Salutations, my little moonpies. It's been a long time, right?

There are two reasons for that and they are both interconnected. I was on a month long work excursion. It was one of those "Hippy Team Building" retreats where we were taken away from technology in order to better connect with our fellow man. Let me tell you, that sucked balls. I missed my computer from day one. I hated it.

There is another reason. Before I went on that retreat, I had learned that someone stole my NaLu story. A reader on this site contacted me and told me that someone was posting my story as their own on one of the FT boards. I was so pissed off at that. Someone was getting credit for my work. You know, I work hard on both characterization and story when I write these fics. Sometimes I hit the mark. Sometimes I don't. But for someone to take my hard work, copy and paste it onto their message board, pretend that it's theirs, and reading all of the positive comments from readers who don't know that they are reading a stolen work...well that just rustles my jimmies. I contacted that person to stop copying my story but he/she (with the pretentious name of "Master Writer") blocked me after the first time. So I got in contact with the administrator and told her. I explained that I've been writing this for over a year now and this person ripped me off. When she learned what had happened, she deleted that person's account and directed anyone who was interested in reading my story to this site.

I was so mad at that person that I almost cancelled this story. But then I remembered you guys and all of the support and kind reviews you've left. That pushed me to continue this. So thank you, all of you.

Now, to the reviews.

If you noticed, in the last chapter, I went through the main "counter-ships" to NaLu, specifically GraLu, LoLu, and NaLi. I told you how I feel about them using Mira as my voice. Now I have nothing against these ships myself. I don't go looking for fics or arts with those ships but if someone does, that's their right. I respect their right to ship whomever they want, however they want them. I know I have some ships in other fandoms that many don't like (particularly Bleach). I don't fight ship wars. I ship who I ship and allow others ship however they like. That's how adults ship.

SunsetRika, twinSlayer, Gray23 and everyone else, yeah. I'm glad you agree with the whole Lisanna thing. I find that a good 25 percent of Lucy stories are "Lucy gets kicked out of Fairy Tail" stories. Now THOSE stories piss me off. I mean, is this the same guild that fought for Lucy tooth and nail when they had only known her for a month? Are they that shallow? Which reminds me, there's a fic going around that's a parody of that kind of story. I find it amusing.

superblal, thank you for that. And yes, I might throw another WendyxRomeo fic around. They are my favorite FT crack pairing. I wonder if Mashima will do something with them.

And to everyone else who reviewed, thank you.

Now let's begin the second half of the NaLu story. A couple of things to remember. This story is a bit unusual for reasons you will soon read. I've changed up my writing style just like I did in the last chapter. This chapter is also my NaLu Money Shot. When I first created the Fairy Tail Project, this is one of the first fics I came up with along with 3 Gruvias and 2 GaLes. This is something that I hope you enjoy.

And now, our feature presentation

N is for Novel

To Natsu, Happy and all of Fairy Tail, for helping me make my own destiny. ~ Lucy Heartfilia

Lucy Heartfilia had just got out of the bath after waking up late in the afternoon. She had returned from an extra tough mission with her team. A nice soak was the thing the blonde needed to recover. It was divine.

As she was getting dressed, Lucy heard a knock on her door.

"Lucy." Her landlady yelled from the other side of the door. "The mail is here."

"Thank you." Lucy yelled back.

The landlady slipped the mail under the door. Lucy picked it up and placed it on her desk. She got dressed and looked at the letters. One caught her attention. The return address was gilded with beautiful calligraphy. The Stellar Spirit mage got nervous holding the letter. Whatever it was, the letter was important.

With extreme hesitancy, Lucy opened the letter and read it. As she did, tears started falling from her eyes. Her hands were shaking. The words on that paper rippled throughout her very soul. This letter was about to change everything. She needed to tell Natsu. He had every right to know. She only hoped that he had a good reaction to this.

The walk towards Fairy Tail was torturous. Lucy was walking slowly, continuing to read the letter to make sure that the words on the paper was true. She couldn't believe it even though she was looking at it repeatedly. It wasn't real, she thought. That's why she headed over to Fairy Tail. When she told them about the letter, they would tell her that it isn't true and then Lucy could go on with her life.

The environment around the guild was normal...or what passes as normal in this guild. Gajeel was singing a new song to the delight of Levy and no one else. Natsu and Gray were fighting each other while Juvia looked on in admiration of the ice mage. Happy was eating fish. Everyone else was having a good time, unaware of Lucy's presense.

