Author's Note: Forgive me if this is OOC. Nalu isn't something I write often. The cereal pun at the end came from my cousin during a conversation on why sex in fic is either great, bad, or so bad it's good.
The rows of cereal boxes were bright and garish. Lucy sighed and tried to settle on one but found herself unable to make a decision. She liked flakes but they didn't hold up well in milk and Lucy knew her habits of eating slowly – while half distracted – didn't pair well with weak cereal. Shredded wheat was nice but sat too heavy in her stomach. She didn't even consider varieties with dried marshmallows. Trying to convince her father that being out of the house and doing fine on her own while a box of Lucky Charms sat in her pantry felt counterintuitive.
"Oh, hey!" The voice to her left irritated her but at the same time caused her heart to skip a beat. Lucy swallowed thickly and turned to face him as casually as possible.
"Hey... Natsu, right?" The dimple in his cheek deepened and Lucy's face burned. He knew damn well she knew his name. They'd run into each other in the hallways of their apartment building too many times for her to not know. His hair looked damp under the florescent lights in the store and Lucy never, ever failed to notice the way his biceps stretched the sleeves of his Magnolia FD t-shirts.
"So!" he said brightly, completely ignoring her awkwardness. "Cereal?"
"Uh, yeah. Cereal." As stiff as Lucy felt, Natsu was the opposite. She couldn't deny his unflappable smiles and friendliness were frustratingly attractive. "I like to keep it simple in the mornings... and sometimes at night." Lucy cringed internally. The tendency to tack on unnecessary information when nervous never failed to embarrass her.
"Nothing wrong with that!" He said easily. Natsu smiled at her and Lucy had to pry her eyes off him. The boxes of cereal were much safer. "So what's your favorite?"
"Well –" Of course he would ask that. Of course! "I, uh –" Lucy snatched a box of Cheerios off the shelf and pretended to inspect the nutrition label. "These are good."
Natsu chuckled and grabbed the next box. "These are a very good choice."
"Yep. Lots of... potassium..." He squinted at the label and Lucy stifled a giggle. "And... sodium. I can't find anything wrong with them."
"Natsu, sodium is bad."
"Ah. Well... vitamin A then. Lots of that. And calcium. Cheerios are my favorite."
Lucy's eyebrow quirked upward. "Really?"
"Sure! Why not? The box is nice and yellow... like your hair. You have great hair."
"Uh –" Her face flushed. "Thanks." Natsu grinned down at her and Lucy clutched the box of Cheerios to her chest. "You should come over for dinner!" she blurted.
"Tonight?" he asked not betraying anything other than eagerness.
"Yeah... I mean –" Lucy's thoughts were a messy tangle. She had nothing to feed him – or herself – which is why she was shopping at such a stupidly late hour to begin with. "If you don't mind cereal."
"I don't mind cereal." His lips curled into a smirk. "Is now a good time to bring up the fact that you seem to like lots of O's for breakfast and sometimes dinner?"
Even Lucy's ears burned. "Oh, Natsu," she groaned.