It was a nice, sunny day when Erza's past came back to stab her in the back.
After partially destroying the town of Hargeon on her first S-Class mission, 12-year-old Erza Scarlet was forced to stay in the guild hall without going on any jobs for two weeks until the Magic Council responded to the destruction she had caused with a summons. It turned out that because she was so young, all they really wanted was a written apology, to be handed in personally by Erza. In fact, it was apparent that one certain member of the Council pushed this verdict; for apparently he or she wanted to meet the armored wizard.
After waiting inside the guild for so long, and being pestered by Natsu, Gray, and Mira, who all teased her about the destruction she had caused (Natsu only really wanted to fight her), it felt good to just be outside and enjoy the sunshine. Her punishment hadn't even been that severe; and now, on her way to the Magic Council Headquarters with Master Makarov, Erza couldn't have been more at peace.
"Do you have the written apology?" Makarov asked for the fifth time since they left Magnolia. Erza smiled gently and pulled it out from behind her armor's breastplate.
"I have it here, Master; just like the last five times you've asked," she replied. He hummed in response.
"Say, what did you even write in it?" Makarov asked after a moment, looking up at the redhead.
"Well…." Erza pulled the letter out of the envelope and opened it up. "I said, 'Dear Magic Council: I deeply apologize for the destruction I caused in the town of Hargeon, but I must say that it was necessary in completing my first S-Class quest, in case you were not informed. If you would rather have put your money towards stopping the dark guild I obliterated and catching its master, than rebuilding Hargeon, then I, once again, apologize. If this does not follow your opinion on the subject, however, then I rest my case. Sincerely yours, Erza Scarlet."
Makarov sighed as she finished, dragging his hand over his bald head in exasperation. "Dear child, I'm not sure if that's going to help your case very much at all."
"But I was telling the truth," Erza said, glancing over at her Master as she replaced the letter behind her armor.
"Well, sometimes it's better to cover your own ass, and the truth along with it," he replied tersely, before glancing up. "Oh, it looks as though we're here."
Up ahead on the dirt road stood two figures, and beyond them stood the Magic Council Headquarters, a high, sloping dirt mountain encircled by a thin pathway and topped with a majestic white and gray building. One was a man as short as Makarov, with thick eyebrows, an orange sweater, and a spikey black hat. The other was taller, presumably a teenage boy, with a hood concealing his face. Even so, Erza could see a peek of blue hair that looked eerily familiar.
"Ah, Council member Yajima," Makarov greeted him politely, giving him a bow before shaking his hand.
"Ah, my old friend Makey. I heard that one of your little Fairies got you in trouble again, and so I volunteered to be the one to collect the apology," Yajima said warmly. "Is this the young lady herself?"
"My name's Erza Scarlet. It's nice to meet you," Erza told him, smiling at the Council member as they shook hands.
"My, you're quite young to be destroying towns, aren't you?" he asked with a laugh. "I heard that you're one of the first wizards ever to be able to requip not only weapons, but armor as well! You've got a bright future ahead of you in the wizarding world, young one." Then, in an instant, his voice turned serious.
"I also heard that you were the last one to see old Rob alive." Erza stiffened at the statement and looked away before humming in confirmation.
"He died very bravely," she murmured, willing herself to stay resilient as she remembered the old man's death; the Fairy Tail mark on his back being the last thing she saw of Rob before he was blasted into dust. Yajima watched her for a moment more before nodding graciously.
"And now, might I introduce you to our newest, and youngest ever, Council member. He's about the same age as you, I believe." He stepped aside for the teen beside him, who pulled down his hood at last. "Erza, meet Siegrain Fernandes. I tell you, this boy is incredibly smart and has been a huge help…."
Everything else instantly faded away to whispers and background noise, because as soon as Erza laid eyes on his face, this boy Siegrain's face, she saw him. She saw his eyes – sharp, intelligent hazel eyes, with that accursed red tattoo above his right eye. She saw his hair, as blue as she remembered, and his smile, cold and devious, the same as the last day she saw him. Erza looked at Siegrain, and all she saw was him – Jellal.
