Rating: M for sexual content and themes
Lucy looked around the guild hall. Where the hell was he? They had done it together, had promised that they would be there for each other, always. There was Gajeel, Sting, Rogue, Wendy, Erik, and Laxus. They were all there, all of the dragon slayers were there, but one. A single one who hadn’t reappeared on the planes of this world.
A hand dropped onto her shoulder. Lucy looked up to see all six of them looking at her in worry.
“Are you gonna be okay Lucy?” Laxus was the first one to speak. Self consciously, she nodded her head. Everyone else had gone home and changed, then met back at the guild hall. She was the only one who was still in her battle worn clothing. There were tears everywhere, barely covering her skin. She felt the warm air layering it, reminding her of how it felt when he was standing just behind her.
Gajeel looked at her, but he didn’t say anything, just talked with his eyes. He will be here. They read, and Lucy nodded to him. “All of you,” she spoke, “thank you for everything you did.” She was surprised how well her voice carried, and how everyone stopped to listen to her. “You risked your lives to save the people of Magnolia. Most of you, this isn’t even your hometown. But Fiore is vast, and being together like this, is being a united people.” Lucy didn’t know what came over her, and Happy had landed on her shoulder, cautiously playing with her hair. “Everyone here has given their all in order to protect, in order to conquer; and without our friendships that were made throughout the years, none of this would have happened. So, even though he isn’t here, I just wish to thank Natsu for bringing me here. I want to thank him for the adventures we had, and the many he promised. I want,” her voice began shaking and she put a hand on her chest to steady herself, “to thank him for being himself no matter what. For not giving in to the demon side of himself even when he thought I was dead. Even though he almost did, it means so much to me that he stayed true to himself. And those of you who showed him he could.”
Lucy looked at Gray, who had his arm slung around Juvia. “Thank you for pushing him.” She turned to Erza, who was holding Jellal up. “Thank you for saving them both.” Then she turned to the dragon slayers who stood in front of her. “Thank you, so much, for allowing him to prove himself.” A single clap began, before the entirety of those gathered were clapping. Lucy looked at the ground, and gave a slight smile, knowing Natsu would want her to.
Later that evening, Lucy walked out of the guild. Happy was on her shoulder again as they walked to her apartment. “He’s not gone.” The blue feline assured her, and that first day she believed him. She held Happy close as she slept, keeping the one person who knew Natsu better than herself close to her side.
But then a week passed. Lucy and Happy would wake up each day and search around for the pink-haired dragon slayer in her house. Then they would go to the guild and repeat that process. Their last stop was always Natsu and Happy’s cottage, before heading back to her apartment. She still kept her hopes up, leaving the window and door unlocked. It was the second week, he hadn’t come back, but someone in Hargeon had found his scarf. They knew it belonged to Fairy Tail’s fire dragon slayer and brought it back, thinking he may be there. Erza had gripped it, attempting to hide it before Lucy could see. Not that it worked.
Lucy ran after the guy, making him show her where he had found the scarf. That was when she saw the tattered clothing, charred and ripped, torn and nearly shredded. The only thing safe was the scarf. She thought she would cry, but she didn’t, and she hated herself for that. She thought if she would just cry, maybe it would feel better. She wrapped the scarf around her neck as she walked back to the guild.
The first thing she did was find a job. “Are you sure you’re going to be okay to take this one on?” Mirajane had asked her. No, she wasn’t. But she had to find Aquarius, and taking jobs was the easiest way to search. Mira frowned, but stamped the job as taken anyway as Lucy left the guildhall. She brought nothing with her on the mission but herself, her whip, and her keys. Happy, of course, tagged along. “He will be back.” The cat assured her again.
She nodded. “Yes.” It was a firm answer, but one her heart was unsure of. “But I must find Aquarius.” Happy nodded, satisfied with his friend’s revelation. She had taken a job where there was a golden key as the reward, and considering she and Yukino together had all the others, she knew it had to be Aquarius. The job was relatively easy, and Lucy, along with Happy, had it finished in an hour. Lucy apologized to Happy. “Sorry you don’t get anything out of this.”
He just shrugged. “It’s fine, you’re letting me live with you right now anyway, it doesn’t matter.” Both of them smiled for a moment, then Lucy reached up and tugged Natsu’s scarf over her mouth, hiding the expression. Happy cautiously landed on her shoulder and watched as she looked at the key.
