A/N: So! This is a thing I came up with while writing Hands, yeah that other futurefic about little Luna Dragneel goin' round the guild asking her older lady mentors about their rough-from-the-times hands.
I mentioned in my author's note from there that I'm fond of the notion of Laxus and Freed being happy gay uncles to a bunch of kids, and then I realized - oh dear Laxus wouldn't have the patience for that.
It all went downhill from there.
So yeah. Presenting! A supposed drabble that turned into a mini six-chapter affair~ Also ALL CHAPTERS are done (haha bc I got stuck with We Are Young so I just kept on this one okay sorry sorry I swear I'm working on that) and I'll be posting one every other day. ^_^
Quick age note: Team Natsu and company are around 38 to 39. Older members like Laxus, Mira and others around 41-42. Romeo is 34, Wendy is 32. The little spawns' (aka kids), as well as new OC guild members' ages will be revealed as we go along in the story.
More notes and stuff after the chapter.
Five Times Laxus Tries to Deal with Children
(and One Time He Simply Gives Up)
"Bro, you're channeling your mom and everyone's drownin'."
Laxus hates dealing with the guild kids.
Don't get him wrong. He loves the guild. He loves the kids too. As Guild Master for a good decade or so now after his grandfather stepped down, he has learned many things, from how to deal with the various guild members, to facing the Magic Council, to responding to challenges and/or attacks from other guilds, whether the target was just a lone member, or Fairy Tail as a whole. Makarov was fiercely protective of his 'children'. You can say the same for Laxus. Yes, he was still kinda grumpy, and lazy, and ran things differently, but one would be lying if they said he didn't make a good Guild Master.
But he just couldn't quite get a handle on the kids in the guild. Specially his peers' children, and their equally young friends.
Because that was typically Mira's job. Or even Lisanna, sometimes. Those women ran the bar. He ran the office. Or rather, he simply signed the papers that they send to his office. And he also did… other stuff. Um, guild master stuff. Like attend boring meetings and... stuff. Boy, he does do a lot of stuff!
It was Mira's job, to be specific, to smile sweetly at the twelve year-old blue-haired ice mage trudging sulkily towards the bar, and greet him just as sweetly as he sat on one of the tall chairs, saying "Hello, sweetheart! Is everything alright?" while fully anticipating the huge "NO" and the rant that will follow. Maybe even bear the sudden drop of temperature around the vicinity. Mira will listen ever-so-patiently while giving the kid whatever beverage he preferred, even without the kid asking. Mira always knew what to get for who.
But Laxus was not Mira. Mira went on a vacation with Elfman, Evergreen and Lisanna. Apparently it was Fleur, Elf and Ever's eldest, who gave her parents and aunts tickets to that tropical island resort somewhere as an anniversary gift for her parents and late birthday gifts for both Mira and Lisanna. Apparently Laxus agreed for them all to take their leaves at the same time. Apparently Mira had the papers to prove it.
He doesn't remember signing, but Mira had been smiling so widely that it scared him and he knew he just had to agree. They deserved the break anyway.
Anyhow, that was the point - neither Mira nor Lisanna were around. Usually it would be Fleur in charge in place of her aunts, but the eighteen year-old left that morning saying that she will be on a job. This meant that Laxus will be running the bar, along with some non-mage part-timers (Cana took in homeless or runaway teenagers like it was her mission in life; most non-mages move on after a month or two, most mages stay.).
"Good morning, Master." young Neve greeted politely, looking surprised that Laxus was up and awake before noon, and wiping glasses in place of the usual barmaids.
"Yo, kid. What're you havin'?" Laxus asked nonchalantly. As gently as possible, really, since it was obvious that NO, NOT EVERYTHING IS ALRIGHT. But no, like hell he's gonna call Gray's grumpy son 'sweetheart' like Mira does.
The boy seemed even more surprised when Laxus took his order. "U-umm… iced tea… yeah. Fleur's out?"
"Yeah, she took a job." Laxus replied curtly, and was secretly glad that the boy ordered something simple. He always saw the kid with parfait or milkshake or something just as fancy. He didn't know how to make those. Thankfully, Laxus had enough experience in the guild to know where to get and how to serve iced tea.
"Oh. Okay." was all the boy said, looking down at the table and staying silent until Laxus set a tall glass of iced tea in front of him. Neve accepted it just as timidly. "Thanks."
Laxus rolled his eyes. He wanted to mind his own business, but this was too much. The boy was too visibly sulking. "Alright, what's up?"
Neve blinked up at him.
"You're lookin' for Fleur 'cause you want to vent, right?"
"Huh? No, not… not really…" Neve looked down.
Laxus shrugged, picking up a plate to wipe dry as the boy started to drink the beverage.
After a while of silence, Neve started, "Feels weird..."
Laxus didn't bother to look up. "Yeah, no shit."
"...So I was on a job with Ig yesterday."
There it was, the kid was starting.
