Love Sometimes Hates: Chapter Eight
Haili first heard the gentle breeze whisper around her before feeling it on her face. She very slowly opened her eyes. The sky was gray, but bright. She watched a bird fly over her and cry out a few times. She looked around and slowly started to push herself up. She groaned feeling the throbbing pain hit her head. She lifted her hand to feel a bump, then immediately winced, retracting her hand.
“Damn…” She hissed.
Opening her eyes again, she peered around. She froze seeing the destruction all around her. The once massive stone guild hall was now nothing more than ruble. All its remains were scattered around in large rocky piles. She sat up more and just stared, not entirely sure what to make of it. It didn’t take long for her memories to come rushing back, and her eyes shot open, “Aleck!”
She jumped to her feet and started running, scrambling over the ruble. She climbed up on a mini mountain of stone and looked around completely ignoring the pain in her head.
“Aleck!” She called out again.
Nothing, but her eyes did catch a glimpse of something red and fluttering in the wind. She gasped, and quickly started scrambling down the stacked stone remains. She reached the fluttering fabric to see it was Aleck’s checkered over shirt...but no Aleck.
She held onto it and looked around. “Aleck?!” She shouted again. She was starting to panic. The sudden thought of his body being crushed under all this rubble flashed in front of her eyes and she froze.
“No...No no no!” In a panicked frenzy she bolted forward and started tearing away at the stone slabs, digging until her hands started to bleed. “Please Aleck! Where the hell are you!” She hadn’t realized she started crying until she stopped to catch her breath. She looked down at her bleeding hands that were now trembling. She then looks at the red checkered overshirt. More tears started to spill out from her eyelids and she fell to her knees. “No….” She whimpered. She started to openly sob, “...Aleck....No…” She saw all the memories of them together dart through her memory. All the times they laughed and fought. All the times she could have told him how she felt about him but didn’t.
She clenched the the fabric tight in her fist then threw her head back and screamed. She made it as loud and as long as possible, then when she finished she curled back up into herself and started sobbing more.
She stopped, her eyes went wide. She jerked her head up and looked around. Immediately she was too her feet, “Aleck??”
She heard him groan and darted in the direction of the sound. She climbed over a mountain of rubble and peered down to see him lying their, half unconscious and his lower body covered by that stone slab.
“Aleck!” She hurried down towards him, tripping the last few feet. She fell and rolled next to him, winced a little in pain but then quickly got back up to look at him. Blood was trickling down his forehead and his arms. She immediately started pushing up on the stone slab. It took some effort, but eventually it rolled off of him. He started breathing more easily but he still looked in pain. Haili leaned over and lightly touched his face, “Aleck? Aleck can you hear me?”
He cracked his eyes open long enough to give her a look of relief, then his eyes closed and he went limp, passing out. Haili pressed her ear against his chest then let out a sigh of relief hearing his heart. “Thank god…”
* * *
“Look what I got,” Gildarts held out a kite and both Haili and Natsu’s eyes lit up.
“Woha! Can we fly it!” Haili asked enthusiastically.
“Well that is kind of the point of a kite.”
“It looks stupid.” Gray muttered from behind them.
“Shut up, like you know anything about having fun, also put some clothes on you stripper!” Gray panicked, realizing he was only in his boxers.
Aleck was sitting at a table by himself practicing some of his air magic by gently stirring a spoon around his cup of coco. He lifted his head and blushed a little seeing Haili.
“Can we fly it now?!” She asked, jumping up and down.
Gildarts chuckled and nodded. Soon both he, Haili and Natsu rushed out of the guild.
“How ya doin’ kid?”
Aleck looked over to see Macoa take a seat next to him. “..O-oh. I’m fine.” He looked back down at his spoon and decided to stop stirring it around.
“Hey, you’re getting pretty good at that.”
Aleck shrugged. There was a short silence before Macoa spoke again, “How about you go play with the kite?”
Aleck looked toward the door of the guild, then sunk down in his seat. “...I don’t know.”
“I bet you could surpass them all with your wind magic.” He smiled, “Go give it a try.”
Aleck looked up at him for a second then back at the door. He took a deep breath and stood up, “Will you watch my coco?”
The blue haired man chuckled and nodded, “Sure thing kid.”
Aleck ran out to catch up with the others just in time to see Natsu finish flying his turn. When Haili took the string from him the wind seemed to die down and the kite hit the ground at a nosedive.
“Aw come on!” She whined.
“Just give it a second. The wind will pick up again.” Gildarts said.
Haili sighed, trying to run with the kite and get it back up in the air. Natsu stretched and yawned, laying down on his back next to Gildarts. Not watching where she was going, Haili suddenly ran into Aleck. They both yelped and hit the ground with a thud. Haili groaned and rubbed her head before looking up. Aleck was staring wide eyed and blushing.
“Hey, how about you watch where you're going?” She shouted, “That really hurt,”
“Uh...S-sorry!” He said spastically, as the kite floated over and landed on his head.
“Hey, you’re that new kid.”
