CHAPTER 10: Separation
(by Yankee-chan and sli... NO! ONLY Yankee-chan)
Levy didn't understand. What had happened to them was so incoherent and improbable she didn't understand what was going on. Without having a chance to ripost, Gajeel and she had been brought to Era, then they'd been separated. The young girl had ended in police custody in a small cell inside the guardroom and the Dragon Slayer, she didn't know where he was. He had been brought elsewhere before she could have helped him or protested. And no one had explained them why they were here, and that even more increased the frustration and the felling of incomprehension that invaded her heart. Her handcuffs had been removed, but she was still locked, obvious signification that she wasn't the one who can decided of her freedom. Standing on her feet, she was firmly holding the bars of her cell, glaring at the two guards before her just in front of the monitor screen security cameras. Sometimes, when the silence was too thick, she grunted a question, always the same: "Why am I here? Where is Gajeel? What did we do?". But only their laughter and their superior looks answered her. Usually she wasn't a vulgar girl, but here she felt forced to share the amount of insults she knew because she was so enraged and useless. She didn't even know how long she wasted here. Their train had left in the morning, then they'd been arrest. So the only indication she had was that it must be approximately noon, because the guards were talking about their lunch break. And despite the hour, there was still no new about Gajeel. No word about him, nothing. Why had they separated them? What was he accused for? She tried one last time to obtain an answer when she saw the jailers leaving to go breakfast but they didn't bother to look at her and they slammed the prison door, then the silence fell quickly.
When she was sure she was alone, the young girl observed the room, searching the keys. She found them on the desk in front of her, but they were too far so she could hope catch them. So she rather examined the lock. It was big, she could perfectly see the mechanism inside. So she grabbed her magic pen under her clothe and sank it inside. They had taken her bag from her, but she had the good idea to hide her magic tool, wouldn't she could jump on the opportunity. After a few minutes spent to nose about the lock, the door opened with a banging but oh-so liberating sound. She slightly shouted in victory and immediately pushed the door. Before she shut it just as fast when she saw the guards leader who arrested them the day before entered in the room. She knew his name was Atsu, and purely hated it now. Fortunately, since she was holding the bars like before, she could make him believe that the door was still locked. Now he had to leave quickly so she could escape. But naturally he didn't, on the contrary. He stood right before her and a smirk lit up his face, and that annoyed the young girl even more.
Both were glaring at each other, never looking away, silent. Until Levy broke it, annoyed by all this little secrets and by this haughty looks.
"Where is Gajeel?" She spat, narrowing her eyes.
Her voice was filled with anger and she tightened her grip on the bars, trying to restrain herself. It was maybe the hundredth time she was asking this question, and nobody answered her. And he didn't either.
"You're not in position to ask questions, miss."
His cold and superior tone was driving her crazy, she just wanted to strangle him, even if this kind of murderous drives surprised her. But they were justified after all. Because she had enough to be considered like an idiot, not to know the truth, not to be able to help Gajeel, to be locked. So she finally exploded.
"ANSWER ME!!! WHERE IS HE?!" She roared.
Her sentence rang out around her as if it was the only answer she could have. She was panting and growls were escaping her throat at the same time while tears of rage were streaming down her cheeks. And she began to shake when he saw him sketch a vicious smile. Then his voice rang out in her ears, horrifying her with each passing words.
"Very well, but don't complain after. Three days ago my guards came to announce me that Kôkô had been destroyed by two Fairy Tail's mages, and more precisely by Gajeel Redfox, a Dragon Slayer, and-"
"No it wasn't him! Ask Kôkô's mayor, he could tell you!"
"But we already did, he contacted to oppose the Council's decision, but he has no right in this kind of procedure."
"That's nonsense! You're going to commit a miscarriage of justice!"
"Perhaps. But who will oppose? The law is here, miss. It's been years that Fairy Tail messed around in Fiore, the Council decided it was the last straw that broke the camel's back. So, you friend just underwent an interrogation, and I, I came to release you before I go to his lawsuit. He'll be judged and throw in jail. Plus he had a past full of crimes since your war with Phantom Lord. But when he joined Fairy Tail he managed to escape the justice, it's time for him to pay for everything he committed, just like you if you dare oppose this decision."
He even hadn't the time to admire Levy's decomposed face, neither her death glare. She violently opened the door and the guard took it straight in the face followed with a booming sound of bell. With a painful cry, he fell on the ground and she kicked him in the face, adding aggressively:
"That was from Fairy Tail."
