My current obsession is Fairy Tail, and specifically NaLu...so this oneshot just had to be written. Fairy Tail belongs to Hiro Mashima...and I believe it's in good hands (anyone read Rave Master? Have you SEEN how much romance is in that manga?)
"I'm winning the game."
When Erza first overheard Natsu whisper this to Lucy, she didn't think anything of it. She was too busy beating up Gray for stripping again to pay much attention to the way Natsu was leaning down to speak into Lucy's ear, smirking like a hyena. By the time Erza turned around to face them, Natsu was playing with Happy again and Lucy was glaring into the distance, her arms crossed.
Completely normal behaviour. Erza shrugged, and forgot about it.
Natsu's words only came back to her a couple weeks later.
They were on their way to a nearby town for a mission, walking this time at Natsu's insistence. The day was bright and Gray was juggling balls of ice to pass the time. Happy was flying ahead, a blue spot blending in with the sky, white wings flashing like clouds beside him. Erza tipped her head back, closing her eyes to appreciate the sun on her face.
"Lucy," she said, turning to glance behind her. "It would be beneficial if-"
Lucy sprang away from Natsu in surprise, smiling at Erza. Natsu folded his arms behind his head, squinting at the sky.
"Sorry?" she said cheerfully. "I wasn't listening."
"Oh, I'll tell you later then," Erza said distractedly. "I just thought..."
She just thought she had seen something strange. Out of the corner of her eye, before Lucy stepped away, she thought she had seen the stellar spirit mage kiss the pink-haired man on the cheek.
She faced the road again, feeling confused. An illusion? A result of eating too much the night before?
"Four points now," Erza heard Lucy say quietly to Natsu.
"Hey, that should only count for half a point!" Natsu exclaimed.
"What are you guys rambling on about back there?" Gray called over his shoulder.
"Nothing!" Lucy and Natsu responded, speaking in unison.
Erza narrowed her eyes. Just what was going on here?
She didn't fully understand it though until a few days later, when they stopped at a small village on their way back from their mission.
Irritated by Natsu's constant whining that "he didn't want to take the train for the last leg home" and "he hadn't really meant to burn down that whole building", Erza called for a halt.
"We need a break," she declared, planting her hands on her hips. "I suggest that we walk around the town a little."
"I'm too tired," Natsu sighed, plunking down on the ground.
"And I'll stay here to watch the luggage," Lucy offered. "Natsu's useless."
Gray and Happy agreed to come along with Erza, and the three of them set out down the cobblestone road (after pushing Erza's luggage cart into a nearby alley to draw less attention) to see the sights.
After around twenty minutes, Erza had firmly determined that there really weren't all that many sights to see. She turned away from a storefront full of chintzy souvenirs to tell Gray and Happy that they can start heading back now, only to see that the two are no longer at her shoulder. A second later, she spotted them: Happy had somehow found the only seafood shop in town, and was somehow coercing Gray into buying him piles of fish.
Erza sighed. She'd head back first without them.
As she neared the alleyway where the luggage was, she heard something strange, some muted rustling noises, like clothing shifting. Slowing down, she silently slipped closer. The sounds were definitely coming out of the alleyway, and now she could hear more: a whimper, and then what sounded like a half-whispered plea.
Not even quite sure why she was hiding herself, Erza pressed herself to the wall and peered around the edge.
Her eyeballs almost fell out of her head.
Natsu had Lucy pinned to the wall, her legs around his waist, one of his hands curled over her hips, the other buried in her hair. Her own fingers clutched at his back, her body curving forward into his, her head thrown backwards. His mouth was at her neck, moving across her skin, leaving a trail of red marks.
"Na-Natsu," Lucy panted, one of her hands moving to cup his face. "The-They'll probably be back soon. Maybe we should-"
Her half-hearted protest broke off into a moan as he pushed his body harder against hers, licking a line over her collarbone. He raised his head, grinning wolfishly at her, his eyes dark.
"Not yet," he murmurred, his voice lower and harsher than Erza had ever heard it. "I get like a hundred points if I get this far without them knowing, right?"
"A hundred? I don't know-"
Natsu crushed his lips to Lucy's and she instantly lost that argument. One of her hands snarled in his rosy hair, yanking him closer to her, her legs tightening around him. They kissed with single-minded fury, mouths moving together almost like a battle, as if they were trying desperately to melt into each other.
Erza whipped her head back around the corner, silently freaking out. This was crazy. She had not just seen two of her friends making out. It simply hadn't happened.
She peeked again.
