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“4-4.” Mirajane said with a smile and looking to the sweaty couple on the training mat. She was a retired Jaeger Pilot; her brother and sister begged for her to stop when they found out that the woman had a brain tumor and needed to perform surgery. She was fine now, but the doctors suggested she stopped with the program, so she stayed as the Marshal Makarov’s assistant and helping with planning. She was very smart and she knew from the moment the recruits saw each other that they would be compatible, so much that she put the best option last.

Juvia Lockser was from Russia, 24 years old and a pilot for two years before their Jaeger was decommissioned six months before (its name was Phantom Lord and another Jaeger, Frozen Raid, needed an upgrade) and her co-pilot, Gajeel Redfox was pulled into a research facility in England. She arrived in Hong Kong two days before as one of the candidates to be the co-pilot of the new Jaeger, Unison Raid. She looked fragile – she even shorter than Erza, the only other female pilot currently active – and her skin was so fair that any bruising would immediately show. But Mirajane knew that the woman could hold her own – and she was proven right when the Russian girl could keep up with Gray Fullbuster’s movements during the physical compatibility test.

Gray Fullbuster, 25, was a Jaeger Pilot from Alaska with his adopted brother for three years before their last mission went badly and half of their Jaeger was destroyed, injuring Lyon Vastia (the man was fine, but with a broken leg that would take four to six months to heal; unfortunately they didn’t have that amount of time and couldn’t afford to have a Jaeger less to fight the Kaijus – which were appearing more and more often. He was stubborn, but was a very good soldier and Pilot.

The physical compatibility test was to see if they could communicate through their moves and they were perfectly compatible, everyone could see that they would be very god pilots to each other.

“I think you found your co-pilot, didn’t you, Gray?” Mirajane smirked as the man offered his hand to Juvia who ended up on the floor after their sparring.

“Yes. She is the best one of them all.” Gray nodded and Mira saw the blunette blush very hard. “You put her last on purpose, didn’t you?”

“The best for last. You knew she is also a pilot, Gray.” Mira smiled happily. “I’ll fit you two for a test drive on the Jaeger in a couple of days. You two should get to know each other; or not. You will be in each other’s minds in no time.”

“Didn’t think you had it on you.” Gray told the blue haired woman by his side who was looking down to the floor, red as a beetroot. “I was almost giving up on finding a compatible match.”

“Juvia thought she wouldn’t pilot a Jaeger while her copilot is not here.” The small woman looked up at him shyly, he could identify the Russian accent but wasn’t too thick like the others Russians on deck. “There are not too many people Juvia get along enough to be Drift compatible.”

Gray smirked. “You and me both. Glad I found the one.”

The blue haired woman blushed even harder as she thought about how she was the one for him. Drifting would certainly be interesting,

#

Two days later, they finally tried the Drift on the beautiful Unison Raid (previous known as Frozen Raid when it was drove by Gray and his brother, months before) for the first time; it was two weeks before the next Kaiju attack – according to the clock – and it was best for both pilots to get to know each other in case there were any trouble.

Their uniforms were dark blue to match Unison Raid’s color. Both Gray and Juvia were nervous about their first Drift, there was a small possibility that they wouldn’t be exactly compatible and something could go wrong.

The couple of Pilots looked at each other for a moment before the Drift was activated. They were about to know a lot about each other.

When the Drift was established, Gray saw everything Juvia ever did. He saw her earliest memory – a faceless young woman reaching for an infant Juvia, he could only see the bright smile – he saw a policeman telling the young girl about an accident, saw the many foster homes she went to, how none of the kids liked her, how some foster parents beat her. He saw, through her eyes, the news about the first Kaiju and how curious she had been while everyone else was scared (Gray knew that somewhere at that same moment he was living one of the worse times of his life). He saw in her memories her enlisting on the army, her training, the awful bullying she suffered for being a woman in a ‘men’s’ job. He saw her get beat up and how they cut her hair short by three men, enough to put her in the hospital. He saw her meeting Gajeel, who was in the bed next to her while she was hospitalized. Gray saw her training with Gajeel, felt their friendship build up. He also saw the next time the same men tried to intimidate her once more, she kicked their asses and Gajeel took her to take drinks to celebrate.

