AN ~ Carlisle is bored with Paris, with the world, with his monotonous, lonely life. He is moved by a powerful experience involving a drunken Frenchman and half a monument. Great song for this one, especially the beginning: 'Desperate' by David Archuleta

Disclaimer: I don't own the song, or Carlisle (dang it!), and while I did considerable research into the Grande Dame de Paris, I know pretty much nothing about her creator Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, so forgive me for ruining your reputation if I did so, sir :) Nor do I own Mackenzie L's awesomeness (double dang it!) which inspired me to think more of Carlisle and Esme's relationship development away from home. Or 'Moulin Rouge' for directing me (and the lonesome, depressed Carlisle) to Paris.


Alone. Again.

Or rather...still.

Carlisle sighed and closed his journal. There was nothing to write. Nothing of interest had happened to him in the last day - the last week - the last month. Nothing inspired him any more. Life was all browns and greys: the colour and youth of the world had been drained by the century or so he had spent wandering it. Alone.

The alarm clock at the end of his desk went off, and he batted it onto the floor as he reluctantly got up for work. Another day of suffering, and watching people suffer. Another day of bloodlust to resist, positive thoughts to attempt, self-harm to avoid. Another day of being ridiculed for his apparent youth...God, he wished he was as young as the humans around him believed.

Another day of rain, he added to his list, looking up at the sky as he stepped outside. It was dark, turbid, but not threatening a storm. Only the miserable dribbling rain, once again. Carlisle prayed for a storm as he watched the clouds, begging for something, anything, to disrupt the monotonous pattern he had fallen into. His thick coat and impermeable skin made no difference now: Carlisle was soaked to the bone with melancholy.


He kept to himself through the bustling streets, the flashy stores and homely markets being of too little import to catch his eye. He crept up the few stairs to the General Medical Practice and pushed his way inside, the bell giving an irritatingly cheerful tinkle in greeting.

"Good morning, Doctor Cullen." The receptionist blushed and batted her eyelids, a lustful sparkle in her eye. Like winding a clockwork toy, Carlisle forced himself to perk up.

"Oh, yes," he agreed, sounding distracted though he aimed for enthusiasm. Eager to get out of any kind of social interaction - most especially, at this point, conversation - Carlisle hurried down the hall to his office and shut himself in. Letters were waiting on his desk, the top one marked red.

Eviction Warning,the envelope read. Carlisle reached for the very tempting dagger at the back of his desk - a mere paper opener, not that the real thing would have done him any harm anyway. Suddenly, he drew his hand back. What did it matter? Why bother opening it? Why bother trying to stay in the middle of a city anyway? An expensive city at that. Why was he here?

The arts of Paris no longer held any interest for him, and the city's nightlife never would. He wasn't needed as a doctor - in fact, there were so many in the city that they had to cut down on shifts to avoid an economic disaster. He wasn't appreciated as, well, anything. He wasn't human but he was an awful vampire, a useless doctor, a totally hypocritical Christian...

"Doctor Cullen, Mrs McFarlane is here to see you," the receptionist called. Carlisle groaned, ran his fingers through his hair and tried to smile.

"Send her in."


Carlisle packed up his very few belongings and wrote a letter to his landlord explaining that he was unable to keep up with payments and so would be leaving the residency and the city. He waited until the middle of the night, when half of Paris went to sleep and the other burst into hideously colourful life. Only at the blackest moment did he decide to make his escape.

Carlisle fled Paris through backstreets and alleyways wherever he could help it, but in his haste, he forgot to manoeuvre his route around the 1889 Paris Exhibition. It being the middle of the night, Carlisle might well have escaped unseen, were it not for one lonely man, sitting under his very controversial iron tower.

"They don't see your beauty," the man gargled, clearly drunk, stroking the iron bars and rivets he drank under. Carlisle froze, clinging his one bag of possessions tightly to his chest, praying it was dark enough that the man couldn't see him.

The stranger hiccupped, tossing his now empty whisky bottle aside.

"Useless and monstrous? Bah! Just you wait! They'll regret not looking hard enough! One day, you'll come into your own. Everybody will look at you and smile, and you will be loved by everyone who passes you. Just wait for that day..."

Apparently having decided that his motivational speech to the tower was over, the man curled up and shut his eyes, almost instantly disappearing into the world of sleep. When Carlisle decided the threat had passed, he hesitantly crept up to the tower. It stretched high above his head, high above many of the buildings that surrounded it. It was regal, majestic, a symbol of great accomplishments...and it was only half completed.

Carlisle put his hand against the metal. It was still slick with the rain that had drizzled all day. He felt a spark of something...something he was longing for...something he could not name...

Never mind that, though. He had a train to catch, a new life to search for. Drunken Frenchman and their misunderstood works of art belonged back here, back in the inconsequential world that held no reason, no inspiration for a man without a heart, without purpose. Carlisle sighed and pulled back from the tower.

