Eight: Green-Eyed Girl
Features (listed objectively):
Weight: 120 lbs.
Hair color: Brunette
Eye color: Gray
Occupation: Sorcerer Magazine Reporter
Same features listed (according to Lucy Heartphilia):
Height: Too short
Weight: Too skinny
Hair color: Dyed!
Eye color: Contacts!
Occupation: Annoying busybody
Sex: Flippant tease of a woman-child
Remember the fire dancer way back in chapter one? Remember how jealous Lucy got?
Well, take that situation and multiply it by ten.
Our little stellar spirit mage sat at the bar of Fairy Tail looking positively livid. Her negativity was especially prominent since everyone else around her was excited and talking about the latest reporter who was sent to the guild for yet another interview session.
"No way, no way!" An unfamiliar female voice was heard in the corner and Lucy's sensitive ears picked up on it right away. "You were able to eat the Etherion and survive? Crazy! I've never heard of such a thing!"
"Etherion was nasty but it sure did give me the power I needed to wipe out Gerard."
"You were able to take out Gerard, one of the councilors?! Amazing! Absolutely incredible!" Lucy bristled at the girl's praise.
The abandoned buttered roll in Lucy's hand was subsequently smashed into a pancake while the melted butter oozed over her fingers.
The blonde quickly turned to her left and saw Erza take a seat next to her. "Hey, Erza! How's it going? Have you been interviewed yet? Do you want something to drink?" Lucy fired off a list of questions so as to divert the attention away from herself before Erza could even begin talking. Naturally, this only put Lucy on the spotlight all the more but the older girl was sympathetic and played along.
"No, not yet," Erza replied and called to Mirajane for a slice of marionberry pie. "She's only interviewed Natsu so far."
"Yeah...," Lucy grumbled irritably and threw the flat roll onto her plate and pushed it away. "It was a scheduled interview for all of Fairy Tail. Not just one of its mages."
Erza suppressed a smile seeing Lucy's obvious attempt at playing it cool-which was failing badly.
"I mean look at her," Lucy indicated the reporter squealing about Natsu who looked like he missed his personal space. "She's all over him like he's some kind of rockstar or something. Disgusting."
"I think she'll get around to interviewing others eventually. The master wants this interview to go off as smoothly as possible to bolster Fairy Tail's reputation so we're trying to be patient," Erza shrugged before taking a spoonful of her dessert. "She also mentioned she wanted to talk to you especially, Lucy."
The girl only scoffed and tried to block out the incessant shrill laughter of the brunette. "Talk with me? I know what she'll ask," Lucy then imitated the girl in a mocking voice, "Okay, Lucy! What kind of magic do you use? Really, stellar spirit magic? Absolutely incredible! And what do you look for in a guy? Like, really?! Like, WOW!!"
This time, Erza couldn't help but laugh. "Lucy, you're not...jealous, are you?"
"W-What?! Me?!" Lucy stammered as a slight blush marked her cheeks. "You've got to be joking! What in the world is there to be jealous of?"
"Oh, I don't know...," Erza sighed, not intimidated by Lucy's accusing glare in the least bit. "Perhaps you're jealous that she's not interviewing you first."
"Please, I'm not that petty."
"Or that Natsu's the star of Fairy Tail to her."
"As if. Come on, Erza. I'm not jealous at all! Nope, not me. No siree." Lucy shook her head emphatically while wiping her hands clean of the butter on a napkin.
"So I guess this means you don't mind that reporter clinging to Natsu either, right?"
"I-" Lucy was about to retort but involuntarily bit her tongue. She saw Erza smile at her so innocently that it reeked of mischievousness. "I couldn't care less what happens between them."
"Really. Now can we please talk about something else?"
Just then, the reporter's laugh sounded right behind them making the girls look around. Lucy's eyebrows furrowed so deeply, they almost went vertical. The girl had latched onto Natsu's arm and bounced along with the boy with each step he took. Natsu looked mighty uncomfortable and stood next to Arzack hoping to rope him into the conversation and get the reporter off his back.
Unfortunately, Lucy missed this act having immediately turned around on her stool and ordered a 'sweet chickenchop burger salad'.
Mirajane gave her a puzzled look and decided to give her a drink instead.
"I think a burger-salad is kind of contradictory, don't you think, Lucy?" Gray chuckled as he took a seat on Lucy's other side.
