Disclaimer: I do not own Fairy Tail.
Mirajane doesn't exactly remember when or why she decided to become the resident matchmaker. She supposes it sort of began after Lisanna's death. She had hoped seeing the happiness and love of a matched couple would help ease the pain that Lisanna's death had left in her heart.
So she began her little projects and with each success, the hole in her heart would slowly fill. She knew it would never be completely filled but it helped dull the ache. Her latest project, Bisca and Alzack, was coming along swimmingly. She didn't even have to do much. All she had to do was get them to confess to each other. (The couples that already knew their feelings for each other were the easy ones. The couples that wouldn't even acknowledge those feelings were the challenge. And her guild mates usually fit in the latter category.)
Of all the people in the guild, the one person she wanted to match make was Erza. Erza was the ultimate challenge.
It was strange. Before, she would have done anything to pummel Erza. But now, if she was going to be honest, she considered Erza as one of her closest friends.
She guessed her relationship with Erza shifted from rivals to friendship when she ate that slice of strawberry cake.
-A Study in Scarlet-
It's been a month since Lisanna's death. Mirajane and Elfman haven't gone on missions since then. They stay in the guild, at the table where the three siblings would always congregate. If Mirajane looked hard enough, she could swear she can see Lisanna's smiling face across the table.
Today, it's just Mirajane at the table. Natsu and Gray have dragged Elfman to their table, where Cana sits with her cards spread out and reading Elfman's fortune. She smiled. If Natsu and Grey weren't so afraid of her, she probably would have been dragged over too.
Mirajane looked down at where the sound came from. There's a plate of strawberry cake placed in front her. A plate of Erza's strawberry cake. A plate of the last of Erza's strawberry cake.
Mirajane whirled around to catch a glimpse of Erza's braided scarlet hair as she climbed the steps to the second floor. With Mirajane out of commission, the S-class missions have piled up. Erza had been going on more missions now. Mystogan was always gone anyway and Laxus was too preoccupied with the Raijinshuu so she knew that Erza was the one taking care of Mirajane's potential jobs.
She turned back to the cake and picked up the fork. She wasn't as fond of the sweet dessert as Erza. Nevertheless, she appreciated the gesture. Erza wasn't one to use words to comfort and Mirajane learned to read her actions if she wanted to know what Erza was really feeling. Erza giving Mirajane the last slice of her beloved cake showed how much Erza cared, even though they were rivals, and a reminder that Mirajane wasn't alone in this.
She took a bite of the sugary confection and hummed in contentment. As she polished off the cake, Erza came down the stairs, a flyer clutched in her hand. Mirajane waved at her as she headed towards the door, offering a smile as a sign of thanks. Erza smiled in return and left, already on her next mission. No one else seemed to notice their exchange. No one seemed to notice that Erza left at all, which Mirajane thought was quite strange. Usually Natsu or Gray would be asking for a brawl when Erza came back.
Now that she thought about it, did Erza have anyone she was close to? Someone to wish her a safe journey and to welcome her back? Natsu and Gray didn't count because they were too afraid of her and were too preoccupied with their rivalry. Cana had her booze. Levy had Jet and Droy. At least she had Elfman. But it seemed that Erza didn't have anyone. She was like Mystogan in that respect. Both choosing to keep to themselves. It was no use to befriend Mystogan, especially when he was always putting everyone to sleep whenever he came back from a job. Erza had her armor, so even though she hung out on the first floor with everyone else, she still guarded her heart.
Mirajane remembered the fire in Erza's eyes whenever they fought. Fire in an opponent's eyes were the fuel to Mirajane's strength. It filled her with adrenaline and the anticipation of an interesting fight. But in Erza's eyes, she noted, there was also a sadness, lingering behind the fire. It used to irritate her so much. She used to mistake that sadness as pity when it was obviously more than that.
I wonder if it's the same as me, mused Mirajane. If it's the type of sadness that even strawberry cake can't fix.
-A Study in Scarlet-
It's been a year since Lisanna's death and Makarov was kind enough to allow her to stay, even though she was no longer an S-class mage. She played bartender and would occasionally model for Sorcerer Magazine. She became the face of Fairy Tail while the exploits of Erza, Laxus, and Mystogan were quickly making Fairy Tail be known as the most powerful guild in Fiore.
Mirajane was cleaning up Makarov's office while Makarov was out at another meeting between the guild masters. She went to straighten his desk, piled high with documents, when the latest issue of Sorcerer Magazine caught her eye.
Master usually doesn't read this, thought Mirajane. He'd always say it was mostly for the young and none of the articles interested him. Well, unless they included photos of pretty young ladies.
She flipped it open and a note fell out. She picked up the note and written in what she was sure was Mystogan's handwriting were the words, "Don't show Erza."
