A Snogfairy & Mslead Collab
This is based off of this prompt, but with a super hero twist!
"you always, without fail, eat the last of my favorite yoghurts, oh but not today my love, today i have prepared fresh hell for you, yes i mixed some chili into that strawberry goodness and prepared the perfect trap, it is waiting for you in the fridge and i'm waiting to hear you scream"
This time. This time for sure.
Alright, so maybe all of her other plans had ended in abject failure, but that was no guarantee this one would as well. In fact Lucy was feeling rather confident in the masterminded talents behind this particular crime in the works. She would get paid, and finally have her rent money on time to give her landlady!
Her plan was perfect.
Simple hit and runs at ATMs could have gotten the job done easier and faster, but Lucy couldn't help but think about how unfair it would be to the simple innocent soul that got robbed on their daily trek back from their job. Her heart went out to the working class, it really did. Even if it meant her job was a little harder, that made the reward sweeter.
Besides she had a target that was much more deserving of her focus. Which meant it had the potential to be twice as fun and three times as expensive. The rich had fine taste after all – Lucy tucked her smile behind a black glove as she watched armored trucks beginning to pull out in front of a lavish estate. It was taste she knew all too well from her past, and she would be more than happy to indulge herself in the thrill of the work this time. Especially as it meant she got to have a little payback in the process.
Literally, she couldn't wait for all that jewel with her name on it. Her hand drifted down towards the golden keys dangling by her hip. They chimed with every brush of her fingers, quiet enough for the sound to be snatched away by the breeze. Her heart raced in her chest as she watched the vans load up and begin down the road.
The tires rolled slowly, and her fingers gripped onto the metal at her side, heart racing and excitement pulsing through her veins. As she watched the cars move closer and closer into her range, Lucy's focus narrowed only onto her moving target. This time. This time for sure.
And best of all, there was no irritating hero here to stop her. None what so ever.
…which was why she nearly jumped out of her skin when a thick-soled boot clomped down on the short, retaining wall just in front of her face.
"Oh. Hey, Celery-a, right?" The owner of said boots asked, voice slightly muffled behind a red visor, a partial helmet of red and scales obscuring the upper part of his face, "Whatcha doin' crouching down here? Someone might think you're a criminal or something."
Lucy wanted to scream.
It was him. Again.
Out of all the superheroes around, Salamander was the one who would probably qualify as her arch enemy.
He had foiled more than one of her ingenious plans and seemed intent on not letting her out of his sight. Which was kind of his job, yes, but could he not leave her be for just one coup once in a while?!
"Hello, Salamander," she said with emphasis on his name, showcasing her skill of correctly pronouncing a name she had heard many times. An ability which he, apparently, did not possess. "Come to save the day?"
"Better bet on it." He flashed her one of the grins she hated so much, and she barely managed to suppress rolling her eyes. Taking advantage of his small moment of distraction, Lucy bolted.
This time she would prevail.
The trucks were close now, almost where she wanted them to be, and she'd be damned if her rent money would go to waste.
She heard the Salamander cackle behind her, rapidly catching up.
Oh, she knew what would happen. This little game they played every time, without fail. But not this time. She gripped the keys at her side, breathing heavily. His grinning face appeared beside her, half-hidden by his damned, ugly mask.
"Gotcha," he laughed, and Lucy abruptly halted to escape his strike. He landed a few feet in font of her, looking ready to pounce again.
What neither of them had expected, though, was the robot.
It came out of nowhere, really, sending a truck flying over their heads at an alarming speed. Lucy screeched in surprise, and instinctively pulled Natsu out of the way of a windscreen wiper as scraps of metal rained down on them.
They directed their attention to the apparent crime scene, where the robot was occupied with tearing apart one of the trucks full of valuable goods. Lucy almost wailed when she saw jewelry and expensive antiques hit the ground. She actually wailed, though, when the robot picked them up.
These were hers!
"Whaddaya say, Celery?"
Her head snapped around to find the bastard reaching a hand out to her, licking his lips. Did he really think she would team up with him?!
Well. Her success might depend on it. She could pretend to work with him now, and then leave him hanging when she disappeared with her reward. Perfect.
She ignored his hand, walking past him with her head help up high.
"Fine," she conceded, "But don't think I'll wait for you."
With that, she started running, watching with a a pout as he easily overtook her. When her lungs started aching, still a good hundred meters away, he already had arrived and was excitedly flinging himself at the robot.
She nearly recoiled back when Salamander opened his mouth, a jet of fire pluming from his throat to surround the giant mech. Whoever was horning in on her take was really going to get it when she was done.
Making her team up with Salamander. And not for the first time either. How many times had she grudgingly become his partner in not-crime during one of her many heists gone wrong? In fact, it had happened so many times, Lucy was partly convinced her superhero counterpart was actually responsible for the nefarious plans to rob her blind
It was only his head tilting and pout of confusion that sold her on his innocence. No. Salamander was annoying and an idiot but he wasn't at all evil. Not like her.
"Open! Gate of the golden bull! Taurus!" She commanded, slashing one of her keys through the air to open a shimmering portal to the celestial realm.
The clattering of hooves on the pavement pounded into the physical realm, and Lucy took a running leap to hook her hands around the horns of the golden-eyed bull that formed.
