The Need for Rain

He wasn't sure when he was secure enough to identify his feelings for her. He had always noticed her whenever she was nearby, whether it be by sound or scent, but very rarely by sight. He chuckled to himself as he slowly sipped his whiskey and thought about her more. She was always hiding herself away, though nobody can escape his senses. Even when he couldn't see her, he could still hear her. He could hear the mumblings that she whispered to herself in he self isolation, the thoughts and plans she thought private were ingrained in to his mind. It was how he learned so much about her, gods only knew she never liked talking to him.

He frowned at that slightly as he took another sip before returning to the thoughts that seemed to have consumed him as of late.

He often found himself thinking of her when he couldn't smell or hear her, and on the few occasions that he could SEE her, his thoughts stood still. She seemed to have an additional source of magic, one that both consumed his every thought AND stopped his brain from functioning. He supposed he should have been glad that she never went on jobs with him, lest he be brought down by a tree root or a rock in his path.

She made him weak, and he welcomed the weakness so long as she never left his mind.

Natsu Dragneel would never admit it out loud, but he had found himself enamoured by the woman known as Juvia Lockser.

He'd never admit it out loud, not because he was afraid to admit it, but because he didn't want to burden her with his emotions. Not while she was chasing the heart of the man that Natsu considered a brother of sorts.

Gray Fullbuster.

Natsu would never admit to anyone over the jealousy he felt for the ice mage, his pride would sooner manifest itself and strangle him to death, but he couldn't deny the emotion from himself. He was jealous of the man, and every day seemed to worsen it. Every day brought a new attempt from the blue haired rain woman, and every rejection brought him closer to insanity as he watched her devastated expression before her heart tempered itself and her resolve reset. That's what he couldn't deny attracted his attention to her in the first place. Her tenacity was nearly as fierce as his own during battle. She didn't give up, ever, and he respected that. It meant that she would fight tooth and nail, to the death even, for something she believed in and loved. He just hated that he could see the raw determination in her eyes when she stared at the ice wizard.

Now why couldn't she look at him with those eyes?

He had tried on so many different occasions to get her to speak with him on a more personal level, only to feel disappointed himself when he was casually brushed away or given a curt response. He could see the dislike that she felt for him every time he would fight with Gray, and each time it felt like a knife in his chest. It was the only time he dreaded seeing her, when Gray and himself were in Erza's grip as she scolded them for fighting, and he would meet her gaze while she peeked from behind her pillar. He could see the distaste in her gaze, and it made him want to shower in an attempt to wash away the shame that her gaze painted on to him. He wished that she would stand behind him and offer to patch him up the same way she did with that ice prick, but sadly it never went that way. She would fawn over that frozen dickweed, and he would be left to go lick his wounds in the corner.

Natsu sighed as he finished his whiskey and held up the glass, silently signaling Mira to top off his drink. The white haired barmaid topped off his glass before setting the bottle on the counter. He caught her sympathetic gaze for a moment before she masked it off. She had long since given up on trying to pry information from him, and he was grateful for small mercies.

"I'm going to leave you the bottle. I have to do some things in the back, and Kinana is going to be busy handling the others." She spoke. Natsu nodded and issued a small thanks, not bothering to call her bluff. There were hardly any people in the guild and Mira was bored without fail. He would not be in the guild either, had Erza not decided to grab Lucy and drag her off to Hargeon for a day of shopping. Mira had wiped the counter six sperate times, and organised the alcohol first by name and then by how full each bottle was, before starting all over again at the counter. Natsu's eyes watched the woman while she did everything, enjoying the way that she seemed to struggle for something to do. Natsu felt that he understood the woman he saw as a big sister. She needed to stay busy. She lived for the rush of a fast paced environment, and a slow day at a guild made to seat hundreds was enough to drive anyone like them mad. He watched her quickly exit in to the kitchen, likely to begin organizing the pantry by the colour of the spices. Natsu turned his attention to Kinana and snorted as she boredly flipped the page of the magazine in her hands.

Busy indeed.

He sat back slowly in his seat and nursed his whiskey slowly, his thoughts once more returning to the rain woman. He frowned as his mind and heart once again began to battle it out. His mind had rationalized his feelings, calling them illogical, and his heart never listened. His mind argued over so many other suitable partners in the guild. Lucy and Lisanna were dragged to the front of his mind. Both women were so strong and kind, and they both seemed to show some interest in him, although it was lesser now. Mira came to mind next, but he shook that away instantly. She was powerful and they did share many interests, but much like with Lucy and Lisanna, he could only view the woman in the light of a sibling. His mind began to present the ridiculous, from Cana to the princess Hisui, his brain tried to rationalize him to pursue anyone other than Juvia, but his heart was defiant. It knew what it wanted, and Natsu found himself standing with his heart in this arguement. He saw her as the best, and perhaps it was the dragon side of him, but he only wanted the best, and that was Juvia.

He groaned and rested his head against the bar when he heard the doors open and his rival sauntered over to one of the many empty tables. Natsu heard the bench creak under him as he heard the ice mage prop his feet up on to the table. Natsu smirked when he heard Kinana grunt in annoyance. She hated when people put their feet on the tables she worked so hard to keep clean, especially on a slow day. Kinana set her magazine down and paced over to the man and took his order. She scribbled it down on her pad and walked calmly over to the kitchen. She was about to enter the back room to prepare Gray's order, when Mira burst forth from the door and snapped the ticket away from the purple haired woman before shooting back in to the kitchen with a small cheer. Natsu chuckled when Kinana sighed and returned herself to her magazine. Natsu listened closely to everything around him, his head still on the counter with his eyes closed, knowing what would be coming next. It was always without fail that she would enter shortly after he would, likely her attempts to make it seem like an odd coincidence. He almost gave a mirthless chuckle as he could already pick up traces of her scent. Even through the thick wooden doors, he could hear her slowly counting to twenty, mumbling the numbers to herself as she reached zero before quietly opening the doors and stepping in to the guild. He heard each of her steps, barely a sound even to him, as she crossed the guild hall like a beautiful wraith. He tracked her steps as she walked over to stand next to her 'beloved' before he heard her muttering words of confidence to herself.

"Gray-sama..." He heard her beautiful voice say such sour words in such a loving way, and it made him perk up and down his whiskey in one go before topping it off.

"What do you want?" Gray sounded annoyed at the woman's voice. Natsu took another large drink before topping off once more. He grimaced when he realized that he had polished off nearly half of this bottle on his own. He was snapped out of his musings when he heard the blue haired woman speak once more.

"J-Juvia was wondering if-"

"No." Natsu heard Gray snap immediately.


"I said no!" Gray exclaimed at the woman. "Why don't you get it? I'm not interested! You've asked me every day for years, and every day it's the same. You're my friend, but I just don't see you as anything more. Please just get it through your head that I don't have any interest in you. If I did, don't you think I would've done something by now?"

"But J-Juvia only wants-" She was close to tears now when Gray spoke once more.

"I don't care." Gray snapped at her. "I've tried to be nice and let you down gently, but I'm tired of this. I'm tired of feeling you staring at me whenever I'm at the guild, it's creepy."

"You think that Juvia is creepy?" Natsu heard the quiver in her voice, and his chest stung in cold fury. She may not be his, but he still couldn't stand her crying. His fury grew hot instantly when Gray responded.

"Yes! I thought you would get the hint after a while and leave me alone, but you haven't, so listen closely. Leave me alone!" Natsu didn't have to look up to see the rain woman flee out of the guild, her tears echoing to him as they impacted the floor on her way out. Natsu heard the sound of shattered glass, and looked to his hand to see shard of his glass buried in to his hand, his whisky spilled across the counter. Kinana let out a startled gasp and quickly grabbed the first aid kit from under the counter and rushed over to the dragon slayer. He let Kinana hold his hand open while she removed the shards of glass from his wounds, vaguely hearing the door to the kitchen open up and Mira come stomping out with Gray's order. He looked over as the woman stomped over to the ice mage and slammed the plate down in front of him, the ingredients managing to keep on the plate. Gray flinched when he met Mira's cold gaze.

"Choke on it." She glared at the man before stomping back in to the kitchen, the doors slamming closed behind her. Gray sat in silence for a moment.

