Misogyny regarding the way the women in Fairy Tail are written
Sick of people acting like the Fairy Tail ladies are absolute girlbosses when that really isn’t the case, so I’m finally breaking it down in more detail than I’ve ever done
Disclaimer: this isn’t me saying you can’t like the characters or the series (hello, FT-centric blog here), I just think it’s important to acknowledge these things and not pretend the female rep is perfect, I also enjoy breaking down characters like this. And yes, I realize these are a lot of “small, nit-picky things,” but they add up, and their subtlety is what makes it even more infuriating, because people tend to brush it off as nothing and continue to praise the series for “strong female characters.”
First and foremost is the fact that her entire ability is to rely on others to fight for her. While Celestial Spirit magic is interesting in theory, the fact that it was given to the lead female character (and only female characters throughout the entire series), feels cheap. Nearly all male characters have magic that allows them to actually fight. Lucy only has a handful of fights where she does damage herself (not her spirits), and only actually learned how to fight with them for the series final arc (an arc she was pushed to the side in anyways). This could have actually been discussed, or addressed, and it would have been interesting, but it wasn’t, and so it feels like an excuse to avoid giving the lead female character a major role in fights and action scenes.
While male characters are allowed to be genuinely angry with things, the female characters are either never shown with these emotions, or given reasons to “get over” them, and Lucy is a big example of this, specifically, regarding her relationship to her father. She is rarely allowed to be genuinely upset with him for treating her like an object (the two exceptions being when he sent Phantom Lord after her, and he asked her for money), and she was made to forgive him after his death when he did very little to make it up to her. One could make the argument that this is a trait of her character, but like I said before, female characters are rarely allowed to be angry within the series, so it feels like a decision meant to shoehorn that women are/need to be forgiving and understanding above all else
Natsu is shown to invade her privacy, ignore her wants and needs, and make fun of her quite often and it’s always played for a comedic affect. Once again, this is one of those things that seems very small, but taken with tandem with everything else in the series, it feels like yet another small blow regarding the fact that women have less autonomy and are meant to cater to the male characters
During the Alvarez Empire arc, Lucy became little more than a crutch to Natsu’s character development, rather than getting any focus or a big plot line herself, despite being a titular character in the series beforehand. Just like 90% of the women in the series, at its conclusion, she was given a back row seat.
The star dresses she unlocked were never actually shown to increase her power or fighting ability (other than a few comments that they did), and honestly, just felt like an excuse to put her in more revealing/sexual outfits more often than not.
Her physical appearance was altered after she was no longer a villain to be more “conventionally” attractive after she was no longer a villain and was meant to be a “heroic” female character and a love interest (bigger, brighter eyes, long flowing hair, the “slim-thick” look all the other women in the series have, outfits more meant to cater to the male gaze, even a change in her face shape and features to make them “softer”)
Her entire character revolved around her crush on a man. Everything she did was for this man, and was to get him to like her. Her only personality trait was that she was in love with this man.
On top of that, she became insanely jealous, and exhibited many toxic behaviors in an attempt to get said male character to fall in love with her. Now, female characters being toxic isn’t the issue (in fact, them all being perfect is a form of misogyny in of itself), but it’s the fact that it’s glorified, and that she’s doing it all for a man, and it’s stereotypical behaviors the “toxic women” have (ex. exhibiting jealousy, being overly clinging, being catty and distrusting of other women, not allowing her romantic partner to interact with other women).
She distrusted and antagonized every other female character in the series under the guise that they were going to “steal her man” so she never truly had a positive relationship with another female character. (Her entire existence is the anti-thesis of the bechdel test).
Despite being a knight, whose magic is focused on armor, nearly every set of armor she had was extremely revealing and meant to show off her cleavage and her ass.
It was always touted throughout the series that she was Fairy Tail’s strongest female wizard. That distinction was always there, because never, for one moment, was the audience meant to believe that there wasn’t always a male character that was stronger than even the strongest female characters.
She is the shallowest character in the series, given the “strong female character treatment,” which basically means Mashima made her incredibly powerful (so powerful it was considered plot armor more often than not), so he didn’t have to give her actual depth or characterization. Erza has the bare bones of a personality or motivations, she exists to punch things, and to look hot while punching things.
She’s written so that nearly all the male characters are terrified of her, because a strong woman cannot exist while just having the actual respect of male characters, no, the only listen to her and acknowledge her because they’re scared of her. Because why would a man ever respect or listen to a woman unless there were going to be repercussions?
And yet somehow, despite all of this, towards the end of the series, one of her main roles became helping “heal” a male character of his trauma (a male character that had harmed her a lot in the past, physically, mentally, and emotionally), rather than moving on from him, or expecting him to come to terms with his past the things he did to her and others on his own, because a woman’s role is always going to be to take care of her man.
Her two personality traits: alcoholism, and being a flirt. After all, a female character can only be comedic relief if it’s in the form of being sexual.
When it was teased that she might be getting some semblance of depth, it was revealed that, once again, it was for a man. We were given the absent father plot line, where everything she had done (and would continue to do), would be to impress a man.
Not only that, but this entire plot line (that could have been genuinely good and interesting if it had been full explored and developed), was dropped immediately, with her receiving no character development, and immediately forgiving the male character when he had done nothing to prove he’d changed (and it’s proven later on by the fact that his behavior remains exactly the same, he didn’t, but once again, she’s not allowed to be angry with him).
Despite being one of the most powerful characters in the show, she was given only four genuine fights in the series where she show cased her power and was shown to be competent (Mira vs Freed, Mira vs Seilah, Mira vs Heine and Juliet, and Mira vs Mary). Every other “fight” she was in, was either played for laughs, or she won due to using her “sexual appeal.” (Such as when she was only able to defeat Jacob because he refused to fight her fairly because of her cleavage).
