A/N: I now the poll wasn't up that long, but after talking to Jocelyn Torrent I decided I would definitely put this up ASAP. So this is for you JT!
When I left Forks I left Forks for good, never looking back.
It wasn't that hard.
Most people didn't know who I really was, so who am I to waste a thought on them? The few, who did know that I was Aaron Marsdon, not Aaron Brown, also knew that their sister, daughter, and/or best friend loved me – and I let her die. In my short life I've learned never to piss off a group of vampires and stick around.
That one I learned from Harry.
I don't regret leaving the Cullen's behind; they were very good to me, better than they should have been given what I did to them before I knew them. If someone had killed anyone close to me, I don't think I would have been very kind to them. I know that it was because of Alice in some large way, but also because Carlisle wasn't ruled by emotions. If only people could think that logically the world would be a lot better off.
I also learned that Alice was the only reason I still cared, she gave the shriveled piece of beef jerky I called a heart new life. But when she died…I couldn't care anymore; I tried to. I tried to care about Bella's fate, or Jessica's fate, or the fates of the other people I called friends; Harry, Carlos, Anastasia.
Plain and simple – I couldn't. I tried and I failed, and when I failed I stopped trying.
I have a lot of time to think these days, and right now that isn't a good thing. I remember the precious good memories. But I mostly dwell on the bad ones, it seems that I learned how to deal with pain and not cry. I don't think I can cry anymore.
I haven't had a single dream about Alice since she died, but then again I haven't slept more than two hours at a time since that night. I haven't had a dream about Katherine either, I wonder if they've met each other yet?
I have never been religious in any sense of that word, but you only have to meet some of the Knights of the Cross to realize that there is indeed a god. And if there is a god isn't there supposed to be an afterlife? I have a long time to find an answer to that last question, so I'm not going to worry about it for a long while.
After all the shit my life went through I didn't want to be around people ever again. When some people have bad luck they're the ones who get hurt; I, on the other hand, have a nasty habit of getting the people that I love and love me hurt. It's for the best that I disappear for a while.
Maybe for the rest of my unnaturally long life.
Somehow I ended up in Faerie for nearly two years. It's weird, I don't remember ever opening a portal to faerie and I don't remember ever stepping in, but I do remember trying to live there. For the most part I just wandered around until I became a regular enough fixture that nothing tried to bother me anymore. I avoided Winter like the plague, I'm smart enough to realize that after all these years Mab still may hold a grudge for what I did to her Katherine. Eventually all of my memories came back, and there are some in that time I wish would have stayed buried deep in my subconscious. Sometimes the good memories hurt just as much as the bad ones. The psychic wounds left on my heart somehow managed to scab over. I truly doubt they will ever heal.
Every mention of Alice, every stray thought her hurt more and more as the days turned to weeks. I would never admit it, even to myself, but in the end I think I loved Alice more than Katherine. Katherine was my first, her flame burned hot and fast; but Alice, the flame burned just as hot, but beyond it there was staying power to it. I only had her in my life for a month, so I guess I'll never know
For the most part I spent my days in Summer. I managed to come to a peaceful arrangement with Titania; I would do everything I could to stay out of her way, and she wouldn't squash me like a bug. In Faerie that's a good relationship with the queen.
I spent the vast majority of my days in complete isolation; I reveled in the sheer simplicity and the beauty of Faerie. While I was there my only friend, if that term even has meaning to a faerie, was Lily, the Summer Lady (the fae courts version of a princess.)
I never did learn to trust her, but she did everything she could to convince me that she wouldn't trick me. Faeries are bound by their word, but only their word, in other words they can't lie. So everything she said was in explicit legalese that way she couldn't trick me.
Not once have I ever felt anything romantic towards her. I think whatever part of me that is able to love died with Alice on that terrible March night. Even years later I still couldn't feel any kind of love, but at least I now had a friend. Whatever that was worth, on most nights it didn't feel like much. I felt for Lily though, having a huge responsibility thrust on to her when the last Lady was killed. Whatever it was with her she became a good friend and never minded me hanging around.
It was because of her I finally had the nerve to go back to Chicago and see Harry.
She walked me to the nearest Way into Chicago, gave me directions to his apartment, and gave me a quick reassuring kiss on the cheek. She smiled and waved to me as the portal to Fearie closed.
Chicago hadn't really changed much in the five years since I'd last been there. It may have been a few inches lower, but it is Chicago. Summers here are still freaking hot and humid, even when you're living in a place that's called Summer. I remembered Lilly's directions and managed to turn up at Harry's boarding house. The Blue Beetle sat bashed and bruised on the street; so either Harry's home, or the beetle crapped out again. I walked around back of the old brick house and down the few stairs to Harry's basement appartment.
I gave it a few quick pounds, and a moment later a familiar voice started swearing violently at the door. A seemingly hour later and a few words I wouldn't want to repeat in mixed company Harry's grizzled face appeared on the other side of the threshold.
"Holy shit kid," he muttered, "I figured you for dead." For someone as sarcastic and quick witted as Harry Dresden to be rendered nigh-on speechless. He must have really been worried about me.
"I felt like I was." I responded in a quiet and emotionless shell of a voice.
"Get in here kid." He said grabbing me into a bear hug. "You have some serious 'splainin' to do."
"Ya, I suppose I do." I said breaking free from his grasp and plopping down on his couch. "I guess I should start after you left."
"That would be a good start." He replied offering me one of Mac's home brewed brown ale. I waved it off (I'm not much of a drinker) he tossed me a Coke instead, before talking seat in his overstuffed arm chair.
"Well," I said popping the top of the coke, before I continued.
It took well over two hours to tell him just what happened. I started with waking up with no memories, Alice's death, Shadow's death, and my running away. I still couldn't believe that I'd been out of this world for almost two years. My story really wasn't that exciting, but it was really depressing. . I finished by telling him that I've been wandering around Faerie, and becoming 'friends' with Lily.
When I was done Harry managed to tell me what I missed here in the real world Morgan, one of the biggest bastards and probably the most loyal warden, was accused of treason, and is now dead. The black council is getting stronger and somehow managed to get one of their own on the Senior Council. That was after killing off one of the former Senior Council members. And that was just the first year that I missed. I stopped him after that; I really don't want to know just how bad the shit's hit the fan since I left.
"So what are you going to do from here?" Harry asked as I was getting ready to leave.
"To tell you the truth, Harry, I haven't really thought about it. The only reason I came here today was because of Lilly. She keeps trying to convince me to go back to my real life." I said leaning against Harry's door.
"Well this might help you decide." Harry said handing me a small envelope. "Before you ask I don't know what it is or where it came from. But it is addressed to you. It came with the mail yesterday; I figured I'd hang onto it for a while in case you ever stopped by. I kinda figured I'd be hanging on to it longer than a day."
I opened the simple envelope with shaking hands. Inside was nothing but a small slip of blank paper. Curious I turned it over in my hand; on the back was an address written in a familiarly foreign script.
"120 East Delaware. Room 1625"
"One-twenty East Delaware," I repeated out loud, "Do you know where this is?"
Harry furrowed his brow for a moment before he spoke "That's the Four Seasons, ya I know where it is."
"Is it very far?" I asked wishing I remembered how to navigate around Chicago.
"Not too far, I'll take you if you want." Harry offered grabbing the keys to the Blue Beetle.
"Thanks" I said slipping the note back in the envelope.
The two of us piled into Harry's cramped old beetle that no longer had any blue on it. The only new addition was a spray painted '56' in a circle. I'm sure at one point the Blue Beetle was blue, but over the years damage forced replacement parts of all different colors to be put on at discount prices. But it was always the Blue Beetle, never Herbie.
"I can't believe someone desecrated the Blue Beetle like that." I said once Harry started the engine.
"I know, I wash it off and a week later it's back. If I ever catch who did it I'll set their shoes on fire." He replied coolly, shifting the car into gear. Apparently I get my shoe-fire penchant from Harry.
The ride in the beetle was only slightly quieter than a ride in Bella's old rusty pickup. Wow that may have been the first time I ever thought about someone from that life and it wasn't Alice. A shiver rolled up and down my spine. Though it may be more from the nerves of whatever or whoever waited for me in room sixteen twenty-five.
The ride lasted for more than thirty minutes in Chicago traffic and we only covered ten miles or so. The beetle sputtered to a stop in front of the outrageously posh Four Seasons, looking outrageously out of place next to the Mercedes', Lexus', and Porsches.
"Thanks." I said pushing the door open; praying that it wouldn't snap off at the hinges.
"Do need me to stick around?" Harry asked eyeing the hotel nervously.
"No thanks, I think I can manage it." I said slamming the door shut.
