“When were you going to tell me?”
He’d asked it calmly, but his voice betrayed an anger that Lucy wasn’t used to. Well, she was used to it, but not when it was directed at her. She was mostly pardoned from his short temper, and had been for a few years.
“What do you mean, Laxus?” She tilted her head to the side, like a confused puppy. Anything that sparked (‘Ha! “Sparked”!’ She loved puns sometimes) that kind of anger from the blonde dragon slayer definitely piqued her own curiosity. Especially as it seemingly was directly related to her.
Leaning his elbows on his desk and burying his face in his hands, Laxus let out a heavy sigh. He sounded almost tired, but fatigue wasn’t something the man ever showed. He couldn’t be seen as weak, after all. Some old habits die hard, and his refusal to show vulnerability? Yeah, that was one of them.
“You know what I’m talking about, Lucy,” he stated. Across from him, Lucy tossed one leg over the other and crossed her arms over her chest, her own anger rising in challenge to his.
Suddenly, understanding dawned on Lucy’s face, and she immediately backed down. She raised her hands in front of her as if in surrender, “Listen, if this is about the Crocus Observatory fire, I swear-”
“That’s not it, and you know it! Damn it, Lucy!” Laxus pushed up from his chair to glower at the celestial mage.
Anger back in full force now that she was sure she wasn’t in trouble because of Team Natsu’s tendency to ruin, well, everything, she jumped to her feet as well, “Well if it wasn’t that then what the fuck is your problem, scarface!?”
Laxus hated Cobra a little more every day, as it seemed Lucy was picking up on one of his more infuriating habits - oddly accurate and typically offensive nicknames.
“My fucking problem, Blondie, is that I deserved to know! As your guildmaster and as your boyfriend, you should have told me you were sick!”
“Of course I didn’t tell you about tha---” Lucy stopped speaking, suddenly catching up to what he said. Sometimes her mouth got ahead of her brain when she was riled, this appeared to be one of those instances, “What?”
Laxus sat heavily back into his chair, and instead of anger, she caught sadness, disappointment, even grief on his face, “You can trust me, Lu. Why didn’t you tell me you were sick?”
Lucy didn’t answer. She couldn’t. She was still confused.
“Gramps taught me, you know. He taught me how to detect magic in others. Honestly, I don’t know how I didn’t notice before now.” He slumped in his seat, staring at the empty space to his left, lost in thought.
“I-” he swallowed over the thickness in his throat, “I wish you would have told me. But…” he rubbed at his eyes, though would never admit that he was fighting tears, “I-I’m sorry, love. I’m sorry I didn’t notice your magic power dwindling sooner. Can you at least tell me, h-how much time you have left? Have you seen Porlyusica?”
Lucy, who had been standing there stunned during his monologue, finally started putting the pieces together. ‘That’s what this is about…?’ she questioned internally.
Laxus was looking to her, waiting for a response. The sadness in his eyes was clear as day, he was showing more vulnerability than Lucy ever seen from the man, even after three years of dating (and two of living in the same house).
Without warning, Lucy exploded in exorbitant, belly-bursting laughter. That was never ending.
She tried to explain, to help him understand, to even talk at all but she couldn’t string two words together through her uncontrollable giggles.
“Lax… Damn it,” she was panting now, having collapsed into the chair, clutching at her stomach, “I….I’m….not….sick…”
Laxus was…. Less than amused. The sadness had started to clear from his face, if only a little, and he was just looking at her with that stoic and slightly pissed off look that was his resting face.
“You can’t deny it, Lucy. I can tell. You barely have any magic power left. Stop lying to me.” he informed her, spitting that last part out as a command.
This did not have the desired effect, as Lucy’s giggles only increased - in both volume and violence, as she fell harshly to the floor and started assaulting it with her closed fists.
Laxus was reaching a level of anger at her that he hadn’t since she’d cheated him out of a sparring victory last year, but for some reason, her uproarious laughter had him fighting a smile. She always had his emotions twisted up and confused, it seemed today was no exception.
For several long minutes, Lucy tried (and failed) to address her surly boyfriend. Every time she opened her mouth - to explain, make him understand what was going on, and that she was very much not dying - she would get two words out before succumbing to her amusement once more. It took her choking on laughter and a resulting coughing fit for Loke to finally deem it necessary to offer his assistance.
He arrived in the room in a flourish of sparkles, as Lucy’s laughter quieted somewhat. She didn’t stop, but it became less obnoxious and fell toward more soft chuckles as her lion spirit addressed her guild master/boyfriend.
“Laxus, I believe I can clarify some things for you, if you’d like?”
Said man simply nodded, relieved. It wasn’t often Loke interjected himself into his and Lucy’s conversations, but when he did? It was to point out that they were both idiots. It nearly always resulted in the end of a pointless argument, “Please. Go on.”
