I watch her watching only him.
"Come on… it can't be that difficult," Lucy murmured to herself. She dropped the heavy book once more, setting it onto the desk. Just focus… she thought in concentration.
'Ancient Celestial Spells' was the title of the old book. It sat cracked open as Lucy focused all of her energy into her hands.
She held her right out in front of her while the other was positioned at a lower angle. Her feet were placed in a common stance; as if preparing for battle. Taking in a deep breath, she aimed her right hand at a home-made target.
"Celestial Sphere!" She chanted, just as a small, golden magic circle appeared in front of her open palm. It immediately shot out a circle-shaped ball of magic energy and blew up the exact target. The golden illumination lit up the room as it blew the bag of flour into ashes. "Hey… it worked!"
She sweatdropped as she noticed the burn mark left on her furniture. I should be doing this outside, she realized.
The spell was small and weak, but it was enough for her. Anything to learn combat magic without summoning her spirits first. She was beginning to enjoy her training. I've just started it, and I've already learned how to use outer Celestial powers. This is a great start!... she thought gleefully.
Now I just need to practice Celestial Sphere and perfect it. Maybe it'll get stronger as I try it more. How great would it be if it got as big and powerful as one of Natsu's attacks?... she thought in the back of her mind as she shuffled over to the book again.
As she skimmed through it, she noticed another simple, beginner spell. "Hm… Stellar Beam? I could try that one next…" She said aloud. She wanted to read up some more on Celestial Sphere, but the other spells were already grabbing her attention. I want to learn them all…!
While she was reading the how-to paragraph on Stellar Beam, she noticed a golden light similar to Celestial Sphere's appear by her side. Even without turning, she already knew what it came from.
Facepalming, she turned to Loke, "How are you able to come here while I'm concentrating so much on my outer Celestial magic?" She grumbled out irritably. She knew he was able to come out whenever he wanted, but even while she was focusing so much on a different type of magic…?
He shrugged, "I suppose our love is strong enough to bring us together~" He sent her a killer smile, arms placed behind his back.
She blushed lightly, feeling butterflies in her stomach. "Well it's annoying."
He chuckled, stepping a bit closer. "I see you're working on your magic spells again?" He questioned, glancing over her shoulder at the ancient library book.
As he'd gotten closer, she'd felt her body warm up some more. Dammit, why… she cursed within her head, visibly cringing. I can't fall for him. So why has this feeling been happening lately?!... She'd begun to notice it a while ago. Even her dreams lately consisted of Loke. I've never really liked anyone before—this can't be!... She shuddered again, eyes squeezed shut with frustration.
Unbeknownst to her, Loke was watching her shaky actions. "That's cute—you look so shy. That expression reminds me of Tatiana. She always gets nervous. Or even Marilyn; she's just the same. And Danielle. Oh, and can't forget Serena! Then there's also Lillian, Meredith, Kaydence…-"
As he continued to name off random girls who currently reminded him of Lucy, she felt her jaw clench. At her sides, her hands balled into angry fists. A furious red tick mark appeared on the side of her head as she shouted, "SHUT UP!" She immediately raised her already-fisted hand and socked him straight on the cheek.
"Owwie…" He murmured, rubbing his sore cheek. "You left a mark on my beautiful face."
See, how could I like an idiot like that?!... she instantly thought. There's no way I feel anything for him besides friendship. And not even that, right now!... She growled out, her face in chibi-anger mode.
"Hm? Why do you look so angered, princess?" Loke asked innocently; the red spot on his cheek already fading.
She blew out a breath of exasperated air. "Nothing. Absolutely…nothing," She grumbled, avoiding eye contact and blushing just the slightest.
Loke decided to shrug it off for the moment, "Well then, okay. Shall we continue our training later?"
After Lucy sent Loke back, she decided to head to the guild. She was excited to show Gray her newest spell. It was he who found the ancient spell-book with her anyways.
She spotted him on one of the bar stools, spooning original vanilla ice cream into his mouth. "Gray! Guess what?" She cheerfully asked as she ran over and plopped down on a stool beside him.
He turned half-heartedly to her. "Hm?" He murmured, spoon still between his lips.
"I finally learned one of the Celestial Magic combat spells! Isn't that great?"
He turned back to his chilled ice cream bowl, "Oh yeah. That's great."
She grinned sweetly, "Thanks for finding the book with me."
Unbeknownst to them—across the guild, Natsu was silently watching the encounter. Pouting a bit, he recalled his last meeting with them. I wonder if Lucy's still mad at me, he thought in the back of his mind.
She hadn't spoken to him since that day. Neither had Gray since their argument outside her house. He realized he didn't like when multiple members of the guild were angry with him. I should just be nice and apologize, he noted. Even to that ice-bastard.