"Whatever." He mumbled to himself as he brought a leg of chicken up to his mouth and took a bite from it. The guild was drenched in silence as Kinana fussed over Natsu and Gray ate his meal. Everyone stopped when a large clap of thunder rang out across the city. Natsu turned his gaze towards the window, though his senses could pick up the rain long before the thunder rang out. He sighed as he pulled his hand away from Kinana.

"I wasn't done yet!" The purple haired woman exclaimed to the dragon slayer. Natsu merely grunted before turning to her once more.

"That's okay. Can I buy a few bottles of this? Want to keep some at home." Kinana nodded reluctantly and moved in to the back to fetch several more bottles. Natsu grabbed the half bottle on the counter and slipped it in to his pocket as Kinana returned with three other bottles of whiskey in a canvas bag.

"That'll be 600 jewels."

"Highway robbery." Natsu joked as he handed the notes to the woman. Kinana counted them before tucking the money in to her apron and turning away from him and walking back over to her magazine. "I'm going home now. Tell Mira I said thanks for the drinks."

"Okay. Bye Natsu!" The man just waved over his shoulder as he casually opened the doors and stepped out in to the rain. He shut the doors behind himself and slowly began to wander behind the guild, taking note of the rain. His heart went out to the rain woman as he felt the water pelt his face and body, quickly soaking through his clothes. He passed the guild hall and began to wander the forests just behind it, looking for the cause of this rain. He had discovered her on accident the first time, merely searching for somewhere to train. He still remembered the day he spotted the rain maker crying her eyes out at another failed attempt to gain Gray's affections. That time, he had left her alone. This time... this time he wouldn't. He spotted her in the same place as last time, and his chest hurt when he took in her appearance.

She was a beautiful mess.

Her hat was thrown away from her, the mud now claiming the item. Her soaked hair clung to her face and neck as she hunched against a tree. The rain poured so hard that he couldn't hear her sobbing, but the way her body heaved gave it away. He heard her let loose a loud wail, but it was drowned out by the accompanying thunder. She let out several more, each joined by the sky itself crying with her. Natsu couldn't take anymore, and quickly approached the woman. He placed a gentle hand on her shoulder, and jumped back when she whipped around and lashed out at him. He grunted when her water whip slapped him across the cheek, the bag of drinks falling in to the soggy earth as his feet carving trenches in the mud as he slid back. Juvia stared at him in shock before quickly apologizing.

"Juvia is sorry!" She exclaimed before looking to Natsu. "You aren't hurt, are you?"

"Nah." Natsu gave a small laugh as he stared at the woman, the downpour seeming to not affect him in the slightest. "I'm okay. Forgot how strong you are."

"Thank you, but why are you out here?" Juvia spoke as she tried to keep her voice under check. She wanted nothing more than to break down and cry some more, but she felt that she owed it to Natsu after striking him the way she did. She agreed to herself that she would keep up a friendly face until he left, then she'd be free to wail her misery to the sky once more. She noticed Natsu shift uncomfortably for a moment before he spoke once more.

"I... I saw what happened in the guild earlier."

"You did?" Juvia felt her heart sink. She hadn't even noticed Natsu at the guild, but she supposed that she didn't notice many things when Gray was involved. Thinking of the man made her head and heart hurt once more. Once more several tears slid down her cheeks and she could do nothing to contain the small sob that escaped her.

"Yeah. I wanted to check on you, you know? I don't like seeing my friends cry." He told her. "Especially you." He muttered under his breath, glad that she didn't hear him. Juvia stared at him in surprise.

"Juvia is your friend?" Natsu almost fell over at her question.

"What? Of course you are! Everyone in the guild is my friend, or at least I hope so?" He stared at her in silent question. Juvia nodded.

"Yes. Juvia is your friend, but what about Gray-sa-" She stopped herself. "What about Gray? Isn't he your friend too? Are you sure you can be friends with both of us given what happened?" She wanted to cry again. Natsu walked forward and placed his hands on her shoulders.

"None of that. I heard what he said to you, and that just wasn't okay. Friends don't say things like that to each other, no matter how angry they are."

"He... he called Juvia creepy!" Juvia wailed as she buried herself in to Natsu's shoulder with a loud sob. Natsu rubbed her back gently as she continued to cry against him.

"I know..." Natsu sighed as he tried his best to not drown in joy as the woman clung to him and lend a sympathetic ear to her. Thunder echoed across the city once more, causing Juvia to jump slightly. Natsu pat her on the back, causing the woman to release him in realization and step away from him.

"Sorry. Juvia should be getting home..." She said sadly. Natsu widened his eyes in slight panic. He was so close to getting her to open up, he just needed to push a little harder.

"Let me walk you home!" He almost yelled. Juvia recoiled away in surprise before settling down slightly. She stared for a moment at the pink haired dragon slayer. His clothes were soaked through, and his hair was stuck to his face. She also noticed a bruise forming on his cheek, and felt guilt when she realized that the mark was directly her fault. She nodded slowly to the man as he stared at her.

"Juvia supposes that it would be okay."

"Great!" Natsu wanted to kick his own ass at how he sounded. He didn't like sounding too eager for something that shouldn't be such a small deal, but this was the most progress he had made with her ever.

Why wouldn't he be excited about that?

Juvia couldn't help the small smile that broke out while she watched the pink haired mage seemingly go through several emotions at once. He was always such an open person when it came to his thoughts and feelings. Juvia felt a little jealous at his courage. He wasn't afraid to step up and speak what was on his mind, and she respected that. She just wished that he wouldnn't fight so often when it came to the object of her affections.


Juvia had to remind herself of that. Gray had made it blatantly obvious that he had no interest in her, and now she needed to accept that. It hurt her heart, and her soul felt like it had been ripped away. The rain seemed to pour even harder against the two people in the clearing in response to her emotions. Natsu picked up his bottles of whiskey and Juvia's hat from the ground before standing next to the woman once more.

"Shall we?" Natsu gestured ahead of himself. Juvia nodded slowly and the two found themselves wandering out of the forest and towards Juvia's apartment in Fairy Hills.

The walk was uneventful, aside from the torrential downpour, and nothing was said for the most part. Juvia noticed the bag in Natsu's hand, and couldn't contain her curiosity.

"What do you have in the bag?" She questioned lowly. Natsu blinked in surprise before holding up the bag.

"This? It's a few bottles of whiskey. Bought them from the guild earlier, figured I'd keep them at home in case I had company or just needed some time alone." Juvia nodded at Natsu's answer. She wondered to herself if she should also pick up some alcohol to drown some sorrows and pass the time, but her thoughts came short as they reached the door to the dormitory. Juvia turned back to Natsu and nodded to the man.

"Juvia thanks you for walking her home. It has been a.. rough day for Juvia, and a bit of company was nice, but Juvia needs to be alone for a bit."

"Of course..." Natsu said reluctantly as he stepped away from the woman. "But if you ever need to chat or just want to hang out, then you know where to find me, right?"

"Juvia knows you live in the outskirts of town, but she does not know precisely where." The woman admitted somewhat shamefully. Natsu was one of the closest people in her inner circle, and she knew barely anything about him. She shook her head as her focus returned back to it's current problem of her love life, her patchy friendships could be fixed later.

"Well if you ever want to hang out, just head to the park and follow the road east from there. It'll turn in to a dirt road, and just follow that until it breaks off to the left. Follow that path and you'll end up at my house. Don't be afraid to stop by. I'll always make time for my friends." He stared at the woman as she nodded.

"Thank you, Natsu. Juvia will keep it in mind if she ever needs it." Natsu nodded and walked away in the rain towards his house, and Juvia entered her dorm. She brushed by the front desk, passing a quick greeting to the old woman in charge of the counter, and heading up the stairs to her room. Each step up brought her situation back in to her mind, and every step propelled her towards her only safe haven.

Her room.

By the time she hit the final flight of stairs, the tears were pouring down her cheeks in a steady stream as she sprinted to her room. She flung the door open and slammed it behind herself quickly before hurling herself on to her bed and sobbing in to her pillow. She lie on her bed, her chest heaving for each shuddering breath before releasing a wail in to her pillow, for several hours before succumbing to sleep.

