19 Dec 2016

A series of AU drabbles and one-shots for Mira, Freed and Laxus.

Teen (13+)
Chapters: 8
Words: 0


Chapter 6
Detention (pt. 1)


Basically: Honor student Freed Justine sits down with unapologetic flirt Laxus Dreyar and school delinquent Mirajane Strauss during after-school detention.

They shouldn’t get along so well, but then they find they have more some things in common.

Chapter Notes:

Okay. Now. I think… this one. THIS ONE IS MY FAVE. (It’s LOOOONG of course it is because I got carried away.)

Freed didn’t know how he got stuck in this situation.

He’s a straight-A student with a pristine record. He shouldn’t be sitting here with two known delinquents, tutoring them in subjects they could hardly give a damn about.

What kind of school does this?

Well. Apparently, his school does.

But like all else, he knew that it would pass. He should just… bear with it. Yes. It’ll be over soon. He’ll do his job – teach the two lazy bums every afternoon after school for week – and if they still fail their subjects, well… he can tell the school counselor that he tried his best and they simply didn’t cooperate.

So now he sat patiently with his ‘students’, doing his own homework while they did some exercises from lessons they supposedly missed. He had told them to let him know if they needed any assistance, or if they had questions.

So far, they were both quiet.

Even though they were the same year, he didn’t share any classes with them, but he knew enough.

The girl was Mirajane Strauss, known for sporting outfits that violated at least a dozen items in the school’s dress code, for skipping classes, and for getting into fights both in and out of campus. Right now she was answering a set of trigonometry equations quietly, the paper most definitely crumpled because she was writing on it held against her lap while her legs were propped up on top of her desk. She probably didn’t think he was watching, because she took the gum she was chewing from her mouth and moved to stick it under the desk.

“Please dispose of your trash properly.” Freed said, making the girl stop to look at him.

Mira didn’t look surprised or taken aback. Instead she just smirked, and went ahead and stuck the gum under the desk anyway before going back to her equations.

They heard a scoff. Mira didn’t look up, but Freed looked at his other companion.

Laxus Dreyar wasn’t much different. He regularly broke the rules, slept in classes if he ever attended one, and always had bandages and bruises that told everyone what he had been up to in his spare time. The big shame was that he was one of the smartest students in the school. He always scored well in his exams if he was interested enough about the subject. Now he was hunched down in his own desk, supposedly answering science questions. His stance wasn’t as bad as Mira’s, but he had pulled a chair nearby so he could prop his feet on them.

Freed refrained from letting out a sigh. What was so difficult about keeping their damn feet on the floor?

But he didn’t say any of these out loud. Freed simply kept his mouth shut in a frown as he tried to focus on his homework again.

It wasn’t long before the silence was broken again. Laxus groaned, giving up and putting his pen down with a noisy clatter on the desk. “Why the fuck am I here again?”

“You two are in detention.” Freed answered promptly. “But instead of just sitting around here doing nothing, our school counselor decided you should instead work on whatever you missed in your subjects while you were… out there doing whatever it was you did to get detention. He asked me to help you out – mind you, HE asked me, I did not volunteer. That’s why we’re all here.”

“Wow. Thank you for the wonderful explanation.” Laxus said sourly. “And you couldn’t say no?”

Of course Freed could have said ‘no’. It’s just… he thought it would add a nice record in his book, to have worked with the school to help other students catch up on their studies. And… well… the school counselor was a very persuasive person-

“I know you don’t want to be here.” Freed said, trying to maintain his calm. “Believe me, none of us want to be here. So the best course of action is to just finish those exercises so we can all be free of each other as soon as possible.”

Mira whistled. “Someone’s got a stick up his ass.”

“Someone’s got an F in Trigonometry.” Freed shot back hotly.

Laxus laughed at that, while Mira glared back at their ‘proctor’.

Freed turned towards Laxus. “Have I answered your question?”

“Yes.” Laxus answered smugly, then he lifted up his paper. “And I’ve answered yours.”

“What? It’s only been ten minutes-”

“This shit is easy.” the blonde said, throwing the paper over his shoulder. He crossed his arms across his chest. “Where did you even get those stupid questions?”

“Show-off.” came Mira’s unimpressed grumble.

“I asked your professor.” Freed said, standing up and walking across the room to pick the paper up. He knew he couldn’t count on either of them to do so. “She told me which topics she remembered you skipping or sleeping on.”

“She doesn’t know shit. I skip ’cause there’s nothing she can teach me.”

Freed ignored that as he looked over the answers on the paper. They were all correct. “Well, you could let me know what you missed. So I can look for more challenging questions for you.”

This time, Laxus groaned in exasperation. “You ain’t listening. I didn’t miss shit.”

“You love that word, do you?”

“So? I’ll say it again if it makes you make that face. Shit. Also, I don’t need these extra classes.”

“Why don’t you leave then?”

“‘Cause you’re nice to look at.”

Freed looked at him, unimpressed.

“It’s true, though.” Mira chimed in. “Only reason I agreed to this is ’cause if I’m gonna be stuck in a room for two hours with Scarface over there, at least my other option is not an ugly old teacher. At least it’s a pretty thing like you.”

“Wow. Thanks.” Freed rolled his eyes and returned to his own homework.

“…and also because there’s a tyrant professor sitting just outside the room.” Laxus added as an afterthought.

As soon as said tyrant professor who was in charge of them peered inside the room and announced that they can finally go home, Laxus and Mira were on their feet and grabbing their bags.

Laxus took the time and effort to walk towards Freed and pat him on the head mockingly. He said “Come up with some REAL questions tomorrow, Straight-A.” before walking off.

Mira, for her part, handed Freed her paper and before Freed could complain that except the first question, the paper was just filled with scribbles, doodles and random obscenities, she leaned down and kissed him on the cheek. “See ‘ya.” she chirped cheerfully before leaving, skipping.

Freed sighed. One day down. Four more to go.



At the start of their second session, Freed handed them both several blank sheets of paper.

“Are the questions invisible?” Mira asked.

“No.” Freed answered, before producing two index cards from his folder.

Laxus immediately cursed. “Shit, it’s a make-up essay, isn’t it? Fuck. I hate essays.”

“Congratulations.” Freed said, adding fake cheer in his voice. He handed an index card to each of his companions. “While I come up with ‘real questions’ for you guys, you’ll be writing an essay. Your History grades aren’t as bad as your Trig or Chem ones, but it’s still bad because you both missed an important quiz. But apparently your professor is a considerate person and he’s willing to let you write up an essay to make up for it.”

“Holy fuckballs. Kill me now.” Mira whined, her head thrown back, hands dramatically covering her face.

“Look at the bright side: it’s an essay about your opinion on a historical event. At least it’s not an essay about your feelings or experiences because I bet you two would just love that.” Freed said as he returned to his own desk and opened a textbook.

“Yay. Wee. I’m so excited.” Laxus drawled, but seemed resigned to his fate as he considered the essay question in the index card. “Are we allowed to consult our books?”

“Yes, but strictly no plagiarism. Citations are accepted. And if I find that you just constructed your essay out of a ton of quoted passages, you’ll re-do the whole thing. Because whatever you finish today, they’re not going to your prof. I’m gonna check them. And give them back to you tomorrow so you can work on any revisions required.”

Laxus looked incredulously at him while Mira exclaimed. “What the hell?! I’ll have to write it TWICE?!”

Freed shrugged. “I’m not going to pass bad essays to a professor who knows I’m the one who oversaw them.”

At this, Laxus just shook his head, while Mira said, “You know… I didn’t think it was possible, but that stick just went further up your ass.”

Freed didn’t dignify that with a response. He simply busied himself with constructing Laxus’s exercise questions. He’ll give that guy a really challenging test, and the arrogant bastard will regret it. As for Mira, he’ll find a way to make her answer at least one goddamn Trig question, or God help him.

They spent the next hour actually working on their respective assignments – or so Freed hoped they were working. It did look like it, though.

Mira was humming to the tune of whatever rock music it was she was listening to on her earphones, but she was also writing and she was on her second page now. Technically, the fifth page – but she claimed the others were outlines and drafts.

