This is it, the last chapter! And I am dead nervous as usual, and I am hoping so bad that you all like this, and that it did justice to the story. Thanks to all the new reviewers, favouriters and followers- chubbybunny26, RCL2911, FairytailFan101, wolfko, Sadako Naoko and Hana Marissa :0
A huge thanks to every single person who supported this story :)
I just want it to be you and I forever...
Chapter Fifteen- Fairy Tale
Gold woven threads of November sunlight fell onto the leaves. The mildly chilly air was pleasant with the sun. Even the Square looked better than usual. Flowers of brighter colours were fresh in the promenade columns.
"I love this month," I grinned.
Rogue's dark hair fell messily over his eyes as he looked down at me. "What for? It's not even Valentine's Day."
I scowled playfully at him. "Please don't remind me of our Valentine's Days. You make me feel like an ungrateful bitch on those days."
"Lucy," Rogue said. "I hate your theories."
I raised an eyebrow. "But you do make me feel like an—" He cut me off by pressing his lips to mine. I honestly didn't care the way Rogue stopped me in the middle of the street to do something like this. He was…rogue that way.
"Stop talking sometimes," he laughed against my lips.
I didn't respond. He had a way of knowing when to silence me and calm me down and seduce me.
"You taste like vanilla," Rogue teased me.
I rolled my eyes, not showing the emotions that ran through me at his words. "You must taste the vanilla a lot then."
"You're too irresistible."
My smile broke out.
We were walking back to my house after going out with Mirajane, Freed, Gajeel and Levy for Freed's birthday. We even stopped at a pavement café for a while, so it was almost twilight.
"So why do you love this month…?" he asked me, as we turned a street. I wish he had brought his bike, but Freed gave us a ride in his new car.
I rolled my eyes. "For one," I started. "I first met you in November."
His lips curved up at that. "Okay, I'll give you that. What else?"
"For another," I continued. Then I paused. "Well I gave you the first hint. Figure out the other."
He didn't take long. "It's officially one year."
I shoved my cold hands inside my jacket pockets as twilight settled in. Rogue looked at me. "You cold?"
"You should wear proper jackets instead of those quarter ones."
I huffed. "They're stylish! And the bulky ones make me look…bulky!"
"You look perfect," he disagreed.
"I don't! And these jackets are so much better." I looked down at my nylon hot pink jacket that hugged my body, ending at the crook of my elbow.
"But they don't keep you warm."
I gave him a sly smile and snuggled closer to him, pressing into his warm side. "I do have you as my personal comforter."
He wrapped his arm around my waist, enclosing my left hand in his right. "I'll give you that one too."
"Hey, Rogue…?" I said after a while of comfortable silence.
I grinned. "I forgive you for making me feel like an ungrateful bitch on Valentine's Days."
"I want to see it Rogue!" I whined.
He smirked, shifting the box he was holding in his hand away from my prying hands at his arm. I huffed and sat back down on my bed.
"You get me something but you refuse to let me open it?" I raised an eyebrow, trying to mimic the way he made me feel small.
Rogue grimaced. "Like I said, it's a surprise."
"No," I countered. "It was a surprise until I made you get it out of your pocket."
My eyes twitched in annoyance at his calm behaviour. He had originally come to my house for lunch with my parents—we had ravioli to my distaste—but now I had dragged him up to my room.
My father, Jude Heartfilia, owned a company in Clover; in fact, he was good pals with Erza's manager. He and I always had a steady relationship, but he was out of town so often I could hardly see him.
He had arrived in Magnolia at the end of October. I acted like a kid by jumping up to hug him, and after that entire time Mom had gushed about my boyfriend to him, he badly wanted to meet him last week. Today was the second time my parents decided to invite him over.
I am so glad he liked Rogue. But then. Almost everyone did.
One thing had improved considerably. Emily and I had spent some time alone, and I got to know her a lot better than I thought I would. I actually liked her, beneath the exterior. Over October, she had gradually accepted me completely. She had mentioned something once, though in passing, which I couldn't forget. Emily was ready to accept me into the family as well, if that was what we wanted.
My mother too, despite her observant glances and teasing smiles had grown to understand Rogue and me better. She had also been as conservative about a commitment as she could, and I couldn't love her more for that.
"He is quite the gentleman, Lucy," Dad had muttered to me. "I thought…after Natsu…"
I had smiled. "I know right!"
Dad had tried very hard to look normal at my enthusiastic response and failed.
"Rogue…" I threatened right now, perching myself on the edge of my bed. If you won't give me that box…I'll…I'll…!"
"You'll seduce me?"
My cheeks didn't heat up as much as they used to. An entire year with him got me used to his flashy remarks and comeback complete with his unexpected cheesiness at times. But is still couldn't control my blushing.