She was given and intricate and tragic backstory, but rather than showcasing how that actually affected her, it was all done off screen, and she was there mainly to be sexual.
Depsite the fact that Elfman was the one actually responsible for what happened to Lisanna, he continued to work with his magic, while Mirajane abandoned hers to be a waitress and a model, and it was never shown or explained why this occurred.
Again, as seems to be a running theme with the female characters, despite supposedly have trouble with anger and sparing opponents, Mirajane was shown to always be forgiving of those she fought, contradicting what we’re told about her to make her yet another kind, soft woman.
She had more relevance to the story and character development dead than alive (mainly male character development, seen with Natsu and Elfman, one can make an argument for Mirajane, but like I said above, it’s never really shown, and discussed much less than her impact on Natsu and Elfman).
The series did not kill a single male character for development until Igneel near the series’ end (and he was the only one it ever did happen to), while Lisanna was the first in a long line of fridging (with Ultear eventually following, and it was a common trope for Erza, Lucy, and Levy to be horribly injured during battles to motivate the male fighters).
Despite the fact that Lisanna was brought back, it was merely meant to “wrap up” her relationship with Natsu, so he could be free to be close to Lucy, because heaven forbid he be equally as close with another female character that could threaten his potential romantic relationship with Lucy (further solidifying the belief that men can’t be close with more than one woman).
She was never given the opportunity to rebuild any of her relationships, nor was it explored how everything that had happened to her affected her. We barely even got to see what she thought of her own “death.”
She is not written to be as wild or with the same... brutality as the male dragon slayers (she isn’t even drawn to have the same slit pupils or fangs as the male slayers, and her dragon force has feathers rather than scales, she’s always depicted as being softer than the male slayers, physically and mentally). Adding onto that, she is the only dragon slayer whose main focus is healing and offering support magic during battles. Why did the only female dragon slayer have to have that role?
She’s sexualized by many comments about how flat her chest is despite the fact that she is underage (barely a preteen, at that). There are quite a few pedophilic instances in the series, but the fact that it only happens with underage girls feels even more insidious.
As soon as Gajeel was introduced, she was never given a scene that did not involve him again (outside of the Key of the Starry Sky arc, which was anime only). She existed to be his love interest, and to showcase how far he had come with his character development
She is another example of a female character whose primary role is support during battle, while there continue to be very, very few male characters who take on the support role
She is the only female character in the series drawn to have a slightly different body type, but that’s negated by the fact that she’s constantly made fun of and worries over the fact that she has a smaller chest than all the other female characters
Yet another example of a female character written to be support during battles, by making her strictly a strategist and having her use illusions as distractions
Despite being given an interesting backstory, and a strong connection with multiple characters, during the final arc, her plot line was shifted to center around her romance to Zeref (which also happened to be pedophilic considering she has the body of a thirteen year old, and the fact that he met her and arguably had romantic feelings for her when she was that age in every sense of the word).
It became her role to try and save Zeref from himself, another case of a woman being written to save a man, when narratively and realistically, she shouldn’t have forgiven him for what he’d done to her.
After her death, rather than focusing on any of her friendships (to Zera, Yuri, or Precht), her codependent romance with Zeref continued to be glorified.
She was horribly mistreated by multiple people who were supposed to care for her, shown to be emotionally and even physically abused, but rather than being angry or even upset with the people who did that, guess what she does? She forgives them! The barely manage to apologize before she does so either, thus adding to the pattern of female characters automatically forgiving anyone who wrongs them
Just like Lucy, she’s the most prominent female character in her respective guild, and she’s given a support style magic and does not genuinely participate in combat herself
She was written to be a complex and interesting female villain, with a commanding and outspoken personality, but the second she was no longer considering a villain, her personality changed to be a lot more submissive
Similar to Juvia, she was given a design reset (though hers was more subtle, it got rid of her defining features to make her look the exact same as all the other female characters). Namely, she lost the makeup, and her eyes were changed to be larger.
The abuse her father put her through seemed to be more important to Sting and Rogue’s plot lines involving Jiemma than her own.
She hated other female characters (Lucy and Erza), far more than the male characters, for no real discernable reason.
Despite the fact that she was the one who saved him, and seemed to be the one calling nearly all the shots, Crime Sorciere was written to have Jellal in charge rather than her.
One of the few genuine sacrifices in the series, and while it was done fairly well and made sense for her, it stings that it was only female characters who sacrificed themselves and their powers in scenarios like that (another example is Chelia losing her magic).
Rather than exploring what her sacrifice meant to her, it was used to further Gray’s character development, when he really didn’t even need anymore angst heaped onto his backstory to make his development impactful, so it felt like a waste
Similar to Erza, she was female character so “strong” that she had to be written as “scary” because men wouldn’t default to her otherwise.
She was very clearly written in a way to both fetishize and demonize wlw characters and relationships, with the way she was so controlling and creepy regarding Brandish.
Once again, Mashima just couldn’t fathom a woman in an actual position of power, so he did a complete 180 with her personality and motivations in 100yq by making her a farmer, despite the fact that she’d previously been a warrior and shown no indication of ever wanting something like that.
I could keep going, I could keep adding to this list, breaking down literally every female character within the series, but I think you get the point by now. Like I said above, I’m not saying you can’t enjoy these characters, I love a lot of them, but just be a little nuanced when you talk about them, and don’t pretend that Mashima has any real respect for his female characters or actual women.
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The Unexpected Reward - Chapter 18
Summary: Natsu and Lucy go on a job together, but what they bring home is something neither anticipated. Forced to make a life changing decision, they have to adapt quickly, but that's never easy, especially given the circumstances. As they work together on their toughest adventure yet, they find themselves drawn to one another, in ways they never realised.
