Here's chapter eight, and I'm really sorry I'm late, I'll try doing it faster the next time! Well, hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: Fairy Tail belongs to Hiro Mashima.
'Get out Lucy. Now!'
The spirit mage's eyes shot up, and she found herself staring into the bright morning sky. She was breathing hard, her heart beating fast and cold sweat was covering her back. She tried to sit up, but only managed to get a little of the ground, before an unknown weight gently pushed her to the ground again. Lucy blinked confused and turned her head to look at the object around her waist: A muscular arm with slight tanned skin and a thick, black wristband.
Lucy's eyes widened with realization. But she was sure that last night had been a dream of some sort. She turned her body around – slowly so she didn't move the arm around her – and stared directly into the face of the pink haired dragon slayer. He was sleeping, his face relaxed and his breathing slow and steady with a light snoring.
So it hadn't just been a dream last night, when Natsu'd laid down beside her. Not that she was about to complain, since it'd helped keeping her warm, but she still found the gesture odd. And on top of that, she was – for some kind of weird reason – painfully aware of the boy's body heat surrounding her and the firm beat of his heart under her hands, which were placed on his chest, to make sure she wasn't crushed against his torso, since the dragon slayer was trying to pull her closer.
"Natsu," Lucy whispered under her breath. The only response she received was a little twitch of his nose. She tried whispering his name again, but this time Natsu didn't even seem to react. "Natsu, wake up." When he still didn't budge she glared annoyingly at his face. She poked him in the chest, making him grunt in answer. She did it again. And again.
In the end she was poking him with all her might at a fast pace. All her pokes were met by the same grunt as the first time, and with the speed-pokes it ended up being a long hum.
And then Gray, Erza and Happy was standing beside Lucy, starring down at the scenery before them. Lucy knew from the looks on their faces what they thought it meant, and it made her blush hard.
"No, you misunderstand." Lucy began desperately. "This is not what it looks like at all. It's Natsu he thought I was cold so he laid down beside me. I have nothing to do with this at all." Her statement was met by silence until the blue cat opened his mouth.
"They liiiiiiiiike each other," he made a big smile at his own words, and the spirit mage would have crushed him if it wasn't for her incapability to get up. Instead she glared at the exceed before she turned her gaze to look at the others.
"So when did you get up, I didn't think we would leave this early?"
"Are you kidding?" Gray asked pointing at Natsu. "It's impossible to sleep with that thing making so much noise.
"I have to agree with Gray, but Lucy is something the matter? You look uncomfortable." Erza asked narrowing her eyes. She had, of course, also noticed Lucy getting paler each day. The said mage recognized the look on the red head's face, but used her current situation to cover up.
"Yeah, he's beginning to suffocate me, but he won't wale up." Erza didn't seem satisfied with her explanation, but let the argument fall either way. She knelt down beside Natsu, turned him a little, so he was lying on his back, but he still held on to Lucy. She raised her right hand and used the other to keep him in place. Then she punched him in the stomach.
His arms and legs shot up from the ground at the impact, his eyes opened wide and a spluttering sound. But it was effective and Lucy was free. She stood up and stretched her arms above her head. The morning sun hit her back, and even though she still felt a bit cold, it was nothing compared to yesterday.
Natsu's limbs fell to the ground once again, and he looked completely broken.
"Oi, Squinty Eyes, pull yourself together," Gray commented drily. He was carrying a pile of wood for the bonfire he'd gotten from the forest. His words seemed to work, because Natsu quickly jumped to his feet, and was in front of the ice mage's face the next moment.
"You said something, Stripper?"
"You really piss me off, Flamebrain."
"You little-," Natsu lit his fists on fire and Gray brought his hands back, ready to use his ice make magic.
But before they had any chance to start a fight, Erza grabbed the dragon slayer by his scarf and pulled him toward the stack of wood – he didn't protest (much) when she pointed at it to indicate that she wanted him to make a fire.