Laxus was sensible enough to ask Freed if he could borrow Freed’s History textbook (because of course Laxus didn’t have his with him) and actually looked like he was using it for reference on his essay. He even whistled appreciatively when he found the important passages already underlined and highlighted.

When Laxus did this, Mira asked Freed if she can see his notes. He gave them to her, and it looked like she was finding them useful.

After a while, Freed noticed that Laxus wasn’t writing anymore.

“You’re done?” he asked.

“Dude, chill.” Laxus replied. He made a show of shaking his right hand. “Anyone will take a break after writing nonstop for an hour. Just resting my poor hand.”

Freed simply nodded before returning to his own task. While he did this, he heard Mira speak up.

“You should’ve broken that hand when you broke whatshisname’s face, you know. You could’ve been stuck here with us happily doing nothing. I don’t think Justine over there’s heartless enough to force you to write with an injury.”

Laxus’s reply sounded unimpressed. “Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll remember that next time I beat someone up because they were talking shit. ‘Break your hand to avoid makeup tests’. Sound solid.”

“Who was the lucky guy anyway?” Mira asked.

Freed kept silent. He hated to admit it, but he was a bit curious about how his companions landed themselves in this mess in the first place. Yes, he’s heard that it was the usual – Laxus beat someone up – but he wondered… why? If the blonde was as brash and temperamental as everyone talked about, Freed wondered why Laxus had never once threatened him so far. It was obvious he didn’t like whatever it was that he’s being forced to do here.

“I told you. Some pathetic loser talking shit.” was Laxus’s answer. He had picked his pen up again, and was reading from the textbook.

“Yeah, but what kinda shit?” Mira prodded.

Freed risked a glance at her this time. She had taken her earphones off, her chin propped up on her hands.

Laxus shrugged. “Shit about my dad.”

“But you always say that your dad is shit.” Mira frowned, confused. “What, it’s different when it’s other people, something like that?”

The blonde scoffed. “Like hell. My dad beat up my mom, beat ME up, stole money from gramps, didn’t even come home when mom was dying and is still running ’round having fun with the stolen money. And he still drops by from time to time to remind us how much of a dick he is. I’m HAPPY to let other people talk shit about him.”

To his surprise, Freed found himself asking, “So what was different this time?”

Laxus looked at him, then withdrew his gaze again to focus on the words in the book before him. Mira and Freed exchanged looks.

He was silent for a few moments, before he finally said, “Well, the pathetic loser said I was just like my dad.”

Mira nodded. “So you broke his face.”

“His nose. Didn’t have time to polish my work.” Laxus corrected, then turned towards Freed and with his voice dripping with sarcasm, he asked, “Have I answered your question?”

Freed frowned as he looked away. “The guy was out of line, I can see that. But you didn’t have to punch him.”

Laxus simply chuckled. “You’re cute.”

Before Freed could retort, Mira spoke up. “You talkin’ about your dad actually makes me think I’m lucky I have no parents.”

“My mom was nice.” Laxus interjected.

“I’m sure she was. But I don’t remember enough of my mom to know if she was nice or not. Ditto for dad. And since I got in the system, so far all the foster parents that took me in are only in it for the government money. They don’t even pretend to be nice to us. They just straight up take our money.”

“You got siblings, right?” Laxus was frowning now. “Must be a catch for the gold-diggers. Always getting a pack of three.”

“Yeah. So I try to make as much trouble for ’em as I can so they’ll give us up and we get bumped to another family. Maybe – y’know, just maybe – we get lucky one day and end up with decent people.”

Freed found that he had stopped writing the exercise questions, and that he had been staring down at his paper for a while now, just listening to the other two talk.

All those things they said… he didn’t know them before going into this.

Freed still had both of his parents. His mother and father have a stable marriage and Freed was never mistreated. He didn’t know what to say to the other two… if it was appropriate to say something at all… but he didn’t want them to think he didn’t care. He couldn’t say that he really cared enough to do something about their broken families… because family issues are private issues, it wouldn’t be in his place to do anything… but at the very least Freed understood how unpleasant their situations are and he wanted them to KNOW that.

“You’re quiet.” he heard Laxus say, and Freed looked up to realize that the blonde was referring to him.

“Leave him be, he doesn’t understand all our sad miserable lower-class sob stories, not a spoiled and rich kid like ‘im. He’s from a nice, happy family.” Mira said with a dismissive wave.

See? They already think he wasn’t capable of sympathizing with them! Freed quickly opened his mouth to prove her wrong. “Look, I-”

“It’s nice, right?” Mira cut him off, looking up at the ceiling. “Rich Mama and Papa who love each other so much? Always there to tell you how smart and wonderful and perfect you are, with your A’s and your piano and your recommendation letters for the best university in the country?”

“They’ll probably give you a car for your birthday.” Laxus added, a mocking smile on his face. “D’you go hunting with your doctor dad when he’s on vacation? And your lawyer mom’s always proud to talk about you with her other rich lady friends?”

“Family reunions must be a blast, with nice aunties and fun uncles and a dozen cute baby cousins. You feel soooo lucky. Must be fun-”

Freed decided he had enough. “Stop it.”

The two stopped, surprised, and looked at him.

“You don’t know anything.” he said, glare sharp, lips pressed into a thin line as he tried to maintain his composure, to reign in his anger.

“Of course I don’t.” Mira chuckled, obviously not taking him seriously. “It’s not like your happy family’s always in the local newspaper, not like the nice old ladies ’round town always talk ’bout how perfect the Justines are, right?”

Freed scoffed, this time shaking his head at her. “And you’re stupid enough to fall for that?”

Mira’s eyes narrowed. “What?”

“Whoa, hold up.” Laxus said, curiously enough he was the one who decided to intervene. “You guys gonna start pulling each other’s hair now?”

They ignored him.

“Don’t call me stupid.” Mira said, returning Freed’s glare.

“Well, don’t call me spoiled.” Freed shot back. “I get that your life sucks. I get that you think I’ve got a better family than yours. Maybe I do. But stop assuming that I like myself so much that I can’t understand what you’re going through. Because I feel sorry for you. For your situation. I do. I-”

“Fucking hell I don’t need your pity-”

“I don’t pity you.”

Mira had no answer to that. She could insist that she didn’t believe it, but Freed said it so firmly she couldn’t doubt his honesty.

“I don’t envy you, either. It doesn’t mean I’ll take the opportunity to gloat about how perfect my life is. Because it isn’t.” he looked away, frowning deeply as he tried to focus on the chemistry questions he should be doing. “My dad’s never home. My mom’s sleeping with another man and we all know it and we pretend we don’t. I actually told them, just last week, that I’m not straight. You know, just to get a reaction. You know what they said? They said ‘it’s okay, sweetheart, you’ll get over it’. Like that part of me’s just a seasonal flu. But of course they’ll be there for me to take me to those fun family reunions and brag about what a great future I’ll have. Because we’re perfect, right? The Justines, a proud family of trophies.”

Freed looked up to see that Laxus was busy pretending to continue his essay, while Mira was just watching him, expression unreadable now. He sighed in resignation. “I’m not trying to get into your good graces by saying that things suck for me too. Maybe you think what I have is better than what you do, but the fact is this: I have it. You don’t. That means you don’t have the right to tell me how to feel about it.”

Freed knew he would regret baring himself like that, but damn he felt better. They can say that he’s got a stick up his ass – he doesn’t give a damn about being called a killjoy – but he won’t let them say he’s a self-centered spoiled brat. He didn’t look up to see whatever their reactions were. Maybe they continued their essays. Maybe they didn’t.

But after a few minutes, and when Freed was sure he was calm again, he said, “I’m sorry for calling you stupid. I lost my nerve. I didn’t mean it.”

There. Now he owed them nothing.

When their professor announced that the day’s session was finished, none of them said a word as they packed up and got ready to leave. Mira moved faster than either of them. She didn’t look at Freed when she gave him back his notes and a messy set of papers that must be her essay. Laxus followed more slowly. He returned Freed’s textbook, his essay tucked in between the pages. To his credit, he did give Freed a soft pat on his arm before he left. Freed didn’t know what the blonde meant by that, but he preferred to think it was meant as a gesture of comfort or sympathy.

As Freed sorted the various papers and books on his desk, he decided to scan their submissions, just to make sure they didn’t scribble or doodle nonsense again.

