Chapter 1: Anima
Alanza arrives in Earthland.
Alanza was having a bad day. A really bad day, and a bad week, and a bad month, and a bad year, and while she had seen moments of light her whole life kinda sucked epically. She got laid off today. The company just went under and Bam she was unemployed. That led to her going home early only to discover her already jobless live in boyfriend balls deep in the neighbor chick who he had apparently already gotten pregnant. She hadn’t even had the chance to say ‘honey I’m home’ before he told her they were done. No shit they were done. She had kicked him, hard, in the balls and then right between the eyes. She so wanted to nope right out of her day.
Now she was driving on a back country road going nowhere. She couldn’t go home, that’s where she was running from. Most people go to mom on a day like this, but hers was a drugged out whore of a woman who didn’t even know how many kids she had most days. Her dad had been a decent sort. Military. Met her mom during one of her sober phases. His grave had just started sprouting grass last week though. Motorcycle accident. She could go see one of her half siblings, but they were pretty much on an obligatory Christmas card basis. So yeah. Driving nowhere.
Then she saw it. A dark funnel in the sky right above her. It hadn’t been there a moment ago. The sky had been clear and blue. You can’t outrun a toenado even in a car. You were supposed to jump in a ditch or something, right? So that's what she did. She slammed on her brakes, jumped out of her car and jumped into the ditch. She could see the anomily in the sky now. It wasn't a tornado. For one it was backwards and kinda... Shiney. It looked vaguely familiar, but she was to busy freaking out about the fact that it was pulling her into the sky without touching anything around her to study it much further. She had wanted to nope out of her day. Looks like she was about to succeed.
And then she was falling. She might have been screaming. She wasn't sure. She wasn't afraid of dying, only of hitting the ground. Her fall seemed to be slowing the closer she got to the ground though. She thought it was all in her head, but she came to a complete stop about three feet above the ground. She gave a startled yelp when she suddenly dropped those last three feet and then groaned. Three feet was a long way do be dropped flat on your face.
“I am so terribly sorry, ma’am! I have no idea what went wrong. You shouldn’t be here!” Damn right she shouldn’t be here. She should be at home, alone, eating chocolate icecream with a small shovel. “Are you alright?” She rolled over with a groan and blinked at the blue avove her. It wasn’t the sky, it was... She blinked again. A blue man. Dark blue pants, dark blue shirt, bright blue hair tucked under a dark blue hat. He had a green kercheif mask on and... was that a cape? He looked slightly familiar, like the sky anomaly.
“Uhh... I think I’m ok. I hurt, but I’m not broken.” She could see releif in his dark eyes. She also saw hints of red peeking out from under his mask. That's when it hit her. She was either looking at the best cosplay of Mystogan of Fairy Tail ever or she had been sucked through an anima. “Spell misfire on you?”
“I was attempting to... Retreive something that had been stolen. This was my first attempt with this spell and the portal may not have connected to where I intended.” An anima. She had just been sucked into another universe.
“One question. Can you send me back?” His flinch said it all. “Ok then. Ok. I'm ok. It's OK. It’s all good. It’s going to be fine.” She pushed herself up into a sitting position and blinked at the physics defying shape of Mystogan’s pants. For some reason that was the thing that tipped her over the edge. She threw up. Right there at his feet.
Chapter 2: Talking
Alanza gets to know Mystogan.
Please be aware that Alanza has no designated ship yet. Mystogan just happens to have been how she got to earth land and her first contact with Fairy Tail.
Turns out Mystogan was a socially inept sweetheart. The guy really needed to spend more time actually interacting with people. He obviously had no clue how to handle her meltdown. He seemed to be even more panicked than Alanza was. In her mind she kept picturing him as a flapping peackock as he ran around in his dramatic blue clothes. He moved her next to the fire as soon as it was set up. Water was produced as well as jerky and a tent was set up.
“Mystogan, for heavens sake sit down. I’m ok now, I was just a bit overwhelmed for a minute.” He didn’t sit. He did stop flapping around though.
“How do you know my name. I know I didn’t tell you and I just pulled you from another dimention so you shouldn’t know my name.” Oops.
“That... Is a long story best told only once.”
“What do you mean?”
“Let's put it this way. I know a lot of things about a lot of people. Gramps should hear my story.” She thought for a minute. Who else should know. Mira could handle it. Unless romance or babies were involved the woman handled everything with a smile. Erza... The redhead was intense, but she would look at the situation logically. Probably. Laxus. If Mystogan was still around then... If Laxus was still in the guild he would be a mental mess. Maybe telling him would help. “The rest of Fairy Tail’s S-class wizards should be there for my story. Would you be willing to take me to the guild?”
“Why would I trust you?” His voice was harsh and those dark eyes sent a chill up her spine.
“I am not a threat to your guild. I can help.”
“Why do we need your help?” Magic pressure. She had never really understood what that ment. She did now. It was like someone was sitting on her chest or the air itself was syrup. She could literally see the whisps of black curling through the air around the previously gentle man. She needed a reason that would make him Want to trust her. As secrative as he was she knew he would always protect his guildmates, his family.
“Because you don't want your father to torture Natsu and Wendy nearly to death, Prince Jellal.” His eyes blew wide.
“How... How do you know that?” He suddenly yanked her up off the ground and glared into her eyes. Her life flashed before her eyes. This man was powerful enough to stand toe to tow with Laxus Dreyer, future Wizard Saint. “How do you know about Wendy!” So Wendy wasn’t with Fairy Tail yet. Or at least Mystogan didn’t know about it. Pre-Nirvana timeline probably.
“I told you. I’m only telling this story once and Gramps needs to hear it first hand.” She really hoped he accepted that and she wasn’t about to die. She still wasn’t afraid of dying, however she was in her very favorite tv show right now and would really prefere having the chance to live this adventure. He lowered her until her feet could touch the ground again.
“You call Master Makarov Gramps. Why?”
“Because that is who he is.” That and Makarov Dreyer was the grandfather she had never had. He was a super sucky parent as evidenced by the two men he had actually raised and the mental issues of some of his ‘brats’, but an awesome grandparent figure.
“Well,” His eyes seemed to smile then. “I can’t really argue with that. Just tell me. Is Wendy in danger?”
“How long till the next Fantasia parade?” That would answer a lot of timeline questions for her without giving any more information away.
“Fantasia isn’t until October.” Pre Fantasia then. Laxus was still at the guild. She might be able to ward off the Battle of Fairy Tail.
“Then Wendy is safe.” It had actually just occured to her that it could be pre Lucy even and she had no clue. Knowing now wouldn’t change anything though. “Will you please take me to the guild?” Time was actually of the essense. Laxus was a ticking time bomb best diffused as soon as possible. On top of that a lot happened in the months between Lucy joining and Fantasia. If Alanza was careful she could right a lot of wrongs before they even happened. She could save people, prevent them from suffering. She had to be careful though.
“Yes.” Mystogan released her and sat down on the fireside log. “So. You know my name. Are you going to introduce yourself?”
“Oh! I’m so sorry. My name is Alanza, Alanza Brown.”
“Are you a wizard?” She snorted and dropped down next to him.
“No. Well, I wasn't. I guess I should do some serious meditating and see if I can build up an ethernano pool or whatever it's called.” Dates, numbers, and official terms were not her strong suit. She was a practiçal application person. As an emancipated minor her highschool grades were barely acceptable, but the supervisors at both her part time jobs had loved her. At least she thought they had. Not that any of that mattered anymore.
“Why are you suddenly choosing to become a wizard?”
“There is no magic in my world. Maybe it used to exist, but it doesn’t anymore. I plan to stay with Fairy Tail though and don’t want to accidently die during a guild brawl.” He actually laughed. He had a nice laugh.
“Makes sense. Want some help?”
“Let me try on my own first. After we get to the guildhall and I tell my story if I still haven’t made progress then I might ask for help.”
“I don’t spend a lot of time at the guild. Once I take you there I might not stay long enough to help you.”
“I know. You are antisocial as shit. And let me tell you. That is not good for you and it is not good for your guild. I have no right to tell you how to live your life and I know how important the anima thing is. However once I tell my story you might want to rethink your stance.” She dropped her head down to stretch out her stiff neck and froze. “Well shit.”
Her hadn’t noticed before, but now that the adrenaline had worn off she sure did. The hair that had fallen over her shoulder was orange. Not the mostly brown, slightly blond, hints of red but only in the sunshine color it used to be, but a bright, tangarine color of orange. It was also longer, almost to her waist. She ran her hands over her arms and patted herself down. She was quite frankly disappointed that she was the same size and shape that she had been. When she saw her hair she had hoped, but no such luck. She still had the broad shoulders and thick bones her German father had given her paired with the less than satisfactory five foot one and a half inch stature she got from her tiny Irish mother.
“What color are my eyes!” Mystogan was looking at her like she was crazy.
“How green? And do I still have those damn freckles?”
“Really green? Why do you hate your freckles? And why are you asking me that?”
“Because my hair used to be mostly brown and so did my eyes. The orange and the green were just, like, hints. And my freckles make my face look eternally dirty.”
“No they don't. They are adorable.” Alanza blinked. She could swear there was a hint of a blush showing above Mystogans mask.“Ugh... I mean...”
“Thank you. That's sweet. You really are a sweetheart you know.” His eyes were wide and she was certain now that he was blushing.
“Uhhh... I... I don't...err... What?”
“And adorable. Sweet, cute, and adorable.” He hid his already masked face behind his hands.
“Oh, Mavis. Please stop.” Alanza laughed until she fell off the log.
Chapter 3: Proof
Alanza tells her story.
I repeat. No established ships. I just don't want anyone to get excited. I know how easy it is to get tied up in a perceived ship.
Alanza only had three days to work on expanding her magic container. She meditated that night until she passed out. She woke up wrapped in a blanket and meditated some more. She did the same thing the next night and on the train ride to Magnolia. She would sit cross legged with her eyes closed, hands open, palms up, and focus on her breathing. She pictured pulling shimmering magic into her lungs and inagined holding it inside her when she exhaled.Mystogan said he could feel her making progress, but she had yet to Do anything with the magic he felt inside her.
They had taken a breif stop in some town or other. Myst had ‘lent’ her some jewel for a couple sets of clothes, and they had rented a super cheep hotel room for a few hours to take showers and freshen up before they headed to Magnolia. She insisted that she would find a way to pay the S-class wizard back and he hed stared her down. Literally. He hadn’t said a word, just stared at her till she threw her hands in the air and acknowledged to herself that any paying back would have to be underhanded.
She couldn’t keep the huge grin off her face when the Fairy Tail guildhall came into view. The orange and green Oriental pagoda look was adorable. The metalic dome thing on top and matching sign over the door gave it a regal look. What really had her stomache fluttering and her heart pounding was the bright orange flag bearing the Fairy Tail symbol flapping in the wind. This was it. She was here. She was begging all the powers that she didn’t wake up to find this was a dream. She had to bite her tongle to keep herself from squealing in delight when Mystogan opened the door.
People stopped and stared as they walked through the building. Mystogan showing up without putting them to sleep was a big deal. They had actually argued about it before they arrived. Alanza had won, informing Myst in no uncertain terms that if he wanted to hear her story he was going to have to interract with his guildmates.
Most of the guild was here. Lucy, Natsu, Happy, Gray, and Erza at their table. Happy... was not a cartoon. He looked like a bipedal blue cat. It was odd. Team Shadowgear was over near the request board as well as Nab and Vijeeter. Mira and Cana by the bar, Loke in his human form with his gaggle of females, Elfman, Max, Laki, glancing up to the second floor Alanza could see blond hair and blue eyes almost glowing in their intensity. Gramps was perched on the bar in his orange shirt, silly orange and blue hat, and curly toed shoes.
“Mystogan, my boy. To what do we owe this pleasure?” There was a wave of whispers through the guild when Gramps confirmed the secretive man's identity. “And who is this lovely young lady you have brought with you?” There was a lecherous glint in the little old man's eyes.
“Gramps, if you grab my ass something violent will happen. Just sayin’.” Gramps and Mira both made tittering noises.
“Damn girl!” Cana had no respect for personal space. At all. She draped herself over Alanza’s shoulder. “You tell that pervy old geezer whats what.” Wow. The card mage had some serious alcohol breath. “Can we keep her, Gramps?” Mystogan cleared his throat.
“Master, our guest has information to share with you and the S-class wizards. I recommend we retreat upstairs to a warded office.”
“All of the S-class wizards?” Gramps was looking at her when he asked the question.
“Yes sir. I am aware the Mira no longer practices at that level, but she should be present for this meeting.” Master Makarov hummed thoughtfully before hopping to the ground.
“Mira, bring beer with you. I have a feeling we will be wanting it.”
“Sure thing, Master!”
“Erza! My office. You brats behave while we are busy!” Erza’s intense gaze made Alanza extremely nervous. She was the most likely one to decide she was a threat and lop her head off without warning before she was able to explain herself. She made sure to stay close to Mystogan as they followed Gramps upstairs. He was probably even more wary of the redhead than she was. Laxus was not on the balcony, so she assumed he was already in Master Makarov’s office. Alanza glanced at the S-class mission board and changed course. The Galuna mission was still on the board. Leaving it there while noone was watching was just an invitation for Natsu to snatch it up, so she did first. Mystogan tipped his head to the side in question and she handed it to him.
“Hold onto that for a bit would you?”
“Will you be telling me why?”
“You are a frustrating woman.”
“That wasn’t really a compliment.”
Her detouring ment she and Mystogan were the last ones into the room. As she expected Laxus was already in the room. He was leaning against the wall, eyes closed and sound pods on. She had no doubt that he was very aware of exactly what was going on in spite of his relaxed demeanor. Erza was all but glaring at her. Mira was smiling. They were both freaking her out just a little bit. Master Makarov was sitting on top of his desk. If she didn't know he was a super peeve she would wanna squeeze him like a plushie.
“Well, Mystogan?” Instead of answering Erza the masked man looked at Alanza. She rolled her eyes and whispered at him.
“Coward.” Half a chuckle escaped Laxus proving that he was paying attention. She took a deep breath and began. “What I am about to share with you all may come across as impossible, however I am prepared to prove it. The way I prove it may not be comfortable for you however, so be aware of that before you ask for proof. How many of you are aware of the multiverse theory?” She was not a brain person, but she was a bit of a geek, so she knew the basics behind that phrase. Makarov hummed again. Mira’s eyes lit up. Laxus opened his and looked back and forth between Mystogan and Alanza.
“Multiverse theory. That is the theory that there are multiple universes with variations of our selves depending on choices made, correct?” She nodded.
“Basically. Well, I happen to come from another universe, or plane, or whatever you want to call it.”
“How can you prove this to us?” Erza made her eye twitch. For real. It twitched.
“It is because of the nature of my universe that I can prove it. My world is very different from this one. I know all of you because in my world you are characters in a comic book.” She didn't really read most of the manga, she watched the anime, but that didn't really mater here.
“What the fuck are you talking about?” If he didn’t sound so pissed off Laxus would totally have a sexy voice. As it was she was just extremely concerned with getting electrocuted.
“Exactly what I just said. How I got here is besode the point. The fact is I know a shit ton about shit that has jappened, is happening, and will happen.”
“That’s fucking bullshit.” Damn. Pissed off or not that growl was sexy.
“You can not expect us to simply accept this as fact.”
“It is a rather fantastic story, bur why would she lie to us?”
“Don’t fucking know. Don’t fucking care.”
“Hush brats! Mystogan, you brought her here. Does that mean you believe her to speak the truth?”
“Yes.” Alanza let out a breath she hadn’t realized she was holding. Makarov hummed again.
“So. You know our future child?”
“I know what your future would have been if I had never come here. However, now that I am here this is a new universe with a new future. I would like to help you make it a better one.”
“You said asking for proof would be uncomfortable for us. Why is that?”
“How many people do you know who have happy secrets, Master Makarov?”
“I see. As the guildmaster I’m afraid I will have to be uncomfortable then.” Alanza thought for a minute. She needed something that would prove herself to Makarov without telling anyone things they shouldn’t know.
“I know who the master of Raven Tail is, I know what his question is, and I know the answer.” Makarov grew pale.
“Master! Are you alright?”
“Mira, I need that beer now.” Makarov poured the beer down his throat and gestured for more. “Can I trust you not to share this information child?”
“I can't gaurantee it couldn't be tortured out of me since I have never been tortured, but I would rather die than tell him. I also know that the man who put her there and the man who taught her magic are both still alive and aware of the truth.”
“The man who taught her magic?”
“I also know his name. I won’t speak it right now.”
“Very well. I accept what you say.”
“What the actual fuck Gramps!”
“Laxus I recommend you do not ask- What was your name child?”
“Do not ask Alanza for proof. I have a feeling you will regret it.”
“To hell with that!” Laxus took a step toward her only for Mystogan to step in front of her. “Move yourself. Or she isn’t the only one who will be telling secrets.” Mystogan flinched and glanced at Erza.
“I got this, Myst. He won’t kill me.” She pushed around him. “Just be aware, Laxus. I am not a wizard, so you have to be extra careful not to kill me.” Laxus was huge. She had already known that, but him looming over her really rubbed it in.
“I’m not some sickly old geezer who is going to get fucking heart palpitations over some vague threats! And I have no reason not to kill you.”
“Laxus!” Alanza held a hand up to show the others that she was fine.
“You want it straight and upfront do ya big guy? Fine. If that is what it takes. The Battle of Fairy Tail.” His blue eyes widened. “Yeah. It fails. Wanna talk about heart problems? While you were out there, losing complete control of your dragon, Gramps was in here having an actual heart attack, because even after your team had their asses handed to them you refused to back down. Wanna know who took them down? Mira got Freed. That's right, you guys woke up the She-Devil. And Erza handed Evergreen her ass on a silver platter. Bickslow? You think I will say it was Mystogan don't you? It wasn't. It was Lucy. That's right. You have no idea what that girl is capable of. She is nothing like the selfish, spoiled brat you think she is. You however. Laxus Dreyer is an overpowered tween with a serious inferiority complex. Get over it!”
She jabbed her finger in his chest hard enough to hurt said finger. Damn the man for being so buff. He was also sending shocks up her arm. It hurt, but she forced herself to ignore it.
“I’ve seen your heart! Laxus of Fairy Tail has a heart of Gold. I’ve seen him suffer for his guild, bleed for his team, die for the innocent. Granted you are as impossible to keep dead as Lucy is, but still.” Laxus now looked confused. She thought the sparks had stopped, but she couldn’t be sure since her entire arm was numb by this point. She dropped her vouce to a whisper ment just for his slayer hearing.
“I have seen you cry for Gramps. And I've seen you take down your dad, not for what he did to you, but for what he did to your Guild. I’m a good listener of you wanna talk later.” She leaned around the enormous blond to look at Erza and Mira. “What about you ladies?”
“If Master trusts you then so do I.”
“Indeed. I trust Master Makarov’s judment. You have also brought Mystogan to the guild for all to see and stood up to Laxus. I am rather impressed.”
“Thank you, Erza.” Laxus leaned back against the wall. He eyed Alanza warily now.
“You have some huge balls to talk like that to me Carrots. That or you are really fucking stupid.”
“I’m not afraid to die. That helps. I was fucking stupid actually. Then he impregnated the neighbor chick. Thankfully I never have to see his face again since I’m here for good.” Laxus growled. Dragon slayer. Loyalty and betrayal are serious business. Apparently something she said got her onto his ‘my people’ list. Or something like that.
“Your worthless ex aside I am very sorry about bringing you here.”
“Don't be. Seriously. I lost my dad and my part time job about a month ago, my mom is drugged out and doesn't give half a shit about me, I had no friends, my remaining family didn't talk to me, and I just found lost my full time job and caught the smarmy ex wet dicked on my couch the day you pulled me here. Fairy Tail is a dream come true despite the wars, and dragons, and dark guilds, and demons, and psychoes.”
“You poor thing!”
“Mystogan is responsible for your presence?”
“Tell me you cut his balls off.”
“My child, did you say wars and dragons?”
“I’m over it. Yes. Sort of. And yes.”
“I see. Well. You have knowledge of the possible future. Do you have some plan to deal with it.”
“I have an idea, but first I want to ask for something.” She tapped the bare skin below her left collar bone that her peasant top exposed. “A guildmark. In a nice bright sky blue.” She smirked back when Makarov grinned. “I know I’m not really a wizard yet, but I’m working on it and Myst says I’m doing a decent job expanding my magic container already. I just haven’t been able to do anything with that magic yet.”
“Absolutely child. Mira will help you with your paperwork later. When it asks about your magic just bullshit it. Make up something vague about visions of inner darkness or voices from the beyond or seeing into other dimentions futures.” Makarov pulled out the stamp and she caught the sparkle in his eye just in time.
“Nope. Mira’s doing it. You just want an excuse to accidently grab my boobs.” Gramps wilted and Mira giggled.
“Master it shames me to admit that she is probably right.”
“You can’t really blame the old geezer for trying.”
“It is shameful behavior Laxus!”
“And?” Everyone except Erza was laughing as Mira pressed the stamp to Alanza’s skin. The redhead did let herself smile though. Alanza thought she saw an almost hopeful look in those intense brown eyes when the redhead glanced at Laxus. Mira silently mouthed a ‘thank you' to her before she pulled away. Was it because of what she had said to Laxus? Had she really helped that much so quickly? If so she was already making great headway.
Chapter 4: Missions
Action is taken.
“So child. Shall we talk about your plan now?” Alanza tore her eyes from her new guildmark. She was just about giddy over the fact that she was a Fairy Tail wizard. Laxus had grumbled a bit about strength since she really had none at all, but knowledge is power and she had a shit ton of that.
“Well I was thinking... We could set up, like, a task force or planning commity or something. Have a room where only people who knew about where I came from were allowed in and we could plan out our steps. I can share more specifics, write out a vague timeline, though that is more for me than for you guys, to keep things straight so I don’t make mistakes.”
“We can use my office for that.” Mystogan spoke so much quieter here at the guildhall. “I never use it anyway.”
“Who would be on this task force?” Erza's eyes were sparking. Alanza had forgotten how into the moment the redhead tended to get.
“The six of us of course, and we could add other people if everyone agrees to it. I have some ideas as to who would be good additions. I need to get settled in to who people really are though. Seperate cannon facts from fanfiction headcannon.” So much of who she thought these people were came from the stories she had read.
“Cannon?” Gramps paused in his beer guzzling to peer at her. “What does that mean?”
“Cannon means actual facts from the story. Headcannon is things fans choose to think is true without proof to back it up.” The whole room stared at Laxus. “What? Bix is a comic book junkie.”
“Speaking of Bickslow. Does he have a last name?”
“The fuck are you talking about? Of course he does.”
“Well what is it?”
“Pradesh.” Alanza’s jaw literally dropped. They were real. Somehow she had ended up in a world where her one of her favorite author’s OCs were real.
“Wow. Ok. That’s a thing. Umm... I’m gunna need to call Arman, er... Ambasador Pradesh. Later.”
“Because there are things he should know. Things that really have nothing to do with us right now. As for right now,” Alanza gestured for the job request Myst had been holding. “Since Erza and Gramps are both here I’m guessing you all just got back from dealing with the Lullabye incident.”
“In that case I think Erza should take her team on this mission. If they are rested up enough that is.”
“Oh... Right. You guys aren’t official yet. You, Gray, Natsu, Happy, and Lucy.”
“They become an official team?” Alzana fought the urge to scream in terror as Mira’s eyes turned into literal stars. She had not seen that coming. Apparently anime special effect stuff was real here.
“Yes.” Mira squealed. Gramps grew pale, no doubt thinking of the potential damages that group could cause.
“Before I agree to take them on an S-class mission I am not sure they are ready for I would like more information.”
“Well... In the original timeline Natsu stole the mission and used the fact that there was a celestial spirit key as bait to get Lucy to go with him. Laxus was here, but refused to fetch them because he is an asshole, and you were out of town at the time so Gray attempted to stop them from going. He failed and ended up going with them.”
“I had actually planned on leaving in the morning on a mission.”
“Do you have to?”
“No. But since Laxus is here in the building and I was about to leave it is likely that Natsu stole the mission over the next couple days.”
“Shithead should know better than to take a weak little newbie on an S-class mission.”
“Is there any reason we are taking this mission instead of preventing them from going?”
“Several actually. One is the reward. Lucy will need this key. Second is that the person responsible for this ‘curse’ is someone Gray needs to confront. They need to do this as a group. It will hurt, but the team will come back closer and stronger. There is someone working behind the scenes too. A masked man. This person is confused and in pain. They need to be talked to. If we can reach them they will be an invaluable ally. They are angry because they think they were betrayed. They were, but not by who they think betrayed them. If you can get to them, Erza, tell them Brain lied about everything. I am willing to talk to them if they are willing to come to me.”
“Very well. You say this mission was completed without my assistance originally?”
“Then I will attempt to limit my interactions to this mysterious figure you refuse to identify.” The redhead smirked, obviously catching the fact that Alanza was being intentionally vague. “I beleive I will go invite them to accompany me now. We will talk again when I return.” The redhead took the job posting and swept out of the room. Alanza rubbed the back of her neck and sighed.
“While they are on this mission we have another issue we should deal with. Lucy’s dad has, or will really soon, hire Phantom Lord to forcefully return his daughter to him against her will.”
“Jose. Surely he wouldn’t-”
“Oh he would. Jose Poorla hates Fairy Tail with a passion. In the origional timeline he uses Lucy as an excuse to attempt destroying us. They destroy the guildhall, beat Team Shadowgear half to death and crucify them to a tree, kidnap Lucy, and fire a Jupiter cannon right at Magnolia. Laxus, before you let words about Shadowgear leak past that sneer know this. I've seen you take down a Wizard Saint and the wizard who hurt them set you on your ass. They never stood a chance no matter their strength.” Laxus growled at her.
She was mixing up her facts to skew Laxus’s point of view. She might have made a mistake telling the already full of himself slayer about his defeat of Jura, but she had alread spoken so she would have to deal with it. The GMG was far in the future and by the time Laxus ‘lost’ his fight to Gajeel and Natsu the two had been in far worse condition than he had. She didn’t want to tell anyone that Gajeel was the one who had done that to Shadowgear though. Not if she could avoid it. If she could reach Gajeel before the Phantom War it would cut Jose’s feet right out from under him.
“I would like to reach out to two of Phantom's wizards. They belong here. If I can bring them to Fairy Tail Jose will no longer have any chance of harming us the way he did the first time.”
“Juvia Lockser, and the iron dragon slayer Gajeel Redfox. The Rain Woman and Black Steel.”
“Another dragon slayer, eh.” Grammed and she waited. “What makes you think they will join us?”
“They did. It took a lot of pain to get them here though and I would like to prevent that.”
“You can’t just waltz into their guildhall and tell their master to go fuck himself. Phantom Lord is as dark as they get without being an illegal guild. We’d never fucking see you again.”
“Somehow I don’t think you would be all that upset by that, Laxus.” He growled.
“You’re a fucking person. I may not give a shit personally, but you dying is fucking stupid.”
“Gee thanks. I feel all warm and fuzzy.” He snorted “No. Going in would be, as Laxus so eloquently said, fucking stupid. We have to draw them out, away from the others. I was thinking of posting a job. Recently sunken scrap metal retrieval. That will pull at least one of them out, hopefully both of them. We have to do it soon though. Before Erza’s team gets back.”
“Why then?” Mystogan spoke louder now that Erza was gone.
“Because. Last time Lucy didn’t have the chance to contract her new key before Phantom struck.”
“Do you trust them not to attack you once they realize you are lying about the mission? They are Phantom right now, no matter who they became in the future of the origional timeline.”
“Not entirely. Gajeel is a stubborn dragon slayer after all. I just have to hope.”
“I will go with you.” Alanza glared at Mystogan.
“I appreciate that, but no. You are unknown enough to drop off our request, but you have another mission. Get your socially impossible self to Cait Shelter and apologize to Wendy! I get that it was dangerous before, but she can come to the guild now.”
“Would you rather wait till she comes face to face with the Oracion Seis and Jellal Fernandez?”
“That is how we find her if you don’t bring her home first."
“Fine. If it keeps her away from them.” Alanza wasn’t sure if it would, but Myst had done the girl wrong and needed to fix the sitation.
“I can make up a job reqguest for you to take to Phantom Lord when you leave.”
“Thank you, Mira. I would appreciate that.” The two went to leave, but Mystogan hesitated, glancing from Alanza to Laxus and back again. “Be careful. You are a very reckless woman.”
“Reckless and frustrating. I know. Love you too, Myst.”
“That isn’t what I said!” She knew. But making the man blush bright enough to see over the edge of his mask was something she was really coming to enjoy.
“Hurry back sweetheart.”
“Stop that!” Glared at her before taking off.
“Why do you tease that boy?”
“Cuz it's fun. And he doesn't get near enough interaction with real people.” Alanza went ahead and sat down now that the room was almost empty. “Hopefully bringing Wendy home early will help.”
