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Slayers - Gemstones

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By Skiyomi
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Gemstones.

Filia tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. Her hands were feeling raw, dust was filling her lungs, and she had that Spring Cleaning high. Between caring for Val and running the shop, she'd been letting cleaning fall by the wayside lately. Well, no more. Filia had her mop out and she meant business.

She didn't dislike cleaning. It was simply work that had to be done. If one wanted to run a successful household and business, one had to be conscientious about things like that.

And organizing… organizing actually had its own quiet joys.

Filia opened the top drawer. She'd swept out the shop, took apart and cleaned the cash register, dusted the shelves and come up with a new cataloguing system for the maces. Then she'd moved on to the house: mopping up the kitchen, tossing what needed to be tossed from the pantry, freaking out when she found a dead mouse, etcetera, etcetera. Etcetera forever.

But the top drawer was something that passed between shop and home. Oh, it was technically in her living room, but nevertheless it contained a lot of supplies that she used to make her vases. There was clay there and glaze, but mostly there were jars and jars of different paints. It was supposed to be her back-up supply for when she ran out of resources in the shop, but over the years it had managed to gain other purposes. She could see Val's watercolor set crusting away in the sea of tightly wound thread and her tomato-and-strawberry pin cushion.  There were patches and yarn and stationary and ink pots and quills.

It was the famed craft drawer and it was overflowing. It had started with good intentions, but it needed a serious clean sweep. She began taking everything out bit by bit and separating things into piles. The old or redundant paints went in the 'toss' pile; the glazes went in the 'keep' pile—she could always use more of those; and a few of the prettier but somewhat unnecessary items made it into the 'maybe' pile.

As she dug deeper she found other things—doodads. There were loose beads, dried flowers and leafs, shells, and plenty of little decorative stones. She'd picked them up over the years and had kept them for vase decoration. She selected a few small decorative stones and beads and put them into a small glass box to keep them organized, but the rest she lobbed into the 'toss' pile. They were nice items, but if she hadn't used them yet then it was unlikely that she'd ever use them. As it was they were just taking up space.

She reached in to take out the last remaining objects from the drawer to face her judgment. She held two of them, one in each hand, and half-sat, half-collapsed to the floor. "Oh," she said out loud.

They were circular gemstones, yellow in color, and on the large side. She'd almost forgotten that she…

She shook her head and glared at the gems. A souvenir from the temple of marriage? Not likely! As if she'd ever want to remember that awful experience—the absolute indignity of getting paired up with that monster!

It had all turned out to be a scheme of Jillas's to turn them against one another and not some legitimate prophecy. Of course it had. Her married to Xellos? The very idea was utterly ridiculous!

But she'd picked up the two gems that declared them 'the gods' chosen couple'. All of them had thrown theirs at Gourry and after Xellos had abandoned her outside the temple and the others had gone off on their fool's errand she'd just seen them all sitting there in a bunch along with one of Gourry's teeth. So she'd… picked the gemstones up and put them away in her bag, never mentioning a word of it to anyone.

Not for any sentimental reasons, obviously. The only kind of sentiments Filia could attach to that incident were probably unprintable. It was just… well, even then before she'd made the decision to open up her shop she'd had an eye for that kind of thing. They were pretty, and it was a shame to let them go to waste. She was certain she'd find some use for them.

She hadn't picked up Miss Lina, Mister Zelgadis, Miss Amelia, and Mister Gourry's gemstones because… well, the gold ones had a much nicer color. Yes. The red and blue ones she didn't think she'd be able to use.

…Not that she'd ever actually used these, she thought, staring down at them. And she could see why now. They were certainly pretty but they were… cheap. She could see the air pockets and imperfections as she looked with a more critical eye. They were the kind of fare that ended up as decoration in people's gardens. Plus they'd been scratched up in the drawer. As it was, they were probably much too big to use for anything. Maybe a paperweight if she could find some kind of holder for them to rest in, but…

She wasn't going to use them, she knew, and they were just taking up space. Anyway, they were a reminder of a nasty incident and it probably just made her look a little crazy for keeping them this whole time. She turned around and looked at the 'keep' pile. They didn't belong there. The 'maybe' pile? No. She looked at the 'toss' pile. Then she looked back at the golden orbs in her hands. She hesitated.

