"Hey! No peeking!"
"I'm not peeking."
"Happy, is she peeking?"
"You stupid cat," Lucy growled. "You didn't even look at me."
"I didn't have to," Happy responded from his place above them as he flew over their heads. "You always peek."
That was true enough. Since becoming a couple, Lucy and Natsu had both learned things about each other. The most important thing about Natsu at that moment was that, well, he really liked to surprise her with things. Even the stupidest of things. Once he ran into the guild hall all out of breath and everything before demanding that she come with him. He even made her close her eyes and everything. Then he led her through the city (and into a few walls. Happy claims on accident, but she wasn't too sure) and back to her apartment where, low and behold…he had bought her a pack of gum.
So any sane person at that point in such a relationship would realize that their partner just had an issue weighing what counted as important and what didn't. Only anyone that knew Natsu and Lucy knew that when it came to the sane person in their relationship, there just wasn't one.
Lucy had many bad habits. One of them, as Natsu found out, was her inability to just allow herself to be freaking surprised. Annoying. He went out of his way sometimes doing all sorts of cool stuff (like buying her a candy bar or making her bed after he messed it up or cleaning up the mud he got on her carpet) that was just begging for him to surprise her with. But the second he said to cover her eyes, she'd completely pretend to until he wasn't looking and then just open them.
So that meant that he had to take to just putting his hands over his eyes. That was his newest technique to keep her from peeking. He used it that time that he bought her some milk (after drinking all the rest), that time he washed her clothes (and also somehow managed to shrink all her clothes. Again, she's pretty certain that was on purpose) and even the time he bought Plue this really cool looking collar (that went over horribly with both her and Happy, but Plue rather seemed to like it).
All in all however, that method seemed to fail as all Lucy would do wait for him to wiggle his fingers or something and then just open her eyes and peek around them. She was really sneaky like that.
Not that he could blame her. With the surprises that he was doling out, who could contain themselves?
And for Lucy's part, it wasn't like she really wanted to peek. Or cared about any of the stupid things he wanted to 'surprise' her with. For the most part they just turned out to be a) him fixing/replacing something he broke or ate, b) something that she didn't want, or c) him doing chores around her apartment. Yeah, like she really cared to be surprised with any of that.
Still though, it was just like people said. The thought was what counted…sort of. It was the thought of getting a gift that made her behave like that. Just the thought of Natsu giving her something made her want it that instant without fail. Even though she knew it would probably be something she in actuality did not want nor need or had just been waiting on him to do, it was still the anticipation that made her act the way she did.
"Na-ah, Luce," Natsu said in that moment. He had been leading her down the road with his hands covering her eyes as he walked behind her. Now though, he released her as she blinked in surprise. "You're not cheating again."
"What?" She turned around to look at him. Even Happy had took to hovering, wondering what they were doing. "Are you not going to give me my surprise now? Because that's not fair, Natsu and you know it. You can't-"
"Nope." He wasn't even looking at her. Instead he was messing with his signature scarf. "I'm going to find another way to keep you from peeking."
She only stared at him as he took the long and thick strip of fabric in both hands, giving her a menacing grin while he was at it. Taking a step back, Lucy put her hands up in the air in surrender.
"N-Never mind, Natsu," she said slowly. "I don't want the surprise anyhow. I-"
"Nope!" he declared loudly. "Too late."
"Come here, Luce!" He jumped at her, easily wrestling her to the ground before beginning to wrap his scarf around her eyes as a makeshift blindfold. Had any other man been holding down any other woman in the streets of Magnolia, some sort of alarm would have been raised. But considering it was Natsu (no one was even sure if he knew what sex was anyhow) and Lucy (why was she with him again?) no one even batted an eye.
"No fair, Natsu," the blonde raved as he boyfriend pulled her back to her feet. "I can't see a thing."
"I think that's the point," Happy chimed from the air.
"If you guys run me into something, I'm going to be super mad."
"What else is new?"
"Ah, you know me, Luce. I would never hurt you," he told her as he patted her shoulders. "Now be a good girl and hurry this along, huh? I mean, this surprise business is starting to eat into my picking a fight with Gray time."
"You're the one that insisted on surprising me, idiot!"
So they walked for a long time with Lucy complaining the whole time. Natsu and Happy took to making faces at one another to pass the time. It was really the only thing to keep themselves from dying of boredom. Gah! Why did he like doing things for Lucy again?
…Oh yeah. Because she was his girlfriend. Huh. Who knew those were so much work?
It was all going great too. They were almost to Lucy's apartment where his surprise would be waiting for her…when he kind of got distracted and may have accidentally ran her into the canal.
