A/N: I was inspired and very sleepy while I was writing this part so I kinda expect I made few mistakes that missed my reread if so I am probably going to fix them as soon as possible however in the meantime, I apologize for long time before new chapters... here is new one and let me know what you think about it.
"What do you mean it's broken?" Angry voice that belonged to Lucy bellowed loud as she paced fast back and forth beside Natsu
"Sorry, just… the cooler is broken." Natsu said, lowering tone with each word as he was looking at the engine, trying to remove some broken metal pieces.
"Well then fix it!" She quickly retorted
"I can't… it's not that easy. That spear tore the cap on the cooler… sorry" he again apologized. He knew that it wasn't his fault and that he could point out that it was Lucy's initial fault they both got into this mess but there was also lingering thought that she could and would hurt him if he so much as mention any word that would be close to that statement.
"Bitch…" Lucy snarled "She really had to show up on that very day at that very market, of all the possible markets in the city…"
They were both dissatisfied with this situation. Car was about to overheat but Natsu managed to stop it just in time and now they were standing at the edge of the jungle. He was trying to repair the engine as much as he could along with the cooler while she was looking around for any sign of their pursuers however luck yet again was on their side and neither royal guards nor Erza Knightwalker was anywhere to be seen. Perhaps they gave up or perhaps Erza is on the way but away from the eyes. She looked up, trying to spot if legion was flying but aside from birds the skies were clear.
"How much longer?" Lucy asked as her gaze fell on Natsu who moved his arm over sweaty forehead
"I really do not know… It would be a lot easier if I had at least some parts or even something similar to it to improvise."
"Well look around!" she barked at young pinkette who winced at her loud words
"R…right…" Natsu responded. He knew well he wasn't going to find anything but as long as she doesn't yell at him, anywhere is good.
Long sigh escaped his lips as he strolled through the edge of jungle having his own monologue Why am I here? Why me? Did I do something to offend anyone? No! I was polite to everyone, helped everyone who asked me! Never treated dad bad, never refused costumer, never tricked anyone out of their money so why am I being punished? Uughh… this is a nightmare… I am definitely a wanted criminal for fast drive through city and I probably knocked few market stalls, I need to pay for that too and on top of all Erza Knightwalker is chasing her and me. If this Lucy is scared of her she is probably just as bad or worse, probably worse.
He continued walking, looking down in hope that a miracle would occur and he would find parts just lying down on the ground. Luck did not extend its reach that far. Natsu sat down and leaned against tree, his hand reached into the pocket to retrieve the keychain that brought him this entire mess. His thumb slowly rubbed the medallion with dragon on it and in that very instant every memory of his father flashed before his eyes. Wish you were here dad, you'd know what to do.
There wasn't anything else he could do so he sighed again and looked around but the moment of silence was soon broken by a shout from a far.
"NATSU! WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU?!" Lucy yelled from the top of her lungs, sending him instant shiver down his spine. There goes his little moment and he returned keychain into his pocket. It wasn't hard to recognize that he was terrified at this point and he didn't knew where she is taking him.
"Damaged cooler, belts are also damaged and if they break we can forget about car… and she sent me here to find parts…" he muttered to himself "as if I could just make them out of vines. Although…" he stood up and with great effort managed to cut a vine with a small sharp rock. Hands took each side of the vine and he tested its strength by stretching as much as his arms could withstand "Material is not perfect but it could work if I tie it well, won't work on speed but it will make car move."
He seemed slightly enthusiastic now, having bit of his spirit return and he walked back toward the car and his female captor. Lucy wasn't pleased and she displayed it well by folding arms and tapping with foot on the ground as he emerged from the jungle.
"Took your sweet time!"
"Well I just needed to find something, I guess" my courage he thought "It won't be best and probably we won't be able to go as fast as before but at least this is going to work as replacement" he removed the belt from the engine and measured vine against it before tying vine and placing it on the gears. It really looked ridiculous to both of them but at very least it fit well and if he was careful it won't rip however the problem of broken cap was still present.
"I could jam a piece of wood but then it would make even more problems." He spoke, pretending that Lucy cared for what he said but in reality he knew she didn't care and she really didn't care "Cap is broken and I need a piece of…" Natsu looked at her and her gaze was now fixed on him. She was confused as to why was he looking at her
"Sorry, can I borrow this?" Natsu moved closer to her and raised her hand. Her heart started beating fast at his closeness and it was obvious to her that he wasn't exactly bad looking, minus the whining attitude. She wondered what he was going to do, expecting perhaps something outrageous but instead his fingers slid to her hair and grabbed her rubber band that and pulled it, releasing her hair.
