Two-Shot Set in Edolas, after the Edolas Arc, features EdoNatsu and EdoLucy, with appearances from EdoEveryoneElse. Based on the Manga version, as I haven't seen this arc on the Anime yet. P-please don't laugh. XD This is my first story in this fandom, and I'm always nervous with the first. It was an idea that wouldn't get out of my head until it was written. To make it worse, this is the first site I'm posting it to, so I don't have any feedback yet. WHAT IF IT SUCKS!? Not to mention, here I have a bit of a reputation, I'm not some random author nobody knows. OH WELL, YOLO! Okay, now the summary. (don't know if I should include it, do peeps want opening summaries here? Oh well.) Lucy learns a long-overdue lesson about her partner and his self-worth, and decides to do something about it. Later, he just might repay the favor. Edo NaLu friendship, can be read as pre-romance if you want to. Spoiler: Good Job, Natsu Lucy walked through the doors of the Fairy Tail guild, marching straight to the bar and sitting with a frustrated growl. “I just don’t know what to do,” she exclaimed. “I really don’t.” Mira smiled patiently. “You don’t know what to do about what?” She asked. “Natsu,” Lucy said, as if it were obvious. “I don’t know what to do about Natsu!” Ever since the incident with the Anima, life had been hard for everyone. The new king had granted all the wizards pardons, but their status as a dark or light guild was literally the least of their problems. Without any magic in Edolas, the entire world was in chaos. Even the simplest of tasks became impossible, no one could turn on a light, there was no way to control the temperature, no one could use a stove. The land had been reduced to a lifestyle of lighting fires to keep warm and doing whatever it took to survive. King Jellal was doing his best to keep the peace, and indeed, the Capital was well controlled, but throughout the rest of the country, towns and villages were rioting, rising into rebellions, and causing major problems. As part of their pardon, Fairy Tail was commissioned to work with the Capital Army to help handle insurgents. While this gave the now-unemployed former-wizards new job experience, it was a very difficult lifestyle to get used to, and definitely easier for some than for others. “It’s not Natsu’s fault,” Cana said gently, having heard Lucy’s outburst. “Without his car…” “Without his car, he’s worthless!” Lucy stated. “I’ve tried, I’ve taken him on every mission I can afford to! He’s just a liability. Look what happened on the last mission!” Holding out her arm, Mira and Cana hissed in sympathy at the bright red burn over her elbow. With a sigh, Mira pulled a first-aid kit from under the bar and began treating the wound while Lucy continued to talk. “I can’t keep working if I have to take care of me AND Natsu,” she said. “It’s hard enough watching my own back without having to keep everyone off HIS six as well. And he’s such a wimp without his car! He can barely pick up a weapon, let alone fight with one! I gave him a chance. I just can’t do it.” “It’s all your fault, you know,” said a voice, and Lucy gritted her teeth in annoyance as Levvy, having overheard the conversation, sat down next to Lucy. “He wasn’t like this before you showed up.” “Now Levvy, that’s not fair and you know it,” Cana said. “It’s not all Lucy’s fault. There were all sorts of extenuating circumstances.” “What are you talking about!?” Lucy demanded. “What do you mean, he wasn’t like this before!?” “Well, he’s always been really shy,” Mira said. “But it was never to the extreme it is now. Not until…” “Not until the magic started running out and the king decided to disband all the guilds,” Levvy said with venom. “We all agreed to keep our magic, and we got labeled a dark guild.” “And then the hunting started,” Cana said quietly. “And we watched as one by one, all the other guilds were destroyed. All our alliances… all our friends… gone.” “And then YOU came,” Levvy said disdainfully. “And picked him out right away as your favorite target. THAT was sure gonna make him feel better.” “I was only trying to help the little punk toughen up,” Lucy defended. “Heaven knows he needed it.” Levvy scoffed. “Because with the stress of the Fairy Hunter always-” “Ahem,” Cana cleared her throat daintily, looking pointedly at Levvy. With their new position working with the army, they had all agreed to try and let bygones be bygones. “With the stress of Captain Knightwalker always one step behind us,” Levvy started over. “All he needed was the fear of being the victim of one of your ridiculous wrestling tactics at any given moment.” “It still wasn’t Lucy’s fault,” Mira said lowly. “It was the death of the Master that really pushed him over.” Everyone fell silent, as the four reflected on their Master and his death. He’d been protecting Fairy Tail, caring for his children till the very last. And he had truly cared for all of