Title: His Other Job
Fandom: Animanga – Fairy Tail
Summary: The newer members of Fairy Tail find out that Gray has another job. [Slight NatsuxGray]
Warning: Crack, Fairy Tail members
A/N: Based on one of the chapter covers featuring Gray.
Disclaimer: Me, own Fairy Tail? Trying to be funny, are you?
"Good morning, everyone~" Lucy greets everyone in the guild cheerfully.
Levy, noticing the excited mood the Stellar mage is in, greets her back. "You seem to be in a good mood today, Lu-chan."
"Yes, because we're finally going on a job today!" She said enthusiatically. "As the whole team!" As long as they are careful, the mission will be done spectacularly and the rewards will come back just as handsomely. She needs the money!
Erza, as quickly as ever, ruins her mood. "Oh, we have to wait. Gray's not here yet. In fact he won't be in until midday."
Gray, of all people, will hinder them from a job. This has never happen before, Lucy thought. "Where did he go, anyway?"
Natsu, who has his head on a table, answers her in a surprisingly solemn mood. "He's out on a job. He said he'll be back sometime today."
Lucy frowns at that. "He's on a job? How come he doesn't tell us about it?"
Mirajane pats the grumbling pink-haired head affectionately. "Because it's a small job rather than a big mission you guys are going, and only he can do it. Besides," she adds, "It's the kind of job he can finish within half a day, and the client is only in Magnolia for today. That's why he accepts it, before you start moaning he can do the job any other day."
Lucy does not know if Mira is directing the last sentence to her or Natsu. Most probably both of them.
"It's not fair. Why can't I follow him?" Natsu grumbles from his place at the table.
Happy looks up from his fish. "You can't, Natsu. Or else Gray will get really angry at you. Then he won't have a spar with you, then you get grumpy and ruin everyone's mood." Happy ignores the shocked face his best friend has. "It's true! You, of all people, should not come near Gray when he is doing that kind of job."
Natsu's grumble of 'But I'm his lover!' remains ignored by Happy.
Even until today, Lucy still finds it hard to accept that Natsu and Gray are currently dating each other, apparently since they came back from Galuna Island. And she only found out after the Nirvana mission, when she heard Loke told Virgo not to try to match up Lucy and Natsu ever again, because he doesn't show it, but I think Gray is a bit unhappy that Natsu doesn't seem to mind.
"What kind of job that Gray is doing that he won't allow anyone to come near?" She asks Cana, with Wendy and Juvia listening intently beside her.
Cana only smiles at them. "It's only Natsu he won't allow to come near. The rest of us are welcome to do so."
"Eh, we can?" Wendy perks at that. She never knows about a job where you can just watch without being involved. She only looks slightly apologetic at the staring Natsu, her curiousity getting the best of her.
"We can go now, if you want to," Erza says, noticing the looks of wonder on their newest female mages. "Once we get approval from Master. He's out checking Gray."
"Is... Gray-sama doing his job nearby?" The water mage does not seem to notice the glare Natsu is giving her. Then again, she does not know about their relationship to start with.
Her answer comes from the back door. "Gray is just at the back of the guild, you know. Coincidentally, the place the client is currently staying at is just behind our guild, so Gray decided to do it there," Makarov says, walking calmly towards them.
"How is it going, Master?" Mira asks.
The Fairy Tail Master nods in approval. "As what you can expect from him, his work is still as flawless as ever. If anything, I think he's getting better."
Freed frowns at that. "Getting better? Is that even possible?" He quickly amends his words when he sees the the fire dragonslayer glares at him. "What I mean is that he's already so good with what he's doing. And the last time I saw his work was two years ago. You can't get any better when it comes to that kind of stuff, right?"
"It depends, Freed," Makarov chides gently. "His work looks more... alive now."
Everyone looks more awe by then, causing more confusion than ever among the newer members.
"What exactly has that guy been doing?" Gajeel grumbles, not understanding anything that has been happening.
At that, Erza finishes her drink and stands up. "Well, Master has given his approval. It means that Gray is finishing up. Who wants to follow me to see him?" She turns to Natsu with a slight glare. "Except you, Natsu. We can't let you come near Gray now that he's completing his work."
"Aww, but Erza!"
Again, Mira pats his head sympathetically as she stands up. "That won't do, Natsu. You don't want to stop Gray from finishing his work, right?"
