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Slayers - Terms and Conditions

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By Skiyomi
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Terms & Conditions.

"She beat you," Beastmaster Zelas summed up after her singular servant finished relating the unfortunate results of his arm-wrestling match with the ex-dragon priestess he insisted on spending so much time with.

"That appears to be the case," Xellos admitted in a tone with a chipper candy-coating and a nervous chocolate-center. "It seems I underestimated her focus."

Zelas took a pull of her pipe and watched as the smoke billowed upwards. Losing a contest of strength against someone who is legitimately weaker than you generally indicates that they have some mental leverage against you. Xellos was supposed to be good at mental leverage. Which made this… interesting… but nevertheless troublesome.

"So you now owe a golden dragon – a former priestess, no less – a favor," she said, letting this unpleasant fact and all its implications sink to the floor.

"That is true," Xellos confessed. "She can't ask me for anything. We agreed that it couldn't be anything too extreme," he said, holding up a finger. "However," he admitted, "the terms and conditions of the arrangement are rather vague."

"You made them vague on purpose so you could exploit them later," Zelas pointed out.

"Well, of course," Xellos admitted unabashedly.

"And what would your dragon girl ask of you?" Zelas asked, giving the matter some thought.

"I don't think she knows," Xellos said. "Her strategy is most likely to save the favor for a time when her or her son's life is in danger."

"And who knows, when that time comes, what operations that would interfere with," Zelas said, narrowing her eyes. "Can't you just go back on the bargain?" she asked, leaning over to take a sip from a martini glass containing a highly toxic, sweet blue liquid with a chemical make-up very similar to antifreeze.

"I could," Xellos said.

"But you don't want to?" Zelas said, raising an eyebrow.

"I thoroughly intended on Filia being the one owing me a favor," Xellos explained. "Her holy magic could be useful for breaking seals. And of course, there's the magical fusion element to think of."

"And if you try to bet with her again after going back on your first deal, she'll feel no responsibility to keep up her end of the bargain," Zelas deduced wearily. Certainly there would be some use in a golden dragon being in Xellos's debt. But Lord Beastmaster tended to think he was rather stuck on the idea. Probably some kind of psychology going on there.

"But I have a plan to dissipate the favor I owe her harmlessly so it won't be an unknown to worry about in the future," Xellos announced.

"Oh?" Zelas asked, taking a drink. This should be good.

"I'll just seduce her," Xellos said.

Yes, definitely some kind of psychology, Zelas decided.

"I think the events of the contest have proven this to be a strategy she'll be susceptible to," he added, realizing on that stare that his grand scheme needed some explaining.

Zelas was not above letting her subordinate run into brick walls of his own making. At least when it was of no harm to her. She liked to think it taught valuable lessons.

She blew a smoke tesseract because smoke rings are for chumps. "Knock yourself out," she said.

*****

It was when Filia started carrying the sofa upstairs that Jillas and Gravos decided it might be best to take Val to the park and give Filia some alone time. Filia had a history of rearranging furniture when she was upset, but lately it bordered on the maniacal. To walk in the house in darkness was to invite death. Something must have really gotten her upset to get her like this.

She'd brought all the paintings from downstairs and swapped them with the ones upstairs, which was fine because it's always nice to change one's surroundings. She had to admit that moving the guest wardrobe down to the living room was a mistake. It definitely blocked out the light coming through the window. But she'd felt fresh all over after she moved it.

…For about two minutes. Now she was looking for something else to move.

Oh! The suede easy chair! She thought, moving towards the dining room where the chair in question had been temporarily located. With a little weather-proofing that would be perfect out on the second floor balcony. She just had to find her tool box and maybe some shower curtains and—

Oh, son of a bitch! Filia thought, her anger overpowering the swear filter in her mind, as she entered the dining room to find an unwelcomed guest on her suede easy chair.

"Good afternoon, Filia," Xellos said from his perch. "It seems that your irrational redecorating attempts have accelerated in my absence." He tilted his head to the side. "I wonder what could have caused you such stress since I left."

You know exactly what it is, you jerk! her mind screamed at him. It was all his fault for kissing her. And he'd only done it to be a jerk too. Just to rub in her face how weak she was compared to him.

Much as she hated to admit it, it had been all she could do not to melt into a little puddle on the floor when that happened. She put all of her strength against him as her only way of fighting against the sensations caused by the force invading her.

