Natsu shifted from one foot to the other as he waited for his friends to give him their replies to his request. He had to admit that he was a little annoyed with himself that he couldn't do this by himself but he knew that if he wanted it to be perfect then he would need his friends to help him. "So, are you guys going to help or not?" he asked in a gruff tone, eyes scanning the area in case a certain someone suddenly appeared. He needed this to be a surprise so he had made sure that the Guild doors were closed and had Elfman guarding them.
"So let me get this straight," Gray ran a hand through his head, trying to understand if he heard the fire mage right. "You want us to lie to Lucy for you?" when he saw Natsu nod his head he was even more confused. "Lucy Heartfilia, your girlfriend of two years? You want us to help you lie to her" Natsu nodded his head again and Gray let out a long sigh. "I swear you get even stupider with each passing year."
Natsu glared at the ice mage but kept his temper in check. He had other things to worry about then fighting him at the moment. "Are you going to help me or not?" he huffed, crossing his arms and quickly sniffed the air. He was searching for Lucy's scent, so far he was smelling her which meant she wasn't on her way to the Guild just yet.
"What exactly are we helping you with, Natsu?" Levy asked, not entirely sure if she wanted to go through with this plan. She didn't like the thought of lying to her best friend.
"Yeah, all you told us so far is that you want us all to convince Lucy that you don't like the thought of marriage." Cana added in, for once ignoring the jug of alcohol beside her. She didn't want to risk getting drunk and missing this moment, it seemed very entertaining and promising.
Natsu once again sniffed the air, searching for Lucy's scent, but when he didn't catch it he figured it would be ok to explain things. "I'm going to ask Lucy to marry me," he began, his cheeks turned a light shade of pink and he moved one hand to the pocket inside his jacket, checking to make sure that the ring was still there.
"You're what!" The Guild exploded in questions. They couldn't believe that they just heard that Natsu Dragneel, the guy who loves destruction, fighting, and didn't even have a clue about dating until they explained it to him was planning on asking his girlfriend to marry him.
Happy laughed in between his bites of eating his fish. "I told you they would react this way." he said before going back to his fish. Natsu had explained his whole plan to him already so he saw no need in paying attention.
Natsu frowned, he didn't exactly like his friend's reactions. "Yes, and that's why I need your help."
"I still don't get it Natsu," Lisanna came up to him, trying to get some sense out of his words. "If you want to marry Lucy wouldn't you want her to know. I mean give her some kind of hints. Making her believe that you don't want to every marry seems kind of weird when you actually do."
Natsu grunted, he didn't think it would be this hard trying to convince his friends to help him. "It's because I want to marry her that I need you guys to help me lie," he lowered his head, glaring at the ground. "Whenever I try and surprise Lucy she always catches on. No matter what I do she always sees through my attempts and ends up finding out about the surprise before I even finish it." he thought back to all the failed attempts he tried surprising her and how she would always see right through him and guess what he was planning. It was actually rather depressing but he was going to make sure that this time she wouldn't figure out what he was planning for her.
Lisanna felt her heart go out for the guy. "I'm sure that Lucy doesn't mind. She always seems so happy when you do stuff for her and you are always telling us how much she smiled on those holidays when you do try and surprise her."
"I know," Natsu sighed, pulling out the ring from his jacket pocket and stared at the black box that held it inside. "Just once I want to see her all surprise and speechless when I do something special for her." he knew that Lucy was always happy with anything he did, even when the surprises were ruined she still enjoyed herself and it made him so happy to know that he brought that joyful grin onto her face. Still he wanted to do something that would take her breath away, making her brown eyes go wide in shock, her cheeks turn a light shade of pink that could match his hair perfectly, and have her whole body shaking with anticipation as little tears formed in her eyes.
"You really put a lot thought into this, haven't you Natsu?" Mirajane came to join her sister by her side and gave the boy in front of her a gentle smile. When she saw him give a slow nod she giggled. "Well I think it's really sweet that you want to surprise Lucy so I promise I'll do my best to help you."
Natsu picked his head up in surprise, eyes gleaming with joy. "Really?"
"If Mira-nee is helping then so am I!" Lisanna smiled at her old friend. She would help him with whatever crazy plan he came up with.
"I guess I don't have a choice," Gray sent a smirk his teammate's way. "If we left it up to you it would end up in disaster." he joked lightly. He was happy for his old friend and he would do what he could to help him.
"I know Lu-Chan will be very happy with this so I want to help too!" Levy cheered and her two teammates Jet and Droy joined her. Soon enough the whole Guild was joining in, saying they would do whatever they could to help Natsu with his plans to marry Lucy.
"It looks like you have everyone on your side, Natsu." Makarov came over to stand in front of the mage, a proud grin on his face. "Now don't keep us in suspense. Tell us what we can do to help you and Lucy live happy lives together?" he and everyone else leaned in to hear what the plan was.
Natsu nodded, "Ok, I already have the place where I want to propose, I just need to set some things up to make it perfect," he placed the ring back in his jacket pocket for safe keeping.
"I'll help with that." Lisanna offered with a bright grin. She has never seen Natsu so passionate about something that didn't involve fighting so she wanted to give it her all to help him.
"Same here!" Levy came next, she knew what Lucy liked so she had some perfect ideas to make the area amazing.
"Perhaps I can be of some assistants as well." Reedus walked over with his sketchbook and paints, all ready to make the dreams that Natsu dream up come true.
"So I guess that leaves the rest of us to throw Lucy off the trail?" Mirajane asked, wanting to know more of the plan.
"Yep," Natsu grinned, he was starting to get excite. "I'm going to start off with a little push and then I want the rest of you guys to dive right in. Keep making her believe that the thought of marriage absolutely disgusts me until tonight. I'll have Levy bring her to where I want to propose and then bam! The surprise is a success and I'll have my moment with Lucy!" he threw a fist in the air, ready to get his plan started so he could get to the most important part. He had been waiting for the right time to ask Lucy to marry him and now that it was finally here he couldn't wait to get started.