Aleck lifted the kite up so he could see her, “Y-Yeah.”
“What was your name again? Erich or something?”
“Oh. Well I’m Haili.”
“I know. You’re kinda loud around the guild.” He said.
She pulled an offended face, “What’s that supposed to mean??”
Aleck started to panic and quickly raised up his hands defensively, “N-not in a bad way! I’m just saying you’re super popular!”
Her face settled to a slightly surprised look, “You think I’m popular?” She asked.
“Y-yeah...you know...You’re just like...really cool and it’s kinda hard to ignore you.”
This time Haili was the one blushing, she beamed at him, “You think I’m cool?!”
Gildarts whistled from behind them, “Looks like someone has a little cruuuush~”
Both of them blushed red, Haili turned around and shot him a glare, “Ew, shut up Gildarts!”
Natsu just started laughing. Aleck sat up a little then looked at the kite. “Um..Are you have trouble with this?”
“Huh?” She looked back around, “Oh, yeah. The stupid wind decided to stop blowing.”
Aleck stood up with the kite, “I can help if you want.”
“What really?” She stood up as well.
Aleck nodded, then took a deep breath. He let go of the kite and used his wind magic to make it hover. Haili’s eyes widened and she grinned when it started to fly up into the air. She started to laugh and run, making the kite soar through the air. Once it was in a good spot to fly comfortably, then looked over at him grinning, “Thanks, Aleck!”
Aleck stared at her. He hadn’t heard anyone say his new name like that before. She sounded so happy. His stomach started to fill with joy, and for the first time in forever, he smiled.
* * *
Aleck slowly blinked his eyes open and looked around. He was back at the guild in the infirmary. How did he get there? The last thing he remembered was seeing a short glimpse of Haili then nothing. He closed his eyes and slowly forced his arching body into an upright position. He winced a little and looked down at himself. His chest was bare and covered in bandages. His left arm too, and after rubbing his head, he could tell their were wrappings around his forehead as well. He turned to the window to see it was the sun was just starting to set. How long had he been there? He tried to stretch, and started to get out of bed but stopped himself once seeing Haili fast asleep in a chair next to him. He stared at her for a moment, looking over the bandage on her forehead and wrappings around her hands. He frowned a little, then after getting up, he drapped his blanket over her.
Haili awoke a half an hour after he left. She blinked, saw the blanket, and her first instinct was to cuddle up in it and go back to sleep, but then her eyes caught sight of the empty bed. She stared at it for a few seconds before her brain really registered the sight. She jumped up and jerked around.
The door opened to show Sophie standing in the doorway, Haili rushed over to her and grabbed her wrists, “Where is he??”
Sophie blinked a few times, then smiled, “Oh, he just went for a walk. Said he wanted to stretch his legs.”
“Well, do you know where he was going?”
“The beach.” A voice said from behind Sophie. It was Maxi, “He also said to meet him there whenever you woke up.”
Haili stared for a second, then nodded, “Oh,” She let go of Sophie’s wrists and rushed out.
Hikaru strolled up from behind Sophie and Maxi and the three looked at the door she just exited out of.
“...Are you guys gonna-” Hikaru started, but was cut off by Maxi.
There was a silence and all three of them exchanged glances, Sophie and Maxi grinning almost evilly.
Without saying a word, the two of them rushed out after her. Hikaru stood there for a second then sighed before slowly dragging himself along.
* * *
Aleck was standing on the shore of the beach, watching the waves as the sun steadily sunk behind the horizon. He turned when he heard the sound of panting. Haili was standing behind him, trying to catch her breath.
“...Did you run the whole way?” He asked raising an eyebrow.
She shot him a look, then took in a few more deep breaths, standing upright, “I drag your ass back here half dead, then I wake up to find you’re not in bed. Yes of course I ran!”
He couldn’t help himself but smile a little, then almost immediately frowned and turned back to the ocean. Haili stared at him, then slowly walked forward to stand beside him.
“...What do you think of me?” He asked quietly, not bothering to look at her. She said nothing, so he kept talking, “...My parents murdered yours.” He said rather bluntly, causing Haili to swallow hard and look down. Hearing it still stung as much as the first time she heard it. He turned to face her, “I’m an assassin Haili...Nothing can change that.”
At first she was gonna argue, but then she remembered his eyes back at the guild. Was he really an assassin? But he hadn’t grown up one, he ran away.
“So...What do you think of me?” He repeated quietly. “Do you...Think I’m a monster now?”
She stared at him for a long moment, then slowly shook her head. His tenseness relaxed a little, but not by much. He swallowed and looked down. “At least now you know why I never brought up my past. I especially wanted to hide it from you because...Well...I really care about what you think of me, and…” He stopped, as if trying to get his voice under control before continuing, “I really didn’t know about what my parents did...Or that Chrysós was even still around. I just cut myself away from that part of my life because I just loved this one so much.”
He raised his hand for her to stop, “Hang on…” He took a deep breath, “I’ve been thinking about everything that happened and I’m starting to consider leaving the guild.”
Everything went quiet. A gust of wind brushed past them while Haili stared wide-eyed. He kept his head down and took another deep breath, “It’s not that I don’t want to stay but...Remembering what I am and what my family has done to you…” He looked back up, “I don’t think I’ll be able to take the guilt every time I see you…And I don’t want that thought to haunt you every time you see me.”
As Haili starred in complete silence, she saw her eyes water and a single tear slide down her cheek, “...and you think leaving will help?” She sounded almost offended.
Aleck slowly looked down.
“My name isn’t Aleck.” He suddenly snapped.
Haili’s stomach clenched a little hearing that, and another tear fell from her eye.
“I suppose you should know now…” He closed his eyes and sucked in a deep breath, “My real name is Alia-”
Haili quickly reached forward, wrapped her fingers around the back of his neck and forcefully pulled him in, pushing her lips up against his. His eyes shot open and his whole body tensed up. Haili’s eyes were shut tight as she kissed him. He blinked, and as quickly as it happened it was over. She pushed his face away, glared at him, and shot a punch into his jaw. He blinked. ‘What the hell just happened?’ was what really echoed through his thoughts.
“Your name is Aleck Airford! And you aren’t going anywhere!!”Aleck stared at her as her glaring look shifted into desperation, “I don’t care about your past! You aren’t an assassin you are a Fairy Tail wizard, just like me and just like the rest of us!” She took in a breath trying to keep herself from sobbing, “You’re parents aren’t you! You didn’t do anything wrong! Now stop acting like I hate you now!”
She lowered her head, eyes closed tight. “...I don’t hate you! I never could!” She softly punched his shoulder a few times then started crying. She gripped the fabric of his shirt tight and rested her forehead on his chest, “Please don’t leave me…”
There was a long moment of silence, then Aleck gently pushed her away from his chest and tilted her head up so he could see her face. He used his thumb to wipe away some tears.
“You...Really don’t want me to leave?”
“Why the hell would I want you to? That’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard…” She dried a few of her tears with the sleeve of her black jacket, “And that’s coming from someone who has had some pretty dumb ideas.”
Aleck couldn’t help but chuckle at the last part, and Haili had to join him. He reached out again and pushed some of her hair back behind her ear.
“Ok...I won’t.” Soon his hand gently cupped her cheek and she stared at him.
He smiled, and the light from the sunset caught his face. There he was. That was the face she grew up with. He wasn’t a killer. He was gentle, and kind, and beautiful.
“Aleck.” She said smiling.
His smiled shifted a little to that dazed look he had back on that little beach as his eyes danced over her face. He pulled her in with his hand on her cheek and she willing moved forward. They pressed their lips together again. This kiss wasn’t as aggressive, it was slow and filled with about nine years worth of built up passion. Haili’s hands wrapped around his shoulders to kiss him more deeply, almost knocking him over. This made him crack a small smile before going back to the kiss, wrapping his arms around her waist.
“Oh. My. God! FINALLY!”
They both stopped and turned to see Maxi, Sophie, and Hikaru peeking up from behind a bush.
“Took you two fucking FOREVER!” Maxi yelled.
Haili’s face flushed red, “W-What the- How long have your three been there!?”
“We came in during the dramatic ‘I can’t stay here’ scene.” Hikaru said.
Now Aleck was blushing.
“I hate you all!” Haili yelled.
“Oh but it was so romantic and beautiful!” Sophie cheered.
“Plus I didn’t know you were such an ugly crier Haili.” Maxi smirked.
“Oh you are dead!!” Haili tore away from Aleck, and started sprinting after Maxi, who couldn't help but smirk as the two got in a fight. Hikaru and Sophie walked over to stand next to Aleck, who was just watching and blinking, still trying to register how much just happened in the past few minutes.
“So...You two are dating now huh.” Hikaru said
Aleck blushed lightly then smiled, gently rubbing his jaw line where Haili had hit him, “Yeah, guess so.”
“Oh come on, they were practically dating before,” Sophie started, “Just now they can cuddle and make out and fu-”
Hikaru slapped his hand over her mouth, but Aleck was already bright red, “I don't have to read off the whole ‘don't hurt her or I’ll kill you’ brother thing, right?”
Aleck shook his head, still a little red. “N-no.”
They all turned back to the fight, and Aleck fell back into the loving smile, and shook his head at Haili. “This is probably gonna take a while.”
“You hungry?” Hikaru asked.
“...Wow, I actually really am. Just realized I haven’t eaten anything in two days.”
Sophie tore Hikaru’s hand away from her mouth, “And while we eat, we can plan their first romantic evening together!”
“Oh yeah, that might actually be fun.” Hikaru said.
“Guys,” Aleck moaned, blushing as all three of them started walking off to get food.
“You can leave her a note to meet you at a fancy restaurant,” Sophie chirped.
“Guys!” He said again.
“And you have to be wearing something really gentlemanly, but also really handsome.” Hikaru added.
Aleck groaned, face palming, but he could stop himself from smiling, looking back at Haili and Maxi who had stopped. And now we're just arguing.