Author's Note: Sorry for the long wait. This finale of this two part gave me a headache nonstop. And everyone pestering me to finish this wasn't helping. Luckily, I had help from a fellow friend, Sideways865. Hope you enjoy the ending of the Rivals arc.
Fairy Tail Omniverse Invasion
Chapter 28: Rivalry of Fairy Tail; Finding the Ultimate Rival! Part 2
After Terraspin unleashed a whirlwind to stop the fight, unaware that he had blown the liquid from the broken bottle had been blown into certain members of the guild. He transformed back into Ben with Juvia and Neb behind him and Happy on a railing eating a fish.
"Come on everyone! Gramps still needs time to recover from the Fantasia parade," Ben pleaded to the guild, "Can't we all have one quiet day for him please?" Notices that some of the members are oddly quiet compared to others. "Everyone?"
While most members were knocked out cold from the blast of wind, some members, namely Gray, Erza, and others were acting strange as they picked themselves up. Their expressions looked as though they were mesmerized by something.
"Ben, what did you do to them," Neb asked his partner, "Don't tell me that oversized turtle can hypnotize people!"
"Not that I'm aware of. All I did was just blew them aside to stop their fighting like I did the first day I came to Fairy Tail," an equally confused Ben answered, "That time there were just quiet before cheering. Now they look..."
"Perhaps everyone is just in a daze from the impact," Juvia said as she watched everyone stand up. Among the group, Gray looked over at the group, specifically at Juvia with a dazed look in his eyes. "Gray, are you alright," Juvia asked him as the distance between the two became smaller with every step.
'This is odd, he's never shown any attention to me since I joined,' she thought to herself, 'But now he's acting so strange. Almost as if he's about to...' Juvia's eyes suddenly widen in shock as a thought entered her mind, 'Wait… Could he be!?'
Suddenly, Gray was on one knee as he held out a bouquet of flowers wrapped in a banner saying 'Marry Me' before the dumbstruck Juvia.
"Juvia, since the first day you appeared at the guild, I've been in love you," Gray exclaimed with a blush on his face, "Even being before you fills me with a joy I never knew was possible."
An equally blushing Juvia looks at the assortment of flowers with her eyes filled with surprise at this sudden confession. "Thank you Gray," Juvia answered with a voice filled with conflict, "But my heart belongs to Ben already."
"I know," Gray says as he tosses the bouquet into the air. As the petals fall all over the floor, Juvia sees Gray as he begins to form a large ice blade and points the tip of it at Ben. "That's way I'm challenging Ben for the right for your hand in marriage," Gray exclaimed in a challenging tone of voice.
"What!? No," Juvia exclaimed in shock at the idea of being fought over, "Ben! You can't possibly agree with this!"
"As a matter of fact… I do agree," Ben replies as he transforms into Big Chill and spreads his wings out in a threatening way. "I accept your challenge Gray!" Big Chill charges at Gray with Juvia watching in shock at the scene of her beloved fighting a fellow member for her as other members took sides to see who would win with Cana handling the betting pool. Just as the clash from the first attack, the dream sequence shatters before Juvia's eyes as she returns to reality.
'No! I couldn't live with being the cause of such a conflict in Fairy Tail and to my beloved Ben,' Juvia thought in horror as she shook her head wishing to deny the dream. With Gray only a few steps away, Juvia pales at the thought of that dream coming true. 'Oh please let that daydream be wrong,' she thinks over and over as she cringes with her eyes shut with the sound of footsteps coming closer. However, the sound continues and goes past Juvia who opens her eyes to see that Gray walked right past her like she wasn't even there.
Meanwhile, Happy is sitting on the railing near Ben's group minding his own business. Happy turns around to reveal a fish in his mouth as sees Gray arriving in front of the cat.
"I've had enough of it," Gray says in an angry tone of voice. Suddenly, Gray has a thin purple bruise going diagonally across his face and has a strange pink aura all around his body. "You're always flying around, showing off your wings, saying you better than me," he continues.
"Say what," Happy asks as he becomes so shocked that he drops his precious fish. Even Ben, Juvia, and Neb are caught by surprise by Gray's harsh words.
"Out of the two of us, I've always been the stronger one," Gray explains while glaring at Happy, "But you've been the only one that can fly! Right now, it's a draw between us, but that's all about to change!" Gray points an accusing finger towards the scared and confused Happy. "Listen up cat! From this moment forth you are my RIVAL," Gray finishes his speech leaving Happy screaming in fear.
Behind the Ice Mage, Ben and Neb are left in shock by Gray's challenge to Happy of all the members of Fairy Tail. "What the heck has gotten into Gray of all sudden," Ben asked out loud.
"Maybe all that ice magic he uses finally froze his brain," Neb said.
Juvia simply sighed in relief, 'I'm just glad he wasn't going to confess to me and challenge Ben to fight over me to the death...'
"Come on cat! Let's see what you're made of," Gray yelled continuing to challenge Happy, "I'll show you who the real Flying Ace of Fairy Tail is!"
"Somebody help! Gray is going crazy and he wants to fight me," Happy exclaims in horror as he flies away from Gray and past Ben's group, "Please don't let him hurt me!"
"I don't understand it," Juvia says while still surprised by Gray's aggressive behaviour, "There must be something wrong if he's acting like this. From what I've seen, he would never bully anyone," then she remembers when Gray accidentally insulted Mira's plans for the new guild. "Well, not intentionally at least."
"I agree Juvia," Ben said as he watched Gray chase after Happy around the guild hall, "Not to mention that weird aura around him. What's gotten into him?"
"Probably whatever has gotten into them," Neb exclaimed as he points to the guild mates, "Look!"
Ben and Juvia looked in the direction of Neb finger to discover that it wasn't just Gray that was acting aggressive. Many members of the guild were giving off the same pink aura as Gray and had a purple bruise across their face.
"Are you saying that you made more jewels last month than I did!?"
Ben's group of those unaffected followed the angry voice to see Macao who had thrown a punch at Wakaba who grabbed and held the fist with a cocky grin on his face.
"No, I'm saying I made twice as much as you did last month," Wakaba shot back with a cocky voice as both men glared at each other.
"Yeah right," Macao shot back, "You only wish you racked in the jewels the way I do!"
"Everybody here knows that I'm worth a lot more when it comes to completed jobs compared to you," Wakaba counted continuing to provoke Macao.
"Remind me why I waste my hanging out with you," Macao asked in anger at what appeared to be his former friend.
"It's because you want to keep an eye on your rival," Wakaba replied as both of their auras seem to grow stronger.
"Well at least those two aren't arguing over something crazy like Gray is," Neb said while looking a little surprised, "Not that this isn't very different from what they usually do."
"As odd as it is, the way those two are arguing reminds me of two co-workers back home," Ben said as he remembered the times Blukic and Driba back at Plumber Base would argue over strange things.
