a/n: complete! i'm a little upset, but happy i managed to complete this. thank you everyone who favored, followed, and reviewd and enjoyed this fic of mine! it means so much and i appreciate it a lot. and i would like to give a shout out to two of my favorite artist from tumblr who followed this fic too; nalutbh and phantombones. when i learned you guys were following this fic, i was really happy. i will be making a sequel/ similar fic to this! so if you like anything about assassin/ thief x princesses, follow me? i also post things to my twitter fabosexual and my tumblr saftysuit. thank you! i really love you guys! okay, i stop rambling.
Lucy walked down the hall alone with a small smile on her face. She was in a dress, long sleeves that hung slight ways off the shoulder and showed off her guild mark on her hand proudly. Around her abdomen were bandages, heavy ones, since the jab she took wasn't a good one. With help of Wendy, she is stable to walk and move around, but must be careful in case the wound were to reopen. Juvia was on bed rest until she was stable, and Gray hasn't left her side in the infirmary since they settled in here. She was in there just minutes prior, but decided it was best to leave them alone for the time being. The rest of the group were dining hall where the 'party'—if it would even be called that—was being held by the Kingdom and herself.
She had figured she'd walk around the castle halls to familiarize herself with the contents and directions, and also is hoping she doesn't wonder too far and be lost. Though she knew exactly where she was headed at this moment, to the door on the far end of the hall on the left was someone she wants to meet—well, meet again, since she has not seen the man in eleven years. His face, his voice, everything was rather distant and unhewn, and she would like refresh that. Thankfully, as for her father, a few of the Guild members spotted him wondering aimlessly by the collapsed grounds of Horologium and brought him with them. Horologium's Tower is currently in the process of being rebuilt by her word, thankfully, since it has been ancient to the Kingdom property, and is a symbol of peace for the civilians. It's apparent that the tower had stopped chiming after the fall of the queen and disappearance of the King and Princess.
The first time it chimed since then was when she awoke in chains, and was hanging from inside it.
Waking up in the infirmary was a long process, she remembers. She was in pain and wanted nothing more than to be out of it. It took a few weeks before she was able to walk again and dress herself. Levy had also spoken to her about some things, more so, of what she and Gajeel had found in the cave.
Suddenly her face was feeling very warm, and she bowed her head to keep her bangs shielding her face. The news was something she isn't sure how to take. Though, she feels she can accept it. No doubt they had told Natsu by now, and she wonders how he was taking the 'news' to heart or to mind. Knowing what she's learned or seen of him in the short time, he must be . . . confused. Which is doable and very understandable, because so is she.
But, it's not like . . . she opposes it.
Her legs stopped her in front of a shut door with her hand out stretched in front of her towards the golden knob to open it, but she paused briefly before the tips of her fingers brushed over it. The man behind this door, she thought with a frown, is her father. The one she thought for so long she didn't have, or abandoned her. He was ruined in more way than one, with the loss of his wife on his shoulders and the mental breakdowns the prior King taunted upon him. He was strong, she knew, having protected her those years only to damage himself. So for him, she pushed onward through her hesitation and gripped the cool knob and twisted it and pressed the door open. It creaked slowly it moved into the room, allowing her to peek in. The man was on the far side of the room directly in front of her facing a large painting that was hung high on the wall. He was kneeled down on this knees with his hands folded on his lap, almost like he was praying.
The door was pushed shut quietly behind her as she walked into the room. Lucy looked up to the painting the man was kneeled in front of. Three beings were painted in the frame, a man, a woman, and a little girl. All three blonde, and she automatically assumed the man was him, her father. Then the other two must have been her mother and herself.
She frowned as she stared into the painting of the woman's face. Lucy noticed she was the splitting image of her, the queen.
"Mom . ." She whispered aloud. She stared at the portrait with wonder and admiration shimmering in her eyes. The woman looked gentle and strong in the picture, and from the bits she can remember from when she was a little girl, her mother was much more.
"Lucy. . " Her father's mummers caught her attention, bringing her eyes to his trembling form. The man dropped down and was now sitting on his shins with his folded hands now pressing up on his chin. She felt her throat dry and eyes start to sting at the sight of the man in such a vulnerable state, but refrained from making a move to grab his attention in thought of startling him in the silence of the room. And Lucy wasn't sure when it had started, but she was surprised when a few tears dripped from the edges of her eyes and to the floor in front of her. Her fingers slowly brushed over her cheeks where she felt the moistness of her dripping down her skin.
