So so so sorry it took so long to get this out! I know you've been waiting patiently for it. So here ya go! And extra long chapter for you lovely followers :)
WARNING: character death and violence
Fairy Tail and it's characters belong to Hiro Mashima.
Two months after finding out they were Soul Mates, Natsu and Lucy were moving into a bigger apartment. Lucy's lease had run out right after Natsu declared himself her official roommate... who she made sleep on the couch.
With a much bigger place, a two bedroom since Lucy was still nervous, it was easier to get to know one another. Just because they were Soul Mates didn't automatically mean they were going to like one another, they didn't even have to stay together if they didn't want to.
It reminded Natsu of his friend Gray's Soul Mate. He was almost positive they would never work out, but glad that they did. Especially when he learned that Lucy and Juvia were long time friends.
Natsu was putting the last of the dishes away when his girlfriend walked into the room, he still grinned every time he thought about that. He never would have imagined his Soul Mate to be someone like Lucy. She was absolutely perfect for him. But he guessed that was why she was his Soul Mate to begin with. She didn't complete him, just made him better.
"I think that's everything," she sat down at the kitchen table and stretched, "and I'm starving."
"Me too," he stomped on the last box to make it easier to throw them away, "How about we order dinner? Pizza?"
"Sounds good to me," Lucy nodded, getting her phone out to make the call.
When she was finished with their order, Natsu was outside with all the trash. Lucy could still hardly believe how fast they were going. But it wasn't like they were in a serious relationship. Hell, he hadn't even kissed her yet. Natsu said he wanted to earn her love, not just expect it like most men seemed to be.
It made her warm inside just thinking about it. Her thoughts were interrupted by Natsu's phone going off, the ringtone meant it was his dad. Lucy hadn't met Igneel yet, but she was sure that meeting was soon. Just like the one with her parents. Her mom texted her at least once a day asking about him.
"Man," Natsu plopped down on the recliner when he came back inside, "I'm beat. Probably gonna take a long shower tonight. Maybe a bath."
"I did just get some more bubbles," Lucy giggled when his face lit up, he was such a child sometimes, "Oh. You're dad called.
"Yeah?" Natsu picked up his phone and held up to his ear, listening to a voice mail. Slowly his face turned sad as he frowned at whatever his father had to say.
"Uh.. Dad said he wanted to meet you soon!"
"Natsu, that wasn't all he said," Lucy could feel deep down whenever he was lying to her.
"..He was telling me about the next time we can go and see my brother."
Lucy blinked, certainly not expecting that, "Are you going to go see him?"
Zeref was being held in a prison not far from where they were. His sentence was still a long way away from being released.
"I don't know.." Natsu almost melted into the chair as his mood plummeted.
Gripping her hands onto the couch, Lucy asked, "Will you tell me more about him? About your childhood? You talked about it a little when we met, but I'd like to know the whole story. If you don't mind.."
"It's a depressing story, Lucy. Well the ending is anyway."
"I still want to hear it."
Natsu looked at her with sad eyes. He wanted to tell her, he did. But it was hard to talk about. He missed his mom. And he missed who his brother was before Mavis died. He was never one to think about "what if's", but every now and then his mind wandered to what his mother would think of Lucy. Or if he would be an uncle by now.
"Ok, I'll tell you.."
***19 years ago - Natsu age: 5, Zeref age: 9***
"Come on Natsu, school isn't that bad!" Igneel sat at the kitchen table with his youngest and trying to help with his homework.
"But daddy!" Natsu whined, his pink hair long enough to cover his eyes, "I just wanna play outside! They make us sit down all day and read! Reading is so boringg!"
Igneel snickered, "You know girls like to read. Your Soul Mate might even be a book worm."
"She'll be a worm? THAT'S SO COOL!" Natsu stood up in the chair, laughing excitedly.
"No, Natsu," although it was his fault, he didn't want to stop his son's joy.
"Igneel, don't put such lies into his head!" Natsu's mother came into the room, chastising her husband and picking up her son from the chair and sitting him down properly.
"Lie? So she won't be a worm momma?" Natsu's innocent eyes penetrated his mothers so deeply.
"No darling, she wont," she ran her hands over his hair, fixing his bangs so he could see, "she might be a book worm. Meaning she likes books and likes to read."
