Lucy leaned forward after he finished telling what had happened inside of the sphere, her eyes the size of dinner plates, and asked, "He knew my mom's name? Why would he know of her?"
"I don't know," Natsu answered, shrugging deeply. He remembered the irritation in the old man's expression as he had said it just before disappearing and wondered what that meant for her in the future. He didn't know where Custos had disappeared to, and he didn't know if he would come back for them. "He was gone right after he said that."
Lucy's brow wrinkled thoughtfully as she sat back again. They were all still for several moments before she realized that they were waiting for her to talk, "Oh, you want to know what happened on our end."
She casted her gaze around at the others, her eyes falling on Altor who hadn't so much as uttered a sound last. He looked away when their eyes met, sheepishly at the ground. Lucy sighed, her eyes returning to Natsu, and scratched the side of her arm, "After you jumped into the light sphere, the whole thing clouded over. I couldn't see you and…I was really concerned. I wish you wouldn't do crazy things like that.
"But, I couldn't really do anything about it to help you, because Altor freaked out. This huge energy wave came off of him and knocked us all from the rooftop. Wendy and I would have been dead meat if it weren't for Happy and Carla. The yard part that we landed in was a garden of sorts with a huge pond in the center. So, I called Aquarius and…well…"
"She washed away the house," Wendy filled in, her eyes big as she swung her arms wide.
"Not all of the house," Lucy insisted, her face reddening in embarrassment.
"Lucy was the one who did the destruction?" he asked, bewildered when he realized that he hadn't damaged anything aside from the front door. The heat in her eyes was more than her usual when she glared at him and he realized that he wasn't off the hook from his earlier stunt.
"Do you want to know what happened or not!?" she demanded.
He held his hands up in submission and then waved her on to continue. Her frown faded some and she said, "After the house was gone, we were fighting in the ruins. I noticed that Altor was hanging around this box. As if he were guarding it."
She patted the box sitting next to her. It was worn, with golden gilded edges. Wendy smiled and joined the explanation again, "She pointed it out to me. Loke and I pulled his attention away from it enough for her to sneak up and grab it."
"It turns out that something from this box was controlling Altor. He was under a spell or something like that," Lucy rubbed her temple thoughtfully. "When I opened the box, it disrupted the old man's power. Altor stopped attacking us and looked confused. You and Custos had floated down this way, so we ran here. I was afraid you would be hurt."
In his peripherals he could see Altor wringing his hands over and over, but he was focused on Lucy. Her expression held betrayal and anger and he knew it was because of him black mailing her into marrying him. His first instinct was to feel guilty, but he didn't. She would be happy. He knew that she wanted to marry him. He had seen her face the first time he asked her. Though he didn't understand why, he knew that at least.
"I have some things to look over," Lucy mumbled, standing and walked back in the direction of town. He and Wendy stayed back. The younger dragonslayer patted his elbow.
"She's angry at me," Natsu said aloud.
"Yeah," Wendy said. Her expression was questioning when he looked down at her. "Why did you do that? It seemed random."
"It was Gray's idea," Natsu admitted. Wendy's eyebrows furrowed, but she didn't interrupt. "After she turned me down the first time, he told me that I should just wait for a moment when she couldn't say no."
"Why would she turn you down?"
"She said something about not wanting to be selfish."
"Oh," Wendy said. She kicked at a clod of dirt and was quiet for a while before saying, "Gray doesn't understand women. You don't either. You need to make this up to her."
"How do I do that?"
"Ask her again, but be romantic this time."
"Romantic," he echoed. He couldn't see Lucy anymore, her figure had disappeared into the first line of timber. Sighing, he and Wendy went back into town. He thought about it all the way back. He thought about it when he helped back all of their things. He thought about it when they climbed into bed and Lucy let him kiss her briefly on the cheek. He thought about it until it the early hours of the morning and he couldn't stay awake any longer.
He fell asleep with his head nestled against her back and then he dreamed about it.
(Hope you guys are having a nice holiday!)