A/N: Hey guys! I'm seriously not even going to make any excuses. I've been slacking off. Granted, I was working my ass off this summer and moved into my dorms on Thursday, but I wish I would've gotten this chapter to you sooner. I would've uploaded this chapter yesterday, but I had troubles getting my campus's wifi password, so that kinda made things impossible.
Anyways, I really hope you guys enjoy this week's chapter. I love you all for being so patient and supportive during this hiatus. I love writing dearly, but my education is #1 for me right now. And an overwhelming amount of never standing and support from you all is the only reason why I didn't abandon this fic when things got hard. I apologize for not getting back to any of my private messages, but I PROMISE that I read every single word of support that you all sent me. If you have any questions that are still left unanswered by this author's note/chapter, feel free to PM and I will try my best to get back with you within 24 hours.
I'm going to try to return to my old schedule of updating, which made the 1st and the 15th of every month my chapter release days. Thank you again, my Darlings (I'm calling you that now, BTW). You mean the world to me. I hope you enjoy this chapter.
Natsu had made many mistakes in his lifetime. Usually these mistakes were things that he could easily laugh off and fix with a sheepish smile. Examples include:
-Setting things on fire
-Eating someone else's share of food
-Making poorly timed jokes
-Generally being a dumbfuck
This, however, was not one of said mistakes. This mistake was monumental. Disastrous. Catastrophic. Because he'd officially made a mess of Lucy Heartfilia (A.K.A. Goddess. A.K.A. The crush that he'd thought he never stood a chance with until an hour ago) on school property. And he didn't even bother to lock. The. Fucking. Door.
And now his roommate, who has the sexual experience of a rock, is gaping at them from the doorway. Natsu can't even sputter a "It's not what it looks like!" because it's exactly what it looks like. Natsu's pants were undone, Lucy's panties were still dangling from her ankle, and they were both flushed and panting enough to leave no doubt what they'd been up to mere moments ago. Despite the fact that it was a horrible time, Natsu's eyes drifted back to Lucy. She was completely disheveled, her chest heaving and her skirt riding up high on her thighs. Even her hair was a mess, which made something in Natsu's stomach twist and knot into heated coils of need. And her smell. Instinctively, he moved to shield Lucy's body from Gray's disbelieving eyes.
"You ever heard of knocking a fucking door," Natsu growls, breaking the tense silence. Gray gapes at him.
"Are you serious? Why would I need to knock a classroom door, you fuckwit?"
"Everyone knows that people close doors for a reason-"
"Everyone also knows that you're not supposed to have sex in classrooms-"
"Just because you'll die a virgin doesn't mean-"
The room fell silent. Natsu looked down to see Lucy darting a glare between the two of them. She looked half-mortified and half-annoyed, which he supposed wasn't the worst thing given the circumstances. Lucy tucked a lock of golden hair behind her ear before speaking, which wasn't exactly doing wonders for Natsu's focus. He really just wanted to run his own fingers through it…
"Natsu, focus," Lucy murmured, pink dusting her cheeks. Natsu nodded and cleared his throat, casting his eyes downward.
"How about all three of us put our clothes back on, calmly leave the classroom, and pretend that this super embarrassing thing never happened?" Lucy suggested, voice reasonable.
"Put our clothes back on," Gray groused. "You guys are the only ones who-"
Gray cursed when he looked down to see his shirt and blazer in a puddle of fabric at his feet. Natsu gave Lucy some space and shielded her from sight while she shimmied her underwear back on. He adjusted his pants and looked over his shoulder to see Lucy combing fingers through her mussed hair. She flushed when he caught her eye, and Natsu quickly glanced away.
"Natsu," Lucy murmured, hesitant hands touching his arm. Natsu's heart clenched.
"Your tie. I messed it up."
"Oh," he muttered. "I suck at tying them anyways."
"Here, let me."
