Genesis: a Fairy Tail one-shot
The cry stifled behind Lucy's lips grew in its intensity, finally finding its way out after she could clamp it no more.
Though it escaped as a tiny whimper, it did not evade Natsu's ears.
He always had sharp ears.
Porlyusica had injected many potions designed to numb or at least alleviate the pain, but it didn't prove to be of much use; the blond mage could feel her lower body being torn apart. Her pregnancy was already advanced, the ninth month almost nearing completion which now created all sorts of complications—and the fact that the father was Natsu did not help. The healer had warned her about the consequences of bearing a child of a dragon slayer but she had refused to listen.
Lucy loved children and it was unthinkable that she wouldn't want her long time crush and now husband to sire her child. Being an ancient magic which altered the body of the user to a great extent, the Dragon Slayer properties were inherited by the child at birth. And this did not bode well for the mother. The child often turned out stronger and wilder than the mother could handle and history was strewn with instances in which the mother died at child-birth.
Natsu had made Lucy exercise throughout her pregnancy, making her physically stronger than before. But now, as the pain rattled her frame, she realized that all those preparations were futile. There was nothing anyone could do to fight this pain.
Lucy was laid in the Private Ward section of the infirmary with only the salmon-haired mage and the healer for company. Beyond the closed doors, she could hear muffled activity of perhaps the entire guild assembled in the waiting hall; after all, Lucy's child would be the second child born in the guild after Asuka. And the latter was already excited by the idea of having someone who would look up to her.
Another wave of pain coursed through her, making her grip Natsu's hand tightly and prevent herself from screaming—already the Dragon Slayer looked pale and ashen and she didn't want him to grieve more by hearing her scream. Golden eyes met black and she drunk in his love and trust to steel herself to face another onslaught.
Natsu wiped the sweat off her forehead and her face, looking at the woman he loved since long. He knew she was strong, but didn't realize how much. He had begged Meredy to do a Sense Link between her and him so that even he could feel the agony she underwent. Though she had agreed, she had lowered the sensitivity so that the pain would be lot lesser than what the blond mage actually feels.
No Natsu. It is something only we girls can handle. You might be the most powerful mage in Fiore but the agony and joy of giving birth is something only a mother can handle.
If what he felt almost threatened to make him slip into oblivion, he couldn't even fathom what Lucy was feeling.
At the back of his mind, he felt a tiny snip and suddenly the pain withdrew, giving way to a blissful normalcy.
I am sorry, Natsu. This is as far as your body can handle.
Before he could retaliate, Meredy's presence withdrew from his mind.
"Natsu," Porlyusica began.
"The birth will be complicated. And god forbid, but if the situation so arises, who do you want me to save—Lucy or the baby?"
Natsu froze, his mind going numb at the healer's words. Lucy looked at him, her eyes swimming with tears and pleading.
He remembered the day he first met her in Hargeon.
Hi! My name is Lucy and I am a Celestial Spirit mage. I soo wanna join Fairy Tail!
He remembered all the adventures he had with her…and the time when he thought he had lost her in Edolas and Zentopia.
He had then known that he could not live in a world in which his Lucy did not live.
He was being selfish…and he knew that.
"Save Lucy," he whispered, looking at her as she shook her head in frustration.
No Natsu…please… Her eyes pleaded.
Then another wave overcame her and this time, she screamed. It was a scream of pure, unadulterated pain which ran through his very bones. She arched and thrashed in her bed, her blond hair plastered onto her face due to sweat.
"Natsu, please hold her down," Porlyusica said loudly as she prepared yet another injection.
"The birth begins."
The noise outside the door had ceased, presumably due to Lucy's scream but Natsu could care less; he just wanted to go home with a complete, happy family. He felt sad that he hadn't let Happy enter the room—but he knew that the cat couldn't handle his best friend in this condition.
An hour or so passed interspersed with violent episodes of thrashing followed by listlessness. After sometime, the healer asked him to use his flames to keep Lucy warm as her "fight" was draining her off energy resources. The sun traversed across the sky as he kept on standing beside her, his hand up in flames as they warmed the frail unconscious mage.
It was twilight when Porlyusica made him go out of the room, telling him to go and get some fresh air. He protested vehemently but she ignored him, proceeding to push him bodily out of the room.
"Wendy, can you come in please?" she asked. The blue-haired Dragon Slayer jumped on her feet and followed the older lady in, the latter shutting the door firmly in his face.
Gray and Erza stood leaning on the wall whereas Levy and Gajeel occupied the seats. Bisca was there too, along with Mira and Juvia. The others, Erza later said, were driven off by Master to the guild as the hospital was becoming too crowded and an empty guild often invited trouble.
"How is Lu-chan?" asked Levy slowly as she stood up.
Natsu looked away, the pain too much to bear. To his surprise, Gray gave his shoulder a reassuring squeeze before he made the Fire mage sit on one of the visiting chairs.
"Trust the bunny girl. If she could handle whatever has happened till date, she will ride through this too." Said Gajeel gruffly, hugging a distraught Levy.
Mira and Juvia said similar words of comfort while Erza looked on silently but they were just part of the background to him. Natsu never prayed, the entire "Almighty is great" being too complicated for him to process but today, his heart and soul prayed to every power, every divine notion that existed to save his Lucy and his child. He just wanted to engulf her in his arms and never let go, take that nerve-racking, mind-numbing pain within himself. He wanted that child to grow up under Lucy and his care, be as rambunctious as him and as caring as her. He wanted to teach the child every embarrassing secret of Lucy and get berated in return. He wanted to go on a long holiday to the Akane Resort—just the three of them. He wanted the child to fight and irritate Gray, learn battle lessons from Erza, go on jobs with both of them, play with Asuka and Romeo.
He wanted them to live…he did not want to choose.
Another scream made him bolt to the door and open it with a push.
"Natsu-san! It is almost close!" said Wendy loudly, tension and slight elation evident in her voice.
Natsu could feel a pool of golden light behind him and found the Lion Spirit standing next to him, worry etched in his handsome face.
"The Spirit World is resonating with her agony," Loke said in a manner of explanation.
"We need to keep her power from reaching zero, Natsu."
He went towards the head and his hand began to glow. Before Natsu could say anything, a warm glow spread over her body and her face relaxed infinitesimally. He quickly took her hand to warm her and felt her grip him tightly.
You can do this Lucy.
After what seemed like a lifetime, cries of a new-born punctured the sepulchral silence of the room.
"Congratulations Natsu," said Porlyusica, smiling tiredly.
"It is a girl."
Wendy cleaned her up and wrapped her in a fluffy pink blanket before handing her over to Natsu.
She had tufts of curly strawberry blonde hair tipped with bright salmon, amber eyes and a fair complexion. Seeing Natsu, she gurgled happily, trying to hold his finger with a tiny hand.
Loke looked at her in awe as she stared up at the duo.
"She's beautiful," he breathed.
"Just like her mother," Natsu said slowly.
A tiny whimper from Lucy snapped them out of wonder as they rushed to her side—Natsu laid the baby next to the mother as she slowly snuggled up to the blonde mage and promptly fell asleep.
"Natsu?" she whispered.
"It's a girl," he replied as tears threatened to spill out from his eyes. Loke sat on her other side, warming her with the glow of Regulus.
"She will grow up to be a powerful mage one day, Lucy," he said softly.
"And you will live to teach her the path to that."
Lucy gave a tired smile.
"I don't plan to leave my baby to the likes of you two, you know. We Heartfilias don't die so easily."
Natsu looked at his sleeping family with a smile.
He was home, at last.