"I heard." Laxus nodded. He knew about that job. It was still hard to believe that Natsu's and Gray's sons, even with a five-year age gap, were best friends and formed one of Fairy Tail's strongest new teams, while also doing jobs properly. By 'properly', Laxus meant that the two always have minimal casualties. No burnt buildings or flooded towns. Very far from their fathers' dynamic. "Wendy told me you guys were quite beat up when you came back."
"Yeah, uh, it's not that hard. But he kinda almost got impaled."
"What the hell does 'kinda almost got impaled' mean?" Laxus asked, more confused than annoyed - Neve may be a prodigy but he's still a twelve year-old kid, and sometimes that showed in the way he talked.
"Ig called Aries just in time so he didn't get impaled, but it still hit his shoulder and it was still pretty bad, but not anything we couldn't just wrap up. Aries helped a bit too."
"Yeah, but he's alive, right?"
"He was so stupid."
"So stupid." the kid repeated. "We could've finished it in, like, ten minutes but no, he had to be stupid."
"Really." By this time, Laxus was just listening indulgently but not really paying much attention.
"I mean, we always do our stuff, just the two of us so we get stuff done quick with no damage not like our sisters, right?"
By this time, the boy was outright complaining. "So why did he have to bring extra baggage along, right? I mean, it's okay if his girlfriend can handle herself. Or actually knows how to hide! But noooo, she's in the way! S'like she just threw 'erself on the evil guy's arms! We don't need someone bein' hostaged!"
"So 'cause we can't do our stuff 'cause the evil guy has stupid Ig's stupid girlfriend!"
It finally dawned on Laxus what the kid was telling him. "Yo, yo wait. Y'mean, he brought a civilian along on a job? That's against the rules."
Neve shook his head. "Nah, more like she clung to 'im and he had no choice 'cause she's already on the train wit' us and was cryin' her eyes out. Y'know Ig. Stupid Ig, dunno how to be mean."
Then, to Laxus' horror, the kid sniffed, tears forming in his eyes.
"S-S-Stupid… Ig. And I was up all night 'cause… 'cause I kept thinkin' what if Aries didn't come sooner and-… WHAT IF HE DIED. What if he got impaled and stuff and-.."
"Hey. Hey, don't do that. You're both alive, right?"
But that made the boy sob. "HE'S STUPID! WHAT WOULD I DO IF HE DIED?!"
He was crying. Hard.
How could Laxus forget who the boy's mother was? Of course he's heard about it. Of course Juvia's son would be another crybaby.
Laxus tried to be comforting… or maybe distracting. "So what happened to this girlfriend?"
Neve sniffed weakly. "S'not really girlfriend..."
"What? You said-"
"More like fangirl. Head of fanclub kinda fangirl. THAT FANCLUB IS STUPID THEY THINK HE'S AWESOME AND COOL AND HUNKY OR WHATEVER WHEN HE'S NOT! HE'S A BIG. NERD!"
Laxus brushed that off. "Why'd he let this girl tag along then?"
"'Cause she cried and stuff! Whatshername said she'll do her best and stay outta the way BUT SHE DIDN'T OKAY I HATE HER."
"Yo, don't throw tantrums at me, kid."
"WHY DOES HE HAVE A FANCLUB ANYWAY WAIT I KNOW. IT'S 'CAUSE HE'S DUMB AND STUFF HE'S ALWAYS USIN' HIS SEX APPEAL. HE SAYS HE KNOWS HE'S SEXY SO HE FLIRTS WITH ALL THE GIRLS. HE'S NOT HOT. HE'S STUPID."
Yeah, he's heard of that fanclub. Apparently young Igneel got not only Lucy's looks and Natsu's confidence... but also Loke's... well, let's say 'charm'.
Laxus didn't wonder about it too much. Loke was there screaming with Lucy while she was giving birth to her son. The spirit went into labor with his master. Literally.
"Sex appeal, seriously?"
"Dad says he got it from Lucy-san."
"Stop there. I think I know enough."
"Stupid Ig dunno he scared the crap outta me." the boy sniffed, and then hiccuped.
Laxus raised an eyebrow. "Kid, you sound like you got drunk from iced tea."
Neve whimpered, burying his face on his arms again. "It tastes weird, Master. (hic) S'okay, I know it's hard to (hic) work in the bar… (hic) Fleur always… tells me 'bout it… (hic)"
"What, weird?" the man asked, then picked up the half-empty glass and then sniffed the contents. "Well, shit."
He served beer to a twelve year-old. Cana will be proud.
"What would I do if he died?" Neve asked miserably. "I'd have no partner. Or maybe I'll be with Glenn and Ethan. I don't wanna be with Glenn and Ethan, they're too good. Like, unfair kinda good. Like, OP good. Ig is so stupid. His fangirls are so stupid..."
"Hey… uh, Neve. Y'okay there, buddy?" because Laxus swore there was water pooling in the floor of the guild already.
"I'm good… just… why do the fangirls think he's so cool? He's not cool. He's… I dunno, not cool at all. Maybe adorable, sometimes. Only sometimes…"
"Adorable, okay got it."
