Author's Note: For Jelulz based on the following tumblr prompt -
"Imagine Person A is a single parent to a curious child who loves asking A all sorts of questions. They always stop by the same restaurant for lunch, where they always find B being their waiter. A is clearly head over heels in love with B, but doesn't want to say anything about it or admit it (worried of rejection, doesn't want to burden them with the prospect of taking care of a child that isn't theirs, etc) until one day during their usual lunch time, A and their child are waiting for their food when their child suddenly asks A "Mommy/daddy, why do you keep looking at B and smiling like that? Do you like B?", leaving an embarrassed A trying to shush their child in the middle of the lunch rush crowd, with a blushing and amused B (who happened to hear their whole conversation) stopping by the table with their food.
(Bonus: When B tries to bring it up later, A claims the child is just very vocal and tries to cover it up while their child says to B "Mommy/daddy really, really likes you! I think they think about you all the time!")"
It has been slightly altered for my purposes.
Natsu poked the thin leg of the table containing a basket of decorative flowers and a crystal bowl of dinner mints with his toe again. The table wobbled and the water in the vase sloshed dangerously. He glanced up at the hostess who sent him a sharp-eyed glare. Natsu grinned and leaned innocently into his older sister's side. Erza's attentions were currently elsewhere, though. She was stuck in a work-related group chat and didn't – should've but didn't – notice the way Natsu was kicking the table.
The hostess gave him a warning look before leaving her post to seat the couple who'd come into the restaurant just before them. He sighed deeply and nudged the table leg again. Natsu hated days like this. He'd rather be at the park or at home playing video games or even school! Anywhere but stuck with stupid Erza in this stupid restaurant where he had to be nice and quiet and why couldn't they just... Natsu kicked the table leg again petulantly and the vase finally tipped over.
He only had time to gasp and prepare for his sister's wrath before a hand swooped in out of nowhere and caught the vase expertly.
"Whoa, there!" The waiter smiled at him. "That was close, huh?"
"Uh, yeah," Natsu breathed. He glanced up at Erza whose face had turned a familiar shade of red.
"Natsu, I swear to god –"
"It's fine! No harm done." The waiter righted the vase and smiled at Erza. Natsu watched as she fumbled her phone back into her bag. Her clumsy movements irritated him even more. Did no one care about lunch?
"I'm really sorry," she started.
"There's no need to apologize." He cut her off smoothly and reached for a menu and a packet of crayons that he handed to Natsu with a wink. "Sorry about the wait. We're a little short handed today. I'll get you guys a table." The waiter Natsu had previously logged in his head as Blue Haired Tattoo Guy began to weave through the tables.
Erza continued to stare stupidly after him still clutching at the strap of her bag. Natsu grabbed her hand forcefully and tugged.
"Come on, mom! God, I'm starving!" Finally she snapped out of it and followed after the waiter.
"I'm not your mother," she hissed.
"Fine. Erza. Whatever. Can we just get some food?"
The waiter seated them at a table near the windows, which Natsu appreciated. Being surrounded on all sides by people even more boring than Erza made him twitchy. Immediately Natsu began to draw dark red circles all over his menu with the crayons. He didn't need to look at what was on it to know what he wanted to eat.
"You're going to break that crayon," Erza chastised as she hooked the strap of her bag over the back of her chair.
"Maybe I like broken crayons, mom," he retorted with a smirk.
"Obviously. You have a tin of them at home."
"What can I get you to drink?" The waiter interjected smoothly.
"I'll have a cup with all the sodas," Natsu said before Erza could speak.
"Just tea please," Erza replied softly smiling at the waiter. He smiled back at her in the same idiotic way she smiled at him. Natsu shook his head in disgust.
"You look dumb when you do that," he said once the waiter had gone to fetch their drinks.
"Your face gets all red and you smile like Lucy's puppy does when you dangle your sandwich in it's face."
Erza stared at Natsu with her mouth slightly agape. "First of all, my face does not get red. Secondly, you're not supposed to be feeding sandwiches to Lucy's dog!"
Natsu shrugged. "Lucy feeds it all kinds of stuff. Maybe if you made better sandwiches I wouldn't have to do that."
"I make sandwiches just fine," Erza bit out, leaning across the table. "You said the dog loves them."
"He's a dog," Natsu said flatly.
Erza's fist tightened around her napkin and just as she opened her mouth to reply Blue Haired Tattoo Guy brought their drinks. Natsu figured he should learn the waiter's name since Erza dragged him here so often but his nametag had a lot of L's and he still had a hard time sounding out words on the fly.
"I have to pee," he announced. As if it were the most normal thing in the world Natsu hopped form his chair and started to walk away.
"Wait!" Erza called after him. "Do want me to come with you? It's pretty crowded in here."
"Mom!" The word tumbled out of his mouth with the force of a bad habit. "I think I can handle it myself! I'm plenty old enough!" He turned from her and left the table behind.
Erza sighed and peeked up at the waiter. Natsu's social graces were still a work in progress.
"I'm sorry. He doesn't have a great filter some- well, all of the time."
He laughed and waved off her concerns. "I've got nieces and nephews so I'm not a stranger to loud-mouthed kids. He looks about seven, is that right?"