Her home, her family, her life—it was taken from her at such a young age. The feelings were just catching up to her at the sight of the very man she thought she wouldn't ever see—crying at a portrait of their family. And here she stood, behind him with great distance between, with tears streaming down her cheeks. Lucy could hardly suppress the sob that erupted from her throat, startling the older man from his state of thoughts and murmuring and causing his attention to whip to her. Both her hands clamped down on her mouth in effort to silence herself, but it was no use. He had already heard her and taken notice to her presence as her father now stood his feet.
His face was about as tear streaked as her own, she noticed as he now stood in the sunlight emitting from the window far beside them. There was a long silence between them as they both comprehended and took in the image of the other. Lucy remained still as stone with her hands covering her mouth, eyes squinting as fresh, warm tears pooled from her eyes. She tried to breathe through her nose slowly to not make much noise.
She took in the appearance of her father for the first time in years. He has aged much, and is missing that 'clean' vibe and edge a King would have. And despite the mess and edgy picture, seeing him was making her feel a warmth she hasn't felt in so long—family. Though Fairy Tail and her friends had moved into that stage in her heart, nothing can replace the ones who raise you, right?
She didn't know when her eyes had dropped closed, but when she reopened them, there was a blur of movement before she felt two arms embrace her and pull her being into a taller one. Her nose pressed into her father's chest at such strength, it was actually starting to pain her, but she really couldn't bring herself to care. Her hands slowly dropped from her mouth and to his chest where she slipped them around his back, gently. Unlike her father who was squeezing her like his very life depended on it. But soon she broke and squeezed him back with all her might, crushing her chest into his torso and pressing her face into his chest. They were both now kneeling on the floor with their arms around each other, quietly sobbing and letting out anything that has been held back—feelings, loneliness.
"Papa?" Lucy whimpered. She inhaled the scent of him. He smelled of ash and dirt, it was a very familiar smell, very similar to the way Natsu smelt of when she had actually had a woof of him. But, again, despite that she didn't care.
"I'm so glad. . you're alive and. . safe, Lucy." Her father whispered in a shaking tone. She can feel the warmth of his tears dripping into the fabric on her back. She felt him shift and tightened her grip, feeling that if she let go, he would leave. But the man pressed his lips to the side of her head and whispered again, "So glad. ."
"Me too," Lucy whispered back.
It seemed like hours to her before they finally found the will to part, but the distance between them was an arm's length. She rubbed the heels of her palms to her eyes to rid the tears and took in a deep breath of air to situate herself before she looked up to her father once again. He had settled himself in front of her on the ground in a crossed legged position, and was looking at her with a smile, and it seemed like eternity before he finally spoke again. The words that left his mouth silence her, making her arms stiffen in her lap and her eyes widen.
"You'll be a great guide for this fallen Kingdom."
"Wh—What?" She muttered, still looking at him with widen eyes. "You're not . . taking back your throne?" She questioned, confusion clearly showing in her features. Her father furrowed his brows and looked to the ground between them, his own confusion showing on his face.
"I will not." He said, "I can't."
Now panic started rolling in as his words seeped in her mind. She can't run a Kingdom! "I—I—I—" She started sputtering and twitching her fingers as she looked for the words to say to him, hoping to put an effort to convince him otherwise. But she stopped when she felt his grip on her shoulder, and looked back up.
"Without my queen I will not take my throne. I am unfit for it, and . . . this place belonged to your mother. She would want her daughter to inherit it." He said slowly, looking to the family portrait hanging above them. Lucy looked to, and fixed her eyes back on her mother. Her father married into the family, meaning her mother was the sole leader of the Kingdom. So it's in her blood . . . she is the rightful heir. But can she do this? Is she even ready for this big step?
"Papa, I don't think I can do it." She mumbled honestly, bowing her head. "I need time, I really don't think I can do—"
"Not alone." Her father cut her off, looking at her warmly. Lucy fell silent, not exactly understanding what he was meaning. Of course she'd have her friends and him with her, but still.
"Princess?" Both their heads turned to the door where a woman in a maid dress stood, bowing her head down respectfully towards them, "It's time for your father's rest, my apologies!"
Lucy stood upright, "O—Of course! I'm sorry, then I'll be taking my leave." Giving her father one last look and smile, she walked her way out the room, giving the maid a nod before closing the door behind her. She stood there for a few moments before shaking her head, and walking towards the hall. But she smiled. Her father was warm, but his words were shocking.
Does he really expect her to take the throne?
