Chapter 4: Jealousy and Promises
It was another pleasant summer morning in Earthland. However, Lucy woke up to shouting nearby. She grumbled at first, thinking it must be Gray and Natsu fighting again. At least she heard Natsu's voice, but the other sounded different.
"Loke and Natsu?" she hummed, still half asleep. "Since when have those two become so…" She stopped as she remembered that this was not Natsu Dragneel. "Oh crap," she grumbled, scrambling out of bed and barely remembering to wrap a housecoat around her. In the foyer, Natsu Dragion was on the floor nursing a hurt shoulder and crying weakly while Loke loomed over him with a jealous glint behind his blue sunglasses.
Loke sneered at the sniveling boy. "Why are you here at this time of the day? I know you try to sneak into her bed, you perverted little…"
"Fireball!" Lucy shouted. She ran forward and knelt beside him, instantly fretting that he might have been seriously injured by the powerful Celestial Spirit. "You poor guy. Did he hurt you?"
Edo-Natsu suddenly grabbed Lucy and shielded himself in her arms. "Help me, Princess," he cried out. "It's that scary jerk, Loke."
"Princess!" Loke roared lividly. "She's my princess. No one but me and Virgo can call her Princess."
Lucy glared up at him. "Well, he does too now, so get over it."
"Lucyyyyy," Loke whined. "Don't tell me you finally hooked up with this fire-idiot."
"Quiet, Loke. This isn't Natsu. Or, not our Natsu at least."
"Waaaaah," Fireball cried out wetly. "Don't hurt Lucy, please! Hurt me instead, just don't hurt her. Only, maybe don't hurt me too much, Mister Loke," he added.
Lucy felt him shivering with terror and stroked his back in comfort, hushing him softly like reassuring a child it was all a dream. "It's not the Loke you know. This is my Loke."
"Yes, her Loke!" the Lion bragged.
"Shut up, Loke," Lucy grumbled.
Fireball sniffled. "I … I heard his voice downstairs, and I thought he was here to assassinate you again, so … so I … I tried to stop him from sneaking in, but then he hit me and … and I thought … he was gonna … gonna kill me and … and … and I was so scared. It was scary, Lucy." He grabbed her again and hid his face into her housecoat. "It was really, really scary!"
"Easy," she soothed, hugging him despite the wet face that felt gross on her bosom. "You're safe now. There's nothing to fear."
"Wait, what? Assassinate her?" Loke yelled in outrage. "Natsu, have you really lost it? How could I ever hurt Lucy? I live for Lucy! I'm her knight in shining armor. You know me better than that. And I didn't hit you. I barely shoved you. Since when were you so weak?"
"I told you," Lucy sighed. "This isn't Natsu Dragneel. This is Edolas' version, Natsu Dragion."
"Edolas?" Loke asked. "Do you mean that place without magic? Oh wait!" he cried out gleefully. "Does that mean the other Lucy is here, the one with short hair and black leather and looks oh-so-dangerous like some seductive dominatrix who wants to give out spankings?"
"No!" Lucy said with a peeved thud. "Perverted Lion."
Edo-Natsu giggled softly. "Lucy Ashley does worse than spankings."
Loke leaned in eagerly. "Do tell!"
"Shut up," Lucy screamed, stomping a foot in frustration.
"Kyaaah, I'm sorry, don't hurt me," Fireball wailed, cowering down and covering his head.
"Che! Fine," Loke sighed. "So how did he get here, and why is he in your house?"
"Where else could he go?" she asked.
Loke looked stubborn. "Anywhere but with you. You're mine."
"You're just jealous."
"Of course I am. I love you, Lucy."
"Love her?" Fireball asked, sniffing back tears and wiping his moist eyes. He looked back and forth between the two. "Do you mean you two are … you're … dating?"
"No!" Lucy shouted. "Absolutely not."
Loke smiled proudly. "Our bond is much deeper than simple boyfriend and girlfriend."
"Oh, stop it," she sighed, suppressing a yawn.
The Lion spirit smiled happily. "You're so cute when you first wake up. Do you blame me for not wanting anyone else to see your adorable morning face?"
Lucy only felt irritated. "Why are you here, Loke?"
"I came to take you out for breakfast. It's our anniversary, remember?"
"Anniversary?" asked Fireball.
"Yes." Loke began to proudly boast. "On this day many years ago, my heart and soul became all hers, and she became the master over my fate, our paths intertwined by destiny. Isn't that right, Lucy?"
