Author's Note: This fanfic is for Killerk1tty, who requested a smutty non-rapist GazillexLevi. I went easy on the smut, I'm sorry! But I hope you like it!

It's hard to create a sweet, smutty story with Gazille and Levi, which is why this is so long and it took me a week to write. Levi is, by far, the most innocent of the Fairy Tail girls (excluding Wendy) and has a strong personality. Gazille, despite his macho and dominating personality, has serious problems creating a personal relationship with anyone. Naturally, since the chemistry between them is already strong, I had to piece it together to make it plausible that Levi would fall for Gazille and Gazille would finally let someone into his heart. But GODDAMN did this take more effort than I ever intended.

I am absolutely positive that he has got a crush on Levi, bee tee dub. I list instances of him complementing her and even watching her from the balcony (one of the recent chapters) before taking off for Raven Tail Guild.

Gazille grabbed a dirty rag off the workbench at his side, trying vainly to wipe away some of the black gunk covering his hands and bare chest. Oil mixed with sweat dripped into the contours of his muscular abdomen and biceps, staining the creases of his skin black. There were black smears of grease on his face and pants, and even some matted in his long black hair.

"What's this?" he asked, absolutely unamused with the joke Ezra was playing on him.

"Your new assistant." The scarlet beauty gave an encouraging push on Levi's back, but the teenage girl stood rooted to the ground. Her dark green eyes stared at the very dirty and very irritated metal dragon with fear. Gazille's lip curled up in a sneer. "I need parts, Ezra. I need tools that aren't rusted and falling to pieces. I need someone to fix the electricity in this God-forsaken boiler room. I need a plumber down here doing this work since I don't know what the hell I'm doing. I do not need a little girl."

"Be nice. She's got some ideas that might help, and I don't have time to listen to your bitching. I've got to clear the snow off the roof before it caves in. Half of Fairy Tail is sick right now and there isn't any heat. Do your job, okay?

"It's not my job," Gazille grumbled. "Professionals do this kind of work, and they get paid for it." But he shrugged and took a moment to look over the new 'assistant'. She was just a slip of a girl, smaller than even Lucy and Mirajane. Her thick, wavy blue hair was pulled back with a yellow and black headband, and she was wearing a thin scarf that matched. Underneath a thick wool coat she wore a pair of jeans and a sky blue sweater. Her eyes were wide, bright, and just a little scared.

"I remember you. Levi, right? You're that really smart girl."

"Makarov wants you two to work together, and that's not a suggestion."

"I've done just fine on my own!"

"What if there's a gas leak? Or if there's pressure buildup in one of the machines and it explodes? Working alone down here is stupid, Gazille. Are you stupid?"

"Don't you have a roof to be cleaning?" The metal dragon muttered. He beckoned for Levi to come closer as Ezra made her way up the stairs and back to Fairy Tail HQ. The tiny mage hesitated for a moment, but obeyed. She felt awed by the sheer size of the space beneath the guild. What had been a separate basement, storage area, and boiler room had transformed into one giant space. With the addition of the indoor swimming pool and the shower areas, Makarov had added new water heaters and another boiler system. It was a dark, humid maze of hissing machines, lit only a great red-hot glow.

"It's pretty shitty down here, I'll warn you now. I've got some flashlights and battery-powered lanterns since the lights aren't working down here, but I don't have a lot. And I don't know what the hell happened down here, but I've got broken pipes, a broken water heater, broken furnace, and a broken boiler I'm trying to fix." The deep, hoarse quality of his voice reverberated through the room like two metal plates grinding against each other.

"W-well, I've got some ideas that might help. Ezra says we can't get a plumber to come until the roads clear…and with all this snow it won't be for at least another few days..." Gazille slammed his hands down on the workbench and let out a roar of frustration. Levi flinched and shuddered in surprise, her feet slowly edging back towards the stairs.

"Absolutely fucking ridiculous. I've got to fix the hot water, the heat and the steam power for Fairy Tail. Why? Because I'm a goddamn metal dragon, not because I have any qualifications. It's discrimination, that's what it is. And- Are you leaving?"


"The hell you are. I don't care if you are a little girl- I'm not doing this shit alone anymore. Get back here and tell me these brilliant plans of yours." Gazille grabbed his filthy rag again and tried to wipe more grease from his black-stained hands as Levi shuffled back to the workbench, her eyes flitting nervously between him and the concrete floor. His metal-studded eyebrows furrowed at her anxiousness.

"I think I can use magic to help make the repairs. I can patch up the pipeline, though it'll be messy. I don't know much about pipes, but I did some research in the library."

"That's music to my ears." He paused and scrutinized her a little more thoroughly, much to her embarrassment. "Tell me, are you always this jumpy?"

"No. You just…you make me a little nervous."

"Because I'm a big scary dragon?" His tone was a little sharp as he threw the rag down on the workbench and scowled at it, like it was the source of all his problems.

"Because you crucified me to a tree and branded me," she replied softly. The metal dragon paused and mentally smacked himself for being so thick. He'd forgotten about that little incident. Gazille shifted his weight awkwardly for a moment, fishing for the right thing to say.

"Haven't I proved myself to be a member of Fairy Tail? I didn't kick the shit out of your buddies when they attacked me."