He saw the recruiter come to speak with her and Gajeel about the Jeager program, he saw a couple of Kaijus they slayed and he saw her arriving in Hong Kong and meeting him. Gray felt what she felt when they met for the first time, the heat that spread through her body and she thought he was very handsome (Gray would get very cocky later).

Now he knew her just as much as she knew herself.

#

Juvia was not unfamiliar with The Drift, she connected her mind with Gajeel’s for two years and after a while it seemed like they had nothing else to see in each other’s minds, but Drifting with someone for the first time was always overwhelming. It seemed like all the memories were trying to go to the other person’s head at the same time.

She saw Gray’s parents sitting on a couch, saw when the Kaiju (which she vaguely recalled was named Deliora) appeared and how his mother hid him in the small basement, but neither her nor his father reached it. She heard the awful shriek of the Kaiju from the perspective of the terrified seven year old boy and the noise of the house falling apart. She saw a pretty woman finding him. Saw a white haired boy a little bit older than Gray himself. She saw the two coffins lowering to the ground.

Juvia saw the woman train the boys to defend themselves. She saw another Kaiju attack, saw the same woman pull both children towards a public shelter when someone (Juvia couldn’t see exactly who) pushed Gray and the other boy down; the pretty woman lost no time in put herself over them, protecting both from the desperate people running. There was blood coming from a wound on her head. For a second time, Juvia heard the Kaiju’s groaning together with a cry from the second boy. Juvia saw the cemetery once more; the white haired boy was there. She saw both of them going to a nice group home. She saw Gray enlisting on the military alongside with the not-so-little-anymore white haired boy. Saw a few flashbacks of his training. Saw two people recruiting them to the program. Saw the first time they Drifted. She saw a few flashbacks of Kaiju’s they killed. Saw the white haired man get injured by damage on the left side of their Jaeger. Saw Gray arriving in Hong Kong. Saw him meeting her and whishing she was a good pilot.

Juvia was going to show him just how good she was.

#

Great compatibility, you two! ” A petite blue haired scientist, called Levy McGarden, said and they could listen through their comms. She was the youngest researcher on the division and very bright. “I haven’t seen a first Drift this strong since Natsu and Erza! And they have known each other for years.

“Great.” Gray said from his spot inside the Jaeger and trying to sort out his (hers) new memories. With Lyon was easier, after all they spent most of their lives together; he never drifted with a stranger before (not so much of a stranger now). He felt all the loneliness she did while growing up, how she had to prove herself every step of the way until she became a Pilot and he knew that she felt his desire to revenge on the Kaijus that destroyed his life by killing his parents and then his foster mother.

He saw her hazed eyes finally focusing. “Hey, are you okay?”

“Yes.” She cleared her throat. “First drifts are always…”

“…difficult, I know.” Gray nodded. “I think we did good.”

“Yes.” Juvia smiled and he smiled back. Minutes earlier he wouldn’t have smile back at her so easily, but there was no reason to hide anything anymore: she knew his mind now just as much as he knew hers. “Those Kaijus won’t know what hit them.”

#

They were relocated to a facility in Alaska for two months and thankfully only needed to take down one Kaiju during their stay there, other Jaegers such as Iron Thunder (piloted by Laxus Dreyar and Freed Justine, stationed in Sydney) and Dragon Sword (piloted by Natsu Dragneel and Erza Scarlett stationed in Tokyo) took care of the others.

Gray showed Juvia around, since he moved to Alaska with his foster mother, Ur, when he was a boy, he knew how to go around. She remembered from his memories a lot about Anchorage City, but it was even better to create some of her own.

It was sweet of him to be with her most of the time so she wouldn’t be alone. People didn’t realize, but underneath the tough exterior he was very aware of other people’s loneliness and tried his best to remedy it.

She liked to think that they became good friends with him. His brother, though, wanted to be more than friends with her.

The first time Juvia met Lyon Vastia, he was on a motored wheelchair, his left leg on a cast but it didn’t prevent him to flirt with her every time they met, much to Gray’s exasperation.

“Really, what do you do here every day? You broke your leg, can’t pilot a Jaeger and you are stupid. Go home!” Gray said when he saw his adopted brother enter the training room, where he and Juvia were training for the afternoon to increase their drift compatibility.

“I work on planning and as liaison to other pilots and stations because you can be very rude.” Lyon rolled his eyes. “Plus, I didn’t come here to see your ugly face. Juvia, you are looking as beautiful as always.” The female pilot blushed. “Want to take a ride with me?”

“A ride?” Gray asked, confused, and Lyon patted on his lap with a smirk. “Oh, shove it, moron. Go away.”

“Jealous much?” The former pilot asked with a raised eyebrow. “My dear beautiful Russian Czarina, would you like to have lunch with me? I do believe that your training session with this stupid is over.”

Juvia was about to answer, but Gray beat her to the punch. “Look, there is no way I am letting you two hook up. Juvia and I share a Drift now and I do not want to share those memories.” He shuddered in disgust.

“Gray-sama!” Juvia was completely red. She chose to understand that Gray didn’t want to share her with anyone else. “Wha-Wha-What are you two even…?”

“Don’t worry, Juvia dear.” Lyon waved it off. “This moron won’t prevent our love to bloom. I envy him so much as he spends most of his time with you and inside your mind.”

“Nothing too good going on inside Juvia’s head.” She cleared her throat. “Let’s go eat, yes?”

#

Two weeks after they slayed the Kaiju (Code name Tearu), it was the thirteen year anniversary of Gray’s foster mother’s death. Juvia knew from the memories that during that week of the year (plus close to the date his parents died) he would get snappy and in a bad mood.

Knowing about it, Juvia didn’t take it to the heart when he snapped at her when she missed one of her moves during training. Instead, she did what she knew he needed.

Gray was telling her over again how she what she needed to do to match his movements with that specific move, when she wrapped her arms around him. He stiffened with the touch (they touched each other during training, but never something so intimate like a hug).

“Juvia.” He cleared his throat. “You know I don’t like hugs.”

“Sometimes what you need is not what you like.” She told, tightening her grip on him. “Juvia knows it’s about the time of the year when Ur died.” He stiffened even more. “You don’t need to keep beating yourself anymore. Juvia saw what happened and tripping wasn’t your fault, or Lyon-san’s. I didn’t know Ur-san, but I bet she wouldn’t like you thinking you caused her death.”

“I know. In my mind I know, but…” Gray relaxed on her arms and put his own around her small frame. “I wonder what would’ve happened if we didn’t trip, then.”

“We can’t live of what ifs, okay?” She looked up to him as he looked down, their eyes meeting. “Our lives are the way they are supposed to be, as sucky as it might be.”

“My life doesn’t suck.” Gray sighed, resting his forehead on the top of her head – he felt better having a physical connection with her rather than just the Drift, it was… reassuring. “I just wished she was here to see where I’ve come.”

“She is now.” Juvia smiled. “You never realized?”

“What?”

“Our Jaeger is named Unison Raid.” She told him softly. “U.R., like your foster mother, the woman who influenced you to enter the army.” Gray’s eyes widened a bit. “You can see it as a coincidence or that you two have been fighting together for a while.” She hesitantly unwrapped her arms from around him. “Now, let’s finish the sequence. Juvia promises not to screw up this time.”

He cleared his throat. “Sorry about lashing out on you.”

“It’s okay.” The woman shrugged. “You don’t complain much about Juvia’s craziness, it’s quid pro quo.” He offered her a small smile.

#

Three days later, Gray tried his best to keep it together to the Drift calibration of Unison Raid but it was the day before the anniversary of Ur’s death and when he drifted with Juvia, his memories of Ur flooded to the blunette and by the end of the calibration, Juvia was crying.

He tried to reach for her, but their new tech wanted to talk with them about the results and Gray didn’t like to talk with people looking – he barely liked to talk, with an audience was even worse.

Gray didn’t have the opportunity to talk to her during dinner either; so, he had to wait until she was in her quarters to talk to her. He knocked on her door – his own quarters were next to hers – and waited for her to open it.

When she did, Gray felt even worse for sharing his memories about Ur with her when he saw her tear stained face. “I’m sorry, I got overwhelmed and...”

“Oh, it’s fine.” The female pilot waved him off and dried a tear. “Juvia is not sad, it’s just… you had a nice time with her; short as it was, you loved her. I am jealous.”

Gray nodded. “You lost your mother young and you don’t have too many memories of her.”

“I don’t.” Juvia opened the door even more to let him inside and the man took the opportunity to do so. “At least you have nice memories, lots of them.”

“I don’t know what’s worse: remember or not.” Gray sighed.

“No right answer for that.” The blunette nodded. “But it’s alright; Juvia kind of hijacked your memories, though. Sorry about that.”

