Summary: Lucy quickly realized reading about heartbreak and experiencing it are two different things, her world falling apart when Natsu asked her a simple question.
Rated E for everyone, haha.
Word Count: 2.5K
Genre: Slight Angst, Slight Romance, Friendship
Her first heartbreak
Lucy didn't think her heart could sink any further, but there Natsu was, stomping on the poor thing as it laid broken on the ground.
To be fair, it wasn't his fault. It was no one's fault. She had misread their friendship, thinking something more was developing between them, but Natsu's question had those ideas burning up in flames.
"So?" he asked, repeating the question. "Is Levy dating anyone?"
Of course Natsu would fall for Levy. Who wouldn't? She was smart, kind, and cute. Lucy didn't think Natsu and Levy had much in common, but maybe the saying was true? Opposites attract.
"N-no," Lucy mumbled, tightening her grip on her binders. Students littered the halls as they hurried to class, the warning bell coming any minute. "She's uh, single."
"Sweet!" Natsu's grin, which usually had her heart fluttering, only made her stomach twist.
She wanted to be happy for her friends, Natsu and Levy the best of them, but she couldn't deny the slight bitter taste in her mouth. She had really thought... Oh, it didn't matter. Clearly she was reading between the lines when she should have been paying attention to what was in front of her.
Natsu had never shown any interest in herself, aside from occasionally holding her hand when he was excited to show her something, or that one time he let her borrow his scarf on that chilly day last fall, before she dressed for the season.
And there was the time he managed to bake her cookies for her birthday, and he frequented her messages, often sharing memes or asking about her day. They spent a lot of time together, but that made sense.
'Because we're friends.'
And nothing more.
A broken smile made its way to Lucy's face as she nodded, hoping the bell would ring so they could head to class, but she felt rooted in front of her locker as Natsu let out a nervous chuckle.
"Do you know if she likes anyone?"
'Gajeel,' she wanted to say, but when she imagined his bubble bursting, her shoulders fell. She couldn't hurt Natsu like that, even if his excitement stung. It wasn't fair to him, and she didn't want to be bitter.
She would definitely be licking her wounds tonight, maybe drown herself in ice cream while reading a good book she had read a million times before to take her mind off her heartbreak, but that was all it was.
Natsu was the first guy she liked, the first person who she could see herself being with, but he didn't feel the same way about her, instead crushing on Lucy's other best friend.
"She hasn't told me anyone," she said honestly, knowing Levy was in denial about her feelings for Gajeel, but it was clear as day.
Then again, what did she know? Maybe what she thought was clear had been foggy all along?
"Thanks." Natsu placed a hand on her shoulder, Lucy holding her breath as he squeezed. "You're awesome!"
She didn't get a chance to respond as Natsu started turning, presumably to head to class, but he stopped himself and directed his gaze back on her.
"I almost forgot," he started, Lucy lost in those gorgeous green eyes for a second, before his next question snapped her out of her daze. "Do you know a good way to ask Levy out?"
Lucy almost looked down at her chest to make sure a knife wasn't sticking through her heart, feeling the pangs as she swallowed.
"She likes books," Lucy whispered, wishing her eyes didn't prick. "That might work?"
"Sounds good," Natsu said as he dropped his hand off her shoulder, but not before dragging it lightly down her arm.
She cursed the goosebumps forming seconds later, but it didn't matter. Natsu didn't notice, already turning again as the bell finally sounded. "Thanks again! See ya at lunch!"
Lucy opened her mouth to reply, but her words were stuck in her throat. She looked down at the floor, then towards her locker as her vision blurred, but she would not cry.
At least, not in school. She would need to hold herself together until she was in the comfort of her own room.
Despite feeling like her heart was a mangled mess, Lucy got through the rest of the day like normal. She almost told Levy what to expect when she saw her in their creative writing class, but she decided against it, not wanting to ruin Natsu's surprise.
She didn't want them starting their relationship out wrong, knowing in the end she would root for both of their happiness, even if that meant them being together.
After school, Lucy excused herself, deciding it was best to head home. Of course Natsu insisted on walking her home since she lived only a few blocks away. He did that often when they didn't hang out.
She almost asked him how it went with Levy, but her question was answered when he informed her he would be stopping by a bookstore after he dropped her off.
Lucy almost pressed a hand to her chest to stop the pain, but she endured it. She had read about the first heartbreaking hurting, but she had underestimated it.
