They reached the guild in record time, all of them remaining silent as they rode the train back. It had been a good job, well taken care, but with Mira and Erza glowering at them, they felt like they had messed up. Lucy was the only one who seemed unfazed, telling the girls, in detail, about what had happened. They listened intently to her story and, at the end of it, softened toward the Thunder Legion, realizing that the team had done all they could to protect their little Light, but there was no way they could have known about the magic Cassius used.
Laxus was silently grateful to his girlfriend for that, he was starting to swear under their constant glares. He hadn't realized that dating Lucy would bring him under so much scrutiny, but he wasn't surprised. Everyone in the guild cared for the blonde in one way or another, though a lot of them wouldn't admit it. He wrapped an arm around her as they walked into the guild, greeted by the cheers of their guild mates.
He almost did a double take. Most of the time people barely acknowledged him. When they did it was reserved or quiet. This was for Lucy, he knew, but through her for them as well. He cleared his face of emotion and sat in his usual spot, Lucy following behind him.
"Why do you do that?" She asked, as she sat beside him, leaning against him.
"Do what?" He asked, wrapping one arm around her.
"Stiffen like that. As soon as we walk into the guild you're body stiffens and face completely shuts down," She replied, tracing the side of his face with her fingers.
He shrugged, "Just something I do."
Lucy sighed, knowing that she wouldn't get anything out of him now. She looked around her guild, smiling. Everyone had gone back to what they were doing before the group walked in, but for some reason they seemed much more cheerful than they had before. Lucy silently wondered how many people had heard about her kidnapping before Erza and Mira had gone to find them.
"Lushie!" Happy cried, flying over and hugging her. "Erza said that bad men took you away."
She smiled softly down at the exceed, "Well, Laxus saved me."
Happy hugged Laxus next, causing the lightening mage to look at the exceed in surprise before gently stroking his fur.
"Thank you for saving Lucy," Happy said, sniffing a little.
Lucy was surprised to see Laxus soften toward the blue cat, petting him softly before setting him down on the table.
"Happy, listen to me," Laxus said, looking him in the eye. "I would never allow harm to come to Lucy. Okay? So believe me when I tell you, I will always save Lucy."
She looked at him in surprise, her eyes widening as Happy nodded solemnly.
Laxus turned to his girl as Happy flew off again, noticing her eyes wide with surprise.
"What?" He asked. "You don't think I would ever let anything happen to you, do you?"
Lucy looked down, blushing a little and Laxus sighed, taking her hands in his own.
"Have you figured it out yet?" He asked, bewildered by her reactions.
"What?" She asked, looking back up at him.
"I love you, Lucy Heartfilia," He said quietly, gently kissing her.
Lucy blushed, kissing him back. Her heart was pounding at his words. She'd known that he cared for her, but she hadn't expected him to confess his love for her so soon. She pulled away when she heard Mira 'aww'ing from close by, her hands to her face as she began to daydream.
"Uh oh, Oh no," Lucy groaned as Mira started describing the cute children Laxus and Lucy would have.
She buried her face in Laxus's shoulder so the guild wouldn't see her blush. Mira and her crazy ideas! Laxus chuckled next to her as he watched the display. She laughed with him until Makarov came down the stairs, demanding to know what Mira was going on about. As soon as the guild explained that Mira was fantasizing about Laxus and Lucy's children, the Master joined her, agreeing that he would have beautiful great-grand children.
"Let's get out of here," Laxus said, pulling Lucy up.
She nodded, not noticing how red his face had also turned as he pulled her out of the guild hall and toward her apartment, followed by the sounds of laughter from the guild. Neither of them noticed the glint in Mira's eye as she watched them leave, either.
They finally stopped when they reached her apartment, laughing softly as they caught their breath.
"I'll give you one thing," Laxus teased. "It's always an adventure with you around."
Lucy grinned, kissing him on the cheek, "What can I say? You bring out the adventure in me."
He laughed, following her into the apartment. Both of them stopped, looking around her apartment in wonder. The place was spotless with flowers covering the counters and tables. Lucy looked at Laxus in bewilderment as he looked back, shrugging in confusion. Then she noticed the note on her bed and picked it up.
Erza called and we had to rush right over. We miss you so much. Hopefully you'll be reading this soon. Sorry we couldn't be there to rescue you, but we already had a mission. Gray is angry with us for not letting him go along with Erza and Natsu and I are frantic with worry. Sorry about the flowers - the boys wanted to get you the best ones and, well, you know how everything can turn into a competition. Needless to say, Erza's call has us all freaking out, but I know if that Lightening idiot doesn't get you back Erza and Mira-nee will.
Printed underneath in slopping writing were the words:
And Natsu and Gray!
Lucy giggled, shaking her head at the letter. She could always count on them to lighten any mood.
Laxus read the note over her shoulder, feeling irritated at the two boys who could have easily claimed Lucy's affection but never tried. He had seen how Lucy used to look at both of them at first, but how, after neither of them seemed to pay her any mind, her gaze had changed from one of infatuation to one of a sister looking at her brothers.
"Everyone seems to think that I'm not very capable of protecting you," He pouted, sitting down at her table.
She turned, grinning, "I think you protect me very well."
He smiled mischievously at her, winking, "You think so, huh?"
Lucy blushed again, nodding as he stepped toward her.
"Well, that's good. I would hate to think my girl thought I was incapable of keeping her safe," He answered. "Still doesn't change the fact that tomorrow you are learning how to keep yourself safe in case I'm not around to do it."
She nodded seriously, "Right."
He smiled again, kissing her deeply as they fell back on the bed. She moaned under him, causing him to instantly harden.
"If we don't want this to go any further, you can't be doing that," He whispered, kissing her jawline.
"Who says I don't want it to," She replied, smirking softly as she reached a hand up to his face.
He sat up, looking at her.
"Don't tease, Lucy. I don't mind waiting until you're ready, but don't tease me, okay?" He said, glaring at her.
Lucy's heart raced. Why couldn't he believe that this was what she wanted? Yes, she had freaked out at the camp when he tried, but she felt ready now. All the things that she had been scared of had disappeared when Cassius had threatened to make her his. All she could think about then was how she didn't want Laxus to have her for the first time and discover that someone else had taken that from him.
That was the moment that she knew she was utterly and completely in love with Laxus Dreyer. It was also the moment that she had determined to give herself to him, even if he broke her heart afterwards.