For A Barrel of Booze…
Cana entered the guildhall ignoring the drunken cries from Macao and Wakaba to join them for an ever so tempting drink instead opting to look about frantically.
At least she assumed he wasn't, he was a fairly damn hard guy to miss, even in a crowded rowdy room. How hard is it to miss the naked guy amidst all the clothed ones? Yep, pretty hard.
What she did spot however was a spiky pink haired teen sat dejectedly in a corner, a proverbial dark cloud hanging over his head as he ate some flaming meat from a skewer. If she wanted to find him asking his teammate was probably best so she hurried over "Natsu?"
Natsu perked up instantly, but then returned to misery when he realised it was only Cana "Oh, hi Cana."
"Err…" Cana looked at the dragon slayer a bit worriedly. This was not the usual Natsu. Still, she was a woman on a mission and Natsu's issues could wait for a time when she was sufficiently drunk to hand out advice "Natsu, where's Gray?"
If anything Natsu sank ever lower in the metaphorical pit of depression at that question "With Juvia, on a quest" he answered weakly, feeling his will to live slowly sap away.
"Damn!" she cursed, he had been her best bet to get this over with nice smoothly "Why did he go with her?" had something developed while she was away, her inner gossiper had to ask?
"Erza insisted he go with her" Natsu's replied, his head dropping heavily onto the table with a thump as he sank deeper and deeper still.
'Figures' she thought huffing, nothing romantic ever happened in Fairy Tail. Cana then grinned, Natsu had handed her the solution to her original problem "What about Erza, where's she?" her next best bet, Erza would easily beat up whatever the problem was, plus she was easy to deal with just feed her enough strawberry cake and she'd be like putty in the alcoholic card magic users hand's.
"Lucy needed rent, so Erza and Wendy went with her on a job, a female's only job" Natsu sank into his chair trying to hide from the cruel, cruel world that surrounded him. Why did everyone else have to go on quests and leave him behind? He was bored dammit! The idea that he could go on a quest by himself had, of course, not occurred to that rather idiotic boy.
Cana bit her lip, her plans thwarted yet again, she really needed some super powerful backup here, this quest was dangerous but with Gray missing and Erza gone who could she ask. Macao and Wakaba were reliable guys but they weren't exactly pinnacles of magical might, Gajeel would just blow her off, he wasn't the friendliest of guys, and Juvia was also crossed out, Mira didn't take quests anymore and she didn't spot Lisanna or Elfman around so they were probably on a job together as well.
Then she realised something, everything clicked and she almost cursed her stupidity "Natsu, wanna go on a job with me?!"
Natsu was instantly up "A job! Seriously? Alright! Let's go, let's go!"
Cana blinked, that was easier than she expected 'So that's what he was depressed about' she realised 'everyone else was on a job and he was left alone… but if he was bored why didn't he just take one himself?' she'd never understand how the fire dragon slayer could be such an idiot. In battle she'd trust him with her back any day of the week, so long as her blood alcohol content wasn't so high that she ran the risk of bursting into flames at the slightest spark, but ask him some complicated academic question he'd either try desperately, and amusingly, to figure it out all day, roping in most of the rest of the guild to help him, or flat out tell you, without the slightest hint of embarrassment, that he had no idea what the answer was, either way you wouldn't get a proper answer 'Still, this'll work out fairly well.'
"Good, I've got the perfect one in mind" if Natsu had been paying the slightest bit of attention he would've noticed the satisfied smirk on Cana's face. Instead he remained blissfully ignorant to the manipulations of the alcoholic woman, chanting as he was about going on a job.
"Hey Cana?" Natsu asked two hours out of Magnolia.
"Yeah" she asked back, her eyes closed and her head lent back to bask in the warm sun.
"Why do I have a barrel strapped to my back?"
Cana cracked open an eye and looked at the pink haired mage from the corner of said eye. Had that only occurred to him now? "It's my beer for the trip" she told him returning to her previous task of not falling over while not looking where she was going.
"Oh…" Natsu was silent for several minutes before something else occurred to him "Shouldn't you be carrying it then?"
"But's it's so much more convenient with you carrying it" Cana flexed her shoulders as if to emphasize her lack of burden "And with this little tap here" reaching down to the small tap on the bottle end of the barrel, coincidently just above Natsu's arse, and tweaking it she filled a flagon with the sweet nectar that kept her sane "And voila, instant drink" she sipped at the drink of the gods, I mean sure it was lukewarm, but it was still alcohol. Cana could feel her entire body relaxing as the liquid poured down her throat into her stomach.
Natsu nodded, that all made sense to him "Okay."
They continued in peace for several more minutes as Cana drank her liquid relief.
She didn't bother opening an eye this time "What's up?"
"What is this job anyway?"
'Did it just not occur to him to ask until now?' she almost sighed "Some grape farmer's fields have been destroyed and his vines eaten. Whatever it was was huge, big enough to leave foot prints as tall as me, so he hired mages to come and deal with the problem. Pretty good reward to, five hundred thousand Jewels" 'and, of course, that'but she wasn't going to mention that to Natsu just in case the boy had been nursing a secret alcohol addiction. It was unlikely but you never know, and she wasn't taking any chances with that at stake.
Natsu scratched his head, looking rather cute with that idiotic look on his face "Isn't it autumn, I thought you couldn't grow in this weather, or something like that?"
