Thanks so much guys for all the favs, follows, and reviews
I'm so sorry for the wait, I had to update my other story badly, and I needed to get new stories out of my system, and I originally planned something else entirely for this chapter, but then it just didn't fit with the rest of the story so I made a last minute decision to change that
And sorry if this chapter seems mellow or something, but there will be a bunch of action next chapter, both the emotional and fighting type of action
Hopefully, it won't take as long to write the next chapter since I'm so excited to write it, it was one of the first scenes I thought of that got me into writing this story in the first place :D
I apologize in advance if this chapter has some areas where the sentences are jumbled and/or if they're are any other typical errors, I got lazy in the editing and only revised it once, so sorry if those errors are anywhere XP
I'll probably reread it later and get rid of any errors that are still left, if there are any.
Anyway, hope you enjoy ;)
Childish mutters blended in with the friendly chatter of the streets of Magnolia.
The source of the mumbles was none other than Natsu Dragneel. His slouched posture and crossed arms enhanced his childlike pouts.
Lucy Heartfilia walked beside him and giggled at his behaviour. She appeared carefree and relaxed, but unease filled her gut because of the fact that the man next to her had scarcely dodged her question of whether he had read the letter she wrote to her mother or not.
Natsu had been obvious when he had been trying to avoid answering, and Lucy had played along innocently. She hadn't known what to do then and still didn't know, in fact.
Not even even ten minutes earlier, they had breached a very serious topic of trust and openness.
The event had been filled with tears and palpable tension and unease, and Lucy had hoped that would be the thing to let Natsu push past his new condition to be open with her.
But he was being just as secretive, if not more.
It was so wrong… so not Natsu. It was the only way to describe it.
Before any of this vampirism, as the Master had called it, he would've made some excuse to escape her wrath, like that the letter had been sitting on her desk and had taunted him. He would have said some variation of the truth, but he never would have avoided the question like he did a few minutes before.
The way he had dodged her question…
He had pretended to be cheerful, had pretended to be at ease, and that hadn't been the worst of it.
Natsu had almost seemed like he had wanted to curl in on himself, like he was expecting something horrible to come.
The whole thing shredded her insides; it was so wrong to think the dragon slayer would think and feel like that, especially around her.
Lucy felt so lost, and she could tell how uncomfortable and stiff Natsu was.
So she had chosen to let this one slide and had decided to postpone the question till later... even if everything and all her previous thoughts pointed to the Natsu reading her letter. But then again, she could never bring the question up.
Lucy tried make herself think that the second option was the better choice, but she really wanted to ask the question again. It wasn't really the fact that she needed to confirm that Natsu read her letter; it was that she didn't want Natsu to lie to her.
But she just didn't know how to act around Natsu with his new condition.
It had not even been a full day since the evil sorcerer known as Plague crashed into the guild hall and infected two of Fairy Tail's dragon slayers and their resident ice mage with spells that acted as diseases.
Of course, the whole guild shared the three's pain, but the celestial mage felt absolutely torn apart due to a certain someone's new, but temporary, lifestyle.
Natsu, who was so headstrong, reckless, and optimistic, had drastically changed since he had been infected with the disease known as vampirism. The man that let few things get to him had changed, physically and mentally. He had drawn into himself and was guarded; an aura of self-loathing constantly over him now.
The fire dragon slayer was afraid of himself and what he would do to others, and Lucy knew he had to constantly fight to keep himself together, especially when there was skin contact, since his newly enhanced senses were specially crafted to worsen his desire for blood.
The fact he would always hurt in some degree whenever he stood in the sun was the straw that broke the camel's back.
She knew though that she would have to get used to these changes and help him through this curse.
The blonde suppressed a sigh and looked over at the pink haired boy walking beside her. Lucy's heart clenched as she saw the pain on his face even as he held a hand above his eyebrows to cover his sensitive eyes in shade.
