A/N: I swear to you, this is the final installment! It's a damn novella now when it was only supposed to be one chapter. And just like I said this chapter would only have three scenes… that didn't happen.

But this is the last chapter. And I'm so glad you guys have enjoyed it!

(I'm posting this now without proofing one last time, so I apologize for any errors. It's bathtime for the hellspawn, and I wanna get this out to you guys before I'm commandeered for the night for Seven Deadly Sins' second season...)

Crave Your Love

Cobra woke up on his couch with a sneeze. Then another sent his teeth crashing down onto his tongue. Well, that most definitely woke his ass up. Thankfully, he wasn't sick. He didn't have the flu or anything else. But there was a whole lot of fucking dust crawling its way up into his sinuses. He pulled his arm away from his face where it had been draped across his eye, then rolled onto his side to look at the shifting figure he'd seen in his peripherals, bathed in late afternoon sunlight.

Lucy stood on the tips of her toes, on a dining chair she'd pulled into the living room, dusting the damn ceiling fan. With a fucking feather duster. He sure as hell didn't own a feather duster, and not one with hot pink feathers and a lime green handle.

He couldn't even be angry over the tufts of dust slowly falling to the floor, and onto him, though. Because he was lying in the perfect spot to drink in every inch of her. From the knee-high black socks that said Bad Ass on the back, up the length of her slender, delectable legs to a pair of too short to be called shorts of frayed denim that bared the bottoms of her rounded cheeks. Her bare, pinched waist. Her muscles contracted while she reached just a little higher, and his eye honed in on a drop of sweat wriggling its way down her spine from the bottom hem of her blue and grey flannel crop top.

Lucy sighed and glared at the fan, internally cursing her short stature and resolving to have Cobra finish dusting it.

That reminded him, he hadn't done that in a while. Probably about six months. That would explain the copious amounts of dust littering his chest.

Lucy hopped down from the chair, nearly silent, then reached down to her hip and flipped through her playlist on her soundpod. A soft, late January breeze swept in through the open window while she pulled her hair up into a messy bun, high enough that even her bangs were pulled back from her face. She reached down to the candy bowl and pulled out a lollipop, tucking the wrapper in her pocket while the treat slipped between her lips.

Cobra smiled when she started cleaning over by the window, easily winding around the boxes stacked here and there on the floor. And his smile only widened when the blonde got lost in her work and started dancing to the music pumping through her headphones. He wasn't really a fan of the shit she listened to, but even he could admit that it had a catchy beat. And because he could still hear the song ricocheting through her soul while she hummed along, Cobra also realized that Lucy had no sense of tone. At all.

She bounced to the beat, shimmied her shoulders and shook that beautiful ass of hers with no problem. But she was tone-deaf. Thankfully, she seemed to know it, because she didn't start belting out the song - though that could have been because she thought he was still passed out on the couch.

Eventually she moved away from the window, dusting shelves and knick knacks and being careful while working around his books and the few pictures on the walls. When she was near the kitchen, Cobra snickered at her overly dramatic dancing. How she pantomimed the lyrics all while wriggling like she was speedwalking in place.

And the weirder her dancing got, the happier she was. She didn't care if she looked like a moron, because Lucy was thoroughly enjoying herself and so beyond just happy that he was sure she would combust. Her music was loud enough that she didn't hear Cobra laughing where he laid on the couch when she started doing theCarlton - snapping her fingers from side to side and bobbing her head in time with the music.

He just couldn't fucking help it though, because Lucy was a damn lunatic. A total fucking dork. And he was too far gone in his affection for her to call her ass out on the utter weirdness that was her existence from time to time.

Lucy spun to face the couch, grinning when she saw Cobra holding his stomach and silently (to her, at least) laughing.

Tears streamed from his eye when she ramped up the weirdness with Michael Jackson-style pelvic thrusts. She plugged her nose and wiggled into a squat, then waved the feather duster at the laughing Poison Slayer. Disco moves while biting her lip in a way they both knew was more scary than sexy. The Charleston, swing dance kicks, the fucking Elvis leg-wiggle. The goddamn Macarena. He was pretty sure she threw a Time Warp in the middle of that.

Lucy removed one of her headphones, smiling when she heard just how loudly he was laughing. He lost it when she did a damn moonwalk. Cobra shot up from the couch and scrambled over the back, his foot catching between the cushions and sending him crashing to the ground.


"I'm gonna piss my pants!" he shouted, still laughing as Lucy came around the side of the couch. It really wasn't helping that she was doing the fucking Running Man.

