Natsu, Lucy and Happy were walking (well, Happy was flying) down the streets of Magnolia in the evening. They didn't have anything particular in mind, but decided to just enjoy a nice walk. Suddenly, Lucy stopped.
“Hm? What's up Lucy?” Natsu asked her, backtracking to stand next to her. She was staring into a shop window.
“Wow! Look at that, Natsu! It's beautiful!” She was pointing at a shiny bracelet. It looked to be made of silver, and had gold designs on it. It also held a few sparkly blue and white gems.
“I don't see what's so special about it...” Happy said.
“Be quiet, cat!” Lucy snapped. “I'm going to see how much it is. Wait for me here; I'll be right back.” Lucy ran inside quickly, but came out totally dejected.
“Aw... It's way expensive. I could never afford it in a million years,” she whined. “Thanks to your guys' destructiveness we never get any money,” she added under her breath. Turning to the two, she said, “If you guys don't mind, I'm gonna head home. I'm pretty tired.”
“Alright, good night Lucy!” Happy called after her as she walked away.
“Night, Lucy!” yelled Natsu.
“Let's go home too, Natsu,” Happy said.
Natsu looked at the bracelet for a while longer before turning, an idea forming in his head.
The Next Day:
“Are you sure you can handle this job by yourself Natsu?” Mira asked as she stamped it for him.
“Well I've got Happy by my side don't I?” He smiled, trying to reassure her.
“Alright, but be careful,” she said, accentuating her words.
“Don't worry, I'll be fine.” He was about to run out of the guild when he saw Lucy.
She stopped him, “Are you going on a mission? Why didn't you tell me?”
Natsu smiled and rubbed the back of his head. “I'm going on this one solo. Just me and Happy. Sorry, Luce.”
“Why can't I come?” she pouted.
“Be-... Because I- We're... going on a mission to defeat a monster that's way out of your league! You couldn't handle it,” he said, waving his hand.
Lucy twitched. “That's insulting!”
It seems she went unheard though, as Natsu quickly patted her shoulder and ran out of the guild, yelling “goodbye” as he did. Happy flew right after him.
Lucy sighed resignedly and asked Mira, “Should I be worried?”
“I wouldn't worry too much, Lucy. You know how Natsu is.”
“When do you think he'll be back?”
“Hmm.. Maybe a week or two. I'm not sure. The job he took is sure to be tough... Let's just wait for him.”
So they waited.
And sure enough, Natsu and Happy returned a week and a half later. Natsu walked into the guild with a big grin on his face, covered in cuts and bruises. Lucy ran over to hug him, and when she pulled back she worriedly asked if he was okay.
Natsu's smile somehow grew even wider as he said, “I got something for you.” And then he held up the very same bracelet she had looked at nearly two weeks ago. Lucy gasped.
“Oh, Natsu... How could you afford it? It was so expensive... You didn't have to buy something like that just for me. I mean...”
Natsu said nothing for a moment, but just smiled as he put it on her wrist for her. “You're supposed to say 'thank you' and then hug me,” he paused, not letting go of her hand, and staring at her guild mark as he spoke, “Anyway, it was really hard, but I tried not to destroy anything and managed to earn most of the reward.”
When he lifted his eyes to meet hers, she had the biggest smile on her face. Then she threw her arms around his neck. “Thank you so much! I think this is the most thoughtful thing you've done for me. You didn't have to get me something so expensive though, I could've lived without it.”
“But I wanted to, Luce. Because I wanted to see your smile.”
Lucy smiled at him and then reached up on her tiptoes to kiss his cheek. Natsu blushed as he looked at her, but then broke into a large goofy grin and crowed in victory like he had won the lottery.
“Let's get you bandaged up,” Lucy said when he was done, as she began helping him to the infirmary upstairs.
“Oh, um, Luce?”
“Can Happy and I eat at your place? I kind of spent all our food money.”
Lucy laughed. “Of course!”
Natsu was going on a solo mission with Happy. He had just gotten it approved and was heading towards the door when Lucy spotted him. She ran up to him and held up a job flier.
“Will you do this job with me? But promise you won't destroy anything 'cause I really need rent money.”
Natsu's expression turned apologetic, “I'm sorry Luce, I'm already going on a mission with Happy.” He held up his own flier. “Aye,” said Happy.
“Oh, alright then.” Lucy looked sad, and turned away. Natsu bit his lip.
“Hey Gray! I need you to do this job for me,” Natsu shoved the paper in Gray's face.
“Wha-? Why can't you do it yourself-?!”
“By the way you're naked.”
“Huh?!” Gray quickly grabbed something to cover his crotch. Natsu left then, leaving Happy floating next to Gray.
Natsu ran to catch up with Lucy, who was just walking out the doors.
“Lucy! I'm coming with you!” He had a large smile on his face.
“Natsu? Don't you have another job though?”
“Natsu! Why'd you give our job away to Gray!” Happy yelled angrily as he flew out of the guild and stopped to float in front of Natsu and Lucy.
“You gave your job to Gray? That's not like you,” Lucy said, squinting at him with suspicion.
Natsu smiled. “Well, it's more fun when we're together, right?”
Lucy blushed, then looked away, “D-Don't quote me, stupid.”
Natsu laughed and grabbed her hand, “Let's go!”
As they ran off, Happy stayed behind for a minute, still mad about Natsu disregarding him. Gray walked up next to him, now wearing pants.
“Hey Happy, do you know why Natsu gave me his job?”
Happy was quiet for a second, then he smiled knowingly. “He's in lllllloo~oove~.”
