Natsu took a deep breath, trying to calm down enough to ask one of his friends what the hell was going on. It hadn't taken him long at all to catch up to Lucy, Happy and the others when he had run from the guild. After all, he had been plenty motivated after his little 'epiphany'. But the sight of a large group of people before his six friends had made him speed up even more. And when he saw this guy standing far too close to his Lucy and actually touching her, he had snapped.
With a little fire boost he had smashed his enflamed fist into the bastards face and sent him flying back into his buddies.
He knew though that his action had been rather impulsive and that he might need to get a little more information about the current situation.
Not that he regretted punching the guy or anything. Bastard deserved it for touching her.
When he turned around to face his friends, however, any and all pretense of calmness flew out the window.
Romeo and Happy had gained new bruises and scrapes, some of which were bleeding. His dragon slayer enhanced vision allowed him to see the already forming finger prints around Romeo's throat. As his gaze drifted to Lucy, his already narrowed eyes became even more dangerous looking. She was pale, slightly trembling, and a single tear was gathering in the corner of her eye.
With barely contained rage, he forced the words out of his mouth.
Before anyone else had the chance, Charle answered him.
"These wizards are here to take over the guild! The man with the scars attacked Romeo and Happy and was trying to strip Lucy naked and force himself on her later on!"
The white exceed might consider Natsu to be a horrible influence on her young charge, and a destructive idiot most of the time, but she also knew how - sometimes frighteningly - protective he was of his loved ones. And right now, an angry, protective dragon slayer was exactly what they needed to deal with those menaces.
The leader of Poison Blade had meanwhile managed to untangle himself from his underlings and stand up. Ignoring the looks his fellow guild members gave him, waiting for him to give them the signal to strike back at his assailant, he rubbed his aching chin with his human hand. Damn, but that had hurt. He may have been irritated before, but now he was freaking angry. That son of a bitch that punched him was going to pay for that with his blood, and after that, Dollface was going to pay with her body!
He directed his gaze to his soon to be victim and, without being consciously aware of it, froze.
Natsu was literally fuming. The flames weren't merely surrounding his body, they were consuming him. His eyes had turned into two bright dots encased in darkness. Lucy had to take a step back as the very air around him became uncomfortably hot.
Scarface shook himself out of his frozen state. He was the fearsome leader of Poison Blade. He had killed more people than anyone else in his guild, and before him stood a deranged looking KID with fucking PINK hair! The brat had just gotten in a lucky hit, that was all! He was no match for him and his steel claw magic!
Confident now in his ability to rip his opponent to shreds, the man stepped forward. Not without spotting the symbol on the boys arm though.
"What, another one of you?! Just how many of you fucking fairies are still crawling around here?"
"Try all of us."
Lucy's and the others eyes widened in relieved surprise as they heard Gray's voice from behind them. They turned around and sure enough, there stood the rest of their guild.
The members of Poison Blade looked at the Fairy Tail wizards they had foolishly believed to be anywhere else but here, suddenly not so sure anymore if coming to Magnolia had been a good idea.
Natsu however had not turned around when hearing the others arrive. His eyes were zeroed in on the man with the scarred face before him. The man that had the audacity to barge into his town, threaten his guild, raise his hand against his friends and try to force himself on HIS LUCE!
His voce was deep, dark and unlike anything his friends had ever heard from the young man.
"I'm gonna burn you to a crisp!"
And with that he practically exploded into motion. A fiery kick thrust Scarface against the same house he had thrown Happy at just minuets ago. But this time, the wall cracked from the brutal impact. Two of Poison Blade's members tried to attack Natsu from behind, but were stopped by an ice wall. Confused by the walls sudden appearance, they hesitated a moment too long and received a punch in the face and a kick to the chest by Fairy Tails dark haired ice mage, knocking them back a few paces.
"Watch your back Flame Brain!"
But Natsu didn't rise to the insult, or even remotely reacted as if he had heard his frienemy. At the next second, he was gone, heading straight for the man picking himself up from the slight rubble of the house wall he had cracked.
Gray looked after the pink haired dragon slayer, a little stunned.
/Damn that guy must have pissed him off good!/
He was ripped out of his thoughts when a powerful stream of water shot by his back, washing away the sword wielding mage that had snuck up behind him.
"Juvia will not allow anyone to hurt her beloved!"
Gray quickly turned and sent the blue haired water mage a thumbs up.
