Out Foxed! The Battle for Lina Inverse!
By the Dragon's Daughter
I don't like it when people cop off my original work without giving me credit so I won't do it here.
I don't own Slayers, they're the creations of Hajime Kanzaka and Rui Araizumi

Journal entry #456

Moon phase- full-ish

I, Lina Inverse, Dramatta Extrodinaire, Beautiful Magic Genius, and Sorceress Supreme am bored and plagued by well-meaning friends.

Gourry got married a month ago to Sylphiel. Big surprise there, I was a Bridesmaid in the wedding; it was nice. I would have been best man, Gourry asked me to, but Sylphiel gently pointed out that the position was best 'man', so Zel got the job even though Gourry wanted to make the positions 'Best Person' and 'Bride's Boy'; Zel was surprisingly tolerant of the idea but Sylphiel put her foot down. (I'm still waiting for Armageddon. It's on it way now, I'm sure of it!)

I ended up taking care of the ring in any case. Gourry's loyalties can be surprisingly potent. Luckily Zel thought the whole thing was funny as hell, I'm just glad he didn't take offense. Other than that, the wedding went off without a hitch... except for that one incident where a demon tried possess Sylphiel but Amelia, bless her little justice loving heart, must have expected it or something like it (I mean, think about who's wedding this was, I'm surprised Shabranigdo didn't try to crash the party!) Princess had so many white Priests hidden in the wedding party that they managed to exorcise it without even making Sylphiel stutter in her 'I do's.

I wasn't thinking too hard about -after- the wedding, though. I assumed that Gourry would settle down in Neo-Sairaag with Syphiel and proceed to populate the area. Wishful thinking on my part. As it turns out, those two had a good long talk about it and, rather than let her Gourry-sama go back on his given word, Sylphiel has joined our little partnership... permanently.

It's enough to make me want to pull my hair out.

At first, Sylphiel was just tagging along to be with her 'Gourry-sama' (she still calls him that, enough though they're hitched!) That didn't last long though, after a few of our more... um... -savage- encounters she took up the calling. I'll admit, those were bad fights for her to see as an example of my lifestyle, but still, she's taken it a little far. So what if Gourry came through those fights without so much as a scratch and... okay, so I got a little banged up.

Now I have -two- babysitters, one of whom I have to fight for food and the other who won't let me out of her sight after dark.

L-sama! what did I do to deserve those two?


Sylphiel watched out of the corner of her eye as Lina furiously scribbled in that battered leather book she seemed to carry with her everywhere she went. It wasn't the first time she'd seem the petite sorceress venting some fustration in ink and vellum, but it was the first time she'd seen the book come out since the Wedding in Sailoon almost... yes, it was a month ago.

Lina was sitting at a table in one of the darker corners of the Tavern where they were spending the evening. She'd made a bee-line for the corner as soon as she'd arranged for two inn rooms next door and hadn't stirred for nearly an hour.

If she hadn't known that Lina had cast a spell on the journal Sylphiel would have worried about the younger girl ruining her eye sight in the dim light.

She had never really understood how very reckless Lina Inverse could be with her health until she'd been travelling with Gourry-sama and their charge for a few weeks. They'd fought a war (a small one) single handedly in three days where Lina took a rock to the head and was out for hours. They'd also had to exterminate a nest of vampires, one of them bit Lina and they had to go through the entire cleansing ritual which should have been performed over the course of a week before nightfall as well as torch the vampire who bit her. Sylphiel had seen the tiny woman impaled, poisoned, strangled, and nearly maimed more times than she really cared to think about all in the course of five short weeks. She was now beginning to understand why Gourry was so devoted to protecting this one woman force of chaos.

There was still an image of Lina laying in a growing pool of her own blood etched into Sylphiel's mind; the time when Lina had taken the brunt of a levin bolt meant for -her-. Surely there was no one more deserving of protection than Lina Inverse, she who spent her life trying to protect so many ... whether she admitted to doing so or not.

In a fight, Lina was more than capable of taking care of herself. Sylphiel -had- learned quickly that if Lina couldn't look after herself during battle than she was better served by being backed up rather than being sheilded.

Sylphiel's train of thought broke when Lina abruptly snapped the journal shut and stuffed it into one of the hidden pockets in her cloak. She swivelled around in her seat scanning the room with her eyes until her gaze passed over Sylphiel. An ironic grin tugged at her lips and she came over to sit at Sylphiel's table.

"So where is the Sword-slinger Sumpreme?" Lina drawled as she surveyed the empty chair beside Sylphiel and dropped her tiny frame into it.

"I think he's at the Bakery down the street. He said he wanted to look at their sugared rolls." Sylphiel hazarded, actually that had been an hour ago. It was entirely possible that her husband had gotten distracted on the way to the Bakery and had forgotten his earlier errand. Ceiphied only knew where he was by now.

By the muscle twitch at the corner of Lina's pert mouth, she was obviously entertaining similar thoughts but she showed admirable restraint and didn't voice them. "Did he leave you here to keep an eye on me?" she asked instead.

"No." Sylphiel demurred. Lina relaxed a little but the tension reterned in fold when Sylphiel continued her thought. "I volunteered, Gourry-sama was so interested in seeing if they had glazed strawberries at that shop that I couldn't make him stay even though it is his turn..."

Lina's eyes drifted shut and she reached up to massage the spot between her eyes with gloved fingers. "You take turns now?"

"When we both have errands to do, Yes." Sylphiel answered cheerfully.

"Of course..." Lina looked towards the bar and sighed. "Does this mean you have something you need to be doing?"

