Hello. Long time no write. My life has been rather topsy-turvy for quite some time. I actually had a mind to write this story oh about six or seven months ago. Even wrote it out on notebook paper so I wouldn't forget it. I am a huge fan of Zelgadiss and Amelia. In addition, if you've read my other song fics At the Beginning and Eyes on me, you would definitely know that. Some of you may have even read The Amulet, which…is…currently missing…sigh Anyhow, when I heard this song it struck me as an immediate Zel and Amelia song. The lyrics hit something deep in me and my mind actually began to play out the entire scene you are about to read. The song is called These Days and it is by the country group Rascal Flatts. This is a bittersweet songfic. A different look perhaps on what could have happened after the end of Try. So enjoy.

Hey baby, is that you?

Wow, your hair got so long

Yeah, yeah, I love it, I really do

Zelgadiss could not help but to stare at the beautiful sight before him. His mind was having difficulty believing what his eyes were seeing. It seemed like a trick, a cruel joke his eyes were playing on his mind. Yet unlike many other times when it had been an illusion this case was certainly not. There she stood. Amazing, he thought. Simply amazing. She was like a goddess. Her short raven hair, the hair he had committed to memory had now grown longer. Down to her mid back and it accented her womanly body perfectly. She had grown since he last saw her those two long years ago and he could not believe how much. She walked gracefully, almost as if she was simply hovering above the ground, and her face shone with enjoyment when she stopped and talked to every villager she came upon. Her laugh. My God, it was harmonious. He could have sworn he heard singing every time she laughed. He coughed, realizing he was staring and then stood up straight. This was Amelia, a long time friend. Surely, he could hold a conversation with her. With the Princess of Saillune. He argued with himself for a few more minutes and then decided that perhaps it would be better if she did not know that he was here. She turned. Too late.

'Norma Jean', ain't that the song

We'd sing in the car

Drivin' downtown, top down

Making the rounds

Checking out the bands on Doheeney Avenue

"Zelgadiss…it is you…it's so good to see you again!" The princess exalted and hurriedly made her way towards him.

Zelgadiss stood there frozen to his spot as their eyes met, a breathtaking view of cobalt blue. He felt himself falling, falling into the intense gaze of her eyes and it felt good he offered her a friendly small smile when she had finally approached. "It's been a long time…hasn't it." He confirmed, capturing the princess in a hug as she swung her arms about him. She felt good. No. She felt great. This is what she felt like…her scent was intoxicating, she smelled of flowers and a sweet perfume that always left you wanting more. It was different from when he had last held her, before he had left and suddenly an agonizing pit of despair plummeted into his stomach.

His mind wandered back to the times of war and how they had fought alongside one another. The more interesting times came to his mind and he couldn't help the faint wistful sigh as he remembered the time Amelia and Lina had dressed up in ridiculous looking sailor fukus, belting out an even more ridiculous song just to get the Clair Bible. In the end it had turned out to be nothing like he had assumed, but for some reason the song had stuck with the two girls and they would occasionally belt out a few verses as they were traveling, him dutifully filling in where it was needed.

Yeah, life throws you curves

But you learned to swerve

Me I swung and I missed

And the next thing ya know

I'm reminiscin' dreaming old dreams

Wishing on wishes

Like you would be back again

His face fell and his eyes closed in painful realization. Those days were gone. Yet he still wished. He wished that things had not changed so drastically. He wished that he had known then what he knew now. Amelia had adjusted to life easily. She barely seemed phased by it at all. Was it because she was ready for change? Ready and willing to accept a new lifestyle, a new beginning? Of course, he had tried, yet he realized he just did not have what it took to go all the way and his swing fell short of the homerun it should have been. What had it gotten him? In all honesty and truth, what had his path and his choice gotten him, and he bitterly frowned realizing that it had gotten him nothing but thoughts of what could have been.

He thought of her daily. Practically every minute. It had gotten to the point where he would wish that she would come looking for him. Wishing and dreaming that somehow she would be back again.

I wake up and tear drops

They fall down like rain

I put on that old song we danced to and then

I head off to my job

Guess not much has changed

It hurt. Oh how it hurt. He had not known that this kind of pain existed. Often times he would find himself waking up in tears from dreams of her haunting his mind even in his sleep. He would sit there for a while, wallowing in his own self-pity and then he would get up and turn on the recorder. The record would play the soft melody he had danced to with Amelia once before and then when the song ended he would head out and search for his cure. Nothing had changed about him. He was still preoccupied by what he thought people thought of him. It was like a nagging child in a candy shop. They whine and kick and scream until they get that piece of candy, only in this case, the child was never satisfied with just one.

Punch the clock

Head for home

Check the phone, just incase

Go to bed

Dream of you

That's what I'm doing these days

He let out the sigh he hadn't known he was holding. After searching the whole day for his cure or leads to it, he would sulkily drag his feet towards the locale saloon just in case his princess had written a letter for him, and had found him at last. After having found none he'd order a small meal, sit down and eat it in complete silence, brooding over how sad and lonely his life was and that he had no one to blame for it but himself. After he was done wallowing, he would return to the small shack he had rented and collapse on his bed, entertaining thoughts of her for the rest of the night. Yes, that's what he was doing these days.

Someone told me after college

You ran off to Vegas

You married a rodeo cowboy

Wow, that ain't the girl I knew

"What brings you here?" he asked her, almost hesitantly. He did not want to let go of her. She felt so nice against his body, but he knew that he had held onto her for far too long already. So he let her go and he looked at her when she spoke.

"Business. As it is I have stayed here too long and I fear I may not make it home tonight."

He frowned. He was hoping she would be able to stay longer. Longer so they could catch up on times and reminisce on old. Then again hoping had never gotten him very far at all. All his life he had hoped and what had it gotten him? Nothing but a lonely life in a shack a few miles away from the nearest village. He did not need to catch up on old times though. He had heard from an excited villager about a year after he had left that she had married. A prince from a neighboring kingdom. He wondered if perhaps it was a forced marriage. The Amelia he had known would never have agreed to marry someone so hastily. But that was it wasn't it. The Amelia he had known, years had a way with changing people.

Me I've been a few places

Mostly here and there once or twice

Still sortin' out life, but I'm doing alright

Yeah, it's good to see you too

"What have you been up too Zelgadiss?" She asked him, being polite and not wanting to just hurry off. Her voice broke him out of his reverie.

"Me? Not too much. I've been traveling to cities and kingdoms in hope of a lead to a cure. Been here and there once or twice."

She nodded in an affirmed sort of way; as if she knew all along, what he had been up to. She seemed to look truly upset.

"I'm still sorting out of my problems, but for the most part I'm doing alright." He lied through his teeth, surprisingly able to keep a straight face the entire time. The truth was of course that he was not doing alright, not by a long shot. Seeing her once more had only confirmed that.

Hey girl, you're late

And those planes, they don't wait

But if you ever come back around

To this sleepy old town

Promise you'll stop in

To see an old friend

And until then...

He noticed the sidelong glance Amelia kept giving to her horse and received the hint. She wanted to get going. It made sense, the royals were often very strict with schedules and didn't like when it was disrupted. He coughed getting her attention once more.

"You're running late, and I know that those royals hate waiting, even for a princess."

She opened her mouth to protest and then shut it realizing that he was telling the truth. Even if she was the princess of Saillune, it was not polite to keep people waiting, regardless if they were royals or not. She nodded. "Yes, you are right."

Zelgadiss smiled faintly and took her hand. "Hey….if you ever find yourself back this way….be sure to stop in and see an old friend."

She looked to her hand and he could feel the longing in her eyes to stay there with him for a while longer. She looked to him shortly after. "I will. You take care of yourself until then Zelgadiss…" she too smiled faintly and retracted her hand from his. "Goodbye…" she whispered softly and then turned heading back to her horse where he escort was waiting patiently for her.

"Until then…."

I wake up and tear drops

They fall down like rain

I put on that old song we danced to and then

I head off to my job

Guess not much has changed

Punch the clock

Head for home

Check the phone, just incase

Zelgadiss stayed at that spot until he could no longer see Amelia waving to him frantically as she rode off back towards Saillune. He heaved a heavy sigh.

"Go to bed….dream of you….that's what I'm doing these days…"

And Zelgadiss turned for home.