Ok, so I came up with this story while watching Black Butler. If you watch that anime, you're officially awesome in my book. Nothing to really say here, no O.C.s or anything. Hope you enjoy!
I don't own Fairy Tail, Hiro Mashima does. On to the story.
~ * ~ * Chapter One ~ * ~ *
~ * ~ * A Blackened Soul Can Still See Light ~ * ~ *
At first glance, no one would be able to tell it was noon. Thunder rumbled across a black sky, rain fell in sleets, and fog rolled in slowly, nearly consuming everything. It looked to be nighttime, and the people of Magnolia Village acted as if it were night. No one was out in the heavy rain, rather than the homeless and a few stubborn locals trying to get errands done.
It was the perfect time for him. The boy ran down the alleyway, his footsteps echoing in the emptiness. This hair, an abnormal bright pink, was matted to his head, his eyes narrowed in concentration.
God, humans are so damn stupid. It's so smart of you to try to sell your goods in the pouring rain, Mr. Baker-Man. It's also smart of you to keep it in your stand, where the fog covers up all thieves.
He didn't dare take more than a loaf of bread, though. If word got out that he was here, he'd be dead. If anything, he made a name for himself in the worst way possible.
He remembered little of his past, but he remembered one thing: death. His family had died long ago, back when he was thirteen. Leaving him alone in the world, with no one to lean on and no one to trust.
He did try to make an honest living. But hardly anyone would give him so much as a second glance. Perhaps if he was younger, someone would have shown mercy. But he was a parentless teenager, with no money and nothing to offer in his young age. They didn't listen to him, most called him a bastard, no matter what he told them. The second they found out he was an orphaned boy; he was out on the streets.
Until, at the age of fifth teen, a man had found him on the streets and invited him to join his guild, a guild full of ruthless assassins. And everyone knows that Assassination jobs pay a hell lot of money, and what he needed exactly was a hell lot of money. Life was nowhere near perfect, but it was livable, and that's all he ever asked of life. That is, until he was kicked out for being to 'recklessly violent'. Yeah, he liked to burn things to ashes, so what? It's not like he ever got caught.
He sighed at the memory, stopping in about the eighth alley he ran through. He leaned against a brick wall, staring at the loaf of bread in his hands. He bit into it quick, only in order to break his train of thought. No use in fawning over the past, what's done is done. 'Those who live in the past die in the present', as Erigor-Sensei would always say, was a philosophy he still lived by.
The bread was gone too quickly, according to both his mind and his stomach. He gritted his teeth, rubbing his palms together. He glanced down both ends of the alley, making sure no one was watching. No trouble, he needed absolutely no trouble. He was happily left alone, a figure of the past, recognized only as a form of déjà vu. And he wanted to keep it that way.
Smirking in his solitude, a wisp of fire danced out of his mouth, tying itself around his palms. He leaned up against the wall, so as to protect the fire from the falling rain. Rain meant good cover, yes, but it also meant that damn cold.
He smiled to himself, leaning his head back, closing his eyes. Yes, this was the life for him, as nothing but a shadow, a secret, always on the run. Soon everyone would forget about the notorious Salamander and go on with their lives, maybe then could he come out of his hole and rejoin society. But until then, he practically wasn't anywhere at all.
He exhaled, and then his eyes snapped open. He wasn't alone. He could sense it, even if there didn't seem to be anyone in sight. Willing the fire away, he got to his feet as fast as he could.
Click, click, click. The sound of high heels against a stone floor echoed across the alley. Whoever it was, they were too close now, even for him. There was no way he could escape; he let himself get distracted too easily this time. His hand went to the knife he kept in his back pocket, the other barley lit with fire. It had been months, but maybe he still remembered a thing or two about killing.
Click, click, click.
He felt the breath escape his throat as a girl walked down the alley. She was partially shadowed, though definitely a woman, and holding a rather lacy umbrella to shield herself from the rain. She was dressed in a long blue cloak, yet wore a belt around her waist. The belt didn't even have a buckle; it consisted only of a single ring of keys.
