treacherous

Chapter 4: Natsu's Uneasiness

What Natsu first saw as he entered his parents' room was dark. And despite the darkness, despite the fact he was half-asleep, he saw red. And his brain didn't register a loud hiss that came from a corner of the room, near where he was now.

"Mother?"

Then a loud sound of gun deafened his sensitive ears. "M-Mother? Father, where are you?"

Natsu covered his ears as he heard another sound of gunshot. Curse his sensitive hearing and his clueless state. What the hell is happening here? Natsu took the first step to the source of the gunshot but his bare feet stepped on a damp carpet. Damp and sticky.

CRASH

"Bastard!"

"Father? What the hell is happening here?" Natsu shouted as his mind filled with wild thoughts.

"Grandine!" his father ignored him, screamed for his dear wife instead. "You're going to be alright, don't close your eyes, please, the baby–"

Natsu ignored the angry grunts his father made. Repeatedly, he played the song he made three days ago, trying to improve it. His manager had called him two days ago, questioned him about the song, which the manager claimed, quite a fast progress. He asked Natsu to write it down and faxed it to him. But Natsu, wanted to improve it and all, asked him to come to hear it himself.

As the manager had requested, he didn't ask for anyone's help. Even Lyra was curious about the song, which he didn't show it to her during the class and successfully made his teacher pouted childishly. And since the elder of Dreyar family was going to be there, Natsu had to cut the last session of his music class to make some preparations.

And now, his legs tapped furiously on the white, spotless ceramic floor. As he folded his arms, he repeatedly glanced to the black wristwatch on his left hand. The big door has yet to be knocked by his dear manager. His manager, Makarov Dreyar, was supposed to be here at six o'clock, at least at six past quarters. And now was 8 p.m. and that pervert old man hadn't arrived yet.

"Ah, Natsu, child, I'm sorry that I'm late. Some things held us to come here," Makarov Dreyar, his manager, walked inside his house as a butler removed his damp– drenched leather coat.

"I thought I asked you to come alone," the Dragneel violinist hissed to him, clearly irritated.

"No, no, my companion will not be here, he just drove me here," the old man chuckled, clearly amused to the young man with a scowl on his face.

Deciding that they were wasting time, Natsu walked away from the main hall. "Whatever."

As they walked to his room, Makarov hadn't said or ask anything. He was unusually quiet, which made Natsu slightly curious. Being an old man, usually, he was full of words, chattering around for all Natsu cares. But tonight was different; he was as quiet as Natsu never imagined it would be possible, as if a heavy thought was lingering the old man's mind.

"Finally Igneel moved this clock here, huh?" Makarov chuckled as he pointed his thumb to the humongous grandfather clock beside the door of his room.

"And he believed this thing would stop me."

Makarov snickered, then he sat on Natsu's bed, indicating that he was ready to hear his song. At the signal, Natsu took the violin from its stand, then started to play the song. He had decreased the jumpy notes on the opening and switched it with some quick-paced notes. But then, he realized, it didn't match that well.

The duration had increased five seconds from the originally ten minutes straight. As Natsu scaled down quickly on its ending, he peeked at the old man. He closed his eyes with arms crossed and sat with legs crossed in Indian-style.

Then Makarov opened his eyes.

"That was perfect," he said, eyes were sharper than usual, "but I expect some changes on the quick-paced notes. It was a little too much. You can try some soft notes to change them." He suggested, earning a nod from the boy. "Well, that's it, you have approximately seven days to change or improve it and master that song." He emphasized the word 'and' then continued, "I'll be seeing you later, Natsu."

As Makarov walked out of his room, Natsu quickly worked for some changes. He was quite glad and relieved to hear his comment. Quickly he tried some notes, which he thought could match it well. After several tries, he finally found the matching notes. It did match the song, but he couldn't get the feel when he replayed the song. Because somehow, he felt something was missing.

When Natsu finally glanced at the grandfather clock, it was already 11 p.m. The soft drizzle had increased into a thunderstorm since two hours ago. Natsu was cursing the thunder's booming sound, as it disturbed him greatly. But that was not all. He had this heavy lump inside his chest and it, like a rope, tied tightly into a big knot.

A big, heavy and, he finally admitted, uncomfortable. It was the one who bothered him the most, even if he didn't want to admit it out loud.

Never in Natsu Dragneel's thirteen years' life, he felt this knot. And this knot was a kind of uneasiness; anxious. Uneasy– anxious about what? He didn't know.

How? He didn't know either.

Why?

Because I'm afraid that the girl will be on the same spot by now, drenched in the rain, out of the warm room, and scared to death because of the thunder's booming sound.

Who?

"Shit."

"Natsu?"

The boy ran to the practicing room, leaving his violin landed on the carpet with a soft thud. At that moment, he didn't care with the instrument. His mind was racing furiously, yet he couldn't think anything. He was scared. He was terrified. Why did I care, anyway?

Because you know that she is stubborn.

Who?

When he arrived at the room, he ran to the dark balcony, not bothering to switching the lights on. Pushing the thick curtain to the side, he closed his eyes instinctively when a light of thunder flashed in front of the door in the cloudy sky, not too far from his house. Then he saw something – a person, hazy, but he was sure.

"Lucy!"

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