Titania and The Hunter
Chapter 23: Together With You
Thanks for 1000 Reviews guys.
I read all of your thoughts about M-rated material and I understand.
I'm trying to make it flow a little better so if you don't want to read that explicit material, please watch out for the content near the end. Stay clear of these ))))((((
Erza sat comfortably at the guild's bar as she waited for her order to be prepared. She smiled a little when she saw the guild's new barmaid struggle with the ingredients and grumble when she fumbled with the filters. Erza giggled a little before looking over the counter, "Do you need some help?"
"No! No, it's fine!" Mira said as she popped out from behind the counter with some coffee grim on her cheek and in her long hair. She finished pouring the coffee through the filter and set the heat, "Okay, we're good now." The new barmaid exhaled and fixed up her messy hair before looking at the red-head who kept watching her with a smile. Mirajane just smiled back and asked, "What is it? Why are you laughing?"
"Nothing. No reason." Erza defended with her hands up in a sign of peace. She placed them back on the counter and looked the now retired S-Class Mage in the eye, "I just never could have imagined you wanting to serve people food and drinks like this. It seems so..." Erza thought about the right choice of words while Mira waited for her to finish. Erza just shrugged her shoulders, "Not-Mira."
"Not-Mira?" Mira asked before both women started laughing at the direction the conversation was going. Mira fixed her hair with a cheerful smile, "I didn't know I came with my own category."
"No no it's fine." Mira looked herself over before just smiling, "I like doing stuff like this. It's easy. I don't feel a heavy burden on my back like I did before when I tried to control everything. It's not so bad."
"Hehe, I bet." Erza had to admit, Mira did seem content. All the years she had known the Strauss girl, she always saw Mira with a smirk or smile on her face. But after the incident with The Beast, Mirajane couldn't activate her Satan Soul Take-Over magic anymore no matter how hard she tried.
She had grown frustrated and angry with herself and tried as hard as she could to force her magic to work. From what Master told them, Mira created a mental block around her abilities to conceal them from use. The trauma from almost losing her remaining family and feeling weak buried itself deep within her psyche.
She could still use her Transformation and Water magic but those weren't really suited for the dangers of S-Class jobs. With her options fading and no clear answer in sight, Mira came to a decision...
She retired from being an active Mage.
Everyone tried to talk her out of it but Mirajane was adamant on stepping down from her position. She didn't show it but she was actually very upset with having to give up the only lifestyle she had ever known. But without a suitable magic to make up for her loss in power, she was just going to be a liability for Elfman and Lisanna. And instead of making them worry about her, she decided to take a job working here in the guild.
Admittedly it was...rough at first, to say the least. Mira got the orders wrong. She always yelled at whoever told her to hurry up. And after the incident that will forever be known as 'The Beer, The Peanut, and The Flaming Steak Debacle', Mirajane now had to write down all the orders she was given until she could memorize them better.
Poor Loke still had to drink his food through a straw.
But after a while, Mira started to fit in with the image of the Fairy Tail barmaiden. Everyone liked the delicious food she cooked. People from all over town visited the guild to see the beautiful new 'Face of Fairy Tail'. And, to those that knew her well...
She had a genuine, simple smile on her face when she worked.
It probably also helped a little that since she couldn't access her Satan Soul magic her personality didn't have to compensate for the harsh toll it took to control the power of demons anymore. Erza could freely admit that she didn't see the white-haired woman as the crude, foul-mouthed bitch she thought she knew just a few months earlier.
Mirajane leaned against the counter for a moment and looked at everyone else playing at a different table with a fond smile. Erza followed and looked back as she watched Koyuki look down at everyone from Elfman's shoulder. She cheered happily as Elfman boasted about giving the growing girl the best, most manly spot in the entire guild.
Erza couldn't be certain but she thought he used the term to describe everything he thought was extrodinary.
While Koyuki happily cheered for Elfman to keep carrying her, Natsu bragged that Happy could make her go higher. While Happy cried and said he didn't want to carry her up because the little Senju girl always hugged him tight enough to liquefy his organs, Lisanna tried to calm his understandable fear.
Everyone sat around the table and laughed at their antics. Mira in particular was looking at her brother and sister as they lightheartedly brought smiles to everyone else. Since the incident, both Lisanna and Elfman had been doing their best to pick up the slack since she wasn't going to be a part of the team anymore.
Elfman started to let his hair grow out more and took jobs by himself now since he wanted to gain more experience. He still couldn't use his Full-Body Take-Over after everything that happened but he didn't let that hang over him anymore. What did he say when he was surrounded on all sides with nothing more then his arms to help him fight?
"A MAN DOESN'T LET ANYTHING HOLD HIM BACK! IF YOU THINK THIS WILL BE ENOUGH TO STOP ME, I'D LIKE TO SEE YOU TRY!"
He got the nickname 'Beast Arm Elfman' for more than just his magic.
And Lisanna had started to think more strategically with multiple ideas planned out in case one of them goes wrong. It was actually quite useful to have someone like her on a team. Natsu and Happy could attest to that. It also helped that she had started to take first-aid lessons from the local clinic. From small stuff like little cuts and scratches all the way to how to properly deal with a concussion.
Considering this was Fairy Tail, the latter came into play more often than not.
Erza's eyes caught the simple jeans and t-shirt combo Lisanna was wearing. Before she turned back around and looked at where Lisanna's old choice of clothes had ended up. Erza smiled at Mira's new wardrobe choice, "I still can't believe this is the first time I'm seeing you in something other than those old black clothes."
Mira looked down at the maroon dress with the long skirt that had been given to her by Lisanna and tilted her head. She grabbed the ends of the skirt and looked herself over before shrugging her shoulders, "Eh. Lisanna suggested that I get a change of appearance now that I've got a new job." She let go of the edges but kept her smile, "I'll miss my old clothes but hey..."
"I'm now Mirajane Strauss, Best Barmaid of Fairy Tail."
Mira proclaimed proudly before she heard the coffee pot ring. She walked over and poured the hot drink into a cup for her friend. She placed it in front of Erza, "Violà! One brew of Coffee Milk. Enjoy."
"Thanks..." Erza said as her tone lasted for a minute before she looked up at Mira with a bashful smile, "But I ordered tea with a bit of honey."
Mira's smile instantly fell before she slowly looked down at the drink she had wasted her time making. She looked off to the side with a scowl, "Dammit." She shook her head in a displeased manner and mumbled, "Stupid coffee machine. I can work a stove. I can work an oven. But coffee's the thing that screws me up." Mira shook her head before standing straight again, "I'll take that back if you want."
"No it's fine." Erza said as she grasped the handle of the cup, "I could actually go for some coffee before I head back out." Erza raised the c-
She cringed and slowly lowered the cup before gently touching her right bicep. Mira saw the momentary pain on Erza face and inquired, "Hey, what's wrong? Are you hurt?"
Erza spared a look at Mira before she shook her head, "No, I'm fine." She lifted the metal plate out of the way to show a bandage wrapped around her upper arm. She gave Mira an indifferent shrug, "It's just a little cut. Something I got on my last job. It's nothing to worry about."
Mira gave the stubborn red-head a wary glance as she silently looked her over. The former S-Class Mage took note of several patches of bandages and bandaids still visible through the openings of Erza's armor. She looked at the Requip Mage as she started sipping her coffee, "Didn't you just come back from an S-Class job? Your third one in the last few days?"
"It's fine. I just got a little careless. It won't happen again."
"Maybe you should take a break. There's no shame in taking a week off."
Erza shook her head, "I'll be fine Mira. There's a lot of work to be done and I feel like I can do it all." Erza placed the cup down on her plate before standing out of her seat and smiling at the barmaid, "Thanks for your concern Mira."
Mira nodded and smiled back. And her smile slowly but surely started to stretch into a coy, sly smirk. Erza was a little taken aback from the look on her face and leaned away, "Why-why are you smiling? It's never good when you smile like that. Bad things happen to people when you smile like that."
"Why don't you take a break after you finish your next job?" Erza looked over to the staircase leading up to the second floor and saw Naruto walking down with a smirk on his face. He jumped down the last few steps and walked over to the red-head before pulling out a request paper, "Tada!"
Erza leaned back to get a better look of the request and read the lines. Local bandits. Terrorized civilians. 15K Jewel reward. About a day's travel back and forth. Simple enough.
Erza looked to the side to see Mira looking between them expectantly and raised an eyebrow. She looked around the form and at the blond, "Okay...why this job?"
Naruto smiled and pulled the form back from Erza's personal space. He held it up, "Because...you and me are taking this job together."
Erza blinked in surprise, "Wh...huh?"
("Attention...the next train shall be arriving in ten minutes. We apologize for the delay due to weather conditions at neighboring stations and hope this incident will not hinder your traveling plans. Repeat...the next train will arrive in ten minutes.")
