Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight

Summary: He guides them, but who will guide him?


They call me perfect, those who know what I am, and those who don't. For my appearance, for my prowess as a man of medicine, for my apparent immunity to the bloodlust that plagues the rest of my family so.

It's the same wherever we move to. In the hospital they praise my quick thinking and diagnosis, my infallible calm, my good bedside manner. They don't know that this certainty comes from the input of supernaturally enhanced senses that no human doctor, competent though he might be could compete with. The patience I possess was hard won over the course of centuries, when I, surrounding myself with books and learning, was sure that I was destined to be alone forever, and they my only companions.

They gush over the supernaturally aided good looks that make me a hit with nostalgic old ladies, shallow young ones and men and boys of all ages with a marked disinclination toward the fairer sex.

They mutter enviously when my family are gathered together, seeing the respected doctor with his comely, if unfortunately barren wife. They see my children and coo over their seeming closeness, all the while hissing to the person beside them that the ones that are together aren't actually related in any way. If only they knew that none of us are.

Vampires envy my tolerance, and are in awe that I surround myself with its tantalising scent for several hours each day. Those that do are usually very young and new to immortality, or they are older than I, and have never tried it for themselves. They assume it comes easily to me, never having tasted human blood, that you cannot miss what you have never had, and my smile becomes more bitter than sincere whilst I wrestle with my temper at this ignorant assumption, as it took decades before the fear of losing control didn't fill my every thought, and merely most of them.

My family wish they were as restrained as I, particularly Jasper, but he may just understand the most how difficult I still find the thirst to contain. It never truly goes away, and we both know this. Its all a matter of training yourself not to think of humans as fast food that we can pick up whenever were are feeling peckish.

Aro simultaneously admires and abhors my ability to command such loyalty from my family, and he cannot comprehend that this stems from the safe haven of acceptance I have tried to create. The bonds he has with his coven are artificially manufactured, courtesy of Chelsea. If the Volturi fall, it will be every vampire for themselves, if I do, then I know with despairing conviction that they would follow me into the flames.

I am not perfect; I struggle withthe rest of them. I am just more practiced at concealing the compulsion. And besides, we are all lost souls looking for salvation, and they look to me to lead them, and keep our family safe.

But sometimes, I'd like to have someone to guide me too, and console me while I watch on as the misery unfolds, as two men fight over a woman who must leave one of them heartbroken in the end, as a miracle child struggles not to destroy the mother who so desperately desires her birth from the inside out, as a daughter and a spouse rue the misfortune that will see them childless for eternity, as a father watches his only child come back into his life after years of absence only to marry into another family and leave him again within a few more.

I must bear the burden of leadership without complaint. There is no rest for the wicked they say, and there is no more damned creature than I.