This is part of my submission for nalu week 2017. It is rated T for cussing and slightly suggestive themes later on. I do not own Fairy Tail, Hiro Mashima does. I do not give anyone permission to repost any parts of this story anywhere. Please be respectful. It will not focus too much on the actual game play, more on what goes on around it.
Chapter One: Video Games (Bonus Day 1)
"Lucy! Hey Lucy!"
Lucy flinched, dread filling her body. "Oh no," she mumbled, a shaky hand lifting to cover her face, but she knew it wasn't going to help. "He's already here?"
Levy giggled beside her, pulling her suitcase out of the trunk to place on the sidewalk. "Looks like your rival is calling you."
While her and Juvia snickered, Lucy shot them a glare. "He's not my rival!" Her eye twitched when they continued laughing. "He's not my anything!" Despite her words, she refused to acknowledge him, even after she heard his shoes scraping against the parking lot. 'Does he not know how to pick up his feet?!'
"Lucy!" His voice was louder now, the man standing directly behind her. She could see his shadow surrounding her.
"Not going to look," she whispered, grabbing her own bags before pulling them out of the car. "Just ignore him and he'll go away."
"Not likely," he said, startling her because she felt something brush against her arm.
She whirled around, ready to smack him if he was trying anything funny, only to sigh when she saw it was his overly-fluffy white scarf that touched her. Every time she saw him he was wearing it, even when it was mid-summer. 'Why is he still wearing it in this heat?'
Instead of asking that, Lucy muttered, "What do you want, Dragneel?" Her voice was laced with her aggravation, but he didn't seem to notice. Why did he insist on talking to her? Wasn't ignoring him every other year enough of a hint for him to take? She didn't want to talk to that smug asshole.
"How was the drive?" he asked, waving at her friends before looking at her again.
Lucy's eye twitched as she tried to figure out what he was trying to do. "Fine," Lucy said, but her tone suggested otherwise. Being cramped in a car for seven hours with Erza, Levy, and Juvia had given Lucy a headache. She was just thankful they had the night off before the competition began tomorrow.
"Me and the guys are going to get something to eat in a bit. You wanna join us?"
Lucy narrowed her eyes at the offer. She opened her mouth to tell him 'no', but Levy cut her off, voice louder than normal.
"We'd love to come!"
'Traitor!' Lucy thought, but that wasn't what came out of her mouth. "Levy!" she snapped, glaring at her friend. "We need to get some sleep before tomorrow." It was a lame excuse, she knew, but it was all she had. The opening ceremony wasn't until ten in the morning, giving them plenty of time for sleep.
"Yeah," Levy started, nodding her head, "And we need to eat too. What's the harm?"
'The harm is being near Natsu!' Lucy wanted to shout in frustration, but she kept her thoughts to herself. "Whatever."
"Great!" Natsu grinned, turning away from Lucy to face Levy. "We'll be at 8-Island in an hour. Meet us there?"
"Sounds like a plan."
"Will Gray be there?" Juvia asked, hands filling with her wavy blue locks. Her pale cheeks tinted a light shade of red, her eyes falling to the ground.
Natsu nodded, jerking a thumb behind him. "He's inside gettin' us checked in, but he'll be there." After Juvia smiled, Natsu looked to Levy again. "Gajeel's gonna be there too, in case you wanted to know."
Lucy bit her tongue, not wanting to spoil her friend's good moods. She didn't understand why, but she knew the two girls were crushing on some of Natsu's teammates. Their other friend, Erza, was also suspected of having a thing for one of the guys too, but she denied the claim.
Lucy seemed to be the only one not smitten over one of the Dragon Boys -as she liked to call them in her head. They were last year's winners, beating her team in the final round. She clenched her teeth when she thought about the humiliation she felt coming in second place, angry that she had been beaten.
She was determined to take first place this year.
Sighing to release some of her anger, Lucy shut the trunk before grabbing her bags. "I'm going to see if Erza's done checking us in," she mumbled, doubting they would hear her.
"I'll walk with you," Natsu offered, but once she shot him a glare, he flinched. "Or... not?"
