Melodies of Lina - A Slayers Songfic

    It had been fifteen years since the defeat of Dark Star, and Lina Inverse stood staring in the mirror. Traces of gray were beginning to show in her hair, and she managed to glare at them. They were a sign that she was getting old, and that was one thing that Lina Inverse, sorceress extraordinaire, had no desire to do.
    Especially not alone.

Alone for a while I've been searching through the dark,
For traces of the love you left inside my lonely heart,
To weave by picking up the pieces that remain,
Melodies of life - love's lost refrain.

    She turned away from the mirror, walking back into the living area in her meager cabin. She’d liked it the minute she saw it. It was small, hardly anything that anyone would have ever imagined her living in. But it was on the edge of what had once been the barrier, a good three days travel from Zelfilia.
    As a result, no-one bothered her. She liked it that way, mostly… well… except for nights like tonight when she was given to sit and recall the days when she’d traveled care-free and wild through the world. She’d had her friends then… the rag-tag bunch of magic-users and swordfighters…

Our paths they did cross, though I cannot say just why.
We met, we laughed, we held on fast,
And then we said goodbye.
And who'll hear the echoes of stories never told?
Let them ring out loud till they unfold.

    So long ago… She sat in her chair before the fire, picking up the unprotesting cat that had adopted her one day. She was glad it had adopted her, it was another individual under the roof to talk to… even if the answer was in the form of a ‘miaou.’
    Sitting there, idly scratching the cat, remembering the fun of arguing with Gourry, teasing Zelgadis… teaching Amelia… Oh, she’d been in love then, but she hadn’t known it for what it was… and not like he’d have ever said a thing to her. He wasn’t like that.

In my dearest memories, I see you reaching out to me.
Though you're gone, I still believe that you can call out my name.
A voice from the past, joining yours and mine.
Adding up the layers of harmony. And so it goes, on and on.
Melodies of life, To the sky beyond the flying birds - forever and beyond.

    Tears sprung up into her eyes and she felt the cat sit up and nuzzle her chin. Silly creature. How could it know how she felt? She ruffled it slightly, and closed her eyes, slipping back into a more cheerful time when she hadn’t been alone. She didn’t even mind Xellos so much anymore, but he had stopped coming by almost eight years ago now. Nothing she had done had found him, and she had feared the worst.
    She knew what Amelia was doing, the Queen of Sailune. Too busy for a common-born sorceress. Lina couldn’t blame her, though. Amelia was only picking up what her older sister had run away from.
    Gourry… he’d been so brave until the day that they had left Amelia in Sailune and been attacked by a group of bandits who had been waiting for them. Lina still had the scar from that fight… and Gourry blamed himself for giving the Sword of Light away. He couldn’t protect Lina anymore., he said… and he’d left in the silence of night.
    It tore her up when Zelgadis quietly told her that he was going to go off on his own, and she hadn’t quite understood why. But she’d let him go, left alone in a town that suddenly seemed all the less interesting.
    She’d headed home then, only to find that not even her sister Luna was around. It hit her that she was truly alone, and she took off on a bandit-hunting rampage that lasted for two years, hoping secretly to find at least one of them back out on the road. But she hadn't, and here she was.
    She opened her eyes and got up out of the chair, setting the cat on the seat she had just vacated. She walked over to the window and looked out into the quiet evening.

So far and away, see the bird as it flies by.
Gliding through the shadows of the clouds up in the sky.
I've laid my memories and dreams upon those wings.
Leave them now and see what tomorrow brings.

    The birds rustled out of the trees, startled by something, and she turned her head slightly to look in that direction. There was nothing there, as usual. Must have been a cat, or some other animal.
    Shaking her head for being so foolish, she walked into the kitchen and put a pot of water on the stove to boil. She’d have some tea, then to bed. She couldn’t help recalling how they’d teased him over that drink of his. Coffee, he’d called it. She’d tried it, just to try to make amends for the teasing, but she just couldn’t develop a taste for it. Instead, she’d rather liked Filia’s tea…

In your dearest memories, do you remember loving me?
Was it fate that brought us close and now leave me behind?
A voice from the past, joining yours and mine.
Adding up the layers of harmony. And so it goes, on and on.
Melodies of life, To the sky beyond the flying bird - forever and on.

    The cat scampered over to her feet, trampling on her, trying to trip her in a reminder that it needed to be fed. Smirking, Lina took out some cat food and set it out. No, she couldn’t ever claim to be lonely while the cat was pulling such stunts… but she wondered what it would be like if he had stayed with her. What it would be like to have not been alone for this long…
    She watched the kettle as the water began to boil, and didn’t hear the knock at the door. Instead, she pulled out the tea leaves, and spilled some carefully into her cup. It was only then that she noticed the door was slightly ajar. Odd… she hadn’t left it open, had she?
    She walked over to it, closing it with a good thud, and latching it securely. The kettle started its whistle, and she turned to go back into the kitchen, when she froze.

If I should leave this lonely world behind,
Your voice will still remember our melody.
Now I know we'll carry on.
Melodies of life, Come circle round and grow deep in our hearts,
As long as we remember.

    He stood there, a self-effacing smile hinting at his lips, blue eyes looking quietly to her red ones. He hadn’t changed at all, didn’t seem to have aged a day since she had last seen him.
    And suddenly, neither had she. Only this time, she was going to tell him.

Melodies of Life is from Final Fantasy IX, product of Square.
The characters from "Slayers" are the products of Software Sculptors, Tokyo TV, Enoki Films Co., Ltd., Monthly Dragon Magazine, Weekly Comic Dragon, Fujimi Books, Hajime Kanzaka, Rui Araizumi, and Kadokawa Publishing Co., Ltd.
No, I'm not going to tell you which one 'he' is. I leave that entirely up to you.