Dedicated to: Line464d
Thanks to my beta: Jaewalkerr
I really feel like I don't thank you enough you fabulous creature! X
Love for my pseudo-sister: Sabbs123
Some bum-faced, crusty-nippled, uneducated goose penis reported my laptop to the IT guy, and so, without warning, the school wiped EVERYTHING from my laptop, which sucks BALLS because I was nearly finished the chapter, and was going to send it for Beta-ing, but then I had to start all over again, which is why this is late. That and the fact that my emotions and metal states are horrible and malfunctioning and I can barely do anything anymore.
We're having a big thunderstorm here. I like thunderstorms. In fact, that's why I'm writing this now. Because rain helps me think.
OMG Chapter 50! This story is nearing the end! But I'm not going to say my good-byes yet! 10 chapters to go!
My friend thanks you for all the well wishing, she's doing much better now, she was even at school the other day.
Two little girls run side-by-side, one with shoulder-length blue hair that bounces with her steps, the other with dark, chocolate coloured hair that streamed out behind her while she runs.
"We've… gotta… tell… them…" Wendy puffs. Short bursts of air cause her to shoot forwards a few feet, aiding her in speeding towards their destination.
Yuki nods quickly and the two girls hurry back towards the cottage.
The two girls burst through the front door and trip, falling flat on their stomachs, the two girls moan in pain.
"What the hell did you trip on?" Gajeel asks, setting aside his broom and hoisting each girl up by the back of her collar.
"Um… I tripped on my feet." Wendy says quietly.
Yuki sniffs haughtily. "There was a roll in the carpet."
"But… Yuki-chan. It's floorboards there."
Yuki whips around and stares at the varnished, freshly replaced floorboards. Her face flushes slightly, no way was she admitting that she was a natural klutz.
"Regardless, we our trip to the library was well-advised. We know how Heartfillia and Dragneel can regain their magic."
The group walks into the living room, talking in hushed voices. The two girls stop and stare.
"Wow." Wendy breathes.
"You should consider a career in interior design. Or household repairs."
Each of the four walls had been scrubbed clean and re-painted white, the wall opposite the front hall way had been artfully splattered with silver, blue and 2 shades of green. On that wall sat a cabinet, with the vision lacrima sitting in the large space surrounded by random objects including; a shell, an old radio and a vase full of green ferns among other things. The maroon carpet had been pulled up and replaced with brown floor boards. The old couch had been taken away and replaced with a larger, darker one. Two armchairs sat on either side of it with a chestnut coffee table in the center of the room. The window frame had been re-painted and had heavy, dark green curtains tied on the sides, allowing the sunlight to come through.
"Where is Chakara?" Yuki asks.
Gajeel gestures towards the newly repaired kitchen door. Not a second later, Chuck emerges, wearing a pink apron with white frills on the edge.
"What are you wearing?" Yuki screeches.
"It's cute." Several trays with various sweet things and two types of tea are placed on the coffee table. "Here you go, poppet!" He smiles and pats Yuki on the head affectionately.
"Where are the other boys?"
"Outside. You told them to clean everything remember? So that the council didn't deduct from out reward money."
"Go and get them."
Chuck bounces out of the living room and throws his head out the window, to call for the other Dragon-Slayers. They all tramp inside and make a beeline for the table full of food, but before they could leave the doorway, Chuck and Gajeel swoop at them.
"Take your shoes off!"
"I just swept this floor!"
"Don't you dare make a mess on that new couch!"
"Lucy! Get out here!" Laxus calls.
Lucy walks out of the bedroom, with Natsu dutifully at her side.
"How is your magic doing?"
"Hmm?" Lucy looks up from the cupcakes Natsu was holding out in each hand.
"Has your magic returned yet? Can you summon spirits?"
"Um…" Lucy reaches to her waist where her keys were slung threaded onto her belt. "I'm not sure." She reaches for Plue's key. "Open! Gate of the Canis Minor!"
"I guess not."
Sting glances over at the blonde in confusion. "Since when are you so talkative? I thought you were still broken."
Lucy shrugs. "Not anymore." Natsu hands her a cupcake with neat swirls of pink and a sugar flower.
Yuki quickly relays all the information she and Wendy had learnt and Lucy nods.
"That's fine. I have my whip; and Natsu's not completely useless. We'll be fine. What we really need is to start making plans."
"Mmm. Chuck, these are great."
"So, Rogue, you have the map that Lucy helped you create. Right?"
Leaning against the wall, Rogue nods and withdraws a folded piece of paper from his cloak folds.
"Heartfillia, how long will it take us to get there?"
"I'd allow for four days. Two if we don't have any interruptions or bad weather."
"Excellent." Yuki absently unwraps a cupcake. "We can leave tonight."
"There is no point in waiting. We know where they are, and we are not going to get any stronger, so we might as well go now."
"Fine. Wendy and I can set up the protective runes in about half an hour."
"But what about the dragon in the bedroom?"
"The protective runes will prevent her from leaving. She won't be able to sneeze without the Sabertooth Guild knowing if she wipes her nose."
"Right. So now?"
"Yeah, Lu-nee and I will start the runes now."
"We're leaving in one hour."
Sting looks up from his plate full of sweets. "An hour now, or an hour starting after lunch?"
Yuki glares at him and Sting shrinks back in his seat. Then her mouth quirks up in half a smile and she shoves the rest of her cupcake in her mouth. "After lunch."
