Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or Fariy Tail. Bleach is owned by Tite Kubo and Fairy Tail is owned by Hiro Mashima!
Cure to Emptiness
Chapter 6: Sunrise
xxx Next day during the late morning xxx
Natsu Dragneel, also known as Salamander was one of Fairy Tails most well known members. He was easy to point out especially with his distinct pink hair. Beside him was his best friend and companion, the blue cat Happy. The said cat was very different from the average feline as he had many special … abilities compared to the ordinary cat. First was his color, blue and that he usually walked with only two legs. The most peculiar thing about him was that he had the ability to speak also his ability to produce small angel like wings that allows him flight. Earth Land was really a strange world.
At the moment Natsu along with Happy were on their way to Gildarts' place after receiving the message the crash mage asked Lucy to pass to the Salamander. He was really excited about what Gildarts had stored for him, wondering if the red haired mage brought with him some souvenirs from foreign lands. Happy was also showing the same level of enthusiasm but was more concerned about the exotic fish that Gildarts might have with him.
The two were not walking alone however as they were accompanied by several other people. The first one to be easily noticed through her scarlet red hair and wearing her usual Heart Kreuz armor, Erza Scarlet well known to others as Titania; Queen of Faeries followed Natsu and Happy to where Gildarts lived as to find out the result of the battle with that Ulquiorra person from yesterday.
Same reason was the purpose of why the ice mage Gray Fullbuster followed them as well. He was also hoping that the stranger was there with Gildarts since he did not have enough time last time to get a proper look at him. At this moment however he managed to stay with his clothes on, but it was only a matter of time before they're gone.
Last to follow the group was the blonde celestial mage, Lucy Heartfilia. Though her reason was quite different from the other two; she wanted to get a closer look at the man that was known as the Ace of Fairy Tail. Though there was also the hint of curiosity like Erza and Gray.
"Ne Happy? You think what he got for me is some rare flame from a foreign country?" Natsu happily said while walking like a very happy man
"Aye! Natsu I wonder too but maybe he's got some fish for me too" Happy answered letting a single drop of drool run down his mouth
"You two are acting like children" Erzas stern voice told them
"You're one to talk!" both Natsu and Happy exclaimed because Erza was also showing a little childish face of excitement
Lucy who noticed how happy and excited her friends were decided to ask Gray
"You guys sure are very attached to Gildarts" she told him
"Yes he's one of the mages in the guild that most of us look up to; he's a father figure like Master" Gray answered while smiling
"I see, that is really nice to hear" Lucy smiled as well and she could feel her heart become warm
It was nice to get to know more of her new family.
It took them some more minutes before they reached Gildarts' place. Lucy could not help but to shed a single sweat drop at the state of the "house". For someone of high status like Gildarts, one would expect him to have a fair place to live in; this however was easily proven wrong. It was more of a small shack than a house; and by the state of it, it looked barely standing. All over the walls were some small cracks and most of the house paint was gone revealing the reddish and brownish brick foundation underneath.
"Been a while since I visited this place!" Natsu said loudly while giving a wide toothy smile
"Very true since it has been a long time since Gildarts came back" Gray acknowledged
"I expected more though" Lucy mumbled showing a comical disappointed face
"Yosha! Let's not wait any longer!"
Natsu shouted and ignited his right fist into flames, he was ready to smash the door asunder then surprise Gildarts. But before he does it, he got hit hard on the back of his head by Gray's fist.
"Baka!" he said to Natsu
"Huh? You wanna go popsicle?" There was a vain pop on Natsu's forehead
Both of the guys' fists radiated each of their respective magic. Natsu's fire dragon slayer magic and Gray's ice make magic. Before they could start however, both felt a very uncomfortable aura resonating from a certain scarlet red haired beauty. As fast as they were about to start fighting, both of them put their arm on the other's shoulder and started acting like best friends.
"No problem eh Natsu?" Gray said nervously
"Aye sir!" Natsu copied Happy's usual set of words and looked as nervous as Gray
Lucy who watched all this happen simply sighed at the usual antics of her guild mates; but she was relieved that Erza's presence prevented both the two from fighting causing yet more collateral damage for the guild to handle.
"I guess I'll be the one to knock then" she sighed again and approached the wooden door
The blonde celestial mage took a deep breath before she knocked on the door. First there was no answer then she knocked again and yet again no answer. By now both Natsu and Gray stopped dancing around and Erza looked very serious. Lucy decided to knock one more time but she was interrupted by some muffled sentences.