Naruto and Erza sat besides each other on the bench in the station. Unlike her usual jobs Erza didn't have her mountain of clothes and cake to bring with her. She was only told to bring the necessities and Naruto would keep them in his Requip space for her. Hers was cluttered with weapons, armor, and anything else she always kept with her. While his usually only stored a few weapons and any essential stuff he might need.
Right now the two of them were sitting a little bit away from each other. It was silent and...kinda awkward. Now that they had a moment to think about it, they hadn't been alone with each other in a long time. They were usually with everyone else in the guild or at least had Koyuki with them to grab their attention. The last time the two of them were really alone...
Was after the S-Class Exam. When they kissed.
Erza sighed and looked over at Naruto, "Okay, I have to ask you something." Naruto turned to her as she inquired, "What brought this on? It seems kind of outta the blue."
"What?" Naruto droned before he made a smug look and started tooting his own horn, "I could see you were feeling swamped from a mile away. So I steeped up!" He puffed out his chest and looked at her through the corner of his eye, "You impressed? Huh? Huh?"
Erza...just had a dry look on her face. She wasn't accusing him. She wasn't denying him. She was just staring at him with an unnerving look in her eye.
Naruto started to deflate and sat back in the bench, "Okay, so it was Mira's idea. But we both noticed you have been working a lot lately. So she came up with the idea of an easy job and a little break afterwards." Naruto just shrugged, "And I wanted to help."
Erza chuckled and smiled before shaking her head in defeat. She crossed her legs, "I guess I can't argue with that." She looked over to her friend, "So what's in store for our downtime?"
Naruto was silent for a moment before looking forward in thought. His mouth slowly opened before he looked back at her with a stunned expression, "I...didn't think of anything."
"We only came up with this idea yesterday. Hehe, Mira's gonna be so pissed." Naruto slouched in his spot while Erza just laughed at the circumstances. He looked to her, "What would you wanna do?"
Erza thought for a moment and hummed, "Maybe we could get something to eat?" She smirked, "Maybe some ramen and cake?"
Naruto eagerly sat up at that suggestion, "Really? Do you mean that? Because that sounds great. I mean I don't actually think ramen and cake go together but now I want to try ramen and cake together."
"Okay then, when we're done with the job we'll go out and get some ramen and cake." Erza smiled, "It's a date."
Naruto nodded and they both came to a silent agreement. Then it became silent between them again as they left it hanging in the air. They both sat back into the bench and waited for a moment as they only needed another five minutes for the train to arrive.
Naruto felt something gnawing at the back of his head and had to get it out. He looked over to her, "I need to ask you something." Erza turned to face him directly, "It's about something that happened the day of Damnation's attack."
Erza was actually surprised by the topic. They didn't usually bring that up because of everything that happened.
Naruto looked down at his hands, "Before everything happened...you came to me before I left for a job and asked if I wanted to be a part of a team with you. And I said yes. That was more than a year ago..." He looked over at her, "What happened?"
Erza blinked for a moment before looking to the side in consideration. She waited for a moment and thought back to the request she made in the middle of the street a year earlier. They were both so happy and excited about the idea of finally working together on a team. But this was the first job they had taken together since then. What had changed since then and now?
Erza looked up at Naruto, "Everything."
Naruto had to admit...she was right. Damnation and the consequences of everything that happened. Losing Hashi-Ji. The Council and the fall-out. Mahiro taking the job to protect him. And their promise to look after Koyuki in her place.
They really weren't the same people they were a year earlier.
Naruto was silent for a moment before he chuckled a little. He looked over to his best friend, "Imagine how much carnage we would've caused if we were on a team. We'd probably bankrupt the guild."
"Master would always yell at us."
"We'd never hear the end of the complaints from the Council."
"Everyone else in the guild would never let us live it down."
"And it would have been so much fun." Both of them smiled before looking over to where the train started whistling and the the civilians started making their way on-board. Naruto and Erza pushed themselves up and prepared to make their on. He looked over to her, "You ready?"
"Yeah. Let's go."
The abandoned building on top of the hill was the hideout for the local thugs of Aster town. The home of a bunch of degenerates and delinquents that got their kicks out of harassing the townspeople. Currently, the entire building was full of drunken morons laughing like hyenas as they enjoyed the spoils of their most recent rob.
One of them took a swig of his drink before looking outside at the gray clouds settling overhead. He whistled before yelling to everyone, "Hey! Looks like shit outside! Think we got a storm coming!"
"So?! Why do we care?"
"Can this shit-hole even stand in a storm?"
"Probably not. It shakes when there's a light breeze."
"Then let's just grab the supplies from town!"
"We've got it!" A group of three said as they started making their way to the door with a confident stride. One of them looked back, "We'll get some wood or something. Better yet, we'll just get one of the workers to come give us some complimentary handiwork!"
"Hahaha! Hey, make sure you get some beer too! Aniki says he's running low!"
"Yeah, don't worry! We-"
The door blew off its hinges and completely beaned the group of three in the face. They flew back and skidded against the ground before falling on their backs, dumb looks on their faces and bloody noses to boot.
Everyone in the shabby building looked at them in shock before looking over to the now broken doorway. On one side of the frame was a red-headed woman in armor with a stern expression aimed at each and every one of them. Her long red hair had two strands over her shoulder and a long bang covering her right eye. Besides her was a smirking blond in a black outfit and a long dark cloak. His arms were crossed in front of him as he looked at them like he was expecting them to attack.
The red-head took the first step forward and looked around at everyone in sight. She swiped her arm out, "We are mages from Fairy Tail! We were hired by the locals to put an end to your actions!" She yelled, "Stand down now and we can end this peacefully!"
Everyone was silent for a moment after her proclamation. They all looked between each other...before they fumbled to pull out bats, swords, and any other random heavy object they could use to hit them with.
Erza sighed disappointedly as she shook her head. She looked over to Naruto, "I really thought they were gonna stand down."
"Really?" Naruto blinked as he looked at her in surprise. He looked over to where all of the punks were picking up their weapons, "Cause this is exactly how I thought it was gonna end up. It usually does for me. I'm honestly surprised you walked in with negotiation on the mind."
"Oh well." Erza summoned a bat out of her Requip and spun it in hand as some of them started charging towards her, "I guess we do this the hard way!" She ducked under a wide swing to her chest and dove around to slam the bat against two of her attackers cheeks, sending them flying back unconscious.
"Pfft, more like the fun way." Naruto joked before he mindlessly raised his left hand and caught the sword of the guy sneaking up on him. Naruto looked back at the man and smiled before tensing his fingers and snapping the blade in half. His smile turned into a smirk before he effortlessly sent a quick, weak side-kick into his attacker's gut, sending him flying back into a table.
Erza punched a man in the face before leaning back from a pipe swung at her head. She spun and kicked another man away before grabbing the hilt of a sword that was about to cut her. She pulled the sword out of the attacker's hands before using the hilt to strike him in-between the eyes. She then tossed it over her shoulder so swiftly that it imbedded itself in the wall as she jumped off one man's face and kicked another one down.
The thugs started to realize they were completely outmatched by the duo from the Fairy Tail guild. They looked between each other, "This sucks! They're way to good!"
"What do we do?!"
"I-I don't know! Pay 'em off!"
"Do we even have enough to do that?!
"Well how much would they pay to bring us in?! 10 Million?! 20 Million?!"
Naruto took a moment from head-locking one of the thugs to look over to the little group. He shook his head, "No. The village only paid us about 15 Thousand to stop you guys."
The fighting came to a grinding halt as all of the thugs looked at the blond in disbelief. They stuttered, "S-seriously?"
"Well you can't expect to earn a big bounty if you don't work for it!" Erza stopped her total curb-stomping of the weaker men and she looked at them with a firm glare. She yelled, "If you wish to gain respect and recognition, you have to work for it! Sweat for it! Bleed for it! No one can ever just expect something to come to them without working hard for it!" She pointed her bat at a group of them, "If you wish to prove yourselves, then stand up and charge!"
Everyone was silent for a moment after Erza finished her rousing speech. It was so quiet you could almost hear a cricket chirping...
One of the guys had manly tears streaming down his face, "We were too foolish to think we would be recognized just for harassing some old people down in the village!"
"Idiots! Complete idiots are we!"
One of the guys who was previously knocked out lifted himself up on shaky arms, "T-Thank you for showing us how incompetent we have been Madam!"
"A goddess has shown us the way!"
"Can we call you Ane-sama?!"
"It would be our pleasure!"
Simultaneously, most of the weak-willed men bowed their heads towards the woman that was previously kicking their asses, "Thank you Ane-sama!"
Naruto felt sweat drip down his neck before looking at Erza dryly, "Erza, please don't motivate the guys we're trying to beat up."
She shook her head in dissapointment, "Sorry, I got a little carried away."
