Behold my third attempt! This is actually a birthday fic for Scribe, which, I know was yesterday, but I didn't finish this until an hour ago, and I still had to proofread it…

SO without further ado… I present to you: First Date

Jennifer raced across the field, eyes wide and frantic, desperate for a place to hide. Her breath was quick and ragged, and her heart felt like it was going to burst. She quickly wiped the blood and sweat from her brow, and tried to remain calm… but the growl she heard behind her was enough to freeze her limbs.

She whipped around in terror, but was met with nothing more than endless grass stretching in every direction.

She let out a wretched sob, feeling like she was going crazy, "WHAT ARE YOU?"

She would only be met with more silence, and the dreary clouds hanging above, nothing around for even an echo…

But the snarl that sounded again, directly behind her had her giving one last ear splitting scream, before a set of razor sharp teeth tore through her vocal chords…

Freed closed his eyes, for the umpteenth time, before pressing his face into the warm chest next to him, "Eww," he said, voice muffled by the others coat, "Do they really have to show her getting her THROAT ripped out?"

Laxus tore his eyes away from the screen, to look down at the other, who was practically in his lap, "What? Don't tell me you're scared of a little blood."

"That's not a little! The whole ground is covered with it!"

Laxus sighed, before reaching up to pause the lacrima-screen, "You are such a baby."

Freed responded by giving the blond an irritated glare, "Say what you want, but this is the LAST time I let you pick what we watch on movie night."

"NOT fair! All you ever want to watch are stupid documentaries!"

"They are not stupid! The history of the birch tree is a VERY interesting topic!"

Laxus groaned, "Ok fine. You don't like horror movies-although 'Revenge of the Werewolf' IS AMAZING-your documentaries are stupid, and if I have to watch another crime show, I'm going to explode. So, with that in mind, what are we going to watch?"

Freed huffed at the comment about his documentaries, but tried to give it some serious thought. He liked thought provoking, REALISTIC films. But Laxus liked thought reducing NON-realistic films. So really, there was no way to come to a standstill. Unless…

"Well," said Freed, trying to sit up, but finding it difficult, due to the large arm wrapped around his waist, "We've been together for quite a while now,"-a few years actually-"Maybe we could watch a romance togethe-"

"Hell no."

"What?"

Laxus scowled down at him, in a way that would've sent ANYONE, but a member of the Rajinshuu, running for the door, "I'm not watching a stupid romance movie. We're not high school GIRLS, need I remind you, so come up with something else, or we're finishing the movie I picked out."

Freed was taken aback… for a moment. But, unluckily for the blond, Freed knew EXACTLY how to get what he wanted, "L-Laxus…" he said, giving the saddest face he could muster, "Please?"

Laxus looked shocked, as if he couldn't believe his lover was resorting to THIS to get his way, "Freed, no-"

"Please?"

"No!"

"Come on, we'll watch a really bad one and make fun of it!"

"Freed, I said no, and I mean no, so pick out something else, before I-"

And there they were. Those eyes. Those. Damn. EYES.

Laxus had always believed that you lost the ability to make puppy dog eyes once you turned about ten, but Freed, it seemed, had only gotten better. He stared up at the blond, unafraid, unrelenting, because the entire time he had known him, the ONE THING that NEVER FAILED to get him what he wanted, was those eyes.

Laxus didn't seem to want to give in though. He tried looking away. He tried closing his eyes. He tried glaring back. But the rune mage was not going to give up. After five whole minutes of this, Freed leaned forward, and, in the softest voice he had, he gave the finishing blow.

"Please…"

"DAMMIT! FINE!"

Freed inwardly cheered, trying to hide his glee, before taking the remote from the grumbling Dragon Slayer, and scrolling through the available movies.

It was pretty difficult to find a movie that DIDN'T make Freed want to choke himself, but eventually, he was able to single out a movie called 'The First Date'. Laxus looked pretty angry about the whole thing, but Freed knew he would calm down eventually. And he did. Once the movie had started, and the main characters were introduced, he had settled back and tightened his hold around the other. By the middle they were already talking about how bad it was, and by the end both looked rather content about watching it.

