Butterflies, Dominoes, and Causality
Chapter 3 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!)*****************
“They were doing what?” Zelgadiss immediately hushed himself but had to struggle to keep himself in check. Lina and Amelia’s tents were only a short distance away. Gourry’s silence over the last few days had been unnerving, but his confession as to the cause of his silence had been even more unexpected. Though he had known a confession was on the horizon. Since they had left the city a day previous he could tell Gourry was looking for the right time to get something off his chest, but this…
Speaking up, Gourry repeated himself, “I just walked in, and Amelia was naked- Her leg was propped up or something and Lina was down on her knees between her legs and Lina was getting naked, and I didn’t know what to do!” He finished exasperated.
“Gourry, whatever you saw may have looked like they were doing something indecent but there’s just no way…” They both paused for a minute before Zelgadiss picked back up, “You’re sure you saw that, but...”
Gourry shook his head, his expression solemn, “And the next day when I walked in they were both naked.” Gourry’s words were picking up pace before Zelgadiss cut him off again.
“Wait, you walked in?” Gourry shook off the question though.
“They had rooms with double beds Zel, why did they get a room with a single?” Beginning to compose himself again Zelgadiss attempted to reason.
“Maybe Lina just likes a bigger bed, she seems to be that type of person.”
Again Gourry picked up, his voice already gaining momentum, “But, there were other things too. The next day I overheard them talking, and Lina was the one that convinced Amelia to get naked with her, and that they would keep it a secret from us.”
“Woah, wait a second.” Zelgadiss made a stopping motion with his hands, “You’ve been thinking this over quite a bit haven’t you?” Still though he couldn’t help but crack a smile at the thought of Gourry actually thinking over anything with intensity.
Gourry gave a crooked smile, “Yeah, its kind of been on my mind.”
Composing himself for a moment Zelgadiss tried again, “So, what you’re saying…” Zelgadiss paused waiting for Gourry to fill in the blank, it took a moment longer than it would take with most but he took the opportunity.
“I’m saying that Lina and Amelia are a couple…”
Zelgadiss sighed, “That’s what I thought you were trying to say.” Obviously not converted to his way of thinking, Gourry decided to press his point.
“Have you noticed how much time the two of them have spent together lately, don’t they seem closer to you, and I swear they took at least five baths at that hotel we were at in three days!” He was still trying to keep his voice down but it was picking up as he became more animated. Gourry glanced around but it was hard to see with the fire drowning out the surrounding darkness. Lina had headed out a short time ago to do some scouting before she turned in for the night and Amelia was already in her tent. Gourry didn’t feel like getting caught discussing the two of them.
“Gourry, they’re women, women take more baths than men.”
A rebuttal already in his head Gourry was quick to speak, “I know that, but they never did before… and they were spending so much time in their room…”
Zelgadiss had heard enough, “Now you’re trying to get me to believe they’re being intimate with each other?” Gourry nodded ever so slightly. Again, Zel felt compelled to sigh and rub his face, turning his attention to the fire. Silence…
Quickly though Gourry was at it again, “It’s just, even if I’m wrong I feel a little less crazy telling someone.”
“Yeah, you’ll see, your mind was running away with that idea because you were keeping it inside.” Still, without looking away from the fire Zelgadiss poked it with a nearby stick, sending up some embers, “Lina should be back shortly, let’s just get some sleep for tonight.”
Opening her eye ever so slightly Amelia could hardly make out the form of a female entering her tent, with pains taken to do so as silently as possible. As her vision sharpened she took in the shoulder guards and hair and rapidly discerned the identity of the visitor. “Lina?” Sleepy but not yet having fallen asleep Amelia realized she had no clue why Lina would go through the trouble of sneaking in, unless something was amiss. Without a word Amelia started to tighten up and prepare for a fight. Lina made a muffled sound. Curious, and a little worried Amelia sat up just as Lina was sitting down next to her. As she sat up though Lina reached behind Amelia and grabbed her pillow, putting it over her own face, and unleashing a roaring torrent of laugher dead into it.
Completely perplexed now Amelia sat there stunned as Lina continued to laugh beyond what she would consider normal. Eventually though Lina pulled the pillow away from her face, her eyes teary and short on breath she had to regain her composure, “Lina..?” Lina held out her hand to indicate she needed a minute and continued breathing heavily, punctuated by the occasional giggle. Finally though she locked eyes with Amelia, barely keeping the bulk of the smile from her lips.