Natsu, as he was about to throw a punch, noticed Lucy standing on the threshold of the guild. She looked dazed and confused. So he stopped what he was doing and went over to her.

"Hey Luce." He smiled at his girlfriend of two years. "How's things?"

The pink haired mage noticed that things weren't alright when Lucy didn't respond. He took a closer look at the blonde and noticed that she was crying. There aren't many things that could get Natsu Dragneel angry. Seeing Lucy cry was one of them. Lucy tears means that the Fire Dragon Slayer would soon be going on the warpath, pummeling the bastard who made his girlfriend cry.

Natsu stopped his fight with Gray and ran over to Lucy.

"Lucy, why are you crying?" He asked.

Lucy didn't respond.

"Did someone make you cry?" He asked more forcefully.

Lucy shook her head.

"Did I make you cry?" Natsu said in a quiet voice.

She shook her head again.

"Then what, Lucy?" He asked, trying to figure out why she is crying.

Lucy handed the letter to Natsu.

"Is this letter making you sad?" Natsu said angrily at the piece of paper. "Because if it is, I'll burn it up."

"NO DON'T!" Lucy shouted, causing Natsu to look at her strangely. "Just read it." She said in a more mousy voice.

Natsu opened the letter and began reading aloud, unaware that everyone in the guild stopped what they were doing to listen.

To Miss Lucy Heartfilia,

We thank you for submitting your books. It gives us great pleasure to know that you have much interest in getting your works published. We received the eight manuscripts you've sent us. All of them were quite interesting.

Natsu looked at Lucy. "Luce? I didn't know you sent in books to be published."

"I did." She replied with tears in her eyes.

"What did they say?" The pink haired mage asked.

"Read on." She answered him.

We are very grateful for your submissions. We especially loved the manuscript, "The Painting Princess". It was a very lovely read with a heartwarming message. That is why we would like to option your manuscript for publication if you like. Please reply back to us so that we can begin printing and distribution. Once again, thank you for sending us such a marvelous manuscript Miss Heartfilia.

Natsu finished the letter by reading the name of the distributor at the bottom of the page.

"Lucy, this is amazing." Natsu said in an awe-inspired.

"I know." She replied, still tearing up.

Natsu scrunched his face in confusion looking at his girlfriend's countenance. "So why the tears?" He asked.

"I want to believe. I really do." She whimpered. "But a part of me feels that this is a dream at best and a cruel prank at worst."

Hot tears streamed down Lucy's face. "I've been trying to be an author for such time. It's been my dream for so long. I...I...I... If this is a dream, I just don't want to wake up." She cried.

Natsu stared at Lucy impassively. Then he punched her in the arm, hard, so hard, in fact, that she fell over.

The blonde looked at Natsu in anger. "What the heck was that for?" She yelled.

"Well, when people want to make sure that something is real, they hurt themselves right?" Natsu said with a toothy smile.

"They pinch themselves, you idiot." She corrected angrily, rubbing her arm in an attempt to soothe the pain.

"But now you know that this isn't a dream." He continued to smile.

Lucy stared at Natsu in rapt wonder. Despite his method, he did prove that this was no dream.

"This isn't a dream." She smiled.

"Nope." Natsu grinned.

"I'm going to be an author." Lucy whispered.

"Yep." He replied.

Lucy took a moment to digest that notion. She was going to be a author.

"I'M GOING TO BE AN AUTHOR!" She yelled at the top of her lungs.

A raucous cheer erupted from the guild. Natsu hugged his girlfriend. Cana bought the new author drinks. Levy begged to be the first one to read her new book just like they agreed when they first met. Everyone else sent their congratulations and well-wishes to the blonde. Lucy had the biggest smile on her face. Her dream was finally coming true.

"So what's the book about?" Gray asked.

"It's nothing really." Lucy replied humbly. "It's a children's book based on the lessons I learned when I joined Fairy Tail."

Lucy could feel a hand on her shoulder. She followed the hand and saw it was Erza's. "You shouldn't sell yourself short." The red headed knight told her. "You finally got one of your works published. That's more than most people ever get."

The blonde gave her team a demure smile. "Thank you." She said.

