I'm so sorry, it has been ages since I last updated this story. I've been focusing on my story Speak Politely to an enraged Dragon a lot and I kind of been having some bad case of writers block for most of my other stories. Plus, I have a lot of work to do for college.
By Neko Erza
The next few days went by pretty silent. Levi still beat herself up over the fact that she was here, getting food and warmth and her friends were rotting in jail. She also had a rough time trying to push away the horrific memories of Gray's ripped flesh, Loke's tired eyes, the guard trying to rape her and not knowing where Jet and Droy were.
But somehow, the dragon slayer managed to take her mind off of those things at times. Whenever she was feeling really bad and was on the verge of crying, he'd start teasing her, even making her laugh genuinely at some times. So when a few days later he told her he was leaving for a mission, she was actually a bit let down. She would no longer have a distraction to keep her mind off of things.
"How long will the mission last?" Levi asked, trying to sound casual while she was silently hoping it would only take a day or two.
"Dunno, a week? Two, maybe more." Gajeel grumbled as he shrugged his shoulders.
Definitely not the answer she was hoping for. The dragon slayer noticed the frown that formed on the little bluenette's face and grinned. "What? Can't go that long without me, shrimp?"
"What? Of course I can!" She yelled angrily, a blush creeping up her face. She quickly made up a reason. "It's just, if you don't even know yourself how long it will take, what if it takes way longer and I run out of food?"
The raven cocked an eyebrow at that explanation, because he was quite sure she wouldn't worry about that. The girl just stared back at him angrily, the blush still faintly on her cheeks.
"What?" She bit.
Gajeel grinned. "You're a bad liar, shrimp." He leaned towards her, leveling his face with hers. "If you can't get enough of me, you can just say so."
Heat rose to her cheeks again and she took a step back, away from the man which made him snicker. She jut crossed her arms stubbornly and replied, "I just don't like being alone, that's all. Even your company is better than nobody."
"Gee, I'm flattered." Gajeel mumbled sarcastically. "When Juvia's here she'll check up on you and if she isn't, her teammate will check up. Apparently we can trust him too."
Levi didn't really trust the word 'apparently' in that sentence. "Okay... Juvia was always nice to me so I'm glad to see her again. What kind of mission is it you're going on anyway?"
Since Phantom Lord was a dark guild, its 'missions' never really had a legal character. So a mission that was given to someone like Gajeel, one of the top of the guild, would be something pretty big.
"Don't break your pretty little head over that." Was all the slayer said, which could only mean it was anything but good.
"Shrimp, don't start. It's none of your business."
"Fine." She said a little harsher than she meant to, so she quickly covered it up by asking, "When are you leaving?"
"Today, my things are already packed, just waiting for Juvia to drop by."
A few days earlier
"What do you mean, they haven't come back yet?" Cana said surprised. "None of them? Loke and Gray or team Shadow Gear?"
"No, why?" Mira asked surprised. Then a worried expression formed on her face. "Now that you mention it... Their missions are taking longer than expected..."
" I ran into them a few days ago, they were ready to board a train to come back to Fairy Tail. They should have been back days ago." Cana explained.
Lucy walked over to the two women, having picked up what they were talking about. "I think it is weird they aren't back either. Loke told me his and Gray' mission wouldn't take this long, because he'd be too worn out from being in the human world this long. And..." She grabbed her key to teh gate of the Lion. "I've been having a bad feeling for some time."
Mirajane looked at the key in her hand. "What do you mean?"
"It's pretty hard to explain. Loke's key... it feels heavier than it usually does and I can feel it bite into my skin when I thouch it."
"Have you tried opening his gate?" Cana asked.
"I wanted to, but I didn't since if they were still on the mission, I would be taking Gray's partner away and I didn't want to risk leaving him in some battle alone. I told myself to wait a little longer, if they weren't back then, I'd call him and open his gate."
"Where the hell can they be?" Cana wondered.
"I'm really worried now. Lucy maybe you should call Loke now, Cana said they were done with their mission." Mira told the blonde.
Lucy nodded and grabbed a better hold of the golden key. "Open gate of the Lion! Loke!"