Beside her along the many doors that she was passing, one that was cracked open had caught her attention. Surely everyone was in the dining hall for the party, she thought. So with the curiosity of hers, which one day may naturally doom her, she walked up to it and pushed it farther open to peek inside to see if anyone was in there or not. The room was dark beside the little light coming through the shut curtains along the room. But in the middle of the room seated at the end of the bed with his hands on his knees and head bowed was no other than, Natsu.
Her face started to warm as the previous thoughts about him slipped back into the front of her mind. She thought that maybe if she slipped back now, her presence will go unnoticed by him. Then again, she's wanted to see him. So as quietly as she could, she pushed the door father open to allow herself to slip in, but she felt her heart jump when it creaked, giving away her arrival. Natsu's head snapped up at the noise and he stood to his feet, and Lucy looked to the ground. She pushed her back against the door to close it, and folded her hands in front of her herself shyly.
This was no good. Her heart was pounding and she was nervous. Maybe this wasn't a good time? Though she looked up as she pushed herself off the door and slowly, but surly, made her way towards him. Natsu watched her with a steady eye, unmoving from his place was the ground distance between them shortened, and she was a hands length in front of him. Her eyes remained fixed on the ground between them at their feet, but she can feel his eyes on her head.
Lucy swallowed, "You're not going to the party?" She managed to ask.
Natsu sighed and dropped back down on the corner of the bed, and bowed his head, "Too much on my mind."
He knows, was the immediate thing that went through Lucy's thoughts.
"I was talkin' to Gray and Juvia earlier. Juvia barely made it out alive, you know that?" He looked up, "And neither did you." Lucy stared, and listened, "After this, you're going to live here, aren't you? You won't come back to Fairy Tail. ."
"Actually," Lucy started, wrapping an arm over her stomach to hold her other arm, "I was thinking, since the spell on the Guild is gone, that I can move Fairy Tail closer . . . you know, to the castle . . since—"
"You're the next queen." Natsu finished for her, "I know—I heard." He smiled, but it soon dropped.
Lucy frowned and walked closer to him, and set her hand on his shoulder, "I'll still be a Fairy Tail member—" She gasped as his arms flung around her waist and pulled her frame into him. Natsu pressed the top of his head into her abdomen and exhaled, using the pads of his thumb to lightly massage her hips as she tried to register their sudden position. Her arms hesitantly fell on his shoulders, and she tried to slowly relax into the embrace while also trying to distract herself by looking around the room. Her heart was beating much faster than normal, and her body was feeling unusually warm.
It's all because Levy and Gajeel told her those things that she's reacting this way! And why is Natsu hugging her like this?
"You won't be able to leave Fairy Tail so easily if you wanted to." Natsu muttered lowly, but in the stillness of the room, she heard him clearly. He looked up to her, pressing his chin to her abdomen, "I wouldn't let you leave. You can throw all the keys you want at me," She snorted, smiling, "You're not leaving us . . . me."
"I don't want to!" Lucy said, shaking her head. "I love you guys!"
"Aww! You love us?" Natsu teased, shaking her back and forth playfully by her hips. Lucy flushed and pressed her hands to his shoulder to stop him, "We love you too, Luce!" He pressed the side of his face into her stomach and locked his arms around her waist, and before she knew it, he was lifting her in the air, "Let's go!" He started sprinting towards the door.
"Where are we going?" Lucy squealed, latching onto him for dear life as they exited the bedroom. He set her down on her feet outside the door as he closed it and grabbed her wrist, grinning widely.
"To this party you're holdin'!" Natsu exclaimed, taking a running start down the hall, dragging her behind him. Lucy stumbled and struggled to keep up to his rapid speed, but likely, she knows, he wasn't running as fast as he can. She believes that if he was running full speed, she would surely drop dead. But she managed to fall at a pace that was suitable to keep up to him and found her attention on the hand that was currently gripping her wrist.
Despite himself, she felt his hold was gentle and warm. Lucy then looked up the back of his head, ignoring the warmth that was spreading slowly through her chest and cheeks. Time for her seemed to slow as she watched his running figure in front of her, watching his hair ruffle slowly at each step he took. His laughter rung around the passing air along her ears, and warmly, she smiled.
She doesn't mind, she decided, that it's him. And as she gently twisted her wrist in his grip and laced her fingers in-between his and noted the way he stiffened, she nodded to herself.
If it's him, she doesn't mind to spend her life with him.
It felt like a weight lifted from her chest as she thought this, and felt relief. The dragon symbol on her arm twinkled as Natsu gripped her hand in his, cupping his large palm over hers as they made it the dining hall in record time, entering slickly as the guest and their friends stood around the room talking amongst themselves, eating and drinking. On the far side of the room from where they were at as a large platform lit with candles and torches, with men lined along the steps, guarding and watching over the gathering silently. They were in uniformed armor with their staffs and swords in hand, backs straightened in a stance. And resting at the end of the steps was none other than Leo, who perked up upon her walking in.