"You don't like my dancing?" she giggled.

He couldn't even stand, he was laughing too hard, but Cobra decided that pissing his pants was not how he wanted his day to go in the slightest. So, he did what he had to do. Part crawl, part run, he fought to breathe while getting himself to the bathroom and slamming the door. He couldn't get his pants unzipped fast enough while making his way to the toilet.

He was still chuckling by the time he flushed and washed his hands. And when he opened the door to find Lucy leaning on the back of the couch with a shit-eating grin, Cobra rolled his eye at her. Still, he was smiling.

"I thought it was pretty good," Lucy grinned.

"Yes. It was wonderful. If you're an epileptic gibbon on cocaine."

"That's what I was going for." He snorted while making his way over to the blonde, watching as she brushed the dust from his tank top. "I didn't wake you, did I? I know you're tired from moving boxes all day."

"Well, if you didn't have so much shit," he teased. His arms wound around her, his hands resting on her hips. "But no, the dust in my nose woke me up."

"Dust your fan more often, and you won't have that problem."

"Grow a few inches and you won't have to make me do it," he shot back. That was bullshit though. He didn't want Lucy to be any taller. She was the perfect height for cuddling, and when her head was on his chest and they were lying in bed, her cold as fuck toes were just barely able to graze the tops of his feet. "And it's not my fan."

"The building's fan," she huffed playfully, rolling her eyes.

"No, it's our fan," he chuckled. The happy trill in her soul from that one word echoed in his own. "Why are you dusting anyway?"

"Because you were taking a nap. I need your help organizing." Lucy's eyes fluttered closed when his lips lowered and captured hers in a gentle kiss.

"Later. We're sweaty and need a shower."

"You just want to see me naked."

He hummed at the thought and kissed her again, pulling a laugh from the blonde when he started slowly walking backwards, dragging her along with him to the bathroom. "That does sound tempting," he whispered against her lips. "Can we change the dress code to you being naked all the time?"


"Pretty please?" Cobra laughed when she kicked the door closed, moving further with her still in his arms and turning on the shower to let the water warm.

"Extra no," Lucy said. Their lips separated just long enough for her to pull his tank top off, reconnecting again in slow, meandering kisses. God, he loved it when she kissed him like this, how she didn't rush and plunge her tongue between his lips while his fingers worked the buttons on her shirt and shorts loose. Maybe it was weird, but he much preferred her breathy sighs and slow kisses. Then again, he had no problem with the times Lucy lost herself in passion and kissed him as though he breathed life into her every time their tongues tangled.

Once they were ready and their clothes littered the floor, he carefully led her into the shower and pulled her under the warm spray. And when he finally found the will to pull away from her lips, Cobra looked into her warm honey eyes, brushed her wet hair back from her face. "Lucy?"

"Yeah?" Her hands smoothed over the scars along his back; soothing, random patterns ran across the raised flesh.

"I'm so happy you moved in," he whispered. She smiled again and he drew her into his chest, nestling his nose in her hair. Neither said a word for several comfortable minutes, and then Cobra's lips twitched when he felt her hand drifting across his hip and down toward his thigh. "Pervert."

"Oh, shut up," she giggled, kissing the scar in the center of his chest where the lacrima had been implanted. "Otherwise, I won't get on my knees once your balls are clean."

"Shutting up now."

Lucy made her way to Laxus' office, knocking and letting out a quiet sigh when he called her in. It was still weird to see him sitting behind the desk that had once belonged to his grandfather, even though he'd been their guild master for six years already. "You asked to see me?"

Laxus nodded, motioning for her to take a seat across from him while he finished reading through the page in front of him from the Council, then signing it.

"Is this about the last job Natsu and I took?" she asked. "Because I told him that methane is flammable, but-"

"No," he laughed, leaning back and running a hand through his hair. "Natsu's already been handled. This is about something else."

Lucy frowned and nodded, getting herself a little more comfortable. It wasn't often that Laxus looked uncomfortable in front of anyone, but he definitely did then. He'd taken to being their guild master pretty easily when it was all official and Makarov retired.

"I overheard something," he said, staring at the paperwork on his desk. "A few months back, I was walking to the guild to get some paperwork done, and-"

"Is this about Cobra?" she asked, frowning when he winced. "I saw you that morning. How much did you hear?"

"Everything," Laxus sighed. "Lucy, I'm really sorry to be bringing this up at all. I'm sure it's not something you want to talk about."