She hadn't actually expected it to work.

"Get out of here, you monster!" she demanded, ignoring his opening line. "I'm not in the mood to deal with you right now!"

Xellos raised an eyebrow. "Should I come back when you're more in the mood?"

"That would be: never!" she shouted back. "Now go away! I'm too busy to play anymore of your stupid games."

"Busy doing pointless manual labor so you don't have to think about your real problems," Xellos summed up coolly. "How dare I interrupt?"

"Yes," Filia said, agreeing emphatically with his sarcasm. "How dare you?"

"How can I leave, Filia," he asked, "when I still owe you a favor?"

Filia was tempted to tell him to do her a favor and get lost, but that would be a waste of a good favor. Besides, it might be impossible; Xellos always seemed to know where he was.

"I don't want anything from you right now," she said, her arms crossed. "There's no rule that says I have to use the favor now."

"Yes," Xellos conceded. "But you could use it now."

"I could," Filia said through gritted teeth, starting to get really frustrated at this point. "But I! Don't! Want to!"

Xellos surveyed her shuddering rage. "Oh, that's right, I forgot," he said. "Your life is completely perfect."

And it was at this moment that Filia became painfully aware that she was sweating, her hair was frizzing madly in the humidity, the dining room table was taking up the entire upstairs bathroom, and her son's crib was in the kitchen.

She ran a hand through her messy hair and tried to recover from this unpleasant dose of reality. "Anything you could do," she gulped, "would only make my life worse."

He stared at her for a moment, then held out his gloved hand. "Care to test that?"

Filia stared at his hand knowing all too well that good and sensible people do not take monsters up on their dubious offers of happiness. There was a pull, a horrified curiosity that wasn't nearly as horrified as she thought it ought to be. But she couldn't help but feel that this was more than just a deal with the devil.

What is he… offering?

She blushed and automatically turned away. "No!" she shouted. "No I wouldn't."

She heard him get up and stand behind her but couldn't bring herself to face him.

"So," she heard him say, "when I was kissing you and you were nuzzling your face into my hand, did that mean you didn't like it?"

She whipped around to look at him, her face awash with anger and retorted: "You're the one who was kissing me! I think it's pretty clear that you're the one who liked it!"

Xellos shrugged. "Of course I did."

Filia was taken aback. She'd honestly expected him to deny it and shift the focus back on her again. It would've been so like him to say that her reasoning of 'he kissed me because he likes kissing me' was utterly illogical and simply proved her to be the stupid, conclusion-jumping-to dragon that she was.

"What?" she practically whispered.

"Well, it was a pleasurable experience," he said simply, causing something to go twang under Filia's ribcage. "If I denied something so clearly true then that could only mean that I was hiding something important from myself," he added in a holier-than-thou tone that was rather ironic on a demon.

"I don't love you, if that's what you mean!" Filia shouted. Then she realized she might have responded to quickly.

Xellos arched an eyebrow. "I never said you did."

"Well you were implying it!" she shot back. "You're always implying things," she growled darkly.

Xellos gave her a 'you are ridiculous' look. "Filia, if you want me to kiss you again then you just have to ask."

Filia opened her mouth and drew in a breath, the look on her face clearly screaming: 'there are no words to describe the line you just crossed'.

"What?" he said. "That wasn't an implication. It was a fairly direct accusation."

"I don't want you to kiss me!" she finally exploded out. "I don't know how you can even say something so awful like it's no big deal!"

"And anyway," she snapped, "why is it always on me? You just keep going on with your 'Oh, Filia, you want this. It's all you.' when you're the one that admitted to liking the kiss in the first place. Why don't you just try honesty for once in your life, if only for the novelty of it, and say 'Can I kiss you because I want to?' It's at least a less obnoxious strategy!"

"…Can I kiss you because I want to?" he tried cautiously.

"No!" Filia yelled.

"But you said—"

"I said it was a less obnoxious strategy. I didn't say I'd say yes," Filia said, cutting across him.

"I don't even know why you're bothering with this," Filia said, mostly to herself. "I mean, it's not like you felt the need to debate me about it last time. You just went ahead anyway and I was too shocked to…" She looked up into Xellos's open eyes.

Oh crap. That was out loud.

He reached a hand slowly over to her. She flinched, but didn't move away when it ran through her hair. He moved her closer to him and kissed her.

