GIFTFIC for wonderlust714! Congrats on being our 2000th reviewer for Parallels! This is our VERY LAST installment in this universe! We feel like we've been writing this thing for YEARS. Hahaha, hope you guys enjoy this final hurrah! We will see you in Mythos if you decide to stick around!
Some days were just meant to end in disaster. Even the happy ones. Although, Lucy suspected that was what made the good days even more memorable. All the little hiccups and mishaps that shaped a colorful event into something truly picture perfect.
She untwisted a lock of red hair from between her fingers, sliding out a bobby pin carefully from her friend's beautiful stylish arrangement.
Today was a very special day for the red head, and Lucy had enlisted some Celestial help in the shape of Cancer to assist in making her look perfect.
Not that it was hard.
Today Erza had traded in her steel plated armor and weaponry for soft laces, satin, and ribbons in the form of a breathtakingly beautiful dress. Not that she was certain Erza was aware of that.
Her friend was almost as pale as the white dress she wore.
"There," Lucy gently freed the last of Erza's curls, sliding decorative pearl combs into the scarlet locks under Cancer's direction. She lightly bounced the bottoms of her locks while Mirajane bent over Erza's face to reapply a bit of make up that had smudged in the process.
"You're perfect Erza," Mirajane clapped her hands together, tears shimmering in her eyes at the sight of the finished bride, sitting nervously in her small vanity chair.
"I wish I felt as perfect." Erza admitted, her pale complexion turning slightly green, and looked at Lucy, "Was it this nerve wracking for you?"
Lucy grinned and gently rubbed her friend's back soothingly, "Yeah. But I think it's pretty normal to be nervous on your wedding day." She smirked in amusement, "Remember how Gray said Natsu threw up, and Jellal had to find him another shirt at the last second?"
"Juvia was nervous as well." The water sprite spoke up with a smile, "It was so exciting finally getting to marry Gray I feared something would go horribly wrong!"
Lucy laughed, "I already knew something would go wrong. You can't mix Natsu and nerves without something exploding. I was more nervous he would blow the place up before we got to say our vows."
"It was still adorable!" Mira gushed, "You looked beautiful, and you were so cute about not being able to wait!"
Lucy rolled her eyes good naturedly. She knew she would never convince her friends she hadn't really rushed into marrying Natsu. Of course, no one had told her that it was customary for mages to have a decade or two long engagement before getting married either. It was a product of their lifespans no doubt.
By her standards waiting four years after the battle with Zeref was plenty.
Erza laughed a little, the green in her complexion fading a bit as the teasing banter distracted her, "I suppose you're right." She smiled, "No matter what it'll be perfect."
Of course, no sooner had she said that then there was a rattling boom from somewhere else in the cathedral.
The women collectively cringed at once and Lucy swallowed hard over how Erza looked like she was about to faint.
"Why don't you wait here, I'm sure it's nothing," Lucy patted her friend on the shoulder, who nodded weakly in agreement, "Let me go see what's going on okay?"
Hiking up her dress a bit, Lucy snuck out of the room and quickly headed towards the sounds of faint panic and the smell of smoke.
Lucy's stomach dropped at the scent. Because if there was one thing she knew...
If there was smoke.
There was sure to be fire.
Sure enough, when she made it to the inner Cathedral, she spotted several pews smoldering, and many of the bouquets of flowers all set ablaze.
There were puddles of water everywhere and frost clung to the stained glass windows.
At the center of it all, Natsu was standing next to Gray, both of them squinting up one of the largest decorative statues. Natsu had opted to take off his outer layer, and was currently in the middle of unbuttoning his shirt and loosening his tie when Lucy ran over to him.
"What happened in here!" Lucy demanded in a rush, staring at her husband as if he lost his mind, "And why are you taking off your clothes? Did Gray finally infect you?"
"Ouch," Gray grumbled, squinting over at Lucy, for just a second before pulling his attention back over head.
Natsu pointed upward, and Lucy followed his finger, her heart nearly stopping at the sight of two sets of small legs, kicking wildly, nearly sixty feet in the air.
"RYU! What are you doing up there?!" Lucy shrieked in terror at the sight of her son stuck on one of the giant statue's overhanging pieces.
And it wasn't just her son up there. Somehow, Gray's soggy son was also stuck in the air.
Lucy heard the boys gasp in terror when they heard her, no doubt imagining the fresh hell of trouble they were no doubt in now.
"It's your mom!"
"Wait dad! Don't get us down! The view up here is really nice! We changed our minds!"
Gray couldn't quite contain a snicker at that, but quailed in fright when Lucy turned her scowl on him.
"Ryu Jude Dragneel! Your father is on his way to get both of you, and once he does you can believe you will be explaining to me exactly how you got up there!"
"Oh man... she used your middle name! You are so dead!"
Natsu managed to restrain a cackle at that as he finished taking his shirt off so he could pull out his wings without destroying it, but it was a very near thing. His wife had developed the ferocity of a dragoness when it came to dealing with their wayward hatchling, and he couldn't help finding it funny.