“You’ll never believe this… Gourry thinks we’re a couple!” The announcement was of course followed by the need for the pillow resurging and Amelia was forced to sit perplexed as Lina unloaded more laughter into the muffling device. But the fit didn’t last as long, Amelia’s dumbfounded expression pulling her out of it.
“A what?” The question caused Lina to giggle but she held it in. She tried again, this time using a more effluent terminology.
“He thinks that we’re romantically entangled!” The exclamation being a relative volume and the whole conversation still being fairly muted.
“You mean… he thinks that you and me… love-love each other?” Amelia was looking between her hands confused while Lina’s smile again grew and she was forced to use the pillow for a third time. Finally a smile started to come to Amelia too as she started to see the absurdity of it, “What would make him even think that?” Deciding that maybe Amelia should be spared the embarrassment of what Gourry saw (and for that matter leaving Lina wondering how he saw the things he did) she decided to omit some details.
“He’s just noticed that we’ve been spending a lot of time together lately. He was actually trying to convince Zel that we were lovers…” Lina drug out the last word like a schoolgirl would to make light of a situation, causing Amelia to blush and start laughing simultaneously. “Of course Zel wouldn’t believe a word of it.” Amelia nodded, “But that didn’t stop Gourry from giving his all to convince him that we were a couple.”
Putting her hand on Amelia’s shoulder, they each shared their muffled laughter for a minute. Lina swallowed hard and wiped some of the tears from her eyes, “So, I was thinking that maybe we could mess with Gourry some.” Although the comedic value was important in Lina’s mind, there was also a slight revenge aspect as he had obviously seen some things that he shouldn’t have spying on them. “How about we pretend to be in love, and keep going until we have both of them believing it, then spring the joke on them.”
Despite her nature Amelia couldn’t help but laugh at the idea, agreeing after a moment of sputtering laughter, “Okay, so what do we do?” Both of them still had quite the case of the giggles.
“I don’t know, we’ll figure something out.” Lina pushed herself up and started opening the tent flap, “If you figure something out Amelia, tell me in the morning. I’ve got to get some sleep, well… at least I’ll try.” Even the slightest provocation forced Lina to restrain herself from laughing
Slipping out of the tent Lina turned to notice Gourry just getting into his tent, he in response pivoted just in time to see her exiting Amelia’s tent. Their eyes locked for a second and Lina used all of her will power to force her gaze to reflect some internal emotion other than hilarity. She partially succeeded but before she could turn away her smile was already back in full force. And on her way back to her tent she had to cover her mouth with both hands to prevent herself from exploding into all out laughter as she realized how Gourry would over-think what just happened. Crawling into her tent she bundled up in the covers.
Sleeping was a challenge, all she could think of was the absurdity of the situation, and Gourry’s propensity to misinterpret even the most docile of situations, and how she could take advantage of that over the coming days to drive him crazy. After some time, with the situation being just as foremost in her mind as before, she couldn’t resist an impulse to drive the situation further. She pushed herself from the ground and hobbled out of the tent. For the most part clothed but stripped down to her essentials, a simple shirt and underwear she made her way back to Amelia’s tent. “Amelia, are you still up?” Lina called out lightly, tapping on the canvas flap, making a dull sound that spread out over the tent. In response Amelia groaned and Lina took that as in invitation to open the flap and step in. It was dark inside but since she had last been inside she could tell that Amelia had moved around and was now laying on her side. Lina surprised her by laying down next to her, her face only a few inches away from Amelia’s.
“I figured now would be as good a time as any.” Lina reached down and grasped the edge of Amelia’s covers and lifted her legs, tucking them underneath, “If I spend the night together with you in your tent, that should get Gourry’s imagination going..”
Having come back to some level of coherentness and with their upcoming joke on her mind, Amelia gave a short giggle, “Okay then, good night Lina.”
Lina responded to the playfulness with a likewise response, “See you tomorrow morning Amelia.” They were both grinning widely at one another now and shared a laugh, before they rolled their separate ways and managed to get to sleep within a surprisingly reasonable amount of time.
As soon as Lina exited the tent she could feel eyes watching her. Acting nonchalant she glanced over to the fire where Zelgadiss and Gourry were sitting. Zelgadiss for his part acting just as cool and collected as Lina but Gourry unable to feign interest in anything else, going so far as to nudge Zelgadiss violently, who was putting considerable effort into ignoring Gourry. Lina intentionally stretched in an exaggerated manner to imply that she had slept exceedingly well. Additionally though it showed off that Lina was not dressed for the road, leading Gourry to believe that Lina hadn’t somehow slept in Amelia’s tent on accident.
