i do not own fairy tail (but hopefully i'm getting it for christmas)
This is my christmas present to you all, i hope you like it!
It was winter, at long last. A blanket of snow covered the streets of Magnolia. The once lively streets were quiet, the snow lay undisturbed. The lake was frozen over. The world had been transformed into an icy wonderland.
It was just early morning when Gray stepped out of his house. The chilled air tasted crisp on his tongue, and the ice mage found himself savouring it. He closed and locked the door behind him and set off through the snow to the Fairy Tail guild building, leaving a clear trail of his passing in the snow. Gray stuffed his hands in the pockets of his long white coat as he walked. It was more out of habit then to keep them warm. He breathed out a sigh. The streets were beginning to stir.
By the time that the guild building was in sight the town was bustling with noise and activity. He was greeted by an eternally cheerful Happy as he entered the building. Natsu shot him a nasty look.
"You took your sweet time coming," he said crankily. "Mira said to be here early."
Gray rolled his eyes. "I'm not even late yet." He was just barely on time.
It was strange seeing the guild so full this time of the day. Most of the members were the type to sleep in late or just take their time arriving in the morning. Gray sat down at the bench next to Natsu. The pink haired mage was twitching in anticipation and Gray knew why. The previous day, when everyone had been gathered together, being rowdy as usual, Mira had made an announcement.
"Okay everyone," she said brightly. "I've prepared a surprise for you all, and want everyone to be here at eight o'clock tomorrow, okay?" She giggled a little.
No one was willing to disappoint the cute mage and so they had all somehow managed to get themselves there. Now they sat around quietly, waiting for Mira to tell them what they had been dragged out of bed for.
"Okay, everyone!" She called. "This year for Christmas, we're doing a secret Santa!"
There were moans throughout the guild. Natsu, however, looked excited. Gray's lips twitched as he watched the mage squirm in his seat.
"I've prepared some cards which tell you who you're buying for," Mira said brightly. "We'll all gather here in the guild tomorrow to hand out the presents to each other."
She moved around the guild handing out the cards, which led to a lot of head scratching and dark muttering. Gray couldn't help but think that Mira was up to something. There was something about the small smile playing at the corner of her lips that he didn't quite trust.
"Here you are Gray, Natsu." She finally reached them and handed them there cards respectively. She smiled at them. "I hope you two have a merry Christmas."
"You too Mira," Natsu replied, he was bouncing up and down in his seat in excitement.
"Natsu!" Happy zoomed over clutching his card excitedly. "Guess who I get to buy a present for?"
Gray frowned at the over-excited cat. "You're not meant to tell people," he told him. "That's why it's called 'Secret Santa'."
"I have to buy something for Lucy," Natsu said immediately. Gray rolled his eyes. The fire mage got to his feet. "Well, I'm going to start looking for something. What are you going to buy Happy?"
"Fish, of course," the cat replied.
Natsu frowned thought. "I wonder if Lucy would like it if I bought her fish?"
"Probably not," Gray said.
Natsu nodded. "Well, I'm going to look around, see you later!" He ran out of the guild, letting the doors slam behind him.
Gray sighed and opened his own card. His eyes widened in surprise as he stared at the card.
This year you're buying a gift for…
If you have any problems with purchasing or selecting a gift, see me, Mirajane
Gray frowned. What the hell was he supposed to buy the flaming idiot extraordinaire! He glared at the oblivious Mira, who was busy handing out the rest of the cards, did she know his secret? Well, it probably wasn't much of a secret since he often stared openly at Natsu, but still, was she up to something? The answer most probably 'yes', but Gray tried not to linger on it.
He got up off the bench and wondered back outside again. He needed to find something for Natsu, something that the mage would really like. Gray headed towards the shops. Despite having known Natsu for many years, he still wasn't sure what he should buy for the mage. A hamper of ham sounded like something he would like, but Gray didn't want to buy him something like that, Christmas was a time for couples and love, he wanted to get the dragon slayer something… nice.
Gray blushed at that thought. Did Natsu even like nice things? Would he even like to get something like that off of Gray? Gray shrugged to himself and stuffed his hands back in his pockets. Without any idea of what he was going to buy, or what he was even looking for Gray stepped into the bustling markets.
Within ten minutes Gray was in a foul mood, this was why he hated shopping and generally did it late in the day, or, if he could manage, at night. There were people everywhere, talking loudly, laughing and shouting. It was getting on his nerves.
