Minutes by HawkofNavarre

Three years, six months and seventeen days.

That was how long she and Natsu had been together. It was hard to believe how utterly euphoric Lucy had been during these days, but in the end, nobody ever had a chance to make her happier than the man who had changed her life. He was the idiot she couldn't stop herself from falling for and she was the bookworm that he failed to comprehend. Somehow, they were perfect together.

Today, however, was different. They were so far apart. Lucy stood in the open doorway of their room with her arms crossed, glaring at the form laying the bed across from her. She was damn pissed right now and nothing was going to heal her.

"You could've at least said 'good night,'" the celestial spirit mage spat scornfully. "You must really be full of it if you think I won't punish you."

Natsu's figure didn't move an inch, irritating the blonde even further. "We both know you're not sleeping," she hissed, stomping a foot, but he still remained immobile.

"Just say something!" Lucy shouted at him, now as angry as ever as she stepped into the room. "You owe it to me to just say something!"

But he didn't and she broke, collapsing to the floor with an anguished wail. Rage quickly melted away into hurt as she covered her face in her hands, tears rushing down her cheeks relentlessly. She'd been holding in so much pain until now, and still he couldn't say a thing.

Instead, the fragile blonde found herself wrapped in his arms. He kissed her head as she cried, weaving his fingers through her hair as he did so. He pulled back and planted a kiss in the palm of her hand, then one on her neck, one on her chin, and one on her tear-streaked lips. He lifted his hands, thumbs wiping away the sadness from her eyes.

Part of her hoped that watching her was killing him inside; she wanted him to know how this was tearing away at every piece of her. The other part of her only wanted to stay there crying in his embrace forever. It was bitter, but she could reach out for him and know he was there, and in this moment, that was all that really mattered.

Their eyes connected for a moment and her heart throbbed before she pulled Natsu closer. "I wish…you didn't have to go," Lucy whispered brokenly, laying her head on his shoulder. She felt sick and it definitely wasn't because of the morning sickness.

"You know I have to," Natsu responded quietly because it was all he could say.

"I know you have to…" the female mage agreed. She realized that though she was the love of his life, Igneel was just as important.

Neither of them said a thing for a very long time, basking in the feeling of each other's presence for as long as they could. The night was too short. Every second that ticked by was life from her body. There wasn't enough time and there never would be.

"I want to go with you," she told him, feeling the injustice of the situation.

His reply was as simple as the first one. "You know why you can't."

"I know why I can't," Lucy answered miserably. She placed her hands on her abdomen, unsure of whether or not she was more thankful or spiteful about the life inside of her. "And you know why you have to live."

"You don't think I will?"

"Natsu," the distraught mage started harshly, "last time you went there, I almost lost you. We almost lost you."

He held her closer. "I'm sorry."

"Just…promise me, promise me you'll come back to me," she begged him desperately.

"I love you, stupid," Natsu replied, voice breaking as his arms encircled her as tightly as they could without hurting her, "how could I leave you?"

And she began to cry all over again because he hadn't promised. He couldn't and this she knew too. Instead, he kissed her again, needing this moment just as much as she did. The taste, the feel and the love of the other was all they wanted to remember, so the door to the room closed and didn't open until the sun rose in the sky.

Lucy awoke naked amongst the sheets of her bed, wiping her stiff eyes and rolling over to go back to sleep for a little longer. She extended her arm over to her husband's side of the bed to grab his hand but found nobody was there. Her fingers enclosed around something else entirely.

She sat up, dumbfounded as she stared at the scaly white scarf in her grasp. How many memories had they created together with this scarf? How many did it hold without her? There was Igneel and his childhood. There was becoming a part of Fairy Tail. There was finding Happy's egg with Lisanna. There was Happy's birth.

There…was the day Natsu met her and she joined the guild that became her family. There were all the times that she fought beside him, won or lost. There were all the times she watched and admired his strength in battle. There was…every moment that made her love him more and every moment he found himself loving her back. Every hug, kiss, and touch was in that scarf. Every memory was in that scarf.

Memories…he'd left behind.

The summoner pulled her knees up to her chest, clutching the garment against her heart as she shook uncontrollably. She didn't refuse the tears that came, nor did she move from the bittersweet bed where she sat.

Three years, six months and eighteen days. No more, no less and never enough.