He couldn't believe it at all. He knew his onyx-colored orbs were playing a cruel trick on him. He knew this couldn't be true. He knew it had to be a farce. Yet, he hoped for the opposite.
He hoped his onyx colored orbs weren't playing a cruel trick on him.
He hoped this was be true.
He hoped it wasn't a farce.
Lucky for him, it was all utterly… undeniable true.
Lucy Heartfilia- his beloved Lucy Heartfilia - was in front of him. She was laughing the same laugh that would slip from her mouth years ago. Her hair continued to be as silky-looking as ever, and her chocolatey brown eyes jumped with joyousness.
Nothing had changed except for two things: time had passed, and she was more stunning… more beautiful… more goddess-like than ever.
"It's been a while," Lucy managed to say in between giggles, "since I've been able to laugh like that. You haven't lost your touch, my friend." She wiped a few tears that trickled from her large eyes and let out a sigh of relief. "I didn't think I'd stop laughing, you know."
"I-I know what you mean, I guess," Natsu chuckled and casually whistled make each note higher to emphasize his point, "Time sure has passed, hasn't it?"
Lucy smiled nostalgically in compliment to her russet eyes that shimmered and held memories of the two since childhood and up until high school. "It has hasn't it? Time sure does fly fast when you're having fun."
In response to this, the addressed person frowned at the blonde. "Fly fast?" he inquired with doubt evidently staining his voice, "You must have been the one having fun; for everyone else, these last five years seemed to be an eternity with you gone."
"Having fun, huh?" she wondered as she supported her head on her hand that rested against the table, "Well, it's not like I haven't had any."
"I'm engaged now; to a guy in my town… his name's Sting. We're living together, and I'm trying to find my possibility for pregnancy."
With a small pout, Lucy sighed tiredly and lifted her head to stir the espresso in front of her. The former, expecting her pink-haired friend to say something, remained quiet and continued to stare at the swirling coffee in front of her. By the time the castaneous-colored drink had made the white cream part of itself, Lucy realized Natsu hadn't been planning on contributing to the rest of the conversation.
She sighed once more before grabbing the white tea-cup in front of her and, failed to notice that Natsu couldn't help but notice every single little thing she did.
Every sip she procured.
Every breath she seized.
Every word she said.
And every laugh she broadcasted.
Lucy, finally having noticed Natsu staring at her, lowered her espresso-filled cup to its saucer and bent her head to where her right shoulder was. "Is anything wrong?" she asked with a voice bursting with naivety.
He hated to say it.
To think it.
To admit it.
But everything was wrong no matter how perfect he had initially thought it was.
It wasn't Natsu that had brought her back. It wasn't him. It was the damn wedding between Gray and Juvia that, out of nowhere, was planned. An invitation was sent out to Lucy, and that was the only invitation she wanted to accept. Not even his letters, or his calls, but a bloody invitation to a stripper's and stalker's wedding.
And that wasn't all. He had prepared to meet her and expect changes from her. Changes like… a new haircut, maybe a little older looking, hell, with a new boyfriend, perhaps.
He'd prepared himself for all.
For everything other than seeing her with a ring on her finger, recently engaged and, possibly, pregnant. He was ready for all, but not for this.
Natsu's attention towards her situation quickly shattered when he saw the lovely blonde in front of his face.
During his thought process, she had stood up from her chair and bent over their table. Being her usual clumsy self, the slopping of their drinks inside their cups indicated that she had moved the table as she found her way to Natsu's distracted-looking face.
Lucy didn't have a new haircut, longer hair, yes, but not a new haircut. If it was possible, she looked younger. Also, bloody hell, she didn't have a new boyfriend, she had a bloody new fiancé.
She had slipped out of his hands, and he hadn't noticed.
It wasn't until today that he saw her as a true woman.
A woman that was no longer his to keep.
Natsu blushed when he gathered all of himself together. He could feel his face getting redder by the second in an almost gradient like fashion that spread from the bottom of his chin to the tip of his ears. The only white thing were his knuckles since he had been tightening both his hands in embarrassment in determination to make something white.
"Your face is red."
Why was she so observant? It had Natsu wanting to pull his hair out!
Lucky wrinkled her eyebrows as well. They were…what was that word girls today used? Oh! They were "on fleek." "Hey!" Lucy puffed up her cheeks indignantly before sitting down and crossing her arms resentfully as well, "I asked you something and you didn't even bother to answer!"
