Lina and Gourry go vampire hunting. Yeah, that terrifies me as well...
Story #9: "Four Twelves are Forty Eight"
Those who knew Lina and Gourry would comment that out of the two, Lina was the one who normally showed any initative. She was the one who decided where to go, what to do, and he was more than happy to let her take the lead. He was simply happy to be by her side.
But after their meal, it was Gourry who dragged Lina to the nearest bookstore, determined to find any and everything about hunting vampires. After all, he reasoned, it was his job as her protector to prevent her from being bitten by one of those things. Look what happened when they tried to hunt werewolves!
Lina viewed this all with much amusement and a hint of annoyance. Once the shock of Gourry taking the initiative to dive into a pile of books passed, she stood with her hands on her hips as he went through shelf after shelf of material dedicated to the paranormal. Nevermind that she had been planning to do this initially. It was Gourry suddenly taking charge. And surely this was upsetting the natural order of things!
"Hey, Lina, what about this?" Gourry turned to her, a thin volume in his hands. She smirked at the title. /Vampire Hunting for the Dim-Witted/. "This one seems pretty simple."
"Why, because it's illustrated?" She snatched volume away from him and glanced up in surprise when she saw him handing the book seller a few silver coins. "Who said we were getting this?"
"My money, my book." Gourry relieved Lina of the tome and gave her a serious look. "I'm not going to have some vampire sucking all your blood out. As your protector, I can't allow that to happen."
Lina flushed and tried to ignore her suddenly racing heart. "G...Gourry. That's rather sweet."
"Besides, if you become immortal, it'll ruin any chances of you actually growing breasts," he added, flipping through the book again.
Lina kicked him out the door, where he landed in a heap of armor in the middle of a pile of horse dung. "Idiot!" she screeched, then stormed back to the hotel.
Vampire Hunting Rule #1: "Always Hunt Your Prey at Night"
She mumbled something in response and turned onto her side away from whoever was trying to shake her awake. Said person was going to get a fireball up his or her ass if they didn't stop it immediately.
"Lina, wake up!" The voice was persistent and the shaking increased.
She rolled onto her back, cracked one eye open, then bolted up, bashing Gourry's forehead in the process. The jolt sent her falling back to the mattress and him landing on the the floor.
"Oww," he groaned, rubbing his rear. "Lina, why didn't you warn me?"
"You? Why didn't you warn /me/? Do you know what time it is?"
He grinned. "Half-past one!"
Lina narrowed her eyes dangerously at him as a quick glance at the clock confirmed his statement. "One? As in one in the morning?"
"Well, the book says...," Gourry's voice was cut off as Lina grabbed him by the neck of his shirt.
"Screw the book! The book doesn't have to deal with me. Do you hear me? I. Am. Not. Doing. This! A girl needs her beauty sleep!" She yelled, giving him a little shake with each word. She let him drop back to the floor.
Gourry watched as Lina ranted. He rubbed the top of his head absently. "But I thought you wanted the reward money. Don't we go hunting bandits at night?"
He had a point. Lina glowered at him. "This is different."
"How so? Is it different because I woke you up?"
"Yes!" Lina pouted slightly. She was losing control of this operation fast. "Well, I'm up now, so we might as well go looking for the chumps. If you don't get out of here and let me get dressed, I'm fireballing your ass to the next town."
Vampire Hunting Rule #2: "Be Sure To Carry Your Vampire-Hunting Tools"
"Our vampire-hunting what?"
Gourry peered at Lina over the edge of his book and rolled his eyes at her. She gritted her teeth and willed herself not to throttle him.
"Every good vampire hunter needs a complete set of tools," Gourry informed her and gestured to his bed. She walked over and saw several items lying on the quilt.
"You're still reading that book?"
Gourry nodded and turned a page. "It's pretty neat. The rules are interesting."
"Just how many are there anyhow?"
He flipped back to the table of contents. "Um...four sections with 12 rules each. So there's um...," his forehead wrinkled in concentration. "Four times 12 is um...one, two, three..."
"Forty eight!" He beamed at her.
"Very good, jellyfish." Lina rolled her eyes and surveyed the the contents of their so-called vampire hunting kit.
"Let's see...cloves of garlic, a stake, a vial, a silver dag...hey, that's my dagger!" Lina snatched up the weapon. "Where did you get this?"
He shoved his hands into his pockets and gave her an innocent look. "Oh, I got it out of your stuff when you were in the bath."
Lina went red as the thought of Gourry pawing through her things came to mind. Not just her clothes...her underwear as well. She stalked toward him, death in her eyes.
Gourry glanced up at her, then quickly did a double-take. He dropped the book and scooted back against the wall as fast as he could as she shoved the dagger beneath his chin. "You...you went through my things!"
"Li...Lina!" he squeaked, his voice rising about two octaves. "It's not like I actually saw anything! Your belt was lying right on top!"
She growled at him.
"I swear, I didn't see that you wear pink lace panties!"
By this point, most people would realize that their life was flashing before their eyes. But Gourry had one too many brushes with death to even be bothered with the fleeting sensation. "But I did want to know...why don't you wear a bra? Then again, I guess they don't make them for someone that small, do they?"
