XVI: New Year

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You sit on the train to Oshibana, fiddling with your hands in your lap. The last thing you wanted to do was travel on New Year's Eve, but Rogue had promised a special date if you met him in Oshibana station today. You were currently trying to fight down the motion sickness in your stomach, but you had already thrown up twice and it had only been 15 minutes. Desert sits next to you (she would sit on your lap but she doesn't want to get puked on) and puts her little paw on your leg, trying to soothe you.

After suffering through the rest of the ride, you get off the train. You had decided to wear your new skirt from Lucy and the scarf from Desert, and you matched them with a [F/C] shirt and some leggings. You are wearing your boots, and you carry your ice skates from Gray with you since Rogue had said to bring them. With Desert flying by your side, you look around the station for Rogue. You begin to worry since you don't see him anywhere. He did say Oshibana, right? And at 11:30 in the morning? It would be awkward if you got something wrong...

     Strong arms wrap around your waist, and you jump. You turn, ready to fight, but realise that it's Rogue. He laughs at how freaked out you are, and your face flushes.

     "Not funny...," you say, punching him on the arm. He just smiles.

     "Come on, I have something fun planned," he says, offering you his arm. You link your arm through his as he takes your skates so he can carry them for you. Desert flies above the two of you. Rogue guides you out of the train station and into the streets of Oshibana. He tells you a few jokes as you walk, and you giggle at them. You roll your eyes when he makes terrible winter puns. Finally, you arrive at your destination: a skating rink. It's big and looks pretty crowded as you gaze up at it.

     "I didn't even know Oshibana had a skating rink," you say, looking at it in awe and amusement.

     "Well, now you know," he grins, pulling you inside. He pays for your tickets while you lace up your skates, and he comes to sit next to you, lacing up his own. You stand and wait for him, then he grabs your hand and takes you to the ice. You hesitate at the door.

"What's wrong, Y/N?" Rogue asks, looking back at you. You giggle.

"I haven't been skating in years," you say. You step onto the ice and glide unsteadily towards him. He takes your hands and pulls you along.

"It's not that hard," he smiles. He skates backwards, guiding you across the ice. After a moment, he lets go and you flail your arms a little. You manage to stay on your feet for a bit, but then fall into his chest as he comes back to you. He looks down at you and blushes. You smile.

"Aww, you're blushing," you tease, and his face grows even more red. With that, you nod, feeling accomplished. You push away from him and begin to skate flawlessly, performing turns and skating backwards and even going on one leg. He watches you, mouth hanging open.

"I thought you haven't been skating in years?" he asks. You laugh.

"I haven't, but I was the champion of the Magnolia's Elite Junior Performing Skate team. I won three gold medals in the figure skating tournament," you say, sticking your tongue out while grinning. He laughs and shakes his head.

"Wow. You had me convinced," he says. You skate for a while, and he buys you hot chocolate when you finish. You sip it happily as you sit at a little table outside the skating rink.

"Hey, umm, I heard Magnolia puts on a pretty awesome firework show for the New Year, and I was wondering if you'd like to join me?" he asks suddenly, looking up from his drink.

"Oh yeah! Magnolia has the best fireworks in all of Fiore, and Fairy Tail puts on a pretty awesome party. We should go to both," you gush excitedly, remembering the parties and fireworks from years past. He smiles at you.

"That sounds cool. I'd love to come," he says. You decide to get on the next train so you can make it back in time for the party. Rogue is a little concerned when you immediately begin to vomit, but you wave him off, telling him it's just motion sickness. He awkwardly sits next to you for the duration of the ride.

When you finally make it back to Magnolia, you head to your flat to get ready. Rogue decides to wander around town for a bit, so you let him. You touch up your makeup a bit and eat a small bowl of leftover noodles (why do you only ever have leftovers?) before heading back outside. The sun is going down, and you head towards the bridge to watch the sunset.

You sit outside on the edge of the bridge, the sky's cold breath stinging your exposed skin. You watch the sky melt, the velvety darkness consuming the warm light. Soft, cold snow falls from the clouds, covering the earth with a white blanket. The trees turn silver with frost as thousands of glittering lights illuminate the sky. A sliver of the cream moon peers from the darkness, casting a gentle glow that drips down every surface. Your breath rises into the frozen air, puffs of mist rising to join the clouds. The birds' happy music slowly dies as they settle into their nests, and shy crickets begin to play a soft melody. Down below, the river trickles sluggishly as it begins to freeze. Distant trees away in the wind, rustling their leaves to add a new sound to the nighttime symphony.

"This is a good spot to watch the sunset," says a voice from behind you, and you smile.

"Yeah, it's one of my favorites," you say, standing to join Rogue. He reaches for your hand, but stops and lets his hand fall limply at his side.

"So, where are the fireworks?" he asks, and you begin to walk towards the guild hall.

"We can get a really good view from the guild hall, if we go just behind it. They light them off and their big and colourful and loud and it's amazing," you say. He just nods. What's gotten into him all of the sudden? You shrug, and continue walking.

When you get to Fairy Tail, you go around back and meet up with all of your friends. They greet you and welcome Rogue, but he keeps his distance. The fireworks start and you curl up on a bench, watching the display. You see Rogue talking to some of your friends and frowning, and you stand, walking over to him.

"Hey, what's u-" you begin, but he cuts you off.

"Can I talk to you?" he asks suddenly, and you frown but nod and follow him. At the side of the guild hall, he turns to you. You wait for him to say something, but he doesn't.

"So? What did you want to talk to me about?" you ask impatiently. He stares.

"You. What did you think of today? Are you still mad?" he asks.

"What? No, I'm not mad. Today was great! Why are you acting so weird?" you question, glaring at him. The wind blows past, ruffling your hair and stinging your face.

     "I just can't tell anything about you! One minute you say yes to a date, and then you're storming out on me and angry at me, and then you're going on another date with me and now you're upset again! You make me nervous whenever you're around, but then you make me upset and you're just so confusing!" he shouts in frustration. You cross your arms.

     "You're not making any sense," you growl. He throws his hands in the air. You run your hands through your messy hair, frustrated.

     "Why won't you just tell me how you feel?" you yell.

     "Tell you? I just did! If that didn't work, then I'll show you how I feel!" he growls. He grabs your hand, and pulls it to his chest, right over his heart. Feeling the soft fabric of his shirt and his muscular chest beneath, you gasp, slightly flustered. When you relax,  you can feel his heart racing quickly beneath your fingers.

     "That's how I feel. That's what you do to me," he whispers. You look down, and you can't help but smile.

     "Now how about you tell me how you feel?" he asks curiously.

     "You want to know how I feel? Fine." You grab his collar, and pull him close, giving him a soft sweet kiss. Your lips barely touch, and shivers run down his spine. You pull away, and smirk at his astonished face. Turning on your heel, you walk away, waving without looking back.

     "Y/N!" he calls after you, but you just smile to yourself, heading back around the guild hall to join in the New Year's party.

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