Due to peculiar circumstances, Xellos ends up with a deadly curse that can only be broken by the willing kiss of a dragon. To complicate things, a conspiracy lurks in the shadows... XellosxFilia, ZelgadisxAmelia, GourryxLina
To Live Another Day
Episode Three: Dragon In Distress
Xellos, the still cursed monster and Filia, the somewhat frustrated yet determinately optimistic matchmaker, made their way down the busy streets of Amor Resort in search for Filia's next victim... er... target... of matchmaking. It didn't look like Lina, Gourry, Amelia or Zelgadis were anywhere near by, but they would have to be found eventually. Sure, the resort was huge, but they couldn't miss each other forever.
Sighing as her feet began to ache from all the walking, Filia stopped near a concession stand advertising some candied berries. She eyed the berries hungrily, she could use a little snack, but then she remembered she didn't have her wallet on her and she couldn't very well ask Xellos to buy her food, even if she offered to repay him later.
Fortunately, or unfortunately if she had any idea what was to come, the man in charge of the stand offered her a free sample in the form of a candied berry on a stick. "Give this a try, pretty lady," he winked, holding out the tooth pick with the heart shaped red berry coated in caramel on it. The man had an odd accent, but he was pretty handsome, a fact that flew over Filia's head as she was focused on the berry. Maybe Lina was rubbing off on her.
"Thank you," Filia smiled politely and accepted the snack. She picked the berry off the toothpick with her mouth, first savoring the caramel on top before biting into it. It was delicious, too delicious for words. "This tastes amazing!" She proclaimed with more fascination than anyone should have for a berry.
"Doesn't it?" The man leaned in flirtatiously, the breeze playing with his platinum hair. His blue eyes stood out over his perfect tan. "Maybe you would like to have a box of these?"
Filia was about to answer with the affirmative, but then her smile deflated. "Maybe some other time," she replied in disappointment. She wanted those berries, she wanted them badly and she didn't know why.
"Going on a diet, Filia?" Xellos decided it was as good a time as any to throw another wise crack at Filia. Besides, he really felt like interrupting the flirting, not that he cared, it was just boring. "It's about time."
Filia glared at Xellos, but before she said anything, the berry salesman spoke for her. "Don't listen to him, sweetheart. You're just fine the way you are." He smiled as charmingly as he could.
"I know," Filia threw her nose in the air in an exaggerated expression of nonchalance. "Xellos is just an idiot. Even the simple act of being around him makes my blood boil." She adjusted her cloak, it was hot out today. "I can't stand him," she waved her hand in front of her face trying to fan some air into her warm complexion. "Is it just me, or is it hot?" The last statement was directed at the salesman, who of course, took it the wrong way.
"Oh it's not just you, though you certainly are, I am too," he winked while Filia couldn't make heads or tails of the true meaning behind his odd reply. He did have an unusual accent; maybe he wasn't too experienced in this particular language. Noticing that Xellos was giving him a nasty look, the salesman handed the purple haired man a box of berries. "Here, take this and go away, the lady is now in much better company. Maybe if you eat enough of those you'll actually manage to attract a woman of lesser standards. They're supposed to be some kind of dragon aphrodisiac or something."
Xellos froze in the act of having a berry box shoved into his hands as some sort of pity inspired consolation price after having what the salesman assumed to be his date stolen. Filia froze at that moment too and all the color from her previously flustered face drained momentarily, only to come back full force tinting her skin scarlet as she pushed her voice to function. "Aphrodisiac?" She spoke fearfully, dragging out each syllable as if it was something dreadful, and it was.
"My, my, so that's the kind of girl you are," Xellos couldn't even finish enjoying his taunting before Filia screamed an ear splitting wail.
"These are... these are... are these dragon lust berries?" Filia choked out in a panic.
"Yeah..." The salesman was a bit taken aback, but he bounced into action quickly and he was all too eager. "Are you really into that stuff or something? It's just a legend, they don't do a thing. But you know, if you're in the mood who needs berries? Either way, if you're into it I-"
"No!" Filia screamed at the top of her lungs unleashing a laser light from her mouth to the skies above. The salesman took the laser breath as his cue to leave. He could be open minded, but maybe there was a reason this girl was with that purple haired seemingly wimpy weirdo. He was probably her private punching bag and the salesman was no masochist.