Rated mature for a reason. Although this chapter is all fluff.
With one last glance in the mirror, Lucy eyed herself closely in the reflection. Her eyes followed the movement of her manicured hand slowly drifting down the length of the lacy bodice, smoothing over a few creases in the skirt before finally resting under her bump. She studied the silk material carefully, appreciating the way it flowed off of her curvaceous body and delicately trailed along the floor behind.
It was beautiful, unlike the enormous meringue-like frock her friends had so graciously picked out for her. Gone were the days of wearing intricately designed, overly priced, princess dresses that left little room to move, let alone breathe. No, the one she'd picked out was much more flattering, less poofy, and delicately sat in just the right places. It clung to her every curve and emphasised all the parts Lucy liked about her body, whilst also accommodating her growing bump. Her silky blonde hair had been loosely pulled back and curled, decorated with small gem encrusted pins throughout. And her make up had been left minimal, giving her a simple but elegant finish—the look she favoured nowadays.
Her hand began rubbing small circles were it lay, a recent thing she found herself doing, a comfort to her racing heart as it pulsated through her body, echoing the erratic movements of her unborn baby.
She was anxious; who wouldn't be? But she knew that her guild mates would never allow such a day to go badly, they'd all put too much effort into planning it to allow for such folly.
As for Natsu… well, the boy didn't know what'd hit him once the guild found out. He had no idea what getting married really entailed, and figured, like she, it would happen much further into the future than it had. Their friends, however, had given them little choice in the matter, and within a month of the proposal, she was standing in her dream wedding dress about to make that lifelong commitment to the man just as clueless as she was.
In some ways, it all seemed rather convenient. If Lucy didn't know any better, she would've put her fateful coupling down to destiny, but those were the delusions of a small child who'd grown up alone in a big mansion, destined to marry some self important aristocrat and play housewife for his money.
A different life entirely.
Her meeting Natsu had changed all that; he'd opened her eyes to what life could really offer. She'd concluded, after many years as a member of Fairy Tail, that destiny really could be burned to ashes, that fate stood no chance against the likes of her friends, and that she was no different. It had been her choices that'd lead her down this path, and that she had always been in charge of her own future.
So getting married was no longer some massive event that held such great importance in her life, for she had found her true happiness. Married or not, her feelings towards the dragon slayer would never change, her heart belonged solely to him and had done for much longer than she'd ever admit to.
Instead, the wedding would be used a day of celebrating their long lasting friendship, their deep bond and most importantly, the love they'd shared so unconditionally for one another. They'd been through so much together; the pain and heart ache; the cheer and laughter and everything in between; every memory was precious and every moment from now on, even more so.
The longer she thought about it all, the more her eyes began to prickle with unshed tears, threatening to streak down her powdered skin, "Ugh… Stupid feelings..." She whispered, using her finger to wipe up the wetness.
"Aw, Lucy, you don't have to cry! Save it for the actual ceremony, you'll ruin your make up otherwise." Levy was quick to take out a clean tissue, dabbing away at her friends eyes whilst trying not to ruin her masterpiece. "Thank goodness for waterproof mascara, huh?"
"Sorry Levy, I don't know what came over me." She just couldn't understand it; where had all these emotions come from? "It must be my hormones…"
"Nope, I'm pretty sure it's because you're about to get married, Lucy. I imagine lot's of bride's get a little teary on their wedding day." Mira began, offering some words of encouragement. "And besides, Natsu will be just as emotional, I bet."
If memory served correctly, Natsu would be, no doubt, still in his boxers, piling food into his face alongside Happy and Haru, with not a care in the world. It was just a gut feeling, but somehow, Lucy was pretty sure their morning had gone very differently to hers. "Hmm… I don't know. Are we even talking about the same person here? I mean he's probably not even dressed yet."
Mira chuckled lightly, although Lucy saw right through it. She knew that if her words were true, the barmaid wouldn't hesitate to go full Satan-soul on the slayer's ass, ripping him a new one. But the woman said nothing more about it as she reached up to place the veil atop of Lucy's head, before standing back to marvel at the beautiful bride, "There. I have to say, Natsu's one lucky guy! You look good enough to eat, Lucy!"
"Um… thanks, Mira." Blushing, Lucy turned away embarrassed, knowing exactly what the take over mage was inferring, "How much longer until we're ready?"
"Twenty minutes. So we need to pick up the pace or we'll be late." Erza's thunderous tone came sharply from the doorway as she entered the room, her athletic body filling her own, full length dress out in ways Lucy felt slightly envious of. "And the bride shall not be late to her own wedding. We've all waited far too long for it to be ruined now."
Lucy chose to ignore that last bit, never one to dwell on what her guild mates inevitably spoke about behind her and Natsu's back. She quickly put her heeled shoes on and made her way to the door, "Is Anna here yet? She's supposed to be walking me down the aisle."
One of the few decisions Lucy had been allowed to make about her wedding day was who she wanted walking her down the aisle. In replacement of her mother and as someone who meant a lot to both her and Natsu, Anna had been the perfect choice that no one could really argue with.
"I'm here, Lucy!" Anna called, waving her hand as she entered the room, awestruck by how radiant the bride looked in her glistening gown, "Wow! Don't you look stunning! Then again, the Heartfilia gene has yet to fail us." She winked and smiled, "Let's hope this baby follows the same path, hmm?"
Chuckling, Lucy smiled for the first time that morning, feeling a sense of comfort and relief with Anna around. She shared the same kind disposition and caring nature her mother once had; maybe it was a Heartfilia thing? But if Lucy closed her eyes for just a moment, she could almost trick herself into believing Layla was standing right there with her. Maybe, in some weird way, she was, and that's all the young blonde could hope for.
