Denial

Summary: For Levy, denial isn't just a river.

x-x-x

One day it hit her.

She was strolling along the cobbled sidewalk, making her way to the Guild. It was a perfectly normal day. The sun was shining. Fluffy white clouds floated lazily around the clear blue sky. Birds were tweeting harmoniously in their trees. Little kids ran along the street laughing and screaming with joy. Adults sat on small tables outside café's, enjoying the warm weather.

Yup, a perfectly normal day.

As usual she crossed the old bridge that ran over the stream, humming a faint tune as she went. That was when it hit her.

If anyone had been with her, they might've found her reaction rather comical.

She stopped, mid step, her mouth fell open, her eyes widened in shock. A strange choking noise fell from her open mouth, and she began to twitch.

Impossible, the thought, still frozen as she pondered this latest discovery, absolutely impossible.

She did a quick calculation in her head, determined to prove herself wrong.

She wasn't wrong.

She was right, horribly right.

"Lu- chaaaaaan!" she wailed as her body finally kicked back into action and she began to run towards the Guild.

How was this even possible? How hadn't she even noticed before?

Still wailing, she ran the last short distance, practically crying about the fact that; in the last five years, she hadn't had one date.

.

.

To her dismay, Lucy was hanging out by the bar, chatting happily with Mirajane when she finally made it to the Guild. It wasn't like Levy didn't adore the bubbly barmaid, but it was common knowledge that Mira was a slight gossip, and this was certainly something she didn't need everyone in the Guild knowing. It was so humiliating.

23 years old and not one single date in the last five years. What the hell was wrong with her?

Still, she needed Lucy's advice about this, so she swallowed her pride and marched towards the bar, hoping that someone would come and distract Mira.

"Afternoon Levy!" Lucy chirped happily once she noticed Levy approaching, "how's everything?"

"I've been better," she replied sullenly, hopping onto a bar stool.

Both Lucy's and Mirajane's eyebrows creased in worry at her tone, Levy was usually so bright and bubbly, it was downright creepy to see her looking so upset.

"What's wrong?" Mira asked gently.

"Yeah, is Gajeel okay?" Lucy asked.

Levy nodded miserably, the big bad Iron Dragon Slayer had come down with a terrible cold after a mission in the mountains and she had been dutifully visiting him every day with a fresh batch of soup to help his illness.

Lucy and Mirajane exchanged a confused look.

"Then…" Lucy paused, "what's wrong?"

Levy chewed her bottom lip before shooting Mira a nervous glance, "do…do you promise not to say anything to anyone about what I'm about to say?" she asked, mainly to Mira.

Mira feigned a look of hurt - nobody trusted her with any juicy gossip these days damn it - before nodding, "I promise!"

Levy took in a deep breath before speaking, trying not to feel utterly humiliated.

"It's just, well," she gulped, "I was walking to the Guild today and I realised something. I…I haven't had a date in five years!"

She expected cries of shock and outrage. She expected her two friends to both gasp. She definitely not expect them to giggle.

"It's not funny!" she cried, her eyes beginning to water with unshed tears, "f-five years and not one single date!"

Now, Levy wasn't usually the type of girl who cared about boys to an extent that she would shed tears over them, but she was always relatively happy about the fact that she was considered cute, maybe even pretty to some. Five years ago, she couldn't walk through the town without boys and men wolf whistling at her. She never got the attention that Lucy or Cana got, but it was there and damn it, she missed it.

"But Levy, I thought you went on a date last week?"

"Yeah, to that Italian restaurant downtown?"

Levy frowned, Italian restaurant downtown?

"And last month, didn't you two go on that weekend away?"

Her frown only increased, weekend away?

"Oooh and you spent the night a couple nights ago didn't you?"

"Spent the night with who?" she shrieked, wondering just what on earth her friends were talking about, "restaurants? Weekends away?"

"Gajeel," Mira and Lucy both said in unison, girlish smiles spreading over their cheeks.

"I must admit, I was a bit worried when you two started dating, you know with his history and everything," Mira began.

"But you two make such a cute couple, it's amazing," Lucy finished.

Levy blinked in confusion.

"I'm not dating Gajeel," she said slowly, thinking that perhaps Mira and Lucy had been slipped some sort of insanity potion.

"Sure you are!" Mira cried, "he took you on a date to the Italian restaurant last week!"

Levy shook her head, "that was a reward from the owner. Remember, we had a mission to protect his daughter and as the reward he let us eat for free?"

Seemingly ignoring Levy's explanation of the so called date, Lucy ploughed on.

"And last month, that romantic weekend away you took?"

"Romantic?" Levy cried, "there was nothing romantic about it!"

