Disclaimer: Slayers does not belong to me, but belongs to Hajime Kanzaka and Rui Araizumi and the companies that represent them. I'm just borrowing the characters for a little while. There is a line of dialogue that is paraphrased from the Fox series BONES and is a line that Cam says to Booth at one point regarding Brennan. I realized it could also describe Lina.
Note: This one-shot was inspired by Earth Star. Pretty much, if you've seen the entire anime, you're good to go here. The story begins right after episode 11 of the anime, and Lina doesn't mention having a sister for the first time until episode 13. Hence, Gourry's surprise when he gets the letter.
"Letters to No One"
He got the first letter shortly after they killed Rezo. The real one - not the copy created by Eris and not the one in the jar, though Gourry was never quite sure how that one worked.
It was a surprise because he hardly ever got mail. No. He never got mail. Really, who was there to write to him? His family was dead, and most mercenaries didn't know how to read or write. He didn't really have any friends. Actually, if he thought about it too hard, it was a pretty lonely existence.
That's why Gourry preferred not to think that hard.
But, no, this was an actual letter for him. Not Lina. With childlike glee, he waited for Lina to take her latest nap as she recovered from casting the Giga Slave. Then he took the letter to the tavern adjacent to the inn where they were staying. He ordered a pint and eagerly opened the envelope.
Dear Mr. Gabriev,
From here on out, I will be addressing you as Gourry. Unless you've messed up. Then, you'll be called much worse.
My name is Luna Inverse. I'm Lina's sister.
"Lina has a sister?" Gourry said aloud. "I always thought she was raised by pigs."
I assure you that despite her atrocious eating habits that she wasn't raised in a pigsty.
I have heard you've taken it upon yourself to be her guardian. Good. She needs a keeper.
"That's the truth," Gourry muttered.
I have specific orders for you. If you are reading this, then you probably know how to write. Prove it by writing back to me. Keep me informed of my sister's activites and BE HONEST. I will know when you're not.
Don't you dare tell her you're writing me.
Gourry shuddered a bit. Something about the way this Luna wrote made him just a bit afraid. Or, maybe it was because someone left the window open, and it was really chilly in the room. He shook it off and carefully folded the letter. He needed to find a pen and paper.
"Who're you writing?" Lina lay on her stomach, absently kicking her feet as Gourry hunched over the desk. She'd just finished healing him of the wounds he received when he, Zelgadiss, Amelia and Prince Phil had been taken to the pocket universe. Lina had broken them out using her newly acquired Ragna Blade, even though her powers still weren't at full strength.
"A friend," he replied, not bothering to look up. "Where's Amelia and Zel?"
"Amelia's catching her dad up with the stuff he missed while he was in hiding, and I'm not sure where Zel went off to."
Knowing Lina likely would start reading over his shoulder at any moment, Gourry picked up the ink blotter and began carefully rolling it across the letter.
"So, a friend." Lina swung into a sitting position, her eyes glittering. "Is it Sylphiel?" she said in a sing-song voice.
"Sylphiel?" Gourry's brow furrowed. "Why would I write her?"
Relief passed over Lina's face, and Gourry wondered why she would be worried. "Just curious," she said with a dismissive wave. "I don't know of any other friends you have other than Leon."
"He wasn't really my friend either," Gourry murmured, eyes downcast.
Lina pursed her lips. "Well, tell me about your friend."
"It's really none of your business," Gourry informed her and put the unfinished letter in the desk.
He found he couldn't meet her gaze after that, especially since she quickly turned away to disguise her disappointment. They'd been together for at least a year now, and he'd never kept anything from her before. Still, he couldn't just lie to her.
He waited for her to scream, cast a spell, or even try breaking in the desk. Instead, she simply left.
I think I really hurt her when I said it was none of her business. Maybe I should just tell her about the letters.
It's none of her business, Gourry. Lina has to learn that some people would prefer to keep things quiet. Just because you two are practically living together doesn't automatically give her the right to know everything about you.
There's a lot about me that she doesn't know about.
I imagine there is.
I'd tell you, but it wouldn't feel right telling you without telling her first.
Gourry didn't write to Luna for several months. Two of the months he'd been kidnapped, brainwashed and stuck in a crystal. Those were very valid excuses not to write. The rest, he couldn't think of what to say. How could he even begin to explain what happened to Luna? Or how he failed to protect Lina? She'd given up her life ... no, her soul to save his. He loved her, there was no question about it. He's given up his own life to save hers. He couldn't begin to put down what had happened to him or what he was feeling. And, to put it as he once told Lina, it was none of Luna's business anyhow.
Luna's next letter arrived a month before they met Filia.
