Disclaimer: Mo`re Xiuh and the Ahriman in this story belong to me. All other characters belong H. Kanzaka/R. Araizumi and various companies.
Warning: Non-consensual scenes somewhere in here.
Continuity: Not much. Somewhere in NEXT, maybe. Depends on where the story goes.
Author's Note: Definitely OOC. You have been warned. Also, I am planning a sequel, but please, don't ask me to write a Zel/Xel fic or tell me you prefer them. I have nothing against them, but I like variety, and there's plenty of others writing that pair. I need more Zel/Gourry before I write anything else.
Zelgadis: Finally, someone who doesn't pair me with the fruitcake!
Xelloss: I take it you haven't read this fic yet, then, have you?
Zelgadis: *suspicious* No, why?
Xelloss: Oh, nothing! ^_^
*Zel grabs a script and starts reading.*
Ahem, anyway, before Zel blows up and tries to Ra Tilt me, on to the fic...
Zelgadis: WHAT THE HELL?!?! LN! HOW COULD YOU?!?!
Xelloss: By typing in the words? ^_^
Gentlemen, please, the reader is waiting... Gourry? Would you?
Gourry: Right. *grabs Zel and kisses him. Chimera promptly faints* He's ready!
Thank you. Places every one...
"Oh gods, it hurts. Please, stop it. I can't... stop it..."
Zelgadis was curled up on the bed. He hadn't moved since they brought him to the inn. They had managed to get him inside while Lina paid the innkeeper for the room. Gourry himself had lifted the chimera up on his back and carried Zel to the room, laying him carefully on the bed. Zel simply shivered, pulling himself into a tight ball. That was hours ago, and he still hasn't moved from his fetal position.
"It hurts. Please, no more..."
Gourry placed a cool cloth on the shaman's forehead, cursing under his breath. He wished Amelia or Lina were here right now. They could at the least cast a sleeping spell on Zel and let him get some much needed rest.
Why did this happen? Why did you go off by yourself again? Don't you know I protect you as much as Lina? Why did this happen?
From what Gourry could piece together, Zel had been trying to find another cure, but was ambushed by some Mazoku. When they found him, Zel was lying on the ground, his clothes ripped from his body. He didn't even recognize them, only pleading for his would-be attackers to stop whatever torment that had been inflicted on him.
Seeing the once proud shaman reduced to tears made Gourry's blood boil. He liked and respected Zel. Zel didn't make him feel as stupid as other people like to. Zel was just as good with a sword as he was with his magic. Then there was the other thing's Gourry noticed about him. Things that went a little further than friendship. Things that he mainly kept to himself. Which is what made him even more angry about what happen. As far as he was concern, any Mazoku Gourry met now was a dead Mazoku.
Gourry sighed. He didn't have much experience with these things. He knew how to use a sword, how to survive in a pinch, and how to take orders from Lina. Outside of that, he was kind of lost.
I shouldn't be here. This is more Amelia's job, or maybe even Lina's. I don't know how to help him...? Though he felt inadequate, a part of Gourry was pleased that it was him and not the others that Zel first recognized. Because of that, Lina had suggested Gourry stay with him while she and Amelia went tracking down the Mazoku responsible.
At this point, I kinda hope Lina Dragu Slaves them, if not Giga Slaves them. They deserve everything they get. I just wish I could go with them. I want to make sure they're dead.
Zel shivered uncontrollably on the bed. Gourry quickly covered him with a blanket, tucking it in tight around him. The shivers eased, allowing the frightened chimera to fall into an uneasy slumber. Gourry brushed a lock of hair out of his eyes, smiling sadly as it bounced back into place. Gourry wanted to pull the sleeping man into his arms and just erase the touch of those who had hurt him so badly. Hold him close and take away the pain and nightmares. Finally admit it was more than just friendship he felt...
Gourry sat down heavily in a chair next to the bed. Sure, he wanted to do that, but he didn't dare. One, guys don't do that. Two, Lina would probably kill him for being a pervert. Three, Amelia would probably kill him because she had her own crush on Zelgadis. And more importantly, Zel didn't need that kind of attention now. Gourry cursed to himself. He felt those Mazoku had ruined any chance he might have had before. Now, even his dreams seemed tainted.
Damn them. Why Zel? He wasn't even doing anything to them! He just wanted to be human again...
Gourry felt something tracing down his face. When he touched it, he was surprised to feel it was a tear. Gourry stared at his fingers before curling them into a tight fist.
I'm going to kill them. I'll find them and kill them. I'll...
The blonde swordsman was at Zel's side in a flash. "You need anything, Zel?"
"We're at an inn, I don't remember where exactly."
"Oh. The others?"
Gourry bit his lip. He wasn't sure how much he should tell the chimera. He finally opted for the partial truth, hoping Zel wouldn't catch on.
"Lina and Amelia are out shaking down bandits. You know how Lina is, and Amelia with her thing for justice." Which was true, Lina was shaking down bandits for information about the group of rogue Mazoku, but Gourry decided to leave that bit out.
"They should be careful..." Zel began shivering under the blankets, though Gourry suspected it had less to do with cold and more from his ordeal.
"I doubt if anything less than Shabadingo could get the drop on Lina."
Zel managed a weak grin. "Shabranigdo, you mean?"
"Yeah, that guy." Inwardly, Gourry smiled. He knew the name, but was hoping his intended mistake would cheer Zel up, if only a little. "Don't worry about those two. I'm sure they can handle anything. If not, Lina will probably just blow the place up anyway."
"You may be right. Still..." Zel closed his eyes, the pain radiating from him. It was all Gourry could do not to pull Zelgadis into his arms right then and there.
"Zel, I'm sure they'll be okay..."
"I thought the same thing, Gourry. I thought I'd be okay. Swords, knives and spears can't hurt me. My own magic is fairly powerful. I felt confident in my abilities with a sword. I thought I'd be okay. But... but look what happened. I couldn't stop them, Gourry. Couldn't stop..." The tremors rack his body as Zel cried to himself, hating himself for his weakness. He tried scrubbing his eyes, but the tears wouldn't stop flowing, his voice catching on the sobs that threatened to escape his fragile control. His chest felt tight with pain. A tiny whimper passed his lips, opening the floodgates for his grief and despair. Zel cried openly, weeping onto the blanket.
Unable to sit by while his friend was hurting, Gourry gave in to his longing, sitting on the edge of the bed as he cradled the desolate chimera in his arms. He kept his voice low, promising Zel that nothing else would hurt him again, that he'd protect him from now on. After a time, Gourry felt Zel's body go slack. He laid Zel back on the bed, covering him over gently before returning to the chair to continue his vigil. Blue eyes softened as he gazed fondly at the sleeping form. His own lids grew heavy, and Gourry was soon fast asleep, a hand resting protectively on Zel's shoulder.
Gourry woke to the sun pouring in through the window. He yawned, stretching stiff muscles. He had fallen asleep in the chair, and would probably feel the effects of it today.
I'm surprised Lina didn't wake me. Then again, not really. She was probably tired from yesterday and went right to sleep. I'll ask her what happened at breakfast.
He ran idle fingers though his hair. It was then Gourry noticed a weight by his feet. Looking down, he saw Zel curled up on the floor, sound asleep.
What the... Why is he on the floor? It's a good thing Lina didn't check on him, or I'd be dead meat.
Gourry leaned down, getting ready to try and lift Zel back into back. A small whimper caught his attention. Gourry listened careful as Zel spoke softly.
"... no... not you... help me... Gourry... help me..."
Gourry felt someone had stabbed him in the heart. He sat there for several minutes, taking deep breaths to keep from bawling like a kid. He leaned down and picked Zel up, placing him back on the bed. Then, Gourry sat on the edge, letting Zel's head rest in his lap.
Gods, Zel, I'm sorry. I didn't know. I failed. I'm sorry.
Gourry didn't bother with the fact that Zel had called to him when he was being attacked. That would keep for later. Right now, his friend was in pain, and he seemed to be the only one Zel wanted right now to comfort him.
A light knock on the door alerted Gourry to Lina's presence as she came in. He braced himself for an argument for being so close, but Lina only walked over, futilely brushing the hair out of Zel's eyes.
"He had trouble sleeping?"
"Yeah. Kept having nightmares."
"I was afraid he might. I sent Amelia to scout around some more. I don't think Zel is up to a visit with her just yet."
If ever. Thanks Lina. Gourry nodded, "You're probably right. He just needs to rest for now, I think."
Lina didn't make a crack about Gourry thinking, much to his relief. "Has he talked about what happened?"
"No. He was worried about you and Amelia though."
"You didn't tell him...?"
"No. I just said you were out raiding bandits again."
Lina suddenly looked tired. "We couldn't find the Mazoku. They're somewhere in the area, but they're hiding so well that I can't find them."
"Then when Amelia gets back, you and I will look for them."
Gourry nodded, his face set with a grim determination. "Yes. I'm not going to let a bunch of Mazoku get away with this. Even I have my limits, Lina."
The sorceress didn't argue. "We'll probably have to beat Amelia over the head a couple of times to make her understand not to go overboard like she usually does."
A smile found it's way to Gourry's lips. "I'm sure you'll have no problem there. Just do her like you do me."
"Don't. Just worry about helping Zelgadis, and getting the monsters responsible." Gourry leaned back against the headboard. "Now then, what's a guy gotta do to get breakfast around."
This made Lina smile. "I'll have them send something up. Zel will need something too. Think you can get him to eat a little bit?"
"I can try. You know how stubborn he is."
"Tell me about it." Lina played with a lock of Zel's light-violet hair. "Jerk. Why'd you have to be so stubborn? We're your friends. Friends are suppose to look out for each other. Now you're really going to be stuck with us. We're never letting you out of our sight again." She looked like she wanted to say more, but only patted Zel's hair down and walked to the door. Lina paused at the doorway and glanced back at Gourry.
"Don't take you're eyes off him for a minute. Breakfast will be up soon." Lina left, closing the door quietly behind her.
Gourry looked down at his lap. Zel was still asleep. He didn't seem to be having nightmares at the moment. Gourry was glad for that, Zel needed to rest and the nightmares weren't letting him. Later, he'd think about why this happened while Zel was on his lap. For now, Gourry just stared out the window.
Enjoy yourselves while you can, demons. When I find you, you're dead.
To be continued....
On to Chapter Two or Back to Hibernal Heart or Back to the Thorned Roses or Back to the Roses?