Header art credit to auroskhai – Thanks for being amazing girl!

Summary: Lucy couldn’t handle it anymore, the dripping was making her life a living hell. One night she goes to ask her neighbor for a place to sleep, only to be met with an insanely hot firefighter. Did she mention that she suddenly found herself living with the man and his younger sister?

  • NaLu
  • Rating – T for sensitive topics
  • Genre – Romance & Hurt/Comfort
  • Word Count – 11,763 Words

Drip. Drip. Drop. Pause. Drip. Drip. Drop. Pause. Drip. Drip. Drop.

Lucy lay awake, staring at the ceiling. The plumber had just been in that day, and still there was a leak. She had even had the guy show her how to do it so she could fix it herself nearly two weeks ago. It stayed fixed for all of two minutes before it started dripping again. She had done everything she could too. Even going so far as to buy a new sink and new pipes, but nothing worked.

“Ugh!” She sat up in her bed. She had texted all of her friends to see if she could go sleep at their place that night. But all of them were either busy or out of town. Seriously? Are they ganging up on me or something? Do they want me to go insane? Well, that probably wasn’t it, but still. She grabbed her pillow and a blanket and wrapped it around herself. If the doors to the apartments weren’t outside she would have just stayed there and slept, but they were, and dire times call for drastic measures.

Grabbing her phone and charger off the nightstand, she looked at the time, grimacing. It was one in the morning. Tomorrow, she would start looking for another apartment; her lease was up at the end of the month anyway. So, steeling herself, she stepped out of her door, checking to make sure she had her keys. She locked it behind her and looked to her left.

There was only one other flat near hers, and it was where she headed, knocking on the door. She knew she was a mess, and had she known what was coming, she probably would have tried a little more before she left. But she hadn’t, and her hair was a little crazy, blonde strands falling over her shoulders and knotted in some places on the top of her head from tossing and turning. Her white tank top, crop shirt was a little skewed, and her black sleep shorts were bunched up near her inner thighs. She had a pillow under her left arm, and was holding the blanket to her as well.

As the door opened, she really wished she would have tried harder. The man looked at her with a raised eyebrow. Her lax expression immediately changed to surprise. First of all, he had pink, spiky hair that was sticking out all over the place. On top of that, he was shirtless, and only in his boxers, probably because he had just been sleeping.

“Can I help you?” Oh, his voice! It was a little thick from still being half asleep and he leaned against the door jam with a heaviness brought by being woken up unexpectedly. “Or are you just gonna stand there checking me out all night?”

Lucy looked up, blushing. “Sorry. I really don’t mean to be rude.”

“Hm. Well, what do you want?”

Rude much? “Please tell me you don’t have a dripping faucet that just won’t shut up.”

He eyed her in confusion. “Umm, no.”

“Oh thank god. Look, I know we’ve been neighbors for years, and not spoken a word, but my apartment has this shitty ass sink that no matter what I do or how many times a plumber comes in just won’t stop dripping. And it’s getting on my nerves. My point is, is there any way I can sleep here tonight?”

“Don’t you have friends?”

“Well, yes—”

“Ask one of them.” He was going to shut the door, but Lucy put her hand out.

“You think I didn’t go through my entire damn contact list before deciding to put myself at your mercy? I don’t even know you, but I will beg if I have to. I can not stand another night with the dumb dripping sounds.” The guy in front of her laughed, a grin lighting his face up.

“All right fine. Come on in. But can you be a little quieter, my sister is asleep, and I’d like for her to stay that way.”

Lucy’s eyes widened. “I’m so sorry!” She whispered the statement and he nodded, putting a hand on her back when she stepped in, directing her in the direction he wanted her to go.

“You can sleep in my bed, I’ll take the couch.”

“No! That’s not fair, I’m barging in on you, let me take the couch.”

“How about we share the bed? It’s a king size bed anyway, way too much space for just me.” Lucy thought about it, wary of this stranger who’s home she had just burst into.

“Okay.”

Natsu had just gotten home, quickly checking on his sister to make sure she was asleep, before heading into his own room. He assumed the two cats were sleeping with Wendy, so he just shrugged off his shirt and pants. He quickly looked at the time before sliding his phone in the charger. He had been working later more often than not, and was surprised he had gotten home before two in the morning.

Just as he was about to fall asleep, there was a knock at the door. He blinked and groaned. Who would be here at this hour? He shook his head and walked out to open the door, raising his eyebrow at the sight before him. The girl was blonde, obviously a little perplexed, and was carrying a blanket and pillow with her.

“Can I help you?” She didn’t say anything, her mouth falling open slightly. “Or are you just gonna stand there checking me out all night?”

The girl looked up, blushing, and shame in her eyes. “Sorry. I really don’t mean to be rude.” Normally Natsu would have been eager to assess her, but at that moment all he could think about was his bed. He did, however, catch the silkiness of her voice and the way she shyly looked from side to side.

“Hm. Well, what do you want?” Her eyes flashed and Natsu wanted to grin. This girl was amusing.

“Please tell me you don’t have a dripping faucet that just won’t shut up.”

He eyed her in confusion, his almost grin turning into a frown. “Umm, no.”

“Oh thank god. Look, I know we’ve been neighbors for years, and not spoken a word, but my apartment has this shitty ass sink that no matter what I do or how many times a plumber comes in just won’t stop dripping. And it’s getting on my nerves. My point is, is there any way I can sleep here tonight?” Natsu watched the girl with a growing curiosity. She would drag herself to someone’s door she doesn’t know, for a good night’s sleep?

“Don’t you have friends?”

She nodded cautiously. “Well, yes—”

“Ask one of them.” Natsu was going to shut the door but the girl put her hand out before speaking angrily.

“You think I didn’t go through my entire damn contact list before deciding to put myself at your mercy? I don’t even know you, but I will beg if I have to. I can not stand another night with the dumb dripping sounds.” This time, Natsu did laugh, a grin lighting up his face.

“All right fine. Come on in. But can you be a little quieter, my sister is asleep, and I’d like for her to stay that way.”

The girl’s eyes widened in concern. “I’m so sorry!” She whispered the statement and Natsu nodded, putting a hand on her back when she stepped in, directing her in the direction he wanted her to go, and closing the door behind them.

“You can sleep in my bed, I’ll take the couch.”

She immediately rounded on him, whisper yelling at him. “No! That’s not fair, I’m barging in on you, let me take the couch.”

Natsu frowned, not wanting to make this beautiful girl sleep on the hard couch. “How about we share the bed? It’s a king size bed anyway, way too much space for just me.”

She seemed to think about it, but was quick to answer. “Okay.”

Lucy woke up warm, but it was still dark outside, and she wondered what had woken her up. Her entire body was warm and insanely comfortable. She didn’t think she had ever slept so soundly. She shifted slightly with a soft sigh, and closed her eyes again.

She opened them quickly when she heard the door creak open. “Natsu?” A soft voice called. The warmth slid away from Lucy a little, as the man sat up.

“Hmm? What’s up Wendy?” Lucy didn’t move, unsure if she should, especially since they had been so closely pressed together on the bed. But, his arm stayed around her waist as he leaned on his other hand. She took that as a good sign and slightly looked up at the young girl standing in the doorway. Lucy realized that she now knew both of their names, but they didn’t know her name.

