:: Why hello, I want to let you all know that you may need a box of tissues... well unless you are cold hearted. I hope that you will all continue to read as we close the last chapter of CPDP, and move on the the main event. Plot twists, and epic battles will ensure, this I can promise you!
Please enjoy day number two of the journey.
(Oh and I still don't own FT just in case anyone had forgotten, it is absolutely NOT my property. But Vulpi is my Fox, and I love him so you can't have him!)
Lucy sat up, breathing heavily. "I'll stop you!" she shouted. Slowly she opened her eyes, turning to Natsu. As realization that her Nightmare was over set in, she grabbed on to her husband and began shaking him. "Natsu, I know that man!" She yelled, digging her finger nails into Natsu's shoulders, while repeating that sentence to herself out loud, over and over again.
Lucy's repeated words grew louder, waking her other companions as well. They all came to sit around Lucy's tent, worry evident in their tired eyes."Why won't they show me his face?" Lucy was wiping the sweat from her brow, frustrated by the dream. So much more happened this time, it was like something had changed. She saw him this time not all of him, but he was there in the flesh, and his voice was so familiar. "I've fought with him before, he said as much this time around, we held a full conversation." She furrowed her brow trying to recall the details that were revealed to her. "For some reason I couldn't use my powers in the dream. I wasn't able to hear any thoughts, or sense any power." Lucy began to chew on her bottom lip nervously as she recounted the events of her dream. "I'm absolutely certain that you all were taken hostage now though. I'm not completely sure but I have a feeling you are behind the door." Lucy looked over at her female friends. "I'm trying to break through when he came up to me. I was so angry I thought I would actually kill him." Lucy looked at her hands as they trembled. "He said that I can't defeat him anymore and that I should have killed him when I had the chance. And that everything is going according to plan, and no one can stop them now." Lucy looked up at the sky, the early morning light was already chasing the stars away.
Natsu listened intently to every word, trying to piece everything together, and suddenly it clicked. "He said something like I'll make you mine right?" Natsu sat up and put his hands on her shoulders. Lucy nodded, though her eyes stayed down cast as she played through her own memories. "Do you think it could be that guy who challenge you while you were dealing with the Celestial Mages?" Lucy looked up so quickly that she almost knocked her forehead against Natsu's nose, her eyes bulged at the thought of whom he was implying.
"No, I don't want to believe that..." Lucy's voice trailed off as she started to investigate every detail of her dream, trying to find some clue that would disprove Natsu's suggestion. There was no way that Bastion would go to Zeref of the Dark Dragon, it wasn't a possibility. She wanted so desperately to believe that he would come back to his senses after their fight. She wanted to free him of the anger and feelings of betrayal, he had been a close friend of her's after all, and she owed it to him.
"Would that guy really go that far?" Levy asked breathlessly, she could see Lucy's reaction, from her place out side the open air tent. "After that last fight, I would be scared to death of her!"
"Of course he would, the idiot was always in love with her! Did you see how mad it drove him? He only has one goal in mind and I'm sure that he will do anything to accomplish it. When he faced off against her the last time, he was dead serious, it was as intense as the fight that nearly killed him all those years ago! He would probably have challenged her again if she had healed him completely! He will come back for what his demented mind views as his prize." Laxus bellowed, fist balled in anger.
"Laxus, settle down. You are scaring Levy!" Lucy threw her pillow at her cousin. This gesture seemed to calm the atmosphere around the group, Wendy even let a little giggle slip past her lips. Lucy kept up the brave face, joking for a few moments, but on the inside she was trembling. The thought that Bastion could truly have gone so mad that he would side with her enemies scared her more than she wanted to let on. "And he was obsessed with beating me, it had nothing to do with love." Lucy added with a scowl, she turned away from her cousin after sticking her tongue out playfully. "Levy, there were marking on the door, if I draw them do you think you could try to decipher them?" Levy made her way over to her bottomless bag and pulled out some paper and a pen.
"I'll do my best, but I don't know if I have the books I need with me." Lucy nodded and began to draw the symbols.
"If you need anything I can always bring them here. You just have to tell me where to find them." Levy suddenly remembered that Lucy could use her spirit boxes to transport things from anywhere. The idea was hard to wrap around her mind, but since it was Lucy the normal magic rules didn't seem to apply. Levy watched as Lucy drew characters with curls and loops in a pattern over the surface of the page. She laid each one down on the ground so the others could see exactly how large, the doors she continued to see, were. Lucy worked as the sun began to rise over the horizon, casting more light across the eerie diagram. "This is what it looked like." Lucy stepped back thankful that it was a windless morning.
"Lu-chan, exactly what did you see?" Levy was bewildered by the width of the doors Lucy had drawn out. Her friend had used all of her stored paper, and that was only depicting the ancient text. The thought of what Lucy had described ran through her mind, before she started to number the pages to keep track of what order to read them as she attempted to break the code.
