Unfortunately I own nothing Twilight related.

This takes place after Bella is a vampire. They are not living in Forks and there is no Nessie.

Family Portrait

Esme stood and brushed the dirt from her hands. She loved this time of year. Spring was starting and that meant she could nurture her garden again. She vaguely remembered that she enjoyed gardening when she was human. She had always managed to grow wonderful vegetables even when the spring was rough. She remembered that she enjoyed growing flowers then too but, at that time vegetables were much more practical and needed then roses and gardenias. Now she could grow all the flowers she wanted and she did.

She loved that something depended on her love and nurturing to grow and bloom. These were the babies that she could never have. Of course she did have three wonderful boys and three beautiful girls that she considered her children, and she couldn't love them any more if they had been hers by blood, but they had come to her already grown. While she got to occasionally help with their problems, she'd had nothing to do with shaping their personalities. She had nothing to do with those important moments that made them the amazing people that they were. Quite simply they were her children not her babies.

Glancing around her garden once more she was very pleased with the work she had accomplished so far and made a mental check list of the things she would need to pick up for it when she went to town the next day. Humming happily to herself she went in through the back door and into the kitchen to wash the remaining dirt from her hands. She hated using gardening gloves and since she didn't need to worry about the wear and tear on her hands she didn't bother with them.

The sound of teenagers brought her to the doorway of the great room. Emmett, Jasper and Bella were playing a video game. It was the one where they played the instruments. She had given up trying to learn the names of the games they played long ago. As soon as she learned one they had grown bored with it and replaced it with another. The boys were arguing over which song to play. Bella must have been the deciding vote and sided with Jasper because he gave her a warm smile while Emmett pouted in her direction. Alice and Rose were surrounded by magazines. They seemed to be reviewing the new spring fashions and planning their biannual shopping trip to Europe. They went every spring and winter. Edward was at his piano. Esme figured he must be composing a new song by the looks of the sheet music he had scattered about him. He was doing a good job of ignoring his brothers and love on the other side of the room. He hated that particular video game. Every now and then though he would lift his head and glare in the girls' direction. Alice must be planning on giving him one of her makeovers.

After one last fond smile she turned and started up the stairs to see what the last member of her family was up to. She knew she would find her beloved husband in his office. He spent much of his time there when he was at home. As she neared the door she could hear a pencil scratching from inside and wondered if he was working. Not wanting to bother him she quietly cracked the door open and peeked inside.

Carlisle lifted his head and smiled that smile that made her weak in the knees. "Come in sweetheart. You're not interrupting me. I was just drawing." He laid the pad down on the desk and waved her in.

She loved how he could read her so well. Closing the door behind her she walked over and sat on the arm of his chair. "You haven't done that in a while. You've been working so hard lately."

"Yes," he sighed and nodded his head. "We had a few tough cases come through. And more than the usual amount of amateur skiers came through this winter with broken legs. But, tourist season is over and things are slowing down. Now I'm finding myself with a bit of free time and an idea that just wouldn't leave my head until I had it down on paper."

"Oh? Can I see?"

Carlisle paused for a moment. "Well, I was going to wait until I had this last one finished before I gave them to you, but I suppose it wouldn't hurt to let you see the others." He smiled and turned to retrieve the finished pictures. Esme raised her eyebrows in surprise. "You'll see." He told her as he placed a large black leather folder in her hands.

Slowly she pulled the cover back. She was surprised and a little confused about the picture inside. She glanced back at Carlisle and then studied the picture more closely. It was a pencil drawing of a little boy. He was adorable. He had a mop of curly dark hair and the cutest smile complete with dimples. He was standing with a mess of toys around his feet and a teddy bear clutched in his arms. He was the perfect combination of childhood mischief and innocence. "He reminds me of Emmett." Esme murmured with that soft smile on her face that her husband loved so much to see.

"Exactly" he answered back just as quietly.

Esme turned to him in surprise. "This is supposed to be Emmett?"

"Well, how I imagine our Emmett to look if we could magically turn him back into a toddler."

"Oh my," she smiled down at the page. Carlisle imagined her crying right now if she were able.

"There's one for each of them in there." He was rewarded with her surprised smile before she gently lifted the page and carefully set it on the desk.

The next picture was of a little girl. The view was of her back but the mirror she was looking into showed her reflection clearly. Her face was bright and excited. She was wearing what Esme assumed to be her mother's dress since it was far too big for her. She was holding the skirt up so she could see the adult sized high heels she was balancing in and her short hair was barely visible beneath the wide brimmed hat on her head. She looked like she had on every bracelet and necklace from the jewelry box sitting on the floor beside her. Next to it was a mound of discarded clothes.

"Alice?" She asked with a smile.

"Of course," Carlisle chuckled.

She carefully moved that one to the side and studied the next picture. "This must be Bella." The little girl in this picture peered up shyly with a tiny smile on her face. She sat on the floor surrounded by picture books and there was a stuffed bunny sitting in her lap. Esme imagined that she was telling one of her favorite stories to the rabbit. She loved that he had included his idea of Bella as a toddler in his pictures even though it would be easy to get real pictures of their newest daughter as a child.

Next was a picture of a little boy. He had a small frown on his face and one hand was raking through his hair making it stand up in every direction. He was sitting at a piano, his little feet dangling from the bench. There were a few easy children's music books beside him. Esme could imagine him practicing a song over and over until he had it perfect before moving on to the next one. "I wonder if he's so frustrated because he keeps hitting the wrong notes or if his arms are just too short to hit the key he needs." They laughed quietly together while she set the picture of Edward down beside the others.

With two boys and two girls down it wasn't hard to figure out who the last pictures were of. The next picture was of an adorable little boy with a shy smile who could only be Jasper. "I imagined that had he been born only twenty years ago and not into the military stuff that he would have been fond of cowboys." Carlisle explained. In his picture little Jasper had a too big cowboy hat on his head and a toy sheriff's badge pinned to his shirt. He had a little toy gun holster that looked in danger of slipping off his thin frame and was holding a stick horse.

Esme nodded in agreement as she set his picture aside and took in Carlisle's idea of a young Rosalie. The little girl in this picture had a puffy princess type dress on and a plastic tiara on her head. She was standing by a little table where a few stuffed animals and dolls were seated. She had an angelic smile on her face as she pretended to poor tea into a cup from the plastic teapot in her hand. "This is the one that started it all," Carlisle explained softly. "I had a little girl come in a week ago for a checkup. She was four and had on this frilly dress that she told me was a Disney princess dress. She was so sweet. She introduced me to her doll she had with her and told me all about the princess whose dress she was wearing. I just kept picturing our Rose. I could imagine her being that little girl in the princess dress, hosting a tea party for all her stuffed friends. I just couldn't get that picture out of my head until I drew it. Then, I had to draw the others. So I've been watching all the children that come to the hospital for inspiration. "

Esme laughed. "I'm sure Rose will love to hear that she was the inspiration for all of this. They're absolutely wonderful Carlisle, I love them. But you already have all the children here so what are you working on now?" She asked indicating the drawing he had been working on when she had come in.

Carlisle smiled and turned the pad over. Even though it was only half finished she could see that it was a family portrait. "Oh my, Carlisle," she placed her hand over her mouth and he knew she would be crying again. "I can't wait to see it finished." They shared a kiss and she left him soon afterwards. At the door she added picture frames to her mental list of things to buy the next day.

A few days later the six siblings returned from school to find their adopted parents snuggled together on the couch. They were facing the fire place but it wasn't lit, and Esme had the happiest expression on her face. Emmett looked around, "Did you redecorate in here mom?"

"Yes, your father drew some pictures of the family and I love them so much I had to redecorate the entire room for them." Esme replied while smiling fondly at her husband.

She watched her children slowly make their way through the room looking at the pictures. Comparing, admiring and teasing each other about their younger likenesses. She had arranged the three girls' pictures on the left side of the fire place and the three boys' on the right. Then above the fire place was the family portrait.

She loved this one the best. She and Carlisle were sitting in the center of the picture, surrounded by their young children. Rose and Alice stood on either side of them modeling their frilly dresses. Jasper stood straight, tall and proud just behind his parents shoulders. Bella sat at Esme's feet, her head resting against her mother's leg. Edward sat in front of Carlisle and Emmett sat between his brother and sister. He had his fingers stuck up behind Edward's head to give him bunny ears, something he seemed to find very funny.

This was her family and it was so much better then any she could have ever dreamed of.