Title: The Inn
Date: 13 August, 2009
Words: 4034
Characters: Edward, Mel, Galahad, Te'ijal, an unnamed innkeeper; mentions of Lydia, Stella, the King and the Queen
Pairings: Edward & Mel, Galahad & Te'ijal
Summary: Edward and Mel are on a short trip to Stormbend to pick up a few supplies and weapons. The only problem is that they seem to be short a few coins for two beds at the inn.
Inspiration: Please tell me I'm not the only one who was thinking that Edward and Mel were probably sharing a bed/room every time they stayed in an inn. I mean, the only one who'd be willing to share with Lydia would be Stella, and since Te'ijal and Galahad are married… you know?

Rating: I'm going to say PG-13, just because some of this is a little mature for the ten-year-old who wants to read it. It won't make sense. However, there is no explicit language.

A/N: this AN is a bit long, and I apologize. But I hope it will help anyone who is not very familiar with Aveyond 3, LoT and GoN. Set (technically) between the time Edward asks for help from the king, and the time the king helps him. So, of course, it makes this non-canon as far as the storyline goes. This is my first foray into the fanfic world of Aveyond, so I sincerely hope it turns out well. To my regular readers, unfamiliar with this game series (anyone here from the Aveyond fanfiction link on ffnet can disregard all but (hopefully) the last sentence), who have ventured into this uncharted territory, I think you will find this fun, if not almost an original.

For reference, Galahad (who doesn't believe in magic) was 'deceived' by Te'ijal, and turned into a vampire in the first Aveyond game. From what it seems, about 300 years have passed since then. Mel was orphaned at a young age and became a street rat, and rather a cunning thief. She is the only known heir (at the time) of an evil wizard from a couple centuries prior, and is the target for Te'ijal's brother. The brother wishes to use Mel for his evil plans. (Since when were vampires not usually evil, eh? Lol.)

Te'ijal catches word of this and sends Mel to Thais, to study at the school of War and Magic there. Mel meets Edward, whom she later finds is the prince when she gets an assignment to sneak into the ball, but they remain fast friends throughout. Edward is given the choice to marry Mel, Stella, or Lydia throughout the games. You have to build up attraction points for some occurrences. So, this, too, makes this kind of non-canon. However, the dialogue in-game strongly points to more than just a friendly relationship between Edward and Mel. Both of whom I simply adore.

Anyhow, Mel and Edward set off on an adventure to stop the uber-evil vampire, Gyendal (Te'ijal's brother), and end up with several unlikely friends along the way. Lydia, a mage, Stella, a healer, Galahad, a paladin, Te'ijal, a vampire, and Ulf, a scholarly orc. (Go figure on that one, eh?) I hope that's enough background.

I'd tell you how the series ends, but I haven't seen it all yet. And who wants a perfectly wonderful game spoiled like that, anyway? For all interested parties, head over to Amaranthia(dot)com or BigFishGames(dot)com to see more. I suggest you start with Aveyond 1, to get the full story of Te'ijal and Galahad, at the very least.

Suggestions? Comments? Critique? I'll accept anything, as long as if it's a problem you have, you offer ideas for improvement. The only exception is if you feel the need to bitch about my pairings. I will report anyone complaining about that. If you don't like them, don't read them.

Please enjoy and review!!!
-Rachel Noelle

oOoOo--RN--oOoOo

"Each bed is twenty gold coins, Miss," the innkeeper smiled politely, offering his services to Mel and Edward.

"Twenty each?" Mel responded. The innkeeper nodded, still smiling. Mel emptied her coin purse into her hand, and proceeded to count the coins. She frowned as she came closer to the end of her coinage, worried she'd have too few for two beds. Mel's next words sounded desperate and bemoaning of her misfortune. "Crap, we've only got thirty-six."

Mel and Edward exchanged a glance, Edward wondering why she was making such a fuss. "Oh, well. Here," she shoved twenty coins into the innkeeper's hand, "Edward, I can sleep outside."

Before the innkeeper could thank her or Edward could stop her she had turned on her heel and left the small inn.

"You know, son, I'd go after your lady friend if I were you," the innkeeper advised sagely.

Edward was caught off guard momentarily, until the innkeeper's words sunk in. "But she's not my-" he tried to protest.

"I understand, young sir. You're just worried that unkind rumors of her purity will arise from sharing a bed, and no noble family wants to hear rumors of that sort running around about their child. If you plan to be married, though, sharing a bed in tough times like this should be acceptable." Edward stared in shock at the quickly retreating back of the innkeeper, wondering exactly what had transpired.

