It had been two months, two months since he started ignoring her. No matter what she did, he didn't talk to her, he wouldn't even look in her direction.
It started at the Grand Magic Fight Battle...He was a member of the B-team, she had returned from her job as soon as possible, so that she could cheer him on. Even though they hadn't talked about what happened at Tenrou Island, she thought he'd at least appreciate her cheering.
He didn't. It would've been impossible to not have heard her cries, to not have seen her waving, to not have noticed her following him around in the town...She so desperately wanted to interact with him, and thank him, for his effort at Tenrou Island.
But he acted as if she wasn't there, as if she didn't exist. She was really confused, and kept assuring herself that he was just trying to concentrate on the tournament, that he just didn't have time for her.
It didn't matter what she made herself believe, she would always feel miserable in the end.
Once the tournament was over, she'd expect him to start talking again. Unfortunately, that was not the case...On the contrary, he seemed to have completely dissapeared from her sight.
She'd often ask Mirajane or Rufus if they saw him recently, mostly they would answer that they saw him a little while before, that he went on another job, went training with Lily or was in town fighting Natsu again. But she never spotted him, even when she sat at the bar waiting for him to pass by, he just wouldn't come. She didn't know why, but not seeing him was tearing her apart...
How did she grow so attached to him? He tortured her and her teammates, he destroyed the guild and he almost killed Lucy...Unforgivable...Yet he did try to be aknowledged as a comrade, he took Laxus' blow for her, he saved her from Grimoire Heart, he put his life on the line for her...Or was that all just to make up for what he had done to her?
She didn't know, the questions kept repeating themselves in her head, but she couldn't find an answer. She often cried at night, and sometimes screamed his name, wishing for a miracle. 'Gajeel!! Gajeel!!' the sound of a miserable girl...In love? The thought of her liking him in such a way...it made her feel even worse, because she knew he'd never like her back...
The next day she would ask Mirajane again, even though she was sure it would just lead to nothing as usual. She walked to the bar and settled upon a chair, just taking a seat was so hard. She felt as if her body weighted ten tons... Mirajane was doing the same as always, cleaning glasses.
"M-Mirajane..." Levy said, she was so afraid to hear the same answer again, that her voice shivered like she had a terrible cold. "Have y-you seen G...G-Gajeel to-today?"
"hmm...Gajeel you say?" She answered, not even noticing the change in Levy's way of speaking. "Not today, but yesterday he did say he'd come here around noon." "Oh..." A different answer than what she expected, but still a dissapointment. She decited to wait at the bar until noon. The bookwurm took a book out of her bag, and started reading. Ever since he dissapeared, the letters in the books always turned around to form his name. Reading became a real challange, but she was already used to it...Nothing could amuse her lately, but what else could she do, than try to decifre the words that were written down?
12 o' clock, noon, and as she had expected, no sign of Gajeel. Just when she was planning to put her book away and head home, something else caught her attention; "Levy-chan? Are you alright? Were you waiting for someone?" Mirajane asked. Her whole body started to shiver by the thought of calling his name again, she felt like an obsessed fangirl... "I-I was waiting for... for G-G-..." Fortunately Mirajane could guess the name "For Gajeel, right?" Levy refused to let any sound pass her lips and decited to just nod. "I thought so...Since you've been asking for him a lot recently..." a small silence occured in their conversation, then Mirajane continued "Do you, by any chanse...like him?" Having said that, she must've had a very intimidating expression on her face. But Levy couldn't tell, she held her head down, because she was certain that it turned red. She was too ashamed. "Was it that obvious?!" she thought by herself. Just when she opened her mouth to say something, Lucy came to sit by them. "Like who?!" she said very enthousiastic "Gajeel, isn't that cute!" Mirajane answered with a most adoring tone in her voice. The two went on a little like that "You're kidding?! Levy likes Gejeel?!" "I think so, don't you agree that that would be so sweet?" "Of course! They're perfect for each other!" "Oh, look! She's getting all red!" "It must be true then!" "so...is it true, Levy-chan?" Levy bit her lips for a while, then shouted "O-Of course not!!!!" both Mirajane and Lucy were surprised by her strong reaction "And why would you people even care?! Who I like is none of your business!!! just-, just-...just stop it!!" Of course she knew that they didn't mean it bad, they are her friends. But she was just too overwhelmed by the idea of other people thinking she liked him, while she wasn't even sure of it herself. "Levy-chan, we didn't mean to..." Mirajane said, trying to fix the atmosphere. But Levy was already leaving.
