Do What You Have To Do

A Song by Sarah Mclachlan

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Italics and Centered – Song Lyrics

Black – Any Narrative

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What ravages of spirit

Conjured this temptuous rage

Created you a monster

Broken by the rules of love

Xellos was watching her.

They were so easy to fool. He still appeared the trickster, even though he had never been joking. They didn't even seem to question his role in the scheme that had just unraveled. Zelgadis still hated him, but that didn't bother Xellos at all. It was good to see that there was at least someone who still had their wits about them. Their travels as cool as ever, but Zelgadis would soon be leaving them. He hadn't said anything to the party about his departure, but Xellos was sure of it. He would go back to the valley of the Golden Dragons to see if he would be able to view the Claire Bible. His dissatisfaction with himself disgusted Xellos, who treasured being a monster.

There was Lina as well, who wasn't entirely fooled, but there was something different about her since she summoned the Giga Slave.

Her hair fell around her face and frame differently. She was egotistical by nature, but never had he seen so much of that make-believe ego seem to be represented by actual power. Perhaps not power exactly; she had always been powerful. What was it? Ah, self control. She was not eating like a ravenous beast. She was using the proper fork with the proper dish. That was it! She was using a napkin! Xellos had never seen her use a napkin before. Her appetite seemed to have been smaller as well. It was small enough now that she was eating in proper proportion to her size. He marveled at her. What had caused the change?

He watched Lina more carefully now. He was suspicious of any change. At first he really thought it was his imagination. That it was just something he thought he might hope for so badly that he was imagining things. After all, she could just be eating less in order to impress Gourry. Xellos had seen the kiss. That sort of love was not lost on the Lord of Nightmares, for it really was Lina that Gourry was kissing. The reasons for that kiss were not lost to him either. However, she seemed to have won his affection without starving herself, so he couldn't convince himself entirely of the truth of this reasoning. He watched her even more closely.

It was only until one amusing day, after Zelgadis had left, when she was dallying with a bandit gang. Gourry and Amelia were still with her. They had little to do with the fight, as fighting the bandits was usually Lina's way of working off steam. She was not fit to live with otherwise.

It was then that he saw the proof he had been searching for. Her fireball had always been good, but not that good. He had to show it for certain though.

"Lina-chan," he called to her through the smoke of her last viperous fireball and approaching the three of them.

"Xellos?" she answered – a little confused.

That was right; he hadn't seen her face to face in days.

"Amelia!" Xellos shouted. "A monster! Cast a Rah Tilt! Now!"

Amelia responded to the urgency in his voice and cast one, without knowing where exactly she was casting it. Xellos teleported out of the way of the blue beam, but it hit Lina square on. Her scream was unlike anything.

His heart . . . it skipped a beat.

She really was a mazoku!

And fate has led you through it

You do what you have to do

And fate has led you through it

You do what you have to do . . .

As she fell to her knees in pain, Xellos teleported in beside her, and gathered her quickly in his arms. He teleported away from Gourry and Amelia instantly with her wrapped in his cloak.

He did not look behind him. What happened to Gourry and Amelia had never mattered much to Xellos, but now with this change, it could never matter less. They probably didn't understand what had happened at all.

He took Lina behind some heavy foliage in the woods, far away from where she had attacked the bandit gang. Lina was unconscious. A Rah Tilt wasn't very much, he reminded himself. There was nothing to worry about. She would wake up in a moment. The attack had just surprised her. Her head rolled against Xellos' chest.

He gasped.

He had never seen a monster looking this helpless. He looked around desperately to see if there was a way for him to escape. He proved what he wanted to prove. There was nothing. She had never looked as helpless as 'The Natural Enemy of All Living'. What was wrong with him? He shook his head. He hated responsibility, and he was feeling a little too much responsibility to Lina just now. He couldn't leave her. Why not? He was a monster! He doesn't owe anyone anything! A vision of shimmering gold hair shining around her silenced his brain on this subject. He could not leave her to the pray of the monster realm – or leave her to pray upon them. Who knew what power her small body harbored? She might be the equal of any of them.

His heart was beating irregularly. He thought he might cough up blood for no reason at all.

There hadn't been anything like her in over a thousand years. She was special.

He clutched Lina closer to him.

Her eyes opened and there inside sparkled a full and bright gold colour, her ruby eyes seemed to have sunken behind the gold. "Xellos," Lina said calmly, touching her head with the tips of her fingers. "That was a pretty dirty trick."

"It was a test," he said with a smile.

She got to her feet. "Do you really think that kind of a test was necessary? You could have just asked me, and I would have told you. I AM A MONSTER! Where have you been anyway? You always show up when you're not needed and leave during a crisis," she sighed miserably.

"Do Gourry and Amelia know?" he asked, not moved from his position at all.

"You know better," she said. "Has this ever happened before?"

"Consider . . . if Phlibrizzo did not expect the Lord of Nightmares herself to appear before him when you cast the Giga Slave, then it must not happen that often. The Lord of Nightmares is chaos, so really, anything might have happened," he plucked up a long piece of grass and put it in his mouth. "I only know of one other time, and that was well over a thousand years ago. You're sort of amazing Lina. You don't feel worse for having been Rah Tilted, do you?"

"I never knew what sort of attack that really was. It was like the core of my being was being ripped up instead of just my body," she shuttered and crossed her arms across her chest. "I hope that never happens again."

Xellos was stunned. No one had ever understood a monster before. His mouth hung open a little.

"It's nothing much," he said easily. "Nothing more than a trick really, but a Rah Tilt attacks a monster's body, correct? Since a monster isn't from this dimension than it's easy to say that the Rah Tilt attacks their body which is made of different material than a human body, which is why regular attacks don't work. Underlings and minions can do nothing to protect themselves from it, their minds are not strong enough to repel it, but you are not like that. It attacks your core – your mind. So, all you have to do is convince yourself that it won't hurt you and it won't affect you."

"That's it?"

"Hai."

"So you'd just let me in on all the secrets of the monster race?" she asked, her eyes shining golder than ever.

"I've always wanted you . . . I mean . . . we've always wanted you."

And I have the sense to recognize that

I don't know how to let you go

Xellos frowned. He didn't understand why they had to get Zelgadis involved in this. He didn't understand how Lina suddenly came up with the idea that perhaps the information in the Claire Bible would be able to change her back into a human, or why she wanted that at all. He didn't approve of her using him either. Normally she was the one being used, but who could have imagined that things would work out this way? His original plan had been so much different. Lina insisted they find Zelgadis and travel with him. He had protested, but it wasn't much good to try to go against her. Unlike the old Lina, who could never get anything out or away from him, the gold-eyed monster Lina could use him shamefully.

"He'll be here soon?" Lina asked as they waited by the edge of the wood.

"Very soon," Xellos said.

"You really feel like it's your duty to take care of me, don't you?" she said with a sparkle in her eyes, like she actually thought that her feminine wiles were working.

Oh crap! Were they actually working?

"You know better than to try those shiny eyes on me don't you?" he asked in direct contradiction with his feelings. "You must know from the differences in your feelings that a monster's emotion can be aroused by little. Perhaps a scream," he offered. "Your feelings towards Gourry must have changed."

"I never had any feelings towards Gourry," she said leaning against a tree and looking away from him. "Everyone thinks they understand how I felt because I was so anxious to save him when Phlibrizzo captured him, but it wasn't anything like what they suspected."

"What was it like?" Xellos asked, very curious as to what her answer would be.

"That," she said with a wicked grin and a wink, "Is a secret."

