Categories > Anime/Manga > Slayers

The Thing About Jellyfish

by BeccaStareyes 2 reviews

Lina and Zelgadis talk about the future while they walk the Magic District of Saillune City. (Lina/Gourry, Zelgadis/Amelia -- this is a Lina and Zel *friendship* fic)

Category: Slayers - Rating: PG - Genres: Drama - Published: 2006-07-26 - Updated: 2006-07-26 - 1072 words - Complete

Zelgadis wasn't sure how he got talked into this, but he was now showing Lina Inverse around the magical stores of the capital of Saillune. He had been just passing through, and stopped to see how Amelia was holding up -- and take advantage of a free bed staying with people who didn't expect him to nick the silverware. Amelia had been her usual charming self, and once again he found himself saying weeks when he meant days when she asked how long he was staying.

And then, as he was getting ready to say his goodbyes, who should drop in but Lina and Gourry? It seems they were in the area as well, and had decided to see if they could get any free food out of the palace. Amelia had practically died with joy when Lina quietly mentioned that preparing two guest rooms wasn't necessary. Lina had practically dragged Zel out by his ear, claiming to want to check the magical shops after that.

"You shouldn't have told her you only wanted one room if you didn't want her to do that. You know Amelia," Zelgadis said once they were off of the main streets and wandering through the Magic District.

Lina was still blushing. "Mind your own business, Zel." She turned to look at the shops, window-shopping. "Seen anything interesting?" she asked.

"Nothing much. Most of the charms here are white magic based. A few are supposed to promote faster healing, but I didn't think they were worth the money." Zelgadis watched her walking slowly past the windows, staring at the showy pieces in each one. "You know they just put the touristy stuff in the windows. No one but a third-rate sorceress buys stuff they see in magic shop windows."

"You never know when some idiot shopkeeper thinks some rare item is just a gem with Lighting cast on it. I've seen it happen before." Lina stopped, eyeing a green garnet in the window. Zelgadis caught the glint of a hexagram embedded in the stone. He saw her muttering under her breath and caught the traces of a simple identification spell.

"You know, the shopkeepers don't like it when you cast spells on their merchandise," he commented.

"If they don't like it, they shouldn't try to charge people so much for substandard work," Lina replied turning away from the window. "I could make a talisman ten times as good for a tenth the price they are trying to pass that off at."

"Somehow I can't picture you as a greedy shopkeeper," Zelgadis said, which was half true -- he was quite prepared to see Lina haggling with some sorcerer's apprentice dressed in the classic black and skull motif favored by dissatisfied youth who wanted to be black magic users, but somehow he couldn't see her doing it in a shop.

"Well, I'm not going to be an adventuring sorceress forever," Lina said. "Of course," she added quickly, "I don't plan on stopping until I'm old and done seeing the world, but I figure it's always best to think about the future. I have enough saved to open a shop in my hometown, and live comfortably. I just need to wait until I'm sick of traveling."

Zelgadis suspected that 'until I'm sick of traveling' really meant 'when the arthritis prevents me from walking without a cane'. "What about Gourry?"

Lina had walked ahead of him, and she turned back to face him, walking backwards in the same direction as she spoke. "What about Gourry?"

"Well, since you two are..." he paused, thinking of a tactful, non-fireball-inducing way of continuing, "... sharing an inn room, I would think he has some say in where you two will end up."

Lina grinned. "Gourry's his normal jellyfish-brained self. He says he's happy following me around, and he'll be happy stopping once I'm ready." She turned back to face forward. "Apparently he discovered some guy he knew from a while back has taken up blacksmithing in town. That's why we came to town. He wanted to catch up."

And possibly check out if he could add 'bends metal in complicated ways' next to 'protects a loud, powerful sorceress' to his lists of skills, Zelgadis added mentally. "Glad to see you two have that straightened out. At this point, I don't think I could picture you without him somewhere nearby."

Lina paused, turning to look at him. She opened her mouth and was about to say something, then shut it. A kittenish grin appeared on her face, and she spoke then. "Do you have any plans on what to do after you're finished adventuring?"

"Not especially. It all depends on how long it takes me to find my cure," Zelgadis said.

"Somehow I thought you'd say that," Lina said. "You know, Zel, that's not much of a plan. I might not always know where I'll be in a month's time, but I know what I'll be doing in the future. You can't just put your life on hold for an indefinite period with no idea of what you're going to do next. Your either going to end up finding your cure and then not knowing what to do with yourself, or you won't and one day you'll wake up an old man and have no idea where the time has gone."

"What about Gourry?" Zelgadis asked, pausing to glance at the titles on a table outside a bookstore. "He doesn't seem to know what he's doing."

"Of course he does. He's being my guardian," Lina said. She picked up a book. "Do people even read these things? I learned more hiding from my sister as a kid."

"And how is being your guardian different from looking for my cure?" Zelgadis asked.

"Your guardian. My cure." Lina said, closing the book, but keeping a finger in it. "I'm not saying that you should become Mister Altruistic and Compassionate, because then you'd probably start making me look bad -- saving the world and being friends with Sylphiel and Amelia are enough to make people think I work for free. But it wouldn't kill you to try being social." She opened the book again, and held it out to Zelgadis. He saw what at first looked like an abstract pattern of white lines in black ink. Then he realized they were jellyfish, hundreds of them. "The thing about jellyfish is, that, while they might drift through life, they don't drift alone."
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