"I'm sorry. I know you're my nakama." Levi tried to give a small smile, but it was a sad look. "It's just this irrational fear. And you're not, ah, the easiest person to, um, well. You're kind of mean." Gazille grimaced and ran a hand through his long black hair. A small, tingling feeling of guilt tickled his stomach- not something he often felt. This little girl wasn't like the others. She was brilliant and not nearly as obnoxious as the other Fairy Tail girls and, despite what he'd done, she didn't hate him.

"Look, I go overboard sometimes when I'm looking for a fight. I don't even think about what I'm doing until I get what I want. I'm sorry. I never thought I'd get stuck in this pansy ass guild and have to deal with- Fuck, wait, that didn't come out right. What I mean is… I've never had nakama or friends or anything, so I've never had to be nice… and I don't think I'm even making sense right now." Levi looked to him for clarification, obviously lost.

"I'm sorry." He looked pained at even having to say the words. Apologies were new to him, to say the least.

"Oh. It-it's okay."

"What, really?"

Levi took a deep breath and nodded. The fear hanging over her head seemed to visibly lift, helping her stand straighter and look a little less nervous.

"You're a weird one," he sighed, shaking his head. "Now, you'd better strip before we get started."

His new assistant looked lost again (and possibly offended).

"Your clothes, stupid. They'll get ruined by the end of the day and you'll be dying from the heat in less than an hour. What idiot wears a sweater and a scarf and a pair of jeans to work in a sweat box?"

She looked down at herself as though she hadn't been aware of what she was wearing. "Oh, right. Sorry, it's just really cold in Fairy Tail right now and-"

"STOP. Don't apologize, and don't take ten minutes to explain yourself. I don't care. Just…wear something lighter tomorrow."

"Mmphkay." Levi's voice became muffled by the blue sweater she was pulling over her head, revealing a bright yellow bikini top. "Let's get to it."

Ezra, Loki, and Lucy sat on the edge of the fireplace by the Fairy Tail bar, sipping mugs of steaming hot chocolate. Puddles of melted snow dotted the restaurant floor and the wind howled outside, snow and bits of ice tapping at the roof and windows. "This has got to be the worst winter we've had in years," Lucy sighed. The stellar spirit at her side squeezed her leg affectionately and agreed.

"What are you guys bitching about?" Gray, dressed in boxers and nothing else (and looking all the better for it), sauntered by with a great smile on his face. A sulking Natsu, wrapped in two layers of blankets, trailed behind.

"He looks like the cat that ate the fuckin' canary, doesn't he? Like Christmas came early and he got a sack full of presents." The fire dragon threw a glare at Lucy and Loki, who looked quite cozy together, and one at Ezra. "I'm about this close to setting fire to his ass, I swear to God. And then I'm going to put on a Santa outfit and dance all over his charred little cheeks. I'll sing Christmas carols and everything, just you wait."

"Don't let the cold get to you," Ezra consoled gently. "I know the heat's a little off, but-"

"The heat is off a little?" Natsu bit out furiously. There were dark circles beneath his eyes and a ragged, recently-been-chewed look to his fingernails. "I haven't been warm in weeks! Nobody has. I have icicles growing on my balls and my-"

"You have no idea how much I don't want to know that."

The door to the restaurant creaked open slowly, revealing a very dirty and very tired-looking Levi. Everyone in the room fell silent and gaped at her disheveled appearance. The blue-haired girl eased herself onto a bench and laid her head down on the table. Jet and Droy came to her side in a mad dash and bombarded her with questions. In fact, everyone in the room except Ezra look concerned. Mirajane dropped a plate of warm food and a cold mug of cider in front of the drowsy girl and patted her back gently.

"Just work," she replied sleepily. "The magic took more energy than I thought it would, but it's okay. Gazille finally kicked me out and told me to go to bed." She yawned and stretched her body across the table a little more.

"Gazille? You're working with Gazille?" Jet sounded absolutely stunned, his tall hat quivering as he shook his head in disbelief. "Levi, that's a joke. You're not honestly working with that asshole, not after what he did to us?"

"He's not a monster, you guys. I'm not worried about it."

"How long do you have to do this?"

"A few days, I think. Maybe more. This is a lot harder than I thought it'd be."

"Don't do it, Levi. Don't go. Droy and I will take your place if we have to."

"Don't be silly." She took a few small bites of chicken and potatoes, chewing slowly. "Only my Solid Script magic can help; I don't see what you two would do. And I'll be fine! He isn't going to do anything to hurt me."

"We don't trust him. In fact, there's not a whole lot of people here who do. Shouldn't that say something?"

"I don't care," she moaned. "I'm hungry and tired and sore, and I've got work tomorrow. Let's argue about this some other time." There were others staring at their table; others who looked concerned and were whispering to one another. Lucy quirked an eyebrow at Natsu, who shrugged and looked to Gray, who shrugged as well. Only Ezra seemed amused.

The snow storm swelled to epic proportions the next morning. Though the snow was soft and fresh, the wind whipped it through the street so fast that it stung like hail. Ice clung to every available surface and the air burned to breathe. Gazille waited patiently by the entrance to the boiler room, seemingly untouched by the cold. It was an outside door at the back of Fairy Tail, out by the dumpsters, and there wasn't much protection from the storm there.

