I did just as he said. I stayed in the house for three whole days. I didn't even look outside the window anymore. In the morning, I ignored the hen and the constant sound of galloping of the horse (Thank goodness for music). The rest of the day I moped around in my room in my PJs, having nothing much to do. I had no motivation to either write or read. I did not dare speak a word about the mystery guy to anyone. . Ur sensed something odd about me, but she decided to leave me alone, for which I was glad. I used to see Gray in the mornings and evenings, as he said 'I'm leaving' while going and 'I'm home' when he came back. He asked me quite a few times if I wanted to come along with him, but he didn't force me to. He always brought me ice-cream when he came back home. Usually, I would sit with Grandma before the television and watch crappy daily soaps. They didn't make me feel any better.

I didn't even understand why I was feeling so miserable when it wasn't even my mistake. I buried my face in the pillow as I recalled what he said, "All you city girls are the same. Always prying in other people's lives like it's no one's business. Give me a break."

Anger surged up inside of me. There was no reason for me to mope around. Besides, he was the one acting like a jerk. I had stayed away for three days. He got enough of a break. Besides, this was my vacation, my house and the place where I spent my childhood days before he arrived. I will not let him spoil this for me. He will not drive me away.


I sneaked out through the back door of the kitchen when Aunt Ur and Grandma Mavis were watching the daily soap operas. Even though it was just 8 o' clock, the stars were shining bright in the country sky.

There wasn't really any reason for me to sneak, if you consider wearing boots over PJ's acceptable to roam around outside in. I trudged over the soiled path over to the animal barn I had been to three days back. I opened the huge doors as quietly as I could and tip-toed inside as I didn't want another bull incident (I even sniffed myself for any trace of perfume). There were animal grunts everywhere. I looked around for a flight of stairs, which I'm sure, was definitely there if this barn was still the same.

I spotted it hidden behind a big stack of hay at the end of the barn. I made my way up the stairs by kicking the hay away. It was dark in the little room. It was surprisingly cool in contrast to the hot air outside. I made my way into the room with the help of the little moonlight that entered the small window. It opened to a rich display of stars that looked brighter than it did from the mansion. I fell to my knees before the wonderful sight which lifted my spirits. A wave of nostalgia hit me as I recalled the days when I would come here to play as a kid. My mother had showed me this room when we were here and instantly fell in love with it. It was my secret room.

However, I was pulled away from my memories when I felt my hair being pulled. I jumped when I saw that a goat was chomping on my hair.

"Oh come on! Hair shampoo shouldn't count!" I groaned as I recalled using a new strawberry flavored shampoo for my hair. "Okay, good Goat, leave my hair alone." I said slowly pulling my hair away from it.

Suddenly I heard more sounds of hooves and I realized that this wasn't the only goat that had followed me. I was surrounded by goats. So I screamed like a rational person would if he were surrounded by goats in a small suffocating room in darkness.

Then I heard footsteps. At the small doorway, a big, dark figure appeared whose face I couldn't see because it was pitch dark. So I screamed even louder, if possible.

"Miss Heartfilia, don't worry, it's me!"

A candle was lit and in the light illuminated the face of Mr. Connell, the barn keeper. He began shooing the goats downstairs.

Okay, I'll admit it. I panicked and perhaps overreacted like some girl would in a horror movie but I was surprised okay. I was quickly ashamed of my childish behavior and apologized profusely to Mr. Connell for making him feel like he was a murderer.

"It's quite normal for you to react like that Miss Heartfilia." Mr. Connell said kindly. "I'm sorry as well, if I terrified you back there," he rubbed his neck awkwardly, "I should buy a torch sooner."

"Ah, no it's my fault Mr. Connell! I'm such a scaredy cat," I said feeling embarrassed. "And I shouldn't be here at this time…I'm sorry for the trouble."

"Oh no, Miss Heartfilia! Please don't apologize to me, after all you are the owner!" he exclaimed. I nodded absent mindedly. "What were you doing here at this time Mr. Connell?" I asked politely, not meaning to sound bossy.

