Of Demons and Dragons

Chapter Thirteen: Crawl Through the Depths of Hell

By nightelfcrawler

Warnings: Violence, language, mature themes and torture

Okay so... in chatting with an rp partner, we ended up discovering that we had been a part of the same fandoms some 10+ years ago. She ran a website that hosted some of my old fics... which made me drag out some old dvds that I'd saved my webpages on... and lo and behold, I found these old fics hanging around still and decided heck why not bring them back. So here they are, a trip down memory lane! These were written in the late 90's and early 2000's when I went by too many psudonyms to remember. I actually forgot who I was until I physically saw the fics listed and went 'oh crap I remember those!'. Ahh memories.

Be warned... these were my first attempts at writing and are likely riddled with grammar, spelling and other noted errors. I've read through them, blushed furiously that I used to write like this, and decided to put them up anyway as-is with no revisions. So please enjoy, but don't bother correcting or whining, they shall be ignored!

This fic is dedicated to a dear friend who made an impact on my life by helping me write this. Sadly, she passed away mid-write which is why this fic was never finished. As tribute to her, I've posted it here unfinished for your enjoyment.

Mel glanced once at Xel's condition, and was sickened by it. He offered a hand to him. "Here, let me."

Filia glanced down the corridor while she held Xel up. "Which way?"

Mel pointed in the opposite direction to the entrance. "That way."

They slowly made their way down the passage, occasionally pausing so Xel could catch his breath, as he continued to go with them, though his head was bowed in concentration as he focused on walking. Filia lowered her gaze as she caught a glimpse here and there of Xel's strained face,
though it shot her heart with pain every time having to watch him suffer. She leaned down and gently whispered to him. "Are you holding up all right?"

He managed to nod, throwing her a slow smile. "I'll live."

She lowered her voice speaking to no one but herself. "You'd better..."

Mel stopped then as they drew to a halt, before a small platform, where only water, rather mucky water, was before them in a canal. "Here we are..." He said quietly. "This is your way out."

Filia looked at the murky scenery before her, then smiled at their guide. "Thank you so much... you've risked much for helping us..."

Mel looked less than relieved however, looking at Xel with a concerned glance. "One thing though to warn you about... since this is far down, you'll have to go up a few waterfalls and the like to find the city streets, and I don't know how you'll get there... it's a maze..."

Filia paled at his words, a sinking feeling in her stomach as she glanced at Xel, knowing that he was too weak to be climbing up.

Xelloss shook his head at her however. "We'll make it."

However, the uncertainty and the doubt was still present in her eyes as she assessed Xel's physical capability's in her head, knowing that now he couldn't possibly have a good chance of climbing. She sighed deeply.

Looking worried, the guard glanced back. "You'll have to hurry, they're bound to find out after a while where you've gone..."

She nodded wordlessly and looked down into the watery path, her face still pale, and spoke softly. "Thank you again..."

He gently helped Xel over to the water and let him kneel down to slide in. Filia sighed nervously, and knelt beside him to slide in as well.
Xelloss slid down breathing harshly into the cold water shivering a bit,
as it came up to his chest. She quickly slid in after him, nervous as hell for his condition and the coldness. Suddenly the cold water hit her and she shivered as well. "Yeesh!" Xelloss smiled lightly, almost teasingly at her, but didn't have much more energy to do much more. She smiled slightly at him. "Cold, ne?"

Mel glanced around. "You'll have to go up I suppose... find the entrance, or the exit..."

Filia looked back up to Mel and smiled. "Thanks...we can manage from here then."

Mel looked worried, but nodded. "May Ceipheed protect you both..." he then quickly walked back to his post so no one would notice, and prepared to make it look like an escape attempt.

Xel shivered, but glanced about in the water at the grates. "Which way then..."

She wrapped a protective arm around him and looked around with a shiver.
"Anou...that way..." She pointed to a wall of grates. "It could lead up eventually if we follow the mainstream..." She trembled.

He nodded and waded through the water, the liquid holding him up and helping him breathe easier, but making it harder to walk as he approached the grates. She approached them as well, finding a few floating grates in her path, she struggled with them to get them out of the way. "Look, the water is barely flowing a certain way...it has to lead to some sort of opening somewhere."

He nodded and approached the grate, then took his strong clawed arms and tried to budge them, ignoring the pain in his chest. "... down perhaps... or up..."

Filia glanced over at him, not being able to help but admire his half transformed self in all his beauty. "How are you feeling?" She went to his side and helped him clear away the grate.

He managed to smile faintly and get a few pipes out of the wall, as the gravel crumbled surrounding it, enough for them to squeeze through. "...
I'll manage, don't worry about me."

