Slayers Fan Fiction ❯ Even Though it Breaks My Heart to Know We'll Be So Far Apart ( Chapter 5 )
I sure hope this is the right place. Amelia said as they approached a charming cottage.
A small cottage between two oak trees on the north side of town. Zel replied, If the villagers are right this should be it.
Good. Said Louis, I cant take much more of this traveling.
Zel and Amelia exchanged a pained glance before continuing on the meandering pace set by Louis towards what they hoped was Linas house. As they got closer the door opened, and Gourry came out and waved at them. Amelia broke into a grin, There he is! We are at the right place.
But why is he wearing a suit? Zel asked.
Oh no! You dont think were too late?
You mean I might have made this trip for nothing? Louis whined.
Zel and Amelia ignored him and picked up speed, leaving Louis to trod on at his slow pace towards Linas home.
Are we too late? Amelia asked as they got closer and Gourry met them halfway.
Too late? No, really, youre just in time. He replied.
In time? Amelia asked, confused, In time for what?
Gourry smiled as he scratched his head, Oh, you two wouldnt know, would you? Well, youre just in time for the wedding. Lina and I are getting married!
What? Zel asked as Amelia clasped her hands over her mouth.
Thats great, Mr. Gourry, that really is, but you could have told us that rather than saying something about her mother being ill.
Oh, Gourry said as his eyes dimmed slightly, She is. It was really bad for a while but her fever broke and she is awake right now. Lina says that we need to do this now, in case she takes another bad turn.
How is Miss Lina? Amelia asked as she climbed the patio steps.
Its been hard for her these last few weeks. He said.
So you came back because you heard her mother was sick and then you decided to get married, or did you decide to get married and come home to find her mother sick? Zel asked.
Her father asked her to come back. When we got here I asked and she said yes. Gourry grinned sheepishly, Now that I think about it, I bet you think this is rather sudden.
No. Zel said, and Amelia nodded firmly as she added, Weve been waiting for this for years.
So have I. Gourry said quietly as Louis finally joined them. Linas sister went to get the priest. I was watching out the window to see when shed be back when I saw you all approaching. By the way, I dont know the man with you, do I?
No. Amelia confirmed, Hes Master Healer Louis. Hes a bit grumpy but he really is one of the best doctors in Seyruun. One of the reasons it took us so long is that he is not used to traveling.
Louis was panting slightly by the time he finished climbing the stairs. I believe theres a patient for me to see. He said between breaths.
Right inside. Gourry said as he opened the door and they came in. Why dont you rest for a bit, enjoy the wedding and some refreshments, and then I think shell be ready to see you.
Louis plopped down on the sofa, What type of refreshments?
After the ceremony! Zel said through gritted teeth.
Oh! Id better see Miss Lina! Wheres her room? Amelia asked.
Gourry pointed it out to her and Amelia took off, leaving Zel to clasp Gourry on the shoulder. So, you nervous?
Gourry shook his head, After waiting for her for how long? Not a chance!
Amelia! Lina cried as she opened the door, yanked Amelia in, and gave her a quick hug. Im so glad youre here! Quick! Create a diversion while I go and climb out that window!
Amelia grabbed her hands and gave them a good squeeze. Pre-wedding jitters?
No! Yes! No…no. Lina replied before finally settling on, May be.
Come now, Miss Lina. After all that you and Mr. Gourry have been through you have no need to worry.
Its not that. Lina said as she sat down on the bed. Ive been traveling with him for years. I know all of his annoying habits and I know I can be around him for long periods of time without murdering him. Its my mom. I just have this strange feeling that my getting married will kill her.
Thats ridiculous! Amelia cried as she joined her, How could a wedding kill her?
Linas smiled seemed tired. If you listened to my daddy and my sis, well, they talk as the only thing she has left to look forward to in life is seeing my wedding day.
Oh. Amelia said as her eyes widened. Is it that bad?