"Lets go Taurus!" She shouted, her anger burning hotly at the mech Salamander was in the middle of toasting, "Lets go show that thing what happens when it gets in the way of my rent money!"
Salamander turned just in time to see her coming like a wrecking ball. Fire erupted from his heels as he jettisoned himself away, grinning when the bull lowered its head and rammed its horns into the robot's shin, sending it hurtling into a streetlight.
"Way to go Taurus!" Lucy cheered, proud to have the spirits by her side. It was why she called herself–
"Awesome job Celery!" Salamander cheered, dropping down besides her and the bull. Smoke flared around his body, his fingers curling on the top of Taurus' head.
"Nice seein' ya again buddy," He cocked his head at Lucy, an irritating smirk flashing across his face, "You sure I can't turn him into steaks?"
"No, you cannot turn my celestial bull into steaks," Lucy almost screeched, placing a hand flat onto his face and pushing him to the side as she made for the fallen, smoking robot. "And you also cannot have anything of this."
She snickered to herself as she picked up a golden candelabra, but her face fell when she saw his face reflected right beside hers. His head rested heavily on her shoulder as he peeked at her treasure. What little was visible of his curiously pink hair tickled her neck.
It always reminded her of–
"Y'know you're gonna have to give all that back, right?"
"No way in hell," she shot back at him, slipping away to bring more distance between them. It was enough that one time he'd chained her to a pole and left her there. It had taken her half an hour to free herself, not to mention she'd just barely escaped the police.
"You know you want to," he spoke with a well-knowing grin, "You're not half as evil as you give yourself credit for."
"What are you saying!" she called offended, picking up another necklace demonstratively. "I'm stealing stuff right now!"
"You're the worst villain I ever met," her arch enemy snorted, "You just helped me take down one. You sure you don't wanna come to our side?"
"And why the hell would I want that, huh?"
Salamander sat his hands on his hips, resting over the leather jacket zipped all the way up to his neck. For a moment, Lucy fantasized about using it to strangle him. First he busted her job, and second he insulted her.
The heroes have way more fun than smelly ol' villains," He boasted, "Besides. Heroes get the best yoghurt!"
Lucy's eyes narrowed with irritation, her anger creeping up on her over his childish offer. Yoghurt. Could this man ever be serious?
How well did being a hero pay? As far as she knew, not well at all.
Although if Lucy was honest – she was a little tempted about the yoghurt strangely enough.
It's not like she had good yoghurt in a while. The thought was sullen and annoyed, and for once her irritation was completely unrelated to Salamander. She loved strawberry-banana yoghurt, but thanks to certain situations… she had gone yoghurtless for weeks.
The fact that he seemed to hone in on this fact only served to annoy her further.
"I don't want your crummy yoghurt!" Lucy stamped her foot, actually stamped it on the pavement.
Salamander looked put out, his cheeks swelling under his visor in what was a clear pout, "Don't be so rude Celery. My girlfriend picks out the best yoghurt! I'm sure even a sourpuss like you would like it!"
Surprised that any woman would be insane enough to be with the fire-breathing hero, Lucy fisted her fingers into her blond pigtails and tugged them in frustration.
"Why would you tell me you have a girlfriend! What if I was some evil psycho that targeted her to get to you!" Lucy almost wailed in frustration, not noticing how the security guards from the van were now in the process of collecting their abandoned goods.
So worked up was she, Lucy didn't even notice all the lovely items were gone until they were packing up and loading it away.
Her chin dropped almost comically when she realized her complete failure. It only made the Salamander wheeze and clutch his belly, making her want to kick him right in the head.
On second thought, that was exactly what she would do.
Lucy took one big step towards him before lifting her leg and throwing her whole body into the attack, torso dropping backwards.
The Salamander gripped her leg.
Maybe she hadn't thought this through.
His fingers dug tightly into her calf, and she found herself struggling to not lose her balance – and her dignity.
They must have remained like this for seconds at best, but time seemed to slow down for her with the sole purpose of prolonging her suffering. When he did finally let her go, she gasped and performed a complicated little dance to avert dropping onto her knees.
She almost didn't dare look at him, but when she slowly turned to face humiliation, he stood with his hands on his hips and his ever-present grin plastered onto his face.
Then, however, his stomach growled. Loudly.
Lucy almost praised the gods for having mercy on her and saving at least a little bit of humiliation for the hero as well.
Said hero slapped his belly loudly, gloved hands meeting red leather and creating a dull sound.
"Boy, I could really use some yoghurt right about now!" he teased, "Too bad you won't have some. Ya know – it's hero food."
The bastard wasn't even ashamed in the slightest. Instead, he resorted to teasing her again. Damned, stupid yoghurt!
He threw his hand up in a careless wave, dismissing her half formed snarls. She watched his lips curl up into a grin, flashing sharp teeth for a brief moment before he vaulted off, leaving her in a mess of broken and twisted metal.
"Salamander!" Lucy screeched at his back, hurtling a chunk of a still-smoldering car cushion at the back of his head, hissing furiously as it missed its mark by a wide margin.
She would hear his cackling for hours.
By the time Lucy made it back to her apartment, her own stomach was growling in a sad reminder that she had not eaten since earlier in the morning.
