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The Dragon in the Basement

Chapter Text

--- May, x799 ---

„Dad? “, Gajeels voice sounded through the door of the cave-designed room down in the cellar. “Dinner’s ready. Levy made Ramen.”

It was comfortable in that room, at least to me. I preferred it this way. It was quiet, mostly. Cool, and most importantly, all its walls were just like a cave. It didn’t have structure. It was wild yet calming and relaxing to be inside. I was not attuned to humanity, nor society at all. I guess that is why Gajeel and Levy are trying so hard to fix me. Granted it’s the only option they have left after they found out I survived that incident seven years ago. To this day no one except Fairy Tail and the Queen know that I am alive. That I somehow managed to find a way to survive the Ravines of Time…

“Yeah… I… I’ll be right there…”

I don’t exactly know how I managed to negotiate truce with Fairy Tail but I did it somehow. One day I just showed up there. It caused quite the fuss, and even that is an understatement. But somehow, over the course of the last seven years I managed to build up a sort of mutual trust with that guild. Makarov, still kicking it despite his age, was the pulling factor in that. And so was Levy.

Her ability to see the good in people indiscriminately was helpful. Not to mention….

That damned Celestial Mage that dares look like Anna… God damn her for twisting me!

“Tsk…”, I heard my own voice sounding through the room and the wall I punched against crack under the force.

Was this even the right choice I made two years ago? Revealing myself to them? Everything that happened? Maybe I should have just called it quits with my life back then… NO! That wouldn’t be me. I’m the Dragon King for fuck sakes! Then again what am I doing now?

I looked up at the wall, several rock pieces rolling over that artificial metal left hand and tumbling down to the ground. Closing my eyes, I listened to the rocks hitting the ground. I let go, letting myself fall onto the blanket I had on the ground. My room didn’t have a bed, it used to have one, but Levy decided to get rid of it after I kept ignoring it and falling asleep on the stone ground on my cape like I used to back when I was alone. The only thing in my room was the door leading to the staircase up to Gajeels house, a closet that was filled with more bottles of alcohol than clothes, a secret door created by a few guild wizards that leads out of Magnolia, a messy desk with piles of plain and messed up paper, pens and pencils (I took a liking to drawing as it was literally one of the only things keeping me entertained during all those years alone), and clothes scattered on the ground in between empty bottles of alcohol, scribbled on paper, and a few pillows and several more blankets thrown into a corner staring back at me with a memory of a knife stuck in them. I was surprised I could even see what I remember with eyes barely open and vision blurred from too much Sake in my bloodstream.

It was almost satisfying remembering that knife pierce the red pillow it was stuck in. I raised my right hand to my left side of my jaw and let my fingers run across the long, stitched wound just under it that ran from just under my ear all the way down my throat to the collarbone. One week ago, I was drunk just like now, angry, but there was nothing to let loose on. I was depressed, ready to scream out, but no one there to hear me. I was empty, and nothing to fill it. I spotted the faint red mark on the ground I left when collapsing on it. I picked up a paper, on it a picture of my family, half of the paper stained by a dark shade of red.

Gajeel, Levy, Shutora, Yaje…

It was made with coal. I didn't have much for colors even though I can use them decently now. A closer look revealed how many times I had crumbled it up and torn apart out of rage only to try and fix it later. Even now that half of it was stained with a deep red and the coal on that side having flown away practically erasing Gajeel and Shutora. For a second I wondered how the tape was still stuck and keeping this family together. Even if my son and granddaughter were barely visible anymore

What a pathetic King I became. Broken even more than I already was yet living a life I had always desired. A family. But here I am destroying it by letting lose on everything that allowed me to feel something and trying to drown it somehow when I started feeling too much.

Before I gained control of my intoxicated self my right arm was reaching out to the unfinished bottle of sake next to the blanket and emptying it in one breath. Despite dragon senses enhancing my eyesight to beyond human nature, my vision faded until I couldn’t even see what was on the paper I still held with my other hand. Black dots covering my field of view. The last thing I remember being conscious of was me falling over as Gajeel knocked and opened the door to my cellar room.

There I was. Drunk, lying on the floor barely conscious, with an artwork in my left hand and the third sake bottle in my right. I blinked as I could hear Gajeel calling out for Levy with some words I couldn’t understand before I lost consciousness.