disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: to Hannah. Happy Christmas! I'm sorry I'm so picky about my pairings. :/
notes: set in a vague sometime-future where Natsu's dead. everything I write seems to lead to sex. whoops.

title: so close
summary: But so far. — Gray/Lucy/Natsu.






"I only have twenty minutes," she whispers into the silence.

The room is near-black, over-adorned, but with a conspicuous lack of flowers and smelling of mold. The empty vase sits on the table, not forgotten but rather ignored. Not even ignored really; purposefully avoided. They'd held daisies, earlier in the day, but the soft white petals and cheerful yellow centers were mocking in the face of everything else.

So she'd thrown them out.

It had felt like a betrayal, but then, what didn't feel like a betrayal?

Lucy stripped her shirt over her head.

"This isn't you," she told the room again, not directing the words at any particular person. It was stupid, she knew—there was only one other person in the room, and he didn't give a fuck either way. "This isn't about you."

Gray chuckles at her ineloquence. "Like you even care, Luce."

Lucy gnashes her teeth and fights the urge to hiss at him. She hates that nickname, hates it down in her core and her lack of clothes suddenly is irrelevant. She doesn't—she's not—this isn't right. It doesn't feel right.

Nothing feels right.

She shakes it off and shoves him against the wall.

"I hate you," she snarls through clenched teeth and shoves him to the wall.

Lucy shudders and bits his lip. Bites it hard enough to bleed and he growls low in his throat in reply. Her fingers scrabble at the button on his pants—she didn't even know where his shirt went but that was nothing new—and his hands on her hips feel all wrong because they're too big, too rough, too cold. The wrong hands.

Always the wrong hands.

She jerks back, shaking her head with sun-gold hair everywhere. "You know—no. I can't. Not again."

She's reaching for her shirt, left rumpled on the floor.

"Where d'you think you're going?"

Lucy sends him a burning look.

"You're not Natsu, Gray. Stop pretending. He's—I—"

He laughs, harsh and sharp and icy. "I'm not the one pretending, Luce. Natsu's dead."

Lucy hits him across the face in reply.

Her palm stings. She will not apologize. She seethes. "Don't—don't ever say that. Ever."

"It's the truth."

She hates that he says it like it's a simple truth.

She spits at his feet and whirls around.

He is not her reason to stay.