Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Have you ever wondered what happened after the showdown with Victoria in Eclipse? Between the end of that battle and the wedding in August, there are almost two months of the summer where we don't know what our favorite vampire family is up to. This is my take on what could have happened.
The night Rosalie reveals her back-story in Eclipse, Bella has a nightmare where she is crawling down a street with an angel watching her every move. What if that dream had been a little different? What if it had been the catalyst for an irreversible change in Bella's relationship with Rosalie? Three weeks later, one week after the battle with Victoria, a tentative friendship is cemented between the two when the rest of the family takes a weekend hunting trip. Bella and Rosalie bond over shared pain and dreams, but when the Cullens return from their trip, the new friendship tears the family apart. While trying to save their own fledgling relationship, Bella and Rosalie must decide if they have the strength to prevent their family from falling into ruin. But who must be sacrificed for the benefit of the rest and who commits the ultimate betrayal?
Most of the action is told from either Bella's or Rosalie's POV, but each of the Cullens do act as narrator for at least a few sections.
First and foremost, this fic tells how a friendship between Rosalie and Bella could have developed, but it also serves as an exposé of the Cullen family as a whole. As they face their own insecurities and fears, Bella and Rosalie begin to realize their family is not as flawless and perfect as they thought. Journey with them as they discover the roots of these imperfections and try to rescue the family from ruin before it is too late.
This fic, however, also serves another purpose. As readers of the series, we may often form opinions of Rosalie early on that are difficult to break, even as new information concerning her character is introduced later in the series. Often, even in Breaking Dawn, Rosalie is seen as a self-serving ice queen, but there is so much more to her character than that. I hope, though this piece of fiction, to explore the characterization of Rosalie Hale in order to rescue the humanity of which I think she is all too often deprived. As perhaps the most often misjudged and flawed Cullen, Rosalie must be considered as more than just an ice queen. Only after delving past that initial layer of icy indifference can one truly begin to appreciate her actions.
This chapter begins with a retrospective by Rosalie about one month after the battle with Victoria (July 11), but then switches back to my version of the action of May 31. That night (Eclipse- Chapter 7- Unhappy Endings) Rosalie related her story to Bella. Esme, Rosalie, and Alice are all home, watching over Bella while the boys are out on a hunting trip.
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Happy reading. ^_^
RPOV- Thursday July 11
I wondered how one seemingly insignificant human had managed to change my entire life in matter of days. How had she wormed her way into my heart? How had she made me see, made the others see, what we had been blind to for decades?
She had laid us bare, delving deeper than we dared –deeper than we knew was possible. She had seen behind the masks, seen beyond the pretenses and lies, down to the heart of the matter. Where others would have turned away, she carried on, even when she herself had nothing left to give.
Never in my existence did I ever once imagine I would find myself beholden to a mere slip of a girl who had trouble walking on a flat surface without the risk of causing herself great harm. Never would I have believed that she, who I had at one time hated and looked at with untold envy, would be the key to my peace.
And yet, while I knew I owed her more than I could ever repay, she seemed to want no recompense, save for the assurance of a whole family. How could I deny her what I had spent my time of eternity fighting for? How could I deprive her of that which I so desperately craved?
I never would have believed that two people could be worlds apart, in upbringing, in personality, in virtues and in vices, and still long for the same thing. We were so different, but at the core, we were astonishingly similar.
A month ago, I would have scoffed at the idea of her as a trusted confidant, as a friend, as a sister, but I now knew and relished that to me she was all three. I would have been ashamed to admit that I needed her, but now I would gladly walk through fire to ensure she never left me.
Even now, knowing so much more than I did at the time, I am still momentarily stunned at what she went through for me, for all of us, and what she sacrificed to make us whole again.
Looking back now, it seems so appropriate that my salvation began in the same place I was so sure my life had ended– a nightmare on the streets of Rochester.
