Author's note: Hi! This is the first time I'll be uploading anything on here, I hope you guys enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it. This will be a two part series with nothing really serious happening, aside from an almost broken plate and a very fluffy domesticated life.
On that note, please comment what you think about the story and my writing. Constructive criticism is more than welcome!
Chapter 1: Going Round and Round
The tangy aroma of the tomato soup wafted through the air as Lucy lifted the lid, filling the small cottage kitchen with its enticing smell. 'Yup, it's almost done' she thought, smiling and patting herself on the back for following the recipe. "Who knew this dish would have too much prep work?" Lucy said to no one in particular, her left hand holding the pot's lid over it, giggling to herself.
"Now for the taste test, after which I wait for it to boil for a few more minutes, and then it's done! Woohoo!" The celestial mage cheered as she picked the ladle up, scooped the soup and brought it up to her dainty lips so she could taste.
As the soup landed on her tongue, her taste-buds were greeted with the rich taste of the tomato. Her mouth puckered a bit, her skin having goose bumps as the liquid went down her throat. But even with the sourness, she could still taste the juicy flavor of the meat rolls and the delightful aftertaste of the herbs and spices she had added. Lucy's lips quirked up, proud that it was just like how the Strauss' sisters taught her.
Putting the ladle back down on top of the saucer on the countertop, the blonde happily skimmed through the rest of her preparations for their return. With the fish in the oven and the Cabbage rolls simmering, Lucy thought she still had time to treat herself with a long bath and a new scented candle she brought, before a certain Dragon Slayer and Blue Exceed would be home. "Besides", she continued, "after a long day, I deserve it." She finished, gracing the contents of the pot with a small smile. Lucy wanted everything to be just as she planned it when Natsu left two weeks ago on a mission with Gray. As she stared at the pot, the young woman wanted -no needed- this to go without a hitch. "This" she argued with no one in particular, "This is going to be a very special announcement."
Stretching her right arm above her head, she closed her eyes and imagined how her husband -her Natsu- would react. Her forehead was scrunched as her head was filled with images and scenarios she conjured up for weeks since her boys were away. "I hope he likes my surprise." She whispered just like a wish to the simmering pot. Lucy took her arm back down and felt for the oven handle to steady herself. Her honey brown eyes shot open as mirth and anxiety danced through her irises, the smile never faltering from her lips.
Just as Lucy placed the lid back on the pot, the little blue wall clock with lovely little painted flowers that went in a circular motion on the wooden frame at the side of the clock's face, chimed. The celestial mage turned around fast -almost giving herself a whiplash- to check the clock beside the archway on the other side of the newly renovated kitchen.
"Oh, oh no." She whisper-shouted. Her dazzling honey brown eyes were wide in panic and her heart was thrumming in excited anticipation. "Oh no, no, no, no, no, no." The blonde screeched. Lucy was in a daze, she wasn't sure what to do first. "Should I set the table first or take a bath? Will I still have enough time?!" She said to the empty room in a nervous tone as she paced back and forth in front of the range.
She wasn't sure what to prioritize, that is until she heard the little blue clock, with the beautifully ornate brown roof, chime once again.
With adrenaline in her veins, she bounded over to the fridge beside the range, the loose part of her green jogging pants swishing at her pace. Lucy took the wine she had chilled for tonight out, placed it inside a silver bucket with ice -courtesy of Gray, of course- and shouted, "Why in hell didn't Lisanna tell me it would take this long to prepare?!" as she hurried over to the countertop on the corner -with the range beside it on the right and the sink on the left- to the wooden bread keeper and took three rolls of the honey wheat bread she baked last Monday.
The floor boards creaked and groaned under her weight as she traversed the vicinity of their kitchen, her fluffy indoor slippers almost making her slip in her haste.
"Why didn't Mira tell me to do this earlier?! And why did you not even notice the time Lucy! Stupid, stupid stupid!" She shouted as she dashed the not so long distance to their small kitchen table at the center of the room -almost slipping again-, and began placing everything in its proper place while chanting 'This has to be perfect, this has to be perfect' over and over in her head, until she heard the oven on the range tick and hear the pot boiling.
Little puffs of smoke bellowed out of the pot as Lucy reached the stovetop and turned it off. With a sigh of relief and another glance at the clock, she made her way to the cupboard on the other side of the sink, to grab the plates and serving bowls she needed while her long golden hair loosened from its scrunchie prison.
Browsing through their selection of crockery and utensils, she put her hair in another ponytail, and saw the only memento she had of her parents. "Today is a special day, so maybe-" The blonde pondered, her hand reaching for the crockery that was on the top shelf, "Maybe I could use these." She said with a huff. Placing the plates, serving dishes and serving bowls in the countertop in front of her, Lucy suppressed a sigh of disappointment as her hand fell to her sides.
Memories surged through Lucy's head as she stared at the china wares. Her eyes roamed the porcelain shaped like a flower, its edges gilded with gold that hugged the petal-like form of the plates and bowls. Even after years of seeing this set, she has never ceased marveling how the artisan made these wares.
"Beautiful, just as Mama had left them." The celestial mage murmured, manicured fingers delicately outlining the bouquet of pink roses and yellow peonies and white baby's breaths and green leaves on the center of the plates. Lucy felt her throat constrict, eyes glassy at the weight that wrapped around her heart. "If-" The young woman mumbled, eyes watering a bit. "If they were here, I wonder how they would've- may-maybe-" She stuttered, her voice lulled by the sobs she can no longer hold back. 'No' the celestial mage thought. 'Today is a happy day. No crying.' Rubbing her palms into her tear streaked eyes she continued her thought, saying it out loud. "Besides, Mama and Papa wouldn't want me sad."
Picking the crockery and utensils up, she walked to the middle of the room where the table sat with its handsome lace tablecloth and laid the plates out in proper order. "If they were here," She continued, "They'd be as ecstatic as I am." She said in a sing-song voice as she went to the stovetop where the pot sat, unmoving and placed the Cabbage rolls and fish on their assigned serving dishes. She laid them on the table and went to the sink to grab the centerpiece of flowers she picked out from her garden.
As she reached the sink however, the open window which overlooked her garden stole her attention. The crisp autumn wind blew lazily into the window, the reddish golden hue of the sun, filtering over the horizon of the trees, made her think of her beloved Dragon Slayer. Lucy smiled another small smile. Not a day goes by when Natsu didn't make her feel the way she did right now, even if he wasn't with her. Remembering her purpose, she closed the window and sent a quick prayer to Mavis that Natsu doesn't break any of her parent's mementos as she laid the small vase in the middle of the table.
Satisfied with her work, she dimmed the lights in the kitchen, walked out to the living room and went straight to their bedroom at the end of the cottage.