|No jokes about Tentacle rape allowed.|
Stepping from the mostly isolated fountain, you'll see a beautiful lake nestled in here. The grass is cool and in good condition, and the water is clean and clear, the shimmer of the daylight pretty upon it's rippling surface. A large weeping willow is the only large plant life here however, it's graceful branches rustling in the light breeze.
Zelgadis has managed to wander into this section of the park. He explores on occasion and often finds himself in the strangest places, especially around here. He glances around as he comes up on the lake. He finds himself looking over it in a rare, peaceful moment. He even pulls his hood back and closes his eyes in cotemplation. CoNtemplation?
A scream of joy can be heard in the distance. It gets closer and closer still. Devi zooms by Zel, jumping at the last second to splash loudly into the lake. She swims around under the water before her head breaks the surface. "Hi Zel!" She swims up, and lays on the sand still mostly submerged on her stomach.
Zelgadis jumps slightly as Devi rockets past him. He offers a weak wave as he notices who it is. He looks a tad surprised still. "Ah. Devi. Hello. I didn't see you at first...*o.o*"
Devi grins and climbs up onto the shore. She's suprisingly let her legs see the sunlight today, dressed in a pair of shorts that fall to her mid thigh. She laughs slightly. "Ah well, it felt like a good day for a swim. You look... eh, I don't know. Like you were lost in thought? Everything mostly ok?"
Zelgadis manages to turn WAY more red than usual. He covers up a small nosebleed and looks the other way. "No! N...no, it's nothing. I was just... ... trying to relax? It's hard to relax here, but I figured I was a tad too stressed."
Who knew Devi's pale legs could have such an effect! Devi raises her eyebrows, oblivious to -why- Zel's nose is bleeding and says, "It's a calming place, I think." She leans back on her hands and watches the sunlight play off the water. "Well, except when people come screaming into the water. Sorry to have startled ya."
Zelgadis shakes his head slowly. He winces obviously in pain and slumps back to sit down where he is. He offers Devi a weak smile. "It's alright. I was just....the pain is getting worse. I was trying to deal with it. I'm...glad it was you. You're one of the few people here I trust."
Devi eyes the black onxy slowly taking over Zel. She frowns and turns towards him, her legs folded under her. "Is there anything I can do to help?" She's happy that he trusts her, but she still feels guitly that it happened. And Devi being what she is, feels guilty for suggesting Caliga's help if it only brought pain. Her eyes show it too.
Zelgadis shakes his head slowly. "I don't know, I don't think so. I think...this may just kill me...if I'm lucky. I don't want to lose control. I....my thoughts are a bit scrambled lately. I've blacked out a few times...and awoke in new places..."
Devi grits her teeth, then takes a deep breath and calms herself down. "Next time I see Caliga, I'll kick his ass for you.... I don't think that it'll kill you..." *At least I pray it doesn't.* "You've blacked out? Any idea what you've done during that time?"
Zelgadis reaches up his good hand and tries to rest it on Devi's shoulder. "Please, don't be upset. I don't think he knew...and he claims he'll still help me if he can. ... I don't know where I've been or what I was doing. I awoke to find blood on my hands several times, however..."
Devi doesn't flinch this time. It seems like Zel has reached the point of being able to touch her without scaring the crap outta her. "Blood? You havn't been.... " She trails off. Killing people..... She already lost one friend to a manic way of life, and had to fight for her own sanity. She doesn't want another person to fall to that path.
Zelgadis lowers his hand slowly. He looks away over the lake for a moment before replying, "No, I don't think so. I...think I was killing local wildlife...I'm not sure. I found no corpses and I don't think I was eating them. I really can't...remember."
Devi shifts her legs, letting one strech out. "Well, there havn't been any reports of people dead or any dead animals laying around. That's always good." She puts her hands in her lap. "We'll figure out what went wrong. I don't know what I can really do but hunt for an answer and just be here for you. I wish I could do more."
