The pain of true love

Jet; Gajeel x Levy

Description:

I thought of this FF when I wrote the OS "Seven lost years?". But it got too long to add it as a bonus chapter, so I decided to make an OS out of it. Also because a character that is normally just a side character stands in the spotlight.

So the main character of this FF is Jet.

The pairing Gajeel x Levy is mostly just passive mentioned but Gajeel makes an appearance at the end of the story.

Written from 01.03.2012 – 06.03.2012

The OS plays after the timeskip. You have to know the happenings until chapter 253-261 or even more to understand this OS.

At the end of the OS you will find a little bonus chapter, that you can, but don't have to read. It's a little special about Gajeel and Lily, which I thought off while writing the OS itself.

Enjoy! ^_^

The pain of true love

Sunrays fall through sheer curtains onto the big bed in which someone starts to stir. The chirping of the birds outside on the tree sounds softly but cheerfully into the room.

Jet is the first to open his eyes and blinks at the mild light of the winter sun, which shines at his face. Too tired to get out of the bed already he turns to the other side and wraps his arms around the woman beside him. The dark, blue hair of his girlfriend gleams softly in the mild light. He can't help touching it and in the process stroking her cheek gently.

She stretches in the bed and turns to face him. "Good morning…" she whispers as she snuggles closer to his chest. Her drowsy look, her soft hair, her aura and her smile, he likes everything on her. Actually that moment can't be finer for Jet. If she just would be the right woman which lies next to him.

They are a couple for nearly a year now but everything on her reminds him of "her". Of "her", the one. The one he always loved, since the moment he met her.

May it be her free spirit, her always good mood and the boon to inflict others with it. Her shiny eyes, her sometimes tousled hair which is still so soft between his fingers, and her smile. She has the same smile …the same smile as Levy. But she isn't her…

With a quiet sigh Jet decides to stand up after all. He strokes Jana a strand out of the face, before he sits up and stares out of the window. His gaze is dull and empty. Today is the fourth anniversary of Levys disappearance.

Later that year as Tenrou Jima was destroyed by Acnologia the mages who were on the island were declared dead. For many weeks the waters around the location of the island were searched but without any success. Without finding even one survivor. Without even one corpse…

Even today Jet can't believe that she is dead. Everyone says it, everyone knows it. There is no help for it. Everything that Acnologia ever attacked was wiped from the surface of earth. So was his Levy.

His childhood friend, his teammate, his one and only love.

Before he leaves the room of his girlfriend he thoughtfully looks at her. She sleeps on calmly and carefree. But on Jets forehead are worry lines. He needed a lot of time to get over Levys death, to be open for something new. But now when he finally could be happy he realizes how much he tried to see Levy in Jana. He knows that he has to let Levy go to be able to truly love Jana. But his core tenses at the thought.

It is still soon. Nobody would be in the guild at that time of the day. The guild… in the last 4 years they managed to fall down from the "Top Number 1 Guild in Fiore" to the last place. Their guild is pawned and they now have an old, little building on the outskirts of the city, which they use as headquarter. The dept-collectors of Twilight Ogre pay them a visit every month and they always get their point across. Fairy Tail is done but they still try to keep the spirit of the guild. Secretly everyone seems to hope that every one of the others was washed up somewhere and just hadn't the possibility to return by now. Secretly everyone hopes that they return, but with every year that passes it's harder to believe.

Jet goes to the cathedral to see the big memorial plaque on the guilds cemetery. It was build only days after the death declaration. It is about three meters high and carries the guild symbol of Fairy Tail on his highest spot. Right underneath, hewn in stone, a picture of Tenrou Jima. Underneath follow the names of the guild members that were wiped out with the island in alphabetical order.

Over and over again he writes Levy's name with his fingers nearly tender. The spray is in the same vase as every year in front of the memorial. Big tears roll down Jets cheeks as he drops to his knees to speak a prayer for her and everyone else who left his life on that island.

It's the same every year. He can't forget her…don't want to. Every time he tries and thinks that he had success this time the memories come back like an arrow, straight to the heart. The insight, that he will never be able to forget her, lets his heart bleed. Jet yields his despair, lets his tears roll, like every year. Here in front of the memorial he always loses his composure.

This time it should come even worse. Jana stands not far away from him and watches him with tears in her eyes. She wanted to accompany him, to support him because she knows how hard it is for him. She would love to be there for him when he needs someone to lean onto. She knew it from the first moment when he told her that story, which she got so hard out of him. She isn't the right one for that task. Only "she" could dry his tears.

