Natsu heard the soft creaking of the door as it opened and closed. He heard gentle footsteps and the familiar scent awoke him. Lucy slowly made her way into the dark room, careful to avoid hitting or dropping anything.
"Natsu?" He heard Lucy's faint whisper.
Immediately, he was up, his dragon senses quickly soaking Lucy's form. She stood before him in her pink pajamas, staring at him uneasily. Her eyes glistened and she looked pale.
"Lucy? What's wrong?" Natsu shuffled up, clearly sensing her discomfort.
She gulped, "It's nothing serious…I-I just saw a bad dream." Lucy lowered her gaze, feeling awkward to the boot. It was quite unlike her to be this emotional over a dream. "I-" she trembled when she saw a flashback of that dreadful dream, an image of Natsu lying still. He was dead. A violent shiver went down her spine.
She forced herself to snap back to reality and calm her mind. Natsu was right in front of her. He was right there. It was just a nightmare. Everything was fine. Everything was alright.
After a moment of pause, she shook her head. "I'm sorry, bothering you about such a trivial thing in the middle of the night,"
Natsu quickly pulled out a blanket and wrapped her around her. "It's not trivial to me."
Before she knew it, Lucy tightly wrapped her arms around him. Taken aback by the sudden contact, Natsu hesitated, unsure of what he should do. His hands hovered over her waist. Lucy was silent, for a while, and Natsu waited patiently.
Lucy's voice came muffled, "I saw that you had exhausted all your powers against Zeref, and you wouldn't wake. No matter how much I called you, you wouldn't open your eyes. It was like you were dea-" she couldn't make herself complete. "I-I thought I lost you."
Natsu pulled her deeper into the embrace, "I'm alive. I ain't going anywhere Lucy."
Stunned, Lucy found herself sobbing, soft tears gushing down her cheeks. After a brief moment, Lucy pulled away, wiping the remaining tears away.
"I'm sorry to worry you." Lucy gave him a small smile, "I'm fine now. Thank you, Natsu."
"It's nothing, you don't have to apologize, Lucy," Natsu scratched his neck nervously, his eyes darted around the room, "You want something to eat or drink? Water? Coffee? Ah, the coffee maker is broken. I have some snacks left-"
Lucy smiled, "Water is fine, thank you."
Natsu promptly scurried away to fetch the water jug and a glass, but he couldn't find a single clean glass. In the end, he had to give her water in a bowl.
Lucy laughed, but said nothing. They basked in the silence and darkness of the night, quietly watching each other. Natsu, with his simple antics, managed to make her feel normal. The dream had been so realistic, she couldn't get over it. It was like she had gone back into the past when Happy brought Natsu back after his fight with Zeref. She had pressed her ear to his chest, and found that his heart wasn't beating anymore. Another near death moment was when he fought in the kingdom of Stella against Zash, the manipulator. He laid still, blood clotting against his shirt.
Nothing could describe how helpless she felt that time.
Natsu, on the other hand, was worried that Lucy still wasn't feeling good. He could tell how shaken and scared she was. He couldn't bear to see Lucy upset. He wanted to do something for her, anything, but he didn't know what to do. He considered waking up Happy, who was sound asleep on his cot all along, but then decided against it. He didn't want to annoy her, which he and Happy tended to do. Sometimes, unintentionally.
Finally, Natsu declared, "You should sleep, Lucy. I'll drop you back home." Natsu scrabbled around, looking for his sandals.
"Can I sleep here?" Lucy's voice came out as a whisper, hesitant and nervous.
Natsu stopped to look at her. Feeling slightly embarrassed by her request, she tried thinking of an excuse to get away from the situation. Natsu would probably ridicule her, and embarrass her further.
"Okay." Natsu replied.
Lucy was shocked, elated and relieved all at once. Seeing Natsu around seemed to calm her down. She didn't want to return to the deafening silence of her room where she would be all alone. His voice gave her strength, and she wasn't feeling the fear of the nightmare anymore.
Natsu scratched his head, "The couch is dirty because I dropped some soup on it, so you take the hammock, I'll take the couch."
Lucy shook her head, "I don't want to be a burden. The couch is fine." She was already bothering Natsu so much. She was always making him worry.
Natsu sighed in exasperation, "Seriously, Lucy-"
"No! I can't-" Lucy started protesting in her usual stubborn manner. Natsu knew that he couldn't win in an argument with her and knew where this was going.
"Fine, then why don't you sleep with me?" Natsu said out loud, and a deep silence followed. He knew that Lucy would refuse, yell and turn red and that would wake Happy, which they were carefully avoiding.
"Okay." Lucy's voice rang out clearly, but even with his sharp ears, Natsu found what he heard unbelievable.
Natsu shifted on the hammock, making place for Lucy. They lied on it, face to face, but maintaining their distance. While Lucy directed her gaze away, Natsu watched Lucy closely, trying to read her emotions. She was looking slightly flushed, but mostly the color had returned to her face.
"Are you comfortable enough?" Natsu asked.
Lucy closed her eyes, and hummed in response. While she had shared a bed many times with Natsu (often involuntarily), this time Lucy found her heart racing and breathing irregular. Looking at Natsu had certainly given her relief, but this was something entirely different.
His breath was warm against her face, and the natural heat that emitted from his body made the hammock cozy.
Besides her wild emotions, Lucy found her hand in an uncomfortable position, with her entire body weight focused on it.
"Your arm hurts doesn't it?" Natsu remarked silently and she was once again amazed at his ability to read her like an open book in moments like these.
"I have a better idea." Natsu pulled her body above his, to rest her body, and held her in an embrace, hands wrapped around her waist. "Is that okay, Lucy?"
Recovering from the initial shock of the sudden physical contact, Lucy smiled as she gave in, "Much better."
She pressed her ear to Natsu's chest, and the sound of his heart beat made her immensely happy and relieved. She found herself feeling relaxed, like nothing had happened. She was with Natsu, and she was the happiest in the world.
"-ove you-" Lucy muttered dizzily, the sleep and exhaustion hitting her badly.
"What?" Natsu asked sharply.
"Uh, I said good night!" giggling nervously, Lucy covered up drowsily.
But Natsu sharp dragon hearing caught it well. Smiling into her soft hair, he replied gently, "Good night Lucy."
a/n: This is dedicated to my dearest friend, Sachiko Saki! Without you I'd have no one to share all my crazy emotions and theories over FT and Miraculous! You rock! *heart*
This is a companion piece to my other one-shot, Sweet Dreams. Hope you like it :D