Hey all! no idea if anyone is still interested in this or not, but i still had half a chapter written, so i figured i'd finish it. also, i went back and did some minor editing to make the timeline flow a little better. so, if you read the first chapter before, go read it again. though i wouldn't be surprised if you had to anyways, with this huge gap between posts.
Anyway Read, Enjoy, and Review!
"Namagomi!" Filia called, none too quietly. Roughly ten seconds later Xellos appeared.
"You shrieked?" he asked cordially with a bow and a smirk. Filia smirked softly in return. His jibes and insults had gotten somewhat rehearsed and ceased to get the rise out of her that they used to, but then again so had hers, and she still used them as regularly as he did. They were so comfortable with their routine that they didn't even notice themselves doing it, it was just so natural.
"I need to go out on some errands. And Vallos has been asking for you. Could you try to keep him within the minimum modicum of trouble?" She knew it was useless by now to ask Xellos to keep the tyke out of trouble. She had known that from the very beginning actually, but still she had tried for the first month and a half or so. After that they had agreed upon 'allowable levels' of trouble. This ended up consisting mostly of prank type things and raiding the sweets bin. No stealing from townsfolk, terrorizing them, or causing mass havoc with anything beyond a frog down someone's back or the like.
"Oh? And how long am I to have to enjoy with him the wonders of mini-mod-dom?"
She chuckled at his frequently used play on words. He'd started saying that since the first time she had used the phrase 'minimum modicum', and had kept using it since after he realized it made both young Val and Filia laugh.
"Only an hour today. I'm afraid you'll not have much time for anything too elaborate today." She smiled slightly as she turned and headed out the door.
"See you both in an hour or so. And please, don't mess with the flour and clay again. It takes way too long to clean up. And stay away from Elena today. She just started putting the finishing touches on one of her best pieces yet, and I will not have it ruined!"
Xellos smirked,"Yes Dear." He gave a courtly bow. "We shall be on on our utmost behavior. Won't we Val?" Young Vallos, who, now almost at the age of one, looked like a three-year-old and acted like a five-year-old, had just walked up to say goodbye to Filia.
"Uh-Huh! Ba-bye Momm!" He waved Goodbye as she returned the wave with a smile and closed the door behind her.
\/ ~8o8~ \/
Filia had something special planned for tonight. She was going to suggest that Vallos' first birthday be held at Wolf-Pack Island, so that Zelas could meet her 'grandson'. She was a little nervous about it, but then, who wouldn't be? (Besides mabey Lina's sister Luna.) Zelas Metalium was one of the last remaining Dark Lords, alongside Dynast and Deep-Sea Dolphin. (Though she had heard from Xellos that Dolphin 'did not exactly have all her fish in the net', as he had so wittily put it. She still laughed at that image.)
However, since she still didn't really know that much about Zelas, she decided to play it safe and send the desire to visit along with a gift. She had been planning for this night for some time, in fact, and had, several weeks earlier, ordered a case of Zephelian Country Wine, which she vaguely understood to be a favorite of her formidable 'mother-in-law'. At least she called her that in her head. After all, when two people live together, raising a child, what else is there to think but that they're a couple? She wasn't quite sure if Xellos thought of it that way or not, he'd never let slip anything to nay-or-gainsay it, but then, neither had she. At least to her knowledge.
The case of wine was due to arrive today, so she was on her way to pick it up from the warehouse along with some groceries along the way. She shivered in nervous excitement of what the planned visit might one day lead to.
\/ ~8o8~ \/
"Hello Zelas, Love." The purple haired women smiled at her old friend.
"Luna, Dear, it's only been two years! To what do I owe this pleasant surprise? Come, Sit."
Beast Master Zelas was quite pleased by this unexpected visit. They usually saw each other on a schedule of once every five years, so this visit was rather early.
"Oh, not much. Thought I'd give you a small heads up is all." The Knight of Cephied grinned rather evilly for someone who was supposed to be the incarnation of the 'Big Good Guy' as Gourry might understand it.
"Ohh?" Zelas' interest was piqued. Something big must be happening if Luna was coming to give her warning.
"Nothing bad, is it?"
"No, no. nothing bad at all, i'm afraid. But, uh, let's just say i think your general's pet dragon is planning a surprise for you." Her grin only widened.
"Her? What would she want with me I wonder?" She puffed on her cigarette as she contemplated the news.
"Even I don't know that, Love. But she did recently buy a case of our fine Country Wine. It should be arriving sometime soon. Today in fact."
"Really?!" Zelas was now completely single mindedly on the conversation. Luna's Country Wine was her absolte favorite.
"I think I shall enjoy this 'surprise' of hers, then. Will you be staying long, Dear?"
"I'm afraid not, this time, Love." Luna answered sadly. "My work is rather busy at the moment unfortunately."
"Ohh. That's too bad. Will you be coming again anytime soon, do you think?"
"Mabey. I'm not sure yet. It depends an what all is going to happen. Goodbye, Zelas, Love."
