Story One; To Love a Heartfilia
Lucy dodged quickly to the right as several plates followed by a screaming Elfman flew past her ear. After 6 months in a guild as crazy as Fairy Tail, it wasn't that surprising that she'd learned a trick or two on avoiding being dragged into the daily brawls.
And she didn't have a choice but to duck and dodge the un-aimed attacks, especially after the time she'd nearly been crushed to death by Reedus.
Lucy shuddered at the memory. Taking another sip from her coffee mug, the blonde turned her attention to Mirajane, who was busy cleaning the same plate she'd been wiping when Lucy had entered the guild that morning.
"So, Mira, any jobs come up lately that might be good for me?" Lucy asked, head cocked to one side. She'd been behind on her rent for well over two months now, and needed some serious cash fast.
Mira tilted her head slightly as she thought. "Well… there was one job, paying about 120,000 if I remember rightly. A group of bandits have been raiding a small village near Hargeon for a while now."
Lucy's head hit the bar counter. "I doubt I could pull that off alone." She muttered.
A rather unfeminine burp came from Lucy's left as a barrel hit the counter's surface. Cana wiped her mouth with the back of her hand before leaning her elbows against the bar. "Just ask Natsu to help." She said, before swatting an incoming ice shard away from her face. "Watch where you're shooting those things, Gray, you perverted stripper!" she yelled, before hoping off her stool and joining the fray.
Mirajane smiled slightly. "She has a point. I'm sure he won't mind letting you have a slightly bigger cut of the reward if you need it for rent." She suggested calmly.
Lucy rested her cheek on her palm. "I dunno. Natsu's been a bit off lately. I've been trying to give him some space, y'know…"
Mira nodded, before peering over Lucy's shoulder towards the double doors. "Speak of the salamander." She said quietly, before turning her back to the blonde.
Lucy blinked at the white-haired woman before swivelling round on her chair. Natsu ran quickly over to Lucy, a stupidly big grin smacked on his face.
The celestial wizard couldn't help but feel a little bit confused. Normally, when a fight in the guild hall was going on, Natsu couldn't resist getting a piece of the action. Hell, half the time he started these mini-battles.
But this time he simply sprinted past everyone in a straight path towards her.
"Ne, Lucy, there you are. I've been looking all over for ya." Natsu said.
"Oh?" Lucy mumbled. "What's up?"
The pink-headed boy laughed slightly, awkwardly scratching the back of his head. "Ah, well, there's something I need to tell you about."
Lucy sent him a questioning look over the rim of her mug.
"Come on, let's go somewhere else." He said, grabbing Lucy's wrist and dragging her off her seat, making her drop the cup.
"Hey!" she grumbled as she unwillingly got pulled threw the crowds.
The two disappeared out of the guild hall, doors shutting loudly behind them.
Cana walked back to her seat, leaning over the bar. "Where are they off to in a hurry?" she asked the barmaid.
Mirajane smiled knowingly. "Remember the bet we made about those two when Natsu first brought Lucy here?"
Cana paused for a second, before nodding. "What about it?"
"You owe me 50 bucks." Mira stated triumphantly.
"Natsu, can you slow down a bit please?" Lucy gasped between breaths as she struggled to keep pace with her partner, feet slamming painfully against the hard pavement.
"We're almost there, though." He moaned.
Lucy shook her head then looked around them. She instantly recognised the street she'd been walking up and down every day for the past half-year.
Gradually the two slowed down as they reached the middle of the grey, cobbled bridge crossing the river. Natsu crossed his arms and leaned against the railing, while Lucy stood watching him, her hands on her hips.
"Well, what is it?" Lucy asked.
Natsu turned to her, face puzzled for a second, until a light flashed across his eyes. "Oh, right!" He stood up straight, that familiar lop-sided grin planted on his face. "This thing has been bugging my mind for a while now, and I couldn't make any sense of it. So I asked Erza, and apparently, according to her anyway, I'm in love with you." He said simply.
Lucy eyes widened. She reached a hand up to cup her ear, a very awkward smile on her face. "Sorry, what did you say? I don't think I heard you right?" she gushed.
"I said I'm in love with you, Luce." He repeated, voice unwavering.
Lucy's cheeks turned a furious shade of pink. "N-Natsu, do you even know what love is?" she asked, palms growing slightly sweaty.
Natsu tapped a finger against the right side of his face. "It's what makes your head go all stupid, right?"