BPOV- Thursday May 31 (Eclipse Chapter 7 Unhappy Endings)
It had only a few hours since Rosalie had revealed her past to me, since we had tried to form that first tenuous familial bond. Edward was out for a quick hunt with Carlisle, Emmett and Jasper. Rosalie, Alice and Esme stayed behind as my wardens, Alice claiming I needed a girl's weekend.
If I weren't so worried about what was going on in Seattle, I might have been more incensed at being guarded and watched like a mischievous toddler, but as it were, I was comforted to have four vampires acting as sentries over my sleep.
For a night spent without the comfort of Edward's embrace, I was having remarkably pleasant dreams. I was in the meadow with Edward, just gazing into his topaz eyes. The breeze curled around us, enveloping me with his sweet scent and warm, moist air.
But without warning, Edward disappeared and a strange sort of mist curled around me; I was instantly terrified. I had come to realize the mist was a warning sign of coming pain, the ripping open of the newly closed hole in my chest. The meadow faded into pitch black darkness, the only sound, a sort of dull, hollow, thumping from my feet as I shuffled from side to side, trying to find some source of light.
Menacing laughter sounded, but it was muffled. I spun wildly, trying to discover the source of the sound. The mist began to let up, but the laughter grew louder and louder, sounding oddly familiar, in a bone-chilling sort of way. It didn't take me long to figure out why.
As quickly as it had appeared, the mist dissipated completely and I instantly recognized the scene. I was back in the ally in Port Angeles and the laughter was coming from the men who had tried to attack me.
I stood rooted to the spot, unable to even breathe. I waited, terrified, for Edward to appear and save me as before. But they just got closer and closer, touching me, manhandling me, leaving me no room for escape. Just when I was prepared to finally let out a scream, something pulled me from their grasp.
I was behind a cold, firm presence and I immediately assumed it was Edward. When blonde hair swirled in front of me, confusion replaced relief.
"You wont touch her," sneered Rosalie's bell like voice.
She stood between them and me, like an avenging angel. I could almost imagine downy wings on her back and a halo above her blonde curls. The men leered at her, lunging as if to attack, but she was faster and more powerful, easily dispatching them one by one. I gasped as their blood left crimson stains on the pavement and on Rosalie's hands.
Even in my shocked state, I was glad for her presence, but I still could not understand why Rosalie, of all people, had come to save me, and I had no time to dwell on it.
Rosalie turned as if to look at me, but before she could face me completely, she froze, her whole body tensing. I whirled around, squinting into the darkness, seeing nothing, which frightened me more.
She began to back away, passing me with a look of terror on her face I'd never seen before. I blinked and then gasped. Her eyes were no longer amber, but a stormy shade of violet and there was a flush to her cheeks. The scenery changed along with her appearance, taking on the look of a time long since past.
I heard footsteps coming closer and closer, and I moved, remaining motionless once I was behind her, having no idea what was coming. Rosalie didn't even seem to notice me anymore. She appeared to be on the verge of hyperventilating.
Out of the shadows stepped the figures of five men, one seeming to lead the rest. They were speaking, but I couldn't understand the words or see their faces. They were in a sort of haze.
Rosalie continued to back up, and just when she should have bumped into me, it seemed as though she passed right through me, as though I wasn't even there.
The faceless man had surrounded her now, pawing at her as my attackers had done. Their hands were like claws, ripping at her.
"No!" I screamed, but it seemed no one heard me.
"No! Stop it!" I tried again, running to shove the men away from her, but again, I passed right through.
Rosalie's terrified cries tore through me. She was scared, pleading for the pain to stop, but the men just kept up their horrifying assault.
The tore at her clothing, ripping the fabric to shreds, and exposing what I now understood to be her human body to their abuse. I was witnessing the event that led to Rosalie's transformation, but this seemed so much worse than her retelling of the story. It was truly a nightmare on the streets of Rochester.