Wendy had tear streaks down her face, and Lucy whispered lightly to Natsu. “Nightmare. She had a nightmare.” She felt the boy tense behind her and waited as he removed his arm from around her before sitting up. She stepped out of the bed and crouched on the floor in front of Wendy.

Putting out a hand, so Wendy could see she was harmless, Lucy lightly caressed the girl’s cheek, removing the tear stains. “Whatever happened, it was just a nightmare all right?”

Wendy tilted her head a little sleepily. “Who are you?”

“I’m Lucy.” Wendy nodded, and put a hand on her shoulder. “Now, do you want to talk about what happened?”

“No. Can I just—”

“Sorry, Wen, Lucy’s sleeping in here.” Natsu cut the young girl off, seeming to know what she was going to ask already.

Lucy turned around to look at Natsu with a glare, before turning back to Wendy. “Come here.” She walked over to the bed, telling Natsu to scoot over before laying down and gesturing for Wendy to lay in between them. “Lay your head on my shoulder okay?” Wendy was on Lucy’s left side, and her head went to her chest, right over Lucy’s heart.

Lucy brought her right hand up to play with the girl’s long hair, smiling at her. “Now, go to sleep all right? If you need, me and your brother are here to fight any of the nightmares away.” Wendy hummed at that, before letting out a soft exhale.

“How did you know what to do?”

Lucy froze at the voice, but Wendy had fallen asleep quickly, and just snuggled closer to Lucy. Lucy looked over at Natsu, his eyes shining in the moonlight coming from the window. “My mother used to do it for me when I would have nightmares before she passed. I still have them sometimes, and thinking about what she used to do helps calm me down, so I thought I’d try it for Wendy.”

“When did your mother pass?”

“A few years ago, she had cancer. Should have died by the time I was seven, but she stuck around for a good twenty years of my life.” Her hand was still sifting through Wendy’s hair as Natsu rested his arm around both of the girls. Lucy was uncertain why she felt so comfortable with the man and his sister, but they gave off an aura of being whole. Of being a family.

“So you’re twenty-three?”

“Twenty-four. You?”

“Twenty-seven, birthday was yesterday.”

She looked at the clock that said 4:17am, and frowned slightly. “Like yesterday, yesterday… or two days ago yesterday?”

He grinned at her. “Yesterday, yesterday.”

“Well, happy birthday.”

“Thanks. So, what led you to knock on my apartment door again?”

“A dripping faucet.”

“Ah, yes.” Natsu’s right arm was under her head as she dropped it to look at him more clearly. His other arm slid the girls closer to him, and suddenly, Lucy could see the black flecks in his green eyes.

She was enraptured, and hadn’t even noticed that she had spoken aloud. “Wow, beautiful.”

“Huh? What’s beautiful?”

“Sorry!” She blushed. “Your eyes.”

He chuckled, and the laugh shook even Lucy. “No need to apologize Luce.” The two smiled at each other, and Lucy lightly ran her hand down from Wendy’s hair to Natsu’s arm, watching as he shivered.

“Do you have a specific time you have to be up?” She didn’t want to keep him awake if he did, and was afraid she may be keeping him awake. He nodded, and she sighed. “Well, why don’t you get some sleep then, and if Wendy needs anything I will help her out.”

He yawned before shooting her a grin. “That sounds like a great idea.” His arms retracted from around the girls and Wendy squirmed a bit, leeching off of Lucy’s lingering body heat. Natsu rolled the other way and then whispered back to Lucy. “Wendy and I have to be up by 6:30, kay?”

“Yeah.” She continued to pet Wendy’s hair and stared at the ceiling. When she was certain that Natsu and Wendy were both sleeping soundly, she carefully slid out of the bed. She left her pillows, phone, and blanket there, but grabbed her key.

Lucy was careful not to lock the door, and looked to make sure no one else was around, then she went inside of her own apartment. Lucy looked around, frowning to herself. Her first mission was to take a shower. Then she wanted to find breakfast items she could make, because she thought it would be rude to use their items when she should be at her own home, but she also wanted to make them breakfast. So, she walked into her kitchen and debated with herself for a moment, wondering if Natsu and Wendy would have the tools she would need, before deciding they should.

She grabbed the pancake mix, eggs, bread, and cinnamon rolls she had, not certain what they would like. She also grabbed the croissants she had and the ham and cheese she had wanted to use to make a few breakfast sandwiches that week. Then, Lucy wondered about drinks, deciding she would take what she had of those as well. The lemonade, cranberry juice, milk, and coffee all sliding into a bag she had pulled out.

She moved quickly, wishing to get back over there before either of them woke up, and she looked up at the clock on the microwave, seeing that it was already nearly six. She slung her backpack over her shoulder so she would have everything she needed for school, then grabbed the two bags of breakfast items. She stepped out of her door, locking it behind her before making her way back into Natsu’s apartment. She went in the kitchen they had and set the food down on the table, then went back to the door, setting her backpack near it.

She heard a light ‘meow’ and turned around to see two cats on the table inspecting the bags. She smiled at them, walking over and reaching in the bags, opening the fridge to put the things that needed to be kept cool in there. She was surprised at how orderly it was, and there was even a label or two.

One of which read: fish for the cats; Natsu, do not eat!

She giggled, assuming that Wendy was the one who put that there, before sliding that little dish out, holding it in her hand precariously as she put the other items in. She looked around to see if there were any bowls for the cats, noticing a corner the two had migrated to. Lucy bent down, placing a handful of the chopped fish in each of the bowls. The male cat seemed to be more enthusiastic about eating the fish than the female. Lucy’s smile widened, and she stuck the rest of the fish back in the fridge. She washed her hands before exploring the cabinets.

She found everything she needed and began to make the breakfast, quickly making some coffee for herself before pulling out three plates and three glasses, setting the table as she went. Lucy had to shoo the cats off the table twice before finally pulling out two small dishes and setting them in front of the two, deciding to see if they would eat what she made as well. She gave them little tastes as she cooked, humming happily. It had been a long time since she cooked for anyone, and she was happy to do so.

She went into the bedroom to see Wendy holding onto Lucy’s pillow, and Natsu holding onto his sister. Lucy grabbed her phone and looked at the time. The two still had a few minutes to sleep, so she grabbed the charger, tucked the phone in her back pocket, and walked out. She stopped by her backpack to place the charger in there before going back into the kitchen.

It was only about three or four minutes before someone walked in behind her. “You changed.” The sleepy voice drawled, and she turned around fast, cursing as her hand slid on the side of the pan. She shook her hand out, gazing at it in despair, her intruder completely forgotten. Or he was, until his own hand slid over hers. She hissed. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’ll be fine.” Lucy watched as his eyes roamed her body, frowning. In turn, she frowned, wrapping her arms around her bare midriff self-consciously. “What?”

His hand dropped from hers just before it touched her bare skin and he shook his head. “I’m getting in the shower.”

“Okay. Breakfast will be ready in ten or fifteen minutes.” He looked at something behind her.

“Twelve.”

“Huh?”