“She his woman?” Alanza burst out laughing. Wendys age hadn't been specified so she understood why Laxus would think that, but it was still hilarious. “What the fuck is your problem?”
“She- oh Mavis. She’s, like, twelve. I guess you might call her his kid sister. She is a sky dragon slayer.”
“Another one!” Makarov's eyes were huge.
“Yep. Fiore has five dragon raised slayers and two that got their powers from lacrima. I’m hoping to slap a Fairy Tail stamp on all seven of them.”
“Dragons are real?”
“Yep. You never believed Natsu, did you?”
“No.” She could see how much distress this conversation caused the lightning slayer. “And you know about my lacrima.”
“Yes. I do. You need to accept that you are every bit the dragon slayer those with an actual dragon parent are. Same magic, same instincts. I know you don’t want to talk to Natsu.”
“That isn’t fucking happening.”
“Like I said. However, I’m hoping it will be easier for you to talk to one of the others. Gajeel or... The other second gen slayer aren’t near as...whatever, as Natsu is. Both have seen dark shit and been through hell. Honestly they matured faster than they should have.”
“You won’t tell us who this other slayer is?” Gramps was scowling at her.
“Not until I talk to him. He guards his secrets more closely than Laxus does. And he won’t just growl and zap you a bit and walk away either.”
“I’m not a fucking pikachu!”
“No. But you haven’t walked in death’s shadow since the day you were born either. He has, and he will kill without hesitation to protect himself or his family. If I can win his loyalty...Honestly I’m not sure if there is anyone I would trust more to have my back.” The two Dreyers scowled at her. “His secrets aren’t mine to tell so don’t try to bully me.”
“Mystogan is right. You are a frustrating woman, Carrots.”
“And you have stupidly big balls. I’m coming with you when you meet with the Phantoms.”
“I’m gunna call the Legion back. They still have a few missions left, but I don’t want them out there right now with you fucking with the timeline and shit.” Laxus staljed out of the room withour even a good bye.
“Child you have shaken the minds of four of my S-class wizards today as well as myself today.”
“I’d shake Guildarts until he cried if he were here.”
“Is that a joke, or are you entirely certain of that.”
“One hundred percent certain. I’m also going to send White Sea to war today, so that will be a thing.”
“Not me exactly. Arman will once I talk to him."
“Not for me to say.”
“I can respect that. How about I get you a key to Mystogan’s office and a lacrima com so you can call Ambassador Pradesh?”
“Ok. You will have to show me how though. I’m like a baby with stuff like that.”
Makarov chuckled and led her out of his office. As she walked across the balcony she looked over the railing at the wizards below. Erza and Team Natsu were already gone, as well as Mystogan. Who knew where Laxus has stormed off to. The rest of Fairy Tail was milling around restlessly. Several of them glanced up, curiosity burning in their eyes. Alanza smiled and got an answering grin and a wave from Levy.
“I’m not sure when this room was last opened.”
“Well it will see lots of action now.”
“So it will. Now. About this call. I will go ahead and call Arman and introduce you. We will leave the magic lessons until later. When you are done speaking just bring it back to my office. Then we will introduce you to the rest of the guild and find you a place to sleep for the night.” Makarov steared her to sit behind the dusty desk, perching on the arm himself. The clear orb he set before them pulsed with light several times before pale green eyes appeared.
Chapter 5: Secrets
In which Alanza admits to knowing some secrets.
Now this was a special kind of new for her. The actual Fairy Tail wizards she had seen so far she had, ya know, seen, at least in the show. The Pradesh family and the members of the White Sea guild were something else. They were words on a page and seeing Arman Pradesh come to life was way more of a miracle to her than being yanked into an imaginary world. Also for a guy more than twice her age he was seriously hot.
“Makarov. To what do I owe the delight of hearing your voice? Has my boy gotten himself into trouble?”
“Not that I know of. I am calling about something of an entirely different nature. This is Alanza. She just came to us today. She has information for yout that she says needs to be discussed privately. Before I leave you to that I just want to say that no matter how insane her story sounds I beleive her and encourage you to do so as well. I recommend not asking questions. The answers hurt.” Makarov hopped down and patted her knee in an only semipervy way before leaving.
“Well my dear. What is it that you needed to speak to me about.”
“Well... I know things. How I know them is not important right now, but I know them.”
“In my line of work you learn not to question how people know things. As long as it is true I can just accept it.”
“I appreciate that. You might want to write some of this down. Just in case.” He arched an eyebrow at her and she realized how silly that might have sounded. “It's just that before I am done I have news that will probably drive everything else from your mind. This is about your kids, so it’s important.”
“I can't share much, because avoiding struggle and pain entirely cripples us. What I share with you is mostly to help you and yours avoid the worst of things or cut them short. Where to start... I'm not sure exactly where in time your family is so some of this might not be applicable. Umm...” She needed to share just enough information to start the ball rolling.
“A female dragon slayer's magic will force her into mortal combat if someone attempts to claim her as their mate. She has no control over this, and Will Kill the challenger unless defeated. Grendice is a rotton snake of a man not to be trusted with anything. I would rather have a face to face conversation with Zeref himself than be in the same room as the man. I’m sure you are already aware of your princesses unhealthy obsession with Farron. Look beyond the surface of any interactions your family has with her. You raised good, strong children. They all learned from their father how to protect their family no matter what it cost them. There is a man, the Dean of the Acadame Celestine should be able to help you find him, Presca. Look beyond the surface. And speaking of celestial magic. Archangel magic comes with a compulsion to surrender to celestial macic users. We are talking loss of self.”
“It sounds like you are altering the future my dear. That is a dangerous game.”
“I know. I'm trying to be careful. I am aware that changing the wrong things could make things worse. Now. I don't really have a gentle way to say this last one. At least... I could put it gently and let you figure out the details, but I think quicker is better in this case. There is a gladiator in Pergrande.” Arman's eyes narrowed at the mention of that country. “He has been there almost the entirety of his life. They call him Dark Eagle, both for his black wings and for his clan tattoos.” Arman’s eyes grew wide and he began to shake his head. “He is alive, Arman.”
“It can't be.”
“Zen is alive. It is time to bring your son home.”
“You- Is this true?”
“I wouldn’t lie about something like that. Go on. Do what you need to do to bring your angel home.” She hadn’t expected him to literally vanish, but she didn’t blame him either. She locked the door behind her on her way back to the master’s office. “Master, I’m finished with my business. Here is your Lacrima back.”
“That was fast.”
“Well, I didn't have to prove myself or anything like that, so it was a quick conversation.”
“Shall we go down and introduce you to the guild?” Alanza faught against her inner squeal and just nodded. She followed the little guild master downstairs and to the bar. The laughter and talk dimmed around them, but didn't cease all the way.
“Alanza! Want something to drink? You look like yiu could use a pick-me-up.” Mira was calmly polishing glasses behind the bar.
“You wouldn’t happen to be able to whip me up a latte would you?”
“Coming right up! Want a little flavor in there?”
“Sure. Anything that isn’t a fruit or a nut.” Mira giggled at her.
“Listen up brats! We have a new recruit! Give a big Fairy Tail welcome to Alanza!” The guild cheered. Loudly.
“Heya Girly! So you’re a Fairy now, eh? I knew I liked you!”
“Oooh. You already know my name, do ya?”
“I know lots of things. It’s kinda my magic.”
“Here is your coffee, Alanza!”
“No problem! Can I get you ladies anything else?”
“I’m fine.” Cana plolunked the barrel that she held under her arm onto the table and shook her head. Alanze stared at it and wondered how heavy the thing was. For Cana to toss those things around the way she did her arm strength had to be pretty damn impressive. Mira bustled off to do... whatever it was Mira actually did.
“So tell Mama Cana. Why was Mystogan here today? You had yourself a pow wow with the big guns, so it must have been important.”
“Secrets, Cana. I’m not talking abut the kind you giggle about overwine and ice cream on girls night. I'm talking about real secrets like the reason you want S-class so bad.” The brunette's dark purple eyes were suddenly completely sober. “I won't tell anyone, but you should. He will he proud of you with or without that silly title.”
“But how do you know that? How can you be sure?”
“Magic.” Alanza eyed the card mage for a moment. “That particular secret is just a drop in the pond compared to what we were doing upstairs. I’d like you to be part of the project if you are interrested. The others would have to agree though.”
“Why would you want my help?”
“Your magic would be a powerful asset for one. It would mean carrying a heavy burden. Think about it. Let me know what you decide whan Erza and Mystogan come back.” Cana’s eyes shifted to something behind her right before a voice spoke.
“I’m so thrilled to have such a lovely flower join our guild.” Alanza turned with an arched brow. Damn. In the anime she always thought Loke came off as a bit sleazy and creepy, but in real life... He was pretty hot yeah, but it was his voice... Smooth and rich. She could almost feel it caressing her skin. “Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you darling. Anything at all.”
“Don't you dare think about trying to add me to your little pride you damn kitty. I'm not that kinda girl.” He looked confused for a moment, then his eyes widened and he left literal dust clouds behind when he ducked behind a nearby pillar. These visual effects being real were going to take some getting used to. “Oh, don’t be like that. I don't share the secrets I know with anyone who doesn't have a right to them. And your secret is safe. For now at least.”
“Who are you exactly?”
“Just a girl that knows the world’s secrets. You can choose to take my word for this or not, it’s your choice, but you should trust Lucy. She is Anna’s blood after all.” Loke had a perplexed, yet hopeful look on his face.
“Anna was... A good woman.”
“I’m aware. I’m also aware that the gate Anna opened will be opened once more.” He glared at her and she shivered. When the guy got serious he could be super scary. “Look I didn't do it. I just know shit, OK. Take it however you want to.
“You’re good at this vague talk, aren’t ya Girly.”
“You ask cards to predict the future, Cana. You know how tricky knowing things is.”
“Eh. I guess so. I’m gunna go drown myself in booze. Wanna join me, Loke?”
“Yeah. I could totally use a drink right now.” If she didn't know the whole guild was already a bunch of drunks Alanza would be worried that she was driving them to drink. She hadn’t even been here a full day yet.
“Hi! My name’s Levy. This is Jet and Droy and we are Team Shadowgear. We use script, speed, and plant magics. It’s so nice to see a new face around here!”
Alanza’s exact thought in that moment was something along the lines of ‘Oh my gosh she is so freaking cute and adorable and I wanna hug her so bad!’ Levy was tiny. Meeting someone shorter than her was a rare thing, especially since the ‘half' part of her five foot one and a half inch stature was dependant on standing up so straight it almost hurt. Levy wasn’t just short she was delicately boned and perfectly perportioned like a well crafted doll.
“I’m Alanza. It’s nice to meet you, Levy, Jet, Droy.” The guys were just background comody in the show, but she was looking forward to getting to know the characters, er, her new guildmates wo hadn’t gotten a lot of front and center screen time. “My magic is knowing secrets. Not all secrets, just some.”
She had nothing on these three after all. She didn’t even think they had secrets aside from Levy’s crush on Gajeel and that was a future thing. Though... Maybe taking Levy on her trip to retreive the iron slayer would be a good idea. For starters she shipped Gajevy super hard. Who wouldn't. Those two were just so damn cute together! And also already having gotten to know Levy even a little bit would decrease the likelihood Gajeel would beat her to a bloody pulp in the future.
She opened her mouth to invite the blunette along and stopped. She should ask Laxus first. After all he was going with her and she needed to respect his position as the S-class wizard on this mission. If she couldn't do at least that then she was no better than Natsu. And while Natsu was hella awesome he was also an impulsive idiot with no respect for authority.
“What kind of secrets? Is there a set of parameters they have to fall into, or is it just random?”
“Let's put it this way. I know what the king of Fiore has in his basement, but I have no idea what Jet's last name is. It's like...” Levy was a bookworm, so this would actually be easy to explain. “It's like a read a book and the book gives me backstory and foreshadowing and stuff, but only where the author thought it was important.”
“That’s so cool! I bet you have lots of interresting secrets you are keeping. Actually Jet is just a nickname. His real name is Sarusuke-”
“Don’t tell her that! Levy, how could you?” Jet did this dramatic wail thing and Levy’s eye twitched.
“Sorry. It’s not really that big of a deal you know.” Alanza tipped her head to the side. Had she known that? Maybe. The idea sounded familiar. She still didn’t know Jet's last name though since he had interrupted.
“Yo! Carrots! Get your bag from Gramp’s office and let’s go. Mira is making us go all the way to fucking Peace River for this shit and we wanna get there before they do.” Carrots. For real? What was she Anne of Green Gables? Carrots and Blondie. Laxus obviously had zero imagination. Before she went upstairs she dodged her way across the guild to ask Laxus about adding to their party.
“Can I ask Levy to come along? I think it would be a good idea.”
“Why the fuck are you asking me? You’re the all knowing plan master.”
“You outrank me.” He raised an eyebrow and then smirked.
“Damn right I do. Sure. Bookworm can come along I guess. Not her groupies though. I don’t wanna deal with their shit.” She couldn’t help her grin.
“Thanks!” She dodged her way to Levy’s table. “Levy! Laxus and I are taking a sort of recruiting mission over by Peace River. Wanna come? I think it would be a good idea. Sorry boys, but you aren’t invited. Laxus and I will keep her safe.”
“But... Laxus?” Jet and Droy quite obviously had little to no faith in the man. He really needed to work on connecting with his guildmates.
“Don’t be silly. Laxus a Fairy Tail wizard. He will take good care of me. I think it sounds fun. I’m in!”
“Good. My bad is upstairs and he is not the kind to wait around so you’t better hurry and get your stuff!”
“Gotchya! Gimme a minute Laxus! I'll be right back!” Levy went one way and Alanza went the other, tossing a wide grin at Mira on her way past. This was going to be so much fun! She finally got to meet Gajeel! Not to mention see first contact between him and Levy. She was beyond excited.
Chapter 6: Walking
In which Alanza notes she needs better shoes.
They had spent a couple hours on the train heading west. To Alanza, who already knew about it, Laxus’s motion sickness was obvious. He hid it well enough behind his sound pods and general surliness that Levy didn’t seem to notice though. Not that the little blunette seemed all that observant. She reminded Alanza of a scientist. She only saw what she was looking for or at, which at the moment was Alanza.
Seeing as how there wasn’t a lot Alanza could actually share about herself or her ‘magic’ at the moment since Levy wasn’t directly involved in the project she encouraged Levy to talk about herself, her team, and the guild. That lasted until Levy realized that Alanza had little to no knowledge in regards to magic theory and practical application therof. After that Levy started sounding like a professor or something.
A lot of the lecture went over her head, but she was able to grasp enough that it wasn’t a complete waste of time on Levy’s part. There was a lot of math involved, flow rate of magic, latent or inactive magic vs active or applied magic, magic resistance, blah, blah. Turns out there really was a magic measurement refered to as MP or magic power. That was so unshockingly unorigional she hadn’t been able to hold back her snort. Once Levy mentioned it Alanza did recall a magic measuring device used during the GMG. Apparently most magical interactions only required power in the single didgits or even fractions of an MP point, such as using a lacrima communicator, though there was more math talk after that about flow rates and stuff.
Levy’s explainations may have been accurate, but Alanza doubted she would ever be able to apply it. She just wasn’t a math person. Besides which she had serious doubts about whether most wizards used that kind of knowledge. Natsu just seemed to do Everythung by instinct and he was‘t the only one. Alanza just couldn't see Gajeel, Elfman, or even Erza applying any math to their magic. Maybe it was more applicable to certain magic types. She would have to talk to some of her other new friends about it later, Cana or Mystogan maybe.
Once they got off the train, or more like once they ran out of train track in the direction they wanted to be going, they started walking. Now Alanza had always considered herself to be in pretty good shape. She had spent almost a whole day walking with Mystogan after all. Apparently he had been taking it easy on her because these two were walking her feet off. Laxus she could understand, the guy was huge so no duh he had long legs. Levy though? The little script mage was a bloody blue energizer bunny! She just kept going and going and going. When day three of walking for the entirety of the daylight hours came to a close without either of her companions seeming to be concerned about the length of the journey Alanza began to realize her folley.
“Ok. So I have to ask. How far are we still from our destination?” Laxus shrugged and Levy pulled out a map. Alanza stared at it in horror.
She had seen a map of Fiore before, some vague picture online she wasn’t even entirely sure was canon. This one was so much...more. More detail, more towns, more rivers, more roads, even a few more railway lines. The part she was staring at with the most horror though was the little tic marks in the corner that provided distance comparison. Fiore was so much bigger than she had thought it was. Yeah they had walked a lot, but when she watched the anime the sheer amount of time they had spent walking had been... glossed over.
“We’ve made decent time so far. This is Lily Bend. The mission flyer Mira gave us said the site we are going to was about ten miles upriver from there. I’d say we are almost halfway there. Four or five days if we keep up this pace.” Alanza just wanted to quit right there. She had been pushing herself as hard as she could to keep up with the two wizards. Her feet had been bleeding last night when she pulled her boots off. She just couldn't keep on like this. “Speaking of which... I haven't asked before, but why are the three of us taking this mission? It just doesn't seem like something Laxus would be interested in and I can't figure out why you wanted me to come along.”
“We aren’t Taking this mission Bookworm. The wizards who take the mission Are the mission.”
“I don’t understand.” Laxus stared silently at Alanza until she rolled her eyes and explained.
“So for reasons that are not important right now we made up this mission and sent it to Phantom Lord. There are two wizards who might answer this request. In theory it could be someone else or just one of them, but I'm hoping they both show up. We are recruiting them. I'm here because this whole thing is my idea. Laxus is here in case my idea turns out to be an epic failure. You are here because...” Levy was here primarily because Alanza was playing matchmaker, but she needed to give her some other reason. “I have reason to believe you are the best person to reach one of these people.”
“Umm... Ok. So this is because of your Secret magic.”
“Who are these wizards?”
“Juvia Lockser, The Rain Woman, and Gajeel Redfox, also known as Black Steel. Juvia is a rather powerful water wizard. She is a bit of an odd duck, but she is extremely loyal and very sweet once you get to know her. Gajeel is the iron dragon slayer. He is rough around the edges, but he's a good guy and will do anything for the people he considers family. Honestly your first impression of both of them is likely to be poor. Master Jose is a cruel, heartless man as are most of the Phantom Lord members. They have both been through some pretty dark times and have had to harden their hearts to survive.”
“I’ve heard stories about Phantom Lord. That they are just this side of being a dark guild. So...their guildmaster... forced them to...” Levy was obviously upset about the whole thing . Alanza could tell Laxus was thinking behind his scowl. She doubted he would say anything, but he knew. He knew what it was like to force yourself to be something you weren't in an attempt to please someone you respected, and to have that person abuse your trust. “That’s so aweful!”
“It is, but they don’t need or want your pity, just your understanding and friendship. Also... Juvia can’t help the rain. She just never learned to control it.” Should she warn Levy about Gajeel’s tendency to intentionally scare the crap out of people? Nah. Levy was spunky and this needed to be as natural as possible. She had already done enough.
That night, just like every other night bleeding feet or no bleeding feet, she wrapped her blanket around her shoulders and began meditating. At least she would have begun meditating if she hadn’t had this odd Chicken Little and his acorn moment. Not that she got hit on the head, but she felt like she had. Maybe the reason she wasn’t seeing any results with her magic was because she wasn’t trying to do anything with it. She kept expecting something to just Happen like it had seemed to for the Founding Fairies in Fairy Tail Zero. Maybe she should be trying something a little different.
After some thought and consideration she came to a simple yet astounding realization. She was in a Pradeshverse Fairy Tail. All of Bosco’s Immaculate Knights had at least a limited mastery of requip magic and access to requip space. That implied that pretty much anyone could learn to requip at least a bit with enough practice. If she learned that she wouldn’t have to lug around this huge camping backpack and bedroll all the time.
She could, in theory, ask Erza to teach her when she got back... No. Hell no. She remembered watching Erza teaching Natsu to read abd damn near killing half the guild dancing. That wasn’t happening. Who else... Alzak and Bisca. They used requip magic along with their gun magic, right? If she couldn’t figure this out by the time she got back to the guild she wiuld ask them. Maybe she should mention the idea in Lucy’s hearing. If Lucy could learn to requip her keys it would save the girl a lot of trouble.
“Levy, are you still awake?” Silence. “Balls.” She had hoped Levy would have a few hints for her.
“Why the fuck do you keep pushing yourself so hard?” She hadn't ment to draw Laxus's attention that's for sure. “You've got a fair amount of magic built up, but your body hasn't acclimated yet. Seriously. Give yourself a break before you fuck yourself up. Isn't the blood in your shoes enough if a hint?”
“I'm not used to walking this much.”
“No shit.” She snorted at his sarcasm.
“I probably need to get better shoes. Combat boots maybe, or whatever you guys have here that is similar.”
“I'm not just talking about your fucking feet. I'm guessing from all that talk between you and Bookworm that you don't know shit like this, but you can damage the magical pathways in your body by pushing them to much to fast. It’s just like strengthening your body. The muscles need breaks to heal in order to grow stronger. It's pretty fucking obvious you don't want help, but I'm offering advice anyway. If all you are doing is meditating do two days on one day off. At least at this point. Just don’t go fucking yourself up on my watch.” He fell silent and she thought over what he was telling her.
“I’m... I’m thinking about trying to learn some requip magic. Not like Erza or anything like that. Basically just enough for my bag and my bedroll, maybe a little more in time.” He grunted.
“Requip space is a pocket dimension. Don’t go fucking with that shit without understanding it. You can blow shit up or rip us or yourself or peices of us into hell’s fucking basement.” She winced. That sounded... Terrible. Maybe she would just wait on this project till she talked to Bisca. “Go to fucking sleep. We don’t have to walk the rest of the way anyway. I can get all three of us to Lily Bend tomorrow, or at least most of the way.”
“Oh thank Mavis. I don’t even care that you didn’t bother mentioning that earlier.” He chuckled at her, or scoffed, something between those two sounds. “You know... Levy can make about anything with her script magic... Even lightning.” He arched a brow and studied the sleeping blunette in a predatorial way. Alanza almost regretted poiting that out. ‘Don’t you dare wake her up just for a sparkly midnight snack.” Laxus growled.
“You have some serious balls telling me what to fucking do.”
“I’m not afraid to die. Takes the edge of most threats.”
“You’re crazy.” She grinned and tapped the place just under her collarbone where her sky blue guildmark sat.
“I’m a Fairy Tail wizard.” She collapsed onto her bedroll and quit fighting to keep her brain alive. She was so tired her meditation wouldn’t have lasted long tonight anyway. How did these people walk so fucking much?
Chapter 7: Phantoms
In which Alanza plays chess.
“That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard! ... So! It's still a stupid idea. ... Well we don’t which makes the idea even stupider!”
“Juvia can imagine.”
“What the hell kinda good is an imaginary picnic?”
“If Juvia imagines the picnic she can imagine all the most perfect food and it won’t even get wet in the rain! It will be perf-”
“Shut it. I smell somethin.”
The three Fairies had fallen completely silent once the rain had started. They had all agreed to let the newcomers approach them if it was an option. In truth Alanza had been about vibrating since the first raindrop fell from a previously clear sky. When she heard Gajeel’s rough voice she started doing mental backflips and highfiving herself. Laxus had given her an odd look, likely smelling her excitement or hearing her heart rate pick up. Who knew. She had yet to talk to him about dragon slayer senses. Not that he was her choice for inside info on slayers, just her only source so far.
“Has Gajeel located an enemy?” The tone of Juvia’s voice had completely changed. At first she had almost sounded like Fairy Tail’s Juvia. Now she had returned to the empty, robotic Rain Woman of Phantom Lord.
Gajeel let out a loud growl, prompting what was probably an instinctual response from Laxus. Alanza could have facepalmed in that moment. She was so stupid. She had brought an aggressive dragon slayer to meet another aggressive dragon slayer. She so should have thought of this. The slayers always fought when they first met. Every single one except Wendy.
“Laxus what are you doing?” And then there was Levy who still didn’t know about Laxus’s little lacrima issue.
“Nothin.” Alanza was feeling extremely tense when the two Phantom wizards stepped into the cleared area of river bank her team had been calling home for the last two days. It wasn’t anything fancy, just one big tent with all their gear in it, a small fire that was now just a few smoldering coals in a wet hole, and a training dummy Laxus had been forcing the girls to practice basic physical attacks on. Then there was the solid script umbrella they were sitting under. That was new and Alanza still hadn’t figured out how the magic prevented the rain from falling right through the spaces between the letters.
“Hey guys. You seem to have made good time.” Alanza had spent enough time studying Levy’s map to know that if Gajeel and Juvia had been in Oak town at the main Phantom Lord guildhall they had a whole lot farther to travel than the three Fairies had.
“We have shit to do when we get back so we pushed the magic mobile pretty hard.” With the way Gajeel was glaring at them Alanza didn’t have to remind herself that he was still kinda a bad guy. “This mission is some kind of damn Fairy trick isn’t it?”
“Yes and no. There isn't a mission, but all we want to do is talk. I'm glad you both came. I was worried only one of you would be here. Levy, could you maybe write up some iron for our friend? That is why they are here after all.” Gajeel and Juvia both fell into battle stance when Levy's hands came up.
“Solid Script Iron!” Gajeel’s eyes widened when the iron landed in front of him. He didn’t touch it, but his nose started twitching. “It’s not poisoned or anything. It’s just iron. The spell only produces what I tell it too. You’re a dragon slayer, right? So you eat your element just like Natsu.” His eyes shot to Levy.
“You mean Salamander?”
“Yeah, I guess. It’s wierd to think of him like that. I mean I know he’s strong, but...”
“He’s a fucking moron.”
“Don’t deny it, Bookworm.”
“Well you don’t have to say it like that way.” Gajeel grinned as he eyed Laxus.
“Laxus, eh. That makes you the Thunder God.”
“Oh for crying out loud!” Dragon slayers and their damn need to fucking fight everything. “You are a living lightning rod Gajeel and water and electricity don’t mix. You start a fight with Laxus Juvia will try to back you up and I know you don’t wanna see her get hit by the kind of lightning this guy throws around.” She was totally banking on Gajeel caring about Juvia right now.
“Why is the Fairy concerned with Juvia’s wellbeing?”
“It's a damn bluff, Juvs, and you know it. Nothing but hot air.”
“It is not a bluff! I care about both of you! I’m here because I want you both to come back to Fairy Tail with me. I wanna hear Gajeel and Mira make music that terrifies the rest of us, and I wanna take pictures and pretend I’m not laughing when he tricks Lucy and Levy into wearing those stupid bunny suits, and I wanna be there when he finds his cat! I wanna call Juvia my sister and have her teach me how to sew and help her find the sun and maybe even see her learn how to heal the people she cares about with her magic! And I want to make Jose suffer for all the things he has put you through! But if you two wanna be stubborn and distrustful about it fine!”
She stomped over to the stupid training dummy and started punching it. Diplomacy was apparently not her thing. Maybe she should have asked someone else to go in her place, because she was totally sure she just botched that whole thing, not to mention making herself look like a total loon. She punched the dummy harder.
“Juvia thinks that if the Fairy widened her stance she would have more power in her strike.” Alanza stared at the water mage in surprise. While Levy was attempting to keep peace beyween the still growling dragon slayers Juvia had followed Alanza out into the rain. Well, Alanza was in the rain. Juvia had her pink umbrella.
“Alanza. My name is Alanza.” She shifted her feet just a bit. “Like this?”
“Yes.” She threw another punch and raised her eyebrows.
“Nice. Thanks, Juvia.” More power ment it hurt her knuckles more. Maybe she should get some fingerless gloves. Leather ones. That sounded kinda badass.
“Why does Alanza want Juvia to teach her to sew?”
“Well let's just say I totally suck at stuff like that, and, uhh...” She couldn’t tell the girl she had seen her appartment in an alternate future and had been jealous of the sewing abinity she displayed through her obcession with Gray. “My magic just kinda tells me things, and it tells me you are a natural.”
“Does Alanza not find Juvia’s magic gloomy?”
“Rain brings life, Juvia, how could I find life gloomy? Besides, if I can help you be happy you won’t have to live without the sun. I want to help you see the sun, Juvia. My magic knows things, and I know that someday you will see the the sun every single day. It’s your choice though. I can’t force you to leave Phantom Lord.”
A rather horrendous sound drew her attention back to the other three wizards. Gajeel had finally given in to the temptation of Levy's iron. For some reason Alanza hadn’t anticipated the sound of screaming metal when he bit into it. How was the man not deaf? The twisted look on Laxus’s face said she should go rescue the man before he ruined this day even worse than she already had.
“Hey, Laxus, I think the point at which you would have needed to rescue us has passed already. You don’t have to babysit us anymore.”
“Juvia promises the Thunder God's friends will not be harmed by her.” Juvia gave Gajeel a look that was remaniscent of Erza.
