Slayers Fan Fiction ❯ After NEXT ❯ Kiss Me Too Fiercely, Hold Me Too Tight ( Chapter 3 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
“Kiss me too fiercely, hold me too tight. I need help believing, you’re with me tonight.” –Wicked

They talked about the weather. The weather. Their first day alone together after all that had happened, and all they could talk about was how it was such a pretty, fine day. Not a cloud in the sky. Usually after a big battle they spent days dissecting it, what they did that worked, what they did that failed, what they should have done, what to do next time. There was so much to talk about. The air hung heavy on Gourry’s shoulders like a second coat of armor.

So many questions to ask. So much to say. It never ceased to amaze him how he could face down monsters and demons, but when it came to being open with his feelings around Lina, he became the worst coward the world had ever seen. There was so much to gain by saying something, but there was even more to lose. So he talked about the weather.

By the time they had reached the inn dusk was falling, and Gourry was ready to write off the day as a waste. Lina went to stand in line to get a room, Gourry went to the dining hall to order their food, wondering if there was a way he could subtlety show her that he cared. The dining hall was packed and noisy. Delicious aromas warred with each other for dominance. Fried chicken battled pot roast which was nearly drowned by the scent of cinnamon apples. Gourry’s mouth watered as he managed to find a table that was recently vacated, still grimy with the remains of the previous diner’s meal.

Gourry claimed it just as a harried waitress came to wipe it down, “Business good tonight?” he asked.

She nodded, “It’s to be expected with the festival. What will you have?”

Gourry detected the slightest quiver of her mouth as he placed his large order. She murmured something about making sure they had enough supplies and then dashed off to the kitchen, leaving Gourry to wonder what was taking Lina so long. And to formulate a plan of action for when she arrived. Should he hold out her chair for her? No, too obvious. Just ask her without preamble why she nearly destroyed the world? Well, he did want to survive this night. He was still lost in thought when the waitress started bringing in plates full of piping hot food to the table.

Gourry’s eyes brightened as a good idea came to him. Usually he would figure if Lina was late to dinner he would just start without her. You snooze you lose after all (and Lina would do no less for him). He would wait for her to arrive and let her eat first before tackling the food. That was sure to bring some comment from her, and hopefully from there they could talk about more serious matters.

She stormed in suddenly and appeared shaken as she sat down, grabbed some rolls, and stuffed them into her mouth, without seeming to notice or care about his remarkable restraint. She seemed paler than usual, her lips drawn a little too thin, and she had to work too hard to keep her breathing even. Gourry’s heart fell a little as he asked, “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” she said as she grabbed some pot roast. “It’s just that they’re booked solid. We’re going to have to share tonight.”

She nearly faltered as she spoke, causing his heart rate to increase. Sure, it wasn’t as if they’d never shared a room before. But that was before being kidnapped. Things had changed now. How they had changed was a mystery, as they had wasted the day talking about the stupid weather. Gourry wanted to kick himself. He knew that even trying to launch a serious discussion about relationships in such a crowded inn would be useless. So he pretended it didn’t faze him one bit as he smiled and said, “I guess I’ll be sleeping on the floor tonight.”

But as soon as they opened the door to their room, they realized that solution would be impossible. The room was so small that the bed took up most of it. There was no space for anyone to sleep on the floor. Once again, it was not the first time this had happened, and Gourry fell back on Plan B. “I’ll sleep on the covers.”

Lina nodded, and took off her mantle and set it on the small bit of floor provided. Part of her hated this situation. She’d been having nightmares ever since he’d been kidnapped, and she was terrified that he would find out. But then she wondered if she would have them if he was close by. Until now she had feared going to bed and waking in the morning unsure of where he was and if he was safe. A few times she had come dangerously close to suggesting sharing a room in the name of saving money, but her nerves got in the way. Now she could keep him close, without having to acknowledge to him that she wanted him close in the first place.

Her boots joined her mantle, followed by her short sword. Beside her Gourry was removing his sword and stowing it under the bed. She crawled under the blankets and arranged the pillows the way she liked as she felt his weight grow beside her, solid and comforting.

“Night.” He said, and she replied.

In less than five minutes he was snoring. Lina, despite her exhaustion, could not sleep. She was too aware of his proximity. Her arms ached to hold him, to feel that he was real, warm, and alive. She felt so silly that she needed such reassurance, but she did. Later, she wondered how long she lay there paralyzed by indecision, but she eventually must have fallen asleep, for the next thing she remembered was Gourry being enveloped in an ominous, inky black tornado as he was torn from her reach. Feelings of desperation, hopelessness, and loss choked her as she scrambled to get him back.

The scene changed in the surreal manner that can only happen in dreams, and Lina found herself in a court room presided by Xellos. Luna read the charges against her, that she had destroyed the whole of humanity and everyone she had ever cared about. And none of her friends were alive to defend her. To escape judgment, Lina decided to cast the Giga Slave. Gourry, who wasn’t really dead after all, rushed in to stop her, but it was too late. She watched as her out of control spell took his life, screaming his name as the darkness enveloped her and she shot upright in bed.

Soft moonlight dimly lit their tiny room, a steady stream of hope in the darkness. It fought the lies her dreams had spun by shining light on the truth. The world was there. Gourry had been rescued and was beside her. Lina had not killed him or her friends. Xellos was definitely not a judge. And Lina was sitting upright, her hair damp and matted to her neck thanks to her own sweat. She was breathing heavily, trying to reign in tears, hoping that she had not really shouted out anything and that somehow Gourry was still asleep. Never show anyone your vulnerabilities. She had learned that much from Luna.

Her heart rate slowed down as the seconds passed and grew into minutes. Her breathing became more even. Gourry did not stir. She slowly reached a hand to her face to wipe the sweat from her brow and slowly sank back into bed, the fragments of her dream haunting her. Tears leaked from her eyes, and like a broken pipe, she could not contained them. Why could she not constrain them? Gourry was back! He was right beside her! She choked back a sob as she wondered what was wrong with her as she fought back the urge to throw caution to the wind and hold him. The sudden desire to feel him in her arms, a tangible reminder that he was real, filled her.

She knew she was being silly, but she feared that he might be a phantom, a mere illusion. She needed to know he was really there beside her. The heat of his body was not enough. Could she touch him without waking him? She’d been lucky thus far. How long would that hold out? Slowly, she reached out her hand.

Gourry was awake. He’d been awake since before she’d woken, screaming his name. Years of living in a mercenary camp had taught him how to fake sleep exceedingly well. Night terrors were common among the seasoned warriors. It was considered polite to pretend they never happened. It was different with Lina. She’d been thrashing so violently, grunting with fear and protest that he knew she was having a nightmare. He’d struggled with whether to wake her from it or doing was customary for him, ignoring it. In the end, she woke up before he could summon the courage to do it for her.

He was silent and still as she sat upright in bed and regained her composure. He waited for some sign that she might want to talk, but as she settled back down his hopes vanished. Until he felt the slight weight of her hand on his shoulder. He waited for her to shake him awake or say something. Instead confusion filled him as her hand snaked around to his chest and she pulled him tightly to her. His eyes widened as he realized that Lina was spooning with him, holding him so tightly that breathing was slightly difficult. He tried with difficulty to keep his breathing steady when he noticed something wet and warm starting to soak the back of his shirt where her face was. Tears? Was she crying?

Gourry puzzled over what to do in this situation. His impulse was to turn around, hold her, and kiss her tears away. There were risked involved with that course of action, namely being Fireballed into the next town. Gourry decided to throw caution to the wind. She was making a move, he was not going to let it fly by.

Awkwardly, he twisted in her strong embrace and cupped her face in his hand. Rivulets of water that streamed down her face sparkled in the moonlight, and slowly he leaned forward to kiss them and stem their flow. To his surprise, she didn’t kick him through the wall and into the next room. On the contrary, she grabbed him even tighter and started kissing him on the lips.