"Something like that," she grumbled.
"Oh, so … you two … you're married?" the pink-haired teen asked in confusion.
"Hell no!" Lucy screamed.
Loke sighed with hearts in his eyes. "Oh, how I would love to make her mine alone! Alas, such matrimonial bliss is not in the stars … yet. Although I have proposed to her at least once."
Lucy growled and rubbed out her head. "Sheesh, this is too much for first thing in the morning."
Fireball crouched down. "Sorry! I'm sorry! I'm just a little confused. I mean, the Loke from Edolas was out to murder Lucy, so the fact that you two get along is really weird. What sort of relationship do you two have?"
"The closest bond in the heavens," Loke declared romantically.
Lucy waved it off dismissively. "He's a Celestial Spirit and I own the key to his gate, nothing more."
"You're being shy," the ginger Lion smiled, nudging her slightly. "Now, about our anniversary."
"Yeah, yeah. I forgot." She gave another long yawn and turned to the boy now sitting cross-legged on the floor, gazing up at them with an opened mouth, observing everything about these two doppelgängers. "See, I saved Loke's life on this day … how many years ago?" she asked.
Loke's eyes rolled up and counted on his fingers as he tried to calculate it. "If one day for me is three months for you, adding in a leap year…"
"Anyway," Lucy sighed, unwilling to wait, "I saved him from vanishing and convinced the Spirit King to give Loke a second chance. Because of that, his Gold Key came into my hands. I'm his owner and his friend. Today's the anniversary of that day. I missed seven years because of what happened on Tenrou Island, so I said I'd spend the whole day with him this year to celebrate. I'm sorry, Fireball, but I did promise."
"I see," he nodded. "Well, I don't really get it, I don't know what a Celestial Spirit even is, but it means he's your friend and you saved him, right? If you promised, you gotta keep it. Promises to friends are important and should always be kept. You should go with him, spend the day together." He smiled sadly, wondering about just how close Lucy was to this version of Loke.
"I'm supposed to look after you," she pouted. Then she glanced over to Loke. "Could we take him with us?"
"Lucyyyyy," he whined. "The reservations I got were only for two."
"I think I'd rather stay here," Natsu said quickly. "I don't want to be a third wheel, you know. I'll stay inside and just read or something."
"Are you sure?" she asked, feeling bad about leaving him.
He gave her a grin meant to be reassuring, but she could see it was forced. "I don't mind, really."
Lucy sighed as she realized Fireball was likely misunderstanding the situation and feeling like he was getting in the way of a date. And this outing with Loke was absolutely not a date! "I'll get you some entertainment, at least." She pulled out two silver keys and raised them together. "Open the Gate of the Lyre! Lyra! Open the Gate of the Canis Minor! Nikora!"
Two puffs of smoke showed the angelic musician girl and the wobbly white dog. Edo-Natsu hid slightly from Lyra, but Plue intrigued him. Slowly, he held out his hand.
"Come here, little puppy," Fireball urged. Plue walked right up to him and said "Pu-puun!" It made the boy laugh. "He's cute. Hey, does he know any tricks?"
To show him, Plue started a silly little dance routine. Edo-Natsu began to laugh hard.
"The perfect distraction," Loke nodded in approval.
"Yeah," Lucy sighed. "He's like a total kid." Once again, she thought this version of Natsu was rather cute. She could see the playful side of Natsu in him, something she liked about Salamander. Fireball's smile was infectious, and soon Lucy was giggling along with him.
"Any song requests?" asked Lyra.
"Oh, you play songs?" Edo-Natsu asked in excitement. "Do you know Drive Me Down That Sunset Road?"
Lyra blinked in confusion. "No. I … I've never heard of that one. Ahh!" she cried in mortification. "A song I don't know! How could that be? I thought I knew all of them from all over the world."
"Don't worry, Lyra," Lucy chuckled. "Fireball's from another dimension."
"Well, it's not a hard song. I learned it as a kid," Fireball smiled, and he timidly began to sing.
Drive me down that sunset road,
Down that road that leads to home.
Drive me fast, don't drive me slow.
Drive me where you wish to roam.
Drive me fast, don't drive me slow.
Let me reach my love real soon.
Drive me down that sunset road
To see my love by the moon.
I want to see her pale skin,
Kiss her hair like burnished gold.
She's waiting for my return,
So drive me down that old road.
Drive me fast, don't drive me slow.
Speed on, sir, I can't be late.
