Disclaimer: TDS does not own Fairy Tail
As Juvia walked into the guild hall that morning, she did as she always did and made a beeline towards the pillar closest to where Gray was standing. Her heart beat rose ever so slightly as she looked at his bare back; once more Gray had opted to go without a shirt. Seconds would draw out like hours as her imagination went wild as she envisioned the two of them years down the road with a family to call their own, watching as Gray Jr used his first bit of magic much to their joy. That night, Gray and Juvia would have a candlelit dinner under the stars and Juvia would announce once more that she was pregnant with their eighth child.
"Daydreaming again?" questioned Cana as she patted Juvia on the shoulder, startling the water mage to the point where she jumped in the air from shock.
"Cana-san!" exclaimed Juvia as she regained her wits, momentarily looking over her shoulder to where Gray was to make sure he hadn't looked this way. "Juvia was just...ummm..."
"Don't worry, my lips are sealed," said Cana as she beckoned Juvia to follow her to the bar. After the 'Battle of Fairy Tail' Juvia and Cana had become close friends and while Cana had been a positive influence there were times when Juvia found the car wielding mage a little hard to handle. "C'mon, have a drink," urged Cana as she held a mug of wine in front of Juvia's face.
"No thank you Cana-san," said Juvia politely declining the offer.
"You sure, it'll make you more confident to tell Gray how you feel about him," teased Cana. Juvia's interest peaked at that statement, having never truly had much to drink the effects that came with drinking were an unknown factor.
"No, Juvia mustn't, Juvia's still not old enough," said the blue haired girl refusing the temptation.
"Do you think that stopped me from having my first?" asked Cana with a little cheeky tone which caused Juvia to give her a dirty look. "Anyways, as your friend I believe it is in my rights to hook you up with Gray any way I see fit."
"Really!" beamed Juvia as she clasped her hands together. "You would do such a thing for Juvia?"
"Of course which is why I want you to do exactly as I say," said Cana beckoning Juvia to come closer. Nervously, she leant towards Cana, unsure of what the heaviest drinker in Fairy Tail was about to say. "You see Natsu over there, challenging Erza to a fight?"
"Yes," whispered Juvia.
"Once he's got his ass handed to him, ask him on a date for tonight."
"WHAT!" shouted Juvia causing several members of the guild to look over at her despite Cana covering her mouth to prevent any excess noise from escaping. Once the commotion had seemingly died down, Cana felt it safe to remove her hand from Juvia's mouth.
"Look, what I'm saying is..."
"You just want Gray-sama for yourself!" proclaimed Juvia pointing at an accusing finger at her friend.
"Please, take him but if you haven't noticed, he hasn't even noticed that you're attracted to him," said Cana. "Yet he pays attention to Natsu because those two are rivals. Now if you and Natsu go on a date tonight, that will get his attention and when Natsu does something stupid, because you know he will, then Gray will be there to comfort you and show that he's better than Natsu at taking care of you. Plus it'll make him jealous."
"Gray-sama comforting me," said Juvia as she began to daydream once more only for Cana to snap her out of it before it got to the part where she was surrounded by thirty babies.
"Look, for one night you have to pay no attention to Gray until such a time where Natsu screws up," explained Cana, breaking the scenario down. "Gray, being Gray, will try to prove that he's better than Natsu and will be there for you. I've already booked you reservations at the Palace Garden on the east side of town at seven so there's no getting out of it."
"Cana-san, your idea sounds...difficult for Juvia to comprehend," said Juvia as she looked over at Natsu, only to witness the Dragon Slayer receive a vicious punch to the chest, effectively ending the very brief bout right there and then. "But if I must do such a thing to gain Gray-sama's love, then so be it!" With her declaration Juvia quickly pushed off of her stool and walked to where Natsu lay although she found herself slowing down with each passing step. She had come to a complete standstill ten feet away from where he laid, the pink haired teenager slowly pushing himself to his hands and knees. Swallowing nervously, Juvia finally gathered the courage to stride the final few metres, knowing that if she was trying to do this with Gray-sama she would likely have fainted at this stage. Her eyes widened slightly as she realised, this was also a test that Cana had set her, a chance to prove that she could ask Gray out if she could get past this hurdle.
