Well, here goes. I am officially writing something for Fairy Tail! Oh, I'm excited... The idea came to me while watching 'Faerie Tale Theatre', (which is a really bad/awesomely cheesy 80's show) and since I love fairy tales to no end, I did this!
It's set up very simply – two chapters per fairy tale, one couple per story. The premise is Mirajane telling bedtime stories to her children.
By the way, there are lots of pairings here, more than is the norm. I'm a shipping monster, I'm worse than Mirajane, so apart from the more popular couples like NaLu, there might be some crack couples. No, there will be some crack couples. Warning you now!
Anyway, here it goes. Another Fairy Tail/fairy tales mashup! Enjoy!
"Mama, I don't want to go to sleep."
Mirajane sat down on the edge of the bed, looking down at the three pairs of bright eyes below her. The eldest of her children stood shakily on the mattress, pouting defiantly at her. "I'm not sleepy!"
She chuckled quietly. "Darling, it's late. You should have been in bed an hour ago. What kind of mother am I if I let you stay up past your bedtime?"
"The best kind!" The youngest yelled, and then all three were jumping up and down.
Mirajane laughed. "All right, all right! How about a compromise?"
They stopped jumping, blinking at her in confusion. Six year olds did not know the meaning of the word 'compromise.'
She smiled at them. "I'll tell you a story."
All three were under the covers before she could say please. Mirajane pulled an old leather-bound book from the dresser. "What do you want to hear tonight?"
"Cinderella!" Her youngest daughter screamed, but her older brother protested. "I hate girly stories!" He complained.
The eldest pondered quietly. "How about you decide, Mama?"
"Mary Jane, you are the brightest of them all." Mira flipped open the book straight to the middle. "Oh, here's a good one! How about 'Hansel and Gretel?'"
"I've never heard that one before!"
"Yeah, but if Mama likes it then it has to be good!"
"All right! Hansel and Gretel!"
Mirajane didn't answer, she was too busy staring at the illustration in the book. The little blonde girl, hand in hand with a little... rose-haired... boy...
A smile had begun to worm its way onto Mirajane's face, and it wasn't the sweet kind, either. It was the kind she always wore when planning something. The kind that made most of her friends run for cover.
"Now, how do these stories always start?... oh yes. Once upon a time..."
HANSEL AND GRETEL
Once upon a time, there was a small family who lived in a cottage in the woods. Once a respectable and rich family, they had grown destitute from the great famine that was rocking the kingdom. The great Jude Heartfilia and his wife Layla, had given birth to their daughter Lucy in a sprawling mansion. But, by the time she was three, their fortune was gone and Jude was working as a woodcutter to try and keep the small log cabin afloat.
One day, while out for a walk in the woods, Layla came across a small boy wandering around in the woods. He was crying, but also yelling and angry, and he claimed to be looking for his father, the dragon Igneel. Layla was amazed; this boy couldn't have been older than her own daughter. Her heart went out to him, for she was a kind woman, and she decided he would be a good companion for Lucy, and took him home.
Jude was angry, claiming that they could not afford to feed another mouth, but Layla was stubborn. And the young boy, who claimed his name was Natsu, got along so well with the young Lucy that Jude couldn't bring himself to take him away.
As time went on, Natsu and Lucy grew up to become the very best of friends. Layla loved Natsu as if he was her own, and both listened every day, fascinated about the stories he would tell of the dragon Igneel.
But Jude never was happy. He spent every day trying to bring them out of poverty. But year after year passed, and the great famine that spread across the kingdom was accompanied with war, drought, pestilence and worst of all, the plague. Every day, he suffered the effects of a great man torn from riches to rags.
Jude's breaking point came one night, when the children were seven and eight. Natsu and Lucy came back from an adventure in the woods, and Natsu was carrying in his arms a small, furry creature. A kitten; Natsu named him Happy.
"How could you!" Jude screamed, throwing a piece of pottery at them. Lucy screamed, and Natsu hugged her tightly, as though he could protect her from her father's fury. "We don't have enough food to keep that thing alive!" He pointed at Happy. "First the boy, now the cat! We can't afford to keep them!"
Layla just barely managed to calm him down, promising that a cat was a good idea, that he could feed himself by catching the mice that infested the house. "You won't even know he's there," she soothed.