The key glowed a golden light for a second but then the light died down again. Lucy looked around confused, searching for her spirit. "Where is he?" She mumbled confused before raising the key again. "Open gate of the Lion! Loke!"
Again the key just glowed gold for a moment, then extinguished without anything else happening.
"Why isn't he here?" Mira asked worried.
"It means that he's still in the Human World." Lucy explained. "So I can't call him out of the Spirit Realm. Normally he should have felt me calling for him and returned back to his world, but he wasn't there the second time I called him either."
"I have a bad feeling about this." Cana mumbled.
Lucy nodded in agreement. "I'll force close his gate, then I'll be able to call him out." She raised the key once more. "Force Close Gate of the Lion!"
The celestial mage stood there for a few seconds with a disgutled look on her face, then the key of the Lion slipped out of her hand and fell to the floor.
"What's wrong?" Mira and Cana asked in unison.
Lucy looked up at them with eyes filled with worry. "I can't close his gate."
"We need to inform the master."
Levi looked when there sounded a knock on the door. Gajeel slouched over to it and unlocked the heavy locks.
"Juvia." Gajeel nodded as a greeting when the blue haired woman stepped into the room.
"Juvia is here to say goodbye to Gajeel and check up how Levi-san is doing." The bluenette smiled. She waved at Levi, who returned the greeting with a warm smile. She was happy to see a friendly face.
"Yeah I know that already." Gajeel said.
"Juvia was talking to Levi-san, Gajeel-kun." Juvia said as she walked over the smaller bluenette.
"Gee, sorry." The slayer growled sarcastically.
"Juvia does have some bad news too. She also has to leave on a mission in a few days, so I won't be able to check on Levi-san then."
"You arranged something with your element four buddy, didn't you?" Gajeel asked.
"Yes, Totomaru-kun will check every few days."
"He better be thrustworthy, otherwise I smash his skull."
"Gajeel-kun doesn't have to be so violent all of the time." The water mage reprimanded. "Totomaru knows he has to keep it silent." She turned back to Levi. "Juvia does have some good news too; she can spend all day with Levi!"
"That's great, Juvia." The little bluenette said sincerily. Although she got along pretty well with the dragon slayer, she was looking forward to spending some time with another girl.
"If you two are done blabbering, I'll take my leave now." Gajeel said as he grabbed the backpack he had packed earlier. Before he left, he turned around to the two woman. "Shrimp; don't do anything stupid like trying to escape. There won't be anyone who'll come and save your ass again, understood?"
The girl nodded. "Yes, yes, I know. You told me a million times already."
"Because I want to make sure you get it in your stubborn head. You Fairy Tail mages should try to listen sometime." The iron dragon slayer told her, then turned to the water mage. "Juvia, don't make it that she's even more spoiled than she already is by the time I come back."
"Juvia doesn't think Levi-san is spoiled." Was the only thing she answered.
The slayer rolled his eyes and turned to leave, while mumbling. "Damn women, always sticking together."
After a last 'see you when I get back' the door slammed closed and the two women were alone.
Juvia turned to Levi and asked with a sad smile. "How is Levi-san doing? Juvia heard what happened in the dungeon a few days ago."
"I... I'm fine." The script mage said not really convincing. "Gajeel saved me in time."
"If you need someone to talk to, Juvia will always be here to listen." The water mage smiled encouraginly.
"Thank you, Juvia. I actually want to ask you something... since Gajeel won't answer it."
"Oh, then Juvia doesn't know if she should answer either." The tall bluenette said uncertain.
"I really need to know." Levi pleaded.
Juvia considered whether or not she should, then let out a sigh. "Okay, you can ask."
"How are my friends doing? Gajeel won't tell me because he says it will only upset me more, so it can't be good, but I want to know how they are. A few days ago, when I saw them, they were in really horrible condition... I want to know how they are now"
Juvia looked at the bluenette and pitied her and her friends. "Juvia thinks Gajeel-kun is right in not telling."
"Please Juvia, you said you'd answer." Levi said, tears forming in her eyes.
"Your friends... two of them are in pretty good condition, since they are letting them work. The two you found in the dungeon... Juvia heard they got punished pretty bad after Levi-san's escape..."
"N-no..." Tears now really poured down the girl's face. "Why them? I was the one to escape, not them!"
