What is love?

This does not ship Natsu x Gray! Strictly nakama!

The title makes sense when you read the whole thing! Word. For. Word.

My first fanfic, I have edited it for grammar and to make it longer with more details, because we all know I suck at those!
The title may make you think its a gratsu fanfic, but its not. I ship them sometimes, but just not for this story.

Here we go!

"It's not over.. Not until I destroy END." A man's voice said.

The day was loud and tumultuous, but the cacophony quieted as his voice was heard. The man was battered and bloody, and had a long cut across his torso. He also had a distinctive blue symbol on his right chest. Cuts and bruises could be seen scattered across his tensing body, and raven black hair was forced to move in the breeze.

The sky was grey and sickening, rubble and debris falling from clouds and dragons fighting in the sky. A lone man with long black hair fixed into a loose ponytail and a torn jacket with strange designs lay defeated in the chaos. Roars filled the air and screams cut like a knife, more so to their loved ones. The wind abruptly went silent.

Two people could be seen within the clouds of dust, and their shadows were perceived as frightening demons.

The other man was a pink haired man with a scaly scarf and a black and orange jacket with one long sleeve and one short that was revealing a red symbol, the same as the other man.

"Oh yeah, that book!" He said, as he lay on the ground, equally as injured as the raven haired boy. He reached out, looking for something.

"Igneel asked me to take it to him!" He continued, still searching as he lay in the rubble.

"I said, I'm destroying it." The black haired boy said, holding a battered book with the worn out letters that spelt out END.

"CUT THE CRAP!"

"Now, who's the one screwing around, This thing made Tartaros," he said, holding the book up by its cover. "and it's the strongest demon in the books of Zeref. All the more reason to get rid of it, don't you think?"

The pink haired boy grimaced and shakily stood to his feet, glaring at the man.

"I promised Igneel... GIVE ME THE BOOK!"

"No." He declined, staring at the other boy, fingers clenched on the book's leather frame. Sweat dripped down his face, injuries clearly agonizing him more than he let on. Both let the silence steal the air, leaving them contemplating on what the other would do.

These two men were best friends. Rivals. Whatever you would define them as, these two people would be there through thick and thin, always coming back to each other, happy or not. And whether they were injured or perfectly healthy, they would not die.

Whether the one with soft, pink hair and a muffler made out of dragon scales and the one that possessed dragon slaying magic taught by his father, and also the one that had such bright, warm onyx eyes that held such honesty even a god could not have.
Or the other boy, the one that had held dark expressions when he was younger, the one where the darkness had blown away into a beautiful glow, more stunning than a glistening rainbow reflecting across an icy waterfall. This one also had a strange habit of stripping randomly, caused by his ice magic training which was taught by his teacher, Ul.

Whatever they were, or wherever they came from, these two boys knew each other for a long, long time. Neither had a home when they were young, but no one criticized them. They always fought, and even in the most dire situations, would be back to back, screaming at each other to shut up when they were about to vanquish that monster they swore that THEY would defeat. And they would smile. But no one judged them. That was why they had a guild.

All are welcome at their guild. Battered or bloody, energetic or happy, unsociable or stoic, all are welcomed in their true home. Just a building with the letters FAIRY TAIL shown, just the one building that had a bundle of friends who would never leave. Many had come to their home, true or not, but they were family. Blood relation didn't matter.

After they had defeated an enemy together, Mard Geer, they were now fighting amongst themselves. The two men stared at each other as the wind resumed, and more roaring filled the air. The source of the roaring, is however, something one would never witness.

The two men glanced at the sky quickly, only to remember their situation. The growls and slashes grew slowly softer as two huge beasts were edging away from the ruins of the building the rivals were standing in.

The two immense creatures were fighting in the chaos, one a fiery peony red color with scars over its face and rough skin. It had deep, bright eyes, and a courage in them that would make soldiers back down in a war without a second thought. It's wings were making gusts of wind, and would push over a full grown man if they were within 15 meters.

The other creature was a dark oblivion. It's eyes had a horrible mixture of anger and hatred among them, like a black wind that snuffed out a bright candle. With a curved head and sharp, terrifying teeth, it scratched and flung itself against the other. The wings of this creature were powerful and not willing to back down, not accepting defeat in any possible way. Defeat was not an outcome for this creature, it seemed to resonate, it's dark aura growing more horrid every second the two beasts clashed.

