The storm never seemed stop, the lighting cracking in the distance over the sea. The light of the lightning showing glimpses of my destination. My dreams were almost about to come true. I was going to join the infamous Fairy Tail guild! After traveling for a year, I decided to re-join a guild, after my past guild, well that`s another story.
I finally reached the large wooden doors, whipping the rain from my face as I pushed the doors open and entered the Fairy Tail guild hall. People sat at various tables, drinking from wooden tankards. Only one table looked up as I entered. The table I was looking for. It was the same people I had helped out defeating the Oracion Seis a few months ago.
"Hey you made it." Natsu said, was it Natsu? Or was it something else?
"Yeah, I finally decided to come." I said, I turned and saw my Exeed friend, Fozana, shake the water droplets out of her brown fur.
"You could have picked a better day to travel!" She complained.
The others said their greetings then went back to their drinks. Natsu stood up and gestured for him to follow.
"Come on I'll show you to the old man. It will be fun having another Dragon Slayer here. Can't wait to fight ya!" Natsu proclaimed, his fist punching his open palm.
I gave him a soft laugh. "You think you'll win? My water with douse your flames!" I joked back.
I didn't need to be facing Fozana to she her roll her green eyes. Natsu let out a chuckle.
He stopped at a short old man sitting on top of the counter, a wooden tankard in his hand.
"Master Makarov, this is Eyrx. He helped us out with the Oracion Seis." Natsu explained.
Master Makarov? It can't be the same. I thought, remembering my old guild's tales about Makarov Dreyar. Stop it! I schooled myself, I can't think about my old guild anymore, too many memories.
"Master, it is a pleasure to meet one of the ten Wizard Saints." I said, giving him a slight bow.
Master Makarov let out a long laugh, making me flinch. "That is the first time someone bowed to me in decades!"
I felt my face flush with embarrassment.
"Oh Master I think it's nice." The silver haired woman next to him said.
"You just for that, I'll let you join." Master Makarov said. Natsu let a large toothy grin form on his face, the corners of his mouth almost reaching his pink hair.
The silver haired woman reached under the counter, pulling out the guild stamp. "Now where do you want your mark?" She asked in her sweet voice.
"Right here." I pointed to a spot on my upper left arm, below the band of fur wrapped around my bicep, it was the only gift my dragon, Agrafura, had given me before she disappeared.
I felt a smile form on my lips as the Fairy Tail guild mark was placed on me....
I shuffled into my apartment with a groan. The two week adventure in Edolas was long and arduous. Seeing my alternate dimension self was hard as well. Did a really sound like that?
I let my clothes pile in a heap in the bathroom, stepping into the warm shower. Feeling the warm water cascade over me felt amazing. Being a water Dragon Slayer water tempature did not matter to me, to others the water would burn their skin.
After the shower I got into my warm pajamas, it felt good to not be wearing the same thing for two weeks, Edolas clothes were not that comfortable. I laid down on my comfortable bed, feeling the mattress envelope me. A let out a loud yawn and rolled over on my side. That is when I felt him. Pink hair stuck out of my blue comforter. I pulled the blanket back to see that I was correct. It was Natsu in my bed. Who else but him?
"Natsu," I say my voice having a slight edge.
"Hey Eyrx," He mumbled in his sleepy voice, and rolled over taking half the blanket with him.
"Soo... Why are you in my bed?!" I asked him pulling the blanket back.
"Your bed is soo soft! And Happy hogs the bed anyway!" Natsu said back. "Now give me the blanket back guppee!" He mocked and took the blanket back.
I was so tired, I could barely keep my eyes open. I let out a long groan then flopped back onto the mattress, taking some of the blanket. I quickly fell asleep with Natsu's back against mine.
Sunlight filtered through the crack between the curtains, as I slowly blinked my brown eyes open. I felt a warm heavy weight on my side, hot air blowing on the back of my neck. My eyes widened in realization. Natsu slept in my bed last night, and sometime during the night he had rolled over. I didn't know what to do. Do I move his arm off? Or do I just lay here and wait a few minutes until he wakes? I chose the later, I let out a long breath, and relaxed in his half embrace. Today would be the two month mark of me joining Fairy Tail and Natsu and I have gone on many missions together just the two of us. We have become close in those two months. Edolas made us even closer.
I don't even know if he likes me like that. Hell, I don't even know if I like him like that! Natsu made a grumbling noise, interrupting my thoughts. He used his arm and pulled me closer against him. I was tense in his grasp, I had many confusing thoughts these past couple of months about my "preference". I don't even know if Natsu likes guys, I don't know if do either.
I decided to just give up, I leaned more into his embrace, realizing that his scent had more of pine smell then the usual smokey smell he usually has.
"Good morning..." Natsu grumbled in a sleep like daze. He didn't realize that he had one of his arms wrapped around me.
I didn't respond, acting like that I was still asleep.
"I know your're awake. I woke up a few minutes before you." Natsu said, losing the sleepy grumble to his voice.
"I...I.." I stammered, I didn't know what to say. My face pink as Natsu's hair.
"I understand. I like you too." Natsu said, pulling me against his chest.
My eyes widen in shock. Natsu saying those words had made me decide if I like him or not.
"What do you mean by like?" I asked, knowing that Natsu could be a little dense about these things.
Like as in like like." He responded matter of factly.
"Oh..." I began, not knowing what to say. "Well I like you too."
"Great!" Natsu said. I didn't need to be facing him to see his toothy grin.
To my suprise, he kissed the back of my neck. And got out of bed.
"You should hurry up guppee! There's a cool job I want us to do! Come'on!!!" Natsu said, grabbing my wrist and pulling me out of bed. I couldn't keep myself from smiling....
The job was straight forward enough, apprehend a few bandits that were camped out a few miles west of Magnolia. Which was because we didn't need to use any forms of transportation. Thank the spirits! I can't deal with Natsu's motion sickness. Somehow I'm not plagued with it. I walked beside Natsu, the trees slightly ruffled by the wind.
"It's such a nice day. Too bad we have to capture some bandits.." I muttered.
"Well let's hurry! I'm all fired up!" Natsu proclaimed grabbing my hand in a run.
I'm still not used to the fact that Natsu and I are together. It feels like a dream, hopefully I never wake.
Natsu pulled me along the trail, the trees running by in a green blur. Until we came to the cave where the bandits were.
The cave entrance was more of a cleft in the high cliff. A painted seal was above the entrance. The seal made me stop dead in my tracks. It can't be!
It was the mark of my old guild, Serpents Shard, a green snake wrapped around a dagger.
"Eyrx are you alright?"Natsu asked, looking back.
"What?" I asked, I was still deep in thought. "Ye-yeah I'm fine." I finished giving him a slight smile.
I took his hand again, and entered the cave, following the narrow tunnel that led into a large cavern. I tightened my grip on Natsu's hand as we entered the cavern. I saw more of the markings on the wall. Seeing each one bring back memories, I tried to suppress.
"Are you sure your okay?" Natsu asked, worry in his voice.
"No... I'm not." I said, utter fear rushing through my stomach.
Natsu put one of his strong arms around me, I let my face fall into the crook of his neck. Feeling the tears of fear running down my face.
"So the Sea Viper returns to his master." A familiar voice rand through the cavern. A voice I hoped to never hear again. I left Natsu's embrace and took a few steps deeper in the cavern. Natsu still had a protective hand on my hip.
The source of the voice entered into the shaft of light pooling from the top of the cavern. The person before me made my knees buckle. My face went ashen.
"Ri-Riviori." I stammered out.
It was my old guild master, from Serpents Shard.
"You seemed surprised Sea Viper. You should not be afraid of an old man like me." Riviori said with a wicked smile.
Even after two years he still looked the same. Broad shoulders, and muscled arms. Purple paint, running in bands around his biceps. He still radiated power.
"Besides you were once the second strongest in Serpents Shard! You've killed more powerful people then me." He said with a chuckle.
"What? Eyrx what is he talking about?" Natsu asked, keeping his one hand at my hip.
"Your boyfriend seems to be locked in fear for the moment, so I will explain. You see, Eyrx here used to be part of my dark guild Serpents Shard. Where he grew strong and powerful, mastering his Water Dragon Slayer art. But then two years ago, he led a mutiny against me with one of the new recruits. The new recruit almost killed me, but I survived. The recruit did not."
I felt more tears run down my face, as I leaned back against Natsu's chest, trying to get away from Riviori.
"Oh did I mention that he only did assassination jobs? He even kill one of Ten Wizard Saints."
I felt my face go ashen. My eyes widened in shock. Riviori had removed the curtain covering my past. A past I wanted forgotten. Natsu didn't respond from Riviori's words, though the hand on my hip went slack.
"Natsu I can explain!" I proclaimed, turning to face him. I grabbed both of his hands.
The look that he gave me was void of expression. It was a crushing weight on my heart.
"He... He controlled us! It was after my dragon Agrafura disappeared, I didn't know what a guild was! Let alone a dark guild! He would trick the new recruits into thinking that the guild was nice, then a few days later the true nature of the guild!" Opening all wounds made my voice strained. "Worst of all he would use a sensory link on us, so we could never leave, never do anything against him or he would punish all thorough the link." I rubbed the scar on my neck. "We couldn't kill him or we would all die. So, I was young and accepted it. It became my life and I grew stronger...." I proclaimed, tears were running down my face. "Please forgive me
Natsu was silent for a long time, his face expressionless. Then after after a long moment he put his hand on top of my head, pulling me closer, our foreheads connecting. I stared into his dark eyes.
"There is nothing to forgive Eyrx. We all have had terrible pasts." He gave me his familiar warm smile he only gave to me. I smiled back. He kissed me quickly on the lips then stepped up to Riviori.
"And you. YOU CAUSED HIM PAIN AND HURT HIM! PREPARE TO GET YOUR ASS BEAT!" Natsu yelled his voice so different then a few moments ago. Fire erupted from his clenched fist.
Water wrapped around my wrists, forming into two water whips. I was prepared to defeat my past.
Natsu jumped at Riviori, his fist colliding with Riviori's chest. He only laughed.
"Water Splicer!" I yelled, water forming into a sharp wave that could cut steel. That made him stumble back, but it wasn't enough. A purple beam shot of his hand, I had no time to dodge, it knocked me off me feet, colliding with the stone wall behind me. The impact made my vision go fuzzy. I barely heard Natsu call my name. My vision became darker, the last thing I saw before I fell into unconsciousness was Natsu charging Riviori, his lighting flame writing from his hand.
My eyes flickered open, the evening light still blinded my vision. I felt string arms, under the bend of my knees and wrapped aground my shoulders. The person holding me was walking slowly along a forest path. My senses came back to my in a rush, meeting Riviori, how he told Natsu my past. Natsu.
I let out a gasp and turned to see if it was him holding me. He looked down to me, worry showing on his handsome face.
"Your awake good." He said, a warm smile on his face.
"Yeah..." I muttered my head still fuzzy. "Riviori!" I yelled, my eyes searching the surrounding trees, seeing if he was here.
Natsu let out a small laugh, "I don't think he will bother you anymore."
We were quiet a long time, I laid my head back against his chest. I felt tired again. I took one of my hands, laying it over his.
"Thanks by the way..." I mumbled falling into sleep once more.
Someone was shaking me awake, eyes fluttered open looking around the room. It was an unfamiliar room, not in my apartment or in Natsu`s house. Maybe the guid? I looked to see the source of the shaking, it was Mira. A cup of tea in her hand.
“Wh...what happened?” I asked in dazed voice. My head still felt fuzzy.
Mira gave me a small smile. “Natsu brought you in late last night, saying you were hurt badly on the mission you two were on. He was really worried, stayed with you all night.” Mira gave me another smile. “Now drink this, it will help with your head.” Mira put the cup of tea on the small table beside the bed. Closing the door softly behind her.
That is when I felt a form beside me. Natsu, who was still in deep sleep, his arm around my waist. I smiled at the comfort. I laid back down on the bed, turning on my side to face him. He looked so calm sleeping, though almost nothing about Natsu was calm. I stifled a yawn, and rested my head against Natsu`s chest, feeling his deep breathing almost lulling me asleep. His body warm as a furnace, it made the blankets warm though.
“Good morning, sleepy head.” I said as Natsu opened his eyes. He smiled down at me, kissing my forehead.
“Are you alright? Do you need anything?” Natsu asked protectively.
I let out a small chuckle and began to sit up, though Natsu`s hand stopped me, gently pushing me down. “Natsu I`m fine. It was just a little head injury, I`m sure Wendy can help me. Besides I`ve been through worse.” I subconsciously ran a finger along the scar on my neck.
Natsu pulled me against him again, my head resting on his shoulder. He wrapped both of his arms around me. He stared into my eyes, I stared right back into his dark eyes, they portrayed utter seriousness.
“I just want you to know that, no matter what your past was, I will always love you. For you a better person now than before.” Natsu said. Kissing me on the mouth.
At his words I felt a tear run down my face. “Thanks for that Natsu, but what Riviori was true, I`ve killed people before. I even killed a Magic Council member.”
“But that was years ago! You have changed Eyrx. I know it." Natsu said trying to reassure me.
He wiped a tear from my face, I raised my head from his chest to look him in the eyes. "You really think that?"
Natsu nodded giving me another smile. "Of course."
I looked into his eyes again, "Natsu I love you."
"I love you too Eyrx." He responded.
I kissed him again, resting my head against his chest.
"Are you sure Riviori is dead?" I asked, keeping my head on his chest.
Natsu let out a small laugh. "Unless he can survive without a head."
The joke made me smile, but it didn't let me shake the feeling that the darkness of my past is not yet kept in the past...
It has been two days since returning from the mission that revealed my past. Nobody but Natsu and my Exeed,Fozana, knew about my past.
Today though was the day the S-Class canidates were chosen for the trial. I was nervous about who would be picked. Would I? Natsu seemed fine though, as he held my hand as we walked into the guildhall.
I stopped him before we entered. "You have to promise me something. Well, two things actually." I began.
He turned to me with a puzzled look on his face.
"What is it?"
"That if you are picked for the trial, I want to be your partner in the trial. And if were both picked, that we won't go easy on each other." I said with a sly smile on my face.
Natsu returned the sly smile, it made me blush. "Deal. Hmmm... Now I need to think of the moves to use on you."
"Ha! I like to see you try. Come'on let's go inside." I said taking his hand again. My nervousness subsided as he grasped my hand.
We joined up with Gray and, Lucy.
"It is time to pick the canidates for S-Class." Master Makorav's voice silenced the whispers in the room. He Gildarts, Erza and, Mira stood on the stage. "The canidates are, Natsu Dragneel, Gray Fullbuster, Juvia Lockser, Elfman Strauss, Cana Alberona, Freed Justine, Levy McGarden, and Mest Gryder."
I squeezed Natsu's hand when his name was called. When Master said Mest's name my mind went fuzzy on remembering who he was.
Later on we were all sitting around in of the tables, wooden tankards in our hands. All of us were talking about the upcoming trial and who do we think would win.
"I think Gray will win." I mocked, sending a smile towards Natsu.
He muttered something under his breath that I couldn't here.
"I'm still your trial partner right?" I whispered in his ear. His pink hair tickling the tip of my nose.
"Hmmm... I actually was thinking about doing it with Fozana." He joked, Fozana was not here to hear it, she was on some training "date" with Pantherlily.
"Very funny Natsu, so when are we going to train?" I asked, my voice regaining seriousness.
"Probaly tomorrow." He replied, taking a long drink from his tankard.
"Good, I'll stay at your house then. Well I'd better go get my things. I'll meet you over at your house." I said, giving him a kiss on the cheek, then left the guildhall.
I stood in front of Nstsu's house, which was farther away from Magnolia then I though, the lights of the city in the distance. His house was a goo half an hour walk from the city.
"He's probaly drunk, and stumbling to my house not his. Great just my luck." I mumbled under my breath.
I heard branches move in the dark woods to my left. The hair in the back of my neck was rising.
"Natsu if that's you come out. We have a early start tomorrow." I pleaded, hoping it was him.
The branches rustled again, this time even closer. I let a water whip form in my hand. "Natsu if that's you come out now! I don't want to get you wet!" No response but more rustling of leaves and branches. I stepped closer, raising my whip, ready to strike.
A black form jumped out of the bushes, straight towards me. I had no time to react, the form tackled me to the ground. I let out a yelp of suprise. I swiftly kicked the form off me, sending water crashing over the form.
I jumped on the dark form, straddling it. "Who the hell are you?" I asked.
Flame flickers in front of my face. The light revealing that I had tackled Natsu to the ground. His white scarf was wrapped around his head. Tufts of pink hair sticking out.
"I warned you." I teased a smile coming to my face along with the blush of embarrassment.
"I was being a ninja!" He proclaimed.
"Sure, usually ninjas are quiet. Though the ambush was good, thought don't let it go to your head."
He gave a cocky grin. "Hey!" He protested as I removed his scarf from his head. I kissed him as I removed it. He kissed me back, then I realized that we were in a compromising postion, me straddling his waist.
"We.. Better get... To... Sleep." I managed to say between his kisses.
"Oh don't be a stick in the mud, guppy!" Natsu protested.
"We have a long day tomorrow..." I stood up, and grabbed his hand, pulling him up as well. I never reached the door. He grabbed my wrist, pulling me against him. He kissed me passionately and I gave in. He unlocked the door with shaking fingers. I banged it shut with my foot.
"Natsu.... I've never done this before. Not even with a girl." I said, breathless. I worried he would reject me.
"My first time too." He said with a smile, attacking my lips again, he gently pushed me down on the bed. Worry about how early we have to wake up tomorrow, gone from my mind, replaced with passion.....
The bright sun woke me. Shining on my face. I blinked open my eyes , trying to get the sleep from them. I then realized that I had no clothes. Memories of last night came like molten steel through my head. That is why I had no clothes, let a coy smile come to my face.
My head was resting on Natsu's bicep, my one hand on his abs. The other trapped under his back. Natsu was still fast asleep, small snores the only sound. I was still very tired from last night. My gaze wandered past Natsu to his bedroom floor, our clothes spread out. My boxers hung on the bedpost by his scarf, I saw Natsu's clothes spread out on the floor. Natsu was without his clothes as well. I felt my face flush.
you blushing about?" I heard Natsu ask, now fully awake. How he could be so alert in the early morning was beyond me.
"Well I began to remember last night." I replied, the coy smile went to my face again. "And then I remembered that we have no clothes on." My smile widened.
He kissed my on the top of my head."I like waking up with you."
"Me too. So are we ready to train? We have all day- shit!" I said as I looked to the clock on Natsu's wall, it was noon.
I leaped out of bed trying to get all my clothes on, I struggled to get my boxers on, almost tripping. Natsu just layed in bed, smiling.
"We have to hurry! We leave Monday!Today is Sunday!" I replied.
Natsu's smile widened, "I'm just enjoying the view."
I realized that my boxers weren't even up. My face was redder then Natsu' pink hair.
"I'm not even worried about the trial, I know we're gonna win. You need to relax." He replied, pulling me back down on the bed.
"What about training?" I asked him.
"We are two Dragon Slayers! We are going to cream the competition." He pulled me against his chest.
"Fine just five mi.. Minutes." I said between a yawn. I layed my head down on his chest and closed my eyes.
A hand gently shook me awake. I opened my eyes to see Natsu towering above me. I noticed that he was clothed.
"Ugh, how long was I out for?" I asked, rubbing my eyes.
"About an hour. I made you a bowl of cereal though before we go train." He said with a smile.
After breakfast/lunch, I stood outside with Natsu, in a small field beside his house.
"So let me get this straight, you want me to do a Water Dragon roar at you?" I asked, feeling the creases of confusion on my forehead.
He nodded with determination.
"Okay here goes nothing. Water Dragon roar!" I yelled sending the turret of water at him. It never hit him. I barely heard him say: Fire Dragon roar, over the sound of the water. The fire was so hot and powerful that the water turned to steam. I felt my eyes widen.
"Oh come not fair!" I protested.
"Oh you want to go?" He asked, a large smile on his face.
"He'll yeah! Water Dragon tidal force!" I yelled as I jumped at him, water shooting from my hand. He easily dodged it. Flame ignited around his fist. He was going to fast to dodge it.
"Water turret!" Water shot out my hand, covering his and extinguishing his flames.
"Ha!" I mocked.
He then tackled my to the ground, pinning my arms to the ground, my legs trapped under his.
"I think I win." He smirked.
I let out a sly smile."Water Dragon roar!" To avoid the water he rolled off me. I tackled him to the ground, our roles reversed.
"Actually I think I win." I smirked back.
I had a good feeling abou the trial.
The buildings of Magnolia went by is in a blur. Natsu holding on to my hand in a vice grip.
"Natsu! Slow down! I can't run this fast!" I yelled. We were late for the trial. We had another late night last night. A coy smile forming in my lips.
"I can't! We're gonna be late for the ship!" He yelled back, pulling me faster.
"Wel it's your fault anyway! I said no, but you convinced me.. Not that I didn't like it or anything..." I said at the end, not wanting to hurt his feelings.
We turned around the corner to see the docks ahead of us. The boat was still there. Natsu seeing the boat slowed down to a fast walk. I stopped catching my breath.
Natsu waited for me without complaint which was unusal. "Are you alright Natsu?"
He didn't answer for a long time, a smile lay on his face. "Did you know that, it's your one and a half month aniversary of joining Fairy Tail? And our one month aniversary!" His smile widened at the last part.
The chaos of being in a guild, Edolas, and doing missions with Natsu, made me forget.
"I didn't realize. Now let's go win that trial!" I gave him a light kiss on the cheek, took his hand and walked towards the boat.
When we got to the boat, some of the had sharp glares on their faces, some of the others held no expressions.
"Sorry we're late, we had a long night last night.s Natsu and I boarded the ship.
Cana let out a small giggle and gave us a wink. The ship soon left the harbor and with in minutes, Natsu was hanging over the rail, emptying his stomach. I stood by him for emotinal support, feeling helpless.
The upcoming trial brought back memories of my time in Serpents Shard, during my S-Class trial, instead of being a friendly trial, Serpents Shard's trial made you kill the competition to advance, last on alive won. Looking back on it now it seems like I should regret killing my comrades, but back then I didn't care. Now I would do anything to save my guild mates.
"Why the sad face?" Natsu asked between breaks of vomiting.
"It's... Nothing, just remembering hard memories." I answered looking out to the sea. "Do you need anything?" I asked him, trying to change the subject.
"No it's just I feel better being around you." He said.
I smiled and put an arm around his waist. "You know, I think we have this trial down." I said, trying to keep Natsu occupied and not thinking about motion sickness.
About half an hour later, the ship stopped, about one hundred yards from the island.
"Come'on let's go!" I yelled grabbing Natsu's hand, pulling him over the edge. We landed in the water with a splash, using my water powers, I propelled us forward until we reached the island shore.
Rembering Master's instructions we picked a tunnel and weaves our way down the path. Nervousness a strong presence in my stomach. We entered a large cavern. What we saw in there made us stop dead in our tracks. It was Gildarts, we had to defeat Gildarts....
“G-Gildarts? We have to fight you?” I asked, schooling myself from stuttering. I have fought harder people than him. Hell, I've killed stronger opponents.
“Ah come`on Eyrx, it will be fun! Ready Gildarts? I`m all fired up!” Natsu yelled flame igniting in his hand.
“Yeah we are two Dragon Slayers!” I proclaimed.
“Actually Eyrx I got this! You can sit out.” Natsu said.
“Good luck,” I responded giving him a warm smile, kissing him on the cheek.
He returned the smile and the kiss. He stepped up to Gildarts ready to fight.
“You got this, Natsu.” I muttered under my breath.
Natsu charged Gildarts, giving him his all. Though Gildarts just dodged. Natsu getting angry and charged him again, his flames brighter. Again, Gildarts dodged and blocked him.
“Come on Natsu.” I said under my breath, knowing he can do better.
I heard a fluttering of wings behind me. I turned to see Happy and Fozana entering the cavern.
“What are you two doing here?” I asked, keeping one eye on the fight.
“This one decided, that it would be nice to fly to Tenrou Island! What could I say to the stupid one?” Fozana snapped, her green eyes rolling.
“Charle and Pantherlily are coming soon as well. Charle had another a vision.” Happy said, unaffected from Fozana`s insult.
I turned back to the fight, Natsu was getting angry. He jumped at Gildarts again.
“I`m getting tired of this.” Gildarts muttered and released his power. I saw Natsu fly to the air, his flames extinguished. It looked like he was unconscious. He hit the cavern ceiling with a loud crack, dust floating from the ceiling.
The dust cleared and no sign of life, no sign of Natsu.
“Oh shit,” Gildarts mutterd. “I over did it.”
My eyes widened in shock, my face ashen. “Natsu!” I yelled, my voice strained. I felt a tear run down my face. He can`t be dead.
I turned my gaze to Gildarts. My sadness turned to anger. “YOU KILLED HIM! HOW COULD YOU KILL HIM!” I yelled, feeling my power flow through me. Water ran around my arms, increasing my power.
“YOU WILL PAY! WATER DRAGON SLAYER SECRET ART, WATER TSUNAMI FORCE!” I yelled releasing my power, water flowing towards Gildarts. The most powerful flow of water I have ever released.
“Relax Eyrx, I`m fine.” Natsu said in a small voice. The water instantly fell to the cavern floor.
I turned to see something I never expected. Natsu wasn`t whole, he was transformed into many small Natsu`s. I broke out laughing. Its funny how fast your emotions can change.
“It`s not funny! Stop laughing!” The small Natsu`s said as one.
“Natsu, I think that this fight is over.” Gildarts said, in a sad voice.
“What?! No!” The small Natsu`s protested. And they all jumped at Gildarts. It made me laugh even harder.
They pulled at his hair and face, only causing Gildarts to get angered.
“Hey stop it!” Gildarts protested.
“Ah come on! We are going to win.” The small Natsu`s said, pulling even harder.
“Alright stop it! Back to normal you go.” Gildarts said and with a blink of an eye, Natsu was turned back to normal.\
“I got to say Natsu, I like you better this way. You're more handsome. I could never deal with you being so small! I would just laugh all the time!” I mocked. He gave me a look.
“Let`s go Gildarts!” Natsu said, fire igniting in his palms.
“You think you can win? You have no idea. The only one in this cavern who understands his own strengths is Eyrx. I was the only person he could never kill.” Gildarts responded.
Hearing Gildarts words, sent the memory back. I was young probably on thirteen, so four years ago. I had failed to kill him, it was the first job after killing one of the Ten Wizard Saints. I felt cocky.
“Y-you remember?” I asked in a quiet voice.
“How could I? A kid not even old enough to have facial hair, boasting how he could kill me. Saying that he killed a Ten Wizard Saint. He failed. I let him live.” Gildarts said with a slight smirk.
“Wh-when I came back Riviori was furious. Th- that is how I go this scar.” I said, my finger tracing the scar on my neck. Natsu gave me a small smile.
“So Natsu you think you can beat this?” Gildarts asked building his power.
Gildarts began to build his power. The floor began to shake and rumble. Gildart began to glow white with the shaking force of his power. It brought me to my knees.
“Please stop…” I muttered, tears of fear rolling down my face. Natsu stood next to me, his hand on my shoulder. He was struggling to keep his composure.
Gildarts exerted more power, causing me to shake. Eventually Natsu fell beside me, wrapping his arms around me. Tears coming from his face. He understood what Gildarts said, he understood his own strengths.
“I… forfeit. I give in.” Natsu said, his voice strained with fear.
Gildarts let his power trickle back down, below the surface. Natsu stayed where he was, his head against my shoulder.
“You know Natsu, I see a lot of potential in you. I think I will let you continue in the trial.” Gildarts said with a smile.
Natsu still having his head against my shoulder, didn't see me mouth thank-you to Gildarts. Natsu began to regain his composure, he wiped the tears from his face. He stood up, offering his hand to me. I took it with a smile. He kept my hand in his grasp as we walked from Gildarts and meeting the others outside the cave. Ready to continue the trial...
Only Cana with her partner Lucy, Gray with Loke, Elfman with Evergreen, Levy with Gajeel, and Natsu and I made it to the next phase.
Master stood in front of us. A pleased look in his calm face.
"The final part of the trial will be to find the First Master's grave." He said. "Now go."
"Wait that's it? No hints gramps?" Gray protested.
Master said nothing just smiled.
"Well let's go!" Natsu said grabbing my hand, charging ahead into the woods.
"Natsu slow down!" I protested as he practically dragged me along. The trees going by in a blur.
Natsu pulled me along for about an hour, my breat coming in gasps. Natsu stop dead in his tracks. My arms fell around his shoulders to keep me up right.
"Umm.. Eyrx I don't think this is a good time to cuddle." Natsu said, he didn't remove my arms though.
"Then why did you stop?" I asked, removing my arms.
"I thought I heard something." Natsu muttered. Turning to face me.
"What do you mean?" I asked, puzzled.
"So what Gildarts said was true? That you tried to kill him?" Natsu asked changing the subject drastically, I noticed the slight tension in his voice.
I stared off into the trees, for a long time trying to collect my thoughts, choosing my words carefully.
"I was young and stupid. It was... It was after I killed one of the Ten Wizard Saints. I felt like I could do anything. So I took the job to kill Gildarts Clive. I had no clue who he was, but the bounty said he was powerful so I confronted him. And I lost. I went back to the guild, Riviori was furious. He tortured me for days on end, it was the worst pain I had ever expierenced. That is also how I gained.... Th-this scar. Riviori said it would mark my failure for all eternity." I said, my voice strained from sadness. "Natsu... If I had known back then that I would join Fairy Tail... I would have never took the job!" I proclaimed, a tear running down my face, I fell to my knees. The harsh memory flowing back.
Natsu sat down with me, his arms embracing me tight against his chest.
"It's okay Eyrx... It's going to be okay." Natsu said, comforting me. "You don't need to cry. I wouldn't leave you because of your past. I love you too much, guppy." He said with a small smile.
I lifted my head, locking gazes with him. His smile stopping my tears. I smiled back giving a small laugh. I gave him a long kiss, standing uu and offered my hand to help him up.
"Now let's go find that grave!" I said, a large smile on my face.
We continued on through the forest hand in hand. Until we heard familiar voices. Elfman and Evergreen. It sounded like they were in trouble.
"Let's go!" Natsu said and ran off through the woods toward the sound of the voices.
We entered a clearing, Elfman and Evergreen lock in fear as a black wave came towards them. Natsu charged into them, pushing them out of the way. I rushed over to them, helping them up. We turned to see a young man, wearing all black. Tears running down his face.
"Who are you?" I asked. "How could you get on the island?"
"Natsu.." The young man muttered, renewing his tears.
"You know him?" I asked.
"What?! No!" Natsu proclaimed, to my suprise Natsu punched him, in the face hard.
The young man was not affected by this, though another tear ran down his face. "Get back! Please run!" He yelled, then released another black wave, Elfman,Evergreen and I jumped out of the way. Natsu took it head on.
"Natsu!" I yelled.
After the dust cleared, I saw him standing there, looking unaffected. Though his scarf was black.
"Natsu are you alright?" I asked him, when he walked over to me.
"Yeah, fine. Where did cry-be asked.
"Dunno. Seems he disappeared." I said. I turned to Elfman, "Well we have a grave to catch. See ya guys later!" I raced off with Natsu, leaving a bewildered Elfman and Evergreen behind.
Deep in the forest we stopped when we heard a large explosion. We looked up to see a red flare in the distance.
"That's the emergency flare right?" I asked.
"Die." An unfamiliar voice said behind us, I turned to see purple flames screimg towards me....
"Eyrx!" Natsu yelled, jumping in front of me, in front of the flames. He was going to eat them. Whoever this man was he was going to regret meeting us. His flames were about to dissapear.
When the flames reached him, Natsu yelled in pain. The flames disappeared though not by Natsu eating them.
"Natsu!" I yelled.
The mysterious man, let out a laugh.
"Water Dragon's roar!" I yelled. The man easily dodged it.
"Ha! You miserable little Dragon Slayers, think you can win! I am a God Slayer!" The man yelled.
"God Slayer? What the hell is that?" Natsu asked.
"A more powerful person then you!" The man snapped back.
"If you use fire, why can't I eat your flames?" Natsu asked, back agitated.
Natsu and I both charged the mysterious man, water and fire colliding. That set him back a biting both of out attacks it separated Natsu and I. The man smiled and released a burst of purple flame, hurling towards me.
"Tidal Force!" I yelled, the water hitting the flames. To my suprise the water evaporated as it touch the flames, I moved out of the way though not fast enough the flames scorching my side, part of my shirt burning off.
I yelled in pain, falling to the ground. The flames were hot and painful, making my vision go blurry in pain. I barely heard Natsu yell my name. I managed to rise to my feet. My side burning with pain. The fire came again, this time it engulfed my entire body, my screams hoarse from the pain. It was worse then the torture Riviori had ever given me. My vision began to have black spots. I fell to my knees. I barely saw Natsu engage with the man, until he fell of the cliff edge.
"Natsu..." I muttered my voice hoarse from pain.
The man had a wicked smile on his face, as he dragged me by my shirt collar across the dirt ground, my voice to hoarse to yell in pain. He stopped by the cliff edge, the bottom fifty feet below, Natsu struggled to his feet.
"Missing something?" The man asked.
No he wouldn't... I thought but he did, he threw me off the cliff, I felt my body go weightless, Natsu yelled my name, and before I was going to hit the ground he caught me. We fell to the ground , the pain unbearable.
Natsu gently rolled me off him, kneeling next to me.
"Hold on please, I'll help you soon." Natsu muttered to me, his voice filled with worry, he kissed me on the forehead and stood up, looking around the corner.
"Master?" Natsu said. I turned my head ignoring the pain and saw Master on the ground in the sane state as I, in pain.
"Go, Natsu deal with the Ten Kin, Grimoire Heart is here." Master orders his voice firm.
So that is who was attacking the island.
"Master, how did you end up like this?" Natsu asked.
"I tried to destroy their flagship. Now go away from Zancrow." Master responded.
Grimoire Heart, fear joined the pain in my body. And now we know who our attacker is.
Zancrow let out a laugh:"You three look awful! How easy!"
"YOU DID THIS! YOU HURT THE LOVE OF MY LIFE! AND MY GUILD!" Natsu yelled, and charged Zancrow with a renewed intrest.
Though Zancrow let his purple flames engulf Natsu, who was defenseless against. I watched the fight unfold with bated breath.
To stop Zancrow, Makarov seized him with his giant hand, though he began to burn. All three of them were close to death.
Natsu fell first, still engulfed in the flames, his flames winked out.
"Natsu...no.." I muttered my voice hoarse, then something happened.
Natsu began to eat Zancrow's flames. Then all hell broke loose. Natsu unleashed his new power on Zancrow in a brilliant white flash, Zancrow screamed in pain. Soon they fell silent he went into unconsciousness.
Natsu struggled over to me, laying down next to me, he placed my head on his chest. He too fell into unconsciousness.
"Master, are you still hanging in there?" I asked, the pain still a strong presence.
In a few minutes, the silence was broken, by footsteps.
"Eyrx!" I hear Wendy yell, I glanced over to see her running over to me, the Exeeds fooling her. "I can heal you." She said as kneeled by me.
"No... Heal Natsu first.." I muttered through the pain.
She nodded and began her spell on Natsu. Fozana approached me, her green eyes filled with sadness.
"It will be fine Eyrx." She said, in a motherly voice.
I felt Natsu move beneath me, he kissed the top of my head. "You should have hearted him first, Wendyaid, his voice a little gruff.
Wendy nodded and began to heal me. It was more painful then I expected, I clenched my teeth to bear the pain. Then I let out a yell of pain, I felt Natsu grab my hand.
"Why is it hurting him?" Natsu asked, his voice full of concern.
"I don't know, maybe the flames burned him really deep." Wendy responsed, concentrating hard on her task.
Eventually the pain subsided and was gone. The burn marks gone. I sat up and got my breath back. I glanced over to see Makarov still unconsciousness.
"Wendy can you heal him?" I asked.
"I think so," She answered with determination.
I sat with Natsu as Wendy healed Makarov. Natsu rubbed my head.
"I thought I lost you." He whispered in my ear.
I smiled at him, "So do you really mean it? I'm the love of your life?" I asked.
"Of course! Who else would it be?" He said, kissing me hard.
"Natsu, if anything happens, I always will love you." I said in a serous voice.
"Don't talk like that." He responded, kissing me again.
I wondered what Grimoire Heart had in store for us next...
I stood in shock, the roar was defining. We had no clue what was coming. Grimoire Heart was defeated along with the Seven Kin.
I stood with Natsu and the others, all of us covering our ears from the sound. We all looked for the source of the sound. We saw a black dot on the horizon. I instantly knew what it was.
"It's the dark dragon, Acnologia, the strongest of them all." I muttered, everyone's face around me went ashen.
In a matter of seconds the dragon landed, the shock wave from the impact sending us off our feet. We came to our feet just as Master Makarov attacked Acnologia in his Titan form.
"Run children! Go save yourself!" He yelled as he held the dragon back. He was struggling though.
I grabbed Natsu's hand, pulling him along. "Come'on we need to go!" I yelled pulling him, the rest of us followed.
We ran for a time, all of us stopping until we heard Master yell in pain. Natsu turned back and tried to go back. I tried to pull him back.
"Natsu what are you doing! We have to go!" I protested.
"We have to help him, we both know that we won't escape. So it's either that or die trying." Natsu said with conviction.
I held back tears and nodded.
"Come'on everyone! If we work together we can win!" Natsu yelled charging Acnologia. We all followed.
Acnologia used one of it's wings to knock some of us aside. I saw Elfman and Evergreen fall. Very few of us made it to Acnologia. At once we released our attacks, though Acnologia never flinched. Using his tail sand wings he began to batter is aside. His scream so powerful, trees were uprooted.
Natsu's flames did nothing to scorch Acnologia's sides. Then Acnologia flew into the air for the final blow. Natsu grabbed my hand, Lucy was crying, I was trying hard not to let my fear rule me. Eventually everyone took hands, including Laxus and Master. I glanced at Natsu.
"Natsu... I want you to know th-" I began though Natsu's kiss interrupted me. It made me sad to think that this could be the last kiss.
"I know, I love you too." Natsu said.
Acnologia screamed above us, I tightened my grip on Natsu's hand.
Then Acnologia released his attack and all went black.
A hand gently shook me, trying to lull me out of the darkness. Someone was calling my name, someone familiar. Their voice sounding distant.
"Come on Eyrx wake up! Please!" The familiar voice said.
"Is he going to make it? The others woke with ease." This time the voice was unfamiliar. Different from the familiar one.
"He's going to make it! Come on Eyrx please! Is Wendy up yet?" The familiar voice rang out this time it sounded closer. Wendy? Who was that?
"Is he still breathing?" Asked another unfamiliar voice this too sounded closer.
"Of course he is!" The familiar voice responded. "It's faint though." He said later in a slight whisper.
"I'm sorry Natsu but, I don't think he will last much longer."
Natsu. The name ranged through the darkness, adding a pinpoint of light.
"Don't say that! Don't you ever say that!" I could hear Natsu's voice, it was even closer now. Drowning in concern.
I faintly heard footsteps in the darkness leave. I knew it was just Natsu and I now. I tried to get closer to the pinpoint of light, the light ever so slowly getting closer.
"Please Eyrx wake up, I need you now. Were partners now right? You can't just leave in the middle if trial." Natsu said trying to joke, but he wasn't fooling himself. I heard him let out a small choked sob.
I saw the light get even closer, now larger and brighter.
"I need to be brave for you. I can't cry, but I worry about you. Please wake up." Natsu pleaded his voice sounding desperate. I felt a slight pressure on my hand in the darkness. The light even closer, I became more aware. I felt Natsu's hand rubbing my head. The other gently squeezing my hand. The slight breeze on my face.
I still couldn't fully emerge from the darkness. I tried and tried. The began to get smaller.
No! I screamed through my mind, I need to wake up. I needed to see Natsu again.
Natsu was quiet, only for the slight sob. His hand squeezing harder on my hand. The hand rubbing my head was getting softer though.
I need to leave the darkness and enter the light.
"Eyrx please wake up, I can't bear to lose you. To lose my love." Natsu said through a choked sob.
The light was getting brighter, making the darkness creep to the corners. I was so close, almost there.
Natsu went silent again, I could practically feel his concern, feel his tears. Hear his heart brake. I need to emerge from the darkness, the light was so bright it was blinding.
Almost there. I said to myself.
Now Natsu 's voice was so close I could feel his breath on me as he talked. "Eyrx wake up please!"
I felt one of his tears drop onto my face. I felt his hand leave my head and with his thumb he softy wiped away the tear.
With a gasp I opened my eyes, seeing a pale faced Natsu looking down at me, tears in his eyes. His pink hair even brighter because of his pale face. The concern was instantly replaced with relief. He kissed me over and over again.
"I thought I lost you. Please don't ever leave me again." He said between kisses.
"I love you too." I responded. "So what happened?" I asked, sitting up beside Natsu. "All I remember is Acnologia about to kill us."
"Well to be honest I don't know what happened either, I woke up beside you. I saw Sam and Mako running down to us." Natsu responded.
"Sam and Mako? What are they doing on Tenrou Island?" I asked confused.
"Well here's the hard part. Us and the others have been missing for seven years." Natsu said his voice serious.
"Seven years? Do I look different, I probaly look old. " I said, shocked.
"You look fine. And we didn't age, the rest of Fairy Tail, not on Tenrou Island aged though. Can you stand?" Natsu asked, concerned again.
"I think so." I replied, Natsu stood up and offered his hand to help me up. With a smile I took it, rising to me feet. Together we walked to the others. Natsu's arm never leaving my waist. The others were happy to see that I was okay, I was glad to see they all looked well. Seeing Sam and Mako almost took my breath away. It seemed like seven years was hard for them.
The boat ride back was full with chatter about what had happened in seven years, I was sad to hear that Fairy Tail became a no name guild. Natsu surprisingly had no motion sickness on the journey.
Magnolia hadn't changed in seven years though. I was surprised when we walked past the abandoned guild hall. They led us to the guild's new headquaters, an old farm outside the city. The others were suprised to see us, shedding tears of joy. Romeo especially was suprised to see Natsu. I felt happy to be back home, though I fear being gone in seven years will unveil dark secrets and pasts.
The celebrations went on for what seemed like hours. The others telling their stories about what had happened in seven years. For me though it was boring, for a lot of us it felt like we were gone only for a few days. Natsu sat next to me, his hand wrapped around my shoulder. He kept glancing like he expected me not to be there. I guess my near death expierence really scared him. I could tell that the Tenrou Island group was tired, we haven't had a time to rest yet. The only won not affected was Cana, who by now had transitioned from a tankard to a barrel.
I stifled a yawn, half listening to Romeo tell another story about one of his missions he went on. It's weird to see him older, instead of the little kid who ran around the guildhall.
"Well I have to go home," I said standing up, then reality set in. "Oh wait I don't have a house anymore. Can I spend the night at your house Natsu?" I asked him.
He looked at me if I had three heads. "Of course you can stay at my house." He said with a smile. "I'll walk with you." Natsu said, I began to walk to the door, Natsu soon joined me, wrapping his arm around my shoulder. The night air was cool on my face, it was early March and still cold. We walked in silence for awhile, I was enjoying the feeling of Natsu's warm body against me.
"You seemed different tonight." I said, turning my head to look at him as we walked through the streets.
"What do you mean?" He asked, puzzled.
"I don't know you just seem different. You were quieter then usual. You kept glancing at me like I wasn't going to be there." I said becoming brave.
"I.... I just worry about you. I almost lost you on Tenrou Island and I don't want to go through that again." Natsu said sincerely, a warm smile on his face.
"So you did mean what you said." I said, touched.
"You heard me then? I probaly sounded like cry baby." Natsu responded, embarrassed.
"No I didn't mind it. I would be the same if I was in your position." I replied.
I let out a soft laugh, "You know that we have now been together for seven years?"
He laughed too, kissing my cheek. "Romeo said he took care of my house while we were gone." Natsu said, I could see his house on the top of the hill.
"Is it clean?" I asked skeptical.
"Dunno, I think they sent a message that they found us. And prepared for us." Natsu responded, shrugging his shoulders.
Natsu went to the door, suprised to see it unlocked, and swung on rusty hinges. We shared a look. Natsu felt the wall for a light switch, he found it, the overhead light casting an orange glow to Natsu's small sitting room and kitchen.
A man sat at the kitchen table a very familiar man. Riviori Vardo, my old master.
"Riv-Riviori," I muttered, a cold sweat forming at my brow.
"I know I find you here Sea Viper." He said his voice sharp as a knife.
"You bastard! What do you think you are doing here?" Natsu yelled, fire erupting from his palm. He pushed me behind him.
"Just delivering a message." Riviori said standing from the chair, taking a step forward. s disposed of, I have taken his place as Zeref's right hand man. And I told him that you were a potential recruit." He taunted.
"I would never join you again Riviori." I snapped.
Riviori let out a long laugh, making me flinch. "It's funny, ten years ago you would have not have been caught dead saying that. Don't you want power? More than what this mesrible guild would offer you?" Riviori stepped forward makeing a move towards the door. Natsu went to the side still placing me behind him. My hand on his shoulder the only thing stopping him from attacking Riviori.
"Oh and welcome back Sea Viper," Riviori smirked. He left into the darkness.
Natsu slammed the door hard, making me flinch. I stood in the middle of the kitchen, a shaking hand over my mouth. My face pale as the moon.
Natsu still had his back to me, shoulders heaving with anger. It made me fear my life.
"Natsu.. Are you alright?" I asked in a quiet voice, placing a hand on his shoulder. He turned to me and I took a step backwards, when his gaze met my terrified one, his face softened. He walked up to me picking me up, carrying me to the bed. I layed there in silence as he rummaged through his dresser pulling out two sets of pajamas. He quickly changed, if I wasn't so freaked out, I would have watched in admiration. Not to night though. I quietly changed into the pajamas he had given me, and layed in his bed, pulling the covers around me. Natsu got into bed as well, wrapping on arm around me.
I instantly began to sob. I couldn't help myself. I turned to Natsu, wiping away the tears.
"Natsu I am so sorry. I thought he was dead too." I proclaimed holding back a sob.
He placed my head against his chest, kissing the top of my head.
"Why are you apologizing Eyrx?" He said, I could tell he was holding back tears as well.
"I... I don't know. My past just keeps coming back, I can't take it anymore!" I said.
Natsu wiped a year from my face, kissing me with passion. He broke away.
"Then think of the present." He said with a coy smile.
I kissed him back with equal passion as before. Soon my past was forgotten, my thoughts on Natsu and pleasure.
It was early when I woke, just past dawn. Natsu slept beside me, his arm slung over my chest. My hand on his hip. I kissed his forehead softy and silently eased out of bed. Our clothes were spread out on the floor from last night. The air cold on my skin. I quietly got dressed, folding Natsu's clothes and putting them on his bedside table. I took his scar jams wrapped it around my neck. I had a mission to do, a mission that might leave me dead. It was worth the risk, to save Natsu and the others from the darkness of my past.
I entered Natsu's kitchen, finding a piece of blank paper and a pen. I began to write my letter, I held back the fear.
When you find this, I will most likely be fighting my past. Please don't follow me, I have to do this alone, to save you and Fairy Tail from my past. Afterwards if I don't perish in my quest I have decided that it would be best if I leave the guild. To save you all from the darkness that will eventually plague Fiore. Maybe just maybe if I leave Zeref will follow and leave Fairy Tail alone. I love you with all my heart Natsu. Please don't be angry with me. I love you,
I wiped a stray tear from my cheek. I shouldn't have added the part about leaving the guild, he will chase me for sure. I wasn't sure myself if I can leave the guild.
I wrapped Natsu's scarf tighter around my neck, stepping out the door and closing it gently behind me. I wondered what I got myself into. Riviori will pay for ruining my life for the second time now.
I stayed on the small dirt roads, avoiding Magnolia. I knew Riviori to well, he never liked changing his hideout. It would be in the same cave as last time, seven years ago.
When I saw the mouth of the cave come into view, I felt utter dread in my heart. Am I ready to do this? I took a deep breath ready. I looked back up the road expecting Natsu to run down to me, telling me to stop. The cave was cool inside, as I winded through the tight passege to the cavern where Riviori would most likely be. I entered the large cavern, pulling Natsu's scarf farther up my neck. A tear rolled down my cheek. I saw the familiar large form of Riviori in the darkness.
"So you have decided to join me at last Sea Viper." Riviori's voice boomed in the cavern.
"I would never join you ever again!" I yelled.
Riviori let out a chuckle, stepping into the light. "Oh really? Then why did you come?" He asked.
"To kill you." I said simply, sitting down fifteen feet away. I felt power coursing through me.
Riviori let out a loud sickening laugh, it made the fear grow in my chest. Though my face I forced it to be expressionless, betraying no emotion.
"You think you can kill me?" Riviori asked.
"I don't think, I know." I said growing brave. "I have the power to kill you in one blow."
Riviori said nothing, a glare on his face said the words for him.
I felt the power flow through me, the air around me begin to glow, water in the small puddles began to rise. The cavern began to hum with power. Riviori lost his smirk. He took a step back. He was remembering my true strength.
I felt the power reach it's apex. It was time. "Water Dragon Secret Art!" My voice boomed across the cavern. "Water Soul!" I clenched both of my fists bringing them upwards, above my head. A blue hue glowed from them.
Riviori convulsed in pain, screaming in terror. I smiled knowing what was happening to him, Water Soul takes control of the water in an enimes body, causing to expierence unimaginable pain and a slow death. You drown in your own body.
He screamed again his voice becoming hoarse. He fell to his knees, blood trickling from his nose. He collapsed to the ground dead. Riviori was finally dead.
I turned around at the sound of clapping, Water Soul drained all my magic making me useless. I gasped at who it was. It was Zeref.
He didn't change at all in seven years. His power was a lot stronger. He walked up to me, his hand resting on my forearm. The chill if death took me, making my breath cone short, my vision blurry. He took his hand away. I swayed on my feet.
"I am impressed at your skill Eyrx. Though killing Riviori won't stop me." Zeref said, his voice calm. It unsettled me.
"Would you leave Fairy Tail alone, if I flee, trying to stand.
Zeref said nothin, placing his hand on my cheek. It made my breathing stop, pain coursed through my vains. I didn't have enough energy to scream. He removed his hand.
"That is for you to decide." He said and like smoke he dissapeared.
His words echoed through my mind, all I could think about was Natsu. What should I do?
The darkness outside suprised me. It was already dark, I entered the cave early in the morning. I paced back and forth in front of the mouth of the cave. Zeref's words still boomed in my mind. It was on my judgement whether Zeref will attack Fairy Tail or not, with me there or not. His touch still lingered on my skin, like a thick blanket. I felt a tear of frustration run down my cheek. What was I going to do. I idly ran a hand along Natsu 's scarf feeling the softness of the fabric.
I needed to find Natsu, no matter what Zeref throws at Fairy Tail we can stop it together. I began to run along the forested path, I need to go faster. I veered off the trai, pine boughs slapping at my face, pine needles leaving thin red scars. I jumped over roots and rocks. Charging through streams with ease. All I could think of was Natsu. What was he going to say? Would he be angry? Break up with me? Or what if he found someone else? No, I can't think of that, Natsu said he loved me, yet I said the same thing and left him. To save him. I ran harder not caring for the branches that slapped my face, tore at my clothes. I burst out of the trees, the full moon illuminating the fields around Magnolia. I dashed across the road, trekking through the fields, feeling the muddy ground get at my shoes. I did this for Natsu. The latters scarf blew in the wind behind me, like a comet's tail. My ever present guardian.
I could see his house a silhouette against the pale moon. A lone light was on, a yellow square in the darkness. As I neared his house I could hear his and Gildarts' voice. It sounded like they were arguing.
I approached the door, stopping before it, eavesdropping on the conversation.
"I have to go to him before he leaves!" Natsu yelled. I could here the strain in his voice.
Gildarts responded in a calm fashion: "You can't do that Natsu, he left for a reason, you should respect his descion and besides he'll be back." I could detect the lie a thousand miles away, Gildarts believed that I would never come back.
"Last time he faced that bastard he nearly died! I need to say goodbye!" Natsu yelled his voice getting louder.
I had to get in there. To see him, and comfort him.
