For Hannah. I'm a day late, but it's here. Also, this MAY be continued because there IS a plot here. I just need to get my head together to come back to it. So until then, it'll be under 'complete'. And thank you to Emily for helping me out A LOT.
Happy late birthday, Hannah!

bambi eyes

She doesn't need keys to get inside his house; Lucy opens the wooden-fence's door and slips into the side of his house, walking up the walkway that leads to the sliding glass doors on the second floor.

She wraps her arms around herself to keep herself together; it's the only thing she thinks she could do or she'd fall apart. Her steps are uneven, her shoulders shake and she pretends for a minute that it's because she is cold and not because there are sobs piling up at the hollow of her throat and threatening to spill.

And—and Lucy doesn't think she wants them to spill; god she doesn't want them to spill.

She slides the door open and slips inside.

Stupid, she thinks. He's so stupid for leaving it open and she sort of thinks he does it on purpose and she wants to hate him but—but Gray is the one person she thinks she could ever hate. She takes a shallow breath and slips her sneakers off, her jacket follows and she tries to find his bed in the darkness.

And when she does, she slips under the covers and curls into herself and refuses to cry. She doesn't think he's noticed her presence; Gray is such a heavy sleeper, he could sleep through the world's end and not realize he's dying. She scoots closer in search of his warmth and she all but gasps as she brushes his bare side.

Lucy stills as he shifts and remembers how to breathe a second later.

In the darkness, she tries to paint him.

Dark hair messy with his endless shifting in position, dark blue eyes closed with lids too heavy with sleep to keep open, lips in a soft frown, scar still so visible even under his unruly forelocks… So Gray… So very Gray.

She doesn't realize she's tracing the outline of his jaw until she feels eyes on her—eyes she cannot see in the dark.

"Luce…?"

She smiles at his voice, heavy and thick with sleep.

"Hi Gray," she whispers, throat constricting and eyes stinging. "I—I just…"

"S'wrong," he drawls, scooting closer and lifting his head up.

"I—no, I'm fine."

It is quiet and she assumes he's fallen asleep. She smiles even as tears blur her vision.

"No you ain't," he says, more alert. "What's wrong?"

And Lucy only wraps her arms around him, finds the crook of his neck and allows her sobs to escape and her shoulders to shake with exhaustion. She allows herself to cry and knows it is okay because Gray wouldn't really say a thing about it afterwards.

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"So he jus' left," he demands, later that day. The sky is bright and the air is still cool and Lucy sits on his barstool wearing his sweatpants and his shirt. "Jus' left like that. Like nothing—with nothing… N—god fuckin' damnit, kid. God fuckin' damnit."

She stares down at the ground, hands clasped in her lap, lost in rolls of the clothes that fit her too big. Lucy bites her lip, relishing on the hole inside her chest that made her feel so empty and almost lost; it was almost pathetic. She sighs and nods her head, listening to the back door open and assuming Gray went out to take a smoke to cool off.

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They do not speak about it after that.

Sometimes, he'd catch her crying, sometimes, she'd curl up next to him and cry freely. But Gray never said a thing and she did not initiate a conversation. The days passed by in shades of gray, monochromatic with little to no events and with Gray leaving and coming from work or whatever else he chose to do on his spare time.

Lucy slept in his bed, with him; when she needed it, he'd throw an arm around her waist or even a leg over her own legs, to make her feel safe and secure. And Lucy appreciates it—appreciates him, because he doesn't really have to… Do this for her, that is. He doesn't have to house her, subconsciously mend her broken heart back together.

And when it happens, she supposes it caught them both off by surprise.

It happens when she is in his (their) room, in a towel and trying to find something of his she could wear. Because living inside Gray's clothes was comfort at its best. Gray was out doing his own thing and returns a little sooner than Lucy has expected. And honestly Lucy didn't blame him.

It's his house.

So he barges in like nothing and catches her with her towel on the ground and naked as a jay bird.

They both take a little longer than normal to react.

She stares at him as he stared at her—his eyes scanning her body and eliciting goose-bumps on her flesh.

He slams the door when it makes sense.

And that night, when they both crawl into bed, his touch on her skin is scorching—cold hands on her too hot body. And it's sweet torture and Lucy is lost—completely lost in the scent of smoke, gas and soap.

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That is when everything starts.

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By Christmas, they are in a somewhat relationship.

He kisses the corner of her lips when he leaves and she kisses his lips, fully, when he returns. She smacks his hands when he goes into his habit of biting his nails and he scoffs and turns the TV off when an overly tragic novella starts to play. Sometimes, they shower together and sometimes they even argue and fight and she doesn't see him until midnight, when he crawls into bed with the taste of alcohol in his tongue and the scent of cigarette smokes on his skin.

Lucy believes she is happy.

She laughs at his inability to make anything other than rice and he rolls his eyes at her inability to drive.

Gray is quiet and she appreciates that; he does not poke and prod and though he may care, he shows otherwise. He has his moments where he is consumed by his demons and his darkness and she… She loves him, god, how she loves him.

