A/N: So this is my first One-Shot. Don't crucify me if it's not great. I just listened to Rascal Flatt's song Skin while reading through some Twilight fanfiction and I didn't want to pass up a romance between Esme and Carlisle. So tell me what you think! Read, Review, and if you think it's any good, Pass it on!
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight because my name is not Stephenie Meyer, and I didn't write ParadiseLost, that was John Milton about three hundred years ago, and I didn't write the song at the end, that was Rascal Flatt's and it's called Skin.
Esme sat in the hospital bed, reading the book her doctor had given her to help pass the time. It wasn't a novel really; it was an epic poem, Paradise Lost by John Milton. She was in the middle of Book three, when the Son of God offers himself up as ransom for Man's disobedience to God. Esme found Milton's take on the Genesis story fascinating. It took her mind off the heavy cast on her leg and the ever present throbbing that made sleep difficult. Since she couldn't sleep, she read by the soft light of the lamp next to her bed. It was past visiting hours. Her parents had returned home. Outside, the sky was dark, spattered with a collection of stars. The moon rose over the landscape, a waning crescent.
Esme looked up from her copy of Paradise Lost and sighed. Her thoughts drifted away from the epic to more immediate things. She'd been in the hospital for three days now. She'd probably be allowed to go home any day now. There wasn't much more they could do. She'd have to rest, keep off her leg, and in a month or so, they'd remove the cast.
At least, that was what he said. He was Dr. Carlisle Cullen, Esme's doctor. He was an angel from heaven. He was kind, caring, smart, funny, gentle, and of course, extraordinarily handsome. And single. Esme still had nurses looking in her room multiple times a day to see if Dr. Cullen was tending her. He seemed to have quite a following at the hospital in Columbus.
Not that he paid any attention to them. In fact, Esme wondered sometimes if Dr. Cullen knew just how big a following he had. He seemed completely oblivious to the fact that he had captured no less than six nurses' and four secretaries' hearts. And Esme's. When she'd first met Dr. Cullen, Esme had been almost speechless. It'd taken all her concentration to answer his questions as he gently prodded her broken leg. He'd been polite about Esme's nervousness, trying to make her feel at ease by making jokes and telling stories of some of the other patients. That was how Esme got to know Dr. Cullen. After getting the cast plastered on her leg, she'd been moved to a regular room. Dr. Cullen had made a point to visit a few times every day, sometimes to check on her (she was still his patient) and other times just to talk to her when he had some free time. His easy manner and of course his mind-boggling smile had conspired to make Esme spill her life story to him over the past three days. Dr. Cullen, or Carlisle as he'd asked the other day, was just so easy to talk to.
The night before, after getting off his shift, he'd stopped in to give her the battered copy of Paradise Lost. He'd explained to her the general plot and had encouraged her to read it.
"It is an intriguing read," Carlisle had said. He laughed and Esme melted on the inside. "As you can see, I've read it a couple times." He ran his fingers over the battered cover and the beat up spine. The book had certainly seen much use. Esme had taken it with a polite "Thank you". She'd never been a proponent of poetry. A bit of tom-boy, Esme had never had the patience for it. She liked things direct. But Carlisle had recommended Paradise Lost, so she gave it a try.
Esme turned the page.
"thee I revisit safe,
And feel thy Sovran vital Lamp; but thou
Revisit'st not these eyes, that roll in vain
To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn;
So thick a drop serene hath quencht thir Orbs,
Or dim suffusion veil'd. Yet not the more
Cease I to wander where the Muses haunt
Clear Spring, or shady Grove, or Sunny Hill,
Smit with the love of sacred Song . . ."
"Smit with the love of sacred Song," Esme repeated aloud. She was certainly "smit", Esme was sure of that. But not with "the love of sacred Song". Instead, she was smit with something a little more mundane, but by much. She hadn't seen it that day. Carlisle had been out and Esme assumed he was sick. Carlisle's heavenly face appeared in her head again. And then it appeared for real.
Carlisle peeked his head inside the cracked door. Light from the hallway beyond cast a partial silhouette on the floor. "Shouldn't you be asleep?" he asked, not condescendingly like an adult would, but more teasingly.
"It's your fault," she accused. She held up the book as Carlisle strode into the room. He wasn't wearing his lab coat, but rather a pair of slacks and a casual jacket with a nice shirt and tie. Esme got the feeling that he'd just arrived at the hospital. "You've gotten me stuck on this poem." Carlisle sat down on the edge of her bed and reached for the book. Esme held it out to him and he took it carefully, opening it to the page Esme had marked with her finger.
"Cease I to wander where the Muses haunt; Clear Spring, or shade Grove, or Sunny Hill,; Smit with the love of sacred Song…," He read. He sighed, staring at the page almost longingly.
"It's sometimes difficult to understand what he's saying," Esme admitted. "He says things differently."
"Yes," Carlisle agreed, turning the book over in his hands and examining the old pages. "People don't speak this way anymore. At least, not in everyday speech." He handed the book back to Esme. She laid a slip of paper she'd been using as a bookmark into her page and closed it, placing the book tenderly on the table.
"You weren't here today," Esme commented, sitting back against the pillows. "You missed a beautiful day. The sun was out, the birds were singing. I could hear them in the trees outside."
"Yes," Carlisle said thoughtfully. "It was a beautiful day. Unfortunately I have the night-shift tonight. I had to get some rest."
"So you just got here," Esme replied. Carlisle's nod confirmed her previous theory.
"I've been thinking," Carlisle said. "You've been stuck here the last three days. Would you like to get out?"
"Would I ever!" Esme exclaimed. She would've jumped out of the bed then and there had not Carlisle been sitting next to her, and had the cast not been so heavy.
"I have some time before I have to sign in. Why don't we go outside. I may have missed a beautiful day, but sometimes the moon can be just as wonderful as the sun."
"I can't walk," Esme sighed. Carlisle grinned and left the room briefly. When he returned, he was pushing a wheelchair.
"Do you always think of everything?"
"Not everything," Carlisle replied. "I sometimes forget to feed myself."
Esme laughed. Carlisle brought the wheelchair closer to her bed and with his help, Esme got up and transferred to the chair. Her casted leg rested in a holder, slightly elevated. Her other perched on another such holder, bent like a regular chair. Carlisle draped a wool blanket over her shoulders. The night was chilly, even though the day was warm.
He wheeled her down the empty corridors. The hospital at night was such a different place than during the day. During the day, nurses, doctors, secretaries, surgeons, and orderlies hurried down the halls, sometimes toting patients, sometimes rushing to help patients, sometimes just going on their rounds. But at night, they traversed the same corridors finding only a nurse at stations where major hallways intersected and an occasional other doctor on night shift. In the day, the hospital could be overwhelming. In the night, it was eerie.
Carlisle pushed Esme in the wheelchair right out the front doors of the hospital and down a ramp especially for wheelchairs. Nobody questioned them. Carlisle was a familiar face and by extension, so was Esme. They strode down the sidewalk away from the hospital. The streetlamps cast pools of light at regular intervals along the street, but most of it was still in shadow. Occasionally a car would rumble by, but like the hospital, the street was eerily devoid of people. But Esme didn't feel frightened. The presence of Carlisle at her back made her feel safe. She didn't fear anything they might come across on the streets of Columbus.
Carlisle walked down the street towards a public park. Esme hadn't ever been to this park. She lived outside of Columbus. But the town doctor didn't have the supplies to treat a broken leg. Especially one like Esme's, a complete break right through the fibula. He'd recommended she'd go to the hospital in the city, and Esme's parents had agreed.
Carlisle wheeled her down the paths. Esme looked back at him, peering up at his face. It was perfection. There wasn't a single flaw. His features were smooth and angled just right. His lips were full, but not so much that it looked odd or girlish. His pale, blonde hair was combed back from his face. It shown in the moonlight like the rest of his pale skin. Looking up at Carlisle in the moonlight, Esme began to feel light-headed. Then she remembered to keep breathing. Carlisle looked down as she gasped a little too loud.
"Are you alright?" he asked.
"Yes," Esme replied. "It's just—"
"What?" Carlisle asked, looking down on her with an intense curiosity. Esme had been startled by this the first time he'd done it, but she'd soon realized, that was Carlisle.
"It's nothing," Esme insisted. "Really."
"I'd still like to hear it," Carlisle replied.
"You'd probably think it's stupid, but…I just looked up at the right time and the way the moonlight was…" She trailed off. Esme felt her cheeks beginning heat up. She was glad it was darker out. Maybe Carlisle wouldn't notice her blush.
Carlisle stopped pushing the wheelchair. "Esme…" he prompted.
"It's silly. It just looked like you were…otherworldly. Just for a moment," Esme assured him.
Carlisle seemed to contemplate her for a while before chuckling and continuing. "I will miss you Esme," he told her.
"Miss me? Am I getting out soon?"
"By the end of the week," Carlisle replied. "But that's not the only reason why. I'm moving."
Esme almost fell out of the chair as she spun so quickly. Carlisle reached down to steady her as the chair rocked to one side. "Moving? Why?"
"I have another job offer," Carlisle replied. "It's in Chicago."
Esme's heart sank. Chicago? That was so far away.
"But, you can't leave!" Esme insisted. "I mean, what about—"
"Calm down Esme," Carlisle soothed. "Everything will be taken care of. A colleague of mine, Dr. Lentz, will take care of you. He's a very good doctor, very capable and caring."
"But you're my doctor."
Carlisle sighed. "It's time for me to move on. I need to further my career. The Chicago offer is very good, especially for someone like me." Carlisle had told Esme a bit about himself. He was from London. He'd come to America to study medicine at Harvard. This was his first job. Carlisle always said he was very lucky to have it.
Esme opened her mouth to protest again, but Carlisle hushed her. "Let's not talk about this now. I'm not leaving yet. Let's just enjoy the night. I heard from a source that you enjoy dancing."