She wanted to reach out and touch him, just to let him know she was there, but she couldn't... unless she wanted to cause him even more pain and make him spiral out of control.
"We're here," Happy's usually cheery but currently depressed voice grabbed her and Natsu's attention.
The dragon slayer, with his hand still raised, peered up at the towering guild hall and managed to smile when his charcoal-green eyes spotted the Fairy Tail flag that was gracefully blowing in the wind, succeeding in hiding the depression inside the guild hall.
Sending one last look at Lucy and Happy, he slammed the guild doors open in an attempt of normalcy.
Instead of being welcomed with the usual destruction caused by a guild fight or by fellow guildmates yelling a greeting up to them, they were met with an unnerving silence. They seemed frozen; few looked up at them upon their entrance. But they only gave a shot nod before their eyes fell.
The unconditional and unsaid Fairy Tail was motto was that they shared each other's pain, and this was found true multiple times, like at this instance.
The sadness of the normally cheery guild hall infected Lucy immediately and got rid of any doubt she had of the motto, if any at all.
Their eyes quickly scanned the guild hall, looking for the master.
But the group of three noticed that the only evidence from yesterday's skirmish was the leftover residue of Gray's dried blood on the wooden floor, and of course, the changes Natsu, Gajeel, and Gray now had.
Few people were talking, but even then, they were only quiet murmurs. The majority of the guild was drinking in silence, including the Master.
He was sitting on the bar counter to the right of them. He held a glass cup in his hands, but he did not drink out of it, and instead chose to solemnly stare at the ground.
Lucy's earlier words, of not letting this change Natsu, ran through the dragon slayer's head.
He wanted to yell at them, to not let this change them so much, but all that came out of his mouth was a voice so calm and quiet, so alien, and so unlike him.
Even though Natsu's voice had been quiet, if it even had been his own (he didn't think so), Master Makarov automatically looked up, reminiscent of a machine, and like a slap to the face, he was only now aware of their presence. Hearing Natsu seemed to awaken the other guild members as well.
"Ah, I see you have finally arrived." The tiny man stood up on the wooden counter and set his drink down.
Every single pair of eyes turned to him attentively, growing excited that they could finally do something.
"Now that everyone is here, I believe we should have a plan of action. Our first step should be to gather information about a cure."
A certain redhead filled the silence with her voice.
"I still don't understand how there isn't a known cure. If you're parents had told you about the diseases, wouldn't they of told you about the cures as well?"
Makarov's eyes immediately moved to the ground.
He sighed, conflicting emotions filled him due to Erza noticing his slip-up yesterday. He was proud of how perceptive she had been, he was angry at himself, and a miniscule part of him was mad at her.
But Makarov knew he could really only be mad at himself for the mistake he made.
When he had told them about the Supernatural Outbreak, he said his parents had told him about the symptoms of the diseases to prevent the outbreak from happening again. His only explanation of not knowing what the cure was had been that the Outbreak had happened too long ago, so the records had been lost.
And Erza was right, if his parents had known all the symptoms, they would have most likely of known about a cure as well.
He knew he had been caught in his lie.
"Yes, I admit. I have not been… entirely truthful. You didn't need to be disheartened further, but you do deserve to know."
The Master deeply inhaled and then exhaled, preparing himself. "The Supernatural Outbreak actually occurred not too long after my… son-" he said through gritted teeth; his anger and sadness clear. "-Ivan was born."
He waited until everyone's shocked and bewildered expressions almost faded to continue. His face twisted into a frown.
"The Outbreak had appeared out of nowhere. People had suddenly shown the symptoms of the disease and were rapidly infecting others. When things seemed hopeless..." he said the word with disgust and paused.
Makarov licked his lips and opened and closed his mouth, a contemplative look on his face. He shook his head like he couldn't believe what he was about to say. "It just ended."
The guild members expressed their confusion with murmurs, outcries, gaping mouths, and raised eyebrows.
They quieted when the Master continued. "There was a… bright flash of light and everyone was suddenly cured."
