Disclaimer: Fairy Tail, how I do not own thee...
Lucy pushed open the heavy, double doors of the guild room and peeked inside. Yes! It was empty! She gleefully snuck inside, shutting the doors behind her. It was just before 8 in the morning and Mira would be posting the new jobs soon. Thankfully, the rest of her guild mates wouldn't get up for another hour or so and losing a couple hours of sleep was well worth it, in Lucy's opinion, to get first crack at the best assignments.
Slinging her messenger bag onto the counter, she took a seat at the bar and pulled out an orange, just as Mira shuffled in from the kitchen.
"Good morning, Lucy," Mira yawned, taking a sip from coffee mug, "You're up early today." Normally, Mira was the first of the guild who was up and about.
"Morning!" said Lucy, peeling her breakfast, "It actually feels nice to be awake this early. Maybe I'll do it more often."
"If you wake up early enough, you should join me for sunrise yoga! It does wonders for my control and concentration."
"Uh, maybe if you have sunset yoga. Sunrise is a bit too early for me," Lucy said.
Giggling, Mira collected the peel and put down her mug. She opened a locked drawer from behind the bar and pulled out a big stack of papers. "Aww, you should come. Its fun. But hold on, I've got to put up today's listings."
Lucy eagerly followed Mira to the board, where she posted the jobs in order of increasing difficulty. Assignments were further categorized by the number of people recommended for each job. By the end of the day, only the monotonous and extremely dangerous jobs were left.
"Personal shopper requested for busy young career-woman," Lucy read over Mira's shoulder, "Ah! This is the one!" But before she could reach up and grab the coveted slip of paper, Mira's hand came down lightning fast, whacking her hand away.
"Guild policy is that you can have any job you want after I'm done posting all of them," said Mira, matter-of-factly as she continued to push push-pins into the battered cork. Lucy groaned, slouching down onto a nearby bench.
By the time Mira was finished, it was about 9:45...and Lucy had fallen asleep.
"Hey, sleepyhead, wake up! I'm done," said Mira, shaking the younger girl's shoulder, "You can have the job slip you wanted now."
Lucy quickly jumped up, a bit groggy. She wobbled over to the job board, but before she could tug the assignment down, she was hit by a sudden onslaught of NOISE. She wobbled even more, caught off guard as she was quickly surrounded by a a flurry of hands, snatching random pieces of paper from the board.
By the time she had caught her balance again, the crowd had quickly dissipated just as fast as it had begun. There were only a few sad-looking slips of paper left on the very top and the very bottom. Lucy groaned and returned to the bar, collapsing onto her bar stool. She had some time to pick from the sorry picks that were left--they weren't going anywhere.
Someone took a seat next to Lucy, her armor clinking gently as she sat down. "Morning! Wear you able to get a job, Lucy?" asked Erza, smoothing out a wrinkled sheet on the counter.
"Nooooo," Lucy wailed, "I was just about to grab one and BAM. It was like the whole guild was at the board!"
Erza nodded. "Yes, I had to steal this slip from a fellow who had two. I haven't even had the chance to read it yet."
"Really? Maybe you got a monster slaying assignment," suggested Lucy. She thought back, when she first met Erza. The giant horn that Erza had brought back was still displayed in the building, somewhere.
"Hmm, lets see. Personal shopper requested..." Erza nodded, a radiant smile on her face. "It is different than my usual assignments...and it sounds like fun. I accept!"
"Oh, that's...nice," Lucy mumbled. Drat.
"Well anyway, I must be off, "said Erza, standing up, "Gray and Natsu asked me to help prep them for their mission. They received an elaborate pirate assignment and they're in need of a good sword or two."
"Whaaat? Even they got jobs?" Lucy complained, thinking of the early morning scuffle, "But usually, they don't wake up till noon!"
"Strength! You gotta be strong 'n pillagel 'em loot!" shouted a passing Natsu, a raggedy captain's jacket draped over his shoulders, "Avast!"
