RaeTWG: Yes it's another Xel/Fi fanfic. First of all I know it's kinda heavy at the beginning, but by chapter 3 I promise I'll lighten up. I mean you can't have Xelloss and Filia without a few good laughs, no da? Also I tried my best not to get too too OOC, but to make people fall in love you hafta bend it a little. So tell me if I'm way off, okay? But please no "mazoku can't fall in love" stuff, okay. If you think that then why are you reading this? Thanks in advance to ALL of you whom I KNOW are going to REVIEW! /\/\ (*nudgenudge*winkwink*) Anyway...on with the fic!

Chapter One: Difficult Assignments

Val was hatching today. It was the day Filia had waited so long for. "Too bad, really," Xelloss thought, "that I must ruin it for her." He teleported into the middle of her shop, though he knew she'd be upstairs. He decided he'd drag this out, it being the last time he'd see her and all. "Fi-chaaan?"

"Xelloss?" her voice had none of it's usual annoyance, only excitement. "Get up here! Hurry!I'm in Val's room. Come quick!" No, no annoyance, anger, suspicion. And she actually wanted him there... Stupid dragon had to make this harder than it already was...

* * *Two Days Earlier* * *

The Juu Jinkan bowed before his mistress in her dark thrown room. One of her wolves stood from her spot on the fur rug, walked up to him, nuzzled a greeting, and sat beside the amethyst eyed priest. As he looked up a cloud shifted and the moon shone through a high window, illuminating his mistress's smile. It actually may have been too feral to be called a smile. And definitely too predatory, the long fangs showed as she continued to smile while sipping her wine. The smoke from her cigarette and the lavender and blood incense gave her a mysterious, alluring, and seductive look (helped by the fact that she was wearing barely anything). As Xelloss watched his mistress adjust her position in her thrown so that she appeared more as a lounging kitty cat, than the wolf she was; he found it no wonder that he was so loyal. It was true, he'd never been able to say no to her, and he didn't expect tonight to be any different. "You called, Xellas-sama?"

"Yes," she purred. "I have a new mission for you..."

Inwardly, Xelloss sighed. He had been hoping she'd just wanted to...play, but then she would have summoned him to her bedroom. He rose from his position on the floor, petting the white wolf beside him, "Yes, mistress? Something fun, I hope."

"Fun?" she tilted her head and looked pensive for a moment. "I'm not sure if you'll enjoy this or not....I know you would have..."

"Would have?" Now it was the priest's turn to give the tilted, quizzical expression of a naive puppy. "What is it?"

"I want the ancient dragon and I want his 'mother' dead," she said brusquely and watched as her servant showed no emotion on his face, but threatened to break his staff as his grip tightened around it. He said nothing - she wondered for a moment if he was capable of reply - so she continued. "I feel that making him half mazoku, as Gaav did would create a valuable new asset for us, but the golden will cause trouble and will have to be killed eventually, anyway, so we should just get it out of the way now. Don't you agree?"

For a moment that stretched into infinity for the priest, Xelloss couldn't breathe, couldn't think. How-could-she- how could she ask him to do this?

"Xelloss?" her sharp voice shook him and he admonished himself for being so foolish. She was only a dragon, she meant nothing...and soon she would be nothing.

"Yes, mistress," the Juu Jinkan concurred. "You're absolutely right."

"I want you to wait until he hatches though. You said it should only be few days, correct?"

"Yes, two or three, no more."

"Good. You may go," she dismissed him, but added with a seductive grin, "I might call on you again later, so don't go too far."

"Yes, mistress," he replied as he took his leave. He had never been able to say no to her before. And he had never had reason......until now.

* * *Present* * *

Xelloss decided to climb the stairs rather than teleport. Give himself time to collect his thoughts and calm himself. He was feeling strangely light-headed. True, the golden was fun to play with, and they actually had gotten to where they could have civil conversations. It turned out Filia was quite interesting and amusing in other ways besides her temper and beauty. But that's all she was, just a toy, something to pass the time with. He would forget everything about her as soon as she was gone. With this settled, Xelloss teleported himself into Val's room.

Filia was sitting on the floor peering down at the basket that contained the ancient dragon's egg. Xelloss sat across from her. She looked up at him for only an instant, because she didn't dare miss any of the dragon's hatching. But that instant was enough to crumble Xellas's entire plan. She was smiling the most stunning smile. Her eyes were the amazing blue of a cloudless, crisp autumn morning and they shone like pale sapphires. Xelloss couldn't take his eyes off her as she watched the egg crack. The strangest feeling washed over the mazoku, a feeling he couldn't identify. He'd never felt anything like it before. He felt warm and wonderful, but at the same time as if it would tear him in to pieces. He didn't want to give up this feeling. He wanted to make Filia feel it too... His heart pounded. He couldn't kill her now... It would be like picking a rose before it had fully bloomed-a waste of something that had the potential to be amazing.

"Hey, can you do me a favor?" her voice, filled with excitement, brought him from his thoughts.

"Sure," was all he could manage.

"Go and get me a couple of towels and some hot water."

Xelloss teleported away and was back almost instantly with the things she had requested. He set them beside her and knelt behind her, so that he wouldn't have to look at her face. He watched the little dragon's nose peak through the shell. Filia moved as if to help him, but Xelloss took her hands in his, unprepared for the rush of emotion it brought. She looked at him quizzically. It took him a moment to reply.

"No, let him do it himself. It he gets in real trouble you can help him out," Xelloss whispered.

"Okay," Filia agreed. She turned back to watch Val, but didn't release the mazoku's hands. Instead she squeezed them and wrapped his arms around her. They sat in silence for a long while. Xelloss head was spinning. It was hard to breathe.

Xelloss thought of pulling away, why did she have to make this so damned hard?

"Xelloss," she said softly,"Thanks. Thanks for being here...and not just today. For the past year, you've been the only thing constant in my life... I've never been alone before, and I don't think I would have made it without you... Annoying as you might be, namagomi, I'm grateful."

Xelloss really couldn't breathe now,"Filia..."

"I just... I'm really glad you're here today. And I just want you to know that... even though I'm always telling you to go away... I'm glad when you keep coming back."

Xelloss pulled away and sat beside her quietly as Val wriggled his way out of his egg.. He watched her as she picked the little dragon up and cuddled him. He knew he wouldn't be able to carry out his orders. Not now, not ever. Why do I feel like this? When did this happen?, he wondered, When did I start caring for her? Guess Lina was right, if you spend too much time around someone you start to get attached. For one reason or another, he was reminded of a saying wolves often told their pups, 'never name your food.'

Filia tore her eyes away from the dragon to look at the mazoku again, "Keep coming back, okay?"

"Sure..." Xelloss said softly. How could I have let this happen? the Juu Jinkan thought as he watched the new mother cuddle her baby. He lost his train of thought as he lost himself in her when she started singing softly a lullaby to the infant ryuzoku. Really, it's kind of pathetic ... pathetic and ironic ... in love with a dragon ...me. ... the 'Dragon Slayer' is in love with a Golden Dragon ... she's really amazing, though ... I never knew she could sing like that ... She's so perfect, like an angel...too damned perfect...I swear, she'll be the end of me...

He watched as the baby fell asleep in the angel's arms. Her face seemed lit from within by happiness and by a purity that should have made the mazoku want to kill her, but no such desires came to him. He found himself wanting only to draw her close and never let her go, he held back thinking about what he was going to tell his mistress and coming up with nothing. His angel lifted her eyes to him and smiled another amazing smile. Her eyes widened the tiniest bit when she realized the mazoku was gazing at her with open eyes. The little shards of amethyst seemed to hold an amazing amount of emotion, or maybe that was just wistful thinking. And Xelloss didn't quite seem like Xelloss ... for a moment she forgot what ryuzoku and mazoku meant. That feeling... he felt it spark in her. Sensing her emotions and knowing his own, Xelloss knew he had to break the connection he had with her right now or it might kill him. He knew she could never love him and he didn't feel like making a fool of himself in front of Filia right before being punished by Xellas. He wasn't that much of a masochist. He looked down at the floor, pushed the feeling away-burying it deep inside and when he looked back up he had his trade mark, close-eyed smile back.

"He's kinda ugly, ne?" he joked. And suddenly he felt this great wave of anger and... sadness come off of Filia. "Uh... I was only joking... really... he's adorable... for a dragon, at least."

"Get out of here!" Filia shouted. "I try to be appreciative and thank you and you're just as much of a jerk as ever! I don't know why I-"

"I'm sorry," the mazoku said quietly. And the tiny apology stopped the ranting dragon in her tracks. Xelloss felt that feeling again and said quickly, "You're just so easy, Fi-chan. It's fun to make you mad. But I don't mean anything by it. Really. I'm glad you put up with me. I'll go, okay?"

"Good," she said, "and don't come back."

"Oh, you don't mean that, Fi-chan," Xelloss smiled. "I'll be back."

And the funny thing is, she thought, I really didn't mean it.

RTWG: So how'd ya like. Remember to review and tell me if it's just too OOC. I'm very self conscious, you see, I wrote this chapter three times. But don't worry the next few won't take me nearly as long.