From Puppy to Prince

July 2, X794

There was something odd about today.

Lucy had awoke just like usual, but she was cold. She never woke up cold. Natsu was always right beside her in the mornings. Before they had confessed their feelings a year ago, there were days where Natsu wouldn’t be there. But now that they were dating, he had never not been there when she woke up. Until today.

“Hmm…” She stood and looked around her apartment. This was her last day here. After today, she and Natsu, with some help from Erza and Gray, would be packing up her stuff to move to Natsu’s house. She was finally going to move in with him. They had been talking about it for months, after she had gotten sick the previous winter while bringing him soup and medicine because he was sick. So after hours of discussing it, she finally agreed that it would be best for her to move in with him.

Shrugging, figuring Natsu had left to go and set up his house so some of her more important things would fit, she maneuvered to her dresser and grabbed some clothes. Lucy walked into the bathroom and changed, and when she came out, Erza was standing in her room. For a moment, a vein pulsed in Lucy’s temple, but she shrugged off her annoyance. It was Erza, and Lucy had invited her to come help her with the move.

It took Lucy a moment to realize the fact that Erza wasn’t dressed to work. She was wearing a pale blue sundress and a matching hat. “Erza, don’t you remember? I’m moving out today.”

“I know Lucy, and I’m sorry, but remember that boat trip I signed us up for last month?” Lucy nodded. “Well I got the dates wrong. It was today, not tomorrow. So get changed, we’re moving you out tomorrow.”

Lucy sighed. She knew not to argue with Erza. Striding to the bathroom, she grabbed the white dress she had set out for this outing off the door, changed into it, then grabbed a white and yellow flower hair pin. Leaving her hair down, she pinned up one side with the flower. “Ready!”

Erza nodded, “We need to stop by the guild. I didn’t tell Gray we weren’t moving you out today.”

“Ok!” Together they walked to the guild, calmly opening the doors. Lucy noted that it felt weird to not burst into the room like she did with Natsu. Erza walked over to where Gray was standing, surprisingly wearing clothes, and nice ones too. “Maybe Juvia finally convinced him to go on a date?” Lucy pondered as she made her way to the bar. She asked Mira for a glass of water, and when the barmaid served it to her, she cleared her throat. “Mira, where’s Natsu? I haven’t seen him all day and he isn’t here either.”

The white-haired girl gained a knowing smile, but her words said opposite, “I don’t know Lucy, I’m sure he’ll show up eventually…” Mira couldn’t help but notice how often she had spoken those words to either Natsu or Lucy, starting just after the Puppy Potion job that had seemed so long ago.

With a frown, Lucy nodded, and contented herself to sipping her water while she waited for Erza. She watched at her family, the guild, bustled around her, everyone fighting or laughing or just being together. It made her smile to know how lucky she was to have friends like these people.

Before too long, Erza was guiding her back out of the guild hall, then onto a train bound for Hargeon. The two girls enjoyed the train ride to the port city, glad for once at the lack of a motion-sick dragon slayer. They made some polite conversation, but Lucy couldn’t help but feel like the requip mage was hiding something. It just seemed like Erza could keep her concentration, which was extremely odd for the woman. Lucy just watched her though, not really understanding why there was such a hurry, but not willing to question the Queen of the Fairies.

Once the train stopped in Hargeon, Erza rushed them into the city. She seemed to keep glancing at any clock she could see. Lucy assumed it was to make sure they weren’t late for their ship. She pulled Lucy’s arm, making her hurry to the harbor.

When they arrived at one of the docks, the woman in the blue dress moved Lucy to stand in front of the gangplank that lead to a ship. “Stay here, I’ll come back after I pay the man.” Erza ran off, leaving Lucy on the dock.

To pass the short time, she watched the waves as they rocked the boat. “Natsu would hate this. Even to stand here, he would be green.” She mused about her friend, knowing him so well. She often felt he knew her better than she knew herself, and she liked to think she knew him just as well.

After a few minutes, the red head came back and the two girls boarded a rather large ship. Lucy could’ve sworn she had seen it from somewhere, she just couldn’t place where it had been. The ship set sail, and for several minutes, Lucy stood at the railing and watched the port shrink. It seemed so ludicrous that any cities she and Natsu visited would be able to repair the damage they caused by the time they arrived to break things once more, and yet here was an example of such a thing. The port in Hargeon was as good as new, and yet the two mages had destroyed it single-handedly at least 4 times that she could count.

When they were a ways away from land, Lucy heard a throat clear from behind her. It was a man’s voice, and one she knew very well. Lucy shook her head, thinking she was hearing things, “Yes Erz-……” She turned and gasped, covering her mouth. Never in her entire life would she have imagined what she saw.

In front of her, was a very uncomfortable looking Natsu, kneeling, holding out a diamond ring.

“Lucy Heartfilia. Ten years ago today, on July 2, X784, we met. It wasn’t right here though. It was in that little square where I kissed you for the first time. And I must say, if I had never met you, my life would be dull in comparison.” It was now that his face turned a bit more green, and he hung his head, and Lucy realized something. They were on a boat. It was moving. Obviously Wendy hadn’t cast Troia on him.

Natsu regained his composure, and continued on with his speech, needing to finish, “We have gone on so many adventures, and have cried and laughed and yelled and smiled so many times together. I know people say in these situations how they could never imagine life without that person. But that…. Cliché, right? Yeah, that cliché is completely true now that I’m standing, kneeling, before you now. While yes I can remember a time without you, I would never want to go back to it. You created a hole in my life, a chip in my heart, and without you, I would never be able to fill it.

“You helped console me after Igneel died. You held me all those nights I would wake up screaming for you, when I would have nightmares about the future you. I would never have gotten through either of those without you. But, do you want to know what the most terrifying moment that you helped me get through was?

“It was confessing my love to you. You stole my heart, and even though I had proof of your feelings in my hand, even though I read it to you word for word, I still needed to hear you say it. But as I stand here now, I must say that this has to be at least twice as scary. Because you now have my heart in your hands. It is completely up to you to destroy or remake my world. I just ask you to be gentle with me.”

Lucy was stunned into silence. Here she was, having the man who she loved and would die for, no, live for, down on one knee, asking for the rest of her life. She just gaped at him, wanting so badly to shout the single word that was echoing through her being. Her throat went dry however, and she couldn’t seem to get enough air.

It was the thought that Natsu, the man she needed to soothe every time they took a train, no matter how smooth it rode, the man who became motion-sick at the thought of a vehicle, was on this ship, with her, proposing to her. For most men, the proposal alone would be enough to have them seeing double and trying to swallow down bile, but Natsu… He had to go the extra mile. He had to add his own motion-sickness onto his nervousness.

In that moment, the knowledge that she was going to spend the rest of her life with this man, that she was going to marry and have kids with, that she was going to go on so many more adventures with, solidified. It was this one act of love, for that’s surely what it had to be, there would be no other reason that Natsu would voluntarily board a vehicle without the Troia spell just to recreate the day they met, that made her more sure than she had ever been. She loved Natsu Dragneel. And soon, she would share his name, his house, his kids, and his bed with him.

In a voice so soft that only one person could hear it, the one that mattered, the one it was meant for, Lucy sealed her future.

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