Lucy continued the conversation, but less hyperactive this time "so...do you still think she likes him?" "Of course, denying is just another way of agreeing!" the white haired lady said "but if it's true...how do you think Gajeel would react?" Lucy answered, she could only imagine him going all violent on her after she would confess, that though didn't comfort her. "to be honest, I think he would be very happy" "happy?!" "well, do you remember that we were all turned into Lacryma in Edolas?" Lucy nodded, beeing very curious to what Mirajane was about to tell her "after we had all returned, I overheard a conversation between Panterlily and Gajeel. Lily caught Gajeel staring at Levy and asked him if she was someone special. At first, " she said "he was a little offended because Panterlily noticed it, but then he told him that she was a sweet and intelligent girl, that could use amazing magic. Lily immediately suspected that Gajeel liked her, but he gave a reaction similar to Levy's reaction we just saw." "Oooh! Was he blushing too?!" Lucy responded "yes, he was! It was an adorable sight!" said Mirajane. The two gossiping girls continued their laughable conversation, until Gajeel walked in.
He was completely soaked and looked quite grim. While grumbling about his 'cat' beeing afraid of water and seriously slowing down their return to the guild, he settled himself at the bar and brutely asked Mirajane "Levy here?" Mirajane shook her head and looked at Lucy with a look that said 'I told you so!' "Good" he answered. Panter Lily tried to dry himself by shaking around and said to Gajeel "What do you mean 'good'?! You know you're never gonna get anywhere if you just keep avoiding her!" The two girls who were overhearing their conversation both giggled and got a nasty look from Gajeel in return. "I don't care what you say, baka neko! It's not like it matters anyway." Lily didn't seem to mind the insulting, but that is to be expected, if you hang around with him so long, you get used to that. "Of course it matters! You can't keep ignoring her, have you even thought of how she must feel because of this?" "How she feels?! She hates me! She--" he yelled, then he took a heavy breathe an whispered "she's scared of me..." After that, a long silence took place and Gajeel decited to leave. "Say, Panter Lily..." Lucy started, but she was cut of by Gajeel who yelled that Lily had to come along.
They started talking again once they were outside. Gajeel lowered his head and said "You don't know what I did to her, Lily...No matter how many times I save her, she could never forgive me..." "It can't have been thát bad, can it? Besides, she seems like a really forgiving person!" Panther Lily answered. "Yes it can, and it was. I even hurt her teammates, and they've made it clear enough that they haven't forgotten." "You mean Jet and Droy, the two who are always glaring at you?" "Yeah, those two" Gajeel answered, he had lifted his head again and was looking straight forward. He didn't like the idea of these two trying to protect Levy from him when he didn't even want to harm her.
Levy was walking around the town with no reason when she met Jet and Droy. They told her they were planning to go on a job again and asked if she'd come along to the guild tomorrow to see if there are any nice jobs. She agreed, she didn't have anything better to do anyway. Maybe this would help to get Gajeel out of her head for a while. Because no matter what, she couldn't talk to them about him, they still hated him and were jealous that he had been Levy's partner for the S-class Exam. Yes, this would be a good opportunity to become her old self again, a Levy without Gajeel, if it had to be that way, "maybe it's for the best..." she thought.
The same question was asked by Panterlily, Gajeel also agreed to go take a look. He saw it as a great way to get away from Levy a little longer. And since Lily was the one who suggested it, he wouldn't come complaining later. "Perfect plan!" he said to himself.
The next day Mirajane sees Gajeel and Lily standing in front of the board. She walks to them and tries to find out what job they want. "So" she said "wich one are you going to take?" "one that is far away, and will take a very long time to complete, ghihihi" Gajeel replied with a grin on his face. "Then I would suggest this one, isn't it something you would like?" she pointed to a paper that seemed to have hung on the board for ages, Lily read the instructions and seemed to like the idea. "They're looking for someone to take care of a group of criminals, it's on an island at the other side of Fiore!" "Alright! That should do it!" Gajeel shouted. Mirajane was a little confused, even though she overheared their conversation the day before, she didn't understand why he was so happy with such a job. The two of them left as soon as they had discussed the details. Because of their hurry, they didn't notice that the old paper fell out of Gajeels pocket.
