Unlikely Herosim

Chapter 2

Erza felt humiliated for underestimating that shadow guy and being beaten so easily. Her hands and feet had been bound by some kind of rope that gave off an intense magical energy. She wouldn't be able to ex-quip any of her weaponry or armor.

She was led further into the city by the massive shadow hand that defeated her. With narrow eyes the redhead looked around at the other buildings in the city. There were a few shiny, towering skyscrapers but not many like normal cities. Instead there were more strip clubs, bars, restaurants, and other entertainment buildings than were necessary. She looked down at the wizard walking beside the slowly moving shadow hand and wondered just what he was going to do to her. Worse, what had he done with Lucy?

After a good hour or so, they stopped moving in the middle of a four-way intersection right above a manhole. Erza gave the shadow wizard a strange look as if to ask what they were doing here, but the man just smirked as he walked over and removed the top from the manhole. He turned back to his captive, and raised his hand as if to do more magic. He snapped his fingers.

The giant hand instantly released its hold on the armored girl and she went falling straight into the dark abyss. She did not scream but took in a sharp breath and then landed with a thud at the bottom. Groaning, she pulled herself upright and looked around, trying to see something in the darkness. Above her, the light shrank and finally disappeared as the top was slid back over the hole, leaving Erza now in complete darkness.

"Hello?!" she yelled and wasn't surprised when her loud voice echoed, proving the space she was in to be large and empty. Her only response was the sounds of dripping water and the soft clicking of fingernails from unseen rodents.

Damn... she thought, I had hoped Lucy was down here. What if she is down here but they drugged her or something? Or she could have been beaten until she was knocked out!

All the possible things that could have happened to her blonde-haired friend went through her mind and she wished they would go away. She tried to assure herself that she was being ridiculous, but to no avail. She shut her eyes tightly in the hopes that would help but it only made the images more vivid in her mind.

"I have to make the best of the situation I'm in..." she muttered under her breath and then began slowly inching her way forward with what limited movement she could achieve. Only after moving about three feet, Erza felt her face hit something hard, cold, and thin. It was a pipe... no a bar, standing vertically in front of her. She moved her face over a few inches and discovered another right next to it. She was in a cage. The redhead cursed under her breath.

It was then that Erza remembered that the top of the cage was open since she had fallen into it. Perhaps she could use that to her advantage somehow? But how far up did the bars go until they reached the opening? The first thing she'd have to figure out is how to remove the bonds. For the first time in her life Erza wished she was a little bit more girly so she would have a nail file with her to use to file the rope off. She sighed, trying to think of some other way to get them off.

Suddenly, interrupting her thoughts, a bright light shone through the bars of the cage and into Erza’s eyes. She held up her hands and squinted in a last ditch attempt and block out the light.

"Erza? Erza is that you?" came a familiar voice.

"Lucy...?" Erza asked. The light moved away from her face and was pointed towards the ground, leaving enough light to be able to see the blonde girl standing before her. "Lucy, it's you!" Erza exclaimed and stepped up to the bars.

"God I'm so glad you're alright! Let me help you get out of there," she said as she placed the lantern on the floor. Lucy plucked a thin bobby-pin from her hair and walked over to the cage's lock and used the hair accessory to pick the lock and let the cage door swing open. Quickly, she jumped inside and undid the ropes around her friend's ankles and wrists.

Erza rubbed her wrists where the ropes had been and smiled up at Lucy. "C'mon," the blonde said, getting up and taking the lantern with her, "I know the way out."

"Did they do anything to you?" the armored woman asked as she followed the stellar-spirit mage out of the jail and down the damp corridor.

"They captured me and brought me down here like they did to you. I escaped and started looking around. I heard a scream, so I came looking and found you," she replied still heading forward without a hint of emotion on her face. Erza narrowed her eyes in confusion; this wasn't how things were supposed to go. Lucy was supposed to be scared and trembling behind the red-haired warrior while she gallantly strode forward, assuring her friend that there was nothing to be afraid of. Why was she being so brave? Had she really trained that much that she had let go of all her fear during a mission?

Despite her unusual behavior, Erza was glad that the blonde was safe and was happy to be with her. She kept catching herself staring at the girl instead of paying more attention to their surroundings. There could be booby traps around here and it would be all her fault if Lucy fell victim to one. Despite this knowledge, the redhead could not take her eyes off of that blonde hair and curvy figure.

