Lucy panted as she ran deeper into the woods. I need to get out of here, fast. She cursed as she tripped over a stray tree root, momentarily losing her footing. She glanced back to see if her pursuer was still behind her. Need to reach safety...

When she reached a small clearing, she stopped running to catch her breath. I should have gained some distance running through the trees like that... I'll rest for a few minutes. She sighed as she slumped down against a nearby tree, glad that her legs could take a break. As she sat there, Lucy thought of what led to her dire circumstances in the first place. She quietly cursed her very existence. If she had never been born, she wouldn't have to endure so much continuous struggle and pain. Alone.

Lucy's thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a rustling of the shrubbery nearby. She tensed and stood up as she felt that familiar magic weigh in on the atmosphere surrounding her. She watched as an ominous figure stepped into the clearing, a malicious grin on its lips.

"I finally caught you, child of the stars." The figure stopped across the clearing, and the two merely stared at each other for a few moments. Finally, Lucy steeled herself as she rose her hand into the air, concentrating her magic.

"Gemini!" In a burst of bright light, the spirit appeared, already taking on the form of Lucy. They clasped hands, and Lucy gave the ominous being one last glare before beginning to chant. "You won't win. Ever."

"Survey the Heavens, Open the Heavens..."

The sky turned dark as multicolored orbs of light began to appear.

"All the stars, far and wide..."

"Show me thy appearance..."

"With such shine."

The forest clearing seemed to have been replaced with an ethereal setting, as if Lucy and the figure were floating among the stars.

"Oh Tetrabiblos..."

"I am the ruler of the stars..."

"Aspect become complete..."

"Open thy malevolent gate."

"Oh 88 Stars of the heaven..."

Lucy opened her eyes, directing her attention to the figure that hadn't moved since she started the incantation.


All of the bright lights that had gathered in the sky began to converge towards the figure. Lucy knew that if this attack didn't work, it would be the end of her. Please... please just let this end.

"Urano Metria!"

The first thing Lucy thought of when she regained consciousness was that she was lying on some really soft grass. She groaned as she slowly opened her eyes, taking in the light of the afternoon sun. The sky was a brilliant blue, with a number of plump clouds lazily floating by. She straightened herself up to a sitting position, straining as she realized that her body was aching all over. She looked around to find that she was sitting alone in a small forest clearing. Lucy blinked a couple times. Where am I? Why am I here? What was I doing before I got here?

Lucy frowned, unable to recall why she was so beat up, where she exactly was, and how she got there in the first place. Okay, calm down. My name is... Lucy Heartfilia. I... am a traveling... mage...? But... aren't I supposed to feel my power flowing through my body if I was a mage? Am I really a mage? Why can't I remember? I feel like I'm forgetting something so important... The blonde wracked her brain, trying to remember her past, frustrated over barely knowing anything other than her name.

After a few more fruitless minutes of thinking, she gave up, ultimately deciding to try finding a way out of the forest. She winced as she tried to stand, hissing at the pain burning through her whole body. Seriously, what happened to leave me in a condition like this? So many questions... First, I need to find a town or something so I can figure out where I am. She found a sizeable stick nearby to use as a makeshift cane to lean on, and started off in a random direction.

After navigating what seemed to be an endless maze of trees and bushes, Lucy finally reached what seemed to be the end of the forest. There was a road present, trailing off beyond the horizon. Finally. She started to follow the road, hoping that she would reach a town by the end of the day. However, a wave of fatigue suddenly hit her, causing her to stagger and almost fall over. The mage's legs failed her, and she had to lean against a tree for support. No... I can at least... make it... to the... closest... town... Unconsciousness was already claiming her as she slumped down against the tree.

"Back to Magnolia we go!"

"Aye sir!" Natsu and Happy charged in front of the rest of their team, eager to get back home as soon as possible.

"Slow down a little, Flamebrain!" Gray couldn't help but scowl at how quickly the dragon slayer was moving ahead of the group.

"Let him be. This mission took longer to finish than we expected, so it's only natural to be enthusiastic about returning home." Erza smiled as she dragged along her usual cart of luggage.

"I'm excited to go home too! Aren't you, Carla?"

"It would be nice to enjoy some peace and quiet after all that's happened." Wendy and Carla were walking with Erza at the back of the group, discussing what they would do when they got back to Magnolia.

Team Natsu had just finished a mission to take out some organized bandits in a nearby town. The job took longer than expected, but the mages managed to secure a generous reward for their efforts. The afternoon sun was just beginning its descent from the sky as the group followed the road back to Magnolia.

"Oh?" Natsu stopped in his tracks when he noticed a figure on the ground up ahead. "Something's up ahead! At the edge of the road!" He ran up before any of the group could protest. As he got closer, he could see the figure more clearly. A girl? Who would sleep there, and at this time of day? The girl was young, close to his own age. She had long, blonde hair that was tied into two pigtails. She had a white top with a navy blue skirt, all covered by a black cloak.

As Natsu was studying the girl's appearance, the rest of the group caught up. "Dammit Natsu, at least try to wait for us," Gray complained as he caught his breath from the running.

Erza ignored the ice mage as she focused on the mysterious girl. "Who's she? What's she doing here?"

"I don't know. Maybe we should wake her up and tell her to find a place to stay? She doesn't really smell dangerous."

"Natsu-san, wait... Look at her. She doesn't look right." Erza knelt down to check on the girl.

"Wendy's right. She has a fever. Her breathing's pretty labored, too. She's sick with something. Can you heal her, Wendy?"

"I'll try." Wendy got down on the other side of the girl, focusing her magic on her hands. However, the moment Wendy touched the girl, she cried out in pain, causing Wendy to fall back, scared of hurting the girl any more. The rest of the group watched, unable to completely grasp what just happened.

Gray was first to speak. "Healing magic doesn't work on her?"

Erza frowned as she continued to stare at the unconscious girl. "It seems that her sickness is causing her body to reject magic completely. We should take her to the guild with us. No one else is nearby, and we can't leave her alone like this. Maybe Porlyusica can heal her."

"Got it." Natsu gently picked her up, noting that her body was cold and devoid of heat, leaving the blonde shivering in her uncomfortable sleep. He tried to comfort her by holding her closely to his body, smiling a little when he saw the girl's face relax a bit at the natural warmth of the dragon slayer.

A/N: Hey there! New writer here, decided to start with some weird original(?) storyline. I'm not really thinking about ships atm, but I might add them as the story progresses, based on my whims. Please tell me how I'm doing, since I'm new to all this! And hopefully, I can start writing longer chapters, but it's hard starting out ^^; Thanks for reading!