In an unprecedented action Lina headed over to the fire before putting on her usual garb. Sitting carefully on the log closest to the flames she pulled her feet up to her chest and stretched her bed shirt over her knees to her ankles. The warmth at this time of day was significantly less as they had made their way out of the desert and into higher elevations. As such the heat from the fire was quite welcome after a night of sleeping on the ground. Gourry was nearly boiling over, he couldn’t keep silent any longer, “Why’d you sleep in Amelia’s tent last night?” Despite Gourry’s reputation for lack of tact she hadn’t expected such a direct question and applauded him for it, but she had an all purpose contingency answer.
“Sore wa himitsu deusu” Lina admonished, waving her finger in a chiding manner.
“Gah!” Gourry nearly fell off the log, likewise Zelgadiss nearly spit out whatever it was he was drinking, despite the way he was taking pains to make it look like he wasn’t even paying attention to what the two of them were saying. Putting on a bit of a show Lina put her index finger to her chin and looked to the sky thoughtfully.
“Why does it matter to you?” Flustered at having the question turned on him he couldn’t manage a coherent answer.
“Well… I-- I don’t know-- you know..”
She turned back to him, beaming a simple smile, “We’re good friends, does that mean we can’t sleep together?”
There was an intentional naivety in Lina’s wording that left Gourry wondering if she was trying to goad him on or was completely oblivious to any ulterior meaning to Gourry’s question. Still, he was at a loss for a comeback, “Well… I guess there’s nothing wrong with that…” Lina for her part was now acting bored of the conversation.
“So are you gonna cook up something to eat, or am I going to have to do it?”
Gourry motioned a little to the fire, “I cooked awhile ago, but the pan’s right there if you’re hungry.”
“What do you mean ‘If I’m hungry’ I just woke up! And we spent all day yesterday following that damn path around the lake that turned into that bog before we even got to trudging through the forest, I’ve gotta eat!” Lina snorted.
Cringing back Gourry shrugged his shoulders, “But you weren’t up yet, and you’ve been sleeping in lately, I didn’t know when you’d wake up.”
He had her there, she shrugged it off, “Meh.” Then stood up, letting her shirt roll off her knees just as she got to her feet, showing off her shapely legs once again. “Okay, I guess I‘ll make something in a minute.” At seeing Gourry perk up she added, “Not for you! For me and Amelia.” Lina gave a wink and giggled before walking away. However, as she walked off, Gourry moved in closer to Zelgadiss.
He started off in a hushed voice, “Did that seem strange to you…?”
Zelgadiss swirled the liquid in his cup, contemplating it, “Hummm…” He took another drink, “It is Lina, it’s kind of hard to tell.” He turned to look at Gourry, “You’ve been with her the longest out of all of us, what do you think?”
He shook his head, “Honestly, I have no idea.” Zelgadiss smiled as Gourry continued, “I’ve known her for a long time-- but she keeps so much inside, I really don’t know that much about her. Every time I think I’ve figured something out about her she goes and proves me wrong.”
Zelgadiss had to agree, “Yeah, that’s about how I feel...”
“So what are we going to do?” Zelgadiss raised his eyebrow in response to the question.
“We? Where does this we come from? And why do we have to do anything?”
Moving in a little closer, Gourry gave Zelgadiss a nudge with his elbow, “Come on Zel…”
Zelgadiss groaned, “Look, I know what you thought you saw, but we’ve been with Amelia and Lina long enough. You can’t go thinking these wild thoughts at the drop of a hat.” Zelgadiss heard Gourry start to pipe in with something but cut him off, “In any case I think you’re over-thinking things for once, and we should just sit back and let things play out for themselves. That way we don’t come out looking like idiots.”
Gourry had moved in, “But..”
Coming out of her tent, comb in hand, Lina caught a glimpse of Gourry and Zelgadiss holding their ‘secret’ conversation. And she had to laugh, in a muffled manner of course, at how easy the two of them were to manipulate. One little thing out of the ordinary and they were both questioning their sanity. She couldn’t hold back the smile though as the conversation came to a dead stop the moment Gourry saw her. With Gourry looking right at her she felt the only thing to do was wave. She did so enthusiastically and he grimaced knowing that she realized they had been talking about her. Again though the ridiculousness of the situation came to mind and she had to stifle herself from a fit of laughter which apparently did not lighten the situation any for Gourry.
Still combing her hair she went over to Amelia’s tent and pulled open the top of the flap. “You can come out now.” Their eyes met and Amelia knew what the smile on Lina’s face meant. “They bought it all, hook, line, and sinker.” Amelia grinned widely and clasped on the remaining jewel around her neck. “Come on, let’s go!” Acting forceful, but the smile dissolving any authority Lina reached in and grabbed Amelia by the hand and hauled her to her feet through the opening of the tent.
