Categories > Anime/Manga > Slayers > These Things

Part One- This Thing Called Us

by TheFlowerGirl 0 reviews

Lina makes a life changing discovery one morning, but when it takes a turn for the worse, Gourry proves to her that sometimes she is her own worst enemy.

Category: Slayers - Rating: R - Genres: Drama - Published: 2006-08-09 - Updated: 2006-08-09 - 4078 words

This completes Challenge #23, The Doctor's In and should be read seventh, in order, following the last of the Saillune Story Arc.

The day started like any other, or would have, rather, had Lina noticed a familiar sign. Her magic was tapped, but the regularity of her 'time of the month' was gone. She didn't feel that different, she thought, but then again, she did notice her cramps were gone. With a sick realization, she gripped her stomach, poking it for anything unusual. It felt hard, harder than normal. As her brain short-circuited, she screamed.

Gourry was woken from his wonderful dream by a scream. Before he could think of it's location, he sprang from the bed, forgetting about the covers, and promptly falling to the floor. Once he regained his footing, he headed towards the scream. He found Lina in the bathroom, sitting a stool, clutching her stomach, face as white as a sheet. She was muttering something.

"Lina, what happened? Are you OK? What's wrong?"

She sat there for a minute, eyes wide in fear.

"G-Gourry," she mustered. "Do you know what day it is?"

"Hmmm, let's see," he started, trying to do a calculation in his head. It had been a while since he had seen a calendar, but if he was correct, he should be about that time.

"I'm late," she said finally, exhaling.

"You're what?" he asked.

"I'm late."

"You're late for what?"

Now Gourry was really confused. First, Lina's screaming and looking petrified and now she's late for something?

'I suppose that would make someone scream,' he thought.

"No, you jellyfish, I'm LATE! Nothing, nada, zilch. I have no period."

"But Lina, that doesn't make sense, the only way you can't have a period is...oh god."

A harsh reality sank in. The unthinkable just happened. Gourry hadn't thought much about it because he had heard somewhere that black magic served as an effective birth control, a myth, perhaps now, but obviously Lina hadn't thought much about it either. She never mentioned any form of contraception, if she knew anything about that.

There was a knock on the bathroom door, impatiently.

"We're busy!" Lina screamed at them. The knocking stopped abruptly.

"How-how did this happen?" Gourry stammered.

"Well, when a man and a woman love each other very much..." she began, sarcastically bitter.

"That's not what I meant. I know how it happened, I just want to know how it happened."

"I found a plant. I was told it was a very strong contraceptive, according to various herbalists. Apparently, it's not. I don't understand how this could happen. I can't. I can't do it. I'm not that old, I'm not that patient, and what the hell kind of mother would I be?"

Another knock interrupted them.

"I fucking told you we're busy!" she screamed at the door.

"Come on Lina, let's go back to our room."

He walked over to her, offering his hand.

"I can still walk," she said, brushing his hand away.

Once in the comfort of their room, Lina allowed her new reality to sink in. Talking through it helped, but it still didn't make it any less of a shock.

How was she going to go home now? It was going to be hard enough explaining it to her mom, but it would be impossible to hide it from Luna. That would be the end. One trip home and the return trip in coffins. The thought alone terrified her. Pulling her legs to her chin, she looked at Gourry. He still seemed happy. How could he be happy?

Really, on the other side of her, his brain was working overtime. Part of him was happy; a baby! He always thought he'd make a good father and he always hoped someday he'd have someone to carry on his namesake- and swordsmanship. The other part of him was afraid, afraid that this would become the family he left behind. A backstabbing, petty bunch, more concerned with doing each other in and taking the heirlooms than caring for each other. He didn't want another family like that, and he wasn't sure how to feel either.

Sliding out of the chair, he walked over to where Lina still sat, rocking slowly back and forth on the bed, eyes focused on the floor somewhere. She might have been crying, but he couldn't tell. Crawling behind her, he pulled her to him as she turned into him. Crying into his shoulder, they
sat like that for a long time.

