Warning: Will contain incidences of corporal discipline. If you find this upsetting, please don't read.
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters are the property of Stephenie Meyer. I am thrilled that she allows us to play with them and promise to return them in the same state that I found them. It will take some doing to get Carlisle back to normal, however.
AN: Back in November, The Maudlin Muse, the de-aging queen, came up with an idea that she shared with me. This is a collaborative effort that was born from that discussion. She felt, and rightfully so, that I have the tendency to be very mean to Carlisle when I take him back to his childhood. I've basically denied him any sort of decent childhood, so she felt the need to fix that. Luckily, Eleazar volunteered to help his buddy out.
Set during Carlisle's time in Volterra. I know Eleazar and Carlisle served during different time periods, but I needed the boys together so I just had fold the fabric of time and space. Writing gives us remarkable powers. ;-)
Thanks to Jasper1863Hale, for proofing this odd journey out of my comfort zone.
Next chapter will be all Maudlin. We hope you guys enjoy the trip.
"Santa Maria. Carlisle, what is that horrendous stench? Half of the castle reeks from your cooking, and the brothers, well they are not pleased."
Eleazar waved a hand in an attempt to dissipate the cloud of fumes that forced him to hold his breath.
"I think that I might be onto something," the youthful appearing man declared as he continued with his work.
"If you search for a repellent then I say you have success."
The stately blond looked up from his boiling concoction to give his friend a bemused smile.
"Had I faith that it would stop a hungry vampire, I would bottle it up as it is and pass samples to the peasants outside the city walls. Regrettably, I don't believe even the most repugnant odor will stop our kind once the blood lust sets in."
"Our thoughts, they differ, amigo. I wouldn't find such a foul smelling human appetizing in the least," the Spaniard grumbled while scrunching up his nose in disgust.
With a warm chuckle, Carlisle shook his head.
"Even so, that is not the goal of this experiment. I picked up some odd herbs from the healer today. Given the properties shared among them, I believe I can formulate a new elixir to cure the fever that has begun to spread like wild fire among the field workers.
It will be to Aro's benefit if I can stop it from venturing further. At the rate it's progressing, Heidi will have to go to Greece to bring back dinner."
"Exotic carry out cuisine. Tasty. I like."
Carlisle groaned softly before pointing his glass stirring rod at his friend.
"You should try deer, or maybe even dog. You would be surprised by the variety of flavors offered by the blood of different species."
"Dog?" Eleazar shuddered. "Fleas between my teeth. Oh yes, I can see the appeal."
Walking over to stare at the thick dark green liquid bubbling away in the kettle, Eleazar winced at the sight as well as the scent.
"How exactly would you plan on administering that?"
"It is to be drunk."
"And to think you feel that our feeding habits are cruel. Better to die quickly to slack a thirst than to perish from foul poison meant to cure illness."
"It should be safe enough," Carlisle replied defensively. "But, just in case, I plan on testing it first."
"Do tell how? On some poor unsuspecting peasant, I imagine."
"On a pig that I inoculated with the pathogen that causes the fever. If the swine returns to full health, I will be able to medicate the outlanders who have fallen ill."
"And should your lunch die?"
Carlisle narrowed his eyes at his companion before breathing a sigh.
"The I begin again. A cure exists, my friend. We must continue to search until it's uncovered."
Looking from the hopeful pharmacist back into the kettle, Eleazar asked softly, "Is it done?"
"Almost. I have one more ingredient to add that should increase the potency ten fold and speed the results."
"Of course, Carlisle, because it doesn't smell potent enough."
Ignoring the snide comment, the budding physician carefully measured the desired amount of white powder and tapped it down.
"You might want to step back, Eleazar. Sometimes the chemicals react violently."
"With pleasure, amigo."
The dark haired male retreated several feet until he stood near the door. From his safe distance, Eleazar watched Carlisle pour the powder into the steaming liquid, seconds before the world went white.
With ears ringing from the loud report, the Spaniard choked on the thick, white, acrid smoke that continued to billow from the kettle, reducing his visibility to inches.
"I think too potent, or was this part of plan? Maybe you wish to scare the fever away."
When his friend didn't answer, Eleazar began to worry. Had the explosion been powerful enough to remove the blond's head? Surely not, but it still could have done some real damage. Maybe the concussion had made Carlisle temporarily deaf, or blown off his jaw, rendering him mute.