The battle between these two elements continued, neither one giving up its will to fight.

The men who were standing amongst it all, with no terror in their eyes, were staring at each other with premonition and forewarning appearing in their minds. The black haired man was still holding a book up next to his face, clutching it tightly, fingers slightly trembling.

The scarfed man showed alarm and warning in his onyx colored pupils, he was hoping that this was some sort of sick joke, waiting for his rival to say "Just kidding!", but, this was far from a joke in his eyes. Both of them were equally damaged from their last fight, so jokes were far from their minds, he knew.

Quickly, their argument resumed.

After glancing at the sky, familiar voices sounded.

"Both of you, stop this!" Two men attempting to stand shouted, eyes fixed on the other two people. One had golden blonde hair and the other had a scar across his face and black abyss hair with a hood covering his head.

"This is why you Fairy Tail people are always-"

The black haired rival's eyes glistened with warning at the two people who were attempting peace.

They flinched as the raven looked back at the pinkette.

"I don't care, END is the thing that no one could defeat. We need to destroy it now." The beat up black haired boy countered, still standing. He pointed to the book, eyes filled with rage. "This is the demon that my father was afraid of and..." He stared at the pinkette. "And I wont let this chance go by!"

In one hand he held the old, battered book, and the other an object began forming in the man's hand. Ice appeared by his fingers, spreading up into a sharp shape, and slowly, shakily, he created a messily made ice sword. He remembered that day when his teacher taught him this magic. He remembered how happy he was when he first learned it. Although his teacher taught ice magic, she was never once cold. She had such a beautiful smile...

His teeth were clenched tightly. Why now?! He was close to crying now, all of his nostalgic memories coming back to him.

Thunderous clashes vibrated through the sky. The sky was dark and cloudy. People screaming, crying, dying. Other people with the same symbol on their skin as the two rivals were also fighting, working together, but little did they know about what would become of the two boys.

The noise was getting louder, the roars and yells slowly fading away, but the ringing in the dark haired boy's ears would not cease. This is why he hated storms. It reminded him of that day. And now, he had lost his precious family once again today, his father.

He lifted the hilt of the sword up, and tilted the blade toward the already battered book.

The other two men's eyes widened, mouthes gaped open in a silent gasp.

The pink haired man was scrambling over to the book, screaming out something that he himself couldn't even hear. Tripping over rocks and rubble, the man panicked.

Crap, he thought.

"Don't do it!" He thought he was shouting. He didn't really care though. He needed to keep his promise with that dragon no matter what.

The man brought down the sword.

The boy's voice cried out in one desperate shriek.

"GRAY!"

The book's cover was stabbed with ice and un-shown hatred.

The pink haired boy's eyes widened.

He had failed. He had failed his father, and now, he had failed his friend for not stopping that dagger.
How pitiful, he thought. He watched in horror as the book started fall apart.

Clouds of dust sprung out of the cover with a WHOOSH of air, and the pages started to dampen as the water from the ice blade soaked into it.

And then, the book began to slowly disintegrate, starting from the sword, which was plunged into to middle of the book, hiding the evil letters of END. After seconds of silence, half of the book was gone, with the other people's brains processing what had just happened.

The black haired boy stared at his hands, still clutching the hilt of the dagger, heavily breathing. A strange feeling arose in his chest, mixed with the reality and pride of his action.

He had done it. He had won against END. His father's last words, strung with fear towards the crumbling book, would not be in vain. He breathed a sigh of relief. His ease would be short lived.

As the rest of the book was disappearing,

the boy with the scarf suddenly grabbed his chest, crying out in pain.

"Natsu-san!?"

"Natsu!?"

The hooded man's mouth opened with surprise. The golden haired man shouted the pinkette's name, as well as the black haired man, who looked over in horror, still holding the hilt of the dagger.

The boy fell to his knees, still clenching his heart, as blood dripped down his lips. He dropped into a shaky fetal position in the rubble, new cuts and bruises appearing as he fell. His scarf caught onto a rock, and it slid off of his neck, revealing a long, old scar.

Startled, the black haired boy ran over to the coughing pinkette, dropping the book that was slowly disappearing. The ice sword crashed to the ground, crushed into tiny specks of frost.

