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Slayers Library -> Fanfiction -> "Beauty and the Chimera," Part Three

"Beauty and the Chimera"
Part Three

Xelloss: (floats above Belle's snow-covered village, wearing a purple ski jacket over his usual garb, shivers a little) Brrr... (giggles, snaps his fingers, and Zelgadiss appears, floating in mid-air a little below him) Wasn't that last scene fun?
Zelgadiss: (furious) You've brainwashed them all! And me, too! Who WROTE this script, anyway?
Xelloss: (wags the no-no finger) Sore wa himitsu desu!
Zelgadiss: (switches tactics, looks down, trying to seem defeated) Fine, then. Brainwash us, whatever. I guess there's nothing we can do about it, right?
Xelloss: (nods energetically, seeing right through Zel's feeble attempt at reverse psychology) That's right! Glad you're finally seeing reason!
Zelgadiss: (continues, adds almost to himself) I'd bet there isn't much fun in this if we don't resist in some way...
Xelloss: (grins wider) Oh, I wouldn't say that. I'm having LOADS of fun with Lina-san-tachi, and none of them caught on to my little plan. (sighs) As usual, Zelgadiss-san, you're the only one trying to be a stick in the mud. (adds mischievously) Or, should I say, the stone in my shoe?
Zelgadiss: (clenches his teeth as his battle aura glows a fierce red)
Xelloss: (laughs out loud, wipes a tear from his eye) I'd love to let you stay and chat, Zelgadiss-san, but we have to get on with Scene VII. So, it's back to the castle for you!
Zelgadiss: (glares at Xelloss) I hate you.
Xelloss: (dryly) I'm flattered. Back you go! (snaps his fingers, brainwashing Zel again and sending him to the castle)

(The scene is the local tavern in Belle's village. The village itself is covered in snow, which blows around a little in the wind. The little tavern, however, looks warm and inviting. Light pours from its windows, and the sound of male laughter echoes through the tiny town. Zangulus, however, is not partaking in the merriment--he is seated on a throne-like chair, sulking.)
Zangulus: Who does she think she is? That girl has tangled with the wrong man. NO ONE says 'no' to Gaston!
Vrumugan: (rolls his eyes) Whatever.
Zangulus: (still fuming) Dismissed! Rejected! Publicly humiliated. Why, it's more than I can bear. (turns his chair away)
Vrumugan: (floats in front of him, mug in hand) More beer?
Zangulus: (turns his chair away again) What for? Nothing helps. I'm disgraced.
Vrumugan: (sighs, realizes that a happy Zangulus is a much less annoying Zangulus, and decides to try to cheer him up) You've got to pull yourself together.
Zangulus: How?
Vrumugan: (pauses, tries to think of something to put Zangulus in a better mood)
Zangulus: (rolls his eyes at Vrumugan) This isn't getting us anywhere.
Vrumugan: (gives up) Yeah, I suppose you're right.
Zangulus: (glares at Vrumugan) Well, YOU'RE no--
Prince Phil: (bursts into the tavern frantically) Help!
Zangulus: Exactly. (pause) Huh?
Prince Phil: Someone help me!
Old man at the bar: Maurice?
Prince Phil: (crazed with fear) Please, please, I need your help! He's got her. He's got her locked in the dungeon.
Vrumugan: (lifts an eyebrow, exchanges a glance with Zangulus) Who?
Prince Phil: Belle! We must go! Not a minute to lose!! (tries to get people to get up and leave with him, to no avail)
Man #1: (as Phil implores him to help, mockingly) Is it a big beast?
Prince Phil: (exaggerating) Huge!
Man #2: With a long, ugly snout?
Prince Phil: (stops, considers) Actually, he looked sort of human... (adds quickly) But he has blue, stony skin! I saw that much! Will you help me?
Man #3: (throws Prince Phil at the feet of Zangulus)
Zangulus: All right, old man. We'll help you out.
Prince Phil: (jumps up) You will? I knew you people would listen to reason and justice! You may be lazy, drunken, uneducated bums, but you all have good hearts!
Zangulus: (nods to the men at the bar)
Men: (pick up Prince Phil and toss him out the door)
Prince Phil: (walks away from the tavern, muttering about injustice in the world, starts wandering the village, seeing if he can find anyone to help him)
Man #1: (shakes his head, returns to his beer) Crazy old Maurice. He's always good for a laugh.
Zangulus: (pensive) Crazy old Maurice, hmm? Crazy old Maurice. LeFou, I've been thinking.
Vrumugan: I thought that was my job.
Zangulus: Hey!! (slashes at Vrumugan with his sword)
Vrumugan: (dies)
Xelloss: (pauses the scene, teleports in, replaces the old Vrumugan with a new one, regards the now un-brainwashed Zangulus, amused) You have quite a temper, Zangulus-san.
Zangulus: (shrugs) Can't help it when you're the best swordsman around.
Xelloss: (opens his eyes and glares at Zangulus) TRY to help it. It would make my job easier.
Zangulus: (sweatdrops) Fine, fine!
New Vrumugan: (tries to figure out what he's missed so far)
Xelloss: (sighs) Continue... (unfreezes the scene, recasts the brainwashing spell over everyone in the room)
Zangulus: That wacky old coot is Belle's father, and as you know his sanity is only so-so.
Vrumugan: (nods blankly)
Zangulus: The wheels in my head are turning, though, since I've looked at that loony old man. (grabs Vrumugan by the shirt, sits him down in his chair so he can explain things) I've promised myself I'd be married to Belle, and right now, I'm evolving a plan! (whispers his plan to Vrumugan)
Vrumugan: (nods in understanding) So I take it we're getting the band back together?
Zangulus: Yes! You're on a mission from Gaston! (holds up his beer mug) A toast! To my soon-to-be marriage!
All: (cheer)
Prince Phil: (outside, wandering in the snow) Will no one help me?!