Regardless of the awkwardness of the afore conversation, Edward knew if he was ever going to convince Mel to like him as more than a friend he couldn't leave her in the streets. No matter what.

Mel was wandering the main street, browsing the shops in the market square. It wasn't terribly hard to make money, but it was late dusk now, and she certainly did not feel up to venturing into the woods, alone, at this hour. She decided she would seek out a sturdy tree and make herself as comfortable as she knew to do. It had been over three years since she was last forced to sleep like that. And the last time it was based purely on protection from the wolves in the area.

Edward spotted Mel gazing in the window of the alchemy shop. For someone with little to no magic skill, she seemed to enjoy gazing in those windows all too much. They had only begun their journey a few days ago, a quick wander around the area about Thais to gather supplies, gold, and things to sell for gold before returning to Stella, Galahad, and Te'ijal. They were waiting for his father's assistance of supplies, so he invited Mel to go with him for a short trip.

Unfortunately, he miscounted, and they ended up short a few coins tonight. At least they managed to gather all the supplies they needed from Stormbend, and the weapons they had come to Stormbend after.

"Mel," Edward voiced softly, simply wanting to catch her attention and not scare her, as she was incredibly engrossed in staring at some magic scroll. For a moment it looked as though she would respond, but another beat passed, prompting Edward to try again. "Mel."

Mel jumped and looked about, blushing for acting so foolishly unaware. She spotted Edward quickly enough, then proceeded to berate him mildly. "Jeeze, Edward. I could have hit my head on the glass, and then it would have broken, and then we'd both be sleeping in a tree tonight!"

Edward grinned cockily, thinking he had heard much worse ideas. Mel's glare quickly wiped the grin from his face. "What are you doing here, anyway?" Mel intoned harshly.

"Looking for you, of course." Edward gave her what he hoped to be a kind smile, not cocky or falsely sweet. Mel rolled her eyes and blushed lightly. "You know, you never even thanked me for the flowers earlier," he teased.

Mel blushed harder before murmuring an embarrassed, "Thanks," and turning away. "You know," she muttered, "if you hadn't bought those, we would have had more money left."

Edward felt momentarily guilty before remembering the reason he was chasing Mel down in the first place. "I do know. So, therefore, since it's my fault, you can have the bed tonight. I can sleep outside somewhere."

Mel spun about, facing Edward again. "Absolutely not!" she exclaimed, making Edward start. "It's going to rain and no prince is going to get the chance to sleep in the rain then tell his mummy and daddy about how the poor little commoner forced him to do it. Not on my watch." Mel's anger grew just a bit, but she kept herself calm enough to list the rest of her reasoning. "Besides, Lydia wants me dead as it is. She'd do anything, use any excuse to pick a fight with me. Especially over you."

Shock fell over Edward. It was because he was a prince. And was Mel jealous? Of Lydia? She might be cunning, but, boy, was the girl dense. "What does Lydia have to do with this?" Edward asked, still shocked.

Mel fumed. "I just don't want you telling her that you slept in the rain one night. Then she'll try something stupid, like pulling my hair, to try and pick a fight with me, and…" Mel trailed off, embarrassment overcoming her anger.

Edward couldn't help but laugh. She really was jealous. He thought he had noticed a hint of her emotions when he decided to take Stella back to Thais, and Mel refused to accompany him back. Now he knew that was what it was.

Resigned to the kicking and screaming she would surely do, Edward grabbed Mel forcefully by the hand and dragged her behind him to the inn. Just as predicted, she kicked him hard in the rump a few times, and kept yelling for him to let go. A few heads turned their way, but he simply quelled the suspicion by announcing that his young wife was scared of the storm to come, and seeking shelter in the wrong place.

When he managed to force her in the door of the inn, he released her. Momentarily nothing transpired. They stared at one another, Mel glaring and Edward smirking softly. Until Mel's hand made harsh, painful contact with Edward's face.

"Ow!" Edward rubbed the now bright red spot on his cheek. "What was that for?" he questioned, feeling hurt in ways beyond physically.

"I am not your wife, and I am not scared of the thunder and lightening." Mel's words were harsh and her glare hot.

In that short sentence, all of Edward's earlier conclusions were smashed. What if she really was not jealous of what she thought Lydia had access to, and really just wanted to avoid confrontation? Did she really not allow herself to see him in any other light than a prince and his commoner friend?

Pushing his heartbreak aside, Edward led Mel to their rented room and forced her to sit on the bed. "You're going to sleep inside tonight if I have to tie you up to make you do it," he commanded as playfully-serious as possible.

