A/N: Apologies for the lateness, everyone! I have just come back from vacation abroad and didn't even know there was a Love-Fest going on until I logged in and saw the posts!
So, here is my first submission into the Jerza-Love Fest - whipped up in a bit of a rush. I am working on participating on another day, at least (maybe two, but no promises), though it may come late, so bear with me...
That said, I hope you all enjoy!
"Let's make another baby."
That might sound like a normal enough suggestion from one half of a stable couple to another, being that they were married for several years and had an elementary-school-aged child. It was to be expected even. So why, one might ask, did they nearly give Jellal Fernandes a massive coronary?
Well, one might blame it on the dress code.
"You're naked," he pointed out.
"Yes," Erza confirmed. She was naked – as in not wearing a single stitch on her body. Not only that, but she was spread on their marital bed like a buffet ready to be ravaged – she thought herself quite inviting, really.
"Okay… why are you naked?" He was used to randomness coming from Erza – she thrived on being unpredictable, really. But nakedness… her nakedness… it never failed to hit him like a train.
"Because making a baby does not require one to be wearing clothing," she explained simply. "Honestly, Jellal. I know for a fact that you are aware of that."
"Taking into account that Sieg was not magically conceived…"
"Then you must know that you are far too overdressed at the moment. I suggest that you correct that fact – quickly."
"Sh-shouldn't we discuss this a little more first?" he tried to suggest. It was extremely hard to try and be coherent with all that exposed supple skin, all those perfect curves right there on sight.
"What is there to discuss? I believe that at some point in our courtship you told me that you wanted to have 'as many children as I wanted, whenever and however I wanted'. Well, at the moment I fancy myself a mother of at least two and I would like to start working towards that right now. Don't tell me you have changed your mind…"
"Of course I have not, but… it's just so sudden! Is…" he gulped as he saw her moving to sit at the edge of the bed and crossed her legs, looking at him expectantly and completely casual about her own (delicious) nakedness "… is this about this morning?"
She frowned and looked away. "I don't want to talk about that."
Ah, there it was. "Erza, don't be like that…"
"It was awful! Horrific – worse than anything I had ever experienced before!"
He sighed. "Now I know for sure that you're exaggerating."
She glared. "I am not! Our baby is all grown up, Jellal," she said gloomily. "Soon he will fly out of the nest and we'll be all alone! To die."
"Erza… Sieg is six years old. Just because he has started school today, I don't think he's going anywhere, residence-wise, for a while," he said in a gentle tone, taking a seat by her side (not at all because facing her in all her nakedness made being reasonable extra hard….).
He could tell that she was legitimately bothered but that in her typical Erza way, she was blowing it way out of proportion. He had noticed some of her anxiety that morning when they had dropped off their son at school and she had hugged Sieg extra hard (hard enough that it would make a normal person uncomfortable, but not their boy, who was used to his mother's overly-forceful hugs since the day he was born) while facing the school in a slightly haunted fashion. Now that he thought of it, she had seemed like a mother about to send her son to war… Mavis, he wasn't sure that the cake he had gone out to get her in an attempt to cheer her up just before was enough to fix that.
"Besides, today being his first day of school does not make him significantly older than he was yesterday, you know," he went on to say.
She sniffed, close to tears. "Feels like he was just learning to crawl last week… I feel like next thing I know I might blink and find him right in the middle of his S-Class trials."
Jellal chuckled. "He still needs to officially sign into the guild for that to happen. And to take his first job… and then a few dozen more jobs to prove he's up to it."
She looked down. "Do you remember how tiny he was when he was born? How he would always sleep with a little hand wrapped around some of my hair? I could hardly put him down on the first week because he would wail every time we made him let go…"
He smiled. "I remember," he said. "He still does it sometimes – reach for your hair like a comfort blanket. Only when he thinks no one is watching, though, and won't accuse him of not being a 'big boy'." Except that morning, when what Jellal imagined to be a little bit of separation anxiety had him grasping a strand of his mother's hair behind her back as she hugged him into oblivion.
"I know… but I miss those tiny hands," Erza said.
A sigh came out of his mouth. "You do realize that if we made a baby, that baby wouldn't be Sieg. Those wouldn't be his tiny hands and they might not even like holding onto your hair." Genetically speaking, though, his half of the genepool seemed to say otherwise, but one could never know…
"No… but they would be ours just like his were. And finding out what they do with them is just part of the excitement."
She was starting to sound like she was serious about the baby, Jellal had to admit – it felt less like a random whim of hers. "Erza, if this is just about you feeling a little… blue over Sieg going to school…"
"It is not! I… have been considering it for a while. It's been six years and, well, I am not getting any younger."
"You're not even thirty yet," he pointed out.
