I wrote a one-shot! Finally! I'm super excited, since I've never been able to type just a one-shot before. This was my submission for Nalu Fluff week back in September 2016. I uploaded it to Tumblr, but now I decided to upload it here as well. This 'Story' will be a collection of one-shots if/when I can write them. They are not connected to each other unless it's stated that they are. There's also no updating schedule, just when I find the time to write something extra. I hope you enjoy. All of these will be rated T and will be NALU stories. The Genre will be listed as well to give you a warning. I do not own Fairy Tail, Hiro Mashima does.
First one-shot is called "Spotter".
Summary: Due to his best friend not showing up, Natsu was forced to ask someone else for help at the gym. Little did he know, the blonde woman he asked would make a bigger impact on his life than simply being his spotter. Modern AU. NALU.
Natsu closed the door to his dorm room before locking it. He was dressed in a tight black shirt with white gym shorts. He made sure his scarf was secured around his head full of pink, spiky locks, keeping the hair out of his eyes.
When he was satisfied with everything, he made his way outside, just to start his run. His destination was only one mile away, so it was a quick warm up before his real work out. The warm air hit his face as his pace increased, letting his adrenaline kick in as his heart sped up. He loved this feeling, because it always made him feel more alive.
He slowed down to a jog when the building came into view. 'Fairy Tail' was the biggest gym in Magnolia. It had five floors, all containing different types of exercise machines. He began to walk once he made it to the door, loving the way his heart pumped at an accelerated pace. He entered the air-conditioned building, letting the cool air tingle against his heated skin.
The pink haired man walked over to a woman who sat behind a desk at the entrance. "Hello sir, are you a member here?"
Natsu looked at her name badge before answering, "yes uhh, Levy?" He wasn't sure if he pronounced it right, but she didn't correct him. He pulled out his membership badge, letting her see it was still valid.
It was a white badge, with Fairy Tail's logo at the top. A picture of him was printed on the left side, while his name, badge number, and expiration date were printed on the right.
"Thank you," the blue haired woman said, turning her attention to a notebook on the desk where she wrote down Natsu's badge number to log his attendance.
"No prob," he muttered as he put the badge back in his pocket before walking down a long hallway.
He'd been a member of Fairy Tail's gym for about two months now, and he loved every bit of it. He honestly didn't know why he waited so long to sign up. His best friend/rival Gray had been trying to get him to join for the better part of a year, but he couldn't see the benefits of paying to exercise when he could just do it at home for free.
Now he saw the gym as his chance to escape reality for a moment. As a full-time student at Magnolia University, he needed this as a way to relax. It was such a freeing feeling, letting the sweat drip down his skin and his muscles flex. He quickly became addicted to the place, trying to go there every chance he got.
The pink haired male took out his phone as he walked towards the room with all the weight lifting equipment. His thumb brushed over the touch screen, navigating until he found his best friend's contact information. He quickly pressed the call button, bringing his phone up to his ear as it rang.
"What's up, Flame Head? Why're you calling so early?" Gray's voice came through the speaker. It sounded deep and gravelly, letting Natsu know he just woke up.
"Are you kidding me? You said you'd be here to spot me!" The pink haired man raised his voice as his eye twitched. He'd been wanting to bench press today, but he wouldn't be able to do that without assistance. It wasn't that he thought he couldn't handle the weights, it was that he didn't want to hurt himself… again.
The first time he attempted to bench press by himself, he accidentally missed the rack and the bar almost crushed Natsu's skull. He really didn't want that to happen again, because the next time he might not be so lucky. It was true he didn't physically hurt himself, but the scare was enough to keep him on edge.
"I don't know what to tell you. Juvia came over last night and I forgot to set an alarm. Do you want me to head over there now?" Gray's voice cut through Natsu's thoughts.
He sighed, knowing with Juvia's hectic schedule the two didn't get a lot of time to themselves. She went to a college in the next town over. "No, you're fine. Just next time remember," he looked around the gym, seeing everyone else partnered up with someone. "I'll figure something out. You have fun with Juvia."
"Thanks man, see you later."
The call disconnected, leaving Natsu alone once again. He walked over to a free bench, debating if he should try by himself with just less weight than normal. He started placing circular weights on the bar until he reached a nice amount. It would be enough to give him a workout, but not nearly as much as he wanted. He almost decided to put more weight on and risk it, but some movement in the corner of his eye stopped him in place.
