This Little Chickie

Inspired By: Hiro Mashima's "Fairy Tail"

Chapter One: So It Begins

After a full six days of quarantining herself away in her apartment due to a severe case of the flu, Lucy was well and eager to return to her friends at Fairy Tail. So eager in fact, that she took a quarter of the time she normally used to get ready in the morning. She had a lightning-quick shower, only half-dried her hair before tying it back, and only spent thirty seconds choosing her outfit for the day. Not bothering to put on make-up since she didn't really need it anyway (she was beautiful either way), she slipped into the comfy light-blue shorts and a plain white T-shirt that she had selected. Compared to her normal choice of attire, that day she looked casual and comfortable. Looking in her mirror half-heartedly, Lucy decided that it wasn't a bad look either. Lucy pulled a pair of flat sandals onto her feet before attaching her keys onto her belt and heading out the door, a piece of toast shoved between her teeth.

Her friends and she had been deciding to go on a job since they were all starting to run low on cash when Lucy caught a violent case of the flu. For three days they had taken turns visiting her, checking to see how she was doing. On the fourth day, Natsu and Happy where completely broke, Gray was forced to survive off of Juvia's offerings of boxed lunches (Juvia had come over to brag to Lucy), and Erza had only a hundred Jewels left to her name. Lucy urged them not to wait for her to get better and to just go do a job. Though she was running extremely low on funds too, she had been raised to be able to manage money well. She could survive until she was healthy again.

After a short debate between Lucy, Erza, and Gray, Gray teamed up with an ecstatic Juvia and went off while Erza dragged Natsu and Happy to do a job with her (Natsu had refused to leave a sick comrade behind, but Lucy had begged Erza to just take him. He needed more cash than any of them). Now, two days later, Lucy was as fit as a fiddle once more and in desperate need of a job. She doubted any of her friends were back yet, so she would have to do one on her own. Something simple and not dangerous.

Lucy arrived at the newly built Fairy Tail's large doors and stopped to catch her breath. Running felt nice after laying in bed for six days, but she was out of shape and still rather weak from the severity of her illness. Lucy straightened up and walked through the door and into the place she saw as her true home.

As usual, the place was loud and lively. The sight of her fellow guild members laughing, arguing, drinking, and eating brought a smile to her lips. Calls of greetings and congratulations on her recovery filled her ears when everyone noticed her. She waved and responded to the questions of how she was feeling.

"I feel a whole lot better than I did before, thank you," Lucy said. She waved and gladly accepted pats on her back and head. Pride and joy about being with her family once more swelled in her chest.

Just as she had guessed, Lucy could tell that Natsu, Happy, Gray, Erza, and Juvia had yet to return just by the lack of things being smashed up, so she decided to talk to Mirajane about what she might be able to do.

"Hey Mira," Lucy called sliding onto a stool at the bar. "Can I just have water? My throat is kind of sore from all of…"

"Your puking? Sure thing Lucy; I'm just glad you're feeling better. When Happy said you couldn't go ten minutes without throwing up, I have to say you had everyone worried." The older girl filled a glass with water and placed it before Lucy. The blonde chuckled awkwardly. Happy kind of exaggerated about the throwing up part, but it wasn't important. "And the day you got sick Laxus came back in a bad mood from the mission he had been on for the past month and he's been stirring things up…so for the past few days everyone has been even more on edge. Before Natsu and the others left on their missions, they kept falling for that jerk's bait. I can't count how many times Natsu was zapped. When Erza lost her temper, we lost ten tables! If Master hadn't been here to stop them, I think a real nasty fight would have broken out. With you back in good health though, now we can all worry about one less thing," Mirajane leaned on the bar, a slight smile pulling at her lips.

Lucy had only seen Laxus Dreyar a few times, and those few occasions had revealed him to be an arrogant, vulgar jerk that she didn't really care for, even though he was part of her "family" too. Not to mention how, if he was anything like his grandfather, he was probably a pervert as well. With the Master though, she didn't mind since he was more of a comical one instead of a big, creepy one she imagined his grandson to be. Not like she would really know though; she'd never really spoken to him.

"I'm glad to be back too. I really missed Fairy Tail. Sorry to have worried everyone."

"Hahaha! You already said all that three times, Lucy! It's all fine now. So, anyway…I hear you're running low on cash."

"Yeah," Lucy agreed nodding. "I don't know when the others will be back so I need a job I can handle on my own. Do you have any suggestions, Mira?"

