Title: A Dragon's Heart

Author: Ah Hael

Genre: Alternate Universe, Supernatural, Romance. The dragons are mostly based on the dragon types created by Keri Arthur in Destiny Kills with slight changes for Gakuen Alice

Rating: M

Pairings: Natsume x Mikan, Luca x Aoi, Hotaru x Hayate, Sakurano x Subaru

Spoilers: None

Summary: He is a powerful red air dragon who has become tired of his own existence until he meets a spunky sea dragon.

Disclaimer: Awww come on do I have to say it? Fine. It's not mine and never will be. Happy?

A Dragon's Heart – Chapter 1

Why the hell was he fighting back? It would just be so much easier to let his opponent kill him. To finally ease the ache in his deadened soul. No more screams, no more destruction, no more death, just sweet oblivion. Oblivion definitely, for he doubted his pathetic excuse for a soul would be allowed to crossover like other worthy dragon souls to the forever plains.

On reflex rather than will, he dodged the bronze tail tip that was aimed for his eyes determined to blind him. In retaliation he shot a quick spurt of fire into the dragon hunter's face forcing him back.

Stupid bronze hunter.

With a powerful sweep of his wings he pulled back, his mind and body already preparing for his next attack even though he had no real interest in his own survival.

As shimmering red wings beat against the early morning wind currents to pull his enormous body up to a higher vantage point, something silvery shot up at him from below. For a heart stopping half-second he thought that Youichi had recklessly joined the fight but the thought was quickly disposed of. That was no dragon. What ever it was it had come without warning and had grazed his wing causing the whole tip to go numb.

What the hell? He thought while trying to shake the tingles out of his wing-tip without plummeting to his death in the sea below. Looking down, his keen dragon eyes picked out the human boat easily. It was one of those high speed luxury types that could easily have been mistaken for wealthy vacationers if it weren't for the serious weaponry pointed at him. He was lucky that whatever they shot at him hadn't made a direct hit or he would have fallen out of the sky for sure.

Annoyed, he gave the bronze a disgusted sneer. Needed some pathetic humans to back you up huh? By dragon society standards, hunters were the lowest of the low. Even dramans –human/dragon hybrids- held higher social standing than these rogues that abandoned their clans and hunted down their own kind for money.

They sold dragon parts to foolish humans who believed that dragon flesh could make them immortal, beautiful, powerful or a hundred other bogus reasons. But mostly they hunted other dragons for scientific groups that loved to poke and prod and dissect, trying to duplicate the magic that gave dragons their power.

Stupid human scientists.

He had to admit he was also a little annoyed with himself. He should have expected it. Where there was a dragon hunter, there was usually a human paying it to hunt its own kind. Now he had a battle on two fronts.

Nothing he couldn't handle.

If he really wanted to, that is.

A part of him didn't really care if he lived through this fight. To put it bluntly, he was quite sick of his own existence. He was tired. Not just of the bloodshed and the destruction, tired of politics, his grandfather and his uncle, tired of people wanting more from him than he had to give.

It was true that he still had Aoi, Luka and a few select others he could trust, but the cons of his life were starting to outweigh the pros. There had been a few missions he had done for his clan lately where he had seriously contemplated giving up, but so far he remained alive and not sure why that was so.

Truthfully, what was he waiting for? Dragons lived an average of two hundred years and already at nineteen he was fed up with his life. Was this what he had to look forward to for the next two centuries? Maybe that was what made his grandfather such a sadistic son-of-a-bitch by his forties.

Death seemed like such a tempting option.

Nah, it would be too embarrassing if he died at the hands of a lowly bronze and a handful of humans. Not to mention he owed them for trying to snatch a child from his clan.

It was only by mere fluke that he and Luka were with the younglings this morning.

Aoi had agreed to take the young ones out that morning to practice their flying. Seasoned dragons could probably fly high enough at any time of day and avoid attracting human attention, but for children just training the only times it was safe was around twilight and dawn when it was light enough to safely fly by but still dark enough to conceal from the prying eyes of humans.

The only reason Natsume decided to go along was to keep and eye on Youichi. The little silver dragon should not have had his first flying lesson until he was ten. Ten was the standard, just like Natsume and his sister and all the other dragons in their clan. But just like Natsume, the little runt had been trying to figure out how to fly on his own since he was about three years old and it had been all the clan could do just to keep him grounded.

Remembering how stubborn he was at that age he decided to let the boy go with the others almost a full two years too early because he knew that the kid would have just found some way to sneak out anyway. He could clearly remember when he and Luka had done the exact same thing when they were his age. He could also remember how long it took to heal his broken arm and Luka's broken leg afterward. At least this way they could keep a watch over the kid and keep him out of trouble.

It also didn't hurt that he could tease Luka about Aoi in the process.

Several minutes earlier:

Natsume found it hard to keep his face straight as he watched Luka's gaze track Aoi's flight adoringly. "Tch, you're pathetic."

