As the dawn broke over Magnolia, the sunlight rushed through the open window and filled Lucy's apartment with light. The sudden brightness woke Lucy up rubbing her eyes, she and sat up. Now she was warm and happy unlike yesterday night when she cried herself to sleep, she glanced beside her to find Natsu and Happy sleeping peacefully more than surprised she was satisfied to find them beside her.
Yes it was Natsu her source of warmth and happiness, he was the one who could make her feel safe, to feel at home, he was the one who could make her smile even at her toughest time, he only taught her to never give up, he is the one she loved.
She doesn't know when she started loving him but yes she knew now that she loved him. She always declined this fact in front of her friends but in the last girls hangover she admitted it.
# FLASHBACK #
It had been two days since Lucy had gone on a job with Natsu and Happy and now there was a girl's hangover at her house.
Erza, Mira, Juvia, Levy, Wendy, Cana sat on Lucy's bed and munching over the short snacks the Lucy had served them.
"Okay Ladies since we have gathered here let's catch up with each other's life" Mira announced.
"Then let me start with it, I will tell you about my job.." Cana started at once going in details of her work.
"… and you know what, the client's son had asked me out and so I am not free tomorrow" she finished with a shy look.
Wendy clapped her hands over her mouth while the others looked at Cana admiringly.
"Is he cute?" Mira asked curiously
"You surely have got talent for this." Lucy commented.
"Aha! Thanks Lucy and yes Mira he is cute"
"But Gray- sama is handsome" Juvia interrupted blushingly.
"Oh sure Juvia we know that" Erza assured her.
"Juvia- san did you have a go for it" Wendy asked.
"I saw Juvia asking him something and by the look of it he agreed" Levy informed the girls.
"You asked him for a date Juvia?" Mira asked.
"No- No he won't agree to that, but Juvia asked him to go on a job with her and he agreed to go with Juvia" Juvia told them "alone" she added glaring at Lucy.
"Oh! Juvia don't look at me like that you should by now know that I am nowhere near to be your Love rival."
"Yes, how can she be your Love rival when she has got Natsu with her." Cana added with a smirk.
"Hey we are friends, nothing more, nothing less." Lucy said crossing her arms above her chest.
"For me you were friends but you are more like a couple now Lu-chan" Levy said.
"Natsu practically lives in yours house" Erza pointed out.
"He sleeps on her bed with her sometimes too, I fail to understand if there is not something that Lucy has not told us" Cana taunted.
Lucy's face was all heated up and she was blushing furiously she had realized that she liked Natsu for sometime by now but his actions were always in a friendly manner and she was not sure if their feelings were mutual so she declined it.
Just then with a sudden thud the man she expected the least at that time turned in her house, Natsu along with Happy entering through her window.
"Hey, what's going on here? What did you do to Lucy?" He called and rushed up to her and took her arms into his.
"Are you okay, why are you so red?" he asked worriedly and glaring at the others girls in the room who were amused by his actions.
"We are hanging out at Lucy's house today Natsu." Mira answered giggling.
"You got in time Natsu, we were just talking about you an….."Cana blurted
"SHUT UP" Lucy snapped blushing madly.
"Get out Natsu, .. NOW and you too Happy" she gestured them towards the door.
"But Lucy I wanted to talk about the job I took from the guild.."
"We will talk later."
She dragged them towards the door.
"Then why don't you do such hangouts with me and talk with me a little politely?"Natsu said pouting as Lucy slammed the door shut. Now she was not only blushing but butterflies were all over her stomach.
"Did you hear that?" Levy asked giggling.
"His expression was as if we stole Lucy for him." Mira commented.
"Look at Lucy-san she is blushing like crazy" Wendy pointed.
"You really do look so cute and adorable now Lucy" Erza said.
"You still say you are just friends." Cana challenged.
"What do you say now Lucy-san" Juvia said.
Lucy was really irritated by all these teasing but thought if she admits then also they will tease her both are one at a same thing then why not just admit and give these giggling girls a bit of shock.
"Yes, I do really like him."