Laxus’s papers were surprisingly neat, folded precisely in half. He even maintained proper margin… or the draft equivalent of it. That was when Freed caught the note on the the lower right side of the last page of his essay.

In the margin, Laxus had written:

‘F. we hit a sore spot back there. won’t happen again. i mean the family issues part. i’ll keep annoying you though. you’re cute when you’re pissed. – L.’

Freed took himself by surprise when he actually chuckled at the message. Laxus was a proud guy but Freed knows an apology when he sees one. Laxus could have said it out loud, Freed wouldn’t make fun of him or anything… but a note will do for now, and was much appreciated.

Then going through Mira’s papers, Freed also found a note.

It wasn’t in the margins so much as it was a scribbled little box after the end of Mira’s essay:

‘sorry. that was low even for me. we shouldn’t bond over shitty families. let’s start over?’

At this, Freed smiled, already nodding.



“You guys write good essays. Minor corrections.” Freed said as he returned their papers to them the next afternoon.

“I had help.” Laxus said, scanning the corrections that Freed made using bright green ink.

Freed let out a small smile. “You’re welcome.”

“I meant the book.” Laxus corrected.

He wasn’t fazed. “You’re still welcome.”

Laxus reached the last page and saw that the bright green scribble on the margin wasn’t a correction, but actually a reply to his note.

‘Laxus – Thanks. But if that’s why you’re always trying to get on my nerves, it’s not appreciated. Try another tactic. P.S. Lessen your run-on sentences.’

“Hah!” Laxus exclaimed, all-too pleased for Freed’s liking. Freed narrowly dodged a mischievous poke to his side. “Cute.”

“No.” Freed said, half-heartedly swatting Laxus’s prodding hand with his pen. “Behave. No poking.”

“Keep it in your pants, Dreyar. At least for the next two hours. Please.” Mira said, momentarily looking up from the corrections on her own essay to give the blonde a raised eyebrow. She returned to her papers and smirked when she saw Freed’s reply to her message.

‘Apology accepted, and yes – I’d like to start over.’

“Try to keep up, Strauss.” was all Laxus said as he accepted the new sheets of paper from Freed to start rewriting his essay.

Mira did the same. “What’re we doing today besides the hellish task of rewriting this shit?”

Freed returned to his desk and started working on his homework. “You’re going to do that Trig exercise you doodled on last Monday. And Laxus will answer some chem questions again. We need to produce results from this week’s sessions, other than your essay.”

Laxus snorted. “You come up with actual questions this time?”

Freed didn’t bother looking at him. “Oh, you’ll see.”

“I don’t understand Trig.” Mira said.

“Good news. That’s what I’m here for.” Freed replied, giving her a short, curt smile. “Let me know if you’re done.”

“I’ve been done since day one, but whatever.”


An hour later, Mira has been able to answer a total of three items in her paper. When Freed confirmed that they were all correct so far, she promptly gave up trying to pretend she wasn’t baffled by how it happened.

“If my professor explained it to me like you did, I wouldn’t have to deal with this bullshit! I would’ve gone through this in a breeze- oh, shit, item four. I know how to do this one! It’s like the first item, isn’t it?!”

“Yes, it is.” Freed said helpfully. He and Mira had moved their desks together so he could tutor her more closely. “It’s always confusing at first but once you get the hang of it, you can see which ones can be solved using the same method.”

“Right, right. Okay, lemme do this one.” she said, excited to try out her newfound tricks.

Meanwhile, Laxus has finished reading through the fresh set of questions Freed prepared for him. The only thing he was able to say was “What the fuck.”

“Yes, Laxus? Is it still too easy for you?” Freed chimed, a little too nicely to be innocent.

“What is your damage.” Laxus looked at him, incredulous. “Where the hell did you even get these questions?!”

“Our textbook, of course.” Freed said, feigning nonchalance. “And I double-checked with your professor, she confirmed that those were all discussed in your classes. Surely you know them, since you claim you didn’t miss anything.”

“I get it now.” Laxus nodded, as if realizing something. “You’re mad at me.”

Freed blinked innocently. “Me? Mad? Why would I be mad at you? We’re getting along so well.”

“Goddamn, I’m not pissing you off again.” the blonde shook his head in resignation as he started to actually work on the questions. He might have already lost this battle, but he’s not going down without a fight.

The session passed quickly for all three of them that day. Mira and Laxus didn’t pass their papers until the professor said they were dismissed. Even then they were willing to stay to watch Freed check their answers. They were let down, however, when Freed simply put the papers in his trusty folder, hurrying to leave because he had a scheduled appointment he has to get to. He promised they’ll have their scores the next day.

That night, Freed was sitting in the study desk in his bedroom as he went through the papers to check their answers.

He rolled his eyes upon noticing that there were notes in the margins again.

On Laxus’s writing, it said:

‘trying to get on your nerves? that’s where you’re wrong. i’m not trying to get on your nerves, i’m trying to get in your pants.’

Freed paused, read it again, and stared at the paper blankly.

Then he looked at Mira’s:

‘so do you like girls or not?’

Freed looked up at the ceiling. He prided himself on the fact that these past three days, he always had a strong comeback for everything the two delinquents threw at him. He can always play their game. They never leave him speechless.

But now? Now he had nothing.

And he wasn’t one for thinking out loud, but he found himself actually saying, “How on earth am I supposed to respond to these?”



His reply came to him as soon as he saw them the next day. He was giving them their marked papers when he replied, to both of them – out loud.

“To address your concerns about… some stuff…” he started, but noticed that he didn’t sound confident. So he took a deep breath before he continued, in a more decisive voice: “No, Laxus, you may not get in my pants. And yes, Mira, girls are fine. I think. Not sure yet. But I have no time for those kinds of things right now.”

Laxus raised an eyebrow before looking at him with a kicked-puppy pout that looked out of place in his face. “Well. Ouch. You wound me, Freed. My fragile heart is broken now. It will never recover. I will carry this pain throughout the rest of my life.”

It would be touching if his delivery wasn’t so monotonous.

“You look weird, doing that with your face.” Freed told him. “And flirting with me will not save you from what we’ve got planned for today.”

Then Mira asked, “Okay, so do you ever do anything fun? Just… honestly curious. ‘Cause your answer is the answer of someone who has never had fun, ever.”

Freed sat down as he thought about it. “Um… I read.”

They both groaned in exasperation at the answer.

“Anyways, if I’ve addressed all your questions, here’s another set of exercises.”

It almost made Freed laugh, seeing them both bury their faces in their hands at the same time.

“These questions are from your professors. Think of it as a make-up test. Mira, here’s more Trig. I reviewed it, you should be fine after what you learned yesterday. Laxus, chem. No writing on the margins this time. Because I’m not keeping those papers. They’re going to the prof after I mark them.”

To their credit, they both accepted the new batch of test questions and extra scratch papers. Freed could say a lot of things about their approach to high school, but he couldn’t argue that they weren’t fighters. If anything fueled them to get through these sessions, it’s the simple fact that they won’t let anyone say they backed down out of anything.

Laxus finished thirty minutes before the session ended. Mira was still soldiering on. She claimed that she was answering slowly but surely.

And because Laxus still had half an hour to kill, he urged Freed to check his answers right away. Freed thought there was no reason to deny him that, so he took the paper and began marking. As he did this, Laxus pulled up a chair to sit beside him and watch closely.

“Do I get a reward if I get a high score?” he asked, so far satisfied at the many correct answers he was seeing.

“Of course.” Freed answered, not looking up from his task. “I’ll stop bothering you about Chemistry. Your professor, too. And the school counselor.”

Laxus snorted. “Not very rewarding.”

“You’re actually lucky you haven’t been suspended.” this time, Freed looked up at him. “What kind of reward did you have in mind anyway?”

“Oh my God, why did you ask?” came from Mira. “Seriously, you should’ve known better. Oh shit, I can’t listen to this. Nope.”

Freed just blinked, clueless.

“Ignore her, the math’s got her brain fried.” Laxus said with a dismissive wave. “How about this, that’s 80 items, right? If I score 60 or higher-”

Freed cut in quickly, “Not good enough. 70 or higher.”

