A/N: Hi guys, I'm here with an alterate ending to a super, mega, awesome story called 'Without You,' by True Immortality. A fabulous author and queen of angst, whom of which I truly admire. I suggest you go and read 'Without You,' before you go ahead and read this because it wouldn't make sense. Not only has TI inspired this melancholy piece, but also beta'd it. TI worked though all my grammatical errors and careless mistakes, to make it perfect. And perfect it is!
It is set just after Chapter 40/36. You'll figure it out you're all smart cookies.
Here's the story link, http : // www. fanfiction. net /s/ 4946312 /1/ Without _ You, just take out the spaces lovies.
Songs Inspiring me to write this; "Let The Flames Begin - Paramore", "Permanent - David Cook" (go listen, it's awesome), "I'll Be Seeing You - Billie Holiday", "Palladio - eScala", "Dark Waltz - Hayley Westenra", "Black Dress - Kisschasy", "If Tomorrow Never Comes - Damien Leith", "I'd Hate To Be You When People Find Out What Song This Is About - Mayday Parade", "Conspiracy - Paramore", "Time Is Running Out - Muse", "Hallelujah - Paramore", "Until Tomorrow - Paramore." All fabulous songs.
Sorry for the long Author's note.
So here it is. Read, Enjoy, Review.
The whole family had gathered now, and we were finally united. It was one of the best feelings in the world; I had been without them all for far too long and to see them again was just mind-blowing.
Through the threats and the battles, we were still here, together for what could be the final time.
The room we were sitting in was stuffy and small, difficult to comfortably occupy all eight of us. Bella's scent was swirling around the small space and was enough to make most of us uneasy, as our eyes were all coal-black.
It was the same room in which I had been restrained before, the metal operating table still there, reinforced steel restraints and all. We had to put all that to the back of our minds, because the decision we had to make was the biggest of our entire existence. I looked upon my family and saw the melancholy and, most of all, fear, in their eyes. Adelaide had now discovered the entire truth of our family, our diet, our true mates, and our powers.
She wanted the strongest army possible to overthrow the Volturi, and she didn't have the strength to risk the attack she had taken so long to plan, to become void because of – what she would call – unnecessary extra baggage. Edward, Alice, Jasper and Bella had all been threatened to join her army, as had I for reasons I cannot fathom. She looked condescendingly at Rosalie and Emmett and even more viciously toward Esme and the fury that bubbled within me was very apparent to even the most seemingly oblivious.
Adelaide already knew the lack of fear I had for my own life and the witch was using that to her advantage. She had said that if we joined her army, the others would be spared and free to live around Volterra once she was in power. If we refused, she would kill . . . my dear Esme. When we had heard this we were all ready to attack before we were hit with a not-so-subtle reminder that we were significantly outnumbered.
It was now late afternoon in our stuffy little room, and the silence was consuming--until Esme broke it.
"I'll go," she spoke nervously, her eyes cast downward as if the floor had become the most interesting thing in the world. Her comment was acknowledged by a loud chorus of 'No's' and long strings of profanity.']
In my mind, I was screaming, but I tried to be calm. "Sweetheart, we can't do that. You are too precious for us to lose...for me to lose. If anything was happen...I just can't lose you. It's not an option." It truly was not a choice.
"But you are going to continue to refuse to join Adelaide's army, correct?"
"Of course. I will take no part in anything so pointless, so violent, or so dangerous. It's my priority to keep you all safe, by any means necessary." I took a breath. "You will not be a sacrifice to her own selfish needs." Gently, I lifted her chin with my thumb and forefinger, to look into her eyes to let her know I was absolutely serious.
"Then we fight," the determination in Emmett's voice was overwhelming. There was a fire in his eyes as he looked at Rosalie, the need to protect her burning in his dark orbs. He had the support of Jasper and Edward as they were nodding their heads silently, stealing glances at their loved ones.
Alice looked broken when she stared at Emmett. "I'm afraid the odds are all in their favor. They are too powerful for us, we would never win."
"Is there any chance at all, Alice?" Rosalie begged. "Are we going to
get out of this?"
Alice just shook her head solemnly and replied, "Those are our only choices, and they will stick by their decisions."
"We have one more option," Bella was quiet until just then. "But it's not pretty." Her chocolate orbs were now near black as the dark thoughts crossed her mind. She looked up to face each of us. "We die together."
I tried to let the words Bella had just spoken sink in when Edward began arguing. He held Bella's shoulders, squeezing her possibly a bit too tight.