Lucy gently pushed at his shoulders until he was facing her, undoing his tie and popping the collar of his shirt before attempting to redo the Windsor knot. Natsu had to repress the urge to shiver when her fingertips grazed the back of his neck. He was still unbelievably turned on, and it was a struggle to keep his arousal from leaking through the Bond. He could only see the top of Lucy's head when he looked down at her, which made things minutely easier.
"Where'd you learn to do this," Natsu asked, trying to distract himself with conversation.
"I used to watch my mom fix my father's tie before he went to work every morning. And when she got so sick she couldn't get out of bed, she taught me how to do it," Lucy murmured. "I guess she wanted me to take her place after she was gone."
"Never got the chance," she sighed, finishing the knot and flipping Natsu's collar back down. "My father was already out of the door before I'd even wake up. He really threw himself into his work after she died."
"Sorry," Natsu muttered, feeling guilty for prying.
"Don't be," Lucy said brightly. "That was the past. I'm not lonely anymore."
She slid her hands along Natsu's shoulders to smooth the wrinkles in his shirt, and the room heated up by several degrees. Their eyes met, and they quickly looked away.
"Jesus fuck," Gray interrupted. "Can we please just hit pause on the sexual tension and get out of here?"
Lucy squeaked and pulled away, and Natsu glared at Gray over her head.
"Why are you even here, blue balls," Natsu growled. Gray snarled back.
"I left my phone in here, you horny piece of shit."
"You guys," Lucy interjected. "Do you hear that?"
They paused and listened, hearing the echo of footsteps down the hall. Natsu cursed and ushered them into the corner of the room away from the door. Students weren't supposed to be at the school past four without a club activites pass. Which they definitely didn't have. While the three of them waited for the person outside to pass, The Fuckwad™ decided to strike up a conversation.
"So," Gray drawled. "Nothing screams comfort like hard wooden desks and a stapler digging into your lower back, huh, Lucy? Is Natsu always this romantic?"
"Shut the fuck up," Natsu hissed, ears burning. "It's none of your business."
"I'm just saying you guys could've picked a better place to finally give in to your passion-"
"There wasn't any passion," Natsu lied, voice vehement. "I was just feeding her, so stop."
There was a deadly calm in the classroom that stretched on for a few moments before Natsu realized his mistake. Slowly, he turned to Lucy and flinched that the rage that burned on her face.
"Just. Feeding. Me?" she hissed, pinning Natsu with an icy stare.
"Luce, I didn't-"
"No, it's fine," she growled, voice letting him know that it was totally not fine. "It's good to know that it didn't mean anything."
She stalked over to the door while Natsu sat there, dumbfounded. Because how could what happened not have meant anything? Especially when he could still taste her on his tongue and feel the phantom warmth of her on his fingers? Before Gray had interrupted, Lucy had Natsu almost completely under some sort of spell. Enthralled. Everything had finally been going right, but he managed to fuck it up with a few words.
"What the hell?"
For once, her words didn't seem to be directed at Natsu. He watched her frown and jiggle the door handle with increasing force to no avail. Natsu furrowed his brows and moved to help her, huffing when the door refused to budge.
"It's locked," Natsu groused, kicking the door. Lucy yanked on his arm.
"You can't break the door," she hissed. Natsu raised a brow.
"I'm sure I can."
"Don't break the door," Lucy groaned, swiping her palms over her face. "I meant don't break the door."
"I mean, I could also punch through the wall-"
"I can't believe I'm locked in a room with you two idiots," Gray groaned.
"I don't see you coming up with any bright ideas," Natsu bit out.
"One of you guys should just call someone," Gray suggested, looking ready to bash his head into the wall. "Duh."
"Lucy made me leave my phone at home," Natsu shrugged.
"He kept playing Pokemon Go in class," Lucy defended, pulling out her phone only to find a flashing symbol on her screen.
"My battery is dead," she muttered, scowling.
Gray sighed before getting up to dig his phone out of his desk before turning to Natsu and Lucy.
"I don't know who the fuck I'm gonna call. My dad's still at work, and no one would break into school and risk a detention just to bust our sorry asses outta here."