Her cries grew in intensity and desperation as the leader of the faceless men forced himself on her. She shrieked in pain and agony.
I wanted to protect her from the onslaught, wanted to spare her the pain and suffering. I wanted to save her as she had saved me, but I was powerless to stop the scene before me.
"Stop! Don't hurt her!" I pleaded, with no effect.
He continued to abuse her already battered body while the other men pawed at her, like wild animals over a carcass.
When I thought I couldn't take anymore, her eyes locked with mine, holding such profound sadness I cried out in pain. She could see me. She knew I was there even if the others didn't and she knew I could do nothing to save her.
Unlike Rosalie, I couldn't be an avenging angel. But all the same, I had to try.
I rushed at the men; the first had apparently finished and another looked to be taking his place. I just couldn't bear to see her used like some empty vessel for their satisfaction.
"Please. She doesn't deserve this. Leave her alone!" I screeched desperately, willing them to hear the words and feel the force of my shoves.
Nothing worked. I had to watch, Rosalie's eyes locked with mine all the while, as the men continued their brutal assault of her body. One by one they took their turns and left their marks.
When I thought I could watch no more, the last took his turn, displaying far more violence than the rest. Rosalie managed to gather enough strength to try to run, but she slipped. I heard the deadening crack of her skull against the pavement, and watched horrified as the man continued to find his pleasure in her broken, and now freely bleeding body.
"Why? Why her? Hasn't she suffered enough?" I called to no one in particular, having now given up on making my voice heard by her attackers. "Please, PLEASE, no more!"
I sobbed, watching her body writhe in pain, but I came up short when I realized the flailing of her limbs reminded me of a rag doll. Rosalie was giving up; she had no more fight in her. I could see her violet eyes clouding over with a haze from the pain and disbelief.
The last man finished, leaving her there in a pool of her own blood, laughing as he met up with the others; they sauntered out of the ally, never once looking back to see the destruction they had wrought.
Rosalie's breaths came out in painful rasps and wheezes. The blood continued to pool from the wound in her head, from her fingertips where she had clawed without effect at the ground and her attackers, and down her legs, as a testament to their brutal ravaging of her body.
Her breaths became more labored and her eyes regained enough focus to lock with mine one last time, and I knew then she was going to die in front of me. She was going to die because I had done nothing to save her.
"Noooooooo! Don't take her from me." I begged to whatever deity would listen. "Don't take my sister!"
Rosalie despised my very presence, of that much I was sure, but she was Edward's sister, and in my heart, that made her mine as well. I knew she was fighting for me, well for my humanity, even when I felt like she was fighting against me, and now she was dying because I wasn't strong enough to fight for her. It was my worst nightmare in the middle of hers. Was I going to have to watch my family systematically slaughtered because I was too weak to protect them?
I kept waiting for Carlisle to show up. That was how this story was supposed to end. He was supposed to save her. But as the minutes ticked by, I slowly realized Carlisle was not coming and Rosalie was going to die. She was never going to get her happy ending with Emmett.
I reached toward her, longing to provide some measure of comfort to the broken, bleeding girl dying in front of me. But just as my fingers would have touched her cheek, the light left her eyes and she dissolved before me.
I jolted awake, panting, my eyes, gummy from tears, focused momentarily on the moon beams illuminating Edward's ceiling before I vaulted out of bed, struggling to disentangle myself from the covers. I flew down the stairs to the second floor, my anxiety growing by the minute.
I couldn't find anyone, and most especially, I couldn't find Rosalie. It had to be a dream, but it felt too real for me to be convinced until I saw her golden, not lifeless violet, eyes glaring at me for disturbing her– before I could believe she hadn't just died in front of me.
RPOV - Same night
I sat curled up on the sofa, mimicking the position I usually had when sitting by my beloved Emmett. I slowly perused the pages of one of my many automotive magazines, wondering when we would be reunited. I had come down the stairs after having shared my past with Bella about two hours ago. I had tried to hard to not to frighten her, but I knew I had said too much. She'd been pale and shaking when I'd left her sitting on the couch in Edward's room.
