Author's notes: Hello! After squealing like a madwoman at the 213 opening, i decided to write this. It is my take on what happen when Levy gets Gazille to the camp. It will probably be not canon (cant say AU apparently :P) since Mashima will surely surprise us with something new but, while we wait, here is my version! ^.^ of course i do not own the precious

Waiting in the aftermath

Walking at a too slow pace for her taste, Levy was making her way in the forest with Gazille's unconscious body hauled on her shoulder. She had departed with Erza and Juvia, some time ago, which felt like years so much her body was protesting against every muscle movements she was doing. Since the rush of adrenaline she had felt when leaving them had evaporated, her legs felt like lead at every step she took, her shoulder was numb from his weight and she was fighting the urge to just drop face first on the ground and faint from her own exhaustion and pain.

But Levy refused to listen to her body's selfish desires. She had to reach the camp and treat Gazille's wounds, to any cost. Who knew when Grimoire Heart would be upon them? The iron dragonslayer had defeated two of them to protect her, she couldn't just give up all hope and leave him behind. She was going to get him to safety, whatever happened.

Reciting this thought like a mantra, the young woman shifted her partner's body on hers and grabbed his side with more force, trying to not notice how his skin felt swollen under her hand or that sickening trail of red coming from a serious wound on his right shoulder.

Per chance, she didn't meet anything dangerous or hungry on her way so after what felt like an eternity, the solid script mage finally saw the tent with the Fairy Tail logo, at the horizon, and she gave out a shaky victorious laugh. The relief to be at destination, at last, made her speed up as much as she could and she almost didn't feel her muscles burn at this last sprint.

A couple of feet before she could actually touch the material, two women exited the tent and immediately noticed the wounded duo. She easily recognized them with their beautiful white hair and that was with a relieved smile that she finally let her body win over her.

Levy had been sure that she had closed her eyes for only a fraction of a second, to blink, but when she opened them, she was surprised by the strange point of view. It took her a couple of seconds to realize that she was lying on a camp bed, inside the tent.

Every single limbs of her small body was aching in pain, she felt like she had been hit by a truck and her head wasn't any better. Her throat was dry and when she tried to touch her temple with her left hand, she found out that it was too heavy, even for this simple task.

Slowly turning her head, Levy saw the tall black-haired man at her side on another bed with Mirajane and Lisanna who were busy bandaging his many bruises and wounds. He didn't move an inch, he was still unconscious.

Lisanna noticed her and promptly went to her side, her smile so generous there was no doubt who's little sister she was. She sat beside her and gently touched her cheek with a soft hand:

" Thank God, Levy. You have no idea how scared we were. Are you alright?"

The blue-haired woman tried to nod but her brain quickly complained, making her grimace in pain. The shape-shifter understood the message and left her side to go fetch something. She was back in an instant, holding a bottle filled with a clear bluish liquid.

She uncorked it and helped the wounded female drinking it.

" It's a painkiller potion, it will also help accelerate the healing."

The potion didn't taste anything but the cool feeling was like a gift from the heaven. The effect was instantaneous and her whole body relaxed in no time. She thanked her guildmate.

" When we saw the red flare from Erza, we knew there were enemies on the island." said Lisanna. " Are they the ones who did that to you?"

Levy tried to sit but she was still dizzy so she had to settle for raising her upper body with her pillow. She spoke the two words that would explain the best what was happening:

" Grimoire Heart."

The dark guild name had the same effect on the sisters than it previously had on her. Lisanna's jaw hanged open under her wide eyes and Mirajane was frozen in a similar state in the middle of a bandage.

" Gri-Grimoire Heart?"

" Why?"

Levy explained the best she could what had happened with the two animal warriors, about the war they said would happen and also that they had much stronger allies with them. When she was done, their faces were as white as their head and they were both speechless.

Both women exchanged looks in silence for a moment, all thinking over what they learned. It was so unexpected to have one corner of the Balam Alliance against the few of them and right on this holy land they weren't supposed to be able to access in the first place. What were exactly their intention? Why a war against Fairy Tail?

Mirajane nodded to herself and quickly finished bandaging the ribs. She was burning with a new resolution.

" Master must learn about this. Lisanna, you will stay here with Levy and Gazille and-"

" I don't agree, Mira-nee." The younger sister stood.

" He must be warned about this." said the elder sister with insistence.

" Yes, but I should be the one to go."

" I can't let you do this. It's too dangerous."

" If they come here, it will be as dangerous than out there! I'll run faster in my cat form and beside, you are the best of us to protect them, in case of danger."

Mirajane was obviously not happy with the setting but she was unable to come with a counter-argument. She finally resigned to accept her sister's proposition but she made sure to give her a thousand recommendations, to which Lisanna agreed. They hugged and the younger sister shifted into a cute leopard-type of cat and rushed in the forest without turning back.

The resting area of the tent was separated by a curtain so Levy didn't see Mirajane and Lisanna parting. She was preoccupied by what was going on, of course, but she couldn't help starring at the unconscious body lying on the bed beside her. His whole body was covered by bandages, so much he looked like a mummy and she could have believed he was one if she didn't see his chest raising and falling slowly. His skin was also quite pale, he had lost a good amount of blood.