She rolled her eyes a little mockingly. "Yeah right, not worry about you? That'll be the day.." She kissed his cheek and squeezed through the opening just barely.

He smiled gently at her, then pulled himself through after her, barely fitting with his added bulk. She crawled through, and surfaced at something she didn't quite expect to be at yet, and paled. Xel struggled, but managed to pull himself through and surfaced next to her,
coughing. She tried to hide her nervousness but couldn't as the water up to her knees rushed in a very quick fashion where the sound of a large fall was nearby. Xel pushed himself to his feet slowly, leaning on the wall for support, and she made her way to him and helped him stand up.
He smiled in gratitude, but looked ahead not wanting to rely on her. She sighed knowing he was stubborn. "All right then, lets get going...they're bound to know your missing by now..."

He glanced back, almost fearfully. "So soon? I doubt it..." He suddenly coughed harshly, some blood coming to his lips.

Her eyes widened and her face paled nervously. "I wonder if we're in a safe range to use magic..."

However, he shook his head as he stopped coughing. "No...we're... still under the palace..."

She brought her hand to her face unknowingly, and watched him, with what seems like frightened eyes. He slowly began to wade forward towards the rushing sound. "We...can't waste time."

She gasped slightly at his movement. "Slow down though!" She waded after him. "It could be a pretty big..." She trailed off as the sound got louder.

He waited for her, glancing back slightly. "Does it make a difference...?"

A strange expression crosses her face as she's almost hurt by his words,
trying to hide the expression. "It does to me..." She whispered softly.
"If you don't survive I..." She trailed off and caught up to him, trying to ignore the constant constricting in her chest.

He glanced back looking hurt after hearing her words. "No, that's not what I meant..." He offered a long clawed hand to her with kind eyes. "I meant, be the waterfall big or small, we must go on."

She took his hand gently, tears of hope welling in her pure blue eyes, a faint smile crossing her lips. "True..."

He smiled and leaned forward, pressing his lips to hers gently. She leaned into the kiss and returned it passionately, her every being tingling with excitement. He held her gently, trying not to hurt her with his sharp claws as he let her feel his love for her well out. In response, she wrapped an arm around his waist, her other hand holding his claw like a hand in hers, careful not to be hurt and letting herself drown in his affection, showing him her own love for him as well. Of course, good things can't be kept long in bliss, and another coughing fit hit him, and he broke away quickly, clutching his chest in pain.
Filia looked up at him worriedly, her eyebrows turning up in a sad and frightened expression as she touched a hand tenderly to his chest,
wanting so badly to send waves of healing throughout him. He regained his composure, wheezing worse, but took her hand gently "...let's...go."
She nodded knowingly and walked onward, as he followed her until they got to yet another grate, to which on the other side of the rushing water was a waterfall of substantial proportions. He peered through the grate up at the falls, pondering the situation. Filia paled at the loud sound of rushing water, knowing it must be a fairly large fall. She started shoving the grates out of the way with struggles nonetheless.
Xel bent down to help her, and strangely felt something bump against his leg, and reached down with a frown to grip onto something, pulling it up.

Filia looked at him puzzled. "What is it?"

He frowned and pulled up a long rod of metal and wood, with strange bumps on it beneath the slime of being in the muck for a long time. "Not sure... some pole..." But his words sounded hesitant.

Filia frowned, not really liking the sound of his words or the sight of such a thing. "I'm not so sure..."

He picked at the slime with a claw, slight frown on his forehead. "Hmm..."

"What...what is it?" She walked closer to him reaching out for it herself.

He shook his head slightly however. "Here, let's just use it as a lever..."

"What do you mean?" She blinked uncertainly.

As demonstration, he put it by the bars and levered it to break the wall from the bars. "Like...so."

Her eyes widened, rather annoyed at herself for not thinking of it.
"Wow...that'll definitely work..." She smiled encouragingly at him.

He smiled lightly, then pushed himself through, still holding the staff.
She followed him, clutching onto the bars for support as she squeezed through the opening. He gently helped her through, using the staff to lean on as she squeezed all the way through with his help. "Arigato..."
He merely nodded with a smile then glanced at the waterfall appraisingly. She raised her eyes to look up ahead, her skin white as a ghost. "There it is..."

He nodded and looked up at the slick incline with water pouring down. It was quite wide, perhaps wide enough for him to manage to use his wings... Eyeing the incline, she pondered something of the same thing:.
"Xel..." She spoke softly. "Can you use your wings?"

He looked up appraisingly at the area. "I think so... there's enough of a draft that it would be easier..."

