Author: BlueGreenApples PM
Drabble Collection, Canon Pairings, May Contain Spoilers. Eternity can be hell for those who endure it alone. Love is eternal, and so are they.Rated: Fiction T - English - Words: 4,253 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 4 - Published: 11-29-08 - id: 4686349
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Rating: T (violence, gore)
Era: Pre-Twilight (circa 1935)
Of Late I Cannot
Rosalie despised Tennessee. Her pert nose crinkled becomingly as she strode confidently down a small town mundane street. Human males paused, mouths agape, as she passed. Some wore stupefied expressions as they followed her beautiful form with their eyes while a primitive instinct whispered caution into their deaf ears. Others trailed along, zombie-like, in her wake. They kept a fair distance, though, for even with her floating gait and spotless demeanor, the goddess among them moved deceptively quickly along the lane.
Topaz eyes gleamed as a peal of thunder rolled overhead. The enthralled who had shadowed her scattered as a sudden downpour began, washing out the dusty street below. Sparing the muddy mess to her right a disgusted glance, the blonde spread a lacy white parasol and continued to stroll toward the edge of civilization. No one braving the rainstorm noticed as she slipped from the backwater settlement into the thick woodland.
Once the canopy overhead was too dense for much more than a heavy mist to penetrate its leafy carapace, she paused. Stopping for a moment to fold away her delicate umbrella and store it in a dry hallow, Rosalie inhaled deeply for the first time in many days. The pale gold of her eyes narrowed to a thin ring as her pupils expanded in anticipation. Thousands of scents assaulted her senses, pouring over her palette.
Several species of grouse and fowl were immediately weeded out, they were far too small to slake her thirst this time. Tilting her head, Rosalie considered. She wanted something strong, relatively at least, this hunt. The blonde drew another long breath, searching tirelessly as the forest darkened. At last the one she sought reached her inhuman senses. The thick, woodsy musk of a full grown bear. A slow smile crept across Rosalie's unerringly gorgeous features as she stalked effortlessly into the brush.
Carlisle had warned her against taking too many large predators over short periods of time. The hunters in the area were bound to notice, he said. Rosalie scoffed as she bounded through the darkening woodlands. The instant these backward mortals noticed anything outside their narrow frame of reference she would shave her head. Regardless, she had ventured far from Appalachia out of grudging respect for his wishes. Her wandering path had led her into a tiny city named Gatlinburg where the main attraction on main street was a General Store.
She had of course been the center of attention when she strode down the plain wooden porches that ran the length of the town. Her beautiful Roman-esque dress with its supple pleats and flowing fabric had hardly been concealed by her camel-colored walking coat. Even her heeled leather shoes were unlike anything the woman of the town had seen. Rosalie had intentionally overdressed and taken a detour through the little settlement, enjoying the stares and whispers.
It had become a bit of a game for her. She would shop when she was especially annoyed with Edward or thrown by some soft reprimand from Carlisle, buying the most extravagant new items. Then she would traipse through a town, her superb hearing tuned into the commentary of the citizens around her. She would 'collect' her favorite ones, memorizing them as reassurance that she was, for all her failings, still stunning.
Rosalie was still mentally sifting through the complements and awe-filled gossiping when a new scent met her nose. The acrid, heavy smell of gunpowder and male sweat hit her delicate senses and nearly sent her reeling. Stopping dead from her sprint, the blonde frowned becomingly. It was unmistakable, there was a man in the wilderness nearby. His odor was totally out of sorts with the surrounding wildlife. She hadn't expected to come across anyone so deep in the forest. It certainly threw a wrench in her plans. She had just begun to turn in hopes of finding a way around the obstacle and to her prey when the overwhelming heat of bloodlust struck her.
Hellfire clawed up her throat from behind her breastbone, scorching her with thirst. Absently, Rosalie could feel the lengthening of her fangs and hear the rustle of her hair as she threw her head backward in abandon. A low, subsonic hiss boiled from her lips as she struggled with herself. Already she could feel her feet turning toward the scent, instinctively drawing her toward her preferred food source. Blood. Human blood.