"Ane-sama?" Everyone looked over to where a door opened and a large man stepped out from behind. He was almost a foot taller than everyone else in the place, with a large bear tattoo on his face and his shirt ripped up to show off his large muscles. He cracked his knuckles and glared at all of his subordinates, "You know you guys only have one boss, right?"
"We're sorry Aniki! We faltered for a moment!"
"These guys just barged into our base and started wrecking everything up! Please help Aniki!"
The boss of the group looked over to the blond man of the duo. Naruto looked up at him as the punk under his armpit squirmed his way out and ran away. The big man made his way over to the whiskered Mage and glared down at him, "So, it was you who's been causing my boys trouble, huh?"
Naruto eagerly nodded his head, "Yep, and I'm here to kick all your asses. Sorry about the inconvenience."
The large man furrowed his eyes and growled, "You know, I don't like smart asses."
"Then you are gonna hate me."
The large thug didn't wait another moment before he swung his fist at the blond. Naruto just leaned back out of the way and let the man stumble after losing his balance. The man sent a quick look to the blond who smirked and shook his eyebrows. The boss started throwing punch after punch in a futile attempt to strike him across the face. But Naruto kept stepping back just a hair's width out of range and his smile didn't falter for a minute.
The boss decided to catch him off-guard with a quick kick but Naruto just raised his foot and stopped it in place. The boss hissed and started bouncing in place as he rubbed his leg in pain. What the hell was that? The little blond bastard barely even raised his leg and it was like kicking a lead pipe!
He gingerly placed his foot back on the ground before pointing at the blond, "H-hahaha! I guess they don't call you a Fairy for nothing! Too scared to take a punch from me, am I right?!" He nervously laughed as he tried to boast, "You're smarter then you look!"
Naruto raised an eyebrow at the man's challenge. He sighed and walked forward until he was standing just more than a foot away from him. Everyone watched as he challenged the larger man, "Okay, I'll give you a hit. One free hit. Then will you stop whining?"
The boss looked at the young man in shock. Before a vein started throbbing in his head. This little bastard was making fun of him? Saying he would take a punch from him? He was like a brick wall and this little guy was skinnier than a twig! Well if he wanted it so badly, then-
"HA!" The boss didn't spare a moment and he punched Naruto across the cheek. He used every ounce of strength he could muster to put this little man in his place. He took a moment after punching him...
"OWWWWWW! OW! OW! OW!" The large thug screamed as he tried to shake the horrible stinging feeling out of his hand. Shit! It was like punching a wall made of steel! What was that little guy eating?!
Erza walked over to Naruto as he just stood their indifferently after hurting the large man's fist with his cheek. She looked him over, "You okay?"
"Yeah I'm fine. You?"
"No complaint." She gestured to the man currently blowing on his hand, "Do you mind if I take over?"
Naruto opened with his hand, "By all means."
Erza walked forward until she was standing right besides the huge man. He looked up from where he was trying to massage his hand and looked over the woman. He painfully scoffed, "What now? Is the bitch gonna try and resolve this-"
Erza kicked him in the chin and sent him flying back until he crashed through a table. He laid there unconscious as all of his followers looked at the armor clad woman in shock. She looked around at them expectantly and shrugged her shoulders, "Anyone else?"
They all instantly dropped their weapons and raised their hands in peace. They weren't gonna try arguing with her after that.
Naruto smiled and clapped his hands, "Hey, they're learning!"
Erza lightly scolded the men, "Now luckily none of you have caused the citizens too much trouble. You'll be in lock up for just a few weeks. Use that time to revise your choices and come back out better men. All right?"
"YES, ANE-SAMA!" The dozens of thugs yelled as they saluted the red-head even when their hands were handcuffed together.
The boss of the group, now with a large bandage over her chin, leaned down towards the young woman, "Ane-sama, I'm sorry I used such a derogatory term with you before. I don't know what came over me."
"It's fine. It happens to the best of us." Erza said as she lightly tapped his shoulder with a kind nod. She looked at them before she started walking away, "I hope you all learn from this experience!"
"OF COURSE, ANE-SAMA!"
The thugs were lead by the authorities to the local jail as Erza looked at the town congratulating Naruto for his help. She smiled and watched as they started offering him money, food and whatever else they had to offer. She watched as everyone in town crowded around the center of the clearing...
Except for one old woman. Who stood off to the side and kept her eye on Erza like she just saw a ghost. Erza was a little unnerved by the look she was getting so she just decided to walk up to the rest of the crowd.
"Thank you young man! Oh, I knew we could count on a Mage from Fairy Tail to solve our problem!" One man said as he shook Naruto's hand rapidly.
Naruto laughed and scratched the back of his head, "Aw shucks, it was nothing. We just did what you asked us to."
"Please, let us make it up to you! M-maybe we can increase the reward for your hard work!"
Naruto's ears pricked up at that suggestion as he grinned. He laughed, "Well if you insist-"
Erza punched the back of his head as she interrupted the greedy deal. She shook her head, "Thank you for the kind offer, but we couldn't possibly take anymore from you then you had already specified in the request. Right, Naruto?"
Naruto rubbed the pain away, "Yeah. Sorry."
"Well please, make yourselves at home until you feel like leaving."
Naruto and Erza both nodded at the old man as he walked away. They looked around at the small town and saw it had many stores, restaurants, and other shops open. Naruto looked at Erza, "Hey, do you think we can eat here? Maybe they have what we were looking for."
"Maybe. It would be very convenient to eat now. That way we can do something else." Erza had a little sparkle in her eyes as she spotted all the stores, "I'm interested in seeing what they have for sale."
"Great! Let's look around and-"
"U-um, excuse me?" They were interrupted by a group of several young men about their age with something behind their backs. They all looked rather nervous and flustered.
Naruto turned to them, "Yeah?"
"A-are you really a part of the Fairy Tail guild?"
"Yes I am."
"So, d-do you know-like-all the other people in the guild?"
"Yeah..." Naruto was a bit apprehensive since these guys sent weird chills down his back. He hesitantly asked, "Why?"
"Well...we were wondering if-um..." After a moment, they all pulled something out from behind their backs. It was a bright, colorful magazine with bold font and a certain beautiful white-haired girl on the cover giving a cute smile.
It was Mira.
"Do you know Mirajane-San?! The poster-girl of Fairy Tail! The goddess of the new age! The newest rookie in the Sorcerer's Magazine centerfold!"
Oh. These guys were Mira's fans.
Now that he thought about it, he remembered that last month some guys from the magazine popped came to get a few interviews with the guild. They had questions for everyone in the guild and took a few pictures. And then they spotted Mira behind the counter.
They grew interested in her and asked if she wanted to be the cover girl that week. Mira thought about it for awhile but decided there was no harm and did a few poses. She was just going to appear on the cover and use an innocent picture of her standing to be in the centerfold. It was no big deal...
Until it broke the previous selling record.
Apparently Mira's new occupation as the barmaid drew the attention of every desperate man and woman that bought the magazine. She was subtle yet she attracted their eyes and garnered their focus. The sexy barmaid of Fairy Tail was the biggest topic with readers. Within a day Weekly Sorcerer was getting fan letters demanding she appear again.
Since then, Mira had been approached by several companies and businesses to be their call girl. Elfman tried to protect his sister from prying eyes...but a massive, powerful Mage could only take so much before he was trampled.
And to support Mira with her new career, most men in the guild bought her issue. Naruto included. Of course...they weren't actually going to tell anyone else in the guild they bought it. They didn't have the courage to admit they bought a magazine with half-naked girls to everyone else they knew.
Naruto made sure to hide his magazines very thoroughly. In a plastic folder in a box under his bed. He didn't wanna risk it.
Naruto nodded his head, "Yeah. I know Mira."
They all squealed like excited girls. They started surrounding Naruto, "Do you have her contact information?!"
"Maybe her address so we can send her gifts?!"
"What's she like in person?! I bet she's like a delicate princess who doesn't know how regular people do everyday activities!"
"No! No, I bet she's a bossy type who would step on you and call you filthy~!"
"I bet she likes to dress up and call everybody master! She seems like the respectful type! And she does follows every command she's given because that's how a maid behaves!"
Naruto was a little freaked out by these...avid fans. They kept making weirder and weirder guesses about what Mira's personality was like. Probably each with their own preference to how they like their women. And they were asking him how she really acted. Sure she was getting nicer lately but his mind automatically went back to the girl he had known for several years. He didn't have the heart to tell them what he knew about her...
On the other hand, it would be really fun to see what happened.
"Gentlemen..." Naruto interrupted as he threw his arms over two of their shoulders before leading the small group away. He chuckled, "Do I have a little story for you. Let me tell you...about this demon girl I knew."