Jude didn't end up killing Happy that night, but the effect was still the same. Lucy cowered away, terrified, and Natsu felt resentment boiling in his gut.
The worst toll was on Layla. Her health deteriorated, she grew thinner and thinner every day. She became weak, felt faint, and couldn't eat. She fought to stay alive, because she knew that she was the only barrier between the children and Jude's fury and greed. But it was a hard battle, and one that, in the end, could not be won.
One night, when Layla was near her last days, Lucy followed her outside. She watched from behind a tree, as Layla prayed to the stars.
"Cancer, Aquarius," she murmured, "Capricorn, Aries, Scorpio, Taurus... Leo... please, keep Lucy and Natsu safe from harm."
Lucy didn't understand how stars could keep her safe, and as her mother began to cry, so did she.
Layla died the next morning. Lucy was 17 years old.
Jude mourned for his wife, but it wasn't long before he returned to his old ways. The children were old now, and Natsu had the appetite of a monster. It wasn't long before Jude was devising a plan – a horrid, wretched plan that would have made Layla turn in her grave – to get rid of Lucy and Natsu.
Lucy had been having a strange dream that night. She'd been out swimming, the water crystal clear. Thirsty, she drank it all. But an odd, blue mermaid popped out of nowhere and swept her away in a giant tidal wave, and Lucy realized with a start that she didn't know how to swim.
She awoke, drenched in sweat, and for a moment couldn't figure out where she was. Everything was spinning. Lucy groaned, and rubbed her forehead. This was not a normal nightmare, she decided. And who was that mermaid? She looked awfully familiar...
Lucy put her hand down, but yelped and recoiled when it connected with something warm and smushy. She looked down, and rage flared up inside her.
"Natsu!" she shrieked, kicking him and falling out of bed. "What are you doing?!"
He merely grumbled, and rolled over. "You're so noisy, Lucy..."
Lucy stared at him, infuriated. "Wha-how-what have I told you about sleeping in my bed!?" She cast her glance wildly around the room. "Happy!" There he was, that traitor cat, curled up on Natsu's bed across the floor. "Happy, tell Natsu that he can't sleep in my bed!"
Happy merely opened one eye, and meowed as if to say "You're annoying, Lucy" and went back to sleep.
At the end of her rope, Lucy stood up and pulled the already threadbare blanket off the bed. Natsu shivered and curled up. "Lucy, now I'm cold!"
She was completely mortified to see he'd been sleeping without a shirt on. Lucy spun around to face the wall, fighting the blush rising in her cheeks. Okay, okay, whatever. Natsu slept in my bed without a shirt on. So what's the big deal? He's like, practically my brother. It doesn't mean anything at all!
Happy, let out another meow, this one Lucy knew all too well. It was the famous "you liiiiike him" meow.
Just as Lucy lunged to strangle the dumb cat, the door was swung open and Jude stood in the frame. "Good morning," he said in a sombre tone, bowing his head. "Children, I require your presence downstairs. Please join me at the breakfast table." He glanced up, and looked at Natsu. "Isn't that Lucy's bed?"
Breakfast was a quiet one that morning, what with Jude's attitude and Lucy refusing to speak to Natsu. Everyone had their eyes on their plate. Even Happy didn't live up to his name, mournfully chewing on a mouse. Both Natsu and Lucy knew that Happy hated mice, but both were too scared to bring this up with Jude. He couldn't exactly afford gourmet fish, when all they had to eat were bread crusts.
Natsu glanced around furtively. No one was paying any attention, so he grabbed an extra crust and stuffed it in his pocket.
Finally, Jude stood. "Today, I want to take you two out to work with me."
Lucy looked up in excitement. She'd long wanted to help her father, but Natsu frowned. "Why does Lucy have to go work?"
This was dangerous territory, but Natsu was too dense to realize the waves of fury radiating from beside him. Jude looked at him in confusion. "Well, why shouldn't she?"
"She's a girl, right?" Natsu explained. "Don't girls stay at home and do girly things?"
Lucy smacked him on the back of the head. Hard.
Jude chuckled. "That's exactly why she's coming, too."
The three of them walked out onto the dirt road, with Happy trailing behind. Natsu, too stayed back a bit. He didn't know why, but something in the back of his mind was warning him of danger. He hadn't mentioned anything to Lucy, so as not to worry her. But some sense was telling him this may be the last time they saw home.
