Disclaimer: I do not own fairy tail, or any of the fairy tail characters.

So this is going to be a Beauty and the Beast retelling with Lucy and Natsu. Of course, I`m a HUGE nalu fan.

This story is the first in a fairy tale series that I am writing, basing each story off of a fairy tale, for each of my ships. (Nalu: beauty and the beast, GaLe: Cinderella, Jerza, Gruvia: I feel like the little mermaid is perfect for Gray x Juvia. probably Laxus x Cana too.)

Let me know what you think!

Princess Lucy Heartfilia ran through the deserted streets. Her expensive dress was ripped to shreds and soaked through with mud. The lamps bordering the street flickered silently, casting an eerie red glow over the cobblestones. Panting hard, Lucy dashed past the Celestial river bridge, sparing a glance over her shoulder at the faraway castle that had once been her home.

Her blond hair was falling out of its bun, it was drenched from the relentless rain. The tangles hung limply around her sweaty face. Lucy was exhausted, but she could hear the sound of men and dogs in the distance, and the fear pounding in her chest kept her feet moving.

Tears left trails in the grime on her cheeks. Buildings flew by, the wind bit at her skin, but still the princess stumbled on through the darkness.

The forest. She thought desperately. They won't find me there.

"There! There she is!" A rough male voice shouted.

At the shout, Lucy's heart skipped a beat. A pack of men on horseback, about fifteen of them, were closing in quickly, torches and swords in hand.

She spun around and dashed towards the thick line of evergreen trees. The Merrimor forest. It was filled with nasty creatures, and dangerous few people ever made it out alive, and an even smaller number kept their sanity.

She had no other option. With just a moment's hesitation, the princess plunged through the thorns.

As she made her way through the sharp brambles, pain flared in her abdomen, her legs, her arms, and face. The thorns kept getting caught on her skin, making stripes of red blood all over her body.

Lucy reached the end of the briars. She could see light up ahead, and pushed her bruised arms outward towards the open air.

Panting, she stumbled out into a wooded clearing. Lucy collapsed on the spot.

She remained very still for several minutes, listening for sounds of pursuit. The hounds were whining, frustrated by the barrier of thorns and mingling scents, and a little bit nearer, the muffled sound of voices in heated debate carried across the thick hedge.

Hardly daring to breath, the princess looked up to the towering trees above.

Maybe, she thought, If I could just find way up into that tree...

Suddenly, she smelled smoke. An orange light flickered just beyond the bramble patch. Her heart pounded in her chest.

They're burning the bramble patch!

Lucy pressed herself up against a tree. The flames were beginning to spread through the dry foliage, crackling with an intense fervor.

Smoke billowed up into the dark sky. Without warning, the brambles crumpled away, and a dark figure came through the hedge.

"S-stay away!" Lucy staggered backwards in fear. "I won't go back. You can't make me."

The man only smiled cruelly, and, suddenly, another man came up from behind and wrapped a calloused hand around the back of her neck. Their other hand held a knife to her back.

Lucy cried out as blood flowed from the shallow wound. Her fingers were trembling, and sweat made her dress stick to her skin.

"I've got her, boys!" A harsh male voice shouted, right next to her ear . "Hurry and put out the fire, b'fore we attract an ogre."

Lucy squirmed against the knife. "Let me go, you bastard!"

His chuckle was his response, "Now, look here, sweetheart. I'm getting paid big money to bring you back to your precious daddy. There's no way I'd pass up two million jewel-especially not for capturing a princess. Boy, will I have a heck of a story to tell the boys back home."

At that, the men erupted into peals of laughter. Lucy's breaths were quick and shallow as she looked for any sign of compassion in the men's faces.

"As soon as my brother is king, you'll pay for this." She shouted. Her voice sounded pathetically weak. "He won't stand for it!"

The man holding the knife to her back cackled, his breath hot on her neck. "Yeah? Well, I don't think big brother can help you now. Shall we wait, say, ten to twenty years?"

Lucy gritted her teeth. Her older brother, Malachi, was her only relative other than her father, King Jude Heartfilia the Third. Malachi was five years older, and had always been very protective of Lucy. As soon as her father was dead, Malachi would be king, and Lucy would finally be free.

"Come on, sweetheart. Smile for me. You don't look as pretty when you frown."

Lucy shivered at the dark tone of voice he was using. His filthy fingers dug into her waist .

"Let. Me. Go." She spat.

"You have spunk. I like you." His foul smell mingled with the damp night air. He was close, way too close. Lucy shut her eyes, trying to block out the sound of the flames crackling and the feeling of his hands on her body. His hand snaked up her neck. "Are you scared, princess? Because no one is going to hear your scream...the king only said he wanted you back alive." He snickered. "He didn't say we couldn't have a little fun.

Please. She called silently. If there's somebody out there, anybody, please, help me.

The fire was dying, but it still kept up a good blaze. Smoke filled the night sky, billowing up into the darkness.

The men jeered, a sinister light filling their eyes.

Her captor put is mouth up to her ear. "And frankly, I don't think your daddy cares."

Lucy's breaths were coming quick now, terror fluttering like a trapped bird in her chest.

