From Puppy to Prince

The Star in His Night Sky

For a little over a month now, Lucy and Natsu have made it a regular occurrence for them to leave the guild early together at the end of the week. Several of their guild mates have taken it upon themselves to tease them, the most notable being Cana, Mira, Levy, and Juvia. Those four had been letting their minds run wild with thoughts about the two friends becoming more than friends.

One day, Natsu entered the guild like usual, ignoring the jeers from Macao and Wakaba, and headed to his usual spot at the bar. After a minute of scanning the guild, he turned to Mira, “Where’s Lucy? She’s normally here by now.”

“Oh! She told me yesterday that she wasn’t going to come in, and to tell you not to worry. I’m sure she will be back tomorrow!” The take-over mage smiled at the boy and went back to cleaning a mug. Natsu sighed and laid his head on the counter. He’d had his eye on a certain mission for a week now, but it had been Lucy’s turn to pick a job when he saw it. Today was the day he was going to do it with her, and he didn’t want to do it with just Happy. It just wouldn’t be the same.

Natsu rose from his seat and headed for the guild, a few members of the guild watching him. He was going stir crazy and couldn’t sit there doing nothing any longer. He would have picked a fight with Gray or Gajeel, but both of his rivals were out on jobs. Happy flew overhead as Natsu walked down a random street in Magnolia, kicking a rock.

“Why don’t we go hang out with Lucy? I’m sure she would rather have company than be alone!” Happy’s logic seemed to make sense to Natsu, and he nodded his agreement, cutting through an alley to get to Strawberry Street. In minutes, they were outside her apartment building. Happy grabbed Natsu and flew him up to the window so he could open it.

Pulling himself inside the room, it was immediately evident that Lucy wasn’t there. Natsu sniffed the air. Like he expected, while Lucy’s scent was everywhere, making his head buzz just a little, there were no fresh scents. His shoulders slumped, “Let’s go Happy. She isn’t here.”

Happy had landed on Lucy’s bed and was sitting there gumming the fish he had brought from the guild. “Maybe she went shopping? She did say yesterday that we ate the last of her food.”

“Good thinking Happy!” With renewed vigor, Natsu leapt out of Lucy’s window, landing in a crouch on the ground, leaving Happy to close the window. Together, they ran around Magnolia to all of the shops.

Lunch time came and went, and they were still looking. By now they were in Hargeon, waiting for the next train to take them back to Magnolia. It surprised Happy when Natsu suggested taking the train to the port city. Yes, there could be a possibility that Lucy was there, since Hargeon had better shops, but for Natsu to actually suggest taking the train instead of begging the exceed to carry him was… Well it was unheard of! Right then Happy knew there was something different about Natsu.

As the train rolled into the station, Natsu paled to slightly green in color, but he forced his legs to board the moving death trap. Like he had on the train ride to Hargeon, once Natsu was in his seat, he lay down on his side as though he were laying his head in someone’s lap. He closed his eyes and imagined fingers running through his hair just like what Lucy would do when they had to travel any way other than walking. Before he knew it, the conductor was calling out Magnolia station.

As they left the train, Happy noticed that Natsu was not nearly affected by the ride as he normally would be if they took the train alone. He made sure to ask him later, after they had found Lucy, but then his stomach rumbled. “Hey Natsu?”

“Yeah Happy?” The dragon slayer turned to his blue friend.

“I’m going to head back to the guild. I ate my fish for lunch, and I’ve been starving for a while now. And Carla and Wendy said they’d be getting back today from training with Porlyusica.” The cat felt bad that he wanted to leave his friend to search for Lucy alone, but he really was hungry. They hadn’t stopped for lunch or dinner, and his fish was gone. Plus Carla had been with Wendy for the past week, who was training her healing magic with Porlyusica.

Natsu grinned at Happy, “Of course! And don’t wait up for me when you’re done. I probably won’t be going back to the guild if it gets too late.”

The winged cat smiled at Natsu and jumped into the air, waving a thanks to him before turning to the direction of the guild hall and food. Natsu stretched his arms back, then started off in a random direction, figuring that random was better than not since they had already searched the shops.

Another two hours passed, night having fallen soon after Natsu left the train station. He found himself in the woods. He had caught a hold of Lucy’s scent, and he was following it now. It wasn’t recent, and very faint, but it was all he needed.

Natsu soon arrived at a small clearing, Lucy’s scent being the strongest here. And there she was, laying on her back staring up at the stars. As Natsu walked towards her, he could hear her faintly humming his song “Dragons.” A smile played on his lips as he walked over to her and sat down, falling back as he tilted his head to view the stars.

“It was about time you found me. I almost thought you didn’t notice I was gone.” Lucy smirked as she said this, but in her mind it was true. She had been hurt when he didn’t show up.

He sighed, “Of course I’d notice! You’re my partner!” For once, he noticed how she winced ever so slightly when he said the word “partner.” “So Luce, what are you doing out here? Is everything alright?”

Lucy nodded and turned onto her side to face Natsu, “Yeah, I’m fine. Today is the anniversary of the day my mom died. Every year I go to an ice cream shop and get some ice cream, sit in a park for a while, then, just before sundown, I go and buy a necklace for her. Then I find a secluded spot to watch the stars till I fall asleep.” She sounded almost cheerful to Natsu, which made sense, since her mother had been gone for about 15 years now.

“May I see the necklace?” She nodded and pulled out a small blue box, handing it to Natsu. He opened it. Inside, there was a necklace with a gold key-shaped pendant, which also had a star charm hanging from the end of the key. He undid the clasp and held it up to Lucy’s neck, using his sense of touch to latch it again. “There.” The smile he’d had since he saw the necklace widened when he looked at her wearing it. A thought crossed his mind, “She is so beautiful…” He flushed slightly, hiding it with his scarf. “So are you doing ok?”

