Author's notes: this is the last chapter! i was so afraid that it would be too short but hey, look at that +7000words o.0 i plan on adding more chapters in the futur but this arc will be over :3 hope you guys will enjoy it and, as usual, i do not own fairy tail. I only own a lot of imagination and a scanner no longer compatible with my comp so i can't scan my drawings :(
but enough babbling: enjoy!
From the other side
# 9 Handcuffs, Cocktails and little pervert
Juvia had barely stepped inside the guild that she almost got trampled alive by her fellow guild mates. Gray was the first to reach her but she swiftly dodged his hug and ignored his daily declaration of love, then Wendy, Jet, Droy and Natsu joined the black-haired man at her side. Not too far away from the group, Lucy was scowling as if she didn't care about the commotion.
They all asked her about Levy at the same time but the curly bluenette raised both hands to calm them and gave them an explanation, one that wouldn't make the small fairy want to tear off her head.
" Juvia couldn't get more information about why she's sad but, at least, she's doing better. She said she wants to stay alone. "
Wendy was looking worried:
" I hope Levy-san will be alright. "
" Is it that Informant guy that made her cry? " Jet asked in a threatening tone.
" I say we find him and give him a face-lift! " retorted Droy while cracking his knuckles.
" If Levy heard you saying she cried, she would kick your butt, " said Natsu in a shy voice but quickly regretted his comment when he received two mean stares from the Shadow Gears guys.
Juvia was pretty sure that this Gazille Mirajane had told them about had a part to play in Levy's depression but she didn't think the man deserved to be beaten up. After what she had heard from the small bluenette, she suspected that he wasn't the one who had broken her heart.
It was probably more the other way around.
" Juvia thinks that Levy is confused about her feelings and needs time to sort them out. "
A Tch was heard and when Juvia looked in the group to see who had made it, her eyes met the brown ones of Lucy. The blond was standing with her arms crossed over her chest and her face showed indifference:
" That idiot needs a good kick in the ass, if you ask me. That's the only way to get something through that thick head of hers. "
Jet and Droy glared daggers at the woman but they didn't say anything else. First, because she would wipe the floor with them, even if they would never admit it, and second, because she was showing some kind of concern for the small fairy, even if she would never admit it.
" But Levy will never accept our help, " Natsu pipped in, " she's too proud for that. "
" We should go see her, anyway, " said Wendy. " We are her family and we must show her that we are here to support her, even if that makes her angry. "
The others all agreed with her, except Lucy that denied doing this to help her rival, and they made their way to Levy's house. Juvia sweat dropped when she imagined how her roommate would react to have a bunch of friends crashing in their house but she still followed them with a small smile on her face. She had no idea if they would be able to reach Levy with their feelings but it was worth the try.
She could easily predict that there would be property damages done to her home within the next hour, anyway. She wanted to be there to save some of her stuffs.
Levy didn't have time to dodge the strong shove she received from the fat man at her door, which she had recognized as Eddy: she fell hard on her back, the blow knocking the air out of her lungs and leaving her dizzy for a second. Her aggressor quickly approached and grabbed her by the neck before lifting her back on her feet. She struggled to make him release her by kicking him but he barely grunted in pain as he slammed her against the nearest wall, while four other thugs entered the house. The bluenette clawed at the hand holding her throat but the fat man didn't even flinch, his face showing a mix of amusement and hate. Her eyes darted to the side toward her bedroom but, more precisely, where she knew her gun was hidden and that thought made her curse herself for her carelessness.
One of the men was looking more chic than the others, with his fancy clothes and his cane, and he quickly proved himself the leader of the gang when he ordered Eddy to go easy on her.
" Handcuff her to that pipe, " the rich man said while pointing at the exposed pipes between the kitchen and the living room. Since it was a old house, not all of the plumbing was hidden in the walls and those pipes, coming from the floor to the ceiling, were supplying the kitchen with water. The fat man grabbed Levy's wrists and forced her to sit on the floor with her back against the pipes, a task that she didn't made easy for him since she kept struggling and even kicked his knee in the process. He finally handcuffed her with her arms over her head. She was glad to notice him limping when he stepped back and didn't hide her smug smirk.
