Chapter Two: Date?
The two teens walked the rest of the way to the nearest Pokéstop. As if by fate, it happened to be right over a restaurant. Lucy was fairly new to the area, so she hadn't been there before, but Natsu assured her they had the best burgers in town. With his guarantee, Lucy and Natsu ended up eating at a restaurant called, 'Fairy Tail'.
The hostess was a cheerful woman with long white hair. She led the two to a booth in the back, giving them more privacy than they needed. Lucy deduced that the woman must have thought they were together, but she didn't bother saying anything. She liked the secluded area anyway.
After they were seated, the hostess walked off. Lucy and Natsu quickly checked into the Pokéstop, each gathering a few Poké balls and other various items. It would refresh in five minutes, allowing them to reap the benefits all over again. The Lure Module was no longer active, but that hardly mattered to Lucy now.
"So," Natsu said as he set his phone down on the table. He didn't know what to say to her, so he decided to stick with a safe topic. "Where do you go to school, Luce?" He was unaware that he said her name wrong, having heard it incorrectly due to the loud truck passing by when she introduced herself.
Lucy didn't correct him, secretively liking the way it sounded. She didn't know if it was due to the nickname, or the fact that he was the one who said it, but she liked it regardless. She could always tell him her real name later.
"I'm a sophomore at Magnolia High." She leaned in, hoping her smile wasn't too eager. "What about you?"
"I go there, but I'm a junior." Natsu cocked his head before setting his hands by his phone. "How come I've never seen you there before?"
"I just moved here when the second semester started." Which was about a month ago. "I haven't really been social since starting. So far I only have one friend at school," she admitted, realizing it might make her seem lonely. She honestly wasn't since she had a great friend like Levy. "There's a few others I'm friendly with, but I wouldn't call them friends yet..."
"I'll be your friend," Natsu offered, his teeth absentmindedly chewing on his bottom lip. "If you want..." He could feel goosebumps dotting his arms as he did his best not to fumble over his words. He couldn't help but wonder who her friend was, figuring it was probably her boyfr—
"I'd love that," Lucy said, not caring that her voice got lighter all of a sudden. She recognized it being similar to Levy's when she spoke to Gajeel. She briefly wondered if there was a connection.
The boy smiled, letting his earlier thoughts slip his mind, "Great."
The two teenagers avoided each other's gazes for a moment, both wearing matching blushes. Lucy was the first to lean into the conversation again, trying not to look too eager as she asked, "What's your favorite classes?"
"Hmm..." Natsu peered at the table before tilting his head side to side. "Probably Pre-AP Chemistry." Lucy made a face, causing him to chuckle. "I really like science. It's probably the only subject that comes naturally to me..." His voice trailed off, Natsu swallowing before adding, "I like weightlifting too, but it's an elective."
"I can't say I've ever lifted a weight before," Lucy said, tapping her chin. "It's fun?"
He nodded. "Yeah. I tried taking it my fresh... freshmen y-year," his eye twitched, "but I transferred to art instead. I'm uh... glad I'm taking it now though."
Lucy didn't know what to make of the odd moment, deciding not to comment on it, especially when Natsu took a shaky breath. She didn't know if she was imagining it, but it didn't appear he wanted to talk about it.
"I'm taking art now," she said, pushing forward with their conversation. "One of my... let's call her an acquaintance, is there with me. She's a little out there, totally obsessed with her boyfriend, but she's really sweet."
"I... have a friend like that," Natsu mumbled, causing Lucy to let out a nervous chuckle.
"I don't know if anyone can beat her. She won't even let me see a picture of him because she said I might get the hots for him and seek him out." It was the reason Juvia was in the acquaintance category and not friend, Lucy not trying to get to know too much about her in case it caused the girl to panic.
"Well, that's..." Natsu didn't know what to say, thinking that fit his friend's style, but the chances they shared a friend were slim. If he had to guess, it wouldn't take long before she was running with the popular crowd, especially with how stunning she looked. His eyes widened when he remembered once again it was odd her sharing a lunch with him, even if he had helped her out of an accident.
