Author's notes: Yay for update! boo for short chapter :( but heh, I think you guys will like it :3

As usual, I do not own Fairy Tail. Hiro Mashima is my master!

Let's Play Pretend

#16 Falling

The sun was already high in the sky, when Lisanna woke up. First thing she noticed, the room was spinning and her head seemed to weight a ton, even though it was still on the pillow; it took her a moment to register the foreign scent surrounding her, as well as the white walls that were so not like the ones in her bedroom. Shifting her head so she could look at her left, the youngest Strauss saw that she wasn't alone in what she recognized as the guild infirmary. In the bed beside hers slept a white-as-death Lucy, while, at the stellar mage's other side, laid Juvia, Erza and finally Cana. They looked anemic, with their white faces and dark bags under their eyes, however, it was apparent that none of them were suffering, if the dreamy smile on their lips was any indication. The sight greatly helped the young woman remember what had happened to her, earlier; something about a certain blue-haired fairy, her iron-chomping companion and a reconciliation plan that had went well. Perhaps even a little too well...

Groaning, the fairy propped herself on her elbows then, after fighting a wave of nausea, slowly turned on her side before pushing on her arms to sit. She could barely hold her head up and felt weak as a kitten, as her dear sister's voice started ringing in her mind, telling her that it would be wiser to lay down again and sleep some more, but she ignored it. She was vexed at herself for ending up a victim of Levy and Gazille's waves of sexual tension; she had expected herself to be immune to it, considering she knew that they weren't really together. And yet, the sight had literally blown her away.

She could only think of two explanations: either these two took secret acting lessons or they weren't faking anymore.

Lisanna pushed a sigh and decided to stand up. She wanted to go eat something and recover as fast as possible before everyone else learned of her misadventure. Last thing she wanted was to be teased by Happy for having nosebleeded to death; the fact that she wouldn't be the only victim of the blue cat's wicked sense of humor, if he knew, did nothing to encourage her. Her only consolation was that Mira-nee was going to be very happy to hear that the iron Dragon Slayer and the script mage were back together, which made this whole embarrassing event sound a bit more positive.

The white-haired woman was letting go of the mattress to stand on her feet, when a deep voice called out to her.

"Oh, you're awake already, Lisanna."

Looking up, the fairy saw Pantherlily, who was hovering in front of her, at eye level. The exceed was giving her a worried look.

"Maybe you should rest a bit more," he added, frowning, "you still look pale."

She smiled, while getting up for good.

"Nah, I'm okayyy-" Her voice wavered as her left leg buckled but, thanks to Lily who had quickly flown to her rescue and caught her by the back of her shirt, she was saved from a painful encounter with the floor, "I just need to eat something."

Her answer earned her a disapproving shake of the head from her friend.

"Wendy would scold you, if she knew you were out of bed," said Lily with a little smirk, helping her walk out of the infirmary and make her way to the bar. "She didn't leave your side, all morning."

"I hope we weren't too much trouble," Lisanna said, smiling at the mental image of the little Sky Dragon Slayer waving a stern finger at her, before taking a seat at the closest bar stool available.

"She was quite worried, at first," the cat replied, chuckling, "but she was also glad to hear that Levy and Gazille made up. Although I had some trouble coming up with a good explanation of why the fact that they kissed made you girls nosebleed and faint. I had to be creative, Charle was ready to rip me a new one," he added with a nervous gulp.

"Ugh... sorry for that," she muttered with a wince before asking of Wendy and her cat's whereabouts.

"They went to see Porlyusica," Lily answered, while thinking that it was a good thing he had to stay behind; he seriously didn't want to be nearby if Wendy asked the veteran healer about nosebleeding women.

He flew to the kitchen and came back with some chicken leftover, earning himself a thank you from the woman, who's eyes twinkled at the sight of food. While she fed herself, the young Take Over mage gave a look around the almost deserted restaurant area of the guild; Macao and Wakaba were reading the newspaper, while Kinana was cleaning the tables. Since it was Monday morning, it wasn't unusual that the place was almost empty. A glance at the clock told her that in less than an hour, at lunch time, it wouldn't be the case anymore.

Meanwhile, Lily took place on the counter, in front of Lisanna, with a peeled kiwi in hand. He was innocently savoring his favorite fruit, when he asked her a question.

"Do you think this incident will help speed things up between them?"