Two of the other thugs left the house, probably to stand guard outside, while the third one went to check the two bedrooms and the bathroom before coming back to stand near Eddy. Their leader took a chair from the kitchen and placed it at a safe distance in front of her before sitting on it, his hands propped on his cane. Then, he offered her a pearly-white smile and spoke in a polite business-like voice:
" Please, pardon our intrusion into your lovely home, Miss Peggy. I can assure you that if you cooperate, it will only be a matter of minutes. "
Levy could tell right away that she disliked that man, and it wasn't only because he was the leader of those criminals or that he had got her handcuffed to the wall. His sickening smile was giving her the creep. She was doing her best to not show it but she was still under the shock of the home invasion and scared shitless for being stuck in such a vulnerable position.
The man on the chair took the time to look at her from head to toes, his face showing some kind of interest, and that was enough to make her instinctively struggle against her binding, even if it proved pointless.
" My, my, my, aren't you a cute and lively little thing, hm? But you're so small, it's hard to believe that you were the one who fought Eddy, back then. " He looked behind his shoulder at the man in question who lowered his gaze in shame. " I am not sure if I should praise you for defeating him or beat him for losing to you... " He shrugged. " But enough of that: do you have an idea of who we are? "
" You motherfuckers are from that shitty gang of thieves, " she immediately said as if talking about the most disgusting insect of Edolas.
The man shook his head but kept his amused smile:
" Tsk, tsk, what a foul language, it really doesn't suit your cute face. "
At first, the bluenette had her doubts about the man sitting in front of her but she was pretty sure of his identity, now. If he was with those thugs, that meant he was the rich guy she had seen in the warehouse, back then.
" And you're that Bison dude, " she added, more for herself. " What the fuck do you want with me? "
Bison chuckled as he watched her pull on her chains again, seemingly highly entertained by her anger.
" My, my, what a temper. But you are right, kid, we should get down to business. I've got other important things to do, after all. "
His smile quickly disappeared:
" I'm looking for Gazille the writer. "
Levy's eyes widened in shock when she heard the name. She hadn't had time to answer when he added in a fake-ish compassionate voice:
" Now, it's no use telling me that you don't know the guy. My boys saw you two together, a couple of days ago, and apparently, you were pretty close. " She glared when he grinned, clearly understanding what he was implying. " But, you know, I'm a nice guy and I'll make a deal with you, my dear Peggy: you tell me where I can find him and we let you live. How is that? "
The small woman sealed her lips together in a thin line. If it would have happened some years ago and been about anyone else, maybe, MAYBE, she would have considered telling what she knew to save her life. But she was another person, now, and it was Gazille's life they were talking about. She wasn't stupid enough to believe that they simply wished to have tea with the writer, it was obvious that if they found him, he would be in danger. And even if Bison would have been telling the truth about letting her live, which she highly doubted, she would end up with Gazille's death on her conscience for the rest of her life.
The death of the man she loved on her conscience... She would never be able to live with that.
Her next actions would probably be her last but she was ready to face whatever could happen. She would face it with her head held high in pride, like the greatest warrior of Fairy Tail she was, because what she wanted to protect was worth it.
Her glare lost its aggressiveness to morph into a mocking look and her lips lifted in a taunting smirk:
" You can keep your shitty deal, Asshole, I won't tell you anything. "
Useless to say that Bison did not appreciate her answer. Or maybe it was because she was now snickering like a hyena at his face. Whatever the reason, he was mad enough to violently slam the tip of his cane against her thorax to shut her up. She couldn't hold back the gasp of pain but she refused to cry.