"Not is correct," Lucy said before turning away, heading towards the hotel lobby. She didn't understand why Natsu was always trying to be chummy with her. They were enemies, nothing more. She couldn't afford to get distracted by him. Not again.
She would win, no matter the cost.
Lucy didn't dress to impress for their dinner with the guys. She wore a baggy hoodie and jeans, her long blonde hair thrown into a messy ponytail. It wasn't as if she was having dinner with a prince. It was just the Dragon Boys. The next few days were going to be stressful enough. She might as well be comfortable before it started.
"Hey ya, Luce!" Natsu called out when he saw the four girls approaching.
She narrowed her eyes at him, debating if she should say something or not. Her late mother always taught her to pick her battles, and this felt like one she wanted to pick.
She watched as her friends went to talk to the other guys, leaving Lucy and Natsu off to the side. Keeping her voice low, she scolded him. "My name's Lucy. Not Luce. Get it right."
"Sorry," he said with a laugh, cupping the back of his neck. "Lucy, how've you been?"
She tried taking a deep breath to calm herself down, but it didn't work. She gritted her teeth as she looked away from him. "Please, stop acting like we're buddies." She failed to keep the malice out of her voice.
Natsu cocked his head, pink bangs sliding over his forehead. His expression reflected his confusion. "Are you mad at me or something?"
Biting her inner cheek hard, she shook her head. "I'm not mad," she mumbled, aggravation slipping into her tone despite her efforts to stay neutral. She always got more agitated during competition time, but Natsu seemed to bring out the worst in her. "But it doesn't mean I have to talk to you either."
She may or may not have been bitter that her team lost to him last year. It was a close match, but she felt she could have beaten him if he hadn't gotten in her head. With his toothy grin and his bright green eyes, it was hard to focus on her task ahead. She wanted to yell, angry at herself for getting distracted. Not this year. She was going to win.
And to do that, she had to keep Natsu and every other distraction out of her head.
Natsu didn't get a chance to respond to her, Jellal coming out of the restaurant to tell them their table was ready. Lucy followed silently, shooting Natsu a filthy look when he had the audacity to tell her she looked nice. She knew he was lying. He was just trying to get on her nerves. It was the only explanation.
The eight of them sat at a large table, Lucy purposely trying to sit far away from Natsu, but her friends had other plans. She barely held back the urge to groan when he was placed across from her, giving her that toothy grin that made her heart flip.
Lucy kept her head down while they ordered and waited for their food, playing on her phone despite knowing her behavior was considered rude. She couldn't help it. Everyone was talking as if they didn't have a competition tomorrow. For all intents and purposes, Lucy considered the Dragon Boys her enemies, Natsu especially.
She tapped on her screen aggressively, playing a game while she avoided eye contact with everyone. She had a lot riding on this competition. Not only was there the grand prize of 200,000 jewels to the winner, but her pride was on the line too. She couldn't come in second place again. It was too humiliating the last time.
'Then Natsu had to go and rub it in that he won,' Lucy inwardly scowled, choosing then to shoot him a glare. She jolted when she accidentally made eye contact with him, ducking her head to curse him out in her mind.
Just like two years ago, Natsu took her by surprise. When she first saw him, it had been when he made it to the third day. She didn't think 'The Dragons' were going to make it that far seeing as it was their first competition after all. She wasn't worried about him. The year before, Lucy's team took third place. She was confident she was going to do well that year too.
When it came down to her team and his, she was shocked. She couldn't believe a newbie team like his was in the finals! It was tough, but her team won in the end, taking home first place.
Then, last year's competition happened, breaking Lucy's confidence. Her team came in second, Natsu's team claiming victory. She wasn't going to let that happen ever again. Not as long as she had something to do about it.
She trained harder after that, never letting a day go by that she didn't play at least a little bit of her games. Her fingers moved faster than ever, her brain forming plans at the drop of a hat. She was better than ever, and she was ready to prove it.
Lucy looked at Natsu again, thankful he was arguing with Gray about something. She glanced down at her phone, but the game had been paused for a while, her fingers frozen. Thoughts of past competitions and games flooding her mind.
