Rating: T for themes
Chapter Rating: T for themes
“You are not wearing that!”
“Then I’m not wearing anything!”
Lucy put a hand up to her face in exasperation. “Natsu I will dress you myself if I have to, but this is a fancy restaurant and you are not wearing your normal attire!”
Natsu harrumphed before turning away, pouting. “Well, I don’t have anything nice.” He grinned and turned around to see Lucy’s defeated look. But instead, she had on a smirk, and his grin fell. He did not like that look. Did not like it at all.
Turned out he should have run, they both should have. Lucy had called Virgo, and the maid spirit had dressed them. Lucy, was once again wearing her suitor’s ball dress, which was once again, fixed. Virgo said something about the third time being the charm. Lucy blushed and shook her head furiously at the spirit, telling her that there was no way she would get anything from the dress that time.
Natsu just thought it was weird, but then it had been his turn. The stupid spirit, Mavis forbid she hears him call her that or he will be punished, had dressed him overboard. He was dressed like a fucking prince. He was not even close to a prince.
Lucy was tilting her head from side to side, inspecting the outfit. It was a black overcoat, not too different from the one he always wore. The only difference was that it had two sleeves instead of just one. He had on a red undershirt and then pants tucked into boots. His piercing in his ear shimmered. Yes, Gajeel had given Natsu a few piercings, although, according to Natsu, she wouldn’t be able to see all of them. Whatever that meant.
“What?” Natsu looked at her incredulously.
“You could be a pirate captain. You said you didn’t like that you looked like a prince. Although I don’t think you look like any normal prince, but a dragon prince.”
Natsu grinned at her and Lucy’s blood rushed. Virgo had put them in matching outfits of course. His undershirt matched her accents, and his accents matched her hair. Oh, and don’t forget that her dress matched his hair. Lucy’s smile creeped across her face. Her hair was done partly up with most of it down. Cancer had put elaborate jewels in the small bun that was on the back of her head made by the two small side braids that began at her temple and went to the middle of the back of her head. Her make up on the other hand was just a light mascara and a simple swipe of pink eyeshadow, followed by a dab of gloss on her lips.
Natsu’s hair was normal, and he had his scarf looped around his pants like a belt. “A dragon prince or a pirate captain, I think I like those options.” Lucy laughed at him and he wrapped her in a hug. The two held each other for a moment before pulling away. Natsu had lingered a moment, taking in her scent.
“You have to be hungry.” He pulled back, and Lucy shivered. There was indeed hunger in his eyes, but it was a more basic kind of hunger, laced with need. His hands tightened on her waist and she grimaced, the light touches gone and a determined push replaced instead. “Natsu?”
He shook his head and the look cleared, his hands loosened and he blinked at her. “Yeah, food.” Lucy laughed, nodding and gently turned in his hands so that one of his arms was resting on her hip and across her back. The other hand fell to his side and he grinned at her. “All right!” His hand clenched, “I’m all fired up now!”
Lucy laughed and the two began walking down the stairs. “What time was our reservation?”
“Last you told me it was at eight.”
“And it’s only six now.” Lucy’s right hand tapped on the back of his hand in aimless thought. “Wanna just walk around a bit?”
“Yeah, that sounds good.” He was more focused on the feeling of her hand against his as they walked. She had laced her fingers through his spread ones thoughtlessly. He lightly made a step into her and pulled her into his side. She giggled.
The stairs were not too difficult since Lucy had gone for the flats that Virgo presented instead of the heels. They were like ballet slippers, and Lucy was glad they looked good on her. Lucy looked around them, seeing a couple in a fight, it didn’t look to be going well for either partner, and she frowned. “Hey Natsu?”
“We’ll always be friends right?” She worried her bottom lip when he didn’t answer and his brows furrowed.
“What brought that on?”
Lucy realized what she had been thinking. That the two would end up together and if they broke up… “Nothing, never mind.” Natsu looked at her and followed her line of sight to the fighting couple. His mouth made an ‘o’ shape and he shouldered Lucy lightly until she looked up at him. His eyes went to the lip she was biting at desperately. He wanted to tell her that if she didn’t stop that then he would bite her lips for her, but that wasn’t the best thing to say to someone he was ‘just friends’ with.
Natsu chuckled nervously. “You mean if we got into a really bad fight?” Lucy frowned, but nodded, deciding it was better for her to pretend that was what she meant. “Of course we’ll still be friends.”
“But what if it’s so bad that it hurts one of us? Still?”
