Alternate Ending (the one I would have posted if I had pussied out of posting the real ending).
Enjoy, my pretties. That is, if you're still alive out there. I know this place is practically a ghost town.
"Will!" I screeched. "WILL! WILLIAM, NO!" I shrieked to nobody.
He was already dead. Disintegrated like thin paper on a candle.
"My baby brother," I whispered to nobody, letting the ground rise up to meet my hands and knees.
I crouched there in the dreaded grass, strewn with bits of rock, blood, and phantom dust.
I felt Edward's hand on my shoulder.
"No. Go find the others. Quickly. Make sure they're okay." I ordered him sharply, wiping my sweaty palm under my nose and eyes.
He left hesitantly, his feet making no noise to my ears.
I could feel the exhaustion taking over my body. The blood seeping from wounds that covered me. My healing was getting slower and slower.
I had a feeling I'd no longer have this strength, either. But nothing gushed blood more than the wound that Will left on me. I could no longer feel the earth beneath me, disintegrating at my touch, swallowing me whole in merciless debris.
I stopped fighting as I watched the pyre burn incessantly, my blood lying middle aged yet undead in the flames. My flesh, my brother.
I felt words form in my mouth, but realised I had no ability to say them aloud. Who gave me the right to voice pain? What gave me the power, the life, to even feel anything. Why was I alive? My sweet William, what law of Godly order could take him from me?
I'd finally seen his light again, his brotherly adoration, a slim, wise soul, ghosting plains of this earth in search of me. Devoted to finding me, to finding my killer; he was more human now, than I have ever been.
His soul was safe now; free to roam, released, happy, and whole. The pain was so fresh, and so raw that for a second I wished I didn't love him.
If I stayed completely still, my eyes burning from the heat of the fire, I could almost see his spirit rising among the embers, a bluish, silvery apparition, wrapped delicately on the air I breathed, reaching high, forgetting the horrible world from which he departed. A warm hand was placed on my back, another held out in front of me in offering. I took his hand, my life line, my safety, my reprieve.
I turned around to face Jacob, collapsing into his arms as I felt my breath escape me, my life in tatters again. He was in a shirt and jeans.
"I lost my baby brother," I whispered, pressing my face into his chest.
His hand stroked down my hair, smoothing over my back and rubbing against my skin; the sensation like an antidote to this depressive spiral.
As William's death was beheld in front of my eyes, my future and my only love stood steadfast behind me with a promise to keep the world from crumbling.
"I saved him once, only to eventually condemn him to this life." I shook Jacob's hold off of me, as I approached the golden flames engulfing whatever shred I had left of my human life.
"He chose this life, Rosalie." Jacob's soft whisper sounded in my ear, as I winced. "He chose it because he chose you. He knew that you were important enough. He never lost hope, and look what he found, in the least likely of places. He accomplished that which he thought he'd failed when you disappeared, when you left him. He saved you."
My face crumpled as I stared, his body already in a pit of ash, lost to the world the moment the fire touched his skin.
"But what good does it do, to perpetuate a goal of denial? He should have given up years ago, then he could have had a real life." I muttered bitterly at the sparks spitting, landing on the grass and leaving brownish dots.
Jacob kneeled down beside me, and I followed his movement.
"Maybe you're right." He mused.
I looked sidelong at him.
"But don't ignore the fact that you also wanted to be found. And you would have done the same if it was him who was lost, you're both too stubborn not to."
A laugh bubbled in between my lips, a half giggle, half whimper. With a small amount of words formed by the man at my side, I could agree, and accept what he believed.
That's not to say I liked it, not to say I wouldn't be burdened with the guilt forever, but I had a semblance of closure, and I had an eternity to come to terms with it.
I could have spent another century dwelling on this; but I knew with stirring certainty that Jacob's presence and peace of mind would never allow for that. I also understood that with Jacob, I could also stand on my own two feet.
I stood up by myself, weak, and exhausted as I was.
He understood in that moment not to protest.
I wiped my tears away, and we both walked away from the inferno; a blistering end to our unfathomable beginning.