Despite what Salamander had earlier claimed, she knew she would not go hungry. Lucy had made certain of it the day before, doing all of her grocery shopping to beat the mad Friday rush before the weekend.
She was prepared with a fully stocked fridge and pantry. And more important than anything she had around – Lucy ensured she bought her favorite yoghurt to tide her over.
Hero food her butt.
"I'm home," she called once inside, toeing off her shoes and finally relaxing. Salamander aside, traffic had been awful.
And it wasn't like she could ride a bull wherever she wanted without drawing a lot of attention.
Getting no response, Lucy peered around to see where her pets were. One cat and dog were missing from around her feet, and Lucy knew she needed to investigate where they had gone.
She made her way into the living room, pausing as she spotted the source of her pets distraction. Her boyfriend was asleep on her couch, snoring loudly into one of the couch cushions and half buried by her pets. His arm was wrapped around her dog's middle, and it seemed he was using the poor creature as a kind of stuffed animal.
Her dog didn't really seem to mind all things considered.
Despite herself, and her slight disappointment of not having received a befitting greeting from neither of her loved ones, a warm smile spread across her face at the sight in front of her.
The dog, Plue, was happily drooling onto Natsu's leg. With an affectionate sigh and a shake of her head, Lucy decided to let her idiots rest for a little while longer.
They could always have a late dinner, and right now all she wanted anyways was peace, quiet and her yoghurt.
Damn, why did it seem like her obsession with yoghurt had grown throughout the last weeks?
She wasn't quite sure if it was because of Salamander's constant teasing or because of her boyfriend's habit to steal them from her.
Either way, she had rarely craved a banana-strawberry yoghurt as much as she did in this very moment.
Euphorically, she swung open the door to the fridge. It was bursting full.
From meat to cheese, milk, juice, vegetables and everything else the heart desired. Everything, except…
In a trance, Lucy stared at the spot where her yoghurts had stood. There was nothing. Not a single yoghurt. She had bought a whole pack of twelve yesterday! This was impossible!
Slowly, she made her way to the trash can and, with a kick of her foot that barely contained her anger, she stomped down on the little handle that opened it. Empty yoghurt cups and sloppily licked aluminum lids greeted her.
She was going to smother her adorable boyfriend for this ultimate act of betrayal.
Lucy stomped back over to the sleeping man, his face relaxed while thick locks of pink hair fell over into his eyes. For a moment she was weak as she contemplated letting him sleep in longer.
He had just gotten off a full day's shift at the station and often he didn't get to sleep at all while he was working.
Normally she would have let him rest and lectured him when he woke up, but she was still mad from her encounter with Salamander. And the smoky-scent which constantly came from her boyfriend was another reminder of her arch-nemesis.
"Natsu wake up!" She shook his shoulder, dislodging her dog in the process of her rough shake.
Plue gave her an extremely offended look when he landed on his rump, but it was nothing compared to Natsu.
His head lifted up from the armrest, his hair flattened totally on one entire side. A hazy smile slowly crept over his face and he looked at Lucy with such sleepy-adoration she almost felt bad.
"Hey Luce," He said thickly, eyelids sagging from exhaustion, but such a velvety soft smile on his face, Lucy actually began to feel guilty for waking him.
She would not be weak.
This time she would let him have it for eating all her yoghurt.
"You," she growled, and immediately Natsu seemed a lot more awake and a lot more scared, "You ate my yoghurts!"
Lifting his arms to protect himself from any potential attacks, Natsu flashed her an apologetic grin.
"I, uh, I had a craving."
"Damn right you did," Lucy hissed, "I have a craving too. Wanna know what I'm craving, Natsu?"
Hope flickered in Natsu's eyes as he turned his face up at her. "A welcome home kiss?"
Lucy felt the furious flame of her anger flicker as he looked at her with such innocent, hopeful eyes. But she concentrated on the source for her anger.
What a poor fool he was.
"Yoghurt, Natsu. I'm craving fucking yoghurt!" she cried, throwing her hands up into the air, "Or, you know actually, I'm craving to punch you all the way to the supermarket so you can replace what you stole!"
For a moment, Natsu simply blinked at her.
"Well, a kiss would've been a lot better if you ask me," he finally grumbled to himself.
Lucy felt the metaphorical steam puffing out of her ears. Her cat rubbed against her leg as she stood in front of the sofa, slowly calming down her breath. With a smile, she plucked it up and cuddled it to her chest.
"Hard day, huh?"
Sighing in response, Lucy finally sat down beside Natsu and Plue, who had long jumped back up onto the couch, grasping his unattended chance to chew on a pillow.
The cat was warm, the pillows were soft, and Natsu's arm settling around her shoulders made all of her worries puff away like smoke.
"Seriously Natsu, next time I'll show no mercy," she chided (as she always did).
Natsu simply puckered his lips again, lifting his eyebrows demanding, and this time Lucy complied with an amused smile.
His lips were soft despite being chipped, and a trace of strawberry and banana still clung to them.
Well, she had to take what she could get.
Despite the cuddles with Natsu and the near forgiveness over the travesty in her fridge, Lucy wasn't completely willing to forgive her boyfriend just yet.
Strawberry-banana was her favorite and as a proud member of the Supervillian's club, it wouldn't be in Lucy's nature if she didn't take revenge in some way.
