A/N: I do not own Fairy Tail.
So sorry for the late update! I hope this extra-long chapter makes up for it?
She looked uncomfortable slumped over the desk like that. He took note of her almost inaudible snores, the pen clutched loosely in her hand, the pile of papers her cheek was currently resting against, and concluded that she must have fallen asleep writing her novel.
Typical Lucy, he thought with a fond smile, striding purposefully towards his slumbering master. He absently wondered how he had been summoned if she was sleeping. Maybe she was dreaming of him.
Yeah, right. And Taurus would miraculously stop hitting on Lucy.
He gathered her into his arms, careful not to wake her. Loke took a moment to stare longingly at her slightly parted lips, a second to thank the Spirit King he has hers. Now if only she could be his the way he wanted her to be…
Loke all but tiptoed to her bed, pulled back the covers, and gently laid her down, rearranging her limbs carefully to make her more comfortable. Once he was fairly certain she wouldn't feel stiff when she woke up, he plopped down onto the floor beside his master's bed. He would love to slip into bed with her but he knew that if he gave in, he wouldn't have the willpower to leave before she woke up. Then he'd have to deal with an angry Lucy and although his master was impossibly sexy when she was mad, he loved her best when she was smiling at him.
Nothing was stopping him from staying though. He and Lucy had spent far too little time together and he wasn't about to pass up the chance to be with her. Even if she was asleep right now.
He sat relaxed against the bed, looking around Lucy's room. It was small and cozy. He could understand why Natsu and the others kept hanging around here. It had a very homey, welcoming feel. He wouldn't mind popping in for a visit some other night. Maybe he'd even get lucky and score a goodnight kiss. Unlikely but hey, he could dream, right?
A soft rustling drew Loke's gaze to the sheaf of papers—the top page fluttering in the slight balmy wind from the half-open window—on the desk Lucy had been sleeping on. Lucy's novel. He thought back to a conversation he'd had with Gray a few weeks back.
Gray raised a hand in casual greeting. Loke nodded in reply before moving to sit with Gray at the bar. He noted that the ice mage had somehow lost his clothes again. Whatever. It's not like it's anything he hasn't seen before.
"Lucy's not with you?"
His mood darkened at the mention of his master's name. As much as he adored Lucy, he couldn't help but feel furious with her right now.
"No," he growled. Gray's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "She went on a date with that womanizer from Blue Pegasus."
Loke fumed silently. If that bastard even tries to touch Lucy, there will be hell to pay. No matter that Lucy would kill him; he'd deal with that after ripping that Blue Pegasus mage to pieces.
"I wonder…" Gray trailed off. Loke frowned at his tone; Gray's hesitation to continue most likely meant that whatever he was going to say would make him very, very mad. He narrowed his eyes at Gray, wordlessly ordering him to continue.
"So, you know that Lucy's writing a novel, right?"
Loke grunted a yes. Of course he did. Practically the whole guild knew about that.
"I saw these papers hidden under the mattress when I was at Lucy's. So, naturally, I read what was on it," Gray continued matter-of-factly.
The stellar spirit snorted. 'Naturally?' A normal person would consider that—and looking other people's mattresses—a breach of the other person's privacy. Then again, this was Gray. He wasn't exactly normal.
"And?" he prompted. Loke couldn't really see where this was going. "What does Lucy's novel have to do with anything?"
"That's the thing. I don't think it was part of Lucy's novel at all. I've read a few rough drafts of that and the story I read was nothing like those at all."
That got Loke's attention. Why would Lucy be writing something else instead of working on her novel? That didn't seem like her at all.
"And whew! What a story that was! I had no idea ice cream could be so hot. And what she did with the garter belt was so…" Gray paused, trying to find the right word. "Risqué," he finished with a suggestive wink.
Risqué? Lucy writing racy stories? With ice cream and garter belts? Loke couldn't keep the perverted grin off his face. He wondered is she needed to do some 'research' and made a mental note to offer his services later.
That brought his train of thought back to why he was sulking here—not that he'd ever admit he was sulking, of course—and not enjoying quality time with his beloved master. Because she was on a date with someone other than him. A quick glance at the clock; half-past nine. They were probably enjoying a nice after-dinner stroll right now, he thought with a grimace. He ignored Gray's mumblings about lace and fuzzy pink handcuffs, instead opting to clear his throat to remind Gray to get on with it.
