Disclaimer: I supposed I should put this: I don't own Fairy Tail. How depressing.
Author's Note: This was written for Father's Day and my sister's birthday even though she hates the fact that I write fanfiction! WHO CARES? It's my birthday, I can do what I want! XD So happy early 18th, sis, and I appreciate you not commenting on my writing on my birthday today! By the way, constructive criticism and reviews will be much appreciated.
There's only a small part of NatsuxLucy, but it's still there. XD
The Pain We Share - by HawkofNavarre
Dedicated to my sis, who will sadly never read this. XD
Tomorrow was going to be a terrible day, Lucy knew. It was going to horrible and gross and painful, but there was nothing she could do about it. Even if she could stop herself from thinking about it, the thought would still linger in her mind. Nobody knew, and nobody understood. It would be Sunday tomorrow, and the most vile day of the year in her mind. She didn't want it to come, however; it wasn't as if she could stop time. Lucy didn't want it to come…
I hate that day, she thought to herself, clenching her fists on the counter of Fairy Tail's bar.
"Lucy? Is there something wrong?" Mirajane asked her, all smiles as usual. The waitress dried a glass as she glanced at her friend.
Lucy blinked when her idol spoke before uncurling her hand and placing them on her lap. She gave Mirajane a reassuring smile. "Oh, there's nothing wrong at all, Mira-san. Thanks for asking though."
She turned away before the transforming magician could see the deceit in her eyes. Lucy hated lying with a passion, but she didn't want to tell anyone. They would only try to comfort her and she simply wanted to be left alone. The stellar spirit mage didn't need their sympathy, even if they were her nakama. It would be better if she just didn't come tomorrow because she knew that she'd feel even more depressed than at present time, and then only more eyes would be on her.
"Natsu, cheer up!"
The moody girl laid her arms on the table and rested her head on them as she twisted to view the conversation going on between Happy and Natsu. The normally cheerful Salamander had an unusual scowl shown on his face. He was slumped over a table that he was isolated at. Lucy didn't know why he was so grumpy. Natsu was always so annoying and loud. Why the huge difference today?
In fact, he was so odd today that the blonde was even getting a little nervous. He was more out of it than what she'd originally thought. What were the chances of the dragon slayer glaring at his fire-meal? Lucy was beginning to think that he'd gone crazy.
"There's no use being sad about it!" Happy advised his closest friend worriedly. "You should eat! You haven't eaten all day, and it's not likely that you'll eat tomorrow!"
"I'm not hungry," Natsu replied gruffly to the flying cat. His eyes narrowed more, if that were possible, to stare harder at the food in front of him. It seemed as if he was trying to make it combust into even hotter flames.
"You're magic is going to be all drained!"
Lucy decided not to pay any more attention to the two's little squabble. It looked like it was going nowhere fast anyway. It wasn't interesting at all. So, what could she do to entertain herself for the next couple of hours? It didn't seem likely that she, Natsu, and Happy would go and do a mission any time soon. Heck, the red-haired teenager even informed her that he didn't want to go on a mission for the next couple of days.
"You know everyone's got it just as bad as you, Natsu," she overheard Happy say in concern.
"Of course I know," he responded curtly, though it was less grumpy than before, "but they've all gotten over it. It's…different for me."
"Happy, I don't wanna talk about it anymore."
She didn't know what they were babbling about though it sounded quite upsetting for Natsu. Lucy did want to know now, and that was good. Pondering that subject would be her distraction for the next couple of days. She supposed the fire-user didn't always have to be an idiot outside of battle.
Lucy stood up and bid farewell to Mira, settling on rereading some of her favourite books at home. No more thinking about tomorrow.
"Father!" Lucy shouted as her small legs carried her into said person's study. "Look what I drew!"
The tiny girl proudly held up a colourful picture that held a rather adorable image of a family of three—a man, a woman, and their petite child. On the piece of paper, they were holding hands and a smile was on all of their faces. In the background there was a properly coloured rainbow with the sun peeking out from under the beam's arc. It was to be a present to her father.
"Lucy," the man she called her father stormed loudly. His face was not visible through the shadow washed over it as his head was low. He stood up and shot a piercing look at his innocent daughter. "How many times have I told you not to come into my room while I'm working?"
"This…would be the thirty-third time, father," she answered quietly, her eyes wide and filled with terror. "I only wanted you to see my picture, father! I'm really sorry! I didn't mean to disturb you! I meant no ha—"
"And why do you have time to draw such foolishness?" he demanded furiously, his voice low and menacing.
"I really am sor—"
"You should be focusing on your studies, not scribbling nonsense on a piece of paper! I shall increase the length of your lessons if you have so much time!"
"No! Please, father! I didn't mean to disturb you! I really didn't!" she shouted desperately. Lucy didn't want her papa to be mad at her! It was horrible when her papa was mad at her!
"Give me that abomination," he commanded coldly, referring to the optimistic picture in her hand.
The young Heartphilia approached her father's desk without protest although she was shaking profusely. She held out the paper that she'd poured her heart and soul into, biting her lip in fear.
