Hello everyone! I hope that you still remember me! I know it's been a little short of forever, so I do apologize about that. Let's hope that this steamy chapter will make up for it. ;P

Warning: Some tissues may be in order for this chapter…warned ya

Disclaimer: The songs "Marry you" by Bruno Mars and "I won't give up" By Jason Mraz are not mine, just like the characters of Fairy Tail…-le-sigh-

Chapter Twelve: Dance With Me

Lucy tried her best to keep her mind pre-occupied during the days before her date with Natsu. She knew mulling over it wouldn't make the time go faster or her heart stop pounding zealously in her chest. Working at Fairy Tail helped distract her, especially when Mira was around. The elder bartender seemed to be in full work mode the past few days, leaving little time to talk about personal problems. Part of Lucy worried that it had something to do with Laxus, whose mood scared anyone within a five mile radius. Just what had happened when Lucy left that night?

"Lucy." Though she wanted to confront her co-worker, Lucy's attention was brought to another couple enshrouded in mystery. Glancing over at the call of her name, Lucy smiled at the fellow Cancer sitting at the bar.

"Erza! I haven't seen you in forever; how are you doing?" Erza casually shrugged, signaling that something was off. Knowing she couldn't ask Erza openly, Lucy tried to approach the situation indirectly. "Are you okay? You seem a little out of it. Are you mad at Natsu and Gray again?"

"No, nothing like that." Erza paused, then glanced at her friend suspiciously. "Should I be?"

"N-no! I'm sure the boys are staying out of trouble," Lucy replied, trying to keep the focus on Erza's secret problem. Leaning her elbows onto the countertop, Lucy sent Erza an endearing smile. "You just looked troubled, so I figured it was one of them."

"It's…Jellal." Erza's face lit up as soon as she said her ex-fiancée's name, Lucy blinking in surprise. For such a headstrong woman, Erza sure lost her cool when it involved Jellal.

"Jellal?" Lucy repeated, wondering just what it was that had her friend looking so bothered.

"After our last date at the carnival, we both realized we need to talk about us. He's supposed to come over tonight for drinks; we're trying to decide what our next step is." Erza glanced down at her lap, her hands elegantly folded to keep from pulling on her own hair.

"That's a good thing, right?" Lucy asked. Erza nodded once, and then quickly shook her head.

"I don't know what I want," Erza admitted.

"But you were engaged to the man. You were in love with him."

"I can't think of him as the man I was in love with. That was several years ago; we've both changed since then."

"When you're in love with someone, does it ever truly go away?" Lucy's innocent question silenced Erza, allowing Lucy to continue. "When I think of love, I think it's not something that disappears. Infatuation or lust can go to the wayside, but true love's supposed to be forever. You and Jellal were brought together again because of a connection the two of you had."

"Then why is it so difficult for the two of us to talk about a future?"

"Maybe because you're too scared to find out he's still in love with you. If you love him, and he still loves you, it would leave room for you to get hurt by him again. Cancers are very emotional beings; we don't like being hurt by the same person twice. You'd rather keep a wall up then open yourself up to heartbreak." Erza scowled at Lucy's assessment, sipping on tea to calm her nerves. It wasn't unreasonable to have a wall up with the man, right? He was the one who left her. And nobody wanted to be hurt by the same person twice; once was quite enough. Plus there was no guarantee that he was still in love with her. They had kissed. That didn't mean love; that meant attraction. Jellal had yet to open up about his feelings for her; did that mean they were different from when he left?

Erza couldn't ignore the guarded feeling when she left the bar. It clung to her like a second skin. Erza tried to shake it off while she set two glasses next to the wine on her nightstand. Before leaving the bar, Lucy gave one piece of advice to the shaken woman. If you want conversation to come easier to you, talk in the room you feel most comfortable in your apartment. Cancers like to feel relaxed and cozy when they talk; try a room you spend the most time in.

It took little effort to realize it was her bedroom that she felt most relaxed in. Though it was slightly embarrassing (since she hadn't had a male in her room since Jellal left), Erza knew it would be best to talk in. She turned to her closet, glancing at black sundress she had chosen earlier. After switching into the delicate outfit, Erza faced her mirror. Though she intended to look at herself, her eyes drifted to the pictures resting on her dresser. One was recent, from the carnival a couple weeks prior. The older one was faded, but located at the same carnival several years before. Her fingers trailed over the younger version of herself, arms wrapped around her blue-haired date. Her cheeks were nearly as red at her tied up hair, but Erza knew at the time how content she was. For a moment, she wondered if she'd ever feel that again.

The doorbell ringing made Erza snap back to reality. She glanced to the clock, realizing she was running much later than she anticipated. Forgetting about the picture reels, Erza ran to finish her preparations. After a few frantic minutes, Erza slid in front of the door before taking a calming breath. Once in control of herself again, Erza pushed the door open and greeted her guest with a small smile.

"Good evening, Jellal."

"You look beautiful," His compliment made her blush, Erza pushing her hair behind her ear and looking away. She let him enter her apartment, leading him through the living room.

"I figured you'd be alright with some white wine."

"Of course." She could almost see the tenseness in his shoulders when she led him into her room, making Erza's smile widen. Despite the calm and collected nature of Jellal, it was intriguing how intimate situations bothered him as much as herself. It had made their first time together quite amusing to anyone outside of the situation. Erza tried to play off her nerves when pouring him a glass, which he shakily took. She sat down to pour her own, feeling the bed shift slightly when he joined her.

"So, Jellal, what would you like to talk about?"