"Well, so is drinking hot tea when you're half naked!" Lucy snapped as Gray shivered and reached for a steaming mug while clad only in his pants.
"Ooh, touchy today, aren't we?"
"Gray, leave Lucy alone. The girl is troubled," Erza scolded making the ice alchemist spill a bit of his scalding tea onto his chest.
"R-Right! Sorry Lucy, didn't mean to tease you. But anyway," Gray leaned in to the girls and spoke seriously. "What's with that reporter girl and Natsu?"
"Gray!" Erza said exasperatedly while Lucy slapped a hand to her forehead.
To top it all off, the reporter decided to come over to the gang. Natsu, thankfully for Lucy, had managed to elude the girl.
"Well, well! Here are Natsu's friends!" she said excitedly and whipped out her pen and paper. "Erza the Titania, Gray, the Ice Alchemist and Lucy the..." She gave Lucy a quick look and noticed her keys. "Spirit Mage!"
"That's stellar spirit mage, you little-"
"Where is Natsu, by the way?" Erza interjected as Gray clamped a hand over Lucy's mouth.
"Oh, you know, I haven't got a clue!" She shielded her eyes and looked about the guild but could not find the dragonslayer. "He seems to have disappeared."
"From you," Lucy mumbled under her breath.
"You know, I'm pretty sure our people has interviewed both you and Gray multiple times already," the girl said to Erza while checking her notes.
"Yes, I believe so," Erza agreed while remembering an interview with them only weeks before. She really didn't want to engage in one again and repeat the same old answers. A look at Gray told her he felt the same way.
"Goody then!" the reporter chirped and then honed in on the sulking Lucy. "I guess I can settle for interviewing you today. 'In depth with Lucy Heartphilia: From Ex-Heiress to Fairy Tail Mage'! What do you think?"
Lucy's hazel eyes narrowed dangerously. "I think you should go stick your a-"
"OH, NATSU!" the girl cut Lucy off as the former spotted the boy making his way out of the guild. Gray had to reign Lucy back to her stool to prevent her from leaping up in anger.
"Remember, Lucy. We're trying to get them to write positively about us," Gray whispered. "The master and our guild really needs more people to send out requests these days!"
"I know we haven't done a main article on you yet, Lucy, but I really want to focus on Natsu!" the brunette admitted as she managed to somehow drag Natsu back to the bar.
"Or how about you do a dual cover?" Mirajane suggested from behind the counter. "A feature with both Lucy and Natsu. What do you think?"
"I've got it!" The reporter started scribbling madly on her notepad. "How about a focus on love? Not between you two, of course," she added hastily glancing up at Natsu and Lucy. "I mean like what do you look for in a romantic partner, types, attributes, power...that type of stuff."
"Wha?" Everyone in the vicinity was a little confused. What was the point of promoting love with Fairy Tail? What about advertising their strengths with the do-all-fix-all type of attitude?
Natsu looked the most lost out of everyone.
"Uhh, I don't really wan-"
"Natsu!" the girl slinked up to the boy closely and tapped him on the arm with her pen. "I find you as the type who wants a strong girl as your girlfriend. Gorgeous, powerful, fierce in battle and can take you in a round, am I right?"
"Yes, yes! I definitely see it. Your type is most definitely not the cutesy kind of girl with no power whatsoever. You know what I'm talking about...those weak, fragile type girls who always need the hero to come rushing in."
"Here, an example!" the reporter exclaimed and took Lucy's arm. "Basically, you want an Erza kind of girl, not Lucy!"
The whole group fixed their gaze on the blonde.
After an awkward pause, Lucy brushed off the girl's hand. "That's right. He wants someone who can kick his ass anytime, anywhere." Lucy smiled stiffly, got off her stool and headed toward the exit.
"Wait! Lucy! I haven't gotten what type of guys you'd want to date!"
Lucy turned around and yelled quite loudly for the whole guild to hear, "I'M A-FUCKING-SEXUAL! HOW ABOUT THAT FOR YOUR MAGAZINE!!"
Everyone then watched as Lucy stormed out of the guild, letting the front doors shut behind her with a bang.
"So, what'll it be, miss?"
"Anything and make it a big one."
"Alrighty! Ma, I need a Bun-pup and a Fifty-five for the little lady!"
"OKAY, OKAY, QUIT YOUR HOLLERIN'! I HEARD IT, I HEARD IT!"
Lucy winced at hearing the old lady in the kitchen call back.