I quietly opened the door. Natsu had his back to me, Gildarts saw me enter but said nothing his face an expressionless mask. I softly closed the door. Leaning against it. Natsu heard the sound and turned. His anger was gone, replaced by suprise and kindness. I rushed over to him, he embraced me, his muscular arms like a vice around me. He barraged me with kisses, on my cheeks and lips. Saying how much he missed me. I gently placed my hands on his shoulders, he got the hint he held me at arm length. He saw my scratches and pine needles in my hair, the rips in my clothes, the mud caked onto my pants. I looked over to Gildarts but he was gone like a shadow.
"What happened to you Eyrx?" Natsu asked his voice full of concern.
"Oh this?" I gestured to myself, realizing I must look like a crazed bandit. I let out a small laugh. "It was the forest that did this, not Riviori."
I told him about how I killed Riviori and ran through the woods and fields to see him, I left out the part about Zeref though. I glanced over at the kitchen table, a pile of ash lay in replace of the letter I wrote. Natsu followed my gaze, his face flushing with embarrassment. I nodded with understanding and kissed him with passion. He kissed me back.
"Natsu... I need to take a shower, I smell like a horse." I said between kisses.
He nodded and I went to his bathroom, he followed.
"Are you joining me?" I asked with a coy smile. He nodded with a smile of his own. And began to undress. I couldn't help but stare. I realized that I was staring for too long and looked up into his eyes, blushingout a laugh, "Don't be embarssesed, we've already did stuff together."
I blinked at him realizing my stupidity. I have him a warm smile and nodded and began to undress.
After the shower, Natsu and I lay in bed, his arm draped over my waist. I turned to face him, looking at him in the eye.
"Do you forgive me Natsu?" I asked staring deep into his green eyes.
"What? Why do I need to forgive you?" He asked, his hand stroking my cheek.
"Because... Because I left you.." I manage to say in a small voice.
He kissed my for a long time. "There is nothing to forgive Eyrx."
I nodded and rested my head against his chest, drifting off to sleep...
Darkness surrounded me, suffocating me with it's shroud. Zeref stood there laughing and laughing. Natsu was dead at his feet.
"Where's your champion now Sea Viper?" He sneered. Riviori appeared behind him, laughing as well.
"No...Natsu..." I muttered, tears running down my face. I fell to my knees. Natsu was too far away for me to comfort him.
Zeref walked closer and squatted down in front of me , his sneering favs inches from mine. He ran a hand along my cheek, it made me flinch.
"So are you going to join us?" He said, his voice full of darkness.
"No! I will never join you!" I yelled, I felt a sharp pain. Zeref had kicked me square in the jaw.
I woke with a gasp, sweat gliding down my face. My shirt was soaked. Natsu sat beside me a concerned look on his face.
"Eyrx are you alright?" He asked, his had grabbing my shoulder.
I was still gasping for breath, the touch of his hand made me flinch. I fell against his chest. His hand rubbed my head.
"What happened?" He asked.
I pulled my face from his chest, tears still running down my face.
I told him about my encounter with Zeref after I killed Riviori, and about my night mare.
He lept out of bed and pulled in his shirt, I hadn't realized he wasn't wearing one. He was angry.
"Natsu what are you doing?" I askedup from the bed.
"I'm going to hunt Zeref down and kill him!" He exclaimed.
He went to go put on his scarf but my hand on his forearm stopped him.
"Natsu you can't. You have no clue where he is. I don't want you to get hurt. Please come back to bed." I pleaded, I checked the clock on the wall, it was only three o'clock in the morning.
Natsu let out a long sigh and removed his scarf. He climbed back in bed. I kissed his cheek. And stood out of bed and began to undress as I made my way to the bathroom.
"I'm going to take a quick shower to get all of this sweat off me. You'd better still be here."
Ten minutes later I climbed back in bed finding Natsu fast asleep. I smiled and laid a hand on his chest, my head resting on his bicep, sleep overtook me.
The sound of rain woke me again, this time I was not sweaty. Thankfully. We were still in the same position as earlier, my hand on his chest. I glanced up at him, he smiled at me. Apparently he had been awake before me. I ran a hand along his chest , feeling his muscles. We were the same height, both 5'11", but he was more muscular.
I let out a short laugh.
"What?" He asked, puzzled. I didn't need to face him to see the confusion on his face.
"It's funny... Your really not that intimidating. I don't know why the dark guilds are so afraid off you. I mean your too nice, and comfortable." I said letting out another laugh.
"Comfortable?" He asked.
"Yeah, I mean your bicep is really soft....." I saw the look on his face. "Not that it's not muscular or anything." I quickly added.
"So you really don't see me as intimidating? Good." He said, grabbing my hand.
"Good?" It was my turn to be confused.
"Yeah, it would look bad on my part if you thought I looked intimidating." He said.
I looked up at him and moved up the bed to be spread out, my eyes level with his.
I kissed his nose. "I never thought I hear that from Natsu Dragneel. That it was good that he wasn't intimidating."
He laughed and gave me his special warm smile, kissing me on the lips.
We sat there in silence for awhile, enjoying each others company.
"Natsu where's the fish!" Happy's voice yelled through the house.
"Eyrx why are you not out of bed! It's 9:30!!" Fozana's voice followed Happy's
I sighed and glance over at Natsu.
"Our children are calling."
I sat at the guild hall, watching Natsu pick the "perfect" job for us. I sighed, I was still not ready, killing Riviori with using Water Soul had drained a lot of my power. I lifted the tankard of juice to my lips, feeling it run down my throat. I rubbed my eyes again, last night I got little sleep, after waking up from the nightmare. It sent shivers down my spine.
I felt a hand land on my shoulder, it made me jump, nearly spilling my tankard. The hand on my shoulder ripped me from my thoughts. I felt Natsu's lips on my cheek, in a forgiving manner, for scaring me so.
"Are you alright?" Natsu asked, sitting beside me.
"Kinda, I barely got any sleep last night. I kept thinking of my nightmare.” I said, stifling a yawn.
“Well I have the perfect job!” Natsu exclaimed.
“What? Does it involve sleeping or sleeping with someone with pink hair?” I asked with a coy smile.
“Well...we could do that on the job.” He said returning my coy smile.
“So what`s the job?” I asked, becoming serious.
“We need to watch a rich guy`s mansion for the weekend.” Natsu said, grabbing my hand, pulling me out of my chair. It seemed that Natsu was ready to go.
“Wait a minute. Why do we need to leave now? We can leave tomorrow since today is Thursday." I said, placing a hand on his arm.
Natsu looked back at me, and saw how tired I looked. I just wanted a full night of sleep.
He covered my hand with his own."Your right. We will leave tomorrow."
My dinner rumbled in my stomach, as I walked with Natsu back to his house. His arm around my shoulder.
I let out a laugh."You know that we have been together for seven years?"
Natsu laughed as well. Then he became serious.
"I've been so worried about you lately. Are you sure your okay?"
I knew what he was talking about. He was still worried if my killing of Riviori would effect me.
I gave him a warm smile. "If I wasn't fine would I do this?" I kissed him long and hard. I pulled back breathless.
Natsu grabbed my hand and we practically ran to his house.
Once inside he began to kiss me. My back against the door. Fortunately Happy and Fozana were not here.
He began to kiss my neck, hard.
"Natsu... Stop it... Youmarks in my neck." I protested.
He acted like he didn't hear me. He led me to the bed, somehow he pulled our clothes off. The look in his eyes sent shivers down my spine.
"I love you so much." He gasped out between kisses.
I let a smile form on my lips. For I knew he truly meant it.
The sunlight woke me.I was facing Natsu, his arm draped over my hip. He was still asleep, I smiled as I watched him. He looked so calm and peaceful. If only he acted like that awake. His exhale caused his pink hair to flutter. I looked around us and realized that our clothes were gone, scattered on the floor. Just like our first time, a month ago. No, not a month, seven years. I keep forgetting about the time skip.
I got out of bed, leaving Natsu, and walked to the bathroom, my bare feet padding on the wooden floor. I shivered as I passed one of the open windows. It was still cold, being February. I walked into the bathroom, looking at myself in the mirror. I gasped at what I saw there. A red-purplish mark on my neck.
“Natsu...I told you to stop.” I muttered, feeling the mark that Natsu gave me. The mark reminded me of what Riviori did to me, when he tortured me. I brought my fingers to the mark again, the memories returning.
Riviori standing over me, removing the hot iron bar from the burning coals, telling me that it was my punishment for not completing a job in time.I remember the screams of terror that escaped my lips as the iron bar was placed on my neck, the tears and the pain. He would do it again and again, all over my body I still have marks on my legs. But he especially liked putting the bar on my neck.
I jumped when I felt a hand wrap around my shoulder.
“NO! Please stop the pain! Please stop Master Riviori!” I yelled still trapped in my memories. I tried to escape from the grasp escape from the pain. The arms wrapped around tighter.
“Shhh… Eyrx it`s alright.” Natsu said, comforting me. His voice brought me out of my memories. I never realized that I was on my knees. Natsu wrapped a blanket around me, my clothes were still gone. I cried and cried into his chest, still feeling the painfulness of the memories.
For what seemed like hours, I finally wiped away the tears. Stood up and looked Natsu in the eyes.
“I`m s-sorry...I don`t know what got over me..” I said.
Natsu didn`t say anything, gently kissing my cheek. I smiled at the gesture. He led me back to the bedroom, to our clothes. I protested when he began to dress me.
“Natsu you don`t have to.” I said, trying to stop his hands. He held my wrist tight.
“I want to. I hate seeing you like this, I feel so guilty.” He responded, and continued.
About an hour later we stood at the train station, Happy and Fozana flying overhead. Natsu gripped my hand in a vice grip. I wore his scarf, to hide the mark on my neck, it fluttered in the wind behind me.
The train squealed to a halt, in front of us. Natsu looked green just looking at it. I squeezed his hand in a kind gesture.
When we sat down in our booth, the train began to move. Natsu looked even more pale. I handed him a vial. It was a potion from the local apothecary.
“What`s this?” He asked, puzzled.
“Drink it.” I said. “It`ll help with your motion sickness. Though it will make you drowsy.” I said.
He nodded and drank half the bottle, instantly his face lost its green tinge. Returning to normal. He rested his head on my shoulder and began to doze off. I stared out the window, watching the countryside go by. I had a bad feeling in my stomach…..
Natsu stirred beside me, raising his head from my shoulder. I glanced up from the book I was reading. The train rattled and shook.
“Are we there yet?” He asked, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
“No. You have been asleep for only three hours, we have about an hour left.” I responded, with a smile. His hair was ruffled from sleep.
“You should get some sleep too.” He said.
I glanced out the window, watching the trees go by. Not answering his question.
He sighed, “What`s wrong?” Sometimes Natsu could practically read my thoughts.
I turned back to him, staring into his eyes. “I`m..not tired.”
“What`s wrong?” He asked again his voice, serious.
I couldn't hide it forever. “I don't want to sleep. I don't want to remember my past. It scares me to fall asleep now. I worry that if I close my eyes the nightmares will return.” My voice was strained. “I`m so very tired Natsu...so very tired.” I said after a pause, my voice barely above a whisper.
“Lay down.” He said, he scooted away from me, and gently pushed me down, my head resting in his lap.
“Will this help?” Natsu asked, he began to rub my head. The feeling felt so good, the warmth of Natsu`s body made my eyelids droop. I closed my eyes.
What seemed like only a few seconds, Natsu was gently shaking me awake. It was dark outside.
I rose from his lap and began to stretch. “How long was I out?”
He let out a short laugh, “For about an hour. We've arrived at our job destination.”
I nodded and collected our things, Happy and Fozana already waiting outside on the platform.
Our job destination was the small town called Dorbu, in the center part of Fiore. A large forest surrounded the small town. The town's residents were mainly rich old people from the bigger cities. Their large mansion`s dominated the streets. A few smaller houses could be seen as well. We walked through the streets of Dorbu, Natsu reading the address of the mansion we were going to watch during the weekend. Street lamps were our guide in the darkness.
We finally found the house about an half an hour later. It was a large stone mansion. It`s high glass windows dark. A note was taped to the large oak door.
Dear Fairy Tail Members,
I had to leave a little bit earlier than expected. Your job is to watch the house while I'm gone. There is food in the pantry, for your stay. I will return by Monday morning.
“Oh great, hope he remembered the money.” I grumbled as Natsu unlock the door.
I groped the wall until I found a light switch. The lights revealed a large foyer, wooden steps rising to the top. A kitchen down the hall. The house was half the size of the guild hall.
“Nice place,” Natsu said, going further into the house.
We entered the kitchen seeing another note on the counter, under a large sack of jewels.
Use the guest bedrooms upstairs. I give you half of the reward now, half later.
The note was hastily written, the words almost illegible.
“At least he left some money….”
Dinner was a simple soup, Fozana cooked up from the sparse ingredients in the pantry. Seems like RK needs to do some shopping. I looked to the end of the table, Natsu and Happy were whispering back and forth.
“What are you two doing?” I asked, confused.
“Making battle plans!” Happy yelled.
I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes. “Battle plans? You honestly think thugs would attack here?”
“It could be dark guilds.” Natsu suggested, eating another spoonful of soup.
“Yeah, they already have a spy in here.” Happy snickered, mocking my past dark guild membership. Had it have been before my nightmares I would have laughed too.
I dropped my spoon with a loud clash. I glared at the blue Exceed. I made Happy shutter. It was my past self coming out.
“You think that I would ever join them again? Because I will destroy you if you even think about me joining a dark guild again!” I glared even harder at the cat.
Instantly I reigned in my temper. “I-I apologize Happy, I knew you were joking.”
He remained silent along with Fozana.
“Well did you see the large TV in the living room?” Natsu asked, changing the subject.
“Wow, the bed is so soft!” I exclaimed as I jumped on the large king-size bed in the mansion's guestroom. The blankets were soft as silk.
Natsu came out of the bedroom, a towel wrapped around his waist. I glanced him up and down. He smiled.
“I think that just made my day.” I exclaimed with a coy smile.
“The shower is nice too.” He said, dropping the towel and changing into his pyjamas.
He joined me in bed, wrapping an arm around my waist.
“So does Happy hate me now?” I asked, pulling the blanket up farther.
Natsu kissed my the back of my neck. “No just afraid of you.”
“Great...I hope you don`t hold a grudge against me? I didn't mean to say that.” I said.
He kissed me again more forceful. I knew what he was doing. I gently pushed him away.
“We can't...not with them next door.” I protested.
“Oh live a little.” Natsu said and kissed me again.
“Natsu don`t….not in someone elses house. What if they have lacrima cameras?” I said.
That stopped him. He laid back on his side, wrapping his arms around me. “Your right, he grumbled.”
Soon I had fallen asleep.
Movement below us in the kitchen woke me. Natsu was still asleep. I quietly got out of bed and entered the hall. It was still dark out, but with the bright moon that shone through the windows lite my path. I descended the stairs, wincing at every creak. Who was in the kitchen?
It was Fozana, getting a glass of water.
“Fozana you scared me. What are you doing up?” I asked.
“The blue one snores, I couldn't sleep.” She said. I chuckled.
“So could you have ever guessed that we would join Fairy Tail, during our Serpents Shard days?” I asked.
“No, I always thought that you would become guildmaster after Rivirori died.” She said.
We stood in silence, remembering dark memories.
“Did you approve of my actions?” I asked.
She let out a long sigh, “I did not know what to think. Since I was hatched into Serpents Shard, it was the only life I knew. Seeing you grow up was the only nice memory I have from that hell hole.”
I nodded, stepped up to the one of the large windows in the kitchen, looking at the expansive garden, behind the mansion.
“I regret my past actions every single day.” I said in a quiet voice.
She walked over to me, and jumped up onto the the counter. Now she was at least to my shoulder. She patted my arm.
“You should leave your past behind. And look to the future.” She said.
I let out a snort. “You sound like Master.”
“Which one?” She asked, she quickly corrected her mistake. “Sorry, I was still in my memories.”
“It`s fine.” I said.
We stood in silence for a while, watching the garden. Though we were still deep in our pasts.
“Eyrx watch out!” Fozana yelled and jumped in from of me.
With a thud, Fozana fell to the ground, blood pooling on the tile floor, a bullet hole in the window..
I felt numb, I stood there in shock. My face ashen. Fozana wasn't moving, wasn't breathing. I fell to floor with a loud sob. Pounding my fist on the tile floor.
I heard a door open upstairs, and someone barrel down the steps. It was Natsu. He entered the kitchen in a run.
"What's wrong?" He asked, it was more of a yell.
I looked up at him, tears running down my face. I let out a silent scream as I held Fozana's body in my arms. She was still warm. But, I knew that her body would be cold soon. Natsu sat down on his kness beside me, wrapping an arm around me. He rubbed my head.
I felt something warm in my hands, it was Fozana's blood. I turned to Natsu, leaning into his chest, crying.
"It's all my fault! I should have never let her jump in front of me!" I sobbed.
Natsu glanced around the dark kitchen, seeing the bullet hole in the window.
"It's not your fault Eyrx, she saved you. And I am forever grateful for that." Natsu said in a small voice.
I glanced up at him, he wiped away my tears.
"She...she always wanted to be cremated. She wanted to be in the winds when she died. Could... Could you.." I couldn't finish the sentence.
Natsu kissed my cheek.
He helped me to my feet, my legs were still numb. I glanced at the kitchen doorway, Happy stood there, a sad look on his face.
"I'll be in our room." I said in a whisper.
Natsu only nodded.
I climbed the stairs, with an expressionless face. Happy beside me. I went to my bedroom door. Happy followed.
"Happy... I just want to be alone." I said, closing the door softly.
I climbed back in bed, pulling the blankets around me. The darkness let my tears roll freely.
She was dead. The last link to my past was dead. No one in the world would ever truly know what it feels like to hold my burden. But there was still Natsu. He was the only one who wasn't from my past who understands.
I cried into the pillow.
I barely heard the door open. Natsu couldn't hear me cry. I turned away from the door. Wiping away my tears. I felt the bed dip as he climbed into bed. He wrapped his arms around me.
"You can leave me if you want. I'm just a burden to you now. You can find another guy." I said, taking his hand.
He turned me to face him. The look in his eyes made me flinch.
"I would never leave you Eyrx. Never. I would go to the underworld and back to see you. I would ride on the longest train ride to see you. I would kill to see you." Natsu said kissing me hard.
I nodded and rested my head on his chest.
"So did you do it?" I asked, not wanting to say it.
"Yes, I found a container too." He said.
"Then tomorrow I want to track down her killer and torture him until he confesses. I want him to feel pain." I said.
I leaned up on one elbow. Looking Natsu in the eyes.
"I would never leave you either." I said and leaned to him and kissed him. Then I laid back down, my head on his chest and I fell asleep, to Natsu rubbing my head.
The morning sun came with no solace. I still felt the dread of losing Fozana. Natsu moved beside me, he was still asleep. It felt like Fozan`s death happened days ago yet it hadn't been twenty four hours. I glanced back at Natsu, he still slept soundly.
I descended the stairs, not wincing when they creak. I knew Fozana would not be in the kitchen. When I entered the kitchen I almost fell to my knees. On the counter was a large grey metal tin. I knew who was in there, Fozana. I had to look away, to stop the tears. I walked over to the window, where the bullet hole was. Drops of blood were still there. I glared at the bullet hole, creating an imaginary line of the bullet's path. It would have been shot somewhere from the garden. No one could get in there without a key. No one but Reginald the owner. No it wouldn't be him. Could it? The thoughts whirled through my head. I had to find Fozana's killer.
A hand on my shoulder, ruptured me from my thoughts. I turned, fist clenched ready to strike my attacker. When I fully turned, I saw that it was Natsu. His other hand grabbed my wrist. His grip gently but firm.
"A little jumpy this morning?" He asked with a smile, he kissed me on the lips, I barely returned it, my thoughts now refocused on finding Fozana's killer.
" search the garden," I said, looking out the window.
His hand moved from my shoulder and gripped my other wrist.
"You need to give this up. Would Fozana want this? For you to seek to revenge?" He asked.
"But.. I must. They took something important from me, I most take something from them, their life." I said with determination. I tried to get myself away from his grip, it was tight as steel.
"Your're going to drive yourself crazy. I'm stopping this before this goes to far." Natsu said, his voice serious.
"Natsu I...Look! Over on the window a note!" I exclaimed, freeing myself from his grip.
I ran over to the window, a note taped to the outside of it. I opened the window and received the letter.
Opps, that was supposed to be your bullet Sea Viper.
The note read, with no signature.
"Damn him!" I cursed the author of the letter.
Natsu stood there in silence. I went over to the counter, putting the new letter down besides Reginald's. The writing matched.
t! The killer is Reginald!" I said.
A knock on the door made us both flinch. I glanced at Natsu in confusion as we went to the door. He stopped me, stepping in front of me. He gave me a quick smile then opened the door.
It was Reginald Kapri.
I leapt at him, my knees digging into his chest.
“Why did you kill her?” I yelled, water wrapped around his neck, tight enough to know that I would choke him.
“I was hired by a man! I don't know his name!” He spluttered out.
I let the water tighten.
“You know his name! Tell me who it was!” I yelled.
“Tell him, Kapri!” Natsu yelled, ready to jump into the fray as well. “How dare you hurt Eyrx!”
“I swear, I don't know his name! He met me in an alley, he gave me a lot of money, to do this!” Reginald said, his eyes wide.
“Then you are no use to me.” I snapped, my voice cold.
The water tightened even more, cutting off his air. In a matter of seconds Reginald Kapri was dead. I stood up on shaky legs and turned to Natsu. I wrapped my arms around his waist and he wrapped his around my shoulders.
“I need to go to Svar. It`s where I want to spread Fozana`s ashes.” I said in a quiet voice. “Send Happy back home with the money, then we can go to Svar.”
Natsu nodded and kissed the top of my head.
There was still snow on the ground in Svar, a town in northern Fiore. It was where I found Fozana`s egg, it`s also where Serpents Shard`s guildhall was. All those years ago.
Natsu held my hand, Fozana`s canister in my other hand. My face expressionless as we trudged through the snow. The town of Svar itself was small, a measly collection of buildings. I remember going through these streets as a member of Serpents Shard. This is also where I killed my first person.
When we passed the guildhall, it was practically a ruin. Some of the stone walls gone, windows cracked. My knees almost buckled, all of the memories coming back. When I first met Fozana, when I joined Serpents Shard. When I was tortuerd by Rivori.
A kiss on my cheek from Natsu brought me from my thoughts, I hadn't realized I had stopped. I returned the kiss, and carried on. We walked through the village and entered the woods around Svar, slowly climbing upwards into the mountains. Snow began to fall. I shivered, my light jacket was not enough. Natsu stopped and gave me his heavier jacket.
“Won't you get cold?” I asked.
“Not around you.” He said with a smile. I felt my face heat up.
Finally we reached the place I was looking for, a large overlook, into the valley below, the village small. The sun was setting on the opposite mountains, painting the sky purple. The view was stunning.
I set Fozana`s canister down, Natsu was a few feet behind me. I sat down next to Fozana.
“Do you remember the day you hatched?” I asked, knowing that there would be no answer.
“I do, it was a warm summer day, at this very spot. I was still small, only ten. So, seven years ago. I was so happy about having a friend, not a stone faced guildmate.” I let out a long laugh. “I have no idea how I came up with the name Fozana! But it suits you.” I wiped a tear from my cheek.
“I want you to know that I got revenge, on your killer. He suffered. I want to thank you as well, for convincing me to join Fairy Tail, where I met Natsu.” I smiled a sad smile. “We had a lot of fun adventures together, you and I. A lot of fun moments..and a lot of sad ones.”
I stood up and walked over to the large rock, sticking out of the trees. I stood on the edge, and opened the canister. Letting the ashes flow on the winds.
I fell to my knees, watching the ashes float around, knowing that Fozana was finally free. Tears ran down my cheeks, as the last of the ashes faded into the distance, forever on the winds….
It had taken a week to return back to Magnolia. A week to grieve. We walked through the streets, Natsu's arm around my shoulder.
"Natsu, it's late. Do you we need to stop at the guild?" I asked, as he walked toward the guildhall.
He saw right through me lie, I couldn't explain Fozana's death to them, it still hurt.
"Sure, anything you want." He said warmly. He turned us around, his arm still around my shoulder.
A light warm breeze followed us back to our home. The lights were dark, Happy was probaly still at the guild. Natsu unlocked the door, holding it open for me. I smiled, kissing him on the cheek as I walked by.
The house brought back painful memories, I passed Happy's bedroom a room he once shared with Fozana, now he could have it all to himself. I hadn't realized that I stopped at the doorway. A single tear ran down my face.
Natsu placed a hand on my shoulder, saying nothing.
"I want to thank you, for being there for me." I said in a small voice.
"Not a problem at all." He said and kissed my neck.
I turned to him and kissed him on the mouth.
"I..I want to forget it all for a few minutes. I just want to be with you." I said kissing him harder. He got the message.
He carried me to the bed...
Afterwards we laid in bed, the sheets jumbled up at the foot of the bed. My head rested on his bare chest.
"Thanks for that." I said.
There was a knock on the door. I sat up puzzled.
"I'll get it." I said. Pulling on my boxers and shorts. Putting on my shirt along the way.
I opened the door and was suprised to see Lucy standing there, her face flustered.
"Where is he?" She asked, it was more of an order not a question.
"What are you talking about?" I asked.
"You know Natsu! He promised that he would go on a job with me!" She said, "Just the two of us." She said as an afterthought.
"I'm right here Lucy." Natsu said from behind me. I was happy to see that he was fully clothed. Somewhat.
"Are you ready?" He asked.
"Could I come?" I asked.
Lucy gave Natsu a look. "No it has to be the two of us." She stormed off.
"Sorry, Eyrx." Natsu said. "I'll see you soon." With that he ran off.
I stood in bewilderment. When Natsu and I got together she seemed upset but got over it. Is she trying something?
I sighed as I rolled over in bed. It was only one o'clock in the morning and I can't sleep. I was worrying for Natsu, his mission was supposed to be simple, get rid of a hodras rampaging a farm. Those giant pigs are easy to beat. What if if was a trick? Natsu and Lucy didn't have a mission at all.
"No Natsu would never do that." I said banishing the thought from my head. But then why didn't Lucy let me go with them?
I heard the door squeak open. Fear ran through me veins. Is it Natsu or someone else?
I quietly stood up from the bed. My feet touching the cold wooden floor. Footsteps in the kitchen, then heading towards the bedroom.
"Natsu is that you?" I asked, my voice sounding like thunder in the silence of the house. The footsteps stopped.
"Yeah it's me" He said from the hall, entering the room.
"So what took you so long?" I asked, sitting back on the bed.
Natsu joined me as he began to undress, changing into his pyjamas.
"Well instead of there being just one of those pig giants there was five. All spread out in the fields. Oh and before I forget, Lucy wanted to apologize for not letting you come. She was worried about her rent. She didn't want to split the money." Natsu said.
"You would tell me if you were seeing someone else right?" I blurted out.
Natsu stood up and put on his pyjamas, then he stood in front of me, in the dim light I could see that his green eyes were staring into mine.
"No I wouldn't. Because I would never see anyone but you. Lucy and the others are my best friends but you are higher then them. You are the only one I love. The only one I ever loved." He said, his eyes locked on my eyes. I couldn't look him in the eye. I felt ashamed for asking that stupid question.
"Sorry I..I should have never asked that stupid question..I" I stuttered, lost for words. Natsu's lips silenced me.
I kissed him back, laying down on the bed.
"I'm glad your back, I couldn't sleep at all." I said, as I pulled the blankets up, Natsu wrapped an arm around me. He kissed my cheek.
"Good night worry wart." He teased.
"Oh you would be beside yourself if I wasn't here to tuck you in." I mocked back.
"Shut up guppy." He said.
"Whatever..." I said sighing.
With Natsu's arm around me a quickly fell asleep.
The sunlight on my face woke me. Natsu stirred beside me, stretching out his arms.
"Good morning," He grumbled.
"Good morning." I responded with a smile.
The last week was long and arduous dealing with the Key of the Starry Heavens. It also was the first week without Fozana. The return of the Oracion Seis was hard as well. I smiled at the thought of them in prison.
Natsu noticed my smile. “What?” He asked.
“Oh, nothing.” I said, the ghost of the smile on my face.
“So did you here? We`re entering the Grand Magic Games!” Natsu exclaimed, excitement lighting up his eyes.
“Really?” I asked. “What`s the Grand Magic Games?” I asked, it was more of an afterthought.
“Dunno, the others say that it`s a large tornumant to see who is the strongest guild in Fiore.” Natsu said, “And I managed to convince Master to let you join Fairy Tail`s team.”
I kissed him on the cheek, “Thanks,”
“Anything for you.” He responded.
We were silent for a while, reveling in each others comfort. Natsu snaked an arm around my shoulder.
“Oh and guess where we are training?” Natsu asked.
“Hell?” I asked jokingly.
“Well maybe.. no at the beach.” He said.
“The beach huh? Does that mean you will be in a swimsuit?” I asked with a coy smile.
“Maybe..or I might go without one.” He teased, laughing as my face went red.
“I..I don't think I could handle that.” I said, trying to regain my composure.
“So when do the games start?” I asked trying to change the subject.
“In three months. We leave today to train.” He said, getting out of bed. “Well what are you waiting for? Let`s go!” He said.
The beach was a nice change from all fighting for the last two weeks.
“Ah...a three week vacation.” I said as I entered the water.
I sighed as I felt the power of the ocean, my power increased in the water. I heard heavy splashing from behind me, I had barely enough time to see Natsu crash into me, sending me sprawling into the water.
I emerged from the surface with a gasp. It seemed from crashing into the Natsu it brought us into deeper water, it lapped at my chest. Natsu was no where to be seen.
“Natsu?” I yelled. “Great, he`s probably under the water somewhere going to pounce.” I muttered, looking down into the murky water. It was no use.
Then I heard bubbles behind me.
I quickly turned around, then let out a sigh as the bubbles disappeared. More bubbles appeared around me. It`s seems that he is swimming circles around me.
“Natsu! You can come out now! I know your game!” I said.
As the words left my lips I felt movement in the water from behind me, I quickly lifted my foot, Natsu`s hand grazing my leg. I forgot to change legs, he went for my other one, pulling me down into the water.
I opened my eyes, trying to see. All I could see was brown murky water, with a flash of pink. I felt arms encircle me, then pull me up out of the water. I was breathing heavy, Natsu held me above the water. I leaned my head against his chest.
“That was fun. You got to admit.” Natsu said, a large grin.
“Were supposed to train no-”
“Guys come here! It`s something very important!” Lucy voice ran out.
Natsu put me down and we swam to shore.
Lucy stood with Virgo, who wore a scared face. Everyone soon assembled.
“You need to come help us! The Spirit World is going to be destroyed!” Virgo said.
We all shared a look.
“I don't have time to explain! Let`s go!” Virgo said.
Soon the world went white.
The Spirit World, I'd never expect to be in it.
We all stood in a large courtyard, a large palace in the distance. Soon a tall muscular man appeared. Towering over us.
Lucy stepped forward, she and the tall giant exchanged words, I couldn't make out from my distance.
“A party?” Lucy asked.
“Yes, to welcome you back!” The giant boomed.
We all shared looks again.
We walked on the beach again, deadpanned looks on our faces. We were there for three months! Now we had to train. Erza`s Hell training sound grueling. Though I wondered who wrote the note.
We crossed a suspicious looking bridge, into a shrouded forest. Three hooded figures stood before us, one removed his hood. It was Jellal.
I remembered him when we battled Oracion Seis the first time.
“Welcome Fairy Tail,” He said.
We all watched as Natsu screamed in pain as the third origin was taking place. I knelt down beside him. I looked back up at Ultear.
“Can I touch him?” I asked.
She shook her head.
I nodded, and gave a sad look to Natsu. “It`s going to be okay,” I whispered.
I wondered what the Grand Magic Games had in store for us.
The pain of the third origin still lingered in my joints as we walked back to our hotel on the beach, tomorrow we would head back to Magnolia then off to Crocus, the capital of Fiore.
I winced as pain as the third origin made its presence known in my arm. Sharp pains would appear throughout my body.
“Are you alright?” Natsu asked, his pain subsided long ago.
“Yeah...it`s just the third origin.” I said, comforting my arm.
I practically fell into bed, I was exhausted. I barely felt Natsu climb into the other side of the bed. Barely felt the kiss in my cheek.
I felt Natsu hand gently shake me awake. It felt like a slept for only a minute.
“Uhhh..do I have to get up?” I groaned, rubbing the sleep from my eyes.
Natsu let out a laugh. “No I don't think so. Erza would kill you if you're late,”
“She doesn't scare me.I've killed worse..I mean yeah I`ll get up.” I said trying to compose myself. Natsu gave me a look, a look that wanted me to go crawl under a rock and die. “Sorry..it slipped out.” I said, my face red.
In a matter of minutes we were on the road, back to Magnolia. The sun creeping up into the sky. Seeing Happy and Carla fly ahead, made me miss Fozana. She would have loved to see Crocus. Worry was afire in my stomach, back in Serpents Shard only once was I caught for murder, it was when I killed an army general. But that was almost ten years ago, what if they found out? But I never gave them my name, just Sea Viper.
Natsu hand on my shoulder stopped me in my tracks, I was so engrossed in my thoughts that I didn't realize that I was about to run into a tree.
“Sorry,” I said sheepishly.
“So what are you thinking about?” Natsu asked.
“Nothing.” I said, quickly.
“Tell me.” Natsu said.
I sighed, knowing that Natsu would just keep asking me about it, it would go on for hours. “I`ll tell you later.” I said.
“Later then,” He gave me a wink, telling me without words that he would not forget to ask.
The train ride to Crocus, was short only two hours, I excitement and fear fought for control in my stomach for seeing the capital again. Natsu sat next to me, he drank the motion sickness potion again, so he wasn't losing his lunch. Lucy sat across from us asleep as was Wendy who was also asleep. Only Natsu, Happy, Carla and I were awake. I looked out the window, watching the countryside go by.
“So, have you ever been to the capital?” Natsu asked me.
I turned to him, there was no use hiding it from him. “Yeah about three years ago, well ten if you count Tenrou. It..it was a mission for Serpents Shard.” I said.
“Oh. So about earlier. So what were you thinking about.” Natsu said, he knew that I didn't like talking about my past.
“Well..it was about that certain mission in Crocus all those years ago.” I said.
Natsu nodded asking for me to continue.
“It was the usual, assassination mission, to kill an army general, General Macarthur was his name. And..when I..did the deed, I was caught. I barely managed to escape from prison. They put me in a place under the palace called Hell`s Palace. It`s a large cave network. When I escaped back to the guild Rivori was there, he knew that I was caught. That was one of the worse ones.” I said, my voice strained.
Natsu said nothing just taking in the small amount of information about me.
“Do you..do you ever feel guilt?” Natsu asked. “You don't have to answer.” He said later, realizing that he made a mistake.
“No it`s fine. No secrets right?” I said. “Anyway, no I don`t feel guilt. Guilt was removed by training and torture. I never experienced guilt until recently. Since Riviori had control of our minds he would know when we would express guilt. It only happened once or twice.” I said.
“I`m sorry you had to go through that.” Natsu said, putting an arm around me. I put my head against his shoulder and drifted to sleep, trying to banish the painful memories.
My chest heaved with worry, the crowds in the stands roaring. It was the second day of the games and I had to fight Raven Tail`s,Nullpudding. His words still rang through my head.
“Do I need to repeat myself?” He sneered. “Fine. You need to lose the match or your boyfriend gets it.” He glanced up with his eyes. I followed his gaze a sniper, sat at one of the upper balconies, his gun trained on Natsu. Who was oblivious to the fact that he was in danger.
I couldn't let Natsu die, for some stupid games.
“So what is it going to be Sea Viper? You know 10 years ago you were my idol. Now look at you.” He sneered, I wanted to punch that smirk of his ugly fat face.
“Fine I let you win.” I said, dropping my arms.
“Good,” He said, then jumped at me, his enlarged fist slamming into me, sending me sprawling. He didn't give me a chance to get up, sending a swift kick to my ribs. I coughed, clutching my side. He kicked my side again and again. The pain unbearable. My vision going red. I began to cough up blood.
The whistle blared signaling the end of the match, though Nullpudding had other ideas. He sent his fist into my face. I yelled in pain. He pulled me up. punching me in the stomach hard. I barely heard yelling to my left. It was hard to turn, I saw movement to my left, with my vision so blurry I couldn't see. I felt Nullpudding fist hit me again.
Then, his pressure lifted. His hits ceased. I was gently laid to the ground, by familiar hands. I heard more yelling above me the voices sounding far away. Then it went all went black.
My eyes fluttered open, the pain a dull ache. I was in the stadium`s infirmary. Natsu and few others sat by my bed.
“Oh I`m sorry. I had to lose, or-”
“Oh stop it Eyrx. It`s not that big of a deal anyway.” Lucy said from beside me, I glanced over to she her in a bed as well. Bandages around her head.
“Are you feeling better? I managed to heal all your broken bones, and your bruises are almost gone.” Wendy asked.
“Yeah I`m fine. Hey where is Natsu?” I asked looking around.
“Oh he stormed Sabertooth`s guild. You need to control your boyfriend better.” Lucy said.
I sat up ignoring the pain. “I have to go stop him.” I ran for the door.
I found Sabertooth`s guild hotel quite easily, it had a smoking hole in the wall. I looked into the window before entering. Sabertooth master, Jiemma, standing before Natsu who had his burning fist raised. People lay unconscious around him. I had to stop this.
“Stop right where you are Jiemma!” I yelled as I entered.
“Do I know you? You maggot?” Jiemma snapped.
“Of course you know me, I am the infamous Sea Viper! Disciple to Master Riviori Idulin!” I yelled in a loud commanding voice. A man jumped at me from the shadows, water instantly grabbed at his wrist and with a flick of my hand he was thrown out the window.
Jiemma eyes went wide. He fell to one knee. Seeing their master bow, they all did the same.
“Sea Viper, we are honored for you to be. Please tell Master Riviori our regards.” Jiemma said.
“Oh shut up Jiemma.” I snapped, my voice sharp. It was the voice from my past.
“You greatly displeased me today. Did you touch him?” I asked, gesturing to Natsu.
“Oh that little fairy? I can rough him up for you Sea Viper.” Jiemma said.
“That is the reason why I am displeased. You now what I do to people that displease. You`ll wish that you were the man who was thrown out the window.” I snapped.
“Get up.” I said sharply to Natsu, hoping that he knew that it was a ploy. I grabbed him by the arm and walked out of the smoldering hotel.
“Jiemma, I will personally tell Riviori about your betrayal to the light.” I said, walking back into the night.
After passing around a few corners I released Natsu`s arm. I turned to him.
“Are you alright?” I asked.
“Yeah, that was all an act back there right?” He asked, hesitantly.
“Ofcourse,” I said kissing his cheek.
“So what the hell were you thinking when you invaded Sabertooth`s hotel?” I asked.
“When you were recovering one of their members beat up Lucy bad, worse than you. I had to get revenge.” He said.
I felt a glimmer of jealousy. Why didn't he attack Raven`s Tail for me?
“So what did you do about Raven Tail?” I asked.
“Oh trust me, Nullpudding should now look in the mirror for a long time. Trust me, there guild hotel looks a lot worse than Sabertooth`s.” He said with a smile.
I returned his smile and kissed him on the cheek. “Thank you.” I said.
“I was worried about you so much.” He said returning my kiss. He pushed me up against the wall.
“Natsu we can't...not here.” I protested. He kissed me anyway. It felt good to feel pleasure instead of pain. We kissed for a long time, then I remembered where we were.
"Natsu, I think we should stop." I said, breaking away from him. My breath coming in gasps.
"Stop what?" He asked, kissing me again.
"We've had a long day. I just want to go back to the hotel." I said.
Natsu nodded and wrapped an arm around me.
He let out a laugh, "It's funny how you made Sabertooth's master cower like that."
"Yeah.." I said in a quiet voice. "Look, I don't want to talk about it. It brought back painful memories."
Natsu smiled, "So did you really make people bow when they saw you?"
"That was a long time ago when I was different and young." I said, not returning his smile.
"Sorry," He muttered.
I only nodded.
We reached the hotel a few minutes later, it was quiet as a tomb inside. Faint snores could be heard behind doors. We entered our communal bedroom, it was hard to see in the dark, but we managed to get to our bed. I quickly fell asleep with Natsu's arm around me.
We ran down the halls, our mission to rescue Lucy went with only one small problem, Hell`s Palace and the executioners. Also with the appearance of the future Lucy. But, now we were free, sort of. The army soldiers that lay around us began to disappear into the shadow on the floor. We all stared in horror as their screams were ended by the shadow, then we heard footsteps.
A man with black and white hair walked down the hallway with grace, the air crackled with power around him.
"Who the hell are you?" Natsu asked, his voice cold.
"You! It's all your fault!" He yelled.
"Who?" I asked.
The man seemed to ignore me.
"Lucy Heartfilia." He sneered pointing a finger. "And I'm going to end it before it happens." A black beam shot out of his hand, hurting towards Lucy. We all stood stunned as future Lucy jumped in front of the black beam. She fell to the ground dead. Lucy was the first to react, she fell to her kness beside her future dead self. I remembered my training and held back tears. Natsu gave the man the cold glare, it almost made me flinch.
"You just took the second most important thing from me. You bastard." Natsu snapped.
The man let out a chilling laugh.
"Oh Natsu Dragneel you never change." He said.
"Who are you?" I asked.
Again the crazed man ignored me.
Natsu turned to me, Lucy and, Happy.
"You three need to leave, I'll handle this. Open the portal." He orders, his tone sharp.
"Good luck," Lucy said, she and Happy ran down the hall towards the main entrance.
"You need to go too,Eyrx." Natsu commanded.
I took a step closer, "But what if you ne-"
"Go!" He yelled.
I stood stunned, Natsu never talked to me like that. I regained my composure and shook my head.
"You're not fighting him by yourself." I said stepping forward.
"Eyrx leave!" Natsu yelled.
I ignored him and launched myself at the insane man.
I was standing with Natsu and Lucy, looking over the burning city. We did it, Fiore was saved.
Natsu stepped closer to me, putting an arm around my shoulder.
"I'm sorry I yelled at you." He said, breaking the silence.
"What? You're apologizing? I should have left you to it." I responsed, unconsciously running a hand on the bandage wrapped around my arm.
"Is your arm okay?" He asked.
I sighed, always overprotective.
"Yeah it's nothing." But it hurt like a knife was stuck in my arm.
"I feel bad for the city though. Destroyed in a matter of hours. I mean Fairy Tail could have never done that." I laughed. The others joined in as well.
It was strange to hear laughter in the ruins.
"So what's next?" Lucy asked.
"Well apparently their is a party tomorrow then the next day we head back home. It feels like it's been days since I've had a shower." I grumbled.
Silence descended upon us as we gazed out over the ruined city. Fire still burned in some places. Large craters picketed the once proud avenues of the capital.
Oddly though, I felt at peace. I wondered if it was the calm before the storm....
I came out of the shower, changing into my pyjamas. The house was empty, Natsu was still at the guildhall, celebrating our win in the Grand Magic Games.
When I entered the room I was suprised to see Natsu standing there.
"Oh Natsu, your back?" I asked.
"Yeah," He said, his voice sounded different.
"Are you alright?" I asked. "You so-" I never finished my sentence, he slammed me against the wall with all his might.
"What are you doing!" I yelled. My head hurt from the hit.
He slapped me hard across the face, leaving me stunned.
"Stop! What the hell are you doing!" I yelled again, trying to struggle from his grasp.
"Shut up!" He yelled, slapping me again.
I was stunned, my face felt like it was on fire. I felt a tear run down my face.
He threw me on the bed. Yanking my arms above my head.
"Natsu... Please stop..." I mumbled in pain.
I glanced up to a wicked dagger held in one of his fist. The sharp blade gleamed in the light.
"No...please no..." I pleaded.
He held one of my arms out, holding it against the mattress.
"Your mine now!" He growled out. And the dagger stabbed into my arm, pinning me to the mattress.
I screamed in pain, the pain was unbearable. My vision began to blur.
"Eyrx? Are you alright?" I heard Natsu yell from the hall. In my pain I was confused who was which? The one on top of me twisted the dagger handle, making me scream.
I heard footsteps at a run enter the room, then the weight on top of me was lifted. In my blurred vision I saw Natsu fighting Natsu, then the one that stabbed me, changed shape into a tall man, with black hair.
Natsu was like a blur, his fist colliding again and again with the man who attacked me. My vision began to black around the edges, I was losing a lot of blood. Then the man who attacked me fell down dead, his face contorted from Natsu's fist.
I was delirious, he was coming back to hurt me.
"Please don't hurt me again. I will do anything...please." I mumbled.
I felt a dip in the bed, his face by my ear.
"Eyrx, I'm not going to hurt you. Now I'm going to lift you from the bed." Natsu said his voice sounding distant.
"Please don't hurt me anymore." I mumbled.
I felt Natsu pick me. The pain in my arm was beyond words. He began to run, kicking doors open with his foot. Running towards town.
"Hold on Eyrx." Natsu pleaded.
The buildings went by with a blur, my vision a blur.
I heard Natsu kicking open a door.
"Someone help! My boyfriends been stabbed!" Natsu yelled.
I felt another pair of hands grab me, placing me on a bed. That is when I lost consciousness.
A door softly closing woke me. I was in an unfamiliar room. In an unfamiliar bed. The only thing familiar thing was Natsu. He sat in a chair next to the bed. His hand holding mine. He was fast asleep.
Then it all came back. I looked to my arm, a large bandage was wrapped around my arm, where the dagger was. I felt violated from that man who attacked me. I was glad that he was dead. I glanced back to Natsu, watching his sleeping face. His eyes flickered open. I smiled.
"You're awake." He said, his smile made the full pain go away.
He leaned in a kissed me gently on the lips. I smiled and kissed him back.
"Where are we anyway?" I asked. I scooted over and gestured for him to lay beside me. He declined saying that he didn't want to hurt me.
"I'm not fragile. Please? Lay with me?" I asked.
He nodded and laying down next to be, wrapping an arm around my shoulder.
"We're at the hospital." He said.
"About last night.." I said.
"I want to know that I will never hurt you like that. I love you to much." He said.
"It wasn't your fault. It was that man's fault. He's dead right?" I asked.
Natsu nodded. "He said his name was Gerald. Do you know that name?"
I swallowed. I knew that name.
"Are you alright? Your face is pale." Natsu said.
"He..he was the man that used to torture me."
I let the words sink in for a moment: He was the man who tortured me.
Natsu squeezed my hand.
“I`m sorry,” He whispered.
“Don't be..it wasn't your fault. I should have acted quicker, then I wouldn't be in the hospital.” I replied.
“Do you still love me?” I blurted out. “Or are you still here because you lost your love for me and want to protect me? I would unders-”
Natsu`s lips on me interrupted me. He strengthened the kiss, it was full of passion. He pulled away leaving me breathless. I hadn't realized that he was leaning over me, his strong hands on my shoulders.
“Don`t say that Eyrx. I still love you from the first day we met. The world would lonely without you.” He kissed me again then added with a laugh, “I'm pretty sure you could beat my ass in a fight.”
I smiled. “Keep thinking that.”
The shower felt good on my back, the hot water cascading down my body. I was discharged from the hospital earlier that day, my arm feeling a little sore, the hospital healers helping a lot. I heard the shower curtain open and close. I jumped and turned around, surprised to see Natsu standing behind me.
“Oh Natsu, you scared me.” I said, with a quick glance downward. “So?”
“So what?” He asked.
I sighed, reaching for the shampoo bottle. “What are you doing in the shower?”
“I decideed to join you.” Natsu. “Let`s switch.” He said.
“What?” I asked as he moved me to the back of the shower, he let the hot water run down him.
I began to rub the shampoo in my hair, staring at Natsu. He turned catching me.
“Sorry..I didn't mean to stare.” I said.
He just smiled. We switched positions again, for I could wash out the shampoo.
“So tomorrow is your self defense training day.” He said, breaking the silence.
“My self defense training?” I asked, washing out the shampoo.
“Yeah, for protection.” He said.
“But I have magic.” I said, switching positions again.
“But what if you didn`t.” He replied.
I sighed and stifled a yawn:
“Fine..But don`t go easy on me.” I said.
Some how I regretted those words.
Natsu shook me awake. I groaned and rolled over covering my face with my blanket.
“Come`on Natsu! It`s not even dawn!” I complained.
He shook me again, “Hey if you get up now, I`ll do it shirtless.”
I jumped out of bed. “Really?”
He nodded and kissed my cheek. “I`ll be waiting outside.”
I changed my clothes and grabbed two breakfast bars from the cabinet and ran outside ready to start my training. It was finally warm day, out of the cold snap of early March.
Natsu was wearing his usual outfit, with his shirt on, his white scarf fluttering in the light breeze, across the small meadow outside our house. With a smile I tossed him the other breakfast bar. We ate in silence.
In a few moments I was ready.
Natsu moved in front of me, fist raised.
"Oh wait a second." I said, gesturing to his shirt.
He smiled, "But it's cold outside!" Fine..."
I smiled as he removed his shirt, seeing his muscular torso. His fist flying towards my face brought me out of my stare. I quickly blocked it, sliding back a step.
"You can do better then that!" I taunted, sending a side kick his way. He blocked it.
"What was that he?" He said with a sly smile. I returned the smile sending a punch low, at his abs. That one got through, I softened the punch before it landed.
I realized my mistake, I was now in the range of his kick, I rolled out of the way regaining my composure in an instant, blocking his punch. We exchanged smiles.
"Let's change things up." He said and without warning he tackled me to the ground, pinning my arms above my head. My eyes widened.
It was the same thing Gerald did to me before he stabbed me.
Natsu realized it too and instantly released my hands. I pushed down the dark thoughts from my mind and switched positions, straddling him. I rolled off him and stood up. Fist at the ready.
"You think we're done?" I teased.
Be stood up and sent a kick my way, I rolled out of the way sending a punch to his shoulder. He grabbed my fist. I gave him a sly smile, grabbing his wrist with my free hand. And turning sending him crashing to the ground, on his back. I sat down next to him.
I gave him a kiss. "I think I win."
He wrapped his arm around you waist, pulling me down to him, we lay side by side in silence.
"Gerald used take over magic like Elfman, but he could take a form on from your memories and use it against you. That's how he would torture you." I said in a quiet voice.
Natsu pulled me closer to him, our hips touching. He kissed my neck.
"Let's not talk about it." He said.
"Your're right," I replied.
We descended into silence.
"You ever think about your future?" He asked.
My brow creased in puzzlement. "What do you mean?"
"Like who you'll be with and where you'll live." He replied.
"Natsu Dragneel, you listen to me. You are not going anywhere. I'm going to stand by you forever." I said, kissing him on the lips. "I love you,"
He smiled his warm smile, the smile that could light up a dark pit.
"I'll stand by you too." He said returning the kiss.
He deepened the kiss, rolling on top of me, cradling my head in his hands.
"Natsu..." I muttered, my hands resting on his arms.
He then pulled away, standing up. He helped me up.
"I love you too." He replied.
Making me smile.
I followed Natsu into the large burning hole he made in the side of the Tarturous' base.
"Really Natsu you had to make that big of an entrance!" I said, glancing down at the unconscious former council chairman. His betrayal will not go unpolished. Water formed around his face, clogging his mouth and nose, chocking him.
"Eyrx stop!" Natsu yelled.
"What don't you want to kill him?" I asked.
"He could have valuable information." Natsu said.
I nodded, letting the water run from his nose, his breath coming back shallow.
"Let's get go-" Natsu said, but was cut off by a woman's voice farther down the hall.
"Well well, the infamous Sea Viper himself enters Tarturous' compound."
We turned in suprise. A woman wearing a strange outfit, walked towards us.
"Or should I call you by your other names? The Bane of Light Guilds? The Sea's Assassin? The Murderer of Fiore?"
I stood stunned, I haven't heard those names in years. I felt my face go pale. Natsu clenched his fist:
"Who the hell are you?" He barked.
"Why I am your boyfriend's biggest fan. Do you remember Sea Viper when you killed that priest which caused the burning of that farming village, killing all those people? Or when you killed that General which caused the genocide of the Maki people? All those deaths, you've probaly killed thousands of people."
My I leaned against the wall, my breath coming in gasps.
