To Live Another Day
Episode Thirteen: Princess Parade
The first dress Amelia tried on was yellow, with the skirt arranged in a way that made it look like curtains. The top part was cut similarly to Lina's dress, without the line of pearls. Amelia looked cute in the dress, but with a lack of a point of comparison it felt too soon to decide. "What do you think?"
"Not many people can pull off yellow like that," Lina nodded in approval.
"That's true, it looks good, but it would be nice to see the others too." Filia had a feeling that the choice might be a closer race in this case than how it was for Lina, who ended up with two not so great dresses and a gorgeous one, making the choice obvious.
"Okay! Here comes the next one!" Amelia cheerfully went to change into the next dress. The second dress was light blue with a different cut, small semi-puffy thin sleeves around the shoulders and decorative fabric over the skirt on the sides in a lighter blue than the dress. Sure, the first skirt looked like curtains, but it looked better than this one with the two round pieces of puffed up fabric on the sides.
"I think this color brings out your eyes more," Filia truthfully declared.
"Yeah, but I liked the style of the other one better," Lina finished.
Filia nodded, "I guess they both have their positive points. Maybe the style of the other dress with this one's color," Filia suggested.
"I wander if they have it," Amelia mused, "before I go ask about it, I'll try on the last one from the three I picked out." Amelia repeated the changing process swiftly. Being a princess, she had more experience with gowns then Lina, thus she didn't get into any fights with any stubborn zippers. "Here's the third one, it's mostly light blue too, what do you think?"
The judges' silent faces adorned with awed expressions spoke volumes. The dress had a simple and classic heart shaped cut on top with a heart shaped pale sapphire in the middle. It started out almost cerulean, quickly fading into a shade of sky blue until the end of the skirt finished in white. A thin see-through layer of fabric was over the dress with abundant silver glitters, parting at the sapphire heart like a thing cape around the dress, falling over the figure hugging skirt that turned flowing past the hips. Amelia looked even more beautiful than a princess was expected to look in a ball gown, she looked like an angel.
"How beautiful, I think this is the one!" Filia finally spoke, voicing her approval.
"Definitely!" Lina immediately agreed, "Forget asking about that other dress in a different color, you should get this one! Zel won't be able to keep his eyes off you!" She teased.
Amelia blushed, "I hope he likes it," she whispered shyly.
With Amelia's dress chosen, Filia was the last one who needed to pick a gown to attend the ball. "Okay, it's my turn," she drew in a deep breath. She hoped that one of her chosen dresses made her look a stunning as the effect the proper gowns had on Lina and Amelia. When that annoying Xellos saw her he would be speechless and his expression would be absolutely priceless. Then she could tease him about it and throw it in his face over and over. Wait a minute, why was she even thinking of Xellos? She was supposed to be thinking about impressing her date, that golden dragon guy... Phythan, yes, Phythan, she was dressing up all pretty for him, not for Xellos!
Filia emerged from the dressing room in a pink dress with round sleeves and an oval shaped sapphire brooch on the chest. The skirt faded into a deeper shade of pink at the bottom. Filia liked pink and it did look nice on her, but the truth was that during their travels, everyone had gotten used to seeing Filia in pink, so the color didn't present much in the way of novelty.
"It's pretty," Amelia sincerely commented with a smile, "it fits you nicely."
"But it doesn't stand out," Lina finished for her with more directness. "It's definitely your style and maybe that's just it. You need something different. Something that Xellos isn't expecting you to wear."
"Xellos?" Filia's glare landed dangerously on Lina and she growled in a warning tone. "I'm not going to the ball with Xellos. I have a date, there's no reason for me to get stuck hanging out with him. Besides, Phythan hasn't really seen me in pink, so it will be new to him. I'm trying on the other dresses anyway, but not because I want to impress Xellos!"
Before Filia could retreat into the changing room, Lina stopped her with an interrogation. "Phythan? Who is this Phythan? Your new boyfriend?" Lina realized sourly that if Amelia was with Zelgadis, Gourry was with Medusa and Filia was with that Phythan guy, then she would be the one to get stuck with Xellos.