"No Bella, you cannot die because of us. You are going to live a long happy life without me, with someone who can make you happier than I could ever could." His voice was constricted as he went on. "You will have children and get grey and old, and die peacefully with your husband and your children by your side. You will not die with me. Not now."
"Edward, listen to me." Bella shook his hands off her shoulders and grabbed his face in between her delicate hands, looking him straight in the eye. "I am going to die eventually, whether you like it or not, and I get to choose who I want to be with. I want to be here with you. I cannot be happy with anyone else but you and our family. I will never be able to live without you, as you well know." Like Edward's, her voice was thick with emotion. "I can't live without any of you and be expected to be happy. We'll stay together, you promised, remember? You swore! You and me, we stay together through whatever happens after this life. Okay?" Her eyes were glassy and the salty tears began to streak down her cheeks. "I love you so much; I just can't be separated from you. Not again. Never again."
"No, Bella, you can't be damned to this!"
"I was damned the first time I met you! You even said so yourself. And I do not care how I die, as long as I have you." There was fierceness in her eyes that I hadn't seen before. She was adamant about her decision and she wasn't going to budge.
"That's absurd! Carlisle, please convince her that this is preposterous."
All eyes fell upon me. This was always the hardest part. I was left to make the decision. I was the one they counted on. Not everyone will agree with me, but I had to do what was best for my family.
"I'm sorry Edward, but Bella is right. We cannot be separated and we cannot live without losing anyone. Surrender is our only option. We must stick together as a family, stand together when they try to take us down. Then when all is said and done, we will still be together as one entity in whatever God chooses for us after our time has been spent on Earth." The words felt unreal as they left my lips, but I meant every one of them. "That is all any of us could wish for in a time of such despair." By the end of my speech I had
closed my eyes, frightened to see the reaction on the faces of everyone, praying silently for mercy. It was too quiet; I opened my eyes to see them still staring at me, no anger present in their faces. We were all in agreement.
I looked down at my wife, a choking sadness reflected in both our eyes. I bought my hand up to caress her cheek and she leaned into my touch, closing her eyes, mouth parted ever so slightly. Worry lines appeared to be permanently etched in her forehead and with the pad of my thumb on my other hand, I tried to rub them away.
She opened her eyes and I was struck once more with the depth of sadness present in her eyes. I cupped her face in both my hands and leaned down to kiss her. I brushed against her lips twice, before my lips tenderly crashed onto hers. In the small kiss, I let all the passion and love I had for her escape, so she knew how much I loved her and she replied with the same amount of passion. I pulled away and rested my forehead against hers.
"I love you," she whispered.
"As I love you," I huskily whispered back. "So much darling. So much." I moved from my position, now standing and facing the family, all breaking away from their private moments. I nodded to them and they made a flying V behind me with my wife at my side. I reached out and twisted the door handle, ready to face our unhappy ending.
In our case, instead of 'happily ever after,' it would be more along the lines of 'Let the flames begin.'
We walked out in tight formation and Adelaide turned with her hands on hips, a smug smile engraved on her blood red lips. The smell of gasoline permeated the air. "Your decision Carlisle?"
"We will not join your army, Adelaide."
"I see." A flash of disappointment crossed her face, but was replaced quickly by a grin worthy of the devil. "Light the fire, make it nice and hot for Esme," she ordered her men.
"I don't know," Esme's voice feigned uncertainty. "What do you guys think? Will that be enough?" She said as she turned to us.
"No, I think she needs to give us all she's got," I replied.
"Us?" Adelaide hissed. She was shocked to say the least. Had she thought I would give up Esme so quickly? Not a chance.
"Yes Adelaide, you heard correctly. Using one of us as a sacrifice for your little game just doesn't sit well. Fighting will do no wonders for any of us, we were bound to lose someone anyway, and we couldn't have that, either. Having to live without one another isn't an option for us." I stared the woman right in the eyes. Esme held my hand as I spoke. "We refuse to participate and this leaves us with no choice. Your actions will destroy many, if not all of us. So we decided to make it easier for you. We will all die together at your hands, trying to keep the sanity left in our world, trying to avoid the bloodbath that would have been sure to ensue. To save all the people who would have suffered at your expense because of your greed and ambition for power, we will die with one another, we know it will be painful. But having our family beside us, knowing that we tried--" My voice almost faltered, but Esme squeezed my hand, giving me strength. "We could never have asked for a better way to die."
