Everything Is Wonderful
Disclaimer: Fairy Tail will be mine when I get turned into a newt!
Note: If you're thinking about the song by Everclear, then yes, you are correct. I was inspired to write this piece after listening to it while driving home one day. It's gonna be a sad story. Only a few parts are based from the song, others are from some experiences of members in my family, and the rest is the story's input. Once I started, the story wrote itself, as all authors know. It is based mostly on the father/son relationship between Igneel and Natsu. Grandine and Wendy are also present. It takes place in AU modern times, and there are a few OCs.
Enjoy, but no flames please!
Lightening flashed in the sky, followed by a boom of thunder, sounding as if a giant cannon was fired. Despite the heavy rain fall and thunder, the sound of splashes could be heard as Igneel ran down the street. In his arms lay an unconscious and bleeding Natsu. Igneel feared the boy would be dead by the time he reached the hospital, making his legs run faster at the motivation to save his life.
Looking down at the body flopping around with his movement, Igneel observed the boy's bleeding head, followed by the jagged cut along his neck. The jugular had been hit, and cloth was tied around the wound as tight as it could be without suffocating the boy. Distinct wheezes could be heard with each breath Natsu made. Next, the man's eyes trailed down to the boy's left side, where an X shaped wound rested along his abdomen.
Igneel bit back a roar that was forming in his throat. How could someone even think of doing this to a child? The red headed man clenched his teeth as his
grip tightened around the boy. When he finally reached his car, he opened the door, placed Natsu in the back seat as gently as he could before rushing to the driver's side. He drove as fast as he could, without going to much over the speed limit. If he was pulled over, the boy would bleed out for sure. He didn't care that his car was getting soaked with blood. All that mattered was getting the boy help.
A flash of lightening startled him from his reverie. Looking at his surroundings, the hospital was only a few minutes away.
Three Months Earlier:
Igneel wandered the dark halls with his step-daughter, Wendy, looking for the teacher's room for Parent Teacher Conference (if they still called it that). The hallways were somewhat dark, making it seem like something scary was going to suddenly pop out and scare them senseless. Wendy walked close to her step-father, grabbing his arm for comfort. "It's okay Wendy! I'll protect you from the monsters!" Igneel chuckled with a grin. They had almost reached the classroom, when Igneel's excellent hearing picked up a whimper, followed by a voice that sounded like nails on a chalkboard.
"How many times have I told you to get a ride home after school. I had to stop watching my game just to come get you." The voice whisper-growled, followed by a slapping sound and a yelp. A moment later, a teenage boy with pink hair flew out from around the corner, landing unceremoniously on the polished floor. Igneel and Wendy stopped in their tracks as they looked at the boy curiously, though Igneel had a look of suspicion on his face. The pink haired boy fumbled to his feet and stared at them like a deer in the headlights, tears in the corners of his eyes. A quick glance to his left, the boy took of running passed them and down the dark hallway.
"Get back here you worthless little-What are you looking at?" A buff man with salt and pepper hair rounded the corner. A look of contempt on his face as he stared at Igneel and Wendy. Igneel picked up the strong scent of alcohol coming from the man before him. With a frown, he stepped forward, placing himself in front of Wendy.
"You should treat your son better, ya'know." The red haired man growled slightly, thinking back to the teary gaze of the boy moments earlier. "Don't tell me how to handle my kid!" The man bit back before rushing past the pair. Igneel clenched his fists, staring ahead. "Dad? What's wrong?" Wendy asked, tugging on his shirt sleeve, drawing his attention. Igneel released a sigh before looking at her with a smile. "Let's get to your teacher." He said, ruffling her hair. Walking forward, the frown returned to his face as he thought of the boy again.
Natsu ran as fast as he could down the dark hallway, not looking back. Running through the doors, he stopped at the car and waited for his old man to come out. He would have driven himself to and from school, but his father wouldn't allow him to have his permit. A little less than two years to go, and he could make his own decisions without his parents' consent.
The pinkette was so lost in his thoughts, he didn't realize his father had already come out. He jumped, a yelp escaping his throat, when a hand roughly grabbed the hair at the back of his head. His head was yanked back, and he could feel and smell his father's foul breath on his face. "Don't make this a habit, or you'll regret it." The slurry voice breathed against his ear, before the door was opened and he was shoved inside. The car ride home was silent, save the radio reporting the scores on a football game. On several occasions, Natsu gripped the OS handle or the door when his father shifted the car roughly. His feet hitting invisible breaks. When they finally reached their house, Natsu was about to get out until a strong hand gripped his upper arm. He was yanked towards
his father again.
"I'm not doing this for you again, understand!" The man growled, tightening his grip, causing Natsu to bite back a gasp as he flinched at the pain. Looking at his lap, he only nodded silently. When his father let go, Natsu trudged into the house, making his way towards his bedroom, upstairs. Walking passed his mother, unnoticed, he ran up the stairs and locked himself in his room. Despite his growling stomach, he would stay in his room the rest of the night. He really didn't want to be near his parents tonight. Not when his father was like this...again. Closing his eyes, he hugged his old and battered, stuffed dragon to his chest.
