Here it is y'all.

The Final Chapter.

Sizzle – / ˈsizəl / - verb. To burn up or sear with or as if with a hissing sound; excitement

The thunder crackled beyond the window, echoing through the glass panes as the dark rolling sky sparked with shards of lightning. The rain shattered on the banks of the canal, the water rocking the boats docked alongside it. It was oddly soothing, the steady drum matching the cadence of their heartbeats, punctured by an occasional deep rumble from the clouds above. Despite the weather, the weak light of morning filtered through, bathing the two figures as they remained curled into each other – their breathing soft as they were pulled from sleep.

Natsu sighed, eyes blinking blurrily as he inhaled – petrichor and jasmine swirling together as they flooded his senses. He stretched against the cotton sheets, blankets rumpled and half dangling off the edge of the bed. He was lying on his stomach, one arm propping up the pillow while the other was bound around the blonde tangled at his side.

He smiled, jade eyes fond as he took in the slope of her jaw and lips, hidden under her messy locks from where she was tucked into him. Lucy's hands were trapped between them, one leg lazy hooked over his – her cold toes brushing against his calves. Too comfortable to move, the dragon slayer snuggled further into her, his grip around her waist tightening to haul her closer – fingers catching on the oversized shirt she'd slipped on in the early hours of the morning. She'd pilfered it from him when he'd gotten up to change and had refused to return it.

Natsu breathed deeply, his smile stretching into something predatory. As much as he enjoyed the feel of her bare skin, there was just something about waking up to seeing her in his clothes, the smoky scent of him lingering on her.

He could get used to that.

His eyes flickered down when his partner squirmed, her nose burrowing into his chest when he rolled over to his side to face her. He chuckled, voice gruff from sleep as he caught a lock of her hair, curling the golden strands between his fingers – admiring the way it glinted in the hazy light. He gave it a slight tug, biting his lip in amusement when Lucy whined, pinching his bicep in retaliation.

"Morning sleepyhead." He crooned, the timber of his voice sending a shiver down the girl as the last vestiges of slumber fled from her. Lucy squeezed her eyes shut tight, her lashes tickling his flesh.

"Too tired." She mumbled. Though now that she was awake, it was harder to ignore the sounds of the storm outside – the air charged and sizzling.

"Oh yeah? Ran you ragged last night?" He snickered, waggling his brows salaciously when she glanced up at him – her nose scrunching as she rolled her eyes groggily.

She maneuvered her hand free, bringing it up to poke his dimples. "I will kick you out." She threatened mutely. With her face flushed and cheeks puffed, hair still matted and wild from sex – he thought she looked adorable.

He could get used to that too.

Catching her fingers with his own, the fire mage weaved them together – pinning her while simultaneously closing the distance between them. He let his other hand drift to her waist, skating across the creamy expanse of her thigh and up her bare hip – bypassing it to curve at base of her spine.

Her response to him was instantaneous, her breath stuttering to a halt.

Natsu craned his neck so he could speak by the shell of her ear, his teeth scraping at the delicate spot just behind it – marveling at how she arched into his touch. His stomach twisted as his blood ran molten. The sound of her whimper echoed in his mind as the evening before played through his head.

"Then I'll give you a reason to make me stay." He growled, leaning down to take her lobe into his mouth.

Lucy gasped, her heel pressing into him as she buried her face into his neck. She could feel his pulse spike when her lips grazed his throat – glad to know she affected him as much as he did her. She hummed, placing a kiss along his jaw before trailing her free hand along the line of his clavicle, tracing the indents of his sternum and the hard ridges of his abdomen. His muscles clenched at the caress, jumping as the pad of her thumb brushed the happy trail disappearing below his boxers.

His hiss was guttural, igniting pleasure between her legs as he ducked, his mouth capturing her own and forcing it open – drinking in her moans hungrily. She tried to remind herself to breathe through her nose even as he dropped his hold to squeeze her ass – her underwear abandoned somewhere on the floor.