Happy landed on Lucy's head. "Can I read your book first?" He asked.

"Well, I promised Levy she would get the first read." She admitted sheepishly.

Levy cheered at getting the first read.

"Then I want to read it next." Happy asked.

"No, I get next." Natsu announced. "I'm Lucy's boyfriend. I get next."

"No. I get next." Gray challenged. "You couldn't even read a pizza menu."

Natsu took offense to that. So he threw the first punch at Gray's chin. Then Gajeel, who actually had no interest in reading Lucy's book but used it as an excuse to fight, dropkicked Natsu. That started the guildwide brawl into who would get the next read after Levy. Lucy, who would normally be annoyed at the infighting, completely ignored it, still on cloud nine after hearing that one of her works was going to be published.

Natsu, Lucy and Happy were returning home from a particularly tough mission. It has been a month since the good news and they were waiting patiently for the book to be published...well as patiently as a kid waiting for his parents to wake up so that he can open his presents on Christmas morning. So they decided to go on missions to pass the time. The one they went on turned out be more difficult than expected, taking three weeks to complete, in between the several days of travel.

Lucy was feeling rather exhausted from their mission so Natsu took it upon himself to carry her home. As soon as they reached her place, her landlady was waiting for them.

"You, monkey boy." The landlady said, pointing at Natsu.

"Monkey boy?" Natsu replied indignantly.

"Yes you." She scolded. "You and Lucy were gone for a month. I've been collecting her mail and leaving it on her desk. I am not a post office."

Natsu had no words for her. I mean, was he suppose to apologize for working? So, he just gave the woman a nod and took Lucy to her apartment.

Happy opened the door for them and they took Lucy to her bed.

"I'm surprised Lucy is still asleep." Happy said. "She must be really tired."

Natsu smiled. "She did her very best on this mission." He replied with pride in his voice. "She deserves to rest."

"Hey, can we stay here tonight with Lucy?" The blue Exceed asked.

"Of course." The Dragon Slayer smiled. "But I'm hungry. Let's see if Lucy kept some snacks around."

With that, the two began to raid Lucy's fridge. A lot of the stuff was no good considering they've been away for a month. Natsu dumped some sour milk, moldy bread, slimy ham slices, and various other stuff. In the end, all they could find was some crackers and jelly. Taking that with them, Natsu and Happy passed by Lucy's writing desk. There was a bunch of mail on it. Being curious, the pink haired mage rifled through it. In the pack there were various bills, a couple of food menus, and several magazine subscriptions. However, something caught his eye. Natsu grabbed it. It felt hard, like the cover of a book. Natsu separated it from the other mail.

True to form, it was a book. Emblazoned in gold print on the front cover was the words "The Painting Princess". Attached to the book was a letter from the company that agreed to publish Lucy's book. Natsu removed the letter and placed it on the desk. When he did, a picture of a little girl with blond hair holding a paintbrush was revealed.

"Hey Natsu, what's that?" Happy asked.

Natsu turned to his partner. "I think this is Lucy's book." He replied.

"Oooh, let's read it." The blue exceed said with glee in his voice.

The pink haired Dragon Slayer was a bit hesitant. "I don't know. Remember the last time we read something without Lucy's permission?" Natsu responded.

That brought Happy down. He remembered that month when Lucy refused to talk to either of them.

"She wouldn't do that again, right?" Happy asked.

"I hope not. And anyway, Lucy promised Levy the first read." Natsu sighed.

"But I wanna read it." Happy whined.

Natsu was waging an internal war within himself. Should he read it, knowing that Lucy promised Levy that she would read it first, or should he not and patiently wait his turn, even though he was tenth on the list after Erza, Mira, Wendy, Gray, Reedus, Juvia, Loke, and Lily. It was easy to figure out which side was going to win.

"Okay, let's go sit on the couch." Natsu answered. "And when Lucy wakes up, we'll apologize to her for reading it out of turn."

The two of them, with the book in hand, walked over to the couch and plopped down on it. Natsu opened the book and saw that the book flap had Lucy's picture on it along with the biographical information as well. But Natsu didn't need this. After all, he was dating the author. He turned the page and read the dedication.

To Natsu, Happy and all of Fairy Tail, for helping me make my own destiny.

Natsu felt his heart swell. He couldn't help the goofy grin that crept along his face. He turned to page one and began reading aloud.

