Disclaimer: All Fairy Tail Characters Belong to Hiro Mashima
Come What May
"Mommy, am I going to get to wear a pretty dress?" Five-year-old Asuka asked from the back seat of the car. She was very excited at the prospect of attending her first wedding, her little body bouncing in her car seat.
"Of course, honey. You know your uncles love to see you in a dress," Bisca answered.
Asuka hummed to herself as she played with some of the toys that had been placed in the back seat for the long ride.
"So there's something we wanted to talk to you about, Asuka," Bisca began. "You know what love is right?"
"Yes, mommy. It's like when you and daddy kiss," Asuka said as she wrinkled her nose, causing her three-year-old brother to giggle. "It's gross."
"You won't always think it's gross," Alzack laughed from the driver's seat.
"Anyway, yes that's part of it, but there's more to it than that. Love is a feeling. It's something you feel when you meet someone that is special to you. You want to be with them all the time, and they make you want to be the best that you can be."
Asuka looked a little more interested.
"The important thing to understand is that it's not something you can control. It can happen between any two people."
"Right, then they get married and become mommies and daddies and have babies. I know this already," Asuka said, sounding bored.
"Yes, it can happen that way, but when I say it can happen between any two people I mean any two people. It can be two boys or two girls just as easily as it can be a boy and a girl."
Asuka's eyes opened wide at this information. "So, two boys can be in love or two girls?"
"That's right, and that's okay because the love is what's important, not the who."
Alzack looked back for a second to see Asuka's reaction.
"So Uncle Natsu and Uncle Gray are in love?"
"Yes, of course, that's why we're going to their wedding."
"So they're going to get married and become daddies and have babies?" Asuka asked, her tone thoughtful.
"Uhm, maybe someday? That's a conversation for another day. Today we're talking about love."
Asuka remained quiet for a long while, long enough for her parents to think she had fallen asleep.
"It's still weird."
"What is, honey?" Bisca asked.
"Boys being in love." Asuka seemed thoughtful. "Do they kiss?"
"Yes, haven't you seen Uncle Natsu and Uncle Gray kiss? They do it all the time." Bisca reminded her with a smile.
"It's gross." Asuka wrinkled her nose.
"Well, at least you're consistent." Alzac laughed at his five-year-old daughter's observations on love. Twenty minutes later both kids had fallen asleep, and Bisca found herself thinking back to the years she had lived in Boston when everything was so new, and Natsu had come into her life.
She had left the subway stop and walked onto the campus, looking everywhere for a directory so that she could find where the Cullinane Hall building was located. The building she was looking for was located on the other side of the campus, and she made her way over there, paying careful attention as she got lost easily. She would be one of the oldest students in the Computer Science department since she had enrolled as an undergraduate. She finally arrived at the building she thought was the correct one and stood in front of it nervously.
"This building used to be an automotive school for rich boys to learn how to drive and fix cars."
Bisca startled and looked around, trying to find the owner of the voice. Her eyes finally settled on a boy who was standing by the stairs smiling down at her. He was of average height but had rather unaverage short pink hair and an earring on his left ear. He also looked like he might explode if he didn't move soon. He took out a cigarette and tried to light it with a shaking hand. Bisca grabbed his lighter and helped him.
"Is that so?" She responded to his earlier comment, trying to feign interest because he seemed nice.
"Yep." He nodded and after a pause added, "You're new."
Bisca looked at him with interest. "I am, how did you know that? Do you know all the students in this department?"
Natsu snorted. "There aren't a lot of girls in computer science, especially not cute ones."
"Oh, uhm, thanks. I think." Bisca figured she should tell him she had a boyfriend but decided against it. He wasn't really giving off the vibe that he was hitting on her, it had sounded more like an observation.
"First time here?" Natsu asked her. Classes wouldn't actually start until the next day. He offered her a cigarette, and she accepted politely. She didn't smoke often, but she had picked up the habit of smoking socially at her previous university.
"I think you'll like it here." Natsu smiled reassuringly after she had nodded. "My name is Natsu Dragneel by the way."
"Bisca, huh?" Natus smiled again. "I think we're going to be great friends."