Certainly they all were shocked as they did not have even imagined that Lucy will really admit. There was a pin drop silence for a moment, and then all of a sudden they were congratulating her and clapping her on the back.
"Hey guys we are not a couple till now"
"No you will be, very soon." said Cana.
"Huh" Lucy looked at her confused.
"Because you are gonna confess him and he will gladly accept and you will be together" Cana said as a matter of fact.
"And together you will be like…." Juvia started with her imaginations and was now blushing.
"Hey Juvia" Lucy shook her by the shoulder bring her back to reality.
"Sorry I am not going to confess." Lucy told them flatly.
"…But why?.." all the girls stared at her questioningly.
"Because, I am not sure if our feelings are mutual and by opening to him I don't want to break our existing bond, what if he rejects me and breaks our friendship.." Lucy said with a sad note.
"Of course your feelings are mutual" said Erza.
"You can't see it then you are a fool" Cana said with an annoyed look.
"Always think positive Lu- chan"
"Lucy-san you know him better than us, you are close to him then, how come you are doubtful?"
"Even Juvia is sure about it."
"So, you do confess" Mira declared.
Lucy looked at the expecting and encouraging faces of her friends and said "Okay."
With that, the discussion was over but it was not an easy task with someone like Natsu. Many a times she could not muster the courage to tell him, but if somehow she did his actions made her fail. They went on a job together but that also didn't help. Atlast when they reached the guild after the job, starving and ordered Mira for food, she served smiling as always and Natsu started eating hungrily.
Mira looked at Lucy with a look that asked ' Did you tell' and Lucy sad face told her the answer, she just winked at her which told her that she was gonna help, But Lucy didn't imagine she would be this straight forward.
"Say Natsu do you like Lucy?"
Natsu was eating and hence did not answer for a while but Lucy looked at him expectantly.
"Yeah" he gulped and added "she is a friend."
This enraged her very much and without warning she slapped Natsu, tears started flowing out of her eyes and she started running.
"Lucy, what happened?" Natsu asked shocked and when he saw her tears he started following her.
"DON'T COME" Lucy warned and he stopped where he was.
Lucy reached her apartment tears flowing till now, to stop them she washed her face and changed into her pajamas and jumped on her bed. Tears flowed freshly from her eyes when her head touched the pillow. Now she was regretting her actions, why she slapped him, it was only expected from him, it's not necessary that he should also love her as she did, also she asked him to not come but still secretly she wished that he would come following her and she wakes seeing his face.
She was feeling very happy to find that he did follow her even after her warning and didn't bother to think how will she feel when she woke up and find him there.
Lucy thought of apologizing to him without giving him her reasons, now that she knew that he doesn't like her anything more than a friend she didn't feel like confessing him. She looked at his sleeping face and her heart pounded, he was so cute and adorable that she could hardly resist kissing him on the cheek but somehow she controlled.
'How can a person be so dense to see ones feelings' she thought to herself.
'I can't even imagine if I behave like him for a day he would be sensitive enough to notice it?' she sighed.
'Hey wait a minute I can try it out' she smiled mischievously at her sleeping partner, forming a plan in her mind.
Lucy got up with a start and went straight to her bathroom and sat in her hot bath thinking of the day ahead. After the refreshing bath she wore a sleeveless shirt with blue strips at the sides and a short skirt with similar design. She then went near him and shook him vigorously-
"Wake up, Natsu."
Firstly he just stirred but then slowly got up and sat upright then slowly brushing the back of his head with his hand he spoke.
"Morning, Lucy." All of a sudden he remembered all the happening of the previous night and opened his eyes wide but for his surprise she was smiling sweetly but slyly at the same time.
"Morning, now go get your bath quick, I am very hungry so we are going to the guild directly." She pulled him out of the bed and pushed him towards the bathroom.
"Oye! You okay?" He was really astonished by her sudden sweetness, because whenever she found that they had come into her house or in her words break in her house she would yell at them and throw them out but now she was not yelling and allowing him in her bath, amazing.
