AN: I… can't.
Rewrite of chapter 334 of the Fairy Tail manga.
'Could this possibly be... a confession of love...?! Wh-What should I do?' The blue haired Water Mage was looking to the man of her life with glassy eyes and letting her imagination run wild in her head; more than usual. What if he confessed?
Juvia Lockser knew that at the moment Gray confessed, she would die in happiness. It was just a fact, no doubt about it.
Gray Fullbuster was so handsome, and even though it was the first thing she fell in love with about him, it wasn't that what made her love him with all her heart. Gray was kind, sweet, caring, loving and even when he pretended he didn't care, everyone knew he did. He was a little bit of a tsunedere, really. Of course, the man could be pretentious, a little narcissistic when power and Natsu were involved, plus, he was stubborn and closed to deeper feelings other than friendship.
Juvia didn't care.
Okay, she cared a little. The girl was hopeless in love with the man, but he seemed so closed to all her advances; she got frustrated from time to time, but got over it soon enough: her love for him wouldn't let a simple thing such as a little stubbornness get in her way.
She was a woman with a mission.
War was not the place to space out, as she learned a few moments before, when Gray saved, not only Juvia, but also Meredy, who was looking for Ultear; they had been separated.
The Ice Mage had saved both from a few beams that came from the creepy lizards the big dragon pooped it out. Those things were powerful and awfully resistant. Juvia's body was made of water, but since her fight with Meredy she preferred to not count on it so much: the game could change in a second and sometimes there was no coming back.
Faithful to her personality, Juvia had asked for a spanking (she really liked the stuff, truly), since she was a bad girl and Gray had to save her once again. The Water Mage was expecting him to blush, look away and stammer.
Instead, he was serious.
"Juvia… Juvia I need to tell you something." Gray spoke in a strong, yet soft voice. Of course, Juvia's mind got insane, as if there was something trying to crawl its way out of her mind and come out of it. Maybe… Maybe…
"W-Wha-What is it?" Her smile could light up Magnolia. No, Fiore. Actually, it could light up the whole world.
"No… It's nothing important, but…" Gray tried to say, but got interrupted by the blunette.
"It could be important to Juvia!" The Water Mage screamed and Gray made a face in response, while Meredy said something for herself with a knowing smile on her lips. The dark haired Ice Mage opened his mouth so he could speak, Juvia covered her mouth as he did, her eyes shining in happiness as the thought that the boy in front of her might confess…
"Juvia!" It was Lyon's voice that made Juvia turn, removing her hands from her mouth, it was the despair in his voice that made all of her body suddenly get aware of its surroundings.
They were at war.
The Water Mage looked to her left side, from where most of the attacks were originated, a teeny tiny confused. One of the Creeps was there, charging its beam towards her. Right into her direction. Before her feet could move, before her mind could register what was happening, it fired.
Maybe her water body could protect her, the girl thought. Then, she was pushed from her left, towards the floor and it hurt a little. Maybe Juvia was hit by the beam just as a scratch and her body reacted.
But no. The girl had been shoved away from the beam.
The hand that shoved her away was familiar to the Water Mage. She held it tightly not even two hours before. It was her Gray-sama's hand. She had shoved her away.
Once she hit the ground, Juvia turned to thank him again. She was so careless sometimes! It was a shame that her Gray-sama needed to save her so often and-
Juvia stopped as she looked over her thin shoulder.
Gray didn't just shove her away from the beam; he had put himself in front of her. There was blood coming from the left side of his back; she couldn't see his face, but she knew where it hit him.
Why wouldn't her body move? Why was she shaking like that? Why her own heart seemed to have been beamed away when she knew for sure that it didn't? Why couldn't she…
Juvia barely registered the Creeps make some noises as more beams were being charged. She barely registered anything other than her hands hurting from the fall. She was in shock, shaking and with wide eyes, wishing it was a nightmare.
Then it happened.
Another beam hit his right arm, then his stomach and chest.
The despair, the impotence, the fear. Juvia couldn't look away; she couldn't do anything other than stare at what was happening to her loved one. It seemed so unrealistic; they always returned to each other after a battle.
They were like magnets, really. One way or another they would end up side by side at the celebrations, even when they were beaten half to death. Such thing as what she was testifying would never happen to them. This was one of those things that happened only to other people, not Juvia and certainly not Gray.
But it was happening.
The blood. The awful smell of blood flooded into Juvia's nostrils and her arms finally moved from the floor as her hands founded her cheeks. It was such an awful thing to do that gesture, since it was something she did when thinking of Gray; the beautiful little fantasies of them happy and together as a couple.
Only this time, she did it out of despair as her hands got wet with the thick tears that started to fall without her knowledge.
The Water Mage wanted to scream, but no sound came out. She wanted to move, but her limbs wouldn't move.
All she could do was to watch helplessly as the man she loved more than her own life lost his.
A last beam echoed through the walls, and it was a flash of light going towards his head, and in a blink of an eye, Gray was falling back, landing on her side as the girl finally found her voice.
"GRAYYYYY!" Her own voice didn't sound like her normal voice at all. It was more like a shriek, like she was in unbearable pain.
And she was. Juvia might not be the one who received the beams, but she sure was dying.
Gray saw Juvia talk to Meredy not far away from where he stood, freezing one of the Creeps, as their little group called the lizards, the tiny dragon-like creatures. They were really creepy.
