Alsarnia: Hi everyone! So, I've recently started really liking Fairy Tail!
Natsu: Haha! Who couldn't?
Alsarnia: Right…And I noticed the lack of fanfictions that are about Natsu.
Natsu: Damn straight!
Lucy: Natsu, just shut up.
Alsarnia: I mean, there are plenty of romance ones between Natsu and Lucy…
Lucy: EH?! –blushes-
Alsarnia: Or Natsu and Erza…
Lucy: That sounds frightening…
Alsarnia: and don't get me started on the Natsu and Gray…
Lucy: Not going to think about it, not going to think about it!
Alsarnia: Although, I will admit I have been browsing the Nalu quite a bit lately…
Natsu: -passes out-
Alsarnia: Heheh, anyways, so I made, possibly a one-shot, story of how Natsu and Igneel first met.
Natsu: -perks up- Did you say Igneel?
Alsarnia: Yeah, he's going to be everywhere in this fanfic
Lucy: Why isn't he in the author's notes?
Alsarnia: He didn't fit…
Lucy: Disclaimer: Alsarnia does not own Fairy Tail
Natsu: Obviously, Jii-chan does!
Alsarnia: Right… Fairy tail © Hiro Mashima
Igneel was not happy. In fact, you could probably say that he was the least happy dragon-scratch that-creature on the planet.
Why? Why, you ask? You dare ask the Great Igneel why he's extremely pissed at that very moment? I wouldn't if I were you. I'll answer for him: Igneel was not happy simply because he didn't feel like being happy at that very moment.
There was nothing more to it other than that. You could say he woke up on the wrong side of the cave that morning, but not to his face, because if you did you could be certain to never see the light of day ever again.
With a harrumph he decided to take a stroll through the woods to try and let some of his dark aura leak out. He had been living in the same cave for nearly 2 months now, rather long to be honest. He was usually pretty nomadic, liking to move around to keep from being seen from humans. However this particular spot had been very comfortable and peaceful without a single run-in with a human as of yet and Igneel had been enjoying it.
Until that morning of course. Maybe that was the reason he was so miffed; he had rarely stayed in one place for so long and it was probably grating on his nerves for staying in the same cave in the same forest under the same sky for 2 whole months. However, he had to admit it was peaceful there and, although he had woken up with a dark attitude that morning, he didn't feel inclined to leave the cave he had made his home just yet.
It was a peaceful cave in a peaceful forest under a peaceful sky, unlike any he had seen up until then. The forest had this…smell to it that seemed to calm the senses, even those of a dragon, and the sounds of the woodland creatures calmed one's soul. Not to mention the beautiful lake that was stationed in the middle of the forest that was a perfect water source and a nice spot for relaxing.
That was exactly where Igneel was heading that day, to the lake that he felt peace at. Even the air and clouds that day were calm and happy to contrast Igneel's mood. The whole day was filled with happiness and tranquility despite Igneel's horrible temperament. As he tromped through the forest he could feel the happy in the air grating on his nerves.
Why was he so damn angry today? He couldn't put a claw on the reason. It was just out of his reach, the reason that made him so—
Igneel stopped in his tracks. He turned his head to the right and felt all the happy around him stop, as it had frozen the air and him along with it. His dark aura was also frozen. He didn't know why, but that moment had iced up everything other than the waves of awe that came off the little creature before him.
Where had that…thing come from anyways?
They must've stayed in the same position for at least 5 minutes, neither feeling inclined to move. Igneel because…well…he was still kind of shocked to his core about what was happening and the little thing because it was just so excited it couldn't find the right words or movements to express itself just yet.
A bird flew between them, chirruping for a moment before leaving and Igneel found himself sweating, although still not of a mind to move from his current position.
"You're…huge!" the little thing finally managed.
Igneel felt his dark mood come back to him. He hadn't seen a human in 2 months, which was probably why he didn't notice the scent, and was annoyed by the very presence of one, even if it was just a little brat. But that brat just stood there and stared up at him in awe. Suddenly Igneel wondered if this little thing was what had peeved him off that day and that he had a premonition about it earlier, making him already feel annoyed before he had even met the thing.