The young woman sighed, her eyes closed.

"I sure hope so. There's enough sexual tension between them to cut it with a knife."

Lily let out a soft chuckle, which had, in spite of it's quiet nature, the effect of a slap for Lisanna. She sat up straight and stared at the black exceed with wide eyes, her eyebrows long gone into her hairline.

"You... You know the truth?"

He nodded, a knowing smirk on his lips.

"I'm not the only one who does, apparently."

She blinked.

"B-but... how? Since when?"

"Pretty much since the beginning," he answered before eating a slice of kiwi. "How about you?"

"Uhm... since they started dating," she replied before telling him of her implication in the plan and how she coached them to be better lovers. The exceed smiled at the mention of Gazille being taught how to hug; a sight he would have gladly paid to see.

"How did you find out about me knowing?" Lisanna asked between two bites of cold chicken. She had been certain that her acting had been perfect.

"You were mumbling, when I found you under the windowsill," he said. "You were saying 'They can't be faking this...' over and over. It must have been quite a sight, for you to react this strongly." There was a teasing glint in his brown eyes that made the young woman blush in embarrassment.

"Ugh, tell me about it." She had feared Happy's teasing but it seemed that she should have been more worried about Pantherlily's. Who would have thought that from the usually so composed exceed? The cat in question made an amused hmph.

"Does your sister know the truth?"

Lisanna shook her head.

"I don't think she does; she was quite depressed, when she left with Master. She had put so much effort into making them fall in love with each other and she was certain that they had started dating, thanks to her."

"She'll be glad to know that they are back together, won't she?"

"Yeah, but for how long?" she asked with a sigh. "If they break up for good, that'll make her sad again."

Lily's smirk grew wide, showing off his canines.

"Don't worry about this; it might take a little while for him to admit it but Gazille is already attached to Levy. I don't think he's going to give up on her, now."

The white-haired woman smiled; Natsu had said something similar, a few days ago. Maybe it was true. Maybe she didn't need to worry about these two; they would just eventually grow closer and discover their feelings for each other, at their own pace.

"So... we just let them be?" she asked out loud, an inquiring eyebrow raised on her forehead.

"I think we've done everything we could; they should be able to manage on their own, now. If need be, we could always just nudge them into the right direction again." Lily winked, referring to the little plan from this very morning. Lisanna's smile grew until it linked both of her ears.

"I'll have to make sure to not get caught, this time," she said, chuckling along with the cat.

A few minutes later, the door of the guild opened to let in Master Makarov, who looked quite happy to be back home, greeting back the other members with enthusiasm, while the usually cheerful and bright-eyed Mirajane, walking at his side, was dragging her feet in an completely dejected manner, looking like the perfect picture of the word depression. The woman's shoulders were slouched under the weight of her sadness, her eyes dull like a rainy afternoon, without a hint of a smile on her gorgeous face. As in a daze, she slowly made her way to the bar, where she barely acknowledged Kinana's greetings, before taking her usual place behind it and flopping her upper body down on the counter, her head buried in her forearms.

Lisanna exchanged a look with Lily; seemed like Mirajane did not have a good time.

"Morning, Mira-nee," tentatively greeted the young mage with a smile, even though it went completely unnoticed by the barmaid. "How was your trip?"

The white-haired beauty barely moved, beside a little shrug to answer what Lisanna guessed meant Not bad. She didn't move, when Kinana placed a cup of tea in front of her either.

"I see," Lisanna pursued in a knowing voice, "but you know what? I think your mood will greatly improve, when you'll know what happened, while you were away..."

Her words full of promise were enough to make Mirajane raise her head from the counter, her blue eyes full of melancholy that didn't believe that anything her sister could say would really make her feel better. Just as the youngest woman was about to announce the news, the door of the guild opened again and, as if it had been staged, the iron Dragon Slayer and the blue-haired script mage appeared in front of everyone, walking side by side with their arms linked. They made their way to the request board and the man started checking the posters, chatting with the young woman about something unknown.

"Ah, speaking of the dark mages..." the exceed said with a knowing smile, mirrored by Lisanna's. The barmaid blinked twice, staring at the couple as if she was expecting them to fade into nothingness, due to them possibly being the product of her imagination. However, when she saw Levy's brilliant smile directed at a slightly smirking Gazille, her eyes started widening in shock.

