A Fairy Tail Thanksgiving

Part 1: The Plan

By: xSteleAliniax

Beta'd By: SamGreg

November 21, 10:00am

It was the Monday before Thanksgiving and the members of Fairy Tail were all milling about the guild hall, either chatting with one another, making plans for the holiday, or trying to snag last minute job requests before taking a few days off.

Lucy and Natsu sat at a table with Levy and Gajeel, chatting about their weekend. Lucy and Levy had gone to a book signing that Saturday, and were both animatedly retelling all the events that had taken place. The two boys were both slumped in their sets, neither paying much attention as the girls prattled on. It wasn't until Lucy whacked him in the back of the head that Natsu realized he'd fallen asleep. He'd thought he had been sort of listening at least. He gave Lucy a sheepish sideways grin, but she responded with a death glare that was equal to one of Erza's. He cowered in his chair and vowed to pay better attention.

Gajeel cracked up at Natsu for letting a "little girl" boss him around. At least until Levy turned to him with her own glare. He narrowed his eyes in annoyance but stayed quiet.

At another table, Gray and Juvia sat with Wendy and Carla. They were talking about a job Wendy had found earlier that morning. She wanted the water mage and the ice wizard's help with the mission. It sounded easy enough, Gray thought, and agreed to help the young dragon slayer out. Juvia agreed only because her "darling Gray" was going and she most certainly wasn't going to be left behind. They agreed to a meeting time the following week, and Wendy and Carla rushed off.

Erza stared across the hall with scrutinizing eyes, as if looking for trouble. An untouched piece of strawberry cake sat in front of her, and she gripped a fork and knife in her hands as if ready for battle. Jellal sat next to her, black glasses perched on his nose and a leather bound poetry book propped on one knee.

Mirajane popped up out of nowhere next to Erza and looked dreamily over at Natsu, Lucy, Levy and Gajeel, where Erza's terrifying gaze was currently fixated.

"Have you noticed all the ships that have gone official this year?!" Mira enthused, completely ignoring Erza's death glare. Mira and Jellal were probably the only two people in Fiore who weren't affected by Erza's scary demeanor.

"Ships?" Erza asked, raising an eyebrow at the white-haired mage. Mira nodded enthusiastically.

"Oh, yes! Nalu, Gale, Gruvia, even Jerza!" She gave Erza a wink and then giggled. "Isn't it exciting?!" Jellal snorted but said nothing.

"What do all of those ridiculous words mean?" Erza asked. She sometimes wondered if Mira was okay in the head. She said the most peculiar things...

"Natsu/Lucy; Gajeel/Levy; Gray/Juvia; me and you." Jellal said without looking up from his book. He scratched his nose with his pinky finger and then adjusted his glasses.

"Exactly!" Mira grinned. Erza sighed, ignoring them both. Mira went on when it was clear that Erza wasn't going to say anything. "Wouldn't it be fun to have all the couples come together for Thanksgiving?" Mira sighed dreamily, still staring at the small group across the room.

"That," Erza said slowly. "Is not a terrible idea." Mira brightened.

"Really?! Oh, I'm so excited!"

"We'll have it at our place." Jellal said, flipping a page in his book. "Hmm, I do find Poe to be rather depressing." Erza gaped beside him.

"What do you mean OUR place?"

"Precisely what I said, Titania." He replied. A small smirk played at the edges of his lips.

"You mean MY place." She corrected.

"But I live there, too." He flipped another page. "'Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary; over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore; while I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping; as of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.'" He turned a knowing smirk her way, then gave her a not so inconspicuous wink that made her cheeks heat.

"You're such a good storyteller!" Mira grinned at him.

"Thank you," he nodded seriously. "I like Poe."

"But-you just said it was depressing!" Erza reminded him. He shrugged.

"So are we having the dinner at our place?" He asked, looking back at his book.

"It's MY place!" She insisted.

"Oh, my mistake. I guess all of my clothes and belongings are just there to keep you company."

"Jellal," Erza growled, and resisted the urge to stab him with her fork. He grinned and didn't look up. Finally, she gave up. "Fine."

"Yay!" Mira clapped excitedly. "Oh, I wish I could make it!" Erza and Jellal both glanced at her in confusion.

"What do you mean by that?" Erza asked. "Of course you'll be there, this was YOUR idea."

"Oh, I won't be in town this weekend, I'm afraid!" She gave them an innocent smile. "Elfman, Lisanna and I are going on a family vacation!" Erza scowled at the table. Now she had to plan a Thanksgiving dinner on her own.

"Very well, then." She stood to her feet and walked across the room with quick, purposeful strides. Before she even reached the table, four sets of eyes glanced up at her. Gajeel and Natsu both gulped and scooted farther away. Levy and Lucy at least attempted to not look afraid.

"Hello, Erza," Lucy greeted, trying for a smile.

"You four," the scarlet-haired mage pointed at them, making them all flinch back. What did we do now? Lucy wondered. "You will come to my home for Thanksgiving dinner." Her tone was final, and all four stared at her in open-mouthed disbelief for a long moment.

"Uh, hate to break it to ya, Red," Gajeel said. "But I've got other plans for the holiday." He put an arm around Levy and crushed her against his chest.

