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The Untitled Fanfic

Just a little note: the * mean thoughts.

He ran through the forest, trying to find an escape. He could hear the high pitched shouts of his pursuers. They sounded like they were getting closer....
*But that's impossible!* he thought to himself. His thoughts were racing through his mind at an incredible rate. *How did this all happen? WHY ME!?* He had no answers. Suddenly, there was no where else to go. He found himself at the edge of a cliff, unable to run or use magic. He was trapped.
Zelgadis sat up suddenly and looked at his hands. They were soaked in sweat. He wiped them off on his bed sheets and then cupped his face exhaustedly in his cold fingers. He was still breathing heavily from his nightmare. He stopped thinking and tried to settle down. He remembered he was running... but from what? He couldn't remember. Zelgadis sighed and then ran his right hand through his scalp, brushing the hair out of his eyes. He decided to forget about it. Besides, it was just a dream, right? Zelgadis flopped back down onto his pillow and stared at the ceiling, watching the water-patterns from puddles outside ripple back and forth. He was beginning to become hypnotized by them when he heard a sound.
Next to him.
A soft, groaning sound.
A *human* sound.
Zelgadis quickly turned his head.
Lina sat at the dining room table. She was eating breakfast. It included two stacks of ten pancakes each, a long string of sausage links, half a dozen eggs over easy, half a dozen soft-boiled eggs, five slices of toast with butter, assorted jellies and jams and marmalade, a plate of hashbrowns, and one blueberry muffin, for good measure. She was right in the middle of polishing off the last of the hashbrowns when she heard a loud scream from the next room.
Lina finished off her plate and started on her second stack of pancakes, never missing a beat. She ate hungrily and heavily.
A second scream was emitted from the room. Zelgadis ran with demon speed from the room and into the kitchen, slamming the door behind him. He had a look of horror on his face. He glanced over at Lina, and then back at the room again, and then began to stutter.
"Did I...? Was I...? When...? Wha...? WHY ME!?!" He watched as Lina devoured her food. She looked up momentarily and, between bites, spoke.
"What's (chomp chomp) the matter (chew) Zel (swallow chomp)?" She finished the pancakes and started on some toast, messily slopping on some strawberry jam.
Zelgadis looked at her, horrified, unable to articulate his experience coherently.
"Well, I... there was this dream... and I ran! ....but then... and I... oooohhh!" He suddenly swung his gaze to the bedroom door. "In there...!"
Lina stopped eating and watched as the door slowly opened. Out stepped a sleepy-looking Amelia, rubbing her eyes. Zel shrieked once again.
Lina was enraged. "AMELIA! What are YOU doing here!? Much less being in Zel's bedroom!"
Amelia looked confused. "Lina? Why are you here?"
Lina looked down at the table and shut her eyes. How could Amelia possibly do this to her? She pointed at the front door and said only one word, calmly, but through clenched teeth.
Amelia only stood there dumbfounded, looking back and forth between the frightened Zelgadis and the angry Lina. She felt like crying. The man she loved and one of her best friends didn't want her around. Amelia looked at the floor, giving up, and began walking toward the door. "Ok Lina, if you really don't want me..." Amelia tried to rationalize their reactions. *Maybe they have something to talk about... Maybe Lina needs Zel's help with something... Maybe... Maybe they're...*
Amelia gasped as the realization came to her, and she swirled around with a look of betrayed confusion. With wide eyes, she looked at Lina, who still had her eyes closed and her face pointed toward the table. "You aren't.. are you?" Lina looked up slowly with a wicked grin on her face. She began to form a fireball out of Zelgadis' eyesight.
"Leave, Amelia."
Amelia's eyes got bigger as she realized that Lina meant business. She turned around, not understanding, and fled the house, running as fast as she could away from Zelgadis' house. Tears began to form at the edges of her eyes. She was hurt that her only friends would do this to her. All she wanted was a little company. Her sadness quickly turned to rage. Amelia stopped running and stood, looking up at the sky with raised fists.
"Why does it always seem like they pick on me? I don't get it!" She yelled at the birds. She stood for a second longer and then let her arms drop, hands still clenched tightly. "Well, they're about to learn that *this* little princess isn't all sugar and spice! Justice will triumph, Lina Inverse, just you wait!"
Lina stopped forming the fireball and let it fizzle out in her hand. She sat back down at the table and looked at the food with longing eyes. Immediately, the long string of sausages disappeared into her mouth. Zelgadis only looked on with slight annoyance.