"Yup! Why you ask?" without waiting for his reply she went to Happy and woke him up as he didn't wake up easily she did a trick.
"Get up Happy, Charle is waiting for you." Sleeping blue cat woke up with a start and yelled
"Yes Charle I am here for you" then he got sight of laughing Natsu and Lucy and was angry.
"that's not fair Lucy."
"Sorry Happy but the thing is you are awake, so now go freshen up." She said pushing him gently towards Natsu. Happy muttered something under his breath and went with Natsu.
After a while they were on their way to the guild and Lucy started the idle talk.
Natsu was totally surprised by the way she was going all friendly with him more than she always was but for his pleasure she was not crying. Yesterday when she was crying he was also very sad by thinking something he said or did made her sad but the thing is he can't see Lucy crying, it enraged him and hence he was very upset with him and followed her despite her warning was even more upset when he saw that she had cried herself to sleep, but for now everything was alright.
He was happy to see her happy and total time was noticing her gestures and just replied with nodding or a huh. She was just damn beautiful.
As they reached the guild Lucy burst open the door and seeing Mira she yelled her name and ran towards her while Natsu and Happy followed her. Mira was worried at first but seeing Lucy's happy face she cheered up and went to greet her.
Lucy ordered food which was Natsu's favorite and started eating as fast as she could.
"Hey Lucy slow down or you will choke." Said Mira amazed by her speed.
"Nah she is a hungry wolf now" Natsu commented chuckling.
"yeah" Happy agreed.
Mira looked questiongly at Lucy who just shrugged and gave a side look to Natsu telling her that this is all because of him. Mira sighed and carried on her work.
Just then Gray came there as usual shirtless to order something but was taken aback by Lucy's way of eating.
"Hey Lucy way are you eating like the Flame brain". Natsu looked at him angrily but then noticed he said that Lucy was eating like him did he really eat as if the whole world was the food?
"Did his stupidity go into you?" he patted on her back but she didn't reply just nodded and finished her food.
"What's up Gray?" she asked casually, punching softly on his bare stomach. But before he could answer Natsu had punched him straight in face.
"Who are you calling stupid? stripper."
"The one who really is stupid, you Moron and there was no need to beat so hard." Gray said massaging his bruised area. Actually Natsu was angry on him not because he called him stupid it was like a daily routine for him but because Lucy was going friendly with him too, not that she was not before but from the morning she was acting weird and doing stuffs not expected of her and so he has to protect her.
"Don't touch me your stupidity is contagious look at Lucy." Gray said backing up.
"Your habits are contagious" said Natsu and punched him again
"Like what" saying that he too punched him.
"Your stripping habit"
"Lucy now eats like you did she strip like me?" anger reflecting in his voice.
"Maybe she will"
"Say Lucy whose habit is contagious?" Gray and Natsu asked together.
"Will you both shut up" Lucy shouted with a death glare.
Lucy went up to the request board and selecting one of the job quickly she came back and reported to Mira "we are going on this job" she said.
Natsu was sitting in the corner afraid that how must Lucy act when she went up to him took his shoulders forcing him to see in her eyes "We are going for a job, where are you lost now?" she was so close that he could smell her sweet strawberry smell at which his heart thumped a bit and Lucy blushed at their closeness but, then got hold of herself.
"Let's go" She asked turning from him.
"Happy, are you coming?" Natsu asked the blue cat who was now wooing Charle.
"Actually I am going on a job with Wendy and Charle hope you don't mind." He told them "Charle asked me so…" he whispered to them.
"Okay have a great and good luck" Lucy said to him cheerfully and then by taking Natsu by arm headed towards the door.
"Thanks Lucy." Happy yelled behind her back to which she turned and gave a bright smile that can make anyone's day and waved at him.
The clients house was an isolated one he lived on an island so once they had travelled by train and carriage it was their turn to go by boats and all this time Natsu kept on fussing and telling that he was never get on a train again, though irritating Lucy find him very cute even in his pathetic situation and had kept his head on her lap for the whole time feeling very happy.
