Little girls have to grow up right? Even pampered, spoiled princesses like me have to do it eventually.
Alright, you and I both know I was only spoiled when you were around and hardly after. But even so, can you believe some people still call me a princess? I find it rather insulting.
After all, I'm a grown up now. I'm a big girl in the real world.
Thing is, Mom, I just didn't realize how tough the real world can actually be.
Chapter One: Lucy Takes on the World
Lucy Heartphilia was home. Finally.
Another mission completed, another unsuccessful job in terms of getting compensated. The depressed stellar spirit mage had once again returned from a mission with nothing to show for it save for a few cuts and bruises. Her teammates' knack for destroying just about anything in their wake left a fuming client who refused to pay outright.
And since Fairy Tail rules explicitly states that beating clientele to a pulp was strictly prohibited, Lucy, the calmest and most rational one in the team, managed to coax the more hotheaded members to just pack up and leave.
Her muscles cried out in agony as she dragged herself upstairs. With every step she took toward her 70,000 jewel apartment, she imagined lounging in the tub for a good three hours, making herself a nice cup of green tea and then sleeping in until noon the next day.
With one last tug, Lucy was up the stairs with her luggage feeling quite accomplished. As she reached for the only non-magical key in her possession, her eyes fell upon a sign on the door.
Feeling the tiredness drain out of her instantly, she grabbed the paper and quickly scanned the message. After a few moments of shock, the blonde seventeen year old promptly sank to the floor clutching the paper in her hand.
Lucy angrily crinkled the paper and threw it against the wooden railing of the staircase only to have it ricochet back and hit her square on the nose. The balled up piece of paper bounced on the floor and rolled to her feet.
Through the folds of the wrinkled paper, she could still see the words 'EVICTED IN ONE WEEK' stare at her mockingly.
Lucy grabbed her hair in frustration before yelling to fate, destiny, the gods or whatever made the world go round, so vehemently that her neighbors had to cover their ears.
"OF ALL THE MISSIONS TO COME BACK BROKE, IT JUST HAD TO BE THIS ONE??!!"
The next day, Lucy woke up at eight, bounded out of bed, put on sweats and flew out the door. Now when Lucy Heartphilia went out in public without a fashionable outfit and perfect hairstyle, something was definitely wrong.
As she raced towards Fairy Tail, Lucy ran over the only plan she had in her mind to get her out of this mess: begging Natsu to go on a mission, getting one that paid at least 280,000 jewels to split between four people, completing said mission in less than a week and returning alive to pay off her rent.
Yes, that sounded about right. She only prayed that her teammates would keep the destruction of property to a minimum so that the client would pay them in full.
With this seemingly perfect and easy plan running through her mind, Lucy picked up her speed, excited to be on the road and earning those much needed jewels.
As she whipped around the corner however, she froze midstep. Even Lucy's financial crisis couldn't prevent her from gawking up at the advertisement of the new cover of Sorcerer Magazine.
There she was along with Natsu, Gray and Erza, gracing the glossy front cover. The caption on the bottom stated in big, bold letters:
FAIRY TAIL'S STRONGEST TEAM.
Lucy was, in a word, dumbfounded.
Dumbfounded because she'd forgotten all about the photoshoot about two months ago and dumbfounded because she looked so awesome.
Lucy simply stood there vainly admiring her voluptuous figure, clad in a mini skirt and tank top. With one of her ecliptic zodiac keys in her hand and a dramatic gust of wind blowing through her golden hair, Lucy admitted that she looked pretty damn amazing.
She would later vaguely recall that her teammates were there too and probably looking good as well.
"That Lucy Heartphilia sure is one hot babe!"
One of the only few sentences that could have snapped Lucy out of her narcissistic stupor was loudly exclaimed by one of two teenage boys oogling at the cover as well.
If it was at all possible, Lucy's ego inflated just a tad more.
"Yeah, it's just too bad she's so weak."
And just like that, her ego deflated until it was droopy and wrinkled like a popped balloon. Perhaps if she called out Taurus to wipe the floor with them, they would change their minds.
"You're right, I hear her stellar spirits do most of the work anyway. All she has to do is call them out."
Well, shit. She was a stellar spirit mage! What did they expect?
"She's lucky Gray and Erza are there too."
Well, double shit. It wasn't like they were her chaperones. She was fine just before they came along anyway.
"Either that or Natsu has to come to her rescue. No wonder they formed a team."
Now that was kind of true. Actually, all of it had some sort of truth to it.
Lucy felt the ground beneath her feet crumble sending her into a black oblivion where she was no longer the beautiful idol of adoring eyes, but a mere tiny shadow among great heroic statues of Natsu, Gray and Erza.
Dejected, Lucy turned away from the boys who continued their conversation to the new topic of what a goddess Erza was.
Half and hour later, Lucy mechanically opened the doors to the guild and dragged herself to the bar where she sat on the stool with her head slumped over the counter.