She broke away from his mouth, Natsu obliging her only to drop to her throat – laving his tongue at the bruise he'd worked into her porcelain skin the night before, giving it a harsh suck when she dipped her hand under his briefs.

"I thought you were tired." He wheezed, teeth grinding when she made contact with his already half-hard member, blood rushing south quickly as she worked him over. She brushed her thumb over his slit, smearing the precum down his shaft as he bucked into her.

"I was, but I'm also hungry." Her whisper jolted him as she kissed the corner of his mouth, stretching just out of his reach when he tried claiming her pout with his own. She tittered before fluttering her lashes at him, caramel simmering in those fawn eyes. She was smiling up at him, taking in the way his corded muscles tensed.

"Did ya want to go grab breakfast at the guild then?" He managed, his thoughts scattered as she pumped him once, twice – far more confident than she had been twenty-four hours ago.

She shook her head, voice tantalizing as she increased the pressure of her strokes. She opened her mouth, testing the words out carefully – gearing up to try something new. "It's raining too hard to go outside. Besides, I had something else in mind."

Natsu gulped, his throat constricting as the slight nervousness lighting her features faded, only to be overtaken by determination – promising trouble.

He nearly whined when she released him, only to blink rapidly when she began to pull away from his grip. He furrowed his brows, squeezing her once in question before allowing her to retreat. Lucy just smirked at his confusion, running her tongue along her lower lip as she slunk low. His inhaled sharply as she pushed him flat on his back, her hair tickling him as it spilled across his chest. Her mouth began trailing down, her hands braced against his hipbones, nails digging into the sensitive skin on either side of his toned thighs as she shoved his boxers down to his knees.

"Wh–at are you doing." He gritted, fangs biting into his lip until he could taste the faint tang of copper. He raised himself up on his elbows while dropping a hand to her silken locks. He gathered them into a messy knot at the base of her neck, clearing them from her face – wanting to see those eyes, lost in their lust filled haze as she kissed the side of his ribs.

"Didn't I say? I'm hungry." She cooed, false innocence gilding her speech.

She didn't give him a moment to relax before she reached her destination. Mavis help him, they hadn't done this during any of their rounds last night.

Gripping his base tightly, she brought her tongue out to run along the side of his cock, her saliva leaving him slick as she twisted her fingers to spread the lubrication, licking the vein pulsing on the underside.

"Oh my gods." He breathed, fisting at her hair as he fought to control his raging heartbeat, panting slightly at the sight of her. She glanced up with those wide eyes, not breaking contact as her tongue circled his tip, lapping at his slit. She mewled at the flavor of him salty and musky – stronger here than elsewhere on his skin. The texture was strange, not bad but different.

"You feel so good, Natsu." She groaned, and she wasn't lying – but the way his pupils constricted, his irises dark and dangerous, set her blood on fire. The heady confidence was worth it as he snarled at her words, his hips thrusting upwards involuntarily. He tugged at her scalp again when she continued to lick him, one hand gliding down his shaft while the other massaged his balls carefully the way he'd shown her the evening prior.

"Holy fuck!" He rasped, his heels digging into the mattress, every muscle in his bond coiled tightly. When she returned to the head, her tongue swirling in tight circles, the friction became too much.

"Please, Lucy."

Her eyes flashed up to his. She paused, her tongue giving him one last swipe before widening her lips, taking him into her mouth.

He swore, a filthy string of curses streaming from him as the hot wet orifice engulfed him. Her jaw strained to take as much of him in as possible, pumping what she couldn't with her hand, letting the saliva fall to coat the rest of him. She bobbed on him experimentally, repeating the motion when his grip on her tightened. Natsu was a mess above her, his legs felt like jelly even as the blood roared in his ears, sparks spotting his vision as he zeroed in on the feel of Lucy's mouth and tongue swallowing him.

At this rate, he wouldn't last long.

He was thick and scalding, stretching her lips as the tip of him brushed against the back of her throat – instantly triggering her gag reflex. She coughed slightly, her cheeks hollowing out as she accidentally brought him too deep.

