AN: Hello again my pretties. Here is another chapter of my story and I hope it will satisfy you as readers and/or fans of Fairy Tail. Unfortunately you will have to wait for next chapter for real interactions wit Lucy and the Dragons but this will give you some background on some major characters.

Disclaimer: I do not own Fairy Tail

The Perfect Plan

Chapter 8: Life of the Party

Peeling Wendy Marvell off him was one of the hardest things Natsu had done in his young life. Ever since she was born, she was a clinger. One time it took Gajeel and Laxus to peel her small form from his. Not that he didn't love his cousin, but sometimes she was too much. Seeing her tonight made the evening a little less awkward. She was one thing in his life that he could always rely on to make him smile. After Lucy entered the tent and was formally introduced (as Lucy Dragneel), Natsu promptly wrapped his arm around her.

Wendy and Lucy thankfully hit it off right away, smiling warmly at each other as they gushed about each others outfits. Natsu felt awkward, hearing all these ridiculous names of designers that he really couldn't care less about. Looking around, he had to admit that his family really went all out this year.

The whole atmosphere was crowded and the air was thick. Beads of sweat formed on his brow, his dark eyes darting around the the familiar faces, trying to ignore the glares they sent him. It was already starting, the scorn in their eyes as they sipped their drinks, whispering secrets to one another. Oh God, he thought, it was starting to hurt his head. God, he needed a drink.

Natsu excused himself, patting his cousin on the head and kissing Lucy lightly on the cheek, smirking at the way her cheeks flamed instantly. As he walked away, Wendy giggled, looking to Lucy with devious brown eyes. "I'm glad Natsu finally got a girl. I was afraid he would end up with Sherry or maybe Hisui, but I'm glad it's you." Lucy was taken aback for a second. "You barely know me, how can you be so sure?"

Wendy smiled, twirling a long strand of hair that was elegantly pulling her bun. "I can honestly say that my cousin Natsu has always been guarded, hiding behind a mask to please everyone else instead of himself. He would do anything to get off of our grandfather's radar. His only concern was Fairy Tail, day and night. But, marrying you has no set all the eyes on him, and he doesn't seem to mind. That's how I know." After surprising Lucy with her words, Wendy bid the young adult farewell before disappearing off into the crowd.

Lucy watched her bounce away, taking in her words. Turning to find her husband, Lucy found him leaning casually on the bar, taking a sip of a bottled beer with a emotionless face. Catching her eye, his face cracked into his famous grin. Sighing contently, Lucy walked towards him, ignoring the eyes that followed her.

Reaching his side, she wrapped her hand around his arm. The bar was located towards the rear of the tent, giving her the opportunity to view all of the characters in front of her. People were in fat staring, Lucy felt instantly self conscious.

Trying to advert her eyes from the loquacious guests, the young wife took in the venue around her. She did have to admit that the venue was spectacular. What else could she expect from this wealthiest family in Fiore. The idea of an outdoor heated tent in the dead of winter was surprising but it worked. Below them was a patio made from what looked like white sandstone and there had to be about 30 tables with chairs around them. Each table was dressed with a white tablecloth and all the chairs were dark mahogany with black ribbons tied around the back rest.

The whole venue was surprising. Seated to the left of the main stage were dozens of cushioned chairs with black musical stands. An orchestra perhaps, Lucy pursed her lips at the thought. With the two openings in the tent, Lucy had to admit she was rather comfortable as the heat spread through the tent. She barely even felt a chill, well, minus those coming from the razor like eyes of the other guests.

As Lucy turned away from their eyes, she noticed Natsu wave to a few people who were engrossed in conversation. Lucy recognized Makarov and Laxus from the company but the man who stood at the same height as Laxus with reddish hair and tan skin was a face she had never seen before. This whole atmosphere reminded Lucy of the banquets she had to attend as a young teen to appease her father. There she knew no one there and even now she was in the same type of element but even now she felt out of her element. Taking in a deep breath, the young blonde let out a long sigh, pulling a curl behind her ear.