"I came to check on the animals for the last time before closing the barn and found half of the goats missing. And I found the attic open so I followed…" he was silent after that.

I asked Mr. Connell, "Mr. Connell, why do you look after animals?" I was immediately embarrassed for asking such a question and wanted to smack myself for asking that since it probably sounded rude.

He looked surprised at the sudden question. "Well, since it's my job…" he said while I prepared to slap myself between my eyes. Then he said, "Besides that, I think it's because it has a calming effect on me. Animals are beautiful creatures."

I could only blink and tip my head in thought to that answer. That didn't diffuse my confusion.


I almost felt like Grandma Mavis was waiting for me. So instead of taking that stupid detour through the back door that screeched, I confidently strode up to the porch where the dim golden light flickered with Grandma Mavis on the rocking chair.

"Did you rock it with the goats?" That was not very nice of her to say when she was the one on the rocking chair.

"Yep," I said as I swung myself over the railing of the porch. For a while we were just silent as we heard the sound of the crickets.

"Is there something on your mind?" she asked gently.

I stared at my feet, "Nothing in particular I guess." I said, not wanting to trouble her with trivial matters. Like a handsome horse rider looking after our barn without permission.

She sighed and moved slightly. Then I suddenly found myself asking, "Hey Grandma, what do you like so much about this place?" It felt awkward to leave it at that so I added, "I mean, why don't you come live with us? I'm sure Dad wouldn't mind either."

She answered after thinking, "Well, I was born here, and it's been our traditional house for decades. It's peaceful and quiet. Lovely place don't you think?" she asked but I continued to stare about my boots.

"And this place is connected to many memories." She sighed. "You see, everything here leads to a memory. It's hard to let go,"

"Don't you feel lonely?" I asked turning to look at her. A soft wind blew making the wind chime on the porch move soundlessly. It was the wind chime I had hung with father many years back. He had lifted me on his shoulders so that I could put it up.

"I do." She said softly. "But I simply cannot make myself abandon this place." Her hazel eyes closed as if lost in those memories.

"Do you think…do you think that the city life is no good?" I asked, not sure how to put forth the question properly. "I mean, is life here better?"

"Ah." She gasped opening her eyes and smiled, "isn't that a question you should be able to answer?"

"How should I know," I pouted childishly.

"Then why don't you try to find out?" she asked leaning forward and winking.

Try what though...?


I woke up at the crack of dawn and dressed myself with a red pleated skirt, a black noodle strap top and brown knee high boots and tied my usual ponytail with a red ribbon. I walked downstairs and greeted Aunt Ur with a cheerful good morning as she got ready for her job. I felt refreshed to be outside the house early in the morning. With long strides, I walked to the store room near the barn, picked up a bucket full of fodder and fresh water, and made my way into the barn.

It had been a week since I began working at the barn. For free. Well, nobody was going to pay me anyway. Okay, okay, I was just doing it because I had tons of free time. And I love animals. And I was just a bit curious. About what? I'm not sure yet.

Fortunately, on the inside it wasn't as run down as it looked from outside and it wasn't as smelly as I thought it would be. There were stacks of hay piled up almost everywhere I glanced upon. Once inside, the animals seemed to become aware of my presence. Each animal grunted out its own sound. I got to work as I hummed the song 'Just believe in myself'.

I must admit, it was actually fun looking after the animals ranging from the sheep, the hens (I caught one hen in the middle of its call), the cows and the bulls including Taurus (thankfully, he didn't try to chase me again) and my childhood buddies the pigs. The sheep bleated at each other, and I laughed at an imaginary conversation I built in my head. I went to the stables which were behind the barn in the open. The white horse which the mystery guy rode was seated on a bed of hay. It looked up at me, whinnied and lay its head down as I changed the water and replenished the stock of fodder.

I didn't realized this, but apparently, we sold farm produce in the town and that's what constitutes Grandma's income. I learned this from one guy who came to collect the goods and deliver it to the town on this big truck. So we produced, eggs, milk, some saplings, grains, fruits like berries and occasionally wool. We even rented out horses to other farms, though we didn't have a big collection. So apart from cleaning around the barn, I learned to pick good eggs, milk the cow, pick berries and plant saplings.