"Did you hear me?" asked Natsu, snapping Juvia from her momentary stupor.
"Oh, I'm sorry Natsu-san," said Juvia as she composed herself, feeling herself going ever so slightly red in the cheeks.
"Are you alright?" asked Natsu wondering if Juvia was starting to burn up with a fever or something along those lines.
"Natsu-san, please go on a date with me tonight!" Juvia nearly shouted the statement out and several people stopped what they were doing as they realised what the water user had done. However, the only person that didn't really seem to care about the situation was the one person whose attention Juvia was trying to get. "Meet me tonight at seven outside the Palace Garden at seven, please don't be late!" shouted Juvia before she took off at a sprint, running straight out the door leaving Natsu completely bewildered by what had just happened.
"Are you alright Natsu?" asked Happy floating nearby.
"I think so, but Erza must have hit me in the head pretty hard cause I swear Juvia just asked me on a date or something," said Natsu as he shook his head as if trying to clear his thoughts.
"She did Natsu," said Lucy which made Natsu thing the blonde girl was joking but when she saw several other members of the guild nodding to show they were backing up what the celestial mage was saying he began freaking out.
"WHAT! I've never been on a date before, what am I meant to do, what am I meant to say, who should I fight?" he asked rapidly.
"I don't think you should fight anybody on a date," said Wendy.
"Wait, you know what I should do on a date?" Natsu asked of his fellow Dragon Slayer.
"I've only heard stories," said Wendy pushing her two index fingers together nervously, avoiding eye contact with Natsu. She was forced to look at him however as she felt her shoulders violently grabbed as Natsu dragged her closer.
"Teach me everything you know," he demanded of the young girl, only to receive a metallic fist to the head from Erza. "What was that for?" he asked of the S class mage.
"Don't hassle Wendy like that," said Erza acting like an overprotective big sister.
"Fine, but seriously I'm going to need some help, I have no clue what I'm doing," said Natsu, sulking that he had to ask for advice.
"Well if you need help then the three of us should be able to get you date worthy before seven tonight," said Lucy, volunteering both Erza and Wendy as well as herself for the difficult task at hand. "And the first thing we're going to need to do is get you some new clothes for the night."
"Wait, new clothes?" repeated Natsu, the concept of going and purchasing clothes a relatively foreign idea.
"It'll be fun Natsu," said Wendy eagerly as she grasped onto Natsu's hand and started leading the teenager towards the door, Lucy and Erza marching behind the pair ensuring the fire mage didn't make a break for it.
Several hours passed by and as the sun began to set over the hilltops, Juvia stood nervously in front of the restaurant that Cana had previously booked. Looking over her shoulder towards a nearby rooftop, she saw Cana lying on top of one of the houses keeping a watchful eye to both make sure that Juvia didn't do something foolish and to ensure that the night went according to plan. Turning back towards where she expected Natsu to arrive from, she knew it would be several more minutes before he appeared considering she had arrived early.
With every passing second, Juvia grew more and more nervous, wishing ever so much that she wasn't waiting for Natsu to come meet her but rather Gray. She imagined him, walking up to her in a half buttoned up shirt, a box of chocolates in one hand and a bouquet of flowers in the other. Then after a candlelit dinner they would stroll across the riverbank hand in hand as the moon bathed them in silver light.
"Hey there Juvia," said Natsu as he walked up to the blue haired girl, snapping her out of her thoughts. As she regained her wits about her she saw that he was wearing formal attire, something she had never really imagined that Dragon Slayer could do. In his hand he held a single rose which Juvia took with a mixture of confusion and appreciation.
"Thank you," she said trying to avoid eye contact as she admired the gesture.