Before the beet red Juvia could stutter out a response, Gajeel ran by Gray, his arm transforming in preparation of the fight.
"You should listen to your own advice, Stripper!"
Angry now, Gray readied his own magic and turned to the enemy wizards.
"Say that again Metal Head, I dare you!"
Erza had just re-quipped into her Flame Empress Armour and was wiping the floor with five opponents.
"You shouldn't talk like that to your friends!"
A ring of purple fire and smoke suddenly surrounded four other mages of the rogue guild.
"I will teach you not to mess with my son!"
Macao and Wakaba stood side by side.
Somewhere in the fray, Elfman could be heard bellowing "Fighting like a MAN!" as well as Evergreens immediate answer "Stop spouting nonsense and help me carry these stone statues!"
A few of the slightly smarter Poison Blade members were starting to realize that they had been very wrong to assume that Fairy Tail was no more and were trying to get away while their comrades were being beaten into the ground by the impressive guild. They had made about four steps back the way they came from, when three men appeared right in front of them.
Laxus, Freed and Bixlow smirked down at the group of about eight retreating mages. Sparks of electricity were running along the blond dragon slayers arms.
"So, you clowns thought about taking over our guild, huh?"
Bixlow's babies repeated the word "clowns clowns" just before a bold of lightning shot down on the unfortunate group of mages who had understood their mistake too late.
The few wizards that hadn't joined the fight against Poison Blade, had meanwhile ushered Romeo, Wendy, Happy, Lucy, Lily and Charle to a safe distance. Mirajane looked them over worriedly.
"Are you alright? Romeo, Happy? Should we take you to the infirmary? Is anyone else of you hurt?"
They shook their heads, while Levy used her script magic to summon some bandages and antiseptic salve to treat the wounds on both Romeo and Happy with Lisanna's help. Cana took a closer look at Lucy, still able to make out traces of the blonds previous scare.
"Did that jerkface do anything to you Lucy? Did he touch you?"
A little intimidated by the brunettes stare, Lucy quickly waved her arms before her in a negative fashion.
"No, no, nothing happened. I mean he tried, but that's when Natsu came and... how come you all are here anyway?"
Master Makarov stepped forward, a serious expression on his face.
"We came after all of you to apologize, actually. What you said made us all finally see the errors of our ways. And as it turns out, we didn't leave the guild a minute too soon. Tell me my child, was that the insignia of the Poison Blade guild I saw on one of them?"
The tiny man was looking at the battle between his brats and the other mages, though it would probably be more accurate to call it a one-sided beat down.
Lucy nodded to the masters question.
"Yes. Apparently there are rumours going around everywhere that Fairy Tail is no more and they thought they could use the opportunity to claim Magnolia for themselves."
The master nodded grimly while watching his guild take care of the presumptuous thugs.
"I see our actions have had some far reaching consequences. Well, we are going to rectify the situation as soon as Poison Blade is dealt with and handed over to the authorities."
And by the look of things, that wasn't going to take much longer. Most of the enemy mages were already lying in a pile of beaten and unconscious bodies, while the rest of Fairy Tail just finished off the last of them. Overlooking the battle area, the celestial wizard couldn't help but search for a pink mop of hair.
/Where is Natsu?/
Said dragon slayer was currently busy beating the living daylights out of the leader of the rogue guild.
Scarface tried fighting back, but his opponent /A fucking brat, god dammit!/ was far too fast and way too strong for him. He would either avoid or block the otherwise deadly blows of his steel claw and the few cuts that Scarface was lucky enough to land, didn't even seem to register with the pink haired young man. The next fiery punch sent the scarred man crashing backwards into some empty, wooden barrels that had been left by the road. They shattered upon his impact, countless splinters embedding themselves into his skin.
A painful groan ripped from his throat as he tried righting himself to an upward position. This was humiliating. He was Duncan McCoy, the leader of the notorious Poison Blade build, a terror to all that even breathed his name.
How could a fucking brat with god damn pink hair beat him like this?
His angry thoughts came to an abrupt halt as he felt himself lifted by the front of his shirt and staring directly into the dark, enraged eyes of the Salamander of Fairy Tail.
"This was for harming my friends."
Then Scarface's eyes widened fearfully when he saw the boy before him catch on fire once again.
"And this is for touching my Lucy!"
His scream echoed through the streets of Magnolia as Duncan McCoy, feared leader of the rogue guild Poison Blade, was taught the painful lesson that you don't touch a dragon slayers girl.