The first thing they see in front of them the moment they step out of the guild's back gate is a magnificent, phoenix ice sculpture as tall as Elfman. The phoenix seems to set its eyes in determination, with its wings spread wide, looking as if getting ready to take flight.
Lucy, Wendy and Juvia turns to Elfman for answer at the same time. "Sculpture?"
"Yup, ice sculpture." The big-sized mage confirms. "It's something that Gray does as a minor job. And according to him, it's a good practice when it comes to creating something and being as detailed as possible."
Gray, who seems to be focusing on one part of the phoenix's wings, turns around to see the guild member looking mesmerised at his creation. "Oh, you guys are here?"
Mira steps up, admiring the sculpture up close without invading Gray's work area. "Wow, it looks as magnificent as ever, Gray. Still finishing up?"
"Yup. I'm going to add a bit more details on its body, then have the client look at it before I do the last touch," Gray answers, absent-mindedly playing with a feather-shaped ice in his hands.
"Gray-san, this is amazing!" Wendy exclaimed, moving forward excitedly. "You did this all by yourself?"
"Thanks, Wendy," the ice mage grins. "Well, I'm the only one who can mold ice around here, after all."
"It took you a surprisingly short time to finish a sculpture this big and detailed this time," Erza comments. "Usually it would take you one full day, if not more."
"It seems that the client's daughter has a pretty amazing imagination. She drew a picture for me as an example," Gray inclines his to a piece of paper on a chair beside the sculpture. "So I don't need to think for its form myself. I just follow the picture and add a few more things to make it more realistic." He turns back to the sculpture. "Gajeel, don't get too close. I haven't finished with it yet," he yells out to the iron dragonslayer, who seems to be having a staring contest with the phoenix.
"When will you finish it then?"
"Soon. But you still can't have the staring contest. It belongs to a client." Laughter follows as Gajeel grumbles and moves away.
"It seems that you want to finish your work soon. Can we sit and watch, Gray-sama?" Juvia asks, torn between looking at the sculpture or the sculptor.
"Sure, why not? Don't blame me if you get bored, though."
Scrambling are heard everywhere as Gray turns back to his creation. Using the ice in his hands, the ice mage moves his hands along one of the sculpture's wings, creating an image of fluttering feathers as he does so. Once in a while, he stops to freeze the water in the buckets at his feet to get more ice, and sometimes to smooth out some rough edges that only he can see.
Lucy watches, mesmerised by the way Gray's hands moving gently over the icy wings, as if he is playing with a real phoenix wing. Everyone looks on almost silently, commenting on how Gray works or moves once in a while.
Suddenly Gray stops and turns to the guild with narrowed eyes. The rest follow the direction he is looking at.
"Natsu, how many times do I have to tell you? You are not allowed to come near when I'm sculpting," he says with a frown.
The guilty mage moves out from his hiding place. "But there is no one else is in the guild and I want to watch too!"
"Natsu, you can't! I told you so!"
Natsu visibly bristles at that. "Why? Because I won't let you sleep last night?"
All heads turn to Juvia at that to see her action at the exclamation. The water mage, however, is busy glaring at Natsu for disturbing her Gray-sama 'moment of glory'.
Gray rubs his temple in an irritated manner. "No. Not because of that, though I am annoyed at you for that. Natsu, do you even realise that your body heat is way higher than normal human?"
The black-haired teen sighs. "The sculpture will melt easily if someone touches it during its construction. Someone with normal body heat. With you, just standing ten meters from it is more than enough to do that. That's why I never let you come near."
Natsu refuses to step down, is what everyone thought as his eyebrow wrinkled. "Your normal ice won't melt even when I tried to melt them."
"It's because the ice used for the sculpture is made of water, not my own magic."
"... Why won't you use your own ice then?"
"Do you want normal, non-magical people to die the moment they touch the sculpture?" Gray snaps. "Ice made from my magic is usually meant for battle; either for defense or offense. It is meant to freeze people when they touch it. I can't use it when I sculpt."
The rest make a small noise of understanding. Gray's ice is beautiful, and at the same time, deadly.
Noticing that, Natsu realises he is at the wrong. It is obvious that the pink-haired mage is still unhappy that he can not see Gray sculpting, but at least he knows why now. "... I'm sorry."
Gray lets a small smile at that. "Nah, it's alright. I was at fault too, not telling you earlier."
Suddenly Natsu stretches his arms upward with a wide grin. "Oh well. I might as well get in now so you can finish your job, then moves on with ours."
