Meredy sneezed for the nth time that day.
Ugh. It was one of the most horrible days of her life. She was stuck at home on her bed, sniffing endlessly due to a bad flu. What made the day even worse was that she was supposed to be in the newly-opened zoo at Hargeon Town. She was very much looking forward for this day, so much that she was the one who preordered the promo tickets just to witness its grand opening. Plus, she happened to obtain VIP seats for their spectacular bird show, given only to those who booked the trip first. So much for staying up late and constantly refreshing the Hargeon Zoo website just to be visitor number 1. As much as she wanted to sneak out, her sick body wouldn't permit her to.
Meredy slumped down on her bed, lifting the covers as she tried to sleep her disappointment away. But to no avail, her eyes were still wide open, the effects of the medicine still not taking effect.
Sick yet bored, she decided to grab her mobile phone and play CaptchaMon until she grew tired. Before she was able to open the game application, however, a text message arrived.
'Juvia is so devastated to know that you cannot come with us, Meredy. Do not worry, we shall book another trip here once you are well again!'
Meredy smiled at the message. Trust Juvia to help make her feel better. It's a big bummer that she wasn't able to go there with her, Gray, and Lyon though. She just hoped they were able to pull one extra person to fill in her spot so her ticket wouldn't go to waste; perhaps Lyon invited one of his guild mates instead? Meredy began typing her reply:
'I'd appreciate that, Juvia! (TwT) Could u perhaps just send over some pictures of the animals instead? At least I could imagine I'm there w/ u LOL. Btw, who r u guys with?'
And she hit the send button. She eagerly stared at her phone, waiting for a reply, but Juvia seemed to be taking long. They must be having fun, at least, she thought to herself smiling. For a while, Meredy opted to rest her eyes and a few minutes later, she felt her phone vibrate again.
'We got to see this pretty bird! It's called a Honey Eater!'
Huh. So much for asking who filled in her spot. Before she could ponder about it, she received a photo message from Juvia, showing a picture of an elegant bird with bright yellow feathers. From below, she could see Juvia's eyes and a bit of Gray's hair. Meredy chuckled; Juvia should've just asked for Lyon to take their picture instead.
'It looks cool. Rly wish I was w/ u guys (TwT) …. But please do send more pictures.'
Just as she clicked the send button, there was a flutter by her window, causing her to turn her head towards its direction, albeit a bit sluggish than what she'd like. The sickness was dulling her reflexes and she hated it.
However, her discontent was replaced with fascination as she stared at the elegant ice animal by her window. The creature flied from her window and over her head. Taking a closer look, she realized it was an ice version of the Honey Eater bird that Juvia just sent.
Her phone vibrated again, and it showed a picture of a brown bear inside a cage, with Gray observing it and Juvia's eyes again close to the screen.
'Look, Gray-sama is in front of the bear!'
There was another fluster from the curtains of her open window, and to her surprise, a bear made out of ice, similar to the one in Juvia's picture, materialized from thin air and entered her room.
A warm sensation enveloped Meredy's cheeks, and she knew it wasn't from her illness.
The cycle went on. As Juvia sent her a picture of an animal, a corresponding ice creature materialized and travelled inside her room. Soon enough, a barrage of ice animals were keeping her company, and she was no short of amused. No, she was captivated.
An ice butterfly landed on her palm and she realized it wasn't as cold as she expected. A flying fish swam its way on the air, and Meredy touched its cool, carved scales.
A wider smile made its way on her lips. Despite her aching muscles, she mustered her strength to go out of bed, walking her way towards the window. Supporting herself by leaning on the wall, she scanned the surroundings from below yet she found no one.
However, she was very much sure his presence was there.
"Hey," she said with a rather croaky voice, which she hated too, but it had to suffice for now, just to send out her message, "I know…you're there…"
The breeze of the air became stronger than usual for a while, yet he didn't reveal himself, which was what she expected anyway. Trust him to act cool like that.
She wouldn't admit it of course, but that's what she liked about him too.
Unbeknownst to her, the said figure was leaning against a tree, away from her sight, smiling contentedly.
When her legs grew tired already, she went back to her bed, just in time for the ice animals to dematerialize out of thin air. The cold breeze flew out of her window, as if telling her the show was over, and that she should get some rest.
And so she did.
But as she closed her eyes, she wondered, if he was here, then who on Earthland grabbed their tickets?
At the zoo, Jellal sneezed hard just as a pigeon went flying by.
"How thoughtful of Lyon to give him his tickets, right?" Erza said, sitting contentedly on their VIP seats at the exclusive bird show.
Jellal simply nodded just as the show was about to start. Perhaps there was something good about that guy, after all.
A/N: If the scenery in this chapter was familiar to you, you must've seen my comic on my tumblr, which was what prompted me to write this whole story in the first place. Heh. The ending chapters are nearing though, and thank you all for staying with me despite my horrible updating pace! The next chapter's already written (it came first than this chapter, to be honest) but it'll also be posted soon enough after some editing!