21 Mar 2016

Juvia came to the big city to get a spot in a prestigious dance company. But not everything goes as planned as she meets a ragtag crew of performers struggling to make ends meet, shooting for an opportunity to show the world what they have to offer.

Teen (13+)
Chapters: 17
Words: 117,566


Chapter 12
I’ll Cover You

Chapter Notes:

This one is a pretty chill chapter. Just three little scenes before we return to action. And also more singing~


( “Live in my house, I’ll be your shelter,
Just pay me back with one thousand kisses.
Be my lover…”)
I’ll Cover You
— RENT Musical


The walk home after the concert was mostly quiet. The excitement from the show faded out shortly after they left Cana, Loke and Lucy on the concert hall to mingle with the other guests. Now they were on their way back to the Guild, including Juvia and Gajeel, since they had left their casual clothes there and it wasn’t too late in the night for a stopover anyway.

Levy hummed a tune absentmindedly as she walked beside Gajeel. A few steps ahead of them, Gray and Juvia were walking hand in hand, talking in hushed voices.

That was when they heard a familiar whistling sound, and the four of them looked up to the sky in time to see fireworks from a distance.

“Is there some kind of occasion or something?” Gajeel asked.

“Nah, those are from the beach.” Gray said. “One of the hotels nearby have this five-minute fireworks display every Saturday night. I worked there once. They’ll have another round in about half an hour.”

“There are lots of people by the beach at this time.” Levy added. “Not swimming, but… y’know, there are some bars and stands nearby. It looks really beautiful this time of night.”

“Really?” came from Juvia, her expression curious.

“The whole shore’s lined up with these pretty lights and lanterns.” Levy nodded, then a thought struck her. “You’ve never seen it, Juvia-chan?”

“Juvia doesn’t go out at night much.” Juvia answered. “And Juvia has never been to the beach.”

“You should take her there, Gray.” the smaller woman said, an encouraging smile on her face as Gray blinked. “It’s just a few minutes away. You can catch the next round of fireworks. Watch them up close.”

Juvia shook her head shyly. “A-Ah, that’s too much trouble.”

“Not at all.” Gray said quickly. “If you want to go, it’s not that far. You should come see it, ’cause Levy’s right, it’s a sight during nighttime.”

“But that’s…” Juvia looked at them hesitantly. “How about Levy-san and Gajeel-kun?”

“No, you guys go ahead, don’t worry.” Gajeel answered this time, earning a smile from Levy in his peripheral vision. “S’not that late yet anyway.”

Levy nodded. “We’ll be fine. You two go!”

Gajeel and Levy watched the two leave, Gray leading while Juvia looked back at them and waved, smiling gratefully. Shortly after that, they resumed walking in silence again.

That is, until Levy yawned. To pick up the mood and feel less sleepy, she decided to talk. “You make a good wingman.”

He snorted. “It’s just… they like each other a lot. And s’been long since Juvia was this happy with other people.”

“Gray, too.” Levy said softly. “I mean, he’s always been fine with everyone but he smiles a lot more lately, so… it’s nice.”

“Juvia’s been pickin’ up all sorts of stuff from you guys.” he added. “Before, she’s running out of dance steps and songs. Now she’s considerin’ all sorts of options and already came up with several routines. Guess it’s good that she’s hanging out with dancers.”

She chuckled. “I’m still looking forward to seeing her dance, though! Gray said she’s something else, and it’s not that easy to impress him.”

“She’ll open up soon. She likes all of you already.”

They felt a bit awkward being stuck together like this. Dinner together to talk about money was one thing — they both had a purpose. But that moment, except Gray and Juvia, they didn’t really have anything to talk about. So they fell silent again as they reached the downtown area, and until they reached the Guild.

For a Saturday night, the Guild was peaceful too. Maybe it was because a lot of people were out. Levy took a mental tally — Erza was at Jellal’s and Meredy’s recital, Elfman and Ever must have gone out on a date too, Natsu was probably still working, Freed and Laxus were either upstairs or out, Bixlow must be having a night in watching movies or playing games, Mira and Lisanna told everyone they’d been invited to an event by some of Mira’s ballroom studio students… Levy knew Jet and Droy slept early during Saturday nights, tired after their shifts at the mall. Either way, the third floor was empty, so it was just her and Gajeel again.