They spent the rest of the day together. He showed her around the campus and even helped her get a job on campus. He talked the System Administrator into hiring her by pointing out she was older than the other students and likely more responsible. She had hugged Natsu gratefully - she really needed the money, and he seemed really happy to be able to help. He was this bundle of nervous energy that talked non stop and was full of facts about everything. He had grown up in Greece and was now a sophomore who could speak multiple languages. He was really smart, and Bisca adored him right away.
Natsu was right, they quickly became great friends - best friends. Bisca thought of him as the little brother she had always wanted but never had. Natsu stayed over at her apartment often, mostly because he didn't really like his roommate. She didn't mind having him around because he was an excellent cook. He and her futon were on amicable terms.
Natsu had been dating Bisca's friend Lucy for a few months when he learned that she was cheating on him with their friend Loke. Natsu, being who he was, forgave them and continued to be Lucy's friend, but he had a hard time recovering from it. He was often sad and distant. Bisca tried to think of ways to cheer him up, but it was hard since she had since moved to Boston and Lucy was one of her roommates. So instead of staying in they would walk around Boston for hours and talk.
She learned about how his mother had died from cancer when he was very young and how he still missed her. How he was the middle brother with all that entailed. How hard it was for him to be so far from his family. She grew even more protective of him - if that was even possible. They loved each other deeply.
Natsu did betray her trust once, but Bisca easily forgave him, she wouldn't be alive if he hadn't. Things in her own life had not been going so well, and in a fit of depression, she had taken a lot of pills. She hadn't wanted to be alone so she had called Natsu and they had gone walking around the city like they often did. When her behavior became increasingly erratic, he soon figured out something was wrong. He demanded answers and when she confessed what she had done he had gotten on his phone and dragged her home without saying another word.
That day was the first time that Bisca had ever seen Natsu be angry with her although it took her years to realize the look in his eyes had never been anger, it had been fear at almost losing her to the darkness she tried to hide from everyone. They didn't have many people in their lives but ever since the day they'd met they'd had each other, and she almost took that from him.
When they returned to her apartment, there was an ambulance waiting to take her away. Natsu was always by her side during her recovery, even when her parents came to visit to try to figure out what was wrong with her. He knew she didn't want to talk to them, so he stayed by her side, counting on her parents being too polite to ask him to leave.
Many years and adventures passed. Bisca had moved to New Hampshire and met Alzack, but Natsu was still alone. Bisca worried that he never talked about anyone he liked, never seemed to go out on dates and seemed just generally sad, but he would never tell her what was bothering him.
One day Bisca came home to the apartment she now shared with Alzack to find Natsu waiting for her. It was unusual for him to show up unannounced and that already had her on edge, the look on his face scared her further.
They sat down under a tree in her front yard in silence.
"Can you please just tell me what's the matter, you're scaring me," Bisca finally said when she couldn't take it anymore.
"I-- I have something to tell you, and I don't know what you're going to think of me afterwards," Natsu said softly.
"There's nothing you could say that would make me think less of you, you know that," Bisca tried to reassure him.
"Don't fucking say that!" Natsu growled. "You don't know what I'm going to say."
"Ok, you're right. I'm sorry."
Natsu looked down at the grass and said, "I'm gay."
"You're gay?" Bisca said confused., "But you were dating Lucy….."
"Well, technically I'm bisexual, but I mostly prefer guys." Natsu looked up at her waiting for her reaction.
Bisca was quiet, she didn't really know what to say. Sure it shocked her a little, but mostly because as close as they were she had never noticed it. It changed nothing about who he was. She didn't understand why he seemed so anxious for her reaction. He was Natsu, for God's sakes. She didn't care who he dated, she just wanted him to be happy.
"Well? I fucking drove forty-five minutes and waited an hour for you to get home to tell you this."
"I'm sorry, I was just expecting you to tell me something was wrong. Thank God, for a second there I was worried you were going to tell me you were in love with me or something." Bisca smiled at him as she pulled him into a hug. "Does this mean you've been dating and not telling me?"
"You wish!" Natsu snorted as he pulled out of her hug. "Not really. To tell the truth, I don't seem to have much luck with either gender, I just felt guilty hiding it from you all this time. You've always been honest with me."
"I didn't think this had to be said, but the look in your eyes tells me different. I love you, Natsu and I don't care who you love as long as they make you happy. I don't see you any differently, if that's what you were worried about, you're still the same pain in my ass you have been since the day we met. I'm a little insulted you'd think so little of me."
Natsu looked at her and smiled for the first time since he had gotten there. "I'm sorry, it happens more than you might think."
"Are you telling me people stopped being friends with you because you're bisexual?"
Natsu nodded sadly.
"Well, they're just dicks who didn't deserve the awesomeness that is you," Bisca retorted. She gestured at herself playfully and teased. "At least you've still got all of this!"
Natsu rolled his eyes at her. "Don't tell Alzack, okay?"
"I really don't think he'd have a problem with it."
"It's hard to tell how guys will react. Please?"
"Okay, I won't tell him, but you should tell him eventually. Come on," Bisca said as she dragged him inside, "you're making dinner. You so owe me for scaring me like that."
"Whatever, you just don't want to cook."
"You know me so well." Bisca grinned. "You're going to make someone an awesome wife someday."
Bisca laughed, happy to hear the fire back in his voice as they bickered back and forth while they walked around her kitchen trying to figure out what to make with the ingredients on hand.
Bisca soon came to learn that Natsu wasn't kidding when he said that he really didn't have luck with men. It seemed everyone he met was either only interested in flings or themselves. No matter how much he tried, love escaped him. They had plenty of phone conversations over the years where he would relate his horror stories, and she would try to make him feel better.
One day, Bisca got a phone call from Natsu asking her to meet him for dinner in Boston. She was only half paying attention, she was very pregnant with her first child, and in the process of moving to a new house, so she missed the excitement in his voice. They agreed to meet on a day when she was supposed to pick her mother up at the airport.
Bisca waddled her way over to Faneuil Hall where they had agreed to meet and saw something she had resigned herself to never see. Natsu was standing there with another man, and he was practically glowing with excitement. He introduced her to his new boyfriend, a guy by the name of Gray Fullbuster.
It was obvious they had chemistry, and Gray seemed to be genuinely interested in Natsu. They had an enjoyable dinner. Natsu told her about how they had met at a party and had hit it off. After speaking with him for a short while Bisca was able to know that Gray was smart, kind and funny and she liked him right away. She couldn't help but notice how they always managed to be touching even while talking and she wondered if they even noticed they were doing it. They kissed in front of her a few times, and Bisca found herself smiling at the sight. As the evening came to an end, Natsu took her aside, and she was able to quickly give the approval that he was so clearly waiting for. Frankly, she was so ecstatic to see him happy for once that she was almost able to ride the high through her mother's two weeks visit. Almost, but not entirely, her mother was a rather complicated individual.
Natsu and Gray were doing well together, and after a few years, they had moved in together. They would come to visit Bisca and Alzack and their little girl Asuka often. Asuka loved her Uncle Natsu and Uncle Gray. They would play with her, and she could often be seen in hysterics between the two of them. It was no different when Bisca and Alzack had their second child, a boy by the name of Quinlan. Until the sad day when Natsu and Gray announced they would be moving to California. Bisca was devastated, but she could see how happy they were and she knew it would be good for them.
They made a point of flying back to Boston once a year, and they would always come to visit them on the way to Vermont where Gray's family lived. Bisca and Natsu kept in touch. Life continued this way until the day she got the phone call from Natsu telling her that he was engaged. Gray had rented a hot air balloon and proposed. The wedding was going to be in Vermont, the first week of November and Bisca could not be more excited for her friend.
Unfortunately for them, Hurricane Sandy hit the Thursday before their wedding. They had to scramble and rework the whole event as the hurricane had damaged the locations they had so painstakingly chosen for their ceremony and reception but with a lot of work and help from friends and family, they were able to pull it off.
"Hey, are you okay? You look like you're a million miles away." Alzac's words broke through her thoughts, and she looked at him with a smile.
"I'm fine, I was just thinking," Bisca said, and she felt herself getting weepy. "I just can't believe it's finally happening for him, you know?"