Push this car fast as it'll go.
I have an important date.
Drive me down that sunset road.
Sun slips down, the shadows grow.
I promised her I wouldn't go,
So drive me down that sunset road.
"I know that song!" Lyra cried out. "Or at least the tune. It's called Tell Me Where the Magic Grows."
Lucy patted Lyra on the shoulder. "Take the opportunity to learn new songs."
"Oh yes! This will be lots of fun," Lyra nodded, then she began to squeal in excitement. "New songs! Yay!"
Edo-Natsu was entertained with Plue, and Lyra sang the tune Natsu just sung so she could commit it to memory. Satisfied with the arrangement, Lucy left to the bathroom, washed up, dressed nicely, and left with Loke.
The Lion shouted back, "Don't wait up for us."
Lucy yelled, "There is no way I'll let this turn into a date, you pervy Lion." Then they left.
Edo-Natsu slowly rose and walked to the window. He watched the street as Lucy and Loke stepped out. Loke held his elbow out for her, and with a pout Lucy accepted it. Despite seeming to fight the whole time, Fireball saw how her cheeks blushed.
"Hey Lyra?" the pink-haired teen interrupted. "You're one of those Celestial Spirit thingies, right? What do you know about Loke and Lucy's relationship?"
"Oh, I wrote a song about those two," she said cheerfully. "Would you like to hear it?"
"Yeah," he decided, and he sat on the bed with Plue on his lap to listen. Lyra strummed a solemn, mournful tune with moments of hope. Her sweet voice brought tears to Edo-Natsu's eyes.
He was a lone man in the dry wasteland,
Dying all alone.
To save a good friend, he would face the end,
Now he must atone.
She was a princess, beautiful heiress
Making her own life.
Danger was her drive, she fought to survive,
Reveling in strife.
Far from home, life alone,
She seeks a heart not turned to stone,
Gentle maid, debts unpaid,
He loved her yet was doomed to fade.
He hid from her call, yet she could tell all,
What he once had been,
Knew his heart within, and went to save him.
She washed clean his sin.
She risked her life then to save that poor man.
He soon fell in love.
He was hers now, see. Heart, soul, mind, and key.
Her knight from above.
Save my life, save my soul.
I'll make your love my only goal,
Want to fade, want to die,
So please tell me why do you try?
In battle's strong heat, again did they meet
Fighting side by side,
Victorious stance, he took a huge chance,
Feelings he can't hide.
Her world is not his, her life's what it is,
He knows this is so.
Yet he prays above to stars that his love
May yet root and grow.
Hid the truths, hid my eyes,
I hid my fate with all my lies,
For three years, played my part,
But I could never hide my heart.
Fighting for his maid, his debt slowly paid,
He suffers with pride.
Star no more falling, he hears her calling,
Then he's by her side.
Brave wizards of light, together they fight
Lion and Princess.
When there is danger, that's when he's by her,
Call my name, use my key,
You can use every part of me.
I'm your knight from above.
Yours eternal, my dearest love.
Save my life, save my soul.
I'll make your love my only goal.
This fool's life is now yours.
For you, my love, the Lion roars.
For you, my love, the Lion roars.
Edo-Natsu pouted after hearing the melancholy song. He almost pitied Loke and his hapless love with such an unobtainable princess.
"Their relationship is a lot closer than I imagined," he whispered. "In my world, Loke hated Lucy and she killed him. In this world, Loke feared Lucy but she saved him. I … I sorta like that history better." He absently petted Plue. "What about Lucy Heartfilia and Natsu Dragneel? What is their relationship like?"
"Oh, I have a song for that, too," Lyra smiled cheerfully. "Shall I play it?"
"Y-yeah," Edo-Natsu blushed. "But don't tell Lucy I asked to hear it."
Lyra gave him a knowing wink. "So long as you don't tell her I write songs about her love life."
Later that day, Lucy returned to find Fireball on the shikibuton taking a nap with Plue snoring on his stomach, while Lyra hummed a lullaby. She tiptoed around to keep from waking him. In the kitchen, she saw he already made dinner, and there were enough leftovers for her.
"That guy," she sighed with a plaintive smile.
She heard a yawn in the other room and came back to see Fireball stretching. "Sorry I dozed off," he apologized.
"You made dinner," she stated.
"Ah, yeah. Sorry for using your food, but since I wasn't sure if you'd be back or not, I made enough anyway." He looked at a clock. "I guess if it's this late, you already ate."
