Hello, dear readers. Thank you for tuning in on my newest story, Shining Bright. I got the inspiration from the song 'Bright' by Echosmith. Please go give it a listen!

The majority of this tale will be expressed through Natsu's point of view. Considering I am not a male, his thoughts and actions might seem a little "romanticized" because I tend to fantasize that's how all guys think. Also, I'm making Lucy a bit more modest in the way she dresses. I apologize in advance to any 'out-of-character' scenes.

Disclaimer: I do not own any characters mentioned within this FanFic, all rights belong solely to Hiro Mashima. Any and all lyrics written within the story belong to their respective writers and/or organizations.

Shining Bright

Natsu Dragneel shuffled his feet as he sauntered about the streets of Magnolia City, his hands jammed deep within his forest green jacket. His scaled scarf billowed behind him in the brisk October air, and his salmon locks sat snugly tucked away beneath a black beanie. A steady stream of hot air collided with the chilled temperature, creating a misty illusion as the teen exhaled. A pair of deep charcoal eyes watched the pavement, disappointment and frustration swelling beneath the surface.

This was his third failed audition. His third attempt to snag a shot at making his big break in the music industry. Three chances that fluttered just out of his grasp.

He had been playing the guitar for nearly thirteen years now, having been introduced to it by the ripe age of five by his late father. He was damn good at it too; unfortunately, he was missing something—a voice.

Each judge gave him props for his skillful technique, but he needed a voice to truly reach the audience. But there was just one infinitesimal problem—Natsu couldn't sing. At all. His best friend Gray caught him singing in the shower when they were twelve, and Natsu had yet to live it down.

The disgruntled teen sighed dramatically and kicked an emptied can lying on the sidewalk. The audition concluded nearly five hours ago at seven; however, Natsu was too discouraged to return to his apartment and face his hopeful friends waiting eagerly for the "good" news. It was now nearing midnight, and Natsu just continued meandering aimlessly around the city.

A faint buzzing noise echoed from his faded jean pocket, alerting him to an incoming phone call. He ceased his walking briefly and extracted the device, the light from the screen blinding him momentarily. It was Erza, wondering where his sorry ass was, no doubt.

Natsu stared at the screen, an unreadable expression reaching his eyes. He swallowed roughly before clicking the top button, effectively ignoring the incoming call, and placed the cell phone back into his front pocket. He'd pay for that later, but at the moment he just wanted to be left alone.

Natsu couldn't explain to his friends why playing the guitar was so important to him—they couldn't possibly understand. It had been Igneel's dream to become the greatest guitar artist in all of Fiore; however, his dream was cut short ten years ago. Now, Natsu decided to take it upon himself to make that dream a reality. He would get stronger to keep his father alive through the music.

Natsu lifted his head and stared at the bright moon as it illuminated the sleeping streets of Magnolia. There was only one place that could lift his plummeting morale—the park. The relaxing aroma of wildflowers and the tranquil sounds of nature always proved to encourage the teen.

The Magnolia Public Park was undoubtedly desolate by this time of night, as Natsu had learned over the years. He discovered this personal heaven after Igneel passed. It operated as a coping mechanism, allowing the boy to play his music and cry in peace.

Natsu sighed and shook his head, clearing his mind, before he took off running, his guitar case bouncing against his calves as he pushed his legs faster. The chilled air bit at his exposed skin, causing a tingling sensation to bubble up inside him. Shops and street signs whizzed passed before they gradually began dwindling in number. Natsu's breaths exploded the air around him into a tizzy of mist and smoke, his throat ached with each touch of frozen atmosphere.

Natsu soared over a hedge on the main street, disappearing into the foliage. He'd taken this route for years now, effectively shaving minutes from the journey. His pace slowed into a gait, his breathing desperate and hungry. Natsu brought his hand to his face and wiped away droplets of sweat as they descended across his skin.

He rested his palms on his knees to regain his composure before stretching back and sighing. He really did enjoy a good run. He quickly readjusted his guitar strap on his shoulder and continued towards his special spot within the park.

A fountain drizzled serenely nearby and crickets sang out to one another in a flurry of chirping songs. The world wasn't quite frozen enough to extinguish the life inside the park—insects, birds, mammals of all sorts still clung to what little warmth remained.

Natsu ambled towards an open meadow enclosed entirely by trees on the outskirts of the public park. It was within reach, but perfectly hidden from those who didn't bother to look.

Hundreds of pink flowers called Sedum 'Autumn Joy' sprouted from the ground, their scent tickling Natsu's exceptional nose. This was home.

The exhausted teen pushed through the trees obstructing him from the meadow and found a comfortable area to recline. He brought his guitar and placed it at his feet before lacing his fingers behind his head and gazing at the constellations. The sweet fragrance of the night began lulling him to a blissful sleep.

Just as his consciousness teetered between oblivion and reality, a brisk wind fluttered against his ears, alerting him to a melody riding the breeze. One charcoal eye opened drowsily, followed by the other after a moment. Natsu pushed himself onto his elbows and quieted his breathing, focusing solely on listening to the magic of the sounds surrounding him.

The sound of a guitar being plucked reached the pinkette's attentive ears. The tone was slow and upbeat all in one, intricate melodious rhythm. Natsu rectified himself into a sitting position, his front now turned to face the entrance of his little meadow. His interest was piqued at he began to stand. And then he heard the voice. The sweet, undeniably angelic voice.

I think the universe is on my side
Heaven and Earth have finally aligned
Days are good and that's the way it should be

Natsu stood, frozen by the feminine voice drifting from just outside the layer of trees. He couldn't see what creature was producing something so, for lack of a better term, god damn beautiful. He took a careful step, focused on silence as the guitar continued to play.