Natsu pulled her into the side hug. “Yes.” Lucy was still frowning, but she nodded, taking his answer in. She didn’t want to lose her best friend, even if something tore them apart, she would fight tooth and nail to get him back, and she would never leave him behind. Lucy’s hand tightened where she gripped his and she took in a deep breath before nodding decidedly.
The two walked out of the lobby and turned to follow the sidewalk. Her eyes roaming again. There were a lot of romantic scenes and shops around them. She landed on one couple who were practically naked in the street and blushed heavily. Her eyes moved on and she spotted a flower stand. She tugged Natsu over to the woman selling the flowers and stopped in front of it. She saw a lovely pink orchid and reached out, lightly touching the flower.
“Ah, you have quite the eye little miss.”
Lucy smiled sheepishly. “They were my mother’s favorite.”
The woman frowned and then reached out, taking the single orchid and snipping it before sliding it into Lucy’s hair, right through the bun. “For the beautiful princess and her dragon prince.” Natsu smiled at the woman brightly, the grin making Lucy forget how to breathe.
“Thank you. I really do appreciate it. How much for the flower?”
“No, it’s free for you sweetheart.” Lucy smiled thankfully, tears filling her eyes and she wiped at them, with a gloved finger, the spot turning darker from the tear.
The two continued on, and it wasn’t until Lucy reached her left hand out to point at something that Natsu noticed. There, on her ring finger, lay the ring he made for her, prominent over the red fabric of her gloves. He slid his hand down her arm, stopping to play with the ring before he had encircled her in front of him with his arms. This woman was going to be the death of him.
Their matching necklaces glinted in the sunset, and Natsu smiled sweetly, realizing that if this moment could last forever, he would want it to. But Lucy’s eyes caught on a store and she grinned at him deviously. The same grin from earlier. She dragged him inside and he realized it was a clothing store. Immediately Lucy began to grab different pieces of fabric and throw them at him, until finally she decided that he had enough for the moment. Then, she pushed him into the dressing room.
He knew she wanted him to try them on, so he stripped out of his current clothing, carefully laying them across the chair in there before looking back at the pile that had been shoved at him. He realized then, that there were only pants, and he didn’t want to put the shirt back on, so he just shrugged.
He slipped the first pair on, not liking how tight they were, but knowing Lucy would scold him if he didn’t show her every single thing. So, he slid open the curtain and stepped out. Lucy’s back was turned to him, looking at a few shirts on the discarded rack. Natsu snuck up behind her and picked her up, spinning her around. The girl squealed with laughter as Natsu set him down.
The smile that was on her face froze when she saw him. She knew he would look good in jeans, but damn. It also helped that he didn’t have a shirt on. Without her permission, her hand reached out, resting on his chest, over where the protection charm her father had given them lay. She felt him tense, but couldn’t move, her hand slightly wrapping around the necklace before releasing it. The waistbands sunk low and Lucy’s hand trailed down, gripping his waistband and tugging up lightly. Then she stepped away, shaking her head before inspecting him.
The jeans rested just under his hipbones, and she could see they were a little uncomfortable for him from the way he kept shifting. Or, maybe it was the way that her gaze kept lingering on a particular area. She noticed a sofa chair and pointed at it. “Sit.”
He did as he was told, confused, but realizing immediately, that if he sat, the friction was too much, so he stood up, shook his head, and walked back into the dressing room. Lucy watched as he walked away, half tempted to scream out and tell him how good his ass looked, but decided she was better off without it.
The next time he came out he was talking and her eyes caught sight of the ball piercing on his tongue. He waved his hands in front of her face and she blinked. “Sorry, what?”
“I—” Her mind blanked again, watching how the piercing would catch on his teeth sometimes, or when he liked his lips and it skimmed over them.
“Yeah, I’m having— Turn around and repeat that please.” Natsu did as told, a confused look on his face.
“I said, these are nicer than the other ones, and why are you having me try on all of these to begin with? I don’t need any new bottoms.”
Lucy laughed, making him turn around again. “You are trying them on because I want to see you in something other than your normal sweats. You look really good in the pair of slacks you are wearing today, so I wanted to see something else on you.” She grinned at him, her attention on his eyes again. “Besides, you are never going to get a girl in just sweats.” She put a finger to her lip, unknowingly drawing Natsu’s attention to them. “Well, if you were in just sweats maybe. But that is beside the point.”
Lucy watched as Natsu nodded, not quite certain what she meant. He turned around and went back into the dressing room. He thought it was hilarious how often he found Lucy staring at the piercings that metal face had given to him. His cousin was very good at that, and Natsu and Gajeel both had heard Lucy and Levy talking about how much piercings were attractive. Gajeel made Natsu buy him a large expensive dinner after one particular piercing that hurt like hell, but beside that one, which Gajeel had many in that particular area if he heard the conversations Lucy and Levy had over the phone correctly, they were relatively low pain.
