So there were some rumours that Jellal is going to die sacrificing his life for Erza or someone else, so this is my take on it. I refused to let my Jellal die, damn it.

Painted Heart

The only appropriate word to describe their current situation was chaotic. Erza had been too busy fending off a group of soldiers to really notice the one sneaking up behind her, readying a spell. By the time she noticed, it was too late. She could only watch as the beam of glaring white light rushed towards her with deadly intent.

"Erza!" she was suddenly shoved roughly to the side. She gasped as she had the wind knocked out of her violently. She quickly got up to incapacitate the sneaky bastard, looking around for her saviour. She instantly recognized the blue hair under all those dirt and blood. She almost tripped in her haste to getting to his side.

"Jellal?" she panted, rolling him over frantically. She quickly assessed the damages. He was already wounded before taking the attack meant for her. Her hands shook slightly as she snapped off the arrowheads, carefully sliding the arrows out of his body. Arrows from the archers that had been hiding up at the top of the building. The last she remembered, Jellal had yelled something about dealing with the archers as he parted ways with her. She stopped, frozen with fear, as Jellal suddenly stiffened in her arms and started coughing.

"Jellal, what's wrong –" her eyes widened as he gagged and spat out blood, clutching onto her arms tightly. He collapsed back against her, breathing heavily. "Shit, Jellal, why didn't you tell me your lung is punctured?"

She was so angry she wanted to punch him. But she resisted, knowing that she would only aggravated his injuries. The external wounds were bad enough... and now she got to deal with a punctured lung too? Where was Wendy when you need her? She shook her head, examining the wound on his abdomen instead, the biggest worry on her hands currently.

"E-Erza..." Jellal breathed, looking up at her with pained eyes.

She pressed her hand against his neck, giving him a tight smile. "Don't talk and save your energy."

Whatever magic that soldier had possessed had disintegrated the outer layer of Jellal's skin and burned through the muscles. Blood was streaming out of the wound in copious amount. She tried to stop the flow with her hands, getting more and more desperate as her hands became dyed with red.

"Shit!" she cursed, tearing out stripes of fabric from Jellal's clothes to press against the wound. She also tied them around the wounds the arrows had left behind on his limbs, in a messy attempt to stem the flow of blood.

He was bleeding too much, she realized. He needed medical attention right now. She glanced around desperately, trying to find help. Everyone was busy fighting. She growled out loud and punched the ground in frustration.

"It's... alright." Jellal whispered, grabbing her wrist to capture her attention. He smiled weakly at her when she stared at him in confusion. "It's fine this way, Erza."

"You shut up! Don't... don't you dare think about giving up!" she snarled, jerking her wrist away. "I am not going to watch you die!"

He continued smiling at her, his complexion wan and bloodless. She wished he could stop looking so accepting that he's going to die.

"Why did you take the blow meant for me?" she whispered, tightening her grip on the front of his shirt. She shut her eyes tightly, refusing to allow the tears to fall. "Why, you idiot?"

"S-Sorry, Erza. My legs... just moved by itself." He chuckled hoarsely, wincing almost immediately. His chest hurts, his throat hurts and he couldn't breathe properly. He felt Erza clutching him tighter in response.

"Idiot," she choked, her breath catching in her throat when she noticed his eyes closing. "Jellal, don't you dare close your eyes!"

She shook him harshly, her nails digging into his shoulder. He forced his eyes to remain open, squinting his eyes up at her. He could only made out her wide, frightened brown eyes staring down at him. The rest of her face was a blur.

Her eyes darted around desperately, panic and anger at her own helplessness making them glazed over with tears. She tried to raise her magic to call for help, but everyone was too far away. She sagged in exhaustion, her magic dwindling to nothing. She had used up too much magic.

Jellal watched her worked on his stomach wound with an almost maniacal dedication. All the sins and hurt he had inflicted on her... he would die happy knowing that he had finally done something good. This time, he had managed to save her instead of hurting her.

Painfully, he raised his hand to her cheek. She jolted in surprise, her hand instinctively moving to catch his wrist. She glanced down at him in bewilderment that he could still move.

"Thank you... for everything." He murmured, eyes soft. "Erza... I'm glad to have met you. I just wish... wish we had a little more time together."

"Jellal...?" Erza's voice cracked when his hand went slack. She moved him to her lap, her hands flitting anxiously over his chest and neck. He wasn't breathing. "Jellal!"