The job was to rescue a kidnapped child, when they reached at the requested house, for a while no one came to open the door they kept on ringing the bell suddenly they heard a small blast then 'Oh shit I did it wrong again' after a while 'someone is at the door coming' they were surprised by the sound as they saw that there was a camera kept it was to see people visiting the place and have their identity, for security purpose but the man didn't ask them anything and rushed for the door.
A tall man with yellow top and blue jeans stood there he had his white coat on, his face was black by the blast they had heard earlier otherwise was charming.
"Hello, we are Fairytail mages and have come here on your request"
Lucy told him showing him the request all of a sudden a depressed aura surrounded him and he just made sign for them to follow him inside.
"So will you give us any detail" Natsu asked once they were sitting inside, the house was more like a laboratory and they could see a burst flask nearby a burner and test tubes placed beside it with some kind of liquid.
"Well you see Naho, my daughter is about 8 years old who has been kidnapped by a fellow friend of mine who has associations with dark guild that's why I asked for your help. I am working on an experiment and he wants it's information and use it as a destructive purpose as I did not give it to him, he took Naho asking me for it in return of her. So my simple request to you is to get my girl from them. You can get going, we will discuss reward later, and yes you have my best wishes and my gratitude." Saying so, he stood up and bowed a little.
Natsu and Lucy left the place without another word taking a slip from him that was signed by dark guild Esienwald demanding him about his experiment.
"Gathered anything?" Lucy asked Natsu with a serious tone that now they were on a job.
"Yes just that we have to rescue the girl. What all he said about his inventions and stuffs are out of my capacity, so don't ask" he said and smiled brightly.
Lucy chuckled at his words and said-
"I guess he was busy with his work and wanted to give us a gist and not a detail about it, never mind that I also just got that we have to somehow save the girl." saying so she started laughing.
Natsu was amazed at her words as she was far more intelligent than him but laughed along with her, her laughing was so contagious.
Slowly they reached the part of the island were Eisenwald was situated.
"So what are we gonna do now?" Natsu asked Lucy.
"Nothing much you are going to charge in from the front and me from the centre."
"Huh?" Natsu looked at her confused.
"See, you go in front the front of the guild and I will dig in and land inside the guild so while you distract them I can find Naho"
"Open the gate of virgin, Virgo, Tarus Star dress."Natsu just kept looking at her, she had thought of good strategy.
"Okay charge in" Lucy commanded patting Natsu on the back
"I am getting fired up" Both of them said it together and went to work according to the plan, the Guild was not at all prepared for this sudden attack and were confused, taking the advantage of it Natsu fought with his head on fire while Lucy found Naho tied up harshly she smashed anyone who came on her way. Taking the girl to safety Lucy fought along with Natsu taking help of Loke soon enough they beat up the entire guild and went to the client's home with Naho, for the entire journey the girl cling on to Lucy feeling her warmth and sleeping peacefully.
"You're going to be a good mother Lucy" Natsu commented on seeing how the girl felt safe with Lucy.
"Shut up" Lucy said rolling her eyes with a slight blush on her face.
The client was extremely happy to see Naho and thanked Lucy and Natsu, their reunion was heart melting which made Lucy proud of herself.
It was evening when they were returning, the water glittered in the light of the setting sun it gave a warm feeling.
"Don't tell me we are gonna ride that horrible…." Natsu was interrupted as Lucy spoke.
"We are going to swim as the port is not as far and water is not that deep."She said and smiled sweetly again as she did in the morning.
Natsu was totally at loss of words, usually she would shriek out now she was herself suggesting it, weird what on world had gotten into her when he decided to ask her about her sudden change in behavior. A look at her and the world was lost to him in the light of the setting sun her beauty had intensified and her smile could pierce any ones heart he wanted to kiss her then and there, he swiftly looked away blushing at his thought so that she won't see it.
"What is it Natsu, you want to tell something?" Lucy asked her thinking maybe he was going to make some comment on her idea of swimming.
"NO, I suddenly think that we should rather take up a boat" He said rubbing the back of his neck, he just wished to see her face with the setting sun but, his motion sickness was more than his desire but he was pleased when she placed his head on her lap again gently and rubbed his hairs with her hands. He loved it somehow made him feel a little ease.