Lina headed ahead to the fire and took a seat between Zelgadiss and Gourry, with plenty of room for Amelia next to her. She bent foreword and put the skillet on the rocks surrounding the fire to warm it up before going through some of their rations to pick out something that seemed appetizing, settling for some eggs and dried beef. Mixing the two on the pan being an effective way to re-hydrate the meat and cook the eggs. Lina was cracking some eggs and mixing them with the meat just as Amelia was sitting down.
Stopping what she was doing, Lina turned to see if Amelia was letting on any kind of a smile that might have lingered from the tent, but she saw none. Purposefully, she let her eyes linger a little longer than she normally would before turning back to continue cooking. She wasn’t sure if Zelgadiss or Gourry caught it, but it was the best way to convince the two of them that there was something going on. After all, the little things were the hardest things to fake and would be the least suspect. In turn Lina congratulated herself on her acting ability and that she would think of such things.
Lifting up off her haunches Lina dropped back and let her butt drop on the log between Amelia and Gourry as she gave the eggs a few moments to cook. There was silence, unusual… Just the crackling of the fire and the frying of the eggs. The air though was filled with the delicious wholesome aroma of the fire combined with the eggs and meat and her honest to goodness hunger was ready to burst fourth and devour everything. Leaning foreword she just barely nicked the edge of the pan handle with her fingers, stretching even further she turned the pan enough to get the handle toward her and grab it. Despite its heat she was easily able to bring it to her, her gloves being more than enough to dissipate the heat.
She set the pan on the ground between her legs as she re-situated herself on the log before moving foreword and back into the ration pack pulling out two forks. Finally settling down on the log she dropped one in Amelia’s lap and scooted herself over to accommodate the pan between the two of them, setting it on the log as well before digging in. It wasn’t the quantity of food they ate at the restaurants for sure, but on the road it would be cumbersome to carry that much food and as such they ate modestly from time to time and longed for the upcoming days of restaurant consumption.
The whole scene was an unusual act. For Lina to cook for another, or even share was usually strange, let alone something so meager. Gourry was the first to try his hand at breaking the atmosphere, “Lina, how close do you think we are?”
Taking a moment to finish chewing, Lina pointed with her fork toward the horizon, “We’ll have to head North at least another two, maybe three days before we get to the next town, then from there… it’ll depend on the terrain.”
Nodding in the affirmative, Gourry opted to once again relish one of the changes from the last leg of the journey, “At least we’re out of that desert, right?” Zelgadiss made an affirmative sound and Lina went back to eating. The food though was quickly gone and Lina moved the pan from between the two of them. “So when we get to the next….” Gourry stopped suddenly when he noticed that Lina now had her hand laid over Amelia’s and was showing no inclination to move it.
He swallowed hard, “Uhhh… yeah-- how far was it to the next town again?” Lina grinned when she realized what he was passively staring it, still she decided to sound a little angry just to keep up the pretense of being forgotten for no reason.
“I just told you, almost three days!”
“Oh.” Gourry tried again, “So we’ll have to stock up on supplies, we’re out of lamp oil too…”
Zelgadiss pulled out a piece of parchment, “Lamp oil.,..” Then put it away.
Lina stood up, pulling Amelia to her feet with her, their hands not parting. “Well, let’s get going!” Starting toward her tent Lina pulled Amelia about half way, but she managed to keep step so it didn’t look so forced before they parted ways to their respective tents half way.
It was still at least two days journey until their group reached the next city but already Lina was looking forward to the brief respite. After the hellacious trip through the sandy wasteland and their all too brief rest in the previous town she was ready for another break. Mentally she belittled herself for such lazy thoughts, truth be told she loved the life on the road, if she didn’t she had saved plenty of money to buy herself a decent house on a plot of land in any city she would have liked. And not have had to worry about money for the rest of her natural life. Then again, if she lived much longer than a natural life span she might have found herself in financial trouble.
Questioningly she turned her head to the side, she’d nearly forgotten that she had been holding Amelia’s hand as the two of them walked until the princess had given a slight squeeze a moment before. With an impish smile Lina gave a light squeeze in return and continued walking, letting her mind wander again and letting her anticipation build for arrival at the next town. Before her thinking had the chance to settle again into the mundane though, she felt Amelia give a slight tug at her arm.
“What is it?” Lina asked without missing a step.
“You think it’s too early to take a break?” Amelia asked letting her voice sound as worn as her legs felt tired.