“The oven says twelve.” She didn’t have a chance to reply before he had left. She turned back around, focusing on the food, and when she was done with the ham, she went over to the sink, running her hand under cool water.

“Did you get burned?” Lucy’s looked to her right, seeing Wendy standing there. She nodded, and the little girl smiled. “Natsu gets a lot of burns, so we have some really good salve, let me go get it.” Only seconds later and the girl was back, presenting Lucy with the salve. “Come, sit. Let me tend to your burn.”

Lucy raised her eyebrows, but did as she said, sitting in front of Wendy. “Thank you.”

“Normally, my brother is the one who cooks breakfast, this is different.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well,” she drawled on as though she didn’t hear her question. “Normally, his girls don’t come out of the room, or even talk to me. You must be really special.”

Lucy raised her eyebrows, and as soon as Wendy was done wrapping her hand she was waving them in the air. “No. Your brother and I aren’t together or anything. I’m actually just the neighbor.”

Wendy frowned. “Then why were you here last night?” The oven beeped and Natsu walked in, ruffling his sister’s hair.

“I’ll explain that later Wen, you go get ready for school okay?” She nodded and Lucy began to stand up, only to be pushed back down. “Let me get it. You’ve already burned yourself once.” She nodded, seeing as she probably would have burned herself again with what he was wearing. He was once again shirtless, and only wearing pants. He had a towel around his neck, probably meant for drying his still damp hair. He looked back, amused. “Having a good look?”

“Oh! Sorry!” Lucy blushed before turning to look at the table.

“I see you figured out the cats would eat whatever we did.”

She looked back up at him. “Yeah, I already gave them some fish too.” She paused. “I hope I’m not overstepping any boundaries by having done that and making breakfast.”

“Sheesh, you sound like a stuck up, rich girl.” Lucy’s eyes widened, realizing she had accidentally acted how she would around her father and his colleagues. She had automatically gone in that mode after he had patted her head to push her down, something that made it obvious she was to sit and be quiet. At least, when she was around her father. She doubted Natsu saw it like that. Her shoulders slumped.

“Sorry. It’s habit.” Her eye’s found the ground and she fiddled slightly, something that she did when she was uncertain what to do.

“Habit?”

“You never answered my question, if I was overstepping any boundaries.” She deflected the intrusion of her past life.

“No, you’re fine. Waking up to breakfast was not something I was expecting. I thought Wen and I were going to have to go through a drive-through or something.”

“Sorry.” She repeated.

“Don’t be.” Lucy looked up to see Natsu frosting the cinnamon rolls, and she stood up, grabbing the drinks from her house and placing them in the center of the table. She had finished her coffee just before burning herself, that cup having been placed in the dishwasher. She poured herself some cranberry juice, getting an odd look from Natsu. “Where did that, well, any of this stuff come from?”

“I went back to my apartment and grabbed all the stuff before coming back.”

“Ah, hence the clothes change.”

“Why are you obsessed with my clothes having changed?”

Natsu grinned at her, walking over to where she was standing. “Because, these clothes show just the same amount of skin as your nightclothes do, if not more.” His hand brushed her bare stomach and the muscles tensed.

“What did your sister mean, that she never meets your girls? She’s never met one of your girlfriends before?”

He frowned slightly. “The girls I bring home when I get drunk. That’s what she meant. It’s been a really long time since I’ve had a proper girlfriend.”

“Normally you cook them breakfast?”

“Then kick them out.” His face was back to a grin, but Lucy was still frowning.

“Why would she have thought I was one of your girls then? Did you get drunk last night?” Natsu shook his head, still smiling, but it wasn’t his grin.

“Not that I know of, but he always comes home after I’m asleep.” Wendy had walked back into the kitchen then, and Lucy turned around.

“You sure know a lot for a seventeen—?” When Wendy nodded she continued. “You sure know a lot for a seventeen year old.”

“She’s too smart for her own good.” After that there was more eating than talking and a lot of hustling around the kitchen. Lucy just sat, sipping at her juice, watching them eat and dodge each other. Natsu was about to grab the last croissant sandwich when Wendy smacked his hand.

“Lucy hasn’t eaten anything yet.” Lucy looked over at Wendy, surprised the girl had noticed.

“Why not?” Natsu sounded like he was whining, and it seemed to be a very possible thing. Somewhere, throughout the hectic grabbing and dodging, the male cat had climbed into Lucy’s lap, nestling her stomach every once in a while to get her to pet him.

“Oh, don’t worry about me you guys. I’ll be fine. If you guys are that hungry, eat it. I’ll grab something on campus.” Her stomach was nudged again and she opened her mouth just as Natsu bit into the last sandwich. “What are the cat’s names?”

“Happy and Carla.” Wendy replied, the female one in her own lap. Lucy smiled, grinning at the cat that was in her lap. Her phone buzzed and she grabbed it out of her pocket.

Levy: Where are you? You’re gonna be late!

When Lucy didn’t answer the text within the first two seconds, her friend’s name popped up on the screen as a call. “Hel—”

“Where are you?”

“I’m coming, jeez.” And Lucy was standing up, the cat on her lap meowing at her indignantly as he jumped off. “I may be late, I need to clean up first, tell the pr—”

“Oh hell no. I’m not telling him, he will take me down with you!”

Lucy’s phone was loud enough that the two at the table could hear the other girl. “Shit! I’m sorry, I woke up late today.”

Today of all days?” Lucy watched as Natsu mouthed ‘late?’ at her. She nodded. “Lu, just hurry up, I’ll see if Erza can stall him.”

“Thanks.”

Bye.” She hung up, and Lucy slid the phone back in her pocket.

“How did you wake up late? You were up at like four thirty!” Lucy nodded, ignoring him for a moment as she downed the juice in her cup.

“Normally I wake up at four thirty, shower, dress, and eat while I’m walking out the door at five thirty. But I figured I would wait for you and make you guys breakfast. It’s one day out of the year, I’ve never been late before. Can I have the rest of that sandwich?”

“Really? Sure.” He handed her the uneaten half of the croissant and she ate as she walked.

“Yeah, besides, my partner won’t even be there today, so it really doesn’t matter.” It mattered to her, but there was nothing she could do.

“When does class start and how far away is your school from here?”

“7:15. A few miles, why?”

Natsu looked at the clock, seeing it was only seven. “I’ll drive you.” He immediately stood up and grabbed his keys, telling Wendy to grab her stuff.

“I’m not gonna deny it, because I really don’t want to be late, it’s just down the street.” Lucy set all of their plates in the sink before turning to face Natsu again. “I’ll come back and clean the dishes if you’ll allow me to.”

“Nah, I got it.”

Lucy frowned slightly. “Okay.” She grabbed her backpack, before following the two out the door. “It’s Magnolia University.”

“Oh, my sister’s school is right near there. Cool.” Natsu gestured for Lucy to sit up front, but she had already slid in the back, pushing Wendy up front. They drove off, and Lucy sighed.

She quickly grabbed a piece of paper from her bag and wrote her number and a message on it, before sliding it into Wendy’s backpack that she had thrown in the back. She was just zipping her bag back up when they pulled in. “Thank you!” She said, getting out of the car and smiling.

“No problem, bye Luce!”