As they reached the guild Lucy again joined cheerfully all the members telling them about her job and all the destruction they did at Eisenwald guild she usually skipped the last part always telling Natsu had destroyed things and how they spent a part of their reward for the repair but this time she was freely telling how 'they' had destroyed many things and did not have to pay anything for it and how she had enjoyed a lot.
Suddenly a brawl broke into the guild and to everyone's surprise Lucy joined them, after it was over she went ordered a strawberry juice and sat with the girls discussing some hot gossips.
Natsu was staring at her time and again analyzing the facts that could make her change so much or to say behaving as he did, now he was really considering Gray's words that his 'habits are contagious'. Without any conclusion he made up his mind to ask Lucy directly after all they were best friends, thinking so he went to Lucy's house to wait for her there.
For the entire time Natsu was always at corner of Lucy's eye she saw him confused and doubtful and then looking at her confidently he went away suggesting her that he was going to her house, which he usually does. After few minutes Lucy excused herself from the group of Ladies reasoning that she was tired and left for her home.
When she reached her apartment she took a deep breath and somehow realized his presence in there and opened the door.
"Yo Natsu, you are here already, then what would you like to have? You had food at the guild then…" Lucy said and walked towards the kitchen. Natsu was stupefied and could not reply for a while, then he spoke-
"I don't want anything Lucy what I just want to know what happened."
"Huh?" Lucy could clearly see in his eyes that he was worried for her.
"What happened yesterday, why were you crying?"
"Nothing happened" Lucy muttered not looking in his eyes, she noticed that he was more worried for her crying and was not bothered that she slapped him.
"Come on Luce, you want me to accept that simply. I know you would not cry for any trivial I know you were hurt and I was the reason for it as your behavior suddenly changed today, you go on very friendly and open to all and most importantly you act like I always do. Firstly I took it for a change and enjoyed since you were happy but I can't take it anymore I want my original Lucy back, you get that so now get on speaking"
Lucy's eyes widened at his words he certainly did notice, he is not all dense as he shows she thought. She enjoyed a lot today but it was hard for her now, you see to act like someone else is difficult.
Seeing that Lucy was not giving in Natsu again urged
"Lucy you have to tell me, we are best friends."
These words again brought reality to Lucy she felt tears forming at the corner of her eyes she turned immediately to the bathroom she can't let him see her or it will worry him further. Just as she was going she felt strong warm arm around her wrist, her back touching the wall as Natsu caged her so that she has to look at his eyes. His face was just inches far from Lucy and she could not hold back anymore and kissed him, pressing her lips onto his taking in his smell and warmth all at once, she expected him to push her away but instead he loosened his grip at her wrist and brought his hands down to her waist pulling her closer and deepening the kiss.
His reaction brought courage in Lucy and she wrapped her hands around his neck getting lost in the kiss. She felt very happy at the moment that tears started falling from her eyes, when Natsu felt her tears he was horrified and parted from her surprised.
"What is it Lucy?"
He asked bluntly, as if it was a natural thing, not knowing what to reply she just told him her feelings.
"Natsu I really love you."
He stood there for a few minutes before replying.
"That's a relief, because I love you more Luce" saying so caught her hand and brought it near his heart she could feel how fast it was beating.
"This is what happens when you are near me, but I like it just I like you. Now I think it would have been better if I had told you that before rather than being dense to you, then I could have got this already." He said pointing at his lips with a sly smile, Lucy was looking at him blushing.
They leaned for another kiss but were interrupted by opening of the door Happy stood there shocked there with a smirk he said "Youuuu lliiikkeeeeeeee eeaachh ootthheerr"
Natsu and Lucy didn't decline it either, they looked at each other and announced.
"Yes we do"
A/N- That was a long one, took my entire time to write it. But I liked it. Hope you enjoyed it too. Please leave reviews to let me know how I did fare with this one. If you enjoyed it you can read my other work named 'Twisted Fairytail'.