A/N: FlamingRedFox here, and apparently I've been in a writing mood lately. This is by far the longest one-shot I've ever written. For the most part I'm quite satisfied with it. I wrote most of it nonstop from midnight to 7:30am one morning. Then I needed sleep, woke up at 12pm and went straight back to writing. Only took breaks to eat and go see the Twilight movie. ;P I found the movie to be cheesily funny, and it reinforced Rose as my favorite character. I would have had this up sooner, but my MS Word expired so I had to put off editing for a few days till I could convert the file. Anyways, enjoy 14 pages of Rosalie's point of view! I certainly enjoyed writing it.
Summary: What happens when Rosalie is given the chance to see Vera one last time, after more than seventy years of being a vampire? Closure. Set during Eclipse, fitting in that weekend before the newborn killing training begins.
A Twilight Series Fanfic
Rosalie's Point of View
I don't know what compelled me to pick up a copy of the New York Times this morning. I almost never read the newspaper. It's full of nothing but glorified truths, revealing how ugly the world truly is. I don't like to know about the young girls left for dead after being raped, the infants found in dumpsters, and the missing children with abusive parents. I was one of those front page stories once, and as much as I cling to my human memories I don't like accidentally dredging them up from the recesses of my mind. The last thing I need is to give Emmett another reason to fuss over me. As much as I love attention, it can be quite stifling if given for all the wrong reasons.
But back to the newspaper… I had just exited the grocery store, having been sent there by Esme to pick up some food for Bella. She was to stay with us for the weekend while the boys went hunting. For the life of me I couldn't figure out why Edward insisted she spend the weekend under our careful guard. Couldn't he have just sent Alice over to her place or something? He knew my opinion about Bella. Hell, everyone knew my opinion about Bella. I've never been one to dance around the truth. I see no point in wasting the energy to spare someone's feelings. Lies always unravel sooner or later, and in the end you lose respect and credibility. At least with the truth, as much as it hurts the victim still feels a bit of gratitude towards you for your honesty.
After the last little slumber party Bella was tricked into I know she understands me better, and I have made a pointed effort to like her a bit better as well. I just didn't think she'd be wanting to repeat that experience any time soon. I admit that I rather enjoy the fact that she's afraid of me. She should be. I'm gorgeous, strong willed, and sharp tongued, not to mention all the "perks" that come with being a vampire. She, on the other hand, is nothing more than a plain human, albeit a stubborn one with a knack for getting herself into trouble. I had to severely edit that truth I'd told her in the middle of the night so as to not scare her to death. Edward would have killed me if I'd given her the same gory details I'd given Emmett when I first opened up to him about my past…
Maybe Edward had yet to inform her that she'd be spending the weekend with us. Alice had three days worth of shopping and makeovers planned, not exactly Bella's favorite activities. And then there was my presence to be taken into account. Edward definitely wasn't fond of the idea of me and Bella having another little heart to heart any time soon. I wouldn't put it past him to leave her in the dark until the very last minute. He's always leaving out important details when it comes to Bella's safety. Edward is the type who likes to soften the blow with half-truths and lies.
As I exited the grocery store with three stuffed paper bags in my arms, I briefly caught my reflection in the window. I was breathtaking, as usual. I smiled smugly at the fact that not a single one of my gorgeous blonde hairs was out of place. After indulging myself in vanity for a few more moments, I finally turned to the flashy red BMW parked in the front of the store and settled the bags into the back seat. It wasn't until after I stood up and started making my way to the driver's side that the newspaper machine even caught my eye. For some odd reason I was strangely drawn to the thing. Fishing a few coins from my purse I popped them in and opened the glass door, pulling out the latest copy of the New York Times. Forks may have been a small, forgotten place on a map but even this dreary town kept up with the national news. If they didn't stock the papers from the east coast I'm sure those silly Stanley women wouldn't have enough information to last them a week. And when the Stanley's have nothing "important" to spread through the grape vine, well, let's just say that's the reason Jessica and I haven't had a class together since that unfortunate gym class my sophomore year. The nerve of her calling me a slut! I'm a happily married woman, thank you very much.
I slid in the driver's seat of my M3 and briefly skimmed through the paper until I got to the obituaries. Lord knows what possessed me to read the names of the recently dead in New York. It'd been seventy-three years since I'd last set foot in Rochester, and I had no intentions of ever going back. I didn't want to wander the familiar streets, flooding my mind with memories of my human past that only made me bitter. Well, I had no intention of doing so until a familiar name caught my eye. My entire body tensed as my golden eyes stared intently at the paper. I even forgot to breathe.
Born August 7, 1929, Henry Davis died late in the evening on June 7, 2006. He died of respiratory failure after suffering a stroke earlier in the week at age seventy-seven. He is succeeded by his wife Rebecca (73), sons Richard (53) and Thomas (49), and mother Vera (91). The funeral will be held at 6:00pm at --- in Rochester, New York on June 9, 2006.
