Chapter 1

Zelgadis managed to make it out of the palace without blowing something up. Dammit dammit dammit...It hurt. It really, really hurt. He couldn't believe Amelia had actually asked for a divorce.

I wasn't happy, but...You don't get married without caring about someone. You don't offer to give your entire life to someone, forever, unless you love them.

Even if it doesn't work out after, what was it, nine years? It seemed still felt, deep down, that that's where you belonged, that's who you wanted to spend your life with forever.

And when someone told you they didn't want to send theirs with you...

It hurts.

Zelgadis trudged along the dusty road out of Sailoon. He'd liked to have said he didn't know where it went, and that he didn't care, anywhere but there...but he knew exactly where every road out of sailoon went, how far it reached, and which roads it intersected.

Trust me to know everything about my kingdom and hate it anyway. At least now he didn't have to wear that awful red velvet and fur robe. Ugh, the thing was hot, stuffy, heavy, and tended to make him stick out. That was the purpose, of course, but Zelgadis hated sticking out. He hadn't liked it even before he was a chimera, but it had enforced the feeling.

"I think it would be better for both of us if we got a divorce, Zelgadis-san." Even after they were married, She had still called him Zelgadis-san. It wasn't something he felt a married couple should adhere to, but she insisted.

When she said that, he was sure his heart was going to break. As much as he wished his heart was stone, unbreakable and untouchable, it just wasn't the case. He could only put up a shell, and what got through the shell only hurt more due to loss of conditioning of small hurts. And Amelia, telling him she didn't love him anymore...

I loved her. I still love her. It was the position he hated. He didn't like being king.

She could have given her sister the crown, for instance, and come with me. But that was just selfish. There was no way she could get used to living like he did, any more than ha could be happy as king. And he couldn't expect her to do that.

But...I thought...that maybe, just maybe...she loved me. You didn't divorce those you loved. Did you?

Zelgadis shoved those thoughts out of his mind. I don't need to deal with this. I don't. I don't I don't I...gods, I must be going insane. I sound Like Lina. He walked on.

Lina Inverse sneezed. Just what I need, on top of all this. A cold. She busied herself with eating as much as she could. When she was fighting others for it, She could keep her mind off of things. But there was no way She could ignore the bleeding in her heart right now.

Love sucks. Lina glared at her food, suddenly not hungry anymore. Se called for the waiter to give her the bill. She glumly looked at what was left of her dinner. Great, First Gourry asks for a divorce, and then, if that's not enough, he ruins my meal!! It wasn't fair. It wasn't fair it wasn't fair it wasn't fair.

It hurts. Lina lay her head on the table. It hurts more than I can tell...She stood up suddenly, knocking over her chair and scaring the poor newlyweds behind her.

"What am I doing? I'm Lina Inverse! I don't have to deal with this! I'm gonna blow something up!" She dumped her Bag of coins on the table to pay for her meal and ran off.

The waiter turned. "hat? No tip? What a brat..." Pause. "Waitasec. I thought...AAAAH!! It's the ghost of Lina Inverse!! RUUUUN!!"

"Who the Hell are YOU??" The bandit leader managed. Over half of his group had been burned to cinders, and another fourth had been beaten up. All by a girl who looked about 17!

Lina grinned. This was the one thing that could cheer her up. Beating up bandits. She did it any chance she got before, which wasn't often, thanks to a stupid in law...Thank goodness I got rid of her...But...In the process of doing that, she got rid of Gourry...

"AAAARGH! I'm gonna KILL you!!" She yelled at the bandit Leader, who cowered. "How dare you send me down into depression like that! I'm gonna roast you limbs and turn them into hot sauce!"

The bandit leader quailed. "Please! No! I'm sorry!! Don't hurt me!" He cowered.

Lina was disgusted. But, she was used to it. "You think that I, the great and powerful Lina Inverse would have mercy upon the likes of you?" She tossed her hair. "I think not!"

The bandit leader froze. "Masaka...I don't believe it! The bandit killer is dead! Some guy named Gourry Gabriev Killed her or something! You couldn't be her!" He looked at her strangely. "Besides, even if you WERE the Dra-matta, you wouldn't look like a little girl still. It's been at least ten years, there's no WAY even a girl THAT flatchested could ever - "

"FIREBALL!!!!!" Lina screeched, barely keeping from casting dragu slave. "Fireball! Fireball! Fireball!!" Ohhhh, the nerve of some people...

Zelgadis sat in a booth and wondered where he would head to. He couldn't stay anywhere near Sailoon. He couldn't deal with that. It hurt too much. But where else? He wasn't as young as he was...

Oh don't give me that shit. I can't have aged more than a year at the most since I lost my chimeratic form. He thought to himself. I do too much magic to get old that fast. But I'm still not used to traveling.

He'd gotten used to a featherbed. He'd gotten use to only sword practice to keep him fit. He was as lean, muscular, and able to kill things as ever, But he wasn't used to walking long distances, or sleeping on the ground for example.

Ugh, I'd swear my back was a church from all the knots tied in it...Oh no. That was stupid. He slunk into depression again. I can't let go. I've been trying for the past week and I can't. Dammit, it hurts, it hurts...

Amelia hadn't even let him take his old clothes. Since he insisted he wanted to go off without any of his former wealth, she'd said she at least wanted to dress him correctly. So now he got a black, sleeveless leather tunic, Suede, he thought annoyedly, black leather leggings, and black boots. Both also suede. I hate suede. It wasn't that she'd wanted to make him happy, It was that she felt guilty. She'd only felt guilty, and had tried to compensate. It just made him feel more degraded, dejected, and unloved.

