A Fairy Tail Christmas

Part 3: The Party

By: xSteleAliniax


Christmas Eve - 6:00 PM

Lucy was not known for being especially prompt, but that night she had shown up exactly on the dot of the predetermined time, and was still chastised for being late.

"Lucy! Where have you been?!" Mira fretted in annoyance when Lucy came walking into the guild at exactly six o'clock.

"The paper said come at six," she argued, feeling defensive. She was on time, wasn't she?!

"That's no excuse!" She chastised, ushering Lucy farther into the room, which had been elaborately decorated for the occasion. Red and green streamers hung from the rafters in the ceiling, and were wrapped around pillars. Red table cloths with green and white striped candy canes along the edges. A huge blow up snowman in the corner, wearing a red scarf with a green Fairy Tail insignia emblazoned on the front. And a huge, towering Christmas tree, decorated with brilliant colored lights and tinsel and shimmering red and gold decorations. The whole thing seemed to sparkle.

"Wow, Mira, the place looks great!" Lucy complimented, earning a very satisfied grin from the take-over mage.

"You think?! What about my outfit?" She spun in a circle for Lucy, making the skirts of her gown fan out around her. Lucy grinned and gave her a thumbs-up of approval.

"Definitely the best one here!"

"That's so sweet of you, Lucy!" Mira beamed, clearly pleased with the praise. "And you look just darling, too!"

"Uh, thanks!" Was 'darling' really a compliment? "So… where is everyone?" A quick glance around showed no signs of anyone other than the two of them.

"Oh, they're downstairs!" Mira pitched her voice low. "I wanted to keep the grand reveal a surprise." She winked. Lucy coughed to hide a laugh.

"Right, well, we better go see it. I can't possibly curb my enthusiasm a moment longer." Lucy said evenly.

"You're going to love it!" Mira promised, then gripped Lucy's hand and tugged her towards the stairs to the basement, humming some Christmas tune as she went.

As the two women descended the stairs to the basement, Lucy could hear music thumping from inside the closed door. She thought it was the tune to Jingle Bell Rock, but the words were most certainly not those from the classic Christmas song.

Lucy frowned in thought as Mira led her farther down, wondering why the lyrics were so off.

Then, she figured it out.

As she and Mira entered the large basement area, Lucy's eyes widened on the pair currently belting out the most inappropriate lyrics to Jingle Bell Rock.

"Oh, man…" Lucy shook her head in exasperation.

Karaoke.

And, worse, Christmas karaoke, with completely crude and tasteless lyrics that were nowhere near the original. Obviously they weren't using the lacrima screen to supply lyrics.

"This gives me a sense of deja vu…" Lucy muttered to herself.

"Oh!" Mira squealed from beside her. "I had no idea you enjoyed karaoke!"

"I don't." Lucy replied tersely, much to Mira's bewilderment.

A familiar blue-haired script mage caught her eye and waved her over. Lucy rushed off in her direction before Mira could force her to participate in some cruel karaoke contest, or whatever was going on onstage at that moment.

"Hey, Lu!" Levy greeted her with a warm smile. "Wow, you clean up nice! You look great!" Then, she peered around Lucy's shoulder with a frown. "Isn't Natsu with you?"

Lucy shook her head. "No, I told him I'd meet him here. I didn't want to ruin the big surprise." She gave Levy a wink that made the bluenette giggle.

"Good thinking, Lu, he's going to love that,"

That, being Lucy's smoking-hot dress, of course.

"Thanks, Levy. And, you look great too! Where's your boyfriend?" Lucy asked pointedly, waggling her eyebrows in a way Mira might have done. Levy blushed and looked away, toward the back of the room where her boyfriend, Gajeel, sat strumming chords on his guitar, tucked away in a corner far removed from the rest of the party. Lucy snorted a laugh when Levy gave a dramatic sigh.

"I think he's avoiding me," Levy said, green eyes rolling.

"Why would he do that?" Lucy wondered.

"I may have told him that I loved him…" Levy's voice trailed off, face going absolutely crimson with embarrassment. Lucy couldn't hold back the laughter this admission brought on. It was just so like what had happened between her and Natsu that the irony was almost too much to bare.

Levy scowled, misinterpreting the giggles coming from her best friend.

"It's not funny, Lu! I'm so embarrassed! He didn't even say anything back!"

"No, I know, I know!" Lucy struggled to control herself. She took a deep breath to calm herself before continuing. "It's only funny because that happened to me in almost the exact same way."

