Slayers Fan Fiction ❯ Detour ❯ Chapter One ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

by Rose Thorne
Disclaimer: Slayers is owned by a bunch of folks who aren't me. I'm borrowing them for my perverse pleasure, much as Xellos borrows emotions for his.
Xellos smiled as he dropped the sorcerer's body. The human's terror had been amusing, especially after he realized that the Mazoku wasn't interested in bargaining no matter what information he was willing to divulge. Even if his orders had not been specific in regards to the sorcerer's life, he wouldn't have allowed this one to live; he was simply too much of a threat.
The Mazoku glanced around the lab at the tanks filled with mazoku-based chimera. Far too dangerous; his mistress had been correct. This human and his experiments had to be destroyed.
He waved his staff at a row of tanks and they shattered, dumping a mess onto the floor of the laboratory. The chimera from the tanks were beyond emotion, but that didn't matter. The destruction was part of his job that he enjoyed even without negative emotions to reap.
Xellos raised his staff, prepared to incinerate the rest of the tanks, when a humanoid shape in one of the larger ones caught his eye. As he moved closer, he noticed that unlike the other chimera, this one was being kept alive, a breathing apparatus attached to its face and wires and tubes trailing from its body.
As he approached, he realized with a shock that he knew this chimera.
The first thing Zelgadis was aware of was pain. His entire body hurt in ways that it hadn't since he was fully human. For a moment, he wondered if he had been successfully cured, but when he moved his head slightly he could feel the resistance of his wire hair as it caught against whatever was below him. What had happened to him?
A soft, cool hand touched his forehead, startling him. “Stay still, Zelgadis-san.”
He recognized that voice, but not the gentle concern of its tone. “Xellos?” he whispered, shocked at how weak and hoarse his own voice was.
The hand moved behind his head, lifting it slightly, and he felt something at his lips. “Water, Zelgadis-san.” Xellos allowed him a few small sips before taking it away, and Zelgadis tried to grab it, but found that he was barely able to move. “Only a little. Too much will make you ill.”
Zelgadis suddenly realized that the water had been slightly bitter, and he forced himself to open his eyes. “Poison?”
Xellos frowned at him, his eyes closed. “Healing herbs.” The Mazoku stood. “They'll help you sleep. I'll be back later.”
Zel's vision was blurring. “Where…?” he managed to murmur, then groaned softly as Xellos struck a recognizable pose. He didn't even hear the familiar, irritating words before darkness claimed him again.
Xellos watched Zelgadis sleep, frowning slightly. He had waited until the chimera had regained consciousness, but he had been reluctant to leave him even to report to Beastmaster, who had agreed, with no small amount of amusement, with his decision to save Zelgadis, even ordering him to escort him back to Seyruun. His relief had surprised him; he had been prepared to kill the chimera if his mistress had ordered it.
In Zelgadis' condition, it would have been simple. Xellos had tried to reach Seyruun after destroying the laboratory by traveling quickly, only to find that exposure to the Astral Plane was pulling Zelgadis apart. The sorcerer had somehow wedged apart the brow demon, human, and golem parts of his soul. The energies of the Astral Plane had nearly ripped his soul and body in three. The result would have been death if they hadn't left the Astral Plane immediately.
He almost regretted killing the sorcerer so quickly. He had no idea what had been done to Zelgadis, nor any idea how to undo it or if it could even be undone. Xellos had hoped to get him to Seyruun so Lina and Amelia could deal with it, but now it would be a difficult endeavor given how far across the continent they were.
The chimera had been in a drugged sleep in the hours since Xellos' return, and in that time he had acquired clothing in the town market, and bandaged the punctures the tubes had left in Zelgadis' body. He was now dressed in a pair of pajamas, with clothing and a cloak waiting for when he was able to travel. Xellos had even obtained a decent sword for him, to replace the one he hadn't bothered to look for before destroying the lab.
Zelgadis moaned softly, his body shuddering as he woke from the drugged sleep. His eyes slid open and slowly fixed on Xellos, who felt his little thrill of fear, confusion, and pain. The chimera's brow creased in concentration for a moment, and the Mazoku could feel those emotions calm before he spoke.
