Author's Note: Yep, so here it is, the way I'd always envisioned it would end. This is a very personal chapter to me, and yeah, it's really more for me than anyone else. Of course, you guys get to read it too and hopefully enjoy it. xD Oh, and before anyone asks, NO SEQUELS. I'll be finishing up the rest of the Possession Series (You Stole the Rain and Limits) before any other Fairy Tail projects. I have another NaLu planned though, as well as a couple of one-shots.
I'd like to thank everyone who has stuck with me through these past couple of years. Thank you so much for all your patience and support. As a writer, there is nothing more wonderful than having such great readers. I am so grateful for this. Thank you for the feedback, the kind messages, and giving me the belief that I can go far as a writer. I hope any readers can continue to enjoy this story as a little escape from our tough, everyday lives.
This chapter is dedicated to EC. Happy birthday, you old man. :) You have been one of my biggest sources of inspiration since I met you, so thank you so much. I apologize for being the crappiest GF ever, and I love you.
Warning: So my feels basically exploded all over the wall after I was done writing this chapter. I don't know if that means anything to you, but I warned you. Proceed with caution.
Ah, and since this is the last chapter, some feedback would be highly appreciated. Thanks!
Possession by HawkofNavarre
Chapter 20 – Epilogue: It's Better When We're Together
Once upon a time, there was a girl had been certain she would fall in love with a handsome, intelligent man and be swept away with among smiles and perfectly chiseled abs. So she searched and searched and searched, but alas, the great man she'd always pictured never really appeared. Instead, she found dumbasses, egomaniacs, and guys that didn't even seem to want to talk to her. Her vision of falling in love with that special someone seemed to disappear before her eyes.
That is, until she started dating her best friend.
It was something different—good different. She never would have expected it when she was looking at prospective boyfriends, but it happened and she was glad it did. He was her best friend, her rock, and her love all rolled into one. Her younger self may have thought their relationship wouldn't have lasted more than a week, but it had been three years and they were still going strong. Yes, they were like any other couple, hitting some rough patches along the way, though they'd always make up easily. Everything was good and she was happy.
So what happened yesterday?
Once upon a time, that mage called Lucy realized that happily ever after didn't exist. She'd read books upon books that allowed her to imagine that it did and somehow, she had deluded herself into actually believing it did. She felt silly and stupid. And angry.
It took a while for her to actually accept that she and Natsu had really had this massive fight in which both parties were furious and wouldn't give in. They were in this horrible stalemate since nine last night. Natsu had gone to his own house to sleep for the first time in two months. There had been screaming, spewing of irrational statements, and the appearance of Loke, who had summoned himself to Earthland because he felt Lucy's magical energy spiking before being ordered to "choose a side". The celestial spirit mage would have to apologize to him sometime. He'd quickly retreated back to the gate when it happened, but he'd definitely walked into a scary fight by accident. It was seriously one of the worst things for anyone to have walked into…
Ugh, but even thinking about last night was stressful. There really was no denying that Natsu was her best friend, so waking up feeling so upset with him had been a miserable feeling on its own. Just the fact that they had acted out at each other with so much animosity made her guts churn. She felt sick and terrible and like someone had pulled out her heart, thrown it on the floor, and stepped on it repeatedly.
The celestial spirit mage curled up on her single chair and stared at the wall, rotating the sapphire ring on her finger. She hadn't wanted to get up this morning, but when she'd awoken in the bed they now always shared alone, so felt so bad that she escaped into the next room just to escape the memory of the night before. She hated feeling like this. Could she admit that she'd been wrong though? Or was she supposed to hold out until he did?
"Was I wrong?" she asked a bunch of air particles, bringing her knees up to her chest. The fight last night was anything but stupid. It was nice that they weren't the kind of couple to explode at each other over nothing, though that wasn't really a comforting thought if they couldn't get over this hurdle. It was a serious matter.
It was about her writing.