Red flushed her cheeks, her jaw already a bit sore. She heard a broken chuckle from above her, warm fingers combing through her hair comfortingly, massaging the back of her neck.

"That feels amazing, but I rather you didn't force yourself to choke." Natsu breathed, his words playful even as she could see the strain in his features to keep from thrusting into her. He twitched slightly as she hummed, the vibrations coursing through him as she released him with a pop – not going far.

"I can't help it, you barely fit." She said honestly, thoughtlessly.

Natsu blinked at her slowly. Her spine stiffened as the words clicked, about to stammer when he growled, the sound tearing through her as he yanked her up his back up his body, smashing his lips against hers, hard.

He twisted, flipping them over in one fluid motion, pressing her down into the sheets as her head sank back into her pillow. She cried out, arching into him, her hands clambering to his shoulders. He settled between her thighs, her legs squeezing him close even as he was careful not to slip inside her. His fingers clenched her hair, tangled tightly to keep her to him. He pushed past her lips, his tongue dominating hers. He furrowed his brows at the bitter taste of himself, feeling his length throb at the image of her below him and sucking his cock. That wasn't a vision he was likely to forget anytime soon.

Taking a shuddering breath, he pressed his forehead against hers.

"The things you say," he muttered, shaking his head as if in disbelief. "You're killing me here, Luce."

She nosed at him, pulling his lip between her teeth – drawing out a hiss as he ground down against her inner thigh. Her heartbeat was erratic as she watched him in awe, the jade clashing with the amber in his eyes. Her fingers trailed along the scar on his neck as he leaned into her touch. "You really do love it, don't you?" She marveled, a shudder crawling through her at the smoldering look he gave her – a fanged grin plastered across his face.

"What? Hearing my girl talk dirty and compliment my dick? Yeah." He snorted, teething at her earlobe as his deep tenor rumbled through her. "I like it."

She squirmed, her hips bucking into his as he kissed down her jaw again, latching onto her pulse.

"I wasn't talking dirty." She denied, flushing as one of her partner's hands snaked below her shirt, thumbing the underside of her breast, his callouses rough against the delicate spot.

"My bad, you're right. You were just talking about how big and thick I am." He purred, lips brushing against the column of her throat. "I wouldn't wanna stress out that pretty pink mouth of yours with it. Not when I know how to use it to make you cum instead."

Lucy gasped, her abdomen clenching at his words despite herself – a rush a desire flooding her system. That reservation, that hesitation that had coloured Natsu's actions towards her these past few weeks was gone. There was an easiness in the way he talked to her – carefree and blithe, as if being with her like this was the most natural thing in the world. In a way, she guessed it was. He had always teased her, gleefully feeding off her reactions – it shouldn't surprise her that he would retain that deviant streak even as their relationship evolved.

That was fine, she would just have to give as good as she got. After all, if there was anything that lit a fire under her boyfriend, it was when she went toe-to-toe with him. Swallowing thickly, she screwed her courage to the sticking place.

"Prove it." She exhaled.

He paused.

He was peering up at her from his coral fringe, his shoulders flexing as he held himself above her, head canted to the side. Her fingers were shaking as she reached out to encircle his wrist bringing his attention up from where he'd been lavishing her collarbone.

She guided his hand down her body, bringing it to cup at the apex of her thighs – allowing him to feel exactly what he did to her.

His breathing stopped, his eyes arresting as they shifted between shades, as storming as the sky beyond.

"Show me, or are you all talk?" She goaded, her breath hiccuping at growl that ripped out of him. She cried out as his long fingers sunk into her without warning, not needing to prep her as they curled them inside her, scraping against her tender walls. Lucy arched off the bed, grinding into his touch as she raked her nails against the corded planes of his back.

Natsu bent low, speaking against the shell of her ear. "I'm going to make you forget your own name."

With that, his hand came up – capturing her chin and smashing his mouth against hers – relentless and feral.

As she struggled to breathe, her heart thundering in her ribcage at his ministrations, Lucy couldn't help but agree.

