Summary: Mixing business with pleasure is not an easy concept. Our favorite blue-haired bookworm and Iron Dragonslayer soon discover this when they are forced to work together on a private job for Master Makarov. Will this lead to an epiphany of epic proportions? Or will they remain captive to the realms of friendship forever?
*Warning, I'm not prone to OOC-ness, so if that's what you're looking for then you won't find it in any of these stories.
Also, as I'm sure you know, I don't own any of the endearing, awesome, fantastic characters of Fairy Tail. I don't own any of the lame ones either, not that there are many. Anything pertaining to the original story belongs to Mashima Hiro completely.
Levy and Gajeel
Levy drifted down the dimly lit street to Fairy Hills, transfixed by the soft glow of twilight reflecting off the wet cobblestones. Winking fireflies circled the lush grass with lazy contentment, enjoying the heavy, moist summer air. Levy breathed in the rainwater aroma deeply, closing her eyes to the peaceful serenade of crickets. It was evenings like this that she loved; the calm before the storm. Raging summer thunderstorms had assaulted the city of Magnolia for the past week, much to the distress of the members of Fairy Tail who had to walk to and from the guild. Even now, there were purple clouds swirling threateningly on the horizon.
When Fairy Hills popped into sight, the gentle drizzle that had begun to mist down from the sky suddenly became fiercer, heavy enough to be called rain. Levy quickened her pace until she was safe under shelter. Shaking out her cloud of blue hair, she walked up the outside stairs until she came to the back entrance of her apartment. Digging around in her purse, she produced an overflowing keyring and promptly picked out an average brass key, sliding it in the lock and entering her home.
She looked around, dropping the keys back into her purse. It didn't seem like anything had been touched; not that she really would have been able to tell, considering the motley of books that occupied every single corner of the room. Most were stacked in haphazard piles, since she had run out of room on the bookshelves that lined the walls from floor to ceiling. To Levy, there was no such thing as too many books. She squinted in the direction of the kitchen with a frown, peaking out behind a mountain of literature. Had she left that light on?
Levy stepped forward, over the papers that formed a second carpet on her floor. She couldn't recall leaving the kitchen light on; in fact, she couldn't recall using the kitchen at all this morning. She normally ate at the guild.
Suddenly, an arm shot out from a pile of books.
Levy screamed and whipped out the pen she used for solid script incantations, shrieking the word "electricity" when the muscular arm quickly became attached to a shoulder. The word zapped out from her pen, hanging in the air for hardly a second before pursuing the invader. The perpetrator's arm convulsed along with an agonized screech from which it had projected itself.
"Shit! Dammit, shorty!" the voice said. The volcano of books erupted, revealing a singed Gajeel. Levy leapt back with a mixture of fear and humiliation. What was the deadly Iron Dragonslayer doing in her home? Besides that, she'd just zapped him!
"I'm so sorry!" she cried, helping him unearth himself from the smoking pile of media. He shook his head to clear it, smoothing back the porcupine he called hair. After Gajeel was composed, he glared down at her with irritation.
"Do you just go around electrocuting your visitors?" he inquired harshly, pinching a piece of sizzling hair between his thumb and forefinger.
Levy gaped. "Visitor? More like intruder!"
"Your window wasn't locked, so I let myself in," Gajeel excused, shrugging.
"What normal person comes in through the window?" Levy pointed out. She had a new understanding for what Lucy went through every day, remembering the many accounts in which her fair haired friend had complained about Natsu, Gray, and Erza constantly bursting into her house without permission.
Gajeel snorted. "Who said I was normal?"
"Good point," Levy sighed, dropping her purse on the counter (probably the only space in her apartment that wasn't overflowing with literature, though it did have it's share of soon-to-be opened cookbooks) and bustled about for something for her and Gajeel to eat. As she searched aimlessly for the nonexistent food supply, she continued to interrogate Gajeel. "What are you doing here anyway? Not that I mind the company, but generally people give me a warning before they come over."
"I'm actually here because the old geezer asked me to give you this personally," Gajeel said, digging around in his pocket. He pulled out a scroll and dropped it into Levy's outstretched hands. "He said it was for a job or somethin', and that he'd give you a good chunk of cash to decipher it."