I watched for a moment as Harry drove off at half the speed of taste. I turned towards the massive hotel, scanning up sixteen floors, silently wondering just what waited for me. I had my doubts that it would be someone trying to kill me; most assassins try to find someplace quiet, not a crowded hotel.
Maybe it was Lilly? She was the only creature who knew I would be visiting Chicago today before I got here. For the past year and a half I've made it quite clear that I have no romantic feelings for her; but that still hasn't stopped her from trying. Maybe this is her way of catching me off guard on my turf.
It didn't matter right now. I started walking towards the large glass doors, noticing the humidity for the first time.
A doorman in a traditional uniform opened the door for me, letting a heavy blast of cold air hit me in square in the face. I muttered a quick 'thank you' to the doorman and walked into the old world lobby. Even living in Faerie for almost two years it was still quite magnificent. Decorated in a multitude of rich gold's and deep reds, it almost made me question why I left in the first place.
I opened the envelope again, checking the note again to make sure I memorized the right room number. Yup, sixteen twenty-five it is, that's a ton of stairs. I silently swore to myself as I walked to the front desk.
The only open terminal was operated by a woman who looked no more than twenty-five, "Can I help you sir?" She asked with a slight southern accent.
"Yes," I said barely above a whisper, "I had a big dinner and kind of want to walk it off. Could you tell me where the staircase is?"
The woman behind the counter smiled slightly, "Go to the elevator and turn left, the stars will be the third door on your right."
I thanked her and quickly headed to the stairs. In a hotel that caters primarily to businessmen, like the Four Seasons, very few people take the stairs, especially to the sixteenth floor. There wasn't a single soul in the stair well all the way up.
I reached to the sixteenth floor out of breath and starting to sweat, and I didn't even run.
I walked down the hall briskly, my stomach turning in knots while my heart started leaping into my throat. I've never been more nervous in my life; this is not only completely unexpected, but there is no way that this won't be a surprise.
Here we are, 1625. I shook my hand out quickly, bringing it up to the door, sweaty palm and all. I hesitated for a long moment, before I was able to rap my knuckles against it.
I managed to relax and tense up at the same time: the relaxation came from the knowledge that whatever was going to happen was out of my hands and the tension came from the sheer unknown that was waiting for me in this hotel.
My ever fraying nerves didn't have long to wait, a short moment later the door to the suite gently opened. Whoever was in the room didn't even wait until the door was open before a voice said "What took you so long?"
The door finished opening by the time my jaw had hit the floor. The owner of the voice was someone I hadn't seen for what seemed like a half a millennia. My eyes lost complete focus, and I couldn't see anything but the barest of outlines. Hair the same color as the night sky, an impish frame, and beauty that no artist could ever capture.
"Alice," I breathed, vainly attempting to hide the tears that were forming.
"Aaron," her breath hitched.
The two of us stood there for a long moment staring at the other, marveling that we were actually seeing each other again.
"Wha…ho…wh–" I tried to form a question, but Alice stopped my babbling with a kiss.
It was like we had never parted. I molded my lips to hers, crossing into her suite, and kicking the door behind me.
Alice eventually and reluctantly tore her lips away from mine. "I don't know why I'm back, but I am. And I knew it was you that I was brought back for."
Now it was my turn to kiss her. I moved in suddenly; cupping her delicate face with my hand and pressing my lips to hers, and wrapping a firm arm around her waist. It was also my turn to break the kiss. "I don't care what brought you back, but all I know is that you're here now. Nothing else matters."
Final Note: There is the right and true end to Blurred Lines. I don't know what kind of ride this was for you, but for me it was a long and emotional ride. I finally finished the epilogue at 8:02 P.M. on June 26, 2009. I started this project back on December 10, 2008, six months and sixteen days later I'm finished. For anyone reading this I thank you for sticking through this, and I beg of you to tell me what you thought of this story as a whole; after all you are the whole reason I wrote this.
To those who believe I dropped the ball and/or killed several key plot points. I did that for a reason, mainly because this story is told throughout in the eyes of Aaron Marsdon. A man who had one reason to care, Alice, and when she was killed he no longer had the ability to care. I have thought of the answers for all the questions you may ask, and many you may not. I welcome your questions with open arms and I will answer them, gladly.
So, dear reader, I say farewell to you and if you wish to know my answers for your questions all you have to do is ask, and I will do my best to answer you. I hope to see all of you in another story.