- Chapter One: The Meeting -

Lucy didn't exactly know how she had gotten herself into this mess, or how to get herself out of it either. She sighed, immersing herself deeper into the bubbly water, furrowing her eyebrows together while trying to recall how she got this mark in the first place.

It had been only 3 days since they had returned from Tenrou Island and the guild was lively as ever, planning another big party for the third night in a row. A certain blonde sat at the bar, sipping her strawberry milkshake and giggled a bit, thinking about how typical it was of Fairy Tail to host these many parties in such a short period of time.

"Lucy-chan, what are you laughing at?" Mirajane smiled, while drying a wine glass.

"Nothing, just thinking about how it's good to be back." Lucy answered. "It's sort of typical of them to host this many parties, don't you think?"

Mirajane laughed in agreement, "That's true. I heard from Master that tonight there'd be people from other guilds and the town coming to join the party."

"Oh, really?" Lucy grinned at the thought of that. She hadn't met many people from the other guilds, apart from the alliance they had made to defeat the Oracian Seis, but it would be fun tonight, meeting new people and catching up with them after seven years.

'Maybe I'll be able to meet some new guys too..' She thought to herself, 'Aah, how nice, I haven't met anyone or gone out anywhere in a while… Maybe my soul-mate is actually in another guild?' Lucy blushed at the thought. She hadn't really met anyone who she thought would be someone she could spend the rest of her life with romantically. While the blonde sat there, pondering about what she would wear and how she would do her makeup tonight, the woman opposite her gave her a bright smile.

"Is Lucy-chan thinking about a boy?' She teased. Hearing this, Lucy felt her face warm up even further.

"No! No, you've got it wrong." She denied quickly. Glancing at the clock on the wall that read '4 o'clock', she quickly excused herself from the bar, thanking Mirajane for the strawberry milkshake.

"Hey, Rogue are we going or not?" Sting called loudly to his partner, a frown occupying his face. "If not I'm going back to sleep."

"That's right! Even the strongest mage needs to sleep you know!" The red exceed shouted.

Rogue sighed, it was never like Sting to wait for others when he had just woken up. "Okay, we'll leave now. Make sure you have everything packed for at least 7 days."

"Yeah, yeah" Sting replied, dragging out the first 'yeah'.

"Good. Lets head to the train station then." The onyx-haired mage said, walking towards the doors with Fro trailing behind him. Hearing this made the blonde mage pale.

"I guess it can't be helped…" He murmured to himself, grabbing his bag and using all his strength to lift his body and walk towards the exit of the guild. Somehow, it felt like gravity had just become stronger.

The train ride seemed exceptionally long this time. They had departed from Oak Town around 12pm after having lunch/breakfast and God knows what time it currently was. Currently, the poor twin dragon slayers were in absolute torture, while the two exceeds sat on the table, cheering them on.

"Don't worry Sting, Rogue! Only 10 more minutes and you'll be okay!" Lector announced.

"Fro thinks so too!" The green exceed agreed. The response they got was a groan from Sting, whose head was currently on the table with his eyes wide open, looking out of the window at the passing scenery and beads of sweat forming on his forehead. Rogue, on the other hand was sitting there with his eyes closed, trying to imagine he was on land. Likewise to the blonde, he was also breaking out with sweat.

Suddenly the train halted to a stop and the two slowly rose from their seats, trying to make their way out of the train quickly, grabbing onto the other seats once in while to maintain their balance.

"Aah! Finally out of that darn train." Sting exclaimed, stretching his arms above his head. "I feel so much better!"

Rogue silently agreed with Sting, "We'll need to go to our inn quickly, it's already half past three."

"I'm a bit hungry though. Why don't we go grab something to eat first?" The blonde suggested.

"Okay then, let's wonder around the town first." Rogue replied, following the Sting out of the train station and into the markets.

After wondering around a few of the street vendors and shops, Sting's appetite seemed to get the better of him. "Aren't there any restaurants or cafes here?! Honestly."

Rogue opened his mouth to respond to his partners outburst, but the red exceed beat him to it. "Yeah! We need to eat to be stronger you know!"

"If that's the case, why don't we go into that café you just walked past?" Rogue stated, earning a childish glare from the blonde.

"Okay, lets go then!" Sting said, spinning around on his heel and somewhat marching his way to the café.