The night before was really a blur. She remembered blaming him for the fact that they were fighting, but in hindsight, it was probably both their faults. The blonde knew she hadn't been thinking quite so logically when she'd been angrily hurling words everywhere. Even the thought of that was odd—she wasn't exactly the type of person to yell and scream at someone, yet it really had gotten that bad.
Lucy sighed. This wasn't just something she could apologize for, nor was it something he could claim all the blame for. It wasn't completely his fault because he'd been right. But…did she really want to admit that?
He'd always thought she was beautiful when she was writing. That focused look on her face when she was into a story or the way she chewed at the side of her lip when she couldn't figure out how she wanted her sentence structure to sound were just two of the things he noticed about her when she was doing the thing she loved the most. Natsu always took note of that kind of thing, mostly because it fascinated him. She hardly ever noticed that he was watching her, and when she did, she would blush and stutter at him to stop, which only made it all more fun.
Last night, though, he'd decided he was going to take it up a notch. He'd felt pretty audacious at that moment, really more confident than anything because she shared with him her most private thoughts and he knew her better than anyone. He'd seen her most disgusting habits (eyebrow maintenance was probably the most horrifying thing he'd ever seen in his life. She'd pulled out one of his eyebrow hairs once and it hurt like hell) and she'd trusted him with her life several times. A long time ago, he had stopped trying to read her writing because he respected her wishes, but after three years of being together, he thought that maybe her trust for him was deep enough for her compulsive privacy about writing to change.
So that night, he thought he would try and read a little.
At first it had been fine. Natsu had snuck up behind her and hugged her around her shoulders. He managed to stay there for about half a minute before she realized he was actually reading what she was putting down on paper. The fire mage had been in the middle of reading a scene where the main character felt weak and helpless in trying to rescue her comrades and he'd found it pretty interesting. Unfortunately, that had also been the same moment when Lucy exploded.
It had been absolutely the worst thing he'd ever gone through. Lucy had basically been shrieking at him and he had felt compelled to yell back because he hadn't felt like he'd done anything wrong. The reason he was truly angry with her was because they had been together for such a long time and she still felt like she had to hide her writing from him. He didn't want to read it to judge her or laugh at her penmanship; he just wanted to be able to see a little more into her world, and it hurt that she didn't trust him with that.
He'd ended up sleeping at his own house that night and it was the oddest feeling waking up without her. He was so used to having her by his side that lying in his hammock alone felt particularly cold and unwelcoming. The dragon slayer really did not like being upset with Lucy. She was more than just his best friend, and feeling like he couldn't get over this was really disconcerting. It made him feel bad and nauseated and wrong. He usually enjoyed fights; this one, not so much.
The fire mage knew he should apologize, knowing full well that he shouldn't have gone against her wishes like that, even if they had been a couple for more than three years now. Still, he felt sort of stubborn about it because after everything they'd been through, he was sure he deserved more trust than that.
Natsu sighed. He was probably being unreasonable. If there was one thing he'd learned about relationships over the years, it was that you didn't just get your way; it was about compromise. He would get a little of what he wanted and Lucy would get a little of what she wanted. Because he wasn't really a greedy person, compromise had never bothered him before. This time, though, he didn't want to compromise. However, the reality was that he knew he was going to have to. He couldn't just force his girlfriend into doing something she didn't want to. Somehow, he was just going to have to figure out a way to be okay with this. Her feelings about writing…it wasn't her fault that she needed it to be so private. She couldn't just change the way she felt about something so close to her.
Well, at the very least, the dragon slayer would definitely feel better after they talked. He had cooled down from their fight through the night, so now they would be able to have a civil conversation. In the end, he had to understand where she was coming from. Whining about his hurt feelings wouldn't do a thing. He just wanted her to be happy, and ultimately, he didn't need to be a part of her writing world to remember that he loved her.
"What? You guys actually got into a fight?"
"Is it really so hard to believe?"
Lucy groaned at her friend's disbelief, though wasn't quite surprised by it. Levy and Gajeel constantly got into fights, albeit little ones that often started because Levy was a very adventurous person and he was way too overprotective. Either way, the girl talk always helped. Somehow, she would figure out what she was going to say to him when she next saw him, but for now, she was going to spill all her worries to her friends at the bar.
