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Slayers - Good Deeds

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By Skiyomi
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Good Deeds.

It had all started so – for want of a better word – innocently, Xellos reflected as he made his way through the inferno of timber and smoke that he found himself in. But things were rapidly getting out of control.

It came down to… well, self-destructive behavior of a certain kind. Take humans; they weren't supposed to try to destroy themselves, but they often felt an… an unnatural itch to do so. To take that drink after they're already too far gone, to inject something poisonous into their veins, to kill by inches and be killed by inches.

Of course, a lot of these inclinations were pleasure-based, but just as many of them were pain-based. Humans had an… inclination for danger and destruction. It wasn't held as positive, and it was always met with attempts at suppression, but still, it was there.

But destruction is a monster's bread and butter. Hence, Xellos found himself drawn into a rather different kind of trouble…

It wasn't as though he was a stranger to acts the might be seen from the outside as heroism. Life was… complicated, and sometimes it was so much easier, so much better to accomplish things with the carrot than the stick. Traveling with Miss Lina and the others often had such component situations. They were useful people and it was best that they remain alive so that they could continue being useful. That was just being practical.

He'd always had an agenda in those situations. And that was the way it should be. But now…

…He blamed Filia for this entire mess, he really did. After all, Amelia had gone on about justice and virtue before and he'd never done anything like…

Filia's self-righteous attitude just got to him. Her smug 'Oh a fiend like you that can't create anything so he can only destroy couldn't possibly understand the simple joy of helping others! Now shut up while I subject anyone who disagrees with me to a mace-thrashing and call that doing what's right!' routine was just plain annoying. He usually found hypocrisy funny; but from Filia? It just set his teeth on edge.

And he'd desperately wanted to disillusion her. This wasn't hard to do and there was no reason he had to abandon the monster race's agenda to do so.

He'd saved her life on a few occasions. There was nothing wrong with that; no questions were asked of him. She had been useful then and could be useful in the future. Letting something happen to her would've been an unnecessary waste.

…But the problem was, he realized, that wasn't why he did it. He'd done it for that look. That shocked look she gave when the universe as she knew it became senseless. When he could look back into her startled eyes and say: That's right, Filia. That fiend who can only destroy just. saved. your. life.

And to do something like that, not because it's practical, but because it's enjoyable is… a slippery slope.

…Very slippery apparently.

After that, he'd occasionally stopped by Filia's shop. She might not have been very charitable where he was concerned, but she was very much into charity. Xellos tended to think that she used charity as a chance to whack people over the head with the metaphorical mace of morality. She just… took over. Wives that had run charity drives, bake sales, and soup kitchens were forced to sit on their hands as Filia, the tyrant of all organized events, lay waste to their leadership efforts and took the mantle of piety off their still stunned shoulders.

Xellos said she was a control freak. Filia said that she was just trying to help and that he wouldn't understand, now would he?

She always made comments like that, and he knew they shouldn't bother him. But they stuck like thorns in his side. So he did the only thing he could do. He showed her up on her own turf at every possible opportunity.

And it had worked too. He'd been much better at it than she was (except for one unfortunate incident of mass food poisoning at the soup kitchen that it was just better not to refer to). And she couldn't stand it! It was fantastic and just went to show that she was only into the charity business for the chance to boss others around and look good doing it.

They say that doing good deeds is meant to cause a warm, fuzzy feeling in your heart. If by 'warm, fuzzy feeling in your heart' they meant a feeling of nausea and a distaste for the smell of hobos, then Xellos had felt it.

But it was unfair to say that there were no rewards attached to it. If there weren't he wouldn't be in the fix he was in. He'd learned that when he'd dispatched with the robber that broke into Filia's shop. The thing was… just because deeds were good didn't meant they didn't involve violence.

He frowned at the memory. The stupid, stubborn dragon girl couldn't even manage to be happy then. She'd yelled at him for hurting the guy. He barely touched him…

And that's when the trouble really started. There was a high attached to that kind of vigilante act. What made it worse was that he was out doing things he wasn't really supposed to do. As he'd said so often to Filia, prohibition tends to make things more attractive.

So he'd started justifying it. He'd killed petty criminals so that… so that they wouldn't kill some kid's parents and cause him to grow up to be a caped crusader for good in the future. That made sense, right?

