Since his death, and then forced awakening, subsequent service, and following broken ill-bonded allegiance, the Death Knight always felt itchy. It was as if his own skin had stayed in the grave, and the mesomorphic Val’kyr gave him spun metal as a replacement, the kind the kitchen girls would scrub pots with, that left their hands looking like the undersides of raw meat. When he broke free of his chains, through steel and blood, he did not feel any sense of redemption. He would transfer fealty from one gibbet to another, but dead all the same. Even walking through the streets to pledge to the new king, or new queen, they spit, shouted, screamed, or worse, shunned his presence. They wanted him back in the grave, too.
He could not remember who or what he had been in the life before. The losses he felt were like a mouse in the room—scared memories scurrying to hidey-holes. He could never quite catch them in the light. There was a woman, and perhaps—a child. His? He was a Night Elf by race, but his former daily routines, skills, or origins he could not recall. He did have a masterful way with runes, however. If he came by this trade or talent in his second life, or if he came with it from his first, he did not know.
His kind was maligned at every turn. If he walked to the light once, and back again, the derision he met would have been death by tedium. He had nothing to prove to anyone, but he was alone, and he wasn't ready to go back to Death empty-handed a second time.
Was there ever a moment when she wasn’t there, the awkward girl with the black cat? She was reading her mail, studying its contents, and she tripped over the low curb by the steps of the bank. She blushed, hoping no one had seen her, embarrassed. All of her letters, cloth, and flasks scattered out of her bags, and her knee was scraped and bleeding.
Whatever he had been in the past, whomever he had loved, and how much scorn he had met—he did the only thing he could do now, of his own free will, for the first time in eons—he gave her his hand, and helped her up.
And he fell in love.
He healed her wound, picked up the items, but did not say a word. His scarred, wrecked voice frightened others, and they stopped listening years ago. She smiled at him so openly, the chill that was his constant cloak thawed, not warmed by blood or disease, but pure sweet light. He laughed, and she did not flinch.
Mrs. Whitworth, the black cat, who used to not be a cat, knew this look. Though in her other form she looked like a woman who had not been kissed enough. But she still knew. She ushered the girl away from this knight, but missed him walking backwards, so as not to miss a step as she walked away.