Alright, this will be the last chapter of this story as I am going to move on to my next Fairy Tail story. This chapter will tell in detail how Natsu and Lucy got together.
Disclaimer: I don't own Fairy Tail, Hiro Mashima does.
After some of the excitement in the guild died down the girls pulled Lucy aside and asked her the question every one wanted to know.
"So Lu-chan," Levy said excitedly. "How did you and Natsu realize your feelings?"
"Well," Lucy started as the girls leaned in closer eager to hear her story. "It happened during the mission that Natsu and I took on alone."
"Aahh." Lucy sighed as she sat down at the bar. She laid her head down on her arms on top of the counter.
"What's wrong, Lucy?" Mira asked as she was cleaning glasses.
"My rent is due soon and I barely have even half the amount due." Lucy replied.
"Well why don't you ask Natsu to go on a mission with you?" Mira suggested.
"I would but he always ends up destroying something and we don't get the reward then." Lucy explained. "I'd ask Erza or Gray but they both went on solo missions. Levy left with Gajeel and Shadow Gear this morning too. Ah! What about Wendy?" Lucy asked.
"She left earlier with Carla, Happy, and Romeo." Mira explained.
"Ehh? Wendy and Romeo went on a mission together?" Lucy asked surprised that the young girl would go on a mission with the young Fire Mage.
"Don't they look adorable together? They would make a cute couple!" Mira exclaimed going into her matchmaker mode. "Speaking of cute couples I think you and Na-"
"I'm going to ask Natsu to do a mission then." Lucy said cutting Mira's words off. She needed to get away from her before she tried to pair her up too. "Where is he anyway?" Lucy asked scanning the guild.
"Luce!" Natsu exclaimed suddenly appearing behind her. He slung an arm around her shoulders as he handed her a piece of paper. "I found the perfect job for us! It shouldn't be too hard and the pay is good. Your rent is coming up soon, right?"
Lucy quickly scanned the paper as Natsu talked. He was right it was a relatively easy job of stopping some bandits who were raiding a village and it paid enough that she would be able to pay her rent and still have some left over. The town would take half a day to reach by train so they would have to leave immediately to arrive in time.
"It does seem pretty easy." Lucy replied. "Wait, how did you know my rent was due?" she asked.
"I could tell by the way you've been acting, Luce." Natsu replied. "You didn't get as upset this morning when you found me in your bed. It was like you were distracted, so I figured that this must mean that your rent was the problem. So you wanna go?" He smiled at Lucy as he said that.
"Thank you, Natsu!" Lucy exclaimed as she gave Natsu a hug. She was surprised he would even think about her rent like that.
"You're a weirdo, Luce." Natsu complained.
Mira watching the two from behind the bar smiled with amusement as she saw a slight blush on Natsu's face.
"Mira we're going on this job." Lucy said turning to face the barmaid and showed her the paper.
"Okay." Mira replied writing it down on the log book. "That's at least an overnight trip, Lucy. Maybe something will happen between you and Natsu." Mira said with a gleam in her eyes.
"It's not like that!" Lucy exclaimed before she turned back to Natsu. "I'm going home to pack. I'll meet you at the train station in twenty minutes."
"Not the train!" Natsu exclaimed his face turning green just from the thought. "We'll walk."
"There's no way I'm walking, Natsu! It will take too long. The train is the quickest way to get there." Lucy said as she walked out the door.
"But I hate trains!" Natsu exclaimed as he followed her.
"Oh my." Mira said to herself. "Maybe this will move their relationship forward."
Twenty minutes later Natsu was standing in front of the train station as he waited for Lucy.
"Natsu!" Lucy called as she ran up to him with her suitcase in hand.
Natsu raised a hand to wave as a smile unknowingly spread across his face. "Luce!"
"Sorry. Did you wait long?" she asked as she reached him.
Natsu shook his head. "Nope." he said.
Just then the bell signaling that the train would be leaving soon rang.
"Come on, Luce! We're going to miss the train." Natsu grabbed Lucy's hand and dragged her forward.
"Natsu! Hold on!" Lucy exclaimed as she tried to regain her balance.
Before Lucy knew it she found herself on the train. Once the train started moving Natsu's motion sickness set in and somehow is head ended up lying on Lucy's lap. Lucy made a noise of surprise but didn't have the heart to push him off as she looked at his face. Absentmindedly she began to stroke Natsu's head, which she remembered was something her mother used to do.