The raven's pride transformed into an alarmed run as he reached his rival.

"Natsu!" He dropped down on his knees, hands hovering above the boy's body, not knowing what to do. Uncertainty and confusion led to horror as he panicked and reached out to touch the boy's shoulder.

As if like mist, the back haired boy's hand went right through his body. His fingers touched the stone ground, injuring what was left to injure of his fingers. Retracting his hand back, he cried out in shock.

"What..? What's happened to Natsu-san?!" The blonde scarred man panicked, staring at the raven.

"I-I.. I don't know! What's going on here?!" He replied, looking at the shivering boy. He glanced up at the people with a pleading expression. His thoughts quickly drifted to Porlyusica, the most skilled healer in Magnolia.. no, Fiore.

Help. They needed someone to help.

"Go get some people from Sabertooth and my guild! Please! I'll stay here with Natsu!" He yelled.

The two men stumbled to get up, the one with blonde hair falling only to have the other catch him. They nodded quickly and ran off in another direction, cacophony still not dying down.

BOOM!

More thunder sounded as the two people were left with each other in the rubble. The boy called Natsu was coughing and shaking, leaving the black haired boy to care for him.

"What's going on?! Once I stabbed that book, you fell over.. and.." He glanced at the boy who looked ready to pass out. "Is it your injuries from earlier? NATSU!" He begged for an explanation.

A million questions spread through his mind. He tried to help the boy again, but his hands passed through him like he was grabbing smoke. He did this over and over again, trying to touch, but failing.

Soon, the pinkette realized this and stopped coughing to get his friend to stop trying to grab him. He was just as confused as the raven, but had no responses to the questions.

But he knew he was dying, he knew that.

The last parts of the abandoned book were disintegrating, pieces of it crumbling into bright particles that were falling unevenly around the clouds of dust. And just as that was happening, the pink haired boy started to fade.

His skin got paler, so did his hair and clothing.
As his body got paler, it made him seem like a glowing candle, in the mess of the world. Starting from his fingertips, crawling up his arms, the other boy stared in confusion.

Slowly, from one leg to his right arm, the paleness reached a red symbol on his shoulder. This symbol was in the shape of a small creature, one that one may never find in their life, and it was fading quickly.

After seeing it disappear into the paleness of his skin, the boy's eyelids got heavier. The meaning of that symbol was not simple. It was a sign of happiness for those who possessed it. It was neither gold nor silver, but it a priceless treasure for those who found it. But it had disappeared unwillingly in front of his eyes.

Explosions danced across the sky as the boy's pupils found themselves fixed on the two beasts in the clouds.

His eyes never left the red dragon, and when he saw the other pin him down on the rocky ground, his eyes slanted. That dragon would win. He would.

His father would win, no matter what would happen. If only he was there, to work together to defeat that evil being that ascended from hell.

His conscience was brought back to the one who was trying to help him. His rival was staring down at him with concerned, and frightened eyes. His rival was panicking and, for once in a long time, his rival wasn't trying to look calm and cool.

The boy coughed, specks of blood leaving his mouth, his body seeming to blend with the ground. No.. he wasn't fading away.. he couldn't.

I still have things to do! He thought.
I can't leave the guild! He didn't understand what was going on, but he knew it would be okay, right? Fairy tail would always be there, he thought, remembering the building that held so many precious memories.

He remembered a blue cat with feathery wings. Happy, his first best friend, the one who landed on his pink hair with an "Aye!" And the one who loved fish and the one who's bond with him was hard to explain. The one who was with him all of the time.

He remembered a scarlet haired girl in a suit of silver armor with an oxymoron of a personality, brave and terrifying. She taught him how to read and write, thoughts shifting to when he was crying in front of the guild, naming off different foods that existed. She was one he cared for very much, remembering Jellal, and the scarlet haired girl sobbing over her dead friend, Simon.

He remembered the siblings, Lisanna, Mirajane and Elfman. Lisanna, the one who asked him to let her be his wife when she was young. The mention of it always made him blush and look away. She was the one who died, and made him sorrow to the very core, the one who came back to life, and made his soul dance with joy.

Mirajane, the kind and collected girl, always mentioning about how Natsu was adorable sometimes when she was young and wild. Elfman, the man who had supposedly killed Lisanna, but he had a timid, kind look in his eyes.

