i.

When he first saw her, he wasn't quite sure if she was real (she felt the same way too because there was no way this was him, a faded memory brought back to life). Of course he's being stupid. Her name alone has been whispered amongst everyone, of how amazing she is, how powerful, how-He already knows all this though. He's known it all along and the fact that she's here, standing before him, his heart swells and then sinks (no, she's still not his). For now, he'll have to learn to live with distance (certainly she has and if she can do it so can he). He's almost grateful that the Magic Council arrested her. They've allowed him this moment even though it isn't much and he knows that she'll think nothing of it, of him (and she doesn't because she's not ready to face him, the past, moving on). He wants to hold her close, tell her that he's so very glad to see her again, after all this time. He wants to tell her something that he's figured out a long time ago. He wants-he settles for a touch on her chin, her cheek, as he tells her to keep the Tower of Heaven secret. He'll have to live with only that touch for a while and when he leaves, he can still feel her face in his hand.

ii.

He finds it ironic how they meet again, how she's so, so close to killing him and yet. She won't, she can't simply because it's him. The words of assurance he wants to give her will probably only make her wish to kill him more because how can someone like him, causing all of this destruction, possibly love? If only a simple I love you would solve everything because can't she see past him? That this really isn't him, he's more confused than anything because without her, he's lost and he's not afraid to admit it. He just wishes that she knew. All it would take would be an I love you, please stay, but those are words he can't bear to say.

iii.

The only thing that remains is her name. The bright vibrant red, Erza. It's only when she reminds him that he remembers who he is and no, no, no. He's hurt her enough already and after hearing all that he's done, that now Simon is dead because of him, everyone is dead and hurt and—He looks at her and all he feels is guilt because he loves her far too much and to know that he's continued to cause her trouble, her heart chaos, he can't bear it, he breaks (the tears on his face make her want to break too because god how she missed him, the real Jellal). The guilt is too much and now he's going to die too, the self-destruction spell already cast on Nirvana and on himself. At least he'll be free and Erza can be happy, can go back to smiling and forgetting about him, about them, about the pain that he has caused her, about—she's angry though because how could he be so stupid? How could he think that she could live without him? A world without him makes her throat tighten because she hadn't even thought that possible until now. All she knows is that it's something that she doesn't want.

Seeing her like this makes him want to tell her how beautiful she is, how strong she is, how much he loves her (it's funny because she was about to spill her own confession too, but both of them know that this isn't the time or the place). Erza gives him hope, so much that he feels like he could burst. If she believes that there's good in him, that he should continue to live, then it has to be true. He's good, its hiding away somewhere, has been for quite some time, but it's there. Seeing the way she fights for him, for them, he knows now that he's only choice left is to live.

iv.

He should have told her I love you, not I'm in engaged. This is their first time seeing each other in what feels like forever. The last thing he should have told her was that he was with someone else. Stupid, he's so stupid because he knows that it'll hurt her more than it hurts him (scars from words don't show but he knows). He can only hope that she'll understand. Please, please, please, but all she is is confused because she wants this to happen so, so badly so why doesn't he? Maybe she's the stupid one because after all they've been through, she had thought that maybe—no, if he had loved her, surely he would have told her by now. She's the stupid one, getting her hopes up for something that's never going to happen. As for what this something is, she doesn't know because she doesn't want romance, at least, not the kind that she's sure girls like Lucy and Juvia imagine. As for him, it's exactly what he pictures because all he wants to do is kiss her, make her smile like she used to (he knows that it's his fault that she doesn't smile often, but he also isn't aware that when she does smile, it's all because of him). She's smiling now because she's figured it out, that he's lying, that he's scared because he's hurt her once and he can't afford to hurt her again. That's perfectly okay with her though; she can live with a lie.

It doesn't take them long though before they're falling apart and into each other. They're both unsure of how they ended up like this. Maybe it was the fact that she finally say through him or maybe it was the fact that they had kissed, or maybe—it doesn't matter anymore, it never did. It starts with a kiss (so cliché because isn't this how all things like this start?). Her lips are hungry against him and he can't help but be surprised because he wants this too but he didn't realize until now how much she wanted this. She can't help herself though because she's missed him so, so much and no matter how much passion she kisses him with, it doesn't help ease the ache of loneliness. It's stupid too because he's right in front of her, he's real, and yet she can't help but feel like any second he'll be gone (and she won't lose him again). His hands find their way to her waist and he brings them closer, pressing lightly because he's been lonely too (still is).