"Mmm. That feels nice." Natsu mumbled.
Suddenly Lucy realized what she was doing and quickly removed her hand.
"No. Keep doing that." Natsu said. "It was helping."
Lucy smiled at that before she began to stroke Natsu's head again. "My mother used to do this when I got sick as a child." Lucy said softly.
"She knew what she was doing." Natsu replied as he closed his eyes.
A few hours later they arrived at their destination. By the time they got there it was already early evening.
"Natsu, wake up." Lucy gently shook the sleeping Dragon Slayer.
Natsu slowly opened his eyes still looking a bit sick before he realized the train wasn't moving anymore.
"It stopped!" Natsu yelled jumping to his feet quickly.
"That was fast!" Lucy exclaimed.
"I'm alive again! Come on, Luce. Let's go!" He grabbed Lucy's hand once more and proceeded to drag her off the train.
"Natsu, stop dragging me everywhere!" Lucy protested. "I can walk on my own!"
"You're too slow, Luce." Natsu replied.
"That's it!" Lucy exclaimed pulling her hand free from Natsu's grip. "On the train ride back you can sit in your own seat. I won't stroke your head on the train."
"But, Lucy," Natsu whined. "That really helped me!"
"Humph!" Lucy huffed and walked past him. "Maybe next time you'll think before you insult me."
"I'm sorry! It was just a joke!"
"If you can complete this mission without any major destruction, I'll reconsider."
"Alright! I'll do it, Luce!" Natsu slung his arm around Lucy's shoulders as she pulled the request paper out.
"It says here that the mayor requested this mission." Lucy said reading the paper. "That's go check in with him first before it gets any later. His house is that way." Lucy pointed towards a street on the right before she felt herself being dragged by Natsu once again.
"Natsu! What did I just say about dragging me?"
"It's more fun this way, Luce!" Natsu replied as he smiled at her over his shoulder.
"Honestly." Lucy sighed as she tried to keep pace with the Flame Dragon Slayer.
Natsu knocked on the door of a large mansion as Lucy huffed behind him trying to regain her breath after running after Natsu.
"May I help you?" a butler asked as he opened the door.
"We're mages from Fairy Tail." Lucy explained. "We accepted the job request about the bandits."
"Yes I believe the mayor is expecting you. Please come in." the butler as he stepped aside for them to enter. "Wait here." He said as he led the two mages to a formal sitting room. "I will inform the master of your arrival."
Natsu and Lucy sat down on the couch as they waited for the mayor to arrive.
"Hello Mages." A tall man with gray hair said as he walked into the room. "My name's Sal. I'm the mayor of this town."
"I'm Lucy. And this is Natsu." Lucy introduced them. "Could you tell us about the bandits?"
"Of course." Mayor Sal replied. "They have been raiding our city for a couple of months now, which is really impacting our trading commerce. They usually attack near dark."
"That means they should be coming soon." Lucy said as she noted the sky outside getting darker.
"We'll go patrol the town on the lookout for the bandits, Mayor." Natsu said standing up. "Come on, Luce."
"Thank you." Lucy said to the mayor before following Natsu out.
After Natsu and Lucy left the mayor's house they checked into a nearby hotel and left their luggage in their room before heading out into the town to patrol.
"It got colder out here now that the sun went down." Lucy said rubbing her arms to get them warm. She was beginning to regret not grabbing a jacket before they left the hotel.
Natsu put his arm around Lucy pulling her closer to his body warming her with his unnaturally warm body temperature. "Is that better?" He asked.
Lucy blushed at the contact but nodded her head in response. Just then loud yells broke into the quiet night air. Natsu changed his hold onto Lucy's hand as he pulled her along with him to the source of the commotion.
"We'll be taking this now." A rough voice said.
"Stop, that's my shipment." Another voice called.
"Like we really care." The first voice replied followed by loud laughs from his companions.
When Natsu and Lucy got to the scene they saw a guy with messy dark brown hair standing on top of a cart filled with goods looking down on a man lying on the ground who was obviously a merchant. The thief on the cart conjured a fireball in his hand and fired it at the defenseless merchant. Natsu leaped out of the alley way that he and Lucy were in and in front of the merchant, inhaling the fireball before it could do any damage.