Lucy's hands were moving underneath Natsu's vest, and he was now breathing harshly, his eyes closed, forehead pressed against hers.
"Lucy..." he whispered, kissing along her jaw, his hands slipping away from her hips and starting to slide up the curve of her thighs-
Erza drew her had back. Okay. Not an illusion. How was she supposed to deal with this situation? How was she supposed to look at them now, knowing what she did?
There was only one option.
She sneaked away from the alley, back the way she had came. At the end of the road, she halted and turned around, then began walking back towards the alleyway as loudly as possible.
"Lucy!" she called. "Natsu!"
She heard a frenzy of shuffling, and then a voice calling back.
Erza rounded the corner and gazed at the two people in front of her. Natsu was sitting on the edge of the luggage cart, looking for all the world like he was completely bored, while Lucy walked up to Erza, smiling as though nothing had happened. Only because she knew what had just been going on could Erza detect the tiniest hint of red in Lucy's cheeks, and the slight unevenness of Natsu's breathing.
They were practised at hiding this, she realized. How long had this been happening anyway? What was this?
"Happy is attempting to buy out an entire seafood store," Erza said, letting irritation leach into her voice. "I suggest we pack up and leave now, before he succeeds."
And that was that. They returned to the guild, with no one except Erza thinking anything was any different.
A week passed without jobs. Gray stripped, Happy attempted to give all the fish he bought to Charle, Cana got drunk, Mirajane speculated on Levy and Gajeel's relationship status, Elfman ranted about being a man, Lucy complained about her rent, and Natsu got into fights with everyone and anyone. It was normal. Just like always.
Although sometimes Erza saw it, those little things that you only see when you know to look. Like Natsu and Lucy appearing from a closet, looking rumpled. Like hickies on Lucy's neck. Like the look Natsu gave Lucy about one minute before they both miraculously disappeared.
It wasn't her business, but they were her friends, and Erza couldn't help but be worried.
They were doing this for points?
She knew it couldn't last, and she was right. It all came to a head one night, after everyone had left the guild for their respective houses, and Erza found Lucy's favourite scarf lying on a table, forgotten.
"I'll just bring this to her!" she assured Mirajane, who was cleaning up, before striding out into the night.
The sky was pitch black, flirting with a midnight blue at the edges of the horizon. The moon hung above her, the lone sentinel in the sky, stray clouds drifting in front of it. Only a few stars could be seen, like needle points of light. Erza hurried along the cobblestone road: the night was cool, and her bare legs were not quite appreciative of the slight breeze.
Nights always made her pensive, and she was so deep in thought that she was only a few metres away from the edge of Lucy's house before she realized that there were already two people outside it.
Two figures, cast into silhouette from the light of the streetlamp, were on Lucy's doorstep, kissing hungrily, seemingly not caring where they were. Natsu's hands were all over her, even more so than when Erza had seen them in the alleyway, but Lucy didn't seem to mind, pressing herself closer to him and winding her arms helplessly around his neck. They broke apart, gasping for breath.
"Lucy," he said, his voice rough. "Ca-can I come in?"
"Usually you don't ask," she replied, the breathiness in her voice sort of ruining the flippancy of her answer.
Even from where she stood in the shadows, Erza could see the dark heat of the look Natsu gave Lucy.
"This is different," he muttered. "I want you."
In case she didn't get the message, he pulled her hips flush against his own, tucking his red face into her shoulder. Lucy's lips parted soundlessly in surprise, her eyes seeking his as he draws back slightly.
Erza sighed to herself. Maybe she should just run up and throw the scarf at Lucy or something. To be honest, she didn't like seeing all this, especially knowing that Natsu really wasn't as innocent and stupid as he seemed. She'd rather keep her mental image of him as a ten-year old. Knowing that he wanted to sleep with someone was just...weird.
Before she could make any sort of movement though, Natsu spoke again, a wide smirk spreading across his face.
"If we have sex, then that means I get at least a thousand points!" He laughed, closing his eyes in glee. "I'm definitely going to win now!"
Lucy froze. Her body stiffened, her hands slowly slipping from Natsu's shoulders. He was so busy laughing that he didn't even notice until she stepped away from him, slapping his fingers off of her waist. The smile on his face cracked, waning slightly.
"So this is really just a game to you?" Lucy whispered, not quite looking at him. Her hands balled into fists.
"What do you mean? Isn't that what this is?"
A visible shock went through the blonde-haired girl, and she suddenly whipped her head up, glaring at the boy in front of her with pure fury, even as tears pricked her eyes.