He remembered Wendy and Carla. He remembered when Wendy hugged him, smiling with pure happiness.

Levy, Jet, Droy, the group of best friends who got beat up by Gajeel, who had terrible singing skills, in his opinion. Makarov, the guilds loving, silly leader whom Natsu loved like a grandfather, Juvia, Loke, Laxus, Freed, Evergreen, Romeo, Bisca, Alzack, Asuka, Lily, Laki, Macao, Wakaba, Max, Reedus, Warren, all of them.

And Lucy.

A blonde celestial wizard's picture struck in his mind. He remembered when she first got her guild mark, and how she tilted her head and smiled. She was the one who he never wanted to see hurt again, for some reason. He always got a bolt of anger when she cried. Screw whoever did what they did to her, he was gonna give 'em a beating. She somehow got into the Dragon Slayer's mind more than she should've.

Maybe she's using magic.

And Igneel, his dragon father. He did not have a shared blood relation, but screw that as well, he was still his father! The father who disappeared when he was young, leaving the boy stranded in the woods, crying. The father who saved the boy by building ...anti-thingies.. in his body. The father whom the boy loved so, so much.

Oh, so many memories.

The boy felt another pain filled shock run through his body. This wasn't working.

The pinkette remembered the fighting between dark guilds, each other, the council. This has happened before, he thought. It'll be okay, and I'll survive this.
His memories switched to all of the times he had won his battles, but mostly he was severely injured afterwards. He almost grinned as he thought of the guild coming to him.

"Natsu!" A blonde would yell, stumbling over to him.

Her hair would blow slightly in the wind, features filled with worry. She would hold his head up, and he would smile like nothing was wrong. She would chide him for being so careless, her eyes watering up with relief.

His heart would beat. And it would keep beating.

He imagined a scarlet haired girl.

The girl would stomp over to him, her armor clanging as always. She would grab his head and hug him until his face hurt as it was pushed up against the hard metal.
She would glare with warning at him, silently making him agree to not be so reckless.

A blue cat would fly over, slightly injured, with tears flowing down his face. He would go to the pinkette and sob. His wings would disappear, and he would fall into the boy's lap, hugging his chest.

The black haired man with the blue symbol on his right chest would sigh with relief, arms falling to his sides. His injuries would get healed, and he would keep glancing at the pink haired boy, silently looking for answers, eyes filled with an emotion that was unreadable, once again. The black haired man would slowly deflate, and would apologize, looking slightly to the side, eyes looking elsewhere.
The pink haired boy would stand up, and they would both find answers to the questions floating in their minds.

Suddenly, he thought of something.

He looked up at the black haired man. The cut that was across his torso had now dried, and blood stopped from flowing from it. His expression was etched with worry and pain, his hands hovered over the boy.

I'm not going to let it end like this, I'm not going to die, so don't worry, the pinkette thought.

He could not ignore the stinging in his heart.

Breathe, pain, breathe.

It continued a painful waltz across his chest. Why? Was it his fight from earlier? He thought.

As he exhaled, he looked straight forward. Mouth open with as much determination as he could accumulate, he spoke.

"Gray, I-"

He suddenly felt another shock in his chest. It was a stinging that immediately took over his nerves.

It hurt so much this time.

Breathe, pain, breathe.

He coughed again harshly, trying to stop himself. And then, with a keening, choking sound, and a sharp intake of breath, his chest stopped moving.

Breathe, pain, breathe.

The boy gasped, struggling for air. His mouth quickly froze into a failed intake of oxygen, and a strange feeling began to form in his body.

Breathe, pain, breathe.

The pain was going away a little. It was still there, though.

Breathe, pain, breathe.

His body began to slowly relax. The pinkette's eyes were still looking forward, hair falling above his nose. The black haired man was yelling something.

Breathe, pain, breathe.

What was he saying?

Breathe, pain, breathe.

... What was he..

The pinkette's head tilted slightly back, and, through a waning hand that was touching the black haired man's arm, he stopped struggling.

His body's tenseness was removed in a silent devitalization as his limbs relaxed in harmony. One of his hands that was lifted quietly fell to the ground, and the light left his eyes, like a bright light being snuffed out by a cold, harsh wind.
His head slumped back, hair leaning towards the ground. The blood that was on his mouth had dried, and his eyes were left open, staring at nothing. His eyes were empty.