As long as she didn't turn that ferocity on him.
"I'll be right back." He grinned at her, giving her a quick kiss before flapping up to rescue the kids. Of course, the shit eating grin on his face when he appeared at their level probably didn't help their levels of fear any.
But he was enjoying not being the subject of Lucy's wrath far too much to care.
"Uh... any way we can get you to change your mind dad?" Ryu asked nervously, and Natsu's grin widened.
"Not a chance." He cackled and reached out to sling them both over his shoulders before flapping his way back down.
Lucy immediately rushed over and inspected both to make sure they were unhurt before crossing her arms and glaring at them, "Alright you two. Start explaining."
The two kids looked at each other fearfully and swallowed.
"Better start talking quickly Silver." Gray smirked at his son, "I want to hear this story too."
The two boys took one glance at each other and then pointed accusing fingers at the other.
"It was his fault!" They cried out in unison.
Lucy gave their fathers a chilling glare, no doubt their children having picked up some of their rivalry from them.
Natsu just whistled as Lucy ordered them to clean up the church, because it was Erza's wedding day, and she would not have it ruined for her friend.
The boys, thoroughly ashamed and guilty, apologized and proceeded to melt frozen areas or put out fires.
Then, gathering the rest of Fairy Tail that was available, they set about quickly reassembling the Cathedral hall to Erza's specifications, no one wanting to see their Titania's perfect day ruined.
It helped Gray's sister was visiting for the wedding, and managed to undo all of the damage to the pews and flowers without breaking a sweat.
So when the music started, and an oblivious Jellal made it to the altar with his groomsmen, there wasn't so much as a petal out of place.
Lucy smiled happily as Erza made her way down the aisle not long after, practically glowing with confidence and excitement now that things had started. She looked absolutely radiant in her dress and she couldn't help sharing a smile with Natsu right before he reached out to steady Jellal.
The poor man looked like he was about to swallow his tongue or faint or something.
She stifled a giggle at the thought and grinned happily throughout the ceremony as the whole thing went off without another hitch.
A minor miracle for Fairy Tail alone, never mind their friends from other guilds.
Of course, that meant the reception was... lively. To say the least.
Cana immediately got into a drinking contest with some wizard named Bacchus Lucy had never met, and it was even odds who would win and how long before the two started making out or something.
The kids were all delighted to have the freedom to run around now that the stuffy bits were over with, which added to the madness, but Lucy didn't really mind. They'd been aware from the start that there would be no containing baby dragons for very long, so the reception had been designed with a place for them to play and things to entertain them while the grownups did 'boring' stuff.
"Having fun?" A voice purred in her ear as arms wrapped warmly around her waist.
"Definitely." She grinned, "But I think I might have more fun if my husband was around. Have you seen him?"
She could feel Natsu's grin against her neck as he leaned in to kiss it, "No, but I could substitute for a while."
Lucy laughed and turned in his arms, "Oh I suppose." She giggled theatrically, "But only if you dance with me."
"You drive a hard bargain," Natsu purred back, "I'm not sure my wife would like that, but I think I can make the exception. After all, there's just something about you that I like."
He laughed and leaned in for a kiss, his arms curling around Lucy to pull her closer. They turned together as they pulled their attention over to Erza, who was nearly killing her new husband with her spirited dancing.
"They look happy," Lucy grinned at Natsu, her hand cupping the back of his neck. It was bare now, and had been for several years. The protective talisman having been passed down to their son. Now, Ryu wore the scarf wherever he went, carrying on the tradition.
"Yeah," Natsu gave Lucy a childish spin, his smile widening across his face, "They really do."
She came back to his arms and rested her head against his chest, the warmth from him radiating even through the layers of his nice jacket.
"I love weddings," Lucy sighed happily, finding no place better than where she was. Even if Natsu had a habit of stepping on her toes.
He was good at a great many things, but dancing? Well, over the years he had become passable at it, but he would never be as smooth a dancer as he was a fighter.
"They're a lot of fun." Natsu agreed and gave her a deliberately dopey, slightly drooling, look, "There's just so much good stuff to eat!"
Lucy laughed and swatted his arm only to laugh even more when they both heard Levy scolding Gajeel about eating the silverware and setting a bad example for Tetsu.
Two children together and they still bickered and scratched at each other.
It was really very adorable. Cana had several running bets going on for them.
"So when are you going to set off the fireworks?" She asked curiously, not really interested in leaving his arms, but willing if it was soon.
"In about another half hour or so." Natsu replied, "It's not quite dark enough yet, and the hatchlings are still more interested in food than fire."
"Most of the hatchlings you mean." Lucy smirked and nodded to where Ryu had gotten into the sparklers under Kinana's watchful eyes.
"That doesn't count." Natsu grinned, "That's a snack to him!"
Lucy rolled her eyes as Jellal, having finally managed to persuade Erza that constant spinning was going to have very bad results, danced slowly by with his new wife.
