Gourry poked his head inside Lina's room and promptly got hit by a boot.

"Wah!" With that he staggered back and, sadly, since there was a stairway behind him, tumbled down three stories to land at Amelia and Zel's feel.

"I take it she isn't ready to come down yet," Zel remarked, helping Gourry to his feet.

"Well, I got her boot," he replied, voice muffled from the leather imbedded there, "So she'll show up for it sooner or later."

"I think the boot has you."

"Really?! I never had a boot own me before."

"Never mind."

"Ok." There's was silence for about three seconds. "What's for breakfast."


"What type of food?"

"Whatever it is you usually eat."

"Oh, yum! You mean bacon, eggs, hash browns, grits, fried potatoes, milk, juice, sausages ... " As Gourry rambled on, ticking off whole food groups and the courses for six major countries including some smaller districts, with descriptions of the rarer courses for Amelia's benefit, Zel magically amplified his voice so Lina could hear it from upstairs. In a typical fashion, Lina raced downstairs, trampled Gourry, and ensconced herself at a table, yelling at the inn keeper to bring her six helpings of everything Gourry said and to step on it. (Then she kicked the harem boys who had also heard Gourry's rendition out of her seat ... but that is another story for another time.)

Gourry broke off as soon as the first dishes came out and raced to the table before Lina could start eating, "Wait for me! Oh, yeah, here's your boot. You shouldn't throw things at people, Lina, it's really mean ... meaner than usual that is." All this was said between bites, followed by his head being shoved into the plate by Lina's elbow.

Zelgadis and Amelia sighed, looked at each other, shook their heads, and wandered outside, choosing to watch the dull landscape than another bloodbath over breakfast.

"Lina's unusually cranky this morning ... " Zel mused, leaning against the inn wall.

"It is her birthday, you know," Amelia replied earnestly, pulling a wrapped package from her pocket and turning it over and over in her hands.

"No, I didn't."

"Are you going to get her something?"


"That's mean!" she paused, glancing up at him, "Why not?"

"Why should I?"

Amelia sighed and chose to let it pass. When Zel got like this, nothing was going to change his mind.

"What did you get her?" She blinked up at him. He repeated his question.

"Oh! I got her a new pair of earrings. I mean, hers are pretty, but I thought she'd like to have a new pair."

"What do they look like?" he asked curiously, eyes wandering down to the package.

"Gold coins."

To her surprise he started laughing, leaning heavily against the inn, forcing words out between his mirth, "Oh giggle that's a good chuckle one!" The princess blinked her eyes in startlement, but managed a grin. It wasn't often she saw him smile, let alone laugh. She decided he looked better that way.

His laughter faded off to a faint smile as he glanced back at the inn, the sounds of breakfast still proceeding. Zel shook his head and looked around, spying a bench and taking a seat. In a moment, Amelia joined him.

"When do you think they'll get finished?"

Absently pulling out a piece of chalk, he scribbled a couple of equations on the bench, "By dinner, judging from previous rate of consumption and mass of food requested."

Amelia just nodded, eyes a little big as he tucked the chalk away again. She recovered her equilibrium with remarkable aplomb, though. "Well, then ... ah ... um ... " she blushed a little, realizing how this question could be construed, "Would you like to go for a walk? Maybe window shop or something?"

He glanced over at her, looking at her so intensely for a minute that she thought she'd just made some social blunder somewhere. "Sure, why not?"

Relieved, she got up when he did and the two strolled down the street, Amelia musing absently over why she thought she had seen him blush.


"Where have you two been?!?!?!" Lina demanded, tapping her foot impatiently.


Lina glowered at Zel for a moment, but Zel was unperturbed seeing as he was in his 'nothing-can-affect-me-so-why-are-you-acting-stupid' mode.

"Really, Lina-san! We were just waiting for you and Gourry-san to finish eating!" Amelia poked her head out from her hiding place behind Zelgadis. After all, he was the most likely to survive an onslaught from a pissed off Lina. "And we got you presents!"

"Presents?! Where?! Where?!" Obviously, presents was the magic word, considering Lina started bouncing around with her eyes all shiny, "C'mon, c'mon, pass the loot!" she demanded. Maybe she had mixed up the word with treasure ...

"Ano, Lina-san, you're scary!"

