Slayers - Flower Garden

Skiyomi's avatar
By Skiyomi
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Flower Garden.

The sun went away as Filia put yet another daisy in her basket. She looked up to see what was casting the shadow over her, but knew deep down who it would be.

"What are you doing here?" she asked numbly.

Xellos ignored her question, seemingly too absorbed in the process of taking in his surroundings. "We can't be on holy ground," he said, nodding at the structure in the distance. "So is this an evil garden?"

Filia stood up so that he couldn't look down on her any more than he usually did. She clutched her basket of flowers to her side and answered harshly: "Not evil, just not holy."

"I thought they were one in the same to you dragons," Xellos responded smoothly. He looked into the distance once again. "Speaking of…"

Filia wilted visibly. The freshly picked stems looked livelier than she did.

"I think the real question is: what are you doing here?" Xellos asked, gesturing with his staff to the temple over the hill.

Filia toyed with the petal of a yellow flower, but did not answer. Not yet.

"I thought you'd abandoned cloistered temple life," he said. "I thought you'd made a decision. And now I find you've come crawling back to the saintly lifestyle of lighting incense and singing songs about dead gods." He sounded disappointed in her.

"You left with such conviction," he went on, "that I can't believe you'd come back here just on a whim." He looked at her critically. "Are you hiding from me?"

That was too much for Filia. She wanted to throw something at him, but all she had was flowers. Feeling that that wouldn't really make her point, she satisfied herself with a scowl in his direction. "Hardly," she scoffed. "And what do you mean 'back here'?" she demanded. "I think you're confusing temples."

"Not really," Xellos said, casting his gaze once again on the temple of Earthlord Rangort. "It's just that one temple is the same as another."

"Maybe to you," Filia responded bitterly.

"Maybe," Xellos allowed. "But that still doesn't explain why your house is empty and your shop is closed. It doesn't explain why you're here, Filia."

Filia averted her eyes. It wasn't fair that someone like him could make her feel guilty. It was probably just his penchant for picking apart anything she said or did. She could never be right in his books. Then again, why would she want his approval anyway? "I'm here for Val," she said in a quiet voice.

"For Val?" Xellos repeated with a humorless laugh. "You left for Val."

"I know," Filia said, still turned away.

"You're not going to tell me 'it's different now' are you?" Xellos asked as though she was about to get tiresome.

Filia glared at him. "You don't understand," she said. "It may not seem right, but this is the only chance Val has to be raised amongst his own kind. The people in my to— in my old town were kind, but they didn't know how different he was from them."

"Kind, but not his kind?" Xellos taunted.

Filia ignored this. "Can you imagine him going to a human school? He'll never learn all the things I learned growing up, he'll never fly on Saint's Day, he'll never have his first consecration ceremony… he'll never be surrounded by an entire group of people with the same problems he's facing. People he can talk to who will understand him. He'll only have me, and I'm not enough…" she trailed off sadly. "He deserves to be among his people."

"His people," Xellos reminded her, "are dead." He paused. "Or perhaps a more specific word would serve us better here? How about destroyed? Massacred? Decimated? Slaughtered? Exterminated?"

"They're all words you're very fond of," Filia responded sharply, a lump forming in her throat.

"And by whom?" Xellos asked, railroading over her comment.

"They're still dragons," Filia insisted. "They've been very kind to him since we came here and I'm… careful."

"Oh, I see," Xellos said, his tone speaking volumes for what he thought about Filia's supposed carefulness.

"Don't pretend you care even a little bit about Val's well-being," she said, changing tacks with a growl.

Xellos put on a mock hurt expression. "Quite the contrary, Filia," he said. "I am deeply concerned for Val's safety."

"Ha!" Filia shot back disdainfully, taking a confrontational step forward. "And that's the other thing, now isn't it? You can't get to him here. Not easily at any rate." She narrowed her eyes. "Do you just think I'm stupid or something? Do you think I don't know what you've been doing? Did you expect me to believe that you were just playing house for the fun of it? Ha!" she said again, and again: nothing was funny.

She pointed at him. "You think I don't know the power he has? You tried to get him on your side once long ago and you'll do it again if you get the chance. That's why you've been weaseling your way close to both of us!" Her voice broke. When she spoke again her voice was low: "I won't let that happen. I'll do anything to stop that from happening."

Xellos surveyed her bristling, indignant form. "So you are hiding from me," he said.

