Life After Near Death

BY : Rhov
Category: +. to F > Fairy Tail
Dragon prints: 12173
Disclaimer: Fairy Tail is the property of Hiro Mashima. I make no money, I just do this for my own pleasure.

Warning: This fanfic has spoilers for Chapter 394.

Life After Near Death

a Fairy Tail fanfic

by Rhov

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"Nothing can happen more beautiful than death."
― Walt Whitman


Chapter 1

Gray's Blood, Natsu's Tears

Natsu walked into the guild hall and glanced around. He was looking for someone naked, so he almost did not recognize Gray sitting at the bar with his white coat on.

"Yo, droopy-eyes! Time to go. Erza's already waiting at the train station." Natsu smirked and folded his arms. "Were you waiting for me, ice princess?"

Gray finished his drink and turned around to face the Dragon Slayer. "So what if I was?"

"You lookin' for a fight, one last duel before Erza makes us play nice?"

Gray laughed softly and shook his head. "She'll know we've been fighting again. She always does."

Natsu's eyes narrowed. "Are you running away from me, snowflake?"

Gray gave the Dragon Slayer a tiny smile. "You know I'd beat you."

"Like hell you would!"

Gray walked up to him and gazed down into those narrow eyes. "When we come back, I'll kick your ass so hard, I'll be tickling the inside of your belly button with my toes."

"Oh yeah! Well, I'll kick your ass so hard, you'll have to strip your shirt off just to take a shit!"

"I'll freeze you so thoroughly, you'll be pissing ice cream!"

"I'll burn you to such a crisp, they'll have to…"

"Hey!" Laxus snapped at both of them. "Are you two gonna annoy us with your arguing, or are you gonna get the hell out of here so you don't piss off Erza?" He settled back with his drink. "Stupid kids."

Natsu bristled at that. "Who are you calling stupid, you…"

Gray yanked Natsu by the scarf, choking off his insult before Laxus fried them both. He roughly pulled the Fire Dragon Slayer out of the guild. "Let's go, idiot."

"I'm not an idiot, asshole!" Together, insulting one another the whole way, the two left the guild hall.

Mira chuckled as she watched them leave on their mission. "They argue all the time, but don't you think Natsu and Gray make good friends?"

Laxus arched an eyebrow at her. "Have you been taking sips of the cooking wine again, Mira? The two are ready to kill one another."

"They act that way," she said with a wink, "but I think, when push comes to shove, they really would do anything for one another."


Their seemingly-simply mission had quickly turned into a disaster. Gray saw Lucy down already, and Wendy was kneeling beside her, attending what appeared to be a severely broken arm. Loke was out and fighting to protect her while Wendy did what she could for Lucy. Erza was nowhere in sight, off fighting what they assumed was the leader of this dark guild. Gray felt occasional bursts of heat, so he knew Natsu was in the area.

The enemy before Gray was a tiny old man, and he had been a fool to think such an ancient person would be frail. He had held back his hits out of a sense of respect, and that cost him, badly!

It … hurt.

No. He had been in pain before. Pain was something he was used to. He had been hit, kicked, stabbed, set on fire, and smashed so many times, pain was common. This … this was different. It was much worse.

Just breathing was a struggle. His vision threatened to black out. His leg … dear God, he wondered if he still had a leg. He couldn't feel anything!

When he looked down, the leg was still there, barely. He had magically frozen the wound almost as soon as it hit, knowing that something so bad must have hit at least an artery. As he took a moment to really look, the gash the enemy left showed him that this was not the sort of wound he could walk off. The enemy's shot had hit it directly. Skin and muscle were torn down to the bone, and it looked like maybe some of the femur was taken out as well. Most of his leg was … gone. Just gone. Blasted away. His pants were saturated in blood, and the ground under Gray was slick with shiny redness.

The leg was useless. Still, he had trapped the leg in ice to stop the bleeding and hopefully protect the exposed muscle and hint of bone. This was not the sort of injury one recovered from in a week or two. Gray hissed a curse as he realized that a wound like this could disable him for life.

No more missions, or not fighting ones, anyway.

The thought numbed him. He could not even conceive the idea that his days of fighting might be over.

"Gray!" Natsu shrieked, his voice cracking in horror.

Struggling with consciousness, Gray lifted his eyes, staring into the sadistic grin of his enemy. The old wizard was preparing another one of those fatal blasts, and this time Gray could not leap out of the way. If he moved his leg at all, he very likely might snap the shattered remaining bone. Besides, he could feel nothing below his thigh. He was stuck there, standing only because he could balance on the leg that was now a useless, numbed lump.

He saw the dark magic circle, watched the blast build up, and passively stared as a sparking black orb of magic propelled itself toward him. He had one chance at shielding himself. Normal ice did not work; he learned that the hard way. He dug down deep for all the magic he could muster.

"Ice Devil's Instantaneous Freeze!"

He tried to stop the oncoming black orb, but he felt his magic build, only to sputter. He had lost so much blood, he could not tap into his Second Origin anymore. He was too weak to pull off something as powerful as his Demon Slayer magic. The blast crackled with only a little ice, which stopped it from piercing, but it still slammed hard into Gray's shoulder, throwing him off balance.

"Shit!" he shouted as bones crunched in his shoulder and collar. His arm hung limply. He could feel nothing in his left arm. Hardly waiting, the old wizard powered up another black orb.

"Graaaay!"

'So, this is how it ends. Well that sucks!'

Gray was not going to close his eyes and wait for it. He stared Death in the face, steeled and ready. He felt oddly calm as he kept his eyes on the enemy. He would die fighting. That was good. He just wished he could die after defeating the asshole.

"Get out of my way! Gray! Graaay!"

The black orb of magic flew through the air toward him.

