Lucy Heartfilia had heard about him, alright. Who hadn't heard of Fairy Tail Boys' Academy's number one delinquent, Natsu Dragneel? Everyone had heard about him, and every girl in Fairy Tail Girls' Academy feared him. Rumor had it that he took any female out there and dated them until he was tired of them; then, he just dumped them on the sidewalk, unconcerned of their welfare. Lucy had been warned about him by her friends, Levy and Erza, but she wasn't involved in that school's affairs anyways, so she was never worried about his presence. Natsu Dragneel, they said, never loved anyone seriously; his heart had been captured by one girl alone, and he dated whoever he wanted lightly until he found her.
"Who cares about him anyways?" Lucy sighed as her friends told her about his latest dumped girlfriend, Cana Alberona (who had tried to beat him up afterwards, but to no avail – he was just too good of a fighter). They were seated in the last class of the day (the one class they actually had together) and Levy insisted that this news was fresh and hot off the press; it had only happened one hour ago, or so she claimed.
"I wouldn't care about him," Levy whispered, "but he's actually good-looking. Such a shame that he has to belong to the dark side."
"Alright, Levy, he's not Darth Vader," Erza mumbled, looking at her friend with an annoyed expression.
"Yeah, but still. You don't understand, I've been up close to him before. Although, there IS another guy." With that, Levy McGarden turned around, sighing her head off. Lucy and Erza exchanged glances. They knew more about those Fairy Tail Boys more than she thought they did. After all, the "club" they joined was centered around them.
For generations, Fairy Tail Girls' had developed a secret organization called The Fairy Elites, where a collection of five girls were collected to fully beat up any FT Boy Delinquent that dared to try and bother their students. They were all ranked from one to five, five being the weakest fighter (but still stronger than most average girls) and one being the strongest. Lucy Heartfilia was third, Erza Scarlet was first, Mirajane Strauss was second, Cana Alberona was fourth, and Evergreen was fifth. Everyone in the alliance had a Fairy Tail Mark on their skin (the girls' and boys' school crest were both the same) with their number rank painted in the center of it. Lucy's was covered by a fingerless, Velcro glove she always wore on only one hand: her right hand. Everybody else had rearranged their uniforms in a way so that their tattoo was hidden.
There were certain procedures pertaining on when the girls could fight with the boys, and one of the times they weren't allowed to was when one of the boy delinquents dumped them (which now puts Cana into trouble). That was why the leaders of the Elites (Mavis Vermillion and Ultear Milkovich) had recommended that they don't get involved in relationships; it would limit their ability to fight.
"I wonder who the Natsu Dragneel fell in love with though," Levy whispered, and Lucy rolled her eyes extravagantly. Who cared about who he loved? He was just a jerk anyways; someone who victimized girls without feeling a twinge of guilt was the worst.
"Whatever, McGarden," Erza said, pointing to the room door, "Bisca-sensei is coming, so quiet down your shoujo manga fantasies a little, okay?"
In the front of the room, Bisca (as Lucy liked to call her) was just walking in, her cowboy sense of style showing through her brown boots and wide-brimmed cowboy hat. Otherwise, she wore a normal blazer, dress shirt, and tight work skirt finished off with a deep red lipstick on her lips.
"Afternoon ladies and gents, and yee-haw! Like my new hat? My husband and I just bought it yesterday!"
Lucy watched as Levy looked out the window to look at Fairy Tail Boys'. She couldn't help but get the feeling there was more to Levy than she knew…
By the time the bell rang, Lucy felt exhausted and sleepy. Levy and Erza, who looked like they had things to do, went rushing off somewhere, leaving her alone. The blonde was okay with that; after all, she had resolved to take a nap anyways. But with her dictatorial father, Jude Heartfilia, at home, she knew that she wasn't going to gain any sleep there. So, she decided to look for a fitting place to "catch a few Z's", and that place was a tree; most of its leaves would hide her from view and one of the branches was wide enough to permit her to lie down for a while. Of course, there WAS the downside of it being right up against the wall that divided her school from the delinquent school, and that it was hanging right over the courtyard of Fairy Tail Boys' Academy, but Lucy thought she could deal with any situation if one turned about. With that resolution fully in mind, the third ranked Elite Fighter climbed up the tree and settled down on her branch, completely satisfied. Her hoodie, orange for Fairy Tail's school colors, made her feel warm and cozy, a comfortable feeling on an otherwise very hard tree limb. In no time at all, the blonde had dozed off.
Lucy, diminutive in her six-year-old body, had her head cast downward as she waited for her father to acknowledge her presence. But Jude, fully engrossed in his work, neither raised his head nor said a word to his daughter. Finally, tired of waiting, Lucy piped up in her tiny, small voice.
"What? Can't you see I'm working?"
Lucy smiled toothily despite Jude's hard voice. She placed a messy looking rice ball with a face on her dad's desk, saying, "Here, I made this for you, Daddy."
"We have a maid; I could have just called her to give me food."
Lucy ignored his comment and went right on talking, "You know, Papa, today's a really special day…"
"But, you know, today, today is-"
"LUCY!" Jude bellowed and the six-year-old cowered in fear, "YOU'RE BOTHERING ME!"
In one sweep of the hand, the rice ball flew off his desk and landed on the ground, scattering into crumbs. Lucy, despite her tears, gathered up the pieces of her hard work and crept out of the room, sobbing. Outside the doors, she knelt down and let her tears flow freely.
"Today, Daddy," she whispered, "is my birthday."
"…come here. You'd like me a whole lot better."
The blonde woke up, unsure for a moment of where she was. Then she remembered: the tree branch. Her dream of the past had made her confused just a little bit, and she shook her head sadly. Then, realizing her weak emotions, she clenched her teeth and made a fist. She couldn't believe that she still had that dream even now, years later. Lucy bent down, clutching clumps of her hair, whispering fiercely, "I'm still weak, I'm still weak, I'm still weak."
"Come on Gajeel, do you even really love her?"
The sudden voice almost made her heart stop, and her body fall out of the tree. She caught herself just in time, palms sweating at the sudden shock.
"Keep away, you scum!"
"Aw come on. Come here Bookworm, I swear you'll like me a whole lot better than Ironface."
Mustering up her courage and regaining her composure, Lucy looked over the edge and caught her breath. Right below her was a salmon head, spiky and almost pink. No one could mistake that head of hair for anyone else but Natsu Dragneel, and across from him…that long spiky hairdo just had to be Gajeel Redfox, Dragneel's rival. Lucy could see several boys (or at least the top of their heads) gathered in the courtyard: one of them was blackish-bluish (Gray Fullbuster), another was orange (Loke Celeste), another was white (Elfman Strauss, Mira was going to kill him later for sure), another was blonde and was receiving murmurs about how cute he was (that had to be Eve Tearm), even Hibiki Lates and Ren Akatsuki were there. But the two heads Lucy almost fell out of the tree again over were the red and light blue girl ones; it was Levy and Erza. The scarlet-haired Elite stood next to a dark blue-haired guy, who had to be Jellal Fernandez. Then there was Levy, petite and silly Levy, who stood next to none other than Gajeel himself!
Across from the unlikely pair was Natsu Dragneel, who beckoned towards Levy sickeningly.
"I'll give you your first kiss," Natsu coaxed. The blonde swallowed back a lump of anger; how could he promise to give a kiss so easily?
"I only," Levy said in a quiet voice, "I only love Gajeel."
Dragneel seemed to be piqued by the comment, and said in a more aggressive voice this time, "I'll date you for two months then; the whole boyfriend experience and everything."
"But," Levy whispered, but Natsu had had enough. He took a step towards her meaningfully. Redfox swung a fist at him, apparently desperate to keep him away from his girl. But Loke and Gray had already pinned him against the wall, so that their "leader" could actually touch the petite bookworm.
Natsu had Levy against the wall and was leaning in to force a kiss on her, but Lucy had already swung into action. She was confused by why Erza had not helped her out, but she wasn't going to do the same. Before she had time to think it over, she jumped down from the tree, screaming, "Wait just a minute, Dragneel!"
Her dramatized entrance had the desired effect. The Salmon-Top stopped in his disgusting actions and looked up, his eyes widening when he saw the blonde falling from what seemed to be the sky. In less than two seconds, she had landed on top of him, pinning him to the ground with her knees so that he couldn't resist against her.
"Wait to go, blondie!" Gajeel yelled from where he was held up against the wall. Lucy just glared at him with her chocolate brown eyes and he fell silent immediately.
"What!? Let me go, Crazy! What right do you have to-?"
"Shut up!" Lucy barked, tearing off her Velcro glove so that her mark was revealed, "Fairy Elite, Rank 3, Lucy Heartfilia! And you, Natsu Dragneel, better hope to be alive after this one."
Without hesitating, the blonde gave him one punch right on the jaw. He passed out right away, his mouth hanging open, showing all of his sharp, dragon-like teeth. His breath was horrible, but at least she knew how he got the nickname Salmon Dragon now. Lucy stood up to dozens of awed Yankees; scowling angrily, she growled, "What are you all waiting for!? Leave!"
Thunderous footsteps resounded in her ears as the courtyard emptied rather quickly. Now in a very bad mood, the blonde flipped up her jacket's hood and managed to climb back up to her branch.
"Tch, my job here is done."
That being said, she jumped off the branch to arrive on the other side of the wall, and trudged back home, sure that her business with Natsu was done. Of course, fate has a way of surprising even the most prepared people.