"I Can't ... " Challenge


Continuing Silver Angel's story ... which is below.

I Can't...
By Silver Angel

I have lived for many, many years. I have killed as many as I've lived, and I have enjoyed it. But...

She showed up.

And I think I love her.

But I know I can't. She may be destruction incarnate, but I can't love her. It isn't allowed.

I can't feel anything...

No! Get away from her! She doesn't love you. Only me...

Only me...


She can't love me, and I can't love her. That is how the world works.



I think I do...

I can't...


Zelgadis bolted upright from his bed as the nightmare came to its ineviteble conclusion yet again. After all this time, he still couldn't forget that stupid bargain. Of course it all happened in a flash in his dream, not like the real thing. Not like the three days and nights of torture and hallucination.

The other slayers assumed that he was eighteen, maybe nineteen. He'd been kicking around for much longer than that. Much longer, he remembered when the first rumors of the bandit-killer started spreading. Which was how he knew that Lina wasn't particularly being honest about her age either. Though he was surprised that a petite and lovely girl like Lina could acquire such a damning reputation while a freak like him went practically unheard of.

"Of course, Lina's battles have always been incredibly spectacular," he noted to himself, as he shook off the remainder of the nightmare. "People that just disappear don't attract quite so much attention as do victims of a walking volcano."

He hadn't ever really believed that she was real, until, of course she got in his way. Then, for the first time, he encountered someone as ruthless and as deadly as he was. And as passionate as he wished he could afford to be. He smiled quietly in the darkness as he considered the contradiction of the naive killer that was Lina Inverse.

He remembered thinking that perhaps someone like him and someone like her could maybe....and he had to smash the thought down again now in the wake of his nightmare. There was too much at risk when passion was involved. He had almost let himself go fully once before. Seeing Xellos move in on what he instinctually considered his territory. Gourry had never been much of a threat to his position, he treated Lina too much like a child to be a serious rival.

Xellos, however, had enraged him, and he'd almost let the demon out. If that had happened the annoying pain-eater would have had a battle on his hands. But he had reined it in before the beast could get very far out. There was no telling what his other third would do if it broke through the walls of cold logic he had erected from the golem's nature. A full battle between him and Xellos would lay waste to miles of land. Even assuming that he won, how could he be certain that the life-hungry demon part of his being would stop there.

"No, it's impossible," he muttered. "I can't let it happen....I can't..." He whirled to face the slowly opening door.

"Zel?" upon seeing Lina his mind tensed and body relaxed.

"Why shouldn't I be?"

"Because I was trying to peek in on Filia and Val Garv, and the scry spell couldn't get past here." Zel glared.

"Just old memories," he assured her, setting his sword to lean against the desk again. "Why were you trying to "peek in" on Filia?" Lina shrugged.

"I was bored, and I'd like to make sure that Val Garv doesn't have any remnants of his old self," she sat down on his bed, and sighed. "Anyway, old memories are never 'just'. Especially with you. So what's up?"

"You wouldn't understand."

"Well, that's rich," Lina hmphed. "Wouldn't understand what? That you're afraid of your demon side?" He narrowed his eyes.

"You don't know what you're talking about," Zelgadis told her. "You don't know what's like to..."

"I want to cast the Giga Slave." He looked at her as if she had gone insane. "I wanted to before I knew I was going to make it. The first time I cast it I turned a beach into a bay of death, nothing lives there, nothing that stays long there survives, and....."

"That showed you how dangerous it was so you decided not to cast it aga..." he said, waving his hand at what he considered the only possible result. Lina's shaking head forestalled him.

"I STILL want to cast it," she told him. "That's what scares me. I want to see it, at its peak, as it was meant to be. I know what it is and what it will do and I STILL want it." She turned to him and her nervous face took an angry cast. "So don't YOU stand there and say I wouldn't understand." The sorceress stood up and walked back out of his room.

"Why are you telling me this," he asked, confused. She stopped at the door way and turned around.

"I've known how to seal the spell since I first cast it," she answered quietly. "I thought about it a long time, and I only went through with it because of all of you. I couldn't cage it on my own."

The sorceress opened the door and walked out into the hallway, pausing a moment to turn around.

"And I can't keep it caged on my own," she said. "Understand?"

"This isn't the..."

"The same? The hell it isn't," she snapped. "Ah forget it, call me when you figure it out." She disappeared down the hall, walking angrily away. Zelgadis noticed that he did seem more relaxed than before.

"Maybe," he told himself. "Maybe she's right." He admitted to himself. He stretched and then arched an eyebrow. "Peeking in on Filia, right....good night Lina. Flow break." There was a brief flash as he prepared to seek a few more hours sleep, without the easedrop spell.

"GOODNIGHT ZEL!" Lina called loudly from her room. She smiled as she laid down herself.