"Oh no," Natsu groaned as she walked right into it. He came up short though, stopping right before he fell in himself. "My scarf."
"Natsu!" She stood up, the water coming about waist high on her. Some guys in a boat yelled something at her about finally falling in, but she was too focused on her boyfriend to even care.
Ripping the scarf away from her eyes, she turned to glare at him as Happy came to land on the ground next to him. It only took Natsu and Happy a moment to begin laughing. Loudly. Uncontrollably.
"You totally did that on purpose," Lucy accused as she moved to climb out of the water. "You big jerk."
"It was an accident," Natsu said between laughs. "I'm sorry, Luce, I-"
"No." She threw his scarf at him when she got back up on the sidewalk. "You big dope!"
"Uh-oh, Natsu," Happy giggled. "Now she's angry with us."
"I didn't mean to," Natsu sighed as he realized that he was in some serious trouble then. "Lucy-"
"No, Natsu. You two are always being mean to me for no reason," she told him as she turned to walk away from them, scurrying towards her apartment. It was rather cold out after all. "Leave me alone."
"Yeah, Natsu. Leave her alone." Happy was up and running after Lucy then. "How dare you walk her into the canal? You-"
"You too, Happy. You're both jerks."
Natsu groaned, figuring he had better head after her as well. "Luce, wait. The surprise-"
"Like I really want a damn piece of gum, Natsu. Leave me alone."
"Do you think she's found it yet?"
"I dunno," Natsu told Happy with a shrug. They were standing outside Lucy's building, right under her window, trying to figure out what she was doing in there. Happy had immediately suggested going in through the window, but Natsu thought that they should give Lucy a few minutes to cool off.
"I think she would have screamed if she found it."
"Screamed? Do women do that?"
"With a surprise like that? Sure."
Natsu only crossed his arms, sighing a little, his waterlogged scarf dripping in one hand. "I only wish she hadn't gotten my scarf all wet."
"Uh, Natsu?" Happy gave him an odd look. "I think that was more of your fault than hers."
"How do you figure?"
Rolling his eyes, Happy decided not to answer. Instead, he took to the air before moving to gather Natsu up in his arms. Time to go through the window.
The apartment was quiet when they made it in. Honestly, Natsu didn't know why Lucy just didn't lock her window like a normal person if she didn't want him going through it. If anything, he thought that meant she secretly wanted him to use it. That was the only deduction he could make.
"Shhh," he shushed Happy. He could hear her in her bathroom. She had probably taken a bath. "Let's just wait for her to come out, huh? Clearly she hasn't seen the surprise yet."
"Or maybe she was unimpressed."
Natsu hadn't thought of that and just sat there for a moment on Lucy's bed before shaking his head. Nope, no way.
It took Lucy forever to come out of her bathroom. And by forever, Natsu totally meant fifteen minutes. Gah! He almost clawed his own eyes out in boredom.
"What are you two doing in here?" Lucy asked when she found them, though she didn't look too shocked to see them. She had to have known that they'd show up eventually. She had changed after her bath and looked in better spirits. "Other than annoying me further?"
"We came to say sorry, Lucy." Happy was bouncing on her bed then, but came to a stop with a smile all of a sudden. "And you're going to forgive us."
"Why would I-"
"Because you love us," he sang.
"Shut up, cat!"
Natsu sighed, getting to his feet then. "Did you not look on your dresser, Luce?"
Coming up behind her, he put his hands over her eyes. "No peeking."
"Walk over to the dresser. Come on."
When they got to it, Natsu dropped his hands. Getting pumped again, he said, "Surprise!"
Lucy blinked as she stared down at her cluttered dresser, her eyes falling after a moment on a little black box. When she looked back at Natsu, he only smiled brightly.
"Open it then."
"Open it, Luce. Come on."
Slowly, she reached out to pick up the box and open it. Not a moment later a little firefly fluttered out.
"Surprise!" Natsu jumped slightly with happiness as Happy giggled. "We caught a firefly! Just for you, Luce!"
Lucy was too embarrassed to be angry. Her blush was deeper than it ever had been before.
"And you put it in a box like this because…?"
"Oh, because I don't need it no more," he told her as he patted his pocket. "I thought it was too risky, you know, to keep the ring in that box. Then you might find it, you know?"
"Natsu," Happy complained as Lucy slowly turned to look at him.
"Then there is a ring?" she asked slowly, almost in a breathless manner.
"Oh yeah. Of course." He was grinning real big, still excited by the firefly. "I was gonna ask you if you wanted to get mar… Oh. Oops."
She jumped on him then so suddenly that it almost made Natsu topple over. Tossing her arms around his neck, she pressed kisses to his cheek.
