A/N: And so, here's the last chapter of 'Of Accidents and Whale-Watching'. I hope you liked it because it sure was fun to write!
"Guys, come on!" Natsu moaned, glaring at his guild mates. They'd been given him crap since he'd blabbed about Erza having a kid on the way the previous day.
As if it wasn't bad enough Master, Mira and Lucy had given him an earful the previous day, now everyone was just plain giving him a cold shoulder – his own team had even walked out of their table when he'd sat down with them! How could they be so cruel?!
"Flame brain, I think I'm speaking for everyone when I say that we're keeping our distance because we don't want to get caught up on the catastrophe that will be Erza's punishment for you," Gray declared from the new table he and Lucy had moved into, which Levy and Gajeel also occupied. After his tiny little brush with her wrath the previous year, resulting from a brief return of his smoking habit, he most definitely counted himself as an expert on Erza's particular brand of punishment. And after the nightmares it had given him, he definitely didn't want to be on the wrong end of it again.
"What punishment?!" Natsu demanded.
"You told everyone Erza is having a baby," Lucy pointed out. "Do you really think there won't be punishment for that, Natsu?"
"Why would there be?! 't's not like I was lying!"
The blonde just let out a grunt while Gajeel spoke up. "You really are a moron," the Iron Dragon Slayer stated. "Even your cat had the sense to run for it until this blows over."
"Run? Happy didn't run," Natsu said, confused. "He went to visit the other Exceeds in New Extalia."
"So suddenly and all by himself?" Patherlily asked, looking skeptical. "One would think he would invite me or at least Carla to go along, given that we're exceeds as well."
"Just accept it, Salamander," Gajeel told him. "Your cat knew you were getting clobbered for running your mouths and skipped town. Do yourself a favor and do the same."
"The hell I will!" Natsu declared. "You guys are being nuts. So, I told everyone Erza is having a kid – big deal! It's not like she could hide it forever! She's seen pregnant women before – she's got to know that she'll be a total whale in no time!"
The sound of glass breaking was the only thing that could be heard in the guild. That was, until a deadly voice came from the bar. "What did you just say?!"
Oh, shit, Natsu thought, turning around to find that sweet, loveable Mirajane had just turned into a scary, murderous version of herself. He spent a second wondering why until he recalled that, oh, yeah, Mira was supposed to be knocked up too… and, in hindsight, describing pregnant women as whales in front of a pregnant woman was probably not that great an idea.
Up until then, he had been sure everyone was just making a fuss and there was no way Erza would be that mad and kill him. Now, he did know he would die, though maybe at Mira's hands instead.
"I… er… well…"
Mira stepped from behind the bar, eyes blazing with rage, and the only thing he could really do was taking step after step back, matching the steps she took in his direction… that is, until he hit something. Or rather someone. Someone whose chest area felt very… metallic.
In his mind, there was only one person who could fit that description. And, although up until a minute before he would have sworn on anything that he was in no danger from her, now, due to his big mouth, he was scared shitless.
"A whale, was it, Natsu?" he heard Erza's all-too-calm voice saying from behind him while Mira got closer, looking like she wanted to rip his throat out.
"Somebody check how tall the moron is so we can go and order him a coffin," Gray's voice came from somewhere.
He would have shouted something back at the ice bastard, weren't it for the fact that he felt the back of his scarf being pulled and suddenly he was on the floor, being dragged out of the guild by it. And along with being dragged came… blergh!
"Wow, he gets motion sickness this easily?" Meredy commented as she, along with the bulk of the guild, followed after Erza as she dragged the stupor-afflicted Dragon Slayer out.
All the while, Jellal stood at the door, simply watching it as his pregnant girlfriend dragged a grown man across the floor like a sack of potatoes. Should he stop her? He felt like he should stop her.
"Leave it be," Laxus stated, joining him at the door, most of the guild already far ahead of them. Jellal looked at the Thunder Dragon Slayer in disbelief and he simply shrugged. "It's not like Natsu isn't used to this, anyway. And as long as she's taking her frustrations out on him, she's not doing it on you. So, like I said, leave it be."
"Right…" the blue-haired man mumbled hesitantly.
"So, anyway, you and Titania too…" Laxus said. "The two strongest women in Fairy Tail having kids at the same time… someone ought to warn the Fiore Calamity Department so they can make a contingency plan about this."
"It probably won't be that bad," Jellal said. "Erza's been taking this better than I have, for one…"
Laxus snorted. "Idiot. That's because the hormones haven't kicked in yet. Why don't you ask Alzack how often Bisca shot at him when she was having their kid? But make sure you buy him a drink before you do that 'cause he'll stutter and shake like a leaf if you don't. Expect him to mumble the name 'Moulin Rouge' under his breath a lot too – apparently her outlaw alter ego kicked in every once in a while."
Jellal's eyes widened. He was making that up, right?