People called her competitive, making it sound like a bad word. She considered herself passionate, loving the thrill of fighting to the top, taking down anyone who stood in her way.
It wasn't as if video games were her entire life. She also went to college to write...
Codes for video games... Okay, so maybe video games were a big part of her life. She had other hobbies... somewhere...
Lucy's lip twitched into a smile when their food arrived. It wouldn't be long until she could go back to the hotel and relax before the big day tomorrow. There would be two teams she would go against to make it to the second day. With any luck, her team would fight with Natsu's. That way she could knock them out early.
While eating, Lucy occasionally listened to the conversations around her. Levy and Gajeel were talking about some new arcade bar down the street. Erza and Jellal were discussing the convention center where the competition was held. Juvia was cheering on Gray, who was in a competition with Natsu to see who could eat the most breadsticks.
Lucy paled, wondering how they were eating all that and would still have room for their actual food. She ignored the goofy look on Natsu's face as he shoved the food in his mouth, barely chewing before he swallowed it whole. At that rate, he was going to choke. As much as Lucy wanted him out of the games, she didn't want it to be by death.
"You should chew more," she mumbled, surprised when Natsu looked over at her.
He stared silently for a few seconds before grinning, turning his attention back to the breadsticks as the contest went on. She was only a little pleased with herself when she saw him making more of an effort to chew before swallowing it down.
Lucy returned her attention to her food, hoping the meal would end shortly. She once again stayed quiet as she ate, listening to everyone else talk. It was a shame, really. In another situation, maybe Lucy would have been friends with the Dragon Boys. If she looked past their loud and disgusting behavior, they weren't that bad.
But, they were her enemies, so Lucy didn't bother getting to know them. Besides, she had enough friends. Erza, Juvia, and Levy.
After they finished eating, the girls headed to the hotel with the guys. Lucy grumbled to herself when she saw they were all on the same floor, but luckily the guys were a few rooms down. She didn't know what she would do if they were right next door or across from her.
The girls took turns getting ready for bed, Lucy being the last one out of the bathroom. She crawled into a spacious bed, Levy sleeping on the other side. The room they booked had two beds, so they had to share. It was better than one king bed.
Lucy tried ignoring the nervousness she felt about tomorrow, knowing it wouldn't do her any good. She had to stay focus, alert, and ready. 'Aren't those all the same thing?' she asked herself, but she was too tired to answer. She closed her eyes, hoping luck would be on their side tomorrow, not that she thought they needed it.
Lucy clapped with everyone else when the opening ceremonies concluded. It wasn't much different than the ones she saw before. The only exciting part to her was the mentions of the teams. She recognized a lot of the names, but some were new. Either way, she was going to take them out.
She followed the crowd to the lobby, walking straight up to a large billboard on the wall with the tournament brackets. She pulled out her phone, snapping a picture of them before actually reading the names.
She snorted when she saw 'The Dragons' were placed at number one, knowing it was randomly generated. 'They won't be number one for long. I'll show them who's boss.'
Her eyes languidly scrolled down the list, noting the teams she knew and the ones she didn't. Some were known to be better than others, but the new ones were something to think twice about. They had less experience in this competition, but they also had the advantage of taking everyone by surprise, just like Natsu's team had.
Then again, her team did the same their first year competing, taking third place.
Lucy frowned when she saw her team, 'The Fairies', were at thirty-two. Her eye twitched, but she tried not to let it get her down. Sure, their name was listed last, but that didn't mean anything. She would be number one in a few days, she was sure of it.
She looked at her first opponents. It was a team called 'Twilight Ogre'. She wasn't worried. Despite not going against them before, she knew they weren't that impressive. Last year they got eliminated the second day in their first match. Her team could destroy them. They all got a good night's sleep and were ready to play.
Lucy walked with her team, heading to the room where their first match would take place. Before entering the room, she took a deep breath, her mind clearing and her heart racing. This was the thrill she always felt before crushing her opponents.