Alice and Jasper had intertwined their limbs together on the small love seat. I wasn't quite sure where one ended and the other began at this point. Jasper had gone with the rest of the boys hunting, but returned quickly to spend more time with Alice. Ever since her almost demise in Volterra, Jasper had been reluctant to let her out of his sight for long.
Across the room, with blueprints scattered around her, worked Esme. She was planning some sort of renovation for the small cottage that rested within our property. I caught her looking at Alice, Jasper, and myself, no doubt thinking how much she loved her children.
I had to work hard to smother sudden feelings of resentment for Esme. Not only had she known the joys of motherhood as a human, albeit not for long, she also got to play mother as a vampire. Still, I had to remind myself, she was my mother and I was grateful to have her.
Thankfully, Alice tensed, her eyes glazing over, causing Esme to focus on her, instead of me. Less than thirty seconds passed before her eyes refocused and a soft smile played on her lips.
"What did you see dear?' Esme questioned.
"You'll see soon enough," she responded, sounding somewhat awed.
Esme didn't press anymore, she just pressed her lips together and returned to her work, though I could tell her mind was elsewhere. She kept glancing up, as though she could see the young girl who was sleeping two stories above her.
Bella Swan lay upstairs curled in a ball on Edward's sofa, refusing to even entertain the idea of sleeping on the new bed in his room. Edward felt better knowing she was with the family who stayed at home this weekend. Danger magnet didn't even begin to cover her attraction to all things dangerous and otherworldly.
My musings were interrupted by the rustle of the coverlet as Bella began to move, likely as a result of her dreams. Edward could justify his actions for all eternity, but I still thought it was a bit creepy that he watched her sleep. Though, I wished he were here if Bella's movements were a sign that she was about to be thrust into another nightmare.
Last week, one had her convinced that Alice had died at the hands of the Volturi during their rescue mission. It'd taken her all week to get over that one, and I still caught her watching Alice as though she expected her to disappear any second.
A whimpered protestation interrupted by thoughts.
"No, stop it."
I watched Esme look at Jasper for conformation of what we all knew was happening.
"She's absolutely terrified, but strangely determined and protective," he answered her unasked question. "I have no idea who she is dreaming about. It's a completely different mix of emotions than when she was dreaming about Alice last week."
Esme began to get up to go rouse Bella before the screaming began, but Alice, who had moved as soon as she was distracted, laid a hand on her forearm. Esme looked surprised, and she waited for Alice to explain.
"No Esme," she told her, "Let her be. It has to happen this way. It's important."
Esme resettled herself, but she didn't return to her work. I too stopped reading, even though I made it look like I was, and waited to see what was going to happen. I didn't have to wait long before Bella's weak cries sounded again.
"Stop! Don't hurt her."
"Please! She doesn't deserve this. Leave her alone."
As her pleas became more and more desperate, the thrashing became more pronounced and her heart began to beat erratically. Hearing her scream made me glad I couldn't have nightmares anymore. But then again, I didn't need to sleep to relive my personal nightmare. I had clung so viciously to that memory during my first few years of vampire life that even now it would strike me without warning and in perfect clarity.
I knew Esme was watching us, and I hated feeling like I was on display and under scrutiny. She was trying to gauge my reaction. Taking into consideration what I'd heard Bella whimper, and completely disregarding what Jasper had said, I had the feeling Bella was dreaming about Alice again. She didn't seem to understand that Alice was virtually indestructible. She was so blasted protective of Alice just because she was tiny.
Maybe that was what I needed to be– tiny and frail-looking. After all, as a statuesque blonde with a battle-axe attitude, no one ever thought about protecting me. I tried to hide my jealousy from Esme, but I knew she saw. She was the only one who ever saw, but even she didn't really understand.
