The first couple of weeks the babies were home, Gray stayed too after getting a leave from work. Silver offered to stay and help, but the couple declined the offer, saying they needed to get used to their new role of newborn's parents.
They tried to balance their time between the twins and Meredy, but thankfully she understood the babies had priority because they were tiny and couldn't tell what they needed. Either way, every night one of them tucked her in and took time to play with her for a while.
The day Gray needed to return back to work, he was hesitant to say the least; he just couldn't stop looking at Gris and River – they were a perfect fix of him and Juvia with their bunch of dark hair and beautiful blue eyes.
He had to, though and just a couple of weeks after, he could see how tired his wife was, after all, taking care of a seven-year-old and twin boys who were just a little over seven weeks. She looked like she was exhausted all the time and even though Gray helped during the night, Juvia also woke up, she couldn't help it.
Oh, Gray hated to see her that way. Juvia had been such a light during the whole time he knew her and seeing her pale and with bags under her eyes, that he wanted to help her, especially after seeing her have a breakdown one night after the kids were tucked in.
Juvia was seated at the edge of their bed and Gray had been telling a story to Meredy and was surprised to see his wife crying her eyes out.
"Juvia?" Gray called her and strode to kneel in front of her, looking at her body in search of injuries. "What is it? Are you in pain?" They hadn't been intimate after the boys were born because the doctor said it wasn't advisable, and Gray knew it wasn't that. She had been putting the boys on their cribs, so… "Are the boys alright?"
"They are fine." Juvia sobbed and it relieved Gray to know his children were fine, but worried him to not know what was wrong.
"Then why are you crying?" He asked with patience.
"Be-beca-because I'm a ho-horrible m-mo-mother." She said between tears and Gray blinked a few times as if to understand her.
"It f-fe-feels dif-ferent."
His father had not been kidding when he told Gray that women tended to get a little crazy and hormonal after giving birth. "Different? What feels different?"
"It's not the same." She calmed down a bit with the sobbing. "The way I feel about River and Gris and Meredy. And it shouldn't be. They are all mine, bu-but feels different."
Gray sighed and got up from the floor in front of her to sit by her side. "Juvia, of course it feels different. It feels different for me too."
"Really?" Juvia looked up to him, her blue eyes were a battle of emotions.
"Yes." He put an arm around her shoulder. "We adopted Meredy after she was all grown up, we were not an active part of her life when she was a baby. River and Gris, I watched as your stomach grew larger, I saw the ultrasounds, I saw you give birth. It's a different bond."
"Juvia feels as if she fails as a mother because I love them differently." She confined in him.
Gray thought about it for a moment before making up his mind. "Tell me something only River does."
"What?" His wife was confused.
"Come on, tell me."
Juvia thought for a moment. "Uh… he is quieter than Gris and when he sneezes, he makes the most adorable confused face."
Gray smiled, thinking about what she said and he had to admit that it was pretty adorable. "Alright, now tell me something only Gris does."
"He hates putting gloves on, he likes to put his fingers on his mouth and suck on them. He does a number on my nipples, though." Juvia offered her husband a small smile and he smiled back.
"There you go." Gray shrugged and when Juvia continued to look surprised, he explained. "You love them differently because even as babies, they are different people just as Meredy is her own person. It doesn't matter if you love them differently as long as you love them equally." Juvia bit her lower lip. "Would you die for the boys?"
"Yes." She didn't hesitate.
"There you go." Gray told her. "I know you love Meredy as if you gave birth to her, but the reality is that you didn't, you have this bond with the boys, but not with her. It doesn't matter, though: just because the bond you have with Meredy is different, it doesn't mean it isn't as strong. You became her mother, you chose to be her mother and she chose to be your daughter. That is just special as what you have with the boys."
Juvia was still crying, but much less than before. "Do you really believe that?"
"Of course." He kissed the top of her head. "You know all of that, Juvia, but I think you are a little overwhelmed with having three children. You are exhausted."
"I'm fine." Juvia tried to get up from the bed, but Gray didn't let her.
"I'm fine." She dried her tears and got up once more, that time Gray let her, but still held her hand while he looked at her in doubt. "Really. Don't worry. Juvia is just overrunning with hormones. Yesterday Juvia cried after she burnt her toast." She kissed his cheek. "Thank you for talking to me. That have been in Juvia's head all day long but you made me feel better."
