A/N: Hello everyone! It's been a while since I last posted anything on this website - over four years! Some of you might remember me by another name (ShinabaMorotomo), and those of you might remember how the previous version of this story was left unfinished. I've received countless PM's since then, asking if I would update, or if I could put the story up for adoption... the truth at the moment was: I had plans for this story, and I needed to become a better writer before I could write a story that I could be proud of. I've never let go of this story. This story was the first story I posted on this website, back when I was young and not the best writer. This time, I can safely say that I'm back for good!

I will be getting rid of the previous chapters of The Tears I Shed, and begin posting from Chapter 1, giving this story a well- deserved new beginning. I'm a bit worried about posting after four years, so please tell me how this chapter was ~ Please review!

~IagoThePanda (ShinabaMorotomo)

Disclaimer: Vampire Academy belongs to Richelle Mead. No copyright infringement is intended.

Chapter 1

Sometimes, love gives birth to moments that are so beautiful, you never want to let go. Sometimes, it creates opportunities that may never come again, and music that is heard time and time again. Sometimes, love finds a reason, just a small, simple reason to exist and erase the pains that once darkened the heart. And when it does, it just smiles, existing as a part of something yet nothing at all.

I jog around the track behind the gym as the birds flirt with one another and the sun still peeks up above the horizon. It is nighttime in this world, far away enough from human civilization to be noticed, but close enough to integrate ourselves within their society if need be. My kind, the Dhampir, are protectors in the same way we are hunters - the good kind of hunters. We protect the Moroi - the good vampires who don't kill for blood and still have souls - against the evil Strigoi - the undead vampires who are immortal and kill their victims remorselessly. The Strigoi love Moroi blood the most and as a Dhampir, my race is the most well built to take these suckers on.

My name is Rose Hathaway, I'm a Guardian, mother of two, and I'm 23 years old. I'm also the Head Guardian of the Court, and personal Guardian of the Moroi Queen, Vasilisa Dragomir.

Nobody said life was easy.

My daily jog around the track began at four, and ended around six, when the rest of the court began to wake up. Two hours didn't seem long to me now - I had become used to so much worse - but the idea of being in court, even though it had been three years, was still new to me.

After the attack at the academy, Dimitri had left and my heart felt as if it would never be whole again. I knew he had left me and would most likely never come back, but at the same time I yearned for him in a way I couldn't quite understand. After we made love in the cabin, I had been convinced that he was my other half: no one else understood me as well as he did, and no one else could ever again replace the piece of my heart he had ripped apart from me when he left.

His decision to leave had already been made before then I learned later, his mind already set, and I knew there wasn't anything I could have done. I don't think he meant for us to go as far as we had, but he had lost his control seeing me lose mine, and it had been more than enough. Succumbing to the desires that had been building between the two us had been his goodbye, and while it had been an ending of sorts for him, it had become a beginning for me.

A week after he left the academy, I did too. I had become weak mentally, and drained emotionally, and a part of me wanted to escape from the place that held so many memories of him. So, as soon as I turned eighteen, I filled out the necessary paperwork, asked Adrian for money, chopped off the beautiful brown locks he loved so much, and left.

I regretted my decision almost instantly, and with nowhere to go, I made my way to the airport and hopped on the first plane I could find – to Russia.

I had come a long way since then, I mused as I made my way back to Lissa's mansion, and perhaps it was for the better. I hadn't made the best decisions in my life; the two years I had spent away from Lissa were a testament to that, but I would never regret the things I'd accomplished.

I entered the house, and a quick scan told me everyone was still fast asleep. I rushed up the stairs to take a shower and get rid of the foul body odor I was sure was radiating off of me. I quickly undressed and step into the hot jets of the shower, letting it massage away the stress from my back. Today was the twins' fifth birthday, and Lissa and Vicki, my guarding partner, had been planning something for weeks.

A brief check through the bond told me she and Christian had gone downstairs to make breakfast while I was showering. She must have realized that I was checking up on her. Hurry up with the twins! She told me through the bond. Lissa never did tell me how she was able to talk to me through the once one-way bond, but it was one of the things she had mastered in order to find me when I was away. I walked across the hall to the twins' room and a small peek through the crack told me they were still sleeping.

I walked in, picking Minya's blanket off of the floor and covering her tiny body. Strands of her long, brown hair had fallen out of the braids that kept it from becoming a wild, tangled mess atop her head and framed her face in a way that made her look like a sleeping angel. I picked up the Mushu toy that had also made its way to the floor and put it next to her. She dreamt peacefully, curling up into a fetal position as soon as I wrapped the blanket over her.

Then I turned to Alan, who had the blanket wrapped so tightly around him that he had been sweating, and loosened it. His eyelids fluttered as he dreamed, his short, light brown hair pointing every which way as he slept. I propped the door open a little bit more and headed downstairs. They're still sleeping I told her through the bond, it's still early.

The twins. They were the two most beautiful things in my world. They were the reason I had trained as hard as I had in Japan and the sole reason I fought as hard as I did now. I wasn't trying to kill as much as I could. I was trying to protect Lissa and come home to my babies everyday.