"No one?" Lucy drawled, tone devious. Natsu grinned when he caught her drift. Gray suddenly stiffened.
"No. Fucking. Way."
Surprisingly enough, this wasn't the first time Juvia had broken into a school. She'd get into the details, but her middle school years were something she didn't really care to look back on. Still, when Gray called needing her help, she didn't even think twice before reacting. Within twenty minutes she was crawling through a tiny window on the third floor (she'd had to climb a tree to get to it, but that was of no importance). She tiptoed down stairwells and through hallways before arriving at her destination.
"Gray-sama," Juvia hissed, pressing an ear to the door. "Gray-sama?"
"Juvia," a feminine voice whispered back from behind the door. "We're in here!"
"Love Rival?" Juvia hissed, alarmed, and began picking the lock more swiftly than she'd thought herself capable. "What are you doing alone with Juvia's Gray-sama?"
A million equally scandalous scenarios flashed in Juvia's mind. Maybe them being stuck in a classroom together has made them finally realize the raw, carnal attraction that'd been lying dormant until they-
"I guarantee that whatever it is you're thinking is way off base," Gray groaned. "Just get us outta here, Juvia."
"Yeah," another masculine voice added. "I've been here with them the whole time, so-"
"Natsu?" Juvia gasped, dropping her hands from the door. "Are you saying that all three of you-"
"No," they all groaned flatly.
"Then did Natsu-san watch-"
"If anything it was popsicle tits that was butting in," Natsu growled. Juvia's jaw dropped.
"So Natsu and Love Rival were-"
"Could we all have this discussion later?" Lucy asked, voice shrill and bordering on desperate. Juvia grumbled and went back to picking the door's lock.
"Juvia breaks into a school out of the goodness of her heart and all she gets is attitude," Juvia grumbled.
After a few more twists of her bobby pin and a jiggle of the handle, the classroom door swung open. Juvia was suddenly wrapped in a bear hug with spine-popping force, and she struggled to breathe around a mouthful of blonde hair. Juvia felt a bit overwhelmed between Lucy's chorus of "thank you"s and Natsu's hearty pats on the back. When they pulled away, Juvia looked over Lucy's shoulder to see Gray standing behind, looking a bit out of place with his hands in his pockets and his eyes shifting restlessly between the lockers and the floor tiles. As Natsu and Lucy pulled away, Gray looked up to meet Juvia's eyes, and the room did that topsy-turvy thing that turned her mind to mush.
"Well," Lucy huffed. "I think I'm ready to go home, curl up on my couch, and rewatch that Quicksilver scene from X-Men Apocalypse on youtube."
"Ooooh," Natsu grinned, wrapping an arm around Lucy's shoulder. "That sounds awesome."
Lucy scowled and ducked under Natsu's arm before storming down the hallway, prompting Natsu to chase after her.
"Come on, Luce!"
Juvia's brows furrowed at the exchange, and she gave Gray a questioning look.
"Don't even ask," Gray sighed, swiping a hand down his face. "I barely even understand what's going on with them half the time."
"Juvia thinks that they should get a room," she grumbled.
"Ha," Gray laughed humorlessly. "They already tried."
Juvia gaped at him.
"You mean they-"
"Yup. Well, almost. I accidentally walked in on them when I was trying to get my phone."
Juvia was trying to formulate some sort of responses to the pure outlandish situation when the rattle of cleaning supplies and the squeak of a rusty wheel alerted them to someone coming around the corner. Gray cursed and grabbed Juvia's hand, sprinting in the opposite direction and dragging her along. Juvia's face heated up by about a million degrees at his touch, and she vaguely wondered how these very hands could chill people to the bone.
Gray pulled her into one of the empty restrooms, and they crouched by the entrance as they waited for the janitor to pass. Gray listened for noises outside while Juvia tried to calm her rapidly beating heart. All she could focus on was the shape of his fingers and how nice his skin felt and-
"You're so warm," Juvia stammered. Gray gave her a weird look.