"Thanks...," Lucy managed and sat down at a table. She saw some used newspapers in front of her and glanced through the headlines.
GUILDS IN NEED OF REQUESTS, MAGES SHORT ON JOBS, REWARD AMOUNTS DWINDLE...
The depressing words stared back at the girl and she flipped over the newspaper, not wanting to read anything more. Underneath the messy pile of newspaper was a magazine. Lucy pulled it out and stared at Sorcerer Magazine's familiar cover of her, Natsu, Erza and Gray with the caption: FAIRY TAIL'S STRONGEST TEAM.
Even this cover that was once Lucy's pride and joy could not make her smile. She hastily shoved it under the newspaper.
"Do you happen to have any of the recent magazines, sir?" Lucy asked the old man as he came up to her table with the food.
"You know what, we sure do. Only one copy though. I get it from my friend's for a little light reading." He went back behind the counter, grabbed it and gave it to Lucy.
Unfortunately, it was an even older edition of Sorcerer Magazine dating back about a year- around the time Lucy first joined Fairy Tail. The girl was about to point it out to the old man but he was already walking away smiling and cleaning up another table. Thinking that she could reminisce about the good old days where things were a little less complicated, Lucy took it in her hands and stared at the cover.
As it turned out, Natsu's glaring face stared back at her.
"Eh?" Lucy read the caption, "Fairy Tail's Salamander Returns: Behind the Six-Month Search for Dragons..." Lucy flipped open the magazine and rifled through the pages to the part that covered Natsu's story. Her eyes scanned the article and landed on a short Q and A section:
Reporter: So, Natsu, how does it feel to be back at Fairy Tail after such a long absence?
Natsu: It's good to be back home. The food's a lot better, I'll tell you that.
Reporter: I hear Mirajane is quite the cook after all. If it were me, I'd never leave the guild.
Natsu: Us mages have to take on jobs sooner or later. Going on trips is a blast! Never get tired of it.
Reporter: Can you tell us about your latest trip? Six months is a long time to be gone. I'm sure you've seen some outrageous things on your travels. Can you give us some details?
Natsu: Let's see, I went to a whole lot of places and met a whole lot of people that I wasn't looking for. I couldn't find Igneel anywhere.
Reporter: Igneel, that's the infamous Fire Dragon, right?
Natsu: You betcha! I know he's still out there and no matter what anyone says, I'm going to find him! Someday, for sure, I will find him.
Reporter: Good luck with that, Natsu. I'm sure it'll be quite an adventure.
Natsu: I'm always up for an adventure [chuckles]. This time wasn't so bad even though I didn't find Igneel. I met this guy trying to impersonate me. That was interesting.
Reporter: Oh yes, I heard about him. He was going under the alias "Salamander" and kidnapping girls, right?
Natsu: Yup, what an idiot.
Reporter: But you did put him in his place.
Natsu: Nothing feels like beating the crap outta guys who makes a bad image of Fairy Tail.
Reporter: That's what all of the readers like to hear: a mage who's loyal to his guild.
Natsu: Right. Oh, and I did meet a new friend. She's a mage too and I took her back to Fairy Tail with me.
Reporter: I haven't heard of this. What's her name?
Natsu: Uh...you know I can't remember right now...Louie? Luigi?
Reporter: That's all right, I'm sure we'll hear about her soon. But for now, can you tell us what kind of magic she uses?
Natsu: Something with keys and stuff. Very weird. I haven't seen that kind of magic before. Seems pretty cool though.
Reporter: That sure was a nice thing you did, Natsu. It's been awhile since Fairy Tail's gotten a new addition. I'm looking forward to hearing more exciting news about your guild.
Natsu: You bet! Fairy Tail is the best guild out there!
Reporter: Well, thank you so much for your time. I'm sure your fans will appreciate hearing some news from you.
Natsu: No problem.
Lucy's eyes then roamed to a glaring hot pink heart splashed on the corner of the page. It read:
Salamander's Hot Love? Do you think you can handle a fiery relationship with the dragonslayer of Fairy Tail?
This bachelor is one of the strongest mages of the guild and is quite the bad boy. He enjoys food, fights and adventures so all of you ladies out there, be prepared. Natsu Dragonil is still available but perhaps not for long!!!
"Ugh!" Lucy slammed the magazine shut and took it back up to the counter. "Here you are sir, thank you."
