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Between Lies

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Hello, everyone! How're you all doing?

I am super excited now that I'm finally posting this story! It's been in my head for ages and I am really glad I've managed to finally write it down.

I'm sure many of you have wondered about a Gruvia Royal AU or maybe even wrote it. Well, this one will surely be a lot different.

A few things you should know before reading this chapter:

1-This story is a sequel to Between Identities, so most events that took place there will be important/mentioned.

2-The main ships in this story will be Gruvia and Stingyu, but you can count on some Gajevy and Jerza too.

3-This story will follow the events of the final season, so there might be SPOILERS.

4-Mature content and scenes with violence and death will be included in some chapters .

Happy reading!

Crocus, April X792

Juvia Lockser arrived at the palace around 10 am, escorted by Colonel Arcadios. He placed his helmet on her so she wouldn't be recognized, knowing it was best. They entered the grand doors and followed the corridors until the king's office, where he was currently sitting on the couch while looking at his ex wife's painting.

"Father?" Juvia called in a low whisper and he immediately stood up.

"Juliet. Are you alright?" He'd been worried, seeing as she'd decided to only use the earrings in case of an emergency.

"No, I'm not." She decided not to lie while removing the helmet.

"What happened?" Toma motioned towards the couch and she walked towards it, sitting down with a sigh.

While he excused Arcadius with a nod, she explained what had happened. "Gray left me."

"He did what?" The king yelled, now angry.

"I don't know why, but I can't help but feel like he's been pretending everything was okay." She sighed, trying to hold back tears. "Maybe he never forgave me for what I did and was just waiting for the perfect opportunity to get revenge."

"That bastard!" Toma shook his head, disbelief crossing his face. "I am so sorry."

"It's okay." Juvia gave a small smile. "Once he was gone, it put things into perspective. I realised that I was foolish to reject my real family."

He smiled and took her hand in his. "I'm glad you've decided to join us, but is that truly what you want?"

It took her a while to answer, but once she looked at the painting of her mother and then back to the kind man by her side, she knew. "I'm sure."

"Wonderful." Toma's smile brightened and he brought his arms around her for a hug, to which she replied.

Once they pulled apart, he stood up and extended a hand. "Come now, there is much to do."

"What exactly do I have to do?" Juvia wondered, a little afraid. She had no idea what becoming Princess Juliet truly meant when she'd made the decision.

"The first thing on our list is to tell Hisui. She's been occupied with a meeting today, but it should be finished by now." They linked arms and he led her towards Hisui's chambers, where a familiar person awaited.

Upon arriving there, Juvia could hear a familiar voice, but she wasn't sure who it belonged to. After the king knocked a few times and Hisui opened the door, she entered the large room.

"Oh, Juliet. I am so glad to see you." The jade haired princess wasted no time in hugging her tightly, clearly worried.

"Juliet?" There was a whisper, but they missed it.

"It's good to see you too." Juvia took comfort in her sister's arms and it actually made her feel a bit better.

"What happened? Did Gray do something?" Hisui asked as soon as they pulled apart and she noticed the former's somber face.

"He left me." Juvia said and her eyes widened.

"How dare he?" Anger immediately build inside her. "Abandoning my sister like that? He will pay."

"Sister?" Widened eyes stared at the two sisters.

"It wasn't his fault." Juvia defended the man she loved. "He just couldn't live with the person who killed his father anymore."

"That's no excuse." Hisui shook her head, but before she could say more, King Toma interfered.

"And who might you be?" He turned to the person that she'd previously been talking to.

"Yukino?" Juvia answered, staring at Sabertooth's mage in surprise.

"I called her because I needed to discuss a matter regarding the Celestial World." Hisui explained.

"I should go." Yukino said, realizing she shouldn't be there anymore.

"I'm afraid you cannot." King Toma shook his head, surprising all.

"What do you mean, father?" Hisui asked, confused.

"She heard too much and now she knows Juliet's true identity." He sighed. "She can't leave this palace."

"What?" Yukino looked between the three royals in confusion.

"That's ridiculous." Juvia said, shaking her head. "I don't mind that she knows."

"I don't think you understand, dear." Toma eyed her, determined. "No one can know who you are. In fact, once I announce your return as Juliet, we'll use a spell to conceal your identity so that not even your closest friends will realize you are actually Juvia Lockser."

"You didn't tell me about that." Juvia bit her lip, now unsure.

"It won't last forever." Hisui reassured her.

"Only until it's safe." The king said. "After all, Fairy Tail has many enemies, so if one of them were to find out that you are a member of Fiore's royal family, it might be dangerous for all of us."