"Because you should be talking about it to him," she said. "Unless you're just trying to come clean that you heard it at all. But I don't see why that's important."

"Well, I talked to Porlyusica," he started, forcing himself to keep eye contact when Lucy's jaw tensed. "She's much more knowledgeable than Wendy when it comes to things like surgery that they used back then."


"Look, I just wanted to help," Laxus sighed. "He sounded really upset about it, and I can understand that."

It was no secret that Laxus wanted kids of his own, but he hadn't been able to hold a stable relationship since becoming guild master. Lucy kind of felt for him, when she thought about it. The guild took up so much of his time, he didn't have the energy for anything else. And she'd really thought he and Mickey Chickentiger would have lasted when they were together in x794.

"Porly said there wasn't much that could be done about it," Laxus continued. "Since it was so long ago, there's scar tissue that would have to be cut before anything could get fixed. Not even Wendy can do that. If it was a fresh wound, no scar tissue, she could probably do it without having to put Cobra under."

"That's…" Lucy stared in disbelief at the blond before her. He honestly looked just as devastated knowing that nothing could be done to help Cobra. She knew Cobra wished more than anything that he could change it, but since that night he hadn't really talked about it again.

"If it makes you feel any better, Porly laughed at me when I asked if a doctor could just stick a needle in his balls and pull out some semen. It apparently doesn't work that way," Laxus muttered. "I even checked with doctors to see if there was some new procedure they could do, something without anesthesia. I didn't give any names, but… there's nothing. I'm sorry, Lucy."

"You did all that… just because you heard he wants kids?" she whispered.

Laxus nodded, a sad smile lifting one corner of his lips. "I get it now," he said, "Why Gramps calls everyone in the guild his brats. The guild's always been my family, but being the guild master means I'm more than just a brother to people. I don't give a shit if Cobra's older than me, he's like a son. Just like all of you. And when I heard him so sad like that, I knew I had to find a way to help him. I'm not trying to push anything on you as far as your relationship is concerned, but being able to give him something he wants so badly… the choice to have a family and make it happen…"

She watched as he shook his head and ran a hand through his hair again. Everyone had really grown up in the last few years, Laxus especially. She could still remember so clearly when he was just Makarov's arrogant asshole of a grandson. And here he was, taking care of everyone in the guild the best he could. "You really are a great guild master," she said with a small smile.

"Eh, I get by," he chuckled, sobering a moment later. "I wish I had better news though. If it's alright, I can keep looking around for other options for him."

"If you really want to," she shrugged. "I think Cobra's just at the point where he's accepted it. It hurts him, but he's been looking for twenty years. And without removing the lacrima, there's nothing he can do about it." She'd made the mistake of asking why he didn't just have the lacrima removed in the first place. Cobra hadn't been too happy to explain that it had fused with his body and trying to remove it at this point would most likely kill him.

And she definitely didn't want that.

"Have you guys thought about adopting?"

"Laxus," Lucy laughed. "We're nowhere near that talk. We haven't even had sex."

"How long have you guys been together?" he asked, staring with wide, disbelieving eyes. He knew for a fact that Lucy had just finished moving her things into Cobra's apartment. Had they really done that without having sex first? Was that even possible?

"Uh, about three years, I think," she said.

"And you still haven't had sex."

"... No?"

Laxus shook his head in bewilderment as Lucy cleared her throat and stood from her seat. "Wow…"

Lucy rolled her eyes and leaned forward to pat his hand where it rested on the desk. "Thanks for checking into that, Master," she said, drawing his attention once again. "Cobra wanted kids, but it's just not in the cards for us." She smiled when his hand turned and gently clasped hers for only a moment, just long enough for her to feel his warmth and understanding, then Lucy made her way across the office.

She paused at the door and looked back over her shoulder. "Laxus, please don't tell anyone about it. I can understand Porlyusica for a medical opinion, but you know Cobra's a private person."

"Don't worry, Lucy," he said, "His secret's safe with me."

She nodded and made her way out of the room, barely catching his whisper of, "Three years and still no sex… Jesus…"

And once Lucy was back downstairs, she squawked when Cobra ran over to her and clamped a hand around her arm, then started dragging her toward the guild doors. "C-Cobra, what's-"

"She's having the baby," he said with a grin over his shoulder. He kept pulling her along until Lucy pried herself from his overly excited grip. "Sorry… Macbeth called. Sorano's having the baby."

"She's not due for another week!"

"I know, but it's happening," Cobra shrugged. He pushed open the doors to the guild. "But we need to catch a train and get our asses out there, because I wanna be there when my niece comes."

Lucy rolled her eyes and turned toward the bar. "Mira, tell Natsu I can't make the job today. Sorano's having her baby!"

The barmaid shrieked with glee, instantly commandeering Gajeel and Pantherlily to take Lucy's place on the mission with Natsu. Lucy turned just as Cobra scooped her up onto his back and dashed out of the guild, laughing the whole while.

He suffered through the train ride toward Sabertooth with his head in her lap, scrambled from the cabin as soon as they'd stopped, and then they were off to the hospital just down the road from their fellow guild. Lucy definitely hadn't known what to expect, but the Poison Slayer refused to be slowed down once he heard Sorano's soul and instead she was hoisted onto his back once again. When orderlies tried to say he couldn't just barge in, Cobra nearly poisoned the whole staff. At least, until Macbeth came out of a nearby room from all the commotion and let them know that Cobra and Lucy were family and Sorano was asking for them.

By the time they'd made it into the room, Sorano was pushing, sweating, and Macbeth rushed back to her side to hold her hand and let her squeeze. Cobra set Lucy down and took Sorano's other hand, and Lucy was pulled forward by a nurse and told to hold one of Sorano's legs up.

And nearly twenty minutes later, Lucy and Cobra watched as Macbeth cut the umbilical cord and the newborn girl was cleaned off, then set in his arms. Lucy moved to Cobra's side as he smoothed a hand over Sorano's sweaty hair, tucking herself into him. They were silent when Macbeth finally laid the little girl in Sorano's arms, simply watching as both former criminals gazed lovingly at their daughter.

"What's her name?" Cobra finally whispered. He pulled Lucy closer and buried his nose in her hair while looking at the red-faced infant all bundled up in a pink blanket.

Macbeth's lips parted, then he stopped when Sorano glared at him - though the usual heat was missing from her gaze right then. "We're not naming her Juniper, Macbeth."

The mages laughed quietly, simply watching her tiny fists shift to peek out of the blanket and how she curled closer to Sorano's voice.

"Her name is Cassie," she finally whispered, looking up into Cobra's teary eye. "What do you think of your niece, Erik?"

"She's fucking perfect."

A month after Cassie's birth, Lucy came home to a darkened apartment. That, in itself, wasn't odd since Cobra had been on a job for the past two weeks, but she'd been hoping that he would have come home by now. Of course, he was doing some undercover job where he couldn't use his lacrima, but she had gotten a dated letter from him three days prior that had at least put her at ease.

"Still alive. Miss you. -E"

She definitely appreciated it, even though it was short. And the fact that he'd signed it with his actual initial, rather than the name he still went by, let her know it really was Cobra. He'd promised to write her when he had the time so she wouldn't worry, and that had been the one piece of information he'd been adamant about her remembering. If she got a letter from him that wasn't signed with his real name, she was to go to the guild and get Laxus as soon as possible.

She was more than happy that his cover hadn't been blown as of three days ago.

Lucy silently closed the door and locked it, dropping her keys in the little bowl by the door. She flicked the switch, frowning when none of the lights in the living room came on. She could hear the air conditioner and refrigerator running, so she knew it wasn't a blackout.

Lucy flicked the switch a couple more times, the hair on the back of her neck rising when nothing happened. There was no pop from the electrical box in the laundry to let her know it was just a fuse. The apartment was silent.

Maybe she was just being paranoid, but Lucy had gone several years now without being captured or used in some plot because she'd been on her A-game. She kept an eye out for dangerous situations, much like this one, and tended to run far the hell away from them. Except, this was her home with Cobra. The safest place she could be. Mainly when he was home. Okay, always when he was home.

Biting her lip, Lucy took a slow step forward, then another. If she could just get to the bookshelf, then she could find the little booklight they used at night when they read to each other. And that would make it so she could get a few candles - or every candle in the fucking apartment - and light them. All of them.

Cobra couldn't get home fast enough, that was for damn sure.

The smallest sliver of light came from the window straight ahead on the far side of the apartment. She could have sworn she'd closed the drapes all the way that morning when she'd left to go to the guild. She froze as soon as her boot hit the couch, going still and listening for anything other than the hum of appliances or her quickened breath.

She could swear she heard the floor creak when her foot lifted to take another step. Lucy froze again when several quiet pops sounded off to her right, almost like her knees when she'd been crouching for too long and finally stood up. A shuffle of fabric followed and she tried to slow her racing heart.

Maybe she was just imagining things though. Her imagination was getting the best of her once again. Cobra tended to tease her about how her mind ran wild on occasion.

A soft hiss barely accompanied a low, gritty laugh from just beside her, and Lucy whirled in place with a terrified shriek just as something bright green flew toward her. This was it. She was going to be killed in her apartment.

Except then it all stopped. And she was cold, and just a little on the wet side. Whatever had hit her tangled in her hair and slowly peeled from her face in a stringy mess.

Suddenly, purple light filled the room - a black light, was more accurate - and Lucy was left staring at the glowing white teeth and single eye of Cobra. Holding up a can of silly string.

"I didn't expect you to scream like that." His smile faded when her bag dropped to the floor and he closed the distance between them when Lucy stayed silent, when he could hear her breath stuttering in her chest. "Lucy, hey, it's okay…"


Cobra sighed while pulling her close, wrapping his arms around her shoulders and nestling his nose in her hair. "It's just me," he whispered. "I wasn't trying to make you - Oof!" He nearly stumbled when her first connected with his stomach.

"You dick!" Lucy shouted. "I thought you were gonna kill me!" Still, she latched onto him in a crushing hug, soaking up the warmth he always radiated and pulling in deep, shaky breaths full of his scent.

"Okay," he chuckled, "I'm sorry."

"What are you doing with silly string and a black light?"

"Well, I thought…" He paused and turned so she could see the rest of the apartment from where she was curled into his chest. "We could have a little war."

Lucy gaped at the sight of their coffee table filled from end to end with cans of silly string, the caps glowing in bright neon pinks and greens and blues. She looked around the apartment, catching several more cans that glowed from different places. The bookshelf, the dining table, window seat. Nearly every surface had at least one can. "Wh-What did you do?" she giggled.

"Bought some silly string so I could cover you head to toe with it."

"Yeah, right," she smirked. Lucy pulled back slowly and kicked off her boots. She reached down and grabbed two cans, popping the lids off and shaking them. "You're going down, Cobra."

"Am I?" he smirked. Their hands raised at the same time, shooting out streams of pink and green at one another. Lucy howled as the chilly string trailed across her bare stomach and when she turned to run around the table, Cobra lifted another can and prepared it.

He hadn't been expecting Lucy to jump at him and stick the fucking can down his shirt, sending silly string slithering over his back. Cobra didn't even mind that he yelped. Especially since he was able to get payback a moment later when both of her cans had run out.

They ran from one side of the apartment to the other, sometimes hiding behind furniture to "surprise" their opponent, picking up more cans on the way. Other times they charged right for each other, smiling and yelling about their impending victory. It definitely wasn't easy to hide when the blacklight made the silly string still clinging to their bodies and hair glow. And, as Lucy came to find out when Cobra pulled his shirt off and brushed away the string still clinging to him, the little wet trails left behind also glowed.

Cobra laughed when Lucy pinned him to a wall, ignoring the picture frame that fell to the floor at the desirous look in her eyes.

He might have considered that she was planning something, like shoving the can down his pants and freezing his dick off with it. Except then her hands lifted, empty, and brushed along his ears before sinking into his hair and pulling him down into a melting kiss that had him dropping the can he'd been holding.

'So happy he's safe… I was so worried… But he's home now…'

"I missed you so much," he whispered between kisses.

'Mm, Cobra I want you…'

He growled against her lips as his tongue curled around hers, drawing her closer. He grasped her thighs as she jumped, wrapping them around his hips and spinning so she was sandwiched between himself and the wall. He'd missed her warmth, the gentle thrum of her soul as they laid together. He'd definitely missed the feeling of her holding him close and her lips trailing over his cheeks and jaw on long nights when sleep just wouldn't come.

'Take me to the bed…'

A quick flash of an image - their naked bodies writhing on the sheets and joined, Lucy moaning his name and clutching herself to him - crashed through the blonde's soul with more force than just a little fantasy. She ached for him just as desperately. And even though Cobra had wanted their first time together to be a little more relaxed, with him slowly working her into a state of bliss, he couldn't deny his need to feel her around him in some way, to assure himself that he really had come home to the blonde and it wasn't all just some dream he'd wake up from.

Lucy moaned as Cobra's hips rolled into her, the friction sending her mind spinning. Her fingers clutched to his bare shoulders desperately, mapping out every tightening muscle as he massaged her thighs. He pulled back from the wall and she clutched herself to him, kissing across his jaw and locking her lips on his earring.