Lina nodded, I wasnt sure what to expect when I heard. I thought that if I got back in time I could draw upon my resources and get her better in no time. And when I came home I saw that everyone was already writing her off, as if death was inevitable. My sis didnt surprise me so much. But my daddy seems so resigned to it! And my mom, who taught me never to give up…
Lina stopped for a moment as Amelia put a hand on her shoulder. Finally she continued, I didnt get it that first night. She seemed ill, but she wasnt in pain and she was herself. And then she took a turn for the worse. And it was agony watching her. And I couldnt do anything but shove some useless herbs down her throat! Daddy says its been a cycle for a while now.
That sounds terrible. Amelia said.
Lina nodded, I dont want to give up on her! She taught me to never give up. The reason Ive done all of the things that I did was because I believed that. Hell, I lived that philosophy! But this is worse than I could have imagined. And everyone has said that if Im going to marry Gourry Id better do it soon. And here I am, rushing to the altar. And by getting married now Im wondering if Im giving up, just like everyone else. But then if I dont do this and she dies without having seen my wedding then Ill never forgive myself…Ugh! Its making me sick to my stomach!
I brought the best doctor in Seyruun with me. Amelia said, If anyone can help her, its him.
Thank you. Lina breathed, and then she broke into a smile. I feel a lot better knowing that.
Good. Amelia said as she dug into her cape and pulled out a suitcase. Id best get dressed!
What? Lina asked, Do you always keep formal clothes around with you?
When you are a princess you never know when youll be pulled into a diplomatic meeting. She replied as she pulled out a blue gown. She stopped to stare at Lina for a moment. You look so beautiful. I love your dress.
Lina soothed the folds of her dress. Reluctant as she was to admit it, Luna had put good money on a fine seamstress and material. Thanks. Lina said.
I know youre nervous, but Im so excited! You two sure took your time getting together. I was stunned when I learned that you werent his girlfriend back when I first met you. Amelia said as she pulled her gown over her head.
Lina sighed, As if you and Zel have any right to talk! And dont try to deny anything…
The door shot open and Luna walked in, dressed in a simple purple dress. Bad news. The priest cant make it. Good news is it looks like your friend the Seyruun princess is here.
Amelia opened her mouth, closed it, and then opened it again as. Luna continued, Royalty can officiate at weddings right?
Huh? Lina asked as she stood up.
Well, yes. Amelia replied.
And Im the Ceiphied Knight so anywhere I am this union will be in the presence of God. If youre satisfied lets get this done.
Amelia stared at Luna, unsure of what to say or think as Lina sighed, shook her head and said, Amelia, this is my sister, Luna. Sis, this is Amelia. Glad you two have finally gotten to meet. Why dont you track Daddy down and get out of my room?
You want me to officiate? Amelia asked as stars grew in her eyes.
Lina shrugged, Sure, why not?
Amelia clasped her hand into a fist as she struck a dramatic pose. For five years Ive been waiting for these two Champions of Justice to acknowledge their love for one another! And now I, Amelia, will bind them together for eternity!
Just try to tone down the self-righteous justice talk, okay? Lina said as Luna stared at the princess, blinked a few times and then turned towards the door.
Im going to get Daddy. Its time to get this started.
Whats with your sister? Amelia asked once Luna had closed the door behind her.
Lina shook her head, Im sure shes probably wondering the same thing about you.
Suddenly without warning Lina bolted towards the window and threw it open. I cant do this!
Miss Lina! Amelia cried as she grabbed her, When have you ever been unable to do anything?
Lina froze, indecision etched onto her features. Fortunately the door opened and Hawk and Luna walked in. Hawk surveyed the scene, Lina with her hands glued to the window shutters and Amelia with her arms wrapped around Linas torso. Lina laughed nervously as she let go and Amelia loosened her grip.
I nearly did the same thing twenty-three years ago. Hawk said. Are you ready?
Hawk extended his arm to Lina, who looked at it nervously. Luna groaned, Oh please, am I going to have to drag you down there?
Lina took a deep breath. It was now or never. She was going to marry the man she loved. And it would in no way, shape or form kill her mother. What would happen would happen. Lina took Hawks arm, That wont be necessary.
