Don't own Slayers. Just borrowing…


"Lina!"

Startled into wakefulness by a sudden violent rustle of cloth and the strangled cry, the redheaded sorceress sat up and looked around, trying to dash sleep from her eyes at the same time.

"Gourry?"

The campfire, an arm-length and a half away, had been reduced to embers. She looked sleepily over to where her blond swordsman's bedroll was laid out near hers. More movement and what sounded scarily like a muffled whimper reached her ears. There was no way that sound could've come from anyone else. Lina and Gourry had been kicked out of their inn and barred from every other one in town (but they only destroyed half of the inn! What's the big deal, huh?), which was why they now slept on the ground in the trees skirting the city. The chimera and princess were absent, but only for the night. Zelgadis hadn't finished checking the ancient library in the city and Amelia opted to stay with him.

Lina propped herself up on her elbow and squinted in the direction of the blanket-shrouded Gourry, frowning. The dying coals didn't really cast a decent light, and the moon was obscured by the leaves overhead.

The swordsman began muttering in his sleep again, "Undone. I want it undone."

Brow knitting in confusion and mild worry (though the worry part didn't consciously register in her mind immediately), the sorceress slid out of her bedroll and crawled over to where Gourry was twitching in his sleep. He was sleep-talking, definitely. Was he having a nightmare? About what?

"Give her back! Lina!"

What was this dream that made her friend thrash so? And where had she gone? She was hesitant to touch him. Not because she wanted him to sleep through what seemed like quite a bad dream, but because she didn't know how he'd react. She found that, like herself (when sleeping out-of-doors, anyways), he came to wakefulness a bit violently.

"I don't… want to lose you… Can't… I need you…" Her stomach tightened, but not in it's usual hunger pangs. She had a fairly good idea what night-terrors were assaulting her blond buddy's mind at the moment, and wished it would stop.

"Lina… No…!" The utter despair in the sleeping Gourry's voice tugged violently at the sorceress's heartstrings. Was this what had happen when the swordsman had chased her—well, the Lord of Nightmares (ironic, ne?), really—into the Sea of Chaos? Hesitantly, she reached out to brush a sweat-damp lock of hair from his forehead, but withdrew it immediately as if she'd been scalded. His skin was incredibly clammy, and the touch of it made the small hairs on the back of her neck rise.

"Oh, Gourry…" Tugging the small handkerchief from her sleeve, she gently wiped the heavy beading of sweat from his forehead. Her hand lingered a second to long, perhaps. The next moment, after a hand snaked around her wrist and a powerful arm around her waist, she found herself lying down and being held tightly by Gourry. She struggled a moment, outraged and thinking he'd tricked her, but that was until she managed to partially wrench herself around to face him. He was still sleeping, though his grip was bordering on keeping her from breathing. A lump formed threateningly in her throat. The desperateness in his grasp was familiar in a ghostly way, and now she was certain what kind of what of nightmare plauged him. She couldn't bear to look at his face for much longer, even in the almost non-existent light. It was the look of someone who'd lost their entire world. He was trembling, to boot, which unnerved her. Oh, what a situation.

She readjusted herself until she was somewhat comfortable, resting her head in the curve of his arm. She didn't want a crick in her neck from being bent like a pretzel, and it didn't seem like he would release her any time soon. His next sleep-induced mumble would've been muffled by her hair or even completely inaudible if his mouth hadn't been so close to her ear. "I don't wanna lose you again."

Her mouth shot open to reply in a no-nonsense "you're-being-silly" manner, but the remark died before it was even formulated. Her mouth closed for a few silent moments before she murmured softly, "Never again, Gourry. I promise."

Timidly she let the rest of herself relax against the hard muscles of his body. It was an odd sensation, Gourry being curled around her protectively. Finally, she decided this wouldn't be so bad, not if it stopped his nightmare. At least Zel and Amelia were absent. It was some minutes before she was actually composed enough for sleep. She felt her eyelids drifting shut when she heard him murmur plaintively, "But that was my bacon…"


Author's Note: Bleh. My first stab at some Slayers fanfic. Actually... That's a dirty lie, so let me amend myself. I new to the posting of fics, so... Yeah. I have a couple of other half-finished bits, but I'm on a mind-block right now. It's one of my more recently composed ones, product of being stuck behind slow people in a golf tournament, then actually being written somewhere 'round 3am because I didn't have any paper on me at the time of said tournament. I hope I didn't botch anything too badly... x.o