Again Lucy thought she should feel something different, have a different reaction — it had been a year and some months without her very first spirit after all. But she felt only contentment. The two went over to the lake behind Natsu and Happy’s place, and Lucy summoned Aquarius.
“Tch. Took you long enough.” Lucy had no expression when Aquarius berated her, knowing it was simply a joke. In fact, the girl shrugged.
“Sorry.” She didn’t sound it, and the spirit looked at her anxiously. Aquarius had known Lucy since she was young and most of the time knew when something was wrong. She didn’t comment on it though.
“Same contract as last time. And no losing my key, or dropping it either ya hear?”
Lucy nodded. “Of course.” She hadn’t looked up into her old friends eyes until just then, and Aquarius nearly gave in. She had almost given the mage a hug. The girls eyes were hollow, unseeing. They held all of her emotions, and none of them. It was as though she were a shell of who she had been.
It had been two weeks since she found Aquarius. Making it nearly four weeks since Natsu had been gone. Happy had begun staying with Carla and Wendy, leaving Lucy alone to deal with her emotions. Or, lack thereof. Every time she thought of Natsu a dull ache went through her chest. She had done many jobs, all of which were dangerous and most likely would have killed her. But somehow, each time, she would live. She didn’t want to, and in reality she wasn’t. She was only surviving; her body acting on pure instinct, her mind shifting to what Natsu would want. She barely talked, and when she did her voice was hoarse, from lack of use or yelling to her spirits, she didn’t know. She ate enough to stay alive and always bought fish for Happy. She overworked on the excuse of paying her monthly rent, but in truth, she had over three million extra jewels already.
Most of which, had Natsu been there, would have gone to food or repairs for the town he had destroyed. Lucy was struggling internally, but it was more of a deep resigned feeling. She was fighting to get the money, pay her rent, then would fight again. She rarely slept, rarely ate, and never bothered to patch herself up after a job. She always felt like she wanted to cry, but never could. She was afraid of herself, afraid of being alone, but she wouldn’t tell anyone that.
It was throughout this time that she understood why her father had thrown himself into work after her mother’s death. She understood that it wasn’t necessary for her to take a break in between. She needed to give her mind something to focus on, and work was there.
She made sure she was rested enough her magic would replenish, eat enough for the same reason. But never would she dare touch her injuries.
It was when, early into the fourth week of Natsu’s disappearance, Lucy broke a few bones after being stepped on by a Vulcan that Loke finally disobeyed her orders and went to Wendy. He knew Lucy would give him a talking to, but besides that, she loved her spirits, and in return they loved her. All of them hated to see her suffering like that. She rarely even called Plue out anymore, and when Loke went to get Wendy, he sent Plue to his holder.
Lucy had hugged the snowman-looking dog to her chest before gasping in pain. Her first thought was a simple ouch. It was her second thought that had her reeling from shock. She had felt something. “Plue!” She called out, happily picking him up and jumping, “I felt something!” Only to realize just how much pain she did feel. She groaned, dropping to her bed. She raised her right hand to her face.
Loke walked in, with a worried Wendy and Happy close behind. “Lucy?” She glanced away from her hand, that she had been studying, tears in her eyes. Happy flew into her arms and Lucy hugged him tight.
“It hurts. It hurts so much.” She wasn’t talking about the physical pain. Wendy carefully walked over to her and asked her to lay back so she could examine her. Lucy soon fell asleep from the lulling magic, and Wendy turned to Loke.
“It’s a good thing you came to me when you did, otherwise there could have been permanent damage from not getting the right treatment. There will be a few scars, but besides that she will be just fine when she wakes up in the morning.” Loke nodded and Wendy watched as he vanished in a flash of light, then turned to Happy. “You coming?”
Happy shook his head, knowing Lucy would need him when she woke up. Wendy smiled and left, returning to Carla alone.
Waking up the next morning, Lucy expected to find pain. Instead she found a warm spot over her chest, and looked down to see Happy. For the first time in weeks, she genuinely smiled. Her mind was overwhelmed and soon she was laughing and crying. Happy woke up extremely confused, but instead of bothering with it, just leaned in and hugged her. “Hey Happy, how about after I shower I make you some fish?”