"Exactly how are you going to start off anyways?" Gray asked, a little unsure on how this plan could go. "If you jump right in with "I hate marriage" she might get a little suspicious." he said.
Natsu shifted his gaze from his black-haired friend and let out a laugh that everyone could tell was forced. "As if I would do something that stupid."
"He was really planning on doing that." everyone groaned when they realized what his real idea had been.
"Natsu if you do that then Lu-Chan will know right away what you want." Levy said. She knew her best friend and how she thinks. She can see through a lie very easily, especially with Natsu and how badly he sucked at lying. If he said something like that to Lucy it would be like he was wearing a sigh that said "I actually really want to get married I just want it to be a surprise but I really suck at lying"
"So what am I supposed to do?" He groaned, clenching his hands in his hair and sniffed the air again. Lucy's scent was finally heading towards the Guild and she would be here any moment which meant he didn't have a lot of time to come up with a whole new idea.
"I have an idea," Lisanna beamed. "We'll have Bisca and Alzack say how much they're enjoying their life together as a married couple and Natsu you can comment about how much marriage annoys you." she gave her plan.
Natsu liked her idea. "Got it!" he grinned, getting himself ready to lie to his girlfriend so he could surprise her with the ultimate experiences of her life.
"Ok, now that we all know what to do I suggest we get ready," Erza stood in the middle of the room, a determined look on her face. "Failure is not an option and if anyone messes this up for Lucy and Natsu I will personally make sure that you suffer!" she growled, sending everyone a look that warned them if they mess up they'll die a painful and traumatizing death.
"She's coming!" Elfman suddenly cried, letting them all know that Lucy was on her way.
"Everyone into positions. The plan starts now!" Erza cried out as she and everyone ran to their usual tables and tried to act as normal as possible. They would pretend this was just a regular day for them so not to give Lucy an clues on what was really going on.
"Good morning, everyone!" Lucy happily greeted her friends as she opened the giant doors that were usually never closed. She had been a little surprised when she saw that they weren't opened but she figured that a big fight must have happened inside and they were closed so not to release any damage upon the city.
"Morning, Lu-Chan!" Levy quickly ran up and hugged her best friend. She had a bright smile on her face as she tried to hide her excitement. She just learned that her friend was about to be asked to get married and it had her wanting to jump for joy.
Lucy returned the hug but noticed something. "You seem very happy today, Levy-Chan." she was used to her friend being a very cheerful girl but she couldn't recall her ever being this cheerful.
"Probably because we're going into town today for some shopping," Lisanna stepped in next when she saw the gears in Lucy's mind start to turn. "There' this big sale happening in the next town over and one of our old friends from the past that works at the store promised to give us some really good deals."
Lucy blinked, "An old friend?"
"Oh yeah," Levy just smiled sweetly, as she and Lisanna walked out the door. "We've known them ever since we were kids so you've never meet them, Lu-Chan."
Lisanna gave a quick nod and waved. "Now if you'll excuse us we'll be going now!" she and Levy quickly walked out of sight from the blonde and went in search of a good place to hide where they would wait for Natsu to help him with his plan to propose.
"Ok...?" Lucy watched them go and was a little confused. "Well that was weird."
"If you'll excuse me as well Lucy." she quickly stepped aside when she saw Reedus was leaving next.
"You're leaving too?" she asked, even more confused now. Usually her friends loved being in the Guild, they only ever left for a job or when they had to go home. She was starting to wonder if there was something wrong with the Guild that everyone wanting to leave it so suddenly.
Reedus merely nodded and kept walking. "I am in need of some new paint so I need to head into town to get some." he told her briefly before exiting the Guild. Once he was out of sight he went to find the girls where they would all wait for Natsu to join them and take them to where he planned on proposing.
Lucy watched him go and crossed her arms, one eyebrow raised as she thought about her three friends that just left. "Something weird is going on." she could feel it in her bones. Her friends were acting differently then they usually do and it was bothering her. Slowly she walked inside and looked all around, everyone was sure acting the same but the air around them felt different. Something weird was definitely going on here, she just didn't know what that was yet.
"Lucy!" Natsu quickly jumped to his girlfriend, engulfing her in a hug and held her close.
"Oh, Natsu." quickly she focused her attention on him and returned his hug, giving him a quick kiss on the cheek. "Morning." she greeted him, happy that at least one person was acting normal around here.
Natsu grinned at the kiss and held her close, trying to enjoy enough of her scent that would last him the day. He would be gone for most of it while preparing her surprised proposal. He just had to keep it casual and keep her from noticing how nervous and excited he was.
"How come you came in late today, Luce?" Happy asked, flying in front of the blonde. Both boys noticed that she seemed to become stiff at his words but she returned to normal so quickly they couldn't be sure that they didn't just imagine it or not.
"Yeah, sorry about that." she said quickly but Natsu noticed that she hadn't answered the question. "By the way, what's up with everyone today? They're acting kind of weird, don't you think?" she asked, looking around the room and noticed that everyone still seemed to be acting different.
Natsu froze in his spot. "She's catching on!" his heart sped up and beads of sweat started to roll down his face as he gestured towards Mira to get the plan started before everything fell apart.
Mira saw this and sent a quick wave over to Alzack and Bisca, telling them to get things started.
Bisca saw this and started first. "Oh, Alzack you're so sweet!" she said in a sweet tone, loud enough that Lucy could hear them and looked over to see what was going on. "I just love the new rifle you got me." she showed off a shiny new gun that seemed to almost glow.
Alzack looked confused for a moment, he never bought her a new gun, but before he quickly caught on to his wife's plan. "I'm so glad you like this, sweetie." he smiled at her, talking just as loud as her.
