Surprise! It's early because I was a little...eager to put it up. And sadly this is the last chapter! I hope you've enjoyed my story and please review to let me know what you thought of it! Read the footnote for more info on a new fanfic.

Chapter 46

"Old friend!" a booming voice echoed above them.

Natsu hadn't even realized he had squeezed his eyes shut until he heard the voice. Blinking, he looked around. He and Lucy were clutching to each other for dear life. Lucy lifted her head from his chest. It looked as if they were sitting on air. The entire area around them was dark, with tiny glittering pinpoints glittering everywhere. The deep azure blanket that surrounded them had never seemed more beautiful. Thousands of celestial spirits stood around them, all smiling. Standing above them was the enormous figure of the Spirit King. He smiled down at them, his arms folded over his chest.

"The old guy…" Natsu muttered.

Lucy gasped. "The Spirit King." Her eyes roamed the faces that stood around them. Many of her own spirits stood smiling down at them. "Everyone…" she whispered, her eyes brimming with tears.

"Thank you, old friend. I could not have been freed without you." The Spirit King smiled. "We are all in your debt."

"I'm so glad you're alright," Lucy said. "Everyone was so worried about you."

"I don't think there has ever been a Celestial Mage who loves the spirits as much as you do. And for that, I am very grateful. To be loved so much by your spirits, I'm glad to know that there is such a reliable mage who contracts with us."

Natsu sniffed the air. "This place smells really weird," he muttered. "Where are we?"

The Spirit King chuckled. "You are in the Spirit World, of course! This place exists outside of the time of mortals. I simply wished to thank you. So tell me, old friend. Is there something I can do for you in return?"

"Well," Lucy said. "We've been trying to get back to our own time. Mavis told us that you had the power to send us all back. So…well, I was wondering…."

Laughing, the king nodded. "Of course! I'll send you and your friends back immediately. Take care old friend, and recover safely."

The deep azure sky around them started to melt away. A cool breeze blew up from beneath them and it felt as though they were falling. Lucy shrieked, squeezing her eyes shut. Natsu felt her grip on him tighten. Again a bright light engulfed them before he felt his feet hit the ground. His legs gave out beneath him as Lucy landed on top of him. They were lying in the midst of enormous piles of rubble, like a castle had collapsed and been left to rot.

"Ow…." He rubbed his aching head.

Then he realized there was something in his hand. Looking down, he realized he was clutching the Demon Emperor's Scepter in his hand. Just staring at the dark object ignited rage deep in his chest. Lucy hastily stood up, brushing the dust off her skirt. She staggered, clutching her head.

"I don't feel so good…like I've drained all my magic," she mumbled.

Natsu stood, staring at the staff in his hands.

"Natsu?" Lucy asked hesitantly.

Growling, Natsu snapped the scepter in half before tossing it to the ground. The gem on the end shattered before the stone disappeared completely. He let the Dragon Master magic fade. All at once his awareness of his pain heightened. He hadn't noticed how tired he was and how much pain he was in until now. Natus cried out in pain. It felt as if white hot daggers were plunging into every inch of his body. The black magic had eaten away at his strength. His back had been completely ripped apart by the Abyss Break. He was coverd in blood. Natsu's legs gave out beneath him and he sank to his knees.

"NATSU!" Lucy rushed toward him.

She caught him as he fell forward. He rested against her as she clutched him to her chest. It felt as if all his strength had been sapped away. He had never felt so tired in his entire life. His scaly skin melted away to its normal state. Natsu's breathing was heavy. He could feel her trembling as she held him.

"Natsu! Hang on!"

He sighed contentedly. She smelled like her usual fragrant shampoo. He had always loved that smell. Just knowing that she was safe put his mind at ease.

"Hey, Lucy?" he whispered.

"Huh?" She looked down at him. "W-what? What is it?"


Natsu took another deep breath, inhaling her sweet scent. He faintly heard Lucy shouting something before everything went dark.

V* V* V* V* V* V* V* V* V* V* V* V* V*

Galvin stared up at the sky, the deep azure melting from gray to a soft orange. Dawn was finally breaking. It had been hours since the fighting had ceased. The village of Magnolia was in shambles. He hadn't been able to see much of what had happened, but when Tynan's castle was floating over the village, the mages of Fairy Tail had counterattacked fearlessly. Natsu and his friends charged into the castle to face Dark Lord Tynan. He had seen many explosions tear apart bits of the castle before a hole opened up in the bottom of the island. Galvin had glimpsed Natsu and Lucy falling before a bright light shone from the hole. The other members of Fairy Tail started to glow and their bodies disappeared one by one.

He sighed. It felt a little empty without the rowdy mages there. A hand rested gently on his shoulder. Looking down, Mavis' bright green eyes met his. She smiled.

"I know how you feel," she said softly. "I'm going to miss them too."

"It's going to be pretty quiet without them here." Galvin chuckled. "Who would have guessed they'd actually defeat Dark Lord Tynan. I wasn't sure if they really were the ones from the prophecy."

"There are no such things as coincidences in thus world, Galvin. They were fated to come and aid us."

