Chapter 23

The three women in the infirmary turned to the door opening, only for all of them to sigh in annoyance when they spotted the familiar man that was Natsu Dragneel, with an unconscious Lisanna Strauss in his arms. He walked over and gently lie the woman down in the unoccupied bed next to her sister, before turning to the three women.

"I uh... I think I broke her." Natsu stated plainly. Mara let out a small chuckle while Amanda and Mira both sighed in annoyance.

"I can't leave you alone ever, can I?" Amanda huffed. Natsu just shrugged before Mirajane spoke up.

"So what did you do to my sister?" Mira asked, though she was nearly positive that she had an idea. After his supposed death, Lisanna had taken it the hardest, clinging on to the fact that his body had never been found. She would always state that deep in her heart, Natsu wasn't dead because he hadn't found Igneel and they hadn't been married. Mirajane let the girl hold on to the belief, opting to focus on her training while also moving in with Erza to Natsu's old house, while Lisanna took to training and searching for the man she loved. Mirajane frowned as she thought about the reaction that the woman would have to seeing Natsu's two girlfriends.

"I did nothing!" Natsu exclaimed, gaining Mira's attention once more. "I walked up to her and said hi, and she turned red and got all wobbly and then passed out. It looks like dehydration..." Natsu mused as he pressed a hand to Lisanna's forehead, ignoring the small smile that came to her face as she leaned in to his touch.

"Right..." Mira and Amanda both spoke at once, while Mara bit her fist to contain her laughter.

"Dehydration." Mira deadpanned while turning back to Amanda. "Was he always this dense with you?" The woman whispered.

"Not really." Amanda shook her head. "He was kind of a dick, with no tact, but I grew to fall for the guy. After a while though, he became really in tune with me. He was never really dense though." The blonde mused as she tapped her chin in thought. Mirajane turned her head to Mara, who only gave a shrug with a smile.

"Don't look at me. I tried to blow his brains out, then tried to blow him about five minutes later."

"How the fuck did that happen?" Mira practically yelled, catching herself at the last minute when Natsu yelped. Mirajane turned her gaze to the man, only to turn beet red when she saw her younger sister unconsiously gripping on to his hand and refusing to release it as she moaned quietly. She chuckled when she saw Natsu doing everything to pry his hand from her grasp, just short of gnawing off his hand, though the look in his eyes said he was considering it.

"Cute." Mara chimed, having taken the seat next to Mira's bed. "Anyway, it happened because he has an ability that I had never seen before."

"Is it that thing with the light?" Mira asked, gaining both Mara and Amanda's attention.

"How did you know?" Amanda asked, her sharp gaze locking on to the woman. Mirajane shrugged, at least the best she could from her position.

"He showed me. Everything about you three. Well..." The woman blushed as she remembered how he would skip the memories of them getting intimate. "Almost everything."

"And what do you think?" Mara asked calmly, a small smile on her face.

"I think I was being a bitch to you two for no reason." Mirajane stated as she looked at both women, making sure to make eye contact with them both. "He showed me just a bit of how much you all went through," She turned her gaze to Amanda, before drifting lower to her leg. "And I'm sorry for being as rude as I was."

"It's quite alright." Mara replied cooly, checking her nails before looking back to the bedridden woman. "I get how strange all of this can be, what with the man you all thought dead returning, and I understand that most people don't usually respond to strange things with kindness."

"Yeah." Mirajane stated with a frown. "But I'm not most people. I know damn well what it's like to be the strange one," Mirajane flinched as she remembered her childhood before joining the guild with her siblings. "And I thought I was good enough as a person to be accepting of people, but I guess I need some work..." The woman frowned. Everyone turned when the heard Natsu sigh in relief, waving his hand in fornt of himself and blowing on it.

"She's got one hell of a grip." The man groaned as he rubbed the sore appendage as he turned back to Mirajane. "And don't worry about being a better person. You're going to have plenty of practise while working at the bar." The man teased, successfully lightening the mood as the white haired woman pouted at him, eyes shimmering once more.

"You already beat me Natsu." The woman turned her tearful gaze away from the man. "What more could you possibly take from me besides my pride? Is it my body that you want?" The woman turned her tearful glare back at the man, who could only stare gobsmacked as both of his girlfriends stared at the interaction.

"Well colour me impressed." Amanda stated, a feral grin on her face as she turned to her boyfriend. Mara matched the grin and stared at the man as well.

"I suppose I am as well. To so effectively corner someone as she did to you... I like her." Mara mused.

"So now you know she set me up earlier?" Natsu asked, both women nodding before he spoke again. "Then does that mean I won't be getting punished?" He asked hopefully. Both women shared a glance with eachother before turning back to the man.

"I dunno..." Amanda spoke unsuredly, tapping her chin in thought. Mara adopted the same pose beside Mirajane.

"Yeah. We did say that you wouldn't be getting laid anytime soon, especially with you being so rude to this poor woman."

"But she set me up!"

"This poor woman!" Mara reiterated. "Was asking you to be nice, and you chose to be snarky. That's such a me thing to do." Mara spoke calmly before a feral grin took over her face. "And there's only room for one me. So I think until you remember that, my verdict will still be no sex."

"Amanda?" The man turned his hopeful gaze to his blonde lover, who was still thinking. The woman just turned her gaze to the man before shrugging.

"I got nothing, but this is kinda funny so I'm also gonna say no sex for a bit."

"This is so unfair!" Natsu groaned before turning his gaze to Mirajane. "You caused this, you fix it."

"I don't know what you mean." Mirajane spoke innocently, though Natsu could see the evil gleam in her eyes from when he was younger, and couldn't stop the feeling of despair in his gut as realization struck him. "But your situation does sound unfortunate. Too bad there's nothing I can do to help you."

"I can!" Everyone in the room turned to see the blushing Lisanna as she lie on her side, focusing on the four other occupants of the room.

"You hush!" Mirajane chided. "You don't even know what we're talking about, so don't go volunteering yourself!"

"Nonsense!" Lisanna spoke as she hopped off the bed. "You were all talking about Natsu no longer getting sex from either of you. I'll help with that." She smiled happily as she approached the group, squeezing her way between Amanda and Natsu. Mara looked to the younger Strauss with a smile on her face.