Xelloss: (floats above the village, unnoticed) Hmmm... (decides to check in with the director of this production, teleports out of the movie-bubble)
Esther: (lounging sideways on her director's chair, her knees bent over one of the armrests of the chair, the script open on her lap. A pedestal with a bowl of grapes on it stands next to her, and she absently picks one off the bunch and pops it into her mouth, all without looking up from the book. She suddenly starts giggling and kicks her feet in the air a little.) Yes?
Xelloss: (says amicably) Just wanted to make sure everything was coming along to your satisfaction, my lady.
Esther: (looks up, her eyes shining with glee) Yes, yes, you're doing fine. Just make sure you can control Zelgadiss enough to make him stick to the script. We've got some awesome scenes coming up, and I don't want those to be ruined by any uncooperative actors.
Xelloss: (nods) Understood.
Esther: (adds) Oh, and Xelloss...
Xelloss: Yes, my lady?
Esther: I don't know if you've read ahead to the ending, but all I'll say is this: (glares at Xelloss menacingly) If you MESS this up so that Zel and Ameria DON'T get together in the end, your master won't get her favorite servant back in less than ten pieces. I MEAN it.
Xelloss: (mentally curses his luck) Oh, but don't you think it would be so much nicer if we ended this with Zelgadiss-san all miserable, like he usually is?
Esther: (simply glares at Xelloss)
Xelloss: (sighs) Oh, all right. It'll happen the way it's written.
Esther: (grins smugly) Good. Don't forget my warning.
Xelloss: (bows, mutters sarcastically) How could I ever forget anything you say, my lady?
Esther: (ignores his rhetorical question) Now get out of here.
Xelloss: (teleports out, checks his script) Well, I guess it's back to the castle, and Scene VIII. (tries to figure out a way he can subvert the happy ending without Esther noticing...)

Ameria: (in her bedroom, walks back and forth, rehearsing a speech about the injustice of making people come to dinner when they don't want to, is interrupted by a knock on the door) Who is it?
Filia: (enters pushing a tea cart, with Baby Valgarv sitting on top of it next to a teapot) Mrs. Potts, dear. I thought you might like a spot of tea.
Ameria: Why thank you! It's good to know that there are some people in this castle with some manners!
Baby Valgarv: (whispers as Filia pours some tea) Told ya she was pretty, Mama, didn't I?
Filia: (shushes Val)
Ameria: (blushes slightly, accepts the teacup from Filia) Thank you.
Filia: That was a very brave thing you did, my dear. We all think so.
Ameria: But I've lost my father, my dreams, everything!
Filia: Cheer up! It'll turn out all right in the end. You'll see. Now, I have to go talk to Zelgadiss-san. Let's go, Val-chan! (turns to leave with the teacart)
Ameria: (smiles for the first time since she got there) Thank you!
Filia: (smiles back as she heads out the door) You're welcome.
Ameria: (says quietly to herself) I'm not going to dinner, though!
Lina: (passes by Filia, steps into the room, clears her throat) Dinner is served.