“DON’T BARGAIN.” Mira hissed.

Laxus paused, considered, and then nodded. “I think I can manage. 70 or higher.” Then he grinned, and this time he crossed his arms across his chest. “If I score 70 or higher, I get a kiss.”

The answer took only a second. “Sure.”

Laxus grinned, pleased with himself while Mira practically screeched “WHAAAAT?!”

Then Freed smiled, handing Laxus his paper back. “Done. 68 out of 80. Not bad. I’m pretty sure this will pull your grade up.”

Almost immediately, Laxus’s face fell, and Mira could only do so much to stifle her laughter. She pointed at him. “HAH! How’s it goin’, Lightning McShow-off?”

Laxus narrowed his eyes at her. “You worry ’bout yourself, Angelface. You only got 10 minutes left.”

“Well, I’m done too.” Mira huffed, stalking over to them with her chair and papers. She set her chair on Freed’s other side and dropped her paper of answers on Freed’s desk. “Go check it now, I wanna know how I did.”

“Not gonna ask for a reward?” Freed asked as he looked down at the paper and then started marking.

Mira scoffed, leaning forward to peer closer at her paper. “Only Dreyar can be so dumb. Hah! Look, I got that one right!”

“You wish you had this wonderful brain, Strauss.” Laxus said. He grabbed a small pad of post-its lying among Freed’s pens and reviewers, then started scribbling something on it with one of Freed’s sharpies.

“Please don’t waste valuable paper.” Freed said distractedly, both he and Mira too focused with checking the Trig answers to really bother with him.

“I’m just getting the one, don’t worry.”

There were several quiet minutes of scribbling and marking, and then the silence was broken when Mira screamed. “WHOOOOO, YEAH, GET IT, 45 OUT OF 60! I KILLED IT! IN YOUR FACE, TRIGONOMETRY!”

Laxus actually found it in himself to whistle and give her a slow clap of approval. Freed laughed softly as he watched Mira doing a victory dance and jumping around with her papers.

“Congratulations, Mira, that was great-… oh. Hey, um- could you not- the papers, we have to submit that to your prof-… oh. Oh boy. Please get down from that table. Don’t- Don’t do it, don’t jump in there!”

Their teacher-in-charge peered in to tell them that they can go. He stopped midway when he saw Mira on top of the table.

“Yo, geezer! Guess who killed her make-up test?!” Mira said, waving her papers proudly before striking a pose. “This girl!”

The man simply smiled at her. “Good for you, Miss Strauss. Now get down from that table and go home, alright?”

“Right, right!”

Laxus got up and grabbed his bag. He handed Freed a folded piece of post-it, winked and then left.

Meanwhile, Mira had actually bothered to wipe her shoeprints off the table.

Freed unfolded the post-it to read Laxus’s message:

‘if you ever change your mind. or whatever other reason you can think of.’

Below those words was a string of digits that Freed assumed must be Laxus’s cellphone number.

“Well shit, the bastard works fast.” Mira said from behind him, making him jump. When did she get there?! Freed whirled around to look at her. She slung her bag over her shoulder, looking at him critically. “Do you like that guy? Because if you do, I’m disappointed. I’m clearly the better choice here.”

Freed rolled his eyes as he chuckled. “Of course you are.”

“That’s right.” She nodded reverently, then tilted her head to the side as she asked, “D’you take the bus home?”

“Yeah, why?”

“Wanna go together?”

Freed blinked once, but picked up his bag anyway and nodded. “Sure.”

Mira grinned, looping an arm around his and pulling him with her.



“We only got an hour today.” Freed announced when he stepped inside the room. “Your professors are pleased that you passed your make-up tests and they said they don’t want to keep students in here too long on a Friday.”

“Sweet.” Mira piped up from her comfortable position, feet propped up on her desk as always while she tapped and swiped on her phone. From the faint sounds Freed was hearing, she was playing a game.

Laxus, who was flipping through a comic book, glanced up for a bit. “We’re done with the tests, right? What’re we supposed to do today?”

Freed sat down and took out his notebook and papers to get started on his homework. “They didn’t tell me anything, really. So maybe it’s free period. It’s your last day anyway.”

“Aw, and here I was, getting ready to answer more chem questions…” Laxus sighed.

Freed looked at him, an eyebrow raised.

The blonde snorted. “No shit. I ain’t taking any of your goddamn demon exams anymore. That shit was hard as hell.”

Freed simply sighed. “Don’t you ever get tired of swearing?”

“Hell no. But you should try it sometime.”

“No, thank you.” Freed responded blankly. “Just please tone it down. It can be distracting, and I’m doing my homework.”

“Wear your earphones, put some music on, damn.”

“I don’t bring my earphones to school.”

Mira joined in. “Seriously?”

A shrug. “I never need them.”

“Okay, then.” Laxus said, smirking again. “What will you do if I go through this whole session without swearing?”

Freed almost laughed at the proposition. Laxus loves to bargain, he knows that now. “I’ll thank you.”


“I’ll say: Thank you, Laxus.”

“No really, give me some incentive. I’m bored as fuck in here, and we’ve got… what, 50 more minutes to go? I’ll piss you off for real.”

Freed sighed, too eager to be left in peace so he caved in. “Fine, if you don’t swear, and keep your voice down until the end of this thing, I’ll… uh…” he thought about it, and then remembered the note Laxus left with him yesterday. “I’ll give you my number.”

Laxus grinned in victory. “I’ll hold you to that, Justine.”

“Right, whatever, I’m studying. Go back to your book.” Freed waved him off. It can’t be that bad, right?

But this time, Mira was the one who squeaked. “Holy shit, you’re going to bone anytime now, are you? Dammit, Freed! This is why we can’t have nice things! I told you not to let him seduce you! Preferably let me seduce you instead, but, you know. Wait, I was going somewhere with this.”

Freed furrowed his brows, pouting. “What? Pardon me, but I’m not going to ‘bone’ anyone.” he said, making a quoting gesture to emphasize his point. “It’s unprofessional.”

Laxus held back a laugh.

Mira sighed in exasperation. “Unprofession- Freed. Please. You’re NOT a teacher, you’re a goddamn student – LIKE US. You can bone us as you please.”

Freed made a strangled noise at the back of his throat. “Eww?”

“Me first, though.” Laxus interjected.

Freed looked at him incredulously.

“Keep dreaming, Scarface.” Mira said.

“Okay, please stop now. I am going to do my homework.” Freed said, this time he was the one to bury his face in his hands. He would be lying if he claimed that he had never been… propositioned… before, but he had never quite met anyone who had put it out there so bluntly.

But now there’s two of them.

They’re both insane.

He heard prompt replies of “Roger.” and “Shutting.” and appreciated the peace that came with it. He can focus on his homework now.

Mira spent the next hour playing her game. She claimed that she was supposed to stay focused on it all night long or all her hard work will go to waste. She said something about other people attacking her settlement or something like that. Freed never really understood the thing about games like those so he shrugged and let her be. When Laxus finished his comic book, he boredly reached out towards Freed’s desk, checked the books and papers that Freed weren’t using, and then finally settled on one textbook and took it.

Mira teased him for it. “Are you actually studying?”

“Shut up, I’ve run out of stuff to read.”

“Help me defend my base.” she suggested.

“Nope.” he said. “Ain’t got patience for that and I’m tryin’ to be good today.”

“Oh, as if.”

Laxus shrugged. “Well I think I’m doing a pretty good job so far. Am I, Freed?”

“More reading, less talking, please.” Freed replied, not looking up from his work.

“Yes, sir.” Laxus replied dutifully, stopping on a chapter and considering the text before proceeding to read.

The end of their week-long detention was uneventful. Freed would admit that he didn’t expect things to turn out this way… He thought he’ll just have to endure sitting with two annoying delinquents for five days, gaining nothing from it besides some credit for his effort, reflected in his record. Now he found that he got to know quite a bit about his two companions, and that he didn’t dislike their company all that much. He couldn’t say that he’ll actively seek them out after this, but he could safely say he won’t be avoiding them, and would be on greeting terms with them at least.

The professor came in to tell them that it’s time to go home, and they all began packing up to do so.

Laxus handed Freed his book back with a smirk. “No swearing as promised.”

