A Love That Wants to Live

Chapter 18

As soon as Lucy and Evergreen were out the door Laxus stood, stretching, and made his way over to where Lucy's team sat. Gray and Natsu were arguing, as usual, while Juvia and Lisanna looked on with annoyed expression. Grabbing Natsu by the back of his shirt, Laxus quickly pulled him away before a fight could break out.

"Laxus, what's the big idea? I was in the middle of conversation with Ice Princess!" Natsu yelled as Laxus dragged him into an empty room, tossing him in as he closed the door, locking it.

"That can wait," Laxus answered, glowering at his fellow Dragon Slayer. "You and I have some business to discuss."

Natsu scratched his head, confused, "What business?"

"Lucy, for example," Laxus said calmly, seething inside.

Natsu's face brightened, "She's the best, isn't she?"

"Yes, she is. Which is why you won't be telling her about our little chat."

"Why's that?"

Laxus sighed at Natsu's confused face. The poor boy really had no idea that he'd done anything wrong, which annoyed Laxus all the more.

"Look, just shut up and listen because I really want to kick your ass from here until next Tuesday, got it? But I'm trying to remain calm and talk to you about it like Luce would want," Laxus practically snarled.

Natsu looked at Laxus nervously, "What's going on?"

Laxus sat down across from Natsu, "Lucy and I were having a perfectly nice lunch earlier today when she said something that really ticked me off. Wanna take a guess as to what it was?"

Natsu thought about it for a moment before shrugging, "I have no idea."

"She said she was fat," Laxus snapped. "Which she isn't. Lucy is perfect just the way she is. However, she wouldn't tell me who had convinced her of that particular issue. She just told me that she'd heard it a lot. Now, I know who her friends are and I narrowed the list down. Do you know who my top suspect is?"

Natsu pointed to himself, looking worried for the first time since Laxus had locked the door.

"That's right. Now, Natsu, have you ever called Lucy fat?" Laxus asked, smiling evilly.

Natsu swallowed, "Well, maybe once or twice. But I didn't mean it like that. She's just really heavy to carry."

"Of course she's heavy," Laxus retorted. "One, you're practically the same size as her. Two, have you noticed how big she is in the chest area. Those things probably weigh a lot."

Natsu nodded, "I know, I know."

"Now, today I will let it slide. I know how you can be, Natsu. You might not have meant to hurt her, but you did. You hurt her so much she truly believes she's fat, got it? So I don't ever want to hear that you're calling her - or any other girl - fat. You're better than that, Natsu, aren't you?"

Natsu nodded, "Yeah, I suppose I am."

"Good, because no girl deserves to be told she's fat. Especially not consistently. If I do hear that you're calling girls fat I will be sure to let Erza and Mira know. I don't always have time to rectify the problem, but I know one of those two would be delighted to take my place if needed," Laxus said, an angry aura surrounding him.

Natsu swallowed again, nodding, "I promise, Laxus."

Laxus waved a dismissive, letting the boy flee from the room. He sat there glowering for a long while more. He had really wanted to kick the crap out of Natsu, but had held back because he knew Lucy wouldn't have wanted that.

Lucy returned to the guild an hour later, looking around for her boyfriend and his team. Evergreen followed in behind her, grinning broadly as she took a seat.

"Where is everyone?" Lucy asked after a few moments.

"Freed is probably still figuring out what books to pack, and Bickslow is always the last one here," Evergreen frowned, looking around. "But Laxus should be here. He brought his bag with him."

Lucy pointed to his chair, "His bag is there, but he's not."

The two exchanged concerned looks before Lucy ran over to her usual team.

"Has anyone seen Laxus?" She asked.

Natsu pointed down a hall.

"He's in the third room on the left," He said, glumly.

Lucy frowned at him in concern. Glum was not Natsu's mood of choice and she wondered, fleetingly, what was wrong with him before heading toward the room Natsu had pointed out. She knocked gently, listening for an answer, and when none was forthcoming pushed the door open.

