Gamble- Gray and Fairy Tail loses Juvia to Lamia Scale.
A/N: I had to write this. Because the Queens Show is getting rained out over here and I instantly thought of Juvia . . . . I personally think that Antigua should move their Carnival more up into the year. Like June. Because it's been raining on the parades for several years. : (
Okay, enough, onward with the story!
"We . . . I . . . lost . . . ."
And when she stared at him with raised, blue eyebrows, he could literally feel his heart wrenching in his chest. He'd as good as betrayed her. Even though she hadn't fully understood the bet, he'd went and gambled her and lost. He lost her. Fairy Tail lost her . . . .
He resisted the urge to avert his gaze from hers. He didn't deserve to look at her straight, anyway.
He sighed, swallowing thickly. "The bet I made with Lyon was about you . . . you were there . . . and Fairy Tail lost."
She blinked slowly at him before her lips cracked into a small smile. "That's hardly something to distress over, Gray-sama. We didn't win, but at least we weren't last. We're getting up there again."
The fact that she still hadn't fully grasped the situation made his failure all the more painful. Fairy Tail hadn't won. But they hadn't been last either. Lamia Scale hadn't won either, but they were second to Mermaid Heel and ahead of Fairy Tail who was third.
There was a throbbing lump in his throat. "Lamia Scale won. Lyon won the bet."
"Lyon-sama?" He could tell that she was having a hard time veiling her displeasure. He could practically read her mind: 'What did Lyon-sama win that my Gray-sama couldn't?'
She would always refer to him as someone like that . . . as someone so sweet that she trusted ultimately with her life . . . .
"Yes." He clenched his jaw, feeling his breathing spiral out of control. Yes, Lyon won. He won. Her won her and he was taking her from him . . . .
She thoughtfully chewed her bottom lip . . . an act so innocent that it stole his breath away. What had he done to her?
"But . . . what did he win, exactly?"
His chest tightened with her question, his throat constricting. There it was, that question, that one blameless question that she'd asked so obliviously, yet an inquiry that held so much, enough to change another's life . . . . His eyes were burning.
" . . . You."
She stared at him a moment, her mouth opening and closing silently before she uttered softly, "Juvia doesn't understand, Gray-sama . . . ."
She had to make it harder for him. Because that was what Juvia did . . . always unconsciously made things harder for him, whether it was her getting injured, to . . . to this.
He quickly shook those thoughts away. No, she could make it harder for him. She could do whatever she wanted with him now. Because he had let her down, even if she didn't know it yet. He had messed up . . . this was his dumb mistake!
With that stupid bet, he had virtually ruined her life . . . .
"Lyon won . . . you." He couldn't meet her eyes, those unaware, beautiful orbs of blue, so instead, he squeezed his own shut, hands balling into fists. "We . . . we made you the prize, the freaking reward, and now . . . you have to quit Fairy Tail and join his dumb guild . . . ."
He heard the sudden hitch in her breath. "Oh."
Had the . . . had the atmosphere gotten damper?
But when he opened his eyes, she was just gazing into nothingness, though her expression had noticeably fallen. He could see each and every one of her swallows and knew instantly what it was that she was gulping down.
He wanted to touch her, but how would she respond? She wouldn't strike him; he knew her that well . . . she probably wouldn't strike anything, but maybe she would scream, maybe she would storm back into her inn room and leave him there feeling guilty.
Didn't he deserve it . . . ?
He touched her anyway, her shoulder, and saw that she didn't yank away from him. "You can cry, Juvia. You can react however you want . . . ." Because he had ruined her life. He had seen how she had been before she'd been accepted at Fairy Tail . . . she'd told him how her days that been before, what she had done before, and how Fairy Tail was her family. Her home.
"J-Juvia wasn't going to cry." She exhaled deeply. "S-She just . . . ."
He didn't know what to do, then. Even though it was mostly his fault (he had agreed to the bet and everything), he still couldn't help but be furious with Lyon's selfishness. Hadn't he cared about how Juvia would feel about this?
"I-I mean . . . you don't have to if you don't want to, but—"
"Juvia should . . . or else Lyon might call Gray-sama a cheater for not giving him what he wants . . . ."
He wondered how she could say that after all he had done . . . .
He leaned against the disbanded Team B's inn building. "Juvia, really." She couldn't be so . . . light-hearted with this. Why was she, anyway, when he had such a heavy heart?
"Gray-sama, really." She was staring ahead intently at something invisible to him. "Fairy Tail wizards . . . don't go back on their word."
"But you didn't give Lamia Scale any word!" He exclaimed in a rage, gnashing his teeth. "It was only me! Me and my dumb, selfish, insensitive, bet! Me, who had no second thoughts about how you might feel. Me, who only thought of beating Lyon!"
She chewed hesitantly her bottom lip. "You, Gray-sama, whose words Juvia will follow forever. If you say I should go to Lamia Scale, then I'll go."
"But I don't want you to go to Lamia Scale," he growled. No, Lyon had won the bet fair and square. This had nothing to do with being restless because Lyon had been the victor. Gray was not a sore loser. No, it was the fact that Juvia was his fangirl and Fairy Tail's water manipulator; Juvia was his stalker and Fairy Tail's Rain Woman. Lyon could not take her away from her family. He would not.
Her face reddened slightly and his mouth was quick to add, "Because you're Juvia Lockser, the Water Mage of Fairy Tail."
But was that only why?
He wanted to clamp down on those thoughts, but he knew that they were onto something. It was more than losing a powerful wizard, a member, a part of family . . . he was losing some personal things as well: all of the things that Juvia was only for him, that she did only for him. Who would pester him to go on missions with her? Who would spazz out when any other female came within a three foot range of him?
Who else would give him the honorific –sama?
She had told him numerous times about why that was the honorific she had chosen for him (because he was the "lord" of her heart), and out of annoyance he had told her numerous times that it was a major overstatement.
But he really loved it. He appreciated it and she appreciated him and—
He bit his tongue. He was lying to her.
He sighed. "I don't want you to go to Lamia Scale, Juvia, because I'd miss you. You wanted to come to Fairy Tail, so I brought you to Fairy Tail and you belong there. With me."
The red hue in her cheeks darkened and she looked at the ground, mumbling. "Juvia knows, Gray-sama . . . but it doesn't matter anymore, now that she's supposed to join Lyon-sama's guild."
"Yes, it does!" He stomped his feet, feeling bratty. "Just tell him that you don't want to! He can't force you to, Juvia!"
" . . . the whole reason he tried, though, was to win me . . . ."
His jaw hurt; he was clenching it so tightly. "What the heck does that matter?"
She looked away, her sapphire locks fluttering in a sudden breeze. "It's unfair, though, Gray-sama . . . ."
She . . . she couldn't be referring to Lyon. She had to be talking about the bet, about what it was doing to her.
"I know. I'm sorry, Juvia."
"No." She moistened her lips with her tongue. "Lyon-sama . . . I realized he and his guild came second because of him. Because of his ambition." She cocked her head back, watching the gloomy sky as she murmured softly, "He tried hard because he wanted to win Juvia, Gray-sama . . . ."
His mouth went dry. Was she . . . on Vastia's side? Did she want to go to Lamia Scale?
"So what?" He managed to croak. "It doesn't change the fact that you belong to Fairy Tail. That . . . it doesn't matter . . . ."
"But it's not right that he succeeded, Gray-sama, and still didn't get to have me . . . ."
"Stop talking about yourself as if you were an item!" He'd thought that she didn't want to be had by Lyon. So who cared about the fairness, there?
The sky noticeably grew darker as she inhaled unevenly. "Lyon-sama tried so hard t-to win me, Gray-sama . . . ."
He couldn't take it anymore. "So? So? Who cares about how hard he tried? He didn't give a crap about you, did he? He used a stupid bet to get his filthy mitts on you! He can't just win you, no matter how hard he tr—!"
"Did you try hard, Gray-sama?"
Her voice was sharp, a sound that echoed mercilessly throughout his ears and twisted his insides, rendering him speechless. He merely stared at her blankly, slack-jawed.
"W-What . . . ?"
She wasn't facing him, but her arms were behind her back, one gripping the other. "Did Gray-sama try hard to win Juvia like Lyon-sama did? Did Gray-sama want to win Juvia?"
He was too shocked by her accusation to think straight. " . . . O-Of course I did!"
A . . . raindrop hit him in the nose.
"Juvia has seen Gray-sama's determination numerous times." Her words were wavering. "W-When Gray-sama wants something, h-his determination is strong enough to g-get it. But he didn't win this time, d-did he?"
He was silent, eyeing her, bemused. When he finally found his voice, it was to say, "Juvia, y-you can't— don't even go there."
She couldn't just be blaming him like that, even if it was his fault. Of course he had tried his hardest. Of course he did. He'd wanted to win her so badly . . . he wanted to keep her in Fairy Tail and . . . with every battle he'd fought, he'd thought of her. He'd won every one. But the last one hadn't been a fight . . . it'd been something difficult for him, anyway . . . .
He scoffed. That didn't matter then.
"Juvia." He ran a hand through his hair as she sniffled. "Please don't say that. You don't know how often you were on my mind during the Games, okay? I was just . . . I was so . . ." His tongue was sandpapery. " . . . angry when we lost . . . ."
The air seemed to lighten up, yet a single bead of rain fell from the heavens. He glanced toward her, only to see a similar drop of water on her face. His insides were twisted; she was crying.
"I-I'm so sorry, Gray-sama." Her voice that was once so piercing was blunt and broken. "I k-know. I-I should've never doubted you . . . Juvia n-never doubts Gray-sama, b-but . . . ."
Should he hug her? She was only distraught and confused . . . . He decided against the hug, but he did move closer, brushing gently one of her hands.
Her cheeks reddened. "Gray-sama, Juvia has to join Lamia Scale."
Here they went again.
"No," he hissed, but it wasn't directed at her. He wasn't mad at her . . . just at the whole, unfortunate situation. "You don't have to Juvia."
