The days flew by once Natsu was gone. Months whisked by in what felt like a week; before Lucy knew it, it had been six months since Natsu had graduated and left her back at the facility.

He'd made good on his promises—he called once, sometimes even twice, a day. And he'd come up to visit as often as possible. Lucy always asked if he'd forgotten about her yet, and he always responded the same way: how could I forget my best friend?

Juvia had gotten Natsu and Gajeel settled in the same city, whereas Laxus went back to his home town. The city was pretty nice, according to Natsu; it was a beach town right near the mountains, and it was really hot, so there were lots of wineries. Natsu and Gajeel actually got a job at the same place; they worked for the city, in the parks department. They spent their days mowing grass or weed whacking. Most of their time was spent down at the beach, raking the sand or going in a boat and netting the water to pick up garbage. Natsu had called one day and said they'd been tasked with chasing geese off of the beach, because the birds kept shitting on beach-goers; he said he'd gotten completely covered in goose shit, and that he and Gajeel had to take the train home like that. People had stared.

Natsu and Gajeel had gotten apartments in the same building—Juvia had said it was so they had someone they could call a friend nearby—and they spent every night together, hanging out and watching movies. Natsu picked action thrillers, filled with car chases and shoot outs, while Gajeel was attempting to educate Natsu on the history of romantic comedies. The two boys had gotten fairly close and become really good friends in their time out in the real world.

And when they had their bad days—which they did—where their past came back to haunt them, the other guy was just down the hall, ready to help and distract from the pain.

Lucy was glad Natsu had a friend, that he wasn't totally alone. And she was overjoyed that he liked his apartment and had fun with his job and was out in the real world for the first time since the fire. She was so proud of him for coming this far, for making it out.

And she had set her own goal in mind: she was going to graduate soon. That's why the days flew by so fast—she was so focused on getting better, on keeping herself busy, on improving. She'd done lots, since she didn't have Natsu to mess around with.

Lucy had gotten Juvia's permission to set up a garden for the facility. It was incredibly large—the group had dug it up themselves—and Lucy was in charge of it. She'd been in control of what was planted, who would be scheduled to water it, etc. The garden was totally under her responsibility—something that Juvia felt she was ready for.

The garden had loads of vegetables and fruit trees, and all produce coming from them went straight to the facility's kitchen, to help improve healthy meals within the organization. There were also garden beds, and flowers were taken and used to decorate the facility and cheer it up a bit.

Lucy was also talking to Juvia, and they were in the planning stages of having a small farm on the facility: cows, goats, chickens, you name it would be included. Kids could go out and work with the animals, feed them, pet them, groom them and keep them healthy to improve mental stimulation, while the produce would go to the kitchens. It was a costly endeavor, and the idea would need to be approved by the facility's council, but Lucy was incredibly excited.

She found that she enjoyed helping other people cope with their mental illnesses. Juvia said that Lucy had a knack for it, that she should look into becoming a therapist herself once she left the facility, since she had come up with so many great coping tactics already.

Lucy liked that idea.

Time flew by fast, and before Lucy was even aware, it had been six months since Natsu had left. Her garden was in full force, the farm was finally being built—the feed bins were already standing, and the barn was the last thing left—and everything was going well.

Lucy even ran a club at the facility to help younger children with therapy. There were several groups of young children at the facility—kids with developmental issues, depression, anxiety, etc—that didn't respond well to face-to-face therapy, like the older teens did. So, Lucy worked alongside Juvia in order to create a group that would benefit the younger kids. She'd gotten in contact with a local humane society, the local pound. She'd set it up so the humane society would bring in several animals—dogs, cats, rabbits, and more—every Wednesday and Friday for the youngsters to play with. Lucy was well aware that young children were more comfortable with animals than adults, and that there was research showing that being with animals could reduce depression and anxiety. The kids loved it, and the animals from the pound loved it as well. Juvia had congratulated Lucy on work well done.