“Lucy. I'm so sorry. I didn't mean that. I didn't mean that at all.”
Natsu's eyes were wide as he looked up at Lucy from where he sat. She was standing. They were in the guild, and it was a normal day; they had decided to not take a mission and to just hang out. Lucy and Natsu had been talking, sitting at a table in the middle of the guild.
Natsu doesn't know when, but somewhere along the way, their conversation had turned into an argument, and that had turned into a verbal fight.
Natsu had blurt out something very hurtful just then, and he felt incredibly guilty. He hadn't even meant it, but he had said it and that was terrible in itself anyway.
Lucy stood above him, her eyes covered by her hair. Natsu kind of expected her to hit him, but she didn't. That made him more scared.
“Jerk.” Her shoulders shook and her voice broke when she spoke. Natsu moved as if to go to her, but she turned and ran out so fast, he was stunned.
“Lucy!” Natsu took all of four steps before Mirajane clothes-lined him and brought him to a complete and harsh stop. “What the hell did you say to Lucy?” She looked absolutely livid. Natsu wasn't looking at Mira though, he was looking at the door, where Lucy had gone.
“Please, Mira, let me go,” he begged.
“Tell me what happened,” she demanded, voice hard.
“I'm wasting time!”
Natsu took a breath and lowered his voice. “We got into a fight. I said something terrible that I shouldn't have. I didn't mean it. I need to go make it up.”
Mira paused, then sighed. “She most likely doesn't want to talk to you right now,” she warned.
“That's all right. I'll keep trying,” he responded.
“Alright, then go.” Mira finally let go of him, and Natsu raced out of the guild. He followed Lucy's sent to her apartment. For once, he stopped by her door- and knocked.
“Lucy?” He called loud enough to let her know he was there. “I need to say that I really am sorry about what I said. I've never thought that about you honestly. I never meant it. It was awful of me to say something like that, and I apologize. We were fighting, and I just started saying things without thinking. I promise I didn't mean a single word of it.”
Inside, he could hear her crying. He felt kind of hollow inside, hearing her cry like that and knowing he caused it.
The door opened.
“Lucy?” Her face was wet with tears and kind of flushed and she generally looked like a mess. Natsu was overcome with guilt.
“No. Listen, I- sniff I need some time. Away from you.”
Natsu was silent, actually stunned over all that was happening, and when it registered in his mind what she had said, he shrunk back.
“....Alright. Come by when you want to talk, I guess.” Natsu didn't know where his voice was coming from. Was it really him saying that? Then he slowly turned to walk home; he heard her door close. He heard her summoning Loke, and him asking what was wrong, and then it was just quiet besides the sounds of Lucy's sobs.
It really fucking hurt. Why did he say something so stupid? Lucy had said her fair share of harsh words that day, but Natsu knew he had crossed a line. He would be lucky if Lucy chose to forgive him within a month.
When he got home, he did not return Happy's greeting, but instead flopped face first onto his couch. He didn't move for a long time.
The next day, Natsu wasn't at the guild. Neither was Lucy. Mirajane asked Gray if he knew where Natsu was as he sat down at the bar.
“You know, I haven't seen him today. It's a lot quieter without him though. Speaking of which, I haven't seen Lucy today either. Do you think they're together?”
Mira clasped her hands and got hearts in her eyes. “Oh, they're probably doing something naughty and romantic!”
“I-I didn't mean it like that!”
“I want to do something naughty and romantic with Gray-sama!” Juvia shouted, suddenly a few feet from Gray.
“Where'd you come from!”
Such things were quiet far from the truth, however.
“Natsu... Please eat something. I've never seen you like this. You're scaring me.” Happy had been trying to get Natsu to eat since that morning when he'd refused breakfast. Happy finally got a response from him. He turned over to face Happy, and then sat up.
“I'm sorry, Happy... Here, I'll eat now.” Natsu took the cooked fish Happy was holding up to him. “Thanks.”
Happy waited until Natsu was finished before he spoke. “What happened?”
Natsu sighed and looked away. “I screwed up... real bad.” He paused. “I said some mean things I shouldn't have... And I made Lucy cry.”
“Well did you apologize?”
“I did but... She told me to leave. She doesn't want to see me. I'm afraid she might quit the team, Happy.”
Natsu nodded. Silence ensued. Happy took the initiative then, hopping onto the couch and walking over to hug Natsu. Happy said nothing when Natsu's shoulders started to shake.
A couple tense weeks had passed since then, Natsu and Lucy not talking very often. Natsu was giving Lucy her space, and Lucy was living her life. Lucy had gone a few missions by herself, some with Erza or Levy. Natsu stayed out of her apartment.
The whole guild knew about the fight they had had, and every one of them could hardly imagine the two being apart for so long. It was too strange.
On this day, Lucy approached Natsu at the table where he was sitting and talking with Happy. She wasn't alone.
“Hey, Lucy,” Natsu greeted when she walked up. On one side he felt happy she was near him again, on the other he was apprehensive about the guy standing next to her.
“Natsu. This is...” And right there Natsu stopped hearing her. He didn't know why, but seeing the way the guy looked at Lucy from the corner of his eyes, a shine and a this little smile on his face, made Natsu feel empty for a moment. Then he felt a burning in him. And he was hurt; he felt replaced.
Lucy had stopped talking, and Natsu found himself looking her in her beautiful brown eyes and saying, “I'm happy for you.” Never had it hurt him so much to smile. But seeing her smile back made it seem worth it.
Really, it was.