"Gray-sama's hands," Juvia corrected, stomach twisting into knots. "Juvia was just surprised that they were so warm."
"Oh," Gray muttered, frowning down at where their hands were entwined. "Cuz I use ice magic, right? Using ice magic doesn't make my skin cold. Just like you being a siren doesn't make you dangerous and seductive."
"Juvia understands," Juvia murmured contemplatively, wondering if Gray not thinking she was very siren-like meant that he didn't find her attractive.
"I think my cold parts are hidden deeper down," Gray smirked, tone sardonic. "You can't really tell by just touching."
And Juvia never really knew what made her so bold in that instant, but she squeezed his hand tighter and whispered, "Maybe Juvia's dangerous and seductive parts are hidden deeper down, too."
Gray kept a straight face and turned away, but Juvia saw the crimson that dusted the tips of his ears and cheekbones. The sight made something warm and molten churn in Juvia's chest. When the noise outside ceased, Gray stood up and pulled Juvia with him. She beamed when she realized that he was making no effort to let go of her hand.
Juvia held Gray's hand tightly in her own as she lead him down the hall, a bounce in her step as they went. Maybe it was Juvia's nearly effervescent happiness that distracted her from her typical caution. Maybe she was just so jubilant that she couldn't hold it inside in that moment. Or maybe it'd been building up for a long time and she could no longer contain it. Whatever the reason, Juvia did something she never would've allowed herself to do:
Well, that's not entirely accurate. Juvia didn't sing, so much as hum under her breath. It was just some catchy tune from the radio, but snippets of the song had been playing in her head on repeat before finally leaking out. Juvia was so immersed in her contentment that she didn't even notice Gray's footsteps slow beside her until he pulled her to a stop.
Juvia frowned and turned back to see Gray staring intently at her.
Juvia could barely process the flurry of movement before Gray's fingers wove through her hair and his lips set a tantalizing rhythm against her own. And then all she could think about was soft and wet and teeth and warm. Gray Fullbuster was kissing her. Gray Fullbuster was kissing her. Gray Fullbuster was kissing her. What kind of Twilight Zone shit was this?
His pace was slow and maddening, sending butterflies fluttering in her stomach. His fingers trailed down her back as he mumbled her name into her mouth, and goosebumps erupted across Juvia's skin. It wasn't until Juvia literally went weak in the knees that Gray broke the kiss to hold her up. She leaned her head against his shoulder and gasped, trying to make the room stop spinning. It wasn't working.
"What," Juvia breathed. "Just happened?"
She didn't get a response. Except another soul-searing kiss and the maddening sensation of Gray's breath against her skin, that is.
Juvia cradled Gray's face in her hands and stopped him from darting down to kiss her neck, narrowing her eyes as she observed his face. Her stomach dropped when she saw the faint glow of his irises as he tried to lean in for another kiss. She pushed him back.
"Gray-sama," Juvia sighed, tone mournful. "Juvia is so sorry. She didn't even realize-"
Juvia put a hand over Gray's mouth, blocking another attempted kiss. Gray groaned in frustration.
"Juvia, let me kiss you," he demanded, words muffled. Juvia shook her head.
"Gray-sama is under a thrall right now," Juvia explained. "It'll wear off soon, Juvia promises."
"I don't care," Gray complained, wrapping his arms around her waist only for Juvia to swat them away. "Juvia."
"If Gray-sama wants to kiss Juvia when his free will is back, he is welcome. But right now, we have to go."
Juvia took Gray's hand and tried to pull him down the hall, only for him to yank her back when he refused to budge.
"Just one," he bargained. "One more and kiss and I'll leave you alone, I promise."
It was almost laughable how unlike himself Gray was acting under her thrall. Juvia sighed.
"Just one. And only if Gray-sama closes his eyes."
Gray nodded eagerly and closed his eyes as Juvia leaned in. He went to press his lips against hers, only for Juvia to dart to the side and kiss his cheek at the last moment. He groaned, but let Juvia drag him down the hall anyways.
"That doesn't even count." he groused.
"Juvia isn't taking advantage of Gray-sama in his current state. She apologizes for using such underhanded tactics."
"Fine," Gray pouted. "I'll just kiss you later, then."
"Sure," Juvia sighed, sad eyes scanning the area for signs of anyone else as they turned a corner. "If Gray-sama still wants to."
"How could I not?" Gray asked incredulously as she pulled him along. "You're beautiful."
"Now Juvia knows that Gray-sama is definitely under a spell," she muttered, cheeks flushing carmine.
"No, really," Gray insisted. "You are. Those pretty eyes and all that soft skin and shiny hair- it drives me crazy. And your body-"
Juvia slapped a hand over his mouth before his words could turn her into a puddle on the floor. Gray tried to shake her off.
"Gray-sama should stop before he says anything he'll regret."
"I just wanna touch you," he whined, reaching out to touch a ringlet of cerulean hair.
"No, you don't," Juvia sighed, turning away.
"Of course I do," Gray rebutted, confused. "I love you."
Juvia froze, limbs turning rigid. Gray misread her response.
"Really, Juvia, I-"
"Don't," she said, voice unusually fragile. "Don't say that."
"Why not?" Gray asked, invading her space yet again. Juvia never thought it'd hurt so much to have him this close.
"Because you don't mean it."
Juvia hurried down the hall, wiping tears from her eyes. Bewitched in more ways than one, Gray trailed after her.
Waking up the next day was hell. It felt like Gray had the worst hangover of his young life, and that was saying a lot considering the insane drinking binge Cana had pressured him into during his sophomore year. Waking up to the persistent chirping of his alarm (which he was pretty much sure was crafted by Satan himself) was absolute hell. Gray groaned and tried slamming his pillow into his side table only for his phone to fall on the floor and rattle the creaky floorboards as the mercilessly cheerful marimba melody continued to blare at top volume. Natsu bellowed from the next room.
"Turn off your goddamned alarm and wake the fuck up, Ice Dick! We have to leave in ten minutes!"
"You need to turn off your goddamned mouth!" Gray shouted back, reaching down to grab his phone. Natsu shouted something back, but Gray was too busy gaping at his lock screen to pay attention.
Juvia had messaged him twenty-seven times, the first one coming in at 4:39 AM. The earlier ones were politely concerned messages along the lines of:
"Sorry again about last night. Juvia is just wondering if Gray-sama is okay."
The later one are frantic texts riddled spelling errors and written exclusively in capital letters. For example:
"JUVIA WILL NEVRE SING AGAIN SHE PROMISES JUST TEXT HER BACK IF YOUR OK AND YOU DO NT HAT HER."
Last night? Gray wondered what Juvia was even going on about this time. He tried playing the night before back in his head only to find that his memories were foggy and muddled. When he thought harder about it, brief sensations would flicker in his synapses. Azure hair, the smell of chlorine and home baked cookies, the feeling of skin…
Tongue. Teeth. Breath. Lips. Gray jolted up in bed because holyfuckingshit, he kissed Juvia. Gray pressed his face into his pillow as if attempting to smother himself and yelled muffled obscenities loud enough for the neighbors to hear.
"What's your deal?" Natsu hissed, struggling with his tie as he walked into Gray's room. "Even I'm not this loud in the morning."
"I think I kissed Juvia," Gray muttered, running his hands through his hair.
"HA," Natsu cackled. "You prolly did. You were practically try'na rub yourself all over her when she brought you home last night."
Gray pressed his face back into his pillow and groaned. This was the final straw in Gray's short, humiliating life. The only option left was death.
"I guess I have to kill myself now," Gray sighed dramatically, his face still planted so deep in the pillow that the only way he could press even further into it would be to fuse his very skin cells into its cotton thread count.
"Stop being such a pussy," Natsu needled. "You've been wanting to get all up in that since she beat the shit out of Meredy and got suspended for you."
"I'm serious!" Gray hissed, throwing his pillow at Natsu's face and getting out of bed. "I'm not into her like that. She literally had me hypnotized. My head still hurts from all of her siren mojo."
