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School of Misfit Toys

Chapter Text

Juvia's POV

“Gajeel-kun! He is going to be here soon hurry up and get out of bed!” I knocked forcefully on my roommate's door.

“Alright Rain Women I am getting up, now stop your squawking!” he yelled angrily back.

I sighed in defeat and decided to take his word for it,

He will never change will he.

Besides being roommates Gajeel and I are also best friends. We met in grade school, and being the outcasts of our class sort of brought us together. That and Gajeel was impressed by the fact that I served a right hook punch to one of my old school bullies. I smiled at the memory, as my eyes then glanced over to a photograph placed on the living room table. Gajeel had his arm locked around a angry Totomaru, while the other guys and I of Phantom High smiled for our senior photo. It pained me to leave everyone, but when both Gajeel and I received special scholarships directly from the dean of students, Zeref Dragneel, of Magnolia University we could not refuse the opportunity to move out here. It was rare for any student to receive such a award from our juvenile school.

“What the heck are ya smiling at?” Gajeel yawned while walking towards me.

His long black hair was in a crazy mess, and all he had on were his grey sweatpants. I immediately frowned at his appearance and sighed once more,

“Juvia was just thinking about how cute young Gajeel was.”

He laughed and put his arm around my neck,

“What are ya talking about, I am still young and cute gi-hi.”

I couldn't help but chuckle along with him.

Really never will change.

I looked down towards my watch and my eyes instantly widened. I pulled out of Gajeel’s hold and looked around frantically.

“Ahhhh it’s almost time, does the place look okay, does Juvia look okay, because you sure don’t” I pointed up and down towards Gajeel.

“Calm down women, you act like this is some sort of marriage interview, we are only meeting our potentially new roommate.” Gajeel yawned again, now heading for the fridge.

“This is a big deal Gajeel! This is the first offer we have had in awhile, and unless we want to go looking for a second job we need to make sure he accepts!”

“That ain’t so bad, at this rate might as well drop out.”

That's when I snapped, I took off one of my slippers and directly aimed it at Gajeel's head.

“OW, WHAT THE HELL WAS THE FOR!” he spun around his hand patting the back of his head.

“If you don’t take this seriously Juvia is going to throw more than just Juvia's slipper at you.” I raised my fist, my vein visibly popping out of my forehead at this point.

*Knock, Knock, Knock*

“Ah, that must be him! Oh my gawd Juvia is so nervous! Gajeel go put a shirt on and hurry up! And you better be on your best behavior!”

He clicked his tongue in annoyance but nevertheless complied to my request and went to his room. I stood in front, ruffling the curls of my blue hair and trying my best to look presentable.

Okay Juvia you can do this, all you have to do is get him to be our roommate, piece of cake!

I thought back to the 6 failed interviews and shook my head. I hesitantly turned the knob on the door and looked at the boy standing opposite me.

“Yo, sorry for being late, took me while to find the place.”

He was taller than Juvia, but not as tall as Gajeel. He wore a black shirt and khakis, which showcased his very muscular body(he must do sports or something), but what was most prominent about his appearance was his cherry pink hair.

“H-hello! No you are okay, Juvia is sorry if her directions were confusing.” I said nervously.

“No of course not, I am just bad with directions.”

We stood there for a while in silence before he let out a nervous cough.

“Oh, how rude of Juvia!” I then held out my hand.

“Juvia’s full name is Juvia Lockser! It is nice to meet you!”

He looked at my hand for a second, probably thinking about why I was talking in the third person, but he then surprisingly took it and shook energetically,

“Nice to meet ya Juvia, my name is Natsu Dragneel.” he smiled.

Dragneel? Could it be-no it must be a coincidence.

After he released my hand I directed him inside

“Please make yourself comfortable.”

He sat on the sofa, as I brought out a tea tray.

“W-would you look some tea Natsu-san?”

“Sure, thank you!”

I handed him his cup and once again we were surrounded in silence,

“So-”

Thank gawd.

“This is the place, I got to say for the rent you're offering this is a pretty sweet deal. I am surprised you don’t have more people knocking up your door to be your roommate.” Natsu said while looking around.

“Ha Ha, ya it is a pretty old apartment complex so Juvia guesses students are looking for more modern buildings.” I kinda lied.

“Makes sense. So what kind of rules do you have for your roommates?”

I took a minute to think about what to say,

“Well, we don’t really have rules, but I guess basic etiquette would apply. Like no suprise parties, no blaring music at 3 in the morning, for sex all we ask is that you keep it down and place a tie over your door so we know. We also share chores like cooking and doing laundry so you are welcome to do them yourself or join our system. Oh and no hiding dead bodies here.” I teased the last part hoping Natsu would catch on. And thankfully he did as he let out a laugh.

“I don’t know about that last part, but everything else sounds good.”

Could this mean! Wait Juvia, don’t get too excited yet, you still have to tell him-

My thoughts were suddenly interrupted by Gajeel’s shocked voice,

“S-Salamander? Is that you?”

Natsu stood up with wide eyes towards Gajeel.

“Gajeel?!?”

They looked at each other for a second before Gajeel came barreling towards him while Natsu jumped from the sofa. I looked in horror as the two of them exchanged blows. Things were being knocked down in all directions, and even the tea set I adored was shattered into many pieces.

“W-what are you two doing!” I finally screamed.

They froze from my sudden outburst, both with choke holds around each other. They looked from me then to each other.

“Gi-hi”

Gi-hi?

“Hahaha, you have gotten rusty metal brain.” Natsu laughed as they released their hold on each other.

“Oi, and you're any better fire freak.” Gajeel smirked.

“You two know each other?” I looked confused by the whole scenario.

“Yup, I knew Salamander way before I knew you. We also were in the same dorm for our first year before, well you know.” Gajeel scratched his head.

“Ya and it hasn’t been the same since you left, no one ever wants to fight me.” Natsu pouted.

Okay so they know each other, this should be good thing right? So why do I have a bad feeling about this…

After Natsu and Gajeel had caught up and started another fight, I brought Natsu’s attention back to the issue at hand.

“As fun as this has been Natsu-san, we really should discuss your future of living here.”

At this both Natsu and Gajeel stopped their rambling and paid close attention to my words. I cleared my throat before continuing,

“Before Gajeel had interrupted, Juvia was about to tell you one last thing before you gave your answer. The reason Gajeel and Juvia got this apartment in the first place was because at the end of last year we got kicked out of the dorms.”

I explained to Natsu what had happened last year. I had enjoyed my life in the dorms quite a lot, I did not have many friends, but everyone was nice and I enjoyed being around other girls for once. Then Juvia made the mistake of getting a boyfriend, Bora. I left out the details of what exactly transpired, but Gajeel-kun got involved, and I must say it is surprising we were not kicked out of the school, let alone got to keep our scholarships. If only everyone knew the truth, they would not look at Gajeel and I with such discomfort.  

“Juvia would be lying if she told you that was all of it, but that is as much as Juvia is willing to tell you now.” I looked down at my entwined fingers.

“Okay.”

“Okay?” I repeated and looked up at his blank expression.

“Ya, okay. I really don’t care for the past. Plus I have a good sense of judgment, and I can smell that you and Gajeel are alright.” he said simply.

Did he say smell?

“Plus-” he let out a nervous chuckle,

“I may have also been kicked out of the dorms.”

I took me a moment to understand what he had just said.

“What?!?”

“It was about time.” Gajeel just smirked.

“Hey at least I lasted longer than you did!” Natsu retorted.

“Wait Natsu-san, how did you get kicked out of the dorms?” I asked frantically.

“Well I did a lot of stuff, like punching the dorm advisor in the face, stealing people’s lunches, switching out shampoo with mayonnaise in the communal baths, but the thing that got me kicked out was that I set a bonfire in the middle of the dorm hall.” he looked at us proudly, obviously not thinking about the severity of his actions.

“That's it? I am little disappointed in you Salamander.” Gajeel frowned.

“Did I mention that I used the girl's underwear to start the fire?” he added.

Gajeel started laughing from this as the two exchanged a high five. I on the other hand was not amused.

“Natsu-san, Juvia is now starting to believe that you mean what you said about hiding dead bodies here.” I sobbed realizing where this was all going.

“Don’t worry Juvia, even I wouldn’t go that far. But man am I relieved. I was really nervous coming to this. Now that I know that Gajeel lives here and that you guys also got kicked of the dorms I feel like I can finally move out of my car, well that’s if you will have me?” he looked towards Gajeel and I with anticipation.

I then looked at Gajeel who gave me a smirk.

This is a bad idea, I know it, but Natsu-san seems like a good person, besides his pranking ways. Gajeel also trusts him, and he was so accepting of our situation.

With a sigh I held out my hand again,

“As long as you don’t do anything to Juvia’s shampoo OR her underwear, we would love to have you as our third roommate Natsu-san.” I gave him a slight smile.

Ignoring my hand, Natsu jumped from the couch and caught me in an embrace.

“EH-!” I felt my face go red as I tried to pull away, but Natsu held his grip.

“Thank you Juvia! I am all fired up now!”

And with that we had gotten our third roommate. Little did we know that our college lives would be changed drastically with the confirmation of this embrace, but what else would you expect with three misfits living under one roof.

 

Chapter Text

Natsu’s POV:

“I told you everything would go well! You just worry for no reason.” I snickered at the person on the other line.

“Anything that has to do with you makes me worry Natsu, please do not give them too hard of a time.”

“I am not a kid bro, I can handle myself.”

“Tell that to the pile of complaints about you I have sitting on my desk.” he heard Zeref sigh before continuing,

“I don’t know about you and Gajeel living together, but Juvia seems like the responsible type. I will have to pray for her sanity though…”

I thought back to the frantic blunette. She was cute, and although she covered her body I could tell she had nice curves and a huge bust. Plus the fact that she is good friends with Gajeel makes me think she is trustworthy.

“Ya, I was really surprised to hear that someone like her was kicked out of the dorms.” I said.

Zeref remained silent for a moment on the other line, being the dean of students he probably knew more than I did about the situation, but I wasn't going to push him to spill. Suddenly my phone begin to vibrate showing an upcoming Facetime call for “Red Queen”.

“Ah, sorry bro gotta go, Erza is calling, I also told her I had an interview today so she must be wondering how it went.”

“Alright, text me later about meeting up for lunch. And Natsu,”

“Ya, ya I already know, I will “behave” myself.”

With another sigh Zeref hung up, and I proceeded to answer the other call. A girl with scarlet red hair appeared on the screen, and she wore a frown on her face.

“Yo Erza!” 

“What took you so long?” she sneered.

“Ah I was just talking with Zeref before you called.” I said nervously.

Ever since I got kicked out of the dorms she has been up my ass about everything. I know it comes from a good place because she cares so much about me, but damn it leaves me uneasy.

“Oh, that’s okay then, so how did it go?”

I gave her a wide smile and held a thumbs up,

“Natsu Dragneel officially has a place to live again!”

This seemed to perk her up,

“That’s great news Natsu! Wow I must say I was prepared to give you a beating for screwing this up, but looks like I will have to give you a hug instead!”

Both those options sound like the same to me…

“So when are you moving in? Jellal and I will come help you unload your stuff.”

“Well I have work in about an hour, so probably after 8? It’s okay though you guys don’t have to go out of your way-”

“Nonsense! You will be tired from work, so the least we can do as your friends is help you out. Plus I need to meet these new roommates of yours.”

I don’t know if that is a good idea.

“But-”

“No buts, send me your address and we will meet you at 8, got it.” she spoke with more force.

“Yes, ma’am!” I gave in.

“Alright talk to you later.”

I ended the call and relaxed my body,

Geez she really knows how to stress a guy out. I should probably let Gajeel and Juvia know they will be coming by tonight. Oh shit, that reminds me I forgot to get Juvia’s number.

I opened my contacts and browsed through, hoping I at least had Gajeel’s. I stopped on the name “Metal brain” and smirked.

Natsu: Yo, this is Natsu, two of my friends are coming over tonight to help me unpack if that’s all good?

I sent the text and placed my phone back in my pocket. I got in my car a started to change into my work clothes.

At least I won’t have to deal with this shit anymore.

It has been about a month since I got kicked out of the dorms. For that month I have been slumming it out in my car, sometimes staying at friends places to shower and stuff, occasionally visiting Zeref, but he always started lecturing me about my “responsibilities” so I only went there when I was desperate. It’s not like I was a total mess though, I had a good job, and I did pretty well in all my classes for my chemical engineering major. It’s just whenever I start to get bored I get really impulsive. Being the brother of the dean of students had it's perks, but I was tired of relying on him. Saying that trying to get kicked out of the dorms wasn't intentional would be a lie. But I didn’t really think things would be so tough afterwards. I felt my phone vibrate, and looked to see a text back from Gajeel,

Gajeel: That’s fine, tomorrow isn't a school night so we will be up late anyways.

Natsu: Cool, could you let Juvia know too, I don’t have her number yet.

Gajeel: Yup

I put my phone back  in my pocket and started the engine of my car.

Man, am I looking forward to sleeping in a bed after work.

 

At work…

 

“Welcome to Fairy Heart, oh-Lucy what’s up?” I turned towards the door to see the blonde struggling to put her black pumps on.

“Sorry for being late Natsu, my class went on a little later than usual.” she ran to the back of the counter where I was shining the vodka glasses.

“It’s all good Luce, Bickslow should be here any sec now too.” I unwrapped my apron from my waist and handed it to her.

“Thanks!” she smiled brightly at me.

Damn she is so beautiful, I wish Bickslow and I could have switched shifts.

We work at a this bar on campus called Fairy Heart. It is pretty popular, and a bunch of students I know work part time here. I only met Lucy recently when she was hired a couple weeks ago, but we instantly got along and I consider her to be a good friend already.

“What are your plans for the rest of the night?” she asked.

“Nothing too exciting, just moving into my new place.” I said casually.

“Oh right, wait-did you say new place?!?” she looked at me shocked.

“Yup, I sealed the deal earlier today.”

“That’s great news Natsu!” she caught me in an embrace, and I smiled back at her.

“Now you can stop sneaking into my dorm room.” she released.

“Nope, I am still going to do that.”

I jumped over the counter and towards the door where Bickslow was coming in.

“Wh-what do you mean by that?!? Natsu!!!” she yelled in my direction but I just smirked as I gave Bickslow a first bump before exiting the door.

Teasing her never gets old.

 

Apartment Parking Lot…

 

I waited around 15 minutes before I finally saw Jellal and Erza pull up next to me. The redhead immediately got out of the car and ran towards me, and like she promised, caught me in a bear crushing embrace.

“E-Erza..” I said suffocating against her chest.

“Oh Natsu I am so proud of you.” she squeezed harder.

“Erza, I think Natsu is dying.” a man with blue hair and a red tattoo over his eye put his hand on Erza’s shoulder, signaling her release.

“Oh my sorry Natsu.”

I knew she wasn't even sorry.

“Thanks Jellal.” I said trying to catch my breath.

Jellal was Erza’s boyfriend of 1 year. He used to be in gang, which explains the tattoo, but when he had reunited with Erza she helped change his world so that he could fit in society once more. I sometimes get jealous of the relationship they have. Then I think about being in a relationship with Erza and shiver get sent throughout my whole body.

I don’t know how he can deal with her as his girlfriend, but respect.

“Okay, let's not waste anymore time, I can not wait to meet your roommates!” Erza held her fist up excitingly.

I opened the trunk of my car and each of us took out a couple boxes.

“J-just restrain from any hugging okay Erza.” I said nervously, but she completely ignored me.

“So what were the names of your roommates again?” she asked.

“Gajeel Redfox, who I knew for a short time when I was kid and was also in my old dorm for a year, and Juvia Lockser.” I replied.

Erza then stopped in her track and held a hand over chin thinking for a moment. 

“Juvia Lockser? Was she the girl who got kicked out of the Blue dorms?”

“Y-ya, do you know her?”

“I have never met her, but she was sort of infamous amongst everyone, even us at the Pink dorms.” Erza’s face suddenly became serious as she continued walking.

Now don’t get me wrong, Erza is probably the least judgmental person I have ever met. I mean in accepting Jellal and his past, and considering someone like me to be their brother says enough. But I was still a little nervous that she would go hard on Juvia and Gajeel.

“Well what are you waiting for?” Erza scowled as I hesitantly put the key Juvia had given me earlier into the doorknob.

I gulped and turned the knob and let myself in. I only took a step before I was hit by the scent of this sweet aroma.

“Natsu-san?” Juvia popped out from the kitchen, wearing a frilly white apron, and her hair tied back in a bun.

“Hey, Juvia, um these are my fri-” Erza shoved me out of the way and placed the boxes she was holding on the floor. She held out her hand out to Juvia and said,

“Erza Scarlet.” with a serious expression.

Geez Erza can you be anymore intimidating!

“J-Juvia Lockser, n-nice to meet you.” Juvia returned the gesture but with much more nervousness.

Erza stared at her, while Juvia looked anxiously from her to me.

“Um-”

“May I ask you something?” Erza held her grip on Juvia’s hand.

“S-sure?”

“What is that scent?”

What?

“Oh!” Juvia perked up.

“Juvia was thinking of baking a cherry cake to welcome Natsu-san, but she ran out of cherries and made a strawberry cake instead-EH?”

Erza did not even let her finish before catching her in the same crushing embrace she had me in earlier.

“You are so kind! This buffoon doesn’t deserve someone as great as you!” Erza sobbed.

This is what happens when you put Erza and strawberry cake in the same room…

Realizing that Erza was still squeezing the life out of Juvia, I dropped my own boxes on the floor and ran towards them.

“ERZA! I THOUGHT SAID NO HUGS-” my face suddenly met with Erza’s fist as I was sent flying backward.

“And when did I take order from you Natsu.” she looked at me angrily before returning a loving gaze at a very confused Juvia.

Jellal sidestepped towards me and chuckled,

“You should know better than to talk back to her.”

Ya, ya, I know…

When Erza finally finished admiring Juvia, Juvia showed us to my room.

“Well here it is Natsu-san. I left the furniture that came with the apartment, and it also has its own bathroom and shower!”

I set down the rest of my boxes and looked around the room. It was pretty spacious, and the furniture, although old, was doable.

“Thanks, Juvia.” I smiled at her.

“Gajeel should get off work in bit, so when you all finish unpacking we can have some cake!” she clasped her hands together and smiled.

“That sounds good to me Juvia!” Erza responded with clear excitement in her voice.

Once we finished bringing up the rest of my things, and Gajeel had come home, we sat around the sofa and had some of the delicious cake Juvia had made. Erza had raved that it was “one of the best pieces of strawberry cake she has ever had” and helped herself to another slice. We chatted about school and everyone explained their majors. Erza and Jellal were both archaeology majors, while Juvia was studying to be a aquatic veterinarian, and Gajeel was mechanical engineering. We also talked about how a bunch us at the university are friends coming from Fairy Tail High School.

“We must find a day to introduce you guys, I am sure you will love everyone no matter how crazy they are.” Erza said.

“It’s too much of a bother.” Gajeel grunted, which made Juvia nudge him with her elbow angrily.

“Thank you Erza-san, that would be nice, but Gajeel and Juvia are not too good with big groups of people.” she said shyly.

“Nonsense, you have nothing to be worried about!” Erza caught Juvia’s hand and looked at her with determination.

Thankfully Jellal interjected before Erza could continue,

“Hey love, I think that should be enough for tonight. I am sure everyone has had a long day.” he softly placed a hand her back.

“Alright I shall retire for tonight,” Erza reluctantly let go of Juvia’s hand.

After saying goodbyes, which included another Erza hug when Juvia offered to make her strawberry cake whenever she would like(mistake #1), I walked Erza and Jellal to their car.

“Thanks a lot guys for your help.” I said.

Erza put a hand on my shoulder and smiled,

“No need for thanks Natsu, you know we will always be here for you. I must say I was worried about what kind of people your new roommates would be, but now I can put my mind at ease.”

I waved back at them as they pulled out of the parking lot, and made my way back to my apartment.

"My apartment", sounds kinda nice.

Juvia and Gajeel were finishing up the rest of the dishes as I came up from behind them.

“Uh, thanks a lot for the cake Juvia.” I said.

Juvia looked back and gave her usual warm smiles.
“Juvia is glad Natsu-san and his friends enjoyed it. Juvia can tell that they are caring people.”

“Ya they are, well do you guys need any help?” I offered.

“That’s okay, you have had a long day with unpacking and everything, you should go get some sleep.”

I nodded and made my way out the kitchen,

“Alright, Night.”

“Goodnight Natsu-san!”

I stopped in my place for a second, before an evil smile appeared on my face. I pulled out a rubber band from my pocket and aimed it towards the back of Gajeel’s neck and shot.

“WHAT THE FUCK!” Gajeel turned towards me rubbing the back of his neck.

“Nigh Metal Freak! HAHAHAHA!” I ran to my room while Juvia held Gajeel back with a weary smile.

I locked the door and immediately collapsed on my bed, still smiling. It was nice, the comfort of my own bed again, although not as nice as Lucy’s.

I’ll have to bring her here sometime.

I snickered, and felt my eyes drifting off.

Well here is to my new college life.

And immediately I was out like a flame.

Chapter Text

Gajeel’s POV:

Natsu-san that’s not how you're supposed to do it!

Are you sure? Because I was taught the bigger the flames the better, Kyahahaha!

THAT IS NEVER THE CASE IN ANYTHING! OH MY GWAD YOU'RE ON FIRE.

Calm down, fire never hurt anyone?

SAYS WHO?!?!

That was it. I snapped my eyes open and slammed my door open before roaring,

“SHUT THE HELL UP, IT’S SUNDAY MORNING AND I HAVE THE WORST FUCKING HANGOVER!”

It was silent for a moment, and then Salamander leaned towards Juvia who was carrying a pan engulfed in flames,

“What’s up his ass? It's not even morning anymore.” he whispered, while Juvia just shrugged.

I slammed my door shut and collapsed on my bed, head pounding.

Shit I took it too far last night.

The guys I work with at the mechanics shop were celebrating finally getting the engine to work on a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air that we have been working on for months. Knowing that today was Sunday, I thought it would be okay to go all out, but shit was I wrong. It’s been about 2 weeks since Salamander became our third roommate, and to say that he has been driving me nuts would be an understatement. It’s nice and all having another dude in the house that has a manly understanding that Juvia does not, but Salamander was on a whole new level of crazy. He does not know the concept of relax and chill. However, Juvia also seems to enjoy his company, and seeing her happy ever since that dick fucked her up is worth the constant headaches…

WOAH JUVIA LOOK IT REACHED THE CEILING !”

Sometimes…

I took the glass of water by my bed and popped some pain killers in mouth. I then grabbed my phone and rolled around on my side.

Fuck, it's already 2:30.

I felt my stomach rumble, and decided there was no point in lazing around. I got up and made my way to the shower. Since I was so wrecked last night I did not even get the chance to wash the sweat and grease from work, and there is nothing Juvia hates more than uncleanliness. After I was done I wrapped a towel around my waist(too lazy to put on pants), and put my hair up in one of Juvia’s clips. I left my room, and it seemed like Juvia and Natsu had finally stopped their screaming fest.

Of course it’s only after I am wide awake.

“Ah Gajeel-kun you're finally awake, we just finished making lunch!” Juvia said.

I grunted and headed towards the fridge for the milk.

“Gajeel-kun! You shouldn’t leave your room with just a towel on!” She stood beside me with a frown.

“Ya, ya mom.” I closed the fridge and sat at the kitchens bar counter where Natsu was chowing down.