The sun had set hours ago, though nobody noticed with the dark black clouds that had come from nowhere and hung over the city, blocking out the city. Juvia awoke in a haze, her eyes burning and her head in pain. She sat up groggily in her bed and turned on the lamp next to her bed, only to flinch at the brightness that flooded her senses. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes as she tried her best to clear her mind to think properly, only to clutch at her chest when she remembered the words that Gray had said to her. She shook her head as she looked around her room, only to frown in sudden realization.

She had pictures of Gray everywhere.

They were on her walls, her bedside stand, and even in her bathroom. Where there weren't pictures, there were dolls and plushies. Her shelves were littered with images or representations of the ice mage, and it made her head spin. She stood from her bed quickly, her vision blurring slightly as her head spun. She tumbled to the doorto her room and stepped outside in to the hallway of her room. Her head cleared somewhat as she put distance between herself and her room, her legs guiding her down the stairs, and in to the lobby. The lights were all dimmed, and the woman at the counter was nowhere to be seen. She looked at the clock, and frowned when she realized that it was almost two in the morning. Sighing, the woman decided to go for a walk to clear her mind, and quickly exited the building, grabbing an umbrella by the door on her way out. She opened the umbrella as she stepped out on to the empty streets, her mind calming somewhat at the dull lighting from the street lights, and the rhythmic sound of the rain on her umbrella. She let her mind empty itself as her feet carried her through the city, something she hadn't done since before her time in Fairy Tail. Looking back on it, she couldn't help but compare herself to the person she was then, and had to frown in the realization that she hadn't changed too much since those darker times.

She had more friends, that was for sure with Erza and Lucy, and she had grown much stronger since that time, but she hadn't changed mentally like she had hoped she would have. She had planned as a little girl that by the time she reached adulthood, she would be a powerful mage with a dashing prince to court her for her hand in marriage. They'd get married and settle down and have a bunch of babies. It always made her giddy to think of being a mother. She dreamt of wiping faces free of mushy peas, and kissing small scrapes after a day of playing. She had fantasies about meeting her gallant knight and being whisked away from her dreary and depressing life, and she haqd believed she had found it in Gray. He had saved her life and made the rain stop in less than an hour of meeting her, and she couldn't help but be smitten with his charming smile. He was attractive as well, something that Juvia would never deny, but it was the pain in his smile that drew her so close to him. He knew of pain and suffering in a way that she couldn't help but become attracted to, like she could somehow stop his pain and bring the joy back in to his gaze.

It never worked.

She never got the chance to take away his pain. All of her gifts to him were hastily disposed of, and all of her affections were kept at arms length. He never let her get close to him, and she now understood that it was because he didn't want her to be close to him. She had seen his attitude as hesitance, a reluctance to show his true self to her without a bit of coaxing, but she learned that he wasn't that complicated of a person. His attitude wasn't a shield to a shy and sensitive man who just wanted to be held, it was just who he was. Not to say it was bad, the man was loyal to his friends, and proved how willing he was to give his life for them, but it seems as if he just wasn't the affectionate type. He didn't want to be held and told sweet nothings, but Juvia wasn't sure what he DID want. She had reasoned to herself early on that she would find what he wanted in a woman, and make herself in to that person. She grew in power because she thought he wanted a strong woman, only to be denied. She increased her knowledge with countless books in the library in hopes of becoming smart enough for him to see as the perfect partner, only to once again face denial. Her footsteps halted as realization hit her. It wasn't that she lacked qualities that he didn't want.

It was that he didn't want HER.

She felt a little sad at the realization, but couldn't be too startled when he had said it directly to her face. She looked up from her dull musings to see that she had arrived outside of the park. She was tempted to walk in to the grounds, but something seemed to be calling out to her. She turned to the east and began to slowly walk down the road. She kept her gaze to the ground as she let her feet take her away once more. She wasn't sure why she was walking towards his house. She told herself that she would be intruding on his sleep, but her body refused to listen to her as it continued down the road. Her shoes clicked against the pavement, but soon the street lamps stopped lighting her path and the cobbled road gave way to packed earth. Her eyes adjusted to the darkness after a few minutes. Her body continued down the path for what felt like an eternity, her brain constantly trying it's hardest to regain control, but it was to no avail. She found the turn in the path, and gave up as her body turned down the path and began to walk towards his house. She spotted it after another almost ten minutes of walking, the simple cottage with the wooden sign. She couldn't read the letters on the sign, but it didn't matter. This was his house, and that's all she needed to know. Her brain was screaming out in protest as she approached his door and raised her hand to knock, but her hand stopped. Her brain cheered at it's minor victory, but that was short lived as the door opened in front of her. She froze as a bare chested Natsu groggily opened the door.

"Juvia?" He rubbed the sleep from his eyes as he took in the woman's appearance. "What's up?"

"Nothing!" The blue haired woman replied quickly. "Juvia was going for a walk and just kind of... ended up here..." She wanted to kick herself for the lame excuse, even if it was the truth. Natsu stared at her for a moment before taking a step back and gesturing her in to his house.

"Well since you're here, may as well off you a place to sit and rest for a moment. Not many people come here on accident, and the walk from the dorm to here is quite a ways, so you must be tired." Juvia hesitantly walked in to the cottage, and was surprised to find it clean. She turned to Natsu, who gave a weak chuckle at her silent question. "It's easier to keep it clean than to have Lucy and Erza trying to kill me for letting it get dirty." Juvia nodded at the answer, knowing of the time that Lucy had come and cleaned his house, and that Erza was somewhat of a neat freak despite her hoarding of weapons and armours. Juvia watched Natsu fumble around for a moment before flicking a switch on his wall, the room instantly becoming illuminated in a soft golden light. Juvia walked across the room and sat on his couch, slowly sinking in to the worn sofa as Natsu dug through the clothes on his floor before finding a semi clean shirt, and after sniffing it to make sure it wasn't too dirty, threw it on. He walked over and plopped on to the couch next to Juvia, the two quickly becoming embroiled in the silence of the room.

"So..." Natsu spoke akwardly.

"Juvia is sorry to have disturbed you." The woman spoke quickly, but Natsu merely waved away her concern.

"Don't be sorry. I told you, I always make time for my friends. So what's on your mind?"

Juvia hesitated for a moment, wondering to herself if she would still be considered a good friend if she just unloaded all of her dilemmas on to the poor man. She doubted he understood exactly what he was getting himself in to by asking such a question, but she couldn't help but want to get it all off her chest. She would've gone to any of her other female friends, but they seemed to have run off to Hargeon for a shopping spree, and Gajeel and Levy had disappeared on a job nearly a week ago. Juvia sighed as she stared around the room and pondered where to begin, when her eyes landed on three and a half bottles of whiskey on his counter before noticing the absense of a certain exceed.

"Where's Happy?" The woman asked curiously. Natsu snorted.

"Little pest is staying with Wendy and Carla. They're going to be going on a job tomorrow and I'm not expecting him back for at least a week. Anyway..."

"Before we talk, do you mind if Juvia has a bit to drink?" She motioned to the bottles on the counter, and Natsu shrugged as he stood from the couch and grabbed the opened bottle and a couple of clean glasses. He sat back down next to the woman and poured out two glasses of the amber liquid, handing one to her and keeping one for himself. He sat back on the couch and took a sip of his drink, only to nearly spit it out when she tossed the drink back and held the empty glass out to him. "Can you please refill Juvia's glass?"

Natsu stared at her for a moment before his shock wore off. "Sure, just don't push yourself too hard." He refilled her glass and sat back in his seat, only to glance back at the woman and see her holding out her empty glass once more. He sighed and topped her off once more.

This happened three more times before the woman finally sat back in her seat and took a small sip of the drink. "Thank you." She mumbled quietly. Natsu nodded as he finished his first glass and refilled it.

"No problem Juvia. So, what brings you all the way out her at nearly three in the morning? Not that I don't mind the company!" He quickly added. "I'm just curious."

Juvia turned her gaze out the window over his hammock, listening in the silence of the room as raindrops pelted against the window. She stared down in to her drink sadly. "Juvia is sorry for the rain. It seems all she can do is ruin peoples' beautiful days..." She mumbled to herself. Natsu looked at her in surprise.

"Why would you be sorry for the rain?"

