[I do not have any rights to the plot, places, or characters of "Record of Lodoss War". I just like to write about them.
This fic begins in the midst of episode 8, "Requiem for Warriors," of the OAV series – just after Ghim's death, but before they move on, even before the scene in which they say their last goodbyes at the end of episode 8.]
It was remarkable how much of her own appearance Karla had managed to impart to her host. Slayn wondered if this had been a conscious effort - a spell of some sort – or merely the sheer force of the Grey Witch's presence. Karla had been beautiful – but cold, and hard, and her face had seemed sharp and angular. That same face now wore such softness, gentleness, and sweetness. It was the same face, and yet not…
Leylia was much more beautiful than Karla had been.
There were silent tears running down her pale face, and she had her arms tightly wrapped around herself in a very vulnerable gesture, one hand tightly closed around the intricately carved wooden comb.
Parn had been crying too. Slayn had seen the tears mingling with the sweat coursing in little rivulets through the grime on his face. Deedlit and Etoh had cried on each other, and Parn had dug. They'd all helped him, eventually. Etoh's once pristine clerical robes were muddy, and Karla's silken gown that Leylia still wore was torn and dirty. Parn had done the bulk of the work himself, though. He'd thrown himself into the task with characteristic abandon. Etoh, Slayn, and Deedlit's hands were willing, but not quite as able as Parn's. Wood was nowhere to be found. The loss of a companion had hit them all hard, and perhaps Wood's way of mourning involved solitude, just as Parn's involved a lot of mind-numbing manual labor and sweat.
Slayn was a little disturbed at his own dry-eyed response to his old friend's death. He wanted to weep for Ghim, but…couldn't. Ghim had freely traded himself for the pale, dark-haired maiden who stood so silently before them. How could Slayn regret that choice if Ghim did not?
Parn had fallen to his knees in a wordless genuflection when he placed the last stone on Ghim's grave, and Deedlit had hesistantly approached, moving to put her hand on his shoulder, but stopping short. They'd stood thus for a while, until Deedlit fell to her knees beside him. She murmured something like "Let him rest…" and helped the young warrior to his feet. Even Parn would be tired and sore after his exertions today. Etoh finished murmuring his prayers, smiled through his tears, and followed the knight and the Elf-maid down the hill to the grove where they'd left their belongings. Slayn took a few steps after him, then turned and waited.
The girl started, hearing her name, but didn't take her eyes from Ghim's grave.
"Leylia, will you come with us, please?" Slayn said gently, walking back to stand beside her.
She was trembling, and she bit down hard on her lower lip. Slayn softly laid his hand on her shoulder, his expression grave.
It turned bewildered when, with a strangled sob, Leylia turned to him, buried her face in his shoulder, and wept. After the initial shock, Slayn found himself putting his arms around her and gently stroking her hair. Despite the gaping ache in his soul, Slayn's eyes were dry and clear. But Leylia could weep for both of them.