A/N: Real quickly, I just wanted to put in a warning to anyone reading this who might be younger, there is some suggestive content in this chapter. Nothing extreme, but it might be a bit too suggestive for some audiences. I think it will be fine but just to warn ya!

A New Kind of Fairy Tale

Chapter 17: I Do

May 21, x787—3:00 P.M.

"I'm sorry, Lucy," Natsu had said, sobbing at her feet a month earlier. "I wasn't able to make enough money from the jobs I went on to give you a proper wedding. The house… it cost more than I thought it would to fix it all up, I'm so sorry." He'd wept there, full of regret and sorrow.

Lucy hadn't cared. She'd lifted his chin up to make eye contact with her and smiled down at him reassuringly. "I don't care about that, Natsu," she'd said, tone sincere. "All I care about is that we're together. I don't need a fancy, expensive wedding to be happy with you, those things don't matter to me. I grew up being showered in fancy gowns and trinkets and toys, but I was never happy until I met you.

"We're getting married in a month, and we have a house to call our own, that's all that matters." She'd smiled again, then pressed her lips to his briefly. "All I need is you."

The memory made her smile as Mira fussed with her hair, pinning it up around her head into some elaborate and painful updo that pulled the strands to the point where she was certain they would break off.

Lucy didn't see the point of all the fuss, but Mira had insisted on making Lucy look like a queen on her wedding day, even if it was just a small ceremony with friends in front of their master, nothing spectacular, nothing that warranted all the pulling and tugging of her delicate locks.

"Almost done!" Mira sang as she pinned another section expertly. "Oh, you look like a bride!" she gushed.

Lucy choked on a laugh.

"When are you going to make me an auntie?!" she suddenly exclaimed, spinning the chair around to give Lucy a stern look.

Lucy's eyes went wide and she was sure she flushed bright red. "Wh-What?"

"When are you going to have babies?" Mira arched an eyebrow, as if she expected Lucy to go out and start right that minute.

"I-I don't know, Mira!" Lucy replied, flustered at the question. "We haven't even gotten married yet!"

"Tonight is your wedding night…" Mira trailed off and winked.

Lucy blushed even brighter. Yes, tonight would be her wedding night, tonight would be the night she and Natsu would finally bridge that last gap between them, merge together and become one.

But she definitely didn't want to think about babies right now.

"That doesn't make a difference!" she insisted.

"Aw, but I want to be an auntie!" Mira pouted.

"Go be Asuka's auntie, then, when she's born!" Lucy tried to shove from the chair but was pushed back down.

"Wait! You need glitter!"

Lucy blinked as Mira turned to the counter behind her and rifled under the cabinet. She came out with a bottle of silver glitter, expression triumphant.

Lucy sighed and shook her head. The pins in her hair glinted in the light, which was enough glitter for her.

"Close your eyes!" Mira instructed. Lucy scowled but obeyed, closing her eyes and waiting as Mira pinched out some of the glitter and let it fall over her hair before sealing it with hair spray. "Done! You're a masterpiece!" Mira's eyes had hearts in them, clearly she was full of pride for her work.

Lucy resisted the urge to laugh out loud, instead beaming up at the take-over mage. "Thanks, Mira!"

4:45 P.M.

Lucy and Natsu stood before Master Makarov, with just a few friends gathered around them, namely Levy and Gajeel, Erza and Jellal, Gray and Juvia, and of course Mira and Wendy.

Lucy's dress was simple but still beautiful, made of ivory lace and falling just around her ankles. Silver pearl-shaped balls dotted the skirt and matched the silver sash around her waist. Her only ornamentation was a thin blue bracelet with something like a star in the center that Mira had insisted she wear.

Natsu wore slacks and a dress shirt but had refused to wear the suit jacket Gray had tried to force upon him earlier. He did wear the blue cufflinks Mira had given him to match Lucy's bracelet.

The ceremony began, the couple clasped hands and Master Makarov recited the marriage vows. At the end, they each took an identical golden band and slipped them onto one another's left hand. Lucy's was thinner and slipped right into the engagement ring Natsu had given her. Natsu's was heavier and had an intricate design carved into the top and a short inscription from Lucy on the inside of the band. It read: "Forever and Always," their favorite saying.

The wedding was short and sweet, just how Lucy had wanted it to be. She didn't like to be the center of so much attention, and she just wanted to spend the day with Natsu—her husband.

"I now pronounce you husband and wife!" Makarov intoned. "You may now kiss the bride!"

Natsu grinned widely down at her before cupping her face between his hands and capturing her mouth with his.

She would no longer be known as Lucy Heartfilia, from then on she was Lucy Dragneel, a married woman.

8:00 P.M.

Lucy and Natsu reached the small cottage where they would live, finally, as husband and wife. Natsu had said that this was his final wedding gift to her and promised that all the remodeling was complete. It was like a whole new house, he'd told her.