The rouge of Natsu's face, finally, reduced in intensity, though slowly. Embarrassed, he let out a small awkward chuckle. He put his right hand behind his head and inquired, "Really? I'm sorry, I've been tired lately with all this work in the office, and I'm pretty sure you remember how hard Gajeel is when things don't come out his way, and with Gray and Juvia's wedding going on, things have been-"
"Natsu," Lucy interrupted sternly. Her eyes, no longer soaring with bliss, were filled with authority that, immediately, shot down any sort of plan he had for leaving in that same instance, "Don't you want to know what I was asking you?"
"Well- I mean… if it's important to you then I guess I can-"
"What's wrong with you?" the woman's thick elegant voice had diminished to nothing and was replaced with the voice of that of a police officer demanding answers from a suspect.
Natsu sighed and looked out the window of the café they were at. There was a small amount of people because of the downpour of rain that had been lasting days. "Do you really want to know?" he sighed sticking his hands into the pockets of his army green parka and staring at the people desperate to reach their homes soon. "Why the hell do you think I'm asking? Idiot, of course I want to know!"
Without a noise, Natsu stood from his chair, and its legs caused a bone-chilling scrape to emanate from the tile floor.
Ouch, Lucy thought, that would certainly leave a mark on the tile.
She stared in awe as she saw him carelessly throw a small wad of bills on the table, and, with his hand, he beckoned for her to follow him outside. Careful as to not scrape the floor as Natsu had, Lucy stood up and followed him, a puzzled expression acting as a wrapper for her face.
Politely, she bowed in an appreciative manner to the wide-eyed cashiers and thanked them for the delicious food. The aforementioned women nodded their heads slowly as they stared at the couple who were now standing under a black umbrella.
Lucy breathed in the moist air the rain was leaving behind and hummed in tune to the pattering of the rain. "Hey, Natsu…"
"I'll answer your question right now," he sighed, "Let me give you a tour of this street first right now." He smiled cheekily.
"Then you'll answer my question?"
"Great!" he exclaimed happily and began to hold his umbrella with this right hand so he could point to the left. "That's Hargeon Street where we…?"
Lucy nodded and waited for him to go on.
"My tour comes with a quiz," he informed her awkwardly.
"O-Oh," Lucy muttered, "Hargeon Street is where we first met, right?" She looked up at him hoping to see his reaction.
He laughed favorably in response to her and nodded his head. "Up ahead is Magnolia where we…?"
"Met the rest of the gang!" Lucy exclaimed jumping up in the air and landing on the wet cement. Having misplaced her boots in the landing, she slipped and through herself at Natsu. Natsu, barely, was able to catch her in a hug-like action. They stayed like that momentarily before Lucy pushed herself off quickly.
"I-I'm sorry!" she stammered, her face a dark rouge.
"N-no, it's fine!" a slight blush was what covered the nervous Natsu, "L-let's get on with it, yeah?"
Having seen Lucy nod her head, Natsu continued, "On Magnolia we also…?"
"Formed Fairy Tail."
"We went to school to...?"
"There we met…?"
Natsu shrugged, "Ehh… your score was okay… You could've done better than 4/5 though; that's literally eighty percent."
Lucy laughed. "Yeah, sure, whatever," she replied with a wave of her hand and a careless shrug, "I went along with your little 'test' now go along with my question."
Strangely enough, Natsu's silence encouraged Lucy to continue. "What's wrong with you?" the question that left her mouth (or kissable lips as Natsu surely thought) came out as a demand.
"Nothing," was Natsu's simple response.
"Nothing, huh?" she raised an eyebrow at him.
"Nothing," he said, "Why would you think that?"
"You haven't said my name."
Natsu noticed there weren't any more people on the street, and cars had ceased to pass by as well. "Geez, sorry, Lucy! It's just, we're friends so I was pretty sure we don't really need to be calling each other by our first names."
"I guess you're right," she supposed, "but it's not wrong either. I've been calling you Natsu."
"It's your choice," he shrugged carelessly and looked up ahead towards the street.
"Let me rephrase my reason for thinking that you're acting weird then," Lucy countered, "You haven't said my nickname."
"Which one?" he smiled naively, "I gave you a bunch of ones. Remember? In kindergarten, you were stupid blonde, elementary you were girly, middle school you were big breasts, and high school you were…" Natsu's words trailed off before he unconsciously muttered, "Luce…"
Lucy smiled, "I'm glad you still remember it…"
Lucy continued to walk, but the feeling of raindrops falling on her told her that her company had stopped. She turned on her feel and faced the salmon-haired man before her. He was staring at her intently and his black eyes shone with a fiery determination. A determination so big… so strong… it seemed obstinate.
The blonde frowned and somewhat disfigured her feminine face, "Is something else wrong, Natsu?"
"Yeah," he bravely said, "I haven't technically actually answered you first question."
