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Chapter 22

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An ambulance's blaring siren alerted everyone in the area to give way as it rushed through the streets of Magnolia to the hospital. At their arrival, the nurses hurried to get the blonde patient to the emergency room. Lucy continued to cry hysterically as she was being transferred to the emergency room, ignoring the nurses who tell her to calm down to avoid stressing her baby. The hospital's gynecologist, Mirajane, was hastily called to examine the patient.

"Lucy," Mirajane gasped, watching her friend sob as a few nurses prepare her for the ultrasound while others are checking the baby's heartbeat.

"Mira—my baby. Please save my baby." Lucy cried.

"Lucy, you'll be okay. I was briefed about your situation and I was told that no bleeding occurred. Calm down, okay? Do you want us to call Natsu?"

"No, no. Don't call him." Lucy said and started to move around, afraid that Natsu would be even more furious with her for interrupting him at work.

"Okay. I won't. Just please calm down."

"Dr. Strauss, do you want us to put her to sleep?" A nurse asked.

"No, it'll be fine. She's just in a shock. If I manage to explain the situation clearly I'm sure she'll be able to get a hold of herself." Mira smiled kindly at the nurse. The nurse nodded and left to continue helping around the Emergency Room.

"Lucy, the baby is fine. The fall was not enough to harm your baby, but I will run some tests to make sure, okay?" Mira reassured, smiling gently to which Lucy nodded.

A couple of hours passed before the results came out. Mira happily announced that the baby is safe and sound and everything is normal. Lucy finally relaxed after hearing the news. She was advised to rest for another hour before she was allowed to go.

"Thank you for helping me. I feel ashamed for causing a scene like that when it's nothing serious." The pregnant woman sighed.

"Don't be. It's my job to help pregnant woman like you, and for what happened earlier you don't have to worry. Moms tend to react like that if they feel that their child is in danger." Mira grinned at Lucy.

"Thank you again. I'll be leaving now." Lucy smiled before heading out of the office.

"Be careful." The doctor said. Lucy turned around and smiled gratefully at her before leaving.

Thanks to the good citizens who helped her, her baby is safe and so are her things. With someone's help, she easily got her things and proceeded to the train station, where she was originally headed. She decided to go to a near town to be able to find a place to stay before the sun sets. Lucy chose to go to Acalypha before moving to a much farther town from Magnolia. She just needs a few more days to make a plan on what she will do from there. Money will be put in consideration too. In her situation, she needs to work as much as she can. She should have done this from the start. She shouldn't have lied like she did.

But if she hadn't, would she have known that Natsu was a wonderful person?


Natsu sighed deeply when he remembered the last time he talked to Lucy. Actually, he knows that wasn't talking. It was mainly him pouring all of his frustrations out on her. Words were said even though they were not meant. All those words, the anger, he regretted them all but he still hesitated to apologize. He's mad at himself for this, always afraid to approach Lucy when he knows he did something wrong. He's so afraid to accept that he did something to hurt her even though he promised himself that he wouldn't.

But it's not only hesitation keeping him from going back to her, there are other issues too. Different issues erupted from that day, issues about his not-so-good relationship with Erza, about the company and accidents. A recent accident happened that put their company's name in a bad light. They need to say something about the accident that claimed the life of one of their employees; they have to investigate on how that happened and if it's only an accident.

"Natsu, you need to go home. It's been almost a week." Lisanna said worriedly to her best friend. She knew the reason why he'd been staying in his office but he can't run away from Lucy forever. She knows that he wants to go back. He only needs some reassurance that Lucy will be able to forgive him.

"I don't know Lisanna…" Natsu replied, ruffling his messy hair.

"She'll be able to forgive you Natsu. Explain yourself properly and apologize and everything will be okay." She convinced him, grasping his hand and squeezing it.

"Are you sure?" He asked, still hesitant.

"Yeah." Lisanna smiled warmly at her best friend.