"Just tell me if you need help."
"I will." She kissed his lips sweetly before walking to their bathroom; that was when Gray decided that she needed a break.
So, one Sunday morning, after they fed their children breakfast, they heard a knock on their door and Juvia was confused to see Wendy there. Gray told the young woman to get in.
"What…?" Juvia frowned.
"Look, I called Wendy to help me out with the kids today." Gray told her and grabbed a bag he had hidden earlier that day. "You need to be alone for a couple of hours, no babies, no children and no husband. I get my 'baby free' time at work, but you are always here." She opened her mouth to question him, but Gray didn't let her. "And you need to have that. You are exhausted."
"And your idea is to expel me from my house?" Juvia looked at the bag with an eyebrow raised.
"Yeap."He grinned. "I made reservations for you in a very nice hotel downtown. You pumped enough breast milk for the twins, Meredy eats just about anything, I've got Wendy to help me out so you can go and enjoy your day off."
"No buts." Gray grabbed his keys. "I'll drive you there, it's a short ride. River and Gris are asleep and Wendy can watch them for ten minutes without me."
"I don't know…" Juvia looked apprehensive.
"Just enjoy it." He grabbed her hand and led her to the car.
Juvia protested the whole way to the hotel and still scowled at him when he gave her the keycard to her room and kissed her good-bye.
After spending the afternoon with his children with Wendy as help, Gray couldn't believe his wife did that all day long seven days a week. He spent his time between playing with Meredy, feeding one baby, changing the other, then changing the first one and changing the second, playing with Meredy and then dealing with two babies crying at the same time.
When Juvia returned home, he had put the boys to sleep and Meredy was at her bedroom, watching a show on her tablet waiting for Juvia to arrive to tuck her in. Gray must've dozed off, because the next thing he knew, he felt lips on hers and when he opened his eyes, his beautiful wife was straddling him and had the most beautiful smile on her lips.
"Hey." He smiled. "How did it go?"
"Juvia had a bubble bath, ordered pizza for lunch and then slept for six uninterrupted hours." She kissed him again. "It feels like being born again. Thank you for doing this. Juvia didn't know how tired she was; she finally feels like herself again." She passed a hand through his hair and he moaned with the contact. "Juvia fell in love with you all over again."
"Glad to help." He smiled. "And I might have done the same, you know. I was never alone with them before, you always helped and seeing how much trouble they give and you never complained… I fell for you all over again. You are a much better person than me, Juvia. I'd have quit a long time ago."
Juvia chuckled. "You wouldn't."
"I wouldn't." He grinned. "But just because they are cute."
"They are, aren't they?" Juvia smiled and she leaned to kiss him once again, his hands traveling to her hips when she deepened it. He missed her so much. "You know what else Juvia realized today?"
"Hm?" Gray sighed when she started to kiss his jaw.
"That she misses you."
He frowned. "I'm right here."
She giggled. "No, Juvia…" she put her hand over his chest and caressed its way down "missed you." She rested her palm over his half-awake erection. "Really missed you."
Gray's eyes darkened and he felt a boost of desire shoot through him. "The doctor said…"
"He said six weeks and when Juvia felt up to it." She reminded him with a rotation of her hips. "And Juvia is feeling very up to it."
"Oh, thank god." Gray breathed in relief and kissed her, hard. "I missed you too." She giggled when he started to kiss her neck, but frowned when he stopped.
"What is it?" She was suddenly afraid he didn't like the changes of her body; she hadn't lost all the weight yet
"Meredy's waiting up for you to tuck you in. And I need a shower; one of the boys threw up on me and I just changed my shirt. I changed my shirts five times today, our children just can't help but to make me dirty. I really need a shower, but I also need you right now." He pouted.
Juvia smiled. "You take your shower while I tell Meredy a story. Two birds, one stone."
"Good plan. You are so smart. I knew I married you for a reason."
When the boys were six months old, Juvia noticed the bracelets they had ordered to identify each twin was traded: Gris was wearing River's and River was wearing Gris'. And only one person in the household would do something like that.
Putting the babies on their stroller, Juvia went to her oldest child's room.
"Meredy Fullbuster!" Juvia yelled and Meredy smiled as if she were a saint. "How many times must I tell you not to change your brothers' bracelets?"
"That's not fair! How did you know?" Meredy complained.