Back in the barn, I climbed up the wooden stairs and opened one of the windows. The hens all huddled in their nests clucked at me and began walking and flying randomly. Some of them tried to climb over me, but I swatted at them playfully.

I let out the pigs from the barn so that they could have splash in the mud. They oinked and grunted at me, as if inviting me to join them again. I let out a laugh, "Not today, friends." The sun had risen filling the barn with bright sunlight, and the animals ran around enjoying the sun.

The neigh of a horse filled the air with sound, and once again I heard the running of the horse. I went to the topmost floor of the barn. Nostalgia hit me as I climbed into the small room with the low glass ceiling. When I was younger, I was right about the size of the room, now I was taller. This was my hiding spot whenever I played hide-n-seek with my cousins.

There was a bed of hay still facing the small rectangular window of the building. From it, I could view the mountains, fields and the mansion, even better than from my room. Of course, I saw the 'prince charming' on his horse, as usual. I wondered why he loved riding that specific horse so much. Actually, why was he obsessed with horse riding anyway? What did he mean by 'all city girls are the same'?

All these questions just pointed out to a truth. He was right. I was trying to pry into his life, and I had no business to do so.


He walked into the barn while I was cleaning the sheds. I did not stop raking even when he stopped to look at me in question. He sighed softly, "What are you doing?"

My voice came out muffled from behind the cloth I had tied to cover my mouth and nose, "Sweeping, as you see."

When I looked up again, he had vanished. Goodness, he's got crazy transportation powers. But alas, he hadn't vanished. I jumped when I realized he was standing behind me.

I let out a gasp of surprise, "When did you-!?"

"Why?" he simply asked. The reply died at my throat. I couldn't get words out of my mouth.

He pulled the cloth from my face and turned away from me, "You needn't do all this, so mind your business."

This time I wasn't going to let myself stand there quietly. I will not be ordered around. "I will do what I like." I said defiantly.

He looked stunned to reply back. In response, he let go of my handkerchief, which I caught in mid-air. He didn't return till dusk.


Somebody was calling out to me. Before me were grassy fields and I was under the shade of a cherry blossom tree. The wind was blowing strongly, pushing the hair out of my face and filling the air with flower petals. The source of the voice was above me, over the tree. The leaves of the tree rustled and sunlight peered from between the branches and leaves.

"Finally you're awake," the sunlight cast a shadow over his face so couldn't see it, but I knew it was him.

Suddenly, I was surrounded by all the animals from the barn house. They talked to me in human voices, in voices of Gray, Aunt Ur and Grandma Mavis.

My eyes snapped open when I heard, "Not bad," I straightened up and realized that I had fallen asleep over the makeshift desk I had made out of the piles of hay. I took a moment to realize that the mystery guy was sitting in front of me, cross-legged, eyes trailing over a sheet of paper. That sheet of paper being my manuscript. "Hey!" I yelled as pulled it away from his hand and began piling up the papers together.

I picked up my belongings while he sat as still as a photograph. I picked up the candle stand and before going down the stairs I said to him, "Don't read other people's personal things without permission."

And the candle which was creating elongated shadows in the room was blown away as I descended down the stairs, leaving us with only the stars and moonlight to guide us.


I reached the porch just as the car was retreating into the garage. I waited for Gray till he caught up with me, his fingers playing with the car keys. "Been out today?" he asked.

"Yeah." I replied as I walked in the house as Gray opened the door for me.

"Looking after the barn?"

"Yes."

He stopped at the stairs and looked at me hesitantly and said, "I know you've got your work to do…but could reserve some time with me tomorrow?"

I was not surprised at his request. I had rejected him for over a week. He looked quite desperate. "What for?" I asked him, playing around a bit.

"Um, well, there's a new club that's opened up in the town, so I thought we could go there together and ever since you came here you haven't spent any time with me at all. Also, you owe me one, remember?" he added quickly in the end.