Stealthily, he reached into his pocket and broke a small crumb and dropped it on the ground. He did so every five paces, leaving behind a small trail of breadcrumbs leading home. Happy glanced up at him questioningly, and he made a shushing noise with his finger.
"Why are you lagging behind there, boy?' Jude called back to him.
"Just walking with Happy," Natsu yelled back, waving good-naturedly. Lucy eyed him suspiciously, but left him be. She was still mad at him.
They continued on like this for what seemed like hours, and Natsu was getting worried. He was running out of crust.
Finally, Jude brought them to a stop. It was small clearing in the woods, where the sun beat down especially hot. "Wait here for just a minute," he said. "I have to get some wood. I trust you'll be here when I get back?" he smiled at them. Natsu's stomach clenched. The smile didn't quite reach his eyes.
They waited for a few minutes. Which turned into a few hours. The peak of the day passed, and the sun began to set. Lucy was pacing nervously.
"He should have been back by now. I hope he's okay! What if something happened to him? What if he was attacked? What if he's currently lying somewhere in the wilderness, mugged and robbed and bleeding to dea-"
Natsu grabbed her shoulders and turned her to face him. "Luce! Calm down."
She took a deep, shuddering breath. "Yup, no, yes, you're right. I should calm down." She sighed, and leaned into his shoulder. "I'm so afraid," she mumbled.
"That.." she shivered. "That he just left us here."
Happy came up, rubbing along her leg. She laughed shakily. "I know. Crazy, isn't it?"
Natsu didn't answer. Instead he pulled away, looking sideways into the woods. Lucy started to get nervous. "Natsu..."
"I think you might be right."
Lucy blanched. "Natsu!"
The sun was setting, and a cold wind descended on the two. Lucy picked up Happy, and held him to her chest for comfort and warmth. "What are we going to do?"
Natsu cast his glance around. "My breadcrumbs are still here!" he yelled triumphantly. "If we hurry, we can follow them back home!"
As they spoke, a large black crow landed on the ground and ate the crumb. He looked defiantly at the companions, the flapped his wings and flew away.
Natsu and Lucy looked at each other.
They took off down the trail, in the direction of the breadcrumbs. But as they ran, the trail disappeared, birds were swooping down and taking them away. Space between crumbs became further and further, until no more were in sight.
Lucy stopped running, breathing heavily. Tears leaked from her eyes. "We're too late."
Natsu didn't stop, running around in circles, looking for another breadcrumb. "No! We can't be!" He cried desperately. Night had fallen, and although the moonlight shone down on them, it illuminated no path. They were hopelessly lost.
The sound of sobbing made him stop. He turned to see Lucy, collapsed on the ground, crying her eyes out. "We're never going to find our way home," she whispered, the sound despair loud against the trees. Happy curled up next to her, his eyes gleaming with unshed tears.
Natsu stepped towards her, holding out his hand. "Don't say that, Luce," he said brightly. "If it's you and me, we'll find a way out of this. I promise!"
Still sniffling, she took his hand and he pulled her to her feet. They began again to walk, this time not having any idea where they were headed. But Natsu never once let go of Lucy's hand, and led her surefooted through the dark woods.
A smell wafted across Natsu's nose, and he stopped. Lucy, who had been wiping her eyes and hadn't been looking, walked straight into his back. "Ow! Natsu, why did you-"
"Do you smell that?" He said, nose twitching. Lucy blinked. She'd always known Natsu had a keen sense of smell, but... "I don't smell anything."
"There's something this way!" He yelped, and in a second he was off, nearly pulling Lucy's arm out of her socket. "Quick, come on, Luce!"
They ran over stumps and under logs, weaving in and out of trees and randomly changing directions as Natsu followed his nose. Lucy shrieked, barely able to keep up with his speed.
"Natsu, stop!" she yelled, and ran into him again as he stopped dead. "Ouch! Thank you, but that wasn't quite what I-" she stopped, looking at the scene around her. "...meant..."
There it was. In the middle of the woods, for seemingly no reason at all, complete with a smoking chimney.
A house made of candy.
I own a book of Grimm's Fairy Tales, passed down to me by my mom. The Hansel and Gretel story is quite different, having Hansel being adopted, and the two getting married in the end. I like it a lot, but it seems to be rather not-well-known. Too bad.
Anyway. Hope you enjoyed! And I'll hopefully see you all next time!