Author's Note: Hello friends! So I have too many short Gruvia one-shots sitting on my computer, and I'd rather upload them all in one place than create a bunch of different stories, hence this thing! I have 7 or 10 ideas (I lost count) and two others are finished (I'll upload them in a few days), but the ones that get too long (like 10+ pages) I may upload as individual one-shots, I'm not sure. Unless you don't mind reading the long ones, then I'll keep it here.
Anyway, this is just a collection of stories with ratings that vary 'cause I love these two cuties and they are my kicking muses right now. I appreciate any feedback! And if ya'll got any prompts/ideas/requests, shoot me a review/PM or ask on tumblr 'cause hey why not :)
Happy Holidays everybody! Take care!
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot line.
Title: lay down sleep my little darling
Summary: Warm laps are way better than cold beds.
One morning, Juvia came bouncing over to Gray, happily holding out a job notice where the client had specifically requested ice and water mages. The details were weirdly vague, but the reward was huge, so with an ecstatic Juvia in tow, Gray set out to complete the mission. With their combined strength, how hard could it be?
Lesson #1: Never underestimate things.
The mission wasn't so much hard as it was insanely grueling. Some rich nobleman wanted a personal winter wonderland: an ice castle complete with ice weapons, ice armor, ice gardens, waterfalls, water fountains, water slides—the guy's list of demands was insane, and if Gray or Juvia messed up in the slightest detail, the nobleman would throw a tantrum and have them start over all the way from the beginning.
As if the mission wasn't stupid enough, the stupid prick nobleman was openly ogling Juvia's body so much so that Gray wanted to punch him to Edolas. To make things worse, 'cause life just fucking hated him today, the asshole would move way too close to Juvia every time he "instructed" her. When describing how he wanted the glide of the waterfall, the nobleman mimicked the motion with his hands, slyly moving the other behind her and "gliding" lower and lower down the curve of her back, getting dangerously close to her—
Gray lifted his elbow and shoved it into the ice armor body plate, resonating a sharp crack as the ice split in two. It fell to the floor in a deafening crash, making the nobleman shriek and clutch his sideburns while Juvia looked at Gray and blinked innocently.
Gray stared, deadpan. "Whoops."
"You idiot!" screeched the short prick. "How dare you—again! Again again again!"
Gray snorted, curling his lip in a disdainful sneer before returning to work.
It hadn't even been a few minutes before the bastard was at it again, staring at Juvia and getting too fucking close, so Gray, casually, snapped an ice spear in two. The nobleman would scream, Gray would give a half-assed excuse, and then after a few minutes the cycle would repeat 'cause Juvia was too innocent to realize what was going on and the stupid man never learned. After punching a hole in an ice shield, shattering an ice chandelier and nonchalantly knocking over an ice sculpture, the nobleman finally focused his attention solely on Gray because gosh, he was such a clumsy fuck wasn't he.
But then the bastard became so obnoxiously picky with his damn demands (as if he wasn't bad enough), but Gray just stomached it 'cause at least he was leaving Juvia alone.
But after the sixth time of having his creations destroyed because the swirl engraving on the sword's hilt was too "swirly" and not "swirly"—what the fuck did that even mean?—Gray's patience officially ran out. Juvia had to physically restrain him from pouncing on the fucking dumbass and shoving his stupid megaphone down his nasally throat because god damn it, how could someone be so infuriating? He made Natsu look like a fucking choirboy.
Juvia held him back with her arms around his chest (she would've grabbed his shirt had he not stripped it off right when the mission started) and tried to remind Gray that as members of Fairy Tail, they had a duty to complete every single mission, even the more ridiculous ones. But Gray was fuming and snarling as the cheeky bastard started tutting because the ice was beginning to melt.
He really, really wanted to make an ice hammer and whack the guy like the short fat mole he was, but Juvia was adamantly holding him back. He had to admit, he was a little impressed—she was definitely as tired as he was, maybe even more since some of her water magic had supplied his ice, but she still managed to keep him from pouncing on the guy.
Eventually, he stopped lunging for their stupid employer because she was right: they had a mission to complete to keep up Fairy Tail's reputation.
