the joys of being married

5

“They didn’t have a choice. They were inexorably tied to each other by every molecule of their being. The good, the bad, the ugly. They were stuck together.”  - Lissy Newman 

“It was so evident that they were madly in love with each other forever.” - Mario Andretti 

“On January 29, 2008, we celebrated Paul and Joanne’s fiftieth [and last] wedding anniversary. The way they jointly cut the first piece of cake was a moment of happiness for all of us. And then, putting the cake knife aside, Paul took both of Joanne’s hands in his and drew her close to him. They looked at each other with intimate conspiracy, a look of endearment for those fifty years, and Paul said, ‘Joanna, being married to you has been the joy of my life.’” - A.E Hotchner 

Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward | m. January 29, 1958 

The Joys Of Being Sick

Summary: Gray and Juvia are now newly married, and set to compete in a tournament together. But what happens when Juvia falls ill, and can’t be Gray’s partner after all? Complete and utter fluff. Gruvia. Juvia’s POV. Rated: K+ Status: One-shot/Complete

Juvia was all packed and ready to go. Their train to Crocus was to depart in a half hour, and they had arranged to meet the rest of the competing guild members at the train station in twenty minutes. Gray had been excited about this tournament for weeks. There was never even a question of who would be Gray’s partner in the event. Of course Gray and Juvia would compete together. They were not just married now, they were a team, and in Juvia’s opinion no one worked better together than they did.

However, there was one slight problem. Juvia wasn’t feeling well. Last night, before lying down to sleep, she was overcome with an intense feeling of vertigo. Laying down helped her, and she hoped the feeling would dissipate by the time she woke up in the morning, but she just felt new symptoms in addition to her dizziness when she got out of bed. Her throat was sore, and she was sure she had a fever.

But, these issues were secondary to her gladness over Gray’s exhilaration. He told her during breakfast that morning about the different mages he knew to be competing in the tournament. He talked fervently of his desire to “kick Lyon’s ass,” while he devoured his eggs with gusto, and insisted Juvia be ruthless in their match in spite of Lyon’s partner being one of her best friends, Meredy. To Gray’s delight Juvia had assured him she would show no mercy.

That’s why, no matter how badly she felt, she could not let Gray down, and it was imperative that Gray not know of her condition. She didn’t want to risk losing her place alongside him. Not when it was their first high profile debut as a married couple. For surely if he was aware just how heavy her head felt with fever, he would insist she remain behind. Juvia would not have that. She’d fought through worse setbacks before. She could manage a common cold like this. Especially if it was for Gray-sama’s sake.

Juvia and Gray had finished all their last minute packing, and their bags were sitting expectantly at the base of their front door. Juvia bent to pick up her bag, but wavered unsteadily for a few seconds as another dizzy spell struck her. She took a deep breath, feeling the heat from her fever sweep across her face, and then thankfully the moment passed as she righted herself. When she turned, she saw Gray standing idly in the kitchen watching her. How long had he been there?

“Juvia is all ready to go, Gray-sama!” she announced cheerfully, hoisting a big smile onto her face as she tried to mask her tiredness. She managed to lift her traveling bag over her shoulder with far more enthusiasm than she felt. “Juvia packed some last minute essentials, and a few extra socks for Gray-sama,” she said, motioning to his own bag beside her. “She hopes its not too heavy.”

Gray said nothing but looked at the slightly bulkier pack by Juvia’s feet. He walked over to it, but didn’t attempt to pick it up. He got very close to Juvia, his face inches from her own as if to study her, and then after seemingly confirming something to himself, he stared seriously into her eyes.

“What do you think you’re doing?” He asked her bluntly.

“Huh?” She looked back, confused.

“Don’t huh me,” he said, and catching Juvia by surprise he put his palm up against her forehead. He obviously felt what Juvia had been feeling all morning. He looked at her accusingly.

She’d been rumbled. She smiled innocently as the crease between Gray’s brows deepened and his frown became more severe.

“Juvia doesn’t-” she began to deny weakly, her face becoming more flushed every second.

But Gray cooly cut her off. “Get to bed, now.”

Those words usually filled her with a great thrill of excitement, but this time they might as well have been a death sentence.

“But, Gray-sama-” she tried to protest, but it was no good.

Now,” he repeated.

At the clipped tone of Gray’s voice she knew there was no point arguing. Resigned to her fate, she put her bag down and turned swiftly towards the bedroom in order to comply with Gray’s orders. But, perhaps she had turned a bit too swiftly, Juvia didn’t know, because the next thing she felt were Gray’s arms around her as another dizzy spell took her over.

