1 - A Formal Affair – Gratsulu Week 2018 Prompt "Dressed Up"
He scowled at the mirror, taking in his slate dress pants and the crisp white linen of his shirt. The sleeves were pushed up his lean forearms, showing corded muscles. He grimaced as his fingers quickly did up the buttons, suffocating him as he tugged at his collar. He glanced over to the bed where his jacket and tie had been neatly laid out for him and ran his fingers though his mess of coral hair, shoving it away from his forehead.
Natsu blinked at his reflection again before leaning down to grab the tie, fingering the blush silk – so soft under his worn callouses. Carefully, he looped it around his throat before attempting to knot it. His hands, normally so sure, felt clumsy as they struggled to twist it neatly. By his third endeavor, he was ready to shred it and watch it turn to ash in his palms. He smirked, the edges of his canines peeking through his lips as the fiery image flickered in his mind.
"That smile always spells trouble." The voice was soft and warm, sending a shiver down him at the sound.
He turned half way, canting his head to the side as he took in the figure leaning against the door jam. She was all curves, the sapphire fabric of her gown dripping along her frame like a second skin. It fell to her ankles, a long slit on the left side exposing the creamy expanse of her thigh.
His throat went dry as he dragged his eyes up her form, drinking in the cinch of her waist, the deep vi of her neckline and the constellation of freckles dotting her bare shoulders. Lucy giggled at his expression, copper irises glittering as she took a step towards him. Her hair was woven to one side in a braided laurel, the gold tresses cascaded down her collarbone.
"I was just thinking how much better this would look if it was burnt." He grinned, white teeth gleaming as she paused in front of him. She shook her head, biting her lower lip as the corners of her eyes crinkled in mirth. She held her hand up, palm facing upward as she looked at him expectantly. He groaned but relented – tossing her the offending article. She hummed her thanks, her slender fingers working expertly to fasten the tie as if she'd done it a thousand times before.
"How do ya know how to do this anyways?" He asked her, his chin slanting up slightly to make it easier for her.
"You're just grouchy because you need assistance." She teased, smoothing down his collar as she traced the expanse of his broad shoulders. He made a low sound in his throat, his own arms coming around to snake around her midriff, holding her to him.
"Show off." He growled, his breath caressing the shell of her ear. She melted into him as he nipped at her playfully.
"Would you've rather asked Gray?" She teased, batting her lashes. "He's been ready for ages – waiting for you to finish prettying up."
"Please, if you sent in the stripper he'd either choke me or undress me before he helped me with the tie. Then you'd have wait twice as long." Natsu griped, emphasizing his point with a squeeze, his hands curled at the small of her back and sliding lower by the second.
"I could always do both." The man in question drawled from behind them. His onyx jacket hung lazily over his right arm, his snowy shirt the twin of the one his boyfriend wore. A silver tie was indeed secured tightly around his neck as he smirked at them, his dark hair slicked back – a singular strand falling into his pewter gaze.
His hands were shoved into his pockets as he sauntered towards them, his blood running molten as he observed the two of them pressed together.
The dragon slayer turned, scoffing. "In your dreams."
"Probably," The ice mage shrugged, the corner of his mouth twitching. "But you like my kinks."
Black eyes flashed as Natsu's grin turned feral. He kept one arm banded around the blonde, securing her tightly to his side while his other reached forward, hooking his thumb into the raven head's belt. He dragged Gray forward until their faces were a hands width apart – the pinkette's leer taunting, even as he had to tilt up to even their heights.
"Yeah? Well, wanna know what I dream about, Ice Princess?" He asked as they locked eyes, glaring at each other as magic began to sizzle in the air around them – currents of heat and frost swirling together.
"Me bending you over the couch?"
"Fuck you, Gray." The pinkette hissed, pressing their foreheads together.
"Gladly." The reply was sharp and quick, dripping with promise. They were leaning further into each other, auras clashing when suddenly, they both froze. Their eyes dropped between their torsos where lithe porcelain fingers had splayed on their chests.
Natsu winced slightly, pulling back an inch so they could meet the blonde's eyes.
"As much as I'm enjoying this, and as much as I hate to interrupt," Lucy paused, flickering between the dual contrite expressions. "You two promised me you'd behave. I'm really excited about tonight."
She finished with a light pout, widening her honeyed eyes in a way that she knew turned them both into puddles. Gray swallowed before encircling her wrist lightly, bringing her hand up to his lips. He pressed a gentle kiss to her pulse and then her knuckles, his mouth lingering.