She couldn't wait to see inside.

When they reached the front door, Natsu pulled her to a stop and scooped her up into his arms, bridal style.

She giggled. "You're so traditional, Natsu," she teased.

"Damn straight!" He grinned and carried her effortlessly inside. "Welcome home, Mrs. Dragneel!"

He set her on her feet and she gazed around in awe. He had done wonders with the place since she'd last been by to see it. The walls were all painted a light grayish color with ivory baseboards. The floor was a light tan wood with gray tones throughout.

The front door opened into a decent sized living area with a small coffee brown couch to one side and what looked to be a self-made coffee table just in front of it.

Beyond this was the kitchen and dining area, both quaint but efficient for their needs.

To the right of the living area was Natsu's and Lucy's room, not large, but not as small as Natsu's room at his shared home with Happy. To the left was a spare room, smaller than the first and piled with unpacked boxes for now.

"What do you think?" Natsu asked once Lucy's brief inspection was complete—she would check it out more thoroughly when the sun was up.

She turned and grinned up at him, a beaming smile. "I love it. It's perfect."

And it was. She loved everything about it. She loved that the house was so obviously used and loved before them, she could see the signs all around them. The marks on the doorframe to the small room where their boxes were currently stored, names and dates that were nearly illegible by now, faded from years of sunlight spilling through the windows and casting its beam on them.

She loved the small kitchen with its aged appliances that gave the place a vintage feel. She loved the random cracks in the walls that she'd insisted Natsu leave there, like a preservation of times past, of the family that once lived here.

Most of all, she loved that it was all theirs. Their first home in which they would build a family, grow and thrive with one another, become something more than just themselves.

Lucy turned back to him with a wide grin. The glitter that Mira had sprinkled into her hair earlier now lightly dotted her face, giving it an ethereal glow in the light from the full moon that shone upon them from the open window.

Natsu smiled in return and wrapped his arms around her. Their lips met and everything else in the world fell away around them, disappearing in an instant, covered up by the feeling of lips on lips.

Her heart hammered in her chest as his mouth moved with hers.

This is it, she thought.

Nerves turned her into a shaky mess as she realized that there was nothing stopping them now.

Natsu must have sensed this because he pulled back and gave her a curious look. "What's wrong, Luce?"

She shook her head, embarrassed at her nervousness. It wasn't like they hadn't kissed before, or been close to becoming intimate. So why was she so scared all of a sudden?

Natsu tilted her face up so that she was forced to look him in the eye. His gaze was steady and ever patient, full of love for her. "Luce, you don't have to do anything you're not ready for, okay? There's no pressure if you still want to wait. I won't mind." He smiled down at her and tucked a loose strand of golden hair behind her ear with his free hand. "I love you, Lucy, and we have forever to make that next step. It doesn't have to be tonight."

She blinked back tears at his words. He wasn't just saying them either. She could feel it, he meant them with every ounce of his being. He would wait if that's what she really wanted.

But that wasn't what she wanted.

She stood on her tiptoes and closed her mouth over his once more, arms circling around his neck.

His arms went around her waist and held her. He kissed her back softly, even when she tried to deepen the kiss, taking it slow, patient.

He pulled back and kissed her cheek, then kissed up her jawline, down to her ear, over her neck, which caused her to let out a shuddering breath and tilt her head back to offer him more access.

His hands remained firmly on her waist. He did not try to undress her or feel her or pull her closer. He was taking it slow. Not just for her, she realized, this must have been his first time too. The thought came as both a shock and a relief.

"Natsu," she whispered, pulling back just enough to look into his eyes, at the barest hint of fear behind them. Was he afraid for himself… or for her? "Help me out of this dress?"

Before he could answer, Lucy turned around so that her back was to him. This was better anyway, she reasoned. This way he couldn't see the nervousness shining through her eyes or the blush that painted her cheeks a deep red, warming her skin.

Natsu's hands shook slightly, she could feel them on the bare skin of her arms as his knuckles brushed against them, making their way up to the zipper at the top of her dress.

Before he even touched the zipper, he began to softly knead at her shoulders, at the tense muscles that formed there from hours of standing and posing (mostly because of Mira insisting upon taking a thousand pictures from a dozen different angles).

She leaned into his touch, grateful for the kind gesture and for the extra minute to gather her courage.

His thumbs pressed into her skin, kneading the muscles into place until both he and Lucy no longer shook with nerves.

With fingers as delicate as butterflies wings, Natsu slowly, gently slid the zipper of her puffy white dress down, down until the fabric pooled at her feet.

She expected him to tear the thin silk slip she wore beneath her dress off as well, but instead his hands moved into her hair next. They slid through the intricate style Mirajane had painstakingly done for her hours earlier, carefully removing pins to let them drop soundlessly to the floor atop her discarded dress.