"It's just not fair," Lina spoke up, after a long silence. "Why does it have to be now?"

"I don't know," Gourry responded, stroking her hair. "But we'll get through this together."

Tightening the embrace, she leaned into his shoulder, for security for once. All she wanted was to go back to sleep and hoped that when she woke up, the nightmare would be over. But somehow, she didn't think it would, the feeling in her gut just wouldn't go away.

She must have dozed off because the next thing she remembered, she was shrugging off a blanket. She gelt groggy and wondered if everything that had happened was only a bad dream.

And then she threw up.

As she called for Gourry, she felt tears well up. She didn't know if it was her frustration, anger or the hormones that made her do it, but soon her calls became sobs as she dropped farther into her desperation.

Like an angel from heaven, Gourry appeared. Lifting her from the bed, and the still-warm vomit, he brought her to the bathroom. Heating water, he gently sponged her face, allowing her time to undress.

"What's wrong with me?" she asked, looking up at him as he dumped the jug of water into the tub.

"We're going to be parents now," he said, starting to turn away. "This may happen a lot, but I'll be here to help you through it."

He started towards the door, she probably wanted privacy and time to think, and probably hated him now for what he did to her.

"No," she said, touching his arm. "Stay."
They stayed in that inn for three days. The trademark morning sickness that didn't plague Lina in the first month kept her nearly bedridden for the three days they were there. It was a long enough stay, however, that rumors began to fly in the inn's tavern about how the Dragon Spooker was staying just a few doors down and that blond lapdog she dragged everywhere went and got her pregnant-or something like that.

"Heh, heh so the infamous Bandit Killer really is a woman," one shady man sneered behind his drink.

"It would appear that way," another one said, motioning for another round. "I've heard that she's kept blondie busy, running back and forth nonstop. One of the maids ended up on the receiving end of those fits she's prone to having-except, she broke down in tears in the middle of
it and had to be calmed out of hysterics by that 'bodyguard' she keeps around."

"Looks like she's been kicked down a couple notches, eh?" another one asked, laughing.

"Another round for blondie!" another man piped up, raising his glass. "For slaying the savage beast!"

"Another round!"

The sound of glasses clinking echoed through the tavern.

Upstairs, Lina was enjoying the first meal she had been able to keep down in three days.

"Well, what should we do now?" Gourry asked, sipping his drink.

"I was thinking we were going to go home, but now since I'm like this," she pointed to her belly for emphasis, although nothing had changed. "I don't think we should-let's not give Luna another reason to kill me. I have to tell them sometime, but I'd rather do it later than sooner."

Gourry shuddered. The last thing he wanted was a horde of angry Inverses after him.

"So what? Wander around until this baby is born?"

"Would you prefer to stay in this inn? I think the innkeeper is giving me funny looks every time I ask for more days."

"So what then?"

"I have half a mind to go back to Saillune, but I don't really feel like explaining it to Amelia."

She paused a moment.

"But you know, it could just be nothing. I could just be late because of the stress I've had lately. I always get stressed when I go to Saillune. I think it's Phil."

'Way to kid yourself Lina,' that little voice told her. 'You and him both know it's a lie. Going back to Saillune is safe, you only have to answer to Amelia and Phil.'

"Let's head off tomorrw!" she exclaimed. "Maybe the next town will have excitement! I'm BORED!"

Surprised by her outburst, Gourry dropped his mug, spilling ale all over the floor. Diving to clean it up, he knocked over the trays their food was on and shielded his face from the breaking plates.
The innkeeper was sent to their room the second time that night.

At daybreak the next day, the tavern was filled with hoots and hollers as the two walked down the stairs. One of the men from the night before was brave enough to walk up and pat Gourry on the shoulder.

"Great job, man!" he smiled, his smile missing a few teeth.

Gourry smiled.

"Thanks, but for what?" he asked, as the man continued to smile.