"Sorry Lucy, we'll be good." He murmured against her palm, his lashes casting heavy shadows along his cheeks as he peered down at her. "You look beautiful by the way, blue suits you."
"Thanks Gray." She beamed at him, flushing slightly as she coiled a flaxen strand around her index. Natsu cleared his throat loudly.
"Oy, what about me?" He groused, his brows furrowed as he waited expectantly.
Gray snorted. A deep bellied laugh escaped him, the sound vibrating through the places they touched. He bent over slightly and pecked the glowering man lightly on the lips. "You're gorgeous babe."
"Damn straight I am." The pinkette preened, returning the ice mage's kiss, sucking in his bottom lip, and dragging a rough growl from the other man before releasing him. Snickering, Natsu waggled his eyebrows suggestively before titling his head to rest on Lucy's. He nuzzled his cheek against hers, his nose pressing against the crook of her neck. He took a deep breath, inhaling her morning dew scent.
"He's right though Luce, you're drop dead sexy." He simpered, his fingers drumming absently against her stomach even as he reached to entwine his other hand with Gray's – stroking his thumb over the cool knuckles.
She chuckled at that, the sound ringing through their otherwise silent apartment, Happy long since gone to the guild. It was the night of Elfman and Ever's engagement party, and she'd been looking forward to it for weeks. The fact that she got to dress up and show off for her two favourite boys was just a perk – and if the searing looks they were giving her were anything to go by, they seemed equally appreciative.
She raked her eyes down their figures as well, taking in the muscles rippling under their clothes and the razor-sharp angles of their jaws. Her gaze slid from sun-soaked bronze to smooth marbled alabaster, her toes curling in her heels.
Breaking out of her reverie, she reached up and kissed them both lightly on their temples, oozing affection.
Drawing away, she paused. She blinked twice before scrunching her eyebrows, staring owlishly at the pair of them.
"Did…Did you both just lose your ties!" She sputtered, her attention darting from one to the other.
Gray's face slackened in surprise as he swore under his breath, spinning around to find his missing accessory. Lucy groaned as she noticed his jacket had also managed to disappear. She lamented its loss, knowing it was unlikely to be found until least expected. She began mentally running inventory of their closet to see if she could find him another one. It was, after all, a formal affair.
Huffing, she pinched the bridge of her nose as she turned to the pyro.
He was scratching his head, his smile a bit forced as he hid one of his limbs behind his back. She squinted at him suspiciously. She glanced pointedly behind him, her arms crossing in front of her chest as she cocked her hip to the side. He ran his tongue over his incisors in a nervous gesture before sheepishly extending his hidden hand.
Inside his fist were the charred remnants of the rose hued tie she'd coerced him into earlier.
"Oops?" He tried.
She slumped, ignoring them both as she dragged her palm over her face. Slowly, she shuffled over to the dresser, digging through the various pieces before she found what she wanted. She twirled, her skirt whooshing around her long legs – the dangerously high slit catching the males' attention immediately.
Noting their eyes on her, she tossed them each a wad of cloth.
Gray let out a breath of relief as he unfurled the navy striped tie she'd found, expertly knotting it back around his neck. She shook her head at him as she shoved an extra one into her purse for later.
She then turned to Natsu, raising an eyebrow – daring him to have any complaints.
He grinned at her toothily as he undid his top two buttons and wound his familiar white muffler around his shoulders – ducking his chin into the soft material with a purr. He jumped up from his spot a moment later, startling the other two occupants of the room.
"All right! What're we waiting for then! Let's go!" He whooped. Still smiling, he ran over and grabbed her hand, towing her towards the bedroom door – stopping only long enough to grab Gray around his bicep to drag him along as well.
With that, the three of them headed out to the guild arm in arm – the sound of their laughter echoing through the night.
Thanks to those of you joining me on this little Gratsulu side adventure! Don't worry, I still adore Nalu, and have fics in the works for them, but I like this ship as well. "Sugar, Spice and All Things Ice" is a collection of interconnected one-shots in an alternate version of the canon-verse. They vary in theme and length, but most are short and sweet. I will be publishing one for every day of Gratsulu Week 2018.
If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know! I love feedback, and always make a point to respond. However, please remember to be polite. I am happy to accept constructive criticism, but if you just don't like the pairing, please just feel free to skip it and I won't be offended. I have a couple other Nalu stories in the works if you prefer those.