Fandom: Fairy Tail
Characters/Pairings: Natsu/Lisana with Gray and Happy.
Warnings/Spoilers: None. Just Natsu being, well, Natsu lol.
Summary: Where one is jealous and the other is oblivious. Misunderstandings make the world go ‘round.
Notes: Part the Merry-Go-Round collections. This one took me the whole day to write and then some. I actually rewrote this fic three times because it wouldn’t go the way I’d planned—and it wouldn’t go away either if I refused to write it. And I think that’s why it turned out even longer than I’d originally intended, but it’s to be expected. Natsu’s really… all over the place in this one. His thoughts and feelings are so jumbled and he’s so confused. Poor guy lmao. I don’t have any sympathy for him really >D
They were together again, Natsu thought as yet another distasteful lurch occurred at the pit of his stomach; one that had nothing to do with his motion sickness problem.
No. He was stomaching something much worse than a moving vehicle this time. He was watching Lisana—or more particularly, he was watching Lisana and Gray.
And that was his big problem.
They were together almost every waking hour. From the very moment they arrived at the guild right down to closing time. It seemed like everywhere Natsu turned all he saw was Lisana and Gray, Gray and Lisana—Lisana and goddamnit Gray.
What he couldn’t really understand was why. Sure they were friends and got along well, but that didn’t mean they had to stick to one another like glue, which was precisely what they were doing…much to Natsu’s chagrin.
But… she was hanging out with Gray. Of all people—Gray!
There was obviously something very wrong with the world when somebody actually wanted to spend more than three seconds of their time with that bastard.
Then again, this was Lisana he was thinking about here. She was nice to everyone; that was just who she was. Natsu couldn’t precisely begrudge her for something he had always liked and admired about her.
And maybe Natsu wouldn’t have minded so much if Lisana hadn’t suddenly stopped hanging out with him anymore. She used to come over to his place and just hang out with him and Happy all the time. Other times she’d make him take her to the lake, where they would often stay until the stars came out.
Those days had steadfastly dwindled to almost nothing now that she opted to spend all her free time with Gray; sitting with him, chatting with him, eating meals and sneaking off to God knows where with him.
It was enough for Natsu to want to break something… like Gray’s jaw for example, or his arm—or just Gray in general. It felt like the other boy had just robbed him of something extremely vital to his life. His eyes instantly fell on Lisana as he thought this.
He was half-tempted to go over there and give the ice mage a good deck in the face and then some, but only decided against it when he spotted Erza strolling by. And as though she knew he was up to something that most likely involved Gray and violence, she flashed him her trademark glare, which pretty much concluded the end of his life if he should so much as lay a finger on Gray.
For now, the only thing he could do was scowl, glare and muster up enough contempt for Gray as much as possible. Which wasn’t difficult.
At the moment they were by the bar. Lisana was prepping something at the back, chatting away while Gray sat across from her waiting, listening; patient. Which was rare in and of itself because Gray was never one for long conversations. However, he didn’t seem to mind so much when Lisana prattled endlessly—and Natsu knew her well enough to know that she did so on occasion. Gray was engrossed in her every word; not once had he even stopped to yawn or look elsewhere; he just sat there, listening and watching.
Lisana returned with a bowl of ice cream—Gray’s favorite judging from his reaction—and a cheery smile.
The need to break Gray’s jaw grew tenfold. Natsu didn’t even understand why he felt so annoyed with seeing them together. It wasn’t as if they were purposefully harming anybody by hanging out with one another.
Unintentionally or not, Natsu was just annoyed by it. His stomach kept giving him ulcers from the way it kept clawing at his insides and his chest gave him more heartburn that he couldn’t bring himself to eat fire anymore. The mixture made him even sicker than he felt when riding on the train. In fact, he’d rather ride the friggin’ train twice than sit one more day watching Gray and Lisana get chummy with each other.
It didn’t help that he wasn’t the only one in the guild who had noticed the sudden change between Gray and Lisana. Everyone did. And they talked.
And Natsu didn’t like what they had to say either:
“Heh. Together again, huh? That Gray.”
“Aww they’re so cute together!”
“Can’t blame Gray for making a move. Lisana’s getting more beautiful each time I see her.”