"Time to go!" Erza bellowed, shooing them all out of the door, "We have a wedding to attend!"
On the other side of town, up on the hill where the small cottage stood, a very different story was unfolding, one of complete bedlam, and no one, not even Lucy, should've expected any different.
"Dammit! Why do I have to wear this ridiculous thing anyway?" Natsu grumbled, pulling at the tie around his neck, unhappy that he'd been forced to wear it instead of his beloved scarf. "It's tryin' to choke me, I swear!"
"I don't think it's alive, Natsu…" Happy uttered, having watched his friend battle the urge to destroy the thing for the past ten minutes.
"Yeah, but if it was, I'd totally beat it and burn it to the ground!" Fisting the air in triumph over his imaginary brawl with the inanimate object, the fire breather sniggered.
"You could just burn it now."
The fire mage's smirk turned into an all out evil grin as he went to summon his fire, reaching for the offending material dangling over his shirt.
"Although, I doubt a certain scary lady in armour would be too pleased… Not after everything she went through to get you to wear it in the first place."
And then it all came crashing down again, his need to set fire to it dissipating. He knew better than to go against something Erza had chosen and groaned obnoxiously, throwing his head back onto the pillows in a huff, causing hot smoke to seep from his mouth, "Stupid tie… Stupid Erza…"
Hearing a thump next to him, his eyes rolled to the side, his neck twisting in turn, only to find that Haru had slumped down onto his back as well.
His large blue eyes were fixed on his father's mouth and his lips were pursed slightly as he continued to stare. Then, with a look of determination, he blew with all his might, over and over again in the hopes of forming his own puff of smoke.
Unable to keep his amusement in, Natsu turned over to observe the baby closer, intrigue furrowing his brows and fascination lighting up his face when an untimely idea came to mind.
"Hey Happy, d'ya think Haru might be able to learn magic soon?" He contemplated the thought for a moment as he sat himself up, pulling the little one up with him.
Stopping to think about it, the exceed scrunched his nose up in disbelief, not entirely sure if now was really the time to be having such thoughts, "Really? But he's only just learnt to walk."
"I know, but look at him. He seems to want to." Natsu wasn't sure if he'd even be able to teach him how to breath fire, not without the use of dragon slayer magic and that was off the table. But then again, that wasn't the only thing he could show him. "It'd be kinda cool to see, don't ya think?"
"Uh… I'm not sure now is the time, Natsu… you don't wanna be late." Happy erred on the side of caution, but after one look of his friends scheming face, he was quick to give in, "Then again, it would be pretty cool to see what he does, I guess."
"That's the spirit! We got some time to kill before that Snowflake gets here anyway, so might as well have a little fun." Natsu grinned wickedly, ideas of how to go about it swirling around in his head. "Hey little guy, come 'ere! Daddy's got something to show you!" Igniting his palm, he watched excitedly for Haru's reaction to his magic.
The little boy, although startled at first, stared in wonder at the tiny flame so close to his face, and watched it flicker with the slight movements of his father's hand. It was captivating to be within reach of such burning hot fire, even if he'd seen it so many times before. Although the bright heat was something he so readily associated with Natsu, being this close to it was a first for him, and that made it all the more thrilling.
"Fire!" The child exclaimed, using the springs of the mattress to bob up and down in his excitement.
"Heck yeah, it is! And now that it's just us, we can be awesome fire dragons together, right Haru?" Natsu sniggered like the mischievous imp he was, and brought the kids hand up next to his ignited one.
But after taking one look between his and his father's hands, the little boy pulled away again, a sad expression adorning his sweet face as he stared into his empty palm, "No…" He mumbled, his bottom lip jutting out and his eyes filling with tears, "No!"
"I don't think he understands, Natsu." Happy interjected, not convinced the boy was anywhere near old enough to fully grasp how to handle magic.
"'Course not—not yet anyway. But he will one day, and it's gonna be the best!" The slayer kept his smile as he guided the little boy onto his lap, ruffling his thick hair affectionately to cheer him up again, "Chin up, kiddo! It takes a long time to learn how to wield magic. But with some practice, you'll be the toughest little dragon around, you'll see."
Listening to that calming tone, the child glanced up at his adoring parent, comforted by the big grin that always managed to reach his eyes, a gentle touch that embodied the very bond they shared. The mood was infectious and with a little coaxing, the small boy couldn't keep his lips from curving upwards, brightening the room around them once again.
With newfound courage, he reached his arm back out, placing it near to Natsu and waited expectantly, "Oh, so you do wanna be a dragon, huh? Alright then, but ya gotta give me your best roar first!" Natsu smirked, proud to have taught his son the 'non-magical' version of roaring (aka shouting really loudly) at the very least. And he did just that; at the top of his voice; no encouragement needed, "Whoa! That was super awesome, little guy! Now let's see how you handle this!"
"If you're about to do what I think you're gonna do, then I hope for your sake, Lucy never finds out." Happy warned, not wanting to take any responsibility for what was inevitably about to happen.
"Hey! I'm not stupid enough to burn down my own house. What do you take me for, an idiot?" The answer was yes, but Happy's restraint held strong, knowing he'd be heard even if he'd muttered it under his breath. Natsu, on the other hand, took no heed and brought both hands out this time, taking hold of the chubby little ones waiting for him, "Are ya ready?"
Igniting the flames once more, Haru watched the blazing magic slowly seep onto his fingers, a gentle warmth tingling his flesh, enough to make him flinch as it encased each tiny fist. After a few unsure moments, and the opening and closing of his palms, his blue eyes lit up with a wonderment only children seemed to possess, his very soul shining just as brightly as the flames he'd been gifted.
"Daddy! Daddy, fire!"