them like children, even Lucy, who had only been there for a short while. His death was still the biggest sting of all. “That was a very hard time,” Cana said. “For all of us. And we all handled it differently.” “Yeah,” Levvy said. “Natsu broke down and Lucy knocked him out.” “I was trying to help him get some relief,” Lucy said, glaring at Levvy. “Y’know, sedate him or whatever.” “All he got was a black eye,” Levvy replied. “I don’t remember you trying to help him, pipsqueak,” Lucy spat. “I don’t remember you succeeding, bottle blonde!” Levvy shot back. “Girls, please,” Cana interrupted. “Levvy-chan, Lucy was just trying her best. Lucy-chan, Levvy’s just on edge from her last assignment.” “Well, you got that right,” Levvy agreed. “Being official Fairy Tail liaison with the idiots of the Kingdom’s Research Department has got me wishing for the good ol’ days of the Shadow Team idiots.” As Levvy continued to complain about her new job, Lucy was thinking. Thinking hard and deep. She had only ever been trying to help. Natsu had been such a wimp when she had first shown up that she had been surprised he was even allowed in the guild at all. And with the entire wizarding community being hunted down like wild game, he had desperately needed to learn to take care of himself. He still did. Speaking of Natsu… “Where is he, anyway?” She asked suddenly, glancing around the room. “I don’t see him.” “He hasn’t come in since yesterday,” Mira said. “Great,” Lucy said with a snarl. “What mess has he gotten himself into now!?” “Lucy, you don’t need to worry so much,” Cana said. “What kind of danger could he be in?” “That’s just the thing!” Lucy said. “He attracts danger! I can’t let him out of my sight, because he’ll get into trouble and I won’t be there to get him out of it!” “Did it ever occur to you that maybe that’s part of the problem?” Levvy said coldly. Lucy growled. “What’s that supposed to mean?!?” She demanded. “Think about it for a minute,” Levvy said. “Every time he says something, you beat him up. And every time he’s in a fight, you rescue him before he even has a chance. If my partner humiliated me like that every day, I wouldn’t think I could fight either.” “What, you want me to let him get beat up!?” Lucy demanded. “No,” Mira said firmly. “We never let anyone beat up a member of our guild. Ever.” The uncharacteristic seriousness in her eyes silenced the girls for a moment. Then it was gone and Mira gave them a small smile. “Sometimes, though,” she said. “You should give Natsu a chance to fight before you charge to his rescue. You might be surprised at how capable he really is.” Lucy thought this over. “...Ugh, fine,” she said. “I’ll keep him on my team.” Mira and Cana both beamed, and Levvy huffed, rolling her eyes. “Whatever,” she said, standing up. “Just remember, he’s my friend too. As a mechanic, that car was a piece of both of us, and we built it up together. It kills me to see him brought so low.” “Aw,” Mira grinned. “I sense a love-story in the future!” Levvy sputtered and blushed. “W-wha! It’s not like that! Don’t you DARE try to play matchmaker here, Mira!” Mira smiled innocently, and Levvy stomped off, leaving Lucy with much to think about. Levvy had always hated her, almost right from the beginning. Maybe this was the reason why. But there were other things to deal with right now. She had to find Natsu, if anything just to know he was okay. Walking through town, she didn’t have to search long before she spotted Natsu, walking towards her. “Natsu!” She barked, immediately regretting it as she saw the familiar wince. How dare that jerk Levvy be so right about this? It just wasn’t fair. “H-hi, Lucy,” Natsu said nervously, a large purple bruise just below his eye. Lucy narrowed her eyes. “Where’d you get that black eye!?” She demanded. Natsu blushed. “I-it’s nothing,” he said. “Some guy thought I was a demon or something, and he hit me.” “...He what.” It wasn’t really a question, more a statement of disbelief. How could anybody think Natsu was a demon? How did that even make any sense!? Natsu shrugged. “I think it’s something the other Natsu did before he left,” he said. “What happened to the guy?” Lucy asked, glancing around as if the culprit were still around for her to sock. Natsu turned red again. “I, uh, knocked him out,” he said. “You?!” Lucy asked in surprise, once again narrowing her eyes at the slight look of hurt in Natsu’s eyes upon hearing her disbelief. This had been her doing? How had it escaped her notice? “Y-yeah,” Natsu said. “He ran at me and I-I dodged and tripped him. He hit his head on an iron railing. The police took him away.” He paused in reflection. “Captain Knightwalker suggested I wear a hood to avoid more confusion.” “Makes sense,” Lucy said. “G-” The word caught in her throat. She hated all this mushy feel-good stuff. “Good job,” she managed to say. “Good job, Natsu.” Natsu looked at her in surprise. “Huh?” He asked. “What