"Actually you didn't seem quite interested to spend time with me," I said innocently. He tried to mask the hurt on his face.

I burst out laughing, "Okay, okay, what time?"

He brightened up, "Be ready at 4'o clock in the evening." He was about to head upstairs but stopped and said, "Oh and you would want to dress fancy. You don't know, these days even country people have got some style."

"Gotcha." I winked.


After having a blast with my animal buddies (we did a full on Disney throw back as we sang all the songs from 'A wish is what your heart makes' to 'Let it Go'), I went to my room in the mid-afternoon to get ready to go to the club with Gray. I was glad I had carried one fancy dress on the assumption that Grandma Mavis would throw a tea party or Aunt Ur would call a kitty party. I suppose they were over with those things.

I wore a simple white dress which fell till my knees and showed off my bare back, topped with a shrug and golden heels and a pearl necklace curled around my neck. I carried a small handbag with my cell phone and travel card in it.

Then I took a selfie because hash tag- #party, #selfie, #ilookpretty, #nomakeup, #iwokeuplikethis, #gimmelikesguysi'malldressedup. Snort.

I was looking at my reflection in the mirror and contemplating whether I should wear some lip gloss when Gray knocked on the door.

"Lucy? Are you ready?"

I dumped the lip gloss in my bag and opened the door, "Yep, let's go. Wait whoa." I took in Gray's appearance. He was wearing a suit with a blue tie but his hair had the same spiky look.

"Look who's all dressed up." I smirked at him.

"I could say the same for you," Gray smirked back. He held out his elbow, "Ready for some fun, partner?"

I linked my arm with his, "You bet." I grinned.

When we reached downstairs Grandma Mavis and Aunt Ur were waiting for us. It was Sunday so Ur was home. (Forgetting days of the week in vacations is common alright.) Both of them pulled me into a bone-crushing hug while Gray snickered at this.

"My darlings! They're finally going somewhere together just like old days!" Aunt Ur sighed dreamily. "Only this time they're not playing in the gruel and mud, but dressing sophisticatedly." She added in the end as she laughed.

"You look lovely, Lucy dear. Dapper suit Gray," Grandma hit Gray on his back which made even him lurch forward. This time it was my turn to laugh.

"Come on, let's click a photo!" Aunt Ur said as she pulled out an old fashioned camera, the ones with the reel.

Gray blushed, "Mom, there is no need to."

"I think we should. It'll be like a commemorative photograph. It shall go down the ages since we look so amazing." I said which brought out collective smiles.

Gray sighed, "Alright where do you want us to stand?"


"Geez, if Mom had her way, she would do a big photo shoot!" Gray said as he opened the garage. Indeed, Aunt Ur made us try various poses like we were going to prom or something. We boarded the car but just before we moved out of the garage, a soft gasp escaped my lips as I noticed the mystery guy on the field. He was brushing the mane of the white horse softly, but all my attention was on his face. He was smiling. I realized that I never seen him smile so widely. He looked so peaceful and genuinely…well…happy.

"Looks like you've met Mr. Animal lover," Gray said which brought me back to the car. He gave me an amused look. I dipped my head to the left and told him to just start the car.

We didn't talk until we hit the road. He was a smooth driver. "He's Mr. Connell's nephew." Gray said. "Mr. Connell has been taking a course at the Town Hall to qualify for a better job since working only as a caretaker doesn't give him much of an earning to look after his family. And so his nephew, Rogue, began looking after the farm and the animals, unofficially. But of course, he loves doing it."

"Rogue." The name settled in my head and I repeated it over and over again. I finally knew his name, but not from his mouth. So he was doing the work so that he could help his family.

"Yep, that's him. Don't tell me you didn't know his name," Gray said indifferently and when I lowered my head, he clucked at me in disapproval.

"How do you know him? How did you know that I know him?" I asked because I really hadn't spoken a word about it.

"The answer to the first question, I came here before you and I met him while I was roaming around to see the house. Answer to the second question, I saw the whole scene from the window. The bull chase - really unfortunate."