Henry Davis, succeeded by his mother Vera… Vera Davis. Vera Davis. Henry and Vera Davis. That curly haired, dimple cheeked boy that was the deciding factor in my decision to have Emmett changed was dead. And not only that but Vera, my darling best friend during my human days, the only woman I was ever truly jealous of until Bella came along, was still alive. Vera was alive and darling, sweet, cute, little, innocent Henry was pushing up daisies. I had to go to that funeral. No, I needed to go to that funeral. I needed to see Vera, grey haired and wrinkled. I wanted one last glimpse of that little boy I'd loved so much, now old and sleeping with a heart beat as still as my own. Carlisle and the rest of them wouldn't be happy, but there was no way I was letting them stop me. Surely any recognizable faces would have forgotten me by now, after more than seventy years of being a dead end missing person's case. Henry's obituary was the reason I had picked up the paper that morning, and without thinking my mind was already made up. I would be spending the weekend in New York.
I sped through the streets of Forks, only hitting the breaks when some idiot pulled out in front of me. There was no way in hell I was totaling my precious car, though the fool in the old Ford wasn't getting off scot free for nearly making me rear end him either. The second the coast was clear I cut into the left lane and sped past the dented car, flipping the driver the bird as I went. I laughed at the sound of the horn behind me as I cut back into the proper lane, picking up speed as I disappeared around a corner. It wasn't long before I was home and out of the car. I grabbed the groceries and the newspaper and strode into the house, smirking at the welcome committee gathered for me in the living room. I was expecting the angry, incredulous stares from my "siblings" and "parents" upon my return from the store. My mind had been so decided that Alice would have seen it coming a mile away. Edward would have then read her mind and the two of them would have gone about getting the rest of the family to help them stop me from running off to New York before I "did something stupid." I found it mildly funny, really. My family could be so hypocritical at times. They let Bella Swan, a human, traipse in and out of our house on a daily basis and entrusted her with our secret and yet they were already plotting to forbid me from attending the funeral of the son of an old friend who I was positive wouldn't remember me. I could be inconspicuous when I wanted to be, and Bella's presence within our household was far more dangerous than anything running through my mind.
"You can't be serious, Rosalie! What the hell are you thinking?"
"Hello to you too, Alice," I replied with a roll of my eyes, setting the bags in the kitchen before returning to the living room. The paper was gripped tightly in my hand.
"She's thinking that Bella's more dangerous than her little weekend road trip," Edward spat, fixing me with a harsh glare. I stared him down easily for a moment before turning to address my family.
"I'm going to New York for the weekend. I'll be back Sunday night, early Monday morning at the latest. I don't care what any of you think. My mind is made up."
Esme was frowning, her expression fraught with worry. Edward was still glaring at me, shifting through my thoughts to see if there was anything he could use to make me change my mind. Alice was also glaring at me, knowing full well the strength of my decision. Jasper was doing his best to control the tension, and Carlisle seemed pensive, deep in thought. It was my darling Emmett that broke the brief silence.
"Why Rose?" he asked, taking a few steps forward, closer to me.
I held out the paper for him, pointing at the obituary that had caught my attention in the parking lot. He stared at if for a long moment before lifting his gaze to mine, understanding written across his face. "I'm going with you."
I let him wrap his arms around my waist, his head resting on my shoulder. It was a silent acceptance of his request. Having Emmett with me in Rochester was more than I could ask, but it was also what I was hoping for. I couldn't do this without him, though I would have anyway if he hadn't offered to come.
Edward decided to put in his two cents just then. "You two are not going to Rochester for a funeral!"
"Honestly Rosalie, it's a bad idea." Carlisle was against me as well, though it didn't matter. I refused to let them stop me. "What if someone recognizes you?"
I rolled my eyes, leaning into Emmett as he tightened his grip on my waist. My voice was full of nothing but determined confidence as I answered, "They won't."
Alice shook her head, staring at me in disbelief. She could see no alternate path for me. It was easy to tell she had no clue why I wanted to attend the funeral of some human in my past. It was to be expected of the one who had no human memories of her own.
"You're positive, Rose?" came a quiet voice. It was Esme, and she was looking at me with compassion. Emmett had passed the newspaper around and it was now clutched lightly in her hands. Other than my husband, she was the only one of our coven who probably had any true understanding of what was going through my head at the moment. Sure Edward could read my mind, but he could not understand the obsession I had with my former life. This was the closure I needed, the key for me to fully put my past in the past. The memories I had of spending days and evenings at Vera's house, playing with that little boy were almost as strong as the memory I had of my final hours as a human.
"Yes." Yes I was positive this Henry was that same sweet child from so long ago. Yes I was positive I was going to his funeral no matter what. Yes I was positive no one would recognize me. Yes. I was positive that this was exactly what I needed to do.