Carefully, she filled a syringe with tobascco sauce and chili powder. With light fingers, she plunged the thin needle into the far edge of the foil in the packs of yoghurt she bought.
A tear almost rolled down her cheek at the criminal act she was committing against the innocent yoghurts.
"I'm so sorry," She whispered to them, expression pained as she laced each cup with her chilli sauce concoction, "It's for the greater good."
How ironic was it, that the only opportunity she had to actually eat the yoghurts, she was deliberately making them inedible. But for the sake of getting revenge on her boyfriend, it was well worth it.
She could hear him thumping around in the shower, and Lucy knew she had to hurry otherwise she would be caught.
Already she was wondering if the pay off of the prank would be worth it in the long run. She was missing an early morning shower with Natsu, she was ruining perfectly tasty sweets, and she was slinking around her own house like she was a criminal.
"You will suffer as I have," Lucy's dramatic whispers were cut off when the sound of running water through the pipes trailed to a finishing halt.
Hurrying, Lucy crammed the yoghurts back in their place, arranging them carefully in a neat stack and hurtling the syringe into a nearby potted plant.
"Ahh," Natsu sighed as he entered the kitchen mere moments later, clad in nothing but a towel, "You really should have come, Lucy!"
Oh, she really should have come. Now more than ever, she regretted having wasted this opportunity. Little droplets of water ran down his bare, freshly shaven chest, disappearing in his bellybutton. She refused to follow thier descend any further.
"I showered yesterday evening," she reminded him, "Besides, I was really hungry. I had breakfast, so… everything in the fridge is yours, now."
She smiled a deceitfully sweet smile, hoping her stomach would not choose now to rumble angrily. Luckily, it showed mercy for once, and remained quiet. She'd really have to stop at a bakery on her way to… whatever evil deed she would be doing today.
Natsu looked as if he considered dropping to his knees there for a second.
"Awesome!" he cheered, eyes lighting up. "Please tell me you left me some of your- uh, our yoghurts."
Happily tiptoeing to the fridge, poor Natsu remained unaware of the danger lingering behind its closed doors – or the evil grin that split his girlfriend's face in half as soon as he turned his back towards her.
So innocent and unsuspecting was he, Natsu didn't even pause to think about the pristine positioning of the yoghurts directly on the top shelf within his easy reach.
Her thieving boyfriend plucked one cup off the top and tore off the foil with such a gleeful look on his face, Lucy began to feel a little guilty over the sheer amount of trust he was displaying in her. Really, why would he think she would position all of her precious yoghurts directly where he could snatch all of them with his greedy fingers?
He was asking for it, really.
Biting her bottom lip to stop herself from squirming or letting out a mad cackle to give herself away, she watched Natsu plunge his spoon into the creamy surface. Her eyes widened as the utensil made its way into his mouth.
Muffling her giggle at the way the spoon froze in his mouth, she watched Natsu turning the yoghurt over to check the flavor. His face was expressionless as he read it, and Lucy wondered if all that chili powder had eliminated all use of his tongue.
A second passed, and Lucy's jaw dropped when a grin lit her boyfriends face and Natsu dug his spoon in again.
"Wow Luce! This is better than is usually is? It's not a new brand is it?" His muffled question came from around the spoon currently lodged in his mouth.
Her jaw dropped and she snatched the cup and spoon from his bewildered grasp.
"Lucy?" He asked, but was ignored when she scooped up a chunk of the yoghurt and plopped it into her own mouth. Natsu pouted over the thievery, and she could see his mouth opening to protest.
There had to be something wrong! She had put enough chili powder in this yoghurt cups to take down an elephant.
And sure enough…
Tears sprang into her eyes, and she coughed when heat flared in her mouth, her betrayed taste buds screaming over the injustice committed against them.
This was the exact moment she regretted having used a chili sauce that was literally called Satan's Blood, ranked number five of the world's hottest sauces. She had had to ransack no less than five asian supermarkets to find it!
Could she not simply have used Tabasco?
Such were her thoughts as she felt her tongue turn first to molten lava and then to ash, tears spilling onto her cheeks as the unbearable pain that came with incredible spiciness took a hold of her body.
This was it. The day she would die.
Killed by her own, chili-stained hands.
Making a mad dash for the sink, her last chance of survival, Lucy ripped the faucet open and dropped her whole head beneath the jet of water, greedily lapping at every last drop she could get a hold of.
Which, of course, was not her smartest idea to date. She knew water wasn't exactly the best way to combat death by combustion, but her pain-clouded mind seemed to possess a rather one tracked thought system.
She came to severely regret this decision. The sound that left her throat was barely more than a gurgled, cut-off wail, and she was surprised no flames erupted from her throat.
Her sight was blurry from the waterfalls being forced out of her eyes, the kitchen (and more importantly, the fridge) barely visible.
Ironically, she was about to be saved by the very person who had been the intended victim of the pain that was currently clawing up her throat and mangling her tongue.
This was what she had wanted to do to him?!
Had she known the sheer amount of pure torture chili sauce could bring forth by just a few drops, she probably would have minimized the amount before preparing her death trap.
But why, why had he not suffered like she did?
It was the question that raced through her mind even as he ushered her over to the fridge she kept pointing at, croaking for something, anything cold.