I felt guilty that I was glad Bella's screams refocused Esme's attention off me. That was, until I realized she was dreaming about Alice again.
"Why? Why her? Hasn't she suffered enough?"
"Please, PLEASE, no more!"
"Noooooooo! No, don't take her from me!"
"Don't take my sister!"
I had enough time to school my face into a mask of indifference by the time Esme looked back to me. Bella Swan could dream about who ever she wanted to. It didn't make any difference to me, or at least, I tried to convince myself that I didn't care. I knew I would be the last person she would cry over and that bothered me more than I wanted to admit.
We all heard Bella's gasp as she awoke suddenly from her nightmare and her subsequent gasps for air to fill her heaving lungs anf calm her racing heart. What we did not expect was the sound of her feet hitting the floor and her racing around the second story, opening and closing doors and surprisingly not tripping.
I caught Esme looking at Alice for some sort of guidance, but she continued to smile and look expectantly at the threshold of the living room.
Bella's frantic search continued as she stumbled her way down the stairs. She flew into the living room, eyes red, wide with terror and desperation, huge tears rolling down her already wet cheeks. She looked around wildly, obviously trying to decide who was home.
I expected her to come running to either Esme or Alice for comfort, since she wasn't quite that comfortable with Jasper and I would probably be the last person she would want to hold her when she was upset.
Bella, however, surprised us all and she flung herself at my lap, gripping my waist as her sobs grew in volume and intensity.
Shock played over my face as well as Jasper's and of course Esme's. Jasper regained control first, which surprised me considering the emotional climate of the room. I could do nothing but stare at the sobbing human in my lap, completely baffled and very uncertain as to what to do next. I had to fight against the urge to dump her on the floor. Why would I want to comfort her after she dreamed of Alice? It was like pouring salt on an open wound.
"Bella," his calm voice soothed, "What's wrong? What happened?"
She took several deep breaths, interrupted by staccato hitches, before she could answer.
"They hurt her," she replied in anguish.
"Who did they hurt Bella? What has you so afraid?" Esme questioned, attempting discover the root of her terror.
Bella did not reply, but she gripped me harder, making me even more uncomfortable with her presence. For several minutes, everyone remained silent as Bella continue to sob. She calmed slightly through her own efforts and those of Jasper. Her swollen eyes opened and tears continued to stream down her cheeks. She trained them on my face, which thankfully was still frozen in my mask of indifference.
"They hurt you," she cried while looking at me. "They hurt you and I tried…I tired, I swear. I wanted to save you. You were suffering and it was wrong…so wrong. And I wanted…I wanted…" Bella began to stutter as the emotions started to overwhelm her again. "I tried," she wailed again, her eyes begging for understanding. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. This couldn't be right. Her dream was making her confused. It was Alice. It had to be Alice.
"But I couldn't. I couldn't save you…Oh god, it's all my fault, " she continued to sob. "They hurt you. I'm sorry. Please, I'm sorry…They wouldn't stop hurting you and then you were gone. I'm sorry…sorry… please…so sorry."
The longer she sobbed the harder it was to maintain my cold indifference; it continued wavering as Bella brokenly related her nightmare. I couldn't help it when my inner shock at this turn of events finally broke through my indifference. I looked to Jasper for help understanding the emotions of the sobbing girl in my lap. I had to be misinterpreting Bella's broken replies. That was the only reasonable explanation for all of this. Bella Swan was crying over Alice, not over me.
"Rose," he started and then stopped, taking a moment to compose himself. "Rose, she's still terrified and protective, but more so, she's remorseful and afraid, I think of your rejection. All her emotions are centered on you right now."
I couldn't stop the warm feeling that spread throughout me at his explanation. Bella Swan was crying over me. She had tried to protect me from something in her nightmare– me, not tiny Alice– and she was so upset because she thought something had happened to me, that someone had taken her sister.
I felt every bit a mother as I gather a still sobbing Bella in my arms. I placed her off to one side side, but gathered her close into a loving embrace. She burrowed her head into my neck, grasping fistfuls of my clothing her in shaking hands.
"They hurt you. I'm sorry, Rosalie. I tried. Please, I tried," Bella once again stuttered through her sobs and tears.
"Shhhhh. Shhhhh. No one has hurt me. I'm here. No one is going to take me," I cooed in an attempt to calm Bella, who clung to me tighter as I finally acknowledged her fear.
"But…but, oh Rosalie, they did. They hurt you so badly, and I just stood there and watched. I couldn't save you. I let them take my sister from me. They wouldn't stop and then you were gone," Bella managed to get out before she once again dissolved into body shaking sobs.
To hear her call me sister, knowing she was talking about me this time, made the feeling of contentment grow. No matter how I treated her in the past, Bella Swan considered me her sister and she was going to fight to protect me. At this moment, I could finally begin to understand her, because in so many ways she was like me- desperate to protect her family from anything that could hurt them. I gained a new respect for her, and I now felt obligated to soothe her fears.
I was touched that she tried to protect me, but I was Rosalie Hale; I had been protecting my family and myself for decades. It was Bella that needed protecting, and I felt it was my job more than ever to make sure she was, even if she didn't always understand what I was protecting her from.
I wiped away Bella's tears and stroked her chestnut hair, soothing her with whispered words and gentle hugs. I could see Bella beginning to succumb to her exhaustion and my ministrations. She buried her head further into my shoulder, apparently comforted by the coldness.
"She finally feels safe," Jasper whispered as Bella began to nod off. I felt her eyes slowly blink and then remain closed. The others watched, fascinated, like Edward, by Bella falling asleep.
We had achieved serenity again until Bella spoke once more, sending us all back into a flurry of emotions.
"No, you can't have her. She's mine," She mumbled caught between consciousness and her dream again as she gripped me tighter. "She's my sister…my Rose," Bella continued. And then, no louder than a sigh, we all heard "My angel."
I was a little stunned to hear Bella call me an angel, but I was too touched by her protectiveness to really think about it long.
"I'm going to take her back upstairs," I whispered. "I'll stay until she wakes up. It's my turn to protect her." And with that, I carried a now unconscious Bella up the stairs to Edward's room. I settled in next to her and before I whispered, "You sleep now. I'll keep the nightmares away. I'll protect you."
Even in her sleeping state, Bella acknowledged this promise.
"…love you Rosa…." She breathed.
"I love you too Bella. Sleep now." I was surprised by the sense of rightness that accompanied my declaration of love for Bella, but she had found a place in my heart tonight. It had been so long since anyone had thought to protect me and that such a desire to save me from more pain had come from this girl made me recognize how special she really was.
Bella deserved so much more than this half-life. She deserved to have children, to grow old and watch them start their own lives. I would make sure she had the chance, even if that meant I had to protect her from my own family.
Before tonight, I had really been fighting against Bella becoming part of the family because I'd somehow projected myself into her place. I'd been fighting for her how I wished someone had fought for me, as though that could somehow save me in retrospect. But now, I was really going to fight for her, because she needed someone to protect her best interests, even if she didn't know what they were.
If need be, I would make myself her enemy again, I would hurt her, and I would alienate myself from my family, but Bella Swan would never know the pain and longing I felt every day of my eternal existence. She deserved better, and I was going to make sure she got what she deserved.
* I apologize for those of you who find chronological inconsistencies in the remaining chapters. I am in the process of streamlining this story to fit seamlessly into canon chronology, which I did not do the first time I posted it, as I am submitting this story to Twilighted. The inconsistencies will become more pronounced in the later chapters, so please, bear with me as I go chapter by chapter to fix these errors. When I am finished, this story, hopefully, will fit within canon chronology without any breaks.
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