The longer it took, the angrier she was with herself. It shouldn't even be a question, she thought forcefully. They're garbage! He's garbage. And what do you do with garbage? You throw it out, that's what!

She slowly, with her eyes closed and her teeth clenched, placed them in the 'toss' pile, but before they'd even left her hands she swung around and put them back in the drawer.

Well, it's not as if they're doing any harm, she thought, turning around to gather an armful of paint from the 'keep' pile.

"You've been busy today," Xellos said, sweeping a gloved finger over the top of her mantle like everyone's least favorite mother-in-law.

Filia's reaction was less than composed.  She dropped all the paints she was holding, sending them crashing to the floor where several broke and threatened to permanently stain her floor magenta. She slammed the drawer shut and blocked it bodily.

"Xellos!" she shouted, trying to bluster her way out of the impression she'd been caught doing something wrong. "What are you doing here?!"

"Helping," he said simply.

"Helping?!" she repeated. Even in her desperation to get him out of there, she had to question this completely blatant bullshit. Xellos was the opposite of helpful.

"Well, of course," Xellos said as though this were obvious. "You need help if your idea of cleaning is to throw paint on the floor."

Filia pointed angrily at him and clenched her other hand into a fist. "Excuse me, but I did not throw this paint on the floor. I dropped it because you snuck up on me! If that's your idea of helping then go help someone else!"

Xellos leaned on his staff and endeavored to look persecuted. "I didn't sneak up on you. I merely dropped in for a visit and made an innocent comment to announce my presence. You on the other hand, completely overreacted and dropped everything to try to hide an entire chest of drawers with your body."

"I'm not hiding anything!" Filia declared, cape stretched across the furniture in question.

Xellos sat down in one of her chairs. "Now this is interesting," he commented cheerfully. "What do you have in there that you don't want people to see?" he pondered. "Perhaps your diary? A secret alcohol stash? If this was your bureau then I could make some more colorful guesses."

"Absolutely not!" Filia screeched, incensed.  Her diary was in a combination safe which was itself in a locked chest in the darkest corner of the attic. Her bottle of gin, which she only kept around to put a drop or two in her tea when she'd had an especially hard day, was kept on the highest shelf in the kitchen where only she and Gravos (who wasn't inclined to judge) could reach. "This drawer is for art supplies and nothing else!"

"Really?" Xellos asked, sounding somewhat disappointed as he rose to his feet. "Then I suppose you won't mind me taking a look."

Filia braced herself against the chest of drawers. There was no way she could let him find out that she'd kept those orbs. He'd get a bunch of crazy ideas in that nasty little head of his that she wouldn't be able to dissuade him of no matter how hard she tried. He was already insufferable, she couldn't stand the thought that it could get worse.

"Why would you want to see those?" she countered.

"Because you don't want me to," he said simply.

Filia made an exasperated sound. "That's just being difficult!"

Xellos nodded sagely. "I do have a rather high difficulty level."

"That's nothing to be proud of!" Filia snapped.

"That's a matter of perspective," Xellos said dismissively. "Now, will you let me see what's in there?"

"Not a chance!" Filia declared. "You have no right to go poking around through my things just because you're evil!"

Eyebrow twitch. "You're just making it more obvious that you're hiding something. Don't dragons ever learn subtlety?" He took a step forward.

She crossed her arms. Subtle or not she was short of viable excuses for why she didn't want Xellos looking at her art supplies. And he was just getting more and more suspicious…

"The last time you looked at my art supplies, I ended up with paint all over my floor!" Filia tried.

"Ah, but that was entirely your fault," Xellos responded, taking another step forward.

Filia panicked. Xellos was getting too close. "You'll have to walk through paint," she pointed out in a last ditch effort to hold him off.

"Why should you care if an 'evil' person gets paint on their shoes?" Xellos asked, advancing still forward. He stopped in the middle of the paint puddle, getting magenta paint on his evil shoes. He tapped her on the side with his staff. "Well?"

She glared at him as she felt the pressure of his staff prodding her out of the way. He seemed to have his mind set on rummaging through her drawers and there was nothing she could do to stop him. With belligerent slowness she moved away from the craft drawer.

She turned away from him in a manner that she hoped conveyed how utterly she disapproved of him. She heard the drawer roll back on its sliders as he opened it. She knew that her excuses for why she'd kept those gems weren't any better than her excuses for why he shouldn't see them.