"Sorry," Gray said unapologetically. "So, anyway, the guy in the story was supposedly tall, lean, with thick spiky hair and a penchant for hitting on anything in a skirt, sound familiar?"
Loke's eyes widened in realization. That sounded an awful lot like that Hibiki. He let his head drop onto the bar with a dull thud. It was over. If Lucy was actually using Hibiki as inspiration, it very likely meant that she was interested in him and his chances of winning her have dwindled to practically nothing, on par with a snowball's chance in hell. Loke banged his head against the wooden surface of the bar.
Now was probably the only chance he'd get to see for himself what Lucy was writing. With exaggerated stealth, he moved towards the desk, occasionally glancing back to make sure Lucy was still asleep. Loke's hand darted forward, his fingers closing around the loose pages. He winced at the paper's rustling as it wrinkled in his grasp but a last nervous glance in Lucy's direction assured him she hadn't stirred. Good. He quickly resumed his previous position, resting his back against his master's bed.
Now what? He was seized with a sudden apprehension. He wanted to confirm what Gray told him but at the same time he was afraid to find out that he had already lost to Hibiki. He didn't think he'd be able to take that.
"But they just went on that one date, right?" he thought to himself. It's not like they saw each other frequently. Heck, he probably spent more time with Lucy than Hibiki did. That thought lifted his spirits momentarily and had him gloating until a traitorous inner voice reminded him how Lucy never failed to reiterate the fact that he was her spirit and her spirit only. Like he had to be reminded about that.
Loke shook himself out of his negative musings. If he was going to read this, it would be better to get it over with quick. Agonizing over the contents was futile and stupid. Resolutely, he began to read.
I look down at the lyrics I had scribbled down and sigh. Lately, all I ever come up with are angsty ballads about star-crossed lovers. Talk about depressing…
I put my guitar away and slip quietly into bed. I wonder if he would visit me tonight.
"Lily," a smooth voice purrs against my ear, hot breath tickling my suddenly hypersensitive skin. I could never understand how he can be so warm when all he is is energy given form. Strong arms pull me closer, molding my body against his.
"Theo," I sigh before pulling away. Any other night I might have welcomed his advances but not tonight. I sit up and turn my face away. The bed creaks as he follows suit and rests his weight on his hands against the bed.
"We have to talk."
"About what, princess?"
Loke raised an eyebrow. Energy given form? Princess? This was all sounding very familiar…
His fingers tuck a loose strand of blonde hair behind my ear. I resist the urge to melt into his touch. Now isn't the time to get distracted no matter how tempting it is to just enjoy his company.
"Us?" He raises an eyebrow inquisitively. He begins playing with my hair and I forget the long eloquent speech I had prepared hours before. Gently turning my face towards him, he buries his face against the side of my neck. I can't tell if the feather-light touches are his breath or his lips.
"U-Um," I manage to stutter before involuntarily letting out a moan as the touches ghost over a sensitive spot just below my ear. I feel his chuckle on my skin. He's playing dirty again to avoid the conversation. Not this time.
"Theo!" I try to make my voice sound commanding. It would have been more effective if he hadn't gotten me so breathless. Pulling away for the second time that night, I shoot him a glare that clearly said enough.
With a childish pout, he runs a hand through his thick ginger locks—
Thick ginger locks? His hands immediately came up to his mane. Yep, very thick. Then he pulled some strands down near eye-level and squinted. Definitely ginger.
He found his lips curling in an amused smile. Theo, huh? Tall, lean, thick spiky hair, and a penchant for hitting on anything in a skirt. Really, was that how Lucy saw him? She should have known that he had eyes only for her. That even if he spent time with other women, it was just a ploy to make her jealous.
He looked down at the story. He'd read enough to put his worries to rest—he was Lucy's inspiration, take that Hibiki!—but he wanted to know what Lily was trying to say.
With a childish pout, he runs a hand through his thick ginger locks. He doesn't attempt to charm me into bed me again and I'm grateful for that. It seems he's finally accepted that this conversation has been long overdue.
