Summary: When they were younger, Lucy was taller than Natsu, and they made a bet for when they were older. Lucy goes through a hard time after Natsu moves away, and he tries to help her through it, completely forgetting about the bet until he’s standing in front of her once again. Inspired by Ayumichi-me’s comic on tumblr – Quick little one-shot (NaLu)
Rating: T for themes
So, this was inspired by a comic by ayumichi-me
“Hey Lucy. If I get to be this tall,” Natsu held his hand over Lucy’s head, but she cut in.
“You mean taller than me?”
Natsu nodded, “When we’re older, will you marry me?”
Lucy laughed at her partner, a hand covering her mouth. “I don’t think you’ll get that tall, Natsu.”
“What?” Natsu was red-faced and had his hands in fists at his sides, his cheeks puffing out. “I can be taller than you, you’ll see.”
Lucy pursed her lips. “Okay then.”
Natsu turned around, completely unaware of the implications in his previous statements. Well, he knew what the words meant, what the acts were, but he didn’t know his younger friend would take it seriously. He didn’t know she would hold onto it until they were older. The taller girl had laughed at him. She had claimed him to have determined an unreachable feat, and he hadn’t thought about it in years.
Now, here the girl was, finally shorter than him, even in the two or three inch heels she was wearing. He had moved away when they were still young, to the town of Magnolia. His partner stayed in their hometown. They still talked every day over the phone, at least, they did until her mother died. Then he was lucky to get to talk to her once a week, and she was always sounding very quiet.
Natsu remembered one night, he had been on the phone with her; they were seventeen then. “Hey, Luce, how are things there?” He missed seeing her, and even though they had met up once in the past nine years, he had still been shorter than her. He also remembered seeing her hollowed out eyes, not showing the joy she used to have.
“They’re great!” He could hear the false joy in her voice before hearing a quieter voice in the background.
“Lucy!” Natsu could immediately tell it was her father. “Either stop talking to that pink-haired idiot or be quieter! You know I’m in a business meeting.”
Lucy’s voice was a hushed reply, one Natsu could only just make out. “He’s not an idiot, but I’ll be more quiet, sorry father.” At this, footsteps were heard and Natsu decided it was safe to speak up again.
“You always call me an idiot though.”
“Yes, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay for him to call you an idiot.” Natsu had smiled at her declaration, and their conversation from then on was a bit more hushed.
By the time Lucy had reached nineteen, and Natsu twenty, they hadn’t seen each other again, but Lucy called him maybe once a month. However, she always answered when he called. There was one particular night, when Natsu had gotten drunk, and called her. He wasn’t so terribly drunk that he didn’t remember their conversation. No, it was worse. He had just enough of the so-called liquid courage that he made the call, but he remembered the entire conversation perfectly.
Normally she called him on a specific day every month, but she had missed it that month. The dial tone rang twice before she picked up with a high pitched, “Natsu?”
“Luce. You missed our call date.”
She sounded tense when she replied. “Yeah, sorry about-” She was interrupted by another voice on her end of the call.
“Who the hell is calling you at this hour? Come back to bed.” For one second, Natsu thought it was her father, but quickly realized it wasn’t.
“Luce,” Natsu seemed to sober up pretty quickly after that. “Who’s that?”
Natsu couldn’t tell whether she replied to him or the guy on her end. “My friend.” With her next sentence she knew it was to him. “Just a sec Natsu.” He put the phone on speaker as he wandered around his room, looking for something specific he had bought a few weeks ago. The real reason he had called her.
“Look,” she began, talking to whoever was on her side, “it isn’t even that late. Besides, he’s my best friend, I will always answer when he calls and he knows that. Now drop it Loke, and go back to bed.”
“No Lucy,” the guy, whom Natsu assumed to be Loke, replied. “I’m not going back to bed until you go too.” Natsu bristled at the tone the other guy was using with her.
“I’m not going to bed until I know Natsu is okay, now go away. It’s not like I don’t get up in the middle of the night anyway.”
“Yeah, screaming for someone who isn’t even here!” Now Natsu was intrigued, but he said nothing, still looking for the object.
“Because he is the only one who can comfort me!” Natsu paused for a second, concerned. “He may live a while away, but even just talking on the phone helps.”
Natsu completely stopped when the guy spoke back to her. “Then why are you trying to cut him off? Huh?” He could hear Lucy huff, and leaned closer to the phone. “When you were younger, it was every day-“
“Yeah when mom was alive!”
