Disclaimer: I own neither Slayers nor the Sting song from which I got the title.

AN: Sorry, everyone. It's been taking a long time to taper back on to my medication, but I think it's finally starting to kick in. I'm writing this to try to get back into the habit of writing. I really should be finishing off Forgiveness or doing the Disc world crossover one-shot I promised my friend, but given how brain-dead I still am, and that those are pieces I really want to be good, I'm going to wait until I'm back in the swing of things. Thank you for bearing with me.

Expect randomness, like this Slayers one-shot. I also want to do Irresponsible Captain Tylor, Devil May Cry, Discworld and Trigun.

This is Lina, at the end of Slayers Try.

Yes, I know I switch tenses, between first and third person and that some articles are imprecise. It is deliberate.

VAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAV

When you thought about it, it was rather obvious. So no wonder people didn't think about it, really. It was much simpler to just follow the pattern.

The light was golden.

The power of the gods was the brilliance beyond the dawn. The power of the monsters was the darkness beyond dusk.

Night and day, and what was in between.

It was just like her sister, really. Sending her out to save the world like this. You would have thought it would be the other way around.

Here is Luna, the great Knight of Cepheid, vessel of a god.

And here is Lina, who draws her power from monsters, famous for destroying cities with the power of the Dark Lord Shabranigdo.

And one goes out and selflessly saves the world, and the other stays home to make money.

Gourry, now. Gourry was a knight in shining armor. He could go around as a mercenary, and save damsels in distress. His sword defined who he was, gave him a place in the pattern.

That was how she'd gotten upgraded from 'kid in danger' to companion, to 'she who must be protected.' Despite the fact that she rarely needed protecting. The chivalry his grandmother had drilled into his head allowed that empty head to know what to do with emotions that drove her completely insane. Love equals protect, so he'd follow her anywhere, wait the rest of their lives for her. Sometimes she envied him. She wished she had some sort of blueprint, some map of where to go with this whole almost-a-relationship they had. Marriage, children…

Follow the pattern.

Follow the pattern into the depths of chaos.

When Gourry and Zelgadis had been all noble, it had driven her nuts. 'We won't succeed but we will fight bravely against Shabranigdo anyway!' And she'd given her cliché lines, and they'd taken her seriously, despite how alien those words were to everything she stood for!

Battle of the Clichés.

Xellos, now… Xellos tricked everyone, with two exceptions. Or maybe just one. He even tricked himself. He was best at tricking himself.

Ice Cream. Tea. The way he'd switched her racket, just to cause trouble. His collection of tourist guidebooks, his ability to pick up legends in half a second…

Sore wa himitsu des.

Indeed.

'I was just following orders.' His refrain every time his latest plan failed.

He didn't give a damn.

The guy who could slaughter hordes of dragons with the Pointy Finger of Doom, stopped by some life-affirming slogans?

He would never admit it to himself, but he liked the world. So did his Master, Zelas Metallium. Smoking, gold jewelry… she'd studied like crazy, when she was younger. She went far, far out of her way to get her hands on information, even now. It had killed her, to leave behind the Claire Bible. So much knowledge…

Even if a lot of it was wrong.

He'd helped Phibrizzo stop Gaav, then not raised a finger to help Phibrizzo against us. He'd fought Valgaav. Darkstar had been going to destroy the world. He'd helped us stop Darkstar.

His excuse? That his Master wanted Rubyeye Shabranigdo to destroy the world, not Darkstar.

Like it mattered who destroyed the world? Monsters were supposed to just want it destroyed.

Supposed to.

Like her Dragon Slave. She had destroyed how many followers of Shabranigdo with it? When he could have withheld that power from her when she was fighting them as easily as when she fought him.

Follow the pattern.

Follow the path of the golden orbs of light with your eyes.

The Golden Dragons… supposedly champions of Good. Mountain of corpses. Enough said.

Volpheid and Darkstar had gotten it. Pattern, pattern, 'good' versus 'evil,' world without end, amen. Death and destruction, war and chaos, and for what?

We believe in the Lord of Nightmares, mother of the almighty Herself, Creator of Overworld and our world and all the others, of all that is seen and unseen…

In between the white light of day and the black of night is the gold of dawn and dusk.

Nightmares and dreams are the same.

That's what she realized when she read the Claire Bible.

Chaos contains order. The patterns of our world arose out of chaos.

The Lord of Nightmares had let her borrow her power against Shabranigdo. But…

If she wished the worlds destroyed, why had she not done so? Given that she is infinite by definition…

The second time she cast the Giga Slave, she expected to lose control. And so I did.

Like I told the goofballs, Gourry and Zelgadis, when we fought Shabranigdo. You expect to fail, you do. But who am I to stop God doing whatever she feels like?

The light is golden.

She must have been very annoyed with Phibrizzo. I mean, I get annoyed when people order for me in restaurants without asking me what I want. Trying to destroy the worlds I created supposedly on my behalf?

The light is golden, and all the destruction caused by Darkstar and Valgaav is being restored to the way it was.

Xellos said it himself. When we combined the power of the gods, the power of stability, and the power of the monsters, the power of destruction, it became creation.

White and black are gold.

And look. Valgaav's going to be fine. And the Overworld is safe now too.

And God is in the Sea of Chaos that is herself, and all is right with the worlds.

It's over and we're all going home.

They've seen it all, and they don't get it.

The power that is in between the Gods and Monsters, the power that was why I was needed to destroy Darkstar, isn't humanity.

Like she had said when fighting Shabranigdo, to beat a monster, you need a stronger monster.

When existence purely wishes for destruction, the balance causes it to be destroyed, as I told them.

She really hated Phibrizzo.

Such a naughty, naughty boy.

VAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAVAV

Spoilers:

At the end of Next, Lina is completely annihilated when the Giga Slave goes out of control. Xellos is certain there is no way to bring her back. Yet Gourry's devotion, diving into certain death, causes the Lord of Nightmares to restore her.

The Slayers universe runs on clichés. One time, as the characters are traveling down a river, they know a waterfall is coming up based on past experience.

Given that chaos contains the potential for everything, my theory is that the piece of the Lord of Nightmares that was present in the Giga Slave that Lina cast became Lina. The real Lina, not a fake, because Lina, like everything else, came from the Lord of Nightmares in the beginning, and hence would have really been 'reabsorbed,' not destroyed per se, by the spell. Yet, she still would be 'L-sama,' but due to being Lina primarily she would not usually be conscious of the fact.

Yet, despite her act, Lina is clearly the smartest of the Slayers characters. She's their unquestioned leader, with a princess and Zelgadis ending up doing whatever she says. She's never fooled by anyone, including Xellos and Rezo. She's the one who ends up talking sense into the others. She just doesn't angst because she goes directly from plan to action, and she worked out a long time ago what she wants out of life. As much fun as possible.

She knows a ton about magic, and she found out the true nature of L-sama by thinking about what the Claire Bible said (which was very wrong), so she would have to be aware of the nature of her situation. And would be dealing with it by trying not to think about it, as there's nothing she can do about it and she is very opposed to useless angsting.

But seeing what is obviously the supposedly Monster of Monster's power fix everything would really rub it in.