"Perhaps. But Mira's twins and Sieg's age and she already has two more…"
"Oh Mavis, please not the competition again…" Jellal had to groan.
She rolled her eyes. "Please… if we were competing about this, obviously we would have at least five by now," Erza pointed out in her typical 'everything Mira does, I can do better' attitude. "My point is that Sieg is becoming more independent. He is a sweet boy. We make good babies… so, there should be more of them in the world, don't you think?"
It was hard for Jellal to argue with that – at least in the sense that, as far as he was concerned, the world could never have too much of Erza Scarlet. "Well, I suppose we can afford another child…" or ten, really, what with their S-Class stipends. "And we do still have a spare room."
Her face lit up. "So you agree, then? With us having another child?"
He sighed. "Erza, I did mean it when I said I would have as many babies as you wanted… I just needed to make sure that you actually wanted it too."
She raised an eyebrow. "Honestly, Jellal, how very pointless of you. Why would I ask if I didn't mean it?"
He didn't respond to her question. "So, how do you want to go about… gah!" he yelped as, all in a matter of a single second, his wife got up from the bed, pushed him back on it and started pulling on his shoes like there was no tomorrow. "Erza!" He'd been feeling a little proud of himself up until then – really, he had, because up until a couple of seconds before, he had managed to sit there and forget that she was naked for two or three minutes, allowing himself to be a good husband comforting his upset wife. Now, however, it was impossible to ignore, what with the full-frontal sight of her nakedness sending all of his blood down south as it was vascular rush-hour…
"What are you so surprised for. There is no time like the present to getting things done," she argued back, managing to pull one shoe off, then another and finally starting to tug at his pants.
"But… you're on that contraceptive syrup," he recalled out loud as she successfully got one pant leg out and started pulling on the other. "Even if you stop taking it today, it's extremely unlikely that anything we do now will lead to a baby…"
"You never know," Erza pointed out, readily straddling him and starting to pull on the hem of his shirt. "I was also taking it back when Sieg was conceived." He said something in response, but it came out muffled by his shirt as she pulled it over his head. "Were you saying something?" she questioned while throwing the shirt across the room.
"I said that the syrup you were taking has come out of a faulty batch, so it doesn't count," her husband pointed out.
"It must have counted at least a little… plenty of girls in the guild were taking it, but nobody else got pregnant, remember?"
"Well… I suppose. Still, the odds…"
"Additionally, do not underestimate the sheer force of one's will," the redhead added before h could finish his sentence.
"Ah, so you will wish to get pregnant and it will just happen?" he questioned with a chuckle. "That makes me wonder about my role in all of this."
She ignored his comment. "And on the chance that nothing comes out of today's attempt, I suppose we could use the practice. After all, we never did try to make a baby before," Erza pointed out.
Jellal let out a light chuckle before reaching to place a kiss on the curve of her neck, where he knew her to be particularly sensitive on. "I would imagine that it's not all that different then what we usually do."
"Hmm… suppose we'll find out," she said, moaning a little at how wonderful his lips felt right there and then lower, with him intending to slowly make his way down her body to press his lips against every inch of it. "So, do hurry up and put a baby in me, Jellal Fernandes."
Her husband laughed. "I will try my hardest."
"I expect nothing less."
He knew her body like the back of his hand these days – every curve, every millimeter of skin where flawless and scarred met, exactly how, when and where to touch to make her lose her mind… She welcomed that knowledge with open arms and shaky breaths every time he did something particularly to her liking – he was her one and only and she wouldn't change it for the world.
There was familiarity to their lovemaking, but no routine – never routine. Every time there was something different – it might be tiny and not altogether new but overall novel and exciting. That time, if she had to name something, it was the playfulness.
It was not as if one would never find them laughing during their most intimate moments, but Jellal tended to lean more towards the gentle, caring side of things while she went for the edgier, more out-of-the box ones. It wasn't often that he took the initiative for sort of thing, but he certainly did that time, teasing her mercilessly as they messed around with foreplay and bantering lively while they tried to figure out together if there was something they should be doing differently when intentionally trying to get her pregnant and if the way they were doing it might somehow influence the outcome of any baby that came out of it ("I heard that if I am on top, it will be more likely for us to have a girl," she had pointed out, causing him to chuckle because he was fairly certain that there was no scientific basis behind that statement whatsoever, though he still let her give it a try since he was partial to the idea of having one of each).
When they joined, there was a special sort of sweetness to it. He must have sensed it too because she felt him smiling against her own lips as they moved together, so deeply connected that they might as well be one. It wasn't all that different from usual – the warmth, the closeness, the caresses and the oh-so-deliciously building pressure that left teetering at the edge of a cliff that would later gladly fall from –, it just felt somewhat extra special, likely due to the fact that were hoping to get something more out of it all, to create life, which was something special on itself and perfectly reasonable to be happy about.