“Hmph ar rmpf nigff” he said while chewing.

“Yup, way too much to drink.” I continued to drink my milk.

“You understood that?” Juvia looked surprised.

She placed a plate of meat and potatoes in front of me, and I got to say even if it did not match my cooking skills, it smelled pretty good.

“This is what had you two so worked up?” I took a bite.

“Well Natsu-san,” Juvia glared at Natsu who just continued eating.

“Wanted to try to flambé, which turned disastrous.” she motioned towards the charcoal on the ceiling.

“I knew what I was doing.” Natsu snickered once he finished his plate.

From these two weeks we have learned that Natsu is more capable than we originally thought. He can cook anything with meat, his room is pretty messy but he does clean up after himself, he also cleans the dishes pretty well. The only thing he can’t do, is laundry. We figured this out when Juvia caught him wearing the same outfit for 5 days in a row.

“So Salamander are you up to learning how to do laundry today?” I asked.

I don’t think I have ever seen someone brighten up as much as he did in mentioning laundry.

“Hell ya! Watch Metal Face, my laundry skills are going to put yours to shame.”

Everything's a competition to this kid.

“In your dreams!” I replied.

“Okay you two, after lunch we have to restock on groceries and detergent, and then we can show Natsu-san how to do the laundry.” Juvia chuckled at our enthusiasm.  

After I finished eating, and washing the dishes since I didn’t contribute to cooking, I got dressed and grabbed my helmet.

“You okay walking with Salamander, Juvia? It’s been awhile since I’ve ridden my baby so I am going to take her out.”

She just smiled and nodded, while Salamander looked at me in confusion.

“Wait what? Do you have a girlfriend or something? And how is riding her going to help us with the groceries?”

I brought my foot to his butt and kicked him out the doorway.

“WHAT THE HE-”

“Just keep walking and let me introduce you to my wife.

 

Few moments later...

 

“OH SHIT GAJEEL SHE IS A BEAUT!”

“Gi-hi, you don’t need to tell me.”

Natsu looked at my MV Agusta F4CC motorcycle with awe. An occasional “ooh” and “aah” slipping his mouth.

“You gotta let me try her out!” Natsu looked up with a twinkle in his eye.

“No way in hell. You would crash her in 2 seconds flat.” I replied simply.

“Aww come on Gajeel, just for a little.” he brought out the puppy dog eyes.

“Nope.” I said unaffected.

“Tsh, I’ll get you to let me ride her one day Gajeel.” he looked sadly at my babe before catching up to a giggling Juvia.

I put on my helmet, and started the sweet sound of the engine.

Fuck porn, all I need is the sultry purring of a machine.

I squeezed the handle bars a few times before zipping off, passing a excited looking Salamander.

I almost forgot how amazing this feels.

The cool air hit my face at an increasing rate, as I passed all the cars in front of me. Once I hit a stop light the guys in the next lane driving a sick GTR r35 revved their engine. I smirked understanding the signal for a drag race. I mimicked them and revved my own engine, both of us looking for the flicker of green to appear. When it finally came we let loose and speed through, leaving everyone behind us in the dust. We were practically neck to neck when I decided to use my trump card.

I spent months working on the modifications of this baby.

I slammed my hand on one of her buttons and immediately passed them, spitting flames from behind. I saw them look at me in shock and then frustration. The sight of defeat was quite beautiful. After doing a few more laps I parked at the grocery store we were meeting at. It's only couple of blocks from our place, but it wasn't everyday that I get a day off to spend with my girl. I let my hair fall out of my helmet as I looked around,

“Looks like they ain't here yet.” I said and decided to go get a head start inside.

Hmmm, guess I should stock up on spices, Juvia can never get the ones I want right.

Cooking is a skill. Period. If you are going to cook something you should make sure it is perfect. Juvia always complained about being too harsh on her cooking, but I was only helping her improve. As I got to the spices aisle, I noticed a very petite blunette desperately trying to grab something from the top shelf. I couldn’t help but laugh from the sight, but she was so concentrated that she didn't even notice me. I loomed over her and grabbed the container she was aiming for. She feel back on her feet and looked up towards me.

“Ah thank yo-” I didn’t even let her finish as I placed the container in my own basket and walked off laughing.

“Sorry Shrimp was just helping myself.”

I was expecting her to yell, or run away scared, ‘cause even I know how much of an intimidating guy I look like. Instead she came after me and whacked me with her bag. I fell to the floor, too shocked to realize what was happening. She stepped over me and and bent over twirling the spice container in her hand. She pulled down her eyelid and stuck out her tongue before shouting,

“JERKKKKK!”

She than ran off leaving me completely...flabbergasted?

Did I just get bamboozled by someone two times smaller than me???

I finally got up as people around me began to whisper to each other. I clenched my fist, and started for her,

“COME BACK HERE SHRIM-”

I was suddenly stopped by a very unhappy looking Juvia, and confused Natsu.

“Gajeel-kun, what is the meaning of all this ruckus!” she pulled me from my collar.

“I got my spices mugged by some shorty!” I tried to explain.

She looked at me dumbstruck,

“You, Gajeel Redfox, 6 foot whatever, was mugged for unpaid spices?!?!” I could see the steam coming from her ears.

She let go of my collar and walked forward,

“Please stop this nonsense Gajeel and help us with the groceries.”

Salamander followed behind her pushing the cart while snickering.

I’ll make sure to beat him up for that later.

Before I could continue behind them, I spotted a pair of red glasses on the floor. I picked them up and noticed the incredibly girly frames.

Could these be…

“Gajeel!” Juvia shouted from ahead.

I shoved the glasses in my pocket, not wanting to be schooled by another blunette.

That Shrimp, I’ll definitely get her next time.

 

Back at the Apartment...

 

“Okay Natsu-san, this is what we call a washing machine.” Juvia motioned to the first machine.

“And this is a dryer.”

“Dryer?” Natsu repeated, placing a hand over his chin.

What is he thinking so hard about, this isn’t rocket science.

And as if a light bulb went off, Natsu placed his fist over his flattened hand,

“Dryer, as in Laxus Dreyar! Which reminds me I haven’t picked a fight with him in a while!” Natsu started for the door, put I grabbed the back of his shirt keeping him in place as Juvia slapped a hand over her head.

“No Natsu-san, just a laundry dryer!” she sighed.

“Stop giving Juvia a hard time Salamander and focus.” I warned, I was trying to make it up to her after the whole grocery store incident.

“Okay, okay, dryer, got it.”

After some careful demonstration, we let Natsu at it. Which was a very bad mistake as we found ourselves in a very bubbly hell.

“NATSU-SAN HOW MUCH DETERGENT DID YOU PUT!”

“The more detergent the more bubbles, and the more bubbles the better, kyahaha!”

“YOU NEED TO LEARN THE CONCEPT OF LESS IS MORE NATSU-SAN."

“Don’t worry Juvia I got this.” I brought out my wrench and began slamming the machine.

“STOP THAT GAJEEL-KUN! JUST QUICKLY UNPLUG THE MACHINE!”

I hesitantly followed Juvia’s order and pulled the plug from the machine, stopping it from spewing more bubbles. We all stood in about in about two inches of bubbles, no one saying a thing. Then, as Natsu would, made a long bubble beard,

“Well hey there, Santa wants to know if you have been naughty or nice this year.” he said with a wink.

Oh shit, Juvia is going to lose it-

“Pft…”

Huh?

“Ahahahaha, what are you doing Natsu-san.” Juvia keeled over laughing, while he joined her.

Idiots, both of them.

But I couldn't help but chuckle along. After our laughs had subsided, Juvia wiped a tear from her face and started to leave,

“Well Juvia is going to start on dinner while the two of you clean up.”

“But-” both of us started.

“No buts, you have both stressed Juvia out way too much today, this is the least  you could do.” And like that she was out of view.

“She is so bipolar sometimes.” Natsu pulled out the mop.

“Tell me about it.” I grunted.

We spent the rest of the day cleaning the place up, and preparing for classes the following morning. As I laid in bed I held out the pair of red spectacles I found earlier today. The image of the short blunette still fresh in my memory. 

I wonder what her story is.

Chapter Text

 

Juvia’s POV:

It’s only been a couple weeks since Natsu has moved in, but it sure does feel like ages. He was able to fit in so well with Gajeel and I, like he had been here the whole time. Although, it’s a miracle that neither of them have killed each other yet. I guess that is what keeps me on my toes. Besides all the arguing and fights, life has become a little easier for Gajeel and I. We don’t have to work as many shifts to meet ends, and Natsu has taken part of our chores routine(except for laundry which he is banned from doing), which gives us more time to take it easy and just breath.

“Juvia why don’t you call it day, things have slowed down over here.” Meredy smiled at me.

I have known Meredy since last year when we applied for the same job at this jazz club on campus, Crime Sorcière. She was the first girl-friend I have ever made, and we practically do everything togther.

“She is right Juvia, Meredy and I can handle the rest.” Jellal came up from behind the counter.

I was quite surprised when I saw him with Natsu the day he moved in, but since then we have talked a lot more.

“You know what, Juvia thinks she will take you up on your offer. Juvia had an exam earlier today and she is feeling quite drained.”

After saying goodbye to Jellal and Meredy, I made my way back to my apartment. It was only a 15 minute walk from the main campus, which was a big reason why Gajeel and I choose the place, besides it’s cheap rent.

I wonder if either Gajeel or Natsu will be home?

I opened the door and called,

“Juvia is home.”

No response. I let out a sigh in relief, it has been a while since I have had the place to myself, which means peace and quiet. I immediately stripped down to my underwear and collapsed on my bed, wrapping the covers around me and drifting off to sleep.

 

“Come on Juvia, if you love me you will do it.”  

B-but Juvia isn’t sure about this Bora-kun.”

“Don’t be a wuss!” his rage became more apparent by his impatience.

Seeing that he had lost his cool from the fear on her face, he softened his voice and repeated,

“People like us have been through so much shit, the pain still lives on, and I’m telling you this stuff will make you feel this livid ecstasy! All that pain and worry just suddenly disappears.” he placed a gentle hand on hers.

“The pain will go away?”

“Yes! Every last ounce of it!”

She reluctantly nodded as he smiled in victory. He slowly slid the needle into her arm, that jolted every sense in her body.

What hurts more, the physical world or the mental one?

 

*GASPS*

I opened my eyes and sat up rapidly, making the blood rush to my head and my vision blurry.

“Just a dream, it was just a dream Juvia.” I whispered to myself.

More like a vivid memory.

I clenched my teeth as I felt the air condition hit the fresh beads of sweat running down my neck.

I should take a shower.

I stripped off my remaining bra and panties into a basket let the hot water hit every part of my skin. It burned, but the sensation always calmed my nerves down. Water in general had this soothing effect on me. When I was a kid I lived by a port town that was surrounded by the ocean. Whenever things got rough I would go there and let the waves wash over my feet.

Maybe that is why I love marine life so much.

I hoovered my hand over the pump of my shampoo bottle and pushed down.

“Huh?”

I pushed down again.

“Shit.”

I forgot that I was out of shampoo. With a sigh, I got out of the shower and wrapped a towel around myself before proceeding to Gajeel’s room. The place was still quiet, so I guessed neither of them have gotten home yet. I turned the knob on Gajeel’s door, only to find it locked.

I forgot he started to lock his door before leaving.

Gajeel claims that Natsu will go in and vandalize his room, so he isn’t going to take the risk of keeping it open. Just when I was about to give up, I saw a peek of black hair rooming in the kitchen.

Water was dripping down my face, shielding my eyes, and I felt a bit dizzy from the hot water making my blood rush, but I assumed that that was Gajeel in the kitchen. But you know what they say about assumptions.

Geez Gajeel if you were here you could at least say something.

I walked towards the kitchen, careful not to slip on my wet feet. I grabbed the arm I saw and said,

“Gajeel-kun, Juvia ran out of shampoo can she borrow...some...of...yours-”

I looked up expecting to see familiar red eyes staring back. Instead I was met with beautiful dark blue ones. For a moment I was mesmerized, that was until reality hit like a bitch. I released my grasp of his arm and walked a few steps backwards. I took a good look at the very handsome, and very shirtless, raven haired boy in front of me. We both stared at each other for a few moments, neither knowing what to say. I then noticed his eyes shifting downwards, and a tint of pink appear on his face. I matched his gaze and realized what it was he was staring at. There I was standing in just a thin towel, my breasts practically hanging out and my legs on full display, in front of some boy I have never seen before.

“U-um-” he started, now looking away.

I could feel my face turn more red than Erza’s hair. Before he could continue I let out a scream,

“KYAHHHHHHH”

I rushed out of the kitchen, trying to get to my room as fast as possible. That’s when, of fracken course, I slipped and slammed my head against a hard figure in front of me.

“Juvia? What’s wrong?” I heard Natsu’s voice.

At that point I could feel my consciousness fading as I lifted my head frantically from his chest and moved backwards, only to slip again on my feet. I was caught by strong arms from behind,

“Hey, are you okay!” the voice called out.

At that point I did not have the energy to move a muscle, and just like that I blacked out.

 

What the hell man, why didn’t you tell me one of your roommates was a chick!

I told you her name was Juvia, what kind of dude has the name Juvia?!? Use your brain icey-perv!

What did you call me fire freak!?!

I slowly opened my eyes and looked towards the cause of all this commotion.

“Natsu-san?” I mumbled softly.

The arguing stopped as Natsu made his way over to me.

“Juvia! Thank gawd you're okay, if not Gajeel would literally serve my ass on a platter.” he sighed in relief.

“I-I…” I stirred my words while trying to sit up.

I was on the sofa now, the last thing I remember was,

“I wanted shampoo and then-” I started until my eyes stopped on the other male figure in the room. I began to remember everything that happened a couple of moments again, and once again I felt my face go red. I looked down  to see that my towel was replaced by an oversized white shirt.

“OH MY GAWD!” I shrieked and stood up.

“Careful Juvia! Just calm down and let me explain.” Natsu started but I totally ignored him and slammed the door to my room behind me.

I-I-I I AM SO EMBARRASSED RIGHT NOW!!!

I covered my face with my hands, as I slid down my door to the floor. The shower was still running and Natsu was calling my from the opposite side of the door. I spread my fingers a bit and peeked down again at my appearance. It was no better than being in a towel, it barely covered my butt and my nipples poked out visibly from underneath.

“This is what I get for wanting some peace and quiet.” I sobbed.

The plan was to wait it out until Natsu and his...acquaintance had left, not wanting to face them after that shameful experience, but then I received a text from Gajeel.

Gajeel: Hey Rain Woman, can you please bring me a box of screws I left on the coffee table, this is urgent.

Juvia: B-but Gajeel-kun, if Juvia leaves her room she might die.

Gajeel: ???

Juvia: It’s a long story

Gajeel: Okay...but can’t your death come after you bring me my screws?

Juvia: Gajeel-kun is so insensitive! But fine *sobs*

Gajeel: Thanks Juvia! I’ll make whatever you want for dinner tonight ;)

 

I set my phone down and opened my closet door.

“Okay here we go.”

Once I was finished changing, I opened my door as quietly as I could and scanned the room for the box of screws.

“Ah!” I spotted them.

Sitting in front of them were Natsu and the raven haired boy, playing some sort of game on the TV. I slowly stepped out of my room, but nothing can escape Natsu’s ears.

“Juvia!” Natsu stopped what he was doing and looked in my direction.

“W-what's up with your outfit?” he looked at me with concern.

I had put on a turtle neck sweater, with my longest skirt. Underneath I had knee length socks on and my birkenstocks. I topped it all off with a scarf over my head and covering my mouth, a sunhat, and dark sunglasses.

“O-oh nothing!” I slowly sidestepped to the coffee table and picked up the box, not making eye contact with either of them.

“J-Juvia will be going now.”

Before either of them could speak, I sprinted out the front door, and didn’t look back. After walking for 20 minutes to Gajeel’s workplace, strange looks coming from all directions, I saw my best friend waiting towards the entrance.

“Hey thanks so much for-woah…” he looked me up and down.

“Be still my heart.” he smirked and I smacked his shoulder.

“Stop joking around, Juvia is having the worst day of her life!”

“This must really be bad, considering all the bad days you have had.” he chuckled and directed for me to follow.

After explaining in detail about what had happened, one would expect for their best friend to console them through hard times. That is if your best friend is Gajeel.

“This isn’t funny Gajeel-kun!”

He rolled out from underneath a car still laughing.

“You are honestly just the most frantic person I’ve met.” he said while wiping his greasy hands on a washrag.

“How else is Juvia supposed to react in that situation!”

“Well you know it’s your fault to begin with.”

“How!?!”
“A wise person once told me-” he cleared his throat dramatically before continuing,

“You shouldn't leave your room with just a towel on, gi-hi.” he threw my words from a couple days ago back in my face.

And I threw my first at him, but he easily caught it.

“Calm down Rain Women, I was just joking. Stop thinking about it so much, I bet you you are the only one making a big deal out of it.” he smirked.

Maybe he is right.

“But Juvia bets you that boy thinks Juvia is completely crazy now!”

“Well then the next time you see him just make sure to explain yourself and act cool. The second part may be a struggle for you though.”

I ignored that part. If this boy is Natsu’s friend than surely we will meet again.

“Alright, Juvia sees, if Juvia meets this mystery boy again she will make sure things do not get awkward.” I declared.

“Good for you, now hurry up and leave, your outfit is scaring away all the customers.” Gajeel pushed me out.

“Is that how you treat someone who risked their life for you!”

“See, being overdramatic again.” he waved me off.

When I got home, thankfully Natsu’s friend had left, giving me more time to think before encountering him again. I apologized to Natsu for the way I acted, but he just laughed it off saying how my behavior was super hilarious. When Gajeel got home, like he promised, he made me my favorite clam chowder soup. Things weren’t looking so bad after all, but I may have thought that a little too soon.

 

Next morning…

 

“Gawd bio-stats this morning was such a bore.” Meredy yawned.

“At least it is Friday?” I tried.

Meredy and I share this class together, but she is majoring in psychology. She told me that she has always had an interest in human connections and emotions. She constantly tries to give me counseling sessions in order to figure out what is going on in my head. I must say it's kinda cute. We walked into our favorite coffee shop, Sabertooth, and made our way to the cashier.

“Hey Juvia, been awhile since I have seen you here.” Sting said from behind the register.

“Hello Sting-kun, Juvia has been trying to reduce her coffee intake, but today is one of those days.”

Although Gajeel told me not to worry about it, I could not stop thinking about what had transpired the day before, and barely slept a wink. Anyways, Sting and I met when we were both involved in the group that hung out with Bora, but after the incident last year he, like myself, cut them out and has been a great support system since.

“So the usual?” Sting asked.

“You know it.” I smiled at Sting, and payed for my coffee.

I walked further into the shop, waiting for Meredy to also order. A familiar voice then shouted, “Juvia! Over here, over here!”

Natsu was waving his arm with a wide smile on his face. Next to him was Erza, a blonde girl I haven't seen before, and...him. The attractive guy from last night.

Oh no, Juvia is not ready for this yet! But I can’t just keep Natsu-san waiting.

I sent a slight wave back and hesitantly walked over to the table they were seated at. Unlike yesterday, today I had my hair up in a pony tail, with a white blouse and dark blue, knee length skirt.

“H-hello Natsu-kun, Erza-san.” I said shyly.

“Why Juvia, it's good to see you!” Erza beamed towards me.

“You two know each other?” the boy asked Erza, and she began to explain our first meeting.

“Which reminds me, I hope I can try some of your strawberry cake sometime soon again.” she asked.

“Of course, you're welcome anytime.”

I then noticed the blonde nudge Natsu angrily waiting for him to introduce her.

“Ah ya so this is Lucy, and you kinda met Gray yesterday?” Natsu arched an eyebrow.

“Hello, I’m Lucy Heartfilia, Natsu has told me so much about you!” the blonde held out her hand.

“Why did you even ask me to introduce you if you're going to introduce yourself.” Natsu said, earning himself another nudge. I shook her hand and replied with my own name before glancing over the guy named Gray. He noticed my stare before giving a fake cough and replying with his own name,

“Gray Fullbuster.” he avoided eye contact with me.

“What did you mean that they kinda met yesterday?” Lucy asked Natsu the question I had been dreading.

“Well you see-” before he could explain I bowed suddenly and rambled on,

“Juvia is so sorry for her shamefulness yesterday, please forgive her!”

I could feel people starting to stare but kept my position. He stood from his chair and looked at me, obviously embarrassed from the whole scene.

“Gray, what did you do to Juvia.” Erza scowled at him.

“Nothing! It’s okay, so please just stop bowing. I’ve pretty much forgotten about the whole thing.” he looked nervously from me to Erza.

“Really?” I sniffed.

“Yup, completely.” he confirmed.

I felt my muscles relax and looked directly at him,

“Thank goodness, Juvia was so worried!” I smiled sweetly.

He put a hand over his mouth, and I could see a slight blush appear on his face.

“Juvia, I brought your coffee for you, oh Erza-san is that you?” Meredy walked over and handed me my cup.

“Meredy, hello!” Erza responded back.

I introduced Meredy to everyone, and we chatted for a bit until Erza said,

“You two should come with us to the party at the Quatro Cerberus Frat today!”

Meredy and I looked at each other nervously, neither of us were really about partying.

“Erza is right! The rest of the girls have been dying to meet you Juvia, and I’m sure they will love you Meredy!” Lucy agreed.

“Well…”

“Don’t worry about Gajeel either, I’ll make sure to drag his ass there too.” Natsu winked.

Well if Gajeel is going to be there…

“O-okay, sure!” I nodded as Meredy did the same.

“Yay! This is going to be so much fun!” Lucy caught me in an embrace.

“Lucy and I are roommates, along with another girl named Levy. The other girls are going to meet us at our dorm to get ready, so you should too!” Erza explained.

The four of us exchanged numbers before splitting off to our next class.

“Are sure this is a good idea Juvia?” Meredy asked still unsure.

“Of course, Natsu-san, Gajeel-kun, and probably both Erza-san and Jellal-san will be there, so there is nothing to worry about. We should live these years as best we can!”

I say that now, but do I really mean it.

“Gajeel won’t be too happy when he finds out though.” Meredy added.

“Gajeel-kun just worries too much, Juvia will be fine! Oh gawd it’s almost time for class, I’ll see you later Meredy-chan!” I reassured her, and hurried to my next class.

 

That night…

 

“So this is the infamous Juvia Lockser, must say if I didn’t already have a girlfriend I’d take her for myself.” Cana came up from behind and groped my boobs.

“Cana-san.” I gasped.

When Meredy and I arrived at the Pink dorms we were introduced to most of the girls of their group.

“Cana you're making Juvia uncomfortable.” Mirajane smiled sweetly at her girlfriend.

“We are all girls here, no reason to feel shy!” she took a swing at her flask,

“But seriously Juvia you can’t seriously be thinking of wearing that.” she motioned with her flask at the same outfit I had on earlier today.

“Well Juvia did not have enough time to change, she got called in for a shift at work.”

“Don’t worry Juvia, Lucy should have something for you, she is the queen of clothes after all!” Erza slapped my back, knocking the wind out of me.

I couldn't help but stare at how beautiful she looked. She wore a backless short red dress that showcased her ample breasts.

Jellal sure is a lucky guy.

“I’m on it!” Lucy shouted from her closet while throwing pieces out left and right.