"Cute. Well then, little girl, how do you plan to convince Amanda or myself to sleep with Natsu once more?"

"I never said I was going to convince you." The white haired girl spoke, her eyes glinting dangerously. Mara and Amanda couldn't contain their shiver when Lisanna's smirk grew dangerous. "I merely said that I would help." And with those words, Lisanna turned and planted a fist as hard as she could in Natsu's gut, causing the unaware man to lose his breath and crumple over the woman's arm. Lisanna easily tossed the pink haired man over her shoulder and turned away from the group, walking her way towards the infirmary exit.

"What the hell are you doing?!" Amanda yelled as both her and Mara hopped in front of the white haired woman's path. Lisanna frowned at the two before patting Natsu on the back before setting him down.

"Don't go anywhere, Darling. I'll be right back with you in a moment."

"I think she ruptured something..." Natsu moaned as he slumped over.

"Why the hell are you taking our boyfriend, you psycho?" Amanda yelled. Lisanna huffed for a moment before turning to the blonde haired woman.

"My apologies." The woman spoke calmly. "But who are you?"

"I'm Amanda Holliday." The blonde ground out from between her teeth.

"And I'm Mara Sov." Mara spoke, her glowing purple eyes countering her calm tone as she glared at the Strauss.

"And that's our boyfriend." Amanda pointed at the slumped over guardian, who only groaned.

"Right... Right. I can see where you would be concerned." Lisanna spoke calmly, her tone full of false care. "But I can assure you that you have no reason to be concerned with the safety of your boyfriend. I'll take good care of him." Lisanna's smirk turned perverted as she gazed lovingly at the pink haired man.

"Who the hell even are you?" Amanda raged. Lisanna turned a coy smile to the two women.

"My name is Lisanna Strauss, and this man is my husband." The woman spoke simply. Mara and Amanda gasped.

Natsu vomited blood on himself.

"And look at him. He is injured and needs plenty of tender love and care." Lisanna gushed as she knelt down and wiped the man's mouth.

"But you injured him!" Amanda pointed out, only to be waved off by the white haired girl.

"Nonsense. Now come along, my love." Lisanna cooed as she hoisted the man once more over her shoulder with one arm. "Let's get you home and in to the bath... Get you nice and clean..." She let out a small perverse chuckle. "And then get lots of food in your belly and get you to bed."

"Now wait a moment!" Mara protested, once more getting in to Lisanna's way. "How can he be your husband when he was declared dead, and by all means he was, and gone for over four years?"

"I knew he wasn't dead." Lisanna fired back. "And I never stopped looking for him. A good wife knows deep in her heart how her husband is feeling, and right now my husband is finally in my arms once more, and he feels hungry and sleepy."

"But is he your husband?" Mara asked once more. Lisanna bit her lip before answering.

"Well... Not yet..." Lisanna huffed. "But once I get him back in to shape, he'll be so madly in love with me again that he'll propse to me on the spot and we'll be a mama and a papa again just like we were back then. And we'll have lots of babies... And even more practise in making them." The white haired woman swooned as she covered her deeply blushing cheeks once more. Mara and Amanda could only watch as the woman wobbled back and forth, murmuring to herself in a tone so hushed that she couldn't make it out before her eyes closed and she fell over, unconscious.

"What the fuck just happened?" Amanda asked in shock. Mara just stood by as equally dumbfounded.

"My sister just happened." Mira groaned. "She and Natsu were the cutest little couple back before he left. You should've seen them, they were just too adoable. Disgusting." Mirajane mumbled.

"Jealous?" Mara teased, only to blink in surprise when Mirajane didn't deny it.

"The two of them were inseperable. Lisanna loved Natsu from the moment she met him, and Natsu grew to love the girl back. They even have a son, or at least that's what Lisanna calls Happy. Speaking of, the little furball should be around here somewhere. Probably heard the news and is looking for Natsu as we speak."

"Happy's a cat, isn't he?" Mara asked. Mirajane nodded.

"Yup. Loves fish, is lazy, and calls Natsu and Lisanna his parents."

"That's cute." Amanda spoke quietly as she gazed at the sleeping white haired woman.

"Yeah. She took his death the hardest. Left on a trip with our strongest member for about a year before he sent her back to the guild. Since then, she's been looking for him, and getting stronger."

"How strong is she?" Mara asked as she stared at Natsu, who had vomited blood on himself once more.

"Strong enouogh to give me a run for my money if she wanted." Mirajane admitted. "You don't train with one of the strongest people on this continent for a year without picking a few things up. She seemed to get the man's super strength and his temper."

"Strong and angry?" Mara questioned. Mirajane nodded.

"It's why they call her Rampage. Once she gets going, nothing can stop her, or at least that was the case until Natsu got here. Now she's as dangerous as a kitten. Long as he's nearby, she'll be too busy trying to cater to his every need, 'Like a good wife should!'"Mirajane mimicked her sister in a higher pitch voice. "To be angry at anyone else."

"Any advice on how to handle her?" Amanda asked.

"Don't." Mirajane stated simply. "I know you guys can handle yourselves, but Lisanna has one hell of a mean temper, and it sits just below the surface. Always. Girl can act like the sweetest thing on the planet, and then you're being thrown across the city faster than you can question it. My best advice is either let her in on whatever you three got going, or hide Natsu wherever you can and then disappear. Now that she's seen him, the only way to keep her away would be to kill her."

"Don't you think you're being a little dramatic?" Mara asked, a delicate brow raised. The white haired woman scoffed as she turned her gaze to her sleeping sister.

"Nah. If she's anything like me, she won't give up until she gets what she wants." All three women turned when Lisanna let out a dark chuckle, her sleeping visage gaining an evil smirk. "And she's a lot like me." Mirajane smiled fondly. "Anyway, you three should leave before she gets up. I don't think Natsu can take another hit like that."

"Guardian down!" Specter chimed in, floating over the still form of Natsu.

"Did he die?!" Mirajane asked suddenly, her face even more pale. Mara and Amanda both nodded casually before Mara decided to speak.