Juvia and Neb look towards Ben, wondering who those two friends were if they fought like this on a regular basis.
"I drink you, alcohol! You don't drink me!"
The new voice prevented the two from asking their Earth friend about them as they looked towards the bar. There standing next to a barrel of alcohol was Master Makarov with the same aura and bruise as he pointed at the barrel. "Now listen you! You're nowhere near strong enough to drink me! It was fate's decision that we would be life-long rivals!"
"Just when I thought Gray's was odd," Juvia responded with a confused expression as she watched the elder of the guild accuse a drink as his adversary in life. "But Master Makarov's is..."
"Completely random," Ben asked still not sure how to take this in. Juva nodded to Ben's answer.
"I hope this doesn't mean that he's going to ban alcohol from Fairy Tail," Neb said as he joined in the conversation, "Otherwise Cana is going to be finding a new place for employment."
"Master, you don't actually mean that do you," Juvia asked Makarov who didn't even glance at the sound of her voice, "It's just a drink after all."
"YOU THINK YOU CAN DRINK ME," Makarov exclaimed in defiance, "I'LL NEVER LET THAT HAPPEN," he finished as he dumped a mug of the drink down his throat in anger.
"This is too much to process," Ben said while holding the side of his forehead as he eased the pain of trying to process his master's rival, "I don't think anything else make as little sense as what Gramps is saying."
"Curse you, wretched pillar!"
Three turned away from the drenched Master to see an aura covered Erza pointing in anger at a pillar supporting the upper level. "You dare obstruct my path through this part of the guild?! Preventing me from fulfilling my dreams of travelling through here unhindered?! Answer me you fiend,"
"I stand corrected," Ben said as he processed Erza's new rival, "This is the most ridiculous rivalry I've ever heard."
"Is your silence you way of challenging me," Erza said as she continued to challenge the pillar and ignore Ben's words. "I knew we would be rivals the moment I saw you!
"Erza, please! This is ridiculously," Juvia said as she tried to talk some sense into Erza, "You can't fight a pillar of all things. You could bring the guild down all around us you damage it."
"What were you expecting a pillar of wood to even say," Neb asked not expecting an answer, "'This is payback for chopping me down as a tree.' This rivalry is the most random of them all."
"I bet it would make sense though if she was talking about a caterpillar though," Happy said as he appeared from behind the three friends making a comedic and random comment on the situation
"UGGHH, Happy! This is hard enough to watch as it is," Neb said as Happy's joke filled him with a dread that was more annoying than painful, "The last thing this situation needs is more crazy comments like caterpillars."
Suddenly, Mira who had the aura as well charged through Ben, Juvia, and Neb as she ran towards Erza."Come on Red! Let's fight like when we teenagers," Mira said as she challenged Erza who paid no mind to Mira. "Only this time, I'm not holding anything back this time when it comes to my lifelong rival!"
"I can't believe I'm hearing this," Juvia said as she looked at Mira acting so aggressive compared to her normally sweet self. "She doesn't look like she has a violent bone in her body to fight her guild mates. Let alone Erza of all people."
"Now that I think about it, Mira said she was called the Demon before she retired," Ben said as he remembered the time he was that magazine that dubbed him the Legion of Fairy Tail, "But I still can't picture her actually doing anything violent at all."
"I can," Neb said as he backed away from Mira and Erza, "I saw what she's capable of when Freed pressed her berserk button! If she and Erza fight, the entire town might be blown away," he said as the memories of Mira overpowering Freed before almost calming down.
"Are you serious? Is she really that strong," Juvia asked in surprise. 'Could she really be that strong? What if she's been hiding her true power in order to impress Ben so much that he falls for her,' Juvia thought in alarm at the idea of Mira making a move as her rival for Ben's heard.
"I don't know how strong," Neb answered not noticing Juvia enter Love Rival mode as the dark blue aura rose to the ceiling, "But I know she took Freed down in just a few moves, and Mira could probably leave her in the same state as the others if she continued to let her rage fuel her!"
Ben just sighed after having reached his mental limit for madness, "At this point Neb, a fight would actually be more welcome than all of this. Things get any worse or stranger than this." Suddenly, the fatigue on Ben's face disappeared and was filled with fear as he realized what he said, "Oh no! I said the one thing you never say!"
"Oh come on," Neb sighed knowing what Ben was referring to, "I've heard people say that all the time and it never made things worse."
"There you are Juvia!"
The three, including Juvia was out of rival mode turned to see Lucy with the same purple bruise and pink aura, "It's time to settle this once and for all," Lucy exclaimed in anger.
"Lucy? Not you too," Juvia asked as Lucy ran up to her. 'Oh no! Could she declaring her rivalry with Ben,' she thought as Lucy stood on top of a table and shot an accusing finger at her.
"Only one new member of Fairy Tail is getting that spot in Sorcerers Weekly's interview and pin up page and it's going to be me," Lucy loudly declared, "You hear me!? You are my rival for fame and fortune!"
"This rivalry is about a magazine," Neb asked as an anime sweatdrop appeared on the back of his head.
"The stress of being famous my friend," Ben said, "Getting to the top and staying up there. I've seen it first hand and I wouldn't wish it on anyone."
Juvia on the other hand was blushing like crazy, "Me?! In Sorcerers Weekly," Juvia exclaimed as she cupped her face as steam rose from her body, "I could never live with the idea being seen my millions of readers all over Fiore!"
"Yeah, you'd only want Ben to see you in poses like that," Neb said with a sneaky smirk causing Juvia to blush and steam even more than before.
In the steam, Ben had a deadpan expression from Neb's antics, "Really Neb," Ben asked his partner, "Is all this extra steam really going to help?"
"Where did you go Juvia," Lucy exclaimed as she threw her clothing off to reveal a sexy white bikin, "You shy steam affects won't help you get the secret Sorcerer's Weekly against my personality and outfits!" She begins posing in an attempt to get the Sorcerer's Weekly agent's attention.
"This is crazy, I don't know what's going on!" Happy exclaimed before Ben's group could respond, "Natsu, where are you?! Everyone's gone mad! Even Lucy!"
Suddenly, Gray popped up in front of Happy, "Where do you think you're going?! It's time to settle this cat," the Ice Mage yells making the flying cat scream in fear. Gray grabbed the crying Happy and pulled to the stairs leading to the roof.
Despite the steam, Ben sees this and looks back at the others, "Come on, we better go make sure Gray doesn't do something crazy," Ben said as he pulled a still dreaming and steaming Juvia along.
"Ben seeing me in… In such an outfit," Juvia mumbled to herself still daydreaming.
"When you say crazy, do you mean Natsu crazy or crazier than what's going on here," Neb joked as he followed after them.