She handed him his clothes back and he changed into them while she went to the bathroom to wash off her make up and also change into her pajamas.

When she got out from the bathroom, he was sitting on the couch, looking through a photo album. He put it down when she walked up to him. “Found it on the table.”

Levy blinked, leaning against the back of the couch as she looked at the item. “Hmm… Are those our embarrassing high school photos?”


“Ah.” she chuckled. “And you don’t have to tell me, I know my hair is still as horrible.”

He grinned. “You grew into it.”


Gajeel shrugged. Then he picked up the bag he had previously dumped on the floor and retrieved something from it. He handed the item to his companion. “Here ’ya go.”

Levy looked down at the item — it was a clear plastic CD case, and the disc inside was pure black, with the words ‘tap mix for levy’ written in it with silver metallic sharpie. There was a small folded piece of paper tucked inside the case as well. “This is…?”

“Your mix. As promised.”

She looked at him. “…As promised?”

He raised an eyebrow. “You don’t remember?”

She transferred to sit in the couch with him, looking at the CD. She opened her mouth to talk, closed it as she recalled something, and then looked back up at him again with a shocked expression. “YOU WERE SERIOUS ABOUT THAT?!”

He blinked. “What, you weren’t?”

“I thought you were kidding!”

He stared at her blankly and she simply looked back, an embarrassed blush on her face.

It was on that dinner they had together, after he helped her out with the hat thief and provided guitar accompaniment for her tap routine. They talked quite a lot, and then she brought up the word he said before.


It was the first time she heard that, then he admitted that he just made it up on the spot, and there were a couple of jokes thrown from both sides.

Then Levy told him that she had never really looked at songs with the intent to dance tap to them. Hip-hop and funk, maybe, but it wasn’t her style when it came to tap.

As she had said it, “I don’t really know a lot of ‘tap-ready’ songs.” — because that was a word they share now. He said that it was weird, because she looked like she was good at dancing with accompaniment.

“I mean both times I saw you do it, you were practically winging the whole thing.” he stated.

She chalked it up to experience and familiarity of the material.

Then he told her that he knew a lot of tap-ready songs and it was because “After I heard you tapping to MJ, whenever I hear a song, I evaluate if they’re good tap dance accompaniment.”

“So… now you know a lot of them because… of me?”

“For some weird reason.” he huffed. “It’s a good pastime, I give it that.”

“I’m not sure…”

“Well, I betcha I can make a whole mix ’bout it.”

Levy remembered laughing good-naturedly and telling him that he didn’t have to go through the trouble of doing that.

And yet here they were, sitting on the couch in the dark because they didn’t bother turning on the lights, and she was holding the black CD.

Then Gajeel moved to take it from her. “Well if you don’t want it—”

She immediately hugged it to her chest, leaning away from him. “No way! I love it!”

He looked at her pointedly. “You haven’t heard it.”

“Still!” she insisted, and she didn’t know why she was blushing but she brushed that off. “It’s the first time someone made a mixtape for me! So I love it already!”

“Y’know I did that out of boredom, right?” he asked, now very much weirded out.

“I don’t care.” she huffed, and looked down at the CD again. “Look, it’s black and silver! It’s so you. This is sweet.”

“All of my CD’s look like that.” he provided for her benefit.

“Aww, you have a theme.” she said, smiling fondly. “Who even makes mixes anymore?”

“Those of us who likes personal playlists.”

She blinked. “My playlists are in 8tracks.”

“Fine, I’m an ancient person.” Gajeel looked at the ceiling, giving up. There was no way he was winning against her, what the hell.

“I like ancient people.” she shrugged.

The worst part was that he couldn’t tell if she was just flattered, or if she was this actual awfully nice person like Juvia, or if by some major plot twist she actually likes him. He’ll go for options 1 and 2, specially because she looks so cute in her pajamas and with messy hair.

“Is this the track list?” the woman asked as she opened the case and took the paper tucked in it.

“Knock yourself out.” he answered, watching her unfold the paper, waiting for her verdict. He never gave mixes out to anyone, so seeing what she thought of it should be interesting.