The light from the lantern illuminated the girl's body and Erza felt her cheeks flush a bit every time her skirt accidentally rode up. "Um... Lucy..." Erza said, feeling like she should let her about her skirt issue, but when she looked back at her, she found herself unable to say what she wanted to.

"What is it, Erza?" she asked.

"I, um... wanted to tell you..." she gulped and blurted out, "that you look really nice..."

Lucy just stared blankly at her friend, unsure of what to make of the comment. "This isn't the time to be admiring me, Erza. We're kind of in enemy territory here." With that, the blonde turned back around and continued forward.

Erza felt her face burn, and she was suddenly glad for the darkness surrounding her. It wasn't like herself to show such weakness or embarrassment, what had come over her? But before she could think on the matter any longer Lucy interrupted her thoughts.

"Alright, we're almost to the exit, just turn here and there should be an opening at the end of this tunnel," she said as she stood before the opening to a tunnel and motioned for Erza to enter. Having recovered from her embarrassment, Erza walked past Lucy and into the tunnel.

As she did so, Erza’s arm brushed against her arm—ever so slightly—and wasn't surprised that it was cold: they were in this damp, dark place. What did surprise her, however, was that even though her skin was cold, there were no goosebumps, nor was her hair standing on its end. Erza turned forward again, not saying anything, and headed deeper into the tunnel. She heard Lucy's footsteps behind her.

"Lucy, I don't see any opening. Are you sure this is the right tunnel?" Erza asked.

"Oh I'm sure, it's covered up by a huge rock at the end, we just have to move it and we're out."

"But wouldn't you have moved the rock yourself to know that it was the exit?" Erza said looking over her shoulder at the girl. She really wasn't making much sense today.

"I moved it back so that that old man didn’t notice it was out of place." She shrugged.

Lucy pointed to the end of the tunnel and it didn't take very long for the warrior to move the boulder with her inhuman strength. But instead of seeing a blinding ray of sunlight like Erza had expected, there was only more darkness.

"Lucy, you picked the wrong tunnel, this isn't the outside, it's just—" Before she could say another word, Erza was caught by surprise when a large hand was clamped over her mouth and her body was grabbed by the waist and forced into the room behind the boulder.

The armored woman struggled to break free but whoever was holding her had a vice grip on her. She looked to Lucy for help but when she saw the blonde girl, all the color drained from her face. Lucy had a demon-like grin on her face that sent chills down her spine.

"Good work, Cecile," a voice from within the room said.

Cecile? Erza thought as she watched Lucy’s twisted grin. Suddenly, she gasped—or what she could make of a gasp with the man's hand over her mouth—as she watched “Cecile”, turn from the cute, blonde-haired girl into a tall, dark-haired woman with black lips and piercing red eyes. She wore very revealing clothes and knee-high, lace-up high-heels. A doppelganger.

"Thank you, Master," Cecile replied to the voice. She then looked Erza straight in the eyes and smirked. "You're so pathetic. Are you really Erza the Titania? You're weak enough to have some cute little schoolgirl crush on your friend," at this she transformed back into Lucy and made a distressed face. "Oh Erza... come save me! Please!"

The redhead felt rage inside her flare and she bite the hand that held her tongue and shouted, "What did you do with Lucy?!"

"My, my, protective aren’t we?" Cecile said, turning back into her normal form.

"Tell me where she is!"

"What shall I do with her, Master?" Cecile said looking past Erza.

"Throw her in the dungeon with the others." Erza forced the arms off of her body and whirled around to see who this "Master" was. Before her was a massive chair overshadowing the entire room and a shadowed figure sat in it, petting an orange cat.

The same pair of steel arms wrapped around Erza's body and dragged her away from the shadowed man before she could so much as ex-quip her sword. The only thing she could do was go willingly to the dungeon and hope Lucy was there.


As much as the fire mage detested showers, he absolutely had to take one to wash off the dirty boxer germs and the... other kinds of germs from his face. He made sure to scrub his face about a hundred times before turning off the water, stepping out, and wrapping a towel around himself. He dried his body and pink hair then walked over to the mirror hanging on the wall in his bathroom to stare at his reflection.

Natsu narrowed his eyes at the boy in the mirror and watched as he copied his actions. His eyes averted to his redish-pink lips where he had been kissed. He blushed slightly, remembering what had happened not ten minutes ago and he forced himself to look up at his reflection's eyes again. But as he stared hard into his pupils, he couldn't help but raise his hand and gently touch his lips; they were soft from the hot water of the shower. It was strange though, normally his lips were cracked and chapped from the countless times he'd eaten fire or throw it in an enemies' face from his mouth.

