Okay, so I'm starting this series of one-shots. There's not going to be a huge plot-line, just little snippets and glances at the meaningful moments of Natsu and Lucy. Remember to read, enjoy and review! Please, please, do review, I'd appreciate it oh, so very much! Also, As you can see, I'm trying to base these one-shots after stanzas from songs or poems or even quotes. If you have an idea, or a request, put it in your review of PM me about it. I'll try to get around to all of them :)
Chapter 1: Nothing Compares to Your Embrace
I'm running to your arms,
I'm running to your arms.
The riches of your love,
Will always be enough.
Nothing compares to your embrace.
A furious, terrifying, crippling screech tore through the air of the Syth Wolves' guild. Not long after, the large double-wooden doors were kicked in, the wood splintering and smashing clean across the room into the wall. A figure doused in flames strode in; finger's twitching to punch a hole through anything that dared to so much as breathe in his presence.
Members of the unfortunate guild gawked, absolutely stunned, glancing back and forth between the ruined door and the maniac that stood in their doorway.
His dark green eyes flashed, narrowed and then sparked. "Where's Lucy?"
No one spoke; they all eyed him warily.
"Where's Lucy?" he repeated, sending a blast of searing flames in the loose form of a fist sailing into the wall next to him, almost like he was punching the stone. "Where's my nakama?"
One brave, or foolish, depending on the perspective, mage of the Syth Wolves, with his guild symbol on his left cheek, cleared his throat. "Y-you're Salamander, aren't you?"
Natsu Dragneel, known as Salamander to various guilds, gritted his teeth, and fixed his frightening gaze on the outspoken member, who reeled back, as if he'd been stung. He might as well have been though; Natsu's gaze was more piercing than Erza's finest sword. The dragon slayer stalked over, the air around him crackling like fireworks, and grabbed the man by the collar of his silk shirt.
"Where is she?" his tone was low and flames began to eat away at the man's shirt.
The Syth Wolf shrieked, terrified, and squirmed.
"Natsu! Control yourself!" a female voice commanded.
Robotically, Natsu released his prisoner and looked over his shoulder at Erza, fully equipped in her Purgatory Armor. The fact that she was wearing it voiced that she, too, wished nothing more than to take apart this dirty guild brick by damn brick. It was too bad that she happened to be sensible.
Natsu's flames pulsed, anger seeping through his veins, eyes wild.
"We know you're angry Natsu, believe me, we feel it too," Gray announced, next to Erza, "but don't lose yourself." He removed his shirt, flexing various muscles before absent-mindedly cracking every single knuckle on both of his hands. "They'll get what's coming to them soon enough."
Behind Gray, Juvia marveled at the sight of her beloved, blushing fiercely, before shaking her head and plastering on her battle face. "Juvia will help as well, even though Lucy her rival."
Other members of Fairy Tail, who had stormed into the guild mess hall after Natsu had stomped down the doors, began pitching in their two cents as well. Erza, Gray, Juvia, Wendy, Happy, Charle, Bisca, Alzack, Cana, Gildarts, Gajeel, Levy, Pantherlilly, Jet, Droy, Reedus, Freed, Evergreen, Bickslow, Laxus, Mira, Lisanna, Elfman, Mickey, Nab, Vijeeter, Wakaba, Warren, Krov, Niggy, Tono, Max, Laki, Mikuni, Chico, Wang, Joy, Kinana, Macao, Romeo, Loke and even the old man, Makarov. They were all here, the rest of his nakama, every single member of Fairy Tail, no matter their level of strength. Natsu felt his sanity returning slightly; the fire in his hands thrived with purpose this time, and not with solely anger.
They were here to save Lucy, to avenge whatever these bastards had done to her. They would all have their chances to smash the Syth Wolves into dust.
