Shopping in Magnolia
It was a warm, sunny day in the city of Magnolia. The streets were filled with people who were taking their walk, doing their daily shopping or were just enjoying the nice day at the local cafes. A blond, teenage girl was hopping care freely on the ledge next to the long river, followed by a small, strange, white creature with a long pointy nose that was moving in a clumsy way.
"Lucy-chan! That's dangerous! Be careful not to fall!" the old boatmen from the gondolas on the river said kindly to the girl.
"Yes, I will! Thank you!" the blond girl responded. Lucy Heartfilia was taking her walk in a similar fashion almost every day while making her way to the mage's guild of Magnolia, the guild that she wanted to join ever since she was little, Fairy Tail. The past months had been exciting and adventurous, to say the least. Lucy had been through some quite hard and dangerous situations, including dangerous missions, fighting with dark guilds, both legal and illegal, and fighting with crazy guild members or even travelling to other worlds. However, during those months Lucy met some rather unusual people who would soon turn out to be not only dear friends, but almost as close as family. Especially her teammates. Natsu Dragneel and Happy, the Fire Dragon Slayer and the winged blue cat who were the first people that she met, and they were the ones that brought her to Fairy Tail. Though they might seem immature and almost childish on some occasions, they were both strong and passionate and they had saved her more times than she could think of. Erza Scarlet, the S-class Requip mage who Lucy admired and looked up to from the day she met her. Although she had a tough exterior and sometimes seem cold and strict, Lucy new that she was very kind, gentle and caring and put her friends above all. In addition to all this, Lucy also admired her for her amazing beauty. Gary Fullbuster, the Ice mage, one of the first people that drew her attention when she first joined Fairy Tail. Perhaps the first impression wasn't the best, maybe because he asked her for her underwear while being butt naked, but Gray proved to be just as strong and passionate as Natsu, always fighting to his limits in order to protect his friends. And of course, Lucy couldn't forget about Wendy and Charle, the newest additions to the guild, the little Sky Dragon Slayer and her winged, white cat. Even thought she was shy and still just a kid, Wendy's heart had the size of a dragon. Lucy didn't think she had ever met a more kind and pure-hearted person before. Charle might also seem cold and haughty sometimes, but in reality she had a much softer side and she cared deeply for Wendy and the rest of the guild and especially, even though she didn't always admit it, Happy. The blond girl kept thinking about her teammates , as well as the rest of her fellow guild members, with a big smile until she finally reached her destination and eagerly got inside of the large building. The guild was as rowdy and as lively as ever. Lucy greeted everyone as she walked inside the guild and made her way towards the bar where a white haired girl and a brown haired girl were chatting.
"Good morning Mira-san! Good morning Cana!" she greeted happily.
"Good morning Lucy!" the white haired girl greeted with a big smile.
"Morning Lucy!" the brunette said smiling as well.
"Hey Cana, I don't want to sound rude or anything, but it's 10 in the morning! Don't tell me you started drinking from that early!" Lucy said after noticing a rather large cup in her friend's hand.
"Come on Lucy, do you really think I'm this bad?" Cana said lightly. "This is just coffee!"
"Then why are you adding whiskey in it?" Lucy asked emphatically, pointing at a bottle that was next to the cup.
"Oh this? You know, to add a little more kick to it" Cana said simply as she poured some of the drink to her coffee.
"Don't look so surprised Lucy! I believe it's called Irish Coffee or something" Mirajane said. "Although, I think that Cana added a little more whiskey than she should" she added with a wink. Cana shrugged.
"The more the better" she said as she took a sip from her coffee.
"I see" Lucy said with a deadpawn look. "By the way, have you guys seen Natsu or Erza anywhere?" she asked as she scanned around looking for her teammates. Gray was the only one that she spotted.
"Natsu and Happy took a walk to the forest with Lisanna. I think they went fishing. They will probably spend the entire day there" Mirajane said.
"Really?" Lucy said. "Natsu has been spending more time with Lisanna lately. I can't blame him though" Lucy thought with a smile as she remembered Natsu and Happy's joyful reactions when Lisanna, who everyone thought she was gone, came back with them from Edolas.
"Are you okay Lucy? Is something wrong?" Cana asked a little concerned.
"No, everything is fine! Really!" Lucy answered honestly but a little hasty. "I mean it, I'm really happy that Lisanna is back Mira-san!" she said to the white haired girl.
"I know Lucy. Thank you" Mirajane said softly.