Eleazar groaned. That could take some time to heal, but at least Carlisle was skilled at setting bones, so he would eventually be as good as new.
Grabbing a sheet of thick parchment, the Spaniard rapidly fanned the smoke out of the door. Once the white cloud had thinned to a milky haze, he turned his attention back towards his friend.
"Cat has stolen tongue, eh, Carlisle?"
Glancing to where he had last seen his friend provided Eleazar with a view of empty space.
"To where have you gone?'
Circling around, the vampire spotted a sight that caused the venom in his body to chill. There, where the doctor had stood moments before, lay a pile of wrinkled clothes.
"Cristo," he muttered in shock. "Carlisle, no. This cannot be."
He was gone. There had been no smell of burning flesh or blazing purple flare, but his dear friend was no more.
Kneeling down, Eleazar bowed his head in prayer for the soul of his departed friend before reaching out to gather his belongings. The moment his finger tips touched the cloth, he saw it.
Rolling back on his heels, the Spaniard recoiled and hissed, for staring out at him from the folds of fabric were the largest gleaming golden eyes he had ever seen.
"El," the clothes called in a tiny squeak. "El-zar."
Cautiously leaning forward, Eleazar peered more closely at the gold eyes.
"El-zar," the voice proclaimed with more strength and the nest of cloth shook as the little body hidden within nodded vigorously.
Pushing the collar of the shirt down revealed a tiny flaxen haired head, sticky with gray green slime, that snapped this way and that as he searched for a reason for his predicament.
"Don't know. Memey fog."
"With the fog in the room, that doesn't surprise me."
"El-zar." Carlisle sucked his bottom lip between tiny perfectly white teeth and gnawed in frustration. Heaving a sigh, he closed his eyes and tried again. "El-e-zar."
His tongue felt thick and uncoordinated, which was bad enough, but now his memories had begun to fade in and out like a waking dream.
"It's okay, Carlisle. Do no harm to yourself. Call me whatever you like."
The Spaniard sat up and looked around at the smokey lab and failed experiment.
"How?" he asked with a helpless shrug.
"Know," Carlisle stated more emphatically.
"Ah. You don't know how to fix it. I understand."
The young boy nodded.
"Do you know what went in that?" Eleazar pointed his thumb over his shoulder towards the kettle, only to have his friend shake his head.
"This is not good."
"No," Carlisle replied in a whispered tone as he hung his head to hide the tears that quite suddenly blurred his vision.
"Carlisle! Aro would like a word!"
Eleazar's eyes widened with fear in response to the booming voice and heavy footsteps coming down the corridor in their direction.
Yanking a thick blanket from the back of a chair, the adult covered the youngster who instantly began to cry when shrouded by darkness.
"Sh. Sh, Carlisle. You must quiet or this will go bad. Immortal child. Remember? Immortal child is very bad. You must stay hidden until we can fix this damage."
Racing out of the room, Eleazar closed the door before folding his arms while leaning a shoulder against the frame just moments before Felix arrived.
"Eleazar," the behemoth guard noted as he dipped his head respectfully. "I'm to escort Carlisle to the throne room. Aro is happy to indulge his favorite pet's hobbies, but not at the expense of having the walls tumbling down around him. The master wishes to impress this upon your foolish friend."
"This would be exactly what I told him before he went out to gather more supplies. Tumbling down walls is not a proper way to repay Aro for his generosity."
"Si, and I am in charge of securing the disaster to make sure no one comes to harm."
"What was he trying to do?"
" Oh, the usual," the Spaniard replied with a flare of his hand. "Cure the ills of the world."
A high pitch wail erupted from inside the chamber, causing Felix to cock a brow.
"What's that? Sounds like a human child in distress."
"Pig," Eleazar responded nonchalantly.
The Spaniard nodded.
"Carlisle's lunch. He impregnated it."
Felix's eyebrows shot up and disappeared into his hairline as he stared at the dark vampire in complete shock.
"He did what?"
Noticing the strange reaction, Eleazar ran the words over in his head before raising a hand to cover his face. With a groan, the man lowered his head and shook it from side to side.
"Wrong word. He gave it the disease which he plans on curing, but since cure blows up, pig becomes lunch."
"Disgusting habit," the guard sneered at the doctor's distasteful meal of choice before regaining his stony composure. "When he returns he is to report to Aro immediately."
"I'll pass on."
With a single nod, Felix turned on his heel and swiftly departed, happily leaving the reeking hallway behind.