Ahaha... Hello. Back with the 4th installment of Between the Crossfire. Sorry for the lateness :/ Tests and writer's block were killing me and I finally had some time to write. I don't particularly like this installment, but I hope it appeals to the rest of you. Rushed unfortunately...
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In his point of view, church basically was a place for hopeless people like bookworm here, who had nothing else to lose. Little weaklings who were powerless against the world, turn to an icon of worship, in hope that his saint or whatever would save them from the pits of Hell. But Gajeel knew, there was no such thing as God, Hell, or Heaven. All that awaited humans was death, as the cycle of life continued on.
So what was the reason again why these pitiful humans, without a resolve to live, set up stupid religions that had no pure logic in them? Oh yeah, so that they could rip off others just to make a profit for themselves.
Gajeel scoffed at the crowd as Catholics walked in, straightening their pristine white collars and brushing off invisible dust off their petticoats. Even midget bookworm was being all prissy-preppy, trying to make her wild hair look presentable and her hands clutching a silver rosary. Prayer books were quietly shuffled about, as the people took the chance to gossip at Levy's new guest. From inside the church, Levy could hear snippets of conversations, the words "brusque", "dangerous" and "scoundrel" floating around. The blunette looked down nervously at her companion who was currently staring out the stained glass window in complete utter boredom, oblivious of the gossips.
Levy sighed in exasperation and proceeded to massage the bridge of her nose. She had never had guests this complicated as Gajeel, who always got his way as a spoiled brat. First, he came at her door in the dead of night, stained in blood. Second, he caused a disturbance earlier that morning, cursing as if it was ordinary vocaulary for someone of his status. And now, people were spreading rumors about him. Be brave Levy-chan, she reminded herself as Levy stood up and shuffled around the pews.
She glanced at someone's open pocket watch and saw it was nearly the beginning of the session. Only a few more hours with this insuffereable man and I am finally liberated.
But although she always complained about Gajeel, Levy has learned to accept his company. Although he was very boisterous and coarse with his language, the dominating male was gracious enough to accompany Levy to church and to run some errands. Levy began to feel her cheeks heat up and her heart quicken as grasped something in her small hands.
Meanwhile, back at the duo's pew, Gajeel had his arms still crossed and a scowl on his studded face. He stared up at Jesus Christ with a pitiful expression of sadness od grief as he suffered from the crown of thorns and the nails on his feet and hands. Gajeel cocked an eyebrow at the religious icon and scoffed, thinking how foolish these civilians were to kneel down to this strange looking god.
Suddenly, the church doors flew open, to reveal a group of people dressed in stark white robes and brightly dyed red candles. They descended down the aisles, emitting an aura of holiness and pure devotion towards God. As they passed by Gajeel's aisle, the black haired male spotted a young altar boy nervously holding a heavy wooden cross over this head. Nailed on the cross was a metal figure of Christ, his expression sad and hurt.
Gajeel narrowed his eyes at the passing Jesus, feeling as if the deity was looking down at him with pity. As the head priest and his aides ascended the stone steps to the altar, a squeak was detected by Gajeel's keen ears. Turning around, he was faced with a sighing blunette, her hairband lost in its host's bird nest-like hair, and loose strands untucked.
Something was suddenly shoved into Gajeel's hands, the smell of paper and old leather wafting into his nose. To his horror, Gajeel stared at the sight of a prayer book that was thrust into his hands by the bookworm. He was about to roar in protest, when he felt a slim finger placed on his lips.
"Please Gajeel, work with me," Levy pleaded in a hushed tone. She turned to a page in the book and proceeded to stand with the rest of the crowd.
With a solemn expression, the head priest motioned the choir to start, and soon, the church was filled with a joyous air of music. The organ echoed away as the people sung to the notes, their voices blending as one. Levy sung happily, her expression relaxed and blissful, the prayer book open in her palms. Gajeel felt something inside him stir as he gazed into Levy's face.
Hmph, probably a digestive problem, Gajeel thought as he looked down at his stomach. True, he didn't have a total satisfying breakfast, but he will have to make do. 'Cuz I'm in fucking church.
The session droned on for about an hour, the priest speaking in a monotonous voice that echoed within the church. Gajeel made no notion to participate in the pathetic religious activites done regularly during a session. Instead, the male found it something more intruiging.
There was a difference between stalking and people watching. Stalking was an immoral act done due to perversion, wanting to know every single detail about a certain target, an unhealthy obsession. Perverts normally went after very young chilren or adolecents. On the other hand, people watching was merely an observation of anyone in general, whether it was a child, an adult, or an aging person. People watching developed from a never-ending boredom when you are surrounded by people.
Glancing around, Gajeel spotted: a grown man picking his nose and flicking the goo on his finger out into the side aisles, an old woman making weird incantations in the back of the room that had nothing to do with church, two small children sporting strange attires and hairstyles, and a familiar wave of blond hair.
With a start, Gajeel stiffened his posture to get a better view of the crowd of people that sat in the front. And there it is was, a female clad in a pale rose dress and had long blond hair that flowed above her shoudler blades. Unconciously, Gajeel gripped the pew seat with a ferocity that almost made the wood snap as he stared at the lady.
