Just a quick warning, I haven't proof read this chapter. I wanted to get this out ASAP so if there's mistakes... sorry!
But yeah, new fic! And, of course, as per usual I'm going to torture Gray more! Yay! Oh by the way, this takes place after the year timeskip, but you're just gonna have to pretend that the Alvarez arc isn't happening. (Is that classed as an AU? I really have no idea.)
So, with that, I welcome you all to Return of The Calamity! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Don't own it... though if I did there would be many arcs involving torturing Gray.
"We should set up camp for the night," Erza informed. "Natsu would you make us a fire?"
"Sure," Natsu gathered a few sticks and rocks, and placed them in a somewhat jagged circle on the ground. The salamander spit up a small flare and the camp-fire burst to life.
Fairy Tail's strongest team were making their way back to Magnolia on foot as two of their team members suffered greatly from motion sickness and insisted they stay away from any other method of transportation. The group leisurely seated them and their belongings around the fire whilst Erza prepared some food for them. The usual light banter was held between them before they fell asleep one by one. Happy and Carla were the first to nod off as they snuggled up in their partners' laps. Wendy was quick to follow, considering her age, the team weren't surprised. After a long while, Lucy's eyes became too heavy for her to keep open. They could tell Natsu was next to sleep as a loud snore erupted from his mouth. Erza and Gray kept up their polite while albeit quiet conversation until Erza too grew tired.
"I'm going to get some rest. You should too Gray," she informed.
"Right," Gray answered. "Night Erza."
It wasn't long after that when Erza had drifted to sleep, leaving Gray alone in his thoughts.
Erza was woken up from her light sleep a few hours later. Looking up and realising that the moon was still high in the sky, she let her body fall back to the floor in order to let her peaceful sleep reclaim her. That's when she heard it. Well, she almost didn't through Natsu's raging snores, but her ears definitely picked it up. It started off as a small groan, but then escalated to the occasional choked sob. Someone was crying? Well, it definitely wasn't Natsu as the pink-haired male look far too content in his rackety sleep. Happy, if anything, looked hungry and he mumbled something that sounded like fish. As for the girls, they looked to be a dreamless sleep. Then that meant...
She glanced over to where she last saw the raven and she was more than surprised at what she saw. Gray seemed to have curled over into a fetal position, his head facing away from his red-haired companion. His form was rapidly shaking and even from a distance Erza could see sweat beading down his body. Titania wasted no time in getting to Gray's side. Making sure not to wake the others, she gave the ice wizard a slight nudge and whispered out to him.
"Gray?" She was met with another groan that sound louder and much more despaired than the last. Erza was getting more and more concerned. Sure, she knew that he was most likely having a nightmare, but considering he was in his late teens, shouldn't he have grown out of nightmares by now?
Erza shook him more aggressively this time, only to get the same pained groan. This eventually got the attention of her previous sleeping team mates, who were now fully awake and hurrying over to their side whilst sharing worried glances.
"Erza, what's going on?" Lucy asked, rubbing her eyes in confusion.
"I think Gray's having a nightmare. He won't wake up."
"Awww, poor Gray-chan," Natsu teased. The fire wizard grabbed his rivals shoulders and violently shook him. "Gray, wake up bastard!" He roared. To Natsu's surprise, Gray didn't even seem phased by the rapid movements. He was too deep in his agonising sleep to have the slightest reaction as to what was going on around him.
"Natsu-san," Wendy muttered. "I don't think that's helping."
Happy lightly stroked Gray's raven locks that started to stick to his forehead due to the sweat. "Gray... Please wake up."
"Well what are we supposed to do?" Carla questioned. "He's clearly not going to wake up any time soon. Wendy, can your healing magic do something to help?"
"I-I don't think so," Wendy had a solemn look on her face.
Gray pained moans had been reduced to almost silent whimpers as tendrils of tears flooded down his face. "D-"
"Gray," the team murmured, hoping he was waking up.
"D-Deli-ora," the ice wizard wept, balling his hands into fists, almost enough to draw blood from his palms.
"Deliora?" Natsu repeated. It had been a long time since that had been mentioned.
"That's what I was afraid of," Erza sighed and addressed the group. "He's far too deep in sleep for us to wake him. We'll just have to wait for him to wake up on his own."