Gray stood with his arms folded as he stood tall overlooking the side of the guild facing the ocean. "Just watch me cat. I'm going to prove to you that I can soar through the air way better than you can," Gray says full of confidence as the three currently sand members watch from behind the bell.
"Don't do this Gray! It's way too dangerous," Happy pleaded as he didn't want Gray getting hurt.
"Shut it cat! I can do it! Against you... my rival... I won't lose, no matter what it is," Gray shoots back but still stands there looking at the ocean.
"This whole thing stinks," Happy cries as he holds his arms up in a questioning pose, "Why is everyone acting like this today? Where's Natsu when you need him!"
Meanwhile, Ben, Juvia who was out of her daydream, and Neb who was sitting on Juvia's shoulder were hiding behind the bell looking at Gray and Happy.
"It's official Ben, your turtle has made Gray a delusional lunatic," Neb stated, "He actually thinks he can fly and it's all just to beat the fish loving looney!"
"There's no way Terraspin did this," Ben said as he defended himself, "I used him before and this never happened. Besides, I met the alien that I got the DNA sample for the Omnitrix for and he along with his species are pacifists. The one I met didn't even know how to be violent until he was kidnapped."
"I don't think Ben did this Neb. We were near Ben when he used that form on everyone," Juvia said as she defended her beloved, "If Ben was the cause of it, we would've been affect as well"
Before Ben could reply and thank Juvia, the sound of more loud voices and things breaking caught their attention from behind.
"Sounds like things are getting crazier down there," Neb said as he and the others looked back, "I hate to be the one who goes back down there and plays babysitter."
Juvia looked at Ben, 'My darling Ben must feel so guilt ridden with the thought that he may have caused this even if he didn't,' she thought to herself. 'He already burdens himself with so much... I must help him somehow.'
Suddenly, Juvia imagined herself helping Ben relieve the stress he was feeling... In bed in the middle of the night. 'No! Now's not the time to be imagining things like that,' she tells herself before she starts steaming again as she blocks the image from her mind. "Ben, if you're worried about the others, I can stay here and keep Gray from getting hurt."
Ben looked at Juvia in concern, "Are you sure?"
Juvia nodded, "Yes. We're by the ocean, so I'll have a great amount of water to use in order to keep him safe," she says to Ben.
Ben nodded as he agreed with that plan, "Alright. Neb and I will handle things downstairs," he said as he grabbed Neb by his collar, "Thanks, Juvia. Come on Neb, we have some babysitting to do."
"Did you not hear me when I said I would hate to have that job," Neb yelled as he struggled in vain to break free of Ben's grip.
Juvia looked back at Gray and Happy, 'I just hope things get better soon.'
Back in the Guild Hall
Ben stood by the stage while Neb sat there grumbling over being stuck watching the entire guild. Throughout the entire guild, rivalries were erupting left and right over the last piece of chicken to money found on the floor.
"This is madness," Ben said as he tried to keep track of everyone, "I can't figure out which situation to try and defuse first!"
"Master! I've come to challenge you!"
Ben and Neb looked in the direction of the voice to see Cana holding a mug of her favorite drink and pointing her finger at Makarov who was continuing to chug down his hated drink, "It's time we've settled who holds the title as the heaviest drinker in Fairy Tail!"
"You're nowhere near worthy enough to be my rival," Makarov snapped at her in between refilling his mug, "My life long rival is alcohol!"
"You'll never win," Cana declared as she chugged down her drink as extra alcohol sprung out of her mouth from not being able to fit in her mouth and covered the floor.
Ben ran over to the two drinking mages, "Gramps, Cana, please stop," Ben said as he pleaded them to stop, "If you keep this up, it will take days to clean up this mess, get the smell of a brewery out, and raise the money to buy more!" His pleads went unnoticed by the two as more alcohol went from their mugs, to their mouths, and onto the floor.
Ben simply moaned in defeat and left the two to waste their precious drinks to return to the stage.
"At least Cana is doing anything crazy and out of the ordinary," Neb said as he watched everything that was happening, "Plus, it looks like Macao and Wakaba are fine with comparing their income numbers from their jobs, so that's another group we don't have to worry about damaging the guild."
"I suppose that's one positive Neb," Ben said as he was beginning to feel tired from all of this, "But this is getting worse and more confusing by the minute. What's worse is-"
"So, it's three against three."
Ben and Neb looked in the direction of the voice and paled at the sight. It was the Thunder Legion and Shadow Gear teams and they were challenging each other.
"Both teams may have the same numbers, but the skills of the Thunder Legion are clearly superior the skills of Shadow Gear," Freed declared confidentially as he and his teammates Evergreen and Bickslow.
"Whenever anyone talks of teams of three in Fairy Tail, our team is always the one that's the first to be thought of," Levy declared as she stood her ground along with Jet and Droy against the other team, "Let's battle!"
Ben paled at this at the idea of this fight occurring, "Levy, Freed, no," Ben yelled as he ran towards them, "There's enough fighting as it is in here! Someone other than you might get-" He stopped and was stunned at the sight before him.
"Our Thunder Legion against your Shadow Gear! It's time to determine which three man team is the best in all of Fairy Tail," Freed exclaimed as he and his teammates struck a heroic pose normally seen in superhero comics.
"You better get ready for a huge load of disappointment because we're the ones who are going to be on top after this fight," Levy said as she and her team struck a pose of their own.
Ben was left speechless as he watched the teams continue to have a pose off. "I don't know if I should be relieved or feel foolish," Ben said as he walked away from the non-violent fight.
"Damn you," Freed shot at Levy as the two teams continued to pose off with no sign of a winner.
"You have no idea who you're dealing with," Levy yelled confidentiality.
Neb was laughing as Ben walked back to the stage, "All that build and it looks like they're just having a pose off! I wonder if all the wizard guilds are this crazy!"
"I don't know Neb," Ben said as he looked at the chaos before him, "This is crazier than that time I was forced on that intergalactic game show. At least that time, I knew what the cause was."
"I don't know what this game show is but maybe we should pay people to see this," Neb said as guild members were tossed into the air by the different conflicts, "I bet we could make more jewels than with those crystal statues of yours."
"Where are all the real men in the guild!?"
Ben and Neb looked towards the loud and angry voice to see Elfman yelling into the air.
"I can't find anyone here worthy of being my rival! This situation makes me sad! So very violently sad," Elfman continued as he punched the air in order to vent his anger.
Ben and Neb just looked at the angry Take Over Wizard continue to punch the air and yell for a man. Neb jumped on Ben's shoulder, "Is he looking for a rival to fight or just a man," he whispered in Ben's ear, "If it's the second, is it too late to switch jobs with Juvia?"
"I don't want to stick around to find out buddy," Ben said as he snuck away before Elfman noticed him, "And yes, it is too late," he said to Neb. "If Gray actually tries flying, Juvia can use her water magic to prevent him from hitting the ground and from drowning in an attempt to fly in the water."
