Zel closed the door to his room and finally allowed himself to relax. He had been wandering around for over a week now with Lina, on the all to friable "lead" to his cure. After just a month of wandering, he had discovered just how trying she could be, especially without Gourry or Xellos to draw her ire, or ...
"Not on the top of our game, are we Zel-kun?"
Zel hissed, spun around and drew his sword to assault the intruder. Not that a sword would do any good in defense of this particular intruder.
Xellos casually pushed the sword away with one finger. "Yare, yare Zel-kun. Now is this any way to greet your older brother?" He smirked.
"Older half brother, you mean" he grunted as he put his sword away. "Besides, I never asked to be part of your crazy family anyway."
"What are you doing here anyway? Doesn't mother have anything better for you to do?"
"Ah, that is easily explained. Mother would skin me alive if anything happened to you."
"And I guess that Filibrizo is nothing!?!"
"Fibby-kun was a special case. We all obeyed him, willwe-or-nillwe."
"It wouldn't do to have let those unsympathetic bastards discover who you were. It would have gone much worse with you if we had let your true identity show."
Zel grunted. "Shut up."
"Anyway that is not why I am here right now, in your room. I need to talk to you about something."
"What would the great mazoku Xellos need from a humble mortal like me?"
"You're half mazoku too, remember. I don't understand why you are so obsessed with your cure anyway. You have more power like this. It is what you wanted, right?"
"You would not understand. I am even less human now than I was before."
"There is more to being human than simply appearence, Zel-kun. I look human, but as you know, I am as far from human as you can be."
"And you enjoy it! That is the basic difference between us, Xellos."
"So you should accept it. Otherwise, if you keep following the same path that you are on now, you may end up becoming that which you most fear."
"What the hell do you mean by that?!?"
"I mean what I say. Keeping focusing on one goal, to the exclusion of human needs, and to the utter ruthlessness of total sacrifice, and you will doubly curse yourself."
"Heartlessness, willingness to sacrifice anything for a goal and non-empathy are all characteristics of the Mazoku, Zel-kun. Keep it up and you will lose your last shreds of humanity."
Zel thought about it. Heartlessness, ruthlessness, he knows that he perhaps does show those characteristics. But to sacrifice anything, anyone ..."Why are you telling me this?"
"Hmph" he snorted. "You always have your own angle, Xellos. What do you really want?"
"Hmmm. To be honest, it is a little bit of family connection. We Metalliums do care for each other after all. But it is a warning Zelgadis. If you insist on becoming the bastard that you want to be, then there is nothing I can do. I can do a lot, but I do not have the power to save you from yourself. And if it is towards self-destruction that you are bent, then I might as well pursue my own goal."
"And what would that goal be, dear brother?"
Xellos opened his eyes. Although most would find the amethyst-colored, diamond-shaped, split-pupiled eyes frightening, Zel knew it merely indicated the seriousness of what Xellos was about to say. "I know in Seyruun there is a little Princess who would be most depressed upon hearing the news of your death. I plan to be there to comfort and offer my aid to her. And my heart."
Xellos tilted his head and regarded his brother from his perch on the dresser. "Why are you so surprised? You know that Mazoku can love as strongly, no even stronger than humans do."
"Her joyous spirit was the first thing that attracted me to her. She had experienced such pain, yet still shone so brightly. Her dedication matches my own, her light draws me like a moth to flame. She is precious through her innocence and purity. And tolerance, might I add."
"You really are serious, aren't you?"
"Of course. How I long to claim this precious jewel for my own! To run my hands through her raven hair, to drown in her navy eyes, to caress her creamy skin, to bathe in the sunshine of her smile, to listen to her harmonious voice in my ears forever. I will offer to make her a Mazoku."
"Why are you telling me this?"
"Because Zelgadis, if you would be so callous as to break her heart, then I will gladly piece it's crystal shards together again. I find it worth more than all the power and magic, or even wealth in the world. So say it Zelgadis. Would you really sacrifice anything, anyone for your cure?"
Zel thought about it. Anyone? Lina, Gourry, Sylfiel, all those he had traveled with? But Gourry, Sylfiel, even Filia, these were all his friends, like Zolf and Rodimus. Yet Lina, on the other hand, he would gladly give the dangerous brat over to Filibrizo or Gaav, or any other enemy they had faced for his cure. He had not even mourned when they all thought she was dead. And Amelia ... Zel smiled, and looked up to Xellos. Xellos returned his look quizzically. "What are you smiling about?"
"I've just decided on my next destination in my journey."
"Yes. Come morning, I believe there is something even better than a cure waiting for me in Seyruun." With that, Zel began preparing for bed and Xellos teleported away with tears in his eyes.
Not what you were expecting, was it? Hee, hee. It got a little bit cliche at the end, but otherwise, e-mail me with what you think.