Lucy had already been wondering around Magnolia for the past forty-five minutes. She honestly had no idea what she was doing and where she was going. She had originally wanted to just go to the bookstore and then go straight home to get ready for tonight. Her legs on the other hand, seemed to have grown a mind of their own, as they whizzed her through Magnolia's market, pausing once in a while to admire dresses in the windows of the shops.

The streets had started to empty, with a few vendors closing their shop for the day. The sun seemed to have started dropping just a tad in the skies, although still maintaining its brightness.

Dazed, Lucy walked into a nearby place, Café de Fleur and plopped herself down on the nearest table, ordering a mango pudding and juice. Indeed, she was in the mood for mango. She sighed, resting her head on her left hand, her golden hair was illuminated by the sun, which was much lower in the sky, although not yet setting, compared to how it was when she had first entered. (A/N: Sorry.. That's an awkward sentence, but I really didn't know how to explain it ._.)

'Does it really take this long to make pudding and juice?' she wondered. She started thinking about her guild and soon, her mind drifted to her love life again.

Her thoughts were interrupted when a bowl, followed by a tall glass was placed in front of her. She smiled at the waitress, thanking her. It looked so heavenly; the pale yellow dessert had slices of fresh mango in it. On top of the pudding was a thin layer of jelly, topped with mango sorbet, whipped cream and a few leaves of mint. Her mouth watered as she observed the dessert in front of her. 'Time to dig in!'

She lifted up her spoon, which was filled with the combination of the delicious pudding, sorbet and jelly, slowly bringing it to her mouth and savouring the moment. But just as it was about to come into contact with her lips, her elbow was rudely pushed, causing her hand to shove the spoon into her mouth and choke a little. Her eyes almost popped out of her head as she spun around to give the person who bumped her a piece of her mind.

"Hey! Watch where you're going, I could've died!" Lucy coughed, trying to get the bit of mango that was stuck in her throat out.

"Or maybe you should eat like a normal person, instead of sticking your elbow out like a kid, blondie." The guy smirked.

"Fro thinks so too!" Lector was laughing at Lucy, while Rogue ignored the current situation and carried his things to the table.

Lucy's felt her face going red with anger, it could've even been possible that steam was coming out of her ears from how angry she was.

"Excuse me? You're blonde too!" She retorted, only to find the man had already walked past her table and to the booth that was diagonally opposite to her. He turned around and gave a smirk, which made the mango-pudding-juice-lover burn up even further.

'Honestly! Some people…' She thought. Although there was no denying that he was certainly attractive, she was never going to admit that.

She devoured down the rest of the dessert, briefly glimpsing once in a while to the two men who had ordered what seemed like the entire menu. Occasionally, she saw the brunette glancing at her, at which she pretended to inspect the remainder of her pudding, as if it was the most interesting thing in the world.

She stood up from her chair and walked towards the counter, paying up and glancing at the clock before walking out the door. 'It's half past four already. The party starts at quarter past 5. Oops.'

She was pretty far from home as well – About a 15 minute walk from where she was. Although if she ran, she might be able to make it home in half of that. Her legs slowly gained speed, as she went from jogging to sprinting through the cobblestone paths.

Without warning, her body collided with another frame, causing her to lose her balance and land backwards on her bottom.

"That hurt! You broke my arm!" the man accused. Lucy looked up to see a group of men, seven; eight at the most, staring down at her and 'worrying' about the man she had just bumped into – Who was extremely scrawny, but nonetheless, intimidating with all the tattoos he had all over his face and body.

"Yeah, you should watch where you're going! Shouldn't you give us compensation money?" A gruff voice announced.

"That's an easy way off! You should be grateful." Another voice added in.

Lucy looked up at the group, slowly backing away and attempting to pick herself up. "A-Are you joking?!" 'You were the ones who walked in front of me!'

"And why would we be? Huh?" The – what she had decided was the leader scoffed.

They obviously just wanted her money. The leader didn't even look like he had a scratch on him, despite him clutching onto his arm like it had been torn off. She analysed all the men in the group. They looked relatively weak; she could probably take them on with her Fleuve d'étoiles.

She stood up confidently and grabbed her whip, lashing it towards the group to bundle them up. However, lady luck was unfortunately not on her side today, as it didn't extend or work as it did seven years ago. 'Oh. Crap.'

The men cracked up "Did you see that! What was that supposed to be? We'll teach her a lesson for trying to get away from us."

One of the men from the back stepped forward and grabbed the device out of her hand, chucking into the nearby alley. The blonde cringed and took a step back, trying to reach for her keys, but the man grabbed her wrist before she could.

