Rain was falling heavily, battering the umbrellas and people below. It was a complete contradiction to her personality. She had always been so lively and upbeat, but black adorned every one present. It didn't seem like it was reality. So young and death had claimed her. Gray never paid too much attention to her name before, but now that was set in stone where she laid, it was too hard to ignore. Gray read the name again, hoping that he and every body else had read it wrong. Unfortunately for him, they hadn't. It still read the same. Juvia Lockser X767-X784. The more he mentally recited the inscription, the more it hurt, in his heart and in the pit of his stomach. Losing a nakama was hard even in the best of circumstances, but now that she was laid in the dirt, cold and alone, Gray realised something. Juvia wasn't just a nakama. All those times that Lucy and Happy had teased him with him denying their accusations and they were right all along. Gray did like her. Gray turned his back on the slab of rock, his facial expression set in stone, and began walking back to the guild. As he walked, there was only one thing on his mind. I need a drink.
Gray pushed open the double doors to the guild. No one was there. Hardly surprising since every one was at Juvia's funeral. Even Mira was out, leaving Gray with no option but to pour his own drink. He stepped behind the bar and grabbed a few bottles of the strongest stuff he could find. There was no need for a glass. The table in the corner caught his eye. The darkest place in the hall and far from any doors or windows. The perfect place for a guy who was feeling the way he was now. The ic mage unscrewed the top of the bottle and threw it half way across the room. The sound of the lid hitting the floor echoed around the guild, much like the way that Juvia's voice echoed around in his head. Gray-sama! He'd grown so accustomed to that honorific on the end of his name each time the bluenette had spoke to him. He sighed, knowing full well that he'd probably never hear it again. Gray brought the bottle in his hands up to his lips and took a mouthful. It burned a little as it went down his throat. Even if the guid was full with the people outside, it would still be empty without Juvia clinging to him or finding some new way to confess her love towards him. Gray took another few mouthfuls out of the bottle, hoping to drown out his depressing thoughts.
Members of the guild began returning from the funeral. Mira flicked a switch which illuminated the guild hall, much to Gray's disapproval. Glass was shattered across the floor from when the now totally wasted ice mage had thrown away empty bottles, forcing others to watch their step. Gray had drunk alcohol before yeah, but he had never got this drunk or just tossed away glass bottles. Mira's first instinct was to make her way over to Gray, hoping to start a conversation of some sort to get him out of his downward spiral. She had no success however, as he stood up and walked out of the guild as soon as he noticed her coming over, still holding a half empty bottle of alcohol. Natsu leaned over to Lucy, speaking in a hushed tone.
"Was he still wearing his clothes?" Lucy responded to his question with a cold stare of daggers that made Natsu look down at the floor and contemplate what he had just said.
When he got into his house, Gray didn't even bother switching on any of the lights, instead just flopping down onto his sofa and taking a swig out of the bottle that he had taken from the guild. Gray was already drunker than he had ever been before, but the melancholic thoughts in his head encouraged him to keep drinking in a futile effort to try and drown them out. Gray polished off the rest of the bottle before tossing it over towards the bin at the far end of the room, missing it completely due to his alcohol induced double vision. It was probably because of how smashed he was, but the sofa seemed unexplainably comfortable, even though it was just a two seater and the lower half of his legs hung off the end of the sofa. Despite the thoughts in his head, sleep was relatively easy for him to obtain. All he had to do was close his eyes, lay back and do nothing, which was pretty easy for a drunk guy.
It was pretty late in the morning when Gray woke up. He stayed still for a few moments. Something was wrong. With the amount of alcohol that he'd drank last night, he should have a major hang over by now, but he felt fine. No headache. No stomachache. Nothing. He scanned the room, concentrating harder around the bin. No mess. He was sure that he'd thrown an empty bottle last night, he could vividly picture himself doing it in his mind, he just couldn't see any evidence that he had done it. He was pretty drunk the night before, he could have cleaned up and not even realised it. Gray shook the thought from out of his head and headed for his front door. He knew that the guild was going to be different. There would be no Juvia there to greet him like she normally did. No upbeat voice to kick start his day. The ice mage flung open the door to his house and stepped outside, locking the door behind him and heading for the guild.
Gray pushed against the large wooden doors and stumbled into the guild. He headed straight for the bar, taking note of what was going on around him. He slumped down onto a stool in front of the bar and took a quick look around. Fairy Tail was renowned for it's reputation of being upbeat, lively, and occassionally disruptive, but he felt likke this was pushing it. They had lost a nakama just yesterday and yet here everyone was, acting as though nothing had happened. He couldn't believe it. He expected at least one person to be like him, quiet and remembering Juvia, but everyone seemed to have forgotten. He called Mira over, who greeted him with her usual warm smile.
"What's going on?" At first Mira didn't understand the question. It was just a regular day, so why would he want to know what was going on? He'd never asked before. Mira's silence let Gray know that he had to go into more detail. "Has everyone forgotten about what happened yesterday? Around the back of the guild?" The barmaid cocked her head to the side slightly in confusion.
"Gray... You weren't even at the guild yesterday. You didn't come in".
"Yes, I was. I sat over there and drank like five bottles of that stuff!" He pointed at one of the shelves as he spoke.
"No, Cana drank five bottles of that, all the rest is still there on the shelf". Gray was dumb founded. He clearly remembered drinking that stuff. He could remember it burning as he swallowed it. Gray stood up, shoving the stool back as he did so, causing it to fall.
"If this is some kind of joke, it's not funny, so just drop the act". Mira could hear the anger building up in his voice, but couldn't quite comprehend it.
"Gray, maybe you should calm down a bit, have a drink"
"HOW CAN I BE CALM WHEN JUVIA IS DEAD?!?" It was either the shouting or his words that caused it, but silence fell over the guild and everyone turned to look at a furious ice mage.
"Gray, are you alright?" The former S-class mage spoke quietly since there was no noise for her t compete with to be heard.
"Of course I'm not alright, Juvia's dead"
"Ummm... Gray...?" Before Mira could finish her sentence, two arms wrapped themselves around Gray's waist. He looked down at them. He recognised the hands. Small. Blue painted nails. He turned around in the arms and looked down. Blue hair, and deep blue eyes looking up at him with an all too familiar look in them. There was no mistaking them. Juvia. Gray put one arm around her waist and placed his other hand on the back of her head as he squeezed her tightly, forcing her head against his chest. He could feel her jaw moving as she spoke.
"Gray-sama, Juvia isn't complaining but... Your clothes". Gray didn't move for a second, he just kept her head pressed tightly against the symbol on his chest. The ice mage pushed Juvia away slightly and placed a hand under her chin, tilting her head up so that she was looking straight at his eyes. He wasn't going to wait any longer. He lunged forward and pressed his lips against hers. Juvia's eyes became as wide as saucers as she processed what was going on. Another one of her fantasies perhaps. No, this was different. This felt different. But it couldn't be reality. It was too good. Either way, Juvia didn't care. She moved her own lips in the same way that Gray was doing, returning the kiss. A few cat calls sounded around the guild as everyone watched what was happening. Gray broke the kiss, concious of how everyone was reacting. The ice mage wrapped a hand around the water mage's wrist and practically dragged her out of the guild, back to his house. As he lead her throught the streets, he could only come up with one explanation as to what had happened the day before. Nightmare. He wasn't bothered about that now though. He knew that Juvia had always loved him. She told him every day. He knew that there was no way that she'd say no to what he was going to ask her when he got her back to his house.