Cana smiled, yeah he was an idiot, but he made up for it by being an adorable idiot. She could see why Mira used to find him cute, come to think of it the white haired girl still did at times "Yeah, but if his fields are wrecked he can't grow anything next year. And he also owns a vineyard nearby and is worried about that being trashed as well, that's why he wants it done fast" 'Which is probably why he was offering that?' "We should reach it in about two or three days on foot, no trains go in that direction but we'll try to get catch a carriage in the next town over" Natsu looked a bit sickly at the mere thoughts of carriages, but thankfully, for both of them, managed to resist the urge to puke "If we're lucky we'll arrive before tomorrow ends."
Natsu nodded "So what are we facing anyway?"
Here Cana sighed "I don't know" and normally that would be enough to put her off a job, and if it weren't for that she wouldn't have taken it. Let some idiot face the potential beat down and harvest the rewards if they could, she'd take the jobs she knew she could do, which, admittedly, were most of them "Just that it's something huge and that it's eating his grape vines" that could be any number of monsters, hell it could be thieves trying to look like monsters but that was unlikely. Thieves would steal his wine not his grapes.
Natsu grinned "Alright, I'm all fired up, let's go" he set off at a run.
Cana watched him run off into the distance with a smile "Yeah, total idiot" she wasn't going to chase him though. Let him wear himself out, she'd catch up eventually, or run after him once she became desperate for a drink.
"Cana" she nearly yelped as Happy appeared floating by her shoulder.
"Happy!" she calmed her racing heart, breathing heavily a few moments. She hadn't noticed him at all despite the fact that he always followed Natsu around, actually it was probably because he always followed Natsu around. Damn but that little blue cat was forgettable.
"You know, it's unusual for you to ask Natsu to go on a job with you."
Unusual? Try never happened before.
"Yeah well, I needed someone tough like Natsu" she laughed uncomfortably. Her pride could take the hit, for that, plus that was the real reason she was with him, it's just that that provided heavy motivation for her to actually take the job in the first place thus requiring someone tough to provide her with backup.
Happy looked at her flatly "You liiiiike him" he teased grinning, rolling the word.
That made her crack up "Yeah, haha, sure, haha, I like Natsu, hahahahahaha" her and Natsu, the idea was hilarious. While the pair were in no ways unfriendly, they weren't close either. Unlike his relationship with say Erza or Gray, or even his more recent friendship with Lucy, he and Cana hadn't really had any special moments together. Sure she respected him and his willingness to stand up for his comrades, and trusted him enough to leave stopping Phantom Lord from destroying their guild to him and just a few others, but their relationship, such as it was, never really had any defining points. They were friends and comrades and would easily call each other that but when asked why they were friends or why they were comrades they'd both only have one real answer 'Because he/she is a member of Fairy Tail'.
But the reason she cracked up wasn't any of that, it was more the fact that Natsu and romance went together… well like her and sobriety. And Cana liked to keep herself at least a little buzzed at all times. She wondered if Natsu even knew what dating or kissing or sex even was, then dismissed such thoughts. Of course he didn't, this was Natsu.
"Oi, you two, hurry up!" Natsu called back at them for his place far in the distance, almost out of sight.
"Aye sir!" Happy floated ahead on his wings Cana walking alongside him still giggling at the thought of her and Natsu.
If everything continued as swimmingly as it had been going this whole job was going to be a cinch.
They had stopped at a small town and would be spending the night at the inn here, the carriages came in the morning and they should arrive at the farm at around midday tomorrow, providing they left early the next day.
Cana was stocking up, and drinking up, on alcohol, she had already made arrangement for a barrel to be prepared for her tomorrow, she had finished the original one already, and this was her drinking sparingly. Natsu, meanwhile, was chowing down on a whole host of char grilled meats and Happy on five or so different fish.
That was when they heard it.
"Did you hear, to the east, a dragon?!"
Those words made Natsu freeze, food halfway to his mouth.
"It's only a rumour" it was dismissed casually. Natsu still hadn't moved.
"No, I saw it" another person claimed "bigger than a house it were, terrifying beyond all belief."
"And how drunk were you at the time?"
"I hadn't touched a drop, I tell ye, it were a dragon."
"Yeah, right" he said in the most unconvinced tone possible.
The conversation moved on to lighter topics, the weather, the harvest, the oncoming winter, but the effect those few words had had were obvious.
Natsu's eating had slowed to a snail's pace, compared to before, really he was eating at about a normal human beings eating pace, and his hair cast shadows over his face keeping his thoughts from showing on his face.
They headed up to the room they had rented for the night, they didn't have the money on them for two, and Cana confronted him there "If you want to go, go."
Natsu didn't speak, stunned into silence by her words. He wasn't expecting her to tell him to go, tell him it wasn't Igneel, tell him it was just a rumour spread by some drunk, tell him something like that, but not outright encourage him.
"I know Igneel is important to you" Cana continued not giving him the chance to speak even once he regained the ability to "and if you don't go you'll constantly think 'what if?' so go."
"But the job…"
"I can handle the job myself. Go Natsu" she implored. In truth he had only been backup, she could doubtless handle it herself, she hadn't been a part of the past four S-Class exams for nothing, but sensibility told her to seek help and Natsu was the only one around. But this changed things, for one very good reason, she felt that she could relate, on some level, with what he was going through.
After all she had her own father 'issues'.
'But Natsu was abandoned… I…' she gulped back the lump in her throat such thoughts always brought and forced a smile for Natsu "Go."
Natsu gave her one long look, then he was racing to the door "Thanks Cana" and gone, Happy disappearing after him.
"You're welcome" she said to the empty room.
The next day, sat in the back of a carriage with nothing but time, Cana turned to her thoughts.
She and Natsu both were and weren't terribly similar.