I looked back at Meredy who just shrugged with a smile. Finally Lucy came out holding a white dress in her hands. She herself was wearing a deep v-cut black romper with a matching choker, and had her hair in a high pony tail. She looked just as amazing as Erza.

“I think this will look great on you Juvia!” she passed the garment to me and pushed me out the room.

“Go try it on, the bathroom is just down the hall!” she said excitedly, and I complied.

When I entered the bathroom I saw Levy, Erza and Lucy’s third roommate, looking concernedly at the mirror. I was about to say something when I noticed the scarring on her stomach. She must of heard me come in, because she immediately snapped her neck towards me.

“S-sorry Levy-san, Juvia didn’t mean to interrupt you.”

She looked at me for a second before smiling.

“It’s all good Ju-chan! Did Lucy choose that dress for you, I’m sure it's going to look great on you!” she took my hands in her own.

Awww she is too cute.

“Juvia isn’t really used to showing much skin though. Oh, but what is Levy-san going to wear?” I asked.

“That’s what I was trying to decide, what do you think Ju-chan?” she held out two dresses, analyzing them. One was a strapless blue dress, and the other was a off the shoulder soft pink one.

“I would go with the soft pink one, it goes really well with your complexion.”

She looked at the pink and smiled once more.

“Alright, the pink one it is! Thank you Ju-chan!” she proceeded to put it on.

I followed her and switched out my current clothes.

“Are you excited for tonight?” Levy asked.

“Well to be honest with Levy-san, Juvia is not too good with parties.” I admitted.

“That’s okay Ju-chan, between me and you I would also rather just spend the night in my room reading a good book, but sometimes it’s nice to get a little wild and forgot about your problems, you know?”

I nodded in agreement.

Forget about your problems…

I thought back to Bora’s words. He said something similar, but somehow still different.

“Ju-chan! You look amazing!” Levy brought my attention back.

I faced the mirror in front of me and took a good look at the dress I had put on. It was a very, very short white dress, with long sleeves, and a front lace up that went down just before my belly button, my cleavage in full view.

“H-how can Lucy-san wear something like this!” I blushed, which just made Levy laugh.

When we returned to the other girls Cana had spat out her drink and let out a cat call.

“I’m starting to think none of us are going end up home tonight!” she snickered.

We spent the rest of our time doing our makeup and hair before finally heading out. Even when I was in the Blue dorms, I’ve never had this much fun with all these girls. Even Meredy had come out of her shell, surprisingly becoming close to Cana.

“Come on Juvia, the party isn’t going to wait for us!”

T-this is really nice.

Chapter Text

Natsu’s POV

“Well I’ll see you guys later, meeting bro for lunch today.” I waved to my friends.

“Make sure to bring Gajeel along with you tonight!” Erza called after me and I gave her a thumbs up.

The shop he works at closes early on Friday’s since it’s campus affiliated, and most students are too busy partying Friday night than to head to the mechanics. Bringing him along should be a piece of cake, especially if he knows Juvia will be there. Quatro Cerberus is throwing their yearly fall rave party today, and I’m almost positive the whole campus will be there. To put it in their own words, it’s going to “WILD”.

I opened the door to the cafe with a little chim ringing after me. I scanned the room looking for a familar jet black haired fellow.

“Welcome sir, seat for how many?” A perky hostess come up to me.

“Actually-”

“Natsu! Over here!” I spotted him waving me over in his direction.

Alright here we go, hopefully we can walk out of this without a headache.

I thanked the hostess and took a seat in front of Zeref.

“Well it’s good to see you Natsu.” he smiled.

“You too, bro.”

I picked my menu and read through the options.

At least I get a free lunch in return.

“You don’t look too enthusiastic to see me.” he pouted.

Here we go.

“I am just not excited for whatever lecture you have planned for today.”

It was only about 3 years ago that I found out I had a brother, but apparently Zeref had known about me for much longer. I never knew who my biological parents were, but it’s not as sad of a story as one may think. My parent’s best friend, Igneel, took me in as his own, while Zeref had gone to live with other relatives. Even after Igneel passed away I still wasn’t lonely because I had my friends, and they were practically family. However, Zeref is still my brother and I couldn’t just shut him out. He has actually supported me a lot more than I was expecting him too.

“I can assure you there is no lecture today. I just want to know how things have been, we haven’t spoken since you have moved in with your new roommates, but I assume from the severe decrease in complaints I have received, things have been going well.” he chuckled.

“Yeah, Gajeel was the kid of a friend of Igneel so we go way back, and Juvia is really nice, sometimes scary, but nice.”

“I would like it if you introduced me to them.”

I looked at him hesitantly,

“I-I don’t know, I haven't actually told them that the dean of students is my brother, so it may freak them out.”

“I understand, when you're up for it though let's plan a day to all get lunch together.”

The waitress came by and took our orders, she looked really puzzled when I started listing several entrees, but hey I am not going to let this opportunity go to waste. College students have to be as resourceful as possible, esspecially when it comes to food. Zeref and I chatted a bit more about classes and work before I brought up his fiance,

“So how is Mavis-san doing?”

His face instantly started going red, which made me smirk.

That good I see.” I snickered

“D-Don’t misunderstand, she is doing quite well.” he took a sip of his water nervously.

Mavis used to be the guidance counselor at Fairy Tail High, before getting a job at the University as an English Professor. It’s funny because she used to hate Zeref after she caught him scolding me for a prank I pulled on my old teacher. She claimed he had gone too far and should really learn how to “properly speak to kids”. I can still remember the look of despair on his face when she said that. After a long time chasing, and many rejections, he finally got her and they have been together since.

“My friend Lucy has a class with her, and she claims it is by far the best course she has ever taken.” I tell Zeref, and he just smiles proudly.

“That’s quite a surprise because I heard some students complaining that her tests are near impossible.” he teased.

After lunch we left the cafe, leaving the waitress even more surprised by my empty plates.

“Natsu.”

“Hm?” I continued sucking on the free mint from the cafe.

“Are you going to the Cerberus frat party tonight?” Zeref looked at me concerningly and I just sighed.

“Come on bro, how many times do I need to tell you not to worry.”

“And how many times have I told you I can’t to do that. Have you at least taken your medication for today.”

“I hate taking that shit.” I started feeling more annoyed.

“Natsu.”

“Sorry Zeref I gotta go, I’ll text you later.”

With that I sprinted off with Zeref still calling after me. I always book it when he starts to bring that subject up. Talking about it just make me feel uneasy.

At home, a couple hours had passed before Gajeel finally got back.

“Yo Salamander, what’s got you in such a shit mood.” he sat on the sofa beside me with a cup of coffee in hand.

“Nothing, just had lunch with my brother.” I groaned into a pillow.

“Brother?”

Oh shit!

“Long story, don’t feel like talking about it now.” I just passed it on, and thankfully Gajeel isn’t the type of guy to press for details.

“Whatever, I am suprised Juvia isn’t home yet.”

“Yeah, she is getting ready with the girls for tonight's party.”

I could feel him tense from my words,

“What party? Don’t tell me it’s-”

“Yeah the Cerberus one, which reminds me you're coming with.”

“Salamander what the fuck, Juvia can’t go to something like that!”

I wasn’t sure what he was so uptight about, since they still haven’t told me everything that went down last year, but I wasn't about to let Juvia down.

“Chill man, she agreed to it on her own, plus she looked really excited about it. Don’t worry my friends, especially the girls, are some of the toughest, and scariest, people there are. She will be fine. But that’s another reason for you to come with.”

He still looked unconvinced.

“Did I mention Erza is with her?”

“Okay, fine.”

I couldn’t help but smirk, Gajeel has witnessed the wrath of the Red Queen several times before, which has left him with quite an impression.

“Alright, hurry up and get ready. The rest of the guys will be here soon.”

“Wait, people are coming here?”

“Ya, figured we might as well go together, plus the girls are going to take ages getting ready.”

“Geez what a pain.” he groaned before going to his room.

That went more smoothly than I thought.

Soon Loke, Bickslow, Jellal and Gray arrived and I introduced them to Gajeel. He just grunted at all of them, except Gray who he asked,

“Wait a minute, are you the shower perv Juvia met?”

The guys all looked at Gray suspiciously, while I on the other hand couldn’t contain my laughter.

“N-No that was an accident! Plus she grabbed onto me, so how does that make me the pervert?!?” Gray’s face started to go red.

“Who is Juvia?” Loke asked.

“She is our other roommate.”

“You’re rooming with a girl!?!” Bickslow and Loke exclaimed.

Gajeel pulled out his phone and showed them a picture of her.

“Yup, that’s her.”

They looked dazed before Loke turned his attention to Gray.

“Gray…” he seethed.

“How dare you sully such a pure maiden!”

“I told you it was an accident!”

“Right, tell that to your appearance.” he pointed to Gray’s bare chest.

“Huh...shit!” Gray started looking for his now missing shirt.

I’ll never understand that stripping habit of his.

“Anyways,” Loke’s voice shifted towards me.

“Are you guys maybe looking for a fourth roommate?” he grinned.

Like hell Gajeel would let a playboy like you move in.

 

At the Quatro Cerberus Frat House…

 

Like I had said earlier, this party had gone freakin “WILD”. The music was blaring, people were grinding against each other, and there was so much alcohol that you could get drunk by just breathing the air. And I work at a bar!

“Natsuuuuu, my man, how’s yo’ ass doing’!” Bacchus, the frat president, came up to me.

The party had barely started and he was wasted.

“Hey dude, sick party.” I laughed as we fist bumped.

Cana used to go out with him before she dumped him and moved on with Mira, claiming even he was too much for her. That’s a lot coming from the resident partier herself.

“Thanks bro, no man is leaving this party without getting LAID.” he yelled the last part.

I just continued laughing at him,

“And what poor girl do you got your eyes on?”

“You mean girl s , I have my eye on the party queen herself and her girl.”

I knew he was referring to Cana and Mira, and shook my head.

“Good luck with that man.” I patted his back and moved into the crowd.

You're going to need it not with Cana, but the she-devil herself.

I spotted Gray in the back drinking from a plastic red cup, and next to him was a beautiful smiling blonde. I smirked and came up from behind her.

“Hey babe wanna get out here and go somewhere, private .” I said in a husky voice.
“Natsu!” she jumped back in surprise.

I laughed from her reaction and spoke normally,

“Did you just get here?”

“Yup, the others should be around here somewhere too. So....”

She suddenly struck a funny pose and winked,

“How do I look?”

She obviously knew she looked good, but I admired her anyways.

“Alright.” I chuckled with a shrug.

“Alright!?! That’s it!” she slapped my shoulder but I smiled back.

“Will you two get a room.” Gray glanced over.

“You wanna go popsicle perv!”

He just rolled his eyes and continued drinking. I turned my attention back to Lucy. We talked for a bit before I noticed Juvia coming our way.

“Hello Natsu-sa-WOAH.” she suddenly tripped and I managed to catch her.

“Hey Juvia, you okay?”

She regained her footing and let go of me.

“Yes, Juvia is okay!”

I narrowed my eyes at her,
“You sure you haven't been drinking too much?”

“Oh no no, if Juvia was drinking you would know. She would be a sobbing mess.” she giggled.

I took a better look at her, she wore a really revealing dress that everyday Juvia would never even attempt putting on.

“Your work?” I whispered to Lucy.

She winked and wrapped her arms around Juvia,

“You know it, it would be a shame if she didn't share her hot bod with everyone.”

“Lucy-san.” Juvia blushed.

I looked over at Gray, who I could clearly tell was staring at Juvia.

“Yeah, looks like some people are really enjoying the view.” I snickered, which snapped him out his trance.

He opened his mouth to say something, but was cut off by Gajeel’s booming voice,

“Yo Salamander! Stripper boy! You two wusses going to hide over there forever or are you up for a challenge!”

There was a crowd of people where he stood cheering for us to come over. Next to him were also three barrels of beer, and it was obvious the type of challenge he was looking for.

“HA, BRING IT METAL FACE!” I roared back.

“You’re going to regret challenging me!” Gray smirked, and we walked over to him.

 

CHUG, CHUG, CHUG!”

Crap, I can’t hold on for much longer.

“56, 57, 58, 59, 60!”

*GASPS*

I fell back on the floor, feeling my head rush at a rapid pace.

61, 62, 63, 64…”

The crowd continued counting as Gajeel remained balanced on the beer keg. Gray and I got knocked out at literally the same time, which I found incredibly annoying.

“Why are you trying to copy me Ice Freak!” I jumped on him and sent a punch his way.

He blocked it and rolled me over trying to get in his own punch,

“What the hell, you mean why are you copying me!”

96, 97, 98, 99, 100, WOOOOOO!!!!”

Gajeel got off the keg and flexed his muscles in a victory pose.

“SUCK IT SALAMANDER! YOU BETTER GET TO WORK ON THAT SONG!” he laughed.

I held my hand out which he took, and smirked,

“I’ll get you next time Iron For Brains, just you wait.”

“Any day bro, but you may as well get started on my album since I will beat your ass every time!”

 

I let the effects of the alcohol subside for a moment before heading back into the party. I searched over everyone’s heads before my eyes stopped on her. Her body was squished against the other people dancing, but it didn’t seem like she minded as she made way with this music. Her eyes then caught mine, and her smile widened. Her movements became more seductive as I just watched her with my jaw dropped. She motioned me with her finger to follow, and my legs moved on instinct.

No way I am missing this opportunity.

She took my hands and put them on her waist and wrapped her arms around my neck, dragging me into the rhythm.

“What’s got you so feisty Luce?” I asked.

“I just love this song!” she purred.

You couldn’t even fit a piece of paper between us, that's how close in contact we were. Her chest pushed up against my own and I had to resist the urge to look down. Her body felt so warm against my own, I didn’t ever want to let go.

“I’m starting to love this song too.” I snickered.

I then took her hands from around my neck and pushed her back.
“Natsu?” she looked confused.

I ignored her and tightened my grasp on her hand. I then sent her twirling, and brought her back against my chest.
“Got to put those dance moves you taught me to good use.” I smiled at her.

She just laughed, and we continued our very bad, but very thrilling dance.

“JELLAL, WE CAN’T LET THOSE TWO UPSTAGE US, LET'S GO!” I heard Erza shout as she dragged Jellal onto the dance floor.

That just made Lucy and I laugh harder.

RIP Jellal, I have danced with Erza before and even I am surprised that I made it out alive.

Once the song ended people began to shuffle out to allow for a new wave of people. I reluctantly let go of Lucy’s hand as we pushed apart.

“T-Thanks for the dance.” she smiled.

“Are you sure you want to be thanking me, your poor foot would say otherwise.”

I was expecting her to come up with a snarky comment back, but instead she looked down at her feet blushing hard.

“Nah, it was worth it.”

With that she scurried away within the crowd.

Man you can’t just do that to a guy.

 

The rest of the night continued on with more music, more competitions, and even more drinking. I am pretty sure after today I will be deaf in both ears for a week. Everyone looked like they were having a good time, even Juvia and Gajeel had eased up and found their way in the party spirit. It had become a little less crowded, probably people ready to go hook up with one another.

Ugh I really gotta go piss.

I walked up the stairs towards the bathroom. I always hate going up there cause’ along the way you can hear, and sometimes see, people fucking in all directions.

“Excuse me.” I stepped over a passed out guy on the floor who had drool coming out his mouth.

Most of the rooms were locked, but the moaning and screams were very much audible. I was about to enter the bathroom when I heard a very soft mumble,

Natsu!”

I looked towards the closed door on my left.

Did I imagine that just now?

“Natsu, help me!” the voice became louder, and that was a voice I could recognize anywhere.

I didn’t hesitate kicking down the door, as the several couples in the room looked at me in shock and confusion. The girls screamed in embarrassment but I ignored them and headed for the closed balcony door.

“LUCY!” I yelled, and slid out the door with earth shattering force.

It all happened so fast. My blood boiled so hot, that my head felt like it was being pounded by a hammer. It all took one look at Lucy’s crying face and the asshole hunched over her before I completely lost my sanity.
“What the fuc-”

I grabbed the guy's neck and slammed his head against the balcony door. The crack came before the screams, as blood dripped down the glass. He landed backwards and looked at me with wide, fearful eyes. He choked on his own blood as I hunched over him and punched him right into the concrete ground. The first few punches were from rage for what he tried to do to Lucy. All the ones after that delved from pure gratification, as my senses became hollow. I couldn’t feel anything, just continued to pound my fist into this guy. From the back of my consciousness I could hear screams, and failed attempts of people to throw me off, but I held my position.

NATSU!”

Was that Lucy.

“NATSU PLEASE STOP, YOU'RE GOING TO KILL HIM!”

I felt my fist stop in mid punch. I blinked a few times slowly feeling reality set back. I looked back down at my work, and it was quite stomach churning. The guy looked unrecognizable beneath a bloody puddle, and completely knocked out.

D-Did I kill him?

In that moment I felt a body slam against me.

“YOU IDIOT WHAT ARE YOU DOING!”

It was Gray. He pinned me to the ground, tightening his grip around my hand and head, preventing me from trying anything else.

That guy is a monster! ” someone shouted.

Someone call an ambulance!” some more people came and dragged the guy out of the balcony.

My eyes glanced over Lucy, who just stood there shaking, more tears streaming down her face.

Shit, I really did it now.

“Gray, let go of me.” I said quietly.

He didn’t respond.

“I’m fine, I promise, just let go.”

This time he complied and released his grip. I sat forward with one knee up and placed my hand to my forhead. It wasn’t over yet, my whole body continued to buzz restlessly, wanting more.

“Are you the asshole who pummeled my friend?!?” I heard several people come forward, but didn’t meet their gaze.

Instead Gray stood up,

“Not now man, leave or else your going to end up like your friend.”

“Was that a threat?” someone else scuffed.

That definitely wasn’t a threat coming from Gray, it was a warning about what more I was about to do. I stood up and gave the guy a deadly glare. The guys looked at me fearfully, stepping backwards.

“Y-YOU FREAK-” I saw a fist come my way.

The air swept into my face with the force of the punch, but it was stopped right against the tip of my nose.

“You heard the guy, get the fuck out of here.” this time it was Gajeel towering over the guys.

That seemed to do the trick, as all the guys sprinted for the door. It was dead silent until a soft voice began,

“N-Natsu.”

I didn’t dare look back at her. I faced the opposite direction and said,

“Gray.”

He just sighed and grabbed Lucy’s hand, leading her out of the balcony.

“W-Wait, Gray!” she tried.

“Not now Lucy. It’s not that he doesn't want to see you, it’s that he doesn't want you to see him like that.”

I could feel her still staring at me, before leaving with the hushed closing of the door.

 

“DAMN IT, DAMN IT, DAMN IT!”

I slammed my fist repeatedly against the wall. My skin peeled from the force, leaving blood to splatter everywhere. I did not feel an ounce of the pain that I should have. I stared into the wall stained with my blood and my eyes widened.

“Why does it feel so damn good to go crazy.” I gave a side smirk.

There is this concept called mind-body dualism. It is that the two exist separately, and that is exactly how I felt. Like my mind wanted me to keep thrashing, while my body was desperate for me to stop.

“Come to your senses man, you are overdoing it.” Gray called from beside me.

“So this is what ICD looks like.” Gajeel added.

That’s right, ICD, Impulse control disorder. Ever since Igneel passed away I’ve found myself finding it harder and harder to resist the urge to act irrationally from my emotions. Thankfully I’ve had people like Gray and Erza to help control me when I lose it. The reason I’m always looking for a fight is because if I hold it in and let it all go at once, even I am terrified at what I might do.

Why is it like this…

“S-Sorry about this.” I said.

“Ya Ya, tell us when you've chilled out, better yet I would rather you buy me lunch then apologize.” Gray shrugged.

“Natsu.”

We all looked towards the door where Lucy had returned with a first aid kit in hand.

“Lucy! Didn’t I tell you to leave him for now!” Gray exclaimed.

“No.” she whispered.

“Huh?”

“I SAID NO!” she was now shouting.

“I want to see it! All his flaws, every single one! So no, I am not going to leave, because the Natsu I care about is right here!” she poked Gray’s chest angrily, as he looked completely taken aback.

“Pft-”

Now their attention was on me,

“Hahahaha, what’s up with that!” I laughed harder, finally releasing the tension in my body for ease.

“It’s okay guys, I am all good now.”

Gray looked like he was about to counter, but Gajeel grabbed his arm and smirked,

“He said he was fine, so let’s stop cockblocking.”

“Okay then let go of me!” he said angrily, but also smirked.

Once they had left it was just me and her. We stood awkwardly in front of each other, neither saying a thing. She then held up the first aid kit and said,

“May I treat your wounds?”

I nodded. She took out some disinfecting wipes and began dabbing my knuckles,

“Tsh!” I winced in the pain.

“Ah sorry did that hurt?” she looked up worryingly.

“It’s all good, the pain just means I am back to normal.” I reassured her.

Once she was done cleaning my knuckles, she started wrapping them in bandages.

“This is my fault.” she whispered softly.

“This isn’t your fault.”

“It is! If only I was strong enough to fight him off, you wouldn’t have-”

I pulled her into chest letting the bandages roll onto the floor.

“Natsu-”

“It isn't your fault. None of it. I don’t regret what I did to that jerk, I just regret that you had to see it.”

As if finally breaking, she wrapped her arms around me and sobbed against my chest. I ran my hand down her hair, trying to sooth her. After she was done crying I asked her,

“Why did you call for my name?”

She buried her face deeper in my shirt and in muffled silence replied,

“Because I knew you would hear me.”

A few minutes passed before she pulled away. Her eyes were red and puffy, and her hair was a complete mess, but somehow she still looked cute. I let out a soft chuckle, which made her arch her eyebrow in confusion,

“W-What is it?”

“I am just surprised that you still look so good after all that crying.”

She lightly punched my arm and pouted,

“It’s called waterproof makeup, dummy.”

She resumed to bandage my hands, taking a couple of attempts before finally securing it right. Surprisingly in that time, no one had tried to come into the room. Once she was done, she held one of my hands tightly in both of hers. She slowly brought my bandaged knuckles to her lips and closed her eyes,

“Thank you, Natsu.”

I looked at her in surprise before smiling back.

No Lucy, thank you.

Chapter Text

Gajeel’s POV

At Cerberus Frat…

It’s been a long time since I have actually been to a college party. After last years incident, I have refused any and all attempts to get me to go, mostly for Juvia’s sake. I’d rather spend my time in a bar and down a few mugs of beer than be bombarded by horny students, loud music, and the smell of vomit and regret.

“Come on man get that scowl off your face and let loose!” Natsu’s friend Bickslow slapped my back while sticking out his tongue.

“Fuck off, this just ain’t my thing.” I grunted.

I wasn’t really surprised by all the people Natsu was friends with, he just has that thing about him that even if you might regret it, you want to be near. People look at me on the other hand and run away in fear. Which I didn’t really mind, it is actually quite hilarious to watch.

“Gajeel-kun!” I heard a familiar female voice.

Juvia walked towards me, with a couple of other girls at her heel.

“Yo Blue, glad to see your still alive.” I waved.

“So this is Gajeel, man you're quite the intimidating looking guy.” a brunette came forward and knocked her fist on my chest.

“But damn, you're as hard as a rock.”

I arched my brow at Juvia, who just chuckled back.

They just got here and this girl is already wasted.

Juvia introduced me to the other girls before looking around curiously,

“Where is Levy-san?”

“I’m over here!” a new bluenette popped up from behind.

Wait a minute I know her…

“IT’S YOU!” we both shouted simultaneously while pointing at each other.

