|The Pen is Mightier! (penismightier) wrote in chaotic_library,|
@ 2016-12-31 22:01:00
|Entry tags:||gourry gabriev, gourry x lina, het, lina inverse, pg-13, short story, slayers, yuuo, yuuo: slayers, zelgadis|
[Lina Inverse; PG-13] This, I Will Find (Part 1)
Character/Series: Lina Inverse/Gourry Gabriev; Slayers
Notes: Part 2 in the This, I Will Do series. Prompt was 'enchanted spoon' from emilie_burns. Part 2 can be found here
Title: This, I Will Find
Word Count: 12,303 total, 4,822 this part.
Summary: Lina didn't want to wake up just yet.
Lina didn't want to wake up just yet. That was getting normal for mornings for her, at least in the last week or so. She was able to stay in bed until past first light with Gourry without worry of being caught, why would she want to move?
There was a grumbling noise behind her.
Gourry's stomach would be a good reason.
"You're hungry," she murmured, not opening her eyes yet.
Gourry- who she didn't know how long had been awake -leaned forward and kissed her cheek. "Like you aren't?"
Careful not to bonk him in the face, she stretched, then allowed herself a jaw-popping yawn. "I was too sleepy to be, but now that I'm awake more, yeah."
"Priorities, Lina," Gourry said, sitting up and moving to give Lina room to get up and find her clothes.
Oh brr. The lack of a warm body behind her let a wave of chilly air hit her back. She curled into a little ball under the covers. "My priority right now is being warm."
Gourry patted her hip. "So get dressed. There's food to be had."
She pulled the blanket down past her eyes. "Food?"
Her stomach rumbled. Ah, there was the breakfast call. It was a toss up whose stomach was going to sound the bell first, and she'd apparently been slow that morning. "I get first pick," she said, hopping out of bed and all but tornadoing herself into her clothes. Gourry still beat her to getting dressed; she wore more clothing. But she wasn't far behind, and he'd been a gentleman and waited for her.
Once her talismans were secure on her wrists, Gourry offered his arm to her. "Breakfast?"
She slid her arm around his. "Just don't steal my sausage this time."
"Then leave my eggs alone."
"You steal my pancakes."
Lina gave him a look, saying as loudly as she could that he was a dirty liar without using her voice. Gourry held fast against the stare, and the two kept their gazes locked in their ongoing struggle to find who to blame for starting the food stealing. Neither budged. Then Lina's stomach reminded her in a loud growl that it was empty, and she decided to let it drop in favor of just beating him down to the food so she could get a head start.
"Race ya down," she challenged.
They almost tripped over each other going down the stairs at full speed. There was the cheat of hopping over the banister once the stairs opened up to the restaurant part of the inn, but neither took it. The winning wasn't the point, the fun of the race was. Lina called back a hurried 'sorry!' to a server they almost ran into, but didn't stop, skidding around a table, grabbing the back of a chair, and sliding down into her seat in one fluid motion.
Gourry took his seat at a slightly more sedate pace, in that he paused to pull his chair out and actually sit rather than dance onto it. "Do we ever plan on growing up?"
Lina grinned. "Nope. Why should we? Life's more fun this way."
"Our kid's gonna have a fun life," Gourry said, looking off over Lina's shoulder in an expression of thoughtfulness that she was sure was an exaggeration.
"What, you think we have to get boring to be parents?" Lina asked. "You remember my dad, right?"
Gourry looked pained. "Do I ever."
Any response was withheld when the server they nearly crashed into handed them menus and set down glasses of water in front of them. She gave them a few minutes to scan the menu, then started to reach into her apron pocket for a pencil and paper. Gourry held up his hand at her before she could get those all the way out. "We can make it pretty easy," he said. "I want all of page three in double portions."
The server's eyes went wide and wary. "D-dou- all of page three? Are you sure, sir?"
Lina was polite enough to let the server get over that heart attack before supplying the next one when the woman turned to her. "Page two looks good," she said, "and the second half of page four. Regular portions, please."
The server went white. "Oh-oh, you two must be Lina Inverse and Gourry Gabriev..?"
That ghost-like appearance had better have been because of the staggering amount of food and not because their reputations proceeding them. "Something like that," Lina said, sitting back with crossed arms. Her body language carefully conveyed a warning that the waitress should watch her step as well as a rattlesnake's rattle. "Why?"
With a shake of her head, the server's normal coloring returned. "Well, I think one of your companions was through here recently. A chimera man named Mister Graywords, right?"
Now Lina was really curious about the blanching. "Zelgadis was here? Yeah, we're friends with him. What happened?" She narrowed her eyes. "Why did you look so scared a second ago?"