"I see," Levy commented absently, intrigued by this new knowledge. She tentatively opened the scroll, blinking when her eyes came in contact with the intricate lettering of some foreign language. What is this? she thought, her brow puckering. It wasn't anything she'd ever encountered before.
Curiously, Gajeel looked over her shoulder. It wasn't a hard feat for him, considering their enormous height difference, but it did give Levy a little bit of trouble concentrating. Heat radiated off of Gajeel like a furnace; his hot breath slithered down Levy's neck. Despite this warmth, she had to suppress a shiver. Her heart hammered in her chest.
"This...looks familiar..." he said, snapping Levy out of her daze.
"What? You've seen this before?" Levy said, looking up at Gajeel hopefully. This writing was one that she had never set eyes on; she couldn't even tell it's origin, much less read it.
"Yeah, but I can't remember where..."
"Do you think it might have something to do with Metallicana?" Levy implored, pausing to grasp the steel dragon's name from the depths of her memory.
"I dunno, but that's a good place to start." Gajeel brushed by her and started walking towards the door.
"Where are you going?" Levy asked, swallowing the edge disappointment that sliced through her voice.
"We're gonna go by my place and see if there's anything there that might help," Gajeel said, motioning for her to follow him. "I don't exactly do a lot of reading, so whatever that shit is it'll probably be there."
Levy quickly rolled up the scroll, grabbed her jacket and turned off the kitchen light, grinning broadly all the while.
Gajeel only lived a mile or two away from Fairy Hills. However, since Levy didn't have time to get an umbrella, they had to run through the steady falling of the rain. Well, they tried to run. Eventually they gave into walking because Levy couldn't keep up with Gajeel and he had to keep waiting for her to catch up. By the time they ducked under the shelter of his apartment complex, they were dripping wet and soaked to the skin. The only thing that was relatively dry was the scroll, which Levy had done her best to shield.
"Gah, I hate wet clothes," Gajeel growled as his boots made a goofy squeak with every step he took.
"Agreed," Levy said, taking down her hair and wringing out her bandanna.
Gajeel opened the door to his apartment, not bothering with a lock. Levy supposed he wouldn't really need one because there wasn't anybody stupid enough to break into a Dragonslayer's den.
Levy was more than curious to see what kind of conditions Gajeel lived in. She had tried to come up with a vague idea at least, but her mind didn't produce anything. When she hesitantly poked her head through the door, she was relatively surprised. His apartment shockingly neat, but when she pointed this out he said that Pantherlily was a clean freak, and that the feline was the one who did all the tidying. The furniture was simple and practical, but Levy did notice that none of it was metal. Perhaps because he would have the temptation to eat it? She chuckled at the thought.
There weren't a lot of personal items lying around, just some scrap metal and the occasional trinket. There was one whole shelf dedicated to snowglobes, and Gajeel warned her that she better not tell anyone, or else. Levy nodded in acknowledgement.
Levy was disappointed to find that, underneath the snowglobe shelf, there were only four or five thin books. Gajeel had told the truth when he said he didn't do much reading.
When Levy turned to mention this, she caught Gajeel pulling his shirt off over his head. Her vibrant blush was instantaneous. "Gajeel! What are you doing?"
"Huh? I was gonna get some other clothes..." he stalked off, looking back at her like she was the one with the problem. She slumped down into a chair, hiding her red face in her hands. It was obvious that the Iron Dragonslayer was ripped but...wow. Her scarlet face only became brighter when she recalled his rippling muscles, no longer contained by the layers of black fabric she was so used to seeing.
Levy was suddenly hit in the face with similar black fabric. She straightened up, unfolding the dark t-shirt he'd thrown at her. Gajeel stood in the living room, taking a towel to his hair ferociously. "You can wear that for right now, 'til your clothes dry. It's big on me, so it'll probably be a dress or somethin' on you," he said. Levy nodded and evacuated the room before he got a chance to notice the renewed brilliance of her face.
