Disclaimer: I do not own Fairy Tail. If I did, Jerza would have been made canon a long time ago.
"I wonder what Master wants." Cana leaned against the bar, her trusty barrel of alcohol nearby.
Mirajane merely shrugged. For the first time, she had no idea what Makarov was planning. She had spent the last few hours comforting Elfman, who was distraught that he was not picked to represent Fairy Tail for the Grand Magical Games. Lisanna had taken him out for a walk, giving the excuse that Magnolia had probably changed since she left and as big brother, he should be the one to give her the tour. Mira had wanted to go with them. She wanted to spend as much time with Lisanna as she could after finally getting her back. She remembered the moment on Tenrou Island when she thought she was going to lose her dear, precious sister again. She shook her head, willing herself to get rid of her depressed thoughts. She looked to her right, where Juvia was. Master had given her the task to keep an eye on Juvia.
"Juvia does not understand why Juvia is not allowed to follow Gray-sama," Juvia muttered under her breath.
Mira gave Juvia a smile, hoping to cheer up the poor girl. They were lucky it hadn't started raining yet. "Once Master tells us what he wants, you can go follow him." Juvia brightened up at the thought. Mira was about to ask Cana if she had any idea where Gildarts had run off to when the guild door swung open and Makarov strode in with three cloaked figures in tow.
Makarov turned towards the three figures, "You don't have to worry about any prying ears here. In our absence, Fairy Tail hasn't been a priority for Magnolia and we've never been on the good graces of the Magic Council anyway. So if they were to find out that we knew you three were roaming the country, you can be sure that Fairy Tail will defend you until the very end." He motioned for the three figures to follow him to the bar where Cana, Juvia, and Mira were waiting. He looked around the guild before settling on Mira, "Laxus and Gajeel haven't returned?"
Mira shook her head. "Not yet. They should be here soon." The three figures stayed behind Makarov, the rest of the guild had decided to ignore whatever was going on.
"I guess we can start without them. We can fill them in on what they missed when they get here." Makarov faced the three figures. "You can take off the hoods now." The three figures proceeded to take off the hoods. Mira didn't recognize the two females, but she did recognize the male. She held in her gasp. Juvia seemed to know all three of them and Cana looked as if she couldn't care less who these three were.
"These three are Jellal Fernandes, Ultear Milkovich, and Meredy." He pointed to each one as he introduced them. "They're currently wanted by the Magic Council for past crimes but they're atoning for it by eliminating dark guilds." The one called Meredy gave a wide smile and hopped over to where Juvia was. The two girls hugged happily. The other female, Ultear, looked on at the scene with a proud smile.
"They've told me that over the past seven years, a dark magical presence has been present at the Grand Magical Games. Since all three of them have had experience with dark magic, they are positive that it's Zeref." Mira was shocked at this information, and judging by the looks of it, so was Cana. Juvia did not, so Mira assumed she had already met with them before, probably when she went off to train, and was told of the matter then.
"Did you want us to be on the lookout for a strange magical presence?" Mira asked.
"Yes and no." Jellal decided to answer the question. "The three of us are probably the only ones who can actually identify if the presence is Zeref but because we're wanted criminals, we can't get too close to the capital."
"Which is why I suggested that we form another team!" Makarov stood up on the bar and threw his hands happily into the air.
"What?!" Mira and Cana cried in unison.
"Is that even allowed?" Cana leaned her head on her barrel.
"Well, I was going over the rules and it did say this year they would allow two teams." Mira reasoned. She turned to Makarov, "But Master, I don't understand how another team will help."
"Jellal, Ultear, or Meredy can masquerade as a member of Fairy Tail. That's why I was waiting for Gajeel and Laxus to get back, because I wanted them to be on the team. It's also why I wanted to see you. Does your transformation magic work on other people?" Makarov looked so hopeful that Mira felt guilty about her answer.
"I'm sorry, Master. Transformation magic usually works best if it's cast on yourself." She turned to the three. "I guess you guys don't know transformation magic." The three shook their heads. "I guess whatever disguise we come up with will have to hold up—"
"We're back!" Gajeel shouted, as he and Laxus came into the guild.
"What took you two so long?" Cana asked.
Gajeel pointed his thumb at Laxus. "This guy wanted to stop by a bakery." Sure enough, Mira could see that Laxus was carrying a cake box.
"Did Natsu and them already leave for the capital?" Laxus asked his grandfather.
"Yes, they left yesterday. Why?" Makarov pointed at the cake box. "Did you buy that for them?" Makarov sounded quite confused.
