I won't make excuses as to why this has taken me so long to post... I'm gonna miss this story. T.T I love you all so much for sticking with me till the very end though... I'm gonna miss you guys too! well unless you follow my other stories... then I guess I won't miss you as much... Anyway this is the last chapter.
Natsu gripped the ring that was safe in his pants pocket with a new sense of apprehension. Never in a million years did he think that he would be standing in this position; that he, Natsu Dragneel of all people, would ever feel the need to ask such a question. Even more importantly that he would have the approval of a man like Jude Heartfilia. It all seemed just a little too surreal, but he guessed that this was how a lot of men felt when they were about to ask such a life changing question.
It had been an hour since his conversation with the old man, and to his surprise, Natsu hadn't seen hid nor hair of the blonde man since. He wasn't completely sure what Jude was up to, but he assumed it had to be important for the man to miss his own party. Natsu shifted against the pillar that he was using for support as he watched Lucy move to the next group of guests.
He watched as she laughed and nodded, explaining something that he couldn't quite make out. The radiant smile never left her face, even when her body language suggested that she would give anything to be away from this place, and these people. He could spend all day just watching her from the shadows, especially in that red gown so it wasn't like he really cared. She was easy to spot among all the boring brunettes in pastel pinks and hues of blue that were obviously made for the harsh days of winter. Lucy was a stunning ruby in a sea of dull aristocratic gray, which made it all too easy to find her in the crowded room.
He smirked to himself thinking how appropriate it was that she was a gem, and he was off to the side silently protecting his treasure just like a real dragon would. It was amusing to think of things like that.
Suddenly Natsu picked up the old man's scent again; he looked around to see where Jude was, wondering where he had even disappeared to in the first place since this was his party. It didn't take long to see that Mr. Heartfilia was headed in Lucy's direction. Natsu made a snap decision and hurried over to Lucy's side just in time to beat her father to the punch. He decided it would be best not to let Lucy realize that her father had discussed anything with him in private, since he was looking forward to surprising her, so he gave Jude a hard look while hovering close to Lucy's side.
"Hello, again. I'm sorry to intrude, but may I steal my daughter away for a little while?" Jude asked politely as he offered Lucy his arm. There was a chorus of guests who voiced that they didn't mind, and others who quietly expressed that they were happy to see the father and daughter getting on so well. Lucy gave a quick wave and a nervous smile to Natsu who had his arms folded over his chest, in a disapproving manner. "Give me ten minutes then make your way to the back garden." The blonde man breathed as he passed by Natsu. The fire mage simply nodded and waved to Lucy so that she wouldn't notice the exchange between the two of them.
"I'll be back!" Lucy sang as she followed her father away. Natsu could feel the tension rise in his stomach as he realized that now he was the center of attention. Dozens of pairs of eyes were trained on the young fire mage as he stood alone in the center of the room where the only two people he knew had been standing. He began to hear whispered conversations between the men, and gossiping among the women in the crowd.
"Is that the boy?"
"I suppose so, but I thought he would be a little, I don't know, a little more classy."
"He doesn't look all that special to me."
"Did you see the color of his hair? Pink! What an unnatural color."
"I agree, pink is a very unnatural hair color."
Natsu could feel his pulse quicken as he fought to keep his temper in check. If it weren't for his promise to behave, Natsu surely would have slugged someone across the face by this point. Sheer will power was the only thing protecting these callous strangers from his flames at this point.
"To think that boy beat out my Frederick. It's a scandal I tell you!"
"Your Frederick? Don't be ridiculous, my boy was the front runner last year!"
"Come off it Charles, everyone knows that my boy had the best chance."
"Does it even matter now that this boy seems to have taken the show?"
"Now, now, we all know that Jude won't allow such a match to happen. That would just be irresponsible, after all the girl is the heir to the Heartfilia fortune."
Natsu wasn't even sure how these people knew who he was; let alone why they were talking as if they knew some great big secret. As the seconds ticked past, Natsu could feel the heat of strangers staring right through him, and he found himself wanting to follow after the two blondes, just to get away from the talkative crowd. As with most things though, time seemed to creep along agonizingly slowly while Natsu waited. The whispers seemed to grow louder with every minute, as Natsu stood by helplessly trying to ignore them.
Lucy walked silently behind her father, wondering why in the world he was acting so strangely. Before they had left the hall, for a moment she could have sworn she saw a smile that was directed at her fiery companion, but she knew that couldn't be right, it just wasn't possible. It wasn't like her father hated Natsu, but he was hell bent on bringing her back to this life, she was sure of that if nothing else. Since they arrived Lucy had been dragged off to meetings with prospective suitors, it didn't take a genius to realize that the plan was to bombard her with as many fine young men as possible in hopes that one of them would change her mind about Natsu.
Lucy fought to suppress a sigh as she recalled the last conversation she had with her father before the ball.
"How long have you known this boy now?" Jude scowled as he watched his daughter's face twist at the unexpected question.
"Time means nothing when two people are as close as we are." Lucy wanted it to sound more profound, but what really mattered was that it was the truth. She didn't care how long she and Natsu had known each other, because the bonds they shared were strengthened by all the challenges they had faced together, time was completely relative in their case.
"So it's like that, then I suppose you're not fit to marry a noble anyway." Lucy's eyes widened in shock, she hadn't meant that she and Natsu had taken things that far. She choked back a surprised scream preparing to defend herself.
"Things aren't like that between us, father." Her voice was soft and unsteady with embarrassment, she couldn't even look him in the eyes.
"It's no use lying to me." Jude threw a stack of paper on the floor in front of Lucy allowing them to spread out. Among the stack were several photographs that were taken out of context, and if Lucy was being honest, completely supported her father's accusations.
"This proves nothing other than the fact that you never trusted me. Believe what you will father, I don't care what you think." Lucy turned to leave the room, slamming the large doors behind her.
Lucy watched her father wondering what the hell he could have planned for her next. She had made it perfectly clear to him what her intentions were over that past few day, she just hoped that it would eventually get past his stubborn exterior, so he would understand how she felt.
Finally ten minutes had passed, and Natsu did as he was instructed. He found his way out to the gardens, ducking and weaving his way through hedges and overgrown evergreens that made up a small maze. He was following Lucy's scent, knowing that she would be waiting for him where ever his final destination was.
After what seemed like an eternity, Natsu made it to a clearing where a little white gazebo was coated with happy lights, and brightly colored roses that looked as though they had been transplanted from the shelter of a greenhouse just for the occasion. He couldn't help but laugh quietly as he realized what the surprise was. Jude had made all the arrangement to make this the most romantic setting possible. Natsu was sure now that someone had tipped the old man off that he wasn't exactly the most experienced in this area; Jude must have realized that Natsu would need all the help he could get.
Natsu took a deep breath, steadying his now shaking limbs before moving forward into the open where he would be in plain sight. He quickly ran a heated hand through his hair to make sure it looked alright and cleared his throat to get the attention of the blonde woman who had her back turned to him.
"Oh, Natsu what are you doing out here?" Lucy smiled brightly as she turned to where he was standing. She was still pleasantly surprised at just how nicely the fire mage cleaned up when he cared enough to do so. He was absolutely handsome in his fine wear, and she knew that she would have pleasant dreams about him dressed like this for a while.
"I followed you out; those people aren't really my kind of crowd, you know." Natsu made his way over to join Lucy under the gazebo. She shivered slightly, and Natsu instinctively wrapped an arm around her shoulders.
"I guess so, but they are my father's business associates." Lucy huffed, sitting down on a low bench with her hands folded over her chest, putting a little more pressure on the cleavage that her gown was already struggling to keep underneath the fabric. Natsu carefully placed himself on the seat next to the blonde, secretly watching her out of the corner of his eye. After a moment Lucy's face relaxed, and an affectionate smile replaced the frown she had been wearing. "I don't know if I said this before, but thanks for coming with me; I really don't think I could have done it without you being here." Lucy leaned her head on Natsu shoulder and sighed, closing her eyes as she drank in the warmth radiation off of her companion. Natsu on the other hand laid his head back to look up at the cloudy sky. It had been overcast all day, and he wondered if another blizzard was on its way. He mentally shook off the thought, not wanting his imagination to bring on a real storm, not when he had important things to take care of.
Natsu was trying to distract himself from the task at hand, which was understandable since he had never been so nervous in his entire life. It's now or never, get a hold of yourself hot head. The voice in Natsu's head scolded. He knew that he'd never get a chance this perfect ever again, so he steeled his nerves, preparing for what he would say.
Slowly Natsu slid his hand into his pocket, closing it tightly around the small piece of jewelry that resided there.
"Hey Lucy, I wanna ask you a question, just promise not to laugh ok?" Natsu took a deep breath as Lucy muttered that she wouldn't dare laugh at a serious question. She turned her head, staring him directly in the eyes. Silently she waited as Natsu collected him thoughts, he muttered something under his breath, bringing the blonde to wonder what could possibly be on his mind. Natsu shifted nervously under her gaze, but sucked it up while letting his arms fall to his sides.
"Do you remember the day we met?" Lucy nodded, urging her companion to continue. "I think it was that day that Happy and I decided that we wanted to keep you with us." Natsu continued on while his throat began to dry out. The fire mage could feel his heart begin to pound angrily as he saw signs of realization on Lucy's face. "I brushed it off at first, because you were just such a fun person to be around." He could see the gears moving behind her chocolate eyes, and he could clearly see the look of shock plastered to her face.