"He's not my boyfriend!" Filia blushed. "He's my date," she corrected. "I met him at the resort and he gave me ice-cream. He's very nice and he's a golden dragon too."
"How wonderful, Miss Filia," Amelia congratulated. "I'm happy that you found a nice date for the ball. Introduce him to us later, okay?"
"Sure," Filia's agreement came up somewhat nervous. She appreciated her friends, she really did, they were just a little eccentric. She finally retreated into the dressing room, leaving Lina to contemplate her woes. Filia emerged a few minutes later with a new dress on. This one was yellow in a style very similar to the first. It also had a brooch, this time an emerald, with its frame shaped like a flower. It had orange puffy oval shaped decorations on the sides and an orange line at the end of the long yellow skirt. "What do you think of this one? Is yellow enough of a novelty for you?" As in not for Xellos?
Amelia and Lina looked thoughtful, "this one is pretty too," Amelia finally said, "but I think I liked the first one better," she admitted.
"Yeah," Lina agreed, "we're used to seeing you in pink, but I guess it does bring out your hair."
"I knew pink was the right choice," Filia nodded to herself. She was still a little disappointed because her impression on the judges didn't measure up to the judges' impressions on her. Maybe she was simply one of those people who didn't look all that different than usual in a dress. Both Amelia and Lina could be tomboys, Filia rationalized, so even if Amelia was a princess, given that the group wasn't used to seeing her in full princess gear, they both looked very different in dresses. Plus they usually wore pants and the group was used to seeing Filia in a long skirt, so the long skirts of the dresses, though much fancier and puffier, didn't seem all that different. It wasn't that she looked bad; Amelia and Lina had assured her she looked good, she simply wasn't a novelty, she wasn't impressive...
"Aren't you going to try on another one?" Lina inquired. It was true that the past two dresses both looked nice on Filia. Sure, the pink one was appropriate and pretty, but it wasn't her ideal dress.
"What for?" Filia inquired as she emerged from the changing room in her vacation clothes. "I already picked the pink one. We don't have that much time anyway and we still need shoes, accessories and masks. Not to mention that we need to do our hair and makeup." If the dress alone didn't make her look amazing, she would go all out with every other aspect of the outfit.
"You might find a dress that you like even more," Amelia scanned the boutique, her eyes landing on emerald fabric. "What about that one?"
Lina joined in the effort to find the perfect dress for Filia, pointing at a black dress, "or that one."
Before Filia could protest, Lina and Amelia had bolted towards the dresses and were bringing them over for Filia to try on. The golden dragon shook her head, "I don't think this is really necessary," Filia insisted, though a part of her wanted to keep trying to find the right dress to impress Xe... Phythan.
Lina and Amelia held the dresses out to Filia. "Come on, try these on, you might like them." Lina insisted as she took Filia's pink dress out of her hands and gave her the black one.
"Okay..." Filia finally agreed and once again retreated into the changing room with the black dress on hand. She emerged soon after wearing the black dress Lina suggested and looking embarrassed. The dress was certainly form fitting, but the part that bothered Filia the most was how it opened in the middle of the chest in a long diamond shape. The two pieces of black fabric were held at the neck by a silver choker, and at the waist by a matching belt, the back left bare. Filia adjusted the dress on her chest, knowing that she wouldn't be able to take her hands off it, for fear that it might slip out of place, leaving her in a very embarrassing situation. "I can't wear this," she definitely decided.
Lina tilted her head to the side and considered the matter. "I guess you're right, the black does make you look a little pale. Maybe if they had this same style in a different color..."
"No," Filia insisted, her tone of voice leaving no further room for doubts. At this point, Filia had given up and only took the green dress Amelia was offering her for the sake of humoring her, since she had already humored Lina. She didn't expect to like the dress, but after she put it on, her mind changed. Filia emerged from the dressing room receiving the approving looks of her insistent advisers. The dress was a vibrant emerald green accentuated with golden lines. The heart shape cut of the top wasn't too prominent, with gold lines swirling from the chest to the waste, fading as if they were drops of water on the flowing green skirt. The end of the skirt had a few drops of gold for an artistic and elegant look.
