The Slayers and their characters do not belong to me. I am only borrowing them for a while to play with. I promise to return them later… even if they will be a bit worse for wear. ;)

This is an experiment to play with an idea I had about Zelgadis and Rezo. Also, I don't particullary like writing Gourry as a complete idiot. I think he is very smart when it comes to his own field of swordplay, so that is the way i write him. Just warning you now, so no one flames me for him being out of character. ;p

22/09/2007- 08/02/2009

A Change in Reason

By Zuzanny

Lionette AT mailcity DOT com

___**___

Zelgardis read with growing horror the journal he had just found hidden deep within his long hated and newly dead Grandfather Rezo's most recent lab. He sat down hard on the cold floor, the impact of stone against stone clanging loudly and drawing the attention of Lina and the others. But Zel didn't notice. He continued to read Rezo's scrawl, his wide eyes starting to shimmer with tears. Pain formed and grew deep within his heart, growing heavier and more solid until he had to lean forward, bracing himself upon his knees in order to keep breathing. A deep wail of anguish broke from his gut and forced it's way out his clenching throat.

"Zel?" lina was then asking from his side, but he didn't acknowledge her.

"Mister Zelgardis?" Amelia this time. He ignored her.

Gourry was a quiet presence amongst them, and for that Zel was thankful.

Xellos was, well…

Zelgardis looked up from his reading and shot his horror filled accusation directly at the grinning monster at the back of the group. "You knew." It wasn't a question. "You knew this all along and you never said a thing!"

Xellos shrugged noncommitally. "It wasn't important."

"Not important?" Zel echoed and took in a shuddering breath. "Not important? This changes everything!"

Xellos snorted. "No it doesn't."

"Yes it does!"

"No, just your perspective." Xellos' grin increased. "And your feelings of self-hate. I never knew they could grow so delightfully. Delicious."

Zel snapped the journal shut as Amelia and Lina sent Flaming Justice upon the monster's head. They were so busy beating up on the Trixter Priest that they didn't notice Zel slip away. Except Gourry. Gourry followed him outside the building. Zel stopped walking just a the threshold, then turned back his head to look at him. Gourry continued walking until he was close enough to be comforting yet still respectable.

"What am I going to do now?" Zel asked quietly. "Contrary to what Xellos says, this does change everything. This changes the very reason for-" He looked down at himself. "This. What am I without my quest to return to my human form? What am I Gourry?" Zel's gem blue eyes searched Gourry's sky blue ones.

"What did the book say?" Gourry urged gently instead.

Zel sighed. "Things I had forgotten about. Things about me that… I should never have forgotten. The reason I was always so weak before THIS. Perhaps event the reason Rezo went to the monster race in the first place. It wasn't just to cure his blindness, Gourry. It was for me. Because I couldn't stop bleeding at the slightest bump, and he couldn't figure out how to fix me. He did this to keep me alive, but somehow I forgot, and I HATED him for it! What kind of monster am I really to do that?" Zel covered his eyes with his hands to stop Gourry from seeing his tears.

Gourry stood quietly, thinking. "So he cured your blood-sickness by turning your skin to armour." he tapped his chin while pondering. "You're a haemopheliac?"

Zel blinked in surprise. "Y-You know about it?"

Gourry reclined against the wall next to Zel. "Of course I do. It's real common in the older families. As a kid I had to be tested for it before my master would let me train under him. He said there was no point in training someone with the sword if the tiniest nick could empty them of all their blood." Then Gourry blinked. "I, uh, um. Sorry. I didn't mean-"

"It's alright." Zel said quickly. "He was right, after all."

They sat for a few moments in silence, Zel brooding and Gourry thinking about food.

"Do you think," Zel hesitantly asked. "That anyone would mind if I stayed with the group?"

"Are you KIDDING?" Gourry virtually shouted, and Zel felt his heart sink with that rejection. But then Gourry continued. "Haven't you noticed the way Amelia looks at you? Every time you go off on your own her heart breaks so loud everyone thinks there is an earthquake."

Zel sighed. "I kind of hoped that had nothing to do with me, to tell the truth."

"Understandable. But also, the way that Lina's bandit hunts always seem to end up in the same area that you are in."

"I had noticed that actually. It was happening far too often for it to be coincidence."

"Yeah. And besides, with out you around, I've go no one I can really practice with. Lina may be an alright sword fighter, but I just can't let all out against a girl. That's just wrong." He paused, and then looked down at his feet muttering to himself.

Zel's mouth twitched in an almost smile. "What was that?"

"I said, you also look better than I do in a dress!"

Both Zel and Gourry spluttered and fussed in their denials about who looked better in those dresses. "You just want me around so they don't humiliate you as much!" Zel shrieked, remembering all the times he was forced to dress up by Lina.

"Gourry's right," Xellos' voice flittered down from above them, making them look up to find the monster sitting crosslegged on the roof with a huge grin on his face. "You were HOT in that dress!"

"ARGH!" Zel yelled, flinging a rock up, only missing Xellos' head because he vanished. "FRUITCAKE!!!!!!!"

Gourry waited until the echoes of Zel's yell was gone before he turned back to look at the shorter man. "But seriously Zel," He said. "You are like family to us. Like it or not, you are stuck with us. Quest or none, I consider you a brother."

"Thanks, Gourry." Zel did smile then, and continued smiling even when Amelia came flying out of the building with Lina close behind, demanding to know if he was okay, that Xellos hadn't tried anything worse than usual, and other girly things that made Zel cringe somewhat.

As they all walked together away from Rezo's lab- the sun setting in front of them lighting up the sky with brilliant yellows and pinks- Lina saddled up beside Zel and asked "Where are you off to next?"

Zel actually smiled down at her and shrugged. "Where ever you are."

Lina grinned and slapped him on the back. "Great to have you with us Zel!"

The end.