"He paid for that 5 star hotel didn't he? Sounds romantic," Mira sighed, wishing that Freed would take some tips from Gajeel in that respect.

"We were on a mission!" she tried to explain, "and that was the only hotel in the vicinity!" but as usual, her words fell on deaf ears.

"And," Lucy finished, ignoring Levy completely, "you spent the night at his house on Monday didn't you?"

"He was sick, he was puking all over the place and Lily was out, I couldn't just leave him alone!"

"Where did you sleep?"

"In…" she paused, "in his bed," she finished quietly.

"And where did he sleep?" Mira asked with a coy smile.

"In his bed."

Both Mira and Lucy exchanged knowing looks that only served to infuriate Levy.

"We are not dating," she said firmly, slamming her hands down firmly on the table.

"You two sure spend a lot of time together for people who aren't dating."

Levy blushed at this. It was true, although she was still a part of Team Shadowgear, after the S Class Trials five years ago, she and Gajeel had figured out that they made quite a good team together and would often go on missions together.

"It's strictly platonic," she insisted, trying her best to ignore Lucy and Mirajane's titters of,

"Denial."

"I am not in denial," she hissed before shaking her head, "I'm going to ignore your silly idea that I'm dating Gajeel for now and get back to my original point. I haven't had a date in five years, why not? What's wrong with me?"

Mirajane sighed lightly before placing a reassuring hand on Levy's shoulder, "well, and don't quote me on this," she said quickly, "but it's my understanding that men don't go after girls who already have boyfriends."

Lucy nodded wisely.

Levy on the other hand was thoroughly confused, "but I don't have a boyfriend. That's the problem!"

Mirajane patted Levy gently, "try telling that to everyone else."

"Wha-"

Before Levy had the chance to ask what Mirajane was going on about, Gray (and subsequently Juvia as well) bounded towards the bar.

"Gray!" Lucy clapped happily, earning herself a suspicious glare from Juvia.

"Yeah?"

"How long have Gajeel and Levy been dating?"

"Lucy!" Levy squeaked, but was ignored once more.

Gray pondered the question for a few seconds before saying, "just after the S Class Trials, I thought?" he turned to Levy as if asking for some sort of verification.

"We're no-"

"Gray-sama is correct!" Juvia said, clapping for Gray as if he had won some sort of award.

"No he is not!"

Once again, she was ignored.

"Erza!" Mirajane cried happily, noting that Erza had just wandered into the Guild, she ushered her over to the bar.

"Yes?" Erza asked politely, after greeting her friends and comrades.

"Levy's a bit upset," Mira said, sending a sly look Levy's away. Almost immediately, Erza was in Levy's face, a deadly gleam in her eye.

"What did he do?" she asked roughly, her hand already drifting towards the sword by her hips.

"Who?" Levy squeaked, already wondering if she wanted to know her answer.

"Gajeel of course? Did he hurt you? Did he break up with you? Did he-"

Levy snapped.

A small shriek of frustration escaped from her lips and she jumped up from her chair and ran towards the exit. She needed to get out of here. Everyone was clearly insane.

Her and Gajeel? Pah! The idea was laughable. Yes, they were really good friends. And yes, there had been times when she had thought about him romantically, but really? For everyone to think they were dating?

They were mad.

Mad!

She was almost out of the Guild when the doors were pushed open and none other than Gajeel Redfox himself strutted in. Judging by the redness around his eyes and nose, he was still ill, but obviously a good deal better than how he had been when everyone had last seen him.

His eyes sought out Levy who was staring at him with an odd look in her eyes.

Mirajane and Lucy smirked.

Erza reached for her sword.

Levy squeaked.

"Hey," he said, though with his blocked nose it ended up coming out sounding more like, "bey".

She weakly waved at him.

He frowned, she looked awfully red.

"You okay?"

She nodded.

His frown deepened, her cheeks were red and he could clearly hear the rapid beating of her heart, and if he wasn't mistaken, she was sweating buckets.

"You look ill. Maybe we shouldn't have slept together on Monday."

She gulped, clearly hearing the whispers of slept together? from her fellow Guild mates.

And then.

"What're you all so surprised about?" Natsu spoke up, deciding that he'd been ignored for far too long, "they've been dating for five years, it's about time they slept together!"

That was the final straw.

"We are not dating!" she screamed, stamping her foot childishly, "tell them Gajeel! Tell them we're not dating, tell the-"

She froze. Instead of nodding along with her like she had expecting, he looked…hurt?

"Gajeel?"

"We're…" he gulped, "we're not dating?"

.

.

.

A/N: hehehe did everyone get the pun in the summary? Hmm, I've always been obsessed with the idea that Gajeel never really asked Levy out, they just simply get closer and yeah. This was supposed to be a humorous take on that. Ha. Review please :3