Everyone looked at us puzzled,

“You two have already met?” Juvia asked.

“Yeah we have met, this is the pipsqueak that mugged me in the grocery store!”

“Excuse me, don’t you mean to say that you were the jerk who was acting immature in the grocery store.” the bluenette snapped back.

We stared at each other with bitter expressions.

“Gajeel-kun you should apologize to Levy-san.” Juvia interrupted.

“What! Why me?”

“Because you probably started it.”

She wasn’t wrong.

I looked back to the bluenette, who now had a smug expression on her face.

Oh no, no way in hell am I going to “apologize”!

“She should apologize to me, in fact I would do it all over again if I could.” I smirked and flicked her forehead.

“HEY!” she squeaked back, rubbing her forehead.

“Gajeel-kun!” Juvia slapped my shoulder.

Everyone else was in a fit of giggles from our entire conversation.

“Levy I didn’t think this was your type.” Cana snickered.

“As if!” the bluenette pouted.

“I thought your name was Shrimp?.” I snickered but she just ignored me and walked away.

Whats her deal.

“Well big man, you up for a challenge?” Cana draped her arm onto my shoulder.

“Hell no, especially not with a drunkard like you.”

“Oh are you afraid this drunkard is going to kick your ass, I see.” she let go and began to walk away.

How the fuck am I supposed to take that!

“Wait, who is afraid?!? I am going to make you regret those words.”

She smirked and took another swing from her beer.

 

It’s all about concentration, the ball is me and you are the ball.

I flicked my wrist throwing the ping pong ball directly into the last cup.

“OH HELL YA, SUCK IT YOU BOOZER!” I roared and chest bumped Bickslow.

“That was totally awesome man!” he laughed.

I know I said that I really didn’t care for these parties, but hell winning at beer pong is always a good feeling.

“Ah man! I swear I thought you were going to miss that!” she slurred her words.

Should I really feel good about a victory against someone who is drunk AF...hell yes!

After a couple more slaying people’s asses in beer pong and keg drinking, I decided that I had enough thrills for the night. Thankfully around that time they had changed the music for a slower track, which was much needed for my growing headache.

“Well you look like you are having a good time.” a girl with long white hair smiled at me.

“Nah, I just enjoy beating Salamander’s ass whenever I have the chance.” I smirked back.

The girl, if I remember, is Mirajane and she is dating the boozer.

Wonder why, she could do better.

“You know I was surprised to hear about your relationship with Levy...” she said more excitingly.

“Not much of a relationship, pretty sure she hates me even though it should be the other way around.”

“Is that so…”

For a second I swear I saw a sinister grin appear on her face, but she just continued to smile sweetly.

“I think I know of a way you could make it up to her.” she pointed her finger over at the bluenette, who just stared dazedly at the couples slow dancing, and I understood what it is she was asking me to do.

“What makes you think she wants to dance with me?” I said annoyingly.

“Call it woman’s intuition!” she perked up.

I wasn’t going to listen to her, but the longer I stayed around the more shivers I got run down my spin from the aura she omitted.

“F-Fine! It’s just dancing, no big deal.” I set my cup down and walked over to Levy as Mira just shrieked in delight.

She and Juvia seem to get along pretty well, so I guess I should just bury the hatchet now.

“Yo.” I said, pulling her attention away from the dance floor.

She scrunched up her face and looked the other way.

“W-what do you want?” she mumbled.

Why does this woman have to be so difficult.

“Why aren’t you dancing?” I asked.

“By myself?” she now was facing me.

“Well there are plenty of people you could ask?”

Her face softened as she looked back at the dancing couples.That’s when I grabbed her hand and pulled her onto the dance floor.

“W-What are you-”

“Just shut up and dance with me, Shrimp.”

I put my hands around her waist and she reluctantly put hers onto my chest.

“What makes you think I want to dance with you?” she whispered, a tint of pinking appearing on her face.

That's exactly what I said.

“Well maybe I want to dance with you.” I said casually.

She looked up at me with wide eyes, surprised at what I had just said.

“You want to dance with m-me?”

I shrugged as we continued to sway with the soft melody. We didn’t really talk much, but that it was kinda nice that way. Although, even though I was here dancing with her, she still couldn't keep her eyes off the other people dancing.

“Why are you so interested in them?” I finally asked.

And for the first time I finally saw her smile.

“I don’t really know, but it seems nice.”

This time I could feel my own face go red.

W-What is wrong with me, don’t tell me I am actually getting nervous?!?!

“T-That reminds me,” I cleared my throat and glanced away.

“Did you lose a pair of red specs that day in the grocery store.”

“How did you know, wait don’t tell me…”

“Ya I picked them up after you smacked me with your bag and called me a jerk.”

Her gaze shifted to her feet as she blushed,

“S-Sorry about that.” she said embarrassed.

Shit, I wasn’t actually expecting her to apologize.

“Don’t sweat it Shrimp, you weren’t wrong. Anyways, where can I find you around campus?” I awkwardly scratch my head.

“Um well I’m usually in the library for most of the day-” she said with a brow arched in confusion.

“Then I’ll meet you there.”

Before I could get her answer, Juvia frantically called my name,

“Gajeel-kun! Natsu-san is in trouble, please we need your help!” she said shakingly.

Like that our dance had come to an end, as I rushed over to where Juvia had pointed, leaving the other bluenette behind for the rest of the night.

 

A couple days have passed since the whole fiasco that was the Cerberus party, and thankfully things have calmed down. Thanks to the boozer and her relationship with the frat president, Bacchus, Natsu wasn’t charged for anything. For a frat guy he is pretty chill, he claimed that any dude who went as far as forcing a girl was pathetic and deserved more than what Natsu served to him.

Hell, if I had been in Natsu’s shoes, ICD or not, I would have kicked that guy’s ass.

Of course even after all the shit that went down, Natsu didn’t seem too affected by his actions and continued his usual fired up routine.

“Salamander what the hell is taking you so long, that iron ain’t going to pump itself!” I yelled from in front of the door.

Natsu and I usually head to the gym every evening to let off some of the weeks pent up steam, and every since the party he has been super restless. If I didn’t drag him to the gym I am sure he would probably tear the whole place up. He finally got out of his room with gym bag in hand and headphone in one ear.

“Not matter how much you “pump” it isn’t going to make a difference, I’ll still lift more than you.” he smirked.

I rolled my eyes and followed behind him, locking the door on the way out.

“Anyone joining us today?” I asked.

“Think Jellal will be there. Hopefully “she who shall not be named” won’t be joining him.” Natsu shivered.

I snickered remembering the beat down Natsu got from Erza after the party. It wasn’t because he almost beat the kid to death, that she was okay with, it was because he did it in front of Lucy. It took us about 15 minutes to walk over the campus gym, and thankfully the place wasn't too packed, it was a Tuesday night after all. Even better for Natsu, Erza had other plans for the night so only Jellal had shown up. We spent a couple hours working out before calling it quits, too drained from the competition between Natsu and I to continue on.

“I can’t believe it's already 10, ugh and I have a lab tomorrow morning.” Natsu groaned from the bench.

“Well you two definitely didn’t hold back, so I can see how time must have flown by.” Jellal chuckled.

I pulled out my phone to check for any messages, and found one from Juvia.

 

Juvia: Gajeel-kunnn, Juvia needs a book from the library, please get it for her!

Gajeel: Are you kidding?!? It’s already so late.

Juvia: But the library is open to students 24/7, come on you owe Juvia one!

Gajeel: Ugh fine, send me the deats.

Juvia: ღゝ◡╹)ノ♡

 

“Juvia needs me to pick up a book for her, will you be able to get back without killing anyone?” I turn to Natsu.

“Maybe…” he smirked.

I turn to Jellal with an arched brow and he sighs,

“I’ll take him back.”

“I was just joking guys geez!”

You say that now but…

We parted ways as I headed in the direction of the main library. I have barely ever been there, ‘cause I mean there is a thing called the damn internet, plus I am one of those people who goes nuts studying in complete silence.

Okay SH156.9…

I brushed my finger along the spine of several books until I found the one she was looking for. I grabbed it and was about to head out, eager to get home as soon as possible, but from the corner of my eye I caught glimpse of some familiar blue hair. There she was, nose dived in a book, sitting by herself in the corner of the library. It was dark, only for the small desk lamp and the light of the moon illuminating her presence, specs of dust dancing around. I didn’t even realize how long I had been staring before shaking this feeling off and walking behind her.

“What you reading Shrimp?” I rested my arm on top of her head.

I was expecting her to freak out from my sudden appearance, but she just continued reading. I frowned and started to poke her cheek. Her skin was so soft…

Shit what am I thinking-

“Yo Shrimp stop ignoring me.”

She finally broke her concentration with the book and looked over to me. She blinked a few times before her eyes widened in shock.

“Gajeel! You scared me, what are you doing here?!”

Well that was a delayed reaction.

“Just picking up a book.” I motioned to the book in my hand.

“You read books? I have never seen you here before.”

I don’t know why but that kinda pisses me off.

“Yes I do for your information, and literally the Queen could walk in here and you wouldn't notice her.” I scuffed, but then realized she wasn’t even paying attention to me.

“Oh my gee, it’s already this time?” she glanced at her watch.

Does she lack this thing called an attention span?!

“Do you usually stay here this late?” I asked.

“Well it depends on the book I’m reading, but for the most part yes. The dorms don’t have a library and I feel more at home here.” she smiled and placed her hand over the cover of a book.

“Isn’t it kind of dangerous to walk alone at this time?”

“It's not too far away, plus there is security patrolling outside at all times.”

But still, I can hardly imagine a Shrimp like you being able to defend yourself-

“And if you're thinking about how someone like me can defend themselves, just think back to our grocery encounter.” she read my thoughts.

“Hey I just let you off easy-” I frowned, but she just giggled at my reaction.

“Thats reminds me!” she held out an open hand towards me.

“What?” I ask, confused.

“My glasses, did you bring them?”

Oh shit, I was so caught up with the Salamander that I forgot what I had told her.

“Sorry, I forgot to bring them.” I scratched my head.

Her expression dropped.

“B-But I’ll get them to you next time okay!” I spoke faster.

“Okay, but you better remember. I am down reading 6 books a day since I don’t have them.”

Wtf, how many does she read with them?

I picked up her bag, which was much heavier than I thought it would be, and slung it around my shoulder.

“Alright let’s go Shrimp, I’ll walk you to the dorms.”

She looked at me surprised,

“Ah y-you don’t have to do that, seriously I will be fine-”

This time I didn’t wait for her to finish her sentence and walked towards the stairs.

“I said I’ll walk you so just hurry up.”

She gathered the rest of her things and caught up to me. I noticed that she had this silly smile on her face,

“What are you smiling for?”

She looked down at the pile of books in her hand.

“Oh I was just thinking you are much more a gentleman than you put out to be.”

“What can I say, I’m a man of class.” this time I was smiling.

 

We chatted along the way to the Pink dorms. She told me how she went to the high school as Natsu, and that she was majoring in Library science, which I wasn’t at all surprised about. The walk felt a lot shorter than it should have been as I handed her her bag.

“You sure you will be okay carrying all that?” I said unsurely.

“I’m fine don’t worry. Thank you for walking me.” she turned to walk towards the building before stopping.

“Gajeel.”

“What’s up Shrimp?”

She hesitated before continuing,

“Why me?”

If I didn’t have super good hearing I wouldn’t have caught what she said.

“Why wha-”

“Nevermind, goodnight!”

Before I could stop her she ran into the dorms.

What was that all about?

Chapter Text

Juvia’s POV:

At Cerberus Frat...

I don’t really know what I was expecting when I got here. Sure I have been to parties before, but they were on a much smaller scale. Also, once I started going out with Bora he pretty much refused to bring me along to any parties. I felt kind of awkward at first, but the girls really managed to get the party animal out of me. It’s only to be expected that Natsu’s friends are very lively, slightly crazy, people. Although, it makes me even happier to see that Gajeel is having a good time too, goofing around with the other guys and showing off his true colors, not the guy people paint him out to be. I know he has never thought this, but I felt like I have been holding him back.

I’ll also have to ask him about Levy later on...

“Come on Juvia, let’s go dance!” Cana suddenly wrapped her arms around mine.

“Eh but Juvia is not too good at dancing…”

Completely ignoring what I had just said, Cana proceeded to drag me onto the dance floor.

“You're making it harder than it is. You just have to move your body to the rhythm.”

She took my hands and directed my movements.

“You look good, so you should feel good too!” she laughed.

A couple years ago Gajeel dragged me to a rock concert and somehow we ended up in the mosh pit, but even that does not compare to how crazy it is in the middle of this dance floor. I don’t know why I needed to move my body because the crowd was doing it for me. There wasn’t a area of skin that wasn’t in contact with another person.

“Cana-san, Juvia really doesn’t-”

I looked over to see that Cana had disappeared.

Did she just leave me here?!?!?

I tried multiple times to leave the floor, only to be shoved right back in.

I guess I will just have to wait it out.

That was the plan, but then the worst thing that could have possibly happen, happened. A few minutes into the song I felt something hard press against me from behind. I gasped in shock and tried to move away from the random guy trying to grind on me, but with no luck.

Why do these things always happen when I was just starting to have a good time.

As if answering my prayers, someone shrugged in between us,

“Hey man, can’t you tell that she ain’t feeling you. Now take your pathetic self elsewhere!”

I glanced over my shoulder to see a orange haired guy that I recognized as one of Natsu’s friends.

“L-Loke-san?”

“Hello darling, I saw that you were in distress and as the perfect prince I am, came to your rescue.”

Oh gwad…

“Thank you for helping Juvia-AHH!”

I was jerked forward by a pair of hands placed at my waist.

“How are you any better than that guy?” Gray sneered at Loke.

Gray...what is going on here?!?
“Fullbuster what’s the big idea.” Loke grabbed my shoulders and pulled me back against him.

I then found myself in a tug of war between the two boys.

“P-Please stop pulling Juvia.” I tried, getting dizzier by each motion.

“LOKE, IS THAT YOU!” an angry female voice shouted within the crowd.

Loke released his grasp and I fell into Gray’s chest.

“Oh shit, ex-girlfriend alert!”

He scurried off the floor, leaving Gray and I alone...well alone with all the other people around us.

“Geez if you're going to look so depressed why did you even come out here?” he now directed his attention to me.

I couldn’t help but blush furiously at our position. I tried to pull away but he held his grip around my waist.

“Unless you want some other creep feeling you up you should just endure it with me.” he frowned.

“N-No Juvia did not mean it like that, she just feels bad for putting you in this situation.”

His face softened and he glanced away,

“Well your Natsu’s roommate and friend, I would get hell from him if I didn’t help you out.”

He came to help me? He is so kind...

“G-Gray-sama.” I look into his eyes admiringly.

“-sama?” he repeats, confused by the added honorific.

I blush at my sudden words. I don’t know why but I said it out of instinct. It just felt...natural?

 

Once I finally managed to leave the grindfest on the dance floor, I did not dare to go back.

I am feeling quite exhausted, I’m ready to go home and take a shower.

I guess it’s going to take some time before I get used to this party atmosphere.

“NATSU!” a sudden scream erupted from one of the rooms.

I recognized it immediately as Lucy’s voice. I heard several other screams coming from that direction before rushing into the room myself. My eyes widened in horror as I watched Natsu pound into a guy underneath him. Without thinking, I ran down the stairs shouting for Gajeel.

“Gajeel, where are you!!!”

I could feel the stares of people as I passed them, but continued to call for him.

“Juvia?”

Gray peered over from a corner with a random girl draped around him. I ignored the girl and ran up to Gray.

“Gray-sama, i-it’s Natsu-san-” I said trying to catch my breath.

He immediately shoved the girl off and placed his hands on my shoulder, which she didn’t look too happy about.

“Where is he?!” Gray asked me concerningly.

“The l-last room on the left.” I pointed towards the stairs.

“Okay, don’t worry and find Gajeel.” he tried to calm me down before running to the stairs.

Once I found Gajeel he reassured me that everything would be okay and followed Gray to the room.

“This must be his ICD kicking in again.” Levy had a soothing hand on my back.

“ICD?”

“Impulse control disorder, as long as I have known him he has been diagnosed with it. The first time I saw him lose control I was really taken aback, the bustling and happy Natsu caught in such rage.”

I never knew…

I left Levy in search of a first aid kit, thinking that Natsu may need treatment. I spotted Lucy, who looked completely worn out, the tears visible on her face.

“Lucy-san!” I called towards her and took her into an embrace.

“Juvia…” she sniffled against my shoulder.

When I pulled back I asked her worryingly,

“Is Lucy-san alright?”
She nodded and tried to wipe a few tears away.

“I’m fine, but I am worried about Natsu. He told me to leave him alone.”

I stared at her for a second before shoving the first aid kit in my hands to hers.

“Juvia-”
“Go back.” I said seriously.

“B-but-”
I don’t know what had gotten over me, but it all felt so familiar.

“Lucy-san do you care for Natsu-san.”

She looked at me with shock,

“O-Of course I do-”

“Then you need to go to him. Natsu-san can not pretend that he is just one sided, he needs you to see the worst in him or he will never truly change!”

Natsu isn’t the only one who has tried to hide his flaws.

With new determination on her face she gave me a confident nod and rushed to his side.

“Thanks Juvia!” she called from ahead.

I smiled back and decided that I could leave the rest to her.

I wonder...will I find something like that?

 

One Week Later:

 

“So I did some research and it looks like pyromania is a classification of ICD, which explains a lot about Natsu’s fascination with fire.” Meredy pointed towards a section in her textbook.

Since the party Natsu hasn’t really talked about what had happened, but I didn’t feel like it was my place to push. Esspecially when I haven’t told him everything about myself. I did however ask Meredy if she could explain the conditions of ICD, I feel as if that is the least I could do.

“Juvia didn’t know that, but you're right it does explain a lot.” I recalled back to the few times we had come close to burning down our apartment.

Meredy closed her book and looked at me suspiciously,

“I know you care about Natsu and all but shouldn’t you also worry about yourself.”

“W-What do you mean?” I said nervously.

She leaned in and smirked,

“Don’t try to hide it, I saw you dancing with Gray and Loke! So which one do you have your eyes set on, honestly Loke is too much of a playboy but I’m sure you can change him. Gray however will be a hard nut to crack.”

I sighed and pushed her face back,

“Stop your meddling Meredy, you know Juvia is done with relationships.”

“But you call him “Gray-sama”.” she batted her eyelashes.

“Out of respect, not love.” I said simply and got up.

“Juvia needs to go now, she is meeting Sting-kun later tonight.” I waved back at her.

 

At the Apartment:

 

“Natsu-san, will you please zip Juvia up! Oh, Gray-sama hello.” I opened my room door to see Gray lounging on our couch.

Gray comes over a lot more often since the two of us, kind of, cleared the air between our awkward first encounter.

“Hey, you going out tonight?” he asked.

Before I could answer Natsu appeared,

“Oh dang Juvia you look good, you got a date or something?”

“No Juvia told you she is going out with her friend.”

“Are you sure they are just a friend.” Natsu wiggled his eyebrows.

“Yes. Juvia is positive. Now please help Juvia.” I turned my back towards him.

He placed a hand to the small of my back and proceeded to pull the zipper up.

“Don’t you think you guys are too close?” Gray shifted his eyes.

“What you jealous Ice Perv?” Natsu snickered.

“As if Flame Brain.” Gray stood up angrily, and before a fight could infuse there was a knock on the door.

“Ah that must be him!” I made my way to the door and opened it.

“Hey Juvia, you ready to-” Sting started but stopped mid sentence.

“What’s wrong Sting-kun?” I glanced over my shoulder to see both Natsu and Gray standing right behind me.

“Oh hey! I didn’t know Sting was the friend you were talking about!” Natsu said.

“Natsu! What the heck are you doing here man?” Sting said surprised.

“I kinda live here.” he laughed back.

Sting looked back at me and I just shrugged,

“Juvia didn’t know you two were acquainted?”

“Ya we also go way back along with Gajeel and the others.” Natsu replied.

So Natsu was a part of that group...

“So does Gray live with you too or is he your boyfriend?”

I felt my face flush,

“N-No what would make you think-”

I looked back at Gray, and my face went even redder.

“G-Gray-sama your clothes!” I covered my eyes.

“Oh shit!” he noticed his half naked appearance.

Natsu just continued to laugh as Sting gave me a look that said I had a lot of explaining to do.

 

“Juvia it would have been nice if you had given me a heads up! I mean I used to have the biggest crush on him!” Sting leaned into his hand with a pout.

“Juvia is sorry, she didn’t know.” I patted his back with a smile.

We decided to go get drinks at Fairy Glitter, it’s recently become one of my favorite places on campus to spend time in. I was surprised to hear that Natsu and many of his friends worked here. Tonight, Mirajane and her younger brother Elfman were serving.

“Here is your Black Velvet Sting and your Blue Lagoon Juvia.” Mirajane slided our drinks to us.

“Thank you Mira-san!”

She smiled sweetly and went to tend to the other customers.

“At least it’s good to see you making friends.” Sting took a sip from his drink.

“What are you talking about Sting-kun, Juvia has friends!”

“Really, name people other than Gajeel and Meredy?” He smirked.

That’s not fair…

I cleared my throat and whispered,

“You…”

He just laughed and took another sip of his drink.

“What is Sting-kun not Juvia’s friend?” I said annoyed.

“Of course we are, but we aren’t really normal friends.”

I thought back to last year, Sting and I were practically two different people.

“Ya you were a complete jerk when we met.” I chuckled.

“Hey- ya you're right.” he said in defeat.

“And you were hopelessly desperate.”

I couldn't deny it either. We sighed simultaneously and stared at our drinks. I felt so disgusted with my old self, never thinking on my own and always following what Bora had said. If I could go back in time I would slap past Juvia a few times to knock some sense into her.

“We’re different now, slowly and surely we are moving on from the past.” I cheered up.

“You're right, but it still kinda hurts thinking about all the sick things I did to people.” Sting gave a sad smile.

I slapped his arm and frowned,

“We all make mistakes, don’t beat yourself over it. Ugh this conversation is too depressing!” I took a long sip from drink and slammed it against the counter.

“Now Sting-kun,” I gave a sly smile, trying to shift the conversation.

“How is Rogue-san doing these days?”

This seemed to do the trick, his face went red and he let out a nervous laugh.

“Good, still his usual brooding self.”

I smile wider and wait for him to continue,

“You think he will be mad if I ask for Natsu’s number?”

“Sting-kun!” I slapped his arm again, but he just laughed harder.

“Nah, but seriously it feels so good to finally stop suppressing my feelings. I was so caught up in what people thought that I didn’t even realize who was really the most important person. I guess by hurting myself and others the pain didn’t feel as apparent.”

“Sting…” I say softly.

“But now I got myself a fine ass angsty boyfriend so who the fuck cares!” he shouted.

Several people around hooted in approval and I couldn't help but laugh.

I am so happy for you Sting.

“So what about you Juvia, I didn’t know you were banging Gray.” now he had a sly smile.

“Juvia told you it’s not like that! Gray-sama is Natsu’s good friend, that's all.”
“But you call him Gray-sama?”
“Not you too, it’s out of respect!” I rested my forehead against the counter in defeat.

“Whatever you say, just be careful I heard he is a heartbreaker.”

I remembered the girl from back at the party Gray was with, it was not hard to figure out what they were doing before I interrupted.

I wonder if she was his girlfriend, but he doesn’t really seem like the type…

“Earth to Juvia, you still with me?” Sting waved his hand in front of my face, bringing me back from my thoughts.

