Yeah, no. Not over yet…YOU CAN'T ESCAPE ME THAT EASILY. In all honesty though, I bring to you the not-definite (but I'll mark the damn story as 'Completed' anyway because it's about time) final chapter of Finding Nakama. I wanted to thank. All. Of. You. I know I haven't been the most reliable author when it came to updating on time and all that jazz, but I do mean well. From 6/27/13 to 5/27/16, it's been THREE YEARS (minus a month) on this wild ride with Lucy, Ash, Damon, and Liz. It may not have been the best it could be, but it was my first ever story written and I am proud of it. To all you aspiring writers out there, I'm not sure if I'm one to give out advice, but go— write that thing you want to write. For anyone, do that thing you want to do. So long as it's legal, I'm sure you won't regret it. And as always, I do not own Fairy Tail.
~Fairy Tail's Infirmary~
I shot up in the bed from my dream with a cold sweat. Well dream would be sugarcoating things, nightmare was more like it. Taking a deep breath, I slowly regretted my decision for requesting a private room. It could have been jealously that came over me when Natsu got his own room for being a 'special case' and I had insisted.
After completing the trials and hearing of Silvanica's death, I still had these night terrors of her coming back, destroying everything. Sometimes I was up against that Leviathan alone, surrounded by the ignis. The worst one, tonight's, had me facing three of my dead companions.
"Ahh," I whispered to myself. "Get yourself together, Ash."
It felt lonelier in this miniature hospital room, I looked out the open window and sighed. The skies were clear and the moon shone with the stars and I thought of Lucy. Looks like everything turned out well for her. She left to become stronger and now she was back and better than before.
I lay back down and thought what would come next, if there was anything to come next. Maybe things would go back to how they originally were? Lucy would obviously stay here in Fairy Tail. 'Of course she would; they're her family.' I thought darkly. 'But she's my family too.'
But what was I doing before we crossed paths? Ah, that's right, in a cave hiding like a coward. Of course my step is going to have to be towards bringing down my good-for-nothing-bastard uncle.
Lizzy and Damon don't have a normal life to go back to, I realized. When we met she was an escapee from the Satan's Belly orphanage Damon was stuck in. They lost any other family when they were young as well, funny how much we had in common.
"I guess I could stick with them for a while…" I smiled softly. "Liz'll be a pain the butt, though."
My mood dampened a bit as I thought about Ryan. It was an accident, the fire, but I still felt somehow responsible. If I had visited sooner he wouldn't have gone to that stupid ski lodge, or I could have gone with him and saved him from the fire. I should have—
"No." I stopped the what-ifs and maybes. "I need fresh air."
Throwing off the blankets, my feet padded across the cool floor as I walked towards my boots. My fever had considerably gone down and I no longer felt the dizziness or roller coaster in my stomach. I slipped out the window for an easy exit, and landed in a bush.
"Ow." Sticks poked into my legs and I winced, walking off the pain. Though the cherry blossoms weren't in bloom, Magnolia was still beautiful at night. I walked the cobblestone streets and reveled in the silence, but the feeling of being watched made me stop halfway across a bridge.
"Who goes there?" I demanded in my best high-authority voice.
"Tis I, high Lord of the Dark Court." A dark chuckle replied and my tense muscles relaxed.
"Sir Cheney," I played along leaned on the bridge and watched dim come into view. "What brings you to this magnificent bridge? It is ever so helpful with the crossing over rivers if I do say so myself."
He leaned on the opposite side and looked to the sky. "On this tranquil night I find myself lost in countless thoughts."
"As do I." I grimly agreed and stared down at the moon's reflection. "It appears that the damsels are no longer in distress. The storm has gone and with that returns the calm. My life, it appears, shall revert back to the days of a freelancer."
"Is that so bad?" Dropping the act, his question brought my head up and my eyes met his.
"Well," I looked at the twinkling lights now, recalling how things were before. "It was eleven years of my life spent on the run, if you can imagine. I earned my food, did my share, and kept to myself."
He had walked over to my side and we both looked at our reflections, even in the night I could see the scarlet in his eyes. "Sounds lonely."
"Tis the life of an aristocrat as you can imagine. Any friends are either fake or in danger of thy wicked relatives I suppose." I smiled sadly; lonely was an understatement. "To not be alone was never an option."
"But is it now?" The Rogue's reflection turned his head and I faced him, taking note that we were close.
"Well," I breathed and considered the options I had. So far anyone and everyone I've come into contact with got only misfortune in return, surely that's the only thing I'm good for. "I don't—"
"I'm not asking you to marry me." He blurted and a rather charming pink crept up his usually pale face—I'm afraid I'd have to say the same for me. "You just need to know that you don't have to be alone anymore, Ash. You have so much now. You have family, you have…Fairy Tail—"
I objected, "That's questionable."
He went on, "You have a new freedom, you have me. Don't you…don't you want that?"