They had both come to Fairy Tail searching for their father, but while Cana had come searching for her father who was a member Natsu came because he didn't have anywhere else, plus if you wanted to hear about dragons the best place was a guild where gossiping was the second most popular thing to do, after drinking.
Natsu had never given up hope, not in all his years of being part of the guild, that one day he would find Igneel. But at some point Cana had given up hope, in a way. She had decided she wasn't good enough to be his daughter, that she needed to be S-rank before she could tell him, that that was the only way she could face him.
Somewhere deep inside she knew it didn't matter, that telling him, even as an S-rank, wouldn't be different from telling him as the tiny little girl who had first arrived at Fairy Tail's door.
But at the same time she truly didn't believe that she was good enough, she truly though that she needed to be S-rank to justify her right to be his daughter.
'Natsu would just tell him, hell he already treats Natsu more like his own kid than me… then again why should he treat me like I'm his kid… I never said anything so…' she stopped her thoughts there, the lump had appeared in the back of her throat again and her eyes were wet with the beginnings of tears.
"Dammit" she cursed and cracked open her barrel, drinking straight from a huge gulp before slamming the lid back down.
This wasn't her focus right now, the job, she reminded herself, the job and the reward, that.
But it didn't seem so appealing anymore.
Cana slapped her face, not enough to leave a mark but enough to wake her up a little "Come on Cana, remember the reward, an entire barrel of X706 vintage, aged for more than seventy years, and the rumours about it" she was drooling at the thought.
Supposedly it tasted better than any other wine out there and was so good that one glassful was enough to put down even the most hardened of drinkers.
She couldn't wait!
But it still didn't seem as sweet as it had done before.
Natsu walked through the small town, they had walked all through the night to get here and, though it had taken some time, they had made pretty good time, it wasn't even midday yet 'Cana's probably starting that job about now' he thought to himself. Then shook his head 'Focus Natsu. Igneel. Find Igneel' still he was a bit worried 'Why? Cana can handle herself, she always does in Fairy Tail's brawls' he thought remembering them with a grin. She was a toughie wasn't she? She could punch with the best of them, outdrink the lot of them and if master wasn't around to stop it becoming a magic battle could last to the final four, usually consisting of Natsu himself, of course, Elfman, Gray and the as mentioned Cana.
But even so…
He sighed, it didn't matter now, he was too far away to help her and plus he needed to find whoever saw that dragon again, if only he'd confronted them then and there instead of finding out that they'd left when he'd searched later.
"Did you hear, a Blizzardvern near old Borgo's farm" his sensitive ears twitched and everything clicked in his mind. A Blizzardvern, a farm, the job, Cana!
'Well backup was a good idea Cana, now if only you hadn't sent it on its way' she thought, as she dodged another icy breath from the giant draconian creature, quite distinctly not amused.
Now normally she might've stood a reasonable chance against this thing but right now she was suffering the effects of drinking an entire barrel all to herself in the space of two to three hours, i.e. she was a little drunk, not much but enough to not be on the top of her game, and thanks to that this damn Blizzardvern had gotten in some lucky shots.
She threw five of her cards, blasting it with explosions of fire. It had a similar effect to tossing a small pebble at a brick, i.e. none at all.
Cana ran around its, trying to hit it from behind, and was instead subjected to a sweep of its tail that sent her crashing through a wooden fence and getting tangled up in the vines.
It didn't give her time to prise free before its claws were rushing to end her.
A shock with her lightning cards made it flinch for a second, giving her just enough to time pull free and flings several more all impacting fairly uselessly against its armour-like scales.
She was tired, drunk, bleeding, and, to top it all off, running out of cards. Two hours she had been fighting this damn thing all the while her cards impacted with little use and it couldn't get a good enough hit on her to put her down for good.
How long it would last would depend only on her stamina, because, though confident of many things, Cana held no illusions about defeating it in a battle of attrition, she'd have to end it and end it in a big way.
She checked her bag finding the necessary cards and not much else, at least not much else that would be useful in this situation.
'This is my last shot I have to make this count' four different cards, two of each were thrown at the Blizzardvern. Lightning, wind, fire and water exploded with such force that she was sent flying over backwards from the shockwave of it, and it had exploded right next to the Blizzardvern's skull.
But the thick mist, caused by her water card being super-heated, covered it from view 'That has to have done something' she was certain of that, if nothing else. That was her last, and most powerful, shot. If that failed…
The Blizzardvern shifted the mist clearing revealing a few small scrapes on its scales and its eyes narrowed in annoyance.
Cana jumped narrowly missing its swiping claws, the next claw however caught her as she struggled to her feet and sent her careening backwards once against into a wooden fence, only this time she didn't smash through it.
Her leg had borne the brunt of its swipe and its simple existence was stinging so she didn't even want to imagine what standing on it would be like 'Not that I'll have to worry about standing soon enough' she thought. The Blizzardvern had one claw pointed out above all the rest ready to pierce her through 'Damn, is this it? Sorry guys…' she thought of Natsu, he'd blame himself for this, the daft kid, think it was his fault, hate himself 'Sorry Natsu…' she thought of her father, the father she would never get to meet now 'Sorry… Gil…'
All thoughts of her death stopped as a blazing pink haired teen with angelic like wings sticking out of his back smashed headfirst into the Blizzardvern's skull in a pseudo head-butt. Only thing was Natsu won and the Blizzardvern was knocked off of its feet.
"FIRE DRAGON'S SWORD HORN."
"Natsu" she said smiling, relief washing over her like a warm bath "and Happy" she realised where Natsu had gotten the wings, they were from the cat holding him up by his shirt.
