Natsu's knees gave out and he sank onto the couch, his expression one of disbelief. No. This couldn't be.
"Could you say that again?" he asked, not sure if he had heard her right.
Lucy, her cheeks streaked with tears, repeated, "I'm going to die, Natsu. The doctor said that I have the same thing that killed my mother and that it isn't a matter of if, but when I'm going to die. He said I have half a year at most."
He ran a shaky hand through his hair, "But…Wendy…?"
Shaking her head sadly, she said, "She already tried, but there isn't anything she can do."
"No!" he said, jumping to his feet. This wasn't something he was just going to accept. His voice rose to a slightly hysterical note, "No, you can't die."
Lucy just shook her head again and stared at the floor, tears streaming down her cheeks even faster than before.
"Stop crying, Lucy! You can't die. Not yet. We'll figure something out," he shouted. He was angry. This wasn't fair. Not to him and definitely not to Lucy who had to be the sweetest person ever. She was the type of person who would save and befriend an enemy. She didn't deserve something like this. "You can't die because I…"
Lucy looked up at him, wiping her tears away and sniffling. Even now, she was trying to stop crying because he told her not to and she didn't want him to be upset. She was so beautiful. It hurt his heart to look at her and know that the doctor had put a time stamp on her that expired soon.
And, he was so stupid. He was in love with her and had been too hesitant to tell her. Even now, he couldn't tell her. Too many reasons to give him doubt. What if she didn't like him that way? Right now was a horrible time to tell her. He couldn't do that to her.
"What?" she asked. "Because what?"
He covered his face with his hand. No, he couldn't say it.
But, Lucy was concerned. She moved closer to him and pulled his hand away to hold it. "Natsu, what is it? What's the matter?"
Natsu tried to avoid her eyes, but she was clever and managed to catch his gaze. As soon as his eyes met hers, he knew he couldn't resist. Impulsively, he leaned forward and kissed her. He expected her to stiffen or to push him away with an angry shout, but instead she kissed him back with a heated passion.
When they both pulled back, she crumpled into his chest with a gut wrenching sob. He held her close as her body wracked with the ugly sobs and couldn't help tearing up himself.
"I've liked you for so long, Natsu," her words were almost indistinguishable and he had to strain to hear what she was saying. "And, now it's too late."
"No, it's not," he said, shaking her a little. Her lips trembled when he tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, "We'll figure something out. Nothing can happen to you when I haven't even had a chance to give you a hundred kisses. I want at least that many. I won't let you go even a moment before then. Let's go talk to Porlyusica! She should know something."
"Okay," she said with a sniff. Then, rubbing her hands across her eyes again, "I wish I could stop crying."
He hugged her tight again, cursing himself for not having done something sooner. They could have had so much time together. But, he would make most of the time he had left with her. Whether it was six months or sixty years.
#1 You Can't Die
(I figure that we will soon find out the circumstances that surround Lucy's mom's death, so it is this particular story's canon that she died from a disease. Yup. Also, if you're wondering where the heck my update is for TNLS, I should be updating soon. Hopefully. Thanks for reading!)