"All the girls from the Romantic Squad, plus Lily, came up with a little reconciliation plan," commented Lisanna, while observing the duo standing near the request board. "Some of us ended up wounded, but, as you can see, it worked."

"R-Really?" whispered Mirajane with a relieved smile growing on her lips and eyes becoming wet.

They witnessed Gazille take something out of his duffel bag, the one he had left there, this morning, and giving it to the small fairy. It was a small box which contained something that they couldn't see from their position however, whatever it was, to say it made Levy happy was an understatement. Upon seeing the content, she literally squealed in joy and pounced on the black-haired man, a reaction that hadn't been expected from him, judging by his dumbfounded expression and his madly blushing face.

Lily chuckled, Lisanna snorted and Mirajane wiped a tear from the corner of her eye.

"See?" said Lisanna. "They're all good, now."

"Thank Mavis," whimpered the barmaid, who couldn't hold back her emotions.

A few minutes earlier

Standing in front of the request board, Gazille was looking for a job he could do quickly but that would give him enough Jewels to help him with his new renovation project. He would build some walls for the bathroom, as well as making a room for Lily, who had mentioned wanting one, not long ago. He knew he couldn't just shape iron walls, since the humidity of the shower would make them rust, so he planned to buy building materials, with the money he would earn today. He had spoken of this project with Levy, on their way to the guild.

"It should be done by tomorrow," he added, his eyes on the posters in front of him. The bluenette made a dubious pout that he witnessed from the corner of the eye.

"It seems to be a lot of work to be done by tomorrow, no?"

"Nah," the iron mage shrugged, "it's just a couple of walls and one or two things on the side; plus, Lily's gonna work too. It's no big deal."

Levy didn't seem to agree with him but he didn't mind. Lily and him made an awesome team; renovating their home was going to be easy as pie.

"Even though you guys are strong," she said, "the only way you could pull it off in less than twenty-four hour would be to skip sleeping and maybe even eating. That wouldn't be wise; you would only end up exhausting yourselves. Or maybe even getting hurt."

Gazille turned his gaze on her with a raised eyebrow; his expression was clearly saying that the idea of his cat and himself getting hurt or falling from fatigue was completely ridiculous. The corner of the script mage's mouth raised slightly.

"Okay, okay, forget what I said," she said, raising her free hand in surrendering, understanding that it was futile to argue with his ego, "but I still don't understand the hurry to do it in such a short time."

He shrugged again.

"Well, the faster it's done, the less you'll have to deal with your Drama Queens, right?"

Levy couldn't help the chuckle that escaped her, a brilliant smile blooming on her face that made Gazille smirk. His guts twisted again and he told himself it was because he was getting hungry. Setting his eyes back on the board, he picked up a bouncer's job in a club, for tonight. It did occur to him that choosing that job would cut on his time to renovate the apartment, but the pay was quite interesting and the chance to beat up someone was high. He was convinced that he could still pull it off and, in the worst case scenario, he really would skip sleeping to finish in time.

He turned around to show the poster to the small fairy and quickly recalled he had told her he would pierce her navel, after his job. Of course, a bouncer job implied he wouldn't be done before three am, at least; he was pretty sure that she would be in bed, at that time. She must have sensed what he was thinking because, before he could say a word, she gave him an understanding smile.

"It's okay, you'll make it for me, some other day," she shrugged, "that'll just give me more time to choose a design. Anyway, when we went to the bookstore, I remembered that I also had something important to do: I need to get my Gale-force reading glasses repaired and I think it'll probably take a while." Then, she cupped her chin pensively, talking to herself. "Now that I think of it, I haven't seen them, lately..."

Gazille raised an eyebrow at her words.

"You're talking about your red glasses, right?" he asked her. When she nodded, he made his way to his duffel bag, not far from them, and started digging in it, looking for a box he had brought along. He soon handed it over to her, explaining.

"I wanted to give them back to you sooner but... well, you know." He didn't think he needed to say it: their argument had pretty much shook their lives up. She opened the lid of the box and gasped; her eyebrows disappearing in her hairline, as she stared at her beloved magical item that looked almost new. He had repaired the branch with a wing-shaped iron joint that he had replicated on the other branch to make it look like it was part of the original design. Even though he had done a meticulous job, he unfortunately didn't have paint to mask his modification, so anyone owning a pair of these would suspect that they had been repaired. It was still ten times better than scotch tape, though.

