Lucy sighed heavily and collapsed into her desk chair, giving in to her exhaustion. Ever since Fairy Tail had been "disbanded" Lucy had been going out on small solo missions to pay for her rent but she had been going on them so frequently that she was wearing herself out. She was barely making rent and times were getting harder since she was on her own a lot more. She wonder idly about when the guild would get back together; since Makarov announced that he wanted to shut down the guild everyone was heartbroken. Heartbroken on top of heartbreak actually, the dragons were really gone, Gray lost his father as well, Aquarius was gone, and Natsu… So, after much thought, Laxus decided to start rebuilding the guild. It was a long process and Lucy knew he was working hard on it; in between her work, Lucy would go down and help everyone out, trying to get everything back in semi order. It did her good because she got to see everyone, she and Levy would go out sometimes as well when they both had the time but it wasn't the same. If the guild is rebuilt soon and put back into working order, I don't know if I'll be able to keep this up… Lucy sighed once more and turned to her desk where her journal was placed. She had been writing more than she ever had before and in a way, it was good for her. But it also reminded her of everything that had happened in the past few weeks… It had been three weeks since Natsu left. Three weeks since the dragons died. Three weeks since Makarov retired and disbanded Fairy Tail. Three weeks since Lucy had seen Aquarius, and three weeks since Lucy felt like she was truly whole.
I went on another mission today, I should be careful about the difficulty the missions are set at, I almost didn't make it home… The bath felt nice… I really need the money though, it's been hard for the past month but the landlady seems to be a little more lenient about the rent lately… These solo missions aren't paying enough… Laxus has gotten together enough people to build the frame of the guildhall; it's taking longer though because of its size. I'm happy to see that most everyone comes to help when they can. I can't wait until the guild is rebuilt, it will be so much better, this month has been hard but that's how it is… I'm happy to see Gray and Juvia have been spending a lot of time together; I think everything that has happened has brought them closer together. I'm going to see Levy and Erza tomorrow, thankfully the Fairy Hills hadn't been destroyed in the aftermath of Zeref and Face and they still have a home. I need to get out of my apartment it's too empty… I hope everything goes okay tomorrow…
Lucy sighed and closed her journal; just another entry to add to the many others that I've written in this past month…
The guild is coming along great; Laxus is doing a wonderful job. I went down today to help out with Gray, Juvia, and Erza; Makarov was there trying to instruct Laxus on what to do. It was pretty funny; I think he still wants to be Master to an extent… I'm sure Laxus will be a great Master though. Mira has been with Laxus a lot, I think she wants to design the interior of the new guildhall; I'm glad everyone seems pretty happy. I wonder how Aquarius is doing in the Spirit World… I'll have to ask Virgo…
I don't know if I should really bring myself to write about this… Lately it's been on my mind… I miss him so much. Where are you Natsu? I haven't even received a letter from him, nothing. All I have is his letter from before he left… It's starting to get hard to read because I keep reading it so much and then folding it back up. I miss Happy. I always anticipate that, maybe when I open my door they will be here but… They never are. I don't think I'd ever complain again if Natsu broke into my house right now, I just want to see them. He didn't even see me before he left. Why did he leave without saying a word, all I got was a letter? Does he know how much that hurt me, how much it hurt everyone in the guild? I shouldn't be writing about this, I'm trying to forget about it but… How can I? I didn't even get a chance to talk to him about Aquarius… He's my best friend… Why did you go Natsu?
Tears dribbled onto the page as Lucy closed her book after scrawling the date in the corner and marking her 102nd entry since Natsu had left.
These months that have gone by have been a blur. It's hard to have something new to write about when you write everyday. Erza, Gray, Juvia, and I went on a mission so I got a good deal of money that should help me for a while. Erza and Levy are going to come by later today to have dinner. They keep asking if I want to move into Fairy Hills with them but… I can't leave my apartment… I need to leave the window unlatched and be in the same place…. Just in case. My hair is getting long, I don't know if I should have Cancer cut it for me but I kind of like it. I wonder if Natsu will recognize me when if he comes home. Carla seems to be worrying about Happy; I wish I could tell him, he wouldn't believe it. The guild is almost fully rebuilt and everyone is anticipating its restoration. We're going to throw a big party with the whole town as kind of a 'house warming'. Well, Erza and Levy should be here in an hour or so, I'm going to clean up now…
The guild is finally rebuilt! We finally did it; after all of Laxus' hard work we finally all got it set up! We're throwing a party tonight, Mira has a special surprise for Laxus tonight for all of his hard work, I think the little matchmaker herself has a crush on him. I feel so happy, I haven't felt this way in a while, I can't wait to see everyone all together again! Levy and I actually went out and bought new dresses for tonight, I think that she wants to impress Gajeel… Her dress has studs in it! It's crazy how much things have changed in just over a half a year. I think Gray might be trying to get with Juvia; wow this entry has a lot of couplings in it, I feel like Mira! I should go get ready, I'm going down to the guild early to help them set up the hall, it looks amazing! Makarov is so proud of Laxus and he's finally retired for real but I don't think he'll ever leave the guild, which is fine by me. I wish Natsu and Happy could see this.