"Yeah. Just give him a moment or two, and he'll be back in perfect shape." She spoke in a chipper tone. Mira stared for several moments before Natsu's body dissolved in to light particles and reformed next to her bedside. The man let out a gasp, a hand clenched over his gut while he wheezed for several seconds.

"You good?" Amanda asked, her eyebrows raised in surprise at the man's attitude. She remembers how nonchalantly the guardians at the Tower would jump to their doom for no other reason then to alleviate boredom.

In fact, she was sure there were a few times she watched Natsu do something similar.

"Yeah..." Natsu coughed before standing straight, rolling his shoulders before looking at the sleeping Lisanna. "It's just been a while since a single punch has killed me. They told me she was a monster, but this..."

"Are you badmouthing my sweet little sister?" Mirajane asked sweetly, her eyes shining dangerously as she smiled at Natsu. Natsu felt a shiver run up his spine as he looked the eldest Strauss.

"N-no!" Natsu spoke quickly. "I was merely stating that Lisanna has gotten really strong. She must get it from her sister." He raised both of his hands in surrender. Mirajane stared at him for a moment before turning away shyly form him, playing with her blankets.

"Really?" She spoke quietly, catching Natsu's gaze with her own from the corner of her eye. "You think I'm strong?" Natsu nearly smacked himself with how easily he just got played by someone he nearly beat to death.

"Y-yeah. You're super strong."

"And how are my looks?" Mirajane asked, doing her best to strike a sexy pose in front of the man. Natsu sighed internally.

She was good at this game.

"Go ahead, Natsu." The man turned to find Amanda glaring at him. "Tell her how she looks."

"Yes, do." Mara grinned ferally before pushing past the man and standing before the Strauss once more. Mirajane's alluring gaze turned to worry as she caught the predatory glare in Mara's gaze. "Tell her how delicious she looks, lying in this bed. All alone..." Mara leaned in, her face inches from Mirajane's. "And helpless to fight back..." Mara took a deep inhale of Mirajane's scent, moaning lowly as she took in the aroma of the eldest Strauss sibling.

"Okay, I'm sorry!" Mirajane squeaked. She turned her helpless gaze to Natsu. "Please call her off."

"What's the matter?" Amanda teased, taking in the shaking form of Mira. "Never been with a woman before?" Amanda nearly burst out laughing when the woman let out a shakey nod. "Don't worry, Mara won't hurt you." Amanda smirked when Mirajane let out a small sigh of relief. "But she will teach you so many things about yourself that you had no idea about."


"I didn't hear you complain about it that one time!" Mara snapped back, her arms crossed over her chest as she pouted.

"You could've at least warned me! One minute I'm having a good time, and the next, I have two fingers in my ass!" Amanda growled back. Mara's pout turned in to a smirk.

"You don't deny that you enjoyed it." She pointed out. Amanda had a deep blush on her face as she looked away.

"I'm not saying I didn't." She started weakly. "I'm just saying a little heads up next time you want to do something like that..." She turned around, her ears burning with how red they were.

"Then it wouldn't be a surprise." Mara snickered.

Mirajane was left gaping, blushing to the roots of her hair as her mind registered what it was that she had heard. Natsu was quick to break the silence.

"Where the fuck was I for this?!" He practically shouted. "Because I'm damn sure I would've remembered you two doing something like this."

"You were out on assignment from Zavala." Mara waved off his anger. "And Amanda and I got a little drunk one night, and we figured why not?"

"YOU figured why not." Amanda corrected, still not facing the group.

"And YOU were the one riding my face like a sparrow." Mara countered, enjoying the way that Amanda shrunk in to herself. She then turned her attention to Natsu. "And we were holding off on telling you just until we found out if we liked it or not."

"And?" Natsu asked.

"And I'm pretty 'meh' as far as it goes. I don't hate it, but I don't really like it either." Mara jabbed a thumb over to Amanda. "She loves it. Drives her up the wall and makes her scream some pretty vulgar things." Mara chuckled when Natsu scoffed. "Well, vulgar even for her anyway."

"Shut up!" Amanda groaned. "In case you haven't forgotten, we aren't alone in here!"

"Oh I know that." Mara spoke, her grin growing before pointing over to the floor where Lisanna now lay. "She had gotten up, and was sneaking up on us. Fainted right after you said 'fingers up the ass.'" Mara chuckled before turning her gaze over to the blushing Mirajane. "And she is a mix of stunned and interested."

"Am not!" Mirajane protested.

"Suuure." Mara snickered. "Well, we should get going. Natsu, call the shuttle and I'll meet you and Amanda outside."

"Whatever." Amanda spoke quickly as she hurried out of the infirmary. Natsu nodded and quickly made his own exit, sharing a glance with Mirajane before leaving the room. Mara turned a glance over to Lisanna.

"You can get up now."

Lisanna mumbled a few choice words but sat up nonetheless, a deep blush on her face. Mara then turned her gaze to the blushing Mirajane.

"What do you want now?" Mirajane sighed tiredly.

"Nothing much. I just thought I'd let you both know that there are openings for the position of Natsu's girlfriend." The Awoken woman spoke casually.

"What about you and Amanda?" Mirajane spoke quietly after a few moments of thought.

"We aren't going anywhere, my dear. Let's just say that Natsu has some very unique conditions, one of which requires him to have multiple mates. It's a condition of his powers. Amanda and myself have come to terms with it."

"So that means I can go to my husband?!" Lisanna cheered before standing up from her bed, only to be locked in place, enveloped by a deep purple glow.

"Not so fast!" Mara interrupted. "Just because we are okay with it, doesn't mean we're just going to let him shack up with anyone." Mara held a hand up before turning it, forcing Lisanna to lift in the air for a moment before turning to face her. "And that means you can't just walk up and inject yourself in to our relationship. From what he has told me, he's changed a lot in the four years that he's been gone. Before you just thrust yourself back in to his life, make sure that he's still the person you love."

"What do you mean?" Mirajane asked carefully, not sure she was going to like her answer.

"Living in that other universe forces you to change." Mara sighed. "It forces you to make decisions you never thought you would have to. What are your feeling on murder and executions?"