And the worst one yet:
“Huh. I always thought she’d end up with Natsu.”
Gray and Lisana weren’t together—not like that, he thought vehemently, pushing down the trickle of dread that had managed to worm its way into his heart. There was just no way.
And yet what he was witnessing defied his logic to the contrary. It made him stop and think: were they together? Like a… couple kind of together? Natsu didn’t want to believe it despite the nagging seed of doubt nibbling away at this confidence.
As though fate had somehow heard him and wanted to be cruel, this happened: Lisana was now attempting to reach for something on the top shelf, but was having difficulty. Gray, who was much taller in comparison, came around and retrieved it for her; his chest barely brushing against her back and skin. Lisana turned around, offering the ice-mage a small, sheepish smile to show her gratitude and from this angle, Natsu can tell she was obviously embarrassed or nervous about something from the way her cheeks glowed soft pink.
They’re standing way too close, he thought, his eyes narrowing upon instinct. Lisana wasn’t showing any signs of moving and neither was Gray. They were standing close, heads bowed and talking—it looked rather intimate from where he was sitting. And damnit, he wished Gray would step away from her… far, far away from her, Natsu thought distastefully. But to his dismay, no one moved. Not even an inch.
The tearing, acidic sensation in his stomach only intensified and his eyes burned blind with heat. His sense of doubt had branched out and clutched at his heart, squeezing so tightly that he could scarcely breathe. And if he were to allow himself to admit it, maybe he was even a little bit fearful of their closeness. Natsu felt this desperate need to rebel against it—to stop it somehow.
What was she thinking? He wondered, staring hard at Lisana’s face, as if by doing so he could probe into her mind and find the answers. He was unsuccessful. But then again… girls were never easy to figure out, least of all Lisana. She could make his head spin just by sitting there. It was frustrating and confusing—and it was driving him mad because he couldn’t understand why she’d chosen Gray when it was clear she could do so much better than that bastard.
There were far more… suitable guys out there she could choose from other than Gray, he thought firmly, although Natsu wasn’t sure if he liked that idea any better than the former. Other guys with Lisana, making her laugh, seeing her smile… it was just—no. That was just as wrong as her being with Gray.
Maybe you wouldn’t be so against the idea if she was YOU instead, said a voice in his head, making him stutter and choke and blush simultaneously.
No, of course not, he argued instantly. I’m only looking out for her—protecting her. Lisana was special to him in a lot of ways, so of course he wouldn’t immediately warm up to the idea of her being with another guy. It was practical as her best friend that he’d only want what’s best for her.
However, he couldn’t ignore the way his heart had spiked and the way his stomach had churned rather pleasantly in agreement to those words.
Maybe I… He shook his head. No, that’s not possible. His eyes searched for Lisana, watched as she laughed and her lights dance in her blue eyes. No, he thought, again feeling his heart squeeze painfully, she’d never…
“Neh, Natsu,” said Happy, interrupting his thoughts.
“Hm?” he replied, absently.
“What do you think of Gray and Lisana together?”
Natsu’s shoulders immediately stiffened upon the mention and he looked to Happy.
“What do you mean?” he ventured, careful to keep his voice void of any particular interest.
The blue cat just shrugged. “Well, I hear
He feigned innocence, although he already had a sneaking suspicion where this was leading to already. “About?”
“Gray and Lisana, of course! As a couple,” said Happy, whose smile was a little too wide along the edges when he emphasized that word, “Don’t you think they’d make a good couple, Natsu?” he asked.
No, came the automatic answer. Instead, he said, “W-Why should I care who that bastard goes out with?”
Happy raised a brow. “You don’t care? Really?”
“Hell no,” said Natsu, with more ferocity than was necessary.
“Even if it’s with Lisana?” Happy asked, still with an air of surprise.
Natsu struggled for a minute, but clenched his fists and deliberately stomped to keep the feeling from cropping back up. She’d never… he thought again, and swallowed; burying that feeling deep.
“Yeah,” he mumbled, but it didn’t sound too convincing, even to his own ears. He pressed on.
“It hasn’t got anything to do with me.”
“She can be with whomever she likes.”
He was too busy brooding to hear Happy’s heavy, almost exasperated sigh.
