"You just had to blow up the mayors house, didn't you?" Lucy accused as she dropped her suitcase to the ground and glared at her partner.
"I didn't blow up anything." Natsu sulked as he crossed his arms. "I wish I had, now that I know what kind of a jerk he is."
"Oh? Then what would you call what you did to that wall?"
"Puttin' a whole in something is not the same as blowing it up. Besides, we got the monster, he should've been happy. Taking half of our pay and kicking us out of town was harsh."
Lucy shook her head and tried to hide her amusement at her friend's pouting. She was a little miffed that they'd lost a portion of their reward, and having to sleep in the woods was not going to make her happier, but Natsu's moping had a way of entertaining her. The poor idiot knew this was his fault but would do his best to avoid admitting to anything.
"Go find us something to eat and I'll gather some wood for a fire." Natsu nodded at her command and dropped his backpack before heading off into the forest, grumbling about dumb town leadership as he went.
Lucy hummed under her breath as she picked up dry branches around the clearing they'd be spending the night in. The next town with a train station was still a half day's walk away, and with the sun setting, camping out was the smart thing to do.
Of course, Lucy had not prepared for this and hadn't brought a sleeping bag which meant a very unpleasant night for her. She was a little envious of Natsu who had his bedroll with him, since he had not bothered to empty out his backpack after their last job.
Why was she always the one to suffer for his dumbassery while luck seemed to always be on his side? The world truly was a cruel place.
He returned with arms full of apples just as Lucy finished piling the campfire that he could lit. They spend the evening eating said apples while Natsu tried to justify his earlier battle strategy as Lucy listed ways that the destruction could have been avoided.
She had so much fun teasing Natsu, that she only remembered her missing sleeping bag when she would have needed it. And so, with a groan of misery, she started to dig through her suitcase, trying to find something she could sleep on. Unfortunately, her fashion style leaned more on the side of small and thin clothes that weren't very useful as a mattress.
Lucy cursed as she started to ball her clothes together into a shitty pillow.
"You know, I'm a little surprised you haven't tried to steal my bed," Natsu snorted from his very comfortable spot.
"Unlike some, I respect other people's need to have their own place to sleep," Lucy fired back, thanking her luck that it wasn't that cold. The campfire would keep her warm enough even without a blanket.
After a beat of silence, Natsu answered. "Get your ass over here. You ain't gonna get any sleep on the ground."
Lucy looked up from her DIY -pillow project. "Your mat is too small for the both of us, we'll just both end up being uncomfortable."
"We'll figure it out. I don't wanna deal with you if you're gonna be tired and grumpy tomorrow." As Lucy still hesitated, Natsu grinned at her. "Besides, like you said, I'm always stealing your bed. Think of this as payback."
That was all she needed.
Natsu scooted back and tucked the blanket around them as she laid down, facing him. Their noses close on the small pillow.
"See? This ain't so bad."
Lucy rolled her eyes. "Still not a hotel bed," she said in a sing song voice, before poking his side.
"You and your beds. Damn princess." Natsu said jokingly and grinned at her. "Have some sense of adventure and enjoy the rough livin'" He poked her back, making her flinch away with a squeal. He knew exactly how sensitive her sides were.
"I can have an adventure while also enjoying the comfort of a decent bed during the night, thank you very much," Lucy sniffed, feigning offence.
"Oh, I'll show you comfort." She only had a moment to take in the mirth in his eyes before he attacked.
Natsu pushed her to her back, his hands roaming her sides and forcing a loud laughter to spill from her. Lucy tried her best to escape, but with Natsu's extensive battle experience, he knew exactly how to pin down his opponent. He was straddling her, knees trapping her arms to the sides, leaving her helpless against him.
Peels of laughter kept escaping her, along with pleas for mercy that he didn't grant her until she loudly declared defeat and admitted that it was not his fault that they were kicked out of town. Only once Natsu was satisfied with the sincerity of her statement, did he pull his hands away. He did, however, remain on top of her, only allowing her to pull her arms to freedom.