'My stomach. It'll take out intestines, gall bladder, probably a portion of my liver. It'll miss the spine, though. Dammit, it'll be a slow death. Why couldn't he aim for the chest? Make it quick.'

He watched as if in slow motion as the black orb came closer and closer. He already knew it was in vain—many of those black orbs had shattered his ice already, but he still tried desperately to shield himself. He made the thickest ice shield he could muster on his dwindling magic, but the orb smashed it like a pane of glass. Blackness slammed into his gut. He felt skin burn away, muscles tearing apart, and then just a sickening pressure in his inner body, where there were no nerves. Not pain there, just pressure. Then burning again out the back as the orb of magic exited with a splash of blood. A clean shot, straight through his body. It was so clean, so quick, Gray was still left standing.

He looked down, too stunned to speak or cry. There was a hole in his gut big enough to stick a fist through, with blood vessels and entrails dangling down. His mind felt totally blank as he watched blood gushing out.

Odd how much blood was in the human body.

"Graaaaaaaaaaay!"

One more shot pierced his body, this one aimed high, hitting his right chest. Again, not the left, not his heart, but something that would draw out his death. This old wizard was plain sadistic, hitting him like this. Gray felt air and blood gush out his mouth in a violent cough.

Another.

Another.

He no longer even felt the shots riddling his body with holes. His brain shut down all sensations of pain. Pain was everywhere. The brain did not need to know that there were more places that hurt.

"Oh God, no. Gray!"

Slowly, he fell backwards, like drifting on a cloud. His head landed on cool grass, and he looked up into a calm blue sky.

If only the world could be so peaceful.

Suddenly, there were flames all around him.

'Dammit, am I going to hell?'

However, as he looked up, he saw Natsu standing protectively over him. The Fire Dragon Slayer's face was more grim than Gray had ever seen. He was seething in fury. Those sharp eyes gleamed in the haze of fiery heat and reflected golden sparks of lightning. The scales of Dragon Force marked his skin, and his fists were clenched so tightly, the veins all up his arms stood out.

Deeply, dangerously, Natsu sneered at the enemy. "I'll fucking kill you!"

Then the heat moved away. Natsu pounced at the enemy, but Gray shut his eyes. He knew what Natsu's fights looked like. Besides, he really did not want to see the Dragon Slayer beat an enemy who defeated him. That was the ultimate insult.

He heard screams and roaring shouts as flames heated the area around him. Then Natsu was pushed back in the fight and stepped right on top of Gray's hand.

"Ow," he muttered, although considering all the rest of the agony wracking over his riddled body, the sandal standing on his fingers was hardly anything. It was an instinctual "ow" rather than one of true pain. Gray laughed weakly. Even his death was being screwed up by the destructive Dragon Slayer.

Then he smelled something sickening. Burning flesh! Gray forced his eyes open to see the enemy engulfed in flames. It was hardly surprising that Natsu would not pull his punches even against an old man. The boy had no concept of holding back!

Blackness welcomed Gray like gentle arms that caressed the pain away. It felt so sweet, sinking into those arms, away from the noise and agony. It was peaceful … just to sink…

Hands grabbed Gray up by the shoulders and shook him. That hurt! He wished Natsu would just let him lie there peacefully until the end. The view of serene sky was replaced by those sage-green eyes, no longer fierce, but filled with tears of terror.

"Gray! Oh … oh my God! No … please, no. Gray!" he shrieked.

"I … hear you … fine," Gray sputtered out. He hated the coppery taste of blood in his mouth.

"Hold on, Gray. Just … just don't die. Please, don't die." Natsu's face was torn at the sight of Gray with such a massive hole through him. "Oh my God," he sobbed. "Wendy! Wendy!" he screeched.

Gray felt himself shivering. His breaths came in jolts. One lung was gone. He kept choking on the blood gurgling up from the collapsed lung to his throat. Dammit, death took way too long.

"Gonna … go." Gray really had no clue what he was even saying anymore. Blackness swamped his vision. "So … c-cold."

"No…" Natsu sobbed over him. "Please, no. Don't."

"Gray!" That was Wendy's voice. "Let him go, Natsu. Lay him down gently. I … I'll try…" She gasped suddenly with a squeak. "Oh no!" Even her voice was frail with horror.

"Na- … -tsu." Gray had one thing he wanted to say. The darkness was swallowing him, but he tried to get the words out. "I … c- … I c- … ca- … luh … ugh!" He felt tears in his eyes. Just one thing he wanted to say, and he could not even do that. What a loser! "Cay … fuh … ouu, Na- … -tsu."

Did he say it? Gray could not even feel his own lips anymore.

"Natsu," Wendy ordered. "Cauterize this, quickly!"

Gray reached up and grabbed Natsu's scarf with the last of his strength, leaving red fingerprints on the white material. "Dun … f-for- … -get … Na- … -ts- … uhhh…"

He felt his hand drop, and then, for a moment, there was nothing. He did not even feel the constant thrum of his own heartbeat.

Emptiness.

No more pain, no more light, no more darkness. There were no sounds, no sights, no smells, no tastes, no feeling. Nothing. Utterly nothing.

Oblivion.

It was an oddly sweet feeling. Pure and utter nothingness. Yet soon, even that concept, a synapse still skipping around in his brain and thinking "Wow, I died" ceased to work.

Nothing.

Not even the awareness of nothing.

Death…

Next Chapter: "A Fragile Existence"


A/N: Welcome to my newest Gratsu story. This is a request from the multi-talented Moonlessnight126, who inspired other fics like "Super Psycho Love," "Regrets in the Crying Sky," and "Burning Bridges." I used this as my NaNoWriMo novel for 2014, and now it's here for your enjoyment. This will be one hell of an emotional roller coaster. I hope you're ready for it.


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