"So," said Laxus, trying to put on a displeased expression (though he had clearly enjoyed it) "Are you done with that stupid idea, or are we going to have to watch romance movies from now on?"

Freed sighed happily, and let his head rest on the other's chest, "I don't know. That movie kind of got me thinking about OUR first date."

Laxus closed his eyes, willing off the onslaught of memories, "Ugh. Don't remind me," he said, "What a disaster."

Freed laughed, "What do you mean? I thought it was fun!"

Laxus laughed too, remembering that day, and before they knew it, they were both lost in a reverie…

Now, contrary to what one might think, Freed and Laxus had actually had their first date as teenagers. Well, at least what they CONSIDERED to be their first date. Laxus had been about seventeen, and Freed was probably fifteen, and it was right around the time of the S-class exams. Laxus had come back proud and victorious, and the Rajinshuu had been more than happy to congratulate their leader.

Laxus, naturally, had been in a rather awful mood. Apparently winning the exam, and becoming an S-class wizard hadn't been enough to remove the permanent scowl from the blond's face. He was still as unapproachable as ever, and that wasn't limited to his own team.

So, when Freed all but skipped over to him, bright and cheery as ever, it only served to give the Dragon Slayer a head ache.

"Laxus," said Freed, a bright smile on his face, "It's been a couple days since you got back, and there's nothing to do around here. Do you want to take a job request and-"

"No."

Freed blinked, at the other, and when Laxus glared back at him, he only looked back, confused, "B-But you're S-class now! Don't you want to take on your first mission as a-"

"No."

"Oh." Freed 's face fell, and it was clear how hurt he was, "Ok." he turned and stared to walk away, shoulders sagging, looking every bit like a kicked puppy, and Laxus actually felt GUILTY!

Then he caught the dirty looks Mira was sending him, and he felt even worse.

"Wait," he said, trying to relieve his voice of its regular scathing tone, "You're…" be struggled to say it, "RIGHT. We SHOULD go on a job." all of that sounded comically tight, but Freed brightened in an instant.

"Really? Ok! I promise I won't let you down, Laxus! I'll go ask tell Ever and Bickslow that we're-"

"No, don't. I want to go alone."

Again, Freed looked confused, however, a light blush settled over his cheeks. And it took Laxus a moment to realize how that had probably come across to the other, before he was blushing too.

"N-Not for any particular reason…" he choked out, trying (and failing) to maintain his composure, "J-Just because I don't feel like dealing with too many people…"

Freed nodded, "Right, right…" there was an awkward pause, "I'll… go ask Master if be has any jobs for us."

Laxus didn't say anything, giving a stiff nod instead. He was still trying to maintain his 'bad-boy' persona, even though the prominent blush on his cheeks gave him away.

He watched Freed's retreating back, mentally scolding himself when his eyes slipped too low. 'I don't need to stare! That damn coat makes it too hard to see anything anyway.' he realized THAT thought, and was about to Thunder Palace HIMSELF when a familiar (yet not very comforting) figure sat down across from him.

He just stared at her for a moment, but when all he received in return was a glare, he spoke up, "Mira," he said, giving the white blonde a look of disdain, "What do you want?"

"Listen up, Dreyar," she said, wasting no time, "I know about your reputation with girls, and I know how many hearts you've broken. You're a player all around, and the only time you're not chasing skirt is when you're thinking about yourself."

Laxus sighed in boredom, not wanting to deal with the other girl right now, "Was there a point to all of this? Because if you just need someone to hurl insults at, pick someone who can't kick your ass."

The she-devil growled, before leaning closer, "Now you listen to me, Sparky. Freed is my friend, and he, for some unknown reason, really cares about you."

"What's Freed got to do with-"

"Bottom line is, if you hurt Freed, I don't care how strong you are. I. Will. END. You." the cold, menacing look she held was enough to make even Laxus shudder.