"Anyway, Erza is not around either. She went to the city with Master for a meeting with some other guild masters" Cana said as she took another sip from her drink.
"I see. It looks like I got nothing to do the entire day. Even Levy-chan has gone on a job with Jet and Droy" Lucy said as she fell head first on the counter.
"Now, now, don't get so depressed Lucy" Mirajane said smiling holding up her hands to calm her.
"Well it's not my fault! Hey Cana, want to go shopping or something?" Lucy asked the brown haired girl next to her.
"Nah, I don't feel like it. Maybe later" Cana said lazily. "Hey Mira, may I have some more coffee?" she asked moving her empty cup.
"Gee, thanks Cana! I can always count on you!" Lucy said sarcastically.
"Anytime" Cana said lightly as she added some more drink to her newly filled cup of coffee and took another sip. Lucy groaned and fell head first again on the counter.
"Good morning everyone!" a cheerful, sweet voice was heard next to them. The three girls turned around to see a pretty, young girl with long, straight, blue hair and wearing a colourful dress behind them, and a small, white cat standing next to her.
"Good morning Wendy! Good morning Charle!" Mirajane greeted.
"Good morning Wendy! Did you have a good night's sleep?" Cana asked.
"Yeah, thanks" the dark haired girl answered with a yawn. "Hey Cana-san, what are you having there?" she asked curiously.
"Just some coffee. Do you want some?" Cana said.
"Um, sure. Thanks!" Wendy said and reached for the cup.
"No way! This is not for little girls! What are you thinking Cana?!" Lucy said shocked.
"Yeah, you are probably right. Sorry" Cana said after looking at her cup and rethinking her proposal.
"Wendy, you know you're too young to have coffee. What are you thinking?" the white cat said disapprovingly with her thin voice.
"There's more than just coffee there" Lucy mumbled.
"Sorry Charle" Wendy said embarrassed rubbing the back of her head.
"It's okay now. Here Wendy, want some juice?" Mirajane said holding a glass and a carton of juice.
"Yeah, thanks a lot!" Wendy said as she took a seat next to them.
"Honestly, you're such a handful sometimes" Charle said still annoyed.
"Come on now, don't scold her. Hey Wendy, wanna go shopping later?" Lucy said getting her hopes up.
"Sorry Lucy-san, but I've promised Mirajane-san to help her today" Wendy said a little embarrassed. "Maybe some other day?" she asked with a small smile.
"Not you too Wendy!" Lucy said dramatically, falling on the counter once again.
"Easy now. I think the counter is beginning to crack" Cana chuckled. Lucy mumbled something incomprehensible.
"I know! Why don't you help me too Lucy? You can go shop a couple of things that we need! Here, I made a list. What do you say?" Mirajane asked smiling widely.
"Sure, anything for you Mira-san but, I think these are a lot of things" Lucy said after peaking at the list. "How am I supposed to carry all this stuff?"
"Don't worry about it, you can ask someone else to help you out, like Gray for example!" Mirajane said enthusiastically for some reason. "Gray! Can you please come over here for a moment?" she called the ice mage. The dark haired mage who was chatting with two of the older members of the guild, the fire mage Macao and the smoke mage Wakaba, turned towards the white haired girl with a wondering look and walked slowly towards them.
"Gray, your clothes" Cana said lazily once he got near them.
"What? Oh come on now!" the dark haired mage groaned as he realized that he was, once again, only in his underwear.
"Couldn't you be a little more like your Edolas self?" Charle said.
"Charle! That wasn't very nice!" Wendy scolded her.
"Hm!" Charle puffed. Lucy sighed and Mirajane laughed.
"Anyway, is that why you called me? Telling me when I'm around is one thing but now you're calling me out for this? There, are you happy now?" Gray said annoyed after he quickly put on some clothes.
"Well you'll need your clothes to go out. I asked Lucy to do some shopping for me. Will you accompany her?" Mirajane said without losing her smile.
"Eh? Sure but, couldn't she ask me herself? Since when you need a middleman to talk to me Lucy? Have you grown shy or something?" Gray asked the blond girl grinning.
"Yeah sure! She just called you out before I could even answer!" Lucy puffed in a similar way with Charle. "Anyway, bring the list Mira-san, we'll get everything you need" she said as she took the list. "See you later guys. Gray are you coming?" the blond girl asked.
"You lead" Gray said boringly and followed her to the exit.
