Disclaimer: I can't claim to own either Naruto or Fairy Tail. It's as simple as that.
A loud but happy squeal pierced the air, originating from within the lone magic shop centered in the town of Hargeon. Within it a teenage girl stood there with stars in her eyes, gushing over the sight of a small and simple silver key, with rounded teeth attached to a thin blade and a hexagonal bow with a small blue symbol set upon it. A strange sight if you thought about it and yet in the country of Fiore not so much. For it was no ordinary key; though considered commonplace compared to the rare golden keys, even one such as this still held the power to summon a cosmic being from another plane of existence.
For you see...
In this world there were no ninja. No chakra or biju or jinchuriki. No hidden villages or clans. It was vastly different from the Elemental Nations, and yet still similar in some ways. The shinobi were replaced by mages, people who held magical power called Eternano within them which they absorbed from the atmosphere and used within their techniques. Everyone had their own unique form of magic which defied natural laws to create or control these wondrous powers. Like-minded mages formed guilds and took on jobs to raise money and gain prestige. There were guilds that walked both sides of the law, and even things like demons and monsters roaming the lands.
But in this moment it was all focused on the key and its summon:
A Celestial Spirit, contracted into a partnership by Celestial Spirit mages.
The girl gave a little hop of excitement which inevitably caused her massive assets tucked inside of a tight white shirt with a blue cross motif and no sleeves to bounce against the strained fabric. Along with the pleated blue skirt with a brown leather belt, a ring with a few keys in mismatched silver and gold hanging off the hip, an actual black whip looped off the other, black shin-high boots, thin waist with a firm stomach and curved hips, she had the type of top heavy figure that would always draw a man's eye. Add in the fact both the top was unzipped to show off the beginnings of her considerable cleavage and the skirt may have been a bit shorter than average...well, the prudish types would use her as an example of youth today being far too unruly.
With excitement oozing off every word the young mage asked the clerk how much the key was worth. Twenty-thousand Jewels seemed far too pricy even for a regular old silver Celestial Spirit. So she may have...leaned in and asked about the cost a second time. When that failed to change anything the female tried one more time, making herself blush as she bent at the waist with her prominent breasts resting atop her folded arms. The zipper may have been lowered just a bit more as well to the point she was clearly putting herself on display as she asked one final time if the shop keep was absolutely sure of the key's price.
Sighing through his nose the squat little man lowered it by one thousand Jewels.
One of her bright brown eyes twitched as the seductive smile used to try and sway the man cracked like glass.
WAS HE SERIOUSLY IGNORING HER?!
Annoyed at the lack of reaction towards her obvious sex appeal Lucy Hearfilia flipped some of the loose shoulder-length blonde hair (with a portion pulled up into a tuft on the right side of her head by way of a blue ribbon) over her shoulder and visibly pouted. Only a thousand? That was barely anything! The mage would have even taken up to five thousand, or more, but this jerk clearly didn't know how to act when a pretty woman flirted with him!
So irritated Lucy completely missed when someone walked up to her side and glanced in confusion at the peeved teen before reaching over to grab the Colors Change clothing knickknack the salesman first tried to sell to the blonde. A small stack of money was left in its spot...though far more than what the item actually cost.
"Twenty-five hundred is for this. The rest is to help this one." he stated while jerking a thumb in Lucy's direction. Upon realizing the other was talking to her, a quick count showed she only needed to foot a measly eight thousand if you counted the seller's compensation. Some random guy just gifted her with ten thousand, half the asking price, and then walked out the door cackling over the small box object now in his possession. Blinking rapidly the buxom girl quickly paid for the rest of her purchase before grabbing the key and darting outside. A stranger just helped her save way more Jewels than she thought she'd spend and there was no way the mage would let him get away without at least a 'thank you'.
Seeing another flash of spiky blond off in the distance she chased it down; thankfully the male still had the Colors Change held up high in his hands or else in these thickening crowds been would've been trouble in her search. "W-wait!" Lucy called out, slightly out of breath as she jogged over to the boy with her travel purse bouncing against her hip as she moved. He sure could travel fast and it made the Heartfilia daughter realize that behind her curvaceous form she wasn't as in shape as she thought she was.