"The doorfhm … ish open!" said the voice which the group quickly recognized as Gildarts
Natsu smiled enthusiastically and went fast past Lucy and slammed the door open. To Lucy's surprise, the inner area of the small house was actually well lit; enough for her to see every detail of the interior. Just like the outside of the house, inside was also filled with cracks and not to mention the spider webs that were hanging on the walls, shelves, cabinets and the ceiling. There were some bottles laid down on the floor most of them empty, as well as papers. The floor was made out of worn hard wood; in the middle of it was a big old rectangular carpet that was colored musty grey. In the corner there was an old ran down fireplace, its bricks mostly covered in ashes and was the color of coal; in front of it was an old armchair that was big to fit the crash mages' physique. On the walls hung some pictures, one in particular was an old picture of the guild depicting most of the known members in their younger years. Along with the pictures were finished job requests. At the end of the main house space was a doorway that probably leads to another room, but it was obscured by a green drape. Well the interior really complemented the exterior that's for sure.
"Gildarts! You told me to come meet you" Natsu said with high excitement in his voice
"Hang on a second" they all heard Gildarts say followed by some shuffling behind the drapes
After a few more minutes of shuffling and some occasional crashes Gildarts emerged from behind the drapes; what greeted the group of younger Fairy Tail mages was something entirely unexpected.
"Huh it looks like I have a bigger amount of guests today other than Natsu and Happy" Gildarts said when he noticed that every single one of them stared at him with wide eyes. He then remembered that despite his large cloak covering his entire body, he failed to hide the bruises and bandages he had on his face; I'm gonna get drowned with questions by these youngsters ehehe; sorry master guess I won't be able to keep it a secret after all Gildarts sweat dropped to himself.
xxx After some minutes of explaining xxx
It was rare for someone like the famed Erza Scarlet to be weary. She was Titania, Queen of the Fairies and the current strongest female member of the guild. But what has been revealed to her was much unexpected and certainly nerve racking. Gildarts, Fairy Tails' strongest mage, even counted amongst one of the best mages in the whole of Fiore; was defeated. What made it more unnerving was that the man that defeated the famed Ace of Fairy Tail was a complete stranger. She would've been sure that a person with such strength would have a large reputation. Gildarts…defeated the words would normally not add up in the annals of words that was used in the guild; but the fact that Gildarts' face was heavily bruised and the way he carried himself during the moment begged her to differ. She could easily notice the slight limp that the red haired mage had as he made his way towards his arm chair.
Another thing that made the scarlet haired warrior lady was the fact that she did not sense magic in him yet he managed to defeat Gildarts. It made her slightly frustrated at how secretive Gildarts had been about the whole fight; he did not even give them specific details of how the fighting went. She wanted answers! Where was this man from? How did he manage such a feat?
But in another part of her she felt a huge (and I mean huge) sense of relief that such a person was now a part of the guild. At the moment the guild was lacking in numbers in terms of their S-class mages. Before Gildarts came back the only S-class mages were herself, Mirajane though she was not active, and Mystogan; it was a sad day when Laxus was exiled despite the havoc that he caused. Also it was good to have someone like him on their side rather than the opposite. She was also glad that the Master did not give the new strange member of the guild an S-class position despite his strengths. Fairy Tail was built on a foundation of family meaning trust and a heart are valued more than just pure strength.
The tensed and serious mood was suddenly interrupted by Natsu who once again ignited his flaming fist.
"I knew that guy was strong! He defeated Gildarts too! Next time I meet him I'll get him to fight me!" he declared loudly
This would usually trigger some comical reactions but this time no one dared say a word even Happy.
"Natsu" they all heard Gildarts say his voice this time was a little different and almost intimidating due to the seriousness of its sound
"Don't challenge Ulquiorra blindly, most of us in the guild are used to your challenges but Ulquiorra is new to our family he has yet to know the traditions and normal norm inside the guild. I advise you to not challenge him like you usually challenge me or Erza for you won't come out of it un-injured" Gildarts said to Natsu
Natsu tried but was quickly interrupted by Gildarts who slightly raised his voice causing the dragon slayer to step a single step back. Seeing this made Gildarts sigh a bit.
"Natsu, I don't want anyone to get hurt. Let Ulquiorra warm up and settle in to the guild first understood?" Gildarts said, this time; his voice carried a sense of calm and fatherly warmth to it
"Yes Gildarts" Natsu said while looking down on the floor, his expression showed signs of guilt
"But to think that he defeated you Gildarts is still shocking and chilling at the same time" Gray said crossing his arms on his bare chests
"Gray your clothes!" Lucy said to the now almost naked ice mage who was now only wearing a pair of boxers
"Whoa!" Gray exclaimed while looking down at himself, this somehow lightened the mood in the area as everyone was turning back to their usual selves
"Nah you guys, don't be scared of him! He might seem to be a weird guy but he's nice" Gildarts said with a carefree smile
"Somehow I find it hard to believe that" Lucy said feeling the chill down her spine as she remembered her first encounter with Ulquiorra Cifer
"Ah miss, you must be new to the guild" Gildarts said towards Lucy who was startled a bit
"It's Luigi Gildarts!" Natsu answered while chuckling a bit followed by Happy's "Aye!"
"It's Lucy!"Shouted the blonde comically
"So where is Ulquiorra from Gildarts?" Erza asked as she wanted some of her questions answered
"I'm afraid I can't answer any of that Erza" Gildarts simply smiled
"Why not? You already told us something that was supposed to be a secret between you, Master and that Ulquiorra person; so why just not tell us everything you know about him?" Gray asked, he still haven't put on his clothes yet
"Because it is his own privacy Gray let him be the one to tell ya folks who he is and where he is from; just don't push too hard" the red haired mage replied the others nodded in understanding
"One last question though Gildlarts" Erza asked
"That ominous … weather, yesterday; was it his doing?" she voiced her question finding it hard if it was right to call it weather
They looked at him expectantly for an answer and saw him turn his gaze down on the old wooden floor of his house as if contemplating about something.
"I did not know that it reached back even as far as Magnolia for I was certain that we were a very good distance away from the city" Gildarts' voice was aerie silent
Cold sweat ran down everyone's brows and they all gulped at that response. They all remembered the feeling once the green rain poured down on them (well except for Natsu who was still unconscious at the time). But for Erza who was better at sensing things than the others; it created a more serious reaction. She easily felt the way it easily overpowered the power she sensed from Gildarts. Before she was weary, now she was feeling fear. Not just fear of the immense strength this Ulquiorra had, but fear of the unknown. That was why she wanted Gildarts to give them a more specific answer rather than keeping most of the details from them. Seriously who is this guy? Unknown to her the same question ran through Gray's head.
"Enough of that guys! Gildarts you said you wanted to talk to me!" Natsu said loud not reading the expressions of his friends and broke the once again serious mood
Before Gildarts could say anything they heard a familiar voice in their head. It was Warren, one of their fellow guild members who have the caster-type magic telepathy which allowed him to communicate mentally with other people.
"Uhm Erza-san, Master is calling for you and is saying that you meet him in the guild right this moment" Warren said
"Ah Warren! It's been a long time! I see you improved your magic hahaha good work kid" Gildarts made a ridiculous comical face turning his head from right to left as if looking for where Warren was
"Hello Gildarts-san thanks a lot! Really cool I got praise from you!" Warren's voice was genuinely happy
"Well that's it I'll see you guys later in the guild" Warren said with his still happy voice before severing the telepathic connection
"It looks like Master needs me I'm going back to the guild, really nice to be able to talk to you again Gildarts" Erza smiled before turning to exit the small house
"Yeah I guess I'll be going to the guild as well gotta do some jobs soon anyways" Gray said suddenly fully clothed once more
"Me too really cool meeting you Gildarts sir" Lucy said with respect
"Hahaha don't mention it and yes really nice being able to be back home again …" Gildarts gave a very nostalgic smile
"And oh! If you see Ulquiorra in the guild make him feel welcome!" he shouted after the three but did not get a direct response
They're all weary after hearing of my defeat, Master is going to be really mad at me; Gildarts sighed then turned to both Natsu and Happy
"Right the thing I was going to talk about ahaha" Gildarts said causing both the Dragon Slayer and blue cat to look at him expectantly.
xxx Guild Headquarters earlier than Natsu's group during their visit to Gildarts' house xxx
Mirajane Strauss was an easygoing and joyful young woman. She always carried herself in a very elegant yet relaxed way and she always had a sweet smile on her face. Her long white hair might seem odd for someone as young as her; but it was the contrary! It gave her more radiance; she was like a star glowing even during the day.
At the moment she was doing what she would always do during the start of the day: preparing the guild headquarters before the other members arrives and does what they usually do. She usually did it alone though since her brother Elfman was still probably in bed. But the young woman did not mind, she would sometimes enjoy the rare silent tranquility in the guild before the other members come and do their usual marrying; not that she thought bad of them, it was just that some peace and quiet was always welcome from time to time.
