Before anything else, I apologize for the super late update. Again, I have only college and architecture to blame. and probably myself as well for neglecting my writing for a while now. This chapter is not as long as most of you would have probably liked, but I am slowly getting back to it and will be updating more frequently. Enjoy.

Disclaimer: I do not own Fairy Tail

Chapter 7: The Storm

"I'm so stupid!" Sting muttered under his breath as he jumped from one tree to another. The sun was slowly setting, emanating an orange hue. However, dark clouds were closing in on what light was left visible over the horizon line.

He should have been at Lucy's home by now had he taken the train back, but he could not stand to even think about the movement of the train. It made the churning in his stomach even worse than the what the nervousness of seeing Lucy's reaction to his return would be. Shaking his head in frustration, Sting growled under his breath. He should not have even thought of leaving Lucy for Yukino, especially after all that she has done for him.

She was the only to ever understand how he felt when Yukino chose Rogue. She knew exactly how it felt to lose the one person you cared about the most. But now… the realization hit him. There is someone else that could make him feel much stronger than how he ever felt for anyone else. Losing Lucy would ruin him.

He should have realized it sooner, had he not been so blinded by the idea that he still held feelings for Yukino. He should have been there, should have stayed behind to support her. And the possibility that he was going to lose her to his rival, would not leave his head.

Slipping on the now wet branches, Sting cursed. Slowly, he jumped on the ground, and glared at the sky now pouring down heavy rain. The world was against him. The weather would only delay his return. Sighing, he looked out over to the direction of Magnolia, where he hoped, Lucy was still waiting for him.

Chocolate brown orbs looked out the window and into the dark sky. The rain was pouring heavily on the now empty streets of Magnolia. Why she decided to go to the guild so late in the evening was still an unanswered question in her head. For a reason unknown, she felt she needed to be at the guild.

A small sigh of loneliness escaped her as an image of Sting flashed in her mind. She missed him, and a few months of being away from the White Dragon Slayer was enough to make her realize just how much of a cornerstone he was for her.

A flash of lightning followed by a bellowing roll of thunder echoed throughout the walls of the guild. The wind was blowing soundly outside. A few guild members were walking inside for shelter, as well as a gew civilians. The stellar mage noticed just how Natsu and Lisanna seemed to avoid each other, walking into different directions, and sitting on different tables.

Her heart broke, because for a reason she wished would just disappear, she still held feelings for the dragon slayer, and as much as she wished he loved her, even now that the couple before her seemed to be arguing, she knew that it could never be. Natsu was truly in love with Lisanna Strauss, and no matter how confused they all were regarding their current situation, she knew Natsu will never set eyes on anyone else like he does for her.

Looking down on the ground, the celestial spirit mage wiped off the tears that fell from her eyes. She wished so much that Sting was there right now to support her. She knew it was a selfish thought, but what good will it do her to cloud herself in loneliness and sadness, while everyone else was enjoying the world, their life around them?

"Natsu," Lucy's eyes travelled to Lisanna's form, who was approaching the fire dragon slayer with hopeful eyes, "Do you mind walking me back to Fairy Hills? It's quite a storm out there…"

Lucy was not sure why it still pained her to watch his onyx orbs light up to their usual hazel color as his eyes met the take over mage's own. But he quickly looked away and merely nodded to her request. The stellar mage watched as both of them said goodbye to the guild members present, everyone but her.

"Lucy!" The world around her fell into silence at the sound of a familiar voice. Her eyes looked over to the slowly opening guild doors, a silhouette of a figure making it's way through. Lucy bit her lip, unsure whether to smile, or to cry, but eventually managed to move her legs to run up to the white dragon slayer and his embrace.

He was soaked to the bone. His blonde hair looked darker and was dripping water onto the floor. But his eyes, she noticed, were still their aqua blue color, even brighter than she remembered them to be. "Sting...You idiot!" She playfully punched his chest.

"I'm sorry," was all he could respond, breathing heavily from exhaustion. He smirked, relieved that she was still open towards him. "I promise, it won't happen again." He gently placed his hand on her head, stroking her golden locks.

Lucy hesitated to pull back from him, but gave him a playful glare. "You're soaked. I still have a few of your clothes in my apartment. Come." She blushed at her own words, and the wink he gave her after her statement.

Everyone at the guild watched the undeniable chemistry between the rival guild members. They knew then, that what they had was something they could not take away from their celestial spirit mage. They moved so comfortably around each other, in sync. It was different from how Natsu and Lucy fought together back then. They were simply compatible magic wise, but then again, who wasn't compatible with Lucy's magic? It was difficult for them to watch two of their better mages lose emotional battles. What will come of their situation now is unforeseeable.