Lucy hurriedly put away her journal and went to go get ready for the night's party. She was so excited to finally have the guild back; even Doranbolt was going to be coming since he was always a member of Fairy Tail. It came as a shock to everyone but he was widely accepted by the guild, especially Wendy who was still grateful for everything that he had done for her. Lucy felt truly happy this evening for the first time that year.
The guild has been prospering and it's been wonderful. Gray, Erza, Wendy, and I have been going on missions so I haven't been too worried about rent; I've even been able to take a few days off here and there! I'm glad that we went back to the old team again, though it's not complete… Maybe when they come back we'll go on another mission again… Natsu won't believe how great the guild looks, he'll be happy to know too that Guildarts came back about a month ago. He was apologetic for being gone at one of the worst times in Fairy Tail history but he said he had gotten wind of Zeref and tried to track him down himself. Unfortunately, by the time he had realized what Zeref was doing, it was too late to get word out to the guild… He's been feeling really awful lately, especially learning that Natsu had left… I've been talking to him recently… He's a good comfort; I've visited a couple times with Cana- he's been spending a lot of time with her now that they know they're both alive. When I do visit him he tells me about when Natsu was little, I think he can tell how much I miss him… Natsu, I wish you could see us; I wish Guildarts could talk to you. I don't know when I'll see you next but it can't be soon enough.
It's been a year since you left… I honestly thought you'd be back by now but…. I don't know. I'm not sure what you're doing but I hope you're okay and that you're safe. Maybe you aren't coming back… Maybe you found a new guild or just don't want to come back yet, I don't know. I feel so pathetic… I try to tell myself that I can't miss you, and that I should just go about my own life. I try really hard not to be lonely but how can I not be lonely?! You left me, it's been a whole year and I haven't seen your stupid face! YOU BETTER GET YOUR ASS BACK HERE NATSU DRAGNEEL OR I'LL FIND YOU AND BURN YOU TO A CRISP. As bitter as this is, you were the one who made me cry last. You did the thing to me that you hate the most and you turned around and left me here by myself. You didn't even let me talk to you about Igneel, you don't even know about Aquarius. I've spent a whole year dwelling on these thoughts and I can't even talk to anyone about it. Everyone else has someone, Gray has Juvia, Levy has Gajeel, and even Jellal has stopped by on occasion to see Erza- even though he said he wouldn't! You are my best friend, you mean everything to me and you're gone! Please come back Natsu, please…
Lucy felt her cheeks burn as hot tears soaked her cheeks. She felt utterly helpless and empty. She had really though that Natsu and Happy would have returned by now but they hadn't. Tears stained the page of her journal making the ink from her pen bleed right where Natsu's name was written.
Another successful day today with everyone, we rounded up some robbers so it wasn't that hard but we were paid well. Virgo told me that Aquarius is doing great but, even though she said she won't admit it, Virgo says that Aquarius misses me. I miss her too; Virgo wants to take me into the Spirit World again soon, she thinks I'll actually be able to visit Aquarius- I really hope I can soon. Everyone is gathering at the guild tonight just for a small get together; I think that they keep wanting me to come over because they're still worried about me. I'm okay; I keep myself busy we'll see what the future brings, after all that's the will to live.
I saw a cat today that reminded me of Happy but I have to remember that the rest of the Exceeds come and go as they please so there's bound to be one that looks like him. I wonder how he's doing, I wonder if he's been bothering Natsu about seeing Carla, I can't believe he's gone this long without seeing her. Carla has definitely been effected by them leaving though she won't admit it. I think that's why she keeps herself busy with Wendy and her training but you can tell she misses Happy- she's even been eating fish! Happy will love to hear that… I wonder where you guys are… That cat looked so familiar… It couldn't have been Happy; I'm just seeing what I want to see. It's not the first time I thought that I saw them… Levy always wants me to come over to get my mind off of things but whenever I see her with Gajeel I just can't help but being a little sad… Everyone seems to be preoccupied with their own lives and that's great; I'll catch with them at some point… My hair has grown out a lot, I don't know why it matters but I hope that Natsu likes it. I really hope that I see him again, I don't know when it'll be but I just want another day like the old days. How much things have changed in just over a year…. Oh, Natsu.