Yes. Yes I do want that. And I was going to tell him that, screw my indecisive hormonal worrying. Lucy is happy; she has Fairy Tail. Liz and Damon are happy; they have each other. I can be happy, I have…
"Rogue." I heaved a dramatic sigh. "You do know what you're getting into, right? I like you."
He smirked, "Only 'like'?"
"You like me. It seems plain and simple what our next course of action should be…but…"
"But?" The moonlight gleamed in his eyes and I struggled to hold back a smile to mirror his own.
"There is someone else." My expression was the most serious one I could muster. I stood there with that grim line on my lips for an excruciatingly long time, long enough to make his grin falter slightly. "Ben, Jerry, Edy, Dean, the list of my suppliers goes on and if you cannot handle what I crave then—"
Well I didn't get to finish what I was saying, but the kiss was worth it.
~The Next Day~
In the early afternoon, Fairy Tail was in full-fledged livelihood. Natsu had made yet another miraculous recovery and was being attacked by yet another force, Mira's questioning. Lucy sat beside him at the bar with a light blush and smirk plastered on her face as she sipped her vanilla milkshake.
"So so so you two are together, right?" Mira's eye twinkled feverishly in her excitement. "Cana, get over here They finally did it!
"NATSU BANGED LUCY?!" Cana responded in a shout from across the room.
Lucy choked. "Cana, no!"
"Cana, yes!" The brunette dashed over and stuck out a hand. "I win the bet, hand it over."
Mira smirked and turned away, "Nope, you don't get anything—"
"But they got together and—"
"You said if they hooked up." Mira waved around a wad of Jewels before tucking it in her pocket. "They only confessed their undying love."
"Only?" Natsu questioned.
Lucy simply muttered, "How she found out, I'll never know."
Liz came running into the main guild hall from the infirmary with Damon in tow. "Yada yada yada, love shmove, I have something more important to announce!"
"What, you've officially become potty trained?" Natsu guessed and got a nasty look in return.
"Someone's turning into the next Astrid." Liz rolled her eyes.
His jaw dropped. "Hey! That's an insult!"
"Who you callin' an insult?" Astrid strided in from the outside, with a bold Sabertooth insignia on her right hand, the same shade as the shadows of the night.
"No way!" Damon gasped and grabbed her hand, pointing to it. "Is this not the coolest thing, or what?"
"Astrid, you joined? I thought Fairy Tail—"
"You thought wrong," Astrid snatched her hand away and rubbed at the mark fondly. "But don't worry, it's only a temporary tattoo… for now." She whispered so that only Lucy could hear, with a grin.
"Hey, you stole my fire!" Liz frowned with hands on her hips.
"What fire?" Natsu scoffed.
"Shut yer face and let me—"
"Lizzy and I have decided to search for ourselves." Damon stepped in. "You know our history: destroyed village, stuck in an orphanage, the bad stuff. Starting today, we will spread our wings and see if we can find any possible related family, friends—"
"Girlfriends." Liz smirked knowingly and a slightly blushing Damon pinched her arm.
"A part of ourselves that was lost." He finished off with a smile. "But seriously, without Luce and Ash, none of this would have been possible. We're indebted."
"Buy me ice cream then."
"Oh Damon, you don't owe us anything."
Astrid and Lucy both said in unison.
"It'll be a long journey, so who knows when I'll see your ugly face again." Liz aimed at Astrid.
"Too soon," Astrid sniffed, "But I'll be going on my own little adventure. Or should I say…revengture. I'm taking out my uncle and the enterprise he's built up." She shrugged, casually. "Nothing big, really."
"Alone?" Lucy asked in surprise.
"No, not alone. I may not have a sibling to journey with, but I do have a—"
Liz jumped in, "A boyfriend? Hah, didn't think so."
"I was going to say 'partner in crime', but boyfriend works too." Astrid finished. "Can't say I'm gonna miss your flame idiot over there, Luce, but I'm glad you're happy with it."
"Did you just call me an 'it' you Ashturd?" Said Flame Idiot.
"Don't forget to hit me up with some of that ice-cold personality before you leave!" Gray walked by and rested his elbow on Natsu's head, which earned him a shove and…well it can be assumed that fighting ensued.
"I'm not saying that revenge is healthy, but I'm not saying that I don't approve either." Erza smiled as she pulled the two apart. "Damon, Liz, I wish you luck and hope that you grow to become even better than you are now."
"Thanks Scary Lady." Damon nodded before freezing and mumbled, "Did I say that out loud?"
"Yeah, um, before we start the whole hugging-goodbye activity, I'm gonna dASH out."
"Bad pun." Liz grimaced before trapping Astrid with widespread arms. "Good luck escaping this!"
Damon joined in, then Lucy, and after some hesitation, the rest of Team Natsu. Soon, all of Fairy Tail was engaged in a hug-fest, though many of them knew not what for.
"Damnit, I love you guys."