The morning after passed by in lazy grunts and tired limbs, the trio met with the blinding glare of the rising sun as they made the last trek to Fairy Tail. The air between the two mages, once stiff with awkwardness turned comfortable and warm.
If someone were to ask Lucy, years down, if her first outing with Natsu was the same as it would be years later, she would shake her head vehemently and grab the person asking to shake them silly of their idiotic thoughts.
Said teen walked the road slightly ahead of her, eyes cast down and body laxed in a way that still gave him enough room to react first in case of an attack. Lucy edged at the back, Happy asleep in her arms as they walked.
It seemed no matter how outgoing your personality is, a person would always succumb to the awkwardness of the morning after. (She shook her head at that odd comparison, shuddering at the implications) Stroking Happy’s head, she walked up to the boy and nudged him, shaking him from his stupor.
“You okay?” She questioned, staring at his tired eyes. He smiled in return, readjusting the sack on his back.
“I’m fine,” He took Happy from her, cradling him in his arms as he slept the morning away, “It should be just a little more until we make it to the guild.”
At the mention of the guild, his eyes glistened with an even softer look than the one he had previously.
“You said that the guild hall pushed people away sometimes,” She started, “is it bad? Tell me about it.”
Natsu laughed a bit at that, “It’s not that the guild hall is bad, it’s not even the guild hall. Sometimes when people join our guild and visit to see the atmosphere, they’re overwhelmed with how chaotic it is.”
“Okay, so you don’t get overwhelmed like everyone else, here’s your heads up….”
After an hour had passed filled with laughter at the many stories Natsu told her, the two arrived at Fairy Tail.
Happy was up now, flying slowly in front of them as they neared the guild doors.
It was huge. Not comparable to the Heartfilia Mansion huge, but huge in a way that confirmed Natsu’s stories. She took a deep breath as the pink haired teen turned to her and smiled, before he opened the door.
The guild was definitely quieter on the outside, was her first thought. Filling the spacious floor of the guild were wooden tables, filled with conversing members as they sat and drank. She walked behind Natsu as he led her to who knows where, taking in the sights as they came.
At one table sat a nearly naked brunette, handling a barrel of what seemed to be beer like her life depended on it, and occasionally conversed with the old man next to her. Lucy questioned the way he leered at her, but she seemed to have noticed, as she kicked him off the table, barrel tucked in her arms. Occupied with observing the new place, Lucy failed to see and hear the arrival of someone new, yelling Natsu’s name. She did, however, feel the drop in temperature. A thankful clash to the incredibly hot temperature Natsu had around him at all times.
“Oh my,” Came from a soft voice next to her. Turning, Lucy was met with a great need to bow down to the goddess standing before her. Mirajane, Fairy Tail’s poster girl, stood behind the bar, smiling at the arrival of Natsu and Happy.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Oh, Lucy thought, she’s looking at me. With the beginning of a fight behind her, she rushed herself to give Mirajane a reply back.
“It’s nice to meet you, too.” She stuttered slightly, barely managing to say the words in a stable voice. Mirajane smiled, “Are you here to file a complaint? Our master should be coming back in soon, if you don’t mind waiting.”
“What?” Lucy shook the confusion off, “Actually, I’m here to join the guild.”
Mirajane looked surprised, staring back and forth between her and the dust behind her, holding her partner as he fought with admirable vigor. “Alright, wait here, please.”
Nodding, Lucy sat down on the barstool obediently, watching as the ethereal beauty up and walked to the back. Willing herself far too much to look away, she was met with a smack of clothing to her face.
Disgusted, she picked it off and nearly gagged, the said clothing being a pair of mens boxers. She looked for Natsu, finding him off to the side, now deeply involved in an odd mosh pit of bodies fighting. Balling the piece of clothing up, she threw it to the gang of bodies, hitting her target. Natsu was pushed by the amount of magic she had embedded the clothing with, and glared at her direction, grinning as soon as he saw that it was her, arm outstretch.
“Lucy!” Natus yelled, “Come get your stamp already and join us!”