“Bye Lucy!” Wendy called, waving. Lucy waved back, before turning and running to her class. She made it just before her professor called her name, and called out breathlessly.

“Here!”

Lucy frowned at her phone. She had gotten in touch with one of her friends who was helping her move, and whom she had been staying with. She had found a cute little apartment that was more like a house, only a ten minute walk from the university. It was for a good amount of jewel, but that was to be expected in places like that. Luckily for her, it was available for move in later the week she had found it. Most of her stuff was in boxes because of the leak anyway, and she had finished packing relatively quickly.

Her lease at the place she was staying was ending that Friday, so she was hoping to get out relatively soon; sometime before that at least. But then she got the call she had just gotten. The place wasn’t ready, they had to do some inspections, and she wouldn’t be able to move in for the next month or so.

Somewhere, in the month since she had stayed with them, Natsu and Wendy had moved, and neither have texted or called her. Lucy closed her eyes for a moment, a wave of hopelessness filling her. She turned around once, twice, before deciding to go out to her favorite restaurant for dinner, comfort food was what she needed. But it seemed, she would have to go alone. Her friends were all busy. Again.

Today was a bad day to be by herself, and she knew that. It was why she always went to the certain restaurant, on this certain day. Her mother had died five years ago that day. So, when she walked in to the restaurant, she wasn’t surprised to see the host, Richard, smiling at her.

“Ah, miss Heartfilia. Usual table?”

“Please, if you don’t mind.”

“Of course, however,” his voice went soft, quiet as he told her, “your father is here as well today.”

“What?”

Richard’s smile saddened slightly. “Well, it is the fifth anniversary of your mother’s death, it is to be expected that today is a special occasion.”

Lucy wanted to be angry for them allowing her father to come into her sanctuary, but there was no rationale for that. “Please, just place me as far away as you can from him then.”

“Is the lounge okay?”

“Yes, the lounge is perfect.”

“I will send Erik to you in there.”

“Thank you, Richard. It means a lot to me.”

“Of course miss Heartfilia, we love having you here, so it is important that we keep you happy.” She smiled at him, following him to the lounge, and she sat in the back booth, facing the wall, so she wouldn’t have to see anyone who was in there.

She sighed shakily as she waited for the waiter. Her golden hair fell over her shoulder, resting lightly on the top of the purple dress she wore. She was glad her hair was acting as a curtain when the tears started coming.

“Miss Heartfilia?” She waved lightly at Erik, and he took the seat across from her, allowing her to keep some privacy. “I brought your shirley temple. Would you like your usual?”

She looked up, brushing the tears from her eyes. “Please.” She croaked out. She always got what she did as a kid when her mother and father used to take her to that restaurant.

“Lucy,” she looked up at the sound of her name, they rarely ever spoke it at the restaurant. “It’s okay to cry you know. And especially since your father came, taking away what you thought of as your safe place on days like today.”

“Thank you Erik.”

“Now, miss Heartfilia, where is your company, you always bring someone with you.”

“That would be us.” Lucy and Erik looked up shocked. Lucy for a completely different reason than Erik, as she hadn’t been expecting anyone.

“Natsu, Wendy.” She smiled at them, albeit a little watery. Natsu slid in next to Lucy, and Wendy sat where Erik had just been.

“All right then, what can I get for you two?” Lucy zoned out as Natsu seemingly ordered everything off the menu, while Wendy sat there patiently.

“What are you guys doing here?” She asked when Erik walked away.

“We saw you and decided to come over.” Wendy replied. “May I ask, what’s wrong?”

Lucy looked at Wendy. “Don’t worry your pretty little head about it, okay? Hey, Natsu, switch me seats please?” They did, and she was surprised Natsu didn’t question it, but she really preferred sitting on the outside.

“But you look so sad…” Wendy looked down at the table.

“Well, let’s cheer me up then. How have you guys been?” Natsu and Wendy shared a look before turning back to Lucy.

“We’ve been good.” Lucy nodded, uncertain of what to talk about. Normally, she came with people who would just talk at her on these days so that she didn’t have to worry about speaking. Lucy looked to her right, glancing at the door before her eyes widened. Her father had walked in, most likely looking for the bathrooms, but his eyes caught hers and he walked over to her.

“Lucy.” She didn’t say anything, just looked at the table. “Lucy, look at me when I speak to you.”

She looked up. “Yes father.” Natsu and Wendy watched as Lucy stood up slightly, and her father pulled her into an awkward hug. She grimaced.

“How have you been my dear?” She didn’t get to answer before he continued. “I heard your lease is ending Friday and you still don’t have another place to stay.”

“How do you know that?”

He avoided her question. “Go on and sit back down.” She did, favoring no argument than getting into one right then and there. “What are you going to do about it?”

“I don’t know yet father, why do you care?”

“I am your father, I care about you.”

“What do you want?”

“For you to come back home.”

“No.”

“Well, then I suggest you make new friends, and fast, because your old ones weren’t true friends.” Lucy squinted her eyes at him.

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“They were easy to buy. Just ask the boy beside you.” Lucy’s shoulder’s sagged as she understood. “I’m just trying to help you grow, but obviously you aren’t meant to be out in the real world. Come back home Lucy.” Lucy shook her head, tears escaping, and she stood up. “Sit b—”

“I’m sorry, if you’ll excuse me, I need to use the restroom.” She walked quickly off, nearly bumping into Erik on her way through the doors. She pulled out some jewel to pay for her, Natsu, and Wendy’s meal. “Here. I apologize, but I can’t stay here any longer. Thank you Erik.”

Erik nodded before leaning in. “Happy birthday, Lucy.” She smiled slightly before running off, waving quickly to Richard before stepping out into the fitting weather. It was raining, and she walked down the street to the park, sitting on one of the swings before letting herself breakdown.

Natsu and Wendy sat uncomfortably as Lucy’s father began to walk away.

“Umm, Natsu?”

“Yeah?”

“What just happened?”

“I don’t really know.” Natsu thought about the entirety of the exchange they have had with both Lucy and her father, wondering what it all meant.

“She looked so sad, and then he made her cry. Why would he do that to her?” Wendy asked, concerned about Lucy. Unknown to her brother, Wendy had found Lucy’s phone number in her backpack and entered it in her phone, before taking the paper and throwing it away. She hadn’t texted her, because she hadn’t wanted to bother her, but there was something in Lucy’s eyes, that made Wendy regret her decision; something akin to disappointment.

“I said I don’t know.” Natsu was snapping at her, which he rarely ever did.

“Natsu,” she began carefully, “what did Lucy’s father mean when he said her friends were easy to buy, and that she should ask you?”

“He meant that if he offered them money, they were more than likely to take it because they need it.”

“But… You wouldn’t have done that right? So why’d he say—”

“Wendy! I did do it, all right? I’m sorry, but we were drowning, we would have been kicked out, I would have lost you. I can’t lose you, Wen.”

Wendy opened her mouth to respond when the food came. The waiter looked at them, frowning. “Miss Heartfilia has paid for your meals, as well as hers. Also, since today is her birthday, she would get a free dessert, so I will bring that out for you two shortly.” Natsu had begun eating, but froze when he heard it was her birthday.

“Thank you.” Natsu replied, then waited until their server left. “Will you be okay here for a moment Wendy?”