"Goodbye, Luna, Dear."
Zelas looked away as Luna made her way out the room, back home. She laid back in her chair, swirling the wine in her glass as she thought.
'~Now, what will she do with that lovely grape juice of hers I wonder?~'
She laughed to herself as she waited for her little messenger to come.
\/ ~8o8~ \/
Filia was glad that she had a dragons tail and strength, otherwise she'd have needed a cart to get the case home. As it was, she'd simply carried it with her tail, lifting it up with the end wrapped around the handle with ease.
As she came up the road into view of her home she also came within hearing of her home. giggles and cackles mixed with yells and crashes flowed through the air into her pointed ears. She just sighed. '~Wonder what those two did this time~'
She picked of her pace a little, and made to the front walk just in time to see Xellos, floating, and her son, in dragon form, burst through the front door covered glazes, followed shortly by Jillas, who had apparently been painted in glaze to resemble a clown, and brandishing his personalized heavy pizza paddle, shouting threats and curses at the two criminals as well as laughing along with them. after a year of this, everyone learned to take Val and Xellos' pranks in good humor, and accept when they'd been had. The chasing and cursing was simply obligatory.
She crossed her arms severely and stood at the front gate watching the proceedings, and cleared her throat. Everyone froze in mid action, Jillas having been in mid swing at Xellos. They all looked rather sheepishly at her, seeing her serious face and half-expecting a lecture for their raucous behavior.
Then she just couldn't hold it anymore and broke into a sniggering fit of giggles, and everyone relaxed.
"Jillas you look ridiculous! What happened? Did they catch you asleep?"
"Eh, not quite." He laughed a little, still slightly embarrassed by the proceedings.
"Well, what then?" She looked to Xellos, "What was todays 'master plan?'"
Xellos and Val looked to each other and grinned, and she knew what was comming.
"Now, that, is a secret!" They said in stereo, both wearing that trademark grin of his. She just sighed in fond exasperation.
"Why do I even bother asking you that anymore?" the question was rhetorical but still Xellos answered.
"Because! Filia Dear! There's always that ever so small chance we might actually say!"
"We hid his bombs and he fainted when he went to check on them." Vallos, now back in 'human' from said suddenly.
"Like today!" Xellos suddenly proclaimed.
"What! I told you to stay away from those! Xellos!" Now, she was angry. Jillas had promised that the bombs would stay safely locked away, and both Vallos and Xellos had been told not to mess with them. Repeatedly. She really didn't want to have to rebuild another room from scratch again. Once was once too many.
"Relax Filia. All we did was put a temporary invisibility spell on them. We didn't even touch them, literally. They showed up fifteen minutes later, but when Jillas woke up and discovered his new look, he was too busy chasing us to notice!"
She let her stern gaze linger a little longer, waiting till her 'spouse' was cowed sufficiently before sighing in resignation.
"Fine. But don't do anything like that again, you hear me!? I will Not have you blowing up anymore of the house. Jillas, find somewhere else to put those. Have Gravos help you build a shed away from the house if you have to. Far away from the house." Her stern look fell a trifle flat as she broke out in giggles again at his face.
"And for Nightmare's sake, Jillas, Wash your Face!" That broke the tension in the air as everyone started laughing again, though more she had calmed down a little she looked to Xellos and handed him the case, "Here, take this into the house will you? And be careful, it's fragile." She walked into the house with the groceries she had gotten on the way.
\/ ~8o8~ \/
Xellos looked at the case in his arms. It was rather heavy, as crates go, and he detected the faintest whiff of wine from it; a smell he knew quite well. It was his masters favorite Zephelian Country Wine. But, why would Filia have gotten it? She didn't drink. Couldn't drink in fact. She had the lowest tolerance for alcohol of anyone he knew. Ever. and seeing as he was over 1000 years old (1020, to be exact), that, was saying something.
He knew she hadn't gotten it for him, because didn't drink alcohol either. He preferred tea usually, something they both enjoyed, and argued about. So, why had she bought it, for she must have to obtain it, and who was it for? He put it to the back of his mind for moment, and simply brought it in as she had asked, well ordered more like but it was all the same with her. He knew he would get his answers soon enough. After all, how could she not say why she had bought something so out of place in their household.
There was one of those words again: 'their'. right up there with 'ours', it was becoming increasingly difficult not to think in those terms. He was practically living there now, especially since his Master never really seemed to have any assignments for him these days. Well, at least Vallos kept him busy, and Filia kept him entertained. They weren't sleeping together or anything. Yet, at least. Though he couldn't deny that the thought had become increasingly pervasive as months went on. Ah well.
\/ ~8o8~ \/
"So, Fi-Chan. I can't help but wonder, what is the wine for? We don't drink."
They were currently all eating dinner in the large, rebuilt, dining area. Since both Jillas' and Filia's family, as well as Gravos, all ate together, they'd needed a larger area. So, mabey that disaster wasn't so bad after all they all secretly supposed.