Should he just kill it and get it over with? But that would make others come looking for the thing, which meant that the humans would become bothersome and he would have to leave his forest. And he kind of wanted to stay in the forest he was in. But he couldn't just leave the thing to go and blabber to whomever else was in the woods.
How many were there? He took a deep breath, unbeknownst to the thing, but couldn't smell any other human smells in the forest. So the thing must have wandered in there on accident and had unluckily met with the fire dragon.
Well, there wasn't much else he could do. He felt kind of bad for just killing the thing without it having done anything, but he couldn't just let it live and do whatever it wanted with his forest, now could he? Plus, maybe he could get rid of all the stress that he had immersed himself in that day.
He took a deep breath, ready to release a flaming barrage upon the young boy and end its life quickly.
"Did you know you're a dragon?!" the thing asked excitedly.
As Igneel breathed it came out as hot air in his surprise. What the…
The boy looked up expectantly at the salamander, waiting for an answer. Igneel stared at the thing for a while. Why was it not cowering in fear from his large form and terrifying eyes and aura?
He decided there was something wrong with this thing. How else could it stand there and be totally unafraid of him? The little thing stared up at him with bright eyes and a wide smile.
He noted that the human's hair was a pink color, like cherry blossom trees in full bloom and that its eyes were a very dark color, almost like coal. Contrasting, uncommon colors. He also noticed it wasn't wearing very many clothes; in fact, it wasn't wearing any clothes, which was uncommon from what he'd seen in humans. Maybe they'd finally realized how ridiculous it was? He raised a scaly eyebrow at the thing. He raised a scaly eyebrow at the thing. What was with it?
The human just kept smiling and suddenly brightened even more. Igneel's other eyebrow raised and its face burst into a beaming look. He experimented with the thing for a few minutes, finding it amusing to watch its expression change every time he moved a slight bit. At last the human giggled as Igneel stuck his tongue out at it.
He blinked at the child for a moment, and then swelled with pride. He, Igneel the Great Fire Dragon had gotten a human child to giggle. Oh, how he would love to see Grandine's face. Motherly and kind Grandine hearing that he, Igneel, was able to make a small human child giggle.
He felt his annoyance at the world lower slightly, more intrigued with the odd child than how his aura had been so dark just a bit earlier. With a sigh he realized that killing the child would be a shame, especially since it hadn't done anything.
Plus, he couldn't really boast to Grandine about making a child laugh if he killed it right afterwards, could he? So he scowled down at the little boy, unsure of what he should do with it.
The little boy cocked his head to the side and looked at the great dragon in curiosity. "Are you here all alone, Mr. Dragon?"
Igneel glared down at the child. Mr. Dragon…really? He really, really, didn't want to talk to this little human however capable he was of speaking its language. It couldn't be avoided though, and he felt like if he didn't answer the child's questions then the thing wouldn't shut up.
He harrumphed. "Do not call me that."
The boy seemed to grow ever more excited when Igneel spoke to him. That was probably a bad call on his part…
"You can talk!"
He glared down at the child, who didn't flinch. "Yes, I can talk," he snapped impatiently, "What is it that you want, human?"
"Did you know you're a dragon?"
Igneel scowled at the child's obvious stupidity. "Yes, did you know you're a human?"
The boy looked down at himself and, to Igneel's amusement, looked shocked. "No…I didn't know! Wow!"
If you dare try and say that the Great Igneel thought that the child's antics were kind of cute then you'd be dead in the next instant. But the boy seemed to be completely ignorant of the danger in front of him and smiled happily up at the dragon that harrumphed again.
Igneel stuck his snout right in the boy's little face and blew, making the child's hair blow backwards. The boy took a deep breath of the air that came out of the dragon's nostrils, noticing the odd smell it had. It smelled like…fire and ash.
"What is it that you want, boy?" the dragon asked darkly.
The boy blinked and stared at the dragon, then frowned and looked around the forest that they were in.
Igneel growled in annoyance. "Where are your parents?"
The boy fidgeted nervously and glanced around. Now what was wrong? "I…dunno."
Igneel scowled. "Why are you in this forest?"
"Did you run away from home?"
Igneel looked at the child oddly; that was the first moderately straight answer the boy had given him. If he hadn't run away, then why was the child all alone in the forest without a clue as to where his parents were? The Great Igneel found this all very odd.