Esme and I locked eyes, and she gave her head a slight nod. "Very well." I smiled at her, thankful that she was on my side in this matter. With her consent that meant that Carlisle would concede and let me do as I please. Edward may have been his favorite child, but he never disagreed with his mate. With Emmett on my side, that just left Edward, Alice, and Jasper who always sided with Alice. There would be no changing their minds, but now it didn't matter. It was four against three. Emmett and I were headed to Rochester, New York for Henry's funeral.
It wasn't long before we were packed and ready to go. Plane tickets were waiting for us at the airport, and we went for a quick hunt before saying our goodbyes. The only one whose plans had drastically changed was Emmett, and he really didn't mind. He'd do anything for me. The boys were still going hunting for the weekend, and Bella would be trapped in the care of Alice and Esme. I'd have to make sure I properly thanked my husband for so willingly passing on a chance to wrestle a few grizzlies simply because he was worried about me.
With my car packed and our farewells said, Emmett and I sped off towards the airport. It wasn't very crowded as we collected our tickets and checked our luggage before making our way through security. Emmett flopped down into one of the hard seats littering the terminal, pulling me onto his lap as he did so. We still had some time before our flight, and his strong arms wrapped around my waist as he looked me in the eye. His gaze was searching, a small frown tugging on his lips. I hated that I was causing him distress. "Are you sure about this Rosie?"
I nodded my head, placing a reassuring kiss on his lips before snuggling up against his chest. He smelled so good and I let my eyes close, savoring the moment for minute. "I need closure," I finally said as he kissed the top of my head. "I'm just glad you're coming with me." All I got was a muffled grunt of agreement as he kissed me again, burying his face in my hair.
The flight from Seattle to JFK Airport was slow going. It was near impossible to get a direct flight into Rochester, so we'd decided to rent a car upon reaching New York City. I had no intention of spending close to twelve hours plane hopping when it was just as easy to drive. It was bad enough the initial flight was eight hours and all I could do was snuggle up against Emmett's side and watch the America's Next Top Model marathon that seemed to always be on. Sure we could have joined the Mile High club, again, but I honestly wasn't in the mood and my husband had engrossed himself in some poorly filmed action movie filled with exploding cars and a hero who never once got injured.
To say I was relieved when the plane finally landed was an understatement. I was out of there faster than I probably should have been, and by the time Emmett caught up I was already impatiently waiting for our luggage. He had the gall to laugh at my impatience, kissing my cheek and effectively melting my glare. "Relax babe," he'd said as he grabbed our bags and waited for me to lead the way out of the airport.
He was right; I did need to relax. We had plenty of time before the funeral, at least twenty-four sleepless hours. I just wanted to see Vera, badly. I needed to see her for myself. I wanted to know how she'd aged. I was curious to see her family. I had to get a glimpse at the future I could have had had Royce not turned out to be a heartless bastard. Call it mindless self-indulgence or an unhealthy obsession, but I'd always been slightly preoccupied by the thoughts of the perfect human life I could have had if it wasn't for that cold spring evening. Don't get me wrong. I loved Emmett with all my heart and was perfectly happy that he was in my life. I just had a hard time letting go of my dreams, dreams that had existed long before I'd ever met Emmett, dreams that would never come true. My entire life I had always gotten whatever I wanted, and the entire point of this trip was for me to look directly at the one thing I could never ever have. I couldn't have children, and I had been denied death.
Emmett drove from New York City to Rochester. He'd insisted on renting a Corvette, and now we were speeding through the streets of New York in a 2006 Corvette Z06 coupe in Le Mans Blue. Unlike Alice we hadn't felt the need to steal a sports car, regardless of how nice it was. I spent most of the trip gazing absentmindedly out the window, pondering the events of tomorrow in my head instead of actually observing the scenery. Every so often I would glance at my husband, finding him watching me instead of paying attention to the road. Had I not been so wrapped up in myself I would have found it flattering. Instead I was wishing he would ignore me for once and let me stew in my bitter memories.
As we got closer to my original residence I began to pay a closer awareness to my surroundings. The closer we got to the city the more I became lost in my memories. I began to point out different places to Emmett, telling him of various events in my past. I admit he listened more attentively than anyone would have given him credit for. Most people took one glance at us and wrote us off as the dumb jock and bitchy blonde, though that stereotype barely scratched the surface of the truth. My Emmett was far from being stupid, and he knew exactly how to melt my heart. Royce may have been a King but Emmett was my Knight in Shining Armor, even if I was the one to originally "save" him.
We finally pulled up in front of the hotel and Emmett pulled the bags from the trunk while I handed the keys to the valet. We checked in, unpacked, and spent the rest of the night curled up in each other's embrace. My husband was excellent at making me forget my worries for a short while, and I had still needed to properly thank him for tagging along and putting up with me. For those of us who did not sleep, the night was good for only one thing: passionate, hot sex.
