Last chapter! It's been fun guys, but I think it's finally come to an end. Unfortunately I don't think I'll be writing another NaLu Fairy Tail fanfic. If I get any ideas, I may do some one shots, but no more of this continuous story. Sorry to disappoint. Don't forget to review!

Chapter 37

Everything was a painful blur. He faded in and out of consciousness countless times. Voices would come and go. Muffled voices called for towels and blankets. Shadows hovered over him and he struggled to move. He cried out in agony as his left arm moved slightly. A white hot pain ripped through him. Then darkness. He was jolted back to awareness as he was moved. It hurt! Even breathing made his side burn in agony. He wanted to hold his breath against the pain, but he knew each one was crucial. Suddenly a bright light blinded him and then he went numb. A hazy face hovered above him, all the while the voices becoming softer and softer. A sharp pain in his chest. Natsu screamed. It felt as if something was digging beneath his skin. Then he felt the same sensation in his shoulder. Something pricked his arm and slowly Natsu started to lose feeling in his limbs until he could feel nothing at all. Little by little he slipped into a deeper and fitful sleep.

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It felt like his body was made of lead. He was vaguely aware of his surroundings. The blankets tucked around him felt unusually soft. Natsu could hear hushed whispers, but he couldn't make out the words. He groaned. Each time he moved, a fresh wave of pain washed over him. He forced his eyes open, lids still heavy with sleep. The left half of his vision was dark. But what he could see was blurry. The face of a woman with white hair drifted in and out of focus. He squinted, trying to make the hazy image solidify. Slowly her face shifted into focus. It was Porlyusica! The old woman dipped a washcloth in a small bowl. She wrung it out before laying it across his hot forehead.

"Glad to see you're finally awake," she said with a scowl. "In all my life, I've never seen such a hot-headed idiot."

He sighed, sinking deeper into the blankets. "What…happened?" he whispered, voice hoarse.

"You nearly died, that's what happened!"

"Natsu!" Happy cried. He flew headlong toward him. Porlyusica snatched him by the wing before he could hug the Dragon Slayer.

"Hold it right there, you stupid cat! That boy needs rest! Go at him like that and he'll never recover." She shoved the pouting blue cat aside.

Natsu glanced around. He reached up and lightly and touched the bandage that had been wrapped over his left eye. "Where…?"

"In the guild." She sighed, leaning back in her chair. "After you lost consciousness, the dragon, her little daughter, and I all worked very hard to heal you. Even that pink-haired little girl from Lamia Scale lent a hand. And believe me, it was no easy task! We managed to save you, but the scars on your back will never heal."

"My…back?"

Porlyusica nodded. "Where your wings once were. They will never fully heal."

The scars didn't bother him much. But the mention of wings made him remember his dragon experience. "Igneel is—?"

"Gone," Prolyusica said.

Happy nodded. "After they healed you up, Igneel flew you here. And when we got you into bed, he left."

Natsu shifted his weight slightly, trying to sit up. "What about Lucy?! Is she okay?"

Porlyusica pushed him back against the pillows. "Lay down, you moron!" She sighed. "The girl is just fine." She stood up and strode to the door. Natsu watched her tiredly as she opened the door. She leaned out and muttered something he couldn't quite make out. Porlyusica stepped aside and another person entered the room, a blonde girl. A familiar scent wafted toward him. Lucy's face came swimming into focus as she hurried to his bedside.

"Natsu," she breathed, relief evident in her voice.

Natsu forced a smile. He chuckled. "I told you I could do it. Nothing's too much for me."

"Oh, Natsu…I was so worried." Tears welled up in her eyes as she gently brushed the hair from his face.

"Aye," Happy said. "We thought you were done for."

"You've got some good friends, brat," Porlyusica said sharply. "Thay hardly left you this whole time."

He grinned. "Didja see me? How I fought that bastard when I was a dragon?"

Lucy nodded.

"Aye! You were so cool!"