The group packed up camp after having what was left of dinner, as their breakfast. During breakfast, they all agreed that it would be best to make their journey a sort of practical on the job training, just to add something useful to the monotonous walking. At random points during the morning some one would attack the others without warning. Wendy was the weakest link, so more often than not she was the one who was attacked, but she held her own for a few minutes before getting taken out. Lucy gave her several encouraging smiles during this process to let her know that she was in fact getting better. At noon, they came to a stop by a stream, sprawling out to relax before looking for some lunch. Lucy pulled out her communication lycrima and contacted the guild.
"LUCY!" Mira's face came into view, tears streaming down. "You didn't call yesterday! We were so worried!" A sobbing Mira was pushed aside, as Erza came into view.
"She had been blubbering like this since you all left. I apologize on her behalf, but she is right, we were very worried how is it coming along?" Erza was fidgeting nervously, this was very much unlike her, and Lucy knew at once that something wasn't right.
"We are making good time, Erza. There is no need to worry, I have everyone here to make sure we get there with out any problems. Now let me speak to Grampa." Erza's eyes widened for a moment, her mouth opening then closing once more. "ERZA LET ME SPEAK TO GRAMPA RIGHT THIS INSTANT!" Lucy couldn't keep her voice calm as she grabbed the screen with both hands. Erza bit her bottom lip, as tears started to form in her eyes. The bottom of Lucy's stomach felt as though someone had made her eat a dozen cinder bricks, as she watched her friend struggle to talk.
"He fell ill during the night, but we are taking care of him Lucy." Lissanna pushed Erza out of the way, her speech thicken by tears of her own. "Gray and Ultear went to get the healer, Porlyusica, from the woods. They should be back soon, she has taken care of Master many time in the past. Please, don't worry we can handle things here." Lucy's heart stopped beating for a moment, as she dropped the lycrima. The world came to a stop, and Lucy couldn't think straight, anger soon began to raise to the surface as she made up her mind.
"LEO!" She hollered at the top of her lungs. The fact that she used his Spirit name was enough to give away how dire the situation was becoming, Lucy was battling with her own emotions, and seemingly losing the fight. Loke appeared, looking around confused as to why Lucy seemed so distressed. "Find the best healers from the Celestial Realm and take them back to Fairytail. Grampa is sick! GO NOW!" Loke's eyes grew wide, his mouth hang open, completely unsure of what to say. "I SAID GO!" Lucy screamed pounding her fist into the earth. He just stood there for a moment, watching her anger boil, the all to familiar light of her magic boiling to the top, Loke took a deep breath to steady himself before he went back. "You can't do this now Grampa, I'm not ready for you to leave me." Lucy wrapped her arms around her stomach, doubling over with tears. "I won't let them take you yet!" She yelled angrily against the wave of harsh sobs that threatened to over take her whole being.
Levy watched on in absolute horror. Lucy was beginning to self destruct, it was only a matter of time before the power surrounding her exploded like last time. The thought broke Levy's heart, she too found herself sobbing and wondering. 'How much could this world take form her before it finally breaks her? Where is the justice in learning you have family, just to watch them die? No, Lucy would fight to make sure she didn't lose any one yet. She would do everything in her power to protect what she cared for, just like every one of the members of Fairytail. That was her biggest strength! Lucy can control it this time, I know it!'
Natsu walked forward, leaning over to put a comforting hand on Lucy's back, but stopped a few inches away. He flinched when a low and dangerous growl left the crumpled sobbing heap that was Lucy. "Back away, now. We need to give her some space." Natsu's eyes filled with hurt, something Lucy had said must have been extremely harsh, and the fact that only Natsu could hear it must have made it all that much worse. The group moved away, but stayed where they had a good view of the sobbing blonde. Natsu watched on, feeling powerless, and loathing himself as he believed himself to be the cause of this new pain.
"Vulpi, bring my sword." She picked her head up slowly bringing the long dead silence to an end. Lucy sat glaring at the stream, not moving a muscle as she waited. After a few minutes the fox spirit appeared with the shimming golden blade. "I need to let off some anger, can you help me?" She roughly wiped her eyes with her sleeve, before taking the sword. Vulpi observed her for a few moments, unsure of the situation.
"You're gonna hurt me this time aren't you?" He gulped as he could see the anguish filling her eyes. He knew before the words left his mouth that he would regret this. "I guess if it will help, I can take some of your pain." A flame ignited in his right hand, extending into a short sword, a flame in his left hand ignited and formed a katana about the same size as Lucy's. A dangerous smile crossed Lucy's face as she charged, both hands on the hilt of her blade. Vulpi caught the blow with his crossed swords, throwing her backward.