She then proceeded to explain how she had accidentally let the words slip out one day when the two of them had been on a job together. They had been dating maybe two months at that point, and neither had said the "L-Word" outloud yet. Lucy had been feeling glum at that particular moment because she hadn't been of much help in the mission they had just finished. Everything she had done just seemed to make things worse.

However, Natsu had somehow managed to say all the right things—for once in his life—and made her feel better. She had been in the middle of thanking him for what he had done, when she let the words slide off her tongue.

She had immediately tensed up, since it had been a complete accident that she had said that aloud. Natsu had sort of acted like Gajeel was now, and went completely quiet, not saying a word for the entire trip back home, and then proceeded to avoid her for the next day as well.

"He eventually came up to my house, after I had spent the previous day bawling my eyes out like an idiot," she rolled her eyes, "and apologized for avoiding me. He said he was just so embarrassed when I told him that I loved him, because he had always wanted to be the one to say it first."

Levy snorted a laugh. "That doesn't even make sense,"

"I know!" Lucy laughed. "Still, it all worked out for us and it'll work out for you, too."

Levy smiled. "Thanks, Lu, that actually makes me feel a little better." Her green eyes flicked to something behind Lucy and her smile grew. "Speak of the devil…" She gave Lucy a wink before turning in the direction of her boyfriend, presumably to demand answers.

"Huh?"

Lucy spun around so fast she nearly stumbled and fell. Natsu had just walked in, and damn did that boy look nice. He wore dark jeans that were more fitted than his usual baggy pants, and a scarlet red, button down dress shirt with the top three buttons left loose. His hair was slightly damp like he'd recently washed it and hung haphazardly about his head, as it always did, but for some reason that look was particularly appealing to her tonight.

When she caught his eye, his lips pulled up into a smile. At least, until his eyes scanned down the length of her, taking note of every little curve the dress clung to, before finally locking gazes with her again. She watched as he swallowed a lump in his throat. She grinned in triumph. That was why she had wanted him to see the full effect—it wouldn't have been the same if he had watched her get ready.

When he finally made his way over to her, his green eyes smoldered with a fire all their own.

"Damn, you look like a raging fire," he said as he approached, immediately slipping an arm around to the small of her back and pulling her against him. She flushed scarlet.

"Is that supposed to be a compliment?" She asked in a low voice, too afraid of attracting attention by speaking any louder.

"The highest," he assured her, before capturing her mouth with his.

She sighed and leaned into him, returning the kiss with equal fervor. Her hands slid up his chest, tightening into fists around the soft fabric of his shirt as his fingers splayed out on her back and pulled her even closer. She got lost in that kiss, in that one moment that seemed to last for an eternity.

That is, until a commanding forced reigned down upon them like a bucket of ice water.

"Lucy, Natsu,"

Erza's stern voice broke into their little bubble and they jumped apart. Her eyes stared disapprovingly into theirs, shifting between green and brown orbs.

"This is hardly the place for such scandalous acts," she chastised them. Lucy felt her face flush again and couldn't seem to make her mouth form words.

"Now, Erza," Jellal came up beside her, looking amused as he took in the scene before him. Lucy blushed even fiercer, if that was humanly possible at that point… "You have to forgive them for their indiscretions, their youthful minds can't process all of their sexual tension the same way yours and mine can."

"What the hell?!" Natsu exclaimed in offense. Lucy narrowed her eyes and folded her arms across her chest.

"It is so not like that," she replied, in a tone that was indeed somewhat youthful and childish.

"Sure," Jellal agreed, working to hide his smirk, and failing.

"Keep your indiscretions for the bedroom," Erza scolded, before taking off in the opposite direction. Lucy blushed something fierce at the insinuation.

"It-it's not like that, I told you!" She called after the requip mage, who ignored her completely. Jellal chuckled.

"Well, have fun, you two," he smirked again before turning to join Erza across the room.

"They are the most annoying couple," Natsu commented with a shake of his head. Lucy turned a smile his way.

"I was just thinking the same thing."

He winked. "That's why I love you,"

She blushed, as she always did he said those words to her, but hoped he would misinterpret it for an after-effect of Jellal's teasing.

"Oh, is that the reason?" she teased, when she could find her voice again. He shook his head and leaned close to her ear again.

"There are many reasons I love you, Lucy, too many to count." His whispery voice tickled her skin and sent a shiver of pleasure through her. He kissed the spot behind her earlobe before pulling back and gripping her hand in his, eyes alight with amusement.