" Don't play smartass with me, you little bitch! " he growled between his teeth, waving the cane threateningly. " Where is he? "
In spite of the pain, she forced her grimacing lips into a grin:
" In you pants, Dickhead. "
In a heartbeat, the man jumped on his feet and swung the cane at her face like a sword. She covered her head with her arms just in time and the wooden stick struck her left arm and elbow with a clear clapping sound that echoed in the house. Her scream was short and ended up in a snarl, her teeth grunted together as tears she couldn't possibly hold back fell on her flushed cheeks. The wound stung like a bitch and she could already feel the spot swelling and burning her skin but that didn't stop her from starting to giggle. A strangled giggle but a giggle no less, a giggle that was more infuriating that any insult she could come up with in a lifetime.
Her head was lowered as her eyes looked at Bison's face through her bangs, her lips in a huge smile. In spite of the pain and fear, she couldn't stop smiling because the sight of that rich-ass bastard on the edge was simply hilarious.
Amazing how having one foot in the grave developed her sense of humor.
Bison wasn't laughing. He wasn't smiling neither. His eyes were stuck on hers in a death stare, his mouth barely a thin line and his body rigid as a statue. The bluenette could hear him breath by the nose and his balled fists told her that he was doing everything possible to keep himself from finishing her off. Seemed like she was the one having fun, now.
His voice was dangerously calm when he opened his mouth:
" This is your last chance. "
Levy didn't break eye contact as she shrugged lazily, silently saying So what? She was no more afraid of them, nor of death, it was as if she didn't care anymore. There was a strange feeling of peace within her and that was probably what was helping her cope with all this. Some kind of subconscious self-defense mechanism or something...
Bison sighed in resignation after a short moment, realizing that she really wouldn't say anything else. He, who had been so easily prone to violence and anger, now seemed tired and out of breath. He took a couple of steps toward the living room while rubbing his eyes with one hand.
" Is it our turn, now, Boss? "
Eddy had been the one who had spoken, he and the other guy were looking at their leader with hopeful eyes, just like kids begging for candies. Bison was trying to calm down, he barely glanced back at her before making a dismissive gesture of the hand.
" Do whatever you want, she's useless, now. "
The two thugs turned their hungry eyes on her and she felt like being sick. She did say she was ready to face anything, right? But that didn't mean she was looking forward to it, she could feel her stomach drop like a rock as she watched them argue on who would go first. And, of course, she was well aware of what would happen, next. She was a bit sad knowing that she would lose her virginity the same day she would lose her life.
She obviously wouldn't leave this place alive but she planned on giving those bastards as much hell as she could, for as long she would breathe. Maybe, if she was too troublesome, they would grow tired of her and finish her faster...
However, there was one thing Levy hadn't planned for and, thanks to Murphy's law, it was happening, right at this moment. The front door opened with a bang and the two other thugs rushed in, throwing something big and black on the floor. It landed right in front of Bison, catching everyone's attention, as it groaned in pain.
It groaned. Levy blinked and realized that it wasn't a thing, it was someone.
And of course, that someone had a freaking afro.
Eyes wide and unblinking, mouth hanging open and breath caught in her throat, the bluenette couldn't help but stare in shock at Gazille's body sprawled in front of the rich man. From her position, she couldn't see his face but she easily imagined him staring at Bison with wide eyes since the rich man in question was staring back with a huge smile linking both ears. The guy probably wouldn't look happier if he was given a billion Jewels.
" My, my, my... Seems like today will be a good day, after all. " Bison said happily before making a gesture of the head that ordered the two thugs from earlier to pick the writer up. When the man was in a upright position, securely held by the arms, the gang leader stepped closer and sighed.
