Natsu goes absolutely crazy anytime Lucy is in danger. He didn’t want to live and was going to throw his life away fighting zeref because he thought she was dead. It’s canon.
Mashima drew Natsu getting a boner over Lucy (and only her). Omake or not, whether you like fanservice or not, I don’t give a sh*t.
At the end of the day if Mishima didn’t think it was within Natsu’s character to see Lucy as ‘his’ then he wouldn’t draw it. It’s canon.
Natsu chickened out of confessing but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. Do people have memory loss of the last 545 chapters of the manga and the character building and moments between the two?
Expecting to have a shojo moment in a shonen manga is an unrealistic expectation. Compared to other shonen manga’s Mashima has spoiled us rotten for ship moments. Nalu, in particular, got over 40 panels centred around them in the last chapter, so we did pretty well.
Plus, waxing lyrical about his love for Lucy is OOC for Natsu. In that kind of moment and the vibe of the scene, it wouldn’t happen.
I am anticipating a short sequel or omake’s that clarify and expand on the ending - Mashima did leave it suspiciously open.
I’m going to do a detailed post later but these are my initial thoughts.
Oh and before any one messages me saying ‘it depends on how you look at it’ you can save yourself the effort. Anyone can look at something negatively and deny something until their last breath, I’m well aware of this. Hell, if other fandoms have taught me anything, it’s how well people can stick their heads in the sand.