Bisca grinned, holding his hand in hers and intertwining their fingers. "I'm so happy that I married you. I really picked a good man." she said with a soft sweet tone.
"And I'm so lucky that I married you.' he replied just as sweet. It seemed more like they were having a moment then actually working out the plan.
Lucy watched the couple from her spot with Natsu and grinned. She was so happy for her friends. "Bisca and Alzack sure are lucky that they have each other."
Natsu shrugged, "I guess." he tried to act like he didn't care which wasn't that hard. He could tell that the couple had already forgotten his plan and were in their own little world.
"Still..." Lucy let out a soft sigh before putting her two hands over her blushing cheeks. "I'm envious of them. I hope someday when I get married I'll be like them." secretly she dreamed of her marriage to Natsu as she spoke, imaging them saying their vows and kissing.
Natsu saw this and smiled. He was glad to know that he wasn't the only one thinking about getting married. "Alright, time to get to work!" he quickly readied himself for the lie he would tell to throw his girlfriend off his trail. "Yeah, I guess. I mean if you're in to that stuff then I can see why'd you be envious." he crossed his arms behind his head and held a bored look on his face. "Honestly I don't get the whole point of marriage." he had to bite the inside of his cheeks to keep him from smiling.
Lucy jumped when she heard his words, shock written all over her face. "Really?" she tried to stop her heart from being consumed with disappointment but it was hard. "Just calm down Lucy. He probably doesn't mean that he won't ever get married. Maybe Dragons have a different word for it and he just doesn't know what it means." she tried to reassure herself before she went crazy with worry and doubt.
Natsu could see her mind spinning at his words and he knew that he needed to get out before he gave himself away. It was getting harder and harder to not smile at how his plan was working. "Yep. I think it's pretty stupid. In fact I've decided that I'm never gonna get married." he gave a quick grinned before kissing her on the cheek and headed towards the doors. "Well I'll see you later, Luce. The old man gave me some dumb job to do and if I don't get it done Erza will kill me." and with that said he ran out of the Guild and with his nose found his three friends that would help him set up his perfect plan to propose.
"Did she buy it?" Lisanna asked once she saw her old friend coming towards them. They had all hidden behind the Guild's gift shop to wait.
Natsu nodded. "Like a charm." he gave a thumbs up, proud that his plan had worked so well.
"Aye sir!" Happy cheered next, he was glad for that the plan had worked out so well.
"Then we better get going before she catches us." Levy told them and they all agreed, letting Natsu lead the way as he guided them towards the place where he would pop the most important question of his and Lucy's life.
Lucy watched him go, standing at the front of the bar with a dumbfounded look on her face. "Never?" suddenly she had to sit down. She quickly took her usual seat and put one hand to her forehead, letting it rest there as she recalled the words Natsu just said to her. "He never wants to get married?" she couldn't believe he actually said that to her. They were dating and he blatantly said to her face that he never wants to get married. "Mira?" she called to the woman, she was in desperate need of some advice. "What exactly did Natsu mean by he never wants to get married?" was she misunderstanding something? Did they do something differently in the Dragon culture? Or was her boyfriend of two years telling her that he saw no future with her, or any woman actually, and was basically saying they were going nowhere?
Mira sent her a sweet smile. "Oh, that's just Natsu. He's been saying that ever since he was a little kid." she said as she cleaned some glasses, trying to keep herself busy so not to ruin the big surprise. She was just as excited as everyone else in the Guild was and she didn't want to spoil this for Natsu.
Lucy sighed, running a hand through her hair with a lost look on her face. "But didn't Lisanna say that she wanted to be his wife when they grew up?" she recalled hearing that when Mira had explained how Happy was born. She had to admit that she was a little jealous and concerned when hearing this story, especially when Lisanna returned, but both mages made it clear that Natsu only cared for her.
Mira put the glasses away, making sure that her back was to Lucy as she spoke this next lie. "Yes, but at the time Natsu thought the word "wife" meant some kind of food. After we explained to him what it really was he quickly dismissed the thought of ever settling down." she nearly cringed at how bad her lie sounded but it was all she could come up with.
"He thought marriage and wife were some kind of food?" Lucy raised an eyebrow, not sure what to make of this new information.
Mira nodded, "Well he did grow up with a Dragon so of course he wouldn't understand everything about what some words mean."
Lucy frowned, "But I thought Igneel taught him everything he knew about humans so Natsu could survive in our society?" something didn't seem right. Mirajane was acting weird and Lucy wanted to know why, especially since she was making up such crazy stories.
"Um...?" Mira gulped, not sure what to say next. Lucy was very smart and she had caught on quicker than she thought. "No wonder Natsu has such a hard time surprising her."
"Give it a rest, Bunny-Girl," both girls turned their attention onto the Iron Dragon Slayer who was sitting down at the far end of the bar. "Dragneel ain't ever gonna take you or any woman as a
wife so deal with it." he said, chewing on a screw.
Lucy bit her lower lip, hands went to her lap to grip the hem of her skirt. "But I thought all Dragons took a mate to you know...have kids with and stuff." she could feel her cheeks burn at her words but she ignored the embarrassment to get some answers.
Gajeel only grinned wildly. "Yeah, we take mates not wives. When have you ever heard of a Dragon having a wedding ceremony?" he laughed at his own question and so did the rest of the Guild, they were going along with Gajeel's words and making Lucy believe in them. "To pinky all you're ever going to be is his bed partner, not his wife."
Lucy became stiff at those words, her eyes wide as they stared down at her hands that continued to grip her skirt. "A bed partner?" her voice was low as she spoke, the words made her feel heavy almost as if they were weights and they were making her fall down into an endless abyss.
"I'm sure Natsu doesn't look at your relationship that way." Mira quickly said, trying to make Gajeel's words sound less harsh.
