New beginnings

Fairy Tail fanfiction
After the war with Alvarez, Lucy Heartfilia becomes close to the remaining members of Crime Sorciere. Upset by her guildmates' attitude towards her new friends, Lucy leaves and joins Crime Sorciere. For four years, neither she or Natsu are seen, and when Natsu suddnly returns from his personal mission, he needs her help.

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2. Chapter 2

Back at the apartment, everyone was tucking into their meals as if they hadn't eaten in days-even Solano, who was usually so ladylike!
"So, where've you guys been for the last two months?" Lucy asked curiously. She loved hearing them talk about their missions-mainly because half the time Erik or Sawyer messed up and they ended up running away!
"Well, we took a job in Crocus, then ended up going to Hargeon and we were heading out to Bosco when we decided to stop in for a visit!" Solano replied, since the buys were too busy stuffing their faces.
"Bosco!" Lucy replied with shock. "But that's even further than Alvarez! How long will you be gone?"
"Hard to say, but at least 2 months with the time it'll take to get there." Sawyer answered, having finally stopped eating to breathe.
"Oh." The blonde replied, looking downcast. "So, how long are you planning on staying in Magnolia?" She asked, changing the subject.
"Hopefully a week, maybe even two!" Erik grinned.
"He's just excited about spending time with a certain barmaid, aren't you Erik!" Solano teased, her words making him go tomato-red.
"What was her name again? Begins with a 'K' and ends with a 'inana' doesn't it!" Sawyer smirked as Erik's violent blush spread to the tips of his pointed ears.
"Sh-shut up!" He growled at them. After a moments pause he asked Lucy "is she still working at the bar?" Which of course set Sawyer off again, and his laughter spread to all the others, even Macbeth giving an amused smile.
"Okay, if you boys are quite done, I'm going to hit the hay-it's been a long day! Plus I've got work again tomorrow." Lucy yawned.
"But nee-chan! Please don't go away on another job, you can't leave us already!" Macbeth cried out.
"What do you-oh, I get it. I don't normally take requests anymore-I help Mira and Kinana out at the bar most days, and I work in Mr. Yajima's cafe on others." She replied, clearing up their confusion.
"Thank god, after all, we wanted to spend time with you! That's why we came!" Her 'little brother' stated happily.
"Shhhhh! You weren't s'posed to tell her that! It makes us seem needy!" Erik grumbled, Sawyer agreeing with him.
"Awww, you guys are so sweet! Tell you what, when you get back from Bosco how about we all take a job together!" Lucy suggested with a smile.
"Can we even do that-not that we don't want to, I mean, we just aren't in the same guild." Erik said, somewhat unhappily
"Of course we can!" Lucy replied enthusiastically. "Guilds collaborate on requests all the time now-we've even got a special section of the board dedicated to it! Some jobs specify your partner guild, but others just ask for a certain number of guilds or wizards. Some don't even care-so long as you get the job done!" 
After she'd finished explaining it, the members of Crime Sorciere grinned at her. "We'd love to go on a job with you Lucy." Erik said, "but we have to ask.....please say that Team Natsu doesn't come too! I mean, I know they're your team an' all, but they're so destructive! You were always complaining about how hard it was to pay rent 'cos you were always paying for stuff they've destroyed!" 
"It doesn't help that they're always assholes to you, does it. Except Erza." Smiling sadly, Lucy said "actually, Team Natsu's disbanded. Not officially," she added hastily at their shocked looks "but it might as well have been. After Jellal confessed, he and Erza have been taking almost every job together, and the same with Gray and Juvia. Natsu's spending a lot of time looking for a cure for Zeref's curse, so nobody sees him or Happy anymore-which just leaves me."
"I'm sorry." Solano said, putting a comforting hand on her shoulder. "We know how much they meant to you. Is that why you're working as a barmaid now?" She asked, subtly changing the subject in an effort to lift Lucy out of her gloom.
"Yeah, after everything happened, I started to take solo jobs but they were no fun and I couldn't take the really high paying ones on my own, so Mira suggested I work at the bar and I've been doing that ever since-except for last Summer where I helped out in the Sorcerer Weekly offices."
Solano gaped at her. "Why aren't you still working there? I thought writing was your dream job!"
"Well, yeah, but what I really want to be is an author!" The celestial mage said with a hint a embarrassment. "Writing articles just-" 
At this point, the girls' heart-to-heart was interrupted by a loud yawn from Erik.
"Sorry, I'm just a bit tired s'all. By all means, keep talking." He said, sounding thoroughly wiped out.
"No, oh god, I'm a horrible hostess! I can't believe I forgot you guys must be exhausted from travelling! You go downstairs and get some sleep, and we'll decide what we're doing in the morning, 'kay?" Lucy said, feeling extremely guilty.
"Mmhmm, I think I'll take your suggestion Lu..cy....." Erik walked downstairs looking like he was in a trance, with the other boys following him.
"Night, Heartfilia, Solano." Sawyer said.
"Sleep well nee-chan, you too Solano!" He said, not sounding the least bit tired. Lucy really did pity Sawyer-there was no doubt Macbeth would keep him awake for a few more hours at least. He was practically nocturnal.
Lucy turned to Solano and the two exchanged goodnights before stumbling into their beds in Lucy's room.
The lights were turned off and soon the house was filled the the sound of muffled snoring and Macbeth's incessant chatter.