A small, eight-year old boy was running through his village at top speed. His family and friends long since deceased. Explosions were heard from all around, drowning out the screams of villagers as their lives were torn at the seams. Charred corpses, bathed in blood we're scattered around the cracked street. The entire atmosphere was painted a vile shade of red. The boy kept running. Where he was running to, the child had no clue, but he knew that he had to run. He didn't want to end up like them, a rotting corpse, buried under piles of debris. However, even if he did make it out of the village alive, where would he go after that? The boy had no family outside this village and he didn't exactly have money to help him get by. He wanted his parents back by his side. Thinking of his loved ones made his tears fall much faster and it was then that he little legs decided that they couldn't take anymore and he was left lying on the ground in a puddle of his own misery. He turned his head to star face to face with the creature that made his life a living hell. What was it his father called the thing? "D-Deli-ora!" The boy barely managed to choke out. The demon of destruction slowly started striding towards the child. If he didn't hurry, he'd turn into the first human pancake. Willing his tiny feet to move, the boy stood on his shaky legs before running like his life depended on it because it kind of did. The child kept running for another few minutes until he legs, once again, gave out and sent him tumbling to the ground. He tried to pull himself up with his arms, but he felt like his body had turned to pure lead. As a result of the running (and pure terror) the child's breathing hitched. Unable to control it, the boy squeezed his eyes shut as a foreign pain spread throughout his body. Was this was hyperventilating felt like? The boy's body started to twitch slightly as he tried to regain himself. The twitches then progressed into violet jerks of his body. He was having a full blown panic attack. It was at this point that the demon caught sight of another victim. It swung its arm down and swatted the child like a measly insect. Said boy suddenly felt he body forced into the air and the pain intensified. He wasn't sure if he'd screamed like he had intended as all of his sense had shut down completely. All the boy new was pain as he wait for the open arms of death to greet him. However, the privilege of death never came for the boy and his entire existence...
Erza was the first to wake from her slumber and her thoughts immediately went back to Gray. The raven was now laying on his back, a blank expression on his face while his eyes remained closed. Erza took this as a good sign and begun to tidy the team's belongings away from last night. It took at least another half an hour before the rest of the group woke up and began helping the red-head. Natsu restarted the fire and Lucy helped with boiling some water. Wendy rolled up her blanket whilst Happy stood beside her, adjusting his bag. He took a quick glance at Gray who was still sound asleep. The Exceed frowned and strolled over to his partner. "Natsu, when will Gray wake up?"
Natsu had completely forgotten about the whole ordeal that occurred last night. After Happy's reminder, Natsu picked up the feline and they both made their way over to the raven. The stillness of him raised slight concerns for Natsu, but not by much. He gave Gray a gentle nudge. "Oi, time to wake up Popsicle." Natsu's calm voice barely came out as a whisper. Even Natsu had enough smarts to figure out that after the turmoil Gray looked to be in the previous night, the last thing he should do is startle the raven. Gray's brow furrowed slightly before Natsu was met with a pair of hazy, black eyes.
"N-Natsu?" Gray's mind was still fogged over from his sleep. Where were they again?
"Not a morning person, huh?" Natsu chuckled, offering a hand to his rival, pulling him into a sitting position. The girls gathered round to see if Gray was willing to talk.
"Gray, are you okay?" Happy question, quite an upset look on his face. "You didn't look too good last night. You were crying and looked like you were in pain."
Gray - still slightly confused - tried to hide his embarrassment after hearing that he'd cried in front of his team. He smiled towards the Exceed and patted him lightly on the head. "Don't worry, I'm fine. Just a bad dream."
"Bad doesn't even begin to describe it, Gray," Lucy pouted. "Usually you can wake someone up from a nightmare, but no matter what we tried, you wouldn't wake up. Natsu even roared at the top of his voice and you still didn't wake."
Erza spoke up. "You said something about Deliora. Do you want to talk about it?"
"I'm fine," he repeated. "There just memories from when I lived in Isvan. I get them all the time, it's no big deal."
"And by all the time you mean..." Carla folded her arms and waited for a response.
"I don't know... Every other night maybe?"
"So you're like that every two days?" Natsu raised an eyebrow.
"How long has this been going on for?" Erza inquired.
"As long as I can remember really," Gray rubbed his head. "Look, can we just drop this? It's not a big deal."
"If this is happening because of stress, I know a spell that can relieve some of it," the blunette prepared to work her magic.
"Don't worry about it, Wendy. I wouldn't want you wasting your magic on something so small. I'll manage. I always do."
Erza was done arguing with the raven at this point and returned to tidying her belongings. That fool can be so stubborn sometimes. There was no way Titania was just going to completely drop this subject; Erza decided she'd wait until they were back in a calmer environment to question him again. Of all people, the requip wizard understood the trauma he went through a childhood and the fact that he was still being affected by it was worrying. Erza would admit that she had the occasional flashback to her time as a slave, but they were usually the somewhat happy moments she had spent with her friends. Her issues with Jellal, Milliana and the rest of the group had been resolved and she often though fondly of the next time she'd see that messy blue hair again, but of course, she wasn't going to confess that to anyone. She had no doubt that, one way or another, she'd get Gray to talk to her. The raven must have the upmost trust in her as he was willing to leave his life behind to help her infiltrate a dark cult, fulling knowing the dangers he would be putting himself in. There was an awkward silence among the group and they got ready to depart. Thankfully enough, Natsu and Gray got into a pointless argument which lightened the mood somewhat. Once we're back at the guild... Erza thought. I'll ask him everything. I won't let him suffer in silence.
Whoop! Chapter one is done!
I have no idea when this story will update as I have just started college and have no idea when I'll have enough time to write. But while I'm not that busy, I'm using every free period I get to write. Now, I've got a few chapters already complete, but they won't be coming out until I know where abouts this story is going so... be patient with me guys.
Don't forget to review, favourite and follow if you liked it. It gives me a warm feeling... wait... no that's just the out of season heat. :p
See you next time!