Butterflies, Dominoes, and Causality
Chapter 2 of 12
A Hentai Slayers Fanfic by RVincent
PLEASE READ - I do not own ‘The Slayers’ and have no relation or ties to those people that do own the series, aside from the various DVDs and VHS tapes that I have purchased over the years. In conjunction with this statement I further decree that I am not claiming ownership, nor am I making any money off this fan work. No copyright infringement is meant, I am writing this as an expression of my fandom. Furthermore, this fanfic will contain some blood (not much) and some female x female sexual encounters and is therefore meant for adults only. If you are under 18 years of age please go back now and ignore ever reading this preface. For those other people that intend to stay I can only hope you enjoy reading this.
This is just one chapter of a multi-chapter fanfic, reading previous chapters is necessary to understand what is going on in the storyline (yes, despite the age restrictions there is a story line). Please visit the Slayers Hentai Fanfiction Archive (http://slayers.destructve.com) to read previous and subsequent chapters.
*****************(Classic Snowflake Openings Rock!)*****************
Something was wrong. Without further prompting Lina turned around and jogged the few feet back to Amelia. Amelia was turned away from her, fully naked, “What is it?” Slowly turning back around to face Lina, Amelia kept her gaze fixed downward, afraid to meet her friends’ eyes as she nodded her head in the direction of her pelvic region.
Lina shook her head back and fourth, “Well, I got some absorbent pads in my pack.” Lina turned to get them but Amelia put her hand on Lina’s arm and stopped her.
“You don’t understand!” Lina turned her head to catch Amelia’s eyes, there was an eerie edge there. Amelia started again, “This... has never happened before.”
“What!?” Lina shouted, her mouth flapping open and unable to close. “But... but... I mean-- What’s never happened before? I mean, you’re nowhere near a kid,” Then seeing her friends pleading look she added impulsively, “..y -you -your breasts, they’re huge!” She stammered blushing a little at the unintentional compliment.
Amelia gulped audibly, embarrassed and still facing downward, “Daddy said that I was too young to be a woman.” She paused just long enough to bring her eyes to meet with Lina’s again, “He had the priestess’ cast a spell on me to stop me from ever…. Having a… you know… until I was old enough.”
“He what….” Lina was silent for a moment, “Why.... I never heard of such an asinine thing!” Lina pounded her fist in her hand, “What the hell was he thinking, there’s no way he could do that to you!”
Amelia shook her head ‘No.’ “It’s just that Daddy said I wasn’t ready for womanhood yet, so he had them seal me. I guess it’s been such a long time since they checked the seal, since I’ve been home, that it broke.”
Getting more irate by the second, Lina huffed, “He didn’t want you to have any bastard kids, that’s what it was. I thought he trusted you more than that. I can’t believe Phil would do this...” Despite her anger, Lina noticed the effect she was having on Amelia. Lina forced a smile for her benefit, purposefully curbing her own emotions and turned her mood more toward enthusiasm, “Well at least that explains you feeling like crap and why you can’t cast spells.”
Amelia could hardly manage the smallest of smiles back, “Yeah, you’re right….” Lina nodded deliberately.
“Uh huh, you just get cleaned up and we’ll head down to the baths, no big deal.”
Again Amelia’s mood dropped, “Lina,” Amelia paused for a moment, unsure of how to continue, “I’m scared...” She finally got out in a frail, light voice.
Lina’s eye twitched, she had to ask, “You’ve been told about ...” She paused scrambling for the wording, “..The birds and the bees. I hope, right?”
Amelia nodded hard, “Oh yeah, but,” Amelia glanced to her clothes in a heap, her bloody panties laying on top of the pile, “I don’t know what to do.…” Sounding outright pathetic Lina couldn’t turn Amelia away, though the temptation was there.
“Okay, I’ll help you, but you’re gonna owe me!” Lina added half playfully as she started walking to get a towel, the smile finally coming back to Amelia’s face.
Gourry walked out of his room just as the service staff were making their way down the hall lighting candles. The sun outside was quickly setting but it was still bright enough to see clearly thanks to the hotel layout. Thinking nothing of it he walked into Lina’s room and immediately came to a halt. Amelia was naked, standing, and turned away from the door. She was on her one foot with her other foot on a stool, her leg bent at the knee. But the shocking thing, more so than the fact he might get fireballed or called a pervert for walking in on Amelia. Was that Lina was down on her knees, her shirt off and her face hidden from view behind Amelia’s small butt and thighs. Amelia gave a light grunt and he saw Lina’s head bob away from Amelia for a moment. Gourry’s breath caught in his throat and he almost choked. “Geh.” He eeped out and turned, immediately heading out the door, afraid to close it entirely from the sound it might make.
Turning he made his way back to his room and walked in, steadying his expression. Zelgadiss looked up from what he was doing, “I thought you were going down to bathe?”