And this time there wasn't a table between them or a contest of strength on hold. This time he pulled her down with him onto the nice suede chair that she'd only recently been considering covering with a shower curtain and putting outside, and running his hand up her leg.

"Xellos," she breathed out in a panic as his lips left hers and ran across her neck.

"What?" he answered, sounding irritated at this interruption.

"The," she began – she couldn't believe she was saying this, "the bedroom is upstairs." Thank the gods she hadn't moved the bed. Only because she couldn't fit it out the door (which raised questions about how it got in there in the first place).

He looked up into her half-closed eyes for about ten seconds. "That's interesting," he said, and then continued doing the work of the decades by raising her hemline.

"Xellos!"

"Oh, alright," he relented, scooping her into his arms and carrying her upstairs.

*****

Filia lay in bed some time later plagued with guilt, absolutely sure that she'd made a decision she would regret intensely later. On the other hand, she no longer felt any desire to move furniture.

"It's almost a shame I only owed you one favor," Xellos said pensively, watching her from the other side of the bed.

"What do you mean 'owed'?" Filia asked, barely getting back her sharpness after what had transpired between them. "You don't honestly think this counts as the favor, do you?"

"Well, of course it does," Xellos said, but he sounded just a little unsure.

"I never said anything about a favor," Filia said. "You were the one going on and on about it after I said no."

Xellos looked like he was thinking fast. "Are you sure you didn't say anything about a favor?"

"Yes!" Filia insisted. Like she'd actually sacrifice a possible get-out-of-death-free card to satisfy her own obviously insane and morally reprehensible desires!

"Perhaps you might have moaned something about it while we were—"

Storm clouds rolled across Filia's expression. "No."

"—something along the lines of 'Oh, Xellos! Oh yes! This definitely counts as a favor!'?" he tried.

Thunder rumbled from the metaphorical mass of cumulonimbus. "I think you should leave now," she said threateningly.

"…So that's a 'no'?"

"GET OUT!"

*****

"It didn't work," Zelas said leadenly. "How shocking."

"I'm afraid so, Lord Beastmaster," Xellos answered contritely. "I confess there were some matters I didn't take into account.

Like the entire plan, Zelas thought as she picked up a mug containing her new favorite drink. It was something she'd borrowed from the deepest dungeon of the Atlas City Sorcerer's Guild where the sorcerers would be horrified to find it missing. It wasn't in a pretty container because it was only an inch thick layer of an alloy of orihalcon and magnetized iron that was keeping the radioactive sludge inside from eating through its container and dissolving through the world until it came out the other side. She'd placed an orange wedge rather jauntily on the rim of the mug.

"But I have another plan that should fix everything," Xellos announced.

"Does it involve having sex with her again?" Zelas asked almost boredly, taking a swig of the radioactive slurry.

"…Sort of," Xellos admitted.

"Do tell."

"Well," Xellos said, determined to explain his plan but nevertheless now slightly less confident in it, "now that Filia and I have already had sex she'll be much more likely to want it in the future. I simply have to withhold it until the time that she asks for it as part of our deal."

Zelas stared at him. A catastrophic meltdown was narrowly avoided as a spark from her pipe just barely missed her drink.

"Xellos," she finally said, because it didn't seem like he'd figure this out any time soon, "I think that the events of the past few days have spelled out in the clearest of terms that you just don't have the willpower."
Another entry for Beloved Enemy's 100 Nights of Summer Writing Challenge. Join the fun: [link]

Theme #37: Terms and Conditions. A continuation of Game: [link]

Rating: T
Fandom: Slayers
Pairing: Xellos/Filia
Genre: Comedy/Romance

Themes Done So Far:
-Exorcism: [link]
-Tea Leaves: [link]
-First Kiss: [link]
-Guilty: [link]
-Dwelling on It: [link]
-Unoriginal Sin: [link]
-Game: [link]
-Terms and Conditions
-How to Impress a Woman: [link]
-Wolves and Their Prey: [link]
-Good Deeds: [link]
-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
Comments30
anonymous's avatar
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shishiyoukai's avatar
uohohhohhohohohoooooooooooohhhhhhh!!!!!!!!! zelas! my beloved zelas! did I already say that I love your concept of her? yes, I think so XD her being keen, sharp, intelligent, you describe her just like I've always imagined the character, basing on the few informations kanzaka gave.

"…Can I kiss you because I want to?" he tried cautiously.

