AN: Inspired by a request over at Tumblr! Hope you enjoy it!

Disclaimer: Fairy Tail and its characters are not mine, sadly... If they were, NaLu would have been canon after the Phantom Lord incident. Just sayin'.

Lucy grunted as she stumbled back. The hot dry breeze blowing across the little hill Natsu's cottage was perched on did little to cool her overheated body. And she hurt. By the stars, her limbs ached more than she could ever remember. She waved a hand and bent forward, puffing.

"Give me a minute," she wheezed out.

"C'mon, Lucy! This was your idea and you're not even trying!" Natsu planted his hands on his hips as he watched her. The fire-breathing knuckle-head didn't even have the decency to look even a little worn out.

"I'm trying plenty, thank you very much!" Lucy sucked in a lung-full of air and straightened up to glare at him. "It's hot today. And you're being relentless." She tried to pout at him, already knowing it would have zero effect on him. "You could at least try to be a little more understanding."

"You think it's hot every day, Lucy." He bounced forward on his toes, punching his fists through the air at imaginary foes. "You're the one that wants to be able to fight with your spirits, and I think it's a good idea. Your enemies ain't gonna care whether it's hot or not, and they ain't gonna be understanding."

"It's all those sweets she eats, Natsu – maybe we should work on her cardio, instead."

Lucy rounded on Happy sitting on a nearby tree stump, stuffing his face with fish. "Shut it, cat!"

"I'm just trying to help!"

"The hell you-"

She felt Natsu's presence behind her and ducked on instinct. His arm swung over her head, passing close enough that she could feel his insane body heat – another reason sparring with him in this weather was so difficult. She dropped to the ground and rolled like he had taught her.

"I said wait!" she shouted as she rolled to her knees and blocked one of his low kicks with her forearms. She grimaced at the impact.

"If you've got energy to yell at Happy, you've got energy to keep fighting."

He didn't give her the opportunity to protest further. She knew he was right – their enemies wouldn't wait for her to catch her breath and they wouldn't care what the weather was like. She knew she had the stamina to keep fighting – she had done it countless times before when she thought she had nothing left. She could keep sparring with him now. So, she focused on the blocks he had taught her, watching, assessing; waiting for the moment she could turn her defence into an offence. He made it hard though. When she had approached him to ask his help with this, he had taken it very seriously – far more seriously than she was expecting; almost as though he had his own reasons for teaching her how to fight.

An opening presented itself. As he swung his left arm across, he exposed his side, unprotected and in easy reach if she twisted a little to her right and swooped in low. Which she did, driving her fist into his side. He grunted in surprise and stumbled back. She stamped down on her concern, on her guilt for hurting him, and followed through like he always told her to do, bringing up her left elbow to connect with his jaw.

It was only a glancing blow as he rolled his head back to prevent the worst of it. She didn't let herself stop, knowing he'd only scold her for not pressing her advantage. She had to make a snap judgment, and went for his legs rather than his arms – he'd block her too easily if she went for his arms. She dropped into a crouch and swept her leg out, sweeping his feet clean out from under him. He landed with a loud "UMPH!" and made to roll to his side. But Lucy was already anticipating his movement, knowing he favoured rolling to his left, and climbed on top of him with a victorious shout, pinning his arms with her hands.

"Pinned ya!" she crowed. "This means I-ooph!"

Before she could blink, he heaved up with his hips, cleanly flipping them feet over head. Lucy gasped as the air was forced out of her lungs, squinting her eyes against the sun shining over Natsu's shoulder as he straddled her, suddenly being the one pinning her to the ground. She could make out the massive grin on his face as he bent over her.

"How did you…?"

Natsu laughed. "Not bad, Luce."

She shook her head, closing her eyes against the sun, feeling a little dazed. His movements had been so fast that she hadn't even been able to see what he did. All she had felt was his hips thrusting her up into the air one moment and then pinning her to the ground the next. Some ridiculous part of her noticed that she didn't actually mind the pressure of his hips against her. She shook her head again as she banished the thought, trying not to show her mortification. It wasn't the first time he had pinned her down like this, and she guessed it wouldn't be the last.

"You almost had me."

Lucy huffed as he got up. "You couldn't just let me have it, could you?"

"Nothin' for you to gain by me pullin' punches." He set his feet and gestured at her. "Up you get. Come at me."

"Natsu," she whined as she laboriously pushed herself up. "Can't we call it quits today?"