The person turned and his wide grin quickly slipped away as his warm blue eyes stared at her quizzically. "Yeah? What's up?"
Lucy willed her heart to stop pumping so fast while inhaling a nice big breath of oxygen and running the back of a petite hand over her faintly sweaty brow. Standing up straight and inadvertently pushing her chest out, the blonde smiled in turn as the new key in her grasp twirled around her fingers in a show of dexterity. "Thank you, for helping me pay for this. You really didn't have to though and then you left before I could say anything."
"Oh. Don't worry about it." The polite stranger said while waving the magic-user off. His lips had returned to another large smile of his own, eyes closing into slits while the odd marks on his cheeks stretched lightly from the action as he threw his arms behind his neck. "I know what it's like not to have a lot of money, and when I saw you trying to trick that guy into lowering the price I figured I'd help you out. No big deal."
Lucy's expression didn't change but inside she was cringing. He totally misinterpreted her reasons behind flashing some extra cleavage while believing she was a charity case. She still had more than enough Jewels to keep herself somewhat comfortable for another month or so, but the surplus of money she took when the mage originally left home to make it on her own wasn't exactly replenishing itself after expenses. Without a steady source of income, Lucy took to searching out deals whenever she could. More often than not by using her womanly wiles to strike a discount against a pervy clerk. It really wasn't so hard. Flash some skin here, or a wink and smirk there, and...
Lucy knew she was rather pretty and developed for a seventeen year old teenager. Those she tried to seduce were all blind and didn't know what sexy was even if it slapped them in the face!
But what he did for her was a rather sweet gesture and her savior didn't think to take advantage of Lucy or expect anything in return with the way he left on his merry way. Shaking her head the blonde babe released a cute giggle and subconsciously clasped her hands behind her back and leaned in. "Still, it was really nice of you and it wouldn't be right to take your kindness without something in return. Is there anything I could do for you? Within reason, of course."
Wait was she flirting now too? Well, it wasn't so bad she supposed. Her rescuer was handsome in a rough sort of way and his first impression was doing wonders for her opinion. Humble and pleasant. A far cry from some of the other men she'd come across during her journey. Her fellow blond could have used an update in wardrobe though; far too much orange on his pants and jacket, though it was vaguely muted by the black additions and his own tanned skin. The dark sandals and headband were an interesting twist though.
"Ahh...yeah sure, I think there's something you could help me with." Reaching into a tan pouch buckled to his belt near the small of his back he retrieved a folded piece of paper before handing it to Lucy. Puzzled by his request she unfolded the item before cocking her head in question. It was a headshot of an attractive male with dark blue hair swept over the left side of his face, with a pointed chin and a small tattoo over the right eyebrow.
"His names Bora. A former mage of a guild called Titan Nose. I've been looking for him. Did you happen to see him anywhere in town?"
"Um..." Quickly thinking back through the few hours she'd actually been within the border of Hargeon, Lucy eventually shook her head again with an apologetic expression on her appealing features. "No, I don't think so. Sorry." she finished lamely while handing over page, honestly regretful about leaving him hanging like that.
"Meh, it's fine. Oh, my name's Naruto by the way."
Chuckling at his sheepish introduction the busty Celestial Spirit mage reached over and shook hands with the slightly taller male. His palm was large and surprisingly warm, and as she finally pulled away the girl found herself smiling yet again, anxiously running a stray lock of golden hair over her ear to reveal small heart-shaped earrings. "I'm Lucy."
A growing roar of approval off in the distance cut off any further attempts at chatting each other up. Women screaming like lunatics caused both of the teenagers to turn and stare at the throng of females clustered a few yards away, swooning like hormonal school girls meeting their favorite band in person. It was really odd and reminded Naruto far too much of Sasuke's personal admirers back in Konoha. Lucy, on the other hand, was simply growing equally interested over whatever was in the middle of that pack. Sending a quick look at the orange lover she began walking towards the disruption with him only a step behind.