You go first, Princess. Luna said.
Amelia nodded, and led the procession the short distance from Linas bedroom to the living room, where Tori was sitting on the couch propped up with pillows. Her green dress was swimming on her, but she beamed proudly at the sight of Lina and Hawk.
Lina felt as though her legs were jelly. She was thankful for her fathers steadying arm, else she was certain she would have tripped and fallen flat on her face. Tori gave her a wink, and Lina couldnt help but smile at her. For the first time in a while she felt as though things would be all right. She noticed a dumpy looking older man sitting close to Tori, and deduced that it must have been the renowned healer Amelia had mentioned. Hopefully he would be worth his salt.
In the time it took to appoint Amelia as the officiant Gourry must have appointed Zel as his best man, for he was standing beside Gourry and holding the bracelet. But Lina was not paying attention to that. Her eyes were on Gourry, the man she had chosen to be her husband. Gourry, whose face had erupted in a big grin at the sight of her. Her heart sped up slightly as she realized that tears were trailing down his cheeks. Had she really moved him to tears?
Deep inside, she had always worried about not being pretty enough for him. How could someone as handsome as he be attracted to a short, flat chested sorceress such as herself? But now there was such a look of joy on his face that she did not doubt that she meant the world to him. That sometime between the moment when they met and now she had grown beautiful in his eyes. That she had become as important to him as he was to her.
She met his gaze and looked deeply into his eyes, trusting her father to get her there without mishap. When they reached the altar, Hawk quickly kissed Lina on the cheek before placing her hands in Gourrys, who squeezed them tight. Amelia started blathering on about love and justice and the joining of two hearts but Lina was not paying attention. For the first time she was wondering what the future would hold. Whatever it held, she knew that as long as they were together, it would turn out fine.
Lina heard her name, and realized that Amelia was asking if he would take her to be his wife, to love and protect her for always.
I do. Gourry said firmly as his grip on her hands tightened.
This is it! Lina thought as Amelia posed the same question to her. Love and protect. Hadnt that been what they had done since they met? He had always protected her, even though she really didnt need it. It was only supposed to be till they reached Atlas City, but somehow or another he decided he needed to make it a permanent arrangement. And while she had never proclaimed herself to be his protector, hadnt that been what she had been doing all of these years?
And when had it turned to love?
I do. Lina said. Gourrys eyes brimmed. She did not think that his grip could have tightened but it did.
May I have the bracelets, please. Amelia requested as Zel and Luna stepped forward.
Reluctantly Gourry let go of her hands. Zel handed him the bracelet, and Gourry clasped it around Linas left wrist. She took his from Luna and as she put it on he relished in its slight weight on his wrist. From this day forward it would be proof that she was his wife. He gripped her left hand with his right as Amelia proclaimed, From this day forward let these bracelets herald the fact that Lina and Gourry are a pair. Where one is, you will find the other. Nothing shall keep them apart.
She was trembling, and Gourry hoped it was with the same joyous emotions that he felt. The moment he had been dreaming about for years was now. Amelia raised her voice dramatically and bellowed, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.
Husband and wife. The words rang through his head as he pulled her to him and kissed her passionately, hoping that he could convey all that she meant to him through it. Around them people clapped and cheered. He pulled away and stared at her. He had seldom seen that look on her face, but he liked it when he did. The look in her eyes was soft, tender and loving. She gently reached a hand up to wipe away the tears from his eyes. Her gloved hands felt nice against him, though the material did not soak up the water well.
Im afraid Im going to ruin your gloves. He said.
She squeezed his hand, and together they walked away from the make shift altar and to the dining room table, which was laden with food.
The food was delicious. The wine, naturally, divine. Chicken breasts stuffed with cheese and lobster meat. Lunas homemade honey rolls. Vegetables soaked in butter and rosemary. And the best part of all was that Tori managed to eat a little. Linas spirits were soaring.