"I'm not sleeping inside. It's okay, I'm used to it. I'm sure you've never been forced to sleep outdoors a day in your life, and I don't think you could take it," Mel grumbled.

Edward ignored the insult to his manhood. "Look, there are a few extra blankets, I can sleep on the floor and you can have the bed. A lady should always be allowed the most accommodating place to sleep." Edward smiled softly again, hoping she'd settle for it.

"I can't share a room with you. What will your parents think? Besides that their son is sleeping with some commoner they don't even know, when a noble girl is there, just waiting for her chance to become your wife?" Mel tried to reason.

"If it's that big of a deal, I'll sleep outside," Edward matched Mel's new glare with his own.

Mel ruefully conceded to Edward's proposition. "Fine. But I'm sleeping on the floor."

For the next half hour Edward attempted to convince Mel that the bed would be much more comfortable, and since he was a gentleman, after all, she should have it. Mel remained adamant that since he was nobility, he should be given the bed.

"Just take the bed, Mel," Edward decided to result to nearly begging.

Mel looked to Edward, the look on his face pitiful and weary. She protested lamely, "But- but I don't want to…"

"Please?" So much for nearly begging; Edward was full out pleading with the girl.

Unwilling to give in so easily, though easily was a relative term, Mel sighed heavily, lightly nodding her head. "If you're going to beg about it, then fine. Just, please, stop begging."

"Good then. You finally see reason," Edward smiled.

Mel barked a laugh. "No. I see a prince nearly reduced to tears, begging a common girl to sleep in his bed." Realizing her words a moment too late, Mel and Edward both blushed and turn their heads sharply away from one another. Neither could think what to say next. Mel wanted to apologize, but simply could not force the words from her mouth.

A tense, embarrassed silence later, Mel stood from her spot on the bed, grabbed one of the pillows and plopped herself onto the floor with some force. Edward, most usually quite even tempered and calm, grew angry. After fighting with the stubborn woman all night he had finally managed to make her agree with him. And now she was going back on her word.

"You infuriating woman!" Edward spoke loudly, but made a pitiful attempt to not wake the other patrons at the inn. He grabbed Mel by her arms and hoisted the girl from her sitting position on the floor. "You finally agreed, and you can't go back on your word now."

Mel landed a rough kick to Edward's shin, causing him to grit his teeth and wince in pain. "What word? I made no promise. And what right do you have to be manhandling me like this?"

"I told you I'd make you sleep on the bed if I had to tie you up to do it," Edward reminded her.

"I'd like to see you try," Mel ground out angrily. The pair stood and glared at one another until Edward moved without thinking.

Mel quickly found herself pinned beneath Edward's heavier frame, both lying on the bed, still glaring. "Why you! What do you think you're doing?!"

A quick rapping on the door called their attention, and both jumped before turning their heads to glare at the source. They heard the gruff voice of the innkeeper speaking before either could call out and ask why anyone was bothering them.

"Miss? Are you quite alright in there?" the innkeeper sounded wary, if not mildly alarmed. "I had patrons reporting yells and loud noises." He knocked again before opening the door slightly.

Edward looked up, still blissfully unaware of the situation, and replied. "Simply trying to convince this woman here that the bed is much more comfortable than the floor."

The innkeeper, already a light shade of pink, felt his cheeks heat a bit more. "Ah, I see then. And obviously she can handle herself, if the noises are any indication. I'll just leave the two of you then…" The innkeeper beat a hasty retreat, feeling terrible for having walked in on the young couple in such an intimate moment.

Edward and Mel watched confusedly as the innkeeper backed out of the doorway and nearly slammed it shut. Their spat momentarily forgotten, Mel looked questioningly to Edward. Their noses were very nearly touching as both still panted from their struggle before. Edward was gazing down at the girl, eyes locked on hers. Mel noticed his head slowly moving downward, and panicking, decided she needed to speak quickly.

"How dare you put me in a compromising position like this? And with a stranger!" she glowered at Edward once again, throwing him into confusion. Edward huffed and glared back.

"You know, you might be small, but that doesn't mean it was easy to pick you up," Edward retorted. If it was insults she wanted, it was insults she'd get.

"It shouldn't have been! You threatened to tie me up! Just because I wouldn't sleep in the bed. Really, Edward, that's low," Mel growled.

Edward's retort died on the tip of his tongue. When she put things that way, it really was a low blow. He slowly stood, careful not to hurt Mel or himself anymore, and bowed his head toward her. "You're right. That is a very devious thing to say. I'm sorry, Mel."

Just as she'd done to him, he turned and left before Mel could stop him.