After a few more hours, with Gray anxiously looking at the clock every five minutes, they were finally done. Gray waited outside to refrain from punching the prick in the throat while Juvia collected the reward, a neat little check worth a sweet 500,000 jewels that she placed in the pocket of her dress.
Gray rolled his shoulders, cracking all the tense muscles in his back. His whole body was sore, not to mention his magic supply was practically empty. It felt like he'd gone ten endless rounds with Natsu, and all he wanted to do was go home and take a nice, beautiful nap with no disturbances for the next three days.
When Juvia met him outside, smiling at him like always, he nodded to her before turning towards the path leading out of the city.
Wait, when the hell did the path get so long? Where did all those twists and turns come from? Even after they made it through, they still had to pass through the woods to reach just the outskirts of Magnolia Town. Then from there it was a few more streets and some turns before he'd be home sweet home, but shit the walk would take at least a hour or two.
Gray groaned, slapping a hand over his eyes. Great. Just fucking great.
"Gray-sama?" Juvia called, a worried frown twisting her lips.
Gray slid his palm down his face. The longer he stood around sulking about the distance, the longer it'd take for them to get back to town.
"Let's go," he said, shoving his hands in his pockets and starting down the path with hunched shoulders. Juvia simply nodded, trailing behind him with fingers laced behind her back.
"We'll be home soon," she said cheerily, and he almost laughed at how well she could read him.
Home, he could picture it now—his awesome bed in his nice cold apartment with clean bed sheets and a super comfy pillow—wait, why was the ground turning sideways—?
There was a pressure at his side as he looked down, finding Juvia pressing her hands against his torso to keep him upright. Recognizing the fatigue hidden behind his dark eyes, she took his wrist and shrugged it over her shoulder.
Her gaze shyly met his as a light blush tinted her cheeks. "Gray-sama needs to rest…"
He scoffed, averting his gaze by glancing ahead of him. "M'fine."
"But Kogo-san was really tough on Gray-sama," she said softly before looking to the floor. "Juvia's sorry. Juvia picked the job…"
"And I took it," he replied before taking a few steps forward, bringing Juvia along as she fell into place beside him. "We're already at the forest, let's just keep going."
She pouted, opening her mouth to retort, but Gray started leaning heavily into her side and tightened his arm over her shoulder. Her heart skipped a beat as she uttered a small squeak, a wild blush spreading across her face.
Gray caught the way her cheeks colored pink, but leaning into her was a natural reflex. He was fucking exhausted, and Juvia was doing a great job keeping him from collapsing to the floor. He could tell she was tired too as her body also leaned against his, but she was right—the cheeky nobleman had been really tough on him, but it was kind of his fault. He had purposely messed up to get the bastard's attention away from Juvia, but he hadn't anticipated how bad the lost magic reserves would affect his body.
Lesson #2: Never exhaust magic reserves.
Noticing a nearby river, Juvia lowered Gray against a tree before leaving to replenish the water in their canteens. She returned a few moments later, her light skin glowing healthily with a radiance shining in her eyes.
Gray blinked; compared to him, she looked completely brand new.
Feeling his lingering gaze on her, Juvia shyly twirled a lock of hair around her finger.
"The river replenished Juvia's strength," she explained, offering a small smile as she handed Gray his canteen.
He nodded as he took the bottle from her hand. Unscrewing the cap, he held it to his mouth, but his stupid tired brain decided to fuck it up by letting the bottle slip through his fingers, spilling the water over his jaw and bare chest.
"Fucking—" Gray cursed, shaking the water from his hands. He growled in frustration, knocking the back of his head against the bark of the tree.
Juvia peeped, placing her hands over her mouth before kneeling down and drying his jaw with her sleeve.
"It's okay," she reassured, "Juvia can get more."
Gray scowled, but it came out as an adorable pout that made Juvia's heart swoon. He crossed his arms over his chest and grumbled under his breath, a light blush dusting his cheeks as Juvia dabbed at the water at his chin before following the drops dribbling down his neck to his collarbone.
When she finished, surprisingly keeping her composure despite her rosy cheeks, she placed her hands in her lap. "Why don't we rest, Gray-sama?"
"But you're not tired," he retorted with a frown.