"Because it is Juvia's fault that it rains so much. The rain has always followed her like a curse, and it makes people hate Juvia for being a rain maker." She said as the rain picked up and several tear drops fell down her cheeks.

"That's dumb." Natsu spoke plainly as he tossed back his drink and topped it once more.

"What?" The blue haired woman turned to him in surprise.

"I said that's dumb. Why would anyone hate the rain?"

"Because it takes away the sunshine!" Juvia nearly shouted at Natsu. The man only stared at her for a moment before shurgging.

"I suppose so, but people tend to forget how much the rain is needed. If it never rained, than nothing would grow, and everything would die. If the sun was out constantly, then it would be too hot and nothing would be able to survive."

"But nobody likes when it rains too much, because everything floods and nothing grows anyway." The woman countered. Natsu just shrugged.

"That's true, but I still love it when it rains here."

"Really?" Juvia asked him skeptically as she finished her drink and held the glass out to him, her head feeling slightly fuzzier as the alcohol took effect. Natsu stood from the couch and placed the empty bottle on the counter before grabbing one of the full ones. He split the wax seal on the bottle and pulled the cork off before topping off the woman's glass. Natsu sat back down and resumed their conversation.

"Yeah. I love the way the forest smells when it rains, and everything looks so clean and different. The forest for the next few days just seems to be so much... greener." The man spoke as he looked over to the rain maker. Juvia stared in to her glass before taking another sip.

"Juvia's rain is different. It only brings sadness and anger to people, that's why it only rains when Juvia is sad."

"That's not true at all." Natsu spoke calmly as Juvia stared at him in question. "I don't know about the others, but I can always tell when it is your rain that's falling. It smells a bit different, and I can feel a bit of your magic in it, but I don't feel the sadness in it."

"What do you feel then?" The woman was genuinely curious. She had never realised that the rain she made was laced with her magic, but it made sense. If she was the one causing it to rain, then obviously she wasn't just willing nature to make it rain. She was obviously using her magic, she just supposed she had never felt the drain on her reserves. She was snapped out of her thoughts when Natsu spoke again.

"It feels lonely. From what I know, magic and the way we use it, is related to our feelings and thoughts. Those dictate how strong the spells we cast are. I don't know how, but I can always feel peoples' emotions in their magic. I enjoy a good fight because it's when someone is the most honest, because it's always been so much easier than talking, and I'm not too good at that." Natsu spoke lowly as he sipped his drink.

"You seems to be talking just fine." She spoke. Natsu chuckled lowly.

"It's the drink. Lucy said it makes me in to a totally different person. I guess it makes me a good talker."

"And a good listener." Juvia spoke lowly. Natsu just chuckled again and finished his drink.

"I've always been a good listener. When you have ears like me and Gajeel, you learn how to keep quiet about the things you hear." Juvia almost kicked herself for forgetting about his draconic senses. She snapped her head up as realization struck her.

"Have you heard Juvia at the guild when she would mumble to herself?" She felt mortified when Natsu nodded.

"Every word." He spoke as he topped off his and Juvia's drinks once more, setting the now half empty bottle down. "You came up with some pretty funny plans." Natsu chuckled when he saw the look on her face.

"It's not nice to listen to people!" She spoke with a blush at the realization that Natsu likely knew of all of her plans that had involved Gray. Natsu held up his hands defensively.

"Relax. It's not like I can turn it off. Besides, Gajeel likely heard every word as well."

That didn't help.

"No!" Juvia moaned as the man she considered an older brother knew of her fantasies. She brought a hand up to cover her face, her blush now a mix of alcohol and embarrassment. Natsu gently pat her on the shoulder.

"It's okay. Want to know some secret stuff about me, then we can be even?" He spoke with a small grin. Juvia peeked at him from between her fingers.

"It's only fair!" She growled. Natsu let out a laugh and sat back in his seat in thought.

"Hmmm... Well I guess I can start with some small stuff and we'll go from there. Deal?" Juvia nodded to him. "Well then. I've always wanted to have a family." Natsu spoke honestly. "I'm not sure why, and a lot of people would say I wouldn't be a good father, but it's just always something I've wanted. Maybe it has to do with me not having my father for most of my life, but it's what I want. I want the whole experience too! The diapers, and the first steps, and even cleaning them up after they get all messy in the mud."

Juvia stared at him in surprise. She hadn't pegged him to be the family man, but it seemed she was wrong about him again. "Juvia wants to have kids as well." She muttered quietly. "Juvia never got to know what it was like to have parents, they died when she was really young, and she promised that she would be the best mother there ever was. She loves children as well. They're just so innocent and kind, and all they want is love and attention, even if they can be a handful." She stared in to her glass in sorrow when she remembered that this dream wouldn't be realized any time soon. Natsu rested a hand on her shoulder and gently squeezed.

"I think you'll be a great mom, Juvia. You're nice and smart, and I've seen how much you can love something. That all adds up to a great mother." Natsu chuckled when the woman stared at him in shock.

"You really think so?" She asked him meekly.

"I know so." He grinned at her. Juvia flushed with warmth at his words, and leaned back in her seat a bit more, but winced when a stray spring dug in to her back. Natsu frowned at her discomfort. "Are you alright?"

"Yeah. Juvia just slept wrong earlier, and this couch isn't the most comfortable." Natsu nodded and slid over to the end of the couch and patted the spot next to him.

"Yeah, everyone says I should replace it. Go ahead an lay down, and we can keep talking." Juvia wasn't sure why she did what he suggested, but she couldn't find a reason to argue it. She adjusted in her seat and eventually stretched out fully across the couch, resting her legs off to the side so as to not drape them over the dragon slayer's lap. She set her empty drink on the floor next to the bottle and looked back to the man.

"Continue." She spoke calmly. Natsu chuckled before proceeding.

"When I was first in the guild, I had a huge crush on Erza." Juvia gaped at him in surprise.


"Yep." He spoke with a sheepish grin. "It faded after a while, but something about her just drew me to her. She always looked so sad, and I just wanted her to smile a bit more. I guess my want to help her just kinda changed over time."

"Really?" Juvia knew exactly how that felt. "What changed."

Natsu tapped his chin in thought for a moment. "I guess I realized that my feelings wouldn't be returned, because they weren't exactly real. She taught me a lot about reading and writing, and made sure that me and Gray didn't kill eachother, but she always kept us from getting too close to her. I just kinda realized that she didn't want to be liked in that way, so I did what I could."

"What was that?" Juvia almost wanted to sit up and throttle the answers out of him. Natsu just shrugged.

"I realized that if I couldn't make her happy, I would stand by as a friend as she found what made her happy out in the world. After that, my feelings just kinda died away."

"Didn't it hurt?" Juvia asked lowly. Natsu looked over to the blue haired woman, who was close to tears once more, and realized why she was asking.

"At first, yeah. I felt like I wasn't good enough, and that pissed me off a bit, but after a while I just realized that it wouldn't work between us. We're two completely different people, and there really isn't anything to bridge that gap between us. Then when Jellal came back in to the picture, I understood that I never really had much of a chance to begin with. It's okay though." He added with a small smile. "It's okay that nothing happened there, because it may have taken me a while to see it, but there are people who are more relatable to me, and I could see myself being much happier with them anyway."

"You sound like you have someone in mind already." Juvia said as she stared at the pink haired man. Natsu merely gave her a gentle smile.

"Yeah. I do."

"Really?" Juvia was astounded. She didn't think Natsu even knew what romance was, let alone having an interest. "Who is it? Is it Lucy? Lisanna? Kinana?"

"Where'd you even get Kinana from?" Natsu questioned her, a single brow raised. Juvia gave a chuckle, the alcohol finally taking full effect.

"Juvia doesn't know. It just seemed like it could work in a way. She is a really good cook."

Natsu stared at the woman. "I'm sure. But no. It isn't any of those girls. I like them, as friends of course, but only one woman seems to ever catch my interest."

"Don't keep Juvia in suspense!" The woman practically wailed in drunken delight, asmall drunken grin and deep blush on her face. Natsu stared at the woman before she brought a foot up and began to nudge the boot in to the man's side. "Tell Juvia who this mystery woman is!"

Natsu tapped a finger to his chin in thought before looking at her with a grin of his own. "Nope."