Happy’s eyes lit up, causing her to go into a giggling fit. “You would do that?”
Happy shot out of her arms. “Yay! Lushi’s gonna make me fish again! Lushi’s fish is the best!” She was still laughing when he shoved her in the bathroom, begging her to hurry. She did, and felt the cleanest she had for a long time. She didn’t feel a layer of heaviness over her, and it overall made her have a skip in her step. She pulled out the many fish she had bought for Happy and began to turn on the stove.
“Whoah! Did you buy all of these for me?”
“Of course Happy, you didn’t think I forgot about you did ya?” Happy’s eyes looked to the floor and Lucy gave him a light smile.
“Well, you never asked me to go on missions with you, so I figured…”
Lucy blinked. “That’s why? You were with Wendy and Carla, so I thought you didn’t want to come with me. When I first asked you, you had already made plans to go with them. So after that I just assumed that you would be with them from then on.”
Happy looked at the girl, wishing he could relieve her of her pain. Shaking her head, she cooked his food. They were talking over the table when a loud thump came from her room. Lucy and Happy looked at each other after hearing the loud complaint, then rushed to the bedroom. They both worked on lifting the window, then leaning over the side to see a toothy grin they had thought long gone. Happy immediately flew down to his best friend and the dragon slayer swung him around before looking up to see the blonde had disappeared.
Said blonde had taken a step back, forgetting she was on her bed and fell off. She moved to stand, but a hand grabbed her, pulling her up. She jumped on him, wrapping her legs around his waist as his arms came around to steady her. He could feel her hot tears on his neck, since she was wearing his scarf. “Natsu, you idiot,” she breathed quietly, knowing he would hear. He just held her, and turned his body so he could sit on the bed.
“I know Luce.” Her light tears turned to sobs and she pounded on his chest.
“I thought you were gone!”
“I was gone.” He replied, confused.
“Dead Natsu! I thought you were dead! Do you even know how much pain you put me through? How much you put everyone through?” She was still hitting him, but he took it. He thought leaving his scarf would let them know he survived while he dealt with his issue. Apparently it had the opposite effect. “When the guy found your scarf,” she had stopped pounding on his chest, in favor of tracing lazy circles on it, her breath coming in hiccups. “Dammit Natsu, we knew you wouldn’t just leave your scarf behind.” Yet that was exactly what he had done.
“I’m sorry. I had something I had to do alone.”
“You couldn’t even stop by and tell me you were leaving. Mavis, Natsu, there wasn’t even a note this time!” His mouth formed an ‘o’ as he remembered that the note had been suggested by Happy the last time. “What were you even doing?”
He flinched. “I can’t tell you.” Lucy reeled back, stepping away from him with some effort. She was still weak from her overexertion the past month. Happy, who had been watching the encounter flew over to Natsu, whispering in his ear. Lucy didn’t even bother trying to listen in, she didn’t care. She rubbed her temple, she was happy Natsu was back, but mad that he was gone so long and wouldn’t tell her what he left for.
Natsu, on the other hand, would have told Lucy, if the reason hadn’t been her. He told Gajeel to tell Lucy not to worry and that he would be there. Oh, that metal head would get it.
He had to leave, it was still nearly too hard being back. The moment she had jumped on him, he had wanted to take her. Because, although he gave his friends their magic power back, combined, they had given him the power known as ‘dragon king.’ Before the battle he had been able to block out the aspects of his hormones. And he had hormones, he just hid them behind his ‘dense’ personality. But after the battle, he had been about to step in the guild with the others when he smelled her, everything was her. He knew that having the dragon king power would raise his need to mate, but he hadn’t realized how bad.
“Lucy, I’m so sorry.”
“No. You don’t get to just be sorry.” She was fuming. Natsu wouldn’t tell her, fine. She was not just going to let him back into her life that easily. “You have to work to gain my trust back this time. Yeah I missed you. Hell, I was drowning without you here. But then you come back and just waltz in here and tell me you can’t give me a single fucking reason for you leaving? And you expect me to just let you be here all the time again? No.” Happy looked like he thought she was going to give him the same penalty, but she turned to him. “Happy, you are just fine to come here, any time you want, so don’t give me that look.”
She turned back to Natsu and he looked wounded. “You wouldn’t want to know Lucy.” He had only used her nickname once since he came back, and it was concerning her, but she wasn’t going to give up so easily.