It wasn't hard for the two to fall into a casual conversation about Fairy Tail. Things that bothered most people, such as politics and religion, came easy for the couple to discuss. The wine slipped down Erza's throat like water, the woman enjoying the relaxing nature her room had on her. Sports, entertainment, and even Magnolia gossip were all topics thoroughly discussed throughout the night. Though they talked like old friends, neither brought up the topic that needed the most discussion. Their relationships, both past and present, were left in the dark. It burned the tip of Erza's tongue, but her fear refused to let her speak about it. Jellal seemed in no rush either, letting moments of silence be filled with sips of their wine.

"It's getting late, and you have work in the morning. I should try to get home before the rain gets worse." Erza frowned when she watched Jellal rise from the bed, placing his glass back onto her nightstand. She glanced over to the darkened sky, a raindrop now splashing against the window. She had been so wrapped up in the conversation, she didn't notice the change of weather. Now that it was quiet, she could hear rain splashing into the ground outside.

"I suppose that's true," she whispered, a pain swelling in her chest. Her hands fisted in her dress as she watched him slip his shoes back on. Once again, Jellal was leaving without giving her an insight into his heart. Was this her answer?

"Erza?" His questioning tone snapped her resistance. Erza was not a coward. She did not quake and cower in the fear of pain. In the years she had been at Fairy Tail, Erza learned facing your fears was the only way to disperse them. This was no exception; she would get an answer. Standing from the bed, Erza turned to the man in her doorway and said the one thing both had avoided all night.

"I loved you." His eyes widened at her serious statement, though he quickly composed himself and stepped toward her.

"I never doubted that. I know we're in— we were in love."

"No. I loved you. And you left me." She didn't hide the pain she had felt for the years after Jellal left. He shook his head, grasping her hand.

"I didn't leave to hurt you," He whispered, squeezing her hand in emphasis. She looked away from him, closing her eyes.

"But you did hurt me." Open to her own feelings, Erza's hand fisted in anger. At her movement, Jellal's grip slipped from her hand and onto her wrist.

"I did it to save you."

"I didn't need a savior, Jellal. I needed-" Erza tried to pull away from Jellal's touch, but the man refused to let her run away. Using their connection, Jellal yanked her into him. The force of the touch knocked both of them down, Jellal's shoulder hitting into Erza's bureau. She closed her eyes when her back hit the floor, but slowly re-opened them when feeling something brush her cheek. Blinking once, she turned her head to see the edge of their picture reel. When she noticed her hair was pulled back, and not down in her normal fashion, Erza realized which photo reel that was. Jellal seemed to notice the discrepancy as well.

"That is—" Erza shoved Jellal off of her, the two tumbling to different sides of the room. Erza refused to meet his stare, looking out the window of her bedroom while fixing the strap of her dress.

"It's nothing." He didn't listen to her sharp tone, Jellal slowly picking the reel from the rug. A painful look passed through his eyes, slowly looking back to her.

"I thought you lost this?"

"…I found it shoved in my dresser when I was looking for something to wear tonight. I was going to put it back, but got distracted." Her lie made her hands twitch on her lap, Erza staring at the rain splashing against her window.

"Why did you keep the photo reel?" His voice was closer now, Erza closing her eyes when she felt his hand slide onto her cheek. The touch was warm, sending unexplainable happiness shooting through Erza's body.

"It wasn't my intention," She replied weakly, shivering when his lips brushed her forehead.

"Why did you keep it?" He refused to relent, Erza's body starting to succumb to the soft kiss he placed to her temple.

"An accident, I think." A kiss over both eyes made her lips part in a silent gasp.

"Why did you?" His whispered question came after his kiss to her right cheek. Then her left.

"I'm not sure." A small peck to her nose had her blushing, every defense she had built cracking…

"Why?" …And crashing down at the sensual kiss to her jawline.

"Because I was in love with you." She felt herself anticipating the last kiss, her lips parting in confusion when nothing came. Erza hesitantly opened her eyes, staring up at the serious look Jellal now held. She was fully flushed at his intensity, but she couldn't stop herself from wanting more. The last part of her defense trickled when both hands cupped her cheeks, leaving her unable to look away. Emotion from years of loneliness and desolate hope filled her chest, and she blinked away the welling of tears. Her heartbeat shot through the roof when he brushed her bangs with his fingertips before lowering his concentration back to her watery gaze.

"Erza," He whispered softly, Erza's eyes widening at the shakiness of his voice. So wrapped up in her overwhelming emotions, she didn't notice the shaking of the hands that held her face captive. "Please, Erza. Why did you keep our photo?"

"Because I'm still in love with you, Jellal." A tear trickled over his hand when he kissed her, Erza unable to refuse the intimacy. Her hands slid around his neck, holding him as if she was scared he would disappear again. He didn't pull away, only deepening their kiss at her vulnerable reaction. The kiss was far less sexual than their photo booth exchange, but Erza felt something much deeper this time.

This wasn't a frenzy or desperate kiss. This was full of pain and guilt, healing and forgiveness. She felt pleasant, like his kiss was warming her from the inside. Like she was welcoming him back into her heart. Erza felt her lungs constrict with lack of oxygen, but she ignored it to let the kiss linger for a few more seconds. She didn't want this moment to end. Jellal finally pulled away, both breathing heavily from the intimate exchange. It only took a moment for Erza to push forward, wrapping her arms tightly around him. One of her hands slid into his hair, holding his head against her own. A sudden calmness came over her, her eyes closing while he leaned into her touch.

"I forgive you, Jellal."