I was too stunned to reply because-

The bull chase if recorded would have gone viral.

I was trash talked for being an innocent city girl.

I fell on my butt in a mud bath.

And last but and the most important-

I probably looked like the biggest idiot.

"Look it's alright. We all have our one moment." He said as he ran a hand in his hair.

"I had three of them." I said sulkily. Gray looked like he was suppressing a laugh, and he didn't laugh, so I appreciated it.

"Rogue can be a bit…well, rude. But he's not a bad guy."

"I know." I replied back. And in my heart I knew, because a person with a smile like that cannot be bad. A person gentle with animals can definitely not be bad.

"I knew it." He muttered. I gave him a confused look as he grinned at me mischievously, "You fancy him, don't you?"

I could feel the heat of my steaming face, "N-No I don't!"

"You're even blushing!" he laughed as he pointed one hand as my face keeping the other hand on the steering wheel and still keeping an eye on the empty road (thankfully.)

"I'm not! I-I'm just a bit curious about him, alright?" I huffed as I turned my head to look outside the window. "Enough chat about me. I've always wanted to ask you- where do you always go in the car? I mean you leave in the afternoon and come back after sunset. Are you working too?"

"Not exactly..." He said nervously. "Okay I'll have to tell you now or then,"

Raising a brow, I voiced out my exact thoughts, "What on earth are you babbling?"

"The truth is, there's this girl-"

I couldn't help myself. I squealed loudly as Gray tried to close his ears but to no avail as he was driving. However, the car did lurch to the side.

"Heavens! I thought I was close to that now!" he exhaled as he steadied the car.

I was truly apologetic for my ill-mannered behavior. Not.

"So as I was saying, there's this girl I met," he said looking at the windscreen but I knew his mind was far away (which was sweet but probably dangerous while driving), "She's really kind and honest, and her smile…" he sighed, "Dazzling."

"You're in love." I said gently. It was all written over his face. In the pits of my heart, I wished someone would think of me with that look on the face. He didn't deny it, just smiled. He looked so cute. "Who is this lucky girl?" I grinned.

"If you remember, she was one of our playmates five years back. Remember the petite one with blue hair? She carried a rain doll with her?"

"You don't mean…Juvia!?" I gasped out. As far as I remembered, she was the one crazy behind Gray. She used to follow him around saying 'Gray-sama' and tried to get him play house-house with her. But at that time, Gray thought girls had cooties or something or was in his 'girls are stupid' stage or 'manly boys' (whatever that is) and only played with me because I was his sister and some other boys. Juvia, for some reason, always thought I was her love rival even though Gray and I were technically cousins.

She was scary.

Well I guess tables turn in life for real, huh.

"Yeah. Juvia Lockser. I was surprised she remembered me. That time I was just so…" he shuddered. The look on my face must have been apprehensive, so he quickly defended her, "She's not the same as before, alright! She's changed a lot and she's really nice!"

"Well, if you say so," I laughed nervously.

"But, she might still consider you a love rival or something since you've become-"he stopped himself. "Since you've become a graceful young lady yourself." He said at last.

"You think so?" I raised a brow.

"Of course." He grinned.

For a while we drove in silence. The sun was beginning to set on the horizon. Then I asked, "Have you told her yet?"

"No. I didn't get the opportunity." he said dejectedly. Even though he was facing his own problems, he was taking me to the club with him. He would never admit it, but Gray knew even I was feeling dejected so he was trying to cheer me up. I had to cheer him up too.

"I'll help you then!" I told him cheerfully.


When we reached the club, it was already dark, however, earlier than I expected. The club was named Clover Club with a clover with each petal colored as red, yellow and green, even though the town already had Clover Super Market, Clover Archives and Library, Clover Primary High School, Clover Middle School as well as Clover High School. How innovative of them.

