The Dream That Comes True

        It was, he decided, one Hell of a day.
        They’d come into some little town and the very first thing he’d felt were the eyes.
        They were staring at him.
        At first, he’d passed it off. But as more of them came to stare, the less comfortable he’d become. Finally, he’d looked around turned to Lina, and excused himself from the table.
        She’d followed, telling him that she’d take care of it, make it clear that he was her friend, and if anyone stared at him, they’d be blasted.
        He hadn’t wanted that. He’d sent Lina back, saying that he’d catch up with them later, once they were clear of this town.
 And he’d gone to wait in the woods beyond the town.

        He sat on a fallen log, scowling at his fate and the world in general, when a young girl came wandering by, picking the various flowers that grew within the forest. He was sitting still, and it was easy to understand why she’d mistaken him. But for a statue?
        She sat at his feet, quite happily singing as he watched her weave grass and flowers together, forming a necklace of sorts, which once finished, was carefully placed around his shoulders and tied together by fragile-seeming hands.
        He’d just been… decorated.
        Small hands patted gently as she walked back around the seated chimera, smiling at her handiwork. She spoke quietly, her little voice sweet and kind. “Such a nice statue… looks so lonely out here…” She paused, tilting her head, and peered up at his face. “No… not a statue… oh!” She stepped backwards suddenly.
        He reached out, catching her gently so that she wouldn’t fall. “No. I’m not a statue. My name is Zelgadis.”
        He felt a strange sort of magic-touch, then she smiled. “I’m Anna. It’s okay, you can let go. I won’t fall.”
        He released her and she didn’t fall. Instead, she smiled at him and settled down in front of him again. “I’m sorry I thought you were a statue. I’ve never met a chimera like you before. How did you come to be?”
        For some reason, he opened his mouth and told her. Told her all of it. How he’d wanted power, and how Rezo had changed him into this hideous creature, and that he was looking for a way to cure himself.
        “But… that should be easy!” She exclaimed, looking at him. “If you’d wanted to be powerful, turning you into a chimera wasn’t the way to do it.”
        He looked at her. She couldn’t have been more than seven. What would she know of higher magics?
        “Stay here. I’ll be back!!” And without waiting for a reply, the girl grabbed up her basket and took off into the depths of the woods.
        He shook his head. He was asleep. He’d fallen asleep while waiting for the inevitable explosion that meant Lina was leaving town. So, in order to help matters along, he leaned over onto the tree beside him, and fell asleep.

        Lina had wandered the town, keenly aware that there was no magic to speak of within its inhabitants. She’d been told that all magic users were sent to a sanctuary some way off, and that while they did correspond, they didn’t return to town.
        She’d decided that they’d leave town in the morning, and they’d checked into the inn and settled in various rooms. She was worried about Zelgadis, but he was a grown man… he could spend the night in the woods if he wanted to.
        She would have rather him been close.

        He opened his eyes when the small hands patted him on the arm. “Zelgadis… wake up! I’ve figured it out and it won’t take a moment, but you have to be awake.”
        He sat up and brushed some bark off of his cheek and raised an eyebrow. She’d changed into a miniature Priestess robe, and an ornate circlet was about her head.
        She smiled lightly at his expression. “Don’t worry. I know what I’m doing. Just… hold still.”
        Clasping her hands together in the fashion of a shrine maiden, she called upon a power that felt far older than she was. As she began to speak, the words chilled him to his soul.
        “Lord of Light, everlasting love! Let my power be called forth  from the Infinite! Heavenly touch of Cepheid, by the fragment I possess! Lord of Darkness and the Four Worlds, I beseech thee bear witness!” She lifted one hand high, a brilliant spark of light forming around her fingers. “By the power I command!”
        The words caught his undivided attention, and he stared in open-mouthed shock. “What…?!”
        The girl smiled, rose-pink lips curling around the words. “No-one ever said that the White Priestess of Cepheid had to be a grown-up…”
        He sat, stunned by the power she had called, by her identity revealed… he’d thought she was long dead! He’d have looked for her sooner! He’d…!
        His eyes were heavy… he couldn’t think. The magic was pulling at him, tugging in a way that he could only just barely feel. Awareness was fading, and for a moment, he thought that he saw a dark-haired woman beside the White Priestess of Cepheid as he passed out.

        The woman looked at the recipient of Anna’s magic. With a sigh, she shook her head. I suppose we’ll have to carry him back into town…
        Light eyes looked up as Anna released the spell and let it complete its work. “Your sister is there…”
        I know. But she doesn’t need to know that I am.

        He opened his eyes after a very foggy dream, and found a ceiling over him. Huh? Where am I…?
        In the distance, he could hear a voice that was incredibly like Lina’s screaming something about food. Did she go out and bring me here? Didn’t she remember how they stared…?
        He swung his still-clothed self around and stood up, wobbling as he did so. He was strangely lightheaded, and moving around was taking a great deal of concentration for some reason. His feet seemed to want to over-react to his mind’s instructions to move, and no… wait… lightheaded wasn’t it… he decided. He was… light.
        He froze, looking at his hand that was gripping the bedside table. Pink. His fingers were pink.
        There was an enormous clatter as he sat down suddenly, missing the bed, and pulling the table over onto him.

        Lina looked up, frowning. The innkeeper had said that her friend had come in the night and rented a room, and he wasn’t awake yet… which was highly unlike Zelgadis. And now, with that thud… something was up, and she was going to go investigate. Excusing herself from the table was easy, Gourry had a mouthful of food, and Amelia was in the shower.
        When she got to the top of the stairs, she turned, counting the doors until she stood before the one she felt certain was his. Knocking brightly on the door, she called out: “Zelgadis?”
        An indiscernible reply came through the door, and she decided that if it was really him, he wouldn’t mind her popping the door open slightly. So, she opened the door a crack, and called out again. “Hey, Zelgadis?”
        “I…” he replied, and she thought something was wrong.
        She opened the door and saw someone sitting beside an upturned bedside table on the floor, but it couldn’t be Zelgadis. This guy was human. Flushing red, she started to back up. “Oh… excuse me, I thought you were a friend of mine…”
        He looked up at her. Blue eyes the same shape and shade as his.
        She blinked, rooted to the spot. It was him. But… how?
        He gave his trademark half-smile and held up a very pink hand. “I’m… human…”
        It was his voice… his eyes… his smile. Everything but his skin was Zelgadis.
        Laughing, she launched herself into the room. “Yaaaay, Zelgadis!”
        Without quite meaning to, he caught her into an embrace that ended in a startling kiss. Both of them began to blush and laugh, trying to pass it off as something of the moment, but neither precisely certain that it was.
        But what really mattered, Lina decided, was that Zelgadis was happy. And he had a pretty great smile when she stopped to think about it.