"What?"

"I know there's still many things we need to work on; I'm not naïve enough to think we're out of these dark woods yet. We've lost four years, and we'll never get them back. But in order for both of us to move forward, we need to let the scars heal over. We need to let go of our pain, the focus on the present." Her embrace tightened on his rigid shoulders, Erza smiling sadly. "I'm sure that these four years have been hard on you. I want to help you heal all of your wounds. And to do that, I need to forgive you."

"Erza." He whispered her name like a prayer for salvation from the unspeakable sins he committed.

"So, will you accept my help, Jellal? Will you…accept me still being in love with you?" She felt his body convulse in pain, her words driving straight into his soul. A small sob passed his lips, and she was sure memories of the horrors he faced were now resurfacing. She didn't let go of him, letting him cry in her arms. She didn't think any less of him, understanding the strength it took to hold onto his pain for so long. His task wasn't an easy one, she was sure. The mark it made on him may never go away, but one thing was constant.

"I love you, Erza Scarlet." His devotion to Erza never wavered. He had hurt her, but she had grown up enough to understand why. She smiled as she looked back out the window, continuing to hold onto the man who had never really escaped her thoughts. No matter how far away Jellal was, his love for her was always in her heart. Erza Scarlet had her answer.


"You can do this, Lucy. It's just one night out with Natsu. You can do this." So then why was she still in her car outside of his house? Lucy checked herself in her mirror for the millionth time, still loving her outfit. The black skirt complimented her purple top, Lucy nervously tightening her pony tail. Blushing when remembering Natsu's off-handed compliment about her hair style, Lucy closed the mirror and forced herself out of her car.

Why should she be nervous? Natsu was the one who asked her on a date, right? This whole thing was his idea. If anyone had the right to be freaking out, it was him.

"Luce!" Her eyes widened at the bright smile she received when finally knocking on Natsu's front door.

"Sorry I'm late," She mumbled slowly, still not over the surprise of his greeting.

"Did you get lost or something? Your apartment ain't too far from here you know. I walk there every day!" Seeming like this was nothing out of the ordinary, Natsu led Lucy into the kitchen. Lucy awkwardly took a seat at his table, watching the energetic man bounce around the kitchen. Though she was sure he knew about their plans, Lucy was confused by the food splayed out on his counter. Was he planning to eat before their date? Natsu continued to play with the ingredients while telling her about something Gray had done to piss him off. Lucy tried to pay attention to the story, though it was hard to shake off the slight disappointment in their situation. Lucy had been panicking about this date since the moment he had asked her. From the casual way Natsu was talking, Lucy wondered if he even remembered asking her out.

"And then Erza just came in—Lucy?" Lucy turned her attention back to Natsu when he called her name, realizing her thoughts had left her staring out the kitchen window. Sending a smile to curb his worried look, Lucy looked to the clock to change the subject.

"Not to interrupt your story, but shouldn't we be getting ready to leave? You said we were getting dinner, right?"

"We don't have to go anywhere," Natsu replied, confusing Lucy. Rubbing his finger under his nose, Natsu awkwardly smiled and lifted a spatula. "I'm making you dinner tonight."

"…what?" Too shocked by his statement, Lucy couldn't try to hide her horror when Natsu nodded several times.

"I already started cooking the stir-fry before you got here! And the potatoes are ready to boil, which I'm pretty sure is what they're supposed to do…" He trailed off soon after, rubbing his chin while staring at the counter. "I was supposed to do something with them afterwards, I think."

"Are you sure you know what you're doing? I don't think I've ever seen you even hold a spatula until today." Lucy's blunt statement made him scowl, shaking the aforementioned utensil her way.

"Don't underestimate me! People also told me that it was impossible to eat twenty burgers in an hour, and yet I did it! Didn't even throw up after either." Lucy smiled, though quickly lost her humor when catching the sight of smoke behind Natsu's head.

"Natsu—"

"You're going to have to put a little bit of trust me."

"But Natsu—"

"You'll be calling me chef Natsu after this!"

"Natsu, your pan is on fire!" Natsu glanced over his shoulder, his eyes widening when seeing flames dancing in the pan.

"That…didn't happen last time." Her jaw dropping at his lackluster answer, Lucy pushed past Natsu to deal with the fire. Snatching the pan off the stove, Lucy dropped the remnants of food into the sink before turning the faucet on. Instantly the pan sizzled before a puff of black smoke rose from the burnt meat. In seconds the fire was completely gone, Lucy groaning before she leaned back on the counter. Taking a slow breath, the astrologist glanced over to Natsu. The stunned man was still in the same spot she had left him, staring at the steaming food in confusion. Turning off the stove, Lucy turned to him with her hands firmly planted on her hips.

"Were you trying to burn your own house down? You could have gotten us both killed, Natsu! I don't know what you were thinking, but that was really dangerous," She scolded, waiting to hear his unreasonable excuse. She frowned when he said nothing, wondering if this was fate's way of punishing her for dating one of her clients. Her eyes drooping in insecurity, Lucy couldn't ignore the voice that questioned her compatibility with the Aries. Were her and Natsu only good as friends?

"If I had known this whole cooking thing would turn out like this, I would have never listened to this stupid book!" Lucy's attention was brought back up to Natsu, who now held something familiar in his hands. "Now what else do Cancers like…"

Taking a moment to gape, Lucy pointed to the book that Natsu was now flipping through.

"T-That's one of my mother's books! How did you get that?!" Despite her panicked tone, Natsu waved her off while continuing to search the book.

