I decided to post this one now since it's Fraxus Week.
This ship has been growing on me recently and now I adore their dynamic.
Seeing how Freed’s clearly in love with Laxus while the latter seems clueless, they remind me a lot of my ultimate Fairy Tail OTP: Gruvia.
Hence I decided to add both ships here plus some quality Juvia x Laxus friendship moments (it saddens me that they never interact).
I hope you’ll enjoy!
Pairings: Gruvia/Fraxus/Juvia x Laxus friendship
Summary: Sensing that something was wrong, Gray decided to seek his friend, unaware that he wasn’t the only one who did so. When he found Juvia of all people comforting Laxus, he had no idea of the tragic secrets he was about to uncover.
Timeline: Story’s set during episode 19 of the Final Season.
Word Count: 1700
It was getting late, so Erza had suggested everyone settle down and get ready to sleep. That’s when Gray noticed the absence of the lightening dragon slayer. “Where’s Laxus?”
“Maybe he went hunting for something for us to eat.” Wendy suggested, but he felt it wasn’t the case.
Sensing that something was wrong, the ice mage decided to seek his friend, unaware that he wasn’t the only one who did so.
About half an hour later, he finally heard Laxus’ familiar voice, although the dragon slayer wasn’t alone.
Once Gray stopped behind the branches of a tree, he spotted Juvia standing in front of Laxus, a hand placed on his shoulder while the other was gesturing.
“There you go.” She whispered softly while taking a deep breath. “In and out.”
Laxus mirrored her movements and after a few moments, he was breathing normally. “Thanks.”
Juvia smiled while taking her hand away. “Of course.”
Gray was so confused seeing those two together when they barely even talked. What was going on?
“How are you doing? Had any crisis recently?” The dragon slayer asked and the water mage shook her head.
“Not since Gray and I were reunited.” She informed while sitting down beside him.
“Good for you.” He said, clearly unhappy.
“Maybe you should have stayed with Freed.” Juvia suggested.
“No; I couldn’t stay behind.” Laxus replied, sighing. “Besides; there’s no way I would’ve been fine while he was hurt. I need to make this right.”
Why were they talking about Freed? What did he have to do with anything?
“I understand.” The water mage nodded as silence fell between them.
Gray watched the duo and he really wanted to go up to them, but something told him it was better to wait.
“I’m guessing you haven’t told Gray about what’s happening either, huh?” Laxus broke the silence.
“I haven’t told anyone. I didn’t want to worry them.” Juvia looked down, saddened.
The dragon slayer rolled his eyes. “As if that would ever work.”
“I’m just hoping that I won’t get sick during the battle.” She sighed.
“If Porlyusica’s right; then this only happens when we’re feeling down.” He shrugged. “So I think you’ll be fine.”
So Porlyusica knew? Why had the two mages confided in her of all people? Gray’s face paled as he came to a disturbing realization. Did this mean that it was health-related?
“And what about you?” Juvia turned to Laxus with concern.
He avoided her eyes, looking away with anger while his hands balled into fists. “I’ll be fine after I destroy the bastard who hurt Freed.”
She placed a hand on his arm. “I’m worried about you fighting in your condition.”
He decided to face her, eyebrows raised. “I could say the same about you.”
There it was. The truth Gray desperately needed. What was their condition?
“You don’t have to worry about me.” Juvia’s arm dropped and she offered a weak smile, but both men could tell it was fake.
“Why do I get the feeling you’re hiding something?” Laxus gave her a suspicious look.
“It’s nothing.” She shook her head and looked away, avoiding his concerned gaze
“Juvia.” He was the one to place a hand on her arm now. “What’s wrong?”
She sighed and Gray took in a sharp breath, bracing himself. Fear coursed through his veins once he imagined every terrible scenario.
“Porlyusica told me…It’s worse than we thought.” Laxus frowned.
His face paled and he tensed. “What do you mean?”
“The treatment isn’t working anymore.” Juvia informed. “Even though Gray returned and I’m feeling better, it’s too late. The bane particles have already spread everywhere and it won’t be long before…”
No. This couldn’t be happening. Gray’s eyes widened once he finally realized the truth.
She was sick. She probably had been sick that whole year, but how could he not have noticed?
Thinking back to their time spent together, he was confused. They had been living in the same house; spending months together and not once had she appeared unwell.
But he had left. The realization made his stomach churn once he thought about what Laxus had said.
This only happens when we’re feeling down.
Juvia had probably been depressed after Gray had abandoned her, so maybe that’s when the bane particles began to really damage her body.