“Well, yeah, I suppose you’re right. Gray is pretty strong,” Happy said, totally oblivious to the twitch on Natsu’s right eye, “I bet he could protect Lisana easily.”
Happy went on, seemingly unaware, “Lisana might not be around much anymore if she’s with Gray all the time though. It’s sad, but it’s to be expected I guess.” Happy looked at him pointedly. “But since you’re okay with it then maybe—“
Natsu felt something inside him snap. He slammed his fists onto the table and stood up abruptly. The look on his face was close to frightening.
“We’ll just see about that,” he growled and made for the bar; all the while, completely missing the wide, rather devilish smile that flitted its way onto Happy’s face.
As he slowly approached the two, Natsu caught wisps of their conversation:
“Maybe we should tell someone about us—“
“No. I don’t want them to know—especially Natsu. You know how he’ll react—“
“…I… I guess.”
“So you see why we should keep this quiet between us—“
“But Gray, we can’t keep doing this forever you know. Sooner or later, we’ll have to—“
“I know. Eventually, we will. But… not now. It’s too soon.”
“…I understand. But promise me you won’t say anything to Natsu about that either. I… I don’t want it to be awkward between us.”
“Hey, you’ve kept it from him for this long… what makes you think he’ll catch on now? Trust me… the guy doesn’t suspect a thing.”
“Alright. I promise.”
Not wanting to hear and see any more of this, Natsu was between them in a flash; pressing Lisana firmly behind him and completely shielding her from Gray’s view.
Lisana blinked up at him. “Natsu!” she said, voice startled, while at the same time, Gray growled, “Natsu, what are you—“
But Natsu had grabbed him by the scruffs of his shirt and dragged him forward so that they were now at eye-level with one another.
“Back off or I’ll make you,” Natsu snarled between his teeth, giving the other boy a look so fierce it’d be inconceivable for Gray not to take him seriously.
Gray, on the other hand, simply stared and said nothing, hardly unaffected or even surprised.
Natsu shoved him away, roughly, before grabbing Lisana by the hand and dragging her out the back, despite her protests.
As soon as they were outside, Lisana dug her heals into the ground and snatched her wrist back.
“What was all that about?” she demanded, rubbing at her hands. “Why did you do that to Gray—“
He whirled around, almost bumping noses with her. “What exactly is going on between you and Gray?” he cut in, sharply.
Lisana blinked rapidly. “What?” she said.
“You and Gray,” he gritted. “What are you two hiding?”
It took a moment for Lisana to understand what he was getting at, and when she did she immediately looked defensive; weary.
“We’re not hiding anything,” she said, although the twitch on her facial expression was enough of a giveaway.
“You’re lying,” he said flatly.
Her face hardened. “It’s not any of your business,” she said firmly, crossing her arms.
“Well, I’m making it my business,” he shot back. He knew he was being unreasonable, but Lisana was proving to be just as stubborn—if not more.
Lisana’s mouth dropped just a little. “You… you have no right,” she whispered, voice shaking.
“Why?” said Natsu, starting to get fed up now. “You think I can’t take it, is that it?”
“What are you getting so angry for?” she said indignantly. “This hasn’t got anything to do with you!”
“Yes it has! Stop taking me for an idiot!” he snapped.
“I’m not,” she retorted heatedly, her cheeks getting redder and redder. Lisana hardly ever got angry, but when she did the resemblance between her and her sister were striking. She poked him in the chest. “You’re the one who’s being the jerk right now! And you had no right to push Gray like that!”
Natsu didn’t back down. “So I’m the jerk now?” he flung back, incensed that she was taking Gray’s side and still not giving him answers. “You two are the ones who are keeping secrets about me!”
Confusion and irritation bled into the blueness of her eyes. “What are you talking about?”
“Don’t play dumb. I heard the two of you talking,” he sniped. “’I don’t want it to be awkward between us’ and ‘trust me… the guy doesn’t suspect a thing’? Does that ring any bells?”
Lisana blinked a little as she registered this; her face went as white as her hair and her already wide blue eyes grew wider. “You heard that? That wasn’t—that’s nothing,” she stuttered, her voice small.
“You’re lying again, Lisana,” he said, taking another step closer to her. “You think I’ll react badly and make things awkward between us, is that right?” His shoulders sagged; he didn’t feel so angry anymore, just tired. Very tired. “Give me some credit will you?”
