The Power of Love
Location / Date / Time Change
Two Days Later
Fairy Tail Guildhall
The entire guild sat in silence as everyone stared at Ikaruga and Mary at the bar. "...What is going on here?" Lucy asked.
"You mean the fact that I'm sitting in your guildhall, or the red head glaring at my friend?" Mary asked, looking up from her cup.
The kimono-clad girl glanced to the side as Erza stared at her. "Both." The armored woman replied.
"I'm sorry, do I know you?" The revived girl asked.
Before Erza could answer, the guild doors opened. Chelia and her cousin walked in, as well as Hisui, Arcadios and the Gauro Knights. "We understand you had a encounter."
"You could say that..." Gajeel mumbled, earning an elbow from Levy.
"I understand he has suffered a grave loss, but we need information." Arcadios said, stepping forward. "Who was with him when he fought Ivan?"
"Here, tin man!" Mary shouted from the bar. "We'll tell you everything you wanna know." The princess and her guard walked to the bar before the four plus Makarov entered the basement for privacy.
Chelia quickly raced over to Wendy who was sat near the door. "We heard the news. Where's Natsu?"
The guild hung it head before Wendy spoke up. "He's been in his home ever since he got back."
"He's depressed." Chelia mumbled, earning a nod from Wendy. "He needs our help." She turned to her cousin and pulled her to the side. "Sherry, can you come with me for a second?"
The cousins arrived at the house and knocked on the door. "Are you sure you're up for this?" Chelia asked.
"N-not entirely." Her cousin replied. "But if you think this will help, I don't have a choice."
The girls knocked again only for the door to open and the two carefully entered. Smoke filled their noses as they pushed in, finding broken furniture littering the ground. The couch was a smoldering wreck as shattered dishes covered the floor. The two carefully walked into the house and climbed the stairs.
They reached the second level and through an open door they saw Dragon Slayer was lying on his bed, in the same location as when he arrived. He didn't go to the guild, he didn't shower, he didn't even go to the fridge to get something to eat. He just... sat there, stewing in his failure.
"Go away." He huffed.
"You can't just do nothing." Sherry said, pulling the man up.
"I said, go away." He replied pushing her back. The girls were in as much shock of the action as he was. "I'm sorry. I just-I want to be alone."
"We came all this way for you." Chelia added. "This is a bit of a... pick me up."
The cousins were both prepared to get naked, willing and able to please him as women, but Natsu just turned and sat down. "...I want to be alone."
Chelia raced to the stairs and grabbed his arm. "Natsu, we're not joking. It took a lot of convincing to get Sherry to go through with all this to cheer you up." She said, pulling her pigtails down. "The least you could do is fake it."
"Is this what you think of my relationship?" He asked, shocking the two. "That it was just sex between me, Virgo and Aries? There was so much more to it. We loved each other, went everywhere together, saw sunrises on dates. And then when Meredy and Chelia joined, I started thinking it was a joke.
"Any day I was expecting for them all to come out and say 'Just kidding!' But when Meredy said she was pregnant... Something went off. I was going to be a father. And I needed to protect them all even more than before. All of them were the most precious things to me. And now... the two most important to me are gone."
Sherry was in shock, surprised by the determination and the love this man had for all the women with him. It was something she had never seen before. "Then fight for it." Sherry said, moving towards him.
"You haven't lost anything yet. But if you stay here and just sulk, then you'll never see them again. The longer they stay in our world, the closer they be to death. You need to save them from that bastard. So get off this bed and show them the power of your love."
The doll mage leaned in and kissed his lips. "We're all going to the guild, whether you like it or not." She and Chelia sat down on his couch, missing the small smile on his face.
Fairy Tail Guildhall
"So, the situation is dire..." Makarov said before turning to the guild. "Prepare for battle! Ivan and his goons will be coming for us!"
"Why would Ivan come here?" Lucy asked.