"I need something to keep the cloth on and prevent cooling liquid from spilling out otherwise we are going to be in troub- aaack!" Natsu's voice was suddenly silenced as her arm wrapped around his neck and tightened
"What the hell do you think you are doing?!" She practically screamed in his ear
"S…sorry… need… cap…" Natsu tried desperately to explain his reason while she tightened even more, holding his head into a firm strangling lock
"And who told you to just take it without question?!"
"That's right so if you want to keep your pretty little head on your shoulders, you will ask next time, understood?" She released him after he nodded and it was followed by a cough. Sure but when you took my keychain that was fine he thought to himself and returned to car. With handkerchief and rubber band he created an improvised cap that held the opening well. Temporary solution but better than nothing.
"Alright we are good to go" Natsu exclaimed with content in his voice as he lowered the hood
"About damn time…" Lucy mumbled as she entered car along with him. That very moment the same click happened in his head and his grin turned from innocent into devious. Engine was roaring and she gulped as she recognized the same expression that made her sick.
"So where now?" Natsu asked as he shifted gear and they yet again began their journey. The repair did the trick but he didn't want to risk it with high speed.
"Behind that mountain."
"What's behind it?"
"Oh right, you told me about it a lil bit… care to tell more?" he asked looking at her and much to her great surprise his voice got that deeper tone filled with confidence and boldness. Something about it simply made her brain turn on her.
"It's called Fairy Tail, we are one of the last remaining guilds that survived the great purge."
"Were you always dark guild?"
Lucy leaned her head against the door, looking into distance "No, we were regular legal guild at one point but king decided that guilds are to be disbanded… Many agreed and disbanded, some disagreed and were forced to disband and some few still remain defiant. We are now dark guilds just because we want to use magic like everyone else and we are being hunted down."
"Is that the one who was hunting you?"
"Yeah. Erza Knightwalker, or should I say "fairy hunter", got herself quite the reputation by hunting guilds and Fairy Tail is her hobby" her voice was bitter, almost wanting to spit at the mention of her
"So that's why she chased after you today?"
"No I kinda, stole something…" Lucy admitted
"She didn't chase you because of my keychain, what did you steal?" Natsu looked at her
"None of your business. Client demands discretion and I am not gonna break the contract, we need that money"
The rest of the trip was in silence. Natsu didn't want to ask anything else and Lucy was on the very edge to fall asleep on the seat. She was completely exhausted from the running, adrenaline long disappeared from her blood and fatigue caught up as soon as they left the danger area. He looked at her and noticed that her eyes betrayed her and she was asleep now, silently breathing with head leaned against the windshield of the door. It wasn't difficult to admit but she was rather cute when she wasn't screaming at him for nothing. Natural blonde hair, light pink lips and long eyelashes were first thing he noticed and perhaps what left biggest impression on him. He would have stared at her but the bump they hit made her open eyes slowly, revealing rather dreamy brown eyes that looked his way.
"We are just about to reach the other side of the mountain. "Natsu said as he quickly looked forward, averting his gaze "Do you want me to drop you off somewhere?"
"No, just drive toward that tree." she pointed toward rather tall, unusual looking tree for this part of land
After several minutes they arrived and both left the car and he observed this unusual tree that is their hall.
"So… ummm I guess… this is it?" he asked her with same almost whining voice
"That's it." she nodded
"Can I go now?" He asked looking at her and she looked his way again
"And where would you go? Back to the city?"
"N…no…" he suddenly remembered that he no longer has a place to go "I'll… go somewhere else"
"Don't be stupid, you'd be caught before you can reach any other town"
"So what should I do then?"
"Join the guild."
"W…what?!" Natsu's eyes widened and he almost fell back on the ground from this shock "I…I can't join guild"
"Why not? You don't have anywhere else to go and you are criminal now for aiding me. I don't see much of a choice"
She was right regarding his options but he also didn't want to join a dark guild and spend rest of his days in constant running from the authorities that would demand his head on a pike as an example. Not even ten seconds later another loud voice was heard.
"Lucy! Where the hell have you been?"
"Ughh… I just needed you…" Lucy said quietly before raising her voice "Had a bit of complications, why do you care?"
"You made us exposed that's why I care! I told you, one day per location or did your pretty blonde brain already forgot?" Angry bluenette growled at Lucy who responded in kind
"I would have come sooner if someone would to put the guild hall closer to city!"
"Oh yes, let me just do that and have every single bloody legion crush down on our head! Real smart Lu!" they were obviously at war and none was going to back down "So who's the twig?"
"H..hi I'm Natsu and umm…" Natsu started but was quickly interrupted by Lucy "He is our new recruit"
"Shit, you don't get to decide that!" Levy said as she looked between Natsu and Lucy "I am not going to allow some dead weight in the guild"
Great and now I am dead weight too… Natsu felt that he wanted to disappear from this place as it was painfully obvious he was not welcome.
"You allowed Gray without complaining, what's wrong with this one?"
