A/N: Welcome to my very first NaLu-centered fic! I mostly stick to writing jerza (and I'll get back to that soon enough) but, after last week's chapter, I decided to branch out a little...
Now, an important little note: I am aware that the Fairy Tail world is very different from our world and that they probably don't have the same 'real world' legends and myths we have. But let's assume, for the sake of argument, that in Earthland they have a myth/fairy tail that borrows a few elements from the arthurian legend.
With that said, enjoy!
"Are you disappointed?" Lucy asked softly as she lay down on her hospital bed with Natsu seating on the edge of it, holding a pink blanket-wrapped bundle in his arms.
As of half an hour before, she was a mother and it still felt unreal in her mind.
She actually had a child! A daughter, even though halfway through her pregnancy she had been told she'd be having a son instead. She had heard such mix ups happened sometimes, even if rarely, and although she didn't really mind (in fact, she found the prospect of being able to dress up a little girl slightly more exciting than a boy), she couldn't help but wonder if Natsu felt the same when he'd been bragging about his 'little Igneel' to Gajeel and Gray (who were having girls instead) for weeks.
He looked up from the bundle in his arms and eyed Lucy in confusion. "Disappointed? Why would I be disappointed? She's awesome!"
"Well, yeah… but you were really excited about naming your first child after Igneel, weren't you?" Lucy pointed out.
"Oh… yeah, I guess," he mumbled. Ever since that terrible day when Acnologia had brought his old man down, he had vowed to honor his memory in every way, shape and form. Naming his first kid after him had definitely been in on the list… "But it's okay. I can wait for the next one just fine," he added with a smile.
The mention of a 'next one' had her wincing as the memories of her painful childbirth were still very, very fresh in her mind. She didn't even want to think of the state her poor lady parts were in. "Don't start putting in an order for more kids before I can even sit right after having this one!" she scolded him.
"Oh, yeah…" he mumbled. "It kinda hurt having her didn't it?"
"Did my screaming and death threats to you not give it away?!" she replied, some of the pain-induced hostility she's felt during the birth bubbling back to surface.
Although screaming and threats of all form were rather normal for Lucy to send his way, Natsu had to admit her particularly pained cries in the delivery room had pierced him to the core. He probably would have picked her up and ran off with her halfway through the process in hopes of stopping it, weren't it for the sit-down session Mira and Erza had given him a few days before, during which they had explained that, yes, Lucy would probably be in pain while having the baby and, no, there was nothing he could do about it except keeping his cool and not throwing a fit over it because that would only make her feel worse. Just standing there holding her hand rather than beating the crap out of the source of her pain (which he guessed was a poor, innocent baby, after all) had felt worse than pulling teeth but now that it was over, downplaying his fear was a little easier.
"I guess… sorry about that," he apologized, meaning every word. "But hey, it was worth it, right? I mean, look at how awesome she is!" he stated, tilting the little girl sideways so she could see her face.
Lucy was legitimately impressed that he was yet to comment on how red she was or how weird-shaped her head seemed to be as a result of having been pushed for hours through a rather cramped space – he certainly had made a point of loudly pointing that out when it had been Erza and Mira's respective newborns… she guessed maybe the ensuing beatings had worked some tact into him. "I know. She's got your hair."
"Yeah – it's really girly on her!" he said cheerfully.
She refrained from mentioning that pink hair was really girly by default, even if it, somehow, fit him like a glove in a very non-girly way. "Well, she is a girl. Which brings us back to the problem of her name… did you have something in mind just in case?"
He shook his head. "I kinda always assumed my first kid would be a boy…" he confessed. "I don't really know why, to be honest, since the odds are pretty much split there… but anyway, that idiot here at the hospital telling us she was a boy all those months ago didn't help either. It was always Igneel this, Igneel that… Like I said before, I'm not disappointed about her being a girl but it's still sort of weird not to think of her was Igneel's namesake now…"
Lucy bit down on her lip. It had really mattered a lot to him naming that baby after Igneel, even if he wasn't making waves about waiting for the – *squirm* – next one. She closed her eyes. It's for Natsu and Igneel. This really matters a lot to him. So, she took a breath and made an offer. "You know, I guess we could just… name her after Igneel anyway," she suggested.
He shot her a weird look. "I dunno… same as it's weird not thinking of her as Igneel's namesake, it's also weird thinking of myself calling a girl 'Igneel'…"
"It doesn't have to be exactly 'Igneel'," she pointed. "Just… something similar enough for it to be meaningful."
"Like Igneela?" He frowned. "That still sounds weird."
"May not that similar," she agreed.
"Then let's see… Igna, Igny, Iggy, Ig…"
All of a sudden, something clicked in her mind. "Igraine," she said.
Natsu's eyes lit up. "Igraine… that doesn't sound too bad. Did you just come up with it on the spot?"
"I… no, not really. You see, when I was little, my mom always read me stories of princes and knights when she tucked me into bed… one of those stories had a character in it called 'Igraine'. I haven't thought of it in years but when you were saying those names, it just came to me."
"Was that Igraine girl a badass hero?" he asked in excitement.
Lucy scratched her chin. "She was the mother of one, I guess."
"Close enough!" he declared before looking down at his sleeping little girl. "What do you think? Do you wanna be Igraine Dragneel instead of Igneel Dragneel?" Suddenly, he frowned and looked up at Lucy again. "Wow, now that I'm saying it out loud Igneel Dragneel sounds kind of weird…"
"It's probably the rhyming," she offered, having thought of that already. "I guess we would have gotten used to it eventually if she was a boy… Seriously, though, I'm okay with it either way: if you want to name her like this now or if you'd rather wait for a boy to actually name Igneel…"
"No way! It's perfect this way: Igraine has got the 'Ig-' part in it and the '-neel' one is already in Dragneel too, so 'Igneel' is part of her name, anyway," he said excitedly. "Plus, it's a special name to you too – I mean, it comes from something you used to do with your Mom, so it will always remind you of her, right?"