They find themselves falling onto her bed (her knees accidently folding when the hit it and it's only natural that he falls too). He finds it strange how natural it feels, to be with her like this. His hands are steady as they inch under her shirt and god her skin, proof that she's real. She's pulling at his jacket and he's pulling her top. They're both off quickly because they know they that they should take this slow, savor in the moment because it might not happen again for a while (or never for that matter), but then again, they're both so anxious and they need this so badly.

He lines her throat with kisses and then down her chest, lining the edge of her bra. He only stumbles with her bra strap, but she smiles lightly, taking it off for him for which he's grateful. His breath catches in his throat because she's so beautiful. He litters her with kisses and she groans when he kiss her breast. Before he realizes it, she has his shirt off and her hands linger at the top of his pants. He kisses her again, silently telling her not yet because he wants to shower her in as much love as he can. That fact that she's wearing a skirt is something he's grateful for. In his mind, he traces her with his hands as they wander her thighs and higher. She whines as they pull her underwear and skirt off, all in one easy motion. For a second, she's embarrassed, but then she remembers that's it's him and that this closeness with him is exactly what she wants.

Then it's an invasion of his hands, as the tease her, go inside her, and god she's practically mewling and he swears he's losing his mind. He kisses her neck, her chest, and travels lower and lower still and she gasps because she's never even thought about this. Now it's his tongue instead of his fingers and her fingers thread through his hair, wanting more because she's so, so close and please don't stop, please don't—he stops. She groans in protest and he smirks slightly because it's only him that's ever going to see her this way, flushed face and heavy breathing. When he finally enters her, she rises to meet him, almost sighing because finally, finally. The pace he sets for them is too slow for her and she tries to coax him to go faster, wrapping her legs around his lower back, rolling her hips when he presses down. He finally answers her and she approves with a moan. They both find their release together, as once (him with his face buried in her neck, wanting so badly to tell her how very much he loves her and her with her nails digging into his shoulders).

It's awkward now because he doesn't know if he should stay or go. As the lie next to each other in the dark, he can only focus on his thoughts and their breathing, how it's still jagged. He looks over at her, taking her all in in the light of the afterglow. So this is what all the poems had wrote about for years. He finally gets it. He opens his mouth because he had wanted to say it earlier, but the words simply don't come out. He doesn't need her thinking that he loves her just because of what they did and he doesn't need her thinking that it was simply nothing either. His mind is a jumbled mess because what if she thinks—she turns and rests her head on his shoulder, cuddling closer. He'll tell her later, he promises himself as he watches her eyes slowly close and her breathing even out, her chest lightly rising and falling. For now, he'll leave things as they are.

v.

Throughout the Grand Magic Games, he watched from afar, wondering if after what had happened if it would be alright to approach her again. Then again, he had been afraid because what if now she expects something from him. As to what she expects, he's clueless. Maybe she wants them to be known (although little does he know, everyone else is well aware of what's going on between the two) or maybe she wants them to be closer, to be together, actually, together. In a way though, he's moved on. He created his own guild and he has goals that he wants to accomplish and yes, they're the same but there's something holding him back about joining Fairy Tail because that would mean they'd be close and she would be only a second, a minute away, and it would be so, so tempting to just spend the nights with her, wake up looking at her face.

He doesn't really have time to dwell on relationships though. Dragons soon invade, an awful nightmare come true. He thanks whatever forces are deciding to work for him today that he managed to save her just in time. She had been separate from the others, fighting the monsters alone. Just when she's about to give up and give in, he saves her and he thinks it's funny how they're like a children's book and he's her knight in shining armor. That's when Millianna appears, the dark wizard that's come to ruin the fairy tale romance, but in the midst of all the chaos there's Erza, trying to calm things down. Now she's the knight in shining armor.

Once things have settled, the conflict and the dragons gone, he looks at her and smiles because they're alive. The realization that either of them could have easily died sets in and he hides the grim fact away and continues to smile with her, arm around her to help her stand (it's more than just helping her stand though because for her, he's her rock).

"I love you." The words blurt out, coming pouring from his mouth and they feel so normal and strangely familiar, like they've been there all along. Maybe it's because of the recent events, the fact that he could have lost her and he couldn't handle a loss that big because she's so much a part of him now, more than before, that he decided now of all times to finally tell her. He watches how a light pink appears on her cheeks, how she looks away, almost embarrassed when in reality she's trying to regain her composure because she shouldn't want to cry at something like this and yet.

"I love you too," she answers, finally turning to face him, a soft smile on her face. Until now, he had been holding his breath and he finally lets it go. He wraps his other arm around her and pulls her into a hug, kisses her forehead, her cheek. I love you. Thank you. I love you. I love you.