The next morning, the mages made their way to the Fairy Tail guild hall and Lucy smiled at the demon barmaid who returned the gesture. "Hi Mira, I'll have a strawberry smoothie, please."
"What? No milkshake?" Mira asked in confusion.
"Aah, no, Capricorn has me on a new diet. No sugar allowed, which means no milkshakes-but I can have smoothies instead so it's fine!" Lucy replied enthusiastically.
"So all those comments Capricorn has been making about your figure finally got to you, huh? You don't have to take them to heart-you have an amazing figure Lucy, you don't need to go on a diet!" Mira said, making the blonde blush.
"Don't worry Mira, it's not like that. According to Capricorn, reducing my sugar intake will increase my strength, stamina and overall fighting ability." Lucy explained.
Mira opened her mouth to continue, but was cut off by the shouts of Fairy Tail's resident stripper and flame-brain.
"The hell do you think you're doing, huh? Get the hell outta here before I make you!" Natsu growled at his opponent.
"You don't freakin' belong here, you asshole! So just go back to whatever hell-hole you crawled out of!" Gray said, equally as angrily.
To everyone's surprise, it wasn't each other they were insulting, but a certain poison dragon-slayer.
"What do you two think you're doing, hmm?" Asked Lucy, looking scarily like Erza in a bad mood. "Get the hell away from Erik, and leave him alone!" 
"But Luce, he's the one that attacked us first. Him," Natsu pointed at Erik, "that bitch in the corner," he pointed at Solano, "and those two freaks." He finished with Macbeth and Sawyer.
"Shut. The hell. Up." Lucy ground out through gritted teeth. "They did absolutely nothing-because if they had attacked, you would be on the floor right now, probably unconscious. Have you forgotten how Cobra helped us in Crocus, how the whole guild helped in the war against Alvarez? They have been growing stronger and stronger, their newly forged bonds of friendship and family increasing their strength by more than you can imagine!" After Lucy finished her rant she looked around at her fellow guild members, who, with the exception of a few, were glaring at the former Oracion Seis members.
"I'm sick and tired of you guys always hurting them-whether it's with words or with your fists, and you need to stop because they are not are enemies. They are not even allies, they are our friends!" She was shouting by this point, and even though a few guild members looked guilty, others including Natsu and Gray still had a nasty glint in their eyes. It scared Lucy. It reminded her of Gajeel when he was still in Phantom Lord, and Zeref before they had subdued him at the end of the war.
"Look here Luce, I've accepted these criminals for long enough. I did this in the hope that you would see them for the monsters they truly are and leave them behind. Since you can't see it, I suppose I'll have to help you. Them or us, choose now, because I'm sick of seeing that bastard's face every time I walk in here!" Natsu said impatiently, and not without anger.
Lucy just stared at Natsu, and marched upstairs and into the Master's office.
"Master, I'm leaving Fairy Tail." Lucy declared, making the Master fall off his stool with shock.
"W-what are you talking about, my child?" The Master asked in confusion. He couldn't understand why Lucy of all his children would want to leave the guild. Their home.
"I can't stand the way the other members are treating my friends in Crime Sorciere. I understand that they have done things that are wrong, but that's in the past now, and they're trying to atone for their sins. Personally, I think they've done enough atonement to last several lifetimes, and I'm trying to get them to see this too. I don't need the rest of my nakama" she said the word with a sneer "stopping me from helping them. Because Erik, Solano, Sawyer and Macbeth are also my nakama, and if you guys are going to make me choose, then I'm sorry to say but you're not my true nakama. I'm leaving, and that's final." Lucy looked up, out of breath from such a long speech and held out her hand to have her guild mark erased.
The Master was so shocked that for a few moments he could do nothing but open and close his mouth like a fish. Under other circumstances Lucy would have found it amusing, but not today.
"My child, if this is what you truly want then I will set you free. But know you will always have a place in the guild. As do your friends," he said, referring to Crime Sorciere "if they should desire it. I can promise, if they were to join I would deal swift retribution to any who hurt them. Goodbye Lucy, my child, but before you leave, there are three rules that any Fairy Tail member must follow should they choose to leave the guild." The short man looked up at her with tears in his eyes.
"Number one: never reveal sensitive information about the guild to others. Number 2: you must never use former contacts met through the guild for personal gain. And number 3: although our paths may stray, you must promise to live every day to the fullest and never forget about your Fairy Tail friends for as long as you live." By this point tears were streaming down his face, and Lucy was smiling sadly at the man who had become like a second father to her.
"I promise" she whispered, and smiled at him once again before she turned to leave. Stopping once before she reached the door, she raised her thumb and forefinger in the Fairy Tail sign, then she left the Master's office for the last time.

