Sorry if it's a little on the fast side, but I hope that you'll all enjoy this sweet Jerza one shot for Valentines' Day!
"Hey, hey who are you going to give your chocolate to?"
"Well…" Giggling followed the girls' conversations as they whispered about their preparations for Valentines' Day.
A certain redhead walked past the girls but not before briefly looking at them, wondering if they were normally successful in giving their chocolate to the person that they like. Maybe she should try?
"I'm back," she announced as she walked into the girls' dormitory. Even there, plenty of girls were bustling about for their own Valentines' Day. Everything seemed to be covered in pink and hearts. Why is it that when this time of year comes by, there's always a surge in femininity?
"Welcome back Erza-san!"the now energetic swim girl greeted as she carried a few boxes with chocolate supplies.
"That's a lot of stuff Juvia. Do you need help carrying it?"
"No, but Erza-san is free to join if she's likes! As long as Erza-san isn't planning on giving any chocolates to Gray-sama!" Her face was so sparkly as she made that threat, which made it creepier.
"I'd certainly be interesting in learning." There's no harm in just learning, besides she needs to work on her home ec grade too, so there's a perfectly rational reason as to why she stood in a kitchen for about three hours with Juvia as they made their chocolates.
"I actually did it," she whispered to herself as she held the pink box in her hands that night. Erza decided to go all out and put as much effort into these chocolates as possible. Maybe, he'll be happy about this…?
But her smile faded as soon as she remembered what that boy told her. Erza looked at the pretty packaging, feeling the curl of the ribbon in her fingers. Well… She doesn't have to give it to him in person right? Though how would she get it to him?
And just like the years before, that pretty pink box would find itself in the trash can, abandoned and uneaten.
But sometimes, traditions should change. After all, Valentine's Day should make people smile, shouldn't they? This year will be different, this year…
"Erza-chan! Are you busy on Valentine's Day?" Faye-sensei asked as she caught Erza filing something like the good student council president she is.
"Should a teacher be asking that?" Faye-sensei held out a slip of paper in front of Erza. "What's this?"
"Mavis and I were planning on going to Sorciere, but Zeref decided to come here as a surprise, so I have an extra plane ticket." Ok, so what does this have to do with Erza? "Would you like to see Jellal-kun this weekend so that you can spend Valentine's Day together?"
It felt too long since she's seen him already. This was a golden opportunity, but… "Is it ok if I do?" Erza asked a tad hesitantly.
"Of course! We'll be leaving right after school on Friday and we'll be back before school starts on Monday."
"Thank you so much for this."
"You've been working hard lately. You need to have fun. Besides, it's nice to actually meet face to face every so often."
Erza smiled at the ticket in her hand. How many months has it been since she last seen Jellal? Wait! Now she'll have to plan an outfit! Ara, ara, she's running down the halls again. "Lucy! I need your fashion advice again!" Aw, she's just so excited! Then again, her face is so red, maybe she's nervous?
"Erza?! What's wrong? Do you have a fever?"
"We'll start with the top then work our way towards the underwear!"
"Huh?" Shouldn't it be the inside first?
"Erza, calm down! You're going to kill her!" Levy pleaded as Erza furiously shook Lucy.
Now from Levy's extensive knowledge of living with Erza since late elementary school, to calm a frantic Erza, you need to give her some strawberry milk for her to cool down. As Erza obediently sipped on the straw, Lucy asked, "So what's this about an outfit, Erza?" And why does Erza always go to her for these things?
"I-I-I need you to help me pick out an outfit like b-before," she stuttered out.
"Are you going to video chat with Jellal for Valentine's Day?" Levy guessed. Erza blushed and muttered something out. "What was that?"
"Um… I'll be g-going to Sociere with Faye-sensei to see him."
The two girls squealed in happiness. "That's so amazing Erza!"
"Are you going bring him chocolate too?"
"I'm planning on buying some after school today."
"Eh? Since it's such a rare opportunity, shouldn't you make them yourself?"
"No, I don't think I have enough time for that since I haven't mastered the skill yet." Besides, it's rare enough that she gets to see him, so she doesn't want to ruin the moment by giving him bad chocolate.
So right after school, she headed to the store with the biggest Valentines' Day fair to pick out something. More importantly, which flavor should she choose? She had to make sure to get the best one for him since it's a rare chance. Um… There's too many choices! If only she had enough money to be able to taste test them all before choosing something…
"Erza-san!" Juvia called out.
"Oh Juvia, are you buying supplies for making chocolates for Gray again?" There's quite a lot of ingredients in her basket. Just how much was she planning on making?
"Yes! Juvia is sure that this time Gray-sama will finish it all!" Though with that amount of chocolate, it might be a little hard for him to do that. "Is Erza-san also making chocolates to send to Jellal-san?"