He laughed and she turned away, retreating into herself, but his eyes became more serious as he watched her further. It seemed most of the time like she wasn't there at all. Almost like there was no one standing, lying, or holding onto him, and she did hold onto him. He had never seen Lina or a monster so afraid of the dark. It was almost embarrassing, until he looked into her eyes. Those eyes had such a hold on him. For even though she seemed so weak and frail; those eyes spoke of danger. Almost all that was left of the old Lina looked as if it was gone. The feelings that rose up inside his body to meet this new being seemed so impossible, but were happening. He wanted to tell her 'no' about traveling with Zelgadis, but had not had the strength to refuse her. He would have to give her a reason. The only reason existing was one he couldn't face.

She leaned against the tree. The light and wind caught her hair up in a mass of golden brilliance. She let out a little sound of surprise as her hair and cape swirled around her. She brushed her glove across her face and opened her eyes full on Xellos. The gold in her eyes was heavily edged by darkness deeper than pitch.

His throat seemed to spasm.

Every moment marked

With apparitions of your soul

I'm ever swiftly moving

Trying to escape this desire

The yearning to be near you

I do what I have to do

The yearning to be near you

I do what I have to do

Zelgadis came around the corner as Xellos had promised. He was surprised to see them and favored Xellos with a particularly sour expression. Lina had caught some fish and cooked them for Zelgadis, planning to speak to him over a meal, as she said she remembered rather vaguely in her mind that the food always helped bad news to be broken. Lina had looked at Zelgadis seriously and spoken with him man-to-man as she usually did, because she knew that he would understand what she was saying. With him, there was no reason to explain fifty times what was happening.

"So, why are you still with him?" Zelgadis asked rudely.

Xellos remembered the agony the chimera had suffered being dressed up like a girl and decided not to take the insult seriously, but sharpened his mind on the idea of perhaps really having to kill him in the next day or two. Nothing this serious had ever come up, thus different approaches may be necessary. Not that he especially wanted to kill Zel, but wouldn't hesitate if the importance of it became paramount.

"Don't say a word against him," Lina said with real anger, without hesitation, and before Xellos could defend himself. "There's no point in that. Besides, he's going to bully the dragons into showing us the way. If I showed up by myself, they might just kill me on sight for being a mazoku. They wouldn't even wait for an explanation, nor would it be likely that they would believe it if they heard it."

"I very much doubt that he wants to help you become a human again Lina," Zel said, not afraid at all of her anger.

"I won't listen to you," she said getting to her feet, making the dust rise with her boots. "Do you want to travel with us or not?"

Zel gave her an off-handed smile, like he was accepting a challenge for a duel. "I'll travel with you Lina," he said. "It'll be like old times."

"Thanks," she said. "I need to go get some rest."

Zelgadis looked across the fire at Xellos, and then got to his feet as well. He hadn't gotten far when Xellos had teleported in beside him with his staff digging hard into Zel's throat.

"I won't let you take her away from me," he said in a violent whisper.

But I have the sense to recognize

That I don't know how

To let you go

I don't know how

To let you go

Finding a dragon that would show them the way to the Claire Bible was not difficult. Xellos had not expected it to be. So many of the dragons were afraid of him because of what he had done during the War of the Monster's Fall. He liked the reputation, because he liked their fear. He was a monster after all. He also liked that he had absolutely done everything they thought he had.

The dragon who he had found to take them was a black dragon by the name of Jakrath. He transformed into a human, as the golden dragon had. He was quite reserved and said nothing at all. Xellos watched him very carefully for any sign that he might turn into a threat towards Lina. He couldn't have their guide attacking her. He would not stand for it. As they traveled through the passes, he kept himself aloof from the others in order to observe them properly. It was also a mild comfort to know that if he did not spot any trouble, Zelgadis certainly would. He wanted to protect Lina just as much.

As they came to the entrance to the chamber to where the Claire Bible was kept, Zelgadis said clearly to Lina, "You can go first."

She looked at Zel warmly. "Thank-you dear friend," she said stepping towards the door.

Xellos suddenly grabbed Lina's wrist and drew Lina close to him in order to talk to her. "Lina," he said in a deep voice. "If anything happens in there, call out for the Water Dragon King. She will watch out for you."

"You don't trust this dragon you're sending me in with?"

"If I was having my way, you would not be going in at all."

"You want me to stay a monster?"

He veered away from the question. "This dragon will not hurt you I think. I believe I made it quite clear that if you don't come back, I'll lay waste to this valley. Regardless of how much he wants you dead, because there is no doubt that he knows what you are, that's a price that is just too high for him to pay."

"Your help in all this has been very much appreciated," she said beautifully. She reached up and drew his head down to place her lips full on his.

Burning hot

Burning slow

Deep within I'm shaken by the violence

Of existing only for you

Zelgadis gasped.

Lina let go of Xellos.

Xellos stood, shaking, falling to his knees. He heard her footfalls moving away from him. This might be his last chance. He didn't know all of what existed in the Claire Bible. This might be his only chance. Feelings like these had been his once. Those days seemed dead forever, but at last he knew it for sure. He cared about something. He cared what happened to that girl after she stepped past the mountain. He cared about what she would find inside. She was not the girl Gourry had kissed. She appeared a star of chaos waking passions inside him; emotions he believed were lost forever. They were emotions he left for her.

"Lina-sama!" he called out desperately.

She turned.

"There was another monster made . . ." he was choking on the words. He was falling on his face. "There was another monster made the way you were made."

Lina dropped herself in front of him and put her hands on his shoulders. Her eyes were his eyes. His eyes split from violet into pure gold.

She gasped.

"Lina," Zelgadis raged, pulling her to her feet and picking her up bodily. She reached up for Xellos with both hands, but held onto Zel once he had lifted her off the ground. She called out for him. Xellos could do nothing to stop her from being pulled away. Zel handed her to the black dragon, who took her up with one swift motion and together they disappeared in a ripple of rock into the mountain side.

I know I can't be with you

I do what I have to do

I know I can't be with you

I do what I have to do

"Don't you have anything biting to say to me?" Xellos asked Zelgadis, who was sitting with his legs crossed on the ground.

"There's something in all this to be gained on my side," Zel said evenly. "If she had not had this problem, I might have wandered up and down the mountain looking for someone to guide me. Having you two show up really hurried the process."

"Aren't you worried about her? Or having to fight against her some day?"

"Lina is definitely changed. As you say; she is a monster, but whether she is a monster or a human she will always be herself. There has always been the chance that we could have ended up fighting a monster with you in our company," he stopped and looked meaningfully at Xellos. "It was good to discover that about you. As far as Lina goes, she was always powerful. Her power will change from rumor and reputation into legend. However, I find it hard to believe that she will be the answer to all the problems of the monster race. You will find her courage always overtakes all else," he paused for an instant looking deep into the north. "Her eyes were red this morning. I definitely want to see how this is going to turn out."

The heat of the day evaporated into the glow of the mid-afternoon, and again into the haze of the sunset. Xellos didn't say anything more to Zelgadis. Xellos noticed that Zel didn't seem tense at all. It was just the chimera's patience coming through and working to his advantage. The stars came out in a full display, almost like fireworks. Xellos was getting more anxious. He held his head; hardly believing the shots of emotion that echoed through him, nearly blowing him to pieces.

I want to see her one more time, he thought to himself. I really want to see her.

He licked his lips. He paced. He took off his gloves and put them back on again. The night would never end and she would never come back to him.

Suddenly, Lina stumbled through the ripples of rock on the side of the mountain. The black dragon was behind her. Xellos caught her in his arms. She was hurt.

"What happened?" Xellos asked her quickly, casting a healing spell.

"It's gone," she whispered, struggling for breath. "It's gone. The monsters inside . . . they destroyed it . . . it's gone."

Xellos could not believe her words.

Zelgadis cursed in the background.

Xellos held her close to him. Her eyes opened on his like two eclipsed moons. Feeling what was left of his human heart beat heavily, he knew something he had forgotten existed. Here, with this nightmare, was his dream.

And I have the sense to recognize

But I don't know how to let you go

I don't know how to let you go

I don't know how to let you go

"Good old boys," Xellos said to himself.

The End