The Manse

Chapter 8

Guardian Angel

"Hey Shorty, what are you saying?" Gajeel asked, clutching his injured shoulder in pain.

"Levy-chan!" Lucy shouted worriedly.

"Do not worry, friends. I am merely borrowing this body. My name is Mavis Vermillion. Young Levy was sweet enough to stay and play with me, and I bonded to her closely enough to be able to possess her. Now, please allow me to deal with my brother for you."

Zeref was back on his feet, wiping blood from his mouth. "How!? I am a ghost! I cannot be injured!"

"During this time, your powers manifest most strongly, brother, but it makes you vulnerable. Now is the time to strike." Mavis' voice reverberated as Levy's body glowed with an intense white light.

"Have you forgotten how powerful I am compare to you, sister!?" Zeref yelled, insensate with fury. The entire corridor began to dissolve into ebon shadows as they radiated from him. However, as they touched Mavis' light, they shrank back. "What!?"

"Perhaps if I faced you alone, I would lose," Mavis admitted. "But I stand today, with an army."

Natsu, Lucy, Gajeel, Wendy, and Romeo – they gaped as ethereal figures appeared in the corridor. Erza. Gildartz. Makarov. Laxus. Fried. Lisanna. Bixlow. Evergreen. Elfman. Mirajane. Nab. Vijiter. Max. Warren. Cana. Jet. Droy. Gray. Juvia. Alzack. Bisca. Wakaba. Macao.

"Guys," Natsu said with a shaky voice.

"Oh no. They're all…" Wendy cried, her sentence trailing off.

"You think such weaklings can stand against me!?" Zeref raged, hurtling forward and cloaking himself with darkness.

"Bonds. Trust. Love. Friendship. Nakama. Alone, we fall. United, we obliterate you. The entire corridor shined brighter and brighter as Mavis shone. The living covered their eyes as it engulfed them and the spirit folk. Zeref shrieked as his body began to fall apart. Like shadows before the sunrise, Zeref evaporated within Mavis' light.

Gajeel, shading his eyes with his hands, could just make out the form of Levy in the light. "Shrimp! Are you alright!?"

"Wonderful," 'Levy' said. And then the light vanished, leaving them in a corridor now empty except for the living. Like a puppet with her strings cut, Levy fell. Gajeel surged forward to catch her before she hit the floor.

"Shrimp!"

"Please don't shout so loud," Levy murmured in his arms. "You'll wake the dead."

===O0O===

"It was right here, I tell you!" Gajeel shouted, gesturing at the empty wall where the door should have been. The policewoman – a young lady named Kagura – shook her head and tutted.

"Mr Redfox. In the last twenty four hours, twenty three people have died, leaving only six survivors. I don't understand what happened here, but ghosts are not high on my list of suspects. For your sake, you might want to start telling the truth."

"But we all saw them!" Natsu shouted. "Only Gajeel and Levy found the room, but we all saw the ghost, we all heard it! What more do you want!?"

"I have to tell twenty families that their loved ones are never coming home!" Kagura snapped. "I want answers!"

"You have them!" Gajeel roared into her face. "AN evil spirit killed them all."

Kagura flipped through her notebook. "Makarov Dreyar died due to overdose. Elfman Strauss was crushed by a falling ceiling. Erza Scarlett was incinerated. Warren Rocko killed six by himself, according to you. Wakaba Mine died to cancer. Gildartz Clive suffered crushing injuries due to a faulty handbrake. Bisca Moulin was shot in the head. Three died to lightning strike, one more to electric shock."

"It was all the ghost!" Natsu screamed in frustration. "All of it!"

"The facts are simple," Kagura stated. "People died. Some might be written off to gross coincidence, but some, Warren in particular, are murder. Someone is going to hang for this."

===O0O===

They travelled to a nearby hospital to be checked over. Levy had been half-conscious since her possession. A constant police guard watched over the six children. Kagura had refused to let even Wendy and Romeo go without being satisfied by an explanation.

Levy lay in a hospital bed, sleeping for the moment. Gajeel reached over to brush her hair out of her eyes. Levy made a happy little chirrup, but didn't wake up.

"What's wrong with her?" Gajeel asked.

"I have no idea, but if something took control of her brain, it might have left a little damage," Wendy guessed. "But I think she's just extremely fatigued by the ordeal."

"Who's a little doctor?" Gajeel chuckled, making Wendy blush. Natsu returned to the cubicle in a hurry.

"I just heard the cops talking! Kagura thinks Levy did it and that we're protecting her!"

