Before you ask: YES, the title and fic itself are strongly inspired by the Arctic Monkeys and if you wanna picture Natsu and Co. and their music then just imagine them as the Arctic Monkeys ok no shame. x)
I suddenly had this urge to write it so, well, I did. Don't worry I didn't forget the Tails&Talons AU either ^-^ I just posted Chapter 16 on tumblr! Gonna update it on here soon too.
This is a two-parter. :3 I hope you enjoy!
Being back at The Fairy's Tail felt nostalgic.
This was where it had all started. The neighbourhood pub around the corner.
Natsu Dragneel inhaled the stale air that lingered in the whole building; the result of years of spilled beer and cigarette smoke. It was like any other old pub, but it was his old pub. It felt good to be back.
"Yo, Salamander, you gonna stand there forever or ya actually gonna help us with the setup?"
"Yeah, yeah, shut up."
Reluctantly, Natsu turned his back and walked back out to the van, where Loke promptly dumped a drumset into his hands. As he carried it back inside, the sun left his skin again, and he couldn't help but remember the times they had played here in this gloomy yet comfy place.
The last time he had seen her.
The blonde mystery girl.
A year had passed since that day.
And even longer since the day he'd seen her for the first time.
He knew it was an irrational hope, but he couldn't help but wish for it anyways. For her to be here again. After all, he'd have to thank her.
It had been an exceptionally rainy Tuesday night. He remembered it vividly, because it kept haunting him to this day. They'd gotten ready to play like they always did, the usual soundchecks, some fooling around. None knew that this would be the night when things would begin to change.
They weren't a successful band. They weren't bad either. All four of them loved what they did, passionately so. But it had never been enough for more than the regular gigs in The Fairy's Tail, twice a week.
Still, they persisted, and believed in their dream.
After all, it was what had gotten them out of the home for troubled youths, where they all had met after being handed from orphanage to orphanage. How they had managed to form a band was a mystery to all of them to this day. After all, Natsu and Gray couldn't be in the same room for more than ten minutes without starting a brawl, Gajeel claimed he hated everyone's guts and Loke seemed more interested in getting the ladies than anything else.
But something was different when they played together. Their troubles disappeared with every note, every riff, and their arguments got carried away by the continuous beat of the drums. It was a kind of magic, one they created all by themselves. Together.
Still. something was missing. That special something that never came with practice, that couldn't be forced. No matter how hard they tried, they could feel it. The lack of the one true magic.
If only they knew what it was.
But Natsu had found out all too soon, and now he sometimes wished he never had. Maybe then his heart wouldn't constantly crave something it could not obtain.
The day he had spotted her inbetween the crowd, the world had stopped spinning for an infinite moment. Her blonde hair had glowed in the spotlight as she very gently swayed with the music, much calmer than the people around her. She'd been wearing a bland grey sweater with a hoodie, blending in with her surroundings, almost disappearing. But it had been her eyes that had caught his attention even before her obvious beauty.
They shone with such fascination and ardour, Natsu had been unable to tear his gaze off her. Then they had moved upwards to meet his, and she blinked in shock before turning her head, letting her hair fall across her face like a curtain.
His interest had been piqued.
And from then on, she always came back.
And he couldn't get her out of his mind.
He started scribbling lines that popped into his head when he thought of the curve of her lips or her dark lashes, of her breasts and her waist and her smile.
And then, one day, he wrote the first song.
…and her lips are like the galaxy's edge
and her kiss the colour of a constellation falling into place…
His friends had regarded him with suspicion when he had presented the lyrics, was it not entirely different from anything he had written before. But he had gone as far as to ask them, without a single punch being thrown, to include it in the next gig - and it had been received amazingly.
It turned into their biggest success, people asking for them to play it again and again, and the boys had allowed Natsu to write more about the girl he wouldn't talk about to anyone.
As their popularity grew, The Flaming Morons got asked to play for different pubs and bars in the area, but to their big surprise - and great dismay - Natsu outright refused to play anywhere but The Fairy's Tail.
Worst thing was, he hadn't even spoken to her. Not once.
One time he had tried, collecting his courage and preparing to possibly see his perfect dream destroyed in front of his eyes, but as he tried to push his way through the crowd, she was already headed for the entrance, and when he reached it, she had disappeared.