He searched his mind for something to say, but as soon as he started to move his lips, Freed arrived, request slip in hand. He looked to be a bit embarrassed, but spoke anyway.

"Laxus, are you ready to-" he began, but his blue eyes landed on Mira, and he paused, "Oh, Mira." He glanced between her and Laxus, "What are you doing here?"

The she-demon smirked, before rising to her feet, and pinching his cheek, "Nothing you need to worry your pretty little head about."

Freed scowled, and batted her hand away, waiting until she was gone before looking back to Laxus.

"Here," he handed him the flyer, shifting on his feet nervously, "It's pretty simple, just some thieves that need to be stopped. It's in another town, though, so we'll have to take the train."

Laxus nodded, rising to his feet, (scowling about the train part) and trying to ignore what Mira had said about him.

Freed's mind, however, was hard at work. Just after he had gotten the request from Master and was on his way back to Laxus's table, Cana intercepted his path.

"Hey there, Freed." she said, a big grin on her face, "I hear you're going on a job with Laxus." she leaned closer, and whispered, "Alone."

Freed's face turned instantly red, and he hissed, "Wh-What does that have to do with you?"

The brunette merely smiled, and threw an arm around his shoulders, "Nothing, nothing. I just wanted to wish you luck on your first date."

Freed's next sentence was so stuttered, even HE didn't understand what he was saying, "That-That's n-n-not… I d-didn't e-v-v-ven… he's n-n-not…"

Cana laughed, "Don't be nervous! If you go about this the right way, by the end of this, Laxus could be yours."

"Wh-Wh-Why would I want-"

Cana patted his head, "It's pretty obvious to everyone. Just let your nee-chan help you out." she stared intently at the blushing boy, "Now, you and Laxus are still young, so don't think that this has to lead to anything major. But, you two know each other pretty well, so you should at least get a hug, or some hand-holding out of this."

"I-I'm not-"

"But remember," Cana looked at him seriously for the first time since this conversation began, "Laxus has a bit of a reputation with girls. I'm sure you already know this, but I'm going to tell you again. Laxus may only be seventeen, but he's got a heck of a lot more experience than most of the adults here. So, considering how ALL of his relationships end… just be careful. Don't let him pressure you into anything. I know you think pretty highly of him, and he might try to use that against you."

It was only the anger at Cana's belittling of his thunder god that gave him the ability to get his next sentence out, "I-It's not… IT'S NOT A DATE."

There was a pause, and then the brunette smiled at him, looking at him teasingly once more, "Oh yes it is. My cards say you two will cuddle, hug, hold hands, and kiss by the end of it."

Freed choked, "Wh-Wha-"

"That's taking things a little fast if you ask me, considering how old you are. But don't let something like age hold you back! I never did," she emphasized this by taking a swig of alcohol, "Just remember what I said, and BE CAREFUL." she was gone before Freed could argue.

It took him a few moments to get his mouth to stop opening and closing, but once he did he went straight to Laxus's table. 'Stupid Cana," he thought, 'Making something out of nothing. We're on the same team! There's nothing wrong with the two of us going on a job alone together.' But the more he thought about it, the more embarrassed he got. So he just blocked off his thoughts completely.

Freed and Laxus left the guild immediately after, falling into a comfortable silence, as both were busy thinking about the warnings they had received.

'Stupid Mira,' thought Laxus, glaring at the road ahead of him, 'Why is it any of her business what I do anyway? S'not like I'm going out with Lisanna or anything.'

Freed's thoughts were more along the lines of 'Stupid Cana. Making this into something that it's NOT.'

Neither one spoke until they reached the train station.

"Wait right here," said Freed, "I'll go buy the tickets."

Laxus nodded, and watched the other walk off, THIS time, keeping his eyes where they belonged. However, when he looked up, he saw another guy, maybe in his forties, watching the rune mage EXACTLY where Laxus was trying to avoid.

