Plot: Lucy just wants to show some appreciation towards Natsu.
The blonde celestial mage who had been immersed in deep thoughts spun around from her seat. Juvia stood behind her, hands held together tightly as she look at her supposed love rival hopefully.
“Please help Juvia!”
Lucy blinked several times before fully processing that Juvia was asking for her help. With a warm smile, the blonde patted the seat beside her as she gestured for the water mage to sit with her.
“Is something wrong, Juvia?”
The water mage let out a long sigh as she placed her hands on her lap. “Well, you see, it’s Juvia and Gray-sama’s 879th anniversary-”
“You’re still at that?!” Lucy sweatdropped, recalling how Juvia had once seeked the help of herself and the other Fairy Tail mages on her 413th anniversary.
“Juvia treasures every day she has with Gray-sama!” The blue-haired girl protested, pouting. Lucy could only laugh nervously while Juvia continued. “Juvia believes that she has run out of ideas as to what to do for Gray-sama today.”
Lucy pondered for a moment and tap her chin thoughtfully before simply suggesting, “Nee, I think that it would be the best if you just hang out with Gray and do whatever he wants. It’s simple, but I’m sure Gray would enjoy some company from you.”
Juvia’s eyes brightened as she gazed hopefully at Lucy. “Really?”
Lucy nodded, pleased at how Juvia seemed so happy. “Gray may not show it, but he really cares for you. I’m sure there would be nothing more he’d love than for you to be by his side and enjoy some time with him!”
“Juvia is thankful! Thank you, Lucy-san!” The blue-haired girl got up from her seat cheerily and was just about to skip away happily to find the ice mage when Lucy reached out to grab her wrist.
“Juvia, there’s something I’d actually like to ask you, though.”
The water mage gasped, before waving her hand dismissively at Lucy. “Juvia only has feelings for Gray-sama.”
Lucy sweatdropped as she shook her head, not wanting to wonder what fertile imagination Juvia had pictured in her mind. “I just wanted to ask why you are always so keen on celebrating every day with Gray.”
Juvia looked at Lucy with a straight face, causing Lucy to stutter and quickly add, “Well, I mean that there’s nothing wrong with it, and I do admire you for the effort that you put in. I was just wondering… What for?”
“Juvia has always thought that Lucy-san was smart.”
“I’ll take no offense to that.” Though, the blonde was laughing nervously and clenching her fist behind her back.
“Gray-sama has always saved Juvia. Juvia may not be able to always save Gray-sama but she can do little things like these to show Gray-sama that she is thankful.”
Lucy blinked as she realised how true Juvia’s words were.
“Lucy-san should perhaps show some gratitude towards Natsu-san too. Juvia thinks that it would make Natsu-san very happy,” Juvia clapped her hands in delight.
“N-Natsu? Why Natsu?! That’s really… Really…” The blonde couldn’t find any words to cover up.
“Juvia thinks that Natsu-san and Lucy-san make a great couple!” Juvia cheered, before softly adding with a sly smile as she turned her back to Lucy. “That way Juvia will have one less love rival!”
“I can hear you, you know…” Lucy sweatdropped.
Juvia took no notice of Lucy’s words, bowing 90 degrees to Lucy before waving at her briefly. “Thank you for today, Lucy-san!”
Lucy smiled brightly back at the water mage, feeling a sense of pride well up within her for some reason. She turned back to the counter to see Mirajane making some drinks, and leaned her cheek to her right palm as she sighed.
“For Natsu, huh?” Lucy mumbled to herself. “What can I do for him though?”
Lucy spun to see Happy walking towards her on the counter, and beamed.
“Nee, Happy, what do you think is a good present for Natsu?”
The blue cat who had just sat down on the counter and was preparing to take out his fish suddenly stopped, turning to look at Lucy with a sly smile.
“You llllllllike him.”
“Stop rolling your tongue, you stupid cat!” Lucy yelled back, a hint of blush splashed across her cheeks.
Happy simply gave a prideful smile, before starting to munch on his favourite food.