She closed the door behind her with a sigh. The room she'd ducked into looked to be Gajeel's bedroom, much to her embarrassment. Most of the minuscule room was consumed by a giant bed, on which was a tangled mass of black sheets. This room was a bit more personalized than the other, most of the furniture finished with a layer of leather and studded with metal. Squished in the corner there was a desk with several maps and a few more books. Levy wandered over to this area curiously. The maps were of Fiore and lands beyond, chaotic circles, arrows, and X's scratched onto the yellowing paper in red. Beside this mountain of paper was a single silver scale encased in glass. Levy peered at it inquisitively. It was too big to be anything but a dragon scale, she knew this for certain. Perhaps...perhaps Gajeel was trying to find his dragon, Metallicana, like Natsu was tracking Igneel?
With a start, Levy realized that she was snooping, something that was most definitely off limits. This cramped little desk was in Gajeel's bedroom, so it must stand to reason that he didn't want prying eyes like hers shifting through it. Levy hurriedly stripped herself of her wet clothes and slipped on Gajeel's t-shirt, inhaling as she fingered the descending hem. His scent engulfed her, an odor she couldn't quite describe.
"Gajeel, where are your towels?" she called suddenly, tugging at her dripping blue tresses.
After a pause, she heard, "In the bathroom cabinet."
Levy looked left and right for a door to this elusive bathroom. She had to step over a heaping pile of discarded clothes (which she recognized as the wet ones Gajeel had just changed out of) to get to the door. Pantherlily seemed inclined to clean the bathroom as well, much to Levy's relief. She grabbed a towel and did her best to dry her hair, only causing it to be even more of a disheveled mess. Sighing, she clawed through it with her fingers. The rain was sure to trigger the ever-threatening ball of frizz that was about to erupt on her head.
Gathering up her clothes, she rescued the scroll from her pocket and padded out of Gajeel's bedroom to decipher it.
Gajeel rolled one of his snowglobes around in his hands as he waited for Levy to get done changing, a towel tossed over his head carelessly. She was taking an awfully long time. Probably trying to get that crazy-ass blush out of her cheeks, he thought, chuckling. He would certainly have some fun with this.
He didn't know what had possessed him to invite Levy over. The script on the scroll did look familiar, and he did probably have it in one of the books Metallicana had passed down to him, but it wasn't necessary for her to be there. He considered the idea for a while, then decided that it wasn't a big deal. It wasn't like she was spending the night or anything. She'd probably stay until the scroll was figured out, then she'd go home.
As if to contradict this, the gentle pitter-pat of rain outside became louder.
The door to the apartment opened, revealing Pantherlily. Gajeel blinked in surprise at his Exceed companion. There were instances when Pantherlily didn't come home, and Gajeel had counted on tonight being one of those times. The cat shook water out of his coat with aggravation, scowling at the gloomy night. "I hate thunderstorms."
Gajeel replied with a grunt.
"Where did you come from? Your hair's all wet," the cat continued.
Gajeel opened his mouth to answer, but Levy's voice issued from his bedroom before he could. "Gajeel, where are your towels?"
Pantherlily's usual impassive expression dissolved into one of excitement. Gajeel scowled at him as he relayed directions to Levy, receiving a distant "okay" in return. Pantherlily smirked, waiting for Gajeel to explain. "Don't give me that look," the Iron Dragonslayer defended, crossing his arms over his chest and jutting out his chin stubbornly. "It's for a job."
"Uh-huh," Lily said, quirking an eyebrow as Levy tapped in. Her attire really didn't do anything to help Gajeel's case, as she was dressed in only one of his t-shirts. Granted, the hem was just above her knees and it was longer than the stuff she normally flounced, but it was suggestive just the same. Gajeel gritted his teeth, hiding his face from her. When did she get so fucking adorable?
Her smile lit up the room when she spotted Pantherlily. "Hi, Lily! I haven't seen you in a while."
"Hello, Levy," the cat greeted with exaggerated emphasis, sparing Gajeel a sympathetic glance. "I'm afraid I can't talk right now, I was just stopping by to get something."
"Oh, that's too bad," Levy frowned.
"I'll most definitely see you later though," Pantherlily grinned, wheeling around and making his way to the door from which he had just come. Gajeel glowered after him for the nasty assumptions he was sure to be forming in his head. The Exceed made his leave, waving goodbye.
