We Are Young

24 Jun 2015
Part 1 of We Are Young

They’re teenagers, they’re young and they can worry about love and life.

A collection of character and relationship-centric, interrelated stories about some students of Fairy Gakuen.

Teen (13+)
Chapters: 23
Words: 377,513

We Are Young

Chapter 2


..aka “Luce, I’ll Punch Your Dad In the Face”

Chapter Notes:

Thanks for the positive feedback and the follows, everyone! You will now be reading WAY’s 2nd installment. This one is longer, more in-depth, and more emotional. Its mood is also waaaay different from Erza’s

A running issue with Lucy’s character is her relationship with her father, and how the guild is her family now. I simply tried to write how teenage, human, not-a-mage Lucy will deal with this.

This one’s got plenty of NaLu. So enjoy.

Track 02: Breakable
..aka “Luce, I’ll Punch Your Dad In the Face”

“Have you ever thought about what protects our hearts?
Just a cage of rib bones and other various parts.
So it’s fairly simple to cut right through the mess
and to stop the muscle that makes us confess.”
— Ingrid Michaelson


Lucy has had a good day. After that whole fiasco with Erza and Jellal, they didn’t stop teasing Erza throughout the school day. It was too good — a pleasant surprise. After school, Natsu barged in the Student Council Office and promptly asked her to hurry up and go home with him. Usually Erza would have scolded him for being rude, but after chasing Natsu and Gray around the school for teasing her, she was tired. She simply congratulated herself on that painful looking black-eye on Natsu.The pink-head slumped on the couch. “Luigi, finish that already, we have to go home now!”

Erza raised an eyebrow but kept quiet. Laki and Max exchanged looks. Lucy looked up from her work. “Why?” This wasn’t unusual for Natsu to want to “go home now”, but she had to know why, nevertheless.

“Dad’s cooking oden just because. He asked me if you wanna come over and have dinner.”

“Oden?” Lucy smiled excitedly. Igneel’s oden is the best she’d ever tasted. The Dragneels owned the ‘Fire Dragon’ restaurant downtown. Even though they specialized in spicy foods, Igneel was still a top-notch cook in everything he made. Lucy knew that the man sometimes just leaves his restaurant to his crew early to bum out at home. Today must be one of those times the man randomly thought to cook something. Lucy checked her watch. “Give me five minutes.”

“What about us, Natsu? No invitations from your dad?” Max said with a fake hurt look.

“He just said ask Lucy.” Natsu stated simply, then raised an eyebrow. “Why, ya wanna come eat too? We wouldn’t mind.”

“Max, Lucy is eating with them because she’s Natsu’s girlfriend. Are you Natsu’s girlfriend too?” Laki remarked absently, with a sly smile of her face.

Suddenly Erza stood up and slammed her hands on the table. “WHEN DID THIS START?! YOU ARE BOTH TOO YOUNG—”

“We’re not going out!” the pink-head and the blonde both raised their hands in alarm and Erza immediately calmed down. The alleged couple both glared at Laki. Erza was quick to believe what she hears and is downright conservative about things like teenage flings (she basically wanted to kill everyone who teased her about Jellal being her boyfriend because “WE’RE TOO YOUNG—”). Everyone also knew that when Erza is angry, you may just as well commit suicide to save yourself from the pain.

The whole school has been betting for some time now on when Lucy and Natsu are going to get together. No one knew if they’re just messing with the bets or if they’re really just comfortable with the way things are. All they knew was that from the moment Lucy transferred to Fairy Gakuen for her second year in high school, she’d been Natsu’s other half. Lucy is Natsu’s girl, and that was that.

Lucy finished up her work within the promised five minutes and then she said her goodbyes to her fellow officers, letting Natsu drag her out the school. They half-jogged out the school gates, then stopped when they heard a familiar voice call out to them.

“Oi, Natsu, Lucy-chan!” Gildarts Clive shouted from his seat in the little police station. “Don’t stay out too late!”