Levi was only minutes behind him. She came slowly towards the door, placing one foot in front of the other with her back hunched over and her arms clinging tightly to her own sides. A very long gray fur-lined coat covered every inch of her skin and a hood covered her hair and most of her face. Gazille unlocked the door and waited for her to walk inside. She nearly tumbled down the steps as she flipped off her hood and picked up the edges of her coat to descend. The metal dragon was dressed in his normal outfit- gray baggy pants, gray sleeveless shirt, gray shoes. He hadn't even bothered with a jacket.

The two shed clothes simultaneously. Levi folded her gray coat on the workbench, revealing a black bikini top and a pair of khaki shorts that looked a little too good. Gazille slipped off his shirt and let it pool to the filthy ground in a heap. She tried not to stare, but Levi felt a little fascinated by the thick metal studs on his body and the Guild tattoos on his arms.

"That magic of yours got some serious work done yesterday," he said, interrupting her reverie. "I hope you can do it again, 'cause I'm sick of being down here."

Levi beamed at the half-hearted attempt at a compliment, which Gazille blinked at for a moment before heading back towards the water heater.

"You really are a weird one," he muttered.

Despite all their hard work, most of the pipes were still in shambles. Steam hissed out of pipeline in multiple places where it should have been sealed, and the whole room groaned and rumbled with the sound of overworked machines. Oil dripped from the machinery and made nearly invisible puddles in the dark boiler room. Nothing worked right, but it still kept trying. Clouds of steam rose to the top of the high ceiling, collecting condensation and rotting the roof.

Gazille leaned against a wall lazily. The muscles of his body gleamed with sweat and oil in the dim lighting; his long, feathered black hair stuck to his back and curled with the intense humidity. Levi, on break as well, watched him through half-closed eyes. He really was quite interesting to watch.

"I feel like I'm breathing steam instead of air," she yawned.

The metal dragon's lip pulled into a half-smirk. "I'm almost finished with this. Start working on the pipes by the furnace while I'm doing this, and then we'll get the hell out of here."

Levi grabbed a stack of white sheets of paper and a pen off the ground, and snagged a flashlight before dragging herself over towards the furnace. White tendrils of steam rose out of numerous hairline cracks on the pipeline attached to the wall. The sweet-faced mage used her fingers to smooth a white piece of paper over a section of damaged pipeline and wrote the words Iron and Heat with her pen. Within seconds, the white paper turned dark gray and rock solid, adhering and molding to the shape of the pipe. It glowed for a few moments before cooling, and Levi continued her way down the shoddy line towards a massive collection of cracks.

"Gazille! I think I can fix this before it breaks, but it looks like we don't have much time." She leaned in and examined it closely, trying to judge its stability. There was hardly a second before a plume of white-hot steam shot towards her face, and there was even less time to react. Levi lifted a hand to her face and squeezed her eyes shut. The whole side of her right hand numbed and there was the odd sensation of being grabbed and hurled backwards. Gazille's fingers gripped her shoulders and held her against his chest. Levi gasped and moaned as feeling in her finger returned and the metal dragon released her from his firm grasp, turning her around to face him. The metal studs on his forearms left little imprints on her skin.

"WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? Only an IDIOT would put their face near- Jesus Christ, are you crying?"

Levi shook her head, wiping the edges of her eyes with her left hand before the moisture there could turn to tears. Her face was screwed up in the attempt to not cry and she bent her head like a child who'd done wrong. Gazille, completely exasperated, waved his arms in front of her and tried to look a little less angry.

"No, don't do that. Don't cry. Why the hell are you crying?"

"I'm sorry," she whispered. "I thought you were going to… You scared me, that's all."

"Don't be stupid. I'm just trying to make sure you don't melt your face off down here. I didn't mean to scare you, so stop crying. Seriously." She sniffled and nodded, wiping her eyes again. Gazille grabbed her arm and led her back towards the workbench by the stairs. He popped the lid off the first aid kit lying on the table and examined her hand.

"Yeah, you burned it alright. Stupid girl." His hands felt smooth to the touch and just a little warmer than human skin. They weren't the rough, ice-cold steel hands she thought they would be. He wasn't exactly gentle as he slabbed anti-bacterial ointment on her hand and bit off a long piece of gauze to wrap her hand with.

"It'll burn for a few days, but don't think that's getting you out of any work. Now get the hell out of here and get some rest."

"Thanks." Levi admired her messy bandage and smiled warmly. Gazille coughed and pointed towards the stairs.

"Don't thank me for fixing something stupid you did. Just don't do it again."

Things would have been much easier, and much different, if Levi had just gone straight to the mess hall and gotten something to eat. But a semi-warm shower and a clean set of clothes sounded even better than food, and she wasn't exactly keen on dealing with Jet and Droy again.

"Levi!" Lucy burst into the shower room. "You have to come, quickly!" Levi peeked around the edge of her shower curtain with a head full of shampoo. She looked uneasy, but not necessarily surprised.

"What's going on?"

"Droy and Jet are fighting will Gazille! Ezra said you were the only one who could stop them, so hurry!"

She closed her eyes a moment and laid her head against the tile wall of the shower. Warm water beat against the sore muscles of her skin that magic had simply drained. It felt wonderful and too good to leave, but she sighed and rinsed the rest of her hair out hastily. Levi was still towel drying her blue locks- now a complete rats nest- as she jogged into the hall. Gazille was standing on a table with his arms crossed while Jet and Droy stood on either side a few feet away. The other members of Fairy Tail in the room had the good sense to clear off and watch from a safe distance.