She shrugged. "Juvia doesn't mind waiting."
He shook his head, placing a hand on his knee and pushing himself upright. "No, it's fine. We can still—"
But the strength hadn't returned to his legs when he stepped forward, making him falter once again. Juvia was quick to catch him, placing a hand on his chest and gently lowering him back against the tree. He scoffed as Juvia regarded him under a worried gaze.
"This is nothing," he muttered, lightly pushing her hands off of him.
Come on, he was a mage of Fairy Tail, damn it! He should be able to walk without falling, even if his body was sore and his muscles were fucking aching and all he wanted to do was lie down and not move for at least 24 hours.
For the sake of his pride, he was going to make it. He would be sleeping on his bed tonight, not against the coarse bark of a tree or the prickly grass.
Standing straight, he said, "Come on," and took several steps forward. Juvia gathered his canteen and hers, holding them in her arms as she scrambled to her feet and followed him.
Five steps, ten steps, fifteen steps—yeah, all right, he was doing this. Che, course he was, as if he'd fail. With his long strides, they were making considerable distance, much faster than when he'd been leaning on Juvia for support.
So far so good—
Suddenly he was struck with a muscle cramp, making him wince. He stubbornly shoved the pain to the back of his mind and continued on his way. Mind over matter, mind over matter.
Shit, it was really hurting though. He stopped by a tree, placing a palm against the bark as he looked with narrowed eyes at his throbbing leg.
"Gray-sama?" said Juvia, moving in front of him with their canteens in her arms. "Are you all right?"
Course he was. Mind over matter, mind over matter.
But mind couldn't stop gravity from working as his stupid muscle cramp made his leg suddenly give out on him, sending him faltering to the ground. He heard the canteens fall to the floor before dainty hands pressed against his face and shoulder, gently lowering him onto something soft.
Juvia had dropped the canteens and instinctively moved to catch him, but his sudden weight made her sink to her shins, bringing his face to her lap. She squeaked, quickly releasing him and bringing her hands to her mouth. A wild blush spread across her cheeks as her heart hammered in her chest.
G-Gray-sama's… on my…
Her face burned. It was so… romantic!
Damn it, Gray thought, feeling his face grow warm—but it wasn't from embarrassment. It was from his cheek pressing against her warm thigh. Huh.
Above him, Juvia was stifling her squeals and stammering nonsense, but he wasn't really paying attention to that. She was really comfy, way more comfy than the grass would've been. She smelled kinda nice too, and she was warm, the opposite of his cool bed sheets, but he didn't mind. A wave of drowsiness washed over him as his body naturally relaxed.
Eh, nothing wrong with closing his eyes for a bit…
…Okay, he should get up now before things got awkward.
He placed his palms against the grass, mumbling, "Sorry," but his hands weren't making any movement to push himself off of her. He lifted his head a little, trying to summon some strength to his hands, but before he could apply any genuine effort, he felt her hand press into his hair.
"I-It's alright, Gray-sama," she said timidly, gently her coaxing him against her. "Juvia doesn't mind. Rest."
As she returned his cheek against her thigh, drowsiness overcame him once more as his eyes rolled closed.
Fuck it, he thought, turning his body to lie on his back as he draped an arm over his stomach.
"Just a short break," he muttered, drawing a deep breath.
"Wake me up in fifteen minutes, okay?"
He grunted, relaxing his body and exhaling a quiet sigh.
Shyly, her fingers gently passed through his hair. With small, timid movements, she parted his messy bangs before brushing them away from his eyes. Each touch sent a soothing wave coursing through him, and whatever she was doing, it felt really, really nice.
Her hand lingered against his hair until it slowly retreated. He turned his head slightly, eyes still closed as he unconsciously leaned towards her touch. Experimentally, her fingers slipped through his dark locks once more, and he relaxed against her again, making her smile.
As she tenderly caressed him, Gray took another breath, listening to the sounds of the wind rustling the leaves and birds chirping as the sunshine warmed his skin.
Softly, Juvia started to hum a light melody, her fingers dancing through his hair while her gentle voice lulled him to sweet slumber.
Lesson #3: Warm laps are way better than cold beds.