He wasn't watching where he was going when he someone walked right into him. He was knocked over landing heavily in the snow.
"Watch where you're going!" he snarled.
"Why don't you watch where you're going?"
"I was you idiot!"
"Then why'd you walk into me, dumbass?"
Gray got to his feet and dusted himself off. "If you were watching were you were going this wouldn't have happened, flame brain."
"Obviously you weren't looking where you were going, otherwise you wouldn't have walked into me, icy bastard!"
Gray crossed his arms over his chest sighing heavily. "Look, I don't even care anymore." He glared at the pink haired mage in annoyance. "What are you even doing here, Natsu?"
Suddenly Natsu grinned. "Looking for a present for Lucy of course!"
"Oh," Gray replied unenthusiastically. "I see."
Natsu's face suddenly lit up. "Hey, do you want to help me look for something?"
Gray pursed his lips for a moment in thought. All in all it wasn't a bad idea. He could spend time with Natsu, help the dragon slayer out and hopefully find out what to buy him. "Alright, I'll help you."
"Okay, quick this way."
Gray was practically dragged of his feet when Natsu suddenly grabbed his arm and lead him through the dense crowds. Natsu's hand was warm, Gray observed. He supposed it had something to do with being a fire dragon slayer. Gray found that he liked the touch. It was soothing somehow. He realised that this could be one of the few times that Natsu had touched him not in violence. Usually, when they were fighting their punches and kicks would just leave behind a hint of sensation, but Natsu's warm hand felt so good on his arm. Gray felt himself beginning to heat up.
"I can walk," he growled out pulling his arm from Natsu's grip.
Natsu didn't even look round. "Here it is! I definitely think Lucy would like something from here!"
The shop Natsu was talking about looked perfectly normal from the outside, so normal in fact Gray wasn't even sure what it was selling. They heard a bell tingle somewhere deep within as they entered. Gray stared around him, mouth hanging open in horror, and immediately dragged Natsu back out of the shop by the back of his collar.
"Hey! What are you doing?" The struggling Natsu cried.
Gray was furious, what did Natsu want to buy Lucy in a sex shop? Unless they were… "Lucy wouldn't like any of those things," Gray shouted as he quietly prayed they Natsu and Lucy weren't doing that, and also that no one had seen him walk into the shop with Natsu.
"You don't think she would?" Natsu asked disappointedly as Gray finally released him. "I was so sure…"
Gary stared at the fire mage for a long moment. "Do you even know what that shop sells?"
Natsu fiddled with the ends of his scarf. "Well, I saw Mira walking out of there with a heap of stuff she bought, so I thought maybe…"
Gray didn't even want to think about what Mira was doing with those 'toys' and with whom. That was a rather disturbing thought. Mira was just so sweet, like she would actually ever use something like that.
Shaking his head to clear his thoughts Gray huffed out an annoyed breath. "Do you have any other ideas?" He asked.
Natsu frowned and shuffled his feet. "Lunch?"
The sun was setting, and they still hadn't found anything.
"This is impossible!" Natsu moaned. "What am I supposed to buy her?"
"You know," Gray said quietly. "You could always just get something off of Mira."
Natsu stared at him for a long moment before realisation dawned. "You're right! I can! I'll take all the credit for something wonderful that Mira bought." Suddenly revitalised Natsu grinned impishly. "Do you want to get some food?"
Gray nodded. "We can go back to the guild and talk to Mira at the same time."
Natsu opened his mouth to agree when the two suddenly found themselves completely surrounded by a vast crowd that seemed intent on heading in the same direction. Gray saw that Natsu was about to get dragged off with them and quickly flung his hand out. Natsu reached out at the same moment and the two mages found themselves doing something unthinkable.
They were holding hands.
Neither boy knew what to do about it. They stared at each other in shock, their fingers still intertwined until they found themselves being swept along with the crowds. They both reflexively tightened their grip. Gray pulled Natsu closer to him.
Leaning closer he whispered, "Don't let go." He felt the dragon slayer shiver.
They allowed themselves to be pulled along by the throngs. They kept close together, their clasped hands hidden in the small space between them. Gray felt himself blushing, and was glad the light was fading, so no one, and especially not Natsu, would notice the colour in his cheeks.
"Oh!" Natsu cried suddenly, his grip on Gray's hand momentarily tightening. "It's the lights!"