"What am I to you?" I toy with the edges of the blanket, unable to look him in the eye. The question seemed so mature and sensible in my mind but now I realize it made me sound like an insecure little girl. Maybe I should have gone for a less-straightforward question…
"You're Lily," he answered simply. "My master. The one person I will do anything for."
I close my eyes against tears threatening to fall. I should have known he'd say that.
"Because I freed you from that bottle," I finish, moving quickly to the edge of my bed.
"Lily—," he begins, his callused hands grabbing my forearm. I shake him off, still unable to meet his gaze. I'm afraid he'll see how much his answer had hurt me.
My feet feel around the floor for my slippers. One under the bed, another just beside it. I slip into them and race towards the bathroom where I lock myself inside. Though he could materialize in here, we had established when we first met that he wasn't allowed in the bathroom when I was inside.
I slump beside the sink, surprisingly dry-eyed. The tears have gone, leaving only a numb emptiness behind. His answer echoes in my head over and over, taunting me. He will do anything for me, but that's the nature of our contract. I've been too naïve, to think that he stays because he wants to, to believe in his frequent declarations of his undying love for me. His passionate caresses when we lie together had misled me into thinking he feels for me what I feel for him. But now I see I was wrong. He's with me only because he feels obligated to return the favor I had inadvertently done him when I found the bottle he'd been imprisoned in. He loves me only as a servant loves a master who treats him well. All those nights we spent together, the sweet nothings he whispers into my ear in the warm afterglow of our lovemaking, everything happened because I had been stupid enough to mistake lust for love.
Only a few scribbles and quite a lot of scratched out words followed. Loke put the papers down and sighed. He stood up, his limbs tingling from staying in one position for too long, and carefully perched himself on the edge of the bed. Had she been telling herself that the whole time? Was that why she always rejected him?
"I think Lily was wrong," he said softly. "She should have given Theo a chance to explain."
His knuckles grazed her cheek lovingly, his eyes tracing her serene features.
"You know what? I'm pretty sure Theo loves Lily as much as she does him, maybe even more. Only he knew that even if he had said that, she wouldn't have believed him," he said. "So all he could ever do was show her his feelings through his actions."
He took one last look at her sleeping form before beginning the transition back to the spirit world. Just before he completely disappeared, he bent down and pressed his lips chastely against Lucy's.
"Theo really does love Lily, more than she will ever know."
His form faded into nothingness, the scattered papers on the floor the only evidence he had been here. Lucy opened her eyes, smiling slightly as she touched her lips. Her plan had worked flawlessly. Now she could stop agonizing over what to do with him.
She got up and gathered the fallen pages, putting them back in their proper place. She sat down at her desk and began to write.
"Kyaa! Lucy, this is great!" Levy gushed. "You write really well!"
Lucy tried to protest but she was too happy to hear that Levy liked it to make more than a half-hearted effort. She looked around the rowdy guild. Natsu and Gray were fighting again since Erza had gone on a solo S-class mission. Juvia was openly ogling Gray's barely-clad body. Perpetually smiling Mirajane was serving drinks. Cana was drinking from her barrel again. Another typical day at Fairy Tail.
"Hey, Lucy, doesn't Theo kinda remind you of someone?" Levy asked, her eyebrows scrunching up as she thought hard on who exactly it was.
"O-Of course not," Lucy laughed weakly. She squeezed her eyes shut, praying fervently that Levy would somehow not think of Loke.
"No, he doesn't!"
"Doesn't what?" her spirit's unmistakable voice breathed into her ear.
Her eyes shot open. He was here. He was really here.
"Nothing," she replied nonchalantly. At least she tried to sound nonchalant. Her best effort sounded more like a nervous squeak.
"I was telling her Theo reminded me a lot of somebody but I couldn't put my finger on who it was," Levy chimed in.
Lucy froze. The slowly forming grin on his face and Levy's scrutiny of Loke's hair did not bode well. She had to get Levy away from him fast.
"Levy, I think I saw Gajeel waving you over," Lucy said in a rush. She stood up, pulled Levy from her chair, and started pushing her in the direction of the iron dragonslayer, ignoring the solid script mage's flustered protests. "Go on. Wouldn't want to keep him waiting."
Once Levy had gone, she breathed a sigh of relief. Catastrophe averted.