“What woman? I’m not gunna attack them for no reason! Besides they fed me.” The way to a dragon slayer’s heart was through their stomach. Maybe when she went searching for the Seis she should take snake venom or something. Gajeel eyed Alanza for a moment. “You’re wierd.”
Laxus snorted and flash-boomed himself to the other side of the river. Apparently Gajeel insulting her was enough to win the electric asshole's trust because he proceeded to pop his sound pods on and apparently take a nap. Even propped under a tree like he was it was still raining, so Alanza had no clue how he was comfortable. Alanza stuck her tongue out at him before turning back to Gajeel.
“What’s your point?”
“You don't know us. Why do you give a shit?”
“In a way I do know you. My magic tells me things, kinda like prophecies but not exactly. That has allowed me to get to know both of you enough to know you belong with us. You deserve better than Phantom Lord.” She took a moment to think before she continues.
"Jude Heartfilia has, or will very soon, contact Phantom Lord in an attempt to retreive his daughter. Now despite what he says she had very good reasons for leaving and will fight to her last breath to stay free. Master Jose will use Jude's request as an excuse to go to war with Fairy Tail. This is a war he can not win. I’m being upfront with you about this, because if it was me and I heard about this in some round about way I would probably assume that our offer to join Fairy Tail was just to weaken Phantom and strengthen Fairy Tail in prepration for the fighting. It isn’t. Would that happen if you came with us? Yes, of course. However that is more of a bonus, because we will end up winning either way.”
“How does Alanza know of Master Jose’s plans?” Gajeel just stared off into the distance, not reacting to Juvia's voice at all.
“Secret Magic.” The wind shifted and the iron slayer’s eyes flew wide before focusing intently on Levy. He walked closer and started walking in slow circles around her. Levy looked at Alanza nervously and silently mouthed ‘What is he doing?’. Alanza just shrugged even though she had her suspicions. He came to a sudden stop and leaned down to look in the script mage’s eyes.
“What about you, Shrimp? Fox is here to play some fucked up game of chess and Sparky is here in case the game goes south. Why are you here?”
“I guess I'm a chess piece? Alanza invited me. Maybe I'm just here to cater. I don't really know.” Gajeel suddenly spun, grabbed Alanza by the arm, and dragged her far enough away that Levy and Juvia couldn’t hear him when he started whispering.
“If you hadn’t started playing chess what would have happened? Don't give me some vague voodoo and smoke shit. Shrimp told me your magic shpws you pieces of the future. Tell it straight.”
“Jose would send you to Magnolia. You would tear up the guildhall and beat the shit out of one of our teams. You would have left them hung up on a tree in the park. Just to make sure Fairy Tail got the message you would have left Phantom’s guildmark on Levy’s skin.” Gajeel blanched and reached out to steady himself on a nearby tree. “We would find them the next morning after they hung there all night. You want me to stop or keep going?”
“How- how could I do that to... Are you sure?” His red eyes went to where the blunettes were talking under Levy’s umbrella. “Are you sure I would do that to her?”
“It’s why I brought her with me. If you met her now without the haze of battle-lust I hoped that wouldn’t happen that way.” His eyes hardened.
“It won't. Not me and not anybody else. No one will hurt her.” His eyes turned back to Alanza. “I swear it. We will come with you. Juvia wants to, I can tell. If... If you hadn’t brought her I don’t know what I would have done, but I won’t go back. I won’t risk... I won’t let her get hurt.”
“So... Before I get all excited and let the others know you are coming back with us I have two questions. You wouldn’t happen to know where Ryos is would you?”
“What's that little shadow lover got ta do with anything?” Alanza's hand snapped out to flick him in the forehead before she thought better of it. Her arm stayed attached to her body, so that was good.
“He’s your sworn brother for one, and a sweet kid, not to mention a dragon slayer.”
“I know he’s just a kid, but he should join Fairy Tail too. I’m expecting another young slayer to join the guild about the time we get back. Wendy is twelve I think and a sky dragon slayer.”
“Wait just a minute! Since when is that kid a dragon slayer?”
“Since basically this whole time dumb ass. Can’t you smell it or something?”
“Not if he’s not using his damn magic like he should be!” Well that explained why Laxus hadn’t been outed by Natsu a long time ago.
“Well you need to get him to Magnolia before something bad happens to him or something!”
“Allright then!” Both blunettes were staring at them by then. “By the way. My second question was about her. Is she what I think she is to you?”
“Shut your face and mind your own business!” He stomped back over to the umbrella and started tearing chunks out of the iron Levy made for him. Alanza smirked. She was going to consider that a yes.
“Hey, Laxus! Mission accomplished! We can go home now!” Laxus flipped her off. She shrugged. They could go home later then. That was fine by her.
Chapter 8: Home
In which Alanza returns to the guildhall.
They ended up splitting into three groups on the way home. Laxus took off to who knew where on his own. Gajeel, not having aquired motion sickness yet, stayed with then as far as the little town where the train tracks ended, or started depending on which way you are headed. Since they had the magic mobile the trip back went so much faster than the trip out to the river had. When the girls got on the train Gajeel took the magic mobile and a very short list of essentials from Juvia and headed to Oak town. He would be doing his best to stay unnoticed as he collected Ryos and anything the three of them just couldn't replace with the not inconsiderable savings the two ex Phantoms had. It did not go unnoticed to Alanza that he pulled Juvia aside before he left and charged her with protecting herself and Levy. Mostly Levy.
Juvia and Levy talked almost nonstop during the train ride back to Magnolia. Gajeel was a topic of conversation of course. Levy tried to act uninterested as she milked Juvia for information. Though there weren't a whole lot of good stories the water mage could tell considering how they had been living while with Phantom Lord. Totomaru also came up. Honestly it hadn’t occured to Alanza that he might be a salvagable guy, though it sounded like he was a decent sort. She should have seen that coming considering the fact that he was Romeo’s magic teacher in what was now the alternate future.
Alanza took chance to meditate. She could feel her magic now. The first time it happened she had panicked, thinking she had accidently killed herself or something. It was an odd tingly, hot feeling in her chest, which was why she thought she was having a heart attack. Laxus had laughed at her openly, Levy had at least tried to hide how funny she thought the incident was. She still hadn’t done anything with that magic yet, which was growing increasingly frustrating.
“Here it is. Fairy Tail’s guildhall.” Alanza grinned, trying to ease the extreme case of nerves that the water mage had been struck with. “Welcome home, Juvs.” She shoved the doors open. “We're back!”
“Levy, you’re back!” Jet and Droy mobbed the little blunette before she even had time to breath.
“Hey Girly! You got back aweful fast.”
“And who is this lovely lady you have brought back with you?”
“Back off, Loke. Let her talk to Gramps first. You can flirt all you want later. She’s here to stay.” Alanza glanced around, looking for said master and found him missing along with Mira.
“Come have a drink, Girly. On the house.” Alanza couldn’t help but grin when Cana beckoned her over to the bar.
“Who left you in charge of the booze, Cana?”
“Mira took our new dragon slayer and her cat over to Fairy Hills to get settled in. I think she left Gramps in charge, but he went upstairs with Mystogan. I wanna unwrap that man. Whadda ya think he’s hiding under all those layers? You traveled with him, fess up? Is he delicious?”
“Leave poor Myst alone. He wouldn’t know what to do with you if you came onto him. Let him grow reaccustomed to talking to people first. And he stayed all wrapped up while we were traveling, so I have nothing to fess up about. Come on, Juvs. Let’s go get you properly stamped.” Alanza received a few more greetings from people she didn’t really know as she dragged Juvia toward the stairs.
Master Makarov’s office was empty, so she moved on to Mystogan’s. What she saw there had her jaw dropping. It was clean for one, and bigger. It looked like whatever office had been next to this one had been cannibalized to double their space. The single dusty desk had been replaced with a conference table. There was a huge chalkboard on the end wall and one of the long walls was almost entirely corkboard. The other long wall had smaller chalkboards, cork boards, and separated bins marked in and out. There was one of each for each S-class wizard, Makarov, and herself, with their names on the wall above them.
“What the hell happened here?”
“Ah, Alanza dear. You are back sooner than expected.”
“Lightning teleportation and a magic mobile. I repeat. What the hell?”
“Apparently Master and Mira are taking this very seriously. I take it your mission was successful.”
“Umm. Yeah. Juvia this is Master Makarov and Mystogan one of our S-class wizards. Master, Myst, meet Juvia Lockser. Gajeel will be joining us in a couple days. He went to fetch some things and another slayer.” She grinned sheepishly. “I totally forgot Ryos was with Gajeel right now.”
“You don’t waste time, do you child? Well, Juvia, shall we go to my office? There are a few things we should talk about and we need to get you your new guildmark.” Juvia went to follow the little old man out of the room.
“Hey, Gramps! Behave yourself like Porlusica is watching!” That drew a chuckle from Mystogan. She could only hope Gramps had heard her since he was already gone. “So. How is Wendy?”The man in blue shifted nervously.
“She is doing well. I'm... I'm glad you sent me to get her. Roubaul is a good man, but she needed to be around real people, and people closer to her own age.”
“Ryos is close to her age right now.”
“Right now?” Oops. She was going to pretend that slip up didn’t happen.
“I’ve got a few others I might be able to find. Sting, Yukino, Kinana.” Actually all of the Sabers who had been at the games should be about the right age right now. Maybe she could get Minerva taken away from her father on grounds of being a murdering, abusive maniac. Later. “So. How long will you be in town?”
“Erza called this morning. They are on their way back. I figured I would stay at least until we can all sit down and talk one more time.” Alanza plopped into one of the chairs and dropped her head back.
“Damn. These are cumfy.”
“You’ve been on a mission. Everything will be comfortable right now.”
“Are you laughing at me?”
“Whyever would I do that?” She could hear the smug in his voice.
“How should I know? I just feel like you are. What about Laxus?”
“What about me?”
“Speak of the devil. Erza should be back today and I was trying to figure out where everyone was.” She picked her head up and blinked. The Thunder Legion was standing behind him. In that moment, with Freed and Evergreen both all but sneering at her and Bickslow behind his visor she could totally get why the rest of the guild avoided them. They just put off this air that said they didn’t want anything to do with the lesser life forms around them. Just like Laxus. “Huh. You guys are back Really early.” Evergreen huffed and snapped open her fan.
“What would you know of it?”
“We returned when Laxus summoned us as is our duty.”
“What the Bossman wants the Bossman gets.” *gets what he wants, yes sir boss sir, who’s the babe, hey babe.
“Alanza. It’s nice to meet you too. Gee you three make me feel so welcome. Relax. Come on in and have a seat. This room will be locked up tight once Erza gets here so this might be your only chance.”
“Freed’s up here to set up runes just for that.” Laxus sat down and immediately tossed his feet into the table.
“Your manners are atrocious, Thunder Butt.”
“How dare you speak to Laxus that way!”
“Freed, sweetie, Laxus is fully capable of defending himself from little ole me all by himself. Besides maybe I was calling his ass explosively sexy?” Freed gaped at her and Bickslow cracked up. His tongue really was impressive.
“Oh, I like you. Sugar and Spice. Where ya from Spices?” *sugar and spice, everything nice, so spicey.
“A galexy far, far away.” Wow that was cheesy. Thankfully noone would catch the reference.
“That settles it. You are now one of my favorite people ever!” *I am your father, Nooo, may the force be with you, the dark side has cookies. Strike that. Apparently Earth Land had Star Wars and Bickslow was a fan.
“Those movies are such ridiculous drivel.”
“They are epic!” *so epic, drama, kaboom.
“You can make a Star Wars fan out of a Trekie, Bix.” Freed’s eye twitched, as did the hand resting on his sword. “Not that I’m dissing Star Trek or anything because Spok rocks.” Evergreen scoffed.
“Guy bonding moments aside, who are you?” Her fan shot out to point at Alanza's face. "And what are you doing up here on the second floor?”
“She is the key to winning wars before they begin, and you three are taking her shopping.”
“As you wish, Laxus.”
“No they are not!”
“I don't wanna go if Ever's going!” *nooo, don’t make us, the pain.
“Take off your shoes, Carrots.”
“I'd really rather not.”
“Just do it.”
“No! Hey!” Her shoes started taking themselves off. “Shit! Stop it, Bix! That hurts!” It stopped, but two of the babies stayed sitting on the table.
“Take em off, Carrots.” She glared at him, but complied.
“Alanza! You're bleeding!” Mystogan shoved her chair away from the table to look at her feet.
“I'm fine, Myst. I'm just not used to that much walking.”
“How did we not notice him sitting back there?” *hiding in the shadows, so sneaky, so quiet.
“Why did you keep walking till it got this bad?”
“I had somewhere I needed to be!” Mystogan started peeling her socks off as gently as he could.
“And that is why you are taking her shopping. She’s a stubborn little shit and doesn't know how to take care of her own fucking self.”
“I don’t see how that is our problem.” Evergreen huffed again and hid behind her fan. Alanza had seen the cringe when she saw her feet though, and the fact that the woman started ro lean forward as if to help before she thought better of it.
“She’s putting herself in danger for the guild. That makes it our problem.”
“We have to get your feet cleaned up.”
“Seriously, Myst I’m-”
“Don’t you dare say you are fine! You are not fine! You are the most frustrating, stubborn, difficult woman I have ever met and I know Erza! Twice!” Despite the fact that unbinding her feet made them hurt a shit ton more Alanza couldn’t help but laugh at his outburst. “This isn’t really a laughing matter you know.” He narrowed his eyes at her and felt very small. “These abbrasions could get infected extremely easily. You must take better care of yourself.”
“Yes your Highness.” He jabbed his finger at her face.
“You stop that!”
“Go tell Mira we need drinks.” Freed walked briskly from the room.
“But Mira went-”
“She’s back. I smelled her.” Evergreen wrinkled her nose in Laxus’s direction.
“That is gross.”
“Shut it, Ever.”
“Fine. I agree to take the new girl shopping. “What kind of budget am I working with?” Alanza opened her mouth to argue again, she had no money after all, but Laxus was not to be denied.
“Bill me. Till we get her out taking her own jobs the S-class will cover her. We’ll call her a guild expense. Now get lost. We have a meeting. You can have her when we are done.” Evergreen got all sorts of excited, squealed, and ran from the room. Bickslow waved and followed after her.
“See ya later, Spices!” *bye, see ya, spicey lady.
“Look at it this way, Carrots. You’re putting your training on hold to help us with shit. We owe you for that. Besides you can pay me back later.”
“I know Mystogan got you the gear you already have. The girls can make sure you have a place to stay and shit like that till you start taking jobs.”
“You can’t just volu-”
“Indeed. There is a room right next to mine in Fairy Hills. I shall cover your bill for the time being. I insist.” Alanza facepalmed. Apparently timing was a natural force in this universe. Like gravity.
“Hey, Erza. Welcome back.”
“Looks like everyone is here!” Mira came bustling in with a tray full of drinks, followed by Freed who carried a tub of steaming water and what looked like a first aid kit, Fairy Tail style which ment it was pretty impressive. “I’ll go get Master so we can all report.” The drinks went on the table and the other supplies were handed off to Mystogan. Freed was scarily efficient with his rapier and soon purple runes ran around the room and across the door.
“Alanza, you must be more careful with your feet. If you injure them you will be at the mercy of your enemies.” Alanza shuddered. The red-head was just so intense.
“There. See!” Mystogan glared at her as he dampened a clean cloth. “Maybe you will listen to Erza if you won’t listen to me.”
“I told her the same damn thing.”
“Fine! Gee guys. Ok. I will take better care of myself and my feet and not push myself so hard lest my enemies be drawn to the smell of my foot blood!” All three of them looked at her like she was crazy. Maybe she was. She was a Fairy Tail wizard after all.
Chapter 9: Advice
In which Alanza begins telling the future.
“We need string.”
“Why the fuck do we need string?”
“For the timeline. I need string to connect shit like a spiderweb.”
“Anything else?” Alanza glared at Laxus, hoping his sarcasm got wedged in his craw and choked him.
“Well we have half a forest worth of paper, and pencils, and enough chalk for the Olympics-”
“What is an Olympics?” Erza had requiped into a suit jacket and pencil skirt and was tapping her pencil impatiently while they waited for Mira and Makarov.
“A worldwide physical skills tournament. Everything from swimming and races to fencing and archery. They use a lot of chalk for acrobatics. If my world had magic, wizards would be excluded from competing because it would be considered cheating.” Erza hummed thoughtfully. Alanza hoped telling her magic was cheating would discourage her from attempting to recreate her own version of the Olympics. “So. Paper, pencils, chalk, pushpins for the mother of all corkboards and her babies, drinks... String and snacks are all I can think of.”
“I brought sandwiches!”
“Mira your timing has to be divinely guided.” Mira giggled.
“Master will be just a moment. He is introducing Juvia to the guild.”
“Would yarn be acceptable for your task?”
“Yeah?” Erza produced a huge ball of red yarn from requip. That woman had serious hoarding issues. “Thanks.”
“You are welcome. I aquired it on a whim, however I find that knitting is far to time consuming a hobby when I could be training instead.” Right.
“Allright, brats. Let’s get to it.” Gramps skipped the chairs and just sat himself on one end of the table.
“Actually Master before we get down to business I was wondering if we could talk about inviting a few people to join us? If everyone approval of course.”
“Who did you have in mind?” Laxus spoke up before she could.
“Freed.” The other S-class wizards fixed questioning looks on the big blond. “Planning shit and stratagizing is what he fucking does. Rune magic is all about out-thinking your enemy.”
“Any objections?” Makarov made eye contact with each person in the room before nodding. “Very well. Freed will be added to the group. We can call him Laxus’s advisor.” Alanza could have facepalmed. These people were so dramatic.
“Levy Mcgarden.” Even Alanza was surprised to see Mystogan speak up. “I've seen her work. The girl is brilliant.”
“Objections?” Before Laxus's sneer could produce words Alanza spoke up.
“She can write her way out of Freed’s rune traps. She really is brilliant.” Laxus grunted.
“Then Levy will be Mystogan’s advisor.” Gramps smirked. “Or representative seeing as how he won’t stick around and we all know it. You do understand this means you have to talk to the girl.”
“I am well aware of the fact that I need to change how I interact with people if I am to avoid certain issues in the future, Master.”
“Do you girls have advisors you wish to bring into the room before we start?”
“Alanza,” Erza paused in her pencil tapping while she spoke. “You know more about what we are capable of than even we do, seeing as how you know our alternate future. Who would you reccommend for the task?” Alanza grinned, knowing that her reccommendations were going to ruffle feathers.
“Lucy and Cana.” Laxus snorted and Erza looked surprised.
“You have mentioned holding Lucy in rather high regard before.” Mystogan spoke in his usual even tone, the enraged mother hen tone from when he had cleaned and bandaged her feet earlier nowhere to be found. “Why is that?”
“To start with she is from a wealthy family. That does not mean she is a spoiled princess. It means she was raised with all the knowledge and abilities to run a multi billion jewel company and all that goes with it. Secondly she is a celestial spirit mage. That means she uses strategy in how she fights and is accustomed to thinking in several directions at once. Also she is a writer. She has a very flexible and active mind. Erza, if you can actually listen to her advice I strongly recommend you choose her as your advisor.”
“All excellent reasons. Master, I choose Lucy as my advisor.”
“I think Cana would make a really good advisor!” Mira ignored Laxus's scoffing and Erza's skeptical look. “She is very reliable when she is needed and her magic could be quite useful here. She uses predictions and probability to tell fortunes after all.” Laxus grumbled a bit, but just shrugged when Makarov looked at him.
“And you, Alanza?”
“I reserve the right to elect an advisory representative at a later date.” Mystogan made an odd choking sound. Probably trying not to laugh.
“Mira, would you call up our new advisors please?” When Mira left the room Alanza picked up the ball of yarn and started to stand up only to have Mystogan yank it out of her hands and shove her back into her chair.
“You stay put. Your feet need rest. Tell me what you want done.” She glared and he glared back from behind his mask.
“Fine. I want a string along the top of the motherboard for starters, about two feet down, to represent the timeline.” He started pinning the red yarn up on the wall. “Shit. I forgot-” Erza requiped a dagger and helped him cut the string. “Scissors. That works too, I guess.”
She pulled a few papers closer to her and began writing the major events as they would have happened in big letters, one for each paper. Phantom War. Fantasia. Nirvana. She almost wrote The Tower, realized that Erza would lose her shit, and wrote Frenemy instead. Edolas. Tenrou. She handed that one to Mystogan.
“Can you put that above the middle of the timeline with a short string connecting them?” Erza cut the string and they hung it up while she continued. Guppy Clock. GMG. She hesitated before labeling one simply The Cube. That Stupid Year. Evil Crybaby. Winged Hypocrite. Really Zeref and Acnologia had to be delt with at the same time, but since they needed to be delt with as two seperate catastrophies she was making them two things.
“Frenemy? Evil Crybaby? That Stupid Year?” Laxus shuffled her papers and gave her a look she was labeling as droll. “The fuck is going on in your head, Carrots?” Alanza smirked at him.
“Wouldn't you like to know.” Alanza pulled the papers back to her and put them in two stacks with tiny numbers in the corners to show what order they went in. She wrote October in parentheses at the bottom of the Fantasia paper.
“Damn, Girly. Quite the set up you've got goin on up here.” Cana seemed to be mostly sober for a change.
“Since when does the guildhall have a conference room?” Alanza fangirled inside just a bit at being this close to Lucy.
“Master gave you a whole hall for your secrets, eh, Alanza?”
“Yeah I guess so.” Freed said nothing, but his eyes flicked from the papers on the table to the wall and back.
“Alanza this is your meeting as far as I am concerned, I’m just here to observe, keep order, and share my aged wisdom.” Alanza wasn’t the only one to roll her eyes at their little master.
“Ok, first thing you four should know. Anything and everything said or seen in the Hall of Secrets stays in the Hall of Secrets. Your teams, girlfriends, boyfriends, pet dust bunnies, and rose bushes can not hear about this? If you want to back out now is your chance.” She waited, but none of them left or spoke up, not that she expected them to.
“Each of you was chosen by one of the S-class wizards here today to help us change the future. Master says you are advisors as well as representatives of your S-class wizard when you are available when they are not. The representative thing is mainly for Levy because Mystogan is an antisocial bastard as well as responsible for some important shit none of the rest of us can deal with. We are going to be making some seriously heavy decisions in this room, and I imagine some pretty big mistakes as well, so this is your last chance. Have a seat or walk out.”
They sat. They weren't stupid, that was why they were here, so each wizard sat next to their own S-class wizard without being told who they were attached to. Levy and Lucy sat in the correct seats even though Mystogan and Erza were both standing on the other side of the room. Alanza handed the two stacks of event papers to Mystogan.
“These are before Tenrou and these are after. For now just space them evenly I guess. Just like the Tenrou page.” As Mystogan and Erza hung the papers Alanza leaned back in her chair and addressed the newer additions to the group. “What we are hanging on the board is a timeline of the future. Or what would have been the future if I hadn’t come to this world. Yes, I said this world. I’m from another universe in which this one existed as a comic book. This-” She pointed to the wall. “Is basically a list of all the bad things that would have happened in the future and we-” She gestured around the room. “Are going to do everything we can to prevent them.” Cana raised her hand.
“Do I have to do this sober? Because I could really use a drink right now.”
“Depends. How well do you trust your own judgment and the accuracy of your magic when you are drunk? The last time Gildarts faced a dragon he lost more than just an arm and a leg.” She pointed at the board again. “There are four seperate dragon attacks on that timeline.”
“Fuck.” Alanza almost laughed. The word spoken softly from half a dozen people in tandem came out pretty loud.
“Erza could you cut these papers in half Without harming our table please?” Alanza intentionally looked away from Erza while she kept speaking. “Like I said. Big stuff. Also. Several of the wizards in this room and a few who aren’t are going to have to deal with some downright painful shit from the past. I’m going to give you some advice. Deal with it straight on. Trust your guildmates. We are a family and we will always take care of eachother. Speaking of which.” She leaned forward and smiled. “Hello, Lucy. I’m Alanza. It is very nice to meet you.”
“It’s nice to meet you too.” She turned back to the timeline.
“We will start with the things that are sooner and work our way up the timeline. First of all. The Phantom War.” Erza handed the stack of halved papers back to her and she began puting names on them.
“Gajeel and Juvia were Phantom Lord wizards.” Levy's forehead was wrinkled in concern.
“Yes they were. We changed that. You, me, and Laxus. They are Fairy Tail now and it will stay that way. At least they will be once Gajeel and Ryos get here. Their joining us will severely cripple the master of Phantom Lord. However the war may still happen. Lucy. I’m afraid you are going to have to be the first of us to deal with shit.” Lucy paled. “The excuse Phantom Lord used to attack Fairy Tail was a job request. To return the kidnapped daughter of one Jude Heartfilia.” Lucy looked sick. Alanza handed several name papers to Mystogan. “Could you put those under Phantom War with lines connecting them to where it’s string touches the timeline?”
The whole team watched while the names were tacked up. Gajeel. Ryos. Juvia. Jude. Jose. Totomaru. Leo. Loke was the one Alanza was the most concerned about at the moment. The Phantom War had been a bonding moment between him and Lucy. She didn’t want to share Loke’s secret if she could help it, however he needed to bond with Lucy and she with him.
“We are slapping a Fairy Tail stamp on Gajeel and Ryos as soon as they get into town. Juvia is already taken care of. The mission Jude sent is only an excuse. Jose will doubtless find another even if Jude is dealt with. Juvia has told us that Totomaru is a decent sort of guy, so if we can tempt him away from Phantom Lord that would also be nice. As for Leo... I’m working on that, and could we also attach that one to Fantasia?” Honestly she had to talk to Loke before she actively did anything there. "Lucy. Would you like the chance to tell the group about Jude? Remember what I said earlier. We are a family, even if Laxus is an emotionally constipated asshole, and you aren't the only one who will have to deal with some rough stuff today.”
What qualified Alanza to guide these people through their past emotional trauma she wasn’t sure, but she was the only one who could do it. The Stupid Year was evidence enough of Makarov’s failing to deal with the mental and emotional state of his brats. Though she guessed that was an improvement over poor Laxus and whatever the hell he had been thinking when he raised Ivan. Lucy might be first, but Erza, Mystogan, Mira, and hopefully both Laxus and Cana had shit to face. And that was just today.
Chapter 10: Dads
In which plans are made.
Lucy took her time composing herself, looking around the room more than once. She received reassuring smiles from all the females as well as Gramps. From the three socially crippled man children she got reassuring nods. Mystogan may have smiled at her too, but who knew with that mask on. Finally she took a deep breath and started talking.
“Jude Heartfilia is my father. About a year ago he tried to force me to marry a man three times my age in a business proposition. When I tried to argue with him about it he... He tried to take my magic away.” She sniffles a bit and there were angry scowls all around the room. “My mother was a celestial wizard. I got my first keys from her when she died. He- he tried to sell me as some sort of sex slave and take away the only thing I have left of momma! How can a father do something like that?”
Levy, Cana, and Mira gathered around the now openly crying Lucy and made sweet female-supporting-other-female noises. Alanza was glad they were there because she handled crying people only a bit better than Laxus did. Erza was visably pissed, as in she was radiating that visable black pissed-off-wizard energy. All three boys looked upset on multiple levels. They were socially crippled, sure, but part of the reason they were that way was because their own dads were huge dipshits.
“Listen, Blondie,” It said something about how long Laxus’s arms were that it took so little effort for him to lean forward and reach past all those girls to place his huge hand on Lucy’s head. “Around here you are just another Fairy Tail wizard. Where you come from and who you were before don’t matter to us. You belong with us and we won’t let that cum stain take you back.” He gave her head a pat before pulling back. Wow. The contrast between this little speach and the way he had reacted to the Phantom War the first time around was extreme.
“As Laxus has said, Miss Lucy.” Freed held his guildmarked hand up. “Once we placed this mark on our persons our fathers no longer had a true hold upon us. We are Fairy Tail wizards.”
“Our fathers?” Freed smirked.
“You may not recall, as I left several years ago and you were quite young at the time. I imagine you have seen my father at a few high society functions.” Lucy gave a small shout and pointed at him with a look of shock.
“You’re Lord Justine’s heir! There was a big ruckus when you dissapeared a while back.” Laxus snorted.
“Dissapeared my fucking ass.” The look of distaste on Freed’s face made his feelings on the subject quite clear.
“Indeed. My father knows precisely where I am and always has. I imagine yours does as well, considering he knows where to send Phantom Lord. He knows well enough that you were not kidnapped or anything of the sort.”
“Ya know what would be funny?” She was totally about to kill the mood here. “We should have a special fathers day where we dress up a couple dummies and label them ‘good dad’ and ‘bad dad’ then throw shit balls at the bad one and give flowers to the good one. We’d end up with, like, three really well fed flowers.” There was complete silence and everyone stared at her blankly before Mystogan spoke up.