"Could you explain something to me?"
Lina continued slurping down the sausages, but managed a "Mm?" in reply.
"Why was Amelia here, in my bed?" Zelgadis crossed his arms, not really expecting a reply.
Lina shrugged nonchalantly and then stopped eating for a second and said, "Well, she's gone now, isn't she?" She quickly resumed her activity, popping the eggs one by one into her mouth and gulping them down.
Zelgadis raised an eyebrow. He spoke slowly. "Yeeesss... so then, can you tell me, why are *you* here?"
Lina dropped her silverware and jumped out of her chair, grabbing onto Zelgadis' bare shoulders and looking into his startled eyes with her sparkly ones.
"Zel, don't you know? We were made for each other!"
Zelgadis facefaulted, but then leaped back up rapidly, back away from Lina.
"You can't seriously mean that! What about Gourry? I thought you two were... well... seeing each other...?!"
Lina sat back down and munched on her muffin. "Oh, Zel, Gourry's okay... It's just that he was so dense. I couldn't have a decent conversation with the guy if my life depended on it! Besides, he's got Sylphiel now. They make a perfect couple!"
Zelgadis sweatdropped. He turned around and started walking back to his room.
"Besides, Zel," continued Lina, "You look so much better in boxers than Gourry ever did."
Zelgadis blushed fiercely, and for the first time realized that he'd forgotten to put on any clothes. He ran into his room and slammed the door behind him.
Lina merely continued to stuff herself with what little was still left on the table.
Amelia walked along the dirt road with her head slightly bowed. Her mind was completely occupied with ideas of how to get Lina and Zel back for what they had done to her. Her brow began to furrow as she thought harder and harder, but she couldn't come up with anything that seemed to fit the crime just right.
"Justice," she said quietly, "will be done." She walked a few more steps, letting her feet kick up some dust. "The good guy always comes out on top." Amelia continued walking slowly and thoughtfully, sorting out what little judgments she had made in her mind. Lina must be punished for deceiving her. Zelgadis must be punished for the same reason. They had both betrayed her trust. And now it was time to get even.
Amelia suddenly realized that maybe revenge wasn't the best way to get back at her underhanded friends. She was a pacifist, after all, and a warrior of Justice. It would be against her morals to intentionally hurt someone else if it could be avoided.
A tear formed in her eye, and with it came the memory of Zelgadis' rejection of her.
Amelia made up her mind then and there. Lina and Zel had to be stopped, no doubt about it. Even a pacifist has to give up the fight for fairness at least once in a while.
*Besides,* Amelia thought, *they deserve it.* She continued walking along the road, focusing only on her thoughts, when a small child's ball rolled up to her and stopped at her feet. Amelia stopped also and looked up abruptly, searching for the owner.
A little boy, who looked about five years old, ran up to her with a joyful look in his eyes. "Hey, lady, that's my ball!" He ran up to her and looked into her face, expecting a smile.
Amelia only frowned at him and then picked up the ball. She handed it back slowly and then looked away from the child, wanting to walk on further. She noticed that she had walked into a small town and not even realized it. She felt like she had to get out of there right away, before other people started talking to her. It would only make her cry more. Amelia could only stand being with herself at the present moment.
The little boy looked concerned. He had noticed the dried trails of tears down her cheeks. "Are you crying?" He asked. Amelia gave no answer, but only sniffed and continued looking away from him. "What's wrong, lady?"
Amelia looked back at the boy. Tears were beginning to form in her eyes again, and this time she couldn't stop them. "I've lost all my friends, kid, that's what's wrong." Her voice wavered as she finished her sentence, and she sniffed back a wail that was developing in her throat.
"I'll be your friend," the boy said hopefully. He looked up at her and smiled. Amelia smiled back, sadly, wishing that he could only understand the pain that she was going through. She knew that he was only trying to help, but instead, she was feeling worse about it than she did before she'd walked into town.
"Thanks, kid, it means a lot."
The boy smiled bigger at her, feeling like he'd accomplished something. "My name is Rubin," he told her. "You wanna go play?"
Amelia knelt down next to him and smiled, trying to hold back another set of tears. "Thanks, Rubin. My name is Amelia. Sure, I'll play with you for a little bit, but then I have to go."
"Where are you going?" he asked.