"Lucy was right, she could ask Gray herself. What are you up to Mira?" Cana asked with a sly smile.
"Me? Nothing! I just asked them to buy some stuff for the guild" Mirajane said innocently as she started wiping a cup.
"Sure. That's what you did" Cana said as she took another sip. Mirajane smiled.
"So what's first on the list?" Gray asked while walking with his hands in his pockets. Lucy looked at the list and sweatdropped.
"We need to get some new furniture" she said.
"Yes. It says here that we need some new tables and chairs"
"Oh well, it's not the first time that this happens. I guess we do break a lot of this stuff. It's fine."
"It's not fine at all! And how are we going to carry all this stuff?"
"We'll just go and make our buy and they will deliver it to the guild. I told, we've done this before. It's not that hard"
"Fine, let's just go" Lucy sighed. The two of them walked to the furniture store and made their buy. By the time they left the owner, a tall middle aged man with a thick brown mustache, some hair on the sides of his head, and a large brown beret on top of his bald head, and a pencil above his ear, looked extremely pleased.
"We just gave this guy a full job for the next two weeks" Lucy said ,with her head down.
"I admit this was a little more than usual. Maybe we should consider cutting down a little bit on our rumbles" Gray sighed. "Anyway, what's next?"
"Provisions mostly" Lucy said after scanning her list. "Some food, a lot of food actually, some booze, mostly for Cana I suppose, and some other stuff like smoke for Master and Wakaba, some books for Levy-chan, some ribbons and other stuff for Lisanna's welcome party, about a dozen of cakes for Erza ,and some weights for Elfman" she finished.
"I have the feeling that Mirajane is making us do everyone's shopping, along with the guild's stuff" Gray said grumpily.
"I guess. Well, I suppose we have no choice since we already accepted. Let's just finish this quickly and get back to the guild" Lucy sighed. A couple of hours later they were finally done. The two mages sat down on a nearby bench, trying to catch their breath.
"That took longer than I thought. Is there anything else we need?" Gray asked.
"No, I think we're done. No we just need to get a small break and then get back to the guild. That's not the kind of shopping that I had in mind" Lucy panted. As they were sitting on the bench Lucy noticed one of her favourite clothes store. "Now this is more like it. Hey Gray, can we please go take a look at that clothes store before we get back to the guild?" she asked.
"Ow come on Lucy, we have more than enough stuff with us. Can't you come back later?" Gray groaned.
"Ah come on Gray, we've been going around all this time buying stuff for everyone else. Is it so bad if I take a couple of things for myself?" Lucy whined. "Pretty, pretty please?" she asked with puppy eyes.
"Well" Gray stammered, taken aback by Lucy's expression. "I guess it wouldn't hurt if we just took a look" he said.
"Woo hoo! Let's go then!" Lucy exclaimed as she jumped off the bench fully energized.
"Weren't you tired just a minute ago?" Gray mumbled. The two of them walked inside the store, Lucy beaming with happiness and Gray pouting a little.
"Good morning my dears! How can I help you?" the shop owner asked them. She had curly brown hair and she was a little chubby. She was wearing a long, pink dress, golden bracelets and rings on her wrists and fingers and red lipstick and she had a big, warm smile on her face.
"Good morning madam! We are here to buy some clothes!" Lucy said cheerfully.
"Oh Lucy darling, of course! I guess the clothes are for your friend here, right? He seems to be lacking them" the shop owner said kindly.
"What? What are you talking about?" Lucy said puzzled, as she turned towards Gray. Her wonder soon turned to shock. "Gray your clothes! We are inside a shop for crying out loud!" she yelled.
"What? Ow damn it, not again!" Gray said as he realized that he, somehow, lost his clothes again.
"Oh my!" the shop owner said without losing her smile, as Gray quickly put on his clothes.
"Sorry about that! Anyway, can we have a look around?" Lucy asked with a nervous smile.
"Of course my dear! And I have a couple of pieces that would look great on you!" the woman said as she browsed through some dresses. "Here how about this?" she asked as she picked a light blue spring dress.
"It's so pretty!" Lucy said with sparkling eyes. "Gray what do you think?"
"I don't know… Why don't you try it on?" Gray said a little uncomfortably, rubbing the back of his head.
"I will! Tell me what you think!" Lucy said excited as she got in the dressing room. Gray sighed and sat on a chair, waiting for Lucy to get ready.
"She's a really sweet girl, isn't she?" the shop owner said.
"Yeah she is" Gray said with a small smile. It wasn't long before Lucy was ready.
"So, how do I look?" she asked making a little spin.
"Wow!" was the only thing that Gray managed to say. Lucy looked just amazing in her new dress. It seemed to fit her perfectly as it elegantly highlighted her curvaceous body, it reached all the way a little above her knees showing off her pretty legs, and the colour of the dress seemed to really go with her blue ribbon.
"Oh darling, you look great!" the shop owner said.
"Yeah, you look… really good!" Gray stammered.
"Really? Thanks Gray!" Lucy said with a big smile and a slight blush.
"Don't mention it" Gray said, slightly blushing as well and looking the other way.
"Do you have anything else madam?" Lucy asked with excitement.
"Of course dear, here" the woman said as she passed another dress. Over the next hour Lucy tried a number of outfits, including a pink dress that tied behind her neck, leaving her shoulders bare, a pair of jeans with a matching red tank top, a black evening gown dress with a rip on the side that left her right leg revealed, and lastly a yellow spring dress with a big bow on her back, making Gray's eyes widen each time he saw her. Gray always thought Lucy to be cute, even attractive, but now that he had seen her wear all these outfits, and noticed the sparkle in her eyes, his heart started beating in a different way. He always considered her a close friend, that's what he thought. But was there something more that he hadn't noticed before?
"Here, that would be all!" Lucy said as she put the clothes that she picked on the cashier's desk.
"Oh my, it seems that you went overboard again this time Lucy!" the shop owner said.
"Heh, heh! I really did, didn't I?" Lucy said with a slightly embarrassed smile, as she rubbed the back of her head.
"Don't worry dear, I'll give you a special discount. Here" the shop owner said.
"Thank you very much!" Lucy said smiling, but her expression changed when she saw the receipt. "Ow shoot, it's that much? I don't have this kind of money with me right now" she said with a sad tone.
"Don't worry dear, you can buy what you can now, and I'll hold the rest for you until the next time" the woman said kindly.
"I guess. Sorry for the trouble" Lucy said a little embarrassed.
"It's okay. It makes sense for a girl at your age to get excited. That's part of being young" the woman said softly. Lucy nodded with a small smile, but Gray noticed her sad expression. For some reason his heart sank to his chest when he noticed that. What was wrong with him?
"Lady you don't need to keep anything. Here Lucy, let me buy something for you" the dark haired mage suddenly said.
"What?! No, that won't be necessary! I mean thank you, but really, I can just buy them later! You don't have to do this!" Lucy said surprised, moving her hands quickly.
"It's fine, it's no big deal! I just want to make a gift to my teammate. Here, I'll take this one" Gray said as he picked the blue dress. "There you go Lucy! I hope you like my gift!" he said with a big grin.
"I… Thanks Gray" Lucy stammered with a deep blush, and looked down. "That's very kind of you" she mumbled.
"What a nice gesture! You really know how to treat girls, young man! You have a wonderful friend there, Lucy" the shop owner said. Lucy just nodded, still blushing, while Gray rubbed the back of his head, smiling a little awkwardly. They paid for the clothes, greeted the kind woman and got out of the store. They took the rest of the stuff and made their way back to the guild. It was already noon. They walked swiftly, despite the number of the things they were carrying, without talking to each other. The silence between them wasn't uncomfortable, though. Gray turned his head slightly towards Lucy, and noticed that she was still smiling. This made him feel much better. He felt a warmth inside him that he didn't remember feeling before. Soon they reached the guild.
"So" Gray started.
"Yes" Lucy said as she turned to face him. Gray stared into her pretty, brown eyes and felt like his face was on fire. He tried to avoid eye contact and looked towards the ground.
"So I'm thinking about taking a walk to the city. There are… a couple of things that I need to take care of. You don't mind, do you? I mean, with all this stuff, if you need some help?" he said stammering a little.
"Nah, that's fine. We're at the guild so I can just ask for help from the others. If you have some things to do, then go" Lucy said softly.
"Okay, good. I'll just pass by later, if you're still around" Gray said.
"I will be" Lucy said.
"Okay, see you later then, Lucy!" Gray said and turned away.
"Right. And Gray, thanks for the gift" Lucy said with a sweet smile. Gray couldn't help but smile back.
"Don't mention it. It looked great on you anyway, Lucy!" he said with a big smile and walked away, while Lucy turned slowly and walked towards the large building.