A/N: Hurray Graylu week! Even though I totally forgot what day it was so it's technically Sept. 2 where I am. Graylu Week is Sept 1-7. Prompts can be found on Tumblr at fyeahgrayluweek. This is just a shorty to kick things off.
Day 1: Whispers
"Hey, you awake?" Lucy whispered.
"Mmmm?" The boy currently sharing her tent replied sleepily. "'Smatter, Luce?"
"I'm just thinking about tomorrow," she said. "What's going to happen when we get back to the guild?"
Gray rolled over to face her. He propped his head up on his elbow.
"Dunno. Everybody will probably freak out a little, but they'll get over it. Mira will take the longest to accept it, but by the time those two idiots show back up, she'll just be happy to see them."
Lucy nodded absently and stared up at the tent ceiling. Gray reached over and ran a finger down her cheek to regain her attention.
"You okay with everything?" He asked.
Lucy nodded, but her throat constricted a bit. She knew it was stupid. He'd never given her any reason to think that he saw her as anything but a friend. Lucy just couldn't believe that she'd let the whispers of their guild mates convince her that maybe he did feel something more. A tear slid down her cheek. She knew Gray couldn't see it in the pitch dark of the tent, but she didn't expect him to trail a finger tip lightly down to follow the path of the tear. Before she could make any sort of excuse, he'd scooted over on his bedroll to wrap her in a hug. Lucy instantly curled into the offered comfort.
He murmured nothings into her hair as he held her. Lucy tried to clutch at his shirt, but then she realized he wasn't wearing one. Of course, he wasn't wearing a shirt. Lucy sniffle/laughed at the thought. She pulled back and looked up at the darkness where she thought his face was.
"Thanks, Gray," she said. "I really am okay. I'm not sure why I'm crying. I never expected anything from him."
"You're allowed to be disappointed, though," Gray whispered.
"That's the thing," she said. "I'm not disappointed. Not really. I mean, sure it would have been nice if he felt the same, but… I never really thought that he would, you know?"
"But you still care about him." Gray's voice was so soft now that Lucy almost didn't hear him.
"I mean, he'll always be my best friend," Lucy said. She snuggled closer to Gray. "Thank you for being here, Gray. I know it probably sucks to be sharing a tent considering we have an extra, but I just… I didn't want to be alone tonight."
Gray made a noncommittal noise and hugged her tighter. He listened to her breathing evening out as she fell asleep in his arms.
"I'll never leave you alone unless you want me to," Gray whispered as he laid a kiss on her hair. Despite his best efforts to keep it at bay, a little worm of hope was working its way through his heart as he held the sleeping blonde. He wasn't looking forward to telling the guild that Natsu and Erza had eloped while on their mission, but maybe some good could come of this. Maybe with Natsu out of the picture, he actually had a chance.
"I love you, Lucy," he whispered.
It was only a year later when he got down on one knee in front of her clutching a velvet box that she told him she hadn't been asleep that night at all.