Everyone in her family had been in a better mood than she had seen them in for years. Her mother was still confined to the couch, but was able to sit up and enjoy. Her father had pulled up a chair close by. They were holding hands and joking with each other. Lina could not recall the last time she had seen them so happy.
Zel and Amelia, who she had shared so many adventures with and who were practically family, seemed rather cozy with each other. She was surprised when Zel actually offered to dance with Amelia. And then she practically fell over when at one point Amelia rested her head on his chest. Had their relationship progressed? Lina made a note to check with Amelia later.
Louis was the odd one out, but he turned out to be a man who sought the best in life and had no problem whatsoever about enjoying the food and merry atmosphere. Even Luna seemed to relax and enjoy a bit. And one time Lina could have sworn she saw her genuinely smile!
And then there was Gourry, who was now officially her family. He was beaming. And the reason was because she had married him!
She felt silly for worrying that her mothers illness made it a bad time to get married. On the contrary, if anything, it made them appreciate having a reason to celebrate. Since she had returned home they had all been so worried, stressed, and busy that theyd not had a time to enjoy each others company. And now they did.
She had been frustrated with her families insistence at a quick wedding, but now it made sense. They were all hurting and sad and needed something happy to distract them with. The wedding was an emotional necessity. And the fact that hard times lay before them made Lina treasure each moment of it even more.
Such as the time when Lina, noticing that Louis was ogling her sister, walked up to Luna and whispered in her ear, Dont look now, but I think the good doctor has a crush on you. You may be next down the aisle.
Luna shrugged, I dont think my boyfriend would like that.
You dont have a boyfriend! Lina yelled.
Luna smiled slyly, Youve been away for how long? How would you know?
Lina opened her mouth, closed it, and opened it again. Who is he?
Someone you dont know.
Lina wasnt sure if Luna was stringing her along or not, but at least it was a pleasant conversation, reminiscent of the times before their relationship became strained.
And then there were the awkward moments. Such as when she introduced her mother to Amelia.
You did a nice job with the ceremony. Especially since you didnt know you were going to do it before you got here. Tori said.
Amelia smiled, Oh, Ive been wanting to see those two together for some time.
Lina rested her chin on her hand and sighed as her mother said, I bet you have some interesting stories.
Oh boy do I ever! Such as when Miss Lina faked her death to trick Kanzeil. Mr. Gourry was completely distraught!
You did what now? Tori chided younger daughter.
Oh brother, Lina sighed, but really she didnt mind until Amelia said, And then there was the time she took a shot for Miss Sylphiel. She wasnt faking that time, she nearly died. Mr. Gourry started screaming her name and…
You nearly died? Tori yelped as everyone stopped what they were doing to see what was the matter.
Now Lina was genuinely annoyed, Sylphiel fixed me right up. It was nothing!
And you didnt tell me? Tori shrieked.
Amelia laughed nervously, May be I should talk about the times when Miss Lina dressed Mr. Gourry up like a girl?
It was Gourrys turn to blush and feel annoyed as everyone shifted their attention to him.
The sun was setting by the time it became apparent that Toris energy was fading and everyone gathered round to discuss plans for who would stay where for the night. It was quickly determined that Louis would stay in the guest room, and Zel and Amelia decided that they were going to stay in a hotel.
Lina, could I see you for a second. Tori asked.
When Lina approached the couch Tori pulled her close to her and whispered, I do not want you here tonight. I want to be with my husband, and I want you to be with yours.
Lina blushed, Okay, okay! Well stay at the hotel.
Tori patted her on the arm and smiled, Im so glad I got to see this day.
Across the room, Hawk stood beside Gourry who was talking to Zel, watching as his wife talked with his younger daughter, who looked so much like a younger version of Tori it was heartbreaking. Once Tori had been that young and strong, and now she was a shell of the woman she used to be. Seeing Lina in her prime seemed to emphasize just how much age had taken a toll on Tori.
His thoughts drifted back to their own wedding day. How happy he felt. How vibrant Tori looked. He thought of the excitement that came with just starting out their life together. Now Lina would take that journey with Gourry, just as he feared that his with Tori was coming to an end.
