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The Icy Rose

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The bell tolled. Again and again. It rang in her ears, almost making it unbearable. Day after day she had stalked him, sometimes in the shadows, sometimes she just stood in the open. Every time one thing was the same: She always fantasised about her and her Gray-sama. All the black made everything seem even more depressing than it already was. Juvia couldn't even begin to imagine what she would do with her free time now, who she would talk to now that Gray was gone. It had only been a day and she already missed him. As everyone else left, Juvia continued to sit there, unaware of the world around her. Silent tears rolled down her cheeks as she thought of everything they had been through. The sun began to sink, colouring the sky orange. It only added to the hurt she was feeling. Watching the sunset was one of Juvia's favourite things to do with Gray. Her hands swept across her cheeks in a futile attempt to stop her tears. She stood up, a red rose in hand, and made her way closer to his resting place. "Gray-sama..." it hurt her just to say his name, "Juvia loves you." Juvia neatly placed the rose, propping it up against the large stone, and slowly walked away, visions of Gray still racing through her mind as she tried to cope with her loss. Ignoring everyone, Juvia walked straight to Fairy Hills, the rain following her like it used to when there was no real love in her life, when there was no Gray. When she entered her apartment, she lunged for the doll of Gray on her bed and curled up, holding it as close to her chest as she could. "Gray-sama..." was all she said as her eyes closed and she fell into a heavy sleep.
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Juvia awoke suddenly. She could hardly tell it was 11:00am with all the rainclouds blotting out the sun. It hadn't started raining, but she could tell that it would soon. Not bothering to change out of the black she was wearing from yesterday, Juvia grabbed her pink umbrella, the one adorned with hearts and a white trim, and walked out the door. She ran to where she had been the day before, hoping for the best, hoping it was all a nightmare. Her heart sank lower than it ever had done before when she saw a large stone with the name 'Gray Fullbuster chislled on it that was supporting a red rose. She looked down at her feet, distraught, when she saw it glistening. A perfectly formed rose, made of ice that rested completely still on a package of some sort with a tag that read 'Juvia'. She scooped up the two items and carried them back to her apartment. Once she was in the solitude of her own living space, Juvia placed the rose in her freezer to keep it for as long as possible. Juvia then gave the package on her coffee table her full, undivided attention. She sat on her couch and pulled off the ribbon. The wrapping was neat, with nothing sticking out and everything covered so that no one could see what was inside. When she pulled off the wrapper, Juvia locked her eyes on a piece of paper and followed it as it twirled and danced in the air as it fell to the floor. She bent down and read what was on the paper. 'I love you too, Juvia.' The handwriting seemed familiar, but Juvia knew her thought, her hope, was nothing more than an impossibility. She opened the wooden box and eyed the contents. A pendant. She leaned in closer to the accessory. It was silver. A silver cross with another smaller cross in the middle of it. Juvia recognised it almost instantly. It was his pendant. It was Gray's. She wanted so hard to believe that Gray gave it to her, that it was a token of his love, that he was finally showing his feelings for her, but how could he be? He was gone. He had been taken from her. She herself had gone to say goodbye just yesterday. Juvia could still feel Gray's warmth coming from the pendant. Wanting to keep her memory of him alive and wanting to keep him as close to her as possible, she fastened the pendant around her neck and let if fall onto her chest and hang there. The rest of the day mainly consisted of it raining constantly whilst Juvia layed on her bed and thinking of Gray. Her thoughts were disrupted momentarily when Erza and Levy knocked on Juvia's door asking about how she was and if there was anything they could do. Juvia responded with simple grunts before getting back to her thoughts. As time dragged on, Juvia's eyelids grew heavy and sleep finally crept over her, making her feel warm and relaxed.