"Natsu-san," another man's voice began, Loke's voice, "Lucy-sama is in the upper area of the guild. One of the towers to be exact." The spirit's jaw clenched, his teeth grinding. He'd seen what they'd done to Lucy—he'd seen her battered face, torn clothes and bound ligaments. He'd seen her ever-strong gaze as well, fighting through the terror of being held captive. "Go and save her," Loke ordered, casting the dragon slayer a firm, steady gaze.
The only one to save Lucy would be Natsu, Loke realized this.
Meanwhile, the Syth Wolf with the now singed silk shirt dashed to the front of the room. "What are you standing around for, Syth Wolves?" he shouted, outraged, catching the attention of his fellow guild members. "They've declared war! Attack!"
The rest of the members snapped out of their initial shock, and started giving hollers of agreement. The air began permeating with the promise of battle as mages from both sides prepared various weapons, runes and spells.
"Hmph," Makarov snorted, eyes closed, arms crossed. "These are the brats that decided to kidnap one of my children?" his eyes flashed open, a fury greater than Natsu had ever seen burning in their depths; it almost rivaled his own anger. "In Fairy Tail," the Master began, addressing the members of the Syth Wolves, "we have a motto. 'Always give back ten-fold what you've been given'…and I'll say that you've given us quite the bit of heartache. It's time for the repayment." Makarov fixed his angry glare on the enemies in the room before slowly expanding himself into an intimidating height and stature. "Fairy Tail, charge!"
Then, in a flurry of fists, spells, and screams, the guilds collided head-on.
The sounds of battle reached Lucy's ears. At first, they were nearly inaudible—the occasional screech here and there, the clang of metal ever once in a while—but now the sounds were stronger, till they sounded like they were directly outside the room that she was being kept in.
"What in the damn blazes…" her captor, the Master of the Syth Wolves, hissed, curious as to what was going on directly below his feet. "Did you call for your guild?" he snarled, staring Lucy down.
She blinked up at him, feeling sore and too tired to really make an argument. She had been kept in this room for two days, without food or water or even the opportunity to use the restroom—she was very thankful she had such good control over her bladder—sitting in a chair. Her wrists were bound behind the neck on the furniture while her each of her ankles were tied to a leg. Frankly, she was just tired.
"I said, did you call for your guild?" he demanded again, stepping closer to her.
Lucy wrinkled her nose at his close proximity, and again, said nothing.
Frustrated, the man grabbed her face, squishing her cheeks with one of his massive hands and practically crushing her jaw. "Answer me!" His grip tightened and tightened till the female mage whined in discomfort. She was pretty sure she'd heard a crack.
"How…" she started, but choked off when his grip didn't falter. "How could I call for them? You've taken all of my keys."
"That wouldn't stop you, I'm sure, you conniving fairy." He released her face, throwing it to the side harshly.
This wasn't good. Fairy Tail was one of the worst guilds to provoke…but they weren't supposed to know that she had been kidnapped in the first place. He was sure that he'd left no evidence behind Lucy's disappearance. He'd even gone to her apartment and made sure.
So what had tipped them off?
How had they found her so easily?
He glanced down at the girl again, seeing her head loll to the side in exhaustion.
"Wait…" he muttered, eyeing her again. There was no way that a mage of her stature should be exhausted after only two days.
Then, the puzzle pieces clicked into place for him.
She was a celestial spirit mage, one who communicated with the spirit world through the use of magic. If her magic was depleted after such a short time…she had to have had contact with the spirit realm, meaning, she tipped off one of her spirits, even without the keys.
"You think you're so clever, don't you?" he laughed, placing one of his hands on the top of her head.
Lucy stiffened. She didn't like this man's touch, it made her skin crawl as if ants had decided to invade her clothes.
"I've done my research on you. I know you've got that unusually special spirit with you that tends to appear on his own. What's his name? Leo?" His fingers drummed on her scalp, creating a distinct rhythm.
The spirit mage's blood chilled.
