The ultimate play
In which Gray remembers
As soon as she sat on a table of the guild, Lucy Heartfilia slammed her forehead on the wood surface. She sighed deeply and closed her eyes, engulfed in a gloomy aura.
"What's the matter, Luce?"
She didn't look at her interlocutor for she recognized the voice. "My landlady" she summed up.
Used to her friend's financial problem, Natsu chuckled. "Don't worry, we only need a job! Right, Happy?"
"Aye sir!" was the blue cat's enthusiastic answer.
She sighed again. She really appreciated her friend's attempt to cheer her up, but the main problem was-
"IT'S YOUR FAULT!". For Natsu's and Happy's perspective, her head had become huge while yelling. They took a step back as she went on, but she stood up and made a step close to them. "YOU ARE THE RESPONSIBLE OF MY SITUATION". Since getting apart didn't work, they covered their sensitive ears. "YOU ARE THE ONE THAT DESTROY EVERYTHING ON THE WAY SO WE ALWAYS END UP WITH LESS THAN HALF OF THE REWARD!".
She breathed deeply and sat on the table again. Natsu put down his arms once sure the rampage was over and approached her. "Don't worry Luce, I got the solution". She raised an eyebrow and looked at his toothy smile with disbelief. "If we do an S-class mission with a huge reward, even half of it will be huge, right?".
She sighed with resignation for her friend's simple mind. Nonetheless, his remark managed to make her smile. "Okay, time to work!" she left the chair with the pink-haired guy by her side and approached the jobs board. "We can't do an S-class mission -Natsu moaned by the fact- but we can still take a well paid one".
After a while they headed to the front of the guild just as the door flung open, revealing a little girl in the frame. Their chat about the mission ceased as they glanced at her. "A premature client?" Natsu asked Lucy. She just shrugged; it was not the first time a child appeared in the guild but it was truly odd. They looked back at her. Raven hair combed into a high pony tail and pale skin; blue orbs scanning the guild with the glitter of childhood set on them; a plain white dress with ruffles in the skirt and a pair of sandals matching the gown.
Lucy was going to comment about how cute she was when the girl stopped looking around and gazed at them. As she seemed to recognized them, she run and threw herself to the blond's arms. "Auntie Lucy!". The girl looked at her right. "Uncle Natsu" she claimed and hugged him too.
Lucy's eyes widened while Natsu's almost explode.
The guild's attention fell on their commotion and the curious people stared at them.
The girl took the edges of her dress and bowed, introducing herself.
"I'm the daughter of Gray Fullbuster and Juvia Loxar". She straightened up and smiled adding "Nice to meet this younger version of you all!"
As usual, Gajeel's groan was the first thing heard.
"Man, I'm sick of time travelling!". Since most of the people glanced at him, he went on. "I mean, the seven years gap, the eclipse plan and shit with the dragons, and now this little brat? What's so great about messing with time lines!".
"Nee, tell us about the future!" was the general cheer.
Lucy's eyes glittered with hope. "Did I publish my first novel?"
Natsu smashed his fists together. "Did I beat Gildarts?"
Elfman raised his voice. "Am I manly enough in the future?!"
And with the questions of those three the entire guild started asking about what was going to come.
But the girl didn't answer any of those questions because Gray stepped in just in time.
The ice mage moved forward frowning with surprise. Why were they all staring at him so intently and some even smirking? Wait, were they all surrounding that girl? And why was she smiling at him like that?
"Papa!" she called him.
Gray stopped in his track. "Huh?".
The next thing he knew was that the girl was hugging him, and since his stunned figure hadn't put resistance, they had fallen on the ground.
A terrified yell, actually, a sort of war cry came from the doors of the guild.
Juvia was standing in the frame. "C-could that be, the youngest love rival of Juvia?!" the water mage was trembling with anger as she approached the two.
"Wait, Juvia!" Lucy was the first to react; she rushed to the water mage side and embraced her waist, trying to restrict her movements. "You can't harm her!"
"Why not?! She's hugging what is mine as if it was hers! It's Juvia's rightful right to knock her out!
"She's your own child!" the shout of the girl echoed in the hushed atmosphere.
Juvia's eyes were no longer menacingly staring at the girl as the killing aura surrounding her dissipated in the air. She looked down at the blond begging from the floor. "Huh?"
Lucy raised her eyes to look in the astonished ones of her friend. "She's yours and Gray's daughter in the future". She hesitantly stood up parting from Juvia's frozen frame. After blinking several times the water mage looked at her again and pointed to the little girl over the raven haired man.
As Lucy nodded, the said girl looked at them. As she recognized the woman she jumped away of the stiff figure Gray had become. With a huge smile she shot her greeting while clinging to Juvia's neck happily. "Mama!"
They were all expecting a yell of glee but the woman didn't make a sound nor even moved. She just stood there with her eyes wide opened. The smile fainted from the girl's face as she looked to her statue-like mother. "Mama? What's wrong?"
Her eyes fixed in the blue orbs just like her own. "You-" tears gathered in the corner of her eyes "You are Juvia's dream come true!" she cried and hugged the child, sobbing loudly and jolting her frantically.