"You sure you aren't worried that Juvia will fall into Gray's arms instead," Neb teased Ben with a sly grin.
"You really want to bring that up in the middle of all this," Ben asked surprised that Neb was more focused on his growing feelings for Juvia over the situation before them.
"Requip! Heaven's Wheel Armor!"
Ben and Neb paled at the sound of the familiar and the sound of blades stabbing something. They looked and saw Erza in her Heaven's Wheel Armor as she stabbed as many swords as she could leaving the pillar looking like a pin cushion.
"Curse this pillar," Erza yelled as her attempts to remove it were in vain as Ben and Neb ran over to her.
"Come on Erza, cut it out," Ben pleaded with the S-Rank Wizard, "It took everyone forever to rebuild the guild the first time!"
"What's the big deal," Neb asked Ben, "Can't you just change it back using your Clockwerk form?"
"It takes a lot out of me to use that form," Ben explained, "Plus, I don't want everyone getting lazy when it comes to cleaning if we're away for long periods of time on jobs. I'd feel like a maid if the guild started doing that."
Her purple aura ignites even more so as the bruise spreads even more across her face showing the effects are getting stronger. "SILENCE YOU TWO," Erza roared silencing the two and sending a chill down their spines. Her rivalry aura ignited as it shot up towards the roof and her bruise spread across her face. "THIS WRETCHED PILLAR CONTINUES TO INSULT ME BY STANDING IN MY WAY! I NEED TO GO FURTHER INSIDE IN ORDER TO GAIN A NEW CUP FOR MY STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIE, YET THIS PILLAR STANDS IN MY WAY! IT MOCKS ME BEHIND MY BACK AT HOW I MUST SUBMIT TO IT BY WALKING AROUND IT," she continued as she pointed an accusing finger at the pillar, "By being so relentless in obstructing my path to my strawberry drinks, it proves that it stands as my greatest rival!"
Neb was left dumbstruck after hearing Erza's reason for hating the pillar, "All of this… Is about your love STRAWBERRY FOOD?!"
"I get that you're set in your ways Erza, but this is unnecessary," Ben said as he tried to reason with her, "Everyone goes around the pillar every day."
"I think what's really making Erza angry is that her rival is as stubborn as she is."
Neb nodded in agreement, "That's... actually possible... Wait Happy?" Neb and Ben turned to see Happy floating behind them with his usually smiling face. "What you are doing down-"
Suddenly, all three of them were sent flying by a powerful punch. As the three non-affected members landed on the ground, Happy was the only one left knocked out while Ben and Neb looked with stars in their eyes to see the cause of their pain. It was Mirajane who was now wearing boxing gloves. "Get over here and fight me Erza! It's time we settled this rivalry once and for all," she yelled out with her first in the air ready to battle.
"My lifelong rival is this pillar," Erza shot back without facing Mirajane, "I won't fight anyone else until I've seen its defeat!"
"Erza... It's just a pillar of wood that is unable to fight back," Ben said in a weak voice as he picked himself up, "What good a rival that can't fight back?" Ben didn't get an answer though as Mira's rival aura burned brighter leaving the Hero From Another Universe and his sidekick in fear.
"I refuse to be ignored," Mira yelled as her rival aura mixed with her own magic, "SATAN SOUL!" When the light faded, she became her demonic form and flew into the air.
"Oh NO! Ben, that's the form I was talking about," Neb said in horror as he backed away as best he could.
"Okay… I will never underestimate Mirajane again," Ben said as he was filled with fear from seeing Mira in such a form and moved away with Neb.
"That tears it! Requip! Purgatory Armor," Erza cried out as she was covered in a bright light as she transformed again.
Before Ben and Neb, stood possible the most intimidating armor they had ever seen. Erza was now wearing a blacked armored dress with grey trimming and spikes on her shoulders, forearms, and legs. She wore a pair of black earrings and had black horns on her head. She held a huge black and grey spiked mace that was twice her. This was her Purgatory Armor, one of her most destructive set of armor she owned.
"Ben," Neb said as he continued to back away in fear at this new armor and weapon in the hands of a crazy Erza, "I think should really-"
"Face my Wildcat... PUNCH!"
Before Neb could finish, he and Ben were struck from behind by a speeding Mirajane who flew right through the two towards Erza and didn't give the two green heroes a second thought as they landed on the floor again in more pain than before.
Before the two could recover, Elfman went charging past the boys as they lied there on the floor. "Where's my rival," he yells as he transforms into his Beast Soul, "I have to find a real man!"
Just then, Elfman ran straight into Mira's fist as she sends her brother flying away, "OUT OF THE WAY!" She then proceeds to thrown random punches in the air calling out Erza who continues to swing her broadsword at the pillar in order to knock it down.
As all the chaos continues in the guild with no sign of an end, Neb crawls over to Ben who flips himself over to lie on his back in pain. "Ben… I don't care if it drains you to the point of staying in bed all week," Neb said having enough of the madness around him, "Just use that overgrown clock to stop THIS ALREADY!"
Ben simply groaned as he picked himself up despite the pain he was feeling, "This whole can't get any worse..." Suddenly, Ben pales as he realizes what he just said, "Oh no! I said it again!"
"Oh, come on, Ben," Neb yelled in annoyance, "The last time was a coincidence. There's no way something bad is going to happen just because you said it!"
Suddenly, a huge fiery roar shook the guild, as the two paled from recognizing that roar. They turned to the doorway, as they saw Natsu, in battle mode, as he cried out, pointing right at Ben, " COME ON, BEN! IT'S HIGH TIME WE SETTLED THE SCORE ONCE AND FOR ALL! AFTER ALL, YOU'RE MY RIVAL!"
The two blinked at this, as Neb felt a chill down his spine. He turned to Ben, who was now glaring daggers at the cat, as he shrugged, "Okay, so I was wrong. I'll never say that again when things go really bad."
As Natsu leaped into the air, he charged his fists while heading straight for Ben and Neb. "Come on Ben," the Fire Dragon Slayer yelled with a voice filled with a love for battle, "Transform so we can really fight!"
"Neb! Move," Ben shouted as he pushed Neb out of the way before rolling away from the incoming fire attack. As soon as Natsu's fist hit the ground, a fiery explosion occurred filling the space with smoke.
Suddenly, a familiar green flash of light occurred within the smoke. As the smoke cleared, all that was left were Natsu, the impact zone from his fist with scorch marks, and Neb who was lying next to a chair.
Natsu stood up with his fists covered in fire, "How was that Ben," Natsu exclaimed only for his battle spirit to fade into a feeling of confusion, "Hey! Where'd you go Ben?" It was true, there was no sign of Ben anywhere near when Natsu had struck the ground.