"So you told him where you were, did you? Through spiritual communication? I've heard that takes up quite a bit of magical power if you don't bother with the keys…"
Then, suddenly, Lucy felt herself sprawling forwards, still attached to the chair. Her face and shoulder collided with the cold, stone floor. She yelped, feeling her shoulder dislocate completely and blood trickled slowly into her eye. She'd probably gouged a good chunk out of her forehead.
The Master of the Syth Wolves placed his booted heel on the back of the chair, just above Lucy's bound wrists. "You see? This is why you should accept my offer. Join the Syth Wolves and I promise the pain will stop."
The Syth Wolves had no celestial spirit mages, Lucy knew. After all, they were quite hard to come by. But she, Lucy Heartfilia, was the one who was lucky enough to possess nearly all of the Twelve Zodiac Keys—the rarest, more powerful keys to be found. This made her a powerful, unique ally as no one else could possibly use the same attacks as she did.
It was for these reasons that she, and Fairy Tail, were thrown into this mess. It was all about power. Power, power, power. "You're…asking me to abandon my nakama? My guild? Fairy Tail?" From her spot on the floor, in pain, she scoffed, "That's like asking an aristocrat to wrestle with a pig."
Furious at her downright refusal for the billionth time, the Master raised his boot, ready to smash clean through the chair and crush her spine.
But the door burst open before he could follow through.
It was a Syth Wolves member, though, it would have been impossible to tell him apart from a lowly street urchin had he not had the very visible guild marking on his left cheek. His silken clothes were torn, burnt and covered in grime. His hair, which had been previously well kept, was a fray of disaster with chunks missing here and there. And his face…well, it looked as if his face had taken the brunt of the beating he'd received—swelling around the eyes, bruises, gashes, missing teeth and more.
"M-Master!" he cried, completely alarmed.
"What?" the Master snapped. "Can't you see I'm in the middle of negotiating?" He lowered his foot back onto the back of Lucy's chair, folding his arms across his chest.
The member shivered. "Salamander…"
At this, Lucy's heart soared. "Natsu…" she murmured, beginning to smile. He had come for her! He had really come for her!
"S-Salamander?" the Master repeated. "Salamander was supposed to be away on a mission! I made sure!"
"But, Master, he's down there right now demanding you return the celestial spirit mage!"
"Dammit!" Everything was going wrong, very, very wrong. None of this was going according to the plan. "Evacuate. Leave the wounded behind."
Stunned, the member began to protest. "But…Master…"
"But nothing!" the Master boomed, inflicting a flinch on the battered Syth Wolves member.
"Not only would you kidnap my nakama…but you would abandon your own as well?" a deathly low voice growled from the entryway, just behind the member clad in what used to be a silk shirt. Natsu Dragneel, Salamander, shoved the member aside, who didn't bother looking back and ran to seek shelter.
"Natsu…" Lucy managed to look upwards at him from an awkward angle.
Natsu's heart and breathing stopped. Lucy was tied to a chair that was tipped over, a deep scratch on her face that oozed along with plenty of other scrapes and bruises, not to mention her attire…her clothes barely covered herself. The fury that Natsu had experienced back in the mess hall roared to life again with renewed passion. Lucy. They'd hurt Lucy. They'd ripped her clothes, scratched her skin, taken her weapons…and yet she was smiling up at him, all sun-shiny and bright.
"Lucy…" Natsu murmured, his voice about to crack. He whirled on her captor, the Master of the Syth Wolves, fire engulfing his entire form, blazing brighter than ever. "How dare you!"
Without thinking, he charged, flailing his arms and legs in fury.
"Fire Dragon's Iron Fist!"
The flames on his arms flared, engorging to twice the amount than was usual, before he began taking swipes at his opponent. It wasn't long before one connected squarely on the Master's jaw and Natsu felt bones smashing underneath his fist. Good. He was only getting warmed up.
"S-Salamander-san," the Master squealed, drawing back with a hand cradling his jaw, "wait! Wait, I'm sure we can negotiate, right? There's nothing a civilized talk can't solve, right?"