Lina thought on it for a moment. Her legs were not aching, and she didn’t feel winded in the slightest. Not to mention it was a beautiful day. And from their experience together she couldn’t figure out how Amelia could be tired herself. She turned to her side to look Amelia over for a hint of fatigue and got a sly wink in response.
“Okay, this looks like a good spot to take a break.” Lina said loud enough for the others to hear, causing Gourry and Zelgadiss to stop in their tracks.
Zelgadiss was quick to speak up, “It’s a little early to rest, isn’t it?”
Lina looked to the position of the sun in the sky, it was still well before noon and they had hardly been traveling long at all by normal standards. That meant the usual methods of defense whereby she chalked it up to differences between his chimerical endurance and human frailty wouldn’t work. “Girl stuff.” She called back curtly, bringing a blush to the patches of visible skin over his stone face.
She knew his reaction so Lina turned on her heel to catch a glimpse of his blushing features, loosing her hold on Amelia’s hand in the process. She also managed to catch the shoulder shrug that Gourry responded with and smiled at the two of them. “So, let’s take a break then and hopefully get going again around noon?”
Again Gourry shrugged his shoulders and she caught Zelgadiss muttering something about ‘…one delay after another…’ under his breath as he turned off the path and took a seat on the ground nearby. A moment later Lina turned back to her newly close traveling companion.
“Come on, let’s go do some girl stuff.” Lina barely suppressed the laugh as she grabbed her friend’s hand and lead her off the beaten path and into the woods. As she suspected both Gourry and Zelgadiss kept their distance which let Lina lead Amelia out of earshot of the two of them quickly.
“So, wha’d you want to talk about?” Lina asked, taking in Amelia’s suddenly hesitant nature as she leaned with her back against a large oak with her eyes downcast.
“I just…” Amelia stalled and suddenly Lina felt her hand encircled by Amelia’s. Amelia started out again stronger, “It’s just, doesn’t it feel almost like this is normal.” She accentuated her point by squeezing her friend’s hand.
“Yeah, it’s almost a habit.” Lina added with a laugh thinking about when she had woken up earlier in the day and cuddled tightly against the princess without thoughts of neither Zelgadiss or Gourry on her mind.
“I guess…” Amelia cut herself off, momentarily not wanting to take the conversation where she had been guiding it.
Noticing Amelia’s indecisiveness Lina pounced on the princess, wrapping her in a hug and whispering hotly in her ear, “We’d better get back, we don’t want Gourry and Zel to think we’ve taken our relationship to the next level yet do you?” Despite the giggle and the obvious meaning of the statement Amelia found herself a little weak in the knees. Quickly she tired to turn her head to the side to keep her blushing hidden from the sorceress’ view.
“Actually, with that blush it looks like you might want that.” Lina noted with another laugh, turning away she missed the sudden shocked look on the princess’ face, “Well, we’d better get back.” She continued as she pulled the princess along with her back toward the road.
“Oh, they’re definitely buying it!” Lina laughed out, as she closed the door to their room. Although neither Zelgadiss nor Gourry had said anything, she knew the two of them were watching her with a critical eye. And she loved the attention, and the fact that they were going to come off looking like fools. Lina stopped her train of thought, looking around, the room wasn’t as nice as the last room they had stayed in. The walls were wood, not stone, there was merely one window and it likely faced the side of a different building, and the floorboards creaked. Lina eyed the bed, smaller than she was used to, something that could comfortably fit one, but would be tight for two people. Nonetheless, it was, as always, a welcome treat from their travels on the road.
Meanwhile Amelia went over to the bed and took off the sheets, shaking them out and eyeing them for parasites. Finding nothing though she busied herself with making the bed yet again, “You know Lina, I think maybe it’s about time to finish this.” Lina smiled at the way Amelia let the words linger in the air, there was an uncommon bit of trickery in Amelia’s voice that Lina had been growing more accustomed to in the last few days.
Still, Lina was in agreement, “Yeah, we’ll have to set something up for tomorrow, then after they’re completely convinced that we’re a couple, surprise!” Lina threw her arms in the air showing just how surprised the two of them would be at the deception.
Tossing off her pack Lina crossed the small room closer to Amelia. Amelia turned to her in response, “So what are we going to do?” Amelia said, raising her eyebrow, her own little way of making the game racier.
Lina smiled, retaliating with a mock-sensual tone, “I don’t know, I guess we’ll have to figure something out princess…” Amelia giggled uproariously at the little nickname Lina had been using all day for her. Lina looked over to the bed, “So why are you making it again, we’re just going to mess it up tonight.”