"Oh, come on Ben! Don't leave me hanging," Natsu exclaimed in annoyance, "Everybody else is fighting so why can't- YEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAA!" Natsu yelped in pain as he felt a tight grip on the left side of his neck. The Fire Dragon Slayer felt a stiffness go through his body which left him unable to move. The fire around his fists went out and he collapsed on the floor. "What the!? I can't move," Natsu stated as he struggled to move in vain.
Suddenly, Grey Matter jumped out of Natsu's vest, landed on the ground, and changed back to Ben in a flash. "Ben!? What was that and what did you do to me," Natsu asked in shock.
"The Hefestan Neuro Grip," Ben answered while looking at Natsu as Neb walked over to the both of them, "It's a move that's useful for subduing creatures. From predators to prey."
"Whoa. I gotta learn that move," Neb said as he looked at Natsu who was still struggling against his own down muscles to move.
"It's only temporary. Natsu should be back on his feet in a minute or so," Ben said as he looked back at Natsu, "Sorry Natsu. But things are crazy enough without another rivalry going-" Ben stopped when he noticed something about Natsu. Specifically, what Natsu was lacking. "Hey... Your face isn't purple," Ben said getting Neb's attention as well.
It was true. Natsu didn't have a bruise on his face or the pink aura like everyone else. The Fire Dragon Slayer looks at Ben in confusion, "Huh? Why would my face be purple," he asks as if Ben has lost it, "And what do you mean you don't have the energy to fight? There's always time for a good brawl! Just like today!"
Neb walked over to Natsu's face to get a closer look. "You're right Ben, Natsu is still the same battle hungry guy we know," he says while looking at the Dragon Slayer's face. "And to answer your question Fire Breath," Neb said as he turned his attention to Natsu, "Everybody else is while declaring different people or things their rivals."
"Really? It looks like a regular day in the guild to me," Natsu says as he regains control of his body and stood up. He looks around at the massive fighting going on in the guild, "Since everybody was fighting with someone and you weren't doing anything, I figured I'd join in and fight you! So, come on and let's fight," Natsu declared as he charged his fists with fire again ready to fight, "Now that I know about it, that grip thing won't work a second time!"
'Is he serious,' Neb and Ben thought after hearing Natsu's explanation and his hunger for fighting out of enjoyment.
"Natsu, this is far from a regular day! Most of the guild is forming rivalries with each other for the craziest of reasons," Ben exclaimed as he started to explain, "Gray challenged Happy to see who is he better flyer, Macao and Wakaba are arguing who makes the most money from jobs, Freed's team and Levy's team are having a pose off, Cana is having a drinking contest with Gramps who is trying to prove he's stronger than alcohol, Elfman is looking for a man for reasons I don't want to find out, Erza is attacking a pillar for obstructing her way to her strawberry treats, and Mirajane is trying to fight Erza when they are at their strongest," he says while counting the rivalries going on. "Neb, did I miss anyone," Ben asked his little cat pal.
"Yeah," Neb said as he pointed to Lucy on the table away from them, "Lucy challenged Juvia to prove which of the new members of the guild should get to do an interview in Sorcerers Weekly's monthly magazine and threw all her clothes off to prove it."
Natsu simply cocked his head to the side with a confused look on his face after hearing all of that. "Lucy does seem to end up losing her clothing from time to time while on jobs," Natsu responded to that as he thought about it, "But she's never removed her clothing in public on purpose."
"Does she always strike poses as well," Neb asked as he pointed to Lucy lying on her stomach and showing off her back and legs.
"Come on Juvia," Lucy called out with an angry look on her face, "Are you just going to hide and prove yourself unworthy of being my rival for riches and fame!?"
"Hmmm... No, that's pretty new" Natsu said unfazed by Lucy's poses and body, "But it looks like I can't ask Lucy for help. So aside from her, why is this out like a regular day again?"
Neb and Ben look at him as a sweat bead goes down the back of their heads. 'I don't know what's harder to handle. Him or the guild right now,' Ben thought as he felt exhausted from all of today.
All three boys turned to see Happy fly at Natsu crying and floated near him, "Oh I'm so glad you're here now! Everybody is going crazy! Where have you been all day?!"
"I just got back little buddy," Natsu answered with a carefree smile, "I was working on something all day, but I needed Burger's help, so I came to ask Lucy to call her."
"You came to ask Lucy to order you a burger," Ben asked a little confused by Natsu's thought process.
"What's the matter," Neb said mockingly, "Is your brain so overcooked that you can't order a burger on your own?"
"No, Virgo is one of Lucy's celestial spirits that's good a digging," Happy explained to Neb and Ben before pointing at Lucy, "But Lucy's too crazy right now along with... Oh my gosh, GRAY!" Happy immediately flies back outside in a hurry.
"Don't tell me he jumped or hurt Juvia," Ben exclaimed as he followed after Happy along with Neb and Natsu.
Fairy Tail Roof
Back on the roof, night had fallen in Magnolia. But the cold breeze didn't stop Gray who still stood tall before the ocean ready to fly. Juvia, meanwhile was still standing by the trapdoor watching him.
Suddenly, Happy flew out of the door and towards the Ice mage. "Please listen to reason, Gray," Happy pleaded, "This isn't going to end well if you try flying."
"Shut your trap, cat," Gray shot back while still having the bruise on his face and pink aura around him, "You're not talking your way out of this so get ready!"
"Hey Juvi, sorry we took so long," Ben said as he, Neb, and Natsu emerged from the door, "Has Gray tried anything yet?"
Juvia blushed at Ben saying her nickname but didn't lose her cool as she looked at them, "Hello, everyone, and no he hasn't," she answered as she turned to face them, "He's been standing there like an ice sculpture. How's everyone else?"
"About the same. Still going rival crazy," Neb answered,"I wouldn't go back though. Erza and Mirajane are on the rampage. Well there's also Elfman who's on the hunt for a real man. Whatever he means by that."
"He's looking for a real man," Juvia exclaimed and blushed like mad from hearing that, 'As in to love?! What if he finds it in my darling Ben?!' She suddenly imagines a scene of the two men as lovers against her will. 'NOOOO! Ben would never do that,' she thought in horror as she tried to block the image from her mind.
The three watched the poor girl react to those words. 'I don't even want to think what playing through her head right now,' Ben thought as he shook his head. Neb just smiled watching her and Natsu looked confused until he saw Happy talking to Gray.
"So, Gray is bullying my little buddy huh," Natsu said looking annoyed at anyone who would do that, even his teammate, "Well I'll just have to beat some sense into him!"
As Natsu walked towards Gray, Ben stopped thinking about Juvia's new day dream to notice Natsu, "Natsu, wait," he cried out hoping to stop Natsu before he made things worse.
