"I'll ask you again, who are you?" Gray said seriously, glaring at the foreigners.
"I am Jellal Fernades of Juelle, former Hand to the king," Jellal said with as much a serious tone as Gray. "I am here as an emissary for Lord Robaul's daughter Wendy. Her father requested that I safeguard her on her journey here to Magnolia, seeing as how he and I are old acquaintances."
"That's all well and good then," Gray sighed, "but why are you here? These are private quarters reserved for female guests of Makrov. I can understand why the young girl and the other lady are here, but that doesn't explain why you are currently in the premises. Not to mention your fatuous friend's sudden outburst earlier."
"What did you call me?" Natsu growled as he stepped toward Gray with a fierce scowl upon his lips. Wendy attempted to pull him back, but he only proceeded to drag the young girl with him as he moved. "Are you offering me insult?"
"I'm calling you stupid, you idiot," Gray hissed.
"Why you," Natsu growled as he was once more butting heads with the young knight.
"Big brother please," Wendy pleaded as she tried to pull him away.
"Natsu knock it off, both of you," Jellal ordered. "Listen, Gray—"
"Fullbuster," the young man added in for Jellal has he was still eye locked in with Natsu.
"Fullbuster." Jellal finished. "We are looking for our friends, Lucy of Konvern and her companions, Erza and Levy. Would you by chance know where we could find them?"
"I would, but I'm not going to tell you," Gray growled.
"Why not?" Natsu hissed.
"Why would I tell you, total strangers, where women of importance are? How do I know I can trust you?"
"Why wouldn't you be able to trust us?" Natsu asked.
"Because for one thing, you broke down a door that lead to private quarters of said women of importance," Gray rebutted.
"That's something coming from a guy who is currently inside said girl's home without their presence," Natsu retorted. "I bet you're doing something perverted here aren't you?"
"What are you accusing me of?" Gray barked.
"You heard me pervert," Natsu teased.
"Enough the both of you," Jellal snapped as he stepped in between the two of them. Gajeel just snickered to himself as Juvia was still lost in her own world, staring at Gray the whole time. "Gray, I am an old friend of Erza's, please tell us where we can find them. We've been separated for months now, and it would be nice to see them once again as soon as possible."
Gray eyed him carefully before leering at Natsu one more time. He did not know what he was to do, since he did not know whether or not he can really trust this group of people. Though Jellal seemed like a trustworthy enough guy. He was taking care of the young Wendy girl after all, and the other woman with the blue hair did not appear all that harmful. Though he had to admit he was beginning to feel a bit creped out by her constant staring.
He ponder it over for a bit before finally nodding his head. "I'll tell you where you can find them," he said to Jellal. "But I'm going with you. I don't want you stirring up any trouble, so I'm going to go with you."
"Very good," Jellal said as he stepped to the side and gestured for Gray to move forward. "Lead the way."
Gray took them down the road. He knew if anything that if they were going to find the girls it would most likely be at the pub. Seeing as how it was mid-day and most of the people the girls were known to associate with were finished with their daily labors, that was the spot where all of them would meet.
As he walked with the group he still kept a fierce eye on the pink haired teen. The boy was hot headed, and the way he carried himself Gray could just sense that disaster was a foot with him. He didn't know about the others, the black haired one seemed too quite with a disgruntled expression upon his face. He was one that Gray knew was the one to be the most weary of. The girls however, they appeared to be innocent enough, at least the young Wendy was. She just had that aura about her that he knew she would never be someone to cause harm, though he wished she had stayed behind. A pub was no place for a little girl, but he knew that she had to tag along cause she could not be left alone.
Gray led them to the Fairy Tail Pub. When he arrived at the door he turned to face them in order to address them properly, though in truth it was more so to address Natsu whom he knew was going to get riled up. He honestly thought that someone should put a leash on the boy.
"Okay, we're here," Gray said. "Try not to start an uproar." He peered over at Natsu. Though the boy was not listening to him, he was shaking with anticipation of finally meeting Lucy and the others.
Once Gray had opened the doors Natsu surged right through, knocking Gray to the floor. "Hey!" Gray called out to him, but Natsu ignored him, he was far too busy scoping out the pub. Though honestly he did not know if this place could be called a pub. It was two stories high, larger than a barracks and there were tables lined up with people across the first and second floor. Natsu didn't have more than a couple of seconds of looking before Gray grabbed him by the shoulder and hurtled him back.
"What do you think you're doing there jerkface?!" Gray snarled.
"What do you mean what am I doing, pervert?" Natsu snapped back.