“Yes, Juvia was just thinking.”

“Okay, so I am guessing you didn’t hear what I said.”

He held up a flyer for his band Motion Sick.

“We’ve got a gig at the Halloween bash in a couple weeks, so you better be there.”

I don’t know if I’m ready for another big party, but Gajeel and I really love their band…

“Juvia wouldn’t miss it, Sting-kun.”

This made him smile as he shoved the flyer back in his pocket.

“By the way, when are you and Gajeel going to perform again at Crime Sorcière? I am dying to hear you sing!”

“Juvia-chan I didn’t know you sing?” Mira suddenly appeared.

My face went red in embarrassment.

“N-No that was just a one time thing, they needed someone to, and Gajeel-kun dragged Juvia into it.”

“You seemed pretty into yourself to me, and everyone was practically drooling all over you.” Sting chuckled.

“I would love to hear you sing! Oh my and I am sure we can get everyone else to come along too!” Mira clapped her hands together and looked to Elfman.
“Oh ya a real man can sing!” he just nodded in approval.

“B-But Juvia isn’t-”

Mira and Sting were too busy coming up with plans as Elfman continued chanting about being a “real man”. I let out a huge sigh and downed the rest of my drink.

 

“Sting-kun, Juvia is, Juvia is-” I sobbed into his back as he continued to climb the stairs to my apartment.

“Yeah yeah, I know.” he replied for the uptenth time.

Somehow I managed to get myself drunk, which was a surprise since I have shown a good amount of restraint recently.

“But Juvia-” I cried harder, wiping my snot on his back.

Sting groaned at the action and proceeded to knock on the front door. I was too much of a mess to see who had the answered, only making out bits and pieces of their conversation.

Woah what happened to her?”
“She went a little overboard on the drinks, is Gajeel home?”

“No Natsu said he is staying at the shop overnight for a project.”

“How about Natsu?”
“He is dead asleep, doubt you’ll be able to wake him.”

“Damn, well I guess I’ll leave her to you, sorry man.”

“Wait what?!?”

“Just take her to her room, she’ll be fine.”

I felt as Sting shifted me away from his arms as new very cold ones held me against them.

“Oh and don’t do anything or Gajeel will have your ass, not in a good way of course.”

That was the last thing I heard Sting say as the door closed shut. I moved my head away from a strong bare chest and glanced up to Gray’s dark blue eyes.

“Gray-sama?” I whispered.

Before he could answer back I wrapped my arms around his neck and nuzzled my face into his neck. I felt him flinch, as I sobbed against his neck.

“S-So sad Gray-sama, so sad.” I mumbled.

“W-What’s sad?”

I didn’t answer, just kept crying. We entered my room and Gray tried to release me on my bed but I held my grip around him.

“J-Juvia we are in your room so you can let go now!” he tried to pull my arms with more force.

I finally released my hold and collapsed onto my bed. He was about to leave when I caught his arm.

“Juvia-”

“Don’t go.”

I pulled an arm over my eyes, letting real tears fall this time.

“Don’t leave Juvia. Juvia doesn’t want to be alone anymore. She’ll do anything just don’t leave her alone in the rain again.”

There was silence, just the sounds of my frequent sobs. He then gently removed my hand from his arm.

Ah he is leaving, just like they all do.

I suddenly felt a plop on my bed and moved my arm from my face to see Gray seated at the edge.

“Is it really so bad being alone.”

 

Next Morning…

For the first time in a long time I didn’t dream about Bora. There was no pain, no force, no needles, and not a drop of rain. Instead it was snowing, but somehow it felt warm. My eyes slowly started to flutter open. I was expecting to see the other side of my room, but instead I was met by a familiar naked chest.

Huh?

I shifted my eyes up and saw a beautiful sleeping man with his head rested on one arm and his other draped lazily around me.

I-I-Is this a dream, because why is Gray-sama in bed with me?!? Not complaining but…

I could feel fear strike my eyes as I looked down. I let out a sigh in relief once I noticed that I was still dressed from last night, and Gray had his sweats on.

Okay at least that didn’t happen.

I looked back at Gray, soft breaths rising and falling against his chest. I brought my hand to his face and brushed a couple strands of hair away from his eyes.

If this really is a dream, I don’t care, just don’t wake me up!

I felt his eyes open against my touch. Suddenly he grabbed my hand and met my gaze. He still looked dazed from waking up, and I could feel my face heat up the longer he stared at me.

JUVIA, YOU AWAKE? ” Natsu yelled, knocking on the other side of my door.

This jolted us both upward, looking at each other with wide eyes.

“W-What the-” he finally broke contact and looked around my room.

“Oh shit…”

Oh shit was right.

“WAS THAT GRAY? I THOUGHT I STILL SMELLED HIM...WAIT A SECOND!” Natsu yelled once more, and began to turn the knob of my door.

“Wait Natsu-san-”

There was no time to react as both Gray and I looked frantically at Natsu who was completely shocked.

“J-Juvia can explain!”

Now I really wish this were a dream.

 

“So you got sad drunk, so Sting passed you along to Gray and Gray tried to leave you in your room but you wouldn't let him go, and somehow you both ended up falling asleep.” Natsu repeated my story.

I nodded from my kneeled position as Gray just frowned not enjoying having Natsu of all people lecture him.

“I guess if that’s all that happened then it's fine. I mean I sleep with Lucy all the time but we aren’t together.” he said simply.

Thank gwad for Natsu’s dense character.

“But you should be thankful Gajeel wasn’t here, or man Gray you would have been dead.” Natsu chuckled and Gray just glared at him.

“Anyways you should really go clean up Juvia, you look like a mess.” Natsu didn’t hold back.

Omg he is probably right, after all that crying I must look like a red glop!

We both stood up and before I started for my room I glanced at Natsu.

“R-Right, I’ll let you guys talk.” and he walked out of the apartment.

Guess he is not that dense, and he didn’t need to completely leave.

We stood there awkwardly before I finally said,

“Gray-sama Juvia is sorry. You must really hate her now.”

He looked surprised by my words,

“What are you talking about, I don’t hate you. Don’t worry about it.”

“But Juvia seems to only show you her vulnerable side.” I blushed embarrassed.

He put a hand on top of my head, but still avoiding my gaze,

“Let’s just blame it on timing. Seriously don’t sweat it. Plus it-”

He stopped and shifted away,

“It’s been a long time since I’ve slept so peacefully.”

I was taken aback by his words, but couldn't help the smile creeping on my face.

“But don’t misunderst-AND”
I tackled him from behind and wrapped my arms around his chest.

“Kyaa Gray-sama you are so cute!”

“What the heck! I’m not cute, a-and get off!” he was blushing like crazy now.

I released my hold and hurried to my room. I took one last glance at the still frazzled Gray, and closed the door. I tilted my head back staring up into the ceiling, still smiling.

Oh no, is Gray-sama becoming more than just Gray-sama?

Chapter Text

Natsu’s POV

First day of October…

*FWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE*

“Dragneel, how many times do I need you to tell you to pass the freakin ball man!” Coach Scorpio yelled in my direction, blaring his whistle.

“Why do I need to pass if I can make the shot myself?” I rested the back of my head on my hands casually.

“Soccer is a TEAM sport, there is no “I” in team!” he said clichely.

“But there is a “I” in teim.” I snickered back.

After lecturing me for a bit longer, I finally grabbed my bag and headed for the locker room.

“You shouldn’t piss coach off or he won’t let you play in the next game.” Gray caught up to me.

“Yeah right, he knows that he needs me to play if we want to catch up since I have been gone.”

I’ve been on the Magnolia U’s soccer team, the Magnolia Mages, since the start of my freshman year. Honestly the worst part of having been kicked out of the dorms a couple months ago was that I also got suspended from playing in any games. Not trying to sound arrogant, but our team went to shit in the time I have been off. Gray is pretty okay, but he is a rookie. In high school he was all about ice hokey, but one too many injuries later the physicians told him he had try a less “aggressive” sport. But the idiot doesn’t know how to pull back and is always being red-carded(and that’s coming from me), he has yet to last an entire game. By the time our next game comes around my suspension will have finally ended and I am more than a little fired up. I grabbed a towel from my locker and made way for the shower. I let the hot water rinse away all the sweat from today’s practice, enjoying the burning sensation against my skin.

“Natsu,” the faucet in the shower beside mine opened with Jellal stepping inside.

“You know when you make coach upset that I also have to hear him lecture.” he sighed.

“Hey no one said being captain is easy.” I laughed.

Even I will admit that Jellal is one of the most skilled soccer players there is, which is why it came at no surprise when he was chosen as captain this year.

“We still having dinner at Dragon’s Nest?” Gray asked from a shower over.

“Yeah I’m free, Erza is still working on her group project so she has been busy.” Jellal sulked.

“Come on man, no need to sound so lonely!” I slapped his back before heading over to change.

“Anyways I can’t, I’m meeting up with Lucy. She promised to review my research paper.”

“She is probably going to need the whole night correcting one of your papers.” Gray smirked.

“Shut it Ice Breath, you know grammar and shit ain’t my thing.”

Even when I was younger, no matter how hard Igneel tried I just did not understand all the rules that go into English. I mean as long as you can understand what I am saying, why does it matter? Lucy would probably kick my ass if she heard me say that, being an English major and all.

 

I searched around the student union, trying to spot the blonde. Practice had run longer than expected, so she must have been waiting for a while. The once humid air had changed to the brisk breeze of fall along with the now brightly auburn and brown falling leaves on the trees. Even though my name means “summer” I kinda like the feel of autumn. When I finally found Lucy, she was sleeping peacefully with her back against a tree, laptop by her side.

Bet she went overboard with the corrections, geez.

I bent down and stretched my hand toward her,

“Luc-” I began but was interrupted when her eyes suddenly shot open and yelled,

“LUCY KICK!”

Next thing I know, her foot met with my face and I am being hurled back a few feet. Not going to lie it was enough to even give Erza a run for her money.

“OWWW, WHAT THE HECK LUCY!” I yelled, rubbing the back of my jaw where a bruise was forming.

“Omg, sorry Natsu! But hey you should know better than to sneak up on a girl!” She rushed to my side.

Is she going to help me or lecture me?

“I can see you’ve been working on that kick of yours. It’s kinda cute how you call it “Lucy Kick” though.” I chuckled once we seated around the tree.

“Well I thought it was about time to learn how to defend myself, so Erza has been training with me.” she huffed in embarrassment and turned her head.
“Woah you are training with “she who knows no mercy”! How are you keeping up?” I said shocked.

“W-Well, I’m not.” she sweatdropped, and I couldn't help but laugh.

We spent the next few hours going over my paper, well more her grilling me about every tiny detail, and when we finally finished the sun had began to set.

“Thanks a lot for your help Lucy, I owe you one.” I sighed glad I was finally done with this damned assignment.

“It’s no big deal, plus I feel bad for kicking you earlier.” she glanced at the red mark around my chin.

It didn't really hurt as much as she was making it out to, but this may be as good as any opportunity to take advantage.

“If you really feel bad…”

I spread my legs out and rested my head on her lap.

“N-Natsu!” she said frazzled.

“Lend me your lap, I’ve been so busy with this paper and practice that I haven't had much time to sleep.” I said, my eyes slowly drifting off.  

She stared down at me, silent for a moment before smiling, and ran a gentle hand through my hair.

“You idiot, why even bother asking if your just going to do it anyways.”

Flashback

I remember the first time I saw the kindle of red and bursting orange flecks. I was caught in complete awe, the vibrance reflecting in my eyes. It was beautiful, yet when I went to touch it, it had completely rejected my admiration leaving a seething burn on my tiny hand. But time after time I tried to grasp it, hoping one day it will accept me, or I it.

“How many times do I need to tell you NOT to put your hand in the fire Natsu!” Igneel yelled after catching me icing my burned finger.

“How come you never get hurt by it dad?” my child self tried to hold back a sniffle.

“When you deal with fire every day like I do you know how find ways around the pain.” he chuckled and went to ruffle my hair.

“Then I want to be around fire everyday!” I puffed out my cheeks.

“Do you now?”

Igneel suddenly grabbed me and lifted me to the air.

“WAH! PUT ME DOWN!” I tried wiggling out his grasp.

“Hahaha well Natsu let me give you some piece of advice, the day you become stronger than me will be the day you will conquer fire. How does that sound?” Igneel gave me a cheeky grin.

I stared at him for a moment before giving him my own wide smile.

“Just wait dad, I promise you I’m going to get so strong that you're going to regret those words!”

A year after I made that promise, I found out that I would never be able to fulfill it.

“Dad, where are you going?”

“Oh Natsu, what are you still doing up?”

Igneel was dressed in his fireman uniform which made me think he had one of his usual urgent calls. But somehow, something didn’t feel right?

“Igneel we need to get going.” A deep voice urged from the corner.

It was Uncle Metalicanna. What was he doing there? Igneel nodded and kneeled in front of me.

“One of the machines at the research labs Aunt Grandeeney and Uncle Weisslogia and Skiadrum work at had an accident, we are going to make sure everyone is safe.”

I nodded, seeing this as just another job.

“Don’t worry kiddo, just head back to bed alright.” He patted my head once more before getting up to meet Metalicanna by the door.

I should have realized when he looked hesitant to leave, this was not just another job. Minutes felt like hours, and hours felt like days. I tried to go back to sleep but I couldn’t stop thinking about Igneel. Deciding I needed something to pass the time, I turned on the television. The image I had seen hundreds of times before reflected onto the screen. Except this time it was engulfed in thick smoke and chaos.

“The situation at the research plant X777 has gotten more out of control as servicemen try to control the scene.” the reporter tried to speak over all the shouting.

My eyes were glued to the television, and for the first time, I did not reach out to the flames reflected at me. At some point the television had turned off and I just sat in silence as the sun began to rise. My trance was broken when I heard sudden knocking on the door.

“I-Igneel!” I ran as fast as my short legs could go opening the door with a relieved smile on my face.

But when I opened the door it wasn't Igneel standing on the other side.

“Hello Natsu.” One of Igneel’s comrades spoke.

He had his uniform on, and he looked completely exhausted with smears of ash all over his face.

“Where is Igneel?” I asked immediately.

He looked hesitantly to another fireman on his left, who could not even meet my gaze.

“Y-You're father fought bravely and in the end he held his friends lives over his own.” he gave a strained smile and knelt down in front of me.

“W-What do you-”

“I’m-I’m so sorry Natsu.”

His tears streamed down onto my face, and after a while I couldn't tell apart his from my own.

Flashback end

By the time I woke up it had already become dark outside, only the campus lights illuminating the area.

It’s been awhile since I’ve had that dream.

I looked up to see that Lucy had also fallen asleep again. Her posture was the same when I found her earlier, her back against the tree and head slightly tilted forward. The area where her hand was still placed on my head felt much warmer than the rest of my body. As much as I did not want to move, it was already so late.

Shit can’t believe it’s already 11:30.

I lifted myself off her lap and reached towards Lucy to wake her up. I hesitantly grabbed her shoulder, bracing myself for another “Lucy Kick”, but nothing.

“Lucy, hello, we gotta go.” I called, but it seems like she was in a much deeper sleep this time.

Although it was kinda hard to see, I could still make out some of her prominent beautiful features, and in that moment a wave of nostalgia hit me.

I’ve never noticed before, but somehow she looks very familiar…

Without even realizing it I had rested my forehead against hers, trying to get a better look, when her eyes started to open.

“N-Natsu?” she said kinda dazed until her brown eyes were directly starting back into my green ones, our faces only inches away.

“Oh you're finally awake.” I said simply.

I watched her eyes widen and her entire face started to heat up.

“L-Lucy-” she began.

Lucy?

“LUCY KICK!” she swung her foot into my stomach, and for the second time today I was kicked a few feet back.

I thought I was finally getting a break from Erza, only to be beaten by Lucy!

 

Friday at the apartment…

 

For the first Friday in a long time I decided to spend my night just chillin at my place. Well that is if you call folding laundry “chillin”. It’s been a long ass week balancing practice and that research paper I had do for my Corrosion and Degradation course that was worth 15% of my grade, but I managed...somehow.

“and then Meredy tried to get Juvia to eat this type of Vampire squid and Juvia almost passed out.” Juvia continued her traumatizing story of visiting a seafood restaurant for the first time as she helped with the folding.

“What made you think going to a seafood restaurant in the first place would be a good idea, I mean you are a aquatic vet.” I retorted, still keeping my focus on the laundry.

“Well Meredy claimed that this was good practice if Juvia ever had a date at a seafood restaurant.” she said as if it were obvious.

“Oh yeah, and how did it turn out?” I smirked, already knowing what she was going to say.

“Juvia may or may not have tried to free the lobsters in the tank, getting herself banned from the restaurant…” she mumbled.

I couldn't help but laugh at the image of Juvia trying revolutionize some lobsters at a seafood restaurant.

“Speaking of dates…” Juvia focused her attention on me, with a silly expression on her face.

“When have you and Lucy-san been going out?”

Her question took me by surprise,

“What do you mean? We aren’t going out.”

“You can’t lie to Juvia, explain this.” Juvia tapped on her phone before facing the screen towards me.

I looked at the Instagram post of Lucy and I sleeping by the tree a couple nights ago. The caption read;

drinktilldead @lovelucy When’s the wedding (づ ̄ ³ ̄)づ

What the heck, when did Cana take this? Knowing Lucy she is probably freaking out over it…

“We were just sleeping what’s the big deal? You’ve slept with, Gray doesn’t mean-”

I was interrupted by a pair of my boxers flung in my face.

“SHHH WHAT IF GAJEEL HEARS YOU!” Juvia whispered angrily as we both glanced towards the kitchen where Gajeel was humming loudly while cooking.  

“S-Sorry, but like I said we are just friends.” I whispered back.

She didn’t look convinced, and before she could say anymore knocking started on the door.  

I’m saved.

“Who the fuck is interrupting my cooking!” Gajeel grumbled while heading for the door.

“Are you expecting someone Natsu-san?” Juvia asked.

“No I thought it was for you?” I looked just as confused.

We watched as Gajeel tried to close the door as fast as he had opened it, only to be stopped a foot in the edge of the door.

Come on is that how you are supposed to treat guests ?”

Oh no, I know that voice…

Suddenly the door was thrown open and a flood of people made their way inside, Cana leading the pack.

“Yoooo let’s get this party started!” she held up a pack of beer.

“C-Cana-san?” Juvia exclaimed.

“Woah is Natsu doing laundry?” I heard Loke speak up from behind.

“To think we would see the day.” Bickslow added.

“You jerks, what are you trying to say!” I stood up ready to fight someone.

Well there goes my attempt at relaxing hahaha

An hour or so had passed with Cana, Mirajane, Loke, Lisanna, Elfman, Bickslow, Laxus, Meredy, Levy, Gray, Jellal, Erza and Lucy all comfortably lounging around our home.

“Salamander what the fuck is wrong with your friends!” Gajeel sneered from the kitchen, not too happy about the whole situation.

“We are not just his friends, we are yours too.” Erza answered for me.

“Who the fuck would want you freaks as frien-” Gajeel shut his mouth when he caught sight of her deathly glare.

“You should just give up and accept it.” Laxus laughed from the breakfast bar.

He then brought his attention to me,

“Been a while Natsu, hope you haven’t been causing too much trouble.”

“Seriously where have you been man, and you know that ain’t an option.” I bumped my fist against his.

“Seniors got it rough, you should feel lucky that you're still a sophomore. Plus I also got the team to look after.” Laxus said.

“Don’t act like you don’t enjoy terrorizing the other guys.” Gajeel smirked.

“I didn’t know you guys know each other?” I asked them.

“Well he is on the team.” Laxus gestured.

“WHAT! Why didn’t you tell me you joined the basketball team Gajeel?!?”

“I never said I was joining, Bickslow just dragged me to couple practices that’s all.” he grunted while walking away.

“It will be no time before he accepts, you should see how competitive him and Cobra get.” Laxus continued laughing.

Damn if Gajeel really does join, the only competition they will get is within the team itself.

After catching up with Laxus, and trying to fight him that ended in vain, I sat on the couch beside Lucy who was talking to Levy.

“Yo Luce, Levy what are you guys talking about?”

They smiled at each other before answering,

“We were just thinking about how close Juvia and Gray have gotten.”

They directed my attention over to the two who were talking out on the balcony. I don’t think I have ever seen Gray look so relaxed with someone outside our friend group.

“Yeah they’ve really become good friends ever since that da-” I stopped and thought about what I was going to say.

That what Natsu?” Lucy narrowed her eyes.

Oh shit, I already got in trouble for letting it slip once-

“Ah nothing, ha ha ha.” I laughed nervously, but the two of them weren't buying it.

“Natsu-”

“Hey Natsu! What are you guys talking about?” Lisanna joined us on the couch, stopping Lucy from interrogating me anymore.

Thank you Lisanna, everyone knows I am shit at keeping secrets.

Lisanna is Mira and Elfman’s younger sister, and probably one of my closest childhood friends. She really helped me through alot, and I can’t tell you how depressed I was when she got transferred to a hospital outside the country for treatment. But because of that she is all better and is as lively as ever.

“We were just talking about Gray and Juvia.” Levy said.

“Oh Juvs and Gray would be so cute! I have a couple classes with her and only recently have we started to become really good friends.” Lisanna smiled.

That would make sense since they are both studying to be veterinarians, Juvia just an aquatic one.

“But you know Gray is as cold as ice, I doubt he is looking for anything serious.” Cana popped up from behind the couch.

“Who knows maybe Juvia is the fated one to melt the ice!” Meredy swooned from beside her.

“If he even dares to hurt Juvia though, I will be sure to make him pay.” Erza scowled.

The girls continued rambling and I suddenly started to feel very out of place.

“You know Gray and Juvia aren’t the only ones getting close, right Lucy.” Cana began to wiggle her eyebrows at me.

I looked towards Lucy who was now blushing furiously.

“I-I already told you it isn’t like that and never will be!”

Ouch, I know I said it too, we were just friends but still…

“Aw Lucy look now you have gone and broke his heart!” Cana draped her arms around me.

“Just drop it Cana.” I said, trying not to sound hurt.

“Wait Natsu I didn’t mean-” the embarrassment had fled from Lucy’s face as she tried to apologize but was stopped by Mira.

“Everyone we are going to start the poker match now!” she cheered.

“Ah hell ya, get ready to be owned by the queen of cards herself.” Cana took a swing of her beer and followed everyone to the middle of the living room.

Lucy continued to look at me anxiously as I got up,

“Come on Luce, we better go unless you want to end up pulling from the “Loser’s Jar”.” I smiled and patted her head.

“Natsu...wait “Loser’s Jar”?”

 

“No way Juvia came in last place!” Juvia had a horrified look on her face as we wrapped up our last round.

“I kinda feel bad for her.” Lisanna said worryingly, while everyone else couldn’t contain their laughter from the turn of events.

“Well you know what that means!” Erza held out the jar of dares, more excited than usual from the presence of alcohol in her body.

It’s kind of this tradition we had since high school that whenever we play a game, everyone writes in a dare and the loser has to pull one out at random. And let me tell you, these are no ordinary dares. Shit I still have a scar from getting tackled by police for running around naked singing Celine Dion’s my heart will go on.

I’ll pray for you Juvia.

Juvia hesitantly picked a slip and gave it to Erza who read outloud,

“Get a lap dance to the song Candy Shop by 50 cent, from the person of the winner’s choosing!”