"I am your mother." Juvia smiled with triumph. "Don't you know it by now? Moms knows everything." She didn't have to tell her daughter that Gris had a tiny mole on his neck that his twin didn't and that was how she could identify which baby was which. "Stop doing that, missy, or you'll get in trouble."
Juvia narrowed her eyes. "Oh, you are not sorry. You have the same expression on your face as your father when he does something wrong and doesn't regret it. You spend too much time with your dad. And your Uncle. And your Grandpa." She looked to her sons. "There are too many boys in this family." She sighed. "We need to even things out."
The worse time of their lives as parents was when River got an ear infection so severe, they had to stay at the hospital for almost a week when the twins were two and Meredy, nine. Their heart broke every time the toddler cried in pain and Juvia refused to leave the hospital the whole time River was there.
A couple of weeks later, receiving the news that their baby had lost a large percentage of his hearing almost made them crazy. Juvia blamed herself, Gray blamed himself but the doctor assured them that it had not been their fault, they had done everything right, but sometimes, those things happened.
For a whole night, Gray and Juvia held each other as they cried for their baby, but when morning came, Juvia was on the internet researching their son's condition and already planning on what to do next and Gray couldn't help it but to smile at how strong his wife was.
Explaining to Meredy was much easier now that she was almost ten years old.
"…which means that River can't hear very well with his right ear. He'll have to use an aid once he's a little bigger." Juvia explained to her daughter.
"Oh." Meredy seemed to be in very deep thought.
"Do you have any questions, Mer?" Gray asked.
"Do we have to learn sign language? I've seen people do it." The girl asked. "I mean, River doesn't hear too well, but he does hear a bit. So… should we?"
Juvia looked taken aback for a moment. "I don't know if it will be necessary with the aid. But once again, we are going in here without much preparation, sweetheart."
"I think we should learn." Meredy shrugged. "What if he needs it? We should be prepared. You, me, dad and Gris should learn so River doesn't feel weird because he's the only one who talks with his hands."
Gray looked at his oldest child with pride. "I think you are right, Meredy. I think we should learn. All of us. Just in case."
Meredy grinned and hugged her father, then her mother. "Don't worry, mom," Meredy whispered to the blunette "we'll be fine. All of us." Juvia cried while her daughter hugged her. She was so lucky to have such amazing child. An amazing family.
"We will, honey." Juvia whispered back to the girl. "We will be alright."
"I demand an apology!" The woman yelled to the Principal and Juvia was tired. She had been called from work because her oldest daughter had been in trouble. Half an hour later, her three children sat at the Principal's office. Meredy was twelve years old and the boys, four. They went to the same school and after her classes were over, Meredy went to the kindergarten side of the school to wait for their mother.
"And I don't believe my daughter would push you on that fountain if she didn't have a good reason, so I'll listen to her first." Juvia told the woman, she was a mother of one of the boys' classmates and Juvia never liked her.
"But…" The woman tried, but Juvia shut her up with one look.
"Meredy. Tell me what happened." Juvia demanded from her daughter with a tone that left no room for argument.
Meredy's eyes watered. "I was watching Gris and River play while I was waiting for you when I heard her look at them and… ask to a friend…. She asked her friend…" Meredy sobbed, but Juvia squeezed her shoulder to tell her it was fine to tell. "She asked her friend which boy was the retard one." The pink haired girl sobbed and missed the way Juvia's body tensed. "I got so mad with her that I pushed her."
Juvia turned away from her daughter and looked at the woman. "Meredy, apologize to Mrs. Sato."
With a sigh, the little girl mumbled an apology. "I'm sorry, Mrs. Sato. I won't do it again."
"Good." Sato said, content and the Principal seemed to think it was all fixed and got up from his chair, but Juvia was not done.
"You got your apology, Mrs. Sato, but not because you were right, but because my daughter was wrong to push you. I teach her to use her words instead of actions, but being passionate runs in the family." Juvia's blue eyes were steely. "I only let my daughter apologize to you because she is a child and you are an adult and she shouldn't disrespect adults and she will get her punishment for it." Juvia took a step towards the woman. "But since you failed to be a decent human being and I can't smack you around because I am trying to make an example to my children, I'm going to explain something to you.