And let's not even think about the cartload of shirts she made me take. More linen than a man could use in a year had been put into the sleeves, he swore. She insisted he had to wear them under the tunic. Ugh. At least I don't have to feel the suede. He thought, staring darkly at his coffee. At least she's had a hood put into his tunic. Not that he needed one, but he felt more comfortable wearing it.

Maybe I should look for Lina? Something's always happening around her. No, He didn't want to do that. She'd married Gourry at the same one ha and Amelia...Zelgadis choked up and glared at his drink. No way he'd be able to stand watching them. Not see such a happy, loving couple together that wasn't him and Amelia...

Zelgadis sighed and let his attention wander from the amazingly fascinating coffee cup.

"...And they say the ghost of Lina Inverse is haunting the woods off about twenty miles from here." Zel Stopped his thoughts short. Lina? She'd died? And he'd been so busy brooding he hadn't even noticed. Ugh. He thought hard. Amelia always praised his photographic memory.

Now that he thought about it, He had seen an announcement fly by that the dra-matta had been killed. And he vaguely remembered that Amelia had been very weepy about it. But there hadn't been a funeral or anything. No one knew what happened to her, except that she disappeared. But everyone knew that Lina Inverse would never just disappear.

I missed my best friend's death...He thought slowly. No wonder Amelia divorced me. I'm a cruel, heartless bastard. I'm a monster on the inside, and that's where it counts... Zelgadis fell even deeper into depression. Right now people were avoiding him within a five table radius because there were quite literally storm clouds over his head. This was obviously not his day.

"...The ghost of Lina inverse? HAH! Good one, Marc. So what if it is?"

"I swear! She attacked the Dragon Fang III's just yesterday! It's real!"

Zelgadis didn't like the sound of that. Ghosts shouldn't be hanging around that long. Maybe he'd better head in that direction, just in case...

"..and he said, calm as the breeze, ‘How about a Divorce!' Can you believe that??" Lina looked at the remaining third of the bandit gang, who was terrified beyond words. A few of the newbies had wet their pants. "I mean, couldn't he have been a bit more tactful? And he was so damn CHEERFUL about it, too! OOOHH!" She threw her arms in the air.

The Frightened Bandit troupe just nodded timidly. They weren't sure how she had gotten on this subject, but it was keeping her from burning them all alive.

Lina continued to rant about that asshole of a husband she married.


Zelgadis Turned to the explosion. That was definitely the direction the nearest bandit camp was in.

Spirits can't cast spells. This can't be a ghost. Perhaps a poer? A fan of lina? Someone who wants the reputation without the work? Zelgadis mused. Of course, it could be nothing at all. Just a normal ‘oops, I was supposed to put the gunpowder there?' predicament, but he still wanted to check it out.

The bandit leader looked around futiley for a chance of escape. All he knew was that someone had asked about her figure, and she'd gone nuts. Now all he wanted was to get out alive.

One of the shadows moved. The leader rubbed his eyes. Great, not only am I going to die but I'm going mad as well...The shadow came into veiw.

It was a rather nice looking young man, of about nineteen, with wispy, unruly violet hair and pale skin. He wore a black sleeveless tunic, boots and leggings, with a white linen shirt underneath. All in all, a very nice looking man. Very nice. He was lean, muscular, and a bit of a pretty boy...well, a lot of a pretty boy. But his hard, diamond blue eyes made him look like the type you definitely didn't want to run into in a dark alley. Or a well lit one. Or a lit street. Or a busy lit street. Or a crowded town square. Or a police station. Or...

The girl who had been ranting about her divorce turned to see what he was staring at. And she stared too.

Not that she was old enough to have a divorce. She only looked about seventeen, at the most. No way she could have been married long enough to get a divorce. Her red hair was Held back in a tattered looking headband, which had seen better days. She wore black leggings with deep purple boots and tunic, with a black shirt. She stopped shooting off those terrifying fireballs and squinted at the man, as of trying to find out who it was.

Lina looked the young man over. She knew him from somewhere, but she couldn't place him. He was certainly a very pretty thing, but his eyes made him older than he looked, made him seem in the slightest bit scary, and gave her the chills. Those eyes that went wide with recognition and suddenly filled with loneliness.

"Lina! Lina, I thought you were dead!" The bandits had all taken her momentary confusing as a chance to run for it, that were in the next county by now. The young man suddenly swept her into a hug and spun her around. "I was certain I read..." He suddenly froze, set her down and stepped back, an intense pain filling his eyes. "I...thought I would follow the rumors of your ghost, you know. I..."

Lina blinked. "ZELGADIS?" She exclaimed. She Rushed at him full force and tackled him. Caught off guard, he stumbled back and landed on his rear. "Zelgadis!" She growled, putting him in a headlock and ruffling up his hair. "What the hell were you thinking? You never told me you found a cure!!" She tightened the hold.

"Gah! AIR!" Zel managed. "I'm sorry! I was so busy with trying to keep up with the kingdom I forgot! I'm SORRY!"

Lina stiffened and let go, looking down. Then she plastered a smile across her face and grinned at him. "So! Where's Amelia? I'm sure you two would be traveling together, you're such a happy couple..." She said in a voice that she was proud only slightly shook.

Zelgadis froze and stood up, brushing himself off.

"We're at...differences."

Lina snorted. "Damn, I wish me an' Gourry were at differences. He just up and divorced me, goddamn bastard." She muttered.

"You too?"

Chapter 2   |   Fanfiction