I'm updating quickly just so there's two chapters online. But after this, I'm planning on updating about once a week. Thank you for taking the time to read my work. I hope you continue to enjoy
Natsu yawned loudly. He and Happy had only just arrived at the guild a few minutes earlier. But thanks to another odd dream, Natsu hadn't been able to get much sleep. They were waiting for Lucy and the stupid Ice Mage. Natsu growled at the thought of Gray joining them. Happy flew up beside him.
"In a bad mood this morning, Natsu?"
"Just kinda tired," he replied with a yawn. He stretched his arms, taking in a deep breath. He exhaled a plume of fire. "Where are they? I'm ready to go!" he shouted.
Gray slowly approached the guild. "Being loud again so early in the morning?"
His blue Hawaiian shirt hung open, revealing his muscled abs and the blue guild crest on his chest. His shoulder bag was slung across his back, hands in his jeans. Natsu frowned.
"The last thing I wanted to do was go on a job with you, stupid Icicle."
"I'm not too excited about it either, Flamehead."
"Guys, you're both already here?"
Natsu looked up, grinning broadly. "Lucy!" He waved his hand enthusiastically.
She jogged toward them, dragging her large pink wheeled suitcase behind her. Today she was wearing her usual white collared tanktop. Her celestial keys jingled together as she ran. "Sorry I'm a little late."
Happy flew up to her. "Lucy's late!"
"Can it, stupid cat!"
"Waaah…Lucy's so mean…. But we also just got here."
"Then don't make a big deal about it!" she shouted, annoyed.
"It's no biggie, Lucy." Gray grinned. "I just got here myself. Looks like you packed a lot of stuff."
Natsu growled. For some reason just watching Gray talk so casually to Lucy irritated him. It was like two stones grinding against each other.
"Yeah. I didn't know how long we'd be on this job so…." Her cheeks flushed in embarrassment.
"I'll help you carry—"
"YOOOOOOSH!" Natsu shouldered roughly past Gray. "Work! Work! Let's go!" He adjusted his pack and rushed off down the road. "I'm fired up!"
"Watch it, you idiot!" Gray shouted, grabbing Lucy's bag.
"Natsu, wait up!"
Happy flew after him. "Natsuuuuu!"
"Natsu," Lucy jogged up to him. "Where are you going? The train station is the other way."
His face instantly drained of color. Sweat rolled down his neck at the thought of riding the train. He grinned hesitantly.
"Nah, we're gonna walk! It's not that far."
"Afraid of the train?" Gray mocked. "The tough Dragon Slayer afraid to ride the train?"
"Yeah right, porcupine head!" Natsu rounded on him, locking his heated glare with Gray's icy one. "Just you watch."
"Great. Can't wait to see it."
Lucy sighed. "Come on, guys. Cut it out."
"I'LL SHOW YOU!" Natsu shouted angrily, storming off in the direction of the train station.
The four of them joked casually as they made their way to the train station, Gray and Natsu arguing as usual. But every time Gray stopped to talk to Lucy, irritation welled up inside Natsu's chest. And irritation quickly turned to anger, especially when he didn't know why he was irritated. It had never bothered him so much before. But for some reason it just kept getting on his nerves. Only until they actually boarded the train did he realize he had actually agreed to ride the train to their job. As soon as it lurched forward the first time, Natsu's face turned pale. Sweat rolled down his face and neck in torrents. He covered his mouth.
"I don't feel so good…."
Lucy sighed. "You can't go anywhere without getting sick can you?"
"How embarrassing. I'm surprised Lucy puts up with you."
Natsu shot to his feet. "What did you—" His stomach gurgled and his anger quickly shifted to nausea. "Uuuuh…I'm gonna be sick."
"Don't get sick on me!" Happy teased.
"Come on, Natsu." Lucy patted the seat next to her, where he had been sitting earlier. "Just sit down. We'll be there in no time."
Natsu plopped down onto the seat beside her, clutching his abdomen as it churned and twisted in knots. He swayed and slumped to the side, leaning against Lucy's shoulder. When he realized what he had done, a warm airy feeling rose in his stomach. His face turned red.
"S-sorry…" he muttered.
"That's okay, Natsu." She smiled. "I know you're weak when it comes to transportation. You should just lie down. Your stomach will feel better."
"Yeah, Natsu," gray said sarcastically, arching an eyebrow. "Lay down on Lucy's lap."
But finally he complied, hesitantly laying his head down on Lucy's lap. Happy snickered, shooting a mischievous grin at him.
"Natsu and Lucy, sitting in a tree~"
"Can it, Happy," Natsu muttered through gritted teeth.
Lucy pulled a romance novel out of her bag. "Oh, calm down." She opened it up and started reading. "His teasing is nothing new."
She rested her arm on his shoulder as she read. If it hadn't have been for the train's movement making him sick, Natsu might have noticed it sooner. His stomach churned more now that he was lying down. His heart was also beating strangely fast. It thumped against his ribs as he lay there watching Happy make faces at him. If only they hadn't boarded the train in the first place.
"So what exactly is this job we're doing?" Gray asked.
Lucy closed her book and tugged the wanted add out of her bag. She unfolded it and handed it to Gray. "It didn't say much. But it's a job to catch a group of bandits two towns over. They hide out in the forest, so not many of the victims or townsfolk know all that much."
Gray took the flier and read over it. His eyes widened. "Woah! 200,000 Jewels? No way!"
"Isn't it great? Just to catch a couple of thieves!"
"But to be that high just for thieves…there's gotta be a catch."
"Who cares?" Natsu grumbled. "Makes it…more exciting…."
"Yeah. But there's gotta be something more going on. Smells like something a Dark Guild might have planted."
"Maybe you're right." Lucy sighed. "I was hoping it would just be a simple, high paying job. But I guess it was just too good to be true."
Gray handed the flier back to her. "We'll just have to watch our backs."
Natsu grinned, despite the nausea. "Worry about your own back…and I'll worry about mine."
After a few hours, the train pulled into the station and, once it finally stopped moving, Natsu shot out of his seat. He raced excitedly off the train. He stretched his tense muscles and took a deep breath.
"C'mon, guys, let's go!" he shouted.
"Where are we going?" Lucy asked.
Gray followed close behind. "We don't know that much about our job. We shouldn't be reckless."
"I thought it would be obvious." Natsu looked at them as if they were they had just asked the dumbest question ever. "The thieves are in the forest, right? So let's go to the forest and burn it."
"You can't just burn down the forest, Idiot!" Lucy shouted.
"Seriously, do you even think before you speak?"
Natsu glowered at Gray "Like you've got a better idea?"
"Maybe I do," he stalked over to Natsu. "You should listen to other people's ideas once in a while."
"Okay, you two." Lucy grabbed them both by the ear and tugged. "We're doing this the right way."
"OW OW OW OW!" they shouted in unison.
Happy snickered. "Lucy's so harsh."
When she finally let go, Natsu rubbed his sore ear, trailing after her. "So then where are we going?"
"Well first we're going to meet with the mayor. He's the one who posted the job in the first place. Maybe he'll be able to give us more details."
"Hn…it would just be easier to burn down the forest," Natsu muttered.
As they approached the mayor's mansion, Natsu stopped abruptly. A chill ran down his spine, and it wasn't Gray's doing. It was the feeling of being watched. He sniffed the air, but couldn't catch any unusual smells. He slowly scanned the area, but nothing seemed out of place.
"Natsu, what's wrong?" Happy asked.
"I don't know…but it feels like someone's watching us." He didn't move, waiting and watching. Whoever they were, they certainly knew how to conceal themselves. "I've got a bad feeling about this."