Categories > Anime/Manga > Slayers

Breaking Out of Limbo

by BeccaStareyes 0 reviews

Filia takes Zel to task for an annoying habit of his. (Zel/Filia)

Category: Slayers - Rating: PG - Genres: Drama,Romance - Published: 2007-08-13 - Updated: 2007-08-14 - 1079 words - Complete

It was almost like a routine, at the end of every Market day. Filia would end up working late, selling vases and dishware and other things to people who had come in from smaller towns, so Zelgadis would end up cooking dinner. Dinner conversation would be on events of the day -- Val had reached the point where he was very talkative, and he tended to dominate the conversation when not wolfing down his food.

Once dinner was cleaned up, everything put away for the evening, and Val was soundly asleep, Filia would sit down and work on whatever needed to be done -- new pottery, or mending clothing, or whatever -- by candlelight. Zelgadis would sometimes help with whatever he could, but before that, he would sit and examine his sword and dagger, carefully inspecting the blades and checking the scabbards and straps for damage. Filia supposed it wasn't unusual for a swordsman -- she had remembered him and Gourry doing similar things with their equipment back when the five of them had been traveling together. But, that was when they were nearly constantly being attacked by one thing or another. Now, Zelgadis's sword sat unused in the closet the rest of the week -- he had even stopped carrying it in town, after complaining that peace-bonding it would damage the blade.

And, every week, she'd watch him as she worked, and she'd ask, "Are you staying for another week?"

And, he'd answer, "Probably. If nothing comes up. I might be leaving next month, though." Oh, the amount of time and reason would vary, but getting him to commit to more than a month was like pulling teeth. On a dragon.

One week, after he had finished noting that the mountain snows would be clearing up in three weeks or so, she added, "You know, Zelgadis, you've been here for over a year now."

"I know," he said. He had barely looked up.

"You could at least tell me how long you're planning on staying. I know you're not freeloading, but I'd like to know if you're going to up and leave one day." Filia crossed her arms, setting down the apron she had been hemming. "You can't just stay in limbo forever."

Zelgadis sighed. "Sorry." he said. He went back to work -- it sounded like he was going to break the blade with his bare hands, given the sound of metal on stone Filia heard from her spot across the room.

She was about ready to call it quits, blow out the candles and head off to bed before he spoke again. "How do you manage?" he asked, quietly.

"Manage what?" Filia asked.

"Living among humans as a dragon. Knowing that everyone you meet here will die even before you get old. And all of us..." his voice trailed off.

Filia shook her head. "The first couple of years, I was too worried about making it a year, let alone multiple years. By the time I noticed Val was going through playmates quickly, I had grown used to the human pace. You just have to enjoy the good moments." She didn't mention the moments of fear, when it sunk in that someone else would notice the young shopkeeper wasn't getting older with the other people 'her age', but the town almost seemed to take it for granted. There was still that weirdness at weddings or funerals or births -- the feeling that someone you knew had changed irrevocably -- but even that had become part of her life.

Zelgadis nodded, standing up. "It's easier out on the road, you know. You're never around people long enough to notice them growing older." When he had first shown up on her doorstep a year ago, asking for a recommendation for an inn room, she had noticed that he barely looked a day older than when they had first met -- his stone skin had shown no signs of wrinkles or sagging. But now, for the first time, he looked old to her. Maybe even older than he actually was.

"So, leave then." Filia would rather he not leave -- she liked having his company around, and he and Val got along -- but if he was going to be like this, coming in and not giving her any details about what he was planning, and disrupting her life until he got a clue about what was going along, she was better off washing her hands of the entire matter. "If you're saying that you can't deal with it, then I won't stop you. But I'm staying -- I have my own life here. Even if Val and I will outlive everyone in this town, we're going to enjoy what we can."

He walked over to her, kneeling down so his face was level to hers. "You're sure?"

"Yes, I'm sure." Filia leaned forward, studying his face to figure out what he was thinking. "You're welcome to stay as well, but I'm not leaving. You can't just go living your life based on what's easy. I thought you knew that."

"I do." He leaned forward, giving her a brief kiss on the cheek. Before she could react, or the blush that she could feel growing on her cheeks could finish forming, he stood up, almost self-consciously straightening his clothing. "Good night, Filia. I'll see you in the morning."


I started this sucker three times! Three! And each time Zel passed the burden of being the POV character off to Filia, who I don't know nearly as well. And he wouldn't clarify what was going on with him, besides the fanon that his aging is a heck of a lot slower. Plus a bunch of other issues. I also get the impression that this Zel had something with Amelia, but he won't even tell me if it was a full-blown happy-marriage-but-she-died or if he just freaked out when he wasn't aging and left again. Or if he didn't get on the ball and she met someone else. Oh, Zel... IsweartoGod, I'm going to drop him off a cliff. Without flight spells.

He also has a flair for the dramatic (something he shares with Amelia) -- there's a part of him that knows he can pull off Cool Mysterious Loner, and he enjoys it. Which is why he made Filia tell the story, as the inside of his head wasn't nearly as together as he thinks he looks from the outside.
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