'~thoughts~'

"talking"

Filia had been having strange thoughts lately. Thoughts of Xellos and Valgaav, and BeastMaster Zelas. And how the fact that Xellos was now a common sight in her pottery shop was now common knowledge among the dragon race.

It had started almost a year ago. Roughly five years after the Dark Star Incident, Val's egg had hatched while Filia, Gravos, and Jilas were all having dinner. Apparently Xellos had felt it coming and, being under orders from Zelas to keep her apprised of the ancient dragon, had come to Filia's to 'visit', so, naturally he was still there by the time Val hatched. What surprised them both, though, was that Val was actually still Valgaav! Or, at least, he still had his horn. But both Xellos and Filia could tell he was still part mazoku.

Flashback

Xellos went to lean in to examine him more closely, only to be interrupted by a frantic Filia swiping him up into her arms and away from the purple priest.

He sighed. "Filia, I can assure you that I mean him no harm. I simply wish to be completely certain about what he is."

Filia, still not quite trusting him, conceded enough to bring the baby over to him, but still kept him herself. Her efforts seemed in vain though, for as soon as Xellos reached out a hand to him, the young monster-dragon looked at him and lurched out of Filias grasp just enough to grasp his hand and bite. Hard. Now, given the fact that the boy was a baby dragon, and a baby monster, he had teeth; Very sharp teeth. It also didn't help Xellos's hand any that he had hatched in dragon form.

"OWW!" was Xellos's immediate response, followed by a quickly muffled attempt to try to dislodge the young thing.

"Wait!" Filia cried as she grabbed his wrist. "I think this is supposed to happen. Or at least, I think he thinks it is." She looked down at the child in her arms with a bit of confusion. "When dragons first become aware after hatching, the first thing they do is imprint on the mother and father, or in Val's case as he's a boy, the father then the mother. The way they do this is by biting them. He should turn around and bite me any time now. The important thing is, Val apparently sees you as his father."

No sooner had she finished then Val let go of Xellos and bit Filia's hand just as hard, earning a slight wince from her in the process. Xellos was still in the process of absorbing all she had said when she brought up a thought of her own.

"Xellos?"

"Hmm?"

"How is Zelas going to react to this?"

The question brought him up short. That was a very good question. Not only was young Val still part mazoku, but he had adopted Xellos as his father. In truth, he didn't really know what to expect from his Master.

"I'm not sure. It'll depend on her mood at the time. If she's in a good mood, she'll let things take their course as they come. Though I suppose she'd do the same if she were bored. Actually, now that I think on it more closely, she is almost certain to let things go as they are. She'll want to know more about young Val here, which means he will at least be permitted to live until seen as a serious threat, hopefully a time far from now or nonexistent. I shall have to leave soon in to give my report though."

"Will she take him?" Filia's voice wavered as she spoke.

"I doubt she will, but if she does I will try to ask her not to. But as I said before, all depends on her mood at the time. I should go now. I shall be back shortly."

"Xellos, wait!" he stopped short in his disappearing act. "Hmm?"

"His name. he needs a new one." Her gaze on him was oddly focused.

"I thought you were going to call him Val, that was his name last I knew. Why do you feel he needs a new one?"

"because he's not just Val still. He's still part mazoku, but I can't call him Valgaav. That name just brings up too many bad memories. I had a thought though. He sees you as his father. So, mabey, instead of giving him Gaav's name, we could give him yours."

He stood uncomprehending for a moment. Filia, the dragon who he thought despised him more than any other, wanted to give her son his name?

"You want to call him Valxellos? 'We?' Fi-chan? Are you feeling alright? What ever happened to wanting to bash my face in with Mace-sama?"

She smiled at his confusion. She had to admit, she found it a little hard to believe herself right then. She was actually accepting him completely. Xellos! The being who had destroyed so much of her race in the war-of-the-monsters-fall. And without so much as a second thought no less.

"He chose you for his father. Once that happens, you can't undo it. So now, whether I like it or not, I'm stuck with you. Doubly so for the fact that you have to keep an eye on him for Zelas. But yeah, now that you mention it, Valxellos is kind of a mouthful. What do you say to Vallos instead? Vallos Ul Metalium." She smirked, "I'm sure your mother would like that little addition."

Privately, she thought to herself, '~I think I quite the sound of it myself~'

Flashback end

During the following year things had gone progressively smoother in the Ul Copt household, or, as Filia thought of it privately, the Ul Metalium household. After a while Xellos turned out to be quite a capable father to young Vallos, and they were together quite often now that Val could walk and talk. Her assistant ,Jillas, had sent a letter to Palou and his mother Elena, and they later came over to say hello, and actually ended up staying there, becoming part of the family themselves. As it turned out Palou was quite the potter, while Elena was an exceptional painter. After a while, Filia hardly ever touched the clay anymore. Gravos proved himself to be quite the salesman, and more often than not he was the one seen tending the register and the main part of the store.

But now that Val was walking and talking, Filia began to think. He's old enough now that he can understand what's going on. He should meet the rest of his family.