"Natsu," she cooed. "Oh, this is so wonderful. I have to go tell Gray and Erza and Levy and Mira and- Oh! Levy can be my maid of honor and-"
"Ah man," Natsu complained as he allowed her to continue kiss him. Scratching at his head as he dropped his wet scarf on the floor, he said, "I was totally gonna surprise you and everything."
"Nice going, Natsu," Happy complained, though he was clearly excited too. "It was going to be real great when he asked you, Lucy. Now he ruined it."
"If you were going to be there, it wouldn't have been that great."
She only sighed, taking a step back to look at Natsu. He still seemed upset about ruining everything. Reaching out, she took his face in her hands, forcing him to look at her.
"Ask you what?"
"You know. If I want to marry you."
"No." He turned away from her then, crossing his arms. "Now you ruined the surprise, tricking me like that. How come you have to ask questions, huh? Like it's so odd to keep a firefly in a jewelry box?"
She blinked. Then she sighed. "Natsu-"
"And you got my scarf all wet and haven't even apologized!"
That one got her. Starting to grow angry, she said, "You're the one that led me into the canal, idiot!"
"I don't see your point."
Okay. So she was going to have to be the grownup in the situation. What else was new? Taking a deep breath, she looked up at the ceiling before counting to ten.
"Natsu," she said slowly. "If I wash your scarf, then will you ask me?"
"Mmmm…maybe. It depends."
"Are you going to use some of that good smelling stuff that will make it smell all nice and stuff?"
She blinked. "You mean detergent?"
"That's the thing."
Letting out a long sigh, she said, "Yeah, sure."
"Okay then." Turning back around to look at her, he reached into his pocket. "Lucy, will you-" Then he stopped. "Oops, wrong pocket." Digging into the other pocket then, he began once more. "Lucy, will you-" Another stop. Then he frowned. "Uh-oh."
"Natsu," she began slowly, trying to keep the panic out of her voice. He only grinned sheepishly.
"Well, it'll be a surprise then, huh? When we find it?"
"Why would you take it out of the box if you were just going to lose it?"
He groaned. "I'm sorry, Luce, I just-"
"Happy." Lucy looked to the blue Exceed then. "Do you know where it is?"
"No," he told her with a frown. "I'm not the thief here. You are."
"You. You probably stole it and sold it." Happy nodded his head. "She looks like the type, doesn't she, Natsu?"
"Well," he began slowly, stroking his chin. "That does make sense, I suppose."
"Natsu, don't encourage him."
"Gah, you sure dodged a bullet with this one, Natsu," Happy told him, going back to bouncing on the bed. "Good thing you lost the ring."
"Good thing is right."
"Natsu." Lucy huffed, crossing her arms. "We are going to start looking for this ring right now and we're not going to stop until we find it."
"What? No. Lucy-"
"I mean it."
"But I wanted to go to the guild hall and fight somebody. Come on, Luce. This isn't fair."
"Not fair? You dunking me in the canal wasn't fair."
"You got my scarf wet," he defended. "So we're all even on that front."
"You're the one that wrapped it around my head!"
"I still don't see your point."
"Welp, it looks like you guys are all good here," Happy began as he came to a stop with his bounces. Looking for a ring sounded like an awful lot of work. Especially considering his life would change very little whether they found it or not. Natsu and Lucy were already an annoying married couple as far as he was concerned. "I'm just going to go-"
"No way, cat." Lucy turned her daggers on him. "You are going to help look too."
"Are you going to be living with us when Natsu and I get married? Are you going to be eating our food? Using all our stuff?"
"…I'm with Natsu. I don't see your point in any of this."
"Get to searching, cat."
As Lucy went on a rampage, rummaging all around the room for the item, Natsu and Happy got busy pretending to look.
"When are you gonna tell her that you still have it in your pocket?" Happy whispered to Natsu.
"In a few minutes," he laughed. "Then it'll be an even better surprise, huh?"
Happy only sighed, looking over at the blonde who was overturning all her pillows and blankets in her fruitless search.
"Are you sure you want to marry her?"
"Yeah, little buddy," Natsu grinned, watching her with a mixture of amusement and fascination. "She's the one."
"And you're sure it's not just 'cause she can make your clothes smell nice? 'cause I think we can find a lot of people that use detergent in their laundry."
"It's more than just that," Natsu assured him with a grin. "And you know that you love her too."
Happy only made a noise. He cared for Lucy deeply, but he never rightly liked to admit it.
"Say it," Natsu ordered. "You love her."
"Hey! Don't use my stuff back on me!"
"I better not hear the two of you talk again until you find my damn ring," Lucy growled at them causing the two best friends share a grin.
Yeah, she was the one.