"Okay. I'll go see her after today's work." He said, smiling weakly back.


Natsu nervously went to their hotel room. It's been six days since he last saw her, since that time when he yelled at her and unceremoniously left. He wasn't even good at apologizing. How can everything be fixed?

Natsu frowned when he didn't see her as soon as he walked in. She usually stays in the living room to read or watch television but she's nowhere. He checked every room but still can't find Lucy.

He stood in cold sweat as he reached their bedroom. His heart started to beat faster when he saw a letter under a small box in the middle of their bed, hoping that it's just a note that she just went out to buy something. He hastily read it.

Dear Natsu,

I deeply apologize for all the trouble that I caused and for all the pain that I've brought you. I decided to do what I should have done before. I'll be leaving in hopes to lessen your problems. I hope you will be able to forgive me. I'll continue to love you no matter how much you hate me now. I regret what I've done. You're a wonderful person. You're the person who made me feel loved again, you forgave me when I lied to you and you still accepted me and my baby. And now I understand that every person has their limits. That no matter how much you love a person, there are still limits of how much you can accept about them. It must have been hard to see someone you love carrying the child of another man. Natsu, you didn't deserve all the pain I made you feel. I'm really sorry Natsu.

Love,

Lucy

His heart ceased beating.

She left. All because he made her feel that he doesn't love her anymore, that he's too tired of loving a woman that has a child with another man. It's his fault that she left. He shouldn't have made an outburst like that. Now he lost her. He lost the woman who he's been fighting for, the only woman that he loves.

Maybe it's not too late. Maybe she still hasn't gone too far yet. He needs to find her.

Countless of times, he tried to call her but she didn't answer. He started to lose hope when he remembered Lucy's friend.

He should… He should go to Levy, maybe Lucy's with her but he has to know where she lives first.

"Levy? Where are you?" Natsu asked nervously through the phone.

"Natsu? I'm at home. Why?"

"Where do you live?"

"Why are you asking?"

"Please just answer."

Natsu went to Levy's place as soon as she said where.

"Levy!" Natsu called out, impatiently knocking.

"Natsu? What's the matter? Where's Lucy?" Levy asked, confused at Natsu's sudden visit to her.

"W-wasn't she here?"

"Why would she be here?"

"Levy. Stop hiding her from me. Let me see her."

"What are you talking about?! She's supposed to be with you! Don't tell me she's gone?" Levy asked, irritated that she doesn't know what he is talking about. Lucy is living with him so why would he ask about her here? Unless…

"She's not really with you." He whispered in defeat.

"I told you she's not! Now tell me what's going on!" Levy demanded, worrying for her friend.

"She left. She just left after leaving a letter of how sorry she is." Natsu's shoulder slumped.

"W-what? That can't be. Why did she not even tell me?" Levy's face paled. Her best friend disappeared on her for the second time.

"M-maybe she's with Doctor Mirajane. She doesn't have that much money. She can't have the guts to leave just like that." Levy said, dragging Natsu out of her house to go to Mirajane's. Her palm met her forehead when she realized that she doesn't know where Mirajane lives.

"I don't know where Mirajane lives!" Levy exclaimed, mentally banging her head into the wall.

"I know where her house is. Come on." Natsu said, this time dragging Levy towards his car.

Soon, the two arrived at the Strauss residence. Natsu repeatedly hit their doorbell until Lisanna rushed to open their gate.

"Natsu? Why are you here? Who's she?" Lisanna asked, looking at the petite blue haired girl.

"Is Mirajane here? I need to talk to her." Natsu said.

"She just came home. Come inside. I'll call her." She escorted them inside, feeling the urgency of the matter.

"Mira-nee. Natsu wants to talk to you." Lisanna called her sister from her room.

Mirajane came down to see the nervous looking pair.

"Lucy's gone. Have you seen her?" Natsu asked as soon as he saw her.

"What do you mean gone?" Mirajane frowned.