" Ah, Gazille... Just the man I was looking for. "
" Edward Bison? " Gazille asked in disbelief. " Shouldn't you be in prison? "
" Ah, yes, about that... " the man answered with a little smile before making the writer bow, thanks to a violent cane swipe in his guts. " I am on provisional release until my trial, thanks to a certain article of yours. " He continued through gritted teeth. " I wanted to thank you personally for ruining not only my business but also my social life and marriage. I admit that you gave me a hard time, I even had to resort to torturing women to find you... "
At the word women, Gazille's head shot up and followed Bison's gaze over his shoulder where their eyes met. She heard him whisper her name in worry before quickly looking back at the rich man:
" She's got nothing to do with this, Bison, let her go. "
Bison struck with his cane again without hesitation, rolling his eyes at the writer groaning and panting in front of him.
" Tch, you've got no right to tell me what to do, you son of a bitch. " He gestured toward Levy. " Put him with her. "
" But, Boss, what about- " Eddy's complaints died in his mouth at the glare he received from the rich man. He stepped back to let the two other guys force Gazille into the same position than the bluenette, handcuffing him at the same pipe.
Levy didn't even register what the others were saying, she was unable to take her eyes off Gazille who was now sitting at her side, waiting for the same horrible fate as hers. Why was he here? Why would he want to be near her again, after everything she had said and done to him? Those questions quickened her heart rate in no time and her feelings were getting tangled: she was torn between the joy of seeing him again, after those terribly long days away from him, and the dreadful feeling looming in her heart, knowing that he was now in danger.
" Why did you come here? " she whispered, even tho she hadn't meant to speak those words. The afro-haired man lowered his gaze toward her, his eyes showing sadness and regret. His mouth opened to answer something but no sounds came out, then he turned his attention back to Bison with a resolute expression:
" I'm the one you want, isn't it? I'm the only one responsible for what happened to you, she doesn't need to be here. "
Bison looked down at him, obviously not convinced:
" According to my men, she totally deserves to be here. And even if she didn't, I can't leave a witness behind. Beside, " he smirked as he pressed his cane against Levy's bruised arm which made her hiss, " that little bitch seriously pissed me off, earlier. So, as retribution, let's say that both of you will soon be victims of an unfortunate incident. "
" You won't get away with this, Bison, " said Gazille, " people will link our deaths to you, it'll be obvious. "
" Oh, I'm not too worried about that detail. You would be surprised how useful it is to have a lot of money and good connections. And without the two main witnesses, " he pointed at them with his cane, " the only proof they will have against me, on my trial, will be the article of a pathetic writer who had the reputation of a troublemaker. " He sighed. " No, really, I'm not worried at all. "
Bison chuckled darkly before checking his watch. He whistled then nodded to one of his men.
" Time flies, guys, let's wrap this up, fast. " Then he watched the writer and the fairy with a contented smile while his goons were making preparations for something unknown to them. " Now, now, no need to make such a face. Try to see the bright side of this: at least, you'll die together, as husband and wife. " He said while ruffing their hair affectionately, making them cringe and growl in hate.
One of the thugs told their boss that they were ready and the group started making their way to the front door. Before going out, Bison turned one last time toward the duo and made a salute, flashing his pearly-white grin. The last two thugs grabbed what they had been working on earlier: three glass bottles filled with some liquid and a hand towel inserted inside with only the tip coming out from the neck. They used a lighter to set the towels on fire and threw the bottles in the house, one crashing in the kitchen against the stove while another was thrown near the couch. They threw the third one against the closest bedroom door before leaving in a hurry.
The Molotov cocktails quickly set fire to the house in a second, the flames crawling around the wooden cabinets, the walls and the carpet in the living room. As soon as they saw what was awaiting them, Levy and Gazille started struggling against their handcuffs as smoke crept in the burning house.
It wasn't long before the air became suffocating and they both started coughing, their eyes stinging and their throat hurting. After a few seconds, Levy stopped pulling on her chains as she knew that there was no way they would come loose, a terrible doomed feeling invading her whole body. She couldn't help but feel responsible for this...
