Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight. I'm just digging around in their past and things lightly touched on by Stephenie Meyer. I do however own a silver pass to Eternal Twilight 5 convention, here in the UK in THIRTY ONE DAYS TIME... SQUEE!
Author's Notes: Firstly – I know... I am a major fail. I've not updated this since September. I was totally blocked, but leaving it this long was never my intention. I started my All-Human story to get me into the swing of writing and got carried away, as it's now posted and I am currently working on chapter 34 – so a bit of a self pimp – Please go read "My Facebook Reunion" (managed to throw out a couple of one-shots as well, so check my profile.)
Massive thanks to my lovely beta – LisaDawn75 who makes this all pretty for me.
Carlisle, Edward and Emmett had gone hunting together for the weekend, leaving Rosalie and me in our home. We enjoyed our rare weekends alone together. It made for a nice change to be able to discuss things that we perhaps wouldn't usually talk about in front of our mates... or maybe that we would be uncomfortable having Edward hear in our minds.
We were curled up on the chaise together; Rosalie had her head laid upon my thighs. She liked it when I smoothed her soft blond hair, as she said she found it relaxing. She had faint memories of her mother doing it for her in her human life, and I was touched that she wished for me to do the same for her.
The topics of our conversations would always be of our past lives. The foggy memories made it difficult, and both of us would find it frustrating when we touched on specific memories that we could not focus on clearly. Certain days, celebrations. The clearest memory of Rosalie's was that of her best friend, Vera, and her baby son, Henry. She often wondered what they were doing, and if they thought of her as often as she did them.
"Emmett wants to give me a baby," Rosie said softly.
My fingers running through her golden hair stopped, frozen. This was the first occasion she'd said something like that. "I know that he would try and give you anything you wanted sweetheart," I told her. "He loves you."
Rosalie shook her head. "He was deadly serious, Esme. He had an idea, and he said he will get me a baby of my very own." She sat up, crossing her legs so that she was facing me on the chaise.
"I'm sorry, I'm not quite sure that I understand... what do you mean?" I asked her, confused.
"Well," she began, "Em and I were discussing babies and my... life... and, well, he suggested maybe finding an orphaned child or baby. Someone who has no one else in the world." I noticed how she emphasized the end of her sentence.
I had to admit that even with over a decade of yearning for William, and another baby, I had never considered this as an option.
"Are you talking about taking a human child in and... adopting it?" I didn't know what else to say. Could she trust all of us to remain in control? She and Emmett had not been in constant close contact with humans yet, and even I struggled sometimes when I would attend functions with Carlisle – even immediately after feeding.
She shook her head. "Well, that was his first thought, but I don't think Emmett's control is that strong, yet. He wants to get a baby and change it, making it like us."
The sheer thought of it somewhat horrified me.
"Just think how wonderful it would be..." Rose continued, her eyes dreamy and fixed on me. "We would never leave one another; the child would know eternal love." My adopted daughter looked at me, her amber eyes shining. She really has thought about this.
I reached across and took one of her hands into mine. My other touched the bottom of her ivory chin gently. "Do you by remember the pain, Rosie? The searing agony you had to endure? Would you honestly consider putting a child through that?" I never liked to think of the agony. I remembered that very clearly.
Her face dropped. "No... I hadn't thought of that." She looked instantly saddened, and I cupped her smooth cheek. I didn't mean to upset her so, but the first thing that popped into my head had been the burning of the transformation – seventy-two hours of horrific pain. Three days of being aware and begging, screaming out for death. Both Rose and I had found a little comfort in listening to voices, whereas a child would not – a baby especially. Would they even survive the change?
"I'm sorry, darling; I don't want to cause you any more grief. I sat and watched my baby die. He struggled for his breath as his tiny lungs gave out. When I think about children... that's always the first image that springs into my mind. An innocent and young life, in immense pain..." I felt the venom pool behind my forever-dry eyes.
Rosalie laid her head back into my lap and exhaled a long breath.
I began to run my fingers through her locks again, smoothing out the curls. "I had never considered that, even though you know I long for a child. Carlisle has never mentioned anything about vampire babies. Surely it would be possible, if even by accident." It was almost a question, and Rosalie hummed in agreement. "But think of it. As beautiful as the idea sounds of having a child forever – and sharing so much love – how it must feel for that child to be trapped in the body of a toddler or an infant forever. It's bad enough being frozen as we are now. We're adults and struggle with never growing, nor aging."
I stared straight ahead and out of the window into the moonlight. I felt Rose nod into my lap and she sighed loudly. "It feels bad enough being nineteen and trapped. I can see how distressing it would be for a child – particularly if their mind continues to grow."
"I'd not thought of that either," I admitted to her. "Maybe Carlisle would know more, but I assume he doesn't, seeing as he's never mentioned this to me before." I wracked my brains for anything he had mentioned in the past.
When our mates arrived home and Edward disappeared, Emmett and Rosalie took a walk together, thus giving me time alone with Carlisle. After our reunion, we curled up together in the rocking chair on the porch, looking up into the sky to watch the moon and the stars.
I scrunched my eyebrows together, looking back out into the night. His hand wrapped around mine, and he squeezed gently. I felt a surge of warmth rush through my body as he gazed at me, and I turned back to him. "I need... can we discuss something?"
"Anything," he whispered, smiling at me, his eyes soft.
"It's of a rather... delicate... nature. It's regarding a conversation that Rosalie and I had this evening."
Carlisle bowed his head and wrapped an arm across my shoulder, urging me closer. I allowed him to take me into his arms.