Once the hair was relatively free, he worked the remaining knots out gently with his fingers before letting the golden waves fall against her shoulders and neck.

"Mm. Beautiful…" he murmured, so soft she almost didn't hear it.

He brushed the hair aside; his lips skimmed the bare skin exposed there, a light touch.

She leaned into him more, turned her neck a bit to offer more access, to encourage him to press his lips there.

He did, pressing a soft kiss into the skin where her shoulder met her collarbone, then farther up to the space behind her ear. Father still, up, up.

Lucy sighed blissfully, eyes closed, hands absentmindedly running along Natsu's arms, which held her against him by the waist, firm but gentle.

When his lips reached her jawline, she tilted her head to meet them with her own, causing a delicious growl from deep inside his throat.

She turned so that she faced him once more and brought her hands up to cup his face softly, tenderly as she began to slowly back up toward the room they would now share.

She miscalculated where the door would be, however, and instead backed into the wall just beside it. Still, their lips never left one another's. The brief interruption merely caused their lips to press harder together and their kiss to become deeper.

Natsu took the opportunity to slide his hands over the backs of her thighs and scoop her up into his arms.

Her legs wrapped around his waist and his hands clung to her back as he continued kissing her. He walked her into their bedroom and deposited her onto the bed.

He gazed down upon her, and she could just make out his features in the faint glow from the bedside lamp. The love and awe and adoration that shone in his eyes was enough to brush away any remaining doubts or fears she may have had.

She smiled, and slowly, keeping her eyes trained on his, lifted the slip of fabric over her head and tossed it to the floor, leaving her in only a bra and panties. She watched his eyes shift momentarily over to the dress before meeting her gaze once more, this time with resolve, like he had finally made his mind up about something.

"Your turn," Lucy whispered. At his perplexed expression, she gave a soft laugh and slid from the bed, still keeping her gaze locked on his, and came to stand before him.

With shaking hands, she lifted them to his shirt and began working the buttons free one by one, down, down to the end and then let her hands glide the fabric down his strong arms and to his wrists where they were stopped suddenly by a pair of borrowed cufflinks.

"Shit," she cursed under her breath.

Natsu grinned at her frustration and pulled the cufflinks free, expertly as if he'd been wearing them for years and this was just one of those rudimentary things one did each morning and night.

The shirt fell the rest of the way to the floor.

Her gaze now roamed over his finely chiseled chest, taking in the plains and ridges of his bare flesh.

She'd seen him shirtless on a number of occasions—at the pool, beneath his vest, on a particularly hot day when he decided not to wear a shirt—but something about being this close to his exposed chest and torso, while also being nearly completely unclothed herself, felt different and more real, somehow.

She lifted her hands to touch, to feel the curves and lines for herself. Her hands steadied as they made contact with his burning hot flesh, a heat akin to that of a flame. She wanted to bathe herself in that warmth, to be buried inside of it.

"You're breathing so hard…" Natsu noted a moment later, voice a hoarse whisper. When she looked up at him, his eyes gleamed down at her. "I want to feel you too," he said, then brought a hand up to the small of her back, still barely touching with the very tips of his fingers, a grazing, tentative touch, as if she were made of fine China.

"Touch me," she breathed, and the very sound of it, the desperate longing in her tone, made an involuntary moan pass through his lips.

His hand flattened on the bare skin of her slim waist, then moved upward. His thumb brushed the side of her breast, still hidden beneath an ivory bra, and caused a shiver to ripple through her.

She bit back a moan as he repeated the gesture, this time with both hands.

His fingers skated across her skin, feeling every inch that was bare, but careful not to push any further.

His lips had found her neck again and were leaving soft pecks along the skin there, occasionally letting his teeth graze the smooth surface, which elicited mewling responses from Lucy.

At long last, the remainder of their clothes came off, slowly and patiently as they worked together to keep one another comfortable, and they lay together beneath the soft sheets of their bed.

And when they finally came together, body and soul, it was a unification of two halves; two hearts beating as one, two souls colliding, becoming one. And afterward, as they lay peacefully in one another's arms, they both knew that this moment had changed things for them forever. They were no longer two people, but one whole. A dragon and a star, joined forevermore.

A/N: Alright, before anyone complains about the seriously short nothingness of a wedding, if you recall in chapter... what was it? The Valentine's Day chapter (I think it was 11), when Natsu presented her with the kitten and asked her to marry him again. He told her that she hadn't gotten the wedding she deserved the first time (this is the past so this would be the first time) and he wanted to give that to her now. So, the crappiness of this wedding was for a reason, I promise! And I WILL be getting to an actual wedding chapter later on in one of the present day chapters, so look out for that!

Beta: Sleeping4tNight