I do NOT own Fairy Tail, because I could never match up to the great Hiro Mashima. Ever.
A young Gray Fullbuster's eyes swept across the board displaying posters for job requests, obviously looking for one that he could accomplish. One of the posters caught his eye, and he reached up to grab it so he could get a better look at it.
"Stop rampaging kid?" Gray muttered as he stared at the poster, which displayed a shirtless boy with a white muffler around his neck and spiky hair the color of a sunset. The boy looked pretty angry for some reason, and was surrounded by fire in his picture. Gray thought that this was an exaggeration until he noticed that the details about the job described the boy as being a powerful fire mage for someone his age.
The mere fact that someone his age was that strong made Gray grin. The young ice mage knew that this job was perfect for him, because now he could fight someone who was possibly his equal, and test how strong he really was, since he too was a powerful mage for someone his age.
"Master!" Gray called out, "I'm taking this job," he declared to the aged guild master as he placed the job request poster in front of him. Makarov opened a single eye to look at the job request Gray was taking and frowned. "Stopping the dragon kid?" Makarov muttered, "I don't know Gray, I was thinking of taking this one for myself," he warned as he picked up the poster. "I don't care, I know I can beat him," The determined young ice mage said as he balled up his fists and spread his legs apart, showing his determination.
Makarov stared at Gray for a moment, then smirked. "Alright brat," he said as he placed the poster down, "You can go find this other brat and challenge him, but make sure you're dressed first." Gray looked down and discovered that his clothes had once more disappeared off his person, making him yelp and swear. 'How does this keep happening?' he wondered as he looked for his lost garments.
Natsu Dragneel could say with the utmost certainty that he absolutely hated humans for a plethora of reasons. One of those main reasons being that they didn't believe in dragons.
He now had a process that he was slowly and unwillingly getting used to: he would walk into a place with a lot of humans, like a bar, and demand to know if any of them had seen Igneel. One of them would ask what he looked like, and Natsu would respond by saying, "He's a big red fire dragon." Exactly one second of silence would ensue as the humans would stare at Natsu in surprise, who would then break that same silence as they all burst into laughter. They would all mercilessly jeer at the poor Dragon Slayer for believing in a creature that they thought was just a fantasy. Natsu would then proceed to start a bar fight and use his magic to beat the humans senseless, as well as give them some third-degree burns. Mages were harder to handle than the normal humans, since they had magic they could use to fight back with, and he'd been encountering more and more mages recently, something about it being their job apparently.
Another reason was that they wouldn't give him food unless he gave them something called money in return. Since he didn't have any, he had to resort to looking through garbage to find scraps he could eat, and he occasionally had to resort to using his magic to threaten the humans into giving him food.
He was currently walking around the town he had wandered into, looking for someone who might know where Igneel was, when he spotted a boy around his age with messy dark hair walking purposefully towards him. Perhaps he knew where Igneel was and was going to tell him where he could find him?
"Are you Natsu Dragneel?" the boy asked firmly, coming to a stop in front of Natsu. "Yeah, so do you know where Igneel is?" Natsu questioned, making the kid raise his eyebrow. "A big red fire dragon you mean?" he answered, making Natsu brighten. "So you know where he is?" he asked hopefully. The dark-haired boy only shook his head and said, "Nope, can't say that I do."
Natsu deflated at his response and noticed that the people around them were beginning to chortle, which, of course, made him angry. "WHAT ARE YOU LAUGHING AT HUH?" Natsu roared at the bystanders, which made them draw back in fear of the young boy. "Ah, now there's the reason why I came to stop you Natsu," the boy remarked, making Natsu turn his attention on him. "What do you mean by stop me?" the young Dragon Slayer questioned fiercely making the other boy smirk. "Well, you see, I'm on a job to stop a rampaging kid who uses fire magic and is asking about a dragon," he replied, making Natsu narrow his eyes at him.
"So you're another mage, huh?" Natsu snarled, making the boy smirk even harder. "Yeah, and I've come to stop you Natsu Dragneel," he declared, "I'm Gray Fullbuster, certified ice mage and member of the Fairy Tail guild, as well as the one who's going to defeat you."
Natsu smirked at Gray's declaration. "You are? I doubt it." Natsu retorted, thinking that Gray was just another mage who would be defeated after some effort.
With that, the two young boys flew at each other, beginning their fight.
A FEW DAYS LATER
Erza entered Fairy Tail's guild hall, looking for its resident ice mage. She had looked for him all over Magnolia, even in the men restricted areas, because she hadn't seen him for a few days and wanted to know where he was.
Finally giving up, she headed towards Makarov and asked him, "Master, do you know where Gray is?" making the old man crack open one eye to look at Erza. "He went on a job a few days ago, but it's strange. He should have been back by now, unless..." Makarov replied, thinking about what could have happened to the young maker mage. "What? What is it? What happened to him?" Erza questioned, worried about her guildmate. "Well, he went off to fight a fire mage about his age somewhere in Hargeon Town, but..." Makarov began, but got cut off. "Thank you!" Erza replied curtly, and ran out the door, no doubt headed towards the port town.