"She explained it all to me last night and said it was an accident," Natsu retorted unsympathetically. "Get over it. You're being a whiny lil' bitch. I should be the one whining about how you totally cockblocked me-"
"You cockblocked yourself," Gray griped. "And you're not the one who made a total ass of himself trying to get with a girl you're not even interested in."
"Come on," Natsu heckled. "You're definitely interested."
"You seemed pretty damned interested when you thought she was gonna date your cousin-"
"You're just as bad as Lucy," Gray griped, stomping over to his closet and yanking his uniform on. "Can we seriously not obsess over who's into who like a bunch of fucking girls?"
"Fine," Natsu huffed, flopping on Gray's bed and (poorly) re-tying his sneakers. "I just thought Lucy might forgive me if I get you and Juvia to bone."
"Is she that mad?" Gray smirked, already knowing the answer.
"God, yes. She wouldn't even let me kiss her goodnight."
"And that's a big deal because…?"
"Kissing her goodnight is the best part!" Natsu whined, punching a pillow.
"It didn't sound like you were this into her yesterday," Gray baited, throwing on his jacket and grabbing his bag. Natsu gave an aggravated groan of disgust that sounded like something a wounded, self-loathing animal would make.
"I fucked up. But she should know I didn't mean it like that! Seriously, I would lick every single part of Lucy's body if she'd let me."
"Gross," Gray growled, punching Natsu's arm. "Way too much information."
"It's true," Natsu insisted, punching Gray back and shoving him towards the front door. "Lucy Heartfilia is a total fucking babe, and I could probably pop a boner just looking at her elbows if I had the right visual."
"Too. Much. Information."
"It's just," Natsu went on obliviously, trailing after Gray as he went out the door. "She's hella smart, and I don't want her to figure out that I'm totally in love with her before I get the chance to tell her. I was just try'na… I don't know. Throw her off the scent a little?"
"You're an idiot."
"Yeah, I'm an idiot."
They walked like that for a bit. It had rained the night before, and Natsu kept jumping in the puddles and splashing water all over Gray's pants. After the fourth puddle, Gray was forced to wrestle Natsu to the ground. Needless to say, they got into a good natured fistfight. (It totally wasn't good natured.) So it didn't come as a surprise when they walked into class twenty minutes late and dripping with muddy rainwater.
"Seats," Wakaba commanded flatly.
"Yes, sir," Gray and Natsu replied in unison.
Gray looked as Natsu went to sit in his normal spot only to find that Lucy had Cana sitting beside her. Gray winced, feeling sympathy pain at the heated glare that Lucy gave Natsu. After a few moments, Gray ushered Natsu over to sit by him. Class resumed, and Gray gave a low whistle as Natsu slumped in his seat.
"Damn," Gray whispered. "She's pissed."
"I have eyes," Natsu hissed back. "It wasn't exactly hard to figure out."
"At least it's Friday," Gray said, attempting optimism. "She'll have the whole weekend to cool off."
"No," Natsu groaned. "She won't. That talent show is tomorrow. We all have to be there."
"I know," Natsu moaned not noticing Gray grimace at accidentally speaking out loud. "This all sucks."
"Just tell her you love her and make up. Easy."
"I can't just say it outta nowhere. There has to be a mood."
"You're an idiot."
"Stop fucking saying that," Natsu hissed, elbowing Gray's side.
"Then stop being a fucking idiot," Gray yelled back. The entire class stopped what they were doing to stare at his outburst. Wakaba sighed and slid a tired palm down his face.
"Fullbuster. Dragneel. Out."
I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter! Please follow and favorite, as always. But you know that it's really the reviews that make my world spin round. Make sure to follow me on Tumblr (storybookandfairytails, same as here). My email is the same gmail if you ever wanna hmu. I'd obsess a little more over my author's notes, but I'm really wanting to explore my campus before the magic show I'm going to tonight. (Yes, I'm going to a magic show.) Feel free to get in touch with me any time!