The mere thought of the word threw the delicate balance in her mind in favor of her primal nature. Clumps of earth tore up beneath her heels as she struck out due north, toward the siren scent. Moments later, she was upon the scene that had drawn her more feral self. A tumble of large, mossy boulders lay against a steep hill, a dry creek bed perhaps, leeched by the onset of summer into a remnant of itself. Strong oaks fanned overhead, bowed inward over the little clearing, as if they were watching the grizzly scene play out with vigor. Among the fall of the enormous stones lay a man, his lifeblood smeared in a ghastly wash over the natural theater. His murderer, a giant among bears, stood poised to claw what life was left from his body.
For an instant, Rosalie's world narrowed. Her infinitely sharpened vision tunnelled to a scope that fit only the bust of the man who lay bleeding beneath the beast. Color washed away from the edges of the image, as if she were watching through the bowed glass of a television screen. She watched in perfect clarity as the man shut his heavily lashed green eyes in preparation for the blow that would end his life. The disturbance in the air pressure ruffled his curly hair as the heavy bear paw dropped toward his handsome jaw. An epiphany struck Rosalie as she watched the monstrous animal lean its weight into its blow. She wanted this man to live.
A banshee scream tore from the blonde's chest as she dove toward the fray. The bear's claws glanced ineffectively against her raised arm, shredding her coat sleeve but not marring the pale skin beneath. The beast bellowed in pain when her free hand whipped forward, smashing into its shoulder with cruel intent. A devilish smile found her lips as she felt the bones beneath her slender palm grind and snap into pieces. The expression remained as she shoved mightily at the bear's exposed chest, sending it sprawling form its previous two-legged stance. As it crumpled piteously to the ground in a massive heap, a sound at her back made her freeze.
The low, wet breathing she had been listening to nearly subconsciously had faded. He was dying. In the blink of an eye, she ended the animal who had so grievously injured him with a savage stomp of her delicate foot. Without care for the resulting gore, Rosalie returned to the man's side. Rocking down into a careful crouch without drawing so much as a breath, the blonde fought the overwhelming will to feed.
She watched in somber silence as he shook his head weakly to and fro, as if warding away some undesirable thought. Mumbled words and phrases slipped from his stubbled jaw as he struggled to draw breath into his ruined chest. A sickly, sucking sound rang out as he finally gained the lungful of oxygen he toiled for. Rosalie's hunt-dilated eyes rolled back as a new wave of blood trickled from his deep wounds. His heart was working against him now, pumping the little blood that remained in his body onto the rock bed that he laid upon. The little creek was brought to horrific use as the dying man's life poured through the natural rivulets, following the same paths that spring rains must have to pool at the base of the rock formation.
Rosalie watched in stony, forced stillness as the handsome man gurgled a prayer for his soul. At the end of his fragmented praise, his strong neck flexed convulsively, tossing his thick hair back from his brow. As he staved off the wave of pain, his eyes flickered open for a second, their viridian depth startled Rosalie. His deep voice was thick with his own blood and fear as he whispered reverently, "...angel. My...angel." An indescribably beautiful, peace-filled smile overcame the taxed face of the dying man as he uttered the words.
Staring at his blood pinkened teeth and boyish dimples, Rosalie felt the most intense sensation she had ever experienced take root in her breast. Passion, need, selfishness, loneliness, pain, grief, longing and a thousand other off-color emotions swirled in a maelstrom to form a decision. She had to take this man to Carlisle. She needed him. She didn't want him like she wanted the most beautiful clothing or highest compliments or perfectly groomed hair. There was something in this man that she would suffer without. Something irreplaceable.
Without wasting another precious second, Rosalie gathered the ravaged man's titan frame to herself and ran. She hardly knew anything aside from the tortuous burn of bloodlust in her throat and the irregular thump of her burden's heart. A grave coolness had begun to set into the extremities of his body when she at last reached the home she and her adoptive family shared. She could just see the outline of the whitewashed house when an involuntary screech ripped from her, "Carlisle! CARLISLE!"
Before she could force another call from her body, her father's golden head appeared in one of the upstairs windows. His shocked visage was clear as he vanished, reappearing at the screen door on the first floor. He didn't have the chance to utter a word before Rosalie began to beg, "Please! Y-you have to help! He's-" She couldn't bear to finish the thought, instead she loosened her hold to expose his torn chest to Carlisle's shocked gaze.
"Change him!" When the elder vampire began to shake his head in denial, Rosalie felt a hideous sound crescendo behind her teeth. Her adoptive father seemed as surprised as she felt when it tumbled from her mouth, shaking the floor they stood upon with its intensity. A realization seemed to occur in Carlisle's brilliant mind at the snarl and he slowly nodded at last. He gestured toward a chaise lounge in the parlor and asked calmly, "Please explain to me what's happened."
Settling the man's massive shoulders carefully onto the cushions, she backed away to allow her father to work. Rosalie hovered restlessly at Carlisle's shoulder as he knelt beside his patient. After a tense minute, she snapped a bit more sharply than she had intended and diverted from her tale to ask, "Why haven't you bitten him? He'll-"
"Never survive the process of turning if he continues to loose every ounce of his blood." Carlisle supplied evenly, never pausing in his work.
The blonde pressed her lips together in a subtle show of regretful embarrassment. He obviously knew what he was doing, she was just so impotently anxious. At that moment, Emse floated into the room with fresh bandages and a water basin for her husband. Rosalie watched as she paused for an instant, her kind eyes glazing over with thirst. Before her adoptive mother had time to tame the urge, she was lifted bodily by the taller Rosalie and tossed unceremoniously from the room. A dark hiss met Esme's ears as she regained herself, spilled at the base of the front stairway with Rosalie standing above her.
A deeper, bass level rumble sounded from the parlor as Carlisle expressed his displeasure over the treatment of his wife. Edward appeared at the top of the stairs wearing an equally unhappy expression directed at the blonde. His gaze darted between the two women then to the doorway that they had appeared from. It was evident that he was using his gift to assess the situation, but Rosalie refused to back down.
Edward's silky voice held only a tint of its usual condescension as he spoke. "She wasn't going to hurt your...friend, Rosalie." Locking eyes with him over Esme's fallen form, the blonde simply bared her teeth. She was still running on instinct and the movement of her adoptive mother had given her something to focus her frustration upon. Her brother tried to mediate once more. "You know that Esme wouldn't do anything like that. Be reasonable." A scowl broke over Rosalie's features. She hated it when he replied directly to her private thoughts. It was invasive and utterly rude. Had she been of more sane mind, she would have realized that it was a purposeful attempt to shift her anger toward him rather than Esme. But with her current mindset, the plan was effective and soon she was darting up the stairs toward Edward.
He was much faster, of course, and slipped out of an open window before she even reached the second storey. The furious blonde was only a millisecond behind and landed near her adoptive brother in the yard, hands poised. The following hour did nothing to relieve her anger, she simply swung ineffectively at the spaces that Edward had occupied moments before. It did keep her from destroying the house or venting her frustrations on Esme, however; which seemed to be enough for Carlisle, who resumed his task of turning their newest member.
Rosalie was just beginning to feel the stirrings of fatigue in her limbs for the first time since she'd changed when Edward startled her with a simple sentence. "He's asking for you." Staring, startled at her bronze-haired opponent, it took an instant for the thought to settle in her nealy feral mind. When it did, she found herself in the parlor almost instantaneously, staring down into the man's sweat-soaked face. He grinned up at her weakly, and one of his dimples winked into sight with the motion. Without tearing her eyes from the sight, she began to ask, "If you don't...will he live?"
Carlisle sighed deeply and replied, "With a wound as deep as the one he has and the environment he was in when it occurred, infection is nearly a guarantee. It is...unlikely that the young man would survive should it happen. His body is too weak to stave off the infection at this point."
Still entranced by the heavily lashed eyes squinting up at her own, Rosalie let one of her hands drift toward his face. Edward slanted a look toward Carlisle and both stepped from the room, leaving the pair alone. Rosalie hardly noticed. As her fingertips ghosted along the high plane of his cheekbone, he blinked in response and his eyelashes tickled her. She felt her lips turn up ever so slightly only to fade as he drew a painful breath to speak.
