Even If My Heart Should Break


This is my first Slayers fic... I've only seen the first season and the movie, so please be gentle!

"So that's it... I'm dying then." I turn to look at my lover as he speaks. His voice is so quiet, so... unperturbed. I admire his control, if it had been me, I would have been wailing by now. As it is, I want to scream denial, to yank those terrible words from the air and put them back into the silence where they belong.

But I can't... and I can feel the tiny cracks creeping along my heart, threatening to split it into so many pieces that I would never be able to find them again. Looking up into those blue eyes I sigh mournfully. It's too unfair to even think about! After all this time, all that we had been through together: all our fights and those dozens of pointless quibbles, every tender moment that passed in the silences. All of it about to be undone by those six words.

I fight back the tears that threaten, determined to be no less strong than he is. It's funny how you never realize something until it's too late. Maybe it would have been better if I had never fallen at all. I could have kept my heart locked in a box and never let him find the key -- but he had, somehow he had. In his thickheaded, silly way he had broken the walls of that sealed box and let the love in -- like rays of sunlight entering a dark room.

From the looks of him, he's taking this better than I am...

If I'd've known the way that this would end

I still can remember the day we met, vividly. He came into my world like a whirlwind, sudden and unexpected. That first glimpse of him in battle -- a useless battle really, but he didn't know it at the time -- risking his neck for me when I was in no real danger... I think it started then. That was the foundation upon which something powerful, something immovable was built.

That he was a gorgeous creature didn't hurt at all. Tall and slim, with his hair glistening gold in the sunlight, eyes that were that vivid, impossible shade of blue. I think a lesser woman would have fallen right there.

If I'd've read the last page first

Not me, of course. I've always prided myself on being smarter than that, stronger than that. I'm not just any woman. I'm Lina Inverse, the most powerful sorceress in the world, and it takes more than a pair of stunning blue eyes and a nice physique to impress me. (They did help, though. Hey, I've got an eye for men.)

Then he started treating me like a kid and it all went downhill from there. Because if he hadn't insisted on becoming my protector, none of this would ever have happened. I don't think I would have looked past his jellyfish brain and his air headed manner if I hadn't found myself spending so much time with him. He's a real gentleman in his way, and not only that -- he paid for dinner. What a great guy, eh?

If I'd've had the strength to walk away

Then came Rezo and Zel. I honestly don't know if I really expected Gourry to come to my rescue when I was captured by Zelgadis, but lo and behold, he did. Granted, he made his entrance a bit late -- Zel had already helped me escape by then -- but he showed up to help me out anyway. Now that I think back, I wonder if he knew for certain that his sword of light would work on that monster. I thought he was a fool for taking the creature on after I had been unable to damage it, even with my powerful magic. Watching him holding the blade-less hilt before him like a weapon was unbearable, but before I could utter the magic words to come to his rescue, he surprised me yet again.

If I'd've known how this would hurt

It was a good excuse. That I wanted the sword, I mean. It gave me a reason to stay with him, even when I didn't need him to be my protector. Of course, he would have stayed with me even despite that little fact, but it wasn't like HE was the one who needed an excuse. I was the one who needed a reason to keep him with me. I see this now.

I would've loved you anyway
I'd do it all the same

Looking back, I realize he put up with a lot, being with me. Fond memories bring a fleeting smile to my lips, even despite the situation. A few examples spring readily to my mind -- like when we were forced to join that traveling group and be in their play. "Abominable" Lina Inverse, indeed! They didn't know what they were talking about. Cute, perfectly proportioned and intensely talented me, abominable? Rubbish. And having to wear the hind end of that stupid dragon outfit was no fun either. The only good thing about it was that I was in close quarters with him. He was in front, so that meant I had a good view of the rear. Er... forget I said that.

And dressing him up like a woman. I admit, I had a bit of fun at his expense that time, especially when he would get those priceless looks at the thought of being courted by the "Great Volun". The great oaf is more like it! Trying to take credit for getting rid of Shabernigdo! I wouldn't really have married him off, of course. But it would have been funny to watch him squirm.

I don't think there's anything I would have done differently, if I could go back now. Well... maybe I would have just admitted my feelings sooner. But other than that...

Not a second I would change
Not a touch that I would trade

Makes you wonder just how dense a person can be, eh? I was in denial for quite a long time. I insisted I wasn't jealous of Sylphiel when, of course I was. It irks me that she at least could be honest about her emotions towards him and I couldn't. Does that make her braver than me, I wonder?

Of course, when I was hurt by Copy Rezo, the pieces really began to fall into place. I don't think I could ever forget his heartbreaking scream and the way he struggled to get to me, despite his own injuries. I don't think I could have forgiven myself if I had died and left him in that kind of pain.

