Part Two: In Which the Trickster Annoys the @*#& Out of Stone-Boy

Author's Prologue

Shira: (grins) So, I see you've made it this far! I'm impressed.

Gourry: Yeah, no kidding! I mean, no NORMAL human could stand to sit through this whole thing.

Shira: And this is going to be a LONG fanfic!

Minna: (groan)

Shira: (glares a minna) Oh, come on. I'm not THAT bad!

Lina: (mutters) Wanna bet?

Shira: I heard that!

Lina: Good!

Shira: Don't start with me, sorceress! I could bring unimaginable horrors into your life. After all, I AM a fanfic writer.

Lina: (grits her teeth) You're welcome to try. (several moments of silence)

Zelgadis & Gourry: O.o;;

Shira: (evil grin) I do believe that was a challenge.

Zelgadis: (hastily) No, she didn't mean it! Really, she was just kidding!

Gourry: Yeah, so you can forget about that whole unimaginable horrors thing, all right?

Shira: (grins) Onto Part Two!

Gourry: What kind of answer is that?!

Lina: (whacks Gourry upside the head and drags him off the stage)

The three companions halted in front of a large cave, gaping at the enormity of it. Lina sighed happily. "Well, here we are! The Poison Fangs' hideout!"

Gourry scratched his head. "How do you know this is the right cave, Lina?"

Both Lina and Zelgadis facevaulted. Zelgadis was the first to recover and pointed a stone finger at a large, neon sign above the caves' entrance. It read, "Poison Fangs' Hideout: All Bandits Welcome!"

"Oh!" Gourry exclaimed. "That's how!"

Before Lina had a chance to satisfy the urge to throw something heavy at her dense friend, a man with short purple hair appeared upside-down in front of the sorceress. Now, Lina wasn't one to get scared easily, but for some reason a purple haired mazuko appearing upside-down from out of nowhere startled her a bit.

The mazuko grinned. "Why, hello Lina-chan! What a pleasant surprise this is!"

"I can't say the same for you." Zelgadis growled.

Xellos ignored the chimera. "I didn't expect you three to make it here so quickly. Perhaps now you would allow me to accompany you?" He twisted the last sentence, making it more of a statement than a question. Nevertheless, Gourry and Zelgadis both reached for their swords, ready to charge the mazuko at Lina's word.

Lina gestured to the two of them to put up their swords, and grinned at the Trickster Priest. "Sure, why not?"

Both Zelgadis and Gourry facevaulted. Xellos clapped his hands and laughed. "Wonderful! Shall we be off, then?" The mazuko started out ahead of them, whistling merrily. Lina began to follow, but Zelgadis stopped her with a menacing glare.

"Just what in L-sama's name do you think you're doing, Lina Inverse?" He asked coldly.

"Yeah, Lina, Xellos is a bad guy!" Gourry whined, tugging at her cape.

Lina grinned at the two. "Don't worry, I have a plan. This time it's the Trickster who'll be tricked!"

The four wandered deeper into the cave, meeting occasionally with guards. At first, the guards would look at the four suspiciously, but upon seeing Xellos would snap back into place like toy soldiers. Not a good sign.

Gourry whimpered and leaned closer to Lina. "Lina, when can we leave?"

Lina sighed. "As soon as we get the parchment, Gourry."

The swordsmen latched onto her arm. "Well, I'm sticking by you until this whole thing's over with!"

She rolled her eyes. "Why, so you can play guardian some more?"

"No way! Because if we run into some really bad guys, you can Dragon Slave 'em into next week!" Gourry said with a grin.

Zelgadis sweatdropped. "You mean you are relying on a WOMAN to protect you?" He demanded incredulously.

"Damn straight!" Gourry replied matter-of-factly.

"Hey, what d'ya mean, a WOMAN?!" Lina screamed.

"Oh, you know," Gourry stepped in for Zelgadis, "Generally shorter than men, can have babies, have breasts - well, except for you, Lina." Gourry added.

Before Lina had a chance to do anything, Xellos stepped in. "I hate to interrupt this intriguing conversation, but wandering around in this cave is going to take forever. I suggest that we divide into two groups."

Gourry clung to Lina. "I'm with Lina!" Lina rolled her eyes and sighed.

Xellos gave Zelgadis an amused smile. "I guess that leaves the two of us, then!"

"Oh, great." He muttered.

Lina examined both passageways in front of them. "Gourry and I will go to the right. Zelgadis and Xellos, you go left. Meet back here in two hours, got it?"

"Got it!" Xellos said cheerfully. Both he and Zelgadis headed left, the latter more slowly than the first.

Lina turned to Gourry, who was still latched onto her arm. "Are you going to cling to me for the entire time?" She asked, appearing to be more than slightly annoyed.

"You bet! It's SCARY in here!"

"Some swordsmen YOU are! For the gods' sake, Gourry, you're not defenseless! You have the Hikari no Ken, remember?"

Gourry blinked intelligently. "Oh yeah!"

Lina smacked her forehead. "This is going to be a long two hours."

"This is going to be a long two hours." Zelgadis echoed. He was walking about five feet behind the mazuko, who was floating about two inches above the hard rock floor. He was whistling some tune or another, and truthfully, it was annoying the hell out of Zelgadis.

"Would you just STOP that?!" He yelled at Xellos, making it more of a demand than a request.

Xellos turned to Zelgadis, pouting. "I'm just trying to cheer you up, Zelgadis-sama." He drawled on 'Zelgadis-sama.'

"You can cheer me up by not talking." He muttered.

Xellos looked hurt. "How can you say such cruel things to me? What have I ever done to YOU?"

Zelgadis spluttered. "What HAVEN'T you done to us! You've led us on, put us through suffering and used us like puppets for your own personal gain! I do believe that's grounds enough for me to hate you!"

"Lina does the same thing." The Trickster pointed out.

Zelgadis scowled. "She does not."

Xellos raised an eyebrow. "Oh? She leads you two around, putting you through pain that you otherwise wouldn't have to face, just so she can fatten her purse."

Zelgadis blinked, then recovered. "Well, Lina's different."

"How so? Just because you happen to have a crush on her doesn't mean that what she's doing is any worse than what I'm doing to you."

Zelgadis blushed, his blue skin turning a lovely shade of purple. "I do NOT have a crush on Lina! And she would never put us through anything that would get us killed. She has more honor than that."

Xellos rolled his eyes. "SURE you don't, stone-boy."

"Don't call me that!" Zelgadis clenched his fists to his side.

Xellos, upon seeing Zelgadis' weak point, exploited it to the best of his ability. "Stone-boy, stone-boy, stone-boy!" He chanted, flying in circles above the chimera.

Zelgadis, who was by now thoroughly pissed, punched Xellos in the chin as hard as he could with his solid rock fist. Xellos flew into the wall, and sighed contentedly. "Itai." He murmured.

Zelgadis shut his eyes, regaining a bit of his composure. "Let's just get this over with, mazuko."

Xellos grinned. "Fine by me!" And started out ahead of Zelgadis again.

Zelgadis sighed. "What did I do to deserve this?" But he couldn't help thinking: Why DO I follow Lina around? He's absolutely right on a couple things. Lina puts us through life-threatening situations on a daily basis, and I could most certainly make it on my own. Do I love her?

Author's Epilogue

Shira: (grins) And the plot thickens!

Zelgadis: (blushes) Why are you doing this to me?!

Shira: (proud) I'm a fanfic writer! It's my job!

Lina: It's your job to totally screw up your characters lives?!

Shira: Yep!

Gourry: (sulking in a corner)

Lina: What's wrong with you, Gourry?

Gourry: (blushes) Nuthin.

Shira: (grins) Oh, yes, this story is most definitely going to be interesting! See you guys in Part Three! Ja!

(monitor winks out)

Part 3   |   Fanfiction