She yelled back vehemently, “No thanks I’m good!”
Pouting, he engulfed his fist with flames and punched the naked guy next to him.
“What the hell…” Lucy whispered.
A giggle erupted from behind her, and Lucy turned, met with Mirajane holding up what seemed to be the guild stamp.
“Where do you want it?” She asked. Lucy scanned her body; arms, shoulder, legs and hands in her mind, before landing on a spot that seemed right to her. Inching her right hand forward, Mirajane smiled and stamped.
The item left her hand with a colorful pop, revealing the same guild mark Natsu had so passionately shown her back at their hotel room before, only this time this mark was hers, and her mark was a deep scarlet red.
“Thank you.” Lucy let out, staring at the mark with breathless wonder. Staring at it, she knew its new place on her hand would mean something else for her entirely, and she couldn’t help but wait to find out what it was.
She jumped off to find out where Natsu went, scurrying to find her partner, who was definitely lost in the smoke of fighting guild members ( her guild members now). Happy followed her, the previously quiet cat now chatting her ear off.
“So how do you feel, Lucy?” He asked teasingly, “Feeling the Fairy Tail spirit now?”
She smiled at him, flicking the dumb cat on his head. “I sure do.”
“Lucy!” Yelled out a voice. Natsu came running towards her, looking slightly beaten up, but no exhaustion remained. Still full of spirit, he scanned her body all over, comically jumping to and fro her front and back to look for her new guild mark. She lifted her right hand up, stopping the manic teenager from jumping until she couldn’t see him anymore.
“Woah!” He marveled, holding her hand up, looking at mark like he’d never seen it before. He lifted his shoulder up to show his after dropping her hand, and her eyes opened slightly.
“We’re matching!” They said in unison, high-fiving at the revelation. Happy floated near behind them, smiling at the display. He held back on his remark, on how Lucy’s was darker, closer to blood red than Natsu’s was, who’s mark was more of a resemblance to Igneel’s scales. He held back, yelling an appropriate “Aye!” once they started laughing together.
“Who’s the new chick?” Came a deep voice, and Lucy felt it again. The drop in temperature, clashing with Natsu’s inhumane heat. She welcomed it, having liked the cold far more than heat growing up. She, however, did not welcome the naked teen standing next to her.
She shrieked slightly, letting out a meek, “You’re..naked.”
He looked down and shrieked himself, worrying and scurrying around to find his boxers, muttering, “How did that happen?” under his breath.
Happy floated towards him with a pair of black boxers, throwing it onto his head. The teen gladly accepted, putting it on in front of Lucy with no remorse, who refused to look down until he was done. He coughed, and she took that as a signal that he was done, and he was, thankfully.
“Well?” He asked, “who’s the new chick?”
“I’m Lucy,” She smiled, “I’m-”
“She’s my new partner!” Natsu interrupted, wrapping his arm around her shoulder with a friendly grin. She nodded to the half-naked teen, who seemed surprised at the remark.
“Partner, huh?” He smirked at the two of them, “Gray Fullbuster. I suggest you leave flame-brain behind and team up with people who are actually worth your time.”
“Say that to my face Stripper!” Natsu growled, pushing against Gray as the two headbutted.
“I just did, didn’t I?” Gray growled in response, pushing back with equal force. The two continued the tug and pull, before they fully brawled. The dust from earlier rose up again as the two rode off into the guild hall, erupting fights with almost everyone they bumped into.
“So it was him earlier, huh.” Lucy laughed meekly.
Before Lucy knew it, the guild erupted into a full on brawl, started from Natsu and Gray’s little kiddush dispute. Bodies flew haphazardly, bottles and the wooden tables that so preciously adorned the floors earlier following suite. Lucy backed up to Mirajane, ducking at anything coming near her.
“So this is normal, huh?” She grinned at Mirajane. Mirajane smiled in response, falling over as a bottle smashed onto her head, seemingly coming from nowhere.
