Sorry this update is so late D: I've been really bummed out recently D: No fun.
Um... When I say titter, I mean this Ernie from Sesame street sort of thing... Or something akin to that :/ Bleh! I sound like such a killjoy right now! Buck up, self!
YOU MAKE ME WANNA LA LA!
Jellal hefts Levy on top of his shoulders, takes a swig out of his rapidly-draining bottle, screams, "Surf's up!" and uses a tabletop to slide down the stairs to the bottom floor, much to the disbelief of everyone he hits upon landing. Their makeshift board is like a bowling ball amongst pins; guildmates fly everywhere, with bodies hitting bottles and walls and CATS. Yowls and loud expletives abound as Jellal and Levy hurtle forwards, hit a wall and fall.
They laugh, and they laugh and they laugh and they laugh, and Jellal's vision is topsy-turvy, everything swimming in blissful nonsensical fantasy. AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME. Levy thumps her hands into his bare shoulder blades, leans down to rest her forehead on the back of his neck. "Let's do it again!" she giggles, bouncing. "Again! Again!"
Jellal titters into the floorboards, whole body shaking. He tries to move his arms and manages to get his right hand – the one holding the bottle – to the side of his head. He stares through the cider glass. "Everything is GREEN, Levy! Round and GREEN!" He rolls onto his back, looks up at her, flushed, appreciating what he sees. "Better watch out for me," he smirks. "I'm a predator."
"You mean you're a slut," she smirks back. She kneads his chest absently and sighs. "I'm starting to sober up."
"Same," Jellal scowls. "Quick." He sits up and she flails. "Drinks! More drinks!"
He barely manages to get to his feet before Levy jumps on his back. "Carry me!" She points over his shoulder. "There! Go, my faithful steed!"
"Steed indeed," Jellal grins stupidly.
They snigger, and think they're very clever.
They're stumbling off towards the bar when Erza crosses their path, swaggering and staring at her feet as if she'd sprouted sweet little fawn hooves all a sudden. "Hey," she says to them vaguely. They reply in kind and she continues on her way, heading in the general direction of Freed and Mirajane, who are wrapped around each other like creeper vines on a tree. Hot on Erza's trail is Natsu, who salutes Jellal goofily with one lazy flick of the hand.
"Erza! I'm going to get youuuuu~!" he drawls. "I'll win this time~! Just you WATCH."
He's followed closely by Gajeel, who cocks his head aggressively at the piggybacking friends before refocusing his attention.
"No – take me on first! I'm a HUNDRED times better than the Salamander!"
Wendy brings up the rear, jogging after the three of them determinedly. "Erza-saaan! You didn't tell me the end of that story...!"
After the parade has passed, Levy rolls her eyes, sighing into Jellal's ear.
"Dragons," she scoffs.
"More like ducklings," Jellal offers, bemused.
She hits him, and like a good horse he trots off behind the bar to help himself to whatever's lying around. Levy climbs off his back and seats herself on the countertop, waiting as Jellal gathers supplies and pours them both a very potent and entirely noxious cocktail of spirits and wine. "Why're you using champagne glasses?"
"I'm... adding a taste of class to the much stronger taste of... vomit and methylated spirits," he reasons, frowning at the smell.
He holds a glass out for Levy to sniff. She jerks her head back and looks horrified. "You want me to drink THAT? And you think it being in a wine glass will make it any better?"
He shrugs. "Can't hurt," he tells her confidently. He takes a gulp...
... Only to bend over retching in the next breath. Nothing comes out of his mouth but spit, although it feels like his stomach is trapped right there in the back of his throat. When he stops he sways back up into standing. "I'll remember SHIT ALL tomorrow if I drink this." He shares a frown with Levy, but doesn't put the glass down.
Lucky thing, too.
"Look out!" Levy shouts, just as Erza and Gajeel come crashing in to the bartop, a rough ball of flailing limbs, growls and grunts that breaks and knocks aside every bit of glass in its path. Gajeel's hands are everywhere, and so is his tongue as he drags it across her wristguards, greaves, in between her fingers, the crook of her elbow, her collar, her breastplate, leaving nothing but wet skin, dripping fabric and dissolved steel in his wake. Erza narrows her eyes, hits him sharply across the face, kicks him in a stomach made of solid iron and almost falls. Gajeel pins her against one of Cana's empty kegs atop the counter.
Jellal stares too.
It's when Gajeel latches on to one of Erza's armoured breasts that Jellal's self control starts to waver. He goes to speak, but doesn't know what he's going to say. Levy shouts the iron dragon's name and he looks up quickly, like a predator that has been disturbed at a carrion feast. He holds Levy's gaze for a second, then gets right back to his meal, as Erza's defences become less and less interested, and one of her callused hands travels to his fist in his hair.