"Yuck," five year old Natsu stuck his tongue out in disgust.
"Stop that," Igneel poked his son's jaw, "back to this. I know you know your alphabet."
Natsu pouted but did his work anyway.
"MOM!" All three heads jumped up at the voice coming from the living room, "They're cut again!"
"Oh no," the pink haired woman ran out of the kitchen with a wet rag.
"What's cut again," Natsu jumped out his seat to go see his big brother, Igneel hot on his tail.
"Oh hunny," his mother was laughing as she wiped away the blood on his brothers feet, "Your Soul Mate is going to be a handful."
Natsu stared at Zeref's feet, they were covered in white scars!
"Don't stare at them," Zeref grumbled at him.
"Sorry," he had never seen so many! "What are they from?"
"We don't know, Zeref's Soul Mate caused them," Igneel leaned down and pointed to a white scar on Natsu's hand, "just like this one. Your Soul Mate cut her hand and now you have a scar to match. That way when you meet you'll know it's her."
Pouting at not knowing, Natsu ran off to the bathroom. He came back into the room with a bunch of bandages.
"What are you doing?" Zeref sighed. He loved his brother, but he was mature for his age and the childish nature Natsu had drove him crazy sometimes.
"Gonna cover them up so we can't see them!"
His mother and father just laughed, "Sweetie, they don't last," his mother picked up all the bandages, "only the really bad ones need to be fixed with bandages."
The parents left the room, leaving Natsu to just stare at Zeref's foot, "Quit staring!"
"Sorry!" Natsu yelled right back, his brother was so mean sometimes! "I'm just looking at the blue one!"
"Blue?" Zeref looked down to see, and what Natsu was referring to was his Soul Scar. It was a heart with fairy wings. Or at least thats what Zeref thought it looked like, "That's the special one. Like the one on your shoulder."
"Oh yeah, I like that one! It's red!"
Zeref sighed, but smiled, "That's why I like this one too."
***7 years later - Natsu age: 12, Zeref age 16***
Middle school sucked! At least that's what Natsu thought every morning as he got up for school. Or his mother made him get up. Why did school have to start so early?
"We're gonna be late because you, flame fart!" Gray Fullbuster, Natsu's best friend slash rival stood in front of their house on a skateboard like every other morning.
"If we're late I'm blaming you Dairy Queen!" Natsu yelled out the door before running back inside. He tucked his own skateboard under his arm, running to the kitchen to get breakfast his mother stopped him.
"Be good and have a great day," she kissed his cheek and shooed him on.
"I'm always good!"
"Oh please," she laughed as he ran out the house.
"Geez, we're seriously going to be late, Natsu!" the boys sped down the road to the school.
"Zeref wouldn't get out of the bathroom!"
"It would be easier if your damn brother could just drive us to school. But nope, he has to be the cool high schooler who can't be bothered."
"You have an older brother and sister too!" Natsu almost fell as they stopped at a red light, he had major motion sickness, but for some reason if he got to control the vehicle it didn't bother him.
"Ultear is in college an hour away and Lyon can't drive yet! Only another year and maybe we can pester him into it," Gray took off quick at the light so they wouldn't be tardy, again.
"Yosh! I'll get there before you!" Natsu sped up to finish their daily race to school.
"Not so fast, pyro!"
The boys thankfully made it to class on time. Laughing when Gajeel walked into class with another bandage across his nose. Whoever was his Soul Mate seemed to have books or something falling on them all the time.
Natsu hardly ever noticed his white scars. Gray and Gajeel got more than he ever did. He never said anything, but he was honestly worried about his Soul Mate. He knew he couldn't be picky, but he at least wanted a girl he could have fun with!
By the end of lunch, Natsu was ready for a long nap. He was falling asleep on his math book when the teacher told him to go to the office. He was being checked out.
Glancing at Gray and Gajeel, he shrugged. His parents never said anything about getting him early.
It was his dad waiting on him.
"Hey dad, whats up?"
Igneel placed a hand on Natsu's shoulder to lead him out, "Zeref.. he was in an accident. Your mom is with him at the hospital."
"What? What happened?!"
"Car accident," Igneel made sure Natsu took his motion sickness medicine before flooring it to the hospital.