"For proving to us that Lina Inverse really is a woman!"

He made a crude gesture with his hands, as Lina turned as red as her hair. Tears welling up n her eyes, she grabbed Gourry's hand.

"Come on Gourry, let's go!"

The jeers got louder as she tried to leave the tavern. When she tried to leave, the man from earier blocked their way.

"Move!" she screamed, forcing the tears back down.

"Now, now, is that any way for a girl of your condition to be talking?"

"We're on a schedule. We need you to move," she tried again, using a different tactic.

"We can't do that I'm afraid. You see we got a tipoff you might be here, and we're here to get revenge for a little trouble you made a while ago. This should be easier than we thought, although now we can't kill you, but...we can do the next best thing!"

He whistled and his friends from last night surrounded them. Using her talismans, Lina scrambled for any magic her body had in reserve. She was rewarded with a light spell. The men laughed, muttering a few things about how the rumors were true. In anger, she charged them blindly and without telling Gourry, who already had his hands full. The man she was charging laughed at the sight of her dagger and retaliated, blunt side of his sword out.

She fell before he could even hit her. The pain! The pain! All she could feel was the pain! She clutched her sides and bit her lip, holding back a cry of pain. Maybe it was just cramps she thought as the men towered over her and Gourry ran to her side.

"Lina! Are you all right?" he asked, kneeling.

"I think so," she said, quietly. "I think I just got a side ache. I should be OK. Let's trying
finishing this as quickly as we can. I'm going to need you to do all the work this time, OK?"

He nodded. Standing back to back, she counted to ten. At ten, she feigned and fell back while Gourry took out the entire circle of men.

After the last man fell, she checked the leader's tattoo. The Silver Fangs, it said. She thought as much. A few weeks ago she and Gourry encountered a few stragglers from a bandit camp. After pounding them thoroughly, she was able to get some vital information from them. One of them was retaliation. Apparently, their leader was part of another gang she and Gourry destroyed a few months ago and had planned on getting even. He got news through merchants and other bandits and eventually found out she was pregnant. Apparently, he figured now would be the best time to attack, since she couldn't use her magic.

She let the arm fall and headed for the door. She was determined to not let her current state bother her. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing and her loyal companion was by her side, content on doing what she loved to do.

The next town they stopped in was renowned (at least by Lina, anyway) for their food and shops. Checking in to a room for the night, she started towards the bazaar. And that's when it started. It started as a slight pain in her stomach that she didn't pay much attention to. Dragging Gourry from shop to shop, she felt it creep up, forebodingly, telling her what was to come.

She had just started to fight down a price when it hit her; a cold sweat, a searing pain in her stomach and then, the flow. She fell to the ground as everything inside her worked it's way back out. The last thing she remembered was the way Gourry's face contorted into horror and fear as she blacked out.

"I need a healer!" Gourry yelled into the busy bazaar, his request seemingly falling on deaf ears.

"There's a temple right up the road there," an older man said, motioning the direction with his head.

"Thank you sir!"
Picking up Lina, Gourry ran through the busy road until he found the temple the man mentioned.

'How could anyone miss this?' he asked himself as he went up the stairs. 'It's the biggest thing here.'

As he walked into the temple a priest, clad in white and gold robes rushed to his aid.

"Oh my!" he exclaimed as he noticed Lina unconscious in Gourry's arms. "What happened to her?"

"We were standing in the bazaar, fighting down the price of some magic item Lina was looking at. She loves fighting down prices. Anyway, we're fighting down the price, and the next thing I
know, she's kneeling on the ground clutching her sides, and then she just fell back and passed out."

"Well sir, come with me, we'll see if we can find out what's wrong with her. How was she feeling before this?" the priest asked as he led Gourry through a maze of rooms.

"She seemed to be better. She was sick for three days-she couldn't keep anything down, and before that, we just found out that we were going to have a baby!"

"Has she eaten anything today?" the priest asked, opening a door to a room with healers inside.