"My son has hearing deficiency and wears an aid to help him hear. He is not used to much noise, so, he turns it off when it gets too loud for him and he sometimes misses when someone calls him. He is also very shy and just like me, he doesn't make friends easily like his brother. So, I want you to understand that my son is not retard, he is bright, smart and a sweet child who has a hearing problem and if I ever know that you called my son by anything other his name, or refer him as the sweet child he is, I will take you down."
"Are you threatening me?"
"Who is the retard now?" Juvia scoffed. "Of course I am threatening you. My children are perfect just the way they are and I will not let anyone say otherwise, do you understand me?"
"Mrs. Fullbuster, I don't think…" The Principal tried, but with one icy glare from her and he shrank in fear.
"I don't think we'll have problems in the future, Mrs. Sato." Juvia looked pointedly at the woman, who nodded. The blunette, then, turned around and kneeled in front of her children with a smile.
"Who wants to go home?" She said and made the hand signals.
"Me!" The boys said and also signed.
Juvia smiled and told them to hold hands and offered hers to her eldest child and the four of them left the office. When they reached the hall, the boys talked and signed about their day and Juvia put an arm around Meredy.
"I am so proud of you, honey." Juvia kissed the top of her daughter's head.
"But you made me apologize for it."
"Because as I said, you are still a child and you can't resolve your problems with violence. You have to learn to use your words. You should've just told me and I would've taken care of it." The older woman said.
"I know. But I got so angry! She was talking about him as if he were… trash. I don't know." Meredy hugged Juvia's waist. "River is so sweet. I don't understand why she was so mean."
"Oh, sweetheart, in our lives we are going to meet so many mean, ignorant people. They will be mean, they will hurt us and the people we love. We will cry, we will suffer. But do you know what makes it all worth it?" Meredy shook her head and Juvia smiled. "We get to see the world as a beautiful place, we get to see the beauty in what they think is wrong, or different. Our hearts are open to everything and it means that we can be hurt easily. But also means that we see every possibility and we live life as it is supposed to be lived.
"You, baby girl, are one of those people. You are special; don't ever let anyone say otherwise. You see the world as a place full of love as it should be." Juvia hugged her daughter. "I am so proud that you stood up for your family, honey. So proud that you didn't let that woman hurt your little brother with her mean words."
"Thanks, mom." Meredy hugged her mother back. "Does that mean I'm off the hook?"
"No way. Three days without your phone, missy." Juvia smiled when Meredy groaned. "But after I call your father and ask him to meet us for ice-cream. He will want to know exactly how you pushed that woman. I think one of the moms recorded it. Your punishment starts after we praise your good deed today, honey."
"It can't be."
"But it happened."
"She is a child, Juvia!"
"Not anymore." Juvia watched as her husband walked from one side to another in their bedroom. She had just told him about how earlier that day their daughter approached her, her face red in embarrassment and told her mother that she had her period.
With tact, Juvia taught her the basics of what to do and talked to her about why her body was going through what was going through. Meredy had been embarrassed the whole conversation, especially when Juvia got into more details about how exactly babies were made.
It wasn't pleasant for neither of them, but Juvia tried to explain everything to her daughter like she wished someone had explained to her.
"She's going to be thirteen in a few months." Juvia told him. "It's the right age for her to get her period."
"Stop saying 'period', for god's sake!" Gray asked. "God, she is just a kid."
"It was bound to happen." Juvia wrapped her arms around his waist. "She is growing up."
He winced. "That's what concerns me; now she's going to develop and boys will look at her and she will look at boys and my life is going to be all about keeping the boys away."
"Gray-sama…" Juvia chuckled.
"I know what boys that age think, Juvia!" Her husband complained. "And it is disgusting."
"So, what's gonna happen? Are you going to put a chastity belt on her?" Juvia asked, amused.
"Not a bad idea." He shrugged and smiled when she slapped his upper arm.
"Don't be weird about it, okay? She's still your little girl." Juvia rested her head on his chest. "And we have more to think about other than that." She grabbed his hand and put it over her slightly swollen stomach and Gray grinned. They hadn't told the children yet, but in a few months they were going to have another sibling. "Now, come to bed. Everything is fine."
"I hope this one is another boy. I don't think I can go through this again."
"The five of you look ridiculous." Juvia said while leaning on the doorway of the living room. Her husband, twin boys, brother-in-law and father-in-law were all sitting down, arms crossed over their chests (Juvia needed to admit to herself that her sons looked absolutely the cutest while trying to imitate the older men).