Freed shrugged helplessly as he accepted the item. “Fine. I’ll text you something, whatever. Go home now.”

“Nice.” was all Laxus said, leaving ahead of them. “Oi, Strauss, good luck with that base.”

“I don’t need luck, I need more defense.” Mira said, waiting for Freed to finish packing. When she was sure Laxus was out of earshot, she said, “You know you just made a deal with the devil, right?”

“Who, Laxus?”

“Who else?”

“It’s just my number. I can block him if he goes overboard or anything.”

Freed had finished up and they left the room together, a silent agreement that they’ll take the same bus home again.

“Give me your phone.” Mira said.

“I’m not helping you with your game.” Freed replied.

“No, not that. C’mon, just give it.”

He took his phone out, unlocked it and then handed the gadget to her, hesitant. He didn’t know why he did, but if these past few days have taught him anything, it’s that Mira isn’t that bad of a person. He watched as she went through his contacts, tapped a few times, and then gave it back to him.

“You gave me your number.” Freed said blankly, looking at his updated contact list.

She shrugged, returning to her game. “If he does anything fishy, hit me up and I’ll beat him up for you. Or if you want to make out with me and touch my boobs. Either way is fine.”

“I don’t understand you.” Freed remarked, but smiled lightly. “Both of you.”

“We like you, what’s so hard to understand ’bout that?” she asked, looping her arm around his as they walked out the school gates. “You never been liked before?”

“No, but you two are-… Nevermind. Will it offend you if I change your name in my contacts?”

“What’s wrong with that one?”

Freed looked at her pointedly. “‘Mirajane Strauss Is Better Than Laxus Dreyar’, really?”

She simply laughed. “What? I am, obvs! And if you’re gonna make out with him instead of me, at least let me get away with a cooler name in your phone.”

Freed promptly gave up. He didn’t tell Mira that he doesn’t plan on making out with either her or Laxus anytime soon (or ever, really, if he were to be realistic here) but maybe it would be useful to have the contact numbers of two of the most notorious delinquents in school.

He didn’t know what he’ll do with that, honestly, but he found that he didn’t want to think too much about it, as he listened to Mira ranting on about her obsession with her game.


Later that night, Freed decided to send some messages. He promised Laxus, after all, and he would not go back on his word. As for Mira, he felt it would be unfair not to send her one.

‘Good evening. Freed here. Just want to let you know you can contact me through this number if you ever need any help with Trig or Chem again.
I’ll see you around school, I guess.’

Mira replied first.

[ ‘wtf freed u text like a goddamn letter of complaint are u aware of this?’ ]

‘I just prefer to read things with proper punctuation.’

[ ‘awwwwww well im not gonna start punctuating any time soon so get used to it go to sleep now i bet it’s past ur bedtime and my base is being attacked right fucking now so bye nighty night talk to you tmr mwaaaah’ ] – and it was followed by a long string of emojis that depicted, the moon, stars, clouds, sleeping, praying, and a kiss.

So Mira was that kind of person.

And then there was Laxus, who clearly took the effort to send a reply to match his message:

[ ‘Thank you for the message, Freed. I appreciate your concern about my studies. I’ll be sure to take advantage of this wonderful and new method of communication you have opened between us. Yours truly, Laxus.’ ]

Freed sent an honest reply: ‘That is the weirdest and scariest thing you’ve said to me. Ever.’

[ ‘HAHAHA I KNEW YOU’D SAY THAT! okay i won’t do it again. made my brain hurt. but worth it.’ ]

Freed sighed, questioned his choices, and then decided that he should just go to sleep.



Freed very seldom went out during weekends. He usually spent his day just reading, or flipping through TV channels. His family had a housemaid and a kitchen maid, but both of them usually kept themselves busy and out of his sight besides mealtimes. He wasn’t a picky eater. He doesn’t make requests often. He just ate whatever they cooked, then returned to solitude.

Now that he thought about it, that was kinda boring indeed. But it’s too late now, he was too used to it, he doesn’t even mind anymore.

Freed very seldom texted his friends too. He had no best friends to speak of, just some classmates and schoolmates he’d known for years, but he wouldn’t really consider close to. He texted them sometimes, mostly about school stuff, if they had a project together or things like that.

So it was new to him when, while he was sitting on the couch to start reading the new paperback novel he bought the week prior, he received a text.

[ ‘hey Freed?’ ]

It was Laxus. Before Freed could reply, he received another.

[ ‘do you want to see my dick?’ ]

Oh no.

Freed had never texted back faster in his life.



But then there it was. And like a trainwreck, Freed could only stare dumbfoundedly as the foreboding gray square appeared in his phone screen.

Then after a second, the image loaded.

It was… yellow, mostly.

Roundish, fluffy, with… with two black beady eyes and an orange beak- Wait.

It was a baby duck.

A baby duck sitting on something that looked suspiciously like someone’s half-finished math homework.

Freed gathered himself and let out a sigh of relief before replying.

‘Oh my God. That was scary. Why do you like scaring me so much?’

Laxus replied with: [‘why what did i do?’]

And after a second: [‘are you scared of ducks? sorry i didn’t know.’]

Another second: [‘oh wait i texted dick. is that it? sorry autocorrect hahaha did you freak out?’]

Freed chuckled. ‘Yes. Anyway. Its a cute duck, Laxus.’

[‘his name is raijin.’]

Laxus had named the duck, what in the world…?

‘Why do you have a duck?’

[‘a boy has to have a pet, freed. do you have a pet?’]

Freed shrugged, and thought of the little pet cage in his room. ‘I have a hedgehog named Sonic.’



[‘hedgehogs are cool. show me Sonic. cmon.’]

Freed didn’t know why, but he picked up his book to go to his room and snap a photo of his pet. The hedgehog was a quiet little thing happily rolling a ping pong ball around his cage. He sent the photo to Laxus and waited for a reply.

[‘he looks like he’s having fun. you should learn from him.’]

‘I was having fun reading when you interrupted.’ Freed replied as he laid back on his bed, his book resting on his stomach.

[‘i know reading can be fun. but cmon you read for 5 days a week, take a break.’]

‘Okay. Also… why did you send me a photo of your pet anyway?’

[‘idk. i was looking for a reason to text you and i was hanging out with raijin so i thought. two birds with one stone, right?’]

Then Freed asked Laxus how he ended up with a pet duck in the first place. Laxus was in the middle of sending several long text messages of the story when he said he had to go because his grandfather was asking him to help fix something.

Freed returned to his reading, but he only got to one chapter before his phone alerted him with a message again.

He figured it must be Laxus, back to continue the exciting tale of how he ended up rescuing a baby duck.

Instead, there’s a message from Mira.

[‘ok i just woke up and my base is safe and i remember telling u to go away last night so hi what’s up’]

Freed sighed. He resisted the urge to ask her to punctuate her messages because he was sure she’ll ignore the suggestion. Instead, he started to type in a reply…

What’s up? Freed ought to tell her he was currently reading, but then he thought of something more interesting.

‘Laxus sent me a photo of his duck.’

It took a full minute for Mira to reply.

[‘is that autocorrect or’]

‘Do you want to see?’


And so Freed forwarded the cute photo of the duckling to Mira, trying his best to suppress his laughter. It was too early to celebrate…

Another minute before the reply came:

[‘jesus christ that was terrifying you can be a terrible terrible person freed’]

Freed finally laughed. He wanted to type in a reply but Mira beat him to it by sending another message.

[‘btw gimme the bastards number’]

‘I’m not sure I should do that without his permission…’

[‘god why are u such a proper person fiiiiine ill find a way to get it’]

Meanwhile, in the Dreyar household, Laxus was busy helping his grandfather take out some old furniture from the house’s attic. It was then that his phone vibrated from his back pocket. He raised an eyebrow, not expecting Freed to send a message after he actually said he’s got a chore to do…

It was from an unknown number, and it was a short message.


Ah. He smirked. It wasn’t Freed, but he appreciated it anyway.

His reply was just as prompt.

[‘your move, strauss.’]



It was early on Sunday afternoon when Freed got a text from Laxus. The blonde got too busy with helping his grandfather that he didn’t have time to continue his Baby Duck Rescue story from the day prior.

