Author's Note: Well, first time for everything I guess. Go easy on me.
The Kings of Magnolia
Chapter 1: Breakfast
Fairy Tail. The most popular bar in Magnolia, and possibly all of Fiore, was just about damn near empty. Not because it was a slow day or anything, but because it was only 9:45 AM and the place usually opened at 12 in the afternoon. The only people occupying the establishment were a group of five young men, a lone female chef, and their 67 year old boss Makarov Dreyar. Now Makarov was not only the boss and owner of Fairy Tail, but he was also the boss of the most respected crime syndicate in Magnolia: The Family. He worked his way up from the slums of the city to create one of the most feared organizations around. You would think that a person with his profile would be quite the intimidating fellow, even for an elder. In actuality, the man stood about 5'1, was bald save for some white hair hanging off the sides of his head, and constantly wore a smile on his face. He always gave of the impression that he was always happy to see you, even if he wasn't.
And today, on this Thursday morning, he was having breakfast with his 'children'.
"These pancakes are delicious Mira. You've really outdone yourself this time." Makarov continued to dig into his stack of blueberry pancakes with absolute joy.
"Thank you boss! Only the best for the family." Responded the white-haired beauty from behind the bar counter. She gave Makarov the sweetest smile, the kind of smile that could give you diabetes, before handing a refilled glass of orange juice to a pink haired man sitting beside the boss. "Here you go Natsu, drink up."
"Thanks! And yeah, this is the kind of food that makes you wish you had four stomachs, like a cow or some shit. That way I could keep eating all day!" Shouted an excited Natsu Dragneel. He then turned to his left and spoke to a man with long black hair and whose face had some prominent piercings on it. "What about you Gajeel? Foods good as always right?"
"Yeah, it's good, now will you keep your goddamn voice down? It's still too freakin' early for your loud bullshit." Gajeel Redfox kept his face focused on his plate. As usual, he wanted no part of Natsu's nonsense, especially this early in the day. "Damn man, just trying to be nice to you and all. Whatever, I'm just gonna concentrate on finishing these delicious hotcakes and pretend your angry, ugly ass doesn't exist." Natsu responded. Gajeel gritted his teeth as he bit onto his food, but proceeded to ignore the pink-haired loudmouth. Mira laughed at their little exchange and headed back into the kitchen to help her younger brother Elfman clean up.
Makarov turned to the only person sitting on his right. "You're gonna regret not having breakfast m'boy; this was absolutely delicious, Laxus." said Makarov as he was finishing up his morning meal. His grandson, a tall, blonde-haired man simply shook his head, picked up his cup of coffee, took a sip and responded. "It's fine gramps, I'm keeping my stomach as empty as I can. When we're done with Jellal, Freed, Ever, and Bickslow are gonna meet us up by the docks and we're gonna try out that new seafood joint that just opened." The boss nodded in response. "Yes, that place is Lamia owned. Let me know how the food is; I kinda hope it isn't great, that way I'd have something to tease Ooba about when I see her at meetings."
Sitting quietly at the left of Gajeel was Gray Fullbuster. He hadn't said a word since breakfast started and spent most of his time just picking at his food with his fork in his right hand while the palm of his left was placed lazily under his chin. Makarov knew from the beginning that something was a little off about Gray today, but decided to wait until he had finished his meal to say anything. Wiping his mouth clean with a napkin, the elder boss man leaned over the mahogany counter, turned his head over to Gray and spoke. "Gray, you've hardly eaten. Feeling sick?" Everyone turned to look at Gray, to which they all finally noticed that 85 percent of his food was still on his plate.
"Holy hell man, you haven't eaten anything! You want me to finish that for you? Can't let stuff like that go to waste." said a wide-eyed Natsu, hoping Gray would comply with his offer. Gray dropped the fork and ran his hand through his short, messy, dark hair and sighed. "Nah gramps, I'm good. Just…didn't get much sleep last night is all." There was more going on in Gray's head, but this wasn't the time to start dumping his thoughts on everybody. Besides, Gray was usually the type to handle his problems on his own. Why change that now?
"I see. You must have been up all last night because you just couldn't wait to see Jellal for the first time outside of prison in two years." Makarov said with a smile.
"Yeah…that's it gramps. I just couldn't wait." Gray took a sip of his still nearly full glass of orange juice and continued to keep his head down. Makarov didn't really believe him, but decided to leave it at that. He would get another opportunity to bring this up to him.
"Speaking of which, what time is it? Shouldn't he be getting released soon." said Gajeel, placing his utensils on his empty plate. Laxus took a look at his wrist-watch. "10:13 AM everyone. Let's wrap this up; he should be getting out in the next fifteen minutes."
Everyone nodded in understanding and proceeded to clean themselves up before hitting the road. Makarov stood and spoke to his boys. "Okay, Laxus and I will be in his car, Gajeel, you drive Gray and Natsu in yours." Gajeel started to swing his keys on his finger and walked towards the exit of Fairy Tail while Natsu followed cheerfully behind him.
"Sorry to leave such a mess Mira; the pancakes were absolutely delicious!" shouted Makarov. "Don't worry about it boss! Elfman and I have no problem cleaning up. We have to get this place ready soon anyway." replied Mirajane as she poked her head out from behind the kitchen door. "Tell Jellal I said 'hi'"
"We will!" The boss man then turned over to Gray who still stood by the bar. "Ready to move?" Gray sighed and nodded in response. "Yeah..." Gray put both hands in the pockets of his jeans and made his way towards the exit where Gajeel and Natsu were waiting for him.
"What's up with him? Figured he'd be a little more excited." asked a puzzled Laxus. "I'm not quite sure myself, but I'll have him speak when he's ready." responded Makarov.
"C'mon, let's not keep Jellal waiting." Laxus nodded and they both made their way to the car.