Later that day, Levy comes to the guild and finds the paper Gajeel had left on the ground. She picked it up and was surprised by the long distance one had to travel to go on that job. Mirajane noticed her holding the paper and walked up to her, saying that Gajeel and Lily left on that job a while before. "WHAT?! They went on thís job?! Why this one?!" She screamed in disbelieve. "I don't know, but it seemed important to them to go on a job far away from here..." . She was planning to leave for a job now too, but Levy wasn't happy to hear that. It meant that they would stay away for a long time, and would still be gone when she returned. "Is...Is there a similar job on the board?" Levy asked "a similar distance, I mean" she corrected herself after noticing her question wasn't really accurate. "No we don't...But if you really want to go far away...Why don't you just go on this job too?" "What?!" Levy jumped up, the thought of her going on the same job with Gajeel made her feel wonderfull. "Is that possible?!" she asked "they didn't leave that long ago, so you might be able to catch up with them. By the way, it's quite a difficult job, so I think they'd be glad to have you help them!" right after Mirajane said that, Levy's head turned all red, she thought of what Mirajane and Lucy were saying the day before. Was it too obvious? She shook her head and decited it didn't matter, it was true, that's all there was to it. And she would try her hardest to be of a great help to Gajeel and Panther Lily! She gathered her most usefull books about several types of ancient languages and other script magic types, she put them in a big bag and ran to the station as fast as she could.
Levy would have to take 3 trains and one boat to get to the right island, maybe she could meet Gajeel in one of the trainstations! She didn't want to start hoping too soon, but she was looking forward to it so much! Once in the first train, her tummy started to turn around, she started worrying a little...Wouldn't Gajeel be offended by her coming after him? He ussualy goes on jobs alone with Panther Lily...And maybe he would think that she didn't believe he was strong enough to handle this job...What an idea, he was the one who saved her at the S-class exam! Thinking back of it...He told her to never leave her side, did he mean that only for during the time at Tenrou Island? Propably, because he had been avoiding her ever since... Levy was mumbling on about that during all her time on the first train. Then she decited she would just tell him Mirajane forced her to, he'd have to believe that! When stepping off the train, she looked around nervously, trying to spot Gajeel, but it was pointless. He wasn't there...She had to wait a whole hour for her next train, so Gajeel would be far too much ahead of her. She sat on a bench with her hand before her eyes, trying to hold in her tears, why did she start hoping?! She knew it wouldn't happen from the beginning...
Lily was breathing very heavingly, and his body swung carelessly through the sky. "Come on, Cat, I can already see the island!" Said Gajeel who was trying to encourage his 'pet'. "Have you put on weight, Gajeel? You seem to be a lot heavier than last time..." The exhausted exceed asked. "No I haven't!!!" Yelled Gajeel "It's just the distance, it's a lot further away you know!" They had been trainging for things like this, Gajeel wanted Lily to act as a viacle for him. Most distances were okay, but flying an Iron dragon all the way to the other side of Fiore...was a little too much for them. It became harder for him to breathe and his eyes felt very heavy, his grip on Gajeel weakened and he tried to warn him "Gajeel...I don't think I can keep u-..." He had used up all his energy, Lily let loose of Gajeel and they were falling down. With a loud splash they both ended up in the cold ocean water. "You idiot! Couldn't you warn me sooner?!" Gajeel growled before noticing his little friend was about to drown. He quickly stretched out his arm and held Panterlily above the water, his eyes were closed and his breathing was very weak. "Baka neko..." Gajeel said with a tone that was a lot softer than before. He laid Lily on his shoulders and started to swim to the shore.
In the meantime, Levy had already arrived at the island and was looking for the right village.
She was walking through a dark forest and the path she was following had dissapeared in the fallen leaves. She had no idea where she was going and started to get scared, she didn't tell Jet and Droy about this job, because they wouldn't like her beeing around Gajeel. This meant she was all alone, and her bag with books was already tearing at the edges. She had to find the village soon and desperately yelled in the hope that someone friendly would come to help her. "H-Hello?! Hellooooo?! Is anybody out there?!" She yelled. Someone indeed heared her, but it wasn't anyone friendly, and they weren't going to help her either. Judging from their looks she could tell they were a part of the criminal gang she was supposed to take care of. They were coming closer and closer, and were with about twenty people, some were holding rusty, sharp swords, others held crossbows, axes or daggers. She was slowly stepping backwards, and tripped over the root of a tree. She fell down and tumbled all the way down the hill. It was a rough ride and the branches made her bag rip open completely, leaving her books to fall out in the mud. "Nooo!! My precious books!!" The gang of poachers was quickly running down the hill, laughing at the little screams she made every time something poked in her back or arm. "KYAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!" Her final cry, she tumbled over the edge of a cliff and was about to fall into the sand of the island's deserted beach.
Or...Almost deserted beach, around two-hundred meters from where she ended up, were Gajeel and Panther Lily. They were laying in the sand with their legs still in the ocean water. "Gajeel!!! Gageel!!! Lily!! Heeeeeelp!!" Levy screamed, but they didn't seem to hear it. The poachers found another way to get down the cliff and also arrived at the beach. They didn't pay any attention to Gajeel or his little pet and ran towards Levy instead. Two rough guys made her sit on her knees and held her arms up, while the others stood around them as if they were about to strike. One of them stepped forward and took a very big, sharp axe from the guy behind him. It was a rough guy who was a lot bigger than the rest, he had very big muscles, like Gajeel, but he was a lot smaller. "Hello little lady" he grinned "What were you doing all alone in our forest? Hehehe, don't you know it's dangerous for girls like you to wander off alone?" Levy was scared but because of all the adrenaline through her vains she reacted very though "Of course I know! That's why I'm here! I'm a Fairy Tail mage and I'm gonna--!" Her loud voice that shivered at the end of every word was held still by the hand of the man with the axe. From the moment he heard the word 'mage' his face became very serious and he gripped Levy's neck "You? A mage, huh?! Well then I think it's best if we end this quickly, before anyone else gets involved, right guys?" He looked at his fellow bandids who seemed to understand what was about to happen. They all took a step backwards and were grinning with their nasty faces. Levy could guess what he meant with 'end this quickly', the rough guy released Levy from his grip so he could hold his axe with both hands. The two guys who held Levy put her hands on the ground and held her head down. The very same pose as the two guys from Grimoire Heart put her in at Tenrou Island. She saw the rough guy hold his axe in the air, ready to strike and decited to put her all into screaming again. "GAJEEEEEEEEL!!!!! PANTHER LILY!!!!! WAKE UUUUUUP!!!! GAJEEEEEEEEEL!!!!" still nothing. Some of the poachers looked behind them to Gajeel and Lily, who where still laying by the water, but they soon looked back in front of them. The axe went down at a high speed and Levy's cry was at least three times louder than before "KYAAAAAAAAA!!!!" she closed her eyes and bit her lip, she was ready for it, ready to die... "KLING" the loud sound of metal clashing made her open her eyes again. A tal, rough shaped person stood before her, and his long spicky hair made water drips fall upon her face. It was Gajeel. He had heard her last scream and came to her rescue, just like at Tenrou Island. "G...Gajeel!" she wispered, it sounded very desperate, but also happy. Without responding to her, he started to punch and kick every single one of them. He went really hard on the guy who had almost killed her, he used his dragon's roar and punched his face so many times that it became unrecognisable. It was as if he lost all control, the blood was floathing through the air and she could hear their cries of pain every time they got hit. It was a horrible sight, but she could see from the look in his eyes, that he was doing it for her, because of what they did to her. Her heart was filled with joy, and in less than five minutes, they were all lying on the sand, unable to move. Some of them might as well been dead already. After the last one was down, Gajeel turned around. His face was sweaty and he had blood all over him. "Gajeel..." Levy repeated softly. "Levy" he said "What the hell are you doing here?!" he sounded confused, tired and very frustrated for what had happened. Levy completely forgot about her reason to come there and answered with "I'll explain later...what happened to you and Panther Lily?". "He flew us all the way here, but a few miles before we reached the island he fell down. I swam here with him on my back, but as soon as I reached land, I lost consciousness" he explained, leaving Levy to say nothing but "oh..." . Gajeel reached out his hand to Levy so she could get up "you okay?" he asked, there was even a tiny bit of worry in his way of speaking. "Yeah...I'm not very hurt..." "Good, then we can head to the village straight away, Lily needs medical care as soon as possible" the iron dragon said. Levy took Panther Lily in her arms when they headed to the village, she was surprised to see that Gajeel had a map of the island so they could get there quickly.