"Fine then," she hissed. "You can leave now."
Natsu looked actually taken aback, and Erza retracted her previous thought about him not being stupid.
He stared at her for a second longer before he did, turning around and running off into the darkness. Lucy gazed after him for a moment, but then abruptly shook her head, covering her face with her arm and dashing inside her house. The door slammed shut behind her, leaving the walkway silent again.
Erza hesitated only briefly in the shadows before walking up and knocking on Lucy's door.
"Lucy, it's me, Erza."
"Oh. Sorry, Erza. I'm just not in th-"
"I saw what just happened."
Lucy made her some tea first and sat her down at the table first before she started to explain.
"It was about a month ago," she said quietly, staring into her own mug. "Remember that mission where we had to track down all those strange gigantic chicken-monsters that were stalking that village? When you left Natsu and I alone on guard duty the one night, for no reason at all, he just kissed me." She shrugged, blushing slightly at the memory. "And I yelled at him, because I was confused and that's when he said he'd had an idea for a game. He said that we'd take turns with days, and on our turn, we'd have to try and kiss the other person as much as possible without anyone else knowing. And we got points for it. I don't even know why I went along with it-" She broke off, looking away. "Well, I do sort of know."
"Lucy," Erza began, uncertain as to what she could say. It was totally typical Natsu, not understanding the significance of some things.
"But it doesn't matter now!" Lucy exclaimed, trying to smile. "You saw us, so the game is over anyway!"
"I've known for a while now," Erza said. "I saw back in that town where Happy got all the fish."
"Oh," Lucy said, obviously not expecting that. She laughed halfheartedly, sadly. "So all this time, we'd lost and we didn't even know! It was all pointless! Isn't that funny?"
Her shoulders started to shake, and she smiled even as tears began to roll down her cheeks.
The next day at the guild, Erza could barely even tell that Lucy had been up half the night, crying. She was sitting at the bar, chatting pleasantly to Mirajane, only a hint of dark circles under her eyes telling the true story of how she felt. Erza watched her, feeling sorry that she couldn't have helped more. The next time she and Natsu were alone, she was going to beat him to a pulp for hurting Lucy like that, even if he was too idiotic to realize how-
The guild doors burst open.
Natsu spotted the girl at the bar and ran towards her, his face set.
"Natsu," Lucy started, her face growing pale. Natsu didn't let her finish that sentence.
He grabbed her face and kissed her, smack on the mouth.
Every guild member within a hundred mile radius felt their jaws hit the floor in astonishment. Natsu, the brain-dead teenager with the emotional maturity of a 12 year old, was kissing someone. And from the looks of it, he knew what he was doing.
He pulled away, leaving Lucy gaping up at him.
"LUCY, I WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH YOU!" Natsu yelled.
Out of the corner of her eye, Erza saw Juvia faint.
"Wha...what are you...ack...erk!" Lucy gibbered incoherently, scrambling to get away from him. He followed her, tossing chairs and guild members aside, still shouting.
"I want to kiss you all over, and make you mine, and sleep with you in your bed, and kiss you some more!"
Lucy backed up into a corner, her face flaming red, obviously wondering if the dragon boy had lost his mind.
"And I want to be able to do that stuff any time I want to, not just when people aren't looking!" he exclaimed. He spun around, facing the rest of the guild. "Everyone's heard me, right?"
Everyone wordlessly nodded. Mirajane looked like Christmas had come early.
Turning back to Lucy, he grasped her arms, looking at her imploringly.
"I don't want to hide this," He said, searching her face. "It's not just a game to me."
Lucy gazed up at him, tears leaking again into her eyes.
"You're so stupid, Natsu," she said softly. "So stupid."
And she reached up, cupped his face in her hands, and pulled him down to her.
"I SO called that!" Mirajane yelled.
Everything was chaos after that. Mirajane declared free booze for everyone in celebration. Elfman bellowed on and on about how Natsu was now a man. Gray alternated between trying to wake up Juvia and complaining about how "stupid flame-brain" had gotten a girl before him, despite being completely "oblivious" (Several people nearby face-palmed at this, and then told Gray to put on some more clothes, especially since he was currently cradling a girl in his lap). Cana started a drinking competition. Gajeel participated for a bit, and then somehow disappeared into a closet with Levy. Erza tried to make sure things didn't get too out of hand and stopped Cana in her repeated attempts to get Wendy to drink alcohol.
At some point she realized that Natsu and Lucy were no longer there.
Erza just smiled to herself, because frankly, it was about time.