She caught the cell keys on the desk and locked him in the cell she just left with a demoniac laughter, before she ran toward the exit. Of course, she ignored where Gajeel was, and the building was very big, so she didn't waste her time with useless politeness. Furious, she grabbed the first guard she met, bring him in a corner away from prying eyes and obtained the emplacement of the room she was looking for with epic slaps. And since slaps hurt, she didn't waste her time.
She crossed the central court at full speed, praying not to get noticed, and also not to be too late. She had to stop these idiots, Gajeel didn't deserve to be condemned! Following the indications she had received, she crossed different corridors, taking care not to slip on the marble that covered them and she eventually arrived in front of a large door defended by about twenty guards.
She tried to pass by force but the guards stopped her automatically. And despite everything, she somewhat managed to kick down the doors and to enter in the room, struggling as they tried to restrain her.
He was there, his back on her, surrounded by two guards and his fists connected by strange handcuffs which she knew they prevented him to use magic. He didn't turn around when he heard her screaming and he didn't even react, as if he hadn't heard her.
"Can we know what's the meaning of this intrusion?"
It was only after she heard this voice that she noticed nine persons sat in front of the Dragon Slayer, the reformed Council new members. The one who just talk was the one sat in the center, it was an old man with an enormous gray beard. Levy knew him, it was Guran Doma, the new Council Chief, she'd read it in the newspaper.
"LET HIM GO! YOU HAVE NO RIGHT!"
"Miss McGarden, please go out or be quiet, and I wouldn't like to repeat it."
Shaking with anger she fell silent and ceased to struggle while the guards slowly backed away, but not too far from her. It was only then she noticed something strange. Except the guards, the Council members, Gajeel and herself, there was no one, the room was empty, and the Dragon Slayer even hadn't a lawyer! Was it a facade condemnation? Like Erza's, when Natsu, Grey, Lucy and her had destroyed the masters' regular meeting site? No, considering what the judges were talking about, it wasn't a formality.
"Let's start again if you will. We're going to express the counts of indictment."
The eight others Council members passed documents to the ninth and the young girl watched them with a sudden concern.
"For the destruction of about twenty villages completely wiped off the map today, except Kôkô which we'll talk about later, and without good reason, what do you plead?"
Levy never heard about those stories, on the other hand she never asked him precisions about his past and his life at Phantom Lord, but she knew it was unclear and certainly not pleasant to hear. But she hadn't expected the Dragon Slayer to say this.
His voice was cold, emotionless, as if he was uttering a simple word amongst so many others, regardless of the weight it had here. He still hadn't moved anyway, head up with a touch of dignity.
"For assault and battery on about two hundred and fifty people, who one hundred of them died from their wounds, what do you plead?"
And the similar scenario repeated relentlessly. Accusation, "Guilty". She couldn't stand it. That was when the young girl decided to react. She just couldn't stay still, arms crossed, staring as her friend was condemn right before her eyes.
"You have no right to condemn him for this!" She suddenly screamed, startling the guards beside her.
"Miss McGarden, leave or I condemn you for contempt of court."
Instantly, the guards tried again to throw her outside but she resisted with kicks and punches, screaming a masterful "Screw you!". She was absolutely enraged, and she couldn't tolerate the injustice that happened before her eyes. And yet, despite her screams and her protests, they continued as if she wasn't here.
"For the partial destruction of Kôkô a week ago, what do you plead?"
And that idiot Gajeel who didn't turn around to look at her, to talk to her, or even to tell her to shut the hell up, and who was just condemning himself! But what the hell was he thinking?!
"It wasn't him!" The young girl screamed, completely outraged by her friend's behaviour she suddenly didn't recognize anymore. "It's a Dragon that destroyed the town!"
"A Dragon, of course." The Council members ironically said before bursting into laughter. "Seriously miss, stop relating such nonsense and leave, I'm going to lose my patience and lock you in an asylum."
The blue haired mage blushed with shame and fury, but she didn't give up.
"Gajeel tell them! What are you doing?"
Still no answer, he was ignoring her. And her tears dropped again, she couldn't stop them. She was really pathetic when she cried all the time. And once again, she was ignored, like the perfect inoffensive weak girl she was. After all, what should she do against the law? Except that they started to accuse him about what she absolutely didn't want to hear.
"For the attack perpetrated against Fairy Tail and the destruction of their headquarters, what do you plead?"
And there, his voice had changed abruptly, even Levy had noticed. Weaker, shaking, and really guilty. So he didn't ignore her that much, right? He knew she was behind, she could hear everything, and she could involuntary remember what had happened. He only new hos to make the others suffer, and it certainly wouldn't be the last time he was making her suffer.
"For acts of violence on the person of Lucy Heartfilia, what do you plead?"