Gourry sat down across from Zelgadiss and reached under the bed, pulling out his sword, “I was on my way there and I realized that I forgot to clean the sand out of the sheath.”
Looking at him oddly, Zelgadiss had to ask, “Couldn’t that wait?”
Gourry shook his head, “I have to do it now before I forget, it hasn’t been done in awhile.”
Giving his shoulders a shrug Zelgadiss lamented, “Oh well, I’ll just wait to go down with you when you’re done.” Gourry nodded in the affirmative as he shakily started the process.
“There, all cleaned up.” Lina said, tossing away the bloody towel with a flourish and acting as cheerful as she could manage with the situation at hand.
Amelia smiled lightly, “Thank you ...”
Standing up, Lina let her pants drop to the ground, “Well, how about we just don’t worry about it, you’ll be okay.” Amelia stood still for a moment, catching Lina’s attention and stopping her from disrobing further. “What’s..”
Despite her disrobement Amelia leaned in abruptly, wrapping Lina in a big hug, “Thank you so much...” Surprised momentarily Lina eventually brought her arms up around Amelia’s back,
“It’s okay.” Lina cooed as she stroked Amelia’s bare-skinned back. They held each other for a minute, Amelia squeezing her tightly a few times before they parted. “Okay, we really need to take a bath now.” Lina said, accenting her point by waving her hand around, “We’re stinking up the room, and we’ve still got to sleep here tonight.
Amelia gave a short laugh, “Okay then, but you’re the one still dressed.” Lina looked down at herself, the dust had made it’s way through her clothes and her skin was impregnated with it, she focused on her bra and panties, normally they were red with white trim, but the trim had managed to turn brown.
“Well, you’ve got a point.” Without any fanfare Lina unhooked her bra and tossed it in her pile and stepped out of her panties, white outlines showing where they previously covered her body. Lina grabbed up her clothes and put on a robe, which prompted Amelia to do likewise, “Okay then, let’s go!”
Cleaned and immeasurably revitalized Lina and Amelia left the baths just as Zelgadiss and Gourry were passing to the men’s side. Zelgadiss nodded his head in their direction but Gourry turned his head a little in the opposite direction to avoid their gaze, irritating Lina but not causing her to loose her step with Amelia. Recovering quickly Lina waved her hand in their direction as she walked, “We’re gonna head down to the kitchen and see if we can get some food delivered to our room, we’ll see you two later!” She called out as she and Amelia turned the corner and went out of sight.
Lina ran her hands through her damp hair with barely a snag. She giggled at the freedom and cleanliness of it and threw her hands in the air exuberantly. “Ahhh! Nothing like a bath to raise the spirits, right Amelia!”
“Uh hum!” Amelia agreed, putting a skip into her next step and momentarily feeling elated. But quickly she felt that happiness start to fade. She hated the feeling, depression, to distract herself she started playing with the fabric of her robe, pinching the towel-like material between her fingers as they walked, not paying too much attention to where they were going. Soon enough they found the kitchen and Amelia winced as Lina pounded on the door.
“We need some service out here!” Lina demanded, raising her voice just enough to irk Amelia at her being rude. It was Lina though that ended up a little upset from not seeing Amelia give any reaction to her behavior.
In short order a man came to the door, “If you wanna order something, go in through the restaurant.”
Lina sneered at the man and gestured to her bare feet and robe, “Does it look like I’m dressed for that? Besides, I thought you did room service?” The man glanced between Lina and Amelia.
“Well, yeah, but... you’re supposed to fill out your order and give it to the front desk. You don’t give it to me.”
Lina countered, “Well, can I just order from you now that you’re out here?”
Suddenly unsure of himself his initial confrontational edge vanished, “Well, I guess, but next time fill out your order card and give it to the desk.”
Lina stomped her foot, slightly peeved, “No one told us to do that!”
Trying to diffuse the situation, the man made a calming gesture with his hands, “It’s okay, just tell me what you want and give me your room number. I’ll have my people in the kitchen prepare it and send it up to you right away.” Lina smirked, she did after all like it when things turned out her way but Amelia cut in.
“Just bill it to the Saillune royal family, I’ve already proven my affiliation to the owner.” The man started to bow but this time Lina cut in.
“No, don’t bother, I’ll pay when you bring it up to the room.” Lina folded her arms indicating that the point was not up for argument. She knew how much Amelia hated her abusing the royal funds and was deciding to take it a little easy on her since she was having such a stressful day.
Bowing again the fellow pulled out a pad of paper and a pen and looked at Lina expectantly before licking the quill to get the ink flowing, “And what would you like today?” Lina licked her lips at the invitation, her mouth already salivating at the prospect of the first real meal in quite some time.
“Hummm... it’s been awhile since we’ve ate anything good. But I’m not really in the mood for anything greasy. I’ll take whatever you’ve got on your menu with chicken in it.”
Logical reasoning compelled him to ask, “Is it some sort of sampler platter that you would like, we have at least a dozen dishes that involve chicken as one of the main ingredients...” He trailed off letting it sink in.