The boy shook his head and turned away from the mirror. He quickly got dressed and walked downstairs to the main guild area where everyone was talking and having a great time. Not feeling his usual, hyper-active self, Natsu didn't join in with everyone. Instead he sat down at the bar across from Mirajane.

Upon seeing the boy's not-so-pleasant face, Mirajane gave a small smile to try and lighten his spirits, "Why the long face Natsu? Aren't you usually causing some kind of trouble this time of day? Or are you upset because Erza made you clean your room?" She giggled, but when the pink-haired boy didn't respond, she stopped and frowned. "Natsu... what's wrong?" she asked, her voice now filled with concern.

Natsu looked up at the white-haired girl. He knew she was genuinely concerned for him and would probably go around telling everyone something was wrong with him if he didn't spill. He sighed and laid his head on the countertop, "It's just... I'm confused, that's all."

"Confused about what? Do you think I could help you?"

"Not really..."

Mirajane was unsatisfied with Natsu's answer and didn't know what more she could do to help her friend. She didn't normally like to talk or gossip about other people's business, but Natsu was like family and she couldn't let him sit there with a frown on his face just because he was unsure of something. She had to get someone to help, and as soon as she was positive Natsu couldn't see her, she disappeared to go find Makarov.

About fifteen minutes later, Natsu was still moping at the bar when a short, elderly man with a funny hat and shoes, and a big, white mustache approached him. The fire mage averted his eyes down to the short man and his frown deepened. "What do you want?"

Makarov, the guild master, cleared his throat before speaking. "Mirajane told me that something is troubling you." Natsu mentally cursed himself for letting Mirajane get away with telling the old man about his problem. He looked down at the man again, knowing that he could beat it out of him if he needed to. Although he looked old and frail, Makarov was actually very powerful and could reduce Natsu to a pulp.

"This has nothing to do with you, old man, it's my problem," he finally said.

"I think it does have something to do with me. You belong to my guild; therefore your problems are my problems. Now tell me what's bothering you before I kick your ass." The mustached mage took a seat on the stool beside Natsu and smiled at him, waiting for him to begin talking.

There's no weaseling out of this... thanks a lot Mirajane... Natsu thought and lifted his head off the counter. "It's about Gray..." he said, making sure to avoid all eye contact with him. Suddenly, Makarov burst out laughing, something Natsu was not expecting. He glared at the man and shouted, "Hey, what’s so funny, old man?!"

"Did Gray finally kick your ass, Natsu?" he said wiping a tear from his eye as he continued to chuckle.

"No! Like I would ever let that asshole ever kick my ass!" he exclaimed and then slowly his rage calmed down as he thought back to earlier that day and felt his lips tingle. Instinctively, he brought his fingers to his lips once more. Makarov noticed them and instantly stopped laughing as he stared at the pink-head.

"Natsu?" He shook his head and looked down at Makarov.

"Huh, oh sorry."

"What exactly happened with Gray?" he asked, not sure if he wanted to hear the answer.

"Well... we were cleaning his apartment because Erza told us to and he made me clean up all his dirty clothes on the floor. He came over and started waving his filthy underwear in my face and I was trying to back away from him but he kept coming closer and then I slipped... and he fell on me..." His fingers wandered to his lips again.

At first, the guild master didn't know how to respond to this and he looked away from Natsu, whose face was growing slightly pink. "Well, um... I don't think this is something I can help you with, Natsu."

"That's what I tried to tell Mirajane but she wouldn't listen!" Natsu exclaimed.

Makarov glanced up at the fire mage and asked the question that was on the tip of his tongue. "Well... is it really a problem? It was only an accident, right?" Natsu nodded. "You didn't like it did you?"

The two stared at each other for seemingly forever. "Well... I..." Natsu stammered.

"Alright, why don't you sort it out with Gray?!" Makarov interrupted suddenly. He dashed off before their conversation could get any more awkward than it already had. Natsu was left to stare after him. He sighed. Maybe he should talk it out with Gray? Because if Grey didn't like it, he certainly didn't like it! He got up and made his way up to Gray's apartment with renewed confidence. But when he reached his door and went to knock, all of his courage abandoned him and he ended up fleeing to his own room.