Lucy is my Sunshine Princess. Natsu is my Precious Cinnamon Roll with Extra Cinnamon. I don't think the Stone Age Omake did either of them justice. I may not have, either, but I tried.
'From today on, you're mine!'
Lucy looked up at the strange person, the warmth of his hand on her hair seeping into her scalp, and questioned the way her heart beat just a little faster at the gentle touch, so in contrast with the way he had pounced on her earlier.
And then his words registered and she didn't really realise she was moving until she felt his hand fall from her head and his eyes follow her as she got to her feet. He tracked her as she stepped back, tensing as if to give chase, but she wasn't intending on running off right now.
Several of the other men in the village looked their way, even if they were too busy trying to right the chaos left behind by her tribe mates to intervene. But her attention was fully on the boy sprawled on the floor, a hand pressed against the cheek her foot had collided with and his eyes wide and stunned as they looked up at her, standing above him with her arms planted firmly on her hips and a gaze that she hoped burrowed deep into his skull.
'I said, I'm not a pet!'
The boy's eyes remained wide, as he quickly raised himself to a seated position, looking like he wanted to make himself less vulnerable as swiftly as possible.
'O...okay!' The words stuttered from his mouth, the phrase repeated by the strange blue cat stood next to him, who seemed to share the boy's shock at her attack. She was used to using that move on large prey during hunts, but it was apparently also effective against strange boys who didn't know to keep their hands to themselves.
But the stunned, and slightly frightened, look faded from his eyes, as confusion seemed to overtake, his gaze dropping to the floor as he seemed to ponder the situation a little. She briefly wondered if she could make a run for it, whilst he was distracted. Surely Erza couldn't have gotten too far so quickly?
But then his gaze returned to hers and she found herself frozen by an expression of pure confusion.
'But...if you aren't a pet, then what are you?' His eyes traced back down her body, taking in her breasts and resting on her skirt for a moment, before moving back up to her face. She shifted uncomfortably as she remembered his hands holding her down and wondered briefly if she could outrun him, this time. But then she realised that his gaze wasn't predatory and he wasn't even getting to his feet to grab at her or restrain her. He was just looking at her and waiting for her to answer.
She felt her face soften as she spoke to him, wondering if he really was just a confused person facing something he didn't know or understand.
'I'm a person,' She reached a hand down to him to help him to his feet, a gesture of goodwill she hoped would be a starting point to make him realise she was an equal and not a creature to hunt or trap. She smiled as she spoke. 'My name is Lucy.'
The warmth of his hand when he gripped hers was even more intense than when it had been placed on her hair and the calming effect was amplified. He didn't seem nearly so scary when he was clumsily getting to his feet, his hand never leaving hers despite not levering himself up against her weight.
When he was righted he brushed some dust off his clothing, his other hand still gently clasping hers, before looking down at her with a grin full of almost childlike exuberance, canine teeth flashing cheekily in a way that reminded her of Wendy's brightest smiles.
'I'm Natsu!' She realised that his smile was so big that his eyes were almost closed, and she couldn't help but notice that her heart thudded sharply at the completely open expression on his face. 'And this is Happy!' He added, as he gestured down at the small blue cat, who chirped a greeting to her at her feet.
But she couldn't really pull her gaze away from Natsu's as she took in the soft lines of his face, aggression and the wild hunter look completely absent as he stood passive before her, hand still softly grasping hers as if he'd forgotten they were even touching. She went to pull her hand away, a little uncomfortable at the pull she could feel to close her fingers more tightly and keep the warmth he gave off for herself, a ridiculous notion considering how frightened she'd been not too long ago.
But before she could even twitch, the silent look they were sharing was shattered by a low, long grumble.
His eyes flew down to her stomach and she remembered that she'd been planning on eating after her bath, the food she'd caught and slaughtered having been messy to clean and giving her cause to want to wash the blood from her skin. The meat was probably burned to a crisp from where she had left it, roasting over hot stones on the side of the water furthest from where Natsu had appeared to her.
But Natsu didn't pause long before pulling her after him, his hand now gently gripping her wrist as he picked up a spear and dragging her along after him.
She struggled, briefly, not sure what he was intending and flashing back to the memory of being pinned underneath him. 'W...what are you doing...?'
He looked back at her, still grinning happily, 'Well, if you're not a pet then you must be Nakama. We should go hunting and get something to eat! Let's go!'
She stopped, her feet planting as she registered his words. He stopped, too, feeling the resistance she was providing, and she was a little surprised, albeit pleasantly, at the fact that he wasn't forcing her to keep following him.
Despite the way they had met and his initial treatment of her, she couldn't help but feel that he was someone that could be trusted. That his unfortunate behaviour could be curbed with some gentle guidance. Or her foot again, should another kick be required.
She looked back into the village, and shuddered when she realised that some of the older tribe members were still looking at her like she was meat dangling from that pole again. But when their gazes quickly shifted, she glanced back at Natsu and saw his eyes narrowed at them all, the smile gone and a stern expression settling on his face.
Although she wanted to get back to the other girls and she didn't trust the villagers here, she had the feeling that Natsu would, at least, make sure no one else hurt her. And she had proved that she could defend herself if she needed to, even if it looked like the necessity could be fading. And it wasn't like she would be able to catch up with the girls if they had ridden off on beasts. She would need to plan her way back to the village carefully, and she couldn't do that whilst she was hungry.
'Well,' She smiled, deciding to trust him for now, 'I guess it'll be more fun together.'