She nodded hesitantly. "I think so too...but I meant are you strong enough?"

He smiled and glanced at her calmly. "Do we have a choice?"

She returned his gaze nervously. "I suppose we don't..."

He nodded faintly and turned his back to her. "Get on then..."

She paused unsure for a moment, but did what he asked, wrapping her arms around him gently, and is trying to be extremely careful not to hurt him worse. He then wrapped his long arms around her as she climbed on his back, and bent over slightly, still holding the staff and breathing harshly, and closed his eyes, then took a deep breath and spread his wings, pumping strongly with them, lifting them both up into the air,
the updraft helping to carry them up so he didn't have to move his wings much. Filia sighed softly in relief at the aspect of the wind current and clung to him tightly but gently, admiring his beautiful wings as they move with such grace. He strained to maintain balance as they floated up, though spots began to dance before his eyes. They slowly reached the crest of the falls, and he saw that it was flat beyond, so he glided down...but at the last moment, he lost control, plummeting back into the water dangerously near to the edge, however managed to avoid falling off.

Filia gasped in fright and slight panic as they hit the water, making a small shriek. Xelloss coughed, getting some water up his nose, and went under due to the flow that pulled and tugged as it dumped over the falls with incredible speed. Without hesitation, Filia dove under after him,
half being pulled herself, and grabbed his arm determinedly, not wanting to lose him. He felt her arm grab his through the swirling water, and grabbed a hold, sputtering to the surface, coughing weakly and struggling to move away from the falls. She held onto him tightly, not about to let him go now after all they'd been through together, while making sure to hold him up to the surface with her as she struggled to swim against the current to safety. She could tell that he was too weak to help, as he simply held onto to her, feeling faint, though still through some miracle had managed to hold onto the staff. She struggled and coughed the water out of her lungs as she swam towards a more shallow end, holding him tightly for dear life and dragging him up out of the deep water to about ankle depth. She spoke, strained and desperate. "Speak to me...! Say something!"

He managed to open his eyes, blinking blearily. "I hate water..."

Relief washed through her, and she laughed through the tears that came to her eyes as she hugged him. "You and me both."

He coughed some water out, feeling dizzy. "I swear... never going swimming...again..."

She closed her eyes laughing lightly, still holding him to her tightly in relief. "Well at least we cleared the water fall..."

He nodded faintly. "Yeah..."

She ran her hand gently down his neck and rested it on his chest lightly, feeling his heart pounding there. "Do you think it's still too soon to heal you?"

He sighed in reserved exasperation. "We're nowhere near being out... if they sense something from down here, they'll know that..."

She frowned. "I know...I was just...hoping..." Tears began to burn her eyes. "It pains me...to see you like this..."

He chuckled gently, not wincing for once, and put a hand to her cheek gently. "It's ok, I'm a big boy, I can take a little pain...besides, I suppose I'm due some of it..."

She shook her head softly and cupped her hand over his, looking into his eyes deeply. "What are you talking about?"

He smiled sadly, the stress visible on his face from the long ordeal.
"Well, I can' t ignore what I did those thousand years ago, Filia..."

"Demo...you weren't able to do anything else at the time...it wasn't your fault...it was the Greater Beasts fault..."

In reply, he shook his head silently. "No, Filia... it wasn't..."

Tears threatened her throat as she choked out her words. "Demo...you had a choice?"

He looked away from her, as if embarrassed. "She saved my life Filia-san... she wiped my memories as a favor... but kept the want for revenge there..."

She was silent for a long time, thinking of his words, before she finally spoke softly. "Still...they slaughtered your race...it's in the past now though...all of it...you shouldn't keep blaming yourself for something so long gone..."

He looked at her for a moment, then smiled faintly. "Hai, I know...but... it's still hard. 1000 years of... training can't be unlearned easily."

She sighed and nodded slightly. "I understand...as best as I can..." He returned the smile lightly, then made a move as if to get up, winced a bit, then sat back again. She quickly got off of him so that he could move better, offering him her hand. "Ready to carry on?"

He nodded and took her hand, using the staff as well to lever himself up, though still shaky and weak. "Ha...hai."

She gripped his larger hand to her own, helping to pull him up steadily.
"I can't wait to get out of here.."

"On that, I agree with you."

She looked around, hearing the sound of more rushing water from ahead.
"I don't like the sounds of things..."

He sighed. "Hai, I sense a theme..."

"You and me both...but...then again..." She peered around a corner. "We could always take a detour!"

He blinked rather Gourry-like. "But where would it take us?"