"Despicable." Mira spat. Mara sighed once more before speaking again.

"Then you should know that Natsu has executed at least three people from the other universe."

"No..." Mirajane protested weakly, but stopped when she saw Mara's gaze harden on her.

"Yes. It's true. Four men tried to assassinate Natsu by exploding one of his ships when he was supposed to enter it. The blast would have killed him, and there was something in place to prevent him from ever coming back."

"What stopped it?" Mirajane asked.

"Amanda." Mara stated plainly, letting Lisanna out of her hold. The youngest Strauss took a few breaths before looking at the Awoken woman.

"Can you explain that a bit better?" Lisanna asked. Mara nodded after a few moments of thought.

"Don't tell either of them that I told you, but the only reason that Natsu is still alive is because Amanda called Natsu's ship from storage for him. Ship came up as Amanda was moving for it, and then exploded. That's why she has the prosthetic leg." Mara turned her gaze to Mirajane, who winced.

"Sorry." She mumbled.

"It's not your fault you didn't know. It's just something personal, so don't go telling everyone about it."

"Okay." Lisanna spoke quietly.

"Anyway. Amanda loses her leg and ends up in the hospital. Her boyfriend and Natsu visit her constantly while the investigation is filed."

"I thought Natsu was her boyfriend." Lisanna interrupted. Mara shook her head.

"Not at the time. Natsu had vanished for three years, training with an order of fire wielders on another planet, and then with one of the most evil men to exist in history on the Moon. Anyway, he comes back to find Amanda with another guy, I think his name was Dan. Or was it Jack? Doesn't matter." Mara waved it off. "Natsu comes back to find her with someone else, and he just kinda loses his mind. Went off and butchered six men in the Crucible."

"What's that?" Mirajane asked.

"You saw how Natsu was dead and then he wasn't?"


"Well the Crucible is a battle between a bunch of people just like that. Deathmatches. Usually pretty gorey stuff. Well Natsu went on to become a legend by winning a one on six fight. I think we have footage of it somewhere. The people who lost weren't happy, and a few of them planned to have Natsu killed. Well they got ahold of a man who worked in the hangars, that was corrupt."

"Who?" Lisanna asked.

"Amanda's boyfriend." Mara supplied, letting the two women gasp. "Natsu didn't find out until he got back to the planet after needing to go to a different planet to get the plans for Amanda's new leg. When he found out, it took almost every high ranked official to hold him back, and only a direct order from their leader stopped him. He was given the three men who contacted Amanda's ex boyfriend."

"And he killed them?" Lisanna asked.

"Yup. Officially, those three men went off on a patrol and never returned. Unofficially, Natsu painted a floor with their brains in some back alley shack."

"Brutal." Mirajane winced. "What about the ex boyfriend?"

"Funny thing about targeting somebody who is liked by the upper echelons of a military organization, when your shuttle explodes and you were the only person on board, nobody is going to investigate what caused the explosion."

"It all sounds so brutal." Mirajane winced, looking off to the side. Her gaze snapped back to Mara when the Awoken woman let out a laugh.

"That's nothing. I've killed more than my fair share of man and beast. I became the Queen of the Awoken not through birth, but through blood. The blood I spilled could run a river under my feet that would be meters deep."

"So what's your stand on killing?" Lisanna asked.

"I feel that it is something that any ruler or person in power must be familiar with. I'm sure even your guild master has caused death in some way or another. I have come to accept that I have killed before, and chances are that I will kill again. I will do whatever I must to punish those who dare to harm my family or friends. Any enemy of mine, is an enemy of my kingdom, and will be treated as such." Mara finished with a nod, her features firm. Lisanna and Mira both looked to one another.

"I guess that's just... wow." Lisanna finished weakly. Mara sighed and nodded.

"I get it, I really do, but I thought you should know what kind of person I am, as well as what kind of man Natsu is. He isn't a cold blooded killer, but don't expect him to pull his punches with anything too severe. He has killed before, and just like me, will likely kill again if the situation is severe enough. So does that tell you what kind of man he is?"

"I think I love him even more!" Lisanna exclaimed, breaking the serious mood instantly.

"What?" Mara asked dumbly.

"I didn't think it was possible to love him even more, but you have proven me wrong. Oh I can just imagine it now. Bandits had taken me hostage after surprising me. They plan to have their filthy way with me, but Natsu comes in, guns blazing, as he cuts a path right towards me. The bandit leader picks me up and uses me as a hostage, and is all like 'Drop your gun or I kill the girl!' and Natsu just stares at him for a moment before dropping his gun and stepping away from it. The man walks towards the gun and picks it up, not expecting me to suddenly jump away for Natsu to leap in and grab his gun back. There is a small struggle and then 'Bang!' and the leader falls dead. Natsu is there to untie me, and ask if I'm okay. He pets my face and tells me not to look at him because he thinks he's a monster, but then I take his hand and make him look at me and say 'You aren't a monster for saving the girl you love.' and then we kiss and get married and then get to the baby making part!" Lisanna shouted, throwing her arms out for embelishment. Mara and Mirajane just stared at the woman as her blush grew in size before she started wobbling from side to side before finally teetering over, unconscious.

"Is she always like this?" Mara asked.

"Not normally." Mirajane sighed. "I think Natsu coming back brought up that bubbly girl from way back then. She used to only faint once every few weeks when I'd tease her about babies."

"So what do you think about all of it?"

"I dunno. It's a lot to process, and I'm pretty sure I don't even like the guy like that."

"Neither did Amanda. According to Natsu, you act a lot like she did back then, minus the trying to murder him with a wrench constantly. All I'm saying is to give it time. He may grow on you."

"Why are you even telling me any of this?" Mirajane asked.

"I like you." Mara smiled back, before it turned mischevious. "And I wonder what you would sound like when you-"

"Mara, shuttle's here! Let's move!" Amanda's voice echoed in to the infirmary. The Awoken woman nodded before turning a grin to the blushing Mirajane.

"Goodbye, dear. I'll be keeping a very close eye on you." She turned her gaze to the fainted Lisanna. "Both of you. I'd love to see some sisterly love enter my bed chambers at some point."

