AN: Another Aveyond fic. Well, my computer's currently not working, but I wrote this a while ago for the Amaranth Games forums and now that TDP is coming out soon I thought I'd also post it here. Anyway, this story is a series of vignettes about Te'ijal and Galahad's time living in Sedona, based on the awesome letters Te'ijal wrote to Mel during TLO. Each chapter is inspired by one of the things or events Te'ijal talks about in her letters.
Oh, and I don't own Aveyond (well, I own my copy of it, but that's not what I mean).
"Life in Sedona"
Chapter 1: Human Recreation
Te'ijal groggily stumbled down the stairs, having once again slept badly, her night disturbed by dreams of her old life as a vampire, which faded out of her memory the instant she awoke. Dreams were so annoying – why couldn't humans just sleep sleep the way vampires always did?
She found Galahad in the dining room, humming to himself as he set the table. Their new home in Sedona was quite similar to the manor where they had once lived when traveling with Rhen and her friends, only a good deal smaller. Perhaps she shouldn't have agreed to live in a town that was sure to bring back old memories.
Sensing his wife's presence, Galahad looked up at her and smiled. "Good morning, wife," he said cheerily. He wrapped his arm around her shoulder and kissed her cheek. "You look beautiful this morning."
He was lying, of course, Te'ijal was sure of it. Her hair was mussed and there were probably dark circles under her eyes. Why did human men always feel the need to tell their wives that they were beautiful?
"I made cheese omelettes for breakfast," Galahad continued, seeming not to notice that his wife hadn't spoken all morning.
"Cheese omelettes," Te'ijal muttered. "So that's food, I assume?"
"Of course," said Galahad. "Sit down, I promise you'll like it." He ducked into the kitchen, a slight bounce in his step.
Te'ijal sat, but she was already certain that her husband was wrong with his latter statement. His humming from the kitchen was starting to irritate her. For him, it was as if his three-hundred-year existence as a vampire never happened – he welcomed being human again.
If only it could be that simple for her . . .
Galahad returned to the dining room, carrying two plates, each of which held a yellow semicircle, some sort of food, which made Te'ijal realize that she wasn't sure exactly what a cheese omelette was.
"Eggs on the outside, cheese on the inside," Galahad said, placing one of the plates in front of Te'ijal and kissing her cheek again. "Enjoy."
Te'ijal made a face as she stared down at her omelette, the lump of puffy yellow stuff laced with lines of brown. Maybe it tasted good to regular humans, but that didn't matter to her. Only one thing mattered in her mind.
It wasn't blood.
After a minute or so, Galahad looked up from his own omelette, which was already half-eaten. "Are you planning to starve yourself, Te'ijal?" he said lightly.
"Why not?" said Te'ijal. "You did the same thing for three hundred years."
"That's different," Galahad declared, a sudden seriousness in his voice. "I could still exist without drinking human blood, but if you don't eat, you'll die."
"I already died " Te'ijal snapped. "And that was how I liked it "
"Well if you don't eat, you'll die die," said Galahad. "Refusing to eat won't turn you back into a vampire – I'm sure you know that."
Te'ijal growled, but she picked up her fork, that strange instrument humans needed to eat. She pressed it into the corner of the omelette, which made a bit of cheese begin to leak out of the edge. After struggling for a few moments, she managed to get a piece of omelette on her fork and, flinching the entire time, she put it in her mouth.
She chewed. It was humiliating to chew – she used to be able to eat just by sucking blood out of someone's body. The food felt squishy in her mouth. Worse still, she had saliva now, which made the whole experience even more disgusting – she could feel it mixing with the food. Yes, it tasted good, she supposed, but the chewing experience made the taste seem insignificant.
Galahad smiled at her after she swallowed. "There, that wasn't bad, was it?"
"Chewing is gross," Te'ijal responded.
Galahad shrugged. "I guess you could see it that way if you're not used to it, but soon you'll learn that eating is a pleasure."
"Ha," Te'ijal choked out.
Galahad sighed, finishing off the last of his omelette and brushing the napkin over his mouth. Then after a moment, he seemed to get an idea. "Te'ijal," he said with another smile, "do you know what a picnic is?"
"Of course," said Te'ijal. "It's one of your odd forms of human recreation. For some reason you think eating your food is more fun when you do it outside."
"Well," said Galahad, "why don't we go on a picnic today?"
"You mean more eating?"
Galahad shrugged again. "Well you have to eat anyway, so why don't we do it on the beach today? Maybe a change of scenery will help you enjoy it more.'
Te'ijal bared her teeth as if she were still a vampire. "You, husband, are just as foolish as all the other humans."
"I know," said Galahad. "That's why you love me, isn't it?"
A long sigh emerged from Te'ijal's mouth, but she had to respond. "Yes," she admitted.
Five hours later
Te'ijal and Galahad lay side by side on their picnic blanket, gazing up at the clouds. Te'ijal was feeling icky in the stomach – she suspected this was what humans meant when they felt overstuffed. How did her husband manage to get her to eat so much? Maybe it was the apple pie they'd had for dessert. At least that didn't require as much chewing as everything else.
She squeezed her husband's hand and closed her eyes, absorbing the warm sun beating down on her skin, the sound of the waves crashing against the beach, the smell of the sea air. Maybe Galahad was right, and she would eventually get used to this.
But she highly doubted it.