" I'm sorry, Gazille, " she choked as she felt tears pool at the corner of her eyes. She wouldn't try to stop them, this time, since it was the last time she would ever cry. " You have no idea... I wish I hadn't... "
Her head was down so she didn't clearly see him but she thought that he did glance at her for a fraction of a second before looking up at his handcuffed hands:
" Apologizing is so unlike you. Don't worry, we'll get out of here! "
He kept struggling and twisting his arms but she just shook her head, her eyes closed as fat tears streamed down her cheeks. Every breath she took made her cough painfully and the heat was also starting to be unbearable. Their end was near.
Her consciousness started to waver and she knew that the lack of oxygen would soon make her faint. Because of that, she barely registered the gasp of pain made by Gazille before he jumped in front of her and grabbed her arms. Fighting the need to fall asleep, she opened her eyes to see him standing in front of her, shaking her handcuffs unsuccessfully. He had seemingly got out of his, how, she had no idea, but that meant that, at least, he could escape.
" It's useless. " She told him with a sad smile. " Run. Save yourself. "
The man's eyes fell on hers, two beautiful garnet orbs filled with determination. He didn't answer back but he seemed to have understood what she had said because he let go of her and disappeared in the smoke where she hoped he would be able to find a way out.
There was a bittersweet smile on her face when she finally let her mind fall into the darkness. Never she had thought of herself as a saint but her last action would have been a good one and maybe that would be enough to atone for her sins.
Gazille buried his nose in his elbow as he rushed toward the coffee table he had seen earlier, in the living room. The smoke, flames and heat didn't help him in his quest but luckily, he managed to bump into it in no time. He tried feeling the many tools he had seen on it and he successfully grabbed a pair of shears. With the tool in hand, he rushed back to Levy and noticed that she had stopped moving. The handcuffs were cut like butter, the small woman was lifted off the ground and placed over his shoulder before he started making his way toward the kitchen. The fire was raging like crazy and time was against him but he refused to give up. Through the smoke, he spotted the back door at the right of the kitchen and quickly started running toward it, ignoring the burning counter nearby who's flames were quite threatening.
With a strength he didn't know he had, Gazille almost kicked the door off its hinges and rushed outside in the more than welcome fresh air. When he judged he was far enough from the blazing house, he laid Levy on the grass, fighting the panic rising in his chest when he saw that she wasn't breathing.
" Levy! LEVY! "
Without waisting another second, the writer pinched the woman's nose and tilted her head up before putting his mouth against hers, blowing in as much air as he could. He could feel the blood pumping through all his limbs, thanks to the adrenaline, his mind exclusively focused on the maneuver that he repeated over and over until Levy's body jerked and she started coughing.
The feeling of relief took over him like morphine and he had to take care to not fall on her. He flopped down beside her and lazily rubbed her back when she rolled on her side, coughing and searching for air. His body was covered in sweat and the cool air around them made him shiver but he honestly couldn't care less. In spite of the terrible thirst, the slight headache, the pain he felt all over his body and his breathing coming in pants, he was sporting the biggest smile he had ever made.
The Fairy Tail group was making its way toward Juvia and Levy's house at a normal pace, chatting among themselves. When they were barely two blocks away, they passed a group of five men, most of them being twice their ages, coming from the opposite direction. They normally wouldn't have cared about them, since, of course, they weren't the type to pick fights for no reason, however, two of those men were laughing loudly about something that caught their attention.
" Ha, I wish I could see their faces now! "
" You bet, that blue bitch is probably well-done. "
" Do you think that bastard's afro burned before the rest? "
Laughing at their own jokes, they never noticed the group of young people suddenly coming to a stop. Only when a cold voice called out to them that they turned around and saw seven youths, males and females, staring at them with obvious threat and each playing with a weapon. At their lead, a blond woman stretched a whip between two tight fists and when she spoke, it was in a slow pace between clenched teeth:
" What were you saying about that blue bitch? "
When he noticed that the bluenette's coughing fit was over, Gazille let himself drop on his back with a sigh of relief, exhausted. He enjoyed the view of the blue sky over his head, such a peaceful sight contrasting with the hell they had just escaped from, and, after a moment, turned the head to watch Levy shifting on her back, her eyes barely open and her breath coming in long gasp. The burning house made her sweaty skin glow like gold and even if she was looking dead on her feet and smelling like a campfire, he thought that she could never be prettier to his eyes.
