Fluttering her tired eyes open, she felt peaceful riding on this man's back. Taking a whiff of his hair, Wendy smiled slightly that he was still with her. Ever since Natsu started taking care of her, he had always treated her with care and respect. Wendy loved Natsu as much as she did with her Dragon mother, Grandeeney. He always comforted her when she was sad and took care of her needs when she was deprived of anything. To her, Natsu was a brother. Together, they were family.
Wendy tightened her grip on Natsu's neck, clinging closer to her brother, feeling safe in his warmth. Natsu felt this and slightly turned his head around to look at the peaceful looking Wendy. Turning forward, Natsu began to speak, "Hey, Wendy, I know you're awake."
"I know, Nii-sama." Wendy answered softly.
"Y'know ya can get off now, right?" Natsu asked perplexed.
"I know. I like it just the way it is right now." Wendy answered again while getting a few chuckles from Natsu.
"Yeah, you do that. I'm just glad you're happy." Natsu said, smiling at Wendy's actions, although they weren't foreign to him as she would usually do this, the fact that she liked lying on his back amused him.
"Hey, Nii-sama, where are we going?" Wendy asked resting her chin on his shoulder.
"Don't you remember what I told you yesterday? We're going to town to get supplies for the future. Or rather, I'll be gettin' the supplies while you stay outside the town and wait." Natsu commanded.
"No, I told you I wasn't afraid of people anymore, Nii-sama! You trained me good, so now I can fight just like you!" Wendy yelled in refusal.
"I told you this before, Wendy. I can't let you get hurt. I only trained you in a case of emergency. Ya can't go 'round beating people up," Hearing the sudden drop in the girl's tone, Natsu reluctantly spoke, "Listen, if you wanna come, then do it. But make sure you stick close to me! If you go wandering off and get lost, I won't come lookin' for ya."
Laughing a little, Wendy playfully knocked Natsu on the head, "I know you wouldn't do that Nii-sama."
"Ahh, ya got me. I love you too much to let you go." Natsu said in a joking manner as they both laughed aloud with Wendy hugging him tighter.
"Nii-sama! Can you use your magic! Please, I wanna go fast again!" Wendy asked happily, cheering him on.
"Fine, but make sure you have your legs wrapped around tight 'cause I won't be holdin' back!" Natsu said with a big smile. Then, under his feet, two Magic Circles appeared as his legs glowed a bright red. Going into a crouching position, Natsu held on to the bags in his hands tighter while looking back to see a grinning Wendy. Knowing everything was set, Natsu pushed down on the ground forming multiple cracks before a cloud of dust was conjured where he last was. He was zooming through the woods at extraordinary speeds, his legs being a blur to the eye and winds being cast by the trail and footprints he left.
"Wheee! Go Nii-sama! You're the best!" Wendy yelled cheerfully, letting her arms free and having them ride the breeze.
"Almost there! Hang on Wen!" Natsu informed, joyfully sprinting through the woods with a huge grin on his face. But after a few seconds, he began to slow down, skidding to a stop and digging his feet in the ground, "Okay, we're here."
"That was awesome!" Wendy said, jumping up and down. She stopped her mini celebration when she saw Natsu began to dig in the bags that he packed, "What're you looking for, Nii-sama?"
"I need my cloak. I can't be seen the way I am when I go to the city." Natsu explained, pulling out a ragged and dirty brown cloak. Before he was able to put it on, Wendy saw what he wore at the moment and determined it to be his regular attire. It was pretty simple in her opinion since she only wore a short dress with a band holding up her hair in a ponytail.
He had on a black shirt that hugged tightly to his body since it was a couple years old and gray baggy pants held up by a brown belt as the buckle was gold with the engraving of a Dragon head. Natsu also had black shoes with the laces barely done. What he wore over it all was a dark orange trench coat that stopped at his knees and didn't fully go around his body. Wendy knew the real reason why he had one and it was to conceal his two favorite and only weapons: his daggers. She knew that one was in a red sheath and the other was in a black one with the handles being gold with red and black ribbons tied around them, but unfortunately forgot what the actual designs of the blades were. He hasn't used them in long while- he didn't need to.