"Yeah, us, too." Natsu tried to do the same, but got an elbow in the gut before he could get close.

"No, we don't, Natsu. Don't be rude!" She chided him. He slumped and scowled at his lap. "We would love to go have dinner with you, Erza." Lucy grinned.

"Yeah, we will, too!" Levy managed to get out, even though Gajeel was trying to shush her. He scowled, too, but didn't fight against her. Erza nodded and turned on her heel without another word.

"Luce!" Natsu whined when the requip mage was out of earshot. "Why do you hate me?!" Lucy rolled her eyes.

"Natsu, don't be so dramatic." She poked his cheek. "You and I both know that we didn't have any plans for Thanksgiving. Besides,"

"Fairy Tail is a family!" Levy finished, and the two girls exchanged a grin.

"I already want to leave," Natsu moaned. Lucy elbowed him again. "Okay, okay!"

Across the room, Erza turned her glare on Gray and Juvia. "You two," both paled at her commanding presence, but said nothing. "You will join me for Thanksgiving dinner." The pair blinked up at her. "Is that a problem?" She raised a challenging eyebrow.

"N-No, ma'am!" Gray said hastily, plastering on a fake smile. "We'll be there!"

"We wouldn't want to be anywhere else!" Juvia added with fake enthusiasm. Erza looked appeased. She nodded and strode back over to her table.

"You think we can get out of it?" Gray whispered, watching Erza walk away. Juvia shuddered and shook her head.

"I don't want to find out what happens if we don't show up..."

"Yeah, you're right." Gray slumped.

Meanwhile, Erza walked back to her table, where a very pleased-looking Jellal still sat, smirking at her as she sat down across from him.

"How did it go?" He asked conversationally.

"What do you mean?" She pulled her cake in front of her and started to eat.

"Did you scare them into joining us?" His tone was casual, but his face still showed amusement.

"I did no such thing!" Erza snapped, taking a huge bite of cake. "We must get at least six of these for Thursday." She said around a mouthful of cake. Jellal snorted.

"Why six?"

"Because five will not be enough."

"Naturally," he nodded. He pulled out a slip of paper that he had tucked inside his poetry book, and a blue pen that had mysteriously appeared at the table. He clicked it open and poised it over the page. "Alright, Erza. What else should we get?"

November 22, 2:00pm

A group of eight sat around Erza's living room while they came up with a plan for Thanksgiving dinner. Lucy and Levy sat together on one love seat, Gray sat with Juvia on the other love seat, Gajeel and Natsu both stood on opposite sides of the room, both with their arms crossed. Jellal sat against the wall near Lucy and Levy, clipboard in hand for all the instructions Erza was making him write down, as Erza paced in front of them.

"Why do we have to split into teams?" Lucy asked, still trying to wrap her mind around Erza's complex plan.

"Because that is the best course of action." Erza replied, seriously. Gray spoke up from near her.

"Yeah, but this isn't a battle we're planning for... It's just dinner."

"Your point, Gray?" She raised an eyebrow. Gray shrugged.

"Are we splitting into teams of two?" Lucy asked, looking over at Natsu, who had a comically confused looked on his face.

"No," Erza said. She paused in her pacing and held a hand out for the clipboard. Jellal passed it to her and she flipped to a page. "Team A will be Lucy, Juvia, and Jellal."

"What?!" Lucy and Natsu exclaimed simultaneously.

"Oh, dear." Juvia slumped, clutching onto Gray's arm harder and sending Erza a seething look behind her back. Gray looked unaffected by this announcement. That is, until Erza announced the next team.

"Team B," Erza continued, ignoring them. "Levy, Gray... And Natsu."

"What?!" Gray and Natsu exclaimed in unison, then glared at each other, then pointedly looked in opposite directions.

"That is your team," Erza glared right at Natsu. He gulped. "Team C, obviously, leaves myself and Gajeel." She looked pointedly over in the iron dragon slayer's direction, as if waiting for some objections, but when none came she just nodded and flipped to a new page on the clipboard. "Right. Jellal?" She gestured to the blue-haired wizard, who was already standing up, a stack full of loose papers in hand.

"Team A," he handed a neatly printed sheet of mint green paper to each member, then repeated the process with a pastel blue sheet to Team B's members. "Your instructions." Was all the explanation he provided. Lucy and Levy exchanged confused looks before glancing down at their own sheets.

"Hey, don't I get one?" Gajeel asked, arms still folded over his chest.

"No," Erza said without looking up from her paper. "You will be working with me."

"Doing what, exactly?" He tried to sound unconcerned, but his tone came out more suspicious than anything else.

"Cooking, of course." She stated, matter-of-factly. Everyone except for Jellal gaped at the redhead.

"What?!" Came the collective reply. She glanced up with a frown, eyes flicking around the room.


"Gajeel's going to cook?" Natsu scoffed. "I'll starve." Lucy kicked him with her booted toe. "Ow!"

"Yeah, cooking ain't really my shtick." He said gruffly, apparently deciding not to take offense at Natsu's insult, at least not yet. "That's more Shrimp's thing." He nodded at Levy, who blushed and pretended to be very interested in her instruction list. Jellal raised an eyebrow at that.

