A Fairy Tail fanfic

Standard disclaimers apply

"Seriously!" She said crossly, frowning. "You never learn, do you!"

A groan left his lips, turning into a yelp of pain when she tightened the bandage she was wrapping around his head, flattening his pink locks as she did so. "Don't make so much noise! Do you wanna wake everyone up?" She hissed, giving his shoulder a light slap.

"Lu…cy…" Natsu looked up at his blond partner, a forlorn expression on his face. She sighed and relented, giving his head a light pat.

"Alright, alright." She secured the bandage, and started applying ointment on the bruises on his face. "But you did ask for it! Burning Levy-chan's book!" The anger sparked again, and she rubbed on a bruise particularly hard. He yelped and scooted away, wincing as he touched his cheek.

"Lucy! That hurts!"

She huffed and crossed her arms, staring at her partner. "Well, do you want me to help you or not? Erza has forbidden Wendy to heal you. Or…" She raised an eyebrow, a small smile playing on her lips. "Do you want to ask Erza to help instead?"

He cowered and shook his head vigorously, and visibly shuddered. The memory of the beating Erza had given him earlier on was a nightmare. Lucy stared for a moment, and gave in. She got up and went over to his side, laughing when he 'eep-ed' when she reached for his face.

"C'mon! Man up a little."

He pouted. "You're staring to sound like Elfman."

She snorted and rubbed his bruise gently. A vacant look came over her face as she said, almost absent-mindedly.

"Maybe if I was more like Elfman," She mused, a bittersweet smile on her face. "I wouldn't have lost that fight."

She said it softly, like thinking a though out loud, but his keen hearing caught her every word. They sat in silence for a moment, Lucy rubbing ointment over his cuts and bruises.

"Lucy." She jumped slightly when his hand grabbed hers, and looked to see an unusually serious Natsu staring at her. "Don't say stuff like that."

"E-Eh?" She felt her cheeks heating up and thanked her stars silently that the lighting in the room was extremely dim.

"Don't say things like that." His grip tightened. "You were awesome out there, Lucy!" His face split into a wide grin. "If not for their underhanded methods, you would've won, Lucy! And now they're trying to catch you." His face darkened (She felt her heart skipping several beats). "I'll get them for that."

She blinked, licking her lips nervously. "I-I don't need you to protect me!" She shook his hand off, taking several deep breaths to calm her oddly racing heart. "I can take care of myself."

"I know."


He rubbed his neck, a sheepish look on his face. "I know you can take care of yourself, Lucy." (Lucy thought she saw his ears reddening, but dismissed it to poor lighting) "But I just want to protect you!" He put his hands up in defense. "Don't get me wrong! I don't think you're weak or an– Oomph!" He tumbled backwards, getting the wind knocked out of him when she threw herself at him. They fell backwards, and Natsu blinked as he looked at the girl atop him.

"Lu…cy?" He asked in a tentative voice, keeping his hands by his side (remembering that Lucy had contributed to those bruises on his body as well).

"You idiot." With her face in his chest, her voice was muffled, but still he caught every word. "Thank you." She tightened her hands around his middle.

Ignoring the pain, and despite the warning bells going off in his head, Natsu (very lightly) wrapped his hands around her, placing them on her back.

"It's no biggie."

They stayed in that position for the rest of the night.

When Erza came in to check on them the next morning however, what she saw was a perverted boy and an innocent girl. Needless to say, Natsu received yet another beating, giving him bruises on top of his bruises.

As he laid rolling and groaning on the floor, with an apologetic Lucy tending over him, it occurred to an observing Charle that though it was now a brand new day, and one day closer to the realization of her premonition, she felt none of the fear anymore. She watched, a small smile on her face, as Gray walked to his pink-haired teammate and added in a couple of his kicks.

"But still." Charle watched, amused, when Natsu – who was just groaning away – jumped up, fists flaming and attacked the ice mage. She shook her head. "What a noisy guild."

a/n: I meant for it to be a oneshot, but forgot to put complete. But then this scene hit me, and I decided, why not?

Reviews are much appreciated. Thanks for reading!