"Hey," he said angrily, shoving the man's shoulder, "Back off."

The man tried to stare him down, but when he saw the acid look in the other's eyes, he backed off.

Laxus glared at him further, and he walked away. 'Pervert,' he thought, 'Trying to make a move on MY Freed.'

He revisited that thought, and one again, he was ready to Thunder Palace himself, but before he could, Freed returned.

"Ok, I got the tickets. The train leaves in ten…" He caught the look on the other's face, "Are you ok?"

Laxus's head snapped up (then down, since Freed was shorter than him). He started to explain what had happened with the guy from before, but he quickly stopped himself. Why should he have to explain himself? He was Laxus Dreyar!

"Nothing." He said, sounding moody.

Freed apparently thought he could interpret it, and gave Laxus a sympathetic look, "We can walk if you like. Or I could fly us there." when Laxus just stared at him, his cheeks turned pink, and he quickly added, "You know, if you don't want to take the train."

Laxus blinked, not really knowing what to say. Freed blushed even harder at the bewildered stare he was getting, eyes dropping down, and feet shifting on the ground.

After a moment, Laxus (seeing the discomfort he was causing the other) murmured, "N-No… It's fine."

"Ok." Freed turned to watch the tracks, trying to pretend he was waiting for the train, and also trying to ignore the burning in his cheeks.

Laxus did the same, wondering why Freed had been so considerate. Ever and Bickslow would've told him to suck it up, but Freed… he was actually offering to go out of his way to make things more comfortable for the blond. No one had ever done that for him before.

Maybe Mira was right. Maybe the rune mage cared for him deeper than he had thought.

The train arrived a little while later, and Freed boarded quickly, eager to do something other than awkwardly stand there next to the other.

'He probably thinks I'm some kind of stalker now,' he thought miserably, 'great going Freed, way to screw things up.'

He kept that miserable attitude all the way onto the train, and all the way over to their seats. The car was just about empty, so they had a pretty wide range of places to sit. After some quick thinking, Freed chose to sit in the back, figuring Laxus would like the privacy, and so there would be as few people as possible to bother the Dragon Slayer once the train started moving.

Laxus may be prone to terrible motion sickness, but that didn't keep him from beating daylight out of anyone who annoyed him.

Freed gracefully sat down, smoothing out his coat, and unbuckling his sword, placing it on the table in front of him. He expected the blond to sit in the other seat, across from him, so when he felt the seat go down when more weight was added, he snapped his head to the side.

"L-Laxus…" He said, feeling his face darken once more.

The other looked down at him, "What?"

Freed started to form a question… but he remembered how much of an idiot he had been just before they boarded the train, and decided he didn't want to make a fool of himself, anymore than he already had.

"N-Nothing."

Laxus gave him a funny look, and Freed felt his blush deepen, looking away quickly. He could feel the blond watching him for a moment longer, before he too looked away. The two settled into another awkward silence.

"Hello passengers!" blared the intercom, causing Freed to jump, and Laxus to groan, "We will now be departing! Please keep all of your belongings close to you, and watch out for suspicious persons. If you experience any conflict that you can't resolve yourself, please do not hesitate to notify an employee! You're safety and convenience is our greatest priority!"

The message cut off, and soon enough, the train lurched into motion. Laxus immediately laid his head back, and gave a pained expression.

Freed looked on with sympathy, and patted his arm, before staring off out the window.

After a while, he relaxed, content to just watch the scenery. Unlike the lighting mage, Freed actually LIKED trains. He enjoyed the slight shaking of the car, and the passing landscape outside. It relaxed him, and gave him a sense of calm.

Freed rested his head on his hand and felt his eyes slowly slip closed, lulled by the soft movement of the train. He figured he might as well get some sleep before they arrived, knowing that if was asleep when they got there, Laxus would surely wake him up, desperate to get off, once the train had stopped. However, just as Freed was about to drift off, something dropped into his lap.

