012: Pet

Lucy desired something in a way that she had never wanted something before.

Worst of all, it was something that couldn't be bought in any store, no matter how magical the products. It was something not truly of this world, and there were only a few instances where Lucy knew others had the amazing gift. Whenever the blond saw them, no matter how much she loved them like family, she couldn't stop the unpleasant turning in her stomach.

It wasn't like she essentially needed it; she had companions herself. She wasn't alone in this world, but it just seemed so... impossibly necessary. Because for those who had it, it felt like their lives were actually together.

Lucy glared across at Natsu, as he was the one who had truly started it all.

"What?" the pink-haired mage asked, failing to hide his alarm at the animosity in her usually warm brown eyes.

The blond remained silent, and Natsu squirmed in his seat, not having what to do. She could at least give him a clue as to why she had been annoyed with him lately.

"What?" he asked again, this time a little frantically.

"I'm jealous," Lucy said, and her anger began to deteriorate into shame.

"About my awesome abilites?" Natsu asked pridefully.

"Probably your lack of a brain," Gray countered.

Natsu gave only offered a short glare at Gray before turning back to Lucy; it seemed there was no time for a brawl.

"Why can't I have..."

"Have what, Lucy?" Natsu asked in an uncharacteristically soft voice as he reached over and grabbed her hair.

Lucy thought she really must be looking down if he was being so worried.

Her eyes flitted from Natsu's dark eyes to Happy's, whose was also set on her in worry.

"Why can't I have you?" she asked the flying cat with a pout in her lip.

"You don't mean to say that to him, do you?" Erza asked as she jerked a thumb towards Natsu's dumb-struck expression.

Lucy took her hand away from Natsu and reached for Happy, who eagerly leaped into her arms and settled himself in her significant cleavage.

"Natsu, Gajeel and Wendy all have an amazing, flying cat that save them from everything. Why can't I have a companion like that?"

"Because we're not of this world?" Happy chirped.

Lucy gave a pathetic sniff and cuddled the blue cat closer to her. The feline was all too happy to snuggle in closer, not seeing Carla's whiskers twitch in annoyance across the room.

"I want a kitty," Lucy continued to whine.

"We're exceed," Pantherlily corrected from the lap of Levi, although he sounded anything but annoyed.

"And you have Plue and all your summons," Erza reminded.

"I don't even know what he is, and they're warriors, not pets. No matter how often Loke wants to cuddle," Lucy sighed and gave a light kiss to Happy's nose before she stood with a start. "Alright, that's enough whining for a lifetime, it's time to do something about it," she continued to talk as she straightened her shirt.

"You know no matter how much you search, there's not another like us," Pantherlily said, although it went mostly unheard over his deep purring from Levi's petting.

"I'm off to get the next best thing to a cat," she said as she put her hands on her hips.

"You don't mean-" Natsu started as his face fell.

"I'm off to buy a dog!"

X - X - X - X - X - X - X

Lucy frowned as she left another pet shop, this one in the line of refusing to let her buy anything. No matter how much she explained that she had a stable home that actually allowed pets and would be able to give him or her all the love and food it needed, the shop owners clamped up the cages once they heard her name.

Although it was just a hunch, Lucy knew Fairy Tail was up to something for this. But it didn't make sense, she simply wanted something to love her unconditionally and always be by her side.

After the fourth shop made her leave, Lucy decided to call it a day. She knew that Natsu and her were off on a mission tomorrow, and she had lasted this long without a pet; she could wait another few days. It was time to go home, hope that she had some food, and get a good nights' sleep.

When she unlocked her apartment and stepped inside she was thinking of what outfit she would wear tomorrow, not that Natsu and Happy might possibly have (yet again) broken into her apartment and were lounging on her bed. She gave a slight yelp of surprise when they gave an excited greeting.

"I'm mad at you," Lucy said with a frown.

"Am I really that obvious?" Natsu asked honestly.

"Your face is as much," Lucy sighed. "But I don't understand why you don't want me to have a dog so much."

"Why do you want one anyway?" Happy asked, his tail flicking behind him.

Lucy ran a hand through her bangs before walking over to the bed. She lazily flopped down on it horizontally, as Natsu was taking up the entire front of her bed, and tried to collect her thoughts.

"I just want someone to shower me with affection, never leave my side, make me smile when I'm feeling bad or broke..." Lucy broke off, wondering if she was being a little too corny for Natsu. Although, this young man was extravagantly above most (especially during any type of battle).

She felt the bed springs move and the mattress dip as Natsu moved to lie down aside of her. She felt some more movements and smiled as she felt Happy's fur against her arm. Finally opening her eyes, she looked across to both their pairs of eyes that were fixed on her.

"If I'm oblivious and I see it, I don't know what degree you're at," Natsu said through a small smile.

Lucy's brow furrowed at him, and then widened in realization. Natsu smiled wide as he saw her understand and Happy began purring as Lucy giggled.

"My boys," she laughed as she reached around and hugged Natsu, squishing Happy between them.

"Our girl," they answered.

They lied there all together, teammates and friends above anything else in their magical lives.

"And I'm way better than any dog," Natsu said gleefully.

"Me too!" Happy agreed with fervor.

Lucy hummed in acknowledgement before she reached up and began running her hand through her companions hair affectionately.

A Note: Yes, I realize it's been months. I just... I don't know. Sorry. Hopefully I'll have another one up for your X-mas gift :)