Authors Note: It is not necessarily pertinent to the story but here are the meanings of the two new names, in case you were wondering why exactly I chose them.
Ryuuza - Draco (dragon) constellation
Hoshi - Star
Their breathing was ragged, his hot puffs of air blowing damp strands of hair from her face as they try and catch their breath. A sheen of sweat coats both of them as they rock together, the tempest of sensation ebbing slowly to leave them dazed as they finally still. The heat was nearly unbearable, the places where his skin touched her own radiating warmth that she was slow to notice through the haze.
Cloudy brown eyes slide open slowly to find him watching her, eyes the color of onyx taking in her bemused expression and flushed skin with a predatory grin that screamed unadulterated male pride. Leaning down he seals his lips with her softer ones, nibbling at her full lower lip until she grants him entrance to her mouth. His tongue sweeps in with possessive strokes, rekindling the flames she thought doused not moments before. Those dark eyes rove down their bodies and he pulls back before shallowly thrusting back into her, beginning a slow rhythm and growling his claim to her. "Your mine Luce."
The sound of metal on metal pops the bubble of her daydream and as she raises her eyes to the bars to her left she notes with a sinking stomach that her jailer has returned. Watching him warily as he stares silently she finds herself wondering what he sees. Skin sickly pale and eyes bruised in exhaustion she doubted it was a pretty sight. Not that she had any particular desire to look good for the bastard but pile her sickly personage on top of her dirty clothing and tangled hair she would bet that she looked close to death. She felt it. Icy needles prickled over her skin, every inch of her body spasming in pain and her teeth gritted in effort to keep the whimpers at bay. Her magic reserves were so low she could barely feel the warm glow anymore but that didn't deter her. Nothing would.
"You know I'm actually impressed Miss Heartfilia, I didn't think you could keep it open this long. I guess its true what they say about a mothers love." His voice is scathing and filled with utter disdain, an emotion she wholeheartedly returned in equal measure if not more. Refusing to respond to his barb she keeps her lips clamped tight over gritted teeth, focused only on keeping the energy flowing that would keep her keys gate open. They had thought they stripped her of power when they had taken her keys, not counting on the one she had stuffed into her pocket when it had fallen from her ring earlier that day. She had bide her time until just the right moment and though they had taken it from her now it was too late. The bastard had raged and screamed but she tuned out the noise as well as the pain of their torture. Nothing would make her close the gate now. Horologium was her last hope.
Brown eyes glowered at him, defiant even in the face of hopelessness. It amused him. He knew she was exhausted, her magic nearly gone and her hope fading with each passing hour but she still refused to acknowledge her defeat or respond to any of their taunts. If things were different perhaps he would have tamed this one for himself, her strength intriguing; but revenge was so much sweeter then her torment could ever be. This mage would die whether she liked it or not, and soon.
Horologium was running, body straining from spending so much time in the mortal realm. He could feel his masters strength waning, her magics so close to gone it sent chills down his wooden frame. She tried valiantly to keep her pain and suffering from flowing through the bond but the clock spirit was so attuned after all these years he could feel each spasm. It broke his heart but as much as he wanted to force close the gate and allow her the rest she so desperately needed his mission was far too important. Glancing down to check on the precious cargo tucked within him he pushes his legs to move faster, racing through the forest with only one destination in mind. FairyTail.
To say Levy was bored was a bit of an understatement. Strange right? Normally she would have buried herself in a book by now with glee, losing herself to the new information that attracted her like a drug. But lately the appeal just wasn't there. Reading just reminded her too much of Lucy. It'd been almost five years since the stellar mage had gone off on her solo quest, begging Master to let her go for reasons she refused to tell. The guild was informed and not surprisingly Team Natsu had gone off the deep end, stampeding towards the door to track down their wayward member but only succeeding in running face first into the masters giant hands blocking their way. Sadness lacing his voice the grey haired man had sternly informed them that she did not want to be followed and that any of them who went against this would be punished. Suffice to say it was not such a good day for FairyTail.
Now every book she opened just reminded her of her best friend and as the years passed with no word her enjoyment of the written word had turned to frustration that morphed to sadness. Levy would take boredom over the sadness any day. So, here she sits, chin planted on her fist and watching the members of her guild go about their lives as normally as possible. As sad as it was to admit it for the most part Lucy's absence wasn't a life changing thing. Sure they all missed the bubbly blonde but their routines and lives were the same either way. Only those close to her felt the blow of her disappearance. Erza had lost some of her zest, Grey had miraculously stopped stripping (many actually liked the change but for Levy it just showed how sad he must be. A happy Grey is a stripping Grey, at least according to a sad Juvia). Gajeel was even surlier then he was before, him and Lu-chan having become quite close in the months before she left and her leaving effecting him more then he would admit. Mira was heartbroken though she hid it well and master spent much time sighing from his spot on the banister.
Then there was Natsu. He didn't even smile anymore, which was the saddest thing Levy had ever seen. It was like Lucy had taken his joy with her. The first months he was just as rambunctious as ever, sure that she would burst through the doors any day with a big grin. Two years in his enthusiasm turned to worry and he spent much of his time searching across Fiore while on missions for news of her. Four years went by and he stopped smiling at all. It broke her heart to see. After so long they were all beginning to accept that she wasn't coming back but Levy wasn't sure Natsu would ever recover.
Sighing gustily Levy breaks from her musing and abruptly stands to rush across the guild and scour the mission board. Sitting here bored was just leading back to being sad, the reason she avoided reading in the first place. A mission would help distract her. Snagging an interesting flyer she spins on her heel to search for Jet and Droy, eager to get on the road and away from her thoughts. Spotting them chatting with Bisca and Alzak she opens her mouth to shout at them just as the main guild door burst open and slam into the walls, the loud thud echoing through the now silent guild and all present jumping to their feet to get into defensive stances. Levy's eyes and she takes a deep breath to steady her racing pulse.
Was it a dark guile attacking again? A lone mage bent on revenge? The entire guild held its breath as a silhouette appears in the bright light, haggard breathing breaking the silence as the figure stumbles past the threshold and crashes to the stone floor. Levy's mind blanks, eyes wide and tears gathering as her frozen mind races to make sense of what she is seeing. There, panting and looking haggard against the stone floor was Horologium. Lucy's Horologium.
Its pandemonium once the shock wears off, members scrambling to reach the collapsed clock spirit with Erza leading the pack. She and Levy reach the exhausted clock at the same time, both girls grasping an arm to help the thing stand. His breathing worries the Titania. She had spent enough time with Lucy to know that when things got bad the spirits would leave to recover in their own realm, only staying in dire circumstances. Having Horologium show up in this state did not bode well. As the clock man struggles to his feet she is stunned to hear crying from his chest, wide eyes meeting Levy's own shocked gaze before lowering to look through the glass. There, nestled inside of his protective body, were two children.
They were beautiful children. Clearly twins the two boys looked back at them with tears streaming from their eyes. The first had hair the color of spun gold, the ends curling around the collar of his tattered shirt and bangs hanging low into his face. His eyes were black as pitch, fathomless pools that held her mesmerized for a few seconds. The other had longer hair tied back with a strip of fabric, strands fallen loose to frame his face and a shockingly familiar shade of pink. This ones eyes were like melted chocolate, drowning chocolate as he sobbed but a shade she recognized easily. Levy's sobbing breaks her from her shocked staring and with quick hands Erza pry's open the door, soothing words on the tip of her tongue but never making past her lips as the two little ones hurl themselves at the red head.
Levy stands shocked as the little angels lunge toward her red haired guild mate, sobbing voices screaming her name in unison and leaving the rest of them baffled. As soon as the children clear his chest Horologium begins shimmering, though not with the golden light they were all accustomed to. Those who notice watch in horror as swirls of black energy circle the fading spirit, his face anguished before he disappears completely in a burst of the same black energy. Her own horror doubles as her mind races through the information she had read on celestial spirits and mages, quickly deducing the meaning of the strange phenomenon. The implications have her sobbing, one hand raising to cup her mouth and tears pour from her eyes.
Gajeel is quick to notice, his voice a harsh bark over the combined noise of both her and the children's sobbing. "Shrimp! Whats going on?"
Shaking her head Levy blubbers, desperately trying to gather herself but unable to so. Anguished eyes rove over the faces of her comrades before dropping down to where Erza crouches on the floor, one arm around each of the sobbing children and a look or horrified confusion on her face as she looks to Levy for answers. It takes a while, but she finally manages to gulp back her pain enough that she can speak in a clear voice. "Celestial spirits are beings of light, obvious by their appearance and departure of glittering gold. Its just the way things are. The only time a spirit will be forced back into their realm against their masters wishes is when there is no longer any magic to keep them here, and the forced closure will appear as black wisps of energy. Horologium was forced back because Lucy no longer had the magic to sustain him."
Silence reins, other then the muffled sobs of the two little boys. As the guild looks on, slowly digesting this information, she drop to her knees next to Erza and with a shaky hand reaches out to the child closest to her, shocked when he turns to look at her with those dark eyes and hiccups her name.
How do they know their names? Arm still curled around the pink haired child Erza whispers soothingly, relieved as the sobs die to hiccups that wrack his little body. The blonde child just stares at Levy, eyes wide and tears streaming silently down his face. With gentle hands the bluenette reaches out to wipe them away before tugging the small boy into an embrace, their clear resemblance to Lucy leaving them both winded but feeling connected to the children in a way they could not explain. Looking back to the child in her own arms Erza eases him away, wiping the wet strands of hair from his face and sending him the most tender smile she can muster. Taking a breath she watches the boy for a moment before speaking, her voice as gentle as she can make it. "How do you know my name?"
"Mo-mommy to-told us. Sh-she said to fi-find you!" Erzas heart breaks at the pain in that little voice, eyes trailing down the boys body and taking in the tattered clothing and dirt smears on his skin with deepening worry.
"Who is your mommy?"
The answer comes from the blonde child, his dark eyes swinging back to Erza and pinning her with an intensity beyond his years. "Lucy. Lucy Hartfilia."
To say she was shocked would be an understatement. Sure she suspected based on how they looked but to hear them confirm it..."Where is she?"
At this those dark eyes drop to the ground, small steps bringing him next to his brother and the two boys linking hands as they slowly look around the guild before both sets of haunted eyes lock back on her. The blonde speaks again, clearly the bolder of the two. "We don't know. But we need your help to save her."
Levy is stunned, her eyes glued to the pair standing so bravely before a guild of powerful mages. "What are your names?"
"My name is Ryuuza and my brother is Hoshi."
"How old are you?" This question came from Erza.
"Four and a half." Almost five? But that meant...oh gods. Lucy was pregnant when she left. Levy watches Erzas eyes widen impossibly larger as she realizes the same before turning back to Ryuuza.
"Your mommy told you about us?"
Timidly Hoshi raises his eyes to meet her own before answering, the brown so familiar it brings fresh tears to Levy's eyes. "Mommy told stories about FairyTail every day. She taught us who everyone was and what they could do. She said she wanted us to know who our family is. Yo-you are our family...right?"
Staggered by the declaration Levy surges up and engulfs the boys in a hug, tears streaming but a loving smile brightening her face. "Of course we are!"
Questions fire at the two kids in rapid succession, each guild member wanting their own question answered first. Its irritating. When the little pinky's eyes widen in panic and he clutches onto his brothers arm Natsu looses his cool, flames flaring high to catch a drape on fire. Quick work from Grey stops the blaze but all eyes snap to the source of the fire, most members scrambling away from the dark aura surrounding the slayer. A path is made as he stalks forward, dark eyes locked on the twins. Ryuuza stares back, defiant in the face of an angered dragon and Natsu feels a sense of pride flare in him, though he isn't sure why. Hoshi on the other hand watches him in fascination before recognition flares in his expressive eyes. Tears gather and the little one turns to whisper in his brothers ear quietly. Natsu can only catch snips of what he says, the child's voice too high pitch for him to focus on clearly.
Ryuuza's dark eyes flash before snapping up to his hair, the boys mouth dropping open and confusing Natsu thoroughly. Raising a brow he tries to cool down, diminishing the menacing aura surrounding him so as not to scare the kids. Though he does his best his voice is still thick with impatience when he finally speaks. "What?"
"Are...are you Natsu?" Hoshi asks that one, eyes wide and nervous but shining hopefully as he stares up at him. Which only confuses Natsu all the more.
"That's me. Natsu Dragoneel, at your service." Its an attempt at a joke, the slayer trying to ease the boys nervousness.
Nearly bouncing Hoshi tugs at Ryuuza's arm and Natsu cant help but grin at the kids enthusiasm. The calmer dark eyed child takes a deep breath before turning to face Natsu head on, his eyes guarded. Natsu cant help but feel uneasy as the kid seems to gather himself before speaking. "Our mommy is Lucy Hartfilia but our names are Ryuuza and Hoshi Dragoneel."
The silence is deafening. As soon as those words passed Ryuuza's lips Erza had watched Natsu lock up, freezing in shock as the guild watched on in stunned silence. Like a curtain being lifted realization burst through her brain and she mentally kicked herself for being so dense. Blonde and pink. Who else in Earthland did they know with pink hair? It was obvious in Ryuuza's eyes as well, the fathomless pools of black a carbon copy of the dragon slayers eyes down to the reptilian shape. Sweet Mavis that meant that Natsu and Lucy...
"NATSU!" Her roar made many of the guild members jump in fear, scrambling to get away from the killing intent flowing from the Titania as she stands and stalks toward the frozen slayer. Curling one hand around his shoulder she none too gently spins him around to look at her, glare instantly dying when she sees that though his face is blank his eyes are burning. Backing up a few steps she waits patiently for him to work it through his mind, eyes wary and body ready to dive for the children if he explodes. Thankfully before he does Natsu thaws enough to spin on his heel and stalk out the open doorway, only making it a few paces before his head falls back and a roar rips from his throat loud enough to have everyone covering their ears and accompanied by a brilliant flash of light as a burst of brilliant flames engulf him then fades just a quickly. That done he again spins and marches back towards the twins, eyes unreadable as he drops to a knee in front of them.
"Did Lucy...tell you about me?"
Hoshi looks nervous but nods nonetheless, stepping forward even as Ryuuza puts a restraining hand on his arm. Glancing at the Blonde boy the two seem to comunicate without words for a few seconds before the dark eyed twin drops his hand with a huff. Though clearly the timid one of the pair Hoshi moves until he is standing close enough to touch his father, brown eyes rivited on the man as he quietly answers his question. "Mommy told us all about you. She said you were the strongest mage in all of Earthland and that you can eat fire! She even told us about the blue cat you take with you everywhere and that you can be as dumb as Ryuuza sometimes." His twin shouted his displeasure at that from behind him, but the timid boy was too eager to finally talk to his father to care about his brothers ire. "Mommy always told us that if you had the chance you would be sure to love and protect us no matter what, even if you didnt know we were born...is-is that true?"
Erza watches nervously from the side, unsure how Natsu would respond to finding out he was a father to not one but two young boys and then being asked to love them so soon after. Holding her tongue she tells herself this is something only Natsu can answer, but if he answers wrong...
His head was spinning. His stomach felt like he'd eaten Eather-nano again. But as Natsu stared down at the two mini versions of himself and Lucy, looking so nervous and trying valiantly to be brave, neither of those things could compare to the pounding in his chest. These were his children. His and Lucy's children. Reaching a hand out slowly he wraps it around Hoshi's wrist and the other snakes out to wrap around Ryuuza's and tug them both forward into his arms. The two stand stock still for a few tense moments before melting into the embrace, small arms circling his neck as their faces bury into his shoulders. Ryuuza was the first to break the silence, his voice muffled by Natsu's scarf.
"We've wanted to meet you forever." Hoshi's head nods in agreement and Natsu felt his heart melt. "Mommy needs your help."
Tensing at that Natsu gently pulls himself from the embrace, looking between the boys with concerned eyes. "Where is she?" Hoshi's eyes tear up and Ryuuza dropped his dark gaze to the floor. Not a good sign. Leashing his impatience Natsu gives the twins time to gather themselves, wanting to push but knowing that as young as they were he needed to be patient.
"We don't know. Horologium carried us most of the way and we've never left before so we don't know how to get back."
"Back to were?" Gajeels voice carries over the crowd and Ryuuza's eye cut to him then widen in fascination at what Nastu assumed to be his piercings. After a few seconds of gawking the boy finally answers the impatient man.
"Its a big house. We used to be only allowed in the cage but now that we are older he let us explore the house. Its got so many rooms we get lost. But mommy always comes to find us. Mommy isn't happy there. She cries a lot. We aren't happy there either. We aren't allowed to stay with mommy except for 3 hours a day."
