NOTES. I'm so inspired by music, you don't even know. Florence + the Machine, Of Monsters and Men, Green River Ordinance. Serious stuff right there.
Disclaimer: NOT MINE. Okay? Okay.
"Come back! I won't let you do this! Not alone," He cried, furious with her. He watched her run, further and further away from him and toward the very thing he had tried to protect them, her, from. He pulled at his leg, currently situated under a rather large tree, and tried to pry it free. He didn't have time for this. They were all in danger and he had to do something about it before it was too late.
He saw smoke begin to rise from the trees and he heard an ear shattering, heart breaking scream.
No. This couldn't be happening.
73 Hours, 23 Minutes, 54 Seconds Earlier
"Luce! Hey, Luce!" The booming voice could be heard from anywhere in Magnolia, and Lucy Heartfilia chose to ignore it from her place at the bar. She swirled her drink and smirked knowingly at Mirajane. The blond waited for a crash to signal something, once again, had broken courtesy of her friend's entrance into the guild. For once, there wasn't anything other than quick footsteps hurrying towards her position.
She sighed, smiling lightly as she spoke, "What's up, Natsu?"
"I found another job for us and Erza and Gray and Happy!" His grin grew wide, black eyes shining with happiness, "I know I'm running low on food and you'll probably have to pay rent soon anyway. What do you say?"
"Well," Lucy started, tapping her chin to think of a way to get out of the job. It's not that she didn't love her team, really she did. It was just the fact that all of them, together, was a lot to handle, "Tell me some of the details first,"
Natsu took a seat beside his partner, sliding the paper over to her and saying, "It's pretty simple actually, so I'm not sure why they're paying so much for it but whatever. We've just got to break some curse or fight some demons or something. Sounds easy, right?" He beamed, obviously proud of himself for finding them such an easy job that he was so sure Lucy would be thankful for.
Easy my ass, She thought, her smile straining the slightest bit and her eyes hardening as she scanned over the paper. As she read over the details, her eyes continued to get wider and wider. They had to go to a village in the mountains and remove a curse of Demons from it. How the hell is that 'easy'? She scoffed, but turned towards the dragon slayer next to her regardless.
"If Erza and Gray are in, then so am I!" She smiled, knowing that if all four of them were together, nothing too terrible would happen. They always protected each other; what would make this time any different?
Natsu cheered beside her, picking her up in excitement. Lucy could feel the breath leave her lungs and her face heating of its own accord. The only thing she could hear was Natsu's laughter ringing in her ears. She couldn't even tell that she had a broad grin etched onto her tomato red face or that the dragon slayer had set her down again and was making an attempt to talk to her. "Luce? Hey! Hey, Lucy!" He yelled, waving his arms and flailing around. He took a quick glance at Happy, who had appeared on his shoulder, and shrugged, "You're such a weirdo, Luce,"
Lucy pulled out of whatever coma she had slipped into when Natsu hugged her and shook her head, "Sorry, what were you saying?"
Natsu shot her a weird look, curious as to why she wasn't attacking him for calling her a weirdo like she always did. Not that he was really complaining because he'd rather not have the crap beaten out of him (again) today. He pulled from his thoughts and began rambling to Mira about the job, telling her that they would take it and leave as soon as possible. Natsu turned, beaming at her, and Lucy couldn't help but be excited to on another adventure.
She sighed, lowering herself into the perfectly hot waters. Steam filled the bathroom and covered the mirror with moisture. Lucy leaned against the cool acrylic of the tub and shivers were sent up her spine from the contrasting temperatures. The bubbles raised and floated against her skin, popping every so often and cleansing her skin of the day's frustration and grime.
This was just what she needed after a long day of dealing with Natsu, the guild, Natsu, the stresses of being a stellar spirit mage, and did she mention Natsu? After he sprung the new job on her, she was a roller coaster of emotions. She could handle being with her team, that was no problem. She had done countless missions with them before and had yet to kill them, which was a major success in her eyes. It was the fact that there would be demons and curses that scared her. Lucy dealt with spirits on a daily basis, but dealing with spirits that may or may not harm her and her friends was another matter entirely.
She groaned, running her hands over her tired eyes. When she opened them, a scream erupted from her throat.
"Natsu, what the hell do you think you're doing?!" She covered herself with as many bubbles as she could, but knew that he wouldn't care even if she started dancing at that very moment. He just wasn't that type of person.
"I couldn't sleep because I'm too excited," He said nonchalantly as Happy flew into the open bathroom door. The Exceed saw the blond in her state and made a beeline for the water to join her. Lucy grabbed the nearest bottle of shampoo and aimed for the cat, effectively knocking him to the floor.
She sighed, her face growing hot as she reached for a towel, "I was kind of in the middle of something. Can you, oh, I don't know, LEAVE?"
The pink haired man squinted his eyes, giving her a once over, and said, "Whatever, you weirdo," He waved before exiting the room, taking a still unconscious Happy with him, and leaving Lucy to her own devices for the time being.
Since when had she become so used to Natsu's random appearances that she allowed him to see her in the bathroom? Granted, she made sure that she was covered, but still. She decided that she must be insane.
After draining the tub sadly, she dried herself and put on her pajamas, knowing that Natsu would most likely start destroying her apartment if she waited too much longer.
"So, why exactly are you here?" She asked, moving into the kitchen for a small glass of water, "Are you guys hungry or something? Or did you just want to trash the place?" As she spoke, she took fleeting glances around to be sure nothing was too damaged. To her surprise, nothing was out of place aside from a dragon slayer and his cat lounging on her couch.
"I told ya we couldn't sleep. I'm too pumped to go fight demons tomorrow," Lucy could hear the smile in his voice and rolled her eyes.