When he had first gotten them Lucy had freaked. She had inspected as much of him as she could without removing his clothes. He only had a total of six piercings, and five were on his face. So far though, it seemed Lucy was intrigued at where he could have other piercings. He grinned at the thought of her seeing his other piercing, although it would never happen, not in this lifetime at least.
He slid up his pants and walked out again, watching as her eyes trailed down his body. He wanted another reaction like the first two, but these were looser, and apparently just didn’t do the same thing for her. Right, he took note that tight pants were a turn on for her.
“Next.” She said, handing him another pile of clothing. These one’s shirts, probably annoyed he was walking around shirtless.
Her eyes widened when he walked out next. Natsu had on a shirt that was pulled taut on him. It was a t-shirt, something he rarely, if ever, wore. Black with a pattern of flames at the bottom, covering his waist. Lucy had to stop picking out things that would make him look good or they would never make their reservation. It was already nearly seven.
“Okay, let’s just— Did you want any of those? I’ll buy.” She would buy if he wanted something because he made her have fantasies just by walking in those damn jeans, and all she could think about was wearing that shirt with nothing underneath it.
“The first two pairs of jeans and this shirt.” He grinned at her knowingly and she blushed, watching as he turned and got changed. When he came back out, he had the three items and they went to the registers to buy the clothing. Lucy was true to her word, and bought the clothing, thankful there was a deal on the jeans.
The man commented on how nice the two looked and told them to have fun. Natsu and Lucy grinned. Natsu put his arm around Lucy again, her hand lacing with his as well. His left hand held the bag and the two walked out of the shop. “So did you actually like the clothes or were you just humoring me?”
“I definitely like the shirt.” Like Lucy, he had thoughts of seeing her in just the shirt, but neither of them would tell each other of their less than decent thoughts. Although the entirety of why Natsu got the piercings was because of less than decent thoughts of his best friend, for which he would certainly go straight to hell. “The jeans were just to humor you, but I will still wear them. Just for you.” He grinned at her and her hand tightened over his in appreciation that he wasn’t just going to waste the money.
As the two walked around for another half-hour Lucy was less aware of her surroundings and more aware of how her and Natsu laughed and talked together. One lady even came up to them, asking them how long they had been together. Natsu grinned at the woman. “Since we were children.”
Lucy burst out laughing. “That’s not what she meant Natsu.” She turned to the woman, smiling kindly. “We actually aren’t together like that. We’ve been best friends since we were children though.”
The woman smiled at them. “Well, you two should go out, you are adorable together.” The woman walked away from them without another word and Lucy stepped out of Natsu’s arms embarrassed.
“Let’s get to dinner.” She said walking ahead of him and ignoring when vendors on the street called out to her, attempting to get her to pay attention to them. She just wanted to get to dinner, something the two could enjoy together, as friends. She really needed to squash the feelings she had for him and fast. Before she did something stupid.
The two were led to a table and sat down, the menus placed in front of them. The host eyed Natsu skeptically, but Lucy gripped Natsu’s arm and had him sit down. Natsu kept looking at her with a concerned look as he had no idea what was what on the menu.
It was an extremely fancy restaurant and Lucy was grateful it was covered by the hotel, because there was no way she would have been able to afford the food. Especially not with the way Natsu ate.
“Can I get you anything to drink sir?” Lucy looked up at the sound of a female’s voice. A very familiar red-head stood there and Lucy’s heart sank. Perfect, because this is what we need.
“Flare?” Natsu asked in confusion, and then a smile lit his face. “Hey! How’s it been?”
“Fine. I see you are still caring for Lucy like a good dog.”
Lucy snarled, her lips pulled into a line. “He isn’t a dog.”
“Yeah, I know, he’s a puppy.”
“No. He’s a dragon. Get that through your thick head of nothing would you?” Lucy really could have done better if a, she hadn’t had to deal with Natsu’s ex, or b, they weren’t in such a fancy restaurant.
Flare turned around, rolling her eyes. “Whatever, I’m going to get someone else to serve you, I can’t afford to lose my job.”
Natsu just sat there, watching the girls fight. Where the males did it with fists instead of words, females seemed keen on sharpening their tongues with every lash. He never did understand.
A smell drifted to him and he had the urge to grab the necklace he had on, so he did. His body calmed down at the feeling of something Lucy gave to him, and he lightly scooted forward in his chair, putting his knee in between Lucy’s. She looked at him and calmed down, her right hand going to her left, playing with the ring she had on her finger.