Lisanna's eyes followed the way Natsu's eyes swirled with jealousy, anger, and relief. "Natsu…"

"I'm sorry, Lucy. I didn't think that I would be gone for a couple of months," Sting sat on the sofa, while Lucy dried his hair with a soft towel. A pair of small arms wrapped around his neck from the back.

"I'm just glad you're okay. How did things go?" Lucy pulled away, taking the towel off his head and placing it on the side table. She took a seat beside him, his arm place comfortably over her shoulder. She could feel the sudden skip in her heartbeat, face flushing. The warmth emanating from his body was heartwarming, like it belonged there.

"I guess alright. Rogue was wounded in one of his jobs and his recovery time was longer than I expected. How are you?" he could feel her stiffen beside him and it dawned on him then that she and Natsu had a confrontation. Something about the way her cheeks flushed and the way her head fell bothered him, "What happened?"

Lucy took a deep breath, "I was drunk and I kissed him." She looked up to meet his wide eyes, "Sting, I don't know what to do anymore. I...I still love him, but I don't know if as a friend or more."

The words she spoke hurt him more than he ever thought they could. After everything they've been through, after realizing his own feelings towards her, after choosing to be with her rather than stay in his guild with his family, she was still unable to let go of her feelings for the fire dragon slayer. But all those she did not know about. He knew she was still in love with Natsu, but he wasn't prepared to hear the words leave her lips.

Slowly, he stood up and looked down upon her. He clenched his hands into fists and after a while, kneeled before her. His sincere eyes looked into hers, "Lucy, I am more than willing to help you forget once more. It was my fault for leaving you on your own when I promised I would be here for you. I want to fulfill that promise if you give me one more chance."

The celestial spirit mage was unsure of what to say. His actions were unlike him, as if he was submitting himself to her. Carefully, she held out a small hand to him and when he took it, she helped him off the ground. She smiled at him, "I don't know what you mean, Sting, but I would love to have you back here by my side. I really missed you."

He smiled back at her and pulled her in a tight embrace, which she returned wholeheartedly. Moments with Sting made her forget all about Natsu. She didn't think she could stand to be in Fairy Tail without him and the past two months have taught her as much. She needed Sting, something she never could have seen or thought would ever happen. He was a part of her, just as she now knew she was a part of him.

Something was crawling over her waist and before she knew it, she erupted in loud fits of laughter. Sting smirked as his fingers mercilessly tickled her. He definitely missed the sound of her laughter and her carefree nature.

When he finally allowed her to breath, they laid on the carpeted floor for a while, enjoying the comfortable silence that followed. Neither imagined they would get so accustomed to being around each other. Only months ago were they threatening and glaring at each other. They were wallowing in depression when they crossed paths. Even as they continued to struggle, they were there to support each other. Sting could finally admit that he can move on after talking to both Yukino and Rogue. Although Lucy may still have emotions for the fire dragon slayer, he was willing to help her get over him and even more so, fight for her. He valued her more than anyone else. As he recalled of their memories together, he can honestly admit to himself that he was beginning to fall for Fairy Tail's celestial spirit mage. He wasn't too far deep in, but if it came to that, he didn't think it would be all that bad.

They spent all night talking about what happened over the past couple of months. They laughed and cried, comforting each other. They failed to notice that the storm had long passed and only clouds floating over the night sky hinted that there was even one.

The thunderstorm subsided by the time they made it to Fairy Hills. Natsu was keeping a good distance, something that Lisanna noticed. The whole way back was silent, aside from the thunder, but now that the storm ceased, there was nothing but the sound of their footsteps treading the muddy ground.

Lisanna looked up at the clouds hovering above before taking a breath, "Natsu." There was a pause before the fire dragon slayer finally looked at her. "I don't want things to be like this. Ever since we were younger, we always knew what we wanted. And I still want all that, but you're confused and I understand. There's something I'd like to ask of you because right now, this is not only hurting both of us, but it's hurting a lot of other people. Please...please, think about how you felt—when you thought I died, when you found me after all those years, why you set aside Lucy afterwards, and why even now, when you are conflicted with your emotions, you still can't seem to chose her over me. When you kissed, why didn't you go after her?"

Natsu's eyes widened at her last question. Lisanna was there the night Lucy drunkenly kissed him. He did not know what to say, what to tell her. All he knew was that she was hurt and a part of him wanted to reach out to comfort her. He raised his hand, but let it fall.

He watched as she walked through the doorway. She turned to him, a sad smile on her face, "I love you, Natsu. Whatever you choose to do next, I will be here to support you." Gently, she reached for him and placed a soft kiss on his lips.

When the door shut behind her, he turned around, staring at the sky.

When you kissed, why didn't you go after her?

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