"Tell you what, man, we'll make a gentleman's agreement right now: I'll help you hide from Erza whenever she goes ape-shit on you if you do the same from me. We might as well stick together since we're on the same boat here."
The blue haired man could only gulp.
In the meantime, outside, Erza she went around the guild's main building in the direction of the lake shore behind it, still dragging Natsu by his scarf.
"Erza, I know he's a moron but please don't kill him," Lucy begged for her boyfriend's life as she followed her team mate, mildly concerned. "He's got redeemable qualities."
The redhead grunted. "Although I can't think of any such qualities at the moment, killing him would defeat the purpose of punishing him. He wouldn't learn anything that way. Like when to keep his mouth shut about other people's business," she hissed.
Gray cleared his throat, following her as well. "So, you're really… you know… knocked up?"
Erza kept walking, not looking back. "Yes."
"Right…" he mumbled awkwardly. "Wait, doesn't that mean you shouldn't be pulling heavy stuff such as the dead weight of a semi-conscious lunkhead?"
"Yeah, my wife made me carry everything for her when she was in a family way," Wakaba said as he followed along.
"Mine too," Macao agreed.
"A real man won't let a pregnant woman carry such a heavy load!" Elfman declared. And, as such, he reached down and lifted up one of one of Natsu's legs, which had been dragging on the ground up until then.
Like the gentlemen they were (and also eager to see what Erza had planned for Natsu) several of the guys from Fairy Tail came by and helped as well, Gray taking the other leg and Bickslow and Gajeel an arm each.
"Trai… tors…" Natsu managed to helplessly mumble despite his sickness.
"So, what's the plan, Erza?" Mira asked, walking along with her, eager to join in on the revenge plan.
"Well, since Natsu thinks we'll be as good as whales very soon, I thought he might be interested in getting acquainted with one," Erza informed her.
No one bothered to point out that there were no whales in the lake they were walking towards. By the time they reached the shore, Laxus and Jellal had already caught up with the group.
"Don't tell me you're just dumping him in the water," Laxus said, unimpressed. "'Cause if you do, you'll be doing him a favor since the motion sickness will be gone."
"Of course not," Erza said, eyeing him disdainfully, irked that he would underestimate her so badly. Just then, an inflatable boat materialized out of nowhere just by the water.
"You keep that thing inflated in your requip space?" Bisca, as a fellow requip user, asked in disbelief.
"It would be no good in an emergency if it was deflated," Erza replied, as if it was perfectly normal for someone to carry a lifeboat on them at all times. She turned to the volunteers who were still carrying Natsu, making a point of jiggling him around as they stood by so he wouldn't recover from his pitiful state. "Throw him in." And they promptly did, with a little more force that required, causing his head to hit the edge of the boat, which wasn't as soft as one would think, what with the boat being full of air to the limit. Satisfied, the redhead turned to her white-haired counterpart. "Would you like do have the honors, Mira?"
The barmaid giggled in a way far nastier than people would usually associate with her. She walked over to the boat, which was resting just at the shore, and glared at Natsu, who seemed to be just about to recover. "Have a nice time whale-watching," she declared before giving the boat a push with her foot with such an inhuman amount of force (later, some member of the guild would even suggest that if actually took a far more demonic shape than usual) that it went skidding atop the water in high speed, only stopping once it was several leagues away from the shore.
"No one bring him back to shore for the next twenty-one hours!" Erza demanded. "He's on a time out."
"Twenty-one hours? That's an awfully specific number," Cana commented.
Erza shook her head. "Last night I read that parenting books advise one hour of time out per year of age for misbehaving children. Years spent frozen in time aside, Natsu should be turning twenty-one soon, so this would be the appropriate amount for him."
Eyebrows were raised at her blatant attempt at testing parenting techniques on the grown Dragon Slayer.
"I'm pretty sure parenting books say minutes, not hours," Bisca pointed out. "And I don't think they would approve of using said 'child's' biggest weakness against them in the meantime…"
"Yes, I agree that those books have room for improvement," she stated, definitely missing the point.
The alarm was raised among her guild mates who shot Jellal looks of worry as if telling him to beware of her flare for discipline around their unborn child. He gulped although he was ninety percent sure she only employed that sort of rigidity with the most incorrigible members of her guild. He, for one, scarcely ended up on the wrong end of it despite his many mistakes. Not that he took that fact for granted, of course.
Cana was the one to break the silence that formed. "So, are we celebrating or what? Mira got at least a toast for her kid yesterday. It's only fair that Erza's gets the same!"
Gray chuckled. "You're just fishing for a free drink!"
"You bet your ass I am!" she shamelessly admitted. "And if you know what's good for you, you'll get busy with Juvia giving me more free drink sources."
"Yes!" the water mage shouted, coming out of nowhere to clutch onto Gray's arm. "Juvia approves!"
"I don't!" Gray replied helplessly.