"You…will never stop to love her, right?", she watches him with tears in her eyes as she asks. Jet looks up at her powerless. His from shock wide eyes are swollen from his tears. "I… I'm sorry.", are the only words he manages to get out between his tears.

"So…. you really broke up with her?", Droy looks up from his meal as he hears the newest happenings from Jet. "Yeah… I'm sorry, but we couldn't continue like that." the strawberry blonde answers and takes a sip of his beer. Droy knows exactly why and he nearly loses his appetite over it. The next moment he gulps down everything on his plate with a sour expression. "When will you finally stop to live in the past?!", he snarls at Jet. He is tired of seeing that grief-stricken face of his friend. Every year it's the same. Actually it's the whole year like that, but on the anniversary it's the worst.

"You are such a stupid ass! You could have got happy with Jana! She is such a nice and beautiful woman!", he appeals to Jets conscience but in reality he knows that it was the right thing to do. It wouldn't have made any sense if Jet would have always tried to see Levy in Jana. Jana didn't deserve that. Droy hadn't found a girlfriend after everything and that Jet had found one and didn't appreciate that luck, frustrated him even more.

"It's just how it is… I can't lie to my heart." he empties his cup hastily and asks Laki, who has bar-duty, to bring him a double vodka. "You are starting soon…", Droy comments and watches his friend worried. Since "that day" Jet has been drinking one too much more often. "You never held back either.", Jet spits back, unnerved from the always same discussion every year and hints to Droys many empty plates, that are piling up next to him. Droy got rid of his pain by eating and now he gets hungry whenever he gets angry or frustrated. He himself calls it a hearty appetite, but everyone knows that he just tries to keep the pain away. However those eating attacks didn't anything good to him the last 4 years. On sundry spots he starts to get out of form and to put on fat. Jet quit advising his friend to stop.

Like always at that time the two old friends part fighting. In the afternoon, however, they always come together at the harbor of Hargeon again, to get on the rented boat and sail to that place.

That place where Tenrou Jima should be. One of their organized dives shortly after Tenrou Jimas disappearance just showed that Acnologias strength really wiped out everything. The whole island disappeared. Not a single trace was found under water, that there was an island to begin with.

Jets tears dried up for today, his dull gaze lays on the surface of the water on which the light of the sunset is reflecting already. A wistful smile lays on his lips as he whispers a soft prayer and throws the roses into the water. He takes a big gulp of one of the wine bottles they brought here to clink glasses with their missing friends.

"Hey, Jet?", mutters Droy who is sitting on the bow of the boat and does the same as his friend. "You never stopped to believe that they are still alive, right?", he ends his question and ogles his friend secretly. "How could I? I cant bear the thought that they are dead…that Levy…", he falls in silence, cant end his sentence. He gulps the upcoming tears and stares out into the sea where the island once was.

"Don't you think it would be time to let go?", Droy continues nearly gentle. Even if he easily gets into fights with Jet, he also worries for his friend. "Levy would be really disappointed if she could see us now.", he adds. Jet smiles softly as he recognizes how right Droy was. "Do you still know… she always smiled… it didn't matter how dangerous a fight was or in which bad situation we were… she always smiled…", Droy remembers and Jet laughs lightly at the memory. "You… You are right… she never gave up.", Jet answers and whipes away an upcoming tear. "We can only keep her in memory… and continue to give our best.", he says. "Exactly.", Droy gives him the wine bottle to cheer before they both take a big gulp out of it.

"Do you think …its okay to believe… that she is at a place where she always watches us and protects us from behind?" after those words Jet feels a little childish. But they are his thoughts, his feelings, and the wine that's showing its affect and loses his tongue. "I think that's fine." Droy smiles with a drunken blush around his nose and cheers to his friend again.

With that view and the courage to look ahead, to let the past rest, both find new strength to go forward. To continue their way together they started years ago as team Shadow Gear. As good as they can. They both stopped to wait for a return. They know that Levy will always be in their hearts and there she is safe.

So they spend the following years. On every anniversary they visit the grave together, but they stopped to rent a boat to visit the place where Tenrou Jima once was. In the first time, they often wallowed in memories of the good old time. Remembered their first mission as a team, beautiful moments, sad moments. Their memories were holy to them. Sometime though, they stopped talking about the good old times. Stopped to remember Levy together. So they indulged in their own memories and thoughts. Jet fixated himself on his training and his new techniques and Droy got the most passionate eater in the whole guild.