She nodded, and watched as Natsu got up and walked out of the lounge area.

Natsu walked into the dining room area, and spotted Jude Heartfilia easily. He made his way over to him and sat down across from him. “What do you want?”

“Is that how you normally treat your daughter?”

“Why do you care?”

“I care, because Lucy is my friend, and that waiter just told me that today is her birthday, yet you still made her cry.”

“I doubt it’s because of me that she was crying.” Jude looked at Natsu pointedly.

“You have no right to use that as a weapon against her. Have you been doing that to all of her friends, just to show her how the world works?” Natsu sighed, running a hand through his hair. “Why don’t you want her to be happy?”

“I do want my daughter to be happy. But I also don’t want a naïve daughter who has no idea what hit her. My methods may be cruel, but it is best that she find out now that there are no true friends. Besides, that wasn’t what I was talking about.” He waved a hand through the air as though he was dismissing the boy.

“Then what were you talking about?”

Jude looked up at Natsu, a look of pure sadness and grief in his eyes. “Today is the anniversary of her mother’s death.” Natsu looked at him shocked, before standing up and heading back to the table where Wendy sat. She was speaking to the waiter animatedly about something when she saw Natsu, waving him over faster.

“Mr. Erik here says he knows where Lucy might have gone.”

Natsu’s eyes widened, “really? Where?”

The waiter looked at Natsu. “She most likely went to the park that is down the street.” Natsu nodded and thanked the man, quickly asking for a box for Lucy’s things and his. Wendy had finished eating hers while he was talking with Jude. It was less than five minutes before the two were able to get out and into the car.

“Hey Wendy, do you think she still went to the park even though it’s raining this hard?”

“Better to look right?” Natsu nodded, driving down the street to look for the park the waiter had told them about. When he found it, he pulled into the parking lot. He told Wendy to stay in the car as he got out, running to the playground where he had seen a flash of gold.

He saw her on the swing, and could hear her sobs, even from as far away as he was. His body moved automatically, stopping in front of her and kneeling down. “Hey, Luce.”

“N-Natsu, what are you d-doing here?” She sniffled as he held out a hand, and then she took it, allowing him to help her up. He pulled her into a hug and she shook her head, trying to get away. “I’m going to get your shirt all wet!”

“I don’t care Lucy. I want to make sure you’re all right.” She let him hug her tighter after that, and then brought her back to the car. Later, when they dropped her off, Natsu told her he’d be by in the morning before work to see her and get her to school. She smiled at that and then went inside her apartment.

Natsu, true to his word, stopped by the next morning. It was six in the morning when an excited knock came at her door. She opened it to see a tired Natsu dragged in by the assumed knocker, Wendy.

“Well, you guys are here early.”

Natsu groaned. “Wendy woke me up at five, just so we could be here by six. I wanna go back to bed.” He whined at her.

Lucy gestured to her mattress on the floor, because the bedsprings had been put in storage for the time being. “Well, go for it. Wendy and I can hang out for a little bit.”

“Why is your bed on the floor?” Natsu replied, flopping down onto it and hiding his head in her pillows.

Lucy grunted at him. “You shouldn’t be asking that. But if you must know, it is because, as my dad said, my lease ends Friday, so I’ve been packing. I was supposed to move into a really cute place like, today, but apparently it isn’t ready.”

“So what are you gonna do Lucy?” Wendy spoke up.

“I don’t know.” Her shoulders sagged as she frowned, and Natsu noticed. “I’ll probably end up going back to my father’s.”

“Wouldn’t that be easier? Then you wouldn’t have to pay for housing or food or anything right?”

Lucy nodded. “But I also wouldn’t be able to continue with the degree I want. He would make me take over the company.”

“Ah, right. Stuck up, rich girl.” Natsu chuckled as Lucy threw a towel that was sitting on the table at him.

Lucy looked over at Wendy and sighed. “Can you find whatever it is you want to eat, and I will start cooking it when I get out of the shower.” The blue haired girl nodded and Lucy went to the bathroom after grabbing some clothes. She showered quickly, stepping out of the bathroom in one of her favorite outfits. Which was a white outfit with bell-bottom sleeves that slipped on over the wrist and a strapless shirt that showed her midriff. Her bottoms were a black skirt and knee high black boots.

When she stepped out, she saw that Natsu and Wendy were laughing together over the table, food already set out. She smiled at them, but said nothing, quietly walking over instead.

“You guys made food.”

“Yup! I’ve tasted your cooking, so it’s only fair you get to taste mine.” Natsu responded.

“But I wanted to cook for you guys!” Lucy’s smile didn’t lower, even as she complained. Natsu and Wendy shared a look before nodding.

“That’s okay Lucy! You can cook for us whenever you want from now on!” Wendy said, smiling at the older girl.

“What do you mean?”

“Oi, Wendy, we have to ask her first.”

“Ask me what?”

Natsu turned and smiled at Lucy. “We were hoping since, ya know, your lease here ends soon, that you would just come and live with us.”

“Really?” Lucy blinked, tears startling the two in front of her.

“Yea, but you don’t have t—”

“I would love to!” She said, cutting him off. Wendy stood up and hugged her, and Natsu, apparently feeling left out, stood up and joined the hug as well.

Natsu stood in the doorway of his sister’s room, watching as Lucy calmed his sister down. She had another nightmare, and couldn’t move. She had just screamed, making both Natsu and Lucy sprint to her bedroom. Wendy fell asleep not long after Lucy started to calm her down and Lucy stood up, turning around, a sweet smile on her face. When she saw Natsu, she froze.

“Ah, sorry, I should have let you take care of her.” She had been living with them for only weeks, yet Natsu already felt as though she was handling Wendy and the house better.

“No, she feels better when you help her.” Natsu gestured for her to follow him, so she did. She left a little crack in the door to Wendy’s room so the cats could go in and out. The two sat down on the couch. Lucy looked at Natsu as he grimaced. “I owe you an explanation.”

Lucy just shrugged, she wasn’t an idiot, she knew exactly what he was talking about. “I guess you do.”

“About six years ago our parents and my older brother died in a house fire. I say my, because although he was Wendy’s as well, him and I were related by blood, but Wendy, me, and the rest of the family, we were a mix and match bundle. Wendy’s adoptive mother married my adoptive father around the time she was four. I’ve been taking care of Wendy, putting myself through the firefighter academy, and over all just trying to be the best parent and older brother I can be.

“But it’s hard. I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes you need to be handed your ass before you can get back up and fight. I don’t make much money as a firefighter, and I could barely keep up with the rent, much less feed us both. I started drinking about a year after the fire.” He looked up to see Lucy just watching him, no judgement, just curiosity in her eyes. “I know I shouldn’t have, what with taking care of a kid, but I couldn’t help it. I was really throwing my life away at that point. It was really bad for about a year, until my cousin threatened to take Wendy from me and raise her himself.

“I couldn’t let that happen. I love Wendy, she’s everything to me. I can’t lose my little sister. We were drowning, nearly getting kicked from the apartment, and then Wendy would have been taken from me for good. So, when your father stopped by with the offer, I couldn’t resist. He just told me I had to move away from you and that’s it. Never said a damn thing about staying away from you. So I took it. He gave me the money I needed to buy the house instead of rent it, and there’s still some that I have in savings for Wendy’s college money. About fifteen grand or so, that’s what’s left over.