(A few minutes later, in his room in the West Wing, Zelgadiss is pacing back and forth in front of the fireplace, with Filia and Gourry looking on.)
Zelgadiss: What's taking so long? I told her to come down. Why isn't she here yet?!
Filia: Oh, try to be patient, Zelgadiss. The girl has lost her father and her freedom all in one day!
Gourry: (looking thoughtful) Uh, Zel, y'know, have you thought that maybe she could be the one to break the spell?
Zelgadiss: (angrily) Of course I have. I'm not a fool.
Gourry: (not noticing Zel's tone) OK, good. Because I was thinking...
Zelgadiss: (mockingly) You? Think? (muses) I guess there's a first for everything...
Gourry: (missing Zel's insult entirely) Yeah, I guess I do that sometimes! Anyways, I was thinking that if you fall in love with her, and she falls in love with you, then that'll break the spell, right? I mean, Lina's the expert on magic, but that makes sense to me, and--
Filia: (interrupting) It's not that easy, Gourry. These things take time.
Gourry: That rose is already dying, though.
Zelgadiss: It's no use. She's...well...she's...
Filia and Gourry: (supply in unison) Beautiful?
Zelgadiss: (blushes, turns away, crosses his arms, attempting to look angry) ...whatever, and I'm, well, look at me!
Gourry: (shrugs his shoulders and looks over at Filia)
Filia: (matter-of-factly) Well, you'll just have to help her see past all that.
Zelgadiss: (sulking) I don't know how.
Filia: (in a commanding tone) Well, you can start by making yourself more presentable. Straighten up, and try to act like a gentleman!
Zelgadiss: (straightens his posture, loses the frustrated look on his face)
Gourry: (adds) Yeah, and when she comes in, you've got to be dashing. Give her a dashing sort of smile. Come on, Zel, show me the smile.
Zelgadiss: (attempts to smile, although it's obvious that he hasn't had much practice)
Filia: But don't frighten the poor girl.
Zelgadiss: (glares at her, then turns to Gourry)
Gourry: Impress her with your wit!
Zelgadiss: (nods, turns back to Filia)
Filia: But be gentle.
Zelgadiss: (nods, turns back to Gourry)
Gourry: Tell her she's pretty.
Zelgadiss: (keeps nodding, turns back to Filia)
Filia: And be sincere!
Zelgadiss: (begins to feel like he's watching a tennis match...)
Gourry: But most of all...
Both: (shout) Control your temper!
Zelgadiss: (overwhelmed, jumps, startled as the door creaks open, looks over to it expectantly)
Gourry: Here she is!
Lina: (enters) Hi, everyone.
Zelgadiss: (growls) Well, where is she?
Lina: (shrugs, says matter-of-factly) Circumstances being what they are, well, she's not coming.
Zelgadiss: WHAT?! (dashes out the door, using his chimeric speed to leave everyone else behind, all except Lina, who casts a Ray Wing and follows him)
Lina: (catches up to Zel) Hey, let's not be hasty here! Chill, will you?
Zelgadiss: (ignores Lina, runs up to Ameria's door and bangs on it, yells) I thought I told you to come down to dinner!
Ameria: (from inside her room) I'm not hungry.
Zelgadiss: You'll come out or I'll...I'll break down the door!
Gourry: (arrives on the scene with Filia close on his heels, pokes Zel's shoulder) I could be wrong, but that may not be the best way to make her like you.
Lina: (exasperated) Could you ATTEMPT to be civil? At least ONCE?
Zelgadiss: (angrier and angrier) But she's being so...difficult!
Filia: (soothingly) Gently, gently...
Zelgadiss: (dejected) Will you come down to dinner?
Ameria: (stubbornly) No!
Zelgadiss: (looks over at his servants, as if to say "See?")
Lina: (rolls her eyes, says sarcastically) Suave. Genteel. Yup, that's you, Zel, all right.