“And Lucy,” Flare looked over her shoulder at the blonde. “Just because you have him now, doesn’t mean you will forever. The heart can be swayed.” A creepy grin crossed her face as she turned around and walked away, one that made Natsu wonder why he had ever been with the girl in the first place. He looked over to Lucy, not happy to see that she was looking down at the menu in front of her and he could smell saltwater coming from her.
Lucy knew that Natsu wasn’t hers, that he wouldn’t be. She didn’t understand why he didn’t get that. Why did he have to go and say such sweet things like he did? You can’t just put someone else above your lover. That isn’t how it worked, at least not the way Natsu put her above everyone else. It would be different if he didn’t always go to her first, then someone else. But he didn’t.
Her hands made a fist and she stood, gulping back a sob and looking at Natsu. “I will be right back. If the server comes, tell them I would just like a water with lemon please.” She was getting ready to turn away when she looked at Natsu. “Do you know what you want to drink?”
Natsu nodded and so she hurried off to the bathroom. At least, he assumed she went to the bathroom. He had looked back down at the menu, trying to decipher what all of the food was. There was a loud scratch as the chair pulled back and Natsu looked up to see Lucy back.
“Sorry about that.” Natsu looked at her confused at what she had to be sorry for. “Has the server—”
“Hello. What would you two like to drink?”
“I’ll take a water with lemon please.” Lucy answered, smiling sweetly at the new woman. She seemed kind enough, but Lucy was uncertain.
“And you sir?” Natsu looked up dazed.
“Oh.” Natsu grinned. “I’ll take a fireball and a water with lemon please.” When he looked at Lucy mischievously a grin slowly creeped across her face.
The waitress left and Lucy watched as Natsu leaned in conspiratorially. “Alright, so what the hell does any of this mean?”
“How about I just order for you?” Natsu nodded, trusting Lucy to order him a lot of food. And when the waitress came back, she did order a lot of food.
Lucy grinned as she watched Natsu’s face light up when the food came out. She had ordered everything she thought he would like, and a single dish for herself. The waitress had looked at the skinny blonde in concern but said nothing. Lucy just laughed when Natsu dug in. At least food wasn’t flying everywhere. He was actually making an effort to eat cleanly. She knew he would pass out the moment they got back to the hotel, and with the way he was eating she may have to roll him back.
In front of her sat a single dish of pasta, which she had ordered another of for Natsu so he wouldn’t steal any of hers. She watched as he ate all of the spicy things first, then took to eating the less spicy things. He had eaten all of the food she had ordered and was patting his stomach fondly while she still had a little bit of pasta left. He sat and watched her eat, smiling whenever their eyes would meet.
“Where do you keep all of it?” Natsu just grinned at her usual question.
“It’s all in the fire power. Makes me all fired up!” Lucy giggled at him as she finished, laying down two hundred jewels for a tip. She knew their food had to cost upwards of four thousand, so it seemed only fair. She stood up, and Natsu followed her, humming happily and rubbing his stomach. Natsu had grabbed her hand, dragging her to the hotel, and then telling her he wanted to play.
“What do you mean Natsu?” She asked curiously, stepping down from the bed she was climbing onto.
“Let’s go in the whirlpool again.” Lucy nodded, and the two changed, separately of course. Natsu told Lucy when he was done, but she didn’t come out until a minute later, in the same suit from last night. The two stepped into the whirlpool that had been turned on and Lucy sighed.
Natsu reached out and grabbed the necklace that was around her neck, sinking down to study it. He knew his father made the pieces, and still hated himself for the time when he had let Lucy get hurt. As if she knew what he was thinking she lightly raised his chin.
“It was not your fault Natsu.”
“But if I hadn’t been with Flare…” He trailed off, not knowing what to say, and Lucy tilted her head.
“There is a lot of ‘if only’s’ in life Natsu. Ignore them, or else they will only drag you down.” With that, she leaned in, kissing the three piercings right over his right eyebrow. One was a pink gem, another gold, and the last blue. When Lucy had asked why there were those colors, he said it represented the team: Natsu, Lucy, and Happy. She leaned back, away from him, and the chain slid through his fingers as she leaned back against the other side of the pool. Her head fell back and she sighed. “Thank you Natsu.”
“Nothing, everything, you decide.” Her eyes were closed and she had a light smile on her lips.
“Hey Luce?” She hummed in response. “You never did tell me, why did your father give you these?”
Her eyes shot open and she sat up, looking at the necklace he had his fist wrapped around. She hadn’t told him, and maybe it was about time she had.