Lucy couldn't look away as fear passed through her. She didn't like the way Natsu was nervously jittering about, or the obvious nervousness in his voice. It sounded bad no matter how she looked at it. What is he trying to say?
"I think things have changed a lot since then." Lucy's breathe hitched as Natsu side off the bench, turning to face her. He smiled, taking her left hand in his. "Lucy, life wouldn't be the same if you were to go away. When you're gone things aren't as much fun, and I can't stand that. I love the times we go out on crazy missions beating bad guys up! Even when we are just spending time at fairy tail, it's better than it was before. I want to keep doing all of it with you by my side." Natsu opened his left hand, revealing the sparkling pink gem. "So will you accept this ring as a promise to always stay with me?" There was a moment of absolute silence where the words Natsu had spoken lingered in the air, their weight alone made them difficult to digest. Lucy's brain was having trouble fully processing the scene before her, and it took her longer than she would ever admit to understand exactly what Natsu was asking.
Lucy released a high pitched squeal when it finally clicked, flinging herself head long at her companion. Natsu laughed lightly while prying Lucy off of his shoulders. Once that was accomplished, he gently took off Lucy's glove and slide the ring onto her finger. He sat back and watched Lucy inspected the trinket with a soft loving look in her eyes, and he could feel the pride bubble up at the sight.
"It's absolutely beautiful." Natsu could see tears gathering in her eyes before she wrapped her arms around his neck once more, but this time her mouth covered his in an unexpected kiss. He easily responded, bringing his hands up to encircle the blonde's waist, pulling her closer still. He could feel the telltale warmth rising to his cheeks as the kiss deepened and intensified, promising more. Instinctively Natsu's hand worked its way up to the stray golden curls that hung loosely at the nape of her neck. This would have continued had it not for the sudden outburst of cheers coming from all around them.
The couple pulled apart looking around themselves with wide eyes and a gasps of pure surprise. They were greeted with dozens of wide smiles and approving looks from familiar faces from every direction imaginable. For a few moments Natsu and Lucy just stood there completely stunned, not even sure what to say to their little audience, but neither was able to say a single word.
"It's about damn time, flame brain!" The dark haired ice mage hollered with a half-hearted smile. This simple comment opened the flood gates of boisterous congratulations from the other mages. Lucy could feel her cheeks burn under the attention, especially from Mira and the other females who had been helping them from the very beginning. It must have been just as emotional for them as the experience was for her. Lucy watched as Mira practically gushed with pride, wiping tears of joy with the hem of her evening gown, it was a sight that she had imagined many times but this was on a level she could never have come up with on her own. Not too far away, Levy was squeaking about how romantic the scene had been to an annoyed looking Gajeel. Lucy wondered when that had happened, though it didn't really matter because she was happy to see her friend had finally worked through that emotional road block of her own.
It seemed as though the whole guild had come out to celebrate the occasion with the couple, even people who Lucy had never really had a chance to talk to before. Lucy found herself looking over all the faces until her eyes met with a watery pair of blue ones. Lucy's heart sank for a moment as she realized that not everyone was happy for her and her new fiancé.
Lisanna looked as though she was trying to stay to the back of the crowd, but Lucy saw her none the less. It must have been difficult for the white haired mage to watch the scene before her, but Lisanna was doing her best to put on a brave face, actively blinking back her tears. Lucy truly felt sorry for the other woman, but she wasn't going to dwell on it since Lisanna had known this would happen eventually.
Natsu kept close to Lucy's side as they walked through the crowd, trying his best to ignore the whispered slurs from the male members of his guild. If the fire mage were to be completely honest with himself, had their positions been reversed, he would most likely be the loudest of all the protesters.
"Make way." The crowd broke apart at the words of the red headed female. Erza had the same blood stained cheeks as Lucy when she approached the couple, her long evening gown trailing behind her. It was clear that Erza was uncomfortable with the situation, but she seemed just as happy for the pair as everyone else, well as happy as Erza ever looked.
"I'm glad to see that this issue is finally resolved. Know this Natsu, if you ever hurt Lucy in any way, shape or form I will personally see you hanged by your toes by a rope that nulls your magic. Do I make myself clear?" Natsu gulped and hid behind his new fiancé, hoping that she might intervene on his behalf. He muttered that he wouldn't dream of hurting Lucy ever again while searching for any quick exits (both exits were promptly cut off by Mira and Levy).
"Thank you Erza." Lucy's eyes sparkled with tears of joy; she really did have the best friends a girl could ask for, even if Erza's threats weren't necessary at the moment. "I think I've got him handled for now, but I'll be sure to keep that in mind." She flung herself forward at the red head, leaving Natsu completely vulnerable to the crowd of males, who seemed to be more than happy to separate the two. Natsu knew that most of them were hitting him a little too hard to be considered good natured, but he grinned and took his punishment like a man. Gray smirked as he delivered his portion of 'good luck' punches to his already bruised friend. It surely would have escalated into a full scale fist fight were it not for the fact that Lucy and Erza caught them. Erza promptly dragged Gray away, laughing under her breath as he cried out for help. Natsu snickered as he waved good bye, silently hoping that Erza slapped the ice mage around a little harder than usual.
