The job had seemed to go perfectly. Seemed to. The bandits had been easy to get rid of and the town had paid without complaint, grateful that for once Fairy Tail hadn't destroyed half the place in the process. Just one building, but what was one building compared to what they normally destroyed?
So why did Laxus feel so uneasy?
He glanced over at his partner as they walked toward the train station. He had zoned out for a moment while she chattered away about getting home, in her arms her small "dog" spirit traveled, occasionally agreeing with his master with a small 'pun'.
"You're really attached to him aren't you?" Laxus asked, completely interrupting whatever Lucy was going to say.
She looked around in confusion before looking down at Plue.
"Oh, yeah I guess so. He's a good spirit and easy to keep here," She answered, stroking the top of his head for a moment.
Lucy looked up at Laxus's wistful expression and realized that he must miss his dog while he was gone. After all it's not like you can take a real dog around on jobs with you; you can't just send them away when the fighting gets too dangerous and hotels frown upon bringing pets in. Lucy was only an exception because she could send the spirit away whenever it was needed. She smiled brightly before holding Plue out to the Dragon Slayer.
"Here, you can hold him if you want," She said, before plopping the spirit in his arms.
Laxus and the Nikora spirit looked at each other in bewilderment for a moment before Plue let out a soft 'pun-pun' and nestled himself into Laxus's arms.
"Oi, blondie, why is he shaking so much?" Laxus asked in alarm as the spirit started to tremble.
Lucy laughed at that, "Oh, don't worry about it, Plue always trembles, it's a little nervous tick he has."
Laxus looked down at the sleeping animal and Lucy could see how his whole face softened as he held the dog in one arm.
"Thor used to be this size when he was a puppy," Laxus whispered after a few moments. "He would curl up in my lap and just go straight to sleep and I would sit still for hours, too afraid to move because I didn't want to wake the mutt up when he was so cute sleeping. Freed thought it was adorable to Bickslow and Ever thought I was being too soft on the dog."
"And now?" Lucy promoted.
"Well, now Thor is way too big it sleep in my lap though that doesn't stop the big lug from trying."
I could completely fall for this guy. She thought. He's really gentle once you get him to open up.
Laxus grinned at her laugh.
She's really sweet.
The thought hit him out of nowhere and he would have growled at it but he was distracted when he felt cold fingers slip into his own. He glanced down at her bewildered before she pointed to their Guild hall up ahead.
"Time to pretend for the masses," She teased.
"Well, what if Cana didn't say anything?" He asked.
"Doesn't matter, this will make it more believable. We hold hands until we get there, then let go as if we're trying to hide the fact that we're together."
"She might not even notice."
She winked at him, "Cana notices everything. Trust me."
Laxus raised an eyebrow but didn't argue.
What if Mira notices?
He pushed the thought away, not really caring. As his hand clasped around her much smaller one he realized that he didn't really care if everyone in Fairy Tail noticed, it felt too right, holding her hand like this.
When they reached Fairy Tail Lucy was a little dumbstruck when the man holding her hand bent down and kissed her gently on the lips before pushing the door open and quickly dropping her hand, handing Plue back to her. Her face was bright red as she sat down next to Cana who grinned at her.
'Top secret.' Cana mouthed before picking up her barrel.
"Hey Laxus," Cana called as he sat on the other side of the room. "How'd the job go?"
"Fine," Laxus answered, eyeing her warily.
She grinned mischievously, "Nothing.. interesting happen?"
Laxus and Lucy both glared at her.
Lucy glared in horror at her friend.
How many people know? Or at least, think they know. Great, just how many people are we going to have to fool.
Cana leaned forward, whispering to her friend, "Don't worry. I didn't tell anyone who didn't already know."
"Luce," Natsu whined, sitting down next to her. "Why didn't you tell me you and Laxus were dating? I would have quit trying to hook you up with Gray."
Lucy looked at Cana, annoyed.
"Whoops, well, maybe Levy and Natsu know now, but honestly, I promise, no one else."
Lucy sighed before turning back to her friend.
"We were just trying to keep quiet about it Natsu. In fact, Cana wouldn't even know except that she walked in on us sleeping in the same bed together."
Natsu scratched his head, confused, "But you and I slept in the same bed together and no one said anything about us dating."
Lucy blushed, "Yeah, well, you're different. People expect you do to weird stuff like that."
"Laxus," Freed said down next to his friend, looking at him sadly.
"Freed," Laxus replied, looking at him in confusion.
"Why didn't you tell anyone you were dating our resident celestial spirit mage?" Freed demanded after a moment.
Laxus's jaw dropped.
So much for Cana not saying anything.
"Where on Earthland did you hear that from?" Laxus demanded.
"So it's true," Freed looked dejected. "Levy said Cana said something to her about it and wanted to know if I knew anything because she hadn't been told about it at all."
Laxus sighed, "Luce and I were trying to keep it secret, we didn't want people finding out about us just yet."
"But you couldn't even tell Thunder Legion - not even me?" Freed asked. "And Cana knows?"
"Cana knows because she barged into Lucy's room and caught us in bed together."
Freed gasped, staring at his beloved leader in shock. Laxus sighed, he should have known that was the conclusion Freed would jump to. At least Bickslow and Evergreen weren't here to hear him say that or he would never hear the end of it, no matter what he told them.
"It wasn't like that, Freed," Laxus growled. "Lucy was having nightmares. I just curled up with her to calm her and we both fell asleep, that's it."
"No clothing was removed?" Freed asked, visibly relieved.
"No. Lucy's not that kind of girl," Laxus snapped.
He was surprised at how angry he was that people would assume that about the girl he was calling his.
Lucy was staring dejectedly at the counter, wishing that she could just melt into it. Natsu knew and if Natsu knew then Happy knew... and if Happy knew then probably the rest of the guild was on their way to finding out.
How did I get into this mess? Oh right, because Cana had to come over while Sparky and I were snuggled together.
She hit her head on the counter, sighing miserably.
How are we ever going to fix this?
She was so lost in thought that she was completely startled when she felt a hand on her shoulder. Jumping up, she found herself looking into the eyes of the man that she was supposed to pretend was her boyfriend.
"Can I talk to you in private?" He asked angrily and jerked her away from the counter before she could answer.
Great. He knows that others know and he's going to have a fit.
She straightened as they moved into a room that was empty.
There's no reason he should have a fit, he came up with the idea in the first place.
"How many people know?" He asked roughly.
Lucy shrugged, "At least Natsu and Levy."
"Freed knows, too. He'll keep quiet."
Lucy nodded, "Levy will, too. Natsu would but I'm sure he's told at least Happy and if Happy knows..."
She trailed off and the two groaned at the same time.
"If Happy knows then soon everyone will know," Laxus finished.
Lucy nodded, "We could just pretend break up right now."
Her heart literally ached at the idea, but she kept quiet, waiting to see what Laxus would say.
Laxus pushed his emotions down, he didn't want to leave this beautiful blonde just yet.
"No, let's play this out a little longer, see where it goes," Laxus said quickly.
Lucy nodded and he was relieved to see that brilliant smile of hers light up her face.
"Okay, but if we're going to do this we're going to have to step it up a notch," She teased, winking at him.
He looked at her nervously, "What did you have in mind?"
She just grinned kissing him lightly on the cheek before stepping out of the room.
"Leave that to me."