The others just stared as Natsu dragged behind him the unmoving, charred body of their enemies leader, and dumped him unceremoniously on the pile of bodies.
"He is still alive, right Natsu?"
Erza's question was met with an almost disappointed seeming nod from Natsu, who then quickly looked to his blue furred best friend.
"You alright buddy?"
Lisanna was just placing a bandage on the last of his cuts. The exceed smiled at him happily.
"Aye! I'm good now!"
Natsu nodded, then glanced over at Romeo, who was being looked over by his father.
"How about you lil' bro?"
Romeo beamed, proud to be called a brother by his idol.
"I'm fine! Not like this creep could really hurt me!"
He tried to pull off a cool pose, but aggravated one of his injuries with the movement and cringed. Wendy was by his side in the blink of an eye.
"Don't push yourself too much Romeo. Does your head still hurt? Your neck? Do you need me to heal you?"
The young sky maiden's closeness caused a horrible blush to spread all over the boys face and he quickly looked away from her big, warm, worried eyes as he stuttered out an answer.
"I-I-I'm ok, Wendy, no n-n-n-n-need to worry!"
Everyone surrounding them grinned or snickered at the display, while Mira was already caught up in planning their first date.
Now that he had made sure that no one was hurt badly, his eyes finally settled on Lucy, who was smiling at him. He walked towards her, gripped her wrist, forced out a "I need to talk to you." and then quickly dragged her a little ways away from the others and into a nearby alley.
There he turned around and backed her against one of the two houses. As soon as her back touched the wall, he rested his hands on either side of her head, leaning in a little closer himself. Lucy stared at her rosy haired partner, a growing worry on her face.
"Natsu? Is something wro-" His finger on her lips silenced her effectively.
"No. Now it's your turn to listen to me, Luce. Because I have figured out a few things, too."
When he was sure the blond wouldn't interrupt him, his finger released her lips, though he instantly missed the soft feel of them on his skin.
"First, I don't like it when you are not by my side!"
Then he stepped even closer to her, forcing Lucy to press her body more against the wall behind her, his arms still caging her in firmly. He looked deeply into her chocolate coloured eyes, his face so close that she could feel his warm breath on her lips.
"Second-" Without wasting another moment, he closed the little distance remaining between them and kissed her full on the lips.
Lucy's eyes widened in shock and disbelieve at what was happening. Not knowing if she should kiss him back or push him away, she just stood there motionless for a few seconds. But when he came closer still, pressing his own muscular body into hers and his lips began moving against her own, deepening the kiss, she closed her eyes, sighed, and reciprocated.
When, after what might have been both hours and mere seconds, they parted, Natsu's hands were secured around her waist and neck, keeping her pressed against him, while Lucy's hands had made their way into his hair, where they were currently curled into his pink locks.
They were both panting, but when Lucy finally caught her breath again, she stared into the dark charcoal eyes before her, with a mixture of elation and anxiety.
"What does this mean?"
A small smile stole itself over the dragon slayers lips and he gently laid his forehead against hers.
"It means that you are mine. And that you won't go off without me anymore, no matter how boring it is. And that I get to do this a lot more."
With that, he leant in for another breath-taking kiss, to which Lucy happily complied.
They might have blissfully gone on like this for the rest of the day, if it wasn't for the sudden and very familiar exclamation of "They llllike each other!"
Caught off guard, the two quickly stopped their little make out session and looked to the entrance of the alley - they did not, however, let go of each other. And there before them, crammed into the narrow entrance between the two houses, stood all of Fairy Tail. Some were blushing (like Levy, Erza and Wendy), some snickering (like Gray, Laxus and Gajeel), some with hearts in their eyes and daydreaming of wedding bells and cute little rose haired children with big brown eyes (Mira),but most of them were smiling broadly as they started to whistle and cheer for the new couple.
Lucy's face turned into formerly undiscovered shades of red, while Natsu grinned brightly and hugged her closer to him.
"Try LOVE, Happy!"
At that, Lucy's head snapped up to him, forgetting her embarrassment for the moment.
"L-love? You love me?"
Natsu looked at her in a way that made her feel as if she had just asked the dumbest question in the world. Then he grinned.
"Of course I do you weirdo."
The nickname earned him a slap on his arm.
"I'm not a weirdo!" Then softer, she replied. "I love you, too."
And she swore she had never seen such a happy expression on the dragon slayers face, just before he leant in to kiss her yet again. And this time, the cheering and cat calls from the rest of their guild didn't bother them one bit.