"Don't spit that righteous crap at me," the metal dragon sneered.

"You don't have us fooled. I don't know what you've said to her, but she's got this false idea that you're not a bad guy." Vines snaked their way up Droy's arm- a not-so-subtle warning.

"Droy!" Levi chided as she came to his side. "Gazille isn't our enemy."

Jet gave the enemy in question a level look. "I did a little research. Do you know what he's done in the name of Phantom Lord? Cities ransacked and destroyed, women-"

"Shut your mouth." Gazille's tone was deadly quiet. Jet stopped, but there was no mistaking the smirk on his face.

"The past is the past, and I won't hate him for that. He's part of Fairy Tail now; so far, he's done nothing wrong." Levi ran a hand through her damp hair and tried to lift the knots out with her fingers. Droy caught her hand and pulled it towards Jet with pure savagery. She gasped, but didn't struggle.

"What the hell is this?"

"I hurt myself working today; it's nothing."

"Did he do this to you?" There was a murderous look in Jet's eye.

"You really think I get off on hurting little girls?" Gazille smiled, and it was a sick, twisted smile.

"Don't you?" asked Droy. "I've heard stories about the things you used to do."

"That's not fair. You can't judge someone based on rumors and stories. Besides, he never hurt me! You boys need to put away your testosterone and behave."

"We're just worried about you," Jet said affectionately. "You know I'd do anything to keep you safe."

"What the hell are you worried about? You think I'm going to tie her up and torture her or something?" Gazille's eyes lighted up, and Levi knew it meant trouble. "Or maybe you think I'll throw her down and fuck her the way you've always wanted to?"

There wasn't much warning as Droy threw a packet of seedlings at Gazille's feet. "PLANT TRANSFORM!" he cried, and a great mass of vines exploded from the top of the table. Fists grew from the leaves and pummeled Gazille. The metal dragon was thrown to the floor and blood trickled from his mouth. Levi grabbed Droy's arm as he reached for another package of seeds, clinging to it with fierceness in her eyes.

"Stop this! Nakama don't hurt each other!"

Jet looked at Levi for a moment thoughtfully, but in the end he shook his head and took a running charge towards Gazille. "WING STRIKE!" he called as a wave of energy followed his fist, smashing Gazille's face back into the wooden floor. A few of the planks cracked under the force of the blow. And despite it all, Gazille didn't budge an inch. He groaned on the floor and spit a mouthful of blood to the ground.

"You better fight me, dragon! Stand up and fight!" Jet took another running leap and bent his knee back. "SONIC KICK!"

Levi threw herself on top of Gazille and lifted her hands in protest. Jet tried to stop, but his power was already in motion. He brought his foot down only a few inches away from Gazille's body. Wooden boards and an enormous cloud of dust rose into the air.

Droy skidded to a halt at his side and the two waited for the dust to clear. Gazille, bruised and bleeding, lay on his side with Levi tucked against his body. He held her tightly, his body completely eclipsing her tiny, unconscious form.

His gunmetal eyes gave the two Shadow Gear members a look that could melt steel. "Get out of here," he snarled. Jet and Droy hesitated, but Gazille started to stand, and the two fled the restaurant. The other Fairy Tail members were stunned into silence as he cradled Levi against him and proceeded to limp outside. Snow fell lightly from the darkened sky; it was a nice change from the bitter storms Magnolia had been having. Guided by a series of streetlamps, Gazille hobbled down the sidewalk towards the heart of the city. He left a light trail of blood in his footsteps and a few droplets stained the pink pajama set Levi wore.

His apartment stood on the corner just between the bakery and the magic shop. It wasn't much- a single bedroom, a bathroom with a shower and bathtub, a mini-kitchen and a living room. He dropped her body on the bed, perhaps a little too roughly, and disappeared.

It was a while before Levi stirred. At first she snuggled deeper into the sheets, but then her mind finally clicked into consciousness and she sat up, startled. The room was lit only by moonlight streaming through a set of window blinds, and it wasn't very much. Darkness and silence settled through the small apartment. Levi felt her heart begin to race and a cold chill danced along her spine.

"H-hello?" she called out tentatively. Her throat felt a little raw and she coughed in an attempt to clear it. A large shadow appeared in the doorway and leaned against its frame. She gave it her most threatening look, as if she wasn't one of the weakest mages in Fairy Tail and could totally kick its ass.

"Relax." The voice was deep, rough and quite familiar. "How are you feeling?"

"Gazille?" Levi's eyes brightened and her tough demeanor melted. It was like someone turned a light on inside her. "Oh my God, you scared me. I feel…pretty awful, actually. What happened?"

"You did something stupid. Again." He approached the bed while Levi searched her thoughts.

"Droy and Jet!" Are they okay?"

The edge of the mattress bowed under his weight as he sat. "I should imagine so. I didn't touch them."

"Oh, Gazille…" tears welled up in Levi's eyes, shining in the darkness.

"You're doing that crying thing again."

"I'm so sorry. They attacked you again, even though we're all nakama. I'm sorry I couldn't stop them."

Fingers clutched her jaw and forced her to look him in the eyes.

"Oh, you stopped them alright. I don't think they'll ever try to attack me again after that." And then his face leaned in closer to hers, much closer. Levi felt her breath hitch in her throat and a great fluttering in the pit of her stomach. And, to her own surprise, she didn't try to pull away.