Ever helpful, a confused Natsu picked up another of the banana strawberry yoghurts of doom, holding it out to her with a questioning gaze.
He could have aswell held a gun to her head.
Backing away and shaking her head furiously, Lucy tried to hold back new tears, the pain was a little dimmer now, as if she had bitten down on a burning coal that was now glimmering away slowly on her tongue.
Wild eyes darted across the room, and none of Natsu's questions were answered, or even properly processed.
She had found the bread, greedily stuffing it into her mouth. It helped, even if little, and Lucy quietly continued sobbing the pain out of her body as she ripped off bite after bite.
Line: Natsu had sat down quietly beside her, patting her back and eyeing her worriedly, but it took him another five minutes before he actually spoke.
"Are…" Natsu hesitated, his eyes wide on her, "Are you okay?"
Lucy struggled around a mouthful of bread to stare at her boyfriend in horror. He was looking equally traumatized, no doubt unused to seeing his girlfriend lose ninety percent of her bodily fluids in the span of six seconds.
"No!" Lucy croaked, tears still streaming down her cheeks as she blindly accepted the crumbled up paper towel Natsu snagged. It was good, because she was only a few seconds away from ripping off Natsu's only covering to wipe her entire face with it. She was that desperate.
"Why aren't you in writhing agony!" She demanded, wiping her fists over her swollen eyes.
Now he looked very concerned, and a little disturbed – like her mental health was now in question.
"Why would I be?" He asked, arching an eyebrow at her, "All I was doing was eating yoghurt and suddenly you steal it, take a bite, and go all Exorcist on me."
"I didn't vomit pea soup," Lucy protested, pale and shivering over her horrible ordeal. She still couldn't believe she had tried to put Natsu through that. She could feel his hand on her head now, stroking sweaty locks of blond hair from her face with gentle fingers.
"No," Natsu admitted with a boyish laugh, "But that still might have been cool."
"I'd be the cutest undead possessed girlfriend you'd ever have," Lucy mumbled when he pulled her into his warm shoulder.
For a man who was barely clothed as he was, Natsu was awfully hot.
It was a fact about him she'd noticed more than once in the past, but just dismissed it to his temperature running that way. He was strange like that.
"I don't need any other cute undead possessed girlfriends other than you," Natsu gave her a strange look and squeezed her shoulder," So why would I be in pain again?"
Guiltily, Lucy squirmed in his gentle hold. Oh no, she was supposed to be pure evil. She wasn't supposed to feel bad about her attempted-near-murder of her adorable boyfriend.
Oh who was she kidding she loved the man and didn't want him to die like that. No! She had just wanted him to suffer… a little.
"I spiked the yoghurt with chili sauce to prank you," Lucy gave him an accusing pout, "But you just shrugged it off! You didn't even notice!"
Natsu's face froze into a motionless mask, and for a terribly long second Lucy thought he was seriously hurt by her actions, or worse, disappointed in her.
But then she watched his eyes widen as realization seemed to finally dawn on him, and to her surprise it was him that suddenly looked guilty.
Shouldn't that have been her part?
But his face only slipped for a second, and then morphed into one of exxagerated amusement.
"You what?" he snorted loudly, slapping his thigh as he threw his head back. Lucy watched him in disbelief, waiting for his laughter to die down.
An awkward pause followed.
"You know I love spicy food," Natsu quickly followed up, fidgeting slightly. He pouted at the bread basket. "I probably mistook the taste for a new ingredient – it tastes really good combined with the yoghurt flavour! Like the chili chocolate you can buy!"
Lucy considered this for a moment.
Her recent death struggle experience begged to differ.
"This wasn't just any chili sauce, Natsu," she deadpanned. "It was one of the world's hottest. A whole bottle could have knocked out an elephant."
"Is that so…" he mumbled rather pensively, avoiding her gaze. Then his head shot up. "I think I can feel it now! It is burning a little! Ouch!"
Demostratively, Natsu stuck his tongue out at her, pointing his index finger at the tip, "Dere."
Lucy blinked exactly once, slowly, unable to believe he was seriously trying to pull this with her. What was she, an idiot?!
There certainly seemed to be an idot in the room – but it definitely was not her.
Still, the fact that he had not reacted at all to her chili attack and now was trying to convince her he did, it was… odd.
Was he just trying to spare her feelings?
It seemed rather unlike Natsu. She'd imagined him more like the person who would have performed a victory dance while laughing at her failure.
Which she would have accepted any day – had she used the damned harmless tabasco sauce in the fridge.
But she hadn't.
Natsu was finishing his display, crossing his arms over his chest in satisfaction.
Now, he did indeed resort to the strategy she had thought befitting of him.
"My taste buds are just too strong for you, Lucy. Your plan failed!" he cackled.
Lucy stiffened. His behaviour, his self-pleased laughter, it seemed oddly familiar. But, no… that couldn't be.
All evil laughter sounded the same, didn't it? She bet she could pull it off just as well, if not better, considering she was the villain here – mad cakling was her domain.
Slowly, Lucy relaxed. She'd let the thought go for now – but not without filing it away for later.
There was a terrible suspicion creeping up on her, but it was so impossibly ridiculous that she had an easy time spomping it far, far down into a grave of chili sauce yoghurt.