It had taken about half an hour for the authorities to send the needed personnel to pick up the mostly still unconscious members of Poison Blade and take them away. There had been a short discussion on whether or not the leader would require immediate medical attention, but as soon as they were gone, the whole of Fairy Tail made their way to Magnolia's one and only orphanage.
Of course, only after Lucy had a near panic attack when she realized that she wasn't carrying the black suitcase anymore. Thankfully, Gajeel had found it quickly in a shadowed corner of the street.
"No wonder you are always complaining about not having enough rent money if you keep losing it like this, Bunny Girl." The teasing comment had been followed by a very quick, highly uncharacteristic, hug from the big man. The softly whispered "Thanks, Lucy." had made the celestial wizard smile brightly. Natsu, however, had not been impressed with the display and the two dragon slayers had tried their best to bash each other's face in on the way through the forest.
To say the kids had been ecstatic about the visit of this many cool wizards was an understatement. But when Lucy, together with the master, presented Inga with the suitcase full of big jewel notes, the poor woman nearly fainted. It had taken them some work, but eventually they convinced Inga that yes, she could accept the money and no, it wasn't too much.
The older woman had tears of gratitude in her eyes as she, Lucy, the master, Levy, Mirajane and Freed started discussing better living arrangements in the city, while the rest of the guild entertained the young ones. Naturally, Natsu and Gray got into a fight while playing with some of the kids, that Gajeel joined in on not long after. After Lisanna, Cana, Warren and Jet had gotten the children to a safe distance, they got to witness their first ever match between mages.
Though there were a lot of things the kids didn't understand, for example why it was necessary for the one using ice magic to strip down to his boxers, or what exactly the names Flame Brain and Metal Head meant, there was one thing all of them learned that day without fail.
When Erza 'Titania' Scarlett enters the field, you stop fighting immediately, bow down and pray for mercy. You do not, under any circumstances, tell her to "Shut it we are busy!"
By the time the Fairy Tail crew took their leave, Natsu, Gray and Gajeel had just regained conciousness. And though the salmon haired young man usually hated undergoing Erza's crazy harsh punishment, he hadn't minded as much this time. After all, who in their right mind would, when it got him to lay in Lucy's lap the whole time and wake up to her smiling, slightly worried/slightly scolding face?
The master had made plans with Inga to go to the mayor the next day and see about finding a building that would suit her and the children. Mirajane and Levy had volunteered to keep an eye on the kids while the woman was in the city. That had automatically prompted Freed to offer his services as a babysitter as well, while Levy had just sat there, staring at Gajeel until - "God dammit Shrimp stop giving me those puppy eyes already, I'll help look after the brats!" - he gracefully gave in.
That left the others free to tackle the overflowing mission board back at the guild. Apart from Wendy, Romeo, Lily, Charle, Lucy and Happy, that is. Those six were ordered to rest up the next couple of days and not even think about doing any strenuous work until they were fully recovered again.
Juvia was therefore given a temporary spot on Team Natsu to make up for the absence of the celestial mage and exceed a little. A circumstance the blue haired water mage couldn't be happier about, since it afforded her plenty of time with her beloved Gray.
Though Natsu was less than pleased with being separated from Lucy yet again, he was also one of the people that insisted that she and the others take it easy over the next couple of days. So he swallowed his disappointment, tried not to think about the horror that was doing a mission together with the ice princess, his stalker and Monster Erza, and just slipped his hand into Lucy's, who was walking beside him on their way back to town. She smiled sweetly at him when he intertwined their fingers. She then leaned up on her toes and pecked him on the cheek, making him beam.
He decided then that it wouldn't be too bad.
He would just concentrate on the thought of coming home to his Luce.
It is done. This is the last chapter. The story is now finished.
I want to thank everyone who has supported, reviewed, favourited, followed or just read this story. It really means a lot to me.
I sorry I'm not answering the reviews of the last chapter, as I usually do, or give any story recs here, but I'm kinda pushing the clock as it is right now and if I don't get this done in the next 5 minutes, I will have to wait two more days before I can upload this chapter. Gonna be gone on another seminar and have to get up real early tomorrow to catch the train.
Oh, before I forget, the next story will be the Laxus Lucy sibling story (number 3). Though more people voted for story number 1 ( the overprotective Natsu story), the people voting for number 3 made some interesting points, which is why I have decided to work on this one first.
Once again, thank every one for the support.