"It is a little weird," Cana agreed as she took a swig of her beer. "I can't imagine Natsu getting pissed off at you about anything. I don't know how you did it, but you pretty much have him good and whipped as far as relationships go. But I guess you were always pretty good with a whip."
"I don't think he needed whipping in the first place," Lucy sighed, palming her face at that comment and ridiculous pun. "He's never been in any sort of relationship before and I never thought he ever would be in one."
"What did I tell you?" the barmaid asked with a smile as she leaned against the counter.
Another groan. "Guys, this is not what I need right now!"
"We all knew it was going to happen sooner or later," Erza added, arms crossed.
The solid-script mage propped her elbows on the bar, sighing dramatically as she held her face in her hands. "And now they're having their first big fight… It's so wonderful!"
"Having fights is not a good thing!"
"Lucy, I think you're forgetting something important," the Titania cut in sharply, her best big sister look on. "We've gone through so many fights in the past, and in enduring those fights, we have only gotten stronger. It's not good to fight all the time, but an occasional struggle like this will only serve your relationship well if you choose to work through it."
The celestial spirit mage took in her guild mate's words, glad that there was someone around who was reminding her why it was okay to feel like this from time to time. She'd already gotten over quite a few bumps that had made their way into her and Natsu's relationship, so this wasn't much different. Really, she'd just felt so bad about the argument that she completely forgot that something good might actually come from this.
"Plus, you could probably have some really good make-up sex after this," Cana remarked, grinning in all her sexual glory.
"Cana!" the blonde squeaked in mortification, although now that the brunette had mentioned it, make-up sex was not such a bad idea… "Wendy is sitting right there."
However, the little sky dragon slayer only blushed a little, trying to maintain her composure. The hardest part to swallow was probably the fact that Natsu was like her favourite older brother. "I-I'm seventeen now. It's not l-like I don't know about stuff like this."
"Oh yeah? So then tell us, what have you and Romeo been doing out on your dates?"
"Holy Edolas, the kid's not a virgin anymore."
"I never said that!" the younger female protested in the highest pitch Lucy was certain she'd ever heard from the blunette. Abruptly, she stood from her chair. "I'm-I'm just gunna go!"
Watching Wendy retreat from their little group chat, Mira gave a nervous smile. "Cana, was that really necessary?"
"Oh, come on! Like she said, she's seventeen!"
"Don't embarrass her. She's still a kid, no matter what she says," the redheaded S-Class mage ordered sternly.
"Ugh, Erza, you're such a joy-kill. Fine, I won't tease her anymore," the alcoholic replied stubbornly. She sank over the table as well. "I'm bored. I wish Juvia were here. I've always wanted to find out how Gray was in the sack."
Lucy couldn't even describe her level of exasperation at that point. Her friends were way too weird sometimes. She'd gone to them for advice and the only person who actually gave her something to work with was Erza. She really wondered why she even bothered to tell them her problems this time around…
"Lucy, how's Natsu in bed?"
She stared at her guild mate. "Excuse me?"
"Since Juvia's not here, I figured I might as well ask about your guy instead."
"Cana, I am not going to tell you about—"
"Then Natsu must be good!"
"I 'must be good' at what?"
All heads present turned to look at the new, very decisively male voice. Cana was lovely, but she really had a way with embarrassing people. Lucy wanted to melt into the ground and die when she saw Natsu standing there. They were fighting, and now all she could think about was how adept he was in bed.
She was going to get Cana one day. She really would.
"Let's go," the blonde hissed, stomping away from the bar as she grabbed onto her boyfriend's arm, fervently hoping that Natsu hadn't noticed her flushed face.