“We’re already heading home!” Natsu called back. Their resident police officer had been stationed in the police booth just between Magnolia’s most populated junior high and high school and he knew almost all the kids in town. Gildarts had been known, for the kids who grew up in Magnolia, to be every little girl’s big brother and every little boy’s hero.

“Good!” the man said with a hearty laugh. “Kick him where it hurts if he tries anything funny, Lucy-chan!”

Lucy smiled. “I will!”

“I’m not like you!” Natsu shouted, then grabbed his best friend’s hand and started running home. Lucy smiled as she ran alongside him towards the Dragneel residence just a few blocks down the road.

They called out ‘Tadaima!’ in perfect sync and as an answer, the Dragneels’ blue cat, Happy, came running to them to welcome them home. Lucy automatically lifted the cat up as Happy jumped into her arms.“Hey, Happy! Ya missed me, hm?” Lucy said, burying her face against the cat’s fur.

Happy purred and Natsu scratched between the cat’s ears before calling out, “How’s the oden coming, Igneel?”

“Almost ready, kids!” Igneel answered from the kitchen. “Settle down and prepare the table!”

Lucy and Natsu both abandoned their shoes and then dumped their bags in the couch. Natsu went straight to take out some plates while Lucy was welcomed with a huge hug from Natsu’s father, a middle-aged man with unruly dark red hair and a booming laugh to compete with Gildarts’.

Dinner has always been a lively affair even though the Dragneel residence only had father, son and cat. Lucy listened and laughed as Igneel and Natsu exchanged stories about their day at work and school. Happy was contentedly eating fish by Lucy’s feet.

“How about you, Lucy? School going fine?” Igneel asked, turning to their guest.

“The day’s been lovely, Igneel.” Lucy replied cheerfully. “And your oden just made it twice better!”

“Glad you liked it, my dear! You should come by the Dragon sometime again, okay?” the man said with the smile that Natsu got from him. “Oh, how’s your dad?”

At that, Lucy paused but then quickly tried to smile. “He’s doing fine!”

Igneel looked at her with a knowing expression in his face. “Really? I saw that split-second sadness, Lucy.”

“Oh, it’s the usual for him. Work and then home.” Lucy assured the man. “He’s doing great. Healthy.”

“C’mon, dad. Don’t make Luce upset. She’s enjoying the oden!” Natsu said, reprimanding his tactless father. “You’re doing alright, aren’t ya, Lucy?”

“Of course I am! Who are we talking about here?” Lucy gave him her winning smile.

“Fine, fine. I’ll stop now.” Igneel said with a content smile as he watched the kids continue with dinner. “Natsu, you walk our girl home after this, alright?”

“No, that’s too much trouble already!” Lucy quickly said. “Loke said he’ll pick me up, anyway, so don’t worry—”

“Lucy has a boyfrieeeennndddd~” Natsu sniggered again.

Lucy pouted. “He’s my bodyguard!”

“AND your boyfriend!”

“We’re just good friends!”

“He calls you ‘loooove’~”

“Yeah, well it’s better than Luigi!”

Igneel laughed as the banter continued, like always, ending up with “Luigi, you’re so weird!” and “Ugh, you’re stupid!”

Loke picked Lucy up after she called and the blonde was promptly crushed by Igneel as she tried to say goodbye. Natsu’s father was strangely fond of her, but that was alright. Lucy was used to weird — if she wasn’t, she wouldn’t be staying contentedly as a student of Fairy High. Besides, she liked the feeling of having a father figure. Wait, scratch that — she LOVES being ‘daughtered’ by Igneel.

“Had a great time?” Loke asked as he drove, glancing at Lucy who was sitting comfortably in the passenger seat.

“Best oden in the universe.” Lucy simply smiled. “D’you guys have dinner yet?”

“Of course.” Loke nodded, then stared straight ahead.

“Good, because really, that one time you all waited for me is just… ugh, never ever do that again—”

“Lucy, love.” Loke cut her off, a blank expression on his face. That made Lucy turn to him. “Your father’s home.”