"Fuck…" Cobra nearly dropped her to the floor and took her right fucking there when Lucy's teeth grazed the tip of his ear.

"Yes, please," she giggled, breathless. Lucy moaned as her lips were claimed once again, with more force than Cobra normally used, as he carried her to the bedroom. The room was pitch black though, and she found herself laughing when he dropped her to the bed. "And before you ask… Yes, I'm sure… I'm more than ready."

His eye flashed with excitement, sending her heart pounding and heat pooling low in her belly. And when his nostrils flared, she just knew he was breathing in the scent of her arousal.

"Alright, but… We're missing something," he smirked. Cobra rushed out of the room and unplugged the blacklight - he'd have to remember to put the bulbs back into all the lamps later on - then took it to the bedroom. Once it was plugged in, he grinned at the laughing blonde, his fingers toying with the button on his pants. "Now, where were we?"

Lucy squealed as Cobra pounced, tackling her to the bed and covering her lips with his.

One of Lucy's favorite pastimes as the months progressed was watching Cobra play with Cassie. Once the little white-haired girl was in his arms, the ornery (to everyone else) Poison Slayer turned to mush.

"And when you're older, I'll show you how to poison Daddy just enough to make him wish he was dead," Cobra crooned, smiling down at the four-month-old.

"Please don't," Macbeth sighed, resting his head on his arms and not looking at anything aside from the backs of his closed eyelids.

Okay, so maybe he wasn't complete mush. He was still Cobra, after all, but Lucy found his mommy-voice just so fucking cute that she could nearly feel her ovaries sighing.

"That's quite the mental picture," Cobra chuckled, glancing at the blonde beside him.

"Not my fault you're making me drop eggs," Lucy giggled. They'd come to realize, only after he and Lucy had visited the exhausted new parents, that making jokes about having children seemed to ease Cobra. It was his defense mechanism, and always had been. And Lucy understood that. She really didn't mind that they'd never have kids, but knowing that it was a sore spot for him, she tried not to talk about it (even as a joke) unless he brought it up first - errant thoughts in her soul, notwithstanding.

"Oh, when are you two going to have some babies?" Mira sighed, leaning on the bar and watching as Cassie's little fingers curled around Cobra's lower lip, then pulled. And all he did was smile down at the little girl as though it was the cutest thing he'd ever seen.

"Never," Cobra said.

"Come on," Mira laughed, turning toward Lucy. "Lucy, you see it, right? Cobra's a natural."

"Sure he is," Lucy nodded. She couldn't stop from smiling when he lifted Cassie and took an exaggerated breath, then blew raspberries on her little belly, pulling shrill, gargling giggles from the infant. "But that doesn't mean we're having kids."

"But we need babies to spoil in the guild," Mira pouted. "Lisanna's pregnant and her baby will need someone to play with. It's like this whole generation is sterile!"

"I can say from experience," Sorano yawned, "Being pregnant sucked ass. I miss sleep."

Mira shook her head, blinking in surprise when Cassie spit up and the Poison Slayer didn't miss a beat in cleaning up her little chin and pulling her to his chest, rubbing gentle circles on her back. "Cobra, you'd be such a great dad, though," she said. "And just picture it… You and Lucy would have the cutest little-"

"Fuck off, Mira," Cobra cooed, not looking away from Cassie's smiling face. And when she giggled again, her deep red eyes lighting up with joy, he brushed their noses together and said, "Oh, you're most definitely my favorite person right now."

Lucy bit her lip and glanced at Sorano, watching the Angel mage's eyes drift closed only to snap open once again, then to Cobra and the saddened gleam in his eye. The only people who noticed it were most likely her, Macbeth, and Sorano. No one else was really close enough to him to pick up on things like that. Then again, the new parents were both so exhausted they probably hadn't seen it either.

Before Mira could say anything, Lucy placed a hand on Cobra's arm, drawing the smallest bit of his attention from the little girl. "Cobra, how about you take Sorano back to the apartment?" she whispered. "It's about time for Cassie's nap, I think."

"God, I could go for some sleep," Sorano sighed, looking at the clock. "And you're right, Lucy. Cassie needs it or she'll be a cranky mess later."

"Just like her Daddy," Cobra chuckled. "What are we doing for dinner?"

"Well, it's your turn to cook," Lucy said. "You mentioned wanting to make that weird tofu pot roast for them to try."

