Chapter 1

Lina inverse, queen of all she surveyed, unswerving controller of the magics of the dark, grinned at the foolish blonde making his way to steal her treasure. Turning her head to look at him, she laughed aloud and said, in a terrifying voice,

"THE SWING IS MINE, GOURRY!! KEEP OFF OF IT!!" She kicked him once and returned to flying through the air like... like... like something that flies through the air really really well.

Gourry sulked. "But liiiinaaaa..." He whined, piteously turning his head heavenwards in the way little kids always do when they think something is terribly, earthshatteringly unfair... usually you won't give them another cookie. "You've had the swing for ever!"

She stuck out her tongue. "I have no~ot!"

"I'll beat you with the sword of light!"

Lina looked at Gourry like his brains had fallen out. Which they probably had, most likely when his mother had accidentally dropped him on his head for the seventy-fifth time. "It's a stick, dummy."

"I'll tell teacher!!"

"YOu will not!"

"I will too!"

"If you do, I'll tell Shylfiel that you like her!" Line threatened.

Gourry turned bright red. It was taboo for any boy to like any girl at all. Lina was okay to be friends with, she was so much like a boy that no one could tell. But Shylfiel! She played with.. with... dolls all day.

Shut up!! Little boys don't play with dolls... they play with action figures! There's a difference!

Little Gourry sputtered. "You would not! Lina, you're being mean!"

Lina shrugged and stuck out her tongue.

"Lina-san! Blackmailing poor Gourry like that and tyrannically withholding the swings from him!! Such behavior is unjust!!" Lina and Gourry looked up and sweatdropped as a bundle of white and pink flew from the top of the jungle gym to tumble to the ground on it's face. The laws of chance may say that it's almost impossible for you to land on your face every single time for a thousand tries, but little amelia was talented.

Lina looked at the preschooler with something bordering disgust on her cute little face. "Amelia, what do you want? The little kids are supposed to be on that side of the playground." She ordered from the lofty grade of kindergarden. Amelia frowned.

That's bigotry, Lina! It's a bad side of human nature!" Amelia stood up and pointed her finger at Lina. "On behalf of justice, I shall - " The preaching toddler was interrupted by an adult's voice raised at almost the decible level of little Amelia's. The entire playground went silent.

"No! I absolutely will not allow this!" Lina and Gourry's teacher was yelling at a man of about forty, with purple hair, dressed in clergy robes. "Take that kid to play with the other children? I refuse!"

"The court order - "

"I don't care about the court order!" The woman protested. "I'm thinking about what's best for these children! They do not need to associate with a boy with... with..." She trailed off, as if even saying the word would infect her.

"AIDS?" The man said softly. The little boy clinging to his robes seemed to scrunch up into a tighter ball, if possible. He knew what was happening. And he knew it was his fault. He wished his grandfather hadn't gone this far; yes, he wanted to go to school like a regular boy, but it was making all the camera men come to their house all the time, and lots of people were yelling at him.

"Come on, Gran'pa, let's go home," The little boy with soft looking purple hair and sad blue eyes tugged at his grandfather's sleeve.

"No, you're going to school." One look into those sad blue eyes was all it took, The man turned to the teacher with a look of steel. "See here, you stupid woman; AIDS is not something contagious. I don't think there is any way the boy could legally get any of these children infected with it. It makes him no different from them, and what you're doing is ruining this boys life!"

"Is it worth pretending he's normal and giving him a charade while ruining all these children's?"

"I told you before, he - "


Both adults looked down at the confused redhead.

She smiled at the boy. "My name's Lina. What's yours?"

"...Zelgadis," he said reluctantly.

Lina tried to get her mouth around the word and failed miserably. She shrugged, and settled for something simpler. "Hi Zel! Wanna play with me?"

"I can't."

She looked confused. "Why not?"

"She won't let me." Zelgedis looked at the teacher.

Lina did too. "Why can't he play with me?"

"Well, because - "

Lina started to look angry. "I want to play with Zel!!" The teacher looked a bit lost. Number one, the court was against her. Number two, the demon Hellspawn Ms. Inverse called a little girl was against her.

"Yes, why can't she play with him?" Came a voice from behind the teacher.

The woman swallowed. Strike three., I'm out.

"Well, Ms. N., the boy is - "

"Didn't I tell you not to even start the case in the first place? I couldn't fire you for taking someone to court, Jenny, but I can fire you for refusing to obey the order resulting from it when it involves MY establishment. Let the boy play with her."

Mrs. Jenny sighed. "Yes, Ms. N."

The woman smiled at the little boy. He couldn't see her eyes, masked by the long blonde hair, but she seemed nice enough. "Go play with Lina, okay?"

"Okay!" he agreed cheerfully, and Lina grinned.

The grin faded, however, when she saw the worse possible affront to her dignity across the playground.

"GOURRY!! I told you that's MY SWING!!" She screeched, racing across the playground to beat the poor little boy into the dust. Zelgadis hesitantly followed.

Chapter 2   |   Fanfiction