“It’s fine; two way street that is. At least you got the nice ones.” The man said and there was another awkward silence and Gray wondered if Juvia would understand his need for another hug without him needing to say. “So…”

Juvia stepped close to him and took his hand on hers. “We are surrounded by machines and metal all the time, but… we are people and we need contact or we go crazy. And it seems like we both need it tonight.” She pulled him towards the bunk beds. “You can use the top bunk if you want. You don’t need to, though.”

Gray shook his head, denying the offer for the top bunk. She was right; it was one of those days that going to his quarters alone would do more harm than good. Juvia nodded in understanding as both went to bed to take the so needed rest.

They didn’t say anything else that night, only enjoyed the feeling of having each other near, a person who knew their most intimate thoughts and even so wanted to be close. It was nice.

#

After that first night, Gray was often sleeping in Juvia’s quarters. He would knock and, without saying a word, she would open the door and take him to her bed, where they would enjoy the company without saying much and with nothing other than sleeping.

Outside, Juvia would still be the same, blushing hard at anything Gray would say that could be interpreted with double sense, but would hold him in her arms for as much time as he needed without saying a word. It seemed like he was addicted to be comforted by her. When he drifted with Lyon, they knew about each other’s feelings, but neither was much into physical contact, but Juvia didn’t seem to mind to comfort him that way.

And, he found that he liked to be comforted by her.

Gray wondered why.

He read about the different effects drifting had on people’s brains and feelings. Maybe the Drift altered his feelings, somehow? Maybe he was too long on the program?

When he voiced his concerns to Mirajane during one video conference, the white haired woman smiled sweetly at him. “There’s nothing wrong with you, Gray. What you are feeling is uniquely linked to what you feel for her. ” She said. “You never wanted to seek physical closeness with Lyon, did you? ” He shook his head vehemently. “That means that whatever you two share during The Rift makes you think that she can protect you, can tend to you when you need and can seek for her during an emotionally distressed moment. ” Mira’s eyes were soft. “I think that you two would be in this way even if you didn’t rifted; the fact that you two shared memories only means that the process was speeded. I think you found someone more than just rift compatible. You may have found someone who can be even more than that. The Rift can’t make you fall in love, but it can make you realize that you are.

It made sense. All that Mirajane told him, made sense. He met someone he needed and didn’t even know.

#

We are dropping a bomb in the Breach. ” Marshal Makarov said through a video conference not two weeks after Mirajane’s talk to the male pilot of Unison Raid. “And we need you two there. We will use all three Jaegers: Dragon Sword, Iron Thunder and Unison Raid during the mission. We need Pilots Gray Fullbuster and Juvia Lockser back in Hong Kong in two days for the drop in four.

The trip was uncomfortable, but necessary and after packing their thing during a whole day (plus helping with Unison Raid), the couple of pilots slept through the whole trip from Alaska to Hong Kong. It took a long time, but when they finally made it, the person who was waiting for them at the base made the blue haired Russian woman smile in delight.

With his army uniform and messy long black hair, Gajeel Redfox would scare a normal person; but Gray was not normal and by the way the older man’s eyes lit up when he saw his former copilot, he was not so scary. Juvia wore a thick light blue coat and was carrying her own bag, which made her not less fast to run towards her friend.

“Gajeel-kun!”

“Some high tech morons steals me away to England to study my brain, they dismantle our Jaeger and put you with someone else for the Drop? This sucks! You will have all the fun while I stay inside?”

She said only a few steps away from him. “It won’t be fun.”

“Don’t lie to me; I know you love the thrill.” Gajeel remarked with a smirk and she laughed, putting her arms around him.

“ я скучалA по тебе.” [I’ve missed you. ] She whispered.

“Я тоже.” [Me too. ] Gajeel responded.

Gray narrowed his eyes towards them. He knew they had no romantic inclinations towards one another whatsoever, but it still bothered him how close they were. And he also knew enough Russian to know they were exchanging sweet words. He’d seen her with Lyon and she showed no interest in him (which was a relief, his brother and his copilot together would be a nightmare and Gray was never too good on sharing), but she was so very intimate with the man; Redfox was the only other person in the world who saw her mind like he did. It was silly, but he got a little jealous about it.

“кто это?” [Who is that? ] Gajeel finally looked to the other Unison Raid pilot’s direction.

