Disclaimer: I do not own Aro, Marcus, Didyme or any of the Volturi. I don't own Twilight. I'm simply a fan intrigued by the Breaking Dawn FAQ you can read at Stephenie Meyer's website.

Didyme's Ashes

Genoa, Italy

9th Century

The city of Genoa was dark at this time of night. The pristine white sphere known as the moon lit up the cloudy night sky. A figure waited in the narrow cobblestone alley, so still and silent that it was nearly impossible to notice his presence. He naturally blended in with the shadows, unnoticed and invisible.

One, however, did notice him there. Her eyes carefully flit through the alley, as if she was not blind to the dark. When she saw him there, a smile lit up her perfect features. She glided into the blackness, as if her feet were not touching the ground, and ultimately towards him.

"Brother," she said, her voice as lovely as the sound of tinkling bells. "You came!"

Her words were interlaced with hope, relief and enthusiasm; sunny, positive things, as it was in her nature to be. Aro felt her aura—the overwhelming happiness, the unnatural feeling of exuberance filling inside him, growing and growing till he thought he would burst.

He was well used to this, however; so used to it that it was very easy for him to ignore it.

"Of course I did, sister," he said, grinning so that his pearl-white teeth glowed in the dark.

"I am so very grateful that you did," she gushed.

Aro stiffened, but kept the smile on his face. "Aren't you always."

She smiled wider, happy and sweet and vulnerable and innocent all at the same time.

"I hope everything went well in Florence."

"Thank you for your well wishes, dear sister," said Aro courteously. "And yes, it did; many talented nomads there. Most are unaware of their immense potential."

"Potential that will be of your use, of course." Didyme giggled. "You're all about power, are you not?"

Aro grinned again, and his glowing teeth seemed threateningly sharp. "I am, sister."

"I am curious, dear brother. Who did you meet?"

"There were two," Aro recalled, and he was temporarily lost in his own world. Recruiting was very fun, oh yes it was; there were so many nomadic vampires in existence, wandering and alone, their fabulous potential being wasted. Aro was going to change that. He would go everywhere there was to go. . . whether it be a thousand miles far or overseas, he would find as many specially gifted vampires as he could and add them to his lovely collection, making it lovelier. Aro had goals—goals, not dreams. Goals and ambitions. His goal was to become supreme ruler of the vampire world, and nothing was going to stop him from achieving his goal. Nothing.

Not even this painfully innocent she-vampire standing in front of him. His sister.

"'There were two'. . ." Didyme's voice interrupted him from his daydream-like thoughts.

"Yes," continued Aro, crashing back to reality. "There were two, male and female, though they were not mates—they were accomplices, more or less, but coexisted peacefully. The male's name was Santiago. He was not special at all, unless you consider his excess muscle."

Didyme laughed, and it sounded like a song a bird would chirp on the first day of spring. "Of course, he could be your bodyguard."

Her tone was joking, but what Aro did not tell her was that he had been seriously considering the notion.

He cleared his throat. "Well, actually, the female would make a more eligible bodyguard than the male."

Didyme was naturally surprised. "Really? But how?"

"She has a power, a very interesting talent. . ." Aro's voice suggested that he was ready to slip into his daydreaming thoughts once again, but he continued speaking. "Particularly useful during battle. She can automatically distract the pursuer. It's fascinating."

"'Distract the pursuer'?" Didyme repeated. "How exactly does that work?"

"It is simple, she distracts the pursuer," Aro explained, impatience tinging his tone. "That is her talent. It happens automatically, and for enough time for her to attack and finish him off." He paused. "She calls herself Renata."

Didyme was nodding slowly. "That is fascinating. . . have they agreed to visit Volterra?"

"Renata is quite taken by me, if I do say so myself," he said, and she laughed, "Santiago is mistrusting, but I am sure Chelsea will be able to convince him." He gave his sister a knowing smile.

But Didyme seemed abruptly distracted, nodding absentmindedly and deep in thought.

There was a moment's silence as Aro patiently waited. He eventually broke it by saying, "Is there something you would like to tell me, sister?"

"Well. . ." Had she been human, Didyme would have been fidgeting. "You see, I was wondering about Marcus."

Aro kept his face fully composed, the false but convincing smile plastered on it. "Yes, Marcus is still recruiting in Rome, Naples, and everywhere in between." When he saw Didyme's unsatisfied expression, Aro's tone became chiding. "Now, now sister, you know you must be patient. . ."

She sighed. The sound was so hopeless and beautiful. "I know, I know, brother. But you must remember that this is the final time he will do any work for you—you promised."

Aro just smiled.

She continued, her beautiful voice having a devastating edge of despair to it. "Everyday I yearn for him. Seems like a millennium since we last met, even though it was just days ago." She sighed, running bloodless fingers through her lustrous hair. "I. . . I don't know if you can understand Aro. What I feel for Marcus. . . is. . . is so strong. So indescribably strong. . ." She shook her head, one corner of her mouth turning up in a smile. "I doubt any vampire has felt what I feel at the moment."

Aro nodded his head gravely, keeping up the act. All that mattered was that his sister buy it.

"I am eager for when we will be able to go on our own," This time excitement colored the she-vampire's voice, and Aro felt himself heavily affected again. "We will visit Volterra time to time, of course," she said, glancing at her brother's expression and smiling reassuringly. "But think, brother, oh think! Of all the places we could go, all the things we could see. . . the vast country of Spain. . . Castile, Aragon, Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, Seville, Cordoba, Granada. . ."

Aro remained silent and smiling and stiff.

Didyme continued stupidly, "Now, when Marcus finally comes back, I believe we will be traveling up to France first, to Lyon specifically. Then to Bordeaux, Tours, Paris, Normandy, Anjou, Calais. . ."