Hey, um, I was wondering. Gourry said, cutting through his thoughts.
If it would be okay if I call you dad now?
Hawk stared at him for a few minutes before replying, As long as you take care of her and appreciate her, then you can call me whatever you want.
Okay, lets get this show on the road. Luna suddenly yelled, Lina, get your husband and throw the damn bouquet already and get going.
Just be patient. Lina snapped, but she made her way over to where Gourry was nonetheless.
Guess its just you and me in the competition for the bouquet. Luna said as she and Amelia walked towards the center of the living room.
Please dont kill the valuable royal princess of Seyruun, Sis, okay? Lina said as she turned around and tossed it.
Luna didnt put up much of a fight, she simply let Amelia catch it. Amelia cheered, and ran up to Zelgadis and whispered something to him before giving him a quick peck on the lips. Lina nearly fell over. I was right! There is something going on between them!
Gourry put an arm around her, You ready?
Lina nodded, and quickly walked to her father and gave him a hug and then did the same with her mother. Ill see you tomorrow. She told her, and then she left with Gourry, Zel, and Amelia.
So, what was with that kiss? Lina asked as they enjoyed a pleasant stroll to the hotel.
Zel and Amelia exchanged a glance. Well, we didnt want to say anything to steal your thunder, but were getting married, too! Amelia announced.
Lina clasped her on the shoulder, About time!
As if youre one to talk, Miss Lina!
As they walked to the hotel, Lina could almost believe that they were back on the road on another adventure. It felt just like old times, except the old times really were not that old. She felt as though so much had changed in the past few weeks, and her shoulders felt heavy with the burden of familial distress. But out there in the gentle summer evening, Lina could almost feel as though it didnt exist, as if her world was once again an endless road, and that should she ever decide to step off of it everything would be as it was when she was thirteen.
As the hotel came in view, Lina decided she was glad that her mother had insisted she stay there that night. It was one final night when she could feel free.
Amelia stopped them just before they walked in, The room will be on our tab. For your wedding gift.
Wow, thanks Amelia! Lina said.
Suddenly she felt a familiar set of strong arms picking her up. Huh?
Isnt the groom supposed to carry the bride over the threshold? Gourry asked.
Of our home! Lina exclaimed, though she gently folded her arms around his neck, We arent moving in here!
Seems like Mr. Gourry just wants an excuse to cop a feel. Amelia said cavalierly as she opened the door.
Who asked you!? Lina screamed as they entered the building.
Gourry stood with Lina in a corner in the lobby while Amelia booked their rooms. Once finished she came over and handed them a key. I got you the honeymoon suite. Amelia said with a wink.
And I noticed that you only reserved one room for you and Zel. Lina shot back. Looks like a little princess is rushing ahead of her wedding night.
Zel nearly stumbled as his skin took a purplish tint. Room 201. Thank goodness. Here it is. Good night. He muttered.
Congrats! Have fun! Amelia said before following him.
Lina sighed and shook her head as Gourry continued to look for their room. Oh boy. I cant remember the last time Ive been so embarrassed.
Gourry finally found their room and put the key in the door. Its okay if youre tired or want a chance to relax. We dont have to do anything tonight.
She turned to glare at him as he opened the door. What kind of a crazy idea is that? Whats the point of spending good money on the honeymoon suite if were just going to sleep like we could on a chair in the living room?
Gourry grinned as he crossed the threshold, shut the door and locked it. I was hoping you would say that.
So, how did it go last night? Amelia asked.
They had just visited the place where Lina and Gourrys house would be built. The ground had been broken but the actual construction had not started yet. Lina and Amelia had left to see how things were going with her mother, leaving the men to work on the house.
Lina shrugged noncommittally. Fine, I guess.
Amelia wasnt going to let her off that early, So, what did you do?
Hmm, Lina replied, Well, we talked.
You talked? Amelia asked.
Yes, about the future, what sort of curtains to buy, you know, the domestic stuff.