“I’ve been paying the bills with my salary, and getting food as well. But I know Wendy wants to go to university, so I’ve been saving up little by little for her. I just wish I would have come to check on you sooner.” Lucy smiled at him.

“My father, just after my mother died, became a heavy drinker. He never had the guilt trip you did. No one would dare to take me from him.” Lucy’s hand rubbed at her wrist, a look of sadness on her face. “It wasn’t until I was Wendy’s age that I left. I got a job at the bar I currently work at.”

Before she could continue, Natsu cut in. “Wait, you work at a bar? I’ve never seen you.”

“I work at Fairy Tail. It’s not exactly a bar, we serve all ages there, in fact, one of the families that come in often have a three year old daughter. It’s just down the street from the university. It was actually there that I first thought of taking classes at the university. And about the money thing with my dad, I don’t mind you accepting it, in fact, I’ve told all of my friends, if they wish to accept it, they may. Most do, but word their answer carefully after talking with me about it. But some refuse.”

“So you aren’t mad at me?”

“No. Natsu, you’re too sweet to be mad at!”

“Too sweet?” Natsu asked with a look of annoyance on his face.

“Yeah. You figured out yourself that the wording you used could let you still come back to me.” She grinned at him. “You’re the first one too. Everyone else either had already talked to me, or never figured it out like you. So, thank you, Natsu.” Lucy leaned in and hugged him, and Natsu was shocked. He stayed still, not returning the hug nor moving away. She pulled away after a few minutes, looking over at the clock on the side table. Natsu watched her blanch at the time and chuckled.

“Good thing it’s Saturday today right?” Her face lit up and she hugged him again, this time, he hugged her back. “Glad I could make you happy.”

Then she frowned and sat back. “But I have to work tomorrow…” Her whine was adorable and Natsu pulled her into his side, patting her head.

“I wanna see where you work, let me and Wendy come too.”

“Yeah, okay.” She hummed and leaned into him. Natsu looked down at her to say something, only to see her half asleep on his shoulder.

“Night Luce.” He said, lifting her up. As he took her to her room and laid her in her bed, she smiled up at him.

“Goodnight Natsu, thank you.” He leaned down, lightly kissing her forehead before leaving her room and going to his own.

When Lucy woke up the next morning, she quickly got ready for work. It was ten o’clock by the time she got ready to leave. She was heading out when a hand on her shoulder stopped her. “Hey Luce, are you going to work?”

She turned around and looked at Natsu. “Oh, that’s right, you guys wanted to come with. Well, I have to be there in an hour, so hurry up.” Natsu nodded and left to grab Wendy. The three of them left and arrived at Lucy’s work shortly after. When they entered, a white haired girl with cropped hair walked up to them.

“Lucy! You’re here early, as always!” Lisanna said, smiling at her coworker and friend.

“Yep, can you put these two in my section?” Lucy gestured at Natsu and Wendy.

“Ooh, Lucy.” Another white haired female came up behind her sister. “Is this him? Your boyfriend? That’s so cute!”

Lucy blushed and Natsu looked at her confused. “No Mira, this is Natsu and his little sister, Wendy.”

“So it is your boyfriend.”

“No! He’s just a good friend.”

Mira winked at the blushing girl in front of her, and Lisanna spoke up. “Okay, so you wouldn’t mind if I stole him?”

Lucy looked over at her friend with surprise. “Hey! You can’t have him, I already told you both that I like him! Besides, you already have a boyfriend.” She blushed when she heard a cough from behind her, and turned to see the siblings.

“Ooh,” Wendy began, “you like him.”

“Umm, I’m going to go clock in, for work.” Lucy pointed with her thumb behind her and the white haired females giggled.

Lucy shook her head as she ran to the back, logging the time and nodding to Mira when she came back. When Lucy walked out, she saw there were already a few people in her section, plus she had to work the bar since Mira was busy cooking. Lucy took a breath in and walked over to Natsu and Wendy.

“So,” she sat beside Wendy across from Natsu, leaning on her clasped hands to gaze at him. “Have you decided on what you want to eat?”

“Everything!” Natsu said and Lucy laughed, completely expecting that.

“Hey Lucy, you’re back!” Someone walked by the table and Lucy stood up, turning to smile at him. “And looking as delicious as ever!”

Lucy chuckled before responding. “Hey Laxus,” Lucy looked at Natsu when she heard a scoff. The pink haired man was frowning at Laxus. Lucy just rolled her eyes at the two, turning to speak with Laxus. “If you’re looking for Mira she’s on cooking duty today. We could really use your help at the bar.”

“That’s why she called me in doll. Keep that tight skirt short, girly.” Again Lucy rolled her eyes, before turning back to Natsu.

“Ignore him, he’s Mira’s lover.” But Natsu was frowning and Lucy followed where his gaze was. He was looking at her skirt. Her entire outfit really. She was wearing a short black skirt that hugged her waist, hips, and thighs. Her shirt was a simple strapless top that was also black. It was less of a shirt and more of a strapless halter top. Her midriff was shown and Natsu stood up again.

“Turn around.”

“What?”

“I said, turn around.” Lucy frowned but did as she was told. She looked over her shoulder to see Natsu frowning. He stood against her, his hands brushing her bare stomach. Lucy tensed as his hands laid over her stomach. He leaned down and his breath was over her neck. “I don’t like that you wear this kind of stuff. I mean, look how vulnerable you are; I could do anything I want to you like this, and you would be able to do absolutely nothing.”

Lucy slid back into him, letting his arms wrap around her and hold her there. She was staring straight ahead, her eyes unfocused, as her mind was focused on him. His lips brushed the place where her shoulders and neck met on her right as she slid into him. Natsu didn’t pull away, instead, leaning down and sucking on the spot. “Wh-what are you doing Natsu?”

“Making sure no one else will do something like this.” Lucy felt his tongue slide against the spot, soothing it before he pulled back. Lucy’s eyes focused again and she saw that Lisanna, Mira, and a few of the costumers had watched the entire exchange. Mira was squealing and Lisanna was smiling slyly. Natsu turned her around and kissed her, before pulling away and sitting back down, smirking. Lucy blushed and got to work, leaving the two.

Natsu and Wendy left after about three hours, just waiting until she got on and off of her break so they could spend it with her. She waved goodbye and paid for their meals — as she had been doing so often lately when they went out — before working the rest of her shift. When her shift ended, Natsu showed up to pick her up, but Wendy was at home.

Neither talked on their way home. But the moment they stepped inside, Lucy smacked Natsu across the face. “Oi! What the hell?”

Lucy looked at Natsu, who had fallen to the ground more from shock than force. He was holding a hand to his cheek and looking at Lucy with confusion. He could tell she was angry, as she looked at him with a glare. “What the hell? Really, Natsu? You know exactly what you did!”

“What do you mean?”

“Ugh!” She turned and walked away, going to her room. She slammed the door behind her and threw her bag to the side, not hearing the door open and close behind her. Hands were placed on her waist and she was pulled around, shoved into the wall. “Natsu!”