Once upon a time, there was a faraway land called Serendipity. And in Serendipity, everyone has a job that makes them happy. Bakers are happy making bread and other pastries. Teachers take joy in teaching students. Even janitors take pride in cleaning up after others. Yes, everyone loves what they were meant to do.

But there is one in the kingdom that isn't happy. It was the young princess of Serendipity. She had everything could ever want: a large room to play in, a large pool to swim in, and a large garden to relax in. The princess had everything she needed and wanted for nothing. But this did not make her happy. She did not like being a princess at all.

There was one thing that the princess loved to do. She loved to paint. It all started when she was very little, finger painting with her mom. Ever since then, she painted whenever she got the chance. She had a dream of becoming a painter when she grew up.

One day, she told her father that dream.

"Father." The princess said while bowing politely. "I would like to be a painter when I grow up."

The king frowned at her daughter. "My dear princess, you were not meant to be a painter." He told her. "You were born a princess and a princess you will remain. Please refrain from these silly notions of becoming a painter." With that, the king sent the princess to her room.

The king's words made the princess very sad. She really wanted to be a painter. But her father said that it wasn't was she was meant to do. She couldn't understand him at all.

"I don't want to be a princess." She sighed. " Being a princess doesn't make me happy. I am happier painting. Why can't my father let me happy?"

The princess never did let go of her dreams of becoming a painter. In fact, that dream grew stronger. She had decided that one way or another, she was going to paint. But every time she tried to get painting supplies, they were taken away from her by her father. This didn't stop her. She made do with what she could, using her make up on stationery. But it wasn't the same. She wanted to paint for real, with real paint on a real canvas.

And so, the princess did what many of us would do in situations like this. On a moonless night before she went to bed, she made a wish upon a star.

Starlight, star bright. First star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might have this wish I wish tonight.

"I wish that I can be a painter." The princess sighed. "One whose paintings would be loved even by my father, the king."

The princess looked towards the sky at one of the stars. It was blinking rapidly, as if it was trying to tell her something. But she didn't know how to speak star, so the princess decided to look at her pool instead. As she was staring at the water, she heard the wind roaring around her. The princess looked around, trying to find the source. She looked towards the sky and saw a large figure landing near the pool. Curiosity got the best of the princess so she went to investigate.

As she got closer to the large figure, the princess made out what it was.

"It's a dragon." The princess gasped. She couldn't believe it. She thought dragons were just a legend. But there was one in front of her. It had orange-red scales which looked majestic and regal. The princess could feel the power and heat radiating from its body and it made her feel small.

The dragon took notice of the presence next to it. It was a young human girl. The dragon smiled at her. "Good evening." It said with a friendly growl. "I am the red dragon. Who are you?"

"I am the princess of Serendipity." She replied. "May I ask why you are here?"

"I'm looking for some fish for my friend." The dragon told her. It then lifted its tail and picked up something blue and fuzzy.

The princess looked at the blue and fuzzy thing until it took its normal shape. It was a cat...a blue cat.

"Aye." It greeted. "We were hungry. We saw this lake and thought we could get some fish to eat."

"This is a pool, not a lake." The princess corrected. "And if you are looking for food, I can help with that."

With that, the princess went back to her room. A moment later, she brought back enough food for the both of them.

"Itadakimasu." The dragon and the cat shouted in unison. They then proceeded to gobble the food so quickly, it was gone in a couple of seconds, to the disgust of the princess.

When they were done, the dragon and the blue cat bowed low to the princess. "Thanks for the food." They told the princess.

"No problem." She smiled back.

"Is there anything we can do for you?" The dragon asked.

The princess smiled and shook her head. "Not really." She mumbled.

"Come on, there has to be something that we can do for you." The blue cat yipped.

The princess thought for a while. Only one thing came to mind. "Well, there's one thing but I don't think you can help me with it." The princess murmured.

"Tell us." The dragon begged.

The princess blushed, then she looked the duo in the eyes. "I want to be a painter." She admitted. "It's what I feel I was meant to do, you know."

The dragon and the cat were silent for a second. Then they smiled at the princess. "That's a cool dream." The two of them said in unison.

The princess smiled. This was the first time anyone had ever liked her dream so, of course she was feeling really happy.

The dragon scratched his chin. "Well, I don't know how to make your dream come true but I know someone who can help." He told her. "If you want, hop on my back and I'll take you to him."