"Thanks for the meal." Natsu said as he faced the opponent fire mage.
"What are you!" the mage thief exclaimed.
"Fire Dragon's Iron Fist!" Natsu exclaimed as his fists lit on fire and leaped toward the man, punching him squarely in the face.
"Get him!" the other's exclaimed as they started towards Natsu.
"Not so fast!" Lucy exclaimed as she leaped out of the alley as well a golden key already in hand. "Open the Gate of the Golden Bull! Taurus!" A golden light emanated from the key before clearing to reveal a humanoid bull with a giant axe.
"Mooooooh! I will protect Lucy-san's wonderful body!" Taurus exclaimed before swinging his axe at the group of thieves.
"Get the girl!" one of the robbers exclaimed. Two of them leaped towards Lucy thinking she'd be an easy target.
"I'm not completely defenseless!" Lucy exclaimed as she pulled out her whip and lashed it at the two thieves.
"How dare you threaten Lucy-san and her body!" Taurus yelled as he knocked out several more thieves.
"Fire Dragon's Roar!" Natsu yelled as he knocked out the last of the thieves.
"Thank you, Taurus." Lucy said holding out his key. "You can go back now."
"Lucy-san!" Taurus exclaimed with hearts in his eyes. "You really have the best-"
"Force gate closure!" Lucy said, cutting off Taurus' perverted comment.
"Thank you so much!" the merchant exclaimed as Natsu helped him up.
Just then one of the thief's behind Natsu stirred and pulled out a small communications lacrima.
"I've got to warn the Boss about these mages." He mumbled.
Natsu, having heard the man with his advanced hearing, spun around to face him with fire in his eyes, but before he could do anything a whip lashed out from the side, knocking the lacrima out of the thief's hand.
"Don't even think about it!" Lucy exclaimed holding her whip.
"Good one, Luce!" Natsu said giving her a thumbs' up. Lucy grinned back in response before Natsu strode up to the thief and grabbed him by the shirt collar. "Now you're gonna tell us where your base is located." He growled.
"And why would I do that!" the thief shot back.
Natsu smirked before lighting one fist on fire. The thief's eyes widened in horror and he immediately broke down. "It's in the forest by that huge tree!" he exclaimed pointing at a tree that stood above the others. Natsu extinguished his flame and dropped the weakened thief back on the ground before turning to face Lucy.
"Let's go, Luce." He said.
"Right." Lucy nodded in agreement.
Natsu and Lucy headed into the forest and quickly reached the thieves base.
"Do you have a plan, Natsu?" Lucy asked.
"Burst in and knock them senseless!" He exclaimed his fists engulfed in flame.
"You never think things out do you, Natsu?" Lucy remarked as she sweat dropped. "But then again, I guess there's no other way to approach this situation." Lucy pulled out one of her golden keys.
Natsu turned to stare at Lucy surprised at her actually agreeing with his full frontal attack for the first time, before grinning wolfishly at her. "Let's go."
"Fire Dragon's Claw!" Natsu exclaimed as he kicked in the door and launched himself into a surprised group of thieves.
"Open the Gate of the Archer! Sagittarius!" Lucy called coming in behind Natsu and summoning the archer spirit.
"Moshi Moshi!" Sagittarius said before firing his arrows at the bandits and pinning them to the wall.
"Fire Dragon's Wing Attack! Fire Dragon's Iron Fist!" Natsu exclaimed taking out bandits left and right. "Fire Dragon's Crushing Fang!"
"Well hello there, girlie." A voice said behind Lucy. "What's a pretty girl like you doing here?"
Lucy spun around to face the unknown thief pulling her whip out. "Who are you?" she demanded.
Suddenly the man disappeared only to reappear behind Lucy grabbing both of her wrists and holding them behind her back. "I'm Drake. The leader of the bandits he whispered into Lucy's ear. "And I think you'd make quite a nice addition to my group."
"Like I'd join you!" Lucy exclaimed as she tried to free herself from his grip.
"Pity." Drake said. "You really are a pretty girl." He said before throwing Lucy against the wall.
"Aahh!" Lucy cried out as she collided with the wall and fell to the ground.
"Lucy!" Natsu exclaimed. He knocked the last bandit away from him with ease before leaping in between Lucy and the bandit leader. "How dare you hurt my Lucy!" He yelled furious at Drake.
