"Mommy, tell me that story again. You know, the one with the dragon and the pretty princess," squeaked a small girl from her bed to a beautiful blonde woman leaning up against the bedroom wall. The woman sighed as she walked back toward the child's bed with a small smile on her lips. "Now, Kori, you know it is way passed your bedtime. Your stupid father was suppose to put you to bed hours ago."
Kori sat up in her bed, her long pink hair flowing from her pig tails. "Daddy said he would teach me how to do a Dragon's Roar! Look, I can almost do it now!" she exclaimed as she took a gulp of air. Her mother raised an eyebrow when the girl exhaled and only a small trail of smoke escaped the child's lips. "Now, now, time to relax," the mother ushered as she gently pushed the sulking girl down into the bed's pillows.
"But, mom, I swear I can do it! If only you were here before-" Her mother shushed her by putting a lone finger to her daughter's lips. "Do you want me to tell you the story or not?"
Kori giggled at her mom's antics and nodded as she snuggled deep into her blankets, her mother's voice luring her deep into a tale that never grew boring.
"Once upon a time, there was a young beautiful princess who stole the hearts of many with her grace and kindness. Her father, the ruler of a majestic kingdom, was succumbed to a deadly sickness and death was awaiting his door. Though many a great healer had stepped forth, no one in the land seemed to be able to cure him of his ailments.
Only one thing prevented the king's daughter from falling deep in disparity: A legend that was whispered across the land of a great dragon with powers and abilities beyond those of even the grandest of wizards. Not a mere creature of destruction, the beast also possessed the ability to heal any wound or disease. The princess, now determined, discarded all warnings from her people and went to find the fabled dragon.
For weeks, the princess searched and searched, her kindness taken for granted by many, to the point when all she had was the clothes on her back. The harshness from others coupled with the seemingly impossible quest caused the young woman to begin to lose hope when she came across a man with bright pink hair by a river. The princess was weary of this man, for many had tried to take advantage of her. Much to her surprise, this man was unlike the others she had encountered. He greeted her with kindness despite being oblivious to her royal status.
They dined together that night, and the princess had never laughed harder with anyone else, not even her father.
She told the young man her story, her quest, and he asked her a simple question, "What are you willing to give to the dragon?" The young princess was confused. She asked the man what he meant. He suddenly began to laugh and sneer at the girl, "Do you actually think that the dragon, The Great and Powerful Dragon, will actually help you without asking for anything in return!?" The princess was frightened, wondering what had happened to the sweet young man she had met earlier that day. She ran off, tears streaming down her face, as his laughter echoed in her ears.
The sound of growling and claws clacking against the floor once she had slowed to a stop. Without realizing it, the woman had wandered into a lion's den. Fear filled the now trembling royal as the sounds got louder. She tried to turn away, but tripped over her own feet and collapsed to the ground. There she remained, paralyzed with horror as a lion slowly crept into her vision, staring at her fallen form.
The mother stopped speaking and glanced down at her daughter. Kori was shaking, her brown eyes wide and filled with fear for the princess. Her mother smiled and murmured softly, "We could finish the story tomorrow, if it's too scary-"
"Mommy, I'll get nightmares if you don't finish it. I need to hear it how it ends!" Kori gasped in horror at the thought of waiting for an entire day to pass before she heard the ending. Despite having heard this story a thousand times with the ending known by heart, her mother still opened her mouth as the story poured out between her lips.
The lion stalked slowly towards his fallen prey as the princess watched him come nearer, too terrified to make a sound. A roar like no other suddenly sliced through the air from the cave entrance. The lion jumped and backed away from the sound as well as the princess.
The princess's fears had yet to be vanquished. The roar had sent chills down the woman's spine, luckily, awaking her muscles. She jumped from her spot in the cave and sprinted away before the lion could realize what she had done. As she ran, she peeked over her shoulder at the giant cat still searching for her, not noticing her run toward the exit. The princess smirked in triumph as she turned the corner out of the cave, too caught in the moment to pay attention. She crashed into the pink-haired fiend that had sent her running in the first place. The crash caused them to fall to the ground as the man cried out in pain after a fierce snap from his ankles.
Before the princess had time to say anything to the man, the lion roared as it pounced. The princess yelled for the young man for them to quickly move as she grabbed him by his shoulders, as if to drag him from harm's way. He pushed the princess away and told her to leave him here. He had barely finished protesting when the princess slapped him across the face and snarled, "I refuse to let you die!"
Speechless at her outburst, the young man barely registered that she had strung his arm around her shoulders and was dragging him from the sprinting lions. The young man grinned at her antics and pushed the girl away from him, forcing her into the bushes. She opened her mouth to yell at him but stopped as she saw him glow bright red, his body engulfed in what seemed to be fire, his pink hair lashing and flickering like fire itself. His skin became like scales, glistening under the moon light.
She sat in awe as he looked over at her. His eyes were bright red, filled with strength and something else that made her shiver from her head to her toes. The young man turned beast slowly turned his head toward the lion. He made a sound, a growl from the back of his throat, causing the lion to halt in its tracks. The creature released it a thunderous roar from his lips prompting the lion to flee into the dark forest that surrounded them.
The young man huffed and slowly the red flames as well as his scales began to disappear. The princess stood back up and walked over to him. He turned to the girl only to be slapped once again. He fell backwards in surprise as the princess raged, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? YOU COULD HAVE BEEN KILLED!" Angered, the man stood up to make a retort only to fall back toward the ground in pain. "SEE!?" the princess continued, "YOU'RE HURT AND STILL REFUSED TO LISTEN!"