"She is just thirteen, Juvia." Gray frowned.
"Yeah, thirteen!" Gris mirrored his father's frown.
"Thiteen!" River said and signed at the same time – he could talk, but in his own unique way. His speech doctor had great expectations for him. Everyone in her family knew sign language and even their friends learned the basics so River felt accepted. God, she loved them.
"I must agree with them, Juvia-chan." Silver said, scowling. "Thirteen is too young to go on a date."
"We remember what we thought when we were thirteen." Lyon said. "Not pretty stuff."
"You should be home, Lyon-san. Marina can give birth any day now." Juvia pointed out – Lyon and Marina had tied the knot three years before and were expecting their first child, a boy.
"The baby and I have an understanding that he won't be coming tonight. I can only deal with a crisis at time." Lyon shrugged.
"This is not a crisis. Meredy is going out with a few friends to watch a movie." Juvia said, exasperated.
"Friends that are boys!" Gray scowled.
"Some of them are boys, yes. And they will be perfectly chaperoned tonight." Juvia sighed and put a hand over her stomach – she was seven months pregnant of a little girl, to her excitement and Gray's worries, after all, he was going to go through it all over again.
"I don't like it." Her husband said.
"Fine." She snapped. "Just tell her she is pretty when she comes down.
"Easy. She is always pretty." Gray shrugged and the others nodded in agreement.
The boys drooled all over her when Meredy came down the stairs wearing a beautiful pink dress, hair loose in waves and a shy smile on her lips. Juvia had taken as much photographs as she could of her little girl before kissing her cheeks and let her go when her ride arrived.
"She's so grown up." Gray put an arm around his wife and the other on her stomach.
"I can't believe it." Silver whispered. "It seems like yesterday that I gave her that doll."
"And that she gave me a magical kiss." Lyon said.
"Prepare yourself, guys." Juvia smiled. "This is just the beginning. If Juvia knows her girl, there will be some boyfriends down the line that we will not like at all."
"Great." The three of them whined.
"Grandpa!" River pulled on Silver's shirt and the older man kneeled in front of the boy and his brother. His eyes softened with the sight; aside from their eyes, the twins were a carbon copy of Gray.
"What can I do for you two?" He said and signed at the same time.
"Let's play soldier." River signed and also spoke.
"You too, Dad and Uncle Lyon!" Gris said, excited. "Not Mom because she has a baby in her belly."
"Good call, honey." Juvia giggled and was about to bent over to kiss her son when the older men stopped her and picked both up so it would be easier for her. After she gave each of her sons a kiss, she kissed her husband's lips. "Juvia will go up and take a long hot bath. Behave."
"Always." Gray winked at her and watched as she waddled her way up the stairs.
"You are not my mother!"
The words had hurt Juvia so deep, she almost stopped breathing when Meredy said it the night before when she had been grounded for losing her curfew three times that week. Gray had sent Meredy to her bedroom and then cared for Juvia, who seemed to be in a catatonic state.
He had told her Meredy didn't mean it, that it was just a phase and Juvia knew all that, but it didn't stop her from feeling pain. Gray had held her all night and when Juvia asked if he could take care of the children that morning, he knew she needed the space.
After breakfast, though, the twins had come up to kiss her good-bye before going to school (Gray had told them she was sick) and he left their three-year-old daughter, Mikaela, with her. Just like her brothers, Mikaela had dark hair and blue eyes, but instead of looking like her father, she was almost a copy of her mother.
Mikaela thought it was the best thing on earth to skip daycare and stay with her mother all day in bed watching her favorite movies and cuddling.
"Mom?" Juvia heard her oldest daughter's voice and looked away from the animation movie Mikaela had picked to see Meredy standing at the doorway. She was sixteen, then. A beautiful young woman. But something was wrong. She was crying – sobbing – and her voice held so much hurt, Juvia's heart stopped for a moment.
Leaving Mikaela on bed, Juvia was on her feet a second after she saw Meredy. "What is it? What is wrong? Are you hurt?" The blunette put her hands on her daughter's shoulders. "Meredy! Talk to me!"
"I- I didn't mean to..." Meredy sobbed and Juvia felt the pain in her chest get worse. Had she hit the car? Killed someone?
"Sweetheart, whatever it is, just tell me and we can fix it." Juvia was confused. She never saw her daughter that way. "Just tell me."