All the latest hits were blaring out of the club and seemed like a huge party was on for the opening. The place was really cool. There was a long cocktail bar right in front of us before which was a huge dance floor with colorful flashing lights on the tiles. A disco ball hung at the center of the club under which people were hitting some moves. It was the first time I saw a real disco ball. It gave a retro look to the club. There were cool tables with sofas which curved along the table. At the far corner there was a stage and currently, a band was playing the music. They looked like hippies; nevertheless, they did some rad performance there. My feet had already started tapping to the sound.

Over the music, Gray pointed towards the cocktail bar and said, "Why don't you take a seat there while I get some drinks and snacks?"

"Sure! Thanks!" I shouted to him and he made his way through the dance floor to the cocktail bar.

I sat down on one of the many empty tables (everyone were dancing), I watched as Gray danced his way through the dance floor as many girls were grabbing him by the jacket and trying to make him dance with them. It was a really funny scene.

Sitting there idly, I began thinking of him again. The way he smiled…it was so calm and gentle. My head began revolving on the reason why he would dislike people from the city. He seemed fine with Gray. Why not me?

My mind recalled the moments we had had together. When he pulled me up from the mud, he wasn't harsh or brash; instead, his touch was delicate. But his words were completely rude. I was not sure if it was real or my imagination, but he said 'Not bad' while he was reading my manuscript. Could it be…he was trying to be nice?

I mentally punched myself. Why couldn't I think of anything else other than him? This person infuriated me too much. I had come here with Gray to forget about him and have some good time with my cousin. Speaking of which, it was taking him quite long to come back.

I heard a group of people laugh loudly nearby and I peeked over to see a big group huddled on one big table. I noticed one guy with black hair longer than the others and the image of the horse rider came into my head immediately. I shook my head; he couldn't be there everywhere I went.

A tray slammed on our table and I turned to see Gray. He was panting slightly as if he'd run a mile (He probably had.)The tray had fries, two slices of pizza and two drinks, which had blue sparkling juice in it.

I was totally starving so I began gobbling down my part. Don't judge me. I had lived without junk food for almost two weeks now. Can you do that? However, Gray was eating slowly as usual. He's been a slow eater since he was a kid. While eating I asked him about school. He was a grade older than me and went to a really good school in his place.

"So what is this drink called?" I asked with my mouth full of cheese. He didn't reply immediately. He was looked very distracted. He kept looking at the dance floor, the food and then me.

"Oh," he realized I was staring at him. "What did you say? It's difficult to hear over the music."

"Never mind. Look, is something over your mind? You could tell me, you know?" I told him kindly as I slurped on my drink. It was really good.

"No, no," he said shaking his hands, "It's nothing!" That made me even more suspicious. My suspicions were that his stomach was already full with the pizza slice and toying with the French fries meant he couldn't eat it anymore so he was feeling guilty. But that meant all the more fries for me.

I began talking about a really funny incident in a guy's summer party last year when the guy accidently fell into the pool. Just when I was getting to the funny part when Gray interrupted me, "Hey Lucy, you said that you would help me right?"

That was random. "Um, sure! What is it?"

"She's come here."

"Who's come here?"

"Juvia."

"Oh…" Then it hit me as I almost spit out my fries, "Juvia's here?!"

"Hey, hey, keep it low!" Gray said nervously. Everyone's heads were in our direction due to my sudden outburst. "Do you think I could…you know, hang out with her for a bit? I know I invited you here with me, and it'll be so cruel of me to leave you-"

So he wasn't feeling guilty about the fries. He was feeling guilty about leaving me. Well, I did promise him that I would help him. These are the times when your words bite back huh.

"I think this is a bad idea. It was too selfish of me to think of leaving you. I'm sorry Lucy-"

"No, you should go."

He looked at me with wide eyes, "What?"

"You should totally go! This is your chance! If she's alone then you've hit gold's pot. Buy her a drink and ask her to dance. Make this her best evening!" I winked. Sigh, I'm so kind and generous.

"Lucy, that's so sweet of you." Gray said. It looked like he was gonna cry or something but before I could make sure he pulled me into a hug from the other side of the table. Okay, now he's totally making me blush.

He pulled back and I gave him a toothy grin and a thumbs up, unable to think of anything better to do or say.