"That far?" Aro inquired innocently.

"I know, I know. . . It seems so far, but we will visit, I promise you."

"How do I know that you will not forget me?"

"I can never forget you, brother." She stared up into his eyes, smiling ignorantly, blissfully.

"No," Aro's sigh was feathery. He took a step closer to his sister. "You cannot, unfortunately."

Didyme's smile faltered for a thousandth of a second, and then it was immediately back again.

But Aro didn't stop. He walked closer and closer to Didyme till her back was pressed against the stone wall of a building. She looked scared and bewildered at Aro's solemn expression, and her breath had caught in her throat.

"Brother," her voice was a whisper—careful and perplexed. She managed a small nervous smile. "Wh. . .What are you doing?"

"No, it is what you are doing, Didyme. . . " His voice was barely a whisper, but Didyme could hear it very well. "You are not helping my goals. My ambitions." he put extra emphasis on the word. "You are taking Marcus away from me. Stealing him away, from me, from the Volturi."

Didyme flinched at the sharp edge to his words.

"Do you not see, dear sister? Do you not see your ignorance, your stupidity? Do you not see the damage, the setback,you could cause with this action?"

"But I love him." she had to struggle to get the words out.

"That is your mistake."

A cloud had been obscuring the light of the moon, and as it shifted Aro saw Didyme's face in its full glory. The moonbeam shone on her smooth, paper white skin, making it not sparkle as it did in the sun, but shine solidly. Her long, dark hair tumbled to her waist, full of luster. Her vibrant red eyes were wide and terrified. Her chin quivered.

"I am sorry sister. I truly am." Aro laid his chalk white hand on Didyme's cheek. In but a few seconds, the entirety of her life flashed before his own eyes.

He saw her as a human baby, soft and breakable; he saw himself through her eyes, when he himself was human; he saw and felt her distress when he didn't come home that night.

He felt her horror when he did come back, no longer the same. He heard her scream as his metal-sharp teeth dug into her mere human flesh, unleashing his venom through her veins.

He saw the discovery of her gift, felt the excessive happiness.

He saw the first time she met Marcus, and the passionate but tender moments they shared afterwards. He felt her love.

He saw her humanity and her vampirism.

And now he saw the scene that was presently occurring, through her eyes. . . he felt her terror and her unbelievable innocence. The natural, overwhelming feeling of enthusiasm she always felt was unusually muted. Her body trembled beneath his arms.

And his long white fingers stroked her luminous cheek in a tender, loving movement. . . so different from what he was going to do next.

"Aro—"

But he had already pulled out the scalpel. There was a terrible screeching noise of concrete flesh being torn into. And another sound. Aro realized it was a scream.

Didyme would not fight back, of course. She was capable of it but she would not do it—especially not to her brother. It was with this knowledge that he tore her apart.

When he was done, he allowed himself to look down at her. Her lovely, once glorious vampiric body was lying in tatters on the floor. Her crimson eyes wide, the terrified expression was frozen permanently on her face.

Aro swiped the match on the box, and it instantly flickered to life. He dropped the match on the squirming pieces of his sister, and watched as the flames engulfed and further destroyed them.

The fire was sudden and out of place in the pitch blackness of the seemingly empty city. Didyme's scream rung in Aro's ears as he watched the last parts of her smolder and burn in the orange fire.

Aro. . .

Her lasts words had been his name. She usually never said his given name. It was usually brother, my lord, or something similar to that. But the last time she spoke, she'd said his name. . .

Aro—

The brilliant diamond white pieces were wisping into an ugly, coal black color. Soon they would be reduced to ashes.

But I love him.

The pieces were now plain black shapes, shapes that were smoldering into ashes; pathetic, sandy ashes.

Aro. . .

Aro of the Volturi sighed. Marcus would be back in Volterra in a few days and would need some explanations. Aro glanced pitifully at the alley bonfire, and then up above him. The full moon was floating in the cloud-filled sky, and Aro's supersensitive hearing detected an animalistic howl in the distance.

Of course.

The corners of his mouth curled into a smile. A full moon was shining bright tonight, a force of nature that ignited animalism—literally—in one bitten and cursed. . .

The smile abruptly turned into a frown. Bitten and cursed. . .

All vampires were bitten, yes, but were they necessarily cursed? Was he, himself, cursed?

He glanced down at the fire, which was dying slowly and dramatically.

Aro had bitten his sister. Had he then cursed her? Had he set her fate when he dug his porcelain teeth into her tender skin?

The orange flames were flickering out. Once the embers had cooled down, he had full view of the ashes. They were inky and smoky black, the common result of a fire. It was almost like she had never been there. But she had, for her face weighed heavily on Aro's mind; the face that was now reduced to ashes.

For Aro had killed her in more ways than one. . .

Are the ashes inescapable?

He sighed and started collecting the dust-like material in fistfuls. Marcus would want them surely, any remaining part of his mate.

And that was when he realized that Didyme was not the only person he had killed tonight.

Marcus without Didyme. . . Now that Didyme was dead, Marcus would be too, in so many ways.

But Marcus would stay loyal. Chelsea would make him stay loyal. And if not, Aro would find a way to make him stay loyal. He had to.

Aro's hands moved through the coal black residue. It stained his albino white hands, but he did not care. His hands were stained anyway, and would be forevermore.

A/N: I enjoyed writing this, dark as it was. It's my first Twilight fic so PLEASE be nice :) If you hated it, tell me so, but give me a reason why. Constructive criticism is greatly appreciated. So are compliments, but again—have reasons behind your compliments. As a writer, it'll mean a lot to me.

R&R please! :-)

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