“Oh.” Lucy looked away and out the car window, onto the lamplit streets of Magnolia. “He’s early tonight, hm?”

“He was looking for you. Before I left to fetch you, he wanted me to tell you that he wants to have a word with you.” her bodyguard said, stealing short glances at Lucy to check her expression.

“Alright.” was all the Heartfilia heiress said. “I got it.”

“Are you okay?”

“You would know.” Lucy said, smiling bitterly. Silence prevailed for the rest of the way home.

“Yeah, I would.” Loke cringed, looking straight ahead at the road as he drove. “I hate it when you’re not okay.”

Lucy chuckled. “Ditto.”

It had never been an easy task, listening to the infuriated shouts between father and daughter. For the servants of the Heartfilia faction, as they stood worriedly on the grand staircase across the double doors of Jude Heartfilia’s home office, it was hard listening to Jude berating his daughter, but it was even harder to hear Lucy shouting back because they knew that she loved her father and she didn’t want to be angry with him, not even a bit.“Should we come in?” Aries, one of Lucy’s two personal maids, worriedly clung to her big brother Loke’s arm. “Onii-sama, Lucy-hime is already crying.”

Loke simply laid a hand on top of is sister’s and gave her a reassuring look. Aries turned to Virgo, her older sister and Lucy’s other personal maid, and to Supetto-san, the late Layla Heartifilia’s personal maid, but the two women simply shook their heads. Finally, the young woman looked towards old man Crux, the house’s old keeper, standing beside Lucy’s old tutor Grandpa Belo and the manor’s butler, Caprico. At the bottom of the staircase, the Heartfilia librarian Libon-san and their cook Eido-san were also standing, listening in.

“Lucy-chan will be alright.” Grandpa Belo said.

“She has never cried in front of him for years!” Aries insisted, biting her lip as she realized she had raised her voice. “I’m sorry…”

She was right, they all knew. Lucy had cried after her arguments with her father but always on her own. Most times she turned to Loke and sometimes Aries and Virgo comforted her, but she always stood her ground against her father.

This time they were talking about how it was such a mistake for Jude to agree for Lucy to study in Fairy High, how her grades aren’t as good as they’re supposed to be, how she’s not the top of her class anymore and how she wastes her time with her so-called friends.

The servants would disagree — their young heiress had never been happier with the friends she made in Fairy High.

After an exchange of stubborn arguments, they heard Jude come to a conclusion. “You’re in your senior year but I’m sure if we show them your best grades, Sorciere will still be willing to take you in — after all you are the valued daughter of the—”

“Heartfilia Konzern, the most prestigious family of Magnolia!” — they heard Lucy finish bitterly for her father. “Valued daughter?! When did that happen, father?! I haven’t been your daughter for years! I’ve been your trophy, I’ve been the bow on top of the fancily-wrapped box that’s called your damned Heartfilia Konzern! Family business? It would be if you treated me like family!”

“Lucy Heartfilia, listen to yourself!”

“I’ve been doing that since you won’t do it for me, father!”

The servants were too busy listening in to pretend to mind their own business as Lucy barged out the room, away from more of her father’s hurtful words.

The Heartfilia heiress had tears running down her cheeks as she paused at the sight of them all standing by in wait, worried for her.

“Princess…” Virgo reached out, but Lucy simply gripped the maid’s hand and gave it a light squeeze. Lucy tried to smile at the young woman, but it looked strained.

Lucy sniffed, then looked at Loke and held out a hand. “Keys.”

Loke hesitantly took out the car keys but before he dropped them in his mistress’ hand, he said, “No overspeeding.”

“I promise.” Lucy said, smiling the smile that none of the Heartfilia servants would be able to resist, even when she’s so obviously faking it. She caught the car keys tossed towards her and after a whispered “Thanks”, descended the grand staircase and went out the front door.

She began sobbing again as she drove away from the mansion, dialling the first number on her list of friends. She put the phone on speaker mode and listened to the ringing. “Goddammit, pick up.”