"He wants his revenge for the games?" Laxus guessed. "My pops got kicked out of Fairy Tail over twenty years ago, that man's been holding a grudge against us ever since. But now the power hungry maniac actually has bite to his bark."
"Then we need to prepare the guild hall for war." Erza declared.
"Wrong." Everyone looked over to see Mary pushing a plate away before stepping away from the bar. "What we have to do is head to the Netherforge."
"Why are you even still here?" Gray asked. "The Council should have dragged you back to jail."
"The Netherforge is real?" Lucy asked. "Seriously? That place is a myth. Its said to have made some of the most powerful weapons in the history of world."
"The bimbo is correct and clearly the smartest among you." Mary said, insulting the blonde in the process. "Only Gnarl the forge master can make us a weapon that will let us even come CLOSE to matching the power of Ivan."
"Then let's get going." The guild turned to see Natsu, Chelia and Sherry walk into the guild.
Everyone swarmed around Natsu and welcomed him back before Mary cleared her throat. "It's not some place that can just be reached by foot. Even with the fastest ship, it'll take us several hours."
"Good thing we have the Christina." Sherry said, grabbing Natsu. "Let's go." Mary pushed past Gray and joined the three trying to leave the guild.
"Hold it, pip squeak." Gray spoke up. "This is our guild and our friend. And we're not letting you take him to make... What-What- what kind of weapon are we talking about?"
"The Ivan-killing kind." Mary replied.
"Don't you think we should all have a weapon like that?" He asked back.
"No, absolutely not." The petite girl retorted. "Most of you lack the strength to wield them. A second of contact could have your bodies collapes and your minds succumb to madness. Even if you survive you may never be the same again."
"Then why is flame brain going?" Gajeel asked.
"Simple, he's the only one to have held two different stones without some kind of device to channel them." Mary replied.
"And we should trust you because why?" Carla asked. "How do we know you're not secretly working with Ivan?"
The cat suddenly clutched her gut in pain as Mary glared at her. "I would NEVER work for him! Not after he killed all my friends!"
"Enough!" Erza shouted before Mary released the spell. "While I do not trust you entirely, you seem to know much more about these stones than anyone else. But if we don't stop Ivan when he comes for us, he'll be too strong."
"He already is." Natsu replied.
"It seems we have a plan of action." Makarov said, walking forward. "Natsu, I trust you to keep these three in line."
"You got it, Gramps." The Dragon Slayer nodded before he started to turn.
"Wait!" Hisui raced forward to the entrance, holding a small box. "Just in case you return too late. We want you to take these as far away as possible." She opened it and the two stones they had acquired sat inside, having been given them by Mary. "Be careful."
Natsu took the box and nodded before four entered the massive ship. The engines roared as the airship lifted itself of the ground before flying to the coastline.
"These are the coordinates you gave me." Sherry said as the ship came to hover over the ocean. "There's nothing out here. What are we going to do now?"
"Dive." Sherry and her cousin looked at the shorter girl in confusion. "You heard me. This thing can go underwater, right?" She pushed on the wheel and the ship splashed into the water. A magic barrier popped up and created a shield around the ship engines sputtered a bit before they powered on, pushing through the abyss.
"How did you even know that would work!?" The Puppet mage asked, only getting an 'I didn't' from the petite girl. With a sigh, Sherry pushed Mary out of the way and returned to steering.
"Are you sure we're going the right way?" Chelia asked. "I'm not getting anything on radar."
"Don't worry, we're heading there." The petite girl replied walking around. "Avatar found it a year ago. The Netherforge uses the power of the plants core to create weapons. It's where we made Jerome's sword... to bad we could make HIM any better. How's the ship holding up?"
"A little creaking here and there, but nothing Christina can't handle." The doll mage replied steering out of the way of some rocks. "How's Natsu doing?"
Mary just sighed before leaving the room. She walked through the cold halls before stopping at a room. "Okay... time to be a nice girl." She walked into the room and found Natsu sitting on his bed.