By the time they left the bed, the dark clouds were receding – the sun breaking through and shining along the streets of Magnolia. It hung high in the sky, the morning bleeding into the afternoon – the bright rays reflecting over the numerous puddles as the city slowly came back to life.

Wearing her knee-high boots – Lucy splashed her soles in the shallow pools, grinning as the dragon slayer beside her wrinkled his nose when she got his feet wet. It was his fault for wearing sandals, and it wasn't like he didn't routinely do the same to get a rise out of her. Her long blonde hair was coiled in a loose braid and slung over one shoulder, swinging lazily as she checked his hip with her own.

He watched her through dilated pupils, bright and cheerful as he rolled his eyes at her – kicking some of the water her way to drench the brown leather. She huffed, punching his bicep as she tried to pull away. He grabbed her hand before she could move too far, entwining their fingers. His incisors poked through his lips at her look of distaste, amusement painting his angular features.

She settled next to him reluctantly, pouting. "You're so mean."

He snorted, the dark fabric of his jacket scrunching as he rolled his shoulders. He squeezed her hand tightly before pitching his voice up an octave in a poor imitation of her own. "Kettle black, babe."

She giggled at that, the sound tinkling as a small smile crept up on her despite herself when he threw the phrase at her. She swung their connected hands back and forth, enjoying the momentum as they began crossing an overpass, waving idly at some of the fisherman on the canal. "You said that before too, you know."

Natsu canted his head towards her, one brow raised as he waited for her to continue – his rosy spikes messier than normal. "You keep calling me babe and pretty girl, and…stuff." She finished lamely, her throat feeling dry as she saw the glitter of mischief in those emerald orbs.

He stopped then, using his hold on her to drag her closer, leaning against the stone wall of the bridge. She allowed it easily, putting up a hand to rest against his chest to balance herself, his heartbeat a steady drum against her splayed palm. Keeping their hands together, Natsu looped the other around her waist loosely, rotating them so she stood in front of him.

"Do you want me to stop?" He asked, his baritone reverberating through her and curling her toes – still raspy from their earlier activities. She shook her head once to clear it.

"No, it's just different. You don't normally ask permission for stuff like this either. Remember Luigi?" She said wryly. He bit back a chuckle, his canines digging into his lower lip. He raised their conjoined hands when he noticed a lock of her hair had come undone, pushing it behind her ear with the back of his knuckles – enjoying the rouging of her cheeks at the contact.

"I'm working on it. Besides, I don't care if anyone calls you Luigi – but I'll sure as hell have a problem if someone else starts calling you babe." He grinned, resting his elbow behind him, his fingers drumming on her side, playing with the hem of her shirt. It still amazed him that he could touch her so casually.

She fidgeted at the feel of his heated index trailing on the bare skin of her stomach but wouldn't withdrawing as long as he didn't start veering too far north or south. "Cana and Loke call me that all the time." She reminded, gnawing on the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing at his irritated expression.

"Not in front of me they ain't." He growled, his fingers tightening on her before slackening as he remembered those spots might still be a bit tender from his prior enthusiasm. Lucy just snickered, drawing random swirls along his collar, occasionally brushing against the fluffy tassels of his scarf.

"Jealous dragon, aren't you?"

"Damn straight, pretty girl." He winked, the endearment falling from his lips naturally – like a claim. Not that he would really do anything serious if someone was flirting with his girlfriend, she was more than capable of handling herself. Besides, he trusted her. He'd only step in if she needed it – and Mavis help the fucker who pushed it that far.

"Alright, enough chitchat. Let's get going Lucy!"

"Fine, but you've got to promise to behave when we get to the guild!" She admonished, tapping on the hand he still had just under her top. He grunted before straightening, pushing off the side as he towed her forward.

"Psshhh. You love it – think of all the new material I've given you for your book." He prodded, smirking roguishly as he glanced down at her, tugging on her hand until she fell into step with him – making their way towards Fairy Tail.

She rolled her eyes, though her cheeks were a bit red as she thought back to the night he'd read her final chapter aloud to her. He'd pressed her back against the plaster, looming over her with fire crackling in his eyes, arms caging her in before he kissed her senseless.

