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Marabelle

Waiting (short story)

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Hi everyone, I'm brand new here, so please be patient with me. I'll try not to step on any toes, of course!

 

 

Waiting...

 

 

It was really all very amusing.

 

Most things were amusing, in fact, if you had the right perspective on them, and she usually did. Of course, her husband disagreed with that assessment entirely, loudly, and as often as possible.

 

That was very amusing too.

 

How long now? It couldn’t be more than a few hours, and that was probably very optimistic. Familiar darkness hung around her like a shroud, but it wouldn’t last forever. The ominous promise of the passage of time tickled along her spine. She would have shuddered, if it wasn’t so wonderfully incongruous. Here she lay, bound, helpless on cold stone, counting down the final minutes of her life, when for so many years, she had hardly been aware of the sand in the hour glass at all. What did such things matter, when mortality had fallen away from her, and death had broken its solemn promise?

 

Her hands were numb, pinched painfully under her own weight. She laughed softly… laughed more as it came back to her, bouncing from the unyielding rock. He would have glowered at her for that, or chastised her outright, if he wasn’t feeling charitable. “Demon spawn,” she chuckled. Her husband…

 

“Galahad…”

 

He was the most amusing of all.

 

Te’ijal was not surprised that he had left. He had, after all, been trying to escape her … mmm, almost, since he had met her, and had wanted her dead before that. She grinned in fond memory. His expression when she had stolen his soul was priceless; something to cling to for the rest of her days… day. Well… night.

 

It was waning fast.

 

She would slip away with the shadows at last… only with much more fire and heat and anguish, probably screaming too. It was almost a pity Galahad would miss it; he would have enjoyed it. Te’ijal sighed and tried to shift to ease her discomfort. Why suffer more than she had to, anyway?

 

Why dwell on his absence?

 

She was quite expert in not dwelling… in any sense of the word. Her lips curved in wry appreciation. Her Turning had been a far crueler ordeal than anything she’d inflicted on her husband, who had done nothing but dwell in the past. One thing easily said about her husband: he knew how to hold a grudge. There was something to say about his ability to hang on, and how fine a balance it made in their …unconventional marriage, when she was so skilled in letting go. Yes, Galahad had been a good choice. She had no regrets about him.

 

Perhaps that was why this was so funny: Now, at last, their positions were reversed. He had let her go without a second thought… and she could not help but hold on to unkind hope. She’d had no true claim on his soul since she’d Turned him… and yet, he had stayed. Was it only for his marriage vow? His word as his bond, like any noble Paladin? Perhaps it was because he simply had nowhere else to go… lost little vampire that he was. Could there be anything more than that for him?

 

Maybe… maybe?

 

Grey.

 

The darkness was relinquishing its grip on the world at last. A temporary setback, if Gyendal had his way. Te’ijal closed her eyes… this would not be pretty. Yet… she opened them once more. She had always enjoyed the light. A strange fascination in a vampire. She smiled at her approaching destruction, giddy amusement creeping over her bound form.

 

Ah, Galahad… she had always enjoyed the light.

 

-----------------------------------------------

 

And, just a little about me... I'm an unadulterated Te'ijal/ Galahad shipper. Their relationship is just too much fun not to play with. I'm in turns excited, and afraid for whatever will happen in GoN, but in the meantime, I thought I'd post this short little vignette. I'm toying with the idea of writing more of it, or maybe posting a longer story I have in mind. I lean towards the dramatic, I'm afraid, so keep that in mind, eh?

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Hi everyone! Thanks for the support! I really appreciate it!

 

Here's part two-ish, from Galahad's point of view. Some of the dialogue is Amanda's(Isn't she talented!), and I took some liberties of my own. Enjoy!

---------------------------------------------

“I need a drink.”