"Hold on a second, Luce. I'm trying to read here."

"Yeah, my book! When did you even get that?" It only took a second for her to make the quick connection with his previous weird behavior. "That day you snuck into my room?"

"Yup," He mumbled, barely paying attention to his confused date.

"You destroyed my room for a book?" Lucy asked, Natsu finally glancing up from the quickly turning pages. He nodded once, lifting the book slightly for emphasis.

"When I asked you out, I didn't really think about it. Then Gray started asking questions like where I was taking you and what I was gonna do to beat Loke's date. He said that you were all smiles the whole night, even if you didn't like him like that. I kinda panicked; the only date I've ever been on was one you picked! Doing the same thing wouldn't impress you. So there I was, sulking like real men do, when Mira mentioned something about working with your sign. Then it hit me. If you could pick a date for Lisanna by her sign, I could make a fun date the same way. Plus it was something that you like, and it would make the date start off on a good note.

"Except I don't know shit about the signs. Gray and Gajeel were no help, so I snuck into your room and sto—borrowed a few books from you. You never look at them so I knew you'd never even realize they were gone. That's where I found this book. And in it, it's got this passage—" Natsu, like an overexcited kid, flipped through the pages until he found what he was looking for. He read slowly, Lucy entranced by how cute his features became when he was concentrated. "Feeding a Cancer is always a good idea. Because Cancers are most at home in homes, why not whip up a yummy dinner in your kitchen?" That's why I didn't want to take you out anywhere. It says that you like home-cooked meals better than fancy dinners and stuff."

"But you can't cook," Lucy said bluntly, glancing to the pan that was still steaming in the sink.

"Didn't mean I was going to just give up on the idea! If the book said you liked home cooked food, that's what I was going to do! So I went back to Mira, and she showed me a 'simple recipe' that I could make for you. It worked when she did it; no smoke or anything!" He scratched the side of his head as he stared at the sink, his next sentence pointed more to himself. "Then again, hers didn't catch fire—"

"You did all of this for me?" She whispered, eyes widening when he nodded. For a moment, she wasn't sure how to respond. Natsu was not the kind to worry, never mind plan things in advance. He usually went with the flow and then carved the path he deemed most fitting for the situation. It was even worse when it involved other people. But this? This was completely out of character for an Aries. She stared at him while he rubbed the back of his head and smiled weakly, only enforcing how out of place he was. She swallowed slowly, feeling her cheeks darken. Just how much did this date mean to her best friend? Trying not to look too much into it, Lucy glanced away and pushed a strand of loose hair behind her ear. "Why?"

"You're always helping other people and putting them first; even jerks like Gajeel and Laxus. Most of the time, people don't thank you for helping them out. It's not like you to ask for a thank you; you're just happy to help other people. Your dad never seemed to care about what you wanted, and you're mom's not around so…I just thought that it'd be nice if I did something that'd make you smile. Not for other people's happiness either; for your own."

"Natsu…" She felt her voice waver as a rush of emotion choked her. If he had put this much thought into it, she knew this wasn't simply just a trial for him. Natsu truly wanted to make this work between the two of them. He asked for help from not one, but several people, despite the ridicule she was sure Gray and Gajeel gave him. He attempted to learn something that took patience and time, both things that didn't come naturally for the Aries. He wanted instant results, and yet he took on the task of learning something as time consuming as cooking. He even attempted to dress up for her. And it was all just to make her smile? What other guy would think like that?

"But I ruined dinner so—" Natsu stumbled when Lucy jumped at him, her arms quickly wrapping his neck in a warm embrace.

"Let's just order pizza, okay?"

"Lucy?" At the call of her name, Lucy closed her eyes and lowered her voice.

"This was the most thoughtful thing anyone's ever done for me, Natsu. I'm grateful for all the effort you put into our date. Really, I'll be happy with whatever we do," She mumbled into his shoulder softly, quickly burying her face into the silk shirt. He returned the hug quickly, Lucy blushing when she felt fingers sliding against the back of her neck.

"So you're not mad I destroyed dinner? Or almost lit my house on fire? Or broke into your room and stole your book?" She laughed at his concerned question, pulling back to send him an amused look.

"Even when I am mad about you sneaking in my room, you do it anyways. Does it really matter this time around?" He instantly smiled, his pointed teeth adding a childish look to his face.

"It won't stop me, if that's what you're asking!" She shook her head, reaching up to smack his forehead. He yelped more in shock than pain, instantly loosing his grin. "What was that for?"

"More than you'd ever understand. Now why don't you order the pizza, and I'll find a movie we can watch?" He nodded, the two separating to finish their tasks. By the time Lucy picked out "The Avengers" (knowing it was one of Natsu's favorites), Natsu had jumped on the couch next to her. In no time the two were feasting on pizza while cringing at Thor's hammer nailing Iron Man's suit into a tree. The movie continued throughout the night, both entranced by the action on the screen. Lucy found herself resting under Natsu's arm by the ending credits, though she couldn't say she minded the new position. She glanced over to her best friend, his smile bright as she pumped on fist into the air.

"No matter how many times I see that movie, I get fired up by the end of it! I can't wait for the second one to come out. You'll come see it with me, right Luce?" She laughed at his enthusiasm and nodded, pushing out from under his arm to stand. She stretched her arms over her head, the movie's length cramping her muscles.

"Hopefully the next one won't be longer; otherwise I'll have to ask for the day off from Fairy Tail," She teased, receiving a grin from Natsu. He rose as well, following Lucy into the open space of the living room. She glanced to the clock, surprised to see how close it was to midnight. She really had spent more time at Natsu's than she intended. "I guess I should be getting home."

