It had been several days since Levy had last gotten a good night's sleep. As always, she had stayed up late, reading. There was nothing new in that sense. Although it was true Team Shadowgear normally left later than most teams as her partners always took her sleeping schedule into consideration, today her and the other girls were planning on going on a mission. However, she still had plenty of time before she actually had to get up. However, the past couple of days, this morning being no exception, she was rudely awoken as the pressure on her chest refused to leave. It wasn't the kind of pressure one would get from stress or anything like that. It was black, furry, and it was loud.
Another caterwaul echoed throughout the apartment as the feline's cries were ignored yet again. This was how Levy woke up every day as of late. A rather heavy cat sitting on her chest, meowing, and sometimes even wailing in what sounded like a painful moan, demanding to be fed.
Rolling on to her side didn't help as it would do nothing against the sound, and pulling the blankets over her head only encouraged the kitten to crawl under the covers and prod at her before getting even louder.
At first, the script mage had been a little scared once the normally silent and reclusive cat had begun wailing in attempts to catch her attention. The feline normally kept to himself, quieter than a mouse, and avoiding her hand whenever she tried to pet him. She feared he may be sick or hurt, but once she had gotten up, he instantly made a dash to the fridge, standing in front of it with with an expectant look as he watched her every move.
Levy wasn't sure what to make of the cat. He shied away from being touched, but at the same time, he demanded attention. She had even gone on a mission yesterday, in attempts to take her mind off of the news of the missing boys that Erza had announced two days ago, and upon return, she had found yet another one of her books shredded, and the dark cat sulking. With no other choice left, she had bought a fair-sized metal cage to keep the cat in for when she went out on missions. She wasn't sure what else she could do to prevent the kitten from destroying everything she owned. Surely, this cat was the spawn of the devil himself.
Another cry pierced her ears. Mindlessly, she swatted aimlessly at the cat, wincing when he instead sunk his teeth into her hand. Not enough to break the skin, but still enough to grab her attention.
"Fine, I'll get you some food. Now get off me." Her sentence was nearly cut short as she let out a yawn, mentally cheering when the cat leapt down from her bed and allowed her to stand and stretch.
Shuffling her way towards the fridge, Levy sighed, silently cursing the cat to Hell. She opened the door, reaching in and pulling out a chicken leg, before tossing it on the ground and slowly making her way back to bed as the raven cat wolfed down its meal. She had found that Crowfeather refused to eat cat food. According to Lucy and the other girls, their cats did as well. So with a bit of extra research, she decided raw fish, chicken, eggs, and sometimes even yogurt or ice cream was fine for them. Milk, she had found out, sometimes gave cats stomach aches, although that was something more common in fully grown felines.
A delighted sigh escaped her lips as she sunk back into the mountain of blankets, relishing in the warmth they provided her as a small ghost of a smile danced upon her lips. Within moments, she was sound asleep once more.
When Levy woke up again, it was to the sound of the constant repetitive beeping of her lacrima alarm clock. Silently, she wished it would leave her in peace so she could sleep the day away, inwardly knowing that would never happen. Finally, after trying to tune out the noise for a few more minutes of rest, she got up for the second time that day, only this time, intent on staying awake.
After turning her alarm off, Levy ignored the crimson set of eyes that watched in amusement as she scampered around the room and prepared for whatever mission her friends may choose, only remembering she was still in her pajamas at the last second, and scurrying back to her dresser to throw on her favorite outfit. By the time she was almost out the door, she remembered one last thing.
Quickly, Levy closed the door behind her as she re-entered her apartment, eyes darting around the room. Finally, they landed on the black ball of fur, curled up amongst a pile of books, and she slowly, quietly, made her way towards it. By the time the feline noticed her change in pace, it was too late.
The bookworm snatched up the cat in her arms, ignoring it's desperate struggles as she moved towards the cage she had bought, and locking the creature behind its steel bars before it had time to scratch her. She grinned triumphantly, ignoring the glares of death it was sending her way.
"That's what you get for shredding all of my books. I can't trust you to roam around on your own, so you have to stay in that cage whenever I leave until you learn some manners." She declared, hoping the animal understood the finality of her words if not anything else. With a last, prided glance towards the seething kitten, Levy waltzed out of her apartment, finally on her way to meet up with the other females that would be accompanying her on the mission.
As she walked into the fresh air of the outside world, a shiver ran down her spine when a cold breeze blew past her. It was starting to get chilly out, and her small frame never protected her from the harsh weather, but she was thankful that there was still a few more months to come before there would be snow. One thing she liked about her small body however, was that she hardly ever grew, meaning she didn't have to shop for a new winter jacket every year.