She kept her eyes at ground-level. “Why… why do you want to know so badly?” she whispered. “Did… did somebody say something?” Her voice revealed a bit of her fears.
“No,” he said. “I … just want to know the truth.”
She didn’t say anything nor did she make eye-contact with him. The sight made him immediately back off.
He looked away. “Look. If … if there’s something going on between you and Gray… if you really… if you really like the bastard,” at this, he glared at the ground for a good ten seconds before forcing himself to continue, “…if he really means that much to you then… then I’ll do my best to support you.” The words felt like paste and barbed wires in his throat. “I mean… if he makes you happy then I won’t—“
I won’t interfere…
Lisana made a choking sound at the back of her throat. “W-What?” she said, sounding truly taken back right now. “Wait a minute…so you weren’t talking about that? You were thinking… you mean you… that me and Gray…that we…” She could barely string the rest of her words together, but Natsu had to give her credit; the level of incredulity she could muster onto one facial feature was impressive.
“Yeah. You two are… a couple right?” he said, his voice sounding heavy and bitter. “That’s why you two are always together and sneaking off…”
Lisana just gapped. “You seriously think me and Gray… are …really?”
“Uh… yeah?” He was starting to get confused now; maybe a little exasperated. How could she still act so surprised by this? “Everyone else has noticed it too, not just me. I mean,” his expression dropped and his voice was weary, “You guys aren’t exactly discreet about it you know…”
“Oh no. No, no, no, no,” Lisana groaned, burying her face into her hands.
“So… it’s true then,” Natsu murmured, his heart dropping.
He did his best to force a smile from somewhere, keep his face neutral—anything, but he could hardly gather the effort or the enthusiasm to do so. He just felt empty.
“I’m happy for you,” he said, managing a fleeting smile. “Gray’s one lucky guy then.”
And I was too late, he thought, swallowing.
Lisana made another noise—both a sigh and… was that laughter?
“Natsu,” she said, and this time there was a smile on her face, “there’s nothing going on between me and Gray.”
It was Natsu’s turn to blink. Did he hear wrong? “Come again?”
She shook her head. “We’re not like that. We never were,” she said, making it a point to emphasize. “We’re just friends.”
Now, he really was confused. “You mean you’re not… really?”
She pressed a hand over her mouth to stop herself from laughing, but the amusement was evident in her eyes.
He could feel himself starting to smile, relieved, but something else was eating away at him. “Then… why all the secrecy?”
Lisana sighed. “Gray,” she began, shaking her head, “got kicked out of his apartment because his superintendant got fed up with him stripping all the time.”
She rolled her eyes. “I was just heading home at the time when I found him out in the streets, so I offered to help him find a new place. He’s been helping me at the guild for extra money. And the reason why he doesn’t want to tell anyone—especially you—was because he knew you’d make fun of him for it if you found out…” She looked like she wanted to do another eye-roll, but was doing her best to resist the urge.
Natsu just blinked as he digested this new piece of information. “Oh, wow…” he said, still dumfounded. “Really… that’s what’s been going on?”
She nodded. “Yeah,” she said, and she frowned. “Did you really think Gray and I were sneaking around just to be together?”
Now that the truth was out in the open, Natsu felt the right to be ashamed of himself. His behavior was inexcusable. He’d been a jerk—albeit a very confused and frustrated jerk, but a jerk nonetheless.
“I… yeah. I’m sorry,” he mumbled. He looked at her, brows crinkled. “But you’re not, right? Not together I mean.” Because he wanted to be sure—for his sake. He didn’t want to wake up the next day and find out it’d all been his imagination.
“No, Natsu. Gray and I aren’t like that,” she said and when he sighed, reassured, her cheeks burned red again. “Why… did it bother you?” she said, sounding a little hopeful now. “Did seeing me with Gray really bother you that much? Is that why you took me out here?”
He struggled for a moment, but then opted for the truth. “Yeah… it bothered me,” he admitted, feeling his own face heat up. He expelled a breath. “It bothered me a lot. I felt weird… seeing the two of you together; like I was about to be sick or go insane…or both.” He took another deep breath and glanced down. “I didn’t really understand why I felt that way or why. All I knew was that I didn’t want you to be with him…” Another expelled breath and then, “Or with any other guy for that matter.”