"Why?" Natsu whispers the question but Hoshi hears it all the same, ears just as fine tuned as his fathers. The tears in his eyes boil over and spill down his cheeks but he keeps his eyes on Natsu's face when he answers.
"Mommy has to stay in the cage the rest of the time. He says that she doesn't be-behave wh-en he lets h-her out." Hoshi hated that cage. It was cold and it was dark all the time. It scared him. But mommy always made him feel better and told him that she liked the cage so he wouldn't worry. "But then something happened. Mommy made him mad and then she got hurt and didn't come out for days. He wouldn't even let us go see her. We got scared cuz he gets really mad if we don't follow the rules but we really wanted to see mommy. So we snuck down the stairs after he went to bed and she looked really sick." Gulping back tears Hoshi's voice cuts off, and after a few seconds Ryuuza's takes up the story.
"Then one of our sitters came in and he got really mad and started yelling at us. We went through the bars into the cage before he could grab us but he opened the door and tried to get us again. Then mommy was there and she kicked him away from us, picked us up and started running. She carried us all the way to the front door, but she got tired and had to put us down. We ran really fast. We went into the woods and mommy pulled out a key. She told us all about her magic so we remembered what it was. Then there was a pretty light and a clock man came. Mommy made us get inside it and shut the door. We couldn't get out and we couldn't hear her anymore. She cried when the clock man started running away. Then we ran and ran to get here. Mommy used to show us her guild mark so that we would know the symbol of FairyTail and come find you if we needed to."
Silence reigns as Grey stands off to the side, fists clenched tight and body vibrating in rage. Someone had imprisoned Lucy. Someone had been torturing his little sister for years, and what had they done? Nothing. They hadn't known. They hadn't searched. Nothing. The air around his body chills rapidly, the floor beneath his feet icing over as the strength of his emotions pushes magics from his body. Just as voices begin clamoring for answers Grey roars, right arm flinging out to the side and spears of ice flying towards the wall with vicious speed. Natsus eyes cut to his own, conveying silently between each other the need for vengeance even as Natsu shakes his head in a gesture meant to tell him to calm. While Grey understood the need to take it easy with the kids here he needed to lash out at something.
Ignoring the stares of his guild mates he stalks across the hall and out the back entrance, icy footsteps shadowing his movements and leaving a trail behind him. Twittering Nervously Juvia glances back and forth between the doorway he'd disappeared through and the children standing so miserably among them. Biting her lip the bluenette sends the fire slayer an apologetic glance and races after her beloved ice mage.
He needed her. Juvia knew it, even if he would never admit it. Thankfully she had a trail to follow as she runs after her beloved, icy footsteps a testament to the riot of emotions raging inside of him. Grey thought of Lucy as a sister, someone to protect and love and just imagining how it must feel for him to find out the horrors she had endured made her want to weep. Sure, the children hadn't given details, but they could fill in the blanks. No doubt torture, both psychological as well as physical had been her life for gods knew how long. Their sweet celestial mage had always been like the light of FairyTail and Juvia knew whoever had done this would pay, most likely with their life.
Seeing a dark head in the distance she puts on a boost of speed, racing across the cobblestones that make up the streets of Magnolia. Grey was stalking through town, a dark aura pulsating out from him and discouraging any townspeople from bothering the enraged man. Juvia wouldn't let it deter her. Taking the final step the water woman slams into his back, arms banding around his waist to hold him in place and breath coming in heavy pants from her run. "Grey."
His name is soft on her lips, tentative almost and the thought that she may be afraid of him sent the knife in his heart another inch deeper. Careful to keep the ice raging inside at bay he places his hands over the arms twined around his stomach, her skin surprisingly warm against his chill. "Juvia. Let go."
"No. I cant."
"Grey-sama. We will find her. We will get our revenge. But please, let me help you. Let me be here for you. Thats all Juvia wants."
"You don't understand. I...I don't want to hurt you Juvia."
"You wont Grey-sama. Just don't push me away." The pleading tone in her voice melts a hole in his icy defense and he drops his arms, head falling and eyes closing as he tries desperately to rein in his emotions. The warm weight of her against his back acts like an anchor, holding him from sinking into the rage and despair all over again. He wont tell her but he is glad she's there.