Levy thought back to the last time she had seen him covered in bandages like this, after the fight against Laxus. Beside the broken leg, he had been looking like he did right now. He had saved her for the first time, back then. When they had been at that crazy mansion, he had saved her again. And earlier, if he hadn't been there, she wouldn't be alive anymore. The young woman smiled sadly, Gazille had helped her out more time that he should have and she hadn't really paid him back for that.

If only she was more reliable. If she had been strong enough to kick that stupid bird's butt into oblivion, he wouldn't be in such a shape. How she wished she could just go out there and beat them, all for the sake of no longer seeing him getting hurt like that.

Levy slowly sat in her bed, glad to not feel too much pain, beside the slight dizziness, she was feeling relatively fine. The potion was really effective. She sat there for a moment, in silence, glad to just watch the iron dragonslayer sleep. Beside his too light skin color, he looked somewhat at peace, his eyebrows free of his trademark scowl.

She had been thinking of his attractiveness for a while, now. He was not a cute guy, the term was way too delicate to describe him. He wasn't a gentleman neither, that much was obvious, Gazille's concept of gallantry was far from being conventional. If he knew the definition of the word gallantry, in the first place.

No, Gazille's attractiveness was in the fact that he was a brute and not just for his strong build. There was something endearing in the way he was always going in a straight line, always honest about what had to be said, no false modesty or butt-kissing. His words were sometime cruel and lacked sympathy but he had a way to say something, or do something, right after that neutralized their effect and proved that he cared, even if he wasn't good at showing it. The only exception was Pantherlily, that exceed had a privileged place in that man's heart, and he would always be proud to brag about him.

The blue-haired woman sighed, she didn't believe she was an envious person but she admitted that she was somehow jealous of the admiration Gazille had toward Lily. That exceed was the only one who could make him cheer up and open up, she wished she could have such an impact on that man's life. Just like he was now so important in her life, she couldn't even deny it, she wanted to be important in his life, too. Even if she wasn't strong like Erza, she wanted to be someone he could lean on.

Levy had been watching him for a while when he groaned in his sleep and she came out of her daydreams. She stood and went to his side quietly, not wanting to disturb him or alert Mirajane that she wasn't resting. She sat on the edge of his bed and slipped her left hand into his own. Per chance, it wasn't the one that had been greatly damaged by the goat warrior so she was free to squeeze it slightly. Gazille groaned again before sighing, falling into another dream.

Smiling to his sleeping form, the solid script mage started burning with longing. She was fighting the urge to lay down by his side and cuddle against him, no matter how embarrassing that would be. She opted for the next best thing and used her right hand to brush his hair out of his face. With feather touches, she combed his black mane in a soothing manner, happy to just have the opportunity to touch him. A blush warmed her cheeks, what would he say if he knew what she was doing?

Stifling back a giggle, Levy brushed her finger on the studs on his eyebrow, then on his ear. He never would let her do something like that, not even for a million Jewels, and she couldn't help feeling audacious at this golden opportunity. This was a one in a lifetime chance she was having and her mind just kept telling her to do it.

Her eyes fell on his lips and she fixed them for a moment. What would happen if...

Shaking her head, the young woman scowled at herself. She couldn't do something like that, right? It was wrong, Gazille was unconscious and vulnerable, she would be abusing of his thrust if she did something like that!

Her eyes went back to his mouth. Ever since that time he had almost kissed her, she had been dreaming of knowing what it would be like to kiss him. Would his lips taste like iron? What did iron taste like, anyway?

She shifted closer to him, her face slowly hovering over his shoulder then over his face. Her heartbeat accelerated as she was facing a decision toward the iron dragonslayer. Her logic said that it would be wrong, she wouldn't want to be kissed while being unconscious so it should be the same with him. However, her heart was scolding her for being such a goody-goody, she was always too insecure to try stuff out of her comfort zone, it was time for her to take some risks.

Torn by her inner turmoil, Levy was still standing over him, a couple of inches from touching him. She kept watching his face, in case he would wake up suddenly and scream at her. Gulping, the young woman gathered her courage and decided to act, it was now or never!

Slowly, the blue-haired woman lowered her face toward Gazille's, breathing as quietly as possible. Brushing her bang behind her ear, she approached her lips toward his, pausing for a second when she had a second thought. She was getting cold feet but she didn't want to stop, it was too late for that.

When she got an inch away, she closed her eyes and let her heart lead her to destination. Her lips slowly landed on his skin, right on the corner of his mouth. It was the best compromise, she was as close as she could get without betraying him, and that warmed her in relief.

Removing her lips slowly, she sat straight again after enjoying this secret moment. He didn't move at all, the act went completely unnoticed.

She didn't regret it, only that she wished for more but that was the closest she would ever have. She had no idea what he felt for her, when he had saved her, earlier that day, and told her to not leave his side, she didn't know if it was simply what he meant or if there had been something else to his words. All she knew was that she had been really pleased, at that moment.

With a last smile, she went back to her bed with a crazy heartbeat. She laid down, promising herself to keep this memory safe from the ravages of time. Right now, they had more pressing matters to take care of and it was far from a good time to confess. When they would wake up, later, he would probably try to go back fighting, out there, and she wouldn't leave his side.

Everything would be alright. They were Fairy Tail mages. They would fight side by side and protect each other.

Levy would get stronger for his sake so he could lean on her, at last.

End notes: Hope you enjoyed! thx for favs my other stories ^.^ and i luv your reviews