"Well...um...you look nice," said Natsu as he spared a quick glance towards a rooftop nearby, spotting three heads watching his every movement. Lucy, Wendy and Erza had opted to watch Natsu and the Dragon Slayer knew that if he screwed up Erza would pummel him until he was nothing recognisable. Swallowing nervously, Natsu did his best to remember all of the mannerisms that had been forced into him during what had seemed like a never ending lecture and knew if he failed a single one he was in for a whole lot of hurt.
"Juvia thinks that you look nice to," said Juvia as she finally gained the courage to look at her fellow guild member. "Shall we?" she said beckoning the front door of the restaurant.
"After you," gestured Natsu making the three onlookers that had trained him pumped their fists in success. Cana however bit her thumb, she had half expected Natsu to screw up before they had even gotten inside but shook her head as she knew that the night was still young and there were many more options ahead.
As Natsu and Juvia took their seat at the reserved table, both were happy that it was out in the garden area with the fresh air rather than being enclosed in one of the indoor booths. Natsu just preferred the outdoor area in general while Juvia was happy that there were fewer people outdoors to see her in public with Natsu as opposed to Gray. Nothing was said between the two of them as the menus were brought out and only then they said a polite thank you to the waiter. From her vantage point Cana could see the two of them clearly and was slightly irked that the night hadn't already ended. For the greatest drinker in Fairy Tail she had been planning on hitting the town herself later that night and this was cutting into her drinking time. Thankfully though she had thought of this situation and pulled a flask from her back pocket, quickly lifting the contents to her lips.
"So...what are you thinking of having?" asked Natsu as he looked at the menu before him, eyeing off only the items that were in his budget.
"Juvia will likely have a salad, Juvia wants to watch her waistline," said Juvia looking at the options available. Unlike Natsu she didn't spend most of her reward money on the reconstruction of demolished buildings and as such could pick and choose from any of the items on offer.
"Why, you're pretty enough as it is," commented Natsu which caused Juvia's eyes to widen slightly. Underneath the table Natsu pumped his fist in success remembering one of the rules that Lucy had taught him, complement the date as often as he could. "I look up and see the first few stars starting to shine but none of them dazzle like you do."
"Natsu-san," said Juvia in astonishment, hardly believing the words that were coming out of Natsu's mouth. "Please excuse Juvia momentarily."
"By all means," said Natsu as Juvia stepped away from the table and headed towards the lavatory. When she was out of sight, Natsu turned his head towards where his comrades were located and gave them the thumbs up.
"That idiot, he scared Juvia off," said Erza as she tightly clenched her palm in anger.
"I wonder what he said to make her leave like that?" pondered Wendy.
"Well she hasn't run out the front door yet so she may have just gone to the restroom," stated Lucy.
Cana however was confused at the situation at hand, wondering why Natsu had given the thumbs up. Looking across she failed to scream in surprise as she saw three of her fellow guild members sitting on the roof next to her. "Cana-san?" said Wendy as she looked at the card mage.
"What are you three doing here?" questioned Cana as she pointed an accusing finger.
"We're making sure Natsu doesn't screw up his date with Juvia," declared Erza. "What are you doing here?"
"Well this is awkward then," said Cana as she took a deep swig from her flask. While the conversation was going on upon the rooftops, none of them took notice as Juvia took her seat once more across from Natsu.
"Are you two ready to order?" asked a waiter who approached their table.
"I'll just have the warm duck salad," said Juvia.
"I'll have the chicken breast," declared Natsu.
"Very good, I'll be sure to bring your meals to you as soon as they are ready," said the waiter as he finished taking the order before striding off towards the kitchen, once more leaving the two of them along.
"So...are you enjoying being a part of the guild?" asked Natsu trying to start up a conversation.
"Yes, it is nothing like Phantom was," said Juvia comparing her current guild to her previous one. "Juvia believes that she will enjoy being a member of Fairy Tail for years to come. What about you Natsu-san, do you enjoy being a part of Fairy Tail?"
"Of course I do, my nakama's there," said Natsu flashing a cheeky smile at his date for the night. "I've been a part of the guild for so long now that I can't even imagine being without it for the day."
"Juvia hopes someday she will feel the same way," said the water mage with a smile, hoping to one day be able to truly call Fairy Tail her home.
