Chapter One: Rainbow Encounters
Not when it came to her home schooling, or for brunch. Hell, she wasn't even on time for her own birth.
Sapphire Morningstar knew this, and yet her frustration mounted fifteen minutes past the time her cousin was supposed to arrive. Clicking sounds emanated from where the heel of her knee high boots connected with the concrete sidewalk below.
Street performers flooded on by in schools: the fire-breathers, then acrobatics, dancers, and even humongous floats. Cheers rang clear all around. Children shouted and giggled, their beaming faces a dime in a dozen. Parents clapped and danced right along with them, many as sunny as the youngins.
Sapphire couldn't help but crack a small, miniscule smile herself.
Then, she caught sight of her watch around her wrist and the scowl reappeared tenfold.
"Where is she?" she grumbled to herself, crossing her arms tight over her chest, oblivious to the bits spilling out over her arms and tank top. Not even her flowing long coat could conceal her breasts. "I should have known better than to tell her the right time. Always gotta tell that girl to be there twenty minutes prior, then she'll be on time."
"You looking for someone?"
Sapphire poked her head up from the street where a young man around her age stood. His voice was spunky, quite like his gravity defying pink hair, like a fire kindling in the middle of the woods. Bits of a scarf blew in the wind, hanging loose around his neck where his sculpted chest was visible through his blazing shirt.
Who wears a scarf with an open shirt? she pondered to herself, kicking a pebble around with the inside of her boot without a second glance. Pick a season already, damnit!
She side-eyed him. A mini smirk peeked through her thin veneer. Though, something about him lit a fire deep inside her belly. Embers morphed into words on the tip of her tongue, scorching hot to the touch. "Who's asking?"
"The name's Natsu." He held his hand out in front for her to shake, closing the mid-sized gap between the two. A mini smile snaked over his thin lips, ends twinging into a bright sunny day.
A small nod. Silent reply.
Instead, her index and middle finger motioned up from by her left breast, eyes slit down towards the ground. Shouts invaded her mindspace. They begged her not to do this. Last thing she desired, or needed, was a big uproar, for the parade to shift into that of shock or worse, frightened cries.
Nonetheless, she summoned it up. Indifferent to her mind's displeasure. Long ago, she swore to listen to her brain more often. It steered her right. But there was something daunting about flying on a whim, exhilarating unlike no other. Have fun with it. Take a dare.
That was why her smirk danced up her cheeks as a huge stream of muddy water wove up from the sewer cap, growling in delight. The bright metal blasted off into the sun, no doubt scorched by its beauty, its death warrant signed before it took off on its journey. Right before their eyes, the gusher morphed into a hand, stretched out to return the man's gesture.
Gulping, Natsu held on. Worry filled his gut. Was it a trap? A trick, perhaps? Ready to dissolve upon his first flaming touch. How can water and fire mix cohesively?
And there, it happened. They shook. Much to Natsu's surprise.
Gemstone eyes low, the water dissipated into tiny bubbles, like a child's bubble bath, minus the fruity soap. Instead, a small rainbow appeared in its wake, stretching over their heads. It glistened and gleamed. Colors saturated so deeply one would have thought it was Photoshopped in. Whimsical and childlike. It warmed Sapphire's heart. Though, it was only a tiny water droplet.
Barely a dent.
Sapphire smiled so small it was near discreet. Her attention drifted down the street towards a quaint coffee shop, closed for the parade. Little ornaments hung in the window display. Gifts sat on the platform, arranged in no particular way. A tiny tree stood tall over it all, despite its tiny stature. Winner against all odds. A sense of calm washed over her. Her eyes refused to tear themselves away, the power kindled inside too great for her to resist, drawing her in.
"Wow! So pretty," a small, child-like voice gasped in awe, emanating from the same direction "Natsu," or whatever-his-name-was, stood. Perhaps it fell out of the mouth belonging to the tiny blue cat clinging to the man's side with wings so pure they fell into the angelic category.
Lips vibrating in a soft giggle, almost as tender as the pale pink gloss coating them, she took off across the street. The last thing she wanted was any objections. Whether she knew them or not. Her mission still remained the same.
The hustle and bustle of city life cloaked her from it all. As she turned the bend, it all exploded into an expansive market before her eyes. Capitalism at its finest, if that was even what it was. Shops, restaurants. Quaint and monumental. They all stood together, united as one. Giddy filled her as she picked up the pace further down towards a tall blonde shifting from side to side. Her whole face illuminated under a dazzling gleam.
Sapphire finally found her.
Natsu scratched the top of his head as he watched her disappear into the cluttered abyss. Confusion clouded his judgment. The deja vû feeling too strong to ignore. It pounded at his chest, threatening to break his ribs, up through his esophagus if he didn't acknowledge its presence.
But he watched. Silently. Frozen where he stood.
"Do you know her?" the same child-like voice asked him, parallel to his face. Out of the corner of his eye he caught sight of him. The blue creature fluttered around him, wings so small yet majestic. Bright, pure white feathers glistened under the piercing sunlight, mirroring the creature's wide smile, encompassing his shut eyes.
Natsu shook his head, chest heavy like someone just knocked the breath right out of him in one punch. He gasped, turning back towards where she once ran off, now reduced to no more than a dust cloud. "I don't know, Happy. But I think I want to find out."