She grabbed a chair from the side and placed it in front of Natsu before sitting down. "So your girlfriends are under the bad guys control. Don't you have anyone else? A brother? Your mom?"
"They're all dead." Natsu replied, his eyes never leaving the floor.
"...You sure you can do this?" The dark wizard asked.
Natsu raised his head and flashed the girl his signature grin before wiping some tears away. "You bet I am." He chuckled. "I do my best when I'm feeling intense emotions and I'm feeling some extreme emotions right now. So I'm good to go."
"But... Ivan has five of the stones." Mary replied. "He's the strongest being on Earthland. He almost killed you."
"And he's going to wish he did." Natsu interrupted. "...Mary, I'm gonna be honest with you. I have never felt anything like I did before I was in this relationship with Virgo and Aries and then with Meredy and Chelia. Even when I was with Lisanna as a kid, we used to play house with Happy as our kid, but that doesn't compare to what I've felt since I met those two. Ivan stole something precious from me and I'm going to get it back, even if it kills me."
"And what happens if he does kill you?" The petite girl asked.
Natsu froze at the question before letting out a sigh. "Then what else can I possibly lose?" He stood up and left the room, heading towards the cockpit.
Mary followed behind and reached into her bag before reaching him. "Well, if you're gonna die, might as well die fully dressed."
Natsu turned around in confusion before staring at his fathers scarf in her hands. "Where did- you stole it?"
"No, you dropped it back at the dark guild." She replied. "While you were busy being emo in your house, I kept it safe." She handed the memento of his father back and walked to the door before turning back. "Right, I'd wash that. When I got it today, it was wrapped inside Ikar-" An alarm went off before the ship started shaking, knocking the male over.
The two quickly raced to the control room and found the cousins just as confused. "We hit some kind of giant air bubble." Sherry said.
"We're here..." Mary smirked as Natsu helped Chelia up.
"Hey, I know we're super deep underwater but this place seems kinda dark to me." Natsu said.
"It's not just you." Sherry mumbled as Mary looked in horror. Hardened lava covered a series of pipes as the entire forge was dark.
Sherry landed the ship on what looked like a dock before the four walked out, Natsu using his magic to light their path. "And people call me sloppy." He said.
"This forge hasn't gone cold in 500 years..." Mary mumbled. Sherry stepped over some fallen metal before staying close to Natsu, a scurrying noise scarring her. "You said Ivan had a pauldron, right?" Mary asked.
"No, he had this weird thing on his shoulder." The male said, looking around.
Mary pinched her nose before pointing in front of her. "Did it look anything like that?"
Natsu moved his arm and the flame caught a mold of the item Ivan wore. "Oh, no." Sherry mumbled.
"Get back to the ship, now." Mary said turning around. A sword almost impaled her as she fell to the floor in shock. Natsu swung his arm and tried to hit something, only for a snap to echo before a slab of metal crashed down on Natsu, trapping him underneath it.
Sherry turned around and tried find it before a metal net shot out, wrapping around her. Chelia turned around and looked in fear before a blunt arrow hit her in the back of the head. "Gnarl, Gnarl stop!" Mary shouted, making the commotion stop. "It's me, Mary."
"...Mary?" The whole forge seemed to ask before a shining light was on her. "You were supposed to protect me! Avatar was supposed to protect me!"
"Avatar is dead." Mary said standing up, shocking the voice. "Gnarl, the armor... what did you do?"
Whirling noises filled the air as various arms lowered weapons as Natsu melted the metal off him. "For half a millennium I have existed, forging as I programmed to. Then he came..." Gnarl said. "He and his minions destroyed my defenses before breaking in. And then they forced me to do what he wanted. A device capable of harnessing the power of the stones.
"Then he crippled me, leaving me incapable of doing anything else." Natsu pulled the rope off Sherry before she helped her cousin up. "It's all over. Even with one Stone, Ivan is unstoppable."
