Alright everyone, the needed and awaited interquel to Second Son is here. Five chapters. All about a different character each chapter. All about them coping with the events of Second Son and moving forward. It may seem useless fluff, but to me it's needed fluff. Now, here is our first chapter.
Those returning from Second Son, welcome back. Those new who never read Second Son, you may want to read through it to figure out whose who and what happened. Regardless, here it is, and I hope you enjoy. This the interquel/sequel to the piece of work I had the most fun writing: Second Son After Words.
This subject manner of the chapter ALMOST dips into M category, but it doesn't go past that line to be mature. But friendly heads up, it touches upon some subjects that can go dark.
Several Weeks after the Epilogue to Second Son
Chapter I: Lucy Heartfilia
Lucy knew something was off that morning even from her usual checklist of things, there weren't a lot but they were still important. First, her curtains were not closed because she could feel the sunlight on her face. That was not the off thing, that was usual for her, the reason why the curtain is parted it because of the second reason. Second item was the warm body in her bed, she cracked her eyes open to see the familiar salmon hair of Natsu Dragneel, with Happy sleeping on the sill of the window. Snuggled in her blankets as if he belong there, she used to protest his company a long time ago but now it was something she had expected nearly every morning. Third was her baby asleep in her crib, except her baby was not in her crib. Her eyes that were half-asleep suddenly shot wide open, she bolted from her bed to the crib. Nothing, the blankets were there, but no baby. At that moment a thousand things ran through her head right now as she ran into the bathroom, she wasn't really thinking of course all that was running through her head was thousands of thoughts of her baby girl being taken to god knows where. It was only until she ran back to her bed to wake Natsu when she breathed a sigh of relief, her baby was in her bed. Natsu had one arm around the baby and was holding her close to his chest, little Joy was sleeping soundly and making soft cooing noises as she did. After Lucy suppressed her murderous thoughts for Natsu for making her worry she quietly climbed back into bed, facing the sleeping Natsu and her hand lightly stroking the soft head of her baby.
Her baby...she still couldn't believe it, her...a mother. It wasn't something she initially planned for her to happen at age twenty but it happened nonetheless….even if the circumstances were strange, who would have thought this little tiny thing came from a dark curse? Lucy was adjusting as well as any young mother could, she was blessed enough for the people in town, they have been helpful in advice and things to plan for and buy. The guild helped when they could, they were not babysitters but they did their best. Master Makarov said he knew some services with good reputations that Lucy could look into when she wanted to take some work, or if she needed a night off for herself and Natsu - which was no secret to everyone at this point. Natsu was surprisingly the biggest help she had, he was a wonder with Joy, he could get her to sleep, calm her down, and was very gentle and patient with her. Which was a miracle in itself considering Natsu's lack of patience to anything in general. As she thought about how Natsu was so good with the baby she found her fingers lightly brushing his exposed shoulders, a gesture she thought went unnoticed.
"You know if the baby wasn't here I would be totally kissing you right now."
Lucy's face went bright red as Natsu's lips went from relaxed to a grin, his eyes opened up to an almost predatory glow and the red that Lucy had on her face went crimson.
"H-how long have you been awake?"
"Long enough." he replied in a confident tone, Lucy wanted to turn her face away but found herself to frozen in spot to move. "Morning."
"M-morning." she replied back, the Dragon-Slayer turning his body around, gently moving around the still sleeping Joy. "Did you bring Joy into my bed last night?"
"Yeah." he nodded, "She was getting upset every time I tried to put her back in the crib so I brought her here tonight. Was I not supposed to?"
"Eh, it's okay...you've been here helping her stay asleep anyway, don't want you to lose some sleep on my part."
"It's not a burden Lucy, I like Joy." Natsu nodded, Happy was stirring from his sleep as well. "I like being with you two."
Lucy tried to fight the urge to kiss him now, she was going to attempt to be mature about this. "Well, thank you Natsu."
"No need, you two are important to me. I don't need thanks."
To hell with maturity, Lucy reached over and crashed her lips onto his. The two of them locking lips for the last time they did felt like forever, even though forever was actually last night at dinner. Both of them had to fight a lot to keep themselves at just 'kissing' with all their responsibilities and such it was hard to keep those hands off each other…perhaps Lucy will look into one of those daycare centers. In the middle of this euphoric kissing they heard horrified gasping, they broke apart to turn to Happy who was wide eyed and horrified at what he might be witnessing.
"Nothing is happening Happy." Natsu clearly was biting back a 'regretfully' as the Exceed slowly nodded. To add to that Joy began to fuss, Natsu gently picked her up in his arms - she settled slightly but was still fussy. Lucy gave a sigh as she took the baby back from Natsu, if she was still fussy that meant it was feeding time. Which wasn't exactly the topless action Natsu was looking for, but it was just something that was a part of their life now.
