The Chimera protects his Princess.

Zel's protective side is something we don't see much of during the original Slayers series. Yes, he does protect Lina a few times (especially when he's using her to get the Philosopher's stone) and the only time it really shines through in the first season is when he cast that shield spell to get Sylphiel and Lina to safety. It's really only in NEXT that this side of our favorite blue boy begins to make itself truly known. I think that Zel is afraid of showing this side of him, because the female cast of Slayers is so independent, especially Lina. Amelia, however, is independent while having a child like quality about her that makes people want to protect her from harm.

The first time we really see his protective side is in episode five of NEXT. If you're already been to humorous moments, then you know that I'm talking about the slug scene, when Zelgadis is walking slowly towards Amelia with a very serious look on his face. Amelia, at this point, is blushing up a storm, and doesn't realize that there is a very large (and UGLY) spider behind her. Zelgadis leaps forward, yelling for Amelia to watch out while he pushed her out of the way. The spider promptly entraps him, then grabs Amelia before she can do more than call out Zel's name.

In episode eight of NEXT, Amelia returns home only find that her father has been killed. It's understandable that she's quite upset, and Lina and the others are worried about her. Lina goes and finds Amelia in the library, looking out a window and holding a book that her father used to read to her when she was little. While Lina is trying to cheer Amelia up, a strange man in a mask appears at the window, causing Lina and Amelia to freak out. Zelgadis suddenly bursts through the door, screaming Amelia's name and then yelling for her to watch out. A well thrown Flare Arrow causes the intruder to flee, while Lina and Zel make sure that Amelia has been unhurt. The next day Amelia drags Lina, Gourry, and Zel out to where her father had been killed, stating that she was looking for evidence. Pretty soon her evidence manifests itself in the form of a Mazoku, who attacks the group with what I think is a Fireball (has the same affect). Lina and Gourry go flying, while Zelgadis grabs Amelia around the waist and leaps out of the way.

During this particular run of episodes, we also see Zel get blown into Amelia (and knocking her down) twice, and Amelia gets blown into Zelgadis once. And that one time she's blown into him it's face first, where as Zel kept smashing into her back and knocking her down. And this is me just being the hopeless romantic that I am, but when Amelia was smashed face first into Zel, he wrapped his arm around her waist (yes, I watched that in extreme slow motion, and yes, I know that he did that simply because she was thrown into him.)

Further on down the road of NEXT, we see Zel's strongest display of concern for Amelia after she was badly injured by Saygram's attack. He bends down to pick her up (saying, "Damnit, Amelia!") and only stops when Lina tells him to. He then tries to help Lina heal Amelia, but their magic isn't strong enough. What struck me was when he stayed by Amelia's side while Milgazia healed her, until Lina was in real danger. I guess he wanted to make sure that Amelia was taken care of, first. ^_^ Of course, this leads to every Zel/Amelia couple fan's favorite moment, the infamous Garv attack on Amelia.

Amelia, being Amelia, is rather pissed that she was knocked out of commission and missed a lot of the action, and boy did she make up for it with a Justice speech of all Justice speeches (up to this point) being made at the Demon Dragon. Garv, of course, manages to turn Amelia's words back against her, stating that Lina Inverse was a villain, which in turn made Amelia a villain. Well, you don't need to think to hard to know how Amelia reacted to that bit of news. Bummer city, which is exactly what Garv wanted. Gourry and Zel both know she's in trouble, "I think Amelia's in real trouble!" Zel doesn't take this news to well, "Oh no!" and gets to his feet. Garv teleports behind Amelia right when she realized her mistake and goes for a Ra Tilt, but, in Garv's words, "TO LATE!" She turns to see her death staring her in the eyes as Garv goes for the kill, when suddenly we see a blue streak (and rather pissed blue streak) leap between her and the blow as Zel wraps his arms around Amelia and takes Garv's attack for her. He screams in pain as he's launched away from the Dark Lord (still clutching Amelia) and is smashed into the side of a mountain, again taking the brunt of the crash and cradling Amelia to him. Amelia's face is on his chest, and she slowly sits up (Zel's hand is on her back) to stare in horror at the chimera who's laying in a pool of blood. And if Zelgadis is bleeding THAT much, you know it had to be bad.

So, we go further down the road of Slayers NEXT, past Garv's death and take a right turn at Gourry's abduction, and we come to Sairaag during the second to last episode, where Martina, Amelia and Zelgadis are fighting the dead zombies of Sairaag. The rather occupied Zel doesn't notice the large man coming up behind him with a large club aimed for his head, but Amelia does, and leaps between them yelling for Zel to watch out, and gets clonked on the head (you'll see a chibi-Amelia pop up in an eye catch). A stunned Zelgadis kneels by her and asks if she's all right, when she pops up with a red bump on her head and says, "I don't think this is going to work!" Zel grabs her under her arms and starts to lift her out of the hole she was rammed into, when he suddenly gets an idea and calls Martina over to him. He then pulls a blushing Amelia close to him and casts a Befis Bring, which of course dumps them into the underground passage. Zel lands gracefully on his feet . . . still holding Amelia close to him. He then stands up with her in his arms, tells Martina about Flagoon, then apologizes and tells the still blushing Amelia that she'll have to heal herself. He then takes off down the tunnel . . . still holding Amelia. ^________^

Which brings us to TRY. I hear ya, what about when Phibby killed Amelia? Well, that's not really Zel's protective side, that's something else. Trust me, I'll get to it sometime. *cough cough*

All righty! We see a good view of Zel's protective side when Filia goes in and attacks the harbor to test the groups powers. During one run by, we see Gourry leap on top of Amelia and Lina, while Zel leaps in front of them. Also during this episode, Filia literally rocks the boat during one of her high speed attacks, which washes all the poor sorcerers overboard and causes a lot of wood and debris to fall on top of the group. We see Zel unearth himself from underneath the pile, tossing the poor sorcerers some life savers . . . and clutching a dazed Amelia underneath one arm.

To be honest, I'm having a hard time remembering any specifics from TRY about Zel being protective (especially of Amelia) unlike NEXT, which I could *almost* quote in my sleep. If anyone who's seen all or part of or some of TRY know of any instances, please email me and tell me when it is and during what episode number, and I'll watch it and put it up. Much appreciated!

You're full of it, take me back!

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