"Lucy, are you alright?" Lucy looked up at her husband, feeling a slight ping of relief that he was beside her, his eyes looking down at her and only her. Her lips formed a tight smile, but her eyes remained distant. "Would the lady like anything to drink?" The bartender asked, but before Lucy could place her drink order she watched her husband be pulled into a headlock by a man who was almost twice his size.

"Natsu!" she shrieked only to hear a strangled laugh escape his lips."It's alright Luce, I've got this." He said, his face contorted but a smile was on his lips. Lucy looked up at the man holding her husband and nearly screamed when his red eyes met hers. "So Natsu, should I kill you in front of your girl, or take you outside?" Panic spread over her face instantly, looking around at the party goers and wondering why on earth they were laughing at the two brawling men.

Lucy looked back at the two men to see Natsu trying to reach his Budweiser on the bar counter. The brute of a man smack the beer on the ground, making Natsu whine in dismay. "Goddamnit, Gajeel let me go or else..." Natsu ground out through his canine teeth. The man, Gajeel laughed, and Lucy noticed he had sharp teeth as well. "What's that? You wanna die in here? Okay, no-" In a quick blur, Natsu built up his strength enough to flip the large man over his head, and slam him to the ground in a loud, glass shattering thud. Everyone turned to face them, their mouths dropped and eyes wide. The large man let out a strangled groan, closing his eyes before rubbing his head. "Fuck Natsu, that was uncalled for."

Natsu let out a hoarse laugh, holding his throat in relief. "No, smacking my beer on the ground was uncalled for, you fucking bastard." Turning away from the still groaning man on his back, Natsu let out a small laugh at the sight of his wife. She was visibly shaking with anger and her face was flushed with embarrassment. Reaching his hand out to her, Lucy ignored it, reaching for a drink someone beside her had ordered. Walking promptly over to Gajeel, Lucy turned the drink upside down, watching the liquor pour out onto him.

"What the fuck!" Gajeel shouted , turning his face away from liquid. Letting out a hmph of approval, Lucy turned away from him. A loud laugh left her husband's lips as she set the empty glass back on the counter. The blonde looked at him and a small smile broke on her glossed lips. His strong arm encircled her slim waist as he pulled her into his chest. Most of the guests who had their eyes on the brawl had turned their attention away, making Lucy less embarrassed.

"Jesus, Natsu, where'd you pick 'er up from?" Gajeel asked, running a large, calloused hair through his long, ragged black hair. Lucy opened her mouth to retort, but was cut off by Natsu squeezing her side lightly. "Lucy, this is Gajeel Redfox, only son of Metalicana. He is my closest friend. Lucy gaped at the man, taking in his current state of dress. His long black hair was layered and cascaded down his back in a not so elegant fashion. His fashion on the other hand consisted of dark pants stuffed into Doc Martins with the tongues out. His large muscles were constricted by a black button up shirt, half tucked into his pants and half out. His red tie however was loose and his cuffs undone.

In all, he looked nothing like the son of a railroad tycoon. He looked more like a thug.

Gajeel looked down at his cousin's wife, raising an eyebrow. "Gajeel, this is Lucy. My wife." Natsu said, pushing her playfully towards his cousin. Lucy cowered underneath his height of almost a foot taller than her. "She's like a bunny." He commented, rubbing the black stubble on his jaw. Natsu barked out a laugh, taking a new beer from the bartender. Lucy smiled a little at her husband, seeing his eyes move from hers to something behind her.

"So her name is Lucy? What a beautiful name, although it does her no justice." Lucy turned around to only have her mouth fall open again. In front of her stood an elegant woman dressed in a golden dress around her height with long sandy hair and bright baby blue eyes. Her tan skin had barely any wrinkles on it but her face was soft with age.

"Hey Gran, I didn't expect to see you here." Natsu said putting a hand on Lucy's shoulder, pulling her close to him. "Lucy, this is my aunt, Grandeeney." Lucy smiled to the woman, raising her brow as the woman stayed silent for what seemed like forever as her light baby blue eyes roamed over the young wife.

Her face broke into a small frown, looking to her nephew. "Natsu, may I have a word. Alone." Natsu removed his arm from Lucy, looking to her with a stoic face. "I'll be back before dinner starts. Go and converse." Natsu turned to Gajeel, "Stay with her, please." The dark haired cousin nodded, waving a lazy hand to his younger cousin before taking a long sip of his drink.