Eventually, the bluenette's tired eyes met his and she blinked a couple of time to focus. His smile grew even bigger, as if it was even possible, and after a short moment where she just observed him, her own lips also morphed in an expression of happiness before she whispered in astonishment:
" You didn't leave me behind. "
The writer slowly shook his head:
" Of course not. Never I would leave you. "
Her eyes darted to the tip of his hair to the furthest she could see of him while staying in her position, as if she couldn't believe that it was really him laying at her side.
" You didn't leave me behind, " she repeated, but this time, in a audible voice. He was getting the feeling that she was talking more to herself than to him. That made him chuckle.
The look she was giving him changed from acknowledgment to doubt. She tried to raise herself to a sitting position, he quickly helped her and, he too, ended up sitting.
" You didn't leave me behind, " she was now searching his eyes for a confirmation. Not really getting why she kept repeating herself, he simply nodded at the comment that sounded like a question.
She was about to repeat it again, her mouth open and mouthing the You but it came out silent. Then, as if she had just realized something, her eyes grew wide, her whole body started giving off an aura of anger and before he knew it, she had shifted to face him and was pounding his chest and arm with both fists:
" YOU DIDN'T LEAVE ME BEHIND? WHY DIDN'T YOU LEAVE ME BEHIND, YOU STUPID DUMBASS? I TOLD YOU TO SAVE YOUR OWN ASS! I TOLD YOU AND YOU DIDN'T LISTEN, SHITTY ASSHOLE, I CAN'T BELIEVE IT! WHY MUST YOU ALWAYS PLAY HERO AND RISK YOUR GODDAMN LIFE FOR ME, YOU- "
Gazille half-heartedly tried to block the attacks.
" Levy- "
" DON'T SAY MY NAME LIKE THAT! I'M NOT DONE WITH YOU, YET. DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT WOULD DO TO ME IF YOU DIED? DO YOU EVEN REALIZE? JUST THINKING ABOUT IT- ARGH! STUPID BASTARD! MAKING ME ACT LIKE A-
" Levy, please- "
" -FREAKING HOUSEWIFE, YOU IDIOT- "
Obviously, she was too worked up to be eased with words. With a mental roll of the eyes and a sigh, Gazille decided to use a more radical method. He grabbed Levy's right forearm in mid-swing, grabbed the back of her neck with his other hand and quickly brought his lips against hers, almost bringing her on his lap in the process. The effect was instantaneous: she froze on the spot for what seemed an eternity but since that didn't stop him, her body eventually relaxed and her lips started moving with his. The contact was sending a wave of fire all over his limbs, his heart rate doubling in a second and his stomach tingling with butterflies. Their mouths were dancing with hungry passion, the kiss filled with all the emotions he had wanted to confess ever since he had fallen for her. He didn't hesitate to tilt her head back to deepen the kiss, the hand holding her arm moving to rest on the small of her back. He couldn't really make up his mind on what he liked the most: the little moan she did when her mouth opened to give access to his tongue or her hands clutching his shirt in a death grip, as if he was her lifebelt. Whichever it was, it was thanks to it that his mind was reduced to a jumble of incoherent thoughts.
Way too soon to his liking, he had to break the kiss to let some essential air into his lungs. He rested his forehead against hers as they panted together, his eyelids heavy and his throat dryer than ever. His eyes were stuck on her swollen lower lip, that looked so inviting he had to restrain himself from claiming it again, before he made eye contact. He could read so many emotions in those beautiful hazelnut orbs: joy, relief, desire... but the one making him the happiest was love. The love he had wished for and that he didn't doubt of the existence, anymore.