"You can tell me anything, and you know if it's confidential, it shall not go any further than the two of us, my darling Esme."
"I know that... I... oh, Lord, this is just... I mean, I feel a little uncomfortable asking you this. It's all very silly."
"Don't be shy. I'm positive that anything you want to ask me could not be remotely daft, my love."
I couldn't help but smile at his sweetness. I took a deep breath, inhaling his luscious scent.
"Rosalie approached me today. She and Emmett have been discussing little ones. You know how desperate she is to be a mother?"
My husband merely nodded, clearly not wishing to interrupt me.
"She made the suggestion... Emmett wants to find her an orphaned child... andmakeitlikeus." I pulled my hand away from his and wrung my fingers fiercely, not daring to look up at him. I felt Carlisle tense beside me and inhale sharply. Even though my words would have sounded jumbled and incoherent to a human, there was no doubt that Carlisle had heard every single word.
"Oh... my love..." His voice was quiet and full of sorrow. He wrapped his other arm around me and lifted me easily into his lap. "I am sorry that you were afraid to bring this matter up."
"So then, it's possible?" I didn't know what to think. Should I have felt relief that it were possible or disgust?
"Yes, it's possible."
"You've never mentioned it before."
Carlisle rested his head on my shoulder, taking a moment to consider his words. "No, I've never mentioned it before, my love, because it's forbidden."
"Yes, the Volturi do not allow children to be changed," he said carefully. The tone of his voice made me aware that there was more to it than he was saying.
"So the Volturi have hearts after all?" I asked. "They don't want the children to be in pain during the transformation?"
My husband laughed, his eyes dancing. "Oh, my sweet Esme, I wish that were the reason." He cupped my cheek and pressed a small kiss to my lips and then nuzzled my nose with his own for a moment before continuing.
"When an infant or a toddler is transformed, they are known as an Immortal Child. They are said to be so beautiful that they can control a person with just one look. Their mental age is stuck with them as when they are transformed, but they still possess the gifts of our enhanced strength and speed.
"They are far too young to be controlled, and it's thought that because of their mental age, they'll never learn control. When they were discovered, they were destroyed. Creating one has now become the worst crime in our world. The penalty is death for both the creator and created. Also, in addition to this law, anyone who knows about or stands by the child are punishable."
I knew that my mouth was agape. "Carlisle... I... I had no idea. Those poor, poor babies."
Carlisle held me close, pulling me to his chest, his hand stroking between my shoulder blades, no doubt trying to lessen my angst.
"I'm sorry if you would have wished for me to discuss this with you before, but you see that it is rather a... touchy subject. I honestly never thought that it would come up in our conversations," he told me, sincerity in his velvet voice. "I didn't mean to keep this from you."
"No, it's fine, really. If I am perfectly honest with you, I'd not for one moment even considered the possibility. The thought of adopting a mortal child, let alone give one our life, had never even crossed my mind. Rosalie said that it was Emmett who came up with the idea."
Carlisle chuckled. "Seems as though our son is brighter than he lets on. We should give him more credit. There is more to the bear than meets the eye."
"Certainly, he's not just a pretty face," I said, thinking fondly of young Emmett. He had made such an impact on our family – especially Rosalie – in the short time he had been with us.
My husband tightened his arms around me and then loosened his grasp, looking at me intently. "Do you think that this is something the two of them would do?"
"No. Even without them knowing the real reasons, I don't think Rose could bear to do it. When we spoke, we discussed the... the pain. Rosalie would not be able to put an infant through such torture."
"That's good. Of course, she and Emmett will need to know the truth, but at least we don't have to worry about the possibility of it happening and our family being put in danger. As much respect I have for my former colleagues, I don't wish for the Volturi to make their way here, especially with Edward's recent return and gift."
I didn't tell him, but I did not want the Volturi to come looking for us either. Carlisle had spent a few decades with them, and it always worried me that they'd want him back. He made a good point about Edward. Carlisle had mentioned to me previously that Aro was something of a collector of talented vampires. Edward would be a huge asset to him and his brothers. I knew that neither Edward nor Carlisle would go willingly, but I'd learned of Chelsea – one of the coven members who had the ability to sever the ties and bonds between covens. I shuddered at the thought.
"We need to speak to them, make them aware of the laws. I don't think there is a danger of them going against it, but they must know that all of us would be jeopardized if it ever where to happen."
"They'll be back shortly. Rosalie said they would only be gone an hour or so." I got to my feet, and Carlisle followed. I hooked my arm through his and allowed him to lead us back into our home to wait for our companions.
They arrived home soon after and they both looked at me and Carlisle expectantly, eager to hear the result of our conversation. As much as I hated to break my sweet daughter's heart, the truth had to be told.
Carlisle sensed my anguish and took charge; we all sat around our large oak dining table to talk formally. My husband was passionate as he spoke and so understanding of Emmett's and Rosalie's feelings.
"It was just a thought," Rosalie had replied sadly. "But then I remembered the transformation. I couldn't do that to a child."
I was so proud of her. Emmett remained silent and comforted his mate. They really were polar opposites, yet so perfect for each other.
All I could do was to pray that by some miracle, Rosalie would one day get her dream.
I'd love to know what you think about this - now I know that SM never mentioned this happening, but I honestly think that it's something which would have been discussed between Rosalie and Esme in "the early days" - so although this is a canon fic... does this chapter technically make it AU? Humm? Please leave some love and let me know your thoughts. I know I've kept you waiting for a long time, it WON'T be four months again.
Next time, we meet two new member of the Cullen family...