It was a normal day at Fairy Tail...well about as normal as could be. Lucy and Happy sat at their table in the guild, laughing at Natsu and Gray fighting yet again.

"You wanna go flame brain?"

"Anytime anywhere you damn exhibitionist!"

"Moron! Eat this!"

"Bring it snowflake! That was a pansy ass attack!"

"What? I dare you to say that again!"

For once, everyone seemed to be in the guild, the beer flowed like water and laughter could be heard from every corner of the guild. Lucy was content to just sit and watch her "family" riot and wreak havoc. She loved all of them, complete with their crazy, wacky inhabitants.

After the whole Fairy Trial fiasco with Grimoire Heart attacking, Lucy had been noticing interesting relationships sprouting all over the place. Wendy had developed a strange crush on Fried, which he seemed to be aware of but had no idea of how to handle. It was obvious that Fried had a soft spot for her, judging by the way he looked out for her and glared at any young fool who was crazy enough to try and flirt with her while he was around. Elfman and Evergreen were slowly making their way to couple-dom despite their differences.

"It would be manly to say that you are looking particularly manly today Ever!"

"I-idiot! Who would be happy being told that they look manly? Do you have an animal sized brain too?"

They paid no attention to a wailing Mirajane in the background who was imagining what her nephew or niece was going to look like. She still hadn't quite gotten over the shock of Evergreen's announcement during the trial. Gray and Juvia were gaining some ground as well. He had heard of Juvia's battle with one of the 7. He had been astonished that she would go that far for him and it had opened his eyes to her...affection for a lack of better words.

Then there was the couple that had left the guild with their mouths hanging wide open. Levy and Gajeel. Gajeel of all people, people wailed to the skies at the unfairness of it all. Even Lucy had to admit, she hadn't seen that one coming. But as Gajeel had smirked and said when it came out to everyone.

"Guess your little bookworm likes it rough, huh?" the mortified squeal from Levy and the sputtering protests from the rest of the Shadow team had Gajeel roaring with laughter. Lucy giggled, they were really cute together. The bookworm and the dragon. An unlikely pair, but one that worked for all it was worth. She smiled wistfully. She wished that it was the same with her. The only couple that hadn't come to fruition was her and Natsu. She sighed. Who'd have thought that she would fall in love with Natsu of all people? The immature, childish and pink haired flame mage. Not that she had anything against pink hair but come on... pink hair? But after the way he had looked after her since she came to the guild and just the way he was. So firm and determined in everything he did, she had fallen in love before she could stop herself. But of course, Natsu being Natsu, treated her like anyone else. She was nakama, nothing more, nothing less. Half the time, he treated her like she was Gray. It was beginning to grate on her nerves. He didn't have to love her, but was it too much to ask for him to at least acknowledge that she was a woman goddamn it? She sighed again. Brooding wouldn't change anything, she forced herself to smile at Happy as he commented on something about how much he loved Charle despite her harrumph at his attempt to win her affections. Erza walked over to her, cake in hand, for once not bothering with Natsu and Gray. She engaged in small talk with the sword mage all the while trying to ignore the nagging feeling in the pit of her stomach. She couldn't shake the feeling that something bad was going to happen. She glanced towards the door apprehensively. If only she could get rid of the feeling, it wasn't like any guild would be stupid enough to attack them right after they had pounded Grimoire Heart into oblivion. It wasn't as if –

The door of the guild blew open, a strong wind blew in, carrying the foul smell of evil. Everyone stiffened automatically. Two men strode in purposefully in, Mirajane quietly rang for the master, without calling attention to herself aside for cheerily asking what she could do for them. They ignored her and made a beeline for Lucy's table, who had gone rigid, her face the picture of surprise. The man leading was large, with long white blond hair, greying with age. He was dressed lavishly, decked from head to toe in velvet and silk with a hard look to rival the soft appearance of his clothes. He was devoid of any jewelry except for the one large emerald colored stone on his left hand. The man beside him seemed to radiate an unpleasant vibe. Lucy involuntarily shivered making eye contact with him. His eyes seemed to be soulless, and as evil as everything else about him. His looks, however, were deceptive, he was pleasingly handsome, tall with a presence about him. They stopped 3 feet away from her and stared at her, when neither said any thing, Lucy got up, walking in his direction until she was only a foot away from him.



The sound resonated within the guild, evoking a loud hey! from her team members. Her father had used all his force to backhand her across the face with his right hand. Lucy stumbled to the ground reeling from the force of the blow. Natsu, Gray and Erza ran to her, only to be blocked by a rune wall. Fried and Levy ran over, deciphering the runes as they approached.

"It says Lu-chan can't leave the trap until she agrees to her father's terms." The guild members gathered around the rune wall, each testing for a way to bypass the rune wall. Inside, Mr. Heartfilia ignored the others, focusing on his daughter, who was sprawled on the ground, struggling to get her bearings again.

"So my daughter, this is the trash you've allied yourself with?" Lucy's head whipped up, snarling at him, startling her father. "Goodness what an uncouth voice for a young lady produce!" She looked at him tauntingly.

"A little trick I picked up from Natsu." The statement caused Natsu to smirk. That was his Lucy. She never backed down when it came down to crunch time.

"I don't know why you're here but I'm not agreeing to any-AAHHHHH!" Everyone gasped as Lucy's father backhanded again, this time with the hand that carried a large emerald colored stone. A jagged cut opened on her cheek, Natsu hissed as the metallic smell of blood assaulted his sensitive nose. Lucy was once again on the ground, disoriented as she attempted to get up again.

Her father casually checked his pocket watch.

"I haven't got much time, so I'll make this brief. This powerful and wealthy mage here has offered me a large amount for your hand marriage. All I want is your signature on this form." He gestured towards to the man next to him and unfurled an important looking document in Lucy's face. "He wants your celestial power, he says you have more powerful magic that you are aware of or something." He looked bored with the talk of magic, it was clear that all he wanted was the money. Lucy looked at him incredulously.

"And why the hell would I agree? What made you think that I would agree to that? Did you think that you could just walk in here and tell me what to do?" She was shocked at how much control her father seemed to think he had over her. Her father smirked at her and snapped his fingers. The man stepped out from behind Mr. Heartfilia, pulling out an rapier, pointing it elegantly at her. The point was level with her head. Lucy eyed it warily, as he said maliciously in a soft voice.

"Lightening Strike."

Suddenly Lucy was engulfed by lightening, too bright for anyone to look at. Lucy's screams reverberated as she arched her back in pain. It was too much for Natsu's ears. He threw himself with a roar at the rune wall, pounding it with his fist. Screaming along with the rest of the guild for the man to stop hurting their Lucy. No, not their Lucy, his Lucy. She was his and he would be damned if he stayed put and watched her be tortured. The rest of the guild screamed for her.


The screams just wouldn't stop!