Erza sighed as she watched Naruto lead the group of teens away. He was about to crush so many hopes and dreams. She laughed as she looked around town for a place for them to eat. There had to be somewhere around here that served ramen. Naruto probably wouldn't be satisfied with just pasta or noodles. And she wanted cake. Maybe-
Erza immediately froze as she heard the old, withered voice call out that name. She slowly turned around to see the old woman she had spotted outside the group earlier standing behind her. She looked up at Erza with hope in her eyes, "Erika-chan, is that-"
She immediately stopped when she got a better look at Erza's face. The hope in her eyes faded and she had a despondent look take its place. She droned, "I'm sorry young lady. I confused you for the wrong person."
Erza watched as the short woman started to walk away. Erza felt her mind turn again as she desperately didn't want to let the old woman out of her sight. She reached out, "W-wait-"
"Erza-San." The old man from before walked over to get her attention, "On the matter of your payment-"
"Please go talk to the blond man I came with!" Erza interrupted as she pushed past the man and chased after the short, wizened woman. She caught up and grabbed the elderly woman's shoulder, "E-excuse me!"
The woman looked back at Erza, "Yes?"
"Just-just now you called me someone, right? Erika? Is that what you said?"
The woman had a sad look on her face before nodding her head. She spoke, "Yes...I'm sorry child, it's just...you look remarkably like this young woman I knew some time ago. She-"
"Erika Sōto, right?" Erza interjected as the elderly woman looked up at her in amazement. Erza put her hand to her chest, "I look like a woman named Erika Sōto...that's who you thought I was, right?"
The old woman blinked in surprise, "H-how did you know?"
Erza swallowed her anxiety and steeled herself, "Erika Sōto was my mother."
The woman's eyes widened for a moment before she covered her mouth with her hands. Her eyes started to water, "I remember...Erika-chan and Kazuya-kun, they had a little girl...a baby they never left out of their sights..."
"Yes! Yes, that's me!" Erza fell to one knee to better address the elderly woman as she smiled, "I'm Erza."
"Erza-chan." The old woman said as her wrinkly hands held Erza's cheeks. She took a moment to look the young Mage over as little tears formed in her eyes, "You're the spitting image of Erika-chan. Oh god, I feel like I've stepped into the past."
Erza couldn't believe what was happening. The woman in front of her somehow knew her parents. She didn't know what to do so she gently grasped the hand over her cheek.
The old woman choked out, "How are your parents? I haven't seen them in so long."
Erza's smiled faltered as she looked down and shook her head. She looked at the woman, "I'm sorry, but my parents passed away a very long time ago. When I was still just a child."
"Oh...you poor thing." She wheezed as she grabbed Erza's shoulder and gave her a sympathetic look, "I am so sorry. Your parents were kind and sweet people. I remember how they always smiled and helped everyone else in town whenever they could." She smiled fondly while reminiscing about the young couple, "They were so kind. I hope they can rest in peace."
Erza had a smile on her face as she heard the woman talk so fondly about her parents. She always read from her father's journal whenever she felt like she needed guidance or wanted to think about what they were like. But hearing how they were such good people from someone who actually knew them made her heart swell up in pride.
She held the old woman's hand, "I'm sorry, but may I ask, how did you know my parents?"
"Oh..." The woman placed her hands in front of her, "I was one of their neighbors. I lived right across from them. Erika-chan always helped me around the house if I asked for her help. And Kazuya-kun helped cook meals for me whenever I was feeling weak. Your father was an excellent cook. Your mother...hehe, not so much."
Erza chuckled when she heard the old woman joke about her mother's cooking skills. Before her eyes widened and she looked around at the town. She looked at the old woman, "The town, the one you all lived in, is this it?"
She looked at Erza before slowly shaking her head. She looked at the red-head sadly, "I'm sorry child, but that town was attacked many years ago. By a horrible group of men. They burnt down many of the homes and kidnapped most of the people living in them." She shook her head, "There was almost nothing left."
Erza eyes widened in horror. She looked down in shock, "Oh."
"Yes. They were a bunch of men kidnapping the young men, women, and children from off the streets. They kept saying they were going to use them to resurrect someone." The old woman struggled to remember the name said so often on that awful night. She thought for a moment before realizing, "A man named Zeref."
Erza's downcast visage changed as it slowly formed into one of shallow anger. All these years...all this time...and those monsters from the tower were still screwing everything up. Erza wished she could teach them all a lesson again, but this time, she was experienced in causing pain. But...there was nothing left to hate. Just a damn bad memory.
The elderly woman shook her head, "It was such a tragedy. There weren't many of us left after the night was over. Some men and women came out of hiding from them all night. They didn't take many of the elderly so I was tossed out with the garbage. And some children managed to hide away while others were being taken." She shook her head sadly, "I still remember one little girl...crying and saying that her big brother hid her in a trash can as he sacrificed himself. It was...just terrible."
Erza felt some of her anger subside as she took a calming breath. She looked at the women with empathy, "I'm so sorry for what happened to your village. I wish...I could have seen it for myself."
The old woman was silent for a moment before looking into Erza's eyes, "If you really want to...you still can."
"There isn't very much, but the town might still be standing after all this time." The old woman pointed in the direction of a small mountain range, "Just a few hours beyond those mountains are all that remains of that old town. That's why I came here...so I would never be too far away from what happened."
Erza looked in the direction the old woman pointed and felt conflicted. She bent down again, "Ma'am, can you please tell me everything you know."
The woman hesitated and shook her head, "Erza-chan, you shouldn't go. Going back there...seeing what's left of everything that used to be there...it's too painful."
"You might be right. But even so..." Erza showed a strong resolve to the one in her eyes, "I need to see what's still there." She looked at the old woman with a plead, "Please."
The old woman showed a bit of fear in her eyes before she slowly nodded her head. The look in her eyes...the strength to stand strong even when there was something scary in front of her...she truly was her parents' daughter.
Naruto smiled as he accepted the cash reward for his and Erza's hard work. He looked through the money before he heard the sound of shifting metal coming up behind him. He looked back to see Erza stand right besides him. He smiled and waved the money, "Lookie. We got some cash. And everyone even gave me some of their recommendations for places to eat. C'mon, let's go get something before-
"Naruto." Erza said rather weakly as she had her eyes hidden from view by her hair. She walked forward until she stood in front of him. She almost whispered, "Can we hold off on dinner for awhile? I...I need your help in going somewhere."
Naruto felt something was off with the way she said that. She looked at her, "Erza? What's wrong? What happened?"
"Nothing...just..." She reached out and held onto his sleeve for some support as she couldn't look him in the eye just yet. She said again, "Please...I need you to come with me...please."
Naruto was silent as he didn't know what to say. They were both quiet until Erza lifted her head and looked at him with uncertainty and worry in her mismatched eyes. Naruto's hesitance instantly disappeared as he nodded his head...
They had been walking in silence for hours now. When Naruto asked where they were going, Erza responded that they were heading for her hometown. He was surprised and shocked by that answer but couldn't get anymore information out of her.
The wind was starting to pick up and the sky looked like it was getting worse. But that didn't matter to them. They had a mission in mind.
After making their way into a dirt road and passing a few hills, the two Fairy mages finally arrived at their destination. They looked at it in quiet shock as they had no words to describe it.
This was the peaceful town of Rosemary.
Or at least...what was left of it.
As far as the eye could see, everything in sight was scorched. Almost all of the houses were burnt from a blazing fire while most of them had fallen from the stress of all these years. Even the welcome sign to the town was nothing more then soggy black wood covered in moss.
"Oh...my god." Naruto said as he started making his way through the town's streets. He and Erza looked around at what was left after the Zeref cult had its way with the town. It was horrifying. Naruto was scared and depressed just looking at this place that once housed more than a hundred people...
And one of these was Erza's home.
He looked at her, "Erza-"
"Let's split up." Erza said as she started walking at a brisk pace while looking over the houses. She entered one that was still standing, "One of them must be..." She stopped just shy of saying what she need to before making her way in, "Let's go."
Naruto knew how important this was for her. So he didn't argue and just started making his way through any houses that were still miraculously standing after all this time.
Naruto had to carefully make his way through the destroyed homes to make sure they didn't collapse any more then they already had. He coughed and struggled to breathe when he searched through a building and dust filled his lungs. But even so he still didn't stop.
Naruto made his way through one house in particular. What was left of the plate on the front said Mika- before it was scorched out. Naruto searched but found almost nothing left of whoever once lived here. The pictures had turned to ash in the fire. All of the rooms were scorched beyond all recognition. The whiskered Mage couldn't help think that this was spelling out good fortune for Erza's hopes.
Naruto perked up and made his way out of the house. He looked over to see Erza standing at the door of the house right next to this one. He walked over to her and looked at the house she was standing at. It looked exactly the same as every other house they had been searching through for the last 30 minutes. But she was looking at it like...
He looked at her, "Do you think?"
Erza looked at him in uncertainty before she gulped and gently pushed the door open.