"No, he's right." Lucy spoke, keeping her gaze downcast so her friends couldn't see the tears that were forming in her eyes. "I think I should go home now. I'm not feeling so good at the moment." quickly she jumped off the barstool and all but ran out the doors. She needed to get away and thing about a few things, namely her future.
"Oh dear," Mira watched her friend go and immediately guilt consumed her.
"I think we might have gone a little overboard." Cana commented from her spot.
"Gajeel, you were to cruel. Juvia says you used of used better words." Juvia scowled her old friend, crossing her arms and frowning. She was somewhat tempted to make it rain only over his head but she knew it wouldn't solve anything.
Gajeel however only scoffed. "What? We wanted her to keep from finding out and she was catching on. Now she won't even think about pinky wanting to marry her." he replied taking a quick sip of his drink.
"Yeah, but you went overboard," Gray said, hands in his pockets as he moved towards the door. "I'm going to see if I can do some damage control. It'll be a problem if when Natsu actually does ask her she'll think he's kidding and reject him." he could already imagine Lucy slapping Natsu around for thinking that he was toying with her feelings and a very depressed Natsu would follow directly after.
With a quick wave he exited the Guild and took off running in the direction that his friend went in. He knew this had been a bad idea but he had agreed to help his friend out but it looked like they had done more harm than good. He needed to try and fix things, at the very least make the idea of marriage not seem completely gone. Gray agreed that Gajeel had gone overboard and now it made Lucy think that her relationship was doomed. They'll be lucky if she doesn't breakup with him the next time they meet. Already he could picture a heartbroken Natsu destroying the Guild for ruining his relationship and possibly even kidnapping her and making her marry him. With Natsu anything was possible so he ran at full speed until he finally caught up. "Lucy!" he panted, hands on his knees as he tried to catch his breath. "Look about what Gajeel said-"
"It's fine Gray," Lucy turned around to face him, eyes shining from the tears that she was holding back. "He made things very clear that things between Natsu and I are pretty pointless." she crossed her arms, trying to keep her body from shaking.
"No, that's not it." Gray needed to get those ideas out of her head. "I'm mean sure Natsu says he doesn't like marriage but that can change. He's changed a lot after you came so maybe he'll change his opinion if you just talk to him." it wasn't the best excuse but it was all he could come up.
Lucy just scoffed, "Yeah right. He is too stubborn and stupid to change his mind so easily," Gray cringed, she had him there. Everyone knew how stubborn Natsu was and getting him to change his opinion about anything was nearly impossible. "If he hated the idea of marriage so much then he shouldn't have said he loved me or even gone out with me. I would have been better off if he just rejected me," she huffed, stamping her foot down on the ground. "I can't believe Rio was right about him. I should have listened."
Gray raised an eyebrow, a bad feeling was beginning to form in his chest. A feeling like an enemy was sneaking up on him but he didn't know from which direction. "Who's Rio?"
Lucy however didn't notice this behavior, she was too busy glaring at the river beside them. "He's an old friend of mine. He's the one my father tried to get me to marry but I refused because I wanted to stay with Fairy Tail," she ran a hand through her hair and let out a long sigh. "If I had never run away I probably would have agreed to marry him. He was my first crush but when I met Natsu I decided to give him my heart, and like Rio said placing my heart in the hands of a guy that destroys entire towns was a big mistake." she shook her head sadly. She couldn't believe this was happening to her. She had trusted Natsu and without him even being there he had broken her heart.
"When did you even see this guy?" Gray asked. As far as he knew Lucy had no contact with anyone from her old life so how could this guy have spoken with her.
"I ran into him today on my way to the Guild, he's in town for some business. We had breakfast together and I felt bad about seeing the guy without Natsu being there but now I see there's really no point in feeling guilty. After all I'm only his bed buddy." she suddenly really wanted to punch that pink-haired idiot right in the face. How dare he use her like that. If he only ever viewed their relationship like that then he should have told her instead of leading her on and making her believe that they had an actual future together. "You know what if Natsu doesn't want to marry me then I might as well be with somebody that does." with that said she stomped away, heading in the direction of where Rio was.
"No!" Gray stopped her. He tackled her to ground and kept her from leaving. "You can't do that!" he cried, keeping her trapped under him.
"Gray, what the hell do you think you're doing?" Lucy cried, trying to get him off of her. This day was so far not her favorite and it was getting worse and worse by the minute. "Get off of me!"
"Lucy you can't go see Rio," he jumped off her but he didn't let her go. He held tight to her wrist and started to drag her towards her home. "What you need is some peace and quiet. You just need to be alone and write that novel of yours." he dragged her down the road, ignoring all the looks he was getting. He would really be lucky if he didn't get arrested because someone thought he was kidnapping her.
Lucy fought back against him but his strength was greater than hers. "I finished my novel two years ago and I don't want stupid peace and quiet. What I want to do is punch Natsu in the face!" she cried.
Gray groaned, he wasn't too happy with how this situation had turned out. "Come on, Lucy. I'm sure if you calm down, even if it's just for a few minutes you'll feel much better." he said, pushing her in front of her apartment complex. "And it'll keep me from getting arrested." he thought. Already he could hear the rumors spreading about him being some kind of kidnapper.
"Fine," Lucy sighed and gave in. "I'll go in my apartment and relax," she crossed her arms and turned her back towards Gray. She was still upset about the whole matter and him tackling her didn't make her feel any better.
"Good," Gray gave a sigh of relief, his shoulders slump as a sudden weight was lifted off. He felt so much better now. "Glad to hear it." he turned and headed back to the Guild, he needed to warn Natsu about what Lucy was thinking and he needed to hurry up with his plan before he loses his girlfriend to some other guy.
"After I see Rio."