The guild hall offered little solace as Lucy stared at the piles of letters, requests for jobs. This would be fine and most of them were high in Jewels...but the things they wanted her to do...lets just say it involved lace...and maid outfits...chains...some of the jobs didn't even require clothes at all.
"You'd think popping out a kid would cut the requests down." Cana stated unabashedly.
"Cana!" Mirajane scolded, the drunken wizard shrugged her shoulders.
"Come on we were all thinking it, apparently they just make her more desirable."
"This stuff is...disgusting." Lucy scowled as she read each letter, "Everything from maid service to...oh what do they think I am? Some floozy to be rented by the hour?!"
"This guy sure seems to think so-" Cana swiped one of her letters, her eyes widening, "Oh, this lady sure seems to think-"
"Pitch it." Lucy swiped the letter back and gave it to Mirajane, who gladly tossed them in the trashcan. "I am not, nor will I ever be, somebody's sex object."
"Never huh?" Cana teased, "Not even for the man whose abs you feel up every night?"
Lucy fought back a blush, not wanting to give her the satisfaction. "Natsu and I aren't like that Cana."
Lucy was expecting some things, but their reaction was rather surprising. Cana and Mirajane seemed very surprised, surprised enough for the drunken wizard to seem more sobered up.
"You're not?" Cana asked incredulously, "You're together aren't you?"
"Yes…but it's not like we've had the time, we have to take care of Joy."
"Yeah but Lucy...you gave birth to a baby! What else are you afra-"
"Cana!" Mirajane cut in sternly, turning to Lucy with an understanding smile. "You've been taking care of Joy for weeks now. I know parenting is a full time job, but you both have been working so hard...can you not find time off?"
"Well...there are the daycares in town but-"
Lucy for some reason felt the strong urge that she was being judged, whether she was or not didn't matter, she stood up from her spot and left. She mumbled that she 'had to check on Joy', not giving the two of them any time to respond. As she passed through the doors she felt a bit guilty for being snappish, it wasn't their fault she was mad it was herself. Hell, it was the question that every woman pondered since they turned fifteen years old: sex. Lucy, like a good amount of girls, decided they wanted to save any sexual encounters until they were adults. Well in the short stretch of her twenties she had somehow managed to bypass actual intercourse and have a baby: magic, go figure. So at this point after having pushed out a kid one would think that the hesitance of sex would go away. Not quite, not for Lucy anyway. There was...a question on her mind...one she was scared of knowing, yet, not knowing has been driving her mad these past few weeks. She couldn't take it anymore, she had to know...so she went to go see the one person who would know.
She found him where he always would be: in the training grounds. As soon as she stepped outside she saw the dust of battle swirl around, then part as two figures appeared from the cloud. One was Natsu, fists ablaze and swinging them at his sparring partner. The other was Fairy Tail's newest recruit: Mathayus the Scorpion. The two of them had been practice bouts since Master Makarov allowed the warrior to join their Guild. If Natsu wasn't helping her with Joy he was fighting Mathayus, who seemed very eager as well to fight the Dragon-Slayer. The two of them were about to continue their fight when they both stopped and saw Lucy, Natsu's face brightened as his fists faded out.
"Lucy! What's going on? Do you need some help?"
"No Natsu," Lucy shook her head, "I am fine...I was actually hoping to talk to Mathayus?"
The surprise on the warrior's face was matched with everyone, despite the fact that he was welcomed warmly into the Guild Lucy had been keeping her distance from him. He noticed of course and assumed it was because of all the things he had done. He exchanged a quick look with Natsu before he nodded, leading Lucy off to a small corner of the field...where Lucy stopped him.
"Actually I...let's go farther." she glanced back at Natsu whose eyes narrowed slightly, she knew he heard them. She would apologize to him later about it. Once they were far enough Lucy turned with a deep breath to Mathayus, she had rehearsed this conversation so many times in her head but now that she was here she was having a hard time forming the words.
"I...I don't have any memories of the Master casting the spell on me."
Mathayus raised an eyebrow at that statement before Lucy continued, "I remember leaving the party and waking up in my room, that's all. Even now I can't recall a single detail of that moment..." Lucy paused a bit, the next words were hard and very painful to form. "Look...whatever happens I won't hate you for it, but I need to know...was I...did anyone try to..."
Mathayus's expression hardened, Lucy did not need to continue it was pretty easy to figure out what was on her mind. Lucy braced herself...she had ran through a thousand horror stories in her head and each one was as horrifying as the next. She did get pregnant after all...was it all due to a spell? Was something else done first? Did the-
Lucy's breath hitched, her voice quiet, "...what?"
"No. No one touched you."
"N-No one...?" Lucy repeated, shaking her head, "A-are you sure? Are you absolutely-"
"Lucy." Mathayus's voice cut through her fears, "I swear to you...on everything I am...I never left your side once and no man violated your body."
Lucy nearly fell to her knees, all her horror stories...all her nightmares and fears...everything finally washed away in a single instant. Everything that was holding her back was no longer controlling her anymore, she was free...free to finally do what ran through head.