Lisana’s eyes widened slightly but she looked down and bit her lip; she kept unclasping and clasping her hands. “…w-were you jealous of Gray?” she finally asked, voice so soft it was almost impossible to hear. But he heard her, loud and clear.
Natsu paused to consider this and realized… he had been jealous—so very jealous that he’d been blinded by it. All the reasons why he’d detested Gray (more than usual) and disliked all possibilities of a potential relationship between him and Lisana… was because he’d been jealous of him; was because, deep down, he’d always wanted Lisana to be with him… and no one else.
“Yes,” he found himself breathing out. He looked at her directly. “I was.” It was no sense denying it any longer. His feelings were already out in the open.
She cast her eyes downward. “I see,” she said quietly before shaking her head and sighing heavily. “Oh, Natsu, you’re such an idiot.”
“What?” His face looked comically flabbergasted. “What do you—I don’t—hey, I’m practically pouring out my feelings to you here and you’re calling me an idiot?”
“Yes,” she said, and giggled when he pouted at her. The corners of her lips lifted into the smallest of smiles. “How could you ever think there was anything between me and Gray when all this time… I’ve been with you?”
Natsu felt his breath hitch in his throat. “You mean—“
“Yes,” she said again, her cheeks as red as tomato by this point. “It’s you.” She tucked a lock of hair behind her ears and met his gaze shyly. “It’s always been you, Natsu. No one else.”
He couldn’t stop staring at her; he could feel his heart starting to pick up speed until it was pounding in his ears. Any moment now, he thought, any moment I’m going to wake up and this is all going to be a dream…
He didn’t wake up and Lisana was still standing before him, a blushing mess and weak smiles. He thought… she’d never looked more beautiful.
“Gray knew how I felt,” she went on softly, “…so I made a deal to help him if he would agree to keep my feelings a secret.” She looked down again. “That’s why… I didn’t want you to know… because I didn’t want to make it be awkward between us… because you’re my best friend and I didn’t… I didn’t think you’d ever—I just—“
Natsu kissed her.
He didn’t know what possessed him to do it, only that his body had moved on its own accord; hands reaching out to cup her face and brushing his lips over her own—sealing a kiss that felt like he’d been waiting to do his whole life. Lisana froze upon the contact, but then quickly melted into him; shaky hands latching tightly onto the front of his shirt and tugging him closer.
And he was lost to her; lost to the feel of her mouth moving against his, the soft sighs echoing in his ears and the warmth of her skin brushing his. He kissed her harder, nearly scooping her off the ground, but she didn’t mind; she just held him tighter, as if not wanting to ever let go.
When they finally pulled apart, she was breathless; lips bruised and face flushed and his. Natsu wanted to kiss her again, but resisted. Instead he just held her, his hands at her waist while she shyly fiddled with the ends of his scarf.
“So…” he said, feeling his heart squeeze tightly—but for different reasons this time other than pain. He felt… happy. Too happy.
“So…” she said.
They both fell quiet before bursting into laughter. Natsu could barely contain the ridiculously idiotic smile that had managed to seep its way onto his face.
“I guess that clears up everything,” he said sheepishly.
“I guess it does,” she said, but then her brows scrunched together. “Does this mean we’re…? I mean, do you really feel…”
He squeezed her, reassuringly. “Yeah,” he said, his eyes softening. “It’s always been you too.”
Lisana blushed. “Oh,” she said, evidently pleased. “Okay.”
“I mean… do you want to…” he started, fumbling. He’d never done this before. But they were already passed the point of no return, and to be honest, he didn’t want to go back. “I mean… I’m willing to give this a shot… if you are.”
It was her turn to reassure him. She smiled. “I’d like that too,” she said and it was all the answer he needed.
Overjoyed, he leaned in to kiss her again, but before he could do so, she pressed a finger over his lips to stop him.
“But first,” she said, brightly, and there was something fishy about the way she kept trying to stop herself from laughing. “I think you owe Gray an apology.”
It took Natsu several long minutes to register this and another extended pause for him to realize she was right. It then took only a few seconds for him to come up with the appropriate response: