Here you go ~ <3
Streams of light trickled out beneath surrounding doors, illuminating the stretch of hallway leading to the laundry room. Juvia followed the dimly lit path, squinting against the shadows. Stretching both arms over her head, she kept her sights on the last door on the right, releasing a yawn over the gentle hum of running machines. Doing laundry at two in the morning was never her intention, but the walk back had seen to it that the poor girl was drenched from head to toe.
"Time to see how Juvia’s laundry is do… ing…"
Stopping dead in the entrance, heat crawled beneath Juvia’s skin, tinting her pale cheeks a brilliant shade of red. Knelt before a machine was a half-naked young man, dark hair flattened by the rain. Beads of water travelled the contour of his spine and climbed the swells of his muscles. Each breath made them dip and swerve across his skin. Pressing the tips of her fingers to her lips, Juvia watched in silence as he shoved his drenched shirt into the dryer, followed shortly by his pants. And then his eyes moved towards the entrance of the room, settling on her reddened features.
He flew into an upright position, droplets of water spraying from his hair. Every instinct in Juvia’s body told her to look away, but she couldn’t bring herself to do it. Her eyes unconsciously roamed his face, taking in his handsome features. A hot need rushed through her, a feeling unlike anything she’d ever seen. His eyes, like dark caverns, seemed endless in existence, cold. She wanted to travel their depths, to reach the warmth she knew existed within.
"Sorry," he said in a quiet voice, rubbing at the back of his neck. "I wasn’t expecting to see anybody here at this time of night."
She realised then that the dryer she’d been using had stopped. Of course he wouldn’t expect anyone else to appear, had her machine been running his intentions might have changed. Clearing her throat, Juvia glanced over the many machines before stepping by him to reach hers.
"We’re the same," she started, crouching to inspect the contents of the dryer, "We both went out in the rain."
She could feel his eyes on her when she opened the dryer door. Retrieving her clothes from the inside, Juvia then stood to her full height, beginning the process of folding each item on top of the dryer. He moved to stand beside her, the tips of his fingers drumming against the surface of his machine. The sound rattled through the room.
"You got caught in it too, huh? These constant downpours are becoming a downer."
She paused for a moment, setting her clothes on top of the dryer. He seemed to notice, turning half-way to meet her before propping an elbow up on the machine.
"The rain has a way of following Juvia wherever she goes. It can be a burden and most of the time Juvia hates it. But today… today Juvia was able to meet someone interesting."
He laughed at that. The sound was deep and hearty. Somehow, it didn’t suit his hard expression. It wasn’t until their eyes met that she realised her heart was pounding.
"You’re pretty interesting yourself, Juvia."
"That isn’t fair," she resumed folding her clothes, keeping her gaze low, "Juvia doesn’t know your name."
"Gray," she repeated, heat embracing her skin. "Somehow, it suits you."
He laughed again. “My old man would be glad to hear that.”
The tone in his voice had changed. It seemed a little sad. She had to change the subject somehow.
"You should dry off. You’ll catch a cold if you don’t. Here, Juvia has a towel you can use."
He seemed a little reluctant, but eventually took the towel she held out to him. He began to shake the water from his hair, giving Juvia yet another opportunity to admire his physique. His eyes flit to hers and she bit her lip. For just a moment, how she’d love to be that towel. The thoughts came all too quickly, making her stomach flutter.
"Ah, I should dry it before giving it back to you. How about tomorrow, are you free?"
"Yes!" A pause. "Um, yes, Juvia is free tomorrow."
He grinned. “Tomorrow, then.”
Perhaps the rain wasn’t so bad after all.