“веди себя прилично.” [Behave. ] The woman said before her friend could be ruder. “This is…”

“Gray Fullbuster.” Her copilot offered his hand. “Приятно познакомиться.” [It is nice to meet you. ]

The slightly older man raised an eyebrow, impressed that he spoke in Russian. “Da.” [Yes. ] Gajeel took Gray’s hand and shook it. “Я Gajeel Redfox.” [I am Gajeel Redfox. ] “So, you are Juvia’s new partner.” His accent was thicker than Juvia’s, but it was better than many Russians he knew on the maintenance team.

“I am.” They let each other hands go. “Maybe not for too long if the Drop goes according to plan.”

“I am not going to lie: if you succeed I am going to miss those big bastards.” Gajeel sighed in pity. Gray raised an eyebrow. “Don’t look at me that way, my life was just as fucked up as anyone else’s by the Kaijus and I hate the deaths, but I was born to fight them and I bet you like fighting too. Juvia here wouldn’t be Drift Compatible with someone who doesn’t enjoy a good fight like she does.” Gajeel put an arm around Juvia’s shoulders and the woman wrapped her arms around his waist staring up to her friend with a bright smile. Gray narrowed his eyes slightly and Gajeel noticed; he frowned looking from one to another.

It was clear by the way she stared at her new copilot that she was very smitten with him and Gajeel knew very well that his friend didn’t hide her feelings towards anyone, good or bad; the man, though, at first the older pilot thought he cared about Juvia just as a friend, but seeing that small reaction from Gray... It seemed almost as jealousy. “Fullbuster, the other Pilots are here already. Scarlet, Dragoneel, Dreyar and Justine. They are old friends of yours, da?”

Gray nodded. “Yeah. Haven’t seen them in a while.”

“Go ahead, then. Juvia and I need to catch up.” Gajeel took the bag from the ground (where she threw it to hug his friend) and pulled her towards the base’s entrance and Gray followed them. The older man leaned to whisper close to her ear. “я собираюсь показать тебе твой номер.” [I'm going to show you to your room. ]

By Juvia’s memory, Gajeel was a nice guy who befriended her and taught her how to defend herself and become a good pilot. But to Gray, he was kind of a jerk.

Gray watched as the other man’s hand find its way south, uncomfortably too close to her lower back, and she didn’t seem to mind. Gajeel looked over his shoulder and smiled evilly in Gray’s direction.

Definitely a jerk.

#

It was nice to see old friends (Natsu too, they even got into a brawl together for old times’ sake), they talked about missions and discussed the Bomb Drop in two days. By the end of the evening, Juvia and Gajeel finally entered the canteen, talking excitedly in Russian. He pointed towards the table where the pilots were sitting.

The last time she was there, the others were stationed elsewhere and she didn’t have the opportunity to meet them. Rarely the pilots left their positions in case there was an attack. A place where all the current Jaeger Pilots were all at same time? Very rare.

Gajeel, who was stationed in Hong Kong for the past month and met them all, introduced them. Juvia sat by Gray’s side and talked excitedly with them about Unison Raid and its weapons. Her copilot was glad she was talking happily with the others and they seemed to like her back. She was a bit of a loner but was coming out of her shell just fine with them. She just needed to meet the right people, it appeared.

“It’s getting late.” Erza Scarlet said. “Gray and Juvia here traveled a long way today and we all need a good night’s rest for tomorrow’s preparations.” She got up and the others followed her lead.

“I should go and get Lucy.” Natsu yawned. “If I let her, she will be writing equations all night long with Levy and be tired tomorrow.”

“I’ll go with you.” Gajeel stated. “Someone needs to stop the Short Stuff too, if we let her, she’ll be awake for three days.” He said. “Good night.” The man turned to Juvia. “Увидимся завтра. спокойной ночи.” (See you tomorrow. Good night. )

“спокойной ночи, Gajeel-kun.” (Good night, Gajeel-kun. ) She smiled and saw her friend leave with the pink haired pilot to search the girls. “Juvia is going too, take a shower and rest.” The blue haired woman told the other pilots. “Good night.” She told them and received nods as responses. Turning to Gray, the woman asked: “See you later?”

He felt his cheeks get warmer and offered a light nod. The woman smiled and left the canteen. When Gray turned to the remaining three pilots, they were all smirking. “Shut up.”