At least that's where it would have gone, had Natsu not stretched out, rising up to loop his hands around the towel covering his trim hips.
He turned back towards the discarded cup of yoghurt on the counter, plunged his spoon back into the horrible mess she had made and plopped another dollop into his mouth.
"Besides, yoghurt is totally the food of heroes," He said with a cheesy grin. One that had Lucy's soul cracking in half with horror, "Chili sauce has no effect on it!"
The half formed thoughts she didn't want to acknowledge, reformed in her brain, as she watched those cocky lips wrap around his spoon and his frustratingly familiar pink hair droop over his eyes.
The food of heroes…
It couldn't be.
She wanted to wail in absolute horror, over the fact that her hated arch nemesis could be her adorably annoying and loving boyfriend.
"Ha, Luce you okay?" Natsu asked, offering the nearly empty yoghurt cup to her. His eyes glinted with a glee that was nothing short of devilish, "Want some?"
Unable to think any longer, Lucy jerked to her feet, a rushed 'Igottago' spilling from her mouth as she all but sprinted away from her boyfriend.
It had been two weeks since the incident that might just change Lucy's life forever.
It all depended on the test.
And today the day had finally come; the day she both dreaded and awaited with an eerie sense of excitement.
She'd been dropping hints to Salamander every single time they'd met, reminding him that villains loved to display psychotic tendencies and that he'd better take good care of this girlfriend he had mentioned.
At first Salamander had laughed at her, but she'd kept at it, making sure that at least on some level her threats would stick and bury themselves in his mind.
"Alright," she spoke to herself, nodding as she collected her determination. Summoning her power from deep within, Lucy held a golden key out in front of her. "Gate of the Twin's Key, Gemini, I summon you!"
Blazing light erupted from the key, enveloping it and temporarily blinding her. When she regained sight, blinking against the black dots dancing in her vision, she smiled at the Spirit standing in front of her.
What she saw was a carbon copy of herself – wearing very skimpy clothes.
"Really, Gemini," she chided, "I look amazing, but anything less and I'd be naked! We don't want to seduce him."
With a sigh, Gemini snapped her fingers, changing into something a little more appropriate for the occasion.
Which was, of course, to fool her arch enemy/possible boyfriend into thinking she was about to be kidnapped by….herself.
Except, of course, Salamander did not know that Lucy was the same person as the villain he fought on an almost daily basis.
She could do this. She could totally do this.
Or she could give her boyfriend the heart attack of his life in the process if he didn't turn out to be the Salamander.
But she had to know. It was driving her into madness without knowing for certain. So she made sure to leave the room in immaculate condition, which was extremely unusual considering who her boyfriend was.
It was like the reverse of a struggle.
Far more suspicious in her books, and at least their bedroom looked nice.
She left out a tiny postcard on their carefully fluffed pillows, the type out having a simple message in black ink on a plain white cardstock.
"Salamander – If you want to see your girlfriend alive and unharmed, you will come see me infront of the Rainbow Cherry Blossom Tree. – C"
It wasn't like he would remember her real name anyway if she had written it down, Lucy scowled in frustration.
"Come on Gemini, lets get out of here," She donned her mask and outfit, heading towards the window with her prize in tow, "We have a date with Salamander."
Nerves ricocheted in her gut. Lucy honestly had no idea how things were going to go.
And if Natsu turned out to be her arch nemesis? Then what?
Would they break up? Would he be done with her once he discovered who she was?
Lucy let out a mental shriek as the indecision almost made her drop Gemini as they clambered along rooftops to the designated spot.
This was not an ingenuous plan. This was a terrible idea.
All of her other plans were perfect. Perhaps they weren't Salamander-proof, but Lucy truly didn't think anything was.
The thought made her smile despite herself, but when she realized what she was doing she quickly focused on turning her face into a mask of neutrality.
It was too late now.
Her plan was in action.
As soon as they arrived at the cherry tree, Lucy began tying her doppelgänger to it, careful to not tie the rope too tightly around the tree. The last thing she wanted was to see red marks on her immaculate skin.
…or to hurt Gemini.
Nodding to her fake version one last time, Lucy grabbed the bag she had brought with her and climbed into the treetop, where she sat very still as she waited for something to happen.
Part of her hoped he wouldn't come. That Natsu was not Salamander, and that maybe he would show up as she knew him, with his wide pants and messy hair, and that he would lose his shit when he met the actual Salamander.
She knew he was a fan – he'd said so himself, but had not talked much more about him when Lucy had made it clear from her reaction that she was not one of the Salamander fangirls. In the light or recent events, Lucy realized he might have very well been praising himself.
The fact that this definitely sounded like Natsu to her made her groan silently.
Her busy thoughts were suddenly interrupted when she heard an all too familiar voice shouting her name.
There was a wave of heat, and the thumping of heavy boots across the ground. Both were clear enough signs for Lucy to peer through the branches and take a look at who had come. Because now that she was paying attention, she couldn't tell the difference between Salamander and Natsu's voice.
Sure enough though, there he stood. That ridiculous visor and draconic helmet, the red leather jacket and black gloves. The black pants and boots.
Salamander had come, and by the scorching trail he was leaving behind his stomping feet, he was pissed.
