Burdened

Summary: Songfic, Yes I know many of you probably hate songfics with a passion. Suffer. =P This is also a Zelgadis Lina Pairing… though I prefer Lina Xellos personally…

Disclaimers: Oh … well this song so does not belong to me, it belongs to Depeche Mode, (This song is on the CD 'Violator') 

Ok what's going on is I wrote 'Burdened' about a year ago then lost it and thought it was gone permanently. So I re-wrote 'Burdened' and titled it 'Halo' so there are two different versions of the story. Both are different in their own ways, though some things are relatively close/ the same.

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Burdened

You wear guilt,

Like shackles on your feet…

Like a halo in reverse.

Lina watched as Zel yet again decided he was going to break off from the group and go off on his own to search for a cure. It was always his cure! He never thought of anyones feelings when he did things like this!

He never thought of hers… She cut that thought off quicker than lightning.

She watched in disbelief with the group as he trod off in the opposite direction. Everyone was still in shock at the fact he had lost his cool at them and had yelled at them, screaming what he had been hiding for obviously years.

All the little annoyances finally won out and drove him to lash out in the cruelest way. And he didn't have to lay a finger on any of them. In those moments he had done more damage then any of the dark lords they had fought.

The word can be ever so sharper then the sword, and more bruising than a hand against one's cheek.

Amelia was in tears, Sylphiel had her head bowed, Gourry had gone silent and he too looked upset and hurt. Filia stood there speechless and even Xellos had stopped moving. Not knowing, nor suspecting, Zelgadis would ever crack.

But they didn't notice what Lina had seen in Zelgadis' eyes as he stopped yelling at them all, when Amelia had broke into true, silent tears. She saw regret and sorrow within him.

Only once before had Amelia ever cried silently, putting forth a brave façade. And that was when supposedly her father was thought to be dead.

That's what had brought Zelgadis to his senses.

He had hurt the most innocent of the entire group.

He had hurt the one had loved the most as family.

Lina then began realizing just how much guilt, hurt, and misery he was burdened with.

She had known for a while that he believed he was only a danger to those he dared to care for. He cared for the entire group and was scared he would lose them.  And he was also upset, because during the time he had been with them he had hurt some of them and it would build up inside him that he had hurt them because he was only a monster. Not fit to be with humans.

He never let anyone in on what was tearing him apart. And as a result he was becoming worse.

I can feel,

The discomfort in your seat,

Why hadn't she brought it up with him earlier before he went like this? She had earlier that day noticed Zel had been edgy.

She should have said something. She needed him there with the group.

Why?

Cause damn it, he was the only sane one there that she could carry a decent understanding conversation with for more then five minutes.

'That's not the only reason why.' A voice whispered through her head.

'Yes it is.' She thought back at her nagging conscience.

'Do not try to lie to yourself. There's more to it than that and you know it. You just refuse to see it. Some great and powerful sorceress you are! You can't even admit when you're in lo-'

'URESAI!' she screamed at the voice to shut up and then looked over to Zelgadis' retreating form.

And in your head it's worse.

There's a pain,

A famine in your heart,

Zelgadis felt shame wash over him in waves. He had just lashed out at the only people who really cared about him. Minus the dragon maiden and the namagomi. His mind was clouded with dark emotions, swirling about in a chaotic circle it seemed. Not letting go of his mind… A slow torture…

He felt horrible. As if a dry dusty desert wind had blown through it, destroying everything. He had always felt this emptiness. There was never a time it was gone.

An aching to be free…

          'That isn't true…' a voice whispered inside of him, 'There was a time…"

          'Oh? And when was that?' he thought back acidly.

          'When she made you laugh for the first time in years…'

          'She doesn't love me. I just destroyed that if there ever was a time she cared… I can't love her.' He ended.

          'Can't or won't?'

Can't you see?

All loves luxuries,

Are here for you and me.

          Lina poked at her food as did the entire group, minus the Mazoku who just sat silently watching them. Most likely having a feast off of their emotions.