They arrived after a half hour of walking and could let Lily rest in a little hut where some nurses would take care of him. Levy explained to Gajeel that Mirajane forced her to accompany him on this job. Of course he was really troubled by this, but tried not to show it. In a certain way, he was happy that she was with him, he was glad that he woke up in time to save her, and to just see her face again...Panterlily was right, he really liked her. He was just afraid to show it. The only thing he was and always will be afraid of, showing his feelings...And the fact that he tortured her and her teammates didn't make it any easier. Even though she said she forgave him, he couldn't believe it.
After a short silence Levy certainly remembered something "My books!" she yelled "My bag got ripped when I fell off the hill, all my books are spread in that forest!" "so what?" Gajeel said. "I have to get them back!" she replied. In a big hurry, she took her jacket and was ready to leave, Gajeel quickly grabbed her arm to stop her and said "You don't actually think I'm letting you go into that forest alone again, do you?!" Levy was a little surprised by his reaction, but her answer was simple "then come with me!". He couldn't resist and decited to come along since it would take a while for Lily to recover, they could take their time for it. The two of them spent a few hours looking for the books. Gajeel didn't like it at all, books were not really his thing, but Levy was glad to have her books back. She was also really happy because she could be with Gajeel again, even though they had been apart for so long, it was as if nothing had changed, as if they were at Tenrou Island again, and she wasn't allowed to leave his side. It felt great.
"How many books did you take with you?!" Gajeel shouted from a distance while Levy was trying to reach a book that had slipped away through the mud and was about to fall off off a cliff. She was holding a root to not slip away herself, she stretched out her arm and resonded to Gajeel "gnn...I've got...gnnn... four...fourteen books...gnn...GOT IT!" she proudly swung the book above her head, to show Gajeel that she found another book, since he propably didn't hear her response. "Oh great..." said Gajeel "Can't we just head back to the village and leave the rest here?" he was tired of looking for them, they were already so useless, and now he was putting so much time in finding these damned things. "What did you say??!!" Levy yelled "These books are really important!" This ruined her mood, she carried these books all the way here, so that she'd surely be of a help to him, and he just keeps complaining about having to find them!
"We've got nine, that's almost everything, so the other books don't really matter, right?" He kept trying to convince her, but she wouldn't give up either "If we almost have them all, then we can better just keep looking!!" "Come on, Levy! They're just books!" "JUST books??!" she screamed "well, just so you know, these books happen to be the source of my magic!" "So what? You need them or you can't use magic or what?!" As they kept getting onto each others nerves, this turned into a real argument "Of course I can still use magic!!" "Then the books don't matter! Come on, I'm heading back to the village and you better come with me!" he turned around, ready to leave "No I won't come with you!These books are important to me and I'm not leaving without them!" "Yeah, sure, whatever" he already started climbing back up the hill, in the direction of the village "Of course, you'd rather kick some bandid-butt over there, is that it?!" she yelled at him, he answered without turning his head around "Yeah, that's it, that's what I came here for!" Levy was turning all red again, but he couldn't see anyway "You really are an idiot! Stupid Gajeel!!" He didn't respond and kept walking away.
Levy sat down on a rock and was having tears in her eyes again. She was finally with him again, so why did they have to start arguing again? Why couldn't he understand the value of these books? "Why Gajeel...Why?" She whispered. It was almost completely silent, she started crying and just hoped that she wouldn't be seen by anyone of the criminal gang. After a little while she stopped crying, Gajeel was out of the sight, propably for a while already. So she decited to look for the last five books and also return to the village. Then she could try to make up with Gajeel, although she had no idea how she was going to do that...
When Gajeel arrived back at the village, Panther Lily was already back on his feet. "Gajeel! You're back!" he shouted, then saw what he was carrying and asked "Where did you get all these books from?" Gajeel explained that Levy was there too and that the books are hers. "Really? Levy-chan is here?! So where is she?" he was very enthousiastic because he was sure something romantic would hapen between these two. "She's still there" he growled, he didn't want to explain it "but you just said that you came along with her because it was too dangerous to go alone!" "yeah, that's true" "then why on earth are you leaving her there??!" "we got into an argument..." Lily's face was suddenly not so happy anymore "oh...do you think she will get back safely?" "no, I doubt it" he said emotionlessly "shouldn't we go look for her then?!" Lily said "of course not! It was her choise to stay so she should take responsability for getting back!" he yelled, but it was very clear that he meant he just didn't want to give in and say he should've stayed. "what are you going to do now?" his little pet asked. Gajeel answered "find some of these poachers and beat them to a pulp so they'll tell me where their base is" then he signed Panterlily that they were about to leave.