"Oh!" The woman held up her hands. "No, no, nothing bad! I just don't know if I can carry all those plates by myself, and I'm the only one here right now besides the cook. The owner and the manager are negotiating a bigger location in town, so it's a lot of work for just Gretchen and myself. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend."
Lina propped her chin on her hand. "Trade ya a tip if you tell us if Zel said anything about where he was going."
A sweet smile graced the woman's face. "That would be wonderful. I'm a little overwhelmed with just our regular crowd."
"If you can use magic, use levitation on the plates. You can carry more at a time."
The woman stared at her a moment, then smacked her palm against her forehead. "I can't believe that never occurred to me. I don't use magic much, no time for studies, but I can handle a levitation spell on the go. Thank you, I'll try that." She took out her notepad and started scribbling something down. "I know you said it was easy, but it might not be for Gretchen to remember .You said double portions of page three, sir?"
"That's right. And Lina wanted regular portions of page two and the second half of page four," Gourry said.
Scribble scribble. "Okay, I can't promise how fast it'll be, but I'll bring it out as it gets done. And Mister Graywords didn't give any indication of where he was going after here, but he asked where the Sorcerer's Guild in town is."
"Thanks," Lina said. "We'll see if we can't catch up with him."
With a wave of her notepad, the server smiled and assured them that she and Gretchen would get started on their order as soon as possible and headed off to the kitchen.
Gourry looked at Lina, resting his weight on his arms. "So Zel's nearby. Think he's on his way to Seyruun? That'd make things a lot easier for us."
"It would," Lina agreed. "I'll see if I can send him a message at the Guild after breakfast. I'll make it fast. I want to call ahead to Amelia while I have access to a communications center."
"I'm coming with you," Gourry said, to Lina's surprise. "When I leave you alone with a Guild, you get lost in the library."
Lina's brain worked overtime to try to come up with an argument, but she floundered. "I ... can't deny that, can I?"
"Not without being a dirty liar." Gourry looked too smug for his own good.
Gourry's foot probably didn't feel much, what with his boot and all, but Lina gave his toes a firm 'tap' with the heel of her boot. "You don't call ladies 'dirty liars', Gourry." Then she pointed a stern finger at him when he opened his mouth. "And don't you dare ask who's a lady here. I can be a bandit killer and still be a lady."
Yanking his boot back- he'd apparently felt that -he rested his chin on one fist and looked at her with fond exasperation. "Then what would I call a lady who lies?"
Lina thought about that. The only words that came easily to mind were 'manipulative' and 'conniving', neither of which were very flattering, and sounded worse than just being called a liar. She sat back with a sulk and crossed her arms. "Fine, there's no way to pretty that up. But I'm not lying; you're right, I'm a sponge when I get around books."
The look of complete confusion on Gourry's face at that was pure gold, and Lina wished she had a way of capturing the image to laugh at later. "Books aren't wet though. And you're not a sponge."
Well, she couldn't capture the image for later, but she could laugh at it right away instead of waiting. "The books have information, Gourry. I soak up information."
Understanding dawned on Gourry's face and he nodded sagely to himself. "Like the sun, every time we're near the ocean."
She perked at the thought of lying on the beach in the warm summer sun. "Hey, wanna honeymoon on the eastern coast somewhere?"
Gourry blinked. "Aren't we on our honeymoon?"
"Peh. This isn't the same as a vacation-style honeymoon. Besides, we're getting married a second time, why shouldn't we have a second honeymoon?" This idea sounded entirely too good to her.
Then Gourry had to go and deflate it on her. "Is it smart for us to try to vacation? About the time we do, the world will explode again or something."
She made a distinctly un-lady like sound. "Probably, but if the world's gonna blow up, it's gonna do it whether we're happy on a beach, or happy stomping on bandits. May as well do the one we don't do all the time."
"Hm." Gourry's brain was hard at work, it looked like. Lina wondered why he was trying to find a reason to say 'no'. Then he seemed to give up and shrugged with a smile. "Makes sense to me.""
"Of course it does," Lina said with a floof of her hair. "It was my idea."
Gourry gave her a weary look. Sometimes she wondered how he put up with her ego (a well-deserved one), but all she usually earned was a look that said she was tiring sometimes.
Eh, deal with it. He was the one that put a ring on her finger. Sorta.
"Do we want to look around here after I'm done at the Guild for a jeweler who can resize our rings?" she asked. "Might make more sense to have them fit before we have to put them on for real."
