a/n: this story is basically just a stress relief from my other projects, so apologies if it's not up to par with some of my other things. and also thank you so much for all of your kind words so far! I'm so glad you guys are enjoying it(: Chapter 3 will be posted on Sunday!
disclaimer: I own nothing
Dragneel snatched his folder from the table and stood, stalking to the door after Chief and not even so much as glancing at either Lucy or Fullbuster before slamming it shut behind him. Slowly, wordlessly, the young woman unzipped her bag while reaching for her own folder, placing it in the middle pocket. She was too overwhelmed to read it now so she'd save it for a time when she could be alone to collect her thoughts.
Lucy looked up only when she felt a hand rest on her shoulder, and saw that it belonged to Fullbuster.
"Don't worry about Natsu," he said, trying to comfort her but it was obvious to the blonde that he didn't spend much time socializing with others. He most likely spent most of his time behind his computer screens.
He stood and offered a hand to help her up, and while Lucy got to her feet the man had already grabbed his coffee and tucked the folder under his arm. "He's just a bit shocked is all, the guy doesn't take surprises very well."
"Never would've guessed," Lucy mumbled, causing Fullbuster to grin and shrug in a what-can-ya-do sort of way.
"I better go after him, make sure he reads up on the mission."
"Or prevent him from doing something that'll wind up with him being fired?"
He smirked, nodding at Lucy once as if sizing her up. "Yeah, I guess. Whichever comes first."
He looked down at her, patting her once on the back before following his partner out the door. "See ya around, sis."
Erza met Lucy at the door, catching the blonde off-guard.
"I thought you said to meet at your desk?" Lucy frowned, adjusting her bag so that it sat in a more comfortable position. Erza wasn't paying attention, however, her eyes staring a hole through the top corner of the folder that was peaking out of the blonde's bag.
"No," the redhead groaned, lifting her good hand to rub at her tired eyes.
"What is it?" Lucy asked worriedly, leading her down the hall and in the direction of her own desk, where hopefully Erza would decide to sit down and rest—if at least for a little while.
Erza was used to long nights, the other woman knew, but the poor thing looked as if she hadn't slept in days. "What did you need to talk about?"
That snapped her out of it.
She was alert again as she stopped to grasp Lucy's arm with her good hand, making the blonde look at her.
"Listen Lucy," she said, her voice hoarse and sounding completely worn out. "Please, please tell me that Natsu's storm out of here had nothing to do with your meeting."
Lucy's expression gave her away, but she decided to give a response anyway.
With a light, hopeless shrug she answered, "Apparently we're married now."
Erza leaned against a nearby cubicle, eyes closed and mouth pursed in a tight line. Her voice was low, monotone and tired as she asked a question she already knew the answer to.
"Deep cover mission?"
Lucy nodded before realizing her friend's eyes were still closed. "Yes," she replied in a small voice, worried for the other woman.
"Chief has faith," Lucy managed, pausing to really think about it. At least, I think he does. "He thinks the three of us can take them out." She was barely able to get the sentence out before Erza's arms were around her, wrapping her good arm tightly around Lucy's shoulders.
"Erza?" she said, growing worried. Erza had a reputation around the floor as being one of the best in the agency at hiding her emotions—almost to a scary degree. It was why she was best at interrogation and getting the most out of convicts, so this behavior was abnormal to say the least.
"Be. Careful." the older woman ordered, voice tense as she spoke through clenched teeth. Her eyes are what gave her away though. Erza was scared.
Scared of what though?
"I don't understand."
"Just," she closed her eyes tight and took a deep breath through her nose, exhaling from her mouth before opening her eyes. "This isn't going to be an easy mission, okay? You can't just work for the day and then kick back at your apartment when the sun goes down. This will take time and work. It's a very serious commitment."
At the word 'commitment' Lucy's mind flashed to a pair of wedding rings, a prop that she'd soon have to wear on a regular basis. She inwardly cringed as her friend continued.
"This will be dangerous, Lucy."
Lucy tried hard to remind herself that the redhead meant well. Erza's always had a guardian complex, ever since their first stake-out together when they'd spent an entire night watching an old, rundown apartment complex (that had ended up being long since abandoned, but the bureau hadn't been aware of that at the time). Regardless, the two had bonded in those seventeen hours and Erza'd become like an older sister ever since they'd grown close over their similar family backgrounds.
"Obviously no mission is ever a safe one, Erza. You know that."