[‘so has angelface done anything yet?’]

Freed blinked curiously. ‘I’m helping her with her Trig homework. Giving some tips.’

[‘shit she’s got me beat there.’]

‘I can help you with homework too if you need it. I’m done with mine.’

[‘naw i don’t need your help. i’m good at school’]

Well, if you say so…’

[‘i need help with something else though… and you’re just the right person to ask…’]

‘Laxus. If you make a tasteless joke here, while I’m trying to focus on a math question, I will block you.’

[‘i’ve got these dark red pants on, should i wear the purple shirt or the black?’]

That made Freed pause. He really could never tell what goes on in that guy’s head. He replied. ‘Black.’

Laxus sent him a thumbs up emoji and then nothing after that. Freed just accepted it as his thanks. Then he decided to check up on his other… acquaintance? Friend? Are they really in those terms now?

‘Did you solve that problem?’

[‘yup i just did thanks for the help!’] – and then it ended with a series of happy emoji faces.

‘May I ask what game you and Laxus are playing?’

[‘we both have a crush on u freed if its not obvs enough’]

‘Um. Is that serious? I can’t tell.’

[‘oh its serious as fuck’]

‘Can we cancel that or something?’

[‘too late sweetcakes’]


An hour or so later, as Freed got back to his bedroom from a short trip to the kitchen to fetch some snacks, he heard a short tapping sound from his window. He turned to look at it curiously, seeing nothing out of the ordinary… until a pebble hit the glass again. Not enough to break it, but it was loud and noticeable enough.

“I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” he mumbled to himself as he stepped forward.

He waited for another pebble to hit the window again before throwing it open and looking out into the street for whoever the hell was making such a racket.

Laxus was standing by the sidewalk, and upon seeing Freed spot him, he dropped the rest of the pebbles from his hand. “Yo.” he said, not quite a shout, but loud enough for Freed to hear him clearly. “I’m coming up there.” Laxus announced, and then he stepped forward and proceeded to actually. Climb up. The side of the Justine’s house, using a pipe, bricks and window frames as hand and foot holds.

“Laxus! What are you doing?! Stop that, you’re gonna hurt yourself!”

But Laxus was already at his bedroom window before Freed could talk some sense into him.

“What on earth are you doing here?” Freed scolded, eyes narrowed at the blonde who propped himself up on his window ledge.

“Dad came home and fought with gramps and he’s gone now, but gramps is grumpy. I don’t wanna deal with that shit right now.”

“That doesn’t explain why you’re here.”

Laxus snorted. “Because nowadays my head’s just alternating between thinking about my shitty family situation, and thinking about you. I thought I’d drop by and hang out. You said you’re always alone in here.”

“I’m not. There are two maids downstairs.”

“They don’t count if you hardly even talk to them. But if you really don’t want me here, just push me off this window right now. No hard feelings, and I’ll survive.” Laxus said bluntly, then as an afterthough, he added, “Mostly.”

“No hard feelings?” Freed raised an eyebrow. “You swear?”

“I swear on my pet duck.”

“It’s not that I don’t want to hang out with you. You’re… nice to me. Which I appreciate.” Freed looked down, frowning. “It’s just… I don’t like surprises much, Laxus.”

“Hey, it’s fine.” Laxus said, reaching out to give the green-haired teen a soft pat on his shoulder. “Next time I’ll let ‘ya know. You can consult your schedule or whatever it is you do. Now I’ll leave. Just, uh, lemme get into a good position for climbing down-”

But before Laxus could fully turn and start his trip down the wall again, Freed grabbed his sleeve.

“No, stay.” he said softly, then stepped back to let Laxus in through his window. “You’re right. I’m always alone in here. But yes, next time, you tell me if you’re coming over.”

Laxus didn’t say anything as he stepped inside the other teen’s bedroom. He whistled appreciatively after a quick look around. “Nice digs.”

“It’s not anything special-”

“Hey, that’s Sonic, right?” Laxus was already making his way across the room to check on the hedgehog cage. He poked the little creature and it grabbed at his finger enthusiastically. Laxus chuckled. “See, I was right, he’s a fun little dude.”

“He’s friendly.” Freed said, sitting down on his bed and picking up his book and flipping it open again.

Laxus took one of the small stuffed animals lying around on the cage and handed it to Sonic, who proceeded to cuddle it. He grinned, then turned towards Freed. His expression turned to that of exasperation. “Are you actually still studying on a Sunday?”

Freed pouted at him. “I’m reading a novel.”

“Huh.” at this, the blonde decided he’d join Freed on the bed. Freed moved to the center of the bed, leaning his back against the headboard, while Laxus lazily lounged on the mattress beside him. Laxus crossed his arms behind his head and stared at the ceiling as he asked, “What’s it about?”

“It’s fiction, about a swordsman and a scholar, and they get up to… shenanigans. Lots of swordfighting and things in it.”

“Hmm…” Laxus considered that. “Is it good?”

“So far.”

“Nice.” Laxus mumbled. He was quiet for a while before speaking up again. “I know I’m bothering you, but I’m just curious…”


“This is really how you spend your weekends?”

Freed took his time before putting his book down and answering. “It’s not as bad as it looks.”

“I know. Being alone is fun. Reading is fun. I like being alone and reading. Quiet time is good. But all weekend? Every weekend?”

“Most.” Freed corrected glumly. “Most weekends. Sometimes there are… events. And I don’t just read. I watch TV too.”

“What time do your parents get home?”

“Late.” came the soft answer. “They come home late and tired and I can understand that. That’s what their jobs demand. I try to be there for them, but… sometimes, no-… most of the time now, it feels like they don’t want me to be. Like I shouldn’t try, like somehow that makes them more… tired.”

Laxus didn’t speak, or move, or look at his companion.

“Do you ever feel like that?” Freed asked him. “Like you’re extra weight, a liability?”

Slowly, Laxus nodded. He kept silent as he held his hand out to his companion. Freed stared at it for a while, then looked at Laxus. The blonde shrugged. “You look like you need it.”

With a sigh, Freed bit his lip and reached out to place his hand on Laxus’s, and they twined their fingers together. “Thanks, I guess.”

It was comforting, in a way. When was the last time he held someone’s hand? Laxus’s hand was bigger than his, and the blonde’s grip was strong. It made Freed feel more secure, more grounded… less likely to cry.

Laxus hummed his reply, looking interestedly at the stars and planets on Freed’s bedroom ceiling.

Freed looked at the book in his lap, considered, and then set it aside. He shifted to lie on the bed beside his companion. “So how did you find Raijin? You didn’t finish the story yesterday.”

At this, the blonde smirked, then cleared his throat. “Alright. You ready for this?”


Freed didn’t remember falling asleep.

He didn’t remember turning to his side, laying his head on Laxus’s shoulder, or snuggling comfortably against the guy.

But he somehow woke up in that position, and he instantly sat up in surprise at the realization. Laxus groaned, frowning in his sleep. But he didn’t wake up, and instead burrowed his face on one of Freed’s fluffy pillows. Strangely enough, it reminded Freed of his pet hedgehog.

Freed rubbed his eyes warily. What time is it? He checked the alarm clock on the bedside table and sighed. It was 5:30 PM. He slept for… what, two hours? He wondered how long Laxus had been sleeping-… God, which of them fell asleep first? Freed couldn’t remember…

He ought to wake Laxus up. His grandfather might be looking for him. But the blonde looked so comfortable, sleeping in Freed’s bed. Then Freed frowned. Was this even appropriate? Yes, they didn’t do anything besides literally doze off in one bed, but his parents… hell, the maids didn’t even know he had someone over-

Would they care, though? Freed wasn’t so sure about that now. He closed his eyes and laid back down on the bed. He looked at Laxus, still sleeping peacefully beside him, and then he took the blonde’s arm and draped it over himself as he snuggled against his companion again. Freed buried his head against Laxus’s chest and clung to his shirt.

It’s nice to be this close to someone once in a while.

But after only a few minutes of peace, Laxus woke up, lifting his head from the pillow and looking around. He looked down to see the top of Freed’s head and blinked blearily. “Shit, what time is it?” he whispered.

“Almost six.” Freed mumbled against his shirt.