It was deathly quiet this time. No one knew what to say.
Did that mean there wasn't a cure?
Makarov continued, "And few remembered that the outbreak ever happened. From what I gathered, only wizards remember it, and even then, the numbers are thin. I'm one of the few who remember it, and I only know that a few in the Magic Council know of it as well. Other than that, I know of no one else who knows of it."
The guild members digested the information, and an even colder atmosphere settled into the guild as everyone realized that there chances for finding a cure had diminished even more.
Levy broke the uneasy silence when a thought struck her.
"I-I don't get it. Why did you send Jet to Porlyusica to see if she could come up with a cure if there wasn't one?"
She asked mostly out of her natural curiosity, but a small part of her was hoping that the Master was wrong, that there was a chance for there to be a physical and palpable cure. She didn't want to depend on a ridiculous light with that had no known origin.
Levy couldn't put any hope into that.
Please say the Master is lying again.
A force gripped her heart when Makarov talked.
"Some people during the outbreak, as Porlyusica stated in her letter, had only a first-degree and were able to be cured. Everyone else with a second and third-degree infection were cured with the… light. When I had sent Jet, I had been hoping there was a chance that they had a first-degree, but…" That wasn't the case.
Makarov quickly spoke again, hoping his words would give them at least a little hope, or would be something to distract them. "Our first move should be gathering information. Ask wizards you trust about the diseases, but be discreet. We don't want to draw the Magic Council's attention."
His words seemed to have the effect that he wanted them to as the majority of the guild members had eyes filled with, albeit weak, determination. They were already discussing who would go out when to be cautious and who they were going to ask to be safe.
The three infected, three females, and two exceeds were utterly still, sitting at two of the many wooden tables.
Their postures were so deflated. Makarov berated himself for his idiotic slip-up.
He had wanted to keep the real story hidden, thinking that if they could believe there was an obtainable cure, they would be more hopeful than they would've been knowing the truth.
But now his children had to suffer even more because of his mistake.
That wasn't only mistake he was thinking of, he was also mad at the mistake he had made of taking away his children's choice. Leading them on to believe something that hadn't been true had been unbelievably cruel and had definitely been worse than telling them the truth right off the bat.
He hoped they could forgive him.
The short man walked over and stood next to the collective group, hoping he could comfort them with his presence; this was the first time in many years where he did not know what to do.
Lucy sat next to Natsu and tentatively placed a hand on his clothed shoulder; her other hand fiddled with the end of her shirt. Her blonde head was bowed in an attempt to hide her horror-stricken face.
She found herself being slightly mad at the Master. Of course, he had only good intentions by not telling them the truth at the beginning, but to hear now how everyone who had been infected in the outbreak had been cured by a mere, probably coincidental, light really shattered any hope she had of Natsu- and everyone else- being cured.
Lucy looked up slightly, and almost jumped as she saw the Master standing close to them. Natsu, sensing her movement, looked up from the floor as well. A certain look passed through his eyes, and Lucy braced herself for whatever stupid idea he had conjured.
"Gramps?" The Fairy Tail guild master unexpectedly flinched and was filled with more dread at the hesitant and dim voice of Natsu. It was so wrong to hear the dragon slayer talk like that. It took the older man's brain some time to interpret Natsu's next words.
He had said he was going to do a job request. The key word was said, not asked.
Alarm immediately filled his system, and every little thing, every possibility, that could happen if any of the three of them went on a job request zoomed through his head.
"Absolutely not! If word gets around and the Magic Council finds out, you're as good as dead!"
"We can't hide forever Gramps!"
Makarov and Natsu were both surprised when Gray joined in, "Why does it matter anyway? If no one remembers the outbreak even happened, then what's the point of hiding?"
"Who's to say someone won't report you're odd behaviour or new appearance to the council!?"
They weren't as surprised when Gajeel entered the argument.
"If anything, we should be spending what little time left we have of being us! Not uncontrollable freaks!"