Why? Mirajane was pretty sure Erza never showed any interest in the magazine either. Did they publish an article that slandered the Titania? That would make sense since Master instructed her to hide the latest issue from Erza before he left for his meeting. Mirajane looked at the page and noted the article didn't mention Erza at all. It was an article about the youngest mage to become one of the Ten Wizard Saints and a member of the Magic Council. Some fellow called Siegrain. The accompanying picture depicted a handsome young man with blue hair and an intricate deep red tattoo surrounding his right eye. She wondered how this pertained to Erza.
Mirajane gasped. Was Mystogan afraid that Erza would be attracted to Siegrain because he was jealous? Her matchmaking skills were tingling. She did have the slight hunch that Mystogan might be attracted to Erza and was too afraid to confront her about his feelings. He always made sure to go on missions whenever Erza had a prolonged stay at the guild and would usually stay for a while at the guild when Erza was on a mission. She remembered an occasion when Mystogan used his usual sleep spell on everyone and from what she remembered before she fell asleep was Erza being in the middle of the room. But when she woke up, she saw that Erza was not getting up from the floor but was getting up from a nearby table. The confused look on Erza's face surely matched her own. He must have placed her there while he was getting his new job.
Mirajane smiled and went back to tidying up Makarov's desk, her mind filled with ideas on how to get Mystogan and Erza together. She would need to enlist Laxus for help as he was the only one Mystogan seemed to interact the most. She was so excited at the idea of matching them together, two S-class mages of Fairy Tail.
Finished with the cleaning, Mirajane skipped out of the office, humming a light tune. If she could match Erza with someone, no one would question her matchmaking skills. She would be Mirajane Strauss, Matchmaker Extraordinaire.
Just you wait, Erza. He's going to take away your sadness. I'm sure of it.
-A Study in Scarlet-
"So Erza, how was your last mission? It's been quite awhile since I last saw you."
"The mission was a bit troublesome, Mira. I had to fight some knights that were terrorizing this village near Hargeon."
"Oh? How many knights were there?"
"About 100. But it wasn't anything I couldn't handle."
They shared a chuckle. Mirajane and Erza were on their way to deliver some documents to Makarov. Technically, Makarov had only asked Mirajane to come. Erza just happened to come back from her mission and Mirajane wanted some company; also, Erza had some of the many handwritten letters of apology for the destruction of cities caused by Fairy Tail. It really had been quite awhile since she and Erza talked. Erza now no longer kept her hair in a braid, instead keeping it loose and flowing down her back. Mirajane had rather liked this new look and told her so a few weeks back when she first started sporting the new hairstyle.
"Where is Master again?" Erza looked left and right, hoping to catch a glimpse of their guild master. Mirajane guessed that Erza was eager to get back to the guild for some strawberry cake. She had baked one this morning, knowing that Erza was due back soon.
"He's outside Kardia Cathedral with a member of the Magic Council. I think they might be talking about some of the…damage that's being caused by Fairy Tail." They both gave a slight grimace, remembering the damage the guild hall used to suffer when they had their fights.
"It's a good thing I have these letters then. It will save us a trip to Era."
"Oh, there he is." Mirajane pointed to the two figures under the tree. The shorter figure was clearly Master Makarov, his silhouette being familiar to the two. The other figure, Mirajane could make out his blue hair and recognized the man as being Siegrain. She had met the man on several occasions. Strangely enough, he would visit the guild hall, which was a rare thing for the Council to do but Makarov had warned he might be doing this to keep Fairy Tail in line. She always noticed that his eyes would always roam around the guild, looking at everyone as if he was looking for a specific person. It seemed whoever he was looking for was never there.
"Master! I have the doc—"
"You!" Mirajane watched as Erza flew towards Siegrain, her sword raised in the air ready to strike.
"Erza! What are you doing?" Mirajane and Makarov cried. Makarov had stopped Erza from striking Siegrain with his arm. Siegrain had only looked calmly at the spectacle and Mirajane was pretty sure that he had a slight smirk on his face. Mirajane had reached to where the three of them, prepared to help Makarov restrain Erza, if necessary. She looked over at Erza's face and was shocked at the amount of rage she saw there. She didn't think she had ever seen Erza look so angry before.
"Erza Scarlet." Siegrain said as if her name was made of a sweet nectar given by the gods, emphasizing her last name which only seemed to irritate Erza further. Her hand was clenched around the handle of her sword, whose blade was still being held by Makarov. "I'm not the person you think I am. I'm Jellal's older twin brother. I would have thought he told you." Who's Jellal?
His explanation seemed to pacify Erza and she withdrew her sword. Mirajane was still tense and she could see that Makarov was as well. The two of them stood close by, wary of what Erza might do next.
"I apologize for my actions." She bowed her head. "You may punish me as you see fit."
Siegrain chuckled. "There's no need for that. Though," he turned to Makarov, "May I borrow her for a few moments? There is something I wish to speak to her about." Makarov nodded his approval and Siegrain gestured for Erza to follow him. The two of them had walked further away until they disappeared behind the cathedral.
"Master, was that a good idea, letting Erza go with him? I know he's a powerful mage but, I've never seen Erza so angry. I'm worried she might try something."
"She won't do anything. I don't know if you noticed…," Makarov whispered his next statement. "He didn't even make a move to dodge the attack." Mirajane thought back to what had transpired moments ago. Makarov was right. Siegrain didn't try to dodge, it was like he expected Erza to attack him.
"Do you know who he was talking about? Jellal?"
Makarov shook his head. "It could be someone Erza knew before she joined Fairy Tail." They both quieted as they remembered what Erza used to be like, closed off from everyone. She was still closed off, but at least she had opened up a bit since then.
They stood there for a few more moments before Siegrain and Erza returned. Siegrain looked smug while Erza was looking at the ground.
"Well, Makarov, I need to head back to Era. Please tell your guild not to destroy so much property the next time they're on a job."
"Of course. I'll be sure to tell my brats that. Goodbye."
"Goodbye." Siegrain nodded at Mirajane. He looked at Erza, who was still looking at the ground. "Remember what we talked about, Erza." He turned away and started walking towards the train station.
Makarov mentioned that he had to go see someone and was soon on his way, patting Erza's arm before leaving. Once he was out of earshot, Mirajane motioned to Erza to follow her back to the guild. They were halfway to the guild when Mirajane couldn't take the silence anymore. She had to know.
"Erza?" Erza finally looked up to meet Mirajane's gaze. "Who's Jellal?"
Erza seemed to freeze up before stuttering, "H-he's an old friend. From before I came to Fairy Tail. We didn't leave on good terms, that's why I attacked Siegrain. They're exactly the same" Her voice trailed off.
They continued walking until Mirajane saw that Erza had stopped. She turned around and opened her mouth to ask what was wrong before being cut off by Erza.
"Mira…" Erza was once again looking at the ground, her bangs covering her eyes. "Please don't mention what happened today to anyone." She looked up, her left eye shining with unshed tears. "Please." Erza whispered with a low voice that Mirajane struggled to hear.
Mirajane smiled softly. "Of course, Erza." Mirajane smiled brightly. "Now, let's get back. I baked a cake for you."
-A Study in Scarlet-
After their encounter with Siegrain, Erza took on more missions, barely resting at the guild. Not even the destruction caused by Natsu and Gray's daily fights can convince Erza to stay for more than a day.
Mirajane had momentarily paused her pursuit in matchmaking Erza. After she told Laxus her idea of Mystogan's possible feelings for Erza, he loudly laughed at her. He said that Mystogan was not harboring hidden feelings for his guild mate.
Mirajane questioned Laxus why he thought that was the case and Laxus replied, "Trust me. I know."
She brought up the incident where Mystogan had placed Erza at the table and Laxus had countered, "He was probably being nice." She had pouted at that logic, because Laxus did have a point. Laxus then told her that now probably wasn't the time to be matchmaking Erza, judging by the way Erza was behaving whenever she got back to the guild.
Yajima had stopped by for a visit, giving his usual warning to Makarov to keep an eye on his guild's destructive habits. Yajima mentioned that Fairy Tail was being mentioned a lot by the Council and soon his support wouldn't be enough to stop the Council from doing whatever they wanted to Fairy Tail. He said that, surprisingly, Siegrain had been giving his support for Fairy Tail. When Makarov hadn't said anything in reply, Mirajane realized that only and she and Makarov knew why Siegrain was being so helpful.
Whatever he told Erza at the cathedral that day, it couldn't have been good. He would occasionally send letters addressed to Erza. Mirajane was always there whenever Erza opened them, and she saw how tightly the scarlet-haired woman clenched the pieces of paper. Mirajane wasn't surprised when Erza would take the letters and shred them before even looking at them. She wondered about their relationship. Clearly, Siegrain was doing them a favor by placating the Council whenever Fairy Tail destroyed another town. But whatever he was having Erza do in return, it was something that pained her.
Mirajane could remember how distraught Erza had looked when she pleaded with Mira not to tell anyone what had transpired that day at the cathedral. And Mirajane would keep her word. She was sure it had something to do with Jellal, it was the only person that seemed to tie Erza to Siegrain. And she couldn't help but wonder what had happened between them, Erza and Jellal.
She wondered if this Jellal person even knew how strong of a hold he has over the mighty Titania's heart.
-A Study in Scarlet-
A/N: This is a three-shot in Mirajane's POV that deals with the Erza/Jellal relationship and how it progresses through the series. This chapter was mostly about events that happened pre-canon but I tried to stick as close as I could to canon. This chapter was all about what Mirajane sees on Erza's side, mainly Erza's reactions and what not. The next chapter will be dialogue heavy. I don't know when I'll be able to post the next chapter but everything has been outlined so this story will be finished. Please review if you can, I would love to get some feedback.