Its majesty was gone. Raindrops slipped down the cool surface like tears decorating the face of the lonely tower - outlandish science, monstrous art, it could never belong here. Outlandish vampire, monstrous man...he would quite likely never belong anywhere. All the same, it was nice to feel the warmth of sympathy again; he had long ago given up when he might feel that way. It was a quality he only now realised he had truly missed in himself.

Carlisle smiled half-heartedly up at where scaffolding marked the incompleteness of this creation. He wished that he could have seen the tower completed. Maybe then, it could have stirred true life back into his lonely, world-weary heart.

The tower groaned, leaning an inch or so towards him, pleased but exhausted with its efforts.

"No, you're right," Carlisle decided, talking to the tower to avoid talking to himself. "You've given me enough. I thank you, sweet lady, and I will be on my way."

He tipped his hat to it and headed off for the train station.

He slowed a little and tilted his head with curiosity as he passed a beautifully tended garden in the middle of the street. Strange...he must have passed this way a dozen times before, and never had he noticed that the flowers were yellow.


The world started coming back to him in pieces. Yellow flowers, kind gestures, valiant actions that took his mind off the painstaking effort he went to every day. But it wasn't enough for Carlisle. Trivial things became brilliant distractions, sometimes so much so that he was inspired enough to stay in one town for a while so as to learn and experience as much as he could about something that interested him particularly. Yet they were merely distractions. He was still wandering, still lonely, he still was lingering in this world; a ghost among billions of physical beings.

Carlisle no longer worked as a doctor. He just didn't keep up residence anywhere for long enough. Nevertheless, over the next decade and a half, he collected quite a bit of money. It never really mattered to him - after all, he had nobody to spend it on - until he saw a very enticing advertisement in the corner of the Travel Agent's window.

It was not a particularly thrilling poster in itself: a few small, fairly predictable images of majestic landscapes and smiling families. What caught Carlisle's eye was the title printed right through the middle of it all.

America: The New World.

"That right there is a world of opportunities for a smart young man like y'rself, sonny," a man declared from behind, in English, in a rather slack accent. Carlisle twisted around, taken by surprise at the stranger's language and accent. An Englishman, not so unlike himself...

The older man smiled.

"The name's Mr Murray. I'm the owner and manager of this here fine establishment," he greeted gustfully, holding out a hand. Tentatively, Carlisle shook it.

"That's right, that's right, don't be such a pansy!" Mr Murray laughed heartily and Carlisle felt an intense desire to disappear.

"What do you say you come inside and we'll see what I can arrange for you, my friend?"


Carlisle was knocked off balance by the word. He knew it was a sales gimmick and that this man, as open and friendly as he seemed, probably addressed everyone as such, but still...Carlisle had been alone for so long, it felt good to hear an inviting word again.

Ting ting! announced the little bell above the doorway, snapping Carlisle out of his trance. He was surprised to find himself already through the door of the homely little travel agency. From the street, Mr Murray stared at him with wide eyes.

"Well, you are eager, aren't you?" he smiled affectionately.

"Yes, quite," Carlisle replied softly, glad the older man couldn't see him flush with embarrassment.

"Ah, a Londoner," Mr Murray grinned. "Come on, my fellow countryman, let's arrange you a new life in the New World!"

Carlisle flushed deeper.


Carlisle lay on his bed on the steamer that was currently on its way to America, the land of opportunities. His fingers were interlaced behind his head as he stared up at the ceiling of his small room. Fish made for a terrible diet, but at least it was something different. The water in his shower room stunk like copper, but again he found himself cheerfully noting that at least it was something different. The pages of his journal had quickly filled themselves, and so he had bought another from the stationary store downstairs.

For the first few months, he found himself intrigued by the enormous vessel that chugged its way so readily through the vast ocean. Now, having exhausted the last inch of the ship he was able to explore, Carlisle settled for swimming around it at night. During the day, however - seeing as the deck was far too high for any human to be seen jumping off it - he was confined to the ship itself. He decided this was not such a bad thing, having found his outlook on life considerably brightened ever since his profound experience sympathising with a half-constructed tower of iron.

It was this profound experience he now pondered, looking up at the ceiling with his fingers interlaced behind his head. It was January 12th, 1914: it had been fifteen years exactly, to the day, since that fateful midnight meeting. He could remember every detail; every slur in every word that the drunken Frenchman had preached to his beloved tower, not knowing that there was another member of his audience.

"Useless and monstrous? Bah! Just you wait! They'll regret not looking hard enough! One day, you'll come into your own. Everybody will look at you and smile, and you will be loved by everyone who passes you. Just wait for that day..."

When it was completed, the world would gaze in awe at its majesty and quickly realise they had been wrong about that tower. Carlisle smiled at this. Maybe had been wrong about himself. Maybe, one day, he would find a meaning to exist, a reason to make more effort than he already did, someone or something that inspired him to put his full weight behind everything. Maybe he would surprise himself with his own abilities.

Maybe, one day, he would be completed.

O Lord, how he waited for that day...