"Why are you-" Mara waved off the blushing Strauss before whispering to the woman.

"In case you were wondering, he's a beast. It gets so hard and thick that I can't walk right for days..." Mara turned and walked out of the room quickly, leaving the blushing Strauss alone with her unconscious sister.

"Ohh yeaaah..." Lisanna mumbled as she rolled back and forth on the floor.

Nevermind the unconscious part.

"So, Parsix." Natsu spoke calmly to the kneeling Vandal. "Would you care to explain the Stealth Vandals, or shall I assume you are unable to hold control over my forces in my stead?"

"A necessary precaution, my Kell!" The Vandal spoke quickly. "You must see it from my perspective."

"Then explain your perspective." Natsu retorted. Parsix gulped loudly before inhaling.

"You claim this planet to be your home, but you spoke of the many battles you had partaken in over your years here. How, in good conscience, could I allow my Kell and his mates to wander in to danger without some form of protection?"

"Are you implying that I, as well as Mara and Amanda, could not do a fair enough job at protecting ourselves?" The pink haired man spoke lowly. Parsix shook his head quickly.

"Not at all, my Kell!" He spoke quickly. "I was merely operating on the thought that moving in to the unknown and not expecting danger could be perceived as arrogance, and arrogance all too quickly leads to death. Our house stands more united than ever under your leadership, but that would quickly fall apart. You are the force in place to keep everyone complacent. Your removal would lead to infighting that we can NOT afford, especially as we are perceivably the only Eliksni in this universe."

"You make many valid points." Natsu hummed, causing Parsix to raise his head. "I must admit that it was foolish of me as a Kell to leave without first consulting my Archon." Natsu smirked at the stunned expression on the Eliksni's face. "Did you think I had forgotten my promise? It is equally thanks to you that we are in the position that we are in, and everyone here shall be made aware." Natsu stood and waved at the kneeling Parsix to follow, which the Eliksni quickly did. They walked through several hallways before ending up once more in the hangar bay. Parsix gazed upon the gathered Captains and Vandals, as well as the Dregs, Shanks, and Servitors. All eyes snapped to the two figures, before the Captains took to a knee, the Vandals and Dregs following suit a moment later.

"I stand before you all as your Kell, and I feel pride upon looking at all of you. Just a year ago, you were all outcasts, seen as lower than scavengers. Today, we stand together, stronger than ever! I have been in negotiations with the King of the country of Fiore. We have agreed to begin exchanging information, as well as allowing minor amounts of immigration to occur. Soon, a select few Eliksni will be chosen to appear on the surface, and interact with the humans." Murmurs began to break out, and Natsu couldn't stop his frown when he heard that many of them were in the negative. "I can understand your feelings, as your interactions with humans thus far have been less than stellar." Natsu heard a snort and couldn't help his chuckle. "But are we not beyond that? These humans know nothing of the Traveler, nothing of the Light. They know not of the Reef Wars, and of Skolas. This is a new beginning, a fresh start, for all of us. No longer do you need to be the outcasts of the Eliksni, no longer must you wait around for scraps. You can begin once more, and restart the Eliksni as a name to be respected. You have in your hands the ability to create your own future, will you be so shallow as to deny yourselves this future out of your own hubris?"

The cries that rang out caused the ship to hum.

"I thought not. As your Kell, I am aware that many of you take issues with me leading, not as a question of strength, but as to the fact that I am also human. Many of you have stood with me on Mars and Venus, and have I proven myself to your house? Have I brought honor to the Wolves?"

Natsu felt pride at the cheers that resonated through his chest.

"I ask you not to trust the humans on this planet. Many will not trust you, and many others will try to use you. You are new, and humans are generally afraid of new things, afraid of change. I do not ask you to put your blind faith in to them. Instead, I ask you to trust me. Trust me to lead you to your paradise, away from war and conflict. Away from misery and suffering. Trust in me to lead you, to fight for you, and to die for you if need be. So I ask now, will you trust me?"

More cheers of affirmation rang out.

"I promise upon my very being that I will lead you to paradise. It will take some time, but it can be done. I have negotiations that eat up much of my time, but that is no reason to keep you locked on the ship. I have spoken with the Splicers, and they have found several locations uninhabited by humans on a far away continent that the Eliksni can occupy and build if they so wished. The land is plentiful with resources, and plentiful with food. It will be perfect for a home until I can better establish open relations with the surrounding nations. Much of my time will be taken in attempting this feat, and as such I will not be around to monitor all of our movements. As such, I will now bestow the position of Archon upon a worthy member of the house."

Many of the Captain's perked instantly, their glowing eyes locked on to Natsu.

"I have thought long on this decision, but in the end I could come up with none better for the position as my right hand than the Eliksni that brought me to you all. I have chosen Parsix as my Archon, for he knows my will better than most. I know that some of you will disagree, stating that your strength would be better suited to the position. The simple fact is that we are NOT at war. There is no need for the strongest to hold the postion of Archon, especially when we need logical thinkers more than we need warriors. That being said, I have decided to open up several other branches in the house that will need capable leader. I have plans to establish a Scouting Company who will search the land for resources and information, as well as several branches of different Combat Engineers. This house has gone far, but with proper organization, we stand to be the absolute strongest house there has ever been. I give this message to all of you before I depart for Earthland once more; hone your blades, train with your blasters, because I will only pick the best to lead my troops. Dismissed." The force all gave a salute to the man before dispersing from the hangar bay. Natsu turned over to Parsix, who could only cast a worried glance at the man.

"I am thankful for the position, my Kell, but are you sure it was wise to give it to me?"

"What do you mean?" Natsu questioned after a moment.

"You have elected a Vandal to a position that none other than a Captain have ever held. The Captains have taken notice, and I can sense the anger that some felt. The postion of Archon is one of the highest honor, and ensures that one's bloodline will continue on in the mating process."

"Ah." Natsu spoke calmly. "But that is where you are wrong."

"How so?" Parsix asked, his head cocked in confusion.