"Sure, sure, but really, there has to be a reason," She eyed the pair skeptically, "Are you sure you didn't just get evicted or something?"
"Honest, Luce, you make it seem like I need a reason to come visit," Natsu scoffed, putting his sandal-ed feet up on the coffee table. He placed his hands behind his head and leaned back, "So about that food?"
Lucy couldn't help but laugh.
"Come on, Lucy, what's taking so long?" She could hear Gray whine from her living room. It was nearing one in the afternoon and they were supposed to be on their way to the train station in about half and hour. Time couldn't pass any more slowly.
However, she the knew longer she took, the more likely that Gray didn't particularly oppose because she was giving both he and Natsu ample time to raid her refrigerator. Lucy smiled and continued to rummage about her room for a few last minute items. Her eyes scanned over the list she had made who knows how many times just for jobs.
Change of clothes? Check. Toothbrush? Check. Undergarments? Check. Extra food in case Natsu decides he hungry? Check. Keys? Double check!
Satisfied, Lucy zipped her pack shut and joined her team in the living room. Her eyes widened at the sight of the three of her friends wrestling on the ground, running into all of the furniture and promptly tearing some of it to bits. Happy flew above them, acting as the mediator but clearly favoring Erza.
How did I not hear them?! Lucy thought as she slapped her hand against her forehead. I guess I'm losing my touch. I'm getting to attached if I'm becoming immune to them. Today the destruction of my humble abode. Tomorrow, the entire world. Fan-fucking-tastic.
"Guys," Lucy tapped her foot against the now scratched hard wood floors of her kitchen and waited for the fighting to stop. After a few moments of no change, she tried again, but a little louder, "Hey dumbasses! Stop trashing my stuff!" She screamed, her hands becoming fists at her sides as she shook. The three of them stopped at her sudden outburst; Erza's hands around Gray's neck, Gray's legs pinning Natsu to the ground, and Natsu biting Erza's ankle. How that happened, Lucy didn't want to know.
It took a matter of milliseconds for the three of them to realize their situation and to ready themselves to head out on their job. Lucy groaned as they grabbed their packs (Erza having more than all of them combined, but did you expect?) and headed out the front door. As soon as they left the apartment complex, they headed toward the train station, much to Natsu's dismay.
"Come on, guys, I picked the job; I think I should choose how we get there!" Natsu whined as they inched closer and closer to the station. His face was twisted into a frown, eyes pleading. They all knew that he hated any form of transportation, so why would they choose to take a train on a mission he picked? Maybe they secretly hated him. Natsu pondered the possibility of the idea.
"It's only logical to take the train. It's much faster and, if we walked, we would need to walk for four or five days through the mountains," Erza spoke as she pulled her luggage cart behind her. For her, it weighed as much as a feather, but to any of the other four travelers, it would be a daunting task to carry her things.
"Natsu doesn't look so good," Happy said, flying overhead near his best friend and watching him with curious eyes.
"We haven't even gotten on the train yet!" Gray laughed, poking fun at the usually boisterous and fearless pink haired dragon slayer that was being reduced to a puking idiot at the mere sight of a train.
Lucy looked back at her partner and knew there was nothing to worry about, but couldn't help feeling sorry for him. She shook her head, mumbling something like "Stupid Natsu", and made her way to the designated train next to Erza with Gray pulling Natsu not too far behind.
"Natsu, we're done moving; you can stop swaying and acting like you're going to die anytime now," Lucy chastised lightly, a smiled on her face. Gray and Erza laughed beside her while said man grumbled and put his arms across his chest.
"Very funny, Luce," He muttered, still not happy with the "after travel" banter between his teammates.
"Oh, come on, have a sense of humor!" Lucy covered her mouth, trying to hide the giggles on her lips. Natsu stayed silent, which was odd considering it was Natsu, and he shifted his pack, ignoring them completely. The blond pursed her lips in thought. What was wrong with him? If their taunts bothered him, why didn't he say something? Why hadn't Gray or Erza picked up on any of this? Or was she just paranoid?
She shook her head, thinking, You're just being silly. Nothing's wrong, really. If it were, someone else would have noticed and said something about it. She felt for her keys on her belt and the instant that the cool metal brushed her fingertips, a comforting feeling rushing through her for a brief moment. Still, the strange feeling that something was off wouldn't leave her.
Lucy's eyes glazed over in thought as Erza continued to lead the group toward their destination. After a few minutes of silence, they arrived at the forest at the base of the mountains. The trees appeared to stretch into infinity as they neared them and the temperature seemed to drop a few degrees. She noticed Erza stop, stiffening as she formed a tight fist with her hand.
"Erza?" Gray asked, knowing that something must be amiss if Erza had changed her demeanor so suddenly.
"We keep going. That village is depending on us to remove their curse and rid them of the demons," She said with a monotonous voice and hard eyes. Lucy glanced at Natsu, a smirk on his face at the sign of possible danger and adventure. She could have laughed out loud had it not been for the fact that there was an unshakable feeling of impending doom looming over the group.
She knew she hadn't been imagining things now that everyone else had affirmed her suspicions. However, saying "I told you so" didn't seem appropriate.
NOTES. Geez. This is gonna be angst-y and I'm not even sure where it all came from. It was originally inspire by "Heavy in Your Arms" by Florence + the Machine but WHERE DID THIS COME FROM? I don't even know. smh. All well. I know this isn't much, but it's just the introduction to the story. I'm thinking this is going to end up being around 10 chapters or so. The others will be longer (maybe around 4 or 5000 words). I'll update again probably in about two weeks! Until then, loves!
REVIEWS ARE LOVED Y'ALL.