Despite the honesty of the question Amelia responded in her newly discovered sexy voice, or at least her attempt at a sexy voice, “Oh… are we..?”
Lina rubbed the Princess’ head, “Yeah, you’re such a neat freak sometimes!” Amelia gave Lina a raspberry in response.
“It is a small bed though…” This comment coming from Amelia.
After looking it over Lina didn’t really think it was that small, “We’ve been sleeping in more cramped quarters in your tent.”
Thoughtfully Amelia had to admit the truth to that, “Hummm.. you’ve got a point.” Lina hopped onto the bed, and laid out on it, rolling around a little, “You know, you’ve been getting better, not attacking me in your sleep.”
Lina took it as a compliment, “I think it’s because I’ve been sleeping better next to you, usually I toss and turn all night but after that first night of sleeping by you I’ve been falling right asleep… I guess I got used to you.” Amelia blushed as Lina continued, “You know, you’re like a little fire, when I get cold at night you’re always warm and I just kind of snuggle in.”
“Hey!” Amelia cried in mock anger, “You said you always ended up like that in your sleep!”
Employing a level of sweetness that might cause cavities in some, Lina tried to finesse her way out of Amelia’s anger, “Well I can’t help it, you’re so warm, and soft….” Amelia’s protest had been turned around and she was put into a corner where she was a bit nervous.
“Come on Lina-- get serious…” Lina could tell that she was fazing Amelia, her blush and stammering made it too obvious, and with her recent success with Gourry and Zelgadiss she was tempted to up the ante with Amelia as well. But Lina decided that if she didn’t have a co-conspirator it wouldn’t be half as fun, so she opted to just try and keep things honest between the two of them. “Anyway…” Amelia started out, trying to change the subject, “Let’s go down and meet Gourry and Zelgadiss for dinner, you want to hold hands on the way down?”
Lina smiled widely as Amelia started to get into the act again, “Of course, they’re expecting it by now, ne?”
Throughout dinner Lina had been distracted by her thoughts of Amelia. What could she do to take it to the next level and really convince Gourry and Zelgadiss that there was something going on. It wasn’t until both Lina and Amelia made it back to the bedroom though that Lina was struck by inspiration. She had just slipped off her traveling garb and was putting on her shirt to sleep in when she abruptly turned to Amelia, “I got it!”
For a moment Amelia was confused then she hopped on the bed, sitting down, “Okay, what is it?” She asked, a little anxious.
Lina cleared her throat for dramatic emphasis, “We kiss.” She said simply.
“Ohhh…” Amelia started out sounding appreciative enough but the actual situation sunk in, “Oh.” She said again, this time more sharply.
“Hummm?” Lina queried, wondering why Amelia wasn’t taking to the idea.
“I-- well, we’d have to kiss.” Amelia stuttered out.
“That’s the point.” Lina deadpanned.
Amelia could feel the blush start to come to her cheeks and her talking sped up in response, “It’s just-- you and me… we couldn’t..”
Lina leaned in smiling, “That’s how they’ll know we’re not kidding around, but it can’t be a quick peck, we have to sell it!” Lina finished with a flourish, ironically enough trying to sell the idea.
“I-- I guess… yeah!” Easily enough Amelia was swayed.
So Lina gave the coup de grace to her idea, “How about we practice, just one kiss to see how it goes?”
The climate of the room changed just as quick as Lina’s idea came out. Just vocalizing the words had made Lina feel her own heart beat in her neck as she waited for Amelia’s response. The words caused their own effect on Amelia as well, her position again switched back uncertainly as she thought of Lina’s lips against hers. “On the lips?” Amelia managed out, swallowing dryly.
Lina nodded, “Uh huh.”, trying not to let her nervousness slip through but still observably flustered. “So, should we?” Lina started to move in, awkwardly moving her face toward Amelia’s. Their difference in height, Amelia on the bed and Lina standing, was not conducive towards their first kiss.
In response Amelia hefted herself up from the bed to stand next to Lina. Nearly the same height they started a movement toward each other, their eyes locked, and all thoughts of their prank were gone. Their lips touched, not a full on kiss, just grazing the sides. As they pulled away Amelia made a kissing noise despite the incompleteness. Now they were more motivated to get it right as the initial shyness faded. Amelia could still feel her heart beating hard in her chest, her thinking was becoming muddled. She licked her lips feeling not quite herself, “Lina… let’s try again…” Lina nodded half confused as Amelia moved in and lifted her hands up and over Lina’s shoulders, hooking them behind her neck and drawing in her face to meet hers. This time they did things right, their lips met perfectly. The softest parts pressing into one another spurred Amelia on and caused her to pull herself in tighter against Lina, motivating Lina to reach her hands behind Amelia’s back, pulling against her as well.
