If certain legends were true, both Lina and Gourry would be blind as bats.
Notes: This story takes place after the werewolf story in the one-shot Araizumi manga. Throughout the entire manga, Lina and Gourry are a lot more suggestive about things than they are in the anime and it leads to some great tension between the two of them. This story was written in that spirit.
Story #8: "The Blind Leading the Blind"
When it came to ideas, Gourry knew that Lina had some pretty strange ones. Many of the quests they went on seemed more like wild goose chases to him - looking for some obscure treasure or being roped into becoming bodyguards for some of the strangest people he'd ever seen. But this made her happy and he didn't dare question her happiness.
If Lina was happy, so was he.
Even so, he still found her latest idea just a little hard to stomach.
"You want us to do what?" he asked in an incredulous voice, not quite sure he had heard her right.
Lina scowled at him over their dinner. They had arrived in Lydas in the Alliance of Costal States just an hour earlier and their first order of business was obtaining lots of food and a warm place to sleep for the night. "Shut up, Jellyfish," she seethed. "Do you want everyone in town to hear our plans?"
"They're not my plans! They're your plans. I think you're insane!"
Lina grumbled at him. With yogurt for brains half the time, Gourry was the one who needed his sanity questioned. She speared the last of her porkchop and waved it at him. "It's not a bad idea! Think about it, if we succeed, it could bring in a lot of money."
"But you want us to hunt vampires?" Gourry swallowed nervously, his own meal forgotten. "I mean, I know we've hunted werewolves but...Lina, those things aren't even real! It's just a myth."
"Do you even know what a myth is?"
"Oh." Lina stuck her fork in her mouth and chewed on the meat thoughtfully. She swallowed, then reached for her cloak, which hung on the back of her chair. She pulled out a folded piece of paper and passed it across the table to him. "I saw that while you were in the bathroom. Take a look."
Gourry unfolded it and saw that it was a simple-looking wanted poster. There was a description about a series of crimes that involved several wealthy business owners in the town being killed in the middle of the night. Any information leading to the capture of this killer or killers would result in a 50 gold finder's fee. The person to bring in the killer(s) would receive 500 gold. He gave a low whistle at the last number and looked up to see Lina's eyes shining at him.
"See?" she asked, almost bouncing off her chair with excitement. Gourry almost grinned at the sight, but it still didn't make him feel any better. If anything, he was even more convinced that perhaps Lina had taken one too many spills during a battle.
"Yes and no." He folded up the poster and gave it back. "It says that a bunch of rich men are being killed. It does not say anything about vampires."
"I spoke with the town's mayor when I saw the poster. You take an awful long time in the bathroom."
"I do not!" Gourry insisted, blushing. "Lina, you shouldn't be discussing stuff like that."
"Oh?" Lina gave him a saucy grin. "Then why are you blushing?"
He glowered at her and turned his focus back to the remainder of his meal. Lina leaned forward, their current mission pushed aside for the moment. She really meant it as an offhand comment, but Gourry's reaction was just too interesting to ignore. She might be a maiden, but she wasn't ignorant. She knew what men - and women - did upon occasion when they had a chance to be alone.
"You know," she said in a low, serious voice, "they say if you do that sort of thing, you'll go blind."
Gourry's fork dropped to his plate as he gawked at her, horrified. "Lina!" he gasped.
"Shut up!" she hissed back at him as patrons from several other tables turned their attention to them to see if they could hear the brewing fight. "Unless you want this to become a public matter!"
"This isn't any sort of matter at all! It's none of your business to speculate on how much time I spend in private and what I do in there!"
This was just getting better and better. Lina gave him the most sickening sweet smile she had in her arsenal. "For someone who's trying to deny he engages in certain activities, you're being awfully loud about it. I'm just giving you a warning, that's all. Buddy to buddy." She waved the wanted poster at him. "Now, about those vampires..."
Gourry cradled his now-aching head in one hand. "Lina, there's no such things as vampires and you can't go blind if you masturba..." He hastily cut off, snapping his head up in the process, his face nearly as dark as her hair. Lina blinked at him in surprise, amazed that not only was he about to blurt the specific word, but...
More curious now than ever, she leaned in a little. "Are you admitting to doing it?" she asked in a half-mocking, half-serious voice.
He bit his lip, hard. This was quickly crossing into the realms of dangerous conversation topics, especially with best friends that he occasionally...okay, frequently had some interesting thoughts about. He picked up his fork, took another bite of food and chewed carefully, weighing his answer. He studied Lina as he did so, realization dawning on him.
He swallowed and grinned. "Are you admitting to doing it?"
Her reaction was just as expected. Her eyes went wide with horror and she blushed before staring down at her plate, fighting to come up with a decent answer. He had meant it as a joke, but her non-verbal response caused his pulse to start racing and forbidden images to flood his mind. His smile died as she looked back up at him and he stared at her with such intensity she thought she was either going to scream, hit him, reach across the table and kiss the daylights out of him or do a combination of all of the above.
A man jostled the back of Lina's chair as he walked past, snapping both of them from their daze. They exchanged embarrassed looks and stared at their plates, wondering what to do or say next.
"So...," Gourry ventured carefully. "We're hunting vampires, right?"
"Right. Vampires." Lina picked up the poster again. "When I was speaking to the mayor while you were ... occupied ...he told me that they can't detect a cause of death other than the blood being drained from their bodies and two puncture wounds on their necks. Therefore, they think it's a vampire."
"Right." Gourry shuffled the plates around until he found the bread basket. Much to his delight, there was still a roll in it. "So, how do we hunt vampires?"
"Beats the hell out of me." Lina grabbed the roll before he could.
"Well, there's stakes, garlic..."
She rolled her eyes. "Gourry..."
"What?" He gave her an innocent look and she snorted. "Okay, so what do you plan to do?"
"I'll think of something." Lina took a bite out of the roll.
He grinned. "So, in other words, you don't know what you're doing at all. It's like the blind leading the blind!"
Lina growled and smacked Gourry's face with the roll.