"No, no, no!"
It was a dark and stormy night, in a far-off place where puns fear to tread. On this particular night, a distraught editor was trying to make her opinion known to her client, a gentle author named Stormy.
"I need fire! I need heat! I need intensity!"
The author in question was bemusedly studying her editor, who was pacing furiously across Stormy's polished wooden floor, the unfinished manuscript in her hand.
"Now, don't get me wrong, Stormy, this couple is great, but where are the sparks between them?! I can't even taste the chemistry!"
Stormy tried hesitantly to explain that her book was supposed to be a dark mystery, not a romantic comedy, but her editor simply bulldozed over her.
"This could be a five-star, Stormy, but I'm telling you, I need to really feel l'amour!" Her editor stopped pacing, coming to a halt in front of Stormy. "We need these characters to be vivid! Powerful! Moving!"
"But Sarah doesn't even like Josh!" Stormy replied, perplexed.
"Oh Stormy! The heat is all there, we just need to make it happen! We need passion, we need emotion, we need-!"
So it was that Stormy found herself, alone in Fiore, looking for a new OTP. To Stormy's protests that she didn't even know where Fiore was, her editor shoved a map in her hand and pushed her out the door.
"Just talk to those two and come back with a new light!" Her editor had called out the window.
So Stormy had stepped off the train a half hour ago and now stood in the middle of grand central station, with absolutely no clue where she was.
She'd seen some very funky people go by, from a very short man with an excellent mustache to a rather sexy man who seemed to prefer not to wear shirts. Not to mention the pair of cats, one blue, one white, who nearly gave her a heart attack when they grew wings and took off.
Stormy decided to sit down for a while, hoping the people she was looking for would wander somewhere near her. Seeing a fashionable blonde girl walk by, followed by a man with spiky pink hair and a weird scarf, she wondered if maybe she had already missed her couple.
Quickly, she pulled the slap-dash descriptions her editor had given her.
Jellal Fernandes. Blue hair, red marking over eye. Might possibly be in prison.
Stormy gulped, not having seen that last part before. She sincerely hoped he was out of jail, or at least had been cleared of charges.
She flipped to the second page.
Erza Scarlet. Distinctive red hair, normally wearing armor. Can be found in the Fairy Tail guild hall.
Well, at least she had a definite location to go on. She'd track this Scarlet person down first. Fairy Tail guild hall? Where was that, anyway?
Two hours and three separate sets of directions later, Stormy had reached the guild hall.
When she had first asked, an intimidating man with shaggy black hair had pointed somewhere in the distance and grunted rather alarmingly. Stormy had hurried in that direction, but got turned around in the city and had to stop to ask a crying blue-haired woman which way to go from here. It was hard to make out between the sobbing and screams of Gray, but Stormy thought she heard a right-left-right in there. But while making her way through the busy streets, a young black-haired boy with a scarf like the pink-haired man had knocked into her and her sense of direction became skewed.
So, Stormy had resigned herself to wandering aimlessly through Fiore when a cute little girl with long blue hair asked her if she was lost. The girl, Wendy was her name, not only told Stormy how to find the guild hall, but actually led her right to it. Stormy thanked her profusely, squared her shoulders and headed inside.
Stormy took a cautious step back, as the woman matching her editor's description looked over, her whole being radiating power.
"I.. Um-..." Stormy faltered. Suddenly, asking this woman about her relationship did not seem like a smart life decision.
Erza Scarlet narrowed her eyes, laying one hand on her sword. "Yes?" She said again, impatiently.
"I... Uh... Jellal?" Stormy squeaked out.
"What!?" Erza practically bellowed.
It was at this moment Stormy decided perhaps it would be in her best interest to run.
Gasping and clutching her manuscript, Stormy bolted away from the guild hall. She sprinted as far away as she could, finally collapsing on a park bench after checking cautiously for any raging red-haired women.
Sighing, Stormy pulled out the descriptions from inside the pages of her manuscript and looked them over again. She had absolutely no idea how to go after this Jellal Fernandes dude. It was getting late anyway, maybe she should just pack up and try again tomorrow.
That was when the dark-haired, very attractive and also shirtless man sat down next to her.
"Mind if I join you?"
Mind if I... Stormy took a moment to comprehend, she was slightly, only slightly mind you!, distracted by his dark, passionate eyes.
"Uh, yes, sure, fine, cool, yes?"
"Cool." The stranger said, laughing quietly at Stormy's rambling. "I'm sorry, I haven't introduced myself. The name's Gray, Gray Fullbuster."
"Oh, I have a friend back home who loves you." Stormy blurted out, before mentally berating herself. Why did I say that? Flash must've taken over my mind.
"Flash" was another name for Stormy's blonde, semi-insane, Gray-obsessed friend. Stormy could already hear Flash's screams of "YOU MET GRAY!?" when she got home. If she got home, seeing as it was unlikely she'd ever find this Jellal person.