"Yo, Cana" Natsu greeted her with a grin, as Happy plonked him down next to the brunette, before falling to the ground as his wings wore off "What you doing down there?" he asked looking at the fairly banged up girl.
She grinned embarrassedly, scratching at the back of her hair.
Natsu just grinned brighter and offered her a hand up.
"Alright Cana, lets beat this guy up!"
Cana could've hit him in that moment and she could've kissed him as well, the daft idiot what did he think she'd been trying to do for the past two hours "Alright!" she still had a few cards left, and she was not going to be left out of putting the beat down on this guy.
Natsu charged, even as the Blizzardvern struggled to its feet "Fire Dragons Iron Fist!" Natsu shouted as his immolated his fist and smashed it right into the Blizzardvern's nose. The giant beast staggered back from the blow.
Not wanting to be outdone Cana threw three of her remaining cards, Heaven, Reverse Death, and Mountain "Summoned Lightning!" the lightning struck exactly where Natsu had hit sending the Blizzardvern down again.
'Not enough, we need more power' she realised as it struggled back to its feet. Then she grinned, that was fairly easy, she checked her pack and found three of them 'Only three, better make these count, properly this time' "Natsu, chow!"
Natsu turned to stare at her oddly, only to find a burning card rushing towards him at high speed and slamming straight into his mouth.
He munched for a while "Thanks for the meal" he shouted to Cana then faced the Blizzardvern down again "Alright, now that I've eaten, I'm all fired up!"
"Fire Dragons Iron Fist."
"Fire Dragons Wing Attack."
"Fire Dragons Roar."
"Fire Dragons Sword Horn."
Pouring every last drop of magic he had into these attacks Natsu punched, flame whipped, immolated then fire powered head-butted the Blizzardvern in short succession.
And it still stood back up.
Another flaming card was tossed into his mouth.
"Tasty!" Natsu shouted his appreciation, these flames really did taste good. He slammed his fists together, igniting both of them with Fire Dragons Iron First.
Leaping he jumped up high until he was nose to general body area with the Blizzardvern then pounded the living daylights out of the damn thing smashing his incendiary fists into it again and again and again before leaping back a far distance "Fire Dragons Roar!"
Once again the Blizzardvern stood up, but it was battered and burnt, its fight with Cana and now facing down a Dragon Slayer with a convenient source of food nearby, not even this mighty beast could withstand for long, but so long as it could keep going longer than Natsu it would win.
Natsu breathed heavily, he had used up everything again in an attempt to beat it down.
"Natsu, last time!" Cana told him rushing to his side and offering him the burning card.
The Dragon Slayer scarfed it down feeling the rejuvenating flames revive his magical power.
"Together!" they said in unison.
"Fire Dragons Iron Fist!"
"Jolt of Fate!"
Natsu's blazing fist on one side, unmerciful strikes of lightning on the other the Blizzardvern staggered back, whined pitifully and collapsed.
"We did it!"
They leapt into the air and performed a mid-air hug, spinning each other around and lifting each other up in the air in joy once they landed.
Victory was theirs.
Cana lugged her barrel up to their room. After defeating the Blizzardvern the owner of the farm was kind enough to offer them accommodation till they recovered enough for traveling and Cana intended on making the most of it, and intended on finishing this barrel.
After all back at the guild it wouldn't be long before Macao or Wakaba, or even Master, heard about what she had and then they'd want some and then she'd have to put up with them whining if she didn't let them or have to give up some of her previous alcohol if she did. Neither of them appealed much to her.
But Natsu had sort of saved her life back there so she'd decided she'd let him have a cup. That was why she had brought herself a pair of wine glasses, that and sometimes it just wasn't right to drink straight from the barrel and this was one of those times.
She opened the door to find Natsu resting his chin on the table looking none too pleased, while Happy was fast asleep on a pillow in a corner. He had used up a lot of magic power bringing Natsu to her and was probably going to be fast asleep all night. The reason why Natsu was grumpy was simple. He was ready to leave already.
'Just how much energy does he have, I mean I'm exhausted yet he was throwing about attack after attack back then, flinging about more magical power then I had during the entire battle and he's still rearing to go.'
She sighed and put it down as one as life's great mysteries before placing the barrel down.
"Natsu" she said formally making him sit up "This is a barrel of X706 vintage, this is the reason I took this mission in the first place" she informed him sternly "However due to you timely aid I am willing to share a small portion of this with you and…" Natsu sighed and looked away "LISTEN TO ME WHEN I'M TALKING TO YOU!" Natsu snapped back to attention and she continued "… as such I will allow you a glass, or two."
"I'm not really interested" Natsu told her frankly.
"Look" Cana told him, moving close so that he could see the deadly seriousness in her eyes "You are going to drink this, enjoy it, and be fucking grateful I'm nice enough to let you even have a sip. Got it!"
"A-aye" he said in his Happy impression, usually reserved for Erza but Cana was damn scary right now.
"Good" she flashed him a smile.
She filled two glasses up and swirled the dark red liquid around before taking a long deep sniff.
Natsu, not really sure what to do, did the same "Hmm?"
"What's up?" she asked, a little drunk on the simple scent.
"This smell it… Is that barrel oak?" he asked glancing at it "Also you can detect hints of…" and what followed was a long an very detailed explanation of exactly what Natsu's incredible nose detected that is far too long and detailed to go into. By the end of it Cana's eyes were wide and she was left speechless "Also, the grapes were probably picked around midday."
"YOU CAN EVEN SMELL THAT, IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?"
Natsu sent her a grin.