Mira stands up and follows him inside. "I'll come with you too, Natsu."
"Eh, you sure?"
"Yes. How about I make you something to drink?" Mira smiles at Gray, who smiles back in gratitude.
Then Gray turns back to his sculpture, and quickly the attention returns to him.
Half an hour later, the client with his daughter arrive to inspect Gray's work.
"Is there anything else you want to add, before I finish everything here?"
The client's daughter, a Ms Annette, looks at him with wonder. "I'm impressed, Gray-san. You are able to do a sculpture this beautiful just from my drawing."
"Please don't say that, your drawing makes it easy for me to do this sculpture of this level."
The young lady blushes slightly. "Well, I don't think we need anything else. How about you, father?"
"Anything the lady wants, Gray-san."
"Very well. If you please, step aside for a moment." As his clients do so, Gray makes his usual hand seal for a moment before moving his hands briefly around the sculpture. Then, he stands back. "There, it's done."
"What did you do?"
"I added an extra layer of ice on top of it to make it more durable. Like this, it can stay frozen for about four months, as long as you don't put it near any fire."
Fairy Tail guild members watch as Gray discusses the price of the sculpture with the client, impressed as the man put a thick-looking envelope in Gray's palm. The ice mage's shocked expression tells them how thick the envelope is and how expensive the sculpture has become.
Still, Gray can not deny anything from his very-pleased client.
"You never tell us about this job of yours, Gray," Lucy says, as Gray eats his lunch with Natsu sitting extremely close to him, eyes watchful of Juvia. Happy stares at the fish in Gray's plate hungrily, although Gray guards it with extreme caution.
"I never tell anyone about it. They just found out themselves, and since then, it becomes almost a routine for them to watch if I work nearby," Gray answers after a mouthful, eyes warning Happy not to try to take his fish. "I just told them what not to do after that." He continues after taking a sip from his drink. "So when are we going to our next job?"
"Lucy is mesmerised by your scuplturing so much she totally forgets about it," Erza smirks and Happy joins. "Well, she's the only one who is in desperate for money here."
Lucy sighs gloomily at that. "It's not fair. How come you guys seem to have more money than me when we do the same jobs most of the time?"
Natsu looks up from the miniature dragon sculpture he got from Gray. "We do other minor jobs too, you know. Even more frequent than Gray, since his pays the most."
Lucy turns to Gray again. "Really? How much do you get paid for a sculpture, Gray?"
"It depends on the kind of sculpture. But mostly around 100,000 to 250,000 Jewels per sculpture," Gray answers casually. Lucy feels her jaw dropped onto the tabletop.
"What about today's sculpture?"
The ice mage fidgets. "Way more than usual. I never thought the client will be so happy with the scupture."
"Well, how much more?" Natsu asks, impatiently. Lucy, Erza and Happy lean forward to listen clearly. Gray does not even flinch when he states the usual price of his sculpture. For him to fidget like that, the price must be astronomical.
"... 2,500,000 J."
The four pull back, horrified at the mention of the price.
"No way! That is just as expensive as a subjugation mission!"
"Gray! Are you sure you're not cheating on the client?"
"Of course not! I even gave the normal price of 150,000, but he still insists to give more than that. What can I do about it?"
"Maybe return it?"
"How can I? He gave all of it in one envelope. I counted them only just now. I don't even know it's going to be that much!"
As Gray, Natsu, Happy and Erza argue about the overwhelming price, Lucy in the middle of them is still trying to comprehend everything. A job that Gray seldom does can make him earn up to 250,000 J, and today he just gained ten times more. Just for one scuplture! And here she is, still struggling to just pay her rent. This. Is. So. Not. Fair!
"That's it!" Lucy slams her hands onto the table. The rest of the team turn to look at her. "We're taking the most expensive mission available right now, before I make it my own personal mission to rob Gray right here and right now!"
Gray is flabbergasted. "You can't do that!"
"So move it!" Lucy is already at the request board, with Gray quickly following after her. Happy quickly takes the chance to snatch Gray's untouched fish.
Natsu and Erza look at each other in confusion.
"I thought she is the daughter of a damn rich family? She ought to get used with all the money."
"I guess money can make any human insane, rich or not."
A/N: ... Poor Lucy. She never seems to be lucky when it comes to money. And I honestly have trouble trying to get a suitable price for the sculpture. Tell me if you think it's too much, and gives suggestion if you can.
Thank you for reading, and C&C are well appreciated.