This years grand magic games were soon approaching, and everyone has started to train hard, not because they wanted to win, but because they wanted to prove that they were stronger than they were before. That Master Jiemma reign had come to and end.
Sabertooth was at a new dawn.
That was the belief that echoed through their heads as they trained, Magic clashing and fists flying, everyone determined to get the most out of their training session.
….Well everyone except their guildmaster, who had decided to take his seventh refreshment break of the day.
Sting hummed to himself, foot tapping to the beat as he filled up his cup. Not at all concerned about training. He wasn't allowed to participate after all, but he secretly longed for another chance to exchange fists with Natsu Dragneel once more.
The white dragon wanted to see how he'd match up against the fire dragon king after his drastic perspective change. That his guildmates weren't just colleagues, they were family.
Drink filled, he walked back to the observing area to watch his nakama spar. Sting took a long sip of his drink, the chilled liquid a welcome reprieve from the humid climate.
He strolled up to the pair of woman who had also decided to take a break, but it was their first one because they weren't lazy like Sting’s ass. Yukino and Minerva turned to look at him as he approached.
"Pink lemonade?” One of Minerva’s perfectly contoured eyebrows arched. “Very extra.”
“So am I.” Sting didn't miss a beat, if he had long hair he would flip it. Instead he settled for dramatically flicking his bangs, like Tamaki from ‘Ouran Highschool Host Club’.
Yukino sidled up to Minerva, swiping one of the blue berries the lady had been snacking on.
“Thief.” Minerva hissed, but made no move to stop Yukino as she popped the stolen berry into her mouth.
“Can I have a blue berry, too?” Sting flashed her his winning smile.
Sting huffed, walking away from the prickly female. He already expected that answer, but he took it as an opportunity to be dramatic. His gaze traveled across Sabertooth’s sparring fields, the fighting ground made up of circles of dirt lined with chalk, the green grass long since trampled away. Lector and Frosch were down there as well, behind the safety of the chalk line and cheering everyone on.
"Go sabertooth go!" Frosch jumped up and down, paws waving around happily while Lector praised the people sparring and telling everyone they were number one. Sting couldn't help but smile.
“You know I am the guild master. You should treat me bett…” Sting trailed off, his attention caught by the two sparring mages; particularly his partner, Rogue. “...er.”
Shadow tendrils swung through the air, cleaving the lightning charged ice in half, the remains exploding into snowflakes. Rufus eyes followed the frozen precipitation, as it bobbed up and down on the spring breeze.
“That seems like an excellent way to end this sparring session.” Rufus smirked, tipping his hat in a way that meant respect for his opponent. “Very theatrical.”
Rogue chuckled, the rumbling sound sound echoing in Sting’s ears. “Well, drama is what we strive for.”
Rufus fanned himself, his pink cheeks accented by the red shade of his outfit. “I'm going to relocate to somewhere with more shade. The sun has not been kind today,” a wistful sigh, “how I wish for the kiss of the moon.”
“I'll say,” Rogue tugged at their hair tie, pulling it loose and letting their dark locks fall around their face. They wiped their forehead with the back of their hand, damp bangs getting brushed to the side. Their skin was covered in a thin sheen of sweat, their pale cheeks rosy.
A gentle breeze drifted by, and Rogue tipped their head up to the sky, appreciating the wind’s cool caress. Their flushed lips parted, a sheet salvia sticking to them, a white flash of fanged teeth and-
Pain flared and Sting stumbled back from the pole his face had collided with, swearing colorfully.
His hands clutched his nose. If it hadn't been bleeding before it was certainly bleeding now. Warm blood seeped through his fingers and dripped onto the cobblestones.
Behind him Minerva snorted. "Wow Sting, I can't believe you're so fucking gay you ran into a pole."
Sting turned around to glare at her. Minerva just propped her hands up on her hips. Try me.
Yukino was biting her lip, cheeks puffed out as her eyes darted between her girlfriend and Sting, looking like a bad imitation of a pufferfish.
But her bright brown eyes gave it away, she was laughing at him just as much as Minerva was. Neither cared about his pain or his predicament.
Traitors. Both of them.
Sting was too busy glaring at the pair of women that he didn't notice who came up behind him until a finger tapped on his shoulder. He whirled around, a snarl on his tongue.
Then bit that same tongue as he saw who had tapped him. Oh shit.
