My first Fan-fiction! Please review and give me feedback!
I own nothing! All characters belong to Margaret Mitchell.
When Rhett Butler left Atlanta in the day after Melanie Wilkes' funeral, he thought he would not be back for a long time. However, less than 2 months later he returned for Christmas. Rhett reasoned with himself that it was because of the children, but he knew Scarlett was the reason for his return. There was no love on his part anymore but she was still the symbol of home, and he needed home. He expected to find a lovesick puppy, and instead he found an indifferent Scarlett, much like herself before the war.
- "Don't worry Rhett, I will not throw myself at your feet… I'm done with unrequired love".
And she meant it. She had time to think and realized that life was too short to waste on a man that didn't love her. She had made this mistake once with Ashley, she would not do it again. After the new year's celebration, Scarlett questioned when Rhett would leave, and he informed her that he had no intention to do so. For the first time ever they talked frankly about their expectation in their relationship. She would like to have his friendly companion, but he would have to behave as a gentleman should, meaning that she would not tolerate he openly fraternizing with Belle Watling and her girls. He agreed and said that if he eventually found himself in need of physical contact with a woman he would be very discreet and Scarlett would never hear about it. He also made his conditions clear. First, Ashley Wilkes was not to be seen near Scarlett, but Rhett would help her to keep her promise to Melanie. Second, Scarlett would not try to lure him back. They would be friends. And only friends.
And friends they became. They shared meals and discussed business. They dealt with the "Panic" together and found out together ways to send business towards Ashley's mills. For the good of the children, they avoided the carpetbaggers and fraternized only with quality people, mostly business associates and families that had moved from the north. For the outsiders, the Butlers were a perfectly ordinary couple, and many of the old guard members had to recant their words about their disastrous marriage. However, both Scarlett and Rhett decided against the idea of trying to force themselves back to the good graces of the old Atlanta society. Rhett admitted it had been a mistake do it for Bonnie, and it would do no good to pretend to be someone they were not. Some old families were still in their group of friends, such as the Wilkeses, Hamiltons, and Picards, but the Butlers were not trying to fit anymore. Scarlett and Rhett decided to keep only the friends that accept their faults and let the others behind.
In the day of the first anniversary of Bonnie's death, Rhett went alone in the morning to the cemetery. Scarlett had asked him to do it together, but he couldn't. Rhett spent the day riding his horse in the outskirt of the city, remembering his darling girl alone. When he returned to the house, he found Scarlett sitting in the top of the large staircase waiting for him.
- "I wish you had waited for me, Rhett. I didn't want to be alone today. I could have used a friend", she said with tears rolling down her face.
He sat few steps down and rested his tired head on her lap. They cried together while she gently patted his hair. She asked forgiveness for having accused him of being responsible for Bonnie's accident, and he asked forgiveness for all the times he had hurt her with malicious words, especially the time that ended up causing her accident in the stairs, and the death of their unborn child.
A new Christmas approached and sad events came with it. Pittypat Hamilton died during her sleep two weeks before Christmas and Mammy died on the New Year's Eve. With the death of the old maid, Ashley, India, and Beau, that had been living in the house with her, decided to move out. Ashley received an offer from an old friend to be a lecture at a University in Virginia and he decided that a new beginning would be good for his family. Scarlett helped him to find someone interested in buying the mills, and in the early months of 1875, the Wilkeses left Atlanta for good. The lost of Mammy sent Scarlett in a melancholic mood much like the one she had been when Charles Hamilton died. Rhett decided to take Scarlett away from Atlanta and the sad memories that were hunting her. They made a three months trip to Europe, spending most of the time in Paris and London. It was the first time that Scarlett was out of the country, and the new sites and people excited her very much. During this trip, Rhett became aware of the sparkle that was coming back in their relationship. His eyes would follow her without thinking, his hand would search hers all the time. He was falling in love with her again, and the old fear of her rejection started to grow in him.
When they went back to Atlanta, Scarlett suggested they find a new place to live. The house that once had been her pride and joy had become only a constant reminder of all the loved ones she had lost. After some discussion, the old Hamilton house on the north side of Peachtree street was the chosen one. Rhett didn't like the idea. The house was old, small and full of memories of a time when Scarlett was not his wife. However, he was no longer able to deny anything to Scarlett, he was once more bewitched.
- "This place gave me hope both times I moved here. First, when Charles died, and I was convinced that my life was over as well. And then when I married Frank and had the chance to fight for Tara and my family. This place is blessed!"
In the second week living in the house, Rhett woke up in the middle of the night by the sounds of Scarlett's nightmare. He knew she still had those same bad dreams but, in the mansion, he would never hear her because of the cushioned walls. Rhett went to her bedroom and gently tried to wake her up. He could hear his name between her sobs. He placed small kisses on her head while talking with his sleeping wife.
- "I'm here honey. I'm here, and I will never leave you again".
When she opened her eyes, he paused for while letting her eyes get used to the darkness of her room and then started kissing her again. First her browns, them her eyes, her nose… but it was Scarlett the one that sealed their lips together. Their lovemaking had nothing of the pent-up passion and frustration form their last time together. It was a calm and sensual reunion. They both declared their love for each other, not only in words but also with gentle caresses and kisses. He didn't feel the need to flee or hide from her. They talked in the morning and again reiterate their love for each other. She told him she had never lost hope and he admitted that She was the only woman he would ever be able to love. They talked about the future and the possibility of other children. She said she did not want any but was willing to accept it. He promised he would do all in his power to avoid pregnancies, at least until she decides otherwise.
For the first time in years, Scarlett and Rhett were happy. They enjoyed each other and their family. Wade and Ella were delighted and growing closer to their mother. Scarlett's happiness however suffered a blow when in September 1875, Wade moved to Boston to attend a preparatory school. The darling boy was 13 and asked his mother to be sent to the school where his father had attended before joining the university.
- "I never thought I would miss him so much. Is it some kind of curse that I only realize how much I love someone when this person leaves me?"
In this conversation, Scarlett revealed that she didn't want to have any more babies because she didn't want to submit another child to an unfitting and unloving mother. The discovery of her love for Wade made her reevaluate her decision of avoiding pregnancies, and one year after Wade left Atlanta, Scarlett gave birth to Rhett Butler Jr. Other two Butler babies were born in the following years before Scarlett decided to resume preventing pregnancies.
- "No, five children are more than enough!", she said to Rhett when he questioned if she wanted more.
On the 16th birthday of her baby girl, after a long day of celebrations, Scarlett felt unusual tiredness and difficulty to breathe. Rhett insisted that she should see a doctor. The diagnosis was cardiac diseases and other than rest and health food there was not much to be done.
- " You cannot die, I won't let you die!", Rhett said between sobs in her arms.
- "We will all die eventually, and I cannot complain. We had a wonderful life, Rhett, and we raised a beautiful family. Wade Hamilton, Ella Lorena, Rhett Jr., Gerald Emanuel and Catherine Scarlett are amazing people, and we made it happen! I made to 51, my mother died with 33. I even had the privilege to see my grandchildren grown to almost adulthood! We cannot complain, Rhett!"
- "I should go first. I am so much older!"
- "Oh, Darling...This would be very ungentlemanly of you. It would break my heart!"
Scarlett died in 1898, two years after her diagnosis. Rhett followed her months later. Her death broke his heart and he lost the joy of living. She was the love of his life. His only regret was the time they wasted fighting and hurting each other. Their children and grandchildren loved them, and their love story remained as one of the greatest ever told.