"We can call it quits when you win a round."

"Yeah, this is going to take a while," Happy said from his spot on the stump. He ignored Lucy's indignant shout as he stood. "I'm going to go to the guild." Lucy glared at the blue cat as he flew off, Natsu waving goodbye, completely oblivious to Lucy's fury – until he turned around and winced at the look on her face.

"Aww, don't mind Happy, Luce. You're doin' awesome – you nearly had me then, but you just lowered your guard, is all." He stepped close and positioned her shoulders. "Now, spread your feet – no, too wide – that's better –, and try again."

And she tried. She tried for another three rounds, and each time, she held her own against him a little bit longer. It was the fourth round when things really began to change. The sun was setting as she tried to take advantage of Natsu's unprotected side with a high kick. But she wasn't quick enough. Natsu took hold of her and threw her against the wall of his cottage, pinning her there with a firm grip, strong and hot on the leg she had swung at him. She grunted at the impact, frustrated at herself for falling for it, and frustrated at him for not even giving her the chance to win a round. She shoved at his bare shoulder, trying fruitlessly to put some space between them. Natsu chuckled and grabbed her wrist, pinning that to the wall too and holding her in place with his body.

She took a little comfort in noting his shoulder had been damp with sweat and his chest was moving rapidly – at least he didn't seem as relaxed now as he had after their first few rounds. Ha! She was making him work, and she was pretty satisfied with that.

"How are ya gettin' out in this, Lucy?"

She tried to think, but Natsu's strength was so much greater than hers and she was so tired. But that didn't mean she was ready to give up the fight, though. Maybe it was fighting dirty, but a thought randomly occurred to her, and she was feeling bold enough with her small victory on making him work that she was prepared to give it a try. After all, it was always Natsu's idea to exploit her sexuality when they were in a pinch, so he must think she had some sexual draw.

She pushed against him again with her free hand. When he pushed back again, with a little more force this time, she tipped her head as far back as the wall would let her and let out a breathy moan instead of the grunts she had been flinging around all afternoon. She made a point of taking deep breaths, exaggerating the movement of her chest. Then she wrapped the leg Natsu was holding around his waist and pulled him closer. The idea was he would get creeped out as he did occasionally and back off.

So she was startled when he pressed close enough that she could feel his chest against hers. His eyes were dark when she looked at him, shocked to see him so close. He laughed at her expression.

"Are you trying to seduce me?" he asked.

She blushed furiously, suddenly all too aware of how close he was, glad that the sparring had already made her face red so he wouldn't be able to tell. "Creep you out, actually," she admitted quietly.

He laughed harder and she could feel it vibrate through him. Then he sighed and shook his head, his spikey hair tickling her cheek. "It's probably not a tactic you would wanna use when you're all pinned like this – the wrong kind of enemy will take advantage of that."

She huffed, embarrassed that she had even tried it in the first place. "I wouldn't try it with a stranger. I only tried it with you because you're always saying I should do something sexy to distract people."

"So you are trying to seduce me."

"No! I'm not–"

"I might take advantage of that."

Her mouth fell open as she stared at him. Her breathing hitched as he pressed closer, close enough that she could feel him – all of him – and lowered his head toward her. His expression was intense and serious, his face as close to hers as it had ever been – and then a massive grin appeared and before she knew it she was on her back on the ground again. Natsu cackled once before jumping to his feet, his laughter ringing out across the hill side.

She lay on the ground, stunned. Advantage taken, she guessed. But where the hell did Natsu learn to be seductive? She opened her eyes and stared at the darkening sky, not too sure how she felt about what just happened.

"Again, Luce, c'mon! No restin' 'til you've won."

No, she knew how she was feeling. She was hot and frustrated. She rolled over and got to her feet. Frustrated that she was hot. She lifted her fists as she squared off with him again. Frustrated that she hadn't won a match yet. Block, duck, jab. Frustrated that she had tried to seduce Natsu. Roll, kick, jump. Frustrated that it hadn't worked. Jab, jab, kick. Frustrated that she had wanted it to work. Kick, spin, duck. Frustrated that he hadn't taken the kind of advantage she thought he was talking about. Swing, jab, ouch.

"Damn, Lucy!" Her shoulder blades were pinching together as Natsu restrained her arms from behind. His breath was coming fast and hard in her ear. "Whatever you're thinking about is fuelling your fire pretty good there."

