Gourry poked his head inside Lina's room and promptly got hit by a
"Wah!" With that he staggered back and, sadly, since there was a
stairway behind him, tumbled down three stories to land at Amelia and
"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."
"Ok." There's was silence for about three seconds. "What's for
"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
"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
"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
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
"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
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
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,
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
Grinning, she turned on Zel, clutching her new earrings and demanding
rather imperiously, "Well?"
"Where's my present?"
"Why not?" she demanded, eyeing him dangerously.
"Because I didn't get you one."
"..." Lina blinked, "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
"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
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
"Groan ... moan ... whimper"
"Hey! Let's not talk about that! Especially around women!" Zel blushed
for apparently no reason that Amelia could see.
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
"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