She couldn't believe it. This had to be a dream – she must have been knocked out back in the guild hall and this was all some crazy dream. Lucy rolled up the sleeve of her tight sweater and pinched her arm as hard as she could.
"Ack." She yelped. No, she wasn't dreaming.
Natsu regarded his best friend. "Why did you do that?"
Lucy jumped back a bit. "Oh, no reason." She rambled, her blush deepening further. "So, um, Natsu, are you sure you really love me, or just think you do?" Lucy asked nervously.
His thoughtful look returned. "Well, I've been feeling a bit strange lately. How to put it… Well, every time I saw you, I'd get this weird feeling in my stomach, and my head would start aching – like I couldn't think straight. At first I thought I was sick or somethin', but when I went to the doctor they said that nothing was wrong."
He shrugged, then continued. "Then, a few days ago when me and Gray were in your room, you came out of the shower in just your towel."
Lucy's cheeks heated up more at the thought.
"Just the sight made my chest go all… squirmy. Then when I caught Gray gawking at you, it made me angry. Like, really, really pissed. When you chucked us out, I punched him a bit too hard. And when he asked why, I couldn't really answer."
Lucy laughed to herself.
"Then I went to talk to Erza. I told her all this, and she just looked at me, all smiley, and said that I was in love. I didn't really get it at first, but I think she's right. I'm pretty sure she's right, anyway. I like you, Luce." He said, quickly, the tiniest bit of pink covering his cheeks.
Lucy's heart started to beat faster in her chest. "Are you finished?" she asked quietly, avoiding eye contact.
"Uh huh." Natsu whispered.
"Well, in that case, I'm just gonna try something…" Lucy said, before lunging forward. She wrapped her arms around his back, hugging the pyromancer.
Natsu's blush deepened as he slowly circled her waist with his arms, resting his chin on her shoulder, taking in the smell of her hair. She smelled of strawberries – he'd never really noticed that before.
Lucy let herself grin. "Yeah, I think I'm willing to give this a go." She mumbled a response to his unasked question.
Natsu's smile widened. He drew back from the hug, still holding her to him, hands resting on her hips. "So you aren't freaked out by this or anything?"
Lucy shook her head.
There had always been a voice in the back of her head telling Lucy that she had feelings for Natsu. But being Lucy, she never really paid mind to it. She was a girl, after all, of course she'd have thoughts like that about guys in her life.
Admittedly, the whole idea of her and Natsu together frightened her slightly. The only real knowledge and experience she had with relationships was from what she'd read in her extensive collection of romance novels and what she'd seen on movie-lacrimas.
But it dawned on her that Natsu probably felt just the same. He'd never had a girlfriend from what Lucy knew, and pair that with the fact that he had to ask someone else what the 'squirmy' feeling in his chest meant, Lucy felt slightly relaxed that Natsu was just as inexperienced as she was.
Natsu let go of Lucy's waist and reached down for her hand, taking it in his. "Come on, let's get back to the guild." He said, beaming at his newly-gained girlfriend.
Lucy returned the grin, threading her fingers threw his. "This is gonna cause a bit of a mess, huh?"
Natsu shrugged. "They'll just have to get used to it."
The blonde giggled slightly, and turned on the heel of her boot, beginning to walk back along the river with her salamander.
Mira, finally satisfied that the plate was clean, stacked it up with the others. She surveyed the scene in front of her. Macao and Wakaba were setting tables and benched back up while Levy was lecturing Gajeel on one thing or another. Various guild members were passed out in corners, while other were sitting and chatting among themselves.
Finally, it had all calmed down.
The double doors opened as Natsu and Lucy walked in, his arm snaked around her waist. All conversation died into a rather uncomfortable silence as the new couple stood before the guild, announcing the relationship with blushes and shuffling instead of words.
The quiet lingered for a second, before Gray's voice sounded through the air.
"It's about bloody time, geez." He yelled, a smile on his face.
Natsu and Lucy looked from their friend to each other, smirks on their faces. Cheers and wolf-whistles filled the main hall, until Mirajane cleared her throat from the bar, a smug grin on her face.
Gradually, a large number of wizards started mumbling, reaching into their pockets, pulling out money and placing it on the bar in front of Mira.
The blonde and the dragon slayer exchanged a confused look, before joining their team at one of the benches, stupidly happy grins still firmly in place.