"You just knocked me over," Gray shouted back. The two of them were back to butting heads. A annoyed Jellal just shook his head at the two of them as Wendy thought about jumping in and try to stop the two of them, but she wondered if it would really work anymore.
"You should have gotten out of the way," Natsu blurted back.
Amongst all the commotion everyone in the pub turned around to see who exactly it was that was making such a ruckus. They immediately noticed Gray, but the strangers that were with him were a different story. Among them a blonde girl who was sitting at the bar talking to the bartender, Mira, turned around to see what had drawn everyone's attention.
At first she didn't believe what she saw. Though there were numerous people standing in front of her view she could make out an image of a pink haired teen arguing with Gray. 'Natsu?' she wondered to herself as she stood up and began gliding towards the door.
"Lucy?" Erza, who had been sitting next to the blonde the entire time with Levy said as she watched the girl wonder off.
As Lucy drew closer she could get a better view, slowly pushing her way through the crowd of bodies before. Finally she could make out the young man. She gasped as she clamped her hands to her mouth; tears began to stream from her eyes like water from a faucet.
"Natsu!" she cried still amidst her own shock. Natsu blinked, remembering exactly why he was there, but more concerned when he heard his name mentioned by a familiar feminine voice. Even Gray had stopped fighting with him as he let go of Natsu's collar and backed away. "Natsu!"
"Hey Lucy," Natsu said to her with a wide grin.
"Natsu!" Lucy cried one more time as she ran over and jumped into his chest. The force of her sudden leap caused Natsu to fall back a couple of steps, but he managed to maintain his balance as he wrapped his arms around the young blonde. "Is it really you?" She asked sobbing into his chest.
"Yeah," Natsu sighed happily as he rested his chin upon her crown, "it's really me. I missed you."
"Where have been?!" Lucy cried. "What have you been doing this whole time? Do you have any idea how worried sick I was for you?"
"I think I could gander a guess," Natsu chuckled. Lucy just slapped him in the chest, only to realize that the boy was wearing armor. She stood back and gazed upon it wondering where the boy had acquired it. But she didn't care about all that, for now she was just happy to have him back. "I thought about you everyday," Natsu whispered into her ear. "Every second of every minute. I'm sorry it took so long, but we had our own issues that kept coming up."
"Never mind that now," she sighed joyfully, I'm just glad to have you back. Without so much of another word she leaned up and kissed him.
The rest of the pub looked onward with smiles on their faces as the erupted into a round of applause for the two of them. Lucy blushed a feverish, crimson red as she buried her face back into Natsu's chest as the boy waved on the excited crowd.
Erza who had realized what was going on found herself standing up as well. She managed to push her way to the crowd to see the young Lucy in the arms of the pink haired Draconan they had left in Konvern. Without wasting another moment her eyes immediately darted around to see if she could spot Jellal. To her own stunned eyes she could see him, sporting bluish armor standing in the doorway with Gajeel, a young girl and another woman.
Erza could not control her own feet as she swiftly glided over to the young noble. "Jellal," she spoke his name softly. The young noble turned to her, he had been so distracted by the reunion between Natsu and Lucy he had forgotten the main person he had been looking for this entire time.
"Erza?" Jellal cried happily.
He waited for her as she came within a foot from him. She stared at him in disbelief, resting the palm of her hand against his cheek. She still couldn't believe what she was seeing, as Jellal cupped her hand in his and grinned widely at her. Their eyes were interlocked as Jellal found his heart pounding violently in his chest. He had no idea how much he truly missed the redhead. So much so that he felt as though he was out of breath as he stared deep into her eyes. That was until she yanked it away and slapped him with it.
"What was that for?" Jellal said bewildered. He clenched the cheek that was now throbbing a bright pink from her strong strike.
"You don't write, you don't let me know where you are. You're lucky all you got was a slap," she snapped.
"Sorry," Jellal sighed. "We didn't exactly have a lot of time to just sit down and write any letters while we were out."
"And what exactly have you been doing this entire time?" Erza snarled, talking down to Jellal the same a mother would to a child that had overly misbehaved.
"Traveling around, trying to ensure the safety of the last Draconan child so that she did not fall into Ivan and Duke's hands," Jellal told her.
"Draconan child?" Erza said blinking dumbfound. "What child?"
"This one right here," Jellal said stepping to the side to reveal the purple haired twelve year old. "Her name is Wendy. Her adopted father, Robaul, asked us to watch over her on our journey to Magolia. Since Duke's armies were seen marching to his land, he needed to find a way to smuggle her out without causing suspicion."