The pain got weaker with the years, hollow, but it would never disappear completely. To big is the gap Levy left at Jet and Droy. Before Levy was their connecting piece. They even fought over her sometimes. They never could agree on who loved her more. Now they keep silent about it and seem to become more and more estranged.

Only sometimes they got to talk about the old times. Their conversation was short and ended with them being all gloomy. They never found a topic to distract themselves from their loss afterwards. With the desperate try to stay strong, to never give up and stand, three more years should pass.

The day began like every other day before. Once again they got visited by the deptcollectors of Twilight Ogre, who rubbed their situation at their faces again. They are at their end. The most of the members left a long time ago, because there are no lucrative jobs anymore. The mood in the guild hall is at zero and their nerves are bare.

Reedus sketchbook, with the portraits of the missing, gets the things completely out of hand. Once again they get aware of the fact that they are powerless. With Tenrou Jima that time their best and highest members disappeared. The guild, Fairy Tail, is on the verge.

A weird sound lures them outside where something falls from the sky. It is Ichiya-sama, a mage of Blue Pegasus. The news they bring get them in astonishment and let new hope flame up inside.

Tenrou Jima seems to still exist!

With a queasy feeling Jet gets on the boat that brings them to where Tenrou Jima should be. His hopes are up from the news. The hopes to find anything to finally end anything. Most likely they would only find the corpses of their friends anymore but even then they finally would have a clear clue they could deal with. It is easier to let someone go when you stand in front of their actual grave as when that someone is missing forever. You always question if he isn't still alive somewhere, like they did the last seven years.

After they would set foot on Tenrou Jima they would finally know what happened to their friends. Jets steps are heavy though. Over and over again he pictures which ugly find they would make. From the first happiness, that they all survived and they would see the others and Levy again, because that hope does exist, is nothing left. The island appeared out of the water as they got near enough with the ship and weird woman, who could run over the water, showed them the way.

As they find Natsu they are all overwhelmed from happiness. That he is alive rises the chance of the others being still alive too. They continue their search and one after another the other members, who got on the island seven years ago to get their S-Rank, appear.

A movement at the end of one through destruction created earthhill gets Jets attention. A wrapped strong arm appears and throws the branches and the bushes under which the person is buried aside and. With a low moan the person struggles to get out and gets on his knees. Dust is falling from his long black mane and his hardly there torn clothing. Right next to Gajeel the yellow fabric of Levys dress, which she wore at her departure, flares up. With a nearly powerless seeming movement he pulls her up in a sitting position and leans her at his body.

Jets blood freezes in his veins. A frog sits in his throat and he can't get a tone out. He is totally banned from the reunion, the fact that she really is alive. Only as Droy next to him screams a "There they are" he comes to senses and follows him down the hill to welcome Levy back in the world of the living. After a closer look he sees that she is apart from a few scratches and bruises safe and sound. Jet and Droy hug each other happily crying. Now everything would go back the way it was.

Only at the ship, after the first happiness of seeing each other again died out and everyone is indulged in their own thoughts, Jet start to sort out his own thoughts too. The people who were frozen on Tenrou Jima the last seven years need the time to sort things out. So he leaves Levy alone at the rail and goes to the others, who are discussing the next days. The backcomers would surely need a special treatment to establish to this time.

On the way there his gaze catches the Dragon Slayer who sits on the roof of the galley and gazes over the deck of the ship. Everyone else would think that he just stares into nothing, indulged in his own thoughts like everyone else. But Jet registers it immediately. He looks at Levy. With a indefinable but intense gaze. Gajeels red eyes seem to get magically drawn to Levys back. There it pops in Jets head again. Before he hadn't the time to really think about it but now that they calmed down everything is clear in front of him. "He" was with her all that time.

This fact lets Jet growl inwardly. He can remember the day quite well, when the S-Rank participants had to choose their partners. Jet had really hoped that Levy would choose him. But it went in another way and Gajeel nearly forced himself on her. Levy agreed and both, he and Droy, were depressed over it. "Oh Levy…", Jet gazes back at Levy. If she just would have chosen him… he would have been able to sleep next to her peacefully over the last seven years. And it wouldn't have mattered much if it would have stayed that way forever. He wonders what happened between them. At least they started as a team, which means that they were separated from the others for some time. Jet doesn't want to imagine the details. He still doesn't know what Gajeel is out for. For his taste though, he is a little too focused on Levy.