Downstairs, the members of Fairy Tail were shocked, as they realised that the only reason Lucy would go to the Master's office was if she was choosing to leave. Natsu and Gray simply scoffed at this, convinced that she treasured the guild too much to leave, but as the blonde descended the stairs and they caught sight of her now empty hand, they realised that they had made a grave mistake.
"Luce, I-" Natsu began before she cut him off.
"I have no interest in your reasons, nor do I intend to listen to any apologies you wish to make." She said in such a cold tone that Natsu wondered if this was really his Luce.
"I am leaving the guild because of the way you, my supposed nakama were treating my true nakama. Attempt to come after me and trust me, you will not like the consequences. I won't end you, but if you truly are stupid enough to follow me, you will wish I had." She looked around at the devastated faces gathered around her, lingering a little on each person and allowing herself to memorise the details of their faces. "I am disappointed in each and every one of you, excluding a select few. Master. Erza. Jellal. Wendy. Mira. Kinana. You were my only reasons for staying this long, but i can't take it anymore. Goodbye, Fairy Tail."
As she walked out the door, Crime Sorciere jumped up and followed her all the way back to her house.
When they got there, Erik plucked up the nerve to ask the blonde what her plan was now. 
"Isn't it obvious?" She replied. "I'm joining Crime Sorciere and going with you to Bosco. After that, I'm going to get us registered as a legal guild-I know how to deal with all the paperwork now, and those old crones owe you guys for helping in the war."
Her new guild looked a bit shocked, but Erik smiled. "Figured as much." He said with a smirk.
"What? Have you been listening to my thoughts again? Baka! I told you not to do that!" Lucy shouted whilst punching him in the arm.
"'Course I haven't, I just know you too well by now, Lucy." He said, still smirking.
Lucy sighed. "Fine, but hearing that I'm becoming predictable is boring, I might have to something about that." She said with an evil look on her face, causing all the members to back away as much as possible without it being too obvious.
Lucy suddenly dove on Erik and started tickling him, and Virgo and Gemini appeared to help her.
Erik's shrieks and pleads for help faded into the night, and the stars smiled down on Lucy's new beginning. 

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