Before she knew it, Juvia was telling Lucy that she was graduating, that she'd made it and she'd overcome her demons well enough to head back out into the real world. It was shocking to Lucy the amount of progress she'd made ever since coming to the facility: she hadn't cut since that day in kitchen after Mira had collapsed, and she rarely had time to even think about it now that she had such a busy schedule.

Of course, there were times when it haunted her, the urge to see her own blood. But she knew how to cope with it. She knew her mind was playing tricks on her, manipulating her. Lucy knew she was stronger than the urge to cut, and she knew she didn't need to cut to be happy. She knew that she didn't want to hurt the people she loved anymore.

Lucy passed on all of her responsibilities at the facility—the kids club, the garden, the farm—onto Erza, who was really beginning to take on a leadership role at the place.

Erza was improving, too—she no longer screamed through the night about her car crash. She was getting better, learning to cope with the stress and the memories. Still, she had a ways to go, and Lucy knew that Erza was capable of dealing with the responsibilities she'd passed on.

When Lucy graduated, she was the only group member to be doing so. They threw a party for her; Juvia did another loving speech, and even Lucy was crying at the end of it. They all had a big supper and Erza had even baked a cake.

One the party was over, Lucy made her way to the front door, where she expected Juvia to be waiting for her, to drive her away from the facility—but there was another body standing outside, leaning against a car.


Lucy ran towards him, grinning; he opened his arms and she flew into them. They spun, kissing happily. They chatted a bit and then took off, heading out into the real world together.

Lucy moved in with Natsu, into his tiny little apartment. She thought it was cute. Quaint. Every night, Gajeel came up for a movie night; he and Lucy pressured Natsu into watching romantic comedies.

Lucy looked into going to school to become a therapist. She applied, but didn't tell Natsu—she wasn't sure there was even a point to getting her hopes up. Besides, her transcripts contained her stay at Tranquil Pines. What kind of university would allow a previously depressed girl to become a therapist? She didn't think much about it.

Until one day, she came home with groceries, and found Natsu glaring at her.

Lucy set down the groceries on the countertop. "What?" She asked, unsure why he was giving her such a funny look.

Natsu held up his hand, a thick envelope laying in his palm. "You never told me you applied to school."

Lucy frowned, confused. She'd forgotten about applying completely—it had been months since she'd done it. Her eyes lit up. "I got a letter? Did you open it?"

"'Course not, it's yours. I can't spoil that." He paused. "Why didn't you tell me?"

Lucy blushed, shrugging. "I just...I didn't think I'd even be considered, and I didn't want to get my hopes up..."

Natsu gave her that 10000 watt smile and shook his head. "Well, come on, open it!"

And so, she did. And she'd gotten accepted. It was a school right there in the city, not even that far away. Lucy could take the train to school every day. Natsu was overjoyed; they celebrated all night. When Gajeel came over for a movie, they told him; he gave Lucy a big hug.

Right from the first day of school, Lucy knew she loved it. All of her classes, all of the people she met...she loved it. She could tell instantly that this was what she was born to do—help people. Her experiences, her own problems that she'd dealt with...that only enabled her to help others more. She was a survivor.

Time continued on. Lucy had finished her first year of university, and Natsu was getting promoted for his good work. He was a higher up level, one that got to correlate directly with management. He helped plan community events within the parks and recreation sector, but still got to do the fun stuff he loved, like chasing birds away from the beach.

One night, in bed, Natsu rolled over to Lucy, a funny look on his face.

Lucy looked at him, frowning. "What's wrong?"

He looked at her as if she were the sun and he were completely dazzled by her. "We should get a dog."

And that's all he needed to say. The next day, they headed out to the animal pound. They perused the dog kennels for an hour, unable to locate a dog that they deemed perfect for them; they passed by small wire dogs, big german shepherds. Just about every time of dog was there, but

Until they heard a screeching meow coming from the next room over, where the cats were located. Natsu looked at Lucy, eyes wide and intrigued.

"He sounds like fun."

Lucy's lips spread into a little grin. "Let's go see."