She stood up suddenly and donned her cape and shoulder guards with fevor and pushed her chair in.

"Screw this! I'm going after him and bringing him back if I have to knock him unconscious and drag him back here on his stubborn stony behind!" With that said she marched outside and began flying after him.

If he would just open up I'm sure he would be happier… If he could think of it… she thought to herself, maybe she could have a chance to make him happy.

And when our worlds,

They fall apart…

She knew that a lot of hell had been going on lately and somehow it was building up around her. She was, to be frank, tired of this shit. She wanted to be a normal girl at times so badly she was willing to go into hiding, fake a suicide, death, fatal accident…anything. But that wouldn't be very Lina Inverse like would it?

Her friends were being dragged into this whole big mess of a plan too. And it was because they knew her and had helped her countless times.

When the walls come tumbling in,

She knew that her friends were going to have a miserable life if things weren't taken care of. And there were times they all felt like they all had no way to escape. But there was always one. And all those hard trials had made them so close over the years. They were a family. They were each other's support. And without one, it fell apart.

Though we may deserve it,

It will be worth it.

She never regretted that they had become like this though. Not once. Everyone had to take chances, and daring for a family and their trust was part of taking chances. That's why they needed Zel back.

Or that's what she kept telling herself. Inside she knew and felt that was only the half of it. She wanted him back too.

Bring your chains,

Your lips of tragedy…

She was somehow going to make him come back… and somehow would tell him how she felt. She was nearly twenty, she should be able to do this!

His form began to come into view and she flew up higher and tried speeding up and realized that Zelgadis was running! Damn! He knew she was there. Let the chase begin then. She wasn't about to give up without a fight.

She flew after him the fastest she could and was beginning to realize just how fast he really was. Just when she thought she would pass out from trying to keep up he stopped and she sped up and landed in front of him, collapsing to her knees gasping for breath.

Zelgadis stood tall despite his true height, arms crossed in front of him waiting patiently with a slight bit of annoyance. As she gasped for air she noticed they were surrounded by many trees in a deep part of a forest.

After a few minutes she stood, weary evident in her body language.

"What do you want Lina?" he asked coldly.

"For you to come back." She said after regaining her breath.

"If you want a sideshow freak who can help you in a fight and is useful for nothing else than being the bunt of a joke then find someone else." He uncrossed his arms and walked past her and stopped as she spoke up again, clearly just beginning the fight.

"You were never a freak Zelgadis!" She said irritated.

"Humph, could have fooled me."

"And you were always more useful than just for a fight! We care about you even if you can't realize it cause you're so deep in your own self pity you can't see anything! Not even the light of day."

"As if you are one to talk Lina." He turned to her and she backed up. "You who only know greed! It is always what you want! You'll blast your own friends if it means getting rid of the obstacles in your way to whatever YOU want, not what someone else wants or may possibly NEED." He backed her up and she was leaning against a tree as he stood over her. "You never listen to common sense and you act like a child of five! You are a spoiled selfish child despite your age!"

Lina looked as if she had been slapped and only stared at him in a hurt shock as the others had only hours ago. Zelgadis stopped and watched her with a darkness in his eyes.

"You believe everything should go your way when it goes anywhere but there!" Lina looked down taking all his verbal blows in a silent agony.

'Pleasestoppleasestoppleasestop…" she whispered desperately in her mind. 'I could take this from anyone and not be affected… but not from you…' she forced back the hotness in her eyes fiercely as each and every one of his words hit far better than any man made dagger ever could have.

Zelgadis stopped and glared down at her form. Never before had he felt such anger, except when he had hated Rezo. And she had just happened to be the one he had taken it out on. 'Why her… of all the people I did this to it was her…' his mind cried out silently. Her body trembled ever so softly and she forced the words out, desperately trying to hide the fact she was going to cry again for the first time in three years.

"Zelgadis…" Zelgadis was surprised by the fact she had used his full name instead of the customary 'Zel'. "Please just stop…" her voice trembled and she swallowed back her emotions, trying to hide the fact she was going to cry--- His eyes widened.

CRY?

"I could take any of this from anyone in the world and be able to tell them to shut up and dragon slave them a second later…But I…" she took in a deep breath and it sounded as if she was losing even more of her control, "I can't take this from you-" she sobbed out and he then saw the trails of moisture fall down her cheeks and she turned her head in shame at them.

He had NEVER seen her cry. He never knew she could. And he managed to break that fact. He just hurt the person he cared about again. Just as he had with Amelia. All he caused was pain…

"Lina…" he didn't know what to do. "Please don't cry." Lina sobbed harder at that and buried her head into her hands and couldn't remember the last time she had felt like this.

"Go away." She whispered softly. "I don't want you seeing me like this. Just go." That was when he took a blow.

"What?" She sobbed and tried to step away from him, determined to find some place else to finish her crying. Zelgadis grabbed her upper arms and pulled her back, making her face him. "If I cannot be left alone neither will you." He said with finality.

Lina let her body go weak and leaned against the tree trying her best to cut off the flow of tears. "Zelgadis…I won't wanted to, to make you… I wanted to tell you I care and I really do…" she cut off what she said as Zelgadis drew in a sharp breath.

Was she-- did she almost say- -  Was he hearing things? He must be…

She lowered her head and miraculously was able to stop the flow of tears as she drew her emotions up, determined not to break any further.

"Lina, what is it?" he put his hands on her shoulders and she looked up at him in anger. She had never wanted to cry. Especially in front of him. And he had caused this.

Her voice came out in a cruel harsh manner, "Does it really matter? Do you think me saying, 'I love you', you big stone jerk, will even keep you here?" she bit her lip and tried to break away from him again but his strength was much stronger then hers and he brought her close to him to keep her from moving away.

"You can't run away every time something like this occurs-!" he paused and felt regret go through him again at the harshness he had used. He then stopped dead as his mind played over what she had said.

'Do you think me saying, 'I love you' will even keep you here?'

'I love you.'

His eyes widened. "Y-you love me?" he looked at her incredulously.

"I didn't know your head was as thick as your skin Zel." She said with some humor, her tears drying.

And fall into my arms.

"I only wanted to bring you back because I don't want you to leave…"

Zelgadis brought her to him and hugged her, moving a hand over her hair. She loved him…HIM. "I love you too Lina."

Lina's eyes widened slightly and she felt a wave of relief wash over her.

And when our worlds they fall apart,

"I know I shouldn't love you, but I do. I know that the prophecies all say that love will be my undoing but I don't care Zel." She whispered to him.

Zel nodded slowly. That was what had made him crack. A week ago they had found ancient ruins thought to have only been a myth. But they weren't. Though Zelgadis wished fiercely with all his heart and soul they had been. It seems that five hundred years ago a priestess had prophesized about warriors who would defeat many dark lords and go through hard trials… Them namely. It told of defeating Shabranigdo to Dark Star… to the end.

It told of what would be the great Lina Inverses undoing. Imagine their shock when they found it to be such a simple thing in life that everyone needed.

Love.

When the walls come tumbling in,

"Lina we shouldn't… you could die, I don't want that." He said into her hair.

"So?" she replied softly.

"But by doing this you're willingly giving up your life." he said to her, trying to keep from sounding as upset as he felt.

Though we may deserve it,

"I don't care Zelgadis… If I am going to live, I promised Auntie Aqua that I would be true to myself… and it wouldn't be true to myself if I didn't love. I want to do everything I can, I love you. And I only want to be with you."

"Lina I love you too. But I don't want to lose you." He held her tightly. If she decided to go through with this… he'd only have her for five years… No…

"If I'm going to do this Zel, I want to make it worth it. Every single minute… worth what will happen." She told him in a surprisingly calm voice.

He brought her palm to his lips and kissed it when she lifted her head up and brought his head towards hers, she was mere centimeters from him.

"And I want it to start now." She whispered.

She then kissed him deeply and he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her back, drawing them both to the forest floor.

It will be worth it.

THE END

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