"Listen, Gnarl, was it?" Natsu asked, looking around. "This is no time to sit around and feel sorry for yourself. I did that and nothing changed for anyone. I know what its like to feel helpless when Ivan has five stones. But together, we can kill Ivan."
Fairy Tail Guildhall
"Has the whole town been completely evacuated?" The old master asked.
"As far badk as we can go, thanks to Minerva and Doranbolt." Erza nodded. "And the last of our reinforcements have arrived."
"What do we have?" Makarov asked.
"The entire Fioren army, every single guild in service, the Council's custody enforcement unit, and the Garou Knights." Hisui replied.
"Doesn't this seem like overkill for three guys?" Sting asked.
The entire building shook before the four raced outside. A chunk of rock fell in front of the and they looked up, finding an entire island floating high above them, glowing in a brown aura. The aura died and the island started to fall. Some began panicking and ran for cover before a beacon of light erupted from the guild hall.
A golden dome of energy with the Fairy Tail emblem spread out from the apex and covered the town. The island hit and exploded into pieces the rubble settling to the ground. "He's here." Mavis said, sweat appearing on her astral form as she held her hands out.
"Master, we have company." Warren said telepathically. The group turned to see Nullpudding and Kurohebi at the edge of the shield.
The old man turned to Doranbolt before he, Erza, Hisui and Arcadios were teleported to the edge. "Not bad..." The short man said, tapping the spell. "You're more resilient than even the boss said."
"Where are Virgo and Aries?" Erza asked.
"You'll see them soon enough." Nullpudding said. "You could make this easier on yourselves and just surrender."
Hisui walked forward, flanked by Arcadios. "You've slaughtered my citizens, you betrayed your country, and you've killed for sick joy. You will have nothing but dust and blood."
"We don't need blood." Nullpudding chuckled before the ground started shaking. The earth cracked and split open as crude golems of stone rose and charged the shield.
Makarov and company returned watched as the golems pounded the dome before the sheer mass began curving around the energy. "What do we do?" Erza asked. "If we keep the shield up, these things will go right after the people."
"We drop the shield around the town, and have it focus on the guild hall." Mavis said, glancing at the pregnant Meredy inside. "On my signal."
Makarov stepped aside as the Garou Knights stepped forward, Arcadios drawing his sword. "Charge!" Arcadios shouted before he and the army ran forward. A mile from the shield, Mavis changed the magic and it focused on the guild hall. The armies met and the humans fired of spells, taking out as many as they could.
Their path was dimly lit by a faint coursing trail even the magic set to light the sconces as people passed didn't have enough power to trigger, leaving this dead factory in the orange glow of dragon fire from Natsu's hand. Two slots at the end of the path opened slowly with a loud grinding noise.
Mary grabbed the two surprisingly light casings before revealing them to the others. An ornate blueprint of a pair of gauntlets on one and boots on the other. "We're gonna hit Ivan with some bricks?" Natsu asked.
"They're molds, human." Gnarl replied. "From what I saw when I scanned your mind, you seem more comfortable fighting up close. These will allow you to fight Ivan on with more control over your two stones."
"So how do we help?" Sherry asked.
"You'll have to restart the forge." The forge replied, making them turn to the core of the building. "Awaken the power of the very planet."
"Leave it to me." Natsu said before running into the ship. "Where is- Ah hah! Found it!"
He left the ship with a smile before the forge positioned him in front of the source of power. "Natsu, I don't think you understand what you're about to try." Sherry said as he entered the chamber.
"Just trust me on this." He chuckled.
"I want to, I really do. But-"
He slammed the door shut and fell backwards down a large shoot before throwing a burning kick, destroying some hardened magma. His fists were bloody and bruised as even his hardened skin broke against the bedrock.