Cana sighed as she came to a realisation "You just made that up didn't you?"
He didn't answer his grin growing wider all the answer she needed.
"Ah whatever, just drink!" she took a chug, and regretted it as she was nearly overwhelmed by the taste, the flavours mixing yet distinct, defined yet the same, the punch smacking her harder than one of Natsu's Fire Dragon's Iron Fist's, her eyes rolled into the back of her head and her mind simply shut down for a moment as she struggled to process what she had just drunk, then she came back with a head wobbling start "Wow!" no words could describe what she had just experienced, that was all she could say.
Natsu glanced at her and shrugged and prepared to down the whole thing in one shot.
Cana clamped a hand over the rim of his glass before he could, if she was nearly knocked unconscious by a large gulp then Natsu, who didn't drink anywhere near as heavily as she, would probably die from drinking the entire thing "Sip, Natsu. Trust me, just sip" she implored, only releasing her hold at his perturbed nod.
"Why are we even drinking this out of glasses" he complained "Don't you usually drink out of the barrel?"
"Natsu, Natsu" she chided "Sometimes you have to handle things with some delicacy, this is one of those times."
Natsu grumbled but said nothing, he could take insults regarding his delicacy from just about anyone on any subject but from Cana on the subject of alcohol, it was insulting even to him. He sipped moodily, and seconds later was lying on the ground having regular spasms, his glass stopped from being pulled down with him by Cana. He was alright, probably, if he had spilt even a drop she'd have killed him herself.
"Hey Natsu" she asked one he had recovered. His cheeks were flushed and his eyes unfocused, he was drunk from the two or so sips he had taken. Hell she was drunk and she'd only had like two glasses, and that was nothing "Why did you come back?" that had been bugging her for a while and while she was certain she knew the answer she wanted to hear it from him.
"Eh… well… you're my friend, I'd do that for any of my friends."
Cana got a smile on her face at that, typical Natsu "But what about Igneel, what if you could've found him this time?"
Natsu shrugged "That Blizzarvy… Blizzardern… Blizzargar… Blizz… that thing was prolly the dragon those, hic, guys were talkin' bout. 'sides" he grinned stupidly "wa kind of son of Igneel would I be… if I let one of my friends die."
That kept the smile there and made it unlikely to fade anytime soon.
"Hey Natsu?" she said again after a moment.
"Yeah" he asked horribly slurring the word, his drunkenness getting worse with every passing second.
"You're a pretty cool guy."
Cana opened her eyes and regretted the day she was born. Her head felt like someone was repeatedly slamming a sledgehammer against it, only they weren't so she had none to pummel to death. Her eyes ached like someone had stabbed rusty nine inch nails in them, wrapped in barbed wire, and were now twisting them in her sockets, from simple exposure to the tiny amount of light let in through the shutters and the sound of her own breathing made her feel like she was stabbing a jagged piece of flint into her cranium.
Still could be worse…
Then felt it, or rather him. Felt his hot skin pressed against her own, cool by comparison. The comfortable weight of him lying on top of her like a warm and protective blanket. The feel of his warm breath tickling the exposed flesh of her breasts.
"Oh fuck" she cursed, instantly regretting speaking the utter agonizing pain such a simple act, and the noise accompanying it, caused.
Natsu was lying on top of her, his head resting between her ample breasts. And he was naked. And so was she.
She could feel what they did last night, her bruised lips, her abused nipples, the oddly pleasant ache down there, and the dried and caked evidence on her thighs. Briefly she wondered just how many of Natsu's firsts she had taken.
Cana looked down at and considered just kicking him off and leaving him, but no. From the fragmented memories of last night she was certain this was her fault, more to the point she was one who had gotten them both drunk, so she felt rather responsible and wasn't going to make Natsu suffer, too much, for her mistakes.
"Hey" she said gently once the pounding faded to just a dull ebb, shaking the boy lightly by the shoulder "Natsu."
Natsu cracked open an eye and looked around groggily, leaving the soft confines of her bosom regretfully. Then he fell out of the bed holding his head "Ahh! Make it stop, make it stop" Cana watched for a while, struggling to summon the energy to get up, as he whimpered and whined on the ground.
"Natsu" he stopped when she spoke, still holding his head, and looked up at her, blurred eyes not registering the fact that she was completely naked. Cana sighed "Come on" she offered him her shoulder and dragged him to the bathroom.
"Cana, the world… its moving" Natsu whined as she dragged him along "I think I'm gonna be sick" he did look rather queasy.
She rubbed his back, she didn't know if that would help at all but it would feel nice and comforting if nothing else.
"Here" she grabbed a glass, conveniently left by the sink and filled it from the tap "drink."
Natsu gulped it down, filled up again and gulped it down again, then ran away to empty his stomach down the toilet, returning to drink four more glasses. Cana watched for a while, then drank water from her cupped hands and finally decided to have a bath.
Scrubbed clean and free of any evidence of last night's misdemeanours Cana sank into the warm water relaxing fully in the deep bath. This farmer must be damn rich if a guest bedroom had not only its own toilets but a full on bathroom en suite.
"Hey" she called him as she washed his own face "Join me" Natsu looked at her still groggy, possibly still drunk, and nodded vaguely.
She needed to talk to him about that, if only to ensure that he knew what they had done and that he wouldn't spread it around. Who knows what Erza would do if she found out about this, and not just to Cana, the fiery tempered redhead would probably beat Natsu half to death as well, perhaps even further than half.
