you until the holidays, but I’m glad I get to see you now.”

“Yeah, me too.”

Gajeel looked at her sternly. “So, have you made any friends yet?”

“Well, Levy is my friend. Then of course you know Loke, and Sting and Rogue came with me. Then there’s Natsu.”

Gajeel nodded at each name, but when Lucy said Natsu’s name he looked at her harshly. “You’re friends with flame brain?”

Lucy looked at him confused, but nodded, remembering that the guy who threw ice cream on her also called him that. “Why do you call Natsu that?”

“He’s a fire dragon slayer.”

Lucy looked over her shoulder at Natsu, who was watching her. She gave a smile and he grinned back at her. “So, like some people call you metal head?” Gajeel tsked, but nodded.

Lucy looked over her shoulder again, only to see the boy who had gotten ice cream on her walking over, smiling nervously. She studied him and her eyes trailed down his body. He was bare chested and as Lucy kept looking lower she noticed he didn’t have any pants on. Immediately her hands went to her eyes. “Kyaa! Put some pants on baka!”

Everyone around her just laughed and Gray used it as an opportunity to escape. Natsu went up behind Lucy and explained that Gray had a concerning habit of stripping in public. “He almost never lasts an hour, much less a day, with all of his clothing on.”

“Does anyone else here have that habit?”

“No.” After that Natsu turned to see Gajeel still close by them. Gajeel was glaring at Natsu for talking to his cousin like that, but Natsu didn’t know Gajeel was Lucy’s cousin. “What do you want metal brain?”

Lucy scrunched her face up in confusion and turned to look at the receiver of Natsu’s glare. Gajeel answered him threateningly. “I want you to stop talking to my cousin that way. You too, Loke; bunny girl is not a toy.”

Rogue, who had been quiet through all this, finally spoke up. “Can we just eat lunch now?”

*N*

Natsu watched as Lucy laughed. Hoping she would one day laugh like that because of him. Everyone started walking off except for Lucy, who looked around like she lost something. She twisted around and bent over, looking underneath the tables for whatever it was she was missing.

When she bent over, the shirt rose up her back and he could see a long, faint scar disappearing up underneath the white clothing. Natsu walked forward, lightly running his finger along the visible part of the scar. Lucy jumped and whirled around, dropping her shirt while kicking Natsu in the stomach. “Lucy kick!”

Natsu doubled over, wheezing. “Damn, that’s one kick you got there, Luce.”

“Natsu?” The defensive position that Lucy had gotten into relaxed. Her breathing slowed and she put her hand over her stomach as she calmed down. Natsu wished he could read her mind at that moment; wanting to know what she was thinking as the look of desperation left her brown eyes. “You scared me.”

“I didn’t mean to. Are you okay?”

Lucy nodded and pursed her lips. “What were you doing anyway?”

Natsu looked at the ground as he spoke sheepishly. “You have a scar on your back.” Lucy looked at him incredulously. “It intrigued me.” He shrugged and she huffed.

“So you just thought you would come up behind me and try to touch me?”

“Why not?” Natsu could tell what she was thinking that time and took back his wish. She thought he was stupid. He looked up at her through his hair. “Sorry.”

“Come on, Natsu. The others are going to be worried about us.” He nodded, seeing she found her backpack, which must have been what she was searching for in the first place, and she was zipping it up. Probably having put her shirt in it. He turned and listened for her footsteps as she followed him. His hands went behind his head as she walked in front of him. Natsu watched her as her hips swayed in front of him. Not paying attention to where he was walking proved fatal, as first he ran into someone, who then pushed him into a pole.

Lucy laughed as he was shoved ahead of her, before proceeding to walk into the same pole. Now it was Natsu’s turn to laugh and he watched as she put her hands on her hips, making a pouty face before bursting out into laughter with him when he wouldn’t relent.

When they had finished laughing, Lucy began walking off again, and Natsu found himself wishing Happy was with him, he really wanted his blue feline friend to meet her. When they were almost to Fairy Tail, Natsu stepped in front of Lucy so that he could hold the door open for her. She grinned at him and he grinned back.

Together, they walked over to the usual table, which was now over loaded with people. The table was large, and the benches long, but the people on it sat so spread out that it didn’t matter; there was barely enough room for Natsu and Lucy to sit side by side, and Natsu had to put his left arm around her shoulder so she wouldn’t fall off and he wasn’t pushing her off. Lucy blushed lightly and Natsu grinned at her.

Cana looked up at Natsu smugly and then spoke to him. “Text Wendy and Romeo to meet us here when they get out.”

Natsu nodded, and then pulled out his phone, glancing at the time. He was shocked that it was already one in the afternoon, and lunch at the school had ended just under an hour ago. He was reaching around Lucy to type the message to his sibling and friend. She glanced at his phone curiously. “What’s wrong Luce?”

She looked up into his eyes shocked. “Nothing just, what is that?”

Natsu shook his cell phone back and fourth. “This?”

“Yes.”

“It’s a cell phone. You’ve never seen one?” Lucy shook her head.

“My father has a desk telephone, but no, I’ve never seen a hand held one.”

Natsu grinned at her. “Wow, you must have lived a pretty sheltered life then right?”

Lucy smiled at him sheepishly. “I guess you could say that.”

*L*

Lucy’s mind was turning. She trusted Natsu, certainly. However, the rest of them, she wasn’t so sure about. She looked over at Loke, and he nodded to her. So she looked down at the menu just as a white haired waitress walked over. “Usuals everyone?” They all nodded and the waitress looked at the newcomers. “What about you seven?”

Gajeel spoke up first, before looking at the girl to his left expectantly. She had long blue hair that was curled up at the ends. And when she spoke, her voice sounded soothing; like laying in the water would feel. Then it was another girl, who sat next to Sting. She had short, light blue — nearly white — hair. Then of course, Sting ordered for himself and Rogue. Loke was next to go and he greeted the woman like an old friend, to which the woman responded in kind, before finally deciding that Loke would, as well, get his usual, as she hadn’t noticed that it was him when she looked at the unusual faces.

When the white haired woman turned to Lucy, she was looking at Loke, and a question was on her lips. Usual? Does he come here often? She shook her head when Natsu shouldered her, making her look up at the waitress.

“Could I just have a vanilla shake for now?”

“Don’t know what you want yet sweetheart?” Lucy shyly shook her head and the white haired woman continued. “Then let me pick you something, on the house.” Lucy put her hands in front of her, ready to refuse the action, but the woman had looked straight at Natsu. “Wendy and Romeo?”

“After school’s out, yes.” The two nodded at the same time and Lucy looked over at Natsu.

“Who are they? Rather, who is everyone?” Lucy looked around the table and watched as her cousins conversed freely with those around them. Well, Rogue was just kind of talking to Sting, but he also didn’t have the social ineptness that the others had. She was surprised that Gajeel was doing so well, but he was only talking to Levy really, and the other blue haired girl beside him.

She decided to take the opportunity of Natsu ignoring her to slide out of the seat. She walked over behind Loke and tapped his shoulder. The orange haired male looked up at her with a grin. “Hey, Princess.”

She shook her head, and then asked her question. “You have a usual?”

“Ah,” Loke looked at her with earnest eyes. “Yes, this is basically a club type hang out, although strangers do come in here sometimes. Like Sting, Rogue, and Yukino over there. They are part of the Sabertooth club, but they are here because you brought them.” Lucy nodded, remembering her cousins saying something about that before, and she vaguely wondered how Loke knew the girl’s name. Loke pointed at Natsu’s shoulder, “you see that mark?” Lucy nodded again, looking over at Natsu’s red tattoo. “That is his Fairy Tail emblem.”

“You have one?”

“Yup.”

“Does my father know?”

“Hell no!” Loke grimaced, gripping the table tightly. “He’d fire me for having divided alliances. Anyway, my point is, most of those seated in this hang out place are members of Fairy Tail.”

“Gajeel?”

“No. He’s a member of Phantom Lord.”

“Right.”  Lucy replied, remembering him mentioning something about that.

Gajeel looked up, hearing their conversation. “Ex member lion boy.” Loke and Lucy both looked at him confused. “They wanted us to get bunny girl and keep her for ransom. That wasn’t happening. Me and Juvia here took them down, with some help from Fairy Tail.”

“Juvia and I,” Lucy muttered.

“What?”

“Your grammar. It is supposed to be Juvia and I, not me and Juvia.”

“Oh, shut it bunny girl.” Lucy rolled her eyes at his comment. She would never get through to him. Natsu had looked over to see that Lucy wasn’t there, and just as he was turning to look at her, she wandered off to the bathroom.

Lucy clenched her fist, nervous to meet all of these people. She had stayed in the bathroom for a long while, trying to get herself together. It wasn’t like they knew who she was really. No one would, because she was never allowed out of the house.

That is, her heart sped up, unless they had come to one of her father’s company or other formal parties. The Heartfilia company was pretty well spread out and Lucy only knew of a few of his employees. Her breathing came hard and labored as she thought about that. Hadn’t that stripping guy been at one? How many people had come to her father’s parties where she was a dress up doll, and also went to her school?

Was Natsu one of them? No, she would recognize that pink hair anywhere.

Lucy put her hand over her heart. She didn’t want to be judged just because of her social stature. That didn’t define who she was, and she hoped no one thought it did. Lucy wondered just how long she had been in the bathroom, and prepared to step out.

When she did, Lucy clenched and unclenched her fists again, hoping to be able to fight off her nerves. She looked around the large room, noticing that there was certainly a lot of people in the room, and two new additions had been added to the table she was sitting at. She looked over at the clock, and saw that it was now a quarter until two. She was in the bathroom for nearly thirty minutes. The food had not come out yet, but her shake had, and she wasn’t certain if she would be able to drink it with her nerves. She thought that maybe just some water would be good.

But then Natsu looked up at her, his enchanting grin on his face and her name on his lips. “Good, you’re here Luce! I thought you’d run away.”

Chapter Text

*L*

Lucy grinned at him and shook her head. “Of course not. Why would I do that?”

“I don’t know.” Lucy stood behind Natsu, her folded arms resting on the back of the bench, as her seat had been taken over by the two newcomers. Loke called over to her.

“Lucy, come sit on my lap.” She grimaced, shaking her head no profusely. Natsu didn’t seem to realize what the problem was, so Lucy went to walk around to the end of the table, and try to find a chair to pull up. The people on Natsu’s side of the bench scooted closer together, and he told the two next to him to switch him spots.

“Here Luce.” Again it was a tight squeeze, although now because there were two added bodies, no matter how small. On the other side of the table, there was a single space left open and Lucy wondered why it was there.

She got her answer when the waitress came back, bringing all of their food. After multiple trips, to and from the kitchen, she had finally gotten all of the food laid out on the table. The white haired lady sat down in the open spot at the table.

“So Lucy,” said girl looked up from her plate of food.

“Yes?”

“How was your first day at a new school?”

Lucy was startled. “Oh, it was good, I guess.” Natsu’s arm had gone back over her shoulder and she could feel him stiffen.

“Just good?” He asked her, looking straight at his food.

“Well, it’s just that-”

Loke cut in before she could say anything. “She didn’t have any classes with us so she probably wasn’t really sure how to act.”

Lucy stiffened alongside Natsu, and his arm over her shoulder retracted. Lucy’s eyes glazed over as she remembered looking at the picture of the principal. She set this up. Made it so I would make new friends. Lucy’s mind was whirling, and she didn’t notice she was being spoken to until she was nudged. She had been nudged hard enough that she looked up quickly, “what?” Then she promptly fell off the bench. Everyone laughed at her and she looked at the ground.

She bit her trembling lip before standing up, her head bowed. “I apologize, but I must be going.” With that, she hadn’t even taken a bite of her food or a sip of her shake, she ran out, deciding to head home. Lucy calmed down a bit as she headed home, silently thanking the principal for her efforts, no matter how wasted they were on the socially awkward teen.