“Hmmm… let’s see.” she squinted a bit because the only light she had to read by was from the window. “I know most of these… Here’s the MJ song and Footloose… I like the Jason Mraz songs you put in here and… Ed Sheeran? Sing?”

“That one’s really dynamic, could use great percussions. There’s another one there, Gold Rush. It’s slower.”

“Okay— Oh! Maroon 5, Beyonce, Rihanna, Little Mix, Lenka…? I’d have to listen to them again to see if it works.” then she looked up at him. “Royals?”

He nodded. “Why? Think it doesn’t fit?”

“No, I just can’t believe I haven’t thought of that. I can practically see it already.”

He smirked at her, expression smug, as if he’d won something.

She pouted. “Fine, you’re good, okay? Stop making that face already!” Then she looked at the track list again. “Wait. Adele? As in ADELE?” — she would never have thought of that.

“Just give it a listen. You’ll be surprised.” he said.

She just sighed, considering it. “Alright, I give. I’ll listen to these tomorrow.”

“What d’you think about it so far?”

“I told you already, I love it.”

“You’re serious?”

“I consider it a present. I like presents.” Levy shrugged. Then, she asked, “Will you be waiting for Juvia-chan? Or are you going on ahead?”

That made him pause as he thought about it. “I didn’t think that part through. D’you think they’ll be comin’ back soon?”

“Depends on how much they enjoy themselves, I guess.” she smiled. “You know she can sleep over here if they get back too late.”

“Yeah, maybe I’ll just go and leave her a message.” he said, taking out his phone and proceeding to type a text for his friend.

Levy yawned. “And if she insists on going home to your place, I’m sure Gray would at least go with her, so she’s safe.”

He nodded as he sent the message.

“Give me your phone?” she said sleepily.

He raised an eyebrow but gave her the gadget. As she pressed several keys, he asked, “What’re you doin’?”

“Calling my phone with yours, so I have your number. So I can tell you what I think about those songs you picked.” she said simply. Then after that, she gave him his phone back. “Got it. Probably.”

He looked at his phone for a moment before putting it back in his pocket. She was very direct, he thought. Barring Juvia, he wasn’t too accustomed to the company of women — were they always this casual? Or maybe it was just Levy, who had a lot of guy friends so she was completely comfortable with their presence? He shook the thoughts off quickly. He was tired, and he should be on his way home.

That was just what he did, finally picking up his bag and standing up. “I’ll see myself out then.”

Levy nodded. “You take care.”

“Yeah. Night.”

“Good night.”

After just a few steps, he heard her voice again. “Hey, Gajeel?” The man turned to look back at her. Levy was lounging comfortably on the couch, and she raised the CD case slightly as she smiled. “Thank you.”

Really. Disarming. He should just tell her that she’s got a knack for taking him off guard. Maybe she’d stop doing it.

He just scratched his head sheepishly, but cleared his throat to regain his composure as he replied, “You’re welcome. And you get yourself to bed, shortcake. Don’t pass out on the couch.”

She giggled in reply, and waved at him as he left.

Gray and Juvia indeed got to the beach just in time to see the second round of fireworks. The vibrant display looked more beautiful with no tall buildings blocking the show. They stood by the concrete road overlooking the shore and the sea, and were treated to a nice view of the stalls and booths lined up in a neat row on the beach. There were a lot of people buying drinks and snacks, some of them walking around on the sand. A string of lights in different shapes and sizes lit up the edges of the beach.

“…and right over there is where I worked. I’m good friends with the boss, but it doesn’t pay too much on real busy days. Sometimes it ain’t worth the hassle.” Gray said, finishing his short explanation of what he knew about the beach. He wasn’t the best tour guide, but hey, he tried. “D’you wanna walk around?”

Juvia looked at him. “Is that okay?”

“We’re here already. Might as well make the most of it.” he shrugged, before starting to walk towards the beach. “C’mon.”

She followed him quickly but they stopped when they set foot on the sand, her heels digging into it uncomfortably. They exchanged a short look before she crouched down to take off her shoes.

“Here, lemme hold it for you.” he offered.