"...Smart, too. Only sometimes! When he's not being stupid with the sex appeal stuff. 'Cause y'know he doesn't need to act like a flirt, he's already… err… he has a nice face."
"Nice face, yeah okay. Uh-"
"-and his hair! Master, if you hear 'im talk about his hair. S'like you just wanna kill him. His ponytail is stupid. He thinks it's cool but it's just stupid."
"Okay, yeah his ponytail is stupid. Whatever. But you're both alive, right? So stop crying now."
"I can't. I'm sad. Mom says s'okay to cry when you're sad."
"Yeah, you did get your mom's… uh… her emotional… err..." - Laxus wanted to say 'instability' but he thought that would be harsh so he finished with "...disposition."
"But you're gonna drown the guild, kid."
Neve chuckled gingerly, still sobbing.. and flooding the vicinity. "Dad says 'let it go'."
"Your dad is a dramatic ice princess, that's his anthem. Kid, everyone's starting to evacuate. Stop drowning us."
The guild was already knee-deep in water. People were coming up from the library, too... Dang, the water probably got to the basement. Laxus swore Mira would have handled this better.
Just when Laxus thought he would have to knock the kid out, the guild doors burst open and in went a blonde-haired, brown-eyed teenager. Natsu and Lucy's eldest blinked when he saw the commotion that his younger partner was causing, then sighed and waded through the literal pool of tears.
"Mornin', Master." young Igneel said with a bright smile that was a perfect combination of his parents' grins. "What's up?"
"What's up?" Laxus repeated disbelievingly. "Your little boyfriend's literally cryin' a river 'cause you almost died yesterday. Make him stop."
"Aw, he's overreacting again." Igneel sighed, then peered at the younger boy. "Bro, you're channeling your mom and everyone's drownin'. Better stop."
"I hate you." Neve said bitterly.
"Aw, c'mon, is this about the girl? 'Cause I think it scared her enough and she won't do it again."
Igneel rolled his eyes. "Neeeeeve, I don't even remember her name."
"S'not the point, dumbass."
"Hey, language." the young dragon slayer scolded strictly.
"Okay, fine. I appreciate the river of feels, Neve. But why don't you continue this outside? Like, maybe by the river for less casualties?" Igneel tried to pat the boy's head but his hand just went through. Neve had turned himself to water. "Oh, for Mavis' sake! I'm sorry, okay? Y'know you don't have to be jealous."
"WHO'S JEALOUS?! I-I-I'M NOT JEALOUS! GET YOUR NICE FACE AWAY FROM ME!"
Laxus sighed. Looks like the boy inherited both his parents' stubborness and then DOUBLED it.
"You look drunk." Igneel raised an eyebrow. "Are you drunk?"
"No…'tis iced… tea…" and then the boy dozed off sleeping.
Igneel looked at the lightning dragon slayer. Laxus sighed and looked away guiltily. "Honest mistake. I swear."
The teen couldn't help but chuckle before shaking his head. "First day?"
"Alright. Um. So… I'm taking this one home. Don't worry, I won't tell his parents that you got 'im drunk at like 9 in the mornin'."
Laxus then watched as Igneel lifted the sleeping ice mage up and then hefted the boy on his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.
"What're you gonna do?"
Igneel shrugged. "Uh, sober 'im up and talk heart-to-heart, I guess? Always fixes him, he's a huge softie, this one. He's difficult when he's throwin' a tantrum, but I'll never find a better partner, so… yeah."
Laxus raised an eyebrow, but the kid just grinned cheekily at him.
"Sorry for the ruckus, Master. Have a great day!"
A/N: Remember how Laxus gets lost just trying to buy some groceries for Yajima-san? I bet he's totally helpless in the bar too. Also he's the type to try to wipe plates and glasses even when they're already dry and clean because it's a thing he sees the bar staff do everytime. What a nerd.
Some note thingies:
- Neve (12) believes in fortune-telling but he won't admit it because he's a dork tsundere like his dad.
- Igneel Dragneel (18) sounds like a bad rhyme. But yeah. Imagine Mashima's genderbent Lucy? Just in a dorky ponytail, with Natsu's adorable smile, and trying very hard to flirt with you but kinda failing. He's kind of a really nice and responsible guy all around, though. Big brother to almost all the other kids and all.
- Fleur (18) looks very much like her Aunt Mira, except she wears glasses because she inherited her mother's eye power thingy. She likes to go on solo jobs because she's badass, and she gets all the reward money to herself so she always has plenty of cash to take days or weeks off to chill and run the bar.
- Mira totally played Laxus on that vacation thing y'know.
Anyways, that's day one. And believe me that was still kind. New set of kids per chapter. Guess who's next?
Up Next: DAY TWO. Someone gets tired of her team's shit.
~ Reviews are appreciated! And I like reading kind words when I'm sad so thanks in advance if y'all gonna be nice. :D
If you're not gonna be nice, then uhhhh... have a great day, still. I hope you be nice to someone else at least. Being mean sounds sad.