When Natsu put on the cloak, he left his white scaly scarf around his neck that showed in the open. Then, bringing out their bag of Jewels and a piece of paper Wendy identified as a job that they had picked up before, the two walked down to town hand-in-hand with their bags on Natsu's back while unbeknownst to them, trouble brewed in the city.
Location Near Town Entrance:
"Here we are, Wen! Magnolia- and just when the festival should begin too!"
The Dragon duo leisurely walked from the forest to the town entrance in a respectable time compared to how long it took them to actually get to the city. Natsu raised his arms in excitement at seeing the festival while his sister gazes idly at the entrance sign above them.
"Wow, Natsu-nii, that gate is huge!" Wendy ogled at the portal in front of her with glee, barely halting herself from rushing through.
"Yeah, has to be at least fifteen meters, don't ya think?" Natsu put his hand over his eyes to cover the sun rays as he examined the gate. Taking a deep breath, he sighed, "Man, I can already smell the barbecue."
"Hmm, you're right! Let's go get something to eat." While Wendy rushed over to the entrance, Natsu took in one more whiff of the air. He knew something wasn't right.
"Wait, Wendy, stop!" Reaching out his hand, Natsu stopped her just in time before passing through the gate, "Don't go through that thing."
"What? Why Nii-sama? Is something wrong with the wood?" Perplexed, Wendy slightly looked up to find her brother baring a serious face. That's when she knew something was up.
"The whole city… it's lined with special Lightning Lacrima. If ya step through, you'll probably get shocked to death."
"That doesn't make much sense; it's a festival so why would you want to keep people out?" Wendy asked no one in particular. Standing inches away from the entrance, Wendy overlooked the city, a choking feeling of dread attacking her throat. Swallowing her fear and standing tall, she turned back to her brother resolved, "Natsu-nii, I think-"
"Forget it Wen, we're going. Our mission can wait for a few days and I can catch us food for a while. No need to get involved with somethin' that won't benefit us." Slowing, Natsu stoically pivoted away from the gate signaling his sister to follow. With a whip of his concealing robe, Natsu adjusted his arm and started his venture, anywhere that'll take him where he needed to go.
It wasn't long until his footwork stopped and his head sunk, "Wendy, I know what ya think. But right now we can't help those people- it's outta our hands."
"No, Natsu-nii! You always do this! Every time people are endangered you never want to help them, and you say it's to protect me! Well now I can fight too and it's time to stop acting cowardly!" Breathing hard after her speech, Wendy was shocked by her own actions. Never before has she went against her brother's orders, knowing that what he does was for their own benefit. She would follow everything else he'd tell her to do, but when it came to abandoning people who needed help, turning her back on them was always difficult. However, today that was going to change. Today, she wasn't going to let something terrible happen when she knows she could have done something.
Let's just hope Natsu agreed.
"Cowardly… you think I do this because I want to? Listen, Wen, I've been through things that would otherwise kill ordinary men, and I've also done things I would rather forget, but y'know what? All the shit I've been through is because I love you and I'd rather avoid confrontations that would jeopardize your safety. Now, let's go." Turning to face the small girl, Natsu unknowingly furrowed his temple and frowned deeply towards his sister. At this sight, Wendy slightly flinched, and with that, a chip of her resolve went with it.
"You don't think I know that? I know you love me but your seclusion has to stop. Nii-sama… you went through all that stuff and protected because you're strong. Now you can use that strength to help all those people who might be going through something awful! I can't just let that happen!" Her eyes slowly filled with salty water, and multiple times her voice cracked, but Wendy wasn't going to back down. Unconsciously her magic flared and a gust of wind knocked Natsu's hood down and blew through his hair, waving his robe around like a rag and revealing his clothing again. At least once, she had to win this argument… for her brother's sake."