He frowned. "Fine then, we'll just have to find your parents." The boy blinked in confusion as the dragon took a deep sniff of the boy, breathing in his entire scent and trying to place all the smells, seeing if he could find other human scents on the boy.
But, as he assessed the boy's smell, he frowned. This boy…didn't smell exactly human…he smelled like the forest. The trees, the air, the animals, he smelled like the forest and nothing else. Igneel's eyes lowered in confusion and annoyance. Well that didn't make things any easier.
Maybe he was just losing his touch when it came to scent. He growled and the boy looked at him in confusion. The boy's parents were probably looking for him by now and would be frolicking around his forest. If he could just get the kid back to them without the parents seeing him then maybe they would brush off whatever the child says about dragons and they would all leave his forest.
Now was the problem of finding the parents…
He scowled at the little boy. "Follow me. We're going to look for your parents in the forest, got that?"
The boy nodded eagerly.
"When we find them I don't ever want you coming back to this forest again, got that?"
The boy nodded again.
"Good." He looked at the spot where the boy had come out of the trees from. Better with a place to start, right? He moved fluidly into the trees with the little boy following close behind. They walked in silence for a while, Igneel taking long sniffs every once and a while to try and detect any human scents, and the boy following him obediently wherever he went.
Eventually the boy asked, "Why do you keep breathing like that?"
"I'm smelling the air."
"To see if I can smell any other humans."
The boy's eyes widened. "You can really smell that far?!"
Igneel looked at the boy with slight confusion. See, Igneel had made a point up till then to not spend any time with humans. He felt they were a weak species that would only bother him if he stayed close to them at all, and so he didn't inconvenience himself to learn anything significant about them.
"Can't you smell the forest?"
The boy took a deep breath. He tilted his head to the side. "I can just smell the trees."
"There is much more than just trees in this forest. There are plenty of animals, plants, trees, rivers, lakes, and even your and my scents are different. You just need to train your nose to be able to pick out the different scents."
As they kept walking, Igneel noticed that the boy made a point to sniff everything around him, the plants, the trees, he even stooped to sniff the ground at one point. Igneel didn't say anything, just continued to walk through the forest and sniff the air, searching for some kind of clue to where the child's parents were.
They had been searching for a few hours and the boy hadn't made a single noise until suddenly he growled at the dragon. Igneel growled back, but didn't trouble himself with it anymore than that.
A little while later the child growled again and Igneel growled louder. Was the boy doing some kind of contest? Trying to prove his growl better than the Great Igneel's?
When he growled a third time Igneel turned to face him and growled loudly at the little boy. The boy blinked and stared at the great dragon.
"What was that?" he asked, unfazed.
Igneel looked at him carefully. "Weren't you trying to prove yourself better than I?"
The boy suppressed a giggle. "No, why would I do that?"
At that moment another growl came from the boy, however, Igneel noticed that it didn't come from the boy's mouth. There was a pause then…
"Do it again."
The boy blinked. "Wha-"
"Do it again. How did you make that growl without your mouth?"
The boy giggled. "I can't do it whenever I want! It's this thing that's growling!"
Igneel poked the boy's midsection, having never seen a stomach growl before. "You're stomach? And why is it making such a noise?"
"Well, I'm kinda hungry…"
"I want some food."
"I know what it means!" he snapped.
He grumbled slightly. What did humans eat? Plants…perhaps, but how did he know which plants to give him? Or maybe they didn't eat plants, or else he would've eaten some off the forest floor by now, right?
Maybe meat…but he didn't see any animals in the immediate area, and he wanted the growling from the boy to stop.
Well, that just left…He pulled down a few branches from a nearby tree and tossed them in front of the boy who stared at them. A small spout of fire and the branches were set aflame. The boy gazed in wonder at the fire, and then looked up at the mighty dragon.
"Well, eat," Igneel said impatiently.
The boy's eyes widened. "I can't eat fire!"
Igneel was becoming annoyed. "You will eat it; I won't give you any more food." The boy looked warily down at the flames that angrily ate at the branches. He picked up one of the branches and eyed the flames. He looked up at the dragon that waited impatiently for the boy to be done with the meal he had presented. After all, no flames were more delicious than his own.
The boy, with either a burst of courage or a burst of stupid, thrust his face into the flame and tried to take a bite. He pulled back almost immediately and, in a panic, tried to pat out the flames that were attempting to eat away at his hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes.