Unless it wasn't an accident.
He highly doubted she would put herself in harm's way just to mess with him, but he had to be sure. With a bit of hesitance, Natsu asked, "Have you... heard of me?"
Lucy raised a brow, almost cocking her head as she said, "No. Should I have?" Before he could answer, she asked, "Are you popular or something?"
Natsu almost snorted, shaking his head. "No way, I just—" He wasn't able to finish, their waiter coming up to their booth with a notepad in his hand, talking over Natsu.
"Good afternoon! I'll be your server today. My name is Loke. Can I start you off with any—Oh wow!"
Lucy flinched at the outburst, glancing up at the waiter to find out why he made such a loud noise. The guy had a mane of orange hair and appeared to be their age as well, but Lucy hardly noticed because her focus was on the intense look he gave her.
She opened her mouth to ask him if he was alright, but he spoke first, surprising her by taking her hand in his. "What is a lovely lady like yourself doing in a place like this?"
"Uhh?" Lucy's jaw went slack, wondering what was going on. She tugged on her hand, relieved when he let it go. "G-getting some food?"
"Shy? That's so enticing," The waiter, Loke, leaned in. "What's your name, Princess?"
"Her name is Luce," Natsu's irritated voice drifted in the air. "And I'd like a soda Loke, if it's not too much trouble." He bit back a scowl. He didn't know the other boy worked at Fairy Tail. If he did he might have suggested another place. He knew it was only a matter of time before she succumbed to Loke's charm. 'Every other girl does.'
The waiter's eyes flitted over to the boy, remembering someone else was there. "Natsu," Loke started, pulling back and smirking. "I didn't see you there. What are you doing here with this beautiful girl. I know a dork like you isn't on a date with a girl like her. Are you tutoring her or something?"
Natsu's hidden scowl quickly morphed into a visible blush. His cheeks matched his bright hair, embarrassing the teen since he didn't expect Loke to fire off a comeback that fast. He grit his teeth, scrambling for something to say.
The waiter probably didn't mean to sound so harsh, but he still got under Natsu's skin. He knew under normal circumstances he wouldn't be sharing a meal with someone like her, but he was trying to ignore that fact since she was being so nice to him. Now that it was out there on the table, it was impossible.
He was about to confess that it was just a thank you lunch, even though Natsu didn't feel like she needed to do anything. He was just trying to help someone out, he didn't need to be rewarded for it. He opened his mouth, but Lucy spoke up instead.
"Actually," her feminine voice rang from the other side of the booth, "we are on a date." She reached across the table, quickly grabbing both of Natsu's hands in her own, casting him a smile. She felt him tense under her touches, but she guessed that was natural seeing as she surprised him.
His green eyes widened at the contact, trying to ignore the sparks flying from his fingers to his arms. They locked eyes, and he noticed her quick wink that Loke missed. "It'd be great if we could get some food to go along with our date."
At first glance, Lucy seemed cool and confident, but internally she was freaking out. She could feel her hands getting wet from her nervousness, followed by the intense heat that seemed to consume her face.
She was beyond mortified since it was the closest she had been to a guy -aside from the dance partners she had over the years. It wasn't that she felt wrong for doing it -quite the opposite in fact. She liked holding his hands, feeling the warmth seep through her skin from his exceptionally high body temperature. It was just embarrassing for her to put herself out there since she had no idea if Natsu would be put off by her actions.
Natsu gulped, his fingers twitching, accidentally coaxing hers until they intertwined. Loke stared in confusion. In all the years he knew Natsu, he'd never seen the guy go out of his way to talk to a girl who wasn't already one of his friends. He definitely never thought he'd actually see him on a real date!
Loke cleared his throat before straightening his tie.
"My apologies, I didn't realize..." The waiter looked slightly ashamed as he took out his notepad. "Can I get you anything to drink?"
"I'd like a strawberry lemonade," Lucy said, peering down at the menu beside her arms. Her hands were still holding Natsu's. She couldn't tell if she was sweating more, or if his hands were contributing too, but they were getting damp the longer they held on.