Natsu chuckled, as he leant back on the bed, using his now fireless hands to prop himself up, "Haha! I knew you had it in ya! Now you get to be just like a real fire dragon, and as long as you play with it on me, you can't burn anything, either." It was fool proof, he was certain of that. And with the look of sheer astonishment on that cute little face in front of him, Natsu could hardly contain himself.
"Yeah, right! Like you're one to talk…You're the first person to destroy things. It's why we never have any money." It was true and Natsu knew it, but that didn't stop the unimpressed glare he sent Happy's way.
"Why else do you think I put him in my lap?" The slayer tilted his head, his annoyance short lived, "He can't burn me so it's fine, and he's not really wielding fire, it's just pretend." He added, his infamous grin returning, and attention now fully diverted from the child he was supposed to be watching, "They'll go out before long."
"Sure, but, uh… I think Haru may have different ideas…" The exceed said, quietly gesturing to the boy in his lap.
"Huh? How so?" The fire mage asked, but by the time he'd turned around to see, it was already too late, "Haru!"
With one touch from the child's fingers, the fire caught on to the covers they were sitting on and spread like a fuse to a bomb.
"Get out of the way!" It lit up the entire bed in a flash, giving Natsu only seconds to get Haru off of it in time before they both landed in heaps on the floor.
It'd gone up so quickly; such was the destructive nature of those flames, and now his and Lucy's bed, the very bed they slept in every night, was a pile of smoking ash on the floor, the fire extinguished along with it.
Silence. All that could be heard was the silence…
"I… I-I'm dead… I'm so dead…" The dragon slayer's voice was barely a whisper, and his horrified expression said it all. The crushing weight of impending doom loomed over him and no amount of blinking was going to bring back their disintegrated bed, no matter how hard he tried.
What was he going to do? He'd been in control of the situation; he had a plan and it was fool proof. Not a few seconds he'd peeled his sights away from the child—just a few damn seconds and now...
And what about Lucy? She'd be furious, no… outraged by it all! He'd be seeing her in less than thirty minutes from now; how could he look her in the eyes, say their vows, then tell her she'd be sleeping on the couch?! That was a conversation that ended badly no matter what way he looked at it.
"You were saying?" Happy teased, covering his mouth with his paw, the rare look of mortification on his friend's face was priceless.
"Lucy's going to kill me!" His gaping sockets could barely keep his eyeballs from falling out, and his mouth hung low enough he could almost lick the ash off the ground.
"Daddy fire! Daddy fire!" Haru cheered, clapping his hands together while laughing, unaware of the chaos he'd unleashed, seemingly impressed with himself.
"Y-Yeah..." The young man slumped back against the dressing table, the feeling of dread taking over him the more he played out in his mind how he was going to tell his new, and very pregnant wife of the unfortunate news, giving him zero hope for survival, "You're gonna be the end of me, kid!"
"Like father, like son!" It was all too funny for the little exceed, who was attempting, but failing, to stop the flow of cackles escaping his mouth.
"Hey! Stop laughing would ya! It's not funny!" Natsu snapped, the sound of Happy busting his guts slowly grinding away at him.
"But it is! You should've seen your face! Shame Reedus wasn't here to draw the picture!" Happy continued to shriek with laughter, infecting little Haru as well.
"Not you, too!" Natsu complained, but his voice held no real consequence. After all, it was his idea to let the one year old play with fire, and it would be his sorry ass to own up and take responsibility.
"What the hell is going on in here?!" Startled by the unexpected but familiar voice, the trio of boys twisted their heads to see an out of breath Gray standing in the bedroom doorway.
"Oh, it's you… Don't you know how to knock?" Natsu dead-panned, apparently more annoyed by Gray's intrusion than the burnt bed.
"Never mind about that, I ran all the way here 'cause your house is smoking! What did you do this time, fire breath?" Glad to see everyone was fine, the ice mage sighed in relief that it appeared to be nothing serious.
"Hey! Why do people always assume it's me? Maybe it was Happy?"
"But it was you, Natsu."
"Shh! I'm trying to make a point here!"
"It was obviously you, idiot! You're the only pyro here!" Gray shook his head, hardly believing that this was the guy about to get married. "Anyway, we need to get going, or Erza will have our heads."
"But… but what about the bed?" Natsu whimpered like a child, pointing to where it once stood.
"Wait… You burnt down your own bed?! What is wrong with you, Dragneel?! Of all the days to be a bigger idiot than normal, you pick today?" Gray smacked his palm over his face exasperatedly. He hadn't even noticed that it was the bed that'd been burnt, but now it was clear to see where all the smoke was coming from.
"Come on, numbskull! We don't have time for this!" Grabbing hold of the still-in-shock Natsu by the collar, he used his ice magic to freeze all of the ash lain bare on the floor, effectively halting the smoke and yanked his rival out of the house, determined to get to the cathedral on time, "We'll deal with your stupidity later, but right now, you gotta get married and I'm prepared to drag you all the way there if I have to."
Lucy could feel the blood pulsing in her ears, her hand clutched at her belly as the sickness she'd been suppressing all morning finally reared its ugly head. She felt sticky and clammy from the extra adrenaline coursing its way through her body—and was now an appropriate time to say she needed to pee… again!?
"Take a deep breath and try to relax yourself." She heard Anna whisper into her ear as they both stared at the large cathedral doors. "When you walk down that aisle, remember its only you and Natsu that matters, no one else, okay?"
Giving a shy nod, she inhaled deeply, as if that was going to be her last breath and tried to calm herself down.
"Are you ready?"
Bowing her head once more, Lucy could hear the guests grow silent behind the large doors, the loud creaking signifying they were opening. Planting one heeled foot over the threshold, the blonde looked up to everyone that was waiting for her entrance, and it was in that moment time seemed to stand still.
