I’m thiiiis close to just throwing them all in a cuddle pile, okay.
A continuation of ‘Free Ticket’, or what happens when Gray gets home from the art show.
Gray and Laki got back in Magnolia quite late that night, but the lights at the Olietta’s were still on when he walked her home. She thanked him with a grateful hug and a kiss on his cheek, telling him she enjoyed the day immensely. Gray returned the hug and smiled back and watched her enter the house before making his own way home.
When he got to the flat, he raised an eyebrow to find that Cana was not alone.
Cana was very far from alone.
Natsu was on the couch, sandwiched very cozily between Lucy and Erza, the girls’ heads tucked in either of his shoulders as they ate from the bowl of popcorn on the guy’s lap. Sitting on the floor, Jet and Droy had Levy between them as usual, and she had Lily in her arms. Gajeel and Juvia were sitting beside the three. Juvia was eating popcorn, curled up against Gajeel’s side. Max and Warren had claimed the bean bags and they had their own snacks. Alzack and Bisca were wrapped around each other as usual, on a pile of throw pillows. Mira, to his surprise, was there too, sitting in the loveseat, beer on hand and Happy on her lap while Cana sat on the floor by her feet, leaning comfortably against Mira’s legs, her head perched on the other woman’s knees. And was that Bixlow with his head on Cana’s lap?
They were watching-… birds? A blue bird. Talking. With a small red one and a smaller yellow one and— Wait, the birds started singing. Okay. What the hell.
When they saw him, they all greeted him cheerfully, but kept their eyes on the movie.
“Movie night?” he asked.
“Yep.” Cana answered.
He took his jacket off and along with the paperbag of his purchases from the show, left it in the dining table before he joined the others. He dropped himself beside Juvia and yawned before relaxing. He ended up leaning his back against Erza’s legs.
“Did you guys have fun?” Erza asked.
“Yup. I just walked Laki home. She’s pretty cheery.” he replied, closing his eyes when the red-head’s fingers stroked his hair. Juvia transferred herself from leaning against Gajeel to hugging Gray. He absently wrapped an arm around her, pulling her close.
She didn’t say anything, absorbed in the colorful song number in the movie, but from the smile on her face, he knew she was glad he was home.
“Mira, you closed up early?” he asked the woman who sat nearby.
Mira grinned at him and in a conspiratory whisper, said, “I’m letting Elf and Ever have the place to themselves. I think you know why.”
“Ah.” he nodded, then looked at the other unexpected (well, more unexpected than the others) guest. “…and Bixlow?”
“It’s date night you know. Ever and Elf. Mama and Papa.” the drummer said, momentarily pausing in singing along with the movie. “Meanwhile. I’m Single and Ready For Lots Of Pringles.”
True, he was on his third pack of Pringles.
“Pringles with Friends.” Cana reminded the guy.
“Pringles with Friends.” Bixlow agreed, raising the pack of Pringles so the brunette could take a piece.
Gray just shook his head, not bothering to ask whatever odd explanations the others had for being there. His friends were weird but they were never not welcome in the flat.
“Who picked this movie?” he asked out loud, out of pure curiosity. The movie was a nice one, he can see that.
Almost everyone answered, “Juvia did.”
He noted the aforementioned culprit giggling beside him and frowned. “You’re all just saying that so I won’t talk shit.” — which was true, he knew. If Juvia picked, they would be watching Frozen. Again.
“Rio is good! I love the bulldog. He’s fun.” Natsu protested. Figures.
“I didn’t say it’s bad.” Gray argued.
“You two shut up or we’re all throwing you out.” Erza said sternly.
One of these days… I’ll lose all self-control… and these kids will end up in the fluffiest tooth-rotting cuddle pile ever.