(Following episode 167 "100 Against 1" in the Grand Magic Games Arc. Some spoilers may be found.)


Jerza Scene: Love Prevails Over All Else

By: xSteleAliniax

Erza leaned heavily against the stone wall of the tunnel, fighting back tears of pain. So... Stupid... She shouldn't have been so foolish. Taking on all those monsters by herself had really taken its toll. Her magic energy was all but nonexistent by this point. And her physical energy... Well, it was a miracle that she was even still standing.

She slammed a fist into the wall in front of her in frustration. Her forehead rested against the cool stones as traitorous tears began to spill down her cheeks.

"Dammit," she whispered. "When did I become so weak?"

"Erza,"

Dammit!

She spun around so fast that Jellal took a step back in surprise. He still wore his Mystogan guise, but his hood was pulled back to reveal his face, and his piecing eyes which bored into hers. His expression did not reveal much, however, so she couldn't be sure of what he was thinking.

"What do you want, Jellal?" She snapped. Crying made her feel weak, and weakness made her angry. She didn't understand how she could be so pitiful! It was just a few monsters... Why was she getting so emotional over it?

"I heard your match." He said simply, gaze unwavering. "You won."

"Of course I did." She turned her back on him again, folding her arms across her chest and looking out toward the water on the other side of the tunnel. Moonlight reflected on the smooth surface, turning the water a silvery blue.

Jellal snorted. "Yes, of course you did, Titania."

"Did you simply come here to provide snide commentary?" Erza asked. She narrowed her eyes. What was he up to? He was supposed to be keeping a low profile! Did Ultear know he was down here waltzing around in the dead of night? Surely she'd sick Meredy on him again...

"Quite the contrary, Erza." He said. He took a few steps forward and stood beside her, though he still kept a fair amount of distance between them. "I did not come to offend you, nor did I come to congratulate you. I had no doubts you would win. You are probably the sole wizard alive that could battle one-hundred monsters, and defeat each one single-handedly. You are extraordinary, Erza Scarlet." A blush spread across her cheeks at the compliment. Extraordinary...

"I'm certain you would have faired just as well on your own as I did, Jellal." She said, trying to keep her voice neutral.

"Perhaps." He agreed. "It was a remarkable feat, nonetheless. You should be proud."

"I thought you weren't here to congratulate me." She said pointedly. He chuckled lightly.

"I'm not. I..." He paused and looked away. She watched him out of the corner of her eye struggling to form words. Her lips twitched with amusement. This Jellal was still a mystery to her. He wasn't the Jellal she had met back in the Tower of Heaven when they were children, nor was he the Jellal he had been while under Zeref's (or Ultear's, she still wasn't sure on that) control, and he definitely wasn't the snide asshole he had been while under the guise of council member Siegrain. He was similar to how he had once been, back when they'd first met as children, but he had still changed greatly. She had no idea what his motives were anymore.

Still... He was Jellal. For better or worse, he was still Jellal. And even though every instinct told her to smack him upside the head and leave him there, her feet refused to move.

Weak... Her mind said. She narrowed her eyes again.

"Just say it, Jellal." Erza's tone was impatient. "I don't have time for your games." Jellal sighed audibly.

"I'm sorry, Erza. I keep hurting you... I promised I wouldn't do that again..." His voice grew fainter, and then trailed off completely. With a gasp, Erza looked over at him. His eyes were squinched shut, his hands held in tight fists. "I can't... I can't do anything right with you."

"What are you talking about?" She asked, truly confused now. What had he done that was so upsetting to him? She couldn't remember him hurting her, at least not recently. Maybe he had been found out about not really being Mystogan...

He opened his eyes, which shimmered in the moonlight with unshed tears. Erza felt her own eyes widen just a fraction. Jellal definitely never cried. In fact, she couldn't remember EVER seeing him cry. Not when he was being tortured back in the Tower, not when the Magic Council took him in for life in prison, not even when all of his memories returned, including the one of what he'd done to Simon...

"Erza," he held her gaze, dark eyes flicking between hers. "I lied to you that day." She frowned.

"Lied about what?"

"I don't have a fiancé." He whispered. His voice sounded so saddened in that moment, so deeply full of regret, that it was all she could do to not to start crying again.

"Yes, I know." She said. He blinked at her.

"Y-you knew I was lying?" He asked. She rolled her eyes.

"Of course I did, Jellal. I know you too well. It was obvious you were lying." He sucked in a breath, and then let it out slow.

"I'm so sorry, Erza. I shouldn't have-"

"Stop." She held up a hand and looked away again, feeling her cheeks heat at the memory of that day, of their almost kiss. The way he pushed her away and murmured, "I have a fiancé..." Her lie of acceptance. She didn't want him to apologize for his actions. She understood, even if she didn't want to, why he had pushed her away, both figuratively and literally. It was what he had done since breaking out of prison. He pushed her away. He felt unworthy of her.

But that was simply not the case at all! She loved him for all these years. Even when she thought he was under Zeref's control, even when he had tortured his own friends, and tried to kill her. Even when he said horrible things to her and made her want to cry. She still loved him. She couldn't help it, they shared this special connection that she couldn't sever no matter how hard she tried. She had infinite number of blades in her possession, but none of them could come close to scratching the surface of their undeniable connection.