"You look beautiful, Miss Filia!" Amelia gave her approval and Filia knew that she wasn't saying it just to be nice or simply because this was the dress she suggested.
"Amelia's right, it looks like you've found the perfect dress for the ball!" Lina completely agreed, never mind that it wasn't her own suggestion that was picked. She couldn't deny that the green dress suited Filia better than all the others she had tried on so far.
Filia smile triumphantly, yes, this was exactly the kind of dress she was looking for. She couldn't wait for the ball; she couldn't wait to see the look on Xe- er... Phythan's face when he saw her in that dress. Then her world fell apart on her head as her jaw dropped and she pointed at a figure behind Lina and Amelia whom the other two couldn't see before.
Lina and Amelia turned around to see a woman who looked very much like Filia, wearing the exact same dress as Filia. They had to look back and forth between the two women for a moment before it sunk in that they weren't seeing double. The other woman had, not only the same dress, but also long blond hair that was almost the exact same style as Filia. There were some differences in their facial features, mostly the color and shape of their eyes, but they had the same style of pointed ears. "Your long lost twin sister?" Lina couldn't help it but to ask.
"No," Filia managed to push the word out with disappointment.
It looked like the woman was too focused on modeling the dress for her boyfriend, a brown haired human with a knightly look to him, to even notice that she was in the presence of a look alike wearing the same dress as her. The man was in turn too focused on his girlfriend to notice either. All in all, only Filia, Lina and Amelia seemed to be aware of the predicament that Filia and the woman were facing.
"She's not even a dragon," Filia observed, focusing in sensing her energy, looking for answers. Sure, energy could be hidden, but in this case, the woman wasn't trying to. If she had been a dragon, even if Filia had never met her, she would consider going over to talk to her not about the dress, but about the possibility of them being relatives and having been unaware of it their whole lives, but the woman wasn't a golden dragon. "She's an elf," Filia informed, catching a trace of their rare but unmistakable energy.
Elves were rare in today's world, few were left alive and even fewer decided to live among humans. Yet the elf woman seemed quite happy as she emerged from the changing room in her normal clothes with the dress in hand and, linking her arm with her boyfriend, they merrily strode over to pay for the dress. The happy couple was saying something about the masquerade ball from what they could hear.
"She's buying it? The nerve of her!" Lina was ready to defend Filia's dress, but Filia's hand on her shoulder stopped her.
"It's okay," Filia insisted, trying to make Lina calm down. "She didn't even see us, it's not her fault. Besides, she already bought the dress and look how happy they are about the ball. Let's not bother them."
Lina pouted, "you can't show up in the same dress as your look alike! If not for the difference in species, I would seriously suspect that she's your twin, or at least your sister."
"I'll pick another dress," Filia concluded. She could have simply settled for the pink dress that she had intended to choose at first, but it didn't feel good enough anymore. Letting out a deep breath, she changed back into her vacation clothes, discarded all the dresses she had tried on so far and went in search of a new one.
As Lina, Amelia and Filia browsed around the boutique, a few suggestions came up on Filia's possible dresses, but none of them seemed right to Filia. "Maybe this one..." it was kind of flashy, not in an elaborate sense, but in the sense that the fabric was golden and very shiny, the light bouncing off every inch of the dress. Filia went to try it on while Amelia and Lina looked around some more. "What do you think?"
The judges shook their heads almost instantly with Amelia focusing on finding a polite way to express her disapproval and Lina holding her hand over her eyes. "You're blinding us with that, it's too shiny!" Lina found an eloquent way to express their mutual concern and Amelia was left to nod in inevitable agreement.