The picture was abruptly snatched from her possession and she watched in fright as her parent glared at it in disdain. He suddenly snorted at it and held it high in the air. Lucy's eyes clung onto the portrait she'd worked so hard on, following it in her father's grasp.
She was barely able to contain a cry as the paper that appeared worthless was torn in half. She'd did her best on that picture, sketching neatly and colouring within the lines liked she'd always been told, and there it was being torn in half right before her very own eyes.
He ripped it again and again and again until it was just remnants of what is used to be. The cruel man crushed the fragments in his hand before he opened the window and threw it out in disgust. He snarled as he watched it fall into the giant garden outside. Finally, he turned back to Lucy, disgust and spite evident in his greedy eyes.
"Go back to your studies now, and never think of something so foolish and trivial again," he ordered, a deep, loathing tone in his voice.
"Y-yes, father," she responded in a near whisper, trying as hard as she could not to cry. Were they mocking her? Were her tears mocking her? If she cried, her papa would only scold her again. Did her tears want her to be scolded?
However, before the water could emerge from her eyes, she ran from the room, prying the door open and closing it carefully behind her. Lucy's tears began to fall as she desperately hurried down the hall to her room where she flung herself onto the bed, her tiny figure racking with sobs.
"I'm sorry, father! I'm sorry, father! I'm sorry, father!" she screamed on her bed until her voice was hoarse. "I only wanted you to be proud of me!"
I only wanted you to be proud of me!
Lucy jerked awake, blinking many times, breathing hard, and sweating freely. She looked blankly around the room. It was just a dream, she told herself. This wasn't the same bed she'd been crying on.
Hesitantly, she untangled herself from the covers and rolled out of bed, pinching her arm to make sure she was real.
"Ouch," she hissed, wincing at the pain she'd inflicted on her limb. It seemed that she was indeed real.
Sighing, Lucy glanced out the window to see it was a bright, sunny day. It just had to contrast with her mood so much. She groaned aloud and stalked to the bathroom where she shut the door and stripped free of her clothes. Stepping into the shower, she thought of her dream again. Now that had been real. The blonde remembered that day as clearly as she remembered the names of her stellar spirits.
Lucy set the water to the desired temperature and let the liquid wash over her. It had been seven years ago when her mother had been out shopping on the exact same day as today, and that was the reason she hated this day so much. The picture that she worked harder on than anything had been her gift to her father as a Father's Day present, and not only did he not appreciate it one bit, but he'd also insulted it, thought it revolting, and tossed it out the window. When he'd ripped it into shreds, he'd ripped his daughter's heart apart as well. Ever since that day, she'd hated him with a passion. Turning away her cookies had been one thing, but this had pushed her over the edge. That day, she'd realized she would never be good enough for her father.
She shook her head in anger as she smashed her palm against the tiles of her shower, the rush of water running down her body. Lucy hated Father's Day. She hated this wretched day.
Rather than spend the day glaring at the wall and living in the past, Lucy decided that she would spend the day basking in her friends' presences. Fairy Tail was her favourite place, and she would change this day into something that didn't have anything to do with her disgustful father. After all, though it was Father's Day, it was still just a regular day. She had nakama now, and she didn't need to mope all day!
However, when Lucy set foot in her guild, it wasn't at all as cheery and bright as she hoped it'd be. Gray was somehow harassing Natsu early in the morning, with his shirt off of course.
"What is wrong with you today?" Gray asked the dragon slayer with an annoyed expression on his face.
"Shut the hell up and leave me alone," Natsu shot back without his usual flare, sitting in the same spot and position as he had done the previous day.
Perfect, he was acting like he had yesterday. Lucy was starting to get really freaked out by this.
"Why are you so depressed?" the ice mage demanded in frustration, stomping around and holding his head. "Why the hell won't you fight me?"
"I told you to go away," the Salamander growled in irritation though he still wasn't moving. Happy hovered over his partner while looking at half-naked teen in concern.
"You really shouldn't bother Natsu today," the cat warned him worriedly.
Gray didn't listen. "Oi, answer me!" he shouted, putting a hand on the fire mage's should before recoiling quick. "Ow! Damn it! Why are you so hot?"
A few of the older, immature guild members heard Gray's comment and began to laugh like idiots. Natsu only snickered.
"I don't know what the hell is up with you, so you'd better start acting normal again real soon!" the black-haired guild mate yelled loudly. He was now, for some reason, only wearing his boxers. He stalked off in rage to find something else to do.
Lucy blinked a couple of times at the scene that had just played out before her and considered her options. One, talk to Natsu, two, avoid fiery Natsu and talk to Mirajane, or three, avoid flaming Natsu and talk to Levi. She sighed, choosing the first option. Since the red-haired boy was her friend, she figured she'd better find out why he was so…not being Natsu. Besides, she could admit that there was just a hint of curiousness deep within her mind.
The female mage prepared herself by taking a deep breath as she walked over to the table and sat beside her companion. "Happy, could you let me talk to Natsu alone for a second?" she asked kindly, offering a smile to the cat. "I promise I'll be nice,"
Happy was reluctant at first, she could tell, but eventually gave in. "Aye."