Natsu turned, hating the way his breath hitched from the sight.
A woman was walking into the weight room. She had long blonde hair that was tied back into a ponytail. She wore a long-sleeved, pink top with black yoga pants. Her tight clothing allowed him to see every curve of her body, and he couldn't help it when the word delicious came to his mind. He wanted to hit himself. Just because it'd been almost a year since he last had a girlfriend, it didn't give him the right to ogle the poor girl.
She clearly came to the gym to work out, not to have guys stare at her.
He was about to look away when he saw her walking towards him. His heartbeat that had finally settled after his run, spiked up when he noticed she was making eye contact with him. He could feel himself begin to sweat, but not from his previous exercise.
"Hi," the blonde said, looking rather nervous up close. She stopped a few feet away from him, leaving a comfortable distance between them. "Today's my first day here and I'm kinda lost. Do you know where the track is?"
"The track?" Natsu asked, forgetting for a second what the word meant. She was so stunning up close, her brown eyes easily captivating him. It took him an embarrassingly long time to finally understand what she said.
"Oh, that… It's umm, on the next floor up," he pointed above him as if she might not know what direction 'up' was. To say he was a nervous wreck would be an understatement. This girl was drop dead gorgeous, stunning him easily. His face lit up in a deep blush when she giggled at his silly behavior.
"Oh okay," she smiled, and he swore the room brightened by the simple action. "Thank you," she turned around, ready to leave the weight room.
"Wait," Natsu said, cursing himself the moment his hand grabbed her wrist to stop her. He immediately let it go, trying to ignore the rush he felt from the skin on skin contact. "I… I need a spotter… C-can you help me?"
"A spotter?" The blonde asked, looking behind him to see a bench with a large amount of weights on the pole. "Sure, but I don't know how much help I could be," the woman walked past him, stopping when she was at the head of the bench. "I just make sure it doesn't fall on you, right?"
"Y-yeah," he confirmed, wondering why his voice cracked. "Thanks," he forced out through his dry throat. He laid down on the bench, scooting up until he was in a comfortable position.
"It's not a problem," she assured, resting her hands on the bar in anticipation.
Natsu grabbed the bar himself, willing away the nervousness that seemed to be infecting him, knowing it was dangerous to get distracted while working out. He lifted the bar, feeling the amazing strain on his muscles. He began to do his usual routine of five sets of fifteen reps.
Between each set, he muttered an apology, feeling bad that he was taking the woman away from her own work out. However, the woman brushed it off, saying she didn't mind helping out. He got the impression that she was a nice and helpful person.
When he finished his last set, he had a little difficulty putting the bar on the rack. Luckily the blonde assisted him, guiding the bar into its proper place. He was surprised when she held out a hand to help him up, but he shook his head, saying, "I got it." His hands were sweaty, and he didn't want to gross her out. 'That's dumb, we're at the gym. She would expect me to sweat…'
Natsu lifted himself up, grabbing a wet wipe from the dispenser on the wall to wash his sweat from the bench. He half expected the blonde to leave, but she stuck around. He was about to ask why she was still there, but he decided against it, realizing he liked her company.
"Do you happen to run?" She asked, her ponytail shifting as she cocked her head.
"M-me? I run," he answered, unsure if he sounded like an idiot, because he definitely felt that way. He was never this awkward around people, so he couldn't figure out what this woman was doing to his brain.
The blonde nodded, pointing upwards with her index finger. "Could you show me where the track is? I'd really hate to get lost again. Plus you can run with me if you want," she offered, hoping he would join her.
"S-sure," Natsu felt like slapping himself. He took a deep breath, but it was disguised by his heavy breathing since he was worn out from his work out. His legs were still fine though, so running wouldn't be an issue.
"Right this way," he said, walking past her and towards the exit. He could hear her footsteps behind him as he made his way towards the stairs.
"What made ya want to join Fairy Tail?" Natsu asked, trying to fill the silence between them. He normally didn't start conversations with people he didn't know, but he figured it was the polite thing to do since she helped him out.
"I wanted something to do to take a break from studying all the time," her voice rang from behind him, sounding sweet but reserved. "Plus, my friend works here. She recommended it."