Lucy slowed as her house came into view, and a hand landed on her shoulder. She turned around to see Rogue there. “Are you okay Lucy?”

“I am.”

“Really?”

“Yes, Rogue.” She let a soft smile grace her lips.

“Why are you hiding it Lucy?” Rogue looked stern and she let her smile turn into a confused frown. She didn’t even need to say anything, he just continued. “I saw the bruises when you fell. It isn’t your father is it?”

Lucy let out a sigh of relief. “No. No, he would never purposely hurt me, not physically at least.”

“Then who is doing it?” Lucy grimaced, not wanting to answer. “Lucy, it will be okay if you tell me.” She turned to the side and Rogue gripped her shirt, yanking it up a bit. Just over her waist, but she still began breathing harder. His hand touched over a sensitive spot — which had been nudged by Natsu before she fell — and she whimpered in pain. “Lucy, why do you have glass in your skin?”

“Damn, I thought I got it all out this time.”

This time?”

*N*

Natsu had run to catch up to Lucy, only to see Rogue had gotten there first. Everyone else stayed behind, talking. He watched them from a distance, slowly walking toward them. Lucy was in the middle of a sentence it seemed, “-never purposely hurt me, not physically at least.” She looked at the ground, seemingly trying to use her golden hair as a shield when Rogue spoke next.

“Then who is doing it?” There was a pause as he waited for an answer, before realizing she was not going to be giving one. “Lucy, it will be okay if you tell me.” She was turning away, and Rogue gripped her shirt, sliding it up, whether by accident or on purpose, Natsu didn’t know. But the black haired male scowled when he saw what was there. As did Natsu himself. She had a brown piece of glass stuck in her right side, nearly on her back, but not quite.

Rogue’s hand lightly skimmed over it, and Natsu, even with his dragon sensitive hearing, could barely hear the whimper coming from the girl. “Lucy, why do you have glass in your skin?”

He growled at the words she replied with, although they weren’t meant for anyone else to hear. “Damn, I thought I got it all out this time.”

Natsu stepped forward, his growl a little more loud. “This time?”

He watched as her eyes went wide, not noticing when Rogue tried to slink into the shadows. Lucy grabbed him by his hair. “Oh no you don’t.”

“Hey, ow. That hurts Lucy!”

“Too fucking bad.”

“Hey,” Rogue exclaimed, “watch that pretty little mouth!”

Lucy ignored him and looked up at Natsu, who was watching intently. His eyes were trained on the piece of glass that was rippling with every breath she took.

“Don’t worry about it Natsu.”

“Don’t worry about it? Like hell I’m not going to worry about it Luce!” He was yelling and Lucy looked up at a window in the front of the house. She grimaced and Natsu followed her gaze, only to land on a tall man standing in the window.

Her voice was low and she turned and ran to the door. “I’m sorry Natsu, but I must go.” She was inside, the door slammed shut before he could even say a word.

*L*

She felt bad for leaving Natsu like that, but she certainly had to deal with her father. However, before doing that, she went to her room and decided to change into clothes that he would find respectable. She found the pink dress that her mother had passed down to her and laid it on her bed. She went over to her window and pulled the curtains closed. She caught a sight of pink and sighed. She really did wish that she could just tell him that it was her own fault with the bruises. She was so damn clumsy.

It wasn’t as if she could tell him that on her first day she had been pushed down in the hallway when she was wandering lost before he found her. Nor could she tell him the boy’s name, quite reasonably however, since she didn’t even know it. But most of all, she couldn’t tell him, because the boy had threatened her.

Besides that little mishap though, school was phenomenal and she loved it. Most of the people there were considerate and although only Natsu and Levy really tried to get to know her, she knew it was going to be okay. After all, they were already taking the spot in her heart of best friend. She smiled at the thought before hearing a sound coming from her bedroom door. She opened the door to see Virgo raising her hand.

“Princess! I was just about to come and see if you needed any help.”

“Please Virgo, come in. I would love to have help.”

Virgo stepped in her room and closed the door behind her before pulling Lucy’s clothing off of her, not giving the girl a chance to protest. She quickly stripped Lucy of her school clothes and then changed her into the dress.

When she was done changing, Lucy strode to the door, ready to go and deal with her father.

Chapter Text

*L*

When Lucy stepped into the hallway, her eyes looked side to side, not seeing any of the usual workers. Confused was the least of what she was feeling. If anything, she was concerned. That concern, however, died when she saw her father’s door open, and heard the voices coming from inside the room. Instead it was replaced with an inquiry and then panic.

“No, my wife was very grateful that you allowed the young miss to go to Fairy Tail High School. She wished she could have been there for her first day of school, but was happy to see that she had made so many friends.” The voice was familiar, and one she had hoped she would never have to hear again. Lucy slightly crept closer to the door.

“Why was she not at the school? She told me she would be there to show Lucy around.” So Lucy was right, Mavis had been the only reason Lucy was allowed to go to the school.

“Do not worry. She made sure there was someone who had every single class with her, and it seemed that they bumped into each other before the first class of the day.”

“What about her cousins? Why did they not have the same classes, and Leo too?” Lucy’s father always called Loke that, since technically that was his real name.

“Something about how all the classes were full. Now, if you will excuse me, I have a meeting I must attend Mr. Heartfilia.”

“Of course. Please, tell Mavis I said hello.”

The other guy just hummed before turning and walking out of the door. When he saw Lucy, he paused his step growling out one word as he nodded to her. “Heartfilia.”

“Whatever.” She didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of knowing that he made her scared. He wasn’t worthy of knowing that. She stood against the wall, waiting a moment before going to knock on her father’s office door. “Father? It’s Lucy, may I come in?”

“Enter.” He didn’t even answer as though she asked a question, just stated what he wanted her to do. She sighed but entered after her father’s demand. “Ah, Lucy. It’s you.”

Lucy really wanted to roll her eyes, raise her eyebrows, glower, something to show how stupid she thought he was. Instead, she stood there, calmly waiting for his assessment. Her eyes darted around the room and she began to fidget. “Father, what is this about?”

“Yes, what is this about an indecent act at school today, Lucy dear?”

Again she was exasperated with him, but she responded like a good little girl. “Indecent act? Father, what are you talking about?”

“Hitting a male? Showing skin? My dear, must I pull you out of the school already?”

“Father!” She had no idea what he meant by hitting a male, however the showing skin was most likely the uniform’s fault. “The uniform shows that much father-”

“No. Your shirt was see-through and someone snapped pictures of you.” He held up his phone, which he had sitting next to him, to show her a picture of herself in the cafeteria. This was just before she had gone into the bathroom and just after the ice cream had slid off of her white shirt, leaving a — he was right — see-through path down her skin-tight uniform shirt. It didn’t help that the lower part of her back was showing from how taut the shirt was over her breasts in the front, raising it higher than intended.

“Oh. That was a misunderstanding father.”

“I don’t care if it was a misunderstanding! You will not be wearing something so revealing to a public school when you have yet to be properly married off.” Lucy shrunk in on herself, opting to seem smaller so that her father would not start throwing things again. Her father got up and went around his desk before slamming the door shut. “Damn nosey people.”

“Father it is the uniform! I have to wear it.”

“I have been on the phone with Mavis and she already gave me permission to have you wear more concealing items to school.”

“Father!”

“On the other hand, this male recognized you when you hit him in the hallways. Name is Dan Straight, and as compensation for hitting him you must help him study for the next two weeks.”

“What are you talking about father? I didn’t hit anyone.”

“Don’t lie to me young lady.”

“I’m not lying.” Now Lucy openly glared at her father, wishing that, just for once, he would listen to her side of the story.

“Don’t do that. It is an unrefined look, girl.” He looked at her as though she wasn’t exactly his daughter. “How would you prove that you didn’t either? He said you ran into him in the hall then pushed him down for being in your way.”

Something in Lucy’s mind clicked. “Wait, does he have sandy brown hair?”

“Yes, why? Finally ready to admit it are you?”

Lucy shook her head, her mouth opening in a soft ‘o’ shape. “He was the guy who pushed me down. But why would he go to my father? How did he even know who I was?” Lucy was mumbling to herself, attempting to work through everything. Not paying attention to her father in the room any longer. “And if he knew who I was, then why would he knock me down before proceeding to kick me?” Her thoughts were being murmured softly, but her father heard.

“Now you’re making accusations? Where is your proof?”

“You wouldn’t just believe your own daughter? Even so, I have bruises across my body from it. Would that be enough proof to sate you father?”

“No. Either way, you must help him study for the next two weeks. Now, you are dismissed.”

“I don’t even get a say in this?”

Her father looked up at her with raised eyebrows. “Did I not say you are dismissed?” Lucy nodded before turning around and leaving dejectedly.

*N*

Natsu ran after Lucy when she went inside, however, instead of going in through the front door, the boy ran around to her balcony. He was lucky that he knew where her room was, as he would have fallen straight back down had her scent not been overpowering another’s. Natsu gripped the railing and pulled himself over. Her balcony was left open, though the curtains were pulled shut. He listened for any sound from her room before entering.

His eyes widened at the amount of pink she had in her room. And yes, this was pink, unlike his hair, which was salmon. He looked around her room to see a few pictures of whom he assumed was her mother, the late Mrs. Heartfilia. Natsu remembered his mother telling him that she passed when her child had just turned seven, on her child’s birthday. Lucy must have felt terrible when it happened.

Natsu walked out into the hallway, following the sound of raised voices. Particularly, Lucy’s high pitched voice. “Indecent act? Father, what are you talking about?”

“Hitting a male? Showing skin? My dear, must I pull you out of the school already?” No, no, no, no. I just got to meet her, the girl who I can smell from miles away. You can’t take her away!

“Father! The uniform shows that much father—”

“No. Your shirt was see-through and some snapped pictures of you.” Natsu waited as there was a pause, then peeked into the room.

“Oh. That was a misunderstanding father.” Lucy’s hair was up in a bun and she was in a regal looking dress.

“I don’t care if it was a misunderstanding! You will not be wearing something so revealing to a public school when you have yet to be properly married off.” Lucy shrunk in on herself, and Natsu was questioning why, when her father got up. Natsu stepped out of sight as Lucy’s father went around his desk before slamming the door shut.

Now Natsu could only hear muddled yelling through the door. Even with his enhanced hearing. Someone put their hand on his shoulder and Natsu turned around sharply. He had been too focused on the conversation happening inside the room that he hadn’t noticed a worker come up behind him.

“It’s no use. We’ve all tried to listen to what they do and say in there, but Mr. Heartfilia’s office is one of the few rooms in the house that is soundproof.”

Natsu looked at the pink haired female with concern. “What are the other places?”

“Lucy’s bedroom is one of them, then of course Rogue and Sting’s bedrooms. Along with her father’s bedroom. That is it I believe.”

“Why do Sting and Rogue live here?” Natsu felt his heart seize, not certain if he actually wanted to know the answer.

“Oh, they are her cous-”

Just as she said that, Lucy came out of the office, barreling past the two already standing outside the office. She ran into her room, and Natsu caught the door before it could close. He opened it and stepped inside, not prepared to have the blonde barrel into him. “Luce? Are you okay?” Having slammed back into the door from her force, he slid down the wood pane and shifted her into his lap.

Lucy was openly crying and Natsu was trying his hardest to comfort her. She slid back a little as her sobs died down and her voice was cracked when she spoke next. “Sorry, I got your shirt all wet.”

“I don’t care about the shirt Lucy. I wanna know what happened to you in there.”

Lucy slid back, pushing herself into a standing position. She wiped her eyes, her mask falling back into place. “Nothing.”

“Hey,” Natsu stood up, approaching her like she was a scared animal. “There is obviously something wrong. Something obviously happened.”

“Honestly nothing happened Natsu.”

