In the words of the worm. . .

"'Ello!"

"Did you just say 'Hello'?"

"No, I said 'Ello', but that's close enough!"

Also, I don't own any part of Slayers.

Slayers Labyrinth

By Moony

Chapter One: Transformation

He walked towards the Goblin King, his cerulean eyes glaring at him behind locks of messy blue hair. He could feel the wind blowing around him, smell the fresh cut grass and the pine trees. He noted a slight dampness in the air, mixed with static electricity which hinted at a coming storm. The lone, brave prince took no note of these things, however, for he was concentrating too deeply on his nemesis, with its keen, slit eyes.

"Give me my humanity!" the prince said, his velvety voice echoing in the air.

The other merely blinkedits eyes.

"Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin city, to take backthe parts of methat you have stolen!"

The prince paused his speech, taking a breath. "For my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom is as great!" he stopped again, his eyes scanning an invisible sheet. He frowned, trying to think. "... and my kingdom is as great ..." Thunder rolled in the background, as if to mimic the frustration in the prince's blue eyes.

"Damn!" He pulled out a small red book from his clothing, its smooth cover reading 'Labyrinth' in fine gold letters. "I can never remember that line!" He flipped through the pages in careful irritation, his fingers finding the correct page by memory.

"You have no power over me!"

As if celebrating the statement, the local clock tower began to ring, jerking the 'prince' back to reality and sending the fantasy world he'd built up back into the story books. His white tunic, pants and cape became replaced by his normal sweatshirt and khakis, the sword at his side disappearing. The Goblin King flew away, being nothing more than a curious Merlin.

He sighed, replacing the book in his pocket, and casually glanced up at the clock tower. Cursing, he nearly tripped as he began to rush over the wet grass.

"Crap. It's 7:00already. The fruit cake'snever going to shut up about this!" he began to run out of the park, then stopped. "Whatever, let him complain." He was about to pull out his book again and continue on when another clash of thunder sent down a tidal wave of rain, forcinghim to make his decision immediately. He chose to be in the safe, warm house, and ran.

Zelgadiss Greywyrds was not your normal teenager. At 18, he was a loner, obsessed with the occult, shunning anyone who tried to be his friend. He preferred to stick his nose in a book and let his imagination take him away then to play sports or go on dates. Zel didn't want girlfriends or friends, he was generally happy the way he was.

Of course, Zel can sometimes be one big oxymoron. He also liked to be depressed. It was what he was best at. Of course, his popular,attractive room-mate, Xelloss, wasn't making that easy for him. That god-damn fruit cake always had to be so cheerful.

He cut through his front lawn, running up into the doorway. Sighing, he opened the door, and glanced inside. Not seeing anyone, he tried to sneak in as quietly as possible-

"You're late, Zelly!" A soft voice called from the hallway. Zel winced.

"Yeah, I ... uhh ... had to pick up a few things." He replied, mentally giving Xelloss a rude gesture.

"Well, Zelas-sama decided to leave without us. I hope you're happy."A purple-haired head poked out from the doorway, a frown on its face. Zel had to struggle to keep from grinning.

"No, I'm sorry, I really am." He shook his head and turned to head up stairs to his room and dry off. "I'll just be in my room for the rest of the evening ..."

"But don't worry! I've decided to make this 'Xelloss-And-Zel's-Night-Of-Fun!'"

Zel froze, his face becoming distorted with terror. Xel just grinned and walked out into the main hallway, heading for the kitchen. He was carrying a board game.

"Oh, horrors of all horrors ..." Zel choked, but followed Xellossinto the kitchen and sat down at the table.

Xelloss, as much as Zel loathed to admit, was his step-brother, and the free housing was provided by Zel's step-mother, Zelas. In exchange, Zel was forced to endure Xelloss's companionship and spend one night each week in the presence of both his step-brother and step-mother, which he'd conveniently missed. As it was, he was stuck playing Boggle with the bane of his existence. On a Saturday night, no less.

"Where the hell did you find 'pneumonia' in that?!" Zel cried, angrily gesturing to the table. Xelloss smiled and pointed out the word,Zel scrunching his face as he attempted to make the connection

"You know what? Nevermind. Just, nevermind. I'm going upstairs."

"You have to play this game, Zelly!" Xelloss smirked before Zelgadiss had a chance to rise from his chair.

"No, I have to kick your ass into the next dimension. Unfortunately, I am unable to do so, due to my wonderful financial situation." Zel grumbled, glaring at Xelloss from beneath a stray bang of hair. Xel's jovial grin turned into a slightly-sadistic one as he leaned forward in his chair.

"You're no wherenear strong enough, Zelly." Xelloss whispered. Zel glared at him for a few moments before slumping back in his seat.

"I know ..." he groaned, "But I'm getting better. Just you wait ..." he looked up at some invisible point on the ceiling and grinned to himself.

"Once upon a time, this prince, who was the great-grandson of the Goblin King, wanted to be strong. He said the magic words and the Goblin King transformed him completely, giving him the strength he desired." Zel sighed and got up. "Those magic words were …"

Zel stopped, shaking his head, and Xeloos grinned in response.

"Were ...?"

Zel stared at the other, his eyelid twitching in frustration. He rose from his chair, gripping the table tightly.

"I'm going to bed."

As Zel started climbing up the stairs, Xelloss called after him.

"Well, alright! You're such a weakling, Zelly, I wouldn't expect you to even be able to beat me at Boggle!"

Zel's fist slammed into the banister, his voice a growl in his throat.

"I wish the Goblin King would come and transform me completely. Right now." He muttered, turning back up the stairs. The words were hardly out of his mouth when he noticed a man standing at the top of the stairs, then all went black.