They found that the cat making that horrendous meow was a little gray cat; his fur was soft. In the sun, his coat looked blue. Rather than make that terrible noise he'd been making before, he purred heavily as soon as Natsu walked up to him. Natsu stuck his fingers in the crate, and the little cat rubbed up against him, licking him.

Natsu turned to Lucy. "Luce, I gotta have him."

She just laughed. "Sure. What should we name him?"

Natsu turned back to the little kitty, who was still licking his finger tips. He hesitated for a moment, then murmured, "Let's name him...Happy."

"Happy? How'd you pick that one?"

The pink haired boy shrugged. "I always knew that if I was with you, we'd find Happy." He looked up at the girl. "And now, we have."

Lucy couldn't argue with that. They brought the little cat home that night; he ate just about three times his body weight in cat food. Natsu was incredibly proud.

Life continued on, and Lucy and Natsu found that their once quaint little apartment was now becoming a bit too small. They went to the bank and got pre-approved for some money, and then headed over to the real estate agent. The agent showed them several houses—they wanted a house, not an apartment—but nothing seemed to work.

Until the real estate agent brought them to a little house nestled onto the side of the beach. There were lots of trees around it, making it almost hidden from anyone who didn't know it was there. The house itself was adorable—not small, but not incredibly large—and it had a cute little porch on the front, overlooking the beach that lay just before it. The inside was nice—some things they could improve upon, but overall a nice place.

They didn't hesitate, and bought the place. Gajeel helped them move in, helping Natsu lift their heavy couch in from the trailer they'd rented.

As they were moving in, their new neighbor came in to greet them. She had blue hair and was small; she had a lovely smile.

"Hi, my name's Levy—I live right next door."

Lucy had smiled back, already taking a liking to this girl. "I'm Lucy! Nice to meet you."

Natsu and Gajeel were carrying in the couch; they rounded the corner into the room where the two girls were standing. Gajeel froze, eyes landing on Levy; he dropped his side of the couch. Natsu, who was still holding the other side and attempting to walk, let out a cry.

"Ack—what the hell, Gajeel!" The couch was too heavy for him, and he dropped it on his foot. Natsu hopped around, swearing for a bit.

Levy turned to look at Gajeel; he turned red, blushing and looked at his feet.

"Uh, sorry, Natsu."

Levy was blushing slightly, too, laughing shyly. Lucy made a mental note that she should introduce the two properly, thinking they might make a cute couple.

Time passed. They'd been living in the house for eight months when Lucy came home to a message on their machine from her father, saying he'd contacted the facility and heard this was her last address. He said he wanted to see her, that he was sorry. He said he wanted her to meet his family.

Lucy had been furious—he wanted her to meet his new family? As if!—but Natsu had calmed her down, tried to cheer her up. Natsu had said she should see her dad at least, even if she didn't want to meet his new family. He'd said that it wasn't worth it to stay mad, that maybe her father had changed, maybe he was sorry. Lucy said she doubted it. Natsu urged her, saying that it was better to see him and find out rather than ignore her father and regret being so cold to him once he was gone.

Lucy knew Natsu was right.

So, she'd invited her father over to their house one Saturday afternoon. She'd made coffee and cookies earlier that day, and spent the entire time pacing before he arrived. Natsu rubbed her shoulders, telling her that it was going to be okay.

When her father arrived, Lucy was cold; she invited him in. Her dad was awkward; he sat on the couch plainly, holding his jacket to his chest. He said it was nice to see Lucy, that she looked well; she thanked him, said she was well, that she was happy. Not much was said after that, for a while, and Lucy excused herself to the washroom, leaving Natsu and her father alone in the livingroom. She went to the bathroom and splashed water on her face, anxiety and stress making her feel exhausted.

When she left the bathroom, she could hear the two men talking. She snuck closer, staying hidden so she could hear what they were talking about.

"She's very happy, isn't she?" Lucy's father, Jude, said, voice a little sad.

By the sound of Natsu's voice, she could tell he was smiling. "Yeah. Really happy."

"And you love her?"

"I really do. She saved me, sir."

A moment of silence. "You're the boy that yelled at me on visiting day, aren't you?"