"Bye!" Levy said cheerfully. She shifted the damp clothes in her hands uncertainly, turning to her host. "Where do you want me to put these so they can dry?"
"Over there's fine," Gajeel said, pointing. He watched her spread her clothes on the floor neatly, smoothing them out with her hands. She seemed so involved in such a simple task, giving it all her concentration. Why she focused on it so, Gajeel couldn't figure out. Suddenly, she turned to him expectantly and he realized she'd said something. "What was that?"
"I asked which one of your books you wanted to start looking in," Levy repeated, holding up the mysterious scroll.
"I dunno, just bring all of 'em over here."
Levy obliged, struggling under the weight of the books. Gajeel took half of her load and set them down on the table. He sighed, eyes glazing over at the prospect of reading all those words. At his pace it would take forever. When he voiced this, Levy thought for a moment. Then, she giggled. "Here, you can take these," she said, holding something out to him. It was a pair of reading glasses, very girlie. Levy explained that they helped a person read faster.
"I'm not that desperate," Gajeel said, pushing the glasses away. Levy snickered again and settled them on her face, tying her hair up in the same instant. She curled up on the floor next to the coffee table, leaning on the couch where Gajeel sat. Before long, there was a book in Gajeel's lap. He stared at it like an idiot.
"Start reading," Levy ordered, cracking open a book of her own.
Gajeel wrinkled his nose and half-heartily flipped open the book to a random page. He probably wasn't doing the whole "research" thing right, but he didn't particularly care. He never really understood why something that had already been searched once needed to be searched for again. Besides, he was finding it increasingly difficult to focus on the task at hand with Levy's still form mere inches away. After about five minutes of staring blankly at the same page, he closed the book and stood. "I'm hungry. You?"
"No thanks," Levy said absently, bent over her book. Gajeel shrugged and stalked off to the kitchen to get something to eat. When he came back, Levy had changed books. He gaped. The book wasn't particularly thick, but there's no way she could've read it all in the time he was gone. "I didn't," she said when he asked her about it. "I just skimmed through it, looking for something relevant to the job."
That's smart, Gajeel thought blatantly, rolling an iron nail between his teeth. As he watched her work, he decided that he wasn't going to be much help whether he tried or not. So, he sat back down on the couch and observed her studying instead.
There was a spontaneous roll of thunder that made them both jump. They'd failed to notice that the storm was steadily becoming fiercer and fiercer as the night progressed. It seemed to Gajeel that Levy would have difficulty walking home if it kept up like this.
The weather seemed prone to reading his thoughts tonight, because in that instant the lights flickered out.
"Dammit," Gajeel swore, standing and immediately knocking his knee on the coffee table.
"Don't worry, I got it," Levy's voice said. "Light!"
The room was illuminated with the word, a bright white gleam. Gajeel blinked, his eyes adjusting to the sudden change. Levy stood beside him, placing her pen back in it's holder. "Do you have any candles?"
"Yeah, probably," Gajeel said, rummaging around. Levy searched as well, and together they discovered two candles and a flashlight. Gajeel lit the candles, and Levy flipped on the flashlight, extinguishing her solid script and flopping down on the couch to continue with her research. She's certainly making herself at home, he thought, pleased with the idea for some reason. He collapsed down next to her, stretching and staring out the window. "Are you really gonna walk home in that shit?"
"I guess so..." Levy said, frowning as lightning streaked across the sky, followed by a clap of thunder. "Maybe it'll calm down by the time I find something."
"Maybe," Gajeel said. "But it's already pretty late. Why don't you just stay here?"
"Huh?" Levy exclaimed, the heat of her blush reaching his skin from where he was splayed.
"Yeah, why not? You've spent the night at the stooges' houses right?"
"Um, y-yeah but..."
"So how's this any different?" Gajeel finished with a shrug.
"I guess it's not," Levy said with dejection.
It was silent as she, once again, fell into the open arms of literature.
Levy was decrypting the last line of the scroll.
She got lucky on the third book, entitled, Early Hierarchies of the Dragon Species. Contained within the book was fascinating information about dragon culture (she would most certainly have to borrow this book from Gajeel), including, much to her satisfaction, the complete dragon alphabet translated into English. She did meet some rough patches in which she had to improvise, but that was to be expected in any translation. It was evident that this book was an exceedingly rare copy, probably one of the few that was still in such amazing condition. With the disappearance of dragons, the heritage was also dissipating.