'Did Natsu just say my Lucy?' Lucy thought as she stared at Natsu in shock.
"Touchy, are you?" Drake mocked.
"Fire Dragon's Iron Fist!"
The man teleported out of the way of the attack and reappeared behind Natsu kicking him in the back and sending him to the floor.
Natsu growled as he pushed himself up from the floor. "Fire Dragon's Claw!" Natsu called using the flames to rocket off the floor and towards his opponent.
Drake just teleported out of the way again and appeared beside Natsu punching him in the stomach. "Certainly the great Salamander of Fairy Tail can do better than this. I haven't even broken a sweat yet."
Natsu punched the floor in anger creating a hole where his fist hit. Suddenly he just had an idea and he smirked as he stood up. "Dragon Slayers Secret Art, Crimson Lotus: Exploding Flame Blade!"
Once again Drake teleported intending to avoid the attack and appear behind Natsu but the attack circled around Natsu and when Drake reappeared behind Natsu he was caught up in the attack.
"Aaaahhhhh!" Drake exclaimed as the flames surrounded him and he fell to the floor defeated.
"Luce, are you okay?" Natsu asked leaning down next to her.
"Yeah, I think so. Thank you, Natsu." Lucy said. She started to stand up before a sharp pain shot through her ankle. "Aahh!" she cried out as she started to fall only to find herself in Natsu's arms.
"What's wrong, Luce?" Natsu asked concern in his eyes.
"I think I sprained my ankle." Lucy explained.
"Let's get you back to the hotel." Natsu said as he picked Lucy up bridal style.
"Natsu?" Lucy questioned as she blushed.
Natsu didn't answer as he quickly carried Lucy out of the forest and back to their hotel room. He pulled out the first aid kit Lucy had brought with her and carefully wrapped her ankle up.
"I'm sorry, Luce." Natsu whispered with his head down.
"For what, Natsu?" Lucy asked confused.
"I'm supposed to protect you but I let you get hurt. If I had finished those guys off sooner I could stopped that guy from hurting you."
"It wasn't your fault, Natsu." Lucy pulled Natsu's head up to make him look at her.
"I feel like it is." Natsu replied. "I don't like when you get hurt. What if it had been a more serious attack? I couldn't stand it if I lost you, Luce. Lately I've been feeling different around you, Lucy; like I couldn't go on with my life if you weren't with me."
"Natsu." Lucy whispered. 'Does even know what he's saying?' She thought.
"Do you know what this feeling is, Lucy?" Natsu asked looking into Lucy's eyes. Lucy nodded in response to his question and Natsu's eyes lit up. "Could you tell me what it is, Luce?"
"I could," Lucy whispered. "But it might be easier to show you."
Lucy cupped Natsu's face in her hands before she leaned forward and lightly pressed her lips to Natsu's. Natsu sat still in surprise for a moment before finally realizing what his 'strange' feeling had been and wrapped his arms around Lucy's waist pulling her deeper into the kiss. They briefly pulled away for air before Natsu pulled Lucy into another kiss.
"Lucy." Natsu breathed.
"Do you understand now, Natsu?" Lucy asked softly. Natsu nodded without saying anything. He then gently pushed Lucy down on the bed before lying down next to her and wrapping his arms around her waist.
"N-Natsu? What are you doing?" Lucy stuttered attempting to free herself from his hold.
"I love you, Luce." Natsu whispered as he held her to him.
Lucy stilled at Natsu's confession before twisting around to face him. "I love you too, Natsu." She replied giving him another soft kiss before they both drifted off to sleep.
"Aawwwww." The girls cooed at the end of Lucy's story.
"That's so sweet!" Mira exclaimed having recovered from her earlier depression.
"Haa! Flame Brain, you didn't even know what you were feeling towards Lucy!" Gray exclaimed having heard the end of Lucy's story.
"You wanna say that again, Popsicle?" Natsu challenged.
"What? That you're too stupid to even know your own feelings!" Gray yelled.
"You've done it now, Stripper!" Natsu yelled and jumped towards Gray starting another one of their infamous fights.
Lucy laughed as she watched Natsu and Gray go at it again. After all it was one of the reasons she fell in love with the Dragon Slayer in the first place.