Zelgadiss: (trying to act formal, says through his teeth) It would give me great pleasure if you would join me for dinner.
Lina: (adds) Please. Most normal people say please.
Zelgadiss: (adds) Please.
Ameria: (angry) No, thank you.
Zelgadiss: (furious) You can't stay in there forever!
Ameria: (provokingly) Yes, I can!
Zelgadiss: Fine! Then go ahead and starve! (to Lina, Gourry, and Filia) If she doesn't eat with me, then she doesn't eat at all! (runs back down the hall, slamming a door and causing a piece of the ceiling to fall on Gourry)
Filia: (sighs, shakes her head) That didn't go very well at all, did it.
Lina: (in a business-like tone) Gourry, stand watch here and make sure she doesn't leave until I come get her.
Gourry: (nods) Not to leave the room even if you come get her.
Lina: (blinks) No, UNTIL I come get her.
Gourry: Until you come get her, I'm not to leave the room.
Lina: (rolls her eyes) No, you stay HERE, and make sure she doesn't leave.
Gourry: (nodding) And you'll come get her.
Lina: (nods once) Right.
Gourry: I don't need to do anything apart from just stop her entering the room.
Lina: (shakes her head) No, LEAVING the room.
Gourry: Leaving the room. Yes.
Lina: All right?
Gourry: Right.
Lina: (turns to leave)
Gourry: (stammers), Lina, I--
Lina: (turns around, annoyed, interrupts) WHAT is it now?
Gourry: W-Well, you see, I was just--
Lina: (interrupts again) Look, this is all very simple, Gourry.
Gourry: Um...
Lina: (sharply) You just STAY HERE, and make sure she doesn't leave the room. All right? Right.
Gourry: Oh, I remember! OK, can she leave the room with me?
Lina: (quickly) N-no, no. No. You keep her here and make sure she--
Gourry: (interrupting, nods, grinning stupidly) Oh yes, I'll keep her in here. Duh, I know that, Lina! But if she had to leave, and I were with her--
Lina: (holds a hand to her forehead in an expression of exasperation) No, no, no, no! Just keep her in here--
Gourry: (finishing the sentence) Until you or anyone else--
Lina: (interrupts) No, not anyone else. Just me.
Gourry: Just you.
Lina: (finishes the thought) Get back.
Gourry: Get back.
Lina: Are we clear on this?
Gourry: Right. I'll stay here until you get back.
Lina: (blinks) And, um, make sure she doesn't leave.
Gourry: Huh?
Lina: Make sure she doesn't leave.
Gourry: The girl?
Lina: (sarcastically) No, Gourry, the other person in the room. Of COURSE I'm talking about the girl!
Gourry: Ah. I thought that's what you meant. (laughs) Y'know, it would've seemed pretty dumb for me to be guarding someone who wasn't even in the room!
Lina: (getting really annoyed) Is that clear?
Gourry: Oh, quite clear. No problems.
Lina: Right. (turns to leave, whirls around when she sees Gourry following her) Where are you going?!
Gourry: I'm coming with you!
Lina: (clenches her fist, says loudly and deliberately) No, NO! I want you to STAY HERE and MAKE SURE she DOESN'T LEAVE!!
Gourry: (stands back by the door) Oh, I see. Right.
Lina: (turns to leave again, sees Gourry about to follow her) I can't take it anymore!! FIREBALL!! (Boom!)
Gourry: (lays on the ground, twitching and burnt) Itai...was it something I said?
Lina: (looks to Filia, who has been standing quietly all this time examining her mace for dents, not wanting to get involved) Well, I guess we'd better go downstairs and start cleaning up.
Filia: What about him?
Lina: (glowers at Gourry) He's going to STAY HERE and make sure she DOESN'T LEAVE.
Gourry: (wheezes) ...Riiight...
Filia: (sweatdrops, follows Lina down the hall and downstairs)

(Cut to the inside of Zel's room. He enters, knocking over and destroying things in his path.)
Zelgadiss: I ask nicely, but she refuses. What does she want me to do--beg? (picks up his magic mirror) Show me the girl.
(The mirror glows, then shows Ameria talking to Gourry through the door to her room.)
Gourry: He's not so bad once you get to know him. Why don't you give him a chance?
Ameria: (still disturbed by the day's events) But he's so evil and creepy-looking! He can't be an ally of justice! I don't want to have anything to do with him!!
Zelgadiss: (sets down the mirror, speaks softly) I'm just fooling myself. She'll never see me as anything but...a monster. (watches as another petal falls off the rose, which is floating above a small table, protected by a glass dome) Damn you, Rezo. (puts his head in his hands, depressed and despairing)

(The scene freezes. Xelloss appears, sitting in a chair in another corner of Zel's room, the book on his lap, and his staff leaning against the arm rest.)
Xelloss: (shakes his head, tsk-tsks) Well, that was a rather depressing ending to the scene, wasn't it? Hmmm... (considers something) Let's talk to someone a little more amusing than our angsty blue friend, shall we? (snaps his fingers, and an un-brainwashed Ameria appears next to him)
Ameria: (confused) Wha--what happened?
Xelloss: Why, hello there, Ameria-san!
Ameria: (brightly) Hi, Xelloss-san! What are you doing here? (looks around) Where IS here, anyway?
Xelloss: (equally brightly) We're in Zelgadiss-san's room!
Ameria: (pauses, blinks) Zelgadiss...san' I didn't know he had one!
Xelloss: (nods) Yes, yes, well, that isn't very important right now, now is it?
Ameria: (thinking) I guess not, no. But how did I get here?
Xelloss: (waggles the no-no finger) Sore wa himitsu desu!
Ameria: (notices Zel in the corner, frozen in place, his head hung in despair) Wait, isn't that... (runs over to Zel) Zelgadiss-san! (tries to shake him, finds she can't move him) Wake up! (whirls around, glares at Xelloss) Ooh, what did you do to him? If you haven't been nice to him, why I'll--
Xelloss: (opens his eyes a little, lifts an eyebrow, amused) You'll what?
Ameria: (desperately tries to think of SOMETHING she can do against Xelloss) I'll...I'll...I'll be all cute and happy around you, like I was when we found out you're a Mazoku! (quickly) Yeah! You won't be able to STAND me, I'll be so good and cheerful and bright and sunshiny!
Xelloss: (coughs once) That really isn't necessary, Ameria-san...
Ameria: Oh yes it is! Because keeping people frozen in one of your evil schemes is not very just! And in the name of righteousness, I demand that you stop right now!
Xelloss: Um... (sweatdrops, senses that he is rapidly losing control of the situation)
Ameria: (bats her eyes, changes her tone so it's overly syrupy and sweet) Oh, Xelloss-san, I never realized what a truly honorable Mazoku you really are! Why, I wouldn't be surprised if you had helped Lina-san all this time because of the justice that fills your heart. Now come on, (steps closer to Xelloss, who is starting to look REALLY uncomfortable by now) you can't fool me. You love secrets, right?
Xelloss: (sweatdrops, manages a nod)
Ameria: (brightly) That's because you must hold a big secret. And I'll just BET that secret is that you secretly are an ally of justice! You poor, poor Mazoku, you just do unjust things because of your master, right? But really, you despise evil and long to bring love and happiness to the world!
Xelloss: (gags, snaps his fingers, making her disappear) Maybe that wasn't such a good idea...note to self: don't bring Ameria into the scene breaks. (clears his throat, shakes his head, regains his composure, and turns back to the book on his lap) Now, then, where were we? Ah yes, Scene IX!

(Outside Ameria's room, Gourry is slumped down on the floor, snoring gently, a peaceful expression on his face. Ameria casts a small fire spell to melt the lock on the door, and slowly opens it. She tip toes past Gourry and down the hall silently, using a lightening spell to light her way.)
Gourry: (snorts, wakes up, blinks his eyes, sees Ameria heading down the stairs) Oh no, she left! I should probably tell Lina. (gets up, follows Ameria silently down the stairs)

(Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Lina, Filia, Baby Valgarv, and Sylphiel are busy cleaning up.)
Filia: Come on, Val-chan. You're going to bed.
Baby Valgarv: But I'm not sleepy.
Filia: Yes, you are.
Baby Valgarv: No, I'm...not. (falls asleep in her arms)
Filia: (puts him in his crib)
Sylphiel: (disappointed) Oh, I do wish our guest would have been able to taste some of the chicken I prepared for dinner tonight. And Zelgadiss-san didn't eat a thing, either! He's going to make himself sick.
Lina: (grins) That's ok, Sylphiel, with me and Gourry around, nothing goes to waste, and you know that.
Sylphiel: (brightens) Well, if Gourry-sama liked it, then I guess it's all worth it.
Lina: (twitches, mutters under her breath) Gourry-sama... (to Filia) Anyways, if you ask me, that girl was just being stubborn. What kind of weirdo would turn down food like that? Honestly!
Filia: (sighs) But if he doesn't learn to control that temper, he'll never break the--
(Ameria enters, and Lina cuts off Filia before she can say 'spell'.)
Lina: Hey! What are you doing here! And where's Gourry?
(As if on cue, Gourry dashes into the kitchen.)
Gourry: S-sorry, Li-Lina. I fell asleep. (gives a sheepish expression)
Lina: I told you not to let her leave until I came to get her!
Gourry: (stammers) Well, I...
Ameria: (clears her throat) It wasn't Gourry-san's fault. I placed a sleep spell over him--
Lina: (lifts an eyebrow, says sardonically) Oh, so you're a SORCERESS, too, are you? Hmph. Well, I'm the head of the household, so you'd better not try any funny magic around here, or I'll Dragon Slave you all the way back to wherever you came from.
Gourry: (elbows Lina) Be polite. She's our guest! (turns to Ameria) Is there anything we can do to make you more comfortable?
Ameria: (smiles at Gourry broadly) Well, I AM a little hungry.
Filia: (to Sylphiel) Did you hear that? She's hungry! C'mon, Sylphiel-san, let's try out that new recipe you were telling me about the other day!
Lina: (incredulous) Wait a minute, wait a minute! You remember what Zel said! He's mad enough as it is! We have to LIVE with him when he goes on a maniacal rampage, don't forget!
Filia: (raises herself to her full height, hands on her hips, scowls down at Lina) Oh pish, posh. I'm not going to let the poor child go hungry!
Lina: (thinking she's giving in to the ultimate demand) Oh, all right. Glass of water, crust of bread, and then--
Gourry: Lina, I'm surprised at you! She's not our prisoner. She's our guest! And my Mom always taught me to make guests feel welcome. (leads Ameria out of the room to the dining room) Let's go out here. You'll have to forgive Lina. She gets cranky like that sometimes. She doesn't mean anything by it.
Lina: (folds her arms, gives up) Well, keep it down. If Zel finds out about this, he'll go postal!
Gourry: Yeah, yeah. But what's dinner without a little music?