Amelia sighed and tried to think of a good answer. "I... I don't know, actually. Just far away from here."
"I know where you can stay!" shouted Rubin eagerly. "My family runs the inn over there!" He pointed to a small building on the right side of the road.
At that moment a girl walked out of the inn and started shouting to Rubin. She began running toward him and Amelia. "Rubin! You come back here! What did I tell you about talking to strangers?" The girl was older than Rubin, but not old enough to be his mother.
"I'm sorry, Silven. She looked sad. I thought I could help her out."
Amelia stood up and waited for Silven to catch up. "No, I'm sorry," she said. "I didn't know that he was supposed to be with you."
Silven stopped running and walked slowly over, examining Amelia's dress. "What are you, royalty or something? What are you doing in a town like this?" The girl had a hint of hostility in her voice. She scowled at Amelia in the bright sunlight.
"Yes, actually, I'm Princess Amelia, of Seiruun. I was only passing by. I didn't mean to disturb you."
"Wow!" exclaimed the boy. "A real princess!"
Silven seemed unimpressed. "Really. A princess. I find that hard to believe. Besides, you didn't answer my question. Why are you here?"
Amelia thought about what the right answer would be. "I'm trying to get away from my friends. They tricked me and then abandoned me."
Silven looked away, rolling her eyes. "And now you want revenge."
Amelia looked at her sharply. "How did you know?"
"Well, it's a natural human response to want to get back at the people who hurt you isn't it? I myself am looking for a way to pay back the person who wronged me. In fact, I think you know him."
Amelia looked confused. Someone *she* knew had wronged another innocent person? She thought it impossible, but then remembered the events of that morning. "Who was it?" she asked.
"His name was Zelgadis Greywords. Am I correct in my assumption that you are acquainted with this monster?" Silven's eyes seemed to glow in a strange light, almost smiling cruelly at the mere mention of the chimera. Amelia unconsciously shuddered.
"Yes... I do know him. What did he do that would permit the revenge that you seek? And how did you know that I was a comrade of his?" Amelia couldn't really imagine what Zel had done. She was still only occupied with his rejection of her.
"I think that is a secret best kept to myself," said Silven breezily. She grabbed onto Rubin's hand suddenly and he yelped in surprise. Amelia had forgotten that he was even there. Silven turned and began to walk away, leaving Amelia to her thoughts.
Amelia stood, watching as Silven dragged the small Rubin behind her. Her long silver hair shimmered brilliantly in the bright sunlight. Rubin was tripping along next to her, constantly trying to turn around to smile goofily at Amelia. She waved to him slowly and then started walking toward the other end of the village.
Amelia got as far as six steps when she realized that she had just given up the chance of a lifetime. She immediately began running towards the strange duo, calling out their names.
Zelgadis briskly walked away from his house, hoping that Lina wouldn't see him leave. He'd crawled out the window of his first floor bedroom and sneaked right into the woods his house was hidden in.
*She won't even realize I'm gone until later,* he thought. *Besides, she's too preoccupied with all that food she's eating.* Zelgadis wondered briefly where all that food had come from, and then decided it might be better that he didn't know the answer. He kept walking, trying to think of what his next move would be.
*This will be a good chance to look for my cure again,* he thought wearily. The mere thought of beginning his search again made him dizzy. He felt like he'd be stuck as a chimera forever. Zelgadis sighed and thought about where he would stay for the night. He suddenly remembered that there was a small town closeby with an inn. The village was quaint enough that his appearance there wouldn't disturb too many people. And at least it was better than staying with Lina all night. Zelgadis shuddered as he remembered the events of the morning. It had been almost exactly like his dream. He started to compare the dream to what had happened earlier.
*First, I was running,* thought Zelgadis. *I was running from Amelia. And Lina. And for some reason I just couldn't seem to get away from them.* He released a frustrated sigh. *And then,* he thought, *Xellos showed up.* Zelgadis shuddered once again, thinking that just the fact that Xellos had even been in his dream was bad enough in itself. *But then... he started coming after me too, much like Lina and Amelia...* The whole thing was too unreal for Zelgadis, and he shook his head. It was just a dream, after all, and the fact was that what had happened that morning was only a coincidence. *After all, people just don't go around dreaming of the future.* He looked up and noticed he was getting very near the town, and drew up his mask to cover the lower portion of his face. He decided to forget about everything that had happened and to focus only on finding his cure once again, no matter how exhausted it made him. And one day, when he did find the cure, then he would be able to worry about Lina and Amelia and their feelings towards him.