When he was sure that the fire was out on his face he paused and dropped the still flaming stick. Igneel was confused as the boy just stood there. After a moment his face turned a bright angry red, black in some massively burned spots, and his skin began to pucker and puff up painfully.
The boy didn't say anything but only stood there in shock. Igneel, on the other hand, laughed his great scaly ass off.
You see, Igneel didn't know anything about burns. Of course, dragons got burns, but in a different sort of way. When a dragon was burned the scales would turn a darker color and would pucker slightly, but if they were severely burned they would fall off.
But that was the only time he had ever seen burns, whenever he saw a human near fire it was his fire and his fire would immediately burn them to a crisp so that they were but a lump of burned flesh and nothing more, no longer moving, talking, or feeling pain.
But this young boy was alive still and could still feel pain, though he was in shock for the moment. If he wasn't in pain it actually would be a funny sight, his face all puffed up like a balloon and red with a surprised look on his face. So Igneel, knowing nothing about the pain that the child was going through laughed at the situation.
Then came a noise that pierced him, hard. That sound practically shot him and thus stopped his laughing immediately. The boy was making a noise that scattered any nearby animals and made even the Great Igneel wince. The child screamed and cried as tears washed down his face and onto the burns which made them sting more from the salt and making him cry harder.
Igneel, for the first time in his life, was at a complete loss of what to do. The boy stood there, in pain and crying and screaming, for what Igneel didn't know, but he could tell that this was his fault, somehow.
He looked around in a panic, for what he had no idea, maybe a person? Some water to try and wash away the red on the child's face? No, if water could help then why weren't the tears doing anything?
Maybe he could get Grandine…he shivered; if Grandine found out he had made this boy cry then he would certainly be in for it. But what was he to do? The boy wouldn't stop his crying…
Finally, in anger and annoyance at himself and the noise that came from the boy, he pushed his snout into the boy's face and yelled, "SHUT UP!"
However, the boy didn't shut up and did probably what Igneel would never have guessed anyone to do in a million years. The boy pressed forward and hugged the great dragon's snout and cried into his scales.
The warmth of Igneel's scales made the burns more painful, but the boy ignored it and just cried into the dragon, not noticing how uncomfortable it was for the creature.
For the second time that day, Igneel was at a loss. He couldn't move. Either because he didn't want to upset the child or couldn't was a question to be had. The boy made no move to let go of the great dragon, rather held him tighter with each wracking sob he made.
Igneel didn't move. He refused to move for a long time and before either of them knew it hours had passed with Igneel spending the time completely flabbergasted and the boy crying his little heart out.
Finally, the child ran out of tears and cried dry sobs and Igneel blinked.
The boy took a while to answer, but finally nodded and looked at the dragon in the eye.
Igneel couldn't help but find himself biting his tongue and feeling bad for the child.
The boy sniffled.
"Let's…go wash it off…"
Not really knowing what else to do, Igneel carefully lifted the boy onto his back and slowly tromped through the forest to the lake, trying not to jostle the child on his back. When they made it to the lake he didn't enjoy the scenery like he normally did, but rather focused on the young boy and the burns on his face that had begun to swell even more and scab over the blackened parts.
He set the boy in front of the lake and watched, expecting the child to know what to do. But, unfortunately for him, the boy just looked up at the dragon with sad and pain filled eyes.
Igneel grumbled; what trouble this had turned into. He took a mouthful of water and sprayed it onto the boy and his face. The child sputtered for a moment, then a look of relief passed over his eyes for a moment before the pain returned and he whimpered slightly again.
There, that was it; the water seemed to sooth the burns on his face. He picked the boy up between his talons, to which the boy yelped at, and dunked him into the lake.
After a few moments of struggling the relief that came to the child's burns was a soothing feeling that he liked. After a minute, Igneel brought him back up and was surprised to see the child smiling.
"Is that better?" he asked.
The boy nodded happily, resisting a grimace as the movement made his face hot again. Igneel noticed that some of the swelling had gone down in the boy's face and it didn't look so painful as it had before.
He harrumphed as the boy's stomach growled again. "Let's try this again."
He took another branch from a tree and lit it on fire. The boy shied away from the fire.