Filia drew back as if slapped. "I'm not hiding," she said thickly.

"Really," Xellos said in such a disbelieving tone that it wasn't even a question. "Then what would you call it?"

"I'm protecting my son," Filia said, her voice weakened but still forceful like a battering ram sob.

Xellos watched her in silence for another moment. "If that's the case," he said slowly, "then it might be worth remembering that your temple friends have at least as many crooked motives where your son is concerned as you suspect me of having. And no matter how," his eyes flicked open, "careful you are, you won't be able to stop them. At least… not on your own."

"Oh, what?" Filia scoffed. "Am I supposed to look to you to protect us? How can you honestly expect me to believe you'd do that?"

Xellos frowned and knitted his brows in thought. "I don't…" he began as though searching for the right words, "expect you to. I just know that you do."

Filia stared at him. There was really nothing else she could do.

"But I can see you need time to think things over," he said, putting his customary smile back into place. "I'll be calling on you again, though not in there," he said, gesturing to the temple once again with his staff as he turned to leave. "So I suppose if you're really set on avoiding me you'll just have to cut out these botanical excursions." He looked back at her once again with a serious expression. "Lock yourself away in the temple if you think it'll help," he intoned, eyes boring into her.

She watched him in stunned silence as he exited the garden. He stepped over the rows of mums, and daisies, and primrose until he reached the path. He walked around the flowers so as not to crush them.

He walked around the flowers so as not to crush them. Now what kind of monster does that?
A response to theme #13 of Beloved Enemy's 100 Nights of Summer challenge. Join the fun: [link]

Rating: T
Fandom: Slayers
Pairing: Xellos/Filia
Genre: General

Themes Done So Far:
-Exorcism: [link]
-Tea Leaves: [link]
-First Kiss: [link]
-Guilty: [link]
-Dwelling On It: [link]
-Unoriginal Sin: [link]
-Game: [link]
-Terms & Conditions: [link]
-How to Impress a Woman: [link]
-Wolves and Their Prey: [link]
-Good Deeds: [link]
-Amusement Park: [link]
-Flower Garden
-Gemstones: [link]
-Childish: [link]
-You are Answerable for your Fantasies: [link]
-Clipped Wings: [link]
-Totally Smashed: [link]
-Just Because You Can Do It, Doesn't Mean You Should: [link]
© 2010 - 2020 Skiyomi
anonymous's avatar
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littlecloudflower's avatar
I can totally imagine this happening! And love the last line! :D

By the way, are you writing annotations for these prompts anymore?
Skiyomi's avatar
Thanks! The last line was really the starting point I came to this with.

I am, and thanks for reminding me. I'll probably try to catch upon them tonight.
littlecloudflower's avatar
Wow! Lucky guess! I was thinking that you probably started off with that line when I read it! :D

Yay for annotations! They're fun to read!

...Which reminds me, I have yet to finish your Diplomacy annotations...^^;
Skiyomi's avatar
:) I'm glad they're fun to read because they're fun to write!

^^; Yeah, that one's monstrously long.

Which reminds me... I should catch up on my A Little Opposition annotations so I don't have so much to do when I finish it... so much to do and so little time!
littlecloudflower's avatar
I feel the same way! Time moves too fast...And life always seems to get in the way of doing the stuff you want to! Like now, I really want to write something creative, but instead, I need to write an essay...And the teacher don't appreciate creativity in academic essays...Sigh...
ds9guy's avatar
Hey another story so soon! :highfive:

Inspiration must have hit!

Love that last bit about Xellos not crushing flowers!

That reminds me I have to go crush some flowers now! :nod:
Skiyomi's avatar

It really did. I totally didn't expect to write it, and it's not one that I planned. It just sort of dropped on me as I was getting up this morning.

Hey! What have flowers ever done to you?

...Wait. I amend that. As an allergy sufferer... it's probably okay if you crush one or two :P
the4gotten's avatar
the final wors were made of awesome :D
nicely done!
Skiyomi's avatar
the4gotten's avatar
you're welcome :)
LilyBotanica's avatar
No words for this, just love....

I love Xellos being all confused and disappointed at the beginning...

The ending imagery is just so beautiful.....

Skiyomi's avatar
Thanks so much!

This one just sort of fell into my lap this morning. It's nice when inspiration throws me a gift instead of making me fight for it.
anonymous's avatar
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