Why hello there! This is just something I had to write because my angsty NaLu feels were creeping up on me! I got the idea from this story from personal experience. My apartment was recently infested with carpenter ants and it was a drag. Anyways, thank you for taking the time to check this out! It's my first fanfic so please let me know what you thought of it!

Disclaimer: I do not own Fairy Tail

It was the middle of the night and everything was peaceful in the town of Magnolia. That was, until a certain dragon slayer's door was being pounded on so hard that it was dangerously close to falling off its hinges.

Natsu bolted up and clumsily ran to the door, flinging it wide open, barely aware of his blue Exceed friend close behind him who was also groggily rubbing at his eyes.

Immediately, a shriek filled the small house and a figure that Natsu couldn't quite make out in the dark sped past him. He heard something land in his bed with an oomph and as his senses came back to him, he chuckled and closed the door. Lucy, he thought in amusement. There was fear in the air around her, but Natsu knew it wasn't life-threatening so he calmly walked back to his room and leaned up against the door frame, crossing his arms over his chest, and stared at the blonde who was shaking, hunched over on his bed.

"Luce. What are you doing here?" He yawned, a twinkle in his eye.

She didn't answer right away. Her body was shaking and her head was whipping around the room, searching for something. Natsu sighed and asked once more, "Lucy? What are you doing here? It's the middle of the ni – "

"Bugs," she said.

"Umm…" Happy mumbled, confused. He looked around the room blearily, and despite it being a mess, there were no bugs that he could pinpoint.

"Lucy," Natsu began, a grin spreading across his face, "my house may be a little on the dirty side, but I'm pretty sure I don't have any bugs." He had a feeling he knew what was coming next.

"No," the celestial wizard responded slowly, finally starting to calm down. "There are bugs in my apartment. Bugs…in…my…bed," she squeaked, shivering at the memory and rubbing her shoulders as if to calm herself.

"Ooooh, Lucy's afraid of bugs, Natsu!" Happy teased, landing softly behind her. He started tickling his paw up her arm, imitating the creepy crawlies that their blonde friend hated.

At this, Lucy screamed and jumped so high off the bed that she ended up toppling over onto the floor, face first. Her cheeks were bright red as she scrambled back into a sitting position and she started shaking the invisible bugs off of her body. All the while, Natsu laughed so hard at his partner's antics that he had to grab his sides; he couldn't stop himself from falling over.

"Can it, cat!" Lucy yelled as she realized that it was just Happy who was messing with her. Following that, she gave Natsu a dirty look, agitated that he was still on the floor laughing at her. She held this grimace until he started calming down and moved to a sitting position on the ground.

He wiped away tears from his eyes as his expressive features stared up at her. At this, Lucy immediately began to feel self-conscious—she was still in her thin tank top and gray cotton shorts that she went to sleep in; not something she would wear over to Natsu's house—and looked away.

"So, there are bugs in your apartment. Why did you come here?" the pink-haired wizard asked, still trying not to chuckle at her.

"Well," Lucy nervously started, "I noticed earlier that there were a few ants, so I told myself to call my landlady and get the exterminator to come out in the morning. But as I was getting ready for bed, I noticed a beetle on my floor." Her lips puckered into a frown at the memory. "I killed it and just kept getting ready for bed."

"Aw, why'd you kill it Lucy? It didn't do anything to you!" Happy yelled, still perched on the bed and feigning horror at the thought of her killing a defenseless bug.

"It came into my house completely uninvited. Sort of like a certain dragon slayer and his cat," Lucy grumbled and then continued, "but anyway, I guess after I turned out the lights to go to bed, they all…came out. I woke up with something crawling across my stomach and," Lucy gulped and shuddered, remembering the feeling, "and there were bugs…everywhere. So I got up and ran and here I am." She finished by plopping back down on the bed.

Natsu stared at her, blinking once, and prompted, "Okay, so why did you come here?"

"I don't know, Natsu," the blonde sighed, laying back down on the bed in defeat and flinging a hand across her eyes. She really hadn't realized where she was heading until she was banging on his front door. Inwardly, she supposed that in that moment, she had been frightened, and Natsu, her best friend in the whole world, made her feel safe. She smiled up at the ceiling at that, sat back up and picked up Happy, setting him in her lap. Stroking the top of his head, she said, "I guess I just feel safe around you two!"

Natsu's goofy grin got even bigger and he crossed his arms behind his head. "All right! So, do you need a place to stay for the night?"

"Yes please." Lucy smiled.

