Levy walked out of Magnolia Bookstore, gripping onto a package she recently bought. There was a tint of red across her cheeks and she darted her eyes around to see if anyone she knew was around. Seeing that no one she was familiar with in sight, she breathed a sigh of relief as she headed back home hastily.
Once returning home, she tore away the brown paper that was wrapped around her new book. She gulped. It was not her first time reading a racy novel. After all, Erza had borrowed a few of hers as well. But this novel in particular was racier than her usual, and truth be told, she was rather excited to read it. No one probably expected a sweet girl such as Levy to lay her hands upon an erotic novel, except Erza and Lucy (since they were the only two who knew what sort of books she read). If Jet and Droy found out she read these kinds of novels, they would undoubtedly freak out.
She was much too shy to show them that she did indeed read these books. She couldn't deny that these books were fun to read. Not only were they interesting in terms of the storyline, they also taught her…certain things she hasn't yet experienced. Gently opening the cover of the book, she flipped through the first few pages and without another second, she was engrossed in the new novel.
Levy sat in the guild as she sipped on her orange juice while she read a fantasy novel. This was bliss. Natsu, Lucy, and Happy had gone for a mission. Gray had decided to go on a mission himself, and she even saw Juvia following after him. Erza was on a mission as well, but Levy knew she was returning soon. Gajeel—the man she secretly held feelings for—was off on a mission with Pantherlily as well. The noisy bunch was not present in the guild at the moment, and she felt at bliss reading her novel in the warm comfort of the friendly guild.
Erza returned to the guild a few minutes later, heading straight towards Levy and placing a familiar book in front of her. Levy stared at it, reading the book title. "Thank you for lending me this, Levy. It was a very enjoyable read." Erza said as she dashed towards Mirajane and left on another mission before Levy was able to say anything else. "See you in two days, Levy!" Erza said as she left. Levy continued reading her novel, thinking that the book Erza returned was just the usual books she read.
Just then she heard a familiar gruff voice from the entrance of the guild, and she looked up to see Gajeel and Pantherlily walking inside. She had a small smile on her face as she looked at them, and Gajeel noticed her smile. Levy blushed, getting back to her novel. Pantherlily headed straight to the bar to get a drink while Gajeel snickered and sat across Levy. "Yo, shrimp." He said, grinning his usual grin.
Their relationship with each other was much better than before, especially after the events of Tenrou Island. They could talk to each other normally, and Levy no longer feared him as she used to when he first joined. "Hi, Gajeel." She mumbled in response. He reached out for the book that Erza placed in front of Levy, and he flipped to the pages around the middle of the book. Levy glanced at him from her reading, and wondered whether he was interested in books, when she read the title of the book and blanched.
It was the book she bought a week ago; the racy novel she finished in two days! She held back a shriek as she grabbed the book from him. "D-D-Did you need anything?" She squeaked in a rushed voice.
Gajeel stared at her, and she cringed. Oh God, what if he read a part which had an erotic scene? She screamed in her mind. She gulped. "I-I was just about to go home, you know, so, um, I—"
She blanched even further when he showed her a wide grin, amused by her reaction. "So you read these kinds of books, eh, shorty?" He asked with a snicker. Oh God, he read it. He read an erotic part. He now knows she reads books like these. Her secret was exposed (well, exposed to a person other than Lucy and Erza).
Her face turned a bright red and she trembled ever so slightly, embarrassed by the fact that he, out of all people, found out her secret. She stood up abruptly, surprising him slightly, and rushed out of the guild with her books in her hand. Pantherlily came to where Gajeel sat, and gave him a disapproved expression. "What did you do, Gajeel?" He asked.
Gajeel snickered. "I might have found something that shouldn't have been." He said, puzzling the Exceed.
Levy hugged her knees to her chest as she sat on the bed and rocked herself, ashamed of what Gajeel had found out. Of all people, him? She screamed inwardly. She bit her bottom lip, unsure of how to approach the situation. She should have told Erza she wasn't comfortable with people finding out that she read racy novels.
And so she had no confidence looking at Gajeel, and kept avoiding him whenever they were too close, or were about to engage in a conversation.
"Shrimp." He called out to her as he sat across her one day.
A blush stained her cheeks as she hastily made an excuse that she had to go on a mission, leaving Gajeel irritated.
The next day, the iron dragon slayer spotted her at the bar counter, drinking beer. It was the first time he saw her drinking. He made his way over to her when she turned around and stared at him. "H-Hi, Gajeel! I was just about to, um, go home because I have to…" She paused for a slight second. "Clean my house!" She said hastily as she got off her seat and ran out of the guild.
Gajeel placed his arms across his chest and gritted his teeth.
It was nearly a week since Levy avoided a conversation with Gajeel. She knew he hadn't told anyone else about her interests, because no one seemed to act any differently when they saw her. Still, she had no courage to talk to him after what happened.
Gajeel was irritated. He didn't intend to upset her in any way, and he's been trying to tell her that he doesn't care what sort of books she reads, although finding out that she read those kinds of novels surprised him only slightly. He wasn't going to lie; he liked talking to her, even though she did most of the talking.
And the reading.
He quite liked her voice. It was often timid and small, but maybe it was because he's been with her for quite some time that he started to like her voice. Sometimes he would grab a mission from the request board and ask her to read it. The first time he asked her to read the mission aloud, she gave him a puzzled look. Just read it, he would say, and she did. Sometimes he picked the most outrageous, dangerous missions and once she finished reading them, she'd burst into fits of concerns and irritation.