Zelgadis lays back slowly. The look on his face is a pained one. It seems to relax a bit as he looks up at the sky. "The oddest thing...is that the blood will often fade away, disappearing before my eyes. Only...on the blackened....skin I suppose you'd call it. It seems to just...drain away. ..." Devi says, "Really? That's odd. Johnny's...." She trails off again. "His daggers did the same thing..." And idea comes to mind, and her face lights up before fading back down to normality. "It's Evil, right? If it fed of negitivity or blood, Nny's daggers might be able to absorb it..." Zelgadis shrugs a bit. "If it's the life-force of Shabrinigdo then it's mostly likely evil. I don't know...much about him other than what's in legend." He trails off at that point. .. Devi says, "As unease as I am about trying it... I don't know.." She leans back on her hands again. "If we knew what caused this, it'd help.."
Zelgadis nods. "I understand very little of it. As far as I know, Rezo wasn't intended for this to be a...side effect. He was unaware that he was haboring a piece of the dark lord in his eyes. ... Devi? The wastelands... ... When you took me there, the pain....vanished. I felt...peaceful."
Devi frowns. "Really? That's doubly odd. There's not much of good or evil out there, just unstability and insanity. Maybe if you lurked more often on the outer rim of it, the pain would be more tolorable. Do you have any ideas about why the Wastelands helped?"
Zelgadis offers Devi a helpless gaze for a moment before looking down a bit. "No. I have no idea. I just felt...drawn further in. I thought it was beautiful there. I felt....like I should stay. Something said 'let go' but I wasn't sure...I didn't know what it meant. Everything seemed to make sense for just a moment before..." Zel seems to continue...but his voice drops to a mutter and he seems to be talking more to himself.
Devi says, "Before what?" Her brow furrows in concern.
Zelgadis snaps out of it, glancing up. He looks a tad surprised. "Before what? What do you... I'm sorry. I lost track of what we were talking about..." A slightly confused look alights his face.
Devi says, "The Wastelands? How you felt there? Letting go? Hmm, maybe we should go back and feel this out a little more. If nothing else, it'll stop the pain for a bit right?"
Zelgadis tilts his head....a slightly faltering smile is his first reply. He nods slowly. "Y..yes. I would enjoy that. Thank you..."
Devi stands up, and holds out her hand to Zel. "Come on then. Let's get going." She smiles warmly.
Zelgadis starts to reach up with his blackened hand...but he quickly stops himself. He stares down at the hand for a second...before offering the other one, a slight smile returning back to his lips. "Thank you, Devi."
Devi says, "Of course." She grabs his hand and teleports them. As the pair fall back into reality, Devi has become fully dressed. She drops Zel's hands and drops to her knees, her breathing labored for a moment. The wind howls around, slapping them with sand. It pushes away though, Devi having created that barrier that kept them safe before. She takes a moment and gets back to her feet.
Zelgadis looks concerned. He takes a step toward her. "Devi? Are you alright?..."
Devi waves him off. "I'm fine, just.. teleporting can be taxing if I'm not careful." She looks around and breathes in deeply. "Well, it's not the smell of water and sun, but it's nice none the less. How's the pain? Is it better now?"
Zelgadis looks around slowly. He nods. "The pain...is gone. My head is much clearer now... but, there's something I'm...supposed to find here. Can you take me...back to where we were before, Devi?..."
Devi says, "The Tree? Yeah." She walks confidently towards the heart of the area, her eyes trying to look through every portal that floats by. The screaming still hasn't disapated in any way, be that good or bad depending on your view point. It's not long before they reach the Tree, and Devi stops beside it.
Zelgadis follows behind for a time...and glances around a bit once again. He starts to head in a random direction. "It's....what is it? ...A....it's a portal. There's a portal...I'm supposed to find...everything will be alright, if I can just..."
Devi follows Zel, staying silent but watching him carefully.
Zelgadis seems to be drawing in the direction where the screaming dies off just a bit. A tad more silent. Something starts to feel a tad off. As he's walking, what looks like a black ichorous fluid seems to drip down from his exposed hand. It disappears shortly after dripping down, though. Devi frowns and follows after still, leaning down to watch what's happeneing with it. That's definatly interesting. Devi has to wonder if it's actaully falling off him and if the line is recedeing. Zelgadis slowlys down a short time later. The area is quiet...there doesn't SEEM to be much dimensional activity here. He stops shortly, however. He reaches out ever so slowly. "Here...it's right...here. This is what I was looking for. This is why...this place was calling to me. Look..."
