The Winter General doesn’t loose any time and starts the battle by giving Gray a choice. Will he accept the terms, or will he find another way? While Juvia and Lyon stay unconscious, their lives are in Gray’s hands!
Hi sweetie, with all this character development of Gray...You could write a one-shot where Gray is showing signs of his new personality to Juvia? Urghhh with these new facts I love him more
A/N: this is set during the one year time skip before Gray left Juvia to infiltrate Avatar. Also a teeny-tiny bit inspired by Mashima’s recent post of Juvia with two ponytails. It’s midnight for me so I hope this is okay. >.<
She watched him enter the kitchen as he did every morning, shirtless and groaning as he rubbed the soreness away from his arms. It was natural to ache after hours of training. Juvia, too, was reaping in the rewards – and consequences – of pushing herself the day before.
“Good morning,” he grumbled, shuffling through the room with his eyes trained on the breakfast she’d placed on the counter. Scratching the back of his neck as he waded through the fog of lingering fatigue, Gray ignored the plate and, instead, turned to lean against the kitchen counter. “Man, I’m sore today. Do we have any…”
Juvia blinked when his voice trailed away. His eyes glanced over her a number of times before he finally leaned forward, elbow propped on the counter behind him, to get a better look at her face. Having his eyes on her was a sensation similar to being caressed by sunlight. Her skin warmed and her mood lifted in the glow of those eyes. She found the warmth a little ironic, given his skill as a wizard.
“Your hair,” he whispered.
Juvia reached up to give a sub-conscious tug at one of two ponytails dangling over her shoulders. “Gray-Sama?”
“It’s… It’s different.”
Juvia tried to reign in the shock of him having noticed. Usually he shuffled into the room, grabbed his breakfast, and then sat at the table without another word. At least, that’s how it had been for the first month of living together. It had taken a while to convince him to eat at the table with her. In fact, he’d had a strange habit of eating outside when they’d first chosen to take up residence together.
“Juvia thought it would be convenient for training,” she shrugged, trying to pass the effort off for fear she’d scare him away. “Is it okay?”
Gray cleared his throat and glanced away from her. “Yeah, it’s okay.”
“It is?” she pressed.
“Yeah,” he said, waving a hand as if to dismiss the matter. “It’s cute.”
Juvia’s heart leapt into her throat. Lowering her hands to her lap beneath the table, she began to wriggle with the delight of his words. She felt as thought countless butterflies were tickling at her insides with their graceful, fluttering wings. The moment was so surreal. She had to force herself to blink before she accepted his compliment as a reality.
“Are you going to eat breakfast, Gray-Sama?”
“Oh, right,” he said, turning to grab the plate she’d made up for him. “Breakfast.”
To Juvia’s surprise, Gray didn’t sit in his usual seat across from her. Instead, he chose to scoot his chair to her right, where he sat mere inches away from her. She’d noticed a subtle change in his behaviour over the past few days. At first she’d wondered if she had imagined it, if her heart had been playing tricks, but, now, well, she was beginning to see the reality before her.
The ice around his heart was beginning to melt.
“It’s not too hot?” she asked him.
Gray shook his head. “It’s perfect. Thanks.”
Her heart danced. “Juvia is glad.”
“Say, Juvia, I’ve been thinking…”
She didn’t like the sound of that. Her skin prickled as a wave of icy dread swept through her. All at once the peaceful morning seemed to shatter under the weight of his dark eyes. Grasping the folds of her skirt, Juvia leaned back in her seat and stole a quick breath. “Is everything okay?”
He nodded. “It’s just, well, ’ll make breakfast tomorrow, okay?”
“Eh? Is that it?“ Her body sagged in relief.
“You’ve done most of the cooking since we got here and–”
“Juvia likes to cook. It’s no trouble, really. Gray-Sama is working hard to achieve his goals.”
“You’re working hard too,” he commented, looking over the swell of bruising on her shoulder. “At least let me, I don’t know, help out a little bit. Even if it’s just cleaning the dishes.”
Juvia laughed to herself. She couldn’t help but wonder if this is what it would feel like to become Gray’s wife. That thought threatened to send her mind to more vivid, inappropriate places. Quickly, and with discretion, Juvia reeled those thoughts back in and saved them for a later date.
This was the person she had seen when they’d first met. Those kind eyes, the warmth of his smile, Juvia had known they existed from the very start. She’d seen through the icy remnants of Gray’s tragic past. He’d brought the sun to her dark and dismal world. It was an honour to witness the same happening for him.
“Juvia would like that.”
“It’s settled then,” he said, brushing strands of stray hair off his face. “I’ll help make dinner later.”
Juvia’s cheeks warmed. “Maybe you can help Juvia sleep tonight, too.”
If looks could kill, Juvia would surely be dead. “No thanks. You give off way too much body-heat when you sleep.”
Juvia frowned at that. “Then you can use your ice-make magic to cool Juvia down!”
“Hell no! I’m not your personal cooler!”
Juvia pouted. “Then, Juvia will take a cold bath tonight.”
Gray let out a long, exasperated sigh. “Do what you want.”
Fairy Tail’s disbandment had been hard on both of them. It had taken the people she loved away from her and, in the same way, had taken a family from Gray. Though she teased him like this, Juvia wanted things to remain as they had always been. Though, naturally, she wouldn’t say no to sharing a bed with the person she loved.
She had been graced with mercy the day she’d confessed to killing Gray’s father. To think she was still able to sit and eat breakfast with him like this. It was a miracle.
If it meant staying by his side, there wasn’t a thing in the world Juvia wouldn’t do. Being able to see him smile was enough.
“Eat your breakfast, Gray-Sama. It’s getting cold.”
“It’s so bright outside,” he commented, squinting as thin shafts of sunlight, courtesy of time’s ever constant flow, spilled in through the kitchen window.
“Yeah,” she said, smiling up at the clear sky. “It is.”