Chapter One

Lina was sick. No, scratch that. She was dying, but...nobody around her could tell. She just acted like she always acted to cover it up and nobody thought the better of it. The only noticeable thing was that she had a cold. Gourry had Sylphiel examine her and Sylphiel had given him a bottle with medicine fluid. Over time, Lina's illness was beginning to show and there was nothing she could do to cover it up. Though, they still didn't know that she was dying.

"Iie, damnit! How many times do I have to say that I won't down that vile liquid?!" asked the infuriated and very sick Lina Inverse.

"Lina," Gourry began tiredly, "just take it. You do want to get better, right?"

" I HAVE to drink that?" she asked, making a sick look on her face.

"Hai! This is what Sylphiel gave me to give to you," said Gourry.

"Isn't there any other way?" Lina asked pleadingly.

Gourry shook his head and Lina cringed.

"Yuck! Why me?!" she cried as Gourry put the spoon in her mouth.

Lina downed the liquid distastefully. Gourry looked relieved that Lina had finally taken her medication.

"Bleh! It tastes almost like poison! Are you sure that that's not what that is?" asked Lina as she grabbed her canteen of water and drank from it, trying to get rid of the taste.

"You're lucky we're at an inn tonight," said Gourry. "Think about if we were outdoors with you in this condition. You'd need even more medicine."

Lina clutched at the sheets of her bed and shivered at the thought of it. Gourry then stood up from her bed and walked towards the door.

"If you need anything, Lina, give me a holler. I'm in the room right across from yours," said Gourry as he left her room.

Once he was gone, Lina slowly lied down.

"Oh this pain!" Lina hissed once she was finally on her back. "I need to tell them the truth, but the timing isn't right. Zel isn't here and I think that he should know too."

With those last thoughts in mind, Lina fell asleep.

That night at the Intreshpian Ruins, one could hear a very enraged chimera screaming all sorts of profanities.

"DAMNIT! Why did this have to be ANOTHER false lead?" he bellowed, questionably.

Zelgadis Greywers nearly blew up all of the ruins, due to his frustration that night. He then collapsed to his knees and did something unbelievable. He began to weep.

"Is this fate? Am I supposed to be a hideous monster for the rest of my life? I wish someone knew," he said, sadly.

Wiping the tears from his eyes, he decided that maybe he should go find Lina and the rest of the gang.

Maybe I can relieve some stress around them, he thought as he left the ruins.

Walking alongside the road, Zelgadis checked the streets of every town that he was in to see if his friends were there. When he was finally giving up hope in finding them, he stumbled upon a city called Aiish. He had never been to such a city that had an incredibly gothic feel to it. Feeling depressed, he decided to check that city as well for his companions.

Zelgadis first checked the streets and then, out of nowhere, he saw Sylphiel walking towards an inn.

Zelgadis ran over to her and waved.

"Sylphiel!" he called out.

Sylphiel turned her head and gasped when she saw who it was. She ran over to him and smiled.

"It's been a long time Zelgadis-san," said Sylphiel.

"Too long, actually," he replied with a chuckle.

"What are you doing around these parts?" she asked.

Zelgadis shrugged. "Mostly travelling and looking for my cure. Yourself?"

"I'm here to make sure that Lina-san gets better," said Sylphiel.

Zelgadis' brow furrowed. "Gets better? Is she sick or something?"

"Hai, but she refuses to take her medication. She has a really nasty cold too," said Sylphiel.

"Bring me to her," Zelgadis said seriously.

"Hai," said Sylphiel as she led him into the inn.

Once they were in the inn, Zelgadis was greeted by Amelia and Gourry.

Amelia gasped with delight when she saw him. "Zelgadis-san!"

Gourry smiled at him. "Zelgadis, welcome back."

"Arigato. I heard that Lina is sick. May I see her, Gourry?" he asked.

Gourry nodded and led Zelgadis upstairs to Lina's room and once they reached the door, Gourry left.

Taking a deep breath, Zelgadis knocked softly on the door.

"Who is it?" asked a very hoarse, female voice.

"Zelgadis," he replied.

Zelgadis could hear Lina gasp in her room and then she said, "Come on in!"

Zelgadis then opened the door to her room and went inside, closing it behind him.

Once he looked over at Lina, she smiled weakly at him.

"Oi, Zel! Long time no see," she said in a raspy voice.

"Lina, I heard that you've been sick," he said, sitting down on the bed next to her.

Lina nodded in reply.

"Have you been taking your medication?" he asked.

Lina nodded once more and he sighed.

"You are being truthful...right?" he asked.

Lina glared at him and nodded her head fiercely.

"I guess that that's all anyone can ask for, ne?" he said, wryly.

Lina, finding her voice, said, "Zel?"

"Yes, Lina?" he asked, softly.

"I need to tell you something, well actually I need to tell you two things," she said, her voice beginning to crack.

"Go ahead. I'm listening," he urged her, gently.

Lina took a deep breath and said, "Aishiteru, Zel."

Zelgadis nearly fell of from the bed in shock.

"Are you sure?" he stammered.

Lina giggled softly at his reaction and said, "Yes, I'm very sure."

Zelgadis just looked at her wide-eyed.

"Well...aren't you going to say anything?" she asked, teasingly.

Zelgadis shook himself and then said, "Only that I love you too."

It was now Lina's turn to go into shock. "Are YOU sure?"

Zelgadis chuckled and then said, "As sure as you are."

Lina smiled widely, threw her arms around his neck and kissed him deeply.

Zelgadis, after recovering from momentary shock, kissed her back.

After about a minute, they broke off the kiss and held onto each other.

"Zel?" said Lina.

"Hai?" he asked.

"There is one more thing that I need to tell you, but after I tell you, I need you to go and tell everyone else about it," she said as some sadness began to sink into her voice.

Zelgadis pulled away from her and looked at her face strangely.

"What is it, koi?" he asked, concerned.

Lina looked as though she were ready to cry. She sniffled and attempted to hold back her tears.

Zelgadis then pulled her back to him and let her sob on his tunic, which she did most willingly.

"Shh...Lina...shh," said Zelgadis trying to soothe her. "Whatever it is, we'll fix it."

Lina shook her head vehemently. "It won't be that easy."

Zelgadis looked into her sad, crimson eyes and asked, "Why is that?"

Lina looked away from his gaze, took another deep breath and said, "I'm dying."

Chapter 2   |   Fanfiction