I Will Return

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(Reminder to those who don't know- each chapter of this is it's own story. ^w^)

Juvia was scared that her beloved Gray would never return again. And by the way little Uriana fretted, she felt the same. But Gray promised he would always return. He would come back alive for herself and their 2-year-old daughter. He would.

Gray and Juvia had been married for about three years now. And if Juvia wasn't happy enough, she found out she was expecting a baby. Gray was surprisingly excited. Not that she expected him to not care, but still. It wasn't like the Ice Mage to be as cheerful as he was.

After their beautiful child was born, they both happily agreed to call her Uriana. Juvia had finally achieved her perfect little family, she couldn't have been happier. But the family was getting shorter and shorter on money, and Gray insisted on going on a huge quest with Natsu and Erza. (Lucy would stay at home, because she was expecting Natsu's son...)

Gray insisted the quest wouldn't go to longer than a few months. He WOULD return. Gray told her that fact as much as he could during the week before he left. He would return. He would return. At least ten times a day. He even left notes all over the house for her to find while he was gone. When she was cleaning the fridge out, she found a note with 'I will return.' written on it. She found one in her closet. And one in her DVD player. And one in the pile of towels. And Juvia was sure there were still more to find. Any ones that she found, she would stash in the pocket of her favorite jacket for safe-keeping.

It had been three months. And he hadn't kept his promise yet.

You said you would return. Juvia would say to herself every night as she looked at the picture of her beloved that she kept on her nightstand. The bed always felt empty. She had eventually gotten somewhat used to it.

Uriana, still barely old enough to understand, somehow understood the situation completely. She shared her mothers concern. It got to the point when Juvia felt so bad that she dug out one of her old 'Gray plushies' to give to Uriana. It seemed to make her feel better. It made Juvia feel a bit better too somehow.

She only went to the guild about two or three times a week. Mostly to check in with Lucy's pregnancy and let Uraina play with Levy and Gajeel's son. Other days, they would stay home. Often they would get visitors from the guild who were concerned for her and her daughter, so no, the pair wasn't entirely lonely.

But today Gajeel showed up. Without Levy or their son. Juvia thought it was odd, but the iron dragon slayer told her to go the guild. Without any reason provided. Confused, Juvia still agreed. Uriana, Juvia and Gajeel walked over to the guild from Juvia's apartment.

When at the entrance of the guild, Juvia noticed a banner that read, 'I have.' in big letters.

"I have? What does that mean?" The blue haired girl questioned.

"Dunno." Gajeel frowned and shrugged, pushing open the doors and letting Juvia in.

Juvia froze at the sight of what she saw. A huge banner, painted several different colors, hung inside. Erza and Natsu stood beneath it, greeting several guild mates. Lucy stood at Natsu's side, a smile of pure delight on her face as his arm hung around shoulder. Juvia felt a pang of jealousy. That should be her and her beloved...

Wait. Where is Gray...? Juvia put her daughter down and began to frantically look around the guild. Gray? Gray?

No.

He couldn't have...?

He didn't...

"Sneak attack!" A familiar voice yelled from behind her. Juvia turned just as a pair of strong arms lifted her into the air. The Water Mage let out a squeal as she was lifted off the group. She spotted a flash of dark hair and felt the bare chest that pressed up against her. Gray!

He shifted her so that he held her in his arms like a baby, (honeymoon style) and she started smiling uncontrollably. Before she could register everything in her head, Gray leaned in and kissed her deeply, leaving the blue haired girl speechless.

"I said I would, didn't I?" He asked with a smirk. Juvia blinked in confusion, before snapping to her senses and reaching into her jacket pocket, where she had kept all the notes he had left for her. She pulled out one of the scraps of paper and read aloud the phrase.

"I will return."

Gray smiled and nodded, nuzzling his face close to her cheek. Juvia smiled from ear to ear, wrapping her arms around her husband for the first time in months.

"Daddy?" A tiny voice spoke. Gray looked down to see his tiny, black-haired daughter looking up at him.

Juvia smiled as Gray put her down gentley. "Your daddy's back, Uriana." The blue haired girl stated affectionately, casting a loving glance at Gray, who was giving the two-year old a kiss on the forehead.

"How has my little princess been?" He asked sweetly.

"Good. But Mommy and I missed you. She even gave me a dolly of you." Uriana spoke up in her innocent and sweet little voice.

"Oh really?" Gray smirked, standing up straight to look Juvia in the eyes. "I thought 'Mommy' had gotten rid of all those?" He asked in a sarcastic tone and a smirk.

"Heh heh..." A bead of sweat formed on Juvia's brow. Gray's gaze softened as he pulled his wife close to him. Juvia was in heaven. Her family was finally whole again.

(Words : 969.)

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