"Very nice, I don't think I could have planned it better myself." Master Makarov chuckled as he turned to accept a glass of brandy from his drinking companion. The two men watched from an upper balcony, as the Fairy Tail mages began to celebrate the culmination of their many months' worth of hard labor.
"I wish I could have done more." Jude sighed before taking a long sip of the amber liquid.
"What more could you have possibly done, Jude?" Makarov raised a brow while swishing the ice around in his brandy. He watched the blonde man begin to rub his temples with a deep sigh.
"Life is cruel Makarov old friend, at this point I'm not sure what will happen the next minute let alone how long my only daughter has to live." Jude's voice was thick with sadness that he didn't bother to hide from the old man who sat with him.
"Do you honestly think she'll succumb to her mother's disease, even after all of this?" The small white haired man asked without looking away from the scene of the two love birds.
"Only time will tell Makarov old friend, only time will tell." To this both men lowered their heads, trying to fight back the sudden depression that loomed around them. Both found themselves looking towards the sky praying that what they feared was farfetched, but they both knew the possibilities were endless.
"If anyone could survive it, Lucy would be that one." Makarov stated softly. "She is stronger than you realize."
"I hope you're right, for her sake I really do." Jude stood from his seat and began making his way down to the main hall once more.
Lucy and Natsu lead the rest of their unexpected guests back into the main ball room, chattering loudly the whole way. When they finally reentered the room, the gang was met with distraught stares and hushed whispers of the aristocrats who weren't used to dealing with common people, let alone a gang of rowdy mages. Before anyone could address the predicament, Jude Heartfilia's voice resounded through the hall, bringing all eyes to the musician's podium.
"My good friends and esteemed collages, I would like to thank you all for once again attending the Heartfilia Estate's annual gala. This year my lovely daughter Lucy, became a full-fledged member of a mages guild. To tell you the truth, I think it was the best decision she could have made for herself, even if at the time I didn't approve." Jude took a moment to allow the information to sink in, and he watched his daughter's features loosen, and her gaze become something that looked something of a mix between respect and appreciation. "We have one more announcement to make, Lucy dear would you come join me." Lucy quickly nodded and made her way across the room to where her father was addressing all the guests.
Natsu watched on, happy to see the change in the older man's behavior. It was obvious that watching the recording had changed something about Jude's perception, and he for one was very glad that things had turned down this road. Of course Natsu had planned on taking Lucy with him no matter what the outcome of the meeting had been, even if he had to punch Lucy's father in the face, or burn the whole place down. He would be damned if he watched the love of his life suffer any more than she already had, but since things had taken this turn Natsu just smiled knowingly and listened to the announcement.
Lucy's eyes widened when her father announced that not only was she getting married, but that he had given his blessing to her betrothed. She found herself looking over to Natsu who gave a short nod to let her know that Jude was telling the truth. Even though Natsu hadn't actually asked for Lucy's hand, he had demanded it with his actions, and Jude respected that about the young fire mage.
"I know my little girl is in safe hands, and I hope you all will be joining us once the wedding date is set." Lucy gave her father a tight hug before rushing back to her friends. They chatted excitedly for a while, while the musicians remained silent, awaiting further instruction. Jude went to calm the uproar from his guests; he had expected this reaction, so he was prepared. Soon an awkward silence hung between the two groups of people, yes there was chatter among smaller groups, but they were in hushed tones that barely dented the atmosphere of discomfort.
It just so happened to be an outcry from the fairy tail side of the ball room that really got the party back in full swing.
"This is a party right? Then where the hell is all the booze?" Cana was quickly quieted down with one switch move of Erza's sword (the back side of course), but her outcry loosened the mood considerably, to the point where stuffy business men, and mages alike took to the dance floor and enjoyed the rest of their evening.
A few months passed where everything went back to normal save for the news that Lucy had moved in with her fiancé. There was a challenge to pick the next S-ranked mage which was extremely exciting. To everyone's surprise it came down to a stunning fight between Juvia and Gray, and the water mage managed to wipe to floor with her crush's face. Once the excitement from that died down, everyone went back to business as usual, going out on missions, and spending time together laughing and enjoying themselves like always.
Lucy entered the guild with her usual bright smile, making her way across to where her blue haired best friend was sitting at the bar. Levy wasted no time with greetings as she cozied up to Lucy's side.
"Is that the newest copy?" Levy chimed as she slid into the seat next to her blonde friend, grabbing for one of the magazines with the intent of getting the first look at the articles inside. She sat back and began flipping through the pages casually.