"Ugh, not again," Sorano sighed while standing and slinging the overfull diaper bag over her shoulder. "We're not vegetarians… stop forcing it on us!"

"Lucy puts bacon on hers," he chuckled. "I can cook up the bacon and you can try it that way."

"It makes it bearable," the blonde shrugged. She leaned over and pressed a kiss to his cheek, then another to Cassie's head, just before he walked off with Sorano. "I'll bring Macbeth home in an hour or so. He'll most likely just sleep here anyway."

Cobra nodded, still distracted by Cassie's smiling face. Just before he was out of the guild, Lucy heard him laugh and say, "You can't poke my eye out if it's not there… No, that doesn't mean go for the other one."

Mira sighed and wiped down the bar as the door closed behind Sorano. Lucy hit her leg against Macbeth's, silently asking for his advice when he looked at her. Honestly, she hadn't a clue what to do about it, but she was sure the questions would never stop from Mira. And while Lucy didn't mind repeating herself, she knew that Cobra would start getting irritated by it. But this wasn't her secret to tell, and it wasn't like Mira was really entitled to know in the first place. It wasn't any of her business. Not that the barmaid saw it that way.

With a heavy sigh, the Reflector mage sat up, drawing Mira's attention. "Mira," he yawned, "Brain forced Cobra to get a vasectomy when he was a teenager. He can't have kids." He blinked slowly when Mira went still along with several nearby Fairy Tail mages. As far as he was concerned, Cobra could be mad at him for telling someone, rather than getting upset with Lucy. She was the reason he and Sorano had been able to get away from Sabertooth for a little bit, having called and said they were invited over for the weekend so they could get some much needed sleep while she and Cobra took care of Cassie. No way was he going to let the blonde shoulder Cobra's anger, if he could help it.

"He… what?" Mira whispered.

Macbeth nodded, taking a sip of Lucy's water. "So, please… for his sake… don't ask him things like that. He wanted kids more than any of us. And unlike me, he can't just go to a doctor and have it undone."

Mira turned back to Lucy, her eyes wide and filling with remorseful tears. "Lucy, I'm so sorry," she said quickly. "I..."

"It's okay, Mira," she sighed. "You didn't know."

"You already knew?"

"Yeah, we talked about it," Lucy said. "It really does upset him though, even now."

"W-Well, I mean… what about you?" Mira winced. "Don't you want kids one day?"

The blonde simply smiled while looking down at her glass. Oh, she'd thought about what it would be like to have a baby with Cobra more than once, though she tried not to do it while he was around to hear it. And yes, it would have been wonderful if they could have had a family together, a little piece of both of them.

Finally, she looked back to Mira. "If I have to choose between having a baby and being with Cobra," she said softly, "I'll choose him. Every time."

Lucy really didn't mind that Cobra turned her into a human pretzel while the headboard slammed into their wall. She preferred it, actually. Just like she'd come to realize that hearing his voice rumbling in her ear about just how good she felt or how hard he was going to fuck her just before he did it, sounding so breathless and desperate for his release, was actually quite the turn-on.

Her favorite part of sleeping with him, however, wasn't the sex. Oh, that was more than enjoyable, and she loved that he made a point of giving her earth-shattering bite the pillow so you don't wake the neighbors orgasms every time they did it. But Lucy knew that she would always love how he held her afterwards so much more, much like he was right then.

She didn't care that his full weight rested on her sweaty body, pushing her into the mattress, or that his short, huffing breaths against the side of her face made it a little harder for her to pull in precious air. He was past the point of twitching hips and broken rasps of her name while his release pumped out of him. They were left in the heady aftermath, and his arms had pushed under her to hold her just a little closer so that even their uneven breaths didn't leave space between them. And she loved it. She loved that he latched onto her and didn't want to let her go. That he hummed with contentment while kissing her cheek and whispered, "So perfect," before carefully withdrawing his spent member from her. He rolled off of her and Lucy easily followed, curling into his chest and smiling as his arms wound around her once more.

She never would have considered that Cobra would be a cuddler after sex. But Lucy had learned firsthand that he was. And that she was the only person he'd ever been with who he was comfortable enough to hold after they were done. It was more than being comfortable though, she already knew. Something they never said but both understood.

She was the first person he'd ever really fallen for, the first person he knew wouldn't judge him for his desires - one that included some of the best cuddling in the world, in her opinion.