There was a mix of laughs and gasps as everyone looked in Mira’s direction.

“Oh my I guess that means me.” she smiled sweetly.

Who knows how, but Mira dominated the whole game. Even Cana was no match.

Well from what I’ve heard, she is probably going to pick Gray-

“Natsu!” she clapped her hands together.

“What?”

“You heard her Natsu! Make sure to give Juvia a lap dance she will never forget!”

I don’t know why but I instinctively looked at Lucy who looked just as shocked as I did.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!?

 

“NATSU, NATSU, NATSU!” everyone cheered.

Juvia and I looked at each other awkwardly. She was sitting on the arm chair while I stood in front of her, not knowing where to go from here.

“Juvia is sorry for putting you in this situation Natsu-san.”

“It’s not your fault, although I’m not really sure why I am the one giving you a lap dance.” I scratched my head nervously.

“Come on Natsu what are you waiting for!” Cana hollered.

“Maybe we should choose someone else, Natsu is probably the one with the least sex appeal.” Laxus laughed, and that is when I snapped.

Me, no sex appeal. Oh I am going to make you eat those words Thunder Brain!

I threw off my shirt and got incredibly close to Juvia.

“N-N-Natsu-san!” Juvia’s face started to go red.

“I’m not going to let Erza dragging me to BOTH Magic Mike movie’s be for nothing, hit it!” I directed, which took everyone by surprise, some looking curiously to Erza.

“Oh my, looks like you sparked something Laxus.” Mira giggled as she played the music.

Once the song started I began to move my hips to the rhythm and slid my hand underneath Juvia’s skirt, feeling up her thigh. She looked right about ready to die, but I kinda found it amusing. Call this a little bit of payback for all the lecturing she gives me. I lick my lips and bring one leg up along the arm of the chair. I roll my hips down her, leaning my chest right against her face. I move back and pull onto the band of my pants before standing onto the couch, slowly and sensually sliding down into her lap. Once seated in her lap I straddle my legs around her and move up to brush my lips against her neck. I can feel her breathing heavily and before I could really get into, someone pulls onto my arm and makes me fall backward.

“Don’t you think that’s enough?!” Gray stood behind me, not looking happy at all.

Some people began booing him while others continued to cheer my name. I guess that was enough to bring me back to my senses. I glanced at Juvia who looked like she was evaporating.

“Hahaha I guess I went a little too overboard.” I chuckled.

“You think!” Gajeel said angrily.

Oh shit I forgot about him…

“Listen man it was a dare-” I said nervously but he cut me off.

“Yeah and a crappy one at that. Let me show you how it’s done Salamander.” Gajeel threw his shirt off and headed towards Juvia.

“A part two, oh hell yes!” Cana brought her phone and began recording again.

“Now Salamander it is all in the hips, your technique was way too sloppy.”

“GAJEEL!” Juvia having enough embarrassment stood up and shoved him away before running to her room and locking the door.

The room erupted in laughter and I made note to apologize to her later, that is if she even speaks to me.

“Natsuuuuu!”

I was suddnely tackled by Lucy as she wrapped her arms around my waist.

“L-Lucy?”

“You looked *hic* so smxy back there *hic* are you sure you weren't a stripper *hic* in your past life.” she gave a drunken laugh.

Oh shit, I was so focused on proving my sexiness I forgot about Lucy…

“Lucy...how much did you drink?” I asked.

“Silly Natsu why would I keep count!”

Oh great…

 

We decided to end the night when the girls started to lose control in their drunken states. That is Erza was on her tyrant rampage and even Jellal was unable to tame the beast. Somehow I was put in charge of taking Lucy back to her dorm. I tried giving her water to sober her up, but she was still in a groggily state, her arms tightly squeezed my neck as I carried her on my back.

“Natsuuuu where are we going?” she purred in my ear, which sent shivers down my spine.

“I’m taking you home Luce.”

It didn’t make the situation better that I could feel her breasts tightly pressed against my back.  

I literally just gave someone a lap dance, so why am I feeling so affected by this?!?

“Hey Natsu,”

I noticed that she had dropped her peppy tone,

“Yeah Luce?”

“Do you have someone you...like?” she said shyly.

Where is this coming from?

“Maybe?”

“I knew it! You and Juvia are married aren’t you!?!” her voice rose.

“Wait what? Juvia and I aren’t married, where did you get that idea from?” I said surprised by her outburst.

“Well Mira pointed out how you guys shop together, do laundry together, you even live together, and…”

“And?”

“And you seemed to enjoy doing “that” to her.” she pouted.

Is she...jealous?

I couldn’t help but laugh at the realization. I guess drunk Lucy was more open than sober one.

“Juvia is kinda like the mother I never had, although when I put it like that it is really weird that I gave my mom a lap dance.”

I could feel a small chuckle against my back which made me smile,

“But either way, I don’t feel that way towards Juvia and I am almost 100% sure she feels the same way about me.”

“Really?”

“Yup. Then again I guess you should understand since you will never feel that way either.” I said, wondering what her reaction will be.

“T-That's not true! It was a lie!” she squeezed my neck harder, giving me no room to breathe.

“Okay I believe you, so stop strangling me!” I struggled against her grip.

She released her hold and lazily rested her forehead on my back.

“You know Lucy you don’t need to feel jealous, I’ll give you a lap dance anytime free of charge.” I snickered which made her smack my arm.

We walked in silence for the rest of the way, assuming that she had fallen asleep until I heard her whisper something softly,

“So you still don’t remember?”

“Remember what?” I glanced back but this time she had finally fallen asleep.

Maybe she was just talking in her sleep?

I smiled at her pouting expression and pulled out my phone, letting Juvia and Gajeel know that I wouldn’t be home tonight.

Chapter Text

Gajeel’s POV

 October 29th, at the apartment…

“Ow fuck rain woman stop poking holes in me will ya!” I was getting increasingly annoyed by each passing second.

“Is that how you should speak to someone who is doing you a favor?” Juvia continued to sew in buttons on the red leather jacket I had on.

“What favor, you are the one forcing me to go!”

“Yes yes, now stand still will you.” she ignored my pleas.

Damn it’s all that Salamander’s fault.

 

Flashback to a week ago…

 

I was casually eating lunch with Levy when the fool made his way towards us with the blondie.

“Yo Gajeel whatcha eating?”

“None of your damn business” I grunted.

Without invitation he took a seat beside me.

“I am kind of surprised to see you with Gajeel, Levy-chan?” blondie said to Levy.

What the fuck is that supposed to mean?

“Ah well we sort of bumped into each other in the cafeteria.” she said nervously.

They chatted amongst themselves for a bit, while I tried to fight off Natsu’s advances towards my lunch. I see enough of this kid as it is, can’t I at least eat my lunch in damn peace.

“By the way are you guy’s going to the Halloween party next week?” the blonde asked.

I remembered Juvia talking about it a while back, she said Sting’s band Motion Sick would be playing and that we “had to go”. I’ll admit they are pretty decent, but I sure as hell am not in the mood for another big party.

“You bet, there is no way I am going to miss a party as big as this!” Natsu stood up energetically.

“You sure that’s a good idea after what happened last time?” I finally say.

“Gajeel!” Levy elbowed me.

“What the-” I began before noticing the blonde's sullen expression.

That might have been the wrong thing to say…

“The past is the past, I ain’t going to let one night ruin my fun!” Natsu slapped Lucy’s back to cheer her up, but it only seemed to piss her off.

“That hurt you jerk!”

They bickered amongst themselves while Levy turned her attention to me.

“I think it could be fun, plus it’s the only time to dress up in costumes!”

I took a moment to think about what she said,

“A shrimp dressed as a shrimp…” I thought out loud, which earned me another smack from Levy.

“I agree! The best part of halloween is dressing up as whatever you want and no one even caring. Omg and they also have the couples costume contest!” blondie squealed.

“Why should I give a shit about all that?” I tried droaning out the girls excitement.

“What scared of losing?” Natsu smirked.

“Da fuck you talking about, lose to what?”

“The costume contest of course.”

“You got something in your ears Salamander, she said “couples” costume contest. Last time I checked neither of us were being laid.”

“Speak for yourself.” his smirk widened.

I glanced over at blondie, surprised she actually gave in to him.

“He isn’t talking about me you dummy!” Lucy began to blush violently.

“Yes I am.” Natsu retorted.

“Wh-whaaaat?! We aren’t together?”

This is getting really annoying.

“Well we are a “couple” of best friends so same thing.”

“No it’s really not!”

“Geez what is your point Salamander, I am this close to getting a headache from all this bitching.”

Natsu twirled around before dramatically pointing his finger at me,

“I challenge you to the couples contest, loser has to do whatever the winner wants.” he said in way that resembled the main character in shounen manga.

Interesting, anything the winner says…

“Gihi, you got yourself a deal.”

Dishes for an entire month sounds like a good bet.

“Whaaaaat!” Lucy and Levy said in unison.

“Come on Lucy we don’t have any time to waste!” Natsu suddenly grabbed blondie’s hand and finally left us to silence.

Now I just have to find a partner.

My eyes glued to the petite blunette sitting across of me, becoming more visibly nervous by every second.

“G-Gajeel, why are you-”

I didn’t let her finish, as I caught here hand and dragged her off in a similar way as Natsu.

“We ain’t gonna let Salamander get a lead on us!” I declared.

“Wait what! You didn’t even ask me if I wanted to help you!” she protested but I ignored her.

 

Flashback end

 

“Juvia! I need your help!”

Speak of the devil himself.

Natsu came running into the apartment with pieces of fabric in his hand.

“Even though Lucy loves shopping for clothes, she completely sucks at sewing them!”

“Hey you jerk I heard you!” blondie came in after him.

Natsu finally realizing that I was also in the room looked at me accusingly.

“Hey what are you doing!”

“What does it look like, I am getting a “fitting” for the costume that is going to whoop your as-OW!”

I felt hard prick from Juvia’s needle.

“That’s enough, when Juvia is done with Gajeel-kun she will help you Natsu-san okay?”
I looked back at her in disbelief.

“You're going to help the enemy!?!”

“This has nothing to do with Juvia, now unless you want to sew the rest of these buttons yourself stand still and be quiet!” she said more seriously and I decided to give in.

Natsu had a smug expression on his face before Lucy came up from behind and whacked him on the head.
“You shouldn’t force Juvia to work so hard just because you two made some stupid bet!”

“We aren’t forcing her, she just happens to love crafting!”

Ugh here they go again.

“It’s okay Lucy-san, thank you for worrying about Juvia but Natsu-san is right she enjoys it!”

“Are you sure Juvia? Don’t worry I’ll help you as much as I can!”

“That’s not a good ide-”

“What.” she glared back at Natsu.

“Nothing Ma’am.”

I looked down at my watch and realized the time.

“Shit I gotta go, Juvia let’s finish this when I get back.”

“Do you have work?”

“...something like that.”

Juvia looked at me curiously but I didn’t give her any more details. Recently I’ve been joining in on the basketball club’s practice, but I haven't officially joined. It is just too much work to be committed, and I know if I told her she would be on my ass about it. No thank you.

 

At the Basketball Gymnasium...

 

“Are you two done yet? The rest of us would like to practice too.” one of the players shouted from the sidelines but it was completely subsided by the squeaking of our sneakers.

“You just don’t know when to quit to do you?” Cobra snickered as he dribbled the ball.

“I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I have if I had just given up.” I block his way from shooting.

We dabble for a bit before he manages to get an opening and sends the ball slamming into the basket with a dunk.

“Well doesn’t look like you have gotten that far.” Cobra smirked in victory.

Damn it, I almost had him.

“That was wonderful Erik, keep doing your best!” Kinana cheered.

She was one of the manager’s of the team, and also happened to be Cobra’s clutzy girlfriend.

“Gihi alright I’ll admit defeat this time, but just ‘cause your girl’s watching. Don’t want to embarrass you too much.”

I could see a slight tint of red on his face as he turned his back to me.

“Geez that woman I told her to stop doing that.” he mumbled.

Kinana seems to be the only one that can break his super egoistic personality.

“Okay guys let's do one more shooting drill before calling it a day. We’ve got a game in a couple weeks so make sure you balance work and rest.” Laxus gathered the team together.

After they were dismissed to finish their drills, I collapsed on the bench beside Laxus. I grabbed the towel from my gym back and wiped the beads of sweat from my face.

“Gajeel I have something for you.” Laxus began.

He unclipped a sheet of paper from his clipboard and handed it to me. I skimmed the paper and sighed.

“I told ya I didn’t-”

“I know and I don’t care. We are going to be playing our first game of the season soon and trust me it’s something you want to be apart of. It’s one thing playing against your teammates, but winning with them, it is an amazing feeling.” Laxus continued.

“I don’t give a-”

“Yeah yeah “you don’t give a shit about that stuff” and whatever, but I’m telling you to stop being stubborn. I’ll give you till the day of the game to hand that form to admin.”

“And what if I don’t?” I arched my brow.

“Relax you can still come to practice, it’s good for the guys to have actual competition, but if you aren’t an official player you are going to miss out.” and with that he left to meet the guys on the court.

I took another look at the sheet in my hands before shoving it in my bag.

Screw that.

 

Usually it takes me about 15 minutes to get back home, but recently I have been taking a longer route that passes by the library. I look up and I can feel a smirk pulling on my face as I see the way too serious blunette concentrating from the window. For some reason the light of the moon always hit perfectly her way, makes me think if she sits there on purpose.

“YOOOO SHRIMP WHAT YOU READING?” I make a microphone with my hands around my mouth to extend the sound.

This seems to break her trance as she searches the night for my voice.

“Gajeel! How many times do I need to tell you to stop doing that, you are making a scene!” she looked around with a panicked expression.

“Gihi there ain’t anyone around, and even if fuck ‘em!” I laughed.

She just shook her head disapprovingly as she shut the window. I watched as she gathered her stuff and waited for her to meet me down here.

“You didn’t have to run, I wasn’t going to leave.” I tease at her panting.

“S-Shut up.” she says but smiles anyways.

I take her bag and we walk in the direction of her dorms. For some reason I feel myself wanting to spend more and more time with this shrimp. There is just something about her that I can’t resist…

“So how was practice?” she asks.

“It was a'ight.”

“Excuse me?” she looks confused by my wording.

That’s an intellect for you.

“It was alright, just the usual beginning of Laxus wanting me to join.” I snicker.

“Right, because Laxus is definitely the type to “beg”. Anyways I don’t know why you don’t just join.”

“I don’t got time and it is too much a hassle.”

“Or maybe you are just making excuses because you are afraid of commitment.”

Did she...just read me like a book?

“Bullshit, I ain’t afraid of anything.”

“Everyone is afraid of something.” she said softly.

“You know I’m really not in the mood for a counseling session.”

“Oh really…”

Shit.

I hesitantly looked at the frown present on her face.

“Then why do you even come to see me!?” she said angrily.

“Uh, I think it’s fun to pick on you?”

IDIOT WHAT ARE YOU SAYING!

Her frown deepened as she tried to grab her bag from me.

“Fine then why don’t you go find someone else to pick on!”

Why is it so hard for me to get over this stupid ass pride.

“Wait I’m sorry I didn’t mean that, sure it’s fun to pick on you but I actually enjoy talking to you.”

This seemed to do the trick as she stopped fighting me.

“Really?”

“Y-Yeah.” I answer hoping the night was enough to hide my reddened face.

“You should really try being more honest.” she sighed with a smile.

“I am honest, it’s just different with you.”

She looked taken aback by my words.

“What do yo-”

Her words suddenly died as I noticed her fall forward with a step. I didn’t understand what had happened but reacted fast enough to catch her.

“Oi Levy! What’s wrong?!?” I call concerningly.

“Uhhh sorry, I just felt a bit light headed.”

Light headed?

“Did you not eat or drink enough water?” I place my forehead against her’s, checking for a fever.

“W-W-What are you doing?” she pulled away.

“You didn't answer my question.”

She looked hesitant.

“Yeah, I’m just...a bit anemic no need to worry!” she held up her arms to prove so.

But for some reason I didn’t believe her.

And she say’s I need to be more honest.

I didn’t press on the issue seeing as it wasn’t my business, even if it did bother me.

“Alright let’s keep going, at this rate the sun is going to come up before we ever get back!”

The smile on her face was different from usual, one I have seen all too much before of people who act like they are fine, when they really aren’t.

 

Halloween! @ the Apartment…

“Shrimp you almost done in there?” I groan from my bed, having waited already 15 min for her to change in my bathroom.

Stop rushing me, I am almost done! ” she yelped back.

I know I shouldn't be stereotypical, but girls really do take way too long to get ready.

I finally hear the door click and looked over to see the blunette step out shyly. It was the first time I have ever felt stunned by someone. She wore a long white strapless gown with a large bow on the back and matching off the shoulder sleeves. Her hair usually held up by a headband was let down freely.

“S-So how do I look?” she asked nervously.

Do you really even need to ask.

“You look, you look nice shrimp.” I say trying to hide my own nervousness.

She looked at me in surprise before her face relaxed and she gave a cute small laugh.

“Thank you Gajeel.”

Oh shit woman are you trying to kill me! I’m still a man and we ARE in my bedroom!

I turn away and cover the redness on my face with my hand.

“A-And what about me, are you not going to complement the sexiness before you.” I say hoping to change the atmosphere.

“Hahaha why of course, what else would I expect from the sin of greed.” she laughed.

Opposite to her pure and subtle costume I wore a vibrant red matching leather jacket and pants, very much a rock and roll vibe.

“Hell yeah you should, now let's get going Elaine.”

“Alright Ban.”

 

“LEVY-CHAN AND GAJEEL-KUN YOU LOOK SO CUTE!” Juvia couldn’t contain her excitement.

“Calm down rain woman it is just a costume…” I plug my ears from her shouting.

“B-BUT YOU GUYS FIT IT SO PERFECTLY!” she sobbed.

“Are you seriously crying?!?”

I tried to push her sobbing face away from me in failure. She always has been an ugly crier, not that I would say that to her face.

“Aww cut her some slack you know she can’t help it. Plus you guys really do look adorable, you nailed the Seven Deadly Sin’s theme perfectly!” Meredy came out of the kitchen.

You're telling me.

Juvia finally released her grip from my arm to meet Meredy. They wore matching maid costumes, the only thing setting them apart was Juvia’s blue and Meredy’s pink hair. They entwined their hands together and pulled in close to each other.

“Sister, Sister. Could our guest be a troubled man deriving pleasure from torture?” Juvia says.

“Rem, Rem, our guest appears to a pervert who’s turned on by insults.” Meredy responds.

The cringe had to be apparent on my face, Levy on the other hand enjoyed the whole scene.  

“That was great Juvi-, I mean Rem and Ram!” she clapped.

Okay sure it’s hot to see two maids pressed against each other, but this is just kinda creepy.

“Woah you guys look cool!” Natsu appeared from his room.

“Omg you all have such cute costumes!” Lucy said from beside him.

And finally the last pair appears. You don’t even need more than one glance to tell where their costumes were from.

“Seriously dude, One Piece?” I smirk.

“Uhhh yeah One Piece. Don’t you get it?” he said as if offended.

Natsu was dressed as Luffy in a red unbuttoned shirt, jean shorts, and of course the famous straw hat. Blondie was Nami wearing a green bikini top, skinny jeans, and had a tangerine tattoo on her shoulder.

“Our ship name is “NaLu, and their ship name is LuNa. It was meant to be.” Natsu continued.

Is that seriously how he chose his costume?

“Ignore Gajeel, you two look really good together!” Levy exclaimed.

“But not as good as us.” I added.

“We’ll let the people decide on that.” Natsu walked in front of me in an offensive stance.

“Bring it.”

 

@ Halloween Party…

We managed to arrive in time for Motion Sick’s first performance. Since last hearing them, I could definitely tell they have improved a lot. It probably has to do with the new change in the lead singer Sting. Juvia and him have been friends since last year, and although the way they met is questionable, he has really supported her and of course I respect him for that. Anyways back to the party at hand, if you thought the Cerberus party was crazy you got another thing coming. The place was ten times more packed, all types of groups coming this time. There were witches, vampires, wolves, and for some reason a bunch of Harley Quinn’s everywhere.

“Hello Magnolia U and Happy Halloween! Let us party so hard that we won’t know if we are dancing with the living or the dead!” Sting yelled into the microphone and everyone cheered in response.

“Here is Mr.Brightside by The Killers!”

Coming out of my cage

And I've been doing just fine

Gotta gotta be down

Because I want it all…

“Gajeel-kun look how happy Sting-kun looks!” Juvia leaned in beside me.

“Hey now don’t go crying again, I swear you are going to be out of tears by the end of the night. Esspecially if you drink too much.”

“Don’t worry Juvia wasn’t planning on getting drunk tonight, plus isn’t it better that these tears are happy ones.” she smiled happily at me.

I guess that’s true. I know you have been suffering for a long time by yourself, even if you try to hide it.

“Gajeel!” Cobra waved, walking towards us with...Kinana?

“Yo, nice costume Kinana.”

“Oh thank you Gajeel-kun! You look nice as well.” she replied in her full body snake costume.

It was definitely...different.

“Who's this, your girl?” Cobra nodded at Juvia.

“No that’s just Juvia, she is pretty much my sister.” I reply.

“Just Juvia?” Juvia repeats annoyed by the lack of affection.

“It’s nice to meet you Juvia-chan, I am Kinana and this is Erik.” Kinana reached out for her hands.

“No my name is Cobra.” he corrected.

“Nice to meet you! And back to your question Cobra-san,” Juvia pointed over to where Levy was standing.

“She is actually Gajeel’s “girl”.” she smirked.

“Wtf, we aren’t-”

“I see so you're into that type, interesting.” Cobra looked deep in thought.

What the fuck is this werido thinking about?

“Alright! Now before we get to what most of you are looking forward to, the couples costume contest, I’d like some help with this next song, and I see the perfect sexy maid for the job!’ Sting spoke and the crowd began to disperse until it was just our group.

“W-WHAT, STING-KUN!” Juvia shouted with wide eyes.

“Come on guys let’s cheer her on!”

And on command the crowd began chanting.

“Well if Juvia ain’t gonna do it I guess I will.” I offered.

“Ahhh yeah I don’t think we want this party to end just yet.” Sting said.

“Da fuck you say!”

 

All of my friends are settling down

They're only kids but they're married now

Let's follow the lights, follow the crowd

Baby we got to get out

Let's get out of this town

 

“I didn’t know Juvia could sing so good!” Levy danced around to the song.

“Yeah it’s one of the few appealing things about her…”

“Don’t say that, we all know how much you care for her.”

She isn’t the only one I am starting to care for…

 

Nothing ever changes here, I know

Another day, another year, same old

I don't wanna live my life in circles

I just wanna find an empty road

Let's get away from here, let's go

 

“Give me your hand, shrimp.”

She looks at me confused but complies. I pull her in and lead her in a dance.

“We never got to finish our dance from last time.” I smirk.

“But this isn’t exactly a slow song, it's got a much faster pace.”

“Mmm I think it’s better this way.”

We stay in close contact with each other as Juvia sings on.

“Gajeel, can I ask you something.” Levy mumbles in my chest.

“Shoot.”

“What do you think about me?”

Didn’t she ask something similar a while back?

“Um well I think your short-”

“Gajeel.”

“Okay, okay. I don’t know why you're asking but I think you're really smart, you're nice to everyone(except me sometimes), you’ve also got a really nice as-”

A felt a sudden pain on my foot that told me not to finish that sentance.