"Please stop...I don't want to remember." I muttered, tears running down my face.
"Oh but you do. Take them away." She said tgesturing to two large guards. “Put them in the same cell, they will suffer together.”
The two big man one grabbed my arm in a vice grip, when the guard grabbed Natsu he began to struggle, yelling curses.
“Natsu! There`s no use.” I said, it quieted his curses.
The guards took us down the hall in single file, Natsu behind me. I kept my eyes glued to the floor, passing cell after cell. Disgusting men behind the bars, to my dismay they were all naked.
My thoughts kept returning to the women who said all my old names. Names I tried to forget. The guards kept leading us through hallways, I lost count on how many turns or intersections we crossed. Finally they stopped at an empty cell. The guard who held my by the arm grabbed my waist.
“Hey! Get your filthy hands off him!’ Natsu yelled.
With a grunt the guard ripped of my pants and boxers. I stood shocked. Then my shirt. I felt the cold air on my skin. I looked back to see that they did the same to Natsu, we both stood naked in the gut of Tartarus` base. They locked shackles on our wrists then they shoved us into the cell, slamming and locking the door.
“Hey! Give me back my clothes!” Natsu yelled.
I sat against the wall, my head bowed. Feeling the guilt seep into my heart. Eventually Natsu stopped. He sat beside me our shoulders brushing, it felt weird to feel his skin against mine. He gently leaned over and kissed my cheek.
“You shouldn't feel sorry for yourself, Eyrx. The past was the past.” Natsu said.
I turned my head to look into his eyes.
“But..I..I was the reason all those people died! I ruined cultures and peoples all from a few deaths! I'ma monster!” I exclaimed, I rested my head against Natsu shoulder, I couldn't wipe away the tears from my face.
“Don`t think those things Eyrx. That happened years ago, your`re a different person now. Far different than what you were. You're the reason why I love you. Your`re smart, strong, funny and handsome. Far from being a monster.” Natsu said, giving me a warm smile.
I nodded, “Thanks for that.” I said and kissed him.
“You know that if we weren't in prison I would be enjoying this now.” Natsu said with a coy smile. I had almost forgot that we were naked.
Then something stirred in the opposite corner of our cell.
“Natsu? Eyrx?” Lisanna said in a small voice.
“Lisanna?” Natsu asked and we turned to see her in the corner of the cell, she was also naked.
“Now could you please turn around? I don't like you two seeing me naked.”
Natsu and I shared a look then turned around.
“Do you know how to get these cuffs off?” Natsu said pulling against the cuffs.
“No there`re magic sensitive.” Lisanna answered.
“Great just great. And I really didn't want to die today.” I mocked.
A distant scream was heard I flinched and let out a shaky breath. Natsu noticed and leaned in and whispered into my ear:
“I won't let them touch you,”
I wanted to believe him, but that feeling of worry gnawed at my stomach.
We were free! I rubbed my wrist as Ezra led us down the hall, where she had our captor, Kyouka. One of the Nine Demons of Tarturous. She was tied up in an abandoned cell.
“Hear Natsu you can have the blanket to cover yourself.” Lisanna said, she had changed into her animal soul.
Natsu nodded his thanks and put it around my shoulders, he saw me shivering.
“Thanks,” I said.
Then we turned to Kyouka.
“Bitch,” Natsu spat.
“You three go, I got this.” Erza ordered.
We nodded and sprinted down the hallways out of the prison into the rest of the compound. Then the enemy soldiers came.
“Lisanna we got this! Go find Mira!” Natsu ordered and jumped into the fray, still naked.
“Good luck!” She called and raced down the hall. I turned back to the fight, Natsu was in the middle of it all. We took them down easily. In a few moments we stood panting from the effort.
Then the room grew cold and darker, then black, I could only see Natsu, he glowed white, I looked down to see that I was glowing as well.
Then to my utter horror Zeref appeared out of the darkness.
My eyes went wide as Zeref appeared out of the shadows.
“No…” I whimpered, falling to my knees.
Natsu stood where he was, “Zeref.” He muttered.
Zeref said nothing, a slight smile on his face. He stepped up to me. I was locked in fear.
Then he let out a laugh. “You know, I`d never think that you, the infamous Sea Viper,would bow to me.” Then he turned his gaze to Natsu, “I`m impressed by E.N.D`s work. It`s funny though, Igneel could never kill him.”
Natsu`s hand went to the sword Erza gave him, launching himself at him.
“Shut up! You terrorizing Eyrx ends here!” He yelled. I closed my eyes when I saw the sword ready to cut Zeref in half, waiting for the splatter of blood. Yet it never came.
The sword disintegrateded into ash. Natsu landed beside me, bringing me up on my feet and pushing me behind him.
“You might be able to pull it off, but even Igneel couldn`t kill him. Soon you will be faced with the very same decision.” Zeref said in his demented voice.
“What?” Natsu asked.
“Life or death, The choice is yours.” He said cryptically. “Well I`d better be going. Oh and here are some clothes, you really shouldn`t be fighting naked.”
“Wait stop! What are you talking about!” Natsu yelled after him, but he was gone.
The light returned to the room, two set of clothes stood in his place.
I glanced at Natsu, he gave me a small smile. Natsu handed me one of the pair of clothes.
“Are you alright?” He asked.
His words brought me out of my thoughts. I realized that I was still holding the set of clothes, staring off.
“Yeah..I'm fine.” I said and with shaky fingers I put on the set of clothes. When I finished, Natsu put his arm around my waist. He kissed me on the cheek.
“You don`t have to think about that bastard.” He said.
“I..know, it`s just hard. I make an utter fool of myself, when he shows up. I'm useless.” I muttered, resting my head on his shoulder.
“You're far from useless. You conquered your fear and killed Riviori.” He said, kissing me again but this time on the lips. “Come`on lets go find the others.”
He grabbed my hand and we raced down the hall.
The tremors began, shaking the floor and walls. Lucy grabbed a pillar for support. I fell to the ground. Natsu kept his balance a few feet away from me.
“What`s going on!” I yelled.
The creepy soul stealer, turned to me Hade`s face stared back at me, making me flinch.
“It`s the reaction to Face.” He said.
I felt the color drain from my face. Natsu swore under his breath.
“In three minutes, magic will be destroyed.” The soul stealer said, with a small laugh.
Then the shuddering ended as soon as it began.
“Yes! Face has been activated!” The soul stealer said with glee.
Natsu brow bunched in confusion. “But my magic is still there.”
Hades face went ashen. “What! Then I will have to use Hades` power!” He yelled.
Incarnations began to appear around him. Natsu backed up in front of me, shielding me. I came to my feet, placing a hand on his shoulder.
“AMATERASU 28 FORMS!” The soul stealer screeched.
The explosion knocked us all back. Happy and Lucy landing in heap. Natsu landing next to each other a few feet away. Natsu let out a groan.
“Now I will feast on your soul`s!” He yelled, tendrils of light wrapping around Natsu, Lucy and, Happy.
“Oh, I almost forgot about you Sea Viper. Alas, Lord Zeref has plans for you. You will become a demon.” He laughed.
“No…” I muttered, my eyes wide.
Natsu, Lucy and Happy began to scream in pain. Unworldly pain.
“Stop! Please stop!” I yelled.
The soul stealer just laughed even harder.
I felt tears fall down my face. “I can`t let them die!”
I felt the power coursce through me, water began to form around me in the air. Natsu saw what I was doing. He began to struggle telling the others to fight back.
Then I released my power.
“Water Dragon Secret Art Water Nova!” I yelled, sending the water at the soul stealer. When the water hit him the explosion was so bright and powerful it knocked me to my knees. But he was standing as expected.
“You idiot you think your magic can harm me?’ He asked.
“No. It was a distraction. Lucy now!” I yelled.
Lucy nodded telling Taurus, Aris, Natsu and, Happy that she releases their contracts. Then they were free.
Natsu gave me a warm smile from across the hall, then he punched the soul stealer to the floor. Ripped a large boulder from the wall, hoisting it above his head.
“This will surely harm you.” Nats said. He threw the rock on top of him. Killing him.
When the dust settled, all the souls escaped into the air.
I walked over to Natsu, he pulled me into a tight embrace, I rested my head on his shoulder.
“It`s only beginning.” He said.
The place was silent as a tomb. Natsu's words echoing in my mind. I worried what would come next.
I glanced back at him.
"When will it be over? Natsu....I'm terrified. I've never delt with this kinda of thing. I've never killed a demon." I muttered, trying to regain my compsure.
Natsu kissed my cheek saying nothing. We both knew that words alone wouldn't change the situation.
"But if Wendy stopped Face, then what next?" Lucy asked.
That is when Warren contacted us. Everyone was happy about Wendy defeating Face. Then laughing could be heard.
"You think you've one? That was a small bump in the road. See if you can beat this! Alegria!" The Demom King yelled.
Then all hell broke loose. The walls began to morph and turn.
"What the hell?" Natsu said. The ground began to shake and rumble. Then we began to rise.
"Eyrx hold on!" Natsu yelled, I wrapped my arms around his waist. Lucy began to fly away from us. Natsu reached a hand out.
"Lucy!" He yelled. Their hands also touched, then white tendrils wrapped around us pulling us away then it all went white.
Natsu shook me awake. I slowly blinked open my eyes. I took his hand, standing up gazing around at the destruction around us.
"What the hell happened?" I said.
"Dunno. Come on let's go to the others." He said, giving my hand a squeeze. I smiled, running after him. Gajeel, Juvia and, Gray both protecting Lucy.
Four strong looking demons stood in our way. We were ready.
Natsu charged first then the others, the skeleton man dissolved his lower half missing the flames. My water whips did nothing. What should we do? I felt despair creeping in me. No, we will be better then this.
"Water Hypora!" I yelled. A sharp beam of water crashing into the demon. He barley flinched. With a flick of his hand he sent me sprawling.
"Eyrx!" Natsu yelled.
I quickly jumped to my feet. I know what I had to do.
I could take out the four demons at once. Nothing can stop me.
I went to me kness. "Natsu don't let them touyelled.
"What are going to do?" He asked, dodging an attack.
"Something you won't like." I said. I left out the part that I might die in the process.
"Don't do anything stupid." Natsu warned.
I felt the power flowing through me. Ready to be released. I closedy eyes concentrating on the power within. I was ready.
"I'm sorry Natsu. It's the only way." I said opening my eyes, a tear rolled down my face. "The only way to save you and the world."
"Eyrx stop! Please don't!" Natsu yelled.
I gave him a small smile. "I'll get to see Fozana again."
"Eyrx no!" Natsu yelled, releasing his anger onto his opponent.
"I'm so sorry." I said. The power was ready to be released.
"DRAGON FORCE, WATER DRAGON SOUL!" I yelled, the power released. Water powered by the epic power of dragons hit the demons with as much force and energy as a supernova.
I opened my eyes realizing that I was still alive. The four demons were dead. A pile of black slime. My chest heaving. Everyone's eyes wide in shock. Natsu smiled in relief. Rushing over to me.
"Are you alright?" He asked.
"Yeah I'm f-"
Clapping interrupted me. The Skelton was still alive.
To my suprise the other demons rise from their piles of gup. My face went ashen.
"It did...nothing?" I whispered. Using Dragon Soul left me powerless.
"Natsu I'm sorry, that I can't help." I said.
Natsu shook his head and gave me a smile, quickly kissing me on the cheek. "Just stay tight."
Natsu rushed off to fight the other demon, while Juvia took care of the skeleton demon, Keith. Natsu and Gajeel were having a hard time battling their demons. I saw something move beside me, Lucy crawled over to me. I have her a small smile. We both gasped when Juvia was hit by one Keith's blast in the shoulder.
"Those weaklings will make fine tools!" Keith said.
Skeletons fell on us, punching and kicking us.
I barely heard Natsu call my name. I punched back, trying to get the skeleton off me. We could still see the fight between Juvia and Keith. Then Keith surrounded Juvia in a black most. My eyes went wide when the black mist dissipated and Juvia was not there.
"Juvia..." I muttered. Lucy gripped my upper arm, in rapt attention. Then Keith exploded into water. Juvia was inside of him. Natsu and Gajeel shared a look. Then she collapsed to the ground. Lucy and I rushed over to her, dragging her out of the fight.
Natsu and I locked gazes he gave me a smile, I returned it.
Juvia beating Keith gave Natsu and Gajeel courage.
"Fire Lighting Dragon mode!"
"Iron Shadow Dragon!" They yelled their power far greater. It had been awhile since I've seen Natsu in his Fire Lighting mode. I was in awe, feeling the emense power from here.
The two remaing demons had power as well.
"Etherious form!" They transformed into larger versions of themselves.
"Crimson Lotus Lighting Blade!" Natsu yelled, a wall flaming lightning formed around the demons, then it dissapered.
"What happened?" I asked.
"Ask your boyfriend.." Lucy muttered. I glanced over at Natsu and Gajeel. They were bickering back and forth.
"Of course...." I muttered.
"You idiots..." One of the demons muttered. Then disaster struck. Black water poured forth, submerging the room. The water was diffetent as expected, but I could breathe in it. It left a slight burn in my chest.
"Sea Viper!" Gajeel yelled. "Take care of the others!"
I nodded "Good luck!" I swam over to the others, Natsu, Lucy and, Juvia floating in unconscious. I pulled them closer together. Creating a bubble of clean water in the dark water.
Then I began to absorb the dark water, feeling the sharp pain in my lungs. In a matter of seconds the dark water was gone. Natsu the first to wake. Lucy and Juvia stirring. Then the dark water took its effect. I let out a yell of pain, sticking my head outside of the bubble of air, dispelling the water. Chest heaving I fell to my knees in the bottom of the bubble. The others watching the fight going on. To our suprise Levy showed up, swimming over to Gajeel. We all leaned closer.
"Did they just kiss?" I asked.
"I think so.." Lucy answered.
"Huh, who would of thought?" I said.
"Oh come'on metal head! Get back to the fight!" Natsu proclaimed.
We ignored him.
"You know, thinking back on it.. It would make sense for them to get together." I muttered.
Levy swam into the air bubble with us, Lucy giving her a look.
We then turned out attention back to the fight. Then something strange happened, Gajeel went limp. Then began to absorb the water.
"What is he doing? He'll get himself killed! The carbon levels in the water are so high, I can't even absorb that much." I said.
"But when iron comes into contact with high levels of carbon..." Levy began
"Steel! It'll create steel!" I finished for her. Natsu had a puzzled look on his face.
"When iron touches a lot of carbon it makes steel." I said with a smile.
"I knew that!" He protested.
Then the water was gone, the bubble popped, we all fell to the floor. From our place on the floor we saw Gajeel finish the demon. Now only one left.
We stayed on the floor watching Gajeel get ready to defeat to the other demon. If things went sideways, I was powerless to do anything, it would be up to Natsu. Then a surprising thing happened, Gray came out of the shadows an ice bow in his hand. He quickly released the arrow, ice exploding around the demon.
“Impossible…” I muttered. I glanced at Natsu, he had the look of awe on his face as well.
Gray yelled something, we were too far away to hear. An ice sword at his hip, then he quickly slashed at the demon, jumping away. Then the demon exploded into small ice particles. Then he walked off.
“When could Gray do that?” I asked Natsu.
He turned to me and shrugged.
“Are you alright?” Natsu asked.
“Ye-” My adrenaline fell away I stumbled, feeling weak.
Natsu caught me, wrapping his arms around me. We sat down a few feet away from the group, my head in Natsu lap.
“I`ll be fine in a few minutes.” I mumbled, and stifled a yawn.
“Sure you will.” Natsu teased.
“Oh shut it.” I said, weakly trying to move my arm and swat at him. Natsu just laughed. It was cut short by a distant roar.
“That voice..” Natsu said. I popped up from his lap, sitting beside him.
“Do you know what it is?” I asked. The others heard it too. We came to our feet when the roar sounded again.
“No it can`t be…” I said, my eyes wide.
“It`s Acnologia!” Natsu yelled.
I took a step back, leaning against Natsu chest.
“Why..why now? When we were so close?” I said, my hand reaching out for Natsu, my hand sweaty with fear. He gave it a small squeeze. How are we going to defeat Acnologia?
Natsu and Gajeel fell to their knees clutching their chest. I felt the feeling to but did not go to my knees.
"Natsu... What's happening?" I asked, resting my hand on his shoulder. I quickly pulled it back. It was hot to the touch.
"Natsu?" I asked.
He quickly popped up, I jumped back in suprise.
"Igneel?" Natsu muttered.
Lucy and I shared a look.
Then he began to glow. I took step back, Natsu clutching his stomach.
"Natsu I don't think your're okay," I said. Then my vision flashed white, we all ended up on our knees. A large red dragon flying above us.
"I've always been with you. Now I must deal with Acnologia." Igneel said and flew off.
"Dad.." Natsu muttered.. Tears running down his face. I stepped up to him, he wrapped an arm around me.
"Can you believe it? It's my dad!" Natsu exclaimed a smile on his face. I smiled back, realizing that the throbbing in my chest was gone. What about my mum, Agrafura? Is she inside of me too.
"Wait a second Natsu, if Igneel was inside of you the whole time then that means he was there, with us when we had... Oh God.." I said feeling my face go pink as Natsu's hair.
I looked back at Natsu and he just laughed. "The look on your face!"
We heard a roar and we looked up to see Igneel and Acnologia fighting. What an epic fight it is. Natsu still having a whisp of a smile on his face from seeing his dad. I wondered if would change anything between us? I banished that thought from to the back of my mind. I glanced back at Batsu and realized that he was crying.
"Are you okay?" I asked.
"Yeah just happy that's all." He said and kissed me on the lips with passion. I let out s groan of frustration when it ended. Natsu's attention was back to the fight.
Natsu turned to me giving me a quick kiss on the lips, then jumped into the air, fire lifting him.
"Natsu what are you doing!" I yelled.
He didn`t reply, still keeping his present course to Igneel. With my dragon slayer hearing, I could hear every word.
“I need to talk to you!” Natsu yelled.
“It can wait!” Igneel responded.
“No! We talk now! What happened on July 7 year 777? Where are Eyrx, Gajeel and Wendy`s dragons?” Natsu yelled, asking question after question.
“You must do something for me first, you see that man over there?” Igneel said, I followed his gaze, to the Demon King.
“Make sure you get that book he is holding. And do not open it! Afterwards I will tell you everything.” Igneel ordered.
Natsu nodded and jumped and launched himself from Igneel. Buring his way to the Demon King. Zeref`s words burned through my mind:
“Life or Death your choice.”
“No..does that mean? I have to stop Natsu from doing something stupid!” I yelled running towards the Demon King. Jumping over debris. Natsu landed on the Demon King with a large explosion, I threw up my arm to block the dust from my face. I kept going. I had to reach him.
I stopped when I was twenty feet away from the fight. Natsu dodged the Dark King`s throns with ease.
“Water Dragon roar!’ I yelled, launching the water at the Dark King.He only went back a few centimeters.
“Eyrx get back!” Natsu yelled.
“I have to help you! Remember Zeref`s words? You must decide, life or death.” I yelled back.
Natsu pushed me back, out of the fight, then turned to the Dark King. “Fire Dragon`s Iron Fist!” He yelled, with the power of a dragon he launched a bright wave of fire at the Dark King. I shielded my eyes from the bright light.
The Dark King fell to his knees, then quickly jumped back up. A smile on his face.
“Let Sea Viper join the fight. I want to see if you improved since the last time we met.” The Dark King yelled. “Kyouka, the dragon has become a problem speed up the activation of Face. Use an organic link.” There was a pause, “I know that it will kill you. Do it anyway!”
“What are you talking about? When did we meet?” I asked.
He let out a small laugh. “I am Avar Dmaris, or was.”
My eyes went wide, Avar Dmaris was the Serpents Shard recruit that led the mutiny with me against my old master Riviori.
“No you can`t be him! Avar died to save me! To save the guild!” I yelled back. Natsu remained silent.
“Oh yes I am, ‘There is Light in the darkest of souls’ that is what I told you, when you joined me in the mutiny.” He gave me a wicked smile.
I fell to my knees. A tear running down my face. “You made me leave the dark and enter the light! I told you everything! I confessed everything to you!” I screamed. “You were...you were..”
“I was your first love.” He said.
Natsu gave me a look.
“No! It was not like that! You were like an older brother to me and nothing more!” I protested, looking at Natsu, trying to find any solace.
“You told me that you certain feelings for the same sex.” The Dark King responded.
I bent my head in despair.
I heard Natsu come up behind resting a hand on my shoulder, giving it a slight squeeze.
“Thank you…” I whispered. Then I glared at the Demon King. “Why? Why did you trick me?”
“Zeref ordered it. He sensed that you would become powerful, and to use that against you.” The Demon King said.
I jumped to my feet, grasping Natsu`s hand. “Unison raid?” I asked.
He looked at me in puzzlement.
“Trust me.” I said kissing him on the cheek. He smiled.
“Let`s beat this bastard!” He exclaimed, grasping my hand tighter.
“Water Dragon Secret Art..”
Together our power exploded towards The Demon King. The water working from inside out, the fire coming from the outside. When they collided they exploded, I coughed from the debris. A bright light appeared from the cloud dust. Natsu pushed me out of the way, I gasped in horror as Natsu shot back from the force of the blow.
“Natsu!” I yelled. I glanced up seeing Igneel in the same fate, he roared in pain. Natsu jumped up, fist raised. We turned at the sound of footsteps, it was Rouge and Sting.
“Natsu! Lord Sea Viper!” They yelled.
I sighed remembering when I lied to Sabertooth that I was still Sea Viper.
“It`s Eyrx.” I said.
“What are you guys doing here?” Natsu asked, stepping between us.
“We`re here to help. Four to one we will win.” Sting said.
“No I am doing this alone. Igneel gave me this job.” Natsu responded.
“Natsu you can't`!” I replied, putting a hand on his shoulder on his shoulder.
“I must. Sting and Rouge could you keep him from the fight?” Natsu asked. They nodded, each linking arms with you. “I am trusting you with one of the most important jobs. If he even get`s scratch on him I will kill you both.” They nodded again.
I have never seen Natsu like this before. Then he ran off.
I began to struggle, trying to break free from their grasps.
“Natsu you can`t do this alone! He`s too powerful!” I yelled.
“Calm down Eyrx, it`s Natsu we`re talking about. He`ll be fine.” Sting said.
“You have to let me go! Please! He might die!” I pleaded, but they remained fast.
I sighed, “Don`t you want glory too? Natsu can`t have all the fun,”
Finally they broke. Rouge sighed. “Fine.”
“You can see how Sea Viper works in battle.” I said, as we ran towards the Demon King.
“What the hell are you doing?” Natsu asked, as we came up to him.
I smiled, kissing him. It calmed his nerves.
“Watching your back silly.” I said. He smiled back.
“Let`s do this thing!” He yelled and together all four of us charged the Demon King.
He kept dodging our attacks. Natsu and I were pushed back.
“Serpent Strike!” I yelled, water sharper than steel cutting across the Demon King`s chest.
“Fire Dragon Sword Horn!” Natsu yelled fire exploding intot the Demon King. “And Roar!”
“Two attacks at once…” I muttered.
Sting and Rouge began their unison raid, and released, light and darkness hurtling towards the enemy. Then the Demon King absorbed it. Sitting back down on his throne, a smug smile on his face.
“Bastard.” I cursed.
“Come on Sea Viper, I'm not even serious yet.”
“You will fall today!” I said. I closed my eyes, feeling the water vapor in the air. And began to absorb it. “Mum, give me strength.” I muttered feeling more of the power course through me the water vapor turning to liquid, stands of water orbiting my body. Ready to be released, ready to destroy. “You made one mistake Avar Dmaris. You taught me how to battle my own demons.” I gave him a wicked smile. “Now you will fully understand why, I, Sea Viper was so feared! You should be in utter terror at the pain I will cause you.”
The power within me ready.
"If you think that you could win? Destroy light and let darkness rule? Even if you did succeed in snuffing out the light, light would always find a way back."
My vision tinted blue, the power to be released, this time it will be successful. The Dark King's eyes widened in fear.
"You end is here. WATER DRAGON SECRET ART! WATER HYPORA!" I yelled. Water with the force of a thousand tsunami's crashed into him. Then I clench my fist. And the water exploded, I felt the wind from the explosion ruffle my clothes. Then I fell to my kness. Utterly powerless. Natsu rushed over to me. A large grin on his face. Sting and Rouge held faces of awe.
"That was amazing!" Natsu exclaimed, wrapping an arm around me. I rested my head on his shoulder. Catching my breath. I gave him a smile then descended into unconsciousness.
My eyes fluttered open, I was in a familiar place. I opened my eyes farther. I was home, in my bed. The curtains across the window were closed, though I could tell that the sun was up. The door was cracked open, I could here noise from the other room of the house.
I took a deep breath, I felt refreshed. From releasing all of that power, the other day. Wait, how long have I been asleep? It had to be the morning after. I sat up in bed, and stretched. I pulled the blankets back and got out of bed, my bare feet cold against the floor. I went over to the dresser and slipped into some pajama pants. I quietly opened the door, and walked down the hall towards the kitchen. I entered the kitchen suprised to find it empty. The house seemed quiet. Then a pair of warm arms wrapped around me, pulling me against his chest. I let out a smile. It's seems that Natsu was here. He kissed the side of my neck.
"Excited to see me are you?" I asked, leaning my head back farther, against his shoulder. He kissed me on the lips. Then one of his hands squeezed my hip. I let out a gasped of suprise, he squeezed my hip again, I began to laugh.
"Stop it.." I days between laughs, I have never been tickled before.
"Yes!" Natsu yelled in mock victory. "I found your tickle spot!"
I laughed harder as he continued. Tears running down my face. Then he stopped. I leaned fully against him, catching my breath. I wiped away a tear.
"You know that was the first time I've been tickled." I said, finally catching my breath.
"No! That's impossible! Your friends must have tickled you when you were little." Natsu said.
"Never, did you think Riviori would allow tickling in his guild?" I let out a short laugh. "That would be funny though. Could you imagine?"
Natsu didn't laugh.
"You don't find it funny?" I asked.
"I do it's just..." He began
"It's just what?" I asked.
"Remember that Gerald guy?" He asked. Of course I remembered him. I especially remembered the stab wound. I let gave a short nod.
"What aren't you telling me?" I asked.
"Well when I came back home, you were still unconscious. There was a letter on the door, addressed to you. And.. I opened it." He responded.
"What does this have to do with Getald?" I asked. Suddenly I felt cold in his warm arms.
"The letter said that the reason why he came and attacked you because you failed your Decade Quest. Your Decade Quest to kill Fairy Tail's Dragon Slayer. Me." Natsu said.
"What?" I asked. Stunned. "Natsu...you must know that I would never even think about hurting you." I stammered.
Natsu tightened his arms around me, giving me his special warm smile.
"I know. That's why I burned the letter."
I nodded. Closing my eyes I let out a shaky breath.
"Wait. If Gerald is dead then who wrote the letter?" I asked, glancing up into Natsu's eyes.
"I didn't get that far...I burned the letter before I finished it." He said sheepishly.
I kissed him on the cheek. "Thanks for not being angry. Had I known back then I were to meet you, I would've never-"
Natsu silenced me with a kiss.
"I know, I know." He said.
I nodded trying to shallow down my fear.
"So what about Igneel? And Magnolia?" I asked, changing the subject.
"Eyrx are you alright?" Natsu asked.
I was off in my thoughts, I barely heard him. I ran a hand through my hair.
"Oh God...what have I done." I whisper. I felt a year run down my face. Natsu gently wiped it away.
"I-I'm so sorry. If I had known all those years ago that I would be with you, I would have done everything different. I would have joined Fairy Tail after my dragon left." I said, falling back against Natsu's chest.
"Don't say that. If you would have joined Fairy Tail when you were younger, we could have never fell in love." Natsu stated kissing me on the cheek.
"You're right. I'm going to look past this." I said glancing up at Natsu. Smiling, I kissed him back. He smiled and kissed me harder. I pulled away.
"Is Happy around? It would be awkward if he walked in on us." I asked.
"He's with Charle" Natsu replied.
"Good," I said, taking his hand. I lead him down the hall. I never made it that far. Natsu scooped me up in his arms. Kissing me with passion.
"Natsu I'm pretty sure that I can walk." I said.
"I know." He responded. Placing me on the bed. He kissed me and when he pulled away I let out a whimper.
"Sorry, it slipped out." I replied, blushing. Natsu laughed kissing my neck.
"Natsu, stop you will leave a mark like last time." I responded, remembering wearing his scarf to hide the marks.
"So," He said.
I grabbed his wrist.
"Please don't. I don't want any marks." I said.
Natsu instantly pulled back, like I struck him.
"Sorry I thought you were joking." Natsu said.
I gave him a coy smile. "It doesn't mean you have to stop kissing me on the lips."
He returned the coy smile. And squeezed my hip. I let out a long laugh.
"I love you Eyrx."
I woke up the sound of rain on the roof. I turned my head, Natsu was still asleep beside me. He only had the sheet covering him. The other blankets covering me. Wait, when did I put the blankets on? It was probaly Natsu. I moved the blankets so they covered us both. He mumbled something then he rolled over draping his arm over my body. I sighed, now I was trapped. I glanced over at the window, I let out a small gasp. A letter was taped to the window. I looked back at Natsu he was still asleep. I gave him a sad smile, gently removed his arm and got out of bed. Slipping back into my clothes. I opened the window and removed the note.
It's seems that Gerald s dead. You were supposed to complete the Decade Quest! Natsu Dragneel is not dead! You bring shame to the your name! Kill him or I will. Your predacious cat Fozana died because of your failure.
In my own hand,
"No, not Alric Batrou." I muttered. "He's the one who killed Fozana!"
I turned around, Natsu was still asleep. I put the letter on the bedside table, and quietly sitting on the edge of the bed. Alric was the one who hired Reginald Kapri to shoot Fozana. I felt a tear run down my face. What am I going do?
"I have to find him. It's the only way to be free." I said clenching my fist.
"Eyrx are you okay?" Natsu asked, sitting up. I said nothing handing him the letter, wiping away a tear.
I quietly sobbed as Natsu read the letter. When he was finished, he wrapped his arms around my waist, pulling me against him. He kissed my cheek.
"Natsu I will find Alric and make him pay. I will personally see to his death. He forgets what I was like all those years ago." I vowed.
"Don't get ahead of yourself. I'm in this too." Natsu said.
I turned to him, kissing him on the cheek. "I know that's why you are the main part in my plan."
"What plan?" He asked.
"Oh you'll see my love." I said resting my head on his chest.
I glanced at the clock it was only 5 in the evening. Plenty of time. I sat up and ran a hand over his muscular chest.
"You get dressed, I'll meet you outside." I said. I stood up and began to walk away. His hand grabbing my wrist stopped me.
"Eyrx don't carried away with this. Torturing him will not make Fozana come back." Natsu said. I've been with him long enough to know he was concerned.
I didn't turn around, relaxed in his hold. "Gerald and Alric used to torture me together. They made me scream and have nightmares. They ripped my childhood innocence from me. I was only seven and yet they laughed. It is also why I'm afraid of heights. You don't understand what it's like to fear by closing your eyes and fearing a nightmare. This is more my sake instead of Fozana, all I want to know that Alric will suffer before he dies." I tried to remove my wrist from his grasp, but he had my wrist in a vice grip. That is when I lost it. I turned back to Natsu burying my face in his chest.
"Oh Natsu, this is driving me insane! Usually I've been able to hold my emotions." I said between sobs. Natsu cradled my head in hands. I gripped his biceps.
"I'm a wreck! Some emotionally deranged kid." I muttered.
"Eyrx stop please, I don't to like to see you cry." Natsu replied.
"So why?" I asked.
"Why what?" He asked.
"Why are you still with me? I have way too much baggage." I said.
Natsu sat down on the bed, pulling me onto his lap.
"Because you keep me sane." He said, then he kissed me on the lips. "Your're handsome." He kissed me again. "You're smart." Another kiss. "You're strong." Another kiss. "Your're beautiful." Another kiss.
I looked into his green eyes. Trying to hold back a laugh. "Beautiful? But I'm a guy. You don't really call guys beautiful."
Natsu laughed, kissing me again. "I do."
I wiped away my tears. "Thanks for that. I guess I really needed that."
"That's what I'm here for, to provide emotinal support and fish for Happy." He said with a smile.
"True. That cat would go crazy without fish." I chuckled. I rested my head against his shoulder. "Natsu?"
"You're still naked."
I laughed. "It was so hard to concentrate when we were fighting Taurtous. I should have given you that blanket."
I sighed rolled over in bed. I couldn't sleep. Between Natsu's light snoring and the letter from Alric. Natsu had his back to me. At least he stopped snoring.
I got out of bed, putting my pajama pants back on, heading to the kitchen. I reached into the cabinet, grabbing a glass.
"Well we meet again Sea Viper." A man's voice said, from across the kitchen. I put the glass on the counter, slowly turning around. I flicked on the light, Alric was sitting at the table, a gun pointed at me.
I smirked. "I'm suprised it took you this long to confront me. Those damn letters were getting annoying."
"I see you haven't killed him." Alric said calmly. "But befriended him."
"You finally noticed? Good job." I let out short laugh. "When you put that letter on the window you would probaly seen us together."
"Your sarcasm doesn't hide you're fear very well, Sea Viper." Alric healed at me.
I picked up the glass again, and poured some water from the fridge in.
"So you must know that Serpents Shard is no longer active. Unless you've lived under a rock for the past ten years. I mean it looks like you have." I looked him up and down. I took a sip of water.
"Obivoulsy I noticed. But now I work for a different guild that took over all the jobs that were in progress during the fall of Serpents Shard." Alric snapped.
"So my job is still active." I said.
"Yes," He replied.
I took another sip of water. "You must be bloody stupid to think that I would ever think about finishing that job. Natsu is the love of my life."
"Even if you kill me, they will send another." Alric said.
"And what? Try to convince me to kill my boyfriend?" I asked.
"No, they will kill him. The group I represent is called the Dark Crescents." He said.
I let out a snort. "The Dark Crescents! That wimpy guild is nothing!"
"They were nothing eleven years ago. But now with the fall of Serpents Shard, Oracion Seis, Grimoire Heart and now Tarturous. They are the top guild."
"Where are they?"
Alric let out a dark laugh. "Why in hell would I tell you?"
"So they are weak then." I said.
Alric was silent.
"Oh come on Alric! You would never join a weak guild. That's not in your character."
"And what is my character? If you know me so much?" Alric sneered.
"The kind of character that tourtures little boys." Natsu said, stepping from the shadows.
Alric lost his smile.
"You really should be scared of Eyrx. He killed Lord Mard Geer single handly. And Riviori." Natsu responded.
Alric's face lost all color, he licked his lips. I jumped at him, my hand wrapped around his throat, pushing him against the wall.
"You scum!" I punched him in the face. He brought his leg up, kicking me off him. I jumped back to my feet. Natsu grabbed Alric by the neck and threw him outside. I was on him in an instant. Water tied his wrists and legs together. His feet dangling above the ground. Water wrapped around his chest. It began to tighten.
"Do you remember what you did to me?" I asked.
He shook his head.
"Pity, because I sure do. Now let's cut off the feeling in your legs." Using the water in his blood I stopped it flow, his legs were useless.
I smiled at his discomfort. Then I restored the feeling, dropping him to the ground. He grunted in pain. I kicked him in the ribs.
"You don't get to show pain Alric! Isn't that what you told me."
"You ungrateful brat! I created you! Through me torture I created Sea Viper!" Alric yelled.
I formed the water whip, slashing him across the face. He screamed.
"I will make you suffer!" I yelled, "Water Soul!"
Alric screamed in pain, feeling his blood boil.
"Tell me where the Dark Crescents are, and I will end your pain." I asked.
"They aren't real! It was a bluff to not make you kill me!" He yelled.
"You selfish bastard." I cursed, clenching my fist. With a final scream, Alric Batrou was dead. I fell to my knees. Natsu walked over to me, putting an arm around me.
"Are you okay?" He asked.
I nodded. "Could you, deal with the body? I need to lay down."
He kissed me on the cheek as I passed.
I fell onto the bed, my arms spread out. I drifted off to sleep.
I sighed when I woke, Natsu was out of bed. I glanced at the clock it was only 6 in the morning. What would Natsu be doing up so early? I jumped out of bed, when I heard a yell. Natsu`s yell. I ran from the room, worry seeping into my chest. I heard the yell again, from outside the house. I crashed through the door, water whips at the ready. What I saw surprised me. Natsu on his knees chest heaving, blood trailing from his cracked lip.
A man standing in front of him, a green light in his palm. He turned giving me a smile.
“Eyrx run!” Natsu yelled. I stood my ground. “Eyrx please! Go! He`s going to kill you! Run and don`t look back!”
“I can`t leave you.” I muttered, something about the man made me feel weak.
“Well sorry to cut this short, but it`s time to die Sea Viper! You killed my mother and I finally found you.” The man yelled.
I couldn`t move or access my magic. “I will destroy you!” The man yelled. A green beam shooting from his palm, I gasped when it hit me in the chest. I barely heard Natsu`s yell. I fell to my knees, I looked down seeing the hole in my chest. Then it all went dark.
A hand shook me awake. “Wake up Sea Viper!” A man`s voice yelled.
It wasn't a dream after all. I scrambled to my feet, we were in the woods around Natsu`s house. The man from before who, shot me with the green beam stood before me.
“Who the hell are you!” I yelled, trying to access my magic.
“I am Igar Varchev, you killed my mother eleven years ago. And I killed you. In a sense.” Igar said, letting out a smile.
“In a sense? What have you done?” I snapped, beyond angered.
“You see, that green beam made a copy of your body, your dead body. Everyone thinks you're dead, even your beloved Natsu Dragneel. I will destroy you. First we will go to your funeral then watch Natsu. What will your boyfriend do? Will he kill himself? Or will he pledge himself to another? Either way you will watch. Then, I will kill you.” Igar said, his voice cold.
“You sick bastard!” I yelled jumping at him, fist raised. He grabbed my fist, throwing me on the ground.
“Get up!” He yelled, he began to walk towards Natsu`s house. Once there we saw Natsu and Lucy outside of the house, Happy on Natsu`s shoulder. Natsu had his head bent, tears running down his face. They all were wearing black.
“Natsu, you need to remain strong for Eyrx.” Lucy said as she wiped away a tear.
Natsu kept his head bent. “I...I failed. I failed to protect him.” He muttered.
I ran out of the woods, towards them.
“Natsu! I`m fine!” I yelled, of course they didn`t see me. To them I was dead.
“They won`t hear you.” Igar said, standing beside me. “Come lets follow them to your funeral.”
I followed them, standing beside Natsu, though it didn't feel the same. I would never feel, his arm around me. His lips on mine.
“I will find a way to get back at you.” I whispered.
Igar snorted, but didn`t say anything.
We followed them to the graveyard. The whole guild was there. Everyone had ashen faces. It was weird to see my tombstone, flowers at the base. Natsu remained in the back of the group, I of course stayed at his side. The funeral service dragged on for a long time, everyone giving small speeches, Natsu remained silent. After people placed flowers on my grave, they left. Leaving Natsu alone. I glanced back at Igar. He was leaning against a tree, watching the whole spectacle with crazed gleam in his eyes.
Natsu fell to his knees in front of my grave, his tears flowing freely.
“You can`t be dead. Eyrx, you can`t!” Natsu sobbed. I sat beside him, wiping a tear from my cheek.
“I`m right here Natsu.” I whispered in a hoarse voice, I know it was pointless.
Natsu put a hand in his tuxedo coat pocket. It was a small vial, filled with a clear liquid.
“No...Please no.” I wailed, I knew what it was, it was posion. Natsu was going to kill himself.
“I will see you soon my love.” Natsu said. He then reached into his pocket again, pulling out a piece of paper and pen. And, began to write.
I had to stop this. I ran over to Igar, grabbing him by the shoulder.
“Stop this please! Please, he`s going to die!” I yelled.
“Not going to happen.” Igar snapped.
“Please you must understand! I`m a different person now! Destroying me will not bring her back!” I yelled.
“But it will bring revenge!” Igar yelled.
I glanced back at Natsu, the paper was half filled.
“Do you think she wants this from you? Would your mother want you to kill me!” I pleaded. “Please don't do this! Let me go!” My vision began to go blurry from tears.
I glanced back at Natsu, he put the paper down. I fell to my knees.
“Oh please no! Please...stop this!” I wailed.
Igar said nothing, he glanced back at Natsu then to me. He sighed.
“I will let you go.” He muttered.
I glanced back at Natsu, he uncorked the bottle, raising it to his lips.
“Hurry please!” I yelled.
Igar placed a hand on my forehead, and with a flash of light I was free. I quickly turned to see Natsu about to drink the poison.
“Natsu stop!” I yelled and ran over to him. He dropped the vial, it crashed to the ground. He turned and picked me up in his arms, kissing me hard.
“It can`t be you.” Natsu said.
“It is my love. It is.” I said, kissing him.
He hugged me harder, kissing me with the same intensity. He fell to the ground, holding me to his chest. His smile made me laugh.
“What happened to you?” He asked, between kisses. The grin on his face never wavering.
“That man over there,” I turned and pointed, but Igar Varchev was gone. “He never killed me. He made a copy of my body making me look like I was dead.”
“Why?” Nats asked.
I sighed, resting my head on his chest. “I killed his mother eleven years ago. He wanted to destroy me.”
Natsu put a hand under my chin, lifting my head to look him in the eyes. He kissed me hard, making me moan. I broke away breathless. I put my hand on his side, over his ribs. I tickled his side, Natsu let out a laugh.
“Yes! I found it!” I said, pulling my hand away.
Natsu kissed me again. “Can you promise me something?”
“Anything.” I said.
“Don`t leave me. Don`t go more then ten feet from me.” He said the last part with a smile.
“And if I break the ten feet rule?” I asked with a smile.
“I`ll have to punish you.” He teased.
“Natsu are you alright?” Lucy asked. “I cam to ch- Eyrx!”
We heard footsteps running towards us. Natsu stood, up offering his hand. I gladly accepted it. Lucy ran over to us, a large smile on her face, she gave me a long hug.
“Oh Eyrx we thought you were dead!” She exclaimed.
I told her the story about my capture.
“I bet you beat his ass.” Lucy said, with a smile. “You should come to the guild, Everyone`s having a vigil for you. It would be nice to lighten the mood.” She began to head off. I began to follow. Natsu hand on my shoulder stopped me. I turned to him.
“Remember the ten foot rule?” He said, putting an arm around my shoulder, pulling me against his side. Together we walked to the guild.
When we entered the guild. Everyone broke out in smiles, each giving me a hug.
I told Master about my capture.
“Igar Varchev...Igar Varchev..where have I heard that name. Oh yes! He`s once a Ten Wizard Saint. But he fled into hiding ten years ago.” Master said.
“But he`s still out there. And we can't contact the Council because of Tarutarus. Speaking of which, you build this town back up fast.” I said. “Well if you excuse me Master, I need to go talk to Natsu.”
“Oh course my boy. You really have him wrapped around your finger.” Master responded, I gave him a smile.
A managed to weave my way back to Natsu, who was sitting with Lucy, Erza, Gray and Wendy.
“They should make you S-Class Eyrx. You came back to life.” Erza joked.
“Or a Ten Wizard Saint.” Wendy said.
I turned to Natsu, “What about Igneel? Where is he?” I asked.
“He..he had to leave for a week. To destroy E.N.D. He`ll be back in a few days.” I nodded.
“Good, I would love to meet him.” I said.
“Well you'll have to wait. I booked two tickets to that beach resort down south.” Natsu said.
“Really why?” I asked.
“Your resurrection.” He teased. “No just to be alone with you.”
“I never thought Fire Head would be romantic.” Gray joked.
“Hey! Shut up you stripper!” Natsu yelled jumping up, he tackled Gray to the ground. Everyone sighed.
Cana sauntered over with two mugs in her hand, she handed one to me.
“So is he good in bed?” She asked.
I blushed. “Umm, I don`t know how to reply to that…” I said.
“I bet you have very good stories.” Cana replied.
“None that I feel talking about.” I responded.
“Oh don`t get so...so defensive.” Cana slurred.
I let out a long sigh. It`s good to be alive.
It was dark by the time we left the guild. Natsu and I finally alone. I stifled a yawn.
"It's been a long day." I muttered.
Natsu wrapped an arm around my waist. "You can say that again. But don't."
I laughed, it felt weird to laugh again.
"So, how long have I been "dead"?" I asked, making air quotes on dead.
Natsu kissed my cheek. "Two days. Today is Wensday and you...died on Monday." He muttered, his voice strained. "Monday and Tuesday night were the hardest. I couldn't sleep or eat. It was different without you here."
I kissed him on the lips, "You don't have to think about that now."
He gave me a smile and nodded, as if dismissing the thought.
"So when did you buy the tickets for the beach?" I asked, trying to think when he would buy them. "Because with Tartarus and with what happened..."
"I bought them after the Grand Magic Ganes."
"Really? Why so early?" I asked, confused.
"For your birthday on Friday." Natsu replied, with a sly smile.
"My birthday? But it's on." My eyes went wide. "It is on Friday! I totally forgot, with Tarturous and our recent events."
"You forgot your own birthday?" Natsu asked with a smirk.
"Well when I was younger, we didn't celebrate birthdays in Serpents Shard, Riviori called it selfish and straying from our true purpose. I didn't even celebrate it with my dragon." I replied.
Natsu was taken aback by that, he even stopped walking. "What?!" He seemed angered.
"She trained me to be strong preparing me for life. She said in the real world I wouldn't celebrate it. But Fozana and I would celebrate it in secret." I gave a small smile at the memory. "She would always buy a small cake trying to pull off that she baked. The cake was always good. I wondered how she managed to scrounge up the money."
Natsu continued walking again, keeping his hand on the small of my back. He kissed my cheek. "Well this will be the best birthday you ever had."
I gave him a smile. "Really? With presents too?"
"Trust me you will get a present." He said with a coy smile.
I blushed and remained silent.
“What? You don't like talking about it?” Natsu asked.
“I-I just think it`s weird to talk about in public.” I stammered, my face a deep red.
“Our sex life is awkward to talk about?” He asked.
I glanced around seeing if there was anybody on the streets. Thankfully there was no one.
“In public, I know other couples do it, but it`s just…” I mumbled off, I was pushed in a corner and Natsu knew it.
“You don`t like it?” He asked, somewhat disappointed.
“What?! No! I love it...it`s just.” I sighed resting my head on his shoulder.
Natsu let out a laugh. “I know, I just wanted to see you embarrassed. You cute when you're blushing.”
Of course that made me blush harder.
Natsu stopped me by squeezing my forearm gently, I turned puzzled. He pulled me close, kissing me with passion. He pulled away leaving me breathless.
"What was that for?" I asked, giving him a smile.
He returned my smile with a shorter kiss."A sneak peek for your birthday. You will be turning 17, after all."
I nodded the furrowed my brow, "Technically I would be 24, if you include Tenrou."
"Technically," Natsu said and continued walking, we were almost home now. "But that would make me 24 almost 25."
"Wow your old." I smirked, "Do I need to help you walk home mister?" My smile widened.
"Hey!" He said lightly punching my shoulder.
"Great now you're going senile." I muttered.
He let out a laugh, unlocking the door. He held it open for me. I gave him
a smile. I walked into the house and Happy practically jumped on me.
"Eyrx! You're alive!" He yelled, tears of joy in his large eyes.
I hugged him back. "Of course I am. Who else would buy you the nice fish."
"You, Natsu buys the crappy kind." Happy muttered with a smile.
I flopped down to bed with a groan. I was exhausted. I just wanted to sleep forever. I watched from the bed as Natsu came out of the bathroom, drying off with a towel. Putting on boxers and a simple white shirt. His scarf wrapped around one of the bed posts.
He slid into bed next to me, wrapping an arm around my waist. I could feel his breath on the back of my neck.
"You don't know how happy I am to see you. It feels like it's been forever." Natsu said, putting his free arm underneath my head. I rested my head on his bicep.
"Mhm..." I muttered my eyes closed. I barely heard Natsu let out a quiet laugh. I barely felt him kiss my cheek, before I drifted off.
I groaned as the alarm clock blared, my hand searching the bedside table until I found it.
“Great, I have headache already.” I grumbled.
I turned to see that Natsu was still asleep. He can sleep through anything. A mischievous smile came to my lips. I know just how to wake him. I leaned on one elbow, watching fortunately he was on his side.
I lightly rested my hand on his side. He didn't even flinch. Then I began my strike. Tickling his side. His eyes shot open. He grabbed my wrist flipping me over, straddling me. The look in his eyes made mine go wide. He registered that I was not a threat, his green eyes lost the angry fire.
"What? I didn't do anything." I said trying to bite down my laugh.
"Like how I didn't do this?" He asked, arching a brow. A wide grin on his handsome face. He put a hand on my hip.
My eyes went wide. "No please no," I muttered.
"Muhahaha! I have finally captured you! Fear my power!" He joked, letting out an evil laugh.
"You need to work on the evil laugh- Stop!" I yelled through a laugh,
"You know I'm ticklish!" I exclaimed, trying to push him off me. He used his one free hand to keep me down.
"I know but it's revenge!" He teased.
He continued to squeeze my hip. My laughs were loud, tears in my eyes.
"You know you are far stronger then I am! Your arm is thicker then my leg!" I complained. I looked like a twig next to Natsu muscular tall form.
Finally he stopped. My chest heaving, trying to catch my breath. I wiped away the tears. He got out of bed, offering his hand to help me up. I smiled at him and took it.
"I'm going to take a quick shower then, get my bag together." I said walking to the shower l, taking off my shirt.
"Could you remove your other clothes as well?" Natsu asked, I didn't need to be facing him to see his grin.
Closing the bathroom door was my answer.
After the shower, I got my backbag together. I went to the bathroom
to grab my toiletries. Looking in the mirror I realized I forgot to shave.
"Crap." I said, I glanced to shower, Natsu was still in there. I reached into the cabinet and got my electric razor. The buzz droning out the shower. In a matter of seconds my stubble was gone. How I hated stubble on my face.
"You shouldn't shave, I think you look handsome with stubble." Natsu said, I hadn't realized he had finished. He opened the shower curtain.
"Hand me my towel please." He asked, I nodded handing him the towel. I stared at his face. He had stubble as well but I knew he shaved his face everyday.
"So then why do you shave?" I asked.
Natsu was silent.
"You know when we first met I thought you dyed your hair. When I joined Fairy Tail and we were on a job together, before we started dating, and it lasted a few days so we didn't shave so I saw your stubble. Well unless you dye your hair pink everywhere." I glanced down.
"You think I should not shave?" He asked, stepping outside of the shower, wrapping the towel around his waist.
"No," I simply responded, kissing him on the lips.
I swung my back pack on one shoulder, waiting for Natsu outside. He followed a few moments later, buttoning up his black vest. His own pack on his shoulder.
"Ready?" He asked.
I have him a smile. "Of course I am. Two full days of seeing you shirtless. So I guess Happy is with Carla?"
Natsu gave me a what-do-you-think look, with a smile.
Finally we were here! I thought placing my bag on the bed in our hotel room. The view from the window was spectacular. I checked my watch we had about an hour for the beach until sunset.
Natsu plopped his bag next to mine on the bed and immediately opened it, grabbing his swim suit, red shorts with flames at the bottom. I watched as he changed.
"So is this another one of those sneak peaks?" I asked.
"Aren't you going to change?" He asked.
"I was just watching the show. I don't know which view is better. You shirtless or the beach." I said changing into my swim suit, simple blue shorts.
I smirked as Natsu tied his scarf around his head.
"What?" He asked.
I gave him a smile. "Nothing."
Oh this was going to be a good vacation.
I plopped down onto the large bed, in the hotel room. Ready for bed. I stifled a yawn, it was a long day on the beach with Natsu. I smiled at the memory.
Natsu came into the room a confused look on his face, an opened letter in his hand. I sat up and walked over.
"Is everything okay?" I asked.
He said nothing just handed me the letter. My brow furrowed at what it said.
We need your help back at the guild. It's important. Come alone.
I handed him back the letter.
"Are you going to go?" I asked in an apprehensive voice, fearing his answer.
"I have to go. It's with the guild." He said.
I sighed. "Fine, I'll get my things together. We'll leave in 15 minutes."