But Lina was quick to follow up, “Well, that sounds just about right to feed the both of us, eh Amelia.” She nudged Amelia who found herself back in the conversation.
Noticing that Amelia remained distant she added, “And a few bottles of wine too, the good stuff, she’s royalty after all.” Stunned but maintaining his composure the man bowed and ushered himself back in the kitchen, closing the door soundly. “How’s that sound Amelia.” Amelia nodded her head and Lina grabbed her hand, pulling her to the stairs, “Let’s get up to our room and get ready for some food!”
Even though she was being forced to follow, Amelia was feeling better in spite of it, “It sound’s good, it’s been so long since we’ve ate right.” Amelia grimaced, remembering just three days ago when they tried to make a feast out of a block of dried meat. They had been putting it off but eventually it was the only consumable they carried. It turned out to be so tough that they probably expended more energy eating it than it put into their bodies. Her jaw had hurt the remainder of the night over it and she regretted eating it all into the next day from the terrible pains it caused in her bowels. Then there was the time two days ago that Lina had used a summon spell to call fourth a dove, and Amelia had cried over them eating it so much, and it took so much of Lina’s energy to summon that it just wasn’t worth it to do again. Not to mention the amount of meat there did nothing to deaden anyone’s appetite.
As the two of them hit the second floor it was remarkably cooler than downstairs. Away from the kitchen they started to feel a breeze come in. Then, entering their room it was even cooler. With the windows open, the chill of the evening had started to creep in. And unlike in the local wilderness where the obsidian grit held the heat all through the night, the limestone buildings were more than happy to relinquish their thermal energy back to the air and cool down with the setting sun. “It looks like we might have to use the blankets tonight.” Amelia commented with a smile.
Feigning panic, Lina wailed, “Wha.. noooo, not the blankets.” Her and Amelia laughed lightly over it and Lina rushed ahead into the room and threw herself on the bed. Causing it to squeak as she bounced once heavily on it before settling into the down comforter.
With a sudden movement at the end of the bed Lina looked up to see Amelia sitting down. The bed was large enough for the two of them to comfortably sleep on for once and Lina hoped that she wouldn’t ‘beat the crap’ out of Amelia in her sleep like she tended to do. “I guess I’ll sleep on the floor tonight.” Amelia lamented while looking down.
Sitting up a little, Lina tried to catch the princess’ face, “What? Why?” She rushed out, feeling her attempts of cheering the princess up falling away.
Amelia turned to Lina, “Well, I don’t want to ruin the sheets.” Lina shook her head.
“Wha- no, no, it doesn’t work like that.” She gestured to the white sheets and the soil she had left on them earlier from her dingy clothes, “We’re in a hotel, if you get them dirty, they’ll clean them, and if you keep that pad between your legs you shouldn’t bleed on them anyway.”
Giving a sniffle, Amelia tried to justify her thinking process, “Well, I don’t...”
There was no room for compromise in Lina’s voice, “Don’t worry about it, it happens to all of us and no one else changes their life for it.” Letting a wry smile play across her features she continued, “And you’re definitely not going to worry about it once you’re drunk.” Lina boasted, knowing full well that Amelia never drank to excess. Instead of denying the plan though, Amelia took on a thoughtful look.
“Well... you’re probably right.”
Lina shot out her hands to ward off the idea, “I was just kidding, for all I know you’re a violent drunk and you’ll beat me up in your sleep!” She joked, causing Amelia to get into it.
“Then how would that be any different from when you’re sober!” Amelia grinned at Lina.
“Well, it’s just-- damn! You’re right, I’m violent when I’m sober...”
Amelia laughed whole-heartedly, “Lina, you’re always violent!”
Her cheeks reddening, Lina tried to defend, “I meant when I sleep! I’m not always violent.”
Immediately Amelia came up with a rebuttal, “I know quite a few bandits would vouch against that statement.” Amelia smirked before the two of them burst into fits of laughter just as there was a knock at the door.
Lina was the first to compose herself and head to the door to greet room service. She exchanged pleasantries and lead the three people with their carts to the table where they started laying out the dishes. “Come on Amelia, time to eat!” Lina shouted with joy while sitting down. The waiters started unveiling the food drawing Ohh’s and Ahhh’s from Lina as each marvelous delicacy was revealed. Amelia had meanwhile made it to a seat on the opposite side of the table some ten feet away. With all the food finally laid out, one of the men came up to Lina and informed her that her bill was at the front desk. For once she really didn’t care much about the bill at the moment and shooed him off, eager to enjoy her food.
It had been a somewhat difficult job but Lina felt she had significantly lightened Amelia’s mood. She thought back to her first time, the embarrassment, and humiliation and thought that perhaps she had done a better job than most people could have to comfort Amelia. Satisfied with herself, and with the prospect of good food looming before them Lina decided that maybe a more extended vacation was in order, “Amelia, how ‘bout we stay here for a few days, you know, relax from our life on the road, just for a bit longer than we were planning?” Amelia smiled back from across the table.