As the others call him he rips his gaze away from her and stops his thoughts about it. Just for a moment he looks up at Gajeel again, who doesn't seem to register him at all. "What are you up to? What do you want with my Levy…" Jet asks himself in secret, turns his gaze away and finally joins the others.

Nearly two weeks passed since they came back. In the first days Jet left Levy alone, so she could settle down a bit. In that time she told them everything about the happenings on the island. Even from Gajeels heroic fight against two members of Grimoire Heart.

Jet always gets a lump in his throat when Levy talks about him. He would love to know what else happened between them on the island. Levy always acted normal around Gajeel in the past regardless of what he did to her, him and Droy, when he was still a member of Phantom Lord. Jet registered it years ago, she always sought Gajeel with her eyes. A little disappointed look was on her pretty face when he wasn't there and a secret smile when he was. Jet knows exactly that Levy is interested in that guy and that already nettled him these days long ago. To add to that, Gajeel didn't seem hostile towards her either. Or was it just his normal way to act around her?

Jet just doesn't get that Dragon Slayer. On the ship on their way back home he watched her worried and now there isn't even a trace from the black-haired. Now that Jet thinks about it, Gajeel did distance himself from her as soon as they were back. He left her alone, didn't meddle in and also did he avoid Droy and him when possible. To questions about the happenings on the island he gave short and fast statements, like his character is. Gajeel didn't appear in the guild for days. From Mirajane, who overtook the bar again, he knows that the other male is out on missions. Jet has to smile at that thought. He can't imagine that Gajeel is fully satisfied with this kind of jobs a tiny guild like theirs gets.

Interested he now turns to Levy, who sits at one of the tables in the back and leafs through some books. Before he watched her as her gaze searched through the tiny guild to find that Dragon Slayer somewhere. But she gave it up immediately and turned back to her books, which she leafs through since she came back. As he once asked her if she searched something certain, she somehow seemed caught red-handed, anyway she got a little nervous. "N-Nothing special", she stammered and shut close her notebook. Immediately she changed the topic and was back to her sunny self. Jet let himself calm by that the first time. Levy seemed to be the same, even though she was frozen seven years and separated from them. At the partys, which lasted the whole week, she was like always. She laughed, danced and shared her good mood. She seemed happy.

But she isn't. For a few days now Levy seems to be in low spirits. All efforts to get something out of her failed. Droy tried it yesterday the last time and told her that she could come to them with every problem she had. So was it before and so is it now. Levy seems to have big troubles but she doesn't let them see which.

Jet sighs quietly and watches her from the corner of his eye as he walks over to the request board to look at the few new missions they got. He will make her another proposal. He hopes that she wouldn't at least turn him down again. But the way she is right now, he can and doesn't want to demand too much from her, so he delayed that goal.

On the request board is a small mission that catches his eye immediately. A small reward and a rare book are to snatch and he takes the paper from the board. That would be the right thing for Levy. Of course he wants to distract her from her troubles and thoughts, which she doesn't want to show.

Optimistically and with a smile in his face he goes and submits his proposal. First Levy reacts surprised and overcharged. With the lie to have a bad headache she grabs her things and leaves the guild.

On the bar Jet bangs his fist at the counter. "Damn!" he snarls and Droy sighs next to him. His try yesterday to get her to a job ended also like that. "What is just going on with her?", he floats his question. "She always told us when she worried about something, back then, why is it not like that anymore? Are we too annoying? Or are we even too old?", Jet is obviously desperate as he orders a beer from Mirajane. "Now don't go overboard…", Droy states calmly, who is ogling the muffin in the vitrin in front of him for some time now. He is still under control and it stays with watching. "She will calm down… I could think that she just has to get used to that situation…", he explains and tears his gaze away from the muffin before he looks at Jet. "You think so? What if she leaves our team…" Jet fears next. "Stop talking nonsense! And even if… we couldn't hold her back. She has to know herself whats good for her… Even if its hard for us.", Droy knows better than anyone else how Jet feels. Only that Droy gave the hope, that Levy would feel anything like love for him, up a long time ago. They are still something like brothers for her and Jet should finally understand that.