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"Somethin' smells good," he drawls, one day, as he steps into the house.

He's already taking his shirt off, throwing it around, carelessly, and unbuckling his jeans. He is covered in grease and the fairy-tattoo on his chest gleams against the darkness of the grease and the paleness of his skin. Lucy pokes her head out and smiles at him, warmly, flailing towards him and jumping onto her tippy toes to press her lips against his.

"I'm making tempura," she says, winking.

She watches Gray's eyes gleam and she all but laughs, running back into the kitchen and demanding he cleans up.

He walks into the kitchen just as she finishes their dinner up, he's wearing dark jeans and nothing more, his hair is damp and messy and his dark blue eyes gleam under his lashes as he smirks. Lucy throws her head back and laughs just because she can and they eat dinner with stories of work at the car shop and a day at the mall with Erza and Levy.

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Life is okay, Lucy decides.

She is okay.

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It isn't until half way into what would be their second year together that she receives a call.

Her heart skips a beat at the familiar voice that slithers into her ear and she pretends the gooseflesh on her arms, and the hairs standing on end at the back of her neck, are of anger and not the unconditional love she's felt for this man for what would be years and years and years.

She tries to hang up.

But she isn't strong enough.

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"Che?" He stares at her as he stands by the door, grease smeared on his cheek and his arms and his white t-shirt. His eyebrow is raised and she studies how his scar crinkles as he does so. "Why're you so pale?"

Lucy swallows and shakes her head, smiling at him and waving him over. "Get cleaned up, stupid, so we can eat—I got lazy and made sandwiches, only."

Gray scoffs and rolls his eyes, taking his shirt off as he went. "Fine by me."

As he disappears to shower and redress, Lucy leans against the wall that leads into the kitchen, teeth worrying at her lower lip and eyes shimmering with unshed tears threatening to fall. Her heart rams against her ribcage and, fuck, how it hurts—how everything hurts from the farthest corner of her mind to her very toes. Everything hurts.

Everything is confusing.

Lucy closes her eyes and takes a deep breath.

"Luce?"

She looks up at him, watching as he looms over her, his brow furrowed and his blue eyes looking darker than night. "'sup, kid?"

And she smiles, shaking her head and leading him to the kitchen.

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She loves Gray.

She knows she does.

She met him through Erza and he was all tall, dark and dangerous; with haughty smirks and sharpness in his eyes. With grease under his fingernails and a dozen of demons in his mind; he rode a motorcycle and wore a leather jacket, messy hair and a tattoo on his chest. He was danger and silence personified and she loved him.

But…

She loved Natsu more.

And she hated herself for admitting it—for still feeling this way even after what happened almost two years ago; where he left her without a word, broken hearted and alone. But she loved him, she truly loved him.

And that is why she goes to see him.

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He looks much older.

Pink hair longer and messier, black eyes more controlled, lips tilted downwards.

Lucy holds him, closes her eyes and holds him—breathes him in and keeps him inside as a memory.

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She does not return home that night.

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Gray does not say anything about it for days and it pains Lucy.

Upon returning the day after she went missing, she showered for three hours, washing her body and washing her body and crying because she feels stupid. Stupid for loving Natsu, stupid for hurting Gray, stupid for betraying herself—stupid, stupid, stupid. But Gray never mentioned a thing, he readied himself for work and left, smiling at her—smiling at the wrong time and shattering her from the inside out.

Lucy cries for days and sleeps at the edge of the bed, recoiling from his touch.

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But it happens more than once.

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It happens twice.

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Thrice.

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Until she cannot take it anymore and she screams.

She screams as she sits on the couch and he arrives home, his shirt half off and his jeans riding low on his hips. She screams until her throat goes raw and she screams some more, after that too. And Lucy continues to scream even as Gray walks towards her, sits next to her and wraps her in his arms, staining her with grease and allowing the smell of smoke to engulf her in such a familiar way that it almost hurts.

"I'm sorry," she sobs, "I'm so sorry—I shouldn't—but—I'm sorry—I shouldn't do it but—god, Gray, I'm so sorry. So sorry, so sorry, so sorry."

Gray hushes her and says nothing. His eyes are downcast, lashes shadowing his cheekbones and he says nothing.

She falls asleep in his arms and isn't conscious to realize he stays awake and watches her.

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Months pass and Lucy decides she cannot do this to him any longer.

So she leaves.

She packs while he is at work and waits for him to arrive because saying goodbye is the least she could do after all she's put him through—after all he has done for her. She waits for him with tears in her eyes and lips raw from biting and when his eyes land on her, his shirt already off and in his hands, he gets it.

And he says nothing.

Lucy walks to him and wraps her arms around his waist. Crying and apologizing because she knows nothing else—because she cannot do nothing else because everything he deserves she cannot give him.

He does not hug her back and when she leaves, he is not around.

Lucy's heart breaks and she gasps a sob at the feeling—so much stronger than the first. She closes her eyes and admits she hates herself.

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Gray locks the doors.