"Don't test me."
He laughed, leaning back against my pillow. I loved his laugh. I got to hear it so much more now.
I sighed and pouted at him.
My face crinkled up in fake sadness.
Rogue looked away.
I began to tear up, crossing my legs and turning away. It worked. He immediately turned my face towards him with his fingers.
"You can be more dangerous than I can imagine sometimes," he muttered.
I shifted away from him. "You should get used to it."
My eyes widened when he kissed my jaw. I dodged his next kiss. "Rogue, quit that."
He laughed. "Forget about the present, and I swear I'll give it to you."
"Now that is the world's stupidest theory ever."
"Would it distract you if I said I want to marry you?"
I blinked two seconds late. "….what?"
Rogue shrugged. "You know, what if I said I wanted to marry you?"
None of my instincts told me how to react. "Why would you say that to distract me?" Because trust me, it worked. For a second.
"Maybe I'm not saying it to distract you," Rogue's expression turned serious, but then, he was hard to read.
I didn't know what to say when Rogue got down from the bed and onto one knee. Was he really going to…?
He finally produced the box I was expecting, his lean fingers gripping it. "Open it," he gestured to the object in his hands.
Wasn't he supposed to be proposing first? Oh well. I was still sitting cross-legged on the bed as I reached out to take the box and open it.
My left eye twitched.
Rogue smirked. "I completed your snowflake for you. I thought you'd like it."
Inside, the wooden snowflake I had been working on with Rogue lay.
"Come on Lucy, I told you it was a surprise."
I ignored him, fiddling with my music system to tune his words out. I should've figured out that Mom would not think twice about letting Rogue in when he showed up on the porch, she absolutely loved him. So I guess I was not surprised he was back in my room after I clearly gave him the cold shoulder the day before.
"Your surprises are not good."
"Did you get angry with my marriage joke?"
It was a joke to him?
I turned away from my music system to face him. "What do you think?"
He smiled instead of looking sorry. "I think you'd like it if we got married."
"No. I wouldn't."
Months ago, I had once told Rogue how dragging marriages were. In fact, that was even before Gray proposed to Juvia. I always had a perspective of eternal commitment being tedious.
Strangely, my point of views had changed in a million different ways regarding a million different things since I met Rogue.
"You sure about that?"
I looked up at Rogue's teasing eyes and rolled mine. "Go figure that out stranger."
He moved closer to me, kissing my lips lightly. He left me dizzy again; seems like so many months had no change in how he could make me feel.
"Sorry," he whispered in my ear.
I huffed. "I'll think about it."
He laughed briefly for a second and I couldn't help but let this incident go. He sifted through my music collection for a while after that, before putting an old jazz on. Then he pulled me to my feet and twirled me round to dance until I felt almost as dizzy as when he kissed me.
"You know I'm a terrible dancer!" I laughed in between.
He shed his jacket and pulled me closer, still moving. "I'm good enough for the both of us."
I grinned. "Do you even know the steps?" I giggled. The tempo of the music rose up even more, bless my music system.
Rogue shrugged. "'Course not!"
Half an hour later I collapsed onto the bed, exhausted from Rogue's sudden idea of fun. The CD popped out as Rogue took it out and placed it neatly back. He was usually so organized and quite, I liked this side to him.
I felt warmer as opposed to the chilly weather with snowfall outside after that. Then I got up fetched two mugs of hot chocolate from my Mom downstairs, handing one to Rogue when I came up and sat beside him.
"Hey, Lucy?" Rogue said after some time.
"Remind me why you fell in love with me again."
That question took me by surprise. We had had so many complications interweaving between and before our relationship, I couldn't even figure out why exactly.
"You look good, for one," I laughed. "For another, you're that weirdo who always takes me by surprise."
I lied. Okay, those two points were true, but there were a hundred more things I loved about him. If he could only see himself through my eyes sometimes. Rogue was still an enigma to me…one which I never got tired of unraveling.
"I thought you hated my surprises."
I sipped the last of my hot chocolate. It burnt my tongue. "Not all of them. You make me happy with them, sometimes."
He would probably never understand that. Right from the beginning, no matter how many times he made me so mad I felt like crying, he had that certain charm to him. I didn't realize when I fell for him. I didn't make a conscious decision.
And he didn't need to figure out my thoughts all the time. He knew everything about me. My childhood, my parents, my favorite books, my favorite music. He coaxed my secret desires to become an author out, he had spent an entire evening at my house talking about me and just me.
My friends, the café, and the colours I liked, why I loved the stars so much, the blushing time when I let slip my favorite stone was garnet only because of his eyes.
The embarrassing truth about my high school mess ups, even the fact that I couldn't cook beyond anything I learnt at the café. I still loved how would cook for me when I came over most of the time. There were too many things which I didn't realize were already in his mind.