The pink haired man clutched the book in his hands, his own tears staining the pages of the book. A blue cat perched on his shoulder, reading over his companion's shoulder
"Natsu, do you think she'll be happy? I know you wanted to surprise her, I mean she almost saw me earlier today, but I don't think she's happy…"
"I don't know Happy," Natsu wiped away a few stray tears, "I didn't think that us leaving would do this to her. I think we… I think I made a terrible mistake." Natsu sighed and sat in Lucy's desk chair reading over her last entry over and over again. There were 417 entries in her journal since the day he left, she spent 417 days worrying about him and being by herself.
"I made her cry, Happy! She was crying because of me!" He roared and Happy held back tears.
"Carla's eating fish!" Happy wailed in his own despair.
"She hates me, she hates me Happy, and she will never forgive me." Natsu shook his head in disgust. His pink hair had grown a bit longer so when his head shook it swayed slightly back and forth. He sat in the same position in her chair, reading through, entry after entry, for what seemed like years. One passage stood out to him the most, piercing his heart.
"As bitter as this is, you were the one who made me cry last. You did the thing to me that you hate the most and you turned around and left me here by myself. You didn't even let me talk to you about Igneel, you don't even know about Aquarius. I've spent a whole year dwelling on these thoughts and I can't even talk to anyone about it."
"I mean, look at this, Happy!" Natsu cried, "She had so much pain, just as much as me, and I left her to think about it on her own! Everyone went through pain, I'm a coward!" Natsu angrily gripped the book in his hands and stared at Lucy's bed while Happy sniffled on her desk.
"Y-you're not a coward." Natsu's head whipped to the doorway of the apartment, that he had been in so many times, and gasped. There stood Lucy, her blond hair swaying just above her waist, tears glistening in her brown eyes.
"Lucy…" Natsu breathed out and stood up, dropping her journal to the floor.
"You're home, finally." Lucy whispered and flung herself into his arms. Natsu gripped her so tight he thought he might break her, her tears soaking the front of his vest. He found himself letting go of more tears into her hair as he breathed her scent in. She clutched onto him, weeping heavily and Natsu pulled her head in close, embracing her even harder. He wanted her to be closer but they were as close as they could get. Eventually, Happy pushed his way into the hug making Lucy cry all over again as she squeezed him tightly, breaking away from Natsu for the first time.
"You're home." Lucy said again, her eyes red from crying so much and Natsu felt awful once more.
"I don't deserve to see you, Lucy. I don't deserve you…" Natsu's lip quivered.
"You… Did what you thought was best. Don't judge everything by what I wrote… There were some bad days, Natsu. I-I couldn't help but write what I was thinking…"
"We… Were going to surprise you Lucy, you almost saw me today…" Happy whispered quietly and Lucy smiled softly.
"I knew that was you, Happy."
"Lucy, I…" Natsu was cut off by Lucy's arms wrapping around his torso once more.
"Just… Please don't leave again… I need you…" Lucy's voice quavered and Natsu fought back his tears again.
"I'm never leaving again. I'm so sorry about Aquarius… I should've stayed, you went through so much." Natsu murmured into her hair and Lucy heaved another cry.
"You're stupid, you know." Lucy laughed lightly between her tears.
"I know." He answered her, stroking her hair.
"Carla will be excited to see you, Happy." Lucy directed her voice to the blue cat seated on her bed.
"Are you sure she doesn't hate me…"
"No one could hate you, Happy." Lucy assured him with a pat on the head.
"Lucy, can we stay here tonight?" Happy asked, his eyes wide and hopeful.
"I would love nothing more." Lucy whispered back. "I'll bring you to the guild tomorrow, there's a lot you guys missed." Lucy sounded slightly despondent when she mentioned everyone else and Natsu grimaced.
"Thanks, Luce." Natsu said, pressing his forehead to hers and she closed her eyes and smiled.
"Well?" Lucy then suddenly stated in a more determined voice, "Go get in the bath, both of you! You both wreak and need to be clean, you will not be sleeping anywhere near me until you're spotless!"
"Aye sir!" Both Happy and Natsu yelped and dashed off to her bathroom leaving Lucy smiling widely, fresh tears welling in her eyes.