"Levy-chan, I haven't even gotten the chance to look through that yet." Lucy whined as she attempted to snatch back her precious item.
"At this rate Lu-chan, these gowns will be out of style long before you're ready to buy one." Levy taunted while hopping out of the blonde's reach.
"Levy's right you know, if you keep stalling she might just get hitched before you do." Cana teased from her permanent spot on the bar with a wink. Levy turned crimson, promptly throwing a nearby mug at the brunette.
"Shut it Cana! No one wants the opinion of a lonely old hag who can't keep a boyfriend for more than a week." Levy's cheeks puffed out as Cana stared the younger mage down.
"Boyfriend? Who the hell needs a boyfriend when you've got booze? Booze is better than any man could ever be!" Cana practically snarled, obviously Levy had hit the nail on the head this time, since Cana's cheeks were a health pink as well. "Now if you'll excuse me, my 'boyfriend' needs attention." The card mage promptly went to search for a quiet place to enjoy some quality time with her large barrel of spirits.
"That is just sad." Lucy sighed shaking her head.
"Cana has a point though." Mira chuckled from behind the bar as she filled a group of mugs from the tap. "Are you two ever going to set a date?"
Lucy shifted in her seat uncomfortably when she felt over a dozen pairs of eyes land on the back of her head she knew they were expecting an answer, but she really didn't have one to give them. Lucy could feel the sweat gathering on her forehead and the base of her neck, she really should have been prepared for that question since it had been months since the proposal.
"There's no rush, isn't that right Lucy." Erza answered with a small wink towards Lucy.
"We'll set a date soon; we've just been really busy lately." Lucy shot a grateful smile towards the red head before turning back to Mira.
"Lu-chan, what is this?" Levy's eyes were glistening with tears as she read the title of the book that had been concealed in the pile of magazines.
"Levy-chan, please give that back." Lucy reached out a hand, taking the book from the smaller mage who was shaking like a leaf.
"Has something happened?" Levy cried out louder than she had intended.
"No, everything is perfectly fine. I just wanted to get as much information about the illness as humanly possible. I'm in a situation where ignorance could be my downfall." Lucy laughed loudly and went back to looking through the magazines, trying to play off the situation like it didn't faze her one bit.
"Lucy, you'd tell us if something were wrong, right?" Mira put her hand on the page, forcing Lucy to look up into her watery blue eyes. "You know that you can't hide something like that from your family now, don't you?" Lucy took a deep breath before smiling weakly at the older woman.
"I've learned my lesson about keeping things pent up, Mira. If I suspect something, I'll make sure you all know about it." Mira gently patted the blonde's hand before walking off to deliver the mugs she had been filling.
"That's why you're pushing back setting a date though, right?" Levy asked quietly, receiving a simple nod from Lucy as confirmation. Silence fell between the two, and Lucy found herself losing her want to look through the gowns in the magazines.
"I've been trying to learn everything I can about this disease so that if the time comes, there won't be any surprises." Lucy sighed as she stacked up her books and magazines once more. "I think I'm going home, I suddenly don't feel so well."
A few weeks passed, and Lucy found herself repeating the same routine. She stopped at a merchant's cart, and bought out every wedding magazine the old man carried while skillfully ignoring his questions on when the big day was. After her arms were full and the man was paid, she made her way to the guild intent on finding the one dress that was perfect in every way shape and form.
She had talked for hours with Natsu the previous night about what their future looked like, and how much they still had planned to do. On the top of that list was settling down permanently, Lucy had been slightly frazzled that it was Natsu who had brought up the topic, but she wasn't completely surprised either. No, she had seen a group of her friends barricade Natsu in a broom closet not that long ago and she overheard them demanding that he talk some sense into his fiancé. It seemed like the whole guild was itching to have a good reason to celebrate.
Lucy deviated from her usual route to the bar, and set herself up in a table to the back where she hoped to remain undisturbed. Of course if she were thinking a little more clearly she would have locked herself inside her bedroom at home for privacy, but somewhere deep down she knew that she wanted her friends to comment and give her advice.
The blonde had finished the first magazine when her blue haired best friend made her presence known. Levy looked over her own volume with a sheepish smile and whispered that it was about time Lucy started taking things a little more seriously. Lucy sighed, agreeing that she was being a little overly cautious lately, but that she was going to do her best from here on in.
By the end of the day, a date had been set for late summer. This news brought on a question of who should be in the bridal party. Since this was in fact Fairy tail, there was obviously had to be a fight between the girls for the position of Lucy's maid of honor, which Erza won with a spectacular display of skillful swordsmanship. (Levy was unfortunately Erza's model for warding off the rest of the competition. Needless to say, once the opposition spotted her hanging from the rafters by Erza's expertly placed swords, there was no longer a will to fight for the coveted position.) This all suited Lucy just fine, since Erza was like the big sister she had often wanted as a child and she would have asked the red head to be her maid of honor anyway.