"What do you think they're talking about?" asked Lucy.
"It doesn't really matter, the nights about to end anyways," said Cana with a devious grin, having jumped roofs to be with her friends.
"What do you mean Cana-san?" asked Wendy.
"I paid the head chef and the waiter heap of money earlier, telling them that a pink haired teenager was going to dump his long time girlfriend because he was sleeping with another girl," said Cana.
"What!" exclaimed Lucy.
"Do you want this night to go wrong?" questioned Erza.
"You have no idea," said Cana as she observed as the meals came out.
"Your dinner," said the waiter as he deposited the food for the pair.
"Thank you, but Juvia thinks you gave my friend the wrong meal," said the blue haired girl as she looked across the table at the still bleeding fish that had been served to Natsu.
"The chef believed that he deserved the special of the day and trust me, he deserves nothing better," said the waiter as he walked off, lifting his nose into the air as he passed Natsu with an air of superiority. Juvia raised her hand to try and protest but Natsu beat her to it. Instead of directing what she had expected to be anger at the waiter, he held up his hand to stop Juvia from voicing out for him.
"Don't worry about it, it's all fine," said Natsu, internally shivering knowing that if he showed any signs of anger not only would the date be ruined but he wouldn't hear the end of it from Erza.
"But what are you going to have for dinner?" asked Juvia, looking down at her own meal and considering whether or not it'd be able to fill up the two of them.
"Well they gave me a fish, guess I'm just going to have to cook it myself," said Natsu as he lit his hand on fire, intending to get a meal out of the night one way or another.
"Damn it," cursed Cana, having expected the confrontation with the waiter to have been a lot more violent. "You guys said that you'd done a number on Natsu but this is something else."
"Natsu can control himself," said Erza in a proud tone. At the table however, Juvia was pondering over the scenario before her. Had Natsu done something that had irritated the owner of the restaurant at some stage? Had Cana specifically chosen this place for that fact alone or was there something else going on she didn't know about? Juvia partially wanted Natsu to screw up so that Gray would be able to rescue her, but for the first time in a long time she was enjoying herself on a date and while her evening's partner may not be as attractive as Gray-sama he was still making good company.
The two of them sat in silence as they ate away at their meals, once Natsu had finished cooking his fish to his liking. When the waiter came around once more to see that Natsu had not only had a stab at eating his meal but had finished it in its entirety he was more than a little shocked and didn't do much to hide his bewilderment, something that made Juvia chuckle slightly. "Tell the chef it was delicious," said Natsu as he gave the waiter a cheesy grin which only made him walk away in a huff.
"Well, they managed to get through the meal, but I still have one last card up my sleeve," said Cana triumphantly, knowing that this was bound to make the night end in disaster.
"What have you done?" asked Lucy, wondering what plan Cana had concocted.
"Well every night needs to have some...entertainment," chuckled Cana as she turned her attention back to the scene below. Lucy, Erza and Wendy followed her line of sight and all of them paled at the sight that was before them.
"You are a monster," proclaimed Erza.
"That's horrible," said Lucy as Wendy struggled to prevent herself from crying.
"This can't end well," said the young blue haired girl.
"Behold, my ultimate weapon," said Cana as she got to her feet, lightning flashing across the sky in the distance. Even from the distance they were at, they could still hear the frightful incantation as it was sung.
"Shooby do Bop!"
Both Natsu and Juvia's mouths dropped as they looked at Gajeel, the Iron Dragon Slayer having been hired as entertainment for the night. "It seems this is where Gajeel-kun works," said Juvia slightly defeated by the scenario at hand. While they had been members of the same guild both in their previous guild as well as their current, she wasn't all too supportive of Gajeel's singing career.
"That bastard, is he trying to ruin this night?" questioned Natsu as he raised an angry fist towards Gajeel who didn't even seem to either notice or care at the rather angry couple.
"Please Natsu-san, Gajeel's just doing his job," said Juvia trying to calm the pink haired boy down.