"No!" Filia yelled.

"But you said—"

"I said it was a less obnoxious strategy. I didn't say I'd say yes," Filia said, cutting across him.

ahahahahaahahahahah!!!!

"The," she began – she couldn't believe she was saying this, "the bedroom is upstairs."

AHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAAHAH!!!! :D

"It didn't work," Zelas said leadenly. "How shocking."

"I'm afraid so, Lord Beastmaster," Xellos answered contritely. "I confess there were some matters I didn't take into account.

Like the entire plan, Zelas thought as she picked up a mug containing her new favorite drink.

ahahahahahahah! that's why I like zelas! you are the best, skiyomi!
Skiyomi's avatar
^^ Thanks! Zelas was fun to write for here.
shishiyoukai's avatar
aaaaaaaaaaaarrrgghhh!!!! the sequel!! I read yesterday "game" and today I find this! awwww, this is a wonderful day XDXD
the4gotten's avatar
LOL i loved this xD
i think i'm starting to love those two xD
i loved the part where they were discussing in bed xD
Skiyomi's avatar
Thanks! XD They're a very addictive pair, aren't they?
the4gotten's avatar
you're welcome :D yes! they definitely are!!! :iconimhappyplz:
littlecloudflower's avatar
Xellos...You're hilarious. :D

So is Filia, what with the home improvement obsession. That's so like her!
Skiyomi's avatar
Not always such a smart guy, is he? :P
AmberPalette's avatar
LOL aw, inspiring Lily was once my job XDDDDD I really need to get back into the swing of Xellia writing and art.

"She blew a smoke tesseract because smoke rings are for chumps." <--That sentence made me laugh out loud. Your Zelas is as strong as your Xelloss and I must say few have her down (admittedly it is difficult considering she has almost no canonical appearances, but I prefer a nuanced more omniscient femme Xelloss to an overly sexed femme fatale, and you definitely write the former).

I love the concept of Xelloss's desire for Filia outsmarting himself LOL.
Skiyomi's avatar
Thank you so much! I really appreciate that because this is the first time I've had Zelas appear in one of my fics and I was worried about getting her wrong.

XD He's so sharp sometimes he ends up cutting himself.
AmberPalette's avatar
XD He's so sharp sometimes he ends up cutting himself. <--YUP.

You're welcome! :D!
LilyBotanica's avatar
Love it, love it, love it!! :D

Seriously, your Xellia fics are helping fuel my decent back into Slayers fanartz. I read your descriptions and just want to draw everything instead of focusing on actual work! Curse you! :P
Skiyomi's avatar
Thank you so much! :heart:

XD I can't draw very well, so this is the only way I have to make the images in my head real. Hurray for actualizing~!
LilyBotanica's avatar
Hahaha, I'm the exact opposite- I wish I could verbalize!

Hey, would it bug you if I did a few pencil sketches based on a couple of your fics- mainly I want to do a drawing of xellia with apple a la Unoriginal Sin? I would credit you as inspiration of course.
Skiyomi's avatar
Bother me? Are you kidding? I'd love that :D

Y'know, it's funny because I actually said in one of my annotations on ff.net for Unoriginal Sin that I could see him holding out the apple to her as part of some kind of Xellia triptych.
LilyBotanica's avatar
Damn, girl, you full of good ideas!
It'd be cool to do it kind of formal and art nouveau...Hmmm...Hmmm....

What would you have as the other parts of the triptych?
Skiyomi's avatar
...I didn't think that far ahead XD

Since the apple thing is based on the garden of eden, it would make sense if the others were Biblically inspired. ...Not sure what'd be best for those. Maybe a Samson/Delilah thing... though I don't know who'd be cutting whose hair. And... I don't really know what else...
LilyBotanica's avatar
Oh man...a Xellia Bathsheba would end in mayhem...

Probably Judith and Holofernes would not be a good choice...

There's always Esther!?

*I obviously paid very little attention in hebrew school...*
Skiyomi's avatar
XD True. Though I've always liked 'Broken Hallelujah' for them, so it kinda fits.

Judith and Holofernes would be interesting... I don't really know much about the story because I've only seen paintings. Apparently it's apocryphal? *shrug*

Esther might be good... strong female role-model and all.

Where's my Bible? *digs it out*

Another option would be Solomon/The Queen of Sheba since they *are* from the sexiest book in the Bible.
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anonymous's avatar
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