For a moment, Erza was back at the Tower of Heaven; that same scared little girl, with no understanding of the magical power she had just exemplified, and her friends, her family, were being threatened by this same boy, with this same face, and this same evil look in his eyes – and for a moment, she couldn't move.
And then suddenly, Erza was in the present, and just as Siegrain – no, Jellal, was reaching out to shake her hand, a calculating, false-friendly smile on his face, her blood boiled, and her eyes opened wide, and adrenaline and magic power, fueled by rage, shot through her.
"JELLAL!" she screeched, and suddenly Erza was requipping into her newest and most powerful armor, the Black Wing armor, and her two biggest swords were in her hands, and she was swinging at him again and again, throwing all the power she could behind every single hit, aiming to detach his wretched head from his body, and nothing else in the world mattered.
Somehow, Jellal calmly kept dodging her, moving back as he did, and when he couldn't, he would throw up magic barriers to stop her attacks. But Erza pressed on, knowing that he couldn't keep going forever. But she knew that she could and that she would – to save her family, and everyone trapped inside the damned Tower of Heaven.
Makarov and Yajima were both yelling in the background, probably telling her to stop, to back down, but Erza couldn't hear them, for the only noise in her ears was the sound of blood rushing through her, and the one thought that kept her swords swinging at full capacity.
"I'll KILL YOU!" Erza roared and, summoning her fighting skills that she had honed just for this moment, swung her swords down in an arc on Jellal, who blocked them as he bent backwards to stay standing; at the same time, she shot her leg out, knocking his legs out from under him. In an instant, she was on top of him, pinning Jellal's arms and legs, with both swords crossed at his throat and digging into the ground beside his neck. An image of his decapitated body ran through her mind, and a searing distress, along with sick satisfaction, resonated through her mind and soul.
"Release them – all of them," Erza hissed, her scarlet hair falling in strands on her face like rivulets of blood; hopefully she would soon incur something similar onto him. Jellal just stared at her blankly, a mild look of shock on his face.
"What are you talking about?" he asked harmlessly, tilting his head ever so slightly. Seething with hate, Erza drew back her swords, and was just about to behead her worst nightmare when a booming voice interrupted.
"THAT IS ENOUGH!"
Suddenly, a giant fist wrapped itself around Erza, effectively lifting her up and away from Jellal before she could kill him. Gripping her swords tightly and snarling with fury, she was about to swing at this new enemy – before Erza realized who it was.
"Master," she said weakly, all the fight leaving from her voice in an instant as he lowered her to the ground, putting himself between her and Jellal. Erza fell to her knees, blankly looking at Makarov as he spoke to her, words that didn't reach her ears, Yajima helping Jellal up behind him. Erza sat there until his face came into view again – "I'm alright," he said, as if he had his life to fear for in the first place – and suddenly she was in frenzy again.
"He – I'm gonna–" she started, lifting her swords, her face murderous, when Makarov held his hand in front of her again, using his Titan magic to swell it up and turn it into an effective wall. Erza looked back at his face desperately.
"Master, please, I've got to – he's the one who–"
Behind Makarov, Erza kept her eyes fixed on Jellal as she spoke, and as she did, his eyes met hers.
Slowly, as Yajima wasn't looking, he raised one finger to his lips, his eyes narrowed in cold joy.
Erza sucked in a breath, her eyes filled with fear.
"STOP," Makarov thundered, his eyes narrowed in fury. Hearing this one word from her Master, Erza took a moment to let her blood simmer down and, after a few minutes, requipped her swords away and switched Black Wing with her casual armor. Makarov watched her for a moment before pulling his arm back with a sigh, letting it shrink down into its normal size.
"Child. When will you stop giving me heart attacks?" he muttered. Erza looked at him miserably before Yajima walked back up to the two of them.