“Why won’t you tell me?”

“Because nothing happened!”

“Look Lucy, if you don’t want to tell me that is fine, but don’t lie to me.” Lucy looked at him straight in the eyes when she could hear the undertone of anger in his voice.

“Natsu, nothing happened in there. It was just my father talking to me. It is a normal occurrence.”

“Then why were you crying?” Natsu stepped forward, trapping her against her wall. He leaned in close and she blushed, stuttering her next sentence.

“School. Some stuff happened at school.” Natsu looked at her confused. He couldn’t think of any time when something would have been able to happen. He was beside her the entire time. Lucy seemed to realize this and spoke up again. “It was between third and fourth hour.”

*L*

Lucy took in a deep breath. Natsu’s face was still close to hers and it was hard to focus. She was shaking from the memory and from what was foreseen in her future. “When I was looking around for class, a guy ran into me. But, it doesn’t matter now.”

Natsu looked at her in concern. “Please Lucy, tell me.” Lucy noticed that Natsu had not called her ‘Luce’ since he began questioning her.

“Fine, just let me get changed.”

“Can I get the glass out?”

“Huh?” Lucy looked at him questioningly.

“The glass in your side.”

Lucy looked down to see that she was bleeding through the dress. The tightened corset must have set it off, and it didn’t help that she had roughly thrown herself around. “Oh no.” She didn’t even think about Natsu being in the room, just began clawing at the corset laces, trying to get the dress off. She walked over to her dresser at the same time, loosening the laces enough that she could slip out to her white underdress. Well, it had been white at least. “Not my mother’s dress!”

She grabbed clothing from her dresser, then turned and dashed into her bathroom. She closed the door behind her, then stripped to her underwear. The blood was staying relatively around the cut in her side, and she was grateful that she could just pull up the shorts she had grabbed, and throw her shirt on over. She held the shirt up above the cut and opened the door.

Natsu was staring at her wide-eyed. He looked down at the cut then walked up to her. He turned her around, along with himself. Making him walk backwards and her in front of him. He sat when he reached the toilet and pulled her onto his lap, making her straddle him. Lucy was shocked to say the least. She was uncertain how to feel, as she had never been in this position before.

Somehow, Natsu had grabbed the first-aid kit that was on the counter without her noticing. He wouldn’t need the tweezers to pull out the glass piece, as that would probably make it harder with such a large piece. He slid her shirt up over her right shoulder, baring part of her bra to him. However, he wasn’t focused on looking at her body in a sexual way, and instead, grabbed her arms and wrapped them around his shoulders.

“What are you doing Natsu?”

Natsu looked up at her and smiled. “Well, you are going to need to grip onto something while I pull out the glass.”

“Oh.” His smile widened and Lucy could barely feel the light circles his hand was making around the piece of glass. Yet he continued watching her eyes. The circles got smaller until finally, his fingers brushed over the glass. Lucy’s hands reflexively clenched into his shoulder muscles. Her nails bit deep, nearly drawing blood, as the glass was in deeper than she had thought.

Blood flowed freely from the wound and Natsu quickly wiped it up, putting pressure on it to prevent further bleeding. He grabbed some gauze from the kit and pressed it to her wound, removing the previously used materials that were now bloody. He taped it onto her stomach before looking at the bruises on her stomach. She flinched when he touched one and he pulled back. Natsu laughed nervously before looking up at her again. “Sorry about that. Care to tell me what happened now?”

Lucy nodded, then stood up, backing away from him. She beckoned for him to follow her, and he did, out into her bedroom and onto her bed. He sat beside her as she pulled her knees up to her chest and she breathed out.

Chapter Text

 

*L*

Lucy looked at her knees. She trusted Natsu for some unknown reason. She laid down on her left side, facing Natsu and the wall. He in turn, laid down beside her, looking her over. When his eyes found her legs, he saw the many bruises that had been acquired on her upper thighs. He pursed his lips and looked back into her eyes. She gave a small smile before speaking.

Lucy’s memory:

A young Lucy opened her mouth to speak to her mother, but was cut off. “Layla dear, I need you to get our daughter out of the dirt. She must not be a dirty child.”

Layla laughed at her husband. “Oh, Jude. Let’s leave her be, she just wishes to play. Is that so bad?”

“But mama, I wa-” Lucy was cut off again.

“Yes that is bad, and be quiet dear child. It is not befitting of a young lady to talk so much.” Lucy watched her parents walk away from her. She looked towards the forest that was near her family’s estate. She wondered if she’d ever be allowed to go in. Lucy followed her parents back to the house. They were having an intense conversation and hadn’t noticed that Lucy was now there.

“Layla, you know the dirt will just make you worse.”

“Yes. But I wish to spend more time with my daughter than resting in bed.”

Lucy looked up at her parents, being six years old, she didn’t quite understand what was going on. “Mama, if you need to rest then you should rest. That way, you can get better and play with me more.”

Layla smiled sadly at her daughter. “Oh sweetheart, I’m not going to get better from this.”

“A few days later, on my birthday, my mother died and… I tried going to my father for comfort.” She let out a shaky breath before continuing.

“Daddy?” Young Lucy had walked into her father’s office and was surprised at what she saw.

“What Lucy?” He growled at her. Lucy looked around at all the dirty dishes surrounding her father.

Completely forgetting that she went in there for comfort, she asked an entirely unrelated question. “Will you not come out for dinner?”

Lucy’s father looked up at her and Lucy slowly backed away from the hate in his eyes. “No. No, I will not come out for dinner to eat with the child who took away the single thing I love.”

Lucy tilted her head confused as she processed what her father said. Finally, her seven year old brain figured it out. Lucy sniffled but kept a straight face. She smiled at her father and did a curtsy. “Then I shall bother you no more father.” With that she turned and left, not speaking to him for some years.

Lucy felt Natsu’s hand land on her own over her thigh. She flinched before calming down. “Soon after that he started drinking.”

Knocking on her father’s office door, a now thirteen year old Lucy let herself into the closed office. “Father, your guests are here and waiting on you.”

Her father looked up to see the outfit she was wearing. It was a white outfit with bell-bottom sleeves that slipped on over the wrist and a strapless shirt that showed her midriff. Her bottoms were a black skirt and knee high black boots. Her father sneered at her. “Well, you look ready to entertain. Why don’t you do it?”

Lucy raised an eyebrow as he slurred the disrespectful words. It had probably been the reason that the staff had been desperately trying not to have her go see her father. “Have you been drinking again?”

Lucy clenched her fist when he pulled a bottle out from under his desk. “Yes, I have my dear. Now, you are in the way of the trash can, so move.”

“No.”

“Fine then.” Her father grinned slyly. Before Lucy could process what was going to happen, she was on the ground with the glass bottle that had been thrown at her.

“He stopped drinking for a while after he realized what he did, but he started again recently. That isn’t what hurt me the most though.” Her hands clenched into fists and she ground her teeth together, tears coming to her eyes as she lived through the next memory.

Lucy looked around her for the sound she heard. She’s sixteen now. Almost done growing, and one boy in particular had noticed. Rahkeid. He had followed Lucy into the forest and cornered her toward the cabin she knew was out there. Lucy walked inside the cabin, too exhausted to hear the door shutting.

“Lucy.” A voice said behind her, and she spun around with wide eyes. Then relaxed.

“Oh, it’s just you.” Then she realized that he was holding her keys. “Why do you have my keys? You know what, I don’t care, just give them back.”

“Oh, you want your keys back do you?” Lucy nodded fast. The boy in front of her sneered. “Then do whatever I want for today.” Lucy looked at the time, it was only 3:30 in the afternoon so they didn’t have to worry about that. She nodded and the boy across from her smiled. “Good.”

Lucy got a bad feeling about this and backed away as the boy walked towards her. “Wait. When does this end? I have to be back by 5:30.”

Rahkeid smiled. “Then we’ll be done by 5:00.” Lucy gulped as she hit the wall. The boy threw her keys onto the coffee table and then trapped Lucy against the wall. “Ya know, I’m surprised no one else has tried getting you alone.”

Lucy knew what was gonna happen now. He was going to try to rape her. Lucy’s eyes widened and she cried out. “Loke! Please! Virgo?” Lucy called for her two closest spirits, but neither came.

“Ah, ah, ah. They won’t come.”

“Please. Anything else.”

The boy did not listen and grabbed her wrists that were pounding against his chest. He pulled them up and held them over her head, making her crop top raise higher to just underneath her bra.

“Ya know,” he said. “My uncle, has that same color pink — well, salmon as he calls it — hair as your bra.”

Lucy’s face contorted in confusion. “What?”

“Yeah. He’s about the same age as you too.”

She looked at him even more confused. She didn’t understand why he was mentioning this. Not then.

“So, pleasure or pain? What do you want huh?” Lucy whimpered at his statement and Rahkeid shoved her against the wall even more roughly. “How about physical pleasure, but mental pain? That sounds good.”

“Why?” She stuttered. Lucy didn’t understand why this was happening to her. What had she done?

“Sweetheart, look at yourself. You’re absolutely stunning. And you’re innocent. Which means you won’t be able to keep from moaning.” Lucy’s face paled and she looked around for an escape. Rahkeid pulled her shirt up and over her head then used it to tie her arms, not releasing her.

He looked down at her chest greedily but decided he didn’t want to start there. He slid her skirt down her thighs, and then did the same with her pink panties.

His hand came back up and stroked her. She whimpered and he took that as a sign of compliance. He let her hands go and she ended up sliding down the wall. His holding her up had been the only thing leaving her standing.

Lucy whimpered again as this worked in Rahkeid’s favor. His finger entered her and she bit her lip to try to keep from moaning. Lucy looked straight ahead and refused to move.

Rahkeid realized this and pulled her away from the wall laying her on the ground. He went to the side of her and slid one of her bra straps down, and then the other one. He began to work on one of her breasts and Lucy clenched her fists.

She didn’t want her spirits to be taken from her, so she would bear the pain. She would not give in to Rahkeid and give him what he wanted. Lucy willed her mind blank and sat silent as Rahkeid continued his work.

“I couldn’t hold it together and by the time I was free I was crying. But I got my spirits back and kept my innocence.” Lucy looked at Natsu and he had a fire in his eyes.

*N*

Natsu had been listening, and growing more angry as her story went on. He was certain that she had skipped multiple influencing days on her life, but if she wasn’t ready to tell him, then he could understand that. The truth was, that none of those recountings made him as angry or as sick as the last one.

For one, it happened just last year. Two, he knew exactly who it was that had done that, and it made him feel sick that his nephew had touched her in such a way, especially without her permission. His mind went back to that morning. She had stiffened at any slight touch, whether male or female. “How many times has that happened?”

“What do you mean?” Lucy was looking at him concerned.

“How many times have people tried to—,” he couldn’t bring himself to say the right word, “touch you without your permission?”

Lucy squinted, thinking about it. “About ten times, maybe more? I’m not sure.”

Natsu wanted to wrap this girl in his arms, then hide her away from the world. He wanted to take away her pain and make sure she never felt anything like that again.

His phone started ringing and he looked at the caller to see it was his sister. “I have to take this.” She nodded and he answered the phone. “Hey Wen, what’s up?”

“Where are you? I’m at home and you aren’t here!”

“Oh, I’m at Luce’s.”

“Who is that?”

“The girl across the street.”

“Oh.” Wendy’s voice became laced with intrigue. “Can I come meet her?”

Natsu looked over at Lucy before whispering the question to her. When she nodded, he turned the phone back to his mouth. “She said yes.”

“Awesome I will bring everyone over.”

Natsu tried hard to ask her what she meant, but she had hung up the phone. He turned to Lucy, “so I think she might be bringing the herd of people from before over here.” Lucy looked a little panicked but Natsu put his hand out, showing her what he was doing before pulling her into a hug. “Hey, it will be all right.”

“I’m not good with people though.”