After that they were quickly to make food – fish for Happy and meat for the other mages – and packed their things, readying to move on.
Shortly after they were on the road again. Lucy was behind the others and looked at the ground while she thought about her dream. Just like last night, she'd dreamed about the red room. The shaking from the outside had still been there, but she still didn't have any clue what it could be. All of it was plain creepy, and of course she was scared, but somehow that thing outside the room in her dream, frightened her even more than any of the other dreams. It felt unnatural, invading. Dangerous. It wasn't supposed to be there.
She was snapped out of her thoughts when her best friend threw his arm over her shoulder. She hadn't even noticed him and Happy stop discussing the difference between fish species.
She looked at his face, but quickly turned away when she thought about the morning.
"Oi Lucy, sorry about this morning," his words made her look up again. His face was honest and for a second it made her believe that maybe, just maybe, he'd finally realized that he'd crossed her personal space?
"I guess I was too tired to wake up in a normal way." Or maybe not. He didn't apologize for suddenly laying down beside her in the middle of the night, not because he broke into her apartment at home or because he ate all her food. He apologized because she couldn't wake him up.
She didn't know what to do about this guy, but in the end she just sighed. Natsu was Natsu and there wasn't anything to do about it. And she didn't want to change him either way.
"Guess so," she said smiling.
"But it helped didn't it?"
"When I held you, it helped didn't it? With the cold?" He grinned grew wider and she felt a small blush spread over her cheeks.
"Yeah it did, but I still don't understand why you did it," she mumbled. Wouldn't you normally only do that to a person you had a fling with? Or at least felt something for? But you could never know with that dense dragon slayer and standard norms wasn't exactly his thing.
"Why?" he asked in bewilderment. "Because you're my friend of course. What else?" She didn't know how to react to his dumbness – how would he ever find a girl. She decided to brush it off. Incredible really, how used she'd gotten to his behavior over time.
"Oh, nothing," she said. "Just wondering." Natsu leaned in to take a better look at her suspicious face, and Lucy leaned away, trying not to get too close, though it was hard, when his arm still was over her shoulder.
Happy flew from his spot beside Gray in front, back to Natsu and Lucy a smile on his face.
"They liiiiiik-," he was cut off when Lucy grabbed his tail and pulled him to her body, a hand clasped over his mouth. Then she ducked under Natsu's arm and ran up to the others.
Magnolia was buzzing with life as always, when the group arrived. They made their way through town to their guild. Though Lucy'd gotten used to the new building sometimes she would still get sad over missing seven years of her life.
The doors burst and Natsu and Happy jumped through the door.
"Oi, everybody, we're back," he cheerfully shouted. He was only met by waves and hellos through the guild as usual, but something seemed different. Natsu hesitated in the doorway and sniffed the air.
There was a new smell. He found the source in the back of the room: A man with dark messy hair, dark eyes and tanned skin. And Cana and Evergreen's new favorite. They were sitting a little too close to him for it to be appropriate, especially Cana since Evergreen still had to keep some distance because of her almost-relationship with Elfman. Everyone in the guild knew they had something, but they still refused to admit it apparently.
The new guy caught Lucy's eyes over the guildmembers. He held it and in the end Lucy was the one, who looked away. He smirked at her reaction.
Gray was mt by Juvia in the doorway as she cried of happiness, finally seeing her Gray-sama again. "Yeah, right," Gray said trying to make her let go of him. "Who's that guy over there?" He nodded in the direction of the newcomer and Juvia turned her head to look.
"Oh, that's Kane. He joined the guild a few days ago, a day or two after Gray-sama and the others left," she explained.
Erza was the first in the group to take initiative to welcome him, and walked to stand behind him. He gracefully got up from his seat and took her outstretched hand.
"Erza," she said. "Erza Scarlet."
"Kane Tori. It's a pleasure to finally meet the famous Titania," he said with a smirk. Wasn't he able to smile normally?
Next it was Gray to introduce himself and after that Lucy walked up to him.