“Juvia is ok! She just feels a bit lightheaded,” she assured him weakly.

“Cut the crap,” but his tone conflicted with the tenderness of his hands as he picked her up.

Juvia didn’t even have the energy to be elated with the feeling of being carried into their bedroom by Gray-sama. She really wasn’t well.

Gray placed her carefully into their bed, and then took out his phone. “I’m calling Porlyusica.”

“It’s just a small cold,” Juvia tried to protest again, but Gray ignored her.

That was the last thing Juvia remembered before she felt sleep take her over like a wave on the shore. After an uneasy sleep the night before, it was as if her head had been craving the feel of the pillow beneath it. It soaked the comfort in and carried her into a deep slumber.

When she next woke, she knew immediately it must be hours later. She was afraid to open her eyes. She was sure she’d awaken to an empty house, the tournament in Crocus well under way without her. Who had Gray gotten to replace her at the last moment? Did he arrive late? Did he miss his train? Was he mad that her shenanigans had held him up? He must be, for she was mad at herself.

She should have just been honest with Gray-sama last night, when she first started feeling symptoms of a cold. Then none of this would have happened, and Gray could have made new plans without having to rush at the last moments. What a selfish fool she was.

At last, the tight feeling of regret clutching the walls of her empty stomach, which grumbled angrily, she opened her eyes. It was nearly dark out now, as the setting sunlight filtered through their bedroom curtains.

The house was quiet, as she expected it would be, and there was a damp cloth on her forehead. She put her hand up to remove it, and a chunk of mostly melted ice clattered to the hardwood floor as she attempted to sit up.

That’s when she heard another noise coming from the kitchen. It was the jangling sound of their silverware drawer’s contents bumping together as it was shut.

Someone else was there after all. Maybe Gray-sama had requested a guild mate to watch over Juvia? Juvia tried to remember which members of Fairy Tail had not entered the tournament. Or maybe he somehow convinced the perpetually ill-tempered Porlyusica to care for her while he was away?

But before Juvia could decide on a face that belonged to the footsteps making their way towards her, she saw Gray enter their bedroom with a tray in his hands.

She was shocked to see him, but her surprise immediately turned to fear and more anger at herself. Gray was here, and not at the tournament. He must have had no choice but to stay behind. And it was all her fault.

Her inquisitive concern helped her muster up the courage to speak. “Gray-sama… you didn’t go to Crocus? The tournament….” she trailed off hoarsely, her throat aching.

He didn’t reply. He silently piled the pillows behind her head so she could sit up properly, and then placed the tray over her lap.

“Gray-sama is mad.”

“That’s right,” he confirmed. But he said nothing about the tournament he’d been looking forward to for so long. Instead, he directed her attention to the soup on the tray. “It’s not going to be great. I made it. But you need to eat something.”

But Juvia didn’t take up the spoon that lay next to her soup. Instead, her eyes welled with tears.

Gray looked at her, aghast. “What are you doing? You don’t think you have enough mucus in you without creating more unnecessary fluids? Stop that!” he chastised her, as he grabbed several tissues from their nightstand and handed them to her so she could wipe her eyes.

But the flow of tears would not subside, as she began to sniff heartily.

“Gray-sama, Juvia is so sorry!” she bawled.

“Don’t be sorry, just eat,” he instructed again. “You don’t have anything life threatening, that old lady, Porlyusica, said it’s just a regular cold. You’ll be better in no time. But you have to get something warm inside you first,” he assured her, his tone a little less harsh now.

“But, Gray-sama! The preliminaries! We were in the first division today! If you’re here, then you must have not been able to find a replacement for Juvia on such late notice. Juvia is so very sor-”

“You think that’s what I’m mad about? Do you think that little of me, Juvia?”

Juvia was taken aback by that question and the hurt expression on Gray’s face.

Juvia didn’t know what to say. Of course Juvia thought the world of Gray-sama. How could he assume otherwise? She felt terrible but she didn’t know why he looked so stricken at her words until he began to explain.

“You think I would leave my sick wife behind to go compete in some stupid tournament?”

“But Gray-sama has been looking forward to it for weeks and weeks!” Juvia protested. “And its Juvia’s fault that Gray-sama had to miss it. She was callous and fell sick and didn’t tell Gray-sama last night, so he could make new plans-”

“The only plans I want are being here to make sure you get well.”

“You said it’s just a regular col-” Juvia began to argue, but he cut her off again.