Gourry pulled the chain with his wedding ring out from under his shirt to examine the simple gold band. "Probably a good idea, yeah. I guess if there's no one here that can do it, we just keep looking?"
Lina made a noise in the affirmative. "If it comes to it, we'll find someone in Seyruun's capital. There's bound to be good jewelers there."
"Should we just wait?" he asked, tucking the ring back under his shirt.
"No," she said with a shake of her head. "No reason to not look in the meantime. We'll just play it by ear."
Lina only got a smile out in answer before food started appearing, and conversation ceased, at least for a moment. The slower trickle of food left time between servings for talking.
"So I have a question," Gourry said, sliding away his empty place that had held country potatoes smothered in country gravy. Lina had stolen a couple and approved heartily.
"Hm?" She didn't bother to form words around her bite of hashbrowns.
He reached over and stole one of her biscuits. "What do we do if Zel's still around? Do we travel with him?"
She reached over and speared the biscuit out of Gourry's hand. "Stop stealing my food." She scarfed the biscuit down before he could take it back, then took a swig of milk before answering. "You mean do we give up our privacy?"
"Yeah." Gourry stabbed his fork into Lina's last bite of the chicken and popped it in his mouth before she could react.
That earned him a toe smashing, gaining her a satisfying 'ow!'. "We could, I guess," she said. "I don't wanna, but if fate decides to put our big party off awhile, we'll want the strength in numbers."
Gourry propped his chin on his fist, and without looking, started stealing pieces of sausage off her plate just as the waitress delivered it with a cheery 'here you go!' "Thank you," he said, then looked off past Lina. He paused only when Lina grabbed one of the pancakes on his own freshly delivered plate, then went back to thinking. "I might be remembering wrong, but it seems like the big stuff only happens after we've met up with Zel or Amelia."
Lina dumped a load of honey on her sausage and the filched pancake. "No, I got Filia's letter before we ran into Zelgadis. And we got tangled up with that statue before he walked into our lives in the first place," she said.
Gourry looked at her, chewing on a large bite of his pancake. "The thing we were up against when we first met?"
"That's the one."
He made a face. "I still say we don't keep any statues we find from now on."
Lina eagerly took a plate of scrambled eggs from the server. Politely, of course. "Well, like I said before, we could always throw it at my family and let them deal with it." Oh man, those eggs were delicious. "But anyway, you're not entirely wrong," she admitted. "So I guess we have to decide if the risk is worth interrupting our honeymoon or not."
Gourry actually looked distracted from the eggs he was pilfering. "Really, Lina, we've been treating every time it's just the two of us as a honeymoon. Maybe we should meet up with our friends and let them play a shield against the bad guys for us."
For a second, Lina sulked enough to ignore her food. Just for a second. Okay, more like three. But then she was back to eating. "Yeah, I guess. All right, we'll try to catch up with Zelgadis."
That decision made, breakfast became the central focus of their attention again, and conversation reduced to arguing over who was stealing food and who started it. She maintained that he started it, but he denied it. But, since it was his jellyfish brain against her fabulous memory, she was a hundred percent correct.
With a mission in mind, they chose not to linger over the post-food glow and collected their packs and headed out with a goodbye to the server and a thanks to pass along to Gretchen. See? They were grateful for the food they were served.
"Jewelers first, right?" Gourry asked once they were out on their way.
"Why?" Lina wanted to get right to the Sorcerer's Guild, but Gourry apparently had a different thought.
He stared at her a second. "If we find someone, can't they work on that while we're talking to Zel and Amelia?"
Oh. Actually, that wasn't bad logic, but it wasn't a thought Lina agreed with. "Probably," she said. "But I don't feel comfortable leaving these rings somewhere without being there to make sure nobody does anything funny with them. They're too valuable for that."
Gourry rubbed the back of his neck, looking moderately embarrassed. "I guess I should've thought of that," he said.
She patted his arm. "Don't worry about it. Anything else, and I'd agree with you. I am nothing if not efficient."
One of Gourry's eyebrows lifted upwards. "Sometimes a little too much."
It was Lina's turn to arch an eyebrow, hers with a threat added to it. "What is that supposed to mean? Think real careful before you toss out a dumb answer."
Gourry didn't look afraid. He'd gotten too complacent for his own good since she'd proposed a month ago. Instead of being properly contrite, he put a hand on her shoulder. "You're too fast on the draw with the Dragon Slave sometimes. You're good with your smaller spells, too, you know."