Igneel scowled. "Come on now, if you can't eat fire then you'll starve to death."
"But…I can't eat fire."
Igneel scowled harder. "Yes, you can."
"Then…I don't know how…"
Igneel scowled a while longer, and when he'd had enough scowling, he sighed. Without an explanation he wrapped a talon around the boy and pulled the child toward him so the tiny boy was nestled by his chest.
"Listen to my breathing."
They spent a while in that position. Igneel, keeping his breathing even and long and the boy standing by him, listening. After a little while, he could hear the child's breathing slow, and then start to mix with his own. Their breathing was even and matched perfectly.
Igneel took a breath slightly faster than before and, without missing a beat; the child did exactly the same at the same time. They continued standing there for a little while as the flame on the stick died down to just over the size of a candle flame.
Igneel had no idea why he had done that. Not only had human touch repulsed him before, but after the child had cried all over his scales earlier he did not feel so inclined to be close to the boy even more. But, something in his instincts just told him that this was what he needed to do. And hell come over the world if a dragon ever disobeyed his instincts.
Igneel backed away from the embrace and handed the stick to the child once again. "Now, keep your breathing even with mine and eat."
The little boy stared at the fire, but the fear from before had dwindled to almost nothing. The boy placed his mouth around the flame, keeping his breathing even with the fire dragon's all the time.
He made a face, and then slowly worked his mouth, giving a confused then curious look. He moved his jaw as if chewing; then swallowed deeply.
Igneel huffed up. "Well of course it tastes good! It was fire made by the Great Igneel after all!"
The boy looked up at him. "Your name is…Igneel?"
The dragon gave him a 'what do you think?' look and the child smiled.
"That's a nice name."
He stared at the boy. What…what was that? He wasn't sure what that moment was, but it was unfamiliar to the great dragon. He shook his great head. Never mind that.
"Are you still hungry?"
He took a larger branch and set it aflame again. The boy hungrily ate it up, stuffing his face with the fire. Igneel did this a few times for the child, who ate each branch of fire with gusto.
Igneel watched the boy eat with amusement. It was intriguing to see the boy test each flame before eating it fully and display the same range of emotions each time. Though it certainly wasn't cute.
Igneel glanced up at the sun. Oh no, it was that time already?
He scowled. "Boy, you need to go home."
The child blinked up at him in confusion. "Where's…home?"
Igneel scowled. "Well, I don't know. You need to find it yourself. I can't help you anymore."
The thing looked crestfallen. "But…I…I don't know what to do…"
Igneel sighed. "You should just get out of this forest and ask another human to help you. I don't know about any humans or who your parents could be. You should just leave and never tell anyone that you ever met me…"
"But…are you saying I should forget you?!"
Igneel turned away from the human, it was becoming too familiar.
The thing cried out to him, "I don't want to forget you Igneel! Please don't leave me! My parents are…"
Igneel looked back for only a moment. It was the first time that the human had said anything about its parents.
"My parents…are…" the thing fidgeted, but refused to say anything else.
Igneel harrumphed. "If you have a problem, go ask some other human. Don't bother me anymore," he growled at the human, making his face into a horrible sight making the thing's eyes widen in fear for the first time. "Go. Away."
And with that, Igneel lit off the ground and flew as far away from the lake as he could while still being in his forest to find something for supper. What Igneel hadn't seen was the tears that pricked the eyes of the child.
His eye's had widened in the fear that the great dragon was really going to leave him and he started to cry again. Why? Why was he leaving him? A while later, after it was apparent he was alone, he started to walk in a random direction.
He didn't know where he was going. He had never been in that forest before; he didn't remember how he got there in the first place. But he had a vague feeling that he had been somewhere else before this forest.
But where? He didn't have any memories of what had happened before he met the Great Fire Dragon Igneel. He couldn't…really remember. He struggled to find something, anything, in his memories. …what was…his name, anyways?
The boy stared into the depths of the forest, trying to find a safe spot to spend the night and he realized something. He realized that the great dragon he had met in the forest and his delicious tasting fire were the only things he knew.
He didn't say anything, just stared blankly around, then finally seeing a cave nearby. It was an unusually large cave that was surprisingly well hidden despite its size and as the boy walked in he found the whole room to be warm and comforting.