Zelgadis snorted. *And if Xellos even comes near me...* His hands clenched into fists as he thought about his projected fate of the Trickster Priest. Zelgadis couldn't think of anything that he could do that would do any justice for what Xellos might come up with.
Zelgadis walked into town and looked on both sides of the street for an inn. He knew there was one here because he'd passed through this area before. His eye caught a small tavern on the right. Connected to it was the inn. He walked toward it, grasping his bag of coins in his left hand. Any price to get away from the two love-stricken ladies of the morning was just not high enough. He walked into the inn and let his eyes adjust from the bright sunlight to the darkness inside the small building. His gaze located a service desk with a younger-looking, rather attractive girl sitting behind it. She was leaning on the desk with her forehead resting on her left hand, and her long silver hair slightly stirring in a draft. In her other hand was a book. She slowly reached down with her left hand and turned a page thoughtfully, then resumed the posture she'd had a moment ago.
Zelgadis walked up to the desk and cleared his throat. "I'd like a room for one, please." He brought his left hand up with the coin sack and started to open it.
The girl shut the book but didn't look up. Instead she brought out a larger book. It was a record of the guests who were staying there. She opened it up to one page and let her gaze follow it up and down until she found a room opening.
"Name please?" she asked, not looking up. She got a feather-point pen ready.
"Zelgadis Greywords," Zelgadis replied. She gasped and he looked up at her quickly.
"You!" she shouted. She stood up and continued her ranting. "You monster! You are the one who brutally murdered my parents! You will pay for this, fiend!" The girl started coming around the desk at him, and Zelgadis took a few steps back, completely startled by her sudden outrage.
"What are you talking about!" He managed to yell. "I don't even know who you are! Much less your parents!" The girl continued to walk swiftly toward him and he took another step back in confusion.
"I am Silven, daughter of Eris and Rezo. And you are the one who assassinated them!"
Zelgadis nearly fell over backwards in surprise. Eris... and *Rezo*? It couldn't be possible. He thought about it for a second and then realized that she must be talking about Kopii Rezo. *Eris had a kid?* Zelgadis could hardly believe his ears. *I'm a... an uncle?!* He stuck out his hands in defense as Silven reached him and tried to sputter out an explanation.
"I didn't kill your parents! I had nothing to do with it!" He suddenly realized that this was somewhat a lie, but thought that maybe it would be in his best interest to keep that a secret.
"You did though," continued Silven. "You killed my parents, and now I must avenge their deaths."
Zelgadis sighed and back away a few more steps, noticing the small crowd that was beginning to gather in the lobby. He knew that Silven had no chance of destroying him, especially if it was only Kopii who was her father. However, he couldn't very well destroy her either. The kid was obviously disillusioned as to how history had really gone, and Zelgadis didn't think she would want to hear things how they truly had happened. Especially if it put both her parents in the wrong.
"Look, kid," Zelgadis started, "you don't want to do anything here. Someone could get hurt." He motioned to the people who had joined in watching the confrontation and she looked at them with a smirk.
"Oh, I wasn't planning on doing anything to you now, Zelgadis Greywords. What I will have in store for you will be far worse than anything I could possibly do here." She stopped smiling and then frowned at him, taking one more step toward him. This brought her face only inches from his. "You will be sorry that you didn't kill me right here, instead of allowing me to carry out my plan."
Zelgadis looked into her eyes quizzically and raised an eyebrow. "I would advise you to stay away from me, Silven, unless you intend to get yourself hurt."
Silven scrunched up her nose. "I very much doubt that you will have any power to defeat me, Greywords. I will not allow you to stay at my inn, so I suggest you leave. The nearest inn is twenty more miles down the road." She took a step back from him and turned her head facing the entranceway. "Besides, your breath smells funny." She turned her back on him and walked back to the front desk where her book was.
"You don't smell like a rose yourself, kid," muttered Zelgadis under his breath. He began walking toward the door and then remembered that his sack of coins was still on the front desk. He swirled around slowly, regretting he had ever woken up this morning.
The sack of coins hit him squarely between his eyes as Silven chucked it at him. The gold coins made a loud clinking sound eerily similar to Rezo's staff chimes, and then fell at Zelgadis' feet. He bent over to pick them up, grumbling to himself. "Why me?" he sighed softly, whisking the sack up off the floor. He once again turned around and then walked out the entranceway and into the glaring sunlight. Pointing his nose back home again, Zelgadis returned in the direction he'd come. It would be dark in a few hours, and he didn't want to get stuck in an unfamiliar place. He could sleep in the forest near his house tonight. In the morning he'd continue on down the road and start his newly resurrected search for his cure.
Zelgadis sighed heavily again. *Anything,* he thought to himself, *anything to get away from everyone else.* He left the village and looked around for a good spot to rest for the night. Finding one, he collapsed next to a large shady tree hidden from the road, and began to doze off, dreaming sweet dreams of a cure.
Lina strolled tiredly amongst the trees. She'd left Zel's house nearly an hour ago, searching for a hot springs.
*I know there's one around here!* she thought to herself. *I can smell it....* Her stomach began to growl, just thinking of water. Lina stopped walking and put her hands on her hips.
"Where IS this thing!" she screamed. "It's afternoon already and I feel dirty!" She threw up her hands in frustration and then turned around in a circle, just in case one just happened to be sitting right behind her.
There wasn't, of course, but what she did see made her spirits jump.
"Zelgadis!" Lina cried. The sleeping chimera was startled awake. He immediately reached for his sword, but when he saw it was only Lina, he slumped back up against the tree he'd been resting on.
"Oh," Zelgadis sighed, "it's only you." He scowled at her. "What do you want?" He didn't like being shocked awake very much. Especially if it was one of the people he was trying to stay away from.
"Nice to see you too," she snorted. "I was looking for your hot springs. I just know there's got to be one around here somewhere!" She looked side to side through the trees, thinking that maybe if she looked hard enough she'd see it. Or at least hear a waterfall where one might be.
Zelgadis sighed. "There are no hot springs around here. Why, what do you need one for? You know I have a perfectly decent bathroom with a working shower and hot tub."
"It's just not the same!" she growled at him, looking her fiercest. She crossed her arms and looked away from him and to her right. "Besides, how can you tell me that there isn't a hot spring around here. I can *smell* the water from it. I know it's here somewhere, Zel."
Zelgadis' face went blank for a second, and then he looked like he remembered something. He opened his mouth to speak, but Lina interrupted him.
"I *knew* it!" she squealed. "So where is it! Where is it!" She nearly attacked him when he didn't answer right away. Instead, he started to smile. "Zel?" Lina asked, watching him strangely. "Zel, are you... feeling all right? You're... you're smiling...." She took a step back and tried to figure out what had gone wrong.
"The water that you smelled comes from a lagoon that is a ways down the road."
"What about it?" she asked, not understanding.
Zelgadis began to chuckle. "This particular lagoon is used for certain basic human needs," he replied. "It's the only water you can bathe in and get dirtier than you actually were!"
"Not funny, Zel," Lina said. "I guess I will have to settle for your bathtub... but geez, it's so... modern!" She uncrossed her arms and started walking back in the direction of the house. When she noticed Zelgadis wasn't following her, she turned around with a determined look on her face. "Zel, you're coming with me."
Zelgadis looked at her questioningly and then stood up. "What do you need me for?"
"Well..." she started, "I've never actually used one of those things... you'll have to show me how!"
"WHAT!?" Zelgadis facefaulted as Lina ran back towards him. She grabbed onto one of his hands and started to drag him through the forest before he could object. The leaves and twigs from off the forest floor were getting matted into his hair and the broken sticks and dead branches poked him relentlessly and Lina picked up speed.
"Let... *oof!*... GO...*ow!*... of meeEEEE!!!" He jumped up quickly and grabbed onto Lina's cape, which caused her to go tumbling. He tripped on her and landed with his body on top of hers.
"Owww, Zel, it's not nice to play so rough!"
"ME play rough...? You were the one who--" Zelgadis blushed as he realized the strange position he was in and he jumped off Lina and started to brush himself off.
"A-HEM!" The small sorceress was still sprawled out on the ground, holding out a hand to Zelgadis, evidently expecting him to help her up. He released an audible groan and then offered Lina his own hand, pulling her up with great strength. She began to fall forward because of the great force, but he caught her before she dropped back down onto the hard ground.
Lina looked up at him with big gleaming eyes. "Oh Zel, thank you! You are a true gentleman." She took his hand in hers and started to lead him back toward his house. "Come on, I'll get you all washed up again. You are a real mess!" Zelgadis brushed his free hand through his hair and realized that there were more twigs in it than he had first realized.