They were all laughing cheerfully until they looked at their feet and noticed a pool of water reaching their ankles. They looked up at Juvia; her overflowing tears were threatening to drown the guild.
"Now, now, Ju-chan, is alright!" Lisanna patted the back of Juvia who was still sobbing quietly.
"Hey, we still don't know your name" Lucy commented.
"And you won't know it" the girl said smiling. "You know how complex time travels are, I can't tell you my name or answer any of your questions; the slightest slip and the future could change".
Erza folded her arms. "But we have to call you somehow, a provisional name maybe?"
"Juvia and Gray should pick it!" Wendy opined.
The eyes looked first at Juvia, biting a handkerchief, and then at Gray, who was sitting not too far physically speaking, but at several miles mentally.
"For the time being, I will be Aoi" the girl decided.
"Then Aoi-chan" Lucy smiled at her "what are you doing here? You can't talk about the future, so you didn't travel in order to correct an event or something of the like, right?"
The just named Aoi nodded. "I came to see how was the Fairy Tail of these days. I wanted to know how all of you looked in the past, and see if it was just like mama and papa told me" she explained gleefully. "For example; that guy standing in front of the job board who never picks a mission, Cana-san drinking an entire barrel of alcohol in a row, Erza-san beating my father and uncle Natsu, and lots of things you all mentioned in the future".
They giggled and continued the chat for a long while.
"Oh" Lisanna remembered. "How did you traveled through time? A magic spell or a magic device?"
"With this". Aoi raised her right arm and showed her a wrist watch around it. "By pressing this button you introduce the coordinates and adjust the time you are willing to go". She put her arm down. "But the trips are rather brief with this one; time traveling devices needs a lot of magic to work. Fairy tail got one after beating a dark guild and with all my magic I think I can only stay for two hours most".
"What's the matter, droopy eyes?" the dragon slayer approached his absentminded rival.
"I can't believe most of them are listening to that little liar" he said annoyed while eyeing the group around the girl.
Natsu laughed and patted his shoulder. "Common ice bastard, admit once for all that you are getting married with Juvia and you two even have a child".
Gray clenched his fist and slammed it on the table, gathering the attention of the people around them. "Shut up, flame head! There's no way that girl comes from the future! I don't know why she's doing this but I do know for sure I'm not having a child with anyone".
Aoi stood up from her seat, folding her arms over her chest. "Auntie Lucy told me how dense and stubborn you used to be but it's hard to believe that you were actually this much".
"Huh?!" Gray glanced at Lucy inquisitively and the blond shook her head and arms madly in response. He looked back at the girl. "Stop saying nonsense, just who are you and what do you want?!"
The girl stuck her tongue out. "Is that difficult to accept your fatherhood?!"
"You little-" but just when Gray was approaching the girl menacingly, Erza noticed something.
That question made them look at the empty sit in which a few seconds ago the blue haired mage was.
"How could she have slipped out without no one seeing her?" Lucy asked
Gray was wondering the same when he realized several pairs of eyes sharply staring at him. "W-what?"
Aoi sighed. "You truly are dense, papa".
Erza had taken out her sword and was now pointing it at Gray's neck. "You'd better go and find her".
Her words made a shiver go down his spine. Gray gulped. "F-fine!" was all he could say before stepping out of the guild.
Aoi was laughing with joy. Gray moaned annoyed. "What's so funny brat?! And why are you following me?" he asked raising and eyebrow.
They were walking along the river shore, Gray hands in pockets and her supposed daughter behind him.
The girl breathed deeply, restraining her giggles from coming out of her mouth. "This must be "the first time you screwed up everything" as mama told me once".
He looked at her, smirking ironically. "Is that so, little liar?"
The girl puffed her cheeks. "You know, If you keep neglecting my existence, I may end up developing some kind of trauma".
Gray laughed at that. "Ok, I'm sorry". He looked at her but she looked away from him, still offended; he sighed. "Well, did she tell you how I made up for the first time too?".
After thinking a minute, she answered while picking up a stone near by. "You gave her something"
"Really?" Gray frowned a bit. "What was it?" he asked as they paused.
The girl shook her head before throwing the rock to the water, playing ducks and drakes. "I can't tell you"
She rolled her eyes before bending down and taking another stone. "For the same reason I didn't tell you my real name; I don't want to interfere in any way on the future's developments"
Gray frowned even more. "You do know you have interfered with the course of things the instant you traveled to this point in time, right?"
"Yeah, I know the theory of parallel universes". The girl knit her eyebrows. "But luckily enough this won't change much of the future. Besides, I really wanted to peek on the past for you always told me great stories about this time".
Gray smiled broadly; everyday in Fairy Tail was indeed awesome.
Aoi smiled too. "Mama told me you were the only one who could give her something like that, since you were the first person who actually talked to her". Then she added "But that's the only thing I'm saying!"
Gray was going to laugh when the strange time-travelling watch in her wrist made a 'beep-beep'. She looked at it with "O" shaped lips. "Time is up!" she exclaimed.