More raindrops splattered onto the pavement. Her face was wet. "Yes, I do, Gray-sama! Lyon-sama's guild would be angry! Lyon-sama would be angry and disappointed and . . . he would feel swindled . . . ."
Dark eyes narrowed. "Fairy Tail would fight for you, Juvia."
Blue eyes met dark evenly. "Fairy Tail wouldn't cheat a bet, Gray-sama."
"For you, they would."
She evaded his gaze, fiddling with the hem of her skirt. "You know that I have to go . . . ."
He sniffed stubbornly. No. Juvia would not be leaving Fairy Tail, would not be leaving him; not on his watch.
"Stop it, Juvia. Lyon can't just take you," he protested.
"He won't take me." She kicked a stone, lifting her chin. "I'll go to him."
"Because he won."
His eyes stung again. He wished she would just shut up . . . just shut up because she was so freaking right. Lyon had won her. He deserved her. But it still wasn't fair.
She finally turned to face him, as if she'd sensed his distress, her cheeks dusted a faint pink. "I love you, Gray-sama."
It was different. It was not the same as the other embarrassing times that she'd told him (like when she was drunk at the guild and during the Naval Battle). No, he could feel the sentiment that time. There was no girly squeal . . . no tomato-face. Just an honest to goodness confession.
Her words tickled softly his heart and it felt . . . heavenly, almost.
Dark eyelashes fluttered hesitantly. "You do know that, at least? That Juvia loves you so much and . . . not just as nakama."
" . . . I love you too, Juvia." But whether nakama or not, he wasn't sure. Or maybe he was, but he didn't want to tell her.
Even so, she didn't ask. And he was grateful.
"So . . . you want to go to Lamia Scale," he confirmed sternly, trying to keep the helplessness from his voice.
"Gray-sama, shouldn't say that. He knows that Juvia doesn't want to." She chewed the inside of one cheek. "She would miss Fairy Tail. She would miss you."
Her saying that was like punch to his throat. It ached. He'd sold her. Yet, she would miss him. But of course she would.
"Yeah." He stuffed his hands in his pants pockets. "I guess . . . I guess we should tell the guild?" Tell the guild. Because there was nothing else he could do. He was defeated. He was defeated. So freaking defeated. He'd lost . . . he couldn't . . . he couldn't . . . was he giving up . . . ?
She sighed, her eyes downcast. "Gray-sama is right."
They stared at each other a moment longer, before he turned away and started for the usual bar that the guild hung out in. They weren't really angry with their defeat. In truth, Fairy Tail was actually quite jovial. Third Strongest Guild in Fiore. A big deal from being last. The only ones truly disappointed was the former Tenrou Team, who had never really experienced being last in Fiore.
Gray grunted. There was nothing to be happy about, to him. He was one who was disappointed with their loss, while the older members cheered for being third. Third. Third was not good. Third meant you'd lose one of your finest nakama.
They didn't know that. They weren't aware.
The building was maybe fifteen steps away. With a few more steps, maybe Juvia would be officially gone and with Lyon, who would no doubt be all over her. With ten more steps, maybe he would . . . maybe he would . . . m-maybe he— he was losing her.
That was it. That was all. He lost a bet.
His body moved off of its own accord and he whirled around, throwing his arms around her. She nearly stumbled, her back rigid against his hands, but when he lowered his head toward her ear, her body seemed to melt into his.
Juvia was going to Lamia Scale. She was going to Lyon. So he had to . . . had to do this first.
His lips nearly contacted the edge of her ear. "Lyon is such a bastard for making you do this. And so am I, for asking you this favor, even when I'm partially the cause of all this crap . . . but Lyon thinks he has you now that he has you. And no matter what, I want you to remember that he can't walk all over you or make you do things that you don't wanna. You're nobody's, Juvia."
Her gaze met his firmly as he looked up at him, her chin on his chest. "I'm yours, Gray-sama. Always."
His face felt hot. He hadn't told her that for him, because he was jealous of Lyon and didn't want him to have her. No. He'd told her that for her. He knew that the majority of the time when Lyon took her by the arm and dragged her off somewhere, she hadn't wanted to go. And now that she would be there in his guild, she should have to have the backbone to tell him no.
He grinned softly at her, despite himself. "Good." He let her go. And when he did, strangely, it didn't feel as if he were exactly losing her. She still viewed herself as his.
So he would still view her as Fairy Tail's. Juvia Lockser of Fairy Tail. She would never be anyone else.
And he wouldn't want her as anyone else.
A/N: Endings . . . bleh.
And Fairy Tail better beat Lamia Scale in the Grand Magic Games! Because I would hate for there to be a Fairy Tail without Juvia . . . . Eh, so I made Mermaid Heel win. It's the only team that I don't hate. I don't hate Lamia Scale, Fairy Tail, or Blue Pegasus, but if Fairy Tail won, then this fic would be inadequate. And I didn't want Lamia Scale to actually win, but be just victorious. And Blue Pegasus winning with Nichiya on their team is just . . . pfft, whatever. I just couldn't make Sabertooth win again! And definitely not Raven Tail . . . .