He shrugged. "I guess so. I just wish Lucy-chan could have stayed a bit longer."

"It would never have worked." Mavis laughed. "You know that better than I." She smiled up at him. "So what will you do now?"

Galvin didn't answer. He stared at the brightening sky, deep in thought. "I'm going to train hard! I'll learn about magic and the history of this world, and I'll record what happened here. Maybe it will even make it into future history books. I, Galvin Heartfilia, will do my best to become a great historian!"

Giggling, Mavis stared up into the golden sky. "And I will start a mage guild. Hopefully this fairy tale won't be lost to time."

V* V* V* V* V* V* V* V* V* V* V* V* V*

Something touched his back, sending a jolt of pain though his body. Natsu was brought abruptly from sleep back to awareness. Despite the heaviness that pressed down on his body, he could feel his chest moving up and down with each breath. He felt hot and tired. A cool, wet cloth dabbed at his forehead. A shadow leaned over him, blocking the bright rays of the sun. He blinked, his eyes heavy from sleep.

"So you're finally awake?" the old woman said, staring down at him.

Natsu sat up quickly. Porlyusica's scowling face wasn't exactly the first thing he wanted to see when he woke up. He winced. His whole body was wracked with pain and he was covered in bandages. After the battle with Tynan, it was childish to think that they would come out unscathed.

"You've been sleeping for days." Porlyusica folded her arms. "You were injured pretty badly, so don't go running around right away."

"The others—?!"

"Are fine." She sighed. "They all gave me quite a headache. You lot all came crawling back beaten to a bloody pulp! What do you all take me for, a woman with nothing but time on her hands?!"

"What about Lucy—"

"She went home a few days ago." She glared at him. "Now pipe down and recover quietly, will you?"

The window flung open and a blur of blue flew through it. "Natsuuuuu!" Happy cried. He latched onto Natsu's head, sobbing. "You did it, Natsu! We all made it back! I'm so glad you're okay!"

"Will you be quiet?!" Porlyusica shouted. "You're too damn noisy! If Makarov hadn't asked me too, I wouldn't even be looking after you ungrateful humans!" She stormed off in a huff.

"Really?" Natsu pulled him off. The little Exceed was bandaged as well. "We're back to X791?!"

Happy nodded vigorously. "Everyone's back! They're all helping to fix up the guild!"

"What about Erza, Wendy, and Gray?" he asked. "They were hurt pretty bad."

"They left yesterday," Porlyusica snapped. "They insisted they were fine and left as soon as they could walk."

"That's a relief."

"So what are you gonna do now?" Happy asked.

Natsu blinked. "About what?"

Happy snickered, grinning mischievously. "About Luuuuuucy!"

Natsu's face heated up. He had almost forgotten that he had actually confessed to her—and kissed her no less! He rubbed his neck absentmindedly.

"Well…I hadn't thought about it too much." He shrugged. "I guess we'll just see how it goes!" He laughed, embarrassed, his face red.

V* V* V* V* V* V* V* V* V* V* V* V* V*

"It feels good to be home."

Lucy opened the door to her apartment and sighed. She took a step before she froze. Something felt off. Pressing her back against the wall, she crept into the room. She leapt out, her hands up defensively, ready to beat anyone who might be hiding inside. She spun around. Everything was silent. Lucy slowly lowered her hands. No one was sitting in the chair waiting for her.

"I guess there's no one here," she muttered. She sighed. "Why does coming back to my own apartment have to be so nerve-wracking?"

It felt a little empty without someone waiting there to greet her. Ever since she had joined Fairy Tail, someone was always breaking into her apartment. Sometimes it was Gray, but more often than not, it was Natsu. But this time there was no one waiting to great her overly enthusiastically. Dropping her house keys on the table, she strode into the room. Lucy stretched her arms above her head. She winced. She was still a little sore from the fight with Tynan, but she hadn't been nearly as bad off as Natsu and the others. Multiple times during the fight, Natsu had protected her. She closed the bathroom door behind her and turned on the hot water. As the room steamed up, she tossed off her clothes and slipped into the water. She sighed.

"Aaaaaah~ This is heaven!" She sunk deeper into the hot water. "There's nothing like a hot bath to make you feel alive!"

Drawing her legs up to her chest, she rested her head on her wet knees. Everything back then—in Magnolia before the battle—everything had happened so fast. They had been attacked out of nowhere and then Natsu…. The thought made her blush. She sunk down further, letting her mouth drift below the surface of the water. What was he thinking? She thought. He was acting so weird and then he went and…. She lightly touched her lips, her face turning bright red.

"Why did he kiss me?!" she cried,

She was so confused! Yeah, he had kissed her, and she had admitted that she liked him. It had kind of shocked her when she actually said it.

"Maybe it had just been the heat of the moment."

Lucy stared at her reflection in the water. Her bright red face stared back at her. She shook her head. No. She had meant it. She definitely liked Natsu…a lot. It was hard to tell when she actually started to like him as more than a friend, but it was real. They had been close ever since she had joined the guild, but slowly those feelings had changed. Maybe what he had said was just in the heat of the moment as well? But…do you kiss someone just because of that?