She took a fortifying breath.

He was right, after all. She had a feeling those sorts of scenes were going to become much easier to write. She wasn't in a place deny it, but she wasn't about to admit it to him either. His ego didn't need any stroking. Instead she used the subject as a pivot point.

"I'm actually getting pretty close to finishing off Adventures of Iris." She told him, running her thumb over his knuckles absently as they walked. "Levy promised to give it one last look through before I send it off to Jason. He said he'd forward it to Sorcerer Weekly's partner publishing house."

She looked up when he squeezed her hand, a smile stretching across his face. "That's great Luce, they'd be crazy not to take you."

She ran her tongue along her front teeth, poking at the inside of her cheek as a tinge of nerves clouded her features. "You think? I'm afraid it won't be good enough."

He shook his head emphatically, chin raised as he looked ahead, pulling her out of the way of an oncoming puddle to prevent her from reigniting a splash fight. "Please, they'll take one look before the realize you're the best. Before you know it, they'll be throwing awards at your feet."

Her eyes crinkled at the corners, the butterscotch within sweet as she grinned, a skip returning to her step. "I doubt that, but thanks."

They continued on in silence for a few moments, passing by the Kardia Cathedral. As they got closer to the guild, only a street away, Lucy seemed to waver – sighing weakly. Natsu cocked his head, brow furrowing at the sound. He squeezed her hand again. "You good?"

She glanced up at him through her lashes, seeing the question for what it was. Are we good? Not missing his subtle glance at their entwined fingers. She nodded firmly, picking up speed until they were just outside the hall.

"Let's do this." She gave him a small smile. He snickered, pressing a brief kiss to the top of her head before dragging her along – hauling open the doors.

"We made it back alive!" He hollered, snagging everyone's attention front and center. The chaotic noise fell silent, the conversations at the tables pausing as their guildmates zeroed in on their faces, dropping instantly to their linked hands.

You could hear a pin drop in the subsequent quiet.

Lucy grimaced, fighting the urge to hide behind the fire mage at their intense focus. Then a voice in the back piped up, ringing clear through the hall.

"I told you! They loovvveeeeeee each other." Happy cried out, darting up into the air, moving in two tight corkscrews as he hovered over the bar – flapping a paw in their direction as his whiskers twitched at Mira. The silver-haired beauty's jaw dropped before squealing, high pitched as she clapped her hands together.

That was all it took to break the spell, chaos erupting all around them.

Lucy groaned, giving into her previous wish, ducking halfway behind Natsu, though she was careful not to release her hold on him. Oh gods, this was going to be just as bad as she thought.

Leave it to their friends to be drama queens.

She was so getting back at that cat.

Cana was the first to reach them, the woman surprisingly swift despite the drunken wobble to her steps – hauling Happy behind her by his tail: the traitorous feline squawking all the while. She was followed quickly by the Strauss sisters and Elfman before the rest of the gaggle swarmed in. Only the newer members, who didn't know them well, stayed seated. Juvia, Gray and Levy also approached albeit more sedately, trailed by Gajeel and a timid blunette. Wendy looked pink in the cheeks while the older dragon slayer beside her leered as if he'd smelled something bad – the piercings in his face warping comically.

Natsu just scoffed at his expression, glancing between Redfox and Levy – resisting the urge to comment.

The brunette stopped directly before them, holding out the upside down exceed who was half giggling and half crying. She shook him once, causing Natsu to blink – returning his attention to her. He had his feet planted firmly, Lucy coiling around his left arm as she was a partial step behind him – apparently using him as a human shield. He wasn't nearly as perturbed as she was, but then again, she hadn't grown up with this lot either.

"Well, is he telling the truth?" Cana demanded. Her free hand rested on her jutted hip, her foot tapping impatiently when they didn't respond right away.

Lucy mumbled something unintelligible, too garbled for even a dragon slayer's hearing to make out. Their friend grunted.