He let her pull him outside, wondering exactly what had her blushing such a deep red, but quickly remembered that there were more serious issues at hand. All he could really do today was explain to her what his intentions had been. There was really nothing else to do, but such serious conversations had always been more difficult to go through than any sort of other one. There was still that tension deep within him, a strain of fear for what might occur if she wasn't happy with him or if he ended up still being upset with her. Either way, they had to talk. Lack of communication had hurt them both in the past, and being together so long had taught them this lesson well enough.
"What was that all about?" he asked her as she let go of his bicep, looking rather humiliated.
Lucy brushed her loose hair back, pressing her face into her hand, a gesture that the dragon slayer knew quite well. She often used it when she was frustrated with him or embarrassed about something. Circumstance indicated that it was the latter. Besides, Cana had a way with words when it came to making people feel awkward. He'd never actually experienced it himself, but he had seen it enough times to realize how good she was at it.
"N-nothing at all!" the blonde waved it off, smacking her palms against her cheeks a couple of times as if to wake herself up. "We came out here to talk. You talk first."
Now he was wondering if she was going to even bother listening. She was so flustered. Even the movements of her eyes were so rapid it felt like he was trying to follow a fruit fly. He didn't want to spill his guts like this! She was making him nervous! And what was with that sexual tens—
The fire mage stepped forward, squishing the sides of her face with his forehead against hers. "Focus, Lucy. Think about sex later."
She stared at him with wide eyes—not that he was giving her a choice at the moment anyway—nodding slightly within his grasp. Natsu then led her over to a nearby bench, sitting down and pulling her down beside him.
"Better. Thanks," the celestial spirit mage breathed as she rubbed her temples for a moment. Leaning against the backrest, she seemed to relax a bit more now that she was thinking clearly and it was just the two of them. "Can you…tell me about last night?"
Right, it was time. The truth was all he needed and it would be okay. "I guess I just thought that after this long, you'd trust me enough that it wouldn't be a big deal if I read what you were writing. That's it. I didn't mean to make you feel like I violated your privacy or anything," Natsu conceded, feeling a bit more ashamed about his actions now that the words were coming out of his mouth. He swallowed. "Sorry I yelled. You weren't wrong to be mad."
She lifted her legs onto the bench, crossing them while she fiddled absently with her keys. "Natsu…it's okay. I have to take my share of the blame too," she explained quietly. "I mean, obviously it would have been better if you'd just asked me if you could read it, but I probably would've said no. And…you're not really wrong. I should trust you enough that your reading my writing wouldn't bother me, but the fact is…it does.
"Writing is something that I've cherished since I was a kid, because after my mother died, I didn't have any other way to cope. Somehow, it's always been nerve-wracking to let anybody in to that part of me, and—and I guess I should've tried, especially since it's you," Lucy continued as she flicked Aries around her key ring. "It might take a while, but I will try. It wouldn't be fair of me if I didn't."
He glanced at her, looking small and timid, practically feeling her vulnerability. Whenever they had serious conversations like this, one of them, if not both, ended up feeling stripped down and naked. While it wasn't the most comfortable feeling, this was where it always got better. It was already extremely gratifying that this moment didn't have the same atmosphere as last night. The fact that they'd solved this so reasonably when this had been their biggest fight to date was even greater.
Natsu smiled slightly as he pulled her into his lap. They always worked well together.
"I just want to see a little into your world," he told her, burying his face into the crook of her neck. "Maybe…I don't always understand you, but I don't think I ever want to stop trying."
The jangling of her keys stopped as she turned and grasped him around the waist, fingers straining against his vest. They sat there together in silence and Natsu knew that this was everything he could ever ask for. He could back off and give her the time she needed to bring him into her world of imagination, and she was sensible enough to understand why he wanted to try. They always worked well together.
"Hey, Natsu…" Lucy started, trailing her right hand down his around to weave her fingers through his. "Thanks. I'm really glad we had this fight."
Glad. The woman who only fought for friends and for their guild but never for fun or pleasure was glad they'd fought. She was glad to fight for them. The dragon slayer hadn't realized what a beautiful thing it was until now. He was glad to fight for them too. They always worked well together.
