A little more closer
"You know you are literally the definition of an idiot. In fact you wouldn't know that because you can rEAd."
"Wow nice one ice tits. Where did you learn that one? From a children's edgy magazine?"
"What was that you flaming turd?!"
"You heard me ice princess. Bastard."
A flurry of limbs were thrown around as the brawl escalated to include the rest of the guild. One particular blonde remained seated over in her little corner with a small book in hand.
As her freshly red painted nails delicately flipped the pages, her brown eyes greedily skimmed the words in the book, eager to take in all of the words and unravel the world of text before her.
It was one of those crusty books you find sitting underneath a pile of old, musty smelling books. Normal people would not go near them(health hazard?) but Lucy was so intrigued that she swiped not one but several of those books and had been devouring them with her eyes for days on end.
What was the book about, you may ask?
Well it's complicated.
It first started out as a book about two mages who travelled the world to grant their one wish and then the rest of the books followed with spell and incantations that didn't seem to be written in anything Lucy could comprehend.
Had Levy been available, Lucy would have gathered all of these books and dumped them with her, spending the next month translating it together.
However, she wasn't available.
She was on a little trip with Gajeel and the kids because apparently, Gajeel lost his touch. The kids didn't want to be held by papa after he cut his hair, Yajee stuck some kind of gummy slime into Gajeel's hair the other week and thus the big chop.
Lucy sighed. She missed her best friend and the kids. The little rascals were spoiled silly by Aunty Lucy. Baby fever was a thing! She may not be ready for one herself but it doesn't mean she can't coo and go gaga over the little angels.
"Heya Luce, whatcha reading?" Walking right up to Lucy, Natsu's chest came to rest flush up against her back and arms intertwined around her waist. The caged in Lucy could only offer a small turn of her head as acknowledgment before looking back at the book in hand.
"A little something I picked up from the previous mission. You know the one with the kind old couple who needed help with the flesh-eating monster weeds?" Running her finger along the spine of the tattered book, she continued. "They saw that I was eyeing these stack of books, in the shed(where they should not be) and offered it to me. Very nice of them but I wonder how they got their hands on it..."
Flipping the book over, Lucy showed Natsu the front of the worn book, littered with gold indented text that rubbed away due to poor keeping conditions and scuffs along the leather skin of the book.
The mahogany hue of the book was mysterious but even more so it was accompanied with a hand print, smack dab in the centre of the book cover. It was an odd little thing that Lucy thought might have indicated that the book was about palm reading or something along the line of that but it wasn't. It was nothing like that.
"I have been trying to decipher this text here," she flipped the book open towards the end of the book, "but I can't seem to understand what language this is in." Grabbing another book with a similar cover, minus the handprint, Lucy showed Natsu.
"They all have the story but it's the last chapter that has different text." The gold eye, lined on the cover of this book sat glaringly against the red leather. Natsu reached out his right hand to run it along the cover of the book, curious of the texture.
"Honestly it's weird. The stories are the same, word for word." Putting back the other book, Lucy opened back up the palm book, showing Natsu the first line of text in the last chapter of the book.
Peering over her shoulder, Natsu took a good look at the text, nose flaring, cogwheels turning, he read out loud the text before him and as a result, blinding light engulfed the two.
"I can't believe you didn't learn your lesson from last time."
Due to the pandemonium that ensued after the blinding light, Erza snapped and as a result, Jellal was notified to calm his girlfriend down.
"Didn't Natsu do something similar last time? For example, turn into mini Natsu...ses?" Questioning the grammatical correctness of his statement, Jellal continued to ponder.
Cana guffawed, "Nah that was my dad- I mean Gildarts fault." The guild looked at Cana whilst she avoided their knowing looks.
"That's besides the point. Jellal, please do something about this. I can't go to the bathroom!" Everybody's eyes trailed over to the duo at hand.
Due to Natsu's habit of reading random scripts and incarnations out loud, Natsu and per-usual Lucy, were stuck in a sticky situation.
They where temporarily knocked out due to the light but once conscious, the two noticed that when either one walked a mere 2 meters away, one would be thrown back to the other's side. Thus the panicky emergency call for Jellal. The official Fairy Tail crisis fixer.
"So let me get this straight. You can't leave Natsu's side for any more than 2 meters and vice versa? ...How is that any different from usual?"
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN?! HOW AM I SUPPOSE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM? OR TAKE A BATH?"
"Luce, calm down. Maybe the spell will wear off in a day or two like usual."
Natsu proceeded to wrap his arms around the hyperventilating blonde and rest his chin on her crown. The soothing up and down of his breathing calmed the celestial mage down as the situation dawned on the rest of the witnessing guild.
With a sigh, Jellal's hand rose to his face and rubbed the every growing migraine between his eyes. This was the result of dealing with Fairy Tail, it seems.
"Maybe Natsu is right...I can't believe I am saying this but just wait it out and the spell may just dissolve." Gray input belatedly.
One might be wondering why everyone seemed more on edge than usual. Well except Natsu.