“Mira!” Lucy yelled in surprise, hopping over the bar. She helped the now bleeding barmaid from the floor, wiping the blood away with a bubble of Aqua. Mira seemed surprised at this, and Lucy had to smile a little, embarrassed as she held her finger to her lips, hoping the other mage would get it. Mira winked in response, and the two watched on from the behind the bar, the guild perhaps even louder than before.
“Yeah!” Natsu yelled from on top a pile of bodies, “Who wants more?!”
Gray groaned in annoyance from beside him, slowing going from a relaxed posture to a battle ready stance, his hand balled into a fist on top of his open palm. Emerging from his hands came a frosty mist, reaching even Mira and Lucy. “Time to knock you down a peg, flame brain.”
The brunette from earlier, one who was seemingly so engrossed in her beer, chugged back the remainder of perhaps her tenth barrel of the hour. She stood up dizzily from the table and readied a pair of cards Lucy didn’t recognize. She bradished them like knives, “Pack it up boys, you’re ruining my drinking time.”
“Man, you guys are so embarrassing.” Came a voice from her right. Sat between a pile of girls was an orange-haired man Lucy could only describe as a wannabe pimp. He fixed his rings as he stood up from the pile, walking forward as a magic circle emerged from them.
“Not manly at all!” Bellowed a humongous man as he stomped forward as well. He looked strikingly like Mirajane, but where Mira was petit and small, this man reminded Lucy of the giants her mother had read to her about when she was a kid.
“Oh, my.” Mira softly remarked. She didn’t look worried at all, for someone in a position to be harmed. Turning towards the crowd, Lucy turned into a stance as well.
“Be careful where you guys aim your magic.” She warned, edging her feet deeper into the ground. They all smirked at that.
“Newbie has balls.” Said the brunette, looking at Natsu as he revved his arm up. “Where’d you find her, Natsu?”
“Hargeon!” He replied, jumping up and down, turning his neck, cracking it.
“Newbie is right here..” She muttered. They all stood at a standstill, waiting for someone to make the first move. Unsurprisingly, Natsu screamed in frustration and jumped up, aimed straight for Lucy.
“Let’s test you out, Lucy!” He dove towards her, and Lucy smirked, digging her foot even deeper into the ground, ready for him. Before she could show him anything, a titan’s fist came down from the sky and punched him down.
“SIMMER DOWN.” Roared the shadowed titan, and Lucy yelped in obedience, sitting down automatically. She held her breath, waiting to see what would happen, before the figure shrank down into a small man dressed as a jester, fitted with the hat and shoes and everything. The only thing missing were the bells.
He approached her, jumping onto the bar to get a closer look, before nodding.
“Welcome to the guild, child.” He jumped higher this time, right onto a wobbly railing at the top of the guild hall, whistling a sailors whistle, gathering everyone’s unwavering attention.
“You’ve gone and done it again, you nimbwits!” He yelled, holding up a stack of papers, “Just come and look at the amount of paperwork the magic council has sent me. This is the biggest pile of complaints yet!” He shook the papers as he continued, shaking in place. Everyone stayed in their spot, and had Lucy not been new to the guild, she would have laughed at the scene. Like a bunch of little kids getting scolded by their teacher.
“All you kids are good for is getting me in trouble. However,” He lifted up the stack and lit them aflame, “I say to heck with those magic council goons.” He threw the flaming stack of papers to Natsu, who gladly accepted it with his mouth.
“Listen here, any power that surpasses reason, still comes from reason, right? Magic isn’t some kind of miraculous power. It’s the culmination of the flow of energy within you and the flow of energy in the natural world coming together in perfect harmony. Performing magic requires one to have a strong mind, and a strong will. It’s not tied down by rules. If all we do is worry about some measly words written on paper, than one will never progress.” He smirked, “Don’t let those fools on the council scare you! Follow what you believe in.”
He lifted his hand into the air, forming to look like what seemed to be an angled check mark. The guild members followed suite, a harmonious “Yeah!”, followed by the tiny man yelling into the crowd, “That’s what makes Fairy Tail, NUMBER ONE!”