A New Kind of Fairy Tale

Chapter 1: Realizations

By: xSteleAliniax

Beta'd By: Sleeping4tNight

January x788

Natsu woke up and stretched lazily. The late morning sun was already drifting in through the lacy curtains. He must have forgotten to close the window last night, because a soft breeze blew through the room, playing with the strands of Lucy's golden hair. He smiled fondly at the sight of his sleeping wife. Her back was to him as she slept soundly, wrapped up in the pale blue sheet. Over a year later and he still couldn't believe this woman was his. He was truly the luckiest man alive.

He moved over so he could wrap his arms around her from behind, pulling her body against his and kissing the back of her head.

"Good morning," he murmured in her ear. She stiffened and then struggled out of his hold.

"Get off, Natsu," she elbowed him in the gut and he let her go with a grunt of pain. She sat up and glared over at him.

"What? I can't hug you?" he whined. She just growled and slid from the bed before locking herself in the bathroom. Natsu sighed. He had almost forgotten how strange his wife had been acting the last several days. She wouldn't let him get anywhere near her. He didn't know what had gotten into her. He couldn't remember doing anything to upset her recently. It was like one day they were perfectly fine and the next she was… well, she was ERZA. Scary and mean, and he definitely didn't want to be married to that monster. He had to figure out what was wrong soon.

"Luce," he knocked softly on the bathroom door. "Will you please come out and talk to me?"

"No!" She shouted back. She made a gagging sound and then coughed. He frowned.

"What's wrong, Luce? Are you sick or something?"

"Go away, Natsu." This time her voice was tired, faint. He sighed in defeat and left her be. Women were so confusing. Especially Lucy, he thought. What with all her mood swings lately. He missed her. He wanted to hold her and kiss her and just be with her. But she had been pushing him away lately without any sort of explanation as to why. Maybe she ate bad fish or something. Even though they had been married for over a year, and had been together for longer than that, he still couldn't even begin to understand Lucy. Maybe he never would.

A knock sounded at the front door, and Natsu went to answer it. He opened the door to find Happy hovering there with a paw over his eyes.

"Is it safe to look?" He asked. Natsu rolled his eyes.

"You know you don't have to knock, Happy. Come in!" The little blue Exceed peeked through his fingers, assessed the room with a quick glance, and then flew inside.

"The last time I came by and didn't knock, I found the two of you naked on the couch!" Happy shuddered at the thought. "I don't think I will ever get that image out of my mind! And then Lucy threatened to murder me if I didn't start knocking, so–"

"Yeah, yeah, I get it." Natsu cut him off. "So what's up, Buddy? How's Carla?" Happy had moved out when Lucy and Natsu got married, and he now lived with Carla and Wendy. He sometimes slept at Natsu's house, but very rarely anymore. Mostly they just saw each other at the guild and on jobs. Though they still took some time to hang out on occasion.

"Oh, she's great!" Happy got that dreamy eyed look he often did when thinking about Carla. Natsu grinned at his friend. "Natsu, are you coming to the guild today?"

"Sure, Buddy!" Natsu said, then sighed. "I don't have anything better to do."

"Is Lucy still being scary?" Happy shuddered again. Natsu nodded.

"Yep. I don't know what her deal is, but for two weeks now she's been acting like a total weirdo!"

"She's always been weird, Natsu." Happy pointed out seriously. "Remember when she dressed up in that maid uniform when we took that job to steal Daybreak from that Duke Everlue guy?" Natsu laughed.

"Oh, yeah! That was pretty funny." Natsu also thought she had looked pretty sexy, but didn't say as much to Happy. "Give me a minute, Happy. Let me ask Lucy if she wants to go too."

"Good luck… " Happy sent his friend a sympathetic look.

Lucy was in the bedroom when he walked in there, pulling a shirt over her head.

"Luce," he smiled when he saw her, but got a glare in return. He slumped. "Do you want to go to the guild with us?"

"No, I'm..." She paused, and for a moment he could swear he saw tears in her chocolate brown eyes. Then she looked away and sighed heavily. "I'm not feeling well today, Natsu. Just go on without me."

"Maybe I should stay home and take care of you, then?" he offered. He had done it before, brought her soup in bed and made her tea. That was about the extent of his cooking abilities, but she had seemed grateful enough at just his company. "I'll lay in bed with you and keep you warm!"

"I don't need you. Just go, Natsu." She spoke low, not quite a whisper but almost. Her voice sounded strange to his ears. He frowned, trying to pick up on what was different. She kept her back to him, refusing to turn around and acknowledge him.

"Can I kiss you goodbye?" He asked, hating the pitiful way his voice came out. He cringed at the sound, but Lucy sighed and turned around.

"Okay," she agreed. His face lit up and he bounded over to her, planting a kiss right on her lips. He slid a hand into her hair and tried deepening the kiss, but she pulled away, eyes downcast. His face fell.

"Alright. Call me if you need me to come back. I love you, Luce."

"I will. I love you, too." She turned her back on him again and busied herself with straightening up some perfectly straight papers. Natsu could tell that she just wanted to be alone, so he left, hoping she would be ready to talk later.