They were oblivious to everything else as they stared into each others eyes in utter devotion, and Lucy had to bite back a giggle as she quickly nudged Natsu out of their way. They would probably come back to the world in time for the cake and formal toasts but at the moment Natsu could light a firework under Erza's dress and she wouldn't notice.
Of course, that thought was immediately smashed into a hundred different pieces when a crashing BOOM rang out next to the fireworks.
Natsu and Lucy whipped their heads around when suddenly a giant plume of fire scorched upright from the pile of explosives, causing one after the other to ignite.
When the first whistling crack and shower of sparkles went off, everyone knew almost at once there was bound to be trouble.
And from the center of it, Ryu was sprinting away from the pass of explosives just as the largest one went off.
"Uh, Natsu," Lucy said weakly as her husband tugged her backwards from the growing inferno, "You didn't happen to make these with your own fire, did you?"
Natsu's eyes narrowed on the shape of their son, who had managed to flee into safety, dragged there by an alarmed Kinana and out of danger.
"There may be a chance I'm going to kill our son," Natsu replied, as instead of eating the fire, they were forced to hit the deck as a large, dragon shaped firework burst to life out of the pile and sailed around indoors.
Lucy felt her heart stop for the second time that day at the roundabout confirmation, "Okay, but what do we do about that?" She gestured to the rampaging firework that was probably supposed to have been the finale of Natsu's display.
Fortunately Jellal and Gray were both near the door and thinking on their feet as they flung the doors wide open in the obvious hope the firework dragon would sail through.
A ridiculous gamble, but one that paid off as the magical firework did exactly that before flying around the outside and high into the air where it exploded in a magnificent display that was actually breathtaking despite the circumstances.
Though Natsu didn't notice as he leapt to his feet with a growl and stalked over to where a soot covered Ryu was curled up with Kinana, "'Scuse me Kinana." He rumbled and grabbed his son by the scarf and pulled him up looking every inch the angry dragon he was.
Ryu gulped at the expression. It wasn't one they saw often, and usually when they did it was directed at enemies. Having it directed at him shoved home the point that he'd seriously stepped over the relatively few boundaries his dad set.
"The hell were you thinking Ryu!" Natsu snarled, "You knew those fireworks were off limits and why! There was no way you could've controlled it, and you're not old enough yet to eat those flames!"
Lucy winced a bit as she got up to join her husband. She'd learned years ago that Ryu's magic training was best left in Natsu's hands, and that included the lessons on discipline and the consequences of not having it. However, that didn't stop her from running a soothing hand down his back to help calm him down a little.
She knew very well that half of his snarling was from fear that Ryu really could've hurt himself or others.
She felt the muscles in Natsu's back loosen under her touch, and he seemed to calm further when Ryu gave his dad a genuinely apologetic look.
"I'm sorry," His voice came muffled from his scarf, "I just wanted another sparkler, I wasn't paying attention to how close I was to the rest of the fireworks when I lit it." He mumbled.
Natsu growled at Ryu, slowly turning the boy in his grasp by the scarf, no doubt considering his fate.
"We'll talk about the merits of fire safety later," Natsu growled as he eyed the popping pile of fireworks that were being doused by Juvia.
"But in the meantime, you and I are going to go out and make some more. We promised Erza and Jellal fireworks, so that's what we're going to do," Natsu growled, hooking his arm under his boy and tucking him to his side.
"Wait dad I can walk!" Ryu protested as Natsu ignored him and walked outside.
"I'm sure you can, but this is much more satisfying," Natsu growled back.
Lucy smiled fondly at the pair, relieved it had only been an accident, and looked at the rest of the crowd, "Is everyone alright?"
"Only slightly singed I think." Gray drawled, prompting everyone to let out a breath and relax.
"Sorry about the drama." Lucy apologized to the couple sheepishly, but they both just smiled at her.
"It's alright Lucy." Jellal replied easily, "It was an accident, and Natsu was just being a father."
Lucy opened her mouth to reply, but looked down when she felt a tug on her dress, and found Silver and the other children looking worriedly up at her.
"Is Ryu in big trouble?" Silver asked.
Lucy smiled at them reassuringly, "Not any more trouble than the time he accidentally set all the drinks in the guild on fire." She giggled.
"Brat still got off light if you ask me!" Cana shouted, and there was a ripple of laughter around the room while the kids all grinned.
Lucy breathed in relief as everyone relaxed and either went back to the party or started cleaning up the mess as much as they could. It didn't take long for the mood to return to what it had been before, and by the time Natsu and Ryu returned with a new crate of fireworks it was hard to tell anything had happened at all.
Clearly, Fairy Tail could bounce back from anything. Even an impromptu explosion going off in the middle of a dance floor.
So when the sky finally got dark enough, a now grinning Natsu bent down to lift Ryu onto his shoulders to show him how to set off the fireworks properly.
They gathered together at the very end, the kids clamoring for a good spot as sparkling lights filled the sky and commemorated the day in Fairy Tail's usual display of flare.
Because it didn't matter where they went or what they did. One generation to the next, would see Fairy Tail prosper.
Through weddings, children and adventure. It was their way to bring all of those things together.