Vampire Hunting Rule #3: "When Hunting Your Prey, Use Stealth to Your Advantage"
Well, now they had no choice but to go chase after the vampires. Lina glanced over her shoulder at the smouldering remains of the inn's second floor and gritted her teeth. This was all Gourry's fault. Every single bit of it. Now she needed to go pluck him out of whatever trash heap he was blasted into and find the vampire. Either they had to high-tail it out of town and hope that the angry villagers would catch them or use the reward money from capturing the vampires to pay for the damages. The thought of having to turn over all of that money made her feel a little sick to her stomach.
"This is all Gourry's fault," she muttered aloud, kicking at a rock. "Stupid jellyfish. Can't he keep his paws off of my things?"
/You're just regretting that he didn't see you wearing just your underwear/, a small voice in the back of her head said.
"Oh, would you shut up?" Lina seethed, then froze. The hair on the back of her neck prickled as she squinted into the darkness. She brushed back her cloak, exposing the hilt of her short sword. Whoever was watching her would recognized that she was armed. She slowly turned, taking in everything.
The wind rustled and Lina whipped around, drawing her sword as she did so. Nothing was there. She hesitated, then relaxed slightly. It was just her imagination. Hell, it was probably just Gourry, stumbling back from whereever she had blown him to. She waited a moment, then started walking again.
"Gourry?" Lina's eyes swept over broken crates, piles of garbage and empty street stalls.
She noticed a black shadow out of the corner of her eyes and quickly jammed her sword back in her sheath. "Freeze Arrow" she yelled as she sent three arrows of ice at the shadow.
The shadow disappeared, then reappeared a short distance away holding something in its arms. Lina's eyes widened with shock at the limp person clad in blue wearing black armor.
The shadow chuckled. "I had a feeling you knew this man, Lina Inverse!"
Lina growled and considered her options. She couldn't attack the shadow with any sort of spell and not hurt Gourry in the process. "Put him down, whatever you are."
"In good time, in good time," the shadow replied good-naturely. "I'm not finished with him yet."
Lina paled as the shadow bent over Gourry's neck. Was this the vampire that was rumored to kill all those townsmen? She drew back, her hand brushing against the sack full of supplies she'd grabbed off Gourry's bed when she left the inn. She'd been intending to throw them in his face.
Wait a minute. Throw! A smile tugged at the corner of Lina's lips.
Vampire Hunting Rule #4: "It Would Help if You Actually Use the Items, You Know..."
Lina scooted back slightly and yanked out one of the cloves of garlic and her dagger. She quickly sliced the garlic in half, reared back, then tossed both halves in the vampire's face. Both watched as the pungent pieces smacked him on the nose, then dropped down into Gourry's lap.
They stared at the garlic in mutual shock. The vampire flicked her an impatient glare. "What was that?"
She swallowed. "You're not a vampire?"
"What makes you think I'm a vampire?"
Lina jabbed her finger at it. "Haven't you been killing the townspeople and drinking their blood?"
"What would a Mazoku want with a filthy human's blood?"
Well, that took care of that little issue. She knew how to fight him now, hopefully without incurring too much damage to Gourry in the process. "Then what's with the drained blood and the two pin pricks on the neck?"
The Mazoku smirked and it hit Lina. Of course, it had to be fear! The idiots who got killed probably didn't realize the difference between a real vampire and a Mazoku. If the Mazoku pierced their throats over their pulses and allowed them to bleed to death, they'd be terrified. It'd be like feasting on a seven-course banquet. The Mazoku bent over Gourry's neck once more and she growled. Only she was allowed to do anything to him!
"Elmekia Lance!" Lina yelled, sending the bolt straight at the Mazoku.
It glanced up in surprise, then shrieked as the spell took its head off. The rest of the body dissolved and Gourry fell to the ground with a loud crash.
"Gourry!" Lina raced to his side, her anger forgotten as she lifted his upper body and cradled him carefully. Other than the lump on the side of his head, he appeared fine. She pressed her hand to the injury and channeled a Recovery spell into it The wound shrank and disappeared. Absently, she ran her hand through his bangs and hoped that the Mazoku hadn't done anything to him.
He stirred beneath her hands and when she looked down, she saw brilliant blue eyes blinking up at her. She exhaled in relief. "Morning, sunshine," she chirped, throwing back the phrase he often greeted her with when she woke up after being knocked out. "Sleep well?"
Gourry didn't know how to respond. This almost-gentle Lina seemed like something crafted from one of his dreams. His last clear memory was of her throwing a fit because he'd seen her clothes while she was in the bath. He took in their surroundings and noticed they were out in the middle of the street, the smouldering inn was some distance away and his head was in her lap.
"I must be dreaming," he muttered and missed her amused glance. There one way to find out if he was. He reached up and cupped Lina's breast.
"Still small...," he mused, squeezing lightly then beamed. "It's not a dream!"
Lina froze, her hands clenched into fists as he absently kept exploring her chest. "Get your brain out of your pants, idiot!" she shrieked and shoved Gourry off her lap. His head hit the cobblestone street with a loud crack and he promptly passed out again.
Author's Note: So...what was Gourry doing in the bathroom in the last chapter? Just doing what people normally do when they've been traveling all day. Lina was just very fast in piecing together what was going on. What...you didn't think he was doing /that/, did you? Well...