“Someone is too close to his copilot.” Freed raised an eyebrow and Laxus grinned.

“It happens.” Erza said to them, trying to ease Gray’s clear embarrassment. “Let it go.”

“Hey, we are not saying he’s wrong.” Laxus shrugged. “She is pretty, clearly likes him and they share the Drift, I would be surprised if it didn’t happen.”

“I Drift with Natsu and I don’t ‘see him later’ after bedtime.” Erza raised an eyebrow.

“Because you have your boyfriend since you were what? Fifteen? Plus Natsu always had a thing for Lucy and now that they are together, I don’t think he will have eyes to another.” The blonde man remarked and then shifted his gaze back to Gray. “Don’t worry, kid. We are just pulling your leg. You better enjoy it, though, because the day after tomorrow we are facing death and we might not come back.”

Gray nodded and said good night to them. Great, now they all thought he and Juvia were doing more than just sleeping in the same bed to ease their need of physical contact. Maybe he shouldn’t go to her quarters that night?

After taking a shower, the man went to his quarters and lied down on his bed, looking up to the ceiling waiting for sleep to come and as tired as he was, he couldn’t sleep. Tired of waiting and tired of the couple of days he had, Gray gave up and went to knock next door, where he knew they would’ve put her on.

Like always, she opened the door and wordlessly let him in. He was asleep by the moment she slipped on the bed next to him.

#

The next day was spent on planning the bomb drop; they went over the schedule over and over again. There was a minor step back when, with the hurry about revise the Jaegers, some guy accidently pushed Freed and dislocated his shoulder, so Gajeel would be the other pilot with Laxus on Iron Thunder for the drop.

The Russian man got too excited for it to be normal, but as long as there was another Jaeger to have Dragon Sword’s back as it dropped the bomb. While Gajeel and Laxus tested their compatibility, the others were going over the plan once again.

It was a very tiresome day and by the end of it, they were very exhausted. Gray barely saw Juvia after the last time they revise the plan. He was too full of worries to sleep just then, so he went for a walk around the base. He found Gajeel not too long after, looking just as exhausted as Gray felt.

“Hey.” The Unison Raid pilot greeted the other man. “Where are you headed?”

“Tomorrow we are going to drop a nuclear bomb on the Breach; we are probably going to die trying to save the world.” Gajeel didn’t even stop walking. “This is it, the last night. Particularly, I am going to spend it with a blue haired woman of my own, because if we are going down tomorrow, I am sure going without regrets and you should do the same.”

“Blue haired…?” Gray frowned, his mind going straight to Juvia.

“Don’t get your panties in a twist.” Gajeel chuckled. “Levy McGarden. We met in London three months ago. Surprisingly, we are… how are you and Juvia saying it these days? Drift compatible.” He winked to the other man, letting him know that the Drift had nothing to do with his intentions with the blue haired scientist. “Go enjoy the night before the Apocalypse too, Fullbuster. Привет Juvia Джувии от меня.” [Say hello to Juvia for me. ] Gray watched as the older man went to the opposite direction he was heading. “пока.” [Bye. ]

Gray watched him go and wonder what Juvia told him about their relationship. Without even realizing it, he changed directions and returned to the quarter’s hall. His feet dragged him to stand in front of Juvia’s room. He knocked, like he had done it many times before.

She opened it, expecting him to go there during the night at some point. Juvia opened it enough for him to enter it, but unlikely the other nights, this time she wasn’t so quiet.

“Gray-sama, Juvia has to tell you something.” The female pilot said, nervous. “Just… Just in case something bad happens tomorrow, Juvia needs to tell you.”

“Juvia.” He tried, but she interrupted him.

“Please, let me just tell you. I know you know – you have been inside my head – but… this will probably be the last chance I’ll have.” She took his silence as a permit to go on. The blue haired woman took a deep breath. “Я люблю тебя всей душой.” [I love you with all my soul. ] She knew Ur was of Russian ancestry and that she spoke the language often, her sons learned to speak and understand most of it, especially those words. “Since when I met you.”

Gray cleared his throat. “We are not going to die tomorrow.”

“I know.” Juvia smiled. “It was just in case. I didn’t want to leave nothing unsaid.”

For a moment, the blue haired woman saw something pass through his eyes and for a second she though he would kiss her. She knew he was going to kiss her; his body language suggested he would, but he shook his head lightly.

