Author's Notes: As usual any Gourry/Sylphiel stuff I do go on my Gourry/Sylphiel shrine first:

relmw.

com

/gs

Just remove the spaces for the link.

A Letter to Gourry

Part Eleven, Premonitions and Decisions

By Relm

Sylphiel had a strange feeling gnawing at her gut as she went back to her apothecary lab. Lunch with Gourry got a bit heavier then she had expected. Both of them opened up about things in their past that made them sad and found comfort in each other's words. It was good to get all those thoughts off her chest and she was glad that she could help Gourry. She never knew that Gourry had thought so poorly of himself. Sylphiel had always assumed that Gourry was a carefree person who had no worries and had no idea the difficulties he had growing up.

Given that Sylphiel had decided that she wasn't going to pursue any romantic feelings for Gourry anymore lunch had been horrible for Sylphiel's resolve. Even though she had known him pretty well before learning the things she learned today just made Sylphiel have more respect for him.

Gourry had wanted to go do other things after lunch but Sylphiel had insisted she needed to get back to her work. Gourry had pouted but didn't put up much a fight. The two of them parted ways and Sylphiel went back to her lab.

This is where the feeling was settling in. Was it because she didn't want to leave Gourry? Possibly, as it was really hard to tell Gourry that she wanted to go back to work when it wasn't true. But if that were the case the feeling would lessen as she got further away from Gourry. As it turned out this odd feeling was growing with each passing minute. It was almost as though she was having a premonition of doom.

The day was still clear and sunny so it gave Sylphiel no reason to think of some natural disaster possibly happening. She saw no one waiting in the wings to attack nor did she sense any malevolent presences. There was no logical reason why Sylphiel should feel any sort of apprehension. Still she felt very uneasy as she went into her lab.

Sylphiel sat herself down at her desk and cracked open one of her medical books. Given that she had spent a good portion of the day with Gourry she had gotten behind on her studies. Sylphiel didn't have a special schedule she had to follow just one that she had imposed upon herself. And now that she was back in her lab she was going to get back at it to try and make up for lost time.

Three very loud successive knocks snapped Sylphiel's attention away from her studies. Someone was outside her door and it didn't seem like they were happy by the loudness of the knocks. "The door is open." Sylphiel called out while turning in her chair to face the doorway.

The door swung open with a loud slam and in stormed an irate looking Lina.

"Miss Lina! Is your stomach still bothering you? Do you need something stronger?"

Lina didn't answer Sylphiel right away. Instead she just looked around the room with suspicious eyes. When she had last seen the former shrine maiden Sylphiel had been working in this very apothecary lab. Since Sylphiel was still in said lab it stood to reason that she had never left. This put seeds of doubt in Lina's head making her wish she didn't so easily believe the rumors Amelia babbled on about. The more Lina thought about the less likely it seemed. Gourry having lunch with any girl and holding their hand instead of gorging on the food? No, no that didn't seem right one bit. Lina felt very foolish. "I'm fine. Have you been here studying the whole day?"

"No. I went out for a bit and I just got back. Why were you looking for me earlier?" Sylphiel's eyes flashed with concern. "Are you sure you're okay Miss Lina? Because if you're still not feeling well I'm sure I can do something to help you."

"I already told you I feel fine. What were you doing when you were out?"

Sylphiel frowned in confusion. Lina was acting strange. "I was co-judging a pie contest."

Lina's eyes narrowed. Well it seemed at least one part of Amelia's rumor was true after all. "The one that Gourry judged too?"

"Yes that's right. He told me that he had agreed for the two of you to judge the contest but you didn't want to because you weren't feeling well."

"Who asked you to judge in my place?"

"Gourry did. Though the people on the pie contest committee had wanted me involved in it originally anyway." Sylphiel explained feeling her nerves bundle back up again. That feeling of doom was starting to come to be. However the doom came in the form of a petite redheaded sorceress that was more than capable of destroying all of Sailune.

"Interesting... Was it fun?"

"Yes. It's a shame you weren't feeling well. I know Gourry had originally wanted to do the contest with you as it was. I'm sure the two of you would have had more fun than we did together."

Again Lina narrowed her eyes at Sylphiel. It sounded like Sylphiel thought of herself as just the backup plan when it came to Gourry. So far not sounding as scandalous as what Amelia had gone on about. But there was more to the rumor after all. "And what did the two of you do after the contest?"

"Well you know Gourry. He could eat a hundred pies but still be hungry. So he insisted we go eat lunch. He had lunch while I drank coffee. I wasn't hungry after eating all that pie. But I don't think Gourry was extremely hungry himself. I'd never seen him eat so slow. I guess when you're the only one eating at a table there's no need to eat so fast. It's not like anyone is going to steal your food." Sylphiel rationalized with a bit of a laugh. She was sure that was the reason for Gourry's eating pace. The only other alternative was that Gourry wasn't really that hungry and just wanted to spend more time with Sylphiel. This was a possibility that Sylphiel rejected. She wouldn't even considerate it.