Lucy cringed; she suspected Natsu was doing the same.

"Uhh, yes. Sorry about that. I just...I'm very protective of Lucy, and if anyone makes her cry, I get very...upset." Natsu swallowed loudly. "Sorry. Sir."

Jude chuckled. "Don't be sorry. You were right. I was quite horrible to her."

"So, you've changed, then?"

"I have. My wife—my new wife—she's changed me. She was the one that urged me to go to visiting day, and she was furious with me when I got back. I've always wanted to see Lucy again, but I just..." He trailed off. "She pushed me, told me to do it even though I was afraid. She makes me better."

More silent pauses. "I know she doesn't act like it, but I think Lucy's happy to see you."


"Of course. You're the only family she has left. She loves you, deep down."

"That's..." He let out a little breath of air, almost like he was relieved. "Thank you, Natsu."

Lucy coughed, walking back into the room. Sure, hearing that...maybe it softened her heart a little bit. Her dad missed her, but was scared to see her. She didn't doubt it, after last time. And his wife...well, she sounded sweet. Maybe Lucy would try to be a little nice.

"Would you like some coffee, dad?"

Jude eyes widened, and he seemed surprised that she'd called him dad. When he'd first arrived, she'd greeted him by his first name. After a moment, he collected himself. "Yes, sure, please. One milk, two sugar."

Lucy gave him a small smile. "Okay."

Natsu was proud of her. She was a stubborn girl, one that didn't like to give in no matter what—so seeing her even smile at her father was incredible. She'd come so far. Far enough to invite her father over, despite what he'd done to her in the past. She was growing.

And he was so, so proud of her. He always would be.

After that day, Lucy stayed in contact with her father. They made up slowly, and they even talked about the past once they were comfortable enough with each other; Jude apologized for deserting her, saying that it was difficult after the loss of her mother. After all, Lucy looked just like her, and seeing a miniature version of your wife slit her wrists wasn't easy...Lucy understood. She didn't fight it. She said she was sorry, sorry she was so depressed as a kid and sorry she'd hurt him by hurting herself. They'd hugged.

She called him once a week, and they caught up. After a while, Lucy and Natsu made the trek down and even met Jude's new family. His wife was as lovely as Lucy could've imagined, and her two children were young and sweet. They got along well.

All of Lucy and Natsu's friends graduated from the facility, and they all came to visit before they went on their way to create their lives. Everyone kept in contact, and Lucy texted Erza often. Natsu texted Laxus and Gray regularly, and Gajeel still visited their house several times a week (although, Lucy suspected it was more because of Levy, their neighbor, now).

Time pressed forward, and soon, Lucy was graduating from school with a bachelor's degree. Everything was going so perfectly: she loved her house, her school, her classes, her friends—particularly Levy; they'd gotten extremely close—and especially her boyfriend.

Lucy's father and his family came up for her graduation from University. Everyone from their group at the facility made it up, except for Erza—she had joined the military and had recently been shipped out across the world. It was a happy occasion.

Natsu had gotten several promotions over the years, and now he was the head of the parks and recreation department; he had complete control over every event that happened within the city, and he'd won awards for doing such a good job. He planned fun community events constantly, and the city awarded him a bonus; apparently, his events had made the city a great tourist attraction. He'd planned several annual festivities—the Hanami Festival, a fall Harvest Festival, a huge carnival and even a community-wide bonfire. His job was all about making people happy, and he loved it.

Lucy got a job in a therapy clinic right on the outskirts of town. She enjoyed the work she did, but fully intended to make her own therapy clinic one day, one where she was in control and could everyone as much as possible as directly as possible. She tucked that thought into the back of her mind, focusing on her current job instead.

Gajeel and Levy finally began officially dating after years of attempting to be subtle with their flirting (which they weren't). Natsu was happy—most of the time, Gajeel stayed at Levy's place, meaning Natsu got to see his friend more often. Lucy was happy, too; she'd never seen Levy smile so wide.