Those warm eyes were gone.

The black haired man looked down at the boy's face. His mouth was open mid-sentence, and his eyes were blank. The man's hands were still above the body, and a shocked expression lingered on his beaten up features.

It was if the pinkette was sleeping, and he looked peaceful. He looked tranquil in the mess of the world, in the thunder and clashing in the sky.

The black haired rival was staring at the boy, stoic.

The rival's eyes were blank, as his pupils were seeming to return to that darkness that he had when he was younger. It was like he had a layer of ice covering his eyes now. A layer of ice that was cold and threatening, but in a way was so delicate that someone could shatter it with a snap of their fingers. It was so delicate that someone could shatter it with an iota of sound.

It.. was like someone shattered his mind.

"Natsu?" The black haired man mumbled quietly. His arms dropped to his sides.

That was it?

That was how Natsu Dragneel died in the end?

"Natsu?" He said again, lower lip trembling. His eyes began to water up.

Crack.

The ice in his eyes was melting, dropping into a gushing waterfall. Slowly, tears began to slide down his face, dropping onto the ground, passing through the boy's misty body.

A glowing yellow light was slowly overcoming the body, lightening up his lifeless face. It drifted toward the sky, and the boy was hovering an inch above the rocks now. His heels were touching the ground, and his hair was being lifted, his uneven locks of hair falling back from his forehead.

Pitifully, attempting to hold the body, the black haired man began to shake. He, attempting to grab the bright light that was now the pink haired boy's body, sobbed desperately.

Natsu...

This name. Just a simple five letters.
They meant so much.

He cried the boy's name and put his hands on his face, bloody knees trembling.

Just... Just five letters.

The black haired boy's eyes were reddening, his lower lip shaking. He was crying disgracefully. He wanted to be filled with grief after the battles. So why was he crying now? The fights weren't over yet. Why was his best friend dead?

Why was Natsu dead?

The last of the pink haired boy's bright light ascended toward the book of END, that was no more. It drifted toward through the ruins, slowly fading. The golden glow circled the rocks and rubble, reaching past an unconscious man with the name Mard Geer.

The light circled the area the book was in, and then with a dull spark, disappeared. The black haired man stared. That light... that light... It was my friend.

"Give him back..." he spoke softly, not even a whisper.

His words were nothing as they were taken from the wind, dulled into nothingness as that boy's body was. The cold, harsh wind. It was the same wind that snuffed out that bright light in the other boy's eyes. It was the same wind that made the black haired man fill with grief.
It was the same wind that took away his friend.

And as fast as they came, the noises stopped. There was nothing left to hear.

It was if the chaos and thunder had disappeared.

It was if a black, sharp toothed creature had won against a red, warm dragon who had its mouth open wide, facing skyward, expressing its final agonies.

It was if everyone in the two boys' guild had won their battles, but still had some scars to show.
It was if the two men who ran off to help were on their way, but stopped for some reason.

It.. was if there was nothing left in the world.

No more noise littered the air, and the wind was gone.

The black haired man stood up shakily, wiping his eyes harshly.

He stared down at a white, scaly scarf that was snagged on a rock. He slowly picked it up and held it in his arms. He clenched the fabric tightly, his fingers hurting. A horrible, sinking, hurting feeling in his heart was growing. His throat hurt.

There wasn't even a body.

Tears continuously ran down his face, his eyes were red, the darkness of his past was becoming worse,

and, for once in a lifetime.

Gray Fullbuster never felt colder.

In the background, walking along was a man with a black robe and white cloth wrapped around parts of his torso. He was calmly walking to get his precious book as he saw a certain boy disappear before his eyes.

The robed man saw the boy look up at another man who was trying to hold him up, then the boy's head fell back, and then he quickly fell apart in the man's grasp. This other man fell to his knees.

The robed man's eyes widened. His mouth gaped open in a horrid stare as sweat marked its way down his pale face. He looked at the pink haired boy's head that was tilted toward the ground. His eyes were still open, staring beyond the rocks, beyond the fire and sky, trying to fix on something but not knowing how, it seemed.

Natsu... I'm so sorry.

I was too late.