"And for you," Loke turned to the other boy, trying to hide his embarrassment.
Natsu quickly said, "I'll take a soda. Anything dark, just not diet."
"As you wish." Loke wrote it down then added, "Do you know what you want to order?"
"I do," Natsu said, being familiar with the restaurant. "But if you're still looking I can wait," he said, peering at the blushing girl.
"You go ahead, I'm sure I'll find something after you're done," she assured, glancing over the menu. It was a bit difficult since she couldn't use her hands, so she just looked over one page. Unfortunately for her, it was the salad section, and she didn't feel like eating one then.
"Okay... Umm," Natsu looked up to Loke, "I'll take the burger with jalapenos and pepper jack cheese, and a side of seasoned fries."
The waiter wrote the order down, then looked to Lucy. She held a smile as she spoke, "I'll have what he's having, except no jalapenos. I don't want to burn my tongue."
Natsu bit back a laugh as Loke finished writing down their orders. He figured she wouldn't like the spiciness since most people he knew didn't. He was just glad she didn't shoot him a weird look for ordering his burger extra hot. The boy Lucy deemed a little too flirtatious gathered their menus and said he'd be back with their drinks soon.
"Why'd you do that?" Natsu asked once Loke was out of hearing range. "You didn't have to..."
"I wanted to. That guy was being a jerk to you," Lucy said, feeling upset that Natsu was treated like that. He seemed like a good person to her, so she saw no justification for Loke's comments.
"He didn't mean it," Natsu reasoned, though he was trying to convince himself more than her. "He just does that sometimes. I've known him since middle school. He was right about the tutoring thing. I do that every once in a while..."
"Really?" Lucy asked, momentarily forgetting about Loke's behavior. "You must be pretty smart then? Well, that was kind of obvious. You take a Pre-AP class after all!"
"I take two, actually." When Lucy's expression showed more interest, he added, "I make good grades as long as I pay attention. I get distracted a lot." He let out a small laugh. It was getting a little easier talking to her after she stood up for him.
"Maybe I will take you up on the offer for help in chemistry," she said, giving herself the perfect excuse to see him again.
"I guess so." Natsu tried to sound nonchalant, but he was thrilled about the idea of meeting up with her in the future, even if it was just to tutor her. He found it nice being around her. 'It'd be nice to actually be on a date with her.'
That was when another thought occurred to him.
"So... for the sake of this little act we're playing," he continued, surprised Lucy hadn't let go of his hands yet. "Do you have a boyfriend?"
She nearly choked as she shook her head. "Umm, no... I don't. I've actually never even had a date before."
"Are you sure?" Natsu didn't notice how dumb his question sounded, too busy thinking what she said sounded crazy. "But you're so..."
"So, what?" she asked, her hands unknowingly tightening around his in anticipation. She really hoped he didn't say what she thought he'd say.
"Oh..." Lucy blinked as she let the word sink in. Her realization was accompanied by another blush. 'Am I ever going to stop blushing?' Despite her warm cheeks, she was still a little disappointed that he did in fact say the word she dreaded. 'Guess he's just like all the others.'
"Sorry," Natsu muttered as he tugged his hands away from hers.
Lucy let them go free, not wanting to keep him caged. "Looks aren't everything," she mumbled, barely allowing a normal person to hear her. What she didn't count on was Natsu having great hearing.
He felt a heaviness settle on his chest. He wasn't sure how, but he knew he upset her. "I didn't mean to sound so shallow," Natsu said. "It's just, you're so nice too, I'm surprised is all. Most of the pretty girls I've met, they've been..."
'Cruel, manipulative, heartless.'
He figured he already blew his chances at ever seeing her again. He couldn't say he was used to rejection -since he'd have to actually ask someone out to be rejected, but he was used to being discounted. If Lucy did the same, he would understand. It would hurt, but he'd get over it like he always did. He just felt bad because he was starting to enjoy spending time with her, even if they just met.
