Author's note- Yet another challenge oneshot :). I'm not a huge fan of Rosalie and i decided to paint her in a way in which i would like her. Enjoy.

Here's another challenge I'd like to toss out -
Just two Cullens, sitting by the fireplace, talking about something emotional and deep and meaningful. Cannot be romance relationships - eg. Carlisle/Esme not allowed, nor is Alice/Jasper.
Esme/Emmett is accepted, etc.
Bella is not allowed to be a character. To make it more difficult, the starting line must be this: "What do you think would have happened if...?" A reference to string must be made. Doesn't matter how, string must be a part someow - incorporate it in somewhere. Word Limit - preferably finished within 2,000 words.

Disclaimer: All recognizable characters, plot, etc. is the property of Stephenie Meyer, no copyright infringement is intended.


"What do you think would have happened if Edward hadn't resisted that first day?" Jasper mused to the vixen across from him.

The fire cracked to his right, as if in protest to the very question, spewing small embers into the dark chimney. Rose's hair practically glowed in the caramel light as she fiddled with some of her imaginary split ends.

"Things would have been…" she paused and corrected herself, "-would be much easier."

"You are envy substantiated as a living being," he retorted, rolling his eyes. An enraged Rosalie propped up on her elbows and glared through the flickering light. Jasper felt the pulsing waves of irritation but resisted emanating any calm.

"I am not jealous of her," she growled through the pronoun.

"Rose, your temper, if not everything else about your demeanor around Bella, flaunts your jealousy. It's immature of you to deny it," the male vampire bit his lip, restraining a small smirk. If there was one thing he enjoyed more than being around Alice, it was bothering Rosalie.

The girl scoffed at the comment and splayed her svelte form back over the velvet pillows. She fussed with the small tassels on the corners of the pillow and stared blankly into the dancing flames. Jasper felt her moods shift a couple of times and knew that the talk was not over. Rose may have a hot head, but it wasn't an empty one.

"Jazz, you know that I don't hate her," the vampire only nodded subtly, this he did know.

"And I'm not jealous of her," she continued. Jasper raised a skeptic eyebrow and chuckled softly when she huffed in response.

"I don't understand her, Jasper. She has everything I ever wanted: a happy family, friends, the ability to have children, a normal future…" The idyllic lady closed her eyes, allowing the remorse to come. But she did press on.

"And she'd give it all away in a second, just for-" Here Jasper interjected.

"Love?" Rosalie's eyes snapped open and met his with an odd sense of uncertainty.

"Yes, for love," the sister sighed.

"Would you have done it?" The Hale brother inquired, feeling Rosalie's mood change uneasily.

"Would I have what? Become this…monster for the sake of-" The blonde woman paused and chewed over her next couple words, "for the sake of someone else?"

Jasper wondered at the attrition in Rose's voice and at the regret that bloomed in her mood. He knew that she'd struggled with this existence, in what it cost and never repaid. This wound, however not entirely fresh, was still crucially painful to her.

"Would you?" He pressed, intensely fascinated by this tender side of the typically tenacious sister.

"I love Emmett," she confirmed, resting her beautiful chin down in the cup of her hand. The brother nodded.

"I love him more than life," she reaffirmed; Jasper stared and assumed that he had received his answer.

"More than this life, at least," she breathed nearly silently; even he had trouble hearing it. Her brother did not press for more, but merely appreciated and mulled over the things he had been told.

"I went to Gatlinburg a while ago to look for pieces of his life before me," Rose asserted.

"What? When?"

"January 17th, 1980."

"You said that you were going to a medical conference in Nashville."

"I lied."

"How'd you get around Edward?"

"Forty-seven years of living with a mind reader had taught me some tricks."

"Impressive, feel free to continue," he encouraged with a small dip of his wrist. Jasper smiled minimally as he felt Rosalie's mood lift.

"I had trouble locating his relatives; I searched for days in that little town and couldn't find a thing. When I had finally given up I saw this little bundle of a child run past me into the street. And I don't know why Jasper, but for some reason I couldn't help but be intrigued by him. The pregnant mother was scrambling after him, yelling exasperatedly, 'Henry! Henry, come back!'"

The beauty smiled at the pleasant memory, allowing the vision to play once more across her mind's eye.

"He had this lovely, wide smile and a head full of dark bouncy curls."

"Sounds like Emmett," Jazz inserted on his own. She nodded sullenly.

"I followed them home; they were a wondrous family. The father's name was Miles Blyer, the mother was Emily Blyer," she reminisced quietly, not wishing to interrupt the wonder of the memory with a loud voice, "they had a four year old boy, Henry, and were expecting a baby girl whom they had already named, Charley Rose."

"They sound charming," he noted.

"And the boy looked just like him, like Emmett, I swear he did."

"But miniature?"

"Exactly."

She drew a shaky breath and narrowed her eyes towards the flames which were still swirling like dervishes, slowly eating up the wooded fuel beneath. The light from the fires flickered like ribbons across the goddess's face, caressing the statuesque features with a glowing touch.

"I dug through their basement's crawl space after they went to sleep and found their marriage license. Emily's maiden name had been McCarty," the Cullen sister sighed, "I went through more of the weathered box that the license had been on top of and found tons of her family's records."

"After sifting through hundreds of yellowing papers and dust bunnies I found her link to Emmett. She had been the fifth child in a family of seven; she had taken the name of her father, Robert McCarty."