You sprinkle star dust on my pillow case
It's like a moon being brushed across my face
Nights are good and that's the way it should be

The curious teen continued to silently drift across the field, trying desperately to make no noise and alert the owner of the voice. Slowly but surely, he neared the end of the meadow.

You make me sing ooohhh la la laaa
You make a girl go oohhh oohhh
I'm in love, love

Natsu used all his concentration to slowly push through the foliage, revealing a figure resting on the fountain's ledge. A cream acoustic guitar sat perched atop the legs of a blonde girl no older than Natsu himself. She wore black leggings around her wide hips, scuffed brown leather boots encased her small feet, and a long pale blue oversized sweater with intricate white designs fell effortlessly over her well-endowed chest and thin waist.

Rings and other trinkets littered her long, pale fingers as they strummed the guitar. Braided leather bracelets snaked up her left wrist, and long golden, slightly waved tresses fell across her chest. Something sparkled and reflected the moonlight on her neck. Natsu squinted his eyes and saw she wore a long necklace with a golden key as the centerpiece.

The girl's amber eyes danced along the strings of the guitar as she continued playing. The melody picked up speed, and Natsu saw a piercing smile break across her breathtaking face.

Did you see thatshooting star tonight?
Were you dazzled by the same constellation?
Did you and Jupiter conspire to get me?
I think you and the Moon and Neptune got it right
'Cause now I'm shining bright, so bright
Bright, so bright

And I see colors in a different way

You make what doesn't matter fade to grey

Life is good and that's the way it should be

You make me sing ooohhh la la laaa
You make a girl go oohhh oohhh
I'm in love, love

Did you see that shooting star tonight?

Were you dazzled by the same constellation?

Did you and Jupiter conspire to get me?

I think you and the Moon and Neptune got it right

'Cause now I'm shining bright, oooohhh, so bright

And I get lost, oooohh, in your eyes

Did you see that shooting star tonight?

Were you dazzled by the same constellation?
Did you and Jupiter conspire to get me?

I think you and the Moon and Neptune got it right
I think you and the Moon and Neptune got it right

I think you and the Moon and Neptune got it right

'Cause now I'm shining bright, so bright
Bright, so bright

Bright, so bright

And I get lost in your eyes


Natsu was all but in front of the mysterious girl, ditching any hope of remaining unseen. He wasn't quite sure how he ended up there, his feet just moved of their own accord. Her hauntingly beautiful voice still rang in his ears as they desperately pleaded to bathe in the melody all over again.

The blonde teen hadn't noticed Natsu's approach. Her amber eyes closed at the conclusion of her song, a single glistening tear escaped and a small smile graced her pale features. She looked so perfectly at ease, and yet something told him she had been through so much during her short life. No voice could have such intense emotion without overcoming hardship and trauma.

The moment was shattered within an instant as Natsu carelessly stepped on a small branch at the base of the fountain, snapping the two teens back into reality. The girl's large eyes flung open, shock and confusion plastered to her face. Her eyes landed on Natsu as he stood dumbstruck before her. He probably resembled a shady character considering it was now after midnight and it was the middle of a park.

Natsu held his hands up in a nonthreatening manner, trying to convey that he wasn't going to hurt the blonde bombshell.

"Um, hi. Sorry to, uh, interrupt?" His voice raised as if asking a question.

The girl sat unmoving as she raised her dainty eyebrow at the strange boy with pink hair standing before her. If he did indeed turn out to be a psycho, she could smash him over the head with her guitar case and run for it.

"So, uh, this isn't what you're probably thinking. I was just passing by, and I heard you singing." Natsu could feel his face flush in embarrassment of the whole situation.

"You're really good. Like really, really good. I've never heard a voice like yours before. I still have goose bumps, look!" Natsu stepped forward and pushed back his jacket, revealing the tiny bumps lining his tanned flesh.

The blonde stifled a small laugh as she gazed at the Natsu, excitement dancing behind her unbelievable eyes.

"Well, thank you for the compliment. I appreciate it."

The blonde smiled up at Natsu, and he could feel something stirring inside his chest. He returned her smile with a lopsided grin.

"Anytime. So, you got a name?" Natsu cocked his head to the side as he watched the blonde nod.

"I'm Lucy. Just Lucy." Natsu extended his hand in greeting.

"Well Just Lucy, I'm Natsu Dragneel."

Lucy brought her delicate, pale hand to Natsu's calloused, tanned one. Both teens grinned mischievously at the other.

"It's a pleasure. So are you going to tell me why you're out at a park at twelve o'clock in the morning?" Lucy gave Natsu a curious expression, her eyebrows raising in suspicion.

Natsu's charcoal eyes darted to his feet as the memories of the day's events came crashing back to reality.

"Well actually I was out here to escape for a bit. I failed an audition and I wanted to be alone, I guess."

Lucy bit her lip, obviously taken aback by his sudden mood swing. "I'm sorry to hear that. What kind of audition did you attend?"

"Hmm? Oh, it was a musical competition. The judges picked the next teen to get a chance at a record label. I play the guitar like you—" Natsu motioned to the instrument nuzzled on Lucy's lap, "—but apparently I'm missing something."

Natsu brought his hand to his chin in deep concentration. The sound of Lucy speaking brought him back from his turbulent thoughts.

"What did they think you were missing?" The blonde's amber eyes reflected the night sky; stars and the moon danced behind her expressive orbs.

Something suddenly clicked in Natsu's mind. His eyes glinted dangerously, a fire ignited in the fabrication of his very being. He had his answer.

"A voice. I was missing a voice." Natsu reached out and grabbed Lucy's pale fingers.

"But I think I've found what I've been looking for."