'It had to be me, didn't it' she cursed her own alcoholism and decided when she got back to the guild she was going to drink even more, if only to forget 'Still…' flashes of his warm hands on her soft flesh, his gentle if sloppy touches, and the vigorous pounding she teased him into doing 'it wasn't bad. That doesn't change the fact that I'm probably going to have to explain the facts of life to Natsu though. Well it'll be another reason to drink, to forget this doubtless embarrassing conversation.'
Cana had pretty much sobered up, she had long experience at doing so. Natsu was in a much worse state however.
Eventually they were sat next to each other in the considerably wide tub, she had made him sit next to her so that A) he wouldn't drown if he fainted and B) she could shove him over the edge in case he puked, she really didn't want to be in regurgitation contaminated water and doubted she'd be able to get over or out in time otherwise. Even though they were sat next to each other she still had room to stretch out 'Urgh, gotta get me one of these' she thought, sighing as all her stresses seemed to fade away as her muscles relaxed in the warm water. But not all her stresses had faded the one sat next to her was still on her mind.
"A-aye" he said weakly sounding as crappy as he felt.
Cana felt herself smile a little. He was rather cute when he was so pathetic like this. Then she shook her head 'Job to do Cana' "About last night… do you remember what happened?"
Natsu scratched his head "Urgh… You made me drink" he growled at her.
Her visage assumed a teasing smirk "Sorry, didn't think you were such a lightweight."
"I'm not!" he defended trying to stand before thinking better of it, he'd probably fall straight back over "Besides you got just as drunk as me."
That wiped the smirk right of her face. That stuff was really strong.
"I wasn't talking about that" she huffed. Did he really not remember? That was rather insulting.
"You mean, after getting drunk" he paused and scratched his chin this thinking carefully "Well, we had sex didn't we?"
Suddenly everything came crashing down for Cana "WHAT?!"
"Huh?" Natsu could only blink.
Cana pointed a finger accusingly "Y-you mean… you actually know about that, sex and dating and stuff, how kids are made…" Natsu nodded. Cana pulled her knees close. Her entire world view had been shifted, ruined even. Natsu knew what sex was. Once she had recovered sufficiently she relaxed again 'Okay take it in you stride Cana, at least you don't have to explain it' she placed her arms around the edge of the edge of the tub sinking a bit deeper into the water "So how do you know about this stuff?"
Now it was Natsu's turn to bring his knees close to his chest and hide his face from the world, his body was shaking and his voice sounded truly fearful "W-well… you know… Lisanna used to joke about us being husband and wife…" she nodded, she remembered that it was rather funny to see how flustered the dragon slayer would get "well… Mira heard about it… and… and…" he couldn't continue save a strangled cry of torment, his mind trying desperately to avoid the traumatic experience of having Mira teach him Sex Ed. He had only been like ten years old and that girl was damn scary.
Cana watched all of this blinking. 'Well, at least I don't have to teach him' she thought to herself barely restraining for whispering it out loud, still this business with Mira, she'd have to investigate that. But not right now, and not from Natsu, whatever the hell that girl had done had obviously caused some serious issues.
"So you know what we did?" she just need to confirm that.
"Yeah…" Natsu looked at her frankly "It was… nice."
She giggled, yeah, only Natsu would look a girl he had just fucked as a drunken mistake in the face and say sex with her was nice "That's one way of putting it."
They wallowed for a moment, their shoulders almost touching.
It had been rather nice hadn't it? He had been so gentle, almost nervous, at first, but with the right taunting words she had triggered a vicious, and insanely pleasurable, assault on her body. He had been warm, that was something that rose clear from her garbled memories, even with the heat of their actions he had been warmer, even inside she could feel heat from it. It had felt… nice, she really couldn't think of a different word for it, which, she guessed, was why Natsu described it that way too.
"I guess this means we're married now."
Cana froze 'No, please no, please Mira, please tell me you didn't… please…' she turned to Natsu, slightly fearful.
And found herself staring at a teasing grin.
"You're a dick" she punched his shoulder playfully, grinning. That was a good one, even Cana had to admit.
They had left early that morning, completely bypassed the town they had stayed the first night and were still quite a distance from Magnolia as night set in. They wouldn't make it, or rather they could, at about six tomorrow morning provided they kept walking at a quick pace and didn't slow at all. So instead they decided to camp out here for the night and head home the next day.
Which was a brilliant plan, if it weren't for the small fact that it was late autumn and it was fucking freezing, and to make matters worse she didn't have a sleeping bag and the camp fire only did so much.
Cana glared over at her companion. Things had been a little awkward between them. It wasn't anything bad, in fact you'd struggle to notice, mainly because of how little the two usually interacted, but they treated each other a little differently. Holding off on teasing, no playful banter, no hyperactivity from Natsu, though that could be chalked up to his hangover. But the reason she was pissed at him was different than that.
He wasn't cold at all.
Natsu was lounging on the cold hard earth, yawning as he watched the fire burn thinking about how nice it would be eat it probably, and that really ticked Cana off. Here she was, freezing her ass of while Natsu, who wasn't wearing much more than her in the torso department, looked fine.
Perhaps she was a little annoyed over other facts as well, like the small fact that, while she took peeks ever couple of minutes at Natsu, eyeing up what she had had last night he didn't spare her a single glance more than usual, no eying the cleavage he had been face deep in last night, no gazing longingly at her lips, nothing. So perhaps that was the main reason but she was still fucking cold!
Still he had been treating her a little differently, more cautiously was perhaps the right word. He stayed well clear of her personal space, personal space usually being a none entity to Natsu, and even bothered to look away when she adjusted her bikini top, another unusual thing for Natsu as the usual idiot wouldn't care that she was.