"You don't say!" Lucy's answer was sarcastic, "What's the answer if you're all of a sudden willing to share it? Hurry up, yeah? I'm getting wet." She sneezed as if to prove her point.
"Before that, do you still love me? Are you in love with that Sting guy?"
Impatiently, Lucy sternly answered back, "No, I don't love you like that anymore; I'm head over heels for Sting."
With the same impetuous look in his eyes, Natsu continued to say, "Now ask me those questions."
"Why the hell wou-"
"Just do it."
"Are you in a relationship?" Lucy crossed her arms across her bosom and asked as if the question bored her; it was a simple façade she had decided to show in an attempt to hide her curiosity.
"No," Natsu answered simply, "I had a small thing going on with Lisanna after communication between you and I stopped, but that ended quickly."
"I'm not sure why I needed that piece of info, but it seems we're done here and my initial question wasn't even answered," Lucy answered with a shake of her head, "Hurry up now, I'm getting wet, and I don't want to show up to Juvia's wedding tomorrow as the 'incredibly sick Maid of Honor.'"
Her salmon-haired friend 'tsked' in response to the statement, "You're forgetting a question."
"Don't play dumb; your hair color has no kind of correlation with your intellectual level, so don't start acting like it does."
For a moment, nothing could be heard but the sound of pattering beads of rain that collapsed to the pavement in all but grace and the abrupt, rather lonesome, sound of a car that had happened to whizz by.
Lucy drew a generous breath of the air, and let the humidity of it intoxicate her lungs causing her to become lightheaded. She clamped her hands into tight fists, and her long nails dug in to her oh-so-delicate skin that she had cared for for innumerable months. She tightened her eyes in reply to the pain that came from the red half-moons now embossed into her hands. She needed courage, and seeing that she didn't have alcohol to do that, this was the best she had. With a face clearly marking embarrassment in a largely concentrated hue of red, she blurted out rather meekly, "D-do you still like me?"
Natsu tucked in his left hand in his parka's pocket, and looked up at the monotonous sky daubed with a monochrome of greys. He let out a sigh of sarcastic disappointment and walked towards his friend.
Damn. She was hotter when she was flustered.
"Don't worry," he chuckled as he stood by her side, "I'm over you; I've been over you."
Though they stood by each other, Lucy couldn't see Natsu's face; she was facing downtown, and he was facing uptown. It was natural that what she yearned to see the most in that precise moment was the expression he held as he said those carefree words.
"Natsu I-" Lucy spun around unable to control her curiosity, "That's great-"
She had planned for the words 'Now we can be incredibly good friends as we were before, right?' to flow out of her mouth. However, she had decided to fulfill her wish and take a good look upon his face.
She was stupid.
Deep down, she knew she shouldn't have.
Yet she didn't.
And now, things were sure to complicate themselves.
He had a smile on his face. But it contradicted the downhearted look his onyx eyes detained in his very iris. "Hey, who told you I'm done talking?" he chuckled sadly as he look down on her, and realizing she was becoming wetter by the second, he moved his ebony umbrella over her head, "What I said just now, the whole 'Don't worry. I'm over you; I've been over you' speech is what I would've pulled off if you had asked me back at the café. But now-"
The blonde shook her head and pleading muttered out, "No… please… please stop. I'll do anything just-"
With his free hand, Natsu grabbed her shoulder and looked straight into her amber eyes. "Lucy, listen to me. I promise that you can slap me, hit me, punch me all you like after this. I just need you to-"
"I love you!" he managed to raise his voice and drown out hers, "I kept telling myself I didn't, that I was over you for five and a half years, Lucy! I- My heart beats just as fast for you as it did back in high school and part of college, and goddammit! How many times do I have to tell you," he flung his hand in the air for emphasis, "I still bloody love you and I don't know how many times I need to tell you just to get out of my chest!"
"Natsu I… look I…" Lucy looked around the street hoping to find someone…anyone… to help her out of the situation.
"I'm not over you," Natsu held Lucy's wrist and said in a husky voice that Lucy was nowhere near familiar with, "That's what's wrong with me."
He had said it. He had admitted it, and Lucy was scared of the situation she was in. She had never expected this to happen. She came back, not only for the wedding, but because she had thought Natsu would be okay with seeing her despite their past relationship. She shook her fast quickly and in denial. Droplets of water flew off her blonde hair. "N-No! Natsu, don't lie to yourself! You don't love me anymore! You don't! You don't! You don't!"
"Who are you to tell me how I feel?" her friend yelled back, "You left without a warning! You never returned my texts or my calls or anything!"