The pink haired male considered asking her who her friend was, but he didn't know if that would be weird. They didn't know each other, and it seemed rude to ask. Before they reached the next floor, a thought occurred to him. "Does your friend work right now?"
"Yeah," she said, staring at one of the posters on the wall advertising an archery class.
"Then why'd you ask me where the track was?"
The question threw her off, and she stumbled on the next step. Before she could fall forward, two warm arms caught her. "Whoa, are you okay?"
The blonde nodded, her face flushed since she couldn't exactly answer his earlier question without sounding weird. The truth was, she already knew where the track was because she'd just asked her friend who happened to work at the front desk. On her way there, she peeked into the weight room, wanting to see if she'd be interested in working out there sometime in the future.
That's when she saw the pink haired man. She was instantly interested in his bright hair, and without thinking, she had walked up to him. When she realized her mistake, she quickly covered it up by asking where the track was, hoping he wouldn't question her odd behavior. That's when he asked her to be a spotter, and she couldn't resist the chance to spend a bit more time with him.
"I'm fine," the blonde answered, planting both feet firmly on the stairs. "My bad."
"No, I'm just glad you're okay," Natsu said, only now realizing their faces were so close. He jerked back a bit, worried that he made her uncomfortable. She didn't seem upset at him, so he sighed in relief. "So why didn't your ask you friend?"
Thinking fast, the girl muttered, "I forgot. I'm always forgetting stuff…"
"Oh, that makes sense," the pink haired male tried to hide the disappointment in his voice. For a split second he thought- well it didn't matter what he thought. Obviously this girl didn't make up some excuse just to talk to him. "Let's get going."
They reached the floor with the indoor track without saying another word. Natsu held the door, letting her enter first. There were a few runners, and a couple of walkers. Treadmills lined one side of the track, giving people a chance to run on a machine if they wanted to.
The indoor track had an open floor in the middle, giving runners a view of the lower floor. It held a basketball court, which was filled with random people playing. The sound of sneakers squeaking against the gym floor and balls dribbling filled the air.
They stretched, and Natsu did his best not to let his eyes wander over to her form. During his few stolen glances, he noticed how flexible she was, and he couldn't help when his mind plummeted into the gutter. His face couldn't possibly get anymore red.
He felt so ashamed, he decided to just start running, not allowing him another peek.
His heart quickly raced as he ran around the track. When he finished his first lap, he saw the blonde was no longer where he left her. He deduced she must be running too, and his suspicions were confirmed when he rounded the next corner.
The woman was indeed running, her ponytail swaying with every step she took. His throat ran dry when his eyes glanced down, seeing how tight her butt looked in those black yoga pants.
"Damn it Natsu, stop it," he muttered through his strained breathing. He forced himself to go faster, passing her easily so he couldn't see her magnificent backside. He slowed down, making sure he wouldn't accidentally lap her again.
"This feels… Great!"
Natsu turned his head to see the blonde running beside him, beads of sweat forming on her forehead. "Yeah," he pushed out, facing ahead so he wouldn't get transfixed again. His body wanted to go faster, but he felt like it'd be rude to leave her now, since technically they were now running together. He could hold back today.
Plus it felt nice working out with someone instead of being alone.
The two continued to run until the girl stopped. Natsu deciding to end his run when she did at lap twelve. It was only a mile and a half, but she was already sweating, the beads of salty liquid dripping down her face and neck. The blonde panted, her chest heaving with every heavy breath.
Natsu had to look away, confused as to why such a sight made him fluster. He'd never felt that way before seeing someone look so disheveled, but he found the sight appealing. His heart raced for a whole different reason now.
They walked around the track twice, trying to regulate their heartbeats and cool down. The air-conditioned building helped tremendously in that aspect, causing Natsu's hot skin to tingle once again. Or maybe it was the occasional brushes his arm had with hers. He couldn't be certain.
Natsu left the indoor track first, swinging the door wide and allowing Lucy to exit as well. He headed towards the stairs when he realized he never caught her name. He stopped, turning to the blonde who stopped as well.
Sticking out a hand, he said, "by the way, my name's Natsu."
She held out her hand, grabbing his to shake it. They were both sweaty, but neither seemed to mind. It felt like jolts flew up his arm, but he tried to ignore it as she spoke. "My name's Lucy. It's nice to meet you." Her smile made his heart soar.
