Life of a Salesman
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns all. I'm just playing with them.
Summary: Cullen Family Fluff! When a mysterious old man comes to the Cullen family door offering a strange bottle, will the Cullen's know what to do? AU, vampires, then human, then vampires, then…well, you get the idea.
Author's Note: I…umm…yeah. Needed some fluff. This should get very very fluffy.
There was a knock on the door. That within itself was strange. Esme and Carlisle had both told Jacob a long time ago to not even bother with knocking, to just come in. Of course, that assumed that he was not with their daughter, son, or grandchild as well on the doorstep. Or that it was Jacob and not another one of the wolves.
Carlisle raised an eyebrow and wondered if it was nothing more than the mail man or some poor delivery man again. Any one of his children or even his wife might have ordered something without informing him of the objects impending arrival. Although, that did also seem odd since the kids were normally so excited to have even the smallest trinket come to the house to amuse them. There was also the very simple fact this oldest son needed to be warned prior to any humans coming to the house. It was just a safety measure.
Standing to answer the door in a quick but human fashion, Carlisle placed his latest medical journal upon Esme's end table and went to the front door. He could barely detect the smell other than it most likely was a human. Upon opening the door, Carlisle became even more confused because there, upon his door step, was a strange looking fellow.
The man was old and crinkled to the point he looked more caricature than human. His big nearly toothless grin upon Carlisle's opening of the door was sure to make any human being take a step back. For Carlisle, it only made him more confused. The man was wearing dirty old rags for clothing that had various things pinned to it. The vestments reminded Carlisle of the beggers from his era, complete with the ragged old hat upon his head.
"May I help you?" Carlisle asked, unsure if the man with a cane upon his doorstep needed medical attention. Based upon the nearly toothless grin and the crooked back, most of his problems couldn't be helped any longer. The most Carlisle could do is help to prevent any further deterioration and, perhaps, prescribe some pain medication. Based on the knots upon the old man's knees and back, a lot of pain medication was in order.
"No, no help be needing by Old Man Godelot. Old Man Godelot be bringing help to you and your lot," the man stated, grinning all the while. His diseased gums would turn the stomach of any human but it only made Carlisle feel sorry for the old man.
"I'm afraid I don't understand," Carlisle stated, his brow furrowing as he tried to figure out what this man was after. Humans normally shied away from vampires instinctively unless this man was like his as his youngest daughter, Bella, had been when she was human and didn't have the necessary fear responders.
"An antidote be what Old Man Godelot be peddling," the man said as he slipped his hand into a pocket inside his tattered old coat. This made Carlisle nervous. The tall blond doctor didn't like the idea of someone selling drugs of any kind to anyone. He had seen enough examples of what drug abuse can do to a human's system over the years and had put many humans in the morgue when he couldn't save them. That drug laced with another, a bit of tonic –as it was called in the 19th century- that turned out to have dangerous levels of lead or something else, even the most seemingly harmless of medications –like cough syrup- could cause death if used incorrectly. Carlisle had seen it all and he wanted to prevent unnatural death like that as much a possible.
"If you are selling drugs or tonics of any kind," Carlisle began to say forcefully but kindly. The old man laughed and slapped his knee, finding the tall, handsome, vampire quite funny.
"You thinking that Old Man Godelot be trying to pull one over on you? Trying to trick you?" the man laughed. Taken back, Carlisle just looked at the clearly crazy individual. Perhaps a quick call to Charlie would be the direction to get this old man the help he clearly needed.
Grinning again, showing off those few teeth he had left, the old man pulled out a small bottle from his pocket. The bottle was lovely to behold! It was clearly crystal and very old. Carlisle wasn't sure where the old man had gotten a perfume bottle that exquisite from but he had to admit he doubted it was by legal means.
"This here will make your daughter's hair nice and long, given back to the other one all she thought was lost," the old man started. Carlisle's mouth twitched into a smile as he realized the type of tonic it most likely was. Nothing more than old-fashioned snake oil the likes of what hasn't been sold since the dawn of the 20th century. Harmless, for the most part, but certainly not a cure for anything.
"How much?" Carlisle asked. He wasn't interested in the snake oil at all, but only interested in helping this old man. If a few dollars would help him and the man felt he got a fair trade then what was one more pretty bottle upon Esme's vanity? Perhaps she'd even find a nice place upon one of the shelves for such a lovely bottle.
The old man's eyes glistened at the prospect of a sale. "Hard stuff to come by. Not much of it left," the old man said, scratching at his chin. Before Carlisle could offer up what he thought would be a fair price for the bottle, the old man jutted his cane out at Carlisle. "$100," he stated. The look on the mans face stated he was expecting some bargaining, but, considering that Carlisle was sure the bottle was worth twice that –thank goodness to paying some attention on those antiquing trips with his wife!- he gladly agreed. The old man would be able to get some new clothing and some help for at least a few days with that amount of cash, Carlisle hoped.
Taking the cash out of his wallet, Carlisle offered it to the man. "Would you like," Carlisle started as he felt the hundred dollar bill disappear from his hand. Looking up, the man, even his smell, was gone. This caused Carlisle to be very alarmed. Humans do not simply disappear. Vampires can, on occasion, move too quickly to be noticed, but humans are far too slow. Even the man's smell was gone, leaving only the pretty bottle on the doorstep with a simple tag stating "Drink Me". Alice, Carlisle's oldest daughter, would love that. Maybe the bottle would look better with her make up things?
Bewildered by the sudden disappearance of the man, Carlisle picked up the small crystal perfume bottle and brought it inside. Esme drew in by his side, smiling. "Who was that dear?" she asked sweetly before giving her husband a peck upon the cheek. Automatically, Carlisle's left arm went to encircle her waist.