"Huh!? Wait-". Light spread from the magic object, engulfing the girl in a bright sphere. Aoi looked at him and smirked. "Don't worry daddy" she remarked the word playfully, "since I'm still here you definitely managed to figure something out". She winked while waving her hand. "Just keep on thinking and make mama happy".
Now Gray, being the not-at-all-honest-guy-with-his-feelings, blushed over that innocent comment.
The girl giggled by that. "Mama was right about so many things" she mumbled and before Gray had time to complain she added. "Goodbye papa".
Gray returned the tender smile of the girl before she disappeared along with the sphere.
"You played a fine act, Aoi-chan"
The girl yelled in surprise after hearing Mavis whisper in her ear. She turned around smirking. "Of course I did" she answered proudly as she snapped her fingers, recovering her original appearance.
They were floating a few meters over the ice mage's head.
"Now you sure are creative" Mavis recognized with a smile. "Up until now, your move have been the craziest since you actually interacted with them".
Her friend nodded. "That's why I call it 'The ultimate play'!" she said gleefully as they watched the guy walking away.
In spite of what the people at the guild thought, Juvia was not crying.
She did felt the clouds threatening to obscure the blue heaven from above but she concentrated in not letting her feelings get mixed with the weather as she used to do before joining Fairy tail. She breathed deeply from time to time to regain control and not get carried away, truly hard due to her emotional nature.
After exiting the building, leaving behind concerned looks, a child and her frustrated father, she sat on a bench in the park not too far from the guild. She was gazing at the birds eating bread crumbs at her feet. One of them picked a relatively huge crumb and flew away, probably taking it to a nest in which a little bird was waiting to be feed. She sighed just by imagining the scene.
"Juvia should have said bye to her daughter before leaving; what is Aoi-chan going to think of her mother now?!" It only took her a few seconds to realize that the child was not going to be born after what happened.
She looked up at the sky wondering. "Was it true? Did Juvia and Gray-sama really get married in the future?". The sudden appearance of the girl proved it so, but Gray's reaction and words didn't match with that.
The memory of Gray's and Aoi's dispute came back to her mind. She closed her eyes and this time, the sky was about to shred tears with her, until she noticed the agitated movements of the birds flying away. She opened her eyes and gasped.
Gray was standing just in front of her, scratching the back of his neck like every time he was trying to find the words. Just when she was parting her lips to say something, he did the same and talked first.
"I'm sorry, okay? I didn't mean to offend you, it's just that-". He made a pause and sighed "It's just that it's still too soon to even think about this; I'm an idiot in his 18, there's no way I wouldn't freak out after being called father". A faint tone of pink colored his cheeks as he remembered what happened back then and he looked at the floor. "On top of it, in front of those silly bastards" he said rather to himself but shook his head before beating around the bush. "What I'm trying to say is, there's nothing wrong with you and I talked without thinking too much".
Juvia didn't realize her eyes had widened until she blinked. She was going to say that it was alright, that she knew how shy he was and that she was not going to mention the topic of the future anymore but in a split second Gray had taken out something of his pocket.
She stared at the sun clip offered by his stretched arm. After looking at it for a while, she raised her eyes and looked at his directly.
Gray was grinding his teeth with impatience as he waited. He thought that giving her a present was also giving her a ticket to her own fan-girl world, thus yells and tears of joy was all he was expecting from her. But the girl seemed so stunned by his action that she didn't know how to respond. Damn, was it that strange of him to give her something? "It's a make-up-for-my-words present, so take it already!".
The clip was certainly beautiful but her puzzlement prevented her from taking it. "A sun?" she asked.
Gray frowned and Juvia knew that meant he thought the question was odd.
"I-I mean, Juvia's name means rain so-" she didn't even finish the phrase when he started chuckling.
"And what's the matter?". Juvia was the one frowning now since she did found it strange. "Your name can mean anything but the fact that you like the sun is unalterable. At least, the look in your eyes at Phantom's rooftop told me so".
Juvia's lips parted for the third time since his presence; but she didn't try to say something at that moment since she was speechless. He was talking about the end of their battle, when the sky cleared completely for the first time to her and the first rays of light warmed her skin. He was talking about her bewildered expression, the glee set on her eyes and the tears of happiness streaming down of them. He was talking about how deep in love with the sun she seemed back then and yet he was forgetting that she fell in love for another sun to her eyes, and not the bright star ruling the blue skies.
"It's all thanks to you" she thought inwardly while smiling and taking the clip from his hand.
Ok, I'm sorry. Apparently, some of you were looking forward to this chapter and it turned out like this. But as I had already said, I imagined the child play like this. I do know the time travelling thing was lame, but it was the only way I found of linking the appearance of their child
Otaku03, thanks for your great idea :D
Aras, it's just me or this chapter seems a lot like the end of the fic? Maybe that's why I called it 'the ultimate play' haha.
Anyway, thanks for the reviews, favs and follows; you have already assured yourselves a place in heaven (? As always, your opinion is greatly appreciated!
PD: About the recent events, I knew that everything was going to be okay. Now I want to know what Gray was going to say!