As they pushed through the squealing wave of females Lucy suddenly stumbled into Naruto's side, clutching her large chest and appearing as if she were suddenly struck with an illness. Her face had gained a strong rosy hue alongside heavier breathing. It caused the blond to grab her shoulder and hold the weakened mage steady only to narrow his sapphire orbs at the lone man (besides himself) surrounded by adoring fans.
It was the very person the Uzumaki jinchuriki was looking for, dressed in flamboyant clothes while he soaked up the attention like a sponge.
Despite the fact Naruto was searching for this mage-turned-criminal, nobody else acted apprehensive in his presence. Instead they were starry-eyed and about ready to fling their undergarments to try and gain his attention. Even his new friend Lucy wasn't acting like herself from the short amount of time they'd known each other. And that was the worst part. Bora's activities were so subtle that nearly no one was aware of what he was now capable of.
The lone reason Naruto was tasked with searching for the blue-haired male was because an enraged and worried husband commissioned a task that the Magic Council sent directly to them. The big guilds with more experience were given the jobs worth more Jewels along with greater chances of danger. A mere disgraced mage who apparently ticked off someone enough to bring about personal justice was shunted to a newly formed guild with barely any members due to its lack of risk.
There was a bit more to it than that, but the ninja could safely say that they completed any and all assignments with the utmost perfection...even those that were originally sorely lacking in details. Naruto seemed to get put on those types of missions a lot ever since he first graduated the academy. Only spending all this time traveling about allowed the blond to discover and learn far more about Bora's illicit behavior than anyone else seemed to realize. The Council and Rune Knights weren't aware yet but they would sorely want him behind bars and charged for his crimes. And on his honor, Uzumaki Naruto would get it done!
After making sure Lucy wouldn't fall over her own feet, the shinobi vanished from her side seconds before Bora's face slammed harshly into the cobblestone street. Like a spell being broken, each and every woman in attendance suddenly jolted as the uncomfortable heat affecting their ability to reason vanished in an instant, as did the constant joyful shrieks of 'Salamander' and 'Fairy Tail'. The ample mage gasped as her body returned to normal only to scowl and glare at the moaning man held down by Naruto. Now that her mind wasn't addled, Lucy knew outright that everyone there had been put under the clever illusion of Charm Magic, a type of Holder style outlawed by the Council because it could hypnotize and control a person against their will. When Bora's attention was forcefully redirected because of her companion's attack the umbrella of delicate magic targeting the female persuasion was immediately broken.
Dropping heavily onto the blue-head's back as a makeshift seat Naruto pulled a second piece of paper from his pocket and began reading aloud from atop the struggling villain. "Bora the Prominence! Former member of the legal guild Titan Nose, kicked out because you decided following the law wasn't worth it! Now a man who makes a living by tricking women for unlawful purposes!"
"You have no idea what you're talking about! Who is this Bora person?! Do you have any idea who I am?! The trouble brought down on your head by attacking me, Salamander of Fairy Tail?!"
Ignoring the outburst the blond continued unperturbed. "Even if you were this Salamander guy I wouldn't give a shit! You are wanted for: abduction, impersonating a member of a popular legal guild to aid said abductions, using restricted forms of magic to make the kidnappings easier, aaaaand for being an important member of a country-wide slave and sex trade operation!"
Everyone gasped. Even Lucy, having no idea something so foul could happen in a peaceful port town such as Hargeon. And much to her shame the busty mage had fallen for his allure without any sort of fight. Bora's face had paled and he'd broken out into a cold sweat as the list of charges were read and any possible wiggle room he had by impersonating another mage was taken away, despite the care he and his crew had taken to covering their tracks. "Take this!" he yelled as purple magic circle flared into life hovering right next to the shinobi's chest...only to immediately fizzle out in terror as a diamond-shaped knife was casually placed against the exposed skin of Bora's throat. He might have talked a big game but the impostor wasn't as brave as he'd like to believe. Especially with a weapon so dangerously close to a weak point.