She opened the great guild doors and smiled at the dimly lit guild hall before her. Despite the usual brawls that happen during the day, the tables and benches looked always in good shape during the morning. Mirajane hummed a beautiful tune while making her way through the labyrinth of tables towards the bar and kitchen, to start making sure that all that was needed like beverages and food ingredients were well stocked. But then she noticed the door to the Master's room was open, a stream of orange and golden light shone through the opening indicating the late sunrise.
Perhaps Master slept in his office again; Mirajane thought. Makarov usually did such a thing because of all the paperwork he got from the Magic Council regarding all the property damage the guild made during missions. She smiled at the way the short old man worked hard for the sake of the guild; no better guild master could they ever wish for.
Mirajane slowly approached the room so to not suddenly disturb the maybe sleeping Makarov inside. She then reached the opening tilting her head to take a peek. But instead of find the old guild master face down on the table, she saw someone else. It was Ulquiorra Cifer, the stranger that Gildarts brought with him. The strange looking man had his back slightly turned against her but she still could see his face. He stood in front of one of the windows looking at the sun as it rose up into the sky.
Thinking that the man did not notice her yet, she began to take a closer look at his bizarre features. She found it very strange yet also very intriguing. Then there was that strange thing she sensed in him instead of sensing magic. Who are you and where are you really from Ulquiorra Cifer? Mirajane mentally said, she loved a good mystery it always drew her in.
She continued her observation on the mysterious man who stood right in front of the window, unmoving like a statue. He was bathed with the light of a late rising sun, making it as if Mirajane was staring at a painting. But despite the beauty of it, she knew that somehow something felt wrong. Yes it would look natural and could be considered a great piece of artwork if it was a painting, but it was not. His pale white figure with raven black hair and the morning sun created a good blend but it still felt too unnatural to her; as if he was not suited for the light of the sun instead she felt as if he was more suited for the dark; not the darkness of a night where stars illuminated the world, but darkness as in pitch black. This created a doubt of wariness in her growing curiosity warning the white haired beauty to be careful as to not become too curious.
Another strange thing she noticed was his expression. In her mind most people who stood there like he did would have a very calm and tranquil expression, enjoying the sight of the sunrise and being happy and warm while bathed by its early radiance. That was how most humans would react. But Ulquiorra stood there with none of it, not a single sort of happy emotion was traced on his face. Instead he had the same frowning expression like the first time Mirajane had seen him. Very unnerving for anyone of course but not to Mirajane, she looked into it with more interest and she wanted to know what was going on inside the head of Ulquiorra Cifer. But before she could continue her observation; the topic figure turned his head slowly towards her direction meeting her eye to eye.
"What do you want onna?" came his voice, his green cat like eyes boring into her own
If it was another person who got that cold stare from Ulquiorra, they would've trembled in fear. But Mirajane Strauss was an S-class member of Fairy Tail and was nicknamed "The Demon"; it would take more than a stare to properly unnerve her. But she still felt a slight uncomforting feeling by it, though she had to admit those eyes looked quite exotic.
"Ah I thought Master was sleeping in here again" Mirajane smiled showing that she was not unfazed by his stare
For a second she noticed the expression of Ulquiorra's look like as if he was surprised, though the little change was very subtle and you could only see it through his eyes. But it was merely a short second, too fast for less observant people but enough for the white haired young woman. It made her wonder what could've caused such a small hint of emotion. She blushed maybe there was something on her face.
"Makarov-sama went back to his house last night before leaving me here" Ulquiorra recovering from that millisecond surprise returning to his usual way of holding a conversation
"Makarov-sama?" Mirajane asked, it was a rare way to call the Master. Then it hit her, which would mean that Ulquiorra was a part of the guild now!
"Oh my, where are my manners! It means you are the newest member of Fairy Tail! Welcome, I'm Mirajane Strauss by the way" she gave the man in front of her a heart filled welcoming smile making herself shine like the sun.
"Ulquiorra Cifer" he introduced himself with a monotonous voice and little to none radiance like how Mirajane did
"Yes I know, I remember from when you first came here" Mirajane continued to smile but she did not notice the little discomfort it was doing to the arrancar
"What were you doing inside Master's office by the way?" she asked still smiling though there was a little hint of suspicion since one needed a permission to enter Makarov's office.
"I was left here by Makarov-sama last night since I have yet to find a place for me to live in, being new to Magnolia" Ulquiorra answered
Mirajane continued to smile. She liked the way Ulquiorra spoke of the Master, especially the way he pronounced "Makarov-sama". The way he said it almost betrayed what seemed to be his way of speech; almost emotionless. But she hid the other interest she had, if Ulquiorra was here and was a part of the guild now that meant that his fight with Gildarts went well; and just by looking at his figure it seems he had come out of it unscathed, though she noticed a few dirt stains on his white clothing but that was it. Now she was really interested on what happened.