“Lucy, tell me what you are talking about!”

She glared at him from where he had her trapped against the wall. Natsu had been smart, putting both of his legs in between hers so she couldn’t knee him. She used her hands, attempting to push him away, but he wouldn’t budge. “You took my first kiss, and on top of that gave me a hickey at my work place!”

“Your first— Wait, your first kiss?”

“Yes!” Lucy looked at him, shaking her head. Natsu could see tears forming in her eyes and did the only thing he could think of. He kissed her, hard. Lucy hit the wall hard, and her hands, which had before been trying to push him off, were gripping his shirt. “N-Natsu.” She said when he pulled away. Her eyes were still closed when he leaned in and kissed her again. She responded that time, kissing him back and allowing him entrance into her mouth.

Natsu dragged her over to her bed and laid her down, him on top of her. “I’m sorry about earlier, I just couldn’t help myself. All those men gawking at you and trying to look up your short skirt. I needed them to see you were already taken.” Lucy nodded, knowing she was probably being too forgiving. But she couldn’t think about much other than the feel of his body on hers, and the way his hands felt on her bare skin.

“Natsu, what are you doing?”

“I don’t know. I just—”

The door to her bedroom opened and Wendy stepped in. She rubbed her eyes and looked at the view in front of her. “Ahh! I’m so sorry, I’ll leave!” Lucy pushed Natsu off and sat up.

“No. It’s okay Wendy.”

“Ow! Luce that hurt.” Natsu was on the ground, holding his head. Lucy laughed, looking over at Wendy, who was also laughing.

“Come on, let’s go make dinner.” Lucy said, getting out of her bed and walking out with Wendy, leaving Natsu behind.

Natsu watched as they left him. Well, he watched Lucy. She was still in her work clothes, and Natsu could see why it was the uniform. It would make nearly anybody drool over the workers, and they would order whatever was on the menu. Kind of like Natsu did, except, he did it because he would eat it all. He stayed back for a while, wondering what just happened, and what it meant to Lucy.

“Ya know,” Wendy started as they were walking, and Lucy looked over at her. “Natsu hasn’t gone out and gotten drunk once since he met you. He also hasn’t brought any women home either.”

“Maybe he’s just becoming more responsible.”

“I don’t think so.” Wendy replied, looking at the ground before grinning at Lucy, who looked at the girl in shock as she spoke next. “I think he likes you.”

Natsu grinned as he saw Lucy walk to the table. She was wearing a normal black t-shirt and black leggings, which was an improvement from her previous uniform in his eyes. He had yet to officially ask her out, but that didn’t stop him from kissing her at every chance he got. It was as though his body moved on it’s own when she was near him. He wanted to be greedy with her, just take everything she had to offer.

He knew she would begin to question their relationship eventually, but until then, he would just continue with his ruse. He wasn’t sure he wanted to get in a relationship with her anyway. Well, that wasn’t exactly true. He knew he wanted to, he just wasn’t certain if she would be able to handle all of his insecurities during the relationship. So far, she hadn’t really been exposed to them, so he didn’t know how she would react. So, he just let the topic of their relationship be brought up by her.

“Hey Natsu, do you want your usual?” He nodded.

“What time do you get off work?”

“Eleven,” which Natsu noted was in two minutes, “but I won’t be home until around two.”

“What?” Natsu looked at her in confusion. “Why not?” Lucy just grinned at him, her eyes sparkling.

“Because, I have a date!” Natsu just stared at her in shock. She what? “We’re going out to lunch after my shift, and I don’t know how long it will take.”

Natsu shook his head and stood up, grabbing her by the waist and kissing her hard. She gasped and jerked into him, but made no move to get away for a moment, until it seemed something clicked in her mind. She pushed him away and stared at him. “No, you don’t get to go on a date Lucy.”

She took a step back and scoffed at him. “Excuse me?”

“I said no.”

“Oh, I heard you the first time. I meant, who the fuck do you think you are to get to decide that? I can do whatever I want.”

At Natsu’s next words, her face fell into disappointment. “Not if you want to stay living in my house you don’t.”

She froze, her mind replaying the words that sounded so similar to his. You don’t get to follow some foolish dream as long as you want to stay in my house, Lucy. Don’t you understand? You can’t make it out there. So give up.

Lucy looked at Natsu in front of her with wide eyes. “Do you mean that?” He looked at her confused, and Lucy clarified. “If I go out on this date, you don’t want me to stay with you anymore?” He nodded and she shook her head. “Natsu, look me in the eyes and tell me you don’t want me there.” She was giving him a chance to save himself, and that was when her date walked in.

“Lucy, you ready?” She turned to look at the orange haired male who stood over by the entrance.

“Just a second, Loke.”

“All right, I’ll wait here.” She nodded before turning back to Natsu.

“I’ll let you answer that when I get home. But Natsu, just be aware of the consequences of your answer, okay? I’ll talk to you later.”

With that, she walked away from Natsu, leaving him there without even having put in his order, deciding that Kinana, who was taking over for her, could handle him.

Natsu went over to the bar, deciding that he only wanted a drink instead of food. He was glad he hadn’t driven to the restaurant that day, as he was too drunk to drive by the time he was done. His old habit coming back into play, he gripped the girl who had been trying to get into his pants and kissed her drunkenly. He couldn’t even describe her, his mind playing tricks and making him see only what he wanted to: Lucy.

Natsu woke up to his alarm clock and a raging headache. He grimaced as he looked to his left, seeing a naked girl beside him. Fuck. He closed his eyes in despair as he stood up. He walked out of his room, leaving a note for the girl, telling her that she was to stay in his room and not come out if she woke up. He checked Lucy’s room, to see her bed made and all of her school things gone. Wendy had stayed at a friends house the night before and he walked out to the kitchen.

There was a note on the counter and he gulped, looking over at it. Hey Natsu, I still need your answer from yesterday. I know you have today off too, so let me know the answer today. I’ll be home around eleven. ~Lucy

Natsu put his hands over his eyes, putting pressure so he wouldn’t tear up. He messed up, and he knew it. He also knew, he didn’t want her to leave. He wanted her. But first, he needed to figure out how to deal with his own problems, starting with breakfast. He cooked breakfast quickly, not wanting the girl in his house any longer than necessary. He needed to get a shower too, clean up, then figure out how to tell Lucy what happened.

In all honesty, Natsu truly just wanted to sweep it under the rug and pretend it never happened. But he knew with the way Lucy was, that would just hurt her more if she found out. He showed the girl to the door and then got a shower and cleaned up, before sitting on the couch and anxiously waiting for Lucy to show up.

Natsu froze as her keys rattled in the door handle and looked like a deer in the headlights as she took a step in. She saw him sitting on the couch and made her way over to him. She looked like she had been through the ringer, but Natsu knew she was probably just upset with him. She stood on the other side of the coffee table, looking at him. He wanted to grab her and hold her close, make her stay, but he had to tell her everything first. Before he could even get close to doing that.

“Natsu?” She asked tilting her head and he gulped. “What’s wrong?” She walked around and bent down in front of him, gripping his hands in hers, noticing he was shaking.

“I messed up.”