His eyes snapped open, and he stared down at the blond head resting on his legs. At first, he wasn't sure he was seeing correctly, but one thing was for certain: after today, he was sure he would have a permanent blush.

"L-L-Lax-x-xus-s…"

"Quiet," said the other, sounding cranky, "Let me sleep."

Freed didn't argue, not really having anything to say, but he knew now that there was no chance whatsoever of him getting any sleep.

The train arrived a couple hours later, and Freed was almost sad to wake the blond, but once he did, it was only a matter of seconds before his sword was thrown into his arms, and he was being dragged out of the train car.

Finding the client's house took quite a while though. Laxus had been leading the way, as Freed was still too embarrassed to do anything other than blush and stammer, and, due to his poor sense of direction, he had managed to get them lost multiple times.

After the fourth time of going in circles, Freed had gently extracted the paper from the seething Dragon Slayer…and had gotten then there in less than five minutes.

The client was an older, wealthy woman (and apparently a fan of Fairy Tail) and explained how a group of thieves had broken into her house, and stolen something very important to her.

She said it was a family heirloom, that had been passed down for generations, and apparently, it was very valuable. She seemed distressed, saying that she'd do just about anything to get it back.

The two reassured her that they would find it, and return it safely to her, and once she gave a brief description of where they might find the thieves, they set off.

It didn't take long to find where they were located, (as who ELSE would live in a shaggy old house in the middle of the woods?) But when they got there, no one was inside.

"The hell," said Laxus, giving a sniff, almost sneezing due to the dust, "Doesn't smell like anyone's been here for hours."

"They must have left," said Freed, instinctively taking a step closer to the blond, (this house just gave him the creeps!) "Based on what our client said, that heirloom is a big deal. They probably figured that she would hire someone to retrieve it."

Laxus nodded, only half paying attention. Something didn't feel right. He couldn't smell any people in the building, but there were remnants of magic in the air, and they were fresh, almost recent. That could've been due to a protective spell, or some kind of barrier charm, but it still made Laxus uneasy.

He glanced over at the rune mage, who looked about ready to bolt out the door, and grabbed his hand.

Freed went absolutely still, and stared wide eyed at the other, but Laxus was too busy looking around to notice.

"Just stay close to me, ok?" he said, pulling the greenette closer.

Freed was sure his face could not get any redder than it was now, and was helpless to argue as the blond pulled him along.

Somehow, despite them holding hands, the two managed to get separated.

Laxus had stopped to look at something, and Freed had unknowingly continued on without him.

The greenette took slow steps, eyes darting around in fear, and jumping at every sound. A particularly fast bat darted out of a corner, flying right past him. Freed yelped, and jumped backwards, bumping into a table, and knocking something to the ground.

CRASH!

Freed jumped at that too, just waiting for the other to yell at him… but Laxus was gone.

Laxus, farther off, heard the sound, and looked around for the rune mage, only to get the same result.

"Shit," he hissed under his breath. He turned and called, "Freed?"

The other heard him, and gave a sigh of relief, thankful that he wasn't as lost as he'd originally thought. He started to reply, "Yeah, I'm over-" but he never got to finish. Because, suddenly, a gloved hand clapped down over his mouth, and there was a different voice hissing in his ear.

"Don't you dare scream," it said, pressing something cold and sharp against Freed's throat, "Or you're finished."

The boy's eyes were as wide as saucers as he was dragged away, desperately trying to figure out what to do. His attacker was obviously much stronger than him, and he couldn't do much with a knife pressed against his throat. Not able to see any options, he just hoped that the other would find him, and FAST.

The man dragged him into another room, quietly slipping inside, before pushing Freed to the ground.

In a panic, Freed tried to scramble away, but before he could, the man pounced. Seconds later, he had his wrists yanked behind him, and bound together.

Almost immediately after, he could tell that there was something off about the cuffs that the man had used. He felt weak, and tired, and sick to his stomach. He wanted to put up a fight, but, feeling too exhausted to do so, he just slumped to the ground.