Makarov winced at the word freak. His face became shadowed as he bowed his head, all emotion hidden. His body was stiff.
The guild was filled with a shocked silence at what the three, especially Gajeel, had just said.
Everyone but Natsu, Gray, and Gajeel had failed to perceive the Master's movement to his room and jumped when the sound of a door slamming echoed across the hall from the second floor.
However, it was utterly impossible to not notice Natsu suddenly standing and sending a powerful kick to the wooden chair he had just been sitting in. It soared all the way up to the high ceiling of the guild hall. The smithereens of the chair flew everywhere seconds later. People sheltered their heads.
It was quiet before footsteps approached the shuddering, but still standing, figure.
"Master didn't exactly make the best decision, but you should at least respect it." Erza's voice thundered through the silent guild hall.
Natsu remained almost frozen besides his body shaking from restrained anger, but Gajeel turned his glare to the floor, and Gray looked up at her through the fingers placed on his head.
She continued, unwavering. "We're just as infected by this as the three of you. Don't let this change any of you, but not just for yourselves, but for all of us. You three are stronger than that."
Erza gave one last look at them, which they would have normally cowered under.
With that she spun on her heel and walked away, and there was a harmonious nod of agreement from the other guild members.
The scarlet haired mage quickly spoke with authority, demanding that people shared the names of trustworthy wizards that would probably know of the diseases so they could ask them for information.
Natsu tried, and barely succeeded, in ignoring the blaring voices behind him from his newly hyper-sensitive hearing.
He replayed Erza's words in his head with a blank, thoughtful, expression as he pulled a new chair out and took the same spot next to Lucy.
Gray sat by the next table over with his back to Natsu's. His elbows were placed on the top to support the weight his forehead put on his palms. Juvia sat to his right, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder and nothing more.
At Natsu's table, sat Gajeel, Levy, Panther Lily, Happy, and Lucy. The iron dragon slayer sat to the left of Natsu, and Levy had taken the seat on the other side of Gajeel. Pantherlily stood between the two of them on the table top with his arms crossed and a contemplative look on his face.
Happy was perched besides Natsu and Lucy. A fish was in his paw, but he was not even looking at it. And a certain blonde was tracing her finger across the wood of the table, staring right through her finger and the furniture.
Lucy was trapped in emotions and thoughts that just about mirrored the other table occupants.
She felt she should be angry with the Master for lying to them, but with Erza's reasoning and the fact that she would of done the same if she was in his position, she couldn't be mad.
Like the others, she felt dull and empty since the likelihood to get a cure had practically vanished.
They were all in oblivion, stuck in a depressed train of thought.
They only glanced at one another and drunk from the cups Mirajane had placed in front of them (no one knows when).
They were completely unaware of the concerned and sympathetic glances sent their way. Unaware when someone left through the guild doors to get information on the diseases.
Not knowing that when people stared at them, Erza snapped at them to mind their own business.
They were unaware of the people who had been sent outside long ago, coming back empty-handed and with no new information.
By the time one of them was able to gather themselves together, it was almost mid-afternoon.
Lucy abruptly stood, knocking over her chair in the process. The whole guild became silent as they were startled by the sudden movement that had came from the area that had been still for so long.
Natsu lazily looked up at her, in a daze. "Lucy…?" He drawled as if he were drunk.
"C'mon and get up. We're going to the library." She said in a voice that didn't allow argument, lightly tugging on Natsu's scarf.
"The library?" He blinked in confusion; his innocence and confusion made his face appear baby-like, despite his paleness, the dark circles under his eyes, and his sharp fangs.
"Yeah. We need to get you out of here," she sent strong looks at Levy and Juvia which told them to do the same. She glanced at Pantherlily to get him on it too. "And I, for one, am tired of sitting around doing nothing. I want to see if I can find anything on the way the spells work."