“You really think we’d have that many?” Cana facepalmed and the whole room broke into laughter.
“Yep. Three exactly. Arman, Igneel, and I bet Macao would get a pansy or something from Romeo.” Laxus snorted.
“A dragon who abandoned his kid, a pervy old drunk, and a dad who hasn’t been to see his exiled kid in years.”
“I will give you that Macao is a pervy drunk, however,” Alanza leaned forward and smirked. “I dare you to walk out that door and tell Natsu and Bickslow what you just said about their dads.” Laxus eyed the door warily. “I bet even you would be hard put if you pissed them both off at the same time. It's not true anyway. Igneel didn’t abandon Natsu and Arman is doing everything he can to deal with the seith ban in Bosco. Trust me he has a lot on his plate right now.”
“Laxus please. It would distress Bickslow greatly to hear you speak of Ambassador Pradesh in such negative terms.”
“Pradesh? Ambassador Pradesh? You are telling me that the laughing maniac waving his tongue around downstairs is a son of Arman Pradesh!”
“Take the time to get to know him, Lucy. He's a sweetheart really.” Lucy stared back and forth between Alanza and Bickslow’s teammates.
“Oh... Ok.” The blond leaned back in her chair with a slightly confused look on her face. If Alanza had to guess she would say Lucy was trying to wrap her mind around the difference between what she had seen of Bickslow and what she had imagined the sones of her idol would act like. Those two ideas probably couldn't be more different.
“Setting aside the father thing for a moment does anyone have thoughts or ideas on the possible Phantom War?”
“From the information you have shared with us Miss Alanza it sounds nore like the highly probable Phantom War than a mere possibility.”
“Yeah. And I say let em come. We’ll kick their asses all the way back to Oak Town.”
“Well said, Laxus. We are Fairy Tail wizards. You say we beat them the first time, correct? And that was with Juvia and Gajeel opposing us.” Not to mention the fact that Laxus and the Thunder Legion were active allies this time around.
“Another thing. It has occured to me that by avoiding or easing certain trials we are avoiding placing some of our wizards in positions where they were forced to grow. One such instance was Elfman. During the origional Phantom War he successfully performed a full body take over. However this was only acheived once Mira’s life was on the line.”
“So we train.” Cana’s solution was astoundingly simple. “We all train on our own, but it sounds to me like we need to be more actively pushing eachother to get stronger.”
“How actively though?” Levy had a whole sheet of notes written up. Alanza wasn’t sure they had even spoken that many words. “We can’t just go down their and start telling people like Elfman that they have to get stronger for no apparent reason. That will cause crazy rumors and mass hysteria.” Alanza was pretty sure the lot of them locking themselves in this room was already going to cause rumors, but whatever.
“The Legion trains together. It’s part of what makes them a good team.” That would kinda explain why they were considered so strong and went down relatively easily during Fantasia. They split up. “I say Gramps makes that a guildwide practice. Freed and the drunk can probably come up with the best teams for training purposes. Rotate sparing partners and shit like that. We'd end up with a stronger, more unified guild as a whole.”
“Sounds good to me!” Why Laxus felt like he needed Freed to advise him Alanza wasn’t sure. The man was obviously plenty smart on his own.
“Miss Cana and I can begin working on that task when we are finished here.” Alanza did an inner fistpump. If Freed was busy here it would mean no- “On second thought we will have to postpone the task until tomorrow. Laxus has tasked the Thunder Legion with seeing Miss Alanza outfitted with new shoes and the like. I believe Evergreen plans to spend the rest of the day shoping.” Damn. So close.
Mystogan must have caught Alanza eyeing the chalkboard because he stood and silently moved toward it. He dropped a hand onto the top of her head in passing as if to ensure she wasn’t floating out of her chair. In surprisingly neat handwritting he listed Freed and Cana’s names followed by the word ‘training’. He then propped himself against the wall near the corner where his staves leaned. Sitting still for this long had to be hard on a guy who was so constantly on the move.
“I know this is slightly off topic, but I think at some point before we conclude this meeting we should discuss what kind of budget this... Group has to work with.” Lucy’s business background was showing in a major way. “Alanza for one is not going to be able to go on very many jobs while she helps us organize things here at the guild. She needs a source of income. Also many of the tasks we generate in this room are going to require funds.”
“You can just pull what you need from the guild funds child.” Lucy rolled her eyes at Gramps.
“That is irresponsible, unorganized, and impractical.”
“Actually Master I was going to talk to you about that.” Mira gave the Master a sweet smile. “We seem to be running low on funds.” Gramps did that thing that happens in anime where the characters turn white and fall over. Alanza had tried to prepare herself ever since her first exposure to Mira’s eyes turning into stars, but wgen Gramps ghost floated out of his mouth it was all she could do to stay in her seat.
It took several minutes for Mira, Lucy, and Levy to coak the spectre back into Makarov's body. While most of the room was distracted by that Mystogan filled a price of paper with numbers and words like ‘percentage ‘fine', and ‘alternate income source'. The paper was sitting in front of Lucy when she sat back down. Alanza felt a little stupid when she realized that Mystogan being a prince ment he had tutors and shit growing up. Even though he left Edolas at a young age he was probably highly educated.
“Hmmm. These are good ideas.” Lucy pointed to the paper and grinned. “Oh, I like that. We have to do that.”
“Why don’t Lucy and Laxus look into the budget, not just for us, but for the guild. Mira, could you pull Max aside and see if he has any ideas regarding raising funds for the guild as well as getting outlr name out there more?”
“Sounds like an excellent idea!”
“Wait! Why the fuck am I the one working with Blondie on this?” Alanza rolled her eyes.
“Isn’t it obvious? If you want to take over for Gramps some day you need to start with stuff he is Already having trouble handling. Like money.” She smirked. “Careful Gramps, or we'll have to take your car keys next.” Alanza swore she heard crickets as the room stared at her. “Just... Pretend I didn’t say that.” They didn’t really have cars in Fiore, so that wasn’t a thing here. “What’s next?” Mystogan added the two tasks they had just assigned to the chalkboard.
“You said Juvia is friends with this Toto guy, right?” Alanza nodded and waited for Cana to make her point. “Then if and when Phantom comes to town we just send her to talk to him.”
“That would work.” Juvia’s magic would all but garantee her a victory over the fire wizard if it came to that anyway. Why were Cana’s solutions always so glaringly obvious? “Lucy. I really can’t tell you how to deal with your own father, but maybe you should take a day to go... Talk to him. Take a couple guildmates with you to ensure you return to us.” She had a lightbulb moment. “Perhapse Loke, for reasons. As well as whoever Freed and Cana have you training with at the time.”
“Yeah. I don't really want to, but I guess he will keep doing stuff like hiring Phantom Lord to ‘rescue' me if I don't. Loke seems to kinda... Not like me. Like at all.”
“It’s your magic. He will get over it.” Alanza grinned, thinking of all the ‘I Love Lucy’ banners that were in Loke’s future. “Trust me.”
“If you say so.”
“Right then.Anything else before we move on to the next event on the timeline?” She cringed inside when she saw the next event. Frenemy. Jellal and the Tower of Heaven. This game of chess was about to get complicated.
Chapter 11: Frenemy
In which Alanza and those in the Hall of Truth discuss the mysteries of the Tower of Heaven and Mystogan's pants.
"Before we discuss the frenemy event, Erza, would you and Lucy mind giving us a run down of how your mission went.”
“Very well. Truthfully I was not present for most of what happened so perhapse Lucy should give her report first.”
“Me? Uhh... Ok.”
As Lucy told the rest of the group about the Galuna Island mission Alanza continued working on tags to add to the motherboard. She had little need to pay close atrention as the mission went almost exactly as it had the first time. There were two noticable differences. One being that they received their reward as the mission had been approved by the guid and Erza had technically been present. The second being that the mysterious masked man was only mentioned the one time when ‘he’ discussed the moon drip spell with Lyon.
“So... We were successful. The island’s inhabitants are grateful to the guild for our help, and I got a new celestial spirit! Lucy did held up Saggitarius’s key and gave the room her cute little close-eyed, head tipping smile. Erza then told of her part in the mission.
“As Lucy already mentioned we split up upon arriving on the island. Alanza had informed me that there was an individual pulling strings in the background and it would benefit us to contact them. It took a while for me to hunt them down, but I finally did. The same masked individual Lucy spoke of earlier. We had a nice long chat. Which reminds me. I need to go visit my weaponsmith after this meeting and replace part of my collection.” Meaning they had faught at least a bit and Ultear’s Arc of Time magic had done a number on Erza’s swords and armour. “It is my beleif that they will be approaching us at some point in the near future. They seem to be incredably curious regarding how Alanza came to know of the betrayal in their past.” And apparently that was the entirety of Erza’s story.
“OK then. Pay close attention to this next part because it is about to get tricky.” She held out a name tag to Mystogan.” This individual is connected to Frenemy and Tenrou as well as the mission on Galuna island.”
“Ultear? It can’t be...”
“It is, in fact, the woman you are thinking of, Gramps. Ultear Milkovitch from the magic council. Who also happens to be the presumed dead daughter of Gray and Lyon’s sensei, Ur.”
“Good heavens.” Freed slumped a bit in his seat. “The magic council is our enemy?”
“Not exactly. She was lied to and manipulated by this man.” Another name tag. “Brain, aka Zero, used to be, I think, the head researcher at Era. We will see him again during the Nirvana incident. Ultear believes her mother cast her aside and replaced her with Gray and Lyon. She has been told that she can rewind time and get her mother back with enough power. She is currently working for this man.” Another name tag. “Hades, who we can also expect to see at Tenrou.”
“Wait a minute.” Levy waved her pencil around like a wand. “Tenrou Island? That is Fairy Tail's sacred ground. How are our enemies there?”
“Simple answer? Hades is a new name. He used to be known as Precht.”
“Fairy Tail's second master!”
“Yep. After a certain incident we will probably discuss at a later date he became obcessed with dark magics and is now trying to ressurect Zeref.” For now she was goung to leave out the fact that Zeref was still alive and didn't need resurrected.
“The dark wizard Zeref? Why would anyone do that?”
“You would think people would know better, but no. Actually... Let’s just say it is a recurring theme. Now. Ultear is connected to Frenemy through this guy.” She held up the paper between the fingers of her hand, the one farthest from Mystogan. She wasn’t ready for it to be seen yet. “Origionally we would have seen him there and then again during Nirvana where he became an ally. Sorta. Before I let Myst put this on the board I want you all to understand. The only reason he has been acting the way he has is because the crazy trickled down through the ranks and Ultear straight up hyjacked his brain. She is all up in his noggin because of the resurect Zeref/return her mother thing.”
She handed Mystogan the paper. He stared at it a moment, then looked up to the motherboard. She had no doubt his eyes were looking more at the ominous Edolas lable than at the Frenemy one the paper went under. This was where things were going to get uncomfortable for everyone.
“Alanza... Are you sure you want to do this?”
“We have to.” He took a deep breath and pinned the Jellal/Seigrain paper up, connecting it to both Frenemy and Nirvana with red yarn. Erza paled and made an almost whimpering sond when she read it. “I’m gunna give everybody a moment before we continue.” Erza wasn’t the only one who needed that moment. Seigrain was on the magic council, young, handsome, powerful. They all knew who he was. Alanza was pretty sure he had been in Lucy’s datable guys book when she first joined the guild.
“Two out of nine council members... conspiring with dark guilds.”
“Well, Seigrain is more just... Conspiring in general. He thinks Ultear is working for him to, when really she is pulling his mind strings. Basically he is posessed.”
“So...” Erza sounded shakey, looked it too. “Does that mean Jellal isn’t...”
“Evil? Correct. Once we shake the crazy lose and power wash the dark magic out of his brain he should be fine.”
“Oh, thank Mavis.” The fact that it was Mystogan and not Makarov or the obviously distressed Erza who said that got some raised eyebrows. Alanza smirked, but decided to have pity on the poor man.
“Erza, would you prefer to tell your story or shall I?”
“Y-you know about...”
“About the tower? Yes. I know a great many things about a great many people, many of whom have been to the Tower of Heaven.” She handed Mystogan five names. “Such as these people. Origionally we didn’t meet them until the Nirvana incident.” Mystogan added the true names of the Oracion Seis to the motherboard around Brain’s name. “However. Brain originally... Aquired them from the Tower of heaven. Richard's brother Wally, as well as three others, are still in the Tower.” She held the names of the four individuals who had kidnapped Erza and waited for him to finish. Levy hopped up and took them instead.
“Let me. Where do they go?”
“Frenemy.” Erza gasped when Levy reached up to place the names on the motherboard. “Simon and Sorano both have sisters as well who they haven’t seen since the Tower took them from their homes.” Mystogan finished placing the yarn for his names and reached for the two names she held. There was a length of yard dangling from Richard's name that Levy connected to Wally's.
“These two we wouldn’t have met till the GMG. As far as I know there are only eleven survivors of the tower at this time.” Erza made a slight sobbing sound and despite the fact that Lucy didn’t know why she was so upset she was comforting her the best she could. Alanza imagined her hugs were super awesome. “However. If we were to let things play out the way they did the first time there would only be ten by the time this Frenemy event was completed.” Erza startled everyone in the room by slamming her hands against the table and standing right out of Lucy’s hug.
“No! We will not let that happen! The Tower of Heaven has stolen enough lives! We will not let it take another! I will tell you all what happened there.” Erza walked around the table and gently touched the names on the board before speaking. “The Tower of Heaven was built using slave labor, primarily that of children. The dark cultists who ruled there would raid small villages, slaughter any who opposed them, and steal the defensless from their homes. I-I was one of those children. I shared a cell with several others. Wally, Sho, Millianna, Simon... Grampa Rob... and... Jellal.”
“Well Damn.” Alanza rolled her eyes. Cana was seriously lacking in the tact department.
“Jellal... Saved my life. I was being punished for an escape attempt.” Her hand came up and hovered over her artificial eye. “He offered himself in my place. I-I couldn't just accept letting him die that way. I faught back. Grampa Rob died to protect me and all the slaves in the tower revolted. We were victorious, but... By the time I got to Jellal it was to late. His mind had snapped. At least that is what I thought at the time. Perhapse it was the spell Alanza speaks of taking hold. He cast me out. Sent me away from the island in a small boat and burned all the others so... So the other slaves couldn’t escape. He told me if I ever came back he would kill them.”
“Fuck. That’s harsh, Red.” Mira silently wrapped her arms around Erza and held her.
“Origionally Erza’s team and Juvia were the only ones directly involved in this incident. However. Lives were lost. Seigrain had hired a trio of assassins from Death’s Head Caucus. Between them and the emotionally compromised state of the team they were simply to slow. Also no one was around to stop Ultear from collapsing the council building after she and Seigrain tricked them into firing the etherion cannon at the Tower of Heaven.”
“The etherion cannon? Child are you certain? Such a thing would only be done under the most dire of circumstances.”
“Two words. Ressurect Zeref. The majority of the council was unwilling to risk it. We may want to consider sharing some of what we know with authority figures outside of the guild. Carefully selected authority figures. Such as Master Makarov’s old team, and that one old lady on the council... I can’t remember her name. Warrod, though he might not take us seriously. Maybe Lahar. Speaking of Lahar! Seeing as how I know Exactly what is going on in Alvarez could you bring poor Mest home?”
“How do you- Right. Secrets of the past present and future.” Makarov sighed. “I’ll see about talking to the boy.” He gave Alanza a look that was very near a glare. “You and I need to have a talk later.” Laxus snorted.
“Your list of people to talk to later is getting pretty damn long, Carrots.”
“Shut up, Lightbulb!” He laughed. Honestly Alanza had expected to be electrocuted for her lack of self control. “I understand Master. Can we do it tomorrow? Laxus is forcing me to go shopping after we are done here.”
“I suppose that is acceptable.”
“Hey! What did you mean by Gramps old team? Wouldn't they be, ya know... Old? No offense ment to you Master.” Makarov smiled at the card mage.
“None taken child. Alanza is refering to the team I worked with when I was young and still active as a guild wizard.”
“Grampa Rob was one of your team mates, was he not, Master?”
“Yes. Rob was one. Also Porlyusica.”
“The old hag!”
“She was quite the looker in her younger years. Never much friendlier though. Councilman Yajima, Guildmaster Goldmine, and Guildmaster Bob were also my teammates.”
“They were members of Fairy Tail?” Levy’s voice was a bit awestruck.
“They were indeed, as was the Wizard Saint Warrod. Perhapse I should have letters delivered to them and ask for a meeting here. I can speak to Yajima, Belno, and Lahar when I go fetch Mest.”
“Who the fuck is Mest?”
“You will remember after he comes home.” Laxus growled, but let it go. Alanza had a lightbulb moment.
“Master would it be alright if I delivered the letter to Master Bob? I have something I need to look into in that direction.” Gramps studied her and hummed.
“I suppose so. When the time comes you should take someone with you though. You still aren’t familiar with how things work in this world. Laxus. You will deliver my letter to Goldmine. If you are serious about taking over after me you need to start taking some responsibility for things around here.” Laxus was visably shocked. “Now. Let’s return to the issue of this Tower of Heaven.”
“Right. Well, as I said before the origional team on this mission simply wasn’t able to pull it off without casualties. They will need back up or something. If we do this quickly we won’t have to worry about Ultear. If we are forced to wait we will have to send a team to deal with her also. Juvia has this... Water bubble spell that can get everybody in without being detected.”
“If Juvia goes then Gajeel is a good option. They have worked together and Juvia says they make a good team.”
“Lil Blue’s right. He’s a fucking asshole, but I’m pretty certain he’s a damn capable wizard.”
“What kind of enemies would we be up against? I am aware that... Seigrain uses heavenly body magic. Surely that alone would not be enough to cause you to suggest backup. What other opponents should we expect to face?” Alanza handed Erza three name papers.
“First off all your friends use magic now. Sho uses card magic. I’m not sure how similar it is to Cana’s, but he can trap people inside of his cards. Wally... does this weird minecraft transformation thing and he can turn his arm into a gun. Milliana makes these elastic cat tail things and I think she has claws. Simon... Has a blackout spell, I know that much.” Erza smiled at the thought of her friends as she made notes on their name sheets.
“Then there are the assasins. Hair Guy has hair he can use kinda like another limb and hypnotic music. He can ‘enslave’ the wizard who hears it to fight for him. Last time Lucy and Juvia beat him. Owl Guy can fly with, like, rocket boosters. He can also swallow his enemies and absorb their magic. I thing Natsu and Gray got him last time, but they may have had help. Sword Girl... Uses swords. I think that’s all she does, but... There was music and cherry blossoms. Erza barely beat her.”
“Wow. That was specific as fuck.”
“It was a long time ago, ok! And stuff doesn’t exactly... Happen in my world like it does here. Like... Stars in their eyes is just an expression there. Here peoples eyes turn into actual fucking stars! How the hell does that even happen? Seriously!”
“How do you tell what people are feeling if their faces don’t change?” Alanza looked at Lucy and felt her eye twitch.
“You just can. It's the same as here, just without the... more dramatic stuff. No hearts and stars for eyes, no actual sweat dropping or that washed out deadpan look, pervy nosebleeds aren’t real and nobody’s ghost escapes and goes flying around. Also whatever the fuck is up with Mystogans pants would not be a real thing.” The whole room turned to look at the masked man’s pants.
“You mean he wouldn’t wear em? Isn’t that just wishful thinking, Girly?” Mystogan turned his body sideways, probably in an attempt to keep Cana from staring at his crotch, but she just leaned back and stared at his butt instead.
“Seriously. They are Bowl shaped. What is with that? You collecting water when it rains or something? And how do you walk and keep from getting caught on trees? What holds them up? It’s insane!” Lucy snort-laughed.
“Oh my Mavis! She’s right! Your pants defy physics!” First Levy, then Freed, then the rest of the room followed Lucy into near hysterical laughter. Mystogan placed his hand over his eyes and groaned.
“You ever think This is why I put the whole guild to sleep when I come here?” Alanza grinned.
“So they don't laugh at your pants? Just wear different pants.”
“That is Not my Point and you know it!”
“Oh, Oh! If his pants defy physics does that make them their own law of nature?” Levy made a sputtering sound as she tried to hold in her laughter to speak. “The Law of Mystogan’s Pants! Bwahahaha!” He groaned again as the laughter increased.
“They’re enchanted, ok! I travel all the time and I can’t do caster spells like requip, so the Pockets of my pants are linked to my apartment so I can access stuff I stored there. Happy?” Erza got control of herself long enough to take a breath and speak.
“Pretty sure Happy won’t help you here.”
“Yeah! It's not like you have fish in your pants!”
“Magical fish pants!”
“Bet that smells rank as fuck on a hot day!”
“Cod! Myst has Cod pants!” Laughter finally burst out of Alanza. She couldn’t help it.
“More than a peice eh Myst?”
“For the love of magic would you all stop!”
“I will.” Cana grinned at him in the sleaziest way possible for a sober female. “If you share some of the magic in your pants.”
“Cana!” The other females turned almost as red as Mystogan did, though his blush was harder to see what with the mask and all.
“You!” Mystogan pointed his finger right between Alanza’s eyes. “This is all your fault!” Alanza leaned back in her chair and propped her feet up on the table.
“Yep. It’s totally my fault that you have physics defying magical pants.” Mystogan grabbed both sides of his head and growled in frustration. It ruffled his hat enough that more of his blue hair than usual was showing. “It is also totally my fault that those magic pants make your ass look super sexy without your travel gear on.” Sue her for totally noticing that once his cloak and staves were removed. She might have oogled a bit when his back was turned to work on the motherboard.
Mystogan glared at her and threw his arm out toward his staves. The one with the curly end and the golden rings hanging from it flew into his hand. He swung it sharply over the room as if he was backhanding someone. Suddenly it was silent. Most of them were still laughing or talking they just couldn’t be heard. He then sat down with an incredably smug air about him and tipped his chair back to lean against the wall.
“When you are all ready to behave like adults again I will lift that for you so that we can discuss the rather important reason we are here.” Alanza tried to point out that most of the people in the room were still teens and were therefore never adult in the first place. Her mouth moved, but the silence spell prevented her snark from reaching any ears. She shrugged and resigned herself to watching the others slowly compose themselves.
Mystogan continued to play with his staff while he waited and the only sound to be heard was the soft tap of the wood on the floor and the jingle of the golden rings. Once every one had settled down he tossed the staff toward the corner where it landed neatly with the others. Sound returned to the room then.
“I Will put you to sleep, Cana.”
“Fine, fine. Important adult shit. I wanna go on this mission. I know I’m not much of a combat wizard like the rest of em, but I wanna see this card kid in action.”
“We would welcome your assistance. I must admit I am looking forward to seeing the magic they have learned.”
“I bet Ryos would love to tag along. He uses shadow magic, so he’s real good with the stealthy stuff.”
“With the element of surprise on our side that should be sufficient, don’t you agree, Alanza?” She nodded. More than sufficient hopefully. If the Death’s Head crazies weren’t there yet and Erza was able to talk to her friends there would only be Jellal and no etherion cannon blast to worry about either. Lucy got up and pinned a list of the wizards assigned to the future mission to the board up next to the big Frenemy title page.
The Phantom War and the Tower of Heaven had been discussed and action planned. Alanza needed to speak with Loke, but Lucy already planned to be in close contact with him. Fantasia didn’t look like it would be anything but a parade this time around. She planned to take action to prevent Nirvana from becoming an incident after delivering Makarov’s letter to Master Bob, as well as talk to Hibiki about Urano Metria. That would leave only Edolas as an issue before Tenrou.
Chapter 12: Adjourned
In which they conclude their meeting.
That should about do it for now I think. The rest can wait till the Fantasia parade.” She could let them thing that was just a time reference. “We can wrap this all up unless anyone wants to add anything else to the information pool. Like secretly being a dragon slayer, or a prince from another dimension, or having a long lost relative in the guild they haven't identified themselves to, or secretly being pregnant?” She eyed the boys critically. “None of you are pregnant, right?” Freed turned an odd color and Levy snorted.
“I’d put money on all three of them popping out kids before any of those other things.”
“Well. Let’s make a bet on that!” Cana slapped a peice of paper on the table. There was a poorly drawn dragon on one corner, a crown on another, a baby, and a stick figure. “Put your money where your mouth is people. I bet you one of those is true and our Girly isn’t just joking.”
Fairy Tail wizards all being the betting type money was placed. Three of the S-class wizards bet on the dragon thing, as did Freed. Levy put her money where her mouth had been, though she confessed that after thinking about it she expected to lose. Cana’s money went on her own secret, Laxus’s as well, probably due to his nose. Lucy eyed the paper for a long minute before slapping money onto Mystogan’s secret. Gramps bet on grand babies, prompting an eye roll from his actual grandson. They wouldn't let Alanza bet since she had all the answers. Apparently that was considered cheating.
“You guys realize that in order for anyone to win this bet the secret has to be confessed, right?” All three of them actually, but she was curious as to who would cave first. “Most of the money is on the secret dragon slayer. That means it is most likely, but has a lesser pay out if it is true, right?”
“Alanza, did you forget? You mentioned it during our meeting the other day.” Alanza was pretty sure her face was doing some washed out anime special effect thing.
“Uhh... I did?” Laxus snorted.
“Yeah. You were ranting like a maniac at the time though. You seem to do that when you get frustrated.”
“Woah! Does that mean there are two winning bets?”
“What do you mean, Cana?”
“I- uh- well...” She had totally trapped herself there. “That’s... Umm... My, uh, dad is a member of the guild and... He doesn’t know who I am.”
“It’s not really that big of a deal.”
“It’s a huge deal, Cana!”
“Who is it?” Mira teared up and started sniffling.
“You- you’re somebody's baby, Cana. You have to t-tell them who you are! So they can have their b-b-baby back!”
“Geez! Ok! I’ll tell him when he gets back! Pull yourself together!” Mira latched onto Cana's shoulders and started emmiting that dark energy that made it kinda hard for Alanza to breath. When she spoke it was with this deep, echoing tone that Alanza could only guess intldicated her inner demons were involved.
“You will tell us who it is, Cana Alberona. We will give you twenty four hours from when he returns to inform him or we will do it for you. Do you understand?”
“Yes ma’am!” Mira dropped all the creepy, I’m-gunna-kill-you shit and smiled sweetly.
“Good. So. Who is it?”
“It’s... It’s Gildarts. Gildarts is my dad.”
“Didn’t see that one coming.”
“Laxus. Wanna tell us why you bet on Cana’s secret and don’t look one bit surprised right now?” Lucy had this slightly evil smirk going on that resonated with the little devil in Alanza’s soul.
“Because My dad shoved a dragon slayer lacrima into my face so I can smell shit like that.” The room stared and blinked before Lucy huffed.
“Alanza’s shitty dad party makes more sense by the minute.”
“You said it, Lu.” Alanza suddenly had a blue-gloved hand on her shoulder.
“Tell me someone is going to lose money on this bet. Please. Please tell me noone is actually pregnant.”
“Nah. We’ve got years before the crazies start producing spawn.” Mystogan collapsed back into his chair.
“Thank Mavis. These people are not ready to be parents.”
“As sad as I am to lose my money to this bet I am just as glad none of us are about to have kids. Just to confirm something though. Does that mean Lu also placed a winning bet if the baby bet was the only one that lost?” All eyed turned to Mystogan and Alanza. Myst sighed and pointed at the motherboard.
“Edolas is the name of the country where I come from which also happens to be another world. It is why I required very little convincing to believe Alanza’s story. Mine is a world where magic is a limited resource and other forms of the individuals in this one exist. Erza for example. Erza Knightwalker is an extremely distant cousin of mine from a military branch of my family.” Huh. She had not known that.
“So... You’re a prince... From another dimension?” Lucy was leaning forward with wide, curious eyes even as Levy leaned a bit away from her fellow blunette.
“Forgive me for asking, your Highness-”
“Don’t call me that. Seriously, Freed.”
“I...very well. Why are you... Here? Instead of there?”
“The abbreviated version is that I objected one to many times to my father committing murder in order to acquire magic power and he tried to kill me. He thinks he succeeded actually, but my life was saved by someone who should have been my ebemy. I was sent here both for my own safety and in order to prevent him from stealing the lives of this world’s people for their magic.”
“Wow. We might really need that shitty dad party.”
“Is hiding your face a custom where you come from?”
“...no. It’s... Exposing my face in this world would cause... Complications. Due to who my counterpart here is.”
“Is he a criminal or something?”
“It’s Jellal isn’t it?” Mystogan tensed at Erza’s soft comment. “Your counterpart in this world is Jellal. Your hair is the same color and once I knew you looked like a person I might already recognize i could see it. You have very similar eyes you know.”
“I- yes. As far as I know we are identical.” Erza gestured toward his face.
“May we?” Mystogan slowly removed his mask and then his hat, running his fingers through his hair nervously. Alanza had to admit, the guy was pretty damn handsome. “Interresting. You even have the same tattoo.”
