It started during a battle where they all met by chance.

Team Natsu and the Thunder God Tribe had jobs in towns on each side of Shirotsume, and when the spa town was attacked by bandits, both teams fell upon them. During the battle, Lucy got separated from her team and in a split second, the leader rushed toward her with a sword.

Her heart pounded; she was out of magic power and she was away from her team.

She closed her eyes.

In that instant, hands grasped her hips and spun her. When she opened her eyes, Laxus had her in his arms and was delivering a lightning-charged kick to her assailant. The blade had cut his left cheek, and he'd just barely made it in time to save her.

Laxus put the leader down quickly and unceremoniously and turned to Lucy. His eyes narrowed suspiciously. "You don't know how to fight, do you?"

He shook his head in disgust and walked off.

Both Fairy Tail teams converged at a spa hotel, where the mayor was treating them as a gift for saving the town, and after food, a pillow fight, and great fun, Lucy went back to her room and kept thinking about what had happened that day.

At three in the morning, she was restless, and she put on her bikini and went down to the giant hot tub they called a man-made hot spring. There were a few late-nighters there, mostly people who had too much to drink and lovers, so Lucy picked a quiet corner and sank under the warm water. She closed her eyes and attempted to relax, but as soon as she felt a little peace, lightning pierced the sky and all the people in the water ran inside because that was normal.

Lucy wasn't normal. She was a Fairy Tail wizard.

She was half asleep in a state of complete relaxation when the water suddenly changed. Without opening her eyes, she knew he'd gotten into the water because it carried some tiny, tingling electrical charge. At first, she thought he was trying to get her out of the water, but this was too subtle and she decided it was probably a natural phenomenon caused by him being in the water with her.

Lucy opened her eyes and found him sitting on the opposite side of the hot spring, beer in hand as he looked up at the stars. "You used lightning to scare all the people out of the hot spring, didn't you?"

"Were you enjoying sharing the water with a bunch of idiots that are either horny or drunk? Because if so, I can promise you I am both right now."

Blushing furiously, the blonde stood up and started to get out of the water, her tiny little bikini clinging to her curves.

Laxus took a sip from his beer and laughed darkly. "Did I scare the little virgin?"

"H-Hey, you don't know that! Stop jumping to conclusions!"

"Hm?" His eyes went from her face, down to her neck, and her breasts, and then over her butt and legs.

Her blush deepened to the point of spontaneous combustion. "S-Stop!"

"You've never had a man. I'm sure of it," he answered with a confident smirk.

"Pig!" she spun, but then she remembered their encounter earlier that day. "And I can fight!"

Laxus was out of the water in an instant, in front of her. He took a fighting stance, a predatory, playful look in his eyes. "Come at me," he purred.

"I will not! You are drunk and you are acting like a total imbecile right now!" she hissed.

"Then it should be easy. Hurt me."

Lucy took a fighting stance. "Fine. But let me remind you that you asked for it. Lucy kick!"

Instead of feeling the impact of her foot on his chin, one of his big hands caught each of her feet and pulled upward, sending the top half of her body toward the floor. The only thing that kept her from busting her nose on the cement walkway was the fact that he held her up high by her ankles.

Lucy fought him as she hung upside down by flailing with her arms at first, and then punched him in the shin hard enough she hurt her fist on the bone.

"Put your hands on the ground," he commanded.

She did so, and he released her into a handstand. She flopped onto the ground and scowled at him. "You're a jerk."

"The kick had some decent power, but your form is garbage. Stand up."

Lucy stood back up and he took a stance.

Laxus grabbed her hips and fixed them according to how he had been standing. "Your hips and ass are responsible for keeping you upright during battle. Depending on your strength and flexibility, there's a range of angles you can bend to and remain on your feet. When you did that kick, you lifted both your feet and angled your hips outside of your range. The only thing you could do when the kick failed to complete is fall."

The blonde tried to copy his stance.

"...unbuckle your knees. And put that feisty look back on. The helpless thing is fucking annoying. I'm going to teach you how to do a proper roundhouse kick."

Laxus was so drunk he smelled like he'd fallen into a distillery on the way to the hot spring, and there was nothing 'proper' about anything that was going on. She was wearing a string bikini, he had on swim trunks, and they were sparring on a concrete walkway.

The lightning mage looked down at her legs, and then did a series of slow motion kicks for her to watch. "Your thighs look like you could use them to crush the bones of your enemies, but you want to kick with your whole body. So you pivot, and swing, and put the force of your back, hips, and legs together. You can aim low into a floor sweep, in the middle for a body shot, or straight for the face."

Lucy asked, "My thighs look like what?"

Unfortunately for Laxus, he didn't know that she was actually a fast learner.

He repeated the phrase very slowly as if the fact he was drunk made her slow. "I said your thighs look like you could use them to crush the bones of your enemies. You could crush my—"

Her heel snapped across his chin and he stumbled sideways and fell backwards, hitting his skull on the ground. This, combined with the fact that his blood alcohol level was high enough to kill four ordinary people, left him unconscious on the ground.

"I don't even want to know how that sentence was going to end."

Lucy thought about leaving him, but then her mind filled with crazy ideas. What if someone kidnapped him? No, no one would do that. Laxus waking up hungover and kidnapped? Scary! She grabbed him by the hand and started to drag him, assuming that the concrete probably wouldn't do much damage to his skin. He'd probably be pissed if he woke up with no skin on his back, but this was his fault.

The lightning dragon slayer, at six and a half feet and two hundred and twenty pounds, was indescribably heavy to Lucy, and he was pure dead weight as she dragged him by the hand inside and down a hallway to the room she'd seen Freed come out of.

Lucy banged on the door.

Bixlow answered, and she huffed, "I think this...belongs to you..."

Freed came to the door. "What have you done?!"

"I dunno, but Laxus obviously loved it," Bixlow laughed.

"Goodnight," she groaned.

This was only the beginning.