Given my impatience earlier, I realized that the sun rose all too quickly. I wasn't quite ready to leave Emmett's embrace and I was beginning to doubt my reasons for coming here. No, I was not changing my mind. I still have every intention of going to Henry's funeral. I was just… a little scared. This was why I was so glad Emmett came with me. He was my rock. He kept me grounded when my emotions threatened to run away from me. In all honesty, Emmett was the only one who had ever seen my composure shatter completely. Sure there had been times when the others witnessed it fracture, my anger and prejudices getting the better of me. For the most part I had everyone convinced I had some sort of amazing self control though, always hiding behind a bitter mask that kept them all at arms distance. Only Emmett ever saw me cry, or whatever the vampire equivalent of crying was, and only he was able to pull me out of my usually self-induced misery. Why self-induced? Because I had this little habit of comparing everything to myself regardless of how undesirable the results were.
The morning and afternoon passed in silence, though Emmett never strayed from my side. We were always touching, whether it be just our hands, our arms, our lips. His kisses were so tender, full of concern. He never once questioned what was on my mind, instead just holding me or cuddling with me, planting feathery kisses along my skin and hugging me tightly. It was the equivalent to one of Alice and Jasper's love filled staring contests or Carlisle and Esme's whispered conversations. It kept me calm, sane even. I honestly didn't know what I'd do if it wasn't for Emmett.
"We should probably start getting ready…" His voice was soft, ending with a sigh that told me he wasn't quite ready to get up and actually have to do something. I turned the TV off and twisted to kiss him again. We were both reluctant to break it, but it had to be done. I climbed off the queen sized bed and made my way over to the closet, laying out Emmett's slacks and black button down shirt before disappearing into the bathroom to change. It was a simple black dress, V-neck with a loose skirt that fell just above my knees. It was rather modest compared to most of the other dresses I owned. I left my long golden hair down, letting it fall about my face, and applied my usual makeup. My heels were strappy three inch stilettos and I had a dark pair of Dolce&Gabbana sunglasses to hide my eyes. With the drastic fashion change between the thirties and the twenty-first century I was positive no one would recognize me from so long ago. I looked much too young to possibly be the original Rosalie Hale. If anything, anyone who knew my family would probably assume I was the grandchild of one of my brothers or something.
I exited the bathroom to find my husband laying on the bed, shirt unbuttoned and an untied tie hanging around his neck as he watched some football game on the television. I couldn't help rolling my eyes as I strode over and hit the power button. Emmett tried to pout at me as he took in my appearance, my hands on my hips as I glared at him for slacking, but the effect was rather ruined by the appreciative way his eyes roamed over my body.
"Damn you're gorgeous, Rose."
I smirked at him as sat on the edge of the bed. My hands deftly began to do up the buttons of his shirt since he was obviously too incompetent to do it himself. My fingers lightly dusted over his exposed skin as I worked, making him shudder as he absentmindedly played with a few strands of my loose hair. It was nice to know that after seventy years of marriage I still had that effect on him. I was positive it would never fade.
After I finished buttoning his shirt I fixed his tie and tried to fix his messy curls, much to his displeasure. When I finally deemed him presentable it was a quarter after six. Time to go. Time to get this over with. Time to see Vera after all those years and introduce Emmett to the reason I'd saved him from that bear back in thirty-five. I wasn't sure I could bring myself to stand up and walk out of the hotel door. Once again I found myself thankful Emmett was with me.
"Come on Rosie, up ya go. I'm not letting you back out now." He gently pulled me to my feet, wrapping one arm around my waist as he led me to the door.
The car ride to the funeral parlor was silent, though Emmett never once let go of my hand. I mainly focused on my breathing, as unnecessary of an action as it was. It was calming to count every deep inhalation and exhalation, setting up a slow rhythm. It kept my mind off the immediate future and that strange urge I'd had yesterday to buy a damn newspaper.
The Corvette joined various other nice cars in the parking lot, a sign that Vera's family had managed to climb from their middle class social standing over the years. When Emmett cut the engine he turned to look at me, nothing but love and concern lacing his expression. "Are you sure you want to do this?"
I took one last deep breath and nodded my head. Like a gentleman my husband got out of the car and came around to open my door for me. He offered me his arm, which I gratefully accepted, and together we walked towards the main entrance. The wake was more crowded than I'd thought it'd be. Obviously Vera's family had done rather well for itself after the Depression. I couldn't help but feel that old sting of jealously tugging on my dead heart. Vera had had it all – a loving husband, a sweet son, a good social standing. Of course, now she had absolutely nothing. Her husband must have died a while ago else he would have been listed in Henry's obituary. Now she'd lost her only son as well. On top of that she was probably still as plain as ever and forced to suffer the effects of old age. As we stood in the long line waiting to view the open casket, I didn't realize how little my thoughts actually scratched the surface.
Emmett had shifted so that his arm was around my waist, tightly pressing me to his side. I didn't remove my tinted sunglasses as I let my eyes sweet across the room, looking for any sort of familiar faces. Flower arrangements lined both walls, mixed with various pictures from Henry's life. Rows of foldable chairs filled the center of the room with an aisle cut down their center. At the far end of the room was the casket, open, with three large portraits of the dead man resting behind it. The portrait on the left was of the little boy I'd known and loved so long ago. The one on the right, I assumed, was some sort of graduation picture, whether high school or college I wasn't sure. The last portrait, sitting in-between the other two, was the most recent, the only one of three in color and showing an old, wrinkled Henry smiling brightly. Even after seventy-five years his cheeks were still dimpled and now grey hair still held bouncy curls.