Damnit, Gourry. Damnit damnit damnit. How was she supposed to be angry when he was just complimenting her wide array of skills? She crossed her arms in a sulk, hoping to look mollified and still annoyed all at once. She probably didn't quite make it; she wasn't a kid anymore, that sort of pouting worked better on younger girls who also weren't married to the person they were trying to pull that routine on. "You know, it's when you say things like that that make me want to smack you and kiss you at the same time."
Gourry leaned down into her line of sight. "You can do that now, you know. Missus Inverse-Gabriev."
Oh sure, be tempting. See if she cared.
Actually, she cared a lot, enough to flush red and force herself to lean her head back. "Public displays of affection like that aren't proper," she said. He looked ready to kiss her just to prove his point, possibly to render her unable to speak so he could make his getaway before he got into more trouble. And for all her act about being prim and proper, she also really liked the idea of just doing what she wanted and anyone around them that whined about it could speak to her middle finger.
Gourry hummed, his expression confident enough that she was sure he was about to win this argument. Then he kissed her cheek and pulled back. "Come on, let's go talk to Zel and Amelia, yeah?"
She didn't move to follow right away, and his steps were slow enough that he probably knew she wasn't going to. Instead, she stared at his back, wondering if she should smack him or demand that kiss he'd offered before, or possibly both- probably both, actually -before shaking her head and hurrying after him. "Wait up for me, Jellyfish Brain. I'm the one that can make the call." She looped her arm around his. "Unless you learned magic at some point and didn't tell me."
"When would I have done that?" He managed to sound pushy and easy-going about it at the same time. "I'm almost never without you around. I can't hide anything like that from you."
"Well, that's true," she said. "I wasn't being serious. I know magic's not your thing."
"Until it catches lots of fish, anyway," he said with a chipper grin.
She rolled her eyes to look up at him. "A spell you have never actually asked to learn."
He shrugged, sliding his hand down to take her arm off of his so he could hold her hand instead. "I don't have the talent for magic," he said. "You're the sorceress, I'm the swordsman. I think we work better like that anyway."
She laced her fingers with his. "The Inverse-Gabriev team. Nobody's kept us down yet."
The smile that he gave her was that sunshine smile, the one that made everything bright and sparkly in her world. "I like that that's our name now, and not just a business thing."
Lina Inverse-Gabriev could soak up the warmth of that smile and those words forever. She liked to enjoy the good things in life. She rested her head on his arm. "You and me both." Then she straightened and let go of Gourry's hand as the Sorcerer's Guild began to loom down the block from them. "Up for another race?"
"Only if you don't cheat and fly." Gourry was already speeding up to pass right by her.
"It's not cheating!" How dare he imply that? Just because he was sometimes right that she did cheat, didn't mean he had to accuse her of it all the time! But she hurried after him, breaking into as dead of a run as she could in the regular foot and steed traffic going up and down the road. When she caught up to him, she continued her scolding. "It's called using the resources at my disposal!"
"Playing it smart!"
Gourry repeated his accusation of cheating, and just to show him, she gathered the air around her until she lifted off the ground in a Ray Wing spell. If she was going to be accused of it, she may as well do it.
Oh, fine, whiny baby.
Slowing down a bit let him catch up to her, which put him in position for her to wrap her arms under his shoulders and pull him up off the ground with her. He yelled in abject terror, reaching up and clinging to her arms like a lifeline. Damnit, Gourry. His grip forced her to nearly drop him, and he just clung harder as they went higher off the road and above the heads of the bewildered people below.
Once closer to the guild, Lina lowered to hug the ground more so Gourry wasn't falling a long way when she let go of him, then landed a few feet in front of him. She turned and looked at him as he steadied himself. "Is it still cheating if you get to take advantage of it too?" she asked with a toss of her hair over her shoulder. "No need to thank me, it's all part of the package deal of being my partner."
Gourry glared at her "You know I hate flying."
"And I hate being accused of cheating when I'm not," Lina retorted, crossing her arms and tilting her chin up with an indignant 'hmph'.
To no surprise, Gourry had a strong grip. One that he gave her shoulder until it stung. She reached up and grabbed his ear and pulled.
After a few more seconds of silent challenging each other to do more than throw warning shots, they let go of each other. Lina gave him a sideways look. "You really have to stop yelling so much when I do that," she said, turning to enter the guild.
"Then you need to stop doing it." Gourry sounded still sore, and his ear probably was just as much, given how he was rubbing it.
She cast a glance over her shoulder at him. "How many times has it saved our lives?"
"And I don't get mad when it is. But there was no reason to do it this time."
"Feh." Despite the argument, Gourry was still the gentleman and reached above her to pull the door she was opening out of her hand so she could go in with no effort on her part. "You accused me of cheating."
"Because you do." The door swung shut behind them.