Impulsively, he kissed her, loving the feeling of her within his arms and especially enjoying the fact that she was still wearing the sapphire ring he gave her years ago when she had been mad at him. Girls were funny that way. You could never really tell what they were thinking when they were sending you so many mixed messages at one time. But that was okay, because with Lucy, he hadn't ever had a doubt in his mind that she loved him. The day they became a couple was the same day that his faith in being in an intimate relationship with her was solidified. Never once had it crossed his mind that they would fall apart. Not even last night when he'd been seething with fury or even this morning when he realized how much they had hurt each other.
They always worked well together.
Just as he pulled away, Natsu left an impish grin on her lips as he stole the ring off her finger and abruptly slid out from under her, leaving the celestial spirit mage looking dumbfounded and falling back onto the bench with a thump. Grinning, the fire mage held out the ring between his index finger and thumb standing in front of her, taunting her.
"You want it back? You'd better come get it."
Lucy glared at her boyfriend as she got to her feet, rubbing her sore butt as a result of the male dumping her back onto the bench with absolutely no warning at all. Sometimes she wondered how he could go from being so devoutly sweet, kissing her so passionately, to turning back into that immature idiot that just wanted to have fun. Of course, it didn't really help that that was one of the reasons she loved him. It was hard not to fall for every side of Natsu when he didn't even know what falsity was. He'd always been open to her to read, and besides the blatant disregard for massive destruction, she'd been attracted to every bit of him from the moment they'd met. Maybe it hadn't been a romantic attraction, but the blonde knew that had their meeting been under entirely different circumstances, she still would have been drawn to him. She supposed it was fine if he acted like a moron from time to time.
After all, she kind of liked to act like a moron sometimes too.
"Give it back," she huffed, pouting more than anything.
"Come on, you know that look isn't gunna work on me," Natsu shot back as he continued to hold her favourite piece of jewellery out, dangling it like bait.
There was a feeling of content thrumming down her body, even if she was a little annoyed. Having such a horrible fight followed by a serious talk was mentally exhausting, and it was kind of nice to have some normalcy in her day again. Determinedly, Lucy grabbed at the ring, but Natsu quickly move his hand out of the way. She lunged again and the rose-haired male simply tossed the ring into his left hand, waving his arm high in the air. Her attempt to get to the ring was almost pathetic (and probably was really pathetic looking) as she stood on her tip-toes, knowing all the while she'd never reach it.
Suddenly, he gripped her wrist and returned the ring to its proper place on her finger.
On her left hand.
Stepping back and pulling her arms close to her body, Lucy looked from her hand to him, then back to her hand and then to him again. There was a ring on her left hand. There was a ring on her left hand on her ring finger. And Natsu had put it there.
"W-what?" she rasped out in a weak voice, her question swiftly disappearing into the wind.
He smiled. "I just thought it might look better there, don't you think?"
Lucy wasn't sure if her brain could handle this, frozen in the process of trying to figure out just what was going on. It was the emotion that came first, so warm and overpowering that she felt tears burning in her eyes before she even knew it was happening. That smile of reassurance told her that Natsu knew exactly what he was doing and exactly what this all meant. Only a moment after realizing this did her chest explode into a muddled combination of euphoria, shock, and undeniable love.
And then she was just a girl that was sobbing so hard and smiling so much that she was certain she was a disastrous sight, but it was alright when only Natsu was around to see it.
"Y-yes," she whispered, drawing herself to his chest. "Yes…"
He squeezed her so tightly that amongst her choked up tears and runny nose, she could hardly breathe as he lifted her off her feet, but all the celestial spirit mage could do was laugh tearfully at Natsu's overjoyed reaction when he put her down. She'd been dreaming about escaping her life of solitude ever since she was a child, wishing for the day where she would find where she belonged and fall in love and live in happiness. Book after book after book and still it was never enough. Now, though, she could see that what she'd been yearning for was never out of reach.
Fairy Tail was her family, Natsu was her home, and Lucy thought that maybe she'd really just been living her dream all along.
The End. Thank you for reading.