There doesn't SEEM to be anything there, though. Devi peers around him. "I can't see, what is it?" She keeps her tone even and as light as it was before. No need to cause anyone to panic. She does belive him however, and the thought of crazy doesn't enter her head. "Where does it lead?"
Zelgadis extends his arm fully, tilting his head. "I don't kn-..." His hand seems to vanish. Blood red tendrils of some sort of astral force begin to snake up his arm. He doesn't seem to be resisting, though. His eyes close and he seems to become passive. Devi's eyes go wide and she moves around him to get a better look. "What's happening?", she whispers. "Is it ok?" She lets her gaze flick from his face to his arm, her body tense, and quivering like the string of a bow.
Zelgadis actually manages to smile ever so slightly as the tendrils rap around his body and begin to pull him out of view. He seems to be fading into...well, nothing. Wherever those tendrils are coming from. He does finally speak, "It's ok. It's...wonderful. I feel so much...better..."
Devi reaches out to grasp his hand, torn between emotions. "Zel, I don't... I don't like this. Where are..." She stops herself for fear of sounding like the child she feels like at the moment.
Zelgadis doesn't stop her. The tendrils however seem to react to her presence and lash out in an attempt to wrap around Devi's arm. If successful, they'll try to start snaking up her body. Zel is mostly gone from view with the exception of the hand being held. He doesn't speak further, however. He seems out of it.
Devi jumps as the tendrils wrap around her arm. "No, no, this isn't right. This isn't right." She repeats this as she fights to pull Zel back into the Wastelands, back to Twisted, back to her.
The tendrils are reacting to the latent Mazoku presence in her, whatever's left at least. Traces could trigger it. This is the 'sleeping' astral form of Shabrinigdo who is more or less the 'ultimate' mazoku. She can pull away, but Zel's just about gone and if she lets go, it seems as though he'll be gone from view.
Devi says, "No, no no no no no no." She puts her full force into it, pulling as had as she can. Considering her training, strenght is nothing to her. There is more then a latent Mazuko presence though, as Devi seems to have all the Mazuko power, just not the astral ability. Maybe that's why she can teleport again, and why it drains her of power so badly.
The tendrils seem to be holding. If she doesn't let go soon, they're going to get a good grip on her too. Zel is currently immobile and not helping or hindering. The tendrils haven't stopped pulling. A voice echo's in Devi's head, however: "Do not resist. You...are mine as well, as is your master. Join me once again, just as your little...friend has."
Devi's head shakes, her eyes flickering red as she gest angry. The color doesn't stay though, as she screams. "I am my own Master!" She returns to whispers, repeating and repeating. "I can't do this at the same time." What does she mean? "ZEL! Wake up." Her second hand snaps away from Zel's, and powers up, though she's aware of what magics come from his world. She uses her Ki. A small ball of golden power charges up, and she launches it into the portal, hopefully over Zel's shoulder.. if he has one anymore.
Zelgadis's hand snaps up from...wherever it was before. The blast strikes his blackened hand and seems to be dispersed. The tendrils disappear as suddenly as they were there. Zel's body slowly fades back into view. His eyes still closed, looking quite serene. Devi drags him away from the spot, much more easily now that they've been released. She kneels next to him, brushing his hood away from his face. She grabs his face, shaking him slightly. "Zel? Zel, man, you've gotta wake up. You've gotta tell me I saved one of you, don't let me down. Not now, come on." Her eyes run swiftly up his form, looking to see if the black onxy is still there. They do still seem to be there...except now, they don't seem to be reflecting any light.
Zelgadis's eyes flicker open...and he offers a smile. Something seems...slightly off...but it's a warm smile. "I'm alright. Thank you, Devi. You are truly my...guardian angel." The way he says angel...seems a tad off too, but it's hard to place how....
Devi laughs out a sigh of both relief and joy. "Oh god, you scared me." She brushes the hair off his forehead. "Don't do that again, please, it's very hard on my heart and I'm to young to have a heart attack. Are you sure your ok? Nothing's out of the ordinary?"