She had half a mind to silence his foolhardy attempt when his pretty eyes met her own fully for only the second time. A whooshing sound filled her ears as he beamed up at her, muttering, "Must've done right, after all. The boys would hardly believe it." Rosalie listened to his nonsensical babbling for a moment before she decided on how she wanted to go about asking what seemed like the right question.
For all her planning, the words that escaped her mouth were, "What is your name?"
His eyes creased with the width of his smile until his long lashes tangled at the corners. "Emmett, miss. You must be my angel." His deep, hoarse voice had a dreamy quality to it, as though he was a bit disconnected from himself. Rosalie attributed it to shock and whatever Carlisle had given him to numb the agony he must have been in. Tracing the snow white bandages that covered his broad chest with her eyes, she wondered how to respond. Should she humor him and coerce the answer she hoped for from him or correct him and possibly loose whatever feeling was building in her dead heart.
She could hear Edward's snort from where she sat and had turned to bark something in reprimand when Emmett's entire body shook. The force of the cough that wracked his body actually lifted him partially from his reclined position. Bright blood collected on his palm and dribbled onto his pristine bandages as he continued to shake. Every muscle in his frame became taut and painfully strained. Rosalie felt her eyes widen as she screamed for Carlisle. Something wasn't right.
Her adoptive father appeared in the doorway and strode to Emmett's side. Pressing him until he laid prone once more, Carlisle listened carefully and diagnosed, "One of his lungs is worse than I first thought. It-"
"How long does he have?" Rosalie couldn't take her eyes away from his pained visage. She felt like she already knew the answer. Emmett was dying in front of her. Before she could think further she blurted, "Change him. Save him!"
Carlisle stared into her fearful gaze for a moment before nodding. Rosalie felt a hand touch her shoulder as he leaned over Emmett, whispering something before he bit into the larger man's neck. Esme's feathery voice reached her ears as though through fog as she watched Emmett arch his massive frame almost impossibly, trying to escape Carlisle's grip. "Let's get you out of those clothes, darling. You're a mess." She allowed her mother to lead her from the suddenly oppressive room as the first agonized scream belted from Emmett.
A shudder skated along her spine as she stumbled up the stairs behind Esme. The shorter woman tucked a curly blonde lock behind her daughter's ear once they reached the top and whispered softly, "Carlisle is with him now, don't worry. You're better off cleaning up and being ready for when he starts to come around. The last thing he needs is..." She trailed off, gesturing at the thickening brown stain that took up the front of her satin dress.
Bowing her head in agreement, Rosalie shrugged the slip dress over her head and handed it to the waiting Esme. The woman just gave her an encouraging smile and shuffled her toward the connecting room where her bath had been drawn. She couldn't feel the temperature, really, but the steam rising off of the water as she lowered herself into the tub eased a bit of her weariness. Until she heard Emmett's strained breathing and shouts, at least.
The weight of the selfish decision she'd made began to bore down on her. She'd damned a man she hardly knew because of a resemblance she only vaguely associated with Vera's child. Human memories began to swirl from the deep place she'd buried them in her mind. Tamping them down viciously, Rosalie dredged her mind for something that would make her feel a little less...filthy. Her tawny eyes watched the water around her granite skin deepen to pink with detached fascination.
The fact that her vault of compliments did nothing to buoy her spirits spoke volumes. Exhaling a breath she'd begun an hour before, Rosalie rose from her bath and quickly dried herself. She stood for another hour before her armoir in only a slip. Her eyes flowed over the multitude of jewel toned fabrics without really seeing them. How did one dress to meet someone whose life they had just personally ruined? Picking a black blouse and high waisted khakis, Rosalie dressed in silence.
The next two days were a private torture for her. She watched in horror as Emmett tossed and writhed, pleading for salvation. For his angel. Rosalie buried her face in her hands in shame. If he knew that his 'angel' had condemned him to the suffering he was enduring, what would he say? Golden eyes observed the minute changes that took place as the hours crawled by slowly. His tan skin paled to a shade only a bit warmer than her own. The dark curls that had endeared him to her became opalescent in the low light. His respiration stopped at noon on the second day of his transformation. Her acute hearing heard the exact second his heart stopped on the third. She was only a foot from his side when his eyes opened at last.
