-Akai Ito-

"The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think. We do this because we're afraid. We fear we will not find love, and when we find it we fear we'll lose it. We fear that if we do not have love we will be unhappy." By: Richard Bach

To be bound by the red string of fate to your soul mate was one thing, but to be able to see them on others was another.

Gray Fullbuster, age 8, ice static magic, Fairy Tail mage, is able to see such threads on people; including himself.

Gray's POV

It was strange at first. Everyone wasn't able to see them, but me. When I told Macao about seeing strings, he thought I was sick or something. At first, I wanted to ignore it. However, being knowledgeable about it made me cautious of my surroundings. I didn't know that I was able to go through the strings rather than get tied up in it like I thought I would until much later.

Then one day, a friend of Macao was talking to me. He asked me and didn't expect for me to respond when he was talking about some girl liking him. I told him "You were meant to be with the other. She's your soul mate after all."

He thought it was a joke so he laughed saying she's too beautiful and perfect to be my soul mate. I simply told him before ignoring him "Why don't you give it a shot?" he left afterwards, thinking about my words.

3 months later, I overheard the news from Macao about his friend. Something about them getting engaged or married or something. I simply just drank the juice I had been currently drinking and ignored the rest. Though on the inside, I was quite happy that I was right.

A year later and I became 9. It was the most surprising day of my life because I saw my string tug a little. That means that my soul mate was close. It kept on being tugged until it was lifting in the air. That means that my soul mate was coming this way.
On that day, I met my soul mate; I met Natsu Dragneel.

As days passed by, I wanted to learn more about my so called soul mate. At first I was petrified that it was a boy, but now, I don't really mind it anymore. Turns out that Natsu became one of my closest friends and yet we became rivals as well.

However, I realized one thing for certain. It's that, even if you see the red string on your soul mate... If they were to find another, then your string would disappear and attach to the other.

That was the most important fact that I used to repel 'my' soul mate away from me.
It wasn't as though I disliked or hated the idea of becoming lovers with Natsu... It's that I thought that he'd only deserve better.

When Lisanna and Natsu were becoming closer, my string was becoming transparent. However, when Lisanna died, my string became opaque again. This warns me that I could lose Natsu, having his string attach to someone else.

Years passed by again as I did nothing to progress our friendship. I stuck by Natsu's side no matter what happened, for that was the only thing I could do.
Just like the mission we took today. Natsu was slightly injured, so I bandaged him and defended our little refuge. I've also gathered the food and water, so we're okay with supplies.
Now I gazed upon the stars. Somehow, I felt sad. I kept gazing at the stars until it hurt, and then I closed my eyes and let out a sigh.

I didn't realize that it would hurt this much. I only thought that it wouldn't affect me at all. Though it seems that it was too late for me for I've fallen for Natsu. I still refuse to ask him to be with me for my resolve of him finding a better one still stays... I guessed that I would continue to hurt.
End Pov

Gray didn't realize that Natsu had been staring at him, observing him.

Natsu's POV

As I watch Gray gazing up at the stars, I felt sadness creep up on me. I didn't know why, but I felt that Gray was sad and hurting. I didn't know why though. I looked to check his body for any physical damage, but there was nothing.
When I saw him close his eyes and sigh, I became more remorseful. It hurt to see Gray suffering and knowing that I couldn't be there to help him. Even though he had done so much for me, I couldn't do the same.

I swear that I would protect him and be there for him. I continue to do so, but I only fail for he still hurts... I wish I knew what it was.
End Pov

Gray's POV

Another year passes by as we were both teenagers (19). This was supposed to be day I would've told Natsu how I felt and what I've been seeing. However, it was also the day, I met Lucy Heartifilia.

It seems that Natsu had taken a liking to her, and so as his close friend, I did not interfere. I was sad and hurt once more, but I faked it by acting like I would usually do. I decided not to burden him with my feelings and walked away.
End Pov

Unaware, Gray was being watched by Natsu. Natsu saw the sad and hurt face Gray made, like the one in that mission they took. Natsu could only stare at his retreating friend and did nothing more for he didn't know what to do. He had the urge to hug and kiss Gray to prevent him from making that face, but he knew that it wouldn't be right... Though, he was already lost at what was right anymore.

Gray's POV

I knew this day would come. My string was starting to disappear. I smiled sadly upon it and watch it each day, disappearing into nothing; just like my heart.
I didn't realize that Natsu had been staring at me from afar. This made me look up to meet his gaze. I couldn't help myself, but I gave him one of my real happy smiles.
End Pov

Natsu's POV

I was caught a bit off guard by that smile. At first I saw Gray smiling sadly as he was looking down. Then I met his gaze, suddenly changing and giving me one of his real smiles.
At first I was hurt that he had smiled sadly. Although at his real smile, I felt a great surge of happiness. It was beautiful on him and I wished that he would keep smiling that way.

The next day, I invited him out on the park to relax and hang out like we used to. I was happy that he agreed for as we walked and talked, he gave me another real smile; he was enjoying this.
After some time, Gray starts to speak. He wanted to tell me a secret in which I paid careful attention to.