"I don't need to hear your apologies, Jellal." She said after another moment. "I'm not angry with you."

"But I'M angry with me." He whispered. Erza held back another gasp. She kept her back to him, even as she felt his eyes boring into the back of her head, willing her to turn around. "There was nothing more I wanted to do than kiss you that day."

"Shut up." She growled, the sound low in her throat. She didn't want to hear this, didn't want to believe it. He wanted to kiss her?! No... He pushed her away... He obviously didn't feel the same way that she felt. Just because SHE thought about things like that, didn't mean he did too.

"You know I love you, Erza." He said matter-of-factly. She glared daggers at the cobblestone road. Idiot... Did he really think he can just blurt something like that out?

"Let me..." His voice broke and he had to clear his throat before he could speak again. "Let me try again, Erza. I beg you. Give me a second chance."

Jellal placed a hand on her wrist and gently pulled her around to face him. Her eyes shot knives straight into his. He ignored the murderous glint and entwined their fingers.

"Erza, I'm a complete failure of a man," he said, gaze holding hers like something physical. She couldn't look away, couldn't move her hand from his, even as his grip was starting to make the aching bones there throb. "And I know I haven't been a good friend to you. But I want to change all that. I want to do something with my life, to atone for my actions. That's partly why I started this new guild... But," he paused and took a deep breath. "None of it means anything without you." Erza's eyes widened to saucers. She swallowed a hard lump in her throat. Jellal reached out and wiped away a single tear that had fallen- from her injured eye. His hand stayed there, cupping the side of her face as he had done that day.

This time, though, it was Erza who pushed HIM away.

"Don't." She warned, hard eyes locked on his. Jellal looked hurt, but took his hand away. He nodded solemnly.

"I understand." He stepped back and began waking away. Erza let out a frustrated groan. She reached out and grabbed the back of his hooded cloak, forcing him to a stop. He turned back to her with a look of surprise.

"I didn't say you had to leave." She said, tone harsh. His lips twitched.

"My apologies-"

"Shut up, Jellal." She snapped. He closed his mouth and waited. She studied him for a moment, his piercing eyes, his barely contained smirk, his very being which called out to her, begging her to come nearer.

She felt like she was in some sort of trance, her body moving of its own accord. One step, then two, three... Once she stood before him, she stopped. She still kept her gaze with his, even as she reached out a hand and gripped his shirt in a white-knuckled fist. She narrowed her eyes up at him.

"You are a very frustrating man, Jellal." She said. He nodded seriously.

"I'm aware." He said. "But you must understand why I have acted the way I have, at least recently. I will never be worthy of you, Erza Scarlet. No matter how many years I spend trying to atone for all the wrongs that I've done, and all the hurt I have caused... It will never be enough." Erza growled, causing him to raise an eyebrow.

"There's something that YOU need to understand, Jellal." She pulled on his shirt, forcing him to bend down so she could glare right into his eyes. "Yes, you have caused great pain over the years. You have hurt people, including me. But that doesn't mean that you are unworthy of forgiveness or second chances." Jellal sucked in a sharp breath, eyes widening as Erza continued to speak to him. "You have done your time in prison. You created Crime Sorciere as a way to right some of those wrongs. I told you before, use that as a way to atone. Live your life, Jellal. There is nothing heroic in giving up on life."

"I'm not-" He started.

"You ARE." She cut him off sharply. "I saw it that day, and I can see it now. That look of utter defeat in your eyes, it's evident, even now. You've given up."

"Erza,"

"You have to LIVE, Jellal." She urged. Her eyes were wet again, and she blinked back tears. With a whisper she said, "Please, live."

Jellal caught the desperate tone of her voice, the look of pleading on her face. She was truly something else, he thought. No one could make him feel the things that Erza did.

A memory popped into his head then.

"Do you love her?"

"...Yes."

"Then live. Live for her."

"You're right, Erza." He said at last. Her eyes widened in surprise, like she hadn't expected him to agree so quickly, or at all. "As always, you're absolutely right." And before he could lose the nerve, he closed the distance between them and pressed his mouth to hers. She gave a light shudder, and then her fist tightened in his shirt, while her other hand went into his hair, pulling him closer. Jellal's arms wrapped around her, careful not to hold her injured body too tightly as he deepened the kiss.

Holding her in his arms like this was almost enough to make him forget everything else. All the horrible things he had done meant nothing in that moment. It was just him and Erza, mouths moving in sync, hearts beating as one. And when they pulled apart after an eternity of shared breath, they just gazed into each other's eyes as all the love they shared poured through them. It was unnecessary to speak, as their very souls were connected in every way. He could feel her heart singing out to him, and likewise his was calling out to hers as well, shouting louder than any voice ever could.

"What happens now?" She asked in a low voice. Jellal tucked a strand of scarlet hair behind her ear. He seemed to be thinking very hard about something. Then, a grin made its way onto his lips.

"Now, we win the Grand Magic Games."


A/N: As requested, another Jerza scene! I know it isn't as good as my other two, but... I kind of wanted to write a scene that was as REAL as possible, I guess... Like, something that could potentially really happen as a first kiss between them. So, I did my best to stay as true to their characters as possible. Hopefully you guys like it! As always, I very much appreciate all of you that read, favorite and review my scenes! It means a lot to me when you take the time to do so! You guys are awesome! Cheers to you! And until next time!