As we neared the casket Emmett began to whisper sweet reassurances in my ear. We knelt together in front of Henry's corpse and I had to resist the urge to completely break down and cry. There before me in a handsome dark blue tux lay Henry Davis, and he hadn't changed one bit. He was just a grey haired, wrinkled older version of the little boy who'd captured my heart. He looked so peaceful with his eyes closed and hands folded across his stomach. I wanted to reach out and brush the curls off of his forehead. I resisted though, and it was then that I felt Emmett remove his arm from my back.
I watched my husband from the corner of my eye as he blessed himself and said a prayer. Emmett had always been a God-fearing man. If he wasn't, he wouldn't have mistaken me for an angle and Carlisle as God the day he'd awoken from his transformation. The sight of him praying for a man he didn't even know, a man I had thought he slightly resembled in appearance, a man whom he was connected to by my will alone was one of the most touching things I'd ever seen. When he'd finished his prayer he'd stood up, looked me in the eye, and shuffled off to the side to give me a minute alone with Henry's shell.
"I'm so sorry sweetie… I'm sorry I didn't get to know you after you turned four. I'm sorry your Auntie Rose disappeared from your life when it was just beginning. I'm sorry for the stress I must have caused your mother so long ago. I'm sorry that I couldn't have met you while you were still alive. I'm just… so sorry Henry. I wish you could have met Emmett, my husband. You and he look a little alike. You both have curly hair and dimples, and that childish innocence I love so much. I wish I could have had a son like you too. A sweet, little, bouncing baby boy… I love you Henry. I always have and I always will." My words were barely a whisper, heard only by Emmett since he was the only one present who could pick up on vampire speed. I kissed my pointer and middle fingers before reaching over the side of the casket, running them lovingly over the dead man's cheek. "Good bye, Henry," I finally whispered before rising and snuggling into Emmett's warm embrace.
Standing in a line starting at the foot of the casket was Henry's family, waiting to greet the mourners and receive their condolences after each person had said their last goodbyes to Henry. First was his wife, a tolerable looking woman I did not recognize and who was slightly stunned by my appearance. Next were Henry's two sons and their wives. They were sturdy boys with their father's eyes and their mother's smile. Emmett and I gave them all silent apologies, not hovering long enough to mention who we were or how we knew Henry.
The next person in the line was an elderly woman in a wheel chair. Despite her glassy eyes and thin, wispy hair that was a fraction of its former glory, I instantly recognized her as Vera. I couldn't hold back a gasp and I felt Emmett's grip on me tighten.
"Rose?" The voice was a soprano croak, and I completely froze as I looked at the form of my former friend. Her eyes were locked on my face as she spoke again. "Rosalie? Rosalie Hale?"
"N-no," I stammered, removing my glasses and crouching down her level. My eyes were a sparkling topaz, not the stunning violet she would have remembered. Hopefully it would be enough to suppress her recognition. How on earth she'd recognized me I would never know. I could feel the stares of everyone gathered watching me curiously though, shifting between Vera and myself as she spoke again.
"It's been so long Rose! You haven't changed a bit. Why haven't you written me?"
No… No… No! I chanted over and over again in my head. This couldn't be happening. Vera wasn't supposed to recognize me! I opened my mouth to speak but I failed to find any words. I was absolutely frozen stiff, staring wide-eyed at my former best friend with shock written clearly across my face.
"Rosalie?" she asked again.
"No grandma." One of Henry's boys came to my rescue, crouching down on Vera's right and placing a hand on her shoulder. "That woman's not Rosalie Hale."
Vera looked at him for a brief moment, confusion marring the expression that had been so excited to see me a second ago. "Who are you?"
"I'm Thomas, grandma. I'm your grandson, Henry's younger son."
"Your son, grandma."
In that moment my heart broke. I must have been slack jawed as I watched Vera question her grandson, because I heard Emmett whisper for me to shut my mouth. I automatically snapped it shut, though I didn't take my eyes from the old woman in front of me. She had remembered who I was, and yet she couldn't even recall her own family? "Oh Vera, what's happened to you?" The question was whispered so low and fast the humans never even had a chance of hearing it.
Suddenly, the man named Thomas stood up and motioned for me to follow him into the antechamber of the building. Emmett helped me to my feet and together we followed the aging man, neither one of us knowing what was going on. He led us to a small, secluded corner of the room where a small bench sat pressed against the wall. He gestured for me to have a seat, and at Emmett's urging I did. I felt my husband's hand grip my shoulder as we both waited expectantly for an explanation.