“It’s a birthmark actually. At least mine is.” Alanza snorted.
“The most intricate, detailed, styalized birthmark ever and they both have it. Cuz it’s a crazy as shit world where stuff like that Levy and Lucy giggled at her.
“Should we not discuss the Edolas event during this meeting? It is on the board after all?”
“Nah. We’ve got plenty of time. We can get back together next time Mystogan is in town or right after the Fantasia parade. I do need to talk to Carla at least sometime soon.”
“That’s Wendy’s cat, right?”
“Carla and Happy are exceeds. A species origionally comes from my world. The same spell that sent me here sent many of their eggs as well. I am not sure why they made the choice to do that.”
“To save their children. The exceed queen has the gift of clairvoiance. She gets glimpses of the future and she saw death coming.” Alanza pointed at the Edolas event.
"We will be there to hopefully prevent that in a less disasterous manner this time around. I need to talk to Carla because she has the same gift and doesn’t know it yet. She thinks the things she sees are supressed memories or something. She will be a bit less... Catty once she knows the truth.”
“Catty? Like we don't get enough lame ass puns from Bix.”
“You're just jealous of our punniness.”
“Not remotely. I’m hungry. Can we be done now?”
“Any objections? Anyone have anything they think we should talk about that I haven’t already mentioned? I don’t know everything after all. Don’t know Lucy’s middle name. Don’t know whether Laxus sucks on extension cords or rubs balloons on his head for snacks- Ow!” Alanza rubbed her now numb shoulder, trying to make sure she wasn’t smoking and get feeling back into her hand. Lucy started snickering, but cut herself off when Laxus glared at her.
“I will take that as a no. Remember. What happens in the Hall of Secrets stays in the Hall of Secrets. Also... What are we calling this... Group? And what are we telling people we have been doing up here all day. Most of them will know we are lying, but still.”
“Gajeel said you were playing chess, right? Let's just go with that. We can be the Chess Club.” There was giggling and eye rolling, but Alanza got the feeling everyone approved.
“All right then. The next official Chess Club meeting will be the day after Phantom Lord is defeated. Yes Mystogan I expect you to be here. Chess Club members are all welcome to meet in the Hall of Secrets whenever they like in the meantime however. Master Makarov, do you wish the Club to be present when your guests gather?”
“I will think on that and let you know.”
“Very well. This meeting of the Chess Club is now officially adjourned. Let's go eat.”
“I need booze!” Cana was the first one out the door, but the rest quickly followed.
“I think we could all use a drink today.”
“Want me to bring something up for you Mystogan?”
“If you don’t mind it would be much appreciated, Mira. I've had to deal with more... People today than I am accustomed to in a whole month.” Mira swept out of the room and Mystogan dropped his head back onto his chair with a sigh. “I’m going to have to get used to doung this on occasion aren’t I?”
“It’s good for you.”
“I’ll take your word for that. I’m just... So used to being on my own all the time. How do you know I won’t be halfway across the continent when Phantom hits?”
“Cuz you dropped the flags of every Phantom Lord branch hall on Porlyusica's doorstep the first time around.” He chuckled.
“Bet she was thrilled with that.”
“You also stole an apple without her permission.” He smiled and she felt her heart squeeze. He was just so... Gorgeous.
“She is a good woman. Antisocial in the extreme, but a good woman.”
“You calling someone else antisocial is funny.”
“Yeah, well... She does it by choice, I do it by necessity.”
“When will you be leaving again?”
“When the sun rises.”
“Try to spend some time with Wendy today?”
“I will. As soon as I finish my lunch. I just needed a break from all the...crazy.”
“I know you love them.”
“I do, but they can be a little much sometimes.”
“Just an idea. Have you ever considered taking a partner with you on your travels? Having a team?”
“I have, just... I never found the right people or felt it was the right time.” He picked up his head and looked at her. “Will you tell me? What happened with Edolas?”
“Well... A giant anima took Magnolia, but left the slayers. You sent them through to rescue everyone. There was fighting and drama. Your dad tried to commit genocide against the exceeds. You had the extremely stupid idea of blaming everything bad on yourself and having Pantherlily kill you. Needless to say he refused. In the end your father was defeated and you cast a spell to send all magic from Edolas to Earthland. The exceeds and all of Fairy Tail came back here and that was that.”
“A reverse anima. I was trying something similar when I brought you here. But how... I didn't come back did I? I cast the spell there and once the magic was gone I had to stay.”
“Yes.” He looked pained by the idea. “Spend time with Wendy. Maybe even ask her to travel with you for a bit.”
“I... I will think about it.”
“It’s your life. I can’t makechoices for you guys. I can only share what I know and give advice.”
“Thaank you. For helping us.”
“You’re welcome. Speaking of Wendy, I’m going to go down and ask her to look at my feet. I’ll tell her yoou will be down in a bit.” He hummed in acknowledgment, but kept his eyes on the Edolas paper. He seemed to be studying it as if he would find answers in the word. Alanza hoped he found what he was looking for.
Chapter 13: Blue
In which Alanza barely has the chance to touch her lunch.
Wendy was at a table with Levy and Juvia when Alanza finished making her way painfully down the stairs. Juvia was only halfway paying attention to what they were talking bout because she was busy gawking at a shirtless Gray. Alanza had hoped that avoiding their battle would keep her from going Gray crazy, but maybe a few carefully placed words were also in order. Not that she objected to Gruvia entirely, but Juvia had taken it Way to far originally.
"Hey girls. Can I join you or is this a blunette only table?”
“Sister!” Alanza found herself yanked down onto the bench next to Juvia. “Juvia is so happy! Master Makarov says that all of Fairy Tail is Juvia’s family. Juvia has never had a family before!” Levy reached across the table and patted her hand.
“Most of us had no family before Fairy Tail.”
“Umm...” Wendy looked back and forth between Alanza and Juvia, her nose twitching slightly. “You two are sisters? I don’t understand.”
“N-no. Alanza said... She wanted...” Juvia was obviously just now feeling the nerves of having called her that.
“I told Juvia I wanted to be her sister. Around here we get to choose new brothers and sisters if we want to, and I chose Juvia to be one of mine.”
“Oh! I understand. It’s like kin.”
“Pretty much. Oh. Sorry for not introducing myself. I'm Alanza. You must be Wendy.” Really who else would she be, but that was the polite way to say hello, right? “Mystogan told me to let you know that he will be down in a little bit.”
“You are Je- Mystogan’s friend that sent him to bring me to Fairy Tail! I'm so happy to meet you!”
“Oh, so he told you about me did he? What did he say?”
“Umm...” The girl blushed a bit. “He said you were funny and determined and really friendly.”
“He said I was frustrating and pushy and I teased him didn't he?” Wendy wilted a bit.
“I'm really sorry.”
“Well It’s true. I am bossy and stubborn and I love to tease him. He makes it to easy really.”
“He totally does.” Levy snickered a bit.
“Well, I'm glad him saying that didn't upset you or make you mad at him. He seems to like you a lot! He also told be you had a really strong heart and you were a good friend.”
“I’m glad he thinks so.” Juvia was watching Gray again and Alanza linked her arm with the water wizards to distract her. “Hey, Juvs, the Thunder Legion is taking me shopping this afternoon. Wanna come? I haven’t actually had the chance to see Magnolia yet since I joined the guild. They can show us both around.”
“Juvia would love that! Juvia has never been shopping with other people before!”
“Well, I have it on good authority that Evergreen is an aggressive shopper. I only hope we can keep up.” Levy laughed at them nervously.
“Good luck with that.”
“Oh shush you. So, Wendy. I hear you are quite the healer.”
“I wouldn't say that! I mean, I do have healing magic, but I'm still learning.”
“Do you think you can look at my feet for me?”
“Are they injured?” The sky slayer jumped down and started examining Alanza’s feet. At least that is what she assumed the girl was doing. She left Mystogan’s wrappings in place, but her hands were glowing and there was an odd tingle moving around her feet.
“Not really. I was just a bit rough on them.” Wendy gave her this look that had her fighting the urge to apologize.
“You should take better care of your feet.” She laughed nervously.
“So I’ve been told. I’m not used to walking as much as I have recently. The Thunder Legion is going to help me find proper boots or whatever today.” Wendy’s magic changed. It felt fresh and cool now and was just... pulling the ache from her feet.
“What have you been wearing?”
“Knockoff converse tennies.” All three blunettes ‘huh'ed at her. Guess that wasn't a thing here either. “Cheap shoes that weren’t designed for walking so much or for so long.”
“Well, your feet should be all better now!” Alanza flexed her feet inside their bandages and grinned.
“Here you are ladies!” Mira quickly tossed plates full of food in front of them along with drinks. “Compliments of Erza today. She said to treat the whole table.” Mira bustled off before they could say thank you. Alanza glanced around the room in search of the red-head. She found her sitting with her team and waved happily. When Erza blushed the three blunettes giggled and waved as well. Alanza, Wendy, and Levy turned their attention back to their meal, but Juvia got... stuck. Her eyes were still on the shirtless ice wizard sitting across from Erza.
“Juvs. Listen sis. Gray over there just got back from a mission that was real rough on him. You can’t tell, because he’s a really chill dude, but his nerves are shot and he’s... raw. Emotionally.”
“Tall, dark, and broody over there? I know you think he looks tasty, but he's hurting right now. Give him time to heal and give yourself time to figure out who you are as a Fairy Tail wizard. K?”
“J-juvia doesn't know what you mean.” Levy shoved at the water wizards shoulder with a lecherous smirk.
“Don't go fibbing at us girl. You keep looking at Gray like he's a popsicle and you've been out in the sun for three days.” Juvia and Wendy both blushed red. Then Juvia sobered.
“Juvia has never seen the sun. Juvia is the Rain Woman.” Alanza wrapped her in a hug. Normally she wasn't the hugging type, but Juvia seemed to be really physical in her affections.
“You will. I promise.” Juvia snuggled into her hug and Alanza saw a bright ray of sunshine pass over one of the windows.
“Hey pretty ladies!” *hey ladies, sexy things, rawr, hiya chickies. “What brought the cuddle fest on? Somebody feeling down?” *don’t be sad, happy, somebody needs cuddles. Alanza tipped her head back to see Bickslow standing over them.
“Hey, Bix. Juvia is feeling a bit sad at the moment.” He plopped down on Alanza’s other side and leaned back against the table. Stretched out like that he was so freaking long.
“What’s wrong, Dewdrop?” *pretty little dewdrop, smile for daddy, let us help.
“Juvia’s rain makes everyone gloomy. Juvia wants to let the sun shine so she can have friends who won’t always be sad when she is near, but her magic only makes gloomy rain.”
“Well shoot. Don't be like that. My sister makes it rain sometimes too when she is sad.” *Aunt Xally's rain, happens sometimes, still love her.
“You have a sister?” Levy sounded surprised.
“Two actually.” *sisters, Aunt Xally, Aunt Emzadi, sunshine and rain.
“Y-your sister can stop the rain?”
“Well yeah.” Bickslow tipped his head to the side. “You ok, Dewdrop? Having trouble with your magic?” *trouble, to much rain, Dewdrop sad. Juvia hid her face against Alanza.
“Juvia has never seen the sun, Bix.”
“For reals? That's such a bummer.” *such a bummer, to much sadness, help you smile.
“Juvia is sorry!” The words were muffled, but everyone at the table heard.
“Nah! Don't be sorry. Life has been rough on you, yeah?” *tough, rough, life makes you sad. “You stick around. We'll put a smile on your face and help you get a handle on that rain, OK?” *sunshine, smiles, beach party, stick with daddy. Juvia peeked out at Bickslow.
“Y-you don’t mind Juvia’s rain?”
“Nope!” Bix twisted around so he was straddling the bench and leaned an elbow on Alanza’s shoulder. He held his other hand out towards Juvia. “I’m Bickslow by the way. We haven’t really met yet.” Juvia shyly shook his hand.
“Juvia is Juvia.” He grinned at her.
“Juvia is adorable is what she is.” *adorable, so cute, pretty little Dewdrop. He bopped her on the nose with a black nailed finger and the water wizard blushed. Alanza grinned when she heard the rain let up just a bit. She hadn't thought to use the fun loving Bickslow to help lift Juvia's spirits.
“I invited Juvia to come shopping with us if that's alright.”
“Totes! You can never have to many hot babes around.” *never, please come with us, have fun, so much fun. Juvia beamed.
“Carla! Carla!” Happy came swooping in to land on their table. Alanza couldn’t get over how odd it was that he looked like a real cat. He was totally... catlike. Excwpt he was mostly blue, and he had wings, and he stood on two feet. It was the two feet thing that got to her.”Wendy, I got a fishy for Carla, but I can't find her.” Alanza blinked. Come to think of it she had yet to see Wendy’s Exceed partner.
“Umm... Carla went back to our new apartment for a nap."
“Oh.” The blue cat wilted.
“Also, I think... Carla doean’t like fish very much.” Happy suddenly perked back up.
“Maybe by the time she is done with her nap I can get her an even bigger fishy!” Everyone at the table sweatdropped. It totally weirded Alanza out. An idea suddenly occured to her and she glanced around the guildhall.
“Are there any Fairy Tail members with blue hair who Aren’t at this table? Should I be sitting somewhere else? Juvia, can I borrow your hat?” Juvia gave her a worried look, but handed the hat to her. Alanza stuffed all her bright orange hair into the hat and tugged it down as far as it would go.
“Wendy w-” Mystogan stood over them and cut off his own words with a longsuffering sigh. “Alanza. Why are you hiding?”
“Because I don’t have blue hair. I’m pretending Juvia’s hat is my hair.” He pressed his thumb between his eyes.
“Because every other being at the table has blue hair.”
“Woah, Really!” Happy spun around and looked at the people seated at the table. “Wow! It’s the blue table!” Juvia leaned forward.
“Does Bickslow have blue hair?”
“Yep! It grows in black, but light washes it out into a blue color.” *so blue, like the sky, only when it’s long.
“One, two, three...” Happy pointed to the blunettes as he counted. “There are five of us with blue hair!”
“Six!” Alanza pointed at Mystogan.
“Mystogan too! Can we see?” Mystogan glared, first at Happy, then at Alanza.
“No.” He reached out, plucked the har from Alanza’s head and handed it back to Juvia. He then pulled the staff with the eye off his back and bonked her on the head with it.
“Ow! The fuck, Myst?”
“Now there are seven.” He spun and started walking away. “Coming, Wendy?”
“Coming!” Wendy chased after him with a big smile. Alanza rubbed at the top of her head and glared after It was only once they were gone that she noticed all four of her table companions staring at her.
“What?” Happy snickered.
“You look funny with blue hair.”
“What!” She pulled a chunk of her hair around to stare at it with wide eyes. That crazy, overdressed loner had somehow turned her hair a highly uninspiring blue-grey color. Bickslow started cackling madly, and his babies flew around giggling. “Why that no good, sneaky... Lucy! Help! The prince of fools made me look like a pigeon!” Levy choked, trying not to laugh outloud at her. When Bix fell backwards off the bench both blue haired females started laughing aloud.
“What’s... Woah.” Lucy stood there and blinked at her hair. “That is not a good color for you.”
“I know! Can Cancer fix it? Please!”
“Alanza? What happened to your hair?” Erza had apparently followed Lucy over to the table. Half the guild was either staring at her or laughing outright.
“Strange. I wasn’t aware he was capable of something like this.”
“Open, gate of the Giant Crab, Cancer!”
“What can I do for you, baby?” Mavis, this spirit looked weird.
“Can you return Alanza’s hair to it’s natural color?” Alanza held perfectly still while Cancer’s sheers snipped around her head.
“All done, baby. Hmm... Odd. Shall I try again?”
“Uhh... No. That’s fine. You can go back.”
“You got it, baby.” Alanza stared at her still pigeon colored hair as the spirit poofed out of existence.
“I’m sorry, Alanza. Whatever he did to your hair isn’t something Cancer can fix.”
“Hey, Carrots! It’s an illusion. Once he’s far enough away it will just fade.” She felt extremely releived at that, but...
“How far is far enough?”
“Out of town I guess.”
“But... He’s gunna be in town with Wendy all day!”
“You poor thing!” Evergreen came over and ran her fingers through Alanza’s hair. “That settles it. We are going to Hargeon to shop. Your hair should turn back long before we get there. They have a bigger selection there since it's a port town anyway. Freed! Let’s go! We have a long day ahead of us! Chop chop!” Alanza found herself being dragged out of the guildhall by Evergreen. Juvia, Bix, and his babies right behind them. She saw Freed shake his head before following in a more composed manner.
Chapter 14: Shopping
In which Alanza, Juvia, and the Thunder Legion go shopping.
(Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Somehow the fact that Alanza was not wearing shoes escaped the notice of her friendly kidnappers until after their train was well on its way to Hargeon. Freed was beside himself when it was brought to his attention. Juvia giggled about it, and Alanza was pretty sure Evergreen was smirking behind that fan of hers. Bickslow of course thought it was hilarious and was all but falling off his bench laughing.
“You're a huge ass, Bix.”
“My ass is just the right size, Spices.” *just right, wanna see, so sexy.
“Pretty sure you wear a dress because all pants make your butt look fat.”
“Ouch! *ah, ouch, so painful, fat daddy. Bickslow placed a hand over his heart and gasped as if in pain. “I can't believe you would say that!” He then hopped out of his seat and twisted around to look at his own backside. “It isn't fat! Tell her, Dewdrop. Tell the evil creature my ass is deliciously perfect!” *perfect, delicious, bitable. While he had set aside his hood and visor for the day he still wore the rest of his armor. Juvia turned red and steamed a bit as she stared at the tall man’s backside. Then she met Alanza’s eyes and grinned deviously.
“Juvia wouldn’t know. As Juvia’s sister said Bickslow wears dresses to hide the size of his behind.” His babies laughed hysterically as Bix wailed and dropped back into his seat.
“Bickslow's ego aside we simply must procure footwear for Miss Alanza posthaste.”
“That is why Laxus is having us take her shopping. Now. Let’s talk style. What you are wearing today. Is this a good sample of your preferred wardrobe?” Alanza looked down at her clothes. She was wearing a floral print off the shoulder peasant blouse and tan pants thay stopped mid-calf.
“I... Well... This was what was available. I like the way the shirt fits. I want my guildmark to show. Thats why I picked this shirt. I already knew where I wanted my mark. I don’t like the flowers though. I don’t really do flowers. I want to get some sturdy boots that support my ankles for walking, but... I'd like them to be a bit cute too.” She thought for a moment. She had never been real picky about her clothes. Also she was living in an anime world now, so she could choose a unique style to make her own without looking like a total weirdo.
“Ankle boots, with leggings or long socks that cover my knees. Shorts, but no skirts unless it's for a special occasion. I’ll need a good jacket too, leather maybe. And fingerless leather gloves to protect my hands when I punch shit.” Evergreen hummed thoughtfully.
“Umm...” Normally she just wore blah colors to go with her blah self. She wasn’t blah anymore though so... “Jewel tones. I've always liked those colors. They just... seemed to overpower me before.” She smirked then. “I’m a Fairy Tail wizard now and I’ll be damned if a few pretty colors scare me off.”
“I like it. You are a bold person. It suits you.” Evergreen had a smug look on her face. Of course as far as Alanza could tell Ever always had a smug look on her face.
“Juvia thinks Alanza needs a hat too!” Alanza eyed her warily.
“A hat? Seriously? Why?”
“Hats are the best thing to top off a perfect outfit!”
“Uhh...” She glanced at the Thunder Legion and received shrugs.
“I’ll...think about it.” She wasn’t really a hat person, but Juvia seemed to take her headwear rather seriously. Come to think of it the only time Alanza recalled the water wizard being without a hat was when she was dressed to swim.
“Hey, lookie! We’re here!” *here, here, let’s go shopping. “Hey, till we get actual shoes on those pretty feet how about you let the babies carry you?” *carry you, carry you, let’s fly.
“If you guys don’t mind...” Letting Bickslow’s babies carry her sounded like a bunch of fun. She had always wanted to fly.
“No probs!” *yeah, totally cool, no problem, help friends. Alanza faught the urge to fist-pump at the idea of flying with the babies. The group piled off the train, some of them more sedately that others who happened to have blue hair. Evergreen rushed them through the light drizzle toward a shop she proclaimed to be ‘the best'.
Alanza was astonished by the variety of footwear she was exposed to over the next half hour. It’s not that she had never gone shoe shopping before, she had, it was just that there were styles here that were... Dramatic. There weren't really magical shoes per say, but there were shoes that had magic in them. For example it was apparently common practice to have dirt repellant spells ‘woven' into shoes. It didn’t keep them clean however. It was more of a dirt resistence than being dirtproof. Evergreen pushed for Alanza to choose something with heels, and Bix being himself seemed determined for her to leave the store wearing something crazy. Thankfully neither of them pushed hard, and both Freed and Juvia encouraged her to choose something she liked.
In the end they were all pretty happy with the boots she chose. Black leather with a practical tread and a slight heel, they reminded Alanza of biker boots. They were a little more than just ankle boots and had strapps and silver buckles all the way up the side. They had both dirt and water resistant spells ‘woven’ in. She had jumped and stomped all over the place to ensure the boots fit and that the buckles wouldn’t jingle. She strongly objected to sounding as though she were wearing spurs. A second pair of boots was ordered to be delivered to Fairy Hills.
Their next stop got her some sturdy jegging type pants, a handful of off the shoulder tops in solid colors, and several pairs of short shorts. She had hesitated at just how short, but Bix and Juvia assured her they looked ‘tempting as melted chocolate’. Those were Bickslow’s words of course, but Juvs had agreed with the concept, especially when they got the water wizard into her own pair of shorts and Bix had been even more encouraging about those. All three girls took home shorts.
Bickslow dragged them into the next store. It was... Punky. They found over the knee and theigh high socks in lots of colors and patterns, fingerless leather gloves with small metal spikes around the wrists, a leather mini-skirt, and a belt that was just this side of being a ‘utility' belt. Alanza went with the belt because she dreaded hauling a purse around all the time.
That was also the store where Juvia won the hat debate. Alanza’s new headwear was a cross between steampunk, pirate, and adorable as fuck. The tiny top hat was made of a sapphire blue and white brocade fabric and trimmed with silver braid. There were two feathers tucked into the purple velvet hatband, one looked like a black ostrich feather, and the other was a peacock feather. She hadn’t known there were peacocks in this universe, but apparently there were. The medallion that secured the feathers Alanza had not liked, but Juvia claimed Gajeel could make her a cute little Fairy Tail symbol to replace the horrifyingly floral thing. Really it was the most useless hat ever, but Alanza liked her sarcasm hat. It gave her look a touch of quirky, elegant fun.
There was a good deal of debate and argument when they went hunting for Alanza’s jacket. In the end it was decided that it was still early in the warm season and a heavy coat could wait. A black leather bolero type jacket with three quarter sleeves was found. It didn’t even close in the front, instead framing the part of her chest her shirts left bare and drawing the eye to her guildmark. It was simple in design, and bold as well because small leather was badass and sexy.
Walking from that last store into glaring evening sunlight had Alanza squinting in mild irritation until she heard Juvia gasp. The look of awe in those blue eyes had the whole group grinning proudly. They had chased Juvia’s rain away simply by laughing and spending time with her as friends. Alanza linked her arm in Juvia’s and pulled her out into the sunlight.
“See, Juvs? Told you Fairy Tail would help you find the sun.”
“You've got us now, Dewdrop. Means you never have to be so lonely that the rain won't leave ever again.” *never alone, no more sadness, don’t worry, be happy.
“It's so beautiful! Thank you!” The whole group was astonished when Juvia dropped Alanza's arm and launched herself up to just about strangle Bickslow. “Juvia is so happy she has friends to chase away the rain and help her be happy!” She planted a kiss on the wide-eyed man, dropped back onto her own feet and ran off down the road in the direction of the sunset.
“Well damn.” *did not see that coming, happy sunshine, awesome.
“How much do you wanna bet she doesn't realize she kissed you?”
“Hey! That’s not nice, Ever!” *not nice, wounds daddy so, ouch. Alanza grinned and bumped him with her shoulder.
“You mean you Want her to think about kissing you?”
“I want her to at least stick around long enough for me to kiss her back!” *kiss her back, kiss and run, not fair.
“Just because it is a kiss, or because it is Miss Juvia?”
“Y’all can shut it. Come on babies! Let’s catch up to Dewdrop before she runs into the ocean!” *run, fly, wet Dewdrop, go, hurry. Bix and his babies flew off.
“Wait just a flying second! Does refusing to answer the question mean Bix is crushing on Juvia?”
“I think so. They are pretty cute together.”
“And here this whole time I thought he was just being his friendly self.”
“Did-” Freed hesitated. “Does your magic not tell you about relationships?”
“A tiny bit. This I didn’t see coming. They are,like, a minor crack ship I guess.”
“A who and the what now?” Evergreen wrinkled her nose up in confusion.
“They are unexpected basically, but I agree. They could be super cute.” And Bix would heap attention on the poor girl. Juvs needed that.
“Bickslow doesn’t usually... Pursue people. I mean he flirts and sleeps around a lot, but... wonder if he saw something...” Ever and Freed both stared after the blunettes with thoughtful looks on their faces.
“Can we find dinner now? I’m starving.” She had been dragged away from her lunch and tortured with shopping all afternoon. She needed a break. Shr really liked hanging out with Juvia and the Thunder Legion, but shopping was definately not her thing.
“Sure! We are basically done. We can go to my favorite cafe!” Evergreen took off in a totally different direction than the one Bix and Juvs had gone in.
“Uhh... What about the crazy, flighty blue haired people?”
“Bickslow is aware of Evergreen’s preference for this particular dining establishment. They will locate us once they are finished... Being excited.” She smirked at Freed's description of their friends behavior.
The cafe Evergreen led them to was a cute little place with an outdoor eating area and umbrella covered tables. They settled under a red and yellow umbrella to wait. Alanza didn’t even notice the music playing until Evergreen laughed at her for unconsciously dancing to it and humming along. Then a wide grin spread over her face at the fact that Star Wars apparently wasn’t the only thing their universes shared. The voices were a bit different, but she knew this song. Freed covered his face with his hand when she started singing and dancing in her seat. That might have been because she couldn’t really dance. Or sing.
“This thing! Called Love! I just! Can’t handle it! This thing! Called love! I must! Get round to it!” Evergreen joined in then. “I ain’t ready! Crazy little thing called love!” The waitress giggled at them when she came over and handed out menus.
“Glad to see you all enjoying yourselves. Can I get you something to drink?”
“Hot earl grey please.” Evergreen wrinkled her nose at him.
“Old man. I’ll have a tipsy melon garnished with blueberries.” Alanza blinked.
“A what now?” Evergreen smirked and snapped her fan open.
“A blended mojito with cucumber and honeydew melon. It’s a special here. You simply must taste it when it gets here.”
“Why are you drinking?”
“Why not? Bix will have a whole pitcher of pina colada when he gets here.” Alanza raised an eyebrow at that.
“For real?” That was... A lot. Wasn't it? She had never had alcohol before so she was just guessing.
“Oh. Are you expecting more party members?” Freed smiled at their waitress.
“Indeed. Two of them. I imagine Miss Juvia will wish for water before anything else. Her magic will require it.”
“I’ll make sure to get a pitcher of water and pina colada out once they arrive. And you?” Alanza opened her mouth to ask for a latte, bit Evergreen cut her off.
“She’ll have an irish coffee, blended, and topped with extra cream.” She gaped at the pushy woman when the waitress took off after their drinks.
“I... I’ve never drunk actual alcohol before.”
“I guessed as much. You are a Fairy Tail wizard now, though. We need to work on your tolerance. And I noticed Mira brings you coffee. You’ll like this. Trust me.”
“But- But- Freed?”
“Evergreen is correct. Would you rather drink with Cana your first time?” Alanza winced at that idea.
“Fine. You have to keep me from doing anything embarrassing though.” When she received deadpan stares from both of them she got so nervous she felt her face actually do that sweatdrop thing. Her hand actually twitched with the need to swipe it away, but she restrained herself.
“Hey guys!” *hey, sup, hungry, found Dewdrop.
“Juvia is sorry she ran off. Juvia just got so excited!”
“Bix! Your teammates are trying to get me drunk!”
“On what?” *yeah, what, nothing to drink yourself drunk on. “Besides why is that a bad thing?” Alanza faught the urge to wimper and flee when all four of them just looked at her curiously.
“Ugh! You guys are hopeless.”
She said that, but she had loads of fun that evening. They laughed, ate, drank and told stories about each other. They ended up going through three of Bickslow’s pina colada pitchers because he shared with the rest of them. Juvia drank most of one on her own in addition to her two blue lagoons. Apparently having a body made of water ment her tolerance level was ridonkulous.