"Negotiate?" Natsu echoed, enraged. "You trample over my nakama and then wish to negotiate?" his eyes darkened, veins on his face showing clearly, teeth grinding audibly. He locked gazes with the Master of the Syth Wolves, who shivered and recoiled on the spot.
This Salamander was even more scary in person. This exceeded any of the stories.
Natsu charged again.
Lucy watched the scene before her with wide eyes, previous exhaustion vanished. Natsu was beating the Master to a pulp, and he wasn't even trying. The Dragon Slayer was relieving his pent up anger and frustration without thinking properly, and it wasn't costing him anything. She supposed it just had to show for how strong Natsu was. There was hardly anything that rivaled him in terms of brute strength and willpower—save Elfman.
"Crimson Lotus: Fire Dragon's Fist!"
Natsu delivered rapid-fire punches with the strength of ten men, all of them connecting in the same spot. Then, he wound his arm backwards, and executed the final blow, which sent the Master of the Syth Wolves flying, his back smashing through the back wall and his body tumbling outside of the tower and plummeting into the moat below.
Natsu stood silently, panting, hands clenching and unclenching as if he still had the urge to punch something. Then, he straightened and whirled around, finding Lucy gazing at him. She smiled.
"Lucy…" Natsu exclaimed, dashing over, ignoring any injuries that he may or may not have had. He knelt by her, taking in the damage with wide eyes. The anger in his stomach boiled again. He was glad he had beaten every member of the Syth Wolves into a bloody, unrecognizable pulp. Any less and he wouldn't have been satisfied.
Gingerly, he tugged on the knot that held her wrists, then worked on her ankles. It took only seconds before she was freed and pulled into his arms, the chair uncaringly pushed aside. He crushed her to him. He needed to feel her, to make sure she was in one piece, to make she was all there.
"Ouch!" Lucy squirmed in his embrace.
Startled, Natsu pulled her back—she was holding her shoulder. Now that he looked at it, it was swollen and turning a nasty shade of blue and brown. He knew the look far too well; she'd somehow managed to dislocate her shoulder.
"Wendy will fix that right up," he soothed, placing a hand along the bruises on her jawline. The more he saw these countless injuries, the more he hated himself. Because he hadn't been watching, because he hadn't been close to her, she'd been snatched from right under his nose. And he'd found out from Loke, of all people. This was all his fault. "Lucy…I'm sorry…I'm so sorry…"
Lucy blinked. "Sorry? Why are you sorry?"
"This is all my fault!" he cried in anguish.
Their gazes met and Lucy inhaled sharply, she'd never seen Natsu look more…helpless. He looked down again at his hands.
"How in the world is this your fault? If I recall, I was kidnapped, not sold off," she huffed, shaking her head. Sometimes, he could be so unreasonable.
"You were kidnapped because I wasn't there…"
"Oh? Getting mighty full of yourself, aren't you?"
Natsu didn't laugh at her playful tone.
Lucy sighed. "Natsu," she used her good arm to place her hand underneath his chin and gently angle his face to make eye contact, "thank you. Thank you for saving me." She smiled again. And then, much to his utter surprise, she planted a sweet, meaningful kiss that translated all of her feelings onto his cheek. Love. Warm, bright, sun-shiny-like-her-smile, love.
Natsu stopped breathing for the second time that day.
Lucy pulled back, still smiling, and giggled at his expression. He could be so cute sometimes—other times he was a ruthless, blundering idiot.
The Dragon Slayer reached out, fingers ghosting over the skin of her shoulders, and then yanked her back to his body. He was mindful of her injured shoulder this time and he gently burrowed his head into her neck. Lucy was here, Lucy was alright, Lucy was safe. He couldn't have felt more lucky.
As he coddled her closely, wanting nothing more than to simply feel her breathing in his arms, he knew that considering all the hugs anyone had given him previously, nothing compared to her embrace.
Too cheesy? Maybe. Even if you have negative thoughts, review! It'll help me in the future! Don't you want to be a kind, helping neighbor? Yes, yes you do :) So click on that button!