Cana was eating her late dinner for the night as she watched Natsu and Gray make exagerrated shooting sounds while they were playing a game in Gray’s old and beaten up PlayStation. For all the new consoles out there, Gray has always been loyal to this one. Ditto for Natsu, who abandoned his Xbox at home to accept his rival’s Zombie Apocalypse challenge.Cana swore that the two got every target in the game committed into memory. They’d been playing it since they were ten and the brunette only wondered how the hell the CD isn’t scratched beyond recognition yet. Cana had also thought that after her extended shift at her part-time job, she’ll be coming home to some peace and quiet, with her flatmate busy doing homework. But no — Gray had invited Natsu of all people to PLAY.

She simply chewed on her microwaved dinner as she read through the incomprehensible word problem that was her physics homework.

Cana didn’t grow up with Gray and Natsu for nothing — she was used to their antics, but she was trying to have a nice meal while doing her homework and they were cursing each other and the zombies in the game were noisy and there were shooting sounds and someone’s phone was ringing—


Gray and Natsu didn’t stop to look at her, but Gray called back, above the zombie and shooting noises, “No way, Juvia already called a while ago!”

“Wait, that’s mine!” Natsu said, pausing the game as he got his phone from his pocket. Gray and Cana simply watched as he raised an eyebrow at the caller’s name and then answered the call in his usual happy tone. “Hey, Luigi! What’s up?”

Cana simply smirked and went back to her meal and homework while Gray went to the kitchen to fetch himself a drink.

They both looked back, however, when Natsu paused and his tone turned serious. “Luce? Are you crying?” — a pause — ‘No, I’m at Gray’s.’ Natsu said, glancing at his companions. “Ya wanna meet me at home? You’re on your way? Who’s drivi— Oi, LUCY, you be careful— What, you’re outside?! The hell y’doing driving that car like it’s a freaking Hotwheels?!”

Natsu stood up, turned to Gray and said, “Frosty, we’re gonna have a rematch!” before barging out the door.

“That was weird.” Gray said.

“Whose life are you living?” Cana simply rolled her eyes.

A few moments later, Gray was just turning off the console when Natsu went back in, a crying Lucy in his arms. Cana immediately dropped her meal and homework and ran to her friend. Gray hurriedly cleared the living room of the snacks and stray pillows as Natsu sat their unexpected guest down the couch.

“I’m so s-s-sorry for coming in like this…” Lucy sobbed. Cana noted the girl’s hands shaking as she gripped her phone. Natsu was looking at the girl in concern, wiping freely-falling tears with his free hand, the other one wrapped around the blonde’s waist. Lucy was leaning against Natsu weakly.

The brunette sat down on the blonde’s other side and rubbed her back. “What happened, Lucy?” Gray listened in from the kitchen as he prepared a cold glass of water.

“I had a fight with my dad…” Lucy said, catching the hand that was carressing her face and twining her fingers against it instead. Natsu held her closer. “I’m really sorry, guys—”

“It’s okay.” Cana said firmly. “Keep going.”

Lucy attempted a smile, but failed. “It’s just… It was the usual at first, about me wasting his time and… and thinking of so many unnecessary things. We’ve been having that for so long now. I can take that, no matter how many times he just pushes me aside—” her voice broke again and tears started to fall again.

Cana bit her lip — she wasn’t used to Lucy crying. Lucy was like this bright ball of happiness in their circle and even though Cana knew that the blonde had issues with her father, Cana didn’t know it was this bad.

“He was thinking of transferring me to Sorciere and I wouldn’t have that.”

“Yeah. We know.” Natsu said, smiling at Lucy reassuringly. “We won’t let ’im take you away from us, Luce.”

Lucy whimpered and nodded. “I know, but then I lost it and I shouted back at him. I didn’t want to do that… I didn’t want to-.. I didn’t want to be angry but I’m so mad at him right now. I love him but I’m so hurt by everything he said and everything he’s been doing and-… I-… I don’t know what to feel—”

“Sssshhh.” Natsu hushed her, letting go of her hand to stroke her hair as Lucy simply buried her head on his shoulder and silently sobbed.