Xellos opened his mouth to let out another teasing taunt, but before he could produce any words, Filia pushed past him in a fit of panic. He decided after less than a split second's hesitation that he should go after her. Thus he followed the stream of uncomfortable and sometimes blasphemous remarks voiced by those pushed aside by the rampaging blond.
It didn't take too long for Filia to find a sort of alleyway between a store and a restaurant and duck into it past the pink plastic potted plant with the giant leaves that were supposed to obstruct the view of the overflowing garbage cans in the alley. There she stood facing the dump with her eyes tightly shut, her hands on the sides of her face and her expression in pure agony as she chanted, "I'm not thinking, I'm not thinking, I'm not thinking..."
Then that voice, his voice, broke her concentration with a simple innocent, "Filia?" That sounded more melodious and attractive to her than it should.
"Go away!" Filia half snapped and half begged. "I've done something terrible! Those berries, those atrocities! Do you know their full story?" She was all out crying now.
"I don't," Xellos admitted a bit dishearten by the fact that he was ignorant of the cause of Filia's misery. He wanted to be the cause of Filia's misery, thus he should be well informed so he could taunt her.
Filia sniffled still facing away from Xellos. "Long ago, some terrible sorcerers kidnapped and tried to enslave two golden dragons. The dragons were kept under control with cruel magical artifacts and painful spells for the most part, but that wasn't enough. The sorcerers wanted fully trained slaves disciplined into submission from a young age. Yet they knew the dragons closely guarded their young. The two dragons in captivity would never think of willingly bringing one of their own in to such a painful situation, so the sorcerers forced them to ingest some berries that they created by alchemy which made their instinct run wild." Filia paused, too horrified to continue.
"So basically, they wanted to breed the dragons," Xellos summarized. "I do hope you're not going to somehow blame the presence of the berries at the resort on me, because as much as I've love to take credit for your torture, this was all your fault." He hoped that his dismissive attitude was appropriately vexing.
"The dragons died, they killed each other to stop their suffering and the possible suffering of those who could have resulted of their tainted union." Filia continued her story, the lack of accusation towards Xellos indicating that she knew it wasn't his doing. "The rest of the golden dragons eventually found the terrible sorcerers and studied their records to learn of their awful acts. The sorcerer group was destroyed, but it was too late about the berries. The alchemic recipe had escaped into the world and the humans treated it as a delicacy. It's fine for them, it's harmless to humans and completely without effect, but us dragons need to guard against it. I had been warned long ago when I was studying, it was a terribly embarrassing lesson but I-"
Xellos cut her off, "I don't think I want to hear about the particulars of dragon sex-ed." He stated flatly, adding just the right amount of disgust to his tone. "Anyway, are you going to wait out the effects of this by standing around in a smelly alley and staring at garbage?"
"Yes," Filia snapped flustered, "I just wish I didn't have to hear it too."
She was obviously referring to him and as it often happened, Xellos had a comeback. "Then you'll just have to stop speaking."
Angered, Filia couldn't resist the urge to turn around and glare at Xellos. The problem was that every aspect of his unfortunate existence looked desirable to her in her current state. She screamed, disturbed by her own naughty thoughts and dashed past Xellos, only to stop cold in the middle of the busy street of the resort.
Xellos approached Filia and examined her peculiar expression, like a deer caught in a Dragon Slave. "What's wrong now?"
'That guy passing by sure is handsome...' Filia mused against her better judgment. 'His hair is purple too, just like Xellos,' her rampaging thoughts added. 'No, no, no! Don't think of random men in inappropriate ways, especially if they remind you of Xellos!' Filia mentally screamed at herself. 'That other man down the street doesn't have purple hair, it's nice and black... Just like the aura of a monster, an aura of sexy darkness.' That thought was if at all possible more disturbing than the last. 'What about that nice looking blond guy over there? He doesn't look like Xellos at all... except for the acute purple eyes.' To be reasonable, the resemblances between the aforementioned random men and Xellos were small and barely noticeable unless one was adamantly searching for them as Filia's mortifying subconscious was. 'Don't think of Xellos! Don't think of Xellos!' Filia mentally screamed at herself once again. 'Think about... about... about that guy over there! The redhead with the green eyes and the nice built and the hair and eyes that are not purple and the expression that's nothing like a grin. No wait; I shouldn't be having lustful thoughts about random strangers either!'
