Can you people BELIEVE how long it took me to finish this 2,450 word chapter?! Stupid school! Getting in the way of my chapter updates!
Well, this is just an alternate ending anyway, so I guess you guys didn't mind, right?
Lucy sighed and stepped back to observe her work. She was currently at the outskirts of Magnolia, working on the gravestone of her friends. Her team had wanted to help her out, but she told them that it'll be more special if she did it herself.
She stared at the gravestone with the names of the SSS carved on it and sat down.
"Thanks guys . . . for everything." she said, smiling sadly as a soft wind blew through the clearing. "I owe you guys a lot . . . I only wish that you could be here with me right now. We would've all been so happy."
There was a silence as she continued to stare at the grave.
"Gotta say, you did a good job. Have you done this sort of thing before?"
Lucy flinched when she heard that oh-so familiar voice and whipped her head around only to see a shadow . . . Aeschylus' shadow . . . Artemis!
"A-Artemis! You're alive!" Lucy cried out, tears filling her eyes.
"Of course I am." she scoffed. "Those souls only destroyed the physical body of the ones who carry the burden. And as you can see, I'm a shadow. I don't have a physical body."
"I'm so glad . . ." Lucy muttered to herself. "At the very least . . . you're safe. Thank goodness . . ."
"Yeah . . ." Artemis said, and the blonde noticed that her eyes narrowed a bit. "A shame that I can't stay . . ."
The smile on Lucy's face immediately disappeared and her eyes widened. "H . . . huh?"
"I'm sorry but . . . Even though it actually hurts me to say this but . . ." Artemis trailed off, avoiding eye contact and seemingly unsure of what to say.
"I . . . only came here to say good bye."
Lucy felt her knees weaken and only stared at her friend with her eyes filled with hurt. "You . . . you too? You're leaving me . . ?"
"Adora . . . Look, I'm sorry. I really don't want to leave you, but . . ." a sigh was heard. "Dammit, you know I'm not good at these sort of stuff! Look, I'm sorry, okay? But it's not like I want to leave! It's just that . . ."
There was a silence afterwards.
"Where . . ?"
"Lucy . . .please. You know I can't answer that." the shadow sighed and there was another pause.
"Will you ever come back?" Lucy asked, tears forming at the corner of her eyes. "Will I . . . will I ever see you again?"
". . ." Artemis sighed before answering her in a surprisingly soft voice filled with care. "Of course. Just . . . wait for me, okay?"
Lucy paused for a moment before looking up to the shadow with a smile and nodding. "Okay . . . You know where I am, and you know I'm not going anywhere."
"Understandable." Artemis chuckled. "With the life you're living now . . . there's no one in the world who would want it any other way."
"It could have been better though . . ." Lucy muttered.
"Take care of yourself, okay?"
"You too. And don't forget about me." Lucy said. "I'll be waiting for you, no matter how long it takes . . ."
Artemis chuckled and Lucy noticed that she was slowly disappearing. "Idiot . . . how could I ever forget you?"
"I'll always be waiting!" Lucy called out to her friend frantically, seeing that she was almost gone. "No matter how long it takes, I'll wait for the day you come back!"
Artemis chuckled. "This isn't good bye. Just . . . see you later." and with that the shadow disappeared, leaving the blonde behind. Lucy's knees grew weak and she fell to the ground with tears forming in her eyes. But even so, a smile still managed to find its way to her face since she knew, for a fact, that one of her friends is still alive. And someday, she'll come back for her.
She just had to wait
Meanwhile, a man was standing on a cliff a distance away from where Lucy stood. The man wore a cloak with a hood that hid his face completely, but the obvious fact remains that he was certainly staring at the celestial mage.
"Dammit, why did I have to be the one to go and say good bye to her?!" Artemis said, appearing right next to the man. "I'm horrible at goodbyes, you should know that!"
"Shut up, we both know well that I can't do it." the man scoffed. Artemis could only sigh and cross her arms. The man then walked away from the cliff and the shadow spoke.
