A/N: Ugh. This fic has gotten out of control oh my god. The plot is a lot more complex than I initially needed it to be, thats why it's taking me longer to write. This fic is going to b G, phew, partially because I can't shut up, lmao.
Also, any guesses as to the role of Orecion Seis? It's been done in the anime! I will be making my own changes of coures, to fit the plot, but I'm curious to see if anyone's gonna guess [ and potentially may be get annoyed at me ].
OH AND BTW I'll take prompts on my Tumblr if anyone wants to send any my way! . www dot yogicturtle dot tumblr dot com slash ask. Sorry, the layout is kinda ugly right now lmaoooo
To the Reviews:
paolarohe1529: Nope! He's not! He really just wants to protect her ;)
Michiamotippette: Oh, omg really?! If that kind of smut works, great! I'll try to keep writing that kind. I prefer not getting TOO detailed; makes me feel some type of way lmaooo
And omg only NerdmomDM and Michiamotippette made the guess in the right direction, woohoo!
I would also like to thank Ushindeshi, , Lady Otaku Bish and MaraDragneel3113 for leaving me reviews! I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate it! I hope you guys like where this story goes. _/\_ I LOVE YOU ALL, MY REVIEWERS, MY FAVOURITERS and SUBSCRIBERS. I thrive. xoxo.
Chapter 7 - Scuffle at the Port
"You fairies really do make everything worse," growls Gajeel, earning just a grunt form Natsu who was walking alongside him, arms crossed.
Natsu's head is still reeling from all the information he had just received and right now, he's doing his best to just simply focus on finding her. But they have absolutely no lead and he's currently under orders from Erza to track Gray, who'd been missing from his room as well. Once Juvia and Gajeel had explained the situation to them, Erza had flown up the stairs and nearly took the door to Gray's room of its hinges only to find that he wasn't in.
"We split to look for her. Natsu, you'll track Gray and-"
"What!? Why? Snow Drift can take care of himself! I need-"
"Natsu, you'll try to find him because you'd do the best job at tracking his scent because you're familiar with it. Gajeel, Juvia and I will each take one of each of the roads that leads away from the hotel. We're bound to find her on one of these roads, somewhere."
It just so happened that Gray's scent led to the road Gajeel had chosen. The Iron Dragon Slayer was tense and alert, occasionally narrowing his eyes at Natsu.
"Quit it," mumbles Natsu, increasing the pace of his steps, trying to keep his sense of irritation and worry at bay.
Gajeel grunts, rolling his eyes before he cracks his knuckles. "So, Salamander. Care to explain why her scent is coming off of you like you showered in it or something?"
Natsu's eyebrows pinch into a frown and he scowls at Gajeel. "None of your business."
Gajeel returns a scowl. "It's my job to keep her safe and if you-"
Natsu glares at Gajeel, outraged. "I did nothing of the kind! She… I… None of your business."
Gajeel raises his brows, sniffing the air for lies of any kind, before eyeing him suspiciously. "Interesting."
"Shut up, Metal Head," he replies, just as Gajeel comes to halt at an intersection of the road. The cobblestone path now diverged in two different roads, one heading down the port and one winding down the fisher's market.
"Gray's down there," says Natsu, pointing to the road leading to the port.
"Guess I'll hafta take this one then," mumbles Gajeel as he turns to the one leading to the fisher market. He starts to walk before he halts and looks over his shoulder at Natsu with narrowed eyes. "And Salamander?"
"What?" asks Natsu, not stopping as he walks down the road.
"If you find her, no funny business," says Gajeel seriously dodging the ball of flame Natsu had chucked at him.
Scowling, Natsu turns away and trudges down the road, glad that he finally had some space to think. To mull over everything he had just heard. He didn't want to admit it, but he's hurt that she lied to him. His fingers tighten around the crumpled piece of paper in his hand, the note she'd left him. He's read it so many times now that he has it memorized.
I wish we had more time. I'm so, so sorry for doing this, but I have to go. It's not safe. The last thing I want is to get you into trouble. I care about you. I hope you forgive me.
I care about you.
I hope you forgive me.
He has so many questions. There's so much about that note that makes his heart beat faster. But there's also worry and most times, worry wins out because he knows she's in danger. More danger than she thinks she's in. It's starting to frustrate him that he can't catch her scent. The sun is higher now and the streets are a lot noisier than when he'd first stepped out of the inn. He feels Gray's scent grow stronger and tenses, alert, looking around for any signs of a white coat or the sound of a woman screeching about some naked guy.