'Seriously, what's up with that?' it was almost like he didn't look at her in that way at all 'He sure as hell did last night though… last night… when he was totally shitfaced drunk… Urgh!'
This bothered Cana far more than the brunette liked.
She was totally confronting him on that, totally, if he didn't find her sexually attractive fine but he was damn well giving a reason for it. She stood, yep she was going to force the answers she wanted out of him "Natsu" totally asking about all that she'd just been thinking about "Why aren't you cold?" 'Well done Cana' she chastised herself, why did her courage have to fail at the last moment.
Natsu looked up at her and blinked "It's... cold?"
'He didn't even notice?!' "Yes, it's fucking freezing!"
"Oh" he blinked again "I didn't notice."
Cana stared in amazement, either he was really stupid, or really hot and not in the good way though he was that as well and… her brain was going off track. She knelt down and placed her hand on his bicep "How the hell…" he really was hot, if it were anyone else she'd assume they were burning up, but maybe Natsu was always like that.
Natsu looked at her awkwardly before looking away, Cana almost flinched. He didn't like her touching him that much. She pulled back and moved away, not noticing the light flush on his cheeks.
Before long she was shivering, was it getting colder? Hugging herself in an attempt to stay warm and moving closer still to the fire.
Natsu watched her a while before deciding he may as well and he stood "Here" he tossed her his vest and even his scarf before settling down in the front of the fire himself, watching his favourite food dance.
Cana blinked at the two garments landed on her, but she wasn't one to look a gift horse in the mouth and pulled on the vest and flattened out the vest before wrapping it around her shoulders.
The cold quickly stopped being a problem, Natsu's bare muscular chest in the firelight had nothing to do with it, despite what her blushing face said, not a damn thing.
"Thanks" she said, late but heartfelt all the same.
"Hey… Natsu?" she said, working up her courage.
He looked to her.
"Why…" how to word it so as to make it sound just mildly curious and not offended but also ensure that he answered the question she was trying to ask "… how are you so good around girls?"
"Good around girls?" he repeated, as if the idea was foreign to him.
"You know I mean, must guys would be nursing a semi at some of things Lucy wears, on a day to day basis, and Erza's armours aren't exactly modest so… how come you're so good about… it?" she finished lamely 'How come you don't look at me?' was left unasked save in the deepest corners of her mind.
Natsu scratched his head, then scratched a bit more, then frowned, then bit his lip, then crossed his arms and, just when Cana finally assumed he wasn't going to answer started "Well, I guess I just don't look at them like that. I mean… I don't know what I mean but…" he scratched his head some more "It's kind of like… that… isn't for me?" he said unsure of his own answer.
"Huh?" was all Cana could reply with.
"Well you know it to make them feel good, isn't it? Although now that I think on it why does Erza wear such skimpy armour… I got it! It's because wearing a huge chunk of steel is really stuffy so that's why they show so much skin" Natsu nodded in satisfaction happy at his own answer to his own question.
'I'm not sure that's it, but it's probably for the best if you believe that Natsu' Cana had her own suspicions of why Erza wore such revealing armours and well… it wasn't as… innocent, she supposed was the right word, as Natsu's "Anyway, back to the matter at hand. 'It's not for you', what do you mean?"
"They wear clothes like that to get the guys attention right? And that makes them feel better, like how that Bora guy used that charm ring to make himself feel famous to make himself feel better."
There was a story there and Cana wanted to know it, but for now she was more interested in Natsu's, strangely deep, answer.
"But it's for them,you know, not me so I just don't notice it."
"So what you're saying" she said puzzling it out "Is that they wear those clothes to make themselves feel better, whereas if they wore those clothes to say, attract your attention, you probably would ogle them?"
Natsu frowned again "Yeah… I think."
Well that was oddly complex, Natsu wouldn't react to you if you stripped naked in front of him, but if you did it for him then he just might.
'That's rather complex for Natsu. Hell it might even be complex for a normal person which means it's incredibly complex for Natsu.'
"So" she drew the word out, making it a tease, while leaning over to him her hands clasped in her lap her arms pressing her breasts together "If a girl were to say" she took note of how his eyes looked her dead on, before dropped lower "make obvious attempts to get your attention with her body" his eyes followed the curved line of cleavage so much showing thanks to her bikini top but some covered because of Natsu's vest "you wouldn't ignore it… hmm?" she was full on leaning towards him now, showing him almost everything and Natsu's eyes had yet to move.
"N-no?" he said nervously hoping that was the right answer.
"Good" with that she leant back and resumed her normal position, gleefully noting how Natsu's flushed cheeks had yet to fade as he looked determinately away from her.
"Cana, are you annoyed at me?"
She blinked at the odd question and the odd serious expression on Natsu's still turned away face.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean… last night… we… you've been acting… odd all day. So… I'm sorry."
Cana shifted over to him, so he'd been thinking things sort of similar to her, huh, and took his chin in her hand their faces close "Natsu, I'm the one who should apologise for getting us both drunk enough to do that, and either way last night was nothing to apologise for. It was nice, remember?"
"Yeah" he nodded, looking straight at her with inscrutable eyes.
"Then there's nothing to apologise for."
"Right" he smiled a bit, then leaned in and kissed her.
Cana sat frozen, unsure of how to react. When he moved back she placed a finger to her lips, as if uncertain if that had just happened "Eh?"
"Was that nice?"
Cana felt her face flush, was she actually being teased flirtatiously by Natsu of all people "Well" she moved in and claimed a kiss from him this time, sweeping her tongue over his lips "it was alright" his lips were hot, she could feel them like they had been imprinted in heat upon her own.