"Come on!" Her foot began to nudge him a little firmer. Natsu just ignored the foot and chuckled.

"Nope. It's a secret."

"But Juvia promises she won't tell anyone!" The woman brought her other foot up to tap them both in to Natsu's side repeatedly. "Besides, you still owe Juvia!" The woman groaned at him. Natsu grabbed on to both of her feet, his hands wrapped firmly around her ankles.

"I won't tell you, but I do owe you, so how about this..." He proceeded to let one of her feet go to grab her boot and tug it off of her. Juvia felt her face become even warmer when Natsu let her sock clad foot down and grabbed the other one, only to pull the boot off of that foot as well. He held her foot in his hand.

"N-Natsu... What are you-"

"How about I give you a foot massage instead. Erza made me learn to do this when we were kids as punishment for fighting. Turns out, I'm pretty good at this." He held her foot steady with both hands before beginning to knead her foot in his grip. Juvia would have felt mortified of the moan she let loose, had it not been for the nearly half a bottle of whiskey in her system, but it seemed as if Natsu was a man of his word. She felt like she would melt at any moment as he continued to work over the muscles in her feet. Everywhere his hands roamed felt like there was a small fire, and Juvia loved it. It felt as if it was running through her veins, warming her body in the best ways. Her hands clenched and unclenched repeatedly as Natsu worked his magic, her moans quietly echoing throughout the room only growing in volume as he picked up her other foot and repeating his motions.

"That feels so good Natsu!" The woman moaned as she relaxed on his sofa. Natsu did his best to keep focused, but the temptation to run his hands all over her was starting to get to him.

"I'm glad that I'm not disappointing." He chuckled dryly as a bead of sweat ran down his face. Who would've known the hardest fight he'd have would be with himself. "Is there anywhere else that's sore?"

"My legs do hurt a bit from all of the walking..." She spoke slowly as she adjusted on the couch. The massage was almost perfect, had the sofa not been so damned uncomfortable.

Natsu almost screamed in joy as he recieved his permission to explore a bit more. He ran his hands up each calf, slowly massaging the muscles as he crept up to her knee. Juvia groaned in relief as he seemed to massage all of her aches and pains out of her muscles, and Natsu savoured every moment he could. He took his time with each leg, enjoying the way that the woman began to lean herself in to his touch. He realised that he had to play everything very carefully from this point forward. He had gotten her to trust him to an extent, and he didn't want to drive her away by saying something stupid or reckless.

With all of these things in mind, he carefully worded his next move.

"Hey Juvia." He spoke lowly, catching the woman's attention as he paused his massage.

"Yes Natsu?" She asked, trying to stop herself from demanding him to continue his massage.

"How would you like to go on a job together some time?"

"You want Juvia to join your team?" She asked, ready to shoot him down immediately. Her heart still hurt at the thought of working with Gray. Natsu shook his head.

"No. I meant just you and me." He spoke as he stared in to her blue eyes. Juvia raised a delicate brow.

"Why do you want to work with Juvia? Our magic doesn't exactly complement each other."

"Well yeah, but I feel like we don't exactly know each other too well, and I'd like to fix that." He spoke with a grin. Juvia looked at him in suspicion for a moment.

"You're not going to put Juvia in a maid outfit like you did with Lucy, are you?"

"No!" Natsu exclaimed, more trying to get the image of her in a maid outfit out of his mind. "No I just mean going on some standard jobs. Bandit camps and things like that."

Juvia paused in thought. She did want to stregthen her friendship with her friends, and Natsu had just suggested the perfect solution. "Juvia supposes that she could go on a few jobs with you every now and then. It would be good for growing our friendship!" The woman replied happily, her drunken blush making Natsu chuckle and grin back at her.

"That's awesome Juvia. How about we grab a job tomorrow?" Juvia scratched her cheek slowly before looking to the dragon slayer with a smirk.

"That is fine with Juvia, so long as Natsu finishes giving Juvia a massage!" She lifted her foot and pressed it against the man's shoulder. Natsu chuckled and grabbed her foot before rubbing it once more. Juvia let out a happy moan as Natsu continued to rub her feet and calves.

After a while, the room was filled with Juvia's small snores. Natsu lightly traced circles on the top of the woman's foot as he stared out the window in thought, only to blink in shock as the first rays of sunlight began to poke through the window. Settling himself a little more comfortably in to the couch, he decided to try and get as much sleep as he could before the day officially started.


Excruciating pain in her brain.

That is what greeted Juvia when the woman finally woke up. She groaned as she covered her eyes, doing her best to shield herself from the bright lighting of the room. She kept her eyes covered while she listened to the room around her, idly noting that she could hear birds chirping quite loudly. She frowned as her thoughts began to line up. She remembered yesterday at the guild, then Natsu walked her home, then she woke up and wandered the city, and then she ended up at Natsu's house. She vaguely remembered asking for a drink, and then everything going blank after that. She slowly removed her hand from her gaze, squinting as she took in the room around her.

She noticed immediately that she was laying on the man's uncomfortable couch, and her boots had come off. She wiggled her toes and rotated her feet, noting that the soreness from before was missing. Not putting any thought in to why, she quickly pulled her boots on and stood, wincing as her bones popped and groaned from being on the couch for so long. She slowly walked towards the door, figuring that she would thank the man for allowing her to drink his booze and sleep over when she next saw him, whenever that would be.

She opened the door, and couldn't help but wince at the sunlight that hit her gaze. She gave herself a moment to adjust, slowly breathing in and out, and smiling slightly at the scent around her. Nature seemed to have enjoyed her rain yesterday, if the flowers in full bloom were anything to go by.

"I told you that everything gets greener after it rains here." Juvia turned a startled gaze to Natsu as he walked out from behind his house, clad only in his boxer shorts and rubbing a towel through his hair. Juvia blushed as she took note of the man's physique, turning quickly when she finally met his gaze, though the man didn't seem to call her out on looking.

"Juvia doesn't know what you're talking about." She murmured to the man. Natsu finished toweling out his hair and hung the damp cloth over his clothesline before turning back to the woman.

"You don't? What do you remember about last night?"

"Juvia came over, and we sat down and Juvia had a bit to drink." She turned a small glare to the man when he snorted. "What?" She huffed out, a small blush on her face.

"You drank more than a bit." He chuckled as he grabbed a clean shirt off of his clothesline and tugged it on. "You damn near killed half a bottle of whiskey on your own."

Juvia flushed in embarrassment. "Juvia is sorry." She bowed repeatedly to Natsu, who only waved off her apology.

"Don't worry about it. You needed to vent, and the whiskey helped. Plus, it was kinda nice talking to you..." He admitted while facing away from her, grabbing a pair of pants and stepping out of the woman's gaze and behind his house.

"What all did we talk about?" The woman asked curiously, ignoring the small pain in her head in favor of interest. She heard Natsu chuckle before stepping out from behind the house, his shorts being slung in to a barrel on the side of the house.

"Not too much. You got mad at me for hearing your plans when you talk to yourself, and I talked about myself and some of my secrets, and then I gave you a massage."

"WHAT?!" The woman shrieked, a fierce blush on her face. She had never let a man lay his hands on her, let alone caress her in such a way. To find out that the man known for being clumsy had touched her so intimately, had her a little nervous.

"Nothing like that!" Natsu held his hands up as he spoke quickly. "You said your feet hurt, and I offered to massage them in exchange for not telling you one of my secrets. You agreed and I did that until you fell asleep."

Juvia was torn between striking the man and thanking him. On one hand, he had touched her in a way that she had been saving for a lover. On the other hand, he had let her in to his home at a ridiculous hour and drink a good portion of what seemed like expensive alcohol. She pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed. "Very well, Juvia supposes she could forgive you. Was there anything else that happened?"

"Kinda..." Natsu spoke. "You agreed to go on a few solo jobs with me. You said it would be a good way to 'grow our friendship' or something like that. Do you still want to do that?" Juvia raised a brow.

Was that desperation in his voice?

She chose to ignore it, blaming the hangover for likely messing with her hearing, and turned back to the man. "Juvia supposes that if she agreed to it, even if she was drunk, then that means that she will do it. It isn't like Juvia has much to do now..." The woman thought solemly as she thought of all of the pictures of Gray that she would have to put away in her apartment, and the free time she would have from no longer chasing after the man's affection. She smiled a little at the grin that Natsu shot her.