Her surprised gasp drew Carlisle from his study. Emmett bolted upright at the sound of his creator's footsteps, snapping the lounge he'd been lying on in half. He was across the room, his the imprint of his shoulders clear where he'd impacted that wall, by the time the pieces clattered to the ground. Rocking forward into an instinctive crouch, he growled threateningly at the male presence that had startled him.
Carlisle spread his hands placatingly, stepping a bit too close to Rosalie for Emmett's liking in the process. A snarl stopped the older vampire in his tracks. He was staring up into the ruby red eyes of the newborn crouched between himself and his daughter before he had time to speak. Narrowing his eyes, Carlisle began to circle toward Rosalie, intent on keeping himself the center of attention to avoid a confrontation. Without breaking his gaze from Emmett's, he whispered, "Rosalie, if you would leave us. I-"
"NO!" The sound was more of a roar than a true word. Its volume drew Esme and Edward to the doorway and made Rosalie shift nervously. He was obviously not the most self-controlled newborn they'd ever seen. Bearing his teeth once more for Edward's sake, Emmett backed toward Rosalie, crowding her away from her adoptive father.
Carlisle didn't appreciate the gesture or the direction that the situation was taking. "Emmett, I understand that you are very confused right now, however; I need for you to remain calm and rational."
"He's not God and you're not going to be sent back to 'hell.'" Edward added in a blase manner from his post at the door. Carlisle gave him a reproachful look over his shoulder and pointedly began to ponder the meaning of tact, knowing that his son was listening. The younger vampire just shrugged and leaned carelessly against the jam.
Refocusing his attention on the skittish newborn, Carlisle carefully explained, "We...all of us and now you, Emmett, are vampires. Rosalie found you in the woods, and I tried to save your life. But your wounds were too great and you would have passed on, so my daughter asked me to change you. My family-"
"Vampire?" Emmett interrupted, still crouched as he was between Rosalie and the rest of the coven, he seemed curious. It was a change at least from violent or angry. "Do we drink.." He began to ask one of the more obvious questions about his new heritage, only to trail off and grasp his throat desperately.
"What you feel now is your thirst for blood." Carlisle took the opportunity to further explain, "My family drinks only animal blood. Human prey is strictly off limits. These are our rules, not those of our kind. If you wish to behave differently, then you are free to leave." Watching as the titan of a man turned half toward Rosalie, Carlisle answered his question before it was asked. "She will stay. She abides by our diet."
Standing fully for the first time and flexing meditatively, Emmett tilted his head in thought before nodding to himself. He rubbed his throat uncomfortably before meeting Carlisle's eyes. "I will stay."
Rosalie only vaguely listened as Carlisle planned a hunt for Emmett and instructed him in the basics of what he needed to know. Instead she focused on the play of muscles across his massive back and the way his hair caught the light. When he turned to look at her, cutting a roguish profile with his dark coloring and ruby red eyes...Rosalie could hardly bring herself to regret her decision. It was selfish, but if she wanted to survive eternity with her sanity intact, she needed a constant. Something that she might have once called her soul told her that Emmett was it. He was her constant. Her rock.
She needed Emmett, and now she had him.
I'm...not dead? :D I couldn't bring myself to start a full length story without CT or Fealty being finished first (I have a Jacob-centric epic length plot bunny partially planned, but that most likely won't see daylight for a few months, at least.), so here it is. ANOTHER drabble collection. Like my Naruto drabble series, some of these chapters will be continuations of each other, but they'll be in no particular order. Next up is either an Edward/Bella or a Jacob/Renesmee, depending on which unfolds itself faster.
ALL CT FANS: I'm currently working on the next chapter, and a preview of it can be found on my LiveJournal. Go to my Homepage link on my Bio for this site to be redirected. If you have trouble finding it, drop me an email or PM. :) I'll be glad to help you.
As always, thank you for reading and please review.