Gray smiled, and the hint of dreaminess in Stormy's audible sigh was evident.
"I guess I get around." He said, one hand rubbing his neck awkwardly. "Sorry, I didn't catch your name?"
"Stormy. Just Stormy." The mystery-turned-romance author said breathlessly. Get a grip! He's just Gray, after all. Even if he isn't wearing a shirt.
"What are you doing in Fiore, Just Stormy?"
"I was, um, looking for someone." Stormy said rapidly, the words tumbling out. "But I can't seem to find him."
"Oh, who? I bet I could find him for you."
"Really?! Okay, here's the description my editor gave me, do you know this man?" Stormy handed him the description of Jellal Fernandes.
"Editor, huh? Are you a writer?" Gray asked as he examined the slip of paper.
"Yeah." Stormy blushed. "Well, trying to be. Apparently, I need better romantic leads."
Gray's eyes narrowed as he read the description. "You're looking for Jellal, huh?"
Stormy nodded nervously. "I heard he might be in prison..."
"You heard right. He was moved to a lesser-security jail, but unfortunately, he hasn't been cleared of his charges. I can take you there, if you want."
"YES! I mean, uh sure, thanks, um yes." Stormy murmured embarrassedly.
Gray stood up and brushed himself off, offering a hand to Stormy.
"So, you are a writer? You should really talk to Lucy, though I don't think she understands constructive criticism..."
"What are you writing that you need Jellal for?" Gray asked as they came to a halt in front of the Fiore County Jail.
Stormy whipped out her manuscript. "Well, it was supposed to be a mystery thriller, but my editor decided that the main characters should fall in love. She said that talking to Jellal and... Erza, I think, would help me write better romance."
Stormy didn't notice Gray almost choke on his laughter as he pushed open the prison doors and headed inside.
"Uh, right." Gray lead Stormy through a twisting set of passages and finally halted at a small cell with what looked like the max security in this place. A man with blue hair sat within, hands folded, head bowed.
"We'd like to speak to Jellal." Gray stated firmly to the heavily armored guards standing outside the cell.
"No can do, pal. You need special clearance to speak to this inmate." The stockiest of the three guards said brusquely, hand on the hilt of his sword.
Gray almost snarled. "You can shove your special clearance up your-"
"Gray? What is the meaning of this?"
Stormy peeked out from behind Gray to see who the voice belonged to and immediately ducked back behind him. And of course, Erza Scarlet turns up. My luck is impeccable.
Gray gulped. "Oh, hey Erza..."
The blue-haired man, who had not stirred all throughout Gray's short conversation with the guard, now looked up and the moment he met Erza Scarlet's eyes, Stormy could've sworn there was a visible spark that raced between their gazes.
It was as if the very air around them became tangible. Stormy could feel the hidden chemistry, sense it bubbling beneath the surface. It was beautiful, but also delicate, fragile, as if one misspoken word or wrong action could send it crashing down.
It was... Jerza.
And Stormy would've gladly stood there all day, jotting down notes, but that when she remembered the red-haired woman standing in front of her, arms crossed and eyes narrowed.
"Uh, Gray?" Stormy asked hesitantly. "Should we, uh, go?"
"Yes. In fact, run!"
"Gray Fullbuster! What is going on?!"
Stormy didn't hear what Gray replied, she was too busy running as fast as she could and promising that she would never get involved in romance novels again.
And so it was that Stormy ended up back at Fiore's Grand Central Station, a little worse for wear, but the memory of that burning look still lingering in her mind.
She'd spent a little while with Gray after the botched meeting with Jellal, rewriting her lead characters first meeting. After she had finished, Gray had offered to take her back to the train station and Stormy agreed in a heartbeat.
"Well, it was nice to meet you." Gray said, hands shoved in his pockets.
"Yeah, you too. Thanks for showing me around and saving me from Erza." Stormy smiled gratefully.
"Anytime. I hope your book gets published, too. Oh, and Stormy?"
Gray half-smiled. "Tell that friend of yours to come to Fiore sometime. I'd love to meet her."
Stormy grinned. "Oh, I'll be sure to tell her. See you around, Gray."
"Yup. Bye Stormy."
Stormy turned away and hastily rushed up to the boarding platform, barely making it onto her train before it left.
Later, as she mused on her Fiore trip in her small compartment, she thought of her new OTP...
"Stormy, this is much better, I can feel the passion with my very soul!"
Stormy blushed slightly at her editor's praise.
"Really? I still think Sarah might be coming off a little too hostile." Stormy asked nervously.
"Oh no no, she's fine." Her editor had a thoughtful look as she flipped through the manuscript.
"But you know, Stormy, I think there's someone else you might want to talk to..."
"Who might that be?" Stormy asked cautiously.
Her editor grinned, almost wickedly.