Among the gasps and gleaming faces; the decorated pews and hard stone floor; hazy, chocolate eyes scoured the ancient hall. There they all were; her friends; her family; every single person that held such importance in her heart. It made her happy, ecstatic even, that this joyous day could be celebrated with the people closest to her, the people that'd accepted her for who she was and nurtured her into the person she was today.
She hadn't even realised she'd stopped breathing until her lungs began to ache, forcing her to inhale a large breath of air as her legs began to slowly, and shakily, walk forwards.
Her dress glimmered in the dim light of the medieval building, capturing the eyes of the crowd, lighting up the very aisle as the long train behind her rippled with each step she took towards the altar.
But nobody, not even the keenest of dragon senses could see the pure beauty the way he did. With heat pooling in his belly, he watched the girl he loved make her way towards him, dazzling as brightly as the stars she wielded. His mouth ran dry, and his heart skipped many beats, making him question whether it was just his imagination. She appeared before him within a blink of an eye, and it was all to easy to just wash the others away.
"She's all yours, Natsu." Anna said, releasing her arm from Lucy's firm hold and winked at them both, gladly stepping back to let them take centre stage.
But neither mage heard her as their eyes connected for the first time, too enraptured by what stood before them, too absorbed in their own little world, and nothing could penetrate it.
"You… You look beautiful, Lucy." Natsu wasn't easy to fluster, but the pink tinge on his cheeks told her she'd succeeded. "Really… really beautiful…"
Her own bashfulness became evident too, her eyes soaking in his glorious form as if she'd been starved of him, "You're looking pretty good yourself, Natsu." She studied him up and down, her gaze becoming hungry for more. It wasn't very often she got to see his exceptionally toned body in something so formal, and she was totally going to make the most of it.
The playful wink and cute chuckle only served to make the pink on his cheeks grow darker, as if this was the first time she'd ever paid him a compliment.
‘Wasn't Lucy the one that usually reacted like this?’ He wondered, unsure why his face was suddenly feeling so hot.
“Although, I have to say, it’s still a little strange seeing you without your scarf on.” She admitted, unable to take her eyes away from his slender neck. Usually it didn’t come off until he was ready for bed… or other, less innocent things.
"You can thank Erza for that! She stole it from me and made me wear a damn tie instead." His petulant tone had the blonde sniggering into her hand, his instant annoyance enough to quash any tension left between them, "She even made Haru wear one."
Lucy glanced over to where Haru was sat in the crowd, who, although dressed in something entirely impractical for a toddler, was happily waving to his mother with the biggest grin on his face, "Poor guy…" She said, waving back, "He does look super cute in it though."
A loud cough from the front halted them in their tracks, finally breaking them out of their little bubble, "When you're quite finished." A loud voice echoed through the cathedral walls, making both mages stand to attention and face the front like naughty school children.
An older gentleman with a bald head and long beard stood before them, his bushy brows making it hard to see where his wrinkles stopped and his eyes began glared impatiently at the pair, tapping his fingers on the book he held in his hands, "Now, let's begin."
With an exaggerated sigh, his voice traipsed along the pages of his book, an aged tone that said he'd spoken these words all too many times before, had read those same lines, and joined countless lovers together in matrimony over the years. He was practised and poised, an elegant and poetic speaker, able to captivate his audience…
Unless they were Fairy Tail, of course, and more specifically a pink haired, impulsive dragon slayer, who's attention span rivalled that of a five year old. He'd zoned out the moment the old guy had started rambling, too interested in getting to the good bit—eating food and kissing Lucy, obviously.
It all sounded like drivel, mindless, unnecessary drivel, that seemed never ending, and the hall was so deafeningly quiet, which, was unnerving to say the least when trying to distract oneself.
Well, except for one faint noise, that was.
Thanks to his excellent hearing, he could hear little Haru babbling from the pews. He was being ever so quiet about it considering his lack of awareness for what was going on, and the sudden urge to turn around and take a peek at what he was doing seemed almost too much for the fire mage.
With the slightest quirk of his head, he glanced back to see the small boy playing with Happy's tail, minding his own business, perfectly content without him or Lucy there.
Satisfied to see the infant playing so calmly, Natsu went to turn back around again when a loud 'Daddy!' stopped him in his tracks. The small boy, who'd not been aware of his father's peeping only a moment ago, was now trying to scramble over the blue exceed to get to him.
"No Haru, you gotta stay there. Stay with Happy!" The desperate fire mage whispered, pointing to the cat as a sheepish grin took over at the chaos he'd caused. "Daddy will be over in a minute, kay?"
"You're making it worse, Natsu, turn around!" Lucy whispered rather loudly, never looking away from the old man still talking as she leaned in.
"Sorry Luce, but I could hear Haru talking to himself. I just wanted to see what he was doing." Natsu explained, rubbing the back of his head in habit, "Not my fault he caught me looking."
"You looked at him first, of course he was going to notice you." She said a little louder, enough that the people sat closest to them could hear.
And that was all he needed for the small smirk to creep its way onto his lips, "Oh, so you were watching, too?"
"N-No…" She stuttered, giving herself away, "I wasn't…"
"Okay, fine. But why do I have to listen to this and you don't? I'm just as bored as you are." She admitted, her whispers getting louder the more irate she became, "Do you know how many times I've had to keep myself from yawning? And I really need to pee, too!"
As important as she knew this part of the ceremony was, it didn't half drag. Couldn't they just say 'I do' and be done with it already? Who cared about some God when her feet were starting to hurt!?
"Well, aren't you full of surprises… Maybe you should've gone before." He sniggered, knowing exactly how to push her buttons, relishing in the glare that had imminent death written all over it.
