It's been five years since Levy disappeared without a trace. It was a simple mission that she took on herself in a town not too far from Magnolia, but right after that she was gone. Had she died? Did something happen along the way? But nobody had seen her or heard of her. Needless to say, Fairy Tail were devastated and worried sick. People cried, and they went to the town where the mission she took was. The mission had been fulfilled successfully, but there were no leads to the bubbly blue haired girl's presence.
Why had she disappeared? Was it voluntary, or did something happen to her? No one knew. Over time the members of Fairy Tail started to lose hope, thinking that she could have even died.
Until a young boy appeared on the entrance of the guild.
"He's just five years old, Laxus." Mirajane said, feeling sorry for the little boy. The boy had collapsed in front of the guild in starvation and exhaustion. Mirajane had given him a large meal and he dug into it in seconds, thanking her tremendously. For a young boy, he was smart, and incredibly polite.
Laxus, on the other hand, felt that a little boy such as him was unneeded in the guild, and he would only become a pest in the future. "The kid can't even use any magic." He scoffed, displeased by Mirajane's sympathy for the young boy.
The boy, with short black hair and a fringe that was awfully familiar, stared up at the mean looking lightning user. "I can!" He said, getting off his seat and looking determinedly at Laxus. He took a deep breath. "Solid Script: Fire!"
And from the wave of his fingers appeared the word that shot balls of fire. Although Laxus could put it out effortlessly, the whole guild was in shock. Being shocked was an understatement. No words could describe the rush of emotions that the members of the guild felt by the young boy's display of magic. Even Laxus was speechless.
Tears started to well up in Mirajane's eyes. "Solid…Script." She said in disbelief. She went towards the young boy. "What's your name?" She asked gently.
The boy grinned. "Aide! Aide McGarden!"
It wasn't the person they were looking for all this while, but Aide was related to Levy, no doubt. After he had his fill of food, he took a rest. Since the members did not want to tire and frighten the boy, they let him have his rest in a bedroom in the guild.
Lucy and Lisanna could not hold back their tears as they remembered their dearest friend. In fact, a lot of people cried the moment they heard the familiar surname from the boy's lips. But questions still remained and they needed to ask. What they were worried was whether the boy was only a distant relative, and he did not know anything about Levy.
Mirajane wiped away her tears gently as she still stood behind the counter. Laxus sat in front of her, trying his best to console her. Despite his rude attitude, he cared about Mirajane. In the span of five years, Mirajane and Laxus became closer than ever, and before they realized it they had fallen for each other. It was a struggle at times to be with each other because of their opposite personalities, but they still love each other.
In the span of five years, Jet had found a woman and married her, and he now has two children. Droy became the godfather of Jet's children, much to his joy, and the two men still worked as a team in missions. Over time, their feelings for Levy changed to that of a younger sister, and they believed that she was safe, somewhere.
Once again, everyone was determined to find Levy with Aide's appearance. "We have to let him know." Mirajane said, and everyone nodded in agreement, although they had frowns on their faces. Panther Lily frowned in concern for a moment. He wasn't quite sure how that man would react, but the Exceed hoped that it would be good news for the man.
"Gajeel." She called his name, earning a gentle smile from him. Only she was capable of making and seeing such a gentle smile on his lips. Only she could make him run around various towns looking for a special item for her birthday. Only she could force him to make a tremendous effort to please her. Only she could make him brood in negative emotions all day.
And only she could appear in his dreams and make his memories of her last forever.
He opened his eyes, stared at the ceiling above his bed, and placed his arm over his eyes. He took deep breaths. They were to help him calm himself down. They were a morning routine. A mourning routine, he thought sarcastically as his eyes started to prickle with fresh tears. But he wasn't going to start to break down, even in privacy. That's why he took deep breaths.
He got off his bed and headed to the shower. Another day, another mission, another act. That was all he did since she left. He took missions to pay for his rental and his food. He took missions to occupy himself with meaningless fights with stupid ass monsters or people he didn't give a flying fuck about. He could have stayed in the guild and drank all the alcohol he wanted but getting worked up by a fight and forgetting her while he concentrated on those fights were a much better alternative.
So it didn't help his heart when Natsu and Gray came knocking on his door and told him that a young kid named Aide McGarden is at Fairy Tail.
It didn't help when he suddenly had a rush of excitement from the possibility that she might be closer than he thought.