“Let’s go to sleep. Tomorrow is a big day.” He was the one to lead her to the bunk bed that time and Juvia couldn’t help but to feel down for his reaction to her declaration. She was aware that he cared for her a lot, but maybe she misread him. Maybe she could be more than just a friend if they had time, if they survived the Drop.

She would try her best to keep them alive.

#

The Drop went wrong. The plan needed to be changed half way through it.

There were three Category IV Kaijus circling the Breach by the time the Jaegers arrived. The bomb mechanism failed to launch and Dragon Sword had to auto-detonate after entering the Breach.

The six pilots screamed at each other’s comms trying a plan b to get the last Kaiju to use it as a ‘passport’ through the Breach.

Iron Thunder, which was closest, grabbed the biggest Kaiju (the other two were slaughtered) as Unison Raid threw Dragon Sword in its direction; the big red Jaeger grabbed the Kaiju and both entered the Breach.

Juvia could feel Gray’s tension because she felt it too. That was it, that was their last attempt to destroy the Breach and stop the Kaijus of invading. Humanity needed the mission to succeed; they needed Dragon Sword to succeed.

And Gray needed his friends to be alive.

A minute later, just a split of a second before the bomb went off, two escape pods left the Breach, just for the big explosion seal it.

Fuck yeah! ” They heard Gajeel’s whoop of happiness. “We did it!

“LOCCENT.” Gray called by the comms. “Are Natsu and Erza alright?”

We can’t get any vitals. ” It was Mirajane speaking and they could hear the worry in her voice. “We don’t know what is going on.

Nothing? You are getting nothing? ” They heard Laxus’ voice.

“When are you going to be sure?” Gray asked and Juvia could feel his fear that his friends could be dead inside of those pods.

They are reaching the surface now. ” Mira said and everyone went silent as she called the two pilots. “Dragoneel, Scarlet do you copy?” A few seconds of silence. “Dragoneel. Scarlet. Are you there?

“Давай!” [Come on! ] Juvia whispered, they needed to have a full victory, humanity could really use seeing all pilots who dropped the bomb safe. “Давай.” [Come on. ]

“They can’t be dead.” Gray’s voice was strangled. “Call them again.”

Shut up, you bastard. I promised Lucy I would get out of there alive. Of course I am not dead. ” Natsu’s voice came through the comm and Juvia felt the happiness it caused her copilot. “I’m alive, people.

So am I. ” It was Erza. “We did it.

Gray let out a laugh and Juvia followed as they looked at each other; it was over.

Can someone get Lucy for me? She will be worried. ” Natsu asked.

I am here! Natsu, I am here. I was here all along. ” Lucy’s voice came through the comms.

I told you I would be fine. ” The Dragon Sword’s male pilot said. “I may have a dislocated shoulder, though.”

Iron Thunder, Unison Raid. Activate the floaters. The helicopters will arrive in fifteen minutes.

“Copy that.” It was Laxus’ and Gray’s responses as they did what they were ordered.

Once they were on the surface, Gray opened the hatch so they could get out from inside Unison Raid’s head and they saw Iron Thunder not too far away from them and the pods with the Dragon Sword’s pilots.

They removed their helmets and took a deep breath. There was a new world in front of them, a world without Kaiju attacks.

“Juvia can’t believe we did it.” The blunette smiled to her partner after waving to the other four pilots to let them know they were fine. “A bit embarrassing that we survived after Juvia’s confession last night. She kind of thought we were going to die.”

“I am glad we didn’t.” Gray said, putting a hand on the back of her neck and capturing her lips with his, deepening the kiss not too long after. She seemed surprised at first, but soon wrapped her arms around his shoulders and kissed him back enthusiastically.

“Get a room!” They heard Natsu yell from his pod not too far away. “Get inside your Jaeger, no one wants to see that!”

The Unison Raid pilots broke their kiss and Gray yelled from over his shoulder. “Shut up, Natsu!” He stared back at his copilot with tender eyes, his gloved hand on her cheek. “I was going to kiss you last night, but… I thought that I’d have a good reason to survive if this is what I should expect after we survived.” He kissed her lips once more. “Я тоже тебя люблю.” [I love you too. ]

Juvia smiled and kissed him once again, her insides bubbling with excitement. They could hear the helicopters getting closer, but all that mattered was the person in their arms. The Drift gave them each other and for that, they would always be grateful.