AN: Hi. This is me competing in litashe's Fairy Tail Challenge, first Round. Possible the only round I'll be competing in, considering how this is my first deathfic and I'm not sure how it turned out. I quite like it, but, eh. It could be better.
[Insert disclaimer here with witty joke.]
[ kaleidoscope ]
The cuts across her face and arms gushed out bright scarlet blood. He watched, horrified, as the crimson trickled down her rosy cheeks like macabre tears of pain and sorrow. A shaky hand went to wipe away the red against her sun-kissed complexion; a mournful whimper escaped her dry, cracked lips as his warm hand grazed her cheek.
The scarlet red on his fingers were boiling, sending a wave of heat straight to his pained heart. The great Salamander, the one who could make fire dance and conjure it in any weather, couldn't take the heat of the blood that burnt his fingers to the core. The blood that he'd been trying so hard to protect - to make sure none was spilt in this horrendous battle. And he'd failed. Miserably.
Dark red stained his stark white trousers; the stains were prominent against the white material.
—red against white; the day started and ended when the blazing sun rose and spread its vivid color along the paper-white sky. Dawn started, but the world ended once he woke up and found no one in sight.
"N- Natsu…" she whispered out. His eyes darted away from his soaked red hand. His blood mixed with hers in a strange combination, just like the two of them were. He was the carefree and reckless boy who never thought twice about his actions; she was intelligent girl who was passionate about writing and always worried about rent. She found him annoying to no end, and he certainly enjoyed irritating her, but they were the best of friends.
The one whom he'd looked up to, whom he'd admired and who'd taught him everything thing he knew…
His eyes glanced over her body, inspecting every cut, scrape, and bruise that blemished her body. Her chest heaved up and down, her breathe shallow as she attempted to speak, but found it difficult to capture enough air to croak out a few measly words. "… I- I'm not…"
… was gone.
"Don't," he sharply told her. "D- Don't say anything."
Tears escaped her doe-brown eyes as she stared up at him, her lip quivering as he gazed back at her. Her crystal tears sparkled when they caught the gleam of the sun. His vision blurred as blue tears of sadness threatened to trickle down his face. Little droplets escaped his eyes and fell onto her as he kneeled over her body. There was a lump lodged in his throat but he gulped it down before croaking out, "I'm sorry."
A flood of tears that would fall heavier than Juvia's rain when she was most upset. "I'm sorry," he repeated, glaring down at her scarred body, from which the blood was still seeping out. Too much blood. Too much blood had spilt already. He pleaded for heavy rain, heavy enough to bring an unsightly flood, to pour down and wash away the red with blue.
—blue rain that fell and fell, pounding against him, as he stood, motionless, in front of the grave of his best friend. He hadn't been there. If he had, he could have saved her. He could've saved her! He could've—
"—I'm so sorry!" he choked out as more tears streamed down his face.
"Don't!" she hissed at him, scraping up every bit of energy within herself to sit up. Hastily, his arm went around her small waist to help her, though his arm was trembling greatly. She looked deep into his eyes that were glistening with tears, her soft brown orbs also watery. "It's not your fault," she whispered so quietly, as if it was their little secret.
Drenched with rain, the two figures stood behind him. Unlike him, they'd easily catch a cold in the dreadful weather that amplified their mood. But, they didn't care. After all, it was their sister. He didn't blame them if they found him responsible for her death. He should be to blame, after all. It was his entire fault.
"It is!" he insisted, hugging her closer. She whimpered in pain from his strong grasp on her, and he immediately loosed his arm around her in utter horror at himself. He'd down it again. He'd hurt her.
And the rain continued to fall, never washing away his pain and sorrow. Blue crystal slid down the opaque grave, never washing away his greatest sin.
"It's my fault. Nakama are supposed to look out for one another!"
Her hand ghosted up his bare arm, where there were swollen bruises turning a hideous purple with age, and slashes brown with dried blood. "You did," she told him, a hint of a smile on her lips. "Erza… Gray, Happy, Wendy… everyone's okay because of you."
"But… you're not…" he slowly protested because, as much as he hated to admit it, blood was quickly pooling out. Too much blood was lost. She just smiled back at him, her hair slowly losing its glow.
Her hair, covered in mud and grit, was tarnished. It was in a tangle of knots; her bedraggled head of hair looked worse than when she woke up and it was in complete disarray – and he most certainly knew all about that, since he always popped up during the morning while she was attempting to tame the mess. He'd seen her in her best and worst, but he was fond of both and every other side of her.
As the sun began to set, ending this horrific day and destroying his seemingly everlasting hope that all this was just a nightmare he would soon wake up from, her hair lost its glow and her skin began to pale. Blood was lost, tears were shed, and the yellow ball in the sky lost its brightness.