She's facing away from Jellal - doesn't know he's even there. He watches, though, with a strange sense of detachment - his only balm for jealousy, since he knows he can't interfere. The position of unrequited lover rarely offers perks like that, after all.
With this thought in mind, a flute full of liquid amnesia rises slowly to his lips. Jellal tips his head back, finishing the concoction. His stomach heaves, but he doesn't give in to it. He doesn't have time to throw up.
He just has to keep watching.
By now the metal on her chest has dissolved, and instinct drives the dragon to go for something better tasting than food. Erza's white blouse is thin and now see-through from spit, and the circle Gajeel's wet tongue has made on her breast harbours a pink nipple as centrepiece. Erza's lost to inebriation, nervous tension and instinctive stimulation. She'd stolen Gajeel's first kiss that night; a folly of a dare which'd made him blush and stutter. She'd laughed. Maybe she'd roused something in him.
She lets her head fall back, drunk on feeling as well as spirits, but the familiar face she sees makes her lucid at once. Jellal stares at her like she's a stranger, and as soon as she remembers why, she kicks Gajeel away violently, lets down her guard completely, intent only on trying to apologise. Her arms cross over chest, and she tries to say something, but before she can even get a sentence out Gajeel returns, flipping up her skirt and taking a GIANT bite out of her underwear.
There is a shout, a scream, someone drags Gajeel away and...
... both glasses of the monstrous spirit mix are emptied.
Gajeel was frozen in the picture, his mouth clamped around the waistband of Erza's iron underwear. The knight's face was distraught, her skirt up around her hips, pink skin visible through wet patches on her blouse. Jellal stared at it quietly, chewing at the inside of his cheek. With each bite he could taste alcoholic saliva, and it was GROSS.
"Did I kill him?" he asked eventually.
"Did... someone else?"
"So he's still alive?"
"It's not too late to change that."
"Jellal," Levy sighed. "Murder isn't good. After all the effort it took to get you back out of prison..."
"They'd never catch me," he assured her, with a confidence in his face that would have her believe him. "Not this time. As soon as this seal wears off..."
"The one Master casted before the drinking started?"
He looked like he'd forgotten. "No – well, that too - but I have a good behaviour bond of six months." He pouted, sulking. "Good behaviour really means NO MAGIC, YOU TATTOOED WHORE, so... no meteors for a while. Still, there are always ways around that."
"Teeth and fists? Crowbars?"
Jellal smiled a smile uncannily resemblant of a shark, wide and toothy and fierce. Levy was hit with a sudden appreciation for how villainous he could have been when she saw that expression. He did have a dark side, one which went a little further than his morbid sense of humour.
Dangerous, dangerous, dangerous.
Scary. Kind of cool.
But he seemed to snap out of it quickly. "How're you in all this, anyway?" he asked, frowning. "You alright?"
Levy's expression was bright as sunshine. "Someone hugged me and let me cry on them, and then kissed it better," she said cheekily. Jellal blinked, pointed to himself with an innocent look on his face. "Yes you, you idiot! I actually... initiated it... But you responded! And you were really nice! You said all these lovely things -"
"Don't tell anyone," he warned her. "Gray and Natsu already think I'm a big enough pushover as it is. I don't need word getting around that I'm nice to crying girls."
"You were pretty nice to crying boys, too," she winked.
"Why does that not surprise me?" he sighed, closing his eyes. "Which boys, though, is the question."
"I'll let you find that out yourself." Levy fiddled with the last photograph left in her hand, drawing his attention. She answered his silent question readily. "You'll like this one. It's of you and Erza... together~" He snatched for it but she pulled it back. "I can't tell you what happened, though. I only know that you went up to her, and you said something, and she pretty much just wouldn't let go of you." She surrendered the photo and smiled at the grin on his face. "That's all I have for you this morning," she yawned, rubbing a hand over her eyes. "Go find someone else to fill you in on the rest of it, okay?"
Jellal couldn't wipe the concentrated joy off his face if he tried, and the elation of his mood seemed almost to counteract the throbbing pain of his terrible headache.
"Thanks, Levy," he smiled.
Levy poked her tongue out, embarrassed. "Oh! And about that picture; someone... took care of everything and... threw Gajeel into a wall. His name is Laxus, and he's kind of controversial, but... well... if you ever need Gajeel to stop harassing someone..." She cleared her throat nervously. "He's probably still around somewhere. You should thank him if you find him."
Jellal got to his feet, ready to keep searching for the answers to the night before. "Right. Laxus. Thanks."
Levy yawned once and rested her head on her forearm.
"Good luck with it all," she smiled groggily.
"I won't kill anyone," he promised.
"Good on you," she smiled. "Now get going!"
YOU MAKE ME WANNA - YOU MAKE ME WANNA - SCREAM!
TACKY SONGS ABOUND - CAN YOU HANDLE IT?
Thank you to everyone who reviewed last chapter D: Please continue to support me D: