'Natsu!' Lucy snapped, fuming as the doors of the guild crashed open. 'You ate out my fridge again! You and that damned cat! Where did you run off to?'
Storming down the middle of the hall, Fairy Tailers cowered away from the furious girl as her feet stomped louder than the familiar chatter of the guild and her eyes narrowed to an impossible angle. Her cheeks and forehead struck a dark shade of red.
'Oh, good morning, Lucy!' Mirajane greeted cheerfully, ignoring Lucy’s harrowing mood either intelligently or naïvely. She slipped down the bar as Lucy hopped up on one of the stools. 'How are you today?'
'Tch .' Lucy crossed her arms over her bust and scowled heavily. 'Natsu and Happy ate all my food.' Collapsing into her arms on top of the bar, she cried, 'And I used up all my earnings on this month’s rent! What am I gonna do?'
'Aw, cheer up, Lucy,' Mira smiled kindly and pat her arm as the stellar mage cried waterfalls into her arms. 'You can eat here until you and Natsu go on another job.'
'No.' Lucy shot up suddenly, anger flashing like a lightning crack in her honey brown eyes. 'I'm not ever going on another job with that pink haired moron ever again.'
'Well that's a little harsh,' Natsu commented, swinging out from his hiding place under the bar and landing lightly on top of the wood. One leg hung over the side and he tucked the other underneath himself. Mira sighed; he was never good at staying hidden for long. 'Besides, it's salmon.'
Lucy pushed back from the bar, moving away from the dragon slayer and facing the opposite direction stubbornly. The atmosphere around her screamed GET LOST!
'Hmph, whatever,' she scoffed. 'You always break everything and cut our reward in two. I want a whole reward for once! Can you ever not destroy everything?'
Mirajane, sensing a tense argument, slowly began to inch down the bar, escaping away to Gray and Erza, and an overly attached water mage hanging off the former's arm. The four of them discreetly watched from a safe distance as the yelling ensued. Happy flew out from under the bar, making a break for it while Lucy was distracted with the dragon slayer.
Dotted around the guild, there was a mix of mages purposefully engaging in other conversations and mages who tried to “inconspicuously” eavesdrop. Not that Natsu or Lucy paid them any mind.
'But Lucy, that's just what Fairy Tail wizards-' Natsu was cut off by the stellar mage raising her hand and shoving it into his face.
'Talk to the hand, Natsu,' she barked sharply. ‘Cause the girl ain't listening.'
The boy tipped his head to the side, examining her curiously. Her mouth turned up in a cute frown that pinched her brow, and her eyes were shut tightly. Annoyance was written over every inch of her demeanour. Her fingers twitched restlessly against her forearm to an unfamiliar beat.
'Silent treatment, huh?' He smiled waywardly, a twinge of mischief crossing his face. ‘I could give you the silent treatment too.’
‘Do what you like,’ Lucy sniffed in ire.
Natsu’s eyes narrowed and his smirk grew wider. ‘Okay,’ he tried. ‘So, what if I slapped you?’
What did he say?
Lucy spun around angrily, unfolding her arms and letting them fly around until they rested by her sides. She marched right up into his face and glared at him. Her sharp, manicured finger snapped out to poke him hard in the chest.
‘I’d slap you back,’ she replied shortly.
Natsu nodded, obviously enjoying the way he riled her up. ‘And if I hit you?’
Lucy’s eyebrow twitched, indignation forming as a thunderstorm behind her eyes. She could feel her fury building up in her chest like an ocean trapped behind a cracking dam. One good shove, and-
‘I’d hit you back!’
‘If I kicked you?’
Lucy planted her hands on her hips and stepped closer, determined to stare the no-good pinkie down. Her heart pulsed faster to accommodate her rising temper. They were nose to nose, and now her eyes were dry logs burning in a bonfire.
‘I’d kick you back!’
‘If I kissed you?’
‘I’d kiss you back!’ Lucy blinked. ‘Wait, what?’
Smirking, Natsu grabbed the sides of her face none too roughly, ‘Great.’
Flames tingled on the edges of her lips as her eyes widened, growing larger and larger. Her heart raced, even more, growing faster and faster.
What’s happening? she thought numbly.
Natsu was kissing her.
His hands were rough from years of handling dragon fire, but they clamped over her skin with a tender softness she never would have thought he could possess. They were warm, sending a stream of chills travelling from where his skin met hers, to her neck, all the way down her spine, into her legs and out the bottoms of her feet. Her toes curled inside her boots.
She couldn’t help it; she stared. His eyes were closed, hiding the onyx she knew to be beneath, and at that moment, he looked so … innocent; so defenceless and open. Before she knew it, she was melting into the kiss.
Her arms moved subconsciously until they were pressed against his chest. Fingertips danced lightly over the grooves along his torso; proof of his commitment to training and active lifestyle. His skin was pulled taut over his strong build. She pushed her hands further into his chest, almost as if she were pushing him away. But his hands crawled up her back to push her further into him, pressuring her lips harder against his.
Fire raced up her arms, or was that her imagination? She almost gasped when she felt something slick push against her lips, but quickly recognized it as Natsu’s tongue, asking for entrance. Slyly, she denied. She felt his mouth move into a pout, and she smirked against his lips.
Pushing him back into the bar and stepping after him, she never once allowing their lips to slide apart. Only when her vision started to double, and her lungs screamed their need for oxygen did she relent and oblige their parting; only when her need for oxygen became more overwhelming than her need for him.
Lucy stumbled back, her chest heaving up and down as she gulped air down hungrily like a starving child. She placed a hand on her chest to still her galloping heart, only to find it beat faster as she focused on him.
Natsu fell back against the bar, using the wooden surface for support. He blinked as if surprised, even though he was the instigator. His eyes were dark, and she loved every bit of the mystery, loyalty and startling intelligence that they held.
What has come over me? She pushed the thought aside.
‘Huh,’ Natsu breathed out. ‘You really would kiss me back.’
Lucy’s lips moved into a wry smile without permission. She moved a little closer to him and swept a lock of stray hair away from her eyes.
‘Trust me, Dragneel.’ He raised an eyebrow at the use of his last name. She was attempting to start a sexy and sly game. ‘Beautiful people never lie.’
‘And neither do stellar mages,’ he recalled, playing his card. ‘Good thing you’re one of the two.’
Lucy swat at his shoulder, but not very hard. The smile didn’t leave her face.
‘Ouch.’ Natsu rubbed the place she’d hit him just to be nice. ‘That wasn’t very friendly, Heartfilia.’
‘Who said I was trying to be?’ she asked innocently, slinging her arms over his shoulders to entwine at the base of his neck. His came up to hook around her waist.
Natsu stared down at her, not replying. Silence dragging on, Lucy felt her smile dip and she shifted from one foot to the other in his arms. He wouldn’t tear his gaze away. Lucy’s eyes dotted the guild, darting left and right, but not focusing on a thing.
‘What-what’re you staring at?’ she mumbled self-consciously.
Natsu shrugged, and she felt the movement of his hands against her lower back. ‘Nothing much,’ he replied nonchalantly. ‘Just the most beautiful thing in the world.’
Lucy blushed as pink as his hair, right to the roots of her blonde locks. She lowered her head and let strands fall over to shadow her face, the blush creeping further down her neck in embarrassment. Natsu frowned and grabbed a string of hair, tucking it behind her ear. Then he placed two fingers underneath her chin and forced her face up.
‘Hey,’ he asked softly, scanning her features; her deep brown eyes to her very soft lips, right down to the perfect curl of her nose. ‘What’s wrong?’
The stellar mage bit her lip, ‘I just-’ She shook her head, ‘Is this real? It seems too fake to be real. I’ve heard you guys at the guild talk about me before; about how I’d never get a boyfriend because I’m too, scary, or whatever. And I’m always kicking you and Happy out, and yelling at you for breaking into my apartment or eating all the food in my fridge, and-’
She stuttered to a stop as Natsu shook his head. His shoulders bounced in small motions, and it took her a few seconds to realize he was laughing.
‘What-’ she moistened her lips and tried again. ‘What’s so funny?’