It was Lucy's birthday, and Natsu planned a special dinner at a fancy restaurant. They ate until they were stuffed, and then headed home; rather than go inside, Natsu hauled Lucy out to the beach. They waded into water, ignoring that they were wearing fancy clothes, and watched the moon reflect over the water.

It reminded Lucy of that night on the beach, when Natsu told her he'd loved her. The nostalgia totally enveloped her, until Natsu turned to her and spoke.

"Don't ever leave, okay?" He said, copying himself word for word from that night on the beach so long ago.

Lucy cocked her head to the side, turning to look at him. "I'm not gonna leave, Natsu. I promise."

"I love you," He said, a funny tone in his voice.

Lucy didn't understand. "I love you too, baby."

And then, he got down on one knee, the waves soaking his suit. His hair was whipping around in the wind, the rosy color even brighter in the glow of the moon; he reached into his pocket, pulling out a little box.

Lucy's eyes widened, hands flying up to cover her mouth.

He opened the box; inside of it was the most beautiful ring. The band itself twisted out in spots, almost looking like a twig from a tree, except made of silver; there was a beautiful diamond in the centre, with two rose-gold jewels on either side. The smaller jewels matched Natsu's hair perfectly, as if the ring were a piece of him.

"I love you, Lucy, and I have ever since that first day I saw you. I knew I needed you and I knew you'd change my whole world, and you really did. You kept me safe, made me a better person, helped me grow." He took a shaky breath; he seemed nervous. "You're my best friend, Luce. Will you marry me?"

"Yes!" Lucy cried, and Natsu put the ring on her finger. Then, she flung herself at him, sending them both flying into the salty water—but she didn't care. They kissed, soaking wet, for hours. When they went inside, they kissed more, heading directly to the bedroom. Later that night, Lucy let Happy sniff the wedding ring, proudly showing it off. Then, she'd called Levy and Erza, and all of the friends she'd made at work and at school and from the facility.

The wedding was in the fall, when the forests were bright orange and red, mimicking the color of flames. Everyone came—everyone from the facility, even Juvia—to celebrate Lucy and Natsu's wedding. Lucy's dress was beautiful and Natsu looked handsome in his suit, and the food was delicious. Everyone had a great time, dancing the night away. At the end of the night, everyone went out into the crisp evening air, and watched some fireworks go off.

Natsu hugged Lucy from behind, placing a kiss on her cheek and whispering, "I love you so much."

And everything was perfect.

Five months later, Lucy was abruptly awoken by intense nausea. She'd ran to the bathroom and puked her guts out; when she was finished, she realized Natsu was sitting on the edge of the tub, glass of water for her in hand.

"Food poisoning?" He'd asked.

Lucy gagged over the toilet, taking a sip from the cup. "I think so—last night's chicken."

He'd frowned. "I'm not sick."

"You have a stomach of steel—I have the digestive system of a baby bird, remember?"

Natsu made a face. "That's true."

She'd brushed her teeth and they'd gone back to bed. And, when she'd awoken the next morning about to vomit again, she hadn't thought much about it. That damn chicken, she'd said. Next time, she'd char her meat, just to avoid the food poisoning.

But when she had to interrupt a meeting at work to dash to the garbage can and throw up violently, she started to question whether it was food poisoning at all. But the thought slipped her mind, and she went on with life.

And a week later when she didn't get her period, it hit her. She skipped lunch to dash to the drugstore. She picked up three pregnancy tests and stuffed them into her purse, intending to take the tests that night. She was nervous the whole day, off her game. When she got home—she'd beaten Natsu—she ran to the washroom, hurriedly following the instructions of the test.

She'd done all of them, placing them face down on the countertop, and stared at them. Two minutes, she had to wait. Two minutes was a long time.

Natsu came home, flowers in hand. It wasn't anything special, but he figured buying flowers and chocolate was a sweet act to cheer up his sick wife. After all, she'd barely gotten any sleep this past week due to her incessant vomiting—he could tell she was drained, and he wanted to make it better for her.

He set his stuff on the counter, and called out for Lucy. She responded, a funny twang in her voice, and he asked if she was okay. She asked him to come to the bathroom.