Only she could break his heart, scatter it around, and leave without a word. Gajeel went to the guild and was shown to the bedroom where Aide was sleeping. The boy, content with his meal, had a pleasant smile on his face. A familiar pleasant smile that made Gajeel gulp and had his palms sweaty.
He left the room a second after he had seen the boy. He thought about Levy. Did she leave because of this kid? Did she leave with a guy no one heard of, and conceived a kid with him? He thought about the boy. Why did he appear now? Was he Levy's kid? Who's his father?
And for a moment, he paled. What if…what if this kid is his?
"Fuck." He cursed aloud, digging into his meal of iron. Panther Lily sat beside him and wondered whether he should ask anything at all. Lily wondered whether Gajeel thought this was good news.
Lily decided to ask. "What are you thinking right now?"
"What the fuck am I supposed to think?" Gajeel said. "She's gone and that kid's here and it's been five years."
The Exceed frowned in concern at Gajeel. "That kid could be yours."
"I've thought about that." The iron dragon slayer kept eating.
It was not too long after Aide woke up, and he appeared before the guild members again. Everyone was tense in anticipation, not knowing whether to ask him or be asked by him. In the moment of silence that followed, the young boy met Gajeel's piercing red eyes, and smiled. Gajeel froze as the boy made his way towards him. Aide tugged Gajeel's pants. "What?" He asked a bit too menacingly, and he was chided by Mirajane.
Aide, however, did not falter. He kept smiling, and Gajeel felt his heart constrict. He noticed so many things – his hair, soft like hers and a fringe that was similar; his eyes, the same olive green eyes that the man used to look into; and the smile that he kept seeing in his dreams, that bubbly smile. Keeping his composure, the boy took a seat beside him. "I know you," The boy whispered, although the whole guild could hear due to the silence. "Mama said you're one of the strongest people in the world." He grinned.
Gajeel was speechless. Surely the 'mama' this boy was talking about is Levy? Lucy stepped in and smiled gently at Aide. "So, Aide, who's your mama? And where is she?" She asked, squatting down to be at the same eye level as the boy.
"Mama…" The boy looked down. "Her name is Levy." He said, and even though everyone had suspicions of his mother being the person they were searching for, some still gasped and were in shock, Gajeel included. Aide had tears in his eyes that fell uncontrollably. "She willingly became magic, to protect me." He sobbed.
"Mother is always with me," He explained. "When I use magic, it's her magic. And now she is part of the world's magic. So everyone who uses magic is also using her magic."
It was confusing, needless to say. Seeing the boy cry disheartened everyone (or at least nearly everyone) so they ended the conversation and made the boy feel at home. But at the corner of the bar sat Makarov, Gajeel, Laxus, Mirajane, Erza, and Gildarts, with Makarov having a slight comprehension of what the boy said. "Magic doesn't simply disappear. It returns to the pool of magic that is available in this world. Perhaps what the boy means is that Levy has turned herself into magic, fusing with the magic in the world."
"Old man," Gajeel spoke. "Does that mean she's dead?" He asked softly, watching the young boy laughing at Natsu and Gray's antics.
"Not necessarily. She could have been on the brink of death when she decided to turn herself into magic, but that doesn't mean she's dead. She has certainly not disappeared from this world. There must be a way to have her back to normal." The Master explained.
Erza looked at Gajeel. "When there is a thread of possibility, we grab it." She said determinedly.
Mirajane smiled encouragingly, and Laxus merely made a sound of 'hmph', but he didn't look unsupportive.
The whole guild had thrown a party for the boy's arrival, and before long, majority of them passed out from having too many drinks. The only few who were awake were Aide, Gajeel, Mirajane, Laxus, and Lucy. They were discussing who should take him home with them until they could make plans to bring Levy back from just a mass of magic. Laxus had opted out, without surprise. Aide looked at the other three. They were talking without having the boy in the conversation and asking for his opinions, and that irritated him a little.
"When there is a problem, Mama always asks what I think." He finally spoke up, bringing him the attention of the other three.
Gajeel scoffed. "What could a kid—" He was interrupted by Lucy.
"What do you think, Aide? Do you want to join me, big sis Mira, or Gajeel?" She asked.
