Disclaimer: I don't own Fairy Tail etc.
Author's Note: so much fluff here. so much.
She's surprised at how crafty he is about it. Natsu Dragneel has never been known to be subtle in the least degree. More like over a hundred degrees at all times of the day. She always senses him near because of not only his temperature but his voice, his laughter, his brawls. His raucous greetings and almost-mournful goodbyes. So how he starts to sneak his stuff into her apartment is beyond her understanding and imagination. And it frustrates her.
It starts with his toothbrush, which she wasn't aware he even owned. He puts it right next to hers in the holder, and the implication of them together makes a blush as red and as warm as his fire-diet sprinkle across her skin. She scrunches her nose at how frayed it is from his dagger-sharp canines, and buys him a new one the next time she's at the store. Only to make her bathroom seem cleaner.
Then it's some of his clothes, which she also forgets sometimes that he owns. He tears so many of his outfits in battle it's hard to believe he has as many shirts as he does that start to pile up on top of her dirty and ragged clothes. She hides them all as quickly as she can and with a blush bigger than the last; anyone else from the guild that saw that along with the toothbrush would have an absolute fit.
Sometimes it's a pair of sandals. Another thing he seems to have too many pairs of (along with sharp teeth, and slightly-oversized pants). Other moments it's his shampoo, and then it gets more personal. Then it's old pictures he had stored in his black hole of a closet from his younger days in Fairy Tail that include a small but still powerful Erza as she holds both Natsu and Gray by the ears, that makes her smile. She's the most surprised when a framed picture of she and Natsu appears on the nightstand by her bed, that she didn't know he had. And compared to the condition of his other possessions, this one seems to be handled with the most care (and gentleness is another thing she never knew he had but is glad to know he does).
The most obvious is when he starts to leave himself in her bed at night. She's used to him sneaking in her bedroom window and occasionally passing out on her couch for whatever reason, or taking naps during the day on her bed while she's writing another story of some sort, or him bragging to her about his latest bandit apprehension. But she's not used to him slinking in and into her bed while she's sleeping, or about to sleep. She's not used to him holding her way too close for comfort.
She's not used to feeling content when he does, and that unnerves her. She's not used to wanting him to do it until he suddenly starts to. Then it's what she expects. Then she is used to it and that causes her to lock her window a few weeks later.
Certainly, Lucy is not used to a knock on her door at one in the morning. She hesitates at her doorknob. "Hello?"
"Lucy!" he whines. "Open up!"
She does as she's told.
He closes the door behind him and falls into her bed like he belongs there. She knows he does but somehow doesn't want to admit it.
"Natsu," she whispers as she sits on the edge of the mattress. Close enough to smell the tinge of smoke on the tips of his teeth and tongue, and near enough to run her hand through the pink fringes of his soft hair.
He leans into her as she continues to move her hand across his scalp. "What is it?" He peers up at her with comfort softening his normally intense stare.
"Why do you keep leaving your stuff here, and keep sleeping here?" she asks, though it does not come out as harshly as she wished it had.
He reaches out a hand and places it on the one she's using to fiddle with his hair. "I just realized that wherever Lucy is, is my home. So I want to stay with you. If that's okay with you." He grins, bleary and sweet.
"Yeah. Of course, Natsu." She slides under the covers with him, keeps their fingers entwined as he wraps his arms around her and buries his face in the back of her neck. He falls asleep instantly.
Lucy smiles as she tightens her grip on their hands. She supposes it doesn't feel like home until he's with her, either. She could get used to it. She expects to.