"finally got them all" Levy sighted. She noticed it had becomen dark already, she would need some licht to guide her back to the village, but the bandid gang would propably see her...she couldn't affort to be caught by them again, so decited to sneak there without extra light. It seemed as if she had been walking for hours and she had no idea where she was. The books she had been carrying with her bare hands became heavier by the minute and she could feel her arms weakening. How late was it at that moment? Every few meters the little bookwurm stopped to lean onto a tree so she could catch her breath. She looked up at the sky and saw the stars shining through the tops of the trees, "climbing a hill without using your hands is really though..." she said to herself. The ground had becomen muddy and the bodom was very straight, she tried to get over it by stepping very fast, but every time she slipped away again. Each time she slipped, she ended up a little further down. Her clothes became dirty and the books were damaged, she was at the end of her powers and tried one last time. "Kyaaaa!" she slipped out over a branch and fell on her back. The books flew out of her hands and landed a few meters further down the hill. "Damn..." she whispered and asked herself "Why does this keep happening?". The small girl struggled a little to get up, but immediately fell on her knees again. She didn't have enough energy left to get back up, neither to cry for help. She just closed her eyes, layed down and fell in a deep sleep.
The sound of drunk people klinging their glasses of beer against each other and yelling barbarians woke her up. She slowly opened her eyes, afraid of what she might see. One of the bandids had noticed her waking up and sat right in front of her. His grinny face and awful breath scared her and she wanted to make a little scream, but all the noise she could make was "hmmmm!!hmmhmmm!". Then she noticed the piece of cloth that was tightly binded around her mouth, making it impossible to speak. Looking at her surroundings it became clear to her where she was. "This must be the gangs base!" she thought and swung her arms around, but they were tied up to the wall with metal chains.
There were also chains around her legs, who prevented her to move around alot. It hurt with every swing. The metal was very tight and seemed to cut her vains off. The only thing she achieved by swinging around, was that the piece of cloth came loose. Although it didn't change much, there wasn't anything to say to these poachers, and she didn't have enough energy to scream for help... Little drops of tears fell down her cheeks as she finally understood the situation she was in; She was beeing held hostage and the odds weren't very high that Gajeel would come to save her again. Would he? If he knew where she was, would he free her from the chains? Just thinking about it made her mumble again. Why did they have to part? Why couldn't they just make some kind of compremise? It was so stupid...If she had only stayed by his side, he would've kicked their butts and they could go back to the village together. The same insecure thoughts occured to her again. "I'm still weak, and small...I was taken out by some mud and coulnd't even save myself from some drunk idiots" that reminded her of what she said to him the day before "you really are an idiot" ... why didn't he answer? Was he angry? Or did he just not hear it? These kind of thoughts kept raging through her head and the more she thought, the more desperate she felt. She hung there so helpless, so useless, so worthless...
"That's 34" the iron dragon said while throwing an uncounsious poacher against a tree. "Why are you even counting?" Panterlily asked. "The most of them are coming from over there, so that's propably where their base is, right?" he grinned a little at the thought of beating all these bandids up. They went a little downhill and noticed a lot of noise coming out of a cave. "that must be it!" Lily yelled. "great!" He answered. They sneaked into the cave and saw the drunk guys dance on their tables. They would propably not even have noticed them if they just walked through. "But" Panterlily said "What are they celebrating?" he asked. "Dunno" Gajeel replied and he went a little closer to overhear what some less drunk guys were saying. He heard them say something about "a nice catch yesterday", "pitiful" and "keeps struggling" at first he thought they were talking about fish. But from the moment the words "blue" and "hair" reached his ears, he knew it was about her. "LEVY?!" he thought "what does Levy have to do with--" Then it occured to him that they propably caught her after he left. He stepped back a little and whispered to his cat "They have Levy!" "What are we gonna do?" the exceed asked in a worried yet serious tone. "Beat them to a pulp and find out where they're keeping her!" Gajeel said very determined. They stood up and showed themselves to the gang, not many of them reacted, but the two guys he had overheard seemed ready to fight. He hit them with his iron arm and forced them to talk "Where is she?! The girl with the blue hair!" "d-deeper down..in t-the cave!" one of them answered with a very scared face. "You heard him" Gajeel said to Panther Lily "Go on ahead and free her, I'm gonna kick some butt first! Ghihihi" "Roger!" the small cat turned into battle mode and ran to the deepest chamber of the cave.