"She ate a lot last night, but not too much today, she said her stomach hurt."

"You're in luck," the priest said, beaming. "We have one of the best priestesses from Saillune here- she came with a mission yesterday."

"Oh Folm, you flatter me," the girl said, turning. "I was already in town for a diplomatic mission anyway and it wouldn't be just of me to allow you to work shorthanded."

She stopped in her tracks, seeing the people that Folm had just entered with.

"Mis-Mister Gourry?" she stammered.

"Amelia?" he asked in surprise. "What are you doing here?"

"That's not important. What happened to Miss Lina?"

She placed a clean sheet on the bed that she just turned from.

"You two know each other?" Folm asked.

"Mister Gourry and Miss Lina were my traveling companions for a while. I didn't think I'd see them again for a while-they just left Saillune."
Motioning the other priestesses towards the bed, she turned to Gourry and asked him the same questions the priest had. Gourry reluctantly answered them.

Checking for a heartbeat, a low-ranking priestess cast recovery. As Amelia studied her friend, a realization set in. The blood loss was too great, she noticed, for the location she came from to be anything else. She cast Resurrection. Glancing to the corner, Gourry caught a hold of the priest, who was pacing.

"You know what's wrong with her, don't you?" he asked, frantic.

"I think, notice I didn't examine her myself, but I think she's miscarried," Folm replied as calmly as he could.

"Miscarried?" Gourry asked, not familiar with the term.

"A miscarriage is the body rejecting the foreign body and killing it. Sometimes, it's hardly noticeable, other times it harms the mother if it's not caught. Thank you for bringing her here. I've never seen it this bad."

"Mister Gourry," Amelia asked, turning towards them once again. "Was Miss Lina pregnant? I'm detecting something there that just doesn't seem right."

"We just found out, three days ago-and then she got really sick."

At the first sign of life, she offered Lina some water. She coughed it up and looked into the Princess's blue eyes.

"Amelia?" she asked, trying to sit up. She looked around. They clearly weren't in Saillune. "Where am I? Why are you here? How'd we get here? I remember you," she said, looking at
Gourry. "But nothing else."

"You should save your strength. You've been through a lot. You're very lucky." Amelia told her, dabbing at her face with a wet cloth. "I want to take you two back to Saillune with me."

"Lucky? What happened to me? Someone will tell me, won't they?" She looked straight at Gourry.

Amelia looked up, seeing pain in his eyes, she motioned to the other priestesses.

"Maybe we should give them a few minutes alone."

Closing the door behind her, two lovers stopped a moment. Looking deep into her eyes, he retold her everything the priest told him. Her eyes widened and that defeated look she rarely had appeared in them.

"I did it, didn't I?" she asked meekly. "I shouldn't have cast that spell in the tavern."

"No, the priest said something about how sometimes this happens, because it's something new that the body doesn't like and tries to get rid of it. You didn't do it at all!" His voice wavered, showing his concern. "I don't think you did it at all! I'm just glad you're all right, Lina."

He bent down to hug her. She pulled her hands away from his, silent. Turning from him, she reflected on the moment.

"Uh, Gourry, do you suppose I could take a nap? The excitement has tired me out. I see you in a little bit, k?"

When she awoke in Saillune in the healing chamber, the hallway echoed in curses.

"Miss Inverse, we're sorry, but we to keep you here for a few days."

"Why?" Lina asked angrily, feeling the hunger that only three days without food could bring.

"It's vital that we keep you here-you blacked out multiple times on the way here, according to Princess Amelia. The miscarriage has made you very ill, Miss Inverse."

Suddenly, everything came flooding back to her; the baby, the miscarriage. She didn't remember much of the town it happened in except for what happened in the temple afterwards. Gourry had to tell her. No one else would. She could tell in his eyes how much it saddened him to hear she had lost the baby and when his voice wavered, she knew how much it pained him to witness almost losing her as well.