"Don't ever do something like that again," he hissed in her ear. "I'm a dragon, Levi. I can take that pathetic punch Jet calls 'God's Leg', and I might get a scratch from it, but that's all. Do you know what could have happened if he'd actually kicked you?"

"I had to stop them," she whispered. It was hard to breathe with his face so close, though she couldn't put a finger on why. His body radiated so much heat that she could feel it, and his voice was so dark that she could have mistaken it for a roll of thunder. "I knew you wouldn't fight back, so I just…I had to protect you."

He let go of her face and exited into the kitchen. Levi felt a wave of cold overtake the place where his warmth had been. A light entered the room as he opened the door of his refrigerator, which was bone empty, and she could hear the clink of ice cubes against each other. The door shut again and a moment later he entered the room.

"Here," he said quietly, handing her a plastic bag filled with ice. "I don't have any aspirin to give you. I can get you some tap water, if you want." Levi shook her head and accepted the ice. The condensation on the bag beaded and dripped on her slightly blood stained pjs.

"Can you turn on a light for me? I don't like the dark."

"There aren't any light bulbs, I'm afraid. I don't come here unless I need a place to rest for a few hours. Except for the fridge, the stove and the bed, there isn't much. I don't even keep food here."

"Oh. That's okay then."

"There's nothing to fear in the dark, you know. I'm bigger and meaner than anything that could be sneaking around in the darkness, and nothing would be stupid enough to touch you while I'm nearby."

"Thank you." Levi's smile was radiant. Gazille looked away and shrugged.

"It's just a fact. I'll be out on the couch if you need me."

Levi snuggled deeper into the gray sheets with the bag of ice resting on her sore head. Sleep swallowed her up instantly and filled her mind with dreams that were wonderful, strange, and a million shades of silver.

"You two came in together?" Lucy asked incredulously. Levi, busy stuffing her face with Mirajane's homemade breakfast, nodded. There were some scratches on her face and bare arms, but nothing serious. Gazille chatted quietly with Natsu by the request board. "And you guys have been working together?"

"Yep. I think we've got the water heater and the furnace just about fixed. The boiler is all done, thank God."

"Incredible. So what happened with this fight last night?" She gestured towards the large hole in the center of the floor.

Levi glanced around the restaurant, ignoring her question. "Have you seen Jet or Droy anywhere?" she asked. Her face fell as she couldn't pick their faces out of the busy crowd, and it transformed into a mask of hurt at Lucy's reply.

"No, sorry. I hear Ezra chewed them good and has them doing some kind of punishment."

Gazille crossed to their table in a hurry and left Natsu looking quite displeased by the boards. Lucy wasn't quite sure who to focus her attention on- the beast aiming for her table or her pissed off best friend. But in the end the metal dragon took precidence over the fire one and the stellar mage glared at him defiantely. The man was pure trouble, to say the least. But he ignored her glares and chose instead to ruffle Levi's hair and pull at her arm. The little mage tried to brush him off, wanting to sulk in private, but he was damn persistent.

"Quit stuffing your face like a fat ass and let's get to work."

Lucy opened her mouth to argue, but Levi waved away her friend's concerns and latched on to Gazille's arm. There wasn't an eye in Fairy Tail not watching as the odd couple exited the building and headed out into the unforgiving cold.

"How's it coming?" she called out across the dingy, humid cavern of a room. Gazille paused in his hammering and let out a breathy sigh.

"It's coming. This damn furnace should hold 'til at least the end of this winter…maybe. Do you need something?"

Levi stood on the very tips of her toes in an attempt to reach a spitting pipe above her. It wasn't terribly far, but it was just out of reach. "Could you bring me stool by the bench? I can't quite get this."

"You've done a shitload of work today," he said, exasperated. "Take a break for God's sake."

"I can still do more." Her tone was emboldened as she reached up just a little higher to patch the paper onto the pipeline. The movement irritated the bruise forming on her side- a remnant from the blast of energy made by Jet's kick- and Levi grunted and doubled over. Her wild blue hair fell over her face and hid the pain written over her sweet features. Pain that had little to do with the cuts and bruises on her body.

Gazille came in a flash to her side. Unfortunately, in his haste he also tripped over the flashlight on the ground and set it scattering across the floor. The only light on that side of the room blinked out and left the two in near total darkness. Levi moaned.

"Woah, sorry. Are you okay?"

Her hands groped out blindly in the darkness. The tips of her fingers brushed against the slick, hot skin of his chest and he grabbed her hands, drawing her closer.

"You remember what I said about the dark?" he asked quietly. She nodded against his chest and closed her eyes, the lashes tickling his hard skin. "You're as safe as it gets with me."

Her arms slipped around his middle and she suddenly hugged her body to his. Gazille froze, his muscles tensed from the unusual feeling of being touched. His hands awkwardly settled on her back and she sighed. "I'm so tired. I can't seem to do anything right, and now Jet and Droy-"

A finger settled on her lips, startling her.

"Why are you so worried about them? They did something stupid and now they're paying the price. This is natural."

"I feel like our team is splitting apart, and I think it's my fault." Her soft lips moved against his finger as she spoke, rebelling against his request for her silence.