Meanwhile, Mira was busy expressing her own happiness. "This is so exciting! Our first activity together as pregnant buddies!" she happily declared to Erza, bouncing like a child riding on a massive sugar high. One would think she was referring to something mild such as having their nails done together rather than torturing a poor Fire Dragon-Slayer who was unfortunate enough to have a mouth with no filter. "We'll have so much fun for now on! We can go shopping for baby things together and sign up for the same birthing class and compete to see who does batter in it…"
For the second time, alarm rose again among the members of Fairy Tail – the first seeds of competitiveness were planted. It could only get worse from then on.
Mirajane, however, was barely paying attention to the high-alert vibe around her, so she went on with her rant "…and then, after we have our babies, they can be best friends and compete too! Oh!" she shouted. "I've just had the most amazing idea! Maybe one day when they're grown up they'll fall in love and we'll share grandchildren!"
The strongest woman in Fairy Tail was so overwhelmed that Jellal just barely managed to catch her when her body started to go limp. Oh god… grandchildren! She was just getting used to the idea of motherhood, so adding grand-motherhood to the equation… well, that was a tad too much for her.
"Fucking hell, Mira!" Laxus cursed. "Your brain is moving too fast. Put the brakes on that train of thought, woman!"
"Aw, don't be so mean, Laxus," Mira said to her husband, pouting a little. "Just imagine how strong your grandkids would be with the four of us in the gene pool…"
That was the third time alarm bells sounded to the maximum.
"No! I forbid it!" Makarov shouted immediately. "The day when you brats," he declared, gesturing at the general area where Erza, Mira, Laxus and Jellal were standing, "have a descendant in common is the day when this guild will go bust! Think of the damages we'll have to pay! The only worse thing I can imagine is if Natsu gets added to the equation somehow!"
Limp in Jellal's arms, Erza managed to let out a wounded sound, as if the idea of sharing a descendant with Natsu was physically painful.
"Pfft, you speak as if you'll still be in charge by then," Laxus commented carelessly. "As if we'd let your senile, fossilized ass be in charge that long."
"You can bet your ass that even if I am dead, I'll come back from beyond the grave to protect Fairy Tail from this… this mammoth!"
"You're being too harsh, Third," a very familiar voice said from nearby. The entire group was surprised to find their first master resting leisurely belly-down on the surface of the water, as if it was a bed. Her head was propped on her elbows and her legs were bent back, swinging back and forth. "I, for one, think Fairy Tail would benefit from having a mage with so much strong-powered blood in their veins," she declared before her eyes took a victorious twinkle in them. "There would be no question we were the strongest guild in the world then, not just Fiore!"
Everybody simply stared for a moment.
"Master Mavis? When did you get here?" Lucy asked in disbelief, given that they hadn't seen the woman in a while.
"Just now! My baby senses started tingling," Mavis declared. "I had to come by and see what was going on. Have I ever mentioned that I love babies? I can't believe we're getting three of them now!"
"Wait, three?!" Evergreen said in alarm. "Is there a third person pregnant among us?"
Bickslow looked overjoyed. "Please let it be Ever! Please let it be her!" he prayed out loud, looking forward to a chance to troll her about it for the foreseeable months. His babies promptly echoed him, chanting 'Be Ever, be Ever' around him.
Whack! "Stop wishing that on me!" she hollered, banging her fan onto his helmet.
"Oh," Master Mavis said, covering her mouth and silently admonishing herself for the slip. "No, there isn't. I must have… miscounted." Lies. "Anyway, you know who also likes babies and is really good with the Rollidillo cubs back in Tenrou Island? My friend Zeref. Would it be okay for me to bring him by when the babies are born?"
Everyone gaped. "No!"
The first master pouted. "You're all a bunch of meanies," she mumbled.
Meanwhile, several leagues away in the lake, Natsu Dragneel hang helplessly on the edge of the boat.
In the midst of the infernal nausea, he vaguely remembered that Igneel had, at one point in his childhood, warned him about messing with mothers even if he had been referring to other dragons and the wild animals hanging around the woods they lived in.
"They can be vicious, Natsu. Look at them or their cubs the wrong way and you'll be in a lot of trouble. See this scar?" he'd asked, pointing at the gash on his eye. "A friend of mine gave it to me a couple of years back when I commented that her scales looked less bright than usual and she's the tamest dragon I know. Little did I know she'd just taken in a little human runt even younger than you to train her as a Dragon Slayer. Motherhood makes 'em crazy, I tell you."
Good old dad. He should have probably listened to him better…
"H-help," he croaked pitifully.
A/N2 - Being that this fic belongs to my huge Jerza series (you can find it on my profile) you can expect sequels in the future and for the baby to make an appearance at some point. You can already get a few glimpses in "Wonder", "Giants" and "Mavis, the friendly ghost"
If you're wondering about Mavis's miscount, check out her namesake fic mentioned before!