"No!" Laxus adamantly replied. "Not for all of them anyway," muttered Laxus.
Cana burst in laughter. "Oh Mavis, you got that cake for Erza!" Laxus didn't reply but it was clear to Mira that Cana was right. Mira snuck a glance at Jellal and noted how he was trying hard not to glare at Laxus. Interesting, Mira noted. Mira also noticed that Ultear was smirking at Jellal's reaction.
"Are you courting the Titania or something, since you made us wait forever for that cake?" Gajeel asked.
"I am not courting Erza." Laxus dropped the cake box on the bar counter. "She…helped me back at Tenrou and I thought I should do something nice for her as thanks. We didn't part on the nicest terms and she still helped me anyway."
"We didn't part on the nicest terms but I don't see you buying me anything." Gajeel retorted.
"Well, you didn't help me back at the island so why should I?"
Gajeel didn't say anything in return and grunted, turning to Makarov. "So what did you need us for?"
Makarov filled the two in on what they missed. For some reason, Laxus chose to stare at Jellal during the explanation, making Jellal uncomfortable. Mira felt sorry for him. "We're going to have to disguise them and we haven't decided on who—"
They all looked at Laxus in confusion while Laxus was still staring at Jellal.
"Laxus, his name is Jellal." Cana said slowly.
He turned to Cana. "Oh I know. I'm just saying he looks like Mystogan so he can probably dress up as him. After all," he looked back at Jellal, "they have the same face."
"Erza did say Mystogan had the same face as someone she knew," Makarov said. He addressed Jellal, "I guess she was talking about you." Mira couldn't believe she forgot about this, especially after Laxus had taken the time to tell her about what happened at Kardia Cathedral.
"Well I guess that solves the problem of the disguise." Mira clapped her hands together. "I guess we just have to tell you about Mystogan so you can properly imitate him." She looked at Laxus. "You should probably fill him in because out of everyone here, you're the one who spent the most time with Mystogan."
Laxus crossed his arms and frowned. "I don't know if I want to help out with this ruse."
"Why not?" Mira demanded.
Laxus hesitated before replying. "I'm trying to thank Erza for her help and I don't think showing up with him is going to do me any good." He stared at Jellal. "Last time she saw Mystogan's face, she cried." Jellal looked at the ground guiltily.
"But she should be fine. She did help him when they were in Edolas." Mira reasoned.
Ultear jumped in. "And Erza's already seen Jellal." She had a teasing grin. "It was the first thing he had us do." Jellal began to blush. This was very interesting indeed, noted Mira.
"Yeah!" Meredy chimed in this time. "He made us hurry to the meeting spot, even when we were going as fast as we could." Jellal glared at his teammates at the apparent betrayal.
"Oh? Is that so?" Makarov had a mischievous look on his face. Poor Jellal. Everyone was going to gang up on him now that his affection towards Erza was made clear.
"I-I wanted to make s-sure everyone was okay. N-not just Erza." Jellal tried to redeem himself.
"If Juvia remembers correctly, Jellal-san spent most of his time with Erza-san. Jellal-san didn't talk with anyone else." Everyone chuckled at Jellal's discomfort.
Makarov cleared his throat. "We'll have more fun with this later." Jellal softly groaned. "I don't really remember what spells Mystogan used during his S-Class exam but Laxus can fi—"
"I'm sorry to interrupt but what exactly is Edolas and how does that explain why this Mystogan and Jellal have the same face?" Meredy asked.
"Edolas is the parallel world linked to this world and Mystogan would be Jellal's Edolas counterpart. Each counterpart is essentially the same with some differences." Makarov replied.
"What kind of differences?"
Mira answered. "From what Lisanna told me, it's usually a person's personality is switched. For Natsu, his counterpart was meek. For Gray, his counterpart wore a lot of clothing. And for Erza," Mira trailed off as she remembered what Lisanna had told her about Erza's counterpart. "Her counterpart was the general of the royal army and was nicknamed the Fairy Hunter after she killed countless Fairy Tail members." Mira heard someone gasp. "Things should be fine in Edolas now and Erza said her counterpart had the same heart as her. It's just she was led down the wrong path."
"I can't even imagine that," Jellal spoke softly.
"But if they had the same face, wouldn't people wonder if Jellal and Mystogan were twins?" Meredy asked.
"He kept his face hidden all the time. And whenever he'd come to the guild to take a new job, he'd put a sleep spell on all of us." Cana replied.
"So I have to be the one to teach him how to act like Mystogan?" Laxus pointed at himself.