are you looking at, Fireball?!” She demanded. No, wait, she was supposed to make him feel better, not worse. She took a deep breath. “I said, good job. That was quick thinking on your part. I always knew you could be strong if you wanted to.” She had just gone about the wrong way showing him. Natsu blinked, then smiled a half-smile. “Thanks, Lucy,” he said. Lucy decided he had a nice smile. She wanted to see it more often. “Now,” she said. “There’s a job on the board that I think would be perfect for us. We’re taking it. Meet me in ten minutes at the guild. Ten. Not eleven. Don’t you DARE be late.” She gave him her best stern look, and he smiled again, a bit more genuine this time. “Sure thing, Lucy,” he said, running off. Lucy smiled after him. Who knew he had it in him after all? Spoiler: Good Luck, Lucy Natsu was sitting at a table in the guild, talking with Gray, when Juvia came in. And as always happened when the girl entered the room, Gray lost all sense of everything else. “Juvia-chan,” Gray said, standing up and grinning helplessly. “Are you going on a job?” “Of course,” Juvia said cooly. “How else would I make rent?” “That’s right,” Gray said, saddened by her pointed sarcasm. “I should have guessed…” “Can you please take a few steps back?” Juvia asked, herself taking a step back from Gray, who was staring at her hopefully. “Oh, right,” Gray said. “Anything for you, Juvia-chan!” Juvia rolled her eyes, took a job notice from the board, and left. Gray took his seat next to Natsu again and sighed. “She’s the most beautiful girl in the world,” he said dreamily. Natsu smiled at his friend’s optimism. Who knew? Maybe Gray’s obsession would pay off sometime. “Did you say the most beautiful!?” Jet said, sitting down next to Gray. “No way!” Droy continued, sitting next to Natsu. “LEVVY’S THE BEST!” They both exclaimed, sandwiching Gray and Natsu between their Shadow-Team spirit. “I think Mira’s the prettiest,” Elfman said loyally from across the table. “Whatever, loser,” Jet said. “How can you be a judge of anything? You don’t even know how to do a mission properly.” “Yeah, why can’t you man up and do something right for a change?” Droy finished. As Elfman started to cry, Natsu frowned. He hated it when Jet and Droy teamed up on Elfman. And now that Lisanna was gone, there was no one to stand up to them. At least, that’s what he thought. “THAT’S IT!!!” Lucy’s yell startled everyone at the table, and Natsu wasn’t the only one to find himself cowering with his arms protecting his head. Peering up in fear, the five men spotted Lucy standing near the head of the table, sending her most terrifying death-glare at Jet and Droy, who nearly fainted. “I’m sick and tired of hearing the two of you rag on Elfman,” Lucy exclaimed. “Everyone’s trying their best, and you two make plenty of mistakes yourself. So shut. Up. Got it!?” Leaning over them menacingly, she glared, and the two members of Shadow-Team nodded. “Y-yes, Lucy-chan,” Droy stammered. “W-whatever you say,” Jet agreed. With a final glare, Lucy turned and left the table, moving off. As soon as she was out of earshot, Jet and Droy let out a breath of relief. “That was scary,” Droy stated. “So scary,” Jet said. “Lucy-chan’s the scariest member of Fairy Tail.” “Maybe even in Edolas,” Droy offered. For some reason, this struck Natsu as unfair. Moments ago, the other girls were being called the prettiest, the loveliest. But Lucy was the scary one. Of course, Lucy was really scary, Natsu knew that as well as anyone. But she was still pretty. How come no one ever saw it? Maybe… maybe she didn’t see it in herself? Natsu wasn’t sure where that thought had come from. But it all seemed to make sense, now that he thought of it. Lucy always acted so rough and tough, she always had to be the baddest in the room. Maybe because everyone else had their thing. Mira was the nice pretty one, Levvy was the spunky pretty one, Juvia was the cool pretty one, Cana was the ladylike pretty one, and Lucy… Lucy was scary. Lucy was mean. Lucy threw really hard punches. Natsu looked up as his friends had returned to their earlier argument of who was the prettiest, and he sighed. Somehow, it just wasn’t fair that no one even thought to add Lucy to the list. A few weeks later, the guild was swarming with excitement. The Capital was planning a festival to celebrate the success of a new steam-powered engine Levvy and the others had built, and as part of the festivities, the Fairy Tail guild was holding a beauty pageant, something that hadn’t been done in several years. As preparations were underway, Natsu and Lucy had set out to carry decorations to the town square. As they walked, Lucy was talking about all the different things that were going to happen at the festival. “There’s going to be a carnival,” she said. “Though, we still haven’t fixed up the amusement park rides with the new source. It’s mainly just going to be food