Natsu gripped my arm. "You can't come."
"What!? Of course I'm going with you." I protested. "And tomorrow is my birthday...." My voice a whisper.
"But I want you to be safe." Natsu said, he wasn't telling me something.
I looked him in the eye.
"You aren't with her are you. Because I know you. You aren't like that." I asked in a quiet voice.
"No! I want you to be safe." Natsu leaned in close, kissing my cheek. I turned away.
"Eyrx, don't be like that." He said, keeping his one hand on my arm.
"Go." I whispered, pulling my arm away.
"What?" He asked. Placing a hand on my shoulder.
"Go! If she is so important to you then go!" I snapped, my back to him.
He sighed, I could here him packing up his things. I began to lose my anger, but remained silent.
"I want you to know that I love you and and only you. I'll see you tomorrow my love." Natsu said in a quiet voice. That destroyed my anger. I turned.
"Natsu I-" I began but the door was closed, I was alone knowing that I made a mistake that might destroy my relationship.
I put a hand to my mouth, tears running down my face.
"What have I done?" I whispered. "I have to follow him."
I quickly began to pack my things, my vision blurred by tears. I slipped into my shoes. I glanced at the clock. It was midnight. It was finally my birthday.
I ran from the door, using my heightened senses to follow Natsu's trail. I ran from the hotel.
"Natsu! Wait up!" I yelled into the night, I began to follow his trail, he was no where in sight. My emotions were clouding my senses. I stopped and collected myself. Wiping away my tears.
I found his trail quite easily. It led to the woods, off the beach. I followed the path he took only moments again. I was confused. This was the opposite way back Magnolia.
"Natsu! Where are you!" I yelled. "I want to go with you!" There was no respone in the dark woods. It made me shutter.
What if there is some waiting in the woods? I needed to find Natsu fast. A black form was in the center of the path ahead of me. It was too dark to make out, it ran off in the darkness when I approached it. I stopped where the thing was only moments ago, seeing something on the ground. Natsu's scarf. I picked it up, wrapping it around my neck. I heard a growl, turning to see the black form leap at me taking me to the ground. I let out a scream, it's snarling face inches from mine. I brought my knee up into it's stomach. That stopped the black form for only a moment, giving me the perfect opportunity. I put both of my hands on the side of it's head. It was mine.
"Water Soul!" I yelled, the thing went limp in my hands, I threw it's body to the ground and stood up, cathing my breath. I saw a light ahead through the trees, it seemed like a campfire. I ran off to it, through it. I had to get to the light, away from the darkness. The camp fire was getting closer, tree branches slapping my face.
I burst into the clearing. Natsu was there, sitting by the campfire, a blanket around his shoulder. I stood puzzled.
"Happy Birthday." He said with a smile.
"What?" I asked, taken aback.
He stood up, wrapping his arm around me and leading me to the fire. We sat together the blanket around our shoulders.
"There's no problem at the gulid is that?" I asked.
He laughed, kissing me. I fell into his kiss, leaning more against him.
"Nope, this is for your birthday. A night out with me." He said, when we pulled away.
Suddenly I wasn't tired.
"So you set this whole thing up. Leaving the scarf on the ground to think you were in trouble. So the letter was fake too?" I asked.
He nodded. Kissing me on the cheek.
There was one thing on my mind.
"But what about the beast that attacked me?" I asked.
"What beast?" He asked, he sounded worried.
I quickly backtracked. "It was nothing, it might of been a fox."
"Are you okay?" He asked, glancing me over. I rolled my eyes, kissing him. He deepened the kiss. Spreading out another blanket on the ground. I pushed him to ground. I moaned into the kiss.
We pulled away both breathless.
"So was that my present?" I asked.
"Not even close." He said with a smile. He kissed me again, pulling my shirt off. I shivered in the cold late August night. He wrapped the other blanket around my back. I pulled off his shirt, moaning into the kiss. Soon all of our clothes were gone. I gave into my passion. This is the best birthday ever.
The sun on my face woke me. I blinked my eyes open, seeing trees rise around me like sentinels. It was a cool late August morning, a slight wind running across our small secluded clearing. I brushed a piece of hair from eyes, rolling over to see Natsu, leaning propped up on an elbow, looking down at me. A slight smile on his lips.
"Good morning," He muttered.
I said nothing just staring up at his smiling face.
I ran a hand along his bare chest, our clothes sprawled out around us.
"You know Mr. Dragneel you are a hypocrite." I said with smile.
"A hypocrite?" He asked.
"Yep. You broke the Ten Foot Rule. A rule you created." I paused to move my hand to his side. "Now how is that a good influence on your boyfriend?"
He grabbed my wrist, pulling my hand from his side and resting it back on his chest.
"Oh?" He raised a pink brow.
"I thanked you should be punished." I said with a sly smile, showing my teeth.
"And what should my punished be?" He asked, returning the smile.
"The perpetual fear, that I will strike at any time. At any time in public and private. It will come by suprise, a suprise I will relish." I said.
"What? It wasn't convincing?" I asked.
"Not when your naked beside me." Natsu responded. I hit his arm.
"I let you know that I've used that very same speech before, and one guy soiled his pants." I said. "Well of course that was different circumstances. That said man was hanging from his ankles over deep well. And don't give me that look, he was a creep. He tried to touch me so, I hanged from his ankles and water whipped his most valuable asset." I smiled.
Natsu put his hands up in mock surrender. "Remind me not to get in your bad side."
I leaned up and kissed him. "You can get out of your punishment if you carry me back to the hotel."
Natsu wrapped his arms around me pulling me against him and lying down.
"Do we have to go back?" He asked.
I rested my head on his chest. "We could just go home. I mean we packed out stuff right?"
"We could, but what about the beach?" He asked.
"True." I muttered, I managed to get out of Natsu's arms, picking up my clothes. Quickly dressing. I threw Natsu's clothes at him.
He dressed and gathered up the blankets. I began to walk back to the path but Natsu's hand stopped me. I turned. He kissed me long hard, scooping me up in his arms. I let out a laugh.
"You know I was joking about the punishment thing right?" I asked.
"I know." He responded.
We boarded the train, our packs slung over our shoulders. I sat down next to Natsu, his face already green.
I took his hand. He squeezed it hard, making me wince.
"You took the potion I gave you?" I asked.
He nodded, showing the empty the vial that helped with his motion sickness.
"Yeah but I'm worried that it won't work." He replied.
I kissed his cheek, smiling at him. "It'll work."
He smiled back, squeezing my hand again, but not as hard. "I love your smile."
I smiled again, but out of embarssment, my cheeks lightly blushing.
"And how you blush when you're embarrassed." He said, kissing me.
I looked around, our compartment was empty. I rested my head on his shoulder.
"So will Igneel be back when we get back?" I asked.
"I don't think so. We might have a few more days left." Natsu responded, running a hand through my dark brown hair.
"Oh," I responded.
"What?" He asked, he knew when I held back words.
"Wh-what if asks you to go train with you?" I answered. "Alone?" The last part was in a whisper. I feared the answer. Worry creeping into my chest.
Then Natsu laughed, kissing my cheek. I glanced up confused.
"You think I would leave you? After all we've been through?" Natsu said, wrapping an arm around my shoulder.
"No, it's just with Igneel coming back, I thought it would change everything you know? I would understand-"
Natsu's lips on mine stopped me. He pulled away leaving me flushed.
"You can't get rid of me that easily," Natsu responded.
I gave him a smile, resting my head back against his chest. Sleep overtaking me.
I stifled a yawn as I walked into the bedroom, loosely holding a glass of water in my hand. Natsu was already in bed. We haven't been back from our beach vacation for more then a few hours and he is looking over a job sheet.
"I think I found a good job. It's a group job so I was think, us two, Lucy, Erza and the ice stripper, Gray." Natsu said looking up from the paper.
"What's the job?" I asked, taking a sip from my glass.
He looked back down on to the paper.
"To retrieve the prize from the Tomb of the Ancient Shadow."
I dropped the glass, it smashed to the ground with a large clash, glass shards scattering across the floor. My eyes wide.
Natsu jumped out of bed. "What's wrong?" He came over to me, pulling me away from the glass shards.
"I-I." I stammered, a hand coming to my mouth.
"From your past?" Natsu asked, seizing my arms.
"We don't have to-"
"No!" I yelled interrupting Natsu, I lowered my voice,"Sorry, but I have to go back there. Riviori took me there every single month for two years. It's couple hours trek from my old guild hall. In the northern mountains."
Natsu moved his hands to my shoulders.
"Are you sure you want to go? I don't want to see you sad." Natsu said, lightly squeezing my shoulders.
I gave him a small smile.
"There are some questions I have yet to answer there."
"What aren't you telling me?" Natsu asked, finding my gaze.
I let out a short laugh. "I can't hide anything from you can I?"
"The Tomb of the Ancient Shadows was a cave Riviori would take me to. Well, I was more of a body guard to him. I would walk behind him, he was quiet the whole trip. He... He would sometimes go into fits of anger at random times, without warning. When we would get to the temple, he would go inside and the only words he would say where 'Don't follow'.
"The first time he took me there, I was thirteen. I would wait for hours until he came out again, and he would be happy and talkative. It was so weird. But I want to go, I need to go." I replied my gaze never leaving his.
"Okay, we will go. I'll tell the others tomorrow." Natsu smiled and kissed my cheek.
I glanced down at the shattered glass at our feet.
"I'll clean this up." I said with a sheepish smile. I went to the hall closet getting out the broom and dust pan. I began to sweep up the mess.
"I think I'm going to tell the guild." I said, dumping the glass shards in the trash can.
"Tell them what?" Natsu asked, getting back in bed.
"About who I am, being Sea Viper." I said.
Natsu sighed, "Are you going to be angry at me?" He asked.
I got in bed giving him a look. He wrapped an arm around me, pulling me closer.
"Natsu if I really am going to get angry then you don't want me close to you." I smirked.
He laughed, then his voice got serious.
"Well when you died, I kinda told everyone who you were." He said.
"Natsu, why would I be angry? You just gave me a huge relief. I hate public speaking." I responded, resting my head on his shoulder.
"Really? Are you sure you're not mad?" He asked.
I kissed him on the lips silencing him. I pulled away giving him a smile.
"If I was angry would I do that?" I asked.
He kissed me on the cheek. Wrapping his arms around me, laying me on my back, Natsu straddling me.
"Maybe. You could show your anger in different ways." He said, kissing my neck.
"Wait! What about Happy? Is he here? Or is he still with Carla?" I asked.
Natsu pulled away only for a second. "Dunno,"
"Happy? Are you here?" I asked into the dark hallway.
Natsu continued to kiss me. My hands in his pink hair.
"Natsu! Stop eating Eyrx!" Happy yelled from the bedroom door.
Natsu pulled away with a start. Both of our faces pink from embarrassment.
"Happy your back!" Natsu said.
I said nothing my eyes glancing up at Natsu, both of his arms on either side of my head.
"What were you two doing?" Happy asked.
Natsu glanced down at me for help, I smiled.
"You can handle this one dad." I said, getting out of bed. "I'm going to get s glass of water."
"Hey!" Natsu replied.
My laugh was my only answer.
I adjusted my pack on my shoulders, as we walked through the streets of my home town of Svar. The cold grey buildings matching the cold grey sky over head. The town was larger than Magnolia, but much poorer. The only nice building in town is the old guild hall. I couldn't help looking at the tall imposing tower, the same tower I grew up in.
"So this is where you grew up?" Lucy asked, her eyes on the squat stone buildings.
I brushed a snowflake from my face. "Yeah, but I came here when I was nine. I grew up with my dragon in these mountains though."
The streets were practically empty, only few people were seen.
"Shitty place," Gray muttered.
I let out a laugh, "I call something far worse."
We walked in no order, Erza and Gray in front of Natsu, Lucy and I. Me being between Natsu and Lucy.
"The trail is up ahead." I said, my voice echoing through the cold streets. I adjusted my knit hat on my head. Everyone was wearing winter gear besides Gray and Natsu. Gray being the only one without a shirt, as usual. I glanced up at the tower.
There was a light on in the tower, one of the top windows. The same window of the room where I tortured. The same window I was hanged out by Alric and Gerald, my old tortures.
“Eyrx? You ok?” Natsu asked, standing beside me. I hadn't realized that I stopped. The others a few feet ahead.
“Yeah, I thought I saw a light in the tower.” I whispered. I looked back at the tower, the light was out.
I forgot how steep the path was. Svar far below us, under some of the lower hanging clouds. The snow was heavier up in the mountains too. Snow in early September.
“You know, I forgot how cold it was up here.” I said, shivering.
Natsu and Gray walked through the cold with ease.
“I think Magnolia has grown on me. Before this I thought it was too hot.” I said.
I saw a large dark shape ahead, in a small clearing. That was it. The Temple of the Ancient Shadows.
“There it is!” I pointed.
“Let`s set up camp. We will go into the temple tomorrow.” Erza said, dropping her pack in an open space beside the temple`s cave like entrance.
“Good I am so tired!” Lucy complained, dropping her pack.
“Tell me about it.” I muttered dropping my pack as well, a few feet from Erza`s and Lucy`s. Natsu dropped his pack besides mine.
“Hey Natsu, I`ll get the tent ready. Could get the fire?” I asked. “It would be kinda pointless to use matches.”
He nodded, giving my hand a squeeze then getting to his job.
The tent didn't take long to set up and Natsu being the Fire Dragon Slayer he is, neither did the fire. Natsu began to help Lucy and Erza. Gray setting up his own tent.
I walked over to the temple entrance, it is not glamorous, basically a hole in the mountain, surrounded by tall pines. Snow blanketed, the walls around the entrance. I brought my glove hand up to the rock, wiping off the snow.
“It`s still there!” I exclaimed. Looking at what my hand revealed. Runes.
The runes spread around the opening, in an unknown language.
“Found what?” Lucy asked, coming up to me.
“These runes. I always wondered what they mean.” I said, still looking at the runes.
“Dunno. We should have brought Levy along.” Lucy said, inspecting the runes as well.
“Yeah, better then grumpy pants.” I snorted, gesturing to Gray.
Lucy laughed, “Well I`m freezing my butt off. I`m going to be by the fire. You should come too, you look cold.”
“I`ll be there in a sec.” I muttered, turning back to the runes.
“Riviori never mentioned the runes. I wonder.” I muttered to myself. I ran a hand along the rock, I stopped at a crack in the rock. “Could it still be here too? After all those years?” I put my hand in the crack, my fingers feeling the familiar shape of a small book. I smiled and pulled it out. It was the same journal I wrote in when I was with Riviori. I ran a hand over the cracked leather surface.
I heard footsteps from behind me, I quickly slipped the journal into my coat pocket. I turned to see Gray standing there, his hands in his pockets.
"Hey, do you need anything Gray?" I asked. I brushed the snow from my gloves on my pants.
"Who are you truely? A dark guild assassin doesn't just have a chance of heart and turn to the light." Gray snapped.
"I'm sorry?" I asked, taken aback. I looked to Natsu, he was watching the conversation closely. I walked closer to fire, closer to everyone else.
"I'm just saying that there is something your not telling us." Gray continued, crossing his arms.
"Something I'm not telling you?" I asked. Locking my gaze with his.
He took a step closer, I took a step back, I could feel the heat of the fire on my back.
"Like what your hiding in your poket." Gray said, his hand lunging for my pocket. I quickly grabbed his wrist, bending it back. He grunted in pain.
"Don't touch me." I said, releasing his wrist. I quickly glanced to Natsu, his fists clenched.
"So what's in your pocket?" Gray asked.
I reached into my pocket pulling out my old journal.
"Do you really want to know?" I asked, my voice sharp.
Gray never faltered. "Let's see what you got Sea Viper."
Natsu jumped up, fists raised.
"Gray what the hell is going on with you!" Lucy exclaimed.
Erza remained silent.
"Do you know what this? It's the journal I wrote two years ago, of my time in Serpents Shard. What I wrote in there is all true. Every detail I endured and lived through! And you think that I wanted that life?" I asked.
"And you know what that got me?" I continued. "Nothing! Nothing but harsh and painful memories! My dragon Agrifura left me when I was nine, in these very same moutains. She told me about magical guilds, so I joined Serpents Shard. For nearly four years I trained, and at age twelve I took my first assassination job. I killed my first person at age twelve. Twelve! Do you know what it does to a child? My innocence was stripped in an instant!"
Gray's eyes were staring at the floor. But I continued.
"At age thirteen I had killed twenty five people. I killed a general in the capital but I was caught. I escaped and came back to the guild. And do you know what they did for me being captured? They tortured me for two months! My voice was hoarse from screaming too much. After my two months of torture, Riviori would take me to this very same temple. That's when I wrote the journal, until I led a mutiny with another gulid mate and escaped at age fifteen. Almost two years ago. And do you know what I got out of those six years of hell? Pain. There are two pins in my jaw from being broken so many times. Three of my teeth are fake. My shoulder bone hurts when it rains, and I get a bad cough when it's too hot. And don't forget the scars." Tears trailed down my face when I pointed to the small black mark on the side of my neck, partially hidden from my hair.
"This is from an hot iron bar placed on my skin from Riviori. I was twelve!"
Gray's eyes were still locked to the ground. Lucy had tears in her eyes. Erza was expressionless. Natsu looked like he wanted to hug me or beat the crap out of Gray.
"Now look me in the eyes Gray Fullbustsr." I snapped, my voice steady. "If you think for one moment that I would want to remember the hell I've been through. The worry that if I close my eyes for one moment that I will have a nightmare."
Gray's eyes stayed to the ground.
"I thought you were a different person Gray." I whispered, throwing the leather journal on the ground. Storming off into the woods.
"I want to be alone for awhile." I muttered.
I walked through the pines not caring where I ended up, eventually I found a large snow covered rock. I wiped off the snow and sat down. Burying my face in my hands. I let my facade crack, I let the emotions flow.
I heard footsteps behind me.
"Natsu I just want to be alone." I said.
"Natsu's back at camp ready to punch Gray." Erza said, joining me on the rock.
"You know I think we are the only two people in the guild who understand what we went through." She said. Placing a hand on my shoulder.
"Yep, we were both in slavery. But yours was different, you wanted to escape at a young age. I didn't until much later." I said.
"But you did. You escaped and now you're standing in the sun. Away from the harsh memories." Erza said, I smiled.
"How do you try to forget?" I asked in a quiet voice.
"I don't. You keep your head held high and not emerging yourself in the past." She answered, her voice strong.
I wiped away a tear.
"Thanks Erza." I said.
She smiled patting my shoulder and stood up. I followed suit, she gestured back to the camp.
"So do you really cough when it's too hot?" She asked as we made our way back to the camp.
I laughed, "No of course not! I just made it up to make a point."
We made it back to camp, Lucy and Gray were in their tents, Natsu standing by the fire.
Erza made her way to her and Lucy's tent.
"Good night Erza, and thanks." I said. She nodded.
Then it was only Natsu and I. I dumped water on the fire, the clearing plunging into darkness. Natsu wrapped an arm around me. He put something in my pocket. It was my journal. He said nothing but kissing my cheek.
"Come lets get out of the cold." Natsu said going in the tent.
We zipped our sleeping back together and I fell asleep with his arm around me.
Riviori stood before me, fist clenched.
"You failed Sea Viper. You got captured." He said his voice gruff.
I couldn't say anything, I saw Riviori raise his fist. I couldn't do anything. Time slowed the fist inching ever so closely to me. All I could do is watch. Then to my utter horror, Riviori changed to Natsu. I let out a scream as the fist connected with my face. I fell back, I couldn't move.
Natsu leaned over me, a glare on his face.
"No! Please stop!" I yelled it was the only words I could get out.
"You monster! I should never fell for you. What you wrote in that journal was awful!" Natsu snapped. His words broke my heart.
He raised his fist. I could feel the tears run down my face.
"Eyrx! Eyrx wake up!" I heard over and over again.
I woke with a yell. My chest heaving. My eyes wide, tears in my eyes. Natsu sat beside me, his hand rubbing my back.
"It was just a dream," He muttered.
I flopped back down on my back. My breaths returning to normal.
"Do you want to talk about it?" Natsu asked, "I heard you yell my name and telling me to stop."
I signed, running a hand through my hair. “It was like my usual nightmares. Riviori standing before me, fist raised. Th-then, Riviori changed forms. To you. You called me a monster about what I wrote in my journal." I whispered.
Natsu leaned on one elbow, staring down at me. His silence making me squirm.
"Eyrx, you could have wrote awful things in that journal. But you didn't." Natsu said, kissing my forehead.
"How do you know?" I muttered.
He gave me a smile. "Because I read it." He reached over me to remove the journal from my jacket that laid beside me.
That small book contained my darkest secrets and feelings.
"I especially like the part about me." Natsu said.
"The part about you? I met you years after I wrote this." I said, confused.
"No, the last entry. Dated X782, you were 15, since you were born in X767." Natsu responded. He flipped to the end of the book, handing it to me. I recognized my handwriting.
March 5th Year X782,
I fear this may be the last entry, due to two things. One being the new recruit Avar Dmaris he has lifted the viel from my eyes. Made me realize that I could fight back, the mutiny against Riviori is coming. That pig will never foresee it. I will relish killing him, seeing the light leave his beady eyes.
The second thing is that I have changed. For the first time in my life I can't complete a job. The job was to kill some weak light guild Dragon Slayer, Natsu..Natsu something. I forget his last name. He lives in some southern city called Magnolia. I came to the city and discovered him rather quickly though by accident.
I found him in a large field, kneeling by a gravestone. He was attractive to say the least, having a muscular build. And best of all he wore no shirt under his vest. But the thing that affected me the most was his tears. It was weird, the only tears I had ever seen were ones of pain and fear. His were the tears of sadness, I thought I was only one to cry tears of sadness.
I know this makes me seem like a total creeper but I crouched in the bushes at the edge of a field watching this kid that I was supposed to kill, cry. I was stunned, it made me see the light. It made me want to leave Serpents Shard. I vow that I will escape and join Fairy Tail to find Natsu Dragneel.
I have decided to leave this journal here, for I will return. I will return with the light.
I here Riviori coming, far-
The last word was ended in a long pen mark, with a dark splotch on the corner of the page. I closed the journal placing it on the tent floor beside me. I leaned back against Natsu's chest.
"So your not going to tell me what happened? It ended in a cliff hanger!" Natsu exclaimed with a smile.
"Nothing really important, I thought Riviori was deeper in the temple but he was right there. The dark blotch is my blood." I said, closing my eyes.
"Oh." He said after a long pause, "Well we should get some sleep." He laid back down wrapping his arm around me. He kissed the back of my neck.
"I liked the part where you talked about my muscular build and how I wore no shirt under my vest." Natsu said, I could feel his breath on my neck.
I felt my face flush.
"Oh don't get embarrassed I think it's cute." He said, his hand finding mine.
I quickly feel asleep again. Feeling the warmth of Natsu, the only one in the world I truly cared about. The only one I can trust.
Gray's voice from outside the tent woke me. I guess Natsu was making a fire.
"Is he okay? I heard him scream last night." Gray asked, he sounded sincere.
"He's fine, he was having one of his nightmares." Natsu said, his voice sharp.
Gray was silence for a moment. "Does he have them often?"
"Yeah, but they have been more common lately." Natsu responded, his voice still containing an edge.
"I'm sorry," Gray muttered.
I heard Natsu drop something on the ground, standing.
"Look Gray what you did last night hurt him real bad. What were you thinking?" Natsu asked.
"I don't know. I didn't mean to act like such an ass." Gray said softly.
"Just stay away from him. If you hurt him again, it will be more then the punch I gave you last night." Natsu snapped.
I covered a laugh my hand, typical Natsu the first one to punch.
"I like to see you try." Gray said.
"Oh really Ice brain?" Natsu yelled back.
I sighed, zipping open the tent, coming out to the snowy clearing. I put my coat on and knit hat. It was still cold. My toes wiggling in my cold boots. I stood by the fire watching Gray and Natsu bicker back and forth. I wonder how long this will go on. Then their fists raised.
"Looks like I have to stop this." I muttered.
I walked between them grabbing their wrists, I felt them both flex. Their fists tightening.
"You both need to stop. This bickering is really annoying." I snapped, I released their wrist. "Your not young children anymore." I let my voice fall into a sharp whisper, a smile on my lips. "If I catch you bickering anymore I will make Erza look like a field of flowers compared to my anger. You have never seen me truly angry. Okay?" I suppressed a laugh as their faces lost a little bit of color.
I looked over as Erza and Lucy came from their tents.
"Now let's get breakfast and enter this temple." I said.
Gray rolled his eyes and stalked off to his tent. Natsu looked like he was going to say something.
"Natsu can I talk to you?" I asked.
He nodded giving me a smile, I grabbed him by the wrist, leading him into the trees. I stopped once out of earshot of the others.
I shivered in the cold, away from the fire.
"Are you okay?" Natsu asked stepping closer to me, resting our foreheads together.
I shook my head. "No," I whispered out.
Natsu pulled me against him, wrapping his arm around my waist.
"I'm a monster." I muttered.
Natsu took one of his hands, placing it on the back of my head. Kissing me. He sat down on a nearby rock, putting me on his lap. I rested my head on his shoulder.
"Don't say that, you know it's not true." Natsu whispered in my ear, followed by a kiss.
I nodded, wiping a tear from my cheek.
"But what good thing have I done? All I've caused is pain and misery." I said.
Natsu gave me a smile. "I could name a lot. You help beat Oracion Seis twice. You were the leader in Edolas. Did you think Wendy and I knew what we were doing? You were my partner in Tenrou island, we would have won too. Damn Acnologia. You helped rescue Lucy during the Grand Magic Games. You got us out of Saber Tooth's guild hotel. And you beat the Dark King of Tarturous for God's sake! And most important of all, I met you and fell in fell in love with you. Since the first time I saw you in the field br Lisanna's "grave"." He said.
"Wait a second, I thought you never saw me. I was well hidden in the bushes." I said, raising my head from his shoulder.
"No, trust me I saw you." Natsu said with a wink.
"So if you liked the moment you saw me, then when you were in my bed after Edolas, when I woke up with your arm around me. You planned it all?" I said, remembering back all those months ago when I discovered him in my bed.
"Yep." He whispered kissing my neck.
I fixed him a smile. "You are brave Natsu. What if I didn't like you?"
Natsu laughed. "I noticed you staring at me every time. Especially when we bathed in the river after that one job guarding that caravan."
My face blushed. "That is, embarrassing." I stuttered.
"I didn't mind." Natsu said kissing me on the lips.
I sighed into his kiss. I pulled away, both of us breathless.
"We can't." I said. "They will hear use."
Natsu just kissed me harder, I surppresed a moan. Natsu ran his fingers through my hair. I placed my hands on his shoulders. I let out a moan I couldn't suppress, Natsu followed with a moan of his own. Suddenly I wasn't cold anymore, Natsu ran his hand under my coat, against my chest.
I pulled away, resting my head against his, catching my breath. We were silent for awhile, just the sound of our breathing.
Natsu had a large grin on his face.
"Do you feel better?" He asked.
I let out a laugh, "We should probaly get back to camp."
Natsu nodded and kissed my cheek, "Well you should probaly get off my lap."
I gave him a smile, slipping off his lap, Natsu took hold my hand, are fingers linking.
The cave stood before us. The runes visible after I wiped away the snow. I was the first to enter but a few feet in we where met by a stone door with a small bowl in a shallow alcove next to the wall.
"Well this sucks." Lucy muttered.
"Do you know how to get in Eyrx?" Erza asked.
"I think so. Yes! I need a knife." I said finally remembering.
Natsu handed me his pocket knife. I walked over to the small bowl, opening the knife. I rested the blade on my palm.
Natsu took a step towards me, but Erza held him back.
Without flinching I sliced open my palm, small droplets of blood dripping into the bowl. With the sound of stone grating on stone the door opened. We walked ahead into the temple, the hallway branching off into three different directions two going left and right and the other going to the center.
"Let's split up." I said.
"How long is the temple?" Lucy asked.
"Not that long." I responded.
"Lucy and I can go down the center, Gray can go down the one on the right and Eyrx you and Natsu can go down the one on the left." Erza ordered.
Everyone nodded their agreement. I began to walk down the left path.
"If anything happens just yell." I said.
Natsu and I walked down the hallway in silence, his hand in mine.
I felt blood run down my free hand.
"Hey, do you have a bandage?" I asked, leaning up against the wall.
"Yeah I have one in my pocket." Natsu said, taking hold of my wrist. He wrapped the bandage around my bloody palm.
"Do I need to kiss it?" He teased, I swatted him in the chest.
We continued on until the hallway opened up into a large cavern. Another much larger hallway continued at the end of the large cavern. I took a few steps in, Natsu a few feet behind me. Then I heard the sound of stone grating on stone, a stone slab fell down between us, closing me off from him. I heard him call my name, his fist banging on the other side.
A hiss of a snake made me turn. I could see two large red glowing dots coming from the large hallway on the other side of the cavern....
I took a step back, feeling the cold stone on my back. I could faintly hear Natsu pounding on the door. I droned that out there were more pressing matters at state.
The source of the two red eyes came from the shadows, a large serpent. It's large scaly dark green head, coming from the shadows. Its tounge flicking out of it's mouth.
"Could it truly be you? You aren't affected by the illusions." The serpent said, moving to the center of the cavern in front of a golden disc embedded in the stone.
I remained silent, I had no clue what to say.
The serpent inched closer, I could feel it's breath on me.
"Yes, it's you. The infamous Sea Viper returns." The serpent said, moving a few feet back.
"W-who are you? What illusions?" I asked.
"Well I am the founder of Serpents Shard. Sparous Syrpior." The serpent flicked out it's tounge. "That stone slab that fell, separating you from your companions, activated illusions. The illusions bring forth their darkest fears. The boy on the other side of the stone trying to break in illusion is of you screaming in pain. He keeps hearing over and over your voice asking why he won't help you." The serpent growled.
I felt the hairs on the back of my neck rise. But I kept my compsure.
"You can't affect me with your illusions." I snapped. "Riviori trained to combat illusions."
"But your fears are still open to me." The serpent said. "Your greatest fear is that you don't deserve your lover, Natsu Dragneel and that he will realize that and leave you. Your other fear is that you have become weak. When you were in Serpents Shard you were must stronger."
I was stunned. Sparous had just brought my fears to light.
I needed answers.
"Why did Riviori seem so happy after he came from here?" I asked, it was more of a yell.
"He was enlightened by me. You could have that too. Your power could be restored." The serpent said. His offer tempting.
I took a step closer. "I can't accept your offer. I'm not evil anymore."
"Look around you Sea Viper. Your're trapped by the stone door. Taking my offer wil set you free." The serpent replied.
I sighed. "Fine."
"Good. Now sit on the gold disc in the floor."
I followed his directions, sitting inches in front ofhim.
"Now closes your eyes and clear your mind."
I closed my eyes my mind empty of thought. I ignored the coldness of the room, the Serpent's breath on me, the thud of Natsu trying to break in. My mind blank.
"Now open your eyes." The Serpent said, his voice distant.
I opened my eyes. Suddenly I felt intense power coursing through my veins. Power I haven't felt in years.
Light poured through a hole in the ceiling. I was confused, we enters the tomb at dawn hours before the sun rose.
"Do you feel the power?" The serpent asked.
I nodded. "How long have we been in here?"
"I have restored your power. It has taken four hours. Now I have one warning to you Sea Viper. Your old guild Serpents Shard is active again. Led by Riviori's daughter. They want you back. They have begun a war against Fairy Tail. Nothing can stop them but you. They will kill your friends if you don't intervene."
Sudden dread filled me.
"And ask your Master what Lumen Histoire is." The serpent said creeping back into the shadows leaving me alone.
My thoughts returning to the fact that Serpents Shard has returned. The same guild that tourted me for years. I turned at the sound of stone on stone made me turn. Natsu came running to the room, tears in his eyes. His face pale.
"Eyrx!" Natsu yelled, as he reached me kneeling beside me. Natsu gently wrapped his arms around me, pulling me against him.
"I heard you screaming, I couldn't get to you. I didn't abandon you. I- I never will." Natsu responded his voice strained. He kissed the top of my head.
"It was an illusion. When I came in here the door closed. And that's when he showed up." I muttered trying to collect my thoughts.
"He?" Natsu asked.
"I think it was a he. It was Serpents Shard's first master, a giant serpent. He told me that a war was coming with Serpents Shard and Fairy Tail. The only way we can stop them if I join them." I whispered. I didn't tell him about my power being restored.
"Don't worry about that. It's fake." Natsu said almost reassuring me.
I raised my head to look at him. "But I'm so afraid. What if it true?"
Natsu smiled and kissed me. "Stop worrying about it." He said.
I tried to follow his directions banishing it to the back of my mind. Yet it still was there.
I took Natsu's hand, helping me up. I returned his smile. Something in the cornor caught my eye. A golden statuette of a snake, sitting on a small pedestal.
"What are you doing?" Natsu asked as I walked over to the statuette.
"Getting the treasure for our job." I said, giving Natsu a smile.
I gingerly lifted the statuette from the pedestal, waiting for the traps. Yet there were none.
"Oh yeah five million jewel scored!" I exclaimed walking back over to Natsu. "Well if we split it evenly between the five of us that's two million for me."
Natsu gave me a look. "Um, I might not be as smart as you but, that would leave no money for me."
I gave Natsu a sly smile. "I know."
"Hey!" He protested.
I laughed. Natsu kissed my cheek and wrapped a hand around my waist. I almost forgot what happened not even fifteen minutes before. Almost.
We walked in silence while we walked down the hallway, enjoying each other's company.
We found the others waiting at the entrance, their faces ashen. I almost forgot about the illusions. Natsu was slowly regaining his composure though. His hand on my hip gave me a comforting squeeze. Guilt courses through me, I don't know if I should tell him about my old power being restored. Will it restore my old feelings and darkness?
"Well I don't know about you guys, but I want to get out of here." Lucy said, walking towards the entrance.
I sighed as I layed down next to Natsu, I put on my knit hat as I shivered. Natsu was asleep next to me, his back to me. I woke up shivering. The dream seem so really. And it was. It was Fozana's death, seeing her get shot over and over.
"Oh Fozana what have I done?" I whispered. "He's going to be so angry." I let the emotions I have been keeping pent up for weeks now. I sobbed quietly in my hand. Hopefully he doesn't hear me. "With the war with Serpents Shard, i-it leaves me terrified. I should give myself in." I sobbed again, resting my face in the crook of my elbow. "Natsu will understand eventually, if he lives then he will be happy." I took a deep breath. Quietly getting out of the sleeping bag. Tying my boots. I reached for the zipper to the tent flap. A hand on my wrist stopped me.
"Natsu wouldn't understand why you turned yourself in." Natsu's voice made me jump, it sounded almost disappointed.
I closed my eyes, feeling the hot tears run down my cheek. I stayed silent. Natsu didn't remove his hand.
"What makes you think that you can just turn yourself in? For what, Serpents Shard will kill you then invade Fairy Tail." Natsu said, he didn't sound angry.
"I-I don't know." I muttered. "I thought I could finally try to fix all the mistakes I have done. Try to give myself justice for all the murders I committed."
Natsu sighed, removing his hand from my wrist, putting it on my shoulder and, gently pulling me down onto the sleeping bag. I rolled on my side to face Natsu. He gently reached out with his thumb and wiped away the tears on my face.
"I'm so sorry." I whispered, resting my head on Natsu's upper arm.
Natsu kissed the top of my head. "Don't be." Natsu replied.
"I have something to tell you. To escape the temple the Serpent had to restore my old power, before I left Serpents Shard." I muttered, I feared his answer.
Natsu kissed my cheek.
"It doesn't change a thing." He said with a slight smirk, "Only the fact that you could now beat my ass in a fight."
I laughed. "I could do that before." I gave him a quick kiss.
Natsu took my hand. "Can I ask you something?"
"C-Can I grow old with...you?" He asked, trying to find the words.
I looked into his eyes, realizing he was serious.
I was stunned, I didn't expect that question.
Natsu deadpanned during my silence. It brought me out of my stunned silence. I kissed him hard, he sighed into the kiss. I pulled away both of us were blushing.
"Of course Natsu," I responded.
He had his typical grin on his face, showing his pointed canines.
He ran a hand through my hair.
"Your so beautiful." He whispered.
I feel asleep in his arms, the impending war still on my mind...
Natsu gently shook me awake.I buried my head into the sleeping bag. I was too tired to wake up.
"Eyrx," Natsu whispered into my ear.
I groaned, getting out of the sleeping bag.
"I'm up." I mumbled, changing out of my sleepwear and into my hiking clothes. "So what would you have done if I didn't get up?"
Natsu gave me a slight smirk, "You'd be history."
History. It came back to me with a rush. Lumen Histoire had something to do with the battle with Tarturous. But what was Lumen Histoire?
"Are you alright? I wasn't really going to do anything." Natsu said, a confused look on his face.
"What? Oh sorry I'm still waking up." I blurted out.
Natsu nodded, hopefully he bought it.
When we get back I have to talk to Makarov.
We all sat together at the table back at the guildhall. I was sitting between Natsu and Erza. Lucy, Gray and Happy across from me.
I watched Makarov walk to his office from the bar, tankard in hand. Now was my chance. The others didn't know what I was going to do.
"I have to go to the bathroom, I'll be back." I said, leaving the table.
I weaved between the tables until I reached Master Makarov's office door. I lightly knocked.
"Yes?" Makarov asked through the door.
"Master Makarov it's me Eyrx. Can I come in?" I asked.
"Of course my boy." He said. I opened the door, steeping into his office. I closed the door beside me.
Master Makarov looked up from the papers on his desk.
"Can I ask you something?" I asked.
"Anytime." He replied.
I nodded, taking a deep breath.
"What is Lumen Histoire and why did you alter my memory?" I asked.
On the way back from Svar, I had a lot of time to think, using my past training I realized that my memory was altered, but how I don't know.
Master Makarov's face paled. He swallowed.
"How do you know that?" He asked after a pause.
"I have been trained to resist illusions and memory tampering. On our visit to that temple up north I met Serpents Shard's first master, he restored my lost powers." I responded.
"Well I can't tell you what Lumen Histoire is." He replied.
"Then what did you take from my memories?" I asked, keeping my voice level. My gaze never breaking his.
"You defeating the dark King. It was actually Natsu and Gray." Makarov said.
"What? That's impossible the other day, Natsu commented on how amazing it was that I destroyed the Dark King." I said, my fist clenched.
Makarov sighed, "Because he wanted Doronbolt to do it, to make you have a victory."
My eyes widened, I took a step back.
"Why would he do that? What about Igneel?" I asked.
"Igneel did defeat Acnologia, he went to destroy E.N.D" Makarov responded.
I closed my eyes, trying to focus on this new information. Then I collapsed.
I was back in the battle with Tarturous. My breath came in gasps. Water Hypora didn't work. A smirk on the Dark King's face.
Natsu asked if I was okay.
"Kick his ass." I muttered.
I glanced back at Sting and Rouge's fight with Jiemma, it was going well. Unlike this one.
Natsu and Gray charged the Demon King. I could feel Gray's power from here. It dwarfed Natsu's power. Only by a little.
Natsu's and Gray's hits seemed like to do damage but in actuality it did nothing. Not since the Dark King changed into his demonic form.
Then Natsu and Gray attacked at once, the light so bright I had to shield my eyes.
It didn't leave a scratch.
The Demon King let out a chuckle. "You puny humans. You think you could defeat me?" He asked.
He then went on to describe magic being connected to life. And how he used curses for his magic.
"Who cares? Then magic will create the future!" Natsu yelled.
Must began to surround Gray and him. The Dark King let out a laugh.
I moved back, away from the mist.
"I can't move..." Natsu muttered.
I backed away behind some rubble, peeking my head out.
"Fall into purgatory, this is the ultimate curse to destroy Zeref." The Dark King muttered.
It still catches me up to hear a demon wanting to destroy Zeref. Yet Riviori was so hellbent to find him.
Natsu and Gray began to scream in pain.
I felt fear creep into me.
"The memory of death, MEMENTO MORI!" The demon king yell.
A plume of smoke obscured my view from Natsu and Gray.
"To kill Zeref the immortal I must destroy the concept of life and death. Those hit by this curse are not dead or alive just gone." He muttered.
The last part chilled me to the bone.
"Become nothing." The demon king said.
When the smoke cleared I covered my mouth with my hand in horror. Natsu and Gray were gone.
I glanced to see that Lucy was unconscious.
I need to wake up! But I can't! One thought coursed through my head.
What if this is the present and mission to the ancient temple was all but a dream? Did Natsu even ask me if I wanted to be with him forever? Or was that a dream too?
My chest heaved as I hid behind the rubble, feeling it's cool surface against my back. They were gone. He was gone. Natsu vanished in a matter of seconds. But this was all a flashback right? Natsu survived, Makarov said that defeated the Dark King. Or was all that fake?
"Get yourself together Eyrx." I muttered, running a hand through my hair. Trying to calm myself down. "He will be back. He's alive. I just need to wake up!"
Yet nothing happened.
"Natsu please...come back." I whispered my compsure gone. I sobbed quietly into my hand, hoping the Dark King wouldn't hear.
I heard footsteps come closer to the rubble I was hiding behind.
"Well what do we have here?" The Dark King's voice sounding above me made me jump. His large clawed hand gripped my shirt, pulling me upward, my face inches from his.
He turned back into his human form, the form I knew so well from Serpents Shard, the same young man I thought was going to bring me to the light. How wrong I was.
"Scream for me Sea Viper. It's a pity no can though." He snapped, his infamous thorns running along my skin in agonizing pain. I tried to suppress my scream.
"Come on Sea Viper. Scream." He yelled. I flinched when he ran a hand along my cheek. His hand went under my chin, moving my head to the side. "You are handsome though. Unfortunately you won't be when I'm done with you." He whispered, his voice like steel. He let his hand roam my chest.
Tears went down my face.
"What? Don't you like another man's touch. You can't keep it a secret, you still fancy me." He sneered.
"You sick bastard!" I spat.
He slapped me hard. All went black...
I woke with a gasp. Master Makarov kneeling next me. The cold wooden floor against my back.
"Natsu! Where's Natsu! Is he alright?" I asked, frantic.
"Relax my boy. He's outside the door, pacing back and forth, driving himself crazy." Makarov replied, putting a hand on my shoulder.
"What happened? I woke up at the battle of with Tartarus and-and the Dark King made Natsu and Gray disappear. Afterwards he touched me." I whispered.
Makarov gave me a sad look. He moved to go to the door, my voice stopped him.
“Will it come back?” I asked.
“I don`t know.” He responded. His answer filled me with dread, I do not want to return to that nightmare.
“I`ll go tell Natsu that you're awake.” Makarov gave me a smile. “That boy really cares about you.”
I returned the smile.
I stood up on shaky legs, leaning against the desk. Waiting for Natsu, I wanted him to feel his arms around me. To comfort me. Yet there was silence. Puzzled I walked out of Makarov`s office. The two front doors were open showing the nightt beyond. Not many of the guild members were here. Only Natsu, Makarov, Mira and Cana.
“Well it looks like the Sea Viper wants to join us.
A girl not much older than me stood at the open door, blue flame burning in her open palms. Her black hair pulled back. Large burly men stood behind her, guns pointing at the others.
I walked up next to Natsu, he put his arm out in front of me, his fist clenched.
“What do you want?” Makarov asked.
The girl gave him a wicked smile. “Eyrx Acutus.”
“Well you can`t have him!” Natsu yelled.
“I believe I can. You see I get him and you all live.” She snapped.
Natsu took a step forward, fist igniting.
“No.” I said, my voice sharp.
Natsu turned to me. “Eyrx you can`t.”
I gave him a small smile. “If it spares the guild from going to war. And besides I know you`ll come rescue me.”
“No! You can`t do this! They`ll kill you!” Natsu yelled.
The others remained silent.
“Then justice will be served to me for all the people I killed.” I said taking a step forward.
Natsu stepped in front of me.
“Natsu please, I have to do this.” I whispered, on the verge of tears.
“No I won`t let you.” He said, his voice strained.
“I must.” I said walking away from him.
“Don`t do this Eyrx. Don`t do this me.” Natsu whispered.
I said nothing as I walked up the girl. A smile on her face. Two of the burly men stood behind me, I could feel their guns against my back. I let the tears flow.
As they lead me outside, I heard Natsu call my name.
“I`ll find you Eyrx! I promise!” He yelled through his tears.
I collected myself as they pushed me into the back of the carriage, the men following. The doors closed and saw Natsu with tears in his face. I wondered if it was the last time I will see him.
The carriage ride was silent. I sat down on the floor, between the two benches on the side. That is whet the guards and the girl sat. I buried my head in my hands.
"You are a different person Eyrx." The girl said.
I didn't glance up at her. "And you did too, Alsara."
"You remember me?" Alsara said.
"How could I not? You were Riviori's little girl. You were ten when I saw you last." I replied.
She said nothing.
"Tell me something. How could you follow in your father's footsteps?" I asked.
"Shut up! I am nothing like my father! I'm not some blood thirsty monster!" She snapped, changing the mood instantly.
"Yet you capture me." I said, keeping my voice level.
She remained silent. With a huff she leaned back on the bench.
"I have to give you credit Eyrx. You instilled fear in the hearts of the many monsters of Serpents Shard, at such young age." She said.
"What is your plan Alsara? Your using your father's tactics, capturing people. Do you have the sensory link too?" I asked.
"Yes, the sensory link is in place. But I am not like my father I don't use fear as a tool." She said.
"You don't use fear? Then what to call this? Capturing me at gunpoint?" I yelled, my anger ready to be released. I stood up, giving her a glare. The guards brought their guns up.
"You have never experienced true fear Alsara. The fear your father implemented is the same as yours, yet you don't know that you are using it!" I snapped, I felt my power build up, it was so strong the air became damp, the wood of the carrige damp, rain drops thudding on the roof.
The guards and Alsara blanched.
Alsara quickly regained her composure. "I wouldn't do that. Attack me and your guild burns."
I let my hands fall to my side. Alsara let out a small chuckle.
"Why are you doing this?" I asked after a long pause.
"To make money. You will go on jobs and give me money and if you refuse your guild dies, along with that pink haired boy." She snapped.
I say back down. I realized the purpose of my capture, bringing me back to my childhood hell.
It took three days to reach Svar. Three days away from Natsu and his love. I stepped out of the carriage and into the falling snow. Serpents Shard's headquarters rising up before me. The lone tower dwarfing the rest of the town. Alsara stormed ahead towards the tower, the guards surrounding me. The large wooden doors opened letting us in, the dark memories coming back. Seeing this tower as a young child, remembering the pain I received i this tower. I took a deep breath putting all those dark memories behind a locked door in my mind. It wouldn`t help me if I lose myself.
Nothing much has changed, the main hall still had the same long wooden tables. The large stone throne on the dias against the back wall was empty. The one thing that was different was the absence of screams. No screams from the lower levels where the torture chambers were. The banners were still the same, a green snake wrapped around a dagger.
The guards led me to Alsara who stopped at the steps to the dias.
“Everyone! I have someone for you to meet. He was main weapon in the guild many years ago. The boy assassin, instilling fear into everyone he met! And he has decided to join us! I give to you Sea Viper!” Alsara exclaimed, gesturing to me.
The men, women and, children at the ables clapped, some I recognized from my time at the guild. Some were new. I walked off the dias towards the stairs leading upward.
“Where do you think your going?” A man asked, as I walked passed.
“None of your damn business.” I snapped walking up the stairs towards my old quarters.
I remembered the path well, up to the third landing, taking the hallway on the left, last door on the left. I reached for the handle, feeling the cool surface on my hand. It was locked.
“Looking for something?” Alsara said from behind me.
I jumped at the sound of her voice, she dangled a key in her hand. She took a step closer. Placing the key in my hand.
“You know you are handsome.” She whispered. “Did you have someone back at your old guild?” I could feel her breath against my ear.
“Yes.” I said, keeping my voice level.
“I bet she was a pretty girl.” She whispered.
“He is.” I said.
The look on her face almost made me laugh.
“B-but don`t you think I`m pretty too?” She asked.
“I do, but the only one I love is Natsu.” I answered.
I put the key in the lock and entered, closing the door behind me, leaving a confused Alsara outside.
My quarters haven't changed either, it seemed someone dusted though. The large bed against the side wall, the desk opposite, and the large doors leading to the balcony. I opened the dresser seeing new clothes. The bathroom still contained the large tub.
I walked to the balcony doors, flinging them open. I felt my boots crunch on the snow. I felt a tear run down my cheek.
I let the warm water fill the tub, as I sat at the desk writing Natsu a letter.
My dearest Natsu,
I have made a terrible mistake. I should have listened to you. I don't know when or if I will see you again. They have ordered me to jobs for them, to kill again. It feels like I am being sucked back into the dark nightmare of my past. Though it could be worse, I'm in my old room and they give me food. They haven't hurt me. Yet I fear that I might slip up.
Please don't come after me, it will make my sacrifice vain. Serpents Shard is not bluffing when they say that they will destroy Fairy Tail if I escape. I have seen first hand what they do.
I must remain strong, for there might be a slim sliver of hope that I will see you again.
I put the pen down, putting the letter into the envelope. I walked to the door and rang the servants bell. I looked in the desk drawer pulling out 100 Jewels. The servant knocked on the door. I handed him the letter and the currency. His eyes went wide.
“Make sure this gets to Fairy Tail. And for your silence.” I ordered.
The servant gave a short bow.
“And if you tell anybody I will hang your body from the rafters.” I snapped, closing the door.
I walked to the bathroom, removing my clothes as I went. The bath will feel nice. I sighed as I submerged myself in the warm water, resting my head against the edge.
My eyes flung open when I heard my door open. Thankfully the bathroom door was locked.
“Sea Viper I have your first job for you!” Alsara`s voice rang out. “I`ll put it on the table. Make sure it gets done!”
I heard the door slam. I wondered who I have to kill.
Four days have passed since I completed my first job, to kill some corrupt banker, his screams still present in my sleep. New recruits joined Serpents Shard by the dozens. One in particular stood out. He wears all black, a headscarf covering his face, his eyes shrouded in darkness. He was the only one not drinking at night, besides me. He sat at the corner scanning the room, sometime I would catch him staring at me.
Many people stayed clear of him. He would rarely go on jobs. He was a mystery.
I watched as Alsara come over to me, a job request in her hand. She gave me a smile as she put the paper in front of me. Another assassination request.
“You're going to compete it with him.” She said, pointing to the man in black.
I nodded, not meeting her eyes.
“Now. You're leaving now!” She snapped.
I gave her a glare.
“Oh and I found your letter by the way. He`s going to watch you very closely on the job.” She said with a sly smile.
I walked over to the man in black. “I have to get my things, then I will meet you down here.” I snapped begining to walk away. The man stood up and began to follow.
I turned to him. “Look, I don't know who the hell you are but you don't need to watch me like a convict. I willingly left Fairy Tail to save the one`s I love and I plan to keep my promise.”
The man said nothing and continued to follow. I walked up the stairs my shadow right behind me. As I walked down the dark hallway towards my room, I quickly turned back sending a fist towards his head. He grabbed my wrist pulling it back, let out a grunt of pain, falling to me knees. The man towered over me.
It reminded me of Riviori standing over me, ready to strike.
“Please don't hurt me. I`ll do anything. Please.” I whispered.
“I would never hurt you.” He said. He reached a hand up to the head scarf that covered his face, he unwrapped it. The face that the headscarf covered was revealed.
“No it can`t be you.” I muttered.
It was Natsu...
I was stunned, it can't be him. It's impossible.
"This is some sick trick." I whispered. "Let me go!" I tried to pry from his grasp.
He released my wrist. I scooted back, until my back pressed against the wall.
He sadness flashed across his eyes. He knelt next to me.
"But it is me guppy." He whispered.
I gasped when he used the nickname Natsu gave me. No one else would know that.
I fell into his arms.
"Natsu it's truly you." I said. He wrapped his arms around me.
"I missed you so much." Natsu muttered, kissing me hard.
"We have to get to my room. If someone comes by..." I said.
Natsu nodded and stood up, I took his hand. It felt good to have his hand in mine.
I quickly let go when we heard footsteps. Natsu wrapped his head again. The person walked by us not giving us a second glance.
"Come'on it's down here." I whispered, walking down the hallway.
Natsu said nothing, returning to his guise. I quickly unlocked the door, ushering him inside.