"Uhg! I'm so confused!" She pulled at her hair in frustration. "Whatever! I'll just have to ask him the next time I see him!"

She stood up quickly, snatching a clean towel from the rack. Lucy wrapped it around herself and threw the door open. Steam billowed out of the bathroom like fog. She stormed over to her vanity table and snatched up her hairbrush.

"I just don't get him," Lucy muttered. "Why couldn't he have just told me earlier? He didn't have to throw a tantrum like that."

She pulled on her pajamas and brushed her teeth. She sat down at her desk to jot down her adventure while it was still fresh in her mind. The only sound in her quiet apartment was the sound of her pen scratching against the paper. Everything seemed so surreal, like she had stepped into some fairy tale from a book. She had gone back in time, met fairies and a dragon, and learned new magic. She laid the pen down again and stretched.

"Finished!" She scraped back her chair and strode to the bed. "Time for bed."

Lucy pulled back the blanket and slipped into bed. She sighed. It felt so good to be home. It had been a while since she had last been in her apartment.

"I wonder if Natsu has woken up yet?" she muttered to herself. Snuggling into the blankets, she giggled. "I guess I'll go visit him tomorrow. He's probably throwing a fit because he has to lie around and recover."

Just thinking of his annoyed face made her laugh. Wiping her hand across her forehead, she groaned.

"Why is it so hot in here?"

Something wrapped around Lucy's stomach. She shrieked, jumping at of bed as soon as it touched her. She threw off the blanket and scuttled back, thinking it was a snake or a bug. Natsu lay on the bed, curled up where she had been. He was still bandaged up. He sat up, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. His face lit up when he saw her.

"Morning, Lucy," he said drowsily.

"W-w-what are you doing?! You're in my house…and in my bed!" she cried, her face bright red.

He glanced around, as if he hadn't realized he was in her apartment. "Oh. Yeah, I guess I am."

She pointed to the window. "Get out!"

Natsu flopped down on the bed, pulling the blanket up over his head.

"Are you even listening?!"

He didn't respond. Instead he curled up beneath the blankets. Stalking over to the bed, Lucy grabbed the blanket.

"Listen," she said. "I'm going to bed, so go home or—"

Natsu's hand shot out from beneath the blanket. He grabbed her wrist and pulled her down onto the bed. She flopped down clumsily. Trying to pull her hand free, she stared at him, surprised.

"What are you—?!"

He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her close. Natsu buried his face in the folds of her shirt and took a deep breath. Lucy's face turned a deep shade of red. She tried to push him off.


"Mmm." He sighed. "Lucyyyy…you smell so good."

"Natsu, what are you doing? You should be at home resting."

"It's no good!" He buried his face deeper.

"What's no good?"

"I don't wanna go home!"

She sighed. "Why?"

He glanced up at her, his face red with embarrassment. "Cause I wanna stay here…with you."

Lucy blushed.

"I meant what I said back then…you know…before that fight." His eyes were locked on hers. She could see the unwavering determination and truth in his black eyes.

"What was it you said again?" She grinned slyly. "Care to remind me?"

His face turned a deeper shade of red. "You know! That I…I l-lo…love you," he mumbled, completely embarrassed.

"What?" She held her hand to her ear. "I'm sorry, I didn't quite hea—"

Natsu pulled her close and pressed his lips to hers. He swallowed her gasp of surprise. His tongue darted in playfully. Lucy leaned in closer, opening her mouth wider to deepen the kiss. She let her own tongue delve into his mouth, only to have him capture it quickly. Finally she pulled back, breathless.

"I love you, okay?" He said. Natsu rested his head on her shoulder, nuzzling the tender spot where her neck and shoulder met.

She giggled. His warm breath on her nick tickled! Sighing, she rested her cheek in his rosy hair. "Maybe it was fate," she whispered.

"That's bunch of bull!" He looked up at her. "I don't care what you think stupid fate decided for you! But it's gonna have to accept that I decided that you're my girl!"

Lucy blinked. She snickered. Did he really just say that? That's so cheesy! She thought.

"Don't laugh!" Natsu pouted.

She giggled. "Idiot." She gave him a light kiss on the cheek. "But I guess that's why I love you."

He squeezed her tighter, nuzzling her affectionately. "I'm never letting you go again! Don't ever forget that you're mine." He ran his fingers through her hair.

Lucy smiled. "Just remember, you promised. Never let me go, kay?"

"Never ever!"

Smiling to herself, Lucy nestled in closer. She never thought it would feel so good to be curled up together like this. When she had first joined Fairy Tail, she never would have imagined that she would fall for Natsu. But she did. And it never felt so good to be embraced by his strong arms, and to feel the warmth radiate from his body. She took a deep breath, breathing in the smell of campfire smoke and wilderness. It was a scent she had come to love, and hopefully would never have to live without.

Thanks for going on this journey with me and for supporting my first fanfic! I'm tossing around ideas for a second NaLu fanfic. It'll be called "Curse of the Black Dragon". So keep checking back if your interested. I might have a first chapter up later this week (we'll see). Well, it's been fun! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I loved writing it :)