Her bedroom door was knocked on and the pink haired maid from before entered. “Princess, you have guests.” When the maid looked up, she saw Natsu holding Lucy and looked them both straight in the eyes, and without a waiver in her voice said, “oh, I didn’t know you were in the middle of something with a lover.”

Lucy’s eyes widened. “No, it isn’t like that Virgo.”

“Of course, Princess. You’re guests will be seated at the dining table for dinner.”

The maid left and the two stayed in their hug for a moment longer before separating and heading downstairs.

*L*

When Lucy stepped into the dining room, any conversation that was previously going stopped. A young, deep blue haired girl stood up from her place setting.

“Are you Luce?”

Lucy looked at the girl and smiled softly. “Actually it’s Lucy.”

“Oh, well who is this Luce, I would like to meet her.”

Chuckling, Natsu put a hand on his younger sister’s shoulder as Lucy spoke again. “Oh, that is just what your brother calls me.”

“Oh, all right. So, Lucy then.” Lucy nodded and the younger girl continued. “I’m Wendy. It is lovely to meet the girl that has entranced my brother for so long.”

“Oi!” Natsu swung his sister up over his shoulder and seemed to be having a very quiet conversation. Lucy looked over at Gajeel who had laughed, then noticed that Sting and Rogue were grinning as well. Whatever it was must have been entertaining. The doorbell rang and Lucy ran to grab it, a squealing Wendy running after her away from her brother.

Lucy was laughing when she opened the door. However, when she saw who was at the door, her laughter stopped and she frowned. “What do you want?”

“Is that any way to treat an old friend, blondie?” He was an old friend, but not of hers.

“No, but you aren’t an old friend.” Lucy wanted to tell Wendy to go back to the kitchen, but then the person in front of her would focus in on the younger girl. “Seriously, what do you want?”

“I came to see Sting. He around?” The guy stepped forward, but Lucy blocked the doorway. She grimaced when he wrapped his arm around her waist.

“Let me go Macbeth.”

He leaned in close to her ear and she raised her chin a bit, making sure he knew that she wasn’t going to give in. “How about no?” His head whipped up and Lucy heard the guy chuckle. “Got a boyfriend then, did you?”

“No, what are you talking about?” He stepped back so she could see the grin on his face and grinned at her.

“Good.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

Instead of answering her, he just tried to bypass her and head into the house. When she wouldn’t move he decided to pick at a nerve that he knew was sore. “Oh Lucy, didn’t your mother ever teach you manners?” She closed her eyes, her cheek twitching. “Wait, she died before she could.”

“Go away.” Her eyes opened with fury.

“No.” His hand, that was still around her waist, pulled her flush against him and she struggled for a moment in shock before, whether by accident or on purpose — she didn’t know, he groped her. Lucy’s body stilled and as though she were a spectator of herself, she felt him lean down, then start grazing his lips over her neck. She wanted to pull away, but her body was not listening to her any longer.

A strong force yanked her away, or pushed Macbeth away, she couldn’t tell. Natsu was standing in front of her. “Don’t touch her.” His voice was low, dangerous. It gave Lucy chills for reasons that were completely different from those that Macbeth was getting. Lucy felt a tug on her hand and looked down at eyes the same color as her own. “Don’t touch my Luce ever again.”

Lucy vaguely registered what Natsu said. “Oniichan seems very protective of you.” Lucy just looked away from the girl at the sound of the front door slamming shut. She looked up at Natsu and smiled.

“Thank you Natsu.” He just grunted before heading to the dining room, his sister slowly following after him.

“Coming Lucy-nee?”

“Nee?”

“Yup, you will be my big sister from now on.” Lucy just smiled and laughed lightly, following after the little girl. Big sister has a nice ring to it.

Chapter Text

*L*

As Lucy stepped back into the dining room, she could see that the only spot left open was between Natsu and Wendy. Lucy looked at everyone and smiled.

“Hi everyone, I don’t know most of you, and I don’t know how many of you know who I am, but I’m Lucy.” Everyone smiled and a few questions about if she was a mage were asked. “Ah, yes. I use celestial magic. Most of the staff you see around the house are actually my spirits, they all are my family and help me out any way they can.”

The girl on the other end of the table clapped her hands together excitedly as everyone looked to Wendy. “I’m Wendy Marvel, the sky dragon slayer.”

“Oh, two dragon slayers in one family?” Lucy looked between the siblings on either side of her.

“Ah, well, me and Natsu are both adopted, so not by blood no.” Wendy seemed to shrink down as if being adopted would make her less, but Lucy just smiled and put her hand on Wendy’s shoulder, pulling her in for a quick hug.

The guy with purple hair, about Wendy’s age, who sat next to her, spoke up. “I’m Romeo Conbolt. My dad works at Fairy Tail and helps out around the guild, so most of you Fairy Tail members know who I am. I use rainbow fire magic.”

“Oh, that sounds lovely Romeo, you will have to show me some time!” He nodded furiously as the woman next to him began speaking.

“Cana Alberona. I use card magic, so Lucy, if you ever want your future read, come to me. Although, I can already tell you that a certain pink haired male is into you.” Lucy blushed at Cana’s statement, deciding to ignore the brunette’s comment.

“Like tarot cards then?”

“Well, any cards really. I enchant the cards and the magic does as it is told. Such as a walkie-talkie type card. You can speak to others through the card. Or a help!card. Those are only useable once before they run out of magic power.”

Lucy looked at the person beside Cana and smiled softly, seeing someone as familiar to her as the principal was. His blonde hair was positioned away from the lightning shaped scar over his eye. “My name is Laxus Dreyar, and I am the lightning dragon slayer.” He didn’t say anything else, but he nodded at Lucy, who nodded back.

When Lucy turned to face the next person she squealed. Literally squealed, and Natsu looked over at her as though she was crazy. “You’re Mirajane! You are in Sorcerer Weekly all the time! This past issue you were the centerfold!”

The white haired mage laughed before speaking. “Yes, my name is Mirajane Strauss. But you can just call me Mira. I use take over magic, or transformation magic. Specifically Satan Soul, but any type really.” Lucy shuddered, remembering that someone had called her the she-devil.

*N*

Natsu looked over at the white haired male next to Mira, still shaking from the glint in the older girl’s eye. “I’m Elfman Strauss. I also use take over magic like a man! But I use beast-soul.” Everyone who knew that ‘man’ was his catchphrase laughed.

Next to him was one of what someone could call Laxus’ lackeys, she had lighter brown hair than Cana did. “I’m Evergreen and I use fairy magic and stone eyes.” She looked haughty, and was just as ‘I deserve the world’ as Laxus was.

“I’m Bixlow, and I use seith magic, also called soul magic. It lets me control my babies!” Beside him, the weird doll things he had popped up and repeated what he said. His blue hair was poking out of the visor he wore to hide the tattoo splayed across his face. “I also have figure eyes!”

Beside him was the youngest Strauss sibling, and she smiled brightly at Natsu, who was watching her. Her white hair was a short cut, next to her shoulders. “I’m Lisanna Strauss. I also use take over magic, just like my siblings. However, I specialize in animals.”

Next to Lisanna was a girl with a bob cut. Her hair a really light blue, it was nearly white. “I’m Yukino Agria. I, like Lucy, use celestial magic.” Natsu looked over to see Lucy’s eyes light up.

“Really? I’ve only known one other person who was a celestial mage. That was my mother.” Natsu couldn’t help but be in awe of the blonde.

“Oh, my sister is one as well, but she-” the other girl paused for a moment. “She hasn’t contacted me for years.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Alright,” Sting interrupted. “On that sad note, I’m the white dragon slayer. Sting Eucliffe. And this recluse to my left is Rogue Cheney, the shadow dragon slayer. We are the twin dragon slayers!” Rogue only sat there stoic, not even bothering to look around the table.

The girl to Rogue’s left slid her black hair over her shoulder, before speaking. “I am Minerva Orland. I use spacial magic. Sting, Rogue, Yukino and I are from Sabertooth. I know most of you are from Fairy Tail, then there are a few ex Phantom Lord members here.” She looked pointedly at Gajeel and the blue haired girl beside him.

“I, am Freed Justine.” Natsu thought the male looked a little out of place. His green hair cut to a short hair style, one he didn't really look comfortable in. “I use rune magic.” That was all he said, and Lucy looked at Natsu confused. He just shrugged; Freed was one who was a very silent person.

The blue haired male beside Freed had a red tattoo on his face, over his eye. “I am Jellal Fernandez, and I use heavenly body magic.” Lucy nodded, not questioning what that was, even though confusion was evident across her facial features.

Natsu looked away from Lucy when the next person cleared their throat. “I am Erza Scarlet. I am a requip mage. But my specialty is ‘the knight’.” Natsu watched as the red haired woman put a hand on her chin. “Oh, and if you ever have any strawberry cake, please share.” No one dared to laugh.

Beside her, the petite blue haired girl began. “I’m Levy McGarden. My magic is solid script. And Lu, you already know what I like to do.” Natsu looked over at the blonde and smiled when she did.

The long black haired male that sat next to the short girl smiled, his piercings making him look more menacing. “I’m Gajeel Redfox. I’m the iron dragon slayer.”

Next to him sat the long blue haired girl, a lighter color than Wendy’s but darker than Levy’s. “I’m Juvia Lockser. I use water magic.” Lucy smiled at the girl and was shocked at the response she got. “Love rival!”

Lucy’s eyebrows scrunched together and Natsu just nudged Gray, so that he would go. “What do you want pyro?”

“It’s your turn ice-dick!”

“Boys!” Erza’s commanding voice separated the two and Lucy giggled.

“Yes ma’am. I’m Gray Fullbuster. I use ice-make magic. I can make anything out of ice.” Somehow he had managed to strip down to his boxers, just sitting at the table.

“Gray, your clothes.” Cana said, sipping from her drink.

“Aw, when did that happen!”

“My name is Natsu Dragneel. I am the fire dragon slayer. Now, when are we going to get some food?”

Lucy chuckled and Virgo came over to whisper in Lucy’s ear. It was low enough that Natsu couldn’t hear it, but he couldn’t deny the happiness he felt when he heard what she said. “Dinner will be ready in five everyone!”

*L*

Lucy waited until everyone had left to trudge up the stairs. She was raised to be an entertainer at dinner parties after all. She smiled bitterly. “Lucy!” Her father’s voice rang from his open office door and she walked over to it.

“Yes father?”

He was waving a paper at her and she stepped into the room, grabbing the sheet. It had an address written on it. “You will go each day after school. Do you understand? Starting tomorrow.”

“Yes, father, I understand.” Lucy took the paper, then bowed her head, leaving the room in a hurry. She went to her room and pulled out all of the syllabi that were in her backpack. Some needed parental signatures, but she would ask for those later. For now, she would just read through them, to gain an understanding of what would be expected of her.

Lucy woke up early the next morning, than ran to get into the shower. When she came back out, she saw that Virgo had laid out a modest dress. Lucy sighed, before turning and rummaging through her closet. “Are you kidding me?” Lucy’s maid had completely removed anything even ‘remotely’ indecent. No doubt by her father’s orders. A weight fell on her chest and Lucy tried to talk herself out of it. “It’s fine Lucy, everything will be fine.” But her mind wasn’t listening to her words.

The weight got thicker and she felt tears prick her eyes. Seriously, I’m gonna cry over something so stupid? What the hell is wrong with me? Lucy couldn’t help it. She only wanted to be a normal kid, but instead she was treated like some girl at a convent. Worse, she would most likely be forced into an arranged marriage. It didn’t help that she had told someone else about what had happened to her. If her father didn’t believe her, then why would anyone else?

Lucy clenched her hands before releasing her towel. She slipped on the dress and tightened the waist before leaning down and putting the boots on. She laced them up and she noticed the gloves sitting there. “You have got to be kidding me.”