A moment ago, the blue haired girl had been in battle-mode by his side, up until the moment she heart the pinkette call her name. The Water Mage, then, turned her back carelessly away from the battle and started to talk to the once younger girl.
The guard was totally down, as if she forgotten where she was and what was happening.
The Ice Mage saw one of the creeps turn towards the pair and he knew what it meant. He saw the pattern of the Creeps; it would charge a beam and release it on the girls. Gray ran and just a second before the beam was released, he got to the girls, knocking them both on the ground.
He was so angry! Didn't they know to never let your guard down during a battle? Why would they be so carefree?
"Don't look your focus! This is a warzone!" Lyon Vastia scolded the girls. Meredy had the decency to look ashamed and mumbled a small 'sorry', but Juvia… Well, Juvia was being Juvia.
"Ah.. Gray-sama and my butt…" He didn't know if she was offering her behind for spanking once again, if he accidentally touched while tackling her on the ground, or even if it hurt when she fell on the floor, whichever case, he couldn't think about it at the moment.
"Juvia…" He meant to scold her, but instead, his voice came out a little softer than he intended. "Juvia, I need to tell you something."
By her expression, Gray knew that she was day dreaming again, when what he had to say was-
"W-Wha-What is it?!" She asked with a hopeful expression.
"No… It's nothing important, but…" Gray tried to say, but she spoke faster.
"It could be important to Juvia!" The Water Mage screamed and Gray made a face in response. He just wanted to tell her that-
"She's definitely misinterpreting where he's going with this conversation." Meredy said to herself, but Gray heard loud and clear and he couldn't agree more. As the Water Mage put her hands over her mouth and stared at him with big hopeful eyes, Gray knew that her mind was racing.
He wouldn't say it there. Not in the middle of a battlefield. Not like that.
Ever since Erza told him to make things clear with Juvia, Gray have been thinking about her and what he meant to him, and the young man reached to the conclusion that she was more important than he previously thought she was.
Juvia Lockser was not a simple friend. She wasn't even a close friend., best friend or anything like that. No, that girl had a whole category for herself. Gray actually thought that he might be in l-
"JUVIA!" Gray turned to see what caught Lyon's attention and froze for a heartbeat with what he saw. A Creep was aiming directly to Juvia and the girl wasn't moving or reacting fast enough.
Then it happened; the beam.
Gray didn't even think that Juvia's body was made of water; he didn't even think that she would dodge it; he didn't even think of what he was doing, he just did.
With absolutely no finesse whatsoever, Gray gave two steps towards the Water Mage and pushed her out of the way, protecting her with his own body.
His chest hurt deeply on its left side; it hurt no bad to be burned, but this time it was worse than anything he ever felt. It hurt his inside, it hurt everywhere. There was a taste of blood on his mouth as the pain got greater and greater.
Not too long after the first beam hit him, there was another, and another, and another. Gray lost count, really. The pain was everywhere. He let out a whimper with every hit, but it was as much noise as he did as it all happened.
He knew he was far from salvation. He had plenty conscience that he was going to die and it didn't bothered him to die like that; saving a person he loved.
Was that how Ur felt? Was that what his parents felt when protected him with their own bodies when their house fell down on them? Was that how Master Makarov felt when he tried to fight Acnologia alone?
Like they did the right thing?
Because he did do the right thing, he knew. He wouldn't make it if he saw her die. The Ice Mage lost too many people in his life to lose another one; another one that he just realized that mattered to him so deeply that he felt the need, the instinct to protect as if it was something that he always knew it would happen.
It all felt as if it was in slow motion, with his peripheral vision, he could see that Juvia was on the floor, probably unhurt so, it was fine for him to die like that.
For a moment there, Gray regretted. He regretted not telling Erza he had a crush on her when he was 11. He regretted not punching Natsu every time the Dragon Slayer said something idiotic (maybe he could be trained with a few punches). He regretted not telling Lyon earlier about Ur (even though the Mage from Lamia Scale already knew). He regretted not kissed the pretty brunette girl he met during a mission when he was 15. He regretted not have trained enough. He regretted never said to Makarov how thankful he was for everything. He regretted throwing his pants at people's face more often than it was normal.
Gray Fullbuster regretted many things in his life, but he would never regret saving Juvia Lockser, because, in a way, she was what he regretted the most.
They would never hold hands again, they would never eat Caramades franks together again, they would never laugh together after winning a fight again.
They would never be together. He would never hold her close. He would never feel the warmth of her embrace. He would never kiss her. He would never tell her how much she meant to him.
She would never know that, when he wasn't looking, she made him fall in love with her.
"Heh…?" He managed to say.
He was such a stubborn idiot.
A last beam came towards him and there was a final pain on the side of his head and before everything go black, he thought of the beautiful smile she offered him earlier that day. At least she was going to live.
Yeap, that was a nice way to go.
AN: NO GRAY, IT ISN'T. STEP AWAY FROM THE LIGHT!
Gray is not going to die. I think the last beam was not a headshot, more like a scrap to the side, that's why I wrote as if he took one to the side of the head, not on the forehead or anything. Because if it was a headshot… not even a zombie can come back from that. And I also think Ultear will give her life for Gray, just like her mama. You know… she will read Naruto and take a hint from Chiyo-baa-sama.
So, no, I am not worried. :D I was, but then I cooled down. Might drop a bomb or two in Japan if Gray dies, but otherwise, I do not fear Mashima. BRING IT!
Mashima wouldn't DARE do it Musica x Reina AGAIN. Nope.
06/07/2012 ~ BonneyQ