"Celery! Where are you!" He roared out, his hands balled up into shaky fists, "Where's Lucy!"
She looped down from one of the branches and gave him an angry scowl, "Celery? Really! I've told you a thousand times! My name is Cele–!"
"Where's Lucy!" Salamander shouted over her, and Lucy thought she could feel his burning glare even through his visor. It seemed she had made him very angry with this stunt.
That was fine. Her plan was playing out flawlessly for a change.
She pointed down at the tree and sighed dramatically, hoping Gemini remembered their very crucial role in all of this.
"Why don't you look for yourself numskull, she's right there, no harm done," She gestured towards the tree trunk.
Salamander looked at Lucy for the longest time, but dismissed whatever he was thinking behind that visor and raced towards the copy.
He was busy burning away the ropes tying her down, his relief that his girlfriend was alive and in one piece practically coming off him like a physical aura.
"Lucy," he breathed, pulling her into a tight embrace as soon as no more rope were binding her.
The real Lucy, still up in the tree, felt an unfamiliar jab of jealousy stab at her. He was supposed to be hugging her, not some copy. But of course, this was part of her plan.
And it confirmed her fears….
Clearly, right in front of her. He was carefully stroking the hair out of Gemini's frightened face, and Lucy had to resist the urge to jump down right then and there.
Lucy Heartfilia's boyfriend was the Salamander.
What would happen now?
The final confirmation of what she had been suspecting all along made her freeze on her branch, watching the couple beneath her in a trance.
Until Salamander– Natsu looked up, lips pulled back as an angry snarl left him.
"Why did you do this?! I thought we were friends!"
"Friends?" Lucy replied in disbelief, "We're enemies! Did you forget that I'm the villain here? It's a good thing I reminded you, then!"
"But you're– But I always thought…" Natsu stumbled over his words, pulling what he thought was his girlfriend closer against his side. His lips pressed into a thin line, then. "Nevermind. Maybe you're right."
"Or not," The Lucy-copy mumbled at Salamander's side. Lucy watched Natsu turn his head to the side just long enough to see Gemini's eyes go black and round, before her hand lifted, carrying the weapon of her choice, hidden behind her back.
Salamander, too caught up in his 'rescue,' hadn't noticed it.
And it was too late for him to react fast enough to Gemini's strike.
The open cup of yoghurt smashed into his visor, the crumpled can oozing down his shocked face and slapping loudly on his gaping chin.
Lucy swung her legs from the tree branch and lifted her spirit's key, splitting them back into their spirit form. "Good job guys!" She praised them and smirked at Natsu as he gaped up at her in confusion.
"Wha–…" The fearsome Salamander stuttered, completely thrown off by his girlfriend exploding into one of Celery's spirits.
"What's wrong Natsu?" Lucy asked, jumping down from the tree to land in front of her arch nemesis boyfriend, "I thought you said yoghurt was the food of heroes."
It looked like whatever went on in his head broke, and mechanically, he lifted his hands to either sides of his helmet and slowly pulled it off. Lucy figured since she clearly knew who he was anyway, he hadn't seen the harm in showing his face now.
And there he was. Her boyfriend's stunned face, staring at her like she had grown three heads. He licked his lips, his eyes growing impossibly wider.
"Chili sauce–" The helmet slipped out of his hands and Lucy thought his jaw was about to unhinge, "Lucy!?"
"Lucy, you're Celery sticks!" He demanded loudly, jabbing his finger at her.
Heart hammering in her chest, Lucy slowly took of her own mask.
"Yeah. I am."
The two unmasked heroes stared at each other, one shocked, the other now incredibly nervous.
"I couldn't believe it myself…" Lucy slowly started, fighting to not break eye contact. "But after that yoghurt incident, and you saying it was, you know…. the food of heroes…"
Lucy laughed sadly, clutching the mask in her hands. Natsu kept staring at her, jaw unhinged.
"You're Lucy," he repeated, one hand tangling into his sweaty hair.
No matter in which direction Lucy's thoughts wandered, they always grinded to a halt at the same question:
"Well, this is awkward," she said, trying to keep an aura of cool and control, "Guess this complicates things a little. A hero and a villain… not exactly the perfect match."
Suddenly panic flashed in Natsu's eyes, and it took her aback.
"Are you… Lucy, are you breaking up with me?!" he asked in shock, very obviously scared, and Lucy wasn't sure if she wanted to cry or laugh.
He didn't want her to break up with him?
"No!" she quickly reassured, but then faltered, "I mean, I just assumed you might not want to be with me now that you know who I am. I'm not the Lucy you thought you loved. I'm a villain."
Then, to her great surprise, Natsu laughed. She looked back at him in confusion, not really sure what was happening anymore. She furrowed her brows, chanelling her emotions into anger. "What?!"
"I've told you, haven't I?" Natsu laughed, seeming horribly relieved all of a sudden, "You're the worst villain ever."
"What!" Lucy screeched, her face going red at how he was now doubled over and wheezing, "D-don't look so relieved! I'm evil! A villain!"
"S-s-sure you are!" Natsu laughed hard, arms wrapping around his side and tears pricking at his eyes, "A villain. Man, that's a good one."
"I'm a great villain," Lucy argued sullenly, "I tricked you didn't I?"