Lucy smiled and nodded. "I guess it's settled, then, right? Or daughter's name is Igraine."
At that, Natsu grinned at her like a little boy and then turned to do the same to the newborn baby girl he was holding. "Did you hear that, Igraine? You've got a super cool name."
The baby's only response was a massive yawn and then some squirming.
Natsu awed in delight. "Wow… look at how wide she opened her mouth. And she's got pretty good lungs too, judging by her crying from before… I bet she could shoot a mean Fire Dragon's Roar!"
Lucy snorted. "Natsu, she's not even an hour old," she reminded him.
"Doesn't mean she won't get bigger! I wonder if I could teach her Dragon Slayer magic one day… maybe that'd make a whole new generation of Dragon Slayers! But then again, she doesn't have a dragon to give her antibodies against turning into one and I don't know if that might be a thing… dragons are cool and all but I'd rather she just stayed like this, you know? She'll probably to grow up to be all cute like you."
The way his face went from indignation to excitement, then to pouting and finally ending with that disarming smile only he could manage was simply adorable from Lucy's point of view, and at the end, she found herself blushing a little because she could never get completely used to Natsu calling her cute just because, especially when she lay in bed with messy hair and pasty skin, fruits of a long labor, and felt anything but cute.
"Don't be silly, Natsu. If anything, she might look weird like Lucy," an all-too familiar voice stated from nearby, completely ruining the emotional moment that had been taking place.
Lucy looked up, fire blazing in her eyes, and found that Happy had somehow snuck into the room while they talked and was currently floating above Natsu's shoulder. Not a second later, she launched herself forward in fury and nearly got a hold of one of his wings before falling back into the bed, wincing in pain.
"Lucy! You're not supposed to move yet!" Natsu said, trying to awkwardly help her while at the same time balancing their squirming daughter, who was currently wailing in response to her rude awakening, in one arm.
"I don't care! You wait until I get my hands on you, cat!" she hissed, still trying to reach for the cat. "Damn it, where are my keys?! Loke! Get me that blue bastard now!"
"What are you calling Loke for? He's outside in the waiting room with the rest of the guild – he can't hear you all the way from there," Happy helpfully informed her, flying at a comfortable distance.
"Lucy, calm down. You're upsetting the baby!" Natsu said serious, afraid she might actually accidentally hurt herself. His words seemed to work and, because the baby appeared to have a calming effect on her mother, he placed little Igraine in Lucy's arms, knowing she wouldn't try to attack Happy while holding their daughter. Then, with the Lucy side of things settled, he turned around to handle Happy himself. "And you! Stop being mean to Lucy when she's just had a baby! You know she doesn't look weird."
"But you're always saying she does!" Happy protested.
"I say she is weird, not that she looks weird," he pointed out.
"That's not helping!" Lucy growled while trying to rock the baby back to sleep.
"Fine," Happy mumbled, scowling a little bit at the baby. He might or might not be experiencing a little of the so-called sibling rivalry… "I guess her face is not as flat as Erza's kid was when he was born," he diplomatically offered.
"Oh, yeah… Boy Erza's face was really flat," Natsu recalled with a chuckle.
"Better that than how bumpy yours became when Erza beat you up for saying that… and again when she heard you calling her son 'Boy Erza'. The poor child has a name!" Lucy scolded him.
"I still like Boy Erza better," Natsu stated.
"So, what's her name, anyway? Girl Natsu?" Happy asked. "And why is she even a girl? I thought it was boy. It was Lucy's fault, wasn't it? She's just so indecisive! Now we're gonna have to paint the nursery all over again! Thanks a lot, Lucy!"
Lucy was, again, trembling with rage but the baby in her arms caused her to refrain from physically expressing her anger by strangling all nine lives out of the exceed. Instead, she took a breath… and then another. And, finally, she turned to Natsu. "Natsu, you know how I have just selflessly given you the most priceless gift this world had to give by becoming the mother of your child?"
"I… guess?" he said hesitantly. Not because he wasn't certain he owed her a bunch – because he was sure that admitting it would probably cost him.
"Good. Because I need you to do me a favor: I need you to grab that infernal blue creature floating around in this room and punch it for me."
"Natsu… you're not going to keep the mother of your child waiting, are you?" Lucy questioned him, a strange look in her face – although she was smiling, he could tell that, inside, she was actually glaring.
"Ah! He'll have to catch me first!" Happy shouted, speeding towards the window, opening it impressively quickly and flying out.
"Hey, get back here!" Natsu shouted, hot on his heel. "That's not fair! You know I don't have wings! Come on! I've got to do what Lucy tells me to now that she's given me a kid!" And, with that, he jumped out of the window after the runaway cat.
Lucy might have been worried about his health, were it not for the fact that it was Natsu Dragneel on the chase and her room being conveniently located on the hospital's first floor. In the end, she just sighed, shaking her head.
On Lucy's arms, little Igraine whimpered prompting her to rock her soothingly. "There, there," she said to her daughter. "It's all good now. Your stupid big brother just needed a long-overdue lesson on respect."
A/N2: For those wondering, Igraine is the name of King Arthur's mother in the Arthurian legend.
Let me know your thoughts about my first venture into NaLu? Did I portray them right? Better stay away?