Laxus woke only moments before Lucy, finding himself bandaged and lying on a couch across from the blonde, who wasn't bandaged but looked exhausted. He'd forgotten how much summoning different spirits could drain her. He grimaced as he remembered the battle, he'd promised Lucy to hold back and allow Loke the victory, but the stupid Lion had riled him up.
He sighed, watching the blonde until she opened her eyes.
"Stupid, what were you thinking?" She yelled as soon she spotted him.
"I'm sorry Lucy."
"Sorry, oh you're going to be sorry, Sparky," She scolded. "What was that? You promised Loke the win. Not only that but I had to use that stupid spell and then collapse in front of our clients! It's bad enough that you did, you were expected to, but then I did. What on earthland are they going to think of Fairy Tail now? Huh? Bet you didn't even think of that, did you?"
Laxus blinked, Sparky?
"No I didn't. Loke was taunting me and I'm afraid I let my anger get the best of me. I'm sorry, Lucy."
She pounted for a minute, then rolled her eyes.
"You can call me Luce you know," She finally said in way of an acceptance.
He blinked again, "Isn't that what Natsu calls you?"
"And Gray, Erza when she's feeling especially friendly. I don't mind."
He grinned, "Luce it is then."
Lucy grinned back, her heart racing in her chest as she studied him. She was still mad that he had gotten carried away and made her use Urano Metria, but looking at him all bandaged she felt a little guilty. Perhaps she could have gone a little easier on him after all.
"Well, if I can call you Luce I suppose you can call me something," Laxus said, leaning back.
She pondered it for a moment, what would you call Laxus as a nickname?
"Lax," She said after a while, grinning at him.
He raised an eyebrow, "Lax?"
"Or Sparky, you pick," She shrugged, trying not to laugh at the expression on his face.
"I think I'll stick with Lax," He replied, raising an eyebrow.
What is it with her and Sparky? He wondered just as the door swung open.
"Oh good, you two are awake," The event hostess walked in her heels clicking on the marble floor as she walked toward them, eyeing Laxus appreciatively.
"I'm Mia. I hope Ruth told you about me," She said, shaking hands with the two mages.
"Afraid not," Laxus replied, folding his arms in front of him.
"Well, this is my place. The Charity Ball takes place at a different venue each year, but this year we lost our venue so I said we could use my home. Ruth set everything and I just pay everyone and supply the food," She answered, flipping a strand of purple hair over her shoulder as she shot Laxus a flirtatious grin.
Lucy rolled her eyes at the woman's behavior.
Oh please, she thought to herself.
"Well, anyways, I have to say that was quite an impressive fight you two put on out there. Definitely worth more than the original payment amount. You have an impressive amount of magic, Laxus Dreyar," Mia grinned, then turned to Lucy, acknowledging her for the first time since entering the room. "You, Lucy Heartfilia, are the real treasure though. A mage like you, able to summon that many spirits, and then preform that spell. You must be one of the strongest members of Fairy Tail."
Lucy blushed, "Actually, Not really. Laxus is a lot stronger than I am, and there's a lot of other mages who are much stronger than I am."
Mia h'mphed, not totally believing the girl, but she didn't argue.
"If that's the case, I hope I will see more Fairy Tail wizards at these events. Normally the patrons are bored and hardly pay any attention to the entertainment, but today you provided something amazing. I hope to see both of you again," Mia winked at Laxus as she dropped the reward money in his hand. "Oh, there's a little extra. I took the initiative of collecting a cut from the bets that were placed."
Lucy and Laxus watched her leave; Laxus with a bewildered expression, Lucy with one of annoyance.
"They took bets on us?" Lucy exclaimed.
Laxus grinned, "Of course they did. Two mages fighting like we did? Only fools would ban betting on something like that and there's no way some of those gentlemen out there weren't going to bet. Did you see them eyeing you? I still can't decide if they wanted you to lose or win. One thing for sure - they definitely wanted you to lose a little more clothing."
"Well, Mia probably wouldn't have minded seeing you in the nude either," Lucy huffed, remembering the way their hostess had eyed Laxus, like she was ready to jump on him the moment she laid eyes on him.
Laxus rolled his eyes, "Come on, Luce. We have a train to catch. I'm actually surprised that Team Natsu hasn't shown up and demanded your return yet."
Lucy laughed, "That could still happen."
Laxus led his partner out of the house, wrapping his coat around her when he realized that the temperature had fallen considerably and there were still some men gathered around the house, probably just waiting to see Lucy in her skimpy little outfit in the could. She looked up in surprise before snuggling into his coat.
"Thanks," She whispered, pulling it around herself.
He looked down at her, surprised to feel his heart racing at the sight of her in his jacket. Then he almost laughed out loud when he saw how big it was on her. The coat was slightly large on him, flowing down to his knee. On her it just looked ridiculous. She almost looked like a kid playing dress up. He shook his head and just pulled her closer to him.
Lucy was surprised when she felt Laxus's arm on her shoulder, but she didn't protest once she saw the creeps that were still hanging around. She actually moved closer to him, wrapping an arm around his waist and smiling up at his surprised expression.
Don't blow this. She thought. Let those creeps think you're my boyfriend and once we're out of here you can let go. Just don't leave me to the sharks.
For a moment she wondered if he had read her mind as his arm tightened around her, but then she realized he probably had the same idea she did. They walked all the way back to their room like that, neither of them saying a word, just walking in a comfortable silence like two lovers who were close enough that they didn't have to speak to understand each other.
Laxus let go of her the moment they entered the room, striding quickly over to his side to gather up what little gear he had. He tried not to think about how she had fit perfectly under his arm as he packed. He couldn't afford to think about that right now, not when she was only a few feet away gathering up her own gear. Not when they were alone in this room and his coat was still wrapped around her like a beacon that screamed at him.
"You ready?" He asked as he stuffed the last of his stuff in his bag, slinging it over his shoulder.
She nodded and opened the door, hurrying out of it, but for a brief moment he caught sight of her face and - were those tears?
Lucy's heart dropped the moment he let go of her, dropping his arm like it was on fire. She watched him hurry over to his side of the room, refusing to look at her.
Was it really that bad just to hold me? He must really dislike me.
She pushed that thought away quickly. No time to think about that, it would only upset her and they had a train to catch. Still the thought nagged at her as she packed. In fact, she was so bothered by it that when he spoke it startled her, bringing the thought to the forefront of her mind. She hurried out the door, brushing her tears away before he could catch up with her.
When he did catch up, she smiled up at him.
"Well, time to head back," She said, turning to find a sword pointed at them.
"Laxus," Erza's eyes glinted dangerously as she stared the man down.