The final chapter! Yayness! Huzzah! I AM DONE! -dances- I am so thrilled that this has finally wrapped up! Now I can work on Shadows of the Future and yet another Slayers/sports fiction. Wh00t! One problem: I keep on hearing the "Torino Games." It is in Turin. I guess I'll never understand Italian.
The Turin Olympics had come and gone. All of the athlete representatives had come home to a heroes' welcome upon their arrival at home. Not only did the Slayers win the gold medal, but Carson and Daniel Yerbinski won the gold and silver medals in skeleton, Harry Yerbinski placed fourth in the snowboarding competition and a bronze medal was won by the skier named Filia who had shared a room with Lina, Elena and Amelia at the Olympic Village. Now that it was closing in on the ides of March, Prince Phil decided to hold a party in honor of the success of all of the athletes, for even if they placed in their event or not, they were all "Olympians at heart," as Lina would say.
"I don't know why I have to wear a damn dress," Lina groaned as she examined herself in the mirror on the bedroom wall of her apartment. Her pale pink formal dress rocked and swayed with her every move. Her hair shimmered with glitter that found its way down to her shoulders and the makeup on her face. In fact, Gourry would not have known it was Lina unless he had seen her standing there with his own two eyes. He had even gotten ready for the party at Lina's apartment himself, having been ready to leave for over an hour already.
"Wow," he said, adjusting his purple formal suit nervously. "Is that really you there Lina? If I did not know any better, I would think that someone kidnaped you and replaced you with some sort of alien or spy."
"Yes it is me you jellyfish," Lina half-giggled half-sighed. She walked over to Gourry and playfully kissed him. They then locked up the apartment and left for the Royal Palace of Seiryuun. When they arrived at the Palace, everything was festively decorated for the grand celebration. All the Olympic athletes were there, as well as the coaches and assistants. Not to Lina's surprise, all of the Yerbinski siblings were able to get in, including young Jacob and even their parents Annalise and Bruce.
"Hey Lina!" Elena called out. Lina and Gourry saw Elena run over to them with Constantine Michev at her side. She had on a knee-length red dress and her mousy hair curled so that it bounced with every step.
"Hello there Elena, Constantine, how are you two?" Gourry replied.
"Great!" Constantine said, acknowledging both Lina and Gourry's presence with a nod of his blond head. He and Gourry then immediately started talking to one another intently, leaving the girls to talk.
"I noticed that there is no sign of press hounds wanting an inside story on the party," Lina observed. "Is this Phil's doing?"
"Yes," Elena said. "Amelia's dad is great at keeping the news media away when he holds parties like this..."
Lina knew what was coming next: small talk. It made her feel so awkward to just stand around and talk for the purpose of... talking. It made her feel like an old, chatty woman that really does nothing besides talk and gossip. Lina hoped she would never become like that. She and Gourry had just gotten back to Seiryuun from Luna's place in Manitoba only yesterday and found that her sister had become an expert in small talk. Luna had nearly talked Lina's ears right off her head.
"..and so Constantine and I were looking around the housing market and have been debating about maybe moving into a two-bedroom house over by where Darin Park is. That's the park where I met Zelgadis and everyone else on the team you know..."
"Wait a second," Lina interrupted, having caught just the last two sentences Elena had said. "You and Constantine...?"
"Yes," Elena said clearly. "Were you paying attention to even a single word I have said?"
"No," Lina admitted. She had not heard the part where Elena said that she and Constantine had become a serious couple, or that they were even contemplating marriage. Lina had been too busy trying to avoid conversation to even slightly care what Elena had said. She looked over to her left to see that Gourry and Constantine had disappeared into the crowd of their teammates. Their blond boyfriends were easy enough to pick out in the crowd, yet Lina and Elena both just decided to stay in their spots and fume at their temporary abandonment.
"Elena-chan! Lina-san!" Amelia's voice called out. Both girls turned to see Amelia rushing up to them in her powder blue gown and she even had a royal tiara gracing her brow.
"Hey there Amelia," Lina laughed. "I like the whole 'princess' look. You should try it more often." Amelia laughed mockingly, lightly hit Lina on the arm and pouted for a split second before remembering why she had come over to both of them in the first place.
"Have you two seen Zelgadis anywhere?" she asked.
"No, I just got here," Lina replied.
"I think I saw him over by the garden," Elena said kindly.
"Thanks Elena-chan!" Amelia said as she rushed off in the direction of the garden doors. Before she could get there however, Prince Phil got on the top of a table and started to shout.
"People and athletes of Seiryuun!" he announced proudly as he stepped in some mashed potatoes on the banquet. "I am proud to announce that we are going to go down in history as one of the quickest athletic turnarounds in all of the Olympics! We won four medals at the Turin Olympics and even so, it might have been a very good thing that we did not win any more than that. It is true that we are a great people, yet I would like everyone here to know that whether they placed, got a medal or got nothing at all, I, along with all of the citizens of Seiryuun, am proud to have you all as fellow countrymen. Your hard work, dedication, drive and spirit is something that you can use for the rest of your lives, as an athlete or as a normal citizen. What today's world needs is more people with such pure and concise motivation for the common good and the betterment of all..."
Amelia giggled softly so that her father could not hear her. Prince Phil's speech was amusing her greatly. So greatly in fact, that she did not even see Zelgadis come up behind her in his blue tuxedo. His movements were unseen by anyone, for all eyes were on Phil and his animated spiel of honor and glory.
Gently, Zelgadis took Amelia by the hand so that she looked up at him. He then motioned over to the nearby door and they both stealthily slipped out of the celebration, into the dead of the brisk night. They playfully ran and ran and did not stop until they got to the moonlight palace garden.
"Why did you take me here?" Amelia laughed softly. She sat down on one of the numerous benches and tried to catch her breath.
"Do you remember," Zelgadis said as he sat down next to Amelia, "when I had wanted to ask you something and Elena interrupted me on accident?"
"Yeah... I remember. What was it?"
"Amelia, I love you."
"You love me...?" Amelia asked warily. Zelgadis was starting to make her a slight bit nervous and put on the spot. "Shouldn't we love each other? I mean..."
"No Amelia," Zelgadis said, putting her forefinger on her lips for a second to quiet her. "Not a fake love that is no more powerful and lasting than a schoolyard crush, but real love. The kind that can tear down mountains and lasts a thousand lifetimes."
"Zelgadis..." the princess whispered. She did not have the chance to say anymore, for Zelgadis closed on a kiss. Amelia immediately him kissed back, happier than she could ever have been in her life.
After the shortest eternity in history, Zelgadis slowly began to pause. Amelia herself also held the romantic moment as he halted the kiss. Taking a deep breath and saying a short prayer, Zelgadis reached into his coat pocket and brought something out, carefully concealed in his hand.
"Amelia," he started, placing a small box in her had. She looked at the box with intrigue. Opening the small box, she found a diamond ring.
"Oh!" she exclaimed, tears forming in her face. Without thinking, she threw herself at Zelgadis and embraced him tightly.
"Amelia," Zelgadis said as he slightly laughed.
"What is it...?" Amelia giggled back.
"Will you... will you marry me?"
Amelia looked at Zelgadis with wide eyes.
"Yes. Vows, church, the whole nine yards. I'll do it for you Amelia. Do you accept?"
Amelia barely knew what to say. She and Zelgadis had been dating for less then a year. Yet, she knew she loved him. His injury at Turin, the little broom cupboard, the fact that they were seated in the romantically moonlight garden, everything flashed before her in an overwhelming flood of memories. Memories that they shared.
"Zelgadis..." Amelia cried. "I..."
"I do," Amelia said in response to the man standing next to her and Zelgadis. If it was not for the fact he was the priest and they were in a church, she would not have said anything at all. The only thing that mattered was the fact that Zelgadis was standing there in front of her. She looked up into his eyes and again it was quite difficult to remember where they both were again.
"This is it," Zelgadis whispered through a smile. He tried his best to not disturb the priest's words. He was uncomfortable standing there in his blue-lavender suit, but imagined that Amelia's snow-white dress was even more annoying to wear.
The priest stopped his words, signaling Zelgadis to recite his line.
"I do," Zelgadis said, barely paying attention to anything besides Amelia.
"By the power vested in me, I pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride."
So, Zelgadis did happily kiss his bride and everyone else in the church clapped and some even cheered him on. Everyone was there; Gourry, Lina, the Yerbinski family, Prince Phil (who was bawling like a baby), the rest of the Seiryuun Slayers, even two mysterious figures in the very back of the church. The whole church, no, the whole country was happy and celebrated the marriage of the princess and her love. Gourry and Lina smiled at each other as Zelgadis and Amelia walked by them towards the aisle, knowing that it would be their place on that altar in autumn.
In the months and eventual years that followed, there was general happiness throughout the first Olympic team for Seiryuun. Lina and Gourry moved to Manitoba when they married, Gourry having been drafted into the NHL. He became an instant star playing center and Lina was content being head coach of what was soon to be their sons' Bantam teams. Zelgadis was given many an offer to play for several different teams in the NHL as well, yet he declined them all to stay home in Seiryuun with Amelia and start a family. Everyone else ended up going their own separate ways as well, the ice hockey team coming together once more for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. The exact team, four years older, demolished the opposition as the favorites, instead of the statistical underdog. Life was good and after a second gold medal, the team disbanded to make way for a new generation of kids from Seiryuun to make their names know worldwide.
No matter what kind of physical distance was put between the Seiryuun Slayers, they remained close friends. The guys would find excuses to get together and have reunions, just to see one another again. Their wives would gripe and complain, yet would come along anyways. It was always at the back of their minds, that those men would never loose the bond that their very first Olympic experience brought.
Lina, Amelia and Elena, in particular, would together laugh at Gourry, Zelgadis and Constantine whenever they made fools of themselves, whether the men were being men or playing with the children. Those five months of hard work, training and praying had paid off, for everyone was, in the end, truly Olympians at heart.
Parodies/References I Do Not Own and I Am Glad I Can Stop Disclaiming and Junk Like That
Filia: Yeah, she was in the plot. If you read, it would not have come as a huge surprise. -grins-
Darin Park: Yes, that's BOBBY DARIN, thank you very much. I love Big Band music from the 40s and 50s and I am proud of it. -plays Mack the Knife and grins-
Elena and Constantine: Yes, I gave Zelgadis's stalker/past flame a fiancee. She seemed so heartbroken and then oddly suicidal-happy and I just could not leave her that way. It made me feel better about her character in general.
The Wedding: I hate writing what actually goes on and what the priest says. Also, shut up about Zelgadis being mushy and crap like that. I know that it is not in his usual character, but please deal with me.
The Ending: Feh... I couldn't really think of anything else other than: sucky synopsis of their future. Oh, and Vancouver will host the 2010 Games. My source (ESPN Sports Almanac 2005) say so.
Reviewer Thanks (Record Amount of Individual Reviewers (10) By the Way)
Gerao-A: You guys are always there. Without you seven, including Kiko and Scrik, this fic would have never come out the way it did.
Maddy02: Thanks for giving me a shot.
Motokonobaka: Thanks for telling me to keep going.
Joe Crazy: Thanks for showing that not everyone reads the author's notes.
Galera: Thank you for the random comments.
Shadow Silver Fang: We are Dutch brethren. All hail the House of Orange! Yeah! -punches air triumphantly- Guess what... I was twelve during the Salt Lake City Olympics too. I also have my relatives coming over to my house soon. Prepare for Dutch-lady smell! -laughs-
Katherine: Thank you for the random comments you made as well.
Maurice A. Nigma: Thanks for noticing all about Generation-A and stuff like that. It makes me happy that you think my idea was original.
Catgirl the Crazy: I thank you and the tap-dancing beavers for the spiffy Luna info. I did not know that person was Luna. Curse my newb-ness! It won't go away!
The Gandhara: Thanks for the positive notes and then letting me fall victim to depression and writer's block. I truly needed that. Your constructive criticism is to be used. I thank you for being honest with me.
EVERYONE WHO READ YET DID NOT LEAVE REVIEWS: Shame. You should review. I love you all anyways though. My stuff is read and that is all that matters in the end.
NEXT NEHSZRIAH SPORTS-BASED SLAYERS FANFICTION: GUTS, GLORY AND GLOVE OIL.
INITIAL POSTING DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED.