Pre-A/N: Anyway, I started THIS before I even posted up chapter four, so once again, expect to see the 'thank you's in the POAN. So, now for another round of:

Unhindered Imagination

Chapter 5- Tears Upon Scorched Ground

Fanfict written by – Fire, ½ the duo of Fang&Fire Inc.

Two weeks later…     

            "What do you mean Seryuun doesn't exist anymore!?" Lina cried. It had been a normal day; they were only a few miles away from Agaeuus when they stopped at a road-side tavern for the night. Some of the local farmers were gathered for their evening meals there as well. While Lina and Gourry had been waiting for the bill, they had overheard a rumor: Seryuun had been burned to the ground two weeks ago.

            "I-it's true…" The old man stuttered as Lina grabbed him by his shirt in her anger. "A few survivors turned up here last week…" His shirt slipped from her fingers which were suddenly limp, and her face was frozen with a look of horror and anger.

            "Lina…?" Gourry asked from behind her shoulder, not exactly sure what to make of the situation.

            "Gourry…" He heard her mutter without even looking up at him. "Pack up our bags… We're going to Seryuun…" Gourry recognized the tone which she used. It wasn't a tone to be questioned: her leaders tone. Without saying a word he slipped up the stairs to pack their bags in preparation for the trip, leaving Lina too thoroughly question the farmers is the tavern below.


Nine days before…

            Xellos was not an affectionate creature. His whole entire existence, he had strived not to be. By no means did he care… Or at least, he had always hoped it would be that way. He couldn't deny the attachment he felt towards Lina's group, the beaming princess, and in a strange sort of way, the Ryuuzoku priestess. This made it impossible to ignore the sobs which erupted from the blonde's body as she sat on her knees, her white robes dirtied by the scorched land. This would be what he would, under different circumstances, consider a feast.

            Being a Mazoku, he had connections and usually was first to know about worldly crisis's. When he'd heard of this however, he had been shocked. One of Lina's companions had perished; he'd never deemed it possible. Afterwards, he'd felt something akin to sorrow or regret, he wasn't sure exactly which it had been. He was sure Lina would be able to find out about Seryuun on her own, and he most defiantly didn't want to be on the receiving end of her wrath, so he left her alone. Zelgadis, though he'd sensed had a certain connection with Amelia, he couldn't have care less about.

            Fillia was a different matter all together. He'd felt responsible with keeping her informed… He'd felt obligated. So, he brought it up when she had (reluctantly) served him afternoon tea. At first she had been angry at him, calling him a filthy namagomi and a liar at that, but after he had swore honesty to her, all he could do was helplessly watch as bloody tea dripped from the shattered porcelain in her hands.

            Of course, that had brought him here, to the site which had been abandoned by its inhabitants for barley a week. Briefly he considered annoying her so that she might perk up. Better angry than sad anyway. But as the sobs rang through his ears, he scratched it, resolving not to cause her any more grief. Then he thought it best just to leave her alone… Or perhaps to comfort her in some way if he could…

            "But what comfort can a Mazoku offer a Dragoness?" He thought remorsefully as he fazed into a nearby tree to await her signal, leaving Fillia to her mourning.


Two days later…

            The woman stood on the crumbled wall of what used to be her home. Her deep violet hair swayed in the late afternoon breeze, which carried with it small mists of ash and the tears which fell from her pale face.

            Thirteen years since she'd been home. She had resolved never to return either but circumstances had changed everything. She had last seen her younger sister when she was only five years of age and had been huddled in the corner of their mother's royal chamber, blood seeping into the rug. Now she knew, she'd never see Amelia again, the image of their mother's death would be the last image she would posses of her.

            She had been such a coward, running away after an incident because she had assumed her father would have been assassinated soon after, leaving her either to be the next queen, or to die for being next in line. Her sister had died for her country.

            She realized with a start that she had thoroughly pissed away the past thirteen years, and was defiling her family's final resting spot by even being there.

            She shook her head sadly, the tears subsiding, if only briefly. Gracia ul Nagah Sailune hopped from the crumbled wall, and walked away without looking back.


            Two weeks travel: a mixture of foot-travel, horses, boats and levitation and he'd finally arrived on the ruined spot where Seryuun had once stood. He recognized the surrounding mountains and forests from when he'd visited the city, but no matter which way he looked, he only saw half burned buildings and tumbled white walls. It was the incarnation of loneliness, it was perfectly desolate, and there weren't even rats.