"Come on," he gestured with his head towards a game of poker that was currently going on between Cana, Gray, Mira, and Jellal and Erza. Though, Lucy couldn't tell if Jellal was actually playing or simply being used by Erza as a good luck charm, which was what Lucy was about to be used for, she knew.

She groaned but allowed herself to be tugged toward the table. Already, images of Natsu losing more and more bets, and therefore being forced to eat at Lucy's house again, flowed through her mind as the duo joined the group of gamblers.

"Put me down for three-hundred jule," Natsu slapped some money onto the current betting pile in the center of the table. Cana gave him a mischievous smirk; Erza raised an eyebrow; Mira looked thoroughly pleased by the matter, and Gray looked annoyed.

"Where's Juvia?" Lucy asked, suddenly realizing why the table felt emptier than usual. Gray rolled his eyes.

"She's busy playing with someone's kid over there," he gestured toward where the water mage seemed to be in deep conversation with a small, raven-haired child of about seven years. Lucy frowned, wondering where she had seen the child before. Finally, she shrugged, deciding that it didn't matter.

"I didn't know Juvia liked kids," she commented after a moment, chocolate eyes flicking back to the gathered members who were all placing bets in the center of the table as Cana passed out cards to each of them

"Apparently, she does," Gray's tone was a groan. Lucy chuckled. Natsu rolled his eyes at the ice wizard, who shot him a glare in return before looking back over his cards and placing his own bet.

"There should be cake at this party," Erza stated after a round of cards, casting an accusatory glare on Mira.

"There is!" Mira gestured at a gorgeous cake that sat on a nearby table filled with snacks and drinks. Erza scowled at the beautifully decorated cake.

"That cake is not strawberry,"

"It's chocolate!" Mira grinned.

"Strawberry would have been the better option."

Lucy coughed to hide a snicker. Natsu poked her in the side of the leg to get her attention, sending her a wink when she glanced over at him.

After a while of watching Natsu actually win (for once in his life), Lucy grew bored and decided to venture off to find Levy.

"Aw, don't leave me, Luce!" Natsu whined when she related this to him. "You're my good luck charm!"

"You'll be fine," she rolled her eyes. "Or, you could pull out now while you're ahead, instead of risking all of our money." Her tone chastising. He gave her a pitiful pout.

"You're a cruel woman…" he muttered. She snorted, then leaned down and pecked his lips before taking off.

"Hey, Lu!" Levy smiled at her approach. She was sitting at a table with Wendy, Romeo, and Gajeel, and looked to be in the middle of some kind of card game.

"Hi, Lucy!" Wendy said in greeting, but Romeo and Gajeel simply nodded in acknowledgement.

"What are you playing?" Lucy asked, taking a seat between Levy and Wendy.

"Go Fish," Levy said with a grin. Lucy laughed.

"What? Shrimp made me, okay?!" Gajeel suddenly defended himself. Lucy glanced over at him with a raised brow.

"I thought it was your idea?" Romeo asked with a frown. The Iron Dragon Slayer huffed and ignored the comment.

Lucy laughed. "Deal me in!"

XxX

After the party, Lucy and Natsu were walking back to Lucy's apartment together, chatting animatedly about the hilarious gifts everyone had received.

Someone had given Macao a box of "Just For Men," with a note inside that read: Do us all a favor and use this. Macao hadn't acted in kind to the gift, instead throwing it across the room at a chuckling Wakaba.

Levy had received a gift certificate to the local bakery, with a note that read: You must try their strawberry cake! It wasn't difficult to guess who sent that one.

Gajeel had gotten a guitar pick that someone had somehow managed to get Levy's picture on. Gajeel and Levy both had blushed at the gift, and Gajeel immediately pocketed it, mumbling a gruff, "thanks."

Erza had been given a whole strawberry cake in the shape of a Christmas tree, which she seemed thoroughly pleased with.

Jellal got a book of poems, courtesy of Levy, if Lucy had to guess; she remembered seeing the bluenette pick the book up at one of the stores the two visited a few days earlier. He also seemed to be one of the only ones who actually liked their gift, but those were just some of the interesting things that were given that evening.

"Did you see what Mira got?!" Natsu asked as they walked. "Can you believe someone gave her that?!" He cackled, and Lucy rolled her eyes.

"It's the thought that counts," she argued on behalf of the giver, whoever they were.

