A/N: Tis been so long since I updated this, you probably think I left it to die, didn't you? I still have a few more couplings to address; it might take awhile to find the right song, but I hope it's to your liking. This one is an F/X ficcie. You know I'm not one to show excessive emotions real well, so if you hate this coupling, please bear with me and see it through.

Disclaimer: I do not own Slayers or the song "I Can't Help Myself" by Nobody's Angel.

I Can't Help Myself

Filia sighed hopelessly, setting the vase and cloth aside. She had long since rubbed it to a point where she could see her own reflection, though distorted. Now however, as she looked at it, she felt exactly like her reflection. Imprecise, changed, unhappy. And all because of that stupid fruitcake. That stupidly cute namagomi. Filia shook her head, refusing to get into that whole mess again. She steeled herself and walked into the backroom, picking up another recently finished vase. Returning to her stool, she began to polish anew. Unfortunately, such a mindless task left a lot of room for the mind to wander. She thought back to the fruitcake's last visit, her fruitcake.

==Flashback==

She had been arranging her vases just so, allowing the sun to glint off of them, revealing their inner beauty.

"My, my Fi-chan! I never realized you had such a yearning for perfection. I suppose it comes with the race heritage, ne?"

Without a second thought, Filia whirled around, vase in hand, to swing at Xellos. Angrily, she vented, "NAMAGOMI!!! GET OUT OF MY SHOP!!"

His characteristic grin was on his face as he stopped her vase with his staff, the sudden deterrence causing the vase to break. As Filia stared in horror at the broken vase, Xellos continued to grin. Shaking with suppressed anger, Filia asked, too low for comfort, "What are you doing here, Xellos?"

It seemed that her tone had surprised him, for he raised an eyebrow questioningly. "Why, I can't visit my favorite golden dragon?"

Softly, so softly that if Xellos hadn't been a mazoku, he never would have heard, Filia whispered, "No other golden dragon would want you anywhere near them."

He grinned then. "And you're so different?"

You smile a lot
It makes me wonder what you're thinking of 'cause
Baby you're always on my mind

Head down, Filia did not answer, she only walked towards the kitchen, to get something to clean up the vase fragments with. The namagomi followed her, floating at eye level with crossed legs. He pestered, "Oh, come on, Fi-chan! Tell me what you're thinking!"

Filia took a few deep, calming breaths, as to release her anger, and any other feelings she held, so that he couldn't feel them. If he only knew, Filia sighed, oh, if he only knew what she really wanted.

Deciding to change the subject, Filia asked quietly, walking back to the front room with a brush and dustpan, "Doesn't your mistress have a mission for you?"

"Nope! I'm on free time! And I decided to have lunch with my favorite dragon! Though, I have to admit, this wasn't exactly what I ordered…"

In a deadpan voice, she replied, "Oh joy. Lunch is over; go away."

Xellos made a mock-offended look. "Me? Go away? You don't mean that do you? My little dragon with her little pink bow."

Growling, Filia took a deep breath, and concentrated all of her thoughts into negative ones, and launched them at Xellos. Instantly, he smiled and licked his lips. "Mmm…so yummy. Care to tell me what has made you so negative?"

Filia responded truthfully, "You. Now leave me alone." She returned to the kitchen to empty the broken vase into the trash bin.

Xellos watched her go, seemingly uncertain. With a sigh, he teleported in front of her, stopping her in his tracks. "All right, Fi-chan, if that's what you want, I'll leave. I just thought I'd tell you though; my mistress told me my next assignment may very well kill me."

She turned away, so that he could not see her eyes. "You say that like I'd care either way."

Again, Xellos appeared before her, and looked directly into her eyes with his own. He whispered, "Until we meet again, Fi-chan." Before Filia could react, he pecked her on the tip of her nose, before disappearing. She faltered, and fell to her knees. As the feelings slowly crept back to her, she realized what had just happened, and she began to cry.

And right now I want you with me
Here by my side
With me 'til the end of time

==End Flashback==

It had been twenty years since then, twenty-five since she had first met Xellos. The more Filia thought about him, the sadder she became. Nevermore because he angered her, she knew now that when he did come back, the only reason she would appear to be and show her anger, was to make him happy, to see that smile again. He could provoke her all he wanted, but she could never truly resent him anymore.

I just can't help myself
I'm falling in love with you
Love, love, with you
It doesn't matter what you say
Or what you do

It had taken her a long time to come to terms with her feelings, when she had, she didn't know what to do with it. She tried pushing him away, so that he couldn't break her heart, but it still didn't feel right. When she had finally decided on a much better alternative plan, he had gone, and had yet to return.

She'd tell him how he felt. How she had loved him ever since the Darkstar incident. He helped her, helped them all save the world. Despite her dragon instincts, she knew the feeling that she held, and for whom she felt it.

No matter what you say
No matter what you do
Just give me a chance
And I know I'll make you understand why
I just can't help myself
I'm falling in love with you

She loved him. She loved him with all her heart and soul. His insistent mocking, his always happy expression, his serious, amethyst eyes, his- no. She couldn't get into this now. If she did, she'd go into another depression, related to the fact that she was alone, alone with her thoughts, alone for life.

Valterria had matured quickly, and by twenty years of growth, he had left the nest. He never liked Xellos, perhaps because he saw how negative he made his "mother" feel. Perhaps, the reason why he had left so, was because he couldn't stand seeing her like this. Filia remembered the day well. Someone claimed to know of another ancient dragon survivor, who had been living in secret, as he had, and Val raced to find them. He hadn't been seen since. And of course, Jillias and Gravos had followed him; for all the "fun" their female Boss was, they still followed the orders of Val. It was like second nature to them. It had done no good for Filia though. Now she was all alone, with only her shop and her customers for company. Xellos…

Before she could stop it, her thoughts flowed back to him. She wanted to tell him how she felt, but a voice in the back of her head told her it was useless, and she should go for someone else, someone of her kind. He was a high-level mazoku, the General/Priest of Zelas Beastmaster no less. She was the only survivor of golden dragons under the Flare Dragon Celphieed. The world would be against them, but their union would be stronger than anything. The fusion of light and dark magic.

Don't know if I should tell the world
Just how I'm feeling yet 'cause
I wanna be sure you feel the same
The more that I think about it
You need to know
There's no other way
No, no

The other problem to telling him, if she ever saw him again, was the fact that the thought of love made him sick to his stomach. Mazoku fed on negative emotions, and therefore hated positive ones. But then again, in the past, he had used the element of "love" to catch many a meal, for he knew that love was one of the best ways to strike fear, anger, jealousy, hatred into a person, all at once. Filia knew, though, that she had recovered well from his taunts. She had fallen in love with the trickster, the manipulator, her race's enemy. But she had no regrets, and didn't dare to deny them any longer.

I just can't help myself
I'm falling in love with you
Love, love, with you
It doesn't matter what you say
Or what you do

She thought back, and tried to remember exactly when it was that she had fallen in love with him. Upon realizing it, she smiled to herself. She'd fallen in love before she even knew what love was, before she had ever met him. When she was only a small dragon baby, old enough to understand bedtime stories, yet too young to understand the true history of her clan, she had heard the story of him. He was a monstrous man with powers like no other, who chose purple and black as his main color choices. Just by drawing a line with his finger, he had killed off thousands of his enemies, the golden dragons. Filia laughed aloud at the irony of it all. Ever since then, she had idolized him; he was her role model for conquering her enemies.

No matter what you say
No matter what you do
Just give me a chance
And I know I'll make you understand why
I just can't help myself
I'm falling in love with you

She put herself into a fit of giggles the more she thought about it. She could just imagine the look of pure horror on her fellow golden dragon's faces, if she, a priestess-in-training, told them that she loved the mazoku that had killed so many of their ancestors. But, if you really considered it, what was there not to like, aside from his history of killing? His manners were impeccable- even better than some dragons she knew, including herself. Though he hated it when Amelia sang her songs of how wonderful life was, he also kept an unnerving smile on his face almost 24/7, except for special occasions. To top it all off, he was powerful, he could protect those who he chose to protect- and he wouldn't harm himself in the least (on most cases). When the young Filia had fantasized about him, he was a dragon turned into an evil mazoku, and his killing was done only because the one who held his life in her hands, ordered him to. Other than that, Filia had believed he was like an entity of pure godliness, in more than just his looks.

You must have been sent
You must have been sent from heaven above
You're everything I've ever dreamed of
Too good to be true
No I don't think so

Again, Filia laughed at the absurdity of her memories. Well, he was certainly no god, but still, Filia had long since admitted to herself that she believed Xellos to be quite handsome, and charming. When she had met him for the first time, she had only been angry, because he had not been what she expected. He seemed to enjoy tormenting her, and would smile all the while. Out of pure instinct, she had hit him that first time. When she discovered that he had actually enjoyed it, something in her told her to keep on doing it, keep on making him happy. Apparently, he never knew the difference.

Just give me a chance
And I know I'll make you understand why
I just can't help myself
I'm falling in love with you

It was then, that her stomach growled. Filia laughed again, loving the feeling it gave her (the laugh). She patted her stomach, and looked at the vase in her hands. Another perfectly polished vase. Looking at the long line of vases she had polished that morning, her day off, she sighed. She needed to get out more. Taking a deep breath, Filia stood up, and dusted herself off. She then proceeded to place the vases on the nearby shelves, carefully, so that she wouldn't have to bother with it later, and thus forget it altogether. Once finished, she walked up the steps to her residential area above the shop. Strolling to her closet, she picked out a lavender sundress that came down a little past her knees. After cleaning off, and dressing, Filia set out for lunch at her favorite restaurant- she noted upon stepping outside her door, that the sun was already setting.

About half an hour later, she was waiting for her supper, when her mind started to wander again. It was insistent and consistent, Filia admitted, though, she didn't object to the matter of choice. She remembered- one evening, her birthday, actually, Xellos had taken her out for dinner, and had ordered a lake dragon delicacy which he ate rather ravenously. She'd frown then, but said nothing, while eating her assorted salad and noodle soup. She knew he'd been disappointed by her weak reaction, but she had no desire to wreck a restaurant in her new town.

Filia sighed, looking around at the fancy designs carved along the wall, around portraits of golden dragons in rather beautiful scenery. Ever since Xellos had taken her here- she hadn't had enough time to look around the town yet- it'd been her absolute favorite. Any time she ever ate out after that, she'd eat here. It reminded her of Xellos, especially when he was gone for long periods of time. She particularly liked the name and motto of this restaurant, which Xellos had pointed out from the start. Madame Z's Delicacies - "Our secret recipes are to die for!"

I think I'm falling…
I just can't help myself
I'm falling in love with you
Love, love, with you
It doesn't matter what you say
Or what you do

Secrets were always a characteristic trait of his. "Sore wa himitsu desu!" His classic response to nearly any question. She loved how trustworthy he was- to keep a millennia's worth of secrets so well. Sure, it bugged her a little when he responded like that to every question, but she had to admit; the trait was admirable. She knew that in most cases, she couldn't keep a secret for the life of her; she always had to tell somebody, soon after she heard something too. It was a common trait for her fellow priestesses, for it was the only way news could quickly travel by- word of mouth. Filia remembered once, that Xellos had poked fun at that trait, saying how she was a blabbermouth, and he would always be better than her. Inside, Filia agreed, but to keep him happy, she objected to this vehemently. It worked like a charm.

No matter what you say
No matter what you do
Just give me a chance
And I know I'll make you understand why
I just can't help myself
I'm falling in love with you

It was then that her meal arrived. Startled out of her reverie she quickly thanked her waitress before she gone out of hearing range. Filia looked down at her meal, and immediately felt a wave of nausea within her bowels. In thinking of Xellos, she had accidentally ordered the lake dragon specialty. Not only was it the most expensive thing on the menu (something she really couldn't afford), but it was also…well… it used to be a fellow dragon. She felt sick just looking at it; its eye had not been removed, and was staring back at her.

"My, my, my, and here I thought you hated eating other creatures! I'm shocked at you, Fi-chan!"

Surprised beyond belief, Filia's head jolted up. Could it be? Yes! Seated directly across from her, a genki smile on his face, his chin resting in the valley of his gloved hands, propped up on the table…was Xellos. As surprise came before happiness, she asked, "What are you doing here?"

Again, Xellos looked shocked. "Why, I can't visit Fi-chan simply because I want to?"

Catching her breath, which had become hitched as her cheeks began to grow flushed, she only managed to shake her head. Taking a few deep breaths, she answered, "No, that's not what I meant. I meant to say, 'What are you doing here after so long?'"

He quirked an eyebrow. After a pause, he replied, "Awww, did my little dragon miss me?"

Filia stared into his eyes, as he had peeked one open to look at her.

It's love, it's gotta be love
I think I'm falling in love
I think I'm falling in love
Love, love, love, love

There would be no more denying it. This could be her start. Slowly, she nodded, "You have no idea."

Xellos surprised her when his grin widened. He crooked his finger, and beckoned her to come closer. Holding her breath, she leaned over the table, careful not to get her 'meal' on her dress. He leaned in as well, until their noses were almost touching. A few minutes passed, as Filia waited in silence. Soon, he spoke.

"It's an interesting concept- mind reading. I've watched you all day, and I learned more than I have in the last thirty or so years."

Then, he put his lips to hers, and her eyes widened, surprised. Soon enough, her eyes slid closed and she returned the kiss. Xellos pulled away, for the briefest of moments. "Oh, by the way, I love that dress, but I think I love what's under it even more."

I think I'm falling in love
I think I'm falling in love
Love, love, love, love

Filia smiled back. Somewhat huskily, she asked, "And that would be?"

Xellos grinned in return. He answered, "A secret that's about to be uncovered," before giving her another kiss.

A/N: XD I know, terribly OOC in the end, but hey, I had to have a wee bit o' fun. Besides, if he can read minds now, who knows what other changes he went through? Please review! (I'm thinking of doing a Gourry/Sylphiel songfic next, but I'm still working out some kinks…like starting it.) Hope you liked it! Ciao!