He had finally done it. The countless years of searching and it had all been so simple. The cure had been under his nose all along. And now, he was human again. After marveling over this fact for a few hours, he knew what he needed to do next. Amelia.
Amelia had been in love with Zelgadis for almost as long as they knew each other. Now that he was no longer a stone freak, he was now free to love her in return. He felt as light as a feather as he practically flew down the road towards the great city-state of Seyruun. Home of the beautiful and just, Princess Amelia.
When he finally arrived at the gates, he could barely contain himself. The trip had seemed like it took decades when he had made the entire journey in less than an hour. Mustering up all of his self control, he pulled his mask over his face and entered into the city. He wanted to surprise the Princess. When he gave his name to the guards they immediately let him into the palace. Amelia had made sure that Zel would be admitted whenever he decided to keep his promise and visit her.
With the few directions, he quickly found the young Princess on the balcony overlooking the palace gardens. She looked so beautiful and calm as she stood at the balcony's rail watching the clouds float lazily by. He almost didn't want to disturb the peace of the moment. "Amelia?"
At the sound of the voice of her beloved, she quickly spun around to meet him. Unfortunately, she spun too fast and lost her balance. Zel's reflexes weren't what they used to be and so the graceful Amelia landed gracefully flat on her face. "Amelia? Are you all right?"
She jumped up and pumped her fist into the air. The large red bruise covering her face was denied by her smile. "Never better!" She flashed a quick 'victory' sign at him to further prove her point. But then on to more important matters. "You finally came to visit."
"Of course I did. I always keep my promises, and besides, I still have to return your bracelet."
"Oh, Zelgadis-san." She rushed up to him for a tight embrace. She also used the moment to pull his hood and mask away so she could see her beloved chimera. To her credit, it only took her four minutes to realize that he looked different. With a gasp she jerked away from this strange man. "What happened to you?"
"What happened? Isn't it obvious? I found my cure!" He began to step toward her as she backed away. "I'm human again. Now we can be together. I don't have to worry about being stared at or anything like that anymore. Aren't you happy about this?" he asked to her horrified face.
Since pulling away his hood, Amelia had been rethinking all of her feelings for the man. She thought that she loved him for him, but now she realized that the majority of her feelings were based on his looks. Of course he was still quite handsome, it's just that, well, it's not the same. Before he had this exotic beauty about him, he had looked so cool, and now ... he looked like all the other guys. Amelia came to the horrifying realization that she was no longer in love with her Zelgadis-san. She decided that the only just thing to do would be to tell him the truth. Be up-front and honest.
"Well, Zelgadis-san, you see .. uhm ... I'm afraid that won't be possible. We can't be together."
"I don't understand." Suddenly his excitement melted away.
Remember, up-front and honest. "Because .. uh .. I've met somebody else, and we're going to get married in three days."
"But I thought you were going to wait for me?"
"Well, you've been gone for so long -- "
"It's only been one and a half weeks!"
"Really? Funny, it seemed longer. Oh well, I'm sure you have a million and one things to do and you should leave and get to them as soon as possible."
"Even if you are going to marry someone else, aren't I allowed to stay for a few days and visit with my friend? We are still friends, right?"
But, if Zelgadis stuck around too long, he would find out that she was lying and not really going to get married. "Of course we're still friends Zelgadis-san. It's just that ... Lina and Gourry are in a nearby city right now and maybe you could catch up with them and show off your new cure?" Even if you don't look as cool as before, were the words she dare not say aloud.
"Oh. All right." Rejected and defeated, Zelgadis turned and left the palace. Maybe after the wedding he would be able to hang out and visit with her. He had wanted to tell her all about how he got his cure. He was sure that she was just thinking about her fiancÚ and how uncomfortable he would be with her ex-love interest around. That had to be it. So he took off in search of Lina and Gourry. Surely they would be excited about his discovery.
In no time at all, Zelgadis had reached the town that Lina and Gourry were eating in. How did he know they were there? Simple, he could hear the noise they were making in the restaurant all the way from the edge of the town. He followed the noise and quickly found his two other best friends.
Again he pulled up his hood and mask over his face, wanting to surprise them. He walks over to their table and says his 'hello's' and after receiving grunts in return, sat down to out-wait the frenzy. Before too long, they were done with the plates and decided to leave the table for dessert later. A conversation was now possible.
"Oi Zel, what's up?"
"Oh not much, just passing through. I noticed you guys in here, so I thought I'd stop by."
Ever the observant, Gourry voiced his observation. "Hey, there's something different about you."
"Oh really? I'm not sure what you mean." Zel nonchalantly pulled down his mask and hood and gave Gourry an innocent and curious look.
"I'm not quite sure what it is though." Gourry was studying his friend quite intently looking for something, anything out of the ordinary. Eventually giving up he turned it to his lifetime companion. "Ne, Lina, do you know what it is?"
"Kurage!" Zel allowed a small smirk to creep onto his face. "You're imagining things. It's just the same Zel as always."
Zelgadis face faulted onto the table and learned a new lesson. It hurts to bash one's face into one's table. He stored the knowledge away for future reference and came back to the problem at hand. "How can you say that Lina?! Didn't you even notice? I'm human now. I found my cure. You know, my life's obsession?"
"Well now that you mention it, I guess you do look a little different. Well, anyways, time to order dessert."
He would have face faulted again, but luckily he had that previous bit of knowledge stored away for just such an occasion. Zel remembered that it would hurt, and so settled for simply staring in shock.
He came to just as Lina and Gourry were about to leave. Thinking that it would be fun to travel with them again, he started to join along.
"Hold it Zel. You can't come."
"What? Why not?"
"Isn't it obvious? You know the kind of trouble that gets attracted to me. I'm afraid with your weakened strength and skills, you'll be no match for when we get in trouble. I can't put Gourry or myself at risk to watch over you. It's been fun, but those days are over now." After seeing the pathetic look on his face, she tries to soften the blow. "But we can still be friends alright? Just let Amelia know where you settle down at and we'll come by and visit once in a while. Well, gotta get going now. See ya." With that, Lina and Gourry walked out the door, forgetfully leaving their bill to Zelgadis.
What had happened? He's been abandoned by all of his friends. Amelia didn't want him around. Gourry nor Lina wanted him to tag along. He was all alone now. This isn't the way it was supposed to happen. Everyone was supposed to be happy for him. There should have been celebrations and laughing and congratulations. All he got was rejection. Then a familiar form phased in next to him. At this point Zel would be happy with any familiar face greeting him.
"Oh, sorry, I thought you were somebody else." The smiling face turned about to leave when Zel stopped him. The smiling priest decided he should explain his mix up to the stranger. "You see, you were all angsty and sad, I thought you were a certain chimera I knew. But, you're not." He then began musing to himself, "Too bad, I was really looking forward to playing with him today too."
"Wait, it is me, Zelgadis."
Xellos turned around to face the strange man in one of his few moments of surprise. "It's really you? You don't look all stony and blue anymore, what happened?" The mazoku was very disappointed.
"I found my cure."
"Oh. I'm so sorry. My condolences dear friend."
"Condolences? What the -- what are you talking about! What is up with everyone? I'm cured! This is what I wanted! This is what I've spent my entire life looking for since that damn Rezo cursed me to begin with! And now everyone is just pushing me away and feeling sorry for me! And you know what? I bet Amelia doesn't even have a fiancÚ!!!"
Xellos was following the rant quite well until that last part. "As much as I'm enjoying the meal, you are creating quite a scene Zelgadis-san. Perhaps you should tone it down some. You know, like your old quiet angsty self."
Zelgadis stopped yelling and looked around to find that the priest was right. The entire restaurant was silent and staring at the insane yelling man. He quickly pulled up his hood and walked out trying to salvage what was left of his dignity. Then he turned to Xellos, "You're going to go off without me as well, aren't you?"
"Of course I am silly." He gifted Zel with one of his famous grins. "I liked you a lot better the way you were before." Then he phased away, leaving Zelgadis, yet again, alone.
Zel stood in the middle of the road trying to figure why everything had gone so wrong from the way they should have been. He just didn't understand. Things would have been better if he had never found that stupid cure. "If only I could take it all back. I don't want my cure. I don't want it! I don't want my cure!! I take it back!! I want to be a chimera again!!........
"........I take it back. I don't want my cure. I don't want .. I don't want -- huh?"
"Are you alright Zel, you were tossing about awfully bad."
Zelgadis stared up at Gourry with a confused expression that would have rivaled his own.
"You were havin' some kind of nightmare, right? Did it have to do with that one red guy who walked around with his eyes closed all the time again?"
Zel then noticed that he was lying in a bed at an inn. He also noticed that his skin was again blue stone. It was all some bad dream. He wasn't really cured. He jumped out of bed and gave Gourry a rib-crushing hug.
Somehow through the immense pain, Gourry managed to reply with a confused and uncomfortable, "huh?"
"I'm a chimera! I'm not cured, I'm still a chimera! Isn't life great? I'll see ya downstairs for breakfast, I can't wait to get the day started." Zel skipped out the door and down the hall.
But I thought he didn't like being a chimera. Gourry hesitated behind in the room trying to figure what was going on with his friend. Then he remembered the word 'breakfast' and dashed out to get to the food before Lina.
Kalis: Short, ne? I thought it would be fun to find out what things would be like if Zel found his cure. Funny how I never mentioned what or where it is. I can't have him sneaking into my files and finding it too easily.
Zel: Why do you torture me so?
Kalis: You need to read the fic again. You're better off without that ol' cure. And to my faithful audience, ja ne.