Ignoring the gloves, Lucy walked out of her room, going to wake up her cousins and Loke. She told them that she would be in the dining room and went to sit down. When Virgo came into the room, the pinkette looked Lucy over. “Princess, where are your gloves?”

“I am not wearing gloves.”

“Princess, your father will not allow you to go to school any longer if you do not wear his choice of outfits for you.”

Lucy grimaced before standing up. “Fine, I’ll wear the damn gloves.” She went upstairs and grabbed the gloves. She slid them on before heading back down. Virgo came over and buttoned the gloves, making it so that she could only pull them off with help.

“Now Princess, it is time to eat.”

“I’m fine.” Lucy looked at the time, noticing it was only about five-thirty. “I’m going to head to school.”

“Princess, it is still early and the boys are not ready.”

“I’m walking. I need to get some air.” Virgo’s cheek twitched, but she said nothing as Lucy grabbed her back pack and headed out the door.

Chapter Text

*L*

Lucy walked out of the front door and immediately felt better. She pulled out her cellphone, which her father had given her that morning so that she could call Capricorn when she was done helping Dan study that night. Lucy opened the music app, since it was connected with her music player. She turned her wireless headphones on and put the buds in her ears before turning on the music.

As the music began playing, Lucy began walking to her school, following the directions her phone gave her. It took her a total of forty five minutes to get to school, and about fifteen songs. When she got there, she walked to her classroom and sat outside of the door in the hallway. She put her head on her knees and listened to her music.

After about ten minutes she felt someone tap her shoulder and looked up to see Natsu. She smiled a little, just a quirk of her mouth, and he grinned at her. The warmth of his smile alone made her happy. She pulled out an earbud before speaking to him. “Hey.”

“Hey Luce. How are you?” Lucy could hear genuine curiosity in his voice even through the standardized question.

“Better now that you are here.”

“What’s with the getup?” He asked before she could even ask him the same question back.

She realized then that she never did tell him what happened yesterday. “Father’s rules if I want to stay at school.”

“That sucks.”

“Yeah, so—” Before Lucy could finish her question, the bell rang.

Natsu and Lucy really didn’t talk much over the next two weeks. Her father made her go at lunch to tutor Dan, even though she wished to go with her friends. She would walk to his house, while he would drive. Multiple times he asked her if she wanted a ride, but she was enjoying the ten or so minutes of freedom before being stuck in a room with him for hours. She rarely ate breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

More often than not, she was in some dress that was too tight for her to eat. When Virgo suggested she eat before changing, she shrugged, because that would mean it would take longer to get to school. She could really feel the heaviness weighing on her. Dan made sure her attention was on him the entire time she was tutoring him. She could tell that most of the time he knew the answer and was just taking longer so she wouldn’t leave. She would stay late, until nearly nine at night, before going home, doing her own homework until early into the morning, then go to school.

When she had first approached him about the subject of his lies, he just shrugged. When she said she would expose him, he hit her again, and threatened to do something that would ruin her and her father’s reputation. Her body was littered in bruises, old and new. Cuts lined her hip and wrist. She was grateful for the long sleeves even in the deathly heat. It meant she wouldn’t have to explain.

She was especially grateful for the amount of clothing she wore when Dan tried to come on to her. The first week it had been seemingly harmless flirting. But by the second week, he was grabbing at her, telling her things that could seem innocent like, “I have a shirt and shorts you could wear if you’d like to change.” She saw the lewd look in his eyes and she shook her head.

However it was when she made plans to hang out with Natsu the Monday after she was supposed to be done tutoring the bastard who was hurting her, when she completely flipped. Her father told her some made up lie from the pervert who she had been tutoring, and he told her that she would continue to be his tutor until the end of the semester, if not the year.

“No.”

“What did you say?”

“I said no. I’m not going to continue to tutor someone who tries to grope me and hits me all the time.”

“Accusations again darling?”

“Don’t darling me. Not when you aren’t listening to me father. Don’t you understand? I wanted out of the house to have a chance to make friends, be myself. I don’t want to play dress up any more father! It isn’t me!”

“Lucy,” his voice was dark and she shrunk back when she noticed the drink in his hand. “I said you will tutor this boy, so you will tutor this boy. Now get out.”

All of Lucy’s hope of any type of retribution for her father died. He would control her for the rest of her life, or as much as she allowed it. She still had nearly a year before she would be eighteen. She turned and walked out of his office, before slowly walking into her room. Her energy was depleted from the lack of sleep and food, so she really couldn’t fight back.

*N*

Natsu could tell that each day, Lucy got worse. There was something wrong. She and him had been texting back and forth, but he could tell that there was a lot going on that she wouldn’t tell him. From what Loke, Sting, and Rogue said, she was tutoring some guy after school everyday. She seemed to be getting weaker as time went on, and it wasn’t until the Sunday before they were supposed to meet that Loke knocked on Natsu’s front door, a worried look on his face.

“You still talk to her right?” He asked the moment Natsu opened the door.

“Huh, who?” Natsu replied lamely.

“Lucy.”

“Yeah. Why?” Loke waved at the air and Natsu stepped back. “Yeah, come on in.”

“Thanks.”

Once Loke was seated on the couch, Natsu asked once again. “What is this about?”

“Her father just had a conversation with her. Normally he closes the door so that those of us who worry about the princess can’t hear, but he didn’t this time. They were talking about the guy she was tutoring. Apparently, the deal was originally that Lucy would go and tutor him these past two weeks. All because she hit him in the hallways.”

Natsu cut in. “What are you talking about?”

“The first day of school, apparently she ran into some guy, and he told her father on her. As compensation he wanted Lucy as a tutor. But I don’t think he was expecting that she wouldn’t be wearing the uniform anymore, because Lucy said something in their argument today.” Loke took a deep breath before continuing. “Her father said something about how she would have to tutor this guy for the rest of the semester, maybe the rest of the year because of something she had done. I swear Natsu, I have never seen her so broken. Not even after her mother had died and her father barely paid attention to her.”

“Loke, what happened?”

“Right. Well, Lucy completely blew up at him, told him she wouldn’t tutor the asshole, of course she used cleaner words. She said that she wouldn’t tutor someone who was hitting her and trying to touch her in inappropriate ways.” Natsu’s mind went to why he wanted to meet with her the next day. He wanted to talk to her about her accusations against his nephew. “She won’t talk to anyone. She locked her doors, windows, and won’t answer when any of us call her. She looks like she hasn’t eaten in days, and she never eats breakfast so I honestly don’t know if she has. You are the only one who she still talks to besides her father. You have to do something Natsu, we are all worried.”

“Is that it? You just want me to talk to her?”

“Yes.”

Natsu nodded. “Don’t worry, I will.” After Loke left, Natsu pulled his cellphone out of his pocket and went into his father’s office. He looked for the address book, and when he found it, he went into the H’s. When he found the number he was looking for, he dialed.

“Hello?” The voice on the other line answered.

“Ah, Mr. Heartfilia.”

“Who is this?”

“Natsu, from across the street, I am your daughter’s friend.”

“Dragneel.” Natsu could hear the snarled contempt in the way he said his last name. “What do you want?”

“Let your daughter meet with me tomorrow. Her friends are worried about her. We haven’t been able to truly talk with her for weeks.”

“Tomorrow?”

“Correct.”

Lucy’s father seemed to think about it before speaking again. “Fine. She can have this week off, and as long as she keeps her grades up she will be allowed to hang out with you this week and on weekends.”

“Thank you sir.”

“Don’t thank me yet. I am not talking to my whore of a daughter about it, that is up to you.” Natsu wanted to call him some words, worse than what he called Lucy, but instead he answered calmly.

“Understood.” With that, the line went dead.

Natsu shot a text to Lucy, telling her what her father had said and where to meet him the next day. He waited for a reply, and smiled when he got it.

*L*

Lucy had a bite of an apple for breakfast. But when that almost made her throw up from the lack of food she had been eating, she decided it would be better to only have that single bite of food. She did not want to be sick, she had an appointment to keep. She smiled when she thought of the text she had received from Natsu the night before. She was excited to talk with him. It had been a long while since she had been able to truly have a conversation with him, as she had been shoved to the back of the classroom, other people wanting to sit with Natsu. She wasn’t good at confrontation, so she hadn’t bothered fighting anyone.

By the third day of class, the seats they were in became the seats they would keep for the rest of the semester, and Lucy had frowned. In one of her classes, her biology class, Dan was seated at her table. He was in the seat closest to her, and she was in absolute misery.

The teacher of that class hated any sort of noise from the students, so one wrong move and she could get sent out of the room. Which wouldn’t do, because she had to keep her good grades. So, she sat and bore through the inappropriate sliding of his hand against her leg, every once in a while whacking it away.

When Lucy got to school, she saw Natsu talking to Wendy. Wendy was the one who saw her first, and she was kind of surprised that Natsu hadn’t smelled her before then. “Hey Lucy-nee! Good to see you again.”

The blue haired girl ran up and hugged Lucy, and Lucy smiled at her. “Yeah, you too.” Her voice was hoarse as she spoke, from lack of use or crying, Lucy wasn’t certain.

Wendy turned back to her brother, smiling. “Don’t forget you have to pick me up!” Then she ran off, as Natsu opened his mouth.

“Shit, what time did I need to pick her up?”

Lucy smiled at him. “Two thirty.”

“Thanks Lucy.” Natsu didn’t smile, and Lucy’s dropped. He hadn’t called her Luce.

Natsu walked past her and headed to their class. Lucy ran to catch up to him. “Hey, Natsu, wait up!”

He didn’t. Instead, walking faster and purposely ignoring her. Levy came up behind Lucy, speaking and giving Lucy quite the jump scare. “He’s just PMSing, ignore him. He has been like this for the past week, the only person he isn’t flat out ignoring is Wendy.”

“But we’ve been texting for the past week back and forth. He wants to meet up after school today.”

“Yeah, he told us that he wouldn’t be going with us, but that he would be picking Wendy up when it’s over. We didn’t know why though.”

“Wouldn’t be going with where?”

“Oh,” Levy paused, walking and gesturing for Lucy to follow, “we are going out to see a movie, and it was one that we all really wanted to see. We were trying to wait until you could come, but then Loke said that it would probably be better to just go.”

“Well, he wasn’t wrong.” Lucy grimaced, knowing that she wouldn’t be allowed to go out to a movie. The bell rung and the two laughed, racing off to their first class. Lucy was feeling a lot like her old self again, even though, she knew it couldn’t last, and with the rest of the day, she was proven right.

Chapter Text

*L*

As the day went by, Lucy noticed that Natsu was purposely avoiding her, and when she tried to stick to him in the hallways, he went off, saying he had to do something. She always walked into the classroom late, as she still got lost. Even during the past two weeks, he would still make sure that she was heading the right way. It confused her, making her unsure of whether he truly wanted to see her that afternoon or not.

From zero hour to first hour, she went the wrong way, ending up at the principal’s office again, which was the complete opposite way of her first hour. Lucy sighed as she turned around and walked to her first hour class.

“Lucy, why are you late?” The teacher was looking at her annoyed, not having wanted to be interrupted.

“Sorry, ma’am. I got lost on the way here.” Her voice was still cracking and she pulled her water bottle out of her bag to drink some down.

“You’ve been getting here just fine for the past two weeks and you are just now getting lost? Hard to believe.”

“I’ve had a guide for the past two weeks, I thought I could make it here without him. Guess I was wrong, I apologize.”

“Yeah, you were wrong and about twenty minutes late to class. It better not happen again or you will get detention, do you understand?”

“Yes, ma’am.” Lucy nodded and everyone laughed, except for Levy. Lucy cursed herself silently, she should have just followed Levy, but she had been so focused on talking to Natsu that she had forgotten that Levy had the next class with her as well.