Gray spotted them at last. He had forgotten about the rather new trend. Some people had started decorating the facades of their houses around this time. It was a strange tradition that had been adopted from the west.
Natsu's hand gripped his tighter. He glanced across at the other mage and saw him staring at the lights with his usual grin in place. Gray smiled at him.
The moment was suddenly shattered as they heard the familiar voice. Their hands fell apart and they stepped away from one and other as Lucy and Levi ran up to them.
"Look how beautiful the lights are!" Lucy gushed. "What are you two doing here, by the way?" She asked glancing at them quizzically for a moment. "This is the last place I'd expected to see either of you."
Gray cleared his throat. "We got swept up in the crowd," he said honestly.
"We're going back to the guild now," Levi said. "You guys want to come with us?"
Gray didn't dare look at Natsu as he nodded. "That was where we were trying to go."
The four of them carefully weaved their way out of the crowds and headed through the almost empty streets towards the guild. If Levi or Lucy noticed the awkward silence between Natsu and Gray, they didn't say anything, they acted normally and filled the silence with giggles and excited chatter.
"Oh!" Levi cried suddenly. "It's snowing again!"
They all looked up. White flakes danced in the dark sky on a calm wind. Gray held out his palms to catch the fledgling flakes. His hands were like ice and so they didn't melt immediately. He gently blew them off and watched them float towards the ground.
He looked up at the others. Levi was holding out her hands to catch them. Lucy poked her tongue out of her mouth to catch a flake and giggled happily even though she failed. Natsu was smiling as he watched the snowflakes fall. Gray guessed he had never tried catching them.
"It's so beautiful!" Lucy cried.
"Yeah," Gray agreed quietly still watching Natsu. "They are."
They were assaulted by a bombardment of drunken 'Merry Christmas's' as soon as they entered the guild a few minutes later. Gray glanced at Natsu and caught his eye for a moment before quickly looking away again. He murmered something about finding Mirajane and quickly left the small group. She was working the bar, but agreed to step aside for a moment to speak to him.
"You need a gift for Natsu?" Mira asked him quietly.
Gray didn't look up at her. "Yeah…" He wanted to say how he had been looking all day, but could find nothing. He wanted to tell her how much Natsu's present meant to him, but he couldn't find the words.
Mira placed a gentle hand on his arm. "It's okay," she said smiling in a gentle way that made him think she understood perfectly what he felt. "I've got the perfect gift."
Gray wondered back over to the guild doors sighing tiredly. It had been a long day, but all in all, still a rather good one. He was sure he could still fell the warmth of Natsu's hand in his. He looked around, wanting to say 'good night' to the dragon slayer before he left. He spotted him talking with Elfman.
"Natsu!" he called over the din when he reached them. He swallowed harshly when Natsu's intense eyes turned on him. "Uh-um…Merry Christmas…"
Natsu beamed at him. "Merry Christmas, Gray."
Elfman glanced between them in confusion. He felt that like he was missing something. Gray said a quiet good night before leaving. Natsu watched him go with a light blush. Elfman wasn't sure if he was seeing things, but something seemed to be going on between the two usually opposing mages.
Natsu couldn't stop grinning. He couldn't wait for the next day, Christmas was the best day of the year to spend at the Fairy Tail guild. There would be celebrations all day long, and late into the night as well. Good food and laughter, Natsu really couldn't wait. Natsu grinned to himself at the thought of spending more time with the guild, and with Gray.
Natsu climbed into his bed and yawned a quiet, "Good night, Happy." He turned off the lights before snuggling up and settling down to go to sleep.
Very warm, and extremely lethargic Natsu didn't sense the shadow that peeled itself form the wall until it stood over him. A sharp tap to the head sent him off to sleep.
"I'm sorry Natsu," an ominous voice said. "But you are needed." The shadow turned to it's companion. "Get the ribbon."
okay, so tomorrow, i'll be post the next part, that way i'll have posted them on the same day as the story is set! there will be three, one for christmas eve, one for christmas day and then one for boxing day (i have a thing with the number three) which i think is a cute idea, anyway... i'll quickly explain, Gray said earlier in the story that christmas was a time for 'couples and love', this may have confused or maybe (but hopefully not) offended some, but in japan christmas is a romantic time for couples rather than how most westerners celebrate it which is religiously and with family. just thought i'd clear the air with that in case there was some confusion.
Now i must go to sleep! santa's coming!