Natsu stood; his hands placed on the table to support his weight. The dragon slayer peered up at Lucy, and hopelessness leaked into his eyes, silently and unknowingly asking her why she would bother.
She unintentionally glared at him for the look. He turned his gaze to the table and spoke instead.
"You heard what Gramps said. Hardly anyone remembers-"
Lucy cut him off with a loud breath of frustration. He looked up at her with a raised eyebrow.
"That's true but," she put a large amount of emphasis on the word, "I was thinking we could probably learn more about how the spells work. What was it that the Master said? That they sort of have a mind of their own?"
Natsu thought about it and recalled Makarov saying that the spells acted of their own accord, giving the person they infected both good and bad traits. What Lucy said was basically a simpler version of it, so he nodded at her in confirmation.
"Well, there could be some books in the library that would have information on similar spells, ones that sort of act on their own, so if we were to compare your… diseases with the ones in the book then..." She didn't continue, feeling that her explanation was self-explanatory.
The dragon slayer examined her idea, taking a moment to actually figure out what her plan actually was.
Once he realized what it was, he knew it was a long shot that they would find a way to cure themselves by comparing their spells to another spell like theirs, but Lucy was right. He needed to get out, move, and it was at least better than doing nothing.
And the pink haired male knew better than to get his hopes up, he had a lot of experience.
All the gossip he heard of the years of a dragon sighting floated through his head, and of thinking he was finally going to see Igneel again. For those hopes to be shattered instantly.
Yeah, he had a lot of experience with this sort of thing.
He mentally shook his head. Since when did he think so negatively?
Natsu looked down to his fluffy blue companion and watched as Happy swerved his eyes between him and Lucy. Exhaustion and sadness were the only thing that filled the cat's eyes, not any of his usual cheerfulness was there.
Guilt clenched Natsu's gut; this was too much for the little guy.
He knelt down so he was eye level with the exceed sitting on the table.
A warm (but not as warm as it should've been) and calloused hand was placed on the blue head.
"Why don't you hang out with Carla and Wendy for a bit?"
Happy instantly stiffened. He clearly wasn't happy with the idea. "What about-"
"We're only going to the library." The blue cat opened his mouth to protest, but Natsu cut him off again. "For me."
Happy's big eyes lowered, and he hopped off the table. Without any form of enthusiasm, he walked over to the two girls on the other side of the guild; his tail dragged behind him on the floor.
Natsu swallowed and watched him walk away.
He stood to his full height and gave Lucy a small and forced smile. She tried to smile to, but it turned into a grimace, knowing how hard it had been for Natsu to push Happy away like that, even if it was with good intent.
When she took a step towards the guilds doors, he knew she was talking about the public library, not the one they had in the guild.
"Wait, what about the guild library?"
Lucy gave a practiced sigh, the kind she did when he wasn't catching on to something. "Yes, but I thought that the public library would have more variety, plus we could let Levy look through the guild's library."
He blinked. Lucy stared at him expectantly.
Natsu grinned at her, now getting what she was doing, and she bit her lip to suppress a giggle.
The mentioned bluenette, who long ago realized what Lucy had done, had jumped at the opportunity the blonde had given her, and smiled at Lucy when the blonde sent her a small wink.
Levy pulled a begrudging Gajeel over to the library; a chuckling Pantherlily followed.
Lucy looked over at Juvia, trusting that the water mage already had something planned.
The fire dragon slayer and celestial spirit mage continued to walk to the guild doors.
The sound of Gajeel's loud and colorful complaints followed them out. They were pushing past the doors when they heard Juvia coaxing Gray out of his seat.
The walk to the library was slightly awkward which made Lucy even more uncomfortable because she shouldn't feel that way around Natsu.
He was Natsu for crying out loud!
But after his outburst at the Master, she was afraid she was going to say something wrong.
She didn't know what to do. Which added even more tension to the already horrible atmosphere.
Thankfully, it didn't last too long as they were quickly in front of the library.
Lucy calmly walked in while Natsu all but threw himself into a chair.