"Do not." She put up a hand to silence further grumbling as she approached a sorcerer that clearly worked there, if his robes were an indication.
He was standing at a bookshelf, reading, but he was also clearly watching the door, showing no surprise when she stopped next to him. "Lina Inverse?" He set the book down. "I wondered if you would show up."
Lina glanced back at Gourry. "Name's changed a bit, but yeah, close enough," she said, turning her attention back to the greeter. "My beauty must've given me away."
"Your clothing did, actually," the sorcerer said. He nodded in Gourry's direction. "And the looming bodyguard."
Lina didn't lift her heel off of Gourry's toe until he'd stopped the word about to pop out of his mouth. It was a true word, one she was no longer really hiding, but she had reason to not throw that information out just yet. "Partner is more like it," she said, not inaccurately, depending on what definition of the word one went by. "But what made you think we were coming?"
The sorcerer waved a hand towards a table set up to be his work area, books piled on one corner, pages of writing scattered across the rest of it, and a large set of small drawers backing the set. "Mister Graywords left a note, saying that he'd be surprised if you didn't." Lina and Gourry followed him back to the desk and stood silent while he started sorting through a couple of the small drawers. "For heaven's sake, where'd I put that?" he muttered, just barely loud enough for Lina to hear.
He better not have lost her mail.
"Ah, here it is." He pulled out an envelope with Lina and Gourry's first names on it in Zelgadis's neat script and offered it over to her. "Was there something else we can offer you here, or were you following your friend?"
Lina took the letter, looking at the envelope. "Hm? Oh, right, yeah." She handed the note to Gourry. "Open that, please." She ignored the sound of paper ripping as Gourry opened the envelope. "We need to use your communications center, if you have one here."
"We do," the sorcerer said. He looked past Lina at Gourry. "May I be nosy and ask about the letter?"
Jeez, does anyone ask about your mail, buddy?
But instead of calling him out on that nosiness- at least he'd been honest about it -Lina turned to peer over Gourry's arm at Zelgadis's words. Gourry wasn't as fast at reading as she was, but judging by his reaction, he was a few words ahead of her.
"Lina, look at this!"
Taking the letter from her husband who sounded weirdly excited, she gave it a better look over.
I don't know if you'll actually receive this, but I have a feeling you will. There's supposedly a treasure in this area that would draw you both like flies to honey. I heard from a pair of bandits that there's an enchanted spoon somewhere in the abandoned ruins on Mount Cakerat's southern face, just north of here. You can't miss it. The spoon is supposed to generate endless refills on whatever food it's being used on. I have a feeling you would've killed me if I'd passed through and not informed you. I'm heading that direction myself. There's several ruins on the mountain that I want to explore. If we run into each other, I hope you won't be dragging trouble along with you this time.
Lina almost didn't continue after the 'refills on food'. She wasn't hungry just then, but the idea of never having to go hungry on the road made her mouth water. "An enchanted spoon? With endless food?"
The sorcerer made a face. "Oh, that legend. It's just an old wife's tale."
"One I'm willing to put time into," Lina said. "Do you have any idea how much easier life on the road would be if you hit an area with not enough food to forage?"
"I'm sure it would be," the sorcerer said with a shrug. "But no one in the guild takes the idea seriously. There's no known spell that can generate food, and it seems like a silly use of magic, to make such a thing."
Gourry bend down over Lina's shoulder, staring at the paper in her hand. "Lina, you have a spell that does that with fish," he pointed out. "Not that I don't want that spoon."
Lina flicked her gaze at him, then back to the sorcerer. "It's good for travelers," she said. "Guild sorcerers wouldn't understand. Mount Cakerat is the big one, right? Straight north of here?"
Calling Amelia could wait. There was easy food on the line. They could always come back to the guild after they had that spoon.
The sorcerer looked reluctant to answer at first, then shrugged again. "It is. There's a tall spire near the top that's hard to miss, even from this far back. It's an old magical lightning rod of sorts that hasn't worked in years, despite our best efforts. There's ruins all over the place up there, the original town built with sorcery that barely survived the elements. When the spire was obviously not working, the sorcerers gave up, came down the mountain to a more comfortable place to settle, and built this town and guild. I wish I could say you'll find much up there, but good luck to you anyway, if you go that direction."
For a second, Lina almost paused her thoughts that had now fixated on the mountain, its ruins, and that spoon, as the sorcerer was starting to say more, but the idea of that food blocked him out. "Come on, Gourry, let's go find that spoon!"
"Yeah!" he exclaimed, just as excited about the prospect as she was.
Continue to Part 2