"Really?" The princess asked.

"Sure, it's the least I can do for you." The dragon replied.

The princess didn't hesitate. She climbed up onto the dragon's back. When she and the blue cat were secured, the dragon spread his wings and took flight.

The princess couldn't believe what was happening. One moment, she was making a wish on a star. The next, she was flying through the clouds with a dragon she befriended. It felt amazing. The wind whooshing past her, the beat of the dragons wings, it all felt exhilarating.

The dragon started slowing down as he reached a mountain range. The princess realized that they were landing somewhere in those mountains. He made his perch on top of the highest mountain. Then, the dragon did something strange. Using his claws, he knocked on the mountain top.

"Oi, Gramps." The dragon yelled. "Get out here. I have a visitor."

The princess watched as a wizened mountain goat came out of a hidden cave. Normally, the princess would be shocked but seeing a dragon and flying on his back made her more accepting of things.

"Ehh." The mountain goat groaned sleepily. "Dragon, why are you calling me so late at night?"

"My friend wishes to be a painter. It's her dream" The dragon told the goat. "Can you help her?"

The mountain goat smiled. "Anything for a pretty face." He replied. The goat went back into his cave. After a few minutes, he came out with a white board of some kind.

"What is this, Gramps?" The blue cat asked.

"This is a canvas." The mountain goat explained. "Paint whatever you want on this."

The princess was overjoyed. "Thank you, grandpa mountain goat." She bowed low. "Now I only need a palette, a paint brush, and some colors."

"What's a palette?" The dragon asked.

"Well, it's a board where I can put all my colors on." She explained.

"Oh, I can help with that." The dragon told her. His claws reached towards one of his scales and pulled it out. He gave it to the princess. "Will this do?"

The princess was overjoyed. "This is perfect." She squealed in joy.

"And I can help with the paint brush." The blue cat chimed in. He plucked some of his blue fur and handed it to the princess. "Here, use this to paint."

The princess hugged the blue cat. "Thank you both." She said, delighted to see her dream so close to coming true. "Now all I need is some colors."

The dragon turned to the mountain goat. "Hey gramps, where can we get some colors?" He asked.

"You have many friends, dragon." The mountain goat told him. "Why don't you ask them?"

"That's brilliant." The dragon grinned. With his wings spread out, he took flight, looking for his friends.

The dragon's first stop was a barn. The princess looked around and saw a beautiful red mare galloping in a field with an amazing blue stallion trailing slightly behind. The dragon announced his presence with a friendly roar. The two horses stopped in their tracks and looked towards the sky. The dragon landed gently on the ground.

"Ahh, hello dragon." The mare greeted. "Have you come to challenge me in another race?"

"Not today, red mare." The dragon told. "My friend here wishes to paint. Do you have any colors so she can paint?"

"Of course, my friend." The red mare told him. She went to the barn at full gallop. The mare returned with a bottle filled with red liquid. She handed it to the princess.

"This is the color red and it grabs everyone's attention." She explained. "Red represents passion in all that you do. Whatever you decide to do in your life, do it wholeheartedly, without stopping. It also represents love of friends, family and loved ones" As she said this, the red mare nuzzled the blue stallion with her muzzle. "And yet, it also represents pain. Some days, you will experience pain but if you endure it, you will be a better person for it."

"Thank you, red mare." The princess said as she bowed.

"Take good care of it." The mare smiled. Then she gave the princess, dragon and blue cat a scary look. "Or else." She whinnied threateningly, scaring them.

With that, the dragon headed to another of his friends.

His next stop was a jungle where the dragon saw another of his friend, a lion wearing tinted glasses, lying outside a cave. He landed next to him.

"Hey, lion king." The dragon greeted.

The lion nodded. "Hey, dragon. How've you been?" He replied. Then he noticed the princess. "And who is your beautiful friend?" He said, more to the princess than to the dragon.

"I am the princess of Serendipity." She told the lion king.

The lion king walked over towards her. "What is a pretty girl like you doing with a brute like this dragon?" He asked.

"Hey!" The dragon shouted.

"He's helping me with my dream of becoming a painter." She told the lion. "We are collecting colors from his friends."

"Ahh." The lion king said, nodding in understanding. "Then I have the perfect color for you." He then shook his mane until a bottle with orange liquid fell out. He handed the bottle to the princess.