Here the vampiress paused and her perfect forehead wrinkled in a peculiar manner. Jasper sensed her mood turn from pleasant to a strange mix of emotions.

"Robert was Emmett's cousin or some relative of the sort?" The brother inquired.

Rosalie's mood sank into sadness, pulling Jasper with it.

"No," she breathed, placing a hand to her chest as if the word had hurt to say, "he was his son."

Jasper couldn't find the words to say and simply stared numbly at his sister. His body felt weighed down by the pounds of remorse that swam off of Rosalie and he was struggling to breathe beneath the pressure.

"But tha-that's-"

"Impossible?" She half smirked through the word. Jasper nodded.

"That's what I thought, until this ancient photograph caught my eye. It was in black and white-obviously- and of Emmett, dated only a few months before I found him in the mountains. And…he was with this girl, this beautiful girl."

Jasper felt like he had just been slapped, had his sister really just called another woman beautiful? Who was he speaking to?

But as he was lost in his discovery of his sister's tender side, Rosalie looked as if she were about to cry, a deep sorrow buried in her molten irises.

A sudden sting of pain hit him, but he knew it was not his own. He wove a degree of tranquility into the air and watched as Rose visibly relaxed, at least a bit.

"Emily Blyer had kept every familial record that she had been able to obtain, compiling as much of her own history as she could. And so I found that she'd kept her father's birth certificate," she rose her arm and drew her milky finger in a line across the air as if reading the script from an invisible parchment, "When and where born, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, name, if any, Robert, name and surname of father, Emmett McCarty, name, surname, and maiden name of mother, Evelyn McCarty Copeland, occupation of father, Not Applicable."

The ache of grief was palpable in the hot air separating the theatrical siblings, the Hale brother managed as well as he could, attempting to dampen the blistering remorse that Rosalie curiously felt.

"I couldn't read any further," to Jasper's surprise Rose still had more to tell, "I did find later that they had never been married or engaged, at least not formally. But they had been promised to each other in a matter of sorts, and when Emmett died…when they thought he died, she was already two months along."

"But, Emmett's never mentioned anything about any of that," Jasper maintained, absolutely positive that no mention of any Evelyn had ever passed between his younger brother's lips.

"Emmett never talks of his human life, at least of nothing other than the bear. And that's because it was the most horrific and consequently salvaging experience of his life. We all forget what we do not fight to remember about our humanness, Jasper."

The girl swung her slinky legs around and came to sit, staring eye to eye with him.

"The memories in people's head," she tapped her temporal lobe with an index finger, "are like the strings of an instrument, like a violin. Imagine a violin with thousands of strings, and your thoughts as the bows. Without the stroke of its conductor, the strings have no song to sing. And so if you choose to avoid thinking of certain memories they go unused and end up as loose ends to an out-of-tune bar of music."

"Well what about us?" Jasper interceded, pulsing more calming effects into the atmosphere.

"Our strings never split. They harden into gold."

"Strings of gold?"

Rose nodded, "ever wonder why your eyes are that color?"

He peered questioningly at his sister, his eyes in a narrowed stare.

"What about the predatory ones? Why are their eyes red, Rosalie?" Jasper probed skeptically, suddenly losing faith in his sister's momentary profoundness.

"Because when we're changed most of our memories are eaten up in the flames, except for the strongest and those you scrounge for and cling desperately to."

"Like those you still have of your human life," he suggested.

"Exactly," she then continued, "after the change we are able to keep every memory; they each fortify and cement themselves into our sometimes unwilling heads. But this token of our existence, everlasting memories, is a gift. And so it is only appropriate that they turn to gold, the most precious metal."

"Why metal?"

"Because metal is cold."

"Man-eaters are cold," Rosalie didn't even flinch at her brother's vulgar title, "and their eyes are scarlet."

"Have you ever seen gold once it's put into a kiln?" She asked softly.

"No."

"It turns a fiery red."

Jasper turned his eyes to the flames in the fire which at this moment seemed to be throbbing.

"Human blood is hot. And when they eat it, it filters through them. Through their entire bodies, being absorbed by every atom. Even those in their heads. The heat never leaves their memories, its part of what makes the carnivores become so dependent. They become addicted to the warmth that it gives."

Jasper remembered the sick feeling. That yearning for the moment of puncture, the pleasure that the throat seemed to signify. He'd thought about it constantly when he had been with Maria. It had been in every thought, every memory, and every closet of his mind. It had taken decades to wipe his head clear of it, and still today the cravings were there.

"That heat is as intense as the pits of hell and it turns the gold red."

He accepted this explanation, having experienced the withdrawals first-hand.

"Why didn't you ever ask Emmett about what you found?"

"Because he is a happy spirit regardless of this curse, and does not remember what he has lost-" she twirled a lazy finger through a curl next to her cheek, "I'm sour over what I lost due to what I became," she said, "why would I make him hate it, too?"

Perhaps Rose wasn't quite at selfish as she portrayed. Jasper studied the softened expression upon her face and couldn't help but sigh when it refigured into a grimace.

"I hate fire," she quipped, allowing the bitter Rosalie to reinhabit her senses. This Rosalie was a safer one, one that didn't hurt too much. While exiting she launched a vase of water into the fireplace, relishing in the sound of shattering glass.

The fire was extinguished with a short sizzle and loud pop, leaving only ghostly silhouettes of smoke as a sign of ever having burned at all.


Author's note- Thank you for reading.