"He said his name was Godelot," Carlisle stated absent mindedly. He was thinking on the strange disappearing act.
"Godelot? Like Launcelot's long lost brother?" Emmett asked, smiling as he played his video games. Rosalie rolled her eyes at her husband but walked in the direction of her parents to see what new shiny trinket her father had in his hand close up. Alice, rather than her giggling self, slowly came down the stairs and looked curiously at the bottle in her father's right hand. Jasper, her husband, wasn't too far behind her.
"What is it?" Rosalie asked. "Some sort of perfume?" she continued until she saw the note attached. "Drink me?" she said in disgust.
"It's just a pretty jar filled with snake oil, Rosalie," Carlisle told her gently before placing it on the end table. Emmett paused his game and bounded over to see what all the hubbub over some small little jar was about. He laughed when he saw the note and grinned at little Alice.
"Dare you to drink it, Alice," Emmett stated, thinking on Alice's favorite story. There were several bottles in that story labeled drink me. "Maybe it really will make you taller, half pint!" he teased. Alice stuck her tongue out at her baby brother –who just happened to be a good couple of feet taller than her! Well, almost. She was almost 5 feet in heels whereas both her husband and her baby brother were well over six feet.
"I wouldn't drink that vile stuff," Alice stated as she took the pretty blue topper off. "It smells awful!" Not to mention she'd simply have to throw it back up later.
"Double dare you," Emmett told her, willing to take on the challenge of getting his sister to drink something that was meant for human consumption, he guessed.
"Emmett," Carlisle warned. The two innocent looking pairs of golden eyes looked up at their father. Emmett just really wanted some form of competition against his tiny sister. Alice realized she could add a bet or three in and get what she wanted out of Emmett. It would be a fair price for drinking something so gross!
"What?" Emmett asked. Carlisle was going to point out that none of them even knew what it was but what was the point when all your children were immortal? They could drink a whole host of poisons and nothing would come of it other than a bad taste in their mouths and the need to regurgitate it later. It certainly wasn't the end of the world. Carlisle just shook his head and smiled. Let his children play their game.
"If I drink this," Alice stated, her eyes narrowing slightly as she looked at her brother. Emmett's eyes were filled with excitement at the prospect of a challenge. "Then you," Alice continued, jabbing her index finger at her brother, "Aren't allowed any predators for two months and you will let me take you shopping."
Emmett's own eyes narrowed. He could go with only deer and elk for the next couple of months –that was easy enough- but going shopping with his sister? That sounded like torture. "You have to take a good gulp of it if you want me to go shopping," he stated.
Alice nodded. "Deal!" she said, holding out her pinkie. Emmett took it with his pinkie and shook. "Deal," he agreed.
Alice's victory was short lived when she looked at the stuff. She scrunched up her nose in disgust. Jasper came up behind his wife and whispered in her ear. "You don't have to, darlin'," he told her. Alice shook her head. Yes, she had to. Emmett was in desperate need of new clothes and she needed help with buying presents for Edward's birthday. Although Alice could take Jasper, Edward would suspect that and pry it from her husband's thoughts. With Emmett, at least there was the hope that he just wouldn't think on it, at all. He'd push any memory of shopping far far away.
Rosalie, Jasper, and Emmett looked on as little Alice picked up the crystal bottle. Carlisle and Esme had retreated to the kitchen to prepare an evening meal for their grandchild and any accompany wolves. Bella, Edward, Renesmee, and Jacob should be over with Seth possibly in about a half hour.
Alice held the bottle in both of her tiny hands. She held her breath before getting enough determination to take a swig of the vile stuff. When she made what could only be described as a "Mr. Yuck" face, Rosalie laughed while even Jasper had to chuckle. Emmett just grinned.
"Aw, come on, sis! It couldn't be that bad," Emmett teased. Given that Alice didn't respond right away with a quick glare, and that Jasper was suddenly enveloping her in his arms, Emmett knew something was very wrong. Rosalie's medical training kicked in and she glared at her confused husband as Alice's eyes rolled to the back of her head.
"Carlisle!" Rose shouted a bit too loudly as she tried to figure out how one exactly takes vital signs for a vampire. There wasn't a pulse or a temperature gauge that would help.
Their father came running in to see his eldest son lowering Alice to the floor, Jasper's arms still wrapped around her. Alice began to convulse, something that shocked even Carlisle as he kneeled next to his tiny daughter. Jasper's worried eyes met Carlisle's. "Get her upstairs!" Carlisle ordered. The military instincts of Jasper kicked in. Carlisle was someone of higher rank giving him a directive. Jasper had no choice in his mind but to obey.
Kicking open the door to his office, Carlisle whipped out everything he could think off as quickly as he could. He had been buying up medical supplies for his youngest daughter and the impending change of her from human to vampire. He was only thankful he had such things now for his smallest daughter.
Alice's body convulsed as Jasper laid her carefully upon the hospital bed in the library turned clinic room. He couldn't help it, his worry and anxiety rolled off him in waves, making it hard for Carlisle to work. Looking up at his son, he made a silent plea for Jasper to try and control his ability. Carlisle needed to figure out what was happening to his daughter. He had heard the exchange and guessed she had drunk some of the substance in the crystal bottle but what could possibly make a vampire, even a small one like Alice, actually physically ill?
Getting out a tube to pump the contents out of Alice's stomach manually, Carlisle and Jasper both heard a sound. It wasn't a sound that either had heard before from the small black haired woman. It was a thumping sound, from inside her. Since it happened only once, Carlisle continued to set up the machine as quickly as he could. "Hold her down," Carlisle instructed his son. Just as Carlisle was looking down Alice's throat, both men heard the sound again…and again. It was Alice's heart…and it was beating.
Author's Note: This is so totally going to be a fluff story.