"Well…there is the usual cheap ones; deliver packages, find lost pets…but I do recall a criminal bounty one. It has decent pay: 100,000 Jewels to catch a common thief." Mirajane pulled a flyer out from behind the bar. "I was kind of saving it for you."

"That doesn't sound too bad!" Lucy chirped. She could handle a common thief. "I'll ta-"

"No you won't. I have an even better job for you, Chickie." The sudden voice from right behind her surprised Lucy to the point of screaming and falling off the stool.

"Wha…?" Lucy gasped turning to see the self-proclaimed best wizard in the guild standing behind her. She hastily climbed to her feet, aware of every pair of eyes in the guild focused on her and the man before her. He was tall, taller than she thought he'd be…at least a foot taller than her. His wild blond hair and the spiked headphones for his SoundPod made him out to be a punk kid. However, the long-since healed scar on the right side of his face along with the massive muscles that made up his body proved that he was in fact a man that just didn't care about anyone's opinion or pleasure other than his own. Considering how powerful he was rumored to be, Lucy supposed that he had the bite to back up his bark, and that his arrogance was not really a surprise.

"What do you mean Laxus? What can you possibly need Lucy for?" Mirajane asked, her eyes narrowed and her voice warningly low, as if she was holding back a scream.

"That is between the girl and me," he growled then cast a glare at the curious onlookers. The moment his eyes landed on the crowd, they immediately turned back to what they had been doing before Lucy's scream had drawn their attention. Satisfied, he turned his attention to Lucy once more, who found him to be too close with barely a two foot distance between them. She inched away, trying to look nonchalant about it, but failing due to the panicked expression on her face. Though she found his personality to be very off-putting, she understood the massive difference in power between them and could not help but fear and respect him. Not even the knowledge that they were guild mates could help her relax when he made his presence known.

"I have a little proposition for you, Chickie," he said, a smirk crossing his features at the sight of the girl trying to look as small as possible. She opened her mouth and a small squeak escaped. Mirajane however, was not scared and was determined to look out for Lucy.

"Laxus, leave Lucy alone. She just recovered from the flu and the worst thing for her right now is to be bullied by you. Go find someone else to help you with that job," she hissed, a glimmer of her former self-shining through her pretty-dumb-girl mask. With her sister figure at her back, Lucy gained a little courage…enough to straighten up and to cease her cowering. That quickly ended the moment he spoke again though.

"Shut up. I've waited for her to get her weak-ass back here for a week. I'm not going to accept no as an answer. You're coming along girl," he said with a glare.

"The Master…" Mirajane began but was cut off.

"That old fart can't do anything, so why don't you go back to cleaning and serving like you're meant to."

"Laxus…" Mirajane snarled, but he paid her no attention and instead grabbed Lucy's arm and proceeded to drag her through the guild and out the door. As she was dragged past, Lucy felt a mixture of sympathetic and apologetic stares land on her and she didn't blame her guild mates for not sacrificing themselves in an attempt to rescue her. Only the stupid or freakishly strong could even think about challenging the guy, especially when he was radiating aggravation like he was at that moment.

"Now listen up…go pack whatever you need, but keep it light. Anything more than a small travel bag and it's going out the window. Meet me at the train station. You have fifteen minutes. If you're smart and do exactly as I tell you, you will come back unharmed and a hell of a lot richer. Now get going," he said shoving her in the direction of her home (how he knew which way it was was a mystery).

"Y-yes sir!" Lucy squeaked and rushed off toward her apartment without looking back. Her mind was blank until she opened her door and dove into the charming atmosphere of her place. She leaned her back against the door and let it all sink in. What on earth could he need her for? He was an S-class wizard for crying out loud. What good could she possibly be? Now that she was away from him, she considered not going, and flat-out refusing to accompany him, but deep down she knew that there was nothing she could do. If she put up a fight, who knows what he would do to her.

Figuring she couldn't waste time for her own sake, Lucy pushed off the door and proceeded to pack. She chose plain pajamas, determined to look as non-sexy as she could on the trip. She chose plain clothes, simple, comfortable and the total opposite of what she usually wore, packing what she usually used when cleaning her house or when she was sick. She gathered her sneakers, toothpaste, toothbrush and other necessities and managed to fit everything in her travel pack. It was from the same set as her preferred suitcase. "Keep it light," he had said. Well…she did. Once she was done, she double-checked her keys then headed for the train station; the anxiety over what was to come left her wishing she was still sick.