"I'm sorry about what just happened," Thomas began, clearly frazzled by his grandmother's actions. "Grandma Vera's been suffering from Alzheimer's for many years now. It's been a very long time since the last time she was lucid. From what I know of the stories she told me when I was growing up, Rosalie Hale had been her best friend. She was supposedly a stunning blonde, much like yourself Miss, though her eyes were a violet blue. Rosalie disappeared when my Papa was four years old though, and no one ever knew what happened to her. It was presumed she died at age eighteen, though grandma still always held her in the highest regard long after her death. Your appearance must have jogged her memory or something. I apologize for her little episode. Normally she just sits quietly, staring into space."
Alzheimer's Disease… Poor, poor Vera. On top of aging gracelessly she was suffering severe dementia. Her family had assumed she was just having one of her lapses. They hadn't had a single thought that she could have possibly been lucid when she began speaking to me. I was dead, nonexistent, alive only in a few memories my old friend had clung to, just like I had clung to my memories of her. I couldn't help the sad smile that tugged on my lips as I struggled to suppress the urge to cry.
"Would it shock you if I said I actually was a Hale?" I felt Emmett's hand tighten on my shoulder and caught his questioning look out of the corner of my eye. I whispered a few reassurances to him at vampire speed before turning back to the aging man before me.
"Really? I thought all the Hale's had moved out of Rochester a long time ago. Vera said Rosalie's disappearance had hit them really hard, especially when not long afterwards the girl's fiancé and a few of his friends were found dead with no trace of their murderer."
I bit my bottom lip at Thomas's words, trying to keep the painful human memories at bay. So after everything that had happened, my family had up and fled the state. I hated to think of how they'd coped with everything back then. "They did," I answered, my voice oddly composed despite the tumultuous emotions twisting inside me. "I actually live in Washington State. My husband and I are on a short vacation, and when I caught sight of Henry and Vera's names in the paper I couldn't not come. I've heard the stories of back then a few times. Rosalie would have been my great aunt."
Thomas gave a court nod of understanding and I let out a breath I hadn't realized I'd been holding. I had been as truthful as the situation allowed, and for once I was bothered by the fact that I had to keep my true existence a secret. I'd always been upset over the fact that Bella knew, but now I had the new anxiety of her being allowed to know. Edward's little girlfriend willingly put herself in danger on a daily basis, and I wasn't allowed to tell my former best she was correct when she'd called me Rosalie Hale. Only Emmett and I knew that for a few brief moments Vera had been completely lucid, news that would have probably made her family happy despite the present setting.
"Well, thank you for coming today Mrs.…"
"McCarty," Emmett filled in with a gentle smile as I shook the older man's hand. I found it sweet that my husband was so willing to play along, further helping me keep my brief human façade. It wasn't often I got to be Mrs. McCarty. Usually Emmett stuck with the adopted Cullen name.
"Mrs. McCarty," he paused. "Yes well, again thank you for coming. I just wish we could have met under more pleasant circumstances. And I apologize for my grandma Vera."
"Don't apologize," I answered with a small smile. "She was more correct than you would have guessed. I'm sorry about Henry. He seems to have been a fine man."
Thomas nodded and we said our farewells and shuffled out to the car. Emmett was in the driver's seat again while I slumped into the passenger seat. Before he started the engine he leaned over and gave me a gentle kiss. I kissed him back before smiling at him, though it was a rather placid smile. I'd caught a glimpse of my appearance in the side mirror and I was looking worse for the wear, to say the least. I was emotionally drained and the circles under my eyes seemed darker than usual. I was still stunning though, in a shattered glass sort of way.
"You alright, babe?"
I sighed as we pulled out of the parking lot, reaching over to grab hold of my husband's hand. His thick fingers laced themselves with my slender ones as he gave my hand a reassuring squeeze. "I will be. It's a lot to take in. Thank you, for everything."
Emmett was watching me instead of the road as he drove. "Anything for you Rose, always. You know that."
The rest of the return trip to the hotel passed in a quiet as silent as my heart beat. Emmett rarely removed his eyes from me, concerned for my well being. His hand never left mine as I stared out the window. I was still trying to fight back the tears. I couldn't let myself break down just yet, not in the car where Emmett couldn't comfort me.
As soon as we got to the hotel room I collapsed on the bed, dry sobbing. I hated the fact that no tears ever came. Stupid vampire trait. I felt Emmett's weight as he climbed up to sit with me, pulling me into his lap and crushing me in his embrace. I buried my face in his shoulder, letting his gently stroke my back as I cried. Occasionally he would whisper soothing words in my ear, but for the most part he just held me. We stayed like that all night. If he hadn't been with me I don't know what would have happened.
Seeing Vera was just so heart breaking. She was just so old! Her eyes which had once been so full of life were glassy and clouded. Her hair, what I had always considered her best feature despite her plain appearance, was barely in existence. It was nothing more than a few short, thin, white wisps atop her wrinkled scalp. Her skin reminded me of a grape that had been left out in the sun too long, and her normally melodic soprano had a raspy croak to it that was cringe worthy. I was glad I couldn't age, forever beautiful. And yet, at the same time Vera had given me something else to be jealous about. She was a ninety-one year old with the ability to look ninety-one while I was a ninety-one year old trapped in an eighteen year old's body.