"Well, yes," Esme replied. "My mother had me take lessons when I turned thirteen. But how did you find out?"
"I met a very nice girl named Sarah in the hallway. She'd asked if I was your doctor. We got to talking."
"Sarah," Esme muttered. Her best friend was a very social girl, quick to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger. Of course, Sarah wouldn't have considered Carlisle a stranger, since she knew Esme and Esme knew Carlisle.
"I was wondering if you'd care to dance," Carlisle asked. He stepped around the wheelchair and gave a short bow, offering her his hand.
"Now?" Esme asked. The park was dark and empty. Also, her leg was in a cast and there was no music.
"Sure," Carlisle replied. "Why not?"
"I can't stand," Esme reminded him.
"I think I can help with that." He took both her hands and very carefully, lifted Esme with ease. He wrapped one arm around her waist and held her hand in the other. He supported most of her weight. Esme was standing on essentially one foot with Carlisle holding her up. He smiled and Esme felt her supportive leg threaten to buckle. If Carlisle hadn't been holding her up, she would've dropped.
"Oh," Esme said. "This'll work."
Carlisle laughed his musical laugh that Esme could've danced to. He took the lead, stepping effortlessly into a flowing waltz. Esme knew the steps, but her feet barely brushed the ground as he swept her up and twirled her around. She felt like she was flying. And Esme mind's well have been. Carlisle's grip on her waist wasn't uncomfortable like sometimes when a person really couldn't support the weight. He was perfectly at ease. Esme's attention was drawn up to his face as he swept her along to a silent song. Staring into those rich, pools of gold, Esme could feel the silent song. It echoed in her, like the contact between the two of them served as a bridge, or an amplifier.
They danced in this way for two of these "silent songs". If there had been any passersby, they would've thought the two of them were crazy. But Esme wouldn't have noticed any onlooker. Her eyes never left his. Esme doubted Carlisle would've noticed an audience anymore than she would've.
When Carlisle finally came to a stop, it was too soon for Esme. He gently lowered her back into the wheelchair, a smile on his face.
"Thank you for the dance," he said politely. He took her hand and laid a soft kiss on the back of it. Esme blushed and this time, she was sure Carlisle noticed. He smiled even wider, showing his perfectly white teeth.
Carlisle pushed her back to the hospital. It was getting late, and for the first time since coming to the hospital, Esme felt like she could really sleep.
He helped her back into bed and laid the blankets over her.
"Goodnight Esme," he whispered to her. Carlisle turned to leave.
"Wait," Esme called. He spun around, looking back to her. "I had a lovely time tonight," Esme told him. "Thank you, so much."
"You're welcome," Carlisle replied with a dip of his chin. He smiled again. "Goodnight."
Esme watched his back as he exited the door, closing it most of the way.
"Goodnight," Esme whispered after him. I think I may be more than just "smit", Esme thought. I think I might be in love with you. But he was leaving. He'd said so. He was going to Chicago. She would lose him.
Esme took one last glance towards the door and then closed her eyes.
'And they go dancin'
Around and around without any cares
And her very first true love is holding her close
And for a moment she isn't scared…'
A/N2: I don't usually make two author's notes, but I wanted to make some comments after you read this too. I know the end is a lot like the prom in Twilight, but hey, Edward has to have gotten it from somewhere, right?
I'm just making a comment on an anonymous review here since we're not supposed to post A/N seperately. I understand this might be a bit confusing trying to figure out the time period. In the series, Stephenie Meyer says that Carlisle actually met Esme before he changed her. He was working in a hospital in Columbus, Ohio when Esme fell out of a tree and broke her leg. Carlisle was her doctor, but he left about a week later to move to Chicago where he would find Edward during the Spanish Influenza. This meeting between Carlisle and Esme took place around 1905. Carlisle would change Esme about nine years later in 1924. This story, obviously, takes place during 1905 when Esme is still sixteen. I hope this clears some things up. But if it only makes you more confused, I am sorry and you can always PM me on my profile.So you really have to review so I don't torture you with more One-Shots if I suck at it. I'm usually a novelist rather than a short-story writer. Just look at the length of this thing! So really, Review! I have flying monkeys and I'm not afraid to use them!
I'm just making a comment on an anonymous review here since we're not supposed to post A/N seperately.
I understand this might be a bit confusing trying to figure out the time period.
In the series, Stephenie Meyer says that Carlisle actually met Esme before he changed her. He was working in a hospital in Columbus, Ohio when Esme fell out of a tree and broke her leg. Carlisle was her doctor, but he left about a week later to move to Chicago where he would find Edward during the Spanish Influenza. This meeting between Carlisle and Esme took place around 1905. Carlisle would change Esme about nine years later in 1924.
This story, obviously, takes place during 1905 when Esme is still sixteen.
I hope this clears some things up. But if it only makes you more confused, I am sorry and you can always PM me on my profile.So you really have to review so I don't torture you with more One-Shots if I suck at it. I'm usually a novelist rather than a short-story writer. Just look at the length of this thing! So really, Review! I have flying monkeys and I'm not afraid to use them!