He nodded, smiling softly and breaking me out of my reverie. "You're so complicated." Then he glanced at my already empty mug.
"Finished already?" he asked. I shrugged. Duh.
"Don't you want some more?"
I moved closer to him. "I'd have to go down, and I'm too comfortable here."
Rogue lifted his mug to his lips, and then leaned forwards swiftly to kiss me. The hot chocolate on his lips entered into my mouth. A memory of me doing the same act to him when we had beer down at the dock resurfaced.
"Thanks," I said once he pulled away. "Copycat."
Levy glanced admiringly towards the bike once as she entered the café. I noticed her first. Putting the trays I was supposed to be cleaning down, I walked over to her.
My best friend smiled. "Hey. Um, that's Rogue's bike outside right?"
I laughed at her expression. "Yeah."
"Wow. I keep getting more and more impressed each time I see it."
I looked around quickly to avoid Reyna, because she didn't want her waitresses to sit around chatting in work hours. Fortunately, she was busy at another table. I took Levy's arm to take her into the kitchen.
"Is he around?" Levy questioned, her eyes roaming the kitchen. It was bright and busy, absorbing the cheerful mood.
"'Course. He hangs out here so much, Reyna's considering putting him to work." I laughed at the memory of Rogue's horrified expression.
Levy's brown eyes twinkled in amusement. I saw a hint of excitement in her them, and when she spoke, her voice had a hysterical edge to it. "So Lucy," she began. "Your book…?"
I immediately froze, a reaction to nervousness. "What about it?"
Levy's heart shaped face broke into a smile. "Published! Or going to be, because you need to sign the—"
She was cut off as I squeezed the breath out of her by locking her in a tight hug. "Yes, yes, yes!"
"Lucy, calm down!" Cana hissed from behind.
I couldn't. I was elated.
"Can't…breathe..!" Levy choked.
"Oops." I let my arms drop, still grinning broadly. Then I noticed Reyna coming in from the corner of eye and Levy took the cue.
After she left, I was too full of beans to concentrate on my work. Once work shift was over and I was back in my denim jacket and jeans, coming out of the café to meet Rogue.
He caught my waist, raising an amused eyebrow. "You look excited." I let the new spill. It was the best news ever. I had been waiting for almost a year to get a response from Levy's company, and I almost believed they rejected it. Turns out, my wait was satisfactory.
"So now you get to read it properly instead of stealing my rough drafts," I said to Rogue on the way back home. The wind cut through my hair as I wrapped my arms around Rogue's waist while he drove. I would never get how he loved this bike so much, but I wasn't about to burst his bubble.
"You knew?" Finally, a hint of surprise came into Rogue's voice.
I laughed. "Of course I knew. Just because you're always one step ahead of me doesn't mean I can't figure out who stole my papers."
He let out a low laugh of his own. "One step ahead of you, huh?"
"Haven't you noticed by now?" I said sarcastically.
He shrugged, letting it pass. Of course, he knew that he was always one ahead. And sometimes, I didn't mind. And maybe, I didn't mind at all.
It was almost the end of November. It had been a packed month. I had been in and out almost every day of the weeks, and there were about four days left for December.
I looked around at the glittering Square as I hopped of the pavement to enter it. It was still twilight, so the lights were not all on yet. I tried to ignore the Vero Moda clad mannequins as I passed the shop, trying to understand why Rogue wanted to meet here.
We had come here or crossed from here so many times. Sure, the old bookstore where I had first met him—on this particular day—still sent a rush of satisfaction through me, but why today?
A light snowfall began to fall. I watched it, smiling slightly.
I was getting tensed and worked up by the time he appeared, his bike stopping gracefully to halt in front of the promenade. "Show off," I muttered. Though I was surprised. He usually stopped with a slightly less graceful but more fierce way when he was showing off to me with the bike.
I watched him get off, bewildered. He didn't take his helmet off.
"Rogue?" I asked warily, once he came up to me without a word. The evening Square lights lit.
He didn't reply, but bent down in front of me as I stood up. His posture unsettled me; was he always this tall when he bent?
My eyes widened in shock yet again as his right knee touched the ground. He was bluffing, surely? But he handed something to me in his hand, and by now I was almost positive this was another joke.
It was. I felt a folded note in my hand.
"Quit these stupid jokes, Rogue," I fumed angrily. "And take that helmet off!"
He didn't take it off. Instead, when I proceeded to unfold the note, his fingers enclose my hand. Rogue shook his head once.
"You give me a note, but I can't open it?" I was getting very irritated by now. Did he come here to ruin my evening? Our evening?
The boy in front of surprised me by suddenly taking my hand and standing up. My feet followed after his as he gently pulled my hand towards the opposite direction.