Alanza had never really hung out with people like this. Before Mystogan brought her here she had stayed to busy to make any real friends. By the time Freed herded their overly giggly, wobbly group along with all their shopping bags, onto the train to head back she had come to a happy realization. Even if Myst could send her back and even if it ment she had to deal with all the bad stuff she was trying to help Fairy Tail avoid she wanted to stay here. Because... Nakama really ment something to her now.
So. If any of y'all have ships you would like to see in here now is the time to let me know so my muses can play with them a bit and decide whether they like them enough to use. I know Gajevy is canon, but I'm cracking everything else up. Yes we will see Pradeshes in Magnolia, we will also see several 'bad guys' become Fairy Tail wizards. Mention requested ships in comments. I can't guarantee they will happen, but it is more likely if I see it mentioned. No ships are concrete until they have actually said as much in the story. Just because two characters have chemistry or even end up in bed doesn't mean they will stay together.
Chapter 15: Morning
In which Alanza wakes up and more drama happens.
(Man, I Feel Like a Woman by Shania Twain)
Waking up in a completely unfamiliar place was...scary. Scary enough that she totally freaked out and fell right out of the bed. It hurt. The floor hurt, her head hurt, it just... Ow.
She looked around frantically at the sparcely furnished room. Simple wooden dresser, same with the bedframe. White sheets and a quilted blue blanket. She was alone, so that was good. There were three doors that were all closed. One window looking straight into a tree's upper branches. And a single chair. A chair full and overflowing with the purchases they had made... Yesterday? She guessed it was yesterday. It had been late when they boarded the train home. She was still in her clothes.
She pulled herself from the tangled blankets and stumbled a bit before heading for the nearest door. It was an empty closet. The next was a small bathroom, tiny sink, mirror, toilet, walk in shower. Door three must be her exit then. She found the rest of a small apartment on the other side of that door. A sitting area, breakfast bar, and small kitchen. She found the travel pack Myst had got her next to the front door. There was a set of keys on the kitchen counter along with a note.
You fell asleep on the way home. Juvia wasn't sure where you wanted your things so she left them in their bags. Bickslow carried you from the train and Erza brought you here. Mira and Erza say you haven’t been in your home yet. Juvia would be happy to help you decorate.
Thank you for inviting Juvia to go with you yesterday. She had so much fun. She is so happy in Fairy Tail. Juvia will see you at the guild in the morning. Evergreen says to tell you that drinking water will help your head if it hurts.
Alanza chuckled a bit at the fact that Juvia signed her name. Like she couldn’t tell who wrote that note. Slowly she pulled her canteen and her morning kit from her travel bag. She freshened the water and sipped at it as she got ready for the day. Teeth, shower, hair. She didn’t have real towels yet, so she wrapped herself in her topsheet while she slowly combed her hair.
She internally giggled at the memory of how baffled Myst had been by the fact that she had chosen unscented soaps instead of the ‘smell good’ stuff he had assumed she would pick simply because she was female. She liked to smell good, but she also didn’t want to assault dragon slayer noses. Once she figured out how sensative they actually were maybe she would start buying the warm scents she used to enjoy.
She dressed in her new clothes. An pale amathyst top that fell off one shoulder, bold ruby shorts, and long socks that matched her guildmark. She spun the front of her brigjt tangarine hair into a small bun, shoved her sarcasm hat down to hide it and pinned the whole thing in place with the pretty pearl hatpins one of the girls had left in the bag with her hat. Then she added her black leather, stomping into her boots, settling her purse belt around her hips, pulling on her gloves, and admired how freaking awesome she was.
“Man! I feel like a woman!” She locked the door behind her and danced her happy ass down the hallway towards where she hoped the exit was. “The best thing about being a woman! Is the prerogative to have a little fun and! Oh, oh, oh, go totally crazy! Forget I'm a lady! Men's shirts Short skirts! Oh, oh, oh, really go wild yeah!”
“Morning, Alanza.” She grinned as Levy popped out of her own room and joined her. “You look so sassy! I love it.”
“Thanks! I’m hoping Gajeel will be here today so he can fix my hat.”
“Gajeel? Why? What's wrong with it?”
“See the flower?” She tipped her head a bit so Levy could see easily. “I want it to be a Fairy Tail symbol instead. Juvia said it should be an easy thing for him to do with his magic.”
Sticking with Levy made it easy to pretend she had known where she was going. Juvia was at the bar next to Cana when they got there. Juvia was wearing her hair in long waves instead of the single physics defying curl it had been in yesterday. Alanza and Levy joined her there and soon had breakfast and their preferred morning beverage placed in front of them by Mira. Alanza cradled her coffee and hummed happily at the warm elixer of life.
“Anybody seen Wendy this morning?” Juvia shook her head.
“Mira told Juvia that Wendy and Carla left with Mystogan very early this morning.” Alanza was glad for that, though she had hopped to see them before they headed out.
“I still say we need to find a way to unwrap that man.” Alanza snorted.
“Pretty sure Myst will fight you on that, Cana.”
“Oooh. Kinky.” Levy and Juvia blushed.
“You want that kind of kink go hunt one of our dragon slayers.” Levy glared at her and she panicked a bit. “Uhh... Not Gajeel though. Don’t hunt Gajeel.”
“Uhh... Cuz?” Wow. That was super lame.
“Should Cana hunt the fire slayer then?” Alanza glanced at Juvia and followed her wide eyed stare to where Natsu and Gray were literally head to head glaring at each other. Cana scoffed.
“Not sure Natsu even knows what sex is.” Alanza opened her mouth to reply when the guild doors slammed open and the Thunder Legion flew in. Literally. The strange thing was that none of the three looked as put together as they normally did. In fact they were wearing work out clothes and covered in sweat.
“Boss!” *bossman, hurry, out of the way. "Laxus!” *craziness, Laxus.
“Laxus!” They were all shouting and talking over each other and all but running over anyone in their path.
“What?” Laxus jumped from the upper balcony and they came skidding to a halt in front of him.
“My dad called!”*daddy’s daddy, so awesome, totally freaking out.
“We have to go!”
“They found him!” *alive, Pergrande, kill them all, so happy.
“Calm the fuck down and tell me what’s going on!”
“I don’t know how, but Zen is alive!” *stole him, rescue him, bring brother home, hurry, have to go. Cana reached out to nudge Alanza’s shoulder.
“The hell are they talking about?”
“Bickslow has a brother everyone thought was dead, but he isn’t and now they are about to rescue him from the jackasses who stole him when he was a baby. Arman must have waited to tell Bix till they had confirmation.” Suddenly the babbling stopped and four sets of intense eyes were focused on Alanza.
“Confirmation. Secret magic. You told my dad where to look for him, didn’t you?” *look for Zen, find brother, you told him, best of secrets.
“This is why you called his dad the first day you were here.” Laxus had this... Emotional look on his face and she wasn’t sure how to feel about that. “You were telling him how to find Zen.”
“I...guess?” That was a stupid thing to say, but they were making her really nervous. She made an undignified squawking noise when Bix snatched her up into a hug. “Uhh, ok. You’re welcome. You can put me down now.” Displays of affection made her feel all kinds of awkward. The instant Bix started to loosen his hold she found herself jerked backwards and dangled in midair while Laxus held her up at his eye level by her shoulders.
“You can play chess without us for a while, right?” She nodded. “Good, cuz we have to go do deal with this.” He dropped her and she would have fallen if Ever hadn’t pulled her into another hug. Her head was going to pop off if they kept this up.
“Thank you so much!”
“I... You’re welcome?” When Evergreen released her she held up her hand to ward off Freed. “I do not need any more hugs.”
“Very well.” His eyes glinted and instead of hugging her he bent her back over the bar in the most shocking kiss she had ever seen, experienced, or even heard of. He pulled away with a smirk, leaving Alanza feeling like she had just been tossed out of a tornado. Laxus, Evergreen, and Freed headed toward the door. Alanza blinked a few times, then blinked some more as she stared at where Bickslow was liplocked with Juvia.
“Bix! Let’s go!” Bix had a huge grin on his face when he pulled away from the shell shocked water wizard.
“Stay sunny while I’m gone, Dewdrop!” Bix took off, his babies trailing behind him laughing and chanting. *stay sunny, be happy, stay sunny, be happy, stay sunny. Then they were gone. In the silence Alanza could literally hear Juvia steaming.
“Keep it together, Juvs! You don’t wanna end up as mop water on this floor!” Juvia nodded jerkily. Mira screamed and hit the floor with a thump. That seemed to release the rest of the guild from their frozen with shock states.
“What just happened?”
“Why are they kissing people?”
“Where are they going?”
“Who is Zen?”
“Since when are they friendly with anybody?”
“Chess Club to the Hall!” Erza began shoving and pulling the remaining Chess Club members up the stairs. Mira revived enough that she was able to walk up the stairs on her own. “Natsu! Find Master Makarov!”
“Gray! Make sure Juvia does not melt!”
“Explainations will be provided when we return! Nobody leaves the guildhall!”
“We are not to be disturbed unless attack is imminent!”
“Attack? What does that mean?”
“Does she mean a guild brawl?”
“I don’t know. Wha-” The sound cut off as Erza slammed the door shut and leaned back against it. The girls all stared at each other in silence for a long moment. Cana, of course, was the first one to break.
“What the hell do I have to do to get one of those Thunder kisses? Cuz kazam!” Levy, Lucy, and Mira broke into giggles. Alanza's chuckles escaped her when Erza slid down to sit on the floor with a dazed look on her face. “Bickslow is one thing, but what got into Freed?”
“I told him he couldn't hug me. Pretty sure he was just making a point. Bickslow is Boscan after all, and the whole team is like a family. I imagine some of the culture has rubbed off. They may have even spent some time over there. He was just trying to say thank you.”
“So You and Freed aren’t...” Levy waggled her eyebrows at Alanza.
“No! It was just a thank you kiss.”
“But... You would be so cute together!” Mavis bless them all, Mira’s eyes were throbbing hearts. It was terrifying.
“No. No we would not.” They really wouldn't. They just weren't each other's types. That kiss had been pretty sexy though she had to admit.
“What about Juvia? Do we need to take action regarding her assault? Has her honor been threatened?”
“Erza!” Lucy gave her team mate an exasperated glare. “In case you missed it Juvia seemed pretty happy to be assaulted. And while Boscans are rather... Free with their physical affections they also respect personal choice. Bickslow wouldn’t do anything to disrespect her.” She cast a questioning look at Alanza. “Right?”
“Right. Bix seems to really like Juvia. He may be gone on this mission for a while, and he was just making sure she didn’t forget him while he was away. She has trouble controling her magic. When she feels sad or lonely she can’t keep herself from making it rain. He was giving her hope to keep the rain away.”
“Ooooooh! That’s so sweet! Blue-haired babies!” Mira hit the ground again and Erza stood back up.
“And what about this mission they are going on? What’s all this about a brother?”
“Well Bix, along with five of his siblings, is adopted. Their dad has two biological sons. Farron and Zen. There was an incident in Pergrande many years ago that killed their mother Ganier. They thought it killed Zen to, however the truth is that Pergrande kidnapped him and has held him ever since. First in their berserker labs, then as a gladiator. He was a toddler when they took him. They are on their way to join wizards from Bosco to rescue him.”
“How does that get you Thunder kisses?” Alanza sighed.
“I was the one who told Arman he was alive and where to look for him.” Now that she had shoved her fingers into all sorts of pies there was no telling what was going to happen.
“It’s kinda scary what all you know and can... Change.” Lucy spoke as though she was reading Alanza’s thoughts. “I mean if you say the wrong thing to the wrong person it could have disasterous consequences.”
“Shoot. Lu’s right.”
“Trust me I know.” She ran her eyes over the names on the motherboard and blinked. “Uhh... What's with the map?” There was a map of Fiore tacked under the later half of the timeline.
“Oh! I made these last night.” Cana pulled some cards out of her bag and tossed them on the table.Goofy chibi faces of the Chess Club members looked up at them, as well as the names of all the people tacked to the motherboard. Alanza had grown enough in her magic to feel the magic humming in the cards. “I can use these to keep track of where people are and how they are doing. The closer I am to a person and the more I know about them the more accurate the cards are.” That explained why her reading on Mystogan during the origional Phantom War had failed.
“Could you show us?” Alanza pushed Mystogan’s and Ryos’s cards back toward Cana. “I’d love to see the difference your knowledge makes.” Cana knew a good deal about Myst now and next to nothing about Ryos.
“Sure. Wanna know where they are? That’s pretty easy to do.” All the girls nodded and Cana moved to stand in front of the map. “I usually do my readings without a map, but after our meeting I figured we were going to need this thing. It’s specially designed with it’s own magic to interact with my cards. I’ve heard of spells that wouldn’t need a special map, but...” She shrugged. Alanza took that to mean she hadn’t learned those spells yet.
Cana took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Even though she didn’t seem to be doing anything Alanza could feel her doing... something with the cards. It was like watching a dust devil dance across the road. Then the card mage opened her eyes and tossed the cards at the board with a shout. The corner of Mystogan’s card stuck in the map as if it was a throwing knife. Ryos’s landed flat over the area around and north of Magnolia, it helf for several seconds before falling off.
“There you have it. I’ve never met the kid so all I get is a fleeting impression. If he is headed this way either by train or magic mobile he should be here sometime today. There’s no telling where in that area he is though. He could be outside the guildhall right now, or way up where the other edge of the card was. Our sexy overdressed prince and his little tag alongs are west of Magnolia heading north-northwest.
“Does the direction the card is tilted tell you which direction they are going?” Levy had a hungry look in her eyes as she looked at the card in question.
“I need to do some research on your magic. Maybe I can even find some new spells you could use.”
“Card magic is kinda hard to research. Not that I’ve really tried. It’s... Not a concrete science type magic. You have to have the gift. At least that’s what I was told.” Alanza gathered up the cards of all the Oracion Seis and held them out to Cana.
“Can you do that with these cards?”
“It won't be very accurate.”
“That's fine.” Cana repeated the spell. All of the cards splattered over a green area in the northeast part of Fiore. As they fell Alanza lept forward and pressed her finger to the part of the map where most of the cards had overlapped. She pressed a blue tack into the map.
“If they are all in that general area then that spot is the best bet on their location, right?”
“I guess. But it’s in the middle of nowhere.”
“Yeah. There's nothing in the Worth Woodsea but trees.” Alanza ran her eyes over the green tinged area on the map. Lucy was right. There was nothing up there.
“And ruins. I've been up there lots of times for translation jobs and artifact retreivals.”
“What about... There should be a tiny ancient village. Like... an island on a little lake, with a cave. At least I think that’s what it looked like. Does that sound familiar?” Levy hummed.
“Well... I think...” She pressed an orange tack to the map at a small river junction. “There was one right about here. Lots of waterfalls. It was an ancient nirvit shrine and place of worship.” That had to be the right spot. It was pretty close to her blue tack too.
“Should we plan to send a team to that location?” She tossed Erza a reassuring smile at the question.
“Not yet I think. We have plenty of time for that later and we still have to deal with Phantom Lord and the Tower.” That and she kinda had... plans. The door opened and Makarov walked in.
“Someone want to tell me why my brats are losing their minds down there?”
“Didn’t realize they had minds to lose, Gramps.” The girls giggled at that. “Did Arman or Laxus talk to you?”
“No. What did Bickslow do this time.”
“Oh, nothing. Remember that war I mentioned Arman launching White Sea into? Laxus and the Thunder Legion just left to join it.” Makarov paled. “Sorry. I totally didn't think of that. Not sure why.”
“War against who?”
“Pergrande.” Makarov hit the ground and did that ghost thing. This time Alanza helped catch his spirit and cram it back inside him. It was... Weird. Like holding cotton candy that moved and wiggled. Honestly it was gross.
Chapter 16: Lightbulb
In which Alanza discovers lightbulb moments. Also Gajeel and Ryos arrive at Fairy Tail.
They ended up telling the guild more or less the truth about the Thunder Legion’s bizarre behavior. They were headed out on a rescue mission. Alanza’s magic had supplied knowledge of the person they were rescuing who just happened to be Bickslow’s brother. A bit of basic knowledge regarding Boscan culture didn’t explain away the kisses, but did make them less of a big deal. The whole incident was overshadowed by the arrival of Gajeel and Ryos.
Fifteen year old Ryos was both skittish and wide-eyed, lacking the jaded, emotionless look he had likely developed shortly after joining Sabertooth. Alanza wanted to squeeze him like a plushie, but she was pretty sure he wouldn’t welcome that. His hair was shorter than she had expected. It hung down into his eyes, but didn’t actually cover the right one like it had when he was first seen in the show. His eyes flitted about trying to see everything at once. She wasn’t sure if that was caused by fear or curiosity.
She had panicked for a bit because she hadn't seen Frosch and was terrified that she had royally screwed the little exceed by messing with the timeline. She had literally wilted in releif when the green kitten popped out of Ryos’s travel bag rubbing his big eyes. Apparently he had only recently been found by Ryos and Gajeel hadn’t seen him prior to the previous day. Frosch’s appearance caused the poor teenager to be mobbed by the guild’s females.
Gajeel had laughed at the boy’s terror until he saw Levy cuddling the kitten and cooing sweetly at both exceed and shadow slayer. Alanza watched him seeth silently for a long minute before his gaze grew calculating . He looked from Frosch to Happy, then focused on Alanza herself. The smirk he gave her said her attempt at looking innocent was an epic fail.
The females of the Chess Club, along with Juvia, had been warned that Gajeel and Natsu would be throwing down at some point no matter what they did about it. They did manage to run interference well enough to get Gajeel, Ryos, and Frosch upstairs and properly stamped. Gajeel had remained upstairs for a long minute after the other two came downstairs and when he and Makarov returned they both had grim looks on their faces.
“Listen up brats. Our new member has brought us disturbing news. It seems the Phantom Lord guild plans to cause us a good deal of trouble in the very near future.”
“Why would they do that?"
“Bring it on! I'm all fired up!”
“Yeah, Gramps. We can take em.”
“Settle down! Gajeel, would you please give them a summary of what you told me?”
“Seems some rich guy hired us. Er. Them I guess.” He cringed a bit and glanced at Levy, who smiled. “Says you kidnapped his kid. Ain’t just that though. Jose’s got a serious hard of for Fairy Tail. If he just wanted to take the chick back home that would be one thing, but this is different. He caught me before I could leave town. He thinks I’m here carryin’ out his orders so we’ve got a couple days before he realizes I ain’t comin back and makes his next move.”
“You gunna tell us what he Thinks you’re doing here?” Gray’s sneer said he was still plenty suspicious of Gajeel.
“That’s how I know it’s not just about the girl. I’m a dragon slayer. He wants some chick retreived I could have done that all on my lonesome, no big deal. Instead I’m supposed to be tearing down the guildhall and leaving a message. In Fairy blood.” There were gasps and growls of fury from all corners of the guild.
“Hold on a sec? Who’s this girl you keep mentioning?” Alanza had no clue who the guy was who asked that. Several people, including Gajeel, glanced at Lucy. All of them looked away quickly, respecting her secret. The blond clenched her jaw and stood.
“Me. Jude Heartfilia is my father. At least he was. He knows I wasn't kidnapped. I left home because he was trying to take my magic away and force me to be an old man's brood mare.” There was an outraged cry directed not at Lucy, but at her father.
“Well he can't have you back, Luce! You're a Fairy Tail wizard now. You're staying right here!”
“That’s a man!” Lucy teared up.
“Th-thanks you guys.” There was some cuddling and hugging and girly shit Alanza was glad she was across the room from.
“Gajeel,” Erza stepped closer to the bar with her serious face on. Not that she was ever not serious. “What else can you tell us about this enemy of ours?”
“He's expecting Rain Woman to report at the guild no later than tomorrow at sunset. I gave him some pansy excuse for why she didn't go back with me. Course she ain't gunna be there. Jose's plan is for her and Sol to kidnap Bunny over there and use her as additional bait to goad you guys into a fight, then hold her for ransom. Don't know what his issue is other than he's a rotton dick, but he wants you guys to attack Phantom Lord.” When the guild began calling to do just that the iron slayer raised his voice above the din.
“Don't be stupid! Win, lose, or draw Fairy Tail attacks another guild the Council will disband you or label Fairy Tail a dark guild faster than you can blink. Ya gotta stay on the defensive. He’ll come to us if we can stay put and keep our own safe.”
“Juvia agrees with Gajeel! Master Jose will activate headquarters and bring it to Magnolia! Once he does that Fairy Tail will have proof that they did not start the fight and were only defending themselves.”
“What do you mean activate headquarters?”
“Phantom Lord’s main guildhall transforms into a giant robot and can walk.” There were several heartbeats of silence, then choas erupted. Alanza quietly extracted herself from the cluster of powerful wizards at the bar. Not that Juvia and Gajeel were here and the attack by Phantom Lord was common knowledge they didn’t need her. She did however, have a certain cowardly lion to talk to. She found him tucked in a corner watching Lucy closely.
“How ya holding up, Loke?” He narrowed his eyes at her.
“What do you mean?" She rolled her eyes.
“Don't bullshit with me kitty. I know you're having magic stability type problems. Does it get worse when you actively use magic or does it just happen?” He was silent long enough she thought he was going to be difficult.
“Using magic doesn’t speed it up or anything. It just makes it more noticable.”
“Hmm. Like not noticing a flickering lightbulb unless you flip the light on?” He snorted.
“Yeah, I g-” He glared at her again. "Lightbulb? How do you know about lightbulbs?”
She blinked. Then she looked towards the source of light in the guildhall. She was surprised to see that it was not, in fact, a lightbulb. It was a glowing round...thing. A lacrima she guessed. So...there weren't lightbulbs in Earthland. When she realized this the oddest thing happened. A lightbulb popped into existence right over her head, complete withe lightbulb moment sound effects. She might have screamed. Just a little. She and her lightbulb got some really weird looks.
“Fuck.” She glared at Loke. “I'm blaming you for this. And how do You know about lightbulbs?”
“Uhh...” She recognized that look from the anime. He was about to run, so she reached out and grabbed the arm of his jacket. She then leaned close to whisper at him.
“The celestial realm can see into multiple universes can't it?”
“Uhh...” Now he just looked lost. She rolled her eyes again.
“Wow. You’re crazy smooth today. Just... Keep an eye on Lucy’s keys for the next few days, ok? Keep her safe. Trust me, Leo. It’ll be worth it.” She waved at him over her shoulder and headed outside.
She glanced back at the guildhall as she walked and stopped. The guildhall looked odd for some reason. She studied it closely for a long moment before she figured out the issue. The lightbulb popped up again and she shot a glare at it. The reason it looked odd was that Gajeel was here and the guildhall hadn't been updated. If it didn’t get destroyed did that mean they wouldn’t get a swimmingpool? Oh well. She would deal with that later.
She started walking again, looking for a park and a nice tree to stand under and run through the fighting forms Laxus and Juvia had taught her. She thought Fairy Tail had a training area somewhere, but she hadn’t actually heard anyone mention it, nor had she seen it. If they didn’t then she needed to find a good place to train and meditate other than her apartment. She honestly hated being inside. She needed outside space.
She found a park after a few minutes of wandering and a nice big tree. It actually looked a but like the one Gajeel had hung Shadowgear from which considering the timng made her more than a bit nervous. She shook it off though. Gajeel was a Fairy now so that would never happen. She planted her feet like Juvia taught her and closed her eyes. Breathing deeply and steadily she moved slowly through her forms.
“What are you doing?” She opened her eyes to find herself being watched by curious red ones. Frosch was nowhere to be seen.
“Chai tea I think. Tai chi? Something like that. Basically I’m pretending to beat someone up in slow motion. Laxus says it’s for muscle memory. It seems to work for meditation too.”
“I haven't met Laxus have I?” She started moving again while she spoke.
“Nope. He and his team rushed off on a rescue mission this morning. Gajeel must have told you a bit about him though.” Ryos blushed. She grinned. “I'm betting it wasn't anything nice. They didn't really jive very well.” He laughed a bit.
“Can I do your tea stuff with you?”
“Sure!” She returned to her starting position so he could copy her. “What are you doing out here?”
“The guild is... Loud. I’m not really used to being around people so much. They are really nice, just... To nice.” She chuckled.
“I get that. It’s kinda why I left once their war council got going. Where’s Frosch?”
“With Ga- er... Levy.” She really hoped he had been about to say ‘Gajeel’s mate’ because, hello, Gajevy. “I almost didn’t leave him behind, but... Gajeel says I can trust her. Juvia is there too, and she is a nice person.”
“She really is. She is my sister. Not my real sister. I chose her and she chose me.”
“Yep.” The slayers understood that idea instinctively. “To be honest when I first told her I wanted to be her sister I was using the term in a broader way, but she took me totally literally and I found I liked it that way. I have- had real half siblings where I come from, but... They were never real sisters or brothers to me. I feel like Juvia is. I haven't actually known her long, but I’m looking forward to getting to know her better.” The real Juvia, not the Gray obsessive Juvia. “So do you think you will be happy here? With Fairy Tail?”
“Yeah, silly. Happy.”
“I’m... not sure.”
“Well, we have other members your age you know.”
“Really?” His red eyes lit up at the idea.
“Really. Wendy is about twelve, and a dragon slayer like you. She is out on a mission with her big brother right now. Then there are a few people we are planning on fiding and bringing to the guild. Some of them I’m sure you will be great friends with. Frosch too.”
“The girls at the guild seem to really like him. He likes all the hugs and cuddles.” The faint blush on his cheeks said he did too. He was just to much of a teenage boy to admit it.
“Nothin wrong with soaking up affection kid. Lack of hugs makes a person grouchy. Just look at Gajeel.” Ryos barked out a laugh, then choked on it and ended up on the ground coughing and laughing.
“G- Gajeel doesn’t- Shoot lady. You’re nuts if you think he’s gunna let anybody hug him.” She stopped moving and grinned widely.
“Oh, yeah? How much you wanna bet?” He stared at her wide eyed.
“Impossible. He’ll kill anybody that tries. Seriously!”
“We are Fairy Tail. We do impossible things all the time. Just wait and see.” Ryos shook his head at her. “My name is Alanza by the way. Gajeel probably told you a bit about me.”
“He says you know things... Things nobody should know.”
“I do. I know all sorts of things. Like if you ever start hearing voices or your shadows start acting weird you need to tell us. Think about the people who you love and remember that we love you back.” His eyes widened.
“You... You care... About me?” She crouched down and placed a hand on his head.
“Sure Ryos. I care. Fairy Tail is a family. We have smaller families inside the guild, like me and Juvia are sisters, but the whole guild is a big family. We always take care of our nakama.” He grinned and threw himself against her in a hug. She almost toppled over.
“Thanks, Alanza.” She smiled and hugged him back.
“Any time kid.”
Chapter 17: Bonds
In which Alanza experiences friendship type stuff with some of her friends.
Many thanks to AwesomeMedic78 for her help with Cana's magic.
They actually ended up with quite the little gathering under the tree doing ‘tea stuff' after a while. Frosch worrying about Ryos brought Levy, Gajeel, Juvia, and said exceed out to look for them. Of course Gajeel wouldn't be caught dead doing ‘pansy ass bullshit' like they were, but he did stick around and give them pointers, adjusting their limbs and such when they were doing something he saw as wrong.
“If you actually punched somebody like that, you'd break your damn hand!” Was a repeated phrase from him with several variations. “The fuck is that shit?” and “Woman you are such an idiot” were also heard. Thankfully Juvia was quick to inform Levy that Gajeel didn’t know how to be nice and was just trying to help, otherwise Levy might have actually broken her hand on his face.
“So Erza said Lu should be watched at all times by at least two people. Most of us think that’s a bit much, but Natsu and Erza are a bit paranoid and Gray isn’t much better. Lu's more than a little peeved with them.”
“Better a pissed off Bunny than a dead one. Bend your knee more. You'll fall right over if you stand like that.” Levy silently complied.
“You really think Phantom would kill her?” Gajeel seemed to flinch a bit at the little blunette's question and met Juvia's solomn gaze.
“No tellin.” Alanza felt her stomach clench at what that look indicated the two ex Phantoms had been through and seen.
“We’ll just need to make sure poor Lucy’s bodygaurds get rotated out so she can breath a bit. I know her team can be a bit to intense sometimes.”
That was actually something she needed to talk to Makarov about. Some of the Fairy Tail wizards weren’t just crazy they had real issues that in turn caused even more issues in the people around them. The Pradesh clan was well adjusted despite going through some rough shit. Maybe she could ask Arman for advice once the whole... Zen thing was taken care of. Or better yet have Makarov ask him for advice. Gramps was supposed to be the boss around here after all. It wasn’t her job to fix everything.
“Girls night out maybe?”
“Oh! Juvia has never experienced a girls night out! Juvia thinks that is a wonderful idea!” Ryos and Gajeel both had pained looks on their faces. Alanza felt basically the same way they did.