He went to the back of the cave and curled up against the stone wall, finding the warmth to be comfy enough to rock him to sleep.
Igneel came back to his cave with an unsatisfied stomach. He couldn't stop thinking (begrudgingly) about that human he had found in his forest that day. What was up with that anyways?
Why his forest of all the woods? Why him of all the dragons? And why that boy of all humans? How the thing had been so unafraid of him up till nearly the very end. What a stupid human. It probably wouldn't last the night.
Igneel shook his mighty head, trying to rid himself of the thoughts of the thing. When he had been hunting for dinner he had gotten distracted a couple of times and ended up nearly letting a good buck get away unscathed. Though, of course, it was now in his stomach being digested by the huge beast.
He entered his cave and was happy again with his own relaxing scent coming from all around him. Wait…no…it's not just his scent…There was the smell of the forest in there as well.
Igneel looked to the back corner of his cave and nearly did a jaw drop. What…the hell?
The boy was nestled deep in his cave, dozing away. Igneel kind of felt like tossing the kid out, but at the same time…the unsatisfied feeling in his stomach had disappeared.
He was confused. What was this boy exactly? Why did he feel so...was there even a word to describe the confusing sensation he felt for the child? Of course there was, but he couldn't put a claw on the word exactly, what could it be that that child was? What was it to him?
He found himself wanting to scowl, but unable to make the face. Whatever the child was, he realized that he didn't want to throw him out. So, with a begrudging sigh, he curled up in his regular spot in the cave.
He heard a light sigh and looked over to the child who had smiled. In his sleep the boy had felt the warmth that he remembered from the dragon. Igneel stared at the child then, acting on instinct, gently pulled the boy towards him. The child smiled and curled up next to the heat source.
There. That was the emotion Igneel was feeling. But…why that? When had it started? When had he noticed, really? How had he started to feel…fatherly towards the child?
The second time he had told the child to eat the fire he had been worried; worried that the boy would burn himself again. Igneel frowned as he realized that he had no idea what the boy's name was.
In fact, he knew nothing about the boy. He had only spent part of the day with the child and they had only passed a few sentences between the two of them. When they first met, when Igneel informed the child of the sense of smell, when the child had gotten hungry, and when Igneel left him. That was it.
He sniffed the boy again. Yet again he smelled the forest, but now he could smell his own scent mixed in with it. It was like the child had no scent of his own, as if he wasn't really real.
But Igneel knew he was real, he had felt the child's tears on his scales, had heard his cries of pain, had seen the smile on the child's face when they first met and the fear and sadness in his eyes when they last left. This boy was real. That was certain.
It was also certain that Igneel could not simply throw the child out, not now. Not now that he realized the emotion that he felt for the young boy. He harrumphed again. Annoyed at himself and at the boy as well. Humans and dragons were not supposed to mix. And yet, here he was with a young child curled up against him, smiling in his sleep by the mere fact that he was next to the great dragon.
And, as he watched the boy smile he, for some reason, felt himself smile as well. Why? Why was this boy important? There had to be something abnormal about this boy to attract the dragon to him like that.
But what? What? Why? What did it all mean? Certainly their meeting was fate; or something like that. Igneel scowled at the darkening sky outside f his cave. What the hell did fate have in store?
Alsarnia: Well, what did you guys think?
Lucy: Much better than your other work, that's for sure.
Natsu: -crying in the corner- Ah, the good old days!
Alsarnia: I'll take it that means I did a good job…
Alsarnia: so, do you guys think I should just keep this as a one shot or keep going? Because if you want me to continue it I have a few ideas of them starting to get along and Igneel teaching Natsu stuff and the thing about when Grandine told Igneel that she hopes that Natsu and Wendy will get along this time…
Natsu: Eh? When did that happen?
Alsarnia: A while after Lucy joined the guild.
Lucy: Eh? Why am I being dragged into this?
Alsarnia: -scoffs- seriously, all the adventure in Fairy Tail started when you joined, haven't you realized?
Natsu: Haha! I guess I need to thank you then Lucy!
Lucy: -still thinking about Nalu- Y-yeah, sure.
Alsarnia: Until next time!
Natsu: Oi, you need to get a bigger author's notes room so Igneel can do it with us next time.
Alsarnia: I'll see what I can do…