"So you just sat there drinking coffee while you watched him eat?"

"Well no, we were talking."

"You told me earlier that Gourry didn't see you as anything but a friend because you weren't me. But then you go and have lunch dates while holding hands?" Lina's was voice just a bit edgy but mostly calm as she stared down the former shrine maiden.

Sylphiel's eyes went as wide as saucers. Holding hands? That didn't seem right to Sylphiel. "Where did you hear that?"

"You're saying you weren't holding his hand throughout the meal?"

"No I didn't..." Sylphiel mumbled trying to wrack her brain thinking over lunch in her head. She replayed the whole meal starting from the moment they sat down. That's when she remembered her conversation with Gourry about not being able to go home. She had reached out and took his hand. It had only been for a short time during that meal but Gourry had squeezed her hand back. "Actually I did hold his hand. But it wasn't for long. We were talking about our childhoods and it brought up some bad memories for Gourry. I merely held his hand for support."

Lina frowned. This was not the answer she had been hoping to hear. All the way over to the apothecary lab she had been hoping that what Amelia had been told was true. That Gourry really had been having a romantic lunch with Sylphiel. That for sure would have taken off all the social pressure she was under. All roads can't lead to marriage if Gourry was still interested in other women. But Sylphiel once again dashed those hopes with her logical explanations. "What the hell would he be so upset about that you'd need to comfort him for?!"

"His parents were disapproving of him having the sword of light handed down to him. Apparently Gourry thinks he's the goof up of the family whom his parents are greatly disappointed in him. The sword was supposed to go to his older brother but Gourry took it and ran. Since he doesn't have the sword anymore and he shouldn't have taken it in the first place he can't go home without shame." Sylphiel explained.

"Well I can understand why they wouldn't want the sword to go to him." Lina mused with a dark chuckle.

"Miss Lina that's mean! Gourry is a very responsible and honourable person." Sylphiel protested with a huff.

"So responsible that he stole his family's heirloom?"

"He only took it to diffuse the fighting between his parents and his older brother. His older brother didn't want the sword; he wanted to become a priest."

Lina pressed her lips together in a tight frown. "So you really were just trying to comfort him?"

"Yes of course! Gourry and I are only friends. Nothing more, nothing less." Sylphiel insisted even though every fibre of her being rebelled against those words. She didn't want to be just friends with Gourry. She wanted to be his and only his. To get married, settled down and raise a family with Gourry. But that was never going to happen. "I'm sorry if I made you worry. Believe me Gourry would never cheat on you Miss Lina. Gourry may not be a genius but he has a good heart. He wouldn't hurt the one he loves."

Lina couldn't help but shudder at that comment. The idea of Gourry being in love with her just made her sick to her stomach.

...

Gourry couldn't understand why everyone kept whispering around him as he walked the halls of the castle. It made him wonder if he had something on his face or something else wrong with his appearance. He didn't care too much so he just kept walking.

Spending all that time with Sylphiel should have made Gourry happy to have some time away but that wasn't the case. If anything it made Gourry want to be around her more. He could just kick himself thinking about all the times he wasted by doing other things instead of spending time with the shrine maiden.

It obvious to Gourry now, there was no way he was going to leave Sailune without Sylphiel. Somehow he was going to get her to come with him. He wasn't about to make the mistake again and leave her behind. So many times he had said goodbye to her and not know what felt wrong about it. Now he knew better. Each time he had said goodbye and left he was walking away from a woman that loved him. It made him sick just thinking about those times.

Though Gourry's goal in life was to be a good enough swordsmen to surpass his older brother Aaron he like any red blooded human had a hidden desire to be loved. To find a woman (or man if you were that sort of a man) who would love you unconditionally despite any of your flaws. Gourry felt his flaws were too many that it be hard for him to ever find someone who would look past them. But he had and he hadn't even known it. He had thought that maybe Lina had loved him but after that date with her Gourry was sure Lina didn't. Sylphiel on the other hand definitely did.

However it was hard to tell what was going on in Sylphiel's mind. Her behaviour had changed. She wasn't being as loving toward him like she used to be. Maybe she didn't love him anymore. Maybe Gourry had already screwed up too badly that he could never have a chance with her. Maybe Sylphiel now secretly had fallen in love with someone else.

No Gourry wasn't going to think that. Though there were a host of men in just the castle alone that would love the chance to be with the former shrine maiden he was sure she wasn't holding a torch for anyone else. It was possible but Gourry wasn't even going to entertain the notion.

Thus Gourry had his new mission. Somehow he would convince Sylphiel it was time to leave Sailune and go traveling. And that she should be traveling with him. It was going to be tricky because he wasn't sure what to do about Lina. But one thing was for sure, Gourry wasn't going to leave Sylphiel behind. So if he couldn't convince her to leave the white magic capital of the demon peninsula then we wouldn't either. He wasn't going to leave Sailune without Sylphiel.