"Fight me seriously, or I will cut you down." Lucy's voice sent shivers down Wendy's spine. Her anger was taking over, coating her body in the golden light of her magic. Vulpi released a low growl, losing any trace of playfulness in his eyes. He crouched low prepared to stricken with deadly precision. The sounds of battle filled the meadow, as Lucy and Vulpi traded blows. The fire blades burned straight through Lucy's clothes, scaring her flesh. Each strike pulled a sickening scream from deep in Lucy's throat.
Lucy's blade slashed angrily at her opponent drawling blood from Vulpi's stomach, arms and legs. It was the longest battle any of them had seen her participate in. It was a complete shock that she was getting hit, but the scary thing was that Vulpi was showing signs of wounds too. Lucy continued to slash at the air, her magic lending an eerie glow to her weapon as it connected with it's target. Vulpi dodged several time, allowing Lucy to cut down several trees in the process. "Stop running from me coward!" The fox tried his hardest to avoid the wrath of her blade, but found it biting into his flesh over and over. He cried out several times as the metal tore into his abdomen.
"I hate that god damn sword!" Vulpi growled through clenched teeth as the blade bit into the skin of his cheek. He lunged forward striking Lucy with just as much force. She screamed in pain, doubling over momentarily. "Are you finished now?" Vulpi asked breathlessly, Lucy looked up with anger still burning in her eyes. "These are going to scar if I don't go back soon!" Vulpi jumped away from Lucy's blade as it came down through the air once more. He fell backward into the stream, flaming blades extinguished by the water. "Call out someone else for a while! I've had enough!" he screamed frantically before he disappeared, a look of sheer terror passed through his eyes as Lucy growled in responded, Natsu watched on in shock.
"I'm not done yet! Come back here you stupid fox!" Lucy fell to her knees, crying out to the place here Vulpi had been. Guilt welled up inside of her, she had done something terrible because of her anger, and she knew that she deserved the pain she was in right now. She dropped her sword before curling up into a ball sobbing freely. There was a puff of smoke, revealing Lyra.
"Lucy, let me play you something to calm your nerves." The spirit fidgeted nervously at the sight of the golden sword. Lucy nodded, a look of self loathing crossing her features. Lyra sat down beside the stream and began to pluck at her lyre. Lyra hummed a wordless song that soothed like a lullaby. Her gentle melody allowed Lucy to let go of her anger, bringing her into a peaceful slumber. "She will sleep for a long while, take good care of her. Please when she wakes up tell her that we understand." Lyra's eyes watered as she spoke to the group. Once Lyra was sure Lucy was in deep sleep, she immediately grabbed the sword and disappeared with it.
"What the hell was that?" Gajeel barked softly to the others as they watched on from the safety of the tree line.
"The sword is a terrible instrument." Natsu shuttered. "That's why she used it against Bastion in their match, it is the strongest tool in her arsenal." Natsu informed, becoming uncomfortable with the subject. "It can cut through anything... including spirits." Natsu took a deep breath. "She had her anger under control for the most part, but when she gets like this, fighting seems to be the only way to keep from losing it." Natsu took a moment to look at the scared faces of his companions. "I think she'll be ok now that Lyra put her to sleep." The group nodded before they made their way out from the tree line, Natsu picked up the lycrima and allowed it to connect to Fairytail once more. Erza's face came into view.
"Is Lucy alright?" Erza looked ashamed of herself, Jellal was by her side, stroking her hair in a comforting way.
"She'll be fine, did Loke get there yet?" Natsu wanted to confirm that Gramps would be ok, the old man meant just as much to him as he did to Lucy and Laxus. The thought of losing the old man for good was just to painful to deal with right now.
"He brought a few spirits with him a little while ago, they are in the infirmary with him now." Erza allowed tears to roll down her cheeks. "We will take care of him, I promise."
"Erza listen to me carefully. No one can find out that Gramps is sick, especially while we are gone. Please, you, Mira, and Jellal need to handle the work load for him, Lucy already knew that he was ill, she has known how serious it was for a while. That's why she had been doing the work for him. Please, keep him alive until we get back, don't let him give up until we get home! Lucy would never forgive herself if she doesn't at least make it back to say good bye." Natsu found that he couldn't hold back the tears any longer.
"I will do everything in my power." Erza smiled sadly before releasing the connection.
"It's gotten worse since I was exiled hasn't it?" Laxus hung his head in shame. He felt partly responsible for the condition his grandfather was in, because the stunt he had pulled had nearly taken the life of his grandfather all that time ago. The fear of losing the Master was tangible to everyone present.
"It's been getting worse, steadily, it nearly killed him on the island. His heart, during his battle with Hades... if Wendy hadn't shown up he may not have made it." Natsu wiped his eyes and looked over at Lucy. "She's lost so much already, it would destroy her if he dies before she gets back." Natsu made his way over to his sleeping wife. She looked so peaceful, he hoped that she would at least be free of her nightmares for a while.
