A letter

AN: Whoa! Another drabble! And so soon (for me, that is!). So, this here is a Zel/Amelia (Zelia?) fic, so I hope you enjoy. But hands off, all you rabid fan-girls/boys. Zel is mine. BWAHAHAHAHA!!

Oh, wait. That's only in my fantasies. I guess I don't really own Zelgadis at all. (Somewhere, Zel sighs in relief, and Amelia stops crying from broken heart). Oh well. On with the fic, I guess.

Zelgadis smoothed the blank sheet of paper on the table in front of him and tapped his pen thoughtfully against the stone of his chin. He shifted, leaned forward and poised to write on the top of the blank sheet. After a long, frozen moment, he drew back, smoothing the paper again.

"You ever gonna start writin', honey?" asked his waitress, refilling his coffee cup. "'Cause I think that's the thousandth time you smoothed that paper."

"Yes, well, I'm just- that is..." Zelgadis stuttered, turning red under her inquisitive stare.

"Whatever it is, it ain't gonna write itself," she said knowingly as she turned her back and headed off to the bar. Zel pounded his head into the table in frustration, inadvertently poking a few holes in the bottom of the paper with his hair.

Why was this so difficult? He wished he'd never made that stupid promise to Amelia to write whenever he had the chance. Now that he'd found a town that was willing to ship a letter to Seyruun, he had no choice but to sit here, giving himself a headache over how to start the stupid letter!

Did he write, "Dear Amelia"? Or did that sound too informal? Should he write "Dear Miss Amelia"? Maybe he should write, "To her royal highness, the Princess Amelia". Or was that too formal? They were friends, after all. But she was the crown princess.

Zelgadis massaged his temple with his left hand as he took a sip of his steaming hot coffee. Okay, he would write "Dear Miss Amelia". Not too formal, but not too friendly, either. Wait, was the "dear" too friendly? Would it make her realize how dear she really was to him? His cheeks turned pink at the thought, and he roughly set his cup down on the table. A bit of coffee sloshed over the edge and stained the edge of the paper.

To hell with it. "Dear Miss Amelia" it would be, and he'd just have to pray to the gods that she'd just take it as a customary greeting. He hastily snatched up his pen and scribbled the words before he could second-guess himself again.

There. He'd written it. Zelgadis let out a huge sigh of relief and slumped back into his chair. He's started the stupid letter, but how in the seven hells was he going to continue it?

He could hardly say that he missed her, enough to even wish he could hear one of her justice speeches again, just to hear her happy voice. Or that she was in his dreams almost every night. Well, nightmares, mostly. Zelgadis frowned. Amelia could never, never know that his nightmares of being transformed into the monster he was had been replaced by nightmares of watching her die at the hands of Hellmaster Phibrizzo. He could still, after all this time, feel the weight of her empty body in his arms. But he couldn't tell her that.

Zelgadis chewed moodily on his pen, unaware that his sharp chimera teeth had bitten the end off of it. The ink dripped down his chin like black blood and stained the paper with dark droplets.

He couldn't tell her that he looked at her bracelet everyday and thought of her. And that it brought a smile to his face even in the most desolate and lonely situations. And it was out of the question to mention how he imagined what she was doing at the Palace in Seyruun, and how he worried that she might forget about him as the time passed.

So, what did that leave him to write? He sighed again. He twitched, he shifted, he wiped the ink off of his chin and pulled out a new pen. After another moment's deliberation, he hastily scribbled a few brief lines.

Zel sighed as he read it through. It was hardly what he truly wanted to say, but it would have to do. He glanced at the pink star bracelet lying on the table in front of him, then childishly brushed a kiss over the words "Dear Miss Amelia". Disgusted by his own weak impulse, and horrified that the leftover ink on his lips left a very faint mark on the paper, he rubbed his fingers roughly over the spot to erase it. He succeeded in smudging it enough that he was fairly certain Amelia would never guess at his foolish action.

He'd never been so relieved to hand over a piece of paper than he was to send off that letter the next morning.

A little over a month later, Amelia was surprised by an envelope. looking as though it had traveled the world over and been dropped in a mud puddle for good measure, sitting by her breakfast plate. She squealed excitedly when she recognized the handwriting and tore it open eagerly.

"Dear Miss Amelia," it read, "Sorry it took me so long to write, but this is the first town in the outer rim that would send a letter back to Seyruun. I hope it gets to you. I haven't found anything for my cure yet, but I have a few new leads. I hope you are well. From, Zelgadis"

Amelia sighed, stars shining in her eyes. She hardly noticed the words, since they were exactly what she'd expected Zelgadis to write. She was too busy looking at the paper he'd wrote them on.

The little holes punctured in the bottom were from his hair, she just knew it. Why he'd poked his hair through the paper, she didn't know. But for some reason, those little holes made her memories of him crystal clear. And that stain along the edge was coffee. She could tell by the smell. If she closed her eyes and sniffed it, she could almost imagine that he was sitting across the table from her, trying his best to act aloof and mysterious.

But the ink smudges- oh! That was something special! Right over her name, she could see that he'd tried to rub out an ink mark. And if she squinted just right, and turned the paper just so, the mark looked a lot like it was made by his lips.

Amelia knew that that was hardly possible. There was no way Zelgadis would do something like that, even if he had some kind of feelings for her. She didn't care, though. What harm was there in wishing it was true?

She brushed her own lips over the spot and clutched the letter to her chest. Cure or no cure, she wanted him here with her now. But she could be patient. She would wait for him until she died, and maybe even longer, if that's what he wanted.

As long as there was a little glimmer of hope.