Zelgadis reaches up a hand slowly, attempting to brush it lightly against Devi's cheek. He smile never wavering. "I'm...so sorry. I'm just fine. I feel perfectly safe with you around. Thank you..." Hm, well, something definitely seems a LITTLE off here c.c
Devi frowns, even as she unknowingly leans into his caress. "You don't sound right. It's kinda odd for you to be so... affectionate." She takes his hand away from her cheek and lays it across his stomach. Getting up, she shrugs out of her coat and folds it up, lifting his head and sliding it under. Seems only appropriate given that he's laying on the ground.
Zelgadis closes his eyes, sighing softly. "It's odd for me to...meet someone like you as well, Devi. Thank you for everything. I truly...must repay you someday."
Devi asks, "Well, you can repay me by going back to normal." She folds her legs under herself, sitting indian style next to him. "What happened in there?"
Zelgadis laughs softly....although for just a second, the laugh also sounds a tad...off, like it was echo'ing. ... Hm, must be background noise. "Well, I will go back to....normal, as soon as I can. ... ... What happened in there? It was...well, it wasn't important. I've escaped..." Devi says, "No no, it is important. For all I know, I just freaked out over whatever god/demon thin that comes from your world." Devi notes the sound though, her eyes betraying nothing of the remaining worry in her soul.
Zelgadis peers up, raising an eyebrow. "Demon...thing? Whatever are you talking about? Do you...know what that was?..."
Devi smiles widly. "Nope, no freakin clue. But this is the standard you know, and I've had my fair share of not being aware enough of possiblities." Her face falls somber. "More then enough."
Zelgadis nods slowly. He closes his eyes again and lets that odd smile play on his lips. "Of course. You're caught between...so many worlds. So many realities. ... Wouldn't it be wonderful to simply give in to one of them? It would make things so simple..."
Devi says, "Not for me it wouldn't. I've been growing up, as I've stayed here, and while I may wish and dream for a lot of things.... These diffrent worlds and realitys keep my eyes open, as far as I can tell. They keep me honest." She looks down at him. "They keep me human, something I had forsaken long ago."
Zelgadis lets out a short laugh at that. He calms down after a moment and lowers it to a chuckle. "Keep you human. Yes. Of course. The ultimate aspiration...to regain our....humanity(There's that slight sneer again)."
Devi raises an eyebrow. "You say that like it's a despicable thing. And what of love then? And beauty, and order? How do you feel about those, Zelgadis?" Her tone says soft and sweet, but there's steel underthem, vibrating with uncertianty.
Zelgadis mms. "Love, beauty....order? Well... isn't love our ultimate goal? Peace, beauty, order...one must love themselves and others to attain it, wouldn't you say? Otherwise...one merely falls into horrible indifference."
Devi feels him out with her -other- means. Granted, it's not the same as astral but it does it's job. "Hmm. Indeed." She leans back again, to stare at him some more.
Zelgadis SEEMS normal enough... ... wait, something feels a tad o-...no, never mind. It was nothing. Zelgadis stares up at her, his eyes unblinking. He grins slightly. "You know, you look beautiful in the light here, Devi."
Devi says, "You've just gone through some trumatic stuff, Zel, and I'll only take light of your words in the aftermath. Men do say such things under stress." She looks away, forcing her mind away from if he really means it or not. She doesn't like even the smallest of semi-off things in his... arua, I guess you'd call it. "Besides you might be possesed. And I can't have Shinagrure or whatever his name is professing any kind of attraction to the monster I am."
Zelgadis laughs it off. "My goodness. You must have been hurt so many times in your life. Much like myself, you don't think anyone could care about you in the slightest. You call yourself a monster....am I a monster as well? Just look at me...am I monsterous, Devi?"
Devi scoffs. "Of course not. I've seen monsters and you are not one of them. Perhaps odd to the right mindset, thankfully, one I don't have. Zel. I havn't been touched in years. Literally. I got my last hug from my father before I left home. In that way, do you doubt my reluctance to belive a feeling that anyone, much less an over polite, scared of anything with tits gentalman suddenly says that... I'm beautiful? I've been called a lot of things, and I promise that has never been one of them."