All her life people told her she would never be good at anything. Even her own father told her she would be better at becoming a housewife than trying to make something of herself. Despite that, she kept trying, determined to prove herself.
She knew she couldn't do it alone. Her friends were always there for support. Erza was the best sniper around, while Levy was great at setting up traps and ambushes. Juvia was faster than other players, able to make it across the map without getting spotted or killed. She was amazing at 'Capture the Flag' and 'Search and Destroy'.
And Lucy, well, she was best with her shotgun and pistols. They weren't anything flashy, but they got the job done. She had a high kill rate and a low death rate every game, usually coming out with the most points.
With all of them combined, they were a force to be reckoned with.
Lucy's team was on one side of the room while the players of 'Twilight Ogre' were on the other side. The audience sat in between, a large monitor in front of them to show the different screens.
There were nine screens total. Eight for the players and one large one in the middle that jumped around from screen to screen, highlighting certain parts of the game. The player's screens would alternate between their game and their webcam feed, but it was impossible for the players to know which was showing since they were forced to keep their eyes on their screens. If not, they would surely lose.
Each game consisted of five matches. The goal was to win three out of five to progress to the next round. It seemed simple enough, but Lucy knew it was easy to get over cocky and mess up.
Lucy listened to the announcer introduce himself and the players. He reminded everyone of the rules before the first match began, Lucy's heart already pounding in her chest as a smile broke over her features. This was what she lived for, the fight.
Her fingers shook for only a second before she took in a sharp breath, her eyes on the countdown.
Match begins in
Lucy selected her weapons, her eyes darting over the screen.
She cleared her throat, ready to talk into her mic if she needed to.
'This is it.'
Lucy gulped down her water once she sat down. Playing video games wasn't exactly physically exhausting, but it was mentally tiring. She flexed her fingers, not wanting them to get stiff for her next game.
They won the last round against 'Twilight Ogre'. Despite it being an easy win, Lucy was still hyped. Her team was moving to the next round, facing off against 'Mermaid Heel' in a few hours. Apparently, they took down 'Succubus Eye' without losing a single match, but Lucy wasn't worried. She never personally went up against 'Mermaid Heel', but she was confident in her team's abilities.
As Lucy reached for the fries she was sharing with Levy, she heard a familiar voice calling Erza's name. She glanced up, seeing Jellal giving the redhead a thumbs up. "I heard your team did great last match."
Erza smiled at the man, giving him a short nod. "I hear you did good too. Congratulated on taking down 'Quatro Cerberus'. Who are you going against next?"
Lucy shoved a few fries in her mouth to distract herself from the answer. She may or may not have sneaked a peek at the top of the brackets where Natsu's team was at. She knew the other girls looked too, so she didn't know why Erza was asking.
'She's probably making conversation,' Lucy reasoned, washing down her food with another gulp of her drink. The food at the convention center wasn't the best, but she was too hungry to care.
Natsu's team would be going against 'Blue Pegasus' later. Lucy didn't know which would be an easier match, them or 'Mermaid Heel'. She kind of wished she wasn't going up against a team full of women. More power to the girls who wanted to play, but Lucy personally loved seeing the look in guys' eyes when her team of females defeated them. It was so fun and satisfying, sending a thrill straight to her bones.
"Lu, should we check out the other teams or rest after this?" Levy asked, pulling the yellow headband from her hair to let her wavy blue locks free. She always wore her hair back during matches.
Lucy thought about it for a moment before saying, "I think we should pop in a bit to see who else is still playing. Then we can rest."
"Scoping out the competition? That's a good idea."
Lucy would have been happy to hear those words from Levy, but unfortunately for her, they came from a pink haired idiot who didn't know when to keep his mouth shut.
Instead of acknowledging him, she ignored his presence.
"Did ya hear me?" Natsu asked, trying to move into her line of vision, but Lucy kept looking away. "Lucy?"
After a moment of silence, she guessed he took the hint. He sighed before walking off to go join Gray and Gajeel at a table across the cafe. Jellal left soon after that, leaving the girls alone.