"Can't he do his job somewhere else, his voice is painful to listen to normally let alone when singing," whined Natsu.
"Perhaps it is time that we head off," suggested Juvia.
"Good idea," said Natsu as both he and his date stood up from their table.
"Oi Salamander, aren't you going to listen to my latest song, it's called "He's a Flame Brain," said Gajeel breaking song momentarily. Natsu paused mid-step, knowing that Gajeel was trying to get him into a fight but as much as he would have loved to knock his smug face square into the street, the threat of Erza doing much worse to him kept him in line.
"Juvia must say Natsu-san, you've surprised me tonight," said Juvia as she finished paying the bill, Natsu having given his share to the water mage shortly after they had eaten. "Juvia has had a good time."
"What you wanted me to do something rash or violent?" asked Natsu which startled Juvia, the Dragon Slayer having unknowingly hit the nail right on the head. Juvia fumbled to respond to the question as Natsu held the door open for his date to pass through. As Juvia stepped through, she didn't know whether or not she wanted the night to end on a bad note anymore. While she was still deeply in love with Gary-sama, Natsu had provided her with a wonderful night out. Yet that was when her entire night turned sour, as Natsu stood by her side she saw a bare-chested Gray standing there, the chilly evening having no effect on his body.
"Natsu, Juvia," said Gray as he noticed the couple and changed his walking direction, turning towards his nakama.
"Gray-sama," sighed Juvia as he got closer, her heart starting to pound at a more rapid rate every second. Yet she realised the situation she was in and with a quick glance at Natsu, wondered whether or not her romantic interest would feel jealous of the situation of hand.
"Cana told me I might find you guys here," said Gray as he came to a stop. "How'd the night go?"
"That bastard Gajeel ruined it by screeching what he called a song," said Natsu. "But apart from that it was a pretty good night."
"Did this idiot do anything wrong?" asked Gray to Juvia.
Juvia paused, part of her wanted to say that the night had been a total disaster so that Gray-sama would comfort her. Yet on the other side of the coin, if she said she had had a great time then perhaps Gray would get jealous of the situation. Minutes seemed to pass as she once again delved into her mindscape, trying to figure out which scenario would play out better for her. Making up her mind, she lifted her head to look at Gray, only to find that the ice mage had vanished. In confusion she turned towards Natsu yet he too had gone from her sights. In the distance at the end of the street, she could just make out the two of them were chatting away like nothing was wrong, leaving her alone in the background. Stunned silence overcame her, unaware that on the rooftops Lucy and Wendy were shaking their head in disgust while Cana had returned to the drink at hand, all three of them fully aware of the anger brewing inside Erza. Unable to do anything, Juvia dropped to her knees and started crying, realising that she had just wasted the perfect opportunity.
"I swear, I did everything like you said," cried out Natsu with his back pressed against the wall, having to tilt his head to the side to avoid a sword cutting off his ear.
"You. Forgot. To. Take. Juvia. Home!" shouted Erza as she tossed a sword with every word, Natsu barely dodging all the while as many of the guild members watched on in both bewilderment and amusement.
"I can't believe Natsu-san just left Juvia alone after their meal," said Wendy to Lucy.
"He doesn't know that the date ends until after the girl's been taken home or at least having gone their separate ways," said Lucy with a sigh, disappointed in both Natsu and herself for not having instructed the final part of the night with the Dragon Slayer.
On the other side of the room Cana and Juvia sat side by side, neither of them paying attention to the destruction occurring behind them. "Juvia, I'm sorry, I didn't know that Natsu had actually received help to make the night go well," apologized Cana for what felt like the eighth time.
"Gray-sama," whimpered Juvia, her head leaning on the bar top, knowing after everything that had happened, she wasn't any closer to getting Gray to notice her feelings.
"Like I said, booze is the way to go," said Cana as she lifted her drink to her lips. However she got more liquid than she bargained for as Juvia sent a ball of water into Cana's face, making the card mage splutter as her beverage became tainted with un-alcoholic liquid. "Yep, probably deserved that one," muttered Cana reaching for a cloth.
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