“Even if I don’t, I would most likely find out someday. Better I know now rather than find out later. Just think about it Natsu, okay? If you feel like you can tell me, I’ll be here until tomorrow night, then me and Happy are going on a job.” Natsu’s face lit up, but Lucy quickly snuffed it out. “No. You can’t come unless you tell me.” Saying this, she gestured to the window, not bothering to suggest the door, knowing he wouldn’t use it anyway.
Natsu had thought all day the day before, whether or not he should tell Lucy. She was right, she would find out someday, but did he really want it to be then? Yes. So, he went to sleep, a fitful night full of dreams, and waited for the day to come.
It had come quicker than he thought, and his heart pounded as he ran to the guild. He thought about sending Happy inside to fetch Lucy, since nobody had seen him yet. But he knew Lucy would just deny the exceed. So, he took a step into the guild, only to hear everything stop.
Finally, it was Gray who broke the silence. “Lucy told us you were back flame-brain, but none of us believed her.”
Natsu’s lip twitched into a snarl, he didn’t like that no one believed her. However, he knew this was a fight he had to put off so instead he closed his eyes for a second. “Yep here I am. Now I would like to borrow Lucy for a bit please.”
Lucy looked up at him shocked, she clearly hadn’t expected him to actually reveal his secret to her. Her eyes shone as she stood up from her place at the bar, and he grinned at her. “You’re really gonna tell me?” She said as she got closer to him, and he nodded.
“Can we go to your house for a bit?” Lucy nodded, gripping his wrist, and his pulse went crazy just from the one touch. Lucy stopped as she watched Natsu open her door for her. First of all, he never used the door, much less opened it for her.
It was then that she noticed he was shaking. She felt bad pressuring him like this, but she had thought he was dead for nearly a month. Together, they went to her room and sat on her bed. Her hands reached for the scarf around her neck, Natsu’s scarf. She clenched it, as it had become her nervous tick while he was gone. The smell of him comforted her, and she knew she wouldn’t have been able to keep good on her threat. His eyes scanned her face, then followed her hands movements.
Natsu growled in satisfaction that his scent was on her, and she tilted her head confused. Natsu shook his head clearing it, before he began. “First, I’m sorry, and please don’t hate me for this.”
“Natsu, I could never hate you. Ever.” She had almost finished with after all, I’m in love with you. But she kept it to herself.
“I’m not so sure about that,” he was so nervous, she could tell from the way he was bouncing his leg. “I was with the other dragon slayers when we first got to the guild.” Lucy opened her mouth to protest, but Natsu cut her off. “But when we got there, I couldn’t face you. So, I told Gajeel to go and tell you I would be there soon.” Natsu looked down into his lap, his hands were shaking. Seeing this, Lucy reached out covering them with her own, her warm hands comforting him. “You see, when we were fighting Acnologia, I was the only one still going, so the other dragon slayers gave me their power. Combined, the power is called the dragon king, which basically upped everything I had as both an advantage and a disadvantage.
“And it was great, until I remembered that I was still just a teenager, a boy at that. Before, I had been able to put my hormones to the back of my mind. But when we got to the guild hall and I could smell you, your scent was overwhelming. Everyone else had gone home, changed, and showered. They smelled clean and artificial. You smelled like you. I couldn’t handle it with the better senses and new motives my body was given forcefully. I mean, when a dragon king is chosen, it is important that they are imprinted on and that they mate. Well, step one was done, but I was trying to steer my thoughts in a different direction.”
“What do you mean?” Lucy asked when he paused.
“Somehow, throughout all the time we were together, you had imprinted on me. You were it for me, but I know how your dad treated you as though you were just an object, a tool, to use. My dragon senses were taking over, and I couldn’t bear to think of you like a possession when I know you hate it.” Lucy was in awe. Her best friend had not only just stated that she was his mate, but also that he cared enough to harm himself for her peace of mind. “I knew you would hate me for it, so I left. But the hormones weren’t under control and my body was telling me I needed to mate with you. I couldn’t though, because I wanted— no I want your permission first. But I wouldn’t have been able to hold myself back and wait, so I had to leave. I had to make sure I could control myself around you first. And believe me, it took a long time to feel as though I could handle it.”