He had done this to her. He was the reason she was dying and it killed him too. Why did he have to keep hurting her?
Laxus was so shocked and unsettled that his arm dropped. “Are you sure there’s nothing that can be done?”
“I’m afraid not.” Juvia offered the saddest smile. “But it’s okay. I’ve already accepted that I’m not going to make it.”
“Gray will flip out when he learns this.” He shook his head. “He’ll never forgive himself.”
“It’s not his fault.” She said, gently. “He didn’t know that leaving me would lead to this.”
“You have to tell him.” Laxus firmly insisted. “He deserves to know that he won’t have much time with you.”
“How can I?” Juvia shook her head. “He’s happy now. He believes that we’ll win this battle and everything will be okay. I don’t want to ruin that.”
Tears were streaming down Gray’s face as he continued to listen to their conversation. Knowing that he was going to lose her and it was his fault hurt more than anything.
“Look; I’ve known Gray for longer than you.” Laxus said. “He hates being lied to.”
“I know, but I can’t tell him!” Juvia started to sob. “I can’t see the look on his face once he learns that I’m dying and there’s nothing he can do about it.”
“He’ll drive himself mad trying to find a way to save you.” He realized, frowning deeply.
“Do you understand now why I’ve decided to keep it a secret?” She asked, trying to dry her tears, though they kept coming.
“We’ve become nothing but burdens, haven’t we?” Laxus sighed defeatedly, slumping against the tree.
“Maybe we shouldn’t fight.” Juvia suggested.
“I can’t.” Laxus shook his head. “I already failed Freed and the Thunder Legion, I can’t fail the rest of our friends.”
“I understand how you feel.” She looked down. “Even after Porlyusica told me I should sit this one out, I knew that I had to come.”
“We’ve got to protect them, even if it’s the last thing we do.” His words made Gray’s blood run cold with fear.
“Exactly.” A determined look came upon Juvia’s face. “I won’t let anyone hurt Gray again. Even if it kills me, I will fight to keep him safe.”
“You really love him, huh?” A small smile came upon Laxus’ face.
“I always have.” She smiled fondly yet sadly; and Gray’s heart broke even more.
“For what it’s worth, I think he loves you too.” Everyone seemed to know at this point. They must’ve noticed the changes in how he treated Juvia ever since Fairy Tail had been revived.
“Well, it doesn’t really matter.” Juvia swallowed hard. “We can’t be together.”
“It really sucks.” Laxus sighed, offering a sympathetic look.
“It does.” She nodded before looking back at him. “Time is up for me, but you still have a chance.”
“A chance to do what?” He was genuinely confused.
“Tell Freed the truth.” Juvia said, eying him firmly.
“I thought we just agreed that I shouldn’t.” He raised a brow.
“Not that you’re sick.” She shook her head. “I meant tell him how you feel.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Laxus looked away, a light blush tainting his cheeks.
“Come on, don’t do this.” Juvia pleaded. “We both know what I’m talking about.”
Gray frowned in confusion. What were they talking about?
“It’s none of your business.” Laxus tried, but the water mage was insistent.
“It’s not fair that you’re keeping him in the dark.” She crossed her arms, upset.
“Why do you even care?” He decided on a different approach.
“Because I understand him.” Juvia frowned. “He’s trying so hard to get your attention, but you pretend that you don’t see it.”
“He just respects me as a leader.” Laxus said, shrugging.
“Please.” She rolled her eyes. “Only a blind man wouldn’t notice how he feels.” Then the realization sank in and her eyes widened. “Oh. Now I understand.”
“Understand what?” He raised a brow, confused.
“You have no idea that he’s in love with you.” Shaking her head, Juvia sighed. “And here I thought that my darling Gray was clueless.”
“Wait… You think that Freed’s in love with me?” Though he tried to conceal it, she could tell he was hopeful.
“I’m 100% sure that he is.” A smile lit up her face. “And you love him too. That’s so sweet.”
“I don’t know about that.” Laxus unconvincingly said.
“I think you do.” She took his hand and squeezed it. “But you don’t have to tell me anything now. Just promise that you will tell him before it’s too late.”
As Laxus stared into those midnight blue orbs, he found himself nodding. “Okay.”
Meanwhile, Gray was frozen, still in shock over this revelation. However, his thoughts were quickly redirected towards Juvia’s words and he realized that she was right.
Even if he had promised to give her answer once the war was over, it couldn’t wait anymore. She needed to know that he did love her and would do anything to save her now that he knew about her illness.