"...I can't do it."
Mathayus raised an eyebrow. "Can't do...what?"
Lucy looked at him with a slight flush, "You know...'it'. I...I tried to prepare myself, thought that your words would help make things easier but...but nothing has changed! I know it's silly and I am already a mother...but when I think about it I-"
"Stop!" Mathayus cut in firmly, startlingly Lucy. The warrior paused and lowered his voice, "I am sorry Lucy...I do not mean to be rude but I am not the man you should be telling this to and if I let you continue I would rob your courage."
Lucy felt a cold chill pass through her as he said the words a part of her dreaded to hear, "You need to talk to Natsu."
That night was one of the more calmer evenings for this single mother, Joy was surprisingly cordial and would barely fuss. She felt so confident enough that she set her down in her crib and sure enough, no fusses. Perhaps the noises of Fairy Tail were tiring her out quicker: good, that way she can get some sleep and not feel guilty by Natsu holding her. Speaking of Natsu despite her talk with Mathayus she has not talked to him. Which was ironic considering he is right with her, he followed her home and Lucy -in her graces of Joy being cordial- cooked them a real meal. Finding her surprise the usual carnal Natsu with his spicy meats was slightly more restrained...and by slightly more restrained it meant he used a napkin to clean his face. It was a start at least. After their nice dinner she cleaned up her plates and headed for her bath, again another nice pleasure now that Joy was cordial and asleep. Plus Natsu was gonna look after her so she felt okay with taking her time. After letting her body soak up all that good soapy water she was about to relax...when she heard Joy crying, Lucy gave a sigh and was about to sit up when she heard Natsu.
"I got it!"
Except he didn't seem to quite get it, despite Natsu's assurances Joy continued to cry. Lucy had began to lift her body out of tub only to quickly plop back in when Natsu opened the door.
"Natsu! I'm naked!"
"Yeah I have seen it before, Happy is at the Guild Hall and Joy doesn't care either. Just stay there I need to see something."
Before Lucy could protest Natsu grabbed one of the stools and sat it close to the tub, sitting on it he held Joy close to the tub edge: but secured in his arms. Lucy felt her maternal instincts kick in as she dried her hand with the towel and began to stroke her daughter's forehead.
"Shhh...shhh...it's okay...I'm here and I won't go anywhere..." Lucy murmured, Joy slowly began to settle until she has completely relaxed.
"I knew it..." Natsu smirked, "She woke up and freaked you weren't here...she missed you Luce."
Lucy felt her heart soar at the news, it seemed like for the longest time her own daughter couldn't stand to be around her – preferring Natsu over herself. Finally it seemed that she has warmed up to the woman who put her into this world, stroking her child's soft forehead she forgot all about her modesty and Natsu being there. For a half a second she nearly forgot her own struggles from earlier today as well. She was content in being absorbed into the cooing of her daughter...
"I can wait you know."
Lucy lifted her head up, confusion lasted for only a second before she figured out what Natsu meant. "You...you heard?"
Natsu shrugged sheepishly, "Should have walked farther..."
Well, there was no hiding from it now. It was time to follow Mathayus's advice, she pulled her hand away from Joy and crossed her arms over the seal of the tub.
"Natsu I wanted to tell you..."
"I wish you did."
"I just didn't want you to freak out."
Lucy expected Natsu to be crestfallen, but instead he was surprised, "Freak out? Why would I freak out?"
"That...I don't want to have sex yet?"
"Huh? I don't care about that!" Lucy thought for a moment the world just ended, a guy just admitted out loud he didn't care about sex. Yet as he continued it became clear, "I just wish I could have helped you...stopped the Master earlier. I mean, yeah they didn't do anything to you but...it still shouldn't have happened."
He was worried about her. Worried about her fears, if she was taken advantage of while she was unconscious. The fact she wasn't ready for sex never even crossed his mind, he was only concerned for her safety. "I mean...sex does sound nice don't get me wrong but...but if you're not ready I am not gonna do it. I mean, what would be the point if you didn't want-mmph?!"
The last part of the sentence was cut off when Lucy's lips met Natsu's, who responded back with equal passion. They kept their liplock for what felt like hours before finally pulling apart, Natsu had expertly managed to keep his arms secured around Joy but as he checked on her he flushed a bit.
"Uh...Lucy..." he gestured to her, she had lifted herself out of the tub just enough to lose about the upper half of her modesty. Now, Natsu expected a lot of things from Lucy at this moment: a panicked gasp, a red face, maybe a reprimand or two. So Natsu had braced himself for all those things...except what she ended up doing.
She smirked at him and placed her finger on his lips, "It's nothing you haven't seen before."
Natsu's jaw was about to drop before she went back in for another kiss, the two of them once again engaging in some long await lip action. This was nice for them...their relationship was stranger than others, bonded together by unusual circumstances, but they really wouldn't have had it any other way. The mystery, the danger, learning more about each other...it was just something that was a part of their life now.