“It’s not like I’m carrying your baby or anything…” She huffed, crossing her arms.
"Alright, if your that desperate, I could always make him go faster." His face lit up with the most mischievous grin, igniting a small flame on his pointer finger.
"Natsu! You can’t do that! You’ll get us kicked out!” She rolled her eyes, though she appreciated the sentiment.
"Aw, come on! Not even a little singe?" He pointed his fiery finger towards the man in front of them, edging it slowly closer on purpose, "His brows need taking back a bit, don't you think?"
Lucy chortled at the thought, highly amused by the man's enormous brows being set on fire and couldn't stop the giggles that followed, her restraint finally caving, "Maybe just a little bit!"
"Will you two pay attention and turn to face each other." The old man grumbled, none the wiser to their little inside jokes. "Present the rings."
The blonde continued to chuckle as she turned to face her partner in crime, her steady heart picking up pace a little now that they were staring right at each other.
His unwavering smile and silly behaviour was something she had always admired. His ability to lighten any situation, regardless of how grim it may seem, instantly had her smiling along, too.
"Now, Natsu, please say your vows."
Inhaling a deep breath, the young mage knew he'd never been good with words. Lucy had always been the speaker, the writer, the one able to talk her way out of most situations, and although the vows he'd prepared were not long like sappy love letters or poetic or book worthy, they came from the heart and that's all he could offer her.
"Luce… I gotta admit, I never saw this coming." He chuckled, his hand tangled into the hair at the back of his head, "And I know for sure you didn't either, but that's okay because no matter what happens, we'll always be Natsu and Lucy, and we'll always be partners."
Without looking away, he held her shaky hand and slipped the precious ring onto her finger with ease, her delicate skin soft against his loving warmth.
"I've always known you were special to me, it just took a while to realise how much, I guess… And apparently adopting a kid with your best friend isn't normal, so…" He shrugged nonchalantly, never giving it much thought, but earned a giggle from Lucy in return. "But I knew you'd put your all into being the best Mom you could, just like in everything you do. You're a super kind person with so much love to give, it's why you're so precious to me, and I wanna protect that with everything I've got. So, that's my promise to you, Lucy, I will protect your heart, so long as it continues to beat."
She gasped, feeling the air leave her lungs as if she'd been winded. It was short and to the point but those sweet sounding words of his, the very meaning behind them were enough to make her knees tremble. She stared, mouth agape at the man that stood before her, blown away by his promise, astounded that he'd once again found the perfect things to say.
A few unplanned tears escaped as she looked over to the little boy in the pews, then peered down to her rounded tummy, feeling the butterflies and the baby's movements fluttering around inside. So much had changed, and this would be a whole new chapter to add to their never ending adventure, an overwhelming thought that seemed all too much for her to get to grips with.
Feeling a warm hand cup her cheek she looked up to the sweet smile of her lover, the person that meant everything to her, and felt this fingers wipe away her tears. He always had a way of filling her with encouragement, even, it seemed, with just a single gesture.
"Thank you, Natsu. Now Lucy, you may begin." The old guy uttered, his gruff voice quieter than before.
Placing her free hand over the top of his, she brought them both to rest on her belly, her smile reaching her eyes as the small kicks poked at their skin, making them both chuckle.
"Natsu, there are so many things I could say that I admire about you; I could also find an equal amount of things that annoy me, too." His sudden pout made her giggle once again, along with the rest of the guild members, "But that doesn't matter, because that's the person I fell in love with. You're loyal, brave and strong; your silly, impulsive and like to fool about, but you also bring smiles to everyone around you, an ability that only you seem to possess.
I can't remember how many times you've shown me the light, lifted me up in my time of need and carried me until I could stand on my own two feet. Your presence and comfort has always been my safe place, somewhere I can call home. You're such a beautiful person, and I'm so lucky to be able to call you mine."
Tears began to fill her eyes again, and she was sure his had become a little watery too.
"So, in return for all that you do for me, and us as a family, I promise to play with your hair when your motion sick and rub your back when you eat too much." Natsu's cheeks lifted up to his eyes, scrunching them closed in amusement as she, too, grinned back at him.
"I promise to love you with all of my heart, to lift you up in your time of need and put a smile on your face when your feeling down. I promise to be loyal, brave, and strong for you, too; to fool about and make you laugh, and to always be there to stop you from going overboard.
I'll forever stand proudly at your side, and hold your hand through whatever life throws at us. You've shaped me into the person I am today, and if it weren't for you, I wouldn't have this wonderful life, such amazing friends, or a family to call my own." The tears that welled began to spill down her pink stained cheeks, but the smile that had been there all along never wavered from her lips, "You're my everything, Natsu, and you will be until the day I die."
A single tear drop slowly trickled down and dripped off of his chin as his breath hitched in his throat. As time once again stood still, it felt like he and Lucy were the only ones present; no longer able to see the guild watching their every move, or hear the grumpy old man scold them for not paying attention. Lucy was his sole focus and without waiting for the final lines to be read, the young groom impatiently pulled her in, and welded their lips together in a display of affection that had the crowd wooing and whistling for them in celebration.
"Congratulations to the happy couple!" Mira mewled, throwing confetti and flower petals over the two still very much consumed by one another.
"Can you believe it? After all these years, they're finally married!" Levy squealed in her excitement, deafening poor Gajeel in the process.
"Who'd have thought our boy, Natsu, would've ever settled down?" Wakaba stood from his seat, cigarette at the ready.
"Yep! It seems like only yesterday he was pulling pranks and starting fights with the other youngsters." Macao smirked, his arms crossed cockily over his chest.
"That's because it was yesterday, Dad! Natsu hasn't changed that much…" Romeo shook his head at the two old farts, but smiled when he looked back to his idol, "Then again, he does have a family now. I guess getting married just kinda made sense."