They held each other like that, Amelia’s grip slackening slowly, replaced however by Amelia rubbing her hands over Lina’s shoulders as she continued to hold her close. There was even a moment when Lina realized she was forgetting to breath. And all at once she pushed away from Amelia, causing her to stumble back as Lina faugh for room. Trying to read the others emotions and too afraid to talk they stood there. “I…” Lina couldn’t get out a word, she didn’t feel confident enough to speak.
Amelia eventually managed a smile, “Won’t Gourry and Zelgadiss be surprised by that?”
Lina could hardly force a laugh. “Maybe-- maybe we should just lay off them for a day or two. Just so we can catch them off guard later.”
Amelia nodded hastily, dropping her momentary bravado, “Yeah, that’s a great idea.”
“Yeah... Yeah…” Then Lina raised her hands up over her head, “Then, I guess it’s time to get some sleep.” Lina suggested, attempting to force herself into her usual persona as she tossed herself into the bed and crawled beneath the covers. Moving to the farthest side of the small bed, barely hanging on the edge, Lina put the most distance between herself and Amelia. Amelia put out the light and crawled in the bed, sticking to her own side. “Good night Amelia.”
In the darkness Lina listened, an uncomfortable silence settling in before she finally got her response, “Good night Lina.”
The next day was full of disappointment. Nearly everything the group was in need of to continue their journey was either not to be found in the town, or was something shopkeepers only wanted to sell at tremendous markups. The prevailing story was that just a few days prior a large religious sect had made its way through the town on a pilgrimage and cleaned out nearly anything worthwhile for life on the road. To boot, Lina would have to wait at least three days before the shops had any supply from outside sources. Effectively they were stranded. It was the last town before the last portion of their journey and if might have to turn back sooner than expected, or at the least, not travel comfortably.
“Damn!” Lina kicked a barrel hard enough to jar the wooden planks loose and some of the liquid inside splashed out. “Why did this have to happen!” Again she kicked the barrel, this time more of the liquid sprayed out, spattering Lina but not causing her to care in the slightest. “I hate this stupid town!” She shouted to the sky. Meanwhile Zelgadiss, Gourry, and Amelia had taken cover around the corner of the building.
“I don’t get why she’s so upset..” Gourry mussed.
Zelgadiss for once seemed kind of irritated, “We’ve been traveling around looking for supplies since the sun came up, and in case you didn’t notice it set about an hour ago. And now we’re stuck here…”
Of course Gourry could remember the events of the day. The long exhausting day, Lina haggling with every shop keep they came across, trying to knock down their inflationary prices and failing to do so to any appreciable extent. But to be honest, Gourry was just a calm tempered individual, if he couldn’t get something done today, there was always tomorrow, so overall he just wasn’t fazed by it. Amelia turned as Zelgadiss tapped on her shoulder, as she turned he cupped his hand between his mouth and her ear to keep Gourry out of the conversation, “Why don’t you try and calm Lina down..” Amelia and Zelgadiss huddled together a little away from Gourry.
“Why me?” Amelia sounded more then slightly afraid.
“Because, out of all of us, I think she’s least likely to fireball you.”
Honestly Amelia thought there would be more to the explanation than that, but the logic was sound, she nodded her head and headed toward Lina. “Lina…” Amelia called out cautiously as she approached the sorceress.
“Damn, damn, damn!” Lina cried out again and again, kicking the barrel with increasing ferocity. Amelia could tell Lina was angry over more than just her encounters with the merchants. She wouldn’t get that angry over something so trivial, something was really bothering her.
“Lina, just calm down.” Not garnering a response, Amelia continued to move in until she was within striking distance. Gingerly she reached out and put a comforting hand on Lina’s shoulder, “You need to calm-”
Quickly, Lina turned and shoved Amelia away from her, winding her in the process. Nearly falling from the disorientation Amelia managed to look up, Lina’s anger not cooled in the slightest, deadly serious Lina gave a warning, “Just leave me alone.” Amelia’s breath caught in her throat. She staggered back and fell onto her butt.
There was nothing at all Amelia could think to do. She hardened herself, steeled herself against anything she might have been feeling and stood up, heading out of the alley. “I tried.” She managed as she passed Gourry and Zelgadiss, who were still watching from the end of the alleyway. “I’ll be back at the hotel if you need me, I’ve got to get us rooms before they get run out of vacancies.” Zelgadiss nodded and Amelia watched for a second as Gourry started walking up to Lina to give his abilities a try, however, knowing that it would end in tragedy Amelia turned away and sprinted off to the hotel.