Over the next few weeks, Levy and Erza helped Lucy with most of the preparations. Lucy spent a lot of her time going back and forth between the guild and her father's house, making arrangements for the different venders and wait staff that would be responsible for her big day. Jude was happy to see that Lucy was taking things more seriously, and he made sure that she had the finest options to choose from.
By the middle of May the invitations were in the mail to over one hundred close friends and distant acquaintances. Lucy was starting to feel the strain of dealing with her father on a weekly basis, even if they were on better terms. She had dealt with more people in the last few months than she had in years, and Lucy remembered how much of a headache it could be to manage such affairs.
Her bride's maids were the first to be fitted in their long gowns of silver and midnight blue. All of them looked absolutely stunning, so much so that Erza refused to take her gown off when her fitting was finished. Lucy had to beg for three hours so that the garment would be spared in the inevitable brawl that would break out at the guild later that night. When Wendy and Charle were finished with their fittings, it came time for Lucy's gown to be constructed.
Each layer was added slowly as Lucy watched in the three way mirror of her mother's old chambers. After three days, Lucy lost track of how much fabric was twirled and twisted around her body. Countless yards of silk, satin and lace created delicate scallops around her generous curves, while a tight bodice defined her hour glass physic.
When it came time for her final fitting, Lucy found it hard to speak. When she turned to see herself in the mirror, her eyes misted over, she held a hand over her mouth trying to stifle her gasp of surprise. They say that every girl is a princess on her wedding day, but Lucy's gown was something fit for true royalty.
"Are you alright my dear?" The elderly woman probed as she pinned the hem of Lucy's gown, adjusting the length to allow for Lucy's soft white satin heels. Lucy wiped away a stray tear and looked at the woman's reflection in the mirror.
"Of course I am, I just so happy." She answered with a small smile. The woman nodded, understanding that the bride-to-be was usually a mass of unbridled emotions when the wedding was drawing nearer. Lucy received a grin from the woman in return, before her steady hands went back to work on her masterpiece. Lucy tried her best not to make any sudden movements so that the pins would only poke through the fabric and not into her delicate skin; she simply refused to bloody the gown that her seamstress had slaved over for such a long time.
Early June brought in the caterer, as well as the florist for Lucy and Natsu to work with. Natsu was elated with the fact that it was part of his job to eat, and he became fast friends with the stout little man who was head chef for their event. Lucy gave strict instructions about when the meals were supposed to be brought out, as well as a cut off to how much alcohol certain guild members would be at. The chef agree, having his petit assistant take notes. The head pastry chef took his time with Lucy, designing a grand cake that would be suited for the event. When all was said and done a large five course menu was written up by a team that would match any five star restaurant in the country.
The florist was a tall woman who had a passion for flowers and greenery. Lucy found herself thinking that this woman probably spent more time inside her greenhouse than she did in the real world. Even though the woman looked as though she were ten years behind trends, the designs she had come up with were absolutely stunning.
The flowers for the ceremony were natural with gentle colors, where in stark contrast the arrangements for the reception were bold and breath taking. Lucy looked through dozens of concepts that the woman had drawn and together they picked the perfect locations for such a marvelous set up.
When September came around there was nothing to do but wait for the big day to arrive. Erza threw Lucy a massive party with the help of the female members of the guild the week before the wedding, Master Makrov allowed them to use the guild for the night. Lucy was informed later that Gajeel and Gray had dragged Natsu out of town for the night on Erza's orders. It was a night worth waiting for, with music and drinking, and Cana had even arranged for 'entertainment' which came after Wendy was sent home for the night.
"W-what w-we-were you t-t-thinking Cana!?" Erza demanded with a bright blush staining her cheeks. She worked extremely hard not to look in the direction of the stage, where Lucy was currently tied to a chair.
"Lighten up, this is a bachelorette party, Lucy should have some fun before she gets tied down!" Cana laughed loudly as she patted Erza on the back. The red head was not amused, but she couldn't do anything about it any longer.
"I wish I had a camera!" Levy cried out through tears of laughter.
"No, that would leave a trail! This is a strictly what happens here stays here party!" Mira called across the room as she slide a few jewels into a dances costume. Once Lucy had been given the V.I.P. treatment, the gang untied her, and went into a merciless game of Never have I ever, followed by a short round of bottoms up. It was liberating to play drinking games with her girl pals, while spilling her secrets as the concentration of alcohol in her blood rose. It was agreed that no one was to speak openly about what happened with the opposite sex later, but the girls enjoyed their inside jokes.