He couldn't help the huge grin that bloomed on his face for the who-knows-how-many time, that day. A corner of Levy's mouth lifted too, which made him glad: it was gratifying to have such an impact on her with such a simple gesture. They stayed that way for a moment that probably wasn't as long as it felt, enjoying being in the arms of each other. He mentally snorted at how cliché it sounded but he thought that there couldn't be anyone else who would fit better in his arms.
She moved her head back slightly to have a better view of him, her eyes searching his for the answer to an unspoken question. Her mouth opened to speak but yet again, no words came out, she simply opened and closed it in various attempts to say something but never succeeded. Finally, she pushed a long sigh and avoided his eyes by looking to the side.
" Tch. You're so troublesome, you know that? "
He couldn't take her criticism seriously since her eyes were shining and her mouth was lifted in a affectionate smirk.
" I know, " he answered with the same smirk. " I can't help it. "
She made a cute and mischievous half-smirk, half-pout when she looked back at him:
" Dunno if I could deal with you on a everyday basis? "
" Well, I can't promise that I will never get on your nerves because, apparently, I'm gifted for that. " She snorted. " But I can promise you that I'll stay by your side, for as long as you'll want me. "
The bluenette's smile slowly grew into a beautiful grin as a single tear escaped her left eye. The writer cupped her cheek and brushed it away with his thumb, making her lower her gaze and blush slightly at the intimate touch. When her eyes met his again, there was a longing in them that he refused to ignore and their heads started moving closer.
They were barely two or three inches apart when series of calls caught their attention. Several voices were calling Levy's name in worry and the faint sound of a fire engine siren could be heard in the distance. Thirty seconds later, two firefighters came from the neighbor's yard and called out to them.
Ten minutes later, Gazille was sitting near an ambulance with a blanket over his shoulders and a much needed bottle of water in hands. A medic was busy checking his blood pressure while the firefighters were still trying to control the blaze. Per chance, Levy's house had been standing further from the street than the other houses around so the fire hadn't spread to them yet.
An angry shout came from his right and the writer chuckled. Not too far away, the small bluenette was also sitting with a blanket over her shoulders but she was currently being assaulted by half a dozen of her fellow guild mates and it was apparently not making her happy. The moment the medic had been done checking her vitals, her friends had literally jumped on her with hugs and various comments, inquiring about her health and how much they had missed her.
" You bunch of annoying asses, will you leave me alone? " She growled and flapped her right arm at them like one would try to chase a mosquito. Useless to say that her friends were far from being intimidated by her attitude, they simply laughed louder and hugged her again. Gazille didn't know most of them but he recognized Miss Mirajane, who had joined them, a few moments ago, and a young man with messy black hair wearing way too many layers of clothing that he remembered having met the earthland counterpart, in the past.
Before Levy lost her sanity and decided to commit mass-murder, the medic had the good idea to ask her friends to give her some space since she had been seriously oxygen-depraved in the fire. An argument broke between the medic and two young men, one with orange hair and the other with black hair in a strange loop. But the small fairy didn't seem to care about them as she shifted closer to the afro-haired man, looking relieved to get some well-deserved peace even if it probably wouldn't last long.
The writer noticed her left arm bearing a bluish mark crossing her elbow and a good part of her upper arm.
" Does it still hurts? " He pointed at it and she just shrugged after giving it a glance.
" Compared to everything else, not that much. "
She gave him a look over.
" And your stomach? "
" I've had worse, " he sighed.
Her eyes kept roaming all over him until one of her eyebrow lifted in curiosity when she noticed something on his wrist:
" How did you remove your handcuffs, back then? "
" I dislocated my thumb and slipped my hand out of it, " he answered matter-of-factly with a smile, replacing his glasses on his nose. In front of her disbelieving stare, he explained: " It's a little trick I've learn after being handcuffed a couple of time. It's quite painful but, today, I don't regret having learned it. "
She agreed with a nod, matching her smile with his. They fell into a comfortable silence as they watched the house consuming itself. Even tho he wasn't a specialist, he could easily predict that there wouldn't be much left of the building when the fire would be finally extinguished.