"Hey, Droopy Eyes," Natsu shot out as he walked over to Gray, "What's the big idea messing with my little buddy?!"
"Stay out of this, Natsu," Gray yells back at Natsu without facing him as he maintains his stare at the sea, "I'm going to prove to Happy and everyone in the guild who the best flier is here!"
Hearing that, Natsu starts to laugh like crazy. "Come on, man, you can't fly at all," Natsu exclaimed as he held his sides from all his laughing, "Besides, no one's a better flyer than Happy! Even if you could fly, Happy could easily fly around Magnolia five times and you wouldn't even have left "
As Natsu continued to laugh, the others looked at Natsu in shock as he provoked Gray further. "What is that flame for brains idiot doing," Neb exclaimed in shock, "That's only going to make it worse!"
"Natsu, stop please," Juvia pleaded with the Fire Wizard, "You're only making it worse!"
"I can't help it," Natsu said in between fits of laughter, "Just the idea of this guy flying at all is too much!"
As Natsu continued to laugh his head off, the others watched Gray as the laughter began to affect him. The bruise on Gray's face spread further as the pink aura grew fiercer like a raging fire. Anger filled Gray's body as he yelled in rage into the air.
"THAT'S IT! I'LL SHOW YOU ALL," Gray loudly declared as he prepares to jump much to everyone's but Natsu's horror as he leaps off the building.
"GRAY," Ben, Juvia, Neb, and Happy yell in shock. As Gray began to ran down the side of the guild building.
Juvia immediately ran forward and looked over the side of the building. She held her hand out, "Water Lock!" she shouted as a sphere of water appeared where Gray was. "I got him," Juvia said in relief, "Now to-"
However, the sphere of water turned into ice and shattered as Gray fell onto the ground and resumed running towards the ocean. "I'M GONNA FLY," Gray yelled out as he ran for the edge of land, "YOU'LL SEE RIGHT-" he leaped off the edge of land and towards the ocean, "NOW!"
Everyone watched as Gray moved through the air with his arms held out to the sides like wings and his legs together as if he's the shape of a plane. "Behold," Gray says as he moved through the air, "I am the wind..."
Everyone stared at the flying Gray in shock. Not at his actions, but that it looked as though it was working. "I can't believe it... He's flying," Happy said in astonishment, "He's actually flying."
"No... He's not," Neb said in a deadpanned voice.
"He's falling... With style," Ben added. As if on cue, Gray fell straight down into the water with a large splash.
The Next Morning
The warm rays of sunlight filled the sky as morning began to begin for the denizens of Magnolia. As the sunlight bathed the Fairy Tail guild, Ben began to stir awake as he lifted his head up. 'Oh yeah,' Ben thought as his mind began to shake off the feeling of sleep from his mind, 'The guild went crazy and Gray tried to fly.' As Ben started to sit up, he felt a weight on his side. He looked and saw Juvia sleeping peacefully with her head on his shoulder and holding his arm for warmth. 'This is really becoming a habit,' Ben thought as he watched her rest. She moaned as she held Ben's arm in her sleep which caused him to blush, 'Not that I'm complaining,' Ben thought as he could feel his heart beat faster.
Ben began to look around at the scene around him. Neb was curled up by Ben by the guild wall while Natsu was lying flat on the ground snoring while Happy leaned on Natsu's side sleeping like they didn't have a care in the world. Off to the side was Gray flat on his back and out cold. His face had returned to normal and the aura had disappeared as well.
"At least Gray has calmed down," Ben said while looking behind him at the now silent guild, "It sounds like the guild has as well."
Suddenly, Ben heard another moan next to him and saw Juvia was beginning to stir awake as well. Her eyelids opened to reveal her blue eyes as she looked to see Ben.
"Good morning," Ben said with a smile to the half-asleep girl.
"Morning," Juvia said while still half asleep, only for her eyes to shot wide open as all the sleep in her disappeared and she blushed ferociously. "Ben," she exclaimed as she shot up and noticed that she was holding onto him. "I'm sorry. Did I grab you in my sleep again," Juvia asked him feeling like she annoyed him.
"Yeah, but it's okay," Ben said as he got up and held his hand out for her, "It's about time we all woke up anyway." Juvia continued to blush as she took his hand and stood up and looked at each other.
"Ooooh, my head..."
Ben and Juvia were snapped out of their stare thanks to the sound of Gray's voice. They looked as they saw him wake up, "What happened," he asked as he looked around to find himself outside the guild and saw Happy, Neb, and Natsu start to wake up as well, "And what we all doing outside the guild hall?"
"You don't remember," Ben asked Gray as he and Juvia walked over to see the Ice Mage.
Gray shook his head as he held it, "The last thing I remember was a fight. Then you turning into that turtle take over form again, blew all of us to the side, and then I'm out here." Gray grabbed his throat when he noticed how raw it felt, "Why does my throat hurt? Am I catching a cold or something?"
Happy gains a nervous look on his face, "Not exactly."
"You and everyone else in the guild went bonkers," Neb said as he began to explain, "You declared Happy as your rival and tried to prove that you were the better flyer. "
"Seriously," Gray said with a shocked expression, "I don't remember any of it. Sorry Happy."
"No problem," Happy said, "I'm just glad you're not crazy anymore. You even jumped right off the guild building and straight out into the ocean. Then you fell into the ocean. We fished you out and waited outside until everyone inside calmed down."
"Whoa," Gray said as he continued to hold his throat, "That's nuts. What the heck made me do that?"
"Here, this ought to help your throat," Natsu said as he gave Gray a glass bottle filled with liquid.
Gray took the drink from Natsu, "Oh, thanks," he said as he began to chug it down.
As Gray chugged down the drink, Juvia became surprised as she recognized it as the same bottle that she brought into the guild yesterday. "Say... That's the drink that old man dropped yesterday when he bumped into me," Juvia said getting Ben's attention.
"What? That," Natsu asked, "I found it in the guild when I brought out some food and drinks while we waited for the fighting to end. It was one of the only things that Gramps and Cana didn't drink."
Before anything else could be said, Gray sighed as he finished the drink. "Hmm, not bad. Has a real sugary taste to it," Gray said as he looked at the bottle, "Hey Natsu, what is this..." Gray's voice faded as he looked as though he was in a trance.
Everyone looked at him confused by this behavior, "Gray," Natsu asked, "What's with you? You look like someone told you ice was banned from the guild or something."
Gray doesn't answer as he starts to growl. His body begins to glow with a familiar pink aura. Suddenly, he shot up and roared to the heavens. The aura exploded all around him like a storm and the familiar purple bruise appeared all over his face again. Everyone is caught by surprise at Gray's suddenly burst of energy as he stands with his back towards them.
The others backed away from Gray in shock as he exploded with rage again, "Oh no," Neb said, "He's at it again! Everyone, get back before he thinks of something to rival over again!"