"Let me go!" the blonde yelled. Before she knew it, the whole group had surrounded her. She opened her mouth to let out a scream, but it was quickly covered by a piece of cloth. Panic and fear rose in her stomach, she really couldn't do anything in the condition. She felt a hand going to her belt and grabbing her keys, realising this, she started thrashing around, doing anything to avoid them being taken away.

Before she knew it, another had used his knee to push her onto the ground and grab her keys. Her head turned around in alarm. Now she really wouldn't be able to do anything. Tears started to well up in her eyes as she saw a boot coming towards her stomach. She quickly rolled over before it could hit her and smashed into the legs of another, who took the chance to kick her back into the middle. Rolling into the fetus position, she braced herself for any more blows to come.

"Don't you think it's a little pathetic to gang up on a girl?"

Lucy opened her eyes to see the group to be glaring at something – someone behind her. She used her arms to support herself and turned to where the men were glaring. Her eyes widened, "You—"

"So what are you going to do about it, brats?" the leader spat.

The blonde sighed, "This is why I told you not to get involved with weaklings, Rogue."

The leader scowled. "So you think you can take us all on huh? A child like you won't even be able to beat Nero." He said, pointing to a man slightly shorter than himself, who, upon being mentioned gave them a threatening look.

"I was only stating that it was pathetic to gang up on a girl, but if it's a fight you're looking for then go for it." Rogue replied blatantly.

Hearing this, the man got extremely annoyed. "You're asking for it brat." He clenched his fists and his face transitioned from ugly, to ugly and angry. He launched forward and signalled for the rest of them to attack him as well.

Lucy saw this and thought there was surely a way she could help. She didn't want to rely on the two guys and be a complete damsel in distress. She searched for the man who had taken her keys before and she saw that none of them had it. Cursing to herself, she checked again, when her eyes fell on an item just next to one of their feet. She quickly grabbed the ring of keys and reattached it to her belt, grabbing Taurus' key. Just as she was about to open the gate, she looked up and realised that they had already been wiped out.

She stared at the man in awe. The blonde behind him didn't even need to do anything – He had taken them on single-handedly and he didn't even seem to be trying to.

"Are you going to stay on the ground forever?"

Lucy looked up at the two, realising that she was still, in fact, on all fours. She quickly stood up and gave them a bow "Thank you for helping me!" She blurted, a blush slightly evident on her face, as she thought about how that egotistic jerk had to save her. 'Well actually, it wasn't him, but he's still friends with the person who did..'

"It's fine. Be careful next time." Rogue replied. Lucy lifted her head and gave him a smile.

"Hey, as a thank you, why don't you come down to a party my guild is having? I'm sure it'll be fun!"

"Who'd want to go to a party of a weak guild?" Sting interrupted. Lucy's eyebrow twitched.

"Well, if we're such a weak guild, why would a matter anyway?" Lucy replied, forcing herself to keep the smile. She assumed that he said that from the reputation they had gotten from the past seven years they had been gone.

"Fro want's to go!"

Lucy stared at the exceed. It was so… cute! Exactly like Happy, but ten million times cuter than the blue cat, who sometimes annoyed her to no end.

"See! Your exceed wants to come, so why not?" Rogue raised his eyebrow to this. Not many people knew about exceeds were. In fact, most people questioned what Frosch was (Just because of the frog suit he has on) and the ones who assumed he was a cat asked why he was flying.

"The Fairy Tail building is the one up on that hill," She said, gesturing to Fairy Tail. "Feel free to drop in anytime, but the party starts at quarter past, okay?"

This caught their attention. Fairy Tail – The guild that Natsu Dragneel and Gajeel Redfox were from.

Rogue opened his mouth to respond, but was cut off by her question, "Oh, and what are your names?"

"I'm Rogue. That's Sting," He said, pointing to the blonde, "and this is Frosch and Lector."

"Okay, my name's Lucy! I'll see you four there!" She smiled and quickly went to search for her Fleuve d'etoiles before running back to her home.

"Do you think we should go, Rogue?" The blonde said, toying with a golden locket above his face.

"We'll go after confirming the target." Rogue replied. Sting sat up from his bed, stretching his arms. "Alright."

A/N: I'm sorry if it's kind of cheesy or OOC.. Ahah, first time writing a fanfiction and I was a bit lost ._.

Please let me know if there's something that can be done/written better! I'll probably be uploading the next chapter next Sunday.