"Rogue," I complained. "How about you speak instead of giving me notes and pulling me?"
His helmet covered his entire face, so I couldn't even make out whether he was smiling or not. But his shoulders shook in that action slightly.
I stopped complaining once we reached the untidy trees and grass that covered the entrance to the most beautiful, unfrozen lake in Magnolia. It was like the entrance to a fairy tale. My fairy tale.
My lips parted as I remembered. Today. Today was the day when the Fire Liles came out. Fire Lilies.
"Rogue, did you—"
I cut off my words when he suddenly lifted the helmet off. It was not Rogue, but Loke, his eyes looking serious but amused at the same time as he looked at me through his glasses.
Before I could call him a complete asshole, he pushed me gently towards the lake. "Go."
I stumbled to the half snow filled edge of the lake, still bewildered. Tears threatened to fall at this humiliation. But when I raised a hand to wipe my eyes of the little moisture, I remembered the note. It was still in my now sweaty palm.
Angrily, I unfolded it harshly. Then I froze in place, eyes widening. The note had three words written in a much too familiar handwriting.
One step ahead
The next time I looked up, Rogue Cheney was standing there, looking at breath-takingly perfect as ever. It was like clockwork. People came to sit beside the water's edge as I noticed the first two Fire Lilies move dreamily across the water from the forest edge on the other side. I strained to see the little children in their drowning coats.
The place was illuminated by the fireflies in the paper lilies. My eyes were facing a dilemma as to feast on the beautiful sight or on Rogue in front of me.
"What…?" I began.
This time, there was no doubt in his face, nor in mine. Rogue looked up at me through his lashes as he went down on one knee, his crimson eyes scorching and mesmerizing.
I couldn't move as he took out a thin, silver banded ring. It had a garnet in the middle.
"Why…did…Loke…?" I trailed off.
Rogue gave me the crooked smile I loved so much. "To be one step ahead of you, remember?"
His logic didn't sound right to me. Yet in a way, it did. He did what I didn't expected, again. If it had been really him to came on time and took me here, I would probably suspect. If it had not been Loke when he took out the helmet, I would never realize why I was brought here.
"So, Lucy Heartfilia," he restrained a smile. "Will you marry me?"
A million thoughts and emotions ran through my mind. At first, anger. Then shock. Then elation. At last, my answer…
"Yes," I said.
…Then I punched Rogue in the chest.
Even if the ring was now on my left finger, I had successfully brought Rogue's pride down by ruining the moment.
"Next time you want to be one step ahead of me," I said, faux mad and attempting not to smile. "Send yourself."
I found myself with lips locked to his in the next minute. He had got to calm me down again. His hands pressed the small of my back, and my mind spun with his scent.
"I love you," he whispered in my ear.
A feeling of pleasure ran through me. Only once had he told me this straight out before, on my front porch. But right now, it was a new meaning to the words again. It made perfect sense, and suddenly, I didn't care about him being the enigma anymore. I didn't like it. I loved it.
"I love you too," I whispered back. "Idiot."
My eyes turned to the Emerald Lake now. The only light in this place was from the Fire Lilies. They floated on the water, only one or two ebbing out. It so beautiful. My memory of the first time I saw them had not done justice, because they were prettier than ever.
Rogue sat down on the edge beside me, touching a Fire Lily gingerly as it floated near. "Do you remember?"
"I can never forget," I murmured. I was more intent on admiring the ring which was now mine right now.
I glanced at Rogue as he looked out at the luminous lake.
Somehow, he managed to make the place where…an us began, the place where it got sealed and ended. But it was really the beginning of us again, but now it was a committed one.
Us. It was beautiful word.
Three years pass…
Over every single complication, tears, love, lust and promise if what you never realized you wanted completed you, then commitment was not commitment in the literal sense of the word.
"Mummy, tell Dad to come play with us!"
"Lucy, I'm sleepy!"
If after everything fulfillment was what made my world complete, then there couldn't be anything better. There was something in seeing our children—Lucia and Raven—which made the word complete repeat itself.
"Rogue, don't make me come and get you!"
"I'm coming, I'm coming!"
I watched Lucille's long blonde hair like mine and Raven's dark hair like Rogue's bobbing up and down in the sunlight as they beckoned impatiently to me and Rogue.
"Yes, Daddy's coming!"
For everything I needed was here. There weren't missing puzzle pieces and secrets. There weren't complications and hesitation.
If over everything this was what made me the happiest, then I didn't need to dwell on those things at all. This was my fairy tale now.
And it's done. I can't believe it! Or I can, but...whatever :P I loved writing this, despite the parts where I slipped a bit, for which I apologize. I really hope you guys liked this chapter, and I love you all!