Part 8 Tears of Heaven

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 Natsu opened his eyes when his alarm screamed at him. For once he was in his own bed in lieu of Ichigo's and Lucy's bed. His bed was a futon on the floor in Isshin's office.

The older man had soon seen reason after Natsu's repeated appearances at his kitchen table and house; he didn't have any idea where the boy slept but allowed him to move into their house even though he wouldn't have a room or roommate. After all, Isshin didn't want a pink haired teenager in the same room as his two-biological-precious daughters no matter how stupid they were.

So he rolled himself out of bed and to his meager stack of clothes in an old filing cabinet-they were Ichigo's old clothes-to begin his morning. He knew Lucy wasn't in the house as she had texted him last night asking him to bring her some clothes-not needing to list them for her knew what she needed-and some toiletries since she had spent the night at Xcution. Natsu walked out of the office and to Ichigo's room to raid the aforementioned teens' sweats and tops.

Natsu didn't bother with using a door just leaped out of Ichigo's window with Lucy's requested items; thank every deity she had a shower bag so he didn't have to barge into the bathroom. He used either the public baths or the showers in some of the clinic rooms. He flash-stepped to Naruki City-that was one of the only soul reaper abilities he could use.

When he appeared in front of Xcution's door he knocked, Lucy had their key card. A dark pink haired girl he thought her name was Riley or something-answered the door. Her eyes squinted at him in assessment then she opened the door wider to allow him entry. Natsu inclined his head in thanks, Lucy had forcefully instilled that into him.

The blond in question sat on a bar stool sipping what looked like bourbon in a tumbler. He could tell she had another nightmare just from the hunch of her shoulders and long drags from the glass. His best friend only ever drank when she needed to shut her mind up, just like she did when they had dinner with Ginjo.

Speaking of him...the giant was nowhere to be found. Figures his trainer would be late.

He ambled over to Lucy, slinging an arm around her shoulders to tug her into his side. Lucy went willingly, fists tangling in his shirt as she clung to him. Sometimes, his best friend just needed a hug instead of complete numbness alcohol provided. Though she didn't cry just clung to him for comfort.

He placed her bag on the bar top to hug her fully tucking her head under his chin. Lucy trembled in his grasp, tears still not soaking his shirt. All she needed was his hug and scent, it reminded her of protection and safety.

"You wanna talk about it, Luce?" He mumbled softly so as not to startle her. Her head tickled his chin when she shook it. "How about a shower and fresh clothes? Even swiped a pair of Ichigo's sweats." He bribed her. Lucy loved to steal guys clothes. Lucy nodded.

Natsu pulled away to hand her the bag. She took it with a wobbly smile of thanks before asking Mr. Bartender directions for their bathroom. She jetted off once having her directions. "Can I get a bourbon? Whatever you got is fine." Natsu asked.

The bartender turned to face him, is mustache tilted in a condescending grin almost as if he thought Natsu's request was utterly adorable. "Sure, sir, how old are you though." His eye shut in a smile Natsu did not feel like returning.

His pink eyebrow crinkled in confusion; Luce had told him he was around seventeen close to eighteen; another difference between his new world and old one. In Fairy Tail there was no checking of age; they just drank as long as they were over twelve. He told the bartender his supposed age, after all, who could tell with a demon who was over four hundred years old if not older.

"I humbly apologize, sir Natsu, but we do not serve those under twenty years of age. Here's an apple juice instead." The man set a tall glass in front of Natsu full of apple juice.

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