Here's the battle you've been waiting for. SM owns, I'm just playing with her barbies.
Chapter 10 – The Battle of Forks
We knew the clearing was our best shot, Alice had seen the fight in a few different locations, but the distractions and unsure surroundings worked against us. Our best chance was out in the open. As a group, we moved there in the late evening, getting to work.
To head them off, and make sure the battle happened where we needed it to, we knew we'd have to spend the night there. Benjamin helped create burrows with some of the men that were more accepting of the werewolves, so they had cover for when the Volturi walked past them. It would be too risky having them run through the woods behind them after they'd entered the clearing, because most animals would not approach a group of sixty vampires.
Once we were all on the other side of the clearing, we were able to sense their presence as they took their positions and began to wait out the Volturi.
The time was nearing, night turning to dawn. Alice was stone still as the visions hit her like waves crashing along the beach. Liam and Maggie were sticking close to her in case one of the members of the Volturi Guard noticed her non-responsiveness.
"They're here," she whispered to us, Emmett's mutter about déjà vu not bringing us any comfort as they broke through the tree line.
Aro was in front, surrounded closely by Marcus and Caius. An imposing woman that I recognized as Renata from our visit to Volterra was close behind him, her eyes scanning us. The members of the guard that we knew by name were spread out behind them, with another seventeen we did not know about. Carlisle must have noticed the wives because Edward whispered to me who they were, but the others were a mystery.
They moved as a unit, their heads facing forward as their capes in varying shades of gray swept against the ground, the only movement noticeable to us.
Eleazar was searching for a power we weren't aware of, but just as he discovered the secret about the only other guard member wearing the dark gray that was worn by the twins I felt the dread hit like a lead ball in my gut and a panicked commotion broke out behind me.
"Bella, we are so happy to see you again. I did not know if you would receive our note as it was sent through normal channels. Or if the Cullens would pass it along to you."
"My family wouldn't lie to me, Aro," I hissed.
"No need for hostility, my child. But they are keeping so many things from you." Aro took a step forward, leaving him closer to me than Edward was, but I couldn't back away and show any feelings of weakness. "They're withholding a better way of life for you, one where you're not left to worry about what you hunt. Your allergy isn't a weakness, it's a sign that you're feeding on inferior prey."
"I'm not so used to this life that I can't remember what it is like to be human, I can't kill them when there is another way."
I glanced behind me to see everyone standing around, like they did the day Zafrina first saw us in the Amazon, it was then that I registered the mist, and the fact that my shield was not stretched back to keep them safe. The strain I felt was the building dread. This would not end well if I didn't find a way to turn the tide in our favor again. My anger at Aro and his clan grew, the fact that he thought he could strong arm me into being loyal to him was ridiculous. It was then that I noticed the multiple pairs of eyes that were narrowed at me.
"It's not working, is it? I've been weakened, but I'm still not bending to your will. This must be a new experience with all your little pets so eager to please their master." My eyes narrowed at Jane just as I heard the scream from behind me. I didn't need to turn to see that she was using her power on Edward. This was about to end. And that bitch would die by my own hands.
"They don't all have to die," Caius spoke. "But if you push the issue, we will save Edward for last, that way you can see the terror in each other's eyes as he is torn apart."
That was it; I huffed a final, unnecessary breath and whispered, "Fine."
I felt the pressure from the myriad of attacks lessen and used the moment to push my shield back, until it protected Edward. He lay still on the ground after Jane's attack, but in a split second, he brought about the change we so desperately needed.
"She's only going to turn out like Marcus, a shell of her former self," Edward spoke, the shock of the Guard clear as he was no longer stricken by Alec's gift. "That's what happens when you kill someone's mate. Did you learn nothing from murdering your sister?"
Marcus' eyes were wide as he looked to Aro, who did nothing to hide the fact that he did what Edward said he had. A blank expression overtook his face again for the briefest of moments before his hands were on Aro's head, tearing it from his body.