The place Levy was stuck in didn't have that much poachers, nearly ten, so Panterlily took them down quite fast. "Don't worry, Levy-chan! I'll get you out of here!" he said while handling the last two bandids. Her eyes opened and she tilled up her head "L-Lily?!" Her face was still dirty from the mud and her tears made her eyes look very red. As soon as all of them were down, Lily turned around to Levy and used his huge sword to break the chains that were holding her.She made a little scream when the chains finally broke and fell forward, knowing her arms wouldn't be able to hold her. Luckaly, The big cat held her up "Are you okay?" he asked "Y-yeah..." she replied with a weak voice "Where is...Gajeel?" She knew that Lily wouldn't be very far from Him. "He's at the entrance of the cave, beating up the poachers" he said, wich made Levy lower her head again "Of course..." she whispered "He came here only to fight some criminals..." "Huh? Is that what he told you?" Panther Lily asked after turning back into his normal form "Yeah, he said it yesterday" Levy replied, wondering what Lily meant. "That idiot!" Levy looked up surprised "what? Why? That's all he thinks about, you should know that by now!" "That's really dumb...Listen Levy" he said while Levy was looking at him very confused "Gajeel likes you, a lot, but he's afraid that you hate him for something he did in the past." Levy's face turned red and she was staring at the ground, thinking about it "I don't know what he did to you, but it's stopping him from getting close to you. The main reason why he went on this job was so he could avoid you" She looked up with small teardrops in her eyes "t-that's...he..." she stuttered, then bursted out in tears. Panther Lily flew to her and patted her shoulder. "I forgave him that a long time ago! All this time I've been hoping for him to talk to me, but he never said anything! And suddenly he was gone!"
Gajeel had beaten almost all of the poachers and went looking for Levy too. When he found her, her tears had already dried, but it was very clear that she had cried. "Levy..." he said and he immediately noticed she didn't have her books with her. She stood up and they went to the exit together. "Gajeel!" Levy suddenly cried out "you didn't beat all of them??" she noticed there were chambers where all the poachers were still partying. "No, they are so drunk that even the villagers could manage them, we just need to give them the location" he said "And besides, I thought you propably wanted to go look for your books..." while saying that, he was looking away, obviously because he was afraid of saying it. Levy looked down and smiled "So I was really more important than fighting..." she thought in herself "You know what, Gajeel?" She said "Nevermind those books, lets go home" She looked at him with the smile of a little kid that just got a present, it made him blush a little. Lily went on ahead to tell the villagers where the base was located.
The two mages were quiet while walking right next to each other. It was getting dark and Levy was feeling very uncomfortable again. Gajeel noticed it and slowly tried to take her hand, first a little touch, then he stroke her lower arm a little bit, next he took the little hand in his big, rough palm. She looked up a little surprised, and he quickly said "You better stay by my side this time!" She giggled and hugged his arm. They both blushed all the way to the village without saying any imortant things. When they arrived, they splitted the reward and decited to all go home by train.
During the ride with the train, they forgot everything for a second, and just enjoyed their time together. Lily was sitting on Gajeels head and they were having fun when he was trying to get this cat off. Levy sat in front of them and giggled every time either of them made a strange face.
When they arrived, Levy would go back to the guild and the other two would go home.
Gajeel decited to walk her there but was too unsure to take her hand again. This made Levy feel a little insecure, they were both looking in other directions, not saying a word.
Back at the guild Levy quickly said "Here I am, bye!" she was forcing her voice to sound enthousiastic, trying not to let him notice anything of how she really felt. She already turned around and was about to go in, when Gajeel yelled "Levy, wait!" he stretched out his arm and took her hand. With one move, he pulled her back to him and hugged her. "Sorry for beeing such a moron" he said. Levy didn't know how to react and just said his name, still stuttering. He shove her a little backwards, stroke with his hand through her hair, looked in her beautiful brown eyes, and then kissed her. Their eyes were closed and nothing else mattered, they loved each other, and were finally able to accept it.
At that very moment, they both realised, She had becomen more important than fighting to him, and he had becomen more important than books to her. It was perfect <3
Story by Elby-manga-addicted characters by Mashima Hiro