"You don't want to know how scary," Lina loomed, eyes evil, "NOW GIMME!"

Amelia cringed and handed over the present, before hiding behind Zel again, who was sporting multiple sweatdrops. With wild abandon, the ruby eyed sorceress ripped into the gift, scattering wrapping paper everywhere. Chortling with typical glee she eyed her new acquisitions, "They're perfect!"

Amelia once again peeked out from behind Zel, feeling braver and pleased over Lina's pleasure, "A soon as I saw them I knew they were perfect for you, Lina-san!"

Grinning, she turned on Zel, clutching her new earrings and demanding rather imperiously, "Well?"

"Well what?"

"Where's my present?"

"Not appearing."

"Why not?" she demanded, eyeing him dangerously.

"Because I didn't get you one."

"..." Lina blinked, "Oh."

"Yes. Oh."

"Hmmph!" she ignored him, "See if I get you a present!"

"I don't want one," he stated, but she was already rounding on Gourry, who looked a little puzzled by the whole shebang so far.

"Well, Gourry, you better make up for Zel and have gotten me a really good present!"


"Present," she repeated impatiently, tapping her foot, "You know, it's my birthday, I told you that yesterday."

"It's your birthday?"

"Yes! I'm 18!"

"Are you sure, you look like you're ten ... judging from you're breasts."

Zel winced as Lina kicked Gourry where it'd really hurt. Then she proceeded to beat him within an inch of his life, screeching about the insolent male that dared to insult her age, looks, and breast size. It wasn't pretty ... so Zelgadis covered Amelia's eyes.


"Groan ... "

"I'm sure," Zel glanced down at the twisted was of flesh and cloth that was Gourry, which Lina had deigned to leave on the inn floor as she stalked in a righteous huff to her room, "You know, that wasn't your most stellar conversation ... "


"Why not? I did."

"Groan ... moan"

"You think her beating you to a pulp is better than fireballing over forgetfulness? Besides, I'm still very much alive ... and not writhing in agony."

"Groan ... moan ... whimper"

"Hey! Let's not talk about that! Especially around women!" Zel blushed for apparently no reason that Amelia could see.

"whimper, whimper"


At this point, Amelia, tired of only hearing one side of the conversation, healed Gourry. Zelgadis glared at the two of them and stalked to his room, muttering darkly under his breath.

"Ano, Gourry-san, what did you say to Zelgadis-san?" she asked curiously, helping him up.

"Oh, I pointed out something."

"..." Amelia sighed.

"What should I get Lina so she won't be mad at me?"

The princess gave him an appraising look, "Diamonds. Big 'ol rocks."

Gourry sweatdropped, "Ano ... what if she wasn't mad at me?"

"Diamonds. Big 'ol rocks."

Another sweatdrop joined the first, "What if I never met her before in my life and saw her on the road?"

"Diamonds. Big 'ol rocks."

Gourry's head got covered in sweatdrops and loose hairs, "Never mind."


Carefully, and with a justified fear for his life, Gourry knocked on Lina's door. It opened and the mate to the boot that embedded itself in his face at breakfast did as the first. The swordsman made a note never to eat boots.

Clenching his courage, he walked in, pried the boot of his face, handed it to the still pissed Lina, and shut the door behind him.

"What do you want, Gourry?"

"Um ... to apologize."

"Oh?" she asked dangerously, aura flaring.

He nodded sincerely and handed her a bouquet of ruby red roses. Lina's mouth fell open.

"Where did you get that?!" she sputtered, taking the flowers a little shyly.

"I went out, got whacked by a rock that Zel threw at me for my commentary, hiked across town, climbed the castle walls, dodged guards and dogs, clipped the best night flowering roses from the king's personal garden, then came back the way I came ... 'cept Zel was still pissed so he pushed me out the window when I tried to get back in, so I had to go through the door."

"..." Lina smiled tentatively, a little overwhelmed. Gourry smiled brightly at her.

"So am I forgiven?"

She smiled and blushed, "Yeah, you're forgiven ... thank you."

"Your welcome," he said happily, exiting the way he came. At the last moment he paused to look back in at the still blushing Lina, "Goodnight, Lina-chan, and happy birthday."

She blushed brighter but managed a response, "Goodnight, Gourry."


Notes: Uresai = Shut up


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