 

The night air was cool, as dark as his soul had become, but with a peace that eluded him. It was deceptive anyway. With the evil undead stalking the night, spinning Gyendal’s fearsome plans, there was no real security here. Galahad meandered his way through the quiet streets, the rare passerby retreating from him upon witnessing his grim expression. As always, he was torn between wounded pride and somber satisfaction. He wished no company this night, so their departure left him one less burden to carry. However, there had been a time, long, long ago now, when men had cheered to see him coming down the street, when old grandmothers and young maidens had called out glad praise as he passed. Now… now, he was feared, and rightly so.

 

“Good evenin’ si… uh…” The man, a servant by his dress, bowed quickly and turned on his heel, vanishing as quickly as he came.

 

There was another feeling too, as Galahad watched him flee. Relief.

 

He was hungry. He was always hungry. He hated it; he hated himself for it, and for the creature of evil he had become. Most of all, he hated her for it; his wife: the vile witch whom had destroyed all that had been good in him.

 

She would die soon, as she deserved, and he would be released from her bonds at last… but there was no comfort in that knowledge. It… unsettled him. Surely, he should be jubilant as his long whispered, bitter prayers would finally be answered. His enslavement to her will was over.

 

But Galahad was not happy as he reached the noisy tavern, entered, and took up a stool, and an ale. He did not like the way it had all come about, he decided. Yes… that was it. He had no regret for her death, or the manner of her death; it was long overdue, but it was the … the weakness of his own part in it. By rights, he should have been the one to end it, and he told the men who had gathered around him for their entertainment exactly that, giving no mind to either their amusement or commiseration. They could not understand.

 

They were only prey, after all, whispered the ravenous beast within him. Galahad’s lip curled in a sneer and he gave better ear to their sympathies, defying the beast in all its forms, as he had from the moment it first invaded. It was necessity; little else but fury and defiance had kept him from murder… and satiation.

 

“I learned too late that I loved the woman,” wistfully chuckled Morten, lips quirked up in smile, rheumy eyes filled with regret.

 

Galahad wanted to laugh, and nearly managed it as he dismissed the man’s point and his wife’s value in one breath. However, it was not with no strength of will that Morten had managed to hate his own dear Nora for so long.

 

“You, my friend, are a stubborn one, to be sure. I will tell you this: The opposite of love is not hate. It is indifference. You’ll find that the presence of one strong emotion often indicates the presence of another.”

 

“Believe what you want, old man,” the cursed paladin growled. “Belief is easy to come by after many ales. She deserves death. She is death.

 

Not for the first time that evening, men roared with laughter. Morten and his companions were not ready to give up, however. One, Silas, spoke up. “Is there nothing redeeming about this woman?”

 

Redeeming?! Te’ijal was nothing but demonspawn, a dark temptress who…

 

Something lurched inside of him.

 

Te’ijal…

 

He almost never referred to her by name, in thought or with voice. Even the title, "Wife," was preferable. It had not been intentional, at first, but was simply a product of his rage at her ruthless trickery and theft of his soul. Over the centuries, however, many of which had been spent in escaping her, her name had become an evil to him, and Galahad had determined not to speak it, as though it invoked her presence.

 

“Te’ijal...”

 

Galahad closed his eyes, remembering other voices that had spoken her name. He thought of Rhen, who had become such a noble and prosperous queen, fighting with a valiance that had won his respect as well as his oath of protection. She hadn’t much cared for the latter. He recalled the timbre of her cries as, in battle, she gave strident orders and called out warnings. Rhen was less wary of Te’ijal than the others were, a product of her naïveté, he had once believed. The girl… the sword singer, had even seemed to have a certain fondness for the vampress. He remembered her daring, in a rare, quiet moment, to question, even chide, Te’ijal for stealing his soul.

 

He also remembered the vampire’s light laugh and promise she would release his soul at the right time. None but she had known the price that he would pay for that.

 

Anger closed in again, exciting the demon within… but he mastered it with a skill born of long practice. It was not quite the battle it usually was; her name was echoing through him, and it strangely quieted the hunger.

 

They had once fought another demon, together, and all the world had been saved. Lars… ah, there was a memory… Lars, that arrogant mage who had grown so much by the end, it was he who had told Galahad that Te’ijal had joined the company for the adventure of it all.