            Slowly, he walked toward where the palace had once stood, which was now nothing more than a collapsed heap of white brick and scorched wood. His heart wrenching in his chest every inch he gained. After what seemed an eternity, but in reality was probably no more than a few minutes, he stood before the massive site where the royal building had once proudly gleamed. He reached up, running a stone hand along the wall, as though making sure it was real. He hoped to Cepheid, L-sama, Or whoever the hell would listen, that this was nothing but a bad dream. That in a few minutes he'd wake up and find himself back in the desert and searching for his cure. However the weariness and cramps in his muscles prevented him from believing it.

            It was amazing how quick it had happened, but suddenly, his cure didn't feel very important anymore. Not important at all actually, and most certainly not something he needed to survive, only a luxury in real life. But wasn't this 'real life' he was living? He prayed it not.

            "Dammit…" He whispered between clenched teeth. "Fuck it all…" The line between life and death, was very thin indeed, at any moment, he could be dead; however the difference between being alive and being dead was vast. Unfortunately, he hadn't realized how easy it was to loose someone, and how it could change things, until he'd already lost it.

            He loved her… Or had, in any case. Suddenly, it was perfectly clear to him. He hadn't realized it until what he had was gone. He felt an emptiness greater than any he had previously experienced… Greater than when Rezo had made him a chimera.

            Worse. He had never loved anybody before… Ever. Amelia had been the first person to show him what it felt like to open his heart. Of course, he hadn't recognized that as love, not until now anyway.

            "Amelia…" He breathed out, afraid if he vocalized any louder his voice would crack, although he wasn't sure who exactly would hear him, considering, there was no one there. A reality that continued to weigh down on him. "Gods… Wherever you are..  I… Love you…" It was out. Even if she wasn't there to hear it. The enormity of his words, however, would  ring in her final resting place forever, or so he hoped.

            He sunk to his knees with his weight half supported on the brick wall, pain throbbing through his entire being. If only he'd taken her up on her offer to come back with her… Perhaps she'd still be alive. He felt his fists clench into compact rocks as he cried out.

            It was one after another that they fell from his clenched eyes. It had been a long time since he'd cried, and for the first time since after Rezo had transformed him into a chimera, Zelgadis Greywers let it happen. The tears that fell from his cheeks, soaking into the scorched ground.

PO-A/N- Yes… Need I remind you the Ame ISN'T dead? The fic STARS her after all!

Yeeeeeeeah… Corny… OOC… And too fast paced. I'm simply just jumping right into this romance crap, and it's making this fic intolerable. So sorry. I also apologize that this took me so damn long to 'release'… or whatever.

Just a side note. I've noticed throughout my ZA fanfic reading, that almost EVERY fic revolves around Zel. Not that I'm complaining, It makes for a story after all. Anyway, as I was saying, Almost ALL Z/A stories revolve around the transformation and revelations of poor pitied Zel, and Ame's the constant. She's always the one that's predictable, she's always the one who has her feelings sorted out and is usually the one who helps Zel become a different person and help realize his STUNING revelations (i.e. he CARES).  Okay… I'm a little bit peeved. I'm sorta getting tired of the Same ol' same ol'. And while I'm not saying that ALL Z/A fics are like this, you must admit, the grand majority of them are.

So I began to ponder… And seeing as my ponderings grow ponderous…. I thought… "Hey? What if they were to switch roles? Wouldn't that be amusing?" Of course, this fic isn't really supposed to be amusing but ah well… So instead of switching roles in the LITERAL sense, what with turning Ame into a chimera instead, I just put her through some trauma, enough to outweigh Zel's. So meaning if he ISN'T the Constant, moderately-happy, Person who helps through tough times one… They're fricken doomed. ^_^

Ichiban Victory- Bleeeh… I dunno. Maybe I did. I still have yet to figure that out myself. It certainly would be a good plot catalyst. Hmmm. *Poders*

minimerc- Well, I've written more. Hope it's at least SOMEWHAT satisfying.

Alea Seikou- Hmmm, interesting. You have no idea how much I appreciate your input, you actually give me stuff to work with. Thanks so much!