A Love That Wants to Live

Chapter 33

Laxus raced up Lucy's steps, pounding on her door the moment he reached it.

"C'mon, C'mon, C'mon," He muttered as he banged on the door, impatient to talk to her once more.

She opened it with a sigh, then a glare when she saw it was him.

"What do you want?' She spat.

"Lucy, please, let me talk to you, I need to explain," He begged.

Her glare hardened, "If I recall I begged you to explain and you wouldn't. I'm done, Laxus, goodbye."

With that she slammed the door in his face, leaving him gaping at it in dismay. Only now was he realizing just how much he might have screwed things up. He leaned his head against her door, sighing sadly. He had to find a way to get through to her. He just wasn't sure how.

Lucy leaned back against the door, tears streaking her face. Even now she could feel her love for him begging her to give him another chance. She was silently scolding herself for caring so much about him when she heard his sigh and her heart ached at how sad it sounded. For a couple of minutes she sat there in indecision before opening the door wide enough to peak her head out.

Laxus was slowly walking away, his shoulder slumped, void of their usual coat. She thought about calling out to him, but decided against it when she noticed his coat folded neatly at the front of her door. She didn't understand it's meaning, but she tugged it inside, wrapping herself in it the moment she closed the door.

Memories flooded her mind the moment she wrapped herself in it and she had to push the tears back once more. Perhaps she had been hasty in sending him away, but for the moment she felt she needed to allow her heart to heal a little more before she allowed him back inside it. She couldn't afford to go through this all over again, especially not in the state she was in now.

And for the first time since he had walked out she realized what a sorry state she was in.

First things first, she thought grimly. I'm going to shower and get a hot meal. Then tomorrow I'm going to head to the guild. I have a lot of apologies to make.

Laxus folded up his coat and set it in front of her door, deciding that if it was still out there in the morning, he had no chance of ever winning her heart back, but if she had taken it in, then perhaps she still felt something for him. He'd heard the door open as he walked away, but was determined not to look back until he heard the door click shut again.

He whirled immediately when he heard the click and a grin broke through as he noticed the hallway was completely void of his signature coat. Maybe there was hope for him after all. He went back to his house, holding onto that thought while he worked on planning out the next phase in his plan to win Lucy back.

The guild went quiet the moment Lucy entered it and she couldn't help but wonder if they were staring at her because they were just talking about her, they were surprised by her return, or if they were surprised by her outfit.

Lucy had known his coat was a test the moment she'd picked it up, she wasn't sure what kind of test, but a test nonetheless. That hadn't stopped her, if he could test her then she was going to test him. She'd carefully considered her outfit today, digging through piles of clothes - after all the times they'd stayed over, every single person on her team had a few outfits they'd left behind.

Today she was going to test him to see if he would freak like he'd done last time. She'd put on a pair of Natsu's sandals, one of Erza's longer, black skirts, with the same purple shirt that she'd worn when Laxus broke up with her - Gray's button up shirt. To complete the outfit she'd worn Laxus's jacket over top the whole thing while pinning her hair up with one of Loke's many barrettes that he kept leaving her.

If Laxus wanted her back he was going to have to get used to the idea that she had team mates and sometimes those team mates stayed over and left their stuff behind. Her first obstacle, however, was going to have to be calming Juvia, who was turning into a puddle of tears at the sight of Lucy's outfit.

"Juvia, it's okay," She whispered, pulling the blunette close to her. "I promise you, this shirt is just to see Laxus's reaction. Gray did not give it to me and it has no sentimental value for me either."

Juvia sniffed, "Promise?"

Lucy solemnly nodded, looking up in time to see Laxus walk through the doors.

Laxus froze when he saw Lucy, his mind trying to make sense of her outfit because at first all he could focus on was the over-sized coat she had wrapped around her. Then she shifted and the coat fell a little, revealing the shirt that had make it impossible for him to believe anything she'd had to say that night two weeks ago. He studied her carefully, noting that nothing she wore was hers. Erza's skirt and those shoes were definitely a pair of Natsu's gladiator sandals.

He dismissed it all in a glance. Lucy wanted to test him, he was sure, and he was going to pass. He had to pass, because he didn't think he would be able to stand seeing her with anyone but him.

"Nice outfit, Blondie," He winked at her as he walked passed, causing her to glare at him before turning away.

Lucy groaned, she'd been so sure that Laxus would freak when he saw her outfit.

"That's good though, isn't it?" Levy asked, joining the table. "He passed."