"I also think that you should give her some time…", sounds that clear, allknowing voice of Mira, who is at the beer tap right now. "Levy isn't a child anymore, she is strong and she knows what she wants…" it comes from Mira emphatically as she sets a jug of beer in front of each of them. "Just be there if she needs friends… or big brothers.", Miras smile is as clear and honest as always, as she gives that advice. She saw Levy at the island. She is not a woman that gives up easily or to break down. And something else also occurred to her. She saw what only a few saw. She knows at who Levy is looking at and at who she wants to lean in her sadness. If that somebody understands that or even registers it is another question. "Its on the house.", she ads and nods at the jugs, before she goes to take another order.

Jet and Droy let themselves calm down from Miras words and cheer at each other, before they turn their attention to their free beer. Levy would come to them when it was time. They just would give her some time, so that she could sort out her thoughts and feelings. Everyone who knows Jets feelings knows that that is especially hard for him.

It's already late afternoon when he decides to look after Levy regardless. With a new novel, he bought shortly before, and a small package chocolate he went to Fairy Hills, but had to go again because Levy is out for a walk and nobody knows where she went. He leaves the book and the chocolate with Laki and just wants to go home. But soon he goes for a walk himself. He worries and thinks a lot so it's better to take a nice walk at the fresh air as to hide in his own walls.

Without registering the way, he walks across the park at the south gate of town. "Wow… I went really far.", he states surprised and decides to go to the park a bit. At the stairs, that lead down to the park he stops in his tracks. He stumbles a few steps back in his surprise, in the first moments he isn't able to breathe. It is as if his heart is breaking in his chest.

Jets widened eyes stare at the pair under that one tree, in the middle of the park. Levy hid herself at Gajeels chest and seems to tell him something under tears. In the face of the Dragon Slayer lays a weirdly soft expression as he strokes her back tenderly. Jet gets afflicted by many feelings. Horror, Desperation and last but not least terrible anger, that boils up inside him.

"What does that bastard think?! How can he dare to take advantage of her in her state?!", the thoughts race through his head. As Gajeel kisses Levy he wants to storm down there and free Levy out of his clutches. Jet doesn't care if Gajeel would rip him to shreds for it. Gajeel shall not get Levy! Everyone, just not him! In his anger he runs around in circles, he wants to make his thoughts true, as he hears Levys surprised scream. He storms back to the stairs in panic and hesitates.

Is that a laugh that hollers over the park to him?

Levys laugh… that he didn't hear for over seven years that happily, beautiful and honest? It has to be so, because even Levys face is one single laugh as she squirms in Gajeels cross-legged while he grins at her cheekily. When they kiss again Jet turns around with clenched hands and teeth. Soon his body goes limp and he drags himself away devastated and crestfallen.

"Why? Why exactly him?", it rants behind his forehead but it really isn't something new the way Levy always looked at that Dragon Slayer. But now, as he sees it with his own eyes, it hits hard and he thinks he has to disappear, so great is the pain in his chest. Even worse than the fact, that Levy loves Gajeel is that he knows how to make her laugh though.

Gajeel did what he and Droy couldn't do even though they know Levy from the cradle. Even after they were a team for years and thought they know everything about each other. Thought, nobody could get between them.

That damn Dragon Slayer… did it…

In the next few days Jet feels really down. He tries to avoid Levy and Gajeel as good as possible. He told Droy about what he saw and he was also as shocked and hurt as he was himself. But besides him Jet didn't tell anyone. Like he sees that thing, Levy and Gajeel seem to make a secret out of it themselves before they would reveal everything to the others. Not even Lucy, Levys best friend knows about it.

Jet knows that it is not his turn to make it official. And who knows? Maybe they are just testing out if they can be in a relationship, before they tell anyone. "Relationship", only at the thought of that Jets stomach acts up. He can't imagine it, not these two. But the hope didn't die yet. Sooner or later Levy will realize that Gajeel isn't the right one for her. Then he will be there and comfort her.

Jet shudders at the thought how sly he could be. He is horrified about himself, how jealous he can be. Every time he sees Levy he could cry from the pain. Different when Gajeel appears in his field of vision. The anger in his stomach bubbles up and he would love to thump that Dragon Slayer, who dared to touch his Levy, in front of everybody just now. Jet knows that he wouldn't stand a chance. He grew stronger in the past seven years but against Gajeel he wouldn't last long. Jet doesn't have any doubts. Gajeel would break his neck… he would just kill him and get rid of him somewhere.

