A/N: Here's a short but sweet oneshot for the-archangel-of-zeref. This came to mind after mulling over the prompt, and I hope you enjoy it :)
Request by: the-archangel-of-zeref
Prompt: Zeref in Fairytail (being a dork)
Rating: K+ - Mild Language
Summary: Zeref and the Fairies head back to the guild after a long day at work, and Zeref finds himself wondering if someone like him really belongs there…
Word Count: 2,253
Though Zeref was durable and a punch to the face wouldn't break his jaw or anything, that didn't mean that Natsu's fist colliding with his mandible didn't hurt like hell.
Regaining his balance midair—that had taken a good day or two to choreograph—the black-haired mage landed on his feet, tears streaming down his cheeks.
"I don't know you! What's your name!?"
Looking up to the dragon slayer, Zeref's stomach sank in defeat.
Are you still not capable!?
He heard a few more things mumbled in the background before his ears began to ring. Bringing his hands to his head, Zeref knew the only thing that would happen now…was more death.
"Ru…n…" he forced out.
Zeref felt the magic building inside the pit of his stomach and work its way up his chest. A scream escaped his throat as it was let loose, destroying everything within a ten foot radius of where he was standing.
Bells rang as the cast and crew sprang to life. Letting out a gush of air, Zeref let out a small smile, the weight on his heart lifting as he was able to be himself again.
Being the new one on set was never an easy thing, something he'd come to know often with his guest appearances over the years. This one however was one he was especially worried about…not only was he currently the main villain in Fairy Tail, but everyone here had already been working together for over two years.
He'd been grateful when his brother had recommended him for this part. Natsu had barrelled through the front door of the apartment they shared, shoving a script into his hands and forcing him to run lines. It was only after Zeref had done it enough to know the whole thing by heart himself, that he realized Natsu was getting him ready for an audition.
"Natsu…this is your world…I don't know what—"
Laughing aloud, Natsu slapped his brother on the back, "You'll fit right in, brother. Don't you worry about it. This is a perfect role for you. Mashima himself said so, and he would know."
Zero's eyes widened at that. Hiro Mashima had seen his work before and thought he could portray Zeref?
Natsu jumped up and slammed his right fist into his left palm, "Yeaaa, I'm all fired up now! Are you?!"
Zeref had just smiled at his brother.
Watching Natsu now with Elfman, Evergreen and Happy, Zeref suddenly became unsure of himself. As the main villain and the newbie, he wanted to be included with them, but didn't know how.
"C'mon, Happy. Let's get back to the guild!"
Natsu turned on his heel and walked off the set, the blue exceed following close behind him. With Elfman and Evergreen behind them, Zeref decided he'd go see what it was like.
There was a part of the set that had been built—the Fairy Tail Guild Hall—that had become just that. All of the cast and crew members stayed there during the filming of a new season, and they'd all become like family.
Since I'm the villain, do I belong here?
Zeref stood outside the large doors of the hall. Various sounds were muffled by the walls; laughing, brawling, forks against plates, music. It was a rowdy place, but it was home to everyone.
Just as he was about to turn and head back to his own house, a soft voice reached his ears from his side.
"Hi, Zeref. What're you doing out here?"
Standing next to him, smiling, was Lucy. Playing the part of the emotionally and physically durable celestial mage, Zeref had a lot of respect for her character and found her to be one of his favourites. As a long time fan of the show, part of his hesitancy to go into the guild came from him being slightly intimidated.
"Uhmm…" Zeref scratched the back of his head nervously, a small smile decorating his features. "Well…I…"
"Man, you and Natsu really are brothers."
The loving expression that overtook her face when she said that caught Zeref off guard. There was an affection that he could hear in her voice when she'd said and thought about Natsu that made Zeref smile. So she really does care for him…good. He deserves it.
"What makes you say that?"
Her eyes drifted to the hand that was scratching the back of his neck. "You both do that when you're nervous. Most of the time when he forgets a line or two, he does just that and starts to stammer."
Smiling fondly at memories of his own of Natsu doing just that, Zeref laughed lightly with Lucy. "Yeah, our dad does that too."
There was a longer pause as Lucy stared at him.
Lucy cocked her head to one side, "You never answered my question."
Right…why was he here?
"Oh…well…everyone was heading in this direction, and I followed them." He stated honestly. He couldn't very well lie to her, he didn't really have a reason to.
"So why aren't you inside then?"
There was an innocence in her eyes as she waited for an answer, like it was the easiest thing in the world to just walk in there like he wasn't new.
"Well," he mused, hand dropping back to his side, "I just don't know if I belong in there…I mean I'm new, and I'm playing the villain, so…"
Lucy laughed, "Such a dork. Just like your brother."
He felt a warm hand enclose around his, and before he knew it, she was dragging him into the guild hall.
"Zeref, it doesn't matter if you're new," Lucy started, opening the door and pulling him in behind her. "It doesn't matter if you're playing the villain…"
Lucy turned to look at the guild hall, and Zeref redirected his gaze in the same direction.
Mira was in her character's usual spot behind the bar—she and many other actors worked other jobs in their spare time, and this one for her was the most convenient. The silver haired woman was serving food and drink to the cast members who had just finished the final scene of the season. Among them were Erza and Jellal, chatting happily over some strawberry cheesecake. All the actors who hadn't been needed for the final scene and had finished their own earlier in the day were still present though.
