I don't own Fairy tail or the characters, and I really should be working at school, but I thought I'd do this one-shot, so here we go. This is right after the Grand Magic Games.
Natsu, Lucy, and Happy stood looking at the request board, trying to decide on a job to take. They skimmed over the various posters when one caught Lucy's eye. It wasn't particularly hard, just going up to Brago to work at a cafe for a few days, and the pay divided among their team would be enough to pay her rent for the month and travel. "How about this one?" she asked, showing it to Natsu.
"Sure." Natsu agreed without even looking. Lucy turned to see Erza and Gray at the bar. She pulled the request from the board and held it up so the two of them could see it.
"Erza, Gray, we picked a job." Lucy said with a grin. Erza nodded and stood up.
"I see, what is it?" she asked, curious. Lucy looked down at the paper again.
"It's working at a cafe for three days." she said. Gray looked over at her, putting down his drink.
"Where is it?" he asked. Lucy double checked the paper again.
"Brago." she said. Gray's eyes widened but that was it, then he turned back to the bar.
"I think I'm gonna sit this one out." he said. The others looked at him in surprise.
"WHAT?!" they all gasped. "Com on Gray. It's up north and cold just how you like it, and we're a team." Happy offered.
"Look, I just don't want to go." Gray snapped at the cat. After what happened at the Grand Magic Games, Brago was the last place he wanted to go to. Erza turned to him with a stern glare, hands on her hips.
"And why not?" she asked. Gray grimmest at the promise of a swift beating that radiated from the red head.
"Sounds like he's chicken." Natsu taunted, hoping that would rile the Ice-make mage. Gray glared at him, standing up so fast the bar stool fell back to the ground, the resounding bang getting everyone in the guild hall's attention.
"I'm not chicken! I just don't want to go." he snapped at the pink haired idiot. Lucy sighed, crossing her arms across her chest.
"I really don't see what the big deal is." she mused out loud. Gray looked at the ground for a second as if he was about to tell them something, but he just shoved his hands in his pants pockets and walked out the door.
"What the hell was that about?" Erza growled, not appreciating the fact that Gray had ignored her after Natsu butted in. Lucy and Natsu gave her confused looks to show they had no idea themselves.
"Brago is up where Gray lived with Ur." Makerov said, his face half covered in the glass of alcohol he was downing. The others looked at him in surprise. "It may be a little hard for him to go back now that everything has happened." he said.
"What do you mean master?" Levy asked. However Erza, Lucy, Natsu, and Happy felt a wave of dread come over them. The hadn't even considered that possibility.
"Gray's home was destroyed when he was a boy by Deliora, and Ur took him in with Lyon, but after she passed on, Gray hasn't returned." Makerov clarified.
"The Lamia Scale Ice-mage? I thought they were familiar with each other." Gajeel mused, munching on a piece of iron. Juvia stepped forward.
"That isn't the only reason Gray-sama is upset." she said. The others turned to her, pleading looks on their faces.
"What happened Juvia?" Erza asked. Juvia looked like she was ready to cry.
"During the attack everyone remembers that there was a moment where they all saw a minute into their future. Well Gray-sama was with Juvia, Meredy, and Lyon-san when it happened. Gray-sama pushed Juvia out of the way and took an attack meant for her, and was killed. However time turned back a minute so Gray-sama wouldn't die. The only one who could do that was Ultear. Gray-sama told me once that if Ultear turned back time, she would die in the process. Meredy said Ultear disappeared after the attack." Juvia explained.
"I see, so Ur's daughter also gave her life to protect Gray." Erza siad, then she thought for a minute. Suddenly she turned to Natsu and Lucy. "You two, pack warmly, we're going to Brago. Cana," she called, turning to the card mage who was chugging a barrel of alcohol. "I need your help to locate a few people. Master, we're taking the mission." she said. Makerov sighed.
"I hope you know what your doing Erza." he said.
Gray walked down the street when he suddenly fell into a pit. Gasping in surprise, he looked around trying to figure out what just happened. Virgo popped up from the ground beside him. "I apologize for the inconvenience, do you wish to punish me?" she asked. Gray sat dumbstruck before he connected the dots.
"LUCY!" he yelled, looking up to the top of the hole. Erza jumped down, landing next to him.
"Sorry Gray, but this is for your own good." she said, planting a fist and a sword hilt into two pressure points. Gray pitched forward unconscious into the young woman's arms. "Good, now we can go." Erza said proudly.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" Lucy cried from the top.
Gray woke up to find himself seated nest to Erza. "Where..." he started, then remembered what happened. Jumping up, he could see they were on a moving train. "WHAT THE HELL!?" he roared, turning to the red haired woman.
"Quiet down Gray, your making a scene." she scolded. Gray gave her a dumbstruck look.
"I'm making a scene?! You knocked me out in the middle of the street." he yelled. Erza didn't look fazed by him at all.
"It was necessary." she said. Gray looked out the window to see a frozen landscape. He didn't want to ask, he already knew, but he felt he had to anyway.
"Where are we?" he asked her.
"Brago, we already accepted the job and will be there soon." she explained. Gray clenched a fist in frustration. He had told them he didn't want to go!
"I can't go back there Erza." he said as evenly as he could. Erza shot him a furious look.