Levy paused in her work to glance at the sleeping Gajeel. He'd passed out a few hours ago, splayed across the couch with comfortable familiarity. He couldn't have understood how much of a disappointment it was when he told her that sleeping over at his place was no different than if she had spent the night at Jet and Droy's. It was common knowledge in Fairy Tail that she'd rejected both of her dear friends, and this comparison to them was a rejection of it's own sort.
She turned completely away from her work, resting her chin on her hand. Gajeel looked so much calmer when he was asleep. All the anger was wiped off his face in favor of a blank slate. Levy was intrigued to find out that the silver piercings that lined his arms and face (well, she supposed they were piercings; she didn't have a better definition for them) were also apparent on his abdomen, a silver stud dotting each ab. In a half-awake, half-asleep stupor, she caught herself trailing her fingers over these metal pieces. Her hand went up his stomach, past his chest, and began sliding down his arms. The muscles of his arms were relaxed, not wound tightly like coils as they normally were.
Gajeel's other arm suddenly shot up, catching her hand in his.
Levy's face went white, horrified at the prospect of being discovered in such a thoughtless action. Her raging panic relaxed fractionally when she realized that his eyes were still closed, and that his chest was gently rising and falling under her hand. He was asleep. Perhaps it had just been a reflex. Deciding that this was the most plausible (and relieving) theory, she sighed outwardly.
Though she was drowsy before, she was wide awake now. The adrenaline that had rushed through her system ensured that. She needed to finish this scroll. Carefully extracting her hand, Levy got back to work. Almost done, almost done, she chanted in her head. It became a second heartbeat, this simple phrase. Almost done, almost done.
After another hour or so, she dropped her pen down on the table with flourish. Done done done! She was done! Thank goodness! Levy didn't even take the time to read it, for she wasn't sure she was coherent enough to get passed the first line, as her eyelids had grown heavier and heavier over the duration of her work. She took down her hair and leaned back on the couch. Now that she was done, she could finally sleep. Sleep...
Unknown to the sleeping Levy, Gajeel had been awake since the moment her skin made contact with his. If she thought that the light touch wouldn't be enough to wake even a Dragonslayer, she'd been terribly mistaken. He hadn't made any sign of being conscious, simply intrigued as to what she would do next. The sensation of her touch was increasingly enticing, and he wished to relish it for all that it was. As her fingers had trailed up his chest, Gajeel couldn't resist the urge to trap her hand. He felt the exhilarated jump that took place afterward, and the thumping of her pulse as she realized that she'd been caught. The expression on her face in that moment would have been priceless, but Gajeel was afraid that she might actually die of embarrassment if he'd revealed that he was awake. So, he continued to be asleep, keeping a hold of her hand until she gently slipped it out of his grasp and supposedly got back to her scroll.
Now, he heard her breathing become peaceful and deep, signifying slumber. He opened one eye, peaking at her form curled up on the other side of the sofa. Levy was so tiny. Using her arm as a pillow, she'd folded herself in such a way that she didn't even take up half the couch. It was insanely winsome, Gajeel had to admit. There was a piece of blue hair that was bothering him, though, so he swiftly brushed it off her forehead and smoothed it back into place. Her hair was soft.
Content, Gajeel settled back down on the couch, resting his feet on the coffee table and folding his arms behind his head. He could probably sneak into his own bed if he really wanted to, but...
...well, he was already pretty comfy at the moment.
When Gajeel ascended from the depths of unconsciousness the next morning, he discovered that there was a great surprise waiting for him. He blinked away sleep from his vision, rubbing his eyes and stretching his stiff arms. It was when he rolled his shoulders, smacked his lips, and was completely intent on getting a drink of water did he realized something was amiss. Looking down, he found out what that something was.
Levy's head was pillowed on his lap.
Gajeel recoiled, befuddled beyond belief. Though he was absolutely trembling with perplexity from the waist up, his legs remained perfectly still. Despite the fact that he was having a bout of utter astonishment, he didn't want to wake up Levy. She looked very serene at the moment and he knew that she'd stayed up particularly late last night working on the scroll. As he frantically searched for a solution for his problem, he idly wondered how he hadn't noticed her change into such a position last night.