He was on me in a second. His kisses peppering my face. His head scarf have off his face. I laughed, pulling it down all the way.
We finally pulled away breathless. Stupid oxygen.
"So how are we going to get out of here?" I asked. "With the sensory link they could kill us in a second."
Natsu nodded, "Gramps gave me a potion, I have it in my room."
"We will have to go on the job then get the potion afterwards. It would look suspicious." I said, glancing down at the job request.
He kissed my neck. "Why? I saw the nice bath tub. We could just lock ourselves in here." He said between kisses.
I sighed, how I wanted too. "I know, I'll meet you in the main hall. Grab the potion." I smiled, kissing him on the cheek.
Natsu sighed, wrapping his head scarf.
"I'm sorry. You came all this way to free me but..." I trailed off.
"At least I'm with you." Natsu said through the head scarf.
I smiled. I moved deeper into the room grabbing my pack.
"I'll meet you in the main hall right?" I said. I have his hand a squeeze, "I still can't believe that you're here."
He nodded. Giving my hand a squeeze he left, closing the door softly behind him.
I waited a few moments, until his footsteps faded. I opened the door, seeing a black shadow walk around the corner descending the steps. I was about to round the corner when I heard Alsara's voice.
"Watch him closely on the mission you hear?" She said.
"Trust me I will." Natsu responded, he made his voice deeper. It sounded weird.
"If he does anything that would threaten the guild, kill him." Alsara snapped.
"Yes ma'am." Natsu responded, I heard him walk down a few steps, Alsara's voice stopped him.
"But be warned, he is very dangerous. He could kill us all with a flick of the hand." She said.
I waited until both of their footsteps faded until I descended the stairs, torches my only source of light.
The main hall was sparse of people, most not looking up at my entrance. I saw Natsu walk down another hallway to the guilds other quarters for new recruits. I waited by the door for him. I turned around seeing him coming my way. I gave him a wink.
"About damn time." I snapped.
"Ready?" Natsu responded, making his voice deeper again.
I rolled my eyes. I opened the front door, ignoring the guards.
"Stop! Where are you going?" One of the guards asked, stepping in from of me.
I quickly reacted my old instincts coming back.
"Water Soul," I whispered and with a flick of my hand the guard fell dead.
The other guards backed up, raising their guns. They had no magic ability, the perfect people to control.
"What are you doing?" Ask another guard.
"Making sure my authority is known." I snapped, stepping past the dead guard, Natsu following.
We walked along in silence for awhile until the town was out of sight.
I picked up a stone, throwing at a tree in anger, the resounding thud made the birds flutter away.
"I killed someone. An innocent person." I whispered, my head bent. "Am I returning to my old self?" I asked, turning to Natsu.
He said nothing, but took me into his arms, his hand running through my hair.
"Don't think like that Eyrx. You're far from the person you were all those years ago. That is why you should take the potion. Don't worry about being supicious."
"But what about the guild? Alsara will wage war." I whispered, burying my head in the crook of his neck.
"Screw Alsara and Serpents Shard." Natsu said, kissing me.
I nodded, removing his head scarf.
"Where is it?" I asked.
Natsu gave me a quick smile then set his pack down. He removed a vial and his normal clothes. He put the vial in my hand, it felt cool to the touch.
"You drink this, while I get changed." Natsu said.
"Can I watch?" I asked. Natsu gave me a look. "What?"
He just smiled.
I uncorked the vial, the smell of jasmine filled the air.
"All of it?" I asked.
"Only half. The other half is for me." Natsu responded, beginning to change.
I nodded quickly draining half as instructed. I made a face.
"Ugh! It tastes disgusting!" I complained.
Natsu laughed, he finished changing. I handed him the vial, our fingertips lightly touching.
He finished the bottle.
"Your right that is bad." He said.
"So are we free? I don't feel different." I said.
"Gramps said you wouldn't feel anything." Natsu responded.
"Good because I want to go home." I said.
Natsu smiled. I returned it.
I wondered what was next. Was Alsara really going to wage war?
A distant scream made me flinch. It was steadily getting louder.
"It sounds like-"
"Fire!" Natsu yelled, interrupting me. He jumped in front of me. My eyes widened in shock a large blue fireball screamed towards us, melting snow from the branches, setting some on fire. It wasn't normal fire it gave me queasy feeling.
Natsu saw my worried look. "Relax its just fire." He said, giving me a reassuring smile.
"Natsu I don't think it's normal fire..." I said, the fire so loud it cut out my voice.
The fireball came closer and closer, I took a step back. Natsu jumped at the flames, ready to consume it. Something was wrong. Very wrong.
Then I remembered Alsara's power. "Natsu don't! It's devil slayer fire!" I yelled, but my words fell on deaf ears.
Natsu tried to eat the flames but he began to cough. He fell to the ground in a fiery heap. He staggered to his feet, wiping the back of his hand over his mouth. He coughed again. “Ugh, that was sour.” He complained.
“Are you okay?” I asked, he grabbed onto my arm to steady himself. I checked for more fireballs.
“Yeah, I think so.” He muttered, coughing again.
“Are you sure? That co- Water Shield!” I yelled, the screaming fireball interrupting me. A water dome surrounded us. With a large explosion the fireball crashed into the water. The power from the strike made me stumble.
“I don`t know how long this with last.” I muttered, gritting my teeth another fireball hit the shield.
“Can the water move with us?” Natsu asked.
I nodded, reaching for my pack. Natsu did the same.
He gave me a smile. “Then, lets go!” He began to run, weaving through the trees. I followed but at slower pace, carrying a heavy pack and containing the water shield was difficult, I felt sweat at my brow.
“Natsu slow down!” I yelled. I let out a startled cry as I tripped on a tree root. The water shield instantly fell away, leaving us defenseless.
I heard footsteps come close to me, it wasn`t Natsu.
“Well how quaint.” It was Alsara.
She lifted one hand up high, a blue fireball floating above her palm, bathing the surrounding trees blue.
“You think you can escape from me!” She snapped. “You`ll die here!”
Natsu was too far away.
“Water Dragon`s roar!” I yelled, the torrent of water hitting her squarely in the face. She fell back, dropping the fireball, but it didn`t extinguish. I scrambled to my feet, trying to get away from the fireball, my actions slow as if in slow motion. I heard the deafening roar as the fireball exploded, I could feel the intense heat on my back. I was thrown off my feet into the air from the impact of the explosion. I hit the ground hard rolling to a stop at the base of a large pine. My ears ringing, blood pounding in my ear. I very faintly heard Natsu run over to me. I could barely hear his voice, like hearing someone underwater.
Then it all came in a rush. The pain, the sound.
I sat up with a yell. Sharp pain coming from from leg, I felt hot sticky blood pouring out of a hole in my calf, the bloody splinter next to me. It seems during the explosion a splinter went through my leg. I put my hands against my calf, applying pressure. Natsu rummaged through my pack tearing a strip of cloth from a blanket. The pain was almost unbearable, I suprised my screams of pain. I couldn't stop my eyes from watering though. Natsu looked me in eye, his hands on my wrist.
"Eyrx you need to remove your hands," Natsu said, his voice serious. I complied, removing my bloodied hands. Natsu quickly wrapped the blanket around my leg, tying it tightly.
"Are you okay? Are you hurt anywhere else." Natsu asked, running his hands along my arms and legs looking for wounds.
I wanted to snap at him telling him that I'm not okay with a hole in my leg. But I bit my tounge.
"Yeah, think so. There's a healer in Svar." I said, feeling sweat pouring down my forehead. He wiped it way. With the little power I have left, I let water run over my hands, removing the blood. A shuffling sound made us turn, Alsara stumbled to her feet. Her once straight hair wind blown, ash streaked across her face.
"This isn't over." She snapped. And limped away back towards her guild.
We stayed at the healers for only one night, sleeping in a cot in the back room. It felt good to have Natsu`s arms around me again. It was pleasant walking with Natsu again, his hand in mine. But it turned for the worse. Natsu began to cough again. The first fit was short but it sounded bad, then it happened again a half an hour later. Only worse.
“Natsu are you sure that you're okay?” I asked, putting a hand on his shoulder.
“Yeah I`m fine. Don`t worry.” He replied between coughs.
"Should we go back to the healer? He can do som-"
"Eyrx I'm fine." Natsu said cutting me off. His voice having a slight edge.
"I just worry." I whispered removing my hand from his shoulder.
"Eyrx I just don't want to worry over a silly cough." He responded giving me a smile.
"We never had time to talk about it but when I pased out back at the guild from restoring my memory." I said. Natsu nodded urging me to continue.
"Why did you erase my memory?" I asked. Natsu stopped walking. I turned back to look at him, his fist were clinched the look in his eye almost made me flinch. I took a cautious step forward.
"When you went unconscious that bastard Dark King began to touch you in bad places! That's why I did it not to hurt you but to protect you!" Natsu yelled. His outburst made feel uncomfortable, I took my cautious step back. Suddenly I felt cold.
"What did he do?" I asked, I ran a hand through my hair. "All I remember is when y-you and Gray vanished, then he found me. He stroked my cheek and snapped back at him and he slapped me I went unconscious...No." I whispered, slipping my pack to the ground. My body following suit. Natsu crouched down next me, wrapping an arm around my shoulder. I leaned my head against his shoulder.
"For once in my life I want to not run into darkness and despair." I whispered. "Is that so hard to ask for?"
Natsu remained silent, running his hand through my hair. We stayed like that for awhile, the silence our only sound.
I kissed his cheek, feeling the light stubble. "Thanks for that." I whispered.
He gave me a smile. "Anything for you."
I stood up dusting the dirt of my pants, slinging my pack on. Natsu followed suit. I leaned towards him, placing a hand on his chest to stabilize me.
"And do you know what's even better." I whispered into his ear. "There's an inn roughly six miles away. And the rooms each have a large two person tub." I gave him a coy smile. "So instead of sleeping on the cold ground we could sleep in the nice warm bed?"
Natsu answered immediately. "Deal." A slight blush on his face. He grabbed my hand practically running in the direction of the inn. It gave me a warm feeling to see him happy.
I unlocked the door, holding it open for Natsu. He nodded his thanks and entered the inn room. The inn itself was a modest one, with six fairly large rooms on the second floor. Only about a dozen people sat at the bar, drinking in silence.
Natsu dropped his pack to the ground next to the large bed in the center of the room. I dropped my pack next to his and preceded to the window covered by a thin blue curtain. I pushed the curtain aside revealing the dark fields beyond. You could see for miles due to the full moon. I heard Natsu flick on the two lamps that flanked the bed, bathing the room in an amber glow. He then stood beside me, taking my hand.
"Doesn't the countryside look different with a full moon? It makes everything look frozen in silver. The night is always quiet. I like the silence, it makes me feel more relaxed." I murmured.
"It looks like time froze." Natsu responded, kissing my neck. I sighed into his touch.
"What would you do with time froze? But it didn't effect you?" I asked, leaning against him.
"Would you be uneffected too?" He asked every a slight pause.
"Hm." I thought biting my bottom lip in thought. "Yes."
Natsu made a rueful smile appear on his lips. "Then I'd take you to the most expensive and luxurious hotel in the world and once we got there we would have the most wonderful sex." He whispered pausing ever so often to kiss me heatedly.
My breaths was coming in gasps, I was fully leaning on Natsu now. "Natsu..." I groaned.
He let out a laugh and carried me to the large bed, removing his scarf as he went. He helped me remove my shirt.
"Take those damn shorts off now." I whispered once we were both shirtless. He lay over me, supporting himself on his elbows.
"As you command." He whisperd, kissing me hard. We both groaned into the kiss. In moment we were both naked. I threaded my hands into his pink hair. Fully absorbed in pleasure.
I groaned as I sunk myself into the tub, feeling the warm water surround me. I sat across from Natsu who had a grin on his face. I reached for the shampoo bottle. Cupping my hands underwater, rinising my hair.
"Here let me." Natsu said, placing a wet hand on my arm. I gave him a smile, turning around to lay against him, my head resting on his chest. He poured the shampoo in his hand and began to wash my hair. His hands massaging my head. It felt so good.
"Your so beautiful." He whispered into my ear.
I turned my head to smile at him. "And you are devilish handsome." I kissed his neck. "And kind." I kissed him again.
Natsu cupped his hands, running the water through my hair. From the head massage, the warm water and Natsu warm muscular chest on my back, my eyelids began to droop. I faintly heard Natsu whisper that he loved me before sleep overtook me.
Natsu cough has gotten worse, it seems that worry has permanently creased my brow. I turned away as he fell into one of his fits. We were only a few miles from Magnolia.
"We should rest here for a moment." I said after he was finished.
"Why? We're almost there." Natsu responded, his voice had gotten worse as well. It was quiet and hoarse, losing its jovial tone.
"Because I'm thirsty. Would you get my water bottle please?" I asked, it was a lie, he would refuse to take a break for his benefit.
"Sure thing." He said, getting my water bottle from the back pocket in my pack.
I nodded my thanks when he gave it to us, our fingers brushed. I was suprised to find them hot and clammy. I took slow leisured sips, waiting for that moment when his cough would return. I almost dropped the waterborne when it did, he sounded like in so much pain. He saw the worried look on my face.
"Eyrx I'm fine really. It's just a cold." Natsu said, taking my water bottle and putting it back in the pocket.
I nodded giving him a fake smile. "Let's continue. Can we stop at the guild first?" I said, beginning again, Natsu right beside me.
We entered the guild hall when Natsu began one of his coughing fits. Everyone seemed at edge to hear that wretched sound. I gave a sad look to Erza, she returned it with a serious nod.
"Really guys I'm fine." Natsu responded afterwards. "Let's not spoil Eyrx's homecoming."
I set my pack down on a nearby chair, removing my jacket. "But Natsu your not. That cough has been going on for a while now."
Natsu set his pack down on the floor by mine. Saying nothing but wiping his forehead with the back of his hand. Sweat began to form on his brow, more then usual. His breaths coming in gasps.
"Natsu..." I muttered. Grabbing his arm to steady him. "Here sit down." I pulled out a chair for him to sit in. I let go of his arm for him to sit down.
"Natsu!" I yelled as he fell with a cough. Sweat began to pour down his face. I knelt down beside him. His head rolled to the side, descending into unconsciousness.
"Take him to the back room." Makarov ordered.
Gray helped me move him to one of the back rooms, we placed him gently down on the bed. My face pale as the sheets on the bed.
Makarov ushered everyone out besides Mira and I.
"What happened?" He asked, closing the door quietly. Mira began to dab his forehead with a warm cloth.
I told him about the fight with Alsara and the upcoming war. How Natsu was hit with her flames.
Makarov's face was grim. "Yes I heard about this war. Alsara sent us a pretty nasty letter on the subject. We have been preparing."
"I-I think he's been poisoned by her devil slayer flames. But I'm not sure. At first I thought it was a-"
A groan from Natsu interrupted me, we all turned to see him toss and turn on the bed. His face pale.
"Everything will be fine Eyrx." Mira said, putting a hand on my arm.
Makarov went to the door, sticking his head out. "Someone run and get Porlyusica now!" He ordered. We heard the distant scrap of a chair and the slamming of the door. They were already on their way.
"I'll get some water for him." Mira said, exiting the room.
"Master I can't stop thinking about this war. It's all my fault." I whispered sitting down in a chair next to the bed.
"It's not your fault my boy. We are in this together." Makarov responded.
"What if someone gets killed by them? Their blood would be on my hands." I responded, running a hand through my hair. "Like all the others I've killed."
"Don't say that. It was your past, you're a different person now." He said.
"That's funny, it's what Natsu always said." I responded.
"Because I told him those same words to tell to you." He said.
I was puzzled. "What do you mean?"
"When you went on that mission where your old master and he told Natsu of your past..." Makarov began.
"He was going to leave me." I said. "But you convinced him otherwise. Does he even love me? Or you just ordering him to?"
"What? No my boy you have it all wrong, Natsu loves you very much. He told me so before he left to go find you." Makarov said.
I rested my head in one of my hands. "Sorry Master it's been a hard couple of weeks."
"I know me b-" A distant explosion shook the building, interrupting him.
"There here." I whispered. I turned to Master Makarov. "Alsara's mine. I will destroy her for hurting Natsu. I will crush this stupid war under my boot heel."
Makarov gave me a smile. "It's all yours Sea Viper."
"Thank you master, now let's go crush darkness." A ghost of a smile on my face. I went over to Natsu kissing him on the cheek. Then out the door to wage war on my past guild...
The evening air was quiet. To quiet. We were all tense, forming a defensive half circle around the guild, waiting for when they struck. The air around me was damp, I was ready to protect Natsu.
Then we heard her, her voice echoing across the courtyard. "It's quite simple really, you can all live just hand over Natsu and Sea Viper."
I heard Gray huff beside me. "As if lady."
"We would never betray them!" Lucy exclaimed.
"Then you all die." Alsara snapped. "Kill them without mercy."
Dozens of guards dressed in all black, guns pointed at us. It seems that the battle has begun.
“Don`t worry they`re magicless.” I said, taking a step forward, feeling my magic surge. What nerve do they have to attack here? All I want is to be left alone, away from my past.
“Your sad fools. Turn back now or face the consequences of waging war.” I snapped. The guards said nothing but raising their guns. “So be it. Water tsunami slash!” Pressured water that could cut steel set out in an arc towards the guards. They were cut in half in an instant. The arc continuing through the long column of guards until they were all defeated, all cut in half with a strangled scream. So much blood.
I stood stunned, the courtyard silent as a tomb. “I-I didn`t mean to do that. I`m sorry.” I whispered.
“I think it was badass.” Gray said from behind himself.
“Don`t be hard on yourself.” Erza responded.
There was a distant rumbling coming from the town.
“What in the world?” Lucy`s voice sounded distant.
“Eyrx! Come quick its Natsu!” Happy`s voice yelled from behind me.
My voice was cut off by a loud roar. We all turned to see dozens upon dozens of guards pour out from the city. Guns blazing.
“You need to come now!” Happy yelled, pulling my sleeve.
I nodded fearing the worse.
“We got it here Eyrx, go.” Erza ordered.
I nodded and ran off to follow Happy. What if he`s- no I can't think of that, He`s fine. He`s going to be okay. I felt a tear stream down my face as I pushed open the guild doors, running to the back room. The door was ajar, a sliver of pale yellow light slicing across the wooden floor. I rushed into the room.
The old woman from the woods Porlyusica, stood at a small table mixing a potion. She looked up as I entered.
I glanced at Natsu his breathing was shallow, with a slight wheeze. It made me feel sick.
“Is he?” I asked, I couldn't finish the sentence. We could hear the faint sound of the battle.
“I fear he is not recovering. From the information Makarov told me he was poisoned by fire devil slayers flame. This potion should help him but not completely.” She said her voice stern.
“Should?” I asked, sitting down on the chair beside the bed, I took Natsu`s hand. It was burning hot, almost too hot to touch.
“I have never experienced a case this serious before. And there is one more thing I need.” She said,
“What? I would do anything.” I said.
“You need the blood of the one who poisoned him.” Her voice was cold.
“You mean I need to kill Alsara?” I asked, fear in my chest.
“Should that be a problem? I mean you killed all those men outside. One more death shouldn't be that bad.” She commented, reaching for a small cup, placing it in my shaking grasp. “Fill the cup up and return as soon as you can.”
I nodded, giving Natsu`s hand a squeeze. Of course he did not respond.
“I`ll be back. Happy stay here, if anything happened to you Natsu would kill me.”
“Aye sir.” Happy said, giving a salute. I suppressed a smile.
I found her waiting outside, the others surrounded her. It seems that it was a short war. She fee to her knees when I came out of the guild hall.
“Sea Viper, I have made a mistake. A huge mistake.” She whispered, bending her head to the ground.
“I can clearly see that.” I scoffed.
I was surprised to see a tear fall down her face. “I`m just like my father. Dark and evil.” Her voice was soft. She brought out a sharp dagger, laying it across her open palms. “Kill me please.”
I was stunned, I took a step back. “I-I can`t. All I need is a little bit of your blood.”
She closed her eyes, hand wrapping around the knife handle. “Then I will do it myself.”
“No don`t!” I protested taking a step forward trying to stop her. It was too late, she plunged the dagger into her chest.
Everyone stood stunned. Her body fell to the ground.
“Damn. I-I need to get her blood!” I brought myself out my daze. With shaky fingers I removed the dagger from her chest, letting the blood drip into the shallow cup, filling it to the brim.
“What are you doing?” Lucy asked, she sounded disgusted.
“Its for Natsu. I told her that I would do anything for him.” I said, rushing back into the guild.
Porlyusica had finished the potion when I returned. “About time. We don`t have much time. Why are you so pale? It was killing a simple girl.”
“I need a drink.” I said, handing her the cup of blood. “Is it going to work?”
“Don`t doubt me boy.” She snapped, mixing the blood with the potion. She put the bottle to his lips. Pouring the potion down his throat. Happy stood beside me a paw gripping my pant leg.
“What if doesn`t work?” I asked.
“Then we let him rest in peace until he dies.” She said bluntly.
Happy let out a gasp. I held back tears.
She lifted the bottle from his lips, it was empty. Though nothing was happening. It seemed that his breathing stopped.
“No…” I whispered, falling to my knees. I couldn't hold back the tears.
Then with a gasp his eyes opened, his breathing returning to normal. A smile on his face.
It was good to see him smile, but I felt a sudden pain in my head. I stumbled arching myself on the bed post.
"Eyrx are you alright?" Makarov asked.
"No, I feel lightheaded." I said after a pause. It was difficult to stand.
I heard Natsu yell out as I fell to the ground, darkness envelopeing me.
A strong hand shook me awake, I blinked my eyes open. Confusion crossed my features, we were back in the battle of Tartorus. But that doesn't make sense...
Natsu knelt over me, I turned my head to see the Dark King laying on the ground a few feet away. There was a sharp pain in my neck.
"Natsu your alright!" I exclaimed. "Is the poison gone? But what happened."
He gave me a puzzled look. "What poison? Are you talking about the curse that bastard put on Gray and I?"
I forgot about the curse.
"Then it must of been a dream. All I remember is you dissapearing and that sick demon found me. H-he touched me then-"
Natsu put a finger to my lips. "Shh it's all over now."
I nodded, sitting up, resting my head on his shoulder. "I had the most strangest dream. It felt so real especially when we... Never mind."
"Ah sorry to disturb the happy reunion but we hand more important things to worry about." Gray said, holding that damnes E.N.D book.
Natsu shot to his feet. I followed but much slower.
"Don't touch that! I have to give it to Igneel!" Natsu yelled.
I put a hand in his arm to steady myself. I looked around at the ruins that dream seemed so real... Then I saw the FACE timer. It was at 0. I couldn't feel my power.
"How are we going to destroy the book if we have no magic?" I asked, my voice grim.
"That's not good..." Gray muttered seeing the timer.
"Not good at all." Natsu responded.
Suddenly I felt a sudden feeling, it was so familiar. I gasped in shock.
Natsu turned at my outburst. "Are you alright?"
I gave him a smile. I heard a familiar roar that I haven't in years.
"Agrifura..." I whispered. "She's back. She came back."
Roars of dragons echoed across the ruins. It seemed that they all appeared.
"Neat." Natsu whispered his arm wrapping around my waist.
I was speechless as I saw my old dragon Agrifura fly across the sky, her blue scales shimmering...
I fanned myself with my hand under the sweltering heat that is Magnolia summer. Natsu sat next to unaffected by the heat. He let out a chuckle.
"What?" I said. "I'm from the northern moutains there probaly still snow on the ground."
He took a sip from his tankard. Giving me a quick peck on the cheek.
"Well I know what can you make colder." He said, arching one of his eye brows. "Skinny dipping in the ocean. Just the two of us."
I couldn't stop the blush on my face. "We could but then I would be cold." I replied, reaching into the basket of fries in front of him.
He leaned in towards me. "Oh I could think of a thing to make you warmer." A coy smile on his face.
I nearly dropped my fry. I knew exactly what things he was talking about.
I blushed even harder. I regain my compsure bringing the fry to my mouth.
"Now I'm hotter." I muttered.
Natsu laughed, putting an arm around my shoulder, kissing me.
"Natsu...we're in public." I said in between his kisses.
"Oh come on. Just a little." He replied, leaving a chaste kiss on my cheek.
Gray coughed from across the table. I forgot he was sitting across from us.
I pulled away from Natsu's lips, my eyes locked on the table top. Awkward...
"So I have a question for you guys." Lucy asked sitting down next to Gray.
"Shoot." Natsu responded.
"Do you two ever fight?" She asked.
"I beat him all the time." Natsu responded, not realizing what he just said. Lucy gave me a look.
"Natsu...not as in brawling but as in couple fights." I said, "To answer your question Lucy, no we don't fight. Or actually had one."
Lucy nodded giving me a smile.
"And he was lying, I won the last couple of times." I teased, playfully swatting Natsu's arm. I reached for another fry.
Natsu stole the fry. "Hey!" I protested.
"Fight me for it." He responded with a smile.
"You think that you can win?" I said.
"Yeah I have to go with Eyrx." Gray pipped up.
"Yeah I think I win." Natsu said.
"Deal. Loser has to walk around the guild hall in one of Lucy's outfits." I said with a wicked smile.
"Let's do this." Natsu said, standing up.
In a few short moments we were outside, Lucy, Gray, Erza, Happy and the others stood at the doorway.
Natsu stood a few feet in front of me, in his fighting stance.
"Ready to lose?" I asked with a smile.
"You know I'm looking forward to see you in one of Lucy's outfits." Natsu responded.
I scoffed, jumping at him. He sidestepped my attack, bringing his fist around but I blocked it.
"Let's add some magic into this fight. Fire Dragon's Roar!" Natsu yelled.
I quickly reached. "Water shield!" Water wrapped around me like armour, extinguishing his flames.
"Water Hypora!" I yelled. A water ball shot from my hand, hitting him in the chest. He stumbled back with a grunt.
"Oh it's on now." He said. "Fire Dragon Flaming fist!" He jumped at me, I couldn't move fast enough. His collided with my side, breaking my water armour. I gritted my teeth. I flash of worry went across Natsu eyes.
"I'm fine." I whispered, jumping at him water whip raised.
We were at it for what seemed like hours, exchanging kicks and punches with the occasional water or flames. Soon we were both out of breath. I had a slight disire to win. Natsu and never lost the smiles on our faces. I could tell my blocks were getting sloppy and Natsu realized it and was going easy on me. But I had to win. I gave him a wicked smile, I had one last trick up my sleeve.
"Water Dragon's secret art! Tsunami Blade!" I yelled.
Water shot from my palm, straight for Natsu. He tried to dodge it and he almost did but it hit in the shoulder, knocking him to his knees. Time to finish this.
I ran at him, water droplets floating around my fists. But he did something different. He tackled me to the ground, straddling my waist. I tried to twist and turn from his weight. But it was useless, Natsu was stronger then me. Though he had his famous large grin on his face.
I couldn't help but laugh. "I surrender." I said. He nodded beginning to get off me. I quickly wrapped my legs around his waist, reversing our posistion.
I gave him a quick kiss. "Just kidding."
"Not fair!" He pouted.
"So what outfit do you want to where?"
Well I picked the worst day to make Natsu parade around the guild hall in one of Lucy's outfits. Almost everyone was on a job or a home sweating in the heat, but Lucy and I had a fun time though. We couldn't stop laughing seeing Natsu walk around the guild. His face was as pink as his hair.
"It really shows off his legs." Lucy said between laughs.
"This is great, we should have done this sooner." I responded, one hand clutching my stomach.
"It's not great for me!" Natsu proclaimed.
"At least Erza isn't here." I said, giving him a large smile.
Natsu continued his circling of the room, when he passed by me, he gave me a glare.
"I'll get you back." He said, he couldn't surppress a small smile.
"Sure you wi-"
My voice was cut off when the door opened. Erza stopped dead in her tracks, seeing Natsu in one of Lucy's outfits.
Of course that made Lucy and I laugh harder.
I sighed as I entered the shower. Natsu was changing out of Lucy's outfits. The hot water seemed to help the sweltering heat. I felt the water cascade down, loosening the muscles in my back. I ran a hand along the scar on my stomach, just below my navel.
It's funny if you asked me three well technically ten if you count Tenrou, that I would be laughing my heart out in Fairy Tail's guildhall I would have laughed in your face.
And then there was Natsu, I wouldn't have been such a good sport if I was wearing one of Lucy's outfits. I turned off the water, stepping out of the shower. Looking for my towel, yet it wasn't there.
"Looking for this?" Natsu asked, the sound of my voice made me jump. He dangled my towel in my face. I reached for it yet he pulled it back. A large grin on his face.
"You wouldn't dare." I said.
"Oh I think I would." He responded. Then took off, running out the door.
"Natsu!" I yelled following him in hot pursuit.
He ran outside, I never hesitated at the door, forgetting that I was naked.
"Natsu get back here!" I yelled after him.
Laughter was my only answer. He took off towards the field beside the road. I groaned in disgust as I felt mud between my toes.
But I had a plan.
I stopped yelling after him and he looked back, then is when I made myself trip to the ground. With a grunt I landed harder then expected. Mud smeared along my side.
My ankle hurt like hell, I didn't mean to hurt myself.
"Natsu! I hurt my ankle!" I yelled. Might as well use this to my advantage.
Natsu stopped in his tracks, running over to me. Concern on his face.
He wrapped the towel around my shoulders, I shivered apparently it's not that hot as it was before.
"Are you okay? Can you stand?" He asked.
"I think so." I replied, gripping onto his arm as I stood.
"I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have done th-"
My lips on his silenced him.
"To tell the truth I made myself trip. To get the towel." I said in a quiet voice.
"I had a feeling you would do that." He responded with a smirk. "Though I would have sat on the ground instead falling."
I remained silent.
He kissed my cheek. "But at least your not hurt."
"At least there's that." I responded. "But could we go home? The mud is starting to dry."
"Only if I can join you." He whispered.
I have him a coy smile. "True, I have mud in the most intimate of places."
I let out a groan as I flopped onto the bed. Scrubbing all that mud off me was exhausting. I glanced over as Natsu padded into the room, a towel hanging low on his hips. Water dripping down his chest.
I have him a smile. "Don't tease. I'm too tired."
He let out a laugh, dropping the towel I of course openly stared. He gave out a chuckle putting some boxers on.
"Sorry..." I muttered blushing.
"Why? I stare at you all the time when your not looking." He stated.
He got in the bed beside me, I rested on one elbow. I let one of my hands hover over his chest. Apprehensively, I looked into his eyes. He nodded.
I rested my hand on his chest, above his abs. Feeling the hard muscle.
"It must be nice to not have scars. To not be reminded of your past." I said, running my finger down to his abs, feeling the muscles contract under my touch.
One of his hands rested on the side of my face, his thumb wiping away a stray tear. I had no clue I was crying.
My hand stopped, just staring with admiration. I slowly leaned down and kissed him, feeling his soft lips against mine. He wrapped his arms around me, pulling me closer to him.
I pulled away. "I think I've always loved you since we first met when fighting the Oracion Seis." I whispered.
He kissed my cheek, running a hand through my hair. "I'd never thought I would find someone like you, I was so alone but you make complete."
I smiled kissing him again, longer this time. He deepened the kiss, my hands running across his chest.
"Do you want too? I know your tired and we don't have too." He asked.
"Tired be damned." I whispered, continuing the kiss.
He smiled kissing me with more passion. Lifting my shirt up. I fell into the passion, the ecstasy. Knowing that I was safe in his arms.
The patter of rain on the window, my head resting on Natsu's bare chest, one of his arms slung around my shoulders. He was still asleep, his chest light riding and falling as he breathed. How peaceful it is, no need to wake up early to go on quests or fight dark guilds hellbent to destroy the world. Just waking up next to the person you love.
Then Natsu ruined the moment by rolling over, his arm still overt shoulders so I was pulled with him, my face resting in the mattress my legs sticking up in the air. Correction, it was peaceful. But I couldn't suppress a laugh.
"Eyrx what are you doing sleeping like that?" Natsu asked, with a slight smile. "It's not healthy."
I glared at him. "Your not going to be healthy in a minute."
He never lost his smile. He put a hand across my stomach pushing me on my back beside him. He kissed my neck. I rolled on my side facing him, our faces inches apart.
"Can we just lay in bed all day?" I asked.
"And do what?" He asked, cupping my cheek.
"I think I have an idea." I replied with a coy smile.
"But we can't." He said with a serious expression.
"What? Why not?" I pouted.
"Because," He said, kissing me. "I've got a suprise for you."
"A surprise? Last time it was a week long trek to find some lost treasure. Key word lost." I said sarcastically.
Natsu let out a laugh. "It's better then that."
"But it's raining!" I complained, rolling on my back.
"Oh but it's our eight month anniversary." Natsu said.
I let out a gasp. "Oh Natsu I totally forgot! With all that has been happening I totally forgot. Sorry..." I rolled on my side again, facing him.
"Eyrx love it's fine." He said, kissing me, wrapping an arm around my shoulder pulling me against him.
"Are you sure? I feel terrible." I said in a small voice.
"Yes I'm sure." He responded with a smile.
"So what's the surprise?" I asked.
"You have to get out of bed first." He said, sitting up.
"Do I have to get dressed?" I asked remembering that we were both still naked.
Natsu gave me a smile. "No, you have to stay naked."
"Really? Then you do too." I replied, climbing out of bed.
Natsu followed suit, taking my hand. I shivered as the cold air hit my bare skin.
"Can I at least put some pants on?" I asked as he led me to the kitchen. But he stopped in his tracks. I almost ran into him.
"What is it? Is this my surprise?" I asked, peering over my shoulder.
Natsu remained silent, frozen in fear. I followed his gaze.
"Oh my god...is it..." I couldn't finish my sentence.
The door was askew on it's hinges. A large smear of blood on the floor, leading towards us. I looked down at our feet the trail of blood was fainter, that's how we didn't notice it. But the fact that put us both to fear was the tufts of blue fur in the blood. It was Happy's blood...
Natsu stood there in silence for awhile just staring at the streaks of blood. It chilled me to the bone. Then, he flew into action rushing back to our room.
"What are you doing?" I asked, following him down the hall, but in more relaxed pace.
"Come'on! We need to get dressed and go find him!" He yelled back, slipping into pants and slipping his sandals on, rushing to the door.
"Wait!" I called, I barely had my boxers on. I quickly got dressed, grabbing my coat as I left, Natsu was already running on the road, following Happy's scent trail. I smelled a different scent mingled with Happy's it was human but foreign.
I finally caught up to him in a few minutes, my breath coming in gasps.
"Natsu slow down, you're no help to Happy if you die of exhaustion on the road. Just stop for a moment and think-"
"Eyrx I can't! He might die! I can't stop for one minute, either you keep up with me or be left behind." He snapped interrupting me.
He took off once more this time into the forest. I was a little offended but I didn't voice it. It made me remember Fozana my Exceed. Maybe she would be still alive if I tried like Natsu is now for Happy.
Natsu finally stopped at a small clearing, the rain finally stopped, letting sunlight break through the clouds.
"Natsu, I don't like this..." I whispered, he ignored me and entered the clearing.
I sensed something unusual but I couldn't place. Natsu stopped at the center of the clearing, a rustling in the undergrowth made me jump, Happy cane out of the brush, but there was a woman behind him, holding a sword at the base of his neck.
"Well I underestimated you Natsu Dragneel." The woman snapped, a black head scarf wrapped around her head, but a stray strand of brown hair hanged by her cheek.
"You vile bitch!" Natsu yelled, his fist clenching. He took a step closer.
"Not so fast, one more step, and I run him through." She said, her voice cool as steel.
I crouched further down in the undergrowth and began to quietly crawl around the clearing to sneak up on the woman.
"What will it take to get him back?" Natsu asked, trying to cool his anger.
"Simple. Fight me for him. A fight to the death. But I warn you that I don't play nice." She responded.
I stopped this would make things complicated.
"Deal." Natsu responded, punching his fist into his palm, fire igniting.
The woman let out a laugh. "Then prepare to die!" And in a flash she was gone then reappeared behind Natsu.
Natsu sensed it and turn quickly to punch behind him, she dissapered once more. They fell into a cycle of dodging. Now was my chance.
"Happy!" I whispered as I approached him.
"Eyrx!" He responded, rushing into my arms.
I heard a growl behind me.
Happy's eyes widened. "It's her pet tiger!"
"Tiger?" I asked slightly turning.
A large tiger jumped at me, I rolled out of th way, but it was to late, it's large paws held me down, it's snarling face inches from mine, the claws tearing into my shoulders. I let out a hell of pain. I brought my knee up into its soft belly over and over again. It loosened my shoulders up a bit to place a hand on its furry leg. Now it was mine.
"Water Soul!" I shouted, and the tiger went limp. I kicked it the side. I slowly rose to me feet, feeling the blood run down my chest.
Natsu and the woman were still locked into their fight.
"Stop! It's over!" I shouted, hearing the sound of my voice, the woman turned.
"Eyrx it has been so long." The woman said, with a slight smile on her lips.
"How do you know me?" I asked confused, Happy clung to my leg.
"Oh you wouldn't know me but my name is Agrifura." Agrifura responded.
"Agrifura? As in Eyrx's dragon?" Natsu asked.
"Yes, I am her Edolas counterpart." She said.
"Then why do this?" I asked.
"To remember where your loyalties lie. Soon, you will have a choice to make, this incident is but a taste of the consequences of the choice." Agrifura said, her voice calm.
"What are you talking about my loyalties? They are with Fairy Tail!" I yelled.
"Are they? They should be with one raised you, who gave you power." She snapped.
"Are you talking about my loyalties to my mother, Agrifura?" I asked, giving a glance to Natsu.
"Yes she in fact ordered this." The woman said.
"What? Why would she? How could she? She's dissapered." I said, confused once more. "I don't believe you."
"You should. She told me that you would be like this. She said to remember Bospori Lake." Edolas Agrifura said.
"How could you know that? That was where she trained me..." I said, remembering all those days spent training.
"Exactly, now I must be going." She said.
"No you don't." Natsu growled. "You hurt Happy, you must pay for it!" Natsu jumped at her.
I rushed forward, grabbing his arm. "Natsu stop! Don't kill her!" I yelled.
"Eyrx let me go!" Natsu yelled trying to shake me off.
I stepped in front of him. "No! We don't know what will happen! If she is the Edolas version and we kill her it could kill Agrifura!"
"Let me go right now. She must pay!" Natsu yelled.
I looked to the woman again, she gave me a smile.
"Remember your loyalties Eyrx." She said, then she was gone.
It was majestic to see the dragons fly once more. It almost restored my power, almost. I was still weak but at least the Dark King was defeated.
Then I felt suddenly colder. It made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.
"Zeref," I whispered, turning around to see him standing in front of Gray, Natsu and I.
"Why hello Sea Viper. It has been so long since we've seen each other." Zeref said, his voice still creepy as ever.
I said nothing, but took an involuntary step back.
"I'm not here for you, though. That failure on the ground is why I'm here." Zeref said, grabbing the book E.N.D and with a flick of his hand the Demon King disintegrating into a pile of ash.
No one uttered a single word, only the distant roar of Igneel and Acnologia could be heard. Zeref glanced up at the fight with a look I could not read.
“I wonder what come out of that? Anyway I must be going.” And with that he was gone.
No one said anything for awhile until Natsu looked at the fight going on.
“Igneel I`m coming!” He said and raced off.
“Natsu!” I yelled after him. I began to run after him, but Gray stopped me.
“You can`t go after him.” He said standing in front of me.
“Why not?” I asked.
“Because you have barely have any power left. And we both know if you go out there with him he will care more for your safety then yours.” Gray responded.
“But what if something happens and I'm not there?" I protested trying to move past him. Natsu was almost to the fight not.
"Natsu can handle himself." Sting said from his place on the ground.
"Not against a dragon." I snapped. I released a wave of water at Gray making him stumble. Now was my chance.
"Sorry Gray but I have to." I yelled back, taking off in a sprint.
Natsu was still in front of me he was almost there now.
"Natsu!" I yelled as neared the fight but he didn't hear me.
I looked up at the fight what happened made me stop in my tracks. Acnologia flew down on top of Igneel shredding him in half. My mouth was agape in surprise then Acnologia let out a roar and flew off into the sky.
Igneel crashed to the ground, his eyes dull.
Natsu took shaky steps forward falling to his knees in front of Igneel.
I walked over to him stopping a couple feet away. I looked down at my clothes ripped up and shredded. My shirt was practically gone, my pants containg large gashes, my arms caked with ash and dirt.
"Eyrx let him grief on his own." A familiar voice said from behind me. I turned seeing Ageifura.
"Mum!" I said with a smile on my face. I walked over to her.
"My son." She replied. "I fear I do not have long."
I was confused. "What? Why not?"
"I'm so sorry. I should have warned you of dark guilds." She said, her voice soft.
"Then you were there." I whispered.
"I saw it all. Every moment. I cried when you cried, I felt your pain. I was such fool." She said. "And I was there when Fozana died. I'm so sorry Eyrx."
"So you also know about Natsu and I... Are you angry?" I asked.
"No my son. I am never angry at you. I'm so happy for you. It has filled me with joy to see you grow up into a handsome young man. When you smile I smile." She said. "But it is time. Stopping your dragonification has made me weak."
"Wh- what do you mean? Are you dying?" I asked, my voice hoarse, I could feel tears forming in the corners of my eyes.
"Yes." She replied, her voice calm.
"No! You can't! If I lose you then I'll be alone! Please no..." I fell to my knees.
"No my child. You have Natsu. You will always have Natsu. And Fairytail they are your family too." She said her voice hoarse as well.
I let my tears run freely down my face.
“Remember what I told you when your`re sad? Keep your head held high make your face expressionless. And remember that I will always love you, and I will always be with you. Goodbye Eyrx I will watch over you forever.”
“No don`t go! Please!” I yelled.
Then with a flash of light she was gone, along with Igneel. I let my head fall into my hands. The sobs overtaking me.
I heard footsteps behind me, it was Natsu. I turned to look at him, the tears still running down my face, my mouth slightly open, almost in a silent scream of grief. Natsu said nothing, sitting beside me his hand running along my back.
“They`re really gone aren`t they?” I asked. “Everyone I knew from my past is now dead. I`m all alone.”
“You have me.” Natsu responded. “Nw let`s get back to others.” He helped me up.
I wiped away the tears. Making my face expressionless.
At least I have Natsu. Without him I would be an empty shell. He`s the reason why I smile. The reason why I laugh. The reason why I carry on.
I woke up once more from a nightmare, once again from losing Agrifura. I wiped the stray bead of sweat from my brow, catching my breath. I checked the clock on the wall, I`ve only slept for three hours. With countless nightmares, usually about Agrifura or Fozana. But ever so often they be about Natsu. He probably got less sleep than I did. I turn around he was laying next to me, his arm still lazily on my waist, though he was still awake. He looked tired.
“Shit, I`m so sorry Natsu. I`ll go sleep on the couch if you like.” I replied, sitting up. I grabbed my pillow, I went to go out of bed, but Natsu moved his hand to my wrist, grabbing me tightly.
“No.” His voice sounded fully alert.
“Natsu, they`re just stupid nightmares-”
“No.” He said interrupting me. “What kind of person would I be if I just let you, the love of my life, cry and suffer alone?”
I said nothing. I only releasing a shaky breath. “They`re all gone. Dead. Everyone that knew of my past and know the person I was before it happened.”
“That`s not true. I know you.” Natsu responded, sitting up.
“But it is.” I whispered. “All you know of me is my past. The person who was affected by their past. Not before it happened.”
“Stop thinking that.” Natsu said, putting his hand on my shoulder, giving it a slight squeeze.
“No. You are not your past. It shouldn't haunt you.” Natsu said, pulling me against him and laying back down. It felt good to feel his warm chest against me.
“It does though, almost everyday.” I responded.
“Then forget about it.” Natsu replied.
“But how?” I asked.
“By this.” He said and kissed me.
I smiled at him. "I think that's a start."
"Or," He began, "I could tickle you." A grin on his face. A hand snaking to my thigh.
"I don't think that's my hip." I replied, my voice hitching.
He leaned in closer, whispering in my ear. "I know," Suddenly his voice sounded different, almost sexual. And Natsu isn't sexual.
"This is a new side of you." I said, his hand still on my thigh.
"Do you like it?" He asked, his voice still in a whisper.
"Hmm, I think so." I replied.
"Well then you're going to like this." He said and squeezed my thigh repeatedly.
I instantly started laughing, thrashing and trying to remove his hand.
"Stop...please!" I yelled through my laughter. I tried to remove his hand.
"You know you can't. I'm too strong." He said, with a smile.
"No but this can." I said with a wink and elbowed him lightly in the side.
His hand loosened up for me to pin his arm above his head.
"Now are you so sure?" I asked.
He said nothing.
"Wait a second. You think that you can take me in a fight?" I asked, laying back down laying my head on his chest.
"Well...I..." He stuttered.
"No I get it. You just forget one important fact." I replied, with a smile.
"What?" He asked, trying to act innocent.
"Love, acting innocent is cute for you, but not right now." I said looking him in the eye.
"I'm an assassin." I said with a sly smile.
"Were." He corrected. "So, now we can joke about it?"
I let out a laugh. "I just want to fall back asleep."
Natsu kissed me on the top of my head. "Then good night my love."
I soon fell back asleep.
My eyes flicked open to the sound of movement outside the room. Almost as someone was searching for something.
"Natsu, I think someone's in the house." I whispered.
There was no response, Natsu wasn't there. Then, I heard his voice and Happy's outside in the living room. My heartbeat began to go back to normal.
With a sigh I sat up in bed, my feet setting down on the cold floor. I walked to the door and entered the living room.
"What are you doing?" I asked looking around the living room.
It was a mess, clothes, and random junk strewn everywhere.
"Good morning," Natsu replied with an innocent tone.
I forced a smile. "So what are you searching for?"
"Money." Happy replied.
"Money? For what?" I asked.
Natsu walked over to me, taking both of my hands. "Well that's the thing. I was wondering..." He began but trailed off, a slight blush on his face.
I couldn't help but smile.
"I was wondering if you would like to come with Happy and I on a journey." Natsu asked.
"Really?" I asked. "Of course silly why wouldn't I go with you?" I hugged him, kissing him on the cheek. "Thank you! Thank you!"
"Natsu will thirteen million be enough?" Happy asked.
"I guess so." Natsu replied.
"Oh I have some money too." I said, walking over to the corner of the room kneeling down and lifting up a loose floorboard, taking out a envelope. I walked back to Natsu.
"How much is that?" He asked his eyes wide.
"About five hundred million jewels. I saved up." I said with a smile.
"You don't have to spend your money, Eyrx." Natsu said.
"It's fine. What else would I use it on anyway?" I replied.
"And are you okay with being gone for so long?" Natsu asked.
"Natsu, even if it was for twenty years I would still go." I said.
Magnolia stood below us, still in ruin. I looked to Natsu.
"Are you ready?" I asked, putting a hand on his shoulder.
He gave me a smile. "Of course, we'll be back soon."
I adjusted my pack on my shoulder, Natsu and I stepping over fallen branches, Happy flying ahead.
"You know that since starting our journey I haven't had any nightmares." I said, moving a leafy branch out of my face.
"You had one last night, and the night before." Natsu responded.
"What? I don't remember them. I think I would." I said puzzled.
"Well I do." He snapped.
"Natsu, are you angry? I'm sorry if I keep you up at night. I really am." I replied.
Natsu stopped in his tracks. "Who's Erik?" He asked, his voice having a slight edge.
"Erik? Where did that come from?" I asked, confused once more.
"Well you keep saying his name in your sleep. Obviously he's someone." Natsu responded.
"Do I say anything else? Or just Erik?" I asked, leaning against a tree.
"Sometimes it's just 'Erik' other times it's 'Please don't hurt him! Please! I need him!'" Natsu said, trying to imitate me.
"Oh," I said. I remembered who Erik was. "Erik was one of the servants in Serpents Shard. He looked after me when I was a child. He treated me well."
Natsu's expression lost its anger.
"I-I had to watch his torture and death. There was so much blood. Everywhere." I responded.
"I'm sorry Eyrx, I didn't know." Natsu said, putting a hand on my shoulder.
I forced a smile. "It's alright. It was is in my past."
Natsu nodded, giving a smile as well, though his was not forced.
"Wait a second." I said, breaking the silence. "Were you jealous?"
"Jealous?" Natsu asked, turning away.
I let out a laugh. "You were jealous because you thought Erik was another guy."
"Not true!" Natsu replied.
"It was obvious Natsu." Happy chimed in.
Natsu's face only got redder.
"Trust me Natsu, you have nothing to worry about." I said, regaining my composure.
"You do look cute when you're flustered." I said with a smile.
"Let's just keep going." Natsu grumbled.
Happy and I couldn't hold back our laughter. Natsu didn't look back.
"You know Natsu you can't storm off. I have the tent poles." I teased.
I layed back down on sleeping pad with a groan. We ran into some stray bandits in the woods.
"Ugh, those bandits were just annoying." I complained.
"They were." Natsu replied, laying next to me. Happy curled up on his lap, falling asleep.
"Oh can I ask you something?" I asked.
"Can we please stay at a hotel tomorrow. I really need a shower." I said.
Natsu let out a laugh.
"What? That spring was so cold! Why couldn't you heat it up or something?" I asked, with a laugh.
"Because you would have burned." Natsu responded, with a smile. I layed back again his chest, feeling the warmth.
"Burned? Can't you control how hot your flames are?" I asked.
"I'm not a faucet." Natsu remarked.
I let out a laugh, "You should work on it though."
"Yeah you have like eleven months left." I replied.
"Well it's not that easy with fire. You do it with water at will." Natsu said.
"True you would have to really think about it, which would be a problem for you." I teased.
"Hey!" He responded, lightly swatting my shoulder. "Keep it up."
"And what?" I asked, cocking an eyebrow.
"I'll tickle you," He whispered in my ear.
"Oh really? I'm soo scared." I mocked.
"You should be. I know your spot."
I blushed, "I thought of something totally different then my tickle spot."
Nasty let out a laugh. "I know that too."
Of course that made me blush too.
We woke up early the next day, just as the sun rose. Breakfast was simple energy bars split between Natsu and I.
"So I was looking at the map, and there's a large town nearby." I said as we moved along the trail that winded through the forest.
"Oh really? Is there anything you need?" He asked. Happy landed on his shoulder.
"Just a shower and a warm bed." I responded.
“That would be nice.” Natsu said.
We reached the town by midday, it was a little smaller than Magnolia.
“Happy and I will go rent a room at that inn over there,” Natsu said pointing to the small inn across the street.
“Okay, I`ll be at the market down there. So see in a few?” I said.
“Yep,” He replied and kissed me quickly on the cheek, and with a quick wave disappeared into the crowd that ran along the street. Leaving me alone.
The market was large, with many stalls and vendors selling various wares, from spices to cows. The market was crowded with people, some had large baskets full of vegetables. Passing some of the food vendors made my mouth water, breakfast was hours ago.
I felt a quick tug at my pockets, I turned around a saw a pickpocket weave through the crowd with my jewels.
“Hey!” I yelled, but the thief was already gone.
“Are you alright?” A slightly familiar voice asked.
I turned around to face the source of the voice. I let out a slight gasp.
“N-No it can't be.” I stammered.
“Eyrx it so good to see you again! It seems that you do remember me.” Erik said, with a large grin.
Erik was a little bit older than the last time I saw him, three years not including the seven years at Tenrou. His blonde hair was a lot shorter, yet his piercing green eyes were the same, his skin a little tanner and he was taller.
Stop this! You have a boyfriend. I scolded myself.
Yet I found myself hugging him. “Erik you don`t know how much I've missed you!”
I pulled away, yet he held me at arm lengths. “But I-I saw you die, you being tortured. How can you…” I trailed off.
Erik`s eyes gleamed over in guilt. “I lied, saying that you were going to betray the guild.”
I remained silent.
“I`m so sorry Eyrx. I never meant for you to get hurt. After I lied to them I fled.” Erik said, his tone practically flooding with guilt.
I gave him a smile. “It`s fine Erik, honestly. After you died there was a mutiny. And I fled too.”
“I heard about the mutiny, though I thought you were dead.” He said.
“No, I traveled for a year then joined a guild.”
“I joined a guild too.”