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Juvia had another late start, sleeping in until 11:30am. Even though Gray had only been gone for two days, Juvia found that she couldn't care about anything. She rubbed her eyes, clearing them of any remnants of sleep, before getting in the shower. After her shower, Juvia got dressed, reverting back to her old look. Navy blue clothes, a teru-teru bozu doll and tightly curling her hair at her shoulders. Once she was fully dressed, she grabbed her umbrella and walked out the door. For a moment or two, Juvia thought about going to the guild, to see people and try and get her life back on track, but she just couldn't act on the thought of letting Gray go. Making up her mind, Juvia started walking to the cemetary. Part of her hoped she would see Gray there whilst the other part of her told her that her hopes were nothing more than a postponed disappointment and when she got there, everything would be the same as the day before, no Gray there to greet her. When she got there, her hopes turned to despair as she found no Gray. Juvia made her way to Gray's grave and dropped to her knees as she read the inscription over and over again in her head. She bowed her head as she repeated the words to herself. Her eyes rested on the things that lay in front of her. A rose of ice laying on another package with her name written on it. This one was larger than the other was. She grabbed the two items and carried them back to her apartment in Fairy Hills. She placed the ice-rose in her freezer, right next to the other one before closing the freezer and sitting on her bed with the package. She opened it up and read the piece of paper 'I know that you've always wanted to be one.' The handwriting was definitely the same as the other note. She opened the wooden box and looked at the gift inside. It was a black sweater. Juvia removed it from the box and opened it up. In the centre, a bright blue butterfly had it's wings spread, giving the sweater a design that Juvia just loved. She took off everything before pulling the sweater over her head and putting on a simple pair of navy blue jeans. She then pulled the pendant out from under her new top so that it was visible to the world, if there was someone there to see it. She locked her door and spent the rest of the day reading the note and ignoring everyone. She pondered who had sent the note. She had only ever told a select few number of people of her childish aspiration to be a butterfly. She wanted so hard to believe that it was Gray and that this was all just a long-running nightmare and when she woke up, she would be there, laying next to Gray with everything being fine between them. Slouched on the floor, Juvia reached for her doll of Gray and hugged it tightly as she shut her eyes for the last time for that night.
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Juvia awoke surprisingly early the next morning. Her eyes fluttered open and she eyed the clock. 7:30am. She only got up this early when she wanted to get to the guild to see Gray as soon as he walked into the guild, but she had no need to do that any more. Now, she had nothing to do. She looked at what she was wearing, pondering whether or not she needed to get changed. She suddenly realised that she had gotten changed into something that Gray had given her. Or so she wanted believe. The real fact was that she didn't know who had given her the sweater. Or the pendant. But she knew, without a doubt, who she wanted it to be. Juvia took a walk around the town of Magnolia. She loved how empty the streets were. It gave her time to think. Time to get her priorities straight. She let the events of the past two days and her memories of the time she spent with Gray wash over her as she walked aimlessly through the streets. Thoughts alone weren't enough. She yearned for Gray, to see him in person and for him to take away the rain inside her heart like he did when they first met. It began raining heavily as she continued to think about how much she missed Gray. The rain followed her as she sped up, heading for a destination she had just thought about. She sighed heavily as she reached the spot. They were there. Just like they had been the last two days. An icy rose and a present. Like the two previous ones, the present had a name tag on it that read 'Juvia', just like the other ones had. She took the two items and carried them to her apartment. She placed the rose in her freezer and unwrapped the present. She picked up the piece of paper. 'The best thing I ever did was catch you on that roof.' Now there was no doubt in her mind. Juvia knew that it was Gray who was sending them, but how? Had he planned it all? Had he known that it would end up like this? The main thing that she focused on, was that this was proof that Gray had feelings for Juvia. Maybe not as strong for the ones that she had for him, but he had them. She opened the box and looked at the contents. It was a picture of Gray. She had countless pictures of him, some even depicted him topless, but this was the best by far. This one came from Gray. Juvia rushed to the guild, looking for answers. She walked straight up to Erza and Lucy, figuring they would probably be able to give the best advice for her current predicament. "Juvia has a problem", she admitted to the pair of women sat in front of her.
"What's up?" Lucy asked
"Juvia has been getting ice-roses and presents from Gray-sama..."
Her words were cut off by Erza and Lucy simultaneously verifying what they had just heard, "GRAY?!?"
Juvia nodded as the two looked at eachother.
"Juvia", Erza started, "Gray's gone. He can't be..."
"Juvia knows, but only Gray-sama knows what Juvia thinks about butterflies, and only Gray-sama caght Juvia on the roof."