"I didn't mean what I said last night." Meredy cried and hugged her mother. "I was angry, but I didn't mean it. I wanted to talk to you this morning, but dad said you weren't feeling well and that's my fault and I'm sorry. I spent all day at school thinking about it and I felt awful"
"Oh, honey." Juvia relaxed and hugged her back. "It's okay."
"No, it isn't." The girl sobbed. "You are my mother and I said those words because I knew they were going to hurt you and I shouldn't have. You are my mother."
Juvia's eyes watered. "Of course I am. It's only natural for us to fight every once in a while, you are growing up. But… when you said that… it hurt me a lot because most of the time, I forget I didn't give birth to you and then you reminded me in the middle of a fight."
"And I'm sorry." Meredy tried to dry her tears. "I won't say that ever again. It was mean and untrue. You are the only mother I know and the one I chose. I love you."
"I love you too, baby." Juvia hugged the girl tighter.
"Mama? Mewedy?" Mikaela called from the bed and both women looked at her – her lower lip was trebling. "Don't be sad."
"Oh, we are not sad, darling." Juvia dried her tears and looked at her oldest daughter. "Wanna climb on the bed and watch children's movies with your mother and your sister?"
"Of course." Meredy smiled and kicked off her shoes. Once the three of them were in bed, Meredy put her head on Juvia's shoulder and Mikaela squeezed her way between them. A few minutes later, Gris and River also appeared at the doorway and Juvia made the same question she did to Meredy and the boys also climbed on.
When Gray arrived home and it was quiet, he frowned in confusion. Where were the kids? Usually they were all over him the moment he stepped inside.
The sight he got when he arrived at the room he shared with his wife, his heart filled with love. They were all sprawled all over the mattress, quietly watching a movie. Meredy was clinging on Juvia, so that was right again and he sighed in relief. He hated seeing them hurt. Gray quietly removed his shoes and joined them by lying next to Gris, who was at the opposite side of where Meredy was. Juvia looked at him with so much love and happiness that he had to lean down and kiss her lips.
"Ew, dad." Gris complained. "If you are making out with mom, we are leaving."
"She is too young to leave." Juvia complained.
"No, she is not." Gray told his wife. Meredy had been accepted at one of the best colleges in the country and the only problem was that it was at the other side of the country and Juvia didn't like the idea.
"She is." The blunette insisted. "It's too far away, she can get in all kinds of trouble there and we will be a million miles away to help her. No. Absolutely not. Not my little girl."
"Juvia." Gray sighed. "Wasn't it you who told me to let her open her wings and fly?"
"When she was ten and wanted to have a sleepover!" Juvia was exasperated. "This is her leaving home!"
"She will have to at some point."
"And in which stone is that written?" Juvia asked. "This house is big enough for all of us. They can bring their husbands and wives to live here. It's better. That way they are all here."
"Okay, Mayor of Cuckooland, come back to reality." Gray snorted. "Meredy is going to the college she chose to and we are going to be happy about that. We raised her right, she knows what she is supposed to do or not. She has to pick her own way now."
Juvia's eyes watered. "I don't like it."
"Neither do I." Gray admitted. "But we raised her right."
"We did." Juvia sniffled. "She'll be okay."
"Of course she will, she is our girl." He agreed.
"Sorry about the outburst. Juvia thinks she is getting 'empty-nest syndrome'."
Gray snorted. "I don't know which nest you are talking about. We still have three more to go before this nest is empty." Juvia chuckled and he felt relieved for having his wife back on being herself.
"Dad." River called him and Gray smiled at the grown man in front of them. Twenty-one years old and already a man. "Mom is freaking out." He said and signalized at the same time; his hair was cut shorter than his brother's and anyone could see that River Fullbuster was a handsome and smart boy – he was in college and was the best of his class. He was calm and contained, while Gris was the ball of energy. "She's sobbing and telling how beautiful Mer was when she worn a tutu?"
"Yeah, I knew it was going to happen." Gray signalized and said. "Ask Mika for the tissues. She's got them."
River nodded and walked out of the room, a minute later, Mika entered and Gray smiled to his little princess: she had dyed her hair blue two years before and she looked even more like her mother. She was sixteen, then, and she was as stubborn as her father. Gray was surprised when, at the age of ten, Mika asked him to join a hockey team. And, well, she loved the sport and was trying to bet better to get a scholarship when it was time for college.