It was hard to tell who was more surprised, Lina at her own daring, or Gourry at the fact that the most emotionally reserved woman he had ever met was kissing him with unbridled enthusiasm. Reason seemed to be lost. Everything that had been repressed was starting to boil over dangerously. Lina kissed him so hard that she worried about bruising his lips, but found herself not caring. She needed to feel his presence, his life, and his passion. She ran her hands up his back repeatedly, trying to find some way to bring them closer. But the blanket remained between the two of them, an annoying barrier. She wanted to tear through it, destroy it, live up to her reckless name…


“If you don’t try to be a little reckless…”

As quickly as she had started she froze. “Lina?” Gourry asked, his voice heavy with ardor, terrified that she was about to start swinging.

Lina’s eyes widened in horror. What was she doing? The alternative past that Auntie Aqua had showed her flooded her suddenly. The Enemy of All Who Lives. People called her that. And maybe they weren’t wrong to do so. “What have I done?” she asked.

“People do this all the time.” Gourry said.

“No! The spell. I could have destroyed the world. I had sworn never to use it. And I did.”

Gourry was raging a war with himself. Part of him wanted to tell her she was being silly and get back to the part where she was kissing him. The other part was well aware that this was the perfect time to start that conversation he’d been wanting to have all day. He took a deep breath, the knowledge that he was about to ruin the mood heavy on his shoulders, “What were you thinking, casting that spell?”

Lina leaned back against the wall, “He was going to kill you.” She said weakly. “It was the only way I could stop him.”

“I’m one man. There’s many, many people in the world. They could have all been destroyed. You could have been destroyed.”

“I know!” Lina yelled, her face flushing as her tears dried, “I didn’t care!” And awkward silence fell upon them, which Lina attempted to break by saying, “Well, you try and stand by while someone tries to kill another. You have to act in such situations!”

Gourry was surprised by how angry he became all of the sudden. She was implying that she would have done this for anyone, that he meant nothing to her. “Is that so? Then why did Zel and Amelia say that you did nothing as they were killed one by one?”

Lina’s eyes widened, “What? I thought you didn’t remember anything…”

“I don’t. They told me what happened when you were asleep.” Gourry felt slightly guilty at the look of betrayal that flashed across her face for a split second before it darkened and hardened dangerously.

“What are you wanting me to say? That I will never cast that spell again? An admission that I should have let Hellmaster kill you for good? That I’m ashamed that I let him kill the others? I don’t know why I stood by and did nothing then! I was scared, more scared than I’d ever been.” Her voice had risen so loud that Gourry was scared that she would rouse the neighbors, when suddenly she turned the volume down to a whisper, “I’m not sure which scared me more, Hellmaster or my own power. The fear of my power kept me from acting. By the time he’d sealed everyone in crystals and given me one last chance and threatened to kill you, the fear of my power vanished, and I cast it.”

She deliberately omitted that the reason the fear of her power vanished was because she feared living in the world without him more than she did the consequences of her actions. She could not articulate it when she was casting the Giga Slave, but she knew now. She knew that she loved Gourry more than she loved the world. And she knew she did not have the luxury of admitting any of that. “Satisfied?” she asked, not even bothering to keep the bitterness from her voice.

Gourry was far from satisfied. He was still confused as to what he meant to her. But he knew he could not fault her for casting the Giga Slave. He knew he would have done it if he had been in her shoes. And while he had not gotten the full admission he craved, she had opened up to him emotionally more than she ever had before. Gently he said, “I owe you my life. Thank you.”

The words hit her like a blow. Was he trying to hurt her? Did he not understand that if he had not been with her in the first place he would have never been in danger? She was not sure how she had given it away, but Auntie Aqua has picked up on it in seconds. Surely Xellos had suspected something and reported it to Hellmaster. They had figured out where her affections lay before she had. And Hellmaster had used them against her. Before she could stop it a sob escaped from her lips.

“Lina?” he asked, placing a firm hand on her shoulder.

“Do you know what it is like to have so much power you fear yourself?” she covered, hoping he would buy it.


Lina stole a glance at the window. Was anyone watching? Could she steal this moment, experience its potency, and keep him safe? Would she be jeopardizing his life again for one night of bliss?


Slowly she peeled back the covers. One night, and one night alone to convince her that he was alive. One night to savor the fruits of her recklessness. And then they would forever be friends, and nothing more. She met his gaze as she challenged, “Can you make me forget?”