The two mages made their way in and looked around. They made their way through the front room, past a pair of worn out couches and chairs. The dinner table had fallen apart after most likely a decade of neglect. There was shattered glass and broken metal everywhere they looked. Erza started making her way into the back hallway as Naruto looked around the living room some more.
He stepped back when he realized he stepped in some glass. And then leaned back when he noticed something hiding under a layer of dust and broken wood.
Erza slowly walked through the back hall as there was nothing she could notice or recognize. She slowly walked though the broken home and made her way to a door that was slightly cracked open. She slowly pushed it open...
It was a child's room. A toddler's room. There were broken toys and burnt up books all over the floor. Erza slowly made her way over to a small bed on one side of the room. It was broken and the entire thing was covered in dust and ash...but there was one thing she did notice...
A little, faded red blanket that laid atop the old bed. Erza reached down and pulled it out before wiping some of the dirt off and holding it between her fingers. She squeezed it softly and closed her eyes.
An image played in her head. The picture of a chubby little red-headed baby sitting on the floor playing with toys as she giggled happily. The door opened and a couple slowly walked in as Erza looked up at them with a smile. The woman sat behind the baby girl and cuddled her closely as the man sat across from her and played along. Both smiling at their baby girl as she laughed at the attention she was getting.
This was her room.
This was her house.
There wasn't much left of it. And it would be impossible for anyone to call it a real home anymore. But this was where she grew up.
Erza opened her eyes again and looked at the little blanket she always kept with her as a child. She held it to her forehead and smiled before placing it back on the bed. She slowly started walking out of the room as she looked around at where she grew up. She closed the door and started walking away.
She came back into the front room and saw Naruto fiddling with something. He looked up at her as she took a calming breath. She nodded her head, "This is it. It's fine now. I can't find anything else that's stands out so...we can head out."
Naruto was silent before he pulled something out from behind his back. He looked at it before holding it out, "Here's something."
Erza looked at the object in his hand before taking it. She looked at it for a moment without saying anything. It was old, faded, and slightly burnt at the edges.
In the picture, there was a beautiful woman with vibrant red hair in a stunning white sundress, smiling happily at the camera. In her arms was a confused little girl with similar red hair and two solid brown eyes. She was reaching out at the camera like it was some kind of toy. And on the other side of them was a handsome man with black hair, catching both of them in a big hug and grinning as widely as he could.
Erza was silent for a moment as she looked at the picture. Naruto scratched the back of his head as he looked at her, "I not totally sure but...I think...that looks like one really happy family."
It was silent between them for a moment before Erza took a step forward and placed her forehead against his shoulder. She didn't cry. She didn't weep. She didn't sob. She only leaned against him for support at that moment.
Naruto just enveloped her in a hug. She didn't say anything but Naruto just knew how hard this must be for her. No matter how strong or fearless she may appear in front of others, she was still only human. And she had helped him so much through his trials over the years...
He just hugged Erza and let her know she wasn't alone.
The clouds and wind started to pick up as the sunlight started to fade. It was almost nighttime and they still needed to find a place to sleep. After walking down the path and away from Rosemary for a few hours they spotted a resting spot for tourists around the area. They started making their way towards the little inn.
They continued walking as Naruto looked over at Erza after everything that had happened earlier. He asked, "Are you all right?"
Erza was brought out of her stupor and looked over at him. She nodded before looking down again, "Yeah...I'm just...heh, I guess overwhelmed would probably be the most appropriate term."
Erza sent a momentary glance towards the direction they had just come from before shaking her head, "All of that, it almost felt..." She tried to find the right term for everything that happened, "I don't know...it felt like a fantasy."
Naruto looked at her in confusion, "What do you mean?"
Erza looked up at the sky as she continued walking forward, "Well...it's just strange. Finally realizing that I came from somewhere else before the tower. Before Ojii-San looked out for me and I woke up in that cell. I was...someone different."
Naruto looked at the far away gaze in her eye as she thought about the life she had before she met everyone else. She looked over at him, "I'm sorry we didn't get to have that dinner."
"Don't be." Naruto immediately retorted as he gave her a small smile. He pointed back at the town that was no longer in their sights, "That was too important to turn away from. I'm just glad I got to be there with you. That's all that matters."
She stayed silent for a moment before giving him a grateful smile. They were both quiet after a peaceful atmosphere settled. Erza caught a glimpse of his side before she looked up at him...
"Have you ever thought about what your parents might have been like?"
Naruto was caught off-guard by her question before he thought about it. After a moment, "Well...yeah, of course I've thought about it. Sometimes when I don't have anything else to do...my mind just kinda wanders and I think...who were they? What were they like? What happened to them that...left me in Danzō's 'care'? And...if they wanted me..."
There was a solemn air around Naruto as he spoke his mind. Erza couldn't help but feel sorry for his situation. She had struggled with trying to find her parents and wanting to meet them the entire time she was growing up. And when Naruto came to Fairy Tail and told her about what had happened to them, all she could do then was imagine and fantasize about what their life was like. Now that she had caught of glimpse of their life, she was saddened but content with what she knew. But Naruto...
His home was too far away. His parents were most likely dead. He wouldn't be able to receive the same kind of closure she did. That...that was hell.
"But it doesn't matter." Naruto finally said as Erza looked over to him. His eyes showed a strange calmness as he smiled, "I don't need to know where I came from. Just where I am right now. And I'm here, with Fairy Tail. With you and everybody else. And that's all that matters to me now."
Erza saw the resolve in his eyes and had a faint smile. There it was. That strength of heart anyone could come to admire. She nodded her head, "Yeah, that seems like something you'd say."
Naruto took a few steps faster until he stood in front of her. He looked at her earnestly and placed a hand against his chest, "Erza, I'll always protect you. I promise." He shook his head, "I won't let what happened in Rosemary ever happen again. Until I can't do anything else, I'll fight until every bone is broken to protect you."
He meant it to. She could tell by the look in his eyes. He would risk his very life if it meant he could protect someone he cherished. Fighting tooth and nail until he could barely stand anymore. A few years ago, she would have felt honored that he would do something like that for her...
"Why is that your answer to everything?"
Naruto blinked in confusion when he heard her say that in a cold monotone. Erza looked up at him and shook her head, "Risking your life...getting hurt to protect us...how could I feel happy with that? How would that solve anything?"
Erza walked past him, "How is it going to be any different if I have to watch you suffer?"
Naruto watched as Erza completely left him behind and made her way towards the inn. He was left dumbfounded as he watched her walk away and into the building.
And rain finally started to pour from the clouds overhead.
Erza sat against the headboard of the bed in the room she had rented for the night. She was in her pink Heart Kreuz pajamas as she had made herself comfortable in the rented room. The only source of light in the room was a lamp besides her on the bedside drawer. And she was currently using it to get a better look at her new photo.
She had been staring at it for an hour after looking through her father's old journal one more time. She always had the picture of her mother and father at their wedding, smiling happily on the greatest day of their lives. But now she had definitive proof that they were her parents and they loved her. It was...sad and happy at the same time.
Erza placed her family photo in her father's journal before closing it shut. She sent Kazuya's journal back into her Requip space and leaned into the headboard with a sigh. She looked up at the ceiling as her mind started to wander while the sound of rain blended into the background.
She felt bad about leaving Naruto alone like that. She didn't want to leave their conversation up in the air like that but she was just so upset at the time she didn't want to talk with him. But after sitting here and taking the chance to calm down she realized that Naruto didn't deserve any of that. Tomorrow, when they left the inn and headed back home, she was going to say she was sorry.
But she couldn't do anything now so she just sat back and pulled out another book from her Requip space. She was going to read for a little bit before she clocked out and slept.
*Knock*Knock* "Erza? Are you in there?"
Erza lowered her book and looked towards her door where she heard Naruto's voice. There was some more knocking, "Erza please tell me this is your room because this is the fifth one I've tried already. Everyone else in the inn is getting mad at me for waking them up."
Erza got up and walked over to her door to pull it open. Naruto was standing on the other side, protected from the rain by the small patio that ran around the entire building. They were quiet for a moment as they looked at each other.
"We need to talk." Naruto said, "You're mad at me, aren't you? You're mad because of what I said earlier."
Erza shook her head, "No Naruto, it's fine." She pulled some hair out of her face as she kept talking, "I was just...a little on edge after everything that happened today. I'm sorry if I took that out on you. I didn't mean anything by it."
Naruto took a moment to look at Erza as she said that and furrowed his eyes. He shook his head, "Yes you did. And you're still mad."
"No I'm not-"
"Yes you are, I see it in your eyes!" He tried to talk with her, "Listen, you can tell me what's bothering you."
"I'm fine, Naruto! Honestly. Can we just drop it. Please."