“So… What do you think it’s good?”
“I would like fish!”
“I’m not asking you what you want!” Lucy yelled again as she rubbed her sore temple. The blonde suddenly blinked as an idea sparked in her mind, before hurriedly getting up from her seat.
“Thanks, Happy!” The celestial mage had wasted no time and was already heading out of the guild.
“Aye, no problem!” Happy, who had been oblivious to the entire event, continued to eat happily.
Lucy was quick to getting back to her house as she smiled in delight to herself. Food, of course, would have been the best present for Natsu. Lucy recalled how Natsu had repeatedly mentioned wanting to get food as present back then when Juvia had asked him for his opinion.
Once in her house, Lucy breezed through her bookshelf as she searched for a cookbook.
“Let’s see… There we go! Flaming Chicken!” The blonde beamed in delight, hugging the book to her chest before punching her fist in the air. “Yoshi! Let’s do this!”
Two hours passed and Lucy had come up with nothing presentable nor edible.
And who could blame her? Though she was a well-read mage, she had servants for sixteen years in her life to cook for her. Lucy knew zilch about cooking prior to this day itself.
Still, the blonde mage was not giving up. She’d burned her fingers several times, ran out to buy several chickens after ruining each one, poured hot sauce all over her kitchen and made an entire mess of the counter, but for the sake of Natsu, Lucy knew nothing about giving up. Perhaps it was that the fire dragon slayer’s stubborness had rubbed off of her after their years of being together.
The late afternoon soon sinked in and Lucy found herself dozing off as she added the sauce to the chicken. The blonde groaned as she realised that the sauce was not added evenly, and she had ruined the appearance of the meal.
She would have to redo again…
Was what she thought but the idea of a short nap appeared much more appealing at the moment. Lucy murmured a few sleepy words as sleep clouded her thoughts and she rested her head and hands on the counter of the kitchen.
The celestial mage had been so deep in sleep that she did not realise that the door of her house was clicking open.
“Yo, Lu-” A loud voice rang through the house and briefly stopped.
Natsu blinked for a moment when he saw the celestial mage lying down on the counter, fast asleep. The fire mage grinned sneakily, before putting down his pack and pulling out a marker.
“Nin nin!” Natsu snickered as he pulled up his muffler to his nose. The dragon slayer began to gradually tip-toe his way to the dozing celestial mage.
And just as Natsu was about to open the cap of his marker, a note on the refridgerator beside him caught his eye.
“Mission: Thank Natsu!
Steps for Making the Best Present for Natsu:
1) Make the dish with lots of feelings! Think about the many things that Natsu has done for you as you make the dish and pour all your feelings into it!
2) Package it nicely and remember to add a note on top!
3) Remember to sincerely say a word of “Thank You!” to Natsu too!
Ganbatte, Lucy! \o/“
Natsu chuckled as he read the note, slowly pulling down his muffler. The dragon slayer turned to Lucy again, before catching sight of the dish beside her - a messy plate of food with sauce all over the plate with garnish poorly laid out on.
The dragon slayer who had always used his hands to eat figured that he wanted to take his time to savor the dish, and for the first time in his life, took out a fork from Lucy’s drawer and began to carefully slice the meat and put it into his mouth.
Chomp, chomp, chomp.
Natsu sweatdropped at how the chicken was not even cooked enough. Yet, something about the dish made his stomach fill up with a flurry of butterflies.
It has to be the chicken, Natsu thought to himself seriously, before looking around to see what a mess Lucy had made of the kitchen.
Natsu couldn’t help but grin, before turning to Lucy and sliding an arm around her waist and another below her knees. Lifting Lucy to his chest in a bridal-style embrace, the dragon slayer carried her to her bed and tucked her in, pulling the blanket right up to her chin as he knew the celestial mage liked. He then bent down beside her, tucking a stray lock of golden hair behind her ear and holding a breath as he realised how breathtaking his partner looked.
Natsu couldn’t hold back his smile, and gently patted Lucy’s head and ruffled her hair gently with his thumb.
"Thank you too, Luce.”