"Ah ah! Wrong move buddy. Face it, you're done. You and your entire gang are going to jail. Just as soon as-" Naruto trailed off while his spiky head turned into the direction of the harbor. A few moments passed before something in the distance detonated hard enough to send a huge plume of displaced foam and liquid from the harbor into the air which could be seen from the center of town. "-as my associate finishes up his end of the job."
Meanwhile a familiar sight of spiky pink hair excitedly pushed through the crowd, only to frown at the discovery of mere people standing in the circle as he came upon the center. There wasn't any dragon here! Why were they yelling about salamanders then? Bah, this was another bust! Dejected and angry, the distinguished fire mage turned and walked away to try and search some more as a blue cat with angel wings floated at his shoulder. In another time and possible alternate reality, Natsu Dragneel would have inevitably bumped into Lucy and from there it would eventually lead to the blonde babe's induction into one of Fiore's most premier guilds.
But...the beauty had missed her chance at interacting with the dragon slayer the moment she chased after the golden-headed enigma instead.
Natsu did get all googly-eyed though when a large dark-skinned man dropped from the sky thanks to a tremendous leap taken from the lower level of town, with a (creepy to some) set of large, rubbery octopus tentacles sprouting from his back. The pinkette swiftly turned and slapped his cheeks with the palms of his hands in an effort to focus; although that was really cool he needed to get his ass in gear. Igneel was out there somewhere and the scaly dragon's adopted child was on the hunt!
Naruto grinned at the newcomer, completely missing the shock of pink hair walking away as the crowd quickly parted in fear of the new male's strange display of magic. He didn't exactly seem scary per se but those were some pretty large suckers attached to the prehensile limbs. And he already had people wrapped up in the tentacles...though only the rather alarming amount of women he rescued were released. They all looked queasy, and their pretty and/or expensive clothes were dirtied and torn, but as soon as the moment of nausea passed they couldn't stop tearfully thanking him for rescuing them as the chakra appendages were sucked back into his body. It just took a little while for them to do so after landing because their savior just ran and jumped at a speed none would ever hope to reach in their lives...like an out-of-control roller coaster.
"No prob, ladies! Just give all your thanks to the wonderful Killer Bee! I-"
"Not the time, Bee!" Naruto cut in forcefully while making Bora whimper as the blade dug lightly into his skin. "Did you get it all?" The newly named person gave a lopsided smirk while folding his arms over his broad chest, a folder and ledger clasped in hand.
"You know me Number Nine. I'm always the master of bein' on time."
Lucy gawped at the strange man, buff and tall with only a white vest covering his torso with a single strap over the left shoulder and a long red rope belt. Along with that he wore hand and shin guards colored white with red adornments, blue pants, white sandals similar to Naruto's, a white headband too but shorter and with a different metal plate from the blond's, and a lengthy white scarf draped around his neck. This Bee fellow didn't look too out of place, even with the kanji for iron tattooed on his right shoulder in blue, another in the shape of horns on his left cheek, the small round sunglasses, the blond hair so pale it appeared white set in cornrows, and the simple goatee. Lucy could even forgive the tentacle magic and the two thin sword handles poking out from behind his shoulder. In this day and age it wasn't strange to see someone armed for their own protection.
But she couldn't tear her eyes from the huge grey object somehow glued to his spine. It was as tall as a human and had a thin handle ending in a creepy skull. But honestly the mage wondered how he wasn't injured by the damn thing. It was completely covered in sharp scales that looked like pointed teeth, probably under the large amount of bandages wrapped around its lower half as well, and Lucy felt the need to ask how he found such a dangerous thing and could carry it without being punctured.
"But did you have to blow something up? I mean, stuff like that seems to happen a lot but...you destroyed their boat didn't you?" The Uzumaki son questioned, realizing since the boom came from the ocean then Bee must have tracked the slavers to a ship. And with such an event marking the Kumo nin's departure there was no doubt in mind that the local law enforcement had been deployed in force.
The shinobi in white gestured around with wide fingers. To the weeping freed slaves, to the information taken from the sunken vessel, before finally jabbing a thumb over his shoulder towards the few remaining biju limbs he still had yet to lose.