She hated the feeling that came over her next. It was a feeling of pity, self-doubt and despair. She knew this whole thing was her fault, and figured the swell was probably caused by out of control hormones, sustaining a baby one minute and trying to rid her body of it the next. Laying back, she resigned her self to her fate. For once, Lina Inverse gave up.

"Amelia!" Gourry called to the princess from down the hall, a few days later.
"Mister Gourry?" she asked, puzzled. "Why are you sitting in the hallway?"

"Lina's locked me out."

"Locked you out?"

"Yeah, I talked to one of the priestesses downstairs and she said Lina's been acting strange. I don't know what she meant, but when I saw that Lina was returned, I went to get food, but when I came back, the door was locked. I tried talking to her but she's not saying anything. Ever since she's been here, she hasn't been herself."

He slumped back against the door, defeated, Kneeling down, Amelia joined him.

"I have to drop these things off with Daddy, but I will be right back. Miss Lina needs both of our help, and I'm willing to offer it. Make sure she doesn't do anything rash, ok?"

Gourry nodded and lightly knocked on the door as Amelia walked away.

He heard a meek "what?" answer.

"Come on Lina, please open the door," he pleaded.

"I just really want to be alone right now."

"Lina, please?" This is something I can help you with. I'm suffering too."

"Oh really?" she snapped. "You ever killed a baby before?"

He paused a minute. That was low. Even for Lina. How dare she assume he wasn't hurt and confused.
"Dammit, Lina, just let me in! I want to talk."

On the other side of the door, the sorceress sat, curled up in a ball, feeling as helpless as she did when she arrived. How was he to know she blamed herself, for all of it. She should have researched her plants better, should have let Naga teach her that contraception spell when she offered, shouldn't have tried to cast that spell. It didn't matter that it was a light spell, it shouldn't have been any spell, she should have just let Gourry do it. She was surprised that she didn't have any anger towards him, she thought for sure, if the situation were different, she would hate him.

"I just want to be alone for a while." She said again, quietly.

"Miss Lina, are you OK?"


"Yes, it's me. Miss Lina, please talk to us. We know you're going through a lot of pain right now, but we want to help you."


"Miss Lina?"

Gourry pressed his ears to the door. He was taken aback when he heard sobbing.

"Amelia, we need to get in there," he said frantically.

Standing up and jingling, Amelia removed a circle of keys from her pocket. She searched for the key that read: "Lina's room."

"You have keys?" Gourry asked surprised.

"Why, does that not sound just of me?" she asked, winking.

"Not really."

"Well, what if you were in trouble and the door was locked so I couldn't get in? I could always just unlock you now."

Gourry nodded. Amelia to the door and turned the key. Letting only Gourry in, she quietly shut the door, locking it behind her. She didn't need to be there.

Lina heard the door open. She looked up.



He had to admit, she looked terrible. Circles under red eyes. Tear stained cheeks. Disheveled hair. She really did look the part. He walked towards her as she looked away from him. Taking one long stride, he reached for her.

The stood like that for a few minutes, him holding her and her crying into his shoulder.

"Nobody blames you," he whispered over her head.


"No one blames you."

Pulling away for just a minute, he knelt down, trying to look into her eyes. Reaching up, he dried the trail of tears with his thumb.

"Listen to me Lina. No one blames you for any of this. You didn't kill the baby. I talked to Amelia on the way back while you rested. She said this happens all the time. We're just glad to have you back. You need rest. The stress on your body made you worse."

"You really don't blame me?" she asked.

And for the first time in two weeks, he kissed her. It was a different kind of kiss, not the gentle kind he usually gave, but a new kind. A frantic, searching one. He kissed her with a fierceness she hadn't seen. When she deepened it, he pulled away.

"I don't want to do anything that will hurt you," he said, holding her at an arms length.

"I know," she pulled herself closer.

She rested her head on his. She knew she wanted to lie down. She hadn't really slept in days. But for now, she seemed content just to stay where she was safe, in the arms of the man she loved.
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