Natsu, concerned that she'd gotten sick again, made it to the washroom quickly. He froze in the doorway, unsure.

Lucy was leaning over the sink, staring down.


She turned to look at him, something odd in her eyes. Fear, happiness, all washed over her face in phases, making her impossible to read. "Natsu..."

"You okay?" He was worried, now.

Lucy bit her lip, nervous. "I'm...something."

Natsu reached out and grabbed her hands. "Luce."

She pulled out a drawer, reached down and grabbed something; then, she held her hand out, for Natsu to see. Confused, his eyebrows pulled over his eyes; he glanced down. Three sticks in her hand, all with little plus symbols on them. He looked back up at his wife. Then back down. Then back up.

Natsu made a face. "Wha?"

Lucy sighed, setting the sticks on the counter. "I'm pregnant, Natsu."

A long, silent moment passed by. Then, another. Lucy stared at Natsu; his face was completely blank. Like, completely. There wasn't a single thought in that man's head.

And then, his lips spread into a huge grin, wider and brighter than any smile Lucy had ever seen on Natsu before, and he rushed forward, wrapping his arms around her. He picked her up and twirled her, nuzzling his head into her neck once he'd set her back down.

"We're having a baby?" He asked, voice happy and excited and nervous. His eyes sparkled, and he gave her that smile, and her heart melted. "You're pregnant! We're having a baby!"

Lucy grinned in response, relieved by his reaction. She'd been worried he'd be scared, nervous that they couldn't afford a baby, or something. She hadn't known he was this excited to be a father, but here he was, dancing in the bathroom and singing REO Speedwagon to Lucy's stomach.

By July, Lucy's stomach was massive. She was big, her doctors had said. Most girls were getting large at this stage, but not heavily protruding like Lucy was. It didn't help that it was a hot summer; Lucy was sweating nonstop and peeing nonstop, thanks to this little twerp dancing on her bladder inside of her gut.

But, it was a happy time: Levy and Gajeel were getting married. They'd announced it a while ago, and the date had finally arrived. Lucy was the maid of honor, and Natsu was the best man. It was smoking hot outside, making Lucy absolutely die—they brought her a seat to sit on during the ceremony, rather than stand like the rest of the bridal group. She left immediately after the ceremony was done to go pee. Her feet were swollen, she was dying of heat, her dress was riding up in places that she could no longer reach...

But, she was absolutely happy. She was severely pregnant—they didn't know the sex of the baby yet, they wanted to keep it a secret—but she was overjoyed to see two of her closest friends get married. Everyone came up for their wedding, too, and it was a nice reunion. Everyone wished Lucy and Natsu congrats on their upcoming baby.

Lucy went into labour October 30th, and the baby was born October 31st at 3:13 in the morning. Natsu had laughed—a Halloween baby. Lucy thought it was sort of cute. A little girl. The doctor's cleaned her off, then handed her to Natsu.

He broke down into tears as he stared at his daughter.

They named her Viola. She had Natsu's rosy hair and Lucy's nose.

Natsu would carry her around the house on his shoulders, and she would squeal; he'd tickle her, kissing her cheeks as he changed her diaper. The older she got, the more Natsu loved her—she was a daddy's girl. By the time she could speak, she had Natsu wrapped around her little finger, and he loved it.

They were a perfect family: Natsu, Lucy, Viola and Happy.

And then, Lucy got pregnant again, when Viola was two. And, by the time the family was invited to Erza's wedding to her longtime love Jellal, Lucy was huge again. Luckily, this time, she was just a bridesmaid, not the maid of honor—but it was still a struggle in the heat.

"Why am I always pregnant when my friends get married?" Lucy had asked as she walked down the aisle, Natsu by her side. He was a groomsmen—Erza had asked him to; Jellal didn't have a lot of friends, and the wedding party was pretty empty, so Natsu had obliged.

"Because," Natsu whispered back, waving to little Viola in the crowd, who was sitting on Juvia's lap, "You can't get enough of me in the sack."