He pulled more and more fire out of the stone, making fire hotter than anything he had before, but melting it was out of the question too. In this black void, his screams of anger and pain echoed unendingly as he refused to give up. He had to make a weapon to beat Ivan, a blast of fire didn't even char the stone.
His friends were expecting him to revive the forge, a nasty crack came from his shoulder as he punched the floor with a Demolition Fist. But most importantly, his girls were counting on him to save them, to be there for him, to love them and hold them and raise a family with them.
In a display of frustration and anger, he released his strongest spell, and in a show of beauty, flames of countless colors surged forth and blasted along the floor. The spectacle of light and hope leaving Natsu gasping for breath as he poured everything he had into that attack, gaining the smallest of smiles as he saw a chunk of rock crumble to the floor.
Looking at the stone in his hands, the Dragon Slayer found that the red gem was far more vibrant than before, it's pure crimson now having a flickering inside. Something so faint that even with his advanced senses he almost dismissed as him imagining things.
As he found himself looking into the flame the world melted away. It took him a few seconds to realize that he had fallen backwards onto stone, but he wasn't in the forge anymore. Looking around, he saw his guildmates running every which way as they dealt with an endless horde of golems. Instantly jumping in to try and help, Natsu nearly tripped over himself as his punch went through them. Finally looking down, he realized his body was composed of an erupting golden fire.
Watching the people around him, he realized that he could see a fire in everyone. Gray had tempered blue fire beside Juvia's raging purple. Lucy and her Spirits had a dazzling controlled silver. He witnessed the lights in everyone and felt calmed by such beauty. And as he blinked, he was inside the Guildhall with those who couldn't fight. A smile showing as he saw Meredy helping keep the kids calm.
Her wonderous pink fire had something else to it though. It took the Son of Igneel a bit before he finally understood. The smallest smolder of a new flame was burning within her, their child. He was so overwhelmed with emotion that he ran to hug her before falling through her and finding himself falling from the sky.
And as he witnessed the flames from nature itself, he was finally understanding what a "Fire" really meant. It wasn't just combustion, but drive, passion, determination, will, hope. Fire wasn't just a destructive force, but one of liberty and expression.
Blinking again, the pink haired man found himself back in the forge, lying on his back with the fire stone in his hands. Looking into it, no longer did just the center flicker with color, but the entire stone seemed to radiate an ethereal flame that changed and transformed into every color he knew and then some.
Picking himself up, Natsu stretched his arms, now healed during his time away by the Life Stone, he was ready to save those he loves. In just a single stomp, the magma from beneath the bedrock erupted forth, the geysering lava consuming the rock and consumed Natsu as the forge began glowing with heat. "He actually did it." Gnarl mumbled as the steel illuminated, showing the ornate detail carved into the walls as the smelter's demonic appearance contrasted heavily.
Natsu pushed the door open and smiled at the group despite being covered in soot. "Never, EVER doubt a Fairy Tail wizard!" He shouted before falling over.
Sherry raced over and caught him, landing head first into her bosom. Mary pointed this out to Chelia and the two smiled at it, making Sherry blush hard.
A stream of lava shot up some tubes before it reached the forge. "Most of my functions still need repair." Gnarl declared. "But with this, I might be able to forge a few more-" Just as it hit the forging section the stream suddenly stopped. "No, no, no, no, no!" Gnarl mumbled as whiring and creaking noises filled the air. "Damn it!"
"What's damnit?" Natsu asked, pushing himself up.
"Ivan crippled the mechanism harder than I thought." The AI replied. "He's destroyed the coupling that holds the forge open. Without it, we can't heat the metal."
"How long is that going to take?" Natsu asked.
"A few minutes, maybe more." Gnarl replied. "Wait, you're not thinking about-" His answer came when Natsu started running over. "That's suicide."
"What is it?" Mary asked.
"He's gonna hold it open by hand." The building replied as Natsu jumped. He dropped past the two and fell before grabbing onto the device, his scarf almost falling off.