Suddenly Natsu's face darkened. He remembered the night he had changed. In his fit of insanity and animalistic rage, he had injured Gray and Erza badly. He had even hurt Lucy. "Hey…I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you. You know…back then."

Lucy shook her head. "I'm just glad you're back." She leaned down and placed a light kiss on his forehead.

"Are you gonna be okay now, Natsu?" Happy asked.

"The dragon said she purified the dark magic that was lingering inside you," Porlyusica said. "With it gone, you shouldn't have any trouble with your magic rampaging. The two dragons seemed to agree that you won't be able to change into a dragon again. In all honesty, I'm surprised you managed to remain human at all."

"That's because of the armband," Natsu muttered. "Dragon Master Alastair's armband."

Happy looked at him, confused. "What do you mean?"

"I dunno how it works, but it preserved my humanity…somehow."

Lucy sighed, relieved. "I don't know what I'd do if I had lost you. So don't force yourself, okay?" She gently ran her fingers through his pink hair. "Why don't you get some rest? We can talk later."

He nodded. "Yeah. Okay."

Feeling much more at ease, he sunk into the sheets. As soon as his eyes closed, he was out like a light. Now that he was out of the woods, he was in much need of rest.

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Lucy sat at the bar downstairs in the guildhall. She sipped at her drink, Happy sitting on the bar top beside her. After the whole ordeal in Crocus with the dragon attack and the Grand Magic Games, things had started to calm down. Mira leaned across the counter.

"Are you planning to go on any new jobs?" she asked.

Lucy shrugged. "I was thinking I'd take a little break. I'm kind of tired after the Games and all."

Mira giggled. "You just want to stay close to Natsu, am I right?"

"Aye!" Happy said.

Lucy blushed. "W-well, yes! He almost died! So Of course I'd want to stay close!"

"Natsu is a fighter, and he's been recovering well," Mira said. "There's no need to worry about him."

"I know, but I just…you know."

Mira stood up suddenly, a look of surprise crossing her face. Something snaked around Lucy's waist. Lucy squeaked in surprise and jumped. A pair of powerful arms squeezed her gently, a warm heat radiating from them. A puff of warm breath tickled her ear.

"You smell so good," he muttered.

"Natsu!" Happy cried joyously.

Lucy tried to turn around, but he tightened his grip on her. He nuzzled the tender spot where her neck and shoulder met. A placed a soft, wet kiss on her neck. A shiver ran up Lucy's spine.

"I'm glad to see you're feeling better, but are you sure you should be up just yet?" Mira asked.

Lucy pried his arms loose and turned around. His chest and arm were still bandaged. A thick bandage was wrapped around his head, partially covering his left eye. He grinned at her. Natsu pulled her close ad buried his face in her chest.

"I never thought I'd be able to hold you again," he said.

"Natsu."

"I was so afraid I'd be stuck as a dragon forever…."

Lucy's chest tightened. She choked on a sob as she clung to him. She clutched his shirt in her hands as she hugged him.

"Natsu, I missed you so much. Don't ever scare me like that again."

"No way! You'd better be prepared, 'cause I'm not letting you go that easy!"

"Natsuuuu!" Happy hugged him tightly. "I missed you! Are you gonna turn into a dragon again?"

"No way!" Natsu pulled him off. "But as soon as Gramps lets outta here, I wanna go on a new job."

"What kind?" Happy asked.

"Something with a lot of adventure."

"Just make sure you go easy on it, Natsu," Mira said. "You're still on the mend."

"We can't do anything too dangerous!" Lucy protested.

Natsu pouted. "Fine…. Then maybe we can do something else more…adventurous." He grinned mischievously and rested his hand on her leg.

Lucy blushed. "Natsu," she muttered, embarrassed.

He leaned forward, resting his forehead against hers. "I can't help it. I'm all fired up!"

Lucy draped her arms around his neck. "Fine. But this time around, I'm not letting you go. Not ever."

"I wouldn't have it any other way." He kissed her passionately. "I love you."

"I love you too."

Thanks for all your support, guys! It's been fun :)