"Idiot," Lucy whispered in response, having no other comeback. He was right—clearly, they couldn't get enough.

The wedding was beautiful. Afterwards, at the dinner, Levy and Gajeel came up to Lucy. They asked her if she wanted to know a secret, if she wouldn't tell anyone because they didn't want to ruin Erza's big day; Lucy had agreed.

Gajeel and Levy were having a baby. Lucy was overjoyed—finally, someone to play with Viola and the baby on the way. Now, Lucy and Natsu weren't the only couple this far along, being married and having babies.

Lucy had twin baby boys a couple months later; they named them Logan and Odin. Odin had blonde hair, taking after mom—but it was spiky, just like dad's. Logan was a miniature Natsu.

Levy and Gajeel had a little boy, and they named it Lawrence.

The boys were attached more to Lucy—momma's boys—while little Viola was incredibly in love with Natsu. They shared a special bond; he'd have tea with her, in her room, wearing a tutu every Thursday night. He'd carry her around like he was a horse, and she was the rider. In fact, he rarely called her by her name—instead of Viola, she was simply princess.

The boys loved Natsu, too, though. They'd wrestle on the livingroom floor, roaring and growling as if they were a pack of wild animals. And Lucy would watch, Viola on her lap, giggling at their antics. Her family was silly, but she loved them to death.

And sometimes, her mind would flicker back upon her life, and she'd think back to when she was in the facility. She'd think back to when her mind was obsessed with the idea of destroying her, when she couldn't go two minutes without thinking about slitting her wrists. She remembered how hopeless she'd felt, how she'd felt she had no purpose anywhere. She'd thought there was nothing for her in the world, and so she'd taken all of the pain out on herself.

She looked back at her children, all three of them doggy piling on her handsome husband, who was pretending to be knocked out by the weight of the kids. Her heart surged. How had she ever done that to herself? How had she ever felt like she had no future?

Her children, her husband, her friends...all the love in her life that simply saturated her...that was what she had been willing to give up when she was younger. Lucy had only been cutting herself, but who knows where that would've lead had she not stopped? Would she have tried to kill herself? Most likely.

But she had stopped. She'd learned from her friends, she'd seen their mistakes. Mira had helped her, taught her the ugly truth about mental illness. Lucy had learned that she had to want to get better to actually improve. You couldn't force it, you couldn't fake it. You had to want it.

And she had. She'd gotten better, faced her demons. Sure, if things ever got bad, the thought would cross her mind, but she never let it get a hold on her. Lucy was strong—she always had been. She just hadn't let herself realize it when she was younger.

But now, looking at her babies and her soul mate, Lucy knew she'd made the right choice. She'd had faith in herself. She was strong, and she'd overcome her mental illness.

And she was so glad she did. Because this was what life was for—for happy moments. For those moments when you look at your boyfriend and realize holy shit, I want to marry this man someday. Or for that moment when you're at the alter, saying your vows. Or for that moment when you look at the pregnancy test and start to dance in the bathroom. Or for the moments when you make up with your family, when you close the gap and forget the past and just share the love.

Or, for that moment when you realize that everything you've got is perfect, that you love your family and that you are so lucky to have your husband, and you realize you wouldn't trade it for the world.

Lucy had come so far, grown so much.

And she and Natsu had found happy.

A/N: Hi everyone! Thanks for reading my story. I know this chapter was WAY long, but I had no idea how else to end this story without showing Lucy and Natsu's future. I hope you like it, I know I do! Please comment, review, whatever :)

If anyone has any suggestions or ideas for future stories that you would like me to write, feel free to message me! I have zero plans and I do not live a busy life, so I will be writing all summer. Unfortunately, it takes me a while to come up with ideas. So let me know!

Also, I urge anyone who struggles with mental illness of any kind (depression, anorexia, bulimia, axniety, etc) to please get in contact with a help line or a health representative. Getting help is the best thing you can do for yourself!

I hope you all liked the story, and I'm sorry if this ending seems abrupt to you, but I just felt like it was at the right pace and location to close. Love you all!

Edited 23/06/18.