I have been obsessed with Westlife for quite a while, and I got inspired by the song Bop Bop Baby by them. I interpreted it here as a remorseful man who wonders why let the girl he loved get married to someone else, and how he fights with himself to win her back. I hope you guys like it :)
Just Once Again
You always said, I was a dreamer
I'm dreaming of things that's making my mind go crazy
Small things like…
His eyes closed as he remembered her smile again. Her amused, happy face filled his mind. Her chocolate-brown eyes teased him playfully as she laughed in his head, her blonde hair light in the sun.
Natsu sighed and turned over on his bed. His onyx eyes flew open as the familiar frustration built up in his stomach. The way it did whenever he thought of Lucy Heartfilia. The girl he should have fought harder for.
How many months had it been? Or was it a year? He still held onto his many memories of her smiles and her voice and her gentle laughter. He remembered her soft, casual touches on his shoulders, his cheeks when they used to hang out together with their friends.
And he never confessed to her. He let that chance slip through his fingers like sand. Of course, he was her…best friend. Natsu winced at the words. He had put on a brave face as she walked down the aisle and linked arms with Gray Fullbuster.
She was happy. He was happy. Yet, it wasn't enough. Each time he looked at his two best friends he couldn't bring himself up to confess to Lucy. He should've fought for her, showed her he would love a lot more than Gray would.
He stared at the ceiling of his small apartment, replaying her last birthday, one arm under his head, serving as a pillow.
"Happy birthday Luce!"
She had broken into a delighted smile that set her face aglow. She had still not fallen in love with Gray. "You remembered?"
"Of course I did. I got you the cake and everything, so when Erza and the others claim all the glory, don't believe them."
Lucy laughed. Then she raised an amused eyebrow as she glanced at the cake. "And you put exactly twenty-two candles on it."
"Well…" Natsu grinned sheepishly.
She responded by hugging him tightly and whispering thank you in his ear.
He still dreamt about her. And each time he woke up, it got worse. Each time he replayed every day with her, thinking of the many ways in which he could have talked to her about it all. He even knew what he should have done. He should've kissed her that night they were on the balcony while everyone was inside her house for her birthday. Asked her first, before Gray could take her away.
She was the one.
Natsu felt like he was going crazy just thinking about it. He needed to see her, to hear her voice. He had to do something.
When I call you at home
And he answers the phone
When I get your machine
And I don't hear me
Natsu shut his eyes tight and massaged his temples, still a little tired from work. He felt like he was trapped at times—without her. She was like his sun.
He groaned as he heaved himself slowly off the bed. His black tie hung loose from behind the white collars of his crumpled shirt. His pink hair was just as messy as it usually was and he found no difference in his reflection each day except for the tiredness at times.
His hands were hesitant as they reached for the phone. He lost his mobile phone a few days ago, a heavy inconvenience. He had her number memorized, but it was late right now. She was probably at home with Gray.
His fingers shook as he dialed the numbers. His heart beat faster and he felt sweat collect in his palms—he was going to talk to her after so long…
He waited with bated breath as he waited for her to pick the home phone. On the sixth ring someone answered.
The sound of Gray's voice was irritated, as if he had been pulled out of something that displeased him.
Natsu felt a wave of nostalgia rush through him at Gray's voice, but his heart sank and there was a dull pain within him as he realized Lucy didn't pick up at all.
"G-Gray?" He cleared his throat to speak better.
"Who is this?"
"It's me. Natsu. Idiot."
"Oh…" There was a pause at the other end of the line. He was supposed to respond with a casual, friendly insult to Natsu as well, but nothing. Natsu heard the sound of Gray about to say something when his desperation got the better of him.
He blurted out; "Where's Lucy?"
"She's inside. How are you, Natsu?"
He ignored his formal question. She was so close, yet so far. Natsu just needed to hear her voice. He was going mad. That's how he was. Madly in love with the girl married to his best friend.
"Can I talk to her?"
"Why?" Gray sounded annoyed again.