“Gray doesn’t have to—”

“Don’t worry ’bout it.” he cut her off, taking the heels from her. He looked at them and raised an eyebrow. “Damn, you were in these all night?”

“They’re Laki-san’s.”

“Is this how she always looks so tall?” Gray mumbled as they continued walking, Juvia keeping up with him easily now that she was barefoot.

The sand was cold against her feet, but she didn’t mind so much. When she took off her fur shrug, Gray took that from her as well. She breathed deeply, savoring the night breeze on her shoulders and bare arms.

“So… d’you wanna check the stands, or just walk around? Take your pick.” he said as they stood in the middle of the beach, Juvia looking enraptured at the different food and drink stalls nearby, the people celebrating and laughing with each other. There was also a live band playing in the distance.

She turned her back to the festivities and said, “Juvia just wants to walk around.”

“You sure?”

She nodded, starting to walk the opposite direction, to where there were less people and shops, just some groups of friends, other couples and people walking their dogs, taking leisurely strolls along the shore.

“Juvia has never been to beaches much.” she admitted as they walked together.


“Mm-hm.” she nodded gingerly. “Maybe this is just the third or fourth time Juvia has been to a beach. But Juvia likes the sea. It’s so peaceful like this.”

Gray watched as she walked towards the sea and stopped when the water reached a few inches above her ankles. She had a little smile on her face as she looked down and watched the soft waves crashing against her feet. Then they resumed walking, but Juvia didn’t leave the water and Gray just followed her slowly a few steps away, on the dry sand.

This felt like a new experience for him. He had been to the beach several times… heck, he went to the beach everyday when the job in the drinks stand was the only job he had, but he always came there to work. He couldn’t remember the last time he was there just taking a walk and having a peaceful time. Similarly, he couldn’t remember a time he had ever gone there with anyone alone.

When he mentioned this, Juvia stopped and looked at him, then down towards all the items he was carrying. He had both pairs of their shoes on his hands now, his blazer slung on his shoulder and her shrug tucked under his arm.

And she was just there playing in the water.

“Ah! Juvia can carry those too—”

“No way, it’s fine. Just enjoy yourself.” he said.

“But Gray—”

He continued, “You don’t have to worry so much about being a burden. You’re not.”

That made her stop and stare at him.

“I just mean,” he looked down, kicking some sand by his feet. “I know how that feels. Growing up a foster kid, y’know. Sometimes we’re just so grateful that some people are willing to take us in and we think they’ve already done enough. We don’t want to impose on them or anything. We don’t want to get in anyone’s way so we don’t demand anything and just stay as invisible as possible. We all felt that way, Gramps told me once.”

Then he looked back up to meet her eyes. “It’s not that way anymore. I dunno much about how or where you grew up, but right now you can stop apologizing when people do something for you, as if you’re not worth their trouble. They do it because they care about you and they like you. For real. That’s all there is.”

Juvia fiddled with the hem of her dress. It was Erza’s dress, the shoes Gray was holding were Laki’s, the fur shrug was Mira’s, her hair was Evergreen’s work, and this whole night was made possible by Lucy giving them free tickets. Despite this, they didn’t make her feel like a charity case at all. They gave off a vibe that this is simply how they do things.

“It’s just that… Juvia is still finding it hard to believe… that Juvia could find so many people like Juvia. And everyone… they’re all so kind.”

“Well I’m real enough, am I?” he said, sending her a confident grin. “So go easy on the apologies. I’m your boyfriend, right? That usually means I like you and do stuff for you, so… just go and have fun, I’m good.”

Juvia finally smiled, nodding.

Then she stepped forward and walked back towards him. “Juvia is still taking the shoes back—”

Gray rolled his eyes. “Hey, I just said—”

“—because Juvia wants to hold Gray’s hand.” then she took her heels from him, and held his now-free hand.

He smirked as he twined his fingers with hers, letting her pull him along the shore. She had a small skip to her step as they resumed their stroll. “You learn fast.”

“Juvia has a great teacher.” she chimed, giving his hand a small squeeze.


She giggled.

“You know, you’re a really smooth talker when you try?”

“Does Gray like that?” she asked curiously.