"That was certainly… interesting. Do you have anything to say for yourself?" he asked, anger sparking in his voice.
"His name isn't Siegrain; it's Jellal," Erza said quietly, biting her tongue even as she spoke this simple fact; the smallest slip of information concerning Jellal and the Tower would result in one of her family being killed.
Yajima stared at her, unable to comprehend this, when Jellal spoke up.
"Actually, that's not true; my name really is Siegrain. I believe the person you're referring to happens to be my twin brother, Jellal," he said, his smile lacking any glee.
Erza gasped in shock and narrowed her eyes in disbelief, giving Makarov a chance to speak. "Who is this Jellal fellow you two speak of? Your twin brother, you say?"
"Yes," Jellal – no… Siegrain, answered truthfully. "Jellal and I are identical twins; same hair, same faces – even the same tattoo over our right eyes." He smiled again and nodded graciously. "I must apologize for the miscommunication, Miss Erza. We might look remarkably alike, but I promise you, my brother and I are not the same person."
Erza looked away, conflicted feelings battling for dominance inside her. The only thing she was really aware of was that her fists, tightly clenched at her sides, were shaking furiously.
"See? That's all settled. Now, say a nice apology to Mr. Fernandes unless you want to spend a night in the Council's jail," Makarov said sternly, bowing slightly in hopes that Erza would follow. Slowly, she copied his action, although her face was tense with confliction.
Over the next few minutes, Erza handed over the letter to Yajima, and the three men talked, but none of it seemed to reach her, for her mind was in such a state of shock that she couldn't focus. Jellal had never said anything about having a twin brother – and for that matter, did Siegrain even know who his brother really was, and what he had done?
As Erza came back to reality, she realized that the four of them were walking back the way they came. She remembered something about them offering to walk them to the train station when Siegrain spoke.
"Sorry about confusing you like that. You must've been pretty freaked."
She glanced over at him, narrowing her eyes in confusion. What was his game? First, he claimed to be Jellal's brother, and then, when she was about to tell Makarov about Jellal, he had stopped her. And now, he was apologizing?
Suddenly, she was worn out. "It's fine. You just… look exactly like him," she replied dejectedly, unable to come up with any other response.
"You must be wondering why I stopped you from telling Makarov about the Tower of Heaven."
Erza looked up instantly, her eyes wide, as Siegrain continued. "See, I know all about what my brother is planning, with the resurrection of Zeref; and the Tower of Heaven's completion is necessary for that to happen. So here's the deal: you tell anyone, anything about the Tower, and I'll kill all your friends, and send their bodies to your doorstep. And then after that, I'll kill everyone else. So keep quiet – if you value their lives, that is."
Erza stopped walking, her shoulder shaking as she willed herself not to start crying. He was still doing it after all, then. Jellal was still building the Tower of Heaven. And now, his brother was on the Magic Council, and therefore, he could do whatever he wanted, without consequence. Erza had no hope of rescuing her friends now – that much was abundantly clear.
Her fingers itched for a sword bathed in his blood.
Siegrain stopped and glanced over his shoulder. "Hey, you coming, Erza?" he called, loud enough for the two adults to hear.
Makarov turned and, seeing she had stopped, sighed. "Come now, Erza," he called. "Unless you don't want to get back to Magnolia by tonight."
Erza waited a moment more, gathering her courage before looking up. "Yes, I'm coming," she called, jogging to catch up with the others.
Huh. Well, I don't expect this to get much attention tbh. It's not my first fanfiction (far from it) but it's my first one posted online. So take that however you want, but if people actually enjoy it, then I'll post the next chapter in a few days or so, and maybe even post another one-shot for Fairy Tail I did a few weeks back. Maybe. We'll see.
In the meantime, enjoy this, and if it gets a few reviews or something then I'll post the next chapter sooner. That's all, kids.
EDIT: Fixed some of the wording and added some detail; nothing major.