Lucy walked to the back and sat down, not uttering a word. She followed Levy to the next class, but when the smaller girl asked what happened, Lucy just shook her head, not wanting to explain. She got lost again on the way to third hour, and had nearly missed the entire class by then. She tripped in the hallway right as she found the right room and looked up when the door was opened.

“Where have you been Lucy?”

“Sorry sir, I got lost on the way here.”

“I called your previous teacher, and she said that you had left as soon as the bell rang. Even if you were lost you should have been able to get her before now.” He was right, Lucy would have made it long ago had she not stopped in the bathroom, expelling the little bit she had for breakfast. She was still shaking from that.

“Yes sir.”

“Don’t let it happen again, or I will call your father.”

Lucy’s eyes widened and she nodded fervently before heading to her seat in the back, passing Natsu, Mira, and Lisanna. Natsu didn’t even look at her, Mira and Lisanna just gave her looks of pity.

The only class she made it to on time was biology, her last class. And when there was a fire drill during biology, she tried to walk over to Natsu so they could walk out together, but he stuck to one of his friends instead. Leaving her with her seat mate, Dan.

“Hey LuLu, why did your dad say you were taking this week off?” She just shook her head, not wanting to talk to him. One of his arms went around her waist and she took it in her own, squeezing it, watching in satisfaction as he grimaced slightly.

“You want to tell my father petty lies about me hurting you?” She squeezed harder, silently thanking all of her spirits for showing her self defense moves. “Then I will hurt you for real. Do you understand? I am tired of you hurting me and then saying that I am the one hurting you.” She glared at him before letting his hand go. What she wasn’t prepared for was the empty hallway they were now in. Everyone had gone ahead while Lucy had stopped to glare at Dan.

Dan took advantage of the circumstance and grabbed her by the hair, dragging her into the men’s bathroom, one hand over her mouth, muffling her screams. “You little bitch.” His knee came up, hitting her already weak stomach and she gasped for air. She was way too weak for a full on fight, and he had pulled off his tie to wrap around her mouth, effectively gagging her. He shoved her back against the wall hard. “You whore, coming on to me, then telling your father it was me.”

*N*

Natsu didn’t notice until it had been over fifteen minutes out in the heat, that a certain blonde was missing. And he only noticed because Loke came over to him from his own class. “Where is Lucy? She has this class right?”

“Yeah, she should be somewhere—“

“We are missing someone.” The teacher spoke up, then sent a glare at Loke. “Two someone’s, do any of you know who?”

“Dan and Lucy ma’am.”  Loke looked over at the girl who had spoken, it was a very observant girl named Laki Olietta. She would know.

“Dan? Straight?” Loke asked the girl, and she nodded. Loke paled considerably. “Shit.”

“What is it Loke?” Loke just glared at Natsu, running back into the building. A few teachers tried to stop him, but in the end they let him go, and Natsu followed after him.

The first thing that hit Natsu was the overpowering smell. It was fear, and then blood. The two coppery scents mixed together and Natsu followed them. He could hear whimpers coming from the men’s bathroom and stopped, listening.

“You whore, coming onto me, then telling your father it was me.” The whimpers turned frantic. “I’ll show you what your father truly thinks about you. But first let’s see,” Natsu heard a smack and then a cry of pain. “Come on Lucy. Fight back you bitch.” Some muffled words. “What was that?”

“I said, you are an asshole who doesn’t know how to take no for an answer.”

“Hmm, much better. Still wish you would fight back.” Lucy whimpered again as another smack sounded. “You didn’t fight back the first few times I beat you, but you fought back the rest of the times, why not now?” Lucy whimpered, then Natsu heard something that sounded like retching. “You ate this morning didn’t you?”

Natsu was unsure why he wasn’t stepping in to help her. He should move, but he couldn’t. All he could do was listen, the conversation taking precedence.

“And I bet the reason has to do with that boy huh? The one who you’ve been trying to talk to all day.” Natsu heard a very audible gasping before more retching. He peeked around the corner to see Lucy leaning over one of the toilets. Dan had her hands tied back with his tie and Natsu could see lashes on her legs. Her dress had slid up over her knees.

“Leave him out of this.” Lucy said when she got a break from throwing up.

“No. It’s his fault you aren’t coming over. What am I supposed to do without my plaything?”

“I’m not a toy!”

Dan chuckled, his lips turning into a smirk. “Really? Because I’d say that your father also thinks you are one.” Natsu watched as Dan yanked Lucy back by her hair and shoved her onto the ground. Her face was blank of any emotion, but he could see her eyes held fury. “I mean, how often does he talk about matching you up with the right guy for the purpose of business? And how often do you have to play dress up for him? Oh, and then there is Natsu’s nephew.” Lucy’s eyes widened.

“What? What are you talking about?”

“I’m not stupid. I did my research on you Heartfilia. You had an unresolved complaint of molestation from Natsu’s nephew.” At the shocked look on her face, Dan continued. “Don’t tell me you didn’t know that Rahkeid is his nephew? Oh this is good.” All of the fight left Lucy’s body and she just lay there.

“No.” She whispered, her voice broken. “No, he would have told me. Natsu would have— He would have told me.” Tears trailed down her cheeks, going to the side since she was laying back.

“But he didn’t, and that makes this so much better. A game, a toy. You are a useless toy for all of us men. Even Natsu. The idiot probably just wants to show his nephew that he can get you before hand, and with your permission. Oh, and talk about being a toy again. I mean, Rahkeid is your nephew too. Your sister must have been so disappointed in you for lying about her son.”

A little bit of the fight entered her. “But I didn’t lie! I didn’t.” Natsu clenched his fists, unsure what to believe.

“Silly little doll. What happens if I take away your virginity? How much do you think your father’s business partners would pay for you then?”

Lucy sobbed, knowing full well that the fire drill should have been over by now, and that someone should have come. “Please. I’ll tutor you again, or whatever. But please, just don’t.”

Even though Natsu couldn’t see his face, he knew that Dan was smiling smugly. “Good girl. See, I told you you were a plaything.” He leaned down and kissed her nose. Lucy’s face turned to blatant fear, but Dan just got off of her. “As for what I want from you. Simple, don’t talk to Natsu.”

“What? But,” she looked up at Dan, who brought his belt down on her leg again. Not having expected it, she screamed. That was when Natsu stepped in.

“Leave her alone.”

“Oh, look. You finally made an appearance. Come on. You talk to her. She will want you to. And lovely doll, you have this week. Then, I expect you to make good on your promise.” She nodded numbly and he yanked her up into a standing position before untying her hands, then, kissed her cheek and left.

Natsu, for all his charm could only say, “school is already out.”

“Oh. Thanks for telling me.” She looked at him as if he was going to say something else, but he just looked around. When his eyes landed back on her she was blushing. “Sorry! I’ll, umm, leave now.” As she walked out Natsu heard her mumble to herself. “Great going Lucy, you are going to go around the asshole who wants to rape you more often simply so he won’t rape you? Dammit, I need to eat so that I can be strong enough. And what did he mean about my nephew being Natsu’s?” He heard her run into something and then curse.

Natsu followed her out and grabbed her arm. She grimaced but turned to look at him. His eyes were dark, and his bangs hung in his eyes. She longed to swipe them away, but with the look he was giving her, she thought maybe he would bite her arm off. “Natsu, are you okay?”

“No. You lied to me.”

*L*

Lucy ran home crying. The tears blurred her vision, making it hard for her to walk normally. When Lucy got back to her house she ran straight up the stairs, aiming for her bedroom, her tears having calmed down. “Lucy.” She turned to see her father standing in the doorway to his office. She took in a deep breath and observed her father to see if he was drunk. He wasn’t. “How’s school going?”

Lucy’s instincts kicked in and she smiled widely. “Wonderful dad. It’s absolutely wonderful. The classes are surprisingly interesting and I love having new friends.” Her lies sounded like the truth even to herself and had she not trained herself with this, she would have frowned.

Her father nodded and turned into his office, closing the door behind him. You lied to me. Lucy almost started crying again. She was hearing his voice. She didn’t lie, she didn’t. Not to him at least. Lucy went into her room and set her backpack down, then went to the adjoining bathroom and looked at herself in the mirror. I don’t appreciate being lied to Lucy. Why didn’t he use the nickname he had made?

She walked over to the shower and turned it on, then stripped herself, nearly throwing her keys. Her eyes widened and she caught them, apologizing to them. Specifically to Aquarius, who she knew she would get a beating from later. Then, she realized she didn’t have towels. “Great, justgreat.” She yanked out a key and held it in front of her. “Open, gate of the maiden: Virgo.”

“Yes princess?”

Lucy wasn’t in the mood for words, so she gestured to the door and simply said, “towels.”

Virgo left and Lucy got in the shower. It was scalding and she reached to turn it down. You lied. “No.” Lucy gasped out loud and hit her hand on the wall, missing the shower knob. “I didn’t lie! I,” She began to take heavy breaths and looked ahead of her. “I didn’t lie. Not to you,Natsu.” He said he never even touched you. Lucy’s hands went to her hair as she began to shake. “No, no, no.” She took a deep breath in. “No. Stop it, Lucy. Stop it!”

Her mind went over the conversation she had with Natsu, not long before.

“Natsu, are you okay?”

“No. You lied to me.”

“What? Natsu what are you talking about?”

“About Rahkeid, my nephew? You lied.”

“Natsu, what are you-”

“I talked to him last Friday, and he said he never even touched you!”

“Natsu, I have not lied to you once. Not about Rahkeid, not about my father, not about my life. Honestly, I usually do lie to people, because of shit like this. They never believe me. With you— Well, with you I thought I made the right choice.” At that point Lucy could feel tears heating her eyes. She closed her eyes for a moment before looking back at him. “Look, I completely understand. He is family, I am nobody. Just some random girl you met on the first day of school.” She couldn’t stop herself then. She reached out, and cupped his cheek, smiling even as the tears fell from her eyes. She pulled away and looked at her phone. “Look, it is nearly two thirty, you should probably head to get Wendy.” Lucy had to forcefully push him away from her. “I said go.”

He looked back at her again. “I don’t appreciate being lied to Lucy.”

He hadn’t used the nickname she had been thrilled to have from him. She was no one to him. She put a hand to her mouth and bit down as another sob racked her body. She reached forward blindly, knowing what would soothe her. She found the razor, and held it in her right hand. Her hand began to shake as she looked at her wrist. Then, she cut. Once, on her left wrist. The hand with the blade went down to her left hip and she began counting.

You lied to me. One.

You lied. Two.

He said he never even— Three.

—touched you. Four.

I don’t— Five.

—appreciate being— Six.

—lied to— Seven.

Lucy. Eight.

Lucy watched as the blood ran down her leg. She hadn’t felt so damaged in a long time. Not since the act of Rahkeid’s torture, and even then, the betrayal wasn’t as painful. Lucy cleaned the wounds, still sobbing as Virgo came back in. “Princess, you have a guest.” She heard the sobbing Lucy and opened the curtain. “Not again. Princess, you need to stop doing this to yourself. You don’t deserve punishment.”

Lucy stood up and shut off the water, grabbing the towels from her maid. “Thank you Virgo. You can go back now.” Lucy knew her maid was scared for her. She knew that most of her spirits were afraid for her. They could feel her feeling, and therefore could tell when she was hurting. However, they couldn’t do anything unless their master was in danger. And even then, there was a limit.

Wrapping one towel around her body and the other around her hair, Lucy stepped into her bedroom.

Chapter Text

*W*

When Lucy stepped out of the bathroom, Wendy went up to her, smelling blood. “Lucy? What happened?”

“Oh, Wendy! Why are you here? I thought I told your brother to go get you. Did he not?”

Wendy rolled her eyes. “He did. However, he looked pissed, so I asked him what was wrong. He said that you had lied to him and I asked him what about.” Lucy grimaced and Wendy continued. “When he explained the situation, I may have gotten mad at him for accusing you and ran off.”