Sighing at her prolonged dress dilemma, Filia changed back into her vacation clothes and continued browsing. She spotted some pretty purple fabric and reached out to have a better look at the dress. She instantly withdrew her hand as if it had been burned. It was the same color as Xellos' hair and that made it automatically hideous. She glared at the dress as if it had personally offended her, then examined the one next to it. It had that same deep shade of violet found on Xellos' hair, but that was only on the details, as the majority of the fabric was instead a softer shade of lilac. Filia's hand tentatively reached out for the dress, wondering if she should excuse those bits of Xellos purple on it... not that 'Xellos purple' was a real color name.
The lilac dress with the Xellos purple, I mean purple, details, was snatched away by the hands of Lina Inverse, who eyed it critically before holding it up for Filia to take, "what about this one?"
Filia paused uncertain until Amelia suggested, "you should try it on, Miss Filia." That's when Filia noticed she was being silly. She took the dress with determination and more courage than the activity of trying on a dress should normally require. It's not like Xellos owned the color purple anyway.
After a few minutes in the changing room, Filia emerged in the suggested dress. Thin straps of fabric surrounded her shoulders culminating in a V shaped cut on the top of the dress. The gown hugged her waist with an elegant fold of fabric accentuated with a small amethyst flower brooch over the right hip, the thin folds of the lilac skirt showing hints of the purple layer underneath. This time Filia didn't look like a beautiful elf from a magical forest, she looked like the princess of all beautiful elves; except of course for the fact that she was in reality a dragon, not that anyone could tell just by looking.
"This is it, Miss Filia!" Amelia cheered, clapping her hands together in admiration. "This dress looks even better than the other one!"
"Amelia's right, this one's more elegant. You should definitely wear it." Lina proudly declared, since it was she who found the dress, never mind that Filia was already eyeing it when she picked it up.
Filia smiled in satisfaction, "alright, it's been decided." With that said, the girls took a moment to examine the price tags on the dresses.
Amelia might have been the best accustomed to having a closet full of expensive gowns, even if she preferred not to wear them if she could help it, and even she thought the dresses were pricey. "They're of very fine quality though, so it's not all that surprising and they all have jewels as part of the dress so that really adds to their value."
"Let's not forget, Amelia's actually a princess," Lina reminded as if it was easy to forget about that detail, which it was, though they were clearly reminded a short while ago when Amelia was all dressed up. "That means that she knows about dresses, so if she says these are high quality products, that's because they are. Besides," Lina grinned greedily, "we're charging all of this to Xellos' reservation, remember?" Never mind that she might still have some store credit left, it was her store credit for her souvenirs, which would consist mostly of overpriced gourmet candy.
Amelia was the only one that looked a bit doubtful at Lina's suggested plan, with just a hint of guilt, but she was quickly persuaded into partaking of it by the determined and satisfied looks that Lina and Filia had on their faces. Sure, she could attempt to use the royal family crest and allow the bill to be forwarded to her father, but he probably wouldn't appreciate the gesture as much as he would appreciate a nice little souvenir when she got back from her vacation. So it was settled, they would just charge everything to Xellos.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Slayers. I hope everyone liked the dress designs. Stella Limegood, it looks like you and I had similar ideas for the dress colors. XD
Amelia's rejected dresses were based on Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella. Amelia's chosen dress is partially based on Tiana's costume party dress from The Princess and the Frog, with some changes and a hint of the style of Queen Serenity's dress from Sailor Moon and maybe a bit of Peach in terms of the sapphire brooch. Filia's first two rejected dresses are based on Peach and Daisy from Super Mario.
The woman in the green dress and her boyfriend are Deedlit and Parn from Record of Lodoss War. The green dress was basically converting Deedlit's normal clothes into a dress. As for Filia's chosen dress, it came out of nowhere, all that I had planned was that it would have some purple. I suppose the flower was sort of inspired by Tiana's dress from the end of the movie, but the styles overall are distinctly different. I was going to start the masquerade ball on this chapter, but I got carried away with more about the preparation process. The next chapter will be about the ball, I promise.