“Gihi I told you I’m always honest. Overall you seem like a pretty happy person.”

“I-I see.”

What does that mean, did I upset her? I thought what I said was pretty nice.

“It’s kind of funny how much I can relate to this song.” she says softly.

 

Let's get out of this town

Let's go

Let's get out of this town

Let's get out of this town

 

“DRUM ROLL PLEASE~” a girl in a bunny costume announced.

Along with the drums people began to stomp their feet, eager for the results.

“Better get some gloves ready for all the dishes you will be cleaning Salamander, I’m sure you won’t be able to please blondie as much with pruny hands.”

“HA at least I would do a better job than you would with...your normal hands, yeah!” Natsu tried to comeback.

“And the winner is...Gajeel and Levy with their Seven Deadly Sins costumes!”

“AH HELL YEAH, EAT THAT SALAMANDER!”

I grabbed Levy’s hand and dragged her to the stage.

“Omg I can’t believe we actually won!?!” she exclaimed.

“WTF NO WAY I WANT A RECOUNT!” Natsu angirly pumped his first in the air as blondie struggled to hold him back.

Everyone cheered as the bunny girl placed dark themed crowns on our heads. The whole scene was kinda embarrassing and REALLY not my thing, but the look of distraught on Natsu’s face made it endurable.

“Let’s hear it for our King and Queen of Halloween! Now why don’t you two seal it with a kiss!” the bunny girl squealed as the crowd erupted in approval.

I glanced at Levy who was a new shade of red.

A kiss...I don’t know about that, I kinda forced her to do this with me I don’t want to make her any more uncomfortable.

“KISS, KISS, KISS!” the crowd chanted.

“Well we aren’t actually-”

I was suddenly interrupted by small hands clasped around my jacket, pulling me forward. My eyes widened as I felt very soft lips crash against mine. A few seconds later the small bluenette pulled away, still red as ever but smiling.

“Sorry?” she said with a wink.

“You better be.”

This time I was the one to lift her up and pull her into another kiss. I felt her gasp against my lips as I slipped my tongue in her mouth. I leaned my head into her to deepen the kiss as she tried to keep up with my speed with muffled huffs. I smirked between the kiss at her persistance. When we finally broke and I settled her down on the ground she collapsed into my chest trying to catch her breath.The crowd was eating up the whole thing.

“You really shouldn’t challenge me shrimp.” I patted her head with a laugh.

“Y-You jerk.” she gave a weak punch but laughed along.

 

Chapter Text

Juvia’s POV

November 3, first soccer game of the season

The way he moved with lighting speed, dribbling the ball between his feet, sweat running down his face, and that gorgeous smile flashed when he makes the shot. It is all too much for a girl to take!

“Juvia your drooling on me…” Meredy broke me away from my sparkly fantasy.

“Juvia just can’t help it, Gray-sama in a soccer uniform is just so dreamy!” I took another picture on my phone.

“Oh geez a few weeks ago you were denying any interest and now look at you.” Meredy chuckled at my behavior.

“Nothing has really changed, you know Juvia is not ready for any kind of relationship. Plus Juvia thinks Gray-sama is the same way. But if you ask Juvia not to admire beauty when Juvia sees it, now that is an injustice to the world!”

“The real injustice is having to sit next to you while listening to this crap.” Gajeel mumbled on my other side. 

“Juvia doesn’t think Levy-san would appreciate you saying something so mean to Juvia.” I smirk at the flinch from the mention of her name.

“What’s she got anything to do with this!” he stood up angrily.

“Sit back down you oaf, I can’t see Jellal!” Erza sneered from behind and he immediately shot back down.

I had to hold back laughing at the whole scene. Ever since the Halloween party a couple nights ago Gajeel as been acting very jittery on all things Levy. I was quite surprised when I saw them kissing but at the same time really happy because I know Levy is just the person Gajeel needs in his life. However he denies there is anything, to put it simply their facebook status would be “It’s complicated”. Doesn’t mean I can’t poke some fun every now and then.

FWUUUUUUU SCORE MADE BY PLAYER 1 JELLAL FERNANDES !” 

Everyone on our side of the stadium stood and cheered loudly as Jellal pointed a finger in the air. I suddenly felt an arm wrap around my neck as all the air was squeezed out my body.

“YES JELLAL YOU SHOW THOSE BUFFOONS WHOSE BOSS.” Erza shouted with fire in her eyes.

“Erza, Juvia is turning blue, I repeat she is turning blue!” Lucy shrieked at the scene.

“Oh apologies Juvia, I lost my composure!” she released me as I tried to catch my breath.

“It’s okay Erza-san, Juvia can understand how exciting it is to see your boyfriend play!” 

“But man he is going all out today, you don’t think it has to do with…” Lucy smirked and glanced at a now blushing Erza. 

“Kyaa it has to be! I can’t believe the guy on the other team just suddenly confessed to you. It was kinda romantic.” Meredy swooned.

“N-Nonsense…” Erza cleared her throat.

“But Jellal’s reaction was the best part, man I have never seen him look so scary.” Lucy shivered at the memory.

I couldn’t help but giggle at how reserved Erza was acting. 

FWEEEEEE FOUL ON PLAYER 2 NATSU DRAGNEEL!”  

My attention was back at the game as I saw Natsu arguing with the ref.

“WHAT! ARE YOU BLIND THAT WAS OBVIOUSLY ON THE OTHER TEAM! NATSU GET THAT SON OF A BI-”

“Erza there are kids here, calm down!” Lucy struggled to hold her back with a hand covering her mouth. 

Well reserved for a split second…

Other than the foul just now, Natsu has really been holding the team together along with Jellal. I have never seen him look so serious and concentrated on...well anything! But the best part was seeing how happy he looked, I could tell that soccer for him was a safe space. As I was about to  sit back down to snap some more pics of my lovely Gray I was struck by this eerie sensation, as if someone was watching me. I glanced over my shoulder and everything around me seemed to go still. I could feel my pulse racing, and my vision go hazy. The whistle sounded and everyone stood cheering, breaking me out of the trance and losing sight of the familiar messy blonde hair. 

“Hey are you okay?” Gajeel leaned in.

“Y-Yeah, Juvia just...the rush just made Juvia a bit dizzy!” I smiled in reassurance, but it just made his frown deepen.

“Well don’t push yourself.” he decided not to press which I was thankful for.

I tried to let what had happened not bother me, mostly to relieve suspicion from Gajeel.

But was that really him, and why is he here…

 

After the game...

“AH MY BOYS, YOU DID SO WELL!” Erza pulled Jellal, Natsu and Gray into her signature embrace.

“Mmpherzapleaseletgo.” Natsu muffled from underneath.

“But there were still some problems, first Natsu your footwork has gotten very sloppy, second Gray you need to stop passing with so much force, also restrain yourself from stripping on the field!” she let them go and only Jellal seemed to be smiling.

“You should come and watch my girls, they could teach you something.” she held her head up in pride.

Erza happens to also be the captain of the girl’s soccer team at Magnolia U. Not to say that the boys aren’t good, but the girl’s team have got a national championship under their belt.

“Is she congratulating us or lecturing us.” Natsu pretended to pick something out his ear. 

“Gray-sama, Juvia thinks you did a great jo...Gray-sama?” I looked around to find that he disappeared. 

“He said he was going to get some water.” Natsu pointed in the direction he headed.

“Juvia you should go see if wants some of the honey and lemon you brought!” Meredy pushed me forward. 

“Honey and lemon!? I want some!” Natsu said eagerly but was pulled back by Lucy.

“Take a hint won’t you!” she whispered angrily.

I rolled my eyes at them but decided to take them up on the opportunity.

 

I searched around for a bit before I finally spotted the raven haired boy standing by the water fountain.

“Gray-sa-”

I started before realizing he wasn’t alone.

“If you aren’t going to take this seriously then we are over!” a girl I’ve never seen before shouted.

“Over from what? We were never official and you said you were fine with that.” Gray replied.

“I thought at first but we could later maybe…”

“It’s not just you, I don’t have any interest in being with anyone. So it really doesn’t make a difference to me whether we are “over” since nothing ever even begun.” Gray said coldly.

I felt a sharp pain in my chest from his words, but why, I already knew all of that.

In that split second I watched as the girl swung her hand across his face in a loud slap.

“YOU JERK!” she screamed before running away crying.

Part of me wanted to strangle her for daring to lay a finger on Gray’s beautiful face, but another part of me felt bad for her. 

“How long are you going to stare at me for?” 

I looked back over at Gray who was now making eye contact with me. I felt my face go red as I struggled to reply,

“S-Sorry Juvia didn’t mean to, well Juvia was just, sorry.”

He’s angry isn't he, but it’s not like I eavesdropped on purpose, way to go Juvia.

“Well it’s fine, it’s not like I really care.” he dropped his icy stare and began to ruffle his hair awkwardly. 

We stood in silence for a while before I couldn't take it any longer,

“Juvia brought some honey and lemon if Gray-sama would like some.” I offered.

“Uh-sure I guess.” 

We sat down at a nearby bench as Gray sucked on a few lemons,

Ahhhh how …..

“Aren’t you supposed to give these to people before the game starts? Its supposed to give you endurance.” he suddenly spoke.

“Eh really? Juvia didn’t realize that, she just saw it in an anime once and thought it was cute.”

“Cute huh?” Gray smirked at the remark, and I had to resist the urge to swoon.

That's when my eye caught the red mark on his cheek, and I instantly regret feeling any remorse for that wench.

“Does it hurt, Juvia can get you some ice if you want.”

This might have been the wrong thing to say as his expression dropped.

“This is nothing, it looks worse than it actually is.” 

We were surrounded by another wave of silence and as I was about to change the subject Gray surprisingly spoke up,

“You must think I am a real dick huh.” he sighed.

“N-never!” I shouted louder than necessary, which took him aback.

“Ah sorry, but absolutely not. Juvia doesn’t think you are in the wrong Gray-sama, you made your intentions clear and if she didn't understand that she shouldn't have proceeded. You could have been a little easier on her, afterall a maiden's heart is fragile, but there is nothing you should feel sorry for!”

When I was done speaking I glanced back at Gray looking completely surprised. 

What are you saying you idiot, not only did you reaffirm that you blantly eavesdropped on him but now you're being so arrogant as to telling him what to do!

“J-Juvia didn-”

I was interpreted by muffled sounds, until finally he couldn't hold it anymore and broke out laughing.

“Sorry, it's just you looked so serious, it’s the first time I’ve heard a girl defend me so passionately.”

“W-Well Juvia is sorry that she feel so passionate about things.” I pretended to sulk, but inside I was squealing with happiness from this rare sight of my popsicle prince. 

“Wow it’s been awhile since I’ve laughed so much, thanks Juvia.” Gray wiped away a pretend tear and got up.

“We should get back to the others before they start having weird fantasies about why we have been gone for so long.”

I reluctantly followed behind, part of me wishing we could spend more time alone together. 

 

“What the heck took you guys so long! I am starving over here!” Natsu growled. 

“When are you ever not starving.” Gray rolled his eyes.

“Never mind that, Juvia tell me you saved some honey and lemon for me?!” Natsu eagerly came up to me, like a kid waiting for some candy. 

“Yes there are a couple slices left Natsu-san.” I chuckled, and without really thinking about it I held one out to feed him.

Before Natsu could take a bite a cold hand grabbed my wrist and soft lips pressed against the tips of my fingers, taking a bite of the lemon.

“G-G-Gray-sama!” I said frantically.

He ignored this and licked the drip of honey running down my finger before letting go.

“Thanks for the treat.” he teased.

“Gray you jerk, Juvia was giving that to me!” Natsu threw a punch Gray’s way but he easily dodged it.

Everyone was staring at us now, but I was too stunned to notice. 

I just fed Gray-sama. Gray-sama just licked my fingers. 

“Juvia your face is gett-” Meredy started but I cut her off.

“J-J-Juvia just remembered s-s-she forgot to do the laundry, yes laundry, so she will excuse herself now!”

“Wait isn't it my turn to do the laun-” I didn't wait for Gajeel to finish before speeding off in the direction of our apartment. I heard several people call after me and Natsu adding,

Way to go you perverted stripper.

 

Why did you run away like that, now Gray is going to think you were disgusted by him! But in fact you are the disgusting one because you wanted him to keep going!

I covered my face with my hands as I continued running in some random direction. I was brought to a sudden stop when I slammed into a hard object in front of me. Or rather person. 

“Ah-” I yelped as I lost my balance but was caught from the waist and brought into the mystery person’s chest.

“Woah that was close, you should really watch where you're going.”

“Yes sorr-”

Wait a minute...this voice.

It was just like that feeling earlier today at the stadium. My stomach dropped and eyes widened in horror as the color left my face. I was too scared to meet the red eyes I knew would be staring back. 

“What's wrong Juvia-chan, cat caught your tongue?” the voice mocked.

I immediately pulled away and pushed him as far back as I could.

“Ow, is that really how you should treat someone who just helped you.”

“What are you doing here Zancrow.” I ignored his playful advances. 

“Well I am a student here after all.”

Wait what, but he should be-

“My probation finished last semester. I did my time so there is no reason for them to deny me a fine education.” he snickered. 

For the first time I looked up and met his face that had the same patronizing expression I expected him to have. 

“Your lying.” I coldly replied back, not wanting to believe anything he had to say.

“Ah but it is the truth, why else would I be here now.”

This can’t be happening, I thought I could finally move on…

I felt him take a few steps closer and reacted with a few steps back.

“Stay away from Juvia!” I shouted.

“Now now is that anyway to treat a dear friend.”

“You're not Juvia’s friend.” I rejected him.

“Hmm I guess your right, then what about-” he stepped closer and leaned into my ear.

Partner in crime. ” 

His words sent me into paralysis. I couldn’t move a single muscle. I couldn't even think a single thought.

“Poor Bo-chan, don’t tell me you have already forgotten about him.” he grabbed a strand of my hair and held it against his lips.

I haven’t.

“It must be easier for you to put the blame on someone else and pretend like nothing ever happened.”

That’s not true. 

“But you're as much as a culprit as I am, if not more. After all you were the only one who could have saved him.”

I-I already know all of that!

I felt him drop my hair and look behind him.

“Looks like someone is coming, and I have a hunch it is that scary brooding beast of yours.”

I kept my head hung down, fear frozen on my face.

“Well this is goodbye for now, Juvia-chan.”

He began to walk past me before adding,

“Oh and give my sincerest regards to dear Meredy will you.” 

And just like that he was gone, but not completely. Oh how I wished he was really gone.

Juvia!

I heard the voice of my childhood friend call, but still could not dare to move. Everything around me began to darken, as I lost all feeling in my body. 

I wouldn’t be suffering this much if I didn't remember. 

 

*Flashback start*

It was raining. I barely noticed it all. Flushed out by the sultry voice of Amy Whinhose, record drowning about how she was no good. The air, if you could call it that, reeked of rotten cabbage and nicotine. The average person would call it a junkies room, for me it was just another Friday evening. I sat in the corner of my room, where I felt safest, laughing my ass off at Bora trying to stuff a pencil up his nose. I usually resisted Bora’s pleas to join him on his out of body therapeutics, but on days like this, days that it rains, I’m the one to take the first hit. All I want to do is forget about the past. 

“Juvs, I can feel my brain.” Bora laughed in short breaths.

He then started screaming, throwing the pencil across the room and thrashing everything in his sight. Nothing out of the ordinary for someone on acid. I just stared on in euphoria. After letting it out he collapsed his head on my lap and started to sob. I stroked his hair and in soft whispers told him everything was going to be okay, even though I didn't believe it. 

“I’m sorry babe, I didn’t mean to hook up with that girl.”

I know.

“I’m sorry I’m such a dick.”

You are.

“At least my sexiness makes up for it.”

Well…

He lifted his body and caught me in crushing embrace. Laughing hysterically, he let go and stood up eagerly.

“Juvs, what’s something that makes you hella jealous?” 

I don’t know, people who are actually happy?

“I fucking hate birds. Like why do those bastards get to fly and I can’t. They can just go anywhere and shit everywhere. And no one can do a thing about ‘em. Fuck, you know what I’ll be the one to show ‘em!”

He rushed towards the window. The one window of my sixth floor dorm room. I watched. I watched as he opened the window letting the rain fall in. I watched as he readied his feet and sped ahead, arms spread. I watched as he smiled insanely at the foe ahead. I watched as a single tear fell down his face. I watched, until he was no longer there.

*Flashback end*

 

Tears. I must be crying again.

My eyes felt heavy as I woke up to the familiar scenery of my ceiling.

Gajeel must have carried me back here. 

I shuffled in my bed trying to sit upright, unaware of the presence in my room. Or should I say multiple presences. 

“Juvia!” Natsu looked at me with full concern reflected in his eyes.

“Natsu-san…”

“Are you okay, everyone was really worried when we found you passed out!” he continued.

How exactly am I supposed to explain this-

“You met him didn’t you.” Gajeel interrupted, looming in the doorway.

“Gajeel…”

“I could smell that bastard from a mile away, what the fuck were you thinking!” he raised his voice.

“Hey now she just woke up, don’t be so aggressive!” Natsu defended.

“I’m right aren’t I?” Gajeel ignored. 

My silence was confirmation enough. With gritted teeth I watched as Gajeel stormed out of the room, my worst fear about to unfold in front of me. I leapt out of bed and lunged for his back, wrapping my arms around his waist to keep him in place. 

“Juvia!” Natsu followed behind looking all the more confused.

“Let go.” Gajeel said in a monotone voice. 

“You mustn't do anything reckless, you made a promise didn't you!” I desperately sobbed against his back.

I hadn't realized that in the den more were here to witness this trivial situation. 

“Hey man just relax and listen to her, you shouldn’t put any more stress on Juvia.” Natsu placed a hand on Gajeel’s shoulder. 

“Gajeel.” a gentle blunette spoke up. 

It was silent for a few moments before finally, with a deep sigh, Gajeel released my grip.

“Fine, but you have to tell me everything.”

I looked around the room of concerned faces until I stopped on the one I didn’t want to be here the most. Those piercing dark blue eyes. I quickly looked away and whispered,

“C-Can it wait?” 

I didn’t mean for it to sound like I wanted everyone to leave, but they got the hint anyways.

“Well Juvia we just wanted to make sure you were alright, you should rest now. Call us when you are feeling a bit better okay?” Erza caught me in an embrace before leading everyone out.

I swear I could have kissed her for that. As Levy passed by me I caught her wrist,

“Thank you.” I said in a small voice before releasing her.

She just smiled and nodded. 

“I’m going to make sure the girls get back safely.” Natsu anxiously rubbed the back of his head.

He’s being considerate isn’t he. Otherwise he'd never be worried if Erza was there.

All whom were left in the room aside from myself was Gajeel, Meredy and...Gray.

I already knew why Meredy was here, but-

“Can I just have a second?” Gray shifted uncomfortably.

“We will be waiting in your room Juvia.” Meredy said, no sign of the usual bubbly girl present.

Once it was just me and Gray I tried saying,

“So-”

“I’m-”

We spoke at the same time. 

“No go ahead Gray-sama.” I insisted.

“Right I just wanted to say, I’m sorry for what I did earlier today.”

What he did? He doesn’t mean-

“It’s a misunderstanding!” I don’t know why I was shouting.

“Juvia was really happy, more happy than she should have been actually, but…”

“Don’t worry, I know you passing out has nothing to do with that but I wanted to apologize anyway.” 

I desperately locked onto his gaze.

“I mean from how you guys are acting, it seems much bigger than that.”

I could tell he was hoping I’d open up, but I just couldn’t. Not yet, not with how I am. Maybe not ever.

“Juvia is sorry.” I said in a hushed voice.

“No it’s okay, I just wanted to make sure you were okay. I’ll get going then.” 

I couldn’t find it in me to stop him, as i watched that sulked figure leave out the door. A part of me ached while the other no reason to cry for something that wasn’t even there to begin with.

 

“So he’s really back isn’t he, Zancrow.” Meredy tightened her grip around the tea cup.

“Son of a, how could they just let the sicko fucker back in so easily!” Gajeel fumed. 

As best as I could I tried relaying everything that had happened to them, well almost everything,

“Oh and give my sincerest regards to dear Meredy will you.” 

I didn’t want her to- no I don’t need her to know. 

“I’m sorry Juvia, because of me you have to go through all this pain again.” Meredy’s voice cracked as she spoke.

“No, Meredy this isn’t your fault.” 

“Like hell I’m going to let this shit happen, I’m going to-”

“You promised you wouldn’t do that anymore!” I looked desperately into Gajeel’s eyes.

He scrunched up his face and sighed in exhaustion.

“I won’t, but there has to be something.”

“Isn’t Natsu brothers with the dean of students, can’t he-” Meredy started to suggest before I interjected again.
“No! No one can find out about this, not even Natsu!”

We all went silent. Trying to brainstorm ideas of what to do. Once my nerves calmed down, I spoke up,

“Please for now leave it alone. Juvia will try talking with the dean herself to make sure we avoid getting involved with each other again, but for now let’s not make a big deal of it.”

“But-” Gajeel started but I continued,

“And if anything happens I will let you guys know, I promise. This time is different, I’m better now, I have people to support me.”

Meredy and Gajeel looked reluctantly at one another. Meredy placed a hand atop mine and smiled sadly into my eyes,

“We will trust you, but you have to promise to let us be there for you, okay?”

I’m sorry.

“Juvia promises.”

I promise I will put an end to this, but I have to do it on my own. 

Chapter Text

Natsu POV:

November 20th, at the apartment

“Juvia it’s burning! I repeat the veggies are burning!”

Burnt charcoal of once green asparagus clouded up the kitchen as a frantic bluenette tried fanning it out.

“S-Sorry, Juvia wasn’t paying attention.”

I let a deep frown sink on my face. Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time this has happened; unmatched socks to using windex as pine sol. It’s safe to say the Juvia has hit a runt. Ever since a couple weeks back when we found Juvia passed out the whole apartment has been walking on pins and needles, and I'm not liking it one bit. It’s hard seeing Juvia like this, like something is constantly on her mind, not to mention the dark circles are proof she isn’t getting any sleep.

“That’s it!” I stood up and slammed my hands on the counter.

“Natsu-San?”

“Juvia do you have anything planned for tomorrow?”

She looked at me warily.

“No Juvia doesn’t think so but why-”

“Were going on a date!”

“W-What?” her face dropped.

“Be ready by nine, and make sure to wear something comfortable.” 

I didn’t give her a chance to protest as I made way for the door. 

Okay now I’ve just got to plan this date. 

I took out my phone and dialed the first person I knew would be an expert in this department.

Natsu. ” a obviously annoyed voice answered.

“Yo Lucy how’s it going?” 

How’s it going, how’s it going! Natsu I’m sure you already know the answer to that! ” the volume of her voice increased in anger.

“Are you really still upset that I crashed at your dorm?” I smirked.

No if it was just that I’d be over it because you always do that. But when you break into my dorm, eat all of my snack and leave a huge mess, and I wake up to you vandalizing my face with marker, then I get pissed off!

“I’m sorry I couldn’t help it, you just look so peaceful in your sleep. You can’t even imagine the temptations.” 

You know what Natsu goodbye-

“Wait please I need your help with Juvia!” I said quickly before she hung up.

The other line was silent and for a moment I thought she really did.

What about Juvia? ” she asked, a hint of annoyance still present in her voice. 

“Well first you can’t be mad at me.” I pleaded.

Hmph whatever, I’ll get you back later. Now hurry up and tell me about Juvia.

