AN: Although I myself have a nasty habit of skipping the AN's I still feel compelled to say a few things.
First fic on and I wasn't really planning on posting it, but seeing how there are almost no updates on this fantastic couple (yes, I truly mean that. Now flamers, be gone.), I thought I'd better throw in my little story.
It hasn't been betaed, and I can't promise anything as for the update time. ;) So now you realise that you've been promised absolutely nothing.
I don't own Slayers or any of the characters connected to the show. If I did, I'd not be a poor student. ;)
Leaving the castle.
"I'm sorry… I couldn't sleep.." Amelia said to her mirror. Still wasn't good enough. She hadn't been much of a lair in her life so far, and it seemed pointless to start now. She was not at all convincing.
But Zelgadis was leaving the following morning, as were Lina and Gourry. But unlike Lina and Gourry she knew, that there was only a very slim chance, he'd ever come back. And unlike Lina and Gourry, she actually really wanted him to stay.
She blushed, and took another look in the mirror.
After having defeated Dark Star they'd all headed for Sailrune, to heal up, and to return Amelia, of course. After the mess they left behind when they took off, it was the least they could do. She knew that from now on, her little adventures would be limited to a minimum. She had her royal duties, and would most probably not leave the city, unless it was on a diplomatic quest.
"I can't sleep…" she tried to make her voice sound thin and weak. But it didn't help. Not a snowballs chance in hell that he'd believe that.
She looked at the bed table, where she'd put her bracelet. She'd really like him to have it. As a keepsake, to remember her by. As a friend, if nothing else. But if she knew him right, he'd be off, as soon as the sun rose. Maybe even before that. He had said his goodbyes at the dinner, very formally and cold.
"…can't sleep.." she mumbled.
She took a deep breath and took the bracelet. Lie or no, she was going to give it to him, no matter what. And maybe even confess to him? She blushed just thinking about it, and thought she'd rather not pull that stunt just yet.
When she went out her door, she saw the backside of Lina and Gourry, obviously heading towards the kitchen. She smiled. They were midnight-snacking again, the two of them. It was so nice to see those two together. Even if it was in a rather bizarre way. She silently followed them, until she reached Zel's room further down the hall.
He wasn't in his room, but then again, she wouldn't have expected him to. She ran down to the library, barefooted and in her light nightgown, and opened one of the heavy double doors. She then took a deep breath, and went inside.
Not in that book either. Zelgadis slammed the heavy, dusty tome, and put it back on the shelf. Surly, the Sailrune library on white magic was extensive and by far the biggest collection of white magic spells he'd ever seen. But there was nothing of use to him. Well, that was just the last thing he needed to check. He walked back to the desk in the middle of the room, to take his stuff, ready to leave, when the door opened.
"Zelgadis-san?" an only too familiar voice called out. Amelia was standing in the doorway, almost wearing a nightgown. By "almost" meaning, that the parts where it wasn't transparent, were very short.
Zel frowned. This was neither the time, nor the place for a confrontation with Amelia, and her little infatuation. The whole thing was beginning to annoy him, really badly. The fact that this girl had a crush on him was just one of the world's most cruel jokes to date. It seemed destiny would never seize playing nasty little tricks on him.
Amelia was just the kind of girl who would put into perspective how much of a monster he really was. By falling in love with him she'd proven that she was not only naïve beyond limits, but also too pure-hearted for a freak like him.
It would seem she was mocking him, and so he'd thought in the beginning. But then he realised that she really WAS infatuated with him. Which only served to fuel his self-hatred even more. Amelia was just the type, who'd fall in love with somebody, because she could "save" them. And that fact alone confirmed to him, that he really needed being saved. No matter what she claimed, he was a monster. And deep inside, she still saw him as such.
He gritted his teeth, trying not to show, though.
Maybe if he were human. Or maybe, if she hadn't been so pure that it would pain him even to consider it. Or maybe, if she hadn't been a princess. He snapped out of his line of thoughts, as he felt something tugging his sleeve for attention. Or maybe, if she wasn't such a child!
"Zelgadis-san..?" She sounded like she'd said something to him. And judging from the colour of her cheeks, it might have been important.
He tried his best not to look too discontent when he looked at her, and said.