"So instead of waking up early...you two just stole jobs from people?" assumed Lucy, wrinkling her nose.
"Aye!" agreed Grey, shirtless (of course) but wearing an eye-patch, "To celebrate our bounty, matey, we best be going to drink some rum!"
And with either an "Arrrrrrg" or a "Yo-ho-ho," the two of them headed off with Erza in tow to practice their sea dog swag. Natsu hung back for a second, patting Lucy's shoulder before he disappeared after his first mate. "Better luck next time, lassie!"
"I'm so jealous," Lucy mumbled, her elbows on the counter before her. With one hand she impatiently rapped her knuckles on the table. With the other, she propped up her head and frowned. She didn't feel left out...ah well, maybe just a little. But a solo job would be good for her! It would sharpen up her skills AND she wouldn't have to split the "bounty"...if only she could get a job. Bah.
Suddenly, a cuff-linked hand reached around her, placing a sheet of thick parchment on the counter. "Beautiful, I think you might have missed this one," said a smooth voice in Lucy's ear.
She was taken aback by surprise, unintentionally leaning back into the lean frame of the man standing behind her. "Oh! Loki, its you," she gasped, one hand over her heart, "You scared me."
Loki just gave her a wry grin, perching on an adjacent stool. "So? What do you think?"
Lucy picked up the paper he had put in front of her. Hmm, she could have sworn that she'd seen this posting at the very top of the board...
"Bounty mission: apprehend informant--Loki, I can't do this! It's an A-ranked job!" she protested, pointing at the large A prominently displayed in the top right corner. Heck, the large reward made reg flags go off like mad in Lucy's mind. Not only was it way above her usual job ranking, the description even said that that there was a bonus involved. This informant must be very important for there to be both a bounty AND a bonus on his head.
He chuckled, slipping one hand under her chin, which she quickly blushed and slapped away. "You're so cute!" he gushed, a big smile on his face before he got back to business, tapping at the location listed. "I know this area pretty well and between me and you, I figure we've got a shot."
"Wait, wait, you...and me? As in we do this job together...just the two of us?" Lucy asked nervously, "No one else?"
"Well, yeah," said Loki, waving a hand in the air, "We'd be partners on this one. And I don't see the rest of your super ultimate awesome team, or whatever you call yourselves."
"...true," said Lucy, crossing her arms. If she worked with Loki, although they would be partners, she wouldn't have to share the reward with him! He was a stellar spirit, after all. He didn't seem to have any worldly possessions. Even his designer suits and sunglasses were of the spirit world. That meant almost all of the reward could go to rent...and perhaps a new pair of shoes. Lucy smiled a very big grin.
"And, and, it would give the two of us some much needed time together," he said, putting much emphasis on the end of the sentence as he leaned forward. Lucy noticed that he was awfully close, so close that she could smell the faint cologne of his skin. Her breath caught in her throat as she expected him to do what he always did--try to kiss her. But instead, he pulled back, winking through his dark glasses.
Lucy quickly stared at the description again, just for something to do and to distract him from noticing her red cheeks. Hmph, what a tease. That Loki always seemed to know what to do to make her heart race.
"So...is that a yes?" Loki waved his hand in front of Lucy's face.
She hesitated, priorities shuffling in her mind. Images flashed before her eyes: the rent check, Loki's smile, the orange she had for breakfast, Natsu and Grey in pirate garb, and perhaps brightest of all, those shoes! "Alright, we'll see how this works out," she managed to say while trying to decide on which outfit would go best with her future purchase.
"Great!" Loki grinned, vaulting up from his seat and straightening his tie. "I'll pick you up at your place at 10." Before he vanished into a puff of smoke, he gave Lucy a peck on the cheek. "See you then."
"Hey!" she grumbled, her cheeks burning as she waved her hands to clear the smoke, "Stop making it seem like something its not." Bah, this mission with Loki was already sounding like more trouble then it was worth. She stuffed the job slip into her pocket, but right before she had picked up her bag to leave, she felt a number of eyes on her. Slowly, she turned and instantly groaned. Her arrangement making with Loki had had an audience.