Speaking of the take-over mage had Lucy thinking of her own gift, and how certain she was to the giver.

Lucy fingered the smooth surface of the gem still clutched in her hand. It was a green emerald in the shape of a heart, about the size of quarter, with a red Fairy Tail insignia etched into it, and if you turned the gem just so in the light, you could just make out a pair of wings floating inside. Beneath the Fairy Tail symbol, four letters were carved: ND LH. It wasn't difficult to guess who the letters stood for. However, when she asked him about it later he quickly denied that he would vet give her something "so lame and cheesy."

"What about your gift?" She asked after a moment of silence, gesturing at the gift in his hands—a sapphire-blue dragon with shiny, silver wings and horns, and a gold bow around its neck. The gift was identical to the one Lucy received two years ago for her birthday, except that hers was red and gold.

"It's a dragon," he stated, in a matter-of-fact tone. She waited for him to continue, to add to his statement, but he remained silent.

"Yes…" She agreed slowly, "it is, but what do you think about it?"

"It reminds me of this water dragon Igneel once told me about," he mused.

"Really?" Lucy asked curiously. He nodded.

"She was lovely, according to Dad," Natsu explained with a fond smile. "He spoke of her on occasion."

"Was she…?" Lucy couldn't finish her thought aloud, it was too personal to ask such things.

"He never confirmed as much, but I'd say they had at least some sort of relationship."

Natsu squeezed the hand that held hers, giving her a crooked smile.

"I doubt they were ever as close as we are, though." He winked, making Lucy blush at the unspoken words.

She scowled to hide her embarrassment and looked away. When he leaned forward, hot breath tickling the skin of her neck, she froze.

"I love the dragon," he breathed into her ear. She shivered, though this time not from cold, then bit back a smile.

"Well, good," she muttered. "Someone obviously knows you well."

Natsu snorted. "Yeah, someone."

When the duo reached Lucy's apartment, she attempted to tell him goodnight, shutting the door as she did, but Natsu stuck a foot out and caught the door before it could close in his face. She gasped at the smoldering look in his eyes, the same one she had seen earlier when he first caught sight of her in her flaming red dress.

"N-Natsu," she stammered out, feeling suddenly flustered.

And hot.

"Lucy,"

Natsu stepped forward, pushing the door open just enough for him to slip through, then kicked it closed with his foot. All the while, his green eyes never left her brown ones. She gulped at his intense gaze, something she had never gotten used to in the eight months or so they had been dating. It burned through her like something physical, making her blood boil within.

"S-Stop looking at me like that!" She put out a hand to stop him from coming closer, but when her hand made contact with his hot skin—even through his shirt his skin radiated heat—she was unable to push him away. And when his lips met hers, with an urgency that she had never before felt from the Dragon Slayer, she completely melted, body sinking into his as she returned that blazing kiss.

His arm went around to her back, holding her flush against him, while his free hand traveled up her body with slow, precise movements that had her writhing in anticipation. When his hand reached her neck, he used it to tilt her face slightly so he could deepen the kiss, slipping his tongue inside.

She let out a long, shaky breath, and tightened her grip on his shirt, pulling him even closer, not even realizing that she had been backing up until her back suddenly hit a wall.

His lips moved to her neck, trailing fiery kisses down the nape, occasionally letting his teeth graze the soft skin there. She leaned her head back to allow him more access, which he took full advantage of. When he sucked at a certain spot on her neck, Lucy sucked in a surprised breath through her teeth.

His hand, the one that had once been holding her back against him, slid down to her slender leg, and pulled it up and around him so that it wrapped around his hips. He closed the bare space between them by pushing against her, causing a moan to escape her lips, and a shudder to run up her spine.

It wasn't until Natsu's hand moved farther up her leg that she realized where this was headed.

"Natsu," she gasped out, as his hot lips continued to assault her neck, while his hand ascended dangerously close to the edge of her dress, which had slid up considerably in her current position.

"Natsu, wait."

At those words, he immediately ceased what he was doing, but he didn't move away from her. Her eyes flicked between his, which were burning with desire and passion. The hand on her leg had stilled just as it was about to graze the edge of her lacy, red panties, while the hand on her neck shook lightly.

"What's wrong?" He asked, voice a breathy whisper.

Sweet Mavis, that voice…

"We can't," Lucy gave a minute shake of the head, but still she could not drag her gaze away from his. "Not yet." she finished, feeling her cheeks heat in sudden embarrassment.