The pouring rain started to pick up ferocity as it started spreading through the patio and hitting Naruto's back. But he didn't care. He was silent for a moment before shaking his head, "No."
Erza stayed quiet as she glared at him firmly. She asked, "Well what do you wanna do?"
"I wanna talk to you. Because I know you have something you need to say."
"I don't have anything to talk about Naruto! Just go back to bed and I'll see you in the morning!"
"I'm not going anywhere!"
"Well I'm not letting you in!" Erza said crossly as she was tired of his stubborn attitude. She glared heatedly and placed a hand on her hip, "So what are you gonna do?"
Naruto matched her heated glare before he stepped back a little and crossed his arms. He went further into the splash zone of the monsoon happening behind him but he wasn't bothered by it. He would wait as long as he had to until she decided to talk.
Erza grew furious at his hardheaded behavior and growled a little. She stepped out of her room and slammed the door behind her, "Fine! You want to talk?" She stepped forward until she started getting pelleted with rain as well and kept eye contact with him, "Let's talk!"
Naruto started, "What did you mean earlier? About 'that being my answer to everything?' What did you mean?"
"I'm was talking about how you are always ready to risk your life for everything! It feels like every time I see you, you're covered in bandages and almost dying! I'm terrified!" She trembled a little in anger as she thought back to all the times she saw him like that, "When you came back with Lisanna, Eflman, and Mira, you were all covered in wounds, I couldn't take it! If you keep risking your life, I'll never know if the last time I saw you will be the last time ever! It scares me!"
"You?! What about me?!" Naruto yelled back, "The reason I want you to take a break is because you've been going on a bunch of dangerous jobs and working yourself ragged! You're reaching your breaking point!"
"Of course I'm working so much! I need to try and get stronger!" She looked him in the eyes, "What's going to happen when you get too hurt and can't do anything anymore?! I need to get stronger so that I can protect you!"
"You don't have to! The reason I've been getting stronger is so I can keep fighting-"
"And what if you go too far?!" Erza yelled as she remembered the horrible day that Damnation attacked. She screamed, "I was there, dammit! I held you while you were bleeding out! I felt your body going cold as I tried to save you! I thought that was the end! That's why I couldn't bring myself to be a team with you again! Because I was too frightened to feel you die in my arms if I wasn't strong enough!"
After she yelled that, Naruto looked at her in surprise as she was trying to catch her breath. The rain continued to pelt their forms as Naruto gritted his teeth, "You don't understand..."
Naruto put a hand to his chest, "The reason I put everything I can into whatever I do is because otherwise I'm not good enough! I took magic from you! I only learnt how to use chakra a few years ago! Being a stubborn bastard is all I've ever had! I'm sorry for what I made you go through but it's the only thing I can do! I don't want anything to happen just because I didn't try hard enough! We were all separated from the tower because I couldn't stop Jellal! Hashi-Ji died because I was caught off-guard! When I don't put everything on the line, then we all suffer!"
"You-" Erza struggled with her anger at his attitude as she threw her hands down, "You don't value your own life! You think you can just throw it away and everyone will be fine with it?! We wouldn't be able to cope if we lost you! Koyuki wouldn't stop crying if she lost more family! I-I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I lost you! Not again!"
"WHY ARE YOU SO WORRIED ABOUT ME?!"
"BECAUSE I LOVE YOU, YOU IDIOT!"
Naruto was stunned at Erza's confession as she stood there and looked up at him with sad eyes. The only noise was the sound of heavy rain hitting everywhere around them...
And then the sound of a lightning bolt hitting the ground a few meters away.
Erza and Naruto ran back into Erza's room and shut the door after the lightning struck close to them. They were soaked from head to toe and breathing heavily after the crashing thunder jump-started their hearts. Erza pushed off the door and let some water drip off her face before looking over to the panting blond, "Ma-Maybe next time, we shouldn't be talking in the middle of a storm. Kind of obvious in hindsight, actually."
"Agreed." Naruto wheezed before he stood up and shook his body to throw off the water clinging to him. He pulled the edge of his black shirt and started to wring it out.
"Hey, animal, you want to try drying off in a way that doesn't soak the floor?" Erza stated as she grabbed two towels from a chair in the room and threw one towards him. She used hers to dry her arms and hair.
"Well sorry, I don't keep towels in my Requip. I'll put that on the list." Naruto and Erza both sat on opposite sides of her bed looking away from each other as they dried themselves off. Naruto wiped his face before he brought it down and looked at it.
Erza stopped and looked over her shoulder, "Yeah?"
"Did you mean what you said? About..." Naruto couldn't look over to her, "Being in...love with me?"
Erza cringed a little when she realized what she had said in the heat of the moment just outside. She blushed until her face turned the same color as her hair and she wished she could punch herself right now. She let the towel rest on her head and placed her hands on the bed...
"Yeah. I meant it."
Naruto felt some heat come to his face with her blatant admittance. That explained why she kissed him. Did she really like him back then? When did it start? He felt...really, really, really happy at the moment...but confused as well.
The tension was heavy and arkward between the two young adults as they heard the rain and thunder outside. He asked, "How did you-I mean what did I-um...why me?"
Erza just smiled and shook her head while she leaned back a little, "I just sorta noticed it one day a few years ago. I saw you in the guild, laughing and playing with Natsu and Gray and, well, I was happy to see you smile. When you came back from jobs, I was glad to see you were okay. When you left I felt lonely that you weren't around. But I really knew when you came back from that job you stole. When I realized that you could have died and I never would have seen you again. That's when I realized..." Erza had a fond smile on her face, "I liked you."
"After that, everything you did kind of added to it. I admired how hard you worked. How you smiled and laughed at everything. How you trusted me to help you. That kindness and love you show when you're with Koyuki. The strong will and bravado you showed to everyone in the guild. It all built up over time and I realized it..."
"I love you Naruto."
Naruto felt his heart beat faster when he heard her say it again. She felt this way about him for that long? Damn. He felt like scum right now.
"You don't have to do anything Naruto, but please just promise me you won't be so reckless. If we lost you or if you got too wounded, everyone in the guild would be upset. Koyuki loves you so much and I don't want to see you suffer anymore. So please, just think about what you mean to all of us before jumping into anything."
Naruto stayed silent and he just nodded his head. He had to at least keep that promise. If he made anyone in the guild cry because of his foolishness, then that would be no better than hurting them himself. He sighed and let his eyes wander for a moment.
When he spotted a book sitting on the bedside drawer.
Erza just rubbed the towel on her head a little longer before she looked out the window at the storm. She sighed, "The storm is still pretty bad so you can stay here a little longer until it lightens up. We'll head back home tomorrow morning, okay?"
She didn't get an answer back. She didn't even receive a hum or grunt of approval.
She spoke louder, "Naruto? Are you listening to me?"
Erza looked over her shoulder at where Naruto stuttered her name.
He had a surprised look on his face and a blush on his cheeks. He turned the page of her book, "What the hell kinda stories are you reading, pervert?"
Erza cringed and felt her face burn a little bit hotter when she saw him look through her guilty pleasure. She dove across the bed in an attempt to pry it from his hands, "G-give that back! That's not what you think!"
Naruto held her back with a hand on her shoulder, "Hold on. The Vicar just summoned the Wench into his Study. She's undoing her blouse..."
Erza looked up at him in annoyance and jabbed him in the ribs. He winced as she threw jab after jab at his exposed side.
He grunted before glaring down at her and pushing the towel down harder on her head. She gasped, "H-hey, what are you-"
"Don't jab me like that! That's annoying you-" Erza pulled back while Naruto's hand pulled the towel.
Erza sat back for a moment as their eyes met. All the tension and anxiety that had settled between them after all their talking had disappeared as they looked at each other.
Water was still dripping down certain parts of their face. Their hair was still matted and stuck to them like curtains. Erza's body was close and facing towards Naruto as he was open after turning towards her.
And their clothes were clinging to them after being soaked in rain.
Naruto tried to look away but he couldn't. A lot of the girls he knew in the guild could be call gorgeous and Erza was no different. He always thought she looked cute and pretty just from what he saw of her at the guild. And now he was looking at her soft, delicate features as they glistened in a sheet of rain water. Right here and now Naruto fully realized something...
Erza was possibly the most beautiful woman he had ever known.
Naruto somehow brought himself out of the trance and looked at the book in his hand. He closed it and held it out to her, "Here."
Erza shook herself back to clarity and looked down at the book. She grabbed the other end, "Y-yeah. Thanks."
They didn't look at each other again as Erza kept her eyes on the book. She said, "Naruto, when the storm settles, do you-"
Naruto leaned in and kissed her. It was only for a moment, a quick peck, before he leaned back and realized what he just did. Erza looked up at him in surprise.
Before she lurched forward and caught him in another one.
This one lasted much longer. It lingered. They closed their eyes as their lips melded together. Erza let go of the book and wrapped her arms around his neck for a better angle. But she made their balance change and Naruto fell backwards with his arms around her.
