Because Edo-NaLu needs more love.
“Hey, I’m back!”
A jolt was sent through the guild hall as the commanding voice rang through the room. Everyone greeted the newly returned member, while she scanned the area looking for a certain a pair of goggles.
“Where’s the little marshmallow got to today?”
“Would you shut it Blondie? It’s too early for your screeching.” Levy was in a corner, huddled over her second cup of coffee –it was common knowledge not to speak until she’d drank at least three.
Lucy was too busy interrogating Gray to give her rival so much as a glare, “You’re his best friend, where is he?”
Gray was having a hard time answering, seeing as how Lucy was choking him with his scarf, “I-I haven’t seen him yet today,” he managed to squeak, before he fell back into his chair.
“Your boyfriend is probably out sulking like always!”
Lucy showed Levy the middle fingers of her two hands before stalking out of the guild hall. Before the doors closed, she could hear Cana’s loud gasp, “How rude!”
The prude would probably sit her down for another lecture on manners later, but the blonde could care less -she’d even ignored Levy’s jibe. Lucy had been gone for a week, and she sorely craved the shy smile of her partner, she didn’t care what that little grease monkey or anyone else thought.
She should have known Natsu was off pouting somewhere. The loss of magic in Edolas had probably hit him the hardest; he’d only ever really felt at home behind the wheel. The poor guy was like a land-locked sailor, his only source of confidence had been stripped away from him completely.
His four-wheeler was in the middle of the forest when the magic ran out and there wasn’t much point in moving it by force. Sure it was possible, but then Natsu would only be sulking closer to the guild; it wouldn’t solve the real issue. These days he spent half his time sitting in the driver’s seat staring into space or obsessively cleaning every inch of the vehicle. Even though it didn’t run, it was still his pride and joy.
When Lucy found him, he was doing the latter. He had his goggles on, hands on the wheel and eyes closed; probably trying to remember the feel of driving. He’d never let Lucy in the driver seat but she’d been a passenger plenty, they’d had some great times cruising around Edolas. Whether they were evading the army or just out for a joy ride, they’d always had fun together.
It had been exciting and dangerous and she’d forever be thankful that Natsu had found her and dragged her to the guild that fateful day all those months ago.
Natsu never knew he could miss something so much. The resonating roar of an engine, the pungent aroma of burning lacrima, the squeal of tires on pavement. He could almost smell it, almost feel it. It was confidence. Security. Freedom. And all of it was gone.
Whenever he’d felt frustrated, insecure, angry –anything, he had been able to just hop in his four-wheeler and let the road take him. When he was in the driver’s seat all his problems were like wind through his hair.
Now he had to sit and deal.
He was the famous Fireball Natsu of Fairy Tail, fastest man in Edolas. Without his car he was worthless.
Natsu only ever felt truly happy behind the wheel, which is why he spent all his spare time in or around his car.
Lucy had quietly snuck through the underbrush and was now watching her friend through the passenger side window. Natsu was completely oblivious, the blonde would have thought he’d fallen asleep if she didn’t know any better. His hands were still on the wheel and he had the cutest smile on his face, as if he was having a very pleasant day dream.
She couldn’t help herself.
“Oi! Fireball!” She slammed her hands against the glass window.
Natsu jumped so high he hit his head on the roof, “Ow! Lucy what was that for?”
The blonde pulled open the door and hopped into the passenger seat. Chuckling at Natsu’s bewildered expression she pulled him over to her, “Sorry, here let me help!” She put an arm around his neck and rubbed her knuckles over his scalp.
Natsu yelped and squirmed away, “Noogies aren’t helpful at all!” He huffed loudly and positioned himself against the door, as far away as he could get from Lucy’s playful smirk.
He glared at her with arms crossed, making her laugh even more. Natsu’s angry pout was probably her favorite look of his, she loved it when she managed to rile him up. Not that she minded his timid cowering; she found it…endearing.
“Aren’t you gonna say ‘welcome back’?”