Falling into a fitful sleep, he tried to ignore his parents' shouting, which was soon followed by pounding fists against his door. Sometimes he wished that if he closed his eyes tightly and waited several seconds, that everything in his life would be wonderful. But each time he opened his eyes again, all he came back to was this hell. A single tear fell from his eye as he allowed the darkness to take him.
The next morning, the pinkette woke up with a sore body. His butt, arm, and back of his head hurt painfully. He cursed when he moved to get out of bed and made his way towards his door. Unlocking it softly, he quietly opened it and peeked to make sure it was clear. Shutting the door again, he quickly dressed for school before quietly leaving his room, making sure to shut the door behind him. Natsu tip-toed down the hall and stairs. He didn't dare go out the window again, not after he was caught by his father and was punished with a beating.
Making it to the kitchen, he peeked around the corner to see if anyone was in there. Empty. Walking in, he took a few apples, granola bars, and water bottles to shove in his backpack. If he took anything else, his parents would yell at him for taking the good food to school. But Natsu had to eat something at lunch, because his parents didn't have the money to pay for school lunches. He'd get a job if he could, but everytime he tried, his father would ruin his chances. By this point, he pretty much gave up hope that anything good would ever happen to him.
Leaving the kitchen, he headed for the door, until a sudden snore filled his ears. Stopping in his tracks, he looked into the living room to see his father sleeping awkwardly on the couch, a whole case of empty beer cans on the floor near him. Natsu sneaked his way to the door before opening it softly. He cursed inwardly when the door made a loud squeak, and jumped when he heard his father's snores falter. Before the man had a chance to wake up, Natsu hurried outside and shut the door behind him. He quickly ran to the bus stop at the end of the block.
Natsu always felt awkward at the bus stop, as he seemed to be the only Sophomore that caught this particular bus. Everyone else was a grade or so younger than him, or in elementary school. The other students always looked at him like he grew second head. With a sigh, he waited for the bus to come, making subtle glances towards his house to make sure his father wasn't awake and coming out of the house to yell at him again. He liked to do that, making scenes in public sometimes to embarass him or his mother. Oh how he hated the man.
When the bus did finally come, he breathed out, not realizing he was holding his breath. As the kids filed onto the bus, Natsu followed and took an empty seat. He ignored the stares he always got from the others. Everyone else in his grade or above drove themselves to school or were dropped off by their parents or siblings. Staring at the floor of the bus, he ignored his surroundings and zoned out for most of the bus ride to school. Lost in thought, he wasn't aware of the presence of a small girl with blue hair sit next to him. She had just gotten on the bus and took the only open spot left, which was right next to Natsu.
Wendy looked at the boy beside her, remembering him from last night. She didn't understand why her father seemed so upset after seeing this boy and his father. During the conference with her teacher, her father's mind seemed elsewhere most of the time. Trying to get the boy's attention beside her, she gently poked his left arm, only to have him jump back with a hiss. His hand clamped the spot she poked as his back hit the window. Wendy was taken aback when the boy looked at her like a wounded animal, before his eyes focused.
"S-Sorry..." The pinkette mumbled, looking down at the floor again, his hair covering his eyes. "N-No! I'm sorry for scaring you!" Wendy apologized, waving her hands in front of her as she shook her head. She put her hands down on her lap when Natsu looked up at her. A small smile on his face. He didn't interact with people at school much, so he wasn't sure how to converse with someone he'd just met.
"I'm Wendy Marvel! What's your name?" She said softly as she shyly held her hand out to him. "Natsu." Was all he said as he slowly shook her hand. He chuckled slightly to himself when Wendy's face lit up. "Can I be your friend? I don't have a lot of them right now." Wendy added, looking embarrassed at her question. She peeked up at him through her hair to see the expression of shock on his face. No one had wanted to be his friend before. He'd always felt like an outcast at school...and at home.
"...sure..." Was his quiet response. The rest of the bus ride was spent in silence. Wendy would glance at Natsu, who rested his head against the window. He would hiss a few times when the bus hit a dip or pot hole in the road, causing him to rub his head or his butt subtly. When the bus finally reached the school, Wendy and Natsu said their goodbyes as Wendy headed for the elementary side, just behind the high school.
When school ended after another uneventful day, Wendy ran to the high school looking for Natsu. She remembered what the boy's father said about him getting his own ride home. Her dad was coming to get her and thought that maybe he would like a lift too. Spotting said boy, she startled him when she stopped next to him and poked him in the opposite arm from this morning. Natsu jumped slightly, but did not hiss. He ignored the looks he got from those around them. Looking down at Wendy with a groan, he saw her pleading face.
"...what?" He asked her, confusion on his face. "My Dad is picking me up soon, do you want to be dropped off at home?" The bluenette asked shyly, a blush of embarrssment coming to her face at her forwardness. "Please!" She whined cutely at his hesitance, her hands grabbing his wrist gently. She was confused when he quickly pulled his hand from her hold, nodding awkwardly.
They sat on a bench outside, watching the other students board the buses or get into cars with their family or friends. Wendy noticed how apprehensive the pinkette looked. His jaw was clenched, his knees shook slightly, and he would rub his sweaty hands on his trousers. When a shiny, red car pulled up, Wendy jumped to her feet with a smile, startling Natsu at the sudden movement. A man with dark red hair got out of the car before walking around it towards Wendy.
"Sorry I'm late sweety! My meeting went longer than planned." He said as he hugged his daughter. Noticing the pinkette on the bench, he watched as the boy quickly looked away, a sad look on his face. "Dad! This is Natsu! Can we drop him off at home, please?" Wendy said happily, giving the man her puppy eyes. Igneel only chuckled as he ruffled her hair. A moment later, he walked up to the boy, and extended his hand. "Nice to meet you, Natsu. I'm Igneel, and I see you've already met my daughter." The man said with a big grin on his face. But the grin faded when the boy only looked at him with wide eyes as he hesitantly shook his hand.
"...nice to meet you too..." Natsu said softly, before following the two to the car. To say the drive to his house was awkward was an understatement. He pretended not to notice the looks Igneel kept giving in the rear view mirror. Silence passed between them, except when he gave out directions. When they arrived on his street, he told Igneel to stop the car a few houses down. Igneel did as he was told, but he eyed the boy suspiciously, making Natsu feel even more awkward. The boy exited the car with a quick, "...thank you...", before walking towards his house. Igneel didn't drive away until he made sure that the boy got into his house safely.
"Dad? Why do you keep looking at Natsu like that?" Wendy asked innocently, curiosity in her voice. Igneel just shook his head, and drove away. A voice in the back of his head couldn't shake the feeling that the boy looked a lot like him when he was younger. He was broken from his reverie when his daughter spoke up.
"He seemed really jumpy today. Whenever I poked him he would jump. He even hissed at me when I poked his left arm, but not his right one...is there something wrong, Dad?" Wendy asked her father when she saw his hands grip the steering wheel tightly. "...No..." Was all Igneel said, leaving the rest of the drive home in silence. When they reached the house, they both entered to the sweet smell of dinner cooking.
"Mom! We're home!" Wendy shouted happily, forgetting her father's strange behavior almost instantly. "Hey, sweetie! How was school today?" Grandine asked as she hugged her daughter. Her smile faded when she saw the hardened expression on her husband's face. "Igneel?" She asked, wondering what could have made the man angry. He only gave her a look that said, 'We'll discuss this later'.
Dinner was spent with mostly Wendy and Grandine conversing about school. Igneel added his input a few times, but mostly remained silent, causing Grandine to get a little worried. Silence filled the room until Wendy jumped in her seat, an excited look on her face.
"Mom! Guess what!" She said happily, causing Grandine to look at the young bluenette. "What, dear?"
"I made a friend today! His name is Natsu, but he's a little weird." Wendy said the last part with pursed lips. Grandine raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean by weird?"
"He's really jumpy, and he hissed at me when I poked him. He's really quiet too." Wendy said, poking at her food with her fork. Grandine looked at Igneel with furrowed brows, watching him squirm beneath her gaze. She had a feeling they would be talking about this later. With that, the rest of dinner was spent in silence.
"Ok, Igneel. Spill it! What's got you so uptight?" Grandine demanded, when her and Igneel were in their room after the dishes were washed and left over food was put away. Igneel just sat at the end of the bed, staring at his feet. With a sigh, the bluenette sat beside her husband. "What's the matter, dear?" She asked softly, taking one of his hands in hers. She ran her thumbs over his knuckles. Igneel released a sigh, still staring at the floor.
"It's Wendy's new friend, Natsu. We met him last night on the way to visit with Wendy's teacher. The boy was with his father in the dark hallway, and the man wasn't being kind to Natsu. We saw him after he was kicked or thrown in front of us from around a corner. The boy had tears in his eyes, Grandine." Grandine just nodded, keeping her attention on his words. Her hands never stopped rubbing his.
"When I saw him again today to pick up Wendy, he looked so sad when I hugged her. Wendy asked me to drop him off at home, and the whole way except for giving directions, he was silent. He even asked me to park several houses down from where he lives. Grandine, I can't help but feel that the boy is being mistreated." Igneel said, rubbing his face with his free hand.
"It sounds suspicious. But honey, what can we do about it, other can put out a complaint? Beside, we don't know for sure if there is any mistreatment going on in his home." Grandine said softly, looking at her husband's face. Patting his hand gently, she got up from the bed, walking to the door. With a sigh, Igneel nodded. He might be overthinking things, but he'd keep an eye on the boy just to be sure. But he still couldn't shake the feeling that Natsu looked just like him.
"Oh, and Gildarts called. He'll be back in town in a few days, and is going to stop by during the week." She said, turning to face him, before exiting the room. Igneel just sat on the bed, putting his head in his hands, a small smile coming to his face. Gildarts, his best friend since college, would be back in town. It felt like ages since he last saw the man. Perhaps he would bring his daughter by as well.
What did you think? Is it worth continuing?