"Lets find some food, let her sleep it off." Gajeel said with a cough. "Some one can carry her if we finish before she wakes up." They agreed and began to scavenge for food. Natsu set up a fire before going to fish in the stream with Happy, who kept his gaze shifting back to Lucy's sleeping form. Wendy and Charle went to find fruits or berries. Gajeel and Lily took to the woods to find anything they could. Laxus on the other hand sat down beside his cousin, absentmindedly running his fingers through her hair, as he looked out into the forest.
"We will make it back, Lu. Gramps is stronger than this, I know he won't die before he sees you take over. You just have to believe in him." Laxus whispered gently. Tears welled up in his eyes once more, at the sight of her burned flesh, she hadn't even bothered to heal herself this time. He bet that she had been using this as a way to punish herself for causing their grandfather extra stress. Stupid girl. He just sat beside her, whispering encouraging words under his breath, ignoring the world around him.
Wendy came back, using her dress to carry a bunch of berries and mushrooms. She sat down next to Levy who was working on decoding the symbols from Lucy's dream. Wendy noticed that some progress was already being made, Levy looked over and gave a wary smile before returning to her work. Wendy poured the berries out onto the bag next to Levy before making her way over to Lucy, who was still sleeping. "She didn't heal herself." Laxus said with out looking up.
Wendy sucked in a shallow breath as she looked over Lucy's wounds. "Why would she do this to herself?" Immediately the little girl set to work. The flames had cauterized the wounds, but they ran deep enough to cause minor trauma to her organs. Wendy raised her hands and allowed her magic to do it's work to heal the wounds.
"That is complicated." Natsu placed the pole he was fishing with aside. "She puts the blame for everything on herself." His eyes wandered over her sleeping form, Wendy noted the same look of hurt cross over his eyes as he continued. "She is the strongest person out of all of us, you know? But when things are out of her control, she feels so weak and useless still." Natsu bit back a sob. "This is how she reminds herself that she is still human, and that she always has to keep a hold of her anger or she will hurt everyone around her this badly. It's unhealthy, and I don't like it, but it keeps her sane. She feels like the pain is the best way to bring herself under control. Like breaking a finger to take your mind off a broken foot, it distracts her long enough to let the anger die out." Natsu came to sit on the opposite side of Laxus, pushing the hair out of Lucy's eyes. "When we get to the Dragon's Lair, I plan to help take some of this burden off of her. I can't stand to see her like this. Once we see Igneel things will get better, they just have to."
No one spoke during the meal, nor for miles as Laxus carried Lucy on his back, Natsu right by his side. Hours passed and the climate started to become cooler, so they stopped and began to put on extra layer of clothing. Natsu took the still sleeping Lucy into his arms, to keep her warm. They continued on like this till dusk, to their surprise Lucy remained in her peaceful slumber even after they had all laid down for the night. Natsu woke breathing heavily, he turned to his side, eyes fixed on his wife's face.
"I hope you are having a sweet dream tonight Luce." Natsu laid a kiss on her forehead before drifting off once more.
::A/N:: T.T And it is over for 'The Celestial Princess and the Dragon Prince' I'm sorry that I continue ending the chapters with them falling asleep... . it's just such an easy transition into the next chapter! I'm so horrible to poor Vulpi! **Sobbing** I didn't want to make Lucy's hurt you! But I couldn't have her do it to Loke, that would just be cruel! (and she would never attack a child!) Plus you agreed to it, stupid fox... So there are many questions left unanswered, and several mysteries left to unravel.
Makarov is gravely ill... Vulpi got his ass shredded... Lucy is a ticking time bomb... What next?
Will the spirits still trust her after what she has done?
Will Vulpi ever speak to her again?
Why is Laxus being such a cry baby?
Who is the man in Lucy's nightmare, and what is behind those gruesome doors?
Will Natsu and Lucy ever get to live as a normal married couple? (Well as normal as Mages lives allow)
Will there be more than meets the eye in the next installment?
I will have 'The Wings of the Black Dragon' Chapter 1 posted within the week!
As a present, let me show you a glimpse into the FUTURE..Future... future (getting softer as it echos)
"So you've come at last." The man stood in the shadows were Lucy couldn't see his face. "I knew you would." Lucy gripped the hilt of her sword tightly, prepared to strike at any moment.
"Of course I came! I promised that I would stop you!" Lucy seethed with rage when the man's reply came with a chuckle.
"Lucy dearest do you think you can stop me when I have the power of the Dark Dragon coursing through my veins?" He took a step forward, revealing a menacing grin. This sent cold sweat pouring down Lucy's neck, soak her shirt.
"I will stop you, I swear that I will!" Lucy raised her sword, eyes filled with furry. "TO PROTECT MY FAMILY I WILL FIGHT TO MY VERY LAST BREATH!"