Hey all! Here's my first contribution to Jerza week 2015. I hope you like it!
Disclaimer: I don't own Fairy Tail
"Nee-chan! Look what I got!"
Erza looked at what her friend was holding. "Sho, where did you get this?"
"Does it matter? It's food!" Milliana exclaimed, running up and picking through the various fruits and nuts in Sho's hands.
Erza frowned. "Sho, did you you sneak into the guards' storeroom again? You're going to get caught one of these days!"
Sho shook his head. "Not if we hide the evidence. Which means we should eat up!" He transferred the food to one of his hands and popped a nut in his mouth.
Erza was still worried. What if they were caught? Shouldn't they share with the other slaves? Well, that wasn't likely since there was barely enough for everyone in their small group. But still, she couldn't shake the feeling that something was about to go wrong.
Suddenly. Jellal walked up and grabbed one of the berries in Sho's hands. "Look Erza, it's a strawberry!"
Erza looked at the thing in Jellal's hand. It was mostly red, a few shades lighter than her hair. There were tiny green leaves clustered at one end. Tiny white seeds speckled the slightly conic shape. It certainly looked like something that could be eaten, but she had never seen one before.
"Does it taste good?" she asked.
Jellal's eyes grew wide. "You've never had a strawberry before?" He pushed the berry into Erza's rough hands. "Here you go. Just make sure not to eat the leaves too."
Erza brought the fruit up to her mouth. "Are you sure it's okay if I eat this? You don't want to have a bite?" she asked Jellal.
The blue-haired boy shook his head. "I already know what it tastes like. Besides, it's red, and everything red should be for Scarlet!"
Erza released a chuckle at that. Ever since Jellal had christened her "Scarlet" he had started to associate the color red with her. He claimed that every positive thing that was any shade of red reminded him of her. Erza thought it was really sweet.
Slowly, she sunk her teeth into the pink flesh of the strawberry. The outer texture was rough against her tongue, but the juice flooding into her mouth was blissfully tart with just enough sweetness. She chewed and swallowed while Jellal watched her face for any sign of approval.
"It's good," Erza confirmed.
Jellal's face brightened. That, more than anything else, was what Erza treasured about this memory. She ate more of the strawberry until there was nothing but the cluster of green and Jellal was the happiest he'd be all day. She stored the inedible leaves in her pocket to throw out a window at the next opportunity.
It would be a long time before she would eat another strawberry. It wasn't until after she had left the tower and was looking for grandpa's guild that she found out that not only were there farms growing bushes full of strawberries, but someone had developed a way to put them in cakes. She quickly sought out a way to taste this new treat.
The rich sweetness of the cake had brought tears to her eyes. She couldn't remember the last time she had tasted something so amazing. The purity of it reminded her of the Jellal she knew, the one who had called her Scarlet, the one she loved. The one who was gone.
And the strawberries reminded her of his smile.
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