"Well, well, look who we have here. If it isn't Gray Fullbuster and Lucy Heartfilia." It was Juvia. And she wasn't alone.


Juvia looked gorgeous. So gorgeous, I now understood why anyone would fall in love with her. She rocked an ochre fringe skirt and black ankle length boots and wore a plain black top. Her blue hair was straight and curled at the ends, looking like a cascading waterfall and the top of her head was covered by a black fedora hat. Beside her was one of those hippies who was singing earlier (at least he seemed like one). He had long black hair with his head was covered by a bandana and there were piercings all over his face. His eyes were shockingly similar to Rogue's, red with cat slits, but they were cold and calculating. He was wearing all clothes you would find in a punk-20% discount-sale, with jeans having chains and cowboy boots. And I was 80% sure this guy was her boyfriend.

Basically, both of them together looked like gangsters who had broken out of jail.

I wouldn't have been shocked if they would have pulled out guns. It wasn't helping that in the background 'Confident' was being played. I was waiting to be shot down (because she always called me love rival, she must have wanted to kill me right?), but Gray seemed really calm.

Juvia stared at me piercingly and said, "Love rival!" I let out a yelp and then suddenly, she laughed and smiled, "Just kidding! Long time no see, Lucy-san!" while her friend laughed "Gihi." Which creeped me out.

I tried for a handshake, "H-Hi Juvia, l-long time no…" she pulled me into a hug before I could finish my stuttering bits of sentences. I was getting so many hugs for the past few days. If I got a 100 Jewels for each hug I would have been rich. Then I wondered if the time when Rogue pulled me into his arms was a hug. Cue the mental self-slap. I'd like to call it 'Slappie'. I know, I'm so innovative at names.

"Hey Juvia, Gajeel," Gray said nodding to the guy beside her. Gajeel nodded back.

"Could we join you?" Juvia asked.

"Absolutely." Gray said confidently. We shifted in as Juvia made her seat next to Gray and Gajeel sat next to me. Cue the awkward silence and smiles. We talked about school and future academic plans. Apparently, Gajeel was Juvia's neighbor and they were really good friends. I was just starting to blend in the atmosphere when suddenly Gray asked, "Juvia, would you like to dance with me?"

Juvia's eyes sparkled and her cheeks flushed. They stared into each other's eyes. Her eyes were blue like a sea of affection; vast. Behind, some romantic music was being played and many couples were slow dancing. After what seemed like an eternity (I was about to pass out of too much love in the air), a sun broke out as Juvia smiled radiantly and said, "I'd love to!"

Then the love birds fluttered to the dance floor. I snorted loudly, but then I forgot that Gajeel was still beside me. Though he seemed to mirror my thoughts, "I know right. About damn time."

I raised a brow and he continued, "Juvia can only talk and think about that guy. Besides, these days she's hanging out with him like morning to evening."

I snorted again, "Tell me about it. They're so in love."

The dance floor was full of couples while all the singles had groaned and gotten off the floor. I could literally see hearts in the air. At times like this, I just thought of one thing, I need to eat more. Instead of looking at lovey-dovey people, I'd rather stuff food in my face.

One thing good about Gray leaving me- I got all the fries to myself. Bad thing- they didn't come back after the song ended but that was supposedly good riddance for Gray. Gajeel went off saying that his band break was over (so he was one of those hippies!). Sadly, that meant I was all alone now.

I sighed as I leaned back on the sofa. I tried playing games on my phone or chatting with my school mates, but suddenly, just when I needed someone, everyone became busy. A cruel world indeed.

I was feeling bored, sitting in one place all evening, so I decided to go to the toilets. I know, how ingenious of me right? I decided to stare at myself in the mirror and cry my eye liner out because I was left alone. Just kidding, I was gonna apply some lip gloss. Hey, if I was a city girl, I had to show off my assets.

After coating my lips with my special mint gloss, I fixed my hair. Then I walked out like I was running for Miss Fiore contest. However, my ramp walk was rudely interrupted when two tall and slimy guys blocked the way.

"Excuse me, please." I said politely.

"Oh no, please excuse us." One of the guys with a drag which made me want to puke.

"Hey missy, are you alone?" asked the other guy.

"Nope. I'm with my friends," I lied.

"Is that so? But I saw you sitting all alone there by that table." Said the first guy pointing at the table I was previously using.

"They're all dancing right now. Now please excuse me." I said as I tried to push them aside but the other guy grabbed my wrist. "What's the hurry, Missy? You could dance with us." he said.

"Um, no thanks." I said trying to pull my wrist away but I couldn't.

"Let go of me this instant!" I shouted over the music, buzzing with anger.

"Let's have some fun, girly." The guy said as he smiled creepily.

In a flash of a second, that guy was slapped and he fell to the earth. Or dance floor, whatever floats your boat. The second one's hand was slapped, thus letting go of me and someone else held my wrist pulling me in their arms. A moment of relief filled me as I realized Gray was here.

I turned and saw the face of someone else. It wasn't Gray. It was him. The horse rider, the mystery guy, Rogue.

"That is no way to treat a lady!" he shouted. "Get lost!" he hissed at the shocked faces of the two guys.

"Wait!" I said and the two men stopped. I gently pulled myself away from Rogue, winked at him and walked towards the guys.

"You think you're cool for doing that? Don't take me or any girl for just random girly." I turned but then I felt like saying some more, "Oh wait, I forgot to tell you," I said sweetly, "Go to hell!" I yelled as I dug my heel in the foot of the guy who had pulled my wrist and mustered the best ugly look at the guy fallen on the floor and said, "Would you like some?" The guy yelped and limped his way out followed by the guy on the floor.

Silence engulfed the air. I realized that the music had stopped and everyone was staring at us. Mostly me, actually. To say I was embarrassed was an understatement. I felt like digging a hole in the dance floor and never come out. Suddenly, the crowd began cheering and clapping.

I guess they liked my way of dealing with weirdos. Well, what can I say? I am pretty amazing.

Rogue looked mildly amused and it seemed as if he was suppressing a smile. I spotted Gray with Juvia and he gave me a thumbs up as he grinned widely. Some people even came up to me to pat my shoulder and shake hands with me. I felt like some local celebrity. Finally, the crowd dispersed and the music started playing again and I was left alone with Rogue. I noticed he was dressed lavishly in formal wear; black trousers, a mild red color shirt with a dark red tie, loose against his collar. Curse his handsome looks.

I said hesitantly, "Thank you for helping me…"

"I would say you're welcome, but it seems you are rather self-sufficient. I apologize for any trouble caused." He said suddenly with such ferocity that I almost thought he was scolding me.

My eyes widened. I suddenly realized that he was looking at me intently but I just couldn't make myself look at his face. Yeah, I know, I'm such an idiot ugh. I couldn't think of anything to say. After what you would call awkward silence, I tried, "What do you…?" before we were interrupted by a girl.

"Rogue! There you are!" She was tall and had long dark hair. She wore a rather revealing red dress and silver heels, glittering in the disco lights. Suddenly, Rogue looked wary as the girl jumped on him, literally, and said, "Where have you been? We've been looking for you! Come on, Sting just got dared to dance with the bartender dude for 20 bucks." She grabbed his arm and pulled him away. He spared me a glance before they disappeared in the crowd.

That's crazy. All this left me to think with two questions. Were Rogue and the mystery girl dating? And, how broke is this Sting dude?


Which kind of jerk promises to update within one week, leaves the birthday fic at a cliff-hanger and updates exactly the next year? ME.

Which kind of fool continues using it as the birthday fic? ME.

Which kind of person still can't finish the story? That is again moi. (Me in French)(Because I'm obsessed with French cartoons recently.)

But I know, you love me! So HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAINA! My very talented, very noble and super amazing friend! Also the best writer in the world! You're the sweetest cupcake and the coolest person! We gonna rule da world soon, it's just a matter of time...just let me finish this fic ;-P
Today is also a very historic day...if you know what I mean ;-D