Even though she hadn't intended on barging in on her goofball of a friend, she was glad she had. There was just this contagious air around Natsu and Happy that one could not ignore. It had been a few years since Lucy had run away from her father's estate—not counting the seven year gap that followed the incident at Tenrou Island—and in that time, Lucy and Natsu's friendship had blossomed. At first, the dragon slayer and Exceed's intrusions in her apartment were irksome, to say the least. But as time went on, Natsu regularly spent the night. Eventually, a routine began to form and he and Happy would break in through the window, and depending on the time of day, they would eat, play games, go to the guild, and then more often than not, they would fall asleep either watching something on Lucy's movie lacrima or talking.

It was rare for Lucy to visit Natsu's abode in the woods, however. Come to think of it, Lucy thought, I don't think I've ever actually spent the night here.

She shrugged off the thought as Natsu spoke up, "Well, you can take my bed. I'll take the couch. Where are you sleeping, Happy?"

"I'll sleep with Lucy!" the blue feline purred as Lucy scratched a particular spot behind his ears.

"No, Natsu," interrupted Lucy, "I couldn't take your bed. I'll sleep on the couch, don't worry!" The celestial wizard waved it off, suddenly feeling bad about her intrusion.

She had burst into his house in the middle of the night, woken him up, and made him listen to her horror story, after all.

But, Natsu just smiled. He got up from his position on the floor and walked over to his two best friends. His smile became gentler as he looked at them. "No way am I gonna let a pretty girl sleep on that awful excuse for a couch," he said. And just as the words left his mouth, both his and the blonde's cheeks grew pink.

"I… Uh, thanks," Lucy squeaked. "But really, Natsu, I couldn't take your bed." Now, Lucy was starting to get fidgety under his gaze. She quickly stood up and rushed out of his room, a forced smile plastered on her face as she carried Happy to the little kitchen with her.

Natsu stood in his room, staring at the spot where Lucy had been sitting on his bed. He let out a breath he didn't realize that he had been holding and chuckled a bit as he scratched the back of his head.

Lucy? Pretty? He blushed again when he realized that he had just admitted to his best friend that he thought she was pretty. Yeah, everyone thought Lucy was pretty, including Natsu, he just couldn't believe that he had just told her that. Oh well, he thought as he walked out into the living room towards his friends.

He found Lucy drinking a glass of water, though she nearly spat it out because of something Happy said. The dragon slayer didn't quite catch whatever it was though, because Lucy's hand smacked over the cat's mouth and her face flushed up to the roots of her hair. He didn't think much of it as he walked past her and went to the fridge. He bent over, scanning the shelves and pulled out a few of its contents—mostly lunchmeat, soda, cheese sticks and sausages—and piled them high in his arms. He then closed the refrigerator door and with his free hand dragged Lucy with him to the couch and sat down.

"So, what are you gonna do about the bugs?" Natsu asked, stuffing his mouth with the lunch meat he had grabbed from the fridge.

Lucy let herself give a small sigh of relief, grateful for the subject change.

The events that had just transpired were so bizarre to her that she had no idea how to react. If she was being completely honest with herself, she'd had a huge crush on Natsu when she'd first met him. She'd been immediately drawn to his free spirit and wild personality—something she had never really got to experience while living with her father on the estate. But as time went on, and she got to know him more, she realized that it was humorous to try to imagine any sort of romantic relationship between the two of them.

Unlike Juvia, Lucy knew a lost cause when she saw one. Natsu was just so naïve when it came to romance, and it also seemed like he didn't get any of the annoying hormones that came with being a young adult. Natsu was just… Dense. Besides, she was happy with the way their friendship was now. She couldn't ask for a more loyal and loving friend than Natsu. She hadn't thought of him as a romantic prospect for years; that was until Happy had said something earlier while they were in the kitchen.

"He said you were pretty, Lucy! He liiiiik – "

But, he never got to finish due to Lucy's hand slapping over his mouth, right before Natsu walked back in.

When Natsu gulped the massive quantity of food in his mouth down and quirked a brow at her, Lucy remembered that he had asked her a question. "Uh, well, like I said earlier, I'll have to call my landlady in the morning. I hope it's not the entire complex," she groaned at the thought.

"Why not?" Natsu asked, leaning back against the sofa and popping open a can of fizzy soda.

"Well," the blonde looked up at the ceiling, putting her finger to her lips in thought, "that would probably mean that the complex has an infestation. And who knows how long that'll take to fix?" Lucy looked back down to find Natsu's eyes glued to her, staring intensely at something. She cocked her head slightly to the side.

Natsu immediately looked away from her lips and back to her eyes. "Oh," he said and took a quick sip of his drink. He then bit the inside of his cheek in concentration, tapping his finger against the soda can. "What will you do if that happens?"