“You know, I was just hoping you’d suggest something like that.” Lina smiled back and the two of them started digging in.
It took a bit longer for Zelgadiss to groom himself than Gourry, but Gourry was enjoying the cool water anyway.
“Hey Zel, you almost done? I’m starting to look like a prune over here.”
Zelgadiss leaned back into the water more, “You know, you don’t have to wait for me.”
“Hummm... but then who would I talk to?” Zelgadiss stood up and wiped some of the water off his body.
“I guess I’m ready to get out anyway. Want to head to the kitchen and see what kind of trouble Lina’s causing?”
Following suit, Gourry stood up as well, grabbing a towel and wrapping it around himself, “You think they’re still down there?”
Automatically Zelgadiss responded, “Probably. I mean, I’d think they would wait for their order.” Then he added under his breath, “If only to get it a second faster.”
Gourry nodded, “Hey Zel, if you’re not that hungry yet, how about we worry about getting something later.” Gourry finished quickly, the words seemed to express not a single thought but a hastily assembled amalgamation of them.
“Hummm... we could do that.” Zelgadiss inspected Gourry’s relieved expression carefully, taking his mind back to when they were coming in. He could tell that there was something going on between Gourry and Lina, but unquestionably on Gourry’s side as Lina didn’t show any inclination toward anything being amiss.
Zelgadiss wrapped a towel around his waist and used another towel to dry off his body, carefully blotting his hair dry for fear of shredding the towel. The two of them slipped into some loose fitting outfits the hotel had supplied, simple shirts and pants, thin fabric and uniform blue in color, the stereotypical boy bedtime outfit. Together they headed out of the men’s side of the baths and back to their room. The walk uneventful and uncharacteristically silent. Zelgadiss felt some sort of tension in Gourry. It wasn’t normally Zelgadiss’ prerogative to delve into such matters, people need their room after all just as he needed his. But when it came to matters of Lina and Gourry, he had to admit the slightest bit of curiosity in their relationship.
Back in their room Gourry prompted Zelgadiss to light the candles with his magic. As Zelgadiss was busy Gourry pulled our his sword again and started honing the blade with a wet stone. Finished with his task Zelgadiss turned to him, “So, what’s bothering you tonight?”
The question didn’t provoke Gourry to lift his eyes from his work, “Nothing.” But the tone of his reply didn’t indicate that he did not want to talk about it, just that more prodding would be necessary.
“Hummm...” Zelgadiss walked over to Gourry and stood in front of him, “Something’s up Gourry. Why don’t you just tell me what’s going on because we both know you’ll cave eventually.”
Gourry worked hard to keep his eyes from trailing up to meet Zelgadiss’ face. “Nothing’s going on Zel.”
“Yeah, right...” Zelgadiss couldn’t sense Gourry breaking down so he headed over to the door, “I’m going to go get us something from the kitchen. Maybe you’ll be more talkative on a full stomach.” Gourry didn’t respond though and just kept working his sword, growling a little Zelgadiss resisted the urge to slam the door. Peaceful interrogations were something that he wasn’t used to, but after several days in the wilderness, even Zelgadiss was eagerly looking forward to some real food.
“That- that was great.” Lina tried to maintain her composure, but the alcohol was starting to kick in. Both of them sat across from each other in just their robes, their hair still wild looking, damp, and starting to frizz from the bath. Lina got up from the table unsteadily and Amelia started laughing, Lina turned and saw that she was the one being laughed at, “Wah..?”
It took a moment for Amelia to compose herself, “You-re real drunk Leeena..” Amelia slurred purposefully, drawing out her name.
Lina scoffed in response, “Look who’s talk’in...” Lina wobbled over to the wall they shared with Zelgadiss and Gourry then pounded on it, “We’re a gonna go to sleep!” She giggled as she heard Gourry shout something back. Despite the solid stone, she’d made her point.
With her intentions passed along she hobbled over toward the bed, looking quite ungraceful as she made her way. Lina let her robe drop from around her shoulders exposing her naked body in the moonlight flooding through the open windows, “I’m free!” She shouted playfully before hopping onto the bed and beating on it to entice Amelia. Amelia stopped picking at the leftovers of a chicken carcass and looked across the room at Lina, the chandelier above her head brightly illuminated her for Lina, but to Amelia, Lina could hardly be seen, her double vision wasn’t helping matters.
She heard Lina beating on the mattress though, “Wha’daya want?”
Lina giggled some more, “Sleepy time!” She yelled simply.