"Well then, now that that's done and over with, what do you plan on doing?" she asked, and the wind blew making the man's hood fall off his head. Revealing dark brown hair and a very familiar face that was wrapped in bandages. "Huh, Kazuki?"
"How should I know?" Kazuki shrugged.
If Artemis had any veins on her head, they'd be popping right now. "WHAT?" You mean you didn't even think this through?!"
"Do I look like a guy with a plan?" he asked with a blank expression, the shadow felt like hitting him right then and there. "Look, I just think we should go on a journey."
"A journey?" Artmis sounded confused.
"Yeah, I mean we've been trapped in a castle for years and we never even really got the chance to see the sky until some time ago." he explained. "It's a big world after all. And we've barely seen any of it."
"So what? You're saying you want to go on an adventure?"
"Something like that, yeah." Kazuki grinned. Artemis looked at him incredulously before sighing.
"Well, at least you're back to your happy-go-lucky self . . ."
"Yeah, I almost forgot how nice it feels to not have a care in the world. Yep, life is definitely easier if you don't give a damn."Kazuki whistled and headed off to a random direction he picked. "Well then, let's go."
"I was getting worried that you might have turned into someone like Addei. And I do not want to hang out with some dude who takes everything way too seriously and doesn't know how to have any fun."
"Well, don't get used to it. We're about to take on the world. You should know that it won't be all fun and games when that happens."
"You sure have matured . . ." Artemis chuckled. "I guess that's what happens to idiots who fall in love."
There was a silence as a frown settled in Kazuki's face. Artemis got in front of him and looked at him with great seriousness.
"Why didn't you tell her you were alive? I'm sure she'll be really happy to know that."
The shadow was only answered with silence, so she only sighed in defeat as she continued on following the man. A few moments later . . .
"It's a miracle, isn't it?" Kazuki said, making Artemis blink at him in confusion. "I shouldn't even be alive right now. That spell was supposed to have destroyed my body."
"You got lucky." she deadpanned. "You were already in the verge of death that time, but before those vengeful souls could finish you off, the spell had been completed and the curse was lifted. So all the souls disappeared and you, instead of being killed, were transported to a faraway place. And that place happened to be a small village in Fiore, not anywhere close to Magnolia though."
Kazuki remained silent as Artemis explained what had happened, recalling almost nothing after jumping into the endless pit of darkness.
"You managed to survive, but barely. You were bleeding all over and your physical body had almost been destroyed, along with your internal organs. You would've died if that village hadn't had an amazing doctor who managed to heal you miraculously." she continued on. "Although the guy managed to put you in a somewhat stable condition in a matter of weeks, he couldn't heal you completely. Some of your organs had to be replaced and he practically had to stitch you back together. But it still doesn't mean that you're safe from danger. If you push yourself too hard, you could die, you know. So you ought to take it easy."
"Oh? What's this? Are you actually concerned about me?" Kazuki smirked.
"Shut up! It's your fault for being so careless! You shouldn't even be up and walking yet! That sort of stuff doesn't heal until a few months! You should be staying in bed, but nooo . . . you just had to get up and drag your ass here just to make me say good bye to Lucy! I could've just gone alone, you know!"
"Oh come on, you would've done the same if you were told by your shadow-friend, whom you assumed has already died, that you were in Fiore. Seriously though, I was really surprised to see you." Kazuki smirked.
"Yeah well, I've been regretting the fact that I told you where you were." she sighed. "In any case, you've been really lucky. I didn't even know you were alive and was just making may way to Magnolia to see Lucy but got myself lost and ended up in the village you were in. Once I got there, I sensed you almost immediately. I was pretty damn surprised too. But I didn't rush things and made you go to Magnolia while you were still healing, did I?"
"Yeah yeah, whatever." Kazuki sighed. "But still . . . doesn't it give you hope?"
"Hope?" Artemis asked in a confused tone.
"I survived." Kazuki smiled as he stopped walking and stared up at the sky. "That day . . . I was supposed to die but for some reason I'm right here, still alive and free . . . so, don't you think there's a possibility that the others are alive as well?"