With that, the flying animal took off elsewhere, leaving Lucy alone with the boy who had originally gotten her to join guild she so loved. "Hey, Natsu. What's up?"
Surprisingly, he answered. "I hate this day."
It took her a few seconds to register exactly what had just happened and then another few seconds to figure out exactly what he had said.
"Really? Me too," she agreed. "Father's Day is a stupid day."
"Yeah," Natsu nodded. "Why do you hate it?"
"I always tried to make my dad proud of me when I was young. I'd do my very best to make him a great present, but in the end, he'd just spit on it and dispose of it in front of me. All I wanted for him to acknowledge me," she admitted quietly. Lucy had no idea why she was telling Natsu this, but it was certainly making her feel better. If spilling your guts felt this good, who knew how great it would feel to stand on a roof and shout every profanity at her father?
"Ah," the red-haired dragon slayer replied, sounding slightly livelier. "I see."
"Well, I told you," she reasoned good-naturedly. "It's your turn to tell me."
He let out a breath. "Fine."
Lucy celebrated internally at her success, but only smiled encouragingly at him.
"Every Father's Day, Igneel and I would have the biggest fight. It was something we did yearly," he told her, now sitting up straight.
"Hold on," Lucy interjected quickly, "didn't you live in a forest? How did you know when Father's Day was?"
Natsu gave her an odd look. "Duh, we had a calendar,"
"C-calendar?" she spluttered in disbelief. I was hard to imagine a boy and dragon living in a forest with a calendar tacked up to a tree's trunk.
"Yeah? So? What about it?" he asked in annoyance.
"Nothing! Nothing! Go on!" the stellar spirit mage insisted hastily. Nothing about Natsu should surprise her anymore. Being raised by a dragon was already weird enough—not to mention having a battle as a Father's Day present.
After shooting her one last strange look, he continued. "Anyway, after the fight, we'd always make a promise to each other that we had to fulfil before the next Father's Day. Today, seven years ago, I made Igneel promise to teach me a new fire move. He did that the week before he disappeared, but I couldn't…"
"I couldn't keep my promise," he choked out in shame, head lowered and fists clenched. "Igneel made me promise just to be with him the next Father's Day! It was so easy and I couldn't do it!"
"It wasn't your fault! It wasn't like you didn't do everything you could!" Lucy argued. She hadn't seen this side of Natsu before. Was he…crying…?
"I hate Father's Day," the scarf wielder declared quietly.
"Natsu… Wherever Igneel is, I'm sure he understands," she consoled him honestly.
"I couldn't keep my promise," he repeated in disgrace. "Igneel always took care of me, and I couldn't repay him by fulfilling my promise."
Was he even listening to her? She knew he was feeling horrible and guilty, but she was going to put some sense into his brain! Lucy yanked on his scaly scarf and forced Natsu to listen to her.
"Listen up, Natsu. Igneel was a great father, wasn't he?" She received a nod as his fearful eyes met hers. So he wasn't crying, but he still felt bad. "Then he'll understand that you tried your hardest to keep your promise! You don't have to go on hating yourself on Father's Day just because you feel guilty! So instead of feeling bad about something that was impossible for you to control, whey don't you focus on looking for Igneel? He won't care that you couldn't keep a promise if he gets to see you again!"
After that, she promptly let go of his scarf.
"You're…right!" Natsu decided with newfound determination. "I'll just have to look harder for Igneel!"
"That's the spirit!" she cheered him on gladly, happy that he was back to is normal self. Her task had been surprisingly easy.
"Thanks, Lucy! Oh, and you know what?"
"You're not alone," he informed her kindly.
"Huh? What do you mean?" Lucy asked in confusion.
"Gray, Erza, and me too—we've all lost our real parents, so you don't have to be so sad and think about your dad. Everyone else is in pain too! We all hurt together. It's the pain we all share," Natsu said intelligently.
"Yeah, it's in the past now. I know that now," she spoke with a small grin. He grinned back at her.
"Don't think about your dad!" he told her as if it were effortless to do. "We're your nakama! We're your family! We'll hurt with you!"
Suddenly, he leaned in close and kissed her full out on the lips. Lucy was paralysed in shock, but surprising, it wasn't bad. Eventually, she melted into the soft kiss Natsu was giving her and leaned in closer. It was…hot, but was a welcoming warmth. She liked it a lot, and that's all she knew.
It could have been a few minutes later that they pulled apart or it could have been a few seconds. She didn't know. That was much too nice to keep track of time.
"What was that for?" she asked, still flushed from their heated moment.
"Nothing much!" Natsu replied with another grin after licking his swollen lips. "Someone just told me that girls liked kisses for a thank you!"
"Eh?" Unfortunately, she would never find out who told Natsu this as he was already dashing away. "Where are you going?"
"I'm gunna kick Gray's ass!" he called back in excitement before running out of sight.
She sighed contently for the first time that day. Maybe Father's Day wasn't so bad after all. Her own father could just go burn in Hell. She just hoped that she could make that kiss a tradition.