"I'm not an enemy of Fairy Tail." Yukino joined in the conversation. "I mean, I was during the Games, but we're on good terms now. Aren't we?"

"Yes." Juvia nodded. "I trust Yukino."

"It doesn't matter." Toma was still unconvinced. "I can't take any risks, so she will have to stay here until further notice."

"So you're taking her hostage?" The water mage was incredulous.

"Nothing like that." Hisui shook her head. "She won't be put in prison or anything. She'll just have to stay in the castle." Turning to her somewhat friend, she offered a sympathetic look. "I'm sorry, Yukino."

"It's alright." The Sabertooth mage sighed. "I understand."

"We'll provide you with a comfortable life as long as you stay in the palace." King Toma assured her. "Anything you may need, you can ask our servants."

"My friends…I'd like to talk to them." He nodded, albeit reluctantly.

"You may send them a letter, which will be looked over by Darton, of course." Yukino sighed again. This was definitely not what she'd been expecting when Hisui had asked her to come to the palace.

Later that day, Juvia decided to pay Yukino a visit in the latter's newly arranged room. After knocking on the door a few times, it wasn't long before the celestial mage answered.

"I'm sorry." The water mage said as soon as she entered the room.

"It's not your fault." Yukino offered a smile.

"The last thing I wanted was to cause anyone harm, but…" She interrupted.

"It's okay, Juvia. I understand." Sighing, the bluenette looked around the room.

"Is it comfortable enough? Do you need anything?" Yukino shook her head.

"No, it's fine." Sensing her unhappiness, Juvia frowned.

"You don't seem fine." She pointed out. "What's bothering you?"

The celestial mage sighed."It's just…Sting and I were finally in a good place, but now that I'm here and can't talk to him anymore…"

"Oh. Were the two of you together?" The water mage wondered.

"Yes, actually." A blush colored Yukino's cheeks. Thinking about the day her relationship with Sting had finally taken the next step, she smiled.

October 7th, X791

"Yukino, I wanted to say..." Sting approached her after the battle against Tartaros, during which she'd almost been killed by Mard Geer if it hadn't been for Rogue's quick thinking. ***

She interrupted him. "I think I know." There was silence. "You do?"

"I wasn't sure, which is why I never told you how I felt. But after what happened yesterday, I saw the way you reacted and I think you feel the same."

"I do." Sting told her, suddenly looking guilty. "I'm sorry I waited so long, but I...I was scared you wouldn't want to be with me."

"Why?" Yukino looked confused.

"After what I did...The games..." She understood.

"You still blame yourself, don't you?" He looked away.

"I shouldn't have let Master Jiemma do that to you." She shook her head before sighing.

"It's in the past, Sting. I've moved on from it. I've forgiven you and Rogue a long time ago." For a moment, a smile appeared on his face, but then it was replaced by a frown.

"I know, but there's also yesterday." Sting's pained eyes stared at her. "You got hurt because of me, you almost died. I don't know if I can get over that."

"You can, you just have to let me help you." Yukino brought hand to his cheek. "We can heal our wounds together."

"I don't know if I deserve to be with you." It was clear he wanted to, but she guessed that after almost losing her, he must be filled with doubt.

"Of course you do." She immediately said. "You've changed so much, just as you promised. You deserve to be happy."

"You make me happy." Sting blushed, probably cursing himself for being so cheesy.

"I'm glad to hear that." Her hand was frozen on his cheek once they stared at each other for a few moments, lost in thought.

"I love you." Both said at the same time and their eyes widened before they burst into laughter.

"Look at that, perfect synchrony." Sting said while snaking his arms around her waist and bringing her close.

"I could get used to this." Yukino replied before they leant in for a long awaited kiss.

"Ohh, when did this happen?" Juvia eyed the blushing woman curiously.

"A few months ago." Yukino replied sheepishly.

"Aww that's so adorable!" The water mage was excited; she'd seen the chemistry between the two mages from the start.

"What about you and Gray Fullbuster?" Yukino asked, immediately regretting it upon remembering Juvia's earlier words.

"We're not together." The bluenette answered sorrowfully, sitting down on the white couch.

"Would you like to talk about it?" The celestial wizard asked, sincerely hoping she could help.

"Not really." The water mage shook her head. There was silence between for a few minutes, until Yukino broke it.

"So, I'm curious, what's it like to be a princess?" A small smile came upon Juvia's face.

She spent the rest of the afternoon talking about everything that had happened since the reveal and it felt nice. Yukino was a sweet girl and offered to help her with anything she needed while dismissing her constant apologies.