"Nothing they do makes sense, kid. You only have to look at 'em to see that." Laxus spoke from the pew behind, his thunder legion companions sat right along with him.
"Yes, but they have made their pairing work. As a team, they're like clockwork and as a couple, they're impenetrable." Erza's smile brightened her face as she glanced on at the two newly weds, proud of her friends and of how far they'd come.
"Alright guys, let's move this to the guild! I wanna get my booze on and the bar is waiting!" Cana yelled, drink bottle already in hand as she, along with most of the others filtered out of the cathedral, not wanting to spoil the couples moment.
Natsu and Lucy, however, were in a bubble all of their own; where soft, tinted lips met hot, firm ones in a passionate battle that neither wanted to lose. But the need for air was far stronger, forcing them to separate and stare into each others eyes as they caught their breaths.
"You know, you're supposed to wait for me to pronounce you husband and wife before embracing like that." The bushy browed man said from behind the altar, glowering at the couple he had no hope of controlling.
"Oh… uh, sorry about that… Kinda got swept up in the moment." Natsu grinned sheepishly, chuckling to ease the tension, while Lucy just hid herself behind him.
"Hmm… Well it doesn't matter now. What does is that you are legally bound. Good luck to you both."
They watched the man take his leave, only then noticing that the hall was empty, "Huh… Where'd everybody go?" The fire mage was sure the hall had been filled just a moment ago.
"So you guys finally came up for air, huh?" Gray walked over, he and Juvia, along with Happy and Haru the only ones left. "Everyone's gone back to the guild to wait instead of watch you both suck face. Seriously, how long can you hold your breath for?"
An oblivious Natsu only shrugged, but a blushing Lucy was quick to hide her face from Gray's knowing smirk, turning the opposite way to where Juvia was standing with the little baby in her arms, and the blonde's face lit up instantly, "Oh, look at him! Isn't he just the sweetest? And he didn't cry once throughout the whole thing! What a little sweetheart!"
"Yes, Juvia is quite surprised herself that he stayed quiet. Juvia can't say he does the same at night though." The water mage chuckled through her tiredness, a look Lucy was all too familiar with, "But Juvia doesn't mind, not when Gray is so willing to get up with him."
"Aww, Daddy Gray to the rescue, huh? And here I thought you were worried about the whole thing. Looks like you're doing just fine to me!" Lucy said, turning her attention to the ice mage standing there.
"Worried? Who said I was-?" And then it clicked, "Natsu! You told Lucy what I said? That was just between us!" Gray turned to the fire mage, who, had since recovered his own son from the pews, walking him back to where they were all standing.
"Yeah, I know. That's why I only told Lucy, duh!"
"Don't 'duh' me, you weren't supposed to tell anybody, and that includes Lucy!" If he could've smacked his head on a wall, he would've… Or better yet, smack Natsu's!
"But I tell Lucy everything…"
"Oh, you do, do you? That's funny, because I'm certain there's something you haven't told her yet, right?" The look of fear that flashed across Natsu's face was enough to make the ice mage drop his annoyance in favour of revenge.
"Not told me what? Did something happen?" Lucy cocked her head as she looked up from the cooing baby, her sights flickering between the squabbling duo scowling at each other.
"Should I tell her, Natsu?" Gray's smirk was almost sickening, his own pleasure outweighing the consequences.
"Don't you dare, Popsicle!" The fire mage bit out through gritted teeth, "Or I'll rearrange your face with my fist!" If looks could kill…
"Is anyone going to tell me what's going on?" The curious look on Lucy's face quickly turned to frustration the longer she was kept waiting, "Natsu?" Slowly she traipsed her way over, backing him against the rows of benches.
"Uh oh! Looks like hell is about to break loose..." Happy sniggered from his perch on the altar, high fiving Haru as he began to giggle, too.
"Oh dear… You may have started something there, Gray dear." Juvia said, passing the sleepy newborn over to his father.
"Nah! Natsu had this one coming." He sniggered, shushing the baby back to sleep.
A vein popping on her forehead, Lucy's irritation had just about reached breaking point, "Speak!"
Swallowing thickly, the young man looked up to his very new, very pregnant wife, just like he knew he'd have to and wished momentarily that the ground would swallow him whole, "Well… Uh… I-It's kind of… Um…" What was he supposed to say? "I-I was playing with Haru this morning and, u-uh, stuff happened and our bed is now… gone."
Raising a brow, the girl looked even more confused, "Gone? What do you mean, it's gone?"
"Gone… As in it was there… and now its not." He really wasn't doing himself any favours.
"Happy did it!" He panicked.
"Hey! No I didn't, you burnt it! You let Haru play with your fire, not me! I warned you it would end badly, but you wouldn't listen and now-"
"You did what?!" Her eyes were blood red as she glared at the suspecting dragon slayer, her hair reminiscent of a certain Satan soul mage. “You burnt down our bed?!”
It was in times like this he was glad that she couldn't out run him, especially not at the moment, as he pegged it for the exit.
"Natsu Dragneel! Just you wait 'til I get my hands on you!"
Her yelling from behind reminded him of all the times he'd found himself in this exact predicament, whether it be from destroying a building or their bed, it brought a smile to his lips at just how familiar it all felt. It seemed as their evolving relationship and family changed and grew, his vows rang true, they would always be Natsu and Lucy, and that would forever be the same.
With one solid push of the large cathedral doors, he opened them wide, allowing the natural afternoon light seep into the old walls. Readjusting the boy in his arms, and with Happy flying over head, he chanced a small glance back at his livid wife stalking her way over to him, and grinned mischievously, sealing his already doomed fate with his final words, "Come on then, Luce! But you'll have to catch me first!"
Thanks for reading!
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