"Hey Z!" Wakaba exclaimed. Zeref started, he was still getting used to the nickname the guild members had given him, thinking it unwise to declare to the world they were working with the infamous Black Mage Zeref.
"What is it?"
"Cana's looking for you." Zeref furrowed his eyebrows, doing a quick mental check of reasons she could be looking for him. He didn't recall ever killing someone she cared about, but he didn't recall lots of things, so it wasn't out of the question.
"Whoa, that's a scary face," he said. "Relax man, she probably looking to have a drinking contest." Zeref blanched. Wakaba laughed. "Looks like someone's already got an idea of how Cana drinks." Zeref laughed nervously, then turned around, meaning to sneak out of the guild before she saw him.
"HOLD IT!" Zeref froze, that was Cana's voice. "You are not leaving this guild hall until you submit to a drinking contest!" A few heads turned in interest, wondering if their newest recruit could hold his own in a drinking contest against the guilds heaviest drinker. Oh crap, he thought.
"Um, I'm not really much of a drinker," he said as a couple of guild members seized him by the arms and pulled him toward the bar. Mavis was grinning mischievously next to Cana. You traitor, he thought.
"No way! I want to see what kind of alcohol tolerance someone can acquire over four centuries!" Mavis could barely contain her laughter next to Cana. Zeref narrowed his eyes at her, no doubt she had been the one to suggest this.
"I didn't really spend that much time drinking, you know-"
"No he spent most of his time crying alone in the woods," Mavis teased.
"It's not like that was a secret," Natsu pointed out, "you were crying the first time I met you too."
"Oh yeah I remember that, you took one look at Natsu and started bawling like a child," Evergreen said.
"All you people are mean to me," Zeref grumbled.
"So anyway, you're going to sit here next to me and drink until one of us hits the ground."
"I'm actually a light-"
Mirajane set a tankard down in front of both of them and Cana swiped hers up and downed it nearly in one gulp. Zeref eyed his warily, thinking that this was going to be embarrassing. He didn't even like to think about the last time he'd gotten drunk.
"Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, Loser pays!" Cana said.
"What?" Zeref cried, looking at Cana's four empty tankards. "This is hopeless!"
"Start drinking Zeref!" Natsu cried, "you're not just going to lay down and take defeat are you?"
"Drink! Drink! Drink!" The guild chanted. Zeref looked around at the smiling faces and thought it'd be a shame to let them down.
"I'm going to regret this," he said, then downed his first tankard.
X x x
"Oh wow," Lucy said, prodding the unconscious Zeref with her toe.
"Who woulda thought?" Natsu laughed.
"Pathetic," Gray commented.
"I can't believe this guy spent four hundred years on this earth and still gets blackout drunk from two tankards of beer," Cana said.
Mavis, who had been watching the entire spectacle with barely concealed delight finally burst, throwing her head back and laughing heartily. All eyes turned to her, bewildered, as she clutched at her sides, clearly knowing something the rest didn't.
"What's so funny, first?" Natsu asked.
"You guys are so silly," she laughed. "When I first suggested this to Cana I didn't think it would work, but I'm so glad it did!"
"You mean you knew he was a light weight?" Gray asked.
"Of course I did," Mavis chuckled, "I just wanted to embarrass him!"
"I still don't understand how he can be such a light weight after four hundred years," Cana said, looking down at him, muttering in his sleep.
"Zeref is a scholar," Mavis said, as if that explained it all.
"So is Freed, and he doesn't pass out after two glasses of beer."
"Yes well," Mavis continued, "Zeref moved into his school when he was just a child, after Natsu and his parents were killed. He spent his entire life studying to revive Natsu, so he never spent any time drinking. It makes for good pranking. I remember once when he was teaching me magic he had, like, one swig of whiskey and started acting like an idiot. Too bad he passed out, I was hoping to get some pictures of him sobbing all over people. He's a sad drunk."
Natsu cackled. "Nice one, first, I like the way you think!"
"That's just sad," Elfman said.
"I think it's cute!" Mira said brightly, wiping down a beer mug.
"You think everything is cute!" Natsu pointed out.
"Mavis stop being mean to me," Zeref mumbled.
"...Okay, so that is sort of cute," Lucy said.
"I promise I won't stay out past bedtime again Invel…" Mavis snorted.