The young mage took a cheese stick out of Natsu's snack pile and nibbled on it. She thought for a moment before saying, "I don't know. If that does happen, I'll see if I can stay with Erza or Levy."

"You could always stay with us, Lucy!" Happy exclaimed.

"Yeah!" Natsu agreed enthusiastically, propping his hands behind his head, the familiar grin spreading across his face.

Lucy's heart warmed knowing that her friends cared so much for her. "Are you sure I wouldn't be bothering you guys?"

"Come on, Luce, how many times do we break in to your apartment on a weekly basis?" Natsu laughed, "It'll be fun!"

"Okay, if there's something wrong with my apartment, then I'll stay with you guys," Lucy laughed alongside her friends. A wicked thought, deep in the crevices of the celestial wizard's mind, starting needling its way through to her consciousness.

…Do I actually want there to be something wrong with the apartment?

Lucy just pushed the thought away, feeling terrible for thinking such a thing. She's been stressed out recently and it would be fun to hang out with her friends! Nothing more, nothing less.

The rest of the night went on, and Lucy, Natsu and Happy relocated from the incredibly uncomfortable couch to Natsu's bed. When they began talking about their next mission, light began trickling in through the windows of the small house.

Lucy groaned. "Now I'm not going to be able to get to sleep. It's going to be a long day."

"Well," Natsu started, shifting his position on the bed to where he was nearly crushing Happy with his weight. "We could always grab a quick nap before going to the guild."

Happy crawled out from underneath the dragon slayer. "Not me! I'm going to see Carla today!" The cat was positively beaming.

Lucy, on the opposite end of the bed, stretched her feet out so they were near Natsu's chest. "This early? Don't get mad at us when she throws a tantrum."

Happy just smiled at that and said, "No, I think I'll surprise her with a fish! Then she won't be mad at me!"

Lucy and Natsu laughed at this, knowing that Carla's bad mood would certainly not be fixed with a fish, but the stellar mage had to give the cat props for his persistent attitude towards the white Exceed.

"Go get her, buddy!" Natsu laughed and gave his furry friend a high five.

Happy grinned and left, saying something about going to go fish so he could give Carla something fresh. After the cat's departure, Lucy and Natsu were alone, each lying down length-wise on the bed with Natsu's head by the headboard, and Lucy's propped up on a few pillows at the foot of the bed.

The next few moments were spent in comfortable silence. Lucy gazed at Natsu, and he gave his wide grin back in reply. She then remembered, begrudgingly, why she was there in the first place and gave a little huff.

"I can't believe my apartment is riddled with bugs," she complained.

Natsu's grin turned into a little frown. He didn't like seeing Lucy upset; he never did. It was one thing when she was complaining about her rent or how childish she thought he and Gray could be, but this seemed to legitimately stress her out and it made him uncomfortable. He didn't like it when any of his friends were upset or stressed, but when it came to Lucy, he almost took it personally. He felt like it was his duty to see to the fact that she was in a good mood. He took pride in the fact that he could make her smile. So, he decided he would try to do just that.

"How about I just go and scorch all the bugs for you?" he suggested enthusiastically.

"Don't be dumb, Natsu. It won't help if my apartment goes up in flames with the bugs."

Natsu pouted at that. He tried to think of something else, and absentmindedly put his hands on her feet that were next to him. "Hmm. Well, what do you do when you get bugs?" he asked.

"Well, you can try to set up bug traps if there are just a few of them. But, usually, you need to call an exterminator to get rid of them," Lucy said. "I'll have to talk to my landlady today to see if she's gotten any other complaints. But I definitely need an exterminator to come out regardless." She let her eyes flutter close as Natsu started circling his thumbs over the tops of her feet.

It was comforting, and it felt nice.

A little too nice.

A warm sensation began in her belly, and as good as it felt, it made her a little uncomfortable. The feeling only intensified when Natsu actually shifted so that he was making a V with his legs, placing his thighs outside of both of her own, and grabbed one foot and began to gently massage it with the pads of his thumbs.

"N-Natsu? What are you doing?" Lucy stuttered, her eyes shooting open.

"What? I'm massaging your feet. Doesn't that calm girls down?" Natsu murmured questioningly.

He had heard from Wakaba that whenever his wife got too angry or stressed, usually all it took to calm her down was a foot massage. Lucy wasn't nearly as crazy as his guild-mate's wife, but he figured he'd give it a shot since he still wanted her to feel better.

Lucy gave Natsu a look and shrugged.

