Hello! Welcome everyone to our next story Tempest! I gotta tell ya, this one is a doozy! 50 chapters done and pre-written for your reading pleasure! This one was SO MUCH fun to write with Kytrin. We had a serious blast with it and we really hope you enjoy it!
The Black Spot
The idea is that when a captain is about to be deposed he is given a piece of paper with a black spot on it. The Black Spot is a mark of death to a pirate.
The sky overhead growled and rumbled its anger and discontent as the rain poured down. Punctuated by flashes of lightning and lashing wind, any sailor worth his salt would know instantly that the goddess was furious.
It was something Gray felt to the depths of his bones as he struggled against the oddly warm tide to make it to shore, and yet he felt no fear. Every surge of the waves helped push him, his bit of driftwood, and his nearly deadweight companion closer to the approaching shore. The wind howled all around them, but never touched them, and for that he couldn't help smiling a little. The sea was furious alright. But it wasn't furious with them.
His beloved's ire was directed elsewhere.
He offered up a small prayer of thanks that was immediately drowned out by a sharp crack of thunder and lightning, but he was confident she'd heard him anyway. She always did.
The water surged beneath him again and he nearly sobbed with relief when the wave carried them the rest of the way to shore. Of course, that was hardly the end of their trouble, but at least they were on solid land again. He struggled to his feet once he'd caught his breath properly and tugged on his companion.
"C'mon Cap'n Pyro." He growled roughly, his voice hoarse with seawater and the lingering taste of gunpowder, smoke, and magic, "You can't quit on us now."
His companion didn't respond, not even to groan a little, and if it wasn't for the fact Gray could see his captain's chest rising and falling when the lightning struck he would've been half convinced the other man was dead.
Gritting his teeth he slapped his hands together and quickly formed an icy sled underneath his captain's body out of the abundant seawater. It wasn't much, but it would do. He just hoped Natsu didn't wake up during the trip. The Fairy Tail had always been the only thing Natsu could ride without getting hopelessly sick.
On the other hand, if he did wake up enough to be sick, it would at least prove his friend was alive enough to notice. And that would go a very long ways towards thawing the icy knot of fear that had lodged in his chest since all this had started.
It had started off like a normal day for their crew, bright with the prospect of being another day closer to their captain's princess and impending wedding. Until a message came flying in on the winds. An urgent message from the sky dragoness herself. One that spoke of treachery and Natsu's bride in distress. The captain had gone rigid, his face paling and his trademark grin had given way to an expression of fury.
Captain Natsu was not one to give up a fight, and his crew had known at that moment that they were about to go into battle. And though he tried to prevent it, into battle the Fairy Tail went for the ultimate prize. And to do so they committed the ultimate crime.
They stole from a god.
And now they were paying the price. Though not one of them had regretted the decision at the time. However, with their ship burning in the choppy ocean, and their half drowned captain barely clinging to life, it burned sharply in Gray's breast now. He knew he would have never forgiven himself if he had followed his captain's orders to lead the Fairy Tail to safety and stay out of the god's way, but he couldn't help think now of how it might've been different had he not disobeyed.
"Where do you think you're taking this wretch?" A deep voice, cloaked in darkness rumbled behind him. The sled stopped moving, and Gray felt as if his legs had frozen solid.
He turned, fear clutching high in his chest as he looked into the face of destruction itself.
"Acnologia," Gray whispered.
He looked down at where the god's foot was pressing down on the sled, cracking it straight through the center without effort.
"Yes, that's the expression I want to see when you mere worms dare to oppose me," Acnologia spoke, his voice cutting through the raging storm.
The dark god stepped towards Gray, the man freezing in his spot in the face of such insurmountable power. He swallowed dry, his chest compressing in on itself.
"Are you proud of yourself for your insolence? For interrupting my wedding?" The gods voice was a deadly whisper, "Are you proud your captain stole my bride away?"
"She wasn't your bride," Gray found his voice, "She was Natsu's. And she was our friend."
"SHE WAS MINE!" The god roared, fire and death lighting his eyes for a moment, "She was mine. Her beauty was beyond compare, and only my hand was worthy of it."
Gray's eyes narrowed a little despite the fear in his chest, "You threatened to tear her kingdom apart with war if she didn't submit to you." He spat, "You're not worthy of anything. Least of all her."
He knew it was suicide to speak to a god like that, especially this one. The god of war had never been known for his mercy after all. But Gray knew he was already probably a dead man walking and saw no reason to hold his tongue. Not that he would've anyway.
Acnologia's eyes narrowed in return, "You dare?" He growled lowly, sounding almost like a dragon, "You dare speak to me thus?"
"I dare." Gray affirmed with a glare, "What you did was wrong, and I will never regret helping Natsu rescue Lucy from you. She belonged with us anyway. My only regret is that you killed her before we could stop you."