With a quick hug and a promise to see her the next day, Natsu jogged away from her house, heading in the direction they came. She figured he was heading towards the bookstore in the mall, or perhaps the little shop by his house that sold secondhand books.
She hesitated for only a moment before pulling out her phone, deciding she wasn't going to be the person who sabotaged her crush's chance at asking out the girl he liked.
Though, crush was putting it too lightly, Lucy well past the like-like stage but not quite ready to say she was in love.
'It doesn't matter,' she told herself as she typed Natsu a message, saying Levy would appreciate a used book because they had more character.
He thanked her yet again, Lucy's resolve to hold herself together crumbling as she stepped into her house, wanting to get the heartache over with but knowing it was something she couldn't rush.
She would mourn what never was, and allow herself time to heal from the emotional wounds before trying to move on. She couldn't be mad at Natsu or Levy, and she didn't want to be.
It would be weird at first, but Natsu always said he liked weird.
Which was another thing she had read into, Natsu calling her a weirdo more times than she could count.
The afternoon bled into night as Lucy cycled through her favorite parts to some of her most cherished books. She wasn't hungry, but she managed to eat some soup, the same kind Natsu had brought over that one time she had to stay home from school.
It seemed fitting, the girl lovesick for a guy she couldn't have.
After a good cry and eight hours of sleep, Lucy was heading back to school where she ran into Levy, the girl waiting by her locker before first period.
Lucy found herself conflicted as she smiled, her heart panging as she approached Levy. It hurt, but seeing that light in her friend's eyes drove away any dark thoughts that could linger in Lucy's mind.
"There you are!" Levy practically shifting from foot to foot as she giggled, the girl looking ecstatic. "You'll never guess what happened this morning!"
Despite her heartbreak, Lucy's smile relaxed as she leaned against someone else's locker, ready to hear how her best friend asked out her other best friend. "What?"
Levy pulled out a book first, Lucy almost snorting at Natsu's choice. It was a slightly worn copy of 'The Fairy's Tail'. She hadn't thought Natsu had been paying attention when she mentioned liking it years ago.
Lucy and Levy had similar taste, so it made sense he would pick that.
"Okay, get ready for this," Levy started, and Lucy realized she did need a warning. She took a deep breath, preparing herself for another crack in her heart, but only confusion took over as Levy rushed out, "Gajeel asked me out!"
"Wh-what?" Lucy blinked, unsure if she heard her correctly, but Levy misunderstood her reaction.
"I know! I was surprised too!" Levy turned the book towards herself, gently brushing her fingers over the cover. "It was so cute. He was so nervous. He handed me this book, and told me to open it when he left! Look what he wrote!"
Lucy stared in shock as Levy opened the book to the middle where a loose piece of paper rested, the words, "Will you be my girlfriend?" written in Gajeel's messy handwriting. He even doodled a few screws and bolts, probably because Levy teased him that he was going to look like a toolbox with all that metal on his face.
Below the question were two boxes, the first with 'Yes' written next to it and the other with 'No' beside it. Lucy took a shaky breath, that confliction from earlier coming back with a vengeance.
She was unbelievably happy for Levy, especially as Levy had already checked the 'Yes' box, but her heart fell again, only that time, it was because she felt bad for Natsu.
He had seemed so eager to ask Levy out, but he was beaten to it by less than a day. Lucy knew the pain Natsu had to be feeling, having experienced it all of yesterday.
'I'm sorry Natsu,' she thought, wondering if he even knew his cousin had already asked out the girl he was interested in.
"I'm going to slide the note back to him in third period," Levy explained, sharing that class with Gajeel...
It wouldn't be long until he found out, Lucy tempted to text him and break the news to him gently, but she didn't know if it was her place.
She didn't want to overstep her boundaries, but she also didn't want him to embarrass himself if he planned on asking her out soon.
Her internal debate was for nothing as a familiar warmth draped over Lucy's shoulders, her head snapping up to see Natsu hanging over her.
"Whatcha two talking about?" he asked, eyeing the book in Levy's hands.
"Oh, noth—" Lucy tried, deciding she wanted to spare Natsu's feelings in private so he couldn't show how upset the news had made him, but Levy was quicker.
"Gajeel asked me out!"
"He did?" Natsu asked, sounding surprised. "When?"
"Huh. How'd he do it?"
Lucy expected Natsu's voice to change, expected his body to tense beside her, but he shocked her when he chuckled at the note Levy showed him.