After a few minutes of not being acknowledged, Lucy cracked open a bleary eye looking for her confidante Mirajane whom she could always depend on listening to her troubles.
Unfortunately for Lucy, Mirajane had the day off so she couldn't even whine about her pathetic situation. Lucy felt her lower lip quiver as she thought of her hopeless case and once again buried her head into her arms with a muffled cry.
Clearly, this was a time to be grown up and for Lucy to face her problems with a rational mind but at the moment, it was just a bit more than she could handle.
"Yo, what's wrong?"
At the familiar voice, Lucy perked up and stared right into the grinning face of Natsu who immediately jumped back and did a double take.
"W-what?! Is there something on my face?" Lucy gasped and immediately shot a hand up to her cheek.
Natsu only came closer and scrutinized his teammate's new look. "Oh, it was nothing, Luce. It's just…I dunno, you look kinda weird today."
An angry blush lighted her cheeks as Lucy remembered she'd rush out this morning in her sweats and was probably looking very uncute at the moment.
Natsu, oblivious to the many woes written on Lucy's face, sat down next to her cheerily and gave her a hearty pat on the back. "I like that new look on you, Lucy. Definitely more my style."
Lucy indignantly shrugged him off before snapping, "What does 'more your style' mean, Mr. I-Know-So-Much-About-Fashion?"
Flashing a grin, Natsu pinched both sides of his pants and stretched them back and forth. "Comfy."
Lucy resisted the urge to slap her forehead (or rather his) when she remembered her dilemma. She jumped off her stool and grabbed Natsu by the shoulders.
"Uh-huh??" The boy looked slightly abashed at his usual calm friend's extreme mood swings.
"You have to help me!" Lucy cried dramatically as she shook him to emphasize her point.
Natsu cringed under Lucy's big, imploring brown eyes. If they started watering, he'd really start feeling uncomfortable. He hated to see girls cry. More importantly, he'd be at a loss to do anything after they'd start bawling and Lucy definitely wanted him to do something.
"O-okay, I'll help you. What is it, Lucy?"
"Natsu, I'm about to be ev-" Before Lucy could finish her sentence, the scene of the two teenage boys flashed through her mind.
"Natsu has to come to her rescue…"
Natsu had been preparing for the worst possible news ever when he saw Lucy take a deep breath, take her hands off his shoulders and straighten up. She never finished what she was going to say.
The stellar spirit mage suddenly beamed at him and let out a short laugh. "Don't you worry about a thing, Natsu!" She bent forward and poked him hard on the chest. "I've got it all under control. Oww…"
An attempt at a smug, confident look on Lucy's face crumpled as she cradled the throbbing finger she had just jabbed at Natsu's toned chest. Lucy ignored Natsu's 'what the hell?' and swiftly turned around.
As she made her way towards the Request Board, Natsu cocked his head to one side wondering why females were so strange. What was it that Igneel had said? Hormones? Monthly tempers?
As the fire mage ran through a messy list of what Igneel had mentioned about the species of women ranging from a desire to be free of most bodily hair to hating the natural body essence to something called "fleer-ting" (?), he saw Lucy suddenly swipe the first five requests she saw.
The whole guild suddenly fixed their attention on the deranged girl as she rolled up the papers.
Natsu shook his head disbelievingly before leaping over a table and landing next to Lucy. He attempted to grab the roll of requests out of her hand.
"Are you crazy? You didn't even look at them!" He vainly tried to retrieve the requests as Lucy danced it out of his reach. "What are you going to do if they're all bounties of dangerous criminals? We can't finish that in a day, you know!"
"Ha!" Lucy pointed the rolled up requests at Natsu. "Who said anything about 'we'? I'm finishing these all by myself – in under a week!"
Her resounding declaration rang through the halls of the guild. After a few moments of stunned silence, the mages all promptly burst into laughter.
Turning red, yet still determined to stay true to her word, Lucy held her head high and stalked out of the guild.
As Lucy let the doors close behind her, she suddenly felt a jerk on her sweatshirt making her stumble backwards.
Natsu had followed after her with a bewildered expression on his face. His confused look made her feel slightly guilty. Even amidst the embarrassment in front of the guild, Lucy had noticed that Natsu hadn't laughed at her.
"Lucy, what are you doing?" Natsu growled irritably. He was genuinely concerned that his teammate was losing her marbles and if he could prevent her from doing so, he was definitely going to try.
"I'm going solo for a bit, Natsu." Lucy said a little more kindly. She pried his fingers off her hood and walked a bit before turning around. "I'm gonna see how I can do on my own is all!"
"But you said you needed my help!!" Natsu shouted after the girl but she only waved and vanished around the corner.
Natsu decided then and there that it was insanity at root of the problems of women.
A/N: Hey guys, this is my first Fairy Tail fic! It's been so long since I've been inspired to do another fandom- it's a little weird...Regardless, I'm excited to dabble in new settings and characters. Hope y'all keep up with me on this one and more importantly, enjoy! :)