The blunette smiled to herself, remembering how she had forgotten her jacket at home one time when she had been in a rush and a blizzard had suddenly hit just before she was going to leave to go home that evening. She had figured she would have to walk home in the storm, but to her surprise, Gajeel had insisted that she take his coat before escorting her back. Of course he came up with an excuse for his actions, saying that she was tiny and would quickly freeze to death without enough layers and that he had followed her so he could get his jacket back. But of course, she knew better.
'Gajeel...' Levy's smile died, twisting into a small frown as she thought of her teammate. He wasn't officially part of Team Shadowgear, but he still accompanied them on enough missions for her to consider him as one, despite his protests of 'I work alone'. He was undoubtably the strongest of their group, but the small girl couldn't help but worry for him. It had been two days since Erza had broken the news of the boys' disappearance, and the unsettling feeling of anxiety that had made its home in her stomach had yet to ease. 'Please be alright...'
Luckily enough, it didn't take her very long to get to the guild considering the dormitory had been built fairly close to it. As she entered the large building, she could easily tell how dead the place seemed. There were no fights, no cheering, no drunken partiers, or any of the normal occurrences that went on in Fairy Tail. The building was quiet for the most part, the atmosphere almost depressing. The bookworm could see her friends sitting at a table making small talk, but their smiles were empty. It was clear they had a lack of sleep and were trying to take their minds off their friend's disappearances, but to no avail.
Tentatively, she made her way over towards them. "Good morning."
Her friends greeted her with polite smiles and nods accompanied with small murmurs of 'morning' in return. Hopefully, a mission would help to take their minds off the recent events.
"What about this?" Erza asked, holding up one of the requests. She had been the last to arrive, apologizing a little too much, and had taken the liberty of trying to find the perfect mission.
"That one will probably take several days to complete." Lucy pointed out. Everyone silently agreed. It didn't need to be said that they wanted a short mission, nothing that lasted longer than a day. No one wanted to be away if any news on the whereabouts of their guild mates was discovered.
"How's this, then?" Everyone glanced at the flyer Evergreen was pointing at, eyes quickly scanning over the information on the sheet. Apparently there had been recent sightings of a family of vulcans that had been living in the forest just outside of town, occasionally causing a bit of trouble for the townspeople and travelers.
The water mage was the first to speak up. "Juvia thinks it sounds good." The rest seemed to agree as well before Erza ultimately decided that was the quest they would take as she alerted Mira of their choice.
As they left, they all had the same thing occupying their minds. The area where the vulcans had been seen was near where the boys had been headed. The real reason they had accepted the quest was their hopes of finding some sort of clue, anything, that may lead them closer to their missing loved ones.
Evergreen let out a groan as the incessant ringing of her alarm clock began to go off. She had never been a very big fan of getting up early. She needed her beauty sleep. She rolled over, pulling the toasty warm blankets well over her head in a feeble attempt to block out the noise, as if nothing in the world mattered and that going back to sleep would make everything go away. Even when she knew, from many attempts to do the same in the past, that was not the case; only a fake reality in which you were supposed to believe so in the end life could make your world even more complicated once you truly woke up and had to face the consequences of such actions.
And Ever would have gladly stayed there a little longer, relishing in her warm dream world in which problems didn't exist, except for the nonstop beeping that relentlessly breached her hearing, and the feeling of something poking at her from beyond the sheets.
Pulling the blankets down just past her eyes, she cast a deathly, yet not stone-ifying glare towards the onyx orbs that greeted her, staring, undaunted, right back with equal determination. They remained that way, holding eye contact, for what felt like hours. Finally, tentatively, a single white paw lifted, reaching forward before pressing into the woman's cheek.
"Alright, I'll get up!" The blonde roared, flinging the covers off with such a force that it sent the large kitten scurrying, having succeeded in his mission of awaking the sleeping beauty. With an irritated huff and a scowl directed towards where the feline had run off, Evergreen sat up before finally switching her alarm off. "Damn cat…"
I haven't updated in 6 months, and I am so so so so soooo sorry.
I also apologize for maaaybe having growled every time I got an email saying someone followed or reviewed this story because I felt so guilty...
I don't really have an excuse. True, a lot has been going on lately and I haven't been in the mood to write, but hell, it's been 6 months, which is way too ridiculous. I've had plenty of time, however, lately the problem is that I've gotten back into Naruto and lost the love I had for this story. But luckily, in that time I've been working on my writing skills and so the chapters are most likely going to come out much better quality.
I was going to make it longer to make up for it and then leave it at a cliffhanger, but then I realized I don't trust myself to write the next chapter quickly, and I'd just end up torturing you guys even more. I had accidentally started writing this following Evergreen and it came out awesome until I remembered it was supposed to follow Levy (the next chapter will as well) so I just decided to add Ever's morning in as a bonus, so there you go!
Also, I thank those of you who said nice things during the author's note, but since this is replacing it, it will probably say you already reviewed chapter 16, just a heads up. If you feel the need to review, you can always do so as a guest or review a chapter you haven't already commented on.