Gray immediately stopped in his tracks and turned around to see Lucy running away from her apartment and him. "No, no, no, no!" he ran after her and like before tackled her to the ground. "I said you can't!" this time he threw her over his shoulder and like the other times let himself into her apartment. He threw her angry form onto her bed and began to freeze the windows and doors. "Look, I need you stay in this room until tonight."
Lucy glared at him. "Why?" he had tackled her two times today and she was not pleased with it. He had ruined one of her favorite outfits and he was acting really weird. She found this strange, when she first started dating Natsu he was the one who told her that if he did something to hurt her then she should come running to him and he would beat him up. So why was he suddenly defending the guy who made her heart feel like it had just been through a cheese grater?
"Because it's important that you do!" he yelled, feeling suddenly tired and anguish. "Please, just wait here until tonight. Levy will come to get you and soon everything will make sense." with that said he slowly walked towards the door, keeping his eyes on her. "Now I'm going to the Guild for a bit. Do you promise you'll stay here?" he asked, one hand on the doorknob.
Lucy scoffed and gestured to her frozen window. "Do I have a choice?"
"Good." Gray nodded and exited the door and froze it like all the others. When it came time for Levy to come he would unfreeze her apartment but until then he would not take any chances. "I better warn hurry and warn that stupid idiot."
Lucy let out a long sigh, letting her head fall onto her pillow and stared up at her ceiling. So many thoughts were going through her mind and none where happy. She had just learned that the guy she was in love with mostly likely only viewed her a bed partner, someone he would never marry. Did that mean he didn't want children with her either or did it mean that whenever she did get pregnant he would accept the kid but not marry her? Would they just continue to be dating forever until one of them died? She knew that Dragon culture was very different but she didn't think it was that different. She had always thought that one day he would ask her to marry him. He may have been no-romantic but he was still sweet.
She could remember the day he finally asked her out so clearly it seemed like it had only just happened yesterday. He brought her to the cherry blossom park with the trees that glowed rainbow in the spring. The trees were glowing as beautifully as they always do and while everyone else in Fairy Tail enjoyed the party he had dragged her off to talk. He explained himself to her, about his past and how he was raised. He wasn't into the dating scene, he couldn't picture himself romance a woman with flowers and chocolate or any of that other stuff girls dreamed about. Lucy herself couldn't see him acting as the typical boyfriend. He said he could never be that guy all the girls fussed about because that wasn't who he was and she agreed, she didn't want him to be that guy.
That day he didn't ask her out on a date or to be his girlfriend. He had asked if she would be with him. He asked her if she would consider being with him and she had replied with a happy but teary yes. They kissed right after she accepted and the next day he had announced that had agreed to be with him. Everyone was happy for them and Natsu had always showed had happy he was to be with her. He never took out to fancy restaurants or surprised her expensive gifts like flowers and jewelry. Instead he just showed her that he only saw her as his special person. Whenever he had a new move he would show her first, he found a new secret fishing hole she would be the first one to come with him, and whenever a big party or event happened he would always be right by her side, enjoying every moment together and sneak in a few kisses. He wasn't the typical romantic but he still made her heart skip a beat.
She had known who Natsu was and she accepted him a long time ago. He was no prince charming who rode on a white horse to rescue a princess. He was the one who would break down the tower that held the princess and make her help him fight the Dragon that kept her prisoner.
"How can he not like marriage?" she asked no one but she wanted an answer to come. She knew that Dragons didn't have weddings but she always thought that when they took a mate it was the same as marriage. She knew that it couldn't just be their culture because Levy had told her that she and Gajeel were starting to talk about getting married. Wendy also had often spoken with her about marriage. If they ever passed by a shop that held a wedding dress the young girl would stop and stare at the pure white dress in awe and speak with her about how she hoped her future wedding would be. "So it's only Natsu." she punched her pillow and quickly sat up. "I can't believe he doesn't ever want to get married."
"Some people just are cut out for it." Loke appeared in front of her, a small calming smile on his face. "I felt that you were upset and I came to check up on you. Although I never imagined this would be the reason." he said taking a seat on her couch.
"So I guess that means you heard everything?" she asked a bit embarrassed that her spirits and closes friends had heard about the horrible situation she was in. It was bad enough that the entire Guild had heard Gajeel call her Natsu's bed partner but now all her spirits and possible the whole Celestial Realm too?
Loke nodded, "Yes and I must say that Aquarius is ready to drown Natsu the next moment she sees him."
Lucy huffed, chin resting in her hands as she stared at her friend. "She had my blessing." she mumbled and looked down at the water bear's key. She could already imagine Aquarius getting ready her most powerful attack to drown Natsu. She didn't like anyone messing with love and if you crossed that line then you were screwed.
"You don't really mean that," Loke chuckled, leaning forward with a grin on his face. "Even after all this you still love him."
"So what if I do?" She stared sadly down at the floor and let out another long sigh. "If he only saw our relationship that way he should have just told me from the beginning. He even knows that I want to get married someday and yet he still kept up the charade that someday we might," tears started to form in her eyes but she didn't have it in her to wipe them away. All she could do was speak. "I'm in love with a guy that only sees me as girl to knock up. He was never going to ask me to be his bride, he would just be with me until I finally got pregnant." the tears fell, streaming down her face and onto the floor and yet she still could not bring herself to wipe them away. She wanted them to fall because she hoped they would take away this painful feeling that was residing inside her chest. "I don't want to just be some girl he takes to bed. I don't want to say to people "He's not my husband, he's only the father of my child. Oh, we're not married but we still live together", I don't want that. I want to proudly say "Yes, he's my husband. He's my loving husband who loves me and his kids very much." I want to say that but now I can't!" she cried. She ran to Loke and cried. Her arms holding his waist as she cried in his lap, just like the way she cried in her father's lap the day her mother died. "Loke, what do I do? I love him so much but I don't think my heart could bear it if I stayed with him like this." she cried to her most loyal spirit and closest friend. She wanted him to give him the answers that would make her heart feel light and happy again instead of this painfully feeling that made her feel dead inside.