It wasn't like he would make a move or anything. This was Natsu. Lucy highly doubted he would know sexual tension if it came up and bit him on the ass.

There were a few times in the beginning of their relationship when he'd barged in on her while she was changing and was completely unfazed by the sight of her nearly naked. At first, even while flustered and demanding that he leave to let her have some privacy, it had hurt her womanly pride; he hadn't even glanced at her unclad breasts and his face hadn't even flushed when she walked out in a towel to find him lounging on her bed.

There were a few times when she had found herself in similar situations with Gray, when he had unknowingly walked in after her bath, and even the ice wizard had blushed and gotten embarrassed and turned his head away. But never Natsu. Lucy quickly got used to it however, accepting that their relationship would remain a close friendship and finally came to terms with it.

So this foot massage shouldn't be anything to worry about, she told herself.

Lucy leaned her head against the pillows behind her and started to relax, letting Natsu's calloused hands work magic on her feet. She could tell he had never done this before, because he was a bit too timid in his movements, but the sheer heat of his unnaturally warm body made up for it. His fingers found the arch in her foot and she let out a soft sigh.

She could totally get used to this.

When Natsu heard the breath leave Lucy's lips, he began to feel…funny. Warmth encompassed his belly. He knew heat; he was a fire dragon slayer after all. But this warmth was much different than any fire he had ever felt. It settled low in his belly and slowly spread out through his limbs. It made him stop the massage.

He began to recognize the feeling as lust.

Natsu was slow on the uptake, but he wasn't stupid. And he had the same hormones as every other young man. He usually just ignored those feelings, though. He didn't have the luxury of thinking about girls. He had too many other things to worry about. Whether it was the missions that they went on, or just the fact that he took being a wizard seriously, he never took much thought to delving into his lustful desires. That was why he was so confused when it started to bubble up.

Especially because it was happening while he was with his best friend.

A frustrated groan shook him out of his thoughts and he looked up at Lucy.

"Done already?" she asked, a note of remorse in her voice.

"Uh, no, sorry."

He began his work on her feet again, but his thoughts wandered back to what had just happened. He let his gaze fall upon the blonde that was lying before him, her eyes closed, her mouth parted in what appeared to be pleasure from the massage. Some foreign emotion took a hold of Natsu. He couldn't quite place it, but he liked that that look of pleasure was stemming from what he was doing; it made his movements on her foot bolder, digging a little bit harder in the flesh of her heel.

She let out another breath and his chest swelled. "That feels really good, Natsu. You should give me massages more often." Lucy smiled, eyes still closed, reveling in the feeling. She hadn't had a foot massage in a long, long time.

"Really?" Natsu asked. He switched feet and began the ritual on the other. The foot that he had just set down curled up so that her leg was bent, the outside of her thigh resting on the inside of his.

"Yeah. After this, I could give you one too, if you want," Lucy offered, suddenly feeling a little guilty that Natsu had been so hospitable to her, even going so far as to give her a foot massage.

Natsu thought about that for a moment, still working on her foot. He pursed his lips a little.

"How about I take a rain check?" he said.

And even though her eyes were closed, she could hear a smile in his voice. She nodded and went back to relaxing as he continued the massage. He was inwardly glad that she couldn't see the tension that settled on his face. He didn't know where these feelings were coming from, but he definitely knew that it wouldn't be a good idea for her to touch him.

After a while, Natsu's hand started to cramp up and he gently eased her foot back down. She lifted her head, opened her eyes, and smiled at him afterwards. A lump formed in his throat at the sight. If he didn't know any better, he would have called her… Cute.

"Shit," Lucy muttered, her head falling back to the pillow.

"What is it?" Natsu frowned, feeling the moment dissipate.

Lucy sighed and lifted herself off of her back and sat up, legs crossed. She rubbed her eyes and yawned. "I don't have any clothes. But I don't want to go back to the apartment," she stated sourly.

"I could get your stuff for you if you want. Bugs don't bother me."

"Oh, Natsu, you don't have to do that," Lucy said, again feeling the pang of guilt. He was being so nice to her. Not that he wasn't always nice to her, but he seemed to be really going out of his way for her recently. And while it made her feel good that he cared for her, she still couldn't help but feel bad.

"Don't worry about it, I don't mind. It could be a part of my morning run!" Natsu smiled at her again. "Just tell me what you need. You can take a nap while I'm out."

Lucy bit her lip. She was pretty tired. "…Okay."

She told him everything she'd need to get ready: her toothbrush, a change of clothes, and her boots. Afterwards, Natsu helped her under the covers and she couldn't help but blush because he tucked her in. She hadn't been tucked in since she was a child.