"That guard that tried to..." Juvia stopped, not getting the words over her lips. "He wanted to get revenge for what Gajeel did to him because of you... Since he knew he couldn't get to you, he attacked your friends."
"They were already so beaten up... Loke, he..." Levi burst into sobs.
"Please don't cry, Levi-san. I dunno why, but the master told the guards to keep them alive. They know better than to ignore his commands." She patted the girl's shoulder awkwardly, not knowing what else to do.
"I saw them, that can barely be called 'keeping them alive'. They are torturing them and they are starving." Levi cried
"Juvia is so sorry..."
The small bluenette gave a weak smile. "It's not your fault. I'm just so worried about them... But... I'm happy at least Jet and Droy are safe."
"If it is any consolation... Juvia has been bringing them food... when the guards aren't around."
"You did?" Levi asked surprised. Suddeny she threw her arms around the water mage. "Thank you so much, Juvia."
"Juvia doesn't like to see people treated like that."
Levi looked at the water mage for a while, then asked, "Why are you in this guild?"
"What do you mean?" The woman asked confused.
"You're just so different than the other Phantom members. You're gentle and friendly. You have a good heart and yet... you're in a guild that does awful things."
Juvia gave her a small smile. "Juvia has been here most of her life. Nobody wanted to be near Juvia when she was a kid, but then Phantom took her in. Suddenly Juvia had a place where people didn't run away from her, but respected her. Where her magic is appreciated and not despised."
"But are you really happy here?"
"Happy?" The woman asked as if the word startled her. Then she nodded hesitantly. "Juvia is... respected. That makes her... happy."
"That doesn't sound like the kind of happy a guild should give you. A guild should be a place you can call home, where you are surrounded by friends and loved ones. Not just a place where they only respect you."
The water mage let those words sink in. She knew she was respected by everyone in the guild because of her power; but except for Gajeel and Totomaru, nobody considered her a friend. She was still the rain woman; to be respected, but not approached. She looked up at Levi. "Is your guild really like that? Is Fairy Tail a place you can call home?"
Levi smiled and nodded. "It's been my home for many years now, from the moment I first stepped inside I felt peope cared for me. Not because I was strong or something like that, but they care for me because of... me. Everyone in Fairy Tail is nakama, we fight for each other and protect each other."
"That... sounds wonderful." Juvia whispered as a single tear rolled over her face. When she felt the tiny droplet she quickly wiped it away. "J-juvia is raining from her eyes."
Levi had to smile at that. "That's what I think a guild should be. I wish you would have ended up at Fairy Tail when you were a kid, you'd fit in perfectely."
"Fairy Tail sure sounds nice." She smiled at Levi. "And its members sure are something. I never saw people who are so dedicated to each other. Like your friend in the dungeon... He was willing to take on the other's punishment, just to spare him. That was very courageous." A small blush formed on her cheeks.
"Yeah, Gray has taken it upon himself to keep Loke alive in this world..."
"His- his name is Gray-sama?" Juvia said, the blush on her cheeks intensifying. "He never wanted to tell me his name, the times I brought them food."
"Sama?" Levi said confused, then she saw the red on the woman's cheek and a smile spread over her face. "You fancy him! You like Gray!"
"W-what? Of course not!" Juvia denied quickly, but the crimson on her face said otherwise. Then she silently added, "But Juvia would like him to stop distrusting her."
"He doesn't know you, that's all." Levi smiled, then added, "And to be honest he can be quite grumpy. Especially when Natsu's around. They are constantly fighting."
"Natsu? Isn't that Fairy Tail's dragon slayer?"
"You just said he and Gray-sama fight all the time, but earlier you said everybody in your guild are nakama."
To her surprise, the script mage laughed. "We are, but fighting in Fairy Tail is just one of our ways to show we care. Gray and Natsu... those two might claim to hate each other, but actually they'd do anything for each other."
"Fairy Tail really sounds nice, but also somewhat strange." Juvia chuckled.
"You might be right there."
Juvia smiled. "So... how has Gajeel-kun been treating you? To be honest... I didn't expect him to hav you stick around for this long. He really seems to have taken an interest in you, but then again you are completely the type he likes; he's always had a thing for small woman."