Lucy smiled towards the feline, waving to him to show acknowledgment as Natsu pulled her towards the tables along the side of the room. Their hands parted as he immediately started pilling a plate of food and eating mouthfuls at a time. Lucy cringed a bit, but laughed.
Natsu sent her a glance and offered her some food, but she turned it down. He shrugged and resumed his task as she started looking around the room. The atmosphere the people had created was peaceful and welcoming, and very light. She can spot a few of the guild members around the room, dressed elegantly and well, proudly. And then it dawned on her that these will be the people that she will take under her wing on the throne. The Kingdom will be rebuilt from its suffering, and wizards will have their magic rights back. For her father's words and have he went through in her absence, she will do it.
She nodded to herself. Yes, she will do it.
"Princess?" Walking up to her was another maid, one that had been fairly kind upon her arrival, Virgo, "It's time. Would you like an escort to the stage?" Virgo asked politely, tilting her head respectfully. Lucy knitted her brows and looked up to the platform to the front of the room, noting indeed that the guards had lined up and that the priest was waiting upon her. She turned down Virgo's request and walked ahead. Virgo followed a short distance behind her, but soon parted aside.
Lucy found her way to the middle of the room where a white cloth was laid out in a line leading to the stage. She paused for a moment as the room fell silent and eyes fell on her, but willed herself to walk ahead. She straightened her back and pushed back her shoulders, showing boldness in her steps as she walked to the edge of the steps. Leo followed her up to the top where she stopped upon coming to face with the priest who nodded his head towards her and smiled kindly. His book fell open in his hands as assured the room's attention towards them.
"Daughter of our late Queen, Layla, and our prior great King Jude," The man started loudly, "Lucy Heartfilia stands before me in this room, before you all, the citizens of Fiore, boldly and well to take what is rightfully hers that her parents left."
Lucy felt herself shaking and the eyes of all beings in the room on her. She turned to face the audience, trying not to let what she was really feeling show to them. Though she tried to keep a steady eye around the room as the priest continued his speech, but her eyes landed on Natsu, who was making his way through the crowds. She swallowed and snapped her eyes up, feeling Leo brush himself beside her to comfort.
"With this crown! I announce Princess Lucy. . . the new queen, of Fiore!" Lucy sucked in a breath when she felt the cooling feeling of the crown being slipped into place on her head, feeling the weight of it pressing into her shoulders and neck. Once it was in place, cheers and clapping erupted loudly amongst the room, and honestly, she felt better. Confetti and rice was thrown into the air as the people shouted her name, and she smiled again for umpteenth time this day.
"A request, if I may?" Lucy looked down to the man that was kneeled down in front of her and gasped. She opened her mouth to speak, but he looked up to her and grinned, "My Queen."
Lucy flushed and nibbled on her lip, "What is your request, my dear sir?" She said, deciding to play along with him. Natsu stood up from his kneeling position and extended his hand out for her to place hers in, and she did.
"By request of the Master and the members, Fairy Tail would like to invite you to a 'gathering' at the guild for a traditional celebration." Natsu wiggled his brows, and she knew that 'gathering' and 'traditional' meant trouble, knowing them. "We can't think of anyone better than your highness than to attend."
Lucy giggled, knowing the struggle he was going through to keep up the 'fancy' act, "Why, I would love to!" There was a pause between them before Natsu snorted and began laughing, and she joined. Lucy gripped his hand and pulled him into her, and he wrapped his arms around her without complaint, "And I can't think of anyone better to crown as my King. ." She whispered in his ear. Natsu had stilled in her hold, stiffening at her comeback. Lucy tightened her grip on him, and sighed.
In the audience, Levy watched them with a knowing smile on her lips with Gajeel standing next to her with his arms crossed and eyes narrowed at the rice and confetti that was falling in his hair.
"Does she know we haven't told him yet?" Gajeel asked, looking down to the blunette from the corner of his eye.
Levy smiled wider and shook her head, "Nope!"
Gajeel snickered and ruffled her hair, "Evil."
Levy looked down to the book in her arms and opened it to the marked page. Their story was forgotten and unfinished without an ending, and things were misplaced and damaged along the way, along with some lost things being found. But in the cave leaves an unfinished tale, but her arms holds a new one. One that will the shared, and passed down through generations to come.
"The end." She said, as she closed the book.