"Ooooh, Lucy, a daaate! With Loki? It's about time!" crooned Happy, his hands waving happily in the air as he ate from a ceramic, fish-shaped plate.
He was sitting on the counter next to Mira, who had apparently heard and seen the entire thing. "You two make a good match!" she assessed, showing her approval with a thumbs up.
"Oh, shut up! It's not a date," Lucy blankly stated, "It's just a mission."
"But it's just the twoooo of youuu," Happy sang in sing-song, his mouth half stuffed with fish, "All alone, aww have fun."
"Yes, you two be good now," said Mira, while sternly nodding her head. Suddenly, with a knowing smile on her face, she winked! Lucy tried very hard not to curl up into a ball and die.
"Bye, Happy, Mira," said a very mortified Lucy, "I'll be going now." She quickly high-tailed it to the heavy doors before the news could travel to Natsu and Grey. Oh. Em. Gee, if those two found out, she would never live it down...But, this was Fairy Tail, after all. Gossip spreads faster then a cheetah with its tail on fire. As Lucy was shoving the doors shut, she heard someone yell through the doors, "LUCY'S GOING ON A DATE?!"
Lucy breathed hard as adrenaline pumped through her veins. She raced down the run-down alleyway of this ghost town, her whip in her hand at the ready.
So far, the job description had been absolutely accurate. She had found the informant at his usual haunt: a "buy-me-drinky" bar full of old men trying to take home skinny young girls. Once the criminal had seen the guild tattoo on her hand, he had fled into the alley and Lucy had raced out after him.
She banked a hard right, bright red sneakers squeaking as she sprinted after her catch. The greasy man was running blindly, quite aware that his pursuer was gaining on him, but also unaware that he was running into a trap. Suddenly, after a wrong turn, he skidded to a stop before hitting the brick wall--a dead end.
"Nowhere left to run," said Lucy, stretching the leather of her whip taunt, "So you'd better come with me. I don't want any trouble."
The delinquent sneered, pulling out an ivory pistol from inside his shirt. "Oh, please. Do you think that me, the Great Manero, is gonna go with you? Well maybe, you're kinda cute. Heh."
"One last chance," said Lucy, ignoring his words and narrowing the gap between them,"Cooperate with me and I promise you won't get hurt."
The Great Manero spat on the ground. "Go home, little girl, I've got places to be."
Lucy's eyes narrowed, but she didn't back down. Manero scowled, raising his gun until it was aimed at her heart. But before his finger could get anywhere near the trigger, a leather shoe slammed straight into his face, breaking his nose.
Manero cried out, dropping his weapon as Lucy snapped her whip around his neck. In a flash of gold, Loki had tripped the man and tied his arms and legs together.
"Never point anything at my lady," said Loki when he was finished, turning the villain's head side to side with the end of his shoe. Blood flowed freely from Manero's nose, and his eyes were glassy. He would also have a very large black eye the next day, but he should be thankful that he was still alive.
"Thanks, Loki," said Lucy, coiling her whip to her belt as she sighed in relief.
"No problem!" Loki flashed her a victory sign and tried to glomp her, which Lucy deftly avoided. She was getting rather good at avoiding his advances lately.
"Hmm, catching him was simple enough," Lucy said, taking hold of one of the ropes, "I wonder why this job was ranked so high?"
Suddenly, loud clomping noises filled the alley. The narrow passage was now full of three young men, who all looked rather pissed that their master had been caught. Blue bolts of pure electricity crackled between them as they flashed their muscles and their iron knuckles--it seemed that they were skilled with electric fighting style magic.
"Oh, probably because of them," said Loki, nonchalantly dropping the ropes. "Excuse me, for a bit, love. I've got some work to do."