Adelaide sneered, her lovely face made ugly by her malice. "Such lovely last words, Doctor Cullen. Surrender. What a noble way to die, you know, stick up the white flag and cowering in the corner without so much as a bruise to my ego. You ought to be ashamed. People will find out about the way you didn't even fight to survive, how you welcomed your oncoming doom with open arms. Is that really how you want to go, without presenting me with a challenge?"
"We stick by our decision Adelaide, nothing you can say will make us change our mind." Murmurs of agreement came from the rest of the family.
"Shame," Adelaide mused and walked toward the doorway. She picked up the red fuel can and spilled behind her as she stalked over to the doorway. She motioned her men toward the other cans, which they picked up and carelessly threw around the warehouse, dousing it completely with the liquid as they followed Adelaide to the doorway. Blaise was nowhere to be seen; I hoped he had escaped his former mate's insanity.
Adelaide struck a match that had been earlier confiscated from Jasper and raised one shaped eyebrow toward us. "Goodbye." Her tone was deep and she felt no remorse as she dropped the match. The blue flame scattered throughout the warehouse, dirty orange flames following in its wake. It grew hot and if it had been possible, I would have been sweating. Through the flames that were now at least five and a half feet high and still climbing, I made out the many figures of Adelaide's army peel away. It was twilight now, and the last rays of sunshine, of light, were falling behind the rocky horizon. There were eight clear beams fading from the silhouette.
It was like us in a way, eight lives falling behind the horizon together, knowing in someway that they would rise once more. On that one-day, we will find each other again. I looked toward Adelaide and saw her face falter; what was once a face full of anger, hatred and lack of remorse, was now a face of pity and regret. Our eyes locked and with a nod she turned slowly, retreating into the shadows of the night.
I was at the centre of the family and my wife placed at my left. The rest of my family stood in a line on either side of me. We were all holding hands – holding on to the only happiness we had left – and I looked upon each face belonging to my family members. I remembered the happiest times I had spent with them. This is how I wanted to remember them, and in the future this is what I must see when I come across them once more.
I then faced my wife with both an eagerness and reluctance; the eagerness to see Esme's beautiful face, the face of my wife of so many years, but I looked with reluctance as I was afraid of what I would see there. I was afraid that I would see how I couldn't give her the happy eternity she so rightly deserved.
As I gazed into her dark eyes, she grabbed my hand a little tighter, and I remembered everything. I remembered the first time I saw her as a lively sixteen year-old girl, when I found her years later, battered and broken in the morgue. How she had looked on our wedding day, how her face would light up each time she was called mom. I remembered each day we'd had together, holding each other. I remembered each intimate touch we shared, ones that will always be treasured.
I looked down at our entwined hands, laced like a perfected harmony in the most hauntingly beautiful melody ever heard. She used our hands to make me face her again. She dropped my hand as she squeezed it again, giving me a weak smile, her eyes piercing through me.
"Wherever you go, I will always follow," she whispered hoarsely. I gave a stern nod of my head and looked forward at the flames.
In unison, we stepped toward death.
As the flames engulfed us, the pain seared through me almost immediately. I had to be strong one last time; I had to reassure them, to make up for the times I couldn't be there for them. So I didn't scream, but above my thoughts, the mangled, blood-curdling screams of pain echoed through the otherwise empty warehouse. I spent my life fighting against my natural instinct; saving people instead of killing them. Strangers. Though when it came down to it, I couldn't even save the ones who mattered most to me. Family.
The one scream I heard most was my Esme's. I couldn't stand it, for that was the worst sound in the entire universe – hearing Esme's pain.
My pain grew ten fold.
The last memory I would ever hold onto is hearing her scream, being unable to save her, to save any of my children, knowing I had failed as their protector. I let myself be taken freely by the flames, hoping it would take my agony away and replace it with its own. The flames were all around each of us, the sickly sweet smell of vampire and the salty, rubbery smell of burning flesh filled my nose as I let death take over life.
Centuries ago, they lived, and on their deathbeds wished to be kept away from the polished rock of the gravestone, wishing for something to make them happy; for that shred of sunlight to keep them alive instead of falling behind the horizon – unbeknownst to them all that they would be saved. They would find that happiness. And one day, they would stare their deaths straight in the face and die beside the ones they truly loved, that happiness they had been searching for – the light that brings twilight, – for the fear that
they could not live without them. Then, when they think back, no matter how agonizing their deaths were, the gravestone offered so many years ago would still be of no interest to them.