Lucy gripped Wendy’s hands in her own shaking ones. “I appreciate the gesture, but your brother must be worried sick about you. We need to get you back to your own house.”

Wendy yanked her hands out of Lucy’s and the forceful tug loosened the towel around Lucy’s body. It fell down, and the older girl reflexively crossed her arms over her chest. “Oh my, Lucy! What happened?” Lucy looked to her door to see that Wendy had shut it behind herself. “You have so many bruises. And the cuts, what are these lashes? Let me heal them!” Wendy walked around the taller girl, inspecting all of her injuries.

“No!” Lucy put her hand out, as if to brace herself. When Wendy looked at her shocked, she just smiled sadly before repeating, “no, don’t worry about it.”

Wendy didn’t understand why her older brother would doubt Lucy. When her brother had shown up to get her late, without Lucy no less, she was worried. The gruff way he spoke and the look in his eyes just confirmed her thoughts. It had been two weeks since the two had properly spoken, and her brother had been left to mull over whatever Lucy had told him. It seemed the more he thought about it, the more withdrawn he would get.

Wendy knew that Natsu cared about Lucy, as she hadn’t missed the way that on the very first day they met he had said ‘my Luce’. He had also growled at anybody, including Wendy, who used Luce as her nickname. Before they went home that day, Wendy had pulled Lucy aside and asked what her and Natsu had been doing before the group got there. Lucy had simply replied that they had been talking about her past.

Natsu walked up and said hi to the group, tugging at Wendy until she reluctantly followed him. “Natsu, where is Lucy?”

“Why would I know?”

“Were you not with her after school?” Natsu looked at Wendy thoughtfully.

“Yep.” He didn’t say anything more.

“So shouldn’t she be with you then? Where did she go?”

“I don’t know and I don’t care okay?”

“No! That isn’t okay Natsu! Lucy should have someone with her, someone to protect her.”

“What are you talking about Wen?”

Wendy shook her head. “It was her that was worried about me huh? Not you.”

“So what if it was?”

Wendy went over and started hitting her brother over the head. “You are an idiot! Are you oblivious to the stares guys from school give her? And she had gone through something like being raped before—“

“That’s what she lied to me about! She said that Rahkeid—“

“Our Rahkeid?”

“Yeah, but when I talked to him Friday, he told me nothing happened.”

“And you just believed him didn’t you?” Her hits were getting harder.

“Ouch! Wendy, stop that!”

“Yeah, tell mom on me! Then imagine just how it feels when I tell her ‘I didn’t touch him’. You idiot, she trusted you with something she probably hadn’t told anyone.”

Natsu grabbed her wrists, holding them in place. “Then how would you know?”

“Because I’m not blind like you are.”

Wendy looked at Lucy with a look of anger, directed elsewhere. “Natsu is an idiot.”

Lucy grinned at her, “yeah, but it’s okay.” Wendy wrapped her arms around Lucy’s body, holding her tightly to her. Lucy pulled away and bent over, picking up her towel and wrapping it back around herself.

*N*

Natsu’s phone buzzed in his pocket as he laid back on his bed. He pulled it out to see Wendy was calling him. “Hey.”

Hey.” Her voice sounded concerned over the phone.

“What’s up?

What’s up is that you are an idiot! You need to get over here now.”

But she lied to me.”

“No, she didn’t, and stop acting like you’re all high and mighty, because you’re not.” There was a pause as she sighed. “Fine, you know what? I will give you until the end of the hour. Either choose to be here, or leave her alone forever. Good luck.”

Natsu looked down at his phone. He had about twenty minutes to make a decision, and he oddly felt as though this were a test. Wendy said the Lucy hadn’t been lying, but does that mean she truly wasn’t? His sister did have a good sense about those types of things, and something she said after the first day of meeting Lucy, after Natsu had gotten those guys off of her. She had talked to him after they had gotten home, asking him if Lucy had said anything concerning to him, and when he asked why, she pursed her lips

The desperation in her eyes. Something like that has happened to her before. It looked like she was reliving it. Is that what Wendy truly thought? And Lucy…why was she so hard to figure out?

“Cause you don’t really know her yet!” Natsu looked up, startled to see his little blue friend in front of him.

Natsu continued with his thoughts. Rogue had said something about it too, before, when Natsu had just begun to know Lucy — not that it wasn’t still just the beginning since she hadn’t really gotten to talk to him.

Natsu remembered seeing the bruises, and the glass. The glass pained him. It pained him to see someone he thought of as his friend not even realizing when she was hurt, as though she had gone numb to everything.

“Maybe she has Natsu. Maybe she just stopped feeling. Ever thought that that’s why she was cutting?” Natsu looked up at his friend again, annoyed.

“Stop acting like you’re my conscience personified. You’re not!”

“Doesn’t matter. You need to think about that. Wendy was right when she said that Lucy had never told anyone before, well besides her father, but you have heard what he has done to her. So her fate is in your hands. Whether she is believed by you, it’s your choice.”

“When did you get so smart little buddy?” Natsu grimaced. He was a family first kind of guy. Rahkeid told him he didn’t touch her, but is Natsu really supposed to just believe him? Lucy hadn’t even known Natsu was Rahkeid’s uncle.

What the hell is happening that you don’t want us to know about? Rogue’s words ran circles in Natsu’s mind. She had told him, and here he was trying to tell her she was wrong, that she was lying. Lucy’s voice rang out in his mind as well, I’ve never told anyone… I’m trusting you. Then again just today, I don’t know what made me trust you, but I thought I made the right choice. He could hear the pain laced in her cracked voice. He wanted to be the one to take away her pain, not add to it.

And on top of that, what he heard from the bathroom was just too real to mean she was lying. There were lashes on her for goodness sake! And yet, here Natsu was, still doubting her, when, even when she didn’t know he was listening — when he should have been helping her — she stuck to her story. It was Natsu who needed to get checked, he needed to look at the situation from all sides.

What had Loke said? That she hadn’t been talking to anyone except him and her father? And god, what Dan had said about her having eaten that morning — what was he doing to her?

Tears came to Natsu’s eyes as he realized what he needed to do. He looked down, he had two minutes.

Natsu took off running and simultaneously pulled out his phone and sent a quick text off to his sister: ‘on my way, don’t let the clock run out!

Natsu didn’t like the look of the text his sister sent back. ‘Hry. She needs u!’ His sister wasn’t one to abbreviate unless she didn’t have time to write out the full message.

Natsu ran as fast as he could and straight into the house. “Lucy!” He heard a sob, followed by his sister’s voice.

“Stop it! Leave her alone! It’s not her fault. Please stop. Oh god.” Natsu ran up the stairs and did not like the sight he was greeted with. Lucy was on the ground at the top of the staircase, the guy from earlier in front of her along with her dad. Wendy was trying to get past Lucy, but she kept holding her arms out to the side. There was blood running down her leg and her wrist, and he wondered why Wendy hadn’t healed her yet.

Wendy made eye contact with him just as he took the first step and her face was filled with pure panic. “Luce?” He said, noting she was in just a towel. Natsu ran to her side and knelt down. “What’s going on here?”

She was shaking when he put a hand on her arm, coughing as though she couldn’t breathe. Her father practically snarled at the featherlight touch Natsu had on his daughter. “Oh, look at that darling, your little boy toy is here.”

“He’s not a toy.” She looked up with a glare, her voice croaked, and it seemed to take a lot of effort to keep herself upright.

“You’re right, you are the toy.” Lucy looked down at the ground in the shame.

“She isn’t a toy either.” Natsu growled, but Lucy didn’t look up. In fact she seemed to shrink further into herself. He wanted to grab her and take her far from her father, but that would solve nothing.

“Fine, go and entertain him, then maybe after he is done using you, you will come back and beg for the honor of this.” Natsu had no idea what they were talking about, but as Dan and her father stepped into his office, he felt increasingly certain that he didn’t like the look they were giving him.

“He won’t use me!” She said it with conviction before her throat closed up a little. “He won’t.” Her voice had gotten smaller, and as bad as Natsu wanted to assure her that she was right, he couldn’t, because her father cut him off.

“Really? You told him didn’t you?” Her eyes were downcast again. “He doesn’t believe you either. It’s obvious. So when you’re ready, Dan and I will be here, with a proposal drawn up, that all you will have to do is sign. Until then, get out of my house.”

Natsu could have sworn that he heard Wendy hiss. But Lucy’s father had turned around and walked away from the door, Dan closing the door with a smirk on his face.

*L*

Lucy felt her body sag as the door shut, her vision blurry and feelings numb. There was a lump in her throat that she willed away, but it would not leave her. Her father told her to get out of his house, she had no home. What was she to do? Suddenly her palms slammed flat on the ground and she screamed. “Fuck!”

There was a light touch on her bare shoulder and Lucy scrambled back, covering her face with her hands as she cowered against the wall. Her whimpers leaking through, seeking the ears of the dragon slayers around her. She really was like a frightened animal this time she supposed. Her breathing was erratic, and she was close to a panic attack.

She heard voices talking around her, but really had no idea what they were saying as she slumped to the side. They came to her ears as though through water, and she felt drowsy and heavy. She was having trouble keeping her eyes open, looking at the people in front of her, and the one thing that made it through her senses was a single sentence.

“I believe you Luce.” And with that last sentence, she smiled slightly before blackness claimed her world.

Chapter Text

*L*

Lucy woke up buried underneath blankets, bandages over her injuries, but she felt scabs, so she knew Wendy took her request to heart. She also heard snoring, and purring right next to her ear. She turned over to find Happy lying there. Happy had been introduced to her through pictures, rather than actually in person, and Lucy knew immediately that she cared for the little blue cat who was hugging her tightly. She also knew he, like both Frosch and Lector, was an exceed. She looked past Happy, to see Natsu, and groaned, sitting up.

Her left hand went to her head, as her dominant, was underneath Happy. She looked around the room, wondering where she was and what exactly happened. The room was painted red, and had black outlines all along it. She saw Wendy, sitting in a chair near a desk, and beside her a woman smiling down at the girl. The woman had pale blue hair, nearly a white, but it was long and went down to her knees. She had some of it up in an elaborate braided bun.

The woman looked over to Lucy and smiled gesturing her to follow. Lucy did, slowly untangling herself from Natsu and Happy, who were still sound asleep. She slid out of the bed and walked over to the doorway, slowly and unsteadily, draped in a simple nightgown and nothing else. The woman wrapped an arm around Lucy’s waist, helping her to keep her balance.

“Thank you,” Lucy spoke when they had stepped into the hall and closed the door.

“No need to thank me Lucy.”

Lucy looked up at her. “How do you know me?”

“Oh, dear, I guess it has been a long time since we’ve seen each other. You were about five when we adopted these two.” The woman smiled. “I’m Grandeeney,” to Lucy it sounded like she said ‘gran-dean-ah,’ and she remembered her mother introducing her to the woman when she was younger.

“Oh, I remember you now.” Lucy smiled at the woman as they walked down the stairs and into the kitchen.

“Would you like some tea dear?” Lucy shook her head. “All right, well how about some hot chocolate.” Lucy grinned and nodded her head.

“I would love some.” Then she frowned, sitting at the table while Grandeeney began to make the drinks. “Do you know what happened exactly?”

“Not exactly, no. My son called me and his father yesterday, telling us that something happened and he needed one of us to come home straight away. We both did, as the business meeting was over and done with quicker than we expected. When we got here,” she brought the cups over to the table and sat across from Lucy, “Natsu took us to see you, and Wendy was bandaging you up. Igneel is actually over there talking to your father right now. I’m not sure what exactly is going to happen, but I know that if you end up needing a place to stay, you are welcome here.”

“Thank you.”

“It’s no problem dear.” The two smiled at each other and then the front door opened. The women stood up, entering into the main hall to see Igneel and Virgo. Virgo smiled at Lucy while she bowed.