He reaches the end of the road, blinking as the sun suddenly gets brighter as he steps out of the shadows of the houses on the street. The horizon is blocked by ships docked at the pier and even his sharpened senses can't pick out Gray in the crowd.
Idiot, he thinks to himself as he decides he has no choice but to pursue the scent. Couldn't have left a note. I could be looking for her but… NO, you just had to run off.
Determined to find Gray and then give him a beating, Natsu wades through crowds of people, weaving his way through crates and baskets being loaded on and off the ships.
And suddenly, her scent hits him. As if it appeared out of nowhere.
When she'd arrived at the port, she'd been relieved to see that despite the time, it was bustling with activity. She walks onto the busiest pier, and sits under the shadow of a giant ship docked near it, her eyes fixed on the horizon as she waited for the sun to come up. She's sat for hardly a couple of minutes, when she hears footsteps approaching the pier she was on. She stills, hoping she'd be left alone but the footsteps halt right in front of her and she feels herself freeze at the sight of the familiar face.
"Well, well," he drawls knowingly, an unamused expression on his face.
Before she can react, she feels a chill settle around her and her hands, in her lap, lose their mobility. Panicking, she looks down to see crystal clear cuffs made of ice, around her hands and anxiety hits her like a ton of bricks as she looks up at the impassive face of the ice mage.
Gray is now squatting in front of her, eyes narrow as he watches her. She licks her lips nervously once, and her hands, though bound now, are clutching at her cloak tightly. He realizes she hadn't been wearing that when they first saw her. It looks expensive and surprisingly shimmery in the dark.
He can tell she's scared and he notices the way her gaze keeps flickering to the horizon. He waits for a sense of victory to come so he can rub it into Flame Brain's face that he was right, but as he watches the girl squirming uneasily, scared, looking a little guilty, he only feels apprehension. Maybe it was because she didn't look at all threatening.
"I… put up an enchantment."
"Wait, you're a wizard!?" asks Natsu, surprised.
She'd said she was a wizard but she had made no move to use her magic, not even to defend herself. That makes him all the more apprehensive, and equally sure that he's missing something.
He watches her coolly, waiting for her to say something, but she doesn't. She simply stares at him, swallowing thickly as she does, but stays quiet as she studies him.
"You lied to us," he says simply.
She only grunts in response, not even bothering to deny it anymore.
"Who are you?"
His eyes narrow again, but she doesn't even flinch. He knows something is off. He just knows it. But he doesn't even know where to begin asking questions, or what to ask.
"I need the truth," he says, at last.
"I needed rescuing," she says in response, and he can tell her words are measured. Careful.
"The whole truth."
She sighs. "I can't tell you that."
"The less you know the better."
Gray considers her words. It's true he didn't know what he was dealing with, but then again, it couldn't possibly be anything him and his team couldn't handle.
"Why is that?"
Because my father is a powerful man and I don't want him to come after you.
"Just… It could get you into trouble. I don't want anyone else involved."
Gray snorts at that. "We were involved the second we broke into that manor to save you."
She sighs. "It wasn't supposed to… You were just supposed to let me…" Another frustrated sigh, as her gaze flickers to the horizon just as a sliver of light appears of it. "Look, it doesn't matter. It's not too late." She glances down at her cuffed hands. "Just… let me go. And we can forget this ever happened," she pleads.
Gray hesitates. He can sense the urgency in her voice but he's still wary. Wary of the lies, wary of being involved in something he had absolutely no clue about and mostly, just wary of the lack of information he feels he should know. He has always hated diving head first into anything without information, and this is no exception. His gut twists uneasily at the prospect of missing pieces of information and he runs a frustrated hand through his hair.
"What are you waiting for?" he asks finally, when he catches her throw an anxious look towards the horizon. He follows her gaze and sees a ship looming over the zenith in the distance.
Her eyes flicker back to his face and she nods towards the ship's silhouette. "That."
Gray quirks a brow, but once again, she offers no further explanation. She starts to stand-up, but Gray is up in an instant, hands on her shoulder as he pushes her back into a seated position.
"I need the truth."
"Are you daft?" she asks him suddenly, making him blink in surprise at her sudden change in demeanour. She stares at him and her brows cinch into a frown, before she snorts in a disgruntled manner. "Ice Brain really does suit you, huh?"