"So, look at the competition before a break?" Juvia asked, cocking her head.
Lucy nodded, returning her attention back to her food. "We should see what we're up against," she reasoned. It was smart to take a look.
For the most part, Lucy stayed quiet while everyone finished eating, occasionally contributing to their conversations as she resisted the urge to look up and to the left, knowing she would see a certain Dragon Boy she didn't want to see. She couldn't figure out why he felt the need to insert himself in her conversation with Levy earlier. It was rude. What if she had been discussing strategies for their next match?
'He's probably trying to get information to use to beat us. not this year you slimy salamander.'
She'd be damned if she let him get in her way of victory.
Lucy's eyes darted around her screen, her fingers moving swiftly as she made it across the map undetected. "Erza, I'm coming around the plane crash. What's your position?"
"I'm in front of the shack," she replied immediately, her voice in Lucy's ear from the headset. "Do you need me there?"
"No, this area's dead."
"They keep going to the South side of the map," Levy said. "I'd try there. I'm heading that way now."
"See you there," Lucy said, her character taking off in a sprint. She saw something move in the corner of her screen, her reflexes kicking in instantly. She jumped, barely avoiding her enemies fire. While still in the air, she fired off four shots to the target, eliminating them.
It wasn't time to celebrate though.
Another enemy player rushed at her just as she landed, firing off a shotgun. Lucy's screen picked up a red tint, letting her know she was injured, but not dead. She took cover before she could get shot again, throwing a grenade over the rock she was hiding behind.
The corner of her lip quirked up when she saw she killed the enemy. 'Mermaid Heel' was tough, but they weren't going to quit now. There was no way her team was being taken down on day one.
'Or at all for that matter.'
Lucy's team fought hard. In the end, they won, but it was a close match, coming down to the fifth match before the winner was decided. Juvia made the winning kill, advancing them to the next round, which would start tomorrow morning. Lucy and her team shook hands with their opponents, saying 'good game' before heading to the lobby.
As the girls walked down the hall, Levy asked, "Who wants to look around downtown? Gajeel was telling me about an arcade bar not too far from here. It sounds fun."
"I could use a celebratory drink," Erza said, turning to the team captain to see what she thought.
Lucy shrugged, not seeing a problem. They were done for the day since the next match was tomorrow morning. "Sounds fun, just don't drink too much."
As the girls started walking towards the exit, they noticed Lucy stopped moving. "Aren't you coming with us?" Levy asked, raising her brow.
Shaking her head, Lucy nodded towards the information desk. "I'll meet you there. I need to ask where we're going tomorrow."
"We can wait-" Juvia started, but Lucy was already shaking her head again.
"I don't mind, really. I'll catch up later."
Her teammates hesitated before waving goodbye, heading towards the bar. Lucy yawned as she turned, walking towards the information desk. It was located next to the tournament brackets. She wanted to stay on top of the competition, and part of that was knowing who they were going up against.
However, when she got there, she was informed the teams weren't all done yet, so they didn't know who her team would be going up against tomorrow. With a sigh, Lucy thanked the lady before heading down the same hall she came from.
She avoided everyone's gaze as she looked from room to room, trying to figure out which one they were in. Lucy halted when she heard loud cheering coming from one of the rooms. Ignoring her goal to find the team she might compete against next, Lucy followed the sound.
Stepping into the dark room, Lucy made her way to the side so she wouldn't be in anyone's way. The only light came from the large monitor on the wall, nine screens displayed. Her eyes stayed on the main screen in the middle, the one that kept jumping from player to player.
She watched for a while, a small smirk tugging at her lips when she noticed one of the players dressed in red and black was taking out their opponents as if they were nothing. She glanced up to read the name in the corner of the screen, frowning when she saw who it belonged to.
'Damn Dragon Boy...'
When the main screen changed to another player, Lucy's eyes flitted to the other screens, involuntarily trying to find him. She stopped when she saw the pink hair, a furrow to his brow as his eyes darted around his computer monitor. She barely suppressed a growl, finding his expression smug despite having no evidence to support her thought.