"We already gave our word as Fairy Tail Mage's that we would be there. Now sit down or I can knock you out again." she stated. Gray glanced over at a passed out Natsu sitting beside Lucy and Happy and didn't doubt her threat in the least. Reluctantly he sat back down and looked out the window.
The train arrived at the station and the team got off. "REVIVED!" Natsu yelled in joy at leaving the train behind.
"There you are." came a voice behind them. Gray turned around to see Jellal and Meredy. Looking at the pink haired woman, Ultear flashed threw his mind and Gray adverted his eyes.
"It's about time you got here. So is this everyone?" came another voice, and Gray turned to see Lyon.
"What..." he started, but Erza held up a hand to cut him off.
"I told Cana to locate them, and Mirajane asked if they would meet us here." she explained. Gray shot her a look that read why-did-you-bring-them-here? "Jellal agreed to be our fourth man on this job so you don't have to work today." Erza went on to say. Gray blinked. That didn't explain why Lyon, Meredy, and even himself were there.
"Why?" he asked.
"Because we're going somewhere else." Lyon said. Gray felt a panic grip him as he realized what they had planned.
"I'm not going there!" he decided, stepping back. Meredy held up her hand and her wrist glowed pink.
"We can just knock you out and drag you along." she said with an evil grin. Gray felt a growing dread. He could try to fight or run, but Jellal was faster then he was, and he was not match for all of them. Gray sighed in defeat.
Gray, Lyon, and Meredy approached the ruins of Gray's childhood home. The destruction left untouched after all these years to leave a monument to those who lost their lives there so long ago. Gray led them to the graveyard that he set up before he left, something Lyon and Ur had helped him with. His parents graves were set off a little bit away from the others. As they approached Gray noticed a new stone. As they got closer he realized it wasn't a stone, but a tombstone made of Ice, for Ur. There was only one person who could have made that. "Lyon..." Gray started in surprise.
"I made that ten years ago when we came to get Deliora. I don't really know why I put it there, but that's where I think she would have wanted it." Lyon said, then he stepped forward, slamming a fist into his palm and setting up another stone next to the first, this one with Ultear's name carved in it. Gray knew Ultear wasn't dead, he saw he! But just as her mother before her told him to tell Lyon she was dead; Ultear had left a letter saying that when they read it she would be dead too. Gray knew she wanted them to believe she was dead so they wouldn't spend their whole lives searching for her, trying to reverse what had been done. Just like Ur before her, she sacrificed herself for him. Suddenly it dawned on Gray who he was with. Lyon, whose parents died at a young age and went to train with Ur, his master and guardian; and Meredy, the adopted daughter of Ultear. He had not only caused the deaths of his parents, but his teacher who was like a mother to him and Lyon, and then her daughter Ultear. Like he had taken Ultear's mother from her, he had done the same to Meredy. Tears filled his eyes and he hunched over, his body shaking.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. It's all my fault." he said softly. Lyon however snagged the front of his shirt, hauling him up long enough to punch him in the face and knock him to the ground. "Lyon!" he gasped in surprise. Lyon scowled at him.
"Stop saying that!" he yelled at the younger male. Meredy ran over, kneeling beside Gray and grabbing his hand, while reaching out for Lyon with her other hand. All of their wrists glowed pink as Meredy used sensory links to connect all three of them together. Guild and pain hit Meredy and Lyon like a punch to the gut, but Gray felt love and worry wash over him from the other two. "This isn't your fault Gray, not your parents, not Ur, and not Ultear. You need to stop shouldering the guilt for everything." Lyon softly scolded.
"Yeah Gray, we're here for you. We're still a family. Even if it's little and broken, we're still here." Meredy said. Gray knew they weren't lying because of the link and he finally let the tears fall. Meredy and Lyon started crying too, and all three sat in a circle hugging each other.
They had no idea how long they sat there, or when they stopped crying. At some point Meredy had also dropped the links. Lyon felt a weight on his shoulder and looked over to see Gray was asleep. Smiling to himself, Lyon hauled Gray up onto his back. "We should probably head back." Meredy said. Lyon nodded in agreement. With the pink haired young woman in the lead and the two ice mages behind her, they left the ruins of the old town behind them.
Erza, Jellal, Lucy, Natsu, and Happy were exiting the cafe, noting how late it was. They saw Lyon and Meredy approaching, Gray asleep on Lyon's back. "He looks so peaceful." Lucy noted.
"He fell asleep in the grave yard." Lyon offered as an explanation. Erza nodded to show she understood.
"Thank you for coming." she told them sincerely. Jellal put a hand on her shoulder.
"You don't need to thank us. Fairy Tail and all the members of it are important to us." he told her. Erza smiled, leaning into the touch.
"At least the Ice block looks better." Natsu said, but Lucy knew he had been just as worried as the rest of them.
"I think he just didn't realize that he isn't alone, that we're all here for him. He believed he was responsible for all their loses and that he had to bear all the hate and anger alone. We showed him that we care and that neither us or this place has rejected him." Meredy said. Lyon gently removed Gray from his back, sitting him down in front of the Fairy Tail mages.
"Take care of that idiot for me will you?" he asked, to which they all nodded. Then him, Jellal, and Meredy left, leaving the Fairies alone. Erza smiled down at Gray, crunching down to hug him.
"Your very loved Gray." she said softly.