"Your skin just flushed," he murmured, tightening the fingers slightly that still held her leg. She shivered.

Of course, he could feel her skin heat. He could feel every reaction she gave, from the beating of her heart to the quickening of her pulse.

"Not yet," she whispered, and when he looked deeply into her chocolate brown orbs, she saw understanding light his features.

He nodded, and slowly, reluctantly, pulled away from her. Her leg dropped back down to the floor, and her hands fell from where they still kept a death grip on his shirt. Her heart slowly steadied itself to a somewhat-normal rhythm, while her skin felt suddenly cold, making her shiver again.

"Cold?" He asked. She nodded, and he left her to retrieve a sweater from her closet, one of Natsu's that he had left behind a while ago. He pulled it over her head and helped her into it before quirking her a smile. "Better?" She smiled back and nodded.

"Much."

"Good."

He gripped her hand and gave a light squeeze, then his eyes turned sheepish and he had to glance away.

She frowned, watching as he opened and closed his mouth several times before finally speaking.

"Luce," he began hesitantly. "I don't want you to think that I'm... pressuring you or anything."

"I don't think that, Natsu," she assured him. "I know you're not like that."

"I'm not," he agreed slowly, "but, Luce, you have to understand something."

"What is it, Natsu?" She asked, feeling a sense of anxiety start to creep into her.

Natsu closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

"Lucy… I'm part dragon." The words tumbled from his lips in one, long exhale. Lucy blinked at him for a moment, waiting for him to continue.

"I know," she said with a frown when he didn't elaborate. He turned shocked eyes on hers.

"You do?!"

Lucy rolled her eyes in a dramatic fashion. "Natsu, I'm not an idiot. Of course, I know that about you! We've been best friends for years, you know."

He still looked at her with incomprehension, or perhaps confoundedness.

"Do you know what that means?" He pressed, voice low, as if he were afraid to speak any louder.

"Yes."

"You do?" He repeated, face displaying an expression of such comical shock and disbelief, that Lucy couldn't help but laugh. He narrowed his eyes and puckered a lip at her. "What's funny about this?"

"Nothing!" She assured him, once she was able to gain control of herself again. "Sorry, but you act as if you being a Dragon Slayer is some huge secret."

"I guess you're right," he agreed, grinning sheepishly. "I just didn't want you getting into anything without knowing all the gory details."

"What so gory about it?" Lucy wrapped her arms around him, laying her head on his chest. "We've been bound since that first day in Hargeon," she whispered, the words making Natsu suck in a sharp breath. "You know, they say only true love can break a charm like that."

"Really?" He asked in surprise. "How come you never told me that?" Lucy shrugged.

"I don't know, it never came up." She leaned back just enough to gaze into his emerald eyes. "We've always been mates, Natsu. It just took us a while to realize it."

"Hell, yeah, it did!" He agreed with a snort. Lucy grinned. "Well, maybe we can't do that," he waggled his eyebrows suggestively, "but that doesn't mean we can't do other things." He grinned broadly, and Lucy laughed.

"Wow, so romantic, Mr. Dragneel."

"Only for you, Luce!" he winked, then leaned down and scooped her up before depositing her onto the bed and crawling in with her, wrapping his arms around her from behind. "Sleep, my love," he whispered into her ear. She smiled, then settled into his embrace and fell almost instantly asleep.


A/N: Alright, my darlings, this was the end of this little three-shot! What did you think?


REVIEWS ARE FIXED! Shout-Out Corner can commence:

Guest: (Chapter 1) Thank you! I hope you liked the way I ended it! XD It turned out fluffier than expected, but I suppose I should have anticipated that from Nalu.

magicalfanfiction: (Chapter 1) Aw, that's so nice to hear! Thank you!

dakotaterry246: (Chapter 1) *bows* thank you, kindly! That really means a lot!

lanybug135: (Chapter 1) You're so sweet! XD I hope you liked the rest of the story as well!

Snavej: (Chapter 2) "cute little dork," eek, I love that! XD That's so true. And that was a great idea. Too bad Natsu was too fixated on Lucy to think about proper wrapping XD

Checkmate-13: (Chapter 2) Aw, thank you! That is such a nice compliment! I really appreciate you saying that. And Nalu is my OTP so of course it's a Nalu story! XD

(PS: One of my awesome readers first used the term "shout-out corner" and I thought it was great! So I'm using it XD)