Natsu's curiosity picked up in the form of hurt rather than anger. He was not a stranger trying to speak to Gray's wife, he was just a friend. Right?
"I just…missed you guys."
"Shows," Gray muttered.
"Look, Gray, don't be such a jerk man. You know I wanted to visit you guys…I just didn't find time…"
Lies. He couldn't bring himself to face the two of them, happily married. That's why he thought avoiding them was the key. He had been wrong.
"Lucy can't talk right now…"
The line cut off. Natsu's mouth was still open, pleading. His onyx eyes were desperate. He tried to call back, but the line never went further than one ring.
He sat down hard on the floor, his head in his hands.
"Lucy…" he whispered into his hands. "Please don't forget me."
When I lie in my bed
With the thoughts in my head
When we danced and we sang
And we laughed all night
His head lolled back again the side of his bed and he found himself in a half-sitting and half-lying position on the floor. Too many emotions crowded his heart, too many thoughts about Lucy crowded his mind.
He let out a small, sad smile as he remembered the day she had been crying because all her notes for her novel had fallen down in the street from her bag. It had been raining that day.
He remembered how he had managed to find it by following the scent of Lucy and retrieved it in the shape of a soggy, muddy, wet bunch of papers.
"It's kind of wet…"
Lucy blinked and then smiled softly despite the tears. "Thanks so much Natsu."
"Oh cheer up, please! Everyone knows you look better when you smile, Luce!" Natsu tilted her face up and gave her a goofy grin.
When she didn't cheer up as much as he wanted her to, he got up and popped in the first CD he could find on her desk—he understood nothing of the love songs she liked, but he remembered the album cover art as one of her favourites.
He looked down at his hands as he replayed the laugh that was finally let loose by the blonde as Natsu had pulled her up to dance. Her melodious voice, which forgot about her lost story notes as it sang along to her favourite songs filled Natsu's mind yet again.
He let out a low laugh of his own when he remembered how she had teased him about his scarf as they laughed over the random notes she had scribbled down about him once.
"You're way too interesting; you'd make a great character for me!"
"I don't get why, but at least you're laughing," Natsu had smiled.
Does he make you laugh now?
Ooh da bop bop baby
Please, don't let me go
Can't live my life this way
Ooh da bop bop baby
Please, just let me know
What was she doing right now? Was Gray telling her that Natsu called? Was she just laughing with him or had they been…intimate enough that it was impossible for her to answer the call at that moment?
Was she angry with him, for not visiting all these days? Or did she never think about it? Did Lucy like him anymore at all, or had she let go of him completely? How would she feel, if she saw him, heard his voice? As good as he did or as distant and cold as Gray did? Maybe…did she ever regret not being with him as well?
No. That was taking his imagination too far. Much too far.
But as long as she didn't tell him—whether they broke in a smile or they turned away—as long as he didn't know how she was, what she thought of Natsu Dragneel, he couldn't live.
He didn't notice he was crying silent tears until he felt the moisture on the fingers covering his eyes. Tears turned into frustrated sobs and he punched the wall. He shouldn't have let her go. It was pathetic. How he never got over her.
How he knew, they were meant to be. He loved everything she did, she made him complete. And he could so much warmer, so much gentler than Gray could be.
Maybe it's time to say goodbye
Maybe it's time to let this fly
This is when we must set things right
Now that we've gone our separate ways
He knew it was worthless, but as he got off the cab that brought him to the sunshiny little house in the heart of Magnolia, he felt like he had to set everything right again. He had know, what image he left behind.
Lies, again. He just needed to see her. Feel her warmth.
So what she had a life that didn't make him a part of it?
He had never said goodbye to her, not properly. He had left her with that image of his faltering smile as she drove away. He had turned away with tears in his eyes and remorse blocking his throat she waved at him, and had never spoken them since. He wouldn't leave her like that. She deserved a goodbye.
It was the day he was supposed to be busy at work. Supposed to be distracted by projects and deadlines and papers and people. He didn't care.