Lucy huffed angrily. "Our dinner was cut short when Loke began flirting with the waitress. I ended up throwing my soup at him and stormed out."
Fireball gawked in astonishment. "He was flirting while on your date?"
"It wasn't a date!" she snapped.
"But I thought … well, that is…" He blushed, scratched the back of his neck, and looked away. "It appeared that he really liked you. At least to me." He realized he had promised not to tell Lucy about Lyra's ballad regarding the two of them.
"Loke claims he loves me, then he goes and dates other girls. Whatever," she grumbled. "That's just the sort of guy he is."
"Sorry," Fireball mumbled.
"It's no one's fault. He means well; he just can't help himself." She forced herself to smile. "I could use a little more food."
"Ah, you rest. I'll fix it," he offered quickly and bounced up from the shikibuton.
"You're so thoughtful," Lucy smiled. "Sheesh, I wish the other men in my life were like you. Loke adores me but could never be constant. Gray seems sweet but then strips naked. Natsu … don't get me started on that guy!"
Fireball glanced back suspiciously. "What's the matter with Salamander? He's your teammate, so I figured you two would be close."
"Well, for one he's clueless. He does the most annoying things and doesn't even understand why they're annoying even if I try to explain it."
"Annoying? Like … flirting?" Fireball asked cautiously, trying hard to keep his voice neutral.
"Flirting? Hah!" she shouted in a barking laugh of irony. "No way. I've never once seen him do anything like that. I think he barely realizes there's a difference between men and women."
Dragion laughed tensely at that. "At least he's not a pervert."
"No, he is. Or he's starting to become one. I've seen him looking at my panties. It's like he's just now reaching puberty."
He brought over a plate of food for Lucy and something to drink for himself. "Maybe he's finally noticing because it's you."
Lucy blinked in confusion. "Me? What do you mean?"
Fireball chuckled to himself as he settled onto his seat at the dining table. He could see that both Lucy and Salamander were rather slow at seeing the emotions a person can hide deep within. "Maybe you triggered him. He grew up in Fairy Tail too, right? Sort of like me. I grew up with Cana and the rest, so I don't think of them in any special way. However, Lucy Ashley came much later. We were both grown by then, so I noticed her a bit. Don't tell her that, though. She'd beat me to a pulp."
"I won't say a word." Lucy thought it was cute that this bashful boy had a crush on her alternative self. She ate a bite and saw him sitting there with only a cup of tea. "You don't have to sit and watch me eat," she told him.
"It's not a problem. Besides, it's boring to eat alone. If I sit here and we talk, it makes the meal more enjoyable."
She laughed and shook her head. "See, again you act so differently, as thoughtful as Loke but without the playboy attitude."
"Yeah, Ashley can't stand playboys."
"Then Edo-Lucy and I have something in common," Lucy mumbled.
"So what type of guy does Princess like?"
She eyed him suspiciously, but the pink-haired teen looked like he was simply trying to keep a conversation going. She supposed it was harmless to tell someone like him. He'll probably be gone by the end of the week anyway. Such a shame!
"I want someone who's caring, thoughtful, romantic, and funny. Someone who likes to read would be great, or at least someone who will give me some peace and quiet when I want to write. I don't want someone conceited, or someone who flirts with lots of girls. And not destructive! Someone who's neat, showers when he smells, cleans up after himself … a guy who likes candlelit dinners and stargazing. Oh, and he has to be able to cook, or if not then he should be rich enough to hire a chef, because I hate cooking every day. Talking about cooking, this food is surprisingly good," she said before shoveling a forkful into her mouth.
"Do you really like it?" he beamed happily. "It was a recipe I learned from my dad."
"Delicious!" she said with her mouth full. "I want you to tell Mira how to make this so I can order it when I eat at the guild."
"I'm happy you like it so much."
"So, you learned this from your dad? Was his name Igneel?"
"Y-y-yeah!" he stuttered out in surprise. "How did you know?"
"That's the name of the dragon who raised Natsu."
"Dragon!" Natsu cried out. "Do you mean the Igneel of your dimension is a … a … dr-dr-dragon?"
"According to Natsu, yeah."
"And … and so is Salamander … is he really a dragon?"
"No, he's human. He was adopted by Igneel."
Fireball fell silent and looked down into his drink. Lucy was shocked that their conversation stopped so suddenly. She looked up from her dinner plate and saw the pink-haired boy looked upset with a furrowed brow.