"Filia?" Xellos prompted once more. It was as if her mind had experienced a system crash that would be known in a more technologically advanced future society as a mental blue screen.
Filia snapped out of her daze, painfully realizing that she had the hots for every male creature in sight, including Xellos, which was definitely the worse part. "Get me out of here," she pleaded, trying her very best to stop her body from moving, in fear that she wouldn't be able to stop it, falling into a crazy lustful trance. "Please, get me out of here, get me away from people, teleport me, I don't care who sees us, please!"
As enjoyable as the begging was, Xellos decided to humor Filia. It looked like everyone around was inclined to assume that every oddity they saw was only part of the show anyway and certainly not a cause for alarm. He held on to her and took her to the astral plane, reappearing in seconds in an empty hotel room that Filia vaguely recognized as being identical to the room the girls were staying at, though this one might have been the spare room, given the absence of luggage. The closeness needed for the process of a monster teleporting and bringing a passenger along was not broken upon arrival, as Filia held on to Xellos with all her might. If he had been human she would have crushed him with her dragon strength, even if she was in human form.
"Filia?" Xellos questioned once more as the wheels in his head began to turn faster, because they were always turning. "Interesting," he mocked, "if I didn't know any better I would think you want me and by that I don't mean you want me dead."
Filia trembled as the well raised, moral side of her fought weakly against her berry induced lustful instincts. "Don't let me go," the request was rather pointless given how strongly she was latching onto him.
Even if Xellos was a very high level monster, he could still feel the full force of her strength and he admitted in the privacy of his own mind that Filia was a very strong dragon. "You're the one who's holding onto me." He pointed out, just to see if it would annoy her, though she was clearly too distressed to be vexed, even by Xellos. He found that strangely unfair.
"Please, don't let me go or I'll go crazy!" Filia desperately begged. For the time being just holding on to a male specimen with all her might seemed to be enough to keep her insanity at bay. "Please, please," she chanted. "I can't be set loose on the humans, please don't let me..."
"Humans?" Xellos questioned with true curiosity. "Feeling hungry, are you?" He teased.
Filia ignored the teasing and continued in all seriousness, her face buried in Xellos' chest, causing her voice to be somewhat muffled. "If I try to do something crazy and terribly improper, something unthinkable, something... sinful," she summarized, "with a human, he'll be helpless. No human man, strong as he may be, has the fraction of the strength of a dragon and dragon slaying wizards aren't all that common either," not that she would be stupid enough to flirt with one if she knew where one was located, even in her state of loss of mind. "I would... commit a terrible crime!" She cried, her tears fully cascading out to the sound of loud desperate sobs and ragged breaths.
"What if he doesn't try to stop you?" Xellos suggested. It was clear that more than a few men would love to have Filia. Although, he purposefully added in his own thoughts as if to sternly remind himself, those men were human weaklings with extremely poor taste.
"That's worse!" Filia lifted her face and looked at Xellos, trying with all her might not to find him attractive and failing miserably. "I don't want to play with anyone's feelings, or body. I don't want to do something bad, I don't want to lose control of myself, I don't want to lose sight of morality!"
"And you think I can stop you?" Xellos lowered his voice to a whisper that could be catalogued as seductive, though Filia wasn't sure if he did that on purpose or if it was just her imagination.
"You're strong," she stated simply, noting in the back of her mind that she rather liked violet more than she would ever admit. "You're a high level monster, you can fight, you can defend yourself."
It wasn't that Filia was expecting any favors, Xellos realized. Rather, she was putting them both in a position where he could either defend himself or submit to her desires. For some reason, she was certain that he would fight back and he was probably the only man in the entire resort with the power to effectively do so. "Why would I?"
Filia's eyes widened in horror as her already shaky voice grew in nervousness. "You're a monster, I'm a dragon, we hate each other," she voiced it as if it was the most basic piece of factual knowledge. "You're disgusted by the thought of... you know... with a dragon... aren't you?" The uncertainty tortured her consciousness, while the overtaken part of her mind celebrated the possibility of an effortless surrender on her prey's part.