“Princess, I have brought your clothing items and other necessities.”

“Thank you Virgo.” Lucy smiled at them both. She grabbed her things form Virgo as the spirit disappeared, leaving Lucy in the Dragneel’s house, alone.

*N*

Natsu woke up when he heard his father talking to Lucy. “So Lucy, you can stay in the guest room for as long as you need.” Natsu stepped out onto the stairs and saw Lucy sitting on the couch with a suitcase in front of her.

“Thank you Mr. Dragneel. I promise I will find an apartment and job as soon as I can.”

“Ah, don’t worry about it sweetheart. We will take care of you; think of it as a favor to your mother.” Natsu saw Lucy sitting poised, or as poised as she could be in a nightgown that practically swallowed her whole. He stepped down the stairs, unsure of how she would react to him. He grimaced as he stepped on a squeaky stair and everyone turned to look at him. “Natsu, good to see you buddy.”

“Hey dad.” Lucy looked at the ground as the two spoke, and Natsu walked over to her. “Luce?”

He owed her an apology, but she got to it first. “I’m sorry you had to see that earlier Natsu, and that your sister had to see that.” She looked up at him as she spoke and Natsu’s eyes widened.

“No! Luce, it’s not you that should be apologizing. I should be apologizing.” He bent down in front of her so that he had to look up. “I’m sorry that I didn’t believe you, that you went through all of that abuse with Dan, and that I didn’t tell you about Rahkeid being my nephew. I’m so sorry that I made you hurt yourself. I’m such an idiot. I should have been there for you instead of ignoring you. I should have listened to Wendy.” Lucy shook her head, but Natsu put a hand on her knee. “Can we talk? Alone?”

She furrowed her brows, looking at him in confusion, but nodded. “Sure.” She stood up, still wavering a little, but followed Natsu, who had grabbed her things, up the stairs. The room he led them to was a deep blue with fiery red designs on it.

“This will be your room while you are staying with us.” Lucy nodded and looked around. There was an ensuite bathroom, a desk, a dresser, and a bed with a nightstand. Under the window there was a nook that Natsu imagined would be perfect for her to read in. Natsu gently held her shoulders and looked into her eyes. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it Natsu. It’s not as though it is your fault.” She began busying herself with unpacking and putting her things in the places they would be staying for a while. Her backpack slid under the desk and her suitcase tucked under the bed. She grabbed a pair of her own clothing and turned to him. “I’ll be right back, just going to change into my own clothing.”

He nodded and watched her walking away, thinking of all the different wounds he had seen on her body. She was more frail than he remembered, from nearly two weeks worth of deprivation. When he had seen her there, wrapped in nothing but a towel, he knew he was attracted to her, but also knew that it hadn’t been the time to marvel about his newfound enlightenment. Natsu sat down on the bed that she would be claiming for the foreseeable future and watched the bathroom door intently. When it opened, he cringed at the sight.

Not wearing the drowning nightgown any longer, she was in very short sleep shorts and a half tank top. He could see the bruises that littered her midsection and the slices that lined her hips. When she was distracted with brushing her hair, he knelt down beside her and looked at the fresh cuts.

“Are these because of me?” He lightly traced around them, begging silently to hear the word no come from her lips. But as he looked up, he knew that would not be the one syllable word to come out of her mouth. Lucy looked to be indecisive about her answer, and torn between actually admitting it, but after nearly a minute of the internal debate, her lips formed the word.

*L*

“Yes.”

“Shit.” Natsu groaned, resting his head on the side of her leg, unaware that his hands, which had unconsciously wrapped around her leg was on the inside of her thigh. Her breathing hitched as a warmth traveled to her stomach. She honestly didn’t know how to act around Natsu at that point. Sure he had not believed her, but that happens to the best of people. She wanted to just be his friend again, but also felt she should hold some animosity against him.

“I’m sorry.” She said, looking down at him. He stood up, pulling her into a hug, of which she relaxed into. Lucy held onto him, feeling herself beginning to tear up again. “I’m sorry, so sorry.”

“Shh, Luce, it’s okay. I should be apologizing to you.”

Lucy began crying, falling into Natsu’s arms, both falling back onto the bed. Natsu held her, making sure she knew that he was there. Lucy gripped onto his shirt and he wrapped his arms around her. She continued apologizing over and over again as Natsu lightly raked his fingers through her golden hair. Somehow Lucy managed to end up straddling the pink haired man, squeezing him tightly to her as though she was going to open her eyes and he would disappear. When she finally stopped and pulled back, Natsu was the first to speak.

“No more apologies from you. I’m so sorry about all of this Luce. Had I just talked to you, maybe none of this would have happened.” Natsu leaned down and brushed his lips against her neck, breathing in deeply. Lucy couldn’t help but feel that he was doing something she didn’t know about. One of his hands brushed over her hip and rested there, thumb drawing patterns over the cuts. He huffed into her neck. “I hate this.”

When she stiffened, he tightened his hands on her. “I hate the thought of you hurting yourself over something I said. Especially something like that.” His head lifted up and Lucy could feel his breath on her ear. “I hate that I wasn’t there, that there will be new scars here that are my fault. I don’t want you to have any marks, much less one’s from me.”

Lucy smiled softly at Natsu. “I like the scars. They remind me that I’m fighting a battle. One no one else can see, but one that is dangerous all the same. It’s a never ending battle, that some may not have made it through. So I don’t mind them.”

Chapter Text

*L*

Lucy giggled as she sat at the dinner table. Beside her sat Natsu, and across from them sat Wendy and Grandeeney. In between Natsu and Grandeeney, at the head of the table sat Igneel. It had been nearly four months since Lucy had begun living with the Dragneels, and so far she was enjoying it. Every morning the three would go to the cafe, meet all of their friends, sans Sting, Rogue, and Yukino, then walk to school together. After lunch, which they always stayed at school for so they could hang out with Romeo and Wendy, they would head back to the guild and hang out until the two got there.

It was dinner Lucy enjoyed the most. Although she still wasn’t eating much, she enjoyed having people to eat with. Before, when she had lived across the way, she had almost always eaten alone, or with her spirits. Now, the five ate together every night no matter what. Lucy found out that she particularly enjoyed watching the others eat. Natsu and Igneel were scolded every night for being pigs by the two female Dragneels. Natsu would pout and attempt to go to Lucy for soothing, but he couldn’t because she was always holding the cats and giggling too hard at the pouty looks on the males’ faces.

Lucy stood up, grabbing both her and Natsu’s plates and taking them over to the sink. She grinned over her shoulder at Natsu as he brought the others’ plates. Together the two set the dishes in the sink for the youngest Dragneel to do and took of upstairs.

“We’re going to study mom!” Natsu called out.

“Mhm, sure!” Grandeeney yelled back to the two. She knew they weren’t going to study, and neither of the two were deterred from their true objective in any way.

Lucy yelped as Natsu put his hands on her hips and tugged her back as they entered her room. Lucy slid back and stopped as Natsu held her close. “You okay?” He asked and she nodded.

It was a little difficult, but Natsu was able to spin her around and look at her. “I’m fine Natsu.” Natsu had unwillingly been forced to watch as her father came and tried to take her back. Lucy knew Igneel was holding the boy back as she dealt with her father. Grandeeney helped her deal with him, letting Lucy stand her ground until it got too much to take. When her father began to insult her, Natsu was more forceful with his own father, trying to get away from him to help Lucy.

Natsu, she guessed, could tell that she was feeling backed into a corner. It was then that Grandeeney stepped in and Lucy was able to take a breath. When Natsu was able to pull her into his arms, he calmed down and so did she. Lucy was unable to completely calm down until Grandeeney had cooked dinner and told Lucy it was her favorite. So, when after dinner, Lucy and Natsu went up to talk, she no doubt wasn’t expecting them to study.

“I’m sorry Natsu.”

“Don’t be, Lucy. I just don’t want to let you go without a fight this time. I let you go once, and I don’t want to have that happen again.” Lucy gripped Natsu as the two sat on her bed, leaning into his warmth. “I don’t want you to go.”

“I’m not going anywhere.” She let him lay down next to her and hold her, allowing herself to relish in the way he was holding her, in the warmth she was feeling from him.

*N*

Lucy fell asleep quickly in Natsu’s arms, facing him with her breath ghosting over his neck each time she breathed out. He knew she was in a deep sleep when her hands slid under and curled into his shirt, making him jump slightly at the coldness. When she let out a soft sigh he looked down and watched her, noting the way her eyes moved under her eyelids. Natsu let his arms rest around her hips, lightly running his fingers along her spine, falling into the soft fabric of her shirt and wishing for her to sleep soundly.

His own eyes began to drift closed as he rested his head over hers. As best he could with one hand, he yanked the blanket out from under them and pulled them over, before finally allowing his eyes to close, his other senses becoming more aware. His nose twitched as he drew in the scent of her. Lavender, honey, and vanilla. At least, that was what he could relate it to. It was unique, not quite those things, but close enough to be associated to. It was Lucy.

That was the best way to describe it. It was his favorite scent and one he could always separate from any other scent. Natsu’s hand slackened as he fell asleep beside her, dreaming of fields of lavender, vanilla beans, and honey bees.

Natsu groaned as the light from the window shined directly on his face. He tried to turn away, only to find himself rooted in position by something. Instead of opening his eyes, he slid back against the bed, trying to find a spot that wasn’t in the sunlight. In the end, he did, just not in the way he expected. He heard a grunt as he fell off the bed, something, or rather someone, landing on top of him.

Lucy mumbled something incoherent as she blinked wearily. Her hands were placed on Natsu’s chest, her hips firmly against his as she looked at him sleepily. When she realized it was him, she let her hands drop and laid back on top of him.

“Too tired.” She mumbled into his shirt and Natsu chuckled. He looked at her, not quite sure whether he should let her sleep or not. “Natsu, too tired. Bed.” He chuckled again but complied with her demand, lifting them both up and laying back on the bed. He got up and went to the window, listening to the little whine Lucy made, and closed the curtains so he wouldn’t be bothered by the sun. When he went back into her bed with her she curled up against him, leeching off his heat.

“You only use me for the heat don’t you?” He could feel her smile against the skin of his collarbone.

“You finally figured it out huh?”

He grinned. “Dang it, I should have known from the start. No one as beautiful as you would want to talk to a doofus like me.” He felt her frown against his skin and he turned to fully wrap her in his embrace.

*L*

“That’s not true. I like talking to you, a lot more than anyone else. Besides, you look just as good as I do.” His arms tightened around her and his hands lightly skimmed her hip. Anyone else and she would have Lucy kicked them from there to the moon, but it wasn’t, and she knew he wasn’t trying to cop a feel.

His fingers danced across her skin, touching each scar and tracing it individually. His breathing slowed, and his legs tangled with hers, rolling her onto her side. She looked up at him, only to watch him pull her dress up slightly and for him to duck out of her vision. She frowned in confusion and let her head relax, but stayed still, waiting for him to make his move. Something between a whimper and a moan came from her throat, followed by a gasp. She quickly took stock of the situation, not moving.

Natsu had first run his fingers over her scars, and then his tongue before peppering light kisses along each one. She made the sound again when he did it again, as the skin there was sensitive. Her hand closest to him, her left, flew to his hair, threading her fingers through it. She couldn’t help but feel that somehow, what they were doing was wrong. And yet she wanted it so badly. One of his hands gripped her thigh, fingers curling to the inside and exploring the sensitive skin there, overloading her with sensations.

“Natsu…” Her voice was breathy, and he froze, fearing he’d done something wrong. “Please Natsu…” Her body was shaking with want, toes curled and fingers clenched. She was taut, yet loose, taking in everything, but not understanding anything. Natsu pulled away, looking at her, before slowly backing off the bed with an apology before running out of the room.