Cobra locks the front door behind him and walks quickly to catch up to the group. As soon as he steps out onto the road the runes traced on the ground flash blue and green and flare up around the house with a beep.
"Good work Wendy."
"Right, everyone know what's going on?" Laxus asks.
"No idea!" Cheers Fro.
"Lucy and Laxus, Gajeel and Wendy, you guys are Team one." Yuki says, taking charge. "Cobra and myself, Sting and Natsu make up Team two. Rouge and Chuck are Team three."
Everyone shifts slightly to stand in his or her respective groups. Wendy looks up at Gajeel nervously and he nods reassuringly at her.
"Team one takes the far right side of the forest, walking along the sea edge until they reach Throwback Cove, where Lily and Lector will meet up with you. Team two; you are to walk along the mountain path, until Fro and Carla are in sight. Team three; you guys are to go directly in the forest. Happy will accompany you from the beginning. We will meet up at the Old Oak Shelter at the end of the forest range. It will take about a day and a half to get there. From there it takes a day to cross the mountain range and reach the lair. Be careful; don't draw any unnecessary attention to yourselves. Travel at a slow speed and stay hydrated and energized. Take turns in sleeping and always be on guard. Got it?"
Lucy bites her lips nervously and glances over at Natsu. He quirks an eyebrow at her.
"Let's move out." Chuck says.
Laxus and Gajeel start walking immediately, Gajeel shouldering Wendy's bag without asking. The other two teams walk in opposite directions, save for Natsu and Lucy. Natsu cups her cheek and trails his fingers down her collar bone and arm. "Stay safe. Do you hear me?"
"Yeah." Lucy nods.
"No." He grabs her wrists and pulls them up to eye level. "No, Luce I mean it. You don't have any magic. It anything bad happens let Laxus and Gajeel deal with it. You have no business putting yourself in danger. Understand."
"It's fine Natsu. It's only a trip to the Oak Shelter. It'll be okay."
"It's fine Natsu."
"Lucy-nee!" Wendy calls.
"I've gotta go."
"Yeah." His frown deepens.
Subtly she tugs her hands away and he releases his hold on her. She smiles grimly at him and takes a step back.
"Yeah, you too."
She turns and starts to walk off in the direction of her team.
She turns and looks at him.
He was dying to say; I love you but instead the words that came out were; "You're my best friend okay?"
She grins, properly this time. "You too Natsu."
"Keep up!" Gajeel yells behind him.
Wendy straightens up, a perfect, leopard spotter sea-shell in hand, and hurries to catch up to Lucy, who was also lagging behind the two boys.
"Come on. We don't want to be dead weight."
"Dead weight." Wendy repeats, horrified.
Lucy looks out to her left and surveys the wide expanse that formed the sea. White foam gathers where the waves crash together and spray salty water up on the rocks behind the group of travelers. Her nose twitches and she inhales deeply, the salty scent clogging her nostrils and etching a satisfied smile on her face. The two boys were trudging through the sand ahead, Laxus having gallantly offered to take Lucy's pack. Raising a hand to her head, the blonde absently wipes off the sweat that had accumulated under her fringe. She reaches for the oblong water skin at her side and uncorks it taking a tiny sip before returning it to its place beside her keys.
The right side of the travelers led to the forest. Blue forget-me-not flowers dotted the forest edge which after a few meters, greedily enveloped the dirt path. The canopy of tree branches makes tiger patterns on the overgrown grass and hides the rocks so unsuspecting hikers would trip and fall. A turquoise bird with a black flank and tail sits on one of the larger branches, observing the mismatched group with cold, silver eyes. Naturally, it is very curious as the where the group is headed off to in such a hurry that the males have left the two smaller ones behind. And, of course, it was thinking about how ugly these overgrown, featherless, blunt beaked, birds were, and if they understood bird-language, how she would tell them of a nice peacock who could give them new plumage and a beak sharpen at a fraction of the cost for first-time visitors.
Lucy glances back at her blue haired companion, who, like Lucy no longer had a large rug sack, but a smaller backpack containing snacks and water, but unlike Lucy seemed to be struggling in keeping up with the blonde mage.
"You okay Wendy?"
"Mm." She huffs.
"Come on, you've got to be fitter than me at least." Lucy encourages. "We can have a break soon. I promise."
"I don't have to run around after Natsu-san and Gray-san every day."
Lucy snorts. "It is a good workout. Do you want me to carry your back-pack?"
"No, no. I'm fine. It's just really hot."
Lucy frowns and rubs at the back of her neck. Long hair is an issue when it's hot. You wouldn't believe how much you perspire, and then your hair gets really dirty.
"Hang on a sec." Lucy shrugs her bag off her shoulders and opens it, rummaging around for something inside. She withdraws a small paper bag. "Here." She throws something circular to Wendy, who, predictably, drops it. She dives after it and dusts the sand off the object, which turns out to be a hair tie. Lucy fastens her own hair in low twin-tails, then beckons Wendy over.
"I'll do it up for you." With a few twists, Wendy's hair sits at the top of her head in a simple, functional bun.
"Oi! We're not going to a frickin' parade! Hurry it up!"
The two girls make tracks in the sand and hurry to catch up with the two men.
This was physically painful to write, nothing's coming out the way I want it to. I'm not happy with this chapter at all, but felt like I had to update SOMETHING. I'm super sorry.
Next Time on the Peacekeeper:
The cave lit up and the inscriptions on the wall glow ominously. Gruesome images of dragons, humans and innards decorate the wall distastefully.