She found him sitting in the same spot as when Natsu left, glaring at the floor. Wordlessly she sat down next to him, taking his hand in her own. He looked up, startled, his whole face softening when he saw her. She squeezed his hand, concerned.

"Wanna talk about it?" She asked.

"Talk about what?"

"Whatever it is that has you seeming so upset."

He shook his head, "You know I'm not good for you, right?"

She kissed him gently, "It doesn't matter."

Inside her heart was racing and she was panicking. She had no idea what had happened while she was gone, but something did and she had a feeling that it had to do with Natsu. She kissed Laxus once more before standing, pulling him up with her.

"Come on, Evergreen is waiting and I bet by now the others are here," She teased, pushing her worries to the back of her mind.

He smiled up at her, "How long have you two been gone?"

"An hour."

An hour?

He had been sitting here brooding for at least half that then, probably longer. He wasn't one to brood, so this came as a surprise to him.

What is she doing to me?

Part of him didn't really care because he knew it was probably a good thing. Another part of him panicked, this was new territory and he didn't like it. What happened to the promise he had made that no girl would ever get to him? He wouldn't turn out like his old man or his gramps where some woman had broken his heart and left him. Here he was, however, falling for this beautiful blonde with big brown eyes. What the hell was going on?

He shook himself. Lucy was wonderful. She was an angel and he didn't deserve her, he knew. She seemed to want to be with him for some reason, however, and he was not going to complain or ruin that. He allowed her to lead him out to where Freed and Evergreen were waiting. Bickslow still hadn't showed, which didn't surprise him one bit, the boy had probably gone home and laid down for a nap. He would be along eventually.

Lucy was surprised to see that Freed had arrived while she had been retrieving her errant boyfriend. She looked around, noticing that Bickslow had yet to arrive.

"He could be a while," Laxus grunted, as if reading her thoughts. "Might as well make yourself comfortable."

Lucy smiled and sat, only to stand up again immediately, remembering how upset Natsu had seemed when she had seen him earlier.

"I'll be right back," She announced, hurrying to the bar where he sat.

"Hey, Natsu," She said, sitting beside him.

"Hey, Luce," He said, listlessly.

She frowned, "What's wrong?"

He shook his head, "It's nothing."

"It's something, or you wouldn't seem so down."

"No, it's nothing."

Lucy kicked him under the table, feeling annoyed that he was lying to her.

"Ow, Luce, what was that for?" He yelled, jumping up,and she giggled, feeling better now that he wasn't pouting.

"It's for lying to me, stupid," She answered.

He sighed and sat back down, allowing his head to thump on the table.

"I'm sorry, Luce," He whispered after a moment.

"You should be. Lying is no way to treat your best friend," She answered, teasing him a little.

"No, not for lying to you. I'm sorry for being so mean to you."

She looked at him in confusion, "When were you ever mean to me?"

"Well, Happy and I. We come in and steal your food all the time, interrupting your privacy and you're always so nice about it, but it's just what we do to show we care," He explained.

"I know that, Natsu, you don't need to apologize for it."

He shook his head. "I really do. I also need to apologize for calling you fat. That wasn't what I meant by it, but you still didn't deserve to hear that."

Lucy looked at him in concern, "It's fine, Natsu, really."

She hugged him tightly, not really knowing where this was coming from, but knowing that he needed to know that everything was okay between them. He smiled at her gratefully as Bickslow walked in the door.

"Oi, Boss, I think Natsu's hitting on your girl," He yelled, smirking at the two.

Lucy rolled her eyes at the Seith mage, "Right, because that's what we really need right now is to have a fight between my boyfriend and my best friend. Shut up Bix and let's get going."

Evergreen grinned at the blonde, taking Lucy's arm in her own, "See, you're going to fit in just fine. Oh, this is going to be exciting."

Laxus rolled his eyes dramatically as Bickslow laughed. Freed just smiled at the Celestial Spirit Mage as they headed out. She grinned at the four, wondering what trouble she had just gotten herself into.

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