In Greek mythology, a phoenix is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn. Associated with the Sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor
Natsu twitched a little as he slowly became aware of light intruding on his sleep. He didn't really want to wake up. He was warm and comfortable and his pillow was extra soft. Unfortunately the light in his eyes had other plans as it would not go away and leave him alone. Stupid light.
He growled a little as he tried to roll over, but the sound of a soft gasp of surprise had him pausing.
He blinked his eyes open blearily as he rolled back onto his back and smiled when he saw her sitting next to the bed, "Hey Luce." He murmured, "Why're you over there?"
Lucy grinned back at him, "Because I've been waiting for you to wake up." She replied, "You've been out for over a week!"
Suddenly Natsu's eyes widened as his memories came rushing back to him, "Zeref! Acnologia!" He sat up abruptly, groaning a little when his blood rushed to his head as he did, and reached for her, "Are you alright?"
"I'm fine." Lucy assured him as she gently pushed him back down onto the bed, "After you passed out Sting and Rogue transformed and carried us all back to the nest for healing. Not that it was any prettier here, but the demons that attacked the nest were flattened after they got the news that Tartaros had been destroyed."
She shrugged a little, "In the end, they wound up bringing Porlyusica in to help with the healing. It's been non-stop busy ever since." She laughed a little, "I only got to avoid most of it since I was still almost as injured as you."
Natsu's eyes tracked over the bandage still wrapped around her head, a quiet growl dragging from his chest. His hand reached out to trace his fingers against her forehead.
That was right.
He almost lost her.
He still felt frighteningly empty without her light brushing against his own magic. The sense of her feelings echoing like a faint murmur in the back of his head.
He also felt shockingly naked without the markings he had all of his life. Natsu hardly knew how to react to their disappearance.
But the markings hardly mattered to him. He couldn't lie and say he didn't miss being connected to Lucy. It was strange how much he relied on the bond to sense if she was in danger or if she was happy.
"Zeref and Acnologia, what happened to them?" He croaked.
Lucy took his hand and cradled it against her cheek. She took in his appearance without the markings she had come to know. His scarf, which Gray had recovered from the wreckage of Tartaros, hung loose around his neck.
"They disappeared in the confusion," Lucy whispered to Natsu. Worry flashed in her eyes as she squeezed his hand.
"Do you think we'll see them again?" Lucy asked Natsu.
He thought about it for a moment.
Zeref was a strange man. A villian no doubt, and Natsu certainly didn't trust the man who had done so much damage to not only him, but the world.
But he had tried to help in the end.
So maybe forgiveness wasn't what was needed.
Maybe just consideration, and the hope that perhaps Zeref would set one of his many wrongs - right.
Natsu tugged Lucy to him, breathing in her sweet scent and memorizing it down to his very being.
"I don't think we'll see either of them ever again," Natsu confessed.
Lucy sighed as she snuggled closer to her husband, "I hope not." She murmured, "I'm tired of all this fighting and war. Zeref is welcome to just go off and die of old age or something without ever bothering anyone again."
Natsu smiled, "Well even if he does come back things won't be the same. The dragons and humans are friends this time, and I'm definitely on the right side."
Lucy thought about that for a moment and grinned, "That's true."
Wendy walked in with Sting at that moment, "Natsu! You're awake!" She exclaimed as she rushed over and nearly tackled him into a hug, "I told you he was awake Sting!"
"Yeah, yeah." Sting drawled in amusement as he sauntered over, "You've got sharp ears and no other dragon can compare."
He sat down in the spot Lucy had so recently been sitting in and smirked, "So how're you feeling now you lazy bum?"
"Better," Natsu grinned at his siblings. He dragged his arms around his wife, unwilling to let her go.
But he was feeling more alive for each moment he was up. Natsu dragged himself up and flashed Sting a crooked grin.
"I hear it's been exciting while I've been out," Natsu smirked at Sting, who shot his brother a sulky scowl.
"Yeah, but we've been able to get the nest in order at least," Sting hummed, "We still have a lot of work to do, so hurry and get your lazy ass better so you can help."
"Alright Sting, that's enough," Igneel's voice rumbled. On his heels was his queen, brother, and Gajeel.