"I'm sorry," Loke ran one hand through her hair and the other rubbed her back. "I don't have the answers that can make you feel better. As much as I want it to happen nothing I say will make this pain go away, only Natsu can do that. All I can do is give you the love and comfort as your friend and pray that it's enough."
"It is," she hiccupped, finally wiping away the tears. "Thank you, Loke. You always help me whenever I need you." she sniffed, standing back up on her feet and went to grab some tissues.
"I did promise to always protect you," he stood with her, placing a comforting hand on her shoulder. "You just let me know if you need me for anything else."
"Actually I do," she told him and pointed to her froze door. "I need you to help me break out of here."
Loke stared down at her. "Are you really going to see Rio?" he asked but he already knew what she would say.
"I am," she nodded and headed towards her closet for some clean clothes. "I need to know if it's possible to move on from Natsu. If I feel anything at all from my past then I know I can break things off before my heart completely breaks."
"And if you don't?" He urged her to continue.
Lucy looked back at the lion spirit and gave a sad smile. "Then tell Aquarius to be ready with her water."
Loke returned her sad grin with one of his own. "Got it." he nodded sadly and went to break down her door. There were times when he wished he was a regular man that could be there for Lucy to offer her the love that she desired but he was a spirit and all he could was watched over her as her protector.
Gray ran back to the Guild, pushing and shoving anyone who was in his way. He would apologize later but for now he needed to hurry. He had to get someone to go and find Natsu to tell him what happen between him and Lucy before he went back and guarded her. He had realized only half way that she still had her keys and she could use any of them to break out of her apartment and go see that Rio guy. At that thought he sprinted towards his Guild and ran inside. "We got a problem." he huffed, trying to get the air back in his lungs and talk at the same time. "Lucy is thinking about breaking up with Natsu."
"What?" Mira dropped the tray that she had been holding, making all the food and beverages go crashing to the ground and ran over to Gray. "What do you mean? What happened?"
"Gray what did you do?" Erza was right beside her, glaring at the ice mage in fury.
"I didn't do anything. Gajeel is the one to blame," he pointed to the iron man before he got killed. "Thanks to his words Lucy is thinking about going to see some old boyfriend of hers because she thinks her relationship with Natsu had no future." he explained.
"This is bad," Mira couldn't believe this was happening. Just this morning everyone was so happy with the news and now it looked like things were going to end before they even began.
"Let's not panic," Erza quickly took control of the situation. "Where is Lucy now?"
"She's at her apartment. I froze her in but she probably got one of her spirits to break her out. I'm betting she's probably on her way to see the guy at this very moment." Gray said, shoving his hands inside his pockets. He had lost his shirt somehow along the way but he didn't care at the moment. They had other things to worry about.
"Then we need to hurry," Erza requiped into her Flight Armor. They had a serious problem on their hands and they had no time to waste. "I am going to assume that this man was from Lucy's past so that must mean he has money and is most likely staying in a very expensive and known hotel. Seeing how there are only two in town I will look in one and Gray you will look in the other. Meanwhile Mira I want you to find Natsu and tell him what's going on. Tell him if he even wants to consider a future with Lucy then to hurry up before she leaves him."
"Got it." Mira nodded and quickly ran out the door to find where Natsu was. She had wished he had told her where he was planning on proposing but she had a few good spots in mind of where he might be.
"We'd better hurry." Erza said to her teammate who nodded in agreement before both took off at full speed out of Fairy Tail and headed in their assigned directions.
Lucy felt her heart beat in a nervous fashion, hands playing together as she took the elevator up. She had come to see Rio and speak with him to see if she still held any old feelings for him at all. If Natsu didn't want to marry her then she figured that she might as well be with someone that wants too. So here she was, riding an empty elevator up to the top floor of one of the best hotels in the country. "I don't know what I'm doing anymore." she groaned out when the doors opened and she stepped out. It seemed like her feet were just moving and taking her some place. She came to a stop by a mirror and looked at her reflection. "Even if I do see him and feels something then what? Can I really leave Natsu?" she already knew the answer to that question so what was she doing here. She loved him so much that she honestly couldn't see herself being with anybody but him. But did that mean she only to be his partner in bed and not in life? Of course not, she wanted to be his wife but who was she to try and change his mind.
She loved everything about him and understood the things that most people didn't. Who knows maybe one day she'll understand why he doesn't want to get married. It could be because he doesn't want to lose another loved one like with Igneel or maybe he felt that he couldn't because he felt like he was betraying Lisanna if he married someone other than her. Whatever the reason was she knew that he wasn't doing it to try and hurt her. He loved her, she knew that much and she was sure if she talked to him he would explain his reasons and make her fall in love with him all over again. "I guess it was just a big waste of time coming here." she said, walking away from the mirror and heading back towards the elevator.
"Lucy? What are you doing here?" she turned around and saw Rio along with a woman with light pink hair coming up to her. Rio had light brown hair with sharp black eyes and pale skin. He always dressed in business suits but managed to keep from looking like serious man unlike her father.
She smiled at her old friend. "I was just coming by to see if you wanted to get lunch the next time you're in town but I thought you might be busy so I figured I should call and ask." she lied through her teeth, there was no way she would tell him the real reason why she had come.
"I see," Rio smiled down at her. "Well Sakura and I were about to go out to eat ourselves. You're welcomed to join us."
"Sakura?" Lucy looked towards the pink-haired woman.
"It's a please to meet you?" Sakura extended her hand and the two girls shook.
"She is my fiancé." Rio answered and suddenly Lucy felt really silly.
"Congratulations!" she cheered, happy that her friend had someone he loved.