"Just wait until they cool off. Then they'll be back and begging you to forgive them and everything will be normal again." His finger hooked beneath her chin and drew her face upwards. Her dark green eyes look around wildly in the darkness, trying to see the reason. Something warm touched her lips then, something lithe and slightly wet. It was only for a moment and then it went away, replaced by her own trembling fingers. A screaming question rolled over in her mind that was too frightening to be spoken out loud.

"C'mon, let's get another light." His hand grasped her own and led her deftly through the darkness. She could feel the heat of the machines and the hiss of steam, and she could feel the heat radiating from her own cheeks. Levi rubbed at her lips obsessively, as if they would give her some kind of answer.

A battery-powered lantern rested on the workbench, lighting up the darkness, and Levi could have hugged it. Gazille snagged a roll of duct tape and a new flashlight and proceeded to tape it to her shorts.

"That's better." He looked approvingly at his handiwork. A few lines of silver tape circled through the belt loop on her shorts and around the light, letting it bounce just a little against her thigh as she walked. His long black hair, feathered and wild, fell over his shoulder like a curtain. Levi couldn't help but wonder at his exotic appearance; his hair, the metal studs all over his skin, his piercing dragon eyes, the dual tattoos on his shoulders.

"Now go finish up. I'm hungry, and I'm damn sick and tired of being around these machines all day."

She nodded in a daze and, with stepstool in hand, wandered back to her little section of pipe. Gazille watched her with unreadable eyes and shook his head.

The little blue-haired mage sat at the bar and stared off into the distance. Loki patted her back and gave a knowing smile.

"I've seen that look before."

"Hm? What look?"

"The look of a girl in love, of course. Lucy looks at me that way all the time."

"The hell I do." The buxom blonde in question sat on Levi's other side and rolled her eyes at her stellar spirit. Loki beamed at her.

"In love? No way. Who would I be in love with?" Levi laughed a little, confused.

"You keep touching your lips and spacing out, and you sigh every thirty seconds. That's love if I ever saw it."

"No! No, you…you don't understand. It's just that something happened that I don't understand. I don't even know if it happened. I may have imagined the whole thing."

"Did something happen with Gazille?" Loki looked excited at the prospect. Lucy threw him a look that clearly said 'shut up'.

"Yes. Well, maybe. I don't know." She seemed to be somewhere else as she spoke, her mind running through thoughts of what had happened, if he'd really kissed her…and if she was okay with it.

"Were you surprised?"


"Were you angry with him?"

"Angry? No, I guess I wasn't."

"Were you scared?"

"A little. But I wasn't afraid of him, you know, hurting me or anything."

"Do you like Gazille, Levi?" Lucy asked seriously.

"Aside from his horrible mouth, his short temper, his mean streak and his arrogance… Yeah. I know he's not very good with people, and there aren't many people here who trust him. But, you know what? I do. I'd trust him with my life."

"I rest my case," Loki said slyly. Lucy rolled her eyes again. Levi, truly confused, held her head in her hands. Jet and Droy stood around the corner from the bar, hidden by a length of wall, and heard every word. Jet looked at Droy with heartbreak on his lips, and his dark-haired friend shook his head and beckoned him away from the girl they both loved dearly.

There was a frantic knocking on the door. Gazille turned the water off in his shower and paused, just to be sure he heard right. The knocking came again and a muffled voice called out his name. Wrapping a gray towel around his waist, the dripping wet dragon answered the door.

"Theyleftme," Levi breathed. She was gasping for breath and clutching the stitch in her side, sweat beading on her forehead. He opened the door wider and she flopped herself down on his slightly overstuffed couch. Gazille readjusted his towel and sat beside her. He smelled like cedar and pine instead of oil and grease for once.

"Who left you?"

"Jet and Droy! They took off on a mission without me." She blinked tears from her eyes and hastily wiped them away. Her body slumped, completely dejected. Gazille put an arm around her shoulder and pulled her against his chest. He said nothing as she began to sob against his skin and her arms wrapped around him tightly. She cried and cried until there were no more tears left to cry.

"How did you find out?" His gruff voice was quiet, trying not to disturb her any more than she already was.

"Ezra told me," she sniffled. "They reported to Mirajane and said they were taking the mission, and that they needed some time away. Time away from me…"

"Time away from me, you mean. All this mess is my fault. If I hadn't requested an assistant, Ezra would never have brought you and you wouldn't be crying for the millionth time."

"Don't say that," she whispered against his skin. Her warm breath played against his nipple and it sent a shudder through his body that scared him. "If it wasn't for this, I'd never have gotten over being afraid of you. And I wouldn't have gotten a chance to be your friend, either."

"That's the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me." Gazille's tone was sarcastic, but there was no denying the truth to it. Levi punched his arm, though it was hardly aggressive, and he lifted her off his chest and brought her to her feet.

"I've got some work I need to finish up. You better go back to the girl's dormitory."

Levi nodded, her blue hair nearly falling out of its bright band. At the doorway she turned to say goodbye, but the look on Gazille's face stopped her. He looked terribly serious as he shut the door behind her, and she wondered if she'd done something wrong all the way to her room.

It was an obscene hour of the morning as someone knocked on the door. Levi was at least getting used to getting up at sunrise to meet Gazille, but it was still dark outside her windows. Yawning, she tumbled out of her warm bed and answered the door. It was Ezra, much to her surprise, who was still ex-quipped into her pajamas.

"Sorry, I know it's early, but I wanted to catch you before you took off. Your boiler room duties are over. You and Gazille did a great job and the Master plans on repaying you guys for your hard work."


