Levy's eyes snapped open as the gentle morning sun and chirping birds HAMMERED INTO HER SKULL.
"Kyah!" She cried, immediately wishing that she hadn't. Hands clutched at her head. What the hell was this pain? Was she dying? It hurt so much! Panicking at the pain and the sudden realization that this was not her bedroom, Levy managed to fall off of the bed, dragging the blanket with her.
It didn't hurt except for the jarring of the pain in her head. She kicked with her legs, bound up in the blanket, but failed to shift it with her cognitive faculties impaired. She made a decision: to just curl up here and wait for the world to end. Yeah, that was fine.
"So, ya up, Shrimp?"
Levy curled up tighter at the inappropriately loud voice and heavy footsteps.
"Shush, I think my head is going to explode," she said very, very quietly.
"Gihihihi!" Gajeel laughed loudly. "That's called a hangover, Shrimp!"
"Kyah!" She repeated softly. "Quiet!" Hangover? That was impossible, she never drank alcohol! Hazel eyes fluttered open as the previous night came flooding back to her…well, the first half anyway. The remainder seemed to fade away until nothing remained.
"My mouth is dry," she said pathetically.
"Yeah, that happens…after a single beer! Pfffff…" He was trying not to break out laughing. "What a lightweight! C'mon, I think I still got some coffee somewhere."
"No, I don't drink coffee."
"Why?" There was a silence where Levy should have supplied an answer. Gajeel's eyebrows rose and further humour split his smile wider. "Cuz it's too strong for ya?"
"What the fuck do ya drink if not alcohol or coffee?"
"Lots of things," Levy replied, still curled up tightly on the floor, eyes closed against the assault on her fragile senses. "Tea, hot chocolate, milkshakes, fruit juice, smoothies, soda…"
Gajeel frowned. "I ain't got any of that shit. Ya want a glass of water?"
"Please." Gajeel stomped away to return with a dirty glass of water. Levy chose to ignore his bad housekeeping and just accept the gift, drinking the cool liquid. In fact, for Gajeel, this was downright generous. Still… "Water's boring. Will you get me something nicer?"
"I just told ya…"
Gajeel growled and looked out of the window. At least the weather had appeared to clear up, leaving sunlight pouring down. Well, he was hungry himself. Fine. Fine!
"Fine! I'll go and get us some breakfast. There's a couple of fast food outlets around here and…"
"But the nearest place is half an hour away!"
"Stop that! Ya ain't cute!"
"Pwetty Pwease?" She asked, eyes turning into her ultimate puppy dog expression.
Gajeel looked around. He was in line at a sushi bar. How the fuck did he get here? The little midget must have cast some sorta spell on him! Those eyes were fucking weapons! He folded his arms, trying to ignore the redness in his face. Clearly, solid script was more versatile than he believed. Cough, cough, ahem.
He went and placed his order and blinked at the bill. He was used to eating crap – fried foods and the like. Fine, fine, he repeated internally. Just for the Shrimp. No, just for this one time, I'm not doing this for her! Don't be silly! I feel a little bad for getting her wasted, that's all! Nothing more! I certainly don't want to see that smile as I give her this food.
"Gah! I'm a worse liar than she is!" He shouted out loud. He flushed again as people in line stared at him. He snatched his food and left.
When he got back to his house, Levy was in his living room, having dressed back into her dry clothes. He felt oddly disappointed. She had been so cute in his t-shirt. But then again, she wasn't exactly not cute now. He generally felt that Levy was a bit…fashion-challenged, but he liked her current dress, it suited her well.
He mentally smacked himself in the face.
Gajeel went to sit on his sofa and motioned for Levy to join him. He then placed the bag down on his living room table and took out two trays of sushi, putting one down in front of her. He tried not to pay attention to her smile or the one that followed it as he put a bottle of strawberry smoothie down.
"That is easily the girliest drink I've ever had to order," he grumbled.
"Thank you," she said with that sunny smile. Unable to help himself, he flicked her head and watched with amusement as her expression fell into abject pain.
"Now drink, it's the best cure for a hangover."
"I've had a lot of water while you were gone," she agreed.
"Oi, that's my water!"
"Gajeel, water is free!"
"I have a water bill, Shrimp!" He said loudly, glaring.
"Oh, hehe! Sorry, it's just lumped into my rent so I never think about it!"
"Psh, forget about it."
"A couple of glasses of water? You're so generous!"
"So ya don't want this sushi then?"
"…I'll be good."
"So…I hope that spending the night at my place wasn't the worst time ya've ever had," Gajeel said with a smirk as they began to eat.
"Who knew you were such a kind-hearted man?" Levy asked with hooded eyes. Gajeel practically spat his food out.
"Hey! I've got a reputation to maintain! Ya can't be telling anyone about this!"
"What? About how you pulled me out of the rain? Gave me a place to warm up and dry clothes? How you went and very nicely brought me breakfast-kyah!" Her little triumph was cut off by another head flick. She pouted. "I don't care how many layers you put up to hide it, somewhere under there you're a good man!"
"Fuck off," Gajeel said dismissively.
"A LOT of layers," Levy said with a giggle as Gajeel's cheeks gained the faintest tint of crimson. They ate their breakfast in silence after that. At last, they were finished and Levy got ready to leave. She opened the front door and sunlight streamed through, bathing her in golden light.
"So different to last night," she commented. "You really saved me then."
"Yeah well, I owe ya one," Gajeel said with a shrug.
Levy practically skipped down his path, all happiness and sunshine again. Good, Gajeel thought. She was much better like this than all depressed. She was…his mind managed to switch 'beautiful' to 'adorable' at the last moment. He'd accept that word, since she was basically a little puppy.
"Gajeel, I'll keep you to that promise!" She called.
"Huh?" Wait, what had he promised?
"If I wanna prove my strength, you'll fight me!"
Gajeel grinned, flexing his guns. "Any time, Shrimp. I'll take anything ya've got!"
Levy was halfway to her dorm when a person dashed up to her at high speed and she was lifted from the ground in a hug.
"Levy! We were so worried!"
"Jet?" She said, confused. "What happened?"
"Erza said that you didn't come back to the dorms last night! We were so scared for you! We looked all over Magnolia!"
"Ah! The whole guild was looking for me?" Levy asked nervously. That was bad!
"N…no…just me and Droy. Erza said something like you're a grown-up who can look after herself…" Jet began to go red as if he realized that he was admitting that he thought that Levy did indeed need protection.
Levy couldn't help but giggle, for he was kind of right. She had needed a bit of help last night, but she had no idea from where that help would come! And she couldn't be too mad at Jet…after all; they hadn't been safe one particular night in the past. Which made last night all the more confusing.
"Um…can you put me down now?" Levy asked, smiling.
"No! I'm not putting you down until you're back at the dorms," he replied walking towards Fairy Hills. He ignored the writhing, squirming woman in his arms who was cursing the entire world for thinking that she was luggage to be carried! Why was everyone else so tall!?
Then again, she thought calming down; she had a hazy memory of being in Gajeel's arms last night. And although she couldn't picture it properly, there was the memory of being warm and safe and happy. She blushed slightly, for she hoped to have the chance to be in them again.
Sorry if that's a bit crap, but I wanted to wrap this story up so I can focus on my other stories. I plan to do another short story in the same 'setting' as this one, so look out for that!