That wasn't the worst of it though. The worst part was the fact that she was suffering from Alzheimer's. I'd been to medical school; I knew exactly what that meant. Vera had a form of Dementia. Her memory was rapidly decreasing, along with her cognitive skills. She couldn't even recognize her own grandchildren. I doubted she knew she was in attendance of Henry's funeral. I don't know how she had figured out I was me. Maybe Thomas had been right and I had just jarred her memory back to 1933. She wasn't seeing me for me, but was instead seeing a memory of me. But when I had looked into her eyes, there was clarity in her expression that hadn't been there when I first approached her. She knew I was Rosalie Hale, her best friend from all those years ago, completely unchanged. Well, not completely… My eyes were a different color and my beauty had been heightened due to my change, but for the most part I still looked as I had back then. And Vera had remembered me! That knowledge was both comforting and disheartening at the same time. She hadn't forgotten me as much as I hadn't forgotten her, and yet at the same time if it wasn't for Carlisle I probably would have been no different from her. If I had had children, I certainly wouldn't have wanted to outlive them. I would hate myself if I couldn't remember them either. And the aging process… I didn't even want to think of what I'd look like if I didn't aged gracefully. Poor, sweet Vera. Time had been crueler to her than it had been me.
I unwrapped myself from Emmett's embrace as the sunlight began to pierce through the clouds. I leaned up and kissed him for a moment before disappearing into the bathroom. It was time to assess the damage. There was no way in hell I was returning home looking like some horrible mess and we had a flight to catch in no more than a few short hours.
I glared at my reflection, highly displeased with the woman looking back at me. Her hair was mused and matted, sticking up in the most undesirable of ways. Her eyes held dark black circles under them, and her normally honey colored eyes were dark and expressionless. Her plump lips were thin and drawn into a frown. I couldn't remember the last time I had looked so disheveled. It was horrible!
"You alright Rose?"
I turned to find Emmett leaning in the bathroom doorway, watching me intently. He barely looked better than I did at the moment. I'd clutched his shirt so tightly it looked permanently wrinkled, and his curls were limp as they stuck to his head. His eyes reflected my own, though concern was evident in his expression. He was still worried about me. I'd have to fix that. I hated knowing I was the cause of his distress.
"I was about to take a shower. Would you like to join me?"
I smirked as his face lit up like a kid's in a candy store. I almost laughed at his eagerness, pulling him down for a kiss before I bent to start the hot water. We both needed a little pick me up right now, and why not make the best of this little "vacation?" It was nice to have sex with Alice and Edward a few thousand miles away. We had a bit of privacy for once.
An hour and a half later we both were clean, dressed, and looking better than we had all weekend. I busied myself with packing while Emmett watched some '90's sitcom rerun. Once everything was in order Emmett carried the bags down and got the car while I went to the front desk to check out.
I let Emmett drive again, letting him have his fun with the Corvette. I wouldn't let him anywhere near the vintage 1958 one I had at home. That particular car almost never left the garage, a permanent installment of my collection. I'd outbid Edward for it back in '87 and had since then fully restored it. It was a gorgeous car, and the fact that I could lord it over Edward's head was priceless.
For the first time during the entire trip the car ride wasn't silent or lost to memories. My mood was steadily picking up and Emmett and I conversed about nonsense things like the weather and how the flight home would be. We never once breached the topic of the funeral. That matter was completely closed. Everything that had needed to be discussed had been so last night. Upon our return to Forks I'd let Edward tell the others what had happened. I could trust him to tell only what needed to be known.
We returned the car to the dealership and hailed a cab to take us the last few miles to the airport. I had the feeling of Déjà Vu as we collected our tickets, checked our luggage, and headed for security. I once again found myself in Emmett's lap, snuggled into his embrace as we waited in the terminal. His fingers were running up and down my arms as he whispered in my ear. If I'd still had the ability I swear the blush on my face would have been redder than Bella's in her most embarrassing moment. Apparently my darling husband thought it was a good idea to detail what exactly he had planned for the flight back to Washington. Damn plane didn't arrive fast enough.
Eight hours, one Mile High Club membership renewal, and some crummy, uneaten airline food later the plane began its descent into Seattle. In just a few short hours we would be back home. I vaguely wondered how Bella had held out against Alice's weekend plans. My quiet snicker caught Emmett's attention because he asked me what was funny.
"We let Edward leave poor Bella in the sole care of Alice and Esme. I was wondering if she survived the weekend long shopping trip Alice had planned."
Emmett chuckled too and I snuggled closer to his side as we waited for the all clear to disembark. I couldn't wait to get off the plain. It was filthy, cramped, and the old lady in the aisle across from us kept shooting Emmett and me a disgusted stare. Apparently somebody didn't appreciate a little public display of affection.