Noticing the change, Levy looked on in the direction her guest was looking at and felt her shoulders sag. Of course Gajeel would be enchanted to a woman of her caliber. Even without looking at the woman's face, Levy knew that it was Ms. Lucille Heartphilla, the heiress from Scottland who was a frequent customer at Levy's bookshop. Lucille commonly went by "Lucy" to avoid detection of sneaking out of Scottland to enjoy the mysterious wonders of London and other small woodland villages that contrasted greatly with the dreary Scottish landscape. Lucy was big-breasted, tall, and a beautiful noblewoman. Since she was still unmarried, many had asked her hand in marriage.
In contrast to her, Levy was a tiny midget, who was only interested in books and running the shabby library. There was nothing spectacular about Levy, except that she was always had an optimistic attitude that shone brightly. The blunette sighed inaudibly and continued to listen to the priest's preachings. I should stop comparing myself to others, Levy thought.
The sermon soon came to a close about a grueling hour later, the people scattering out the church to return muttered in relief and sauntered out the doors, his hands shoved in his pockets. He passed by Levy, who was assisting the head priest place the prayer books correctly onto the booksheleves. She chatted animately to the priest, her eyes shining in excitement and glee.
"Gajeel!" she cried, waving her hand happily when Levy spotted her companion. "Come over here for a second."
As soon as Gajeel came within distance, Levy grabbed his forearm and directed him to the head priest. "Father Dominic, this is Gajeel, the man that I have been caring for as of lately. Gajeel, this is Father Dominic."
The Father bowed deeply, his hands tucked into the sleeves of his robe. At a closer look, the old man had a clean chin and wispy hair of grey, and had blue eyes that twinkled with amusement. He tightened the cord around his waist and with a flourish of his long sleeve, he presented a small wooden cross. "Welcome Gajeel, to the home of God," Father Dominic smiled, "If I may pry, is this your first time going to Church?"
Gajeel frowned at the question, unsure how to answer it. He was torn between lying to avoid engaging into some crappy religious converstaion and telling the truth. "Erm... Ya?" Gajeel tested.
"Ya?" the priest questioned skeptically. Gajeel's apparent intelligent vocabulary had slightly confused the old man, who was not accustomed to such coarse speech.
"H-He means yes!" Levy intervene, saving Gajeel from the spotlight. "It is his first time at Church. At home, he was constantly beaten by his parents and never got a chance to interact with our great God."
"Is that so?" the priest asked, his voice sounding enthusiastic. Gajeel mentally deadpanned himself as Levy made a face of apology. "Are you thinking about joining out wonderful community? We have several services for baptism, recieving the Euchrist, and for Confession. As a small community we have..." Father Domonic trailed on, listing the possible benefits for attending the Church.
Honestly, Gajeel could care less and nodded absently to the priest who blabbed about God. Levy merely became engrossed in Father Dominic's preaching and agreed with all his religious logic. Suddenly, a blur came out from behind the priest, and tackled into Levy. She gasped at the contact but relaxed to see a sandy haired child cling onto her shin.
"Miss Levy!" he cried. He looked no older than 10 years old, wearing a simple smock, trousers, boots, and a funny floppy top hat that was dusted with brown and white.
Levy felt a smile grace her face as she gathered up the young boy in her arms. "Good morning Jet," she chuckled. "How are you this fine morning?"
"Great!" he giggled, splitting into a buck tooth smile. He gave Levy a large sloppy kiss on her cheek, something that the young blunette appreciated. From behind Jet, came another young boy who huffed heavily, his round face flushed.
"Geez, Jet. Couldn't you have waited for me?" the boy asked, his hair curled into a spring on his head.
"Sorry, Droy. Couldn't help it,"
"Hello Droy," Levy said as she crouched down to Droy's height and wraped her arms around him. Droy returned the hug and kissed Levy as well. He was also dressed similarly to Jet, except he didn't have a hat, revealing his hair curled spring.
"Hi, Miss Levy," he greetted shyly.
Something caught Droy's attention. A large evil looking man to be exact. Pointing a chubby finger at Gajeel, who was currently trying to detatch himself from the priest's constant prattling, Droy asked "Who is that?"
Immediately, Jet's cherry expression turned into a scowl. He stomped up to Gajeel and tucked harshly at the male's tunic. Gajeel frowned as Jet tried to straighten his posture to match the overtowering figure. Taking a large breath and staring right into Gajeel's eyes he asked, "Are you Miss Levy's fiancé?"
"Jet!" Levy gasped, her cheeks turning beet-red in embarrassment. But... what was this erratic beating in her heart?
"What?" Jet asked innocently, crossing his arms behind his head. "I was just a'wondering." Meanwhile, Droy eyes gew wide as he continued to grasp Levy's arm. Jet was currently in a staring contest with Gajeel.
"Let me get some things straight for you, shorty." The latter growled mockingly, snatching up Jet's tall hat.
"H-Hey!" Jet protested.
"Number 1, try picking on someone else your size." Gajeel said, as he began twirling the hat on his finger, out of Jet's reach. "I am too tall for your good, so don't try and fight someone like me."
"Give back my hat!"
"Number 2," Gajeel continued, ignoring Jet, "When you speak to your elders, ask them politely. Didn't your mommy and daddy teach you manners?"
"Give it!" But Gajeel just held it higher, taunting the child.
"Aanndd number 3," he drawled for dramatic measures. "I am not, that bookworm's, fiance. Who would court some as short and ugly as her?"
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