I walked down the ornate steps of the mansion. The whole house itself was like a house taken straight from a human fairytale. It was fit for well - a princess or queen. The walls were a gentle cream color that was easy on the eyes - not too flamboyant or too plain and not yellow enough upset the white balance in pictures. Along the walls lined pictures of our family: Lissa and Christian's wedding picture, Eddie and Vicki (who had began dating two years ago), the twins and I, and various other pictures of the twins, taken from the cheap digital camera I had bought in Russia after they were born.

I reached the bottom of the stairs, following the delicious smell of breakfast cooking from the kitchen. "It wouldn't kill you to be more dressed you know," Lissa said, glancing at me from where she lovingly watched Christian flip pancakes.

I looked down at what I was wearing: short shorts and a loose t-shirt that almost - but not quite - covered my shorts. "At least I'm wearing clothes," I retorted. Christian glanced at me amused. "Shut up Fire Boy," I muttered as I walked over to Lissa, who just shook her head and sighed, subconsciously rubbing her slightly visible baby bump.

"Hey!" I told Lissa soothingly, "You're going to make a great mother."

"But what if I don't?" She asked, panic seeping into her voice, "What if the baby hates me? I don't know the first thing about being a mother." Chris is just as scared as me. She said the last part through the bond as if she didn't want him to know she knew how he felt. I can feel it. He just doesn't want me to stress out any more.

I felt a bit of the darkness stirring and immediately took it away from her before she noticed. "Liss, Listen to me," I told her sternly, "You two are going to be the best parents ever, and I know this for a fact." She reached out to me through the bond and I don't know what she saw that convinced her. Perhaps it was my absolute faith in Christian that he would keep her happy no matter what happened or perhaps it was what I saw in their relationship – his protectiveness and her loving nature - their completely opposite ways of thinking that balanced each other. She sighed, "Maybe you're right."

"Of course I'm right."

Christian shot me a grateful look from where he was flipping away. Lissa's stomach grumbled then. "I think you should eat don't you? Don't wanna keep the baby hungry!"

Lissa laughed. "Why is eating always your answer to everything?"

"Hey! You're eating for two," I retorted. She rolled her eyes and walked with me to the family room. "I think I can wait a while."

After a long, tedious search taking apart the sofas, I managed to find the remote wedged under one of the cushions and turned on the news. In silence, Lissa and I watched an old man drone on about some new learning standard for children in grade school… something about "the importance of Common Core." I rolled my eyes "these humans should focus on making it better instead of changing it completely," I muttered.

"Sometimes, you need a little change of tradition." Lissa murmured, entranced. I sighed and continued watching the debate. A change in tradition was what Lissa had been working so hard towards since she had been coronated. Dhampir and Moroi fighting alongside each other: it hadn't happened yet, but we were all sure that her dreams would become a reality after the seminar that would happen in three weeks.

The twins chose to come downstairs then, and tackled me on the couch. "Arghhh" I screamed and began tickling them, "Happy birthday!"

"Stop Mommy, stop!" Alan managed to beg while laughing. Minya tried to squirm out of my grip but I held them both tighter as Lissa laughed. "What about me?" Lissa asked, feigning a look of hurt, "Don't I get a hug too?"

The twins looked at her and then to each other before simultaneously saying, "Good morning Auntie Lissa!" and proceeding to hug her and shower her with kisses.

I laughed at her then. All the evidence needed to prove that she was going to be a great mother was in front of me: she was so calm and patient with the kids that I regretted for the briefest moment leaving her behind at the academy. I hadn't known I was pregnant when I left, but finding out for myself had deepened my rage towards Dimitri and prolonged my stay away from Lissa. I hadn't been the one to tell Lissa about my pregnancy or its aftereffects. It had been Adrian, who upon intruding in my dreams, noticed a strange aura coming from my stomach. He had visited me frequently then, and noticed the aura getting stronger and stronger as time passed. "Have you been throwing up recently, Rose," he asked me one night. I had been throwing up, almost every morning, but I told him no and demanded he stop intruding in my dreams. Of course he had never listened, and after a few weeks, he told me to get a pregnancy test. "You're always shrouded in darkness," he had told me, "and your aura is always dark, but the aura around your stomach is different. It's white. Pure. I've never seen anything like it on you before."

And then he let me go, back into the nightmares that still haunted me to this day.

Watching Lissa now, with my kids, I had never felt happier that Lissa had found me when she did because I don't think I would have come back on my own. As much as I had wanted to, I wouldn't have come back, because coming back meant facing everything I had run away from. Coming back when I was weak would put Lissa in danger, but after all the training I had done, I didn't think I would be welcomed with open arms. So I just kept running and hiding.

Running away from Lissa had been easy because I knew what she was thinking as soon as she thought it. The only problem was that I hadn't realized Lissa had learned to read my thoughts and block me out as well.

Rose, don't think about those things. You're here now and that's all that matters.

I smiled at her as she smothered the kids with hugs and kisses, feeling an overpowering sense of gratefulness towards her.

Lissa had been easy to forgive me for leaving even when I couldn't forgive myself. With one look at the twins in my arms sleeping peacefully, she had forgiven me, telling me that her only regret was not being able to be there for me when I was having a hard time. She apologized instead, for not finding me sooner.

I walked over to Lissa and began helping her tickle the twins, laughing as their shrieks of glee filled the room.

Then, the doorbell rang.

A/N: Thank you for reading!