"Gone. She left with all her things." Natsu said.

"That can't be. I just talked to her a couple of days ago." Mira gasped, unable to comprehend the reason of Lucy's sudden leave.

Lisanna, who was beside her sister, can't believe in what she heard. She knew about what happened between the two but she didn't know that Lucy will be able to pull a stunt like this.

"What did you two talk about? Do you know where she is?" Levy asked.

"She was…" Mira gulped. "She was hurried to the emergency room when she fell on the street."

"What!" Natsu and Levy both exclaimed.

"It isn't as serious as it sounds. Someone bumped into her and she fell. She started crying in shock and in fear that's why people called an ambulance to make sure she's okay." Mira explained.

"Why didn't you tell me?" Natsu stood in shock. Something had happened to Lucy, she needed him but he wasn't there.

"She didn't want me to. I thought she might not have wanted to disturb you. But she's okay together with the baby." The white haired doctor reassured Natsu and Levy.

"You don't really know where she is, Doctor?" Levy asked once again, afraid that she won't be able to see her friend anymore. Though this is the first time that she left without a single trace, she knows that Lucy is stubborn enough to never return until she finished what she had to do.

"I don't. I'm sorry. She didn't mention anything about leaving. Did she leave a letter?" Mira asked, feeling down that her favorite patient left.

"Yes." Natsu answered brokenheartedly.

"What does it say?" Lisanna asked.

"She said that she's sorry about lying and she's leaving to stop being a burden." Natsu winced at the last words. He never thought of Lucy as a burden.

"Lying? Does that mean that you already know the truth?!" Levy asked in shock.

"Yes. Right from the start." Natsu sighed.

"Even before the talk in the café?" Mira questioned.

"Yes."

Levy felt bad for Natsu. When they first met, she could easily see that he's treating Lucy as if she is his one and only treasure. She thought that maybe because Lucy made him fall in love with her or because he already loves and anticipates his child's arrival to this world. And to think that he already knew about Lucy's secret at that time… It is admirable that he can be this forgiving to a person.

"Why did she suddenly leave?" Mira asked. She knows that Lucy will never leave without a reason.

"She's felt guilty for a long time now." Levy answered glumly. She knew right from the start that this idea of lying is bad. She should have done more things to convince her friend to not push through it.

"Erza already met her. She keeps on pushing Lucy away." Natsu said in annoyance towards Erza. If she hadn't done that, then his peaceful life with Lucy wouldn't be gone.

"I can't believe Erza would do that. But for Lucy to be easily affected?" Mira asked, baffled.

"She saw me fight with Erza because of her six days ago. I felt very agitated that day and when I came home media were all over the hotel trying to ask about the issue between me and Erza. I was so pissed that I brought it up in our room and exploded. I suddenly questioned her about why everything is turning out like this and why does she have to be pregnant with another man's child." Natsu grimaced.

Mirajane and Levy looked wide eyed towards Natsu. Even Lisanna who already heard about this for the second time couldn't believe that he said those words towards Lucy.

"So it was your entire fault." Levy slapped him in anger.

"Don't blame him like that. Think of his situation. Think of how he's stressed at work and about his fight with Erza. Do you think he's having it easy?" Lisanna defended, standing between Natsu and Levy.

Levy was taken aback at Lisanna's words and realized that she's right. If ever, she should be thanking him that he still accepted Lucy and her child despite knowing the truth.

"I'll try to contact her." Levy said before storming out of the place.

"Natsu…" Lisanna said, worrying about her friend.

"I-I'll go back to the hotel." Natsu said before leaving. Lisanna wanted to follow him but Mirajane told her otherwise.


Lucy stared at the night sky as she thought about Natsu. How is he doing? Has he read her letter? Is he still mad at her?

Her thoughts are cut off by the ringing of her phone. She grabbed her phone and looked at it.