"So sending the former Hand to the very king that was trying to abduct her wouldn't cause suspicion?" Erza said snidely.
"Well, we didn't exactly go with our own aliases when we were traveling," Jellal rebuked.
Erza shook her head ignoring Jellal as she pushed by him to see the girl he was talking about. Wendy shuttered away, no uncommon with those that knew Erza; she did have an intimidating presence about her. She was as deadly as she was beautiful, but she kneeled down in front of the girl smiling brightly at her. Wendy may have felt uneasy, but she could tell that the grin was genuine and she began to feel a bit more comfortable with the redhead.
"Hello there," Erza said politely with a gentle tone. "I'm Erza. So you're this Wendy that Jellal was talking about? It's a pleasure to meet you."
"And I you," Wendy greeted politely.
She was still a bit afraid of Erza. She had never seen anyone overpower Jellal in such a way before. She wondered exactly who this young woman was, there was something more intriguing about her than just her dominant presence. After all, she did appear to be incredibly friendly towards the young girl after all.
"And by the way," Erza said breaking her gaze on the young girl and turning to Juvia, "who might you be?"
"My name is Juvia Lockser," the blue haired girl answered. "I am an emissary from Mila. I came her to discuss political agendas with Lord Makrov, but it appears that he is detained at the present moment."
Erza pursed her lips, not knowing exactly what to think of this new woman. She seemed a bit, she couldn't quite think of the word, but the best she could come up with was stoic. She was bit odd in her own way, though Erza had to admit that she did have handsome features about her. Though she spent most of her time staring over at Gray. Erza just rolled her eyes as she turned back to Wendy with the same friendly grin.
Gajeel just scoffed as he watched them all before making his way to the bar. As he dragged himself over he bumped into a small object. A familiar fragrance filled his nostrils as he began to wonder where he had smelt it before. It smelt of lavender and honeydew, not exactly the same before but it was familiar. In a way it was downright intoxicating.
"Hey!" a small voice squeaked.
Gajeel looked down, realizing that the voice, and the object he bumped into belonged to Levy. She had been too distracted by Natsu and Lucy's reunion that she hadn't noticed the large boy passing by.
"Oh, it's you," Gajeel scoffed, folding his arms across his chest.
"'Oh, it's you?'" Levy grumbled the snide remark back as she glared up at Gajeel. "Is that what you say to the person who saved your life back in Konvern? Stupid Gajeel."
"Saved my life?" Gajeel chuckled. "Hardly. I could have left anytime I wanted, it's just that Natsu and Jellal had their own plans."
"You . . . you . . ." Levy grunted in anger. "You're just despicable!"
"I know sweetheart, I know," Gajeel told her before walking back over to the bar.
Levy watched as he left, disappointed in him, and maybe a little bit in herself. This is not how she wanted to reunite with the boy when they found each other again. He may have been a pain, he may have been a brute, but she did see something in him that just intrigued her. Maybe it was that though he pretended to be rough and hard on the outside, he was still compassionate enough that he risked his life to save Lucy's and hers. At any point he could have left and deserted them, but he choose to stay behind. And in a way, the girl found it admirable.
Though she didn't know what to do any longer, so she figured that maybe she should try and join the black haired teen at the bar as well, though she did not know how well that would go over. She stamped her foot as she was determined to not let the black haired bandit bully her around. She was going to go and have a drink too. Regardless of whether or not he wanted to talk, regardless of how rude he would be, she still didn't want to be excluded.
Lucy continued to hold tight to Natsu, her head still buried deep into his chest as she could hear the uproar of people cheering them from behind. Finally she looked up at him, kissing him one more time on the lips, her face bushing a scarlet red from embarrassment. Natsu began to stroke the bangs from her eyes as he held her in closer.
From the second story of the pub Gildarts watch with a happy stare. He rested his chin against his palm as he leaned up against the wooden railing. He thought about going and saying something to Natsu, but for now he would let the two lovers enjoy there time together.
Never again. Never again was he going to let go of Lucy. Those months away from her were difficult, and now he could finally rest. Finally all of it was over, and they could finally be together again. He was just going to hold onto her, and he didn't care what the world would bring, but he would continue to hold Lucy in his arms.
She broke away for a moment, suddenly realizing that her lover was wearing a red-tinted color armor. She examined it carefully before peering back up at him a little puzzled.
"Oh, the armor," Natsu laughed as he too looked down at it. "It's kind of a long story."
"I would like to hear it," she told him. She stuck a finger up to his lips to prevent him from talking anymore about it. "But not now, later." She said as she grabbed him by the back of the neck, kissing him softly.