“Wait your`re a mage now?” I asked, excited.
“Yep, I follwed in your footsteps and became a water mage.” Erik explained. “Though you look the same since the last time I saw you.”
“And you are older than me now.” I said.
“How so?” He asked, arching one eyebrow.
I then explained the time skip on Tenrou Island during the trial.
“You still look handsome, as ever.” Erik responded.
He leaned closer to me, I couldn't move.
“Wait I-” Yet I couldn't finish, his lips were on mine.
He pulled away after a minute. A slight smile on his face.
“Erik...I can't I have a boyfriend.” I whispered
“You mean had a boyfriend.” Natsu`s voice behind me made me jump and gasp.
I pulled myself away from Erik`s arms. “Natsu it`s not what it looks like!” I yelled.
“Then what the hell is it then!” Natsu yelled back.
“This is Erik, the one I told you about! I thought he was dead!” I said.
“So, that gives you the right to kiss him?” Natsu snapped.
“No! He kissed me! I tried to tell him!” I yelled.
“It`s true. I did not know.” Erik said, entering the exchange.
Then Natsu punched him square in the face.
“Natsu! Please stop!” I yelled grabbing his clenched fist.
Natsu turned his gaze to me. It was full of anger and sadness. “I`m going back to the inn. And, I don`t really care what you do, you can leave for all I care.” He snapped.
His words stung like a slap across the face.
“Natsu...I…” I whispered.
Yet he was gone.
I was stunned in silence, I couldn't stop myself from shaking. I felt ashamed of myself.
“Eyrx, I`m sorry I didn`t know.” Erik said, placing a hand on my shoulder, it made me flinch.
“It`s not your fault, Erik.” I responded, my voice surprisingly level, yet it held no emotion. “I should have told you. Now, if you excuse me I have to go.”
“Go where?” Erik asked, as I began to walk away from the market, away from the inn.
“Does it really matter?” I replied.
“To me it does. And, towards your boyfriend.” Erik said, stepping in front of me.
“What`s the point anymore?” I asked. “I'm far too attached to my past. I`m broken, there isn't a day that goes by where I don't think about my past.”
“But you're different than your past! Even I can see that. You have changed for the better.” Erik said.
“Natsu doesn't care about me anymore.” I replied. “He trusted me and I betrayed him.”
“He does, you just have to tell him what really happened.” Erik suggested.
“That won't work. I have done something unforgivable.” I answered, my voice still lacking any emotion.
“If he can't really forgive you for this then he is shallow. It was a simple kiss, a greeting kiss.” He said, with a slight forced smile.
“A greeting kiss?” I asked.
“Yes,” He responded with a laugh. “I`m trying to cheer you up.”
“It`s working some what.” I replied. “I`m going to go talk to Natsu. Co-Could you stay here, incase it goes wrong?”
“Of course.” He said. “And you will do fine.”
I gave my thanks to the woman at the front desk who gave me the room number and walked up the stairs. Fear churning in my stomach. Finally I reached the door. With a shaky hand I knocked ever so slightly.
There was a pause until footsteps could be heard, stopping at the door. I was shaking once more. Until Natsu opened the door. His face was unreadable, yet his eyes were red from crying, tears stained down his face. Yet, his eyes showed anger.
“How could you?” He snapped.
“It wasn't my fault, he kissed me!” I replied.
“Yet, I trusted you Eyrx!” Natsu yelled.
“How was I supposed to know that one of my friends who I saw die would come back?” I asked, glaring at him.
Natsu remained silent for a moment then, with surprising force punched the wall beside him, leaving a large gash.
I flinched at the sudden movement, I took a step backward. The color draining from my face, suddenly I felt afraid.
"I forgave you for everything." Natsu whispered, his voice sharp as a knife. "Everything from your past, the people you killed. Hell, I even forgave you when you took that job to kill me."
I was shocked that he would even think of that.
"Don't you ever say that again." I snapped. "I...I was different back then and you of all people know that."
Natsu realized the weight of his words, his gaze shifting to his feet. "I didn't mean it like that." He responded.
"Then what did you mean?" I asked. "You know I could you ask the same thing. How could I trust you?" I asked. "I mean there is countless times where you're with Lucy, and she loses an article of clothing."
Nasty looked up, his gaze locking with my eyes. How I wanted to just fall into his arms.
"But you know that I would do anything to hurt you." He said.
"Then why don't you trust me? Over something I never did." I followed.
"Because after all we've been through you do this." He said.
"What?! He kissed me! I tried to back away." I yelled.
The hall descended into silence. The bustle of the city could still be heard outside. The noises from the market, muffled by the windows.
Natsu's gaze returned to his feet.
"What is the point of it all?" I asked in a small voice. "I'm broken, you have all the right to be angry with me. I can never leave my past. You don't need that." My voice was hollow, lacking any emotion. I pulled out a sharp dagger from the hidden pocket in my shoe. I placed the knife against my throat, the cold blade digging into my skin.
"What are you doing?!" Natsu yelled, frozen in fear.
To be honest I had no idea. It just seemed so appealing. The serenity of the nothingness of death.
Natsu regained his composure, knocking the dagger from my hand, it clattered onto the wooden floor. He grabbed onto my wrist in fear.
The raw fear and worry in his eyes made my knees weak.
"Don't you ever leave me." He ordered, looking into my eyes. "Ever."
I swallowed. I couldn't find my voice, just a simple nod, resting my head on his chest collapsing into sobs.
Natsu and I stood like that for what seemed like hours. Just the two of us, our silence expressing our apologies and love.
“Eyrx, as much as I love standing here with you, can we go inside now?” Natsu asked, taking his arm from my shoulder.
I stifled a yawn, nodding my head yes.
Natsu let out a laugh, ushering me through the door.
There was a nice sized bed by the window and another door leading to what I presumed was the bathroom. Hopefully with a bathtub. Hopefully.
“Happy, could you get us some sweets from the market?” Natsu asked, winking at him.
I had a feeling what was going on, but said nothing. Instead, I sat on the bed, running a hand along the soft bed covers.
“Sure Natsu.” Happy responded, trying to hold back a laugh as he fluttered out of the door.
Natsu closing it after him, and locked the door with an audible clunk. It made me flinch.
“Could we keep the door unlocked?” I asked in a small voice.
I did not want to live those memories now.
Natsu nodded and unlocked the door, and sat beside me on the bed. I released a breath I had no idea I was holding in.
“I’m sorry Natsu.” I whispered.
“Don’t be, he kissed you anyway.” He said, wrapping an arm around my shoulder, pulling me against him.
“No it’s not that.” I said.
“Then what is?” He asked, “You know you can tell me anything right?” He kissed my cheek.
I sighed. “Nevermind.”
“Eyrx, I will stop unless you tell me what’s wrong.” Natsu said, laying down and pulling me with him.
I moved a strand of hair from my eyes. “It’s just that...That I can never escape my past. Once I think that it’s gone and I’m free, it comes back. It always comes back.”
Natsu said nothing but kissed me deeply on the lips, I let out a strangled moan. How good it felt to be with him.
I took his scarf from his neck, throwing it from the bed. Natsu began to pull at my shirt. I slipped off his vest. Natsu pulled away, both of us breathless.
“I believe that you are too overdressed,” Natsu remarked, kissing my neck.
I let out a moan, Natsu taking off my shirt, practically ripping it.
His eyes nearly black with lust. “I love you Eyrx.” He whispered into my ear. “I love everything about you. Your smile. Your laugh. Your voice.” He punctuated every sentence with a kiss.
“Natsu, I lov-” He cut me off with a kiss on my lips. His fingers fumbling with my belt.
“Natsu, could we not?” I asked, hesitantly, fearing his reaction.
Natsu’s eyes went wide. “Did I hurt you?”
“No! Its not that, it just…” I trailed off, I couldn’t look him in the eyes, to see the disappointment in those eyes. After everything we have been through, he couldn’t have sex with me.
“Then what is it then?” He asked, the tone in his voice was unreadable.
“I just want to lay here with you.” I whispered, fearing what he would say.
Natsu said nothing, for a long time. I could hear my heartbeat thumping in my ears. The silence was unbearable, until he sighed, the sudden noise making me flinch.
“You think that I would be angry if you didn’t want to have sex?” He asked, moving a stand of hair from my eyes.
I turned my head, I still couldn’t look at him.
I felt his hand softly cup my chin, rotating my head so I was forced to look at him. Those eyes, showing so much emotion.
“I want you to know something, Eyrx.” He said, his voice almost hoarse. “For that you need to look me in the eye.”
Hesitantly, I looked him in the eye. His expression was a mix between sadness and guilt.
His hand travelled through my hair, his other still wrapped around my shoulder.
“You need to know that I forgive you.” He said, with a slight smile, lightly kissing my forehead. “And that if you don’t want to do something, just tell me.”
I nodded, forcing a smile. There was still something on my mind, I was afraid to tell him. He would just get angry. I couldn’t bare it, the glare he gave me before, felt like a knife blade in my chest.
Then he asked the question I was dreading: “There is still something on your mind, isn’t there?” His voice sounded almost serene, he thought the storm was over, yet it was only a small squall.
I took a deep breath, I felt tears in the corner of my eyes.
“It’s not healthy for you to be with me.” I whispered, my voice emotionless. “I’m trapped in my past, practically drowning in it. You shouldn’t have to deal with this.”
Natsu sat up on the bed, moving to the edge, his back to me.
His voice was strained. “What do you mean, Eyrx?” Though we both know what I meant.
Silence descended onto the room, even the market outside was quiet, it felt like we were the only two people on the planet. I felt a tear run down my face, my lip began to quiver.
“Th-that you should leave me.” The words were out into the open, my tear dripped onto the sheets.
Natsu was silent once more, his muscles clenched, his breath came in ragged gasps. I could practically feel his anger.
“Natsu…” I whispered, it sounded like a yell from the silence.
“How could you be so stupid!” He yelled, turning to me, his eyes alight with anger his fists clenched.
I froze, not out of fear but mainly shock.
“How could you be so god damned stupid!” He yelled again, this time louder. He picked up the lamp from the bedside table, throwing it at the wall, it shattered with a loud crack.
I flinched at the sound, his sudden release of anger. I’ve never seen him like this before.
He turned to me, it almost hurt to look into his eyes.
“I love you Eyrx!” He yelled, a tear streaming down his face. “I would kill for you! I would die for you! Yet, you think that just because you have baggage mean that I should leave you?”
I remained silent, I hadn’t expected this.
“Look at me when I say this.” He snapped.
I slowly brought my eyes to his.
“I will never leave you. No matter what shit you go through. Hell, I’ll even bury a body for you. I would join a Dark guild if it meant that you were safe.” His voice went softer.
Then it was once more filled with anger. “It was Erik wasn’t it.”
“Wh-what?” I asked, finding my voice.
“He was the one who put these thoughts in your head. He was the one that made you cry.” He snapped, slipping on his vest.
Suddenly it spiraled out of control. Was Natsu really going to do this? The thought rang through my head.
“Natsu you really can’t be serious.” I said, grabbing onto his arm.
He shook me off and ran for the door.
“Natsu! Stop!” I called, there was no answer.
I quickly pulled my shirt on, as Happy fluttered into the room.
“I came back with the sweets, there was this beautiful fish stand.” He proclaimed, sitting the bag of sweets down on the table.
I stared at him, frozen in shock. Natsu was going to do something bad.
“I-I have to go get Natsu. Stay here Happy!” I yelled as I ran through the door, not looking back at Happy’s bewildered face.
I ran down the steps, charging into hotel lobby, people looking up in surprised at my rushed exit.
Once outside I frantically looked for Natsu, until I found him, dragging a struggling Erik into an alley.
“Natsu! Stop!” I yelled running after them.
“You son of a bitch!” Natsu yelled to Erik, punching him square across the face. Erik’s head cracked back against the alley wall, blood dripping down his face. Natsu punched him again, this time harder.
“Natsu stop it! Please!” I yelled, trying to pull him away.
“Stay out of this, Eyrx.” Natsu growled, as he cocked back his fist, his fist slamming into Erik’s cheek, blood splattering.
I flinched when, I realized that some of it was on my face.
I was in a haze, I had trouble breathing, Natsu still punching Erik, who was beyond noticeable, though I could see the pain in his eyes.
“Natsu stop, please!”
He of course ignored me.
“Sorry Natsu.” I whispered. “Water Hypora!”
A jet of water his him the side, staggering him a little, which gave me time to rest Erik onto the ground.
Erik let out a slight wheeze of a breath. I tore off part of my shirt to mop up some of the blood.
I felt his hand rest on my forearm. A tear dripped from his eye.
“Eyrx,” He wheezed, I had to strain to hear him. “It is alright.”
“Aliright?” I asked. “Natsu nearly killed you.”
He coughed, sending out blood, it was hard to watch. “I was the one who betrayed you, I deserved this.”
“No that isn’t true, Erik.” I whispered. “And I already told you that it was fine.”
“N-no it’s not that.” Erik whispered. “I-I had to tell them.”
“Tell who?” I asked.
“The police. They are still looking for you. Or they were.” He wheezed.
“Were?” I asked, in my tear strained voice.
“I-I had to forgive myself for betraying you, so I told them that I was Sea Viper. They were going to execute me anyway.”
“Erik you didn’t have to do that. There was nothing to forgive you.” I whispered, a tear dripped to the stone ground.
He weakly lifted a hand, gesturing to his face, he coughed once more.
“Th-this.” He whispered, his voice was getting weaker. “This is my true justice. My true forgiveness.”
I was silent, I held back a sob.
“I got to see my friend once more.” He whispered. “You were the one who took me in when no one else would. You a true friend, my hero. Wh-when I kissed you it was out of friendship.
“I want you do something for me Eyrx.” He coughed, more blood spilling onto his chest. “I want to keep your head held high, and show no weakness. For you are strong. Stronger than Riviori or even the Council. You can use your power for the greater good, you have traveled through Hell and survived.”
He coughed again.
“Erik, you can’t die! You’ll be fine!” I sobbed, gently mopping up the blood on his face.
“Eyrx, you don’t need to do that.” Erik wheezed, his voice faint. “My life is complete. You must live on. Live for me, Eyrx.”
“Erik…” I whispered.
“I will always lo- love y-” Erik whispered, his head rolled to the side, his eyes staring blankly at the now evening sky. Erik was dead.
A hand went to my mouth, my lip began to quiver. I sobbed into my hand, Erik was dead…
I was stunned. Frozen in shock. Natsu knelt beside me, wrapping an arm around my shoulder. I flinched at the touch.
"Please don't touch me." I whispered, keeping my voice level.
Natsu remained silent and removed his arm.
With two fingers, I closed Erik's eyes. I surppresed a sob. I had to remain strong. I wiped away the tears and stood up, my back to Natsu.
"Why?" I asked.
"Why what?" He asked after a pause.
"Don't play stupid Natsu." I snapped."You know what I am talking about."
"I didn't kill him!" He proclaimed taking a step closer to me placing a hand on my shoulder, for the first time his touch did not make me feel happy, it made me feel sick.
I shoved off his hand, I glanced back at Erik's bloodied face.
"He took some poison saying that he's still feels guilty for betraying you." Natsu whispered through gritted teeth. "He betrayed you Eyrx." Natsu snapped. "You and I both know that I didn't punch him that many times to kill him."
I turned back to him, looking into his eyes anger and guilt swirled in his green eyes, "What poison?"
"I don't know it was in a small bottle." Natsu shrugged.
I looked back to Erik's body, something glittering in the ray of sunlight that cut through the darkness of the alley. It was a small bottle just like Natsu said.
Natsu saw it too, I gave him a apologetic look. Trying not to look at one of my dearest friend's body I reached for the bottle, which was resting in his palm.
"I'm so sorry Erik." I whispered. "I will remain strong." I lifted his arm, which was still warm, and took the bottle.
Light purplish liquid was at the bottom.
"Why would you do this Erik?" I said, looking at the bottle.
"Do..do you know what's its used for?" Natsu asked standing beside me, dry washing his hands.
I nodded. "It's used to thin your blood."
Natsu gave me a look.
"Your blood can't clot."
Again he gave me his famous confused look.
"When you are cut or something like that, if your blood is thin it will just bleed and bleed. The loss of blood was too much for simple punches, I should have realized it sooner." I said realizing my mistake.
"Natsu I...I should have realized. I..." I whispered trailing off.
Natsu nodded, trying to offer me a smile. "I forgive you, I would do the same."
"Could...could you deal with him?" I asked, not able to look at Erik's body."I think I might be sick."
Natsu nodded, putting a hand on my shoulder. "Of course Eyrx."
I nodded, taking a breath and left the alley. The alley where my wall of strength, the wall that kept the weak feelings at bay, was destroyed.
I felt weak.
I rushed into the bathroom of the hotel room, slamming the door. I knelt by the toilet and threw up, my chest heaving, my stomach practically flipping.
I knelt on the floor for what seemed like hours, my chest heaving and heaving, until it stopped. I felt a hand rubbing my back, it was Natsu.
"Shh." He whispered, dabbing my face with a warm towel. "Let's get you in the bath."
I nodded, I couldn't find my voice. Natsu helped me out of my clothes, turning on the water. We stood in silence until the tub. I eased down into the warm water. Signing as the warm water lapped around me.
Natsu cupped his hand under the water, wetting my hair.
"Natsu...you don't have to do this..." I mumbled.
He began to massage my head, rubbing in shampoo. I let out a small moan, it felt so good.
The warm water and with Natsu massaging my hair I slowly fell to sleep.
I woke to the sound of screaming. At first I thought that it was me, then I realized that it was Natsu. My blood ran cold. I sat up in bed, I'm guessing that Natsu placed me there after my bath, looking down I realized that he dressed me as well.
I looked over at Natsu, he was tossing and turning in his sleep, the sheets balled up at his feet, sweat on his forehead glistened in the shaft of moonlight that shone through from the gap between the curtains.
I knew from past experience not to wake someone from a nightmare. But Natsu never had nightmares. I glanced to Happy who was just as perplexed as I was.
"What do we d-"
"NOO! Don't hurt him!" Natsu yelled, interrupting Happy.
I glanced back down at him, his fists tightened into fists.
"We should probably wait. Though he hasn't ha-"
"NO! Kill me instead please don't hurt him!" Natsu interrupted.
"Hasn't had any nightmares before." I finished.
Happy shook his head. Natsu never had nightmares.
"Could you get a washcloth and run it under warm water?" I asked the blue cat.
"Yes sir." He whispered fluttering to the bathroom.
I turned back to Natsu. I wiped a damp strand of pink hair from his face. I stifled a yawn, after all that had happened I felt utterly exhausted. I couldn't close my eyes without seeing Erik's bloodied face, I'm afraid to even blink.
I glanced at the clock on the bedside table, I was asleep for only two hours, yet it felt like a minute.
"NO!" Natsu yelled, his feet thrashing under the sheets.
Happy returned with the washcloth.
"Thanks." I said giving him a weak and tired smile. I began to dab Natsu's forehead with the damp washcloth.
"Are you sure we shouldn't wake him?" Happy asked.
"EYRX! NO!" Natsu screamed, to my surprise I realized that tears were streaming down his face.
I shot Happy a concerned look. The hairs on the back of my neck rising.
"Should we wake him now?" Happy asked.
I nodded and reached out to touch his shoulder, my hand shaking. Then Natsu did something drastic.
He reached and grabbed my wrist, his hand like a vice grip on me. His other hand grabbed my shoulder pulling me down against.
Suddenly I felt afraid. "Nats-"
"You will pay for what you did." He growled in my ear. "Do you understand?"
"Natsu stop you're hurting me!" I yelled, trying to squeeze from his grasp.
"You killed Eyrx!" He snapped, his hands tightened.
"Natsu! Wake up!" I yelled. "It's me Eyrx!"
Natsu did not hear me. "You will pay."
My worry slowly turned to fear, Natsu could possibly hurt me. Happy had joined in as well.
"Natsu! Wake up! You're hurting him!"
Natsu switched back from "You'll pay" and "You killed him".
With my free hand I placed it on his chest.
"Love please wake up." I whispered.
Natsu smacked my hand away with a loud slap. His hand latching onto my throat.
"Na...Natsu..." I breathed out. "S-stop."
Happy began to pull at Natsu's strong arms though it was to no avail. My vision began to darken, the air being crushed out of me.
"Natsu! Let him go!" Happy yelled.
I weakly tried to lift a hand to his cheek. I felt his tears run down my fingers, I felt my tears myself trickle down my cheek. Natsu thought he was killing my killer he had no idea that it was me.
"N..." I wheezed out, my vision almost gone, my head feeling light headed.
"Stop! Please you're killing Eyrx! It's not real Natsu!" Happy yelled.
I felt his hand loosen slightly, though it was too late. I closed my eyes waiting for the feeling of death incase me, let it wash over me. Let it take me away, stop all the pain. It was so close as if I could reach out and touch it, lock fingers with it and let it pull me away. Pull me to the nothingness of death, the sweet nothingness of death, no pain, no fear only the serenity of death itself.
To finally be free. Free from my past.
The outside world seemed distant as if I was on the opposite side of large cavern. Happy's voice barely a whisper. Though I did not care, I was so close. Close to my freedom.
Then it went dark.
There was no sound. No light, only darkness. No feeling as if I was floating in space. It was neither hot or cold only complete nothingness. I have finally attained my peace. My past life seemed to slip away from me, the past memories falling from my grasp. The pain from Serpent's Shard gone. I saw Fozana's face fade from me, along with the others that I lost on my journey of life. All my friends from Serpents Shard dead. Lucy smiling face, Gray's scowl, Erza's slight smile, Happy's ever joyous face.
I was finally at peace.
Then Natsu's face began to fade as well. All of the moments we had gone.
All those mornings waking up next to him gone.
The dinners we had together gone.
The small intimate moments gone.
Dancing to music beside the canal in Magnolia gone.
The laughs we shared gone.
All the adventures together gone.
Soon all of it was gone. Leaving me bare. Everything was gone, I was empty floating in an endless void.
I had to get back. I had to be free. I looked around me there was no light in the void of death.
Then a small pinpoint of light appeared. I began to move towards it. The memories returning one by one. The light getting brighter and larger, yet so distant.
I had to fight it. I have to escape, to be with Natsu once more.
I was close so close.
Then, the painful memories returned, those nights of excruciating pain. All that death.
The light became smaller.
No, I must prevail. The light once more became larger. The darkness behind me. The vastness of death destroyed.
I was free.
With a gasp I awoke. Morning light trickled through the window. The first thing I saw was Natsu.
His face streaked with tears, pale from fear. I reached out to wipe a tear from his face.
"Please don't ever leave me again." He whispered. "I...I killed you."
I smiled. "No, you made realize how important life is. How important you are to me."
The sunlight on my face woke me, I opened my eyes to see Natsu sitting in a chair beside the bed, his chest rising and falling in sleep. I let out a yawn as I stretched, getting out of bed, trying not to wake Natsu.
This morning seemed like no other, except for the fact that my boyfriend killed me. I don’t know how I should feel, its not like he did it on purpose. It was a dream. I don’t know if I should feel angry, sad or nothing.
All I really care about right now is how to get Natsu back in bed with me. I looked back at him, still sound asleep.
“At least he’s not wearing anything besides boxers.” I whispered to myself, trying to hold back a smile.
Natsu stirred. I froze, I could feel my face heating in embarrassment. What if he heard me?
I let out a sigh of relief when he did not wake up. I let my eyes roam down his muscular chest, then looked down at my own chest. He had more muscle than I did, but I am leaner than him, his biceps a lot bigger than mine.
I reluctantly tore my eyes away from my boyfriend’s sleeping form, to slip on a shirt. I quietly walked over to the window, pulling back the curtains slightly. It felt good to feel the sun on my face, everything has changed. Before, feeling the sun on my face would have meant nothing, the sun is always there, now I find joy in feeling the sun.
I was taken out of my thoughts when warm arms wrapped around my waist, pulling me back. Natsu kissed the side of my neck, as leaned against his chest.
“Good morning.” He whispered in my ear.
I smiled. “Good morning to you too.”
He pulled me back again, until we lie side by side on the bed. He began to pull at my shirt.
“But I just put it on!” I protested.
“I think you better without a shirt.” He said, pulling my shirt off and tossing it to the floor.
I felt myself blushed.
“And besides you did say earlier that you like me in my boxers.” A large smile on his face.
My eyes went wide. Oh God, he heard what I said.
I quickly regained my composure. “I have no idea what you are talking about.”
“Oh I think you do. I mean you were staring at me for like ten minutes.”
“What? Why would I do that?” I responded.
“Because you love me.”
I looked away a smile on my face. “I love you too.”
“But you were totally watching me.” He whispered.
I rest my head on his chest. “You are not going to let this go are you?”
“Nope.” A grin on his face.
I ran a hand down his chest. “Maybe I will tell you…”
I smiled as his breath hitched as my hand brushed the waistline of his boxers.
“Or not.” I said with a sly smile.
“You’re vile.” He said, when I removed my hand from his chest.
“I have been called worse.” I laughed, kissing his neck.
“Of course Lord Sea Viper.” He whispered, his voice low.
“When you say it like that it sounds hot." I said with a smirk.
"I can say whatever you want my love." He whispered into my ear, making my breath hitch.
He kissed me with passion, lightly biting my bottom lip. I was slightly taken aback by the gesture, usually Natsu was not so sexual when it came to kissing, just lip on lips maybe on rare occasions tongue.
Natsu noticed my pause, I realized that I had stopped kissing back.
He pulled away. "Are you alright?"
I nodded. "Yeah, I was just confused with the whole lip biting thing."
He looked to the floor, his face flushing with embarrassment. "You don't like it?" He asked.
"I...I..." I trailed off, I didn't know how I felt. "I was just surprised that's all." I gave him a smile, kissing him on the cheek. "Now where were we?"
Natsu gave me a look that made my knees go weak. A look of pure lust. He pushed me down until I was laying down on the bed, Natsu rested on his elbows laying on top of me. He kissed me again biting my lip harder. I let out a moan.
"I like it when you moan." Natsu whispered into my ear.
We froze when we heard the bathroom door open. It was Happy. Natsu instantly rolled off me.
Thankful our boxers were on, though it was quite obvious how hard Natsu was. I blushed looking away.
Natsu saw my look of embarrassment and mouthed "soon", winking at me. Which of course made me blush harder.
Natsu walked over to Happy, whispering something in his ear. I was too lazy to use my dragon senses to hear what he said.
Happy only nodded and walked out of the hotel room. The door was barely closed when Natsu was back on me. Kissing my neck in utter passion. I pulled at Natsu's boxers trying to pull them down, though Natsu flipped our positions with me straddling his waist. I could feel his hardness rubbing against my thigh.
"Well someone is excited," I smirked.
"At least I'm not the only one." He retorted back, pointing at the hardness in my own boxers.
I leaned down, kissing him on the lips. "Well what can we do to change that, Salamander?" I whispered, trying to make my voice sound sexy.
Natsu took the invitation, flipping us over again, once more resting on his elbows laying on top of me.
With one pull Natsu had my boxers off, exposing my member. Natsu gave a wicked smile, pulling off his boxers as well.
I couldn't stop staring, I've seen it before many times but seeing it in its full glory.
Natsu kneeled before me with a look of lust. And I took his invitation. With a slight smile, I wrapped a hand around his member, feeling the heat under my fingers. He let out a groan as I stroked him a few times then stopped. I removed my hand, receiving a glare from Natsu. I ignored and instead ran a hand along his muscular stomach feeling his abs and the light dusting of pink hair that joined in a giant mass of pink hair above his member.
He let out a groan of impatience.
I of course ignored him again, my eyes roaming over his muscular form. With a coy smile I leaned in a licked the tip of his member, his breath hitching. I wrapped my lips around it, taking it halfway. Natsu ran a hand through my hair, as I took it further, my nose burying in his pink curls. He let out a long moan as I bobbed up and down.
"S-stop! I'm close!" He whispered.
I let off and leaned back, he pushed me back down on the bed, running a finger along my member I let out a moan. He kissed me deeply, while stroking my member. I let out a hiss, when his other hand travelled lower. He spread my legs, running a finger along my entrance.
"Wait what about lu-" Natsu cut me off with a kiss, reaching over me into the bedside table pulling out a small bottle.
He smiled pouring the liquid into his palm making his fingers slick. He eased one finger in, enticing a moan from me. Then, he added another finger, he smeared the lotion onto his dick with his other hand. It was hot watching it, his hand moving up and down, from base to tip. His pubes shiny from the lube.
"Na-Natsu I need you." I moaned.
He kissed me once more, hard. Then, I felt the head of his member at my entrance. I hissed when he pushed halfway in. He let out a long moan, as he pushed all the way in.
Then he stopped.
I glared at him. "Natsu I swear to god if you don't move."
He let out a laugh, "It's payback."
Finally he began to move. Our moans joined together.
"Eyrx, I love you." Natsu whispered in my ear as he leaned over me.
I saw a bead of sweat cascade down his face as he thrusted.
"I love you too." I responded back.
He snaked a hand down between us, wrapping it around my member, matching it with his thrusts.
The audible smack of flesh on flesh echoed through the room. Natsu thrusted harder, making me release a loud moan as I felt the head of his member hit the bundle of nerves inside me.
I was close.
"Natsu I'm cl-close." I said.
Natsu only responded with a moan and the occasional curse.
I felt the tingling in my balls. Natsu went faster and faster.
I was so close.
With a loud moan my vision went white as I found my release. It splattered onto our chests. Natsu still continued, I practically screamed his name in pleasure.
Natsu's moans got louder and louder, he was close as well.
"Eyrx! I'm co-" He let out one of the loudest moans ever, releasing into me, I felt the hot liquid fill me.
Then, it was over. Natsu pulled out and layer beside.
"I think that was the best one yet." I said with a smile. "Though I don't think I'll be able to walk anytime soon."
Natsu let out a laugh, kissing my cheek. He wrapped his arms around me, pulling me against him.
I let out a sigh, I was so tired my eyelids began to droop.
Natsu let out a yawn, resting his head on my shoulder.
"I love you so much." Natsu whispered right before I fell asleep.
The loud rumble of thunder woke me with a jolt. I sat up in bed catching my breath. I looked to the window, rain pelting against it. Flashes of lightning illuminated the room for brief moments.
"It's only a storm..." I whisper to myself, reaching for my glass of water resting on the end table at the side of the bed.
I flinched, almost spilling the glass when the boom of thunder resonated across the room, I waited in bated breath for the lighting to follow, preparing for it.
Thunderstorms was the one and only thing that made me feel uneasy, not scared or fearful of them only...nervous of them.
I placed the glass down hard on the table, an audible thud echoing. The lighting sounded if it was only right above me. It sounded if the sky itself was ripping open, a tear in the sky.
Natsu grumbled in his sleep but remained asleep. I guess sometime in the night he rolled over, his back to me. I didn't mind, I wasn't one of those people who had to have their boyfriend always touch them or hold their hand. But, right now it wouldn't hurt.
I flinched again when another of thunder was released, followed by the ever so fierce crack of lightning. The window pane rattled from the noise. I have no clue how Natsu and Happy could sleep through this.
With a sigh I fell back down on the bed, staring at the ceiling, watching the flashes of lightning dance across the ceiling.
The storm raged on, with me still flinching at the noise. I scolded myself.
"It's a stupid thunderstorm nothing more. There have been hundreds probably thousands in your life Eyrx." I whispered. "You're inside its not like you're going to be strikes by lightning. There is nothing to be afraid of."
I sighed once more, closing my eyes.
Maybe if I think of something else, I thought.
So, where do you want to go tomorrow? I thought, distracting myself.
Maybe you can out? Surprise Natsu? But, what to do about Happy? With him it's not really romantic. Soon the thunderstorm was in the back of my mind.
He could just stay here, watch movies o-
Thunder so loud echoed through the room, making the whole building shake, bringing me from my thoughts. I let out a gasp of surprise when an equally loud crack of lightning followed.
Natsu rolled over facing me. "You know if you're scared you could have told me." He said, pulling me against him.
"I-I'm not scared!" I stuttered. "Just put at ease by thunderstorms."
"Eyrx, you've been flinching and gasping at each rumble of thunder for the past thirty minutes." He responded, wrapping his arm around me.
I flushed with embarrassment. "Oh,"
"Don't be embarrassed. Everyone has their fears. It's just kind of funny."
"Funny?" I asked.
"Yeah you flinch at the slightest rumble." Natsu teased, letting out a small laugh. "I mean are you sure you were an assassin?"
"At least I can get out trains." I grumbled.
"But I'm not scared of them..." He kissed my cheek, making me know this was all fun.
"Want me to remind me that I was an assassin?" I teased back.
"You can't hurt me." He replied.
"But a punch in the arm won't kill you." I said back.
"But you won't."
"I'm just tired," I responded.
I didn't have to be facing him to know he was grinning.
I let out a yawn, resting my head onto the pillow, feeling Natsu's warmth behind.
Soon I drifted off to sleep.
The sound of birds chirping woke me. It seems that the storm has passed. Natsu was still asleep beside, his arm trapping me.
I stifled a yawn as I slowly eased out of his arms, rising from the bed. Natsu, in response rolled over.
"He can sleep through anything..." I muttered as I walked to the bathroom not bothering to close the door as I stripped out of my pajamas and stepped into the shower.
I let out a sigh as felt the warm water run over me. I ran my hands through my wet hair as I stretched. I quickly soaped up knowing that Natsu would want a shower too, and maybe he would join.
I stood in the stream of hot water and waited.
I wonder what he would do when he got in here? We only showered together once and nothing "exciting" happened. But, after last night I'm still sore. I thought, a coy smile playing on my lips.
But I can be sore again...My smile widened at the prospect. How would you even do it? What if you slip?
I let out a laugh at that. Just my luck, I slip...
After waiting for a while I let out a sigh and decided to give up, he's probably still asleep knowing him.
I shut of the water and starti to dry myself off. I heard the creak of the bed.
"Natsu are you finally awake?" I called out but no answer followed.
I wrapped the towel my waist and stepped out of the bathroom.
"I was thinking that we could go out for dinner..." My voice trailed off as I saw what was before me.
A young man not much older than me stood over Natsu, who was still asleep. My eyes instantly went to the sagged in the man's hand.
The man had short stark white hair which made his blue eyes stand out even more.
Movement to my left caught my attention, Happy was tied up and gagged in the corner.
"Doesn't he look so peaceful in sleep?" The man asked, gesturing to Natsu.
I remembered my training and put on a mask void of emotion. A stone facade.
"Who are you?" I asked, my voice level.
The young man flicked his gaze to me, mine never wavered from his. "It is such a pleasure to meet you in person, Sea Viper."
"I'll ask once more, who are you?" I took a step closer.
"You know growing up, you were always my idol. I was honored to take this assignment."
"Which is?" I snapped.
"To destroy you." He said matter of factly. "Without killing you."
I took another step closer.
The man placed his dagger over Natsu's throat, close enough to kill. The blade shimmered in the morning light. The same blades used against me, used to torture me.
The blades used by Serpents Shard.
"Take another step closer and I kill him." The man snapped. "Though he will die, eventually."
I kept my composure. "You stupid fool!" I let out a long laugh, the kind of laugh devoid of emotion. "How could you be so stupid? Use the same blades I grew up with? You are a member of Serpents Shard."
The young man tried to control his emotions. He instinctively swallowed.
"You are wrong."
I gave him a smile as I walked over to the dresser as I dropped my towel, his eyes widened in shock, I slipped on a pair of boxers.
I quickly looked to Natsu who was now awake, but thankfully did not move, only winking at me.
"Do you know the first rule of being an assassin is?" I asked, arching an eyebrow.
He shook his head.
"Never ever, give up your guild. Riviori would be ashamed of you." I snapped.
The young man's face went ashen.
"Now who sent you? Clearly it was not Riviori." I asked, though it was more of an order.
The young man remained silent. Thought he let out a sneer.
"You are the one who is the fool." He sneered. "You can never escape Serpents Shard."
It was my turn to remain silent.
"Before you killed Riviori, he reactivated the Five Vipers."
I remembered the Five, it was the S-Class of Serpents Shard, I group I was apart of. It was the most powerful group of assassins and warriors in Fiore.
"Our mission," the young man continued, "Is to resurrect Ixo. The greatest guild master of Serpents Shard."
He let the words sink in for a few moments.
If Ixo was resurrected all of Fiore would be doomed, he could sneak into palaces and military bases unseen, in the cover of darkness.
"Though it is my personal mission to destroy you, you are vital in out a plan. Lord Ixo needs you."
I felt my stone facade cracking.
"I will give you five seconds to leave or I will be the one to destroy you. And if you think of my as an idol then you know what I can do. You threatened the only person I care about, the only reason why I wake up in the morning. I will relish in hearing your bones crack." I snapped.
If the young man's face could lose any more color it did.
"The second rule of being an assassin is never give up your plan."
He remained silent.
"But, I need to send the Five Vipers a message to know that I'm onto them."
With lightning reflexes a sharp jet of water screamed it's way toward the white haired man. I smiled as the jet of water sliced his hand from his arm, the dagger clattering to the floor.
It was at this time Natsu struck, his fist colliding with the young man's face.
He fell to the floor releasing a scream of pain, he clutched at his bleeding wrist, screaming.
"Now get out." I snapped. "And tell the Five Vipers that I will personally skin them alive."
The young man inched back to the door, staggering to his feet as he ran.
Once his footsteps retreated I let my facade break. I ran a hand through my hair and stood in silence. I watched as Natsu untied Happy checking to see if he was okay. Happy said something but I wasn't really listening.
Natsu's hand on my shoulder made me flinch. I looked him in the eye and let the tears of desperation roll down my face...
It had been a few months since that young man attacked us, or when I attacked him. It took forever to get the blood from the floor...
At first we were nervous, only I openly showed it though Natsu hid his, but I've noticed that he always entered a room first, always looking down alleys in the towns we went through. Of course he denied it, but if we ever sleep in a hotel now he always sleeps on the side of the bed facing the door, always double checks the locks.
I don't have the heart to confront him on it, I know he's doing it all for me, to protect me from the Five Vipers.
It seems he almost forgot that I can take care of myself, that I can kill someone in the blink of an eye. But, deep down I think it's sweet, before my role would be reversed, I would be the hunter not the prey.
Today, was a warm summer day though, it somewhat placed Natsu at ease. Somewhat.
I linked arms with him, lightly kissing him on the cheek, of course he couldn't help but smile. I watched as Happy fluttered ahead, Natsu of course watched the people we passed always assessing them with a critical eye.
When we passed someone who looked suspicious, usually standing around the entrance of an alley, I felt his fists clench.
"Natsu you need to just relax." I said as we walked along the sidewalk flanked by neatly trimmed trees.
I only got a grunt in response. I've always noticed that when we walked in towns Natsu always walked on the side of the sidewalk facing the alleys. Another thing that has changed.
Though he never lost his happy behavior always wanting to spar with me to see who was stronger, though sometimes I let him win.
"You know I can take care of myself right?" I ventured, fearing a sharp reaction. "You don't have to be so paranoid."
"Well I love you." He snapped. "You would rather me not care? Would you rather let me use you for sex?"
I gave him a puzzled look. "Where did that come from? Why would I think you just use me for sex?"
Natsu let out a sigh. "It's nothing."
"Natsu, I'm not stupid." I responded, squeezing his arm. "You can tell me."
He nodded, but couldn't look me in the eye. "When we first started dating Erza came to me and told me that if I hurt you or was leading you on she would cut off my 'most valuable asset' as she put it."
I hid my laugh. "But why would Erza come to you and not me? She barely knew me."
"I asked her that too, she only said that when someone went through the same thing as you, you just know. You can see it in their eyes."
He finally looked me in the eye. "But Eyrx, I want you know that I will never use you or hurt you."
"Well you did kill me." I teased.
"Don't joke about that." He snapped.
"I'm sorry I didn't know that it still was a tense subject with you." I muttered, making it my turn to look away.
"How could I ever forget? I killed you! I strangled you to death!" Natsu proclaimed his face flushing with anger.
"Natsu not so loud, people are starting to stare. And I should be the one angry, not you. Besides you were in a dream." I said keeping my voice calm.
He nodded. "You're right. I just love you so much, sometimes I'm afraid that this is all a dream." He kissed my forehead. "I never want to leave you."
I blushed as Natsu pulled me flush against him. "Stop you're making me blush."
"Your cute when you blush." Natsu responded. "It brings out your eyes."
"Pfft, my eyes are boring and plain."
"I don't think so, I think they're perfect." Natsu said.
We walked on in silence, enjoying each other's company. Our arms still linked. Then I noticed something.
A girl not much younger than us walked by, her eyes practically drooling over Natsu's exposed muscular chest. Then it happened again. I glared at her as we passed.
Natsu looked over at me and saw my glare and followed it to the girl checking him out.
"Why do you look like you are going to kill that girl?" Natsu asked, with a puzzled look on his face.
"She's drooling over you." I responded my glare never leaving the girl. "Whore," I snapped.
Natsu let out a laugh. "Are you jealous?"
"What? Of course not!" I spluttered.
"You totally are." He said with a smile.
"But it happened twice now!" I said.
"Eyrx I think they know we're a couple. We're linking arms, that's like a major sign that we're gay." Natsu said.
"Maybe they think we're very close friends." I suggested.
Natsu shot me a look. "And besides, I'm gay it's not like you have to worry."
I nodded. "It just pisses me off."
Natsu let out a laugh. "You also look cute when you're jealous."
I rolled my eyes. I looked ahead and saw that Happy stopped up ahead, looking at a poster, we came to a stop beside him. Natsu of course entered his bodyguard mode and scanned the area.
I looked at the poster and felt guilt creep into me. It was a poster for this years Grand Magic Games.
Last year I failed miserably, well I forced to lose or Natsu would have been shot.
Natsu unlinked our arms and grabbed my hand, giving it a squeeze, it was also at that fight that I nearly died from the wounds.
It was weird to see that none of the guilds in Games last year were in it, all of them ones I've never heard of.
"We should go," I said. "Besides we are nearing the end of our year off."
Natsu nodded. "Maybe we'll see the others."
I gave him a smile, it would be good to see everyone again, it was all so sudden, the disbanding of Fairy Tail everyone went their separate way.
I gave his hand a squeeze. "And our one year anniversary is almost here."
"Of course," He kissed me, I sighed into kiss, the feeling of his lips on mine, utter bliss.
He pulled away, as always he left breathless.
"Do you have something planned , then?" I asked, arching an eyebrow.
Natsu gave me a coy smile. "You'll just have to wait." He said in breathy whisper, it made me shiver.
Only two weeks from now I'll have my answer and hopefully I'll be more than just sore afterwards...
A light patter of morning rain on the roof of the tent woke me, it was our third night in the woods, Natsu said that it would be nice to get away from the city, but I knew his true reason, to protect me. I let out a yawn, feeling the utter bliss of being in Natsu’s arms, feeling his chest rise and fall with each breath. I could not keep a smile off my face. He looked so peaceful. So perfect.
Funny, before joining Fairy Tail I would have never said. Back then, nothing to me was beautiful, it was like a gray haze, a haze of death.
With a sigh I rested my head back down on my pillow. I really should stop thinking these dark thoughts...
I closed my eyes, hoping to fall asleep again, which shouldn't be that hard with Natsu's arm around my waist. Yet, I laid there for what seemed like hours but honestly was like five minutes, and I couldn't fall back asleep.
I released a angered sigh of annoyance and carefully removed myself from Natsu's arm. Who in effect just rolled over.
I could always get my clothes together for today, maybe something to impress Natsu. I rolled my eyes at the thought, like he would really care, or notice.
As I was going through my pack, silently removing an outfit, my hand brushed something different, a black satin pouch at the bottom of my pack. I had feeling at what it was but it was slipping my mind. I gingerly removed the pouch, surprised by how heavy it was.
"No, it can't be what I think it is..." I whispered, "I burned it years ago."
With shaking fingers I opened the pouch and removed the contents.
What lay before me nearly made me turn back to Natsu and let him hold me forever. It was my old Sea Viper outfit.
Simple black leather boots, with light blue lines making intricate patterns along the shin. Black pants made of a thick material, with a solid blue line running down each side of the legs. A light jacket made out of the same material of the pants, and with the same blue lines of the boots.
I ran my fingers along the various straps that were on the jacket, steaks that used to hold various daggers and knives.
Next came the black cloth cowl along with a piece of blue cloth that covered the lower half of my face, leaving my eyes visible. I slowly pulled on the dark blue leather gloves, making a fist, surprised that it still fit.
The smell of leather brought back a flood of memories, the people that I killed.
"All for what purpose?" I whispered, my voice hoarse. "All in the name of power."
I looked back at Natsu, he along with Happy, were still asleep. I gathered up my old outfit and quietly slipped out of the tent, pausing when the zipper on the tent door made a loud noise.
Once outside the tent, I set the outfit on a large flat rock.
The only way that I can live with my past, if I embrace it one more time.
I quickly stripped out my pajamas, feeling the wind and light rain hit my naked body.
Releasing a reassuring breath, putting on the black pants and jacket, tightening the straps and buttoning the jacket up to my throat.
Breath in, hold it, release. My mantra echoed through my head as I laced up my boots and wrapped the cowl around my head, pulling the blue cloth across my face, obscuring my nose and mouth. Finally, the gloves.
Then, I was fully submerged in my past.
With carefully placed steps I walked over to a clear pond at the edge of the clearing, to see my reflection.
What stared back at me, made my knees buckle. I felt a tear run down my face. The smell, the resurgence of memories was almost too much. I silently fell to my knees the once familiar sound of leather creaking seemed to scream in my ears.
But I conquered my most serious of fears. My past was beaten back into submission.
"Whatever it takes, I will not let Serpents Shard win, and resurrect Ixo." I promised.
I looked back at my reflection.
I forgot how much of a badass I looked in this thing.
I felt a smile form on my lips. I felt invincible.
The snap of a stick made me flinch, turning around towards the sound, fist raised. My other hand sneaked down to my boot, feeling the handle of my dagger.
I let out a sigh of relief, it was Natsu. But, a look of confusion was etched onto his face.
"Who the hell are you?" He asked, his tone sharp.
I froze. I have no clue why, I just did. Practically on the verge of collapse.
The clearing descended into an awkward silence, the soft wind through the tree branches the only sound.
I can't do this, I went too far. I need this damn thing off me.
I felt another tear roll down my face, though my eyes never left Natsu. My fingers trembled as I slowly removed the cowl around my head, placing it on the ground next to me.
"Natsu..." I managed to say, my voice hoarse, "I...I thought I could do it."
Natsu took a few steps closer to me, I fell to my knees, my head bent towards the ground.
"I thought I could be strong." I whispered as I sobbed.
Natsu remained silent as he stood over me.
"I...I am weak. A weak coward." I whispered, "How could I be so stupid? That I could ever possibly escape? Riviori is laughing from his grave! How he destroyed me, he robbed me of my humanity..."
I descended into sobs once more.
Natsu went to his knees in front of me, grabbing both of my hands, engulfing them in his warm ones. He leaned forward without saying a word, resting his forehead against mine. I had no choice but to look into his green eyes.
"You are far from weak." He whispered, his eyes never leaving mine. Brown and green locked together. "You are the strongest person I know,"
"But I'm the one sobbing before you like a child." I replied.
"It takes strength to sob openly in front of someone you love." Was his cryptic reply.
"Eyrx," He began once more, "If I went through the same shit that you went through, I would never be able to sleep, let alone not think about it every moment." He paused to wipe away a tear from my cheek, a slight smile on his face. "That is what makes you strong, the ability to move on, the ability to live your life without being shackled to your past."
"But I still am!" I said. "I can't even wear this damned outfit!"
"You don't need to wear it, you have nothing to prove. You don't need to wear your old outfit to say that you have overcome your past, because to me, you did that months ago." He calmly replied.
"Are you sure?" I asked.
Natsu let out a short laugh, music to my ears. "Of course!" He kissed me, I closed my eyes when I felt his soft lips on mine. "Now let's get you out of that outfit." He stood up, offering his hand
I nodded, taking his hand.
I walked over and retrieved the pouch from the rock and my other clothes.
"Though you did look hot in that outfit." He said with smile.
I rolled my eyes as I began to undress, Natsu's eyes staying on my face.
"You can look down if you like." I said, "I'd be lying if I said that I didn't do it to you."
"When I see your face, it's the most beautiful thing in the world, especially when you smile. Nothing else matters when I look at you." He whispered, making me blush.
"Natsu," I said as I finished dressing, "I want to thank you."
"For what?" He asked.
"For being there for me." I said stepping up to him, now he was taller, standing at 6'2 me still at 5'11. "Not just as my boyfriend, but as a friend."
"You don't have to thank me. It's what friends do." He replied, kissing me and wrapping his arms around me. "And I'm glad that we're more than just friends,"
"Me too," I whispered in his ear. "Now can we go snuggle? It's going to rain all day, and with Happy in the tent we can't do more enjoyable activities." I let a coy smile appear on my face.
I laid down with a sigh, resting my head on my pillow, Natsu laying beside me, wrapping his arms around my waist. He kissed my neck, making my breath hitch. I glanced over Happy, who somehow was still asleep.
Natsu continued to kiss my neck, I had to suppress a moan.
"Natsu y..." My words silenced by his lips on mine.
He pulled away leaving me breathless as always.
"I think you likes that too much." He said with a smile, kissing my cheek.
In a way Natsu was right. I did not need to prove anything to anyone. I am free from my past. Or so I hope…
Once again the patter of rain on the tent roof woke me, also Natsu’s snores did not help either. I let out a sigh. Natsu grumbled something about food, his hand on my hip, I could feel the his warm breath on the nape of my neck. Sometimes he is like a second blanket.
But no one would know that he actually is like a giant teddy bear. Well, actually everyone knows that, his enemies just underestimate him.
He stirred slightly, bringing me out of my thoughts, though he fell back asleep again. I rolled my eyes.
When will he wake up? This is so boring…
I rolled over to face his sleeping form. That creepy man with the white hair was right, he did look peaceful when he slept. And cute too…
A smile came over my lips, I failed to keep down a laugh. Natsu eyes drifted open and I froze. I quickly closed my eyes to act like I was asleep.
I felt his lips on my cheek. “Eyrx, I know you're awake.”
“Damn,” I whispered, opening my eyes. “Sorry.”
He gave me a look. "Why would you be sorry?" He kissed me on the lips. "I like waking up to your laugh."
I blushed as usual. "Now I feel stupid."
"Well..." He teased.
"Hey!" I protested, glaring at him, grabbing his hip, his tickle spot. "I know your weakness, Natsu."
"You wouldn't dare!" He said in mock surprise.
I let out a fake evil laugh. "I have caught the infamous dragonslayer!"
I leaned closer our noses only inches apart. "Now what do you have to say for yourself?" I whispered.
His face flushed slightly, a small grin playing on his lips.
"This." He said, kissing me hard. I felt his tongue probe around my lips. My hand loosened from his hip, moving to his chest, grasping at his shirt.
His hand snaked around me, cupping the back of my hand. I sighed into the kiss, closing my eyes.
Natsu's free hand ran along my chest, slowly going lower, lightly playing at the waistband of my pajama pants.
I like where this going...I let out a small moan. Though I was surprised when his hand went even lower. Stopping at my thigh.
My eyes flew open. Pulling away from the kiss. Natsu held a lopsided grin on his face.
"You...You traitor." I whispered, catching my breath.
"Now who has who?" He asked, lightly squeezing my thigh, causing me to gasp. "It seems that our viper has been caught."
"Can we just go back to the kissing?" I pleaded.
"Hmmm. Let me think..." He said with a smile. "No."
Then the assault began.
Natsu squeezed my thigh over and over again. My laughs filling the small tent. Legs flailing in my sleeping bag.
"This...isn't fair!" I yelled. "A hate crime against gay people!"
Natsu let out a laugh. "Not a hate crime if I'm gay too."
Then he continued his assault. It felt like it went on for hours and hours, but in actuality it lasted a few minutes until I was nearly breathless.
"Eyrx you seem a little flustered do you need some water?" Natsu asked.
I fixed him with one of my worst glares. "Oh you're going to be swimming in water soon enough."
"Could you guys keep it down?" Happy said from his position next to Natsu. "Some of us are trying to sleep."
Natsu and I laughed exchanging a quick kiss before I rested my head on Natsu's shoulder, resting a hand on his chest.
We laid like that for a long time listening to the patter of rain. The sound so simple it seemed out of place.