"Awesome! How about I head down to the guild and grab a job, and you get all packed up and meet me back here?"

"Juvia doesn't really have a travel pack." The woman lied, not at all thrilled to walk back to her dorm and see all of the pictures of her former beloved.

"Okay..." Natsu paused in thought for a moment. "Well then I guess just pick up some supplies in town and meet me back here. Any job preference?"

"Nothing too difficult." The woman spoke as her headache returned. "Juvia's head still hurts."

"Yeah that'll happen after a night of drinking. Grab something to eat along the way as well. I'll let Mira know that we're heading out on a job together when I find something. See you in a bit?"

"Yeah." The woman spoke lowly as she massaged her temple and began to walk towards the city. Natsu watched her go before jogging towards the guild himself.

"You're going on a job with Juvia?" Mirajane asked with a raised brow. Natsu huffed and crossed his arms.

"Yeah." He grunted out to the white haired woman. "I go on jobs with people all the time. Why is this time so different?"

"Because it's with Juvia and ONLY Juvia." The white haired woman deadpanned at the man. Natsu tried his best to keep the blush off his face, no matter how small, and his scowl firm. If Mira detected a hint of emotion then she would be on him like a shark to blood, but it seemed as if Natsu's luck had run out. He recognized that glint in her eyes almost immediately, and did his best to cover his tracks.

"Mira, no."

"Oh you don't need to worry, Natsu. I won't get in between-"


"You and your new-"

"Mira, stop!"

"Girlfriend!" She finished cheerily. Natsu smacked his hand against his face as he snatched the job request from her hand. Mira winked at him. "Relax. I saw what happened yesterday as well. It's nice, what you're doing for her I mean, and I hope it helps get her mind off of everything."

"Thank Mira, I hope that-"

"But I wonder what your babies will look like!" The woman squealed to herself, stars in her eyes as she imagined what Natsu and Juvia's children would look like. Natsu rolled his eyes and turned to walk away, but Mira wrapped her hands around his arms and dragged him back.

"Uhhh... Mira-"

"Shut up. What do you think they'll look like?" She asked, her eyes gleaming dangerously. Natsu gulped and leaned in to whisper in the woman's ear.

"My eyes, her hair, and they'll all call you 'Auntie Mira' if you shut your mouth and pretend that we didn't bring this up." He hissed in to her ear. Mira backed away with widened eyes, not believing what she had heard. She had grabbed him in hopes of making him uncomfortable, but for him to respond so calmly.

That meant...

She squeaked quietly when she met his stern glare. He raised a single finger up to his lips in a hushing motion, and Mira nodded furiously before running off in to the kitchen. She heard Natsu snort and walk out of the guild

She wouldn't ruin the possibility of becoming a doting auntie by teasing the dragon slayer.

Natsu met Juvia back at his house, and couldn't help but snort at the woman that greeted him. Her packpack still had the price tag on it, as did the sleeping bag attached to it. She had changed out of her rumpled dress from the night before in to a pair of khaki survival pants and a light blue button up shirt. She also wore a ridiculous looking tan survival hat. She gave a small glare to the dragon slayer.

"Juvia told the cashier that she needed some survival and camping gear. This is what he brought Juvia. He said it all comes together in the set." She huffed as she adjusted the hat and crossed her arms. Natsu gave a chuckle and walked forward.

"Did you buy your gear from the sporting goods store?"

"Of course!" She replied indignantly.

"That's your problem. Most of the people who work there don't go camping or hunting, and just point you to the most expensive stuff they got."

"So Juvia spent all of her money for nothing?!" The woman asked angrily. Natsu rubbed the back of his head.

"Not really." He said carefully when her glare turned to him. "It will work just fine, and most of it is pretty durable because you spent so much on it, but you could have gotten some cheaper gear that would've done just as well." He walked inside and came back out with his signature pack. "This one costed me about 100 jewels, and I bought it over a decade ago. I've had to patch it up a few times, but it's still perfectly fine. Anyway, I got us a job."

"What kind?" She asked. Natsu pulled out the flyer from his vest and handed it to the woman. She grabbed in and opened it up while Natsu spoke.

"Monster elimination. Pretty simple, and it's about a day away from here. Sound good?"

"Yeah. The reward will at least cover the money that Juvia spent on all of this." She gestured to herself. Natsu smiled at the woman and walked by her and on to the path, grabbing the ridiculous hat off of her head as he went. He heard the woman give an indignant cry and walk quickly after him. "Give Juvia back her hat."

"Nah. It looks goofy. Besides," He turned a grin on her. "You look better without it."

Juvia tried her best to ignore the small flutter in her chest at the man's actions.

"So what's the plan now?"

"I dunno." The pink haired man shrugged and responded. "Wanna go grab another job at the guild?"

"Don't you ever want to go on a job with Lucy and Erza and the rest of your team?" Natsu noticed the way that Juvia hadn't said Gray's name. It had been three months since he had convinced her to go with him on a job, and it had been the happiest he had been in months. Juvia had turned out to be an excellent partner for him. Her magic being a direct contrast to his meant that she was easily able to run damage control, allowing him to fight even harder. It was also pretty nice that Juvia wasn't too much of a confrontational person, often preferring to stand back and provide ranged support for the dragon slayer, and was more than happy to make sure that he didn't burn down a city and cost them their reward. Natsu was glad that the two of them had grown closer over the months, to the point that many considered Natsu's old team to have been disbanded by the dragon slayer in favor of forming a partnership with the rain woman, but Natsu supposed that he should probably do something with his actual team.

Lucy and Erza seemed to be fine without the dragon slayer, though they both seemed to miss their friend. Gray however, didn't really show any emotion to the pink haired man other than their usual brawls. Natsu always claimed that that's how he knew Gray missed him, even if the asshole wouldn't admit it. Juvia could remember the beaming smile that the dragon slayer gave her after she offered to bandage him up after one of his many brawls. She could still remember getting back to the guild to see the heavily bruised Gray sitting at the bar, an annoyed Erza and Gajeel standing nearby as well. She watched the two look in surprise at the water mage before practicvally throwing Gray at the woman's feet. The man gave off a mumbled apology, and Juvia akwardly accepted it. It still didn't save Gray from the drastic beating that Erza gave the man afterwards, claiming that the apology was half assed and pathetic. It took poor Wendy nearly a full hour to heal the ice mage after Erza and Gajeel had finished with him, but the ice mage had at least been friendlier with her.

"I guess... It's not as much fun though." Natsu pouted to the rain woman. Juvia had to turn away to hide her blushing face from the man. She couldn't deny that she had greatly enjoyed her time with the pink haired dragon slayer. He was fun to talk with on jobs, and actually wanted to know about Juvia. She told him of growing up, and how difficult it was to make friends. She spoke of her failed relationship with Bora, and had to laugh when Natsu bragged about kicking the man's ass all those years ago. She somewhat brushed over her time in Phantom Lord, though it had more to do with not having much to say about the guild, and Natsu didn't pry too much. She enjoyed hearing the tales of Natsu's childhood, and his relationship with Igneel, as well as all of the jobs he did at the guild. Her heart ached for all of the dragon slayers when she remembered the death of the dragons at the hand of Acnologia.

She had regained the memories of her drunken night with the dragon slayer after the first few weeks and had enjoyed teasing the man over his former crush, as well as pester him over who the mystery woman of his heart was, though she had a guess in the back of her mind. She never liked going down the path of guessing who it was, it either made her afraid or jealous. She had come to know the dragon slayer, and couldn't help but admire who he was. He was strong and loyal, kind and handsome, and what he had lacked in brains, he more than made up with a heart of gold.

Any woman would be lucky to have him.

She felt afraid to guess who the woman was, because more often than not, it was her. Why else would the man spend so much time with her? Why else would he get so close to her, and get to know her so well? The logical part of her mind practically screamed his interest to her, but there was always that small piece of doubt that seemed to devour her. It would keep her awake at night, telling her that his kindness was pity, and his actions were just sympathetic. Her heart grew afraid of the possibility that it was all a ruse on his part, despite knowing that he would never do something so unkind. She had taken to creating a sort of wall around herself in an effort to protect her fragile heart. She had sworn after Gray that she wouldn't rush to feel any kind of love for another man, but he had wormed his way in. Maybe it was how he had offered to burn all of the pictures of Gray that she had taken down in her apartment, or maybe it was the way that he would do everything to get her to smile, or even the way that he had convinced her to spend the afternoon fishing in the forest behind his house. She treasured that memory quite a bit even though they didn't catch anything and most of the afternoon was spent in silence, both people just enjoying the other's company.