"Igneel, I hope I made you proud." He whispered, climbing up.
"Do you understand that you're about to take the full heat of the planet?" Gnarl asked. "It'll kill you."
"But we'll have a chance to beat Ivan." Natsu replied before gripping the four handles. He pushed as hard as he could and the metal seal opened, scrap metal melting as it fell into the molten core.
The sheer heat started burning his skin as he cried out, the magma climbing up the tubes. "Hold it, hold it!" Gnarl raced over to the brazier and peered in, seeing the metal melting. Natsu screamed as the last of the metal melted down. "Help!" Mary and Chelia raced over and helped pushed the chamber over, pouring the metal into the molds.
Natsu's muscles finally gave out as he let go, dropping to the open planetary core. Strings wrapped around him and pulled him up, right into Sherry's lap. "Natsu, say something! Come on! Come on!"
Gnarl used his automatic arms to carry the molds to a table and smashed them open, the intricate pieces bouncing on the table. "The pins..." The minion mumbled, throwing boxes of nails to the side. "Help me find the pins!"
The girls raced over and searched under the table as fast as she could. "Here!" Chelia placed the box on top and the trio quickly assembled the weapons.
"I think he's dying!" Sherry shouted.
"I'm a forge master, not a miracle healer!" The foundation of the base shook as he spoke.
Mary placed her gauntlet down as she glanced at Natsu. "The stones..." Mary mumbled before shouting to Sherry. "Get the stones!"
The doll mage raced into the ship and quickly returned with the orbs holding the stones. She arrived at the table and handed them to Mary, who placed the Life and Fire stones into the right gauntlet. The three humans then fitted them onto Natsu as the burns started to heal.
Makarov swung his massive arms and wiped out any golems around them. Erza blocked a stone fist before Jellal blasted it to pieces. Two came up from behind and were shattered by a sword swing from Kagura. Laxus punched the ground and lighting caused any around him to explode.
Mirajane and Freed flew over the battlefield and blasted the mob before a sand hand grab the two and forced them to the ground. Nullpudding and Kurohebi walked into the battle as Ivan watched atop a chunk of the mountain that shattered against Fairy Sphere. "There's too many of them!" Gajeel shouted before a fist shattered his scales.
A pillar of red fire shot out of the ground before two beams of white fire started spinning around. The golems melted into slag as the flames healed anyone they touched. The army looked up at the pillar as it died down, revealing Sherry with a shield, Mary armed with a morning-star, Chelia with black wind whipping around her and Natsu with his glowing armor.
"It's about time..." Gray mumbled, standing up.
Erza smilled at the trio as Nullpudding and Kurohebi glared at Natsu in anger. "Ivan, I'm gonna kick your ass and save my girls!" A burning dragon formed around his body. "You wanted to fight Fairy Tail, well here we are!" The forces behind him cheered as they all charged forth, the fire dragon slayer turned into a demon on the battle field, destroying the fodder by the tens with each and every swing. "Erza!"
The redhead turned to her comrade. "Gimmie a boost." The knight lifted her forearm as Natsu stepped on it before shoving him high into the air. The two glowing gauntlets in his hands spewing fire as two balls of flame coalesced at his palms. Right as he started to fall back down, the tiny shots blasted towards the unending army of golems before erupting in a mountain of hellfire.
Each one wiping out countless enemies and scarring the land with craters and burns. His eyes were slits and his blood was pumping. Natsu was going to win this fight if it was the last thing he would do.
...What? Did you really think sex would be on his mind after the last chapter? No, it would be the last thing. So despite my best efforts, this smut story has a smut free chapter in it. I hope you can forgive me.
Now, I'm sensing that some of you might not be happy with the direction I've taken the story. If so, I sincerely apologize. But the set up was purely unintentional for the first four chapters, and once I noticed it, my wheels started spinning and it was game over. Don't worry, you only have to suffer through it for one more chapter.
Beta read by Natsu is Awesome.