"I don't care how much money you'll get! This is incredibly dangerous!" She said.
He snickered. "I've been on these missions before. Doubting my strength?" He asked teasingly, making her silent. Instead, she puffed up her cheeks in irritation and he snickered once again.
Gajeel sat on one of the empty seats at the guild bar, visibly irritated. Pantherlily noticed it as well. "You're strangely affected by it very much." The Exceed said, earning a 'tch' from the dragon slayer. Lily chuckled. "I wonder where Levy is." He said, fully aware that she was the reason behind Gajeel's irritation.
"Who cares." Gajeel mumbled.
"Oh, Levy's on a mission alone at the moment." Mirajane said as she did her usual duties behind the bar. "I think she was helping with horses or something—"
Jet appeared at the entrance of the guild, visibly panicking and distressed. "Levy's injured!" He yelled, startling everyone and causing chaos.
Gajeel stood up immediately, headed straight towards Jet and grabbed the collar of his shirt. "Which hospital is she in?" He growled, and Jet gulped.
"In the Magnolia Hospital." He croaked out. The moment Gajeel left, Jet, Droy, Lucy, Natsu, and Mirajane followed.
"Where is Levy?" Gajeel asked a bit too menacingly at the nurse behind the counter. She gulped. "Where is she?" He hissed.
The nurse stared at him in fear, and then she saw Levy's name on a folder in front of her. "Room 621. Second floor, on your right." She squeaked, and Gajeel stomped off.
The rest followed after him, and Lucy apologized to the nurse for Gajeel's menacing behaviour. "This is just my opinion," Droy whispered to Jet. "But does Gajeel care for Levy more than we thought he did?" He asked.
Jet couldn't provide an answer, but the group stopped when Gajeel stood in front of the door to Levy's room. He paused, and the rest looked at him anxiously. Gajeel hesitated. How bad was she hurt? Was she unconscious at the moment? What if she had deep cuts and bruises on her body that would leave scars? But he sucked in a sharp breath and told himself she was still the Levy he was always fond of, and he slid the door open.
There she was, sitting on the bed, her back against the headboard of the bed. She faced everyone who entered. "Oh," She said with slight surprise. "I didn't know everyone knew—"
Everyone collapsed to the ground in relief, with the exception of Gajeel and Natsu. "Um…" She looked at them with concern, wondering why they were so relieved. "What's wrong?" She asked.
Gajeel stared at her with his red orbs, making her cringe. He seemed upset, but she could see that he was relieved as well. Natsu looked equally relieved, but he also looked surprised. "We thought you were badly injured!" Natsu said.
Levy blinked a few times, surprised. She pointed to her right arm that was covered in a cast, and tied with bandages. "I fell off the horse and hurt my arm." She said with a giggle.
Gajeel gritted his teeth. "Do you have any idea how much trouble you caused us?" He asked, his voice loud and angry. She cringed. "Tch," He averted his eyes. "This is messed up."
Levy frowned, upset by his reaction. "I-If you didn't want to care about me, you don't have to!" She yelled back. "Don't get angry at me for something I haven't done!" She said, her voice quivering. Tears prickled her eyes as she looked away. "It's not like I asked you to care." She said.
Gajeel gulped inaudibly, realizing that he had made her sad. He turned around to face everyone. "Get out." He said, startling them. They stood for a moment, and then he looked at them with intimidation. "Get. Out." He hissed, and they scrambled out of the room. The door closed, and the only people left were Gajeel and Levy.
Gajeel sighed as he turned to face Levy. She expected him to say something that would annoy her once again, but she heard something completely different instead. "I don't care if you read novels like the ones I saw a week ago," He said, surprising her. "I know it was a secret for you, but it's a secret that doesn't affect how I think about you."
She stared at him, unsure of what to say. She had expected something that was related to her injury, but this was completely off topic. Then he took a step closer to her. "I care about you." He said, and she swore she even heard him say 'more than you think' under his breath. She couldn't help but smile.
"Do you?" She asked, making him feel awkward. She giggled, and then her playful smile turned into a shy one. She looked up at him meekly as she played with the bed covers. "S-So, if I tell you another secret, you wouldn't mind?" She asked in a small voice.
Gajeel scratched his cheek lightly. "As long as it isn't strange…maybe." He said, looking thoughtful.
Levy sat up properly as she looked at him seriously, making him wonder what it is that she wants to share. "I…" She gripped the covers with her good hand. The more she looked into his eyes, the more flustered she got. "I like you, Gajeel." She said, and although her heart feels lighter, she was afraid he would push her away.
He looked down at her for what was probably just a minute or so, but to Levy it felt like an hour. She was starting to think he was feeling uncomfortable with her, and when she was about to tell him it was okay to tell her the truth, she watched him lean down closer to her face.
She felt his lips placed upon her own. Her eyes widened. Her grip on the bed covers didn't loosen one bit, until he broke the kiss and walked out of the room in a hurry. She stared at the door, and the rest of the group came inside. "What happened? Gajeel was red in the face." Lucy said, and she looked at Levy with surprise.
"…You're red too." Lucy said as her lips curved into a smile as she deduced that something happened between them.
Hm...I wanted to write about Levy's collection of racy novels that Erza borrows. If I'm not mistaken it was in the Fairy Hills OVA that Levy talked about it to Lucy, right? But the result of the story was this in the end. Ohhh wells.