But then there was the emotion she loathed: jealousy.

It had the strangest way of rearing it's ugly head when she least wanted it to. It had first happened a month in. They had just finished clearing a bandit camp, and the village chief and his daughter were all too happy to thank the two mages with a feast and celebration. Juvia had noticed the chief's daughter walk up to Natsu and speak with him, the shy girl was a blushing mess as she asked the man to dance with her that night. Juvia hadn't realised that she was losing control of herself until a loud thunderclap echoed across the sky, silencing all of the festivities. Natsu excused himself from the party, claiming that he and Juvia needed to move on to the next job, and the two were off shortly after that. Juvia had never been more glad for the rain when the two of them left that village. It had been small things after that, things that were almost unnoticable that would irritate her. A thankful speech from a beautiful woman, or a hug that lasted perhaps a few seconds too long. One woman had even been daring enough to plant a kiss on the dragon slayer's cheek and give him a sly wink. Juvia had learned from the first incident to control her magic, but the urge to call someone 'Love Rival' seemed to have resurfaced with a righteous fury. She felt embarrassed when she had called that woman who kissed his cheek a love rival, only to meet Natsu's gaze a second later, and see his goofy smile. Juvia didn't know if it was that woman's kiss that did that to him... Or perhaps he had heard her...

Juvia shook her head and returned to the reality of a pouting dragon slayer staring at her. She sighed dramatically at the man. "Juvia supposes that you should spend some time with your team on jobs occasionally, but Juvia wouldn't be opposed to grabbing dinner with you occasionally to hear about your work."

"You mean... Like a date?" Natsu asked somewhat hesitantly. Juvia's only response was to face forward with a heavy blush on her cheeks. She gave the barest nod, and nearly jumped out of her skin at the beaming grin he gave her. "Great! How does dinner tomorrow night sound?"

"T-That sounds lovely!" Juvia stuttered out as Natsu chuckled and grabbed her hand, the woman just now noticing that they were just outside the guild.

"That's good. I'm all fired up already." He beamed at her. Juvia couldn't help but return the smile with a smaller, but equally happy, one of her own.

They dated for three months before their first kiss.

It was chaste, small and simple, but it stole Juvia's breath away. It had happened after a simple night out between the two. Natsu had taken her to a local bistro, and the two talked about his most recent mission with his team. Juvia ate her food slowly while watching the man talk animatedly in his seat, his arms flailing with each action.

She had found that she enjoyed having these conversations with Natsu. She would let him be as expressive as he wanted, and he would return the favor. Her heart warmed at how receptive Natsu had been to all of her small quirks, small details that many would call her weird for, and he seemed to love them. He encouraged her, claiming that it's what made her Juvia, and that's who he wanted. She could still vaguely remember his shout of surprise when she melted in to a puddle on the ground. When she came back to her senses and reformed herself, Natsu was still standing there with a huge grin on his face.

They had finished their meals and walked around the dimly lit streets, hand in hand. Juvia enjoyed walking through the city in the day time more, but given that Natsu hadn't even returned to the guild until the sun was setting, she took what she could to spend time with her boyfriend. She clenched his hand tighter when the word boyfriend went through her mind, and Natsu squeezed back, his own way of assuring her that he wasn't going anywhere. She pulled herself closer to the dragon slayer's side, enjoying his warmth while they walked aimlessly and talked.

All good things needed to end, and soon Natsu was walking the sleepy water mage back to her room at Fairy Hills. The two of them stood in the doorway to the dorms, both holding hands and exchanging small pleasantries. Juvia had just bid Natsu goodnight when he quickly latched on to her hand.

"Hold on Juvia..." He spoke a bit nervously. Juvia turned to the pink haired man and rose a delicate eyebrow.

"What's the matter Natsu-kun?"

"Do you... Would you mind if I tried something real quick?"

"Juvia supposes it would be okay." The woman spoke with a small blush at the smile that Natsu gave her. He leaned forward, his face just in front of hers, his mouth less than a few inches away. Juvia felt her face heat up when she felt his warm breath wash over her.

"Would it be okay... if I kissed you?"

Juvia's response was to close the distance, her lips pressing against the man's. Natsu groaned as he felt her soft lips caressing his, his hands coming to rest on her hips. Juvia wasn't fairing any better, if her small groan and arms coming up and resting around his neck was anything to go by. The two broke away a moment later, both seemingly out of breath from a kiss that lasted less than five seconds. Natsu rested his forehead against hers and stared in to her eyes, noting that hers were staring right back. He grinned weakly at her.

"So... How was that?" He asked sheepishly. Juvia chuckled.

"Juvia wouldn't mind doing that more..." She responded, an impish smirk on her face. Natsu was about to respond, but a loud banging interrupted the couple. They both turned to see the elderly caretaker of the Fairy Hills dorm glaring at them through the door. The pair split up quickly, Natsu booking it for his house when the woman opened the door and started yelling about calling Erza, and Juvia sprinting by the woman and up the stairs to her room before the old lady could yell at her as well.

Juvia quickly got to her room and threw the door open before diving inside and using a water tether to close the door behind her. She tossed herself on to her bed and grabbed a pillow before mushing it to her face to contain her squeal of joy.

She had kissed her boyfriend!

She hadn't even done that with Bora, happy that her first kiss had been with a man as kind as Natsu. Her heart felt giddy as she imagined all of the thing to come next. They held hands and hugged often, but now they could add kissing to those things to do. Soon, she would be doing more... adult... things. Juvia blushed as she let her mind wander to all of the erotic images that she could see her and Natsu in. She wondered what his voice sounded like on the cusp of release, if his breathing would stutter as he tried to hold in his moans or if he would let her hear his calls of passion. She rubbed her thighs together as she pictured the look on his face when it was contorted in pleasure, her name falling from his lips. Words of worship to her body, begging her not to stop, pleading with her as the two reached their cusp and tumbled in to the void together. Juvia shot up from her bed and ran towards her bathroom.

She needed a shower... A very cold shower.

Natsu climbed out of the pond behind his house, more annoyed than anything. His magic didn't really allow him to become cold, not after all of that training he did in the north anyway.

"Stupid old hag!" The man moaned to himself as he stumbled in to his house and fell face first in to his hammock. Happy peered at him from his smaller hammock above the man.

"Juvia isn't an old hag!" Happy defended the woman. Natsu rolled over and grunted at the blue feline.

"Not her. The stupid door lady at the dorms. She had to go and interrupt our moment!" The man pouted while crossing his arms. Happy stared at the man before floating down and standing on his chest.

"That's because you weren't being sneaky!" The exceed took his held up his paws to cover his face. "If you wish to express your love in hostile territory, than you must be sneaky like a ninja!"

"Aye!" Natsu stood to his feet and launching Happy off of him, the Exceed sprouted it's wings to avoid falling to the ground. When Happy looked back to the man, he saw that Natsu had already wrapped his scraf around his face and raised two fingers in front of his face. "We must be ninjas of love!" The pink haired man yelled. Happy raised his paw to the air.

"Aye! Love ninja!" he cheered as the two began to jump around Natsu's cottage.

The two continued to play ninja for several more minutes before settling down for bed.

After their kiss, Natsu and Juvia made it a point to break away from their friends for a while to get more acquainted to each other. Natsu learned that Juvia liked when the man kissed and nibbled her neck hard enough to leave marks, and Juvia learned that Natsu loved when she would scratch his back.

It took nearly two more months of exploration before they had sex for the first time.

It had been akward at first, the dragon slayer fighting his every instinct to lose control and dominate the woman, and Juvia doing her best to adjust to the dragon slayer. While he wasn't huge, he definitely wasn't small. He stretched her better than her fingers, and deeper than she dared to explore on herself. She felt herself become drunk on the heat that the man seemed to eminate deep in to her core. It spread from her center to behind her eyes, and she could only cry out for more. The two had established a clumsy rhythm that they carried in to their release, both mages clinging on to each other in ecstacy. The two fell asleep in each other's arms that night, and slept in the next day as well.

As time passed, they learned what the other liked and didn't and worked it in to their lovemaking. Where most women would consider gentle sex to be romantic, Natsu found that Juvia liked it on the rougher side. He was all to happy to give in to the woman's wishes. Juvia was happy that she had picked such an attentive man to fall in love with. She smiled to herself as she wandered towards the guild, the early morning sun just having begun it's quest across the sky. She was going to meet her boyfriend at the guild and the two of them were going to grab a job and vanish for a week or so. Happy was out with Wendy and Carla, and Natsu's team had all decided to take some down time. She was brought out of her musings when a hand covered her mouth and she found herself being dragged in to an alley and forced against the wall, her ample chest pressing against the wall. She struggled in her captor's grip, but lost her fight when she heard his voice, like honey, in her ears.

"Where are you going off to so early in the morning, pretty lady?" She turned to face him when his hand let go of her mouth, but his grip on her wouldn't allow her.

"Juvia was just going to the guild for some work." She whined out. She felt his hand roaming all over her body, cupping and squeezing her most sensitive areas. She bit her lip to contain a moan when his hand began to unbutton her coat and caress her flesh directly. "Please, mister strong bad man, don't hurt Juvia." She pressed herself backwards, both people groaning when she rubbed her ass against his hardened length.

"I wouldn't dream of it." He growled in to her ear before turning her around. The sun hadn't shone on the city yet, but it was still light enough for Juvia to see the head of pink hair that accompanied that rough voice that made her tingle. "How could I ever hurt the woman I love?" Natsu groaned as he began to plant kisses on the woman's neck. Juvia moaned as she tangled her hands in his hair as he nipped and sucked on the pale flesh, making sure to leave marks.

He loved marking his territory to warn away any potential suitors.

He continued to fumble with the buttons of her coat, knowing how angry she would be if he just tore it open... again. In the heat of the moment, she loved it, but afterwards, she would scold him. He saw the reason why every time he got her coat open, grinning when her lace bra and panties greeted him. He trailed his hands down her shoulders, tracing the tips of his fingers over her flesh as he cupped her breasts for a moment before continuing south. Juvia squirmed in his grip as he ran his hands down her sides before ghosting over her rear as he sank to his knees. His hands ran over the pale flesh of her thighs before encountering her stockings, dark and silky under his fingertips. He traced each leg in silent worship as he stared up at the woman, catching her lust filled eyes as they rested in his hair.

"We should stop. The guild will be open soon and we need to pick a good job and-"

"We've got time." Natsu chuckled as he leaned in and burrowed his nose in her panty covered core and inhaled deeple, enjoying the way that the woman shivered and clenched her hands in his hair. He loved when she would pull on his hair and stare in to his eyes with her clouded gaze. He loved this side of Juvia, the side that only he could see, and he made sure to enjoy it. He grabbed her panties and slowly pulled them down her legs before making her step out of them, stuffing them in his pocket while returning his attention to her.

She was perfect.

She was cleanly shaven, and smooth as silk. He licked his lips as he stared at her core before turning his gaze up to her. "We've got plenty of time." He growled as he moved one of her legs over his shoulder. "Besides... I'm thirsty." Juvia had to bite her lips to contain her wail of pleasure when she felt his sinful tongue burrow in to her. She cursed that he knew all of her weaknesses while she kept his hair in a death grip and rolled her hips in to his face. Natsu would hum gently while his tongue busied itself refamiliarizing itself with her quim,

and she hated that she loved every moment of it.

She was Juvia Lockser, former S Class mage of Phantom Lord, and she was in a dirty alley having her pussy eaten by her boyfriend. And she loved it. She loved the thrill that public sex gave her, that any person could catch them at any moment. Both her and Natsu were very well known around Magnolia, so it wouldn't be that hard for someone to identify them. She felt herself clenching and her vision going white when Natsu's tongue began to lap at her clit. Her head shot up and her mouth opened in a silent scream as she came, flooding Natsu's mouth with nectar. She was brought out of her haze several minutes later when her boyfriend gave her a deep kiss, their tongues mingling and Juvia felt herself shiver in delight when she tasted herself. She broke the kiss to look at her boyfriend while massaging his cock through his boxers.

"You're so hard, Natsu-kun."

"Y-yeah." He stuttered to the woman. Juvia smiled before lightly pushing the mage back. Natsu stared in confusion before Juvia turned around and pressed her hands against the wall, justting out her bottom to Natsu.

"Juvia made you all hard. Please punish Juvia and use her to you heart's content... Natsu-sama." She purred to him.

Natsu lost himself after that. She knew that calling him Natsu-sama was a turn on for him, and she loved to use it in the bedroom. She never called him that in front of others after Natsu told her that they were partners and equals, and that if anything he should call her mistress. Juvia nearly took him in the middle of the diner when he called her mistress, and they both discovered that they had a similar kink in being in charge. They took turns, and apparently it was his.

He slid her coat over her lucious backside, taking a moment to give it a small spank, much to Juvia's delight, before pulling himself out of his shorts and lining up with her entrance and burying himself in her in one swift movement. Juvia couldn't hold her moan this time, not when he filled her so fully. He didn't give her a moment to bring control back to herself before he was pistoning in and out of her as rough and hard as they could afford to be. Juvia felt her tongue lull out of her mouth as an orgasm rocked her, her wanton moans ringing out across the empty streets. Natsu had to slow down when she tightened around him, but couldn't stop himself completely. He held her tight as he continued to thrust in to her, the sound of slapping skin becoming a hypnotising rhythm to help distract the dragon slayer from reaching his end too soon. All of his efforts seemed pointless when Juvia ran a hand down to cup his balls. He groaned as she began to massage him, and she took the opportunity to lean her head back against his shoulder.

"You feel so big inside of Juvia, Natsu-sama." She bit her lip and moaned again as another orgasm rocked through her. Natsu was reduced to a growling mess, having succumb to his basic instincts as a man AND a dragon. Juvia continued to egg the man on. "Come on, Natsu-sama. Juvia wants you to fill her up with your hot cum. Please! Juvia needs it so bad!" She practically screamed the end of her sentence when she felt Natsu grind his hips in to her, his release dumping in to her womb. Juvia felt herself cum again as his searing lava poured in to her, and had to hiss when he buried his teeth in to her neck and clamped tightly. She heard his muffled roar as he clenched harder, leaving no doubt that she now had a huge mark on her neck. The two lovers spent several minutes panting and lazily running their hands over each other's bodies before recomposing themselves. Juvia turned back to Natsu.

"May Juvia have her underwear back?"

Natsu fished the underwear out of his pocket and began to twirl it on her finger. "This underwear? Hmmm... I dunno... What'll you give me?" His thoughts were broken when she was in his face, her hand clasping the underwear and her breath washing over his ear.

"Juvia doesn't know, but she'll think of something to give you in the future. Does that sound nice?" Natsu watched her pull her underwear on before she stumbled out of the alley and towards the guild. Natsu grinned before sauntering after her.

"Oh yeah." He chuckled as he watched her try her best to walk normally away from the scene of the crime without facing him. "The future does sound nice... So long as you're mine." He grinned when he caught her furious blush, having heard his words. He jogged to catch up with her, and the two walked forward, hand in hand, to the bright future they shared.


So this is a one shot I wrote for a follower of one of my other stories. This one is for Rubius. I hope it came out well, I wrote this thing probably six times, each time it was around 14-20k words.

And I deleted them all.

I punish myself, because if I'm not happy with it, I don't just go through and edit certain parts, I usually delete the whole damned thing. Each of those other times just had such a weak platform to go off of, given that this is a surprisingly hard pairing to write for. Like, you want to like Gray, so you don't want to paint him as more of a dick than he already is, but it's not easy. It's easy to write the rejection, but it's also not easy at the same time if that makes any sense. I'm going to be honest that I'm not 100% happy with this story, but it passed all of my initial checklists, so it is what it is.

I'd say more, but I'm very tired

Read and review and I'm going to crawl in my blankets for four hours of sleep until work, because I hate myself.