Now it was Levi's turn to blush. "W-what do you mean with 'interest'?"
"Oh no, no. Levi-san doesn't need to worry about Gajeel-kun doing something you don't want. He might have done some... bad things, but he'd never mistreat a woman like that."
Levi smiled, "Yes, I know, otherwise he'd probably have done it already... He really is different than the stories tell."
"He might be quite savage, deep down he can really be a great guy. There are just very few people who get to see it."
The next few days Juvia dropped by occasionally to keep Levi company and keep her updated about the other Fairy Tail prisoners. She tried to bring them more food everytime she got the chance;
The water mage really made her time at least a little bit better. It was nice to talk about ranom stuff and forget the misery she was in for a moment. And it was funny to hear Juvia tryng to casually ask about Gray. Her face would go crimson red and she'd start stuttering, and it somehow reminded Levi a bit of Lucy when someone said something sexual at the guild.
Although those times with Juvia were really fun, after she left it always made Levi miss Fairy Tail even more. She missed discussing Lucy's novel and she missed Mirajanes sweet laugh. She even missed Cana's drunk blabbering.
Then when Juvia had to leave for her mission too, she didn't seem to get used to the silence. She wandered around the house, looking for something to keep her busy. S
About a week after the dragon slayer left, she was reading one of the books she found when she heard the locks open. She jumped off of the couch anxiously. It could neither be Gajeel nor Juvia.
The door opened and a young man with black and white hair stepped in.
"I'm Totomaru." He gave Levi a look, then threw a bag on the table.
He was definitely different than Juvia's company. He gave her an uncomfortable feeling.
"You've been causing quite a storm in the guild, Fairy girl." He said looking at her. "The men really can't shut up about your little show on the first day. They really hate the fact that Kurogane is your 'master'."
"I..." Levi really didn't want to think about that.
"If only they knew he was letting it all go to waste."
Now Levi was getting irritated. "'Go to waste?' What, for not raping me?"
To her surprise the man smiled. "I heard you were quite temperamental." Then he eyed her from head to toe. "Personally, I don't really get all the fuss. I mean, both Juvia and Gajeel risking their position over you? Juvia is even feeding your little friends in the dungeon."
Levi didn't know how to respond to that. Juvia and Gajeel were indeed risking a lot.
Totomaru looked at the girl for a few more moments, then nodded to the bag he threw on the table; "Food."
"Thank you." Levi whispered.
The Phantom Mage turned to leave again, but before he left Levi asked, "You're... You're not going to tell anyone, are you? About Juvia bringing food to my friends and Gajeel not... treating me as everyone expects him to."
"If I were, I wouldn't be here. I promised Juvia and I'm not going to betray her trust." He looked at her one last time and slightly shook his head, then turned around and pulled the door open. "I'm not here to chat. Just behave yourself, Fairy."
The locks clicked close again, locking Levi back in her golden cage.
The days went by slowly. Totomaru was the only one Levi saw during the time, but being around him always left her with a guilty feeling.
A second week passed, and then a third, but Gajeel still wasn't back.
Maybe something went wrong. Somehow that gave her a very bad feeling and it made her realize something; She didn't like to admit it, but she was really starting to miss the dragon slayer. She convinced herself she just felt like that because she was lonely and missed all her friends.
But the house did eel empty without him. Though it hadn't been that long, during the time she lived with him, she really got used to his nicknames and teasing.
It had been three and a half weeks since he left.
Levi still lay awake on the couch when she heard stumbling in the hallway. She sat up straight when she heard that it came towards Gajeel's house.
The doors clicked open and someone entered the house.
"Gajeel!" Levi yelled when she saw the dragon slayer enter. He was hunched over and his hand was clamped over a heavy bleeding wound on his upper arm.
"Shrimp." He kicked the door shut. "Get some bandages, will ya?"
"What the hell happened?"
"I ran into one of your little friends earlier."
"What do you mean? Who" The girl asked confused, while she grabbed a cloth and pressed it against a bleeding wound.
The red eyes locked with hers. "Salamander."
End of chapter 9
Thank you for reading, I hope people haven't given up on this story yet because it has been a while since I updated.
Please let me know what you think, it might give me some inspiration for next chapters.