"No, I was planning on buying some. I'm not that good at cooking after all."
"Eh? But Juvia remembers teaching Erza-san back in middle school how to make them," Juvia reminded. Erza flinched. How could she forget that fact! "Could it be that Erza-san forgot?"
"Not exactly, but I'm still not that great at it," she admitted. "It's really just better if I buy it."
"But this is the first time that Erza-san has seen Jellal-san in a while, yes?"
"Then all the more reason to make it." Though she remembered that Erza seemed to make the chocolate very well last time. "Juvia thinks that Erza-san should at least try. Besides, Juvia heard once that nothing tastes better than something that you fill with love!" Ah, aren't girls in love so wonderful? Something in them just seems to shine. "If Erza-san would like, then Juvia would be happy to teach you again. Juvia has already promised to teach Levy-san and Lucy-san about how to make it tonight if Erza-san is interested."
"And it would be more personal than just spending time to choose a box."
"I suppose? If everyone else is, it would be better to do them all together and if you don't mind…" Now she's making excuses, how cute~
"Then let Juvia just finish up with her purchases."
The second that Juvia left her, Erza shrunk into a blushing pile of mush, muttering out "H-H-H-H-Handmade for J-J-J-J-J-J-J-J-J-J-Jellal!"
Oh, will she even be able to handle actually handing him the chocolates?
"I am so glad that you've decided to join us in making chocolate Erza," Lucy stated after Juvia explained the entire situation. "But why are we gathered at my house!"
"It's spacious. The kitchen dorms are kind of tiny and anyone who's making their chocolate will be there practicing," Levy pointed out logically.
"And why are you two here?! Don't you have your own homes to go to?" Lucy asked, pointing towards Faye-sensei and Headmistress Mavis.
"Well, Zeref will find out if I do it at home!" Mavis protested.
"And I still haven't made anything this year for Nate, so sorry to barge in! As an apology, I've bought enough ingredients for everyone."
"Then I guess its ok, I guess?" Well, at least there'll be more people to teach to teach others how to make chocolate. "Then shall we start? Um… The instructions say that we should chop up the couverture into small pieces."
Levy sighed in relief. "If it's something like that, I can manage. Erza, Juvia, you're pretty good at this."
"Juvia has given chocolate to Gray-sama ever since she met him," Juvia explained. Last year she gave him a wonderful chocolate Gray statue. If only he ate it though. It got destroyed by Natsu for some unknown reasons. "Juvia is more surprised that Erza-san knows how to chop it so finely."
"T-That's because it's similar to fencing."
"How so?" Lucy, what a boring comeback. Lucy glanced over at her teachers, seeing that Mavis was handed some chopped up chocolate. "Faye-sensei, you're doing it for her?"
"Zeref would kill me if Mavis had cuts on her hands. Next we're going to melt the chocolate. Place it in another bowl and then put it on top of a pot filled with water so that it can melt and not break up. Make sure you stir it with the cream."
"Is this too hot?"
"It looks fine to Juvia. Sensei, at this stage we add flavoring right?"
"Yes. After fully melting it, use extracts and spices. Juvia-chan, that's quite a lot of chocolate. What are you doing for Gray-kun this year?"
"It's a surprise. By the way Levy-san, if you put this in, then Juvia is sure that Gajeel-kun will enjoy it."
"Eh? But that's black pepper!"
"Don't worry. Gajeel-kun doesn't care for sweet things that much. Isn't that why Levy-san chose dark chocolate over milk? And Lucy-san, Natsu-san would enjoy it if you added some Tabasco sauce with some other spices. "
"I'm making some for my dad too, so I can't just add that!" So she was planning on giving Natsu chocolate!
"You can always match two batches," Erza pointed out as she added some strawberry sauce to hers. Now that she thinks about it, would Jellal like it better if it wasn't so sweet? He never particularly cared for sweets when they were younger and whenever there was cake, he would give his portion to her. Especially if it was strawberry. Would he not eat this? Maybe it would have been better to buy chocolate.
"Erza-chan?" Faye-sensei called out, "Let me tell you something interesting. The fact that you're going to visit that boy is more than enough. I don't think that he would reject your chocolates, so as long as you make them and put your feelings into it that would be more than enough."
"Thank you Sensei." She merely smiled in return. "Now we just pour it into the molds right?"
"You can do a lot at this stage. Most people pour it into molds, but you can also cool it a little and make truffles," Mavis stated as she poured her own batter into a tray. "And they're really fun to decorate!"
"Um, Principal Mavis, what did you put in there?" Somehow, the chocolate looked like it was breaking up.
"Um… Hm, what was it again?"
Faye-sensei merely smiled and reminded, "Well Zeref has a strong stomach, so anything you make is fine." And whenever he eats Mavis' food, no matter what it tastes like, he always says that it's delicious. Maybe love has no sense of taste.