"Wait!" Lucy didn't make it far before Natsu was yanking her back into him. She squeaked when hitting into his chest, Lucy flashing him a confused frown.

"What is it?"

"There's one more thing I want to share with you." Something else? Lucy wasn't sure she could handle another fire.

"Natsu, it's almost midnight and I have to work tomorrow. We both do."

"You'll like it; I promise! Just stay there and close your eyes." Lucy let out a long sigh but did as her best friend asked, praying she would make it out of this alive. She heard him walk out of the room, though she wasn't quite sure where he went. Natsu's house had a very spacious design with almost no walls separating the rooms. It felt like an eternity that she stood there, her eyes barely staying closed in their curiosity.

She was about to call out to Natsu before she heard the soft song of a piano—no wait, that wasn't it.

"Is that a xylophone? Natsu—Woah!" She barely got her question out before she was whisked into motion. She opened to eyes when feeling herself twirled, glancing up to the smiling guy controlling her body.

"You wanted to dance, right?" Her eyes widened when he secured an arm around her waist, Lucy following the fast steps her partner laid out for her. Despite the lack of warning, Lucy felt herself smiling in pleasant surprise. The happy beat continued to play in the background of their dance, Lucy laughing while Natsu lead the way. Just as he had been in the bar, the lean man was very talented on his feet. Even with her training in dance, Lucy felt herself awed by his skill. It was one thing to watch him; to be led by him felt like a whole new experience. His fingers slipped under her shirt when he dipped her, making her shiver. In an instant he lifted her back up, their chests pressing together while he casually swayed their bodies to the peppy beat.

The words were lost to Lucy, being captured by the elegance of Natsu's movements. Normally a bumbling idiot around Fairy Tail, Natsu held himself completely different when dancing. Really, he was more handsome than he gave himself credit for. The strong features that were always prominent in Aries males created a youthful look to him. His high brows only enhanced the life in his wide eyes. And, despite trying not to notice, Lucy couldn't stop herself from appreciating the fullness of his lips. They made his smile even harder for Lucy to resist.

"What is the name of this song?" She asked, her cheeks flushing with how toned his body felt against her soft one. Really, staring at him for too long had a much more physical affect than she anticipated.

"Mira let me borrow the CD, I didn't really look at the name." As the song started to slow toward the end, Natsu spun Lucy just at arm's reach.

"I really like it," she said, Natsu's smile lighting up the open space.

"Me too." With the last few beats Natsu pulled her back to him, his arm wrapping along the front of her waist to cradle her back to his chest. Despite the embarrassing position, Lucy felt relaxed in the strong embrace of Natsu. She never felt unprotected when he was around. He wasn't the tallest or strongest male in her life; Gajeel and Laxus were towers compared to him. But Natsu had a rugged side to him that Lucy knew would never fail her when she needed him. Natsu had made it clear that no matter what happened, he would be there to protect her.

So lost in her own thoughts, Lucy nearly missed the slow introduction of another song slinking through the midnight air. She leaned completely against him, the song playing in the background catching her attention.

"I know this one," She mumbled softly, feeling as if talking too loud would ruin the atmosphere.

"Well that makes one of us," He teased, Lucy smacking his arm and laughing.

"It's called "I won't give up". I didn't know Mira listened to Jason Mraz." She closed her eyes when she felt herself being swayed by the man behind her. Not being able to see Natsu was different, since Aries liked to be the center of attention. Now, with only the natural darkness to look at, Lucy felt her other sense taking over. Tiny goose bumps appeared on her skin when his slow breath skimmed her shoulder, Natsu's voice low in her ear.

"Is that a bad thing?" Lucy shook her head quickly.

"No, he's quite good. I guess the song's a little ironic when it comes to Mira for me."

"How so?" She shivered when his free hand pulled her pony tail free, draping her blond hair over her shoulder. A second later, Natsu was leaning his chin on its partner. The touch wasn't romantic, but still sent a warmth shooting through her stomach. Since when had Natsu had such a strong affect on her body?

"It's sort of personal; Mira wouldn't want me to tell you." She felt him scoff against her neck, his hold tightening against her waist.

"We're best friends! Mira should expect you to tell me everything." She laughed at his reasoning, sliding her hands down to rest over his arm.

"You've never kept a secret about Gray from me? Or something Lisanna wanted you to hide? Maybe even something about yourself you didn't want me to know?" There was a lull in the conversation before she felt him shake his head.

"Why would I do something like that? You're the one to go to for help with my problems because I trust you. You trust me too, right?"

"Of course I trust you; you've never given me a reason not to. You're the reason I've had the chance to meet all of these amazing people and have the job I do. I owe you a lot, Natsu." She felt him pull away, but was only left in the dark for a moment before Natsu appeared in front of her. She held her breath when his hand slinked around her waist, pulling their bodies against each other. Her arms found sanctuary over his shoulders, allowing him to sway her to the slow beat of the song.

"I don't want you to feel like you owe me anything; that's what friends are for. We help each other out without the expectation of getting something in return. I've save the ice princess's ass several times knowing he'd never be able to repay me!"

"What about the time he came and picked you up when your car broke down two towns over?" Lucy asked, smiling at the way Natsu tensed under her arms.

"That doesn't count."

"What about when he distracted Erza so you could sneak out of Fairy Tail the time you broke her favorite sword?"

"Also doesn't count."

