It was the night before Christmas Eve and the guild was appropriately filled with a delirious amount of decorations and banners, a tree filled with its own magical preps in every corner of the large building, underneath each piled in different sizes and colored papers, the presents dedicated from and to each individual member of Fairy Tail.
The entire building could almost blow up in all the crazy pep and not to make it sound like an even cornier Holiday tale, Christmas spirit.
Everyone sang and drank like it had already been that day they all looked so forward too. Lucy; being a huge Christmas fanatic, actually cut loose and danced on one of the tables with both Grey and some other nameless jiggling body. After they all called it quits, and made their way to the bar; where Mira Jane swept by almost in a dance, filling gingerbread flavored elixirs and topping dishes with a sprig of mistletoe. Lucy sat down and ordered she’d be brought a hot chocolate with mint, seconded when Grey slammed down beside her, grinning widely and happily; which reminded Lucy of a certain spark of light that seemed to have evaded her amongst all the other colorfully flashing ones.
“Hey,” She began as she was handed her beverage by Mira “Where’s Natsu?” Mira placed her serving tray down, like the simple question sobered up her gleeful serving streak.
“I thought you knew Lucy… Natsu never shows up the week before and during Christmas…he spends it with Happy at his home all the way through New Years…”
Lucy lowered her warm cup surprised “I…didn’t know that at all… I thought for sure he’d attend some guild Christmas party or something…”
Mira wiped her tray slowly “The guild does host a Christmas party…but since everyone usually goes off to spend it with someone else, it’s usually empty here on Christmas Eve…”
Lucy looked somberly at Mira Jane; she looked a bit let down. No surprise, she was the one who did eighty percent of the décor for the guild, and for there not to even be a full house Christmas party couldn’t help but sting Lucy deeply in the heart. Grey finished his drink and purposely set the cup down noisily.
“I’ll show up” He stated strongly “I’ve honestly always wanted to, but I’d get caught up with some last minute plans…but I’ll show up for sure this time” He sent a playful wink to Mira, who instantly lit up and she poured him a refill of the minty sweet drink.
Lucy clenched her fists in determination “Alright, it’ll be my Christmas mission to have everyone attend tomorrows Christmas Party!” She hopped off of her stool and face planted right into an unforgiving hard plate of steel armor with an echoed, ‘Clang’.
“That sounds like an amazing idea Lucy!” exclaimed Erza, in a bellowing voice “I also happen to not have plans for tomorrow, so I’ll definitely show up as well! What is Christmas, after all, without spending it surrounded by the people you care so deeply for!?”
Lucy looked up from Erza’s breast plate, rubbing her definitely bruised nose “Were you listening in on us this entire time Erza—”
“I’ll even help you pass out invitations!” She resumed with a plan all her own “I have the perfect outfit for the two of us…it’ll without a doubt fill anyone who sees it with Christmas Joy…”
Her eyes narrowed and Lucy couldn’t help but swallow nervously at the dark aura seeping from Erza’s wicked smile. She grabbed Lucy’s wrist and began tearing the clothes right off her, Grey sputtered something over his chocolate spouting mouth and Mira giggled happily saying, as she retreated to the back room, something about trying her best as well.
Lucy found herself outside of the guilds doors, passing out invitations alongside Erza and Mira Jane, all dressed in different, much more revealing and feminine versions of Christmas idols. Erza was a naughty Santa, which admittedly suited her well, what with her long bright red scarlet locks of hair and ridiculously filling body. Mira was a festive Elf, her white hair resembled glimmering icicles now that she’d tied them up in twin tails, and her cheerful attitude fit the look so well it could be thought she’d been an elf in some other life. Lucy was a reindeer. She was initially going to be the elf, but after her nose had taken that direct hit to Erza’s armor, it now shone a bright red. And for maybe the fifth time that night she’d received another pair of laughs at how realistic that reindeers costume was. Lucy’s cheeks began to match her nose, regardless of her costume being a reindeer, it was still pretty revealing…and not even in the cute way, it was a pretty silly costume compared to the sexy Titania and the gorgeous Fairy Tail model. She felt like the comic relief of the bunch.
Her eyes then met a small boy’s, blinking rapidly, and then slowly walking up to her. He gave her a big enthusiastic grin, missing two front teeth. Lucy’s heart fluttered, how adorable! He took and invitation from her then looked up at her again.
“Can I come?” he asked, visibly gripping the paper in his hands.
“Of course!” Lucy insisted as she smiled brightly; the trio had decided that if citizens of Magnolia wanted to come, they could as well. As long as they came to party and have a great time, they didn't care.
The little boy grabbed onto one of Lucy’s legs endearingly hugging her then scampering away excitedly to his parents, waving to her as he met with them and walked away. She smiled big and puffed a large breath of warm air onto her own face.
“Well…whatever…if I’m gunna be the comic relief of the group, I’ll do my best as just that! I’ll be the silliest reindeer of them all!” She ran out further and stepped out onto a bench, surprising both Santa and her elf sidekick as she began to mimic Natsu’s dance, perfected and brought out even funnier, a large group assembled around her and cheered, suddenly Erza and Mira were swamped with requests for invitations.