“Gray likes it as long as it doesn’t end up in bullying.” he answered, grinning a bit. He felt silly using third person, but it was nice to be silly once in a while.

She moved in front of him then, turning so she could face him. She walked backwards so they were still moving. “Is Juvia weird?”

“Yes.” he answered, without hesitation. “But I’m used to weird. Everyone’s a little weird.”

She thought about it before speaking up again. “Juvia once dated someone who told Juvia to start talking normally or he’ll break up with Juvia because he didn’t want to date a weirdo…”

His brows furrowed at this. “What happened?”

“Juvia broke up with him instead. That was a jerk thing to say.”

Gray stared at her for a good five seconds before laughing.

“Then he said Juvia is crazy so Juvia punched him for good measure.”

“Good call.” he said, still chuckling as he pulled her back to his side so he can drape his arm across her shoulders. Juvia smiled proudly as she wrapped her arm around his waist in return.

They’ve gone a bit far from where they first started walking, so they decided to turn around and head back. There were less people now, but they preferred it that way.

As they walked, Juvia spoke up again, “Um… may Juvia ask for a favor?”

He looked at her. “What is it?”

“Can Gray teach Juvia how to dance duets too? If it’s not too much trouble on top of coaching Juvia for the audition routine…”

“Huh. Your audition routine’s going great, though. I’m not sure what else needs coaching about it. I think you should consult Erza or at least Laki about it, really. Or Lucy. They’re the best contemporary girls in the Guild. And they come up with actual routines, unlike me.”

“Does Gray think they’ll like Juvia’s dance?”

“For the hundredth time, yes.”

“But Juvia is still not sure about the audition routine.”

“All the more reason to ask the experts.”

She hummed in consideration. She’s only got several weeks before audition. The routine was good, but it was so similar to her first video entry. She needed something… more. Because she knew she can do more. So she still didn’t think that it was ready — for the audition, for other people in general…

“And you want to learn partnerwork now?” Gray asked when she stayed silent.

Distracted, she nodded. “Juvia wants to dance like… like Lucy-san and Loke-san danced tonight. It wasn’t planned but they knew exactly what to do… and they look great doing it. Juvia wants to get used to dancing with someone.”

“That works mostly because they trust each other a lot, you know.” he said. “You can nail down all the moves you need but if you don’t trust your partner, it won’t work.”

“Juvia knows that.”

He sighed and just laid his hand on her head. “Alright, I’ll teach you, but I’m gonna ask for something in return.”

“What is it?” she asked, looking up at him curiously.

“Let Erza take a look at your dance, I’m sure you’ll learn a lot from her.”

They looked at each other for a moment before he finally asked, “Deal?”

She smiled a nervous smile, but nodded. “Deal.”

Natsu came home at almost 3 in the morning, and even in his tired state, he recognized the strong scent of roses when he entered room. He stopped by the doorway in confusion, looking around to make sure he was in the right room, but sighed when he saw the several bouquets on his desk and chair, and the blonde sleeping on the bed.

He closed the door behind him as quietly as he could, and didn’t turn the lights on, not wanting to wake Lucy up. Instead, he just fumbled for the desk lamp.

As soon as he was able to switch it on, he jumped as he saw Lucy awake and staring at him.

She said, “Natsu?”

“AHHHH!” he screamed, and stepped back only to trip over something. When she sat up and sleepily leaned over to check on him, he sighed, then groaned. “Lucy, you scared the shit outta me.”

Lucy raised an eyebrow. “You didn’t see me here?”

“I did, but you were sleepin’!”

“Sorry.” she said, chuckling. “Welcome home.”

“Yeah.” He just shook his head, but smiled and waved it off. He stood up and opened his closet to change into more comfortable clothes. As he took his shirt off, he said, “I thought you’ll be going home to your dad’s tonight.”

“I don’t remember saying anything like that.” Lucy yawned.

“Well, you had a show and all so I thought you’d sleep over there— How didja get all these flowers up here?”

“Loke was happy to help.”

“Huh. Should’ve known. Gray and Levy came to watch, right?” he asked, running a tired hand through his hair. He had changed into loose cotton pants, and hadn’t bothered with a shirt. “And uh… whositagain… Juvia and the big guy?”