"You say that I handed the postion to you, but that is not true. You have earned this title, my friend. You have shown unwavering loyalty to myself, and have commited yourself fully to me. I trust you with my life, and trust you to understand what I would want in the occasion that I am not there. Who else would be better suited to the postion of my Archon if not you?"

"I... Am deeply flattered."

"Don't be. You've earned it."

"I.. Am unsure of the future, my Kell. My race has only known suffering for the last several centuries, and the prospect of peace is so... foreign. I fear that my kind may squander the opportunity."

"The thought had crossed my mind." Natsu admitted with a sigh as the two of them stared at the empty hangar bay. Natsu was not foolish enough to believe that his ascent to leadership was accepted without opposition. "I am aware that my strength is both respected and feared, and that is the reason that the Wolves follow me."

"But is that enough?" Parsix turned to the Kell. Natsu shook his head before responding.

"Not at all. Ruling through power and fear will do nothing more than breed disdain and loathing. That will soon lead to questioning authority and outright revolt. No, I understand that my foundation is shakey at best, but I have something on my side that works in my favor."

"What is that?" Parsix questioned. Natsu gave a gentle smile as he gazed out the hangar bay, seeing the sun cresting over the planet below him.

"Hope." Natsu sighed as he turned to Parsix. "I have the ability to hope, and that in turn will inspire the feeling in others. I have already proven to them that I can do what they deemed impossible." Natsu gesture out to the planet below him. "I have provided them the position of endless opportunity. I can not force them to take a peaceful route, but I can be the guide they need until enough of them see that peace is possible."

"It is a goal that will take time, my Kell." Parsix looked to his leader. "But I shall be with you every step of the way."

"That is all that I can ask, my friend." Natsu nodded in thanks. "I know that I have the loyalty of the Splicers, and with promoting you to Archon, I have the support of the Dregs and Vandals. The Captains, however, hold control of the Shanks and Servitors, and I can't be sure how many of them are on my side."

"The Stealth Vandals will likely side with you." Parsix said, contemplating for a moment. "But whether or not it is from loyalty or fear, I can not say."

"That is why I have you." Natsu spoke calmly. "I want you to find the best of the Stealth Vandals and promote them to leading the force. They are a specialized field of combat, and should be led by one of their own."

"What should be offered?" Parsix questioned, perking up at his first order.

"Plenty of ether, as well as a rank equalled to Captain. I want them to have full recruitment abilities. They have the most experience in their field, and I feel that they would be better suited to growing their own ranks."

"It will displease the Captain who is removed from the position. He will likely see it as a slight on his honor."

"Promote him to my royal guard."

"Are you sure that is wise?"

"No. It is likely that he will betray me and attempt to usurp my leadership in time."

"Then why?" Parsix asked, baffled.

"Because I expect him to." Natsu grinned. "I expect him to betray me, and with him so close to me, he will either come around to my side, or attempt my life."

"So you intend to keep him close so as to monitor him?"

"In a way." Natsu shrugged. "I believe he will be contacted by the resistance movement, if he isn't already a member. We can use this opportunity to feed them false information, and place ourselves in a favourable position."

"So you would basically be setting the field for any future conflict?"

"Precisely. I fully believe in peace, but I am not foolish enough to turn my back on a former enemy so easily."

"Do I fall in to that category?" Parsix asked, cautious of his Kell's answer.

"You forget that I shared my light with you." Natsu chuckled. "I've seen the depths of your soul, as you have seen mine. I wouldn't have let you get this close to me if I didn't trust you. Plus, I wouldn't know how to speak Eliksni if it wasn't for you."

"That is.. reassuring." Parsix spoke calmly. Natsu chuckled and clapped a hand on the Eliksni's shoulder.

"Don't worry. I trust you and your judgement. If possible though, could you find the alliance of the Stealth Vandals? I'd rather know for sure, and anyone who can turn invisible for an amount of time and specializes in stealth is not an enemy I'd like to leave unchecked."

"It will be done, my Kell!" Parsix saluted before leaving the Kell to his own musings. Natsu sat in silence for a moment before pulling his tablet from his belt and contacting Amanda. He stared at the screen for several moments before her face popped up.

"What's up?" She asked, seemingly more chipper than when they had first landed.

"Not much. You and Mara get all taken care of on her ship?"

"Yeah!" Amanda spoke happily before turning a glare to the man. "Why didn't we spend the week it took to get here on this ship that has been fitted for humans?"

"Uuuhh..." Natsu paused for a moment, his brain working in oversrive to figure out how to get out of this. "I uh... wanted to keep and eye on the Wolves to make sure they didn't take the opportunity to leave?"

"And why would that matter? Mara's ships are better equipped, stronger, and faster. Them leaving would be so minimal to everything that it wouldn't have mattered in about a month."

"I guess you got me." Natsu huffed. "It hadn't crossed my mind at the time."

"It's okay, just leave the big decisions to the women in your life next time."

"You two are my life." Natsu grinned slyly. He began to laugh when his girlfriend turned bright red and ended the call.

It was about five minutes later that he recieved a call from Mara. Answering it, he was happy to spot the confused gaze of Mara.

"What did you do to Amanda?"

"What do you mean?" Natsu asked innocently. Mara huffed before turning the camera towards a bundle on the bed. Natsu leaned in to get a better look, only to start laughing when he realized that he was looking at Amanda, curled in a ball and wrapped in blankets.

"What did you do to her?" Mara asked again. "I heard a loud curse, and then a squeal, and came in here to this."

"I told her that you were both my whole life." Natsu grinned when Mara's skin darkened before she too cut the call. Natsu laughed when he imagined how Mara was trying to rip the blankets from Amanda so that she may hide beneath them as well. Placing his tablet back in his belt, he began to walk towards his ship, running a hand along the smooth surface as he went, before climbing up in to the cockpit. He flipped several switches before the ship fired up and took off towards the planet.

Mara and Amanda would call him when they finished freaking out.

"So now what?" Natsu asked, his arms crossed as he stood next to Makarov, who was seated on top of the bar. The old man tossed his drink back before turning to the pink haired guardian.

"I dunno." He shrugged. "Maybe go on a job or something? I'd say take a vacation, but you just got back."

