Characters: Cullens, Volturi
Author's Note: Oh yes, this fic is dark and full of character death. I think this was inspired by the build-up towards the battle in Breaking Dawn, and perhaps my own morbid curiousity as to what a fight with the Volturi looks like.
One by one, they come, a line of black on the pale horizon. They are not cloaked, because they no longer care, and that is terrifying. Golden heads, and black, and white and copper, are held high, proud and regal, as crimson eyes gaze in the same direction, beautiful and frightening as falling stars.
One by one by one they come to hurt and kill and burn.
The witch twins find the youngest member of the family. Delicate, graceful little Jane glides towards the amber half-blood, restrained by two members of the guard. Her brother gives her a questioning look, offering his skill, but she shakes her head.
Instead, she meets Nessie's eyes with a playful smile. Then, she reaches deep inside the darkness of her mind, find her gift and twists.
The screams echo for a long while, but the silence that follows is far worse.
Caius does not like werewolves, and he has never been one to distinguish between subtleties. Shape shifters, Children of the Moon, giant russet hounds, he does not care.
The fight is grossly unequal. A vampire's two thousand year old vendetta clashes with the will of a man who has lost his reason for living.
At the end of it, it cannot be clearly said which is responsible for Jacob's death- Caius' teeth and strength and fury, or the unendurable pain of a shattered heart.
The wives never leave the tower.
Esme wishes that the statement had some bearing on reality. She had always assumed that they are too fragile to fight. They are thin, porcelain-skinned, unimaginably lovely wraiths, yes, but how could she have ever imagined that Aro's mate was powerless, or Caius' weak?
"Your family's ways endanger all of us," Sulpicia purrs in her ear.
"We do not forgive," Athenodora continues gently.
An amendment: The wives leave the tower only when there is a very compelling reason.
Emmett wants to fight. Felix has other ideas. Bear-like strength is nothing when pitted against equal power intensified by centuries of combat and human blood. The strongest member of the guard fights with skill and grace, looking up triumphantly when the battle is concluded.
Lovely Heidi, who has destroyed the curly-haired vampire's beautiful mate, joins Felix soon after, her eyes black and hard as onyx. He smiles and claps a companionable hand on her shoulder, congratulating her.
Aro himself kills Carlisle. Of course, he is not the one who finds him and pins him to the ground. That is Demetri's job.
Nonetheless, the gentle vampire with no blood on his hands meets Aro's triumphant smile with quiet, distant dignity.
"I suppose I am to consider myself honoured that you are the one who brings my end," he says, no bitterness, just quiet, hollow pain marking his words.
"It does not matter what you consider yourself, old friend. I consider you a traitor, and that is what matters." Aro has always had a twisted sense of justice, which shines through in his gaze as his eyes reflect the flames.
The gifted ones are brought before the Volturi.
The first, scarred, honey-blond Jasper stands before the brothers. "I will not join you," he hisses, one last, fatal attempt at nobility.
"That is no longer your decision," Aro interjects smoothly. He glances around himself and murmurs, "My friends? What do you think?"
After a moment where the world almost holds its breath, Marcus speaks. "There was a member of our family who could manipulate emotions. Her gift was not valued, and her presence is missed by no-one but me. We do not need another who can change feelings." Aro shrugs, and a few moments later, ashes swirl in the autumn wind.
Alice is shaking, her eyes wide and sightless, grief beyond words tearing through her slender form. "The seer will join us," Aro continues lightly, and Felix lifts her and tosses her unresisting form over one strong shoulder.
"Edward and Bella," muses Aro, smiling at the furious snarl on Edward's face, amused by Bella's attempts to cast her shield over herself and her mate.
He extends his pale hands towards his brothers.
They are of no use to us, Caius' thoughts are harsh.
We will not sway the girl, and her gift will be ineffectual, Marcus concurs, his thoughts distant and vague.
The mind-reader is a liability. Without his mate he will try to kill himself, most likely publicly, Aro agrees.
In a quiet meadow, a slender young woman and an auburn-haired man clutch each other's hands, only for a second. Their final moments and thoughts are not recorded.
The Volturi leave as silently as they arrived.
Please comment on my first (or actually, second) foray into the world of dark-fic.