"Great. Now I have to find him, in the rain, no less…" Mel mumbled to herself as she, too, stood and pulled on a cloak. She knew she had made him feel unnecessarily guilty, and her punishment was feeling guilty for making him feel guilty. But, she liked Edward very much. Though after she found out he was a prince, and hadn't bothered to tell her, letting him kiss her felt like betraying her soul. She didn't associate with nobles for a reason.

Mel trudged down the hallway and out into the rain, hoping Edward had not had the chance to get far from the inn. All the while, she was going over the reasons in her head they could never be together, and why she did not associate with nobles. Nobles were snooty, pompous, and uptight. And Edward was a noble.

But he's never acted that way, her mind argued.

And his parents would never approve of her.

His parents directed him to find himself a bride. Therefore, they've given their informal blessing for whomever he chooses.

And Lydia would certainly want to kill her then, not just fight her.

But, it would be fun to show the pompous little wench who's who, would it not? Besides, you could be queen someday, and then she'll have to answer to you.

But she had no desire to be confined to a castle, dealing with more snooty and uptight people than ever before. She would be forced to attend balls, choose gowns, help govern the people, and probably forced to have tea with the noble ladies every Sunday, or something worse than that. She did not even like tea.

Lost in her contemplations, she almost ran right into Edward, who was leaned against a shop, staring at the sky.

The rain was light, barely noticeable, but she feared it would pick up again, if the thundering sounds above were any indication. "Edward, come back inside. I'm sorry," Mel began softly, hoping to make this as quick as possible. She did not fear the noise or the lightening usually, but they were virtually without shelter.

Edward looked pitifully to Mel. His eyes were obviously swollen with tears, which he had been trying to force back. After observing that Mel was in as much of a healthy state as possible, he turned back to gaze at the sky again. "Mel," he spoke softly, forcing her to strain to hear over the thunder claps, "You've nothing to apologize for. I acted irrationally, and even managed to put you into a compromising situation in the process. I am the only one who should be apologizing."

"Edward…"

"Mel, please?" Edward pleaded.

"I'm not leaving without you," Mel stated firmly, planting her feet on the ground harshly.

"Then you'll be here all night," Edward warned caustically.

"So be it. I guess we'll just have to stand around outside this building and suffer the rain together then." Mel stubbornly placed herself against the wall, mimicking Edward's position. Edward sighed heavily but remained silent.

Mel, simply unable to stand the tense silence anymore, spoke some minutes later. "It's beautiful, isn't it?"

"What is?" Edward replied exasperatedly.

"The way the sky lightens, and the streaks it makes across the sky. The patterns as the light dances. It's almost as though the goddess is having fun, dancing about with sticks of fiery light," Mel responded, becoming lost in the allusions of her daydream.

"Oh. Yeah, I guess it is," Edward conceded. Another silence, this time less tense and more content, passed. Now Edward spoke, startling Mel just slightly. "Can I ask you something?"

Mel, taken aback, took a moment to respond. "I… guess so? Why are you asking if you can ask? You always just… do it."

Edward muttered something embarrassedly. He caught Mel's questioning look and spoke up. "It's just that… this is probably really personal. So, you know…"

Mel's mouth formed an 'oh' and she nodded her head, feeling suddenly nervous.

"Why is it that you and Lydia do not get along well? Besides that she thinks herself above everyone else, I mean…"

Mel stole a glance at Edward, taking as much time as she could squeeze out to formulate an answer. "Besides the fact she thinks she should have rule over me?" Mel paused as Edward nodded, smiling. "Simple. She's afraid I'm going to steal you and ruin her chances of becoming queen someday." Mel grinned.

"Oh." Edward's response was quick and simple. Mel feared she heard disappointment in his simple answer. To be honest, she felt a little disappointed in his answer. She did not know what she was hoping for, but apparently that was not it.

"I mean, I think anyway. It could be something else. Maybe it is just because she knows I'm a commoner," Mel scrambled for anything to smooth the situation over, but Edward placed a finger to her lips to silence her.

"That's just plain stupid of her. You wouldn't be stealing me. I'd be letting you have me," Edward declared. Mel's eyes grew large and she swallowed nervously. Edward's eyes held that same strange look from before, when he had nearly kissed her.

Leaning ever closer, and gently forcing Mel's head up with a thumb beneath her chin, Edward spoke again, more softly. "The question that remains, then, is will you let me have you?"

Never having been this forward with a female before, Edward nervously, anxiously waited a few beats to allow Mel to reject his advances.