"I was hoping you two would meet," Rio added, wrapping and arm around his fiancé's waist. "I'm positive you two will get to be great friends so I wanted to introduce you."
Lucy nodded. "I see. Well I'm sure-" she never got to finish her sentence.
"No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!" Gray had just arrived and tackled Lucy to the ground the moment he saw her with Rio. "Listen buddy she had a boyfriend so back off." he threw her over his shoulder and quickly ran down the stairs and out of the building before anything else happened.
"Gray! Put me down! That was so rude!" Lucy cried as she was once again tackled and now being carried away.
"No way! I'm not going to have both Erza and Natsu kill me because of you." he cried right back, running at full speed back to the Guild where he would keep her until the proposal was finally ready. As he did so he launched a thing of ice into the air to signal to Erza that he found Lucy and was now bringing her back to the Guild.
Natsu looked all around, eyes scanning over every last detail to make sure that everything was in its place. "Alright, it looks good!" he grinned, giving him friends the thumbs-ups of approval. He stood in the very center and with a giant grin felt his heart begin to beat fast. He was finally ready to ask Lucy to be his forever and now that his surprise was ready it would only be a few more moments before Lucy came and they started their future together.
"I gotta say Natsu I'm a little surprised," Happy said as he looked up at his good friend and partner. "I never knew you were such a romantic. You never act like one so it's weird seeing you be all lovey-dovey now." he said with a hint of teasing in his voice.
Natsu only continued on smiling. "Well I figured since this is an important moment in life I might as well go all out!" he lit his fist on fire as he once more pictured the look that would be on his girlfriend's face once she saw what he did for her. He would admit that he wasn't into the whole romance thing, he even told Lucy that when he first asked her to be with him but that didn't mean that he didn't want her to be happy. He liked it when she was at her happiest and he liked it even more when he was the one who caused her to be happy in the first place so if going out of his way to do something he normally never does brings a smile to her face then he would do it.
"Since we're all finished I'll go and get Lu-Chan." Levy informed them as she, Lisanna, and Reedus all packed up their supplies now that they were all done.
"Ok," Natsu nodded. "Make sure you bring her down the path he made." he reminded her. If Lucy came any other way then the surprise would be ruined and he would not have another surprise ruined. He was ready and willing to make sure that everything he planned would go off without a hitch and anything that go in his way he would remove it with his bare hands.
"Natsu!" everyone turned their attention away from one another to see Mirajane come running up to them. She seemed out of breath and was panting heavily, showing them that she had been running for quite a while. "I finally found you." she gasped for air, hands on her knees as she tried to get the oxygen back in her lungs.
"Mira-nee, what are you doing here?" Lisanna walked over to her sister in concern. She could tell by how her old sister was acting that something was bothering her.
"I came to get Natsu..." she huffed, taking in deep breathes so she could speak. "You need to propose to Lucy right away."
Natsu put his hands behind his head and grinned. "I know that. We just finished the surprise and Levy was about to go get her now when you-"
"There's no time for all that," Mira cried. "Lucy thinks that your relationship with her is dead so she went off to go see the man her father tried to get her to marry." she said, telling them what had taken place while they were away.
"What!" Natsu felt his jaw drop open and his heart seemed to stop beating. "Why would she do that?" Lucy wasn't the type to cheat. She was to innocent and sweet and kind to ever cheat on him. "Why does she think our relationship is over?" Just what the hell happened when he was away?
"We did what you wanted and convinced her that you hated the thought of marriage," Mira gave him a sad look, she could tell already that this news was slowly breaking his heart. "It seems that it worked to well so now she thinks that you two don't have a future together."
Natsu felt like giant weights were pulling him down as she spoke. "Lucy thinks we're over?" he repeated before bursting into flames. "I won't let that happen!" he cried into the open sky, his fire shouting out of him like a rocket.
"Natsu, you need to calm down before you burn down all of our hard work!" Levy cried to the fire mage. If he burned everything they had done then all of this would have been pointless.
"You need to hurry and go to Lucy and explain things to her." Lisanna said, trying to remind him of his relationship that seemed like it was about to break.
With a deep breath he calmed down his flames and himself. "You're right," he balled his hands into fists as he glared at the ground. "Where is Lucy? I need to talk to her right away." suddenly his arm started to burn again. "And to the guy that thinks he can steal away my woman." he growled, already imaging all the things he would do to the man that dared to try and steal away his girl.
"Lucy is with Gray right now," Erza called out to them, appearing the field in her Flight Armor. "He found her and took her back to the Guild where she is waiting for you." she said to the pink-haired man that said nothing, only gave a quick nod before running off.
"Do you think they'll be ok after this?" Lisanna asked her sister. She was worried for her friends and she knows that if things did end then Natsu would be completely heartbroken.
"I hope so." Mira answered her sister. She feared the same as everyone else did and all she could do was hope that things worked out in the end for them.
Natsu didn't waste a second as he broke down the Guild doors and searched for his girlfriend. "Where's Lucy?" his eyes searched every corner of his home away from home but he could not see any sight of blonde hair anywhere.
"She's in the storage room," Gray called out, pointing to the frozen over door that was being guarded by Elfman and Cana. "It took a while but I caught her just in time. He pretty boy ex-fiancé almost got her but I dragged her back here. We had to take away her keys and lock her up but I think you'll like it better than her running off with another man." he said with one hand holding his head. He was tired from all the running around and panicking that he did all day and now he was glad to be able to relax.
"Gray!" everyone frowned when they heard Lucy crying out through the door. "Let me out of here right now!" she banged on the door but it wouldn't budge. "At least give me a coat! It's freezing in here!" she cried.
Gray let out a low sigh and let the ice melt off from the door. "She's not in the best of moods right now so I would be careful." he warned his teammate.