" Juvia is gonna kill me... " Levy said, after a while, with a grimace. " She might not look like it, now, " she pointed at a woman with curly hair, a few feet away from them, on hands and knees and looking quite depressed, " but when she'll get over the shock, I'll probably lose my hearing. That is, if I'm lucky."
" It wasn't your fault, I'm sure she will understand. Beside, just like her, now, you'll need a place to stay. My door is open for you, if you want. You already know how comfortable my bed is. "
The bluenette suddenly turned the head to look at him, her eyebrows high on her forehead. Realizing how wrong his comment had sounded, Gazille felt his whole face burn in embarrassment and waved his hands in denial:
" N-No, I didn't mean it like that! I-I mean, you see, s-since you already-of course, I would take the couch! I would never think of-well, not that I'm against the idea-but... uhm... "
The more he tried to justify himself, the more Levy's smile grew. It was obvious that she was enjoying it.
" I knew that, deep down, you were a little pervert. Always the quiet ones, they say, huh? "
He didn't know what to answer to that. He would be lying if he said he had never imagined Levy and him in a more intimate context, especially now that they were together, but he would never take advantage of her precarious situation to satisfy such fantasies. That was totally against his gentleman's code.
" Hey, relax, Four-Eyes, " she said while punching his arm playfully. " I'm just teasing you. I think it's a good idea. I'll probably not let you sleep on that horrible couch, tho. I saw you, last time, you looked like a sardine. "
The writer was still red in the face but, at least, he could string several words together without stuttering.
" It would be unthinkable to let my guest take the couch, " he said while shaking his head. " No, you'll have the bed, I'll have the couch. "
She gave him a slightly vexed look:
" I ain't your guest so I can take the couch. I'm smaller so I'll fit better on it. "
" True, you're not my guest, you're my girlfriend. I won't let my girlfriend sleep on the couch. "
He would be damned if he let her win this battle. Her cheeks had taken a slight pink tone at the word girlfriend but she was still staring stubbornly at him. He couldn't help thinking that she was very cute and that brought, yet again, a smile on his face.
She raised an eyebrow and had a little smile that he found slightly mischievous.
" Alright, if that's really what you want... "
Before he could enjoy his victory, the blue-haired fairy wrapped his tie around her fingers and pulled it toward her, inevitably pulling him closer as well. With his mouth barely an inch from hers, he felt more than heard her whisper words that made his heart skip a beat.
" I guess we won't have the choice but to share the bed, then. "
Gazille was so surprised by her answer that he only managed to gape like an idiot as she tilted her head up to fill the gap between them. Her mouth was about to touch his when someone giggled loudly near them.
" Aaawww, you were right, Mirajane, " cooed Lucy Ashley with a mocking smile hidden behind a hand. " She really does llllllllliiiike him. "
Levy's skin color turned red like a lobster as she instinctively pushed him away from her, greatly embarrassed. Her shocked state didn't last long, tho: she quickly jumped on her feet and pinned the short-haired blond under a murderous glare, her hands balled into fists ready to strike.
" What was that, you booby-bitch? Come say that to my face! "
Cheered by her teammates, the small bluenette started chasing her blond-haired rival around her other guild mates, cursing and shouting, while her soon-to-be victim was mocking her with kissing faces. At one moment, the poor medic was ran over by both of them but fortunately was helped back on his feet by a pink-haired youth.
The writer blinked as he tried to recover from the shove, sat straight again and watched the scene unfolding in front of him. It wasn't long before he started chuckling with the others, telling himself that he was starting a new chapter in his life and, this time, it would be much more exciting since he would get to share it with the woman he loved.
And considering that this woman was Levy, he was pretty sure that his life wouldn't get boring anytime soon.
End notes: I hope you guys liked it :3 thx again for the reviews and faves ^.^