Esther: (pauses the scene, talks to Xelloss, who is standing in a corner of the kitchen, from outside the movie bubble) Gourry singing "Be Our Guest"?
Xelloss: (shudders, nods) Now that's something I could live without hearing. Hmmm... (flips a few pages ahead in his book) How about we just cut to the next scene, after dinner?
Esther: Good idea. Yes, that would be much better. But first you may want to take care of Lizard Lips over there...
Xelloss: (turns) Hmm?
Filia: (comes out of her frozen, brainwashed state, trudges over to Xelloss purposefully) WHAT is going ON here?!
Xelloss: (turns to give Filia an amused grin) You have a bit part in a play. (changes his tone to one of lofty sarcasm) I must say, you look quite domesticated... (gestures to her dress and apron)
Filia: (looks down at her outfit, shocked) did I get into these clothes?
Xelloss: (shrugs, says lightly) Magic, of course!
Filia: (looks at Xelloss murderously, her eyes turning red and her aura flaming behind her) NAMAGOMI! (snatches the book from Xelloss in a rage, is about to attempt to beat him over the head with it when she catches a glimpse of what's on the page) Tea?
Xelloss: Give me my script back! (grabs for it, but Filia moves so he can't reach it)
Filia: (eyes shining, delighted, gasps and says in a squeaky voice filled with joy) This scene has POTTERY in it? Little teacups and saucers? And teapots?
Xelloss: (reaches for the script again) Actually, we're skipping that scene.
Filia: (not paying attention to what he's saying, moves the script out of his grasp) And they SING? (gasps with delight) Oh, this is wonderful!
Xelloss: (sweatdrops) Ano...Filia-san, I said we're not doing that scene. We're skipping it.
Filia: (gasps, looks up sharply, wails) Why?!
Xelloss: (shrugs) We don't want to hear Gourry-san singing "Be Our Guest".
Filia: (pouts, her lower lip trembling, says quietly) N-no dancing teacups? Singing teapots? (Suddenly Filia's eyes become red and her angry red aura flares up around her.) I WANT DANCING TEACUPS!!
Xelloss: (amused instead of afraid of this outburst, grabs a teacup from a nearby countertop and moves it around in the air) There, happy?
Filia: (lets out an inarticulate scream of rage, throws the book up in the air, lunges for Xelloss with her bare hands)
Xelloss: (grins, snaps his fingers and Filia is brainwashed again, and back in another corner of the kitchen in front of the stove, reaches down and picks up the script, says nonchalantly) Now, where were we? (flips a few pages ahead) Here we are, Scene X.

[Editor's note: Later, Filia wrote her own version "Be our Guest,"
dedicated to her favorite Namagomi. She calls it You're a Pest.]

Lina: (peruses Ameria's half-finished plates) Is that all you're going to eat?
Ameria: What do you mean?! It's more than anyone human could possibly eat! (turns to the cooks) Sylphiel-san, Filia-san, thank you for dinner. Everything was delicious, but the portions were so large!
Sylphiel: Thank you very much, Belle-san. (giggles nervously, gestures to Lina and Gourry) I guess I'm used to making portions big enough for Lina-san and Gourry-sama.
Gourry: (smiles and nods)
Filia: (sweatdrops)
Lina: (glowers at Sylphiel) And what's THAT supposed to mean?
Sylphiel: (sweatdrops, says nervously) Um...nothing! Nothing at all!
Ameria: (giggles, feeling much better than she did a few hours ago)
Lina: (turns to Ameria) Anyway, now that dinner's over, you'd better get back upstairs and go to bed.
Ameria: Oh, I couldn't possibly go to bed now! It's my first time in an enchanted castle.
Lina: Enchanted? Who said anything about the castle being enchanted? (turns to Gourry) It was you, wasn't it!!
Ameria: (as Lina whacks Gourry over the head) I, um, figured it out for myself.
Lina and Gourry: (both look at Ameria, then stop fighting)
Lina: Yeah, so the castle's enchanted. Zelgadiss's grandfather, Rezo, came here and cursed the place. And Zel. You can see how that affected him (winces), but as for the rest of us, well, Rezo spread a bunch of lies about us and put a bounty on our heads. We can't leave the castle for too long before getting chased by every money-grubbing mercenary in the land.
Ameria: That's awful! You poor people...isn't there any way to break the spell?
Gourry: (brightens) Actually, mmph!
Lina: (slaps a hand over his mouth) We don't know! Right? (looks around to Filia and Sylphiel, who all nod enthusiastically) That's right, isn't it? We have no idea how to break the spell!
Ameria: That's awful!
Gourry: (removes Lina's hand from his mouth, changes the topic entirely) Hey, would you like a tour of the castle?
Ameria: A tour? That would be great! (stands up)
Lina: Wait a second, wait a second. I'm not sure that's such a good idea. (whispers to Gourry) We can't let her go poking around in certain places, if you know what I mean.
Gourry: (loudly, pounds his palm with his fist in understanding) Oh, you mean the West Wing!
Lina: (sweatdrops, breaks a plate over Gourry's head) Shut UP!!
Gourry: (rubs his head) Itai!
Ameria: (pretends to ignore what just happened, turns to Lina) Maybe you could give the tour. I'm sure you know a lot about this castle, and maybe you could tell me a little about the magic you can use! I'm sure you know everything there is to know about magic!
Lina: (flattered, grins, strikes a pose) Count on Lina Inverse, the beautiful sorcery genius! (grabs Gourry, says to Ameria) Just follow me!
(A few minutes later, the trio is walking down the dim hall, barely illuminated by Lina's Lightening spell. Lina is lecturing.)
Lina: ...and so then, once we destroyed that piece of (turns to see Ameria next to her, looking at her with adoring eyes)
Ameria: (hushed, awed) I...I had no were such ally of justice!
Lina: (sweatdrops, smiles and nods) Yeah, I guess you can say that...
Gourry: Did you tell her about all the times you blew up towns when people made you mad?
Lina: (swiftly elbows Gourry in the stomach) But let's not focus on trivial details, shall we?
Gourry: Oof! (not getting the hint, says insistently) Now Lina, I don't remember much, but I do remember how mad those townspeople were! You can't--
Lina: (smacks him, openhanded, over the head) Not NOW, you jellyfish!
Gourry: (blinks, realizes Ameria isn't with them, turns around)
Lina: (looks past him to see Ameria begin to ascend the Grand Staircase) Hold it, hold it, hold it!! (casts a Ray Wing and flies over to Ameria, planting herself directly in her path)
Ameria: (curiously) What's up there?
Lina: (thinking quickly) Where? Up there? Nothing. Absolutely nothing of interest at all! (glares at Gourry to back her up on this)
Gourry: (for once, taking the hint) Nope, there's nothing interesting in the West Wing. It's all dusty and boring...
Ameria: (grins) Oh, so THAT'S the West Wing.
Lina: (hisses to Gourry) Nice going!
Ameria: (to herself) I wonder what he's hiding up there.
Lina: Hiding? (innocently) Zel's not hiding anything!
Ameria: (says logically, smiling slightly) Then it wouldn't be forbidden. (tries to go around Lina, but Gourry rushes up as well and the two of them block her)
Gourry: (whines) Aww, come on, Belle, let's go see something else! There's gardens, and some really old statues around here somewhere...
Ameria: (casts Levitation, floats over them, lands on the stairs behind them) Maybe later.
Lina: (with Gourry, again dashing and blocking) How about the library?
Ameria: (with interest) You have a library?
Gourry: (nods, grinning widely) Yeah, we do!
Lina: (a little too enthusiastic) With books!
Gourry: Lots of books!
Lina: (takes Ameria's arm, leads her down the stairs) Mountains of books!
Gourry: (guides Ameria down the stairs) Bunches of books!
Lina: Cascades of books!
Gourry: Tons of books!
Lina: More books than you'll ever be able to read in a lifetime! Books on every subject ever studied, by every author who ever set pen to paper...