“Actually, what about a girls night in?” The blunettes blinked at her. “I mean, we can pick somebodys house or something and have a sleepover. Pillow forts and icecream and shit like that.” She really preferred that to going Out.
“Juvia wants a sleepover!” Juvia abandoned her fighting stance and began bouncing up and down clapping her hands.
“Sounds like a plan to me! We haven’t had one of those in ages. Not since... I think... Lisanna was at our last sleepover.” Levy had a really sad look on her face. Alanza bit her lip to keep from saying something about Lisanna not really being dead. It wasn’t time yet.
“Juvia does not know who Lisanna is.”
“Mira and Elfman’s younger sister. She died a few years ago.” Ryos reached out hesitantly and touched Levy's shoulder. He gave her a tiny smile. Frosch lacked the boy's bashfulness and simply launched himself into the script mage’s arms to hug her.
“Frosch is sorry Levy Lady's friend is gone.”
“Awww! You guys are so sweet. I’m ok. It was a long time ago.” Gajeel ruffled her hair on his way to plop down under the big tree, but avoided eye contact and said nothing. Alanza smirked. These people were even more socially inept than she was. And that was saying something.
“I should probably head back to the guild now that the war council seems to have broken up. Gramps wanted to talk to me about some shit. I’ll see you guys later.” Gajeel snorted at her.
“Ha! No. We’re walkin ya back. Ain’t nobody supposed to wander around by themselves right now. Groups of no less than four unless an S-class is with em. Me an Juvs count since we know Phantom and were S-class there.”
“Juvia will walk her sister back to the guildhall!” Alanza found herself caught uo in a hug. “Gajeel and Ryos still need to find themselves a place to live.”
“Want me to help? You guys don’t really know your way around Magnolia yet.”
“Gihihi. Sure, Shrimp.” Gajeel stood and walked off. “Keep up!” Levy looked at the rest of them and rolled her eyes, then followed. Ryos chuckled softly.
“I think he likes it here. He seems... I’m not sure if happy is the right word. He’s definately less pissed off.” He gave Alanza one of his subtle smiles. “Thanks for this.” Then he ran off after Gajeel and Levy with Frosch flying overhead. Alanza nudged Juvia with her elbow and grinned.
“They make a cute family don’t they?” Juvia giggle and sighed dreamily.
“Yes. Juvia is so glad Gajeel is learning to be happy.”
“Me too. He’s a good guy. Come on.” She tugged her chosen sister toward the guild. “I really do need to talk to Gramps.”
“Will Alanza be busy with the Master for a long time?”
“Not sure. Why?”
“Laki and Juvia were talking about going shopping for Juvia’s new apartment after lunch, and Juvia was wondering if Alanza wanted to go with them.” Alanza cringed internally at the idea of more shopping.
“Yes. She asked Juvia if she had everything she needed. When Juvia told her she left almost all of her belongings in Oak Town she said ‘I would consider it most gratifying to accompany you on your quest to procure new furnishings and trappings for your dwelling.’ Juvia thinks that means she wants to go shopping with her for furniture and dishes and things like that.”
“Actually, Juvs, yesterday was more shopping then I usually do in a month.”
“Juvis noticed her sister was quite tired last night. She slept quite soundly.”
“Yeah, well the alcohol didn’t help.” Juvia had a dreamy look on her face and didn’t respond to that. “What are you thinking about?” Juvia blinked and then blushed.
“J-Juvia wished Bickslow would carry her the way he carried Alanza.” Alanza’s eyebrows went up at that.
“Oh really? Do you like him?”
“Maybe. Juvia isn't sure. Bickslow was very nice to Juvia.”
“He was. He's a nice guy.”
“He is. Does Alanza's magic know when the Thunder Legion will return?” She shook her head and Juvia pouted. “Oh. Juvia hopes their mission goes well. Pergrande is a very dangerous place.”
“I'm sure they will be fine. They have lots of other people helping them with this mission.”
“Juvia will be glad when they get home safely.” She smiled brightly. “Does Alanza need anything for her new home? Juvia could get her some things since she doesn't like shopping.” Alanza started to say no, but then remembered this morning.
“Actually I could use a towel and a cup.”
“There is only one of me.” Juvia gave her a narrow eyed look as they entered the guildhall.
“What colors does Alanza want in her home?”
“Ummm... Purples, blues, and gold? Does that sound pretty?” Juvia beamed.
“That sounds lovely. Juvia and Laki will find some nice things for Alanza’s home. Maybe some of the other girls will want to come shopping with them!” She gave her a big hug before heading in Laki’s direction. Alanza tried to avoid drawing attention to herself as she headed upstairs.
Gramps had a ‘do not disturb’ sign up so she headed for the Hall of Secrets. She found Cana there surrounded by cards. She was...painting more cards. Up until that moment she had never really thought about where Cana’s cards came from. The basic fortune telling type cards she had gotten as a girl were probably purchased, but the newer ones were personalized, therefore not purchased, therefore Cana had to have made them.
She stood in the doorway and watched as Cana carefully added black to an adorable chibi version of Ryos and Frosch. She then set the card aside and capped the black paint. She started adding grey to Gajeel’s grinning and glaring chibi. No, she wasn’t adding it, she was repainting already grey areas. Why was she doing that? She waited till the brush came off the card before she spoke.
“Whatchya doin?” Cana eeped and jumbed a bit.
“Oh. Hey. Ya startled me. I’m adding their magic to their cards. I had them infuse the paint earlier.” She waved Alanza closer before continuing with her grey paint. “See by making their magic part of the card I strengthen the link. Makes them more powerful and more accurate when I’m using them for prediction type spells. I just added lacrima dust to the paint and it absorbs any magic that gets pushed into it.” She capped her grey, swapped it for light blue, and reached for Juvia’s card.
“That’s super cool.”
“Yep. I'm gunna try to get the whole guild. I can use these cards for location spells, predictions, fortunes, readings on how and what they are doing, all sorts of things. I just need a good solid connection for any of it to be accurate. Since I’ve got their magic in the cards now that’s a pretty damn good connection.” She seemed... sober today. It was weird.
“Oh! C’mere.” Cana tucked her paint and brush away and dragged her to the other side of the table where she had cards laid out in a pattern of some sort. “How much do you know about my cards?”
“There is a tower, some sort of magic fountain, lightning, and sexy ladies.” Cana blinked at her.
“I only saw you use that card during the Tenrou thing.”
“I attacked dark wizards with pin up girls?”
“Nope. Freed.” She snorted.
“Uhh. OK. I'll take your word for that. Anyway!” She sat in front of the cards and gestured for Alanza to sit next to her. “If I’m doing a reading it’s all about what order the cards are drawn. The meaning changes depending on how they are placed. The cards tell me what needs to be known and don’t always give me what I ask for. I was basically wondering what your little friends were up to and why they were so interresting to you. What you were planning to do with them. What I got instead was... This. Which... Do your little friends have, like, a group name? Is Nirvana their name?” Alanza felt a bit of panic. She couldn’t just tell Cana they were the Oracion Seis. Cana knew that was a dark guild, and the Chess Club hadn’t talked about it yet.
“Uhh... We can call them the Witches.” That worked. They were two thirds of what would have been Crime Sorciere after all.
“Ok. So. This first card is the current situation card, the Five of Cups right side up.” The card looked a bit... sad, depressing even. A man in a black cloak stood with bowed shoulders facing three broken wine glasses. Behind the man were two that still stood upright and intact. The faintest hint of ginger colored hair could be seen around the man’s hood. “This card means greif, loss and many regrets, loss of relationship with a disappointment in love but strength and spirit to endure. Hope glimmers for the future. It basically means the low period was just that a temporary setback. Shit happens we move on. I see that a lot around here.”
“Except it just keeps going after that! The second card is the obstacle or support for the first card, or you. Ten of sword right side up.” Alanza winced at the picture on this card. There were literally ten swords sticking out of a dark humanoid shape. Cana had even painted bright red blood pooling under the person.
“Shit. Overkill much?” Cana shook her head, brown waves moving with her head.
“That about sums it up. More trouble on the way. Plan in jeopardy. Anything in your life was open for conflict. Girly do you wanna tell Mama Cana who’s wheaties did you piss in to bring this much trouble?” Alanza just snorted and shook her own head.
“These two are the foundation card, or what happened in the past that leads to the future, and the recent past. Lovers and Knight of Cups. Both inverted.” Which card was which was pretty obvious. The Lovers card had a white cat and a black cat hugging with a big red heart. Surprisinly tame compared to what she would have expected from Cana. The Knight of Cups had a knight on a horse hoisting a mug of beer high above his head. Alanza blinked.
“Is that...Bickslow?” Cana waved the comment away.
“Not important.” She pressed a finger under Alanza's chin. “You ever wanna get drunk as fuck and tell me all about the no good cheating bastard these cards are talking about I'm all ears. K?” Alanza gave her a wry smile.
“I’m pretty much over it.” Cana snorted.
“Yeah, right. Just know you deserve better baby girl.” Cana grinned and tapped the next card, a picture of a barrel overflowing with something she was guessing was ment to be alcoholic. “And this Ace of Cups card says you just might get it. This represents the possibilities that can lead to the future. Intense friendships, beginning of a great new love. Love and Friendship. Lots of good stuff.” She sobered as she tapped the sixth card. “Pretty sure you're gunna need all the good stuff you can get.”
“The card of the future.” A shiver went up Alanza's spine. It was a grey skeleton riding on a horse that looked as though it was made of white smoke. The black and red background added to the ominous feel of the card. That couldn’t be good. “Death.” Yep. Not good. “This card can mean many things, rebirth, renewal, personal growth, simplifying your life but it can also mean what it is. Death could be coming on a white horse, either for you or for someone we know. Doesn’t sit well with the me. I don't pull this card often.” Cana reached over and squeezed her hand. “Be careful.” Alanza squeezed back.
“I will. Hopefully it's talking about Brain. He's an asshole and nobody will miss him.” The look Cana gave her said she doubted that. Cana flipped the next card. “Is that Elfman hopping on one leg?”
“The hanged man, upside down.” Cana picked up the card and flipped it over so Alanza could see it was actually Elfman hanging by one foot. Why would you hang someone by their leg? “Preoccupation with internal battles, lack of insight to problems, overwhelming pressure from society. The unorthodox solution may be the best way.” She gave Alanza an odd look. “I’d ask you what unorthadox thing you have planned, but you’re from another universe and such. Just, I repeat, be careful.”
“Card number eight, the environmental influences. This one gives me the chills no matter which way it falls.”
“Right you know this one. Can you tell me what it was doing when you saw it?”
“You were attacking Freed with it. At least I think it was Freed. Something, reverse tower, lightning.”
“Lovers maybe. Thunderbolt's fate?”
“Yeah! That's the one.”
“Do Freed and I have some sort of problem in the future? That's the second time you've said I attacked him.”
“Oh! No. It was an S-class exam thing. No big deal.” That was at least half true.
“Good. Freed's not a bad guy, but I'd sure hate to have him as an enemy.” Alanza could totally get behind that semtament. "nyway. Back to the reading. The tower, right side up. Disaster, ideas challenged, chaos, sudden crisis and misery. Action must be taken. Trouble will end when someone or something is gotten rid of. So basically more bad news. This sounds like big bad news that gets dropped on your head like a vulcan from the sky. The key word here is disaster.” Cana seemed to be glaring at the card as if she were wishing it away.
“This nineth card is hopes and fears. The Hermit card right side up.” It was Porlyusica, broom in one hand, lantern in another. “Peace and quiet. Finds the answer to your questions. Decisions must be made cautiously. Follow your heart not the crowd.” Cana grinned at her. “Seeing as how you are supposed to follow your heart I won’t give you advice.”
“Final card, the tenth card, the outcome.” Cana let out a releived sigh and slumped back into her chair. This card was pretty simple. Just three yellow pentacles on a field of blue. “The three of pentacles, Teamwork is essential for achieving your goals and hard work will be noticed. Good planning and preparation will pay off. Everything will look right in other’s eyes. Im hoping that means the Chess Club was a damn good idea and everything will turn out fine.” Cana took a swig from a flask she must have pulled from her bag. The fuzzy blue thing must have been spelled like Mystogan’s pants.
“The Tower and Death bother me.” Alanza snorted.
“Well I wonder why?” She sighed and studied the cards, not tht she had a clue as to what they ment aside from what Cana told her.
“You painted all these yourself didn’t you?” Cana blushed a bit.
“Yeah. I’m no Reedis, but I make do. I started doing my own for combat. Then I replaced my origional deck when cards got damaged. Ive still got a couple from the origional deck left, but I don’t use them anymore.”
“You’re good. They are really cute.” An idea struck her. “Who else knows you do this?”
“Reedis, Loke, maybe Mira. Why?”
“Cuz if Pikachu is a thing here then the other pokemon are too, right?”
“Can I commission some stuff from you? I promise it will make drama and be cute.”
“What’s in it for me.” The sparkle in her eye probably ment she would help anyway.”
“Pikachu Laxus.” Cana’s eyes widened.
“Can you see it?”
“Yes! Chibi version?”
“He’ll hate that. You can’t let him know I made these. You get caught you’re on your own. Who else?” The two of them laughed and schemed while they picked up Cana’s cards. When Gramps entered the room they were giggling over a series of sketches merging Freed with a kirila pokemon.
“What are you girls doing?” They shoved the sketches into Cana's bag.
“Nothing?” He raised his eyebrows.
“Should I be worried?”
“Nope.” She reconsidered that. “Not yet at least.”
“Why am I not reassured by that.” He mumbled as he took a seat. “Cana if we could have the room please?”
“Sure Gramps. I need to gather more magic samples anyway. Stop by my place later Girly. I may have something for you.”
“Thanks Cana! Once Cana was out of the room Alanza settled in for what she expected was going to be some heavy shit. She had a few things she wanted to point out to the Master while she had his attention too.
Chapter 18: Negotiate
In which Alanza talks to Makarov about future bad news.
Alanza waited. Gramps stared at her. She tossed her feet up onto the corner of the table and quirked a brow at her guild master. He finally stopped just staring at her and sighed.
“Your being here makes things so much simpler and so much more complicated all at the same time.” She shrugged at him. “You say I can bring Mest home because you know what is going on in Alvarez. What can you tell me?”
“About Alvarez specifically?” When Gramps nodded she dropped her head back onto the chair to stare at the ceiling. “The reason they retreated from their attack on Ishgar the last time wasn’t fear of the councils tools. Their Emperor simply called them back because he hadn’t sent them over here in the first place. Something about timing I think. I can’t really remember.”
"The last time you say. So they will attack again.”
"Emperor Spriggen will lead his shields right into Fiore. There are, what, nine? Twelve?” She stood up and started listing them on the chalkboard. “Ajeel the sand king, Wahl the robot guy, Demaria and her time thing, Brandish, Irene Belserion, August, Larcade, Neinhart.” She paused and tapped her foot as she thought. “There are twelve. Invel the winter king, uhh... Jacob the assassin... Oh Shit! How could I forget! Bloodman.” She hesitated. “And, uh, bad news bomb, God Serena defects.” She sat back down while Gramps gasped and sputtered.
“Not sure if he is now, but he becomes one of the Spriggen Twelve. They are all at that power level too.” She pointed at the motherboard. “We won’t see them till Evil Crybaby. As you can see we have a whole year between The Cube and when Alvarez gets here. The Emperor wants the Lumen Histoire. We can't let him have it.”
Alanza let Makarov think in silence as she ran her eyes over the timeline. There were so many enemies in their future. She knew her guildmates could be victorious, but.. She had changed things. With her here who knew what would happen. She looked down at her hands and winced. And she was still useless. Expanding her magic origins did her as much good as tossing a robin into a cock fight if she couldn’t do anything with the magic inside her.
“I see. Tell me child. What else will we be facing?” She stood and walked to the board. Since she really wanted to avoid telling anyone who the Seis were she was going to lie and pretend they first met them during the Infinity Clock incident. Hopefully doing that wouldn't bite her in the ass. With that in mind she touched the labels as she spoke.
"Grimoire Heart and a dragon attack. Oracion Seis and the church of...uhh... Zentopia. Interguild drama, time travel drama, dragon attack. Tartaros, another dragon attack, some idiot activates the FACE protocol and tries to destroy all magic. Alvarez war, another dragon attack.”
Gramps was pale when she sat back down. Honestly she had plans that would hopefully wipe out all three of those dark guilds. However she wasn’t going to tell anyone about those. It was just to dangerous to risk others getting involved. She was an extra here. She wouldn’t really be missed aside from her knowledge. She would deal with this on her own.
“Up until now your brats have basically been playing games. From this point on they will be walking in death’s shadow. You can’t keep going like you have been.”
“Agreed. This new information makes asking for counsel from my peers a necessity instead of just an option.”
“Once Laxus and the Thunder Legion return you may want to include Arman and- Who is the Master of White Sea right now?” Makarov shot her a curious look.
“Grenlow, though there has been talk of him retireing.”
“Arman and Grenlow then. Anyone who is about to retire should probably include their successor on the Chess Club roster.” It wasn’t like Kaleb wouldn’t figure out what was going on from listening to those who knew. Kaleb, Farron, Arman, and Cobra would all know what was said in the Hall of Secrets if they were around Chess Club members. There really was no avoiding it.
“Why do you feel the need to involve Bosco in Fairy Tail’s wars?” She just grinned at him. “Keeping those secrets for now, eh?”
“Yep.” Honestly a huge part of it was that White Sea handled their wizards in a way Fairy Tail should at least observe. The Pradesh Clan was emotionally and mentally healthy. Mostly. Exposure to that might help change a few things around here. That and the ships. All the ships that were totally sweet and sexy and just so shippable. “Anything else Master?”
“I... No.” He sighed heavily. “I’ll have a letter for you to take to Bob once we are done dealing with Phantom Lord.” She stood, erased the chalkboard and walked toward the door. She paused before leaving.
“It’ll be alright Master. Your brats have crazy levels of potential.We just have to help them meet them without going totally batshit crazy along the way. We aren't alone in this, and asking for help is not a bad thing.” He hummed to acknowledge her words and she headed downstairs.
She stood at the top of the stairs and just watched her guild. They were so happy. Even when they were trying to kill each other, like Lucy was Happy right now. Like a family. One big, happy, crazy family. She hummed a bouncy song that reminded her of and ‘danced’ her way down the stairs. Juvia, Cana, and Levy were all out of the guild and she wasn’t exactly comfortable with anyone else yet, so she sat herself at the bar.
“Hey Alanza! Latte?”
“Please, Mira!” She turned around and leaned back against the bar to watch the guild. Gramps had called everyone in due to the threat of Phantom Lord so it was full to bursting. They really did need a new building, especially since she hoped to add to their family. She found a few missing members, but not many.
"Here you are!”
"Thanks. Hey, Mira, do we know where Bisca and Alzak are?”
“They are out scouting. We are keeping eyes out at all times. The alarm will be sounded if anyone matching the discriptions Juvia and Gajeel gave us is sighted.” Oh. There went her plan to learn requip from the gun wizards. Maybe later.
“What kind of...” Whatever question she had been about to ask totally flew out of her head. “Mira? Please tell me I’m really looking at a pink-haired preteen with golden wings on the sides of her head?”
“Hmm? Oh. I see her. I don’t recognize her. Who is she?”
“Well. I’m hoping her mother sent her. Do we have somewhere I can take her to talk? I wouldn’t want her to see the motherboard. Preferable before she tries to kill Gray.”
“Kill Gray? Oh. Is she a... What did Levy call them? A chess piece?”
“I will bring snacks up to Laxus’s office. It’s the door next to the Hall of Secrets. I doubt it’s locked.”
“You're an angel Mira.” Alanza waved her hand over her head. “Meredy! Meredy!” Meredy looked visably shocked for a moment before she schooled her features and walked toward Alanza. “Hey girl! I wasn’t expecting to see you so soon. Your mom send you? C’mon.” She hoped up and walked toward the stairs. “Let’s go sit somewhere a bit quieter.” She only glanced back once to make sure the blank faced girl was following.
After the chaos of Gramps office and the dusty neglected state of Mystogan’s Alanza was shocked by Laxus’s office. It was neat, clean, and tastefully decorated. There was a dark rug on the floor and art on the walls. He even managed to fit a couch in here without makng the office look like a furniture warehouse. She hopped uo to sit on the desk and gestured for Meredy to have a seat on the couch.
"I’m Alanza. I'm assuming Ultear sent you with questions about what Erza told her or some sort of message.” Meredy's eyes seemed to flash, but her expression didn't change.
“No. Ultear is unaware of my presence here. I heard of her interaction with Fairy Tail wizards on Galuna island, and came here in an attempt to gather additional information. How is it that you know of my relationship with Ultear? How is it that you know me?” So she had been attempting to go undercover. Alanza considered herself lucky the girl hadn’t bolted.
“My magic shows me many things. I only recently joined Fairy Tail or we would have reached out sooner.”
“What is it you want?”
“Several things actually. I’d like Ultear to be able to hear what her mother’s spirit has to say about the past. I’d like her to get revenge on the person who actually harmed her and on the ones who really lied to her.” Hades was the one feeding her all that timey wimey bullshit after all. “I would also like her to release her hold on Jellal. Oh, and I should probably tell you that Zeref is very much alive and aware. He will be pissed off if you disturb his peace.” The girl's bright eyes grew large.
"You... You know Lord Zeref?”
"No. But I know people who know people who do. And my magic has shown him to me.” The girl was back on her feet now and radiating violence. Alanza felt a moment of panic before Mira’s light knock sounded and her cheery voice came through the door.
“I brought refreshments.” She bustled in the door. She seemed to completely ignore the obviously hostile girl. “You didn’t bring your coffee up so I brought it with me, finger sandwiches, and I wasn’t sure what your friend liked so I brought a triple berry smoothie.” Mira smiled sweetly at the pinkette. “I’m Mira! Your name is Meredy, right?”
"Yes.” Even though she was still radiating dark energy Alanza could see her interrest in that smoothie.
“If you don’t need anything else I’ll head back downstairs. I’ll be back for those dishes.” That last line was tossed at Meredy. Probably rubbing in the idea that Alanza wasn’t really alone. The pinkette continued to eye the smoothie after Mira was gone. Alanza set her coffee down, picked up the smoothie and took a big sip.
"Not poisoned or anything. See?” She held out the drink and waited. Meredy snatched it out of her hand and took a step back. There were clearly trust issues going on here, not that Alanza blamed the girl. She sipped at her coffee as she waited for Meredy to make her next move.
“You know where Lord Zeref is?”
"Not at the moment, no.” That was true. She suspected he was on Tenrou, but she didn't know for sure. “And if I did I wouldn't tell you. You would end up telling Ultear and Hades and they would try to go get him and you would likely end up dead. I’d rather keep you alive if I can.” The girl glared at her.
“If you know about my guild why are you being nice to me?”
“I’m hoping you and Ultear will leave Grimoire Heart and join Fairy Tail. Or you at least. Personally I’d like to have a nice long talk with Ultear and once she pulls her head out of her ass have her stay on the council.”
"But...why?” Meredy had dropped her stoik mask in her confusion.
"Because I like you. You are a good person who has just gotten caught up in bad things.” She took a deep breath and sighed. “Ur loved her daughter. She cried for her until the day she died. The researchers at Era told her Ultear had died. If you can keep from hurting them long enough you can talk to her students. They will tell you the same thing.” Meredy hissed in anger.
“Gray Fullbuster stole Ultear’s mother and then killed her!”
"He did nothing of the sort. Don’t judge a person until you know the whole story, Meredy. Take you for example. If people judged you before getting to know you they would assume you were some sort of cold, murderous little psychopath.” Meredy seemed to consider that for a moment. A firm knock came at the door. “Come in!” Gramps entered.
“Mira says you have a visitor? Hello child. I’m Master Makarov.” Meredy bowed.
“Greetings Master.” He seemed to preen a bit at her show of respect.
"I hope I'm not interrupting anything. I just wanted to see who our guests was.”
“Meredy here is a sensory mage. I’m trying to convince her to join Fairy Tail, but she has family issues that prevent her from doing that right now.”
“Oh? I can understand that. Family is very precious. You are more than welcome to visit with my brats and get a feel for the guild. We just got two other new wizards your age. Wendy is out of town on a mission, but Ryos should be around here somewhere.”
"He went house shopping with Gajeel. Who knows when they will be back.”
“Ah. Well I expect they will show up for food eventually. They are dragon slayers after all.”
"Slayers?” Meredy looked a bit worried at the idea. Then again Zancrow seemed to be all kinds of totally nuts and he was the only slayer she knew. Maybe Cobra, and he wasn’t exactly a good guy right now.
"They are good people Meredy. Gajeel can be a bit rough around the edges, but he means well. Natsu our fire slayer just got back from a mission on Galuna island. I bet he would be thrilled to tell you about it.” Meredy’s eyes glinted. Literally. Ultear had been on that island and the girl knew that.
“That sounds... Interresting.”
"Play nice.” Meredy looked at her with a slightly confused expression. “You are welcome here. Make some friends.” Meredy looked even more confused as Alanza picked up their dishes and shooed her out the door. Gramps stopped Alanza before she could follow the pinkette down the stairs.
“Who is she?” Natsu and Happy all but tackled the girl, chattering about her pink hair.
"A child of her circumstances, Gramps. Not a Tower kid, but something similar. She is here because of the message I sent to Ultear.” They both went downstairs then. Alanza to hand over the empty dishes and Gramps to perch on the bar and watch the guild. Once she had fresh coffee she leaned back on the other end of the bar and did the same.
Chapter 19: Defenseless
In which Alanza explores ships and weapons.
“Aren’t they so perfect together?”
Alanza glanced over her shoulder at Mira, cringing at the heart-eyed look she was sporting. Her cringe turned into a fullblown grimace when she followed the barmid’s line of sight to Team Natsu’s table. Natsu was snoring away and drooling on the table while Lucy gave him a smile that to Alanza had ‘indulgent mother' written all over it.
“Oh come on. He’s, like, an overgrown toddler. Lucy deserves a real man.” It was out before she thought about the consequences. Mira's eyes glinted as she leaned closer.
“So is this your magic talking?” Well... In for a penny in for a pound.
“Only a little. Pradeshverse means crack ships. Lots of them.” Hopefully Mira could follow that and anyone overhearing it wouldn’t.
“And who exactly should Lucy’s ‘real man' be? In your opinion?” Alanza just grinned at Mira's narrow eyed stare.
"A cetrain tall, blond, and grouchy tsundere.” Mira’s eyes widened.
“LaLu... I never considered it before.” She took a moment to consider it now, then pointed at Natsu and Lucy. “But they have so much chemestry! They are so cute together!”
"They are friends! And cuteness does not a relationship make.” Mira huffed at her.
“Then who would you match with poor Natsu once you take his Lucy away?”
“.....but...Gray is a boy.”
“Yeah. I noticed. He was totally naked a few minutes ago after all.”
"It’s called a surrogate, Mira. And Slayer magic allows for both father’s genes to mix.” Mira did that heart eyed thing.
“That means Laxus and Freed can have babies!” Alanza snorted.
"I seriously doubt that Freed is Laxus’s mate. They couldn’t have been friends like they are if that were the case.”
“Then who do you ship Freed with?”
“Someone you don’t know. Yet.” Her personal favorite person to ship Freed with was Kaleb Pradesh. They were just so... Elegantly sexy together.
"Aww. You won't tell me who?”
"Nope. I'm not drawing people to your attention before you even meet them.”
“What about Bickslow?” Mira’s intensity was a bit... scary.
"He and Juvia seem to have a thing going on. Which by the way I did not see coming.”
"Oh? I think they are adorable! Who did you expect them to end up with?”
"Well...I hadn't really.” She had expected Juvia to stalk Gray forever, and Bix? Well she shipped him with a certain soul spying dragon slayer. But before Cobra got here she had been hoping Fairy Tail’s Boscan would prove her opinion regarding sex being a waste of time to be incorrect. However now that Juvia was her sister and had set her sights on the seith mage that wouldn’t be happening. She wouldn't do that to Juvs.
"Now those two,” She nodded towards the corner where Gajeel and Levy sat talking quietly. “I totally saw them coming.” Mira sighed dreamily.
"Gajevy. They are adorable. He's so big and brawney and she's so small and elegant. Their babies would be so cute! And the hair! What about them?” Mira pointed at the same corner again. It took Alanxa a moment to figure out what she was talking about. Jet, Droy, Ryos, and Meredy were all in that same corner.
“You mean... Ryos and Meredy?” As a ship those two had never occured to her. Ryos was a Tiger, and she had shipped him with his own guildmates. Same with Meredy. Now though.. They had the potential to make the cutest little emo couple, even if Meredy was in bright colors at the moment. “I’m not sure if they would have ever met if the Chess Club hadn’t intervened.”
“They have now. We have given them the chance to get their happily ever after! We have to make sure-”
"Ryos is a dragon slayer. He will have a mate out there. Don’t bother pushing him one way or the other. He will know when he finds his mate.”