She nodded grimly. "Exactly, I know. Orecion Seis is not one to be taken lightly, they just killed seven of our best agents," Lucy's eyes widened, but Erza continued, "including-" she swallowed hard before clearing her throat, shaking her head. "Just… just be careful out there, alright?"
Lucy hummed in response, squaring her shoulders and placing her hand reassuringly on the young woman's shoulder. "I'll be careful. I will come back, stop worrying so much."
Erza nodded slowly, as if processing the words despite the fact that she wished they didn't need to be said in the first place. Allowing a melancholy grin to pull at her lips, Erza pulled her in again for a hug, this time much more gentle than the first bone-crushing one.
Lucy realized that it was her way of a farewell, seeing as how the redhead was never good with goodbyes. She normally did them in a more unconventional way.
"Good," she said, pulling away to grin—really grin—at Lucy for the first time since yesterday. "Because if you don't come back alive, I am so bringing you back just so I can kick your ass."
In the grand scheme of things, Lucy supposed that it could be said the city they'd been assigned to had a reasonably low crime rate when compared to nearby counties. However, she figured the mayor wouldn't exactly be handing out any keys the city to any model citizens anytime soon either.
The house they'd be sanctioned in was a cozy, cabin-like house with three bedrooms, thank God. Just because they were pretend married didn't mean Lucy wanted to be within three feet of Dragneel when she didn't have to be. The house had been refurbished recently by the government after being part of an on-going investigation that had been wrapped up almost a year and a half ago, so the bureau had been kind enough to set them up there, located just on the outskirts of downtown Denver.
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum had just pulled into the driveway behind Lucy's rental, and the blonde heard the slamming of a car door before Fullbuster let out a low whistle upon seeing the property. Lucy had to nod her agreement, it really was a nice setup. Dragneel, on the other hand, brushed right past the blonde, carrying a gym bag on one shoulder and a rolling suitcase at his heels. He spared the front door not a second look before barging right into her-their-new home.
Lucy turned, grumbling before popping the trunk to unload the rest of her things.
Walking across the threshold a short time later, Lucy looked around the interior of the house. The inside wasn't nearly as impressive as the out, but still nice. She supposed that it was expected of Natsu and Lucy Dragion-their aliases-to own cheapish furniture since they were 'newly married'.
Since they hadn't divided up rooms yet, she left her bags at the door and walked to the living room area where on the wall it looked as if she and Dragneel had been high school sweet hearts. Blown up images of them were framed, ranging from high school graduation where their arms were wrapped around each other, to their wedding day where he was smirking at the camera lens as he shoved cake in his new bride's face.
Lucy picked up one that sat on the end table that showed a vacation that wasn't real. She was standing in front of the Hollywood sign, Dragneel's arm wrapped around her waist while it looked as if he was pressing a kiss to the top of her head. Fullbuster was in this one too, shirtless with his jacket wrapped around his waist as he threw a peace sign to the camera.
Photoshop was a wonderful, terrible thing, Lucy decided, and the person behind the pictures was a master of the craft.
"Pretty impressive, aren't they?" she heard a voice coming from the doorway just as she sat the frame down. It was Dragneel, who looked as if he was carrying a heavy cardboard box. "Gray did an awesome job."
Lucy was pretty sure her eyebrows disappeared behind her bangs. "He did these? They're amazing!"
She whipped around, fully set to ask more questions, when she was taken a bit aback at her colleague's appearance.
Dressed in worn jeans an a purple hoody, his hair ungelled and resting in his eyes, it was the most casual that Lucy had ever seen him.
He was wearing Converse for crying out loud.
Though, I guess it's just because it's the first time I've seen him out of a suit, she reasoned with herself. If you don't count the photoshop images that Fullbuster created.
Then again, she supposed the man in front of her wasn't the same man from the bureau. This was Natsu Dragion... which, made her Lucy Dragion.
She had a part to be playing.
Dragneel blew at the hair in front of his eyes before lifting his chin, motioning to first her bags and then the stairs.
"Take the master," he told her, brushing by on his way to what Lucy assumed was a ground level bedroom, but she couldn't be for sure since she'd yet to check out the rest of the house.
She raised a brow at his retreating figure. She'd fully expected to have to fight him for it, or at the very least flip a coin. Not even a best of two-outta-three in rock-paper-scissors?
However, as she began to pile her things together, Lucy grinned to herself at the thought of not having to share a room with her asshole of a husband.
Far be it from me to argue.
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