Lucy’s eyebrows lifted. “Handle what, exactly?” She licked her lips, Natsu zoning in on the slow and calculated movement. He leaned forward, his breath mixing with her own. His voice was rough when he spoke next.
Now she leaned closer, looking into his green-onyx eyes with wide eyes. She was just far enough that she only just wasn’t touching him. “What do your instincts have to do with this?”
Natsu’s eyes flickered back and forth between her eyes and her lips. “Well, they…” He caught on to her teasing tone as she licked her lips again, swiping the tip of her tongue across his bottom lip as well. He growled at her softly and leaned in, closing the distance between them, claiming her lips with his own. When Lucy’s hand went to grip at his hair, Natsu yanked back. He practically flew back, standing up and running into her dresser with a look of panic.
Lucy’s hands went to her mouth. Her eyes slowly opening wide. “Natsu?” He looked at her and gulped.
“I can’t do this. If I do, I won’t be able to stop.” Lucy frowned. He couldn’t kiss her or else he would claim her, how was their relationship to progress slowly then? She shook her head. It obviously wasn’t. Closing her eyes again, she took a deep breath.
“Then don’t stop.”
“What?” She looked at him hard and he took a careful, shaky step forward.
“Then don’t stop. If you can’t stop yourself, then don’t. But I don’t want you to disappear again.” Lucy stood up pulling him the rest of the way to her. She laced her hands behind his neck and pulled him down to her, sealing his mouth over hers. She swiped her tongue out and his met her own. Lucy gasped as his tongue slid into her mouth, tasting her.
Natsu took a step forward, making her step back. Her legs hit the bed and she tumbled backwards, Natsu falling over her. His hands grasped her waist, holding her there as he pulled away from her mouth. Lucy looked at him in confusion.
“Do you want this Lucy?” He asked her huskily. She shivered at his tone and nodded. He leaned back down then, kissing her hard before his fingers slid under her top, brushing bare skin. Her body tensed as his warm fingers slid across her stomach, meeting just above her navel.
She was already breathing hard and he had barely touched her. He pulled away again, just watching her as he lightly rubbed her stomach, drawing aimless patterns on it. Her own hands slid down from his neck and over his arms to his chest. She undid the vest he wore, and slid it off his shoulders. He let it fall to his wrists, not moving his hands from her stomach, shuddering as her own hands explored his.
Natsu’s body was reacting desperately and he had a hard time controlling himself. Lucy watched as he slid his hands away and then finished pulling off his vest. He removed her top as well and then her bottoms, leaving her in only her undergarments. Natsu looked at her as he stood up and stripped the rest of his clothing. She slowly let her eyes drift down his body, pausing over his length before darting her eyes to meet his own. He grinned at her reaction and slid over top of her again.
“Hmm?” He asked her.
“What will this mean for us, when it’s over?”
“Well, it will mean that you are mine, and I am yours.” She nodded, knowing it was the best she was going to get at that moment. Natsu leaned in and kissed her again, more hurried and passionate than the one’s before. He didn’t bother with slowness, his hands immediately roaming her body. One groped her breast, melding it in his hand and learning her chest. The other hand quickly went to her panties, rubbing her through them.
She moaned into his mouth and he began to trail kisses down her jaw, stopping just behind her ear before leaving a little nip and continuing down the slope of her neck. As he burnt her undergarments off, which Lucy decided she would complain about later, her continued to leave love bites down her neck. Natsu grinned into her neck at the sounds she was making, happy he was pleasing her.
Lucy felt him bite down on her neck as he slid a finger into her folds. She grunted in slight confusion, wondering whether she felt pain or pleasure. Her nails dug into his scalp as he explored her with his finger. She moaned as he added as second one, and his mouth left the feeling of flames across her skin as he went down to suck on her neglected her nipple. Her core clenched around his fingers as he took her nipple into his mouth.
He pulled back to look at her, seeing she was panting with her head thrown back into the bedspread, her cheeks reddened as her eyes were barely open. He groaned and kissed her open mouth again, which in turn made her grind down onto his fingers. He added another one and her hands dug into his back, sure to leave cuts.