Natsu sat at the bar in the guild hall, feeling absolutely miserable. He couldn't seem to figure out what was wrong with Lucy. Sure, she had a temper sometimes, but this was something different. Every day this week she complained of being sick, but when he offered to take her to a doctor one day, she became angry and told him she'd already gone and not to worry about it. But he did worry. She wasn't just his best friend anymore, she was his wife! And he couldn't do anything to help her. It was frustrating.

"What's up, Flame for Brains?" Gray slid into the empty seat next to him with a smirk. Happy had already decided that Natsu's foul mood was too depressing for him, and had gone to talk with Carla and Pantherlily, so Natsu sat alone, a dark cloud of despair settling over him. "What's got you all sullen? Are you not getting laid or something?" Gray laughed. Natsu growled and resisted the urge to punch a flaming fist right through Gray's smug face.

"Shut up, Ice Freak." Natsu snapped, though there wasn't any real venom in the words. He was too preoccupied to really fight today. He should have just stayed home with Lucy.

"Wow, you really aren't getting laid, are you? What happened? Did you piss your wife off or something? It was bound to happen, I guess, what with how annoying you are." Gray shook his head in mock sympathy. "Don't you know anything about women, man? What did you do?"

"I don't know!" Natsu shouted, slamming a fist onto the counter. "I don't know what I did, okay?! She won't even talk to me!"

"Oh, my!" Mira suddenly appeared behind the bar, staring wide eyed at Natsu. "You poor thing! Maybe you should buy her something special!"

"Like what?" Natsu slumped, glaring at the bar.

"Maybe like an apology, Doofus." Gray snorted.

"I can't apologize for something if I don't know what I did!" Natsu slammed his head into the bar now and groaned loudly. "This is hopeless. She was fine a few weeks ago, and then all of a sudden she doesn't even want me to touch her!"

"Maybe she's pregnant." Gray laughed. Mira gaped at Natsu.

"She is?!" Mira suddenly got hearts in her eyes. "Oh, my! I'm so excited, I can hardly stand it!"

"Pregnant?" Natsu repeated. He was starting to feel really cold, and wondered if Gray was working some kind of magic on him. No… it wasn't Gray. It was just an icy chill running down his spine, a tendril of realization. The foul mood, the sickness, the way she pushed him away whenever he got too close.

"Wait, is she?" Gray sat up straight, eyes going wide. "I was just joking, but..."

"I have to go." Natsu stood up and ran from the guild.

Back in their house, Natsu stood outside the bedroom door, where he could hear Lucy's even breathing. He wanted to barge right in and demand answers, but that wouldn't get him anywhere. Instead, he decided to let her sleep. It was late afternoon, so he thought he would attempt to make something for them to eat for dinner. He really wasn't the cook in this relationship, but maybe he could whip up something easy?

He dug around in the cabinets until he came across a familiar orange box. He shrugged and pulled it out. Mac and cheese was easy enough. He could probably manage it without burning the house down. He set to work.

Half an hour later, a bleary eyed Lucy emerged from the bedroom. She took in the scene before her. Natsu sat at their small dining table, smiling a cheesy smile at her. A pot of mac and cheese sat in the center of the table, and two plates sat on either side, one for Natsu and one for Lucy. A small smile pulled at the corners of her lips and tears shimmered in her brown eyes.

"Natsu," her voice cracked. Natsu gestured for her to sit down. So far so good… she wasn't smacking upside the head with the dinner spoon. She had done that once…

"How are you feeling?" He asked once she had seated herself across from him.

"Better," she said. "You made this?" She gestured at the pot of steaming pasta.

"Yup! And I didn't burn anything!" He grinned. She laughed, a sound he hadn't heard much in the last few weeks. He smiled warmly at her. "I miss you, Luce," he whispered. Her eyes widened slightly.

"I'm sorry. I know I've been… difficult lately. I've just had a lot on my mind, I guess..." She avoided eye contact again. Natsu watched her face closely, wondering if Gray had been right about her. He couldn't see any difference in her. She still looked like Lucy, but maybe…

He listened intently, closing his eyes to concentrate. He focused his ears on Lucy. It was faint, barely perceptible, but he could just barely detect the second fluttering heartbeat coming from Lucy. He gasped, his green eyes flying open. Lucy heard the sound and glanced up at him.

"Lucy," he locked eyes with her. "You're pregnant." Her jaw dropped, and she stumbled out some incoherent response. That was all the confirmation he needed. "Why didn't you tell me?!" Natsu asked. Lucy bit her lip and looked down at the table.

"I'm sorry, Natsu… " she whispered. "I was going to tell you sooner, but I was too afraid. I couldn't work up the nerve."

"Afraid?" Natsu asked in confusion. He had never known this woman to be afraid of anything. "Afraid of what?" She shrugged.

"I don't know. I thought you'd be angry… I know we hadn't been planning anything, or even talking about it… " She looked back up at him, tears in her eyes. "Are you, Natsu?"

"Am I angry?" Natsu barked out a laugh, making Lucy wince. "And you call ME an idiot!" He laughed again. Her face went red.

