Only Human

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~Lucy's POV~

I saunter behind Sting and Rogue, my eyes glued to the woods that lie ahead. The two bastards make it a point to ignore me, walking dozens of feet in front of me. Rogue pointedly ignores my presence, and I catch Sting throwing me heated glares. Fine, if they want to play, let's play. The mayor said that the bandits liked to attack villages at night, so they were able to nab a lot of valuable items. He even said a few women were missing. What creeps...

I stop mid-step. We- I mean, I need a plan. I can't dive into this head first, heck, I don't even know where the bandits are! The bandits struck yesterday at the village I'm currently at and tend to change their location. I think for a second, my forehead creased with concentration. That's it! The bandits are probably going to cut through the woods on the south side of the village! On the other side of those woods, a pretty prosperous town is settled next to the ocean. They could camp out in the woods until night, then pounce on the unsuspecting villagers! The vile people then could have an escape boat ready, and be able to avoid capture! I glance up at the sun, wanting to estimate my time. It was about six thirty, by where the sun was in the red and orange smeared sky.

It would be very close, maybe too close. As much as I don't want to admit it, I might need Sting and Rogue's help. They could help protect the villagers while I stop the escape ship. I notice their figures disappearing in the opposite direction in which we need to travel. I race after them, just now distinguishing the tiny, adorable exceeds on their shoulders. Of course, dragon slayers. Sometimes I can be a real ditz.

"Hey, wait up!" I exclaimed, running after them. Sting turns around sharply, his eyes settled in a harsh glower. Rogue just sighs and turns around with nonchalance.

"What do you want. We don't need your help, Blondie. So scram," Sting snorts.

"Look, I hate you guys just as much as you hate me. But we're on a mission, and we need to be professional. Plus...you guys are going the wrong way," I say, with an amused smirk at the last part.

"Sting-kun is the best wizard in all of Fiore! He doesn't need a fairy's help," Sting's exceed boasts.

"What do mean we're going the wrong way?" Rogue asks, interrupting impatiently.

"Well, I figured out where the bandits are going to strike next. They are most likely going to attack a village on the other side of those woods way over to the south. Then they can escape by water. We need to hurry and get there before nightfall." I place a hand on my hip.

"Are you guys coming with me?" A moment of silence followed. I sigh and start to turn away.

"Yes, fine, we'll come," Sting grumbles out.

"But I expect an apology for earlier, you got that Lucy?" Sting orders. I laugh a tiny bit.

"I humbly apologize, oh'mighty Sting Eucliffe," I say dramatically, rolling my eyes at the goofy smile that lights up his face. 

"Was that good?" I ask with a quirk of an eyebrow

"Perfect," He purrs teasingly. Rogue coughs.

"Okay, so now back to business. Rogue, can you please fly ahead of us to the village. I'm going to have one of my spirits scout for the camp. We'll meet you there," I say, requipping two different keys.

"Of course." The two exceeds take one of his arms each and head towards the woods. And, eventually, he's just a speck in the distance.

"So, now what?" Sting asks.

"Open! Gate of the wolf and winged horse! Chance, and Pegasus!" I yell. A majestic white stallion appears, with huge feathery wings. Chance appears beside him.

"Hi Lucy-sama, what do you need?" I hear Chance ask telepathically. 

"Hello Lucy, it's been a while since you've summoned me," Pegasus says with a slight whine in his voice. I smile graciously at the two.

"Yes and I'm quite sorry about that. As for what I need, I would really appreciate it if you could scout the woods, Chance. We're looking for a caravan of bandits attacking villages. And Pegasus, I was wondering if you could take Sting and me to the village across the forest over there," I say sweetly, ignoring Stings weirded out look. 

"Who the fuck are you talking to?" He asks, looking at the spirits. I chuckle at his confused expression.

"I'm talking to my spirits. You can't hear them unless I let you," I explain.

"Oh...that makes more sense. I just thought you were a crazy animal lady who thinks her animals can talk. Oops?" He says laughing.

"Funny," I say sarcastically.

"It would be an honor to help Lucy-sama/Lucy," They both say. This time, I let Sting hear.

"Thank you, guys," I say softly. Chance shifts into shadow again and races off into the woods. Pegasus struts up to me and nudges my leg. I giggle, petting his soft muzzle. Sting stares with an emotion I don't recognize swirling through his navy eyes.

"Ready?" I ask, climbing onto Pegasus's back. He nods and climbs on behind me. Thank god Pegs doesn't count as a type of transportation. Motion sickness is a real hassle. Usually, I take a pill I got from Ultear, but sometimes I forget. 

Pegasus suddenly launches into the air. Sting's arms tighten around me, and he stares in awe at the passing scenery.

"This really is amazing..." He says, his eyes trained on the beautiful setting sun. 

"I know right! There's just something so fulfilling about flying!" His eyes flash to me. I crane my neck and see his eyes staring at my brown and blue flecked eyes. My hair was flying around my head, creating a halo-like effect. The sun glittered down on me, making me appear like I was glowing.

"I see why they call you an angel now..." He mutters, so low I barely catch it. I blush, staining my cheeks rosy pink.

"I-" I start, but then I see his eyes drop to my lips, and he leans forward. I feel my breath hasten, and my hands clench the scarf. He is so close our noses are touching. My mind goes blank, and for the first time in a while, I don't know what to do.

"Lucy, we have arrived," Pegasus says, amused. Sting jumps away from me like he was electrocuted. My blush intensifies and I hurriedly hop off of Pegasus.

"You can return now Pegasus, thank you for your help," I say quickly.

"You're welcome Lucy." 

"Lucy, It seems you were correct. They are heading towards the village as we speak," Rogue says, walking towards us with the two exceeds.

"Lucy-sama, I spied on the bandits and they are planning to use the ocean to escape," Chance says, appearing to, suddenly. I nod, a grim frown on my face.

"Rogue, you and Sting go to the escape ship and destroy it. I'm going to evacuate the village. I'd say we have about 40 minutes for them to arrive. Then we can eliminate them together. Sound good?" I ask, already walking towards the village. There's no time to waste.

"W-Wait! I'm coming with you. Rogue can handle destroying the ship on his own. You'll need my help to get all these people out." I look at him for a few seconds, before nodding.

"You're right. Thanks, Sting, you're so sweet!~" I say cheerfully, pinching his cheeks.

"Get off me weirdo!" He shouts, blushing. He shoves me off him.

"Let's go!" I giggle out, dragging the pouting dragon slayer towards the village. Rogue smiles faintly. They already seemed close and it had only been an hour since they met.



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