"And then when Gray—"

"You're missing the point," He said, dismissing her example before she could finish it. She huffed but didn't interrupt when he looked down at her and grinned. "I'll always be here for you, Lucy. Not because I want you to be in debt to me, cause I'm not keeping track. It's because you're a part of Fairy Tail, and you mean a lot to me."

"Thank you, Natsu." She smiled at him, hearing the last few chords of the song start to play. Their swaying slowed to a stop, though neither seemed ready to let go. Deciding she wouldn't mind asking for one more dance, Lucy leaned closer to Natsu and lowered her voice. "Hey Natsu—"

"I just want one more thing," The words were mumbled against her mouth, Lucy barely sneaking in a breath before Natsu's lips covered her own. Lucy's hands twitched at the kiss, unsure of where to go until instinct led them to Natsu's cheeks. It didn't take much for Lucy to close her eyes, overwhelmed with the pleasurable feeling of Natsu pressing his open palm into the small of her back. Their bodies pressed together, Lucy's soft moan echoing into Natsu's open mouth. The kiss slipped from curiosity to passion, Natsu kissing deeper as the seconds slipped by. Lucy was more than willing to respond, her toes curling against the wooden floor beneath her. His free hand slipped along the nape of her neck, angling her head to satisfy his desires. She went along with his movements, wanting to feel the passion he was pouring into the kiss.

She didn't realize they were moving until her kneecap made a painful connection with the corner of the living room table. She yanked back from the kiss with a hiss, Natsu's attention dropping to the injured area.

"You okay, Luce? Sorry, I completely forgot about the table! Should I get some ice for your knee?" Lucy shook her head once before pulling him back down, refusing to let their lips stay apart for long. Pent up desire she didn't know existed now swam through her veins, Lucy refusing to let go of the addictive taste of Natsu. He didn't argue, slipping his tongue against her lower lip while laying her back onto his sofa. Both parties moaned when Natsu reconnected their hips, Lucy now feeling how affected her best friend was from their intimacy. Despite her experience with her ex, Lucy still flushed and looked away from the sheepish smile Natsu sent her. The air was soon filled with a nerves from both sides, neither sure where the other wanted to draw the line. In the silence the music could still be heard, but they were much further away than when they were dancing.

"Natsu?" She asked quietly, watching his head lift to look at her. His smile was gone, replaced with a looked that gave away some of his nerves. She sat up slowly, the two facing each other on the couch. With the hormones slightly subdued, Lucy thought back to the only real astrology appointment Natsu had with Lucy. Talking about Lisanna had been rough back then, but going back now was much easier. It wasn't hard to see that Natsu knew how to kiss. Her lower lip was still quivering from the teasing his tongue supplied her with. But what about the rest of it? Lucy had had sex before, yet Natsu's sex life had never really come into conversation. Had he been sexual with someone before? Was it somebody at Fairy Tail? Hell, Lucy wasn't even aware of how many girls Natsu had dated before she appeared at Fairy Tail. Was the nervous way he was glancing back to the music a sign he'd never gone past kissing Lisanna?

"If you need to go home, I'll walk you there." His casual offer was so off topic, that Lucy took a moment to respond.

"Do you want me to go home?" Slowly he shook his head, making sure his feelings on her departure were evident.

"Of course I want you to stay, but if you do—" He stopped himself, but Lucy knew where his unspoken thoughts were going. She bit her lower lip, turning the options around in her head. Was this too early? It was only their first date, after all. But this was Natsu; it felt so much deeper than that. They fumbled at the beginning, but the feelings were solid. Making up her mind, Lucy placed her hands on Natsu's cheeks and smiled.

"I want to stay, Natsu," she whispered. There was a moment of silence between them before Natsu nodded, forcing Lucy back on the couch by crawling over her body. Both sets of eyes closed partly when their hips returned to each other, Lucy's shaky breath tempting Natsu to kiss her again. Lucy retuned the kiss, trailing her trembling fingers up his arms. Reaching his scarf, Lucy yanked the obstructive object away from her date's neck. He tensed for a moment at the loss of his favorite accessory, but relaxed when her teeth nipped his lower lip. Their tongues met between their mouths, each refusing to lose battle ground. Lucy's body shivered when Natsu's hand slipped under her skirt, leading her sensitive thigh around his waist. His fiery touch left goose bumps, but Lucy arched into the sensual touch anyways.

Her hands clutched on his shirt, dragging the black fabric up his back. Sensing her unspoken request, Natsu helped Lucy yank the shirt over his head and onto the floor. He broke away from the kiss as the cooler air touched his overheated skin. Knowing she was staring, Lucy admired the muscular body Natsu hid more than she liked. Though she was sure she'd seen Natsu underdressed more than once before, this time had a completely different motive to it. His stare was intense as he silently watched Lucy reach forward, pressing her palm to the overheated skin. He sucked in a soft breath, but didn't move away from her questing fingers. She blushed when her fingertips traced the lines of his stomach, refusing to admit how the feel of his body made her thighs clench. Natsu felt the movement around his hips, sparking a rush through his veins.

Lucy pulled away from her stoking of his abs when she felt a hot touch now creeping under her own shirt. Natsu glance down at the skin that was exposing itself to his hungry gaze. Lucy whispered his name, instantly freezing his touch against her ribcage. Fearing he had gone too far, Natsu yanked his hand back from the frilly top.

"Was that too much?" He was hurried in his questioning, Lucy shaking her head just as fast.

"N-no!"

"But you said my name!"

"That's what I do when I'm…you know," Lucy mumbled, glancing away from him. The pink-haired male blinked, then tilted his head.

