Bitterness

Lucy choked around a laugh. "You're kidding, right?" Looking from face to face in the small group gathered around her, her smile began to die and her eyes widened. "You're kidding, right?" she asked again, a hint of hysteria painting her voice.

In front of her Gray looked away with a small frown, a hand coming up to rub the back of his head. Natsu shuffled his feet and looked down at the floor. Erza kept her gaze strong and steady with Lucy's.

Lucy bit her lip and looked away, a bitter laugh bubbling up.

"So that's it? You're done with me just like that, huh?"

Natsu's head snapped up and his eyes narrowed at her words. Stepping forward, he took her hands in his and made her look at him. "No, that's not what we're saying at all! We just…" he dropped her hands and had to look away from her gaze; her hopeful, pleading eyes.

When she saw that Natsu wouldn't be able to finish what he was saying, Erza stepped forward, her face an emotionless mask that she had perfected through years of battles and haunting memories. "We just think it's best for everyone involved."

"Best?" at her words, Lucy's eyes snapped to her and her lips pulled back in a tame snarl, her face flushing in anger. "Best for who? Best for Lisanna? Best for you? Who is it best for, Erza? Because from where I stand, this doesn't seem like its best for anyone but you right now."

Erza's eyes sharpened and she frowned. "Stop it, Lucy. Don't make this more difficult than it has to be."

Lucy stepped back and chuckled bitterly, her hands fisting at her sides as she fought the tears, the sense of betrayal. "Oh, I am so sorry for making this more difficult. I'm sorry that it hurts that my own team is ditching me. I'm sorry if I feel a little bit bitter that all those times of blood, sweat and tears that we shared over the years, mean nothing when she shows up! I'm so sorry that I ever gave a shit," she bit out darkly.

At her language, Natsu's head snapped up and his eyes widened. He had never known Lucy to curse in all his time knowing her. He had seen her cry, scream, bleed, but never, never had he heard her curse. And never before had he seen such hurt and betrayal in her brown eyes. He felt his heart twist painfully but forced himself to stay. After all, he was the one who proposed this idea to tell Lucy that they didn't need her anymore, that she should go off on her own and train to get better.

Don't sugar coat it, a voice bit out that sounded suspiciously like Lucy in his mind, You're leaving her just because Lisanna came back. Don't pretend it's anything else.

"Fine," Lucy said finally, after a heavy silence had fallen over the group. She took a step back and held up her hands, her lips pressed tightly together to keep herself from letting the tears through. She had to swallow around a thick knot in lodged in her throat and felt her eyes burn bitterly.

Don't you dare, Lucy, she told herself. Don't you dare cry in front of them.

"I'll just leave you guys alone. I'll save you from my horrible, weak presence. Have fun on the mission guys."

Scowling, Lucy tried to stride past them, toward her apartment where she could break down, face the pain that was churning bitterly in her stomach like lead. But she would be damned if she broke down in front of them. They didn't deserve to know just how much their rejection, no their betrayal, tore her to shreds and left nothing but bitterness, horrible bitterness in its wake.

As she passed Natsu, he laid a heavy, warm hand on her shoulder and made her freeze. At his touch, she had to close her eyes on a tidal wave of pain that racked through her heart at the feel of his heat.

God, how could they do this to her? After everything they had been through?

"Lucy, please," his voice said next to her, a touch of desperation laced into its tones. Her hands fisted at her sides as she fought to keep herself in control of her emotions. "Please, don't hate us for this. Please don't leave us because of this."

She stiffened in his hold and her head snapped up. His eyes widened in alarm when she whipped her head in his direction and he felt a sharp stab of pain when he saw the tears the fell soundlessly from her angry eyes. "If I'm not mistaken, Natsu," she spat out his name like it tasted foul on her tongue. "I'm not the one doing the leaving." She looked away and jerked her shoulder out of his grasp. "Good luck on your mission, guys. I hope it was worth it."

With that she strode from them and out of the guild, the heavy wooden doors slamming shut loudly behind her. Natsu winced at the sound and couldn't help but feel as though the sound punctuated the loss of something he would never get back.

No one knew that would be the last time any of them would ever see Lucy Heartfillia again.


(AN: Now, don't get me wrong. I would NEVER think that they would actually do this to Lucy and I like Lisanna fine, but I just got so sick of reading all these stories with Lucy getting dumped and she just left quietly. Honestly, I don't think she would. This is just my idea of what would happen if they did abandon her. But then again, I get angry thinking about it, so that might have made my take on it a little bit biased. Oh well. I'm sorry if you totally hated it, but I had to write it. And I'm not entirely sure where I'm going with it, or if I want to continue it. If you have any ideas, please tell me, I'm open to all suggestions! I regret nothing. I hope you liked it.)

Jane