He told me that he could see the red strings of fate on peoples' pinky fingers. I asked him, forgetting his sad expression from yesterday.
"Who is your soul mate? Do you know yet?" he nods, but he gave me a sad smile and continued to tell me that if his soul mate was to find another that they're interested in, then their string would slowly, but surely disappear into thin air. He looked at me and I thought of hugging him if it were to wipe that look off his face. He told me that his was disappearing.

My heart fell; here I was enjoying my life when I had just ignored my best friend's feelings. His love was being taken away or chose to leave him and I couldn't do anything about it. I kept asking him who it was, but he wouldn't tell. Saying that it's alright and there's no need for that because he only wished for that person to be happy... If this what makes them happy, then he won't interfere.
At that moment, I felt the sadness in those words. I could only leave it at that for he starts to walk away, thanking me for inviting him out.
End Pov

The mission they took was extremely dangerous.
Now Gray was about to fall into a dragon's mouth, but was caught by an already weak and injured Natsu. Gray was injured too, but he used what little strength he had to hold on. His strength was leaving him rather quickly and his eyesight becoming blurry; he couldn't hold on much longer. Natsu screams for Gray to hang on, as he too uses his strength to try and pull Gray up, but to no avail. However, he wasn't about to let go. Gray tells Natsu to let go or else they'll both fall.

Natsu refuses to do so and still kept on trying. This made Gray smile even slightly before he said to Natsu "Natsu, you know that thing we talked about? The red strings of fate?" Natsu nods.
"Well... My string was connected to you." Gray gave Natsu a true happy smile as Natsu could only stare at him; tears start to slowly fall from Natsu's face.

Gray's POV

"Don't cry Natsu. You did nothing wrong and I've really enjoyed being with you."

"Why are you using past tense? No, please Gray! Don't!"

I let my grip go slowly as Natsu tries to grip me tighter.
"The weird thing is that even until now... We are still bound together with this red string of ours."
End Pov

When Natsu heard this, he was overjoyed, but saddened that Gray doesn't intend to live anymore.

Gray's POV

I looked up at Natsu "I want you to be happy and deserve the best... Sayonara Natsu." and with that, I had fully let go of my grasp.
End Pov

The sudden weight was too much that Natsu had let go unintentionally. Noticing this, he tried to get Gray again, but he couldn't reach far enough.

Gray fell into the dragon's mouth.
When dragon's mouth closed Natsu was then grabbed by Lucy on the hand at that moment.
"Natsu! Let's get out of here! The dragon's mouth is closed, so the way is open! C'mon!" she screamed.

However, Natsu didn't move. He let tears fall from his face. He had just lost his childhood friend, his best friend, his rival, his supposed to be lover... His soul mate.

In anguish and slight hope, he was going to get Gray back. He was going to defeat that dragon. Even if... even if it killed him as well. He charged at the dragon to engage a fight; giving it his all to get that one person that was his everything.

As the dragon fell, it instantly burst in bright light as it exploded. After that, Natsu saw Gray on the ground. Immediately, Natsu rushed to Gray and made him sit upright as he checked for pulse.

In his panicked mind, questions would surface 'Is he dead?' 'Is he still alive?' 'Is he going to be alright?' 'Am I going to lose him?'

He screamed in his head 'Don't die on me Gray! I need you! So please live!'

After some time of checking, Natsu smiled brightly, releasing a sigh of relief. Gray's pulse was faint, but the important thing was Gray was alive, though unconscious, but alive! He picked Gray up bridal style and whispered "Let's go home... Ore no koibito."

When Gray came to, he found himself in a room, though not his. Looking around, he spotted Natsu sleeping by his side on a chair.
He reached out to caress Natsu's face. In that instant Natsu woke up, staring at Gray's face.
Not being able to hold back, Natsu lunged himself to hug Gray tightly, not wanting to lose him again.

Gray couldn't say anything so he just returned the hug.
"Gray, don't ever do that again!"

"I'm sorry... I'm really sorry."

"It's only because I love you that you're forgiven..." hearing this, Gray held on tighter; his head upon Natsu's shoulder.
"Don't ever leave me again Gray! I really love you!"

Gray cried onto his shoulder, he kept repeating Natsu's name until he broke the hug just slightly and looked into Natsu's eyes.
"I love you too Natsu. I've been... I've been waiting for so lo-mmph!"
Natsu kissed Gray passionately and lovingly, enjoying the feelings being received and given from the other.

When they broke apart, all they did was gaze into each other's eyes, smiling and enjoying the other's company. They decided to sleep together, Gray moving closer to Natsu's embrace; never to part again.

Gray saw their string grow opaque and glow slightly. He smiled, knowing that their string has become an indestructible bond; forever to never part.

Translation: Ore no koibito = my lover

I'm back! Hey guys~ It's been a while! Now this was just a little 'cute' story I made up because I was inspired by the myths of soul mates and what not. This oneshot is a great start into writing fics again.

Translation: koibito = lover

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this little fic. I think that I'm going to start writing lots of fics and update... Yeah I'm going to do my best and hope (sort of) to succeed!

I'll end with my usual~ Suggestions and Comments are welcome!~ =^w^=

Ah~ It's great to be back!~ XD