Getting up was a challenge for Amelia, she was not used to being intoxicated and as a result she wasn’t used to handling the way her body distributed her weight. Stumbling, she reached out and tried to grab her chair to steady herself but missed and dropped to the ground in what seemed like slow motion. Lina laughed even harder at her, falling onto her back and pointing. Doing nothing for Amelia’s confidence she tried again, if only to prove she could do it. She got to her feet and concentrated, crossing the handful of steps to the bed, acting passingly sober. “Come on... let’s get some sleep...” Lina mumbled, tossing and turning and burrowing her way under the covers.
A little hesitant, Amelia pondered taking off her robe too. She didn’t want to make a mess though if she bled through during the night. With synchronicity Lina reassured her, “Don’t worry ‘bout it, just get under the covers.” Amelia smirked and tried to undo the knot holding her robe shut, but quickly found it had become smarter than her since she had tied it. She lacked the dexterity to undo the knot and cried out weakly in frustration. In response Lina pulled herself from beneath the covers and moved over to Amelia. She crawled on her knees, her breasts hanging beneath her and moving slightly as she worked her way across the bed. The pure moonlight spilling down over her back, casting shadows in just the right places, with her hair alluringly masking her face.
“La... la... Lina...” Amelia started as Lina got up to her, raising her head to meet Amelia’s eyes and effortlessly untying the knot.
Lina slowly sat upright on her knees, almost eye level with Amelia on their two different surfaces. She reached up and put her hands in Amelia’s robe and pushed it off her shoulders. “Just relax Amelia. Get some sleep.” Amelia gulped at the contact of Lina’s skin with hers and nodded mindlessly, her thoughts settling just a little longer than she was comfortable with on the fact that Lina had just undressed her again. Lina sat back down and rolled away from Amelia, re-working her way beneath the covers and lifting up one corner, inviting Amelia under.
Looking down at her own body in the moonlight Amelia ran her eyes over her breasts, and her flat stomach, down to the little tuft of hair between her legs, unable focus her thoughts. On impulse. she touched her flanks and ran her hands up her own sides, enjoying the provocative feel of them against her skin and settled them on her breasts. She gave them a indulgent squeeze causing Lina to feel a little uncomfortable, “Just get in the bed..” Amelia stopped and reluctantly put a foot on the bed, working it under the cover with her body following under the covers moments later. Lina reached over gingerly and patted Amelia on the shoulder, “Just relax and get some sleep....” In the feathery bed, Lina’s wakefulness didn’t last long, and Amelia followed her to slumber soon thereafter.
Fidgeting a little with his thumbs Gourry finally spoke up, “Ummm... you think it’s a little weird that Lina and Amelia are sleeping together?” Zelgadiss’ face scrunched up at the sudden question.
Gourry kept on, “Well, you know... they’re in the same room together.”
Smacking his hand to his forehead at Gourry’s stupidity, Zelgadiss groaned, “Gourry, we’re in the same room together.”
Gourry put his hands in front of him in a defensive manner, his words picking up speed, “But, it’s different.” Looking at the beds Gourry observed, “It’s been such a long time since we’ve had beds to sleep in, but did you notice that Amelia and Lina got a King sized bed, but we got two beds... they had another room with two beds didn’t they?”
Like any tired person would be expected to, Zelgadiss ran his hands over his own face. “And just what is your point?”
Suddenly Gourry seemed to become intrigued with his thumbs and looked down as he twiddled them, “Well, you know...”
Finally getting frustrated Zelgadiss retorted back, “No, I don’t know, all I know is that I need some sleep.” Gourry dropped onto his back on his bed, pushing his feet beneath the covers. Zelgadiss in turn blew out the candles between the beds leaving Gourry to his thoughts.
“Just what was going on...” Gourry mumbled to himself, straining to hear anything coming from the wall to his back, and failing.
Trying to broach conversation Gourry started to form a word but let it die, then after a moment and after capturing Zelgadiss’ attention he tried again, “They stop serving breakfast in a little bit Zel, you think I should go get Lina?” Zelgadiss sighed and turned back to Gourry, they had both ate without bothering to wake the girls, but Gourry had been like a kid anxious to wake a pet.
“I guess you should or else they might not get anything to eat.” Finally given ‘permission’, Gourry managed to keep himself composed, somberly acknowledging Zelgadiss before standing up and heading to the stairs.
Like most upper-class motels the stairs were carved in stone, actually the whole building was stone, which made it easy to sneak around. Gourry decided to take advantage of the architecture and head over to Lina’s room for a bit of spying. The walk was short, and as fortune would have it, the door was unlocked. Nothing standing in his way aside from his respect for Lina and Amelia’s privacy, he carefully turned the knob and pushed it open, only allowing the knob to come back to the normal position slowly to avoid the sound of the mechanism engaging. The sun outside was already up over the top of the surrounding buildings and Gourry was surprised to find Amelia and Lina still in bed. He had expected them to have at least been up and sorting loot, or making preparations, going over maps, or something.