"You and pinky there. It's official? Levy's been sitting smug all morning but refused to confirm or deny anything." Her pixie sized mage was indeed grinning, a manic gleam in her eyes as she waggled her brows. The fortune teller glowered before waving over to Gray. He'd managed to lose his shirt but had his hands stuffed into the pockets of his pants. "Then this idiot's been spreading nonsense about you being hypnotized. What's the deal girl?"

The blonde ignored Natsu's angry grumble at hypnotism accusation, focusing instead on the question laid at her feet. She scuffed her boot on the hard wood floors, glancing around at the eager faces watching them.

She cleared her throat before beginning slowly, "You mean are we dat—"

She was instantly interrupted.

"I mean are you together, official? Shagging? Doing the dirty? The horizontal tango, fu—"

Mira took that moment to interject before the drunkard could really get into it. "Oh my, how wonderful. Another wedding!"

Beside her, Lisanna sighed, palming her face at her sister's dreamy eyes. "Err, maybe not that yet…" However, she was unheeded as the cacophony increased – the rumours growing stranger and more ridiculous by the second.

Natsu barked a laugh, not looking at his guildmates so much as watching the expressions play off of Lucy's face. She was waffling, trying to mitigate their expectations with her hands waving frantically in front of her. To stop her blathering, he turned on his heel, grabbing her shoulders to spin her to face him. Placing one hand at the small of her back, he brought the other to tilt her chin up to him before kissing her square on the lips.

That shut them up.

Feeling her melt into him, the tension in her giving way – he swept her down in a deep dip. A wolf whistle sounded from somewhere as he drew the moment out, letting them get lost in the touch – anchoring the panicking girl in his arms. When he pulled back, Natsu grinned at her heavy-lidded gaze, lips still parted softly as he winked at her. He put her back on her feet steadily as she blushed deeply, the blood pooling in her cheeks as the world snapped back into place around them. Keeping one arm around her waist, he let the other go behind his head in a casual motion – turning to their guildmates nonchalantly.

"That answer your question?"

It was a free for all after that: people calling in bets and checking the calendar, pulling out a spreadsheet Lucy swore she had never seen before from seemingly nowhere. A few feet away, Levy was cackling that she found out first only for Happy to challenge her claim. They were swarmed as the blonde glanced over to her partner. He gave a half-hearted shrug of apology, but his fanged grin was unrepentant. She sighed, bemused.

Well, Natsu had never been known for subtlety.

So much for easing into it.

A few hours later found them seated at one of the tables, the remnants of a late lunch pushed to the side as they chatted together – finally released from the clutches of the rabble. Natsu had just returned to her as Erza had gone to grab another drink, sinking down onto the bench beside her with a clank. He sighed, throwing his arm around her shoulder before burying his nose into her flaxen locks. She hummed, hand resting on his thigh as she breathed in his scent – smoky and earthen like a summer storm.

"Hey Lucy, there's a really cool job request on the board that I think we'd be perfect for." He told her, an excitement underlying his voice. She canted her head, knowing what that tone meant. Any job that got him fired up was one that would press them to their limits – or reward them with food.

Either or, really.

She leaned back just enough that he was forced to lift his head, his face now visible to her. His lips were pressed together, eyes wide and hopeful. She cracked her neck, wavering. "Oh yeah? I'm actually kind of tired, Natsu. We just returned from back-to-back missions, give me a week before we rush out again?"

He nodded, waving his hand in partial dismissal, indicating a misunderstanding. "Sure, but that's not what I meant."

She tilted her head back further, honeyed irises flickering across his features in curiosity. "What do you mean then?"

He grinned, straightening in his seat. His tanned hand gripped the wooden grain of the table as he braced his forearm against it, swerving towards her fully. "Upstairs, past the S-class bulletin – you know, the one past the extra storage room? Gildarts told me about this request and—"

"—Wait, wait, wait. Beyond S-class? And one Gildarts already took?" She questioned, dumbfounded when he nodded eagerly, opening his mouth to speak again. She quickly moved to cut him off, bringing her palm to settle over his on the table. "Meaning it's a quest that he couldn't complete…are you talking about the hundred years quest?" She squeaked.