"Those are magic-neutralizing cuffs." said the man, "And they're made out of tempered steel. Plus this room is blocked off with TONS of warding spells. You'd better just sit tight until we decide to let you go. Wouldn't want to chafe those pretty little wrists of yours."

Freed struggled to turn, and get a good look at his captor, but the man had on a black ski-mask, and the gloves on his hands made it impossible to tell even what his race was. He was helpless, separated from his teammate, with no form of protection, and not even the strength to move, much less fight. Man, he'd really done it this time.

'If this doesn't get me kicked off the team, what will?' Freed thought miserable, trying to stop the tears pooling in his eyes, 'all I've done so far is cause trouble. Laxus will probably hate me after this.'

"Hey, Roy!" said another voice, accompanied by a pair of loud footsteps, "Did you get the…" He trailed off, and Freed could only guess that HE was the reason for the pause, "Who the fuck is this?" he continued.

"Caught him snooping around," the first, Roy, answered, nudging the rune mage with his boot, "And he's not alone. There's another kid with him."

The other cursed under his breath, "And here I thought we eliminated all the cops!"

"These ain't cops, Sam" said Roy, "They're mages."

Sam cursed again, "Well what're we gonna do?"

"Well we've got his buddy," Roy said, "We'll just offer him as ransom, and when the other brat comes to get him, we'll rob him blind, and drop 'em off somewhere."

Sam made a sound, like he was skeptical, "Are you sure that'll work?"

Roy laughed, "He's a blond."

Freed wished he had the strength to smile
***

Freed soon learned that there were four thieves, and he was left alone with three of them, while Sam left to go find Laxus.

Watching him go, Freed almost felt sorry for him, knowing that Laxus would be none too pleased with ANYONE who made his job more difficult.

His worry almost evaporated, as he knew he'd be out of here in no time. But it seemed that the fates (or at least these idiot thieves) weren't quite done making his life miserable.

Roy had dragged him into the center of the room, and Freed now lay there, too put out to do anything other than rest, limp. He also figured that if he didn't move, maybe his captors would forget about him. He was wrong.

"Hey Roy," said one of them, "What'd you say this punk's name was?"

"Huh," said Roy, "I don't know, Steve" he gave Freed's leg a rough kick, "What's your name, kid?"

"F-F-Freed." said boy answered, voice wavering, more from fatigue than from fear.

Steve laughed, before approaching the rune caster, "Cute." He knelt down, next to the boy, and Freed tried to squirm away, but he soon found a hand fisted into his hair, and he cried out.

Steve, smiled, pulling the greenette closer to his masked face. When all he received from the other was a dirty look, he tsked. "Aww," he said, "That's not very nice. Hey Tom!" he looked away, "Give me that bandana!"

A white cloth was soon placed in his hand, and he looked back at Freed with mock pity, "I hate to cover up those pretty blue eyes of yours, but I can't have you glaring at me." Steve let go his hair, but only to tie the blindfold over his eyes. When he was done, Freed felt even MORE helpless, now denied the use of his AND eyes.

"Hey, Roy," said Steve, grabbing Freed by the jaw, and moving his head around, almost like he was inspecting him, "He's awful pretty. Are you sure we have to give him back?"

The other guy-Tom-piped up, "Yeah," he said, "It gets pretty lonely around here. Why don't we just keep him?"

Roy opened his mouth to answer, but before he could, the ground lurched. A loud, alarming BOOM was heard in the house, followed by a scream… that could only belong to Sam.

The three thieves went silent.

The house did too… and then-

"FREED! WHERE ARE YOU?"

Pulling together his last few bits of strength, Freed didn't hesitate, "Laxus, I'm in-MMPH!"

The bandana over his eyes had been roughly pulled down to cover his mouth.

"Shhh!" hissed Steve, but it was too late. Second later, the door was blown off its hinges, and Roy had to dive out of the way to avoid getting hit.

Laxus Dreyar stood in the doorway, looking livid. Due to the fury on the blond's face, and the lighting cackling around him, he looked every bit like the thunder god he was named.