"Hey, I'm Lucy," she said and then added "Heartfilia."
"Nice to meet you Lucy," Kane said, took her hand and kissed it. Her face became completely red and she snatched her hand away and moved to make space for Natsu. Kane stretched his hand out to the dragon slayer, but Natsu didn't take it.
"My name's Natsu," he said, and when he made no further attempt to tell his last name, Kane shrugged and let his hand fall.
"Nice to meet you Natsu," he put extra pressure on his name to indicate the informality of not telling his full name. "My name's Kane Tori."
"I heard you the first three times."
The guild had become quiet by then, and they were all watching in surprise and confusion. Natsu didn't normally act that way to other people.
The silence was broken by Happy, who flew over to the newcomer and gave him his paw for a handshake.
"I'm Happy," he said, completely unaware of the tension between the two boys.
Kane moved his gaze from the pink haired boy to look at the cat.
"Nice to meet you Happy."
Happy smiled at him before he turned to his best friend. "Natsu can we go home with our stuff now?" he asked.
"..yeah," Natsu said after a slight hesitation. "Let's go home, Happy." He turned and walked out the guild followed by the bewildered eyes of his guildmates. Lucy stood confused while she heard the others talk about the dragon slayer's abnormal behavior.
A pat on her shoulder from Erza got her back to reality.
" He's probably just tired or hungry, it's been some long days with everything going on," she said. "You should go home as well and rest, so you're ready when the attack will find place." Her gaze turned hard at the mention of the upcoming war.
"What about you then?" she asked.
"I'm going to report to Master Makarov about everything we've seen. I would've liked you all to come with me, but you seem very tired and I don't think Natsu's coming back before tomorrow." The blonde knew she probably looked bad, because she'd been tired and felt pain most of the day, and even though she wanted to she wasn't that good at hiding it yet – which she defiantly had to learn before it got worse.
Lucy took her suitcase and thanked her before she went over to Levy to greet her and then home. On the way she summoned Plue and they walked home together as they always did.
Lucy put her suitcase down and looked around in her room. It looked almost as she'd left it except for some of her books which were lying on her bed. It could only be Natsu and Happy's doing from the time when they broke in to get her suitcase. The mage sighed by the thought of the two of them. They were absolutely uncontrollable. She set the books back and unpacked her things before she went to kitchen to get some food. She was about to open the fridge, when the pain came rolling over her. She staggered back and hit the kitchen table. She used it to support herself as her legs wobbled and threatened to give away under her. Plue ran from the living room into the kitchen and patted her leg, while he expressed his worry through his sounds. Lucy coughed hard and brought her hand to her mouth. She felt the sticky substance of blood on her hand.
Plue kept on holding on to her leg and he still did it when she stopped coughing.
"Plue plue?" the spirit said from the floor. Lucy smiled.
"Yeah, I'm okay," she said.
She removed his paws from her leg and washed her mouth before she went to get her pajamas on. No food for her tonight.
She brushed her teeth in the bathroom and when she reinterred her living room-and-bedroom, she was met by Natsu and Happy sitting on her bed.
The girl cursed inwardly for forgetting that the dragon slayer and exceed were coming over today. But he hadn't been at her apartment for a while now, so she wasn't about to send him home. Instead she saw her opportunity to ask about his behavior earlier that that.
But he was faster than her.
"Is something wrong Lucy?" he asked eyeing her suspiciously.
"What do you mean?" Lucy asked, though she had a pretty good idea of what he was talking about.
"You been all pale and tired and non-Lucy like."
"Um…sorry?" was Lucy's only answer as she looked at him. Natsu shook his head.
"You're such a weirdo," he said still shaking his head, but then stopped and looked directly at her. "And Lucy? Why does your whole apartment smell of blood?"
Okay so, that's it for this chapter, I hoped you liked it even though there wasn't much action. But since the war is soon so is the action. Yeah!
But, well, tell me what you think everything is appreciated.