“Luce.” He said against her mouth. “Lucy, look at me.” He wanted to see her eyes as he claimed her. He wanted her to see that he loved her and wanted to make her feel good. He lined himself up with her entrance as she opened her eyes. She still had her mouth open and Natsu swore it had to have been the most erotic sight he’d ever seen. She looked so willing, so wanting, and he groaned as he pushed into her slowly.
She gasped at the feeling, him stretching her even more than before, and he gripped her face, making it so she couldn’t look away from him. She dug her nails into his back as he slammed through her barrier, tears sliding out of her eyes. He froze, cursing internally at how he wanted to move, even though she was in pain. But then she slightly moved and let out a sound between a moan and a gasp before doing it again, and again, until finally she growled at Natsu.
“Move Natsu.” His eyes snapped to hers from where he was focused on a spot over her shoulder and he did as she said. Lucy gripped his shoulders as he continued to rock in and out of her, her walls tightening around him and making it hard for him to move.
When he hit a certain spot inside of her, he angled himself so he would hit it more often. Wanting to hear more of the sound she made when he hit it, and he got to. When he felt himself getting close he reached in between them, rubbing at her clit to get her close as well. When she tightened her legs around him, warning him of her own orgasm, he gave a final thrust, biting into her collarbone before emptying inside of her. Her walls clamped around him at the same time and milked him as she came around him.
Natsu looked at the mark which shimmered with red scales before fading back into her skin. He pulled out of her and flopped to the side, laying his head on her shoulder.
“Why didn’t you just tell me?”
“I didn’t want to chance our friendship, but had I known it would end like this, then I would have walked in and slammed you against a wall, taking you then and there.”
Lucy smiled sleepily. “We should try that.”
“Yeah, and on the table so I can properly eat my meal.” Lucy blushed at his words, feeling his breath on her neck. “Thank you Luce.”
“Anytime Natsu.” And with that, the two fell asleep.
Lucy woke up to a squeak. She vaguely remembered hearing words before them. “Lucy, Natsu, it’s time for the job, are you done talking yet?” Happy had rushed to get his friends, only to see them both bare with nothing covering them. It wouldn’t have shocked him, had they not been laying together. Natsu cuddling into Lucy’s chest and their arms wrapped around each other.
She wasn’t sure if she should move, thinking it would make things worse with Happy there. Natsu, on the other hand, had no qualms about it. He gripped the girl and rolled, not exactly waking up, but making their positioning different. Then she realized she really had to use the bathroom.
“Natsu.” He hummed at her as she shoved at his arm. “I have to use the bathroom.”
“Okay.” He didn’t release her, instead picking her up bridal style and carrying her there.
“Happy is here Natsu!”
He set her down, nearly dropping her, and turned to find the blue cat flying behind them, thoroughly confused.
“I thought you were mad at him Lucy.”
“Yep.” Natsu responded as she groaned and closed the bathroom door. She was sore, everywhere. She used the restroom and grabbed the extra clothes she had in the bathroom under her sink in case the boys randomly showed up.
“Did you tell her why you left?”
“And she forgave you?”
Lucy could hear Natsu’s smirk as she looked in the mirror, realizing she had bruises on her hips from his hard hold and marks on her neck. “She did more than forgive me.”
“Dragneel!” She yelled out, opening the door after dressing. “What the hell is this?” She pointed at the scales on her neck that marked her. They were only visible to her, him, and other dragon slayers. Other males would just be unknowingly deterred from liking her because of them.
“It’s what wards other guys off from you. It is your mark.”
“Can we go to the guild before they all get mad at me?”
She laughed as the boys jumped out her window, Natsu having dressed himself while she was in the bathroom. She ran out the door, chasing after them with a grin on her face. She caught up easily, and jumped on Natsu’s back, hanging from him until they got close to the guild, then he laced their fingers together, not caring what the blonde would say.
But she smiled as she walked in, and raised their hands together, though Natsu thought it was probably out of habit. “Hey guys!”
Once again it was silent, until master spit out his drink all over Laxus. Laxus looked pissed and turned around to see the one who made his grandfather do that. He was standing up, halfway through Natsu’s name when he saw their connected hands. His eyes went wide, and body slackened. Lucy spoke again.
Juvia was the first to speak. “No more love rival!”
Then it was Mira, but that was more of just a squeal. Then everyone was surrounding them, with congratulations and praises. The two nearly fainted when Erza asked, “so when’s the wedding gonna be?”