"We'll have a plumber come and fix the last of things next week. So just sleep in for once, okay?" The scarlet beauty smiled, but the tiny mage didn't smile back.

"Oh. Does Gazille know?"

"He came by a little while ago and wanted me to tell you since he was leaving."

"Leaving? What, like on a mission? That's a joke."

She thanked Ezra and shut the door, leaving her scarlet friend stunned. Within minutes she was dressed and her travel bag was packed with light clothes and supplies. Her feet couldn't run fast enough as she tore out the door and followed the path to Fairy Tail.

There wasn't a soul in sight so early in the day, but Mirajane was dutifully behind the bar drying mugs.


"Jet and Droy went to the coast." Mirajane smiled knowingly. "They went to deal with some bums causing trouble in a port town. I can write down the directions for you." To her surprise, Levi waved the information away.

"I need to know where Gazille went."

"Gazille?" The platinum blonde seemed genuinely shocked. "I don't know. He hasn't taken a mission, if that's what you're asking."

The tiny blue-haired mage slammed her hand down on the table and raged with anger. It burned that he'd left her, even though he knew how alone she was without Jet and Droy. But what burned even worse was that he left for her. He was the whole reason she and her teammates had argued to begin with, which had never happened before, and he was the reason they'd left her behind. But for him to take responsibility and leave… It was unforgivable.

Mirajane looked up and acknowledged someone walking inside. Levi turned to see a very grave Natsu approaching them.

"You want to know where that metal bastard went? He told me not to say anything, that coward. Didn't want anyone to chase him down and make him change his mind."

"You let him abandon his nakama?" Levi lifted her chin in defiance. There was no way she could approve of it.

"I let him do something good for once in his life," Natsu retorted. "He seemed to think reuniting you with Jet and Droy was worth him leaving, and I couldn't argue. But if you want to know where he went, I'll tell you."

Levi already had a map spread out on the bar counter and pointed at it. "Show me," she demanded. Natsu held a finger over the border between Fiore and Bosco, a slim area of forest that edged on the mountains. She gave the fire dragon a quick hug and headed out the door with barely a glance behind.

Gazille had a few hours' head start, but she moved with the speed of someone with a mission. It took three days of traveling non-stop by carriage and horseback to reach her destination. The forest huddled the coastline and crossed between Fiore and Bosco, which could become dangerous territory. There was a lot of questioning about missions that crossed borders and what right mages had to take prisoners from other countries. If he crossed into Bosco…it would be troublesome.

Thunder rumbled through the trees and a sliver of smoke rose only a mile or so away from the spot were Levi stood. Packing her map away, the blue-haired mage slipped as quietly as possible through the dense forest, not quite sure what to expect. Gazille was an S-Class mage and she was far from that level. If he was in a fight with another S-Class mage then there wasn't a whole lot she could do to help.

Another explosion rocked the ground, closer this time. Through a cloud of dirt and smoke she could see two figures facing each other. One was kneeling to the ground and clutching his chest; the other stood above him, engulfed in a roaring bubble of fire. Levi crouched low to the ground and awed at the sight.

"Pathetic. You're supposed to be a dragon?" the flaming man spit out with disdain. Gazille raised his head with effort.

"Eat shit! You have no real power, you fucking fake. Wearing a charmed ring doesn't make you a mage. That little bubble of yours is taking up all your energy, and in a little while you won't have any left."

"If I'm a fake mage, then why are you on the ground like a bug that needs to be squished?"

"Because you're a dirty bastard who can't fight fair. I'm going to eat your beating heart, cocksucker!" Gazille pushed himself off the ground and hurled himself towards the bubble, a jutsu on the tip of his tongue. But the power he threw at the fire only bounced off and scattered amongst the trees, and he roared in agony as the fireball singed his skin. The power encased in that ring was inhuman and nothing like he'd ever seen- dark and dirty magic.

The fire man laughed as Gazille collapsed to the ground, and he set his foot on the metal dragon's shoulder. Flesh seared on contact- a truly horrific smell.

"Just a few more minutes," the Fairy Tail mage spoke through gritted teeth, trying not to yield to the pain. "And then you'll be mine."

"Only if you last that long, dragon."

"I'm hallucinating," Gazille wheezed. He thought he saw a mess of blue hair and a bright yellow headband emerge from the trees, which was impossible.

"WATER!" Levi cried. Every ounce of her strength and her desire to protect her nakama soared through an invisible ball of energy that hit the fire man straight in the back. Shock spread across his face as his bubble of fire burst into a great mass of steam. Gazille took the opportunity to throw himself at his opponent and the two crumbled to the ground. A single punch from his metal-studded hand was enough to knock the would-be mage unconscious.

With a grunt of effort, Gazille rolled over and let his eyes close. Levi tore through the trees and slid to her knees by his side, desperately hoping she wasn't too late. His body had patches of blistered burns, bloody scrapes and an assortment of other bruises. Her small hands gripped his shoulders and she shook him gently.

"Gazille? Please wake up. Are you okay?" There was no answer, not even a twitch of his fingers. Her hand touched his cheek and brushed the hair away from his eyes.

"Please be okay," she prayed. One gunmetal eye cracked open and surveyed her.


She threw her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly, then pulled back and smacked him across the face. His eyes flew open in surprise as her fists beat against his chest in a flurry.