"Hey Cana, wanna do more nice things?" that grin, the usual Natsu-ish grin so childish and adorable, somehow managed to look sensual and suggestive right now.
And Cana found herself grinning right back.
"So…" Natsu said slowly as they walked towards Magnolia, they were almost at the city limits "What are we now, anyway?"
"Hmm" Cana hadn't considered that "We're dating, I guess" she hadn't exactly been in a relationships enough herself to know when you were and weren't dating, she guessed fucking was as good an indicator as any.
"Okay" he nodded.
From the corner of her vision Cana noticed his eyes drop to her hand then flick up and away. She smiled 'How cute.'
Natsu flinched when he felt Cana's hand clasp his own before he looked at the grinning brunette and found a grin spreading to his own face.
It wasn't love at first sight or a fated encounter or anything like that, they were just two people who only now realised that they found each other's company nice. And perhaps, just perhaps, that was the best type of relationship. It certainly was for those two.
Hand in hand they walked back home.
"Ahh, thank gods that's done" Lucy rubbed her shoulders as they walked back into Magnolia town late at night. The train was down between Hargeon and Magnolia today and their mission took place there so they had been forced to walk all the way back otherwise they would've been back earlier.
"Gray, Juvia!" Erza's voice called her attention to a pair they were walking towards at an intersection. They looked rather awkward, Gray looking anywhere but Juvia and Juvia looking only at Gray. Sometimes Lucy wondered if Gray just found Juvia affections creepy or if he really didn't realise she liked him. She would bet money on the latter, he was as dense as Natsu at times.
They walked together back home to Fairy Tail all of them feeling a little more relaxed when they saw the fortress like building that was their guildhall 'I wonder if Master built it to look like a castle or if it just ended up that way?'
Ah well, what did it matter? They were home.
"We're back!" Lucy shouted as they pushed open the door.
It's not that no one was there, just that no one responded. Lucy looked about in confusion, usually at least someone would respond, and where the hell was Natsu, she had expected him to go a little stir crazy here all alone but Erza 'insisted' she come with her, Wendy and Carla so she didn't really have a choice, In much the same way as Erza 'insisted' Gray go on a job with Juvia, she could be quite 'insistent' at times, not that Lucy would say that to the girls face, she'd sooner crawl through five miles of broken glass than say that, hell make it six.
They approached Mira who was humming as she cleaned glasses, sparing a glance to Master who was weeping on the counter next to her.
"Um, Mira, what's going on?" Lucy asked, feeling a bit paranoid at the guilds quietness, it was never this quite, where were the brawls, the drunken cries. What the hell was going on?
"Oh that" she smiled "Well…"
"They grow up so fast!" Master's cry cut over Mira as he continued to weep "I'm so very proud!" he announced still bawling his eyes out.
'Okay, that's weird. I was expecting Natsu to have destroyed something and that was why Master was crying, but… what the hell is going on?' confused she turned to Mira again hoping for a longer answer this time.
The sound of cracking wood behind her stopped her from receiving her answer.
Lucy turned to find Gray, his jaw hanging so wide it buried deep in the wooden floorboards, and then found what had caused this.
She felt the colour draining from her body as she saw it.
It being Natsu and Cana… Natsu and Cana making out… Natsu and Cana making out on a table… Natsu and Cana making out on a table in clear view of the entire guild… Natsu and Cana making out on a table in clear view of the entire guild with their hands wandering to places they certainly shouldn't be in a public forum.
Juvia turned to stare at Gray with wide eyes, her imagination running overtime 'Juvia and Gray-sama doing that…' her face turned bright red.
"It's called kissing. It's what people do when they're in a relationship with each other…" Carla explained to the innocent young lady Wendy.
But Lucy could care less about those three. The one that worried her was approaching Natsu and Cana with thunderous footsteps.
At Erza's approached Cana sat up, pushing Natsu, his lips and hands away. His cheeks were flushed and his eyes rather unfocused. Was he drunk Lucy wondered? Facing the shaking, with rage Cana assumed, redhead nervously Cana began speaking shakily "Um, Erza, about this, I…"
"You…" Erza's shaking got worse, her red hair covered her face from view but the shadows made her appear especially ominous "You two I… I…" she looked up "I'M SO HAPPY FOR YOU TWO!" she cried, collapsing to her knees, tears streaming down her face soon turning to great fountains as she cried entire lakes of tears of joy.
Natsu resumed kissing Cana with Cana joining him willing after a moment, seeing as Erza was apparently out of commission on her knees crying a river.
Lastly Lucy, who had finally recovered from the shock, giggled at the whole scene. Natsu and Cana huh? Not something she expected but it worked surprisingly well.
'Just another day in Fairy Tail.'
So this is my first foray into Fairy Tail fanfiction (enjoy the alliteration?) I really like Fairy Tail, known about it for a while but only started watching it, or rather watching it past episode twenty or so, recently. Cana's a good character I like her, didn't really notice her existence until the S-rank trial arc, she was nice to look at but not very interesting as a person, but that fleshed her character out nicely.
By the way this fic was inspired by the song Something in the Water by Example, not sure how it was inspired by that song as that song has very little to do with this fic's plot, but it was. Something in the Water really fits Cana's character, then again so does any song about getting drunk.
I also like my explanation of Natsu's lack of sex drive, its probably not true but I like it. It kinda fits with him and also really doesn't as its kind of complicated, and Natsu doesn't do complicated.
Anyway review if you want, don't if you don't, but please enjoy.