"She would never have been in danger if it weren't for you." Acnologia snarled, "And you should know your place mortal. The Celestial Princess wasn't meant for the likes of you or him."
He kicked Natsu's side, sending him flying off the remnants of the sled and causing the pirate captain to groan and roll on his side, coughing up seawater as he did.
Natsu shivered in the water, pushing himself upright on trembling arms to lift his head over the lashing water. "Lucy..." He croaked and shook his head. Hazy eyes turned towards the sea, snapping to attention as he saw the burning wreckage and sinking bodies of his crew.
"No!" He cried out and surged to his feet, stumbling in the water on weak legs. Dark eyes flashed over to the angry god standing over Gray and a lash of fire burst from Natsu's fist, "Leave him alone. I'm the one you want Acnologia."
Acnologia regarded the captain with anger, his hand lashing out to grab Gray around the throat and throw him into the ocean, "Your first mate deserves death just as much as you do."
"Son of Igneel, fire dragon prince. I will make your death long and your pain endless," The god called upon his power, the clouds darkening around them.
Not seeing how the ocean went still, or why the waves suddenly became calm, he stepped closer to Natsu. The mortal was gripped with shadows clinging to him, coating in his lungs and suffocating him as darkness began to stick to his skin and slither in his eyes.
Acnologia did not see Gray using a fishing knife to slice open his palm, for him to sink under the lashing waves and watch the blood coat into the sea.
He did not know the desperate prayer or sacrifice to save his friends, and the call to the only one who stood a chance of driving off Acnologia.
The rage of the ocean stilled around them, Natsu falling into the water with his flames extinguished.
Behind Acnologia rose a woman from the water, her skin pale and eyes as deep as the endless sea itself. Her appearance caused not a ripple of water to bloom over the surface. Long blue hair fell in loose curls, shimmering like the moon falling on the crests of waves.
But the cold rage in her eyes spoke of the full fury of her element.
"Acnologia, you've spilled the blood of those I have blessed," The goddess Juvia spoke, clear tears falling across her perfect cheeks.
"You've tormented them, and made a mockery of my blessing. And now my beloved Gray has paid the ultimate price."
She flung out her hand and in moments a small bubble of water containing Natsu pulled itself away from the black mass, causing the war god to whip around to stare at her in shock.
"You dare to interfere with this?" He demanded furiously, "I am well within my right!"
"As am I!" Juvia shouted as her water tenderly wrapped around the now fallen body of Natsu's first mate, "Gray was my beloved! And because of you and your greed he has sacrificed himself for the sake of his brother in spirit!"
The surf lashed angrily around her, "He has invoked my divinity by the ancient rites, and I will answer his last request! Never shall you touch Natsu again! Not while he calls the sea his home!"
There was a bright flash of light within the pulsing water bubble and Natsu's form began to twist and writhe within.
"He will be safe from you." Juvia said softly, "And so shall his beloved in her next life."
"No!" Acnologia raged, rushing to attack, "You cannot deny me my satisfaction!"
Juvia flung out her arm again and deadly crescents of water flung themselves towards the angry god of war, "Silence! You forget to whom you speak! I am Juvia! Goddess of the sea, the very Tempest! I was here before you came into existence, and I will remain long after your pitiful wars are ground into dust!"
Her eyes glowed with fury, "Do not think you can unleash your temper tantrums on me! Try and I will show you the true might of my element!" She curled Natsu's still changing form close, "Never shall you be forgiven for this, and all who oppose you will find succor in my waters."
Acnologia's eyes burned with rage, his lips curled into a sneer and his shoulders heaving in rage, "The captain and my bride will not find one another. I will make sure they stay apart forever seawitch!"
"As for your beloved," Acnologia's eyes drifted towards where Gray floated in the waters, safe in Juvia's hold, "You will never find love."
Juvia turned, just in time to see one of Acnologia's shadows lash out and bite at Gray's arm. She gasped, throwing up a slice of water to sever the shadow before it could spread.
"He will be miserable, in whatever life he returns to. He will know only suffering and pain for your meddling," Acnologia smirked back at the furious sea goddess.
"You cannot hide them in your waters forever Juvia, and when they're in my sight... I will make them suffer," Acnologia purred taking the small victory despite his overwhelming loss.
Juvia let out a scream of rage, only to strike at nothing as the god of war made his retreat.
The goddess of the sea fell to her knees, gathering her beloved into her arms so she could weep over his body. She cradled his head to her lap, her grief over his loss making her tides rage and waves lash.
She was blind to all things except her pain, staying there long after the ships flames burned themselves out and sank under her waves. Natsu's body, forever changed, dropping to the ocean floor.
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