*That's what I get for using all that damned hairspray,* he thought to himself. *That stuff sticks to everything!*

Minutes later, the two were in Zelgadis' bathroom, arguing over what to do with Zel's hair.
"Obviously, Zel," Lina tisked, "you use way too much hair spray. You're a guy, for goodness sake, you should be using mousse! What brand do you use anyway?" She held up a sticky, twisted strand of Zelgadis' hair and shook her head. "I mean, listen to it all just crunch!" She demonstrated by grabbing a handful of his hair and squeezing as hard as she could. His hair crackled angrily as she proved her point. "What were you doing in the forest anyway?"
Zelgadis sat on his bathroom stool and tried to think of a good answer but couldn't. Instead he said, "I just felt like getting a little fresh air. So I walked to the nearest town...." He let himself trail off as he remembered Silven and her strange threats. Lina merely shrugged.
"Hm. I didn't even see you leave," she said, as she pulled a few twigs from his matted hair. "Ah, find anything interesting?" She pulverized a small dry leaf in her hand as she grabbed it out from his bangs.
"Actually, I met someone interesting.... There was this girl-- OW!" Lina quickly dropped the twigs she was holding and then stood there with an unusual look on her face.
"Oh," she said through clenched teeth. "I'm sorry Zel, I didn't mean to just suddenly grab your hair like that. So what kind of girl is this... girl?"
Zelgadis heaved his umpteenth sigh of the day, and realized what Lina was going after. "I didn't mean it like that. I'm not in any way attracted to this girl. In fact, she's trying to kill me."
Lina snorted. "Right. So now we have yet another enemy on our hands. Who is it this time, Rezo's teddy bear in human form? Another one of those fish-people?" Lina cringed at the memory of all the fish-people she'd encountered. It was almost enough to make her never want to eat fish again. But not quite enough. Lina's stomach growled just thinking about it.
"No, actually, she turns out to be the daughter of my sister, Eris. In other words, my niece. And her father was none other than Kopii Rezo. She wants revenge for their deaths, and I seem to be the only person who she knows was involved in the whole incident."
It was Lina's turn to sigh this time. "Zelgadis, could your family *possibly* get any more screwed up? I mean, it's bad enough that Rezo was your great-grandfather and grandfather, but Eris and Kopii Rezo? That's almost too much for even me!" She picked a small gnat out from Zel's hair and let it fly from her palm. Zelgadis had watched as she did this, and stood up suddenly.
"Hey, you can't do that!" He exclaimed. He searched for the bug, but to no avail. "I'd like this place to stay as clean as possible," he growled at Lina. She shrugged.
"Didn't know you were such a clean freak."
Zelgadis sat back down on the stool. "Ok, so now what do we do?" He expected her to keep grooming him, but she only stood there with a strange uncanny smile on her face.
"Now," Lina said, turning her back on him for a second, "we bathe you!" She swirled back to face him, laden down with shampoos, conditioners, scrub brushes, and body wash. Zelgadis nearly fell off the stool in surprise.
"I think I can handle a bath on my own, thank you." He stood to take the supplies and tried to shoo Lina out of the bathroom. She suddenly remembered something and then tossed Zelgadis something small and yellow.
"What's this?" he asked, skillfully catching the object on top of the shampoo and conditioner bottles.
"A rubber ducky, of course," Lina said dryly. She turned her back on him and walked out of the room, shutting the door behind her.
Zelgadis stood there for a moment, next to the tub. *Strange, strange girl," he thought to himself. Then he smiled.
Amelia lay on the bed, sprawled out diagonally on it. She was watching the small bugs on the ceiling move back and forth. At least, they looked like bugs. Amelia figured that maybe it was just her mind playing tricks on her. Then again... they did look pretty real....
Amelia sat up and looked around the tiny room. The faint evening sunlight trickled in through a broken window. The other window in the room was clouded over with dust. Rickety black shutters swayed easily in the slight summer breeze, hitting the building every so often. She tried not to think about Zelgadis or Lina, or what they might be up to right then. But her mind just wouldn't let go of the image of those two being together.
*It's just not fair,* she thought, falling noisily back onto the creaky bed. She'd worked for all those years to get Zelgadis to love her, but it had all backfired in her face. Maybe Silven would be able to help her though. She seemed like a sensible enough girl. Amelia rolled over onto her stomach and let her chin rest on her small fists. *Pay Zelgadis back for what he's done. And in the meantime, get revenge on Lina.* It seemed to make sense to her in a way, but....
*But what if Silven is wrong? What if Zelgadis doesn't really deserve to be punished?* Amelia knew that fighting him was definitely not the way to his heart. But neither was allowing Lina to get near him. She rolled over again and onto her back, staring at the bugs on the ceiling yet again. *Maybe there's a peaceable way to do this,* she thought. If Lina fell in love with Gourry again, everything would be fixed! The princess smiled for the first time that day and jumped off the bed. Silven could do things her own way. As far as Amelia was concerned, Zelgadis had no need to worry about her.
Amelia tugged the tightly-tucked bed sheets down slowly and then remembered to take off her cape. She paused for a moment as she removed her cape and all other sharp, pointy, or otherwise odd things from her person, laying them carefully next to her bed.
Amelia resumed pulling down the sheets, and in her elation, almost didn't look before she leaped right in.
"Ewwww," she said, scrunching up her nose. She watched as two or three cockroaches ran from her gaze and burrowed back under the spread. Amelia stood idle for an instant before remembering the bugs on the ceiling. She looked up suddenly, and ducked just in time to miss an aerial attack of ladybugs.
Zelgadis was once again perched on the small stool, waiting for Lina to finish with him. His hair was completely soaked and it hung in front of his eyes even more so than before. He had a grim expression on his face.
"You are not, I repeat, NOT going to cut my hair!" He growled at the small sorceress angrily, wishing she would hurry up and be done with it already. Lina started to hum a tune as she began to slop on the mousse she'd found in the back of Zel's cabinet.
"Amazing you had this stuff in here, isn't it?" she asked. "Seems a little convenient, don't you think?"
Zelgadis tried to think of a time when he might have had used mousse instead of hairspray. His mind went back to when he was just a little child. Even then he'd never touched the stuff. So why was it even there? Zelgadis then remembered Rezo's frequent visits in his earlier childhood.
"Ah!" he exclaimed. "The mousse is Rezo's, from when I was only a child. He must have left it with us for conveniency's sake, since he had no place of his own."
"Well it better not do to your hair what it did to his," was all Lina would say. Zel looked at her with one eyebrow raised, but didn't say anything.
*She better not do to my hair anything other than what it should be,* thought Zelgadis, as he felt Lina sculpting his hair. *I don't want to look like a complete imbecile when I leave tomorrow to look for my cure....* His mind trailed off as he realized that he would have to find a new way of getting away from Lina in the morning. He'd have to figure out a way to get her to sleep in a separate room than he.
"I just realized," started Zel slowly, "that you have no where to sleep here.
"Mm-hmm." Lina nodded her head slowly, still concentrating on Zelgadis' hair. "I've already thought about that. I'll take your bed, ok?" Zelgadis felt like a huge burden had been lifted from his chest.
*This'll be easier than I'd planned on it being,* he thought to himself. Then he said, "Ok! And I will take the couch. Perfect arrangement."
Lina frowned at him. "Of course not, silly, you can sleep in your bed too, you know. It certainly is big enough."
Zelgadis suddenly wished his parents had had less money to buy a bed with. Lina was right. The bed in his room was a king-size, for Pete's sake. This was going to be harder than he'd hoped. Lina interrupted his thoughts by patting him on the head once. "I'm all done Zel," she said. "Go look in the mirror. See if you like it. The mousse certainly does make it seems less... spiky...."
Zelgadis stood up with caution and then turned toward the mirror.
Lina turned uncomfortably on the couch. She hadn't thought that his new hairstyle was *that* bad. Sure, maybe it was a little strange on top... and on the sides... and well, even a little in the back... but still, Zel's unfriendliness towards her just seemed unwarranted.
Zelgadis slipped off into a calm quiet sleep, thinking only how nice it was to have a bed all to himself again. *Heck,* he thought, as he wavered between dream and awake, *the hairstyle wasn't even all that bad.* Maybe he'd use the mousse to catch the same look tomorrow, before he left. *A day without Lina or Amelia,* he thought vaguely, *what a nice treat.*
For the first, and last, time that day, the house became quiet.

Errr... that's about it for now... I'm working on the rest of it, really I am! Thanks for reading the first part, and check back in about a week for more!