A/N: I had to do something to get my mind off of Secret. I still can't believe I actually finished it. This was written to take my mind off of that, as well as give me some breathing time after trying to finish the ending to A Twist of Fate.
This isn't set in a particular part of the anime or the manga. Just know it's set some time after the Tower of Heaven.
Erza Scarlet rushes from the guild, a piece of paper scrunched tightly in her fist. Her heart pounds with anticipation, and she can barely contain the loud whoop of excitement that flies from her lips.
"Where's she off to?" Natsu mutters indignantly, rubbing his butt and glaring in the redhead's direction. She had unceremoniously pushed him out of the way in her haste to leave the guild. Natsu's never seen Erza so flustered, and he wonders what happened so suddenly to make her take off like that. All Warren did was hand her a piece of paper.
What was on that paper that made her take off like she did?
Lucy shrugs, leaning down and reaching out her hand. "I think Jellal's come home," she murmurs. "I was able to make that out on the letter. Finally. It's only been, you know, two months."
The pinkette grins. "No way. Seriously? That dude owes me a fight!"
"That's all you seem to care about these days," a black haired man grumbles next to him. The man stretches, losing his shirt in the process.
"Gray, your clothes," Lucy interjects, but he ignores her. Lucy sighs. At least he kept his pants on this time. She turns, and catches a glimpse of Juvia squealing and blushing in the corner. Lucy chokes and gags.
Natsu turns to him, a snarl ripping its way out of his chest. "You got a problem with that, Fullbuster? You wanna go, Ice Princess?"
Gray stands, his eyes narrowing to tiny chips of dark blue ice. "You asking for a death sentence, Flame Brain?"
"Um, guys," Lucy squeaks, inching backwards. "Can you not?"
But the two of them have already bashed heads, magic forming between their clenched fists. Lucy sighs dramatically, and casually moves to the side as Natsu goes flying past her, an outraged yell flying off his lips.
She sidesteps, just in time for Natsu to come running past, his fist glowing as the first of his flames burst out. He lunges at Gray, who casually steps to the side, allowing Natsu to fly past him and crash into Elfman.
Naturally, the entire guild is pulled into Natsu's and Gray's fight. Lucy crawls behind the bar and takes cover amidst the many bottles of liquor. She is joined by Levy, and the two girls crouch quietly next to each other. Sometimes, it seems like they are the only two rational mages in the guild.
She sighs again, and winces when she hears a pathetic scream of pain- Droy, maybe? She's glad it's not her.
I'm glad Erza's not here, she thinks. Then this place would really be hell incarnate.
She smiles. I'm glad Jellal's back. He's been gone far too long. Erza will be happy to see him again.
Erza can't get him out of her head.
It's been two months since he last came home, after accepting a long solo mission.
A lot has happened since Jellal first joined Fairy Tail.
Erza nears Fairy Hills, and she can just faintly make out a cloaked figure standing near the gates. Her heart pounds against her ribs, and her legs pump faster, faster, faster.
Anything to get closer to him.
"Why can't I come with you?" Erza whispers pathetically into his cloak.
His arms come up to grasp her shoulders, pulling her away from his broad chest to look her in the eyes.
She studies his face, memorizing it like she used to. His warm green eyes are full of pain, and longing, as if he wants her to come. But something holds him back.
His blue hair is as shaggy as every. Cancer had cut it not too long ago, but even the crab cannot tame the wild blue locks. They brush across his cheeks and forehead, framing the intricate red tattoo that stretches across his face. Erza has the sudden longing to touch it, caress it, kiss it.
"This is my journey of redemption," he murmurs in his deep voice. "This job comes from the magic council themselves, and requires that I do it alone. I don't want to risk you coming with me."
"Why did you accept this job if it's that dangerous?" Erza half shouts. She can feel tears beginning to form in her eyes, and she wonders why she's acting so desperate.
His hand comes up to cup her cheek softly, forcing her to stop and look at him. He bends down, and presses his lips to hers, kissing her sweetly. Erza gasps, and her eyes close. Her hands reach up and clutch at his cloak, pulling him into her.
"I promise that I'll come back," Jellal whispers against her lips. "Once this job is over, I'll be back, and you'll be the first person I see. That I can promise you."
"I don't want you to go," she mumbles.
Jellal rests his forehead against hers, and she feels his hand run through her hair. "I know," he breathes. "I don't want to. But if I take this job, it means the magic council won't be out for my blood. Makarov has been very kind to me, sheltering me from the magic council's wrath. But I can't hide in Fairy Tail's shadow forever. It's time for me to pay back my debts."
"They won't kill you, right?" She asks, her lip trembling.
He pulls away from her, a tiny smile on his face. "No," he says, gripping her hand tightly. "It's not that. Even the magic council wouldn't be cowardly enough to do that. This letter that they sent me sounds sincere, like they genuinely want my help. And if they're willing to drop all charges against me, then by all means, I'm there."
Erza wipes her eyes. Be strong, she tells herself. He'll come back. He promised he would.
He presses one more kiss to her forehead, before pulling away, shifting his pack on his shoulders and pulling his hood up. Erza clings to his hand as long as she can, until he pulls away and heads down the road.
Erza feels the first tear fall onto her cheek. She doesn't wipe it away.
It's his first thought as soon as he steps through the gates of Fairy Hills. He sighs in relief and drops his pack, which falls in the dirt with an audible thump.
He throws his hood off his face, revealing long, shaggy blue hair, which is limp and greasy from not being washed. He is full of grime and dirt, and he probably doesn't smell so great.
He sighs and brings his fingers up to his forehead. Before he left, Jellal had talked to Warren and set up a link between them, so he could have Warren inform a certain redhead of his return.
Warren, he thinks.
The response is almost immediate. It's about time I got a god damn report from you, Warren replies. Jellal chuckles.