Her vision blurred as tears filled her eyes. She clutched him tightly, rocking back and forth hysterically with his head against the crook of her neck. She threw her head back and screamed his name for the heavens to hear. Every battle ceased immediately when magic suddenly exploded from her, fluctuating wildly in her grief. Every Fairy Tail member felt their blood ran cold at the sight of Jellal's unmoving body in her arms. Natsu was the first to shake out of his frozen state, rushing to pull her away from his body. He shivered when her magic skimmed over his skin dangerously. He was thankful that the redhead could still vaguely recognize him, or else he held no doubts that her magic would have tried to kill him by now.

"Erza, Erza, please calm down!" he yelled over the roaring wind created from her magic. The redhead shuddered under his hands, choking back sobs. He glanced at Jellal's face and felt his heart clenched painfully. The older mage was really dead. He could not hear any breathing from Jellal at all, and nothing could fool his hearing. Wendy was sniffling quietly behind him, and if it wasn't for Lucy, she would have fallen over. Wendy's skills had improved by leaps and bounds, but even she could not bring back the dead. They could only watch as Erza howled and screamed out her pain, unable to do anything.

Erza lowered her head, too tired to scream any longer. She pulled Jellal closer, trying desperately to hear any heartbeat, or breathing, or anything to prove that he wasn't dead. She just got him back, and now she's losing him again? Why was the world so unfair?

"Damn you, Jellal... damn you." She cursed, her hands curling into fists. She felt more people joined her, but didn't look up, too immersed in her grief to notice anything else.

"What happened here?" Laxus demanded, glaring at Natsu.

Natsu looked up at him, lips trembling in distress and helplessness. "He's dead, Laxus. Jellal's dead."

Laxus's eyes widened in shock, his head snapping towards Erza's direction. She was slumped over the still body in her arms. Blue hair looked almost black from all the blood and whatnot on them.

Laxus cannot say that he knew Jellal very well, but they had been on the same team in the Grand Magic Games, and he knew that the fugitive was not weak. He might have lost against Jura, but Laxus believed that if it hadn't been for his companions' interference, he would have given Jura a run for his money.

"This is bullshit." He hissed under his breath. "Jellal won't die that easily!"

He squatted down beside Erza, and with a reassuring pat on her arm that he's not going to harm him, pulled Jellal from her embrace. He laid the body in front of him. His skin still felt warm, so he couldn't have died not long ago. Laxus closed his eyes and placed his palms on Jellal's chest. He gathered his electricity in his fists, exhaling slowly. With a sharp inhale, he released the electricity into Jellal's body. Natsu yelled in shock and almost leaped forward to stop him if it wasn't for Lucy.

"I see," she muttered, holding him back. "Laxus might be able to revive Jellal using electricity to restart his heart."

They watched anxiously as Laxus sent shocks into Jellal's still, unmoving body. Every moment felt like hours, their hope fading as Jellal remained motionless. Laxus gritted his teeth as he prepared for one last shock. If Jellal still doesn't wake... He closed his eyes and hoped for the best, pumping the electricity into the unmoving body. Jellal's hand twitched slightly, before going still. Natsu exhaled loudly in anger and frustration when nothing happened. He turned away, tears pricking at his eyes. Jellal was dead and Erza was crying. He had failed to protect anyone again.

He stopped when he heard a soft wheezing. He spun around just in time to see Jellal gasped, back arching as he was jerked back to life. Cheers erupted as Wendy stumbled forward to start her healing, her eyes tearful. Erza stared in disbelief, too shocked to react. When Wendy managed to stop the bleeding, she finally moved.

She bowed her head, squeezing her eyes shut as she whispered soft enough for him to hear. "I'm never letting you go again."

Jellal smiled slightly before he passed out, too exhausted to remain awake any longer. Erza fumbled to check his pulse, just to make sure he's still alive.

"Better get him away before any of those Rune Knights see him." Laxus barked gruffly, lifting him up effortlessly. "I'm bringing him to gramps. Wendy, come with me."

"Y-Yes!" Wendy squeaked, rushing to catch up with his longer strides. Carle fluttered after her, a silent ghost by her side.

"He's alive." Erza whispered, finally allowing herself to relax. Lucy gripped her shoulders to steady her, giving her a worried look. "Jellal's alive."

With a small smile, she finally let herself rest.