"This is the color orange and it is the color of change." The lion king explained. "The sun rises with yellow and orange hues and sets with red and orange. The leaves change from green to orange then yellow and brown. And just as nature changes, so too will you change as well. Orange also represents danger. Not all change is good so you must take care of what changes you want to happen in your life, princess."

The princess bowed to the lion king. "Thank you, lion king." She said humbly.

"Any time, princess." He replied. The lion then smirked at the princess. "You know, since you are a princess, why don't you live here and be my queen?"

The princess squeaked in surprise. "Wha...?"

The dragon growled at the lion." She's coming with me." The dragon roared. Then, without further explanation, the dragon took off into the sky.

The dragon's next destination was a land filled with snow and ice. There, he found a large white wolf with a cross pendant around its neck drinking from a near frozen lake.

"Oi, white wolf." The dragon yelled.

The white wolf looked up and saw the dragon setting down to meet him. "What are you doing here, fire breath?" The wolf growled.

"Shut up, ice breath." The dragon growled back.

The dragon shoved his face into the white wolf. "You want to go, droopy eyes?" He roared.

"Fine, let's go, Slanty eyes." The white wolf roared.

The princess thought they were going to fight. She turned to the blue cat. "They are about to fight. What should we do?" She asked.

The cat smiled at her. "Just watch." He told her. Then, he yelled at the top of his voice. "Hey, it's the red mare."

The dragon and the white wolf stopped arguing and smiled nervously.

"We're being good." The wolf stuttered.

"Aye." The dragon replied.

The princess giggled at the change in their personality.

"Those two are scared of the red mare." The cat explained. "If they act up in front of her, she beats them up."

The princess nodded in understanding. Then, she got the wolf's attention by waving at him. "Excuse me, white wolf." She called to him.

"Hello." The wolf greeted. "Why are you with the flame breath?"

"He's helping me with my dream of becoming a painter." The princess explained. "We are collecting colors from his friends so I can draw something."

"Oh, I can help." The wolf told her. He then went to the lake and put his paw in. When he took it out, he had a bottle with blue liquid. The white wolf handed it to the princess.

"I've got the color blue." He explained. "Blue is the one of the colors of life. The blue sky, the blue water, these give life to all. Blue is also the color of peace. But it is also the color of sadness, which everyone experiences from time to time. But don't worry. Blue is also the color of happiness as well.

The princess bowed low. "Thank you." She said.

"You're welcome." The wolf replied. "Hey, if you are collecting colors, I know someone who can help."

The wolf went back to the lake and tapped on the surface of the water with his paw. Almost immediately, a mermaid poked her head out of the water. She waved happily at the wolf, who blushed immediately.

"Hello, wolf." The mermaid called out to him. "Have you called me?"

The wolf pointed at the princess. "Mermaid, that girl over there is trying to be a painter." He said. "I already gave her my blue. Do you have any colors that you can give her?"

The mermaid took one look at the princess. Then she dove back into the water. When she returned, she was holding a bottle with green liquid. She handed it to the wolf who then handed it to the princess.

"That is the color green." The mermaid explained. "Green is the color of life, of spring. It's because of green that life exist at all. Green is also the color of youth. And it is also the color of jealousy."

"Thank you, mermaid." The princess bowed as she accepted the green.

"Now that you have taken my color, I will now accept you as a love rival." The mermaid said. "I will fight you for the affections of the wolf."

The princess was confused. "Wha..."

The dragon, who had been silent throughout this, shook his head. "Don't worry about it." He told her. "The mermaid always gets like that when she thinks someone is trying to take the ice breath away from her."

The dragon flew away without explaining anything else as the white wolf tried to calm the mermaid down.

The dragon took the princess to see more of his friends to see if they had more colors. They got the color purple from an adorable puppy, the color brown from a bear who loves honey, and the color yellow from a very manly bunny. The princess's palette was nearly complete.

"I have so many colors." The princess said happily. "Is there anyone else you know who would have colors?"

"There is one." The dragon admitted. "But I don't think he'll help. He doesn't like me very much."

"Please, dragon." The princess pleaded. "I need as many colors as I can get."

The dragon sighed. "Alright. I'll take you there." He said.

The dragon next stop was a thorny woodland. He set down on the ground and let out a terrible roar. He knew doing that would get its attention.