"What! Why!?" Lucy cried.

"It's because she's been so trance-like. They reckon she could've snapped and gone insane or something."

"That's stupid," Romeo said brashly. "It'd never stick."

"The simple fact of the matter is that they believe one of us did all of this. In the end of the day, they're gonna see one of us fry for it. People died. They need to have an explanation." Natsu said severely. "And if any of us confess, they'll probably think we're lying to protect Levy. Damn it! We have no proof of anything!"

"They're not having her," Gajeel whispered, stroking her hair while she slept. "Not while I breathe."

===O0O===

"Alright!" Kagura stated, walking at the head of a group of police officers. "I want the blue-haired runt in for questioning. The others might resist, but we'll take her anyway. I will have a suspect!" She drew back the curtain to reveal to group around Levy's bed. "Is she not awake yet?"

"Too bad," Gajeel growled. "You can't have her until she's recovered. By the way, I'm the murderer."

"Don't play with me, Redfox. I know you're covering for your sweetheart. I've seen this kind of comatose nature before. Poor thing snaps and murders, and then her brain shuts down to protect her from the memory. It's the only explanation that makes any damn sense."

"Sense!? You think a midget like that could snap someone's neck!? Or hang two bodies from hooks!?"

"You want to admit to being an accomplice? Maybe a love-related murdering. I've seen worse."

Gajeel took a step forward, and a police officer moved to intercept him. Moving quickly, Gajeel slammed an elbow in his face and grabbed his pistol, shoving the officer to the floor. He jabbed the gun at Kagura and found five more guns pointing at him in return.

"Redfox. Put the gun down," Kagura stated.

"Oi, Metalface!" Natsu shouted. "What the hell are you doing!?"

"Gihihihihi! Sorry, dollface, but you've got the wrong person! I killed all those people!" Gajeel crowed.

"Gajeel!" Lucy cried.

"You have no motive," Kagura stated coldly. "Stop this nonsense, right now."

"Come on, Sweetcheeks! I'm sure that you've studied my criminal record! Violent assaults that go on and on! Stupid red-headed bitch called by a lowlife. So I set her on fire! Pretty funny, huh? But Gramps saw me do it, so I had to take him out too! On and on it went – it was awesome! Unfortunately, Blondie called the cops before I could finish off all of them. A crying shame."

"I know that you are lying, covering for the girl. You are not a murderer."

"Oh? I'll prove that I am." There was a bang as Gajeel's gun discharged. He'd aimed high, not planning to hit Kagura in the slightest. Still, as he'd planned, it had caused the policemen to open fire in response. Levy had awoken to the gunshots. Just in time to see Gajeel sway as blood erupted from his body.

"GAJEEL!"

===O0O===

It was a cold, wet morning. Grey fog hung in the air, dampening vision to only a few metres. Levy was visiting his grave again. She always came to it. Kagura had made her mind up about Levy. A scapegoat couldn't have saved her. A martyr however, could. After all, dead men tell no tales.

Gajeel was buried a criminal, a mass murdering psychopath. His grave was small and unmarked, but Levy made sure that it was always adorned with flowers. She hadn't known him very well in the end, nowhere near as much she wanted to know him, but she was sure that she loved him. Rough, crude Gajeel was her guardian. Now he was her guardian angel.

"I miss you," she whispered, tears dripping down her cheeks. Turning, she started to walk home. As she passed an alleyway, a young man stepped out, ready to grab her handbag. A small girl was such an easy target. His hand reached out.

A strong hand clamped around his wrist.

Scared, the youth wheeled to face his attacker, but there was no one there. For the briefest moment, there was the impression of crimson irises locked onto him like a hawk, but then there was nothing. Startled, he turned back to look back at the departing form of Levy.

It was faint, almost imperceptible in the grey haze, but it seemed like there was an outline around her. A tall man, broad shoulders, long hair, like a cloak, a shield wrapped around her. Freaking out, the would-be mugger quickly receded into the gloom.

The dead do not always rest easy in their graves. With her brother gone, Mavis had no reason to hang around anymore, so with her dying wish, had transferred a small part of her strength into Levy. It grounded Gajeel, tied him to the mortal plane.

For the rest of her days, Levy would always have a guardian angel.

Well, so ends my first attempt at horror. Since I think it was a rubbish story, I wanted to go with something sadder for my ending, more shades of grey. A happy ending seemed wrong to me. Anywho, I hoped that you enjoyed it while it lasted.

Oi, Ulcaasi. Did I kill your second favourite, then?