She knew she should have left the room right after finding out it was the wrong place, but her feet stayed planted on the ground. The screen for Natsu kept going back and forth between his game and his webcam. Watching him now brought back her memories of last year. She peeked in on a few of his matches, trying to convince herself it was just because she was curious about her competition and nothing else.
She would never admit the real reason out loud. Hell, she barely admitted it to herself, but she found Natsu very attractive -for a moronic Dragon Boy that was. With his exotic pink hair, his gorgeous green eyes, and his toothy grin, it was hard to resist his natural good looks, but she did her best.
She knew deep down part of her reason for being so rude to him was because she was trying to make it seem like she didn't like him, which she didn't! But she didn't want anyone to get the wrong idea. Pair that with his attitude, Lucy didn't feel bad about ignoring him most of the time. It was just the way things were.
Lucy sighed before heading out of the room. With the way that match was going, Natsu's team was going to win soon. She didn't want to be standing there when they finished. Getting caught watching her enemies wasn't on her list of things to do today.
She was going to have to step up her game if she wanted to beat Natsu. She thought her training was enough, but from what she saw, Natsu trained just as hard. Her team almost lost the last round, meaning she definitely couldn't afford any distractions. She had to get her head in the game.
But first, she had to check out her possible opponent for tomorrow. She found the correct room where 'Blue Skull' and 'Raven Tail' were competing. She watched the matches unfold. In the end, it was 'Raven Tail' who won, beating them in the fourth match to claim victory. Lucy hadn't gone against them before, but they usually lost early on.
If she hadn't almost lost today, she wouldn't be worried, but now she was a little rattled.
As Lucy headed towards the lobby to leave, she got stopped by a woman dressed in a tight black dress and an obvious black wig on. Without saying a word, she handed Lucy a yellow flyer before moving on to someone else.
Lucy paused before looking down at it, her brows pinching together as she read what it said. "A Gothic theme?" she mumbled, seeing it was an advertisement for a local night club.
She shrugged as she slipped the flyer into her pocket, wondering if her friends would want to go. A night out sounded fun, but she would need to talk to the girls first. They would all have to come to an agreement seeing as they had a match in the morning.
"I'm sure we can beat 'Raven Tail'," she said to herself as she walked to the arcade bar. She had to use Google to find it, but it looked to be a straight shot from the convention.
When she arrived, she found her friends at the back, hanging around a few skee-ball machines. She didn't think anything of it when she walked up to them, showing Levy the flyer first. "This looks fun. Should we go?"
Levy bit at her bottom lip, forcing a smile on her face. "Actually..." She couldn't finish, but Erza could.
"We were going to ask you if you wanted to go. The guys already invited us."
"Guys?" Lucy asked, eyes widening when she turned, seeing Gajeel, Gray, and Jellal approaching. She opened her mouth to say more, but her voice caught in her throat when she felt someone patting her back.
"Hey Lucy! You goin' to the party too?"
Lucy shrugged Natsu off of her, eyes narrowing as she stepped away. She tried glaring at him, but she knew it wasn't as effective with her cheeks glowing red. "I was... But now I'm definitely not going."
She turned around, trying to put on a tough exterior as she headed to a different part of the arcade. Despite her declaration, Lucy was already wondering, 'Did I pack any black clothes I can wear?'
She may or may not have wanted to look good tonight, but it had absolutely nothing to do with that annoying Dragon Boy.
In this story, Lucy is a hardcore gamer girl. Not the sexy kind that just poses next to a controller. She takes this seriously, training all year to be the best. Though, I'm sure Natsu wouldn't mind seeing Lucy take a sexy selfie with a controller. *wink wink*
If you haven't checked it out, look at the cover photo for this story. I drew Natsu as a sexy gamer boy. :P
I'm sure everyone noticed, but Lucy's a little competitive. *cough cough rude cough cough* :) She has her reasons for not liking Natsu, though not everyone would agree they're good reasons. Next chapter is more of Natsu's POV. :)
Up next, Chapter Two: Gothic
Let me know what you thought of this chapter! I hope you enjoy this story.