He cared about Lucy. And he needed to see her just once again. Just once.
He didn't need to knock. The door of the house burst open and the girl he loved stormed out. It felt he had been punched in the stomach. She didn't have that happy smile on her face. Her eyes, filled with the wonder Natsu loved to see, were cast down as she hastily brushed tears away. Her hand covered her mouth as she bit back a sob.
"Lucy, you can't just walk off!" Gray shouted from inside. He appeared at the doorway. His hair was longer and his face looked more mature in a way Natsu couldn't place. "Damn it, Lucy!"
"Just shut up, Gray!"
Natsu hadn't moved. He remained in his frozen state when Lucy collided straight into him. She stepped back, dazed, and looked up.
Her eyes widened in recognition and her lips trembled. "Oh, Natsu…"
He didn't even think or make a decision as he wrapped his arms around her. She rested her head against his chest, but didn't hug him back. "Hey, weirdo."
"Natsu?" Gray's eyebrows pulled together as he walked the last few steps from his house and approached his friend.
Natsu looked up at Gray through his lashes. Anger filled him. What had he done to Lucy? Why was she crying?
Gray tugged at Lucy's arm. "Hey, let go of her," he said darkly.
"Not until you tell me what's going on," Natsu shifted his body so that Lucy was half-behind him; protected by his back. "Why is she crying?"
"That's none of you business, Natsu," Gray rose his voice. "Now let go of my wife."
"You asshole, I said—"
"Stop it!" Lucy cut in. "Just, forget it Natsu."
His eyes filled with shock. "No, Lucy!"
Lucy looked at Gray and then sighed to Natsu; "I think you should leave."
Natsu glanced at the both of them, ignoring the people who stared at the three around the streets. His heart clenched painfully to see Lucy hurt…hurt because of Gray.
And he probably would have, had he not noticed the bruise beginning to form on the exposed right shoulder of Lucy's. Her top barely covered it, and it started to deepened in colour as Natsu stared at it.
"Lucy," he whispered quietly. "Did he do that to you?"
She looked away. "It was an accident."
Gray moved forward and grabbed Natsu's arm. "Are you freaking insane? She's mine, you can't just come here after all these days and try to act as if you're her protector or something! Just let goof her before I really hurt you Natsu."
"You hurt her, you bastard!"
"This is between us, it's not your life!"
"Natsu, please," Lucy whispered behind him. "I'm alright. He didn't really mean it."
It took Natsu a second to understand why she kept pleading with him. Her eyes kept shying away from Gray's, and she kept cringing every time her husband shouted. She looked worried on top of it all, as if everything around her was making her uncomfortable.
She was scared. Of Gray.
"Natsu, just—" Gray pulled back a fist and punched him squarely in the jaw. "That's my wife!" Natsu's head snapped back and he moved forward instinctively, punching Gray so hard in the chest that he fell back a few metres. Saliva came out of his mouth.
"Gray!" Lucy gasped.
"You're not going to hurt her," Natsu said darkly. If Gray was going to be violent, he could have it his way. He didn't deserve someone like Lucy if this was how he inflicted his rage during a fight. By hitting her.
"Damn it, how do you even have the courage to do something like this?!" he shouted at Natsu. "Stop touching her!"
Natsu punched him back yet again, harder than he wanted to. Gray heaved as he staggered back, his dark blue eyes filled with shock and pain. He looked at Lucy, ignoring Natsu.
"Lucy, move away from him!"
Natsu turned back to the horrified Lucy and brushed her fresh tears away. "No, don't cry, please."
His mouth set together in a hard line as he noticed the practically healed bruised along her left eye. He had not noticed them at first, but every mark of injury he found flawing her smooth skin sent another wave of anger through him. Gray was not the person he had known.
"I'm…scared...Natsu," she mumbled, moving closer as she gave into her tears.
I just can't live these desperate days
This is what I've been trying to say
"You have to go Natsu. Gray is not usually like this, I…just let me go."
"Then why are you scared?"