Those that remained bound by Gyuki's limbs were trussed up tightly with no chance to escape. Their muffled cries went unheard against the thick rubbery flesh, and Bee may or may not have constricted the hostages just a little bit tighter after a moment of thought. Hey, as a ninja he'd both seen and taken part in some pretty questionable things. But these were just civilian women the bastards seized along with the occasional mage kept powerless through drugs. The host of the Eight-tails was an honorable man and had never actually taken part in the more despicable acts their job could entail. Ever since the day he was taken in as A's partner and sibling the lightning-user had become an enforcer and a show of Cloud's might more than anything else. He'd killed, and murdered, and assassinated people on the off occasion where his bro didn't keep him under lock and key because that was something inevitable in their fighting-based economy.
...but some of the girls he saved showed signs of being violated and that didn't fly with the prideful jinchuriki. He may have been jaded to the horrors of their life, but that didn't mean he would just accept it all casually like a mindless little drone.
Since ripping the bastards apart would've fucked up the mission pay and their reputation, Bee took to helping soothe his rage by sending a mini Bijudama (Tailed-Beast Ball) right into the heart of the headquarters. But only after he'd grabbed everybody aboard as well as a few extras kept out in plain sight. Within the two important documents, the Rune Knights now marching up would have a chance to chase down the people who subscribed to Bora's human trafficking. The idiot kept detailed notes on everyone he did business with in case they tried to sell him out!
Naruto and Bee bumped fists with matching shit-eating grins after they explained they were commissioned to find these criminals. The kidnappers were arrested by the proper authorities and marched away, while the rest of the spear-wielding warriors calmly escorted the visibly distraught ex-slaves to get their info at the station and help them in any way they could. However there was one knight who continued staring at the pair with heavy scrutiny before pointing his weapon in the direction Bee just came from. His armor rustled as he took another step closer and a gruff voice echoed from within the helmet.
"That's all fine and well, but the two of you caused a panic both here and at the harbor. I cannot just let that slide."
Bee, in a surprising show, chose not to devolve into his constant rapping for once. His form loomed over the smaller man and the Rune Knight felt himself swallowing heavily.
"Those ladies were chained to the floor. There was nothing left to look over after I got through taking it all."
"B-be that as it may-"
"The ship was so far out the blast touched nothing else. No collateral damage."
"Er..." The soldier tried to put on a brave face. "W-well then, what guild are you with? Fairy Tail? Only those hoodlums can create such problems everywhere they go!"
"Does this look like their mark?" Naruto asked while raising his right arm in front of the combatant's face. Lucy, having been off to the side quietly the entire time watching the drama unfold, noticed a bright orange mark on the skin which she somehow missed during their handshake. Due to the size of the stamp it took up the entirety of the blond's palm, shaped like a generic animal head with pointed ears, cutouts for eyes, and a fanged mouth. Behind that were three tails protruding from behind each ear and one from the chin that swirled to the left around its entirety to give it a circular shape. Lucy then noticed Bee pointing at his other shoulder, which held a light blue version of the mark she somehow skipped over as well.
The guard scrutinized it before shrugging his armored limbs. "No. It looks nothing like their stamp. In fact, I've never seen it before in my life."
"We're new. But that doesn't stop us from getting the job done quickly."
"Hmmmm..." Well, as long as it wasn't Fairy Tail destroying everything then the sentinel could breathe a sigh of relief. "Then I suppose I must ask the name of your guild, to corroborate the...completion of your mission with the proper authority behind the matter, as well as the one who initiated the request."
"Kage Beast! We're from Kage Beast!"
"Never heard of them."
"...yeah, we get that a lot."
"Alright...I'll have to verify your guild before you may complete your mission. But regardless, thanks for the help then. I hate to admit it but we were completely unaware that a slave operation was happening underneath our noses like this. To pull it off so smoothly they must have had some clever people running it."
Using illegal magic to cloud the senses while simultaneously impersonating a famous mage to lure their targets in under false pretenses? Yeah...that was pretty devious.
Lucy finally stepped up to no longer be a mere bystander as the guard left, Naruto pocketing his knife into the small pouch strapped to his thigh. She gave him a hesitant smile while questions ran through her mind a mile a minute. Warm brown orbs flickered between the equally blond teenager and the smirking man with hidden eyes before ultimately settling on one of the lamer questions she immediately regretted as it tumbled out from between her lips. "You're in a guild?" The Heartfilia actually facepalmed while chastising herself over the clearly foolish inquiry. 'Of course they are you idiot! Naruto just said so!'
"Yup. Kage Beast. I guess the name sorta sounds shady, but we're a real legal guild. Just finished filling out all the paperwork and everything! There was way too much of it. Me, Bee here, and our last friend are the founders and only members so far."
"That's...that's really cool. I wish I could do something like that." Lucy sighed as a look of dejection overcame her. "I'm a mage too but I have no real experience and it's not like any of the famous, classy guilds would just take in a novice off the street. They've probably got admissions piled up like crazy...and I really need to start making Jewels."
Lucy really had no idea how simple it was to become a Fairy, but again that was in another timeline.
"So...why not come with us? Join Kage Beast. We might not have much of a reputation yet but our customers all approve of our work."
Lucy looked unsure. "Is that okay? Don't guilds need to have their newest recruits prove themselves somehow?"
Bee stuck out his lower lip in thought before shrugging. "It ain't how we do it. Newbies gotta start out somewhere to get the know-how."
"You'll get to go on missions, earn money, and get stronger. If you're really worried then I'll help you train, Lucy. We don't care how good you are, only that you try your best." Throwing a friendly arm around her petite neck and moving in close he pushed the other limb far out in front of their faces. "And you'll be like one of the first members ever so once the guild picks up and we're getting requests from everywhere, they'll look up to you as someone to watch. That's got to mean something right?" She followed along as Naruto excitedly gestured to the sky in an attempt at bringing about the bigger picture, though blushed slightly at being nearly cheek to whiskered cheek with a boy. Despite her looks or efforts at being a flirt she'd never actually had a boyfriend before, or gotten super close to one like right now. It was a bit of a new experience.
But that was good right? If Lucy wanted to mature into a professional mage then these were the sort of occurrences she needed in her life.
Plus she liked the thought of others in awe of her beauty and skills...
Mentally shoving away the daydream of a slightly older but no less rockin' Lucy Heartfilia achieving S-rank status and being worshiped for her ability as a Celestial summoner, she still couldn't stop the pleased grin from showing off her pearly teeth. Gently placing a flat palm on Naruto's chest and pushing the rather sturdy male away she set her hands on her enticing hips and acted like it was all a big chore. The brain hidden behind those blue eyes of his didn't somehow know she had a thing for assertive men did he? Closing her own in contemplation, and hair wafting slightly in the breeze, Lucy hefted the tote bag/purse on her shoulder before giving a little sigh. "If you really want me that badly...let me go check out of my hotel. Wait for me?"
"I'll go with you. It'll be easier instead of trying to find me again." Looking at his comrade, Naruto tilted his head in question.
"Yeah, the Killer Bee is off to Freesia Town to let a worried man know his wife's been found." The large man paused before slipping out a small notebook and flipping through a few pages with a look of concentration before scribbling something onto the paper with a short stub of a pencil. Snapping it closed the man raised a fist in parting before simply disappearing in a swirl of wild electricity. Lucy was forced to cover her face and shriek at the surprising and somewhat dangerous departure, while Naruto clicked his tongue in annoyance when the remaining small arcs of static dissipated against the rocks.
"You know, one of these days I'll learn how to do that."
"Do WHAT?! Blow up and scare the hell out of me?!" she yelled as her hands stopped clutching her scalp in protection and slipped down to her chin.
"No. A Shunshin (Body Flicker). I wouldn't use lightning...maybe leaves like Kakashi-sensei used...or like, wind."
For the third time that day Lucy tried to get her heart to stop hammering beneath her large chest, though at least the first one involved some physical exertion. The second was because of Bora's despicable illusion causing her blood to race. And this one...that Bee fellow nearly knocked her flat on her remarkable ass!