Laxus looked at him, surprised that he was awake. His brows furrowed as he ran a hand through long green hair. “Hey, what’s wrong?”

Freed shook his head. “Nothing.” He didn’t look up or draw away.

“Right. And I’m not blonde.” Laxus snorted, but even as he sounded unimpressed, he wrapped his arms around the other teen, holding Freed snugly against him.

“I just… I don’t know, I…” Freed was mumbling against Laxus’ shirt. “Sorry, it’s just-… it felt… I was cold.”

Laxus stifled his chuckle. “Mm-hm. Just say you need hugs. It’s okay.”

Freed looked up at him, glaring slightly. “It’s just this once.”

“Sure, sure.” Laxus sniggered, his expression amused and teasing. “Do you need kisses too?”

“Why do you ask? So you can win whatever bet you have with Mira?”

Laxus blinked. He didn’t expect that reaction. “What?”

Freed looked away this time. “That’s the only reason I can think of, why you two are so eager about… me.”

Laxus loosened his hug. “…You think Mira and I have a bet on who could kiss you first?”

“Something like that.” Freed said, brushing the blonde’s arms off him as he sat up. “I mean, I show up to give you two exercises during detention and then somehow, in just a few days, both of you are flirting with me.”

“Because we like you, duh?” Laxus also sat up. “Am I gonna spell it out for you?”

“Try me.” Freed challenged.

Laxus scratched his head. “You’re good-looking, smart, honest, and not stuck-up. And you’re pretty chill. I think those are good enough reasons to like you, so… I figured… I’d hang out and… y’know.”

Freed frowned. “What about Mira?”

“I dunno, she likes you too, probably. If she’s just bein’ competitive, that’s her deal, not mine. Anyway, I don’t think her girlfriend would mind if she wants to fool around with other people-”

“Mira has a girlfriend?” Freed blinked. That was new information.

“Yeah, it’s a long distance thing, and open. Least as I remember her saying one time. Pretty brunette she met in a foster home from next town over.” Laxus answered dismissively. “But the thing is, she likes you enough to hang out with you. We both do. You’re pretty cool.”

“I’m not.” Freed grumbled.

“You have a pet hedgehog. You’re cool.” Laxus argued. “Wait, is that why you kept turning us both down? ‘Cause you think we’re playin’ with you?”

“I was SURE you were playing with me.” Freed still looked hesitant. “There’s no bet? No game? Between you two?”

“We have stupid bets on what team would win a game, or if some idiot can score points, but I don’t like bets that mean I’ll bully some decent person into making out with me. People who do those things are scum.”

Freed looked at him, searching, and when Laxus held his stare for a good amount of time, he gave up, sighing. “Okay.”

“Okay?” Laxus asked. “What d’you mean? You’re okay? I’m okay? What kinda vague answer is that?”

Freed looked away and hugged his knees to his chest. “We’re okay.”

“So…” Laxus started, leaning back on the pillows again. Damn, Freed has nice pillows. “You’re fine with me hanging out with you.”

Freed shrugged and didn’t look at him. “It’s a welcome change, I guess. I never hang out with anyone. But I bet you’ll find me boring real soon.”

The blonde snorted. “We’ll see. I’m pretty boring too.”

“You’re not boring.” Freed pouted. “You and Mira. You say what you want to say. You do… stuff. Hang out with everyone and go to parties and make out with whoever you want.”

“It gets pretty boring too.”

“Still not as boring as Goody-Two-Shoes Justine, I wager.” Freed scoffed.

“Hell, no.” Laxus laughed. “You’re not a goody-two-shoes. Believe me. If you were a goody-two-shoes, you would have broken down. Crying. On day one when I started trashing you.”

Freed found himself laughing too. “I guess that’s correct.”

“You’re meaner than you look.”

“Damn right I am.”

Laxus laughed again. “‘Damn’? That’s the best you got?”

Freed sent him a daring smile. He finally loosened up from his little ball of misery, and leaned back against the pillows beside Laxus, their shoulders touching.

They were quiet for a while before Freed breathed deeply and started to talk. “Um… I’ve never kissed anyone before. That’s why I didn’t want to kiss you based on your test scores.”

Laxus tilted his head to look at his companion. “Really?” Freed nodded. “Are you one of those people who think the first should be with someone special or something?”

“Not really. It’s… I just didn’t have… anyone. It never came up, before.”

Laxus paused to think about how he should approach the topic. Was it an invitation? He didn’t know. And he didn’t really want to think too much about it. He should just say the first thing- wait, no. The first thing that came to mind was ‘Let me kiss you then.’ That seemed to be doomed to fail. So he went with the second: “You wanna… uh… try?”

Another nod, and Freed looked back at him with a straight face. “You’ve kissed a lot of people before.”

“M’sure it’s actually less than you think.”

“How do you do it?”

“Do what? Kiss?”

“No. How do you decide that you want to kiss someone, or that you’re going to do it, and why?”

“That sounds like an essay question.” Laxus said, holding back a laugh. “And you know how much I suck at essays.”

“Your essay was good.”

“Fine. But I hate essays.” he groaned. “Can you give me a simpler question?”

Freed thought about it. “What will happen if I let you kiss me?”

“Well, I’ll do it. Gladly.”

“…and then? Do we have to date, after?”

Laxus sighed. “You really like being safe and sure ’bout your shit, do you?”

“I like always knowing what I’m getting myself into.”

“How about this?” Laxus started, turning over to hover above his companion and stare down at Freed. “It’s an experiment, this time. You helped me with my make-up tests, so I’m returning the favor by… err… going through this… experience…? With you? No attachments afterwards.”

Freed didn’t ask him to keep his word. Freed somehow knew that Laxus always did.

“Okay.” Freed breathed deeply, bracing himself. “That sounds fair.”

“Just don’t think too hard about it.” Laxus advised, and before Freed could change his mind, they were already kissing.

Freed closed his eyes and let Laxus lead, content to lie back against the soft pillows and sheets with Laxus above him. They shared several slow, deliberate kisses, Laxus letting Freed get the hang of it. When they parted, Laxus looked into Freed’s eyes for permission to continue. Freed blinked up at him expectantly – a yes, if Laxus ever saw one – so he moved to wrap an arm around the other teen’s waist and pull him closer. Freed let out a small moan when he felt their bodies pressed together, and his hands flew up to cling to Laxus’ shirt as they started kissing again, this time quicker, more intent on knowing more about each other.

Laxus moved his hand from Freed’s waist to gently feel his sides and his back, fingers carding messily through long green hair before his hand crept back down, resting back on Freed’s hips for a second. Then he reached up again, this time feeling the skin under Freed’s shirt.

But then Freed pushed them apart in alarm. He whispered breathlessly, voice and eyes slightly panicked as his hand flew to grip Laxus’ wrist. “Laxus-… Wait, don’t- I don’t want-”

“Sorry, sorry.” Laxus said quickly as he withdrew his roaming hand from his companion’s back, and moved it instead to cup Freed’s chin in a gesture of reassurance. He let out a slow breath, their foreheads touching. “I got caught up- I won’t do it if you don’t want me to. Don’t worry.”

Freed looked back at him gratefully, letting go of Laxus’ wrist. He rested his hands on the blonde’s chest instead, and stared at them.

“Do you want to stop? Just say it. We’ll stop.” Laxus asked, his voice softer than Freed had ever heard before. He didn’t sound upset, simply curious, and slightly concerned.

“I just realized.” Freed started, smiling a crooked little smile. “You should have worn the purple shirt.”

Laxus stared at him for a full second, then tucked his head on Freed’s shoulder as he laughed. “What the hell.”

Freed chuckled. “Thanks for the… uh… experience.”

“Now that’s just weird.” Laxus leaned back again to look at the other teen’s face. “Let me give you a tip: Nobody says ‘thanks for kissing me’ after kissing someone. So? What d’you think?”

“It’s nice.” Freed said with a small smile. “I think we should continue.”

“Good answer.”

This time, Freed was the one who leaned in, and Laxus was only too pleased to melt against him. Freed let his hands wander from Laxus’ chest, to the blonde’s shoulders, his face, and his hair. Laxus kept one hand on Freed’s waist, the other gently caressing his cheek.