Erza walked through the streets of Hargeon Town, wondering where Gray could possibly be. 'He said Gray was fighting a fire mage, so I should look for signs of a battle,' Erza deduced, and immediately noticed that one of the nearby roofs was burned on one side, and had frost covering the other side. 'Were they here?' Erza wondered, finding more signs of fighting and following the trail of elemental clashes until she was stopped by a twitchy-looking man.
"Are you a guild mage miss?" the man asked as his eye twitched uncontrollably. Erza only raised an eyebrow at the odd man and replied by saying "Yes?" making him burst into tears and bow at her feet. "Oh please stop them miss, they've been the terror of this town ever since they started fighting here," he begged. "You mean my guildmate and his target?" Erza questioned. "I don't care who they are, just please get them out of our town miss," the hysterical man wailed.
Erza stared at the fear-stricken man before her and replied with a simple and hesitant, "Sure," before continuing to follow the trail. The trail eventually lead the young armor-clad girl to two exhausted young mages who were apparently still duking it out.
"Ice-Make: Lance!" Gray called out as he formed a lance made of ice that missed the Dragon Slayer completely, shattering on the ground behind him. "Fire Dragon Iron Fist!" Natsu yelled as he slowly ran toward the ice mage with his fist ablaze, only to trip a few paces short of Gray and faceplant in the dirt at his feet. Gray looked down at his opponent and tiredly asked, "Had... enough... flame-brain?" Natsu's response to this was to slowly stand up and sluggishly retort with, "Hardly... brain-freeze."
Erza stared at the two combatants and realized, 'They're both so tired that they're barely coherent!' She sighed, walked right up to them, and whacked Natsu over the head hard enough to knock him out. The young Dragon Slayer collapsed on the ground in front of the two Fairy Tail mages, completely unconscious.
Gray stared at the unconscious Natsu, then at Erza as she hoisted his opponent over her shoulder. It took a few seconds for the ice mage to process what had just happened. "WHAT THE HELL ERZA? HE WAS MY OPPONENT, NOT YOURS!" Gray yelled in anger at the calm redheaded mage. "You were both about to collapse Gray, I intervened only because I didn't want to carry the two of you at the same time," the young knight proclaimed.
Gray only glared at her, then looked down, and realized that he had lost his clothes once more. "Gyah! Not again!" he yelped as he began to search for his perpetually vanishing clothes.
Erza and Gray arrived back at Fairy Tail with a still unconscious Natsu in tow. Makarov opened his eye to see a bruised and burnt Gray, and an unmarked Erza carrying in an unconscious bruised shirtless boy whom Makarov recognized as Natsu Dragneel, the Fire Dragon Slayer.
"So Gray, did you defeat him, or did you need Erza's help in bringing him down?" Makarov asked playfully, teasing the poor young ice mage. "Oh shut up!" Gray snarled, clearly upset.
"Shh, he's coming to," Erza said. Sure enough, Natsu was waking up from his forced sleep. He slowly opened his eyes and raised his head on the barstool Erza had placed him on. He could vaguely remember fighting that Gray kid, throwing everything he had at him for the past few days. Suddenly, Natsu's mind got up to speed on what had happened. Namely, him being knocked out by some redheaded girl he had seen out of the corner of his eye.
He shot up from the stool, knocking it over in the process, and shouted, "WHERE ARE THEY?" which earned him a bop on the head from a giant fist, courtesy of one Makarov Dreyar. Natsu sank down to the floor clutching his head, muttering "Ow ow ow," several times over. "Calm down brat. Those two aren't your enemies and neither is anyone in this building," the old guild master admonished. Natsu looked up from his sitting position on the floor, noticing Makarov for the first time. "Who are you?" Natsu questioned the old man, who merely smirked in response and said, "I'm the guild master for the mage guild Fairy Tail."
The last two words Makarov said caught Natsu's ears, as he had heard Gray say them before. "Fairy Tail?" the young Dragon Slayer asked curiously, making Makarov grin.
"...And that's how we met Natsu," Erza said as she finished the story of how she and Gray had met Natsu.
Lucy, who had a wide-eyed look on her face at this point, turned her head to look at Natsu, who was currently gorging himself on some flaming food across the guild hall. "Natsu used to be a wanted criminal?" she asked incredulously. "No, not a criminal, just a lost kid with too much firepower," Gray replied. "Oh, right," Lucy said, a little ashamed of herself.
"Hey guys! Whatcha' talkin' about?" Natsu asked as he sat down with his teammates, having recently finished his meal. "We were just telling Lucy the story of how we met you Natsu," Erza replied. "Oh, I remember that!" Natsu recalls with a laugh. "What I don't get is how you two managed to fight for days on end," Lucy ponders. "Oh, we just happened to get hungry and tired at the exact same times as well as finish eating and wake up at the exact same times," Gray answers, "But I would have won eventually, of course," he says, jabbing at Natsu, who replied in turn, "No way stripper! I would have won!"
Lucy just giggles as Natsu and Gray begin to squabble once more, forcing Erza to silence them both by whacking them over the heads. 'Some things never change,' she thinks as she watches.
Author's Note: I can't believe I actually finished this whole thing in one night. Anyway, you all have a Merry Christmas!