"YOU BASTARD! How could you do something so stupid? Did you think it was okay to just leave your nakama? Not to mention, I just saved your ass! What would have happened if I hadn't come in time? I bet you didn't even consider-"

His mouth found hers and claimed it violently. His tongue flicked her soft lips and delved inside her mouth, hot and wet. Levi felt her muscles turn to jelly and her whole body wrapped itself around that wonderful sensation she'd never felt before. Gazille was thorough in his kisses, making sure every inch of her lips and tongue was claimed. When he finally pulled away, Levi was breathing heavily and shivering with excitement.

"Why did you come here?

"Why did you leave?"

His hand cupped her face, swallowing her cheek, and he drew her close for another kiss. "I thought if I left, there wouldn't be any reason for you and Jet and Droy to fight anymore."

"They're my nakama and yours. No matter what, we all stick together and support each other. They just need to know you like I know you."

"Levi, you're the only one crazy enough to know me and like me."

She laughed and gave him another soft punch. "Who says I like you?"

He closed his eyes and laid his head on his hands, a smug smile creeping over his face. "You totally think I'm the coolest guy you've ever met. And I know you want to do naughty things with me, which is perfectly fine by me."

Her hand swiped out to slap him again, this time on his burned shoulder. Gazille winced and let out a few choice words.

"Let's go home, stupid dragon."

The ride home was a quiet and cozy one. The two slept most of the way with his arm draped over her shoulder. Though Gazille may have been happier than ever before in his life, it didn't do a thing for his harsh appearance. In fact, he looked smugger and more dangerous than ever before.

It was dark when they approached the little town of Magnolia. Gazille paid the carriage fare and scooped up Levi (despite his wounds), cradling her body against his and letting her sleep in peace. She didn't even stir until he laid her on his bed. The tub faucet in the bathroom began to run and the noise finally roused her from her sleep. It was only a few minutes before he switched off the bathroom light and came back into the bedroom. He tried to be quiet as he slipped a pair of pajama pants on underneath his towel and crawled inside the covers. Levi rolled over and gave him a sleepy smile.

"You're noisy."

"Shut up." He pulled her closer and kissed her. It was strange, but he could feel her smile as she kissed him back like a little girl in love. Suddenly he pulled away and gave her a serious look.

"There's something you should know before this goes any further."

"I already know you're a mean son of a bitch, if that's what you were going to say."

"Levi, I'm eighty-seven years old."

She could hardly contain herself as fits of laughter and giggles seized her. Gazille looked terribly confused as she punched his chest affectionately and wiped tears away from her bright eyes.

"I love older men," she snickered. He smiled back- something she rarely saw- and he kissed her forehead affectionately. His fingers tucked a strand of blue hair behind her ear and slid down to the crease of her neck. Levi sighed in content as her beautiful green eyes fluttered shut. From the crease of her neck to the baby soft skin of her arm and to her brightly painted fingernails. From her nails to the skin surrounding her breast, where he traced a delicate line. She squirmed, but Levi never opened her eyes and she uttered no protests. And his fingers moved down her side and relished in the dip, the valley between her chest and her prominent hips. Down to her thighs, tight with muscle, and the smooth skin of her legs. Freshly shaven, no doubt.

"I feel like I could break you," he whispered.

"I doubt that," she whispered back.

His body rolled on top of hers and he pinned her arms down with his hands. Her legs became trapped by his own even as she struggled beneath him. His hair fell over her in a dark curtain.

"You know, we've got to work on your skills. You suck."

"Get off- you're too fat."

"I'm what?"

Levi's laughter exploded as Gazille tickled her body with a devious expression on his face. His metal studs pressed into her and left indentations along her arms and legs. Her hands slapped at him and tried to push him away, almost breathless from giggling.

And then he gripped her hips and enveloped her in a kiss, dipping his tongue inside her mouth and dragging his teeth against her lips. Her body arched against his as pulled on her thick mess of blue hair and tilted her head back. Gazille nipped at her neck and earlobes; Levi wrapped her legs around one of his legs and ground her hips tighter against his. She was lost in a state of desire she had never felt before. All his touches melted together into one mesmerizing state of ecstasy and it was almost more than she could bear.

His hand slid along her stomach and down between the fabric of her shorts. His fingers were feather light as he teased her, keeping only her cotton underwear between her body and his touch. He could already feel her wetness and her scent, so clean and innocent, overwhelmed his delicate sense of smell.

Levi made a noise of contentment and looked at him with so much affection that it took Gazille's breath away. No one in the world had ever looked at him that way, and he thought she was absolutely crazy to do so. But there she was- the absolute yin to his yang. She was soft and pale, and so young and innocent. He was a dark metal dragon, cruel, old and lonely.

"I've never cared for anyone but myself before," he whispered, as though it were a secret. "But that's not true anymore. I…want you to remember that the next time you do something stupid."

"That's the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me." She spoke through a semi-stifled yawn and giggled.

He laid his head against her chest, his black hair covering their bodies like a glossy oil spill. The sound of her heartbeat filled his ears and he closed his gunmetal eyes to absorb her. Her arms wrapped affectionately around his body and the two settled into sound sleep.

Author's Note: Gazille is a tsundere! Hope you all liked this. I couldn't bring myself to make those two have full-on, HxC sex or anything. They're just too cute. Besides, I liked making innocent!Gazille.