"Wh-what's that supposed to mean?" She asked. He sobered instantly at her pained expression

"Luce." he moved to the chair next to hers and grabbed her hands in his, holding her gaze. "I'm not angry, not at all. I just wish you'd have told me yourself so I didn't have to hear it from that punk Gray!"

"Gray?!" She exclaimed. "H-how does he know?!" Natsu shrugged.

"Hell if I know, Luce. He just made some snide comment that you were probably pregnant, based on your behavior. Mirajane was thrilled," he added this last part flatly. Mirajane was ALWAYS thrilled about something, it seemed.

"Oh, God… " She blushed and squeezed her eyes shut. "The whole guild probably knows now! I'm sorry, Natsu."

"Don't be sorry, Luce." Natsu squeezed her hands, urging her to look at him. She did, lip puckered and tears streaming down her cheeks. "Lucy, I love you. You're my wife now! We're a team, you know?" He grinned toothily at her. "You shouldn't be afraid to tell me things. Besides, I'm actually kind of excited."

She brightened. "Really? You are?"

"Yeah!" Natsu pulled her hands to his lips and kissed them each in turn. "I'm so happy, Luce! You're gonna make me a father! That's the best gift you could ever give me." His eyes smoldered like a flame, holding hers. She gasped.

"G-gift?" She stuttered.

"Yes. Our first child..." He suddenly got a mischievous glint in his eyes. "Now, the only question is… What are we gonna name him?"

"Him?!" Lucy exclaimed. "What if we have a girl?" Natsu scoffed.

"He's definitely a boy. Hey! We should totally name him Igneel!"

Lucy pulled her hands free and scowled. "No son of mine will be named after a dragon!"

"Hey! Igneel is a great name!" Natsu said defensively.

"Sure, FOR A DRAGON. Not for a BABY."

"What do you think we should name him then, oh Wise One?" Natsu was sulking now. He thought Igneel was perfect for their firstborn son… Lucy bit back a smile and rose from her chair. He pointedly looked away from her. She chuckled and climbed into his lap, straddling him so she could wrap her arms around his neck.

"Let's choose the name together." She suggested. "But, since we're not certain we will have a boy yet, we need a girl name too."

"I like Luna." Natsu said abruptly. Lucy pulled back in surprise.

"That's… not a terrible name," she admitted. "Actually, I really like that name. How did you come up with that?"

"Lucy and Natsu make Luna, DUH!" He rolled his eyes like that was perfectly obvious. She snorted a laugh.

"Okay, and what if we have a boy?"

"Nalu!" He grinned. Lucy laughed outright. That sounded like something Mira would suggest. She hugged him again, finally feeling at peace.

"I don't know about that one, but I like Luna a lot." She said. Natsu kissed the side of her head and wrapped his arms tightly around her.

"Whatever you want, baby," he whispered. Lucy shivered. Natsu never called her by that pet name. It was always Luce or Lucy or Weirdo. She could count on two hands the number of times he had called her Baby, including this time.

Natsu kissed her neck tenderly, relishing the feel of her soft skin after so many days of not being able to touch her or kiss her. "God, I love you, Lucy… " He pulled back so he could close his mouth over hers. Lucy moaned softly and melted into that kiss. They had kissed a few times in the last few weeks, but since she had been too afraid to really get close to him with the news hanging over her head, a quick peck goodnight was about all the two had shared.

Now, it was like all those days they had missed being together were all being poured into this one kiss. It was urgent and hot and full of passion.

Natsu tightened his hold on Lucy and stood to his feet, carrying her effortlessly into their bedroom. He deposited her onto the bed before climbing over her to bring their lips back together. He pulled her right leg up around his hip and then ran his hand over her thigh. She moaned and held him tighter with that leg while simultaneously wrapping an arm around to his back and pulling at his t-shirt. He helped her pull it off, and they tossed it to floor.

"You have made me incredibly happy, Lucy." Natsu breathed into her neck, kissing her there again and again. She let out a shaky breath. Damn… if someone had told her a few years ago that Natsu would say things like that to her she never would have believed them. Now, he always seemed to say the right things. Well, okay, maybe not always.

"You make me happy, too, Natsu. Every day I'm glad all over again that I married you." And she was. She couldn't be happier with the decision she made that day. Not a day went by that she wasn't overwhelmed by the love they both shared. And even when he was a complete idiot, and made her want to pull her own hair out, she still loved him. She was still happy.

Natsu skimmed his nose up her neck and placed a tender kiss to the corner of her mouth. "Not as much as I am." He countered with a wink. She rolled her eyes.

"I'm being serious."

"So am I!" He kissed her lips. "Obviously I'M the lucky one in this relationship. I mean, look at you." He gestured at her body, which was still wrapped around his. "You're a goddess, Lucy. You are heaven itself. You are-"

Lucy cut him off with another kiss. "Natsu, can we stop talking now?" She narrowed her eyes seductively at him. He grinned.

"Whatever you want, Luce."

Edited Version: 2/20/17 by Sleeping4tNight.