Even as he wondered this, he suddenly realized that there was no problem. Yes, Levy was using his lap as a pillow, but that was no issue was it? It's not like he had anything vitally important to do. Why was he so concerned? Certainly his nonplussed reaction had been justified, but that didn't mean there was any reason to see the situation as a predicament.
Besides, her reaction was going to be incredibly entertaining.
Gajeel thought about this, smirking. There was really no telling what she would do, because she was so damn unpredictable. Whatever the reaction, it was bound to be humorous in nature. The moment he was experiencing now, though, was as valuable as her aftershock. He found that he wasn't getting tired or bored staring at her sleeping form. Strange.
As Levy began to stir, Gajeel awaited anxiously for the moment. She shifted, then her eyes fluttered open, taking in her surroundings. Blinking and squinting, she fingered his t-shirt and sat up on her elbow. It was then that she met his beseeching gaze.
Her face was immediately drained of color as realization dawned on her. With a yelp, she scurried away from Gajeel and straight over the arm of the couch, knocking over a bunch of research materials in the process. There was a rather boisterous clatter and a thump as she hit the floor, but Gajeel could see nothing except her feet sticking up in the air. He would have been concerned for her safety if he hadn't seen many other clumsy episodes such as this at the guild. That, and the fact that if he checked on her now he would definitely see her underwear and she would undoubtedly be scandalized.
He watched her feet slowly sink out of sight, then heard a hesitant shuffle as she recovered herself. A tangle of blue hair peaked over the arm of the couch, followed by a wide, crinkled forehead and two brown, dismayed eyes.
"Mornin'," he said.
"How long have you been awake?" she mumbled.
"A while," Gajeel said vaguely, enjoying himself to an enormous extent.
Her face slid out of view. There was thump as she knocked her head against the wall. And another thump. And another. And another. Gajeel chuckled and decided to rescue her from her misery. He stood and walked around until he was standing over her slumped form. She stopped knocking her head against the wall, but she did not turn around.
"The old man wanted that scroll as soon as you were done with it," he hinted.
She turned to look at him, her expression hollow. "Are you kicking me out of your house?"
"Huh? No, I'm just sayin'. You could do that, or you could stay here." Gajeel shrugged. "S'up to you."
Levy gave him a puzzled look. Then she sighed with...regret? "I think I better deliver this to Master Makarov." She changed into her clothes, gathered up her belongings, and slipped on her shoes. As she placed her hand on the doorknob, she turned and said, "I'll talk to you later at the guild right?"
"Yup," Gajeel said.
"Okay then," she said. Then, with a wave, she left.
Pantherlily entered mere minutes later. "I just saw her leave," he said, nudging Gajeel with his small elbow and winking. "She spent the night. How'd things go?"
"I don't like what you're suggesting," Gajeel spat, crossing his arms. "She only stayed the night 'cause it was raining so hard outside, thank you!"
"Of course, that's what happened," Pantherlily taunted, bending over and picking something up off the ground. "She left her bandanna."
Gajeel snatched it from the Exceed's paws, turning it over in his hands. It was her red one, with pink polka-dots. He felt terribly degraded holding the article of clothing, but he stuffed it in his pocket. "I'll give it to her later."
"So you already made other plans, eh?"
It wasn't until Levy was preparing for a shower did she realize that she was missing her favorite bandanna. Sighing, she stepped into the relaxing warm water. I'll ask Gajeel about it later.
Even thinking his name was enough to arouse her sense of mortification. How could she have done that? Even if it was in her sleep, how could she have ended up like that? It was awful and horrifying and if it had been anybody but Gajeel she'd probably never hear the end of it. But, thankfully, it was Gajeel and he probably was thinking nothing of it now. Which, as she considered it, wasn't much of an improvement.
What do you want him to do? she thought to herself bitterly. Confess his undying love to you? Come on, it's Gajeel. That's never going to happen. You need to face the facts; if this relationship is gonna go anywhere, then you'll have to be the one to start it. She convinced herself of this and even rehearsed the several ways she could put her plan into action, but deep down inside she knew that she would never have the courage to do it.