I'll forgive you for your lapse in writing given the circumstances. Don't ask how I know. I just do. In any case, I'm going to have a job for you both soon. I'm writing Lina directly through a messenger.
You're not mad at me?
You gave up your life to save my sister. How can I be mad?
I love her.
Don't tell me that. Tell her.
I kind of value my life, thanks.
The letters began to change. It didn't cross Gourry's mind that it was odd that he was confiding in Lina's sister about his feelings toward Lina. They gradually became longer as Gourry not only related their adventures - to the limitations that his memory would provide - but also spoke about things he didn't dare say aloud. He wrote page after page about his frustrations regarding Lina, then his worries over not being able to protect her once the Sword of Light was taken. Who else could he confide in? Filia seemed to barely tolerate the group a good bit of the time and gravitated toward Lina otherwise. Amelia and Zelgadiss were their own little unit, and even Gourry knew better than to say anything to Xelloss. Besides, these letters weren't being posted since they were in the new world beyond the barrier. It just felt easier to write them down.
They saved the world again and headed home. Once in Saillune, Gourry hesitated then mailed the packet of letters. Luna would know if he didn't.
You considered not sending these to me, didn't you? In any case, you all did quite the job down there. I think it's time you two came to Zefilia. Sooner than later. My father has a particularly keen urge to meet you for some reason.
But, nothing's changed.
You're a man. Make it change.
Are you that scared of my sister?
Well, at least you're honest about it. Look, if anything about these letters and what my other informants tell me is anything to go by, Lina loves you as much as you love her. She keeps waiting for you to do something about it, and you don't want to pressure her, so you don't make the first move. One of you has to go first.
What if she says no?
Then, I'll put her in the slug pit.
"But he's just my bodyguard ..." Lina blushed, looking his way as Toppi loudly insisted that Lina and Gourry were in love.
His heart seized painfully, but he pinned Lina with what he knew was a harsh stare. She knew. She. Knew. She wasn't stupid, and he exactly wasn't hiding how he felt about her despite the craziness of the past few days. Her eyes widened with shock, but before she could say anything, Kuppi cut in and the moment slipped away.
Well, it's your own fault. Letting yourself get brainwashed by that womanizing fish.
What would I tell the kids?
They're kids. They have to experience disappointment and setbacks at some point, or else they'll never grow up to be worthwhile adults. They'll recover from this.
So, I blew it.
You both blew it. But, you're still together. And, she fought for you. Again. You have another chance. Again.
Look, Lina has issues letting people get too close. She always has. She'd remain alone for the rest of her life before she allows anyone else to get as close as you have. Don't blow it again.
I won't. I promise.
Good. Come to Zefielia once you're done helping Pokota. That's an order. Make sure you have this mess sorted out before then.
Are you wanting us to ...?
That's up to you. Just don't give me the details.
"You're strangely adamant about us going to Zefielia."
"Well ..." Gourry shifted onto his side so he could look at Lina as they talked. "Your family is there, right?"
"As you pointed out. Repeatedly."
"My pen pal's from there."
"Really?" She raised an eyebrow. "So, now that we're sleeping together, the pen pal is finally my business?"
"You're still holding a grudge, aren't you?"
"Just a bit. But, I'm in a good mood." Lina folded her hands behind her head.
"I'm not telling you about my pen pal because we're together. She wants to meet you."
Lina's eyes narrowed. "She?"
"Fine, fine. Well, let's go meet your mysterious pen pal."
While Lina had dragged her feet about going to see her family, she all but hauled Gourry to Zefielia. He tried hiding his amused grin, but whenever he tried, he couldn't. When Lina demanded to know why he kept grinning, he told her the truth ... well, almost all of it. He was happy, he explained. And, he really was happy.
Luna had told him to meet her at a particular restaurant, which suited him just fine. He was hungry. But, when they approached it, Lina went pale.
"Here?" Lina said in a high-pitched voice. "Your pen pal wants to meet us here?"
"Sure. Why, is the food bad?"
Lina coughed. "No. I just know a waitress here."
"Hey, my pen pal's a waitress too. Maybe they're friends."
Lina froze, her eyes narrowing to slits. "Gourry," she said in a cold voice, "who is your pen pal?"
"Who do you think, little sister?" Luna breezed out of the door, depositing her tray on an empty table. She walked past a sputtering Lina and embraced Gourry. "Well, it's good to meet you at last."
Gourry held her at arm's length and cocked his head. "You're not like how I imagined," he said after a moment.
"Oh? Why's that?"
"Well, to start with, you actually have breasts."
Luna laughed. Lina snarled and yanked out her slipper.