He withdrew for a bit to grin a satisfied grin at Freed’s flushed face. “Damn, you’re pretty.”

“Thanks…?” Freed blinked. “What is it?”

“Nothing, just…” his hand trailed from the blushing cheek down to Freed’s neck. His fingers moved to brush strands of green hair away. “I kinda wanna leave something here. If you’re okay with that.”

Freed looked back up at him, about to say ‘no’, knowing Laxus would respect that. But then again, they were already past their planned simple kiss…

Freed turned away shyly. “Just one.” he said.

“You don’t look sure.” Laxus frowned.

“Do it.” Freed said, this time, more firm. “Just make sure it’ll be easy to hide.”

Laxus smirked. “Got it.” he said. Freed held back a shiver when he felt warm lips against his neck. He closed his eyes, bit his lip and tugged lightly on blonde hair as Laxus trailed butterfly kisses down to his shoulder-

Then they were interrupted by the sound of a particularly loud engine from outside the house, followed by very loud honking. They thought it would fade right away, but the honking got insistent, enough to wake the whole neighborhood.

Finally they gave up and broke away from each other. “The fuck is that racket?” Laxus grumbled, while Freed sat up, frowning. “Does that always happen ’round here?”

“No.” Freed said, straightening his shirt and hopping off his bed. Laxus followed warily and they both headed to look out the window.

On the road was a noisy, beat-up, dark red classic pick-up truck. There was nothing on the back of the truck, but there was a very familiar person on the driver’s seat.

Mira squinted at them before grinning widely and shouting. “GET IN, LOSERS! WE’RE GOING STARGAZING!”

“What.” was all Freed was able to say.

Laxus was more expressive. “What the fuck?” he whispered, and then seemed to snap out of it right away when he shouted back. “IS THAT YOUR TRUCK?!”

“NO!” Mira looked very proud of herself. “I STOLE IT!”

“You what?!” Freed looked scandalized.



That sounds right on her brand, alright. Mirajane Strauss, Miss Steal-Your-Truck.

This time Mira waved at them impatiently. “Come with me if you wanna be awesome!”

“I know we were in the middle of a… something.” Laxus said, looking at Freed. “But it’s a truck, Freed. You want to ride on a truck. Admit it.”

“It does sound tempting.” Freed agreed.

“What’re we waiting for?” Laxus asked, already beginning to climb out via the window.

Freed quickly grabbed his arm. “Oh no, you don’t. We’re using the front door. Like sane people do. Wait, I’m not dressed.”

“Freed, you’re wearing a shirt, and pants. You’re dressed. Just put on some shoes.”

Freed looked down at himself… then realized that Laxus was right, he was dressed decently enough… Besides, Mira might throw a tantrum if they make her wait too long. “Let me grab my things.”

He grabbed his favorite red jacket, his phone, his wallet, and a pair of comfortable shoes. He was heading for the bedroom door when Laxus reached out and held on to his wrist. “Wait, Freed-”

He turned around to face the taller teen. “Yes? What-” Freed got cut off when Laxus leaned down to kiss his lips. Freed returned it despite his initial surprise, and only blinked up curiously when Laxus withdrew. “What was that about?”

“A good concluding paragraph.” was all Laxus said, before taking Freed by the shoulders, turning him around and nudging him towards the door. “Now let’s go, or Strauss will start making a racket again.”

Freed said nothing as he led Laxus out the bedroom, down the staircase, and towards the house’s front door.

Just before they could leave the house, they were stopped when some called after Freed.

“Young master, are you leaving?” the housemaid asked, clearly surprised. “Dinner’s almost ready and- Oh, we didn’t know you had a guest!”

Freed swallowed nervously before answering. “Um… I’m going out. I’ll… eat out, too. Sorry I forgot to tell you.”

“V-Very well…” the maid replied, looking faint. She eyed both teens warily. “What should I tell your parents, when they ask? Do they know about your… plans?”

Laxus spoke up, casually draping an arm around Freed’s shoulders. “You tell Mr. and Mrs. Justine that Freed went to eat dinner and hang out with his friends.”

Before the maid could say any further, the boys were out the door.

Technically, there should only be two people in the front of the truck. The driver, and the passenger. But Freed and Laxus somehow managed to squeeze in together in the passenger seat of Mira’s marvelous stolen truck. They had to thank the seat for being bigger than normal ones.

“How did you find my house?” was the first thing Freed asked as Mira began driving.

“Are you kidding me?” Mira looked at him pointedly. “I just had to ask around where the Justines live, and everyone knows you.”

“Yeah, that’s how I found ‘ya too.” Laxus said.

“So… what are we doing again?” Freed continued with his inquiries.

“Toldja. Stargazing.” Mira answered, grinning.


“Because the stars should be lovely tonight! You’ll see! I got some cheap ol’ telescope from the garage and cleaned it up.” the girl said excitedly, then seemed to remember something she missed. “Or maybe it was ’cause some bastard – I’m not naming names – but Dreyar sent me a pic of your sleeping face earlier and I just thought… dang, they’re having a good time. I gotta finish my chores and maybe cockblock.”

Freed glared at Laxus. “You took a photo of me sleeping?”

“Your sleeping face was adorable.” Laxus said unapologetically. “I thought I’d lord it over Angelface here that I saw it in person.”

Freed looked at him in resignation.

Mira continued. “He also told me something like… ‘Hey, Freed’s upset. Send him a stupid joke or something.’ Hah! So lame! He doesn’t even know how to cheer you up, like, does he even try? He’s so baaaad at this-” she clicked her tongue, about to go on ranting about Laxus’s incompetence but it made her pause and blink when she glanced at them and caught them sharing a look. “Something’s up.”

“What?” Freed turned to look at her. He was too distracted to mind when Laxus snuck an arm around him and began whistling some kind of cheerful tune. They were already sharing a seat anyway, and he felt warm and snug pressed up against the guy. It was more comfortable than the stuffy halfway-broken seatbelt that they both gave up trying to understand after the first minute.

“Did you two hook up?” Mira asked, her expression that of terror.

“No!” Freed exclaimed all-too quickly and half-heartedly smacked Laxus’s arm when the blonde began laughing. “I mean, not really-” then he gave up and sighed. “A bit.”

Mira shook her head, but kept her eyes on the road. “Freed, your choices are very questionable. We talked about this. There’s a lot of decent people out there you could be letting into your bed and kissing and having sex with. Dreyar is not one of them.”

“It’s one time.” Freed pouted. “Don’t judge me.”

“Ah, he sucks in bed, does he?” Mira sniggered. “I knew it, he’s all talk.”

“Hey, I’m right here. And since when did you two start hanging out?” Laxus asked.

“Whenever you’re not looking.” Mira shot back with a frown. “But I see you’re using the same strategy.”

“Well, if it’s any comfort, we didn’t get that far because SOMEONE interrupted.”

“We weren’t planning to go that far.” Freed added sharply.

Laxus nodded. “Yeah, we’re taking it slow-”

Freed raised an eyebrow. “We were taking it somewhere?”

The blonde made a face. “Now, don’t say that…”

“Laxus, your puppy face is so weird. I swear. Just don’t do it.”

Mira whistled. “Destroy him, babe. I support you.” Then she reached over to turn the car stereo on. “Anyway, I’ll just pretend I didn’t hear all that. Let’s play some music in this ugly truck.”

They found a radio station that was playing loud rock music, and Mira turned the volume up with a satisfied grin.

Freed shook his head as Laxus started head-banging and Mira sang along loudly to the music. He mumbled, “I’m in so much trouble.”

“What d’you say?!” Mira asked, loud enough to be heard over the music.

Freed also had to shout to make himself heard. “I SAID I’M IN SO MUCH TROUBLE!”

They both laughed, and despite himself, Freed laughed with them. He didn’t resist when Mira reached out to ruffle his hair.

“Don’t worry, Justine! We gotcha!” she said, beaming and shoving a confident thumbs up to his face.

He rolled his eyes but let out an amused smile. He leaned back against Laxus, who had rolled the windows down and was enjoying the breeze against his face.

Mira started singing again. This time, Freed joined in.


Chapter Notes:

Between the three of them, no one remembered that they actually have NO IDEA on how to operate a telescope.

Oh well, the stars were still beautiful.

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