AN: Hi! I usually write in the Star Wars section, but I was SO excited to see that my favorite computer game has a section here, plus I got so hyped from finally finishing Aveyond: Gates of Night that I HAD to write an Aveyond fic. Anyway, I don't own these wonderful games – they're the creation of Amanda Fae. Also, I haven't actually gotten the ending with Mel and Edward getting married – I missed getting one of the attraction points, but I was always aiming for them to get together, so forgive me if I got any details of that ending wrong. And of course, I have no idea what The Lost Orb has in store, so this fic may end up contradicting with that, but it really wanted to be written.

"Mortal Again"

By EsmeAmelia

Te'ijal sat on her bed in Pemberly Keep, staring into space, her hands vaguely rubbing each other, feeling how warm they were. Warm. It wasn't right to be warm, not for a vampire. Vampires were cold, like death, as she had been for more than eight hundred years. She took a piece of soft, fleshy skin between her fingernails and pinched hard, feeling pain. Pain. When was the last time anything had made her feel pain, much less something as minor as her own fingernails?

It made her feel so . . . vulnerable.

She held up her hand, which was now what humans would call a healthy shade of peach, no longer the pale white that had been hers for so long. Her skin was so ugly now, so human looking. It didn't feel like this was her hand, it didn't even feel like this was her body.

She glanced over at the nightstand, on which there sat the bouquet of roses she was supposed to be carrying in Mel's wedding. Ha, she thought. This would certainly be one of the most interesting royal weddings in history. After all, how many other brides had a former vampire for a matron of honor? But then again, the poor rabbit didn't really have anyone else – she and Lydia hated each other and Stella was . . .

She stopped herself from finishing that thought.

"Wife, what are you doing here?"

Te'ijal looked up to see Galahad striding into the room, decked up in the armor he was wearing to the wedding. "You should be at the palace," he continued.

"So should you, crumpet," Te'ijal said wryly, raising her eyebrow at her husband, suddenly feeling something twist in her stomach – another unfamiliar human feeling, she supposed. How did humans ever get anything done with their bodies always acting up?

"Mel is looking for her matron of honor," Galahad said simply, though there was none of the harshness Te'ijal was so used to.

She glanced over at the roses, which gave off a sweet aroma – she didn't remember flowers smelling like this before. "I did not know what the Orb of Life would do to us . . ." she said suddenly, perhaps to herself, but automatically regretting it. Were humans unable to control even their tongues? Was there anything humans could control?

"What, make us human again?" Galahad said, as if being human – being the prey instead of the predator – was the most wonderful thing in the world. "But isn't it glorious? I have longed for it for three hundred years."

"I know," Te'ijal snapped. "It's all very well for you, but what about me? I've turned into this . . . thing! I barely even remember being human – I don't even know who bit me. I can't ever go home – they would all feast on me. All my friends would feast on me! What am I supposed to do?"

Galahad looked at her for a long moment, seeming to ponder her new identity. "Well . . . you could stay here, perhaps. After all, we spent quite a bit on this manor – it would be a shame to just walk out on it." He tilted his head slightly. "Edward has offered me a position in his guard, and well . . . we are still married, after all." Slowly, almost hesitantly, he eased himself on the bed next to her. "Now that we are both human . . . we could do the things other couples do. Perhaps we could even . . . have a child."

Once again Te'ijal felt her stomach make that annoying jump. She didn't think she'd ever get used to her body doing these involuntary human things. "You would actually want a 'demon spawn' to bear your child?" she said with an eyebrow raised.

She heard Galahad swallow nervously – he was rather cute when he did that. "Te'ijal . . . listen to me . . . listen very carefully, because I never ever ever thought I'd say this."

"Yes?"

Galahad took her face into his hands, staring into her now-blue eyes. "Te'ijal . . . I love you."

Something reacted inside her body again – it felt like her heart. Her beating heart – this must be what humans referred to when they said their hearts skipped a beat. It wasn't pleasant.

Her husband ran his fingers through her red hair. "It took me three hundred years to realize it, but I love you." His gloved hand ran down her cheek as his face moved closer and closer to hers, letting her feel his warm breath.

Then he kissed her.

It was a real kiss, not the cringing, disgusted kiss he'd given at their wedding. Without deciding to, she wrapped her arms around his neck, squeezing him as close to her as physically possible. It felt like some outside force was controlling her, and yet she didn't care – all she could think about was the sensation in her lips. A human sensation, she knew, but it felt so . . . wonderful.

When they pulled out, her cheeks suddenly felt wet. How odd, she thought . . . before she remembered another thing human bodies could do.

Galahad gently brushed her cheek with his finger. "It's called crying," he said softly.

Te'ijal sniffed, unable to stop the strange tears, nodding slightly. "I know," she said. "Honestly husband, don't you think I know about humans' petty little emotions?"

"Well whether you know about it or not," said Galahad, "this can help." He handed her a white laced handkerchief, possibly obtained from the palace.

Te'ijal dabbed her eyes, but the tears kept rushing as she looked at her husband, the husband she had taken by force, and for the first time in her three hundred year marriage she felt something like remorse. "You are free now," she whispered. "You have no need to stay with me. After all, haven't you tried to escape a few hundred times?"

Galahad snickered, half his mouth curving upward. "I have . . . but I also rescued you from the sun . . . and do you know why?" He kissed her forehead. "Because I cared about you."

Several minutes seemed to pass of the tears just flowing, flowing, flowing, and her wiping them off only occasionally. Mostly she was concentrating on the feeling. Crying . . . she was crying . . . it was invasive, it was uncomfortable . . . and yet at the same time it was cleansing.

"We will grow old . . ." she whispered through her tears.

"Hopefully," replied Galahad.

Hopefully – right, humans considered it a blessing if they could push their existence as long as possible, even if it meant becoming weak and helpless. Unlike vampires, humans always had to deal with their existence being a ticking clock toward the end of everything.

"We will die . . ." she whispered in a softer, nearly inaudible voice.

"Yes," her husband replied with complete certainty.

She would die. It was no longer a vague possibility that she might someday be staked or exposed to the sunlight without means of protection – it was now an absolute. How ironic –she once took pride in the fact that she was dead, above the humans, never thinking that she would return to being one of them.

Her existence as a human before being transformed had never been important to her – it was like a long ago dream whose impact had long since faded away. She supposed she remembered her family, but when she tried to imagine them, she found that she could no longer conjure up their faces, or their voices . . . or much of anything. Her mortal life was lost.

But now . . . she had her mortality back. She couldn't welcome it like Galahad, but perhaps she could get used to it.

Finally the tears died down, and Galahad handed her the flowers. "Are you ready, wife?" he said in a soothing voice.

After a long breath, Te'ijal nodded. "Come, crumpet, or they'll start the wedding without us."

Arm in arm, the husband and wife rose and headed outside, ready for their new life.