"I've been asked out by a few people in the last month," Lucy started, noticing the twitch in his eye. "They just want to date me because of my looks. It makes me upset because no one tries to get to know the real me. They just see a pretty face and that's it."
Of course, she had been asked out a lot more than that before going to Magnolia High, always at social events by people wanting to get closer to her father or her inheritance. There was a reason her father told her she wasn't allowed to date. She didn't mind the rule too much, never finding someone of interest.
For a moment she had thought Natsu was different, but it seemed he cared about her appearance as well. 'Too bad.'
After a few silent pauses, Natsu finally spoke up. "I think I know how you feel a little bit..." He leaned back against the cushion in the booth. "Most people can't see past my hair, or my "loud personality"." He put up air quotes to go along with his words for emphasis.
"That, or they think I'm just a loser..." He couldn't count the times he'd been called that in the last year alone. "What I'm trying to say is I'm sorry I judged you without gettin' to know you. I know how shitty that can feel, and I shouldn't have assumed you've dated before just 'cause of your looks. I'm sorry I offended you."
Despite her earlier reservations, Lucy found herself with a smile gracing her lips. "Then maybe we're not so different after all," she said, more to herself than him. She decided just once to look past him calling her pretty since it was the only way to really get to know him. She couldn't do that if she closed herself off like she did with every other person who said the same thing to her.
Besides, it wasn't like that was the first thing he said to her, nor the second or third, and so on.
"I actually like your hair," she admitted, not noticing Loke had shown back up to set their drinks on the table. The waiter was gone before she added, "Pink is one of my favorite colors."
Lucy looked to see a glass of pink lemonade, wondering briefly where it came from as she grabbed it to take a sip.
"It's my natural hair color, even though most people think I'm lying," he admitted, running a hand through the spiky locks. He glanced down, seeing the Pokéstop had refreshed. He tapped on his screen to check back into the Pokéstop and collect more items.
His actions reminded her to do the same. She was pleased to see three Poké balls and an egg. "I believe you. My mai—" Lucy cut herself off, not wanting to admit her family had a maid.
She didn't want him to know her father was wealthy since she was warned people would try to exploit her for it if they found out. People trying to get closer to her for her looks was one thing, but she wouldn't tolerate anyone trying to get near her for her father's money. "A family friend of mine has pink hair too. Her name is Virgo."
"Really?" Natsu smiled, causing Lucy's heart to flutter when she saw that carefree grin. "I've only met one other person with pink hair, and that's my sister's best friend."
"You're the first boy I've seen with that color hair though," she said as she tried to fight off the blush already forming on her face at what she was about to say. "I think it looks really good on you."
"You do?" He shot her an incredulous look.
"Yeah." Lucy felt her cheeks tingle. "It suits you."
"Thanks," Natsu said, finding it hard to believe that anyone thought that. However, he didn't doubt her words. It was a strange feeling to trust a stranger, but at that point he wondered if he could even call her that. They seemed to be forming a friendship already. That only caused him some slight anxiety from the fear and excitement of making a new friend.
Natsu decided to ask her if she considered him a friend yet, but a new voice entered the area, causing the two teenagers to flinch.
Said girl's head turned quickly to see her best friend approaching the table she shared with Natsu. Trailing behind her was a much taller guy with long, black hair. His name was Gajeel, and despite his tough appearance, he was actually a pretty decent guy.
"Levy!" Lucy stood up, giving her friend a hug. "What are you doing here?"
"This is where Gajeel wanted to go for our date," Levy explained as they pulled away.
All eyes landed on the boy standing beside her, seeing the deep red color coating his face. "Oi! I never said it was a date!"
Levy giggled, ignoring her embarrassed crush. "What are you doing here? I thought you were going to catch more Pokémon?"
"I took a break to have lunch with a new friend," Lucy said, unknowingly answering the question Natsu didn't ask. Her brown eyes flitted over to the boy who saved her. "This is Natsu."