The disbelief within the Volturi's numbers was all we needed for our side to tip the scale. Aro's head flew in our direction, but before Marcus could inflict any more damage, Renata had him in pieces, the awful screeching sound echoing around the clearing, just as the roar of the wolves rang out.
Jake and the young gray and white wolf each charged into the clearing from opposite sides, taking out the nearest targets. As the younger wolf took out the vampire that Alice had warned us about, the one as important to Aro as the twins, Jake tore into Alec sending the Guard into a panic.
The rest of the pack came out, Jared and the tan wolf making quick work of the wives, while the rest took out some of the Volturi's numbers, forcing them forward.
Caius was the only one to turn back, baffled by the wolves and running to face them as he had centuries before.
The fighting began, and everything became a blur. Strikes were opportunities, if you were able to make contact then great, but lingering for a kill was risky, so we had to wait for the perfect moment to finish someone off.
The first of these moments came when Zafrina used her power to disorient Afton and make him lose concentration long enough to become visible again. She finished him quickly, but Chelsea noticed, running at Zafrina only to have Eleazar knock her down. Her head and arms were discarded before he moved. We knew better than to stay still, our backs never turned to them and it was clear that while the Guard was used to killing, they were not prepared for opposition.
Two more screeches ricocheted off the trees and then I saw Corin's body fall at my feet, Peter beside me. I kept trying to keep tabs on my family, but the devastation was easier to notice.
I ran forward, taking one of the Guard members down, Benjamin right there to finish him, as I kept moving.
A loud growl turned to cry as the gray and white wolf was crushed and bitten by Felix, the venom starting the process of poisoning him, which would stop his heart in the next few seconds.
As soon as Felix stepped back from the young wolf, Jasper was there to knock his head off his body. James whistled, shaking me from my grief and clearing me out of Demetri's path.
Finally, the battle between the two trackers could be settled as they squared off, taunting one another before Jane used her gift to take out Victoria. The second that her scream rang out was all that Demetri needed as both James and Victoria were turned to rubble.
With her attention occupied, I saw my chance and flew over, tackling Jane to the ground and sinking my teeth into her neck, giving her my own kiss of death before Edward's snarl brought me back to the moment.
My personal kill had left me vulnerable too long and Demetri had only been feet from me when Edward landed a foot to his side, severing his arm before using it like a bat to crack his skull in two.
The Volturi was shrinking before our eyes, but not without some causalities of our own. An earth shattering series of growls, howls, and the finite sound of vampire flesh being shredded left the final Volturi leader in pieces, two wolves by his side on the ground, one of them alive, but very broken.
My concentration had been on the injured wolf, who appeared to be Paul, when I felt the collision. Before I could fight, Heidi vanished from above me, Tanya already standing from the pieces of what used to be the Volturi's bait for luring humans to their deaths.
As I lost my focus, a very different fight took place across the clearing.
One of the guard members had surprised Esme, Rosalie stepping in before any harm could come to the woman who was as close to a mother to us all, but Santiago caught her, snapping Rose's body in two a second before Emmett got there to destroy the man that had killed his mate.
An unexpected kill behind us had Garrett standing over Vladimir, his hands up in surrender. All he said was, "I wasn't going to risk one tyrant for another."
With the fighting over, we surveyed the area, trying to make sense of the dead. Esme and Emmett cried over Rosalie while the rest of us worked, collecting what was left of our enemies and setting them on fire.
Once that was done, a second smaller fire was set. The wolves had left, taking Paul back to the reservation with Carlisle's promise that he would be there soon to tend to his injuries.
The Romanians, Vladimir and Stefan were the first to be burned, as there wasn't much love for them within the European covens, even though they stood beside us in this instance. Mary and Alistair were next, a quiet thank you said for their sacrifice.
Next, we added James and Victoria to the pyre. A couple that, while odd, had kept me out of harm's way during the battle. Benjamin and Tia burned Amun and Kebi, their faces stoic as they watched the fire grow.