The sarcasm was strong when he practically spat out “Welcome back, Lucy-san!”
Lucy couldn’t hold back her grin, even with the vehicle out of commission, Natsu was still confident enough to give her attitude. She’d ordered him to drop the honorific a long time ago, so now it only came out when he was irritated –or scared depending which Natsu she was talking to.
After another few seconds of glaring at her, his face softened and he remembered why she’d been gone.
“How was your mission then? Has anyone made…progress?” She could see he was not very optimistic about getting answers.
“There were rumors…but I could never find the source. I talked with the Raijinshu and Laxus has been doing some experiments but nothing worthwhile yet. You should have come with me, you’re way better at understanding that stuff.”
Lucy watched him from the corner of her eye, hoping that the compliment would get him talking. She saw it had no effect on him and now she was the one getting irritated. The blonde wanted her best friend back, sulking was not like him at all.
“Alright loser that’s it!” Lucy threw herself across him, opened the door and shoved him outside. Natsu squeaked in a very unmasculine fashion when he face planted into the grass and quickly curled into a ball. He had learned that keeping his appendages close to his body would make it more difficult for Lucy to ensnare him in an arm bar or another uncomfortable hold.
Lucy decided to have mercy on him and only nudged him with her foot, “If you come back to the guild right now I’ll go easy on you.”
“I don’t wanna go! It’s embarrassing!” The words came out muffled; Natsu was trying his best to keep his head shielded in case of any more noogies or wet willies.
“Embarrassing? What are you talkin’ about?” Lucy sat down next to him and pried his arms away from his face.
“I-I’m useless! I was only ever g-good at one thing and now it’s gone!”
“You know that’s not true-“
“I can’t even search for Igneel anymore now that all the magic is gone! Am I supposed to walk all of Edolas now?”
Lucy felt a pang of sympathy for her friend, she knew how important finding his father was to him.
The blonde quickly looked around, hoping that no one was spying on them. She didn’t need anyone else hearing what she was about to say.
“Okay, listen up. First of all, quit degrading yourself. You’re smart and resourceful and the best friend I’ve ever had.”
Natsu peeked over his arms, wide-eyed, “That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me…”
Lucy continued as if she didn’t hear him, she wanted to get it all out in one go and he better not ask her to repeat it, “You always cheer me up when I’m down so I’m gonna find a way to repay you for that. We’ll figure out a way to get things working again, so stop feeling sorry for yourself and snap out of it. When we find your dad do you want me to tell him what a baby you’ve been these past few weeks?”
The boy sniffed and shook his head no.
“That’s what I thought, now get your shit together Dragion, I want my Fireball back, alright?”
Natsu’s tears had suddenly dried up and he could only nod at the girl next to him…‘my Fireball’…
Lucy stood and brushed off her pants, willing her blush to disappear before he noticed, “I heard Levy talking about some ideas and as much as I can’t stand the flat-chested brat, she might be on to something.”
“Really. We’re gonna start brainstorming and get your car working again. Just do me one favor.”
The creepy smile on the blonde’s face made Natsu more than a little nervous.
“First thing we do when its working again is scare the crap outta Levy.” Lucy was rubbing her hands together like an evil mastermind, “Remember that time you drove by a puddle and soaked her? She got mud all in her hair! I think that might have been my favorite day ever!”
Natsu couldn’t help but laugh, he never really understood the two girls’ rivalry but he knew they secretly cared about each other –in their own twisted way, “I’ll do you one better, if you help me fix my car I’ll let you drive it –once.”
Lucy jumped so suddenly, Natsu threw his arms in front of his face to protect himself.
“You would?! Ohh Natsu!” The blonde pulled him into a bone-crunching hug, making him squeal loudly.
“O-ow! That hurts! Stop!”
“Hey that reminds me! Evergreen told me about this new torture technique, let’s try it!”
The sounds of whimpering could be heard all through the forest as Lucy dragged a struggling Natsu back to the guild by his collar.