…Or maybe not.
Without thinking twice, he stands up and begins making his way over to them.
Lucy was pulling the Celestial magic book out of her purse when she suddenly felt a heavy, warm arm over her shoulders.
"Hey guys!" Natsu cheerfully yelled; one arm over Lucy's shoulders and the other over Gray's.
In response, the ice mage rolled his eyes. "What do you want?"
Natsu grinned in his usual carefree manor, "Let's be friends again~!"
Lucy giggled while Gray simply groaned. He still wasn't used to the fact that Natsu still acted like a kid. "Why don't you go bug someone else?"
With a huff, he retracted his arms and shot back, "Why don't you go back to Antarctica and freeze yourself for a hundred years?"
"…That was Avatar, you friggin' idiot."
"Well than maybe Zuko and I should burn you to ashes!"
"Heh—seriously? I'd like to see you try."
"Oh yeah? I'll give you the first hit." Natsu stepped back and arrogantly spread his arms, as if not a single hit from Gray could harm him.
"Just stop it—both of you are being idiots." Lucy cut in, not wanting a fight to break out this early in the morning.
For a moment, both Gray and Natsu looked at her. Which came as a bit of a surprise—normally they fully ignored her pleas. "Yeah Natsu, just listen to her for once." Gray shrugged it off and turned his back on him.
"'For once'? I always listen to Lucy!" He quickly retorted back.
Gray scoffed, "What the—? Of course you don't! You never listen to anyone."
"Are you guys really arguing like this?"
"YOU DO NOT!"
Lucy sweatdropped—she couldn't believe she called these guys her best friends.
"Hey Lucy, don't I always listen to you?" Natsu asked, jumping onto the stool beside her.
She glanced at Gray, who was on the other stool to her left. He simply rolled his eyes and sighed irritably.
"Well… sometimes. Not really." Which was honest—he was always single-minded and stubborn.
"Hah—see? Even she says so." Gray smirked as he pointed to the Celestial mage.
Crossing his arms and pouting, Natsu responded matter-of-factly, "Well she still likes me better."
Blushing just the slightest bit, Lucy yelled out, "You're not the one to decide that!"
Ignoring her, Gray chuckled. "Oh yeah? You wanna bet? At least I'm not some hyper fire-breathing child."
"SHUT UP, SNOWMAN! LUCY LIKES ME BETTER!"
"SHE DOESN'T, SALAMANDER! SHE LIKES ME!"
"NOW YOU'RE BOTH ACTING LIKE CHILDREN!" Lucy joined in on the yelling.
"WHAT IS WITH THIS SHOUTING? I AM TRYING TO CONCENTRATE!" Erza bellowed from across the guild, fully silencing the three other mages.
"…Y-Yeah Natsu, quit shouting." Gray pouted.
The latter was entirely on fire as he whisper-yelled, "You started it!"
Lucy groaned, "Please don't start with this 'did not, did too' thing again…"
Gray smirked. "Well actually, I-" Before he could finish his sentence, a certain blue-haired water mage appeared out of nowhere.
"GRAY-SAMAAAA~!" Juvia wailed, immediately clinging onto his arm. She looked into his eyes, her own navy orbs shiny and moist with tears, "Please don't tell Juvia you've been arguing over Lucy! You belong with ONLY JUVIA!"
Gray looked down at her and grimaced. "Uhm… could you not say things like that?" He grumbled, trying to shake her off his arm.
"MARRY ME MARRY ME MARRY ME-"
Just as Gray was distracted, Happy flew in and perched atop Natsu's head. "Hey Natsu! Let's go fishing again!"
Lucy sighed, and looked away from the four comrades. Couldn't she ever have a quiet morning?
"Sure Happy! Hey Lucy, wanna come?" Natsu asked in his usual friendly voice.
"I'll pass." She responded in a monotone voice.
Natsu and Happy shrugged, then proceeded to run off. When Lucy looked back up, Gray was gone, too. She noticed out of the corner of her eye that he was running out of the guild—trying to escape Juvia as always.
Subconsciously, she let out a breath of relief. "Finally, they're gone." She said aloud, closing her eyes for the moment and enjoying the peace.
But of course, being in the guild of Fairy Tail—the peace and quiet didn't last for very long.
As Lucy was sipping her drink, Mirajane appeared from behind the bar counter. "Hiya Lucy, what's up?"
The blonde swallowed and set down her cup, "Nothing much. Just was talking with Gray and Natsu… unfortunately."
Mira smiled sweetly and tilted her head, "Are you sure you meant 'unfortunately'?"
Lucy almost facepalmed. Something about that tone, that expression, those innocent eyes told her that Mira was up to something. Groaning, she responded, "…What are you after, Mira?"