Natsu couldn't help but notice in his cousin's hand, he was holding onto the much smaller one of Levy. They had been dancing around one another for such a long time, Natsu hadn't thought Gajeel would ever get the nerve to be close with Levy.
It was about time. Natsu was almost disappointed he missed it.
"You've gotten yourself into a lot of trouble since the last time I saw ya, brat," Metallicana smirked at Natsu.
He stuck his tongue out at his uncle, unrepentant in his lack of manners.
"Such an attitude, he gets it from you," Metallicana grunted, which cause Igneel to drive his elbow into his brother's side.
"Although he does have a point," Igneel said thoughtfully, "Our hatchling got married and didn't even invite his parents. It almost makes me not want to give you your present."
Lucy blushed and shot Igneel a pout, "I told you that was my idea." She grumbled, causing the dragons to burst into laughter.
"You did my dear." Igneel chuckled as he joined them, shooing Sting out of the chair, "And my queen would be very angry with me if I didn't forgive you for it. Especially since we're still invited to the big wedding." He grinned wickedly, "But you can hardly blame me for teasing."
Natsu rolled his eyes, "Yeah, yeah, we didn't invite you to the entirely spontaneous wedding that ended in me getting kidnapped. So what present did you get us?"
Igneel snorted and cuffed Natsu lightly on the head, "Show some respect brat or you really won't get it."
He smirked at Natsu's whine, though it wasn't clear if he was whining over the cuff or in apology, and sat back, "As for what I got you. Your mother and I figured out a way to re-forge a modified version of the link between you and Lucy."
"Modified?" Lucy asked uncertainly, and Igneel nodded.
"There are aspects of the bond you shared that aren't bad. Namely the emotional connection. It's a very useful thing to have for a number of reasons, and with your consent we can re-forge the link so it goes both ways."
Lucy's eyes widened, "You mean I'd feel what Natsu does too?"
"In a way, yes." Grandine nodded, "You will get impressions. Gut feelings and the touch of one another's magic. We still aren't quite sure what Natsu experienced from his side of the bond."
Natsu rolled his shoulders and he looked at Lucy, "It was never enough to intrude on my own feelings. I couldn't feel Lucy's emotions necessarily, but it reflected off me. If that makes sense?"
"Then this should be very similar should you be willing," Igneel smiled.
Natsu's heart clenched happily at the idea of being connected to his mistress again like that. There would always be a part of him that would want to make her happy and loved. Even if he wasn't a slave to her commands any longer, Natsu never felt like he had been.
So the idea of being connected again was exciting. However Lucy never had felt what he did on that side of things.
He loved the feeling the bond brought him, but he would understand if she was hesitant or didn't want that. For Natsu, that was all he knew. For Lucy, that would be quite a change.
He took her hand in his.
"Luce, we don't have-"
Lucy spoke over him, her eyes lifting to Igneel's, "So long as I don't have that control over Natsu again and it isn't dangerous, I would love to."
Natsu's jaw dropped in surprise at how easily and quickly she'd agreed to it, "I... you would?" He asked hopefully, "Really?"
Lucy pulled her eyes away from Igneel to smile at him and kissed him softly, "Yes. I would." She tugged gently at his bangs, "I never liked the fact you were forced to obey if I gave an order. You know that. But this isn't that. It sounds wonderful."
Natsu grinned broadly at Lucy, hugging her tightly, "So when can we do this?" He asked Igneel eagerly, "Can it be now or does it have to wait? Is it permanent?"
Igneel burst into laughter, "Yes it's permanent unless one of you dies. It's also reversible if you change your minds later. And no, we don't have to wait. It's not a difficult spell my boy."
Privately, he suspected it would become quite popular in the coming years. It was a level of intimacy that most who were married, or serious lovers, would probably want to add. And the other benefits were obvious as well.
He held out his hands, "Just put your hands in mine."
Natsu and Lucy each dropped a hand in one of his without a moment's hesitation, and he couldn't help grinning over how eager they were to be bonded again. His hands began to glow softly as he invoked the spell.
"With the magic contained in my right hand, and the magic contained in my left," He rumbled, smirking a bit at his son's raised eyebrow over the incantation, "I bring the two together and bind them together as one."
There was a brief flash of light as he connected their hands and suddenly Lucy's eyes flew wide open.
"Oh!" She gasped in surprise as Natsu's magic connected to hers, "It's like... a warm fire. The best kind to sit by on a winter day."
Natsu sighed at the return of Lucy's sweet, airy magic washed over him. It filled him with a fullness that made him feel like he could float off in a moment.
It was almost like a spring breeze, and everything he had remembered about her magic. But this time it didn't stay in one place like before.
It flowed in and out of him like a stream, trickling and flushing in. Her magic was no longer stationary, a portion set aside to keep him alive. No, now it was alive...
And this was the type of freedom he truly loved.
His fingers curled around Lucy's hand, a grin spreading over his face.
"That's better," Natsu relaxed and leaned against Lucy's forehead, nuzzling her.
They were allowed a second together, before Sting and Gajeel chimed in together and began to draw out long, cooing noises.
"Wrap it up love birds," Gajeel smirked as he dodged the pillow Natsu hurled at him blindly.
"There's a whole world out there that needs fixin', it's about time we head out and get it fixed," Gajeel snorted.
Lucy rolled her eyes, but smiled as she crawled out of bed and held her hand out to her husband, "C'mon." She grinned at him, "I promised the world and now we can get it."
Natsu grinned as he grasped his wife's hand and pulled himself to his feet. He didn't need the world. He never had. His world was already right here. He was more than happy to follow her to wherever she wanted to go though, and he would always be at her side if she ever needed him.
"When light and darkness become flesh and bone, the empty body a life to own."
"Your magic a spark to feed the demand, the Golem within yours to command."
He was still her Golem.
FINAL NOTES FROM YOUR WRITERS
Mslead: Hello everyone, thanks so much for sticking with us during this adventure! I know it may have been a little rough but thank you so much for sticking with us! It's been especially difficult for Kytrin who was basically running this show solo for a couple of months. So I really appreciate everyone being kind and patient while I took care of real life. Thank you everyone for coming to read our story! I recognized a lot of the names from Parallels that showed up here in Golem! I hope you'll follow us on our next adventure: Wild Aces! It's been a real pleasure getting to entertain you guys with our story!
Kytrin: Well guys, this is it! The final chapter of Golem! It's been quite a trip hasn't it? And I want to say thank you all for joining us on this roller coaster of a ride. Whether you followed us from Parallels or came to us brand new we have appreciated having you all here to experience this story with us. I especially want to thank everyone for being patient while I learned how to juggle posting on and Tumblr. It's not as intuitive as one would think at first glance lol! Because I'm kind of exhausted after all the posting, Mslead and I are going to take a break for a while to just work on story. However, I promise you we'll be back, and I sincerely hope you guys will rejoin us for Wild Aces! Until then, do enjoy our little teaser! 3
SUMMARY: Natsu was as wild as the stars he was born from and the west he lived in. Beholden to none save his family, he finds himself on the trail of mystery to find what he has lost. Drawn, whether by fate or circumstance to a celestial wizard, he can't seem to stop running into her as danger looms dark on the horizon. [NALU]
"Actions Miss Heartfilia, that's where it counts," He grunted and rolled his shoulders forward to push himself back to his feet, "The way I see it-."
"-either ya make sure the Sheriff has me hanged, or ya prove ya got some mettle," Natsu dropped his forehead on the bars above Lucy's face, "because one day, and one day soon. I'll be comin' back for those keys."
Lucy lifted her chin at him, "By all means try. I have nothing to prove to you sir, and any attempt on my keys will see you exactly where you are now."
Despite the imposing figure he cut, Lucy refused to be cowed by him. She knew her spirits cared for her, and while she could admire his tenacity and desire to free spirits in the clutches of abusive keyholders, she didn't care for his attentions.
She had enough troubles with suitors, the last thing she wanted was to be the target of an infamous gang.
Still, she knew she didn't imagine the flare of respect in his eyes as he looked at her. She wouldn't back down to him, and for Salamander that was probably a first.
After all, Salamander had quite the reputation of being the cannon of the Slayers.
Both Lucy and Salamander were pulled from their stare off by the sound of feet stomping heavily down the stairs and clanking metal.
Lucy looked up and smiled at the company, "Hello Erza."
"Lucy." The redhead greeted with a small smile of her own, utterly ignoring Natsu's astonished look at the sight of her breastplate and other armor, "The deputy's arrived to retrieve Salamander."