"STOP THAT! YOU CAN'T ACCUSE HIM FOR THIS! YOU HAVE NO RIGHT!"
"Silence! Guards, don't tell me you can't send out this impertinent!"
The only answer Guran received was some battle sounds and nothing more. With an annoyed nod, he started once again, promising himself to condemn this little pest who interrupted each sentence he said with her complaints. Plus they were reaching the end of accusations.
"Lastly, for physical aggression on the persons of Sarusuke, alias "Jet", Droy, and Levy McGarden, just present right here, what do you plead?"
"INNOCENT!!! Please not that, leave him alone!"
"GAJEEL YOU CAN'T SAY THAT! SHUT UP!"
"Very well. I sentence you to a prison sentence for fifteen years, and without deferment."
The sentence fell like a chopper and broke the blue haired mage's legs and she collapsed on the floor and burst into tears while the guards tried to take her away forcefully and the silence fell back in the room. And strangely, it was the iron mage who broke it.
"Can I talk to her?" He suddenly asked.
The mages in front of him stopped talking and watched him intently, but they didn't seem to share a single emotion. She looked up as she heard his words, but she couldn't stop her tears yet, and she automatically straightened when the Council gave a reluctant agreement. The two guards beside the Dragon Slayer removed his handcuffs and the ones beside Levy released her again. Then he turned around and she threw herself desperately in his arms with a panicking panting and she refused to let him go. He gently wrapped his arms around her and buried his face in her hair with a mighty growl, before she suddenly began to moan and speak hastily, because she knew they had no time enough.
"Why did you say that? You're innocent! I don't want them to take you away, they have no right, they can't do that. You did nothing wrong, I refuse you to be in jail, I want to stay with you. Tell them they're wrong please, it's unfair, they can't do that!"
She was speaking with such a speed that following her words became automatically something nearly impossible. She was violently shaking against him and he felt the panic overwhelming her, haunting each gesture. The problem was if they took him away, she would certainly try to stop them, and she would eventually be condemned like him. And he absolutely didn't want this.
When she heard her name, the mage abruptly stopped and inquisitively looked up toward him. At this moment, he gripped the nape of her neck with one hand and used the other to deepen the pressure around her waist to pull her closer. Then he plunged toward her lips with a deep sigh and hardly slammed his own on the young girl's, muffling her cry of surprise. She suddenly responded by wrapping her arms around his neck, deepening the kiss. Felling his warm lips fiercely pressed against hers generated such sensations in her whole body that she forgot where they were. Anyway, at this precise moment she didn't care if someone could see her, she'd send everyone to the devil, nothing else mattered but the man who was holding her. As the days they've spent together had gone by during this mission, she had been surprised to found herself dreaming about this and waiting for this. He'd kiss her. She'd realize the love she felt for him was reciprocal. She couldn't restrain her tears anymore, too many conflicted feelings were raging in her. After all, so many emotions were passing between them by this simple motion. As if the fact they joined their lips like this was an open door on their soul, on feelings they could never reveal otherwise. And despite the pleasure she took from it, she couldn't ignored the despair of their embrace. For Gajeel it was the same. He knew it, no matter what he's do or tell now, he was sentenced. During fifteen years he wouldn't see anyone and he'd stay alone, even if he always had been.
He never had kissed anyone, it was a gesture filled with too much kindness for him. But precisely, Levy was making him become nice, without her, he would have given up for a long time. It was her who gave him confidence when it was not very well. The love he so often buried had been back during the mission, but this time it was too powerful to be ignored. Now he saw her for the last time, so he had to take his chance. Anyway, he knew everyone would forget him quickly and fifteen years were too long for someone to wait for him. When he would be back, she would have forgotten him and he couldn't have the chance to do this anymore, even if it broke his heart to think this of her.
He abruptly pulled away from her lips and stuck his forehead to hers, breathing briefly before he took her head in his hands, he kissed her a last time and whispered three words. The lasts she'd hear from him for a long time. And no, they were far from meaning "I love you". Especially because the Dragon Slayer's voice, shaking, desperate, pleading and about to crack didn't mean it either.
"Please forgive me..."
She just had the time to open her mouth, but not to ask why he'd said this because all the air left in her lungs at once after Gajeel violently punched her in the stomach. His face was cold and hard, hiding his emotions under the veil of indifference he so often wore. And it was the last image she had from him. Before she could even recover and understand what he just did, he hit her again with the palm of his hand in the nape of her neck. The pain broke her conscience and she fell in the iron mage's arms, and she awoke only a few hours later. Alone. Far from him.