There was nothing of the sort going on though. His better judgment said to just leave and drive whatever thoughts were in his head as far away as possible. But curiosity got the better of him. He walked over to within ten feet of the bed and could easily see from that distance that both Lina and Amelia were naked, what’s more, Lina was spooning Amelia. Gourry licked his dry lips as he took in the scene. Although the comforter they were under was thick and hid the details, their feet were distinctly uncovered to the knees, showing off their slender legs. Furthermore, the cover did not come up all the way, whereas it covered Amelia to her neck, her black hair tussled slightly over the white pillows, the same cover on Lina, who was positioned higher up on the bed, hardly covered the base of her breasts. Gourry’s heartbeat doubled as he noticed he could see one of Lina’s nipples over the covers, and he followed her fair skin from there, up her body to her face. The angelic expression and wonderfully scattered red-brown hair screaming innocence, yet... there was a sexual excitement...
Fearing for his life, Gourry ever so cautiously started walking backwards out of the room. Knowing full well that fate could have the two of them wake up any second. He even held the doorknob as he walked out backwards and allowed it to close with his pendulum walking style. Before stopping, bracing himself, and knocking loudly. “Hey, Amelia, Lina, time to get up!” He pounded again knowing that it might take quite a bit to rouse them and was eventually satisfied with Lina screaming something at him. “The kitchen’s going to close until lunch, you need to hurry up if you want some breakfast!” He shouted before hearing the scattered sounds in the room pick up in volume.
Without warning the door opened a crack and he heard Lina, “Gourry, could you go downstairs and get our clothes from the desk?”
Still flustered he managed out, “Okay. I’ll be right back.” And ran off with Lina closing the door just as he ran down the stairs.
Lina walked back in the room, on the bed Amelia was sitting very still, downcast, “Lina... I think I ruined the sheets....”
Looking down at the bed Lina sighed, “If the sheets really bother you, we’ll go out today and buy some new ones, would that make you happy?” Amelia nodded and Lina continued, “I’ve been thinking... maybe we should just stick around this city until you’re feeling better....” Then dropping her serious front in favor of a more playful attitude she added, “Try to act normal around the guys though, we don’t want to have to explain anything to them, right?”
Amelia looked confused for a moment, “Didn’t you tell me that last night?”
“Hum..” Lina pondered, “Yeah.. but I thought you might have been too drunk to remember…” She finished with a smile that nearly caused Amelia to face-fault.
“I wasn’t that drunk!”
Lina’s smile didn’t waver under the assault, “Hey, you couldn’t even make it to the bed without falling down, I’d say you were pretty damned drunk.” Amelia’s only counter was to stick out her tongue.
But there was something that seemed odd and Amelia’s playful smile started to fade after a moment, “Lina, why are you acting so nice to me?”
“Acting so nice…!” Lina started a retort, questioning what Amelia thought of her normal behavior, but calmed herself quickly. Sitting down on the bed heavily Lina sighed, “Listen, I know what you’re going through, and…well, I know what it’s like to have no one to turn to.” Lina paused a moment, her eyes feeling a little misty but no tears forming, “Anyway, I just want to make this a little easier on you than it was on me.” Amelia smiled in reply, at once feeling more emotional. Her mind though inevitably drawn to the question of what did happen to Lina. Sitting so close on the bed Amelia moved in about half the distance with her arms open for a hug, then stopped, hesitating, Lina held her ground though. Still unsure as to weather or not it was the right thing to do, Amelia decided that if it was in her heart it was the right thing to do. In a quick movement Amelia closed the gap and pulled Lina into her embrace.
After having Gourry come back to the table, acting stranger than ever Zelgadiss was looking foreword to some semblance of normality when Lina and Amelia finally arrived. But immediately he noticed that something was a little off there too. Still, he figured he could simply sit and wait and things would work themselves out. So he silently sipped his tea while keeping only the smallest bit of his attention on the going ons at the table as Lina and Amelia ate more than a normal breakfast. Well, upon closer inspection he noticed Amelia lagging behind her usual total consumption level. Additionally, there was something else he couldn’t put his finger on. Combined with Gourry’s recent erratic behavior Zel felt himself a bit uneasy.
Happily full, Lina pushed herself to her feet with the aid of the table. Stretching exaggeratedly, “Well, I hope you two slept good because we’re staying here a couple days.” Although the slightest bit irritated from the prospect of lost time, Zelgadiss was still overall grateful, after so long in the nearby wasteland a few days with beds and baths was looking pretty good despite his resilient chimera nature. All in all it made him wonder if Lina was doing her part to spoil him lately with these types of creature comforts. Gourry on the other hand was trying to project a cool exterior but he felt there was something peculiar with the timing of things. Still, it was nothing he could pinpoint.
“And Prince Phil is treating us!” Lina shouted jubilantly as she fished out the royal signet of the kingdom of Saillune from her chest wrap.
“Hey!” Amelia made a grab for it once it was in view but Lina took two steps back, just out of her reach, sticking out her tongue playfully.
