Author's Notes: I don't own any of this, of course, Hiro Mashima does. I haven't written anything in years, but the Fairy Tail characters are just too irresistible.
UPDATE: A guest reviewer commented on spoilers in the story so, just to make sure people are aware, there are minor spoilers throughout this thing, up through the Grand Magic Games arc.
Natsu's nose twitched and he stiffened slightly, resisting the urge to groan and slam his head into the table in front of him. The scent of arousal coming off of his pretty blonde partner was unmistakable. He turned his head slightly to look at her, sitting at the bar and completely absorbed in the book in front of her. Fuck. She must have gotten another one of THOSE books from Erza.
He loved his guildmates, all of them. He truly did. He couldn't help but wonder sometimes, though, if they ever really thought certain things through. Natsu was no where near as dense and naïve as most people thought he was, he just kept a lot of things to himself. Everyone knew that the dragon slayers had extremely heightened senses, they just didn't think about what that actually meant. He'd learned years ago that his nakama had convinced themselves that he wasn't able to hear them if they spoke quietly, especially if he was in the middle of a guild-wide brawl. He'd overheard so many "secrets" during those times, it was actually a small part of the reason why he was always starting fights with Gray. His nakama benefited from the situation, too, since they so often took advantage of his "distraction" to unburden themselves to someone they trusted.
It was his sense of smell, though, that everyone tended to ignore the most. Natsu couldn't help but wonder if he would even survive the rage of the females in the guild if they really understood just how much he knew about them, just from the changes in their scents. He knew when they were on their periods, he knew when they were attracted to someone, he knew when they'd been spending time getting close to someone and when they'd actually had sex. He also knew who'd they'd been with. He even knew when one of them was thinking naughty thoughts, like Lucy was currently doing. He couldn't help it, such things were obvious to him. His apparent obliviousness to the opposite sex was out of sheer self-preservation.
Lucy shifted in her seat, reacting to what she was reading, the air currents in the room sending more of her scent in Natsu's direction. He tensed again, clenching his fists under the table, trying desperately to maintain his control. He wanted her, badly, but he didn't know how she felt about him, so he refused to act on his desires. He knew she found him attractive and even desirable, but he wasn't the only man she'd reacted to over the time they'd known each other, so he kept his feelings to himself.
He'd never had such problems before she came along. The girls he'd grown up with in the guild were his sisters, including Lisanna, and he'd never been interested in any of the fangirls who just wanted to be with Fairy Tail's famous Salamander. Lucy was different and had been ever since he first met her. The mages of Fairy Tail tended to lose most, if not all, of their clothes whenever they were in a serious fight and Lucy was no exception. She was, however, the only one that Natsu couldn't help but stare at when her clothes were mostly gone and they weren't in the middle of a battle. She was also the only one he'd ever touched even remotely intimately. Covering her bare breasts with his hands was one of his fondest memories, even though the experience had made it exponentially more difficult to keep his hands off of her since then.
"Fuck!" he heard a low voice mutter, echoing his own thoughts. He looked over at Gajeel, on the other side of the hall, watching Levy with the same intensity that Natsu had been staring at Lucy with. She was also at the bar, sitting near Lucy, and equally absorbed in a book. He smirked slightly, realizing that Levy must have also received one of Erza's books to read. No matter where the dragon slayers sat in the guild hall, the scents of everyone in the large room would eventually reach their sensitive noses. Natsu had been so focused on Lucy's enticing scent, he had basically ignored Levy.
"You wish," he said softly, knowing the other dragon slayer would hear him. Gajeel's eyes immediately left Levy to glare at him.
"Shut the fuck up, Salamander. As if your situation is any different." Natsu's smirk widened as he heard the muttered reply. Teasing Gajeel would provide a welcome distraction, since Gray was off on a mission and Happy was at another table, attempting to give Charla yet another fish. Natsu wasn't suicidal enough to risk Erza's anger, especially when she was busy eating a slice of her favorite cake as she was at the moment.
"At least Lucy and I are nearly always together. My scent is all over her and her home, too. Can you say the same?"
Gajeel simply growled in response and Natsu snickered. As long as Levy lived in Fairy Hills, Gajeel would never be able to cover her belongings with his scent the way Natsu had done to Lucy's and they both knew it.
Abruptly, a smirk appeared on Gajeel's face and Natsu immediately felt uneasy. "Maybe not, but at least I've got the balls to do something about this situation." Natsu watched, slightly horrified, as Gajeel got up and walked over to the girls.
"Oi, Shrimp!" Levy ignored him, too caught up in her book, until he yanked her off of her seat, holding her up in the air by the back of her dress.
"What the hell? Gajeel?! What are you doing? Put me down!"
He lifted her higher, turning her slightly so that they were eye to eye. "Shrimp, we need to have a discussion about inappropriate reading material in public places."
Levy's mouth dropped open in shock and her face went white then bright red. She was still holding the book she'd been reading and she clutched it tightly to her chest as she dangled in mid-air. "I-i-inappropriate? Wha-what do you mean?"
He smirked at her and reached up to tap his own nose. "Dragon senses, remember? What do you think I mean?"
Natsu watched with growing dread as Levy's face darkened even more. He hadn't known it was possible for someone to blush so hard.
"Oh, God, kill me now," she whispered, letting her head drop and going slack in Gajeel's grip.
He laughed his unique laugh in response. "Nope. No one ever died of embarrassment, anyway. Now, let's go have that talk." Still holding her up by the back of her dress, he walked off, heading out of the guild.
The show over, Natsu's attention turned back to Lucy. As he had feared, the interaction between Levy and Gajeel had been enough to pull her away from her own book and she sat there, frozen. She took a deep breath and very slowly turned to look at her best friend, the dragon slayer that she spent so much time with. Seeing her expression, torn between the fear that he knew what she'd also been reading and the hope that he didn't, Natsu couldn't help himself. He smirked at her and tapped his nose, just like Gajeel had done.
Lucy's face mirrored Levy's almost exactly, including the color changes, and before Natsu could say anything, she bolted. As he watched her run away, the implications of what had just happened actually sunk in. His best friend now knew that he could tell whenever she was aroused. He finally gave into temptation and let his head drop onto the table in front of him.
"Well, fuck. Now what?"
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