Natsu smiled at Lucy before meeting his aunt's eyes again. "Lead the way, Gran."

~o~o~o~

Grandeeney wrapped her arm into her nephews, her head held high as they walk through the crowd. Natsu couldn't help but look back at his wife, seeing her place a gentle hand on his cousin's head, her face soft with apology. The two walked in complete silence. Nodding to people they knew but never stopping to converse. Just as Natsu was about to speak, his aunt patted his arm to silence him. "I know this marriage of yours has been a hot topic this past month. I would congratulate you but I fail to see how it would mean anything." Grandeeney finally said, stopping their walk as the exited the tent.

The pink haired man stood so he was facing his aunt, shoving his hands in his pockets before answering her. "If you wish to discuss my personal life, I think you would be better talking to Makarov about it. I have little control over it." The old woman smiled, looking back through the crowd to the beautiful star her nephew married. As his ADD showed, Natsu almost instantly lost interest in subject. He began shifting his weight onto each foot, looking away for a moment as she went on. "Oh you know I do not like talking to that pervert. All he wants is to get into my skirt. From the day I turned 18 that old man has been sweet on me."

Natsu looked down at his aunt, "If we're going to talk about Makarov's perverted tendencies, we could do it near my wife. Beside, I'd like her to meet you." Grandeeney frowned, looking at Lucy again. The young girl was laughing, bringing a hand to her nose to suppress any liquid from escaping through her nose. "She does seem very...charming. I fear your feelings for her are not reciprocated from her."

Natsu hesitated for a moment before rolling his eyes. "Just because my wife and I do not have our tongues down each other's throats does not mean we do not care for each other." Grandeeney pursed her lips, "Funny, I never even knew you were dating someone, let alone engaged to be married. I failed to make it to the wedding, oh wait, there wasn't one, was there?" Nothing escaped Gran's eyes, Natsu smirked, scuffing his feet on the sandstone path.

"Lucy's mother always wanted her to have a remote wedding. We kept our relationship secret because of work and well, let's face it, I am a catch with the ladies and the media. After I proposed, we traveled to Caelum, and had a small ceremony on the beach. She wore a simple ivory dress that fit her perfectly. Don't take it to personal that you weren't invited, only her father was allowed there. I wasn't ready to introduce her to all of this yet."

The older dragon shook her head, her ice blue eyes narrowed now in annoyance. "Natsu, stop with the charade. I know a false marriage when I see one. You may have the rest of Fiore fooled, but not me. Want my advice? I would release her of her services and leave her a small fortune. When the time is right, Acnologia will find you a wife. It will save you the heartache and it will please him."

Natsu pondered this for a moment before shaking his head, a smile present on his face. Knowing he had

lost the ability to continue lying for it would take up much more time than he was willing to waste. "No. I will not leave Lucy. She's apart of me now and I am apart of her life too. It's only been a short while but it's been the best month of my life. I did marry her to guarantee Fairy Tail and I know that she agreed for the promised money, but I can't help but feel something when I'm with her. It's something I have not felt before and I'm not going to let you or anyone sit by and fuck that up for me." His seriousness changed as his face cracked into a sheepish smile, making his aunt frown because he looked so much like his father. "I need to protect her and right now, she is in the Dragon's den. If you'd excuse me."

Grandeeney opened her mouth to protest, but her nephew had already vanished into the tent. Igneel, he's so much like you, she couldn't help but smile at him. He had no fear, no idea of the true crimes these people had done to his family.

~o~o~o~

Lucy decided that she liked Gajeel. Sure he was rude, had a foul mouth and really needed to shower but he had a honorable heart and didn't take any shit from anyone. The whole time she was with him, all he did was complain about his father. It seems that railway tycoons must all be disappointing fathers because Gajeel had his fair share of stories. Yes, in fact she could talk very easily with this dragon. She wondered if they're all like this.