It's Levy, her best friend that stuck with her even after all the crazy things that she'd done... Not wanting to worry her best friend, Lucy answered the call.

"Levy?"

"Lucy! Where are you? Why did you suddenly disappear again?"Just by listening to her voice, Lucy can imagine how worried she is right now.

"I-I'm trying to set things straight."

"Why didn't you tell me? Leaving in your current state? Are you insane? Do you know how worried I am? Do you know how worried Natsu is?"Her voice is gradually becoming louder, making Lucy wince but Levy's last sentence took her mind off it.

"Natsu's worried? But I thought…"

"He doesn't hate you. Everything is just a misunderstanding. He was just stressed at that time."

"How did you know?"

"He told us about everything Lucy. Now tell me where you are and I'll accompany you back to him."

"No Levy. I'm serious about this. I'm not coming back until Fairy Tail is alright again... I'm hindering him from doing his job Levy. And if you tell him where I am then I can't tell you too."

"What are you saying? That's absurd. Just come back Lucy."

"I won't. Sorry Levy. This might be our last chance to talk in the next couple of months. Don't worry about me. I know what I'm doing. I can take care of myself." Lucy said before ending the call.

Lucy sighed and went to the bed to rest. So Natsu isn't mad at her. Is that why he tried calling her earlier? To ask where she is?

The ringing of her phone startled Lucy. This time when she looked at the caller id, her heart felt like it was struck with a spear. It's Natsu.

She debated if she should answer the call at first but eventually decided to answer it, just so she can say goodbye properly.

"N-Natsu…"

"Lucy! Where are you? I'm sorry about what happened before. Please forgive me. Please come back."

"I understand you Natsu but I can't come back. I can't continue burdening you."

"You're not a burden."

"I know I am. If I'm not with you, you don't have to worry about Erza and me. You'll be focusing on Fairy Tail more."

"I couldn't. How could I when I'll always think about you. If you're doing okay, if you still love me… if you're still coming back." She heard his voice break as he spoke, making her tears fall in sadness. She wiped her tears and regulated her breathing in hopes to stop her tears. She needs to sound strong enough to make Natsu believe what she's saying.

"Don't worry about me Natsu. I promise that I'll be okay and like what I've said in the letter, I love you and that will never change. And about coming back… I will if you still want me too."

"Of course I want you to come back!"

"Then I'll come back… if everything is over."

"W-what do you mean?"

"Fix the problem within Fairy Tail first Natsu. I won't forgive myself if I'm the reason why you can't focus on it."

"But you're not."

"Let's face it Natsu. Erza doesn't like us together and as long as she interferes with us many different problems will arise just like what happened with the media."

On the other end of the line, Natsu stopped. It's true. As long as Lucy is with him, Erza's and his attention will be on her and not on the company. He sighed heavily when he realized that he has to let her go.

"Will you come back?"

"Yes. I promise and I will never break this one. After everything's been settled, I'll be by your side like what I originally promised you. Just hang in there Natsu."

"Can I call you every day?" On the other line, Natsu can be seen looking forlornly at the gift Lucy gave him.

"No. I'm sorry."

"Why?"Lucy heard him ask in surprise.

"Natsu, I have to sell my phone for extra money and I think this separation will be much better if we cut all communication with each other." Lucy said sadly, slowly losing her resolve but she already made her mind up about this and she wasn't going to back out.

"How am I going to have peace of mind if I can't be sure that you're okay?"

"You just have to trust me Natsu. I love you and I also want to see you again."

"Are you thinking that I'll just accept all of this easily?"

"You have to. I know you can lead Fairy Tail to the top again. Just be strong and believe in yourself. I love you Natsu."

"I- I love you too."

And with that Lucy ended the call, leaving both of them feeling empty.


Author's Notes:

Hey everyone! Thank you for the wait :D

Also, Thank you for the love and support that you're sending to this story.

Like always, I'd love to hear your thoughts so leave reviews okay?

Good day to all of you :D