The grayish purple smoke was thick when Esme and Emmett carried what was left of Rosalie to be burned at the edge of the fire. Our family huddled close, the Denalis near as we said goodbye to a sister, a daughter, and a friend.
"It should have been me," Esme whispered as she took Emmett's hand.
"No, Esme, Rosalie did this for all of us," Emmett comforted her.
Edward sighed as he took his moment to honor his sister. "Rosalie was never one to show her emotions easily, but she was fiercely protective of us all. That was how she showed her love for us." Edward said, "She defended Bella when she was just the girl I'd brought home part way through her change. She was so mad at me for taking what I did from you, but hopefully now she can finally rest."
"Go in peace, Rose, the daughter of our heart," Carlisle said as Esme turned to cry on his shoulder.
I stared at the flames, unable to say anything at the moment that I felt wouldn't make it worse. I had never been to too many funerals and I was always worried about saying the wrong thing.
Just as quickly as it had started, it ended. Those who were left of the covens that had fought for the survival of not only our family, but also the end of the Volturi's quest for power said goodbye. Knowing that times may arise when we would need to deal with those who broke our kind's rules, only without the ulterior motives that Aro and his clan had, the various clan leaders agreed that if the time came, we would meet again to protect our way of life.
Randall was the first to leave, saying a quick farewell to Carlisle before he went. Benjamin and Tia were next, needing time to adjust to the loss of Amun and the possibilities that life on their own would mean. Though I had a feeling we would see them again.
After a word with Jasper, Charlotte and Peter said their goodbyes, and Carlisle left to look after Paul.
The remaining seventeen of us went back to the Cullen home to try to process what we'd just witnessed. There wasn't much talking once we arrived, and after Carlisle returned with a good prognosis for Paul, the Irish coven left.
Emmett spent the entire night in his and Rosalie's room, but none of us knew what to say or do for him. The mated pairs among us held each other, but not in a way to draw attention for it. The need to be close was hard to resist after what we had lived through.
When morning came, the Amazonians took their leave, making us promise to visit them again. Their friendship was one I was eager to keep going; Zafrina had come to be such a dear friend through the last two months.
By noon, it was only our extended family and two wanderers who seemed to have found themselves a pair of succubi. When the Denalis left, Garrett and Laurent were by their sides and we made plans to visit them in a year, once everyone had been able to come to terms with their grief a little.
Emmett was the first to leave, promising to check in once a month so that we knew he was well as he went hunting the world's largest and most dangerous prey. He needed the sport, and we were happy to see him finding a constructive way to channel his loss. If there was one of us strong enough to live through the death of a mate and continue with our love and support to see him through, it was Emmett.
Alice and Jasper left shortly after, using the information James had given Alice during his time with us to search out her history and gets to know her human life. Their first stop was Mississippi.
Carlisle took Esme to her island, hoping the sun and privacy would distract her from her pain and for her sake, I hoped it did.
That left Edward and I alone in the house in Forks, knowing we couldn't stay, but unable to take that next step. We'd been fighting since the moment we'd met, and it was over, leaving us at a loss for what was our happily ever after. We packed bags and got ourselves ready to leave, with no idea where to go.
This was the house where I'd experienced my change, where Rosalie had first fought to defend me, something she did until her death. The tearless sobs ripped through my chest as Edward held me closely as I cried for those we'd lost. The people who had died to preserve my freedom.
When the tears subsided, I felt Edward's lips on my temple.
"We don't have to leave yet, we can stay here for a little while," Edward reassured as we sat on the couch in his bedroom.
"Is there anywhere you want to go, or that we should go?" I asked, not used to being asked simply for my preference.
"Bella, there's no limit. The world is ours," Edward purred in my ear.
"I like the sound of that," I admitted, excited to explore the world with Edward by my side.
a/n: The epilogue will be in Em POV and will follow his ability to cope with life without Rosalie. I'm interested to hear what you thought of my Volturi showdown, so for the second to the last time in this fic, leave some love.