"Gray is old friend, this twig is not and do you know how much work there is to transport hall from one place to another? I have to calculate the distance, find suitable location, calculate everyone's weight just to cover the requirement for magical fuel and one extra person means more magic needed"
"Then make him prove himself" Lucy folded her arms as she looked at blue haired mechanic who in turn looked at Natsu
"And why should I do that?"
"Because of last month" Lucy quickly added, making Levy bite her lip "Or have you forgotten the little incident at the market?"
"You are not going to drop this are you? Fine, I'll give him one chance but if he fails he can take his piece of junk away"
"Ummm… that kinda… well it's gonna be hard?" Natsu decided to get himself into this conversation
"And why?" Levy asked, diverting her piercing gaze toward him
"W…well… when we were chased, t…this red haired girl kind of… damaged cooler…"
"Survived Erza did you?" Levy smirked as she walked over to car and opened the hood, inspecting carefully what damage could be inside "not many get to say they did… man this engine is ancient, where did you got this crap?"
"Lucy kind of… pushed me into it."
"Well she could have at least pushed you into newer model, although she would have to recognize one with her pretty little brain"
"I heard that!" Lucy said, narrowing eyes at Levy.
"Got some parts, wait here"
Half hour later and new engine installed, car was ready to go. Natsu wondered why would she hold a spare engine in the hall but he didn't want to ask. Instead of any question he simply entered the car along with Levy and few seconds later new engine roared. It was louder than previous one and definitely more prepared to take up the road. Lucy came over to the window and knocked few times, making him lower the windshield.
"Don't disappoint me, understood?" She threatened
Natsu simply smirked at her, unflinching to her words "Yeah"
He was driving though not nearly as fast as it was in the city, going around the large mushrooms and boulders as they made a large circle around the hall. True he showed skills but Levy was far from being impressed as he even managed to hit few mushrooms with side of the car, making her growl at him even more than she already did. They arrived in front of hall and she looked at him.
"This is it? Pathetic" Levy said with dull, unimpressed voice.
"One more lap" he said.
"And what is it going to change? You drive worse than my half-blind uncle!" Levy quickly snarled at his words
"New engine, different response, you changed more than engine and cooler and I had to test how fast it goes. One more lap?"
"You are just bent on wasting my time… fine"
"Alright" Natsu grinned at her and stepped on the gas, shifting into gear and the thrust pushed her back on her seat much like Lucy earlier. He was different driver, he was reckless but precise and every obstruction was avoided by a hair but it never looked for a second that he was out of control.
"Were we going left after this or next mushroom?" he asked, nonchalantly looking at Levy who upon spotting him looking her way started panicking
"Next now watch the road!"
"Next it is" His right hand reached for handbrake and pulled it while left quickly turned wheel and the car simply drifted into the corner. Levy's hands quickly reached for nearest surface to grab. This wasn't only turn he made like that, in fact he no longer followed the same route they passed first time but instead looked for every excuse to make the car dance between trees, rocks and even animals who startled began running.
"Much better than previous engine, is this v3? Sounds like 6 cylinders"
"Yes it's v3 just watch the fucking road!" She screamed as he shifted into lower gear and started evading large boulders that were sticking from the ground. Not even a scratch on the car.
"Good engine" Natsu nodded and looked at her, pushing further into state of panic at his stunts but she didn't answer to this. He decided to test car further and shifted into 5th gear, prompting car to let out the struggling roar as they sped up, reaching almost 160 kilometers per hour. Road was more clear but that didn't made Levy any more at ease as trees became but a blur.
Natsu didn't want clear road now, he returned the car back into the area with trees and perfectly evaded each… he didn't need to learn more about the car, he knew exactly what it's capable of and how far he can push and not make them all turn over and tumble down some cliff.
"Oh look there's Lucy!" he pointed forward
"Yes there's blonde, stop… stop… STOP!" she screamed but he paid no attention, in fact they sped up even more as they were approaching blonde. Despite their hatred, Levy never wanted her death so this action of his was met with great fear that he might run over her. His face was calm, composed, as if he is doing something completely normal.
Hand reached and grabbed handbrake and pulled and he turned wheel, making car drift to the side and stopped just in front of Lucy, no more than half meter away from hitting her. Doors opened and Levy crawled out of it, breathing fast and loud for a moment. She stood up and walked pass Lucy.
"So, did he pass?" Lucy asked with wide smile
"That's all I need to hear" she giggled as she walked over to Natsu who left the car
"So… how was I? I… I mean is she satisfied?" Natsu asked looking at Lucy with his wide eyes
"She is never satisfied"
"Oh…" Natsu's heart dropped as he heard those words "So…"
"Welcome to Fairy Tail" Lucy smacked Natsu hard on his arm, making him yelp a bit and rub his arm at the place of hit. This was nowhere near to what he planned but at very least in this chaos he has a place to start.