This was primarily due to the blonde's temperament and also the unclear circumstance of the duo's relationship. Had they sorted their little dance-around-each-other-because-they-don't-want-to-admit-they-like-each-other and topics similar to that, this would have been a beneficial game of couples therapy however, they weren't a couple. Thus the ambiguity meant everyone needed to join forces and break the spell before Natsu did something else stupid. Or was murdered by Lucy for being stupid.
"Lushi, Natsu can't leave your side right? Well does that mean he is gonna sleep in your bed again? Fufu you both likeeee each otherrrr."
Shit. They forgot about the damn cat.
The following day was a nightmare for probably everyone... except Natsu, Happy and Mirajane. Tension was high and it seemed the not-couple couple had to compromise when it came to nearly everything.
Sitting? Lucy was forced to sit on Natsu's lap. This didn't make sense as they had 2 meters of potential distancing before the spell would activate (but you know, Natsu is Natsu and Lucy can't help but indulge him.)
Eating? Natsu would end up slobbering food all over Lucy and her new shirt because she would have to remain seated on his lap.
Toilet breaks? Natsu would be standing right in front of the door and with his monster advance hearing, Lucy had probably developed peeing anxiety.
Showering? Let's not get to that. Just imagine this. Shower curtains, blind folds and nearly slipping in the tub. Therefore, they ONLY use the tub.
It had been a stressful 24 hours and Lucy was on the brink of crying out of mortification when Natsu proceeded to turn around and talk to her as she was changing into her PJs. Sure talking about moving into his place(meaning no rent for her and they were partners so why not?) was an important conversation to have but why then?
Why as she was C. H. A. N. G. I. N. G?
"Natsu! Please, you can't keep doing that! Turn around you pervert!"
Confused the pinkette looked at his partner and stared blankly as she gestured towards him, flailing her arms in frustration. Quite frankly, he didn't know what she was on about. He had seen her tumble naked in the bell, naked after getting drunk and even when they were at the onsen with those weirdos Shiki, Rebecca, Elle and Haru.
His ever observant nature(when it comes to only Lucy) came into full play as he took a healthy ogle at his naked partner in the enclosed space of her bedroom. Quiet frankly, Lucy was so red she was feeling a little dizzy. Maybe she should smack him? Turn his head around for him? Cover his eyes with his scarf? Poke his eyes with her mascara wand-
"Luce...I think you need to see Porlyusica. That rash on your thigh looks mad red. Maybe the spell is causing your stress levels to rise. You know how you get when you stress ou-"
Flushing ever more red, Lucy knocked him out with a Lucy kick and an indignant yell.
"I'm going crazy..." The blonde mage whimpered. With her face mushed against the bar counter and the fellow guild girls trying to give her moral support, it felt as if armageddon was befalling her.
"I don't see what the problem is. You both hardly stay away from each other anyways. What's with the extra touching and kissing and huggi-"
"CANA IT'S NOT LIKE THAT!" Her flushed face finally saw the light of day before it went back into hiding between the bar counter and her hair.
"He saw me nakeddddd..."
"He has also groped you nakeddddd." Unhelpfully, trilled Cana.
"Enough of that Cana. We should just gauge his eyes out so he won't see anything!"
Everyone looked at Erza is mild horror. "You are one to say. Haven't you and Jellal seen each other naked? Remember during the onsen tri-" Mirajane teased. The glass she was wiping, soon forgotten as she quickly deviated her attention and strength to holding back the re-equip mage from destroying the guild out of sheer embarrassment.
"What?! I want to join in! How come Erza and Mirajane are playing Mercy without me?" Came Natsu's whine, furthering the sorrow of our poor Lucy.
"Natsu...can you help me wash my back?"
Sitting on the stool, Lucy plucked the courage to whisper the request into the echoing bathroom. After getting back from the mission, Natsu had been rather distant and almost self deprecating. Without his constant bombardment of questions and lack of acknowledgment of personal space. She felt really empty. He was almost like a shell of his former self. Hardly reaching for her, touching her or even talking to her like before.
The mission was suppose to be a simple one : Collect the artefacts hidden in the north of Fiore, between Waas Forest and Cait Shelter then head back to Oshibana. It was a week long trip, 3 whole days of travelling to the location, 1 day of locating and then 3 days of travelling back.
It wasn't suppose to be too intense.
A month had past and the spell was slowly withering away. The distance between Natsu and Lucy increased to a solid 100 meters so they both felt confident enough to go on a mission with the crew.
Unaware that they were going to stumble upon some dark guild members left behind from the war years ago.
That these guild members weren't interested in anything but causing harm.
That even with 10 meters of space between them, Natsu would get into the zone and lunge, causing Lucy to lose her balance and leave herself wide open for the bastard to throw in a cheap attack.
Once Lucy's cry reverberated out upon the terrain, everyone was quick to locate her. The battle was quickly going south.
"Luce? Luce?! Hey LUCE!" Natsu's panic cry echoed the battle field as he scanned the battered terrain to find his partner.
Without as much as a peep in response, Natsu erratically scampered over to the area he last saw her.
"Natsu-san! Lucy-san is here!"
Little Wendy was sitting next to Lucy's battered body trying to desperately heal the nasty bruise on her left side as Lucy lay in anguish. It seemed she also fractured a rib or two and might have shattered her hip with how she tried to keep her entire left side from touching the ground when she fell.