"So this is what Gray was talking about back then."
"Huh?" Gray? What was Loke talking about? She turned around and found her story in Loke's hands. He was reading it with that irritatingly handsome half-amused smirk on his face. He must not be allowed to read until the end. If he does, her plan could potentially go up in flames.
She inched closer, trying not to make sudden movements. His grip loosened at the instant when he was shuffling the page he had finished behind the rest to read the next one. Now was her chance!
Lucy's hand shot forward but her fingers closed over thin air. She looked up at Loke who was quietly chuckling as he held the papers out of her reach. With a frustrated growl, Lucy leapt at him, reaching for her story.
Loke was clearly not expecting her to lunge at him. She crashed into him and they both lost their balance and fell on the wooden floor. Lucy lay sprawled on top of him, the pages of her story fluttering down on them. One landed directly on Loke's face.
The guild was suddenly silent. Lucy didn't have to raise her head from Loke's chest to know that everyone was looking at them and their admittedly compromising position—her straddling him and his arms around her waist from his chivalrous attempt to take the brunt of the impact. She couldn't believe this was happening. She only wanted her story back!
"I knew it!" Happy squeaked. "You are so together!"
"Nice going, Loke!" Gray whistled. Catcalls and cheers reverberated around the guild. Lucy groaned in resignation. She wondered how long it'll take before Happy forgets about this incident and stops commenting on her and Loke. And now it seems even Gray has joined the club…
"Ha! An opening! Eat this, Gray!" Natsu, ever oblivious, threw a punch at the ice mage and just like that, she and Loke were forgotten and the guild resumed its usual chaos.
She turned her gaze to Loke and found him reading the page that had been covering his face. Lucy moved off him and began picking up the fallen papers. She figured no harm could come from letting him read one more page.
"I really do love you, Lily, more than you will ever know," he quoted from the last chapter of the story. Lucy kept her back to him, her cheeks steadily reddening. It seems she spoke too soon. Of all the pages he could have gotten a hold of, it had to be that one. Lady Luck must really hate her today.
"You were awake." His tone wasn't accusing, only surprised.
Lucy, still with her back to him, opted to simply nod in affirmation. No use denying it now. The evidence was just too incriminating. Shuffling sounds behind her told her he was getting up. She felt him lay a hand on her arm.
"Lucy, I—" Loke began.
"Lucy, I found us a job!" Natsu's loud voice called from the request board. They both jumped, Loke cursing quite colorfully under his breath. Lucy felt both relieved and irritated for the interruption. On one hand, she preferred conversations like this be done in private but on the other, the atmosphere between them had been perfect before Natsu ruined it. Guess you can't have everything. She turned to Loke.
"W-Well, I, umm, have to go," she stammered, looking anywhere but Loke. "You should probably go back to the spirit world now."
He heaved a long-suffering sigh. Why did Natsu have to choose that moment to interrupt them? Couldn't he have waited just a few more minutes?
"All right, I'd better go," he said reluctantly. He prepared to open his gate and return.
"Oh, wait! I almost forgot," Lucy blurted out. "I have something for you." She plunged her hands into her pockets, fumbling for something.
His departure delayed, he moved closer, curious about what his master had for him. And why was she blushing again? Maybe she got him a—
Loke's eyes drifted closed as he savored the gentle pressure of her lips on his own and the feel of her arms around his neck. He made to pull her closer and deepen the kiss.
"Lucy, come on!" Natsu called impatiently.
She broke away, smiling shyly up at him. Her mouth against the shell of his ear, she whispered.
"Tonight. In my room. I'll be waiting."
With that, she turned away and ran towards Natsu, Gray, and Happy. Loke watched her go with a grin as he slowly faded back into the spirit world. Tonight, huh? He fingered the pages—most of which detailed the romantic trysts between Theo and Lily—he'd managed to sneak into his pocket behind Lucy's back. He fully planned to fulfill his master's every desire.
"I won't disappoint, princess."
A/N: Wow, this is the longest chapter I've written ever. It just got longer and longer and before I realized it I had more than 3000 words O_O
On a different note, I am now a member of deviantart under the name chaoticsouljam! Yay! All I uploaded were basically edited colored manga pics though... Although one of the wallpapers I made are a tad...risque XD