 

If she hadn’t been a monster, he would have found her courage commendable. Instead, he had derided her spirit as childish, a mockery of the seriousness of their endeavour. She had laughed in his face, and called him scrumptious.

 

He clenched his fist. She was so… so… impossibly irritating! Nothing mattered to her. Nothing. Nothing of good, of right, of truth… justice…

 

She had helped to save the world.

 

She was trying to do it again… and would now die in the attempt.

 

Why?

 

A “soft spot for her dinner” was not a satisfactory answer. It was the best he was ever likely to get; he knew that, no matter how he pressed her. Te’ijal’s reasons for Turning him, for marrying him, were just as elusive.

 

Galahad would never know now. She would be nothing but ashes in an hour. One miserable chapter of his life over, and as for the future…? Perhaps there was none. Only a longer piece of an eternity of night.

 

Why…? Why? Too many questions, and too late the hour.

 

“…She stopped a demon from taking over the world. Now she’s trying to stop a vampire from enslaving humanity…”

 

His confusion must have shown in his reply to the men, who chuckled and slapped him on the back.

 

“It sounds like your wife’s bark is worse than her bite.”

 

Te’ijal had more of a bite than they knew.

 

And yet… she had never fed from a human… that he had seen… in all the years of their marriage. Never… Had he simply… not seen it? Or had she been fasting, as he had?

 

The question haunted him. Why…?

 

All the uncertainty, the unnamed, unformed tension solidified into a desperate need for action. He knew what he had to do… as for why…well, that could wait past the dawn. She could not.

 

Galahad sprang to his feet, knocking the stool to the floor. Feeling more like his old self than he had in centuries, he announced, “I have to save my wife!” and raced for the door. The lack of time, the presence of the guards, these problems would need to be solved, and solved quickly, but he could think on his feet. He didn’t know how he would save her… but he had to try. Like a knight, like a true paladin, he raced to the rescue of the woman in distress.

 

His wife. His... Te’ijal.

 

He prayed he would not fail.

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Oh! Thanks everyone! I'm so happy you like it! I will keep writing. In fact, I have a bigger story I'll be starting that is quite ambitious. Hopefully it'll go over well! And, I'm not sure I understand your question Griselmay, but she is Te'ijal, and he is Galahad, but he is certainly her Galahad, and personally, I think she's his Te'ijal. Does that help?

 

Maybe I'm giving away too much. ;)

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I don't think there are words enough in the universe to describe how much I love you right now.

 

This is so, so perfect and wonderful and

 

 

"She had laughed in his face, and called him scrumptious."

 

 

LOLOLOL.

 

----

 

I love Te'ijal's part the best, though. Reading it was a positive joy to my poor, Teijal/Galahad-starved soul.

 

---

 

ABSOLUTELY WRITE MORE.

 

/PLEASE/.

 

 

 

(Um. To be absolutely clear as to the source of my love, you write really well and all the pretty words go dancing around in my head. And you Te'ijal is spot-on and brilliant and filling me with envy right now because, just, wow.

 

Haha I love her angsting about her turning. It's true. Galahad doesn't ever seem to think about the fact that his wife was also human once. Mind you, based on GoN ending she doesn't much either- seeing as she prefers vampirism... But somehow that fits into how you have her being the "letting go type"

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Oh! Thanks so much! You've made my day! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one starved! Just for that, I'll try to get the first chapter of my new one out today. Should be all about the drama... at least, eventually...:P

 

Hmm... title... title...

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Just read the second part for the first time, and I never did comment on the first part...

 

Love love LOVE your stories. I really like the remembering in here, what with my other favorite couple (other than TxG, I mean) being RxL. ;)

 

"Why…? Why? Too many questions, and too late the hour."

Great line, that. Love the feel of that section too. :blink:

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Really beautifully written. you must update as soon as you can!

Why…? Why? Too many questions, and too late the hour.

I Just Love this line!