"And then after my father stepped into his office and let me tell you, he has yet to be as angry as he was then. His face turn crimson, I shit you not, when he saw what I had done to his desk." Lucy gasped, bringing her hand to her face to suppress a laugh. Her father's office was his prize, his own little man cave that he always escaped to when he needed alone time. Too many times had she been sitting on his desk or playing with his important papers whenever he walked in already fuming about something at work.

"What did you do, Gajeel?" she asked, taking a long sip of her pina colada before taking a bite of the pineapple chunk. The dark haired man laughed to himself, looking down at her with his red eyes. "I had knocked over his novelty scotch, real good stuff, the kind you could drink and actually enjoy it. Anyways, it was spilled on very important documents, you know, the irreplaceable kind. It wasn't long before he sent me off to boarding school, hoping to regain some of his sanity before I returned."

Lucy swallowed thickly before speaking. "My father sent me to girl scouts every summer. He said it was to better my character but I knew it was just so then he could have the house to himself. Do you know how many times the house workers would call me, telling me that my father was piss drunk and gambling away all of our money?" They laughed and she found that reminiscing with him made her feel better about her past.

"So what about you Lucy, do you think you can adjust to this life?" He asked, setting his beer on the bar before taking a few cashews in his hand and eating them. The young blonde looked down at her drink, stirring it in silence for a few minutes. As fucked up as it was, she realized her past was something she could laugh at now. Natsu gave her a whole new life, that was something she never really thanked him for. "I think in the future I could. From what I came up from, no one ever showed me such kindness and love as Natsu has this past month." Blushing at what she just said, Lucy took a long sip of her drink. Did I really just say that?

Gajeel's hard face broke into a small smile."You are too amazing for that dumb ass, you know that right?" Letting a loud laugh escape her lips, the blonde shook her head. "I heard that" Natsu's voice came from behind her, wrapping an arm around her waist and pulling her to his chest. Lucy squeaked in surprise as she looked up at him. "Try not to fall in love with my wife, Gajeel." Looking to Gajeel, the dark haired man gave her a small shrug before waving the bartender down.

Lucy leaned her head against his chest, looking up at Natsu. He's so warm, she noticed, taking in his scent. It smelt like home."Your aunt did not like me very much, did she?" She asked, taking a sip of her drink with a small knowing smile on her pretty face. Natsu scrunched his nose at the memory of what Grandeeney say but he decided to ignore it. He shook his head slightly with a smile on his face. "Ah, she doesn't like anyone anymore, not since her husband died. It's a wonder how Wendy turned out so sweet." Gajeel said with his beer to his lips.

Lucy's eye shot up, looking between the two dragons. "Wendy's is Grandeeney's daughter? But that lady is such a sour puss!" The pink haired man looked away form his wife to his cousin, frowning in mock anger. "Are you getting my wife drunk, Gajeel? Do I need to kick your ass again?" Lucy laughed as the larger man defended himself. As the two men began making threats, the sound of a dinner bell broke all the conversation almost instantly.

Lucy turned to the stage set up across all the tables. Her brown eyes falling on the man holding the bell. He was dressed in a butler out, very old Victorian with a tailcoat and his dark hair combed back out of his dark eyes. He stepped up the podium that was in the center of the risen stage."Please be seated in an orderly fashion in your designated areas. Our host has name tags on the plates for your convenience."

People began dispersing, removing themselves from their conversations to find their seats. Natsu toke Lucy's hand, leading her away from the apple martini she just ordered. "Time to find our seats, love." He put emphasis on the sweet talk, making her understand that this was the time to act. She smiled sweetly, leaning to him. "Lead the way, my dragon." Natsu's dark eyes grew wide before looked away from her, feeling his cheeks heat up, did she have to say that in that kind of voice.

Natsu found their seats, positioned near the front with some other members of his family. Gajeel followed behind them with his hands shoved in his pockets. His red eyes were eying the couple in front of him, something wasn't right about them. He had never seen his cousin with anyone woman like this, someone so down to earth and plain. She wasn't as beautiful as his normal women and from what he learned about her from their small chat, she grew from her past, whatever it was.

Who was Lucy Heartfilia and what was she doing in the dragon's den?

~o~o~o~

AN: So that's that. Shorter than the previous chapter but at least I got it out there. Please review and tell me what you thought.