Lucy sat on her bed taking deep relaxing breaths as Levy and Mira muttered comforting words of encouragement to the nervous bride. Lucy looked at the clock on the wall, and panicked. Instinctively she called out Cancer, begging him to make her look perfect.
"You look beautiful, ebi." The spirit told his master as he stepped back to admire his handy work. Lucy's hair had grown considerably longer in the past year, allowing for a classy bun with several louse curls bunching around her face and down the nap of her neck. A quick coat of ruby lipstick and a faint dusting of eye shadow, and Lucy was ready to slip into her dress.
Before she knew it, the girls were loading her up into a carriage, with her veil hiding her face from the world. On the opposite side of the carriage Jude was waiting patiently for her to get comfortable.
"Are you ready?" Jude asked gently.
"As I'll ever be." Lucy sighed; she could feel the butterflies in her stomach double as the appointed time grew closer. Jude chuckled and reached across to pat Lucy's hand.
"There is no need to be nervous; this is your big day." Lucy nodded stiffly, logically she knew there was no reason for her to feel this way, but she had the sudden urge to just elope. "It'll all be over before you know it." Her father continued to reassure her. The carriage lurched forward as the processional started. The ride only took a few minutes, but Lucy could feel the butterflies triple as the sound of a live orchestra greeted her ears.
The carriage came to a stop and Jude got out first, helping his daughter down. The sun was low in the background giving the landscape a soft orange glow that momentarily took Lucy's breath away. The first thing her eyes took in once they adjusted to the light was the sheer number of guests that were turned with their eyes focused of the women exciting the carriages.
"Lucy, it's time to line up." Erza's voice broke Lucy from her trance. The blonde's face was hidden from view by the thin piece of lace, only thick enough to keep the waiting crowd from seeing the panic in her eyes. Jude wrapped his daughter's arm around his own and proceeded to lead her to the mouth of the aisle.
The music changed, to an upbeat tempo as the paired off bridal party started to make their way towards the alter. Erza stayed with Lucy till the last moment, where she wished her friend luck. Wendy and Jude were the only ones who stayed with Lucy, her father to lead her, and Wendy to carry Lucy's train. The blonde took one more settling breath before her song began to play.
It felt as though she were trapped in between time, like she was standing still while the whole world flashed by at high speed. The walk down the aisle felt agonizingly long even though in reality it lasted less than five minutes. The faces of the crowd became a blur, and soon the only thing she could focus on was the stationary figure all dressed in white save for the pink hair that was peeking out from under his top hat. His dark eyes were shining with excitement, and the childish smile stretched across his face made her heart leap from her chest. Even though he wasn't able to see her, Lucy was returning his smile, the nervousness finally melting away. The rest of the world was blocked out, as though nothing but his smile existed anymore.
Lucy was vaguely aware of the preacher who was addressing her father before her veil was lifted. She could see tears in her father's eyes as he agreed that he was the one giving her away. Suddenly time began to come back to normal when her hand was placed in Natsu's.
"Finally" Natsu whispered as he lead his blushing bride up to the alter. Lucy's bouquet of white lilies and roses was passed off to Erza allowing Natsu to hold both her hands with his own. The preacher started to speak to the crowd about the unity of marriage and how such a contract was sacred and how rare it was to find the person to whom one is suited to in this world.
The question came out calling for any opposition to the union, and Lucy found herself holding her breath, praying that no one would be stupid enough to speak up. She sighed in relief when the preacher moved on to the couple. They exchanged simple vows, promising to protect one another no matter the circumstances.
Tears welled up in Lucy's eyes when she and Natsu were prompted to say "I do" before exchanging a simple golden band.
"You may kiss the bride." The preacher said with a smile.
"Oh and I will." Natsu snickered before pulling Lucy into a deep kiss that had the whole crowd hooting and hollering. The first kiss they shared as husband and wife was not as conservative as Lucy had imagined, then again Natsu wasn't known for being reserved when in public. The blonde threw decorum to the wind as she wrapped her arms around her husband's neck, pulling his body flush against hers. The resulting cheer from the Fairy Tail mages made Lucy's cheeks burn, but she fought back her embarrassment, enjoying the heat that was radiating off of Natsu.
A polite cough from the preacher signaled that they had over done it and the two broke apart even if they didn't want to. Erza (who was blushing worse than Lucy) handed the blonde back her bouquet.
"I now present to you for the first time Natsu and Lucy Dragneel!" Lucy smiled at the crowd while making her way back up the aisle. Before she knew what was happening they were loaded back into the carriage, except this time it was with Natsu instead of her father. Natsu kept a firm grip on Lucy's hand the whole rid back, trying desperately to fight off his motion sickness. They meet up with the rest of the bridal party in front of the main house for portraits which took longer than Lucy had anticipated, by the end Natsu was whining about being starved to death.