"Lucy," she heard a feminine voice say from behind her. She turned around to see Mira standing giggling to herself along with Kiana and most of her other friends. "Aren't you going to introduce us to your boyfriend?"
"Oh," Lucy gasped as her face blushed a soft pink. "This is Natsu." She motioned with her head since her arms were still locked around Natsu's body and his hers.
"The same Natsu who was just your friend?" Lisana teased. The rest of them cocked their eyebrows and stared at her with sarcastic glares.
Lucy bit her lip as Natsu just laughed about it. In the back Erza had taken Wendy by the hand and led the girl to the front of the bar to get her a drink of milk, or water. Though she thought it was irresponsible of Jellal to bring a child to a pub of all places. That and she felt it necessary to find Wendy a more comfortable location. While she did that Gray was about to make his way out of the bar before Juvia went up and asked him if he would like to share a drink with her. Disgruntled from the events of the day Gray nodded in agreement and took the more than zealous girl to the front of the bar as well.
That left Jellal alone as he watched Erza leave. His gaze fell down to below her waste as he hadn't really noticed just how amazing her . . . skirt was. Yes the skirt, it was just so nice and comfortable looking. She wore it well. It was when she turned around to peer back at him one last time causing him to avert his eyes quickly as his gaze wondered off to a nearby pillar. Just looking at the pillar, that is a nice pillar.
He peered back for a second to see if the cost was clear. Erza was no longer glaring back at him. He sighed to himself, he really did miss her more than she knew. He just wished that after spending so much time apart she would be a bit more . . . civil. Though he followed her over to where she getting Wendy a cup of milk. Maybe if he could talk to her a bit longer, and maybe with Wendy there, the two of them could communicate nicely. But he doubted it.
He walked over to the two girls, Erza handing over the cup of ice cold milk to Wendy as the girl took it eagerly and began to sip it down. Erza noticing him turned with a scornful glare as she folded her arms across her chest.
"Well it's good to see you too," Jellal sighed.
"Jellal," Erza sighed herself. "I miss you too, more than you know," she said placed a hand on his cheek. The young noble flinched just a bit as he anticipated another slap. "I'm not angry at you, I'm angry because I was worried sick about you. Everyday I wondered if you were ever going to come back to me, the thought of losing you just—" She broke off as her eyes lingered to the floor.
Jellal grabbed Erza by the hand as he pulled her in and embraced her in a hug. The girl's eyes went wide as she was at a loss for words, her face flaring up in embarrassment.
"I am so sorry," he said. "I never meant to hurt you, I never meant to make you worry." He broke away as the two of them stared in one another's eyes. Jellal was leaning forward as their two lips began to inch closer and closer together.
"Uhm, excuse me," Wendy whimpered. The two of them broke away as Erza looked down at the small girl with a smile. "Can—" she stuttered. "Can I get some more milk please?"
As Lucy was baffled by the excitement of her friends, Gildarts decided that perhaps she and Natsu did need a bit of help. He chuckled to himself as he made his way down the stairs and walked over to them. When the old mentor came within view of the pink haired teen, Natsu's face dropped, and his mouth agape. He wondered if his eyes were deceiving him, but low and behold before him stood the very man who was the closest thing he could ever consider a father.
"Gildarts!" Natsu shouted as he waved to his old teacher, finally breaking his hold on the blonde girl.
Lucy giggled as she watched the pink haired teen run like an excited child before sliding to a grinding halt in front of his old master. Gildarts laughed as he embraced Natsu in a tight hug. The kind of hug only a father could give his son after not seeing each other in a long, long time. Natsu couldn't contain himself, he was about to burst with energy.
"What are you doing here?" Natsu exclaimed as Lucy walked up beside him, lacing her arm around his waste as she snuggled into his shoulder, kissing him softly on the neck.
"To save you two from any more embarrassment," he laughed. "Come," he said placing a hand on Natsu's shoulder. "Let me buy you a drink and we can all catch up."
Later that afternoon Lucy brought Natsu back to the house. The two of them stood on her balcony, overlooking the city and the bay just as the sun was setting on the horizon. The bay faced North of them, so the sun was setting to their side, just behind the large mountain range on the outskirts of the city. Lucy stood facing the ocean as Natsu stood behind her, his arms wrapped around her waste as the two of them looked out together.
The air was still for the most part, but every now and then a gentle breeze fluttered in from the sea, sending with it kisses of icy frost. Lucy didn't feel any cold as she was entrapped in Natsu's warm arms. She had really missed the feel of his arms around her, the warmth of his body pressed up against hers, even if he was currently wearing some armor. She would like to discuss it with him, but then again she would just like to enjoy the sunset.