"Yeah, he's seven. Sometimes he brings out my childish side and I find myself trading infantile insults with him." Erza's face began to feel warm. There was no denying Natsu's accusations.
"It happens to the best of us. Parenting can be tricky, I hear."
"Oh, no," Erza said quickly. "He's not my son. He's my brother."
"Ah," the waiter's face lit up a bit and Erza couldn't stop her heart from skipping a beat.
"He only calls me that because I look like our mother a little bit and I've had him for so long... I think he just forgets sometimes." She felt her smile slip into something a little sadder. "I only correct him when he gets on my nerves."
"My niece calls me Jelly all the time. I don't have the heart to say anything to her because she's only just learned to talk."
Erza stifled a laugh. "That's kind of cute, though, and not too far from your actual name." She pointed at his nametag.
"It would be cuter if she wouldn't laugh at me every time she says it."
"Well, that's kids for you."
Natsu returned to the table and flopped into his seat dramatically. "Even the bathrooms are crowded!"
The waiter smiled again and collected Erza's menu. "I'll get your lunch right out."
When he finally left their table, Natsu grinned wickedly at Erza.
"Your face is red again."
"Did you wash your hands?" She asked completely ignoring his statement.
"'Course I did!"
Erza nodded absently and her eyes roamed the dining area. Natsu quietly munched on a packet of crackers he snagged from a basket at the wait station near the bathrooms. He watched his sister watching the crowd and sighed.
"Why do you do that?" Natsu asked loudly.
"Hm? Do what?"
"Why do you always stare at that waiter with the blue hair and tattoo? Do you like him?"
To Natsu's delight the waiter appeared with not only their food but he smiled at Erza in a way that made her face turn even redder than before.
"I'm so sorry!" Erza exclaimed.
"Why're you sorry?" Natsu mumbled dragging his french fries through a cup of ketchup. "It's true."
"You don't have to apologize," the waiter said grinning and leaving them to their lunch.
Erza didn't speak to Natsu for the remainder of their meal, which was just fine with him. In any other situation she'd have been angry and let him have it so naturally Natsu assumed he'd been right. His sister liked Blue Haired Tattoo Guy the gross way Lucy said grown ups liked each other.
Lucy was so pretty and nice and clean. Her mom always had cookies and was very nice to him even though he'd spilled juice on Lucy's dress once – on accident! She'd cried and Natsu felt so guilty he didn't know what else to do but cry too. But that was ages ago and he was much better with his juice boxes now. Certainly better than that jerk Loke who was always hanging around the playground trying to make friends with her puppy. He wasn't jealous though.
Erza paid for their lunch at the counter and as Natsu followed her out of the restaurant he remembered he'd left his scarf at the table.
"Hey!" she called after him as he bolted back inside.
"My scarf," he shouted back at her. Erza nodded and pulled her phone from her bag again. When he returned to the empty table he saw the waiter plucking the scarf off the back of his chair.
"You found it!"
"You're lucky I saw it here," the waiter said with a smile as he handed over the scarf. "On a day like today it could be lost pretty easily."
"Yeah, I guess. Thanks!" Natsu turned to leave but stopped quickly. "Hey, can I ask you a grown up question?"
"Do you like my sister?"
The waiter's eyes went wide, his cheeks turned pink, and he stuffed his hands into his pockets. "Well, I don't really know her very well –"
"But if you did know her would you like her?"
"Well," the waiter stumbled over his words.
"Also, are you nice? Because my sister should have a nice boyfriend."
"I guess? I tend to think boyfriends who tell everyone they're nice probably aren't." Natsu's fingers toyed with the tassels on his scarf. He remembered Erza reminding him shouting at others that he was being polite was not, in fact, polite. At least this waiter wouldn't need to be trained like Lucy's naughty little puppy who chewed shoes.
"Here," Natsu reached into his pocket and fished out a small card. "I'm not supposed to give 'em to strangers. Only to police if I ever get lost, but you seem okay."
He quirked an eyebrow and glanced it over. "Is this a business card?"
"No," Natsu sighed. "It's an Erza Card. I'm no good at remembering numbers and stuff. So if I wander off she got me these cards to help the police... or sometimes the firemen call her."
"Do you get lost a lot?"
Natsu shrugged. "This isn't really about me, okay? You're defecting."
"You mean deflecting?" The waiter crouched down to his level. "Are you sure it's okay for me to have this?"
"She likes you. That's why we come here all the time probably."
"Well it's not for the fries, that's for sure. They're too big with too much potato."
The waiter laughed and slipped the card into his shirt pocket. "I'll pass that along to the chef."
"Okay but I think you should call my sister. It'll turn her face red and it's funny when she does it."
"I'll think about it, okay?"
"I guess that's good enough," Natsu wrapped his scarf around his neck. "How do you say your name anyway?"
The waiter grinned and stood. "It's Jellal."
"I'm Natsu." He held out his hand to shake the waiters and Jellal took it.
The waiter didn't call that evening but the next afternoon. Erza's face turned the funniest shade of red Natsu ever seen and he laughed until she nailed him in the face with a couch pillow.