The white-haired beauty simply grinned and continued drying a cup, "I just think both Natsu and Gray are in love with you."
The words struck Lucy like an inflamed arrow. "Er… WHAT? N-No, not that again!" She cringed as she felt goose bumps spread over her body and an embarrassed blush make its way to her face.
Mira's grin somehow stretched even wider, "Oh? Have I mentioned this before?"
"About Gray or Natsu, YEAH!"
"Ah, I see. That only makes me believe the idea even more~"
"WELL YOU SHOULDN'T! BECAUSE IT'S COMPLETELY NONSENSE!"
"Denying again? Tsk tsk." Mira playfully shook her finger at Lucy and winked.
The latter only blushed harder and sighed out heavily. With a pout, she looked back up at Mira and said, "Don't kid around like that. It's really embarrassing for me…" She let her voice transform into a whine at the last half.
"Maybe it's because you really like them~"
Lucy couldn't take the teasing any longer. "SHUT UP! I'VE BEEN… I-I'VE BEEN THINKING OF SOMEONE ELSE ANYWAYS SO YOU'RE TOTALLY WRO-" She immediately clamped her hands over her mouth as she realized what she'd been about to admit.
But Mira didn't need to hear the rest of the sentence. "Ohmygosh are you serious?! YOU ACTUALLY LIKE SOMEONE?! Who is it? Lucy, you have to tell me now!" She squealed out gleefully, clapping her hands together and jumping up and down.
Mortified, Lucy looked downwards, her blonde bangs shading over her eyes. "It-It's no one…" Her face was practically giving off steam.
Mira did not approve of that answer. "YOU HAVE TO TELL ME!"
"NO I WON'T!"
"LUCY-CHAN I WILL MAKE YOU!" At that point, it wasn't fun or exciting for Mira. She had to know—even if she had to use brute force.
"M-Mira…?" Lucy sputtered, shakily standing off her stool and backing away.
She watched the once-calm and kind bartender slowly transform into something different. As she noticed a dark aura begin to appear, she gulped nervously. No… she wouldn't… she tried to tell herself.
But her worst nightmare was confirmed as Mira transformed into Satan Soul: Sitri. Now a full-fledged demon, she smirked down at Lucy, "Tell. Me. Right. Now." Her words were hissed out like venom.
For a moment, Lucy didn't move or speak.
Until it dawned on her that Mira simply wouldn't give up until she knew about Loke.
"…I AM SO OUT OF HERE!" Lucy screeched, and bolted for the exit.
"HEY, GET BACK HERE!" Mira shouted after her, demon-wings flapping at full speed.
As the two girls disappeared from the guild, Lucy's wails of 'It's no one' and Mira's shouts of 'Tell me who you're in love with' reached the ears of nearly everyone in Fairy Tail.
For once, it had been completely silent. That was, until Mira and Lucy started screaming about love interests and crushes. With both Natsu and Gray away from the guild, it was easy to believe there had been a peaceful silence. No one quite expected chaos from girls like Mira and Lucy.
"Wow, it's like they let the whole guild in on what they were talking about." Levy mused from one of the tables.
"I know—such loudmouths. Droy, wouldn't you agree?" Jet asked, chin-pointing over to his friend—who was currently stuffing his face with pasta.
"Sure, sure!" He responded, just so he could keep eating.
Levy giggled. "But, they're funny. People like them keep Fairy Tail lively."
"I guess. But what they were arguing about was nonsense. Clearly it's Gray who Lucy likes." Jet shrugged it off.
Levy eyed him curiously, "Really? Is that what you think?"
He shrugged again. "Sure. What about you, Droy?"
"It's Gray, Gray!" He quickly sputtered, before slurping up more pasta.
From the table across from them, they heard cheerful laughter. "Oho, of course it's Gray! How could it be anyone else?" Macao said, clinking his beer glass to Wakaba who nodded in approval.
"Yep, it's our boy Gray." He added, cigar between his lips as usual.
Levy smiled giddily. "Oh? Does anyone else think it's Gray?" She asked, voice a bit louder and directed towards anyone within distance.
From the table in front of Macao's, there sat the Rajin Tribe along with a few other members. "I do!" Bickslow immediately raised his arm. "I know it's ice-boy!"
Elfman laughed cheerfully, "He's man enough for Lucy, that's for sure!"
"I agree with the others. If anyone's right for Lucy-chan, it's Gray." Max nodded with a smirk.
Hmm… I should make a bet on this… Levy thought to herself. But no one thinks it's-
She instantly turned to the voice. As expected, it belonged to his fan-boy Romeo.
He grinned cheekily, "How can no one think she likes Natsu-nii? Of course she does!"
Sitting cross-legged on top of the bar counter, Gajeel nodded towards Levy. "I hate to say it, but that ice-bastard's got nothing on Salamander. He's always with Bunny-girl anyways." He shrugged it off as if he wasn't interested in the topic at all.