In all his terrible daydreams he didn't register that Gajeel stands in front of his table. "Do I have something in my face or why are you starring at me the whole time so stupidly?" that one growls at him. Jet sat up straight in his chair. "No… it's nothing. I was just thinking.", Jet tries to keep his voice as calm as possible. He doesn't want to start a fight right here and now, even though his mind is screaming for it. "Then its fine…", Gajeel states with his normal disinterested voice, before he turns around and leaves the building.

"That was dangerous…" Droy murmurs, who took up position in his near just to be safe. "Pull yourself together. Or do want to provoke him?" he urges Jet before he leaves him alone again.

"Provoke him…" he wipes his face agitated and stands up. He would love nothing more than to just clobber Gajeel. But even so he knows that that would hurt Levy. That Jet knows exactly, because he watched her the last days since what he saw at the park.

Levys mood is a lot better now, she laughs more often and her eyes literally glow. She doesn't reveal herself in any way, but if someone knew her good enough and studied her facial expressions the way he did, it's obvious that she is in love.

For Gajeel he doesn't know. Not that he would be interested but even him he watched the whole time, if he let his guard down that much. Gajeel behaves like always. He is quiet, unobtrusive, always gloomy and disinterested in everything. Only once he is sure, that he saw a weak smile on the Dragon Slayers face. When his path crossed Levys.

Those two are really champions to hide their feelings from everyone. The only time when Jet thought that it was too obvious, was when Gajeel went to the Library to look something up and left it sometime afterwards with a special grin. Even so was Levy, who left the cellar one hour later, much more obvious, because she suddenly misused her hairband as a scarf. She surely was the opinion that nobody would notice it. Nobody would, besides if it was him, who always knew what she was wearing and how she bound her hair.

Jet questions, if they really want to wait until after the grand magic games to reveal the truth to the others and he would be given pitifully gazes. A deep sigh escapes his throat while he leaves the guild. He cant stand being here right now. Not in her near. He has to sort out his own thoughts and worries. His worries… because they are not half bad. After all it is Gajeel Levy fell in love with. Jet doesn't trust him, he never did. He worries, that he is up to some mischief. He would have to watch him more to find out. The chance to get killed while doing was still there. He is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea… but for Levy he would go to death. Sighing he goes home to think of the perfect "battle plan" for his scheme.

He tries to find something out for days already. He watches Levy and Gajeel at their secret meetings even though its hard to be a part of it. Luckily the Dragon Slayer didn't try to get under Levys clothes by now, otherwise he wouldn't have known if he could have held back. He even asked Droy to be aware of them if possible but he didn't want to know anything about that. "I don't have a death wish.", he said and left it at that. Droy didn't want to go that far and get confronted with Gajeels wrath just because he was spying at him. Droy would be more aware of them in the guild he promised.

But until now everything was harmless. Mostly they met at the beach or at the park. They went out to eat only once and then Lily was with them. The way it looks there is no danger. The thought that Gajeel really means it with Levy is taking more and more place in his head. But he just can't accept that. There has to be a hitch somewhere.

So he follows them to their meeting that evening again. Jet is a bit stunned as they see each other off. Only then it comes in his mind that they are going to train for the Grand Magic Games tomorrow.

When Levy and Gajeel kiss as a good-bye, Jet turns around. By this time he built up some respect and decency for them. When Gajeel is out of sight he watches Levy, who turns around happily and hops back to "Fairy Hills". She really recovered since then. She shines and laughs just like before. It seems like she started blooming.

Slowly and hardly he tears his gaze away from her and decides to follow Gajeel. He perceived that Gajeel meant it but he still had a bad feeling about it all. Maybe Gajeel wouldn't go for his "secret training" but to something completely different. Jet at least wants to know in which direction Gajeel would go so he follows him to the end of the street that is leading out of town.

"Someone is following us..." Lily whispers who is now flying at Gajeels height. "I know..." Gajeel answers whispering and his enthusiasm about it, is clearly audible.

"Ok..." Gajeel stops abruptly. That couldn't go on like that. He doesn't want that guy to lie between him and Levy in the bed one day. "Hey, stop hiding! I know that you are there!" Gajeel screams without even turning around.

Jet understands that it doesn't get him anywhere to do as if he didn't hear anything. Quietly sighing and obviously caught in the act he stumbles out of the bushes left of them. Jet is sure that he will die here and now.

