Author: AmberPalette PM
Post-Evolution-R. Direct response to the one-shot "Learning To Forgive" by LinkFangirl1. Rezo, revived free of Shabranigdo, responds to a letter from Zelgadiss which expresses love, forgiveness, and apology, with ardent and similar sentiments. One-shot.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Hurt/Comfort - Zelgadiss G. - Words: 1,386 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 6 - Published: 03-21-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5833985
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Slayers, Zelgadiss, and Rezo Greywers are (c) Hajime Kanzaka/Rui Araizumi/Funimation.
This is a direct response to LinkFangirl1's one-shot "Learning to Forgive," which is itself a direct response to my story "Sight Through Spirit." Her story is a letter from Zelgadiss to Rezo, in the aftermath of Slayers Evolution-R, on the premise that Rezo could somehow be resurrected again without the torturous and corrupting influence of Ruby-Eye Shabranigdo in his soul. My response is, naturally, a letter right back to Zelgadiss, from Rezo. Enjoy.
Zelgadiss, Zelgadiss, ZelGAdiss! Such a question! Such dear, cherished insecurity. Would that I could sponge it off you, my baby, my conscience, my best friend and my light. Would that I could sponge it off like I used to sponge mud off your little flushed face after you'd been romping in thunderstorms with those clowns Noonsa and Dilgear and Zolf, while Rodimus and I sat on the back porch of my laboratory's gray stone chapel just breathing in the damp summer air and your joy and sighing out contented laughter of our own.
Such a sweet and silly question.
Do I "know" that you love me?
Oh my Zelgadiss.
When you were born, your mother and father could tell from the yearning lean of my spine and the eager catch in my breath that I wanted to hold you. Probably, too, from my wiggling fingers that I was trying, politely, to sit upon. A so-called "Great Sage" must, after all, keep up his eternal screen of unsquirrely serenity, even when utterly elated.
Your mother put you in my arms and my soul was saved. By the tiniest, pudgiest fingers, the texture of peachskin, which seized each side of my flushing face with such an insistence to protect and please.
Your first act in this world, my boy.
It was an act of comfort. You see my forehead was strained, my eyebrows furled, with meek worry: what if you didn't like me? What if I caused your precious new soul its first tears? But no. That wasn't of any concern to you: No, you wanted to comfort ME. You didn't stop squeezing and squashing my cheeks with those tough little hands until at last I cracked a grin. And then you gave a loud squeal and a coo, of awe and approval. You kicked your limbs and gurgled some more, as if to declare your grand accomplishment.
For you had made me happy.
And you ask if I know that you love me, and always have?
My silly hard-headed child. What else but this knowledge could have sustained me through so much torment and darkness?
You saw yourself a shepherd, a defender, ever striving for strength, ever hardening yourself that I might stay soft and weak and a dreamer. You imposed upon yourself the role of the impermeable stone wall while I could be the sensitive child, prancing around inside its perimeters in fits of fancy. It was really a little absurd—you say I wa a model parent, and yes I did cast my heart wholly out of me and yes I did wrap it around you like a continuous warm hug, and yes I did spend it all by being your mother and father both, eto raise you happy. But I took a lot from you too, my boy. Oh yes, I knew you loved me. So well that I let my leech, my parasite, convince me that you would not object if I turned you into an experiment toward my own damnably selfish obsession. He only wants you to be happy, Rezo, It crooned. Do it. Let him have the opportunity to serve you utterly and completely. It will make you both happy, It lied. Because Shabranigdo knew your love was the only thing in Its way to consuming me and rising up out of my body, and so desired to mock the bond you and I had by breaking it.
I am so glad we could still pick up the pieces, my child. I'll keep the pieces of our relationship in a special drawer, locked and safe with my conviction, and pull them out every night and glue them together carefully, painstakingly, until we are again what we were when you were a baby, a child, and a teenager. I will rebuild us.
Every morning at breakfast, Zelgadiss. Every morning, I will come down to the Seyruun kitchens, where you and Amelia and Prince Philionel dine, where you gruffly asked me, yesterday, before handing me that letter you wrote, to join you from now on. And every morning, I will wrap my arms around you, and I will squeeze you to me, and I will kiss that pensive temple of yours, so glad to feel its pulse against my lips, and I will murmur in your ear, "I love you, and I am sorry."
Every afternoon, I will devote my mind and spirit and every tattered and much abused and scrawled upon note of every page of every book, treatise, and diagram in my library and every test tube and chalkboard and herb in my laboratory to finding your cure. I can be strong for you, too. I will be.
You used to go around, when you were five or six, with your eyes squished closed, and you refused to open them no matter how many things you ran into and knocked over. You even fell into the toilet once. Do you know why, Zelgadiss?
Because, as you most seriously announced one night at the dinner table, you wanted to know how I felt. How I felt. Me.
So if you think you don't deserve my forgiveness because you "forgot" my loneliness in the face of your own (which I alone am at fault for imposing), well, think again. You just needed me to remind you how compassionate you have always been about my ailments and shortcomings.
You just needed me to reassure you that your sharp tongue, your prickly impatience, your occasional cockiness, your rigidity and the way irrational behavior flusters you, are all things I can deal with for the long term. No sweat, lad. Don't carry it all by yourself.
You just needed to hear this: that I was the fool, and you were all I ever needed for life to be complete. I did not, and still do not, need to see.
I just need you.
I only hope you haven't outgrown me, you know? You're brilliant, and you're skilled, and you're capable and efficient, and you're damned near invincible. Perhaps I raised you too well! Just keep a corner of the shelf dusted for eccentric, moody old Gramps, who keeps strange hours, and babbles in his sleep, and smells like incense and ink and lab chemicals, and forgets other people are in the room when he has some scientific serendipity, and has no fashion sense outside clerical attire, and is a tad quixotic and more than a tad obsessive, okay? I can give you advice about the mystifying elements in life, like Amelia's hormones when she is pregnant with your first child. Don't blush. You know it is only a matter of time, my hedgehog.
Home is where you cast your warm light, the light one need not have eyes to see and to know as if it glowed beneath the pores. Home is you, my sun. Be it huddled under an overpass, impoverished and cold, or lounging among down pillows and velvet throws in the palace of the white magical capital of the continent. It is where you are and I can follow you.
Just let me tag along like a smitten duckling, my child. I will be happy.
And that is precisely because I know you never stopped loving me.
Pardon me if passages of this response are hard to read. My grateful tears may have blotted out some of the writing.
Gods, how incandescently happy I am. For I have you.
Some things—very few, and very special—are forever. The love you have for me, and I have for you, is one of them.
I love you too. I hope you know that.