Attitude much, Warren? Jellal asks the man. He receives a snort in response.
After a minute or two, Warren speaks again. I passed the news on to Erza. Heads up. She's on her way.
Jellal thanks him, then cuts off the connection. He yawns from fatigue and leans up against the gate, waiting for his redheaded friend.
Would friend even begin to describe his relationship with Erza?
Their relationship went so much more deeper than that.
Erza is his soulmate. She's his best friend, his first and only love, and the woman of his dreams. She's the only one who's seen him for what he is. She's been with him through everything. She's seen him at his worst, she's seen him at his best. She's his guardian angel.
He truly loves her.
He sighs and runs a hand through his hair. If it weren't for her, he mused, I'd probably still be that lost, pathetic excuse for a man she saved those many years ago.
He chuckles. He's still not sure the who, what, when, where, why and how he had been able to stay with Erza. After everything he's done, he doesn't think he could possibly be rewarded with a woman, an angel like her, but he doesn't want it any other way. He thanks the heavens above every day for having her in his life.
He hears a sudden shout of joy, and looks up. Immediately, his eyes widen and he can't help the wide smile that breaks across his face.
There she is.
Jellal pushes off the gate and runs towards her. Her hair is flying out behind her, bright red and gleaming in the sunshine. Her eyes are gleaming, the twin brown orbs shimmering with warmth. Her mouth is stretched in a wide smile, and she's waving her arms frantically.
They crash into each other, and Jellal stumbles, overwhelmed by fatigue and his happiness to see her. He collapses, and brings her down with him. They crash to the ground in a flurry of limbs and shouts of laughter.
"You idiot!" she cries, wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling him into her armored chest. Jellal doesn't mind getting his face smashed, it gives him the perfect vantage point to hold her close and breath in her warm, vanilla and strawberry scent.
Her hair falls around the two of them, cocooning Jellal in a blanket of silky red locks. He inhales her scent softly, and buries his face in the crook of her neck, breathing in her sweet scent. He could die a happy man right there, if it meant dying in the arms of the woman he loves.
"I missed you too," his voice is muffled, but she hears him clearly. She's sobbing at this point, clutching tightly to his cloak. She's laughing and crying, and placing warm kisses in his hair, despite it being lank and filthy.
He holds her as she cries, and sits up. They're wrapped in each other's arms, and Jellal pulls his head off her shoulder.
She blinks up at him, a smile on her face. Jellal reaches down and brushes away her tears, caressing her cheeks.
"Welcome home, baka," she whispers.
Jellal smiles and presses his lips against hers. "It's good to be back."
They stand in the shower together.
Jellal sighs in contentment as her hands wander along his body, firmly scrubbing the dirt and grime off his skin. He stands there and lets the water pour down onto him.
"Where have you been?" she asks quietly. Jellal frowns and looks down at her. In the shower, she looks gorgeous. Her skin is glowing warmly, and her hair cascades down her back, a red waterfall.
She presses her body against him, her bare breasts flush against his chest. Jellal's arms reach around to cup her hips.
"I had to track down a man who had large parts of the Etherion lacrima with him," Jellal explains. "Somehow, he must've stolen parts of the Tower of Heaven before it was destroyed. The magic council feared that he'd try something."
She looks at him.
"The man put up quite the fight. He led me on quite a goose chase. He almost lost me, but thanks to meteor, I was able to apprehend him and give him to the magic council."
Erza rests her head on his shoulder. "It took two months," she whispers.
Jellal's hand comes up to cup the back of her head. "I know," he says. "And in that entire time, I could only think of returning to you. You have been on my mind nonstop. In the time I was away, you haunted my thoughts. I couldn't wait to come home and see you again."
She raises her head, and her hands caress his skin. This time, she's not washing his body. No, this time, she caresses his skin to give comfort, love, and a promise.
"Oh Jellal," she murmurs, pressing her lips to his. He responds immediately, pulling her closer. Their naked bodies entwine, and the warm shower rains down around them.
They make love for the first time in two months.
They take their time, unhurried. He stares at her with overwhelming desire as she lays on the bed, her hair still damp from the shower.
Together again, the couple marvels at how they're finally together. Two months to them felt like two hundred years.
"Don't stop, Jellal, please, don't stop," she gasps, clutching onto his broad shoulders. She wraps her legs around his waist. He groans and kisses her, a warm kiss meant to give solace and comfort.
It's a kiss that says everything.
Afterwards, they lay in each other's arms, trading touches. They lay facing each other. Jellal's hand runs down Erza's bare side and tangles in her red hair, which drapes over her body in a shiny, glossy rope.
Her arm reaches out and she runs a hand down his broad chest. He murmurs and pulls her close, wrapping his arms around her bare back and pulling her close. She smiles wearily and presses her face into the crook of his neck.
"Now that I'm on good terms with the magic council, I can go wherever I please. I'm a free man now, Erza."
"I've waited so long for this," she mumbles. "I've waited so long to be able to walk with you in public, to be able to hold your hand without worrying that someone was going to arrest you."
"I know," he whispers, placing a butterfly kiss on her head.
"Come with me," she whispers. "I'm taking a mission with Natsu and the others sometime in the next few days. I know you just got back, but I-"
"-want to be able to finally go on a mission with you," Jellal finishes for her. He smiles. "Of course."
Erza snuggles into his chest, drawing the covers up around the two of them. "Stay with me," she whispers.
"You don't have to ask," he replies, holding her close. "I was planning on it."
A/N: I was feeling kinda bittersweet about this. They're such a beautiful couple, and Mashima has to get them together soon otherwise I'm gonna scream.
That's not true. I have already screamed out my frustrations when they had the not-kiss. I'll throw a tantrum if they don't get together in the end.
Hope you liked it!