Gray blinks in confusion. "How did you-"
But she continues, paying him no heed. "What part of I cannot tell you the truth do you not understand? Do you want to put everyone at risk? Miss Scarlet and Natsu? If you don't know anything, there's deniability and-"
"We're Fairy Tail," snaps Gray. "There's nothing we can't handle and-"
The ship gets closer and Lucy is increasingly getting agitated. "Look, I really need to go!" she says, her voice filled with urgency.
She stares at his stubborn face and feels really annoyed this time. She really didn't want to fight him. But she also really needs to get onto that ship. She could see that it was going to anchor on one of the furthest piers so she didn't have much time; she has to get out of the cuffs, fight Gray and reach the ship on time to be able to board it.
Hands still in her lap, she relaxes them slightly, letting them slip into the fold of her cloak. Her fingertips graze the pouch and she smiles at Gray apologetically.
There's a flash of light and Gray finds himself wanting to take a nap as the softest material he's ever felt in his life surrounds him. It takes him a moment to snap out of it before he's freezing the massive lump of wool around him before leaping out of the from the centre of the frozen walls. He sees she's dropped her cloak and turns to see her successfully breaking the ice cuffs after knocking them against a giant crate a few feet ahead.
Disgruntled as he watches her start to sprint, he touches the ground, his touch starting a trail of sheet ice as it shoots forward in Lucy's direction before getting her right under her feet and tripping her.
"What'd you think you're doing, Ice Brain!" snarls a voice next to him as jogs up from behind to join him.
"Trying to stop her from getting on that ship," he grunts, starting to walk towards Lucy who was struggling to get to her fit.
Natsu walks by Gray unsurely, eyes flickering to the ship that Gray had just pointed at. His attention is brought back to Lucy when she yelps, looking comical as she wobbles over the ice, cursing; she still hasn't seen him yet.
Lucy is really annoyed now. Loke was right; they really didn't know when to quit. It couldn't have been easy for her; complications couldn't just have ended when he had shown up to the rescue. No. She had to be at the port, meters away from the ship that she could board to get away from… whatever… and here she couldn't even get to her feet.
She tries to stand up again, looking over her shoulder to see the ship dropping its anchor. She only had a few more minutes. Thinking desperately, she looks around and feels foolish when the idea strikes. Reprimanding herself, she gets on her fours and attempts to crawl off the sheet of ice and onto solid ground, but too little too late.
She feels a warm hand wrap around her arm as opposed to the cold grip she was expecting and whips her head around to look over her shoulder, eyes wide. Natsu is watching her grimly as he effortlessly picks her to steady her on her feet and pulls her off the ice sheet.
"Natsu!" she squeaks, cheeks turning red, as she forgets to squirm in his grip.
He sighs softly, but doesn't release her. Instead, he holds her free hand, slipping the crumpled letter he had been holding into hers, oblivious to Gray, who is standing behind Natsu, arms crossed, watching them with interest. She frowns for a second, looking down at their now intertwined hands and her eyes widen in realization. Blushing red, she looks up at his face, stuttering, "I- I.. Well-"
"I wanted to, but I… I… Safe…" she stutters lamely, because once again… Not how it was supposed to go.
"You lied to me," he says, and his words make her flinch. "You lied to all of us."
"I'm sorry," she says quietly. "I didn't think..."
"Yeah. You didn't."
"...But I don't regret it," she finishes. "I had to. It was the only way to-"
He cuts her off, deciding to deal with the rest of it later, knowing that she was still not fully safe. "Look, we can keep you safe. Safer than you think." Pause. "Come with us. Please."
He sees her look down thoughtfully, and he relaxes a little, knowing that she was considering his words. She looks up at him unsurely, about to say something but another voice cuts through the air, making her jump as she looks over her shoulder.
Natsu looks up to see Gajeel hurrying towards them from over Lucy's head, and his eyes shoot to Lucy instantly, seeing the confusion and worry swirl in them.
"Congratulations, you found them both!" continues Gajeel as he walks towards them, Natsu feels Lucy wrench herself out of his grip.
She is looking at him wide-eyed, livid and hurt. She looks over her shoulder again, before looking back at him and he can already see what she is thinking as she backs away from him.
A/N: OOPs. There. WHAT DO YOU THINK? PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I MUST KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THIS. WHERE DO YOU THINK IT's HEADED? AM I BEING TOO ANNOYING AND SLOW?
I need y'all to ask me AS MANY QUESTIONS as possible because that'll help me to think about points I might have missed on the way. As I said, the plot's kind of complex, so I'm bound to overlook a couple of things, so PLEASE ask me questions.