Speechless, the bluenette was frozen on the spot, with her mouth hanging open, and the sight was starting to make him nervous. What if she wasn't happy with his work? He was perfectly aware that she loved those glasses and they were pretty expensive, too; he seriously hoped that he hadn't messed up by tinkering with them.

"Munchkin, look," he started, "if you're not happy..."

He wanted to add I'll buy you a new pair, but the words never left his mouth. Indeed, the moment he said Munchkin, Levy raised her head to look at him in the eyes, as if she had just remembered he was there, and a wide grin appeared on her lips. Next thing he knew, she was letting out a deafening scream that burst his eardrums then pounced on him, effortlessly sending him to the ground and knocking the wind out of him. Dizzy and confused by what had just happened, he could only blink dumbly at the sight of the small fairy sprawled over him, with her arms around his head and her face hovering at a dangerously close distance above his, her eyes twinkling in obvious delight. It had occurred to him, by now, that she was probably not angry at him for fixing her glasses.

Taking notice of their current position, the thought of pushing her away and getting back on his feet crossed his mind, but it got completely eradicated by the feeling of her mouth suddenly making contact with every single inches of skin of his face, prompting his eyes to grow wide, his brain to go blank and his whole face to burst on fire, all the way to the tip of his ears. He was so shocked by Shorty's unsuspected display of affection that it took him a while to realize that between her hundreds of excited kisses and giggles, she was still trying to express her gratitude toward him.

"Oh, this is..." she almost purred, while punctuating every pause with more pecks, "I can't believe you did... The best gift... This is too much!"

"Oi, Munchkin..." he called out to her in a deceivingly weak voice, while doing his best fighting the major blush on his face. It wasn't working too well.

"I'm so happy!" she smooched him again on the nose. "You shouldn't have!" she kissed him a few times on the cheeks. "It's so nice of you!"

"That ain't much," he mumbled, while doing his best to ignore the fluttery feeling in his guts provoked by her compliments.

"You're just the greatest!" she pursued happily, a couple of pecks on his chin. He growled; could he just stop blushing already?! They were going to attract attention and the last thing he wanted was to be caught doing something as unmanly as blushing. But the fairy just kept thanking him, over and over, while giggling and grinning and looking happier than he had ever seen her be.

He was finally recovering from his initial shock, since he could feel his arms respond to the cries of his ego; he managed to put his hands on her waist, well intended to help himself out of this embarrassing yet not so unpleasant situation. However, he never expected what happened in the split-second that followed: the bluenette cupped his cheeks with both hands and met his eyes with a heated gaze fueled by the ecstasy she was filled with.

And then, he heard the kind of words a man like him would have never even hoped to hear, in his lifetime. A few words said by a woman he held dear to his rumored non-existent heart, that, when coupled with her soft lips meeting his in a passionate kiss, short-circuited his whole being into a mindless heap, with wide as saucers' eyes and a unresponsive tongue.

The moment had felt like an eternity yet it hadn't lasted more than a second. Some still conscious part of him noticed that Levy had let go of his head, that it had fallen back on the floor but it hadn't hurt, most likely thanks to the shock; he heard her call out Bunnygirl's name and run off, squealing again about her repaired glasses. Well, he supposed it was about that; honestly, he wasn't sure because his hearing was slightly muffled by the heavy thumping in his ears.

He was still lying on the floor, a few seconds later, when Lily came into his field of vision, with a smirk and a worried yet amused look on his face.

"Are you okay?"

The voice had the effect of a slap for Gazille, who blinked and felt his face grow hot again, especially at the amused whispers of the others, not too far from them. Cursing under his breath, he jumped on his feet, faster than a blink, picked up his duffel bag and the flier for his job before quickly making his way out of the guild, followed by a chuckling Lily, who couldn't hold back his grin.

Seemed like things were really speeding up between his two favorite mages.

End notes: ooh! What could she have possibly told him to make him react this way? I'll let you ponder on that (just a hint: think fluffy:P)

Reading and Faving and REVIEWING is an awesome way to make my day! Don't be shy ^^


edited some grammar mistakes that makes me want to hide under my bed for a week. really, pikinanou, you've got no shame... Ulcaasi, feel free to slap some sense back into me, anytime :/