Which makes me angry at him for being so calm about this news... How can he even consider the thought of leaving me like this? He's supposed to be there for me when I need him! I turn away suddenly, unable to bear the sweet concern in his eyes as he glances at me.

Had I known my heart would break
I'd've loved you anyway

That jellyfish brained fool... How can he go and break my heart like this? It's not fair!

It's bittersweet to look back now
At memories withered on a vine

But not looking at him cannot banish the images that fill my mind. That sweet expression he gets when he's just sitting there enjoying the beauty of a summer day. The way the wind blows the bangs out of his face, allowing me a glimpse of his sapphire eyes. Even that cheerful, impossibly clueless expression he gets when he has no idea what we've just been talking about. Little things that piled up like brick upon brick, to form a structure that is infinitely more powerful than the sum of its parts.

The images are starting to run together, like a painting that has been splashed with water, the colors beginning to blur. The ripple of muscles beneath his toned skin as he fights, the touch of my hand on his as we both grab for the same piece of food, him carrying me when I was injured...

Just to hold you close to me
For a moment in time

Then come the rarer moments. The tenderness in his voice as he speaks my name. The feel of his silky mane running through my fingers. The warmth that fills me when he wraps his arms around my body and pulls me into his gentle embrace. The way I fit against his solid form perfectly, like two pieces of the same puzzle coming together. And, of course, the way his sweet lips steal my thoughts away to a place like heaven -- driving me willingly into pure, unadulterated bliss.

I would've loved you anyway
I'd do it all the same

We've come a long way from that first step. I feel tears threatening, and I swallow them as best I can. Trying to set aside the doubts, to set aside the fears. Trying to banish the need I have that is telling me I should hold him tight, trying to fight off the dark truth. As if we could ever have enough of the love and light between us to make it go away for good.

Not a second I would change
Not a touch that I would trade

His arm snakes around me, pulls me close. I feel his breath on my neck as he embraces me, golden hair mingled with my own scarlet locks. Even now, he is being my protector. The trouble is, I'm not the one who needs protecting anymore.

Had I known my heart would break
I'd've loved you anyway

"It's ok, Lina."

But it's not ok. I want to yell at him, to grab him and shake him and yell that NO, it's NOT ok. It will never be ok!

My words don't come out like that, though. I can't form them at all, instead there is a muted sob in my throat, and I turn to cling to him. My universe has broken like a piece of glass, and maybe if I can hold on tightly enough, I can make it all go away.

Even if I'd seen it coming
You'd still have seen me running
Straight into your arms

"Idiot... Leave it to you to inherit something even magic can't get rid of... instead of getting some brains or something useful." My manner is accusing, like the whole thing is the result of some real error on his part, instead of some stupid genetic problem. For a moment my thoughts fall on Rowdy and his elven lover. The elf girl's hair had been the same blonde shade as Gourry's. With blood like that, who knew what was possible.

My handsome warrior...

I would've loved you anyway

Before I know it, we're on the road again. I don't know how it happened. If I had, you can be sure I would have said something. You're not well, Gourry... why are we acting so normal? Things won't ever be the same again...

But his smile is the same, his eyes are just as bright. If he is worried about the future, he hides it well enough that I can find no hint of concern in his manner. I should do the same and pretend nothing is wrong, that there is no shadow in the future for us. And yet... I can't let it drop so easily.

I have to ask...

I'd do it all the same

"Say, Gourry..." I try to sound casual and fail miserably. "Why are you so happy? Cause if it were me in your shoes, I think I'd be pretty damn upset about the whole thing."

He turns to me, and for a moment I can see it in his eyes. He hasn't forgotten. He knows the clock is ticking in its slow downward spiral -- counting out the hours and minutes of his life with cold precision. I regret my words as he finally speaks.

Not a second I would change

"Sorry, Lina... I can't help it." He sounds apologetic. "It's just that... if I'm only going to be around for a little while, I don't want to waste whatever amount of time that is by being worried about it. That's why I didn't ask him how much longer it'll be."

Not a touch that I would trade

I understand completely. Why squander what little time we have left? Gourry has had the right idea all along... to live each day as it comes and make the most of it, because those days will never come again. We're all dying anyway, from the moment we take our first breath. We just never realize that every day we live could be our last.

Had I known my heart would break

He takes my hand in his own, and I allow it, holding tightly as I look up into his eyes. If this is to be our last day, we'll make the most of it, I swear. I'll hold on until the very end. And so will he.

I would've loved you anyway

And I won't regret a second of the time we've spent. Even if my heart should break...

If I could do it over...

...I would...

I would've loved you anyway

Even if my heart should break...I still would have loved you, anyway...