"Why must you roar in my home, dragon?" A voice growled back in response.

The dragon turned around to see a black jackal staring back at him.

"Jackal, it's been a while." The dragon stared hard at the jackal. "My friend here is looking for colors. Do you have any?"

"I have one, but why would I give it to you?" The jackal asked.

The princess grabbed the jackal's attention. "Please, I am trying to be a painter and I need all the colors I can get." She explained. "If you have any to spare..."

The jackal shrugged his shoulders. He then dug into his fur and found a bottle with black liquid. He threw it at the princess who caught it with unsure hands.

"This is the color black." The jackal explained. "And it is a terrible color. It is the color of pain, misery, and suffering all of which we experience many times in our lives. Black is the color of mourning. You will wear it when your loved ones pass on from this life. It is the absence of all color, of all joy, of anything good."

After receiving the color black from the jackal, the princess looked at it, deep in thought.

"Why would you give her a color like that?" The dragon growled at the jackal.

"She's the one who asked for it." The jackal growled back.

As the dragon and the jackal growled at each other, the princess heard the fluttering of wings heading towards them.

"Jackal, you aren't being nice." A soft voice said. The princess looked in the direction of the voice and saw a white hummingbird fluttering towards the jackal, landing on his head.

"I thought I told you to stay in the cave, Hummingbird." The jackal told the bird who landed on his head.

"I'm here to make sure you are nice." The hummingbird smiled. She then turned to the princess who held the color black that the jackal had. "Hello. I see you have the jackal's black."

"I do." The princess answered. "I wish to be a painter so I need all the colors I can paint a beautiful picture."

"That sounds amazing." The hummingbird smiled. "I'll help you. Let me go get my color."

The hummingbird fluttered away. When she returned, she was carrying a bottle with white liquid in it in her beak. She handed it to the princess. "This is the color white and I'm sure you will use it well." The hummingbird warbled.

"What does white mean?" The princess asked.

"White is a pure color." The hummingbird explained. "It creates every color in the rainbow. It represents everything good in life. It is black's equal and complement. Just as there is pain and misery in one's life, so to there will be happiness and joy."

"Thank you, hummingbird." The princess bowed.

"With those two colors, I'm sure you'll make a great painting." The hummingbird smiled. "Right, jackal?"

The jackal looked away with a blush. "Whatever."

The dragon looked up towards the princess on his back. "Do you have everything you need?" He asked.

"Yes." The princess answered. "I am ready to paint."

The dragon beat his wings and took off, leaving a smiling hummingbird and scowling jackal behind.

The dragon took the princess back to the castle where they met. She had everything she needed. The princess was ready to paint.

"So what are you going to paint, princess." The dragon asked her.

"It should be a painting of fish." The cat told her. "Delicious fish."

The dragon grinned at his cat companion. "Yeah, that sounds good."

The princess frowned. "It won't be about fish." She said, disappointing them. "It should be something that is close to my heart."

The princess thought on this for a while. Then it came to her.

"I know." She yelled. "It should be about my adventures with you when we were collecting the colors I needed."

The princess set up her canvas, poured the colors onto the palette made from the dragon's scale and used the paintbrush made from the cat's fur. She started painting.

The princess painted those she had met on her journey: the wise mountain goat, the red mare and her blue stallion friend, the lion king, the white wolf and the mermaid, the jackal and the hummingbird, all of the other animals that gave her colors. And last but certainly not least, she drew herself, riding with the dragon and the cat.

The dragon and cat watched in wonder as the princess painted. And when it was finished, they couldn't believe their eyes. It was beautiful. She brought out every last detail in everyone, the beauty of the mare, the wisdom of the mountain goat, the terror of the jackal, the happiness of the hummingbird. It was as if they were right there in front of them.

The princess turned around. "So what do you think?" She asked.

"It's beautiful." The dragon and cat said at the same time.

"You really think so?" She said with stars in her eyes.

The dragon and cat nodded.

"Then I finally know what it is I was meant to do." She smiled. "I will now go and speak with my father about this. When I am done, I would like to go on more adventures with you."

"Of course." The dragon told her.

The princess took her painting into the castle with her to see her father, the king. He was in the throne room. With a deep sigh, she called out to him.

"Hello, father." The princess said respectfully.