She bit her lip, avoiding his gaze.
"Lucy, I love you."
Her brown eyes flashed up to his own as her lips parted in shock. Natsu didn't know why he said it. But she had to know, that he was there for her. She had to stop living with pain.
Her next words hit him like a whiplash, until the moment he realized she was addressing Gray. Her voice shook as she tugged at the white-gold ring on her left fourth finger. "I can't do this anymore, Gray."
Natsu stepped away, as Gray let out a gasp. "Lucy, you know I didn't mean to hurt you again! You're being irrational, you have to—"
"It's not the first time, Gray!" she shouted at him. Her tears turned into rage. "I don't care how bad your day goes! You can't keep taking it out on me; I'm not your property, Gray! Please," her voice broke. "Try to understand."
"You know I was sorry for that, Luce!"
Natsu put a hand on Lucy's trembling shoulders. His voice laced with fury as he addressed Gray. "You're sorry? For hitting her?"
"You don't speak, you bastard!" Gray spat at him. "You just come here and think you'll confess all your damn feelings to her and steal my wife?"
His words hit Natsu worse than anything he had ever said. But he bit back the pain as Lucy said dangerously; "I've been hurting for too long, Gray. Natsu has nothing to do with this."
"I didn't know…Lucy…you could've called me…" Natsu whispered to her. Gray stared at him in pure hatred.
"I can't…I don't know who I love, Natsu…" Lucy's voice dropped. She ran a sweaty hand over her head, massaging her temples. "I don't who you are anymore," she looked at Gray.
"You know I love you Lucy, please! Don't let that bastard take you away!" Gray moved closer to her, but she flinched away.
"You used to love me, Gray," she corrected. "I…don't know anymore."
"Fine, then go," he snapped at her. "Every time we have a fight, this is what you feel, isn't it?"
"No, Gray!" Lucy shouted. "It's every time you hurt me! It's every time you don't love me, every time you yell at me! It's every time I realize you're not…you anymore…" she turned away.
Then Natsu's eyes widened at what she did next. She slipped the ring off her finger and it fell to the ground. "It's over, Gray. I'm sorry."
No, no. Had he ruined it? Natsu felt guilt shake him until he looked at the braver face of Lucy's. How long, he wondered, had she been wishing she could be free from all this?
"I'm sorry I didn't come sooner, Lucy," he bent down, speaking softly. She gave him a soft smile. "There were times you know," she whispered back. "When I wished you would just come and take me away."
He pressed his lips to hers for a second. He didn't know what emotions ran through him, but all he knew was that she was safe. She was happy.
Ooh da bop bop baby please don't let me go
Can't live my life this way
Ooh da bop bop baby please just let me know
And put my mind at ease for sure
One year later…
It hadn't been easy. Lucy had found it harder than she imagined, to divorce Gray. All the times he had been the man she knew filled her mind every time she thought about it all. And then she felt, his winter was not what she needed to survive. His temper and the anger he took out on her…it was not worth it. Love was not written out. It just happened. And it just happened with Natsu, but she just made a wrong choice. She needed Natsu's warmth.
Natsu spent every hour he looked at her and spoke to her and laughed with her and held her tight when she cried being grateful for her. He didn't have that frustration building up in him anymore, and it wasn't the thought of winning her that made him happy, it was the fact that she was happy now. That Gray had truly not been the one who deserved her, and that it was not Natsu who had forced Lucy to be his. She wanted to be with him.
"I love you," He whispered on the night she admired the sapphire ring on her fourth finger. In so many words, it was the second time he had whispered these words to her.
"I know, Prince Charming," she laughed. Her hand rested on his, their fingers laced together and they breathed peacefully in unison.
She had teased him about it before, after she had healed completely. How he was exactly like Prince Charming coming to rescue the princess from the evil clutches of the vilest man in town.
Natsu had laughed, but he knew it was her choice all along. He just made her realize.
And that is it. I sincerely hope it was good, I worked on it for a long time. Anyway, please review and tell me your thoughts about it!