"Alright...okay. Just...warn me next time please."
The blond chuckled lamely while rubbing the back of his neck. "Er, yeah. Sorry. Things like that might happen a lot but you could always ask for them not to do it around you. Are you okay?" The busty mage wasn't so reassured by that. But at least her new friend had the decency to worry about her.
"I'm fine. I'm not used to people vanishing on the spot and nearly shocking me in the process." Tugging on Naruto's black sleeve she started to walk away, rubber heels creating a muffled sound with every rigid footstep. "The hotel's this way."
A few quick strides and the ninja was walking shoulder to shoulder, letting Lucy calm down enough that by the time they reached her current residence the curvy blonde paid Bee's disappearing act no more mind and swiftly grabbed the few luggage bags she owned (which only started out as one after leaving home...darn her weakness for cute clothes and interesting books) before dumping all the baggage on Naruto with an expectant look. He slowly took them with a grumble while missing the spirit summoner's grin. At least she now didn't have to lug them around herself because of the shinobi's strange sense of chivalry, where he complained about doing it but still did it anyways. She...may have had to pout with her full lips trembling before asking him to do it for her in a breathy feminine voice followed by a wink.
He flushed. Not much, but her charms finally worked for once!
After that it was only a matter of time before the pair arrived at Hargeon's train station. Naruto was so confident in his speed that he said if he carried her too they'd be at the guild in no time flat but Lucy flat out refused. She wasn't comfortable enough with him yet to let the boy hold her up so intimately. That would involve him touching the back of her thighs under her skirt, and her breasts would obviously be squeezed against his shoulder blades since riding on his back made the most sense. The Kage Beast mage hadn't shown any perverted tendencies yet but he'd be hard pressed not to do so if she hugged against him like that, according to the Heartfilia's own self-confidence.
So it would take a few hours of riding the rails to Magnolia before debarking and hoofing it the rest of the way to Balsam Village west of Fairy Tail's hometown. Lucy knew all about the quiet but festive town with their ornate buildings, and an abundance of stores and restaurants considered 'flashy' by the more sleepy and rural areas. Lucy had always wanted to visit there even when she was younger because...despite all the hype about its ritzy atmosphere Balsam Village was also well known for being a tranquil area revolving around its liberal use of spas. Face scrubs, manicures, pedicures, massages, pore treatment, mud baths, and even a hot spring with water that tightened and beautified skin!
And Kage Beast built their headquarters there.
Lucy actually squealed again in utter delight before coughing into a fist to try mask the outburst. Bumping into Naruto and tentatively accepting a position in his group was turning out to be a very good decision so far. And as said boy dropped into the cushioned seat across from her and grinned tiredly after fighting a losing battle against getting her luggage neatly packed in the overhead slot, Lucy found herself unable to stop smiling back. Joining an unknown guild like Kage Beast had the possibility of backfiring in her face but like they said, she needed to start somewhere. Get the basics and work her way up, maybe find herself a man for once and prove she was just a good a witch as her mother was. Show that you didn't need a fancy-schmancy stamp to prove your worth.
Besides, if becoming a part of a celebrated guild like Blue Pegasus or Fairy Tail was so easy then everyone would've been doing it!
A stray thought came to Lucy before she crossed one long leg over the other, her elbow resting against her knee as she propped her chin in the elevated palm. "Hey, Naruto. Why did you buy the Colors Change back at the magic shop? You know that's a product aimed towards girls, right?"
A flick of his hands produced the magical item from the depths of...somewhere. His jacket soon turned entirely orange before changing to black and then back to its original split colors. "You have no idea the amount of fun I can have with this baby."
The wicked curl of his mouth made that one sentence seem far more sinister than it should have been.
Not much to say other than it's a crossover where Lucy met someone else first instead of Natsu and ultimately does not wind up in Fairy Tail or any other canon guild. She won't be the only one, though for now I don't have many FT characters in mind to join Kage Beast.
Eh, we'll see where it goes.
Anyways, read and review please. Let me know what you think.