She stopped, leaving about a good five feet distance from him. He swallowed, steadying himself. He wasn't going to let himself get distracted by a girl, even if he was used to killing men. Getting an assassination job to kill a woman was rare, as men only wanted other men dead for reasons unknown to his kind.
"Who the hell are you?" he spat.
"That doesn't matter right now" she answered, "What matters is I know who you are".
"Really?" he licked his chapped lips, smirking "Do tell".
"You are Natsu Dragneel, the Salamander" the girl said "Professional assassin".
"You got one thing wrong, Milady" Natsu said "Ex-assassin. They kicked me out a long time ago, but I supposed you know that. Come to arrest me, now?"
"I have a proposition for you," the girl continued, ignoring him "I assure you it's better than eating stolen bread in the rain".
"What's the offer?" Natsu raised an eyebrow.
"I would like a bodyguard, and a bit of a butler, I suppose" the girl said, "You would live with me, eat full meals, and get a room to stay".
"And protect you? Why would you want me to protect you?" Natsu asked.
"Killing used to be your job, and you were the best at it" the girl smirked "And all the men who come around saying they can protect me, well . . . they're all human"
"So?" Natsu hissed.
"So I want a bodyguard who isn't human," the girl said "And you fit that bill"
Natsu's eyes widened, then he smiled, showing his pointed canines. "Good point, Milady. But here's a riddle for you, a better question. Why would I want to work for you?"
"I will pay well, that's one reason" the girl said "Another is: you're stained. Red is all over you, and something tells me you want to wipe it off. And thievery isn't the way to do it, Salamander"
Natsu swallowed, licking his lips. In a way, that was true. The guilt of his past was something that haunted him, something he couldn't escape, not even in his dreams. Her words were true, he was stained with blood. And he wanted to get rid of it.
"Fine," Natsu said, "You've got a deal, on one condition. Who are you?"
The girl hesitated, and then pulled back her hood. Fawn brown eyes, golden blonde hair, and smooth, porcelain skin. He had seen many people, but she was by far the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen.
"I am Lucy Heartfilia" the girl said "Princess of Fiore"
Every day since his first day, Natsu woke up first. Only to wake Lucy up in the morning, just for a good excuse to see her first. Every one in the castle knew that the princess's bodyguard was extremely protective and extremely territorial.
He opened the doors to her bedroom, smiling to himself. She was so peaceful and quiet while she was asleep, quite the opposite to when she was awake. But she was still beautiful, either way.
"Lucy," Natsu said "Rise and shine!"
Lucy's eyes fluttered open, then narrowed. She rolled over "Five more minutes"
"I'm afraid I can't allow that" Natsu smirked, grabbing her and tossing her over his shoulder. Lucy screamed in alarm, her eyes the size of dinner plates.
"I'm up, I'm up!" Lucy exclaimed, "Now put me down!"
"Gladly" Natsu said, dropping her on the ground "Get dressed, you're dad wants to have breakfast with you"
"That's a first" Lucy huffed, then snapped, "Hey, get out! I'm changing!"
Natsu smirked "Really, now, Lucy-San? I could help you get changed, if you want "
"Get out!" Lucy screeched, throwing a pillow at him. He let out a breath of fire, the pillow falling to ashes before it could even touch him.
"You jerk!" Lucy snapped, "That was my favorite pillow!"
"Calm down, I'm sure Virgo can go out and buy you another one" Natsu shrugged, referring to Lucy's handmaid. He walked out of her room as Virgo entered, rapidly telling Lucy her daily schedule.
"Good morning, Natsu-San!" the castle's animal keeper, Lisanna, smiled. Lisanna was easily the most cheerful person in the entire castle, maybe in all of Fiore.
"'Morning, Lisanna" Natsu answered, returning the smile.
"I have to admit, I'm very excited" Lisanna squealed "The master says we're having a visitor tonight! One from another kingdom!"
"Really?" Natsu asked. A visitor in the castle considered a main event to the castle servants, a chance to show off their talents.
"Actually, I overheard him talking to Mira-Nee and Elf-Niichan while I was in the barn" Lissanna admitted, smugly "Telling them to make something really special 'cause he's trying really hard to impress this queen and her children. And actual queen, Natsu-San! And she's coming over for dinner tonight!"