Laxus grinned a bit, who was crossing his arms and standing next to Gajeel. "He's right—my man Natsu could take Lucy-chan just fine. Gray can go find someone else."
At this point, Levy was getting excited. "Alright—all in favor of Natsu, raise your hand~!"
The others who spoke along with Reedus and Freed raised their hands. She chuckled, "Hey, I should start writing this down!"
At that moment, a voice came from practically nowhere. "You've missed a hand, Levy."
Hearing her name, she craned her head to glance behind Gajeel.
—And spotted the Master raising his hand for Natsu's vote. "M-Master?!" She sputtered, a bit surprised partly because no one had noticed him and partly because he'd even bothered to listen to this conversation.
He nodded. "I say Natsu. He's a fine young man who's earned his place with her. Gray is a likely candidate also, but his relationship with her is feeble compared to Natsu's."
She almost laughed. "Okay, if you say so!"
At that moment, Erza rose from her sitting position. She'd been polishing one of her many armors. No one expected her to speak, but she shocked the guild as she turned and said, "…You all have no idea what you're talking about."
She chuckled. "Men have no idea about love. They just make random guesses. Let the girls decide who Lucy likes."
Levy sweatdropped, "That's not exactly for us to decide…"
Ignoring her, Erza raised her sword straight up in the air. "To Natsu!"
Levy giggled. Limply raising her hand up, she repeated, "To Natsu!"
Sitting next to Erza, a young blue-haired girl nodded shyly. "I-I think Lucy-san might like Natsu-san too..." Wendy added quietly, though some still managed to hear her.
Bisca set down Asuka who cheerfully yelled, "Natsu! Natsu! Natsu!". She grinned and spoke her opinion as well, "I think Natsu is right for her too. They've been best friends for the longest time. Just look at Alzack and I—we were best friends until we realized we were in love the whole time." She grinned at the memory.
The other girls nodded in approval. "Plus Natsu is so cute and innocent and inexperienced like her~!" Mickey purred.
From across the guild, the sound of an empty beer mug slamming against a table echoed throughout the place. "Hey hey—you girls aren't being fair. Just because they're both innocent and best friends doesn't mean they could end up as lovers," Cana argued. "Gray is totally for Lucy."
Erza eyed her dangerously, "And why do you say that? Do you question my choice in men for her?" She deadpanned, nearly making the whole guild sweatdrop.
Evergreen chuckled, "So what if she is? And besides, he's hot!"
Cana nodded suggestively. "I'd have to agree with that. It's hard not to notice—what with his excessive stripping~"
Laki was cleaning her glasses with the side of her cape as she spoke up, "Plus, it's not a bad thing for an experienced guy to be with a non-experienced girl. I say Gray as well."
Lisanna instantly piped up, "Also Gray would be super-duper protective! He'd defend her to his death. Not saying anyone here wouldn't, but it'd be dead-crucial to him."
Sitting at the same table, Kinana giggled. "I agree. Besides, don't some of you think Natsu is a little too… naïve?" She asked, choosing her words carefully.
Cana downed the rest of her beer and shouted, "Definitely! Not picking on Natsu, but he's too much of a good boy. Does he even care about girls in that way yet?" She chuckled a bit.
Evergreen smirked and crossed her arms, "I don't believe so. Besides, to be honest, Lucy and Gray would make a totally hot couple~"
As the rest of the guild continued their hard-core shipping war, Levy sighed dreamily. Normally she was not one to look forward to drama, but she had a feeling the next few weeks in Fairy Tail would be anything but ordinary.
A.N.: Sorry it's late.
I've already been losing interest in this story for a while, but since I have it all planned out and drafted in my notebook—I figure I might as well finish it.
Well… got a lot of dialogue in this chapter XD And an appearance from basically every character in the guild. I tried to give everyone at least one line. I know I missed Gildarts, but he seemed too… I don't know, important? to have a say in the matter. Plus he's like, never at the guild. c;
Alright, so we'll be checking back up on Lucy and Mira next chapter. If she hasn't already killed her to find out who she likes- *cough Loke cough cough*.
Just another reminder that updates will be slow—but I'll probably never abandon this fanfic, okay? I already have a rough draft of the full story, so… :P
*cue shameless advertising* And if you happen to like Hetalia, check out my story Dating the World: Country x Reader for over 20 reader-insert one-shots~! Each chapter is for a different character, and feel free to request one! I update that every week, and it's already getting popular among the huge Hetalia x Reader community (not to brag T_T, currently 72 follows and 150 reviews) so check it out maybe? :D
…If not, don't forget to review~! If I get at least 3, maybe I'll think about updating this faster. ;3