Natsu was off in the corner getting into a heated argument with Gray. All of that time spent fighting when they were rehearsing and when they were in character had managed to seep its way into their overall feelings toward the other. The fortunate part was that in addition to the friendly rivalry aspect of their relationship, they did respect and care for each other's well being. Their respective child counterparts were doing their best to break it up, and failing miserably.
Off at another table, Levy was reading a book, elbows on the counter. Beside her facing in the opposite direction was Gajeel, tinkering away with a guitar rift he needed to know for an upcoming episode. Once in awhile he would tap on Levy's shoulder and she would show him a correct cord, throwing in a praise or two when she heard the correct notes.
Laxus and the "Thunder Legion" were all gathered around a table with their DS's. Beside Evergreen sat Elfman, watching the Super Smash Brothers tournament over her shoulder, offering a cheer or grunt of distress when the time called for it. Laxus was the most enthusiastic of the group. To see him out of makeup—he frequently spoke about how much he hated the scar, it made his eyelids stick sometimes and got really itchy—just attested to how great of an actor he was.
Wendy was sketching something out on a stack of paper next to Charla and Happy. She was attempting to better her skills and often the director would give her some storyboard sketches for upcoming episodes. They wouldn't always use what she'd done, but once in awhile there would be a panel or two that would be used.
Amongst the others there were card games, drinking games—that Cana was not a part of, the actress was a lot like her Edolas counterpart, but not to the same extent—some debates, and overall just chatting and eating.
"We're all family here, Zeref," Lucy told him, looking back up at the newbie. "It doesn't matter whether you're new, or whether you play a villain. Nobody cares here."
She cocked her head to one side as her face lit up, "You're a part of Fairy Tail, now, aren't you?"
Staring at the girl incredulously, Zeref blinked. His blank expression soon turned into a small smile as he looked back to the groups. Various characters from the course of the series were scattered around, even a few minors and other villains interacted with the main cast.
After a few more moments, Zeref found himself grinning widely. "Yeah…I guess I am."
"Alright. Good. Now get in there!"
Before Zeref could look to the blonde to see what she meant, he felt two firm hands on his back shoving him into the crowd.
Tumbling through various cast members, Zeref managed to not fall flat on his face and instead get a grip on a table. Breathing out, he went to glare at Lucy, but was stopped when he saw something out of the corner of his eye.
Lucy shoving him had created a domino effect, knocking various people into others. Nobody was on the ground, but the toppled bodies had made their way over to the bar where Erza was sitting.
Who's strawberry cake that she'd held in her hand, was now on the floor.
Zeref's stomach sank.
Blinking, Erza calmly shrugged it off and set the plate back on the counter, opting for another drink of the beer she had in front of her.
It was Jellal—who's chocolate cake had been knocked over as well—who threw the first punch.
And just like in the show, the guild erupted into chaos. Punches, yelling, throwing chairs and food and flipping tables. A few individuals calmly vacated their seats and headed upstairs to avoid the brawl.
Zeref found himself dragged into a friendly banter with Mavis. She'd been around for a scene or two and he hadn't gotten to know her well enough yet. She played the thirteen year old first master despite the fact she was in her late teens like he was. In the few scenes he'd had with her, she'd intrigued him and hoped to get to know her a bit better in the future.
Though her fist to the jaw that Natsu had given a good slug to earlier may not have been a good sign of that. Though after the initial blow, he saw the playful smirk on her face.
Maybe he did have a chance.
When the commotion had died down and Zeref lay underneath a table, thoroughly exhausted, he found his brother had crawled up next to him.
"Well, there you go," he laughed breathlessly, "you're officially a part of Fairy Tail now that you've been a part of your first guild brawl."
Breathing out, Zeref smiled. "Yeah, I was worried about whether or not I should come here today."
Cocking his head to one side, the pinkette's brow furrowed, "Why?"
Zeref relayed the same thing he'd told Lucy, "I didn't think I really belonged here."
He felt a smack on the side of his head, "Of course you do."
After a moment, he felt Natsu tugging on his arm.
"C'mon, it's time for you to get something."
Letting his brother drag him over the exhausted and passed out bodies of his fellow cast members, Natsu ventured behind the bar, grabbing a small box and setting it atop the counter.
He pulled out the guild mark stamp.
"What colour?" he asked.
"Uh…Natsu, are you allowed to do this?"
Smirking, Natsu answered. "Yeah, Gramps and I talked about this yesterday. Usually he gives them out, but I asked if I could give you yours today."
Excited, Zeref pulled up the sleeve covering his left shoulder, "Dark navy blue."
Selecting the colour, Natsu pressed the stamp to his brother's shoulder. The skin tingled, but it was not painful. It was a little hot as he felt the ink sink into the skin, but once Natsu pulled the rubber away, the feeling was gone.
And in place was his guild mark.
"Now you're going to have to get makeup to cover that if your shoulder is showing," Natsu continued, closing the box and putting it away, "but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have a guild mark even if your character doesn't.
"Just because your character isn't a part of the guild, doesn't mean you aren't." Natsu's dorky grin lit up his entire face, "You're part of our family now."
Looking around the room at the people he had admired for so long as a fan, and gotten to know through various interactions when his brother had invited him on set, Zeref couldn't help the feeling of elated relief that washed over him. After so long, he had a place where he belonged. Somewhere where nobody would judge him, somewhere he was accepted as a person aside from the villain roles he normally played.
He directed his gaze back to the person who'd made that happen for him.
Zeref smiled, "Thank you, brother."
As always, feedback is appreciated :)