Natsu sobered immediately and his eyes flashed over towards her, his brow furrowing.
"Yeah, you did. That wasn't very nice of you Lucy," He pouted. One step advanced the other, and Lucy blinked when she found herself suddenly backed up against the trunk of the tree she had previously tied Gemini to.
Except this time, she was trapped against it, caged in by Natsu's body, mantled over hers with his arms over her head.
"I think that's the meanest thing you've ever done as Celery," His voice dropped to a low growl, his forehead dropping against hers to tease their noses together, "You gave me quite the fright."
"I also gave you plenty of warnings," Lucy whispered back at him, "Not my fault you didn't listen."
His face dropped even closer, Lucy's eyelids fluttering from the effort to keep looking at him, so close in her space. Leave it to Natsu to not know what personal bubbles were.
"This is true," Natsu's mouth drifted across hers, teasing her lips with his own, a huff of laughter brushing across her cheeks, "Luckily I have you watching my back, huh…?"
No. This wasn't fair, he wasn't supposed to turn the tables on her like this.
He wasn't supposed to make her grow weak like this. Lucy bit her bottom lip, his eyes riveting down onto the motion and breaking the spell he had over her.
"What if I don't want to be a hero?" she goaded back at him, her lips pulling into a smile.
"What if I told you you'd get yoghurts?" he retorted, grinning down at her.
Lucy pouted, considering his offer.
"Well, you know, this is rather tempting," she agreed, "My boyfriend keeps stealing mine."
"Maybe your boyfriend thought they were a shared possession."
Lucy almost snorted, sarcasm rolling off her in waves without her having to say anything at all.
"But you know what really interests me?" she finally asked, keeping a safe distance to the lips that she wanted more and more to touch hers. "Do heroes get paid in anything else than yoghurt?"
"50k," Natsu deadpanned, "100 if you're S-Class."
"Wait what," Lucy spluttered, hands on his chest as she pushed him back in outrage, "You guys actually get paid?!"
"What did you think?" Natsu mocked, "That I live off the love and admiration of the people alone?"
"B-but– That's more than I make!" she screamed, pointing an accusatory inger at him.
"All the more reason to come to the good side," Natsu beckoned, opening his arms towards her. Then, after a small pause, he added, "Also, I could tell everyone my girlfriend is a hot hero."
"Seriously, Natsu?" Lucy started, but her bickering was cut short when his hands settled on her hips and he pushed her up against the tree again, not hesitating this time.
She saw him grinning, feeling his thumb stroke along her cheek, before he kissed her with surprising emotion.
Before she knew it, she'd melted into the kiss, one hand teasing the short hair at the nape of his neck. He sighed happily against her after breaking the contact of their lips, smiling against her skin.
"Yknow, Celery is a good kisser," he rasped, "It'd be a shame to let that go to waste. I don't know if heroes are allowed to kiss villains…"
"Will I get fifty percent of your pay?"
"What?" he asked a little high-pitched, most likely a little offended that she had changed topics so easily.
"If I become a hero, on top of my pay I want half of yours," she clarified, taking his head into her hands and smiling up at him, "And yoghurts."
"That's some devious bargaining, not very hero-like to me," Natsu grumbled, nose skimming sulkily across her cheek. Lucy righted his head so he was forced to look at her, his bottom lip jutting out in a pout, "Lucyyyyy!"
"The yoghurts are non-negotiable," Lucy gave him a firm look, one that had his face breaking out into a smile.
"You drive a hard bargain you villain," Natsu mumbled, but bent his head down to accept her lips in another kiss. This one slower, and savory than the last. She smiled into it, feeling his arms firm around her hips, his chest against hers.
At once he pulled away from her, leaving her feeling bereft of his heat and warmth. She wanted to protest his sudden disappearance, when he turned around and went searching through the grass.
"Uhm, hello? Thought we were having a moment here?" Lucy complained at his leather-clad back, her head tilting to look at what he was scrambling around in the dirt for.
He let out a victorious sounding growl and straightened up, the smashed yoghurt cup in his hand from before.
He turned towards Lucy, his eyes wild and excited. Slowly he advanced back to her and sank down on one knee, offering the yoghurt cup with all of its sloppy contents into the air.
"Celery, will you do be the honor of being my partner in crime?" He proposed, his eyes wide and hopeful on her.
Natsu looked ridiculous, crouched in the grass with a smashed yoghurt cup in his gloved hands, looking at her as if he was proposing marriage of all things.
The way he held the cup made it seem as if it were a diamond ring, precious and a symbol of their love.
Lucy sighed, supposing it was in this case.
"Yes Salamander. I will, but you should know my name isn't Celery. It's–!"
But she didn't have time to correct him, because Natsu had rushed back up to his feet, his mouth finding hers in an eager, excited kiss that had her forgetting everything she had just said.
He could keep the damn yoghurt.
If they were to be partners in crime – or rather, not-crime – she guessed she'd have to learn to share her yoghurts. She couldn't have found anyone more worthy to share them with.
As long as they ditched the chili sauce.
This was a oneshot request for a warm up. Snoggy was writing for The Devil's Advocate, but ah... I (Mslead) distracted her. Now you have this! This, interesting... fever dream :D Let us know what you thought about our fic tennis! It's all mixed together!