To test it, she walked around the corner and found herself in a larger area where there was seemingly a dead end...but light under the water in one corner shimmered out. "It could be a long swim though...I think there's an underwater tunnel where that light is..." She shrugged slightly. "But of course it could be another dead end." He nodded faintly, but decided to walk forward to investigate. She stood there waiting for him to finish. "What do you think?"

"Yes, there's a slight draft..."

She raised a brow and went over to him. "Hai...I feel it too.."

He frowned suddenly at an idea, fingering the staff in his clawed hand.
"Let me try something..." She nodded, and took a step back for him. He then took the staff in both hands, stepping toward the wall, then closed his hands seeming to concentrate intensely for a moment, before two beams of light exploded from either end of the staff, and then enveloped all of it to about a foot on either end of where his hands rested.
Filia's eyes widened in surprise, her heart racing as she brought a hand to her chest startled in awe. Xelloss smiled slightly at that. "Aha...
thought so..." The beam flickered and then only one side lit up, like a long sword and he made a quick expertise movement before slicing through the wall in front of them like a hot knife through butter, making it come away in a big chunk falling to the ground revealing a passage on the opposite side.

Her eyes widened and a big smile spread across her face. "You did it!
You really did it! Demo..." Suddenly a panicked expression crossed her face. "You used magic.."

He chuckled, holding the staff as it's blade fades. "Ahhh but this is special." He smiled brightly. "I thought there was something odd about it."

"...so they won't detect it then? What on earth IS it?

He just smiled and peered at it cross-eyed. "Looks like just a piece of metal don't it, but it's ironic how the thing was down here all the time, when they searched for it so much..."

Her brow raised curiously. "What do you mean? ..." A sudden gasp came to her throat. "You don't think..."

His smile widened. "Yes indeed... this is one of the weapons of light...a staff it would seem..." He inspected it more closely.

"Wow..." She walked closer to inspect it as well, and he handed it to her as he then squeezed through the opening into the passage beyond. "I never imagined..." She took it gently and looked it over.

His voice drifted out from the corridor beyond. "I think we may have found our way out..."

"Huh? Really?" She ran up to him, trudging through the shallow water. He peered up towards what appeared to be a small incline where a slight runoff trickled down, with dry parts on the side, and the stars could be seen twinkling down at them cheerily. She struggled to peer up through the same small incline, then whistled softly. "Wow...I can't believe it...we're finally..."

Suddenly, he quickly put a finger to her lips indicating silence.
"Shh..." He pressed, listening intently to something.

She falls silent but still couldn't help but feel a little dizzy feeling every time he touched her... She put that aside as well as she could to listen as well. Faint voices could be heard from above the light trickling of water. Filia paled and clung to Xel's arm gently, now a little afraid. He slowly crept up along the dry portion, trying to hold his wheezing breath to listen more closely. Filia waited patiently down at the bottom, clasping her hands together nervously as she watched him try to climb up the incline, though feeling nervous every second he did so...and rightly so, as his foot slipped on the damp moss and he lost his balance with a stifled gasp sliding back down, and his head hitting the pavement hard with a muffled thud, knocking him out cold.

"Did you hear that?"

"Yeah... I did..."

A stifled gasp exploded from Filia as she covered her hands over her mouth and rushed to his side, finding him unconscious, and quickly she checked for a pulse. She praised Ceipheed upon thankfully finding one,
and started to panic when she realized that others were out there, and getting suspicious.

"...came from the drain..." Footsteps were heard from outside.

"Be careful! It might be rats or something!"

A head then poked in through the opening, a black dragon peering down at them through the dark. A gasp escaped from her lips again, for she'd been expecting a gold, not a black, but none the less she cowered,
covering Xel protectively, and wished he'd go away, wishing they wouldn't be seen.

The black peered in and spotted them with his excellent vision, looking startled at seeing a bedraggled human woman crouching protectively by something else he couldn't discern. "Eh... "

"What is it?"

"Are you ok miss?" The black asked quietly, peering down at her slightly confused.

She blinked in confusion at him, thinking that for sure her face must be well known by now... She looked up at him in fear, speaking softly and timidly. "You...you won't...hurt us?"

He looked surprised at that. "Hurt you? What the...?" Confusion crossed his features.

The head of a gold suddenly poked around the corner, and spotted them.
"Oh my! What are you doing down there?"

She blinked surprised, but hesitantly moved out of the way so that they could see Xel, and sadly looks down at him as well, as if that would explain everything.

The black blinked down in the dimness, not quite sure, but thinking odd things of the individual on the ground. The gold saw Xel, however, and gasped. "Oh my!" She threw a jab at the black. "Idiot, go help them!
He's hurt!"