I wanted to know what she meant by “get you back” but decided to put it off.

“Well you know how Juvia has been in a funk ever since the soccer game?”
Yeah, the other day I called out to her but she was so lost in her thoughts that she ran into a pole.

“Exactly, she’s like that at home too. As her friends, we can’t really force her to tell us what’s going on, but we can at least try to lift her spirits.”

Okay but how? ” the blonde finally sounded interested.

“Well that’s where you come in. I told Juvia to leave her schedule open for us to do something fun together. I was thinking we could go to a wrestling match or maybe even an all you can eat buffet.” I started brainstorming ideas.

Those things are only fun to you Natsu, Juvia hates violence and the girl eats like a bird. Both of those options are out. ” Lucy shot down my ideas.

“Okay fine but that’s why I called the expert in all things female.”

She paused on the line for a moment, probably thinking of ideas herself.

How about an amusement park?

“An amusement park?” I repeated.

Yeah Juvia loves cute things and the park is full of them, the rides will help get rid of whatever is on her mind plus there is lots of sweets stands! ” I could feel her beaming as she described the place.

“That’s perfect! Lucy you're a genius, I could kiss you!” 

Wh-What Natsu! ” she was obviously flustered by the rhetoric.

“Okay I’ll text you the details but meet us at the park by 10.”

Wait why am I included in this?

“Duh because your coming with us! Alright gotta do some planning I'll talk to you later.”

Wait Nats-

I hung up the phone before she had the chance to interject.

This has to work. Juvia has already done so much for me, the least I can do is cheer her up when she is feeling down. 

I stared down at my phone, contemplating whether I should add one more person to the mix.

 

@ Blue Peagusus-land 

“So what should we ride first?” 

I looked excitedly at everyone, trying to diffuse the awkwardness in the air. 

“I really wanna go on the teacups, they look so cute! What do you think Juvia?” Lucy smiled sensing the same.

“Juvia is fine with that.” she nodded quietly.

So much for this attempt to cheer her up.

“So lame,”

“Gray!” Lucy swatted his shoulder.

Maybe I shouldn’t have invited the cold hearted creature here if all he is going to do is be a debbie downer.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there was something going on between the two, but every since that day they’ve barely even acknowledged each other. I thought that maybe just being around Gray would help Juvia ease her mind, seems to have the opposite effect. 

Useless as ever, Gray. There is only one other way to fire him up...

I went around and kicked him from behind, forcing him a few steps forward. 

“What the hell-”

“Don’t tell me you’re afraid of a little tea cup ride ice for brains just because you have a sensitive stomach? Poor thing.” I sneered.

“The crap you talking about, if anything you are the one weak to these things fire freak.”

The plan worked, as expected.

“Bet on it then!”

“You’re on!”

 From the corner of my eye I could see that Lucy was giving all the signs that this wasn’t a good idea, but I ignored her nonetheless. You can never call quits on a match between men.

 

I should have called quits on this match between men. 

I didn’t think it possible to puke my guts out more than I did. Seriously I saw lunch from 3 days ago mixed in with what I hurled out. 

“I told you barf boy that you were the weak one here. Did you forget the last time Erza and I took you to an amusement park? How can a guy with motion sickness think this was ever a good idea?” Gray mocked as I continued puking into the nearest trash bin.

I wasn’t the only one who was feeling sick though.

“Juvia are you okay?!” Lucy looked at her worryingly. 

“Juvia is fine, Juvia just needs a little break that's all.” she said with a weary smile. 

“Natsu and I will go find you something sweet, it might help to get some sugar in your body. Gray you wait with Juvia.” 

Lucy grabbed me by the collar of my shirt and dragged me along with her.

“W-Wait Lucy no-not so fast.” I held a hand over my mouth.

“Geez Natsu get a grip won’t you!” unlike Juvia, she showed me no mercy.

 

After being lugged around to five different food stands we finally found one that sold cotton candy.

Seriously this is damn amusement park, why is it so hard to find cotton candy!

I sat down at a picnic table nearby, still trying to find the strength in my body to move around. I really don’t know why I thought this whole thing was a good idea. Not only did I get my ass handed to me by Gray of all people, but Juvia looks more depressed than ever. I continued to sulk to myself when I felt a hostile presence directed my way.

Hey isn’t that the psycho who almost killed you? ” a familiar voice said.

Shit, how can they let an animal like that loose in public! ” 

Sure enough it was them. The jackasses from the night of the Cerberus party. The ones who hurt Lucy. I didn’t really get a good look at their faces that night since my vision was blurred in blood thirst, but the guy looked completely fine to me. I could feel my face heat up in rage, remembering the image of Lucy desperately crying out for help. I clenched my fist and was about to take a step forward but was halted by hushed whispers all around me. People were staring at me, overhearing what they had said.

“What are you going to do, put me in the hospital once more?” The guy now gaining an audience had the confidence to speak up. 

“Did you hear that, he put that dear boy in the hospital?”

“Honey let’s get away from him, he even looks dangerous.”

I looked around at the tense reaction. It was like I wasn’t even human to them. I felt my pulse racing, trying desperately to contain whatever anger wanted to break free in the heat of the moment, I couldn't do that here. 

“Is there a problem here Sir?” an officer stepped forward.

Don’t touch me. 

His hand was reaching towards me.

Don’t you fuckin put a hand on me or else-

“There is a problem here Sir.”  

I was grabbed by someone, but the touch was gentle and warm. Lucy looked angrily at the people around us until her gaze stopped on the guys who started it all. I felt her arm squeeze mine harder nevertheless she lifted her head up and pointed. 

“Those guys over there sexually assaulted me! They have no right to pity themselves for what my boyfriend did to them, he is the one who saved me!” 

Even though I knew she was scared, she bravely stood up in front of her attackers just to defend me. All the dark thoughts from earlier seemed to just...disappear. 

Omg they attacked her, what cowards!

What boyfriend wouldn’t defend his girlfriend, those assholes!

The audience had now shifted their attention to the two shitheads and quickly they tried leaving looking incredibly uncomfortable.

“I see sorry about that miss.” the officer apologized.

“You shouldn't apologize to me but to him!”

The officer looked stunned and before he could say anything I stopped him,

“Come on Lucy the poor guy was just doing his job,”

I grabbed her hand and led her away, before leaving I gave the officer a few parting words,

“My father was a firefighter and no matter the person he always treated a life the same. Think about that before acting on your premature judgment on how a person looks.”

 

“How long are you going to smile for, it’s driving me nuts!” Lucy pouted adorably.

I continued smiling from ear to ear. 

“What guy wouldn’t be happy about having such a cute girlfriend. Oh right who asked who out first because I might have missed that part.” I teased. 

It worked. Her face switched through multiple expressions, redder as she tried to analyze what I had said.

“T-That was just an exc-” she tried releasing my hand but I gripped harder.

“Your amazing, you know that.” my smile softened.

Her doe brown eyes widened against my gaze before looking away. 

“Idiot.” 

She entwined her fingers back with mine, her eyes still locked to the ground. I couldn’t help but chuckle which earned me a punch to the shoulder. 

“What took you so long?” Gray said, walking towards us.

He paused for a moment and starred in the direction of our hands. Lucy noticed this and immediately let go.

“Oh nothing, just a really long line. I-I guess lots of people are feeling cotton candy.” she nervously laughed. 

“Hmm.” Gray looked unconvinced but didn’t care enough to badger. 

“Where's Juvia?” I looked around for the bluenette.

“She had to use the restroom.” he pointed behind him. 

“Well let's go meet her there!” Lucy, still visibly flustered, walked on ahead.

I had to hold back the urge to laugh. 

“Did you finally pull a move fire freak.” Gray asked as we followed Lucy.

“What's it to you ice for brains?” I retorted. 

Lucy suddenly stopped in her place looking suspiciously ahead, making me bump into her from behind.

“What did you stop for-”

She grabbed both our arms and we hid behind a hot dog stand.

“Hey what are you-” Gray started but she hushed him.

“Look there.” 

She pointed in the direction of Juvia who looked like she was having intense conversation with a blonde guy I’ve never seen before. 

“That guy,” Gray looked stunned.

“Do you know him?” 

He ignored me and moved in closer.
“Where are you going!” 

Lucy and I followed behind until we were in earshot of their conversation. 

This seems kind of wrong, 

But from Juvia’s expression it might be best to step in if things take a turn.

“Forget it, what do you want from Juvia, Zancrow?”

“It must be nice, being so carefree and going out on dates. You're really living your best college life aren’t you Juvia-chan.” 

“Answer the question!”

“Don’t get so mad, after all who was the one who comforted you when you hit your lowest.”

“Whose fault do you think that all was, Juvia’s lowest was ever getting involved with you.” 

“Ouch what a feisty kitten you are! If only you were this way with Bo-chan, may have saved yourself the heartbreak.”

Her expression twisted in guilt with the mention of that name. 

“Please just leave Juvia alone, she wants nothing to do with this anymore.” 

“And that’s exactly why I’m here. You can’t just pretend nothing happened, I suffered a lot because of this. If I go down, I’m taking you with me. You’ve got as much blood spilled on your hands as I do.”

“Juvia did nothing wrong, she isn’t the same girl who will do as you say!”

“Then what if I told you that that dark prince of yours isn’t as innocent as he seems?”

A twisted smirk appeared on his face as he leaned in close to Juvia’s ear. He was too quiet for any of us to hear anything. As he whispered words to Juvia his red beady eyes loomed in our direction. Or specifically, Gray. After he was finished he directed his gaze back to Juvia before patting her on the shoulder and walking off. On queue we all headed towards Juvia. 

“Juvia-”

She was completely petrified. 

“Juvia are you okay?” Lucy gently placed her hand on hers.
She was so lost in her own thoughts she didn’t even notice us there.

“Oh everyone! Y-Yes Juvia is fine!” she snapped out of it.

“Who was that guy?” I asked.

“Natsu!” Lucy seethed.

It might have been the wrong time to ask but-

“You saw that?” she looked even more terrified.

“Did you hear anything?!?” she pulled on my arm. 

I didn’t like lying, but in this kind of situation,

“No we just got here, but you just look scared.”

She sighed in relief and released her grasp.

“He is just a boy from Juvia’s past, he loves teasing Juvia but nothing more than that so please don’t worry!”

“But-” Gray tried but I stopped him.
“As long as you're okay. If that guy bothers you again I’ll beat him up for you.” I gave a fake laugh as I warned Gray with my eyes not to press it. 

He noticed her shaking and decided to draw back. 

To try to deviate the conversation, Lucy started to tell Juvia all about the difficult quest of finding a single bag of cotton candy, which seemed to work as Juvia smiled at Lucy’s dramatizim. 

I looked back to where the guy earlier had gone, but just as hastily as he appeared, he disappeared.

Zancrow. 

As much as I didn’t want to pry, I decided it would probably be for the best if I mentioned this to Gajeel later tonight.

 

“Natsu-san you should walk Lucy-san and Gray-sama back home, it’s pretty late.” Juvia whispered to me as we got to the front of the loft building.

I was already planning on walking Lucy home but why did she include Gray in that? 

“Nice joke Juvia-” I started to laugh but she desperately looked at me in pleas.

She was being serious? 

“Alright I got it, guess the cops are sick of getting calls of a weirdo pervert walking in the nude.” I chuckled.

She smiled in thanks and headed inside. 

“What was that all about?” Gray asked.

“Do you know how to mind your own business icy perv?”

“You wanna go fire freak?!” he threw a punch which I gladly returned.

“Will you two please stop, I just wanna get in my bed already!” Lucy looked on in defeat.

“Fine we’ll save this for later.” I gave him the bird which he mirrored.  

“I’m going ahead, I think I’ve had enough of this guy for one day.”

“Gray!” Lucy called but he already began walking off.

I stared at the blonde, seems Juvia wasn’t the only one feeling down. Shit even I feel depressed. 

“Hey Luce do you still have some time?” 

“I-I guess so, why?” she looked at me curiously.

I grabbed her hand until we reached my red Ford F-150. 

“Let's go on a drive.” I smiled widely.

“O-Okay…”

 

One second we were casually passing through traffic, but once I entered the highway it was all over. I slammed my car up to 95 mph, racing down the empty night road. Lucy screamed in horror from the sudden shift but after a while the excitement started to kick in. Windows rolled down, her blonde locks whipped in all directions as we both belched along to Khalid’s Young Dumb & Broke blasting in the background. After about an hour and a half of driving, every now and then slamming the brakes to sight of the nearest patrolling cops, earning me freaked out punches from Lucy, we arrived at the view point. We sat on the hood of the car sharing some of the leftover cotton candy from this afternoon.

“You know for someone who can’t even stomach a simple tea cup ride you sure drive like a crazy person.” Lucy tried combing back her wild locks.

I felt my face heat up, a bit embarrassed by the whole fact.

“It’s only in Big Red that I’m okay.” I turned my face, hoping she wouldn’t notice.

“Big Red?”

“Yeah that’s what I call him,” I patted the hood of my car.

“I think it’s because it used to belong to my dad before I inherited it.”

“Oh, cool.”

Lucy knew a little about Igneel. She knew that he passed away when I was a kid and that’s how I met everyone else. I think out of respect for me, she decided not to ask anything else.

The whole night was lit up by the countless stars brightening up the sky. I’d seen this scene almost a hundred times before, but this time I was mesmerized by the joyous gaze of the blonde next to me. 

“It’s beautiful.” she finally broke her gaze from the stars and smiled just as brightly back at me. 

“Yeah,” I didn’t really know what or who I was referring to.

Lucy shuffled around her coat pocket for a little note pad and started jotting things down.

“Whatcha doing?” I asked curiously.

“Oh!” a blush crept on her face, as if I wasn't supposed to see this.

“I just felt inspired to write something real quick, nothing really.” she tried hiding the notepad.

“You can’t just say that and not let me take a peak!” I teased and pounced toward the notepad. 

She defiantly protected the thing from my grasp until somehow I ended up on top of her. The notepad dropped to the floor, pages fluttering in the wind. Both of us were too invested in the small distance between us to notice. My eyes widened against hers.

“Uh sorry…” I was about to push off of her when suddenly she wrapped her arms around my neck and pulled me forward. 

The next thing I knew our lips were in contact with each other. I never would have expected Lucy to do something like that. I glanced at her nervously shut eyes, it was quite adorable. I smiled against her lips and recuperated the feeling with more aggression. I arched my back forward and slid my hand underneath her shirt, causing her to open her mouth in a gasp. I used the opportunity to slide my tongue into her mouth. I felt her body tense at the motion as she tried to keep up. Our tongues fought for dominance as the chill November evening felt more like a hot summer’s day. Lucy dug her nails deeper into my shoulders and I pulled back giving her some room to breath.

“N-Nats-” she huffed but I couldn’t restrain myself anymore and went back in for another round.

Her breasts firmly pressed against my chest as I closed in any distance between us. I could feel her heart racing against mine as we breathed in each others hot breathes. I don’t know how long we stayed like that, but eventually the soft vibrate of my phone signaled that whatever this was, had come to an end. I growled against her lips as the phone continued to buzz obnoxiously resulting in me lifting myself off Lucy to answer it.

“What.” I angrily answered. 

Excuse me?

Leave it to Erza Scarlet to kill any guys boner. 

“S-Sorry Erza I thought you were someone else, I promise!” my voice went up 3 octaves in complete fear.

“Hmm,” she sounded unconvinced. 

I glanced over at Lucy who also looked panicked, trying to regain her composure. It was dark, but I could tell the blonde was completely flushed. 

Damn I want to take a picture of her, if it weren’t for the Red Queen over here-

“Natsu-”
“Yes your majesty!” I quickly responded.

“Your acting strange, is everything okay? Do you need me to stop by?”

“No! I mean no I’m okay, it’s just been a long day.”

“Yes I’m sure it has, that’s actually why I called. I can’t believe you went to the amusement park with everyone but failed to invite me!” she sounded annoyed.

Like hell I was going to invite her, I’d probably be dead from her dragging me to every ride that existed in the park.

“Oh yeah well I thought you might be busy with you know...stuff?” I tried.

“Stuff?” I could feel her anger increase.
“You know what Erza l’m a bit busy but I’ll let you bite my ear off later, okay? Bye!”

I hung up the phone before even another breath was sounded. 

“D-Did you just hang up on Erza?” Lucy looked petrified.

“I-I did.” I mirrored her fear. 

We decided it was for the best to call it a night. The whole way back we didn’t say a word to each other. It may have been in fear of calling whatever we were, something. I don’t know if I was ready for something just yet, no matter how I felt about Lucy. I pulled up by her dorm and she carefully stepped out. 

“Do you want to come inside?” she nervously offered. 

“Yeah and have Erza skewer me, no thank you.” 

We both laughed, finally breaking the awkward atmosphere. 

“Well I’ll see you later then?”

“Yeah, see you Luce.” 

I caught a glimpse of desperation before she spun around and headed towards the step.

Sorry Lucy, today may have been a mistake.

 

Decemeber 1st @ the apartment

My whole plan to ease Juvia’s worries completely backfired. That day I ended up telling Gajeel about what happened at the amusement park, which may have been the worst thing I could have done. He went complete overprotective dad on Juvia, telling her she shouldn't even leave the apartment without someone with her. She did the complete opposite. She barley was home anymore, refusing to tell us where she had been. Her and Gajeel constantly got into fights over her coming home so late that would result in Juvia locking herself in her room in tears. I tried getting him to ease up on her but that only made him angrier and he’d storm off only to come back completely wasted. Life here was turning out to be a complete fucking mess. I didn’t blame Juvia for any of it though. Because I know first hand how it feels when it seems like the whole world is turning on you. And I know now how important it is for at least one person to be there for you. 

I sounded a couple soft knocks on Juvia’s bedroom door. 

Yes?” a silent sob answered.

“It’s me. You okay with some company, I’ve got cookies?” I called from behind the door.

For a moment there was no answer, then slowly the door began to creak open and a small frail bluenette peaked from beside it. 

“Not going to lie, I already ate half of them while waiting for you.” I smirked.

My wit earned me a small smile back as she invited me inside. We both lied on the bed staring up at Juvia’s plain white ceiling. 

“Did you make the cookies Natsu-san?” Juvia asked.

“Nope, Mira did. If I had made them they would taste like burnt shit.”

“Juvia is sure that’s not true.”

“Guess I’ll just have to prove it to you, but prepare your stomach for it.” 

We both laughed for a second before it had gone back to silence.

“D-Did Gajeel go out?” 

I frowned at the mention of his name.

“Yeah, the only way the guy seems to cope with his feelings is by drowning them out with booze.” 

Juvia’s expression sunk in despair, probably blaming herself for the ordeal.

Nice one Natsu, are you trying to cheer her up or make her feel worse. 

I tried digging around in my brain for anything. Then a light bulb went off. 

“Lucy kissed me.” I nonchalantly said.

I felt Juvia’s eyes widen as she bounced up to a sitting position.
“Whaaaaat!” she shouted in surprise. 

“Yeah, and I kissed her back.”

“When?!” she added.

“That night we went to the amusement park.”

“Omg Juvia can’t believe this! Juvia also can’t believe you waited so long to tell her! I just knew the two of you would end up a couple!” Juvia clasped her hands together, hearts visible in her eyes.

“Yeah that’s the thing,” I shifted awkwardly.

“We aren’t exactly a couple.” 

 She looked at me confused. 

But it was true. A couple weeks have passed since then and nothing seems to have changed. Like the kiss never even happened. Every now and then I can sense that Lucy wants to say something, but I pretended not to notice. I just wasn’t ready to move on from what we have now. 

“I like Lucy, I mean what’s not to like she’s smart, beautiful, kind and tells me what I need to hear rather than what I want to hear.”

“Juvia is sensing a but,”

“But, the timing is wrong. I just can’t commit myself to her. Not the way Jellal and Erza are with each other.”

“Why not?” Juvia asked.

“Because I’m me Juvia. I’m the guy who can’t go a week without picking a fight or having a complaint filed on him. I still have so much to take care of for myself before I can even think of taking care of someone else.”

“But maybe Lucy doesn’t need you to take care of her?”

“Your right, but I at least owe her enough that I should be able to be there when she does need me. She is the one person I don’t want to hurt.” 

Juvia put her hand atop mine giving me a weary smile. Comforting that of a mother. 

“I understand, but you also owe Lucy enough to give her an explanation. Can you imagine what must be going through her head right now, all the self doubt. You have to be clear with your intentions because sometimes by protecting someone, you end up just hurting them.

She was right. I knew she was right long before she said it. I was being a coward by not telling Lucy the truth, and selfish by trying to keep holding onto her. 

“You're right, I promise I’ll talk this all out with Lucy tomorrow.” I sat up beside Juvia.

“Good boy.” she patted my head. 

“Juvia is still quite surprised by Lucy-san’s boldness. You don’t think that she might pull a move on Gray-sama when I’m not looking.” Juvia looked on in fear.

“She better not or I’ll kill Gray.” I laughed.

“Gray-sama has nothing to do with it, he is just too irresistible.”

We both laughed before I asked,

“So what exactly is going on between the two of you? I think your relationship is more confusing than Lucy and mine is.”

“It’s just a one-sided crush on Juvia’s side.” she sighed.

I arched a brow at her.

“Juvia is a hypocrite, she can’t even follow the advice she’s given to you Natsu-san.”

She shifted her gaze toward me.

“Why don’t you ever ask Natsu-san?”

“About what?” I said confused.

“About everything. If Juvia was you she would be dying with curiosity. Natsu-san is living between all this yet you don’t say anything.”

I scratched my head and thought about it. Sure I was curious but,

“It’s your story to tell Juvia. I can’t force you to say anything, nor would I want that. I just hope you know that there are people who will listen to your story when your ready to share it.”

I noticed the tears streaming down the bluenette's face. And then she broke. She told me everything. About her ex-boyfriend Bora, about the drugs, about how she was scared of being alone, about Zancrow. If I had known earlier, I would have beat the shit of that fucker when I had the chance. And finally how Gajeel played in all this.

“Juvia is afraid Natsu-san, the closer people get to Juvia the more the get dragged down into her problems. Now Juvia’s involved you, sorry Natsu-san.” she sobbed against my shoulder.

I gently patted her back,

“Don’t be sorry, if anything thank you for trusting me. I know that was probably hard for you to do. For now don’t worry about the future just think about the present. And right now I’m right here with you.”  

I honestly can’t believe someone as innocent as Juvia was shouldering such a heavy burden. 

“Here let me get you some tissues.” I offered as she nodded, trying to control the snot coming out of her nose. 

I didn’t know then that it was a mistake to leave her alone for even a second. When I came back to the room, box of tissues in hand, she was staring widely at the low lit screen of her phone.

“Juvia?” 

She clutched her phone and smiled brightly up at me. 

“Thank you Natsu-san, for everything. Juvia is truly glad she met you, the boy with cherry pink hair.”

I smiled back at her, but I knew something was wrong. I knew but I didn’t do anything. 

 

That morning when I woke up Gajeel was plastered to the couch in the living room, snoring away. 

“Geez get up metal for brains, your drooling over the place.” I stomped on his face but no reaction. I sighed before catching sight of the slightly cracked door of my bluenette roommate's room. 

“Juvia can you help me get this big lug up?” I knocked.

The door opened some more from my knock and I knew something wasn’t right. My eyes widened in fear as I rushed out the room hoping to at least catch sight of her. None of us would know that that night, Juvia packed her bags and left without a word, but only a silent promise to herself.