Aide looked pensive while the Lucy and Mirajane smiled at him, and Gajeel had his arms across his chest trying to look indifferent to it all. The truth is, he wanted to have a talk with Aide, but he wasn't sure how well he could take care of the boy. Especially since he hardly ate food other than iron, and he just isn't a man who worked with kids.
"This is tough," Aide said. "Mama said if I needed help, I should ask Mirajane, Lucy, Erza, or Juvia." He said. "Do you think mama will be angry if I wanted to be with Gajeel?" He asked the two ladies. They started to giggle, much to Gajeel's irritation.
"No, she wouldn't. Knowing your mother…" Lucy paused. They weren't even sure if Aide was Levy and Gajeel's child, and Gajeel's expression clearly tells Lucy not to head to that direction. "She would be perfectly fine with it." Lucy added quickly, laughing nervously. "Well, Gajeel, you heard him."
Gajeel wordlessly looked at the boy. Strangely, the boy didn't seem to be scared of him. Kids were naturally scared of his demeanor, and he couldn't blame them nor did he care, but this kid kept smiling as if Gajeel was a long time acquaintance.
While they were walking back to Gajeel's home, he decided to ask whether the kid knew anything about himself. "Where's your father?"
"Father?" He repeated. Gajeel smirked. The way the boy said it sounded just like Levy. He remembered vividly the times when she repeated his words in the cute way of hers. He really is Levy's son. "I don't know. Do I even have a father?" He asked himself in wonder.
Gajeel ruffled his head. "Don't think too much about it," The gruff man said, although it meant that he could be a possible candidate. "Was…was your mom always with a man?" Gajeel asked.
Aide looked at Gajeel. "Mama was popular with men, but she was always with me. She rarely went to town, unless we needed to buy food. We lived in the forest and mama taught me her magic." He said proudly.
For a five year old, he was smart. He still had the typical child-like naivety, but he was honest and he had spirit.
They arrived at Gajeel's house and he showed Aide in. Gajeel's home was not messy, but it was not completely neat either. It was just well enough for a man to live in, especially for a man who merely lived to take on missions and fight to his heart's content. Gajeel was about to let Aide have the bed when Aide made himself comfortable on Gajeel's couch. He placed a blanket over the boy as the boy went to sleep instantly. Gajeel could not help but look at Aide's face for a while. Maybe Levy looked like this when she was a young girl, but he wouldn't deny that he despised the thought of Levy having conceived a child with another man.
Gajeel didn't seem like a man who would care about anyone, but that was wrong. He clearly did, and it bothered him. It bothered him, but he wouldn't let Levy go like this. He never did.
It was past midnight when Gajeel woke up from soft sniffs and sobs. Who else would it be but Aide? Gajeel walked softly towards the boy, who slept on his side so his back faced Gajeel. He placed his hand on Aide's shoulder, making the boy turn around to look at Gajeel. Gajeel's red eyes pierced through the darkness and it could have been frightening, but Aide was not scared. Far from that, he felt relieved. "I miss her." Aide said, holding onto Gajeel's hand. "She told me to run away, and then she turned into magic."
Gajeel's free hand twitched. Aide was there to witness the final moments before Levy turned into magic. But now is not the time to ask him for the story. "You okay?" Gajeel asked Aide.
Aide nodded, but his small hands were now gripping on Gajeel's dark shirt tightly. "Don't leave me alone." Aide pleaded, and for a second, Gajeel saw Levy inside Aide, pleading him the same thing. With an inaudible sigh, Gajeel nodded, picking up the small boy and carrying him to the bed and tucking him in, with Gajeel slipping into space beside Aide. The boy buried his face into Gajeel's chest, much to Gajeel's surprise. Maybe he should be hopeful of the possibility that this boy is his son, he thought to himself, when he heard Aide's muffled voice.
"I miss her."
Gajeel's eyes softened as he looked at the little boy. "…Me too." He said.
I couldn't help but write this story. It's one of those usual storylines, I know, but I still enjoyed writing this. Especially when it had to do with a lot of Gajeel's inner emotions. I also imagined him to have shorter hair in this story, although in the same hairstyle. Aide is said as how you say 'aid', not 'ay-dee' or whatever. To be honest I don't even know how my future chapters will turn out to be for this story, but I think I'll have fun writing this. I know Gajeel seems really out of character here, but I want to show that he has changed in a few ways in his personality because five years before he had a deep relationship with Levy.
And I haven't stopped in writing my previous story (Just a little more).