“But... They are so cute...”
"They are just kids. Let them grow up a bit.” Mira pouted. Actually pouted. Alanza watched the younger wizards thoughtfully. Mira was right. They were super cute together.
“Hey Fox!” Alanza jerked in shock as Gajeel was suddenly right there grinning down at her.
“Uhh... Am I in trouble?”
“Gihi. Nah. Ya will be though.”
“Cuz yer a sitting duck. Ya got no magic to protect yerself with and if Jose finds out ya meddled he’ll be gunnin fer yer head.” Mira gasped.
"I admit,” Levy came up beside Gajeel. “I panicked a bit when he pointed that out. However! We have a plan.” She pulled a bit on Alanza’s sleeve. “Come on.” She headed toward a side door. Alanza found it odd that she hadn’t noticed the door before now. She groaned as she got off her barstool.
"Where are we going?”
“To make ya less useless.” She opened her mouth to snark back at him, but overheard something highly distracting. Happy's high pitched voice talking about Lucy's “fat butt”. Aside from the fact that the comment was totally rude and wrong Alanza had some rather painful memories of her own that included that phrase. So. She reacted.
She grabbed the nearest weapon type object, yanked the mop out of it’s dirty water, used a mostly empty table as a trampoline, and jumped toward the flying cat, swinging the wet mop as she went. When the sopping wet mop connected hard with the cat the dirty grey strands of rope wrapped around him, preventing him from escaping. She then proceded to smack the wet mop wrapped cat against the ground to punctuate her words.
"There. Is. Nothing. Wrong. With. Her. Butt.” She pulled the handle of the mop close to shake him in front of her face.. “And. If. I. Hear. You. Calling. Another. Girl. Fat. Again. I. Will. Shave. You. Bald. And. Flush. You. Down. The. Toilet.” Happy's eyes were spinning. “Do I make myself clear? Cat?”
"Ah- aye sir...” She dropped the mop, cat and all, and walked back toward the door. She pretended she didn't hear the whole guild chattering about her freak out. She heard a growl and felt heat on the back of her neck. For a moment she thought she would die by dragon slayer fire. Then she heard Mira’s demonic voice.
“Touch her and I will make what she did to Happy look like a game of patty cake!” Gajeel’s distinctive laugh followed right behind her as she exited the guildhall.
“Shit Fox. Got yourself the temper to go with that hair, don't ya?” Levy grinned at them both as she walked backwards down the road.
"About time somebody put Happy in his place like that.”
“You don't think... I went a bit overboard?”
"Nope. It was beautiful.” Alanza relaxed at Levy’s reassurance.
“Here.” Gajeel handed her a long, thin metal pole he got from... somewhere.
“Where did this come from?”
"Me.” She smirked.
“You’re giving me your magic boogers?” Levy barked out a laugh at the face the iron slayer made, but quickly clapped her hands over her mouth.
“There is something wrong with you.” Alanza shrugged, not feeling the need to argue that fact. Then she looked down at the pole in her hands.
“What am I doing with this?”
"No.” No way in hell was she going to spar with Gajeel Redfox with nothing but a stick.
“I just wanna see how ya handle it. Ya swung that mop pretty well. C’mon.” He beckoned with his fingers. That grin still had her hesitating though. She pointed the metal mop handle at Gajeel’s face.
“If you make me regret this I will find a way to nair you.”
“What is nair?” Alanza grinned in a way she was sure looked evil.
“Something Gajeel never wants to happen to him.”
"Whatever. Just attack me already.” Years of sweeping and mopping for minimum wage ment she was actually pretty comfortable with the thing in her hands. It was metal, sure, but it was a good bit lighter than she had expected solid iron to be. Dragon slayer iron. Magic made everything wierd. She went after Gajeel with all the skill she had. Which wasn’t much, but she had watched a lot of action movies and anime during her short seventeen year long life. After a minute of failing to to hit anything but Gajeel's metal forearms her hands were going numb from the vibrations so she stopped. “Not bad.”
“I never touched you and I can't feel my hands.”
“Vibrations running through the metal.” Levy ran her hands over the pole thoughtfully as she spoke and even took her hands to study her gloved palms. “We will need something to cushion the grip. The gloves probably help, but we need....” She trailed off and wrinkled her forehead in thought.
“Metal on metal makes it worse too, Shrimp. Won’t be as bad if she ain't hitting metal.”
"Still...” Levy’s head popped up and she snapped her fingers. “Laki! We can have her woodmake a staff.”
“Wood ain’t as strong as metal.” Levy made a displeased sound.
“So I’m not the most magically knowledgable person ever, but what about both?” They blinked at her. “I mean, like, an iron-coated wooden staff, or a staff Laki made arround a metal core or something like that?” Gajeel just grunted and continued playing with some clinking metal... thing in his hands.
“Why didn’t I think of that?” Alanza wasn’t sure if that was a real question or not so she just shrugged.
"Well Laki ain't here now, so we'll keep working with this.” He gestured for her to give the pole back to him. Once she handed it over he added several sections of chain to one end.
“...It’s a magic booger mop.”
“Shut yer face. I’m tryin ta help ya.”
“Sorry.” He handed it back. She hefted it and checked the weight. the chain mop was really heavy. “Do I have to attack you again?” He gave her a look that said she might be stupid. “Fine. Geez.” She swung it again. The chains wrapped around his arm and he just... Yanked it right out of her hands.
“And now yer dead. That won’t work. Takes to much time ta learn ta handle something like that.” He broke the chains off and tossed them aside. He then added a huge ass hammer head to it.
“Uhh...” Magic metal or no that was going to be heavy as shit. Something that was proved when he handed the thing back to her and she was unable to keep it from slamming to the ground. He snickered at her, took it back and tried again.
He made it into a simple spear this time. They discovered pretty fast that was not going to work. Swinging a spear with her lack of skill was just a stupid, inefficient thing to do and she couldn’t get the hang of stabbing people. She tried. She couldn’t so much as touch Levy. The fact that her skills were so poor Gajeel let her Try to stab Levy said it all.
After that they tried running a blade along the last foot or so of the staff. That was better, but they still had two problems. She lacked the force to make it really effective and she wasn’t accurate enough. Gajeel solved both problems with weight. He added a small hammer to the back side of the blade. This gave her blows more force and she didn’t need to be as accurate. She could just hammer on something till some part of it broke. The blade became more of a back up at that point. Apparently beating on shit with a super long hammer was her thing. Gajeel also added a knob type thing to the other end for balance and to prevent the long staff from simply slipping through her fingers when she swung it.
When Gajeel announced that he could “smell the Woodchuck” they went back inside the guild. After finding that Juvia had gone back to Fairy Hills Alanza settled back at the bar. Gajeel and Laki started expiramenting with what would be her new hammer. It took about forty seconds for Erza to get involved. Alanza found herself being womanhandled and measured. Height, arms, legs, shoulder width, even her hands. After that the three of them took over one of the guild tables to work.
"Alanza! Before anything else happens we need to finish your paperwork.” Alanza bit back a groan at Mira’s overly cheerful words. She hated paperwork. “I have most of it. We just need a few more things. How old are you?”
“Seventeen?” At least she had been seventeen before the anima. That had been late fall though, and it was summer now, and her birthday was in the spring. Thinking about that made her head hurt. Whatever. She would just shove all that aside and keep her birthday. “Yeah. I’m seventeen.”
“Why did you sound confused?”
“Hopefully you will never have to understand.” Because the Tenrou timeskip was confusing as shit.
“Ok then. Birthday?”
“Magic type? I put limited instinctual clairvoyance. That way it sounds weak and useless to anyone but you.”
“Sounds good to me.”
“Country, region, and city of origin?” They both stared at each other for a full minute before laughing.
Chapter 20: Change
In which Alanza witnesses what will change and what will happen anyway.
After much discussion with my muses, a bit of wrestling, and two games of twister we made some timeline adjustments. Ryos is now 15 instead of 13. Just roll with it.
Alanza happily spun her new hammer as she walked. It really was a beautiful weapon and the three wizards who worked on it should be very proud. She was naming it Booger, but she had yet to tell Gajeel that. He seemed to kinda like her right now, but she wasn’t quite ready to risk it. He and Ryos were currently walking herself and Levy back to Fairy Hills for the day. She found it delightfully odd that Frosch really did make those cute little...popping noises when he walked.
“Non non non. Surely we are not seeing this!” Alanza stared at the two figures who had stepped from the alley. Stepped being a highly vague word becauae Sol had no feet. Then she glared at Gajeel.
“Dude! Where did our days go?”
“How the hell should I know!” She saw his eyes flash to Levy and he sniffed at the air. “Shrimp! Hightail it to the guild. Tell them time’s up. And somebody needs to find the Water Woman.”
“I can fight!”
“Good! You get ambushed on the way there you’ll survive. Now scram!” Still she hesitated, looking at Alanza and Ryos.
“Will you guys be OK?” Ryos drew his sabre and bared his sharp teeth at their unwelcome visitors.
“Frosch, go with her.”
“OK!” Alanza laughed. She was a bit hysterical, but the laugh came out sounding maniacally evil so it worked.
“Rouse the guild, Levs.”
“Right!” She took off with Frosch over her head. Sol started to follow her, but Gajeel gave a roar and tackled him hard enough that the two vanished through a wall. When the other guy looked like he would follow Levy Alanza slid herself into his line of sight and shook her head, tapping Booger against her boot noisily. He gave an incredably bored sounding sigh.
“Fiiine.” He twitched his head to toss his hair a bit out of his eyes, then he just... Stood there. She wasn’t sure how to take that. She looked him up and down carefully. He was...well... Washed out emo in appearance. The long hair hanging over his face looked like it had once been a navy blue that was left out in the sun. Same with his clothes. They were just a shade to gray to be black. And he looked like he would really rather not be here.
She looked at Ryos and raised a brow. He shrugged without looking at her. Boy had impressive observational skills. When several loud crashes sounded from the direction Gajeel and Sol had gone she resigned herself to being the lead Fairy in this interaction. Mavis help them.
“So. You are?”
“Eddy.” She waited for him to elaborate on that or something. Nothing.
“And you are here...why?” He blinked half asleep grey eyes.
“Oh. Uhh. Something about a water anchor and some useless brat?” Jose seriously couldn’t be thinking this... Lackluster creature could fulfull Juvia’s role could he? Though he could be a lot more powerful than he seemed. That happened? Right? Ryos growled at... Eddy. Did he have more name than?
“Miss Lucy isn't useless. She is a kind, sweet, intelligent lady!”
“Eh. None of my business. Just tell me where she is and I'll be off.” Ryos lunged with his sword and Eddy yanked water from a tiny cask at his waist and froze it into an oblong sheild shape just in time to catch the strike.
Between Ryos' strikes, the ice would melt, reforming quickly in other places in newer, vague shapes to block the oncoming attack. Occasionally, Eddy would strike out, some of the ice liquifying for the attack, but the shadow dragon slayer would drop into his own shadow, avoiding the attack before coming back out swinging.
Alanza grinned as she noticed that the ice that had chunked and flaked off by Ryos' attacks didn't revert back to liquid, but stayed in a solid form, glinting in the light upon the ground. At this rate, she mused, unless Eddy did something new, he was going to run out of water and ice.
“That's it. I give. I quit.” Ryos hesitated in the midst of his next strike.
“I'm not risking my life for this job. To much trouble.”
“Are you...” Alanza wanted to say serious, but she changed her mind at the last moment. "Not afraid of your master?”
“Master? Pft. Whatever.” He flipped his hair again. “I ain’t a Phantom Lord wizard. Jose came down to the market and hired me. Said he needed a water wizard on short notice. Never said I was gunna have to actually fight.”
“And your normal job is?”
“I work with flowers.” He was a... Flower boy? She held a hand over her face and tried not to laugh.
“Just... Go home, Eddy.”
“Pft. Whatever.” Alanza felt rather disapointed as she listened to the guy’s shuffling footsteps fade.
“What just happened?”
“I don't even know, kid. Should we be backing up Gajeel?”
“Nobody can beat Gajeel! He was Phantom Lord’s ace! Don’t worry about him.” Alanza kept her laughter at Ryos’s hero worship tamped down inside her.
“When this is done you have to get him to help you work on your magic kid.”
“Yeah, yeah.” She did snicker a bit at that.
“Let's go find Levy and Frosch.”
They made good time getting back to the guild. It was chaos inside, everyone shouting and yelling. Alanza and Ryos were dragged up to the bar and grilled on what had happened after Levy left them. More shouting ensued. Erza went looking for Juvia and Laki while the rest of Team Natsu plus Levy headed to Fairy Hills to fetch Cana and the rest of the girls.
Thirty minutes after Alanza got her first latte Gajeel stomped into the guildhall dragging Sol behind him. He chained the unconscious earth wizard to the end of the bar. A few people started to object, but he glared them into silence pretty damn fast. Alanza steered clear of the Phantom. It disturbed her that he still didn’t seem to have feet. Whether the guy was dangerous or not was beside the point. He was footless. It was creepy.
When Gray and Natsu came back without the girls she should have realized something was wrong. They said they had left them in the care of Cana and several other Fairy females though so she shrugged it off and kept sipping her coffee. Erza, Laki, and Juvia got back. Juvia and Laki ended up next to her at the bar chattering about furniture or something. She wasn’t really paying attention because she was watching Natsu and Gray. Then she noticed that Cana had joined their conversation and there was still no blond at Team Natsu's table and no little blunette sitting with Ryos and Gajeel.
“Fuck!” A dozen pairs of eyes were instantly on her. “Who was the last person to see Lucy?” Eyes widened and fingers pointed. Gajeel almost teleported to Cana.
“I... She and Lucy went to her apartment to yeah some books to bring to the guild.” Cana looked at the other girls. “Anybody see them come out?” There were shaking heads and curses. As one Gajeel and Juvia headed for the door, Natsu and Ryos right on their heels.
“I do not seem to fully grasp the ramifications of the situation.” Alanza ground her teeth as she watched the three slayers and her chosen sister leave, then turned to Laki.
“Pretty sure Lucy and Levy were just snatched right from under our noses.”
“Shit!” Cana all but crawled into her barrel.
“Then we should arrange to retrieve them posthaste!” Alanza pointed toward the door.
“Pretty sure we already did that.” She dropped her head backwards onto the bar with a thunk, plucked her sarcasm hat off her head and perched it on the bridge of her nose.
“May I inquire as to what it is you are doing?”
“Hiding from my failure as a semi-clairvoyant being.” She heard a think and could feel something cold next to her head.
“Normally I don’t encourage drinking.” There was a hard edge to Mira’s voice. “But I think you can hide easier in this than behind that hat.” She moved her hat off her face and gazed upside down at Mira. “Nobody blames you for this. You tried. We just weren’t careful enough.”
“I just...don't understand. We caught Sol. That only leaves...Aria.” Who had that ability to wind teleport or something. Shit. She had forgotten that. She was a terrible chess player. “How did they know about Levy though? It was her room they were in when they vanished.” Noone seemed to have the answer to that question.
Ryos popped into the guildhall to let them know that Lucy and Levy were indeed gone. Levy's apartment was a mess and it reeked of Aria. He then vanished again to join Gajeel in rescuing the two Fairy wizards.
The girls all bedded down at the guildhall that night. Knowing that the safety of their apartment building had been compromised had them all jumpy. Alanza wasn't the only one to meditate that night before she went to bed either. In fact the whole guildhall was lit up like a jar of glitter with all the magic in the air.
It was late the next day when the group finally returned. All six refused to talk about whatever had happened. Levy and Lucy seemed to be rather traumatized. Gajeel and Ryos hovered over them and seemed to be... quite put out with Natsu, who was pissed at everyone. Juvia cuddled up against Alanza’s side and said nothing.
Whatever had happened had obviously left a mark on the whole group. When Erza and Gray tried to force Lucy to talk Gajeel shoved them out the door for a ‘talk’. They came back pale and subdued, but they did give Lucy space. Alanza gave the two girls smiles and did her best to comfort Juvia, but felt that it would be best if she kept her mouth shut.
That night Lucy and Levy went home with Gajeel and Ryos. Levy she had seen coming, but apparently Ryos had grown rather attatched to Lucy. Natsu sulked and seethed, but Erza ended up taking him out to walk the perimeter of the whole damn town all night, so he wasn't able to make much trouble. Alanza found herself roped into a sleepover with Juvia, Cana, and Laki, not that she minded. Juvia was still clingy, but Alanza was starting to really enjoy the cuddles.
The hour just before dawn brought screams and cries of dismay on the wind. The guildhall had erupted into flames. By the time the girls arrived on the scene still in their pajamas the only thing Juvia could do was keep the fire from spreading. The guildhall had already been lost so there was no point in her trying to fight the fire. By the time Natsu and Erza came running up there was little left but ashes.
The burning down of the guildhall had…unforeseen, yet terrifying consequences. From the dark pit that Scary Lucy and Angry Levy had been, it was like the flames were a magical circle, summoning them like demons from hell, or whatever foul, evil place they had been residing in. It was…scary. Alanza was afraid; Juvia literally hid behind her, and Natsu? Natsu made the unfortunate and unwise mistake of attempting to push the blame onto Gajeel and his demolishing of Phantom’s Headquarters. This had turned the two sweethearts turned hellion on the dragon slayer as if they were starving and he was the first meal they’d seen in ages; they damn near ate him alive. Gajeel, the big, bad, gruff slayer had since then followed Levy around like a blushing, shy, lovesick puppy after that. It was adorable.
There was a lot of legal mumbo jumbo after that. Master Makarov was questioned and requestioned till he started to literally fade. In the end it looked like the two girls would be locking Jose and Phantom behind bars for good through the courts. No more fighting would be needed. Alanza expected it would be a lot more complicated than Levy and Lucy made it sound, but if it got the job done she was all for it. Especially if Scary Lucy and Angry Levy could be appeased…and go back to the plain of Hell from whence they came.
Chapter 21: Ashes
In which Alanza and her friends begin the Phantom War cleanup.
Most of the day was spent shifting through the wet ashes of the guildhall, at least for most of the guild.. Team Natsu, Team Shadowgear, and the three ex-phantoms had gone to the nearest rune knight office to do legal stuff. They hadn’t all needed to go, but... Natsu wouldn’t let Lucy go withou, and of course Gray and Erza went too. Gajeel, Ryos, and Juvia went because they had seen things and their testimony would be useful. Jet and Droy...well...Levy had gone so they followed. The two had been sulking majorly about not being able to rescue her when she was taken by Aria.
They had only really saved one thing from the fire. Mira had risked her own life to get the request book, and gotten a pretty bad burn on her arm in the process. They were all pretty grateful since the book was the only record the guild had of requests and missions at this point. Mira had a small group already working on mission flyers from the recorded requests. Not that they had a board to put them on.
Alanza kicked at the broken chunks of the big chalk board that had been in the Hall of Secrets and grumbled under her breath. She was going to have to remake her timeline. It wasn’t really a big deal, just frustrating. An excited shout came from the other side of the ash pile and she glanced up to see Mystogan, Wendy, and Carla. Mystogan was dragging a rather large shape behind him.
“Myst! You’re back! Whatchya got?” She scrampled over to them. Mystogan chuckled.
“You are a mess.” He swiped a gloved finger over her cheek and it came away covered in grey ash. She grinned.
“I know, right?”
“Are you...wearing pajamas?” She looked down at her star covered pants and the sleeping sheep on her shirt.
“Uhh...” Then she looked at Cana, Laki, and the others who had been sleeping when the fire was discovered. They were still wearing pajamas too. “Yes. Yes I am.” He shook his head at her and she was pretty sure he was laughing.
“I think they are cute!” Wendy piped up.
“They may have been once, but the ash has ruined them now.” Carla was such a negative Nancy.
“We brought you a present.” Mystogan pulled the large thing closer. “Not you specifically. It’s for the whole guild.” They all crowded around the purple wrapped...person.
“Hey! You brought us Aria!” She clapped her hands and grinned widely. “These flags he is wrapped in came from Phantom’s branch locations didn’t they.
“Mmhmm. I figured you all would appreciate them more than Porlyusika would.”
“Mystogan is a man!”
“You kick some butt too, Wendy?” Wendy blushed and Carla huffed at the question.
“Mystogan taught me how to use my sky magic more offensively. I was actually able to help him a little. He’s really powerful though so he didn’t really need me.” Mystogan dropped a hand onto Wendy's head.
“You did very well, Wendy. You were a great help. With a little practice and time I expect you will be one of Fairy Tail’s most powerful wizards.” Wendy gasped and blushed again.
“Really?” He nodded.
“He said with practice and time child. You have a long way to go before that happens.” Mystogan narrowed his eyes at the exceed, but said nothing. Alanza was pretty sure she was glaring at Carla.
“So.” Mira stood over their flag swathed captive. “This is the wizard who took Lucy and Levy?” When Alanza nodded Mira kicked the man. Right in the purple flag wrapped head. And she wasn’t gentle either. They won't tell us what happened to them while your guild had them, but I can guess. You...you are terrible.” She kicked him again. “People.” And again. Alanza was sure she would have continued if Elfman hadn’t pulled her into a hug.
“Wow, Mira.” Cana grinned and propped her ‘boyfriend’ on her hip. Where she had gotten the cask Alanza didn’t know. “That was cold.” Mystogan chuckled.
“Oh that’s nothing on what Wendy did to him. He has wind burns, and he is a wind mage.” Alanza tugged on one of Wendy’s pigtails.
“Atta girl, Wendy.”
“I can’t say I approve of that level of viciousness.” Alanza felt like growling at the exceed.
“Do you know what they did to Levy and Lucy while they held them captive?” Carla looked away. “Trust me Wendy was fully justified.” She waved at the huge pile of ashes in the middle of town. “And on top of that they burned down our guildhall. Thankfully Mira is the only one who was injured.”
“Injured! Mira are you ok? Let me see!” Wendy herded Mira away from the crowd and onto one of the benches Laki had made for them. Alanza chuckled at the way the girl pushed around the S-class wizard.
“So. How was traveling with a team? Have fun?” Mystogan hummed.
“It was very nice to have Wendy with me.” Alanza found it glaringly obvious that he didn’t say anything about Carla.
“Thanks for bringing this guy in.” She kicked ashes at Aria. “Us girls can all go to our own homes and feel safe again.”
“Where have you been staying?”
“The guildhall mostly. Last night me, Juvs, and Laki stayed with Cana. I’ve only slept in my bed once and Bickslow was the one who got me there.” Mystogan jerked.
“Excuse me?” That was not a friendly excuse me. It was more of a pissed off excuse me. The sort of excuse me she might expect to hear from Mira. What was his deal?
“I mean he didn’t actually put me there because guys can’t get into Fairy Hills, but he did carry me from the train station."
“Why was he carrying you?”
“Because unconscious people can't walk.”
“You were unconcious!” She felt like she was losing ground here and she still didn’t know what he was upset about.
“Yeah. Evergreen wore me out and I had a couple drinks with dinner so I passed out during the trainride home. We were in Hargeon-” She gasped in realization and planted her fist in his stomach. He grunted and folded over just a bit, but that was it. The man had abs like a brick wall or something. “Because you turned my hair that aweful blueish grey color and we had to leave town to break the spell! Why would you do that?”
“You just punched me!” He sounded more shocked than injured.
“You turned my hair grey!”
“It was just an illusion! You actually punched me!”
“Maybe that was an illusion too!”
“Illusions are fake! They don't cause any real harm!”
“Well it sure looked real! Real and grey and ugly!”
“You are the most difficult, frustrating woman I have ever met in my life!”
“Aaagh!” He kicked Aria before storming off, grumbling to himself. She stuck her tongue out at his back.
“Dang girl.” Cana elbowed her in the ribs. “Why are you chasing that yummy creature away?”
“How would you know if he was yummy or not, Cana?”
“The way you are rubbing your knuckles says your fist found muscles hidden under all that mystery.” Alanza tucked her hand behind her back. “Ha! See? You weren’t but the way you reacted says you did!”
“Ugh.” Laki appeared at her other elbow and leaned closer to whisper in her ear.
“If you are resolved to woo our resident recluse I could lend you some items from my collection.”
“No! No way. You two can take your kinky selves somewhere else. I’m not playing this game!” She glared at each of them in turn. “I’m not interrested in ‘wooing’ anyone yummy or not.” She watched as Mystogan dropped his cloak, supplies, and two of his staves through the portal he apparently kept in his pants and began clearing away rubble.
“Fine. ...that ass though...” Laki made a humming sound of agreement and Alanza found herself nodding along. She kicked Aria in an attempt to distract from that.
“What are we going to do with...this?” Laki smiled broadly in a way that made Alanza’s stomach churn a bit.
“Let Mira and I take posession of the villain. Allow us to confine him until the rune knights arrive to take him into custody.” When Mira appeared at her side nodding even Cana leaned away from the two. Alanza pushed gently at the card mage so they could get away from the scary people.
“Uhh... We’ll just... Let you do that. Have fun!” She pushed harder and hissed at Cana. “Move your ass before we get caught up in their crazy shit!” Cana gave a squeak and they rushed away and busied themselves shovelling ash.
By the time the sun set the rubble of the guildhall was almost entirely cleared. There was a small shed build with the new request board and a single table piled high with ideas regarding the new guildhall. Noone knew where Mira and Laki had taken Aria and noone was brave enough to ask. Master Makarov had vanished partway through the day and had yet to reappear. Most of the guild hadn’t even notice he wasn’t there, being to caught up in the guildhall and Mystogan being willing to interact with them.
The large group that had gone to talk to the rune knights returned in time for dinner. Wendy and Ryos got along famously and were adorable. Their older brothers...not so much. Gajeel seemed to be attempting to taunt Myst into some sort of slayer dominance fight. The fact that Mystogan was still refusing was fenominal since Gajeel just breathing seemed to annoy him only slightly less than the fifteen year old whispering and laughing with his twelve year old little sister.
Alanza herself had almost taken Booger to Natsu’s head at least three times for tossing fireballs at one of the other slayers, and Mystogan, and even Juvia. He had been saved at the last minute by one of his three team mates distracting him. Or she had been saved since she really didn’t expect she would have survived engaging the fire dragon slayer. He still seemed to resent her treatment of Happy during the mop incident. And don’t even get her started on Carla and Happy. Just... She was all for pulling out barbeque sauce and going demon to deal with those two.
And speaking of demons Mira was in the kind of shipping frenzy that had her about frothing at the mouth. On top of her usual ships she was now shipping the slayers with anything that moved. Mystogan and Gajeel were on that list which may have been why Mystogan was still refusing to fight the iron slayer. Juvia apparently had a yaoi thing because she was very much encouraging Mira to imagine all the cute babies Gajeel, Natsu, and Ryos could make with every guy the two females could think of.
Droy and Jet were still whining and carrying on about Levy who seemed to have actually grown fed up with them over the course of the day. Laki was trying to convince the rest of them to add a dungeon to the new guild blueprints. Cana was even drunker than usual and the later it got the more that condition looked to be contagious. Alanza still had me clue where the alcohol came from since most of the guild’s supply had blown the hell up during the fire. When Alanza saw the card mage hand sake to Erza she bolted. No way was she staying for any more of the crazy today.
She went by Cana's apartment first to get her bag. Juvia had been the one to fetch her bag that first night when they slept in the guildhall, hence why she had been wearing nothing but blue for the past two days.At least she didn't have to borrow clothes from anyone else. That would have been... embarrassing. She was looking forward to a shower in her own home and a silent place to sleep.
She unlocked her door, blinked, closed it again and checked the room number on the door. She then relocked the door and doublechecked the other doors on the hall. They were all where tgey should have been, so this really was her door. She unlocked her door again and stepped into her now furnished apartment.
Looking closer she could see Juvia and Laki in the choices. Apparently her one cup and one towel had turned into a whole damn kitchen and wooden livingroom furniture. She was almost afraid to look in her bedroom and bathroom. Though...what she could see was rather tastefully done.
The kitchen towels and such were mainly in lavender and she even found a set of dishes with a purple design. Blue and gold throw pillows were tossed on the wooden furniture. It was...very Laki. There were spikes scattered around that looked like they would be very painful to find in the dark.
She held her breath before looking into her room, then sagged in relief. Laki had stayed out of her bedroom. There were very few additions here. Pretty curtains in gauzy blue and gold, a few more blankets and pillows on her bed.
She recoiled when she opened the bathroom door. The ocean had... thrown up on her bathroom. Blue and sea creatures covered everything. There was even a starfish on the wall and a dolphin hanging from the ceiling. Juvia. This had Juvia goes overboard written all over it.
After processing everything their thoughtfullness made her smile. They must have spent most of their shopping trip together on this. Hopefully Juvia hadn’t forgotten to get things for her own appartment. This also must have cost...a lot. She owed the girls for this. Owed them big. Even though there was a dolphin in her bathroom and her livingroom was dangerous.