"WE COULDN'T JUST CONTINUE OUR RELATIONSHIP! NATSU, YOU KNOW WHO I AM AND MY RESPONSABILITIES! AT THAT MOMENT WE COULDN'T JUST BE TOGETHER! I HAD TO-"
Lucy never finished her sentence. Natsu had interrupted her, not with a rebuttal, not with a scolding or a yell; he silenced her with a kiss, and the only thing that was heard, besides the rain, was the sound of black umbrella clattering noisily to the ground.
For Lucy, everything played in slow motion, as it would in a movie, and memories engulfed blank mind:
Her first kiss with Natsu.
The time they rented a cabin in the mountains together.
The time she snuck out her mansion in the middle of the night with him.
Their first time that very night.
Everything that was soon to happen would be exactly like her books' descriptions. She'd be feeling weak to her knees. She'd struggle to stop kissing him. She wouldn't care about her conscious, and she'd want more of him. Every little part was true. Especially the bit that said she'd struggle to stop. She tried, but she couldn't.
Natsu's right hand was grasping her hair making her damp hair even more tangled (she'd worry about that later), and his left hand held her back and pressed her against his firm body that was becoming as wet as she was. Her knees wanted to collapse under her weight, so she grabbed a fistful of her "friend's" pink hair for support as if his strong arm wasn't enough. Despite the scent of the rain, she could still very well recognize Natsu's strong aroma of cinnamon and just a small hint of his Armani cologne.
His lips were warm, and to Lucy's cold ones, it was heaven for her. Natsu's lips enveloped hers desperately... anxiously as if he were terrified of the idea of her leaving him again. Their lips were moving in sync. Both sides seemed to be eager, and Lucy was near collapsing. To her own chagrin and delight, the kiss could only be regarded as perfect.
It'd been one year since she realized she possibly still loved Natsu.
Six months since she was engaged.
Three years since she was dating her fiancé.
And five and half years since she'd been kissed like she was now.
As cliché as it sounded, how could something so wrong feel so right? However, it didn't take Lucy too long before she came to her senses. She had to stop. She was here for a wedding. Not for hers but for Gray's and Juvia's wedding. Before her emotions could tell her otherwise, Lucy found the strength to stop grabbing onto Natsu's hair and used her hands to push him away from her.
She stared at the wet pavement she was standing on and balled her hands into fists and the sharp pain she felt told her that her nails had successfully engraved half-moons onto her palms once more. She could feel tears welling up in her eyes. What had she just done? She had been seconds away from completely throwing away her three year relationship with her fiancé simply because of her high school, college, and low-key, childhood sweetheart.
"L-Luce… I-" Natsu struggled to find the right words to have flow out of his mouth.
"YOU WHAT?" Lucy finally managed to find her voice and scream, "YOU WHAT? NATSU DRAGNEEL, I'LL HAVE YOU KNOW I AM COMPLETELY DONE WITH YOUR ANTICS! FIRST YOU DECIDE TO TELL ME HOW I FEEL, KISS ME OUT OF NOWHERE, AND THEN…" the girl's voice wavered and her tears joined the falling raindrops, "and then… you decide to call me 'Luce.' Why now of all times?"
"Just slap me, hit me, and punch me all you like. I said you could before didn't I?" Natsu braced himself for what he expected to come. His face was blank in an attempt to hide the pain he felt for having hurt her.
"Y-you… you really think hitting you is going to me feel better?" more tears flowed, "Well damn you, Dragneel. I can see you're one insensitive jerk. A hot headed, insensitive jerk that has nothing but crap spewing out of his mouth every time he speaks."
"Leave me alone," Lucy glowered at him with eyes full of hatred, "Don't give me any excuse, and don't try to win me back. Don't try anything, because I swear I'll kill you if I ever have the chance." She looked up at his face and found him looking dead with grief.
It was the same look he had on his face at the airport five and a half years ago.
Before she could regret what she had said… what she had done, the blonde turned on her heels and walked away. However, after her first few steps, she found another excuse to stay. Without turning around to face her ex, she said, "By the way, thanks for the espresso." Having said that and finding no other reasonable excuse, she resumed her path, but, instead of walking like she had before, she ran.
To nowhere in particular.
Which hurts more? Seeing or trying to forget?
Answer is neither.
Nothing hurts more than not being able to do either.
Sorry for this incredible mediocre piece of you-know-what. I was listening to "Not Over You" by Gavin Degraw the other day and my instinct and love for Nalu just kicked in so this thing happened. Well, thanks for reading this and I hope you can favorite me and my story if you haven't. And maybe, just maybe, leave a review in the box below! Please? I really love reviews and hearing what you guys think so pretty please with a cherry on top? I'm sorry, I'm such a kid sometimes. Oh well, xD please review if you can/want to and press those favorite and follow buttons!
With lots of love,