stands and kiosks, and games! I’m gonna crush those games, and win lots of prizes!” The pure evil glint in her eye at the mention of “crushing” the games made Natsu nervous, but he was too excited to let it linger. The success of this new source meant they were one step closer to fixing his car, and it was a major step indeed. “That sounds fun,” he said pleasantly, the joyous theme of celebration keeping him from anxiety. “Yeah,” Lucy said, flexing her arms. “They don’t stand a chance against me! There’s also going to be a huge parade, and we’re all gonna be in it!” This… this brought some of the anxiety back. “Oh, r-really?” Natsu asked. “Could I maybe, just w-watch the parade?” “Nonsense,” Lucy said carelessly. “It wouldn’t be the same without you. You’re just as important as everyone else, you know.” Natsu felt his ears turn red. Lucy had been saying stuff like that for the past few weeks now, and he still wasn’t quite used to it, but it made him feel… like he really was. “Thanks,” He said with a smile. “There’s also the beauty pageant. L-” He caught himself before he said Levvy. He didn’t know why, but his two friends hated each other, and he wasn’t allowed to mention either of them in the others presence. “Everyone’s been really excited about it.” “Mmhmm,” Lucy said. “I guess Fairy Tail used to have them all the time, back before everything started going south.” “Are you going to enter?” Natsu asked without thinking. “Me?” Lucy asked with a frown. “Why would I do that?” Natsu, too caught up in the day’s activities to watch what he said, kept talking. “Well, you’re a member of Fairy Tail, after all,” he said. “And you’re just as pretty as they are, so I don’t see-” Lucy screeched to a stop and whirled around, and Natsu ran into her, dropping the supplies and falling backwards to the ground. “WHAT!?” She demanded, leaning over him and frowning ferociously. “Eek!” Natsu found himself facing the utter terror of Lucy Ashley, and he knew firsthand the pain said terror could unleash. “I- I’m sorry, I d-didn’t mean… well, I- I was just saying… Uh, I- I…” “Did you just say I was pretty!?” Lucy demanded angrily. Natsu winced and swallowed hard. “Y-y-yes,” He stammered. “Why would you say that!?” She asked, and Natsu risked a glance at her face. Surprisingly, she looked more confused than offended. This observation gave him courage to keep going. “W-well, you are,” He said, deciding to say it all at once and get it over with. “Y-you’re pretty and you’re s-strong, and y-you should enter the p-pageant!” Closing his eyes, he braced himself for a punch that never came. Once he stopped shaking, he opened one eye and looked up at Lucy, who had a strange look on her face. “Do you think I’d win?” She asked, and for a second, her brown eyes sparkled with the hope of such a triumph. Natsu blinked. Was he allowed to talk now? Which answer was safe? Would she hit him if he said yes? “Why did you hesitate!?” She demanded, a slight flush in her cheeks that he’d never seen on her before. “You just said I’m pretty! Why are you changing your mind now!?” “I- I- I,” Natsu tried. “I KNEW IT,” Lucy yelled, taking him by the collar of his shirt and dragging him to his feet. “YOU’RE JUST TRYING TO TRICK ME INTO MAKING A FOOL OF MYSELF!” “N-no, that’s not it,” Natsu whimpered. “You’re beautiful, I swear!!!” Lucy dropped him. Natsu took several deep breaths to try and calm himself down, while Lucy said nothing at all, just staring at him. “Do you really mean it?” She asked him. Natsu looked up at her, and, giving her a nervous smile, nodded. “...Thank you,” Lucy said softly. Natsu stood shakily to his feet, still feeling too unnerved to relax again. He half expected her to change her mind and pummel him, but with the weird way she’d been acting lately, he wasn’t sure. “Y-you’re welcome,” He said, when it finally registered what she’d last said. Turning, Lucy continued walking in silence, and Natsu walked a few steps behind her, carrying the supplies and still trembling slightly. Right before they got to town square, however, Lucy stopped. Natsu stopped as well, and looked at her quizzically. Turning around, Lucy smiled the brightest smile he’d ever seen, her eyes sparkling with excitement and a worrying amount of competitive determination. “I’m gonna do it!” She announced. “And I’m gonna WIN!” With a squeal, she dropped her load of the decorations into Natsu’s box. “I’ve gotta go get ready!” She declared. “I’m gonna CRUSH Levvy and the others, they won’t stand a chance! You can handle things here. JUST YOU WATCH, I’M GONNA BLOW EVERYBODY’S MINDS!!!” With that, Lucy took off running, and Natsu smiled a small smile as she quickly disappeared from view. “Good luck, Lucy,” he said softly, though he knew. He knew she didn’t need any luck at all. She just had to be herself. So, even though I said don't laugh, still give me any criticism you feel I need to hear. I want to make this better!