"What's wrong?" she asked, dabbing a napkin to her lips.
"Adopted, huh?" Edo-Natsu mumbled keeping his eyes cast down. "I wonder, does that mean I was adopted, too? Was Dad … Igneel … not my real father?"
"Oh!" Lucy squeaked out. "I … I don't know. I mean, Natsu has never talked about his real parents. Maybe in your dimension, Igneel is your real dad. Did he look like you?"
"I guess. We both have pink hair."
"Well, that's not exactly a common color. Sounds like in your case, Igneel was your birth father."
"I wonder," the boy pouted.
"Hey, you know what?" she said, hoping to cheer him up. "There's a lady around here who used to live in Edolas. Porlyusica went by the name Grandeeney, who was Wendy's adopted dragon mother here in Earthland."
"Wendy was also raised by a dragon?" Edo-Natsu gawked. "Sheesh, you wizards of Earthland are weird."
"Hey, I had a normal life."
"You were a princess."
"An heiress. Big difference."
"Yeah, but you weren't a yakuza like Lucy Ashley."
"Do you think that is normal?" Lucy huffed.
"No … no, I guess not. And my life with Dad wasn't exactly normal. I think maybe I'd like to meet this Porlyusica lady. Maybe she knows my dad."
"No," Lucy frowned. "We already asked. Still, we can go and talk to her … if she doesn't chase us away for being smelly," she muttered, rolling her eyes slightly. "Besides, I'm sorry I left you alone all day. Master Makarov told me to watch over you."
"I was fine," Fireball insisted.
"I promise to spend the entire day tomorrow with you," she decided. "Where would you like to go?"
"I … I don't know," he admitted. "I'm not even sure what's in this city."
"Then I'll take you on a tour," she grinned. "There's lots to see. Magnolia is a great city."
He smiled happily. "I'm sure I'll love it if Princess is with me."
Hearing him call her that made Lucy blush. She looked down at the meal and poked at it a bit. An entire day with Fireball sounded like a lot of fun, but she wondered if it was the best thing to do. What if people saw them, mistook him for Natsu Dragneel, and thought they were on a date? What if he grew too attached to her—not her to him, no, of course not!—then when it was time to go home, wouldn't Fireball be sad?
Still, she had to do something to keep him occupied. Keeping distracted with the tourist spots was better than spending the entire day all alone, just the two of them. That would be far more awkward.
Fireball suddenly yawned and belatedly covered his mouth.
"Ah!" Lucy realized. "I woke you up. I'm sorry."
"No, it's fine. I just needed a nap. Being in this house is so peaceful, it makes me sleepy."
"Go ahead and lie down. I'll clean up dinner and get my bath."
"Okay. I'm glad you had fun, Princess. It's good to know you and Loke are friends here. That's a big relief." He walked back over to the shikibuton and curled up on it. "I'm always so worried about Lucy because of all her enemies. Between Fairy Tail and the Ashley family's yakuza connections, and people she pisses off, Lucy has a lot of enemies. I wish," he yawned again, "I could do more. I wish … I could … protect … Lucy." He instantly began to snore.
Lucy sighed at how sweet this version of Natsu was. Fireball was such an interesting guy once he opened up a little.
"I wish I knew more guys like this," she said wistfully.
End of Chapter 4
A/N: "Drive Me Down That Sunset Road" and "For You the Lion Roars" are my own lyrics. So...copyright by Rhov? XD On AdultFanFiction, this story was actually hidden by the admins for a while and I got a warning for not citing my sources. Apparently, the mods thought the lyrics were from professional songs and I was plagiarizing. Nope! The lyrics to both songs are my own and written specifically for this fanfic. I'm a musician and a poet, so I DO know how to write song lyrics. These are 100% my own work, NOT taken from any outside sources, NOT quoting or influenced by any songwriter.
Wanna sing one of my songs? Please let me know.
* Ms KClare wrote an arrangement of "The Lion Roars" for voice and piano and performed it. It's absolutely stunning. soundcloud.com/ms-kclare/the-l…
* Here is "Drive Me Down That Sunset Road," sung by me (bad video on cellphone, sorry): youtu.be/y6EQ497HzAY
* Here it is sung by a reader, Rose Chan. A totally different interpretation, but lovely: soundcloud.com/rhov/rose-chan-…
* And a completely unique, more upbeat interpretation of the lyrics by WolfieANNE: soundcloud.com/rhov/sunset-roa…