The shrine-maiden blushed. "Well... Gourry got a little eager last night and he tore one of my tunics badly enough that the cloth won't hold a mend. I need to go get some cloth or perhaps a new one if I see something I like."

Lina barked out a short, coarse laugh. "I see!" she chuckled a bit more. "Why not? Let's go together? I need a new tunic myself, and some new tights."

Sylphiel blinked and her eyes flew unwittingly down to where Lina's cape parted to reveal her vibrant costume. Her seamstress's eyes immediately noted how the yellow cloth was beginning to strain across Lina's chest and the hem of the red tunic didn't reach down to cover the bottom of the yellow leotard she wore underneath.

"Oh my! Lina, your clothes barely fit at all!" Sylphiel cried out.

Lina chuckled nastily. "Heh, my long delayed growth spurt is finally arrived!"

"Get up!" Sylphiel ordered and circled Lina when she complied. "Oh this won't do at all!" she murmured to herself as she pushed Lina's cloak aside to look at the other pieces of the smaller woman's attire. "We'll have to replace your entire costume!"

"Oh well." Lina shrugged philosophically. "I suppose I outgrew the look anyway. It was fine when I was fifteen."

"You're nineteen now." Sylphiel pointed out. "and speaking of your age..."

Lina held up her hands in mock surrender and backed away. "Now, Syl! Don't start that up again!"

"I just want to see you happy..." she started.

Lina shook her head. "It's just newly wed bliss, Syl-chan. You're young, in love, and married to the guy of your dreams and you want everyone to feel the same way. Besides, if..." she paused and gave Sylphiel a signifigant look. " -if- I do some poor slob the ultimate favor and spend the rest of my life with him, it will be because I want to, not because I was getting a little long in the tooth."

The shrine-maiden blushed. "Well, I wouldn't put it like that but..."

"It amounts to the same thing, but I'm in no danger of becoming an old maid." Lina shook the wrinkles out of her cloak and shot her friend a quirky grin. "Let's go, Gourry shouldn't take too long and we're leaving for Atlas City first thing in the morning!"

Sylphiel opened her mouth to say something in return, perhaps to ask Lina if maybe she'd consider a costume in autumn colors but Gourry chose that moment to kick open the tavern door and bellow her name.

The two soceress immediately snapped to attention as they registered the fact that Gourry had a man slung over his shoulder.

"Put him on the table!" Lina ordered. Sylphiel rushed to check the man's pulse and the extent of damage done to him.

"I found him in the town square!" Gourry panted as he lay the man down on his back. "He was floating face down in the fountain."

Sylphiel immediately went about her business and Lina pulled Gourry aside. "Did you see what happened to him?" she asked quietly but Gourry shook his head.

"Uh-uh, but people were just walking by ignoring him. He coughed up a bunch of water when I fished him out." the confused sowrdsman explained. "Some jerk in a green cape tried to stop me when I was pulling him out but I knocked him out and brought..."

"Sweet light!" Sylphiel cried out. "It's Sir Zelgadis!"

Lina sucked in air. "No!" she whirled on the shrine-maiden, who had just pulled the disguising cowl away from the half-drowned Chimera. "Zel!" Lina said urgently to the soaked man laying on the table.

He was breathing shallowly, but showed no signs of waking.

"Syl?" Gourry asked his wife. "Is he okay?"

Sylphiel made a concerned face. "Well, he's breathing and that's good. He may have passed out from air deprivation but I don't..." she murmured a quick spell and green light gathered around her hands. She held them out over Zelgadis and he began to glow as well. After a few seconds the glow vanished and Sylphiel smiled. "He's all right, he took a blow to the back of his head but it only knocked him out. There's no brain damage and Gourry-sama got all of the water out of his lungs. He should wake up in a few hours... but we should get him out of those wet things otherwise he'll take a chill."

"Stone can get sick?" Gourry asked densely.

Sylphiel chuckled a little. "He's not really stone, you know. I don't know what he's made of but it's a subtance rather like flesh for it can move and heal itself."

Lina cocked her head. "I wonder if he's ever let anyone do an in depth study on his body before. It could really help his search out, I know he didn't do it himself..."

"Why not?" Gourry asked before Syulphiel could shush him.

"A magical examination doesn't work that way." Sylphiel explained. "It's just one of those basic laws of magic, like how stones don't fall up and fish don't fly."

Gourry scratched the back of his head. "I don't get that at all!"

"Most people don't, it's advanced theory of magic." Lina said absently. "Most sorcerers don't question -how- they can do something, it is merely enough that they can."

"Oh." Gourry said in that tone that meant 'I don't really understand but I'm willing to let it go,see I've already forgotten my question!' "Uh, should we move him into one of the rooms we rented for the night?"

Lina nodded. "He can have my room. I'm sure he'll wake up in time to get his... own..." she trailed off and suddenly began rifling through the unconscious chimera's pockets.

"Lina-sama!" Sylphiel cried, scandalized.

"I'm not robbing him." Lina hissed. She made a face and ceased her action. "He doesn't even have a dagger on him. He already was robbed!" she pointed to the empty sword belt that his waist. "See, Astral Vine is gone."

Gourry winced. "Eww... he's not gonna be happy when he comes to."

Lina nodded. "We'll have to make a stop at a 'bank' on the way to Atlas City if he wants to come with us. Oh well, let's not worry about that now. Gourry? do you think you can carry him to the Inn?"

The blonde man made a face. "Yeah."

Sylphiel was immediately all sympathy. "Don't worrry, Darling. You can rest afterwards while Lina and I take care of our errands."

Gourry perked up a little. "In that case, can you girls stop by that Bakery and get me some sugar rolls? I got lost on the way..."