He scanned the room, looking right past the three frightened men, before his gaze landed on Freed. His eyes narrowed dangerously.

"How dare you do this to him."

And the three thieves were history.

Laxus kicked and punched until none of them had an inch of skin left to bruise. Freed, never really a fan of violence, had shut his eyes, and when he opened them again, Laxus was just standing there, panting. Even though the fight was over, he still looked furious.

Freed lay there, watching him, and when the blond suddenly looked at him, Freed gave a little yelp.

Laxus immediately started towards him. He ripped the gag of his face, before grabbing his shoulders roughly… and pulling him into a hug.

Freed's heart stopped right then and there. His lips trembled, trying to make words, but all he could say was "L-L…Laxus…"

"You scared the hell out of me," said Laxus.

To Freed's surprise, he didn't sound angry. Just put out.

"Don't ever leave me side again, you hear me?"

Freed's shock turned into comfort, and warmth. He felt a tear roll down his cheek as he uttered his two favorite words, "Yes, Laxus."

After thoroughly searching the men, Laxus had found the key to the cuffs, along with a tiny golden frog statue.

The two returned to the client's house, (Laxus insisting upon holding the other's hand and Freed blushing the whole way) to give her back the statue. It turned out she had never seen the statue in her life, and it was the cuffs she'd wanted.

After giving them to her, and collecting the reward, the two high-tailed it out of THERE as quickly as possible.

They rode the train back to Magnolia, Laxus using his Freed-pillow once more, and arrived back as the sun was setting. The two immediately made their way towards the guild, just wanting to report their success, and go home.

Freed was worried that everyone would make a big deal out of this, like they had this morning, but no one even looked up when they stepped through the doors.

Laxus turned to him, "I'm going to go report to Gramps about our success. Then we'll walk home."

Freed nodded accordingly, but he couldn't help but feel a little sad. After today, the two of them would likely NEVER go on another job alone. And Freed had enjoyed spending time with just Laxus. Sure, he loved Ever and Bix… but not how he loved Laxus.

The blond caught the sadness in the other's eyes, and surprisingly, he understood it, "Hey, don't worry," he said softly, not wanting ANYONE ELSE to hear him reassuring the other, "We'll go on other jobs together."

When Freed didn't look up, Laxus continued.

"I had fun today."

Still not what he wanted, so he gave into his desires, and did the very thing he'd been wanting to do since he'd found Freed in that room with those thieves: he leaned in and kissed the rune mage.

Well, it wasn't a REAL kiss, like on the lips or anything, it was actually next to his lips, on the corner of his mouth.

But it still got the effect Laxus had wanted.

Freed (for probably the tenth time today) turned as scarlet as Erza's hair, and stared up at the blond with wide eyes.

Laxus went for the cocky grin he usually used on girls, but caught the glare Mira was giving him, and gave Freed a real smile, "Wait for me?" he asked.

Freed gave a jerky nod, barely able to move, and watched, still in astonishment, as the blond strode off in search of his grandfather.

He stood there, gaping like a fish, in the middle of the guild hall, until Cana sauntered over to him.

"Told you it was a date." she said.
And Freed, unable to blush anymore, just fainted.

And now, six years later, the two were still as in love with each other as they had been when there'd first started dating. Who would've thought that one mission together would be the start of their entire relationship?

"Ahh…" said Laxus, "I remember that day TOO well… Like I said, IT WAS A DISASTER."

Freed smiled, "Was not." He gave it a tad bit more thought, dropped the teasing manner, "It was the best day of my life."

Laxus's head whipped around to stare at him in disbelief, "THAT was the best day of your life?" he snorted, "Damn, I need to work harder."

Laughing, Freed reached for the remote, "You can start right now! How about we watch…" He scrolled down, "Oh! 'Couple's First Christmas'!"

Laxus only groaned, and closed his eyes, "I swear, Freed Justine. If magic isn't the end of me, YOU will be."

_Fin