From the sound of the rain, and the warmth coming from Natsu, I stifled a yawn. My eyelids began to droop. Natsu's yawn followed suit. He kissed the top of my head. I let out a sigh, taking his hand in mine as I drifted back into the tranquility of sleep.
It felt good to be in the city once more. The final match in the Grand Magic Games was close, the capital city buzzing with excitement, it seemed that it was the only thing people talk about.
Yet, it felt boring to me, leaving a odd feeling in my stomach, the games a reminder of the past year and how everything changed. None of the old guilds were present at the games, only ones that were nameless a year ago.
"What's on your mind?" Natsu's voice cut through my thoughts, a beam of bright light in a dense fog.
We were walking down a large avenue in the capital city, our hotel a few blocks away. "Nothing really, just remembering."
He squeezed my hand. "I miss them too."
"Why did they have to disband?" I asked, running my hand along the bushes that flanked the sidewalk.
"Disband?" He asked, his voice squeaking in surprise.
Shit. I cursed, I forgot to tell him.
"I guess I...forgot to tell you..." I responded, my voice getting fainter and fainter.
"Forgot?" He snapped. "How long did you know?"
"For like months..." I said. "It just slipped my mind, that's all."
Natsu was silent. Though he still held my hand a little bit tighter. That was the worst part, not the silence. The gesture almost unreadable. I looked around at the other couples, all brimming with happiness, unaware of the tension between Natsu and I. I couldn't tell if he was angry or upset.
"Are you angry at me?" I asked, breaking the silence.
"No," he said, his voice flat. "It just surprised me that's all."
He leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.
After all that has happened I'm surprised Natsu could kiss death without thought.
Natsu jumped on the large bed in our hotel room once he unlocked the door, laying spread eagle.
"The bed is so soft," he said, his voice muffled from the thick blankets.
I let out a laugh and explored the room. The bed practically dominated the bed. A tall wardrobe stood resolute beside the bed.
I opened the door, it swinging silently on its hinges, even the shower was large, enough room for two people.
I smiled as I saw two shower heads on opposite sides of the shower.
"Oh this will be fun." I whispered, my lips curving in a sly smile.
The sound of a laugh made me turn. Natsu stood there with a grin on his face. His new outfit, the black robe made him look like pink headed demon.
"Did you see the two shower heads?" I asked, arching a brow.
He stepped into the bathroom, his smile never wavering. "Is that all you think about?"
"Well," I said, placing a hand on his shoulder. "What do you think about? Because you are lying if you don't think about it."
He wrapped an arm around my shoulder pulling me flush against him.
"Oh trust me," he whispered in my ear, his hot breath on my ear and neck making me shudder. "I think about it."
He led me to the bed, playfully throwing me on it. He followed shortly after, lying next me.
"First you have to remove the robe." I said. "It's kinda creepy."
"You don't like it?" He asked, faking a pout.
"I do. I just miss your old one." I responded quickly. "It was nice looking at your abs all day."
"Well in that case." Natsu begin to remove his robe, leaving only his undershirt and pants on. Then the undershirt floated to the floor.
Natsu lay before me, shirtless. The sunlight from the window seemed to only make him more defined.
"Eyrx, if you keep your mouth open longer you'll catch flies." Natsu laughed.
I closed my mouth with an audible snap.
Natsu let out a laugh. I glared at him.
He returned the glare and we entered some sort of staring contest. Green and brown locked in war.
"You're going to lose." Natsu said, breaking the silence.
"I never lose." I whispered back.
He was quiet again.
"Boo." He whispered with a smile.
"Natsu," I sighed.
"Were you scared?" He asked.
"Totally." I remarked. "Just shivering with fear."
"You're still going to lose Sea Viper."
"Wanna bet?" I asked.
"Loser has to be naked the rest of the day." He said with a sly smile.
I stopped myself from rolling my eyes. "Well I guess you will be naked soon." I said.
"Oh yeah?" He said, bringing his hand up and snapping his fingers. Making me blink.
"Hey that's not fair!" I said.
"There's no mercy in a staring contest." He smiled. "Now get naked."
I glared at him and removed my shirt, showing my thin torso.
"You are beautiful." Natsu whispered in awe.
"Guys can't be beautiful." I said.
"You're the exception."
I paused at the waistband of my pants, my fingertips toying with the button. I bit my cheek with nervousness.
"What's wrong?" Natsu asked, the mischievous gleam in his gone, sapped by confusion. "Are you nervous?"
I opened my mouth to respond. But a knock on the door stopped me. It was Happy, back from the store.
"The door is unlocked." Natsu called.
Happy fluttered into the room, atoms laden with snacks, mainly candy.
Him and Natsu will be up all night. I thought with a slight smile.
Natsu helped him place the bags on the table, both of them eying the candy with a hungered gleam.
"Well while you guys devour the candy, I'm going to take a shower." I said.
"What?! You aren't going to eat the candy with us? Happy got your favorite." Natsu protested, giving me a confused look.
"No, I...I just need time to myself." I whispered, going to the bathroom. I closed the door, with a sigh I leaned against it, the sounds of Natsu and Happy tearing into the candy packages muffled.
"What is wrong with me?" I whispered, running a hand through my hair.
I slid to the floor, head falling into my hands.
"Serpents Shard." I whispered sharply. "They are my problem, the thorn in my side,"
I stood up and finished undressing, my clothes pooling at me feet. I stared at myself in the mirror, this one a different type of staring contest. A more grave one then before. If I blink I don't have to remove my clothes.
If I blink I die.
The Grand Magic Games were closing in on their finale. The stadium was practically booming with activity. I looked to Natsu who donned his hood, his face disappearing into a black shadow.
“Do you really have to do this?” I asked, practically sighing.
“Of course!” Natsu answered immediately. “To make sure they are strong enough.”
“Well don’t go too hard on them. They could only probably defeat Happy.” I teased, smiling at the blue cat’s glare.
“You and I both know that is not going to happen.” He said,squeezing my hand then running off towards the entrance to the arena.
I sighed and ascended the stairs with Happy to our seats, the cheering from the crowd seemed to only get louder and louder. It seems that the battle has reached its climax.
We emerged into the sunlight to see the two teams pitched in battle, which seemed rather one sided. I rolled my eyes.
Maybe Natsu should not go easy on them.
Then I heard a familiar voice: Lucy. Happy heard it too, his ears perking up.
She hasn’t changed in the year we last saw each other, yet I have no idea why she is here at the Games.
Then the thunderous roar seemed to explode, the victor has been chosen. The strongest guild in Fiore. Some no-name from some far flung area on the continent.
Then the heat.
It first started as small increase of temperature, next came the sweat. Confused murmurs ran along the crowd, the once thunderous roar now a whisper. The heat an ever pressing weight.
Finally the flames.
They shot out from hooded form who seemed to appear out of thin air. The new crowned victors preparing for a fight. Ready to protect their title.
If only they knew…
The calm before the storm seemed to only last a few seconds, then chaos erupted.
Lucy, confused like everyone else. I walked up beside her, resting my hands on the railing.
“Always a show off isn’t he?” I said, with a smile.
“Yeah.” She said at first, her attention fully on the fight. “Wait wh- Eyrx!” She exclaimed, throwing her arms around my neck. “Where did you come from?”
“I’m here too Lucy!” Happy squaked.
“It’s been so long.” She said, tears forming in her eyes. “Wait that means that Natsu is here too? Or are you alone?”
I laughed. “See for yourself.”
She looked down at the hooded form of Natsu in the arena. He slowly removed his hood.
Their eyes met. It would seem as if two long lost lovers seeing each other for the first time in decades.
As if...I let the thought die in my head.
Natsu, Happy, and I listened to Lucy in rapt attention as she told us of what happened since we left and including the the disbandment of Fairy Tail.
“But,” She yawned. “I must get to bed. Good night.” She said, going off to her room.
I lay back on the couch next to Natsu, who quickly wrapped his arm around me. He leaned over and kissed me on the cheek, telling me goodnight.
Whispers awoke me. It was Natsu and Happy, whispering something about drawing on Lucy. I sighed and stood up from the couch, watching as Natsu and Happy crept to Lucy’s room, their forms lighted by the moonlight.
“What are you guys doing?” I asked them, my whisper cutting the silence of the room.
They stood by the wall, opposite of Lucy’s bed. Natsu put a finger to his lips and gestured for me to come over.
“What is it?” I asked, giving a complexed look to Natsu.
“It looks like a chart.” Natsu whispered, his breath brushing against my ear, making me blush.
“A very detailed chart.” I whispered back.
The chart was various newspaper clippings, arrows and strings connecting each clipping together. The clippings themselves were about sightings of old Fairy Tail members. Some, were even about us.
I felt grief surge through me when I saw one about Erik, who was deemed missing.
I looked back to Lucy, who slept calmly, oblivious to the intruders in her room.
“Maye there is hope that FairyTail can come together again.” I whispered.
Natsu only smiled, grabbing my hand.
After running from the army we found some inn in a small town, the rain ushering us inside. The rooms were quite large, the dark wooden floors revealing a large bed. The bathroom was quite large too, a large tub sat against one wall.
Natsu gave me a look.
"How much did this cost?" He asked, his gaze landing on the large bed.
"Well if we have money why not spend it?" I teased. "And besides it was raining, I didn't want to get soaked looking for a good deal on rooms."
Natsu gave me a smile. "I trust your judgement." He took my head into his hands, kissing me on my forehead.
"And rainwater ruins my complexion." I teased giving him a wink.
"Says the guy who wastes hot water by taking long ass showers." He replied.
"Well if you would join me,"
"Last time we took a shower together, you almost slipped. And you complain about being cold." He retorted.
"Well it is cold! You hog the shower head, leaving skinny old me shivering, while the guy who can eat flames gets hotter."
Natsu kissed me on the mouth, leading me back to the bed. "You look cute all flustered." He said breaking away, leaving me breathless.
"I can never win can I?"
Natsu's answer was kissing the side of neck, making me release a small moan.
"Natsu," I whispered. "Happy and Lucy are getting snacks they will be back an-"
His lips on mine silenced me. I melted into the kiss, feeling his arms wrap around me. Our lust for each other almost palpable. I felt his tongue tease the corners of my mouth. I was lost.
Yet, I never wanted to find my way.
"You know I would say get a room but it seems you already found one." Lucy's voice cut through the room.
Natsu and I instantly separated. My face was probably pinker than Natsu's hair.
Lucy let out a laugh. "Don't mind me, I think it's cute." She gestured to Happy. "Come on you can sleep in my room tonight." Lucy gave us a wink and left.
I walked over and closed the door. "Well that killed the mood."
"Well I'm going to take a shower, so if you want to conserve water." Natsu said, removing his shirt and heading for the bathroom. I quickly rushed after him, almost tripping out of my pants.
I found him stepping into the shower, his clothes strewn over the floor.
"So you decided to be environmentally friendly." He called, leaving the shower door open.
I kissed him on the cheek as I walked into the shower, is hand running along my back.
"You know that I love you right?" He asked, turning on the water, I sighed as the hot water ran over me.
"Of course babe." I replied back taking his hand. "I love you too and only you."
He kisses me on my forehead.
"The way you laugh, the way you smile, make you a beautiful person, Eyrx."
He kissed me on the mouth. "The way you carry on after what has happened to you, makes you strong."
Another kiss. "The way you are always the smartest in the room."
He took my head in his hands, making me look into his green eyes.
"Why are you telling me this?" I asked.
"Because I love you. I love being with you. I love being near you for God's sake." He replies, rubbing his thumb in small circles on my cheek.
"I'm sorry Natsu." I whispered.
He was taken aback. "What for?" He asked, removing one of his hands from my face to take his hand. "Are you crying?"
I nodded. "How useless am I?"
"What are you talking about? You are far from useless."
"I don't know how to say the stuff you say, how much I love you I just can't describe it, yet you can so perfectly."
I felt the tears run down my face, mixing with the hot water.
"Eyrx, you don't need words to describe how much you love me. I know you do and that is what really matters, not words." Natsu said with a large grin. "I mean I know that you love me so much that if I killed someone you would help hide the body."
I let out a laugh. "You're right, I mean I would even help you kill someone."
After our shower Natsu led me back to the bed. He wrapped his arm around my shoulders, pulling me against him, I rested my head on his shoulder, my hand running the length of his chest.
"You know tomorrow is my birthday." Natsu whispered into my ear.
My eyes grew wide in shock. I sat up looking down at him. He has never told anyone his birthday before.
"I think you should know since we have been together for like 9 years." He said, a smile playing on the corner of his mouth.
"What do you want?" I asked, trying to think where I could find a birthday present in this small town.
"Just you, next to me." He said, as I sat back down, taking his free hand.
He gave my hand a squeeze.
I let a smile come to my lips as I thought of my plan.
Tomorrow came too soon, so much to plan. I told Lucy to distract Natsu for an hour or two in the evening while I get supplies.
My plan came together when I was walking around the small town with Natsu, we already had his birthday breakfast or in his case breakfasts.
What made me think of it was the tailor we passed, selling trench coats. And some how my plan came together.
As soon as the door to our room closed, leaving me alone for two hours, I got to work.
I ran down to the tailors and bought a trench coat, ignoring the confused look from the clerk. Then, ran across the street and bought every candle from some small shop, almost forgetting to buy matches.
The two hours seemed to fly by and getting all those damn candles lit took forever. But I tightened the straps of the trench coat as Natsu entered, the candlelight illuminating his face.
"What is all this?" He asked, closing the door.
"This," I gestured to the candles. "Is for you."
His eyes travelled down my form, wrapped in the trench coat. "And this?" He gestured to the trench coat.
"Oh this?" I asked, arching a brow. "This is only the beginning of your present." With one pull I let the trench coat fall, exposing my naked form.
Nash's cheeks flushed. I slowly walked over to him, running a hand along his shoulder.
I walked in a slow circle around him, my hand running along his cheek.
"Do you like your present so far?" I asked, whispering in his ear, trying to make my voice sound sexy.
Natsu only nodded, it seemed that he was still processing it.
"Well it seems to me that you are way over dressed." I smiled and began to walk towards the bathroom, in the middle of the path of candles.
I looked over my shoulder and gave him a smile. "When you're ready mon chere, you can follow me."
I sauntered to the bathroom, smiling when I heard Natsu removing his clothes.
I descended into the warm water, sittings in the far end of the tub. Natsu gave me a smile as he entered the tub, sitting across from me.
Slowly he took my hand. "Thank you for this, Eyrx.
I gave him a smile. “Oh its far from over,” I responded, with a wink.
“Here turn around.” I told him.
He gave me a look but complied, I scooted closer to him placing my hands on his muscular shoulders.
Slowly I began to massage his shoulders, he let out a groan of appreciation.
"Best...birthday...ever..." He moaned, as I kneaded his shoulders.
"Oh trust me it will get so much better." I responded.
A half an hour later we got out of the tub, after Natsu insisted on returning the favor and giving me a back massage.
"So what is next on our agenda?" Natsu asked as we dried off.
"Well," I said, stepping up to him and kissing him. "Whatever you like,"
"Anything?" He asked, sliding his hands along my back.
"Anything." I replied, leading him to the bed.
Though right before the bed he stopped. Confused, I turned to look at him. He stood in the silver moonlight with a look of pure bliss etched on his strong features. The moonlight turning his skin almost silver.
"Wait there is something I have to ask you." He said, his voice containing a hint of worry.
I gave him a warm smile, though I was still confused. "Yeah Natsu?"
His face was flushed red.
"Are you alright?" I asked, putting a hand on his cheek.
"I just am nervous that's all."
"Nervous? Why would you be nervous around me?"
"Because I just love you so much." He began, licking his lips. "And how I want to spend every moment with you."
I swallowed. Is he going to ask me what I think he is going to ask me?
He grabbed my head in his hands. His voice just above a whisper. "I want to spend every day with you."
Then he went to one knee, taking one of my hands in his.
"Eyrx Acutus." He began. "Will you marry me?"
The words seemed to hang in the room, a deafening silence. I was speechless.
"Of course Natsu! Of course I w-"
A loud crack cut me off, making me jump. I turned to the sound a fist sized hole broke through the window. Like a bullet hole.
I turned back around. Natsu knelt in shock, his eyes wide, face pale. Blood ran down his neck in waves dripping to the floor. He let out a gurgle. The pain in his green eyes.
"Na-Natsu." I stammered out, tears running down my face.
He slowly fell to the ground. I knelt beside him and began to apply pressure to the wound in the side of his neck.
"HELP!" I yelled.
Loud footsteps were heard coming to the door. I ignored them, turning back to Natsu.
He let out another gurgle looking up at me with those green eyes. Though he held on to my hand with an iron grip.
"Natsu it's going to be alright. Please hold on." I cried out, my chest heaving.
"E-Ey-E-" he gurgled, blood welling up from his mouth.
Then he went still. His head rolled to the side, his once bright green eyes dull.
Natsu Dragneel was dead.
The pain that coursed through my chest seemed ever apparent.
The almost inhuman groan that was released from my lips. The sons of despair the ever approaching darkness, the ever present darkness.
A paper being slid under the door made me tear my attention from Natsu.
The door burst open, slamming into the wall. Lucy, Happy and the innkeeper ran into the room, Lucy having one of her keys in her hand, held like a gun.
I ignored them my attention riveted on the piece of paper.
Written in blood were the words that made feel numb.
Lord Ixo can show you how save him.
I turned back to Natsu, my sweet Natsu. The color gone from his body. The blood dripping on the floor.
I let out another inhuman groan of grief, burying my head in his shoulder. The grief laying over me like a thick blanket...
The cold wind met me outside, though I didn't feel it. I felt nothing now. Not the scrap of leather against me, not the raindrops spitting against my cheeks. Nothing.
The grief and agony soon drifted away replaced by the numbing emptiness. The blood still remained in mind, every time I blink it's of him. Him lying on the floor. Him on one knee asking me...to marry him.
But I will have him back. Lord Ixo will be resurrected. He can save Natsu. And afterwards, Lord Ixo dies.
That was two days. Two days of numbing grief. Waking up alone, the bed cold. I have dreams that he's still alive and well, then the reality of consciousness sets. I am all alone.
I let a hand run along the ever so familiar white scarf, his smell still lingering.
That night keeps replaying in my head.
Afterwards was the worst. The sad looks everyone wore, like masks of grief. Lucy, Happy and I cried away the night. It was also then that I told Lucy my plan of resurrecting Lord Ixo.
"Are you sure Natsu would want that?" She asked, her voice saddened with grief, though it still held force.
"To resurrect Lord Ixo would be problematic, but we could defeat him." I replied almost too quickly.
Lucy signed, placing a hand on my shoulder. "Don't lose yourself over this Eyrx."
"Are you giving up?" I asked, my voice a little too sharp.
"No, Eyrx. But sometimes we have accept defeat."
I nodded slowly, glancing out the moonlit stained window, how peaceful everything was outside.
"If there was another way I would be all for it, Eyrx." Lucy said.
Happy laid in Natsu's scarf on the bed, his eyes still stained with tears.
"To resurrect Ixo would be a win for darkness, and what I would have to do to gain his favor." I said, my voice wobbling in grief.
"But it's worth it." I said, rising to my feet from the bed.
"Eyrx," Lucy began.
"But I can do it Lucy. For Natsu." I said.
"Then let me come with you." She said, rising as well.
"Someone has to watch over Happy." I commented, our attention went back to the sniveling Exceed.
"We could bring him." Lucy suggested.
I gave her a look. "Happy infiltrating a dark guild with us? Even his name his happy."
"I know where some of the others are he could stay with them." Lucy said.
I sighed, running a hand through my hair. "No, I have to do this alone."
I grabbed my pack and headed to the door.
"Eyrx wait." Lucy said, grabbing my arm.
I turned around, watching her whisper something in Happy's ear he nodded slightly. She then turned back to me.
"I'll arrange with the innkeeper to help Happy to find Wendy. She's not that far away. Which means I could go with you."
I nodded as Happy approached me, handing me Natsu's scarf. I gave him a long hug.
"If you get Natsu back." Happy whispered in my ear. "Will you still get married?"
I remained silent, I had no idea what to say.
"Of course they will." Lucy interjected.
I nodded absentmindedly.
Before we left we stopped by the morgue, we were keeping him there in case we need his body intact.
His skin was already pale. Once bright green eyes hidden by pale eyelids.
Lucy wiped away a tear, taking my hand in hers.
Two days ago Lucy and I stood over Natsu's body. Natsu's lifeless body.
So much pain, as if a knife was constantly digging into my back.
"Eyrx," Lucy called from beside me. Her good masked her face. We decided to get new outfits. I wore my old Sea Viper outfit, I had beaten my past.
Lucy wore long black pants and heeled boots, with a simple white sleeveless shirt and thick black jacket and black hood.
"I think we reached Svar." She said.
I looked ahead through the darkness and seeing the silhouetted jumbled forms of buildings and the solitary tower of the Serpents Shard guild.
Lucy gave my hand a squeeze. "Are you sure about this?"
"They will pay with their lives." I whispered back, and walked to the city, my boots crunching on the rocky road.
The city was empty at night, few lights shone through the old dilapidated buildings. Though forms stood at alleyways, close enough to let us know we were being watched.
The large wooden doors of the Serpents Shard guild creaked open. Light met us and the eyes of dozens of people gathered at the great hall.
Two guards stood at the door, looks of surprise on their faces. I brought out my dagger and slit on of the guards throat, blocking the other with a kick to the chest. He grabbed my foot, trying to pull me down. I twisted out of his grasp and with a light tap on his forehead he fell to ground dead, the words 'water soul' barely leaving my lips.
I stepped over the bodies entering the great hall. Lucy followed, unfazed by the violence. Natsu's death has caused us to change.
The people in the great hall stood in mute surprise.
"I am here to assist you in an important master," I snapped. "To resurrect Lord Ixo."
Murmurs of surprise went around the room.
Lucy kept her hood up and leaned closer to me. "For Natsu,"
The blade silenced his screams. It had been a week since Lucy and I rejoined Serpents Shard.
This was my third mission, Lucy stayed behind to "work the cause on the inside" as she put it. She did not want a part in the killing.
Her work on the inside consisted of convincing the leaders of Serpents Shard that we were legit. To make sure when Lord Ixo is resurrected, Natsu can be resurrected as well through Lord Ixo's power.
I moved the body to plain sight, outside from the alley I was hiding in. It was odd to kill again. I almost always threw up afterwards. And the nightmares are always present as well. Natsu's dead body does not leave my mind. The blood. The red blood on his pale body.
"Eyrx are you alright?" Lars voice cut through my thoughts. "You look pale."
Lars was my partner the guild assigned me. They still didn't trust us especially after I killed Riviori (twice).
Lars was tall and thin, 6'3 to be exact. He keeps teasing me about being so short at 5'11. His short blonde hair frames his strong and angular features, his blue eyes bright.
I have weird feelings in my chest, when he teases me. Almost as if he lifts the grief away.
But I fear that I'm attracted to him. We are the same age and all but when I think those thoughts Natsu enters my mind. I haven't told Lucy this.
"Yeah," I answer him. "I'm fine."
His hand goes to my shoulder, a light touch. Then he pulls away, a slight blush forming on his cheeks.
"You never smile you know that?" He says, following me down the alley. I hear the rustle of a wrapper, I don't have to turn around to see that Lars is eating a chunk of bread he keeps in his jacket.
"Why do I need to smile?" I ask, keeping my voice flat.
"Because you would look better...I mean nicer and...err...approachable." Lars mumbled out.
"Oh" I responded, trying to keep down a smile.
"Not that you're not approachable well you are kind of scary and depressed looking. Almost like dark all the time but not that dark where you wear black eyeliner but if you did it wouldn't ma-"
My laugh made his rambling stop.
"Lars I get it." I laughed. Then let out a gasp.
I smiled. I let happiness in. I felt as if I broke some unspoken vow: happiness.
"Finally got you to smile Mr. Depressed." Lars said with a laugh of his own.
I could hear him take another bite from his bread. "So why are you so depressed?" He asked, his voice muffled from the piece of bread in his mouth.
"That's kind of personal isn't it?" I asked. I really couldn't tell him that I sneaked back into my old guild to resurrect some evil dark lord to resurrect my dead my boyfriend who was shot while proposing to me.
And he might not even be gay.
"Well," He began, I could hear him swallow the piece of bread from behind me. "What I have learned about grief is that it is best to leave it in the past."
"But what if your grief could be amended?" I asked, stopping at the entrance to the alley, checking to see if the street was clear.
"Amended? Like if you could go back and stop the grief?" He asked, walking beside me, now out of the alley.
I nodded. "In a way."
"Then I wouldn't be depressed." He answered simply. "I mean if you know that you could stop the grief or change it then why be sad?"
I nodded absentmindedly.
"Come on let's get back to the safe house." He said, putting a hand on my back, another soft touch.
I wondered where this was going. But I know I must look past this attraction or my true goal will be lost.
"For Natsu," I whispered.
"What?" Lars asked.
"Nothing." I said quickly "Nothing at all."
"If you say so..." He said back. "You know the way everyone talked about you, I'd thought you be different."
"Different?" I asked. "How so?"
"I don't know," he shrugged, "Just meaner I guess or arrogant. But you're not. You're quite the opposite in fact."
I gave him a smile. To my surprise Lars returned it.
It made me blush. Another unspoken vow broken.
Hopefully he didn't notice.
"You know I must be a miracle worker." He began. "I made you smile, laugh and, blush. All in the same hour."
I rolled my eyes. "Yeah a total miracle worker."
"You just don't recognize my talents that's all."
I only laughed.
We reached the safe house when the moon was high in the sky. Lars instantly went to the small kitchen and made himself a sandwich. It reminded me of Natsu.
But Lars eats his food with more sophistication.
"What?" He asked, he paused mid bite.
"Nothing." I said, looking away. "You just remind me of someone."
He finished his bite. "Well are they a good person?"
I dropped my bag on the bed. I could feel his blue eyes follow me. "He was."
"Was?" Lars asked, finishing his sandwich and entering the so called bedroom. The safe house was nothing more than a small kitchen and bed room and a bathroom. All one room except the bathroom.
"He...he died." I whispered.
"Oh, I'm so sorry." He said, standing beside me.
"There is one thing I don't get about you." I blurted out.
"Why are you so nice? I mean you are part of a dark guild."
"What? Just because I like to earn a lot of money doesn't mean I have to be mean and gruff all the time." He stated.
"Though," He said, with a smile. "I could ask you the same thing.
Then I felt our hands brush. I flinched, but it might just be my imagination.
"Well we have a long hike tomorrow." I said. "We should get to bed."
"Yeah, of course." He replied, almost crestfallen.
I gave him a smile. "Well goodnight."
He paused as if he was going to say something more.
"Yeah?" I asked.
"Nothing," he shrugged. "Good night."
I took a deep breath and knocked on the door. I was outside the Master of the Serpents Shard guild, answering her summons. The black ebony door gave me no fear, not the snarling serpents on the door handles. Nor the stench of Riviori that still reeked. Before, I was afraid to even walk past this door. Now I stood before it with a smug smile. How death can change a person. Yet, I fear that I am taking Natsu’s death as a good change, it broke me free of my past.
“Yes,” The feminine voice called out from behind the door.
“Lady Wysaar? It’s me, Eyrx.” I answered back, my voice almost jubilant.
"Come in." Was the response in an almost flat voice.
The ebony doors revealed the large dining area with other ebony doors leading to other parts of Lady Wysaar quarters. Lady Wysaar herself sat at the end of a long mahogany table, a glass of wine in front of her. She wore a simple grey dress that brought out the red in her hair and her green eyes, though her face was expressionless as a stone. Her slim red lips pressed in a hard flat line. Two sting guards stood beside me.
Lady Wysaar gestured to a chair and the opposite end of the table. Her green eyes never leaving me. Her eyes looked so much like Natsu's...
The scrape of the chair on stone broke the silence of the room.
"Do you take me for a fool?" She asker once I was seated.
"How so?" I asked, playing innocent.
"Don't play stupid. You think that I would let you walk in here and let you resurrect Lord Ixo for your own benefit." She raised an auburn brow.
I cracked a smile. "This is the thing that you lack. Something that Riviori had."
"Which is?" She asked taking a drink from her wine glass, the dark liquid almost matching the ebony doors.
She gave me a perplexed look.
"I am in control here and you know it." I spat.
Lady Wysaar let out a light laugh, draining her wine glass. "You? In control?"
"You know it's true. Wysaar. In two seconds both of your guards would be dead. In another second you'd be dead too."
Lady Wysaar said nothing. Her face loosing a little bit of color.
I stood, water churning in my open palms. The guards raised their hands as well, the magical energy seemed to crackle around us.
Lady Wysaar's face went pale.
"Doubt me now?" I asked.
"Stand down." She said to the guards. "Leave us."
Wysaar's green eyes followed the guards out.
"You know that we still have no way to resurrect Lord Ixo right?" She said, her voice calm.
"You don't?" I asked, fear settling in my stomach.
Lady Wysaar gave me a cold smile. "It's not that easy to resurrect a long dead man."
"Have you tried talking with Sparous Syrpior?" I asked.
"That old snake? The cave entrance caved in long ago." She responded simply.
"There are many entrances." I said.
"I almost forgot that you trudged up there with Riviori every month."
"While you sat by the fire." I snapped. "I just have one question."
"Oh?" She asked.
"Why were you not beaten as much as me? We entered the guild at the same time and at the same age. We grew up together."
Lady Wysaar gave him a long look. "You were never forced to share a bed with him. You had it easy."
I remained silent.
"And do not think that this little reunion means I trust you. And I still am your guild master." She stood and walked over to me.
"It seems that time skip did you justice, I never saw you as attractive before." She teased.
"So does this mean I have permission to go see Syrpior?" I asked.
"Yes but your little girlfriend stays here."
"You of all people should know that she isn't my girlfriend." I said with a smile.
"So it's Natsu you are trying to resurrect after you do Ixo's bidding." She leaned close to me, her breath on my ear. "You could do better Eyrx. Have someone as smart as you, not some jock." She whispered. "Lars is going with you."
And with that she stood up and walked away, her dress trailing behind her.
"And don't underestimate Lars dear." She said before disappearing into a door.
The cold wind swirled around us as we trudged up the mountain trail, the long drop to the bottom beside us, an ever present reminder how close we are to death.
I faintly heard Lars complain from behind me, the fierce wind muffling almost every other sound.
Then a grey shape appeared out of the snow and wind. The temple. I turned to tell Lars but lost my footing on the icy ground and slid towards the cliff. The wind cutting off my scream.
I felt empty space around me as I tumbled off the cliff. I closed my eyes, trapped in fear. Then a hand wrapped around my wrist stopping me. My feet dangled in the grey gloom.
It was Lars.
He helped me scramble up onto the snowy ground. I clutched his forearms.
His eyes locked with mine.
"I...I thought...I lost you." He stammered out.
I said nothing only staring into his blue eyes. Saying nothing as he leaned closer and closer, his lips inches from mine. So close yet so far, an endless descent. His lips closer and closer, until they finally met.
Another unspoken vow broken, as I stood stunned, feeling Lars lips on mine...
I stood stunned. Though I fear stunned is not a word I would use. I stood petrified. A statue of fear and regret. We stood together for what seemed like hours, the minutes passing by with utter slowness, the snowflakes fell into my hair, melting on my cheeks. Though on the inside I was cold. I flinched when I felt Lars’ arms incase me and pull me against his chest, I could feel his beating heartbeat. If I closed my eyes I could imagine that it was Natsu. I could imagine that it was his arms wrapping around me, his lips on mine. His heart beating in his chest.
I broke my last unspoken vow. The vow to never love until I had Natsu back. To never kiss another. I shivered as if I could feel Natsu’s dead eyes on me, burning into me. Alive with hurt and betrayal.
Yet, I could not push away, frozen in fear and and...I was at a lost of words. Though to feel another warm body against me, kissing me with passion filled me with longing as well. Passion seemed to blur my vision.
No...I must resist.
But Lars’ lips are so soft…
The battle raged on in my head. Neither side was winning. I put a shaky hand to his chest, which only spurred him to kiss me harder. I let out a weak moan. The last barrier was decimated by the pain of longing, the ache in my chest.
And I kissed back.
My hands threading through his blonde hair. We stood like that for hours more. In actuality it was only a few minutes.
Then he pulled away, our ragged breath coming from us like smoke. Reminding us of the cold’s presence.
“That...was amazing.” Lars breathed out.
I stood mute.
His face quickly bore the expression of confusion.
“Are you alright?” He asked, running a hand along my cheek.
“I...I…” I stammered, feeling tears in my eyes.
I am strong. I must not cry.
“Its just that…” I began and finally relented, telling him everything of why I am here, to resurrect my dead boyfriend. I left out Fairy Tail and other secrets. I had no idea if I could trust him.
After I was finished, it was his time to be silent. His face expressionless. I wanted to jump in the abyss beside me.
“Well why do you feel so ashamed?” He asked, his voice soft. He led me to a bare rock a few feet down the trail. Together we sat on the rock, his hand mere centimeters from mine. “I mean he is already dead. Its not like he will know.”
“He’s not dead.” I answered quickly.
“Then what is he?” He asked, his voice somewhat sharp. “Because he isn’t alive.”
He saw the hurt look on my face. “Look I’m sorry.”
“No, you’re right. I just assumed that this would be a quick process. Yet, it’s been two months.” I whispered.
“Well,” He smiled at me. “Lets go meet our first master. And you never know, I am a miracle worker after all.”
He grabbed my hand and pulled me from the rock, and resumed our journey towards the temple. Towards our salvation.
Yet I feel the guilt still gnawing at my stomach.
The temple was as same as I remembered it. A bleak alcove in the rock, though there was a large difference. The large rock pile in front of the main entrance. Lady Wysaar was right, it was caved in.
“I thought she would be wrong.” Lars said as he stepped forward. He looked back at me, his blue eyes alight with mischief. It was a dagger to the heart. “Can’t you use water to get rid of it?”
I shook my head. “That would probably collapse the whole place.”
“What of you call some animal?” I asked. Lars’ power was that he could call any animal nearby and use them for his benefit. Causing for some gruesome deaths.
“What animal would be out in this weather.” He mumbled.
I stepped next to him and practically jumped when I felt the snow shift, downward.
We shared a look of pure fear. We were standing over a hole, covered by snow and ice. With a loud thunderous roar we fell into the darkness, our screams echoing across the hole. I barely felt Lars’ hand find mine. Then the crash of cold water enveloped us.
I crashed above the surface with a loud gasp, the water made me numb. I faintly heard Lars surface beside me. I swam to the large flat rocks that were at the end of the cavern, a narrow corridor craved in the dark grey rock led deeper in the cave.
With a groan I scrambled on the rock, offering my hand to Lars.
“Well that was fun.” He muttered.
“We have to get out of these clothes.”
Lars smirked. “What of your boyfriend?”
I shot him a look.
“And besides, what can we change into?” He asked, the mischief gone from his voice. He pointed towards our packs that barely floated in the icy water on the other side of the cavern. “Our clothes would be soaked.”
“Not the matches and that wood I collected earlier.” I reminded him, I remembered putting them in a waterproof pocket of my pack.
“I’m not swimming out there.” He said with a look of disgust.
I rolled my eyes and dove in the water, trying to ignore its icy touch. Even with my control of water I couldn’t not be affected by it. I could still drown.
The pack seemed to be getting farther and farther away.
Finally with icy hands I grabbed onto the packs and began the slow return to the rocks, Lars eyes on me the whole time.
With a sigh a laid back on the rocks. “The sticks and matches are at the bottom of the pack,” I breathed out.
I didn’t look for Lars’ response. I just heard the faint rustle of clothes being removed from my pack.
“Eww, what is this?” I heard Lars complain.
I sat up, confused.
Lars sat behind me lifting up a white mass of fabric, the cold water leaking from it like a small rain shower. Natsu’s scarf.
“It’s a s-scarf.” I stammered out. “Just put it back.” I said weakly.
Lars shrugged and put the scarf back, then began to set up a fire.
Soon, the sound of crackling wood filled the cavern.
“Well,” He said. “Who is going to strip first?”
His words like a rock plummeting to the bottom of my stomach…
"W-what?" I blurted out, his words still echoing in my ear. Who is going to strip first.
"You know strip. For we don't get hypothermia." Lars said, his fingers playing with a button on his coat.
I nodded, trying to regain my composure. He doesn't care about you being naked, Eyrx. We're both guys anyway...just gay.
The sound of rustling fabric brought me out of my thoughts. Lars had already removed his shirt, revealing his lean and toned chest, I let my eyes travel lower to seed faint blonde hair disappear under the waistline of his soaked pants. I looked away trying to find the rocks around us more interesting then the half-naked guy next to me.
"Well are you stand there and shiver?" Lars asked, unbuttoning his pants.
"Yeah," I said weakly. With shaky fingers I removed my coat, it falling to the ground with damp thud. Next came my shirt, I became more bold as I began to remove more clothes.
Lars was only clad in his boxer briefs, I tried not to look at how the water seemed to tighten the fabric revealing...
I closed my eyes, I can't think of him like that. Natsu think of Natsu. I quickly removed my boots and pants leaving me in my boxer briefs.
I felt my heartbeat in my chest, like a hammer on an anvil, I wouldn't be surprised if Lars could hear it. We placed our clothes close to the fire for they could dry.
I stood close to fire, relishing in the warm heat against me. Lars stood beside me, silent. I kept my eyes on the flames, the flickering orange light casting long shadows on the dark rocks that surrounded us, the shaft of pale light from the hole above us barely reached us, so deep in the cavern.
I felt a cool touch on my shoulder making me flinch. It was Lars, who slowly reached out and traced the scar along my shoulder blade. I released a shaky breath as his finger went beyond my scar and ran across my bare back.
"How many scars do you have?" He whispered in my ear.
"Around eight." I whispered back, not turning my head to look at him.
"I have scars like yours but not as many..." He said absent mindlessly, his fingers finding a scar on my stomach near my belly button.
I placed a hand over his. "Please..." I whispered.
He said nothing, only slowly removing his hand, placing it under my chin. His warm fingers under my cold chin. Slowly much like before his lips came closer.
"No," I said almost too loudly. "We can't."
"What?" Lars asked, though he didn't stop his descent to my lips. "No one well know."
"But we will kn-" His lips on mine silenced my words.
His hands rested lightly on my shoulders, slowly going down. I tried to pull away. His hands kept me attached.
His tongue began to appear at my unresponsive lips. I kept my mouth closed.
He pulled away, almost angry. "How could you feel guilty? He's dead!"
"Not for long," I whispered back.
"But for the moment he is dead." He reached out for my hand. I stepped back.
"What has gotten into you?" I asked.
"Well you have feelings for me so." His voice got softer, almost embarrassed.
"I have a boyfriend, Lars." I responded keeping my voice level. "And we are on a mission..." My voice trailed off.
I felt my knees go weak. I felt my face pale.
"Are you alright?" Lars asked, putting a hand on my shoulder, his backward turned, he didn't see it.
"No, it can't be...it can't." I whispered, my voice almost frail.
Lars slowly turned around and saw what I was staring at. "By the gods." He whispered.
Two forms emerged from the darkness of the cavern. One was a young blonde boy no older than five. The other...
"Natsu..." I stammered out. I stood frozen in confusion. No, not confusion, fear.
He looked exactly the same the last time I saw him, three months ago. Pink spiky hair, white scarf wrapped around his neck. Buttoned up vest with one full sleeve, complete with white pants. Though both of the forms that emerged from the cavern were barefoot.
I tore my eyes away to the white scarf by the fire, I expected it to be gone, but it was still there.
Lars' expression mirrored mine. His mouth slightly agape.
I took a step towards Natsu, my hand outstretched. "No!" Lars hissed, he grabbed my wrist, stopping me. "They might be dangerous."
He was right, it wasn't natural whatever the hell it is.
"What do you want!" Lars called, together we shivered beside the fire, clad only in our underwear.
I looked into the form of Natsu's eyes, they were almost clouded not the bright green they were...before. A slight half smile on his lips, under normal circumstances it would have been cute, but now it looked almost demonic.
"What you seek," The Creepy-Natsu called his voice sounding almost foreign.
"Is close," the Even-Creepier-Boy finished for him.
"But not before you face a trial." Creepy-Natsu proclaimed.
"A trial of blood." They said together, their voices echoing across the cavern.
Then blood began to run down the boy's face. A wet spot appeared on Natsu's chest, were he was shot.
They stood there for what seemed like hours, the blood dripping down the floor, their faces expressionless as if the blood was not there.
"Eyrx," the Creepy-Natsu called out.
I stood in fear.
"If you want to see me again, do not fail." His green eyes seemed to lock onto my brown ones, blood began to run down his face, almost like tears.
"The trial awaits." They whispered, then they slowly began to fade away into nothingness, the blood gone.
I looked to Lars who only bore a fearful expression, a tear stain on his cheek.
We stood in silence, the crackling fire the only sound in the dark cavern. I had to look away from the flames, they reminded me too much of Natsu. Too much of what just happened.
There was no way to explain it, suddenly he stood before me as if he'd never been dead. Yet, his eyes were so weird. As almost a grey film was placed over them. They were dead eyes.
And a trial by blood? Whatever the hell that means. I subconsciously placed a hand to my forehead, checking for blood.
"Our clothes are almost dry now, we should probably put them back on." Lars commented, breaking the silence. "I'm freezing."
I nodded, not looking at him as I picked up my dried clothes. It seems that we won't mention what happened.
We silently dressed, the rustling of fabric taking over the sound of the dying fire. In a matter of minutes we were dressed our packs still a little damp as we slung them over our shoulders.
Together we walked towards the tunnel that weaved it's way deeper into the rock. Lars pulled a flashlight from his pack, I was surprised it still worked. We followed the pale white beam of light, the rock surrounding us.
"So," Lars said, piercing the silence. His voice sounded almost afraid. "Is that what he looked like?"
"Natsu?" I asked, running a hand along the smooth rock.
Lars gave a slight nod.
"Yeah," I replied, not looking at him. "Almost exactly."
"His..." I trailed off. I was still confused from the whole situation. "His eyes were different, like when a person dies, their eyes glaze over."
"Well technically he is dead."
"Do the dead talk to you?" I asked.
"Well these ones did."
"Natsu has been dead for almost three months now, he would look more decayed." I responded.
"Well obviously, isn't wasn't them." Lars commented.
"Whatever it was it wasn't natural." I said almost to myself. "Who was the boy I wonder?"
Lars lost his sarcastic air to him. "My little brother, Adolph."
"I'm sorry." I muttered.
"No you shouldn't be. I was the one who killed him."
My hand went down to the knife on my belt. "Oh," I said simply.
"I didn't kill him like that, so you can remove your hand from your dagger." Lars said. "I failed to save him. We were poor and lived in a small village in the south near the coast. There was a sickness that went around the village, it claimed my parents and my little brother."
I put a hand on his shoulder, he flinched. "Is that why you joined Serpents Shard?"
"No," He replied with a slight smile. "I joined years ago for the money. It was our poverty that killed my brother."
"You don't mind the killing?" I asked.
Lars gave me a smile. "Well neither do you, I read the reports about you. Sea Viper. Riviori's Snake."
"Oh," I laughed, as well as I could in light of what happened. "That's a new one."
"I like Sea Viper better. It adds an air of fear to you."
"Fear? Anyone who meets me would not be scared of me." I smiled.
"Well not now, you smile so it's less scary. But for the first weeks I knew you, I was afraid of you." Lars teased, his hand brushing against mine.
I shivered at the touch.
We slowly descended into silence, our boots crunching on the stone. Then, the light flickered out.
"Damn," Lars cursed.
We waited for our eyes to adjust to the darkness, small cracks and holes in the ceiling offered a dim light, but enough to see by.
"Well it could be worse. There could be another hole to fall into." I commented.
"You just want me to strip again." Lars teased, lightly elbowing me.
"Totally." I smiled as we continued on.
"So, do you even know where we are going?" Lars asked.
"No," I said bluntly.
"Well we could go back to the cold water and go diving trying to find an underwater tunnel." I suggested.
His silence made me laugh. "So we trudge on."
The silence enveloped us once more. I lightly ran along the rock to steady myself. A light fog weaved through our feet almost appearing out of thin air. As we went deeper the fog got thicker and was brushing against our waists. Lars took my hand.
"For we don't get separated." He said before I could pull it away.
I nodded, feeling fear begin to rise in my chest. It seems he was scared too.
Then, the path ahead split in two, the left free of fog the right practically bleeding with it.
"So I'm guessing we shouldn't split up?" I asked.
"Trust me," Lars replied. "We are not splitting up."
"Why? Are you scared?" I teased, though there was no jovial tone in my voice.
"Kind of, and if I resurrect Lord Ixo and your dead boyfriend he would kick my ass if he found out I lost you."
Or kissed me...I thought to myself.
"I guess we take the left path? Get out of this fog." I suggested.
"I was thinking the same thing." He replied, once we were out of the fog and deep into the left tunnel, Lars it seems to forgot to let go of my hand. Though I didn't mind, it felt good to have another hand in mine.
Then, Lars let out a strangled sigh from beside me and feel to the ground unconscious.
"Lars?" I asked, fear rising in my voice, I knelt beside him, placing a hand on his forehead. It was normal not hot or cold.
So why would he...I jerked my head up when I heard the patter of bare feet on stone. I cursed when I saw a form appear from the darkness. Natsu. Or Creepy-Natsu. He stood silent before me.
"Eyrx, it's you." He whispered, the sound of his voice sending shivers down my spine. His voice sounded almost normal.
I stood up on shaky legs. "N-no! You're not real." I stammered back, I wished I was Lars, unconscious on the ground.
"But I am Eyrx. How could you say that?" He stepped closer.
"S-stay back." I stepped back until I felt stone against me. I froze and turned around, the tunnel continued on backwards but it's as if some barrier was strung across the tunnel. I was trapped.
"I just want to hold you Eyrx. Like I used too. Why do you reject me?" His head cocked to one side, it made me want to scream to see those dead green eyes staring at me. He stepped closer. I was paralyzed by fear.
"Please don't hurt me...please." I closed my eyes, my whole body shaking.
"I would never hurt you Eyrx." Another step closer.
"Stop! Oh please." My voice hoarse. "Please don't speak my name."
"Why are you so scared?" That voice, hot tears ran down my face. Another step closer, I felt his breath on my face.
"Open your eyes Eyrx." He said.
As if not under my control, my eyes slowly opened. Natsu stood before me, his slightly paled face staring at me, a light smile on his face.
"You shouldn't be so scared." Natsu whispered.
"No...no...you're not real." I whispered out, my hands balling into fist at my side.
A cold hand lightly grabbed my chin. I froze, a tear falling on Natsu's pale wrist.
"Why do you hurt me so?"
He slowly lifted my chin to make me look into his dead green eyes...
The dead green eyes stared back at me, yet I could feel his cold breath brushing against my ashen cheek. My breath coming out in ragged gasps.
“You hurt me so much, Eyrx.” The hand under my chin moved to my cheek to slowly wipe away a tear, the cold fingertips making me shiver.
“How you kissed the other one.” Natsu whispered, though his voice was void of emotion. I flicked my gaze to Lars, he still lied on the floor unconscious, his chest rising and falling. The green eyes never left my face.
“I-It was an accident, I-I felt so alone, Natsu. I…” I trailed off. “Its not real,” I whispered, the cold hands were back and lightly turned my head to look at him.
“But I am real.” He breathed. “Can’t you feel me?” He grabbed one of my hands and placed it to his chest. I could feel the hardness of his muscular chest, though it was cold, like touching a statue. Yet, this statue was talking and breathing, his cold breath ever present.
Slowly, I lowered a hand to the knife at my belt. “Back away.” I warned, placing a hand on his neck. Feeling my water dragon slayer power course through me.
Then, Natsu let out a long laugh, the hairs on the back of my neck rising.
“You can’t harm me.” He whispered, a smile appearing on his lips. “You don’t have the strength.”
“I-I do!” I retorted. My breath seemed shorter now, more ragged.
“Then do it.” He snapped.
Do it!” He yelled, the outburst making me shudder.
My breath almost came in gasps now, hot tears clouding my vision. My hand clutching the knife was shaking, my knuckles white.
“Do it! Kill me!” He yelled again, he leaned closer.
“N…” I whimpered out. My whole body shaking.
“Kill me! Release your power! Plunge your knife into my neck!”
“DO IT! KILL ME!” He screamed. “KILL ME!”
I released a ragged sob, feeling lightheaded. His shouts relentless, a deep cut.
“KILL ME! SHOW ME HOW STRONG YOU ARE!”
I sobbed into his arm which gripped my shoulder hard, his fingers digging into my skin.
Then, I snapped. “WATER SOUL!” I sobbed, feeling my power move through my veins, fast as a river current. A dull clap sounded when my power left my power and into Natsu.
Silence. Utter silence. I felt my knees buckle, my ragged breath seemed almost muffled. Natsu held me upright by gripping my forearms. I was broken. My tears seemed almost cold.
A shrill almost crazed laugh, broke through my haze. Natsu.
“No…” I whispered, my voice hoarse. “Please stop…”
Then, his cold hands left my forearms. I fell to my knees, with a dull thud. Natsu knelt before me, a disgusting smile on his face. “”You,” he whispered. “Are weak.”
With deft fingers he removed my hand from my knife and slowly pulled out, the sound of steel on leather echoed through the tunnel. He waved the blade in front of my face. I couldn’t look away.
“You can’t harm me.” He threatened. “But I can harm him.” He gestured with the knife to the unconscious form of Lars.
Dread begin to fill me, leaving a dull lump in my stomach. “No, you can’t. Please…” I whispered out.
Natsu ignored me and knelt knelt next to Lars, the blade inches from Lars’ exposed neck. I went to stand, my legs shaking.
“Stay there.” Natsu snapped. I froze, resting a hand on the side of the tunnel, the cold kiss of stone dull.
I watched in horror as the knife went lower scant centimeters from Lars’ neck. Then, Lars’ hand shot up and grabbed at Natsu’s throat, slamming him against the stone. With a dull slap Lars’ hand thudded into the stone.
Natsu was gone. Pale white fog replacing him.
I quickly wiped away tears from my cheek, staring at the ground.
“Well your boyfriend seems really nice.” Lars quipped, stepping closer to me, placing a hand on my shoulder. It made me flinch.
“How much did you hear?” I asked my voice almost a whisper.
“Almost all of it.” Lars admitted. “But, it's going to be alright.”
“Is it?” I asked. “I have no clue what hell we are trapped in.”
“Maybe it's the first master?” Lars suggested.
I only nodded, still slightly shaking. Lars wrapped both his arms around me and pulled me close, I sighed into his embrace.
“I was afraid too,” Lars whispered, his breath light against my ear. “I was afraid I would lose you.”
“Could we stay like this?” I asked, resting my head against his chest.
“Of course.” He said, running a hand along the back of my head, lightly ruffling my hair. A light kiss on my forehead.
Together we stood in fear. Lars warm arms around me, Natsu’s sickening laugh still echoing in my head…
Soon as I stopped shaking, I truly felt Lars arms around me, my head pressed against the crook of his neck, the kiss on my forehead still lingering.
"No," I said suddenly, looking up at Lars. "We can't keep doing this."
Lars' face bore a look of confusion. "Doing what exactly?" His hands lightly granting my forearms as I took a step back.
"This thing!" I said louder than I should. "How you kiss me and I fall into your arms," I explained quieter.
"Oh," He muttered, a look of hurt seemed to cross his eyes.
"It's just," I sighed, looking away from his piercing blue eyes. Eyes that I could lose myself in...No, I can't think of him like that. "It's just when we accomplish our goals with Lord Ixo an-"
"And, where does this leave us." Lars answered for me, his voice sounded different than before.
"Y-yes." I answered weakly. "If or when Natsu comes back we can't have this...this thing between us."
"What if we could change that?" He asked.
I flashed my eyes to look at his, arching out a brow in confusion. "Are you asking me to choose? Between Natsu and you? You think that I would do all this work to see my dead boyfriend again and..." I trailed off looking for words. "And just abandon him? Leave him for another guy?" I responded my voice sharp.
"Not exactly..." He whispered sounding hurt.
I sighed. "Lars I'm sorry but you don't understand. I-"
"I don't understand?" He snapped, his blue eyes burning. "How about you? You don't understand, Eyrx!"
