Reading Torn Apart, Inside and Out first will help with some of the references in this fic.

red = Demon part's thoughts


"So we're decided?", Lina asked, looking around at the group.

Zel nodded, the decision had been made last night. Gourry was escorting Shilfiel home to Sairaag with Amelia, while Lina was heading on to the next treasure hunt. In this case, a forgotten shrine in the Dertaga Mountains. He looked at the cross-roads. Here they divided.

Gourry had been reluctant to leave Lina, but even he couldn't deny that Shilfiel would need a guardian. Amelia had volunteered in the name of Justice to help then on their way. Now it was up to him. Where would he go? With Lina or in search of his cure?

Questions, questions ...

"Zel?", Lina asked, waving a hand in front of his face.


"Where are you heading?"

Questions, questions ... he paused, gripped in indecision ...


The room. Dark, firelight flickering to the side, thick, blood red drapes swathing the walls, a plush chair set in the shadows ...

"Questions, questions, Self. What is your decision?," the soft mocking voice.

The sound of shuffling cards. "I don't know ...", I say, hating having to admit this to him. He smirks and stands, stepping into the flickering light. He is my mirror image, save for the long silver hair, smooth ebony skin, ruby within sapphire within onyx orbs, pointed ears, studied elegance in every movement, dangerous seduction in every plane and tempting curve, perpetual half smile giving the features an even more inhuman quality. I find him ... attractive. I hate myself for that.


"No thank you." I reply, keeping en eye on him and one on the shadows. Will G back me up?

"Trying to break our naughty habits, are we? Good boy. Drinking is such a pathetic escape, anyway," he says, absently shuffling a deck of cards before spreading them like a fan. That smirk becomes condescending.

I growl at him, ignoring the glimpse of myself in the mirror. Human, I am human here. "Get to the point, bastard."

He sighs, looking put upon. "Oh very well. You must go with Lina of course."

"And why pray tell is that?" I ask, wary of his motives.

G steps from the shadows. Well, that's what the bastard calls him, anyway. His voice is apathetic, calm.

"Logical thought would lead us
Conclusion so obvious it escapes you
Unity is our true purpose."

He looks like I do on the outside, blue skin, pebbles outlining the face and eyes. Except his eyes are cloudy white quartz, emotionless and dead. His choice of wording is him all over. What can beat the measured, clinical quality of his haikus?

"Care for a card game, Self?", the demon asks, shuffling the cards on a newly appeared table. "Tarot is always nice."

"I don't believe in the Tarot."

"Of course not, there is no future to be read in cards, just like there's no future in your love life. No future? Silly me, I meant there was none to begin with.", a knowing smirk plays on his lips.

"Just shut up, bastard." I growl, wanting to slap that smug little smirk off his face.

"If I'm a bastard, I'm your bastard."

"You are not mine."

"No, I am you."

"NO YOU'RE NOT!" I can't keep myself from hitting him, can't keep myself from lashing out at his smile, at the words I always feel have to be true. He can't exist if I didn't let him ... right?

He smiles, rubbing his cheek, smiling, before pulling me close and kissing me hungrily on the mouth. Hit me again, but make it count this time, Self. Or better yet, kiss me the way you want to kiss Lina I bite his lip. Mmmm, frisky eh? I'm sure Lina would be pleased.

I jerk away from him, slamming his head into the table on the trip away. And find myself being restrained by G. "That's your game isn't it? You're after Lina." I spit out, struggling in G's grip.

He smiles and ignores my comment, pushing himself off the table, snagging a card in the process. "Nine of Swords:

Anxiety you suffer, worry you feel
Heart in knots, never to be free
Guilt plagues your steps, remorse clouds your eyes
Heart in turmoil, wrenched tight
Anguish you suffer, the joy has fled
Here you lie awake, crying in bed"

I hate him. What is it that makes them poets? The fact that they are me? I hate that thought, too.

"It sounds like you, does it not? You suffer now and you will continue to suffer as long as you play the wallflower." He smiles at the words, knowing I'm pricked. "You will always be alone, Self. Let us help you."

I glare at him. I know what his help will be. G won't stop him unless he becomes a threat to US, not me.

The demon chooses another card. "The Lovers, hmmm ... interesting, a reversed card." He smirks lewdly at me. "I never knew you were so sexually repressed. Who could possibly be the object of your desires?" He looks at G, red pupils slitting.

"Get to the point, kisama."

"Mmmm ... go with Lina, Self. You want her so much ... " The smile softens, the bright, tri-colored eyes fade in color. "After all, if she makes you happy ... " he trails off as he steps up to me, running a hand down my chest. I try not to flinch. I know his games. Demon to the end.

"I'm not going after her, demon, I'm going to find my redemption." I'm the one who's smirking now, as his eyes brighten again at the implication.

"Illogical reasoning to logical conclusion." G's entry into the conversation causes the demon to glance at the expressionless features of the one who holds me captive.

He lashes out now, mood darkened. "There is no cure", he snaps, glaring at G.

"To cure is to unify."

"Our unity is not an issue, because there is no cure!"

"There has to be one, all spells are reversible!", I cry, jumping into this.

"Truth," the golem states.

The demon snatches another card off the deck, glaring at it. "Knight of Swords ..." he glances over at G "Logical, cold, decisive, knowing." His gaze turns to me. "Place anyone we know, Self." How like him to change the subject, the tricky, little bastard.

G's rebuttal is biting,

"Cards hold no knowledge
Future is shifting, moving
Like the flowing stream"

I smile from the safety of G's rather hard arms. He doesn't dare try for me here. The golem's control of this Shell is precise, one slip from either of us and he is in control. And right now the golem is on my side.

"Consider for a moment the possibility that there is no cure." The golem remains silent at this theory.

"If there is none, then our unity must otherwise be achieved. By an outside agent." I don't like the way this is going.

"Which agent?" I ask suspiciously.

"Whichever does the job."

I go for the least obvious. "Gourry?"

He rolls his eyes. "He's better of dead, he is unnecessary to our existence."

I knew he would say that.


"She would be interesting to break, but otherwise, also meaning less."

"They don't deserve to die."

He smiles. "Why not? If you kill them, they will never have to feel pain again, never have the chance to hate you, never have the chance to learn of your insanity or your secrets, never ever leave you like the others did. You will have them forever, Self."

I hate him. I hate him for making me consider the atrocious deed, hate him for making his sick twisted sense, hate myself for allowing his existence.

He smiles darkly as I squirm, relishing my distress. He steps close again, pressing against me. "Only we care about you, only I and G can ever make you happy. Let us help you, let us fix it and make everything better," he murmurs as his lips caress my ear and his hands start exploring.

I kick him away from me, looking up at G, silently begging for help. The blue, stone face remains impassive.

The demon pushes the silver fall of hair away from his face, eyes laughing. "Would you rather Xellos be the agent of our unity? He would be .... Interesting." His lips curve into a smile.


He pouts. "You know Xellos will enjoy us, appreciate our dilemma much more than your Lina. She will never care for us. Never care for you."

I glare at him. He doesn't understand. He will never understand.

The demon smiles and turns back to his cards. "But do as you wish, Self. Cure or Lina. You decide."

I glare at him suspiciously. He can't be just throwing this into my hands ... can he?

I fade out.


The demon smirks. He has a name. A name he has decided not to share with his Self. Dark Zel. I am closer to you than G is, I am all your hatreds, all your desires, all of you, in and out ... the smile grows dark ... I'll tear you apart.

He plucks a card from the pile. "And this is me, the Devil." Another card is chosen. "And this is truly you, Self, the Fool."

"Your games are illogical." The demon glances up at the golem.

"Perhaps, but they achieve the goal where your logic does not."


"You know, that's what I like about you ... you're so predictable."

The golem vanishes as he came.

Dark Zel smiles wider, twisting the Fool card between his fingers before tearing it apart.

I win.


"Zel?" Lina looks at him, impatient at his silence.

Zelgadis looks over the cross roads, for a moment he had been undecided, but now ...

"I'm going with you, Lina. Maybe a cure will be with the treasure ... "

She looks at him, suspicious of both the reasoning and the small .. smirk was it? That played upon his lips. It was gone before she truly decided.

He looked at her," Well? Come on." He turned toward the sun, waving over his shoulder at the others.

After a moment, Lina followed, also waving. For a moment, a moment of unease, she had thought she had seen a flicker of red in his eyes.

But perhaps it was only sunlight.



I know NOTHING about Tarot cards and I'm not particularly interested in them. But then again, Zel probably knows nothing about them either so ... shrugs

All Tarot interpretations came from Tarot Card Index or I made it up (especially the Devil and Fool reference, take that literally, not Taroty).

Other Notes

  1. G = golem (for lack of a better name for him)
  2. Dark Zel = demon (unimaginative, I know, but appropriate)
  3. Self usually means a reference to Zel (or human)
  4. Shell = the body, or who's in control of it
  5. The room is a place in the mind, it's where Zel keeps Dark Zel captive.


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