Suddenly, Gray throw the empty bottle off to the side and stuck his finger towards the horizon. "LISTEN UP YOU ARROGANT HORIZON," Gray shouted at the top of his lungs as the aura continued to lash out like crazy.
"The horizon," everyone not affected by the aura exclaimed in shock as that was the last thing anyone thought the Ice Mage would say.
Then, Gray leapt out into the sea and ran across the ocean and crazy speed. "YOU ARE MY RIVAL FOR LIFE," he yelled as he ran towards the sky out of view of everyone.
As Gray runs towards the horizon, the others were left in shock with wide eyes and dropped jaws, but they didn't know what shocked them more. The fact that Gray just ran across water or that he called the horizon his rival.
"I guess some people were never meant to fly," Happy finally said breaking the silence.
"My mind is so overloaded with what just happened to even process what you just said Happy," Neb admitted
"Man, oh man! This was some drink. Wish I had this when I was fighting Erza back when we were kids!" Natsu said as he watched Gray go as he picked up the bottle, "Why did Gray have to drink the whole thing!?"
Ben looked at Natsu as he held the bottle, "I didn't even what to think what you would've," he began to say until he looked at the empty bottle, "That's it! That's what caused all this madness!" Everyone looks at Ben as he points at the bottle in Natsu's hand. "This drink is what made everyone go rival on each other," he exclaimed as it points at it. He turned his attention to the Water Mage, "Juvia, the old man who bumped into you, do you remember anything about him?"
"I'm sorry Ben but I don't." Juvia said as she started to explain the origin of the potion, "He bumped into me and ran off before I could get a good look at him and apologize. He was in such as rush that he didn't notice that he dropped his potion. I wasn't sure what the contents was so I thought I'd bring it back in case he came by looking for it."
"But how did it spread to the rest of the guild," Happy asked, "No one drank it when the brawl happened."
"Good question Happy," Ben said as he looked at the glass bottle. As he examined the bottle, he noticed cracks on the top, "This bottle has cracks in it. When the old man dropped it, it must have cracked a bit. Then when I used Terraspin-"
"The bottle was caught in the wind storm you made and bits of the potion leaked out of the bottle and spilled on the guild members," Neb said as he saw where Ben was going with this, "Which caused them to go mad! But what was that old man doing with a crazy potion like that to begin with!?"
"I don't know. But that means this is all my fault," Juvia says while having a sad look on her face from guilt by causing trouble to her new home, "If I hadn't picked up the bottle and brought it to the guild, none of this would've happened."
"It wasn't your fault Juvia," Ben said as he placed a supportive hand on her shoulder, "You had no idea what was in there or who that guy was. Besides, I'm the one who spread it through the guild hall."
"Less pitting and more thinking gang. Besides, no one has to know about the crazy potion though," Neb declared, "Gray didn't remember anything when he woke up so everyone else probably won't remember when they wake up either."
"Speaking of Gray," Happy asked as he looked at the horizon, "How are we gonna find him? He could end up anywhere in the world before the potion wears off."
"I don't think we need to worry," Neb told Happy, "That stuff didn't wear off until the morning. He'll probably be running towards the horizon until he winds up back at the guild before the potion wears off."
"After everything that's happened, I wouldn't be surprised if that's what happened," Ben said as he imagined Gray crashing through the doors all of a sudden.
The sound of a high-pitched scream caught all of their attention. It was the kind of scream that would be heard when the worst thing would happen to the victim.
"We better check on the guild," Ben said as he and the others headed inside.
"I'm surprised it's still standing," Neb added as he followed after them.
Inside the Guild
As the five guild members enter hall, they witness the after effects of the previous night. Everyone looks on in confusion as to what happened along with the lack of memory of what happened while the front doors were left wide open. From Erza starring at the pillar as she pulls her swords out with Mira staring at the boxing gloves she was wearing, Macao and Wakaba in a pile of invoices from their jobs, teams Shadow Gear and Thunder Legion lying on the floor or sitting down from exhaustion from constantly striking poses, Elfman lying out cold on the floor from multiple punches to Cana and Makarov being horrible hung over with hundreds of empty barrels, and an ocean of spilled alcohol all over the floor.
"Well... The guild hall is still standing," Juvia said looking at the positive, "Maybe you won't have to use Clockwerk to fix it Ben."
"I suppose," Ben said as he looked at the huge mess all over the guild hall.
"Aw man," Natsu said with disappointment in his voice, "I missed such a huge brawl!"
"There's always tomorrow, Natsu," Happy said trying to cheer his friend up, "Right, Neb?"
Neb didn't respond though as he noticed something about the guild hall, "Hey... Where's Lucy," he asked as he pointed out she was no-where to be seen.
The others looked in the direction of Neb's finger as he singled out the table where Lucy had been. She was now gone with only her clothing all around the table.
Juvia looked at the clothing as she suddenly realized who screamed and why, "Ben... You don't think that scream was..."
"Based on the clothing and the doors being wide open, I want to say yes to it being Lucy," Ben answered Juvia's question.
"What? What is it," Natsu asked not sure they were talking about.
"Well, she said she wanted to be seen by all of Magnolia," Neb said, "Looks like she got her wish."
As Ben, Juvia, and Neb went off to take care of their daily routines, Natsu was still left confused, "Where did Lucy go? Hey Happy, do you know what they are talking about?" Happy didn't answer though. He just stood there with a perverted smile as he laughed when he realized what Neb was talking about.
The Frontier Lands
The Chimerian Hammer Mark III
In the bridge of the Chimerian Hammer, the drones continued their repairs to the ship after Deliora's attack on the ship. In the center of the room stood Vilgax as he looked over a 3D hologram of large building.
"This is what the Magic Council considers to be a prison," Vilgax said as he looked at the section of the building that was built underneath the main building, had only one way in and out, and had security methods all over it. "A pack of Vulpimancer cubs could tear it down in minutes," he continued as he saw the poor security measures compared to the ones he and the Plumbers used.
The hologram of the building the alien warlord was looking over was none other than the Magic Council's Prison. After gaining the plans from Grimoire Heart, he had the plans converted into data, and turned into a 3D hologram in order to see more details of the floor plan.
"I agree master," Psyphon said as he entered the room, "The Magic Council's excuse of a prison is no match for you or your forces my liege," he finished with a bow as he continued to kiss the heels of the alien warlord.
"In the end, it will make the retrieval mission all the easier, Psyphon," Vilgax said as he pushed a button on the table and a screen showing Albedo in his negative Ben form appeared, "Albedo, what is the status of the new chambers for our… Guests?"
"Coming along perfectly under my supervision," Albedo said with his usually arrogant tone of voice, "Without my genius, there wouldn't be nearly enough functioning chambers without the risk of an overload to the power grid or of your guests breaking out." Behind Albedo were multiple more glass chambers similar to the one Jose was still contained in.