The scenery was beautiful, the aqua green of the ocean along the velvet cobalt blue of the twilight sky. The sun was not low enough, but the light of the sun colored the billowy clouds a bright pink and iris. It was like living in a painting, so unreal and yet so sublime. The air was still warm from the heat of the day radiating off the flagstone and limestone buildings, but it danced with the cool wind of the ocean. The only thing missing would be the lovely fragrance of the misty ocean-spray, but unfortunately her residence was too far away at this time of day for her to enjoy it.
As she stood there absorbing the last of the sun's last rays she began to think back to what Cana had spoke to her earlier. She remembered how the brunette had told her. She felt a shiver of anxiety run through her gut, and her face flush as she recalled the events of that awkward night a while a go. She bit her lip, wondering if now was the right time. She lifted one hand as she cradled her necklace really thinking it through, but the more she thought about it, the more she could feel her heart race in her chest. So fast she could swear that it was going to break through her ribcage and stop all together.
She nervously shook her head as she took in a deep breath through her nostrils. She grinded her hips against Natsu's, catching the pink haired teen by surprise. As he looked down at her she gingerly broke away from his hold, turning away to stare at him with a seductive glare, rubbing her hands up and down Natsu's arms. He cocked his head wondering what exactly Lucy was planning.
Lucy giggled fretfully as she slid her hands down Natsu's soft ski before coming upon his hands. She gripped his fingertips in hers as she began to circle around him, leading him with her fingers. Natsu was still a bit suspicious as Lucy could feel her heart beat faster and faster to the point that she was feeling nauseous. Was she really this nervous? It was Natsu after all, why would she feel such anxiety, but then again this is a step the two of them had never taken before.
She spread his hands apart as she stepped in, kissing Natsu gently, yet passionately on the lips before breaking away. She didn't pull her face too far away from his, just enough so that she could stare deep into his eyes, and only see his eyes. Natsu was lost in the creamy, chocolate colors of her eyes as he stepped in for another kiss. But all he got was air as Lucy took a step back giggling to herself as she kept her hand knitted tightly around Natsu's.
She glided backwards, her white blouse and skirt fluttering in the wind as her strands of golden hair waved across her face. Natsu followed her dumbly, letting her lead him to wherever she desired. Lucy had to admit, Cana was right as she kept her eyes fixated on Natsu's, as did the boy with hers. She took a step, taking a moment to gaze behind her to make sure she did not trip over her own feet and to make sure that she was going precisely where she intended to take Natsu.
Once she passed through the threshold of the patio she finally let go of Natsu's hands. She stepped backwards as Natsu continued to follow her as though lost in a trance. She placed a hand upon his chest, stopping him in place as she took a few more steps back. She bit her lip, keeping her seductive glare upon Natsu as he could feel his heart start to race in his chest as he was beginning to suspect what Lucy was actually thinking.
"Lucy," he said softly.
"Natsu," she said, her eyes falling to the floor. She slid one of her hands up to the straps on her shoulders, pushing them to the side as she followed them down to her skirt and slid them off all in one motion. Natsu's heart nearly erupted in his chest as he laid eyes on the naked Lucy who stood there continuing to stare at him seductively.
"I think I'm ready, Natsu," she breathed as she walked over to him.
Natsu stood as stiff as stone. His heart was beating so quickly he was already out of breath. Lucy's naked frame glided over to him, she placed her hand on his cheek as she leaned in for a kiss.
"Do you want it?" she whispered in his ear as she began to unlace the straps on his forearms, letting his gauntlets fall to the ground.
Natsu reached up, tearing off the top of his armor, reveling his firm and sculpted chest to the blonde. Lucy stood on her toes as she kissed him once more, rubbing her palm along Natsu's chest, feeling him, touching him in a way she had never touched him before. Natsu grabbed her by the waste, pulling her deep and deeper into the kiss before he lifted her up with his arms, continuing to hold the kiss before planting Lucy on the bed.
He broke away staring into her eyes, lost in them as he brushed her bangs from her eyes so he continue to stare deep inside of her. Lucy in turn rubbed her own hand through Natsu's crown as the boy suddenly began to kiss her on the neck, using just a little teeth causing Lucy to erupt in pain and pleasure. His lips traveled down her naked body before coming back up and kissing her lips.
"Are you ready?" he whispered as she stared into her eyes.
"Yes," Lucy gasped, grasping onto his shoulders.