There was an awkward silence between both of them for a moment. She was also getting slightly embarrassed at the way Ulquiorra stared at her. It was unlike the way most men would look at her. His was a more serious watch, calculating and maybe with a small hint of curiosity on what she could do. It was like he was staring right into her soul. That was why she decided to break the silence, severing the connection with his eyes towards the now almost full risen sun.
"I understand, it is takes a long time before you can find a decent place to live in here in Magnolia but I am sure you'll do fine" she said not letting her little embarrassment taint her sweet voice
As an answer Ulquiorra merely nodded and turned his gaze towards the sun once more.
"It's beautiful isn't it?" Mirajane said moving a bit to his side to get a better view
"It is the first time I have seen something like this" Ulquiorra merely answered without a tint of emotion
"Really?" Mirajane frowned at him looking for any hint of lying
"I speak the truth" Ulquiorra answered not taking his eyes off the sun giving not single glance at the woman that was standing beside him
"Well aren't you glad to finally see something like it now?" Mirajane gave him a smile, she was happy that he had finally experienced a sunrise
"A sunrise happens every day; it is not a rare occurrence that might happen perhaps once a year. I cannot see why it makes someone happy. When I look at it all I see is a giant ball of fire slowly raising in the distance" the arrancar said
This took Mirajane completely by surprise. She had never met someone like Ulquiorra; she quickly judged that this man right beside her had a materialistic view on the world. It would explain his mannerism; he showed little emotion and his facial expression would rarely change. Mirajane knew not to quickly paint a picture of another person just by their first encounter. But her feelings told her that she was being right about what her currently thoughts about this man were. She felt sad for him, someone who could not see beyond the physical pictures of things. Slowly she made her way closer to the window.
"It might not be something rare that could happen once a life time. But its beauty lays behind its meaning to the people who see it" Mirajane looked at the sun and basked at its light, then she turned around and met Ulquiorra's gaze
"It is a symbol of a new start a new kind of adventure, a symbol of life itself. When I see it, it makes me feel happy that it is a new day of me being alive as well as those whom I hold dear to me. It gives you a sense of fulfillment and purposes for your goals … don't you think it is something that is always worth to look forward to everyday so that you could see the beauty behind its meaning?"
Mirajane let out her most beautiful smile, making her shine even brighter than the rising sun. She saw the same small hint of surprise that he had earlier when they first spoke to each other, before it once again reverted back to his frowning expression. He then took out one of his hands out of his pocket and stared at it for a moment. Then he raised his gaze once more to hers and said a single non-hollow word.
"Oh shit I'm out of ideas for the omakes!" I yelled and grabbed a handful of my hair out of panic
"What should I do?! What should I do?!" I ran around my room like a headless chicken comical tears running down my cheeks
"Oy big bro shut up! I'm trying to study!" my sister shouted at me
"But it's still holiday sis" I shouted back
"Just shut up!" she yelled back again
"But don't you know how important this story is?" I could not hold in my panic, but then I heard someone knocking at my window so I went and checked who it was and to my surprise it was none other than Gin Ichumaru. I felt myself taking a few steps backwards against the wall and before I knew it Gin used shinpou and appeared a few centimeters from my face.
"I hear ya and I got some good ideas for ya" he grinned menacingly at me while putting a hand on my shoulder.
AN: Well here's the sixth chapter and I hope you all enjoyed it. Sorry that there's no action in this one but I promise you guys that the next chapter will be filled with action, depicting Ulquiorra's awesomeness.
I hope you guys like the way I wrote the first interaction between Mirajane and Ulquiorra, I chose not to write it in Ulquiorra's perspective and instead did it in Mirajane's point of view; but I'm not sure if it worked properly. But I plan on writing a little bit of this scene in Ulquiorras perspective on the next chapter. But there he'll mostly have more interactions with both Erza and Cana for the first time. So please let me get some of your feedbacks so that I can improve more on the story.
Oh yeah also the reaction to Gildarts' defeat! Was it too small? I chose to write it mostly on Erza's point of view since she had a higher way of perception than the others and also a better grasp of scale about strength. So let me know what you guys think about that as well please.
Lastly, I would like to thank all of the suggestions that you guys gave me regarding Ulquiorra's title and would like to inform you that I have decided on a name, which I think would fit him perfectly (I hope at least) and it will be revealed in the next chapter as well, so please be patient. Anyways thanks again for all your reviews and support and would appreciate to get more reviews so that I can improve on my writing. See ya all later!