This story is really good please update soon! :)

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Oh, thank you so much everyone! I really appreciate that. It's been so crazy lately I haven't had a minute to write, but things should settle down a little now. I WAS originally planning to leave it at this, but with so much support, I will continue on with at least one more chapter of this story, and possibly more. At the moment though, I'm planning to keep most of my focus on Night Falls. I haven't forgotten either though, I promise! It's just been crazy.

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Well, here goes nothing! Hope it was worth the wait! I'm not sure it captures the spirit of the other two chapters... part of the problem of writing two stories at the same time, I suppose, but! Hopefully, you'll enjoy it!

----------------------------------------

 

Dawn was breaking.

 

It was over, and she felt absolutely ready to see that sunrise. She wondered what it would bring… and if there would be another. It had already occurred to her that there was a faint possibility of her surviving this night, if her brother had already been successful in finding the girl.

 

The end of the world of light.

 

She had another reason then, to be glad of the dawn, rather than simple enjoyment of the beauty of its light. It was also hope, and not only her death. It was still that, but at least it was more than that.

 

The darkness that dwelled within her was already recoiling in horror, shrieking silently at her about the pain in which she would soon be writhing. Te’ijal breathed deeply, fighting the fear it awoke in her. She was glad her husband was not here, of course, but suddenly, she missed him badly.

 

“Oh Galahad… my crumpet. You were delicious. I hope you knew that.”

 

A distant clang flagged at her attention for a moment, but only a moment. The world was out of her reach now, for good or ill, and none of the reasons she was bound here mattered anymore.

 

She tried valiantly to shut out muffled shouts and frantic footsteps. “I don’t care… I don’t care… I don’t care… It's done...”

 

At this point in her existence surprise was not so much of a surprise as a charming novelty…

 

He was there. He was really there.

 

She could not believe it.

 

After gaping at him briefly, she realized she had cried out. “Galahad! You came!” She was far too happy, and astonished, to see him, to worry much over the abject emotionalism of her greeting. His hands, oh, really, his hands, were on her shoulders, fingers digging into her painfully. Was he… was he shaking? Maybe that was only she…

 

“Hold still, wife. I shall cut you free!” Bound as tightly as she was, she could hardly do anything more, but she doubted she’d have been able to move much anyway. He cut her free with such haste she felt relief it was also with great care. He slid an arm under her back and lifted her. It was painful to move after being tied for so long in such an awkward position, but she hadn’t much time to think about it.

 

Daylight broke over them. Blazes! He would die now; they would both die.

 

“The sun! It’s too late, my crumpet. We are both dead.” Te’ijal clung to Galahad tightly, eyes squeezed shut. She didn’t want to watch anymore.

 

Suddenly, something cold was being smeared over her face, a bottle pressed into her hand. It had been centuries… but Te’ijal remembered that sensation.

 

“You need it, husband.”

 

“Do not address me so, witch. I need nothing but respite from your wickedness.”

 

“I’m a vampire, not a witch, and so are you, which means you need this. Here… I can help you.”

 

“Don’t touch me.”

 

“Galahad, don’t be so stubborn. You are what you are now. Just accept it.”

 

“You did this to me.”

 

“Well… yes, that’s true.”

 

“Why?” he snarled. She couldn’t entirely hide the smile. Every time her knight growled, it made her want to purr.

 

“IOh, I don’t know… maybe it was a kind of whimsical joke?” she suggested helpfully. “You were much more fun than that pirate. I am glad now, that Elini got the love potion. I like you feisty.”

 

“I should have killed you when I had the chance.”

 

“Probably, duckling, but Rhen would have been a bit inconvenienced. I’m an excellent archer, and we do still have a world to save.”

 

“Why?” Ooh… he was really angry now. Probably shouldn’t keep playing with the soul amulet right in front of him. It was such fun to dangle though. A pleasant reminder of her ultimate game of "Got your Nose."