Mel felt her excitement taking hold of her, and her senses exploded with the sight, smell, sound, feel and taste of Edward as he gently pressed his lips to hers. Mel let her eyes flutter closed and timidly felt herself responding. The kiss bordered on chaste, with only the hint that Edward was wishing for anything but to prove the meaning otherwise.

Mel's nerves, coming out of their sensory overload, regained control, and the logic that this could never possibly work caused her to push Edward away with some measure of force.

"Edward, we can't. You're a prince, and I'm nothing but a street rat. I'll only end up heartbroken when your parents decide to choose your bride. And then where will we be? I'll be in the back pew of the church, crying over my heartache, while you're having the time of your life with Lydia or someone." Mel could not hold back the few sobs that broke through.

"Mel, you don't understand. I don't want Lydia, I want you. And my parents ordered me to come back with a bride. If I don't, they'll choose one for me," Edward tried to reason with Mel, but to no avail.

"Edward, we just can't," Mel said through her tears, now violently streaming down her face.

"But, Mel," Edward tried again. Mel shoved him back forcefully and took off, heading back to their room to gather whatever she thought she might need before heading back to Thais. Alone.

For the second time that night, Edward was chasing Mel.

"Women are quite troublesome, aren't they?" Galahad and Te'ijal appeared from somewhere, and Galahad commented on the boy's harried state. Edward did not have time to question the duo, though he wondered when they had decided to accompany them on this journey, as it was only two days' walk from Thais to Stormbend.

Edward reached their room just as Mel was tying up her pack. Edward shut the door and stood in front of it, ready to tackle Mel again. And possibly beat her if it worked some sense into her mind.

"Mel, you have to listen to me. Else I'll be forced to use my standing and have you thrown in jail. And you'll have no choice then," Edward demanded. Mel glared as she stood stock still in the center of the room.

"Fine. Speak, before I change my mind and use the window," she demanded.

Edward sighed, worried. "Mel, please trust me. You have to trust me." Mel did not respond, so Edward continued. "I know my parents. They are nothing, if not true to their word. They told me to choose a bride on our journey, and they have given me their blessing in doing so."

Mel looked worried. He already wanted to marry her? This was all too soon!

Edward noticed Mel's panic, and hurriedly tried to explain. "What I mean, Mel, is that whomever I decide to marry, they will allow it. I'm not asking you to marry me just yet. I'm just asking you to give me a chance. I want to see if we can work out as, you know, a couple. Maybe you'll find that being with a prince isn't so terrible after all."

What Mel had been waiting so long to hear was finally being said. Only she did not anticipate feeling this terrified. If it 'worked out,' as Edward had put it, she would be confined to a life of balls, gowns, tea, and annoyances by the nobility every day. But, her mind reminded her again, you will have a place with Edward, and be respected among the people of the kingdom. And you'll really get to show Lydia up now.

Mel felt the tears forming in her eyes again. "Edward, I've wanted that for so long now. But there is no guarantee that you won't break my heart. I don't want to take that risk. I don't want to fall for you more than I already have," Mel managed with a choking voice.

"Mel, please trust me. Please. If we decide to marry, my parents won't refuse. And if they do refuse… Well, I don't really want to be the king anyway. We could run away, take up new identities somewhere else, stage our deaths if we have to… I swear, if it comes to it, I will leave with you." Edward implored Mel to give him an opportunity.

Mel stood in the middle of the room, still crying softly. Edward slowly made his way to her, wrapping his arms around her in a soothing embrace. He rocked her in his arms slowly as she quelled her tears. While Mel dried her tears completely, Edward stole a few soft kisses. Watching Mel's eyes flutter open and closed from sleepiness, Edward walked them to the bed, lying down on it with Mel still caught in his embrace.

Silence took them as they began drifting to sleep. Edward was startled by what he thought was a sleeping Mel's voice.

"You win, Edward," Mel smiled – eyes shut and calling for her to sleep – to Edward. "But, so help me, if you break my heart I'll kill you myself."

Edward chuckled. "Then I guess I'll just have to not do that."

The duo awoke the next morning to pounding on their door, and Galahad calling for them. Mel and Edward shyly untangled themselves from one another and crawled from beneath the blanket neither could remember pulling over them. The couple gathered their things, washed up, and joined Te'ijal and Galahad in the hallway.

"All set?" Te'ijal questioned, grinning at the pair's shy joining of hands. Mel nodded firmly. "Then we're off."

"Poor man," Galahad whispered loudly to himself. "You'll be stuck with her from now on, no matter how many times you try to run away or how many humans she tries to convince you to eat."

oOoOo--RN--oOoOo

A/N: Also, please tell me if you'd like to see more of this story written out. Thanks for your input in advance!!
-Rachel Noelle