His hands shook as they lifted to his face. His eyes were watering up. The wind was silent.
One lone tear ran down this robed man's face, and his hands dropped to his sides.

His face...

That beautiful face that he could never forget. The face of his little brother. Natsu... I was so careless.

He remembered a time when he revived his little brother, and when he looked up at him with droopy, sleepy eyes. How he was still as energetic as he was on Tenrou Island, when they met, but really it was a second meeting. He was crying, his Ankhseram curse still torturing him to the point of insanity. He saw a pink haired boy push down the heads of his comrades so that they wouldn't be affected. In the back of his mind, he remembered that Natsu was not affected by the curse, of course, because he was a demon.

His brother was a demon. His brother was a demon, and he didn't care. As long as that little boy was alive, he was fine. He looked at the boy, and noticed a few things. A white scaly scarf hanging around his neck. Igneel must've made it, he though to himself. A muscular body, and a glare fixed at himself. A confused
stare, gazing strangely at the black haired man. His teeth clenched.

"Natsu..."

He remembered when he held the small boy in his arms, laughing happily, but sadly. The scene of Natsu getting killed by dragon embers flashed through his head once again. Their horrid looks and movements. The weapons in their hands. The weapons slashed through his mother and father, and then Natsu. His little brother was sleeping, too. He was killed without knowing who he was or what he was doing.

He was killed before he could realize how wonderful and horrible the world was.

A tear ran down the robed man's face as he sit upon charcoal colored trees that were falling to their sides. His voice was shaky. He finally saw Natsu after so many years. Longer than a normal human's lifespan could go. His suffering continued for hundreds of years until he finally found that boy. Memories flashed through his head. He remembered how his curse was made upon him. He would never forget.

The robed man gasped. A strange glow was surrounding him and rocks were floating above the ground. It was like a silent earthquake was shaking the ground, making things hover around him, being the center of the mess.

And finally, after four hundred years, Zeref Dragneel's curse was lifting.

His horrible curse of immortality was being released, after seeing his brother die before his eyes again. Again...

Another death, he thought wryly.

More rubble gathered around himself, and a bright light danced around him. He looked around. No one was the source of this. His eyes fixed onto the dead body of his brother and the other man. He saw another light lift up Natsu's body, dancing to the same tune that Zeref was. His body slowly lifted from the ground, and his hair swiftly fell from his eyes, hanging to the ground.

He looked graceful.

The light was quietly moving toward the book of END. It seemed to fade into nothingness, but then Zeref felt a strange thing. The light around himself got brighter, and as he heard sobs from the other black haired man that was with Natsu, he realized something.

Ah... I see now. There is a thing that makes the Ankhseram curse people such as me. This thing that has been present from the beginning of time. It killed Mavis, and It will release me, as well, he thought.

He remembered when Mavis cried, looking up at his own teary face in the forest, begging him to take her curse away from her. When he kissed her, he remembered the way she was leaning back after she died, her lips still parted into a loose half-kiss. He remembered holding her cold skin to his chest, and crying softly.

He remembered when she died, the empty feeling he got in his already empty soul. That feeling was overwhelming him even more now. What was that feeling? What was it called?

He had wondered for hundreds of years.

Maybe one day Natsu would understand. But, he knew he nor Natsu were coming back to this world. He finally understood.

That feeling. That feeling I have tried to understand all of these years.
Love, Natsu. It is love.

The man who came for the book of END fell to the ground, the bright light spiraling around him, and with a smile slipped onto his lips,

another death spread across the crumbling world.

A/N: Just to clarify something, Zeref dies from his immeasurable love for Natsu, such as in the manga where Mavis dies from Zeref's love for her because it was so strong. If you don't get it, whatever, but okay. Re-read it for like an hour and maybe you'll get it.

Thank you for all of your reviews! This is my first posted fanfiction, and I'm hoping that I'll get to another chapter.

I've decided I will keep going on this fanfiction, with Fairy Tail's reactions.

It may take me awhile, school can be rather... packed with homework..
But I'll try.

(Zeref dies from his immeasurable love for Natsu, such as in the manga where Mavis dies from Zeref's love for her because it was so strong.)

I wrote this because I don't see many fanfictions about E.N.D like this. Maybe you people should try writing something, it's really fun.

Cheers,

-Dewofhiseyes