“Hm?” He couldn’t help himself, he tried to yank his hands from hers, but instead ended up bringing her with them, and she straddled his lap. He looked up at her, silent tears sliding down his cheeks. Lucy raised her hands and wiped the tear stains off. She watched him carefully as he buried his face in her neck.

“I fucked up Luce.”

“No, Natsu. That’s why I gave you that chance.”

“Not that. I mean, yeah, I fucked up there too, but I fucked up majorly.” He gripped her tighter and Lucy’s breathing sped up.

“Is Wendy okay?” Natsu yanked his head back and looked at her in confusion. He nodded. “Then there is nothing you could have done that is so terrible.”

“Fuck Lucy, why are you so understanding? Can’t you just hit me, scream at me, tell me I’m a horrible person?”

“Why would I do that?”

“I brought a girl home last night.” Lucy froze before looking to the right.

“I know.”

“What? How?”

“I— I could hear you…” Natsu’s hands dug into her hips, but she didn’t move, nor did she say anything. “It’s not like we’re together, so—” Her words were stolen from her as Natsu placed his lips over hers. “Hm?”

She could have pulled away had she wished to, Natsu made sure of that, but she didn’t. “I want to be.”

“You what?”

“I want to be with you Lucy. I was trying so hard to ignore it, but after yesterday, I think it’s pretty obvious that I want to be with you.”

Lucy slid off his lap and Natsu followed, the two standing face to face. “You show that you want to be with me by bringing another woman home and fucking her?” Here was the anger he wanted earlier. He looked at the ground like a kicked puppy. “I figured you were just using me as a ‘friends with benefits’ kind of deal. I figured from what you and your sister have told me about your history with girls that you wouldn’t want to be with me. You’re so confusing.”

“Like I said, I fucked up. I was angry, upset, disappointed, I don’t even know what else. I felt rejected, like you didn’t want me. And when you just walked out, leaving me there… I coped the only way I knew how.” He put a hand up as Lucy opened her mouth to speak. “I’m not making excuses. I’m not trying to justify my actions, because like I said when you first walked in, I know I fucked up majorly. I know it, and I don’t want you to think that I don’t. But I do regret it, and I hate that it happened.” His hand folded to behind his head and he looked at Lucy from under his bangs. “I’m really sorry, and I know you probably need time to process this, but I hope, even if you won’t let me be with you as more than friends, we can still be friends.”

Lucy looked at him, anger, confusion, and something akin to hope flitting through her eyes, but all the while shaking her head. She didn’t even say anything before she turned and ran to her bedroom, slamming the door and locking it loudly behind her.

Natsu grimaced, then flinched as he heard another voice. “Really, Natsu?” He turned to see his sister, who was shaking her head in disappointment. “You were doing so good.” Then she too, left Natsu standing alone, walking to her bedroom, lightly closing the door and locking it.

Well, fuck.

Natsu wiped a hand over his brow, breathing heavily. He was on truck duty with Gajeel and his metal headed cousin grumbled when Natsu pulled away to go get yet another drink of water.

“Natsu, get yer ass back over here right now!”

“But Gajeel! You know how I am around the engines.”

“Yeah, you’re a damn mess, why does Laxus send you to work with me?” He mumbled underneath his breath. Natsu gulped down his water before walking back over to the fire trucks. Natsu slid down next to his cousin who was underneath the car for some reason Natsu didn’t understand. “Get over it flame head, bunny girl is a big softy, she’ll get over it soon enough.”

“I don’t want her to get over it.”

“You don’t?” A soft voice came from in front of where he was leaning against the truck’s wheel. He looked up to see the very blonde the two were talking about.

Natsu scrambled up and Gajeel slid out from under the truck. “I’m gonna go take my break now.” Natsu watched as Lucy and Gajeel exchanged quick gazes of acknowledgement before Lucy focused her attention on him.

She cleared her throat, going to lean against the wall. “So, you don’t want me to get over it?”

“Well, I do. But, I want you to truly forgive me, not just get over it.” Lucy nodded at his reasoning as Natsu sat in a chair.

“That’s very mature of you Natsu.” Natsu just sat there, not moving. “But, it’s been nearly four months now. I forgave you a long time ago. Trust, however, is a different matter. But, thankfully you haven’t done anything to break that trust.” Natsu still didn’t say anything, watching the blonde as she pursed her lips, a tell she was trying to make something dramatic or drawn out. Or in this case, both. “I don’t want to jump into a relationship. Give me a few more months and I’ll consider it okay?”

“Okay.”

Lucy slid in to Wendy’s room and woke her up quietly.

“Wha— Lucy?” Wendy sat up groggily, rubbing at her eyes.

“Shh, we have to be quiet.”

“Why?”

“Natsu is twenty-eight today.” Wendy’s mouth formed an ‘o’ shape and she grinned at Lucy. “Let’s go get him okay, but be quiet.”

Wendy nodded and the two girls, horrible at staying quiet, giggled as they ran across the hall. The two walked into Natsu’s room and pounced onto his back. Lucy had long ago decided she would give him a chance at the relationship aspect because he had been so attentive to her. He was much more responsible and had often revolved his schedule around the girls.

“Happy birthday Natsu!” The girls yelled together. He just grunted and tried rolling over. Lucy was sitting on his stomach though, straddling him. Wendy laughed at her older brother before deciding to make herself scarce.

“I’m gonna go make you breakfast!” With that she left, Lucy attempting to get up and follow her, only to find herself pinned underneath Natsu.

“Hi.” She muttered sheepishly, looking into his sleep-darkened eyes.

“Hi.” He responded, a smirk crossing his face before suddenly the girl burst out laughing, attempting to shove the male off of her. “That’s what you get Lucy!”

“I was trying to—” She was cut off by his lips on hers. “Hi.” She said again when he pulled back.

“Good morning. That’s how you should wake me up.” She looked up at him, a grin crossing her features before she pulled him back down to kiss her again. “Hey Luce?”

“Hmm?”

“Thank god for that leaky faucet of yours.” And with that, Lucy shoved him to the floor, laughing before going out to find his sister.


Hey lovelies!

Wow, originally this was a multi chapter fic, but I decided it should just be a one shot. Also, don’t get mad at Natsu, he’s a twenty seven year old guy. How many do you know who don’t have one night stands every once in a while? I’m not condoning it or anything, just saying it’s a natural thing for both men and women to do. Besides, Wendy is a bit over dramatic here as well. It isn’t like Natsu wasn’t a good brother and didn’t do everything in his power to take care of her, he loves her after all, but he’s got to have some way to deal, and that was his way. Keep in mind Lucy was raised in a very conservative household, and she hasn’t been gone for very long, only about two or three years, her habits and morals were still very much skewed and reserved. Natsu definitely didn’t know how to deal with the life he was given, so yeah he made a lot of mistakes, but he did try to make it up to both Lucy and Wendy. If you notice, Wendy certainly tries to guilt trip her brother a lot, and considering he never had the time to be truly influenced on how to be a parent, he’s always been susceptible. My point is, we each deal with things in different ways, but most things that I put in here were natural reactions due to personality types of the characters. Sorry for the long note, but I love you guys! Let me know what you thought or any other questions you may have!

~Rayhne

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