"Natsu's a good guy, he's been through a lot. He deserves to be happy." Alzac watched her and said, "Listen, the kids are still asleep, why don't you stay here while I go get us checked in?"
Bisca nodded and shot him a grateful smile. She watched her kids sleep as she got herself back under control. Alzac returned a few minutes later, and they began the long process of getting luggage and two sleepy kids into their hotel room.
The next day went by in a blur, the only place Natsu and Gray had been able to get in such short notice was a girl scout camp. They spent a lovely day mingling with the other guests and getting to meet Gray's family while participating in activities like kayaking, swimming, and hiking. Natsu and Gray had hired a magician, and Asuka sat with them to watch the show. She dragged Natsu up on stage to help her be an assistant. Natsu carried her on his shoulders for a large part of the day, stopping only when Gray pretend fought him for the right to do the same. Asuka giggled and hugged them both, while Bisca and Alzack watched on with a smile.
The next morning Bisca sat in their hotel room getting Asuka ready. She had painted the little girl's nails, styled her hair and put on her dress as Asuka talked excitedly about her two uncles and everything they had done the day before.
"Can we go visit them in California sometime, Mommy?" Asuka asked, her eyes bright with excitement. "Uncle Gray said he'd take us to the zoo!"
"We'll see sweetie." Bisca chuckled as she thought of poor Gray getting dragged around the San Diego Zoo by an eager five-year-old. She sent Azuka over to Alzac and got herself ready.
In another thirty minutes they were all set to go, and they headed back to the camp. They had somehow managed to turn the camp into a beautiful, romantic setting complete with flowers to help brighten the mostly barren flora that had already shed its fall foliage. A string quartet played music in the background while kids ran around with small bottles of bubble solution and Asuka was soon at play, her little brother trailing behind her.
"There you are." A well-loved voice came up behind her. "Can you help me with this thing? Gray's not supposed to see me before the ceremony." Natsu handed her a bow tie, and she put it on him carefully, making sure that both sides were even before letting go and admiring her best friend.
"Not bad," Bisca teased as she grinned at him.
"Fuck you, I'll have you know, I look amazing in this."
Hearing him curse reminded her of one of her memories from the previous day and she snickered. Natsu instantly asked, "What's so funny?"
"I always did say you'd make someone an awesome wife someday."
"Yeah, you did." Natsu agreed and laughed with her. He hugged her tightly, kissing her on the head. "Thank you for sticking with me all these years, I know I didn't always make it easy."
"Don't you dare make me cry, Natsu Dragneel. I actually wore makeup for this." Bisca mock threatened him as she swatted him playfully.
She caught a glimpse of Gray walking towards the archway they had set up for the ceremony. He looked very handsome in his wedding tux. "You might want to move, Gray's headed this way."
"Oh, crap! I'll see you later. Save me a dance, okay?" She quickly nodded, and he ran off, back to wherever he was supposed to be getting ready. She made her way back to her family, and they found seats on Natsu's side. Asuka watched everything around her in awe, fascinated by the fancy clothes and decorations. She asked a million questions and somehow managed to stay quiet during the ceremony, watching with wonder as her uncles became husband and husband.
Bisca had just finished her cake when she felt a tap on her shoulder and looked up to see Natsu offering her his hand, a broad and somewhat buzzed grin on his face. She let him lead her to the dance floor. Just as they were about to begin, they were interrupted by Asuka and Quinlan running across the dance floor with Alzack and Gray giving chase.
Natsu and Bisca laughed at the helpless expressions on their spouses' faces before turning back towards each other. "We did good, didn't we?" Natsu said softly, putting his arms around her waist and holding her close.
"Yeah, we really did." Bisca agreed happily as they swayed to the music. She was glad that Natsu had found Gray and that they were about to embark on their happily ever after - it was all she'd ever wanted for him.
Both of their lives had been hard, but they had managed to fight through all of the self-doubt and negativity to reach moments like this. They'd finally found their place in the world and someone they loved to share it with, and that made all of their hardships feel worthwhile. Though they knew their lives would continue to change over the years, they felt solace in the knowledge that, come what may, they would always have each other.