A/N: So.

This isn't a massive chapter like a promised, but there's a reason for this little communication.

You see, my youngest sister suffered a debilitating stroke a few hours ago.

Yes, I have a sister-several in fact-and that really happened.

Suffice to say I'm dealing with the fallout of it all. I don't want to delve into the more personal details, no will I mention her name or age for the sake of her privacy, but as for me? It freaked me the fuck out. That shit really messed with my head in a way I can't even begin to properly explain. Not to mention the entire time she was laughing/crying hysterically, begging me to help. She's just a kid! I was right there, and I couldn't do anything but call 911, hold her hand and tell her everything would be alright while she passed out, woke up, and passed out again.

Multiple times, in fact.

I've never felt so bloody powerless in my life and I hated my self for every moment of it. She seems to be alright for now, but the doctors don't rightly know what caused it or what went wrong with her...we just don't know what'll happen next. Its got me going out of my fucking MIND! T_T

Sorry for putting a damper on things, but I just wanted to get that out there so you guys and gals know what's going on. You might not hear from me for a couple of days-for good reason!-but I just wanted to let everyone know WHY for that matter. I'll provide updates on her health as they come.

Here's a little interlude of what I had written thus far before her attack.

Hope its enough to tide you all over for the time being.

Thank you for your patience in this matter.

Regards,

~Nz

Also, some liberties are taken below in regards to Jude Heartfilia.

Why? Because he's a right and proper JERK to everyone.

And in my opinion, that arse has this coming.

"I can offer you fame, wealth, power! Just let me go!"

"No, no, no. Naruto's not here right now. Bribery doesn't work on me."

"Then what will?! You can have anything! Anything at all! Please! I beg of you!"

"And what if I want your head on a spike, hmm? Ever consider that? No? I didn't think so."

"How can you be so loyal?! This is preposterous! She sees you as nothing more than a lap dog! Surely you realize this?!"

"There's nothing to realize. She is My Noble Mistress. Now and forever. Against that, any argument of yours is invalid. Now, do hold still old chap...

~Jude and Hell's Butler.

Her Butler, Interlude

Something was wrong.

Jude Heartfilia couldn't quite put his finger on it, but there it was. The sense that he'd forgotten something in the storm, looming over him as he sorted through the last of his papers for the evening. A whisper of unease, a serpent of doubt suggesting he'd overlooked someone, or something. Sheer folly, of course. There was nothing to overlook. Phantom Lord would do as he'd paid them to do; Lucy would be returned to him on the morrow. Jose's letter had said as much. No one could ever hope to stand up to that guild. Not Fairy Tail and certainly not that fool butler his daughter paraded around like some overzealous bodyguard. Just like her mother in that regard. Well, now all would be as it should've been back then.

There was no reason to think otherwise.

With his daughter safe return he would marry her off to one of the many suitors seeking her hand, thus ensuring the Heartfilia line and fortune for decades to come. No doubt the girl would forgive him in time once she'd a child or two. Yes, she would realize the blessings he'd given her, see error of her ways, and that would be that. For the last year Jude meticulously pulled Jose's strings for that very purpose-stoking the flames of the man's ire in false sweetness, orchestrating a war for the sole purpose of drawing Lucy back into his grasp.

And yet this paranoia persisted!

For some inane reason, he just couldn't seem to shake it!

Realizing he'd get no work done in such a foul mood, the head of the Heartfilia family wearily relented and rose from behind his desk with a sigh. Odd. Had his office always felt so...empty? Outside the storm raged against the manor with renewed might, rain relentlessly battering the windows as the wind howled. The thought drew a satisfied sneer to his face. Ha! As if nature could possibly breach his sanctum. The Heartfilia family had stood through far worse, and thanks to him, they would continue to endure long into the-

The lights went out.

An intense flash of lightning lit up the night with unexpected ferocity; a white-purple bolt splitting the clouds to momentarily render Jude blind as his entire world plunged into darkness. The harsh peal of thunder that soon followed all but left him deaf, ears ringing like a thousand drummers had beat against his head. With a startled snarl he reeled in the dark for light, fumbling atop the mahogany surface of his desk for a candle. Seizing the brass holder he plucked a match from the drawer an' ignited it, offering a faint light to his surroundings.

He immediately wished he hadn't.

Red eyes blazed out at him.

"Hello, old friend."

For a brief instant, Jude's brain actually stopped working. Rather, it rejected reality so utterly that he simply didn't think. Couldn't bring himself to comprehend the sight of the blond standing before him, eyes like bloody scarlet slits searing out at him from the dark. No. No, he was dead! Jose's letter! It said so! Never once did it occur to him that said letter might have been forged; falsified to lull him into an equally false sense of security so that he might not attempt to flee. His brief scream subsequently itself strangled as the ninja's hand closed around his face, forcing him back into his chair in the same instant that he beheld the entirety of the irked man standing before him.

"Naruto." he croaked out. "This isn't...I...you...

"Oh, you remember me!" the whisked warrior purred. "I'm touched."

Lucy's father broke out in a cold sweat.

No, no, no! This was all wrong! It had all gone terribly, horribly wrong!

"Y-You can't possibly think you'll get away with this!" he cried!

"Ah, but I can." Hell's Butler replied eloquently as the door creaked open the door behind them. "Now then, Jude, buddy, pal...

Naruto leaned slowly across the desk and smiled.

It was at this moment that Judge realized...

"Let's go for a little walk."

...he'd fucked up.

A/N: Wow that was fun to write! Will Lucy and Naruto's actions get them banned from Fairy Tail? One can only wonder. But one would need proof of that, no? And yes, I spared Juvia because REASONS. She's just too adorable to kill and she really doesn't deserve it. So Naruto "recruited" her, if you will. Onto another arc next chappy! Soooo...

...Review...Would you Kindly?! And of course, enjoy the preview! Thar be TWO this time! AND THEY BE A RECKONING~!

(Preview)

Naruto grinned.

"I've made up my mind. I'm not going to lose another mistress."

Lucy stiffened.

"Wait, what does that-

A finger thrust itself into her face.

"I'm going to train you." he declared emphatically. "Mentally, physically, everything. Until you have nothing to fear from anyone! Until you can take a hit from me and shrug it off!"

"Is that really a-

"TRAINING BEGINS NOW!"

"Hey! I'm not rea-

"DODGE!"

WHAP!

Naruto sighed.

"Huh. You were right. You weren't ready."


"NA~RU~TO~!"

"Shit. I know that look."

"What's this about you dying?!"

"Oh. Guess you found the journal. Well, that's-

"You can't die! Absolutely not, do you hear?! I forbid it!"

"Ah, Lucy. I suspect you would, if you could. If only it were that simple...

R&R!=D