All Natsu could do was locate the bastard who was trying to make a run for it and beat him into a bloody mess. Each strike fuelled his rage. Each cry of agony from the asshole only made Natsu regret ever putting Lucy in this situation.
If only he was faster.
If only he had remembered about the distance rule.
If only he didn't lunge and distracted her from her battle.
If only he was smarter.
"Hey Natsu, put him down. It's done. Stop beating him." Erza grabbed onto the dragon slayers raised fist and twisted it into a lock behind him.
"Stop it. Calm down Natsu." With a tug, Erza dragged him away from the scumbag as Gray cuffed him and the other rogue dark guild members.
Happy cried into Lucy's chest as she lay on the dirt getting emergency treatment from Wendy. Raising her right hand, Lucy gave Happy a soft pat on the head to calm the Exceed down however, it did the opposite effect as his tears came down faster and bigger, followed by a wail.
"Lushiiiiiiii *hiccup* Lushiiiii don't close your eyes!"
With a soft chuckle, Lucy whispered, "I'm okay Happy. Everything is going to be fine." Reaching out her hand, she gestured to Natsu to come closer. Reluctantly, he trudged over. Fearing that his presence might make her pain worse, he walked slowly and finally came to kneel before her. With his head hung low and his bangs cover his eyes he whispered his apologies over and over and over again until Wendy was finished with healing most of Lucy's injuries and Lucy succumbed to much needed rest.
The shuffling behind her, drew her away from her thoughts. Warm, rough hands grabbed the wash towel from the stool next to her and began to rubbed soothing circles onto her sore back, being weary of the massive bruise on her left rib that traveled down to her left hip.
The dripping of the tap filled the deafening silence, as Natsu silently assisted his partner. Her injuries making it impossible for her to wash herself without feeling twinges of pain.
The two sat in relative silence as Lucy enjoyed the motions of his scrubbing and gave a little sigh of content when Natsu naturally increased his body temperature to warm up the air around them.
They remained seated outside the tub, scrubbing themselves clean.
His quiet sniffles eventually accompanied the symphonies of the water drips and scrubbing motions.
Resting his damp forehead against her neck he whispered his apologies.
"Luce. I'm so sorry."
With a small shift, Lucy rotated on the bath stool to face Natsu, resting her hands on his cheek she looked into his eyes.
"Natsu, it's okay. I am made of stronger material than this. I don't blame you. The spell caught us both off guard and at the end of the day I am here, breathing so don't worry as there will probably be more crazy…adventures in the future."
"But I am suppose to protect you…I am suppose to be there for you and always help you when you need it most but I have been hurting you Luce. I keep hurting you."
Summoning up as much courage as she could Lucy lent forward ever so slightl;y, ignoring how exposed she was.
Forehead on forehead, she whispered into the still silence, "Natsu…you always save me. You saved me all those years ago from myself and my life. You still do so to this day. Your smile helps me get up during the day and your presence reminds me that I have a family. Please don't diminish that."
His lips quivered as he bent forward to rest his face in the crook of Lucy's shoulder. Arms wrapped around each other as soft sobs wrecked his body. For all they need is touch to recollect themselves.
"How are you feeling Luce?" With both arms filled to the brim with shopping bags and hands full with street food, Natsu diligently followed along with his blonde haired partner.
"Famished. Let's head back home and drop some stuff off before we go back to the guild for lunch."
After the wreck of a mission, both mages learned that life comes with its ups and downs but it is the people that you experience it with that gets you through it all. With residual guilt still coursing through his fire laden veins and righteous heart, Natsu decided to take Lucy on a shopping trip with some of his savings to make up for the injuries and inability to do so when she was recovering.
Of course Lucy questioned where all of this money came from and why hadn't HE paid for all of the food HE consumed but after several hours of pure revenge, Lucy was satisfied enough with her haul and decided to head on out from the markets and shops.
Walking ahead, Lucy went along her way to her apartment, unaware that Natsu had dropped one of her bags of panties and was painstakingly trying to pick it up with his toes.
Lucy kept walking and as she turned the corner for the next street over, Natsu was still trying to balance himself in the crane position, right foot out in front with the panties bag hanging precariously from his big toe.
Lucy was walking down the street where her apartment was located, in her own little world and admiring the flowers on her neighbours windowsill.
Succeeding in getting the bag flipped onto his head, Natsu madly dashed after Lucy, not questioning how come Lucy was not tugged back and that the spell seemed to have gone away. Had he noticed it, they would have celebrated a little however, continued to remained in close contact physically as the result of the spell changed their dynamic forever.
But Natsu was Natsu and he didn't have a clue.
Thus Natsu ran up to where Lucy was, scaring the living daylights out of her for 'sneaking up on her' and getting scolded for wearing her new panties on his head all because of his little circus show earlier.
Both together in all aspects and still none the wiser.
Sorry this one is a little rushed at the end. I wanted to write a fluffier one after the angst that was the previous chap so here we go. Reviews realllly motivate me so do leave some! Even anonymously makes me happy!