"I'm a monster," Xellos emphasized, his signature grin of false innocence turning into a much more mischievous one as his purple eyes stared into her azure gaze. "I'm not built to resist temptation," he informed punctuating his sentence with a kiss.
Filia's heartbeats sped up even more, her fingers partially transformed, claws digging into Xellos as her tail popped out from under her skirt and she bashed it harshly on the floor, leaving an indentation. Her eyes glowed golden, but the rest of her remained in a human form. She got over the shock and responded to the kiss hungrily, allowing herself to part from Xellos only when the need for oxygen was too immense to bear.
Xellos was caught up in the moment at first, but after Filia released him to breathe, he realized with disappointment that he was still curse. He could feel the effect of the curse on his body, slowly pushing him towards his death sentence little by little with each passing second. They kissed and she was definitely willing, so why didn't it work? He analyzed the prospect further and came up with a theory, she wasn't willing after all. This was all because of the effect of the berry; she didn't consciously make the choice to kiss him so that didn't count. That was why he ruled out threats, blackmail and bribery in the first place, apparently using raw lust as a motivational tool checked out as well. He could conclude that any motivational tools checked out. Filia had to kiss him simply because she wanted to without any outside influence to push her into it. Well, not Filia, more like any golden dragon, but Filia was conveniently near by anyway.
Xellos concluded that he would have to continue his observations and keep on gathering data. He was planning to trick Filia, but it shouldn't count as a trick if she didn't know she was being tricked. Manipulation or not, she would make the choice on her own with real affections for a lying source, yet the affections would be real even if they were misplaced and that should be enough to break the curse. He would have to match-make for himself and Filia, court her in a sense, he wasn't looking forward to it, but even a monster has survival instinct and he was strongly plagued by the desire to live another day... As well as other desires, given the current circumstances, not that he would ever admit to that.
Filia panted heavily as she struggled to fight a sudden case of asphyxiation. Her tail disappeared and her clawed hands turned back to normal human hands, leaving Xellos' shirt in tatters. The rhythm of her widely beating heart slowed back to normal and her body appeared to calm down. She let out a breath, thankfully not a laser one. "I'm... okay..." she sounded like she was trying to convince herself more so than inform Xellos. One berry wasn't enough to make her go all the way, but she would be weary of food for the rest of her life after this experience. Unfortunately, her stomach chose that moment to growl in hunger, reminding her that she needed to replenish the energy she just used up. She ignored it, she would have to eat eventually, but right now she wasn't in the mood for it. Realizing that she was still hugging Xellos, albeit much more gently, Filia backed away as if she had been burned. She was horrified. "You were going to let me!" She accused.
Xellos shrugged trying to appear nonchalant and ordering his own body to calm down... immediately. "It's what you wanted and you would have enjoyed it too. Like I said, I'm a monster; I'm not built to resist temptation."
"So if a random girl throws herself at you, she can have you?" Filia pointed accusingly at Xellos with disapproval and disappointment fighting for a place in her tone alongside disgust.
"Usually, a random girl's reaction to a monster would be to scream in a panic and run away," Xellos was back to his cool, calm and collected self in record breaking time, with no small effort. "It's a bit of a turn off." He grinned that familiar false grin with his eyes closed in a silly expression that screamed he was blissfully ignorant about everything around him, even if the truth was all the opposite.
"Good for her!" Filia snapped, even if the metaphorical random girl in question didn't refer to anyone specific. Feeling embarrassed, mortified and all around humiliated, Filia stormed out in a huff.
Xellos stood in place for a second, feeling rather disappointed. Of course he was disappointed, he just endured kissing a golden dragon and it was all for naught, that was the only reason he had to be disappointed and a very valid reason it was. He decided to take a break from following Filia for a while and occupy himself with the task of purchasing a new shirt to replace the one Filia destroyed.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Slayers. I hope you enjoyed this chapter! As you must have already noticed, Xellos and Filia are the main couple of this story, but don't worry; there will be plenty of love for AmeliaxZelgadis and LinaxGourry too. Let's not forget Filia still intends to play matchmaker for them. I started a topic on my FFnet forum (easily accessible via my profile page) for this story. Everyone is welcome to post.