"Yes? Anything you wanted?"
She blushed. Zel thought to himself that this one was going to be tough to sneak out of. He started to pretend he was checking if his stuff was all packed, even though he'd checked that many times that night.
"I.. Well, I couldn't sleep and.."
He cocked a stony eyebrow. A lie, obviously. Well, this started out nicely.
"..And since you're leaving tomorrow, I just wanted you to have this.." she presented the bracelet in her open palms with an odd mixture of shyness and beaming warmth.
This was definitely not going to be an easy one to sneak out of.
"And why do you want me to have it?" he asked, and then instantly wondered why he was asking her leading questions. He should just have taken it, no questions asked, and then went out the door. Too late now. He cursed to himself, as he watched Amelia's cheeks grow crimson red.
"Well…" she bit her lower lip. "..Because I wanted you to have something with you, that's mine.. So that it will be the light of love and justice that will shine upon you on dark nights, I guess.." she smiled, and tilted her head a little.
Zel, realising that he'd just thrown the pebble that started the landslide, tried his best to figure out how to avoid any further contact with the subject. He took the bracelet, and put it in his backpack. Fleeing was a lot easier than confrontation, after all. And this particular subject was a little touchy, especially since he'd done his best to avoid even considering what his feelings were on that topic, and he was not very keen on the thought of starting out considering it now.
"Well.." he said, picking up his stuff. "I'll be off then!"
She stepped in front of him, blocking his way out. Her nightgown slid down her left shoulder, leaving a little more moonlight kissed skin to be seen. She had an unusual determined look in her eyes. That kind of determination was usually reserved for justice speeches. Zel looked at her quizzically, trying to make his wonderment shine through the stone skin.
What was she doing? Did she think that she could actually stop him? That was ridiculous. He knew she was well aware of the fact, that he was far stronger than her, in just about any area, mentally as well as physically. A slight push and she'd be out of his way. It would be no effort at all. Not to mention able to run away from her, with a speed, she'd never be able to match.
So why was she standing there? Out of principle? Out of love, perhaps? Or what she thought was "love". He huffed. Whatever the determination in her pretty blue eyes sprang from, it was no match for him.
"Zelgadis-san.." She had that same determination in her voice now. Where was the justice-speech? It had to come sooner or later. "I.. I would really like you to stay.. at least for another day…"
"There's something I'd really like to discuss with you…" Her cheeks flushed. "It's very important… to me.."
Zel sighed. The topic of said future discussion was obvious. And the outcome was obvious. Even if he could love her, even if he did, he'd never let himself. He was a monster, and it seemed nothing would reverse that. Although he still hoped to find a cure, there was no point in getting her hopes up. The discussion would probably end in tears and justice-speeches, and Amelia being too blind to see the obvious truth. He wasn't going to stay for that.
But then again, she didn't look like somebody who'd listen to that kind of reason at this point. And knowing Amelia, it was probably fruitless to explain it to her. This was bad. He'd really rather not have it come to this. Both for her sake, and his. Well… Perhaps mostly his.
He sighed. Well, no way around it. If she weren't willing to realise what a monster he was, he would have to make her. She'd never get far in life trusting everybody. Especially not freaks like him.
It pained him, really. Mainly because for some time, he'd occasionally considered actually allowing himself to have some kinds of feelings towards the young girl in front of him, other than just those of friendship and respect already much too present in his heart. But then he'd always reminded himself that she was a princess, and even if he did become a human, nothing would ever come of it.
It didn't matter. Besides, her feelings wouldn't linger. It was but a child's infatuation. If he could serve at least as a lesson, then he was willing to sacrifice whatever might have been between them. Amelia had to learn sooner or later, and since there'd never be anything between them…
He grabbed her shoulders.
"Amelia.." He stopped a second, watching those perfectly blue eyes, looking up at him.
"Y…yes, Zelgadis-san?" she said in a low whisper. She slightly tip-toed to get closer to him.
It would be so easy to seduce her. To kiss her, let his fingers run over her and.. Zel shook the thought out of his head.
And this was exactly why she had to learn! It was too easy. If he could seduce her, then so could every freakish monster in and beyond the kingdom! Just because she would refuse to realise the obvious. That true monsters do exist, and yes, that they occasionally would wear white, like him. And that they could befriend themselves with her, like him. And easily gain access to her mind, body and soul, like him.
The thought of some monster, like him, taking advantage of her, made his blood boil. He could not allow it to happen. And if he had to sacrifice his growing emotions, his reputation and his hope, to ensure that it would never happen, then so be it!
He knew only too well how to kill off emotions, he was stronger than that. After all, Rezo had made him so.
While he was thinking, Amelia had used her chance to step a little closer to him, slightly leaning herself against him. She slowly, hesitatingly, placed a hand on his chest, proving to him that she had fully misunderstood the situation she was in.
Zelgadis grabbed her wrist, and removed her hand from his chest.
"You won't find any heartbeat in there." He said, gravely, looking at her with narrowed eyes. A truth with modification, but it worked to get her attention at least. "Just like you won't find any love or warmth."
It worked. She looked at him with wonder and a bit of despair as it dawned on her, that he could not love her. Good. Now, to scare her. He took a deep breath. Here went three years of friendship and silent admiration.
He quickly snatched out, grabbing her other wrist. He tightened his grip, and before she could even begin to comprehend what was going on, he had her slammed against the nearest bookshelf, him holding her wrists with one hand, stretched out over her head. He leaned in over her. Her eyes widened in fear as he traced a hand from her cheeks, over her jawline and down her neck.
"Ze-Zelagdis..san?!" she stammered, eyes flickering from his hands to his eyes.
"You're finally beginning to realise, young princess.." He smiled demonically. "what kind of monster, you're standing in front of!"
He pressed his body against hers, smashing her back against the bookshelves behind her. He needed a scream. He needed to be chased away. If he just stopped and walked away, she'd realise that it was all just an act. Why didn't she scream?
"This is not like you, Zelgadis-san!" she said, obvious fear in her voice, but she apparently tried to contain it. In vain. His ears picked up the slightest trebling.
He laughed, sarcastically, and tried to make it sound more brisk and demonic than usual.
"Do you really think, little miss Justice, that you know what is and isn't like me?" He pressed his body against her even more. "You don't even seem to realise what I am!"
She looked so delicate, in the moonlight coming in from the huge window. And with the candlelight coming from the other side. She looked scared, and yet so inviting.
He lowered his head, still holding her arms above her head with the one arm, and sniffed her neck and jawline. He liked her neck, and gently nibbled on her shoulder. He then realised that he had momentarily lost his self-control. Regaining it and resuming his little "project scare Amelia" he gave out a snarl. Without further warning he dug his teeth deeply into her shoulder, causing her to whimper in pain. But not cry out.
He hated this. Most of all he hated that he liked it. Liked scaring little Amelia. Liked knowing that there was nothing she could do to stop him. This was the final proof that he indeed was a monster.
Scream, for the gods' sake! Why wouldn't she? All he needed was a scream. That would call the guards, and he could then flee the castle, never to return. This was not the time for her to be brave.
Maybe he could push the bookshelf over, and make it look like an accident. That was certain to draw some attention. While Zel thought on, he continued to bite her and rub his hands over her body, trying to make her scream. She only whimpered and sobbed. She was crying. Innocent little Amelia was crying. Damn you, monster.
All of the sudden, his ears picked up somebody chattering outside the library. Zel heard it long before Amelia could even begin to pick it up. It was Lina and Gourry. Zel knew it was only a matter of time before they'd cross the open library door, and see the two of them inside.
He slightly panicked. He could escape from the guards, but Lina and Gourry, now that was a whole different story. He threw Amelia to the floor, grabbed his stuff, and flung himself out the window, crashing it, as Lina and Gourry passed the door.
The last thing he saw of them was Lina running towards Amelia, who lay on the floor, bleeding from her shoulder, and Gourry running right after her, a ham in his hand.
As Zelgadis flew over the City of White Magic, he whispered a slight farewell, and pressed Amelia's bracelet to his chest. While he hadn't exactly loved her, he had definitely cared. And now there was no way back. Hopefully she'd learned the lesson. Never trust a monster.
AN: Stay with it. It gets better, and a lot less dark-ish. ;) Reviews are welcomed of course, but I'm not resorting to begging. I just hope you enjoy the story.