Mortified that he'd been caught staring the blond shot him a sour look "Shut up." He mumbled while his face turned beet red.

"Honestly Luka, what are you waiting for?"

"You know why I can't." Luka hissed at him showing his frustration. Natsume rolled his eyes at him.

"Not this again. Aoi is not a racist like our grandfather. She has never cared that you were half human and she never will."

"Your grandfather will never approve of our courtship and you know it. He will only want her to mate with a pure blood dragon with good social standing."

"Yeah well you make a better dragon than most of the pure bloods that I've met." Natsume growled while scanning the skies. As he predicted, Youichi was tiring easily and was starting to lag behind the rest of the group. He was just about to ask his sister to force the kid to return when movement in the air above the little silver dragon caught his attention.

Natsume, who had been standing in his human form on a cliff overlooking the ocean, instantly leapt off and transformed in mid-air. At the same time he yelled mentally to both Luka and Aoi "Dragon hunter above! Aoi, Luka! Get the kids out of here!"

Strong dragons had the ability to communicate telepathically with their loved ones whom they had a deep bond with. Unfortunately his bond wasn't strong enough to warn any of the kids. He had to trust the other two to get them clear while he took care of the hunter. He heard his sister shriek a warning signal to the others to return and Luka who had transformed as well gave a trumpet of his own to let the others know he was there to support them.

The dragon hunter hearing the screams, must have realized that it had been spotted because it dove headlong at Youichi with its claws open ready force the silver from the sky. Before the claws could ever reach their target though, Natsume shot a huge fireball into its path, and then rammed the bronze dragon with his much larger red frame.

Natsume pulled his focus back to the present. Yes, at the very least he owed these bastards for trying to grab Youichi. Attacking the baby of the group like they were some kind of animals, at the very least he should roast them in their own skins.

The bronze dove at him with its claws outstretched. When it had attacked Youichi earlier he had noticed the odd glint to the other dragon's claws but now that he was closer he could see they weren't natural dragon claws at all. At this distance he could easily make out that they were metal and they had a foul toxic smell to them.

Poison claws? He realized with a jolt, becoming even angrier. Bastard was planning on poisoning a child? It was obvious that he would have to take the hunter out first and leave the humans for later. Flapping his wings he tried to draw the fight with the bronze higher but after a few taunting flares it was obvious that the bronze wasn't stupid enough to challenge him on its own.

Air dragons' society was a hierarchy system where each clan (or cliques as they were called in parts of the world) was ruled by a king who was usually a red or gold dragon as they were the strongest and largest type. There were a few clans who for whatever reason had no red or gold and chose a black or silver as their leader, but any other color would have been too weak to keep a clan secure.

Natsume may be a young red, but even the most experienced bronze fighter would have very little chance against him in one on one combat. The bronze clearly knew that because it wasn't straying far from the human boat.

The red dragon hovered for a moment trying to strategize. With the hunter and its poison claws and the humans shooting things at him, he'd have to keep both of them in sight at all times. His best bet was to try and take out the hunter first, but he would have to deal with its claws first. Maybe he could burn the poison off?

While he was deliberating the humans shot another one of their stun-harpoon-type-things at him, forcing him to swerve, leaving an opening for the bronze to attack. Much to the bronze's horror Natsume recovered quicker than expected and easily aimed his fire directly at the poisoned claws again forcing the hunter to break off.

Damn, the claws still had the toxic smell on them. He'd have to find a way to get behind the bronze. He'd also noticed that with those last two attacks they had been trying to herd him towards the cliff where he had taken off from. The cliff was a half-moon shape and if they somehow managed to get him out of the sky he would be surrounded by rock on three sides and water below.

Yeah right. There was no way in hell he was going to allow them to box him like that.

He was preparing for a quick fire burst to distract the bronze when a thunderous noise from below distracted both him and the other dragon. It was so loud it made him think of two trains crashing into each other. If that was something they shot at him, he could be in real trouble.

Down below, human boat was in chaos. The people on it were scurrying around in a panic constantly looking over the sides at the water. Neither Natsume nor the bronze could comprehend the odd behavior until they both spotted something moving amazingly fast in the water on a direct course for the boat.

On first glance Natsume couldn't make it out because it was too deep in the water. The only thing he could tell was that something very large was moving very fast underwater. He would have guessed it was a whale, but as it came closer to the surface it was clearly far too long and slender to be a whale. Whatever it was, it was huge; almost as large as him in his dragon form.

With a deafening crash it slammed into the boat causing the fairly large size boat to temporarily lift out of the water, sending all on board to either over the side or onto the deck. The sheer power behind the hit shocked him. While the humans were still sprawled in various positions stunned by the impact an enormous tail sprung from the water a dozen or so meters away.

The morning sunlight glinted off jewel bright scales in iridescent shades of blue and green mixed with ribbons of gold. The tail gave a quick flick that created a wave large enough to sweep a few more people overboard.

A sea dragon? Impossible! There hasn't been a sea dragon sighted in these waters in twenty years!