"No one else can." Makarov replied, leaving no room for argument. "He didn't go near Erza, for obvious reasons, and we can't ask her as she's already on her way to Crocus. You're the only one who's fought him."
Laxus sighed, running a hand through his hair. He turned to Jellal. "You have to be pretty strong, right? I mean, Mystogan was an S-Class mage and one of our strongest. Our fight was a stalemate. And besides," Laxus smirked, "Erza's not attracted to weak people."
"I used to be a Wizard Saint," Jellal said, choosing to ignore the last statement.
Laxus raised his eyebrows, looking impressed. "I was going to give Erza this cake as thanks." He gestured toward the cake box on the counter. "But I guess you'll do." He slung his arm around Jellal and led him towards the door. "She'd appreciate you more anyway. Now let's begin these lessons."
Makarov waited until the two left the guild, Jellal seemingly uncomfortable at how friendly Laxus was being, before announcing, "The team is going to be Laxus, 'Mystogan', Gajeel, Juvia, and Mirajane. Cana will be the substitute." Makarov leapt off the counter, signaling the end of the meeting. Cana went back to drinking while Meredy and Juvia decided to chat in the corner.
Ultear sidled up to Mira. "Mira, right? Meredy and I will be monitoring from outside of the city and we won't be able to communicate to Jellal all the time. You see, Jellal made a comment to Erza, and though she knows it isn't true, we feel Jellal needs to…face the repercussions of such a comment and I just know that you'll be able to help us." Ultear had a look in her eye that Mira knew all too well.
Mira had just found her new best friend.
-A Study in Scarlet-
"That was too easy." Gajeel remarked as Team Fairy Tail B was settling back in their room. They had just finished second in the Sky Labyrinth, the preliminary tournament for the Grand Magical Games. Gajeel decided to lean against wall while Juvia stood nearby.
"I can't believe they came last. Fucking shameful." Laxus sat himself down on one of the beds and Mira sat down next to him. Jellal went over to the window, the staves strapped to his back making a noise. It was really strange to see him dressed up as Mystogan.
"At least we got to see what teams we're going up against. Maybe we should tell Jellal what they're like." Mira, Laxus, Gajeel, and Juvia all shared a mischievous look. Jellal was looking out the window and if he had turned around, he would know that they were not going to go easy on him.
"Well," Laxus started. "There's Quatro Cerberus. Most of their members aren't that strong from what I remember. But the one you have to watch out for is Bacchus." Jellal barely paid attention to what they said and Mira knew exactly what to do to get him to pay attention.
"Bacchus? Isn't he the guy Erza always runs into during S-Class missions?" Jellal perked up at the mention of Erza. This was too easy, noted Mira.
"Yeah. They'd always fight after they finished their missions. They were pretty even in terms of strength if I remember correctly. Their fights were well-known and I think the king will match those two up in a battle. Whenever I ran into him, he'd always mention what a 'fine woman' Erza was." His tone suggesting that Bacchus wasn't talking about Erza's strength.
The four of them looked over at the window, where Jellal had gripped the windowsill in anger.
"What other teams are there?" Juvia tried to change the subject, throwing a worried glance at Jellal. She looked like she didn't want to tease Jellal anymore but Laxus, Mira, and Gajeel weren't finished.
"There's Blue Pegasus who has Ichiya—"
"That man is here!" Jellal's outburst surprised them. He had whirled around and they could see his angry eyes through the mask. He realized his outburst was out of character and tried to recover, "I mean…that man is here. I-I remember he's strong so I guess we should watch out for him during the matches."
"Is that it?" Gajeel teased.
"Are you sure it has nothing to do with the fact that Ichiya is clearly infatuated with Erza and you're jealous?" Laxus continued, "Erza denies it but Ichiya is absolutely sure something happened between them in the past that explains his behavior towards her."
Jellal's hands tightened into fists but he didn't rise to the bait they were throwing at him. It's just going to get worse, Mira gleefully thought.
"What are you to Scarlet anyway?" Gajeel asked.
"I'm…an old friend." Jellal replied. His tone, however, suggested otherwise.
"H-he's an old friend." That's exactly what Erza said back at the Cathedral, Mira thought. These two are horrible liars. Mira remembered what Ultear had told her. "Of course he's just an old friend, Gajeel. He told Erza he has a fiancee now." Mira grinned when she saw how Jellal was squirming.
"Oh? If he has a fiancee then I guess he won't mind if Erza spends her time with Bacchus or Ichiya." Laxus turned to Mira. "And wasn't there that guy you wanted to introduce Erza to?"