"C-can I buy you an energy drink or something at the bar downstairs?" The pink haired man felt guilty about ogling her, and wanted to repay her somehow. Plus, he still wanted to thank her again for spotting him since Gray didn't show up.
"You seem a little nervous," the girl observed. "Are you okay?"
"Y-yep!" He let out a fake cough to hide his stutter, but it didn't work. She kept looking at him with a perplexed expression, so he said the first thing on his mind. "You're just really c-cute." His first impulse was to slap himself in the face, but he held strong, keeping his hands by his side.
Lucy's eyes widened. "Oh, that's it?" Her lips curved up into a brighter smile. "Well I think you're cute too, and I'd love to get a drink with you."
Natsu beamed in relief, his heart slamming against his rib cage as if it was trying to get closer to her, "awesome! I'm all fired up now!"
The pink haired man grinned as he led the way to the bar.
The two were silent as they descended the stairs. Natsu felt the dull throb in his legs with every step, but he ignored it, knowing his body was benefiting from the extra exercise. He stopped when he reached the counter of the bar.
A woman with short purple hair greeted him, knowing him as a regular. "Hello Natsu, the usual?"
"Hey Kinana," he hoped he said it right, since he was terrible at remembering names. "I'll take that, and," he turned to the blonde, "what'll you have Luce?"
He noticed her surprised expression, but it quickly faded when she said, "I'll have a strawberry energy drink."
"Sounds great," the woman behind the counter said as she typed on the cash register. She told Natsu the total, which he paid before receiving two energy drinks and a protein bar.
The duo walked over to an empty table, noticing how busy the gym was for a Wednesday morning.
"So Natsu," the blonde started, taking off the cap to her strawberry drink. "How old are you?"
"I'm nineteen," Natsu answered. He took a bite of his protein bar before asking with a mouth full, "wha 'bout yoph?"
"Eighteen," Lucy said, but he would have guessed a bit older judging by how she carried herself. "My birthday is soon though."
"You gonna celebrate?" He asked, a smirk forming on his lips. "I can't even remember my last birthday. My best friend threw a wild party at his parent's house for me, kept giving me shots all night."
The blonde giggled as he continued his story.
"I got so drunk I ended up puking in his car, but that might be because I also get sick in vehicles," he confessed, making the girl's giggles turn into laughter. "He was so pissed. He ended up throwing a bucket full of ice on me the next morning as revenge."
Lucy had to fight the urge to laugh louder. He seemed so nonchalant telling the story, that it only added to the humor. By the way he told the story, she had a feeling it wasn't an unusual occurrence.
The two spent the rest of their break -and a little longer- talking about anything and everything they could. Natsu found out Lucy was also a student at his university, and Lucy found out Natsu was training to be a fireman when he wasn't busy with school.
After they finished their drinks, they broke apart to go take showers at their respective dorms. Then they spent the rest of the day hanging out since neither had anything else going on. Natsu said his best friend was with his girlfriend, and Lucy said her best friend would be working all day.
By the end of the day, Natsu could say he knew Lucy pretty well, and vice versa. After exchanging numbers and promising to text each other the next day, the pink haired male walked Lucy back to her dorm before he jogged back to his.
When Natsu got back to his dorm, he was greeted by his meowing cat named Happy, who wanted food and attention. Technically he wasn't supposed to have any animals, but Happy wasn't a pet, he was his friend! Plus his roommate Gajeel didn't seem to mind.
The pink haired man smiled as he brought out his phone. With the grin on his face, he texted the blonde.
Hey Luce! Sorry I couldn't wait until tomorrow. I was thinking, do you want to go out with me this Friday to dinner?
He was in the middle of pouring his feline friend his tuna flavored cat food when he got a reply. He eagerly read the message, his smile growing larger by the second.
Sounds great. It's a date!
His face flushed, and Natsu nodded as he typed out another message to her. What was supposed to be a simple question, turned into a long conversation that stretched into the late night. It wasn't until three in the morning that they decided to call it quits until later that day.
The pink haired man went to sleep with a bright grin on his face. He had no idea if Lucy and him would end up together, but he was excited to find out. She was pretty stellar.
What neither of them knew, was this was just the beginning of their fairy tale, all because Gray couldn't be his spotter.
Thank you for reading my one-shot. Let me know what you thought of this story. :) Once again there's no set schedule time.