To the side, Gray was torn on what to do, when to offer the glass of water to his friend or when to join in the huddle and pat the blonde’s head like he always does. Cana was at a loss, too — she really had no idea on how to deal with the situation.

Natsu glanced at them. Then, seemingly reading their expressions, he simply nodded in dismissal as if to tell them ‘I got this, guys’.

Cana nodded back and pat Gray’s arm as she sat back down on the dining table. Gray simply sighed and drank the water himself — damn, he didn’t know what to do with crying girls… plus, he wanted to punch Lucy’s dad if he’s really being that big of a jerk. Gray looked at their living room again — Lucy crying against Natsu — and the raven-head simply can’t imagine how much Natsu must want to beat the living lights out of the man who hurt his best friend. Natsu’s berserk button was his friends, but everyone knew that Lucy is his girl and hurting Natsu’s girl is just the same as pushing ten berserk buttons.

“I just want to be a family again.” Lucy mumbled. “He’s just right down the hall, and all these years he’s this total stranger — can’t he be my dad for once? I miss my mom but I can’t help but miss him more…”

“I feel like we shouldn’t be watching this.” Gray muttered, sitting beside Cana, who was looking down at her food numbly. When his roommate didn’t answer, he peered at her face. “Yo, Cana?”

Cana quickly brushed the daze away from her expression and masked it with business. “If you don’t feel like looking, then just don’t.”

Gray rolled his eyes. “What’s gotten into you?”


“This is about Gildarts, isn’t it?”

“I said it’s nothing.” Cana insisted, half-glaring.

Gray simply stood up and crossed his arms across his chest, looking for something to do and finding it in the form of the dishes in the sink. He grudgingly mumbled, “People and their issues…” under his breath before he started washing the dishes.

Cana looked back at their living room, where her guests are having their own moment. For all the time she knew Natsu, this was one of the very few times she saw him look so calm and understanding. The pink-haired young man was holding both of Lucy’s hands and nodding as the girl talked in a hushed voice.

Cana tried her best not to listen in, but she heard some snippets of the conversation.

“—you still gonna go home after all—”

“—he’s still my dad, I still love him—”

“—just gonna walk in like nothing happened?”

“—have to sneak in through the back door, I guess—”

“Loke let you drive—”

“I didn’t overspeed—”

“You were crying! I wanna—”

“—I’m alright—”

“—punch your dad in the face—”

“—I’m okay—”

“—and why are you sitting on Icepick’s boxers?”

Cana looked back to them and Lucy looked down.

The awkward silence was broken when Gray dumped the plate he was washing and rushed back to the living room. “DAMMIT MY CLOTHES!”

The next moment, Natsu and Lucy were laughing as Natsu threw the alleged clothes out the window and Gray had to look for his pants before busting out the flat to get the “goddamned piece of cloth back I will kill you for this, firehead!”

“That was mean, even for you.” Lucy reprimanded Natsu gently, wiping the tears from her eyes. The beginning of a grin was forming in her face.

“Feeling better now?” Cana asked from her seat and Lucy turned to her with a small, more honest smile this time. Maybe crying all that pressure out worked. “Good.”

“So, Luce.” Natsu said, grinning at his best friend just as Gray went in, muttering about the neighbor’s dog and his now torn boxers. “What d’you say we beat Frosty up in shooting zombies?”

“I won’t go easy on you.” Gray said, booting up the PlayStation again. He was comforted by the fact that he can do something for his friend now.

Lucy smirked at him. Despite her puffy eyes and red cheeks, her friends can tell that she’s back to being her cheerful self. Lucy is strong like that. “Challenge accepted.”

The exagerrated shooting noises and the distracting zombie moans and groans were louder this time, but Cana wouldn’t complain. She’s just relieved that Lucy had stopped crying and that they have their little star back.

“Gray, why didn’t you finish the dishes?!”

“I’m cheering Lucy up! Letting her win—”

“Frosty, you’re just bitter because a girl’s beating you up!”