‘Y-you,’ he chuckled, wiping a stray tear from his eye before returning his hand to around her waist. ‘Lucy, why do you think we kept breaking into your apartment in the first place? I like you, weirdo. I like spending time with you. Happy too.’
Lucy’s cheeks deepened in colour. She couldn’t decide if they were burning hot or freezing cold. The feeling intensified as Natsu leant in closer, his mouth coming to a stop right by the side of her head. Her breath hitched in her throat and lips parted slightly as his hot breath tickled her ear.
‘Does this mean I’m forgiven for eating all your food?’ he whispered.
Lucy suddenly remembered what she’d come barging into the guild for in the first place. She felt anger bubble up, but it popped as soon as Natsu’s face came into her line of sight. She smirked.
‘Maybe,’ she shrugged playfully. ‘That depends.’
Natsu’s shoulders dropped sadly, ‘On what?’
Lucy felt adrenalin zip through her system. Alongside it ran a brand-new dose of self-confidence. Her hands slipped from the back of his neck up into his hair, feeling the odd softness of his crazy pink locks sift through her fingers. Natsu’s eyes widened like a cornered animals and Lucy suppressed the urge to bite her tongue.
Oh, she definitely liked making him look like this.
‘On how good you make this next one,’ she replied. And the game was on.
Natsu needed no further instruction. He seized her hips and pulled her up to meet his lips, wasting no time waiting for her. Her grip on his hair tightened as she tugged him down, pulling him harder against her body and drawing a low growl from him. His skin was growing warmer by the second, and Lucy found herself trying to get closer and closer, just wanting more of that heat; just wanting more.
Natsu, in turn, slid his hands back and forth against the bare skin of her back, enjoying the freedom the blue and gold halter neck granted him. His fingers itched to climb a bit higher, but he held himself back. Lucy wouldn’t like it if he took it too fast. Her lips burned, though he couldn’t tell whether that was his fault or not. Encircling his arms tighter around her in a firm embrace, Natsu tried to feel all of her at once.
She pulled away sooner than he wanted. His lips chased hers but were met with a soft fabric. Opening his eyes, he immediately recognized the white cloth that had come between him and her. He felt more than saw her leer on the other side of his scarf.
‘Aw, come on, Lucy, no fair,’ Natsu pouted.
Chuckling, she dropped the garment, ‘You’ll get over it.’
Natsu rolled his eyes and grabbed her wrists, pinning them in front of her in a tight grip she had no hope escaping from. Not that she tried to. With a curious and cautious glint, she eyed him.
‘Well,’ he began casually. ‘I hope you realize that this means you’re all mine now.’
She raised an eyebrow in the exact same manner he usually did; a habit she’d picked up from him, perhaps? Or an intentional tease?
‘All yours? Who’s to say it's not you who’s all mine?’
Natsu stopped. That was not a response he was expecting. Lucy laughed aloud and placed her forehead against his, feeling both of their skins heat up on contact.
‘I’m yours,’ Natsu vowed. ‘I promise. Lucy, I’m never gonna leave you. And I am never going to let you get hurt ever again.’
‘Natsu,’ Lucy murmured, turning her forehead further into his and feeling herself vibrate as he chuckled.
‘So … would you still push me back if I pushed you?’
‘That’s a yes. Because neither beautiful people, nor stellar mages, ever lie.’
‘Well then,’ Natsu smirked and stepped closer, ‘it's a good thing you’re both.’
For the third time in less than five minutes, they found themselves pressed up against one another. But unlike their two kisses before, which had been full of hunger and fire, this was full of love and promise. This kiss was a sworn oath that they would never leave the others side.
And neither ever realized that for five whole minutes, the guild had been dead silent; ice was falling from Gray’s mouth, Happy had long since fainted, the smoke had dropped from Wakaba’s grip, the glass of alcohol that Mira had been pouring Cana was overflowing, and Levy had unknowingly willed a gang of brightly coloured butterflies into existence behind her.
None of this entered the minds of the stellar wizard and the dragon slayer. The only thing that mattered to them was each other and this sealed promise.