Natsu held his stomach for two reasons. One, to keep his lunch with him. Sometimes the pills didn't work. And two, to keep from being sick over the news. Zeref may have been a drama queen and mean to him almost all the time, but he was still his brother.
They made it to the hospital in record time. Igneel practically dragging his son to the floor his wife told him they were on.
Natsu couldn't walk into the room when they got there. His brother was covered in bandages and had a breathing machine and everything.
"I thought you said he was in a car wreck? How could he be this hurt?" Natsu stood at the foot of the bed in disbelief.
His mother cleared her throat, "Some of his injuries are white marks. His Soul Mate must have been in an accident too."
His parents were holding onto one another, supporting each other while their child lay motionless in a sickeningly white hospital room.
Moments later the doctor came in, "Mr. and Mrs. Dragneel?"
"Come with me for a moment."
"Stay here, Natsu."
Natsu didn't move until he heard them talking. He stood in between the door and window of the room so he could hear.
"So he'll be OK?" his mother asked.
"Yes," the doctor cleared his throat, "but I must ask, what is your sons Soul Mark?"
"It's a heart with wings," Igneel's voice was strained as he answered.
"i'm afraid to tell you this," the doctor sounded sad all of a sudden, "the woman who was also involved in the accident has a mark like that one, on her chest."
"What?" his mother gasped in shock, "are you saying..?"
"I'm afraid I am."
"Well that's one way to meet each other."
"I hate to inform you of this," the doctor began, "but she may not make it."
Natsu's eyes widened. He never would have thought that you could actually live without your Soul Mate.
The 12 year old looked at his brother on the bed. Zeref had been waiting so patiently to meet her. He was going to be devastated.
"Hey, Zeref?" Natsu approached the bed and picked up his brothers hand, "You gotta wake up. You gotta go meet her.. Fall in love and all that stuff."
Zeref's hand barely squeezed Natsu's, giving the younger Dragneel hope that he may wake up soon.
The next day, Natsu woke up to the sound of Zeref moaning in pain.
"Hey, hey!" Natsu grabbed his shoulders to stop him from moving.
"What's going on?! Why does it hurt so much?!"
"You were in a wreck.." Natsu started before his father came in.
"Zeref! Thank God you're awake!" Igneel ran to hug his son only to be pushed away.
"Why am I in so much pain? I know I was in an accident, but it shouldn't be hurting this much!"
Natsu shrank back from the force of Zeref's yell.
"Son," Igneel sat on the bed to face Zeref, "take a deep breath. Calm down, and I'll tell you."
Zeref took steady breaths, but was still in enormous pain.
"The woman who you ran into, her name in Mavis Vermilion. She's in the ICU," Igneel glanced over at Natsu before saying, "She has your Soul Scar."
Natsu bit his lip as he watched Zeref shut down.
"The doctor says that too much glass got into her system, it's cutting her organs apart. They're doing what they can without surgery.. She won't live much longer."
"But I.. I haven't.."
Igneel and Natsu watched as Zeref started to shake, "Can I go see her?"
Igneel blinked, not expecting that, "Let me go see if that's OK."
"Get me a wheelchair, Natsu."
Natsu slowly grabbed the chair from the bathroom closet. Not sure if he should help him out or not. Even if the injuries were all because of Mavis, he was in pain too.
"It's fine if you go, want me to take you to her?" Igneel came back in, nervously looking at his eldest.
"No. Natsu will take me."
Gulping, Natsu brought the wheelchair over to the bed and let his dad help Zeref into it. He had never seen Zeref so quiet. It was strange.
"Let's go," Zeref stared down into his lap, his hair covering his face. Igneel told Natsu which room to go to, and they were off.
The walk to ICU was quiet. Zeref in a quiet person by nature but this time it was a dangerous quiet. Like something was brewing below the surface.
"This is it," Natsu announced, stopping at room 6-00. An odd room number, but this whole situation was odd, "want me to-"
"I'll go by myself. Stay here."
Natsu sat in the chair next to the door and pulled out his phone. But he couldn't help over hear them.
"Who.. are you?" the girl's soft voice was gentle like the wind.
"My name is Zeref. I'm.. I'm your Soul Mate."
Natsu grinned at the smile he could hear in her voice. He continued to listen for almost an hour, until Mavis said she was sleepy.
"Zeref, can I ask you something?"
"Will you kiss me?"