The princess and the man glared at each other until the girl sighed and bent down over the man's foot. He twitched, yelling "Hey! What do you think you are doing? I don't need your help!" The princess ignored him, skillfully making a makeshift cast for his ankle. With a smile, she helped the young man up. "You were stupid and reckless, and now I am very thankful for that. If it weren't for you, I would have died." she added, now embarrassed at her earlier outburst as they began walking toward a nearby village.
The young man looked at this ridiculous girl and began laughing. She looked at him in anger. He shook his head and giggled, "Wait, wait, wait. Before you get mad at me hear me out. I caused you to run away. I made you cry. Yet even tried to save me. Why?" The princess was taken aback by the question. She looked at him incredulously and asked, "You wouldn't? Why would I leave you to die? Just because you laughed at me? That's no reason to kill someone."
The young man looked at her again. He smiled and ran a hand through his unruly hair as he stared at her curiously. Before he could say anything else, the princess asked him, "What about you? Why did you suddenly become so cruel to me before? And what was with that fire, those scales?" He looked down into the princess's questioning eyes and after a pregnant pause answered, "I am the son of the great dragon. When I was baby, no more than a week old, I was abandoned in the woods. He found me and kept me. Why? I was never told. But I am grateful. He raised me here in these woods and taught me how to hunt and how to fight." The man raised his hand and blew into it, producing a small fire in his palm.
The princess gazed at the small fire until it died down and then uttered to him, "And the roars from earlier? Were they both from you?" He grinned sheepishly, "I felt guilty about making you cry and went to look for you. When I saw the lion it was the first thing that came to mind. It's called a Dragon's Roar."She smiled back at him, but it faded as a thought came to mind. "What happened him? Your father?"
The young man's face grew dark as he fell silent. Without a sound they walked through the forest in the moonlight. The village was barely within sights when he finally spoke. "They killed him." A sad sigh escaped his lips. "People...people from everywhere came to him. Asking him to heal this, heal that. My father only asked for them to not speak of him to anyone else. He didn't mind helping people, but magic like his has a limit...they were killing him. Each and every one of those selfish bastards. No one gave a damn if he was dying, as long as he could heal them." He clenched his hands into fists as the memories came flooding back. "Finally, my father had to refuse to heal. He refused this rich old coot from a wealthy country...He refused to accept my father was dying and believed it was because my father was selfish. He sent hoards of warriors to kill my father.. to kill him in front of me." His voice began to shake and the princess gently raised her hand to his face and pulled him towards her.
"I am sorry for making you relive such painful memories...but thank you for telling me." The simple words of comfort were soothing to the man as the hobbled into the village, arm in arm. The villagers were shocked at what they saw, many of them realizing the who the young princess was, but more shocked at the man's firey hair. They ushered him to the village doctor along with the princess, both of them refusing to leave the other alone. For a few days they stayed together in that village, but the princess had to leave to go back to her father. She met with the young man the day she was to head off. They shared a few quiet words and the princess departed quietly leaving the young man staring after her carriage, even when it was no longer in view.
The princess arrived to her home in less than a day. She was greeted with great smiles and congratulations as she walked through the castle. Confused, she asked a passing servant, "Why are the people saying such things when my father is dying?" The servant gasped at her and responded, "You mean you haven't heard? The king is healthy again, thanks to the man with the pink hair!" The princess's eyes widened as the realization hit her. She grabbed the servant by the shoulders, shaking her slightly, "Where is he? The man with the pink hair! WHERE IS HE!?"
The servant, shocked speechless at the normally fair-spoken princess, raised her hand and pointed behind the princess. There behind her he stood. The young man grabbed her by the waist as she swayed, "You never told me you were royalty, Love." The princess grinned at him, wrapping her arms around his neck. Hurriedly, she bombarded him with questions, "Why are you here? How did you heal my father? What is going on?-" she was interrupted as the young man sealed her mouth with his. After a long moment, they broke apart, the furiously blushing princess taking a lungful of air.
He grinned down at her. "I am the son of a dragon, remember? He taught me everything he knows, including the ability to heal." The princess smiled up at him and asked, "So, was that your reward? The kiss for my father's health?" He planted a tiny kiss upon her smiling lips and answered, "Of course not. Healing people is a tough job and the payment is gonna last you, hmm, probably your whole life." The princess laughed and kissed her dragon boy again and said against his lips, "Well be ready then, because I'm not going anywhere for a long, LONG, time."
The blonde woman finished the fairy tale gazing lovingly at her now sleeping daughter. She got up slowly and walked out of the room, turning off the light. The woman quietly closed the door and jumped at a sound behind her.
Caught off guard, she spun around and glared at the pink haired man. "Dammit, Natsu! I'm still mad at you for letting her stay up this late." She scolded, smacking him on the head despite a smile on her lips. Natsu grinned and rubbed the spot where she hit him, "Come on Lucy, you know she loves learning from me." She slipped past him to their own bedroom, "Natsu, you can teach her, just not this late."
Natsu sat on the bed and pulled the slightly unwilling Lucy onto his lap. He began to snuggle against her collar bone and rub her sides, tickling his beloved. She giggled and halfheartily tried to wriggle out of his grasp only to find herself up being pinned down by by him. "Hmm, now what should I do with the princess?" he whispered as he planted butterfly kisses along her jaw down to her neck. Lucy whined slightly and groaned, "Come on, Natsu. We have to wake up early tomorrow morning."
She gasped as she felt his teeth bite down onto her tender skin. Natsu loved seeing Lucy like this, squirming and whimpering under his touch. He smirked, taking her lips with his in a long, sweet kiss. As they broke apart he sat up, straddling Lucy. He smirked, "Princess, let's have some fun tonight." He looked down at Lucy and her pouting lips that were begging to be kissed. She saw the look in his eyes and sighed. "Okay, my dragon boy, Let's have some f-" She couldn't finish before Natsu pulled her into a passionate kiss that promised one hell of a night to come.