"So he wasn't brave enough to ask you in person?" Natsu asked, causing Levy to blush.
"I mean, would you be so brave?"
Lucy wasn't sure if that was an attempt at flirting, still concerned after reading so many signs wrong. Natsu scratched the back of his head, looking sheepish as he said, "Probably not. I dunno."
Levy nodded before looking at the book again. "I'm so nervous."
"Don't be," Natsu said, tilting his head a bit, not realizing a few pink strands tickled Lucy's cheek. "I'm sure he's just as nervous as you right now."
He nodded. "For sure."
Levy almost squealed as she hugged the book once more, jolting when the warning bell sounded overhead. "Oh shoot! I gotta go! See you two later!"
"See ya," Natsu called while Lucy just stood there, thoroughly confused.
Wasn't Natsu upset? The girl he liked got asked out, in a similar way he was going to ask her out. Either he took it well, or he was a fantastic actor.
"You're quiet," Natsu said, shaking Lucy's shoulders when she didn't respond.
"Oh! I—" She didn't know what to say, cheeks warming at how close his face was to hers. "I'm sorry," Lucy ended up whispering, causing Natsu to raise a brow before pulling away from her.
He moved to stand in front of Lucy, crossing his arms over his chest before leaning against the lockers in the same fashion Lucy did. "Why're you sorry?"
She looked over his face, trying to find the smallest hint of sadness, but she found none. Was he over it already? Maybe he just had a small crush on Levy?
"Well," Lucy started, suddenly shy as she whispered, "because, Levy said yes to Gajeel."
Natsu's confusion only increased as he furrowed his brows, almost laughing as he asked, "Why would you be sorry? That's what I wanted."
"But yesterday—" Lucy mumbled, eyes widening in realization.
Confirming her sudden suspicions, Natsu said, "I was asking help for Gajeel. What? Did you think—"
He almost cackled when Lucy gave a meek nod, wiping at a fake tear as he shook his head. "You thought I liked Levy? Like liked her?"
Lucy's face burned as she puffed out her cheeks, thoroughly embarrassed for the confusion. "What?! You asked how to ask her out!"
"For Gajeel!" Natsu snickered, ignoring her flustered appearance as he twisted the dial to her lock, doing the combination before opening her locker. "You really thought—" He laughed again. "Jeez Luce. And they say I'm the oblivious one!"
Knowing her so well, he pulled out the two books she would use for her first classes, as well as the correct binders before closing her locker. "Come on dork," he said, nodding for her to follow him.
"Y-you're going to be late for class!" she forced out, because no other words could form. Her mind was a flurry of situations that didn't play out, her emotions just as chaotic.
Natsu shrugged, looking indifferent. "My class isn't too far away from yours. Plus, I wanna thank you for yesterday. Gajeel's been bugging me for weeks on how to ask Levy out, so I finally caved and asked what the best way to do it was."
He looked over his shoulder, giving her that signature grin that made her heart ache, but in a good way. "Your advice was awesome! Gave him the confidence to finally do it!"
"I'm gl-glad," Lucy mumbled, still processing what happened.
She nearly yelped when she almost ran into Natsu, not realizing he stopped right outside her classroom door. He turned, handing her supplies over before grabbing her arm.
"Thanks again," Natsu said, and that time, it didn't hurt. "I'll see ya later." He rubbed her arm twice before pulling away, Lucy at a loss for words as he walked off.
She paused as her thoughts caught up with her, a slow and steady smile forming on her face as she realized maybe, just maybe, there was still a shot with Natsu after all.
He didn't like Levy, and Levy ended up having the guy she liked ask her out, with Lucy's help.
As she walked into her class to find her seat, Lucy couldn't help but think about Natsu's words when Levy asked if he would be brave enough to ask someone out.
She probably had all the time in the world, but after what she thought was a close call, she wasn't chancing it.
Lucy swallowed as she pulled out her phone, finding Gajeel's contact before typing out a message for him. She had to give herself a quick pep talk before pressing the send button, deciding she was ready to see what could happen.
Hey, between you and me, what's a good way to ask out Natsu?
I decided to look through some of my one-shot ideas and picked this one to write for! I hope y'all thought it was cute. You can imagine whatever age in school, it could work for either middle school or high school. It's rated E for everyone because it actually doesn't have any cursing, haha. Anyways, hope you enjoyed your stay. Let me know what you thought! Lucy wasn't misreading those signs after all! :P