Lucy was just managing to catch her breath again when she looked up, and what she saw made her forget how to breath again. Natsu was looking down at her with a soft smile and the adoration in his eyes made her heart skip several beats.
And stars, if he didn't look good in the firelight, hovering over her as he was.
Suddenly, time seemed to stop and the sounds of the woods quieted around her, all she could hear was her own bounding heart and Natsu's breathing. All she could focus on were his eyes.
"Lucy," he whispered. Had his voice ever sounded so soft?
Lucy reached up with a shaking hand and ran her fingers against his warm cheek. She wasn't sure if the difficulty to breath was result of the tickling or their current position. She found that she didn't care once Natsu started to lean down.
His lips were chapped and dry and perfect when they touched hers. It was just the slightest pressure, both of them scared that they would be stepping over some unspoken boundaries if they showed too much eagerness. So focused on the feelings she was experiencing, Lucy hadn't even noticed lifting her other hand so she could cradle his face between her palms, hoping that she could cherish this forever.
It felt like a few seconds as well as forever, before Natsu started to slowly pull away. His eyes were dark as he looked down at her, the light from the fire playing across his skin.
To Lucy, this felt like the perfect moment.
"That was new," Natsu whispered, his voice sounding hoarse.
"Yeah," Lucy breathed out. She wasn't sure what she was supposed to do now. She wanted to kiss him again, but didn't have the courage to dive in for more and asking for it seemed far too awkward. Should she just pretend it didn't happen?
Before she could sink into the depressing thought of never kissing him again, Natsu moved his hand to brush away some stray strands of hair that were falling to her eyes. The gentle touch was all it took to wipe her mind clear of any thought.
"Can... can we do that again?" he sounded hesitant, like he believed that there was a chance for a rejection.
A soft "please" was all she managed to get out, already tipping her head back a little to give him easier access to her lips. An access that he took full advantage of.
It started out like the one before, but after a few seconds, Lucy dared herself to move her lips gently against his. And though she suspected that Natsu didn't have all that much experience in kissing, he picked it up quickly.
They were a little clumsy at first, struggling to match their movement and pressure at first. But they were both very focused on what they were doing, and soon enough, Lucy found that she had no complaints. She even gathered the courage to open her mouth and swipe his lips with her tongue.
Again, it took them a minute to get the hang of it, but very quickly they were lost in passionate kisses that neither of them wanted to pull away from. Natsu's hands traveling between cupping her face and griping her waist, while her's altered from sinking in his soft hair to pulling on his shoulders. Their chest pressed tightly together the whole time.
They were both out of breath when they eventually broke apart.
"That was...it...I..," Lucy stumbled over her words, not knowing what was the right thing to say after a mind-blowing make-out session with your best friend. Luckily, Natsu never had a problem blurting out what he was thinking.
His big smile was infectious and soon enough they were both grinning and giggling, rubbing their noses together at times in order to elicit more laughter. They tried to initiate more kissing, but their wide smiles and laughing made it difficult. All they ended up doing was exchanging quick pecks whenever they could stop gazing in each others eyes.
Even when Natsu eventually laid back down and gathered Lucy against his chest, she found it hard to stop smiling. And when he spoke, it sounded like Natsu's lips were also occupied by a wide grin.
"Blowing up that wall was the best thing I ever did."
"So you admit it was blown up?" Lucy teased and immediately felt his chuckle shaking his chest under her cheek.
"Yeah, maybe a little." Pressing a kiss on to of her head, he hugged her closer. "But if I hadn't, we would've stayed in separate rooms in a hotel and this whole kissing business wouldn't have happened."
"But I would be sleeping in a soft bed."
"Are you complaining about our current arrangement?"
Biting her lip, Lucy basked in the giddy feeling residing in her chest. "I'm only saying that a hotel pillow wouldn't keep me up with talking."
"Oh yeah?" His voice was filled with mischief as Natsu shifted so that he could look her in the eyes again. "Then maybe you should come up with something to shut me up."
And she did.