(Lina and Gourry begin marching off, with Ameria in tow. Her curiosity overtakes her, though, and she turns back to the West Wing. Lina and Gourry don't notice, however, and they continue down the hallway, blabbering on about books. She climbs the stairs quietly and turns down a hallway, casting a small Lightening spell for light. Her excitement begins to dwindle as she looks around. She stops to look in a mirror that has been shattered into several pieces, each one reflecting the concerned look on her face. She reaches the end of the hall and finds a closed door with gargoyle handles. Taking a deep breath, she reaches out and opens the door. Inside, Ameria begins to explore. She's shocked by everything she sees. She silently wanders around, looking, and knocks over a table, but catches it before it crashes to the floor. She then turns her head and sees a shredded picture on the wall. Only part of the portrait is visible. She reaches out and lifts the shreds of the picture to reveal the face of a young man. He is, unbeknownst to her, Zelgadiss in his human form. She turns her head and sees the rose under its glass cover. She walks over to it, her eyes transfixed. She reaches out, lifts off the jar, leaving the floating, magical rose unprotected. Then, she reaches out to touch it. As her hand nears it, a shadow falls over her. Zelgadiss has been on the balcony, and sees her. He jumps back into the room, then slams the jar back on the rose. He then turns his attention to Ameria.)
Zelgadiss: (angry) Why did you come here?
Ameria: (backs away, scared) I'm sorry!
Zelgadiss: (furious) I warned you never to come here!
Ameria: (frantic, puts her arms out in a placating gesture) I didn't mean any harm!
Zelgadiss: (begins to knock over furniture as he steps toward her) Do you realize what you could have done?
Ameria: (backs up) No...but I didn't mean to do anything bad! Honest!
Zelgadiss: (shouting) Get out! GET OUT!!
(Ameria turns and flees the room. Zelgadiss calms down a little, then falls into despair, finally realizing that he may have destroyed his chances with her. Ameria meanwhile runs down the stairs, grabbing her cloak and wrapping it around her. She bursts past a confused Lina and Gourry.)
Lina: Hey! Where're you going?
Ameria: (shouts over her shoulder) Promise or no promise, I can't stay here another minute!
Gourry: Hey, wait!
(Ameria slams the door behind her and jumps on Philippe's back. She begins to ride through the forest, but Philippe comes to a stop. She looks up and sees several berserkers in the shadows between the trees. She gasps, terrified, then pulls the reins and begins to flee, the berserkers hot on her heels. Philippe runs from side to side, making the berserkers crash into the trees. He runs out onto a frozen pond, but his and Ameria's combined weight collapse the ice. The berserkers chase her into the water. Some begin to drown, but Philippe is able to scramble out of the water before anything serious happens. He runs into a clearing, but becomes surrounded by berserkers. He bucks, throwing Ameria off and getting the reins caught on a tree branch. The berserkers begin their attack on Philippe, but Ameria attacks them with some of her magic. A berserker grabs her cloak, though, and holds her up by it, choking her. She looks up and sees another beast about to slash at her with its claws. It leaps up and is sliced in half in mid-air by Zelgadiss's sword. He kicks the berserker aside and slashes at the one holding her with his sword. Ameria falls to the ground. Zel turns and places himself between the berserkers and Ameria. They lunge at him, and he blasts some of them back with his magic. One manages to body-check him into a tree, knocking the wind out of him, and the rest advance on him. He scrambles to his feet, and kills the rest of the monsters with a large fire spell. Zelgadiss turns back to Ameria, but sinks to the ground, holding his head. Apparently he was hit hard, hard enough to scramble his brain a little. Ameria, grateful to be alive, turns back to her horse and begins to get on, but her sense of morality overtakes her. She steps over to Zelgadiss, levitates him onto Philippe's back, and heads back to the castle.)

Xelloss: (steps out from behind a tree, nudges a dead berserker with his toe) Wasn't that exciting? (says mockingly) And so sweet! He protected her from the big, bad, ugly monsters. (turns to watch Ameria and Philippe, with Zel on his back, enter the castle gates) What's the most interesting is that I didn't have to do anything to make him save her! (gags, gives a sarcasm-ridden sigh) Must be love!
Esther: (her voice rings through the movie-bubble menacingly) You got a problem with that, Xelloss?
Xelloss: (sweatdrops, clears his throat) Well, now then, let's get back to the story, shall we? (flips through his book) Ah yes, on with Scene XI!

Continue to Part Four!

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Slayers Library -> Fanfiction -> "Beauty and the Chimera," Part Three

"Slayers" is copyright H. Kanzaka / R. Araizumi. Original ideas, artwork, and text present on this page are copyright Esther Nairn, unless otherwise noted. No reproduction is allowed without express written or emailed permission. Violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.