The leader of the Zodiac nudged his keyholder - who was pulling herself up to a seated position on the floor - with a foot as he walked past her and took her abandoned chair.
“So,” he began, “You are aware that celestial magic is very powerful, and is essentially the ability to tear through dimensional barriers to reach other realms - well, the celestial realm, specifically?”
“You are aware that, for that reason, celestial magic users are frequently targeted for various nefarious plots?”
“Yes? Get to the point, cat.”
Lucy chuckled a little louder on the floor. Loke shot her a dirty look, but turned back to Laxus after she squeaked and covered her mouth with her hand.
“You are also aware that Lucy is the single most significant source of this magic on Earthland? And that, because of that fact, she has been targeted no less than 47 times by dark mages and dark guilds alike? And that the current tally of her kidnappings is at 23 as of last year?”
Laxus considered this, but still couldn’t figure out what the guy was getting at, “I didn’t know the numbers - which, by the way,” he addressed Lucy on the floor, “nobody knew you got kidnapped last year? Or at least no one told me,” he looked back to Loke, “but yes, I guess I did know that her magic makes her a target, what does that have to do with anything?”
Lucy, finally under control of herself, spoke to Laxus, “I didn’t tell you because I knew you’d cancel our trip to Akane the next day, and no one else knew because I got out of it fine on my own. Honestly, I can take care of myself.”
“Obviously not!” Laxus pointed out, “You’ve been kidnapped 23 times!”
“That’s not the point, Sparky! I got out of it, didn’t I?”
“This time, maybe, but-”
“CHILDREN!” Loke screamed at the two blondes. When he’d gotten both of their attention, he defended himself, “What? You were both acting like children and you know it.”
Both blondes turned away from each other. Like petulant children.
“Ugh. Whatever. Point is, Laxus, that Lucy’s not been targeted in nearly a year, because she - and us spirits as well - have gotten better at masking her magic power. Eventually, it will appear as if she has none to anyone unless she wants them to know about it. We are doing it to keep her safe, so stop jumping to conclusions.”
With that, he escaped back to his own realm as Laxus sat, dumbfounded.
“Look,” he began after several minutes of silence, “It’s not supposed to be possible to hide energy at all - don’t look at me like that, damnit - anyway, it’s no surprise I assumed you were sick!”
Lucy stood, amusement dancing in her eyes. “When have you ever known me to stick within the confines of what’s ‘possible’ when the impossible is out there just waiting for me to challenge it? Hmmmm?”
She was walking up to him, around the desk to stand next to him.
Lucy put her hand on his cheek, which was showing just the smallest tinge of an embarrassed blush, “Whatever,” he muttered, turning away.
She pulled his face back to look at her and sat down on the desk. She didn’t say anything, but he could see the triumph in her eyes.
“Ugh. Fine. I, Laxus Dreyar, have lost this argument and hereby admit that I was being a dumbass,” he recited. Under his breath, he muttered, “still can’t believe you make me say that every damn time.”
Lucy laughed again, albeit a little less loudly.
“I… I’m glad you’re not dying.” he said finally.
“Indeed. I would have told you, though, honest. I just didn’t realize you could sense magic power that acutely. Not many can.” she conceded, smile still in place. Laxus scooted his chair over and rolled forward so his torso was between her legs, and pulled her forehead down to rest against his own.
“Still don’t know why you thought it was so damn funny,” he complained at her.
“Lax,” she said, fighting another giggle. He could still see it in her expressive brown eyes though, “You remember the argument last week?”
The guild master pulled back a little and his head fell in shame, “Gods damn it all. Why don’t I ever listen to you?”
Laughing, Lucy answered, “Exactly! Like I said last week, making assumptions just makes and ass out of ‘u’ and me? Well, I just think it’s adorable when you admit you’re wrong.”
She ruffled his hair and escaped the desk by rolling backwards off it - knocking all his considerable stacks of paperwork on the floor. She popped up and bounced on her feet, holding her arms by her chest as if to start boxing, and stuck her tongue out at him.
“I… guess I deserved that,” he said, looking at the paper scattered everywhere with a defeated look.
“Yup. But it’s an issue for tomorrow. Race ya home?”
Laxus smirked, “Full magic, no holds barred?” Oh how he loved their training games sometimes.
Lucy’s bright smile answered him, “Of course!” and she raced out of the guild without giving him a second to prepare.
Thunder was heard moments later as she was running through the streets of Magnolia, and she suddenly stopped in her tracks and watched lightning streak across the sky.
“Oh damn it, you little sneak, you know lightning teleport isn’t fair!” she shouted out to seemingly no one, but she damn well knew he could hear her.
One loud, and very close lightning bolt later and she heard his deep rumbling chuckle in her ears, “Oh, I know. But I’ve got to win something today.”
He spun her around, cupped her face in his large hands, and kissed her deeply. Just as she was melting into him, he pulled away with a wink and a “see ya at home, Blondie” he disappeared in a flash of lightning.