"I don't have the tissues, daddy." She said in that beautiful voice of hers. "You said she was going to cry all over you." Mikaela walked towards him, pushed the coat of his tuxedo away and grabbed some tissues he had put there. "Here they are."
"Dad's getting old." Gray rolled his eyes when he heard Gris' voice. Just like his twin and father, Gris was wearing a tuxedo, but unlike them, his tie was loose and his hair in a Mohawk and he had his ears pierced. Gris was the free spirit of the family, he had found out music at an early age: he got a scholarship at one of the best music schools in the country because of his skills with a violin. "Can I call you grandad now that you are getting old, wrinkled and forgetful?"
"Do and I'll kick your ass." Gray narrowed his eyes at his son, who raised his hands in defeat, but his smirk told Gray he did not regret a word.
"Stop it, mom is coming." River said and entered the room once again and a moment later, Juvia got in. She was wearing a dark blue dress, her hair was short and she looked as if she had been crying for hours.
"Is she here yet?" She asked, going straight to stay next to her husband. God, she was beautiful. They had been together for more than twenty years and she still looked beautiful to him.
Mikaela went to look to the door and a few minutes later, she returned, squealing in happiness and telling her family that she was coming.
The moment Meredy entered the room, Gray's breath got caught in his throat: she was the most beautiful bride he had ever seen. Aside from Juvia; she had been everything he dreamt of when they got married. But besides her, Meredy had to be the most beautiful one.
Her pink hair was in a high bun, her strapless white dress very fit and it reminded a lot of the one Juvia worn the day of their wedding.
"How do I look?" Meredy asked and bit her lower lip.
Juvia's answer was to sob and shriek at the same time and Gray chuckled. "What your mother said."
"Looking good, sis!" Gris gave thumbs up while River just signed 'beautiful' (to which Meredy signed a 'thank you' back).
"When I get married I want to be as beautiful as you!" Mikaela's blue eyes were shining in delight of seeing her sister look so beautiful.
"My ba-ba-baby is g-ge-getting married!" Juvia sobbed and went to hug her eldest child.
Gray smiled at the scene and remembered the first time Juvia met Meredy, it had been Meredy's fifth birthday and his sister was still alive. Ultear had elbowed Gray and told him that Juvia would be a great mom for little Fullbusters. At the time he had rolled his eyes and waved her off, but she had been right: Juvia had been the most terrific mother he could ever wish for his children.
"Mom, stop crying otherwise I'll start to cry too and I don't want to go down the aisle with my make-up all messed up." Meredy's voice was already shaking and eyes shining with tears.
"Alright." Juvia let her go and tried to contain herself. "But you look so beautiful, baby girl."
"You do." Gray stepped towards his daughter and hugged her. "Are you sure you want to marry Michael? We haven't been in the beach for a while. If we leave now, we can use the honeymoon tickets for ourselves."
"Ohhh! Runaway bride!" Mikaela laughed.
"I drive the runaway car!" Gris raised his hand. "I always wanted to be the driver."
"Criminal." River signed and his twin smiled.
"And you love it." Gris grabbed his brother and gave him a smooch on the cheek, earning a push from River and then a punch on the gut. "Moooom! River is being mean to me!"
"Behave, all of you!" Juvia told her children.
"No one is running away. Michael and I are getting married." Meredy grinned and Gray could feel the happiness coming out from her. She had met Michael four years before while she was being an intern at a firm for credits in college. Both were teaching sign language – Michael's parents were deaf – and, according to Meredy, it was love at first sight. For him. She needed to be convinced.
Thankfully, Michael didn't give up on her and Gray could see how happy he made her. He was a year older than Meredy, his hair was light brown and his eyes were as green as hers. He had a kind smile and by the way his wife talked about him after they met for the first time, he was 'hot'. Not that Gray would know.
"If you want to call this off, just tell me and I'll take care of it." Gray winked at her and Meredy rolled her eyes. "Your grandpa and Uncle will love to help."
Gray took a few steps back and put an arm around his wife's shoulders and watched as their kids talked excitedly. Juvia put her arms around his waist as she did the same. They were all so perfect and unique. And theirs. They made them that way.
"We did good, didn't we?" Juvia asked her husband without taking their eyes off their children.
"We did." He kissed her temple. "We did very good indeed."
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