Natsu's face burnt red quickly. Who asked that after knowing someone for less than an hour?!
He didn't hear anything so he guessed that Zeref did as she asked. But the next sound was deafening.
A flat line.
Natsu stood and gently opened the door. Mavis was a pretty blonde, face covered in scars and a happy smile on her face.
"No.." Zeref was crying. He was holding onto Mavis like a life line.
Natsu watched the scene play out. He didn't know what to do. And then all of a sudden, a blue light appeared. It was coming from Zeref's foot.
The light came from his Soul Scar. The scar itself had turned white, but the blue from his mark was merging together with the green of Mavis'. It was so strange, no one ever told them about this!
The light's died down, leaving behind a jewel. The jewel fell onto the bed beside Zeref. A heart of blue and green with wings. It was their Soul Scar's together, forever.
Zeref looked at the jewel and clutched it tightly in his hand, tears falling from his eyes faster than he could wipe them away. Natsu knew he felt no more physical pain, but now that he had met his Soul Mate, the pain was deeper.
Natsu moved closer to Zeref, holding out his hand to comfort him. But how do you comfort someone in this situation? Natsu didn't know.
The nurses and doctor forced the boys out of the room. Natsu wanted to stay for Zeref's sake but eventually took them back down to Zeref's room.
Igneel was waiting for them, it was like he knew the moment he saw Zeref. Helping him back into bed, Igneel held tightly to his sorrow filled child.
"It'll be OK, I promise."
Zeref didn't hug his father back, just continued to hold onto the jewel.
A few days later, they were standing at the grave site. A beautiful stone for a beautiful girl. Zeref stared at the stone long after everyone had left.
Natsu watched him sadly as he stood next to his parents, they were speaking to Mavis' adopted parent. An older gentleman named Makarov.
It took several attempts to get Zeref to talk as days passed. He no longer felt warmth around his family. His parents were happily married and the red mark on his brothers shoulder mocked him. Everywhere he went, the marks mocked him. His Soul Mate was gone. Why should they be happy when he would never be?!
***2 years later - Natsu age: 14, Zeref age: 18**
"Wha - HUH!" Natsu woke up with a book on his head.
"School's over, pyro. Let's go," Gajeel snickered.
"Just you wait until the tournament this weekend," Natsu grumbled under his breath.
"Where'd you go man?" Gajeel yelled across the hallway to Gray, who was limping back to them.
"Soul.. Mates.. suck..," he leaned down on his knees to catch his breath, "Whatever she's doing is exhausting. I keep getting asthma attacks."
Some Soul Mates have deeper connections than others, even if they haven't met. In Gray's case. His Soul Mate was more than likely already in love with him. And that love was bleeding over more injuries than just scars.
"Must be an athlete or something," Gajeel said, rubbing his nose. He had already found out his Soul Mate was going to be tiny, he had more injuries to his head than anything else.
"When I meet this chick," Gray growled, "I'm gonna make her take a long break so I can freaking relax!"
Natsu stayed quiet during talks of Soul Mates. He hardly ever got white scars. The only thing that reassured him was that his shoulder still had it's red tint to it.
But ever since the accident two years ago, things had changed. His brother snapped at anyone who was happy. Even older couples. It wasn't right for him to do it, but even his parents didn't know what to do. So they all just let him be.
"Gray, I agree to drive you and your friends around. But you at least must come to the car when I ask you to!" Gray's older brother, Lyon, came stomping down the hall. He gripped tightly to Gray's ear and yanked.
"OW! What the hell?! I'm at my locker, give me a minute!"
Gajeel and Natsu snickered at the pair. Gray's mother died when he was 4. And even though it's not common, some people remarry after their Soul Mate passes on. It's almost like they receive another Soul Mate. A new mark appears on their skin. Not to replace their lost love, but to help mend the pain. As both people have gone through the same thing.
Gray's father met Ur Milkovich when Gray was 8. And a year and half later they married. Gray got a step-mom and two siblings. Ur's husband had died the same year that Gray's mother had, he had been in the army.
"I'm sure you've had more time to get your things, or did you run to the nurses office again for one of your 'asthma attacks'?" Lyon put up air quotes to prove that he didn't care.
"I did and they're real damn it!"
"I don't have time, I have a date tonight with my lovely and precious flower!"
