Lisanna had smiled at her one day and, in her disarmingly Lisanna-way, immediately assumed an expression that suggested a situation of the upmost gravity and importance.
She'd told her (still looking as though she were practicing to cosplay a judge) that she understood that she and Natsu had gone their separate ways long ago and that she was willing to trade Natsu's hand in marriage over to Lucy in exchange for a commissioned story about the adventures of a magical princess who could turn into a penguin and partial custody of Happy.
Lucy had agreed ("Umm…ok?" had been her exact words), but mostly because she was very confused and thinking more about penguin-girls than the implication that Lisanna thought she should marry Natsu. She tried not to question it when she found herself plotting out a tale about the many adventures of the Great Emperor Pengirl.
It wasn't until Mirajane asked if she and Cancer had gotten a chance to experiment with wedding hairstyles yet that she realized that Lisanna had somehow been serious. She'd been unable to answer, especially after Mira pulled out the magazine full of possibilities that she and Lisanna had circled with red marker.
Lovely and sweet as they were, the Strauss sisters had never really been considered completely sane, so Lucy was able to eventually convince herself that the whole affair was the result of some sort of strange Take-Over magic gone wrong.
By the time Erza began pulling white dresses out of one of her many trunks a few weeks later, Lucy had been able to muster a half-hearted protest.
The red head had shown up to her apartment with her huge, lumbering cart and most of the female members of Fairy Tail. No one was moved by the mostly incoherent words that had spilled out of Lucy's mouth. She wasn't even sure they'd heard her over the discussion concerning the logistics of keeping her in a strapless dress.
They cornered her in her bedroom and started pulling her clothes off before she had a chance to defend herself (not that she could have done much anyway). A stern look from the Titania of Fairy Tail had promptly wilted the shreds of her resolve, and she reluctantly allowed the assembled mages to force her into dozens of silky dresses.
She supposed she ought to have felt accustomed to such treatment (given her track record with Virgo on missions), but the entire affair left her feeling somewhat violated. Although, she privately admitted, the pretty white dress left hanging in her closet did look absolutely ravishing (it was a shame that she had no idea when she was supposed to wear it).
Two months after her rather bizarre interactions with the other females of Fairy Tail, Lucy began to feel a bit more at ease. There had been no further discussion of wedding attire, and no one had tried to breach the subject of cake flavors or registry lists. She'd been fairly certain that she'd seen Lisanna abruptly hide a box of fabric swatches underneath Mirajane's voluptuous skirts, but she had eventually dismissed it as a paranoid hallucination.
Lucy decides to allow her life to continue as always; she goes on jobs with Natsu during the day, and tries to keep him from falling asleep in her bed at night. She would be writing her novel in between, but she finds herself somewhat transfixed on Pen-girl's heroic rescue of the sensitive Beast of the North from the secretly sweet She-Devil of the South.
Lucy does not conduct an extensive search of her closet in order to find the necklace her mother wore when she married Lucy's father. She does not contemplate whether or not Dragneel sounds like a good name for a published author. At least, she doesn't let anyone know that she does.
Weeks go by, and Lucy sheepishly tucks her mother's necklace into her jewelry box.
Then, Lucy starts to notice even stranger things.
She and her team had finished another quest, and, somehow, despite all expectations, managed to earn the entirety of their reward (mostly thanks to the generous nature of their employer). Erza, naturally, was given the task of dividing it evenly amongst them, and Lucy was somewhat baffled when the usually strict mage handed Lucy twice what was her due while giving Natsu nothing. Sure, Natsu had nearly burnt down their employer's prized stables, but he'd also protected the entire estate from the roving bandits, hadn't he? Lucy thought that he probably deserved his share of the reward.
She handed half of the jewels back, and then it was Erza's turn to be confused. The requip mage explained that she felt certain that Lucy was in charge of "their" household accounts because she knew Natsu was rather useless with money. Lucy had been speechless. She hadn't even been aware that she'd had a household account. She definitely didn't know she shared it with Natsu.
It wasn't until she'd come home to Natsu eating out of her fridge that she realized he'd never actually objected to Lucy being entrusted with his share of the reward like it was a natural thing.
Flustered at the revelation, Lucy complains to Natsu, insisting that he should at least have the good grace to pay part of her rent if he was going to constantly take up space in her apartment. She feels awkward when she realizes that she is still holding his share of their job pay, so she tells him that she'll accept it as back pay, but he'll have to make a change if he expects her to keep putting up with him. Then, she shuffles off to her bathroom and hopes he's gone when she gets out of the shower.
Unsurprisingly, he is not.
It isn't until three days later, when she returns to her apartment heavily laden with shopping bags acquired in a splurging spree with Erza, that Lucy finds herself to be surprised.
She tries to throw her bags on her bed and her keys on her table, but everything clatters noisily to the floor. The crashes and crunches echo off of her empty walls because her bed and table aren't the only things missing.
She tracks Natsu down by luring Happy to her with a plate of fish and then catnapping him and extracting the information out of him. She's angry when she slams open the door to the little house Natsu shares with Happy, but, at the sight of familiar furniture covered in books and the color pink, she can only stand frozen in the doorway. Natsu smiles and tells her she looks weird with her mouth hanging open.
She's not too ashamed to admit that she fled the scene, but only because she'd fled directly to Cana and all of her waiting barrels of booze. Lucy's drunk enough to admit just about anything, and, in a span of two and a half hours, she divulges the location of Lisanna's promised manuscript, asks Mirajane if her mother's necklace is too long to go with the neckline of her wedding gown, informs Erza that she'd been hoping for a cake covered in buttercream and little pink stars, and summons Cancer just to tell him that she'd decided on the hairstyle involving the little tiara without the veil.
She's vaguely aware that Mirajane has slipped some sort of crinkly monstrosity over her head while Erza had pinned a garish flashing pin to her shirt. She can't read what it says. At one point she thinks Loke shows up and propositions her ("Lucy, my princess, while your heart may belong to another, don't you want to allow yourself a taste of what might have been? Let me have one night of passion before I have to let you go.").
Somewhere between one fruity beverage and the next, she wonders if this is supposed to be her bachelorette party.
She's mumbling about who should walk her down the aisle-Makarov? Gray? Macao? Erza?-when Natsu shows up and throws her over his shoulder. Her ungraceful exit is accompanied by more than a few squeals and catcalls.
She's vaguely aware of landing in her soft bed, although she feels oddly disoriented. Her dreams are hazy.
When Lucy wakes up, it is to Mirajane's sunny smile and the ominous snip of Cancer's scissors. She rubs the blurriness from her eyes as Lisanna squeals in her ear. She still feels half-drunk and has no idea where she is. She is ripped cruelly out of bed, and, before even getting a chance to request a glass of water, she finds herself shoved into a cold shower, restrained in some sort of chair, twirled in front of a mirror, covered in yards of lace, and giggled over more times than she can count. Everything appears to be a whirl of color and fabric, scents and sounds.
She catches the feeling of Erza sliding the cold chain of her mother's necklace gently around her neck and of Mirajane planting a warm, loving kiss on her temple. She can't help but smile into Lisanna's overwhelming grin, and at one point she finds herself comforting a weeping Juvia, even though she doesn't quite understand the girl's tears. She notices that all of the girls are wearing the same dress. She feels happy, but also extremely confused. She still wants a glass of water.
She's carefully helped into a rented car, and, even as she realizes that she'd woken up at Natsu's, she finds herself standing behind a dense group of trees in Magnolia's sakura grove. Wendy is standing in front of her, wearing a sweet pink dress, just a few shades lighter than all the other girls'. She holds Lucy's hands and giggles, casting Troia before she skips away. Someone shoves a bouquet of flowers into Lucy's hands as soft music begins to play.
Lucy's senses sharpen just in time to notice that she's wearing white, listening to Wagner, and watching Wendy scatter rose petals. Then, Capricorn is wrapping her hand around his arm and gently pulling her down an aisle lined with the faces of every single person she loves, except one.
The last face is waiting for her at the end, grinning like he hasn't a care in the world, although a twinkle in his eyes tells her that he might have been planning this all along.
"Oh, hey," Natsu smiles, "did you know we were getting married?"