“What happened?” His voice was a bit stronger now.
Xellos had spent time considering how to answer that question, as well. “I found you being help captive in the course of my mission.”
Zelgadis' brow creased further, and he seemed to be thinking. “Captive?”
“A sorcerer. It appears he was conducting chimera experiments on you.”
The blue eyes widened in understanding, and Xellos felt that fear again. “I heard he had a library; someone recommended I go there to search, so I did. I don't remember anything after that.” He hesitated, and the fear spiked into a bit of terror. Zelgadis tried to sit up, but Xellos reached out and stilled him. “What did he do?” he hissed.
Xellos opened his eyes, regarding Zelgadis silently for a moment. “I'm afraid I killed him before I realized you were there, Zelgadis-san. However…” He let the terror spike again before he continued. “It appears he was experimenting on ways to separate the human, brow demon, and golem parts. Whatever he did reacted poorly with the energies of the Astral Plane, or you would be in Seyruun now.”
The terror turned to irritation. “So he was curing me, and you killed him?”
“No. Had he succeeded, your body and soul would have split, and none would have survived independently.” The fear returned again. “That is where your quest would have led.”
“So he was killing me.” Zelgadis didn't sound surprised.
“More like using you as research so he could imitate what Rezzo did.” Xellos closed his eyes. “I recommend not using your Shamanic magic until you're certain it's safe.”
“Xellos, why did you help me?”
That was one question he hadn't been able to answer himself, a question that bothered him because he didn't know why he had done it, why the sight of Zelgadis in that tank had made him angry, made him wish that he had given the sorcerer a slower death. So he put a finger in front of his lips. “Sore wa himitsu desu.”
Zelgadis glared at him, and the mixture of emotion behind it intrigued Xellos. There was the irritation and anger, of course, with a healthy dose of fear at what Xellos might want with him. But there was also an odd mixture of gratitude, self-loathing, and a little twinge of regret that the Mazoku couldn't even begin to decipher and wasn't sure he wanted to.
Xellos rose from his seat near the bed, and headed toward the door. He stopped as he felt a pang of fear and worry from Zelgadis, turning back and smiling. “I've had my dinner. Are you hungry?”
Had he been able, Xellos was sure Zelgadis would have thrown a Ra Tilt his way as he realized that his pain and fear had served as the Mazoku's meal. Instead the chimera looked away, seething. “Where are we? I need to figure out how I'm going to get to Seyruun.”
As much as Xellos was enjoying the waves of negative emotion coming from Zelgadis, he wasn't one to lie. “Why, I'll be accompanying you, Zelgadis-san. You needn't fret about the details.”
He was pleasantly surprised when Zelgadis' anger rose, along with his fear. The chimera stopped himself from retorting and made an effort to calm down before speaking. “What do you want from me, Xellos?”
The Mazoku's grin widened as he opened one eye and put a finger to his lips. “Sore wa himitsu desu.”
This time there was no anger from Zelgadis, only a kind of helpless fear. Xellos phased out to the Astral Plane, leaving the chimera to his worries.
This is something I have to blame Chrissy for entirely. Ever since we started working on Enma's Torment Theatre she's been harassing me to get into Slayers, and a couple weeks ago when Revolution started airing in Japan I gave in. A week and a half, 78 episodes (Slayers, Next, and Try), 5 movies, 6 OVA episodes, and 3 brand-spanking-new episodes of Revolution later, I found myself desperately seeking Xellos/Zelgadis fanfiction.
After reading the small amount out there (and getting no small amount of pleasure from Tsutsuji's “Poison”), I was struck by an idea in bed. The next day, I brought my notebook to work and wrote nearly three quarters of this chapter.
Uh. First attempt at Slayers fanfiction, unless you count RPing for fun with Chrissy. And given how little time I have lately for writing fanfiction, who knows how long it'll be for the next chapter.
Thanks to Kura, Fawx, and Chrislea for the beta. Kura and Fawx for character insights, and Chrislea for structure. Shame Chrissy didn't get online; she'll have to be shocked when she sees this already up.