“Mm-hm. Cana and Gildarts, too. And dad.” Lucy replied with a small smile as she lifted the blankets for him to join her on the bed. He was visibly tired as he laid beside her, so she shifted to lean on her elbow to get a better look at him. “How was work?”

“Tiring.” he closed his eyes and sighed deeply, his breath tickling her side. “I bet you’re tired too, though… Why’re you still up even?”

She shrugged.

“I wish I coulda watched you.” he said, looking up at her with a smile. “But I know you were awesome anyway. What did yer dad say ’bout it?”

“He liked it.” the blonde replied, running her fingers through his hair, smoothing out the tangles.

“He should.” Natsu nodded, reaching out to wrap an arm around her waist and pull her closer. “It makes you really happy.”

She smiled softly at that. After her mother died, she always had a rocky relationship with her father. He never opposed to her getting voice, music and dance lessons. He supported her training. In her early teens, even though her instructors told her she was good enough to try out for younger roles and troupes for dancers her age, she held herself back. Everyone always told her that she was her mother’s daughter, that she would take after her mother — and that just intensified the pressure she felt. Then when she turned sixteen, when she finally started trying out for roles and contemporary dance companies, her father finally said “Stop trying. You will never be like Layla.” — and the distance between them just grew. She kept trying, but her father’s words weighed too much.

Then a few years later, she found Natsu, Cana and the others. Soon after, she and Cana landed their debut. She never thought of holding it to her father’s face that she was successful now, but it surprised her when he approached her after the first live show.

She still remembered how he said he was proud of her, and told her that he was sorry for being so harsh. He just always saw that in all her attempts, she was trying too hard to take over her mother’s mantle. He didn’t want Lucy to be a replacement. He wanted her to be herself in her art, because she was different than her mother. He admitted that he could have handled it better, but with all his commitments in the company and her distancing herself so much, he failed to make amends. But Jude was glad that she overcame it anyway and embraced her individuality, making a name for herself on her own.

They have a better relationship now. And yes, as Natsu had said — her father coming to see her perform always made her happy.

“Lucy, you asleep?” he asked, pulling her back with him. “‘Cause you should lay down properly if you’re sleepin’.”

She let out a little laugh. “Sorry, was just thinking, I guess.”

“It’s like 3 AM, what are you thinkin’ about?”

“Um. My dad?”

“Happy thoughts or sad thoughts?”

“Happy.” Lucy smiled. Natsu always had a way of reading into complicated things and making them easier to deal with. And he always this without even prying.

“Then that’s fine.” he said, not asking further. “S’long as you’re happy. But also you should be sleepin’.”

“How about you?” she asked, teasing.

“I’m trying to.” he pouted. ‘I was ready to sleep but you’re not asleep so now I can’t sleep either. What the hell.’ When she just laughed, he continued. “You had Loke sing with you tonight?”


“What’s the surprise song?” he asked. He always asked, because he already knew her set list beforehand (he always reads her notes) except the surprise song.

“It was great.” she chuckled. “It’s from the Sound of Music, Sixteen Going On Seventeen?”

He was silent for a while, humming in thought. “Is that the one where it rained and they danced and then they kissed and the guy ran away?”

“That’s the one.”

“Did you dance too?”

“We did.”

“Aw, wish I’d seen it.” he grumbled. Then he looked up at her with a guilty smile on his face. “Didja know I never finished watching that movie ’cus I always find it boring and I sleep like halfway through it?”

She raised an eyebrow. “But it’s good.”

“It’s loooong…” he whined. “But y’know what? If you did it, I’ll watch the whole thing.”

“Really.” she said, unimpressed.

“I will.” he insisted.

Lucy poked his cheek playfully. “You’ll get tired of me.”

He was stubborn. “I won’t. I can watch you ALL DAY.”

She sighed, about to let him win, when he raised his hand to touch her face. “Natsu?”

“Nothin’.” he said, brushing his fingers lightly against her cheek before placing his hand back on her waist. ‘M’just tired and you’re too pretty and d’you know work today sucked? There were a lot of rude people in that party and the emcee was bad at his job so it was boring. My jaws hurt from smilin’.’ He was drifting off now, she knew. His eyes were closed and he was tracing meaningless patterns on back. “But they don’t hurt when I smile at you. I love you, Lucy.”