"Maybe that's why he wants to have breakfast with Lucy" Natsu said, glancing towards the door to Lucy's room.
Lisanna shook her head in disappointment "It took him long enough, honestly. He acts as if Lucy-Dono isn't here"
That statement was nothing short of the truth. King Jude often talked to the palace servants, and always about political matters. Natsu would try to bring the conversation towards Lucy, but the king would always change the subject. He never asked about his daughter, he acted like her very existence disappointed him.
Before Natsu could answer, Lucy exited her room. She was dressed in one of her most formal dresses, one covered in lace and ribbon. She looked like a goddess, and Natsu had to look away so she wouldn't see him blushing. Of course, Lisanna saw him blushing, and proceeded to smirk and poke him whispering "She looks pretty, huh, Natsu-San? Don't you think so? Doesn't she look pretty?"
"Princess, Natsu-San and I are to walk you to the dining hall" Virgo said, "Come now"
Natsu hissed "Shut up!" to Lisanna, and then preceded to walk Lucy to the dining hall. He opened the door for her (bowing like a gentleman should, of course), but Virgo grabbed him by the jacket before he could follow her inside.
"The king requested that we wait here for them to finish talking" Virgo said "Completely privacy"
Natsu clenched his jaw, gripping his wrist, tightly. He couldn't go very long without seeing Lucy, and then he began to get impatient. He made a deal with her, a Dragon's Blood Oath. If anything, Lucy's life and happiness meant more to Natsu than his own. Lucy practically held his soul under lock and key.
After what felt like forever, the doors swung open. Lucy exited first, followed by her father. King Jude set his hand on her shoulder, and whispered, "I'm glad you understand, daughter"
Lucy nodded, and then walked to Natsu and Virgo "Take me to my room, please"
Her eyes were full of unhappiness; the sorrow was seeping through her voice. Something happened in there that made Lucy completely miserable, he could tell, even if Virgo couldn't.
Natsu turned to Virgo "I'll take her to her room, Virgo-San. You can go and make preparations for the visitor"
Virgo nodded, and then bowed "Thank you, Natsu-San"
Natsu walked her to her room, and slammed the door behind them. Even by the noise, Lucy hadn't turned. But he could still tell she was miserable.
"What happened in there, Lucy?" Natsu asked "Why're you so sad?"
"Natsu . . ." Lucy whispered, turning to face him. Her eyes were glistening with tears, her eyes full of sadness. Natsu reached forward, taking her face in one hand and wiping away her tears. He had never seen her cry before, not in his months of service. Human tears were something he saw very rarely.
"Don't cry, Lucy" Natsu whispered, "Tell me what's wrong"
"M-My father . . . He says . . ." Lucy sobbed, "He's forcing me to marry. I'm engaged"
Natsu's world stopped.
Lucy, his Lucy, married to another man. With another man's scent polluting hers, another man holding her close. The very thought disgusted him, he was the only man she really needed. The blood binding was enough proof; he was the only man she needed. Why was it that the only one who could see that was him?
Natsu held open his arms, and Lucy rushed into him. He held her close, patting her hair and letting her sob into his shirt.
"It'll be alright," Natsu cooed, "Don't worry, it'll be ok. You'll see"
His eyes went to the mark on his wrist, a scar in the perfect shape of a dragon's body making a circle. Lucy had a similar mark on her wrist, a scar of a star inside a circle. It was the dragon's promise, to protect the human who bares the star with their life. It had a second meaning to some dragons, that this marked territory. The one who bares that star would be yours forever.
Lucy, being his forever. That was how things seemed now, and he wanted it to stay that way.
As Natsu held Lucy close, he glanced to the knife he still kept hidden under his shirt. Of all things, he hoped he still remembered how to kill a man.
Ah, no, Natsu! Killing people is bad, very bad! Hope you enjoyed this chapter. :3 Don't know where I'm going to take this story . . . O.o
Like it, love it, hate it? I'd appreciate it if you reviewed!