"Breakfast is ready!" Mirajane cheerfully called out from the small cozy kitchen in the Strauss house. Her long white hair was pulled along one side, hanging over her right shoulder so as not to get in her way as she began setting the three pink porcelain plates down on her solid oak table. She'd just had it polished the previous day and didn't want to cover it under the usual yellow tablecloth that normally hid the beautiful wood which matched perfectly with the rest of the kitchen. It was necessary though. As gentle as the manly middle sibling was, Elfman was still a guy and like most guys he tended to be a bit rough with furniture. As much as Mirajane loved the intricate patterns of the carved wood, she couldn't bare to see it all scuffed and scratched up, so the tablecloth would have to come on again soon enough. But at least for today she wanted to show it off a bit.
"Mira-nee?" Lisanna yawned loud and long as she called for her big sister under the doorway to the kitchen. "Isn't it a bit early today?" the usually chipper girl asked, letting out another long yawn in the process. Her usually sparkling blue eyes were dull and barely visible through squinted eyes as she turned to look at the red-rimmed wall clock hanging over the kitchen stove. "It's... five thirty!" she said disbelievingly.
"Yes that's right," the older sister nodded without even turning to confirm on the clock that in fact it was that early. Being the eager and enthusiastic bunch that they were, the Strauss siblings were no strangers to waking at the break of dawn. But today was different, today was a special day. Today required at least another hour.
"Did the hour change or something?" the younger sister yawned again, drowsily taking her seat on the round oak table in the center of the room. Behind her, the usually lively and energetic Elfman quietly followed suit. This was a side to the normally loud and boisterous man that few outside of the Strauss sisters knew about.
It wasn't that he wasn't a morning person, but contrary to popular belief, Elfman didn't just wake up pumped and ready for the day. It took him at least an hour to fully wake up and than another hour to start spouting off all that 'MANLY' nonsense that the rest of the world knew him for. In the privacy of his home, the muscular male reverted to the gentle giant persona he had possessed as a young boy. He spoke softly and smiled often. It wasn't timidness though, far from it. He was a confident man, though perhaps not as much as his boisterous personality might lead others to believe. Elfman was just much more complicated than people often gave him credit for, but to his sisters who knew him best, he was just Elfman.
"Is there something special about today?" the large boy asked as he noted the exposed wood on the breakfast table, which he was careful not to scratch it as he took his seat next to Lisanna, and insightfully concluded that something different was happening that day.
"As a matter of fact, there is," Mirajane smiled warmly as she greeted her two younger siblings with a large platter of waffles, bacon, assuages and eggs which she carefully set down in the center of the table for each to serve themselves as much as they wanted. "There's a farmer's market in the village today," she continued without explanation as to what was so special about the day, they'd realize it soon enough. "So I'm going to need you, Lisanna, to open the guild bar by yourself this morning. Oh and don't worry about posting all the new jobs on the mission board today," she paused before turning to Elfman who was busily cutting his waffles into small bites for both himself and his sisters, "Elfman, I'm going to need you to carry all the food we'll be buying, some of it is for us, but most of it will be to stock the Fairy Tail Guild kitchen."
Both younger siblings nodded before beginning their meals. As always they ate amidst small talk, laughter, and more than a few jabs at Elfman about his love life, especially the part concerning a certain medusa-eyed fairy princess; something which had become a source of endless teasing for the scarred man since their return from Tenrou Island. Amongst all the Fairys it was actually a well known fact that Elfman and Evergreen seemed to share feelings for one another, yet neither of them seemed ready to make the next move. Mirajane and Lisanna felt it their duty to try and push them closer together, but of course they knew better than to push too hard, though how hard was too hard was still up for debate.
"Oh and Ever will be joining us to go to the farmers market," Mira added nonchalantly just as the siblings were finishing up with their breakfast and moments before the doorbell rung. "That must be her," Mirajane cheerfully said, both she and Lisanna exchanged knowing glances, watching Elfman out of the corner of their eyes as he blushingly mumbled that he'd wash the dishes, leaving the girls to answer the door and let the older girl in. Soon after, the four of them walked out, splitting up only when Elfman left to walk Lisanna to the Guild door, ever the thoughtful and gentlemanly brother.
"So Evergreen," Mirajane sweetly smiled at the older girl as the two of them were left alone to start their shopping at the spacious open farmer's market.
A chill ran up and down the stoney-eyed girl's spine as she noticed the eerie smile on the demon queen's face. "Y-yes?" Evergreen uncharacteristically stuttered, unsure of what the eldest Strauss sibling was about to say, but having been subject to more than a few of the girl's match-making schemes she had a vague idea of what it might be.
"You know, Elfman loves home cooking" Mira continued, smirking just a little bit after having noticed the tremor in the other girls voice.
"Is that right...?"
"His favorite is chicken curry," Mirajane added, just as the two of them walked up to a booth in the outdoor market that sold a variety of different spices. "I could teach you how to make it," the white-haired woman offered, ignoring the question of whether Evergreen even knew or wanted to learn how to cook. Instead she took it as a given that the older girl didn't and would clearly want to learn. The noticeable blush growing on Evergreen's face as she grabbed a fistful of herbs and spices under the section marked for curry didn't go unnoticed by the eldest Strauss but she chose not to comment on it.
"Ah, you're making curry tonight?" Elfman's loud manly voice broke the awkward silence as he stepped up behind the two women.
"Actually," Mirajane smirked, paying for the spices before turning to the non-couple couple. "Evergreen is."
An awkward crimson blushing glance passed between the pair as Mira walked away and headed to the next booth, pretending not to notice as she began picking out organic vegetables and then moved on to the next stand. Through out the rest of their shopping exertion the white-haired women took every opportunity she could to tease her little brother and the stony-eyed sorceress. As always, the two were so preoccupied with their own embarrassment to realize that both were deeply blushing and noticeably uncomfortable, but of course Mirajane saw it all. She also noticed that when they arrived at the Guild to start setting up the tables and decorations and preparing the curry meal she'd had planned, Evergreen had attentively listened to all the directions she was given on how to make the meal, side dishes included, and seemed to be repeat the instructions in a whisper over and over, seemingly to memorize all the steps as she worked through them.
By the time the first of their fairy tail family began arriving most of the meal had been finished. One by one the building began to fill and everyone noticed the extra décor and wonderful smells emanating from the kitchen. Snacks and simple foods and of course drinks were common enough within the bar area of the guild, but it was a rare treat indeed when Mirajane served up once of her delicious meals; rarer still for Evergreen to have been helping out in the preparations.
"What's going on?" the blonde-haired Steller spirit mage questioned as she and her usual four teammates arrived at the bar and sat down in front of the smiling Mirajane who had expected them to be the last arrivals and was finally ready to begin the festivities.
Before she could answer, however, a loud boom turned everyone's attention to the looming shadow at the doorway. In walked their tiny Master, who hurriedly shuffled over to the bar and stood besides Mirajane smiling down on his children. "Listen up you bratty kids!" Makarov addressed the crowd. All eyes were on him waiting for whatever words he had prepared to say. Only a handful of them knew what Mira and the Master had planned for, they were the ones who remembered, the ones who carried the scars of that day, of those years, still freshly in their hearts. They remembered, one year ago to this day, was the happiest day they had experienced after seven painful and lonely years. "Never forget, come hell or high water, this feeling right now, that feeling one year ago, the love that we share, because..." he paused, as knowing smiles spread across the fairies and all joined together in unison and yelled out...
"WE ARE FAIRY TAIL!"