Natsu said nothing. He walked over to the door and opened it and was not surprised by the punch that came flying his way. He caught it with ease and held it in his hand. "What do you want?" he was taken back by how much anger was in her voice but he remembered what Mira told him and quickly dismissed it. He gave her no reply but instead he pulled her towards him and pulled her over his shoulder, keeping a strong grip on her legs so she could escape him. "Put me down!" she cried, hitting at his back with her small fists that did nothing more than tickle him. "What is with you guys today and kidnapping me?" she added with a quick glare towards Gray who only shrugged his shoulders. "Where are you taking me?" she demanded to know where she was being taken too but she received no reply from the usual loud and talkative fire mage. "If you plan on breaking up with me then just do it already!" she cried again, a few tears spilling from her eyes as she spoke the fears that she was feeling. If he hated the idea of marriage so much then that must mean he didn't want to have a serious relationship either so sooner or later he was going to end things with her, or at least that was what she believed.
"Why would I do that?" it was the first time that he spoke and his voice sounded heavy. "If I'm happy with you then why would I want up to break up?" he adjusted her on his shoulder and slowly made his body temperature rise, trying to warm her up and keep her clam. The sun had just set and the night had become chilly as a cool breeze blew past them.
Lucy felt his heat, felt how gentle he was being with her and it made her heart hurt. "Because..." she didn't want to finish speaking. Either it was because she was too upset to bring up that subject or because she was embarrassed she didn't know.
"I'm sorry," he stopped walking in the middle of field, Lucy recognized it as the park where all the rainbow cherry blossoms were but strangely she didn't see any. "It's my fault that you're so upset," he put her back down on her down two feet before bringing her into his warm embrace. "I didn't mean to make you feel so sad. I actually had planned the total opposite but it seems like my plan backfired on me." he gave a weak chuckle, his face buried in her hair as he took in a deep breath. He wanted to have her scent with him during this time. It was her scent that somehow always made him like he could do anything, as if he had some sort of great power and he would need that power to do what he was about to do.
Lucy felt her heart skip a beat but she tried her best to fight it, she didn't want to feel so happy with him if they were only going to end in tragedy. "I don't know what you mean anymore Natsu." she placed her hands on his chest and leaned into his hold. "I thought I did but now I'm so sure anymore." she had thought that he loved her as much as she did and that he would want to spend the rest of his life with her but now she learned that wasn't the case.
"Sorry," he took hold of her left hand and smiled. "I had a really big speech that Levy helped me make up but I think it's better if I get right to the main point," with his right hand ablaze her shot a ball of fire at what appeared to be nothing but then Lucy gasped when she saw a piece of tarp burn away and revealed the rainbow cherry blossoms all glowing in full bloom with lanterns hanging from their branches and a few began to float around them along with fire shaped flowers that swarmed above their heads. "I worked on this all day because I wanted to surprise you." she felt tears form in her eyes that were so wide they felt like they would fall out. Her body was frozen over and her heart was beating so fast she was sure he could hear it easily. "I know you always liked big romantic moments for special occasions and I think this moment calls for a big surprise," slowly he placed a pink heart shaped diamond ring on her left ring finger and smiled. A small flame glowed inside the diamond and made her body heat up even more but she couldn't focus on that. The tears fell from her eyes and she was shaking. "Lucy, will you marry me?"
She couldn't say anything. All she could do was nod her head and hold him tight as she cried. She was to happy to do anything else. "I love you!" she choked out, hands gripping his clothes as she fought through the tears to speak. "You idiot. I thought you didn't feel the same way. You idiot. Idiot...stupid idiot!" she cried even more into his chest.
Natsu chuckled at her and held her close, one hand running through her hair as a content smile was plastered on his face. He knew that he would be smiling for days after this and he didn't mind at all. "Sorry, next time I promise not to make you worry so much." he kissed her forehead and just held her while she composed herself, enjoying the happy moment of having his fiancé in his arms. He smiled even more at that word and he knew that once she became his wife he wouldn't be able to ever to stop smiling for the rest of his life.
"Next time don't let Gajeel lie. He really is cruel," she gave a quick laugh, wiping away the tears with her right hand, she didn't dare let her left get anywhere near her face. She was sure her make-up was all messed up and she didn't want anything on her ring. With a smile now on her face she leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on his lips. "Come on, let's go tell everyone the good news."
"You go ahead, there's something that I need to take care of first." he kissed her forehead once more before running out of the park and heading off to take care of his business.
Lucy watched him go with a raised eyebrow. "Weird..." she put a hand on her hip as she wonder what sort of business he needed to take care of just after asking her to marry him. "Wait? He couldn't be...!" she felt her body jump into action and she went to stop him but he was already gone and left her to panic over his actions. "Natsu you better not get arrested before our wedding!" she called out into the night knowing that he could fully hear her. She knew that once his mind was made up about something it was nearly impossible to change it so all she could do was head back to the Guild and hope that he doesn't return in handcuffs and with guards escorting him.
Natsu gave a light hum as he walked through the empty hall, his hands shoved in his pockets as she hummed the nameless tune. He was in such a great mood that he felt like he could almost fly but there was only one thing that was bothering him on this great day. With a raised fist he knocked on a large white door and waited for the person inside to open it.
"Yes? Can I help you?" once it opened his fist made contact with that person's face and sent him flying across the room.
"Keep your hands away from my wife!" he yelled out at the man in rage before letting a satisfied grin come onto his face and walked away humming the same nameless tune once again.
Rio sat up from the sudden attack hours later to discover some of his teeth had been knocked out, his nose was bleeding and possibly broken and his haired had been burned a little. "Who the hell was that guy?" he didn't know but whoever that guy was he was going to have a restraining order against him. "I guess I should call Lucy and tell her that I can't make it to lunch with her and her boyfriend tomorrow." with a low groan he called up his old friend but first he called a doctor for some immediate assistants.