"Err, yeah. No problem," said Lucy. It was a bit awkward--it was obvious that all three of those mages were out of Lucy's range. But Loki easily strode to meet them, cutting the distance between them in half. He stopped, raising one fist to his face before calmly casting--
The entire alley was awash in a bright, white light as energy pulsed through it. Lucy had to close her eyes, but she wanted to watch the blur of her spirit in motion. Loki's magic was almost like an art--beautiful to the eye and very rare to see.
Soon, the light faded and Loki stood over the crumpled bodies of the three. "See?" he said, turning to her with a large smile on his face, "Didn't I tell you it we could do it?"
"We? You practically did all the work," she huffed, dragging the main perpetrator out of the alley. Perhaps she would get a bonus on top of a bonus for turning in those three fools!
"Yeah, well you helped, you chased him down! I wouldn't have been able to corner him without you," he pointed out, the three electric mages strung out behind him like a strand of lopsided pearls.
After a couple minutes or so of debate, Lucy finally came to terms. "Alright, I'll admit it. Perhaps...we make a good team," she muttered, turning the corner. She couldn't help but smile, and soon Loki had an even bigger smile on his face.
Ah ha! The local police station, who had hired Fairy Tail for the job, was in sight. It was an imposing building, laid out in white brick and surrounded by a thick, barbed-wire fence. Bells rang as uniformed men came out of the building--they had seen the pair coming.
"See? I told you," teased Loki, gently elbowing his partner, "We should do this more often. I like spending time with you, Lucy. I luuuuuuv you."
"Ah, stop it," said Lucy, swatting away his hands.
The police chief rushed up to them, vigorously shaking their hands as other uniformed cops dragged off the informant and his men. "Oh, thank you! You don't know how long we've been trying to catch that one," he gushed, his hat nearly falling off of his head, "He was so elusive."
"It's no problem," Lucy smiled. She was glad another creep was off the streets.
He handed her a thick envelope. "I'm glad we can always count on Fairy Tail for our assignments!"
"Well? What's the damage," asked Loki. He and his partner were on the train back to their hometown. He had been lucky enough *cough a fifty jewel bill works wonders when you want to be alone cough cough* to secure a comfy window compartment all for themselves.
"Yes! This month's rent, covered!" Lucy celebrated, holding the check high into the air. The police chief had given her a higher bonus then she had expected!
"Really? Let me see," he said, sidling up next to her. "Ah! That's fantastic."
"Err, yes." Lucy scooted closer to the window and looked out. Oh, look. A cow.
Loki seemed not to notice. He slipped his arm around her shoulders. "I had a really good time with you today, you know."
"Uh, no problem?" She mentally sighed because he was putting the moves on her, again.
"We totally have to do that again."
"Yeah. Maybe. Possibly."
Suddenly, she felt herself being pushed rather gently into the window glass. Her head was lifted upwards and she felt strong arms snake themselves around her waist, hot breath on her neck. "So, now that work is all good and done," he said rather coyly, "Do you think we've got time for--"
"Uh, Idontthinksokaybyethanksforyourhelptoday--forced dismissal!" With a poof of smoke, Loki disappeared and Lucy took a very slow and deep breath. Whoo, that was a close one. The thud of her heart beat was very loud in her ears--a reminder that her stellar spirit did something to her everytime he was around. She just didn't know what.
Lucy took another deep breath, looking out the window at the rapidly changing landscape. It had transformed from rural forestland to booming metropolis almost instantly.
"No," she told herself. She refused to believe that a little fluttering of her heart meant that she could be...falling for him. For Loki! Of course he always told her that he loved her, but that was just him being him. Oh bother, could it? Nah. That feeling was just the effect of his charm. Lucy safely stuck her reward check into her purse and got off the train.
Little did she know that somewhere, in the spirit world, a certain stellar spirit was taking off his cuff-links. He automatically felt that his owner was thinking of him, wherever she was. He chuckled to himself. "Oh Lucy, you'll come around."
A/N: Oh ho, is this a multi-chaptered Loki x Lucy fic? I think it might be! How do you like it, review review! :3