"Juvia", Lucy said, "If you believe that Gray's behind this, then we can't make you change your mind, but please don't get too caught up in this. He is gone after all. Even if it is Gray, these things won't keep coming forever. Soon it will have to stop."
Juvia nodded and walked out of the guild hall silently as everyone watched her leave. She figured that once she fell asleep, she wouldn't have to endure the rest of the day. By the time she got back to Fairy Hills, the day was almost out so even if she didn't sleep, she wouldn't have to wait long for tomorrow to come. She still decided it would be better for her to get some sleep though, so she kissed the photo of Gray she had got that day and quietly hummed herself to sleep.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Juvia awoke with a start. She hadn't realised that even when she was dreaming she could make the weather take a turn for the worse. It was only 9:00am and her current feelings had already lead to a heavy downpour and a few cracks of thunder, one of which had woken her up. She found the picture of Gray laying beside her, right where she left it. She picked it up and stood it up on the chest of drawers beside her bed. She admired it for a moment or two, appreciating where the picture had come from. From Gray himself. She left the picture alone and she walked out the door. The air was cold and turned her hands red. The low temperatures reminded Juvia of what it was like to be with Gray. It alwys seemed to be cold around him, but when ever she got close to him, he never failed to warm her up. But now, now that he was gone, she couldn't feel his warmth next to her. And it worried her. For the first time in a vey long time, Juvia felt alone. Lost even. Gray was always the light at the end of her tunnel, but with him gone, all she could see was darkness. Her only consolation was the things that lay on his grave for her every day. Pictures of Gray kept rushing around in her mind, not letting her concentrate on anything else as she kept walking, not thinking about where she was going, she didn't even care where she was going. She just wanted to see him again. She snapped back to reality and looked around, determining where she was. She knew exactly where she was. She had been here every day. The present was already in her hand when she looked down. The rose was too. Juvia ran home before she could think of anything else. Her legs took her as fast as she could, racing to her apartment in Fairy Hills. She placed the rose with all the rest that she had gotten over the days. Juvia then turned all her attention to the package on her bed. She wondered what was in this one. She ripped the wrapping off and read the paper out loud to herself 'When you see a shooting star, make a wish. It will come true. I wished and I found you'. "Gray-sama", Juvia said to herself softly. She opened the box and lifted the contents out of it. In her hands, she held a silver tiara with and intricate pattern of flowers and butterflies. In the centre of the tiara, a picture was set in a groove in the metal. The picture was of Gray and Juvia together, from the first time they went to the beach together, just the two of them. They were smiling widely. The picture brought back fond memories of their time together on that day. Juvia admired the tiara for a moment before she placed it on her head and looked at herself in the mirror. She adjusted the tiara a few times before she was satisfied with how she looked.
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The day was already getting on before Juvia even awoke. She had slept in, more than she usually did. She rolled over to look at her picture of Gray. She smiled at the sight of him, not as much as if he were really there but it was good enough for her. Juvia then turned to look at her clock. 12:00pm. It was mid day and she had only just awoken. There was only one thought on her mind. She couldn't wait to see what was waiting for her today. Juvia made her way to the cemetary, not stopping for anyone or anything. When she got there, confusion swept across her face. Where was it? There was nothing there. Perhaps Lucy was right. She shouldn't have gotten to used to this.
"Looking for something?" The sudden words made Juvia jump in fright. She recognised that low husky tone. She turned around slowly, wanting to see who she thought it was. Who she hoped it was. She wanted to see Gray. Her eyes widened and her mouth opened as she squealed in delight. She hugged the figure in front of her as hard as she could. "Oi, Baka!!" the man in her grasp shouted.
"Gray-sama!!" was all Juvia could say in response.
Gray rolled his eyes before looking down. He planted a soft kiss on Juvia's lips and whispered in her ear. Juvia blushed in response but had no time to linger on what he had just told her. Grabbing his wrist, she dragged Gray back to Fairy Tail and into the middle of the hall to show him off to everyone in there. She had got her Gray-sama back.
"Juvia is so happy", she said, holding him close to her.
"I know" was all Gray said as he held her just as close to him.