"Yes, he passed," Lucy sighed. "But I'm not sure if I'm ready to forgive him, yet."

"Then don't," Mira replied, grinning evilly. "Make him suffer a little bit. After all the pain he put you through he deserves a little bit of punishment."

Lucy leaned forward, a matching smile breaking out on her face, "What did you have in mind, Mira?"

The take over mage leaned forward and began outlining her plan, beckoning the other girls to join her as she explained her idea. Each nodded in approval before scattering. Lucy, especially, seemed satisfied with the plan as she headed toward their unsuspecting victims.

Laxus watched the girls with suspicion that only grew when he watched his ex sashay her way over to him. She handed him his jacket, smiling sweetly.

"This, I believe, belongs to you," She said, plopping it into his lap.

He nodded, "I was hoping you would hold onto it for me."

She winked at him, "No need to hold onto such a silly thing when I have something much more suitable."

He looked at her in bewilderment as she turned and walked away, kicking off her sandals and handing them to Natsu before kissing him on the cheek.

"Next time, don't leave your sandals at my place, okay, Natsu?" She winked before walking away, leaving both dragon slayers gaping after her.

"Lisanna," Natsu turned to his girlfriend who was staring at him. "I don't - I -"

She pulled him away, presumably to yell at him, while Laxus watched dumbstruck as the girl of his dreams wandered around the guild, handing each male member - and some female ones - little tokens that may or may not have belonged to them. He wasn't sure what was going on, but he wasn't sure he really wanted to.

Lucy was having a ball. Mira, true to her word, had explained to as many people as possible what the plan was and they all acted their parts perfectly, winking at her whenever she kissed their cheek. The few that were confused Mira or another girl would pull aside and explain things to the moment she had moved onto the next victim.

Finally the only two left were Freed and Bickslow, causing her to inhale sharply. They were the closest to Laxus and were going to be the hardest to pull this off with, but she decided she must. Walking over to the bar for a moment she took the tokens that Cana and Juvia slipped secretly into her hands. She looked down, shoved Bickslow's in her pocket while holding onto Freed's.

"Freed," She called sweetly, approaching the green-haired man with a smile. "I think you left this behind."

She handed him the light pen that Cana had taken from his table and kissed his cheek, causing his face to blush. She was relieved to see his wink, knowing that he would be the hardest to convince, being as devoted to Laxus as he was. Mira must have promised him something special to convince him that this would work.

She turned to Bickslow, who was gaping at her, and smiled sweetly.

"Oh, yes, and I think I have something of yours as well," She teased, swinging her hips as she strolled past Laxus to where the Seith mage was sitting.

He looked at her with wide eyes as she handed him the only thing that Juvia had been able to grab - one of his shoulder pads.

"Next time, you might want to make sure you have all of your clothes," She teased, winking at him.

Laxus watched all of this with growing concern and alarm. Who was this girl that was sashaying around the guild, oozing sexual appeal? This was not the Lucy he'd known. His Lucy was sweet and innocent, and while she had her own sex appeal, it wasn't anything like this. For a moment he wondered if Mira had performed a take-over magic, but he discarded the idea when he saw the mage still standing behind the bar, grinning at him.

He connected it then, Lucy was playing him. Making him realize how ridiculous his accusations were. He felt relief flow through him, though he was still irritated when she turned to his own team. That, surprisingly, was when it started bothering him the most. He couldn't control his growl of irritation as she turned back to him.

"Well," She said softly. "Do you think you could really be with someone like me? Someone you would have to pay?"

He was thankful she'd said it soft enough that most of the guild missed it, though none of them missed her turning on her heel and storming out.

"Laxus, you didn't," Evergreen whispered harshly, having been one of the few that had heard her words.

He sighed, "I was angry."

"Still, it was rude of you to imply such a thing. Especially of someone as sweet and innocent as Lucy," Freed replied, gravely.

Laxus nodded, watching her walk out of the guild, and realized that it was going to be even harder than he thought to win her trust and love back.

He stood, yelling to get everyone's attention. The guild quieted as every eye turned on him, some with curiosity, some with boredom, and a few with hostility.

"Help me win her back?" He pleaded.

Though that was all he said, that was enough. Everyone in the guild cheered.

"Not because you deserve it," A voice said from his left. "But because without you she's not whole. She hurts too much and it hurts us."

He turned to see Loke smiling at him.

"Thank you," He whispered, meaning it.

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