"True." Natsu huffed. He swept his gaze across the guild before his vision landed on Lucy, sitting alone at a table, and sighed. Pushing himself up from the bar, Natsu slowly made his way over to the blonde, who met his gaze before staring back down at the table.

"What do you want?" She sighed, having realized that anything to with Natsu was some sort of trouble.

"That's not very nice of you." Natsu replied as he took a seat across from her. "And here I thought someone from the esteemed Heartf-" He was suddenly silenced as she covered his mouth with both hands.

"Shhh!" She shushed him, eyes wide with panic. "Nobody... Nobody needs to know about that!" She forced out in a whisper. Natsu stared at the woman for a moment before nodding. "And if you must know, I'm kinda in a bad mood because I just got an apartment with the last of my money, and already have to stress about rent."

"Already?" Natsu asked, a single brow raised at the blonde. "You've only been here for like two weeks days. How is a full month's rent due if you haven't even been here that long?"

"It is a first and last month's rent thing." Lucy groaned. "I managed to convince the landlady to give me a pass for a week for the last month's rent, but that only prolongs my suffering. I need to come up with 75,000 jewels in the next week!" The blonde griped while slumping her head down on the table. Natsu hummed in thought for a moment before sighing and walking over to the job board. He persued the jobs, making sure not to break the focus of Nab, who hadn't seemed to have moved since before he was taken, and picked out an easy job. He snatched the flyer and walked over to the complaining blonde.

"How about this one? It's a simple smash and grab?" He handed the flyer to Lucy, who grabbed it and looked at the description.

"Break in to a mansion and destroy a book for... 400,000 jewels?!" She turned a manic glare to the man. "We're taking this one."

"That's why I got it. Half for me and half for you?"

"Sounds fair to me." Lucy smiled at the man. "So what do we do now? I'm pretty sure we can't just leave without telling anybody."

"Ah. Right. Well let me show you. When you pick out a job, you grab the flyer and take it to the bartender. They call the contact and establish that we have accepted the job. I'm sure that it goes across to any other guild this job was posted to that the job was taken so that they don't have mages wasting their time."

"That... Makes sense." Lucy paused in thought.

"Didn't you ever have to do something like that when you were private?" Natsu asked the blonde, a single brow raised. Lucy just gained a sheepish expresion and looked away from the man.

"Not really... I kinda just took the flyer and went to the contact." She admitted.

"That seems like you probably wasted a lot of time." Natsu hummed. Lucy nodded, a deep blush on her face.

"Most of the time, I got to the contact to find it had already been taken by an official guild. It was either that, or I would get asked to do something too cheap for a guild to pick up."


"Childrens' parties, serving tables at diners, helping cater parties."

"So you were basically a temp worker or party favor?" Natsu asked.

"And a janitor on a few occasions." Lucy sighed. "It never paid enough to settle down somewhere, but it did give me enough to keep moving."

"I take it your father is probably looking for you?"

"I would assume so." Lucy admitted, her downtrodden gaze turned to the wood flooring. "He doesn't like when he doesn't get his way, and me being gone has likely got him searching for me."

"And what if he finds you?" Natsu asked.

"I imagine that he'll send for me."


"Probably try to pawn me off as an incentive for one of his business deals." Lucy growled. "It's why I ran away in the first place. He tried to marry me off to one of his business partner's sons. When I refused, he..." Lucy reached up and cradled her cheek.

"It's okay." Natsu spoke quietly. "I got the gist. You don't gotta finish that sentence."

"Thank you." Lucy spoke gratefully. "He didn't used to be like that. Back when my mom was alive, he was happy and friendly, and loved my mother and I. When she passed... I think I reminded him of my mother, and that hurt him..."

"It's no excuse." Natsu spoke lowly. "I could never imagine hurting anybody I love, let alone my own child, for any reason. To me, your father is a coward, who should pray that we never meet."

"You shouldn't joke about that." Lucy frowned at Natsu. "My father may not be a mage, but his money makes him one of the strongest men on this continent."

"That isn't an issue." Natsu shrugged. "What could his money buy that could hurt me? What could he buy that was more advanced or dangerous than what I have under my command," Natsu then brought out the Thorn and set it calmly on the table. "Or what is strapped to my hip? My point is that behind your father's money, is a frail and weak man."

"And without your army or weapons?" Lucy challenged back.

"I didn't nearly kill Mirajane with a gun, or my armour. That was the skill of violence and a will to kill that did that."

"A skill of violence?" Lucy mimed. "What does that even mean?"

"Means loverboy here spent months on end learning the most efficient ways to kill somebody." Both heads turned to see Amanda walking up to the table, a tray of chicken and mashed potatoes in hand. She took a seat next to Natsu and flashed him a small smile, before turning her attention to Lucy. "And if I'm remembering right, weren't you one of Shaxx's favorites?"

"He just liked me because of my fire." Natsu shrugged, sliding the Thorn off the table and back on to his hip.

"Not from what I heard." Amanda took a bite of chicken and smiled. "Tastes like mama's cooking... Anyway, from what I heard, Natsu was a bit too advanced for his combatives class, and had to fight the instructor. I heard you almost broke Shaxx's neck."

"I will admit I was a bit heated at the time, plus I didn't have full control over my new abilities."

"Umm..." Both people turned their attention to Lucy, who was trying her best to not seem confused. "Who is Shaxx?"

"Right... So you know how Mira and I fought?"


"Well Shaxx was the guy in charge of those fights back where Amanda is from, and he was very strong."

"That's putting it lightly." Amanda snorted before turning back to Lucy. "He has only ever been beaten once, and that was by one of the leaders of the Vanguard. Natsu here almost brought him to pieces on his third week, and during a spar. Needless to say, Shaxx went a bit crazy and took to declaring Natsu his most cherished rival, especially after Natsu trained with an Iron Lord."

"Iron Lord?" Lucy asked, seemingly more confused. Natsu sighed.

"Super old, and super powerful warriors. Much more brutal in how they handled enemies. They're the equivalent to using lost magics, fluently."

"Oh." Lucy hummed. "So... Ummm... shall we get this job done?"