"Yes. Don't you think it would be a good idea to introduce Erza to someone, Jellal?"
"No! I mean, yes! I mean," Jellal gripped his head with his hands. The four of them laughed at his struggle.
After the laughter had died down, Mira figured this was the time to ask Jellal the question that had been on her mind since they left. "Back at the guild," Jellal looked up as Mira addressed him, "when we were talking about Edolas and brought up the fact that Erza's Edolas counterpart was evil, you said you couldn't even imagine that. What exactly did you mean?"
Jellal walked back toward the window and looked out. "I meant what I said. I couldn't imagine Erza ever being evil. She represents everything that is good in my world."
This time, Mira really looked at Jellal. She looked at this man and told herself that this was the man that Erza was in love with. This was the man who made it difficult for her to pair Erza up with anyone. This was the man who had made Erza cry countless times but had probably made her smile a million times more. This was the man who couldn't wait to see Erza. She had seen how excited he was at the prospect of seeing her again, when they had made the decision to disguise him as Mystogan. His posture had not suggested it but it was his eyes. His eyes had lit up at the mere mention of her name and it seemed to shine even brighter as they went over the plan.
"I see." She really did. You care for her just as much as she cares for you, Mira thought, and even though I don't know you that well, you two are exactly alike.
The room was quiet for a while until Gajeel decided to break the silence.
"I hope you realize that even though we can see their lodge from here, we're probably too far away for you to peep on Erza."
"I'm not trying to peep on Erza!"
-A Study in Scarlet-
They had all winced when they heard all the boos that Fairy Tail Team A had received.
"I guess a lot has changed since we've been gone." Mira said. The rest of the team nodded in agreement.
Their entrance was going to be announced in a few minutes. "I can't wait to see the looks on their faces when we go out." Gajeel slammed his fist into his open palm.
"Remember," Laxus said to Jellal, "you can't go running to Erza. I know you're excited to see her but please try not to be a salivating dog when you're near her, alright?"
Jellal sighed. "I promise I won't go running to her." He walked past them. "And I'm not a dog," he muttered. He had gotten used to their teasing by now.
When their entrance was announced, Mira noted with amusement at how quickly Jellal had walked toward Erza, never mind the fact that Erza had walked over to him when she realized that it was Jellal and not Mystogan.
"I knew he wouldn't fucking listen," Laxus muttered quietly. Mirajane giggled. She was the only one who had heard him as Gajeel started arguing with Natsu and Juvia had ran towards Gray.
She looked at Jellal and Erza, who were conversing in low tones. It looked like Erza was reprimanding Jellal, probably because he was risking a lot to pose as a member of the team. The two of them weren't overt in their emotions but Mira had learned that she needed to look at their eyes to see what they were truly feeling.
Judging by the way Jellal was looking at Erza, Mira figured that he probably didn't notice that they were in an arena filled with people. He probably didn't even notice that he was appearing to everyone as Mystogan and not Jellal, wanted criminal. He probably didn't even care. All he saw was her.
And for Erza, Mira had never seen her so happy. Not even with cake. By Erza's standards, she looked deliriously happy. Only those who really knew Erza could tell how she felt and Mira was glad to call herself one of those few.
As Laxus walked away from her, mentioning something about how he had to make sure Jellal didn't blow his cover, she suddenly remembered all her spars with Erza. She remembered that slice of cake that Erza had given her after Lisanna was taken away. She remembered how down Erza had looked after Kardia Cathedral. And she especially remembered how broken Erza had looked when Erza had told her how helpless she felt when Jellal was taken away.
As she remembered all of this, she decided on one thing.
Operation: Get Erza together with the love of her life was officially back on.
A/N: I finally finished! This is the second multi-chapter fic I have ever finished and I am ridiculously happy right now. I just want to thank everyone who read, reviewed, followed, and favorited this story. You all don't know how much it means to me to have people actually read stuff I write. I really rushed to finish this before the end of the month so I'm sorry if there are any mistakes. I was rushing because I'll be participating in NaNoWriMo this year and I really wanted to devote my time to focus on that next month.
I guess I'll tell you what my next project is, since it is also my NaNoWriMo project. First, it's a fanfic so that's a guaranteed 50,000 words. It's got Jerza, superheroes and supervillains, and all the rated M bits will probably be posted separately for those who aren't comfortable reading rated M stuff. So y'all can look forward to that being posted here soon.
Once again, I just want to thank all you lovely people and I would think you are even lovelier if you could review this last chapter. :D