"Ugh, you two are gross," Gray turned to Gajeel and Natsu, who were laughing at him, "he met his Soul Mate a few weeks ago. They've been up each others asses the whole time."
"Don't say such things about my Meldy!" Lyon put Gray in a headlock. Gajeel was leaning on the lockers, holding his stomach from laughing.
Natsu grinned, "Congrats Lyon!"
Lyon let go of his angry little brother, "Thank you, Natsu. She is quiet the special woman."
"She better be to make you this sappy," Gray grumbled under his breath, causing Gajeel to break into another fit of laughter.
The boys finally made it to Lyon's car. He dropped Gajeel off first, his father ,Metalicanna, was waiting in the yard working on the lawn mower, "Thanks boys! I'm sorry you have to deal with his sour face all the time."
"Oh shut it ya old fart!" Gajeel threw his backpack down to help him.
"Later metal head!" Natsu yelled from the backseat. He couldn't hear his response, but it probably along the lines of 'pyro' or 'salamander', Gajeel's personal nickname for him.
"See ya!" Natsu yelled as he ran inside. Gray and Lyon had begun to bicker again and Natsu really didn't want to be apart of it.
"I'm home!" Natsu kicked off his shoes and ran into the kitchen, hoping his mom wouldn't see him digging for something to snack on.
"Hello sweetie," the fridge door closed on Natsu's hand. He looked up to see the smiling face of his mother, "And what are you looking for?"
"Finish your homework?"
"I don't have any."
"Are you sure?"
"You hesitated," she laughed, "do your homework first and maybe I'll let you eat something before dinner. But first, go out back. Zeref has been out there all day and I'm not sure what he's doing."
"Fine," he grumbled as he went to the back door. Zeref was almost impossible to be around these days. Something changed in him when Mavis died.
"Yo, Zeref," Natsu came up to him sitting on the picnic table their dad had built, "What ya up to?"
"Nothing," Zeref was writing in a notebook, and his handwriting was so sloppy. Not something the normal Zeref would do.
"You sure? Mom's worried about you."
"I don't care. Leave me alone."
"Come on!" Natsu ran around the table so he could see his brothers face. Zeref slammed his notebook shut, glaring at Natsu, "Mom and Dad are worried about you. Hell, I'm worried about you! You haven't been the same since Mavis died. What's wrong with you?!"
"Don't ever mention her again," Zeref whispered with an underlying threat in his voice. He then got up and started walking toward the house.
"No!" Natsu ran until he was in front of his brother, "Tell me what's wrong! You've been stuck inside your dark head for years now and I wanna know why!"
"I told you to leave me alone!" A fist knocked Natsu back.
"So that's how it's gonna be!" Natsu charged and punched Zeref for all he was worth.
Natsu was on the wrestling and soccer team, he had more strength than Zeref. But Zeref came back at him with something greater. A knife.
"AAAHHHHHH!" Natsu held his neck tightly, blood was dripping down as such a fast speed he was going to pass out.
"Natsu!" Igneel ran outside and pried Natsu's bloody hands away from his neck, placing an old rag onto it to stop the bleeding, "Zeref! What have you done! This is your brother!"
"I don't care," Zeref's blank stare had a murderous tint to them.
"Natsu!" his mother ran out of the house, tears streaming down her face as she hugged her baby. Igneel placed her hand on his wound so he could stand up.
"I want you out of my house until you cool off and come to your senses!" Igneel roared right in Zeref's face.
"Igneel.." Natsu watched from his trembling mothers arm as Zeref calmly walked away.
"Let's get you to the emergency room," Igneel helped his son to his feet, "we'll just tell them you were helping me in the shop. It was an accident."
"What about Zeref? We can't just let him leave!"
"If he only wants to hurt his family because he's still hurting then let him leave! I won't let him endanger my family."
Natsu's lip trembled, it was his fault that Zeref attacked him. If only he had left him alone.
***1 week later***
Natsu scratched at the bandages still on his neck. The bleeding still hadn't stopped. And Zeref hadn't come home yet.
"Did you hear? That poor girl," he turned his head to look at the girls behind him.
"She was murdered all because she had a Soul Mark.. it's terrifying what some people will do."
"What was her name? Kinana? I bet her Soul Mate felt all the pain too.."
Natsu took a peak at his own mark, still red. Whoever was this Kinana's Soul Mate, he prayed for that person because he knew all too well what living without a Soul Mate did to some people.
But he couldn't think about that right now. It was Friday! His parents had gone on a small trip for their 20th anniversary, so he had stayed with Gajeel for a few nights. His dad was picking him up today.
"Yosh! Hey dad!" Natsu happily got into the rusty truck his father refused to get rid of, no matter how much his mom begged.
"Hey kiddo," he ruffled the already messy hair, "Miss us?"
"Duh. I had to stay with Gajeel."
"He's not so bad," Igneel began their journey home, "Metalicanna and Gildarts. Now they were a pain."
Natsu laughed, the three of them were roommates in college. Gildarts was the player, Metalicanna was the bad boy, and Igneel was the studious one.
"Ow," Igneel held a spot on his arm. A new white scar, "Your mom is so clumsy."
As they kept driving. More and more white scars littered Igneel's skin.
"Dad.. what's going on?" Natsu had no idea what to think. His mom isn't that clumsy.
"I don't know," he changed gears, "hang on. We're about to find out."
When they got home, Natsu almost wished Zeref would have stayed gone for good.
There lay his mother, bloody and crying and screaming. Zeref on top of her, attacking her again and again... with the jewel of his and Mavis' Soul Marks.
"GET AWAY FROM HER!" Igneel ran to them and knocked Zeref off his wife, "WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?!"
Natsu looked at his mother with tears in his eyeys, he almost didn't hear Zeref's calm response, "She was happy. She has her soul mate. That's not a good reason to keep living."
"NATSU CALL THE POLICE. NOW!" Igneel roared, holding his wife in his arms. Desperately trying to get her to stop bleeding.
Zeref's eyes landed on Natsu. Almost like he was daring him to move. He slowly reached for his phone, and then bolted to the closet by the door. Locking himself inside. He made the call for the police and the ambulance as Zeref kicked the door.
"You'll be as pathetic as they are Natsu! You'll be sucked into a world of hurt if you find her! Hell, yours won't even want you! Pink hair, fire fetish, prone to accidents. She probably already hates you! That mark on her neck more than likely still hurts! She'll be disappointed when she see's you!"
Natsu zoned him out. Knowing he was still hurting and spouting out things to hurt others. But he attacked their mother. He would never forgive Zeref. Not for the rest of his life.
"..the police came and arrested him. My mom died that night in the hospital."
Lucy wiped away her tears. How could he do that to his own mother? Just because she was happy.
"Sorry," Natsu used his scarf to wipe her face clean, "I didn't mean to make ya cry Lucy."
"I asked to hear it," she sniffed, "I just can't believe it.."
"He was the one who killed that Kinana girl too. And a few more. All because they were happy."
Kinana.. That was Erik's Soul Mate. They were having a study session one night in the library when his mark glowed and his jewel appeared..
"I'm sorry about that scar on your neck. That must have hurt a lot."
"It did take a while to heal," she fingered the scar on her own neck, and looked at the one on his.
"Natsu. I'm not disappointed. Not at all."
"Huh?" he stared at her oddly.
"About you. Zeref said that you Soul Mate would be disappointed when I saw you. I just wanted to tell you that's not true. It's actually the opposite."
Natsu grinned widely, "Thanks Lucy."
He brought her closer to his chest, kissing her forehead before leaning his head on hers.
"My dad also wanted to tell me he has a date tonight," Natsu whispered into her golden locks.
"Yeah, his second mark showed up a while ago. And when he went to the doctor the other day he met her. Her name is Grandina Marvel. They hit it off real well, especially since dad was in a hospital gown!"
Lucy rolled her eyes. How he could go from a depressing life tale into the unfortunate mishaps of his father was a mystery to her.
Zeref's tale may have ended in a tragedy. But Natsu's was going to blaze out in a life of victory. A family, friends, happiness, and love. And Lucy couldn't be happier that she was the lucky one who got to be by him along the way.
I hope adding the Kinana part helped those who were upset last chapter. And I really hope the length made up for all the time you waited!
I didn't name Natsu and Zeref's mother simply because I couldn't think of a good one, and since I knew how it was going to end.
See you guys in my next one shot! I started a new one called Hey There, Neighbor! you should go check it out along with Love, Blood, and Fur! It's coming along pretty well.