Later, as she went to bed, hoping to get some sleep before what was sure to be an eventful day, Juvia thought they might actually become good friends.

2 weeks later

It took a while for things to calm down after king Toma revealed that his lost daughter had returned. Reporters from Sorcerer Weekly and other magazines didn't stop coming to the palace, asking to interview princess Juliet.

While at first the royals managed to chase them away, it soon became impossible to avoid it. Therefore, Toma instructed Juvia on how to answer their questions and they formulated a new backstory for her before placing the spell that would make her unrecognizable.

A crown marking appeared on her shoulder and, per her request, its removal would cause the spell to be lifted.

Though she understood the importance of hiding her identity as Fairy Tail's water mage, Juvia wanted to have an option in case she saw Gray again. Even after he had abandoned her, she wasn't ready to say goodbye and if he returned, she wouldn't hide who she was.

Soon after the interviews were made and her face became the cover of every magazine in Fiore, king Toma declared that there would be a royal ball in her honor.

Still apprehensive about becoming a princess, Juvia found herself dressed in an elegant silver gown, hair tied in a high ponytail and silver heels on her feet. She stood above the ballroom, staring at the colourful people dancing and chatting with nervousness.

In her hands was a silver mask, since her father had decided on a masked ball to make things interesting.

"It's exciting, isn't it?" She turned to the left and spotted Hisui, dressed in a lovely dark green gown with same colour mask. "Your first ball."

"More like terrifying." The bluenette answered, feeling her stomach churn with anxiety.

"Don't worry, I'm sure you'll have fun." Fiore's crown princess smiled. "You might even find someone to dance with."

"I don't think so." Juvia sighed. "It's only been a month, I am definitely not ready to move on."

"Who said anything about moving on?" Hisui shook her head. "All I'm saying is you could have some fun tonight."

Juvia looked back towards the party and bit her lip. She did love to dance. "After all, that's what parties are all about."

"I've never been to a royal party before." She admitted.

"It's not that different from a normal one." Hisui said. "All you have to do is smile, dance and chat with people."

"I don't know anyone here." Surveying the room, she found Yukino standing near the chocolate fountain, but other than that, there were no familiar faces.

"Well, you won't get to know them from up here." Fiore's crown princess pointed out.

"You're right." With a sigh, Juvia decided it was no use to hide anymore. This was her party, after all.

Thus she slowly descended the stairs, feeling a blush spread across her cheeks once all eyes were on her. Ignoring the stares, she marched towards the chocolate fountain, intending on speaking to Yukino.

Unfortunately, she was unused to wearing such a long gown and ended up tripping.

Embarrassed, she tried to regain balance, but it was futile. Only when a hand suddenly grabbed hers and she was pulled upright did she manage to stand.

"Thank you." She gratefully turned to the stranger, who smiled.

"Of course." His voice sounded familiar, but she wasn't sure where from. "It's always an honor to rescue a beautiful lady."

Juvia blushed once more at the compliment, while letting go of his hand. "I should keep going, my friend's waiting for me."

He followed her gaze towards where Yukino was standing. "I see. I was hoping to ask for a dance, but I assume you're not interested."

Juvia was going to say no, she really was. She had no interest in dancing with someone she'd just met, even less so soon after losing Gray.

However, Hisui left her no choice once she approached them. "I'm sure she wouldn't mind having a dance." The princess winked before slightly pushing the water mage, causing the latter to fall again.

Once more, the strange man saved her by wrapping his arms around her waist. "Are you alright?"

Pressured by Hisui's determined gaze, Juvia found her protests fading away. "Yes." Clearing her throat, she uttered words she'd never imagined herself saying to anyone but Gray. "I would love to dance with you."

So, thoughts?

Did you enjoy the scenes with Juvia and her family?

What about Yukino's addition? Poor girl's stuck in the castle now, but that doesn't mean it won't be fun.

Besides, who said Sting would be just fine with her being away? ;)

Lastly, who do you think Juvia's savior is?

PS: *** The Stingyu flashback has been taken from another of my stories, Demos, since I'm writing their relationships as it was there.

For those who haven't read it (I know it's hella long), here's what you need to know: After the Games, Yukino rejoins Sabertooth and Sting, already knowing he's in love with her, gives her time to readjust. During the war against Tartaros, Mard Geer almost kills her (she was present throughout the entire fight) and Sting realizes he can't keep his feelings hidden anymore. Hence he decides to confess once it's over, and they get together.

Next chapter: Revealed. It's time for the masks to be removed and for the truth to be unveiled once two unexpected guests appear on the palace, one of which has a very interesting proposal.

Let's try 80 hits for chapter 2.