Oh grow up Lucy, he's just being hospitable, she thought to herself.

Natsu was almost out of the room and then it was his turn to blush. He stopped in the doorway and turned around. Lucy looked at him questioningly as he nervously scratched the back of his head.

"Um. What kind of clothes? Do you um… I mean… Like… Underwear too?" Natsu asked shyly.

Lucy looked away in embarrassment. She totally forgot that he'd need to get her underwear and a bra as well as the shirt and skirt she had asked him for. Still looking down, she nodded bashfully. "And a bra," she piped, her voice small.

Natsu just nodded and ran out.

As he walked up the path to her apartment, he was nervously fumbling with his hands. Sure, he'd poked around in her underwear drawer before, but this was different. He'd have to actually sift through them and pick them out. And a bra too.

As he climbed through the window, he looked around her apartment. Wow, Lucy wasn't lying. There were bugs everywhere, he thought to himself as he noticed the carpenter ants crawling up the walls and on the ceiling. He felt bad for her. Carpenter ants weren't going to be easy to get rid of, he knew that much. They were a lot like termites. He remembered hearing about how the boy's dorms had them a few years back.

He then remembered the deal that he and Lucy had made. If these carpenter ants were going to take a while to get rid of, that meant Lucy would stay at his house a bit longer. He smiled to himself at that. He enjoyed Lucy's company, and it was kind of nice having her around his house for a change.

But his mood shifted to anxious again as he looked at her closet. He gulped, steeling himself to grab her clothes. In the closet, he quickly found the blue and white button up shirt, and the blue skirt Lucy had told him to get. He then walked over to the drawers and opened them.

Neatly lining the inside of the top drawer were tons of panties of all sorts.

He briefly wondered in amazement at how someone could own so many pairs of underwear. He became curious, looking at them. He started rifling through them, finding some that were fairly decent, but they all had some sort of silk or lace. He kept going until he found a pair of red ones. An image of Lucy in them suddenly clouded his vision. He shook his head and grabbed them, throwing them with the other clothes he had picked out.

He opened the second drawer and found socks.

Okay, socks are fine, I can deal with those, he thought as he picked out a pair. He then moved down one more drawer and opened it to find it lined with lacy, and quite honestly sexy, bras.

His jaw dropped and he had to slam it shut. He closed his eyes and braced himself. He knew Lucy would smack him if she saw him react like this. It was just so damn hard not to. He opened his eyes again as he took in the sight of the bras before him. He found one that was the same shade of red as the panties and picked it up, this time examining it.

It was red and lacy, with black studs lining the upper cups. He couldn't help but imagine Lucy again, wearing it. His mouth watered at the thought, and to his horror, something twitched between his legs. Shoving the panties and the bra in-between the shirt and skirt as he rushed to the bathroom and grabbed her toothbrush, he then finally grabbed her boots. He then quickly hopped out of her window, closed it shut, and walked back to his house, all thoughts of his morning run behind him.

When he arrived back at his house, he walked into his room and found Lucy in a deep sleep. He smiled, laid her clothes down on the table a few feet away from his bed, and walked up to her sleeping form. He looked at her with a gentle smile on his face.

She really was his best friend. He knew that no matter what happened, including if she ever found out about his lecherous reactions to her undergarments earlier, their relationship was rock-solid. He knew what companionship was like. He had been a part of Fairy Tail for many years now. He considered Happy, Erza, and even Gray to be his best friends—even if the ice freak did happen to grind his gears.

But there was a different sort of affection that he held for Lucy. She was everything he wasn't. She was outrageously smart and cultured but never made him feel bad about his lack of real education. She was witty and funny in a way that he wasn't. Where he was impulsive, she was always thinking of her next move, where he was wild, she was grounded. That wasn't to say that Lucy wasn't any fun, because Natsu always had fun when he was with her. Their personalities just melded so perfectly with each other.

Not for the first time, Natsu thanked the heavens that he was able to have such an amazing person in his life.

He started feeling the drowsiness of his lack of sleep and decided that even though he really wanted the bed, he didn't want to wake her up. Sleeping on the crappy couch sounded incredibly unappealing, though. He debated with himself for a while and decided on leaning up against the bed; he grabbed the blanket off of the couch, knowing he wasn't going to be sleeping for long anyway.

Taking one last look at Lucy's sleeping face as he leaned up against his bed, he bent one leg up and wrapped an arm around it, with the blanket covering him snuggly. Before long, his soft, sleepy snores matched the stellar mage's as they both drifted fondly away into their dreams.