"Why do you look used to this happening?" Incidentally, Faye-sensei always gives Zeref stomach medicine instead of chocolates for Valentines' Day.
"Because it happened a lot?" Though at some point, he gained resistance!
"Why are you saying that like it's not a bad thing?" Lucy mumbled as she poured her chocolate into the star shaped molds. Well he did gain resistance, meaning that if he was stranded on a deserted island, he'd probably have a good shot at surviving.
"Zeref always tells me that he's happy though," Mavis stated while tasting a bit of her chocolate. "Oh! It's not that bad this time!"
"How wonderful! Oh, Levy-chan, here's a chocolate pen. It's a lot easier like this if you want to use words," Faye-sensei advised to the petite girl.
"Thank you, but how do I use this?"
As Faye-sensei taught Levy, Lucy looked over to what Juvia was doing. "J-Juvia? Are you planning on giving all of that to Gray?"
Juvia looked up from her many, many molds. She was planning on making a chocolate model of their one performance together in middle school where she was the princess and Gray was the prince for their school festival float. "Of course. Juvia once learned that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach! Why does Lucy-san think that Juvia paid so much attention in Home Economics?" Juvia was training to become the perfect wife, all for Gray!
"I see… But this is really impressive." And it's not even in the decorated stage yet!
"Juvia wants to give Gray-sama the best chocolate. Juvia absolutely won't accept anyone else giving Gray-sama chocolate. Of course, Lucy-san isn't thinking of secretly giving Gray-sama chocolates is she?" That's quite the nasty eye she's giving Lucy.
"I'm not, I wouldn't think about it!" Besides, she's thinking about Natsu, remember Juvia?
Juvia returned to her normal smiling face. "Then that's great. Juvia wouldn't want to have to fight to the death with Lucy-san for Gray-sama's love."
"I see…" Though Lucy's pretty sure that Juvia will stop at nothing for that. "Oh, how long do we put this in the refrigerator?"
"Just until it finishes hardening so maybe half an hour is good."
Oh, it's just so wonderful to see girls bond together over trying to express their love for their crushes! Isn't it times like this that they'll look back on and remember good things? Good things, sweet memories will always outlast the bitter bad, so that's why it's important to do these types of things. After all, youth is fleeting and adulthood is complicated, so that's why these girls should treasure the experience of being in love and the excitement that comes with talking to their friends about wanting to fulfill that love.
"Erza, good luck with Jellal!" the three girls wished their red haired friend.
"I'll do my best!"
And so on that Friday afternoon, Erza nervously sat besides Faye-sensei and began muttering out possible scenarios for what might happen. Needless to say, they were getting a tad weird. "What if we accidently get spicy sushi?!" See? A tad weird.
"Erza-chan, what are you doing?" Faye-sensei asked the next morning.
"Braiding my hair?" She wanted it to be wavy, so she thought about braiding it, but this was the first time that she's ever done something like this and she normally only wore her hair in pigtail or ponytails or something. "I wanted to look nice," she muttered.
"Oh, young love is so cute! Then let me help a little. Here, sit, sit."
"Eh? It's already enough that you gave me the ticket to come!" Erza protested as Faye-sensei got out some things from her bag.
"Think of this as me testing out my skills on you since it's been a while. Besides, if you do it like that, your hair won't be ready in time," Faye-sensei insisted as she waited for the curling iron to warm. "Really, I'm envious that you two have such a wonderful relationship at this age."
"If I remember correctly, didn't you and your husband meet when you were in high school as well? From the way you two act, it seems that you've gotten along well."
"Is that so? When we first met, it was messy at best." And she punched him! Really, who knew that they would have ended up like this?
"Let's just say, back then I could easily kick his butt."
"Yes, even though I hated him, he still made me fall in love with him."
"How did you two fall in love?" Erza asked, wanting to hear a sweet love story. Well, aren't most stories sweeter than her own? "Or just, how did you fall in love with him?"
Faye-sensei simply smiled. "That is a bittersweet story for another time Erza-chan. Now, let me perform some magic on you!"
Within minutes, Erza has been given a full on makeup treatment. "Wow…," she muttered as she looked at herself in the mirror. If it's like this, then she would say that she looks very doll-like. "I love what you've done with my nails too." Little strawberry cakes decorated her fingertips.
"I tried going for a more natural style that focuses on your eyes. I'm glad that you like it! Ah, shall we get going to the school? We'll have to go to where Nate is first, then he should be able to tell you where Jellal-kun is."
"That's fine with me." Her heart was thumping. She would finally get to see Jellal! Picking up her cutely wrapped chocolates, she prayed that this would be the year. "I hope that he likes these."
"Until you all understand that this type of behavior towards the students is unacceptable, you are not leaving this room!" Nate shouted.
"No buts! The Headmaster is gone for less than a week and you're like this, so you're not leaving this room until you remember on what basis this school is built on!"
"Nate!" Faye-sensei zoomed in like a bullet to hug her husband. "Happy Valentine's Day! I brought you some chocolate."
"Faye, sweetie, I am in the middle—"
"They're handmade," she stated as though it was the most important thing in the world.
"I'm sure they're delicious, but I'm supposed to be reprimanding these students on the school policies because they decided to—"
"Before you start ranting to me about rules and having things just, fair, and equal," she cut off, knowing that he'll take a while to get his point across, "I've brought Erza-chan here as well and I think she wants to know where Jellal-kun is."
"Is that so? Should I get a student to lead you there?"
"I'm fine with just a map, thank you," Erza insisted.
"But this campus is rather big and confusing, so I'd be less concerned if you had a responsible student with you."
"I know that you'll try to get her lost, so just stop."
"Aternus-sensei," a student entering the room called out. "I have those entrance forms for those art contests that you recommended, oh?" Erza blinked and the dark haired student smirk. "Oh Erza, I didn't know that you were coming! How have you been?"
"It's been a while Ultear. I've been doing fine, and you?"
"Hmm…" She looked up at down, noting Erza's hair, makeup, and dress. "Oh I've been perfect, though my friend has certainly seen some better days. You see, I think he's missing his girlfriend since they're having this long distance 'not' relationship. He's been so depressed." What did she know?
"Ultear-chan, excellent timing," Nate commented as he took the papers that she was holding. "Please escort Erza-chan to Jellal-kun's atelier if you would."
"But of course. I'll make sure that she gets there safely," she ensured, smiling widely. Ultear-san, what kind of smile is that? What could she be thinking? "Now Erza, let's go see Jellal."
Erza smiled brilliantly. "Yeah."
Ultear sighed. "Oh, what did that idiot do to get you to fall in love with him?" Idiot? "Did you bring chocolates for him?" Erza nodded. "Are you actually going to give them to him this year?"
Ah, so she did know. "I came all the way here, didn't I?"
"Then that's good." They walked in silence before coming to a certain door. "Stay quiet for a second ok?" Erza nodded. "Jellal! I have something I want to show you."
"What? Were you experimenting with stage makeup again?" After coming to Sociere, Ultear did find that she had an amazing talent with makeup and costumes, so she often used that to trick and tease Jellal.
But instead of Ultear, he saw his Erza all dressed up again with her hair in ringlets. While this could be a trick, because Ultear enjoys torturing him, Jellal could tell that this was the real one. "What are you doing here?" Damn, Ultear wanted him to profess his love to her the second he saw her!
"Faye-sensei had an extra ticket, so I came with her," Erza explained.
"Well, you two lovebirds enjoy yourselves." Well, she can probably tease the heck out of him later. "Jelly, don't do anything that will make you get arrested, ok?"
"Ultear!" Those adorable lovebirds blushed in unison leaving a slightly awkward silence.
Erza looked everywhere but Jellal's face. "I-I'm glad that you're doing well. It looks like you've done a lot of drawings since the last time we saw each other."
"Yeah." Though all of them would never compare to her beauty. "Have you been well?"
"Yeah." Oh, what was she doing with small talk? Why can't she get to the point like she normally does! But she knows that Jellal is an expectation to everything. She can't help but act different towards him. It's like before when she would try to sneak her chocolates to him instead of hand them directly.
Jellal should be around here, maybe if she leaves it nearby, he'll find it. But before Erza could leave the chocolates near the door, she heard someone's voice. "Aw, is someone bitter because they didn't get any chocolates?"
"I don't need any of that sugar crap. Love is useless anyways," a certain boy stated. "What's the point of a holiday like this when we're all going to end up alone anyways?" Erza slowly slinked away at the sound of those words. His words have such a large effect on her. Before, they held the magic to make her stop crying, now they just enhance the pain. Why did it have to hurt so much?
She clutched tighter to her box of chocolates as silent tears streamed down her face. Why did he always affect her like this?
But now things have changed from the times where she couldn't face him. With all the confidence she could muster, she held out her box of chocolates towards him and blurted out, "T-T-This is for Valentines' Day!"
Jellal looked at her in a daze. Never in a million years did he expect to be able to receive Erza's chocolates. "Thank you."
"They might not be good, but I did it to my upmost abilities! So…"
These were handmade? "I'll eat all of them," he promised her. How could he even think about wasting her precious chocolates? "Thank you Erza."
She leaped into his arms with a huge smile embracing her face. His arms felt so warm around her, it felt like home. "Happy Valentines' Day, Jellal," she whispered into his ear.
With a kiss to her forehead, he whispered, "Happy Valentine's Day, Erza."