I knew Jacob was following behind me. I crossed the scents of our Vampire allies; they'd either fled or had been killed.
The very souls that were worth saving had sacrificed themselves for me.
I truly saw the beauty in humanity, alongside the crippling guilt and agony that accompanied it.
As I approached my family, I couldn't help but smile at them. It was weary, and reserved, but it was too hard not to express my relief and happiness that this was over.
We'd fought, and triumphed.
I felt like an olden-day woman, fighting beside male comrades in a world war, hiding her femininity in the form of a boyish haircut, and men's clothes. I felt like a soldier.
Jacob's body heat was radiating off of his skin, and through me. I wouldn't be surprised if I was burning up, too, with the temperature he was boiling up at.
I stopped before Carlisle, who was understandably solemn, marks adorning his brilliant, scholarly face. He was covered with dirt, and grime, and most unmistakable, but not visible, a layer of grief. I looked over at Esme as Carlisle ignored my presence.
She had her hand cupping her cheek, her face screwed up in a peculiar display of sadness. These people, and their losses—I could feel their pain, but I couldn't understand why they were so quiet. They refused to make eye contact with me, and I felt I knew why—they weren't ready to deal with the consequences I'd made from being involved. It was my fault that all of this had happened, that our friends had died, that my brother had, that we'd brought this violence and these bad memories into our home, our backyard.
I nodded at them, showing my knowledge of their resentment. It was okay if they hated me, I could relate to that sentiment immensely.
No hate from them could ever compare to the self-loathe I carried right now.
"Rosalie?"...or could it?
"Rosalie." It was Bella saying my name.
I was almost shocked to see her act in such a human manner, walking slowly up to me, her hand reaching up to my shoulder.
She looked rather the same as a vampire, I mused internally. I was glad she made it through the transformation. At least she helped us. I suddenly realised she had been talking while I was distracted. I refocussed on her blood-red eyes, telling me something.
"...Rosalie." she whispered, pressing her lips together.
I looked down at her. "He's dead. Emmett is dead." Her lip trembled.
I stared at her, my relief transforming into an ugly haze of disbelief and anger.
"No—what?" I demanded loudly.
This is not real, only what I saw was real. How could he be dead if I didn't see it? How does anything exist when I cannot be witness to it?
My eyes caught the unmistakable blaze of a pyre in the clearing, bodies of our defeated toppling down from the peak, disintegrating into ash, a shimmer of life disappearing into the atmosphere above our heads, sinking into our blood as printed memories.
Perfectly, in a world where our lovely souls were safe from the sparring of good versus evil, and we remained intact, ingrained, alive; Emmett would still be here. I could have been there for him, given myself, my heart. I could have died in his place, given him an ounce of what he'd given me. He'd offered me his entire life, his whole being, and I couldn't take it, or reciprocate.
He can't be dead, because I haven't said what I wanted to say.
So many things to say, too much unsaid; so little time to hear it, not even with the right ears to listen.
Now there would always be some part that is broken and unfinished, because one loose end was never tied, never fixed.
"No," I stared at Bella, beseeching her as if she was lying about it.
As if she would laugh, slap me on the shoulder and confess it was just a joke. In my head, I imagined the morbid chuckling, the ridiculous exhausted stammering of reproaches for being so insensitive towards me.
In my head, I saw blue clouds and the sea dark with night; it was beautiful, but impossible.
"No!" I shrieked, my eyes fixed back on that fire in the distance.
The silence was the most horrific. There was no noise, and everybody refused to speak as a stock of wails and blood curdling screams tore through me. I expected them to talk to me, to try and calm me, but they knew how it worked. They knew me better than that.
I would scream, and I would cry, and nothing could stop it.
In the silence, I wept for my husband, and quite possibly, the broken hearted wolf that agonised over my pain, refusing to let go as he stayed by my side.
I shoved my fists into the dirt, like I was heaving; my body felt like it was in self-destruct mode. It wouldn't work, it didn't want to work anymore because Emmett was dead and I didn't get to say sorry.