In one of her spins Lucy clumsily slipped on a patch of ice cleverly developing right behind her foot, she could hear those two guys that warned her about her walking along the ledge of the canal on her way home start yelling at the others in the crowd to catch her. A bunch of hands reached up and caught her, cheering and throwing her up into the air, she at first stiffened in fear and screamed to let her down, but a little while later, her screams to be let down became cheers of their own and she even began to flip about to entertain the masses further. She looked out as she gained altitude, onto the path leading into the main streets of Magnolia, the lights glittering like a million stars. Among them, a small light caught her attention, a flame in the not so far distance, a familiar spark of fire that no other fire could ever hope to match in brightness and brilliance. Her very favorite of all that other untrained eyes would take for granted and lose among the star lights of the city.
“Natsu!” she yelled, catching Erza’s attention, Mira was too busy handing out invitations to even remotely notice. Lucy flipped out of the group, turned, bowed in apologies, and then turned to chase the light down.
“Take over for me Erza!” Lucy called as she ran away; the red head was caught in frozen, wide eyed, and open mouthed surprise, now having to entertain the masses herself. She turned to the staring group shakily, her knees clicking and smiled slightly under bullets of sweat.
Erza raised her hand holding up a random tree branch she’d acquired who knows where or when in particular and trembling recited;
“I-I Prince F-Fredric …C-control t-t-ten Swords!”
The group unanimously sweat dropped as a man in the front waved his had dismissively “No…that’s a tree branch…” “Who’s Prince Fredric?” questioned another in the mass of awkwardly shaken people.
Lucy ran into the forest, focusing furiously on where she’d seen the flame flicker, now traveling at the speed of her two well trained legs blindly into the darkness of a dense forest. She stopped when she saw the glimmer of freshly ignited embers on the floor. She slowly approached the spot. It had been scorched with such force that the heat permeating from it blew past her like wind when she approached and had to fall back in surprise.
“There’s no one else in all of Magnolia that could have such a mark, it’s defiantly Natsu’s fire, no doubt about it” Suddenly she heard his voice, a slight shocked frustration as his body, most likely, had tripped over something and now he lay some five feet away from her, face deep in dirt and arms up in the air, caught in the motion.
Lucy giggled “Natsu, you’re so lame! Why were you hiding there?” She asked walking over to him, his head popped up, covered in dirt and a few pebbles clung to his cheeks, she giggled again at how adorable he looked. He sat up immediately and wiped the debris off his face roughly with his sleeve, only managing to shake loose the pebbles and smear the dirt across his face further. Lucy grasped his arm, halting it from continuing this mess and smiled at him as she offered him a handkerchief.
“It works better than an equally dirty sleeve” She stated matter-of-factly. Natsu looked at her, grabbed the cloth quickly and wiped his face as he turned around and stood up.
“I’m not dirty, if that’s what you’re implying Luce…” He tossed the cloth over his shoulder and began to stride away from her. Lucy grabbed the filthy hanky and stuffed it in her pocket rushing to catch up with Natsu’s strangely rushed pace.
“Wait!” she grabbed his shoulder, which he briskly shoved away. “What, I need to get going soon” She opened her mouth in confusion. Why was he acting this way…?
“Um…do you have a job or something?”
“None of your business” he snapped instantly, angering the blonde reindeer. She stepped in front of him and put her hands to her hips
“I’m on your team! And I never hear the end of it from you when I try to solo a mission! What’s your problem!?” Natsu glared at her and shoved her aside
“I don’t have time to fight your pointless fight, Luce” She grabbed his shoulder again, tearing him back to her direction
“I don’t need to hear that from the king of pointless fights! Need I remind you how many times you and Grey fought over who ate the last chicken-wing at the bar, or whose magic is the brightest or any other stupidity you launch his way??” Lucy gritted her teeth “What’s wrong with you Natsu!? I’m your friend, why are you treating me this way!?”
“If you’re so put off by how I’m treating you then why don’t you solve both our problems and beat it already!?” he whisked back to his original direction. Lucy shrieked angrily into her own throat and ran after him; she gripped, this time, his muffler.
“Listen Dragon boy all I wanted was to—” all in one movement, Natsu grabbed Lucy off the floor and pinned her to a nearby tree, her feet dangling and her last statement hanging at the back of her sore throat. His eyes met hers in the coldest glare she’d ever received, even colder than her fathers, or anything Grey could conjure. Around his eyes, scales were now visible and steam began to leak from his body, he moved in until his face made contact with hers, pressed against the space between her cheek and her nose. Some part of her froze and died when those eyes narrowed into a dagger shape, piercing hers and she whimpered when his breath quite literally seared her neck and chin, one side of her hair curled like it had been exposed to fire.
“Is there a problem with me being a Dragon’s boy?” he hissed in a voice far deeper than his usually uplifting voice. She shook her head in panic and tears began to steam down her cheeks.
“I never…meant it…like that…” she whispered through her crackling voice and shaken breaths. The slayer released her and let her painfully land onto the roots of the tree she’d been pinned to just now. He crouched close to her again, pressing in her nose with his finger, gleaming with red hot heat and she squeaked slightly at the pain
“Do. Not. Touch. Me. And. Do. Not. Follow.” He said flicking her nose “Got that Rudolph?” Lucy cupped her nose in pain and nodded obediently watching him adjust his muffler and begin his walk away.
“I just,” She squeaked as she broke down into a full sob “I just wanted you to come join us at the Fairy Tail’s Christmas party, Natsu! It wouldn't be the same without you!” She coughed a bit and fully collapsed to the ground, crying hysterically, “You’re Natsu of Fairy Tail!” She hiccuped a bit before setting her beating head on the ground and crying there, until her body, heavy from the cold, passed out.