He sighed in resignation and nodded. "Yes ma'm..." He then cast a Ray Wing on them both, bringing them out of the incline and onto the flat bed area.

Filia looked up at them gratefully and sighed quite relieved, not mentioning yet just how very badly hurt Xel really was. However, the gold got an eyeful once they had landed up aboveground. "Wh...what is that?"

Tears began to well up in her eyes as she saw Xel more clearly in the light. "A...a...ancient...dragon.."

The black blinked in surprise. "A what?"

The gold looked confused. "He's ryuzoku! But...he...'s so weird."

But the black was far more observant, and spotted the bruising on Xel's chest, and glanced at his mate. "Mai, heal him eh? Don't stand gawking."

"He's...just been badly hurt is all..." She whispered out nervously,
raising both hands out over his chest, wanting to have done this for a very long time, and started focusing all her energy on his inner being healing him from the inside out. The black got the hint, and positioned his claws over him as well, healing his battered body from the outside in, doing a contrast to help speed the process up.

The gold however was more timid. "What were you two doing down there?"

She paled, unsure of how to answer that question without seeming...suspicious, but continued her healing relentlessly. "We...we uhh...we were trying to find a way out is all, we got lost..."

That made her pale more. "You're... your not those two criminals are you... the mazoku and the traitor?" Fright crossed her face.

Filia's eyes widened at that. "You...you've got it all wrong! We aren't criminals...it wasn't fair! They kidnapped Xel and I tried to save him...he's not a mazoku and I'm not a traitor..."

The black glanced at them slightly confused. "But the council said..."

The gold stared at Xel. "But... wait you said he was ryuzoku?"

"He was Ryuzoku before he was Mazoku...it's...a long story...want to hear it?" She all the while continued to heal him, her concerned gaze grazing over his delicate and wounded features.

They both exchanged glances with each other uncertainly. "Uh..."

The gold glanced about nervously. "Yes but not here... our parents don't know we..." She blushed brightly. "...uh..."

Filia watched them both thoughtfully, then smiled knowingly. "I see..." Even through the differences they held, there was still those who disobeyed the rules like them... Golds and blacks weren't supposed to be romantically engaged.

She blushed more. "Look, we won't tell if you don't."

"Oh, of course not!"

The black smiled with relief. "Good..." He lowered his hands then.
"Geeze, what happened to him, he was hurt bad!"

She nodded tearfully. "He was beaten very badly...almost to the point of death..." Her voice choked at that point.

Both of them looked thoroughly disgusted. "By whom?"

"By the counsel..." An angry expression of remembrance crossed her face as she continued to send white glowing waves of healing into him.

They both stared at her in shock. "The council!"

She nodded with a soft sigh, her face bitter. "We barely escaped with our lives.."

Incredulous looks passed over both their faces. "Why would they do such a thing?"

"Because...Xel...he brought up the past when the golds had slaughtered his kind and had asked why...I... I guess some of the council just don't want to hear about that...they brought up the past yet again when he was a mazoku and well...I'm positive you've heard of the Kouma War..." She sighed softly.

They both jerked back in shock. "H..hai, what about it?"

"When he was a mazoku..." She sighed not sure if she should be telling this, but knowing hiding the truth wouldn't help. "Well there was just a lot of things...mazoku's are different...they cannot feel remorse or pain or guilt...the only thing on his mind was vengeance for his own kind that had been slaughtered in complete genocide...he was the one responsible, demo he now has the feelings of guilt and remorse and is sorry..."

They both stared at him, realization slowly sinking in, and they didn't look all that sure about this ordeal now. "Uh..." The black glanced around nervously. "Look, we helped you out, but maybe we should be going now..." The gold nodded in agreement, looking quite frightened.

She sighed to herself, but nodded in understanding. "Go if you must...but do not fear us...neither me nor him...we couldn't harm a soul..." She rested her hands on his chest and leaned forward to kiss him softly, that kiss in itself a strong healing method. Which quite obviously worked, since he stirred slightly at the kiss and kissed back a bit, coming out of it.

They both watched with pity in their eyes, but skepticism still on their faces. "Look, if you really are the two the council captured, they'll be looking for you, so you'd better get out of here."

She broke the kiss softly and smiled into his closed eyes, grateful that he's still alive, even if he's a little weak. She then nodded to the two ryuzoku with gratitude. "Thank you...so much."

The two nodded, and quickly flew away as to avoid any further confrontations, leaving the two lovers by their lonesome, to recover as nature would have it, or fate, whichever that might be...

And thus ends this story. Sorry it's unfinished, but since it's at least 10 years old, it will never be completed. Hope you enjoyed what we had of it.