These nighttime jaunts were getting risky though. He was in the midst of a dire addiction and he knew it.

But, he thought, as he reached the lawn beyond the smoldering wreckage of the inferno that used to be someone's house and set down his heavy cargo: a man, his wife, and a child, I can quit anytime I like.

He looked down at them as they coughed the smoke out of their lungs and got to their feet. They looked like… troublemakers, he decided. Surely the world was a more discordant place with them alive. It was alright.

The child sniffed and bellowed: "But Mittens is still in there!" She looked up at Xellos with wide, pleading eyes.

Oh no, Xellos thought. Not the cat.

Xellos had nothing against cats. After a fashion, he sort of liked them. Their solitary nature, their arrogant charm, their tendency to bite any hand whether it fed or not. But that wasn't the point. The point was that there was a certain kind of person that went into a burning building after a cat, and that was a hero.

Which he wasn't!

But he could practically hear Filia's voice in his head: "I can't believe you wouldn't go back for the cat, you vicious beast! You probably just saved that kid so she could be sad about her cat dying and you could feed off that despair! You're just twisted like that."

So he went back in. The suffocating heat of the oven that was once someone's home didn't faze him at all.

He found the cat hiding under a desk. It greeted him in the traditional way of its kind by hissing and swatting at him with its claws. Xellos unconcernedly picked it up and tucked it under his arm letting it go about its futile business of lacerating his arm, and headed out the door.

…the back door. Because he wasn't about to let them put him in the local paper as a saver of cats. It was just too much. He set the cat in the direction of its family and let it scamper off at its own will.

He stood there for a moment, the fire still roaring and crackling behind him. Even in the midst of knowing that this had been a stupid, risky, pointless way to spend an evening he felt it… the best way to describe it would be to call it a rapid cooling sensation. It was like the feeling after running long distances or of just barely getting away with a crime. It was flying high.

"The cat too? We really do have a problem here," said a voice behind him.

Xellos's high was replaced with dread. He very slowly turned around.

There, leaning on the charred siding of the burning house, in close enough proximity to die of smoke inhalation were that a problem she even had to think about in the slightest, stood Xellos's Lord, Creator, and Master. She held her pipe close to the inferno long enough for it to catch ablaze.

She held it between her teeth and took a drag, blowing blue smoke into the already foggy air. "There's a word for the kind of person that goes back for the cat," she said calmly. "I think it's idiot."

Well, that had been Xellos's second guess. He stood stock still and silent, trying to figure out how to outrun the catastrophe train.

"You're not going to try to tell me that saving that family was actually helpful to me, are you?" Zelas asked, one eyebrow raised.

Xellos knew better than that. "No, Lord Beastmaster," he confessed, trying to plaster that careless smile back on his face but not doing a very good job of it. "It doesn't help at all."

"But," he added, in the face of that intense stare, "it doesn't hurt at all."

"Does it?" Zelas asked coolly. "You don't think this is a problem?"

Zelas brushed her hair back from her face as Xellos tried to come up with an answer. She put a hand on her hip and looked up into the night sky. "I should've known something like this would happen when you wanted to start playing with dragons," she breathed, as though half talking to herself.

The anchor tied to Xellos's dread sunk further.

"Still," Zelas said thoughtfully, in a way that barely caused Xellos to dare to hope that he'd escape from this situation unscathed, "I get the feeling that a similar phenomenon is happening to your little Filia, but in reverse. Something like that could be useful yet."

"What do you think, Xellos?" she asked. "Are you still in the mood to play with dragons?" Her grin was predatory. He'd seen it many times before, he'd used it many times himself.

"Yes, Lord Beastmaster."

No good deed goes unpunished. No bad act goes unrewarded.
A response to theme #55 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
-Amusement Park: [link]
-Flower Garden: [link]
-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]
Published:
© 2010 - 2020 Skiyomi
Comments19
anonymous's avatar
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littlecloudflower's avatar
Wow! Lord Beastmaster has style, lighting her pipe with an inferno! :D

And yay for the "Wicked" reference at the end! I always thought "Wicked" is a lot like X/F in the theme of it!

That's one lucky cat, getting saved by Xellos!
Skiyomi's avatar
:D She oozes style.