After a while we were finally given the all clear and Emmett and I dashed off the plane. We headed to the luggage carousel where I let my impatience for human speed get the better of me. Emmett found my crossed arms and tapping foot funny. I shut him up with a glare and he apologized with a kiss. Of course I smiled smugly as he wrapped his arms around my waist, happily holding me as we waiting for the parade of bags to begin. Not a word had been spoken between us, and yet we had understood each other perfectly.
The drive back to Forks was quick with me behind the wheel of my red M3. It was nice to be driving again, in a familiar car following familiar roads. Back in Rochester the roads had been vaguely familiar but I hadn't trusted myself to drive. I admit that I don't drive well when I've got a lot on my mind. Jasper actually had the nerve to tell me I drive like Cruella de Vil the last time I was pissed off while behind the wheel. If he'd thought my anger was bad before that little comment, I actually had him cowering in his seat after it.
I couldn't help the felling of completeness that washed over me as I turned onto the familiar hidden drive. Emmett was smiling at me, his fingers laced with mine. We were home, I had eternal beauty, a husband who loved me very much, and a caring family. For the first time I felt like I had everything I ever wanted. Yes, I still couldn't have a baby of my own. After seeing Vera though, and the concern and love her family had for her even after they were all grown up, I'd realized I already have the same things she did. Unlike Vera though, I'd have my family forever.
This little revelation of mine also shed some light on Bella. I was still strongly opposed to her insistence on being changed, but I now better understood where she was coming from. She wanted eternal love. She wanted a family that would care about her forever. She didn't want the passage of time to have any more impact on her life than it already had. I just wish she'd stop taking her humanity for granted.
I parked the car and popped the trunk so Emmett could collect out bags. He followed me into the house where we were greeted with an overwhelming flurry of movement. I would bet that Edward had already filled everyone in on the details of our little trip. I was barely through the door when Esme wrapped me up in tight hug. The gesture caught me so off guard that the best I could do was awkwardly hug her back. Alice too gave me a quick hug, and even Bella was present and smiling warmly at me. To say I was confused was an understatement. A long time ago I'd set myself some strong personal space boundaries that only Emmett dared to break on a daily basis. I loved attention, but I disliked being suffocated by it. Emmett was just as flabbergasted as I was as he dropped our bags on the floor just before Alice hugged him too. Even Edward was being uncharacteristically cordial to me.
"Did something big happen while we were gone or something?" It was Emmett who broke the cycle of greetings, and I was glad he did.
It was Jasper who answered. "You two are radiating happiness. It's a little overwhelming."
That explained everything. Jasper had a hard time keeping the emotional climate peaceful when one or more members of the family were facing some sort of emotional extreme. Emmett and I were both in exceptionally good moods for the time being, so it was no wonder the household seemed to be bustling with energy and good cheer. Most of the time the rest of the family was relatively happy to begin with. Maybe that said something about my usual attitude…
With the formalities finally over I was forced into answering a few brief questions about the trip. I then deferred to Edward, instructing him to answer any more questions. He had easy enough access to everything that had happened, unfortunately. It'd been a long flight and I just wanted to go up to my room and relax. It seemed like forever since I was last able to relax. Plus, Emmett and I needed to unpack. I was only half paying attention to conversation buzzing around, and it wasn't long before I was able to slip up the stairs and retreat into the sanctuary of mine and Emmett's room.
I was sitting on the edge of the bed, flipping through an old magazine when he finally came in a few minutes later. Emmett was still laughing at something, probably Bella, and I couldn't help my own amused smile as he deposited our bags on the floor and strode over to me. He pried the magazine from my hands and tossed it to the floor as he pressed his lips against mine. I contentedly wrapped my arms around his neck, smiling into the kiss as he pushed me further back onto the bed.
"I love you Rosie," he whispered, trailing soft kisses down my jaw and neck.
"Forever," I responded, tangling my fingers in his curls as I pulled his lips back up to mine.
Faintly I could hear the front door slam, and Emmett and I couldn't resist chuckling. It was going to be one hell of a night if Edward was already vacating the premises.
A/N: Alrighty, so I've been wanting to do something like this for a while now. I find the idea of the Cullens meeting their still aging pasts intriguing. I'm hoping I did justice to Rose's character in this, as well as the physical nature of her and Emmett's relationship. Yes, they're the couple that has all the wild sex, but there's also a certain sweetness in any loving touch that I feel most people tend to overlook. A few other notes, the whole newspaper scenario was inspired by my aunt, who claims to have had that exact experience. She randomly decided to pick up a newspaper, skim the obituaries, and found that one of her old friends had died. The funeral setup is based loosely off of my Nana's funeral that occured several years ago, and my choice of giving Vera Alzheimer's was because I have first hand experience with it. Dementia and all its forms are unpleasant to witness in family members. I couldn't resist the cute ending. I very rarely ever do drama, and I'm a strong supporter of fluff so I just had to end it the way I did.
Review please? I'm rather proud of this piece, especially since I write in the first person even less than I write something dark and angsty.