Lucy hummed as Cobra gently massaged her back, pressing a soft kiss to his sweat-slicked chest. She loved even more that he would rub her back when he'd been particularly adventurous in testing her flexibility.

"You have no idea how much I enjoy bending you like that," he chuckled against her hair.

"Mm, you can bend me however you want," she hummed.

"As long as you get off and get back rubs."

"And cuddles. They're a requirement." When he laughed again, her eyes slid open toward the end table on his side of the bed. It was too bad she couldn't reach the candy bowl. She wanted some taffy, and if she stretched out her arm then he'd stop rubbing her.

"You're hopeless," Cobra grinned. He reached back toward the bowl and grabbed a taffy, then unwrapped it and put the candy between his teeth. "Share."

Lucy let out a quiet laugh while bringing her lips to his, biting into the candy and letting her lips linger against his while she started to chew. "You like candy after sex just as much," she whispered against his smiling lips.

"Because I'm a sugar addict," he grinned.

"Just a sugar addict?"

"Hell no." Cobra massaged her back again, smiling when Lucy melted against him. "I like you a whole lot more than sugar." He felt her smile while her arm wrapped around him, her fingers gently smoothing over his hip. "Merry Christmas, Lucy."

"I'm pregnant."

Cobra stared. He really didn't know what else to do, because she was smiling and holding his hands and her soul was singing, and he was positive he had to be dreaming. Because there was no way Lucy could be pregnant. It was impossible, literally. "You… what?"

She nodded, biting her lip excitedly when he just kept staring. "Also, welcome home, but I had to tell you!"

He hadn't made even made it to the center of the guild before she'd run over to him from the bar and told him… that. Seriously, this had to be a dream. It had happened before. But when he listened to her soul, he heard the story.

She'd missed her period last month, when he'd left for the mission he was only just coming back from, and had waited for the next to come along, or for him to get back home. When neither happened, Lucy went right to her doctor and got tested. And sure enough, there was a baby in her. Just a tiny little cluster of cells already growing and evolving into what would one day be their baby.


She hadn't been able to stop herself from blurting it out as soon as she'd seen him, before even his magic could pick it up. But he heard it in her soul. All of it. And when Cobra remembered that he could never hear souls in his dreams (they were called dreams for a reason), his gaze lowered from Lucy's bright smile and teary eyes to her flat stomach.

When he listened closer, he could her just the faintest trill that didn't belong to the blonde. It wasn't much, just a soft sound somewhere between a purr and a hum.

They hadn't seen the point in using condoms, since Cobra knew he couldn't get her pregnant. And while there was a small, dark kernel of doubt in him that this couldn't possibly be his baby, Cobra knew the truth. He could feel it in her trembling hands, heard the giddiness in her soul that this was what he'd always wanted and she could be the one to give it to him. Cobra knew better than to question Lucy's loyalty, so he didn't.

"I'm pregnant," she sniffled.

"You're r-really…" The little, trilling soul grew louder as he fell to his knees in front of her. He didn't care about the tears that had been blurring his vision careening down his cheek when his fingers brushed across her exposed navel. And he didn't care that everyone in the guild was watching as he let out a hiccupping sob and wound his arms around her.

Lucy brushed her fingers through Cobra's hair when he started peppering her stomach with soft kisses, using her other hand to swipe at her own tears.

They wouldn't find out until later that week - when Lucy went to her first obstetrician appointment with Cobra gladly in tow to get a sonogram of their adorable little baby - that it was entirely possible, and extremely rare, for a vasectomy to reverse itself. It would be another month before Cobra went to a doctor himself and had it verified that it had, in fact, reversed all on its own and that his sperm count was lower than normal for a man his age, but that it was to be expected due to his circumstances.

But while he knelt on the ground in the middle of Fairy Tail, he didn't pay attention to the shocked souls of their guildmates at seeing him blubbering like a bitch over the news. He didn't hear Sorano and Macbeth shushing the 18-month-old Cassie when she tried to pry herself from them to come greet her uncle.

All he could hear was Lucy's soul, and the soul of their baby, singing in beautiful harmony with one another. It was his dream, finally come true.

Cobra didn't care who saw or heard him like this. His pride could suck a throbbing vulcan dick. His eye lifted to look at her tear-stained cheeks, pulled into a wobbling, giddy smile. "L-Lucy…" How was he supposed to tell her just what this meant to him? That she was so happy to be sharing this with him, shook Cobra to his core.

So, he said the only thing that came to mind. For the first time in his life, Cobra said, "I love you."

.The End.