"Damn it Wendy, stop being like this! The world out there and right here in this city hates our kind! They'd rather see you and me dead! I even have a bounty on my head just for having a certain kind of magic, and I've done all I can to hide your identity!" Natsu stormed over, closing the distance between them and kneeled down to face his only family left. Inhaling deeply, he cooled his temper and looked directly into Wendy's glistening eyes, "Wendy, if we go down there… I won't be able to protect you anymore. Soldiers, Wizards, and citizens will be after us. Are you okay with helping the people who despise us?"
It was silent afterward, but even with no sound, her body language spoke volumes. Although her muscles were tense and body stiff, her brown eyes pierced through his obsidian and answered for her. Flipping his hood back on, Natsu put his hands on her shoulders and softly pushed down.
"Don't be so tense, loosen up. I already taught ya that tight muscles aren't good for fighting, right?" Standing up gradually, he fixed his robe and peered through the entrance. Then, shaking up Wendy's hair into a mess, Natsu gleamed down on her and lightly laughed, "And that's for the wind from before."
"Natsu-nii… thank you so much!" Glowing with joy, she jumped up and tightly wrapped both arms and legs around his figure, "I knew I could count on you this time!"
"Ha! What are ya talking about 'this time'? You can always count on me, Wendy." Feeling slightly uneasy with the suffocating hug, Natsu lifted her off him and placed her feet back on the ground.
"Of course, Nii-sama." Wendy was overjoyed. She finally won! Now they can go save the people in Magnolia, and in the future, probably others as well!
"Anyway, we gotta find out how to get through there first."
'Oh yeah, that's right. How can we save them if we might die to go through that lightning barrier.' Hearing a clap next to her, Wendy looked up to find her brother having that idea face he usually gets.
"Ah ha, I got it! Listen, Wen, the moment I say go, crawl under my legs, got it?" Natsu quickly explained.
"Uh, I don't think I got it Natsu-nii. What are you going to do anyway?" Wendy watched her brother walk up to the entrance and take in deep breaths.
"You'll know when ya see it, okay?" Sighing deeply, Natsu whispered to himself, "God, this is gonna hurt like a bitch..."
"What are you talking about? I'd like to know what you're planning so-" Wendy statement was suddenly interrupted by the screams of her Brother.
"Ahh! What're you doing Nii-sama!? You're going to die!" Wendy agonizingly watched her brother step through the invisible lightning wall and slowly squat and spread his legs wide, all while getting furiously shocked and tased by the electricity.
"GO NOW WENDY! I CAN'T HOLD THIS MUCH LONGER!" Natsu was right, stepping through a lightning barrier that continuously shocks you does hurt a lot. His knees were numb and shaking, his back was tingly and aching, and overall, wasn't a pleasant experience. And on top of all of that, his consciousness was slipping.
It didn't take long for Wendy to piece the puzzle together as she ran as hard as she could and dived underneath Natsu's spread legs and made it through the barrier unscathed. Thinking quickly, she used her magic to blow Natsu inside the city and pass the barrier, releasing him from his terrible torment.
Heaving profoundly and with jagged breath, Natsu laid back to ground in pain and sorrowful regret.
"From today forward, I hereby declare that Natsu Dragneel hates Lightning Magic for as long as he lives." Raising his arm into the air and making a fake salute, Natsu jokingly made a pact.
"Silly brother, anyone would hate lightning after what you just went through. I swear you're such an idiot sometimes." Wendy giggled at her brother's antics while crawling towards him on her knees. Outstretching her hands, a soft light came from them and bathed Natsu in the same green glow.
"I'm so happy you have healing magic, you know that?"
"And I'm glad my brother is still alive. Let's keep the casualties to a low, okay? No more getting hurt." Concerned about Natsu's recklessness, she applied more magic to the healing process to speed it up.
"Well, if I get hurt, just know it's your fault." Natsu sat up, fully healed and energetic while looking skeptically at Wendy.
"That's not fair. I only want to help people you know." She whined while Natsu just smiled.
"I know. Now let's get goin'. I have a feeling things'll get crazy."