Exhaustion filled him from walking in the sun for so long. Knowing that this was just one of the many new problems he had to deal with, he ignored the fatigue and the uncomfortable tingles he felt on his skin in the areas the sun had had contact with.
The fact that the feelings would gradually get worse through the week as the serum in his system that suppressed the spell wore off was pushed into the far recesses of his mind.
The dragon slayer watched Lucy's back as she scoured the rows of books, taking some out and then scanning them, to either put it on one of the tables behind her or put it back on the shelf.
Natsu felt that he should be helping her, but he was useless in a library. He hadn't exactly gotten the best education.
Lucy, however, was the exact opposite. The girl was extremely smart and had immediately known where to go to find the information she wanted.
She was making quick progress.
Once she had about two books picked out, she walked over to another shelf to examine the books over there, leaving Natsu's line of sight.
He sighed, watching his thumbs as they twirled around each other.
He had never felt so… lost and- he cringed as he thought of the word- hopeless.
The only other time he had felt lost was when Igneel had left him. Natsu initially had felt hopeless, but not much later, he had decided that he was going to find Igneel someday.
Natsu swiped his hand over his face but kept his palm over his nose.
He didn't see any way out of this. There was no goal he could push himself towards. He couldn't build confidence on finding a cure that probably couldn't be found.
Gramps basically said there wasn't a cure; that everyone that had been infected before had been cured by luck and chance. There was practically no way to figure out how it had even happened.
And he was a danger to everybody.
He didn't understand how everyone trusted him so much.
He was a monster… a freak.
He was better off alone.
Natsu completely froze, mind and all, and blinked, staring off into one of the many shelves around him.
Had he seriously just thought that?
...What the hell was happening to him?
Suddenly, Lucy was in his vision again.
Whatever the cause was, either his so far horrible day or his negative emotions, it made him speak words he thought he would never say.
"This is pointless, Lucy," Natsu mumbled, barely audible.
The blonde turned her head just enough to see him with one eye, but she said nothing. He found himself continuing. "You heard Gramps. No one knows how those people in the outbreak were cured, and not many people even know about it…" He didn't have to voice it to get his question across.
Why were they doing this, when all odds seemed against them?
Lucy turned her head a little more, allowing him to see a small amount of her unreadable expression.
She was silent, and Natsu almost thought she wasn't going to answer him.
He jumped when she abruptly spoke with a voice that was loud to his newly sensitive hearing, but was most likely deathly quiet to normal ears.
"Who taught me to never give up?"
He stared at her; his face twisting in confusion. His brain seemed stop, to be lost in a deep fog at those words… To never give up…?
The words were like a noiseless bell. He felt that he should be able to hear them, but the words only silently ricocheted around the inside of his head.
It was there, but it served no purpose.
The pink haired man almost didn't catch her words through his unexpected and perplexing daze.
By the time Natsu looked up and was able to form a response, the back of her blonde head was facing him, and she was picking up the books she had selected earlier to check them out.
He solemnly watched her walk away.
Natsu failed to notice how the fuzz in his mind had vanished, and he failed to remember that it had even been there.
I'm going to sort of answer my own question from the last chapter. I like werewolves way more than vampires, and since Natsu is my fav character and all, I was originally going to make him a werewolf. But then I thought that he would probably be a pink werewolf, and no one can really take that seriously. I told that to my friend, but she said Natsu wouldn't have to be pink, I could've made him any color when he was a wolf. But that makes no sense to me XD, so I just made him a vampire.
Anyway, I hate yet love this chapter, don't know if you guys do to, but I do think it was darker than the last chapters :P
and I think it's going to get even darker… pretty sure
Also, free cookies to whoever can guess what is wrong with Natsu. I won't say exactly who got it right but I'll instead say the amount of people who did get it right, and you can get your internet cookies once what is actually wrong with him is revealed :)
Till next time, and I hoped you enjoyed the chapter