They laid on the bed, Erza on top of Naruto as their lips didn't separate for a single moment. Erza's arms kept themselves wrapped tightly around his neck as Naruto's settled to holding her closer at the curve of her back.
The kiss went on for some time as they had completely ignored everything else that was happening and just concentrating on the feeling of each other's lips. Erza felt her fingers start combing through his hair as his hand start running up and down her back. Erza decided to take the next leap and opened her mouth.
She felt Naruto jump a little when her tongue asked for an invitation which he eagerly accepted. Their tongues started to dance around and they both moaned as the warmth of their bodies melded together.
Erza clothes clung to her body, revealing her stunning and curvaceous form that rested on Naruto firm body. Her hair stuck to her like a curtain of scarlet that Naruto slowly ran his fingers through, savoring the feeling of what was happening. Her legs straddled his as he felt her soft, warm body envelop him and her sweet lips mix with his.
After a few more moments, their mouths separated and revealed a line of saliva between them. They were panting heavily as Erza lifted herself up to look down at him. Their eyes were both cloudy after being lost in the moment. Erza pushed off his chest as Naruto used his elbows to prop himself up.
And his eyes widened at the sight.
Erza realized where he was looking and peeked down at herself. Her wet PJ's had scuffled up after the kissing to reveal her midriff. She wasn't wearing a bra or panties so her clothes didn't leave much to the imagination. And with her shirt clinging to her chest and still wet from the cold water, she realized he had a really good look at her breasts. Especially because of the ample cleavage she was exposing at the moment.
Erza felt her face burn and covered her chest with her arms. She didn't usually mind exposing some skin but in this instance it was...embarrassing.
Naruto's eyes lingered a bit as he looked over her wet form. He realized what he was doing and averted his eyes, "Sorry I ruined your clothes. And that I was kinda-y'know-staring."
Erza smiled and sat back a little, "Its fine, they'll dry." She looked at him, "And why exactly would you be staring? It's nothing special. You've seen prettier girls before; like Mirajane, Cana, or even Mahiro. I-"
"That's not true!" Naruto interrupted as Erza looked at him in surprise. He looked in her eyes for a moment until he averted them in embarrassment, "I think you look beautiful. Really."
Erza became still after hearing him say that. Hearing him say she was beautiful made her heart beat. She looked down at herself and thought for a moment before looking at the man she loved. She lowered her hands to the bottom button.
Naruto watched in awe as Erza started to undo her button from the bottom and moving up. He was enticed by the slow reveal of her beautiful flushed skin as his eyes followed her hands. When she reached the last two buttons, he brought his hands to hold hers and helped. They finally unhooked and her shirt spread open.
Erza's large breasts were in full view for him to see. They were round and perky, drawing his eyes as he could not look away from them. Her nipples were pink and slightly hard from the setting of the cold rain. Her shirt clung to her sides seductively as her boobs slightly swayed with her movement. Erza was embarrassed as Naruto was enamored by the sight.
Naruto gently touched one with his right hand. She swallowed a moan as she felt his hand sink into her soft breast and play with her nipple. He tickled it between his fingers and was amazed out how soft she felt. She was breathing heavily as he continued for a minute until he touched her uncovered side with his prosthetic.
"Ah!" Erza gasped before they both looked down at where he touched her.
Naruto pulled back, "So-sorry! I got a little carried away!"
She was silent for a moment before smiling. She reached down and took the metallic hand before placing it on her waist. She flinched a little and Naruto looked at her worryingly before she just laughed it off, "It's colder than I thought. But it's fine."
Naruto felt his heart beat seeing her smile before he went back to playing with her boobs. Erza gasped and moaned lightly as he started picking up the pace. Naruto heard the pleasurable noises she made and wanted to go even further. He leaned forward and took her other breast into his mouth.
Erza couldn't keep her moan in any longer as she felt Naruto's tongue roam over her nipple and areola. She wrapped her arms around his neck to hold him closer to her chest as she wanted him more and more. Naruto sucked her tit while playing with the other one in his hand, keeping her close with the hand on her back. Erza gasped as the pleasure kept creeping through her thoughts and took over her mind.
Naruto let go of her boob with a loud pop as he started kissing up her chest. He left little marks over her beautiful skin as he finally came to her neck. He moved her hair out of his way as he started to knead and kiss her neck.
"N-Naruto." Erza moaned as he lightly bit her neck. She looked at his head and leaned back to kiss his ear. This grabbed his attention long enough for him to pull back and catch her lips. They kissed deeply as they longed for each other. Both moaning as Naruto's hand let go of her boob and reached down to cup her butt.
Erza undid her hold around his neck and started to pull up his shirt. They separated for a moment as they both tried to get Naruto's wet shirt off of him. The moment they pulled it over his head, Erza tossed it off to the side before latching onto him again and pressing her voluptuous chest into his steely form.
The two young adults desperately battled for dominance with their tongues as their passions started taking over. Naruto pulled her PJ top off and started snake her pants down her shapely thighs and legs. Erza fiddled with the buttons and zipper to his pants before grabbing them with his underwear and pulling them off.
After everything had been removed and they had separated for long enough to catch their breath they realized something...
They were both naked in bed.
Naruto and Erza stayed silent for a moment as they couldn't look into each other's eyes. The whiskered blond covered his crotch before anything went wrong and laughed nervously, "I-I think we might have gotten carried away." Naruto leaned over to the edge of the bed and looked for his clothes, "I'll-I'll head back and-"
He was interrupted when Erza placed her hand on his cheek and shut him up. She crawled forward and sat up until she was straddling him.
Her arms were wrapped around his neck and her breasts were pressed up against his chest. She could feel his penis against her thigh as she gave him a seductive smile.
He stayed quiet for a moment before asking, "Are you sure?"
Erza just nodded before reaching down and aligning his penis with her vagina. She lowered her hips and felt him enter inside as she closed her eyes in pain. She struggled for a moment before dropping down and forcing more of Naruto's penis inside of her.
"Ah!" Erza gasped in pain as she felt him enter her. It felt so uncomfortable to have something like that inside of her. She didn't have a hymen anymore but even so it hurt to insert something like this into her body.
"Erza! Are you-"
"Y-yeah. I'm fine." Erza groaned as she tried to get accustomed to the sensation of having him inside her. She showed a weak grin, "It's different from what I read. A lot different. Damn lying books."
Naruto hugged her closely as Erza needed a moment to prepare. And so did he. It took all of his willpower to not just continue there and move as much as he possibly could. Because the moment he entered her, she squeezed tightly around his penis in a vice he had never felt before. Erza's insides were warm and soft and all he wanted right now was to keep going with them. But he felt guilty knowing she was in pain and gave her a moment to adjust.
After a few seconds Erza leaned back and nodded, "O-okay. Let's go."
Naruto held her closely as he pulled out and pushed back in. Erza winced at the movement but Naruto didn't stop. Due to their current position he couldn't thrust too much or too quickly but even this much still felt amazing. He tried to keep composed but felt like he could fail at any moment.
After his dick started to move more and more the uncomfortable feeling started to subside. Erza felt the painful sensations inside of her disappear as Naruto continued to move in her. And slowly, a sense of pleasure took its place as she felt his cock rub against her clit.
Erza slowly started to move her hips in time with Naruto's, allowing for more penetration as they both felt pleasure run through their bodies. Their breath became ragged as they rested their heads on each other's shoulder. They got closer and closer as they were teetering off the edge of bliss.
"N-Naruto, it feels so good." Erza whispered heatedly into his ear as he started to speed up and her body quivered. She panted and moaned as she leaned in closer, "F-Faster."
Naruto sped up and shook the bed as Erza let out a quick scream. She moved her hips back so he almost pulled out when he went back. And thrusted her hips forward when he did the same, pushing him so far inside he started hitting her cervix.
"AH!" Erza yelled as they started furiously meeting each other's hips. She clung tightly to him as he felt her nipples rub against his chest. He was getting spurred on with all these factors as all he wanted now was to hear her say his name in that husky voice.
He leaned into her ear, "Erza! Don't let go! Keep moving!" He kissed her neck and made her buck in before letting go and going to her ear, "Say it! C'mon! Say it Erza!"
She moaned, "Naruto, it feels so good! Don't stop! Ah! P-please, don't stop!" She yelled as she hugged him tightly as they thrusted their hips together. She went to his ear, "Harder! Do it harder!"
Naruto stopped for a moment before his hands clamped under her butt and lifted her up. He turned and laid Erza on her back before he grabbed her hips and started to pull her back and forth.
Naruto was panting as he pulled back and forth from Erza's wet pussy. She squeezed his dick tightly as she felt him fill her up and send a spike of continuous pleasure through her body.