“I love you too.” she said, laughing a bit. He sounded tired and sleepy and he was rambling so it came out of the blue, but it still tugged at her heartstrings.

“Congratulations on the concert…” he continued. “I wanna hear you sing. But you’re tired too, so I won’t make you do that. S’it jus’ me or I sound drunk?”

“Nah, you just sound sleepy.”

“I sound drunk to me.”

“Go to sleep, firebutt.” she said, patting his arm gently. She started humming. Maybe it would help. It was a familiar song she came up with randomly, from another musical. Natsu wasn’t a big musical nut, but she knew this one was one of his few favorites.

“Luce, not that song…” he complained. “I wanna sing that song. And I’m bad at singing.”

Lucy just smiled, then started singing softly, slowly. The song was originally upbeat, but this time she sang it like a lullaby.

“Live in my house, I’ll be your shelter.
Just pay me back with one thousand kisses…”

He opened his eyes then, looking up at her, smiling. She dropped a kiss on his forehead before continuing.

“Be my lover, I’ll cover you…”

She looked at him expectantly, wordlessly saying ‘Your turn.’ and he shook his head. “I’m not singing. I’ll ruin it.”

“You’re being unfair. C’mon, don’t leave me hanging.” Lucy scooted closer, pouting.

He sighed. His voice was hoarse and tired, but he tried his best and sang in a soft voice just above a whisper.

“Open your door, I’ll be your tenant.
Don’t got much baggage to lay at your feet.
But sweet kisses, I’ve got to spare…”

The next line, they sang together.

“I’ll be there and I’ll cover you.”

He groaned, embarrassed and trying not to laugh. “Lucy, I sound terrible.”

“I sound terrible too.” she shrugged.

Natsu huffed. “Shut up, you sound glorious. I quit. You’re too good!”

“Are you serious? We can’t not sing the chorus.” she demanded stubbornly.

He groaned again, but followed her lead when she continued.

“I think they meant it when they said you can’t buy love.
Now I know you can rent it, a new lease you are, my love…”

He wasn’t the best singer, but he carried a decent tune although his voice cracked slightly. For the high notes, he let Lucy take over. Her voice, even soft and tired like this, was still music to his ears.

“…on life, be my life.”

Then Lucy went on, stroking his hair gently again, trying to lull him to sleep. He closed his eyes peacefully, his smile staying.

“Just slip me on, I’ll be your blanket.
Wherever, whatever I’ll be your coat.
You’ll be my king, and I’ll be your castle.”

It surprised her when he still sang the next line, catching her hand on his hair and twining his fingers with hers.

“No, you be my queen, and I’ll be your moat.”

He smiled, kissed her hand sleepily and listened as she continued the song.

“I think they meant it when they said you can’t buy love.
Now I know you can rent it, a new lease you are, my love…
On life, oh my life…”

Lucy laid back on the pillows, easing herself beside her companion slowly and carefully, not wanting to stir him awake. Natsu lazily turned towards her, pressing their foreheads together.

“I’ve longed to discover something as true as this is,
So with a thousand sweet kisses…”

“When you’re worn out and tired…” he added, his voice trailing off in a whisper.

Lucy smiled and couldn’t help but nod. “And when your heart has expired…”

Natsu was asleep now, breathing evenly. It wasn’t often that she sang him to sleep, but it seemed to be effective.

“Oh lover, I’ll cover you.”

She finished the song with that, suddenly feeling sleepiness coming back to her. She adjusted the blankets snugly over the both of them, looking at Natsu’s face, and laying her hand over his chest.

She smiled, finally closed her eyes, and joined her companion in slumber.

Chapter Notes:

See, I told you this would be chill. Next one’s got a lot of stuff though!

Dance/Musical Notes:
— I always thought ‘I’ll Cover You’ would make a great lullaby song. This was one of the songs that were listed in my original outline and never left.
— Gajeel’s mix is an actual mix I made when I was trying to come up with songs that Levy could tap to.

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