"Why the heck are ya sticking to me like wax?" Gajeel flares over him and builds up in front of him with his arms crossed. "I will go ahead..." it comes from Lily who doesn't want to get involved in that. "No! Ya stay here!" with those words Gajeel grabs the tail of his partner and holds him back, "I need you as a witness! I don't want to be at fault if something happens to him before he gets back to the guild." he appeals to Lilys consciousness and he agrees sighing. "How long do ya wanna keep that up? Do ya wanna lie between us in the bed, when we are there once?" he fixes his angry gaze on Jet.

Jet returns the gaze steadily and also builds up in front of Gajeel with his arms crossed. "What do you want with Levy?" he gets at the point immediately. "Hm... let's think... What would ya want with her? Buy her pretty things... pamper her? Kiss her? Rip her clothes of her and..." Gajeel would love to list provokingly, just for the hell of it, but he keeps silent and waits for Jet to continue.

"What are you up to? I can't imagine that you are serious! Exactly like back then, when you forced yourself on her to be her partner in the S-exam, you only think of your own advantage! You are playing with her and she doesn't deserve that!" all accusations pour out of him like a waterfall until he ends. "One thing I tell you... If you make her cry... or hurt her... you get into trouble with me! Did you hear?!" by now Jet stands directly in front of Gajeel and flashes at him angrily.

Gajeel looks at him quizzically; the way Jet pants and fights for his composure he was at the end of his preaching. "Oh my... Because of those threats I won't be able to sleep tonight..." Gajeel just can't hold that dry comment back. "For god's sake take me serious, you oaf!" Jet screams and turns his back grinding.

Gajeel knows about Jets feelings for Levy, but that he would get confronted with them one day he would have never imagined. He sighs hardly audible and fixates Jet with his glare. "What do ya even care?" he asks now and stares down at Jet whose eyes grow wide. "Levy can protect herself, ya should accept her decisions. She isn't ya property!" the Dragon Slayer snorts and turns his back on him.

Jet shudders, he gets insecure. "What am I even doing here?" Jet realizes how right Gajeel is. What a friend is he, if he calls the decisions the person he loves the most makes so in question? How big is his trust and his belief in Levy? Jet gets on his knees.

"I... I love her... I've always loved her!" it comes from Jet who fights down his tears. Gajeel listens up. He knew that it would hurt Jet if Levy fell in love with someone else, but not that Jet would hurt that much. He nearly pitied him, but only nearly. "I would have done everything for her... I waited for her all those years... she... she would be fine with me..." it is harder and harder for Jet to hold back his tears but he fights them down bravely. "And... and then she throws herself at someone like you" with from anger glowing eyes he looks up at Gajeel.

"I don't force her to anything..." he states calmly.

"I never understood…. how she could forgive you…" he talks about that time when Gajeel beat their whole team and pinned them to a tree in the park. Gajeel smiles weakly. "Weird… seems like we are one opinion." it's a bitter smile on Gajeels face. It's the first time that Jet sees something like that on Gajeel. "That's just how she is…", Gajeel adds and looks at the way he still has to go. The sun sunk deep already, the way and the town behind them are bathed in the red light of the sunset. Lily sits on a big stone at the side of the path and watches the scenery in front of him quietly. He recognizes that the mood of them changed, it got calmer.

"You…love her?" Jets voice, that suddenly sounds strong and calm, breaks the silence. Jet, who stood up by now, has still tears in his eyes but they were drying already. Gajeels spins around to him but he gazes away again immediately. He doesn't really know an answer. "Love?" the Dragon Slayer whispers nearly not audible. "If ya… cant forget someone… do ya call it that?" he ask without turning around and without expecting an answer. He knows the answer already. Jet experiences for the first time that it is possible to talk normally to Gajeel. Maybe he isn't such a bad guy? There had to be something on him that isn't as bad as he lets people think, otherwise Levy wouldn't love him.

"Possible…" he answers and averts his gaze. He knew it, but didn't want to accept it. Gajeel… he probably really does love her. Its Levys decision and against that Jet doesn't want and will not do anything against. He would have to let her go, like he should have seven years ago. A weird silence settles down between those three persons at the outskirts of town. The sun nearly disappeared behind the horizon already, causes plays rich in contrast of sun and shadow.