She stomped her foot down on his instep and he yelped, relaxing his grip enough for her to break out. She spun around and focused on his face and her frustration as she continued her offence. In that moment, things clicked for her. She was so focused on his expressions that she felt she could almost anticipate his next moves. For the first time since she had started sparring with him at the start of summer, she felt like she was actually going to win a match. And she could see the moment he realised it too; the way his eyes darkened and his face took on that serious-intense expression again – and the low growl that rumbled out of him.

It wasn't until he ducked to the side and caught her fist to stop it from colliding with the wall of his cottage that she realised she had driven him into a corner. She tried not to let her excitement break her concentration – she still had to pin him. But first, she had to break her fist out of his grip. She swung her other fist. Blatantly obvious, but the only way he could block the coming punch to the face was to release her captured hand. And for a moment, she believed she was going to have him.

Then, in one of those lightning-fast movements of his, he had both her wrists trapped in his hands and her back was pressed to the wall again. She was still focused on his expressions, still trying to read his next move – she brought her knee up to brace it against his chest, to stop him from getting a good enough hold on her to flip her over to the ground again. So, she was completely unprepared for him to crush her against the wall as his mouth came crashing down on hers.

Her body was still following through, most of her body weight behind her knee as she pushed it against his chest. The two of them staggered back barely even a step, enough to force their lips apart, but Natsu didn't let go of her. He seemed to absorb the energy from her knee and turn it back on her, pressing her back into the wall again with a hard thump. He released one of her wrists to take hold of her ankle and pull it off his chest, simultaneously stepping into her again, his hips thrusting forward against hers. She gasped, her hand finding its way to his waist, her fingers gliding over the smooth, slick muscles. His body was strong and firm and warm against her and she couldn't tell if it was his heartbeat or her own that was ricocheting around her chest as their mouths came crashing together again.

Natsu was all fire and passion and it stole her breath away. He let go of her other wrist only to put his hand on her waist, his fingers slipping under her shirt, somehow managing to pull her forward even as he kept her pinned to the wall. His fingers ghosting over her ribcage made her shiver against him. She buried her fingers into his hair and found herself kissing him harder. He still had hold of her leg, was still pressing it high against his waist. The feel of his hot skin against the delicate flesh of her inner thigh made heat course through her as he pressed himself against her even tighter. This time, the breathy sounds she made weren't put-on.

This wasn't how she had ever imagined her first kiss would be – hesitant and delicate, surrounded by soft laughter and sweet words. This was rough and demanding and delicious, and by the stars, it all felt amazing. He felt amazing. But even so, a part of her couldn't forget the match – she had to pin him, or he wouldn't let her claim this victory – and this one was hers! She couldn't let him snatch it away from her, no matter how good his diversion techniques were. Five seconds was all she needed. Five seconds to pin him, and she would win their sparring match.

Natsu was holding most of her weight against the wall. With the foot she still had on the ground, she slowly snuck it around his ankle. Slowly, because she didn't want to alert him to her plans; not because she didn't want to stop kissing him. His mouth was warm and he moved his tongue against hers with a rough confidence she hadn't expected from him, but perhaps ought to have – he rarely let doubt or nerves get the better of him.

She pulled her mouth away from his, knowing if she didn't finish the match now, he would claim a win by default whenever they finished … whatever they were doing. Natsu's teeth scraped against her flesh, where her shoulder met her neck, and her eyes nearly rolled up in her head. Desperate to end this before he overwhelmed her completely, she hooked her foot around his ankle and pulled as she pushed off the wall. They toppled together, Lucy landing on top of him, forcing even more air out of Natsu's lungs in a great woosh. Before he had recovered his breath, she kissed him with force to distract him, grabbing his arms and holding them next to his head. She pinned his legs with her shins across his thighs.

Five seconds. She could distract him for five seconds.

Four seconds. Just long enough to win this match.

Three seconds. If she could just hold him down long enough.

Two seconds. Kissing was proving to be an unexpected but effective way of doing so.

One second. Definitely something she had never expected to be effective against him.

Feeling bold, she gave his bottom lip a victorious nip as she broke the kiss, five seconds gone. He shifted his hips against her, another soft growl escaping him. Oddly enough, she found the sound curiously empowering, and she laughed softly, drawing back enough to speak against his lips. "Pinned ya, dragon boy," she whispered.

His eyes were hooded and intense, and the smirk that crept along his lips was almost devilish. "Now that's sexy, Luce."