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The Ring of Fire

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"Okay, I know that wasn't just a knock at my door at 1 AM?!" Lucas muttered exasperatedly to himself, pushing a strand of blonde hair behind his ear. He tugged on a pair of sweatpants, put his joint out, and wrenched the door open after undoing the deadbolt.
"Okay, I know I'm awake and I usually AM up this late, but what makes you think I want to be bothered at 1 o'clock in the fucking morning?!" He managed to huff out grumpily before he fully registered who was standing in front of him.

It was a particularly cute girl he had only seen a glimpse of once before when he was leaving for work, who flushed and brought her left hand up behind her head to scratch at her unruly- was that PINK? hair. She was wearing a white, almost scaly looking scarf, a black t shirt, and some white jean shorts. She didn't have any shoes on, but held a hula hoop with what looked like 4 burnt marshmallows spaced evenly around it.

"Sorry, hey, I'm Natsu. I live right next door, and we kinda share a vent system..."
His eyes widened. Fuck! Was she going to turn him in?! Weed was legal where they were, but he wasn't technically supposed to be smoking in the house.
"I may have gotten a whiff of your, uh... late night activities, and I was wondering if you… uh… wanted to burn with me?" She was almost a deep red at the tips of her ears and across her cheeks now, both hands gripping the hula hoop.

He noticed her knuckles were white, and he felt bad for snapping. Should he apologize? WAIT. She had woken him at 1 AM! He wasn't going to apologize, in fact, he should kick her!

However, at that same moment, he saw the beautiful blue sphynx cat weaving between Natsu's feet.

"Oh my goodness! Is he yours?!" He said excitedly, picking up the cat and completely ignoring her question. The feline purred, burying his face into his chest.

"Yeah, his name is Happy, ya weirdo. I still don't know your name and you're already trying to kidnap my cat?" He stuck his tongue out at her, pretending not to notice the insult, and she chuckled. "May I?" She gestured with a quick nod of her head towards the inside of my apartment, and he hesitantly stepped aside to let her in.

He guessed since she had this cute kitty, and was so incredibly hot, she couldn’t be a killer, right?

"Right, Lucas. Just because an attractive girl offers to smoke weed with you at 1 AM, it means she won’t kill you.." he thought to himself momentarily.

"It's Lucas, by the way. Sorry for the mess. Happy, are you okay with other cats?” Lucas rambled, more to Natsu, who nodded her head and gently set her hoop down in the tiled entryway.

"Happy is cool with anything. I didn’t peg you for a cat man, Luke! What kind?”

"Oh! He’s another sphynx. His name is Plue, he's really sweet!!" Lucas flushed, distracted by the immediate nickname. Thankfully, as soon as the words came out of his mouth, Plue rounded the corner and jumped onto the couch gracefully. He stretched, wiggling his butt in the air, and sniffed at Happy who sniffed back. Then, Plue closed his eyes, curled up, and went to sleep. "Aw, he likes him!!"

Natsu sat down next to the sleeping Plue and Happy jumped down from the couch to explore the cat castle, uninterested in bothering the other sleeping cat. Lucas sat down on the other side of Plue and picked up the joint he had just started smoking when his strange new acquaintance came to his door. He lit the joint, setting down the lighter and puffing out large, white smoke clouds shortly after.

“So, Natsu, what’s your last name?” He ashed the joint in his pink glass ashtray and handed it to the girl, who was looking around his living room, fascinated by the shelves and shelves of books he had amongst his living room furniture. She took a few drags.

"Dragneel." She said, “the full name’s Natsumi Dragneel. I spin fire for a living, as you see." She extended her right hand to her hula hoop, and passed the joint back to him with her left. She blew a few smoke rings in the hoop's direction and then let out the rest in a small puff. “And yourself, Luigi?”

"Heartfilia, I'm Lucas Heartfilia. I-"

"Wait, like THE Lucky Lucas?!” She gaped, looking a bit like a fish out of water, but ashed the joint and hit it again when she recovered. "Like, the famous tattoo artist Lucas Heartfilia?! I KNEW you looked familiar!” Another wicked grin spread across her face. "I think I know who's doin’ my tattoos from now on."

Lucas blushed, still not really used to the "fame" that came with having a large social media following. He didn't really feel famous, he didn't want to be on tv, but he loved his shop and he worked hard to do good tattoos. He guessed his looks had a lot to do with it, along with being shirtless on a cover of "Tattoo Sorcerer” every now and then. Had to pay his bills when tattooing wasn't, though, right?
And his father definitely didn’t approve, so that was another win for him.

Lucas took the almost-done joint from Natsu, and put it out in his ashtray.

"Have you ever been to Fairy Tail, Natsu?" he asked, picking up his PlayStation controller and resuming an episode of Family Guy.

Plue stirred, stood, stretched, and then bounded up the stairs to his room. Happy followed, tail twitching and sniffing the stairs along the way. Lucas stood as well, retrieving his large glass bong from the coffee table and packing it hastily with what was in his grinder. He handed it to Natsu, who handed him a red grinder in response.

“Oooh, how kind of you to bring your own!” Lucas noted happily. Natsu flushed momentarily as her fingers brushed against the man's, and muttered a quick “no problem” before drawing her own hand back hastily.

"A few times, but you're usually not there, or you're busy. I didn’t really KNOW ya before, so I didn’t feel right interrupting ya.” She admitted, taking the piece from him. “I usually just go in there to see Gajeel after hours anyways, she’s my cousin.” He raised his eyebrows in question, but decided to ask about that after she was done explaining. Gajeel had never told HIM that.

"And yeah, I wasn’t gonna ask to burn and not bring some too!” she laughed, “So, Lucas," she emphasized, making the boy's breath catch in his throat.
"Since I know what YOU do, would you like to see me in action?”

I sure would, He thought to himself, eyes unconsciously trailing down her body. Wait, Lucas! You just met the girl. CHILL.

“I can’t say I’d object to you, Miss Natsu.” He flirted shamelessly back, flicking his bangs out of his eyes. "Let me get my hair out of my face, first."

He stood and walked into his kitchen to retrieve his blue bandana, tied it around his forehead to keep his hair out of his eyes, and leaned his right side against the open archway that joined his kitchen and living room. “Shall we?” Lucas brought his left arm away from his body and gestured into the kitchen, where his back door led to a bigger backyard with a privacy fence. Likely the same size as Natsu’s, since she lived in the duplex next door to him.

“We shall!” she shot past him, opened the door, set her hoop on the ground and when did she even grab it to begin with?!- and hopped over Lucas' fence. Not before shooting him a face splitting grin and a wink in return, though.

“What the hell have I gotten myself into?”