She let out a scream, filling the darkness with a chilling sound. Every pixie, gremlin, and gnome within the mile-radius looked up from whatever they were doing, shuddering at the horrific sound of despair. A troll or two licked their lips in hopeful anticipation. One she-elf let her arrow fly crooked, scaring away her prey, and a fairy let loose a tear, fluttering into her tree to block out the sound. But far above the forest, flying through the sky, was a dragon.

The dragon, who could usually care less about humans, heard Lucy's scream, and felt something in his giant chest snap. In his monstrous state, he couldn't process thoughts normally, but his instincts told him to Protect. Help. Defend.

The dragon continued on his way south, shaking the strange feeling off. Never in his life had he felt such a strong impulse. It wasn't natural for the beast.

But, as he made his way across the sky, he heard the screaming again, this time accompanied by the smell of smoke. Fire!

He couldn't help himself, fire to him was like flowers to a bee. He folded his great wings and dived, headed straight towards the small, smoking clearing. The dragon roared, shaking the trees and the earth itself.

The soldiers looked up at the sound of the dragon's roar. Most of them dropped their weapons and ran, but a half-dozen men stood their ground.

Lucy's heart thundered in her chest, so much that she was afraid it would burst. The air was filled with tension. Every living thing in the forest was drawing a collective breath. Smoke mingled with the smell of pine and moss.

"Put out the fire! PUT OUT THE FIRE!" The leader shouted, forgetting Lucy for a moment.

The moment his hand slipped from her wrist, the princess silently dissapeared into the forest.

A second later, white-hot flames engulfed the clearing, turning the soldiers to charcoal and incinerating the trees. The dragon's four giant feet pounded into the earth. A cloud of ash and dust erupted from the cracks beneath his feet.

He pointed his head to the sky and roared, caught up in the thrill of the inferno. Any humans who had been caught up in the flames had been wiped from the face of earth. The great beast breathed a searing column of flames into the air.

Lucy peered out at the dragon that stood in the now bare clearing, tree that she had breen climbing had protected her from most of the flames. Her clothing had taken the worst beating. Aside from the ruined skirt and the ripped sleeves, Lucy barely had any burns on her body.

She knew she should be afraid of him. The ferocious, fire-breathing beast had just barbecued a whole military regiment. But instead of wanting to run and hide, Lucy found herself stepping out from behind the blackened trunk of the tree, putting herself in danger of the dragons flames. Something about the dragon-she had no idea what-almost reminded her of her own brother.

The dragon froze in place. Tentatively, he stretched out his long neck, blowing a puff of smoke from his nostrils. The princess stood her ground. She hardly dared to breath.

"Thank you." She whispered, finding the courage to place her muddy hand on his nose.

I'm standing face to face with a dragon. Lucy almost laughed at herself, if it weren't for the fact that this creature would likely charbroil her at any momemt. A dragon!

She looked him in the eyes, amazing herself with her own bravery. Deep, vibrant green, catlike green orbs staring at her from within a red-scaled head. The eyes blinked, widening suddenly, and without warning, the dragon erupted into the sky.

Lucy felt the wind whip her hair out of its already destroyed bun, her tattered dress fluttering against the breeze. She looked up into the night sky, awestruck. Her rescuer flew high, high up towards the shining moon, flapping his great wings in some kind of majestic dance.

Just then, several of the men who had run off returned. There were about five of them, each carrying a sword and a shield.

They arranged themselves in a barrier around the princess.

"Your highness, you are to come with us. We have orders from the king." One of the soldiers said gruffly, trying to sound manly after running away from a dragon.

Lucy spun around. She was trapped.

Her heart sank back into her stomach when she realized that she was still going back to the palace, even after the dragon had come to her aid. Her throat began to close up, and she felt tears sting her eyes.

"No! I'll die before I go back! You can't take me!" She screamed, throwing her shoe at a guard.

The shoe bounced off harmlessly with a loud plunk. The soldiers would have laughed if they weren't so shaken up.

Lucy decided, right then and there, that she would fight til her heart stopped beating and her blood ran out. She couldn't do much to defend herself, but she would kick, scream, and bite at anyone who tried to take her back. I will not return to my father. she thought gravely. He can't use me as his pawn anymore.

The soldiers weren't very organized. Their captains and leader had all been burnt to a crisp. But they all drew their swords, hoping to intimidate the princess into cooperating. The sharp iron blades, glinting in the moonlight, formed a deadly ring trapping the fierce young woman.

Instead of cowering, Lucy lifted her chin, and stepped into the nearest blade. She winced slightly as the tip punctured the flesh just under her ribcage.

Blood flowed freely down the white dress. The soldiers gasped, and stepped back.

"Don't threaten me. I would rather you stab me through with a thousand swords than cage me like a bird." She spoke calmly, despite the paleness of her face and the pain in her side.

Everything seemed to happen at once. Lucy, weak from blood loss, began to crumple, shoving the sword further into her side. A massive pair of talons snatched her limp body from the ground. All of the soldiers began shouting, firing their arrows into the sky, where Lucy was being carried, unconscious, into the night.

The dragon didn't know what made him do it. The human girl hadn't screamed, hadn't cried for help; she did nothing that would have alerted him. And even if she had called for help, why should he care? Dragons, first and foremost, were predators. They preyed on the weak and challenged the strong. But still, the limp form in his claws had some sort of affect on his judgement, which was never very good to begin with.

As the great dragon flew off into the night, he never stopped to think that his life was about to change forever.