Said guy waved his hand, "Hey Levy... Gajeel..." Natsu already knew who they were. Levy had been going to the the same school as him since elementary, and he knew Gajeel since their fathers were good friends. Natsu hadn't expected to run into them today since he only saw them on occasion, but even then he rarely spoke to them. Natsu preferred sticking with his small circle of friends since it was more safe. Plus, there was bad blood between him and Gajeel, but he didn't care to dig into that topic today.
"How do you know Lucy?" Levy asked, a smile growing on her face. Despite hardly spending time with him, she knew Natsu was a nice guy. He had a bad reputation, but most of it was dumb rumors and lies. Sure he could be a little strange at times, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. It made her happy seeing Lucy make friends with him since he usually didn't talk to new people.
"He actually saved me from getting hit by a car!" Lucy waved her hands to add visual effects. "You should have seen it! If he hadn't been there... Well I don't know!"
"What?!" Levy's eyes widened as she let the words soak in. She couldn't imagine losing her best friend, even if she only knew her for a month "I'm glad you're okay, but h-how?"
Lucy sighed before saying, "I was trying to catch a Scyther when—"
"Did you catch it!?" Levy forgot about the danger her friend was in, focusing on the potential Pokémon instead. It wasn't that Levy didn't care. She just knew Lucy was okay since clearly she didn't get injured.
"Yes!" Lucy giggled as she grabbed her phone from the table, completely forgetting about the traffic incident. She pulled up her app to show her best friend her newest Pokémon.
"Dang it! The only thing I caught since I left was a Magikarp..." Levy groused before looking up at her crush. "It's all your fault."
"How is it my fault?" Gajeel asked, his multiple face piercings moving when he scowled.
"Never mind," she replied. "I just really want one..." She paused to look over at Natsu, noticing the soft pink tint over his tan cheeks. She doubted they were on a date since they just met, but she still didn't want to interrupt them, especially since her and Gajeel just finished eating. There really wasn't a reason to stick around besides imposing on them.
"We better get going," Levy said nonchalantly as she wrapped her arm around Gajeel's arm. He averted his eyes, trying to seem unaffected by the girl's touches. "Call me later?"
"Of course!" Lucy assured, giving her friend one last hug before they departed. She watched them leave the restaurant, excited to hear later about their 'date'.
"Why'd she call you Lucy?" Natsu asked as soon as she sat down, bringing her out of her short daze.
"That's my name," she admitted sheepishly.
"Oh..." Natsu replayed their introductions in his head, trying to figure out how he messed up. He could have sworn she said Luce, but obviously he was wrong. He wanted to apologize for the mistake, but she beat him to it.
"I should have corrected you sooner." She sighed, "I know it's not as pretty as Luce."
"That's not it," Natsu shook his head, "Lucy is pretty." He just felt bad about calling her by the wrong name. Plus he really liked the name he'd been calling her. It seemed to suit her.
"If you want," Lucy started, taking a risk even though she might have sounded weird, "you can still call me Luce... I don't mind."
Both teens smiled, enjoying their little shared moment while it lasted. Neither knew what to say, but thankfully they didn't need to worry since their food arrived within the minute. Loke set down their plates, telling them to enjoy their meal before leaving the duo alone.
"Alright! I'm fired up now!" Natsu cheered, smiling at the giggling girl before digging into his spicy burger.
The two teenagers didn't notice when the Pokéstop refreshed, both too busy enjoying the other's company to care.
Thank you for reading! Have a great day and stay safe while playing Pokémon GO!
Next up, Chapter Three: Judge
*This story progresses as Pokémon GO! progresses. That's why in the earlier chapters it refers to how the game was when it first came out. In later chapters it mentions updates to reflect how the game changed over time. Thought I'd mention it in case anyone was curious.
Thank you for the reviews: MarSofTheGalaxies, Crimsonlink310, Kauia, Red-Velvet-Erza, HelloJawsie, westerngoddess, SabertoothLover14, SakuraStar1862, KittyCrow12, FlameDragonHime, Ashnmarley, MissyPlatina, fanficlove2014, & CasperAlikay!