Zelgadis mms, he sits up slowly. He turns himself around and sits in a similar cross legged stance. He peers at Devi with that still unblinking look. He definitely used to blink. "I've been called handsome. Do you think I've heard it? I filtered it out. Always. I thought...I always thought I was being mocked. Am I handsome, Devi? If so...do you think that perhaps you just haven't been listening? It's so hard to hear anything positive in light of the negative image we always have of ourselves...wouldn't you say?"
Devi asks, "I filter nothing out. Everything is important, everything has a meaning. Despite my negitive image, I still hear the positive. 'Devi, good job kicking Arctus's ass, you're getting a lot better. So, what happened in there?"
Zelgadis narrows his eyes slightly but only for a moment. He offers a shrug. "I'm not sure. It was all a blur. I blacked out...at least I think I did. When I woke up, you were tending to me and the pain was gone. That's all I remember."
Devi eyes him, the distrust evident on her face. She mutters to herself. "Maybe I am just paranoid." She shakes her head, her face relaxed once again. "I really am happy your ok, Zel. I didn't want to lose someone else to the unknown dangers."
Zelgadis smiles again, the 'hardness' (see what I did there?) in his face gone again. "It was thanks to you. I really do owe you a great deal. If there's ever anything I can do to repay..."
Devi says, "You do enough every time I see you. After all, I don't have many people to trust, and I miss having someone to talk to openly." Her mind races against what he did and how she reacted, and she feels bad about it. If there really is nothing wrong with him, then she trampled all over his feelings and that hurts her too.
Zelgadis nods. "Well, I'm glad to hear it. We're good for each other, I suppose. ...Devi, would you think about...returning to my home dimension with me, if I can find a way out? ... I don't hate this place, but I wanted to find a way back as soon as possible. I know Lina's here as well and I'm sure she's just as anxious to get home. You've said you're in contact with her...help me find Lina and...find a way back. You could come with us. It's not perfect there...but it's usually peaceful..."
Devi lowers her head. "Ask me again when you find that portal, Zel, I may have an answer for you then. But I'm not going to promise anything while there is still a fluidity to the possibility. I.. I like you Zel, a whole heapin bunch, but, I can't say yes right now, with no promise that I can keep my word." She looks up at him, her eyes pleading silently for him to understand. "The last thing I want to do is end up lying by circumstance.."
Zelgadis nods curtly. He doesn't seem bothered by the answer...which is odd for someone as self-conscious as he usually is. "I understand, Devi. You're an honorable soul. I'm more than happy to wait for an answer. This is...something I need to discuss with Lina, however... I haven't come across her as of yet, though. Is there any chance you could set up a meeting for us? I'm sure she's just as desperate to get home."
Devi nods somberly. "Yes, of course." She stares down at her hands, her insecurities wailing in her ears. "I'll do my best."
Zelgadis reaches over to try and pat her on the shoulder again, smiling that same exact smile. "I know you will. I know I can count on you."
Devi flinches away from the touch, rising to her feet and sliding her coat back on. When she speaks, her voice is distant and chilled, as though she were rebuilding the wall they had between them when they first met. "Go talk to Mei, she should know where Lina is. I'll look elsewhere."
Zelgadis tilts his head to the side slightly...but offers a shrug in reply. It doesn't seem like the cold shoulder is bothering him too much. He rises to his feet and dusts himself off. "Very well then. Thank you." He keeps that smile plastered on as if he didn't notice anything was terribly off.
Devi lifts her head and stares into the abyess, suddenly deciding to -not- go find Lina. This is not the Zel she knows. He wouldn't just shrug it off like that. Something's wrong. She doesn't offer to help him back to Twisted, instead walking further into the insanity, the bubble that spared them from the never ending sandstorm vanishing.
Zelgadis watches her go, the smile slowly fading. He quirks an eyebrow for just a moment before turning around and meandering on his own way. He mutters to himself. "She is a distrusting one. That could grow bothersome. ... On the other hand, it's an endearing trait. ..." He trails off at that point and seems to be heading back out of the area.