“I promise I’ll give it back to you this time when we’re done.” Despite the uncharacteristic compromise Amelia folded her arms and huffed. Keeping up her momentum Lina kept with her plan, “Today though I was planning on going out to all the shops to restock our supplies, food, water, the basics, and I need a new tent.” Zelgadiss nodded at the mention of Lina’s tattered tent that had somehow been struck with an errant fireball.
Satisfied with the layout planned Lina nodded, “We’ll all head out and meet back here about dusk for dinner, okay?”
Being proactive Zelgadiss stood up, “I guess I’ll go find the library...” Pausing Zelgadiss looked at Amelia catching her eye, he waited a moment for the inevitable question. But it didn’t come, he was so thrown off though that he had to ask, “Would you like to come with me Amelia...” Put on the spot Amelia wasn’t sure, she looked to Lina who was shooing her along making motions with her hands telling Amelia that she should go, but that wasn’t enough to coax her.
“... Not today... maybe tomorrow though.” Amelia finished with a slightly forced smile. Not at all upset, Zelgadiss nodded.
“Okay then, I’ll see you all later.” Dramatically Zelgadiss turned sharply, his cape coming out behind him and taking to the air, his pace toward the doors just enough to keep the cape suspended off the ground.
Lina smirked, “Show off.” Now looking at Gourry she got to the final order of business, “And how about you find a nice sword smith to do some maintenance on my short sword.” She accentuated her point by reaching to her side and unclasping the sword, handing it to Gourry. “The handle’s been getting a little loose and the edge needs honed, it’s too nicked up for me to touch it up any more.” Gourry looked at the blade expectantly, its severe maintenance issues sticking out to his expert eye. Other thoughts momentarily forgotten he nodded solemnly. “Great, so we’ll all meet back here in a bit. Come on Amelia.” Lina reached out and pulled Amelia to her feet and without another word dragged her out the door leaving Gourry with his task for the day.
Although Gourry could have attempted to fix the blade himself, he was sure the deep nicks were the type that would require the whole sword to be re-worked by a sword smith to get them out in their entirety. Additionally he didn’t have the necessary pieces for the handle, so, begrudgingly he had went in search of a sword smiths’ services for the day. Despite his confidence in his own abilities he decided to bring his own sword in for a check up as well.
Realizing the qualities of the city though, the size of it and the great possibilities of near innumerable sword smiths of untested quality he also opted to check with the front desk for their opinion on the matter as a head start. As luck would have it though their recommended place of business was not far from his present location and after a short walk he found himself at a building unlike any in the surrounding area. The streets were full of people walking and the buildings all around him stood tall and were made of stone with the exception of the sword smiths shop. It was built in the same place where a building would be, and looking up the second and third floors matched well with the surrounding architecture, however the bottom floor was completely open. Pillars held up the rest of the buisness but if it were not for some light cloth covers draped from the ceiling, one could look right through the building.
Since there wasn’t a designated door Gourry simply pushed aside some of the drapes and walked in. Inside though it was considerably darker than it was out on the street so it took some time for his eyes to adjust. First into view he could see the deep orange glow of the forge, then the rest of the darkness came into view slowly. First tables surrounding the outlying edges, then as time went on further details, swords and all sorts of knives and maces were placed on the tables for sale or trade and just as he was adjusting to the darkness he started to notice the penetrating heat. Already his skin was starting to tingle, outside the temperature had been uncomfortable, and within the draped area it was downright unbearable.
Rubbing off the sweat Gourry started in, toward the glowing forge and the man working it. Strange, it was fairly quiet despite the bustle of the street just outside, the only sound discernable was the deadening sound of a hammer striking against the hot metal. “Hey, old man!” Gourry waved his hand to get the his attention. Looking up from his work Gourry quickly found that it was not a man but a young girl that was working the steel. She looked up and smeared the sweat on her brow, her dark bangs clinging to her forehead. Suddenly thrown off Gourry looked around at all the swords and implements of war surrounding him and back to what he had thought was a lanky old man. Which turned out to be on further inspection quite a trim and girl, wearing a loose fitting long sleeved shirt and pants to match. Gourry still got quite the shock from her sweat soaked chest, which managed to define itself by clinging to the fabric there.
“What do you want?” Although not acting like she was loosing her patience she took advantage of a moment of free time to grab the top of her shirt and pull it away from her body to fan away some of the perspiration.
Gourry composed himself in record time, “I.. I just needed a few repairs.” He reached behind his back and unhooked Lina’s short sword, handing it over, then after a moment’s hesitation he reached to his side and unhooked his sword as well. Fighting a little against his pride he felt compelled to hand it over and he smiled back at her. “The short sword is my partners an it needs some major blade repairs and all the regular maintenance.” Already she had Lina’s sword out of its sheath and was examining it, holding it at eye level and looking down the blade she huffed at the disregard for the blade and its lack of upkeep. As she sat it down and hefted Gourry’s sword he started again, “That one is mine.” He grinned a little, some of his pride coming across, “I’d like to think I take good care of it myself but I thought maybe someone else should take a look at it.”