Artemis scoffed. "I doubt it, something like that's just plain impossible."
"And the very fact that I'm standing here is an impossibility itself, isn't it?"
". . . Just don't get your hopes up. You'll only end up being disappointed. Just know this." Artemis got ahead of Kazuki and stood in front of the man and spoke with a gentle tone. "You're incredibly lucky to be alive right now, and you should be happy too. So don't waste it."
The man smiled sadly as she continued on. "You should live your life without regrets and find happiness. You should treasure the life your friends weren't able to have and live on in their place."
The man took a deep breath and sighed, the smile not leaving his face. But there was a certain emotion that can be seen in his eyes, but Artemis couldn't be sure what it was. So the shadow only continued to stare at the man.
"I know that . . . I've been given a chance to start over, to forget the life I once lived and maybe even repent for all of my sins." Kazuki continued.
"As well as the chance to be with the one you love so dear." Artemis said, and the smile was immediately replaced with a frown.
"That's just it." he said. "It's true that . . . I love Lucy, but I just can't bear to face her right now."
". . ." Kazuki sighed and continued walking again. "I . . . want to start a new life."
"Huh?" Artemis blinked at him. "What are you talking about?"
"From the moment I was transported to that village, I was reborn. So I'm going to do my best to become a new person." he explained.
"What? I don't get it." she grumbled. "You're not making any sense, you know."
Kazuki only grinned.
"Yeah, I really love him. And . . . I miss him so much." she said as she looked at the sky and wind blew past them. Sadness was visible in the eyes of both of them. "I wish I could see him again real soon . . ."
Kazuki couldn't help but smile at her and gave her a pat on the head. "Don't worry. I have a feeling that you'll see him real soon."
Lucy only nodded, and before she knew it, Kazuki cupped her face and gently brought it close to his. Lucy blinked in confusion, but the blushed in embarrassment while Kazuki just stared at her. He felt a mixture of sadness, hurt and there was also a bit of happiness for some reason. For some reason, Lucy was happy just by the thought of Natsu alone. And if she was happy, he could bring himself to be happy for her.
"K-Kazuki-san? I-Is there s-something wrong?" she asked, still blushing at the closeness of their faces but he only smiled at her.
"You really do care about him, huh? Even though you've been apart for quite some time, you still haven't given up on him." Kazuki said.
"Wh-what are you going on about?" she asked nervously. "You've been acting weird. And so are the others!"
"It can't be helped I guess . . ." he sighed, ignoring everything she said. "For now, I'll let the two of you have this life."
Lucy blinked, not understanding what he said. But her eyes widened as she was brought into a tight embrace.
"But . . . in our next life . . . if we ever meet again in the next life." Kazuki sighed. "I'll definitely make you fall for me then."
"I'm going to start a new life." Kazuki said. "So when we meet again, I'll be sure not to lose to Dragneel."
The man grinned and his companion only stared at him before sighing. "Well, whatever. Let's just go."
"Right! Let's go look for an adventure!" the man grinned, his mood changing completely.
"Geez, I have to be your shadow?! I'd rather be back to being Aeschylus'!"
"Well too bad!" he laughed.
Just wait for me, Lucy . . .
I won't give up that easily anymore. I'll give Dragneel until the end of my journey, if he still hasn't claimed you then I will.
And I suppose if he already has . . . then, I'll just have to do something about it.
But until then . . .
Don't forget about me, Artemis, the rest of the SSS or any the memories we had together.
Because me, as well as Artemis, won't forget about you.
How could I, when you're always in my mind?
I hope you guys enjoyed Love and Sins! This story is one of the first ones I ever written in this site! I completely didn't expect this to go so far and to be so popular! So I want to give you all my thanks for supporting this story. You guys are the best. Please continue to support all my other stories, and I'll try to make even better ones. And I really hope you guys liked this alternate ending.
So, for one last time, PLEASE REVIEW ~ !
~ RnR ~ !
~ RnR ~ !