He watched Grey leave with burning eyes, his own emotions mimicking his rivals but the need to be near his newly discovered sons overriding the destructive rage. If he left would they disappear, or would he wake up and this all be some twisted dream? Natsu didn't want to test the theory. Turning back to Ryuuza and Hoshi the slayer takes care to mask the anger, smoothing his expression into a concerned face. "How long have you been there?"
"Mommy said we were born in the house and we cant remember anything else." Ryuuzas soft voice answers his question, the blonde child's eyes still glued to the floor as tears drip to the stone. The sight is heartbreaking. Looking between the Blonde and Pink bowed heads Natsu feels an odd sensation flare in his chest. A mix of pride, anger and love swirls in his heart, the last emotion being something he hadn't felt in so long it almost hurts feeling it now. Only after Lucy left had he realized how deeply he felt for his partner, the emotions drowning him now that he couldn't see her everyday. Sure they had gotten together a few times and he had been possessive as hell, but it wasn't what she deserved and he had known it. Then she was gone and his heart shattered. He didn't deserve her but Lucy was everything he wanted and needed to stay sane; he had been bound and determined to win her back once she returned. Except she hadn't.
The months had gone by and he had tried to stay optimistic, the team doing enough jobs to be sure and pay the rent on her little apartment on Strawberry Street since they were banned from searching for her. Every time Natsu had seen a blonde head his heart had started pounding. They were never his Lucy though. As months turned to years the enthusiasm and anticipation had died, morphing into something dark and foreboding. He'd known something was wrong, had known it since the day she'd left, but had convinced himself he was over reacting and she just needed time. By the time he'd realized his mistake it was too late and four years had passed, no trace of her strawberry vanilla scent left in any of the towns in Fiore. He knew. He'd checked.
Breaking from his musings as a tiny hand lands on his wrist Natsu looks up to lock eyes with an identical set, Ryuuza's onyx orbs pleading.
"You've got to help us. You have to save mommy."
His answer is immediate, the oh so missed fiery determination in his voice lifting the guilds spirits. "We will."
The gate closed. Panic choked her as she stared with glazed eyes at the bars of her 'cage'. Really it was a cell, but for his son's sake Lucy had taken to calling it a cage instead and downplaying the horror of their reality. They deserved so much better. Their lives had been so sad, no matter how much she had strived to let them be the children they were. Ryuzza was so mature, far more mature then any four year old should have to be. He understood what was happening, even if she like to pretend he didn't. He was sensitive like that, so smart it was hard to hide much of anything from those onyx eyes that brought memories flooding her mind with their resemblance to his father.
Hoshi was her dreamer, always asking questions about his father, the guild, anything that didn't have to do with this damned house. His pink hair always made her gin, remembering how angry Natsu used to get about his hair color and screaming it was salmon not pink. She could lie to him and though his eyes would dim he would immediately accept what she said. Lucy had a suspicion that he knew what was going on as well but wanted to make her happy so he played along. The thought broke her heat. Her sons were everything to her.
They were gone now though, safer in the dangers of Fiore then in this haunted mansion they'd known as home for all their lives. Hugging her arms around herself Lucy rocks through the panic, tears streaming down her face and silently begging that Horologium got them to safety. She hadn't had time to tell him directions, give him instructions, nothing. All she could do was entrust her precious boys to his care and tell him to run. Watching them go had been the hardest thing shed ever done, her heart tearing from her chest even as the warmth of her magic flared comfortingly. Keeping the gate open for four days had been torture, depleting her magic to the point of her body collapsing, but she refused to give in. Lucy could feel Horologium dimly, his pain echoing her own but his determination shining through and easing the heartbreak. He wouldn't have left if they weren't safe.
A large clang breaks through her musings and dead brown eyes turn to the sound, no expression breaking the mask of indifference even as tears stream down her cheeks.
She's shut off. Completely devoid of any emotion or anything other then her rocking and tears. Interesting little wizard this one. Grinning wickedly he brandishes the key to her cell, insane eyes locked on his prey. "I felt your magic fail Miss. Hartfilia. Wont be long now and we will find those brats and bring them back where they belong. Wouldn't want them getting hurt now would we? As for you and your betrayal...well...the time has come to set you free. We're even gonna put on a little show for your friends."