They continued having sex until they lost track of time as their grunts, moans, and screams filled the room. They were lost in the pleasure of being with each other as Erza wrapped her arms around him and held him close to her.
Naruto felt something stir in his abdomen and looked into her eyes, "E-Erza, I'm gonna cum! I'm cumming!"
"M-me too! I'm gonna cum Naruto!" Erza panted as she opened her eyes and looked up at him, "T-together, let's-"
She didn't get to finish as Naruto caught her lips in his for another deep kiss that they never separated from. Naruto snaked his arms underneath her back as Erza hooked her legs around his waist. They kept moving until finally...
Naruto and Erza climaxed, moaning into each other's mouth as they reached the apex of pleasure together. Naruto's hot semen filled her up as Erza's pussy tightened to unbelievable levels and came around him. They both lost their breath for a moment as the sensation of everything that happened slowly started to taper off.
They took their lips off each other and were lying their for a moment as they caught their breath. After they had calmed down, Naruto pulled himself out of Erza and slumped to one side of the bed. The two adults rested looking away from each other as the passion from the moment started to calm down.
They couldn't bring themselves to look at each other after what they just did. Erza looked down at the sheets they had crumpled up after their activities and played with a raised fold to calm herself. Several silent moments passed and she couldn't stand the tense atmosphere between them. She was about to tell-
"Erza I'm sorry!" The red-head turned over in bed to see Naruto covering his face and yelling at the ceiling. He shook his head, "Ahhhh, what the hell did I just do?! I basically just jumped you! Oh man, what was I thinking?! That was so stupid! We-"
Naruto gagged after he was swiftly chopped in the neck. He had a tear forming in his eye as he looked over to see Erza with a little pout on her face and her hand up in a chopping motion. She turned to lay on her chest and shook her head, "Calm down moron. It wasn't just your fault. I was there too. If anything, this was my fault. I sort of...undressed in front of you and that could only lead to so many things."
Erza laid on her folded arms with a restful look on her face, "But I don't regret what we just did."
Naruto looked at her in mild surprise before he turned over and laid on his arms as well. He looked at her and tilted his head, "Really?"
"Really." Erza chuckled, "Granted, I didn't think my first time would play out like this. But I wouldn't change a moment of it for anything." She rested her head, "I'll always remember this moment. That much I can promise."
Naruto kept his eyes locked on the woman who was peacefully lying on her arms. He knew what it was he thought but he was always so uncertain to say anything. But after kissing her, being with her, making love with her and receiving her feelings...he was certain now.
"Erza, I love you."
Erza opened her eyes and looked up at him after what he said. She looked a little disappointed and shook her head, "No Naruto, please don't just say it because I said it earlier. It doesn't mean the same-"
Erza felt his hand grab hers and gently squeeze to get her attention.
"I've always loved you. I cherished the times we were together. I felt so sad when we were separated from each other on the island and I didn't even know if you were still alive. I strived so hard to find you and see your face again. I was so happy when I saw you again that I couldn't believe it was actually real. You brought me into a home and welcomed me into a world I never thought I could live in. You looked after me when I was scared or when I couldn't go on. When I see you, I feel my whole world brighten up and shine. I love it when you smile. I love it when you get serious. I love when you get mad at the others in the guild and start disciplining them. I love that starry look on your face when you eat strawberry cake. I love that happy look you have when you play with Koyuki or talk with Mira. I fell in love with that little girl that punched me in the head because I looked up her skirt. And I'm still in love with the woman she's become."
He grinned, "You mean the world to me Erza Scarlet. And I will always love you until the day I die."
She was speechless.
Erza saw the truth in his smile and the meaning behind his words. He meant every single thing he just said. And he was serious. He really loved her.
Erza's breath hitched and she felt something wet form in her eye. She ducked her head down as her face turned crimson from ear-to-ear. She groaned, "Geez, how the hell can you just say that so easily?"
Naruto chuckled when he saw her freak-out. He just smiled, "Because I'm saying it to you. And I wanted to tell you the truth." He heard her sigh and he just grinned happily, knowing she understood what he wanted to convey.
Erza lifted her head and gave him a quick peck on the lips. She wiped a tear from her eye and gave her lover a beautiful smile, "Yes. Thank you Naruto." She calmed down a little and matched his silly grin, "I love you."
They both smiled and enjoyed the moment between them. Naruto looked over to the window to see the rain hadn't let up at all even after their activities. He looked to her, "What now?"
Erza grabbed the blanket of the bed and pulled it over them before she crawled over and wrapped her arms around his chest. She placed her head underneath his chin and cuddled into him, "Let's go to bed. It's been a long day."
Naruto looked at her in surprise before he smiled and hugged her back. They rested on the pillow and closed their eyes, "Yeah, you're right. It's been a very long day. You're probably very tired after everything happened. Let's get some sleep."
Erza's ears perked up at his phrasing before she pushed herself up and moved the blanket out of the way, "What's that supposed to mean?"
"You said that like I'm the only one tired after what we did." She raised an eyebrow, "Are you not tired?"
Naruto blinked for a second before shaking his head, "No."
"Well I'm not tired either.
"How are you not tired? We just had sex. You should feel really tired."
Erza shook her head with a prideful smile, "I'm not like you. I can go more than once without feeling drained."
Naruto had a light scowl on his face, "What does that mean?!"
Erza tackled him and he grunted when he landed on his back. Erza lifted herself up so she was on her hands and knees over him. Her naked body was free in his view as her scarlet hair fell around them like a red curtain. Erza had a seductive and sultry look on his face, "Then if you want to know what I mean, let's keep going. And see if one of us starts to feel tired."
Naruto was enamored by her stunning beauty before he smiled and nodded his head, "Okay. I guess we'll have to."
Naruto grabbed her shoulders and hugged her closely as their faces were just a few inches away from each other. They smiled as they looked into each other's mismatched blue and brown eyes.
"I love you."
"I love you too."
########Titiania and The Hunter########
They had returned to Magnolia at noon and were making their way to the guild. They walked down the streets and rounded the corners to head back home.
And they both had heavy bags under their eyes from the restless night they shared.
Naruto groaned, "I didn't sleep at all. Not a wink. So...tired. So...sleepy."
Erza fixed her slightly messy hair and looked off to the side, "It's because we didn't stop. I lost count of how many times we did it." She pouted, "You didn't even try to stop. It was exhausting. Now it hurts just to keep my eyes open and I feel sore all over."
"Hey! It takes two!"
The duo finally rounded the last corner and caught sight of their guild. It was tense for a moment before they tried to think about what happened next. Naruto looked to the side, "What-um-what do we tell everyone? I'm mean do we even tell them? Or should we keep it a secret?"
"A secret. For just a little bit." Erza said as she palmed her face and shook her head, "I don't even want to think about what they would say if they found out. The ridicule would never stop. We'd be doomed."
Naruto quietly agreed and looked forward again, "And...what about us? Are we going to be the same after everything that happened?"
"No." Naruto felt Erza's hand grip his as she smiled up at him. She shook her head, "I don't ever want to go back to before. Not now, not ever."
Naruto blinked for a moment before he smiled and nodded his head, "Me neither."
Erza looked hesitantly before looking down at their hands, "After we say hi to everyone in the guild, can we go to your house? We can talk there and figure out, well, what happens next. And..."
Naruto smiled and squeezed back, "Yeah."
They let go and started making their way towards their guild. They walked through the front gate, waving hello to their guild-mates that asked them how the job went. They stopped to hug Koyuki and tell their friends how everything went. They both smiled and headed to the bar counter.
Makarov stopped sipping from his mug and Mira stopped wiping down the counter as the blond and red-head sat in the chairs. Mira smiled, "Welcome back you two! How did it go?"
Erza smiled and relaxed in her chair, "It was fine. It was definitely a much needed break."
"Really?" The Third Master of the guild asked as he looked at them. He scratched his head, "Because you both look kinda sleep-deprived. The mission wasn't too hard, right? Are you two okay?"
Naruto and Erza looked between each other and nodded their heads, "Yeah, we're fine."
Mira stopped washing the counter as she looked between the two of them. Out on a date...everything was good...sleep-deprived...
She gasped, "You little skanks!"
Everyone in the guild looked towards the back counter when they heard Mira yell in surprise. She smiled and pointed between the two of them, "You guys did it, didn't you?!"
Everyone in the guild went stark white. Makarov felt alcohol drip out of his agape mouth as Naruto and Erza both blushed in embaressment. Mira realized what she had screamed when her eagerness got the better of her and she covered her mouth in shock.
Everyone in the guild yelled as they looked at the two S-Class mages in disbelief. 'The Hunter' and 'Titania' raised their heads and sent a horrifying, deathly glare at the barmaid that poked out her tongue and lightly tapped her fist against her head.
########Titania and The Hunter########
Not much I can say. I hope you enjoyed.
Thank You and Bye