He stared into the open drawer for a minute. "Filia you…" he began.

She winced. Here it comes…

"…thief."

Okay, that she hadn't expected. Her eyes shot open as she turned to him with her fists planted on her hips. "What do you mean 'thief'?!" she demanded.

"Well," Xellos said, taking out one of the golden orbs, "one of these belongs to me, doesn't it? You stole it." He gave a sigh. "The dragon race has committed plenty of crimes in their history, but you'd think that their priestesses would at least be above petty thievery."

"Excuse me, I did not steal anything!" Filia yelled back. "You threw it away!"

"You threw yours away too," Xellos pointed out.

"Yes," Filia said, momentarily caught off guard. "But I came back for it."

"What if I intended to come back for mine?" Xellos posited. "For all you know, I came back to the temple entrance later that day looking for what was mine only to find it missing. How could I have possibly guessed that a dragon priestess had stolen it?"

"Oh, please!" Filia said incredulously. "You were just as insulted as I was when Jillas paired us up. Why would you want a reminder of all that? That's just—" And then it hit her like a truck full of similes.

That's just as crazy as me doing exactly the same thing…

She gave him a horrified look. He couldn't have actually gone and…

"Oh gods…" she murmured, leaning against the chest of drawers for support. "I think we've got the same kind of madness."

"What?" Xellos asked, brow furrowing.

"Nothing," Filia said, trying to hoist herself back up. She held a hand up to her head and took a few unsteady steps away. "I think… I need to lie down," she said deliberately. And because of the current state of her mind, she added: "You're not invited."

And with that she tottered out of the room. Xellos's gaze followed her until she was gone.

Well, that was… peculiar.

He looked down at the golden gemstone in his hand. He held it up to the red one on his staff and shook his head. He didn't even know why he'd thought that would be a good idea in the first place.

He gave the gemstone a little toss in the air and caught it.

Oh well. No harm in keeping it.
A response to theme #46 of Beloved Enemy's 100 Nights of Summer challenge (which is over, but I still want to write for it :P).

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: [link]
-Gemstones
-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]
Published:
© 2010 - 2020 Skiyomi
Comments5
anonymous's avatar
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CMY187's avatar
Boy, was this story nostalgic 'bout that episode.

Ah, Filia, yeh daft lassie yeh. She couldn't just forget about that incident, couldn't she?
The Cone has certainly found a permanent place in her mind. No matter how much she tries, she will never be able to get him out've her head.

I'd like to know about her arrangement system for the maces...

Boy, that is one artistic dragon. Always findin' somethin' to occupy her time. She might make a decent opera singer, ye think? (I think ye know which book I'm startin' on now...)

Inspectin' the mantle, least favourite mother-in-law...lemme guess: Gytha Ogg.

A heavily secured diary an' a stash'a alcohol...someone's got to answer for the damage he's done to Filia.
A drunken, self-denyin' Golden Dragon...life can't be very easy for the one-eyed beastmen...

...he wants it, too? He's THAT touchy about it?
Crud. A Mexican Stand-Off, an English Gentlemen's Duel, an' they both shot each other.

Considerin' what she had gone through here, I have a bad feelin' that the next time she remembers that particular event at the crappy mountain, Jillas had better be at least several miles away from the house, preferably behind/below somethin' that can withstand a Chaotic Disintegrate or two dozens blows from an extremely heavy an' blunt object.
We all have to answer for our crimes sooner or later, an' I think that Filia whole-heartedly believes that messin' with a person's feelings counts as a federal offence. An' let's face it, females never REALLY forget past crimes commited against 'em.

Nice an' enjoyable lil story here. Glad I took the time to read it. Thanks.
Skiyomi's avatar
Thanks!

Oh yeah, Filia is very artistic, I think. I mean, you've already got the maces and the vases and let's not forget her 'expert' status when it comes to cat's cradle XD
littlecloudflower's avatar
I guessed what it was about the moment you mentioned art supplies!

Ah, I've always loved that episode...The irony of fate...:D
Skiyomi's avatar
XD I woulda kept 'em, I can tell you that right now!
littlecloudflower's avatar
Same here! I keep a bunch of useless stuff in my drawers...My mom always makes me clean them out around New Year's...Sigh...