"When you're…oh." The blunt realization made Lucy groan, embarrassed. They both shifted in discomfort again, and Lucy feared the mood was ruined. Refusing to let it slip through their fingers, Lucy grasped his wrist and shoved it back under her shirt. Natsu's eyes widened when his palm was introduced to the lacy bra under Lucy's shirt, the determined blond refusing to let their nerves end the night early. They were both adults, right? Sex was normal after a good date, especially with a man she loved! Her blush was consuming her face, but she met his shocked stare with her own while pulling her hand away from his own.

"I want you, Natsu." Emphasizing her point, Lucy yanked her shirt over her head, her hair spilling against her breasts before she dropped back down on the couch. The shift in weight made her chest jump, forcing more of the warm skin into Natsu's shaking palm. She looked up at him, surprised to see a feral gleam to his stare.

"Lucy."

He growled her name before squeezing her flesh, making Lucy shiver. A second later Natsu's mouth was on her neck, the once unsure hands now easily unclipping Lucy's bra. Her nipples had little time to adjust to the air around them before Natsu's hands captured them, the rough touch making the blond gasp in pleasure. Eagerly his lips sucked on her pulse, encouraging little whimpers from Lucy. Natsu's restraint snapped, but Lucy didn't mind. She enjoyed every side of Natsu, including the wilder parts of him. Feeling his canines skim her collarbone left her breathless, and her legs quivered when one hand sought refuge under her skirt again. Like magic his hand parted her legs, fingertips skimming her lacey panties. She gasped then clutched onto his shoulders when hot lips slipped down the curve of her breast.

"Tell me if I've gone too far, Luce." His words vibrated against her nipple before he encased it between his lips, Lucy crying out at the attention. She lifted her hips willingly when he tugged on her underwear. The fabric slid to her knees before being obstructed by Natsu's body. She shakily lifted one of her legs up, sliding the smooth skin along his bare hip. Lucy felt his body shiver against her calf at the teasing touch. She barely got her foot out of the loophole before Natsu was capturing the thigh in his hand, his free hand now skimming her warmth. Lucy cried out at the touch, hands fisting on the armrest above her head. Natsu continued to lavish her breast with affection while his hand went to work under her skirt, gently giving the clit a soft rub. Her entire body shivered, Lucy arching into his testing. Taking this as a positive sign, Natsu started to pamper the sensitive nub with long strokes of his thumb.

Moaning despite her need to stay quiet, Lucy soaked in the pleasurable feelings coursing through her body. If he'd never been with someone before, Natsu was quick to learning how to please a woman. Not wanting to think of where he got this skill, Lucy's toes flexed against the cushion when his finger slipped into her the same time Natsu switched to the other nipple. His mouth teased the sensitive flesh into hardness, lightly flicking his tongue in sync with his thumb. Once satisfied with his treatment to her breasts, Natsu leaned back to watch his fingers moving the skirt covering her wetness. By now Lucy's hips were cradled between his thighs, leaving her legs wide open to his torturous touches. She squirmed in her seat, hips desperate to receive more of his skilled fingers thrusts.

When a cooler breeze brushed her thighs, Lucy managed to crack an eye open to see Natsu had started to yank her skirt up. Though she had been naked in front of her ex many times, Lucy felt embarrassed when it came to Natsu's curious gaze. She wanted to tell him to stop, but the sudden increase of speed in his fingers left her gasping. Her clit was on fire, yanking the strings to start her orgasm. Her head turned on the couch cushion, torn between the pleasure and the out-of-character modesty.

When he added a second finger inside of her, Lucy felt her body tense. Crying out his name, Lucy yanked hard on the arm rest while Natsu watched her ride his hand through her orgasm. She felt him helping her hips along, only heightening the pleasure inside of her. The thumb on her clit continued to move, the overstimulation to her senses being borderline painful. Her limbs trembled toward the end of the orgasm, Lucy's butt dropping back into Natsu's lap in exhaustion. He slowly pulled her fingers away from her while his other hand stroked her flexing thigh, Natsu's face beaming with a smile.

"That was the hottest orgasm face I've ever seen." Lucy's eyes popped open at his statement, lifting one of her feet to kick him off the couch. She yelped when she fell with him, forgetting she had made a seat out of his lap. Lucy let out a short breath before pushing herself up, adjusting her skirt to cover herself. Natsu sat up slowly, scowling toward the flushed woman. "What was that for?"

"I don't want to be compared to other woman you've slept with!" She shouted, turning away from him to look for her bra. She tried to stay angry, knowing she was more upset than anything. Natsu was nineteen when they met; of course he'd been with other people before her! And she had been sexually active too; she had no right to be upset about it. But still, Lucy couldn't deny that the thought bothered her. Her fingers reached for her bra before Natsu's arms slipped around her waist, yanking her back into him. She closed her eyes when his lips skimmed the back of her neck, Natsu's forehead resting against her hair.

"I didn't mean to insult you; you just really turned me on. More so than anyone else, Luce." She felt guilt gnaw at her stomach at the voice he used, showing he didn't mean harm in his statement. Still, she didn't want to let the opportunity to ask about his past go.

"How many women have to been in a relationship with, Natsu?" She asked, turning her head to glance at Natsu. He blinked once before he shook his head.

"I've never really had a girlfriend before. I've gone out to the club with the guys from Fairy Tail and been given a couple numbers. I slept with two people before I met you. I remember their names and stuff, but the relationships never really happened. They kept saying I was too focused on Fairy Tail, so I knew it wasn't going to work. Then you came to Fairy Tail and I didn't really want to spend much time with other girls."