Afterwards, they lay there lazily, damp, tingling skin abounding. While Erza rested on her back, half asleep, Jellal lay on his side, his eyes on her flat belly, watching himself rub circles into it with the tips of his fingers.
"Do you think it worked?" he asked sleepily, resting his hand flat against her stomach and searching for signs of life within. The odds were against them that day, he was aware, but he couldn't help hoping a little, now that he was fully into the idea.
"Hmm… maybe," she mumbled, her hand covering his before she stretched herself on the bed. "You certainly lived you to your promise of trying your hardest. We will not know for a few weeks, though, I imagine… But we would do well to keep trying until then."
"Of course. It is only reasonable," he said in agreement before wrapping one arm around her and pulling them closer together, prompting her to turn on her side to face him. "Have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy intentionally making babies with you?"
"Given that we have never done such a thing before, I would think not."
He pressed a kiss to the tip of her nose, which made her smile. "Well, let it be noted that it now ranks in my top ten of things I enjoy us doing together."
"Likewise… so, how would you like to have a nap and then go for a second attempt?"
"Hmm… we do still have a few hours to kill before we have to pick up Sieg… might as well make them useful."
Omake: the Markings
"Mama, did you fall down?"
Erza blinked as she looked down at her son, facing him in a puzzled manner. They were just making their way to the guild after a brief stop at the park after picking up the little boy after his first day of school.
The reunion between mother and son had not been quite as melodramatic as the farewell from that morning, though still a little sentimental: she had hugged him for at least a full minute – and to the boy's credit, he wasn't the slightest bit embarrassed by being hugged by his mother in front of his classmates, because as far as he was concerned, she had all but hung the moon – and all three of them had sat at the park for a while together, Erza and Jellal just listening as their son excitedly told them all about his day, from his teacher to having lunch with Mavis and Mac and letting the former have a little bit of his cake because she had fallen on recess and not shed a tear, which was something to be commended for. Now, it seemed, Mavis's scratched knee wasn't the only injury he would be concerned about that day.
"Why do you ask?" Jellal questioned on Erza's stead.
"There's a bruise on Mama's leg," Sieg stated, pointing at it, right on the edge of his mother's skirt.
There was a moment of pause, in which Erza and Jellal simply looked at one another, trying to hide their horror. It was a bruise, alright – just not the sort that their precious little boy thought it to be. In fact, after that afternoon's activities, during which they might or might not have gotten a tad more excited than usual, both of them sported quite a few of them in assorted places of their bodies cleverly hidden by clothing… or at least they had thought so, until that lone, sneaky one had been noticed.
"Ah… I m-must have bumped into something without noticing!" Erza quickly said.
Sieg raised an eyebrow. "Really?"
"Sure, it happens sometimes," Jellal supplied too.
"But didn't it hurt?"
"Not at all!" she said in a pitchy tone before producing some money out of nowhere and giving it to him. "Look! Ice-cream! Go have some."
The boy looked at the bill he had been given and his eyes widened. "This is a lot for ice-cream," he pointed out.
It only then that Jellal noticed that Erza had given their son a bill worth about twenty times as much as she probably intended. "It's okay – just bring back the change."
The boy hesitated for a second and then shrugged. "Alright," he said, and scampered off to the Ice-Cream stand.
Jellal cleared his throat as he and Erza stood alone. "Maybe you should…"
"…change into a longer skirt?" she said before he could finish.
He looked down and saw that she had already beaten him to it and was wearing a similarly-styled skirt, although just a tad longer, enough to cover the 'bruise' from their friends' eyes once they ultimately reached the guild. Mavis knew they would have a field day with that kind of thing…
Erza sighed. "Are we terrible parents, Jellal?"
"I… I'm sure he won't remember that once he's old enough to understand what it really was," Jellal pointed out. "In the meantime, let's just try to keep… obvious markings to a minimum. Now," he added, clearing his throat, "how about we join Sieg in getting some Ice-Cream? You did give him enough to buy about fifty of those."
"Only if I can get a double-scoop… You see, in case I am already eating for two," she pointed out.
Jellal chuckled. "As long as you eat your greens without a fight tonight for the same reasons…"
She pouted. "I did not miss that part of baby-making," she pointed out.
He smiled, lacing his arm with her as they walked towards the ice-cream stand. "Just remember – it's all worth it in the end."
She looked at their little boy standing at a distance, likely trying to decide between strawberries and cream and strawberry sorbet for flavors. His look of indecision was exactly the same as is dad's, which brought a smile to her face. "Yes, I suppose it is."
A/N: Hope you liked it! Leave your comments if you please!