Genre: A bit of angst, but mostly friendship
Summary: She hadn’t remotely thought that she would ever consider being friends the with happy-go-lucky forever-grinning angelic barmaid that she hated upon first sight. She was wrong. Sort of.
Warning: Spoilers for chapter 493
It was during the party celebrating the victory over Zeref and Alvarez that it had all happened.
She had been watching her for a while, that elder sister of the girl that reminded her so much of Yukino.
And immediately, she hated her.
She hated how often the barmaid would smile sweetly at everyone, or make small talk and even entire conversations that were clearly unnecessary or help out people who never even asked for it.
Sorano especially hated how the woman would try and make conversation with her. It was annoying. She was annoying.
She was also persistent, and no matter how much Sorano threatened or cursed or prodded and teased, she would smile and walk away, before returning sometime later once more.
Jellal was now (finally) allowing his feelings for Erza to show, Erik was cozying up to Mira’s purple haired side-kick, and it seems like everyone in her ragtag guild had found some company.
Even Racer had found someone of similar tastes among those Fairies.
Which left her alone at the bar, even though she would have definitely liked to be elsewhere. Often, she would look over her shoulder to carefully watch Yukino - who was actively respecting her request for space - interact with that goodie-goodie blonde who now held her keys. Ugh, keys that used to be hers.
She wouldn’t admit how relieved that thought now made her, for the spirits’ sake.
She also wouldn’t admit how that was just another reminder of why she couldn’t simply walk over and hug her baby sister.
She didn’t deserve that privilege.
And so she stayed at the bar, avoiding interacting with any non-Crime-Sorciere member as far as possible. And most got the idea after one or two attempts.
Except this one.
She watched, attempting to and failing miserably at holding back the rolling of her eyes, as Mirajane approached her once more.
“Would you like a refill Sorano? Or maybe something to eat?”
Sorano was about to ask her to shut up, when that meddling pink-headed guy wandered up to them.
“Mira, can I have a - ”
“Natsu I’m a little busy right now. Could you ask Kinana, please?”
“But Miraaa, you know you make the best - ”
“Natsu,” she said softly. Smiling. And yet both
parties felt the temperature drop by two whole degrees.
“Uh-huh, yeah, right, sure, Kinana it is, or I can wait, no problem, I’ll go now,” Natsu spoke rapidly before bolting out of there.
Sorano repressed a shudder, not denying how impressive the subtle, but potent, suggestion of dark repercussions had been.
Maybe there was a bit more to the cheery barmaid than met the eye.
“Please excuse him, he can be a bit…enthusiastic at times, but he’s a nice guy once you get to know him,” Mirajane apologised.
“Yeah? That would probably mean something…if I cared,” Sorano grunted, taking another deep swig of her drink, but she continued as though nothing had been said.
“He was one of Lisanna’s best friends at the guild when they were little. He had been particularly upset when news came of her supposed death.”
“Supposed death?” asked Sorano, unable to feign disinterest, looking over at the Yukino-doppelganger now talking to the big lightning guy and his team.
“Yeah. She took a particularly bad hit during one mission, and was then whisked away to Edolas. We all thought her to be dead,” she explained, her throat audibly tightening towards the end.
Sorano watched guardedly at Mira, observing her eyes cloud in pain at the memories she was recollecting, her heart silently going out to her. She knew better than most what the losing a sibling could feel like.
“Well she’s here now ain’t she? Looking pretty peachy, I might add,” she said gruffly.
But Mirajane understood what she was trying to do and smiled, coming back to the present.
“She is. Much like Yukino is. You know, she reminds me a lot of Lisanna.”
“Oh I wonder why,” Sorano responded dryly.
“No, not just in looks. But because of her spirit, her heart. She is a very kind, passionate person. And also very strong. She was expelled from her guild so cruelly, but stayed strong and moved on, even joining the ranks of the Royal Guard.”
Sorano watched in surprise as Mirajane spoke, not having known any of this.
“And then she and Lucy helped the battle to save the capital in a huge way, taking care of the Eclipse Gate. After that battle finished, there was actually a battle among all the guilds to have her join them, right there within the palace! It was a mess!” Mirajane giggled at the memory.
“And then?” asked Sorano, her voice simply ringing with quiet curiosity.
“She chose Sabertooth. She forgave them, and wanted to be a part of the new Sabertooth Sting envisioned - and that’s exactly what she did.” Mirajane blinked and wiped away the little moisture that had gathered in her eyes, turning towards Sorano after.
Only to see her gazing quietly into her cup, her attention clearly elsewhere.
Mirajane blinked at the sight - the soft, yet proud smile she had on. That been the first time she had seen the ex-celestial mage smile so warmly, and she committed the sight to memory.
“You know,” she began softly. “I’m certain she has these and a lot more stories to share with her nee-chan.”
Sorano swallowed thickly at that, her little sister’s earnest requests at their reunion ringing loudly in her ears.
“Someday she will,” Sorano choked out, though resolutely, turning away from Mira as she teared up. She promised herself, yet again, that she would earn the right to be called Yukino Aguria’s elder sister.
Mira watched ruefully, silently moving so she shielded the other big sister from the guild’s view, allowing her a little bit of privacy in the crowded hall, as she gathered her bearings.
Days later, Crime Sorciere was being given a multi-guild send-off, the first guild to be leaving Fiore after the week-long festivities had culminated.
As Jellal bid his team good-bye and a lot of emotional hugs and kisses were shared, Sorano found herself being approached by the oldest Strauss once more.
And, weirdly enough, she didn’t even feel averse to her anymore. Okay, well, as averse.
“Good luck on your journey,” she said with that angelic smile that usually grated Sorano’s nerves.
But she didn’t have the heart to be her usual salty self. “Yeah, thanks,” she mumbled instead.
She was then pulled into a big, warm hug by the older mage, and made no honest effort to push herself away.
“She’s waiting for you, so make her proud” Mirajane whispered, before releasing her. “And if you’re ever around Fiore don’t hesitate to give me a call, we’ll go shopping!” the Take-over mage added enthusiastically.
Sorano chuckled at that, before offering her a smirk. “They better not be the place you bought those rags from.”
She then matched the responding glare targeted at her evenly, before waving and walking away to the rest of her guild as they began their long journey towards redemption.
She turned around one last time to look at her sister, and then the persistent barmaid.
Hmm, maybe she really could be a friend.