With a nod, Lucy smiled at Natsu, “Mmhm! But I’m even better now that you’re here.” Lucy blushed when she said that, thankful it was dark.

“Hey Luce, why don’t you tell me about the constellations again?” She could tell he was trying to keep her from thinking about her mom, having seen through her white lie. She had been sad before he arrived, but he really did know how to make her feel better.

Sighing, she laid back down, moving so her head was next to his, then started to point out each of the constellations with a smile. Halfway through, knowing it was halfway because she’d told him about the constellations at least a dozen times now, Natsu turned his head to look at Lucy. His eyes moved over her features, from the way her eyes lit up in the starlight when she became excited about a constellation, to the curve of her lips when she spoke. He knew every detail of her face, and yet he still couldn’t get enough of the sight.

Not for the first time did Natsu start to feel a fluttering in his stomach. It felt like he was full of flames, but that they were still flickering. He thought back to all the other times he had felt this way. There was one common thing in each memory: Lucy. He always seemed to feel full of fiery butterflies when he thought about Lucy, or at random times when he was looking at her. Sometimes, even just the scent of her had him missing her.

Gathering his thoughts together, Natsu realized he had fallen for the blonde beauty beside him.

He contented himself to listening to her voice after his discovery. He closed his eyes, enjoying the feel of her next to him, and soon she went silent as she too enjoyed his presence. After a bit, Natsu felt Lucy move and opened his eyes. She was asleep, but she had rolled onto him halfway, using his chest as a pillow, an arm wrapped around him while the other was curled underneath her. A smile danced on her lips as she dreamed about kissing Natsu, unbeknownst to her that he was imagining the very same thing.

Together, they fell asleep in the clearing. A few hours before dawn, Natsu awoke. Lucy was in the same position as before. He carefully untangled himself from her arms and picked her up. Little noises escaped her, making him chuckle.

Natsu carried her all the way back to Strawberry Street. Cautious not to wake her, he walked up the stairs to her front door. He unclipped her house key from the key ring on her hip that also held her Celestial keys, using it to unlock the door.

Laying Lucy on her bed, Natsu removed her shoes, then he realized he had a dilemma. Either mildly undress her, and face her wrath when she woke up, or leave her dressed the way she was, which didn’t look very comfortable to sleep in. After thinking for a while, he decided to go for the happy medium, which was pretty much the first option, but in his head, he was doing her a favor.

He went to her dresser and pulled out a pair of larger pjs that looked comfortable, then walked back to the bed. He looked at her shirt, unsure of how to get it off without waking her. Deciding it was best to keep the chest area of the shirt on her, since it was fitted, he slid the sleeves off her arms. He folded the blue fabric and set it aside, then turned to her skirt. A frown adorned his face as he tried to figure out how he would get her skirt off. Just then he noticed a little zipper at the top of the slit that was in the side. Relieved he didn’t have to slide the whole skirt off her, he unzipped it and tugged it out from under her, folding it as well and placing it with the sleeved of her top. Now that she was in her undergarments essentially, his face started to heat up. He made sure to keep his eyes on only the portions of her body that were normally visible. He slipped the pjs on her gently, taking his time so as to not wake her.

Content with the clothing and how it covered her, He looked at her face. Natsu then looked up at her hair. “Pigtails can’t be comfortable to sleep in…” he thought, reaching up and slowly pulled Lucy’s hair free of its bindings. Now that her hair was free and not pulling at her scalp, a contented sigh came from her lips. Which drew Natsu’s eyes to them.

Without thinking, Natsu leaned down and gently kissed Lucy’s lips. It only lasted for a second, but that single second seemed to take an eternity. When he pulled away, he could have sworn he saw her eye lids move, but as he watched, they refused to repeat the action.

Natsu covered her with her blankets hastily and left through her window after locking her front door. He sprinted back to his house, still not believing that he had kissed Lucy. How would he face her later in the guild? His mind whirled with thoughts, and for the remainder of the night, he stayed away both dreading and hoping for her to have been awake and remember his kiss.

~*~*~*~

Later that day, in the guild hall, Lucy was sitting with Levy at a table, telling her about the day before. She blushed when she thought about how Natsu had found her and placed the necklace on her, which she had yet to take off. Levy was cooing about how cute Natsu had been, and that she was sure he liked her. Lucy shook her head, laughing, telling her about how Natsu couldn’t like her. She then proceeded to tell her about her dream after checking to see if a certain dragon slayer was out of earshot.

Levy listened at her friend described her dream. In it, she was a princess being kidnapped by a knight, and Natsu was a dragon who rescued her. As thanks, she kissed him, and he turned into a handsome young man, who thanked her for rescuing him from the curse he was under by giving her a quick but lasting kiss on the lips.

“But something odd happened then. When I opened my eyes after his lips left mine, I could have sworn I was in my room, and it was the real Natsu kissing me. But it was only like that for a flash, then we were back in that dragon cave from the dream. What do you think it means?” Lucy looked concerned, waiting for her friend’s advice.

“Well Lu, I think it means you seriously have at least a crush on Natsu, and I have an idea about that sliver that was in your room. What if it wasn’t a dream?” Levy glanced at the fire mage, who at that moment was sparring with Gray, each throwing out insults and trying to land punches.

Lucy followed her gaze and sighed. “Nah… He doesn’t see me that way.”

All Levy could think was “If only she saw what everyone else sees…”
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