 

“Just because you want to die doesn’t mean the rest of humanity does, husband.” She distracted him with the pendant long enough to dab a significant glob of sunscreen on his nose. He reacted predictably. Pity that.

 

“Hey! I told you “no”! I am NOT going out there as a vampire. I am not going to *be* a vampire. I am simply going to die. Right out in the sun. *You* should have killed me.”

 

“But I’d much rather play with my food,” she teased, taking advantage of fast reflexes to smear the cream over his scrunched up face. He took a wild swing at her but she dodged it easily and pressed his fist to his chest, leaning over to brush her lips against his.

 

“Don’t you touch me! Ugh! Monster! Villain! Demonspawn!”

 

“Yes?” She licked her lips thoughtfully. Even his mere lips had an appealing taste to them. She remembered the feeling of his hot blood coursing down her throat and her breath quickened. He was so wild filled with hatred for her. It truly seemed to burn through him. Such raw passion… She caught his tense wrist and began liberally coating it with the protection he wanted to reject but had to have. He belonged to her now, and she meant to look after him.

 

“I hate you, from the depths of my soul,” he said wearily, surrendering to her will at last, at least for the moment.

 

“I know,” she told him gently as she delicately brushed each finger. He lay there quietly, eyes shut against the world, and particularly, against her. She frowned a little, not liking this… defeat, carved into the lines of his face. “Don’t take on so, husband. You will get used to the change… and perhaps even to me.”

 

“I wish that you had killed me.”

 

“Luckily, you’re not the one in control.”

 

 

She opened her eyes again, feeling an odd sensation of life coursing through her. This was not what she’d expected at all.

 

He was here.

 

And not at all alone. Mel was there, with the Crown Prince of Thais, and another slightly bewildering girl. There was something … not quite right about her, but Te’ijal could not determine the source of her unease, so she dismissed it. Maybe she simply needed another puzzle to solve, to distract her from the great mystery of his presence.

 

It simply defied everything that she knew about him. The way he had cradled her… love potion? She peered at his face, but he kept his eyes turned away from her.

 

He called her aggravating.

 

“We are safe,” she announced, gathering herself to her feet. “Come, we must retreat to the study. We have much to discuss!”

 

They did indeed, but she knew she would not get the chance to discover what was truly weighing on her. He would not catch her eye despite her best efforts, and seemed to be completely focused on the Orbs and the trouble her brother was bent on causing. Only when he suggested Gyendal had been spying on them all along did she manage to get a close look at his expression. It was plain to see he was not under any love spell… at least, not one directed at herself. Just as well… he would never had admitted to it actually working on him anyway, and would have tied himself up in knots trying to fight it, or failing that, trying to deny it.

 

“Yes, it appears we did his work for him.” She looked at him searchingly. “I am glad you are here. What prompted you to return to Harburg?” For a split second, the man looked almost panic-stricken, but Mel inadvertently rescued him.

 

“Things have become… complicated,” the mortal sighed, making a face at fate before introducing them to Stella and Edward and catching them up on the latest difficulties. They agreed to undertake the journey to search out the quarter keys together once she had reassured the children that with the sunscreen the little rabbits had fetched, she and her husband would have no difficulties with the light.

 

She had thought Galahad would be pleased to walk in the sun once more, but he seemed more miserable than usual. Even her efforts to jog him out of his sulk by giving the mortals friendly reminders that they were wonderfully edible did not succeed in getting a rise out of him. She’d stalked the new girl for awhile, but other than entertaining her for a while, it wasn’t effective. This day she thought she’d never see was turning out to be a long one.

 

When they’d finally made camp, and all the tidbits had dropped off into fitful slumber, Te’ijal scaled the tree where her husband was keeping watch. Though he could not have failed to notice her approach, he did not acknowledge her presence at all. Galahad was visibly troubled.

 

“One more regret, husband?”

 

His eyes flickered briefly towards her before resuming their restless scanning of the horizon. Eyes, sharpened as they were by the Turning, were less effective than his other senses, but old habits died hard... and particularly so where her husband was concerned. He was so loathe to abandon the last shreds of his humanity. It mystified her… but it was a mystery she preferred to hold on to, as she did not want to wallow in the regrets that so haunted him.

