A/N: Guess what? It's my birthday. My present to myself is finishing this story!


The Carrot Ring

After a weekend with Lucy, Natsu returned to his house in the woods feeling light-hearted, wonderfully in love, and looking forward to a mission they planned to take on Monday. The beast within was hardly more than a lingering presence, practically out of his thoughts now that he was getting used to it. Soon, it would simply be a part of him.

When he reached the clearing where his house stood, Natsu sensed that something was amiss. He glanced around the woods and sniffed the air. Something lingered, a familiar scent, but not familiar enough to pinpoint who had been there. As he cautiously stepped forward, he saw sitting at his doorstep was a package wrapped in plain brown paper.

Natsu had received plenty of pranks over the years, so he was suspicious. He sniffed the package before touching it, and he was shocked to smell Balaur's scent. Not the feral stench he had grown used to, but the boy's own personal scent, something like tilled soil and fresh-cut grass. He tapped the box with his toe, but it seemed to be safe. Balaur was a good kid, not the sort of punk who would pull a nasty prank after all the trouble he caused.

Natsu picked up the package and carried it inside. He took off the messy wrapping and opened the box. On top was a card. Natsu had a hard time reading it—Balaur's handwriting was really awful, considering he had not needed to write anything in months—but slowly Natsu deciphered it.

Dear Natsu,

There really is no way for me to repay you for the hurt I caused to you personally, and especially to your girlfriend, Lucy. However, I want you both to know that I truly wish happiness for the two of you. She's a nice girl, and I fully understand that, if it wasn't for her, I'd be dead. I owe her my life, as well as my sanity.

I told your guild master about my abilities, hoping for some way to benefit your guild before I leave, as a way to make up for my sins. Some green-haired man overheard me. He suggested a way I can repay all the people I hurt, but in particular, a way to help out you and Lucy.

You see, I can manipulate rocks pretty well, and that includes creating gems. It's a really poor apology, but I left massive gems with the families of every person I killed or injured. That took up a lot of magic, I've never been so tired, but I hope it's a start toward assisting the people my feral beast hurt. I can't bring back the people I killed, but maybe those gems will help the families to get a nice home, someplace peaceful, where they can live without any more trouble.

As for you and Lucy, the green-haired man—sorry, I didn't catch his name—told me that you're looking into buying a diamond ring. I've never manipulated gold before. Metal is different from stone, so Gajeel helped me out a bit. Even if this design isn't something that you like, you can use the stone. I put my best effort into this. It's the purest diamond I've ever managed to create. Lucy will look very pretty wearing it on her finger. It's large, seven carats.

Oh, and that's C-A-R-A-T-S, not C-A-R-R-O-T-S. I laughed when the green-haired guy told me about that.

For the moment, I'm traveling with a small group that calls themselves Crime Sorcière. Their leader happened to be in Magnolia visiting a friend, and he said he will take me in for a while. His name is Jellal. He said he knows you, so that's cool. I think I'll stay with him until I pay back my sins, but one day I want to return to Bosco and search for my sister. I miss Smaralda a lot, and I hope I can somehow make amends with her. You would like her. She smells like Lucy.

I will probably not see you again for a long time, so I included something special. It's a very early wedding gift for you and Lucy. Take care of her, okay? If I ever find Terracia, I'll see if she knows Igneel. Maybe when the dragons return, we can all meet up again for a big family reunion.

Good luck, and thank you for saving me. I will make this life you gave me count!

Your fellow dragon slayer,

Balaur Blackstone

Natsu dug into the box. Wrapped in a lot of padding was a breathtaking sculpture of two dragons in battle. One half was blood red jade with tiny emeralds for eyes, the other half was made of brown jade with cut tiger's-eye stones for the eyes. The detail on the two fighting dragons, down to tiny scales covering both bodies, stunned even an amateur like Natsu. He realized right away, this was something precious. He barely trusted himself to hold it. Definitely, this was the sort of gift Lucy should have. She had a nice place to live, and a carving this intricate would eventually get broken in Natsu's home, considering how rowdy he and Happy got.

On the bottom of the box was another smaller box, barely hand-size. Natsu pulled it out and opened the latch. Inside, sitting in a satin divot, was a gold ring. Star-shaped sapphires nestled within the golden band. Seated on the top was the biggest diamond Natsu had ever seen. It caught the sunlight streaming in from the window and sparkled tiny rainbow lights all around Natsu's house.

"That...is a lot of carrots!"

Natsu closed the lid to the box. It was not the right time to ask Lucy yet. He wanted to date her properly first. He loved her, and he wanted to make her happy, even if that meant marriage and a family had to wait.

He would wait for her! In the meantime, he would keep this ring in his pocket, a constant reminder of the bright future he looked forward to enjoying with the woman he loved. When the time was right, he would give it to Lucy. He knew her eyes would widen when she saw the size of that diamond. He could hardly wait to give it to her. Then she would be his forever.

He just hoped she did not make him wait too long. The beast within him was not very patient. As he thought about marking Lucy as his with this ring, claiming her, always having her, making her his mate, slowly a desirous smile curled up onto his lips, and a gleam of red flashed briefly in his eyes.

"Want her," he whispered to himself. "Want Lucy." His wants, the beast's instincts, their desires!

No, the beast was not patient at all. Lucy had better not keep him waiting.

The End

A/N: That's it. Short, sweet, a little mysterious, and it leaves this story open for people who like to roleplay as the feral characters. It's all over now. Happy birthday to me!

There are some amazing spin-offs on the Tumblr RP pages. I will post some of those here, with permission from the authors. They would be omakes and independent sequels. The writers of those stories are simply amazing. So "Beastly Possession" will continue to update, but Rhov's story is over. Thanks, everyone, for reading this fanfic, an experiment to see if I could write a horror story. I hope it wasn't too awful.