After getting dressed and going though her morning routine, Levy decided that she would eat breakfast at the guild (again) and grabbed the scroll. Idly, she wondered how much Master Makarov would pay for her decryption...
When she made it to the guild after a long, relaxing walk through the heavy morning mist, she discovered that the "good chunk of cash" she'd been promised was a mere 2,000 jewels. It wasn't much, but she supposed that the assignment itself wasn't anything too difficult, just the conditions in which she'd performed it.
Since it was so early in the morning there was hardly anyone at the guild. Levy spotted Mirajane and Lisanna chatting at the bar, so she decided to go visit with them. Soon, though, her attention was occupied by Jet and Droy when they arrived. Apparently they'd planned to go to breakfast with her, but she wasn't home when they'd checked. Levy told them that she'd been working on a quick job for Master Makarov and apologized for inconveniencing them. Truthfully, she wasn't really paying much attention to anything except the door. Fairy Tail was quickly filling up with people and she was aimlessly searching for one Dragonslayer in particular. She saw Wendy come in with Charle, and she spotted Natsu and Happy make their entrance after Lucy, but there was no Gajeel in sight. It was during this time that she did realize all the Dragonslayers had a Exceed companion, which struck her as odd.
Jet stopped mid-sentence, suddenly sharing a glare with Droy directed at something behind Levy. She felt a hand on her shoulder and raised her eyebrows imploringly as it turned her around. Her eyes widened when she saw Gajeel, because she had not noticed him come in. "Hey, shorty," he said.
He dug around in his pocket, pulling out a piece of red and pink cloth. It was her bandanna. "You left this at my house last night," he explained with slow exaggeration on the last two words, handing the bandanna to her. Levy took it, feeling the eyes of Jet and Droy burning holes in her back like a physical heat. Gajeel's statement hung in the air with heavy awkwardness, as he had clearly said it just to test the tempers of her friends. The Iron Dragonslayer was enjoying their emotional torture more than he had a right to. Levy thanked him, at a loss of what else to say.
Gajeel nodded and walked away. She watched him do so, registering that Jet and Droy were talking to her but not hearing what they said. For, she discovered with sudden determination, this was the time to do it. The time to ask Gajeel out. If she didn't do it now, she knew that she would never be able to do it again.
So, shrugging off her friends' questions, comments, and concerns, she chased after Gajeel. He turned when she called his name, raising his eyebrows. Levy stood in front of him with clenched fists and a red, pinched face, looking defiant rather than persuasive. Her words came out in such a rush that Gajeel didn't understand her. "Doyouwannagetbreakfast?"
He stared at her, puzzled. "Huh?"
Levy breathed, trying to calm herself down in an effort to speak more slowly. "Do you want to get breakfast," she said, adding "with me?" at the end for good measure.
Gajeel blinked. "Sure..."
"Great!" Levy said, relieved at not being completely rejected. She waved Jet and Droy's baffled faces goodbye before grabbing Gajeel's arm and dragging him out of the guild and onto the soggy street. They walked in silence for a while before Gajeel asked her a hesitant question.
"So...is this like...a date?" he said.
"If you want...though it would be nice if you said yes," Levy said, peaking up at Gajeel shyly.
Gajeel shrugged. "Then sure, it's a date."
Levy smiled with relief.
They walked for a while longer. The morning air was crisp and dewy after the frequent rains, but now the sky was a clear, solid blue. It didn't look like there would be any rain for a while. As much as Levy liked thunderstorms, it was nice to see sunlight on the streets of Magnolia again.
"Just so you know," Gajeel said as they turned the corner to the pancake house, about a block away from Fairy Tail. "You don't gotta use an excuse like a job to stay the night at my place. Come over whenever."
Levy ceased walking, a blush coloring her face. What? What did he just say? her inner monologue cried frantically, going into overdrive. Did he just say what I think he said?
Gajeel, who had continued walking, looked back at her with a smirk. "You comin', shorty?"
Levy nodded, the blush blooming across her face once more, and followed Gajeel into the pancake house. She had a feeling that this was the start of a beautiful more-than-friendship.
Levy and Gajeel - End