The other guy continued as though he hadn’t been interrupted. “Then every week at least, then once a month, but now- Why are you hurting yourself Lucy? You wake up screaming for him, begging for him to comfort you in your darkest hours, and yet you won’t make a single phone call?”
Lucy’s voice wavered when she spoke next. “It’s just- I don’t want to burden him. Levy’s been telling me what he’s been doing lately. If he has someone, then I shouldn’t get in the way. Anyway, if he really wanted to talk to me more then he would call me more often.” Natsu recognized a name in there. Levy, who was the girlfriend of one of his friends. She had met Lucy when she had come to see Natsu and the two had instantly hit it off.
Now, Natsu wondered what the little blue-haired girl was telling his partner. What had his blonde haired friend meant when she said ‘if he has someone’?
“Yeah, whatever Lucy. Just go back to bed soon, you have a big day tomorrow.”
“Yeah, fine.” Natsu could hear her clearly again and assumed she put the phone back to her ear.
“So, Luce… Who were you guys talking about?”
“Don’t worry about it Natsu.” He heard her take in a deep breath, “so, what did you want to talk to me about?”
“Oh, right!” He continued searching for the box he knew had to be around his room somewhere. “Well, it’s been awhile since we’ve seen each other, I was hoping you could come over here soon.”
“Yeah.” She sounded like she was contemplating something and Natsu laughed.
“If your father allows you right?”
“Oh,” Lucy sucked in a sharp breath of air. “Did your mother not tell you? She must have forgot.”
“I called you a few days before our scheduled time. You didn’t answer so I called your mother. She wasn’t with you at the time, and she had explained to me that your phone was trashed and you were getting a new one. But, my father-” She paused, her voice shaky and choked when she began again. “He passed away a few days ago. The funeral is tomorrow. I thought your mother would have told you.”
“Oh, she’s been on a business trip for a week and won’t be back until later in the morning.” Natsu felt horrible. He should have known something was wrong. “Hey Lucy, how long does it normally take for you to get here?”
“Well, by train about thirty minutes. Walking, about five or six hours why?”
“I’ll be there in thirty minutes.” With that Natsu hung up, and ran as fast as he could to the train station. He had barely made it in time, paid for his ticket and jumped on the train. He felt his motion sickness come out, but couldn’t be too bothered, because Lucy needed him so he needed to focus.
He had showed up at her door and she had opened it looking like she was in pain. Natsu had immediately swept her up in a breathtaking hug. “I should’ve been here sooner. I’m so sorry.”
Lucy gave him a quiet laugh, that quickly turned into sobs as he picked her up, burying her head on his shoulder. Natsu carried her all the way to her room, closing the door behind them and laying her on her bed, him following closely behind. They didn’t say anything to one another, Lucy still sobbing into his chest, and Natsu just content to hold her. Soon enough, Lucy had cried herself to sleep, Natsu stroking her hair.
What the two woke up to was a shocked Virgo, and a choking Loke. Virgo was pointedly staring at his hand, which had been on Lucy’s bare stomach under her shirt. He slowly removed it, Lucy slowly groaning awake. Natsu’s other hand was underneath her head and he couldn’t extract it because the blonde was using it as a cuddling toy. “Hey Luce, if you want to cuddle I’m right here.”
At this Lucy sat up with wide eyes. Virgo quickly got back on track. “Glad to see you’re awake princess. Breakfast is on the table for the two of you, and I assume master Natsu doesn’t have a suit with him, so I shall go and fetch one.”
That trip had been an emotional one, and neither cared about the other’s height status. However, it had been six years since then, and Natsu stood, waiting for the blonde to get off the train. When she did Natsu saw her look around confused.
Originally she had suggested he come to her, after all, it was her birthday. But, for one, he had a bad case of motion sickness and she would hate if he showed up sick. And two, he had an adventure planned out for them. “Hey, Lucy!” When she looked over his way, Natsu raised a hand and waved. “Yo, what’s up?” She smiled and walked over to him, letting out an adorable squeal of his name when he swept her off her feet and spun her around, laughing. Her arms hung around his neck as he held her up and the two laughed, light coloring coming into their cheeks.
It wasn’t until later that night, that in all Natsu fashion, he had her backed against a wall. He smirked at her, holding her birthday present over her head. “So, about that marriage thing,” he watched her eyes widen as he opened the box he held, “am I qualified now, Princess?”