Chaos

****

Everything was completely pitch black as far as he could see. It frightened him of course, but at least it wasn't the Rezo dream again. He walked calmly in the blackness and he wasn't aware that there really was a floor, just that he moved. Or maybe it was just he who thought he was moving, he couldn't tell, there was nothing to see.

A pinprick of light glimmered in the distance and he realized that he was moving faster. Wind whipped past his body, pulling at his clothes and hair. The wind became stronger, or perhaps he was moving faster, but it pulled at his cloak, causing it to ride up onto his neck and begin to choke him. His hands fumbled at the ruby clasp that he couldn't see to unhook and finally ripped the cloak off his shoulders in desperation.

Faintly he could hear the clink of the clasp as it hit the ground. Funny how things like that always happen in dreams, as if simply because you expect them they happen. Ahead, the light had gotten brighter, and he could see that there was something floating within it. Lifting a hand, he shaded his eyes, squinting from the wind. He soon realized that the effort was useless and dropped his arm. The feeling of movement suddenly stopped as did the wind, the light turned out to be a column of light in which a figure floated. The figure was draped in white robes, seeming to almost blend in with the light. Hair almost the color of everything else around him cascaded down like a waterfall from the figure's bowed head. Everything looked bleached of color and he had nervous feeling in his gut.

Slowly, he walked toward the figure, finding himself standing at the edge of the light within seconds. The sound of his last step echoed throughout the place, almost as if it really were a room. He squinted at the figure and reached into the light to touch her, for he could somehow tell it was female.

His fingers contacted cold flesh and she swayed gently, lifting his eyes, he suddenly screamed in horror like he'd only felt the day Rezo had changed him. Amelia stared down at him, her eyes bulging and skin deathly white, there was a rope strapped around her neck and she was hanging from the iron rod that connected the posts of her canopy bed.

*************

Zelgadis sat up in bed, clutching the blankets, actually, all he seemed to have not kicked off the bed was half of a sheet. His pupils adjusted as Lina ran into the room with a lighting spell in hand and only dressed in her tunic, most of it was unbuttoned. "Zel!" she exclaimed then her face turned bright red as she saw the state Zelgadis was in. Turning her back, she left the lighting spell where it was so that Zel could see to get some pants on at least. "Are you okay? I- I heard you scream..."

He muttered under his breath about Lina bursting into his room like that without thinking that he MAY not be dressed. "I'm fine, Lina, get out."

Lina glanced back at him, watching as he pulled on his shirt and finally his cloak, tying it and fixing the clasp in place. Lastly, he put his belts on and attached his sword to one of them.

"Zel- are you sure?" she asked as he pushed past her and stalked down the hall headed for the main room of the tavern. He wasn't expecting anyone to be up, but he needed coffee, or maybe alcohol.

With a sigh, Lina went back to her room.

Zelgadis sat silently at the table nearest the window in the tavern portion of the inn. In his hand rested a bottle of wine, he had yet to take a drink. Instead, his eyes stared out into the gloomy darkness that lay outside. "An omen?" he murmured to himself. "Would .. would Amelia actually do that?" His eyes narrowed and the one who hid in the shadows behind him could see the dangerous expression reflected in the quality glass. "No. Amelia wouldn't do that to herself..." To herself... he tried to push that thought away. Refusing to be dismissed, the dream still sat in his mind like the hard lump in his stomach, refusing to go away. He lifted the bottle, gripping the quark with his teeth and yanking it out then spitting it aside. The first long pull of the searing liquid made his eyes water. He eyed the label on the bottle, then took another much more cautious swallow.

****

Morning found him passed out in that same chair, the empty bottle on the floor and an unnatural blush across his stone skin. Lina eyed this display of total lack of self discipline and sighed. Where was the Zelgadis she had known? The one who refused to give up on anything? This was the third time he'd gotten himself drunk in the last week and frankly, it was starting to disturb her. Naga had been worse, sure, but... Zelgadis just wasn't the type to get himself drunk for no reason.

"That's it.." she muttered, hands going to her hips in the firm manner of a mother hen. "I'm taking you back to Seyruun. Maybe Amelia can beat some sense into you." Lina would have done it herself, but - she knew Zelgadis had once had a crush on her.. she'd flirted with him outrageously, then Amelia had showed up. No, Lina knew very well that she and Zelgadis would end up killing each other in a relationship. Amelia could handle the Chimera's self-destructive tendencies, Lina was already getting fed up with them.

So what if it had only been five days since Gourry had left her in response to an urgent message from his home. Lina had said she'd wait for him here, in Warour, but, as had been stated before, she was pissed at Zelgadis.

"GET UP!" the sudden shout caused Zelgadis to start and fall out of his chair, knocking it over. "Baka," Lina stated, looking down at him with the usual look she gave before fireballing Gourry for stupidity. "Get your stuff. We're leaving."

Zelgadis lay there, staring at Lina's boots with glazed eyes. "Where?" he croaked softly.

A pause, then, "We're going to Seyruun."

Even with a hangover, the swordsman-shaman had some wits about him, "Go..gou..." he turned decidedly green.

"I'll leave a note," Lina replied haughtily. "I'm not such a little girl that I need to be babysat by Gourry all the time. Besides, I traveled by myself for a while before I met him too! Go get your stuff- or we're just going to leave it."

Pitiful, simply pitiful. Lina watched as the shaman moved at a turtle's pace, crawling along the floor toward the stairs. For a moment, Zelgadis collapsed on the stairs, then managed to find the strength to keep his stomach down and the floor under him.

Sighing, the sorceress went to get some breakfast. They'd leave once Zelgadis was feeling a bit better. Until then.. FOOOD!!!

*****