"Why on Earthland would we want to do that! Makarov won't give us permission for that." She whined, not encouraged by the fact that his face hadn't lost its confident glint.

"Nah, leave Gramps up to me – I'll wear him down eventually." He dismissed, head already craning as if he could find the old man hiding nearby. Lucy's mouth opened and closed as she scrambled for an explanation for why this was a bad idea.

"Still though, if Gildarts couldn't do it – how the hell would we pull it off?" She beseeched. Natsu paused, turning down to focus back on her, dark eyes shadowed and unreadable. He turned his hand so his wrist was facing up, twining his warm fingers with hers.

"Cause we're a team. You, me, Erza, Wendy – even ice dick. If anyone can do it, we can." He told her, voice serious.

Her heart warmed at the thought, knowing how much faith he put in them all. He trusted them all with his life: they were a family. Sensing some of her resistance diminishing, he ran his thumb across her knuckles, nudging her arm with his to make her look at him.

"Besides, the mission is outside of Ishgar, up in Giltena. It'll give us a chance to travel and you said that Aquarius' key could reform on any—"

"—continent." She finished for him, pupils blown wide in awe and fondness.

Lucy smiled, large cider-bronzed eyes melting him like butterscotch before she threw her arms around his neck. She pressed her lips to his pulse point softly as she burrowed her face into the hollow of his throat, nuzzling into him when he pulled her in close to his body. "Thanks, Natsu."

She didn't bother to say anything else, she didn't need to.

To know that he had been paying attention to her that night, that his promise had meant something – that he hadn't just offered it in comfort… That he meant to keep it. She shouldn't have doubted him. Of course, he'd prioritize her and offer them up for something as insane as the hundred years quest. Her reluctance all but disappeared at that.

It was a foregone conclusion that it would be hard, that it would be dangerous – but when hadn't it been? Still, Natsu would never put them in harms way if he didn't think they could handle it. She trusted him.

If he believed in them, so would she.

After all, Natsu Dragneel was not an idiot.

Sure, he was hard headed and hyperactive to a fault. He could be childish, whiny, and brash. He was often oblivious to basic social norms – but she blamed that on his lack of human contact as a kid. There was a part of him that had always been a bit wild, and she saw no reason whatsoever to change that.

It was one of the reasons she fell in love with him in the first place.


Hello everyone,

Oh my gosh, I feel so emotional!

Thank you to all of you who have come along with me on this crazy journey. I started Boiling Point exactly one year ago and am so excited to share the conclusion with you today - I really hope you enjoyed it! (Please note, while I appreciate comments I am NOT looking for opinions on my writing or grammar. I'm doing it for fun, not for editorial critique.)

I'd like to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who has followed, favourited, or reviewed this story! Thank you so much for supporting Boiling Point! As of today, this story has over 400 reviews and favourites, along with over 600 followers. I literally can't believe it - I never imagined such a positive response when I began Boiling Point last year.

I want to give a special thanks to all my reviewers. Thank you to X-x-Forgotten-Dreams-x-X, Duchixx, kim-stxtches, Deborahpflover, noseinabook145, foreveranimez, AzmariaMinohi, Leomae2.0, Supergirl20155, Raelin Thaon, valerioux, JAKEDSNAKE, mautrino, The 0bservanc3, sarahelle04, DreamWeaver2121, Dark Shining Light, Daisy73, MasterGildarts, Fireabovefirebelow, waiting-for-you443, the-clumsy-one, stranger1999, UnderratedOver, TheJSmooth, WingsRider and YukiMC who has reviewed every single chapter from the beginning!

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Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you join me on my next Fairy Tail adventures!



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Check out a Sneak Peak of Helix Below:

Chapter 1 Excerpt - Alpha

The evening was sweltering as he dragged a breath of air through his lungs – hot and humid. The hair at his nape was sticky, sweat beading his neck and dampening the collar of his stuffy leather jacket. His shoulders flexed under the impeccably tailored fabric, the diagonal zip undone at the front to reveal a plain white shirt. He was hunched over a glass of whiskey, forearms braced against the wooden bar top as he drew idles swirls in the condensation forming on his coaster.

Normally he reveled in the heat, but Hargeon was another beast altogether – the seaport was known for its punishing weather.

His temple was furrowed in concentration, a scowl plastered across his lean face as his rosy fringe shaded his eyes – hiding the faint indentation of a missing piercing through his left brow.

"Could you look a little less miserable, flame-brain?"

Natsu's grimace deepened, fingers reaching up to tug at his ear to straighten the communication lacrima concealed below his hairline.

"Shut up, ice dick." He murmured quietly, jaw tight as he tried to concentrate on his surroundings without drawing too much attention. The establishment he found himself in was plush and decadent – classic mahogany paneling and espresso upholstery – thick with the scent of cigars and alcohol.

He wriggled his nose, the spiced tobacco irritating his sinuses. It did nothing to help his present mood.

"Behave boys." The female voice was sharp despite the static of the radio, leaving no room for argument. "Captain, the informant said the suspects would be here at the top of the hour. You just have to sit tight a little longer."

"Why can't I just storm in after they arrive?" He grumbled, bringing his drink to his lips. The amber liquid burned down his throat pleasantly. "I don't see why I gotta dress like some stogie."

There was a snort on the other side of the receiver, followed by a thump and a yelp. The pinkette bit back a laugh before Erza returned on the line. "Because we don't know exactly who we're expecting – we don't want to give up our own operative and blow our cover for a small fry."

Natsu sighed, shoulders slumping slightly as he resigned himself to his fate. Besides, despite his deviant streak, he wasn't one to disobey direct orders from his commanding officer.

"Yes ma'am." He responded before looking up and scanning the lounge once more. He might as well attempt to blend in properly, and it would be strange for him to sit there without a drink – even if he had no intention of downing it. With that in mind, he raised his hand to hail the barista, a fanged grin settling onto his features as he ordered a refill before closing his tab.

He held up his right wrist obligingly as the woman scanned the barcode tattooed just below his pulse point. Her smile faltered as his name came into view, the army insignia flashed next to it on her screen as her eyes flickered over to his own. Natsu just met her gaze evenly, onyx irises shadowed in the dark room. She said nothing, choosing instead to return to polishing glasses on the far side of the counter.

There weren't many other patrons in the saloon – despite its luxurious décor, it was tucked within a side alley of a seedier neighborhood. It wasn't quite a harborside tavern, but it was still a far cry from the glass and chrome pubs in the city center.

In his peripheral, Natsu counted three men chatting idly a few meters away. Likely petty criminals, but not who he was looking for. He'd leave them for the civilian police, knowing it fell under their jurisdiction. He fought back the scowl he could feel twisting his lips – if he had his way, this entire mission would be left up to the local law enforcement as well. However, the decision came from above his pay grade.

The Brigadier had framed the Grimoire Syndicate as a military target, and there was no arguing with him.

It was a lazy evening, the sunset just visible from the windows on the western wall. The quiet was broken when the main door creaked open, tuscan rays spilling through the entryway. He blinked against the sudden light, pupils constricting as he took in the newcomer.

His breath instantly left him in one big gust, his heart in his throat.

She was ravishing.

She approached the bar on silver stilettos, her balance impeccable as his eyes unconsciously traced up the expanse of her long legs. The dress she wore was floor-length with a slit high at the top of her thigh – the midnight material stark and structured. There were two symmetrical geometric cutouts at her waist, enticing bronzed skin peeking through her Cleopatra neckline – another jagged mesh opening visible by her left collar.

She passed by him, turning his head as he watched her sit with knees crossed, the slit of her skirt leaving them exposed. His pulse jumped as he took in the naked back, partially concealed by the elegant gold curls cascading between her shoulder-blades.

He swallowed thickly, as he tore his gaze away from her – cursing internally at his misfortune. It figured that a woman like her would saunter in while he was still on duty.

Shit luck.