"Me?" She asked, Natsu nodding once.

"When you became my best friend, I didn't really feel the need to look for someone to be with anymore. We always hung out, and you didn't disapprove of my passion for Fairy Tail. Sure you nagged me about "breaking into your house" and "eating all of your food", but I knew that you liked having me around. That's why I keep telling you the books that say we're not compatible are wrong." Though she knew the situation wasn't meant for her to smile, Lucy felt her lips twitch when hearing Natsu's closing statement.

"You really are something else," She mumbled, shaking her head while turning to face him. He grinned and nodded, not understanding the exacerbated tone she used.

"Of course, Luce! That's what makes us so—" He blinked when Lucy kissed him, cutting off his statement. The kiss caught him off guard, allowing Lucy to push him back against the front of the couch. She didn't release his kiss while her hands slid down his chest, fingers curling under the waistband of his pants. Natsu released a sharp breath when her hand slipped under his belt, ghosting over the front of his boxers. She smiled into the kiss, allowing his hips to press into her palm. The hardness she felt beneath her touch was both arousing and scary. Feeling Natsu this desperate for her was thrilling; she never thought she'd have this type of affect on her best friend. Still, even as Lucy carefully squeezed the new object of interest, she felt her fear increasing. What if she wasn't as skilled as the other women he'd slept with? Would being inexperienced be a hang up? Lucy pulled away from the kiss, pressing her forehead to his shoulder to hide her hesitation.

She felt his shoulder tense when her hand slinked under the fabric of his boxers. Creeping up his tense thigh, Lucy felt her own breath hitching at the first graze of silky skin. Instantly Natsu's hips jerked forward while his head fell back onto the couch. Taking the strong reaction as a green light, Lucy curled her fingers around his pulsing arousal.

"Yo-You're so big," she whispered, her thumb swirling against the moist tip. A strange noise sounded from him, Lucy peeking up to his face. Natsu's hands were now clenched in the cushion, every muscle in his stomach tensed. His breathing was labored at the slow strokes of her fingers, though nothing but pleasure was evident in his face. Gaining a small amount of encouragement, Lucy focused back on the increased pace of her fingers. With her free hand she wiggled Natsu's pants down, exposing his shaft to the warm air. He groaned and leaned further back, not seeming to mind the lack of clothing he now had. Then again, Lucy had lost almost all of hers as well.

And it wasn't like Natsu had something to be shy about. His body was lean, despite the amount of food he ingested. The scars left behind from Natsu's rambunctious nature were sexy in their own way. Especially the one now exposed against his neck. With her fingers working hard on his shaft, Lucy let her instinct drive her. Mimicking the movement Natsu had used on her earlier, Lucy gently nibbled at the scar on his neck. An instant effect was felt from Natsu, the man's string of swears implying he felt the touch. His head instantly tilted to give her more access while his hips now strained to press into her seductive hand. Lucy continued to tease the sensitive scar, running her tongue along the skin while her fingers continued their devious work. Natsu's mouth opened with strong pants, a loud moan breaking the pattern every few seconds. His tip beaded with cum, Lucy swiping it with her thumb. She slid the cum down his cock, using it to help the gliding of her hand. His back was now arched, Natsu helpless to the pleasurable touches Lucy gave him. She skimmed the underside of his shaft while enclosing his scar in her mouth, giving a slow suck over the pulse.

The overstimulation of his neck and cock was too much. Natsu's groan of her name was the only warning the blond got before Natsu's orgasm hit him. Lucy was surprised, but she quickly recovered and helped her gasping date through his pleasure. Hips ground into her tight hand until his orgasm ceased, both panting from the moment. She squeaked when he yanked her into his side, His hand guiding her into a desperate kiss. She responded without hesitation, enjoying the passion that still lingered in their kiss. After the need for air became too much to ignore, Lucy pressed her hand against his heart and pulled back to catch her breath. She glanced up at him, blushing when seeing the pleased smile greeting her. His arm tucked her into his embrace, Lucy snuggling into the warmth that naturally pooled off of him.

"That was really good," he mumbled into her hair, Lucy giggling when his breath tickled her ear.

"Don't do that, it tickles." Her laughter increased when he nuzzled the sensitive skin with his nose, keeping his lips against her ear when he spoke.

"Thank you, Luce."

"What?"

"For letting me take you on a date, I mean. I know I burned the dinner, and the whole thing sucked—"

"Natsu." Her interruption was soon followed by a soft kiss, sending him the softest smile she could. He blinked, surprised by how pleased she seemed with him.

"Lucy?" She knew he expected her to be mad. Maybe if she wasn't Lucy, and he was someone other than Natsu, this would be a disaster date. Pizza and a guy-flick weren't a girl's idea of romance. But Lucy couldn't wipe the smile off her face even if she tried. Natsu had tried for her. He did research, worked hard for her, and even remembered her desire to dance with him.

"Thank you, Natsu."

"F-For what?"

What girl wouldn't be swept off their feet?

"The perfect night."

Because Lucy certainly was.

Soooo what did you think of it? Funny? Sad? Hot? I hope all three! This story is coming into it's last couple chapters, so everything is starting to be tied up into a pretty pink bow. Let's hope that we can make it until then. So, will Lucy and Natsu tell Fairy Tail about their relationship? Will there be someone who disapproves? Will Levy and Gajeel finally get together? How about Mira and Laxus? And just how much romance can I fit into the last few chapters? You'll have to wait and see!

Chapter 13: Jealousy on the Rocks, Please