"Princess, where have you been?" The king roared. "I've had men looking for you."

"My apologizes, father." She bowed. "But I was on a journey. And I learned something on it. I've learned that I am not meant to be a princess."

"What are you saying?" He asked.

The princess handed the painting to her father.

"I know what I am meant to be." She told the king. "A painter. I know it in my heart. So I will go and seek out inspiration. I will paint more portraits. This is what I am meant to do. I just know it."

When she was finished, the princess bowed respectfully to her father. "From now on, I shall no longer be known as Princess." She said. "I shall be called Painter. It is what I was meant to do after all."

With that, the princess now known as Painter left the castle to her dragon friend. The king chased after her.

"Princess, where are you going?" The king yelled as she mounted the dragon.

"Doing what I am meant to do." The painter smiled. "I shall see you soon with more paintings. I promise."

With that, the dragon flew away, taking with him the princess turned painter. The king watched until she was no longer in sight. With nothing left to do, he looked at the painting for the first time. What he saw surprised him. It was breathtaking, truly beautiful.

"This was created by my daughter? This is beautiful." He said to himself. Then he came to a realization. "Perhaps she really is meant to be a painter after all."

As for the princess who became a painter, well she is still traveling the world with her friends, the dragon and the blue cat. They go on many adventures, sometimes by themselves and sometimes with the friends she's made on her journey. And she paints everything she sees. She is happy because she followed her heart and it led her to what she knew she was meant to do.

So, dear reader, when you are trying to find out what it is you feel you should do, follow your heart, just as she did, and it will lead you in the right direction just like the princess's heart did for her.


Natsu finally finished the story. The story made him feel happy and sad at the same time. He was sad that it was over but he was happy that the princess finally became a painter like she always wanted. Lucy's book was amazing. Granted, he wasn't an avid reader. But once he started reading, he couldn't stop. It was that good.

"So what do you think?" A voice from behind him asked.

Natsu turned around suddenly and saw Lucy standing behind him in her pajamas smiling at him.

"Lucy!" Natsu and Happy shrieked. How could they have not known that Lucy was standing behind him? Were they that engrossed in the story?

"How long have you been standing there?" Happy asked.

"Since Natsu began reading aloud." She told him.

"Are you mad that..." Natsu began before Lucy cut him off.

"No." The blonde smiled.

"But Levy..." The pink haired mage started.

Lucy gave Natsu and Happy a goofy smile and winked. "Let's just say you get to jump the line because you're dating the author, okay?" Then she got serious. "So did you like it?"

"I loved it." Natsu told her.

"Me too." Happy chimed.

Lucy beamed at their praise. "To be honest, it's because of you two that I wrote this." She admitted. "It's an allusion."

"You mean like those two guys who make the tiger disappear onstage?" Happy asked.

Lucy chuckled. "Not illusion. Allusion." She corrected. "This story was inspired by you and everyone in Fairy Tail. Everyone gave me something that I needed to be the woman I am today. But it's you two that I owe the most. You two invited me to join Fairy Tail. You changed my life forever and I am a better person because of it. I am so happy to have met you."

Natsu and Happy were on the verge of crying sloppy tears.

Lucy leaned in and kissed Natsu's lips sweetly while scratching behind Happy's ear. "Come to bed, you two." She whispered and walked into her room. Natsu and Happy followed close behind.

The next day, Lucy handed Levy the book to read. The blue haired woman actually decided to read it aloud for everyone. Many people congratulated Lucy for finally getting her works published and wished her success in the future. The blonde couldn't stop smiling. Her dream finally came true. She was an author, a real author.

Word Count: 6,605

I've always been interested in children's books and the messages they give: Aesop's Fables, Dr. Seuss works and others. How do they convey somewhat complicated messages in simple stories. That's what inspired me to write this story.

I wonder if you can pick out who the animals are suppose to represent? There are cookies in it for whomever gets them all right. XD

So, loved it? Hated it? Have no opinion one way or the other? Leave me a review. I'd love to hear from you.

Here's the prompt for the next chapter.

Natsu had always known that Lucy came from money. But when they had visited her rich uncle's mansion, it really struck him. Lucy's family was loaded. And it got him thinking. What could he give her that would be better than all that wealth?

So does anyone know what the O word here is? This one might be difficult. Good luck with that.

Till next time,

A. Angel