"You… will protect her… right?" Jet looks straight at Gajeel who is still not looking at him. "Ya ask questions." Gajeel remarks casually and turns back to him. The sun in his back is bloody-red and throws shadows in his face. The twilight lets his already red eyes glow even more. "I would give everyone hell!" Gajeels voice is dark, threatening his confidence strong. He wouldn't allow anyone to hurt her. That one would not get away unpunished, or alive.

Gajeels appearance makes Jets blood run cold but somehow he is relieved. "Good…", he states and manages to smile a little. "Where that all questions, daddy-in-law? We are in a hurry!" Gajeel is obviously annoyed by now. He didn't want himself to get hold back that long but he knew that it was necessary. In the end Levy would have been caught between, so he did it more for her than for him.

"Yes…", Jet states calmly. "But don't forget, if you hurt her I will fight you!" Jet points his finger at Gajeel and he just grins this time. "Ya better do that." with those last words Gajeel turns around again, takes his bag, which he put away at the beginning of Jets preaching, and starts to leave. Suddenly he stops again.

"Jet…" Gajeel calls his name and Jet looks up wondering. It's the first time that he calls him by his name. "Look after her… as long as I'm not around." Gajeel looks over his shoulder to him. "But keep ya hands of her!" he adds and his gaze is so dark that it pierces marrow and bone. "Don't worry…" Jet lifts his hand shortly and looks after them before he turns around and goes back to town.

With light steps Jet goes home. It's as if that took a load of his mind. He long didn't want to accept it, but Gajeel is right. He has to let Levy go her own way. Even with the possibility ahead that she would get hurt. Love isn't something he could demand, Levy would only suffer. There was no use to follow her around all time when she doesn't have those feelings for him. Never had. Jet would protect her from behind, he would be there when she needs a friend, but he would never ever confess to her again. His love for her will be forever but only in secret, deep hidden away in his heart.

Tears of relief roll down his face. The pain would still last some time but as long as Levy is happy he would only be a friend. Now he also understands the title of one of the books Levy read years ago. He feels like a character in that book which plot she told him. He feels "the pain of true love".

End

Bonus-story

"What…?!", it comes lurking from Gajeel who feels Lilys gazes on him since they left Jet back there. "Do I look like a fish or something?" he adds and gives vent to his mood. Until now he tried to ignore it but now he has had enough. That thing before lowered his firstly good mood really. "Hey, am I Happy or what?" Lily retorts first. "I have to say you were really nice…" he says drily. "I actually believed you would stomp him, yell some vulgar things at him and let him lie there…" he grins and raises himself into the air to be on eyelevel with Gajeel.

"Wow thank you very much… Ya really have a good opinion of me…" Gajeel growls. "Do I look like a bully?" he points at himself sulky and stomps on the way. "You ever looked in the mirror?" Lily comments and follows him out of the forest on a clearing. "No, really now… you were really calm and collected back there… does that have a special reason?" Lily probes into it again.

"Ya right… everyone else I would have broke the teeth…" Gajeel stops and looks around if that would be a good spot for a camp. "But what should I do? He is one of Levys friends… She wouldn't be happy if I break his jaw, right?" Gajeel explains and continues his way over the clearing.

"Yeah, yeah… You and Levy… somehow weird, isn't it?" For quite some time now Lily has the feeling that Gajeel is hiding something from him. "Do you think that is really such a good idea?" Lily decided to make use of Gajeels talkative mood. "What do ya mean?" he plays the fool or he really didn't listen anymore. "That with you and Levy!" the Exceed exclaims loudly. Gajeel spins around and covers his mouth. "Not that loud dammit." Gajeel glances around searching. At the end of the clearing two dark spots sit in the dry branches of a old, dead tree. "Lets talk somewhere else…" Gajeel whispers, let's go of him and continues their way. Lily doesn't understand but he leaves it at that. His partner suddenly seems really tense.

When the two dark spots form the branches fly over their heads he hears Gajeel sigh relieved. But his face stays tense as he follows the two raves with his eyes. "Not long…" he talks to himself and continues his way. Now Lilys question is justified and that when Lily doesn't even know of his life as a double-spy. Gajeel has the dump feeling that he would meet his other master soon. The Dragon Slayer really thinks about letting Lily know everything, just in case. Together they leave the clearing because it doesn't seem to be a good spot for a camp in Gajeels eyes.

Bonus-story End

Well… somehow my OS seem to always get that long… ^_^ I hope you don't mind.

I hope you still liked it even though it wasn't about other, more popular main characters.

Greetings, until the next FF,

your Rave