takes place in the final moments on tenrou island, before Big-Scary-Zeref Lizard goes all medieval on our beloved main cast.
warnings for gajeel's potty mouth.
[eat bread, make disclaimers -know what i mean?]
The people in this guild are fuckin' crackers, he decides, not for the first time, when he learns their grand plan, their genius solution for handling the ancient, invincible monster threatening to roast them alive on this death trap of an island is to hold hands at it.
That there's no escape, no tomorrow for any of 'em is an unspoken awareness they all share –yet even in the face of Certain Death, this over-zealous batch of freaks refuse to take it lyin' down. Instead, they mean to go out in the most ridiculous way possible.
In hindsight, Phantom never stood a chance against fools o' this caliber.
"It's coming!" Lily hails from his shoulder, instinctively setting one tiny kitty paw at his temple. As usual, this stirs up the most obnoxiously gooey-warm and fuzzy feelings somewhere in the general area of his gut, where warm-fuzzy feelings ain't got 'ny business existing in the first place, because his gut's made for processing iron n' steel n' other such rigid, refined metals, dammit, not for flopping around like a jackass everytime he catches his fluffy, bite-sized partner running through a kata on his kitchen table. Or doing that stretchy-feline-yawning thing. Or fightin' his damndest to maintain his dignity when The Midget drags him into her lap and starts rubbin' at his ears and he goes cross-eyed tryin' not to ooze into a happy kitty puddle all over the floor. Or even when he just stands around, glaring indiscriminate-like at everything that dares cross his path. His cat, he proudly concludes, eye-balling Happy and Charle, is the best cat of all the cats.
The others begin joining hands to form a ring amidst the razed, naked earth that'd seconds prior been lush forest, and he's turned his gaze skyward to catch one final glimpse of the overgrown lizard who's about to fry 'em all, and then—
"Gajeel," is all the warning he gets before cool, soft skin slides against his palm, before small, thin fingers curl and close over his own, and then he's looking down outta his one good eye into the too-bright gaze of a blue-bobbed fireball, because The Midget's holding his hand and beaming up at him like he never worked her over n' strung her broken body up in a tree, like he never attacked her guild and tried to destroy everything n' everyone she holds dear just for shits n' kicks, like she trusts him even if she doesn't always like him –because they're comrades now, guild mates, family.
Metalicana help him if this doesn't do uncomfortable, melty-type things to the thing suddenly hammerin' away in his chest. (Fairy Tail's makin' a big, quiverin' sack o' sap out of him, and no mistake.) Refusing to allow his face to break into anything other than a forbearing glower, he holds her hand right the hell back, defiantly sweeps his thumb across her knuckles for good measure, and...and damn it all to freaking hell, he's -he's blushing, isn't he?
If he is, The Midget doesn't notice; she's already pulling him toward the circle and aimin' a fierce expression up at that Acnologia bastard to boldly meet her fate.
But Lily, on his shoulder, snorts out an uncharacteristic snigger and, apparently channeling Happy, says,
"You liiike her," low enough so he's the only one who hears what's bound to rate at least an 'epic' on the meter of shitly-timed wisecracks.
Thus, Gajeel's final thought, in the instant before the island explodes and they all become unstuck in time, is that his cat is the stupidest of all the cats.
gajeel's gooey-giggly fondness for his kitty keeeeels me.
there's really no way i couldn't have fallen ears-over-ankles (?) for gajeel/levy. they're totally repackaged bulma/vegeta for a new generation.
i mean. gajeel's a prickly, unrepentant jerkward with a WIDOW'S PEAK who begins his canon career as an Enemy of Good (who also, btw, totes has an arch-rivalry thing going with the main character, even after he teams up with the protagonists), and levy's a spunky nerd-babe with BLUE HAIR who -off-camera- clues him in to the error of his ways. plus, they bicker at each other constantly...sound familiar?
seriously, i never stood a chance.
i'm ready, zombiepocalypse.
come at me, b*tches.