"Yeah." Natsu agreed. He leaned over and placed a kiss on Amanda's cheek, who only blushed before stuffing her mouth with mashed potatoes and moaning in delight, before standing up and waving to Lucy to follow him to the bar. The blonde quickly rose from her seat, waving to Amanda, who only grunted, before following after the pink haired man. She quickly caught up to the man as he spoke to Mirajane, who seemed to have a very disarming smile equipped as she spoke to the man.

"And why would you be taking our sweet, innocent, and curvey guildmate out on her first job? Trying to make a move?" Mirajane teased.

"Well it's not like you could take her." Natsu teased back. Lucy noticed Mirajane's smile tightened and she gazed at the man, her eyes flashing dangerously.

"I suppose you're right, but must it be you? Wouldn't you rather stay here, and wait for my little sister and Happy to return?" Mirajane giggled when Natsu paled. It had been a week since he had arrived back to the guild, and while his reunion with Happy had been tearful and heartfelt, Lisanna had capitalized on any moment she could to steal away the pink haired man. He swore up and down that he had bruising after Specter had revived him, though the youngest Strauss merely laughed it off as him needing rest before trying to steal away with him. Natsu quickly learned to let Mara or Amanda handle it, especially when he realized for a second time that her hits were strong enough to kill him and hurt enough for him to feel it after his revival.

"Are you sure you're not just trying to hog me all to yourself since you know Mara is back on the ship, and you've distracted Amanda with food?"

"Why would I? You aren't anything special." Mirajane huffed with a small dusting of pink across her cheeks.

"And yet this 'nothing special' handed you your ass on a silver platter." Natsu grinned when Mirajane's smile slowly began to crack in to a sneer. "Nope! You gotta smile and practise your manners. You remember the bet."

"Yes, of course!" Mira's smile returned, but Natsu could see the fury burning in her eyes. "How could I forget the bet when you also gave me such a beautiful dress to wear?"

"Glad you remembered." Natsu grinned before sliding the flyer to the woman. She snatched it from him and went in to the back. Ten minutes later, she emerged from the back and all but threw the flyer at the grinning man.

"Your job has been listed, and the contact has been notified. Have a safe trip." She spoke in a clipped tone.

"Of course." Natsu handed the job to Lucy, who quickly fled when she caught the attention of the eldest Strauss. Natsu watched her leave before turning back to Mirajane. "You really do look beautiful in that dress, and you have a very pretty smile." the man complimented gently before turning around and exiting after the blonde.

"That... That!"

"Idiot, right?" Mira whirled to see a grinning Amanda, an empty plate set before her on the counter. "He's got a weird way of doing that, getting in to places you don't want to let him in to. It's annoying, but also kinda endearing."

"Don't you care that he's flirting with another woman?" Mirajane shot back. Amanda merely shrugged while picking her teeth.

"He wasn't flirting. Man doesn't know how to. He was just being honest. Besides, Mara told me about the conversation she had with you, and I gotta say with how you cook, I'm coming around to like you too." Amanda grinned when Mirajane huffed, her blush reaching the roots of her hair.

"Don't I get a say in whether or not I want to be a part of your boyfriend's harem or not?"

"Not really." Mara chuckled with a shrug. "You just kinda happen to find out one day that you're so in love with him that you just want to stand by his side."

"And Mara?"

"Stands next to us, not in front or behind. She's part of my family, maybe not as high up as Natsu, but she's one of my most treasured people. After putting a lot of thought to it, I just kinda realized that her intentions weren't to steal him, but to follow him. Guy's got a way of making you believe in him."

"Yeah." Mirajane nodded slowly. "I suppose so."

"And I suppose I'm jealous of Natsu if he'll get to cup these luscious cans of yours!" Mirajane squealed when a pair of tanned hands roughly groped her. She latched on to the hands and flipped them, along with the owner of them, over her shoulder and in to the bar, breaking through the counter and all the way to make an indention of the now revealed Cana on the floor. The drunk was out cold before she knew what happened, but that didn't stop her from cursing loudly before turning to the gawking Macao and Wakaba.

"Look what you did Macao!" Mirajane snarled at the man.

"I didn't do shit!" The man shouted, only to pale when Mirajane turned a sinister smile to him.

"Yes you did, because it couldn't have been me. I'm sweet and gentle now, remember?" She turned a sharp gaze towards Wakaba. "Or is Wakabe going to go crazy next and put YOU in to the bar next to Cana? I wonder who will go crazy and put him in to the bar after you? This is an awfully long bar, and there are quite a few people here..." She smiled ominously.

"I'm sorry!" Macao snapped. "I'll get this cleaned up right away!" The two men both scurried away from the bar as quickly as they could. Mirajane huffed before turning her gaze to Amanda, who was trying her hardest not to laugh.

"What's so funny?"

"I like you a lot more!" Amanda bellowed with laughter. "You got my seal of approval if you ever decide you want in on our shin-dig!" The woman turned away from the bar, still laughing as she walked out, leaving the stunned Mira, and unconscious Cana, behind her.

"Why is everyone so strange?" The Strauss complained to herself before looking taking the plate and moving it to the sink before resuming her bar duties.

Her year of this was going to suck.

I'm alive!

Yes I know it has been nearly two months, and that is a seriously dick move of me to not update this story in so long, but Destiny 2 dropped, and I couldn't put it down, and the my lease ran out without my landlord informing me and I never got the option to renew, so I had to find a place to... uhhh... live for a while. I'm staying on a friend's couch for a while, and typing this up when I can on an old laptop of mine. I should be getting a new place fairly soon, but these things take time to set up. I'll do my best to get a few chapters typed up so that I can just run down to the library or McDonalds to upload a chapter, but I can't make any promises.

I hope you all enjoy this chapter, and I'm sorry it couldn't be longer to make up for me being gone for so long, but shit happens and sometimes there ain't jack you can do to stop it. Very few times in your life will you just be able to sit back and say "The dice have been rolled and it's out of my hands what happens next." You just gotta work with what you get, and I'm making the best out of a shitty hand.

Read and review, let me know if I'm dead to you all yet or not, and I hope to update sooner than this time.

Hope to see you all again,