"As you've said multiple times," Psyphon replied back, "Not that it matters. Even with their so-called magic here, a human is still human. Quick to fall and easy to manipulated."
"Enough of this you two," Vilgax ordered as he looked back at Albedo, "Ensure the chambers are ready when the mission is complete. I want all of them operational right away, even if we have empty ones for later." He then turned his attention to Psyphon, "Have you and your cronies finished the final preparations of the operation?"
"Well… Yes and no my master," Psyphon said with confliction in his voice, "While my troops and I have finished what you have asked us to do, I'm sorry to say that we are still lacking the final part of your grand plan."
Vilgax grabbed the edge of the table and crushed it in his hand as a show of anger to Psyphon who stepped back in fear, "And what part would that be Toady," Vilgax asked as he used his nickname for Psyphon to show his anger and impatience.
Psyphon cleared his throat as he continued, "The part that is still incomplete would be the assignment you gave to Death just after your meeting with the Grimoire Heart guild," Psyphon answered nervously as he feared Vilgax would take his anger out on his loyal servant, "I have tried contacting him with successful results. I fear he has become… Distracted again as before."
As if on cue, more of the edge of the table cracked under the angry grip of Vilgax as he processed what Psyphon was saying. He turned away and looked up towards the ceiling. "DEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTHHHHHHHHHH," Vilgax howled in anger and annoyance as the entire ship shook from the outcry.
Warmth. That was one of the feelings D'rake was feeling at the moment. On his face, on his chest, and in his head along with a throbbing pain. 'Oh man… Is this what people call a hangover,' D'rake thought as he placed his hand on his throbbing forehead, 'That's the last time I ever try mixing Earthland with Chimerian drinks together.'
D'rake moved his hand and opened his eyes to find himself in room he didn't recognize as sunlight poured into the room. Although he was of alien origin, his room resembled that of a Japanese Samurai's room, with a futon on the floor, and his weapons hung over his head in ready.
'What the? Since when is there sunlight in the ship,' D'rake thought to himself as he noticed his surroundings, 'Vilgax hates anything nice and warm like sunlight in his lair.' As he got up, a soft moan caught his attention as he looked to his left to see the source.
Next to D'rake was a woman sleeping soundly with a small smile on her face. She had long pink hair that went past her butt, a beauty mark under each eye, red lipstick on her lips, and D cup sized breast.
D'rake stayed in confusion as he took in this new information, 'Hmm, not bad… Cup size could use some work, but I can see why I'm waking up next to her naked,' he thought as he turned his head to see his and her clothing all over the chairs and floor. 'Oh yeah,' D'rake thought as the events of last night returned to him, 'I was scouting for Vilgax's next big scheme when I found her hiding near the bar. When I offered her a job, she attacked me, until I worked my moves on her...' Suddenly, D'rake had a thought, 'If she doesn't say yes, Vilgax is going to be ticked that I haven't reported in yet...'
After a quick transformation into Clockwork, the guild was back to normal with no signs of the rival battles. The guild members resumed their daily routines despite Grey still being missing. Erza was eating more strawberry snacks, Natsu was eating as much as he could, Elfman was giving Jet and Droy his 'Be a Man' speech, Mira was waiting on guild members, Cana was drinking an entire barrel, and was secretly picking her clothing from the floor before anyone noticed. As for Ben, he along with Juvia, and Neb were at the Request Board looking for a new job.
"So many jobs, so little time," Neb said as he sat on Ben's shoulder looking at all the different jobs available.
"No kidding," Ben said as he continued to look at the offers, unsure which one was the best, "I can't decide which one to choose."
As Neb and Ben continued discussing the hard decision before them, Juvia was staring at the job offers as well, but she had something else on her mind preventing her from making a decision. 'This is my first official job with Ben… Just the two of us and Neb,' she thought as she did her best not steam up like before, 'We'll be alone somewhere far from everyone like my rivals for his heart, we'll work together to complete a job, and then return home together… Just us...'
Suddenly, before her eyes, the love-struck girl saw a new scenario play before her eye. The three of them on the way back from the quest, they stopped for the night due to poor weather conditions, and stayed at a nearby hotel. There was only one room with only one bed available and the two ended up sharing it. She was on one side of the bed unable to sleep due to the situation while Ben was on the other side. She suddenly felt his chest against her back as his strong arms wrapped around her filling her with warmth. Just as she turned her face-
The sound of Ben's voice brought back Juvia from her daydream, "Hmm, pardon," Juvia asked as she looked at Ben and Neb looking at her.
"I was wondering if any jobs caught your eye," Ben asked her, "Neb and I can't decide for the life of us."
Juvia looked back at the jobs as she saw what Ben meant. All the different jobs with prices. The pictures and prices aside, they all looked the same making it hard to choose one that seemed important or right for their skills. "I'm not sure either," Juvia answered as she looked at them, "The jobs posters look so… Plain today.
"All right! Enough of this indecision all around," Neb said in a frustrated voice as he jumped off of Ben and onto the floor, "If none of us can pick a job, we'll let Lady Fate pick one!" As the two teens watched the little cat, he pulled out his Proto-Tool, a piece of cloth, and tied it around his eyes. Neb then pointed used the blaster mode, aimed at a random part of the board, and opened fire before Ben and Juvia could stop him out of fear of missing.
As Neb took off the blindfold, the three looked to see where the shot had landed. Up in the upper right corner, a small mark had a small stream of smoke rising right over a poster. The job gave details of a bandit group robbing trains nonstop, and that they were usually government official trains carrying precious cargo.
'Well, looks like fate wants us to take this job,' Ben thought as he reached for the poster, only for his and Juvia's hands to collide with each other. The two stopped, looked at each other, and blushed at the close proximity of their hands before pulling them back. "Uh sorry," Ben started to say, "I..."
"No, I'm sorry," Juvia said, "I was just..."
"Do you two need to make a scene with everything you do," Neb asked as he jumped up and grabbed the poster from the board, "Come on! This job isn't going to complete itself," he finished as he waved the poster around.
Ben and Juvia looked at the green cat as he held the poster up, "He's right," Ben said with a smile as he looked at his new partner, "Are you ready Juvia?"
She looked at Ben while still blushing and soon she smiled warmly as the happy feeling of Ben's smile filled her, "Of course," she replied happily.
After showing the job to Mirajane so she could jote down that the mission belonged to them, the three headed for the door. 'This is it… My first real job as a Fairy Tail mage and,' Juvia thought as she blushed and pushed through the butterflies in her stomach, 'My first job with my beloved.'
And so, the three were off with only the job description and the Hand of Fate to lead the way.
Next Chapter: Standoff on the Railway Express; Unlikely Allies and Alliances