“Haha! Taste my fury!”

“I was going easy on you.”

“No, Luce’s just BETTER!”

“I hate you all.”

Lucy parked the car as quietly as she could, then called Loke to let her in. As she went in through the back door, the bodyguard looked at her with a reprimanding expression. “2 AM, princess? I knew you were upset but this is pushing it.”“Oh, shut up.” Lucy said, punching the guy’s shoulder playfully. “Your pajamas take all the dignity away from what you’re saying, anyway.”

Loke sighed. “Where were you?” He asked, not a shred suspicious, just honestly curious.

“Gray and Cana’s.” the blonde answered, taking off her shoes and rubbing her eyes tiredly. “Shooting virtual zombies.”

Loke tried to muster up more dignity even in his sleepwear. “Is that how girls fight sadness now?”

“No, we’re just crazy.”

“Are you feeling better, then?”

“I’m much better.” Lucy said with a reassuring smile, then returned the car keys. “Thanks for letting me go a while ago. Go back to sleep now.”

Loke simply nodded. “You too, love. Sleep tight.”

He watched the blonde heiress disappear to her room before locking the back door and going back to sleep.

Back in her room, Lucy had just changed into her nightgown when she heard tapping on her bedroom window. She almost screamed when Natsu and Happy came tumbling in her room.

“NATSU!” she hissed, trying to keep her voice down. “What the hell are you doing, I just dropped you home!”

“Ugh, didn’t know the branch was that far.” Natsu said, rubbing the back of his head.

“You jumped from the tree?” Lucy asked, rubbing her temples. She smiled kindly when Happy purred at her feet, and then she lifted the cat up. “Why are you here?”

“I brought Happy.” the young man replied. “Thought he’d make you… well, happy.”

Lucy sighed, then smiled and crouched down to Natsu’s level, still hugging the blue cat. “Thanks. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“Probably would’ve run to Levy instead?” Natsu asked, obviously guessing.

The blonde rolled her eyes. “Ahhh, yeah. You got a point.”

“Happy’s sleeping over here tonight, ’kay?”


“Gotta go home now before Igneel wakes up. Be a good boy, Happy.”

The cat mewed in response. Lucy watched as Natsu walked towards the window and got ready to go ninja and jump towards the tree.

“Take care on your way.”

“Hey, Luce.” Natsu called, crouched on her windowsill and ready to jump anytime. “You good at counting?”

Lucy raised an eyebrow. Natsu was being weird — “Um, I guess so?”

The young man looked at her with his usual innocent expression and said, “Because, you know, your dad’s one person but we’re like, more than twenty people. And Igneel always told me to count what you have, not what you don’t have.”

Lucy smiled.

Natsu scratched his head, probably at a loss of how to say what he wanted to say, then he simply gave up. “So what I’m trying to say is we all love you so if your dad doesn’t want to join in, leave ’im alone. It’s his loss. He wouldn’t know that loving you feels awesome.”

Lucy wanted to cry again, this time in happiness, but she held herself. “Thanks, Natsu.”

Natsu grinned. “And you shouldn’t say sorry like fifty times when you cry on us. Nothing wrong with being sad.”

The blonde simply nodded. “Yeah.”

“See ya — nin nin!” Natsu did a ninja impersonation before jumping out the girl’s window.

Lucy left the window open as she fell asleep with Happy curled up against her shoulder. She slept with a smile because she had a good day. It may not have been perfect, it may have had those little (or sometimes not-so-little) boughts of heartbreak, but her day had been good nevertheless.

Tomorrow, she decided, she’ll wake up with a smile like always. The next thing she’ll do is count, and then be happy

Chapter Notes:

Tell me what you think of our AU!world so far.

I’m trying to keep every chapter different in writing style and/or mood. It’s an experiment. And yep, I’m also keeping the one-song-per-chapter trend, although what the next song will be will always be a surprise. 😉 I just always take all the feel-good, feel-young songs from my playlist.

Next chapter will be more fun because I’m a Juvia fangirl…

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