"Why don't you ask Pretty Boy to help you?" Natsu asked, and just barely avoided another kick from Lucy. He scooted away from her before sticking his tongue out. She cast a glare on him, but he ignored her. He'll pay for that later...

"Who are you referring to, Natsu?" She asked in a challenging tone. He paled and shrank back closer to Lucy, the lesser of two evils.

"I think he means me." Jellal supplied helpfully in a nonchalant tone. He leaned against the wall near Erza, merely observing the chatter around him.

Erza narrowed her eyes at Natsu but said nothing. Natsu pretended to pick at a fingernail so he could avoid her gaze. After a moment she sighed and continued on.

"Team A," she recited, flipping to the green page in her clipboard. "Your job will be to gather the food, preferably by Wednesday at two P.M. sharp."

"Uh," Lucy started to object.

"And do not be cheap, either," she pointed at Lucy, who shrank back against the couch cushions. She scowled when Erza wasn't looking. Apparently, SHE was the cheap one in the group. "Make sure you buy the exact ingredients listed on the back side of your sheet."

"Aye, sir." Lucy muttered unenthusiastically. Natsu snorted a laugh. Now tired of standing, he squeezed in beside Lucy. He gave her a crooked grin when she scowled at him. Her expression softened, just slightly, and she allowed him to stay.

"Team B," she glanced between the three members with a commanding force, lingering on Natsu the longest. "Music, decorations, entertainment."

"Woo, we get the fun job!" Natsu pumped a fist in the air.

"Do not take this responsibility lightly, Natsu," Erza reprimanded him. He looked away and pouted. Lucy patted his knee in reassurance. "Anyway," Erza continued. "As I said, Gajeel and I will handle all of the food prep. So the rest of you do not have to worry over that."

"If Gajeel is cooking than we DO have something to worry about." Natsu muttered in Lucy's ear. She rolled her eyes and ignored him.

"I heard that, Salamander." Gajeel shot right back.

"Make sure you all make a plan to get together, in a timely manner." Erza flipped the pages back over on the clipboard and then tucked it under her arm. "If you have any questions or concerns, you may speak with me directly. I will be available whenever you need me. That will be all." Her tone was dismissive, and for a moment everyone just sat there in confusion.

"That's... Really all you called us here for?" Levy asked after several moments.

"Yes." Erza turned on her heel and left the room without further comment.

"Um..." Levy looked to Lucy and raised a questioning eyebrow. Lucy shrugged. She didn't understand Erza any more than Levy. Six sets of eyes fell on Jellal next. His face was set in a neutral expression, which was pretty typical of the blue-haired wizard.

"Don't look at me," he said. "I know nothing, either."

"But she's YOUR girlfriend." Natsu pointed out.

"And Lucy is yours." Jellal returned. "Are you going to tell me you know everything there is to know about her? Including every motive?" He raised an eyebrow at the pinkette. Lucy glanced over at him with a similar expression. Natsu glanced between them and then scowled at his lap.

"Well, if that's all..." Gajeel stood to his feet and stretched. "Come on, Shrimp. Let's get out of the 'Red-Haired-Devils' lair." Natsu cackled at the joke, but Levy and Lucy just shook their heads and sighed. Juvia coughed to hide a laugh. Gray just smirked. Jellal remained indifferent.

"I'll call you boys later to set up a time to get together, alright?" Levy waved at Natsu and Gray who waved back unenthusiastically. Neither would have minded working with the blue-haired script mage, but working with each other? They would rather do almost anything else.

"Come on, Luce. Let's go, too." Natsu stood and pulled Lucy up with him. Juvia and Gray were standing as well.

"Shall we set up a time now, or later?" Juvia asked, glancing between Jellal and Lucy. Lucy shrugged. She didn't care either way.

"Eight A.M. tomorrow." Jellal stated. "We'll meet at the guild."

"Eight?" Lucy slumped at the thought of the early hour.

"I will be there at seven forty-five." Juvia announced, shooting Lucy a smug look. She still didn't like Lucy, it seemed. Even after Lucy and Natsu started dating, Juvia never stopped thinking of the blonde as a love rival for Gray.

"And I'll be sleeping until ten." Gray muttered beside her.

"I'll be sleeping until noon." Natsu challenged back. Lucy sighed and tugged on Natsu's arm.

"Come on, let's go. See you tomorrow, Jellal. Juvia." She nodded to them in turn and they nodded back. The pair left.

"So..." Natsu said as he and Lucy walked from Erza's house. Lucy glanced up at him with a raised eyebrow. His tone was suspicious. He winked down at her. "Your place or mine?"

(Disclaimer: The poem that Jellal read from was The Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe. I do not own this poem, and I do not own Fairy Tail.)

A/N: End of part 1! Not much going on other than everyone being bossed around by Erza, haha. Typical day, huh? It seemed fitting that Erza would take the lead and go way overboard to make sure everything was exactly so. And I thought the idea of her making Gajeel cook with her was too fun to pass up! Anyway, look out for part 2 tomorrow! Byyyeee!