 

When he wasn’t angry with her, of course.

 

“Husband?”

 

“Leave me be.”

 

Ah, he always found a way to make her laugh. She stretched languorously out on the tree limb, balanced on one side, dangling one arm lazily over the branch. When he still did not look at her, she prodded him with her foot. When he frowned at her, she smiled brightly at him. “Thinking romantic thoughts about me, husband? No, don’t deny it. I can tell. It is only natural, after sweeping to my rescue on a white stallion.”

 

There was a long moment when he did not respond. She contemplated poking him with her foot again, or perhaps kicking him out of the tree entirely. That would get him worked up. And if it didn’t… well, it would validate her concern. She stretched her leg closer, but he turned to her fully, very abruptly. Another surprise for her. “You know full well we walked.”

 

Of course she knew. Horses were none too fond of the undead, a fact that had added insult to injury for Galahad when he discovered it shortly after their wedding. She found it mildly comforting that he had risen for the bait however, correcting her on such a frivolity. Perhaps her crumpet was finally ready to grumble at her.

 

“Ah, pity. Well, you were very brave, nonetheless, my knight.” He didn’t answer her again, so she sighed quietly and attempted to kick him out of the tree. Nearly succeeded.

 

“What are you doing?!”

 

“Shh… you’ll wake dinner.”

 

His eyes flashed angrily, and he looked quite ready to throttle her. Te’ijal felt better already. “They are *not* dinner! Stop kicking me! And stop tempt… stop. Just… stop. I’m tired.”

 

“Why did you come back, Galahad?” she asked quietly, deciding to abandon the tactful approach.

 

He shot her an annoyed… and vulnerable glance before staring hard at the horizon, as thought trying to conjure some sort of monster to battle it out with. No doubt he would have preferred that to answering her question. “I can hardly just stand by while your kin takes over the world.”

 

“You don’t need me for that. You know what’s going on as well as I do now… and you would find it easier to destroy Gyendal than I would. You didn’t come back for the world, did you? You came back… for me.”

 

“Don’t make me regret it more than I already do.”

 

“So you do regret it.” An impulsive choice… that was something she could understand. It was easier to believe than anything… more. That was… risky territory.

 

“… You are a creature of evil, worthy of death many times over… but,” he closed his eyes, shifted so his back was braced against the tree trunk. “But… there are others more deserving, and for the moment, perhaps the world is better off with you in it, than without.”

 

She regarded him silently for a long time, affectionate smile teasing at her lips. “I missed you, Galahad.”

 

His eyes opened slightly, pinning her with an intense gaze for a moment, before they closed again. “Only a little regret, demonspawn.”

 

As satisfied as she could be, Te’ijal climbed along side of her husband, and, ignoring his grimace, draped his arm around herself to watch the moon rise.

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Still in the middle of reading, but...

 

"“Things have become… complicated,” the mortal sighed"

 

 

Eh?

Is this referring to Galahad? If so, can I assume typo?

 

 

---

 

ETA: SCRATCH THAT I RE-READ IT AND FIGURED IT OUT

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*oozes joy*

 

:D :D :D

 

He was there. He was really there.

 

She could not believe it.

Cute!

 

“What are you doing?!”

Kicking you out of the tree. Obviously. =P

 

His eyes flashed angrily, and he looked quite ready to throttle her. Te’ijal felt better already. “They are *not* dinner! Stop kicking me! And stop tempt… stop. Just… stop. I’m tired.”

...This makes me want to hug him. -insert appropriate smiley here-

 

“Only a little regret, demonspawn.”

Oh, Gala-dearest. Still in denial. <3

 

So I made it take up kind of a lot of space, but it's quote code's fault.

*points*

*quote code bites finger*

Hey!

You didn't have to use us, you know.
(What? Codes can totally talk.)

...Okay, it was my fault. >.>

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