The reception was absolutely perfect. The decorations were more beautiful than Lucy could have ever dreamed, it was as though a garden had been brought inside the ball room. Around the table where the Bridal party was set up a large wooden structure housed what must have been hundreds of Wisteria blossoms as they cascade just above the ground, creating a beautiful back drop for more portraits.
The toasts were given, by the best man and maid of honor. Happy's speech was a little lacking in Lucy's opinion, but Erza made up for it. The red head brought the whole room to tears with her speech about how happy she and the rest of the guild were for their comrades. She went on to further illustrate that the relationship between the fire mage and spirit mage was one that you don't come across every day. She wished them luck on behalf of the rest of the guild, and swore that she would be there if they needed her assistance in any way.
Lucy had thanked Erza deeply before taking the floor herself.
"I know that may come as a shock to most of you, but the reason we are all here tonight is because of my father and my late mother." Lucy motioned for her father to join her at the head of the dance floor. "Papa I wanted to thank you for everything. I'm sorry for our misunderstandings in the past, but I know that things will be alright now." Lucy wrapped her arms around her father, a gesture she had never done before. "Mama would have been so proud." Lucy whispered as she buried her face into her father's shoulder.
"I wish she could have seen you, I know she would have cried seeing how beautiful you've become." Jude relaxed, letting his arms settle around his daughter, returning the hug. The touching moment brought a collective "awe" from the guests.
With the speeches out of the way, the first dances began. Natsu and Lucy spent much of their time thanking their guests for coming, or dancing the night away, but every so often Lucy would whisper that Natsu could go eat, mainly because she could hear his stomach protesting.
When the time came to say good bye, Levy and Cana pulled Lucy aside. The blonde gave them a questioning glare, nervous because of the devious smiles on their faces. They informed Lucy that they would be heading back to Magnolia on the last train, but that they had left her a little surprise in her room. Lucy really didn't like the sound of that, but she thanked the two, sending them on their way.
Natsu dragged Lucy along the hallway at a speed that was making Lucy trip over her gown. She called for him to slow down but he just grinned, swooping her up into his arms so he could move faster. Again her heart was pounding away wildly while the butterflies from earlier that day made a sudden reappearance. Natsu skillfully opened the door while balancing his new bride. He set her down and turned to lock the door to insure their privacy.
Natsu took a moment to drink in his surroundings, allowing a pleased smile to grace his lips. Red rose petals were scattered across the generously large bed, and he could smell food set up by the large fire place. Dozens of tall candle sticks were lit, and scattered all around the room. He watched Lucy's expression darken for a moment, and he could have sworn she was muttering something about killing a pipsqueak and a drunk when she got her hands on them.
He decided that he had waited long enough for Lucy to adjust and made his way over to where she was standing. He grabbed her from behind, wrapping his arms around her waist, sealing off any chance of her getting away. Lucy squeaked in surprise, but quickly relaxed when Natsu's lips began trailing kisses up her exposed shoulders to her neck. She instinctively leaned her head to give him better access to the sensitive area, shivering under that sudden need she felt to be ride of her gown.
Words were lost on the couple as articles of clothing began to fly around the room, several pieces were burned beyond imagination, but the skin they had previously been protecting remained untouched. Heated kisses were soon joined by shaking hands that were hungry to explore portions of body that had till this point stayed hidden from the couple. The blonde was swept up in a haze of need and alcohol that caused her thought process to slow enough that she was unaware of what she was muttering against her husband's muscled chest. She pay no mind to the volume of her voice, nor to the pleads she whispered, egging the fire mage to take things further.
Natsu gripped his wife's thighs as he lifted her up against himself, making it easier for Lucy to wrap herself around her waist as she continued to delve her tongue into his mouth. Natsu slowly made his way over to the bed, laying Lucy down so he could rid her of the last few troublesome articles of clothing. Adrenaline took hold of the pair as they dissolved into another round of passionate kisses. Both allowed their hands to roam freely simply enjoying the way it felt to finally cross that final barrier.
Their kisses grew wilder as their combined need grew. Moans and panting filled the air every time they broke apart, Lucy whispered in desperation that she needed more, and cried out when Natsu willingly obliged. He was new to this, but he had been smart enough to pay attention when his friends began giving him advice on how to treat a woman. They had told him a fair few things that had worked so far, so he decided to try another.
Slowly he lowered his lips to the soft skin of Lucy's navel and traced it with his tongue slowly making his way up to the valley between her breasts. Natsu grinned as he looked up into the face of his beloved. He eyes were glazed with lust, and he could tell that she was silently begging for more.
The next few hours of Lucy life were spent in a haze of euphoria as she consummated her marriage with her husband. Later she would feel embarrassed about how she had not even though about the fact that they were still in her father's home, but at the time she simply reveled in the hot flesh of the body that was intertwine with her own.
It was the first of many sleepless nights for the two mages, but they wouldn't have had it any other way.