And so he chose to let her be his mystery girl, in fear of finding out she was not who he imagined her to be. His music came easy, his words flowed, and he was not ready to risk any of it.
They were living their dream.
And she was there to witness it.
That thought alone was enough for the time being.
One day he would talk to her.
She always came back - until she didn't.
Just like that, from one day to the other, there was no blonde hair, no gentle swaying or dreamy eyes. His girl - his muse - vanished.
First, he kept waiting patiently, but as the days turned to weeks and there was still no sign of her returning, the knot in his heart tightened.
Maybe he had missed his chance after all.
But rockstars didn't pine after a girl, did they?
And so he finally agreed to leave their pub behind in pursuit of something bigger.
Oh, and they found it.
Their audiences grew, and they found themselves in pubs less and less, for the fans were too many to fit into a small room. They played their songs, the songs he had written about her, for all the world to hear.
…and if she wants to take shelter from reality
she takes a dip in my daydreams …
He didn't mind, offering his heart like that.
She didn't know anyway.
And all the others, the ones that kept coming to him after the shows to scream and whisper and giggle and snatch him, the ones that thought the words were for them -they didn't know either.
And he turned them all away.
More than once, Loke clutched his hand over his heart while two girls clung to an arm on either side of him, rolling his eyes at Natsu. Gray raised his brows, and Gajeel - Gajeel remained silent.
And so they had went on.
Natsu loved the spotlight, loved the rush of adrenaline whenever they stepped on stage and the crowd started cheering and screaming, loved to carry their music out into the world.
Sometimes he'd use his beloved Fire Dragon guitar to accompany Loke, sometimes he concentrated on his voice and the lyrics only, while Gajeel's steady beats and Gray's bass steadily vibrated through them all.
None of them wanted this to end.
And from the looks of it, they had nothing to fear for the time being.
It had been Loke's idea to pay their old pub a visit under the cover of another name, and they all had gladly agreed. Weirdly enough, Natsu had been the most reluctant of them all, ignoring his bandmates' sleezy comments and mischievous quibs.
But here they were.
So much had changed in their lives, but the pub remained the same.
"And now for a small surprise! We have some old friends here with us tonight." Old Makarov called, beer in hand. "Most of you might know them by now. I guess I should say it's an honour to have them here with us in this rotten little pub today, but I won't. Because to me, they'll always be rude brats. Their name says it all. Welcome The Flaming Morons!"
The crowd had broken into laughter at his words, but now started cheering enthusiastically.
Natsu grinned as they took the stage, rolling up the sleeves of his white shirt and recalling the creation of their genius bandname.
They had been brainstorming in the dorm he and Gajeel had shared, at their wit's end and still without a name everybody would agree on.
"I said," Natsu repeated for the fifth time. "We're THE SUPERDRAGONS!"
"Over my dead body!" Gray hissed. "We need something cool, something like Arctic… uh… Polarbears!"
"That's the poorest thing I ever heard!"
Loke and Gajeel rolled their eyes in unison at the arguing pair. They had long given up with their own suggestions, for they had been stomped into the ground. Beside them, the argument threatened to escalate into a physical fight.
"THEN WE COULD ASWELL PLAY AS THE FLAMING MORONS CAUSE THAT'S WHAT YOU ARE!"
"OK YOU KNOW WHAT - WE MIGHT JUST!"
"I DARE YOU!"
It had been supposed to be a one time thing, but for some reason they had never gotten rid of the name ever again (much to Gray's joy). The people liked it, and Natsu carried the name with pride, owning up to it as best as he could.
The strap of his Fire Dragon around his right shoulder, Natsu reached for the microphone stand, eyes scanning the crowd.
"Been a long time, The Fairy's Tail! It feels good to be back. I'm not gonna beat around the bush for hours, aye? This one is a new song, just for you guys. It's called 777."
As the people applauded, he struck the first chords, and the others joined in like parts of a perfectly manifactured clock, coming together without fail.
I'd probably still adore you with your hands around my neck
Or I did last time I checked…
And then, just as the words that had felt so heavy and melancholic to write left his lips, he saw her.