The old man took the magazine from Lucy and peered at the cover through his thick glasses. "Oh yes, that Natsu boy. Quite popular with the ladies, believe it or not. Even the old woman's got a soft spot for him."
"That it is," He shook his old gray head slowly. "And how about you? Another fan of this Salamander fellow, too?"
Lucy coughed, trying to disguise her indignant gasp. "I-I'm actually not a fan of Natsu. He's a little too wild for my taste. I hear he can get pretty crazy on those jobs- blowing things up here and there. Never a moment of peace."
"Miss?" the old man said seriously, turning his gaze on Lucy. His scrutinizing eyes peered over his glasses.
"Y-Yes?" Lucy replied feeling nervous all of the sudden. Did this old man know that she's lying about not being a fan of Natsu's? Could he in fact, be aware that she's completely head over heels in love with the boy?
The old man pointed and said, "I believe that your food is being eaten by some pink-haired hooligan."
Lucy followed his wrinkled, gnarly finger back to her table where the subject of their conversation sat, eating her Bun-pup.
"Natsu! What the hell are you doing?"
The boy looked up guiltily at his friend who stomped over to the table with her hands on her hips. "I was so hungry, Luce!"
"Do you have no self-control whatsoever?!" Lucy barked as she sat down across from him and threw him a napkin.
"Sorry! Sorry! It's just I haven't been to the guild all day and that's where I usually eat."
The girl eyed him suspiciously. "Wait, what? You were just there about half an hour ago! I saw you with my own eyes!"
Natsu only laughed merrily and replied, "Oh, that was Macau."
"Yeah," Natsu saw the Sorcerer Magazine poking out from underneath the newspapers and pulled it up. "You see, I was so sick of doing those stupid interview things that I just wanted to escape. I asked Macau to transform into me. I guess it worked!"
Lucy couldn't help but feel somewhat better as she heard his explanation. Nonetheless, she carried on the conversation coldly. "Well, lucky you, Natsu. That reporter would have given you a pretty big headache if you had been there."
"I don't know," Lucy lied in an attempt to look cool. "She was just a big fan."
"So what's the problem?"
"The problem was that she was all over you like...well, I meant Macau! She was all over Macau!" Lucy recovered lamely and avoided eye contact with Natsu.
When he didn't reply, Lucy decided to sneak a peek back to the dragonslayer to find a curious little smirk on his face. "Ohhh."
Natsu's eyes crinkled in amusement. "Were you jealous?"
"What?! No way!" Lucy cried defensively. "Why in the name of the Stellar Spirit King would I be, in any possible way, jealous? Dream on, buddy."
"This reporter was a girl, right?" Natsu suddenly asked.
"And she was all over me?"
"Did I stutter the first time?! I mean if that's what you wanna call it, then fine."
"I know why you're jealous," Natsu said in a serious tone that made Lucy turn her full attention to him. She suddenly sat rigid in her seat as he leaned forward towards her.
"Yeah," Lucy balled up her fists tightly underneath the table so that her nails dug into her palms. He knew! He knew! He knew! Oh, crap, he knew! "You're just jealous because you want a guy to hang all over you."
A few seconds passed before Lucy stood up, grabbed the pile of newspaper and threw it over Natsu's head as viciously as possible. Unfortunately, the dramatic effect was ruined when Natsu peered out from underneath with the print draped around his head like a cloth. "Luce, you're funny."
"Well, you're an idiot!"
"There's nothing to be jealous about!"
"Easy for you to say."
"Really!" Natsu pulled the newspapers off his head and grinned widely. "Why do you think I let Macau take my place? I don't need that stuff. This is so much better."
"What's better, you dolt?" Lucy snapped irritably as she grabbed her purse and was about to make her way towards the door.
"Hanging out with you."
The girl turned back to the dragonslayer who still sat there smiling innocently, unaware of anything going on about him. In spite of herself, Lucy found her anger appeased but she wasn't about to let Natsu know.
"Don't even try to get on my good side."
"Don't have to. I always am, aren't I?"
This smart remark earned Natsu and throbbing bump on the head even though it was entirely true.
A/N: It's been awhile, guys! Life's getting pretty busy but I'm still getting spurts of NaLu inspiration--especially in the latest arc. Loads of improvement from the previous one and the best part? Lucy gets some limelight!! Although she could get overshadowed by her other badass self... oh, the irony.
But yes, lots of blushing and hugs and hints. Me. Likey.