"Hey, Sting." Rogue greeted. They'd slipped behind Sting without his notice, smooth and stealthy like the shadow dragon they were. Sometimes Sting thought that Rogue should've been the ninja instead of Dobengal.
"R-rogue!" Sting sputtered, becoming painfully self aware of his sorry state. His grass stained pants, his red face, and the worst and most obvious of them all: his bloody nose.
He internally cursed himself for being too distracted and not smelling Rogue's approach. The lavender honey scent he knew so well was now mixed with the tang of sweat, gained from the hard laboring Rogue had done during his training.
Behind him Sting heard Yukino choke. Then the sound of Minerva slapping her on the back in an effort to help. Was it working? Sting didn't know, and he didn't dare tear his eyes away from Rogue.
"What happened to your nose?" Rogue asked, their eyebrows pushed together and red eyes full of concern. They looked like polished rubies, sharp and deadly, but ever so beautiful.
That's it. He was delirious now.
Rogue's hands went to cup his face and Sting nuzzled into the touch, trying not to let out a pathetic whine.
Calloused fingers lightly brushed his nose, assessing the injury. Sting winced as the throbbing pain, and shied away.
Rogue sighed heavily, brushing their hand through white-blond locks, then resting them at the nape of Sting's neck. "You're such a mess. What am I gonna do with you?”
"Hmm," Sapphire blue eyes rolled up in their sockets, pretending to think about it. "Give me candy?"
The shadow dragon snorted, endeared by their counterparts' silly remark. "I think I'll take you to the infirmary instead."
"O-okay." Sting was quick to nod his agreement, letting Rogue lead him away from the training grounds.
"Have fun losers! Don't choke!" Minerva called at their backs.
Yukino gasped, and swatted her arm. "Minerva!"
"What? I'm just concerned about their safety."
Sting turned around, walking backwards so he could flip Minerva off. With both hands.
The lady returned the gesture in kind and Yukino gasped again, appalled by the vulgarity. Minerva only smirked, leaning down to whisper to her, something even Sting's dragon hearing couldn't pick up on. Yukino's face had turned beet red. Looks like she's getting some.
Then Sting stumbled, his heel catching on a loose stone and taking his footing right out from under him.
He fell back, hands desperately reaching for something to catch himself on, but all he got was fistfuls of empty space. His eyes screwed shut, body bracing for a painful collision with the pavement, but what Sting collided with wasn't the pavement, it was a pair of strong arms.
Blue met red as Sting cautiously opened his eyes. Staring up at Rogue's face, their lips parted and for a moment Sting thought he would get a kiss.
No such luck. Rogue hefted him up, back onto his feet, even going so far as to brush off Sting's arm. The white dragon couldn't help but stare, the fleeting touch a surprise. Rogue wasn't a touchy-feely person. First cradling his face, then catching him like some romantic movie hunk all the girls swooned over (Sting included himself in this category).
"Don't get any ideas." Rogue looked away, cheeks stained with pink. "I just didn't want you to hurt yourself, again."
"Aww, you do care!" Sting crooned, in the kind of voice you use when talking to puppies and kittens.
"I should've let you fall."
Sting let out an over dramatic gasp, hand splayed over his chest. "Oh, my heart, you wound me my love. You wound me."
A snort, "Your heart will be fine."
"Only if you kiss it better." Sting smiled cheekily, nuzzling up to their side and linking their arms together. Rogue rolled their eyes and looked away, but there was a hint of a smile tugging on his lips. Sting counted that as a victory.
They arrived at the guild hall. The statue of a tiger greeting them at the entrance. It's gaping maw showing off curved fangs, as long as Sting's forearm.
Fangs, something dragons and tigers shared, maybe it was why the pair of dragon slayers had been drawn to the guild in the first place.
Same with Fairy Tail. Dragons had tails and so did fairys, or was it that they didn't have tails? Sting couldn't remember. They both have wings so that counts for something.
"Time to get you all healed up." Rogue said, stepping out of proximity with Sting.
He tried not to wilt, instead playing off his crushed hope with a jest, "What? No smooch?"
Rogue looked over at him, red eyes for once not filled with exasperation, but something else, shaded from Sting's perception. That look made the white dragon's instincts thrash and buck, warning him, danger.
Rogue took a step towards him, movements slick and smooth, like a bar of soap you couldn't catch because it kept slipping through your fingers.
They were so close. Sting could smell the spices on their breath, leftover from their morning meal. Rogue leaned in, and pressed a butterfly light kiss to Sting's swollen nose.
"All better now?" Rogue asked, voice a whisper, and Sting's heart tripped on a beat. The area between them becoming in explainably warm.
Then, in a single fluid movement Rogue was gone. Now five feet away and walking into the guild hall. They cocked their head back to look at Sting, all teasing eyes and smiles. "Are you just gonna stand there all day?"
Sting's mouth fell open. The dull ache in his nose forgotten as he ogled at his partner.
"Or are you gonna come inside so I can.." Rogue's tongue swiped out, running over their lips. Sting found himself wetting his own chapped lips in return. "...dress your wounds."
Or undress your wounds, Sting's treacherous thoughts entered his mind, and his lower region. As if jolted by electricity, Sting shot up, spine stiff as a metal rod. "T-the second one." He swallowed thickly. "Please."
Holy fuck I am gay. The realization slammed into Sting like a truck, Cupid's rainbow arrow hitting home.
Before you call out bullshit. Of course Sting knew he was gay, but he didn't know he was that gay. What was Rogue doing to him?
As if reading his inner thoughts, Rogue smirked, motioning over their shoulder with two fingers. "Come on then."
Sting had never moved so fast.
"And that's when I knew-" Sting made eyes at Rogue, so sappy that you could just imagine the cartoonish hearts in them. "-that I was so fucking gay for this nerd."
"You're so fucking gay, regardless." Rogue was having none of it, arms crossed, and eyebrow arched in a sexy commander way that made all of Sting's thoughts go into his pants.
He brushed off the feeling, instead putting a finger over his boyfriend's lips. "Babe shh, I'm trying to be romantic."
Rogue rolled their eyes at their boyfriend's antics, and leaned back in their seat, done with it all, but they couldn't hide the endeared smile that tugged at their lips.
Sabertooth's guild master continued on with his tale, sighing wistfully, cheek propped up on his hand as he gazed at Rogue. "It was love at first sight."
"He ran into a pole." Yukino corrected.
Sting glared at her. Spoil sport.
Yukino flashed a secretive smile, her brown eyes dancing. He'd used to think her innocent, but after many years of getting to know her, that delusion was long gone. The real her reminded Sting of an imp, mischievous little creatures.
Wendy stifled a giggle at the interaction. The sky dragon had been the one that had first asked the question of when Sting and Rogue knew they were ‘gay’ for each other, her own feelings for Chelia confusing her and she'd come to Sabertooth in a hope of finding some clarity.
Sting hoped it worked out, the sky slayers would be cute together. He could see Wendy really cared about Chelia, and vise versa.
As if sensing his thoughts, Rogue put a hand on Wendy's shoulder. "All that matters is that this is how you actually feel. Don't let anyone force anything on you, okay?"
Wendy nodded, looking down at her lap. She absent mindedly twirled a lock of her dark blue hair twin tail around her finger, thoughts elsewhere. Probably on a certain god slayer. (Hint: it wasn't Orga).
"And if you’re gay, or not gay, you'll still be our adorable little sister." Sting declared, ruffling her hair affectionately.
"Sting!" Wendy whined, swatting his hand away. "You'll mess up my hair."
"Aww you’re a little lady know, huh?" Sting didn't let up his offense of sibling like affection. All the dragon slayers considered Wendy as their little sister, and they were all very protective of her.
God help them if Gajeel found out their little Wendy had a crush. He'd probably interrogate poor Chelia.
That's why Wendy had come to them first. Natsu and Gajeel would probably scare Chelia away with their investigation on whether she was right for their little sister.
Wendy pouted at him, her baby browns narrowed in a glare. "Says the guy who wears crop tops."
Sting's jaw dropped.
His guild mates burst out laughing. Minerva even winked at him. "She's got ya there."
Out the corner of his eye Sting saw Wendy and Orga exchange a fist bump, even making dramatic explosion noises.
Sting only grumbled. Cheeky little thing, but he was secretly glad Wendy felt comfortable enough around them to poke fun.
Rogue and Sting exchanged a glance, Wendy unable to see their plotting up above her. Rogue counted off the numbers on their fingers, mouthing the words. One, two, three.
They jumped Wendy, throwing their arms around her, and roaring at the top of their lungs, “WE LOVE YOU LITTLE SIS!!”