On her way her feelings got the better of her. She was crying, at first she realized it from the coolness of the night air whisking away the tears as she ran. But she couldn’t stop, her eyes burned and her throat felt tight, everything seemed wrong. She faltered a moment and her body threatened to lurch over onto the ground. Stopping she tried to look around her, but everything was blurred, the lights were a mess and her hands were barely discernable. “Lina…”
Sniffling loudly she could find no relief, and with no other choice she blew her nose in her hands, wiping them on the sides of her outfit. Nothing felt better, but after a few more moments she was sure she could go on. Still a long way from the hotel though she picked up her pace. Running… it had always made her feel better. She looked down, her feet steadily keeping pace and the ground rushing past them. There was something liberating about it, cleansing. She started to feel herself sweat and it pushed her on more.
Eventually Amelia arrived at the hotel. During the run her tears had dried and she regained her composure for the most part. Walking up to the counter she rang the bell for service, “Excuse me Sir, do you have three rooms open for the night?” He nodded in the affirmative and she gladly paid the man, reminding him who her roommates were (a little hard to forget) and instructed him to give a key to Lina and the other one to Gourry and Zelgadiss. Her task complete she headed up to her room, a bit of spring returning to her step.
Once in Amelia tossed herself on the bed. Laying there she took off her bracelets and tossed them on the ground, getting comfortable. Sighing lightly she rolled onto her side to face one of the two burning candles in the room. There is a quality to fire that seems to always draw one in, and Amelia found her self no more immune to it than most. The flickering fire, hues of red and gold, turning and tumbling onto itself, there was a kind of indescribable fascination with the flame.
There was silence too, not a total silence though, it was far from quiet. Downstairs the inn carried out its normal routine, bartering with businessmen, food being served in the kitchen, but still, those sounds were muted in the confines of the room. It took Amelia a moment to put a finger exactly on what was different; it wasn’t a lack of noise, but a lack of presence. There was a tugging in her chest, tightness there she was trying to ignore. And as she watched the flame turn and twist, tiny rivets of wax making their way down the sides of the candle she found the only thing she could even think of was Lina.
The more Amelia tried to think about something else the more she could only think about her. It was a maddening process. The fire, the heat, the light, Lina. Red’s and gold’s… then there was Lina. It wasn’t just the flame, they had shared a closeness over the last few days, and despite the guise of the affection, Amelia had grown more than accustomed to it. Holding hands and laughing, hugging… Amelia fought desperately to repress their kiss but couldn’t. Passion, Amelia was passionate about justice, and everything in her life, and now she knew what it was like to feel passion over something else. Indescribable, a deep sensuous mix of chocolate and light. There was no discrete way to say it, passion was strong flavors, and heat, all of the senses firing at one in that all consuming moment. And now….. to feel it over a friend.
She pictured herself, her hands around Lina’s back. Running them in circles, tangling her fingers in Lina’s hair as they shared one another. Such an event, that such an event had happened, it was unreal.
It was wrong though…. So wrong… that’s why it was going to be so funny when they convinced Gourry and Zelgadiss, because it was something that would never happen. Something completely impossible. Tears were flowing down Amelia’s face so much more rapidly than the wax that was dripping down the candle. Amelia sniffled a little, and it suddenly became apparent how much time had passed when she heard clatter from the next room over, Gourry and Zelgadiss had found their room and were settling in.
Scraping and bangs, things were dropped off the two of them, armor, daggers, supplies and clothing. Amelia listened carefully, their room was between hers and Lina’s and she strained to hear the slightest peep from the sorceress… nothing. Amelia sat up, wiping her eyes with her sleeve and trying to clear her nostrils. Letting her legs drop off the side of the bed to the floor she stood up stiffly. Stretching slightly, trying to let her mind wander off the subject it had held so firmly to for the last several minutes, before mentally prepping herself for any confrontation she would have with everyone else. With one last attempt to wipe her eyes dry, Amelia was ready to face everyone in the evening ahead.
Taking pains to open the door as silently as possible, Amelia peeked around the outside edge of the door and down the hall. The possibility of Lina simply standing there waiting for her being very real. But the hallway was empty. Walking outside she gently closed the door behind her and took a deep breath to steady her. She went to Gourry and Zelgadiss’ door first, giving it three sharp knocks. Despite how she was feeling, dinner sounded awful good at the moment and she was hoping for the company of friends.
/\/\||/\/\-=End of Chapter 3=-/\/\||/\/\