Everyone who hadn't know what the crate contained was startled at the contents, and looked confused at Filia.
"Wine, Boss? Whad'ya need wine for?" Jillas was the one to ask, everyone else watched silently as they waited for the answer.
" Ah, right, that." Filia cleared her throat, suddenly nervous from all their stares. "Well, I was thinking, Xellos. Vallos' First birthday is coming up soon, and I was wondering, if your mother might not let us have the party over there?"
Stunned silence filled the room.
"Filia?" Xellos asked, slowly. "Are you feeling alright?"
"Of course I am. I was just thinking, that, mabey, she might like to meet her grandson."
More silence. If there was a knife of light at the table it could cut the air serve it for dessert.
"My question still stands." Xellos was staring open eyed at her in concern. "Are you sure you realize what you're asking? She could kill you in a moment of bored the point of a finger."
Softly, she replied, "So can you." And she smiled at him.
He was speechless. He sat back in his chair and stared at his tea, not really seeing it.
"And besides." He looked up at her, still a little dazed, "I don't think she'd kill me. I'm far more entertaining alive than dead, don't you think?" This last she said while grinning into her tea cup and gave a wink, looking very mischievous in the process.
He was still stunned, but at least he could laugh. "Ooh yes. Yes you are." and took a sip of his own tea.
"But," Gravos spoke up, "that still doesn't tell us what the wine is for?"
"Oh, right! I was going to give it to Zelas as gift, when Xellos tells her what I had had in mind."
If Xellos could have choked on his tea, he would have. Fortunately for him, all he did was make a bunch of spluttering noises. "Excuse me, would you please run that by me again Filia-Dear?"
She looked at him like he was stupid. "What did you think I was going to go over to Wolf Pack Island and ask her myself?! I can't get there. I don't know how, and even if I did, I likely am not even capable of it on my own! Of course you're going to do it!"
Well, she had a point. She couldn't move through astral fields like he could, and neither could anyone else here. "Surprisingly, your logic is correct. But I would appreciate it if you would at least pretend to ask, rather than just go straight to assuming." He gave his reverse, open-eyed wink, smirking all the while.
She crossed her arms and frowned, playfully, at him. "Fine. Xellos, Would you be a Dear, and go tell your mother that I want to come visit?" She smiled sweetly, almost sickeningly so, at him.
"Yes Dear." This was another common sight these days. They often enjoyed 'playing' 'Married Couple', but to everyone else, it was obvious that the only ones who thought they were playing, were them. They were infatuated with each other and everyone could see it. What had once been pretend had become reality. In fact, They had taken a small betting pool, in absolute secret of course, not easy with Xellos around, but somehow they managed, as to just when they would start openly admitting to it. Even young Vallos was in on it, though he didn't really have anything to bet so just included him in gratis.
"Good. I expect you gone and back before we put Vallos to bed." She smirked, taking a bite of food and not looking at him, giving him no room to protest.
He opened both eyes in startlement, then closed them again acceptance.
"Oh, Very well. I take leave then."
"Already? I was thinking after dinner." She looked at him in confusion.
"Well, if you want me back for Val's bedtime I should be leaving as soon as I can. I don't know how long it'll take." He went to grab the case, then paused thinking of something at the last moment. "Do you want to write her a note or something? Express your own words?"
She though about it for a moment. "Yes."
She went into the kitchen and grabbed a paper and quill, and scribbled a carefully worded note to Beast Master Zelas. It read as such:
Dear Beast Master Zelas,
As i'm sure you are aware, Vallos' first birthday is coming up in the next few weeks, and I was thinking. As Vallos has adopted Xellos as his father, and you do not seem to mind this, he has also, by default, adopted you as his Grandmother (however flattering or not that term may be). Would you like to see your grandson? Perhaps we could have the party at your place then? Enjoy the wine.
- Filia Ul Metalium
(PS: Sorry about the seal, but i wanted to make sure he couldn't read this. if you could laugh at the letter and then look at him, then laugh at the letter again, it would annoy him so much! he'd think I said something stupid about him and wouldn't know how to retaliate! Haha! teasing him is so much fun!)
She smiled to herself as she sealed the letter in an envelope, Wrote 'Beast Master Zelas Metalium' on it, and handed it to him. But not before putting a holy seal on it, something she knew only Zelas could break.
"There, all done. Now run along. You know when I want you back by."
He smirked at her, he could feel the seal of course, but didn't say anything about it. She knew he wouldn't.
"Very well!" He grabbed the case, and floated off into nothingness.
Filia smiled as she went back into the kitchen. She had a good feeling about the events to come. As she sat back down to finish her dinner, (with her being a dragon she ate almost as much as Lina or Gourry!), and asked,
"Oh, Elena. I almost forgot. Did you ever get to finish that pot you were working on earlier?"
Wow! this turned out a lot longer than i'd thought. but hey! i got it done! just so you know, this story is gonna be on the back burner for awhile probably, so don't expect much anytime soon.
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