You know, oddly enough I wasn't actually thinking of Wicked at the end. I know "No Good Deed (Goes Unpunished)" is a song from the musical, but the phrase as a subverision of "No good deed goes unrewarded" has been around before that. I could see it as kinda being something the monster race would think.

Too true! Mittens the kitten should thank its lucky stars!
AmberPalette's avatar
"…But the problem was, he realized, that wasn't why he did it. He'd done it for that look. That shocked look she gave when the universe as she knew it became senseless. When he could look back into her startled eyes and say: That's right, Filia. That fiend who can only destroy just. saved. your. life." <--BINGO. >3

The ending was a bit of a bummer, but also realistic. I suppose as long as Filia doesn't end up a black leather wearing sadistic prostitute I won't mind to see her being "a little evil" in the companion piece that :iconlilybotanica: suggests. :laughing: It's just that Xelloss saving a family and its kitty from a fire is pretty damned altruistic (and I love it and the reason WHY he does it xD).

It certainly ALWAYS pleases me to see Xelloss and Filia merging, moving closer to the center of a continuum between poles, their respective personalities balancing out in a more well-rounded fashion. Great concept.
Skiyomi's avatar
Yeah, Zelas just had to come in and ruin Xellos's fun, right?

No bondage Filia on this show! I might do a companion piece, but first I have to think of a quintessentially bad act that I could still see her doing... for Xellos, the hook that got me into this was really the cat-saving thing XP it screams 'Hero' but I could see him doing it for his own bizarre reasons. Gotta find something like that for Filia...

Oh, I definitely agree. I know a lot of people like them for their 'opposite' nature, and I'm not saying I'm not one of those people, but I also like to think of the many things they have in common.
AmberPalette's avatar
...Filia destroys an entire ceramics shop with her mace because it has pro-Shabranigdo paraphernalia? >>;

Ehh *squint* Hmmm. Not as bad as what he did is good.

I AGREE. They are not so opposite as people assume!!! And it makes them in a strange way quite compatible.
Skiyomi's avatar
Hmm... it's gonna be hard to match that cat-saving thing... *scratches head* I think maybe something with her business? Maybe she's cooking the books a little? ...Meh, still not right. I'll have to give it some thought because the only other thing coming to my mind is 'underground gambling ring' XP

Absolutely :)
AmberPalette's avatar
I know, I am totally stumped but I want to see you write this badly, LOL.

If I had time I'd write it myself. Gah. I really want to. HM. lol. But my Xellia fics are usually more Xelloss-centric. HMMMMMM.

I need to start a poll for ideas for a Xellia fic. I just feel so distanced somehow from that pairing lately and yet it is my OTP....
Skiyomi's avatar
I... think I have an idea... but it might be too crazy. I'll just think on it for awhile. *evil giggle*

I ping-pong back and forth between my Xellos moods and my Filia ones.

Yeah, ever since Diplomacy ended I've been feeling a bit like that too, which is why I'm trying to do more of these Summer Nights challenges.
AmberPalette's avatar
Summer nights, sigh. I keep thinking JUST LOOK AT THE PROMPTS AGAIN, Amber! But I need a sentence long scenario to prompt me, not just a word.

Oddly it reminds me of an Ohio state-wide competition (I reached state level and got high marks there :D I was so proud of myself lmfao) in the eighth grade called Power of the Pen. We were given a sentence prompt and had to write a story in one hour. It was SO invigorating.

GOOD LUCK. I am sure it'll be awesome.
Skiyomi's avatar
I think you just got to find one that looks interesting and hold it in your mind for awhile. That's the way a lot of these have come about for me.

Oooh! That sounds fun!

...My current idea is based on a Cary Grant movie and an episode of Spongebob. *pause* ...That makes it sound so bad. XD
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LilyBotanica's avatar
PLEASE tell me there is going to be a Filia companion piece? :D

I love the idea of Xellos and Filia stimulating either "good" or "evil" in one another...And it only makes sense :)
Skiyomi's avatar
You know... I hadn't originally planned on it, but it kinda seems like an interesting idea what with the way it turned out... I'll think about it ^^

All hail Xellos! Saver of cats!
anonymous's avatar
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