"What do you mean?" I tried to keep my voice calm, after the ordeal with that thing that looked like Natsu, Lars outburst frightened me.
"How do you expect Lord Ixo to resurrect Natsu?" He began, his voice softer. "You think he's stupid?"
My eyes never left his. "I would do whatever it takes, to convince him."
"Like you could convince Ixo? You have no leverage."
"Leverage? Do you forget who I am?"
"You were someone. You were-"
I yanked myself from his grasp. "You think that I'm not who I used to be? You better watch your tongue." I snapped.
Lars let a smile come to his lips. "You wouldn't dare hurt me, you care for me too much."
"You know what I'm capable of, Lars." I spat.
"I know," He smiled, his voice soft. "That's why I like you." He quickly kisses me on the cheek.
"Please don't." I whispered, feeling my face heat.
"You never heard my other idea." Lars realized, placing a hand on my cheek, I lightly removed it.
"Which is?" I asked.
"To run." He answered simply. "Leave this cold hell hole and never look back. Leave Serpents Shard and Ixo behind."
"What do you mean." I asked, taking a step back.
"Oh come on Eyrx you're smart. You should be able to figure this out." Lars gave me a smile. "Or what you have told me of Natsu, maybe some of his unintelligence rubbed off on you."
I remains silent, wondering where this is going.
"Or maybe," Lars suggested. "You only care for what's between his legs, because it isn-"
I slapped him. The crack echoing around the narrow stone tunnel.
"Don't you ever say that about me. I am not some whore." I spat.
"Forgive me then." Lars replied, comforting the swollen red mark on his cheek.
I looked away, ashamed at myself. "We should get going." I suggested.
"And about Natsu? What do we tell him later on?" Lars asked, his voice practically dripping with hurt.
"Nothing." I replied, keeping my voice level. "What he doesn't know won't kill him." I felt like I was stabbing Natsu in the heart. "Like this never happened."
We started off once more in silence, the sound of crunching stone the only sound. Natsu forgive me.
"I'm sorry I hit you." I said after a while, breaking the silence.
"I acted irrationally. You're far from a whore." Lars said. "And, my offer still stands."
"What about your brother?" I asked, as we continued walking.
"I can live with that grief, it was almost ten years ago when he died." Lars answered. "But you, I can't live without."
"I'm flattered by the gesture Lars but..." I trailed off.
"But you said it yourself, what he doesn't know won't kill him." Lars commented, his hand lightly brushing mine.
"Whatever we had before Lars can't be carried on to the future." I said, crossing my arms against my chest.
We descended into silence, the pale dim light from the cracks in the ceiling our guide. The stone walls seemed to get smoother, and taller, the cracks far overhead. Eventually, the tunnel opened to a large empty cavern, a wider and taller tunnel at the far end.
"I think we made it." I whispered.
"Sure looks like it." Lars gestured to the large pile of snake skin on the cavern floor.
His willingness to joke put me at ease. Once we get back to fresh air everything will be fine.
We stepped deeper into the cavern. The light becoming dimmer.
"Well it seems that the infamous Sea Viper has returned." A serpentine voice echoes from the darkness and slithered into a pale shaft of light that came from the ceiling. Natsu and the young boy flanking him. My eyes scanned Natsu's face for any signs of betrayal. No, Natsu will never know what happened between Lars and I.
It felt like a stab in the stomach...
It was Sparous Syrpior, the infamous large snake of Serpents Shard. It felt so long ago since I saw him last, of course the most recent time I saw him was in an illusion. Another moment of weakness that. But, this will be a moment of strength. A moment that will either destroy me or…
The dark green scaled serpent slithered closer to me, taking me away from my thoughts, the things next to him stepped with him. “So Sea Viper,” He began, I looked at him with an expressionless mask. Lars on the other hand, was almost shaking.
I am strong. My moment of weakness is over.
“My servants tell me you are here for something...important to your cause.”
“So it seems.” I responded my voice strong.
“And, of your confrontation in one of the tunnels.” The serpent slithered closer, Lars took a step back, I stood my ground. “The confrontation that revealed so much of your nature, Eyrx.”
“Flexing your muscle were you?” I asked.
His pink forked tongue flickered out. “It seems to have destroyed you.”
I let a small smile form on my lips. “Not destroyed, strengthened. I stepped up to serpent.
“What is it that you want?” The serpent asked.
“I think you know exactly what I want.” I snapped.
“Not many would step this close to a serpent and demand answers.”
“You know my power, snake.” I spat.
“But you need me, Sea Viper.” The serpent responded.
“Yes, that is true. But, afterwards…”
“Are you threatening me?” He asked, his sharp red eyes glaring.
“No, promising.” A slight smirk on my face.
The serpent slithered away to the far end of the cavern, a stone chalice resting on a simple alter. The red glowing eyes looked back at me. “This is the trial of blood.” And with that he slithered off into the darkness.
“Is that all?” I asked after him.
“Sometimes you must do the opposite of your goal.” He answered and was gone.
“Damn him,” I cursed to myself.
“It seems like his servants stayed behind.” Lars commented, his shaking stopped.
I looked over at Natsu and the boy, standing mute in the shaft of light. I walked over to Natsu, my eyes examining his face. We stood inches apart, neither speaking.
“What are you hiding?” I whispered, tentatively a placed a hand on his cheek. It was cold. Natsu never flinched. “Sometimes you must do the opposite of your goal…” I contemplated.
My eyes went wide in surprise. “No...that can’t be it.” I removed my hand from Natsu’s cheek.
“What can’t?” Lars asked stepping up to me.
“Its to...No, I’m probably wrong.” I responded.
“Tell me.” Lars said, almost pouting.
I sighed. “We have to kill them.” I turned to face him.
“What do you mean?” Lars asked, confused.
“Kill them.” I explained gesturing to Natsu and the boy.
“How the hell did you think of that?” Lars asked, walking over to stand in front of his younger brother, who stood mute and expressionless.
I turned away from them and walked over to the chalice. “Well isn’t it the opposite of what our goal is?” I smiled over my shoulder, grabbing the stone chalice, feeling the cold stone against my fingers.
“Are you serious?” Lars asked. “You seem different than before. Not a half an hour earlier you were crying into my shoulder.”
I gave him another smile. “Oh trust me I am deadly serious.”
“Was that a pun?” Lars asked with a smile of his own.
“See, I can smile and crack jokes.” I teased, stopping in from the silent Natsu.
“How do we kill them? And what’s the purpose of the chalice?” Lars asked.
“Simple. We collect their blood with the chalice.”
Lars let out a laugh. “It's been awhile since we have collected blood.”
“Its just the blood of dead loved ones, no big deal.” I said, placing my fingers along side Natsu neck.
I am strong. It’s not Natsu. I will prevail. Natsu collapsed without a sound, his face blank, eyes gazing up at nothing. I handed Lars the chalice. “Only fill it halfway.”
He nodded, pulling out his knife. I am strong. I waked over to the boy who stared ahead at nothing. A put an unshaky to the boy’s neck. “Sorry, Adolph.” I muttered. “Water soul,” The boy dropped.
“I finished.” Lars said walking over to me, I tried to not look at Natsu or whatever that thing was.
“Could you finish with Adolph?” I asked, quietly.
Lars only nodded. I walked over to the tunnel where the serpent disappeared to.
“We completed your trial by blood.” I called out into the darkness, my only answer the slithering of scales…
The large serpentine snake emerged from the dark shadows the red glowing eyes beacons in the forbidden darkness.
"You are not done yet." The snake's voice hissed, it's tongue flickering out from its sharp fangs. I flinched slightly when I felt saliva grace my cheeks.
Hopefully it's not poisonous.
"What do you mean?" I snapped, trying to keep my voice cool. "We just killed our loved one! Or whatever the fuck they are!" I lost my cool, gesturing sharply to the dead bodies of Natsu and the boy.
The snake let out a loud hiss, I hesitantly took a step back.
"Eyrx..." Lars warned, I faintly heard his footsteps behind me.
"You are brave to say such...abrasive words to me, child." The snake said, his voice icy.
"You know you don't scare me anymore." I responded quickly. "So, what do you mean we haven't finished the trial?" I asked, my voice soft.
"You must drink the blood." The snake said simply, as if discussing the weather.
"You can't be serious..." Lars muttered.
The snake let out a burst of short hisses, to my surprise I realized he was laughing. As much as a snake could laugh. "You must be willing to do anything."
"I...I..." I trailed off. "If I must."
With shaky fingers I removed the chalice from Lars grasp, who bore a look of dismay.
I brought the chalice to my lips, feeling the cold stone. I released a shaky breath, and drank feeling the heavy liquid flow down my throat. The sharp metallic taste almost making me gag. Almost. With a shudder I swallowed. The chalice was not even half empty. With a mumbled groan I drank from the chalice once more, Lars looked as if he was going to barf. The snake's expression was unreadable as ever.
I drank once more as I swallowed once more my tastebuds practically dying from the sharp taste. Yet, I ignored it. I am strong. I repeated over and over again.
Lars stood mouth agape and his skin almost as green as the serpent's eyes, as I drained half of the chalice.
"I believe it's your turn." I said, handing him the chalice. I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand, blood lightly coating the back of my hand.
"T-there's some o-on your chin, E-Eyrx." Lars stammered out as he took the chalice.
I only nodded.
Lars looked down into the half empty chalice. "I have to drink this?"
"It's not that bad..." I smiled.
"By the gods." Lars muttered as he quickly drained the chalice, shuddering as he did so, some of the blood trailed down his chin. He pulled the chalice away with a groan.
"I-I think I might be sick." He groaned.
"Now what?" I asked, looking at the serpent, ignoring Lars groans.
"Now for the fun..." The serpent breathed out.
Before I could react the serpent spun around, his thick scaled body colliding with my chest sending me across the cavern, hitting the stone wall with a dull thud. My vision blackened.
"Eyrx!" Lars called, his voice faint to my ears.
Using his power to control animals, Lars sent down a group of large screeching bats to attack the serpent around its head. I staggered to my feet, feeling a slight trickle of blood run down my face.
"Water turret!" I shouted, a sharp blast of water hit the serpent on its soft underbelly. It hissed in anger and pain.
"You think you can beat me, Sea Viper?" The serpent yelled out, between the gap of bat attacks.
"More than that actually." I snapped, sending another volley of water at him. "I know I can kill you."
"You ignorant fool! You need me alive!"
Lars struggled to add more bats to the fray, their sharp claws causing deep gashes in the serpent's dark green scales.
I ran towards the hissing serpent, sliding under it as it jumped in the air to hit me again with its body.
A sharp blade of water sliced down the snake's soft underbelly. A long cut following the blade of water. Sharp enough to cause extensive pain but not enough to be fatal.
The serpent let out a long painful hiss, butting into one of the fluttering bats in anger.
I flipped up onto the serpent's back the scales pressing against the soles of my boots. I weaved my way up, jumping up out of the way when the serpent twisted in the air trying to shake me off, I always landed back on my feet. Lars moved the bats out of my way, letting them scream back to the cavern ceiling.
I straddled the serpent's scaled neck, unsheathing my daggers from my belt, wielding one in each hand.
"Now this might hurt a little bit." I teased, and stabbed the daggers into the serpents red glowing eyes.
I flipped off the serpent, landing gracefully in front of it as it flailed in pain. It's forked tongue shuddering.
I looked to Lars as he wiped a bead of sweat from his brow.
The serpent soon went quiet its breathing a slight wheeze, the daggers still sticking out of his eyes.
"Now tell me what I must do to resurrect Ixo." I ordered, resting a hand on one of the dagger hilts. "Or I stab you again." With a grunt I twisted the dagger, a long painful hiss followed. "To prove my point." I smiled.
Lars stepped up beside me, copying my ruthless smile.
"T-there is..." The serpent wheezed out. "A-A Scr-oll in the back of my den."
I flicked my gaze to the dark tunnel the serpent came out of, before the fight. The darkness seemed to call me.
"Continue." I snapped, dropping the smile. I gave a nod to Lars who wrenched the other dagger. The serpent shuddered in pain.
"The scroll tells how to resurrect someone." The serpent answered.
"Someone? Don't you mean Lord Ixo?" I asked, confused.
"Lord Ixo can resurrect many people, the scroll can only resurrect one person." The serpent replied, still slightly shuddering. The serpent leaned close to me. "The choice is yours Eyrx Acutus. Betray your so called new friends and resurrect your dead boyfriend. Or should I say dead fiancé?"
I was silent, the serpent whispered loud enough for me to only hear and not Lars.
"You could finish what you came out here to do and leave. Or, release darkness upon the world to let your friends see their lost loved ones once more and your fiancé."
The whispering hiss of the snake on my ear made me release a shaky breath. My face expressionless.
"One choice stands before you Sea Viper, both lead to darkness and hurt. I hope you will choose wisely."
I felt my face pale...
The serpent turned his head away from me, to lay on its side, the dagger hilts glistening.
"What did he say?" Lars asked as I began to walk towards the dark tunnel at the opposite side of the cavern.
"Just keep an eye on him." I called back, not looking back I pressed on the darkness of the tunnel seemed reach out and breath again me, kissing my neck. I stopped for the darkness submerged me, I felt small, cold and afraid. What I wouldn't give to be sitting by a warm fire in the guild hall, Natsu's arm around my shoulder...
With a shaky breath I took a step forward. Like a long billowing cloak the darkness took hold of me. The air seemed almost cooler and it wasn't all that dark, though I think my dragon slayer senses helped me.
My footsteps sounded almost dull, I could faintly hear Lars voice. I blocked it out, instead I focused on the task at hand.
The serpent's voice still rang in my head. I could backstab my friends and save Natsu. Lucy and I could escape sooner. But the others like Lady Wysaar or Cleo, no one knows why people call her Lady, has been my friend for years.
I can't abandon them.
The words made me feel guilty, Lucy would love to get out of this place quicker. Only resurrecting Natsu would achieve our goal, but Lucy will have to understand and hopefully Natsu will too.
I forged ahead in the darkness, banishing the guilt. A form appeared ahead in the murky air, a beacon in the dark. The sight of pink hair startled me. I slowed to a stop my pulse booming in my chest, my ears felt as if they would burst.
"What do you want." I called in the darkness. Surprising myself with the calmness of my voice.
The form was silent, dead green eyes staring at me. I moved on ahead avoiding my gaze from Natsu.
A cold hand shot out and grabbed me. I let out a shout, cold dress welling up inside me. I clumsily spun out of the grasp sprinting away in the darkness, faint footsteps could be heard from behind me, it made me run faster.
I took a quick look back, the pink spiked hair faint yet it came closer and closer almost as of the thick darkness hindered it.
I turned away from the pink-headed form just in time to run face first into the hard cold rock walls that created the side of the tunnel. I barely I had enough time to slow down. With painful grunt I fell to my knees, my vision slightly dazed.
I looked back the form was closer, I could see the faint outline of his clothes, or lack of for that matter.
I staggered to my feet, still feeling light headed. "Come...no closer." I weakly yelled out, still dazed.
He stepped closer becoming less faint, his pale skin glowing.
I stumbled as I began to run away. One hand resting against my forehead.
"Eyrx." The voice called.
I froze. The voice sounded exactly the same as it did before he died.
"Shut up!" I screamed back, weakly running away.
"Eyrx where are you going?" He called. "Where are we?"
The fear made me run faster, ignoring my ever increasing nausea. Bare feet padding against stone came to my ears, I only ran faster.
"Eyrx!" I ignored Natsu's pleas. "Help! Eyrx I need your help!"
My breath was ragged as I ran, well more like stumbling, l kept my arm outstretched on the cold stone wall to keep my sense of direction, running into the wall made my senses blurred.
Natsu's voice sounded faint in the thick darkness, the realization made me slow to a walk, my fingertips were rubbed raw from running them along the wall, cracked scabs slightly bleeding. I ignored the aching pain instead I focused on the faint thundering footsteps of Natsu. They were getting louder and louder. I fell against the wall, breathing hard, the cold wall against my back a relief.
I had no energy to run any longer. What was the point? The thought seemed louder than Natsu's thundering footsteps. That damn snake, when I get back I will end him...If I get back that is.
Natsu emerged from the darkness like wandering specter. A ghost. A ghost of my past. Suddenly, I knew what I must do. No...I can't, I want to see him again.
"Halt." I ordered the emerging ghost.
Natsu's face, his attractive face, contorted in confusion, but he followed my order.
I stepped up to my, my breath now calm. Though I was cold again. Cold with fear.
"You don't scare me." I whispered, glaring into his green eyes.
"Eyrx," he began. "W-where are we?"
I didn't answer him, instead I turned away, I could feel his green eyes, his dead green eyes, boring holes in the back of my head. My footsteps the only sound. I am strong. The only thing on my mind was completing my goal. Severing the tether.
"Eyrx..." Natsu called, breaking the silence, the shards of silence raining to the cold stone floor.
I paused, his words were drenched in sorrow. I slowly turned around. No, I can't.
Natsu stood where he was before. Tears filling the corners of his eyes.
"Eyrx," he repeated. "Where are we? I'm so confused. All I remember is..." He trailed off.
I was startled. Ghosts can't cry. "What do you remember?" I asked, my voice soft, I took a step back.
"I...I..." Natsu stammered, he reached out and tried to grabbed my hand but I jerked my arm back.
Silence once more took hold, the scattered shards forming back together into a wall that separated Natsu and I.
I released a shaky breath. "What do you remember?" I asked again, my voice a light whisper.
"I remember proposing to you." He said the wall once more shattered. I flinched as if the shards cut along my cheek. "I remember you meeting me at the door, it was my birthday." A slight smile appeared on his lips. "You were wearing nothing more than a trench coat."
I stood mute, shivering. My fists balled up against my legs.
"When you took it off..." Natsu continued, putting a hand on my face it, holding it. His thumb rested underneath my chin. "You were naked." Natsu leaned closer, I closed my eyes a tear trailing down my cheek. His hand felt warm. Alive.
Then, Natsu's lips were on mine. His soft lips gently. I stiffened, Natsu's other hand resting on my hip. I tried to pull away but I couldn't.
I am strong. I placed my hand on his neck, lightly. Natsu deepened the kiss, lightly butting my bottom lip.
I tried to hold back a moan. Natsu's hand on my hip drifted to me lower back, rubbing circles into my back. I was too weak to use magic, my head swam with nausea but Natsu's lips on mine seemed to cure it.
I am strong. My hands around his neck began to apply pressure. Hard.
Natsu released a gurgle, trying to get away. I am strong. Natsu's hand shakily removed themselves from me to try and grabbed my wrists to pull me off. It made me apply pressure even harder.
I am strong.
Natsu fell to his knees, gasping for air that will never come.
"You are a great actor, snake." I spat. "I wonder how you can make these ghosts. It would be quite useful to learn."
Of course there was no reply. My arms began to go sore, Natsu's hands laid limp on the cold stone floor.
I am strong.
With one last faint gurgle, Natsu fell back on the stone floor, his face pale. Green eyes staring into the darkness.
I quickly turned away, not wanting to stare at the body. My footsteps once more the only sound in the tunnel.
With sore hands I wiped away dry tears. The darkness seemed almost peaceful now, something to latch onto. To keep me sane.
A faint orange light appeared in the distance. The glow cutting through the thick darkness like the sharpest of swords. I could practically hear the darkness screeching from the presence of light. I began to walk faster.
As the light grew brighter and brighter I walked faster and faster. Soon, I was running. Away from Natsu away from the comforting darkness.
I burst into a small bright room, two large braziers stop guarding the entrance of the room. On a dust covered stone pedestal lay the scroll. The scroll was yellowed with age, large thin tears ran along its surface. In a dark blue ink, large and obscure symbols and words ran in various patterns along the scroll. With a calm and steady hand I reached out and touched the scroll. The scroll that could change everything. The scroll that could let me see Natsu again.
I released a short laugh.
The tether that kept me secured to my past was the one thing I thought that could free me. Natsu.
The pressure to look normal to him, to look like I have no issues. That pressure was a locker room. A room with no door. No way to escape. Then, it seems like my key, my way to escape, suddenly appeared in front me in the form of a scroll.
With a wicked smile I picked up the scroll, it let out a loud crack that echoed throughout the small stone room.
"I am strong." I whispered, dropping the scroll into the fire of the brazier.
Watching with a slight smile as the Orange flames licked along the yellowed surface.
The door to me locked roll has been opened and I can feel the sun against my face for the first time.
I was finally free. The thought brought a smile to my face. Yet, I couldn't shake a feeling of grief. I would never see Natsu Dragneel again. Never feel his arms around me, never feel his lips(the ghost back in the corridor did not count). Never feel the pleasure of him making love to me. Never. Natsu Dragneel was truly dead. A subconscious hand slowly moves up to the white scarf wrapped around my neck, rubbing the soft fabric with my fingers. My eyes glued to the burning map in the brazier, the crackling of the flames reminded me once more of Natsu, I would never be in awe of his power anymore.
Now, there was only me. The last one standing. The lone statue in the crypt. The other once proud statues, full of life, heaps of ash at my feet. Only the faces remained, they too were void of life. The stone eyes glaring at me in the nothingness of death. Now Natsu joined the rest, though on his stone cheek rested a single tear. And, there I stood, the stone faces and ash at my feet. Without them I was nothing yet everything, full of life yet dead, smiling yet frowning, celebrating yet grieving.
I am strong.
"No you are stronger." I whispered, the scroll now a pile of ash, like the statues.
"No," A familiar voice called. "You are nothing but a deceiver."
Lady Cleo Wysaar.
"Cleo." I answered, calmly turning to meet her.
Her face was pale, her silver silk dress frayed at the hem. A large rip in the fabric cut down the middle, exposing her slightly toned stomach. Dried blood was plastered to her auburn hair. "That snake's ghost are quite a nuisance."
"What are you doing here?" I asked, my voice flat, the smile gone from my face.
She strode deeper into the small room to stand beside me, without her heels she was almost the same height as me, a towering girl of 5'10.
"You were checking up on me weren't you?" I continued, my voice no longer flat.
"To see if I could trust you. And clearly I can't." She replied, trying to wipe away a patch of dirt from her face.
"This was all a test wasn't? You knew damn well about the scroll." I spat.
Lady Wysaar let out a shallow laugh. "Took you long enough." She looked down at the brazier, the crackling fire bathing her face orange. "Though you passed almost perfectly."
I felt the confusion etch itself on my face. "I passed?"
She only winked at me, she placed a hand over the brazier, purple light trickling down from her fingers. To my amazement I saw the ashes of the scroll slowly rise from the brazier. Lady Wysaar bit her bottom lip in concentration. The specks of ash began to change color. Black to a dark brown, dark brown to a light tan. Blue ink could be seen on the scraps of revivified parchment. Then, with sudden quickness the floating pieces of parchment came together. The scroll was whole once more.
Like the scroll the toppled statue of Natsu was whole, standing beside me. Mixed emotions churned in my chest. I could see Natsu again but my past...
Fuck my past. A light smile came to my face.
"You can resurrect objects?" I asked, grabbing the scroll that floated in the purple light.
A smile joined mine. "It's Revival Magic, like healing magic in a way. I just can't revive people. It makes them thralls, nothing more than a sack of bones and flesh."
I stood stunned. The confusion seemed to swirl around me. I will see Natsu again. “S-so what now?” I asked, finding my voice.
Cleo Wysaar flashed me a wicked smile. “Now we finish our goal. With the resurrection of Lord Ixo we can see our lost loved ones.”
I only nodded. The escapeless room I was freed from, seemed to surround me once more. The seamless door closing, the click of the lock, the encroaching darkness.
Without a word Cleo turned and left the room, scroll in hand. I regretfully followed. In the dark tunnel the ghosts did not bother us, only a pile of ash took the place of Natsu. I shivered as I strode past it. How did that snake know of what happened before Natsu died?
Another pile of ash was scattered a few feet ahead. “My mother.” Cleo said, not looking back at me.
Once back in the main cavern, Lars stood alone. The snake gone, along with my daggers.
“Where is the serpent?” Wysaar asked, her voice sharp.
“He went after you, I tried to yell for you but…” Lars trailed off, Lady Wysaar’s glare silencing him.
“Its not his fault.” I said, at my words Lady Wysaar’s glare softened. Lars nodded his thanks. “We should get back to the guild.” It made me feel sick referencing Serpents Shard as my guild.
Without a word Cleo and Lars set off to the smaller and brighter tunnel.
To me, everything seemed dark.
"Oh good you came." I called out as Lucy entered my quarters in the Serpents Shard guild tower. A small antechamber revealing a large room with a wife thick bed against the far wall, two leather couches and a mahogany coffee table sat on the other side of the room from the bed, dark blue rugs lay on the stone floor, candles covered in wax spotted the coffee table, the thin dark blue curtains splayed against the wall, allowing bright pale light to enter the room from the wide almost wall length window.
Lucy smiled and sat down on the couch across from me. "I think your quarters are better than mine."
"But you do have a tv." I teased, returning the smile.
I gestured to the bottle of wine that sat on the coffee table. "Wine?"
"Of course," Lucy smiled. "Though I didn't know you drank," she asked as I pour two glasses.
"I only started to after Natsu...you know." I replied.
"I know," Lucy nodded. "It changed me too." A cold gust of wind blew in from the open window, ruffling our hair.
I took a sip from my glass, the dark red liquid kissing my lips. "Do you think," I began, after placing my wineglass down. "That Natsu will be angry? I mean you know how he gets" I smiled, "or got."
Lucy and I shared an awkward laugh, if there was no way to resurrect Natsu, neither of us would be laughing. Though before, when I burned the scroll I was happy...
"I think it could go either way," Lucy answered, taking a sip from her glass.
"That's what worries me," I said as another gust of wind wafted through the open window. With a sigh, I rose from the couch and walked over and closed the window. "What if he leaves?" I asked, sitting back down on the couch.
"He wouldn't leave..." Lucy said, though her words did not reassure me.
"Why not? We resurrected and evil dark lord that rivals Zeref."
"I know," Lucy took a long sip from her wine, nearly draining it. "But Natsu would do I for us." She reached over and took hold of my hand. Our brown eyes locking. "We will get through this together. Even if it means resurrected Ixo."
"But, what we about to do...we joined a dark guild, we both killed people, we could be arrested or worse." I whispered out.
"It's for Natsu. For the guild." Lucy answered simply, her voice slightly echoing around the room.
I nodded. "Then tonight we finally see Natsu again."
"I can't wait," Lucy said with a smile. "Though you pull off the white scarf quite well."
I let out a laugh. "It was so dirty before when Natsu had it."
"And smelled really bad." Lucy quipped and we laughed once more.
The room descended into silence. There was an elephant in the room we were avoiding. No, a viper. Preparing to strike. Either Lucy or I needed to strike first or be bitten.
I struck first, the viper's head slumping to the floor. "What if Natsu leaves?"
Lucy was perplexed. "Leaves?"
"When he finds out what we did..." I replied, looking down at my wine glass.
"You're still worried about that?"
I nodded. "Natsu is very focused on the side of the light, no-"
"But Natsu is very forgiving, I mean you know that." She chimed in.
"But we have entered the darkness willingly. I have gone back into it."
"The first time you were forced, Eyrx." Lucy said reassuringly. "It was the only life you knew."
“And this time?” I asked, my voice a whisper.
Lucy reached across the table and grabbed my hand, I hadn’t realized I was shaking. “This time is no different. Natsu will be happy to see you again.” A small smile was on her lips.
I nodded slightly. “Maybe you are right.”
Her smile widened. “You're worrying for nothing, Eyrx.”
Lucy rose from the couch. “We should get some rest. Tonight is going to be long night.”
“See you later, Luce.” I said when she got to the door of my bedroom, using Natsu’s pet name for her.
“Yea see you soon.” The she left, the ebony door closing behind her.
I sat up from the couch, draining my wine glass. With a sigh I fell back on the large bed on the other side of the room from the couches.
Dread and apprehensiveness filled me. Lucy’s words did not reassure me.
Natsu will kill me for what I have done. And, if it makes him happy I will do it for him…
The wind whipped around us as we stood on the roof of the tower, our thick cloaks billowing. Snowflakes drifted down here and there, I didn't feel it when one landed on my cheek. I was too concerned with what will happen after tonight, in a few hours. In a few hours all that I have worked for could disappear. Natsu could abandon me, Lucy can't stop him when he's angry. No one can. Not even me.
My face was expressionless, cold as the stone beneath me. My dark brown hair ruffled by the cold winter night wind. My dark blue cloak stiff around me. Lucy stood beside me, her cloak a light purple, her face was more of excitement yet still held the serious crease that mine did. Lars stood across the roof with a few other senior officers of the guild, each deadlier than the last. Lars gave me a slight smile when he caught my eye. I turned away not returning to smile. No smile will grace my lips tonight.
Then there was Lady Cleo Wysaar.
She stood naked in the center of the roof, large burning fires surrounded her, far enough away to not burn. Her red hair flowed out behind her in the wind. Dark green lines of some sort of paint ran along her body crossing here and there. Flowing all the way down her feet.
Silence enveloped the roof, even the wind went quiet. The darkness seemed more noticeable in the absence of the moon. The end of a cycle. How nice if we all lived on a predictable and ever repeating cycle, no surprises, no pain.
"Now we begin!" Cleo called from the center, her voice destroying the silence. She gracefully fell to her knees and began to chant in a foreign language, with my lessons with Riviori I knew exactly what she was saying. I leaned close to Lucy to whisper in her ear.
"Lord Ixo, I call you forth from the darkest of dark, the deepest of abysses. I call you to aid your living brothers and sisters. I call you to obey me. Obey your mistress and you will be free. Free to explore the world." I whispered in Lucy's ear. So this hoe she means to control Ixo to resurrect our lost loved ones.
Cleo continued, and I translated. She chanted the various binding rights that haven't been uttered in years, no centuries, when that vile snake was master. The fire that burned around Cleo Wysaar, seemed to glow brighter other colors seemed to be infused within the bright orange. Strands of green, blue, and purple burned with the orange. Cleo got louder as well, almost screaming now, the wind came back harder now. Cleo's auburn hair whipped around her face, obscuring it, yet she still chanted.
The fires got taller and wider the roar almost deafening. My pulse drummed in my ears, with the fire and the chanting it made me nervous.
"Lord Ixo I summon you to join the world of the living once more to obey us and in return your freedom through us your chains will be broken. Your chains of death will lie at your feet." I translated to Lucy.
Lady Wysaar let out a loud screech the fires turned black as the night sky around us, plunging the roof of the tower in darkness.
"BRING FORTH THE CAPTIVE!" Lady Wysaar screeched.
"This is how Lord Ixo will enter our world," I explained to Lucy, who stood staring at the black flames. "That's why we can't directly resurrect people for it wouldn't be in their original bodies."
Lucy only nodded, her mouth slightly agape.
Two tall muscular guards brought forth a man a little bit older than me, probably in his mid twenties. His black hair cut short, his blue eyes alight with fear, he tried to struggle out of the guards grasp. Yet, they dragged him closer to the flames.
"No! You can't do this!" The man yelled. He looked at the people assembled. No one moved to help him. I am strong.
"KNEEL!" Cleo screeched when the captive was dragged toward to the flames. The guards roughly shoved him down to his knees. The black flames roared in front of him.
"LORD IXO I SUMMON YOU!" Lady Wysaar screeched and went silent.
The black flames grew taller and thinner, twisting in the night air. Like inquisitive serpents the twisting thin branch like flames moved towards the kneeled man, circling him. Everyone was silent, the man surrounded by twisting flames frozen in fear. Then the flames struck. Then man screeched in pain as the flames engulfed him.
I looked to Lucy to see if she was alright, she never noticed me staring, only staring at the burning man, her face expressionless.
The black flames were so thick it was hard to tell what was happening to the man, but his screams gave it away. Cleo's screams joined in as well, half chanting, half screaming. The fire roared with hunger at it devoured the man.
Then it was silent. Cleo stopped her chanting, sweat pouring down her naked body. Even the man's screams were silent. Yet, the fire roared.
"Rise Lord Ixo." Cleo whispered, she knelt on the stone roof still.
Lucy let out a small gasp as the man raised from the black flames, unscathed. His black hair seemed almost dark and his eyes glowed red. Red like blood. Ash swirled around him forming into a black cloak. He turned around to look everyone in the eye. When he got to me dread filled me. Red locking with brown.
"Lord Ixo, I command you t-"
"Yes, I know child." Ixo snapped, his voice deep. "I have already accessed your memories, I know who you want to see again."
That much power, I felt nothing when our eyes met. Only fear...
Cleo rose to her feet a confused look on her face.
"Alas, I can only do three..." The words drifted on the cold night air, arrows in flight.
"What do you mean?" Cleo snapped, stepping closer to Ixo.
"What I mean is what I said." He answered.
Lord Ixo outstretched his hand towards the group of officers Lars was clustered with, awe from Lucy and I. Deep dark red light danced along his fingertips. Five officers began gag and gurgle, white foam began to drop from their lips, their faces turned blue.
I looked to Lars who stood in shock, though unaffected. I tried to keep my face expressionless. Lucy grabbed my hand.
"What are you doing?" Cleo Wysaar yelled out.
"Stay out of this woman." Ixo growled out, and clenched his fist.
The five officers fell to ground, each emitting a dull thud. The first taste of Lord Ixo.
"Now, I believe we can move forward." Lord Ixo held a wicked smile on his lips.
Cleo stepped over the now dead fire, regaining her composure. "Yes...we can."
No one looked at the dead bodies in the corner of the tower roof, I never noticed Lars walking over to join us, his face losing some of its color.
"Here is the scroll, my lord." Cleo said reaching into her cloak that was sprawled on the ground. She removed her hand with the scroll from that vile snake's cave. The same cave with the ghosts. The same cave where Lars kissed me.
Cleo blushed put the cloak on to cover her nakedness.
"Good, child." Lord Ixo smiled out, taking the scroll and unraveled it. With a groan he began to chant in some ancient language I could not pick up.
We stood in silence as Lord Ixo chanted, ash began to swirl around him. The wind picked up, making me shiver. Lucy subconsciously removed her hand from mine. Her face was still pale yet, she did not look afraid.
More and more ash began to swirl around Lord Ixo, clouding him from our vision until with a grunt from him, the ash was pushed away from him, raining down on us, a stray flake of ash landed in my hair.
More ash rained down us making it impossible for us to see. The wind did nothing to help.
Pale red light weaved it's way into the cloud of ash, making our vision ever worse. Lucy gave me a sidelong look.
Then, a loud crack made us jump in surprise. The ash was still falling yet it was bright. Dawn had arrived. The pale white light seemed to sudden...
Something is wrong...
Then, even brighter light, the intensity made me squint.
"What's going on?" Lars asked. The light was blinding.
"I have no cl-"
A large explosion knocked us from our feet, send us sprawling. My hands trying to brace myself on the rough stone, blood trickled along my fingers. With a groan I ross to my feet, dusting the ash from my hair. I looked around to see the others rising as well.
Lord Ixo was gone, replaced with...
"Natsu?" I called out as we all hesitantly walked closer to the center of the tower roof. There were other people as well. The young blond boy from the cave, Lars younger brother, Adolph. Finally there was an older mid to late thirties red haired woman. Cleo's mother...
Natsu slowly sat up, I slightly smiled when I realized that he was naked, I untied my cloak and with a shaky hand, handed the cloak to him. He accepted it without a word. I looked over when Lars led his younger brother away towards the tower door. Cleo and her mother whispered back and forth to each other.
Natsu was silent as his green eyes moved up to meet mine. There was life in them. On weak knees I knelt down next to him.
"Eyrx," he muttered, "what happened? All I remember is the hotel room, the proposal..."
"It's alright now, Natsu." I whispered back, I felt a tear roll down my face as Natsu took one of my hands. The warmth...Natsu is back.
"Natsu," Lucy began, kneeling on his other side. "There is something we have to tell you.."
Fear prickled along my chest. This is it. How will he react?
Lucy began to slowly tell Natsu what happened these last four months since his death, from joining Serpents Shard and gaining their trust, and resurrecting Lord Ixo.
Natsu was silent once more, his face unreadable. Then, he shot to his feet, taking me with him.
"Come with me," he said as he began to walk towards the tower roof doors, the same doors Lars went through a few minutes before. Lucy only gave me a confused look but did not follow. Natsu's hand was roughly pulling on my wrist. Once inside, we walked down the narrow stone steps.
"Where is your room?" He asked, even his voice was unreadable.
Maybe he is just tired...
"D-down the hall, first door on the left." I stammered out.
We were off in no time, Natsu was silent as the hallway around us.
"So, what are we going to do tomorrow?" I asked, breaking the silence. "We could go on a picnic, or there's a nice swimming hole in a river near by we go to..." Natsu's silence made me trail off, my cheerful tone gone.
Silence took us once more, until we reached the door to my room, the ebony door creaking on its hinges. Natsu slammed the antechamber door behind us, quickly opening the main bedroom door, Natsu roughly pushed me past him, making me stumble into the back of the leather couch.
"Natsu what has gotten into you?" I asked, my voice started.
"What the fuck have you done?" He growled out, his green eyes burning with anger...
The words seemed to hang in the silence of the air. I turned around from the back of the couch, a slight ache in my elbow.
What the fuck have you done? All that anger...
"Natsu you need to calm down." I responded, in a quiet voice, I felt my face pale.
"No I don't." He snapped, I took a step back as he took a step forward to grab my wrist. "You released Lord Ixo." His green eyes were hard to look at. That charming smile I had dreamed about for months was gone, replaced with an anger glare, fists balled at his side.
"N-Natsu it was for you. I did it for you." I reached out and placed a timid hand on his forearm. He was hot to the touch, causing me to let out a painful gasp.
"No it wasn't for me, Eyrx. It was all for you." His sharp words seemed to pour over me like molten metal.
"Me?" I asked, I felt a tear form in the corner of my eye. "I did this for the guild! Not just me! For Happy and everyone else!"
"You even dragged Lucy into this! I don't even know where Happy is! Did you have to kill him?" Natsu asked stepping up close to me.
"Happy is away with Wendy. Lucy came with me willingly, Natsu how can you not se-"
"NO!" He yelled, the outburst making me jump. "Why don't you see Eyrx?!"
His anger scared me, my mouth stood agape. I this an illusion too? The snake could only see my memories from a few months ago, or so Cleo Wysaar says…
“Natsu, you need to calm down…” I whispered, placing a shaky hand on his muscular arm. He’s warm...Yet so was the one in the cave when it kissed me…
Natsu released a long breath, his anger seemed to dissipate. His voice was calmer yet emotionless. “What you did, Eyrx, is betrayal. Betrayal of the guild, and betrayal of me.”
His words stung like a slap to the face. “Betrayal?” I spluttered out. “Natsu, without me you would be dead. Sitting in a cold dark morgue.” My voice coming back to me. “Would you rather remain dead? Away from everyone you love? People who care for you?” It was my turn to step closer to him, gazing up into his green eyes. “You would have them be sad and lonely, for the sake of your honor to stop all the evil in the world?”
Natsu was at a loss for words. “Well...I…”
“We can win this Natsu. Lord Ixo is nothing but an old skeleton, he never was that powerful as Zeref.” I reassured him, placing my other hand on his cheek.
He was silent, clearly thinking. Then, his eyes locked with mine. “But that doesn’t mean we are back together.”
It felt like the air was knocked from me. “What? Natsu you can’t be serious…”
He gave me a small smile. “You said it yourself, my honor forbids me from being with you.”
“Natsu, please...but I love you, I want to be with you!” I pleaded.
“No, Eyrx.” Was his quick answer, he removed himself from my grasp, my hands falling loosely to my side.
Natsu began to walk away, I released a choked sob, grabbing onto his wrist. He kept his back turned away from me. “Eyrx let me go.” I fell to my knees, Natsu towered over me.
“Y-you have to kill me…” I whispered back, I unsheathed my dagger, the sound of steel on steel, echoed through the room.
“What?” He turned with a confused look on his face.
“If your honor is so important, then kill me. Save the world from evil.” I placed the dagger in his hand.
“Eyrx, I...I can’t.”
“Should I then?”
“What? No, Eyrx…”
“But what about your honor? Honor can’t be a two way street. It would be quite simple really, a quick cut along my jugular. Then, one less monster to worry about.”
“Eyrx you are not a monster.” Natsu responded. his voice hitched in weird way. Sadness maybe? Or grief?
“Then what am I?”
“A person.” Was the simple answer.
“A person?” I asked, arching an eyebrow. “Just an evil one, by your standards.”
Natsu knelt down in front of me, our faces inches apart. “Eyrx, you are not an evil person.” I faintly heard the dagger fall to the floor.
“Then, why don’t you want to be with me?”
Then, a smile came to his lips. “You are think of the wrong kind of honor.”
I gave him a perplexed look. “What?”
He let out a short laugh and kissed me on the lips. It is him, the real Natsu. The other one in the cave was different, the kiss was cold…
Natsu pulled me away, leaving me breathless. His smile never left his lips. “Before I died, I did some research about the people of northern Fiore, your people. And, apparently it is dishonorable to have sex with your betrothed before the wedding. So, while we are engaged no sex.”
I let out a long laugh. “So you were going to let me kill myself all for a joke?”
“No, well Eyrx, I know you.” He smirked, kissing me again. “And in knowing you, you would never going to kill yourself, it was all a ploy to get me to forgive you.”
“Well did it work?” I asked, well he was partially correct…
“Maybe...but that large bed does seem awfully comfortable.” His eyes drifted to my bed a few feet from us. “How about you join me?” With another quick kiss he rose to his feet and flopped on the bed with a sigh, the cloak that wrapped around him fell to the floor.
“What about your honor?” I teased, rising to my feet.
“Eyrx, Eyrx, Eyrx...not everything is about sex.” The smile was back on his lips.
“Well at least get dressed, you big oaf.” I laughed and walked over to the dresser and pulled out a pair of my boxers. “They might be a little tight on you but oh well.”
“You would like that wouldn’t you?” Natsu teased back.
I threw the boxers at him and began to undress, removing my leather armour for a pair of black sweatpants and a grey t-shirt.
When, I fell back against the bed, Natsu already had his boxers on. He wrapped his arms around me, pulling me against his chest. Together we laid in silence, the cold wind howling against the window.
“So, who was the naked lady?” Natsu asked, with a laugh.
“An old friend of mine. The new master of Serpents Shard.” I let out a laugh, “She usually isn’t naked.”
“Did she ever hurt you?” I could detect the protective edge in his voice.
“No, Natu you don’t need to bash her face in…” I said.
“Good…” Natsu muttered, stifling a yawn. “I forgot how good you smell…”
“I forgot how good it felt to feel your arm around me.”
In response Natsu gave me a light squeeze. My eyelids felt heavy…
“But, there is a different smell about you…”
“What?” I asked sleepily.
“Yeah, something different or someone different…”
Suddenly I wasn’t tired. “Oh I was in a cave recently, with that snake.”
“Snake?” Natsu asked.
“Oh I forgot you never met him, the serpent is this large serpent like the size of an elephant, he is Serpents Shard first master. That is what you probably smell…”
Natsu leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. “It's all over now. Its going to be okay.”
I nodded and closed my eyes, yawning.
“There is one more thing.” I have to see if this is the real Natsu, “I think Gray could beat you in a fight.”
“What? Why would you think that? That damn Ice Princess could never beat me?!” Natsu proclaimed.
I laughed. “It is you...now go to to sleep you glorified campfire.”
Natsu let out a exasperated sigh, kissed me again and settled in for sleep…
With a sigh I rolled over, glaring at the alarm clock that sat on the bedside table. The red numbers like glowering demons only read 2:30. I had been asleep for an hour…
Sometime during the hour of sleep, Natsu rolled away from me, his warm back brushing against mine. His snores echoed through the room. I had forgot how loud they were…
Releasing another sigh, I sat up in bed, my bare feet touching the cold floor. On tired legs I stood up in the darkness of the room. Natsu’s snores and my feet padding on the floor the only sound in the room, as I walked over to the bookshelves that stood tall in the corner.
My hand trailed along the spines of the books, until it came to a stop to the book I was reading earlier, Under Bloodstained Swords, the book was quite unsettling, but good none the less.
I silently sat down on one of the leather couches, turning on one of the small lamps, light bright enough to read from but not bright enough to wake Natsu. And, I read. I was only a few pages from the ending. Then, a sound made me look up. Natsu was standing in front of me laughing.
“What?” I asked, closing my book.
Still laughing, Natsu sat down on the couch next to me. I instantly became aware that he was still only wearing boxers.
“I like called your name like four times and you finally looked up. Is the book that good, kære?”
“Yeah, as you can tell I can’t put it do…” Then I paused. Did he say what I think he said?
“Eyrx, are you alright?” Natsu asked, putting an arm around me. The look on my face must have looked shocked.
“Wh...what did you just say?” I asked after a brief silence. How could he know?
Natsu gave me a perplexed look. “I just asked if the book was good…”
I turned to look him the eye, my own eyes wide. “No, after that. What did you call me?” My voice sounded scared.
“Oh, that?” He asked. “You mean kære?”
Hearing the word again made me shudder. “Yes, that.” My voice now cold and soft. “Where did you learn that?”
“Well remember when I told you I did a little research into the people of northern Fiore? I found out that kære means dear, of some weird dead language.”
“Oh,” I whispered out.
“It’s the only word I know. Do you know any of it? Well, probably not, it’s been dead for thousands of years.” Natsu asked, lightly kissing me on the cheek.
“Yeah, I know it. It's my birth language.” I said with a slight smile.
“You do?” Natsu looked surprised, as if I told him I was pregnant.
“My dragon taught me, it was the language I grew up with.”
“But Serpents Shard doesn't speak it.”
I smiled. “Because I grew up farther north.”
“And where is that?” He asked, kissing my neck.
“Across the mountains, on th...the coast.” I stammered out, Natsu kissing me on my neck again made me trail off.
Then, Natsu kissed me on the lips. He gently pushed me on my back, and he laid on top of me, his elbows keeping him from crushing me. The kiss became more passionate, I let one of my hands run through his spiky hair.
He pulled away breathless, a ghost of a smile on his lips. “So what was the book about?”
“The book?” I asked confused, staring up into his green eyes.
“The book you were reading like ten minutes ago…”
“Oh that.” I let out a laugh. “Sorry I was distracted.” I smirked and gestured to his almost nakedness.
He forgave me with a kiss.
I smiled. “The book is about a gay couple.”
“Ohh even better,” Natsu smirked.
“One is a knight the other a prince of an old kingdom far to the south, and they go off looking for some buried treasure in a ruin. So they hike for months and months. And, one night around the campfire, the prince told the knight that there was no treasure in the ruins.”
“Really? He dragged the knight all the way out there for no treasure?”
I nodded. “But, the knight said that was alright, for he liked being alone with the prince, back at the castle it would look weird if they were seen together so they always met in secret.”
“What did they do when they were alone, in secret.” Natsu winked at me.
“They only had sex once.” I blushed, that was a fun section to read. “Anyway, even after the prince told the knight that there was no treasure they still hiked on towards the ruins. Then, three weeks later the prince told the knight that the true reason he left was that he told his father, the king, that he was involved with the knight.”
“And what next?” Natsu seemed interested in the story now.
I laughed. “The king disowned his son, calling him a monster, and saying that he would have his head on a pike. Once, the prince told the knight, the knight went silent then all he said to the prince that they should get some sleep. Then, in the night, when the prince was sleeping, the knight killed him.”
“What? Why?” Natsu asked, his voice full of concern.
“Because if he didn’t he could never return to the kingdom. Or his king, as was his duty. So, the knight returned to the king and said how he killed the prince. And, the king rewarded him.”
Natsu went silent for a moment. “Well that is an awful ending.”
“Yeah…” I trailed off.
“What?” He asked, picking up on my apprehensiveness.
“It’s nothing,” I gave him a weak smile.
“Ok,” He said kissing my forehead. “But you know I’m here for you, right?”
“I know,” I whispered.
The book reminds me of Natsu and I. Natsu being the knight, me being the prince. For resurrecting Lord Ixo, releasing darkness. Will Natsu see that it his duty to kill me? No, Natsu would never.
Or would he?
“Oh come on, Natsu.” I called behind me as I weaved through the thick branches of the pine forest, the grey tower of Serpents Shard towering above the tallests of trees. “Why are you so scared of going to a river?”
Natsu only released a grunt.
I ducked under a branch, and leaned back against the trunk of a slender pine. Crossing my arms I let my eyes glare at him when he came to a stop in front of me. His white scarf fluttered in the cold wind.
“What?” Natsu asked, raising a pink eyebrow.
“You're still angry at me.” I said, my eyes never leaving his.
“What?” He repeated and stepped closer to me, I could feel his warmth from here. Why can’t we forget everything that happened and go to the closest port and take a boat away from here…
“What could I be angry at?” Natsu continued, placing his hands on my shoulders, a wicked grin on his face.
“Natsu I’m not stupid.” I said he stepped even closer, practically pinning me to the tree. The thick rough bark digging into my back.
“I know.” A light kiss landed on my cheek. “And I’m not angry.”
I guess we’re not talking about what I did. How I betrayed my guild and killed people. It has been on my thoughts for a few days now…
“Then what are you?”
Silence edged its way between us, following the cold wind that shifted through the pine branches.
“I just don’t trust them.” His hands rubbed my upper arms. “I worry for your safety.”
“My safety?” I asked, my voice a little sharp.
“Yeah, I can’t care about you?” Natsu followed, a look flashed in his eyes.
“Of course not, Natsu.” I responded, my voice softer. He still thinks I’m weak, ever since that white haired guy broke into out hotel room, the moment that started this whole thing. “It's just that I am not weak.”
“Why would I think you're weak?” He asked.
I weaved myself from Natsu’s grasp, my back to him. His hand on my wrist made me rethink from moving any further.
“I don’t think you're weak, Eyrx. Why would you think that?” He asked, his voice sounded hurt as if I slapped him.
“You don’t get it do you?” I snapped, my anger coming from an unknown source. I turned around to face him, the wind making my brown hair wave. “No I don’t get it Eyrx. I do-”
“It’s because who you are Natsu.” I cut him off. “You’re Natsu Dragneel, and you think that you must protect everyone you care for, therefore they are weak.”
“I don’t think that Eyrx, I really don’t. You’re strong and powerful, and...hot.” He said with a slight blush on his face.
I went to take a step toward but my foot caught on a protruding tree root, with a yelp I fell forward, Natsu catching me in his arm, my head resting against his chest. Natsu then lost his footing as well and toppled backwards landing on his back with a grunt.
Our laughter filled the air.
“Wh...what were even fighting about?” I asked, between laughs, my chest heaving.
“I don’t even know.” Natsu responded and kissed me on the lips.
I pulled away and with a grin I stood up. “We’re still going to that river.” I said and turned around and trudged off in the trees. I heard Natsu rise to his feet and let out a hey. I slowed until he caught up with me.
“Wouldn’t it be cold?” He asked.
“No, because I will be there.” I smirked.
Natsu rolled his eyes. “You’re so funny.”
“No, a hot spring runs underneath the stream from a nearby volcano so the water is really warm.”
And together we trudged on. The wind at our backs, the tower of the Serpents Shard ever so watchful.
We heard the river before we saw it. Well, it was more of a stream, at its widest it was nine feet across, the deepest only four feet.
“See?” I asked and gestured to the stream, the gurgling of the stream replacing the howl of the wind. A threw my pack down on a nearby flat rock, and began to unzip my jacket.
“Did you bring the bathing suits? Natsu asked as we were in the middle of removing our clothes.
With a wink I removed my pants and boxer briefs in one solid movement. “No, it seems that I forgot them, oh darn.”
“You’re conniving you know that?” Natsu smirked as he removed his pants as well.
“I know,” I called back as I entered the stream, the warm water lapping at my thighs.
Natsu splashed in beside me, I smiled as him and my eyes trailed over his muscular body, his pecs like slabs of stone, his chiseled abs, my eyes went lower and blushed when I saw that he was half hard.
“I just can’t help it, being around you.” He said stepping closer.
“Really?” I asked, looking down at my own thin body, my hip bones and almost every rib was visible, barely any muscle on me.
“Muscle isn’t everything.” He said as if reading my mind, his arm snaked around my shoulders.
Natsu’s lips on mine silenced me. He scooted me deeper into the water, until my back pressed against a large rock that seemed to float in the middle of the stream. He broke away smiling.
“Angry at me now?” He asked, the smirk never leaving his face…