She removed the sword from its sheath and looked it over, “I can tell who’s the more responsible of you two.”
Gourry blushed a little, “Can you have them done in two days?”
She nodded, “It shouldn’t be a problem, I can have yours done later today if you’d like.”
Gourry gave the slightest of nods to acknowledge her then started off nervously again, “You know, it would be a lot cooler in here if you opened up some of these drapes.” She put down Gourry’s sword and started to fan herself again.
“You think I don’t know that…. I just can’t because the yahoos in this town can’t keep their eyes off my chest while I‘m working the bellows…” She accentuated the point by pushing out her chest a little, which Gourry seemed less than inclined to observe.
“I guess I’ll be back by later then…”
The smith nodded and turned, picking up her hammer again and the piece she had been working on, putting it in the fire and starting to work the bellows with her feet. His job for the moment expediently completed Gourry decided to get out of that hot spot as quick as possible. And after passing through the draped barrier Gourry was surprised to find the outside comparatively cool. “Hummmm… now where could Lina be..?”
Dressed more casually than usual Lina and Amelia made their way through the occasional crowds on the streets. Over her shoulder Lina had slung her tent, complete with carrying sack and walked with the slightest hint of a swagger, a bit of cockiness from her recent bartering, leading to her acquisition of the tent at rock-bottom prices. Noticing Lina’s inability to keep the smile from her face Amelia countered with a little jibe, “Well, at least you didn’t make him give you money for the tent.” But it had the opposite effect and made Lina smile all the wider and giggle.
“You know, maybe I should have tried, I was on a roll!” Smacking her fist into her palm for emphasis Lina kept up, “It’s been such a long time since I’ve really got to haggle with someone!” Her happiness somehow managed to spread to Amelia though and she could hardly keep the smile from her face as well despite how frugal her friend could be.
Suddenly Lina stopped and put her hand on Amelia’s shoulder, bringing her to a stop as well. “Wha..” But Amelia followed Lina’s pointing, “Oh, a linen store?”
Lina nodded enthusiastically in return, “Let’s get in there and buy some sheets while I’m still on a hot streak!” Lina rubbed her hands together and cracked her knuckles before grabbing Amelia’s hand and pulling her in behind her. At that same time, further down the street Gourry was just turning the corner and managed to catch, just barely, the duo entering one of the stores on the left hand side of the boulevard. Despite the pedestrian traffic, and that he didn’t see exactly what store they went into, he now had a destination in mind.
Turning on her heel, Lina brought her hands up to her chest and brought with them a satin white sheet, presenting it for Amelia to look over. “So, do you think this one looks like the ones at the inn?” Amelia looked it over carefully before shaking her head discouraged.
“Why don’t we just go back and try to get the sheets cleaned, or we could just tell them we ruined them…” Lina replied to Amelia’s retort with a negative sound.
“I know from experience how hard it is to get blood out of my clothes, and on something that shade of pristine white, it will never come out.” Lina’s tone softened, “And I don’t want you to get embarrassed, that’s all.”
Amelia exhaled loudly, “I’m glad you’re going through this with me but….” Amelia trailed off as she realized that it had crossed over, the situation meaning more to Lina than it did to her and decided that the best course of action was just to let Lina do what she felt she needed to do.
A new course of action decided, Amelia decided to lighten the mood a bit and laugh her way through the headache that she’d been dealing with and the cramps that were setting in. “None of this is even my fault!”
Lina raised her eyebrow at Amelia’s loud proclamation, “Oh?”
Amelia nodded astutely, “You’re the one that had me get in bed naked.”
Putting her hand to her chin, Lina over-exaggerated the thinking process, “You know… I guess you’re right.” Amelia chuckled on the inside.
“And that means you’ll take care of it right?”
In her usual matter of fact manner Lina was quick to reply, “Of course, I’ll take care of it.”
Amelia frowned, “You know I don’t like keeping secrets, especially from Gourry and Zelgadiss.” Although they had never made a big deal about it, Lina had always made the others aware when she was ‘vulnerable’ just so no one would leave her defenseless. Lina patted Amelia on the head.
“It’s okay if we keep this one, just between you and me.” Amelia smiled back and reached in and hugged Lina tightly, despite her mental protests and dislike of being coddled by her, Amelia was actually quite happy and grateful for the attention and worry that she was getting from Lina and felt that a hug was the least she could offer.
Of course having come into earshot about the time Amelia raised her voice, Gourry managed to take everything out of context. So much so that he had started taking a few steps toward the door by the time he decided that he didn’t need to know about whatever was going on. But his presence was not noticed by either Lina or Amelia and unfortunately his escape from the establishment was entirely successful.
/\/\||/\/\-=End of Chapter 2=-/\/\||/\/\