This wasn't their (his) Lucy. Lucy was overconfident with her looks and sexual appeal, but with good reason because people did find her attractive…
"Where did you find such a cutie?" they'd asked the day he brought her to the Guild. Lucy, the girl the boys were referring to, was too busy awing at the Guild that she'd always dreamt of joining. Boys swooned over her looks and beauty whilst he remained oblivious to it all. He didn't care about her looks at all, which angered her greatly—
She would've thrown a fit any other day if she saw her skin paling into a crisp white and her hair becoming grey, rather than golden.
—and then all the golden locks of hair had fallen to the fall, just pieces that had once belonged to her but she no longer cared for. "Yep, this'll solve the confusion," she spoke without any gloom of having to cut off all of her precious hair. This Lucy didn't care for her looks, only how to survive. But that didn't make her any better from the real Earthland Lucy – not to Natsu —
"Natsu…" She looked at him through her soft eyes that still sparkled. But there was no anger lighting up her voice, or happiness.
—because she spoke with hardly any kindness in her voice, insisting that they'd fail in their mission. Earthland Lucy, on the other hand, insisted that they would succeed, optimist as always…
"We'll get Wendy!" Natsu insisted. The last thing he wanted was to see her like this. To see her without that shining light of optimism in her that had first drawn him to her. "She can- she can heal you!"
She sighed. It was one of those familiar 'oh Natsu, won't you ever learn?' kind of sighs, and it also made him think that they were back at the Guild and he was awing at an S-Class request board, yearning to go on one of the missions but knowing that he couldn't yet.
The sigh was short because she was short of breath. The blood was sickly and she was easily running out. Damnit, why had she demanded to help Cana? If she hadn't, she wouldn't be on the island in the first place. She would have been safe.
"It's too late," she told him, her voice dropping a few decibels.
"Natsu," she told him, looking at him firmly. How could she be so stable, when he was trembling from sobs?
"I'm sorry," he choked out again. She wrapped her arms around him in a hug, squeezing him tightly, and his tears dropped down her hair and onto her shoulders.
—he knew it wasn't his Lucy from the moment she attempted to suffocate him to death by engulfing him in a hug. It wasn't the weird clothes or the way she talked. It was the face that the real Lucy would never normally show him so much affection.
"It's okay," she whispered to him as he clung onto her, never wishing to let go. She breathed in her flowery scent, only to be disappointed and disgusted by the smell of blood and dirt. It only caused more tears to roll down his face.
"You're my nakama – I should have saved you."
"But…" she said, shuffling out of his grasp. His hands remained on her arms, keeping her frail and weak body upright. She looked straight into his black eyes. He blinked away the tears so he could clearly see her face. She was intently looking at him, sadness deep in her eyes that were fading in color.
"We're more than nakama, aren't we?" she shyly asked, a tinge of pink highlighting her cheeks. Her paling hand travelled up his arm that gripped her and stopped her from falling back, to the nape of his neck. Her fragile fingers twiddled with the ends of his salmon pink hair.
"We are?" he dumbly asked.
She abruptly looked away, sighing again. It was that 'you're so stupid sometimes that it's not even funny' sigh. Then, she slowly turned her head back to look fixedly. Her stare was hard and cold, but then she exhaled and relaxed in his arms. Her head lolled to the side "Yes, we are. I love you, stupid."
"I… I—" Their eyes met, soft brown of melted chocolate that glistened as they both remembered all the missions they'd gone on and the time they'd spent together. He had thought that they'd always be together; they were best friends, after all.
And then her body quickly went limp in his arms. She was so placid that you could have thought that she was sleeping, if not for the blood. Her eyes were glassy and dull. Her skin was pale, her stare vastly blank and empty, and her body unmoving – not even a tremble.
Her eyes were vacant, just a mere mirror that reflected everything and showed nothing of the words she'd said, the friends she'd made and the amount of people who cared and loved her.
Grey, faded, nothing.
"I love you too…"
Black clouds veiled the white sky, raining down sadness as the figures dressed in black stood around the grave. Black soot dirtied the white gravestone. Black etched on everything on Lucy Heartfilia's funeral day, as Natsu thought it was appropriate. Why should color lighten anything on such a mournful day? Why should there be any color at all when their beloved Lucy was dead?
Sobs echoed all around. Rain pounded down, clouds weeping too. "I'm sorry I couldn't protect you," he said, standing in front of the grave. He tightly clenched his fists, straining to keep hold of his want to light the gravestone on fire with anger, just to end this merciless day.
The sun slowly ascended and lit up the sky, tinting it with pink and red and starting yet another empty day with out her. A red rose lat at the grave, and the words, "I love you, stupid," continued to echo in his mind.