Dont tell me you spent your whole wedding night just talking! Amelia exclaimed.
Yeah, well, what else are you supposed to do on your wedding night?
Amelia folded her arms across her chest, I think youre messing with me.
Thats what you get for being nosy. Lina retorted. Besides, you should know that Im not the type to kiss and tell.
So there was kissing! Amelia said triumphantly.
Shut up! Lina screamed.
I dont know why youre so shy about it.
We had fun. Lets leave it at that.
I knew it! Amelia yelled, So, when can we expect a little Gabriev?
Lets not rush ahead of things here! I have no idea how long my mom will be sick for. Theres no way I can care for her and a baby.
Oh, Amelia said, her tone sobering up a bit, I guess youre right. I wonder what Dr. Louis found.
Hopefully something helpful. White magic is so not my specialty. Lina folded her arms across her chest, I just feel so out of my element here. Im not used to that.
It seems like youre handling it well.
Thats it. Im handling it well. Because I cant fix it. A new monster in town? That I can fix. But this? I have to live with it.
Amelia put her hand on Linas shoulder as her parents house came in to view. I bet Dr. Louis will have some good news for us. Just you wait and see. It wouldnt be just for you and Mr. Gourry to finally get together only for you to lose your mother.
Yes, but what is just is not always what happens. You should know that. How old were you when you lost your mother?
Huh? Amelia cried, before slumping forward a bit. Very young. She said quietly, And there was no justice in it, other than that my sister killed the man who did it. But still, it didnt bring her back.
Lina looked at the ground as she asked, How did you get through it?
Miss Lina, youre not giving up?
No! I just want to know. Just in case.
One long day at a time. Amelia said as she climbed the patio steps.
Lina opened the door, Im home! she yelled.
The living room was empty, Follow me. She said to Amelia as she made her way to her parents room.
Tori, Hawk, Luna and Louis were there. Hey, Lina. Tori said, Hows married life?
Wonderful. Lina replied as she leaned over the bed to hug her and gave her a peck on the head. So tell me, what has Seyruuns greatest doctor found?
Take a seat, Miss Lina. Louis said.
Linas eyes widened. His tone was not encouraging, Is it that bad?
He maintained a steady gaze that betrayed nothing, and Lina found herself taking a seat, more from the fact that it seemed as though her legs had stopped working than anything else.
Louis looked at Tori and said, You have a disease of the blood. Its why youre tired and why you are getting sick a lot. Unfortunately there is no cure.
But theres got to be something in the works, some research or… Lina cut in.
Louis raised his hand, Theres a hot springs, located in northern Seyruun. Some people have made a remarkable recovery there. Others dont. And I must caution that in your condition it would be highly unlikely that you would even survive the trip. But I would be happy to assist you if you do decide to take the chance.
Thats the best you can offer? Lina confronted as Tori closed her eyes.
Im afraid so. Louis said, and Lina suddenly felt a dark seed of hatred sprout in her heart for the messenger.
Thank you, doctor. Why dont you and Amelia step out for a minute? I want some time alone with my family. Tori said decisively.
Lina stared at the quilt as Amelia and Louis left. Hawk leaned against the wall, staring at his arms while Luna occupied the only other seat in the room and regarded her mother. What are you going to do? Luna asked evenly.
Im going to stay right here with my family for as long as I can.
Lina leaned forward and put her hand to the bridge of her nose. Tori put her hand on her knee and squeezed it, These are my terms. I want to see each of you as much as possible, spend as much time as possible creating some good memories. I want to focus on that, not chasing a cure that doesnt exist.
Lina looked up at Toris last statement. Suddenly she was reminded of Zel, who spent so much time looking for his cure that he had difficulty letting his hair down and enjoying his life.
Luna stood up and came to the bedside opposite Lina and took her mothers hand. Im here.
Linas eyes widened as Hawk came and sat at the foot of the bed. Whatever you want.
Lina felt as though a noose were looping around her heart. Somehow, she realized, she was going to have to let her go. When she finally spoke her voice lacked the confidence she would have liked. Me too.