“I don’t care!” And he was heated now. “Listen, have you ever considered the fact that I might enjoy making you feel better? That looking after you might be something I want to do?”

Juvia looked stunned and embarrassed. She had never thought about it. A part of her was still stuck in that mindset that she might be an inconvenience to Gray-sama sometimes. But of course, they were husband and wife now. She always loved taking care of Gray-sama, and being the one to make him feel good. Had she been trying to deprive him of the same opportunity?

“You know what your disappearance from my life does to me. I’m never going to take any chances if I can help it,” he carried on in a low, but steady voice.

Juvia could still recall Gray’s agony over her supposed death all those months ago, and she felt another stab of remorse.

“So, please let me revel in the fact that you’re here, and that we’re together.”

She didn’t know what to say. She felt intense guilt and yet supreme pleasure all at once at his words.

But Gray was clearly very agitated at Juvia’s silence. He obviously didn’t think she fully understood. He began to pace the room, and started to rant. “And it’s not just things like this, Juvia. It’s little things, too. Remember that morning, when you woke up too early, but you said you were afraid to go back to sleep in case you then overslept? You didn’t want me to wake up before you, because you wouldn’t have breakfast on the table yet, right? Or do you just not like my cooking?”

“No! Juvia likes Gray-sama’s cooking very much!” and she ate several heaping spoonfuls of hot soup far too quickly in order to show that she was being truthful.

“You’ll burn your tongue!” Gray chastised as if she was a little kid, and she stopped abruptly.

Gray sighed deeply, and looked at her, but his expression softened slightly at the piece of carrot stuck to her chin.

He took a tissue and wiped it away before she could realize what was wrong. Then he sat down on the bed so that he could be on a level with her.

“My point is, I don’t mind making breakfast. I don’t mind you sleeping in. And I certainly don’t mind looking after you if you don’t feel well. I never want you to think that you can’t be honest with me. Especially if there’s something I can do. Let me do it and take pride in it as your husband.” And he took her hand in his own and squeezed it comfortingly.

Juvia’s face was now hot from Grays earnest appeal to her in addition to her fevered state. She had never felt so grateful to be sick. Her husband loved her and he wanted to show her that. She was deeply touched. She made a sound of assent.

“Good. Now, finish eating, and then take that pill Porlyusica gave me. It should help reduce your fever.” He pointed to a large green pill on the night stand.

“Juvia will.”

But Gray didn’t leave her side. He got up from the bed and grabbed a chair to sit by her as she finished the soup, and then handed her a glass of water with which to take the medication. After he took the bowl, glass and tray to the kitchen, he came back to make sure she was well covered in their bed, and shifted the pillows so she could lie her head down once more.

He felt her forehead gently with his hand again as he brushed some stray hairs from her face. He then lay a fresh, small towel across her brow and she could feel the tingle of his magic as he created a makeshift cold compress for her.

The slight weight from the solid ice molded to fit her forehead on top of the towel was reassuringly cool.

“Gray-sama?” She didn’t know if the giddy sensation was from the pill or from Gray’s attentiveness.

“Yeah?”

“Juvia is happy,” her eyes were still closed, heavy from the weight of her fever, but there was a content smile across her face.

“Only you would be happy while being sick,” he teased dryly.

“But Juvia has Gray-sama to take care of her. It’s a wonderful day.”

Juvia didn’t have to look to know there was a smile on Gray’s face now, too.

“Go to sleep. I want my wife better in the morning.”

“Yes, Gray-sama.”

THE END

A/N: I feel like it’s been so long since I wrote anything. Probably because it has lmao. This headcanon came to me pretty recently, and when I woke up this morning with a bunch of dialogue in my head, I had to rush to write it down before I forgot it. As I’ve said before, all my headcanons these days are post-marriage Gruvia. So, here’s another one to the pile. Thanks for reading and as always, reviews are appreciated. ^^

JB - The Scientist by Coldplay

Requested by aurora-vii

Marriage was all about compromise. It was a further confirmation of your love for one another. A formal union between two people in love. A commitment to standing by, loving and supporting one another. All your married friends had told you of the joys and tribulations that came along with being married. That the honeymoon phase would end a lot sooner than either of you would be able to anticipate and when reality would set in it would take a toll on the both of you. Dealing with things as such and talking about having children, spending time with each other’s in laws; everything would need to be a fair compromise in order to save face. Jaebum had made it his own personal mission to set yourselves as a couple apart from the rest. He had high hopes of keeping the honeymoon phase going for as long as he could.

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