A/N: Thanks to everyone for reading and reviewing. I've decided to wrap this up as the goal was for Rhett and Scarlett to be happy and say farewell to the angst and trauma they experienced in the novel. Life will never be easy for these two but as long as they continue to communicate, they could be happy.
Scarlett was pregnant again and she couldn't be happier.
In the last few years, she had given birth to another daughter, Elena Rose, as tribute to her mother Ellen and Rhett's mother Eleanor. The name Rose, was not in honour of Rhett's sister, despite popular belief. It was due to her 'Rosy' complexion and the fact that they wanted to maintain the colour theme for their children.
With Tara being well on the way to being a fully-functioning farm, the couple were able to divide their time between Atlanta, Clayton County, Charleston and even Savannah, although that was a rare destination and wholly dependent on Pierre Robillard's invitation. He remained a stickler to duty and respectability.
There were times that Rhett spontaneously arranged a trip for them all but he was beginning to see how much work was involved in preparing two young children for a journey. Even with help from Mammy and the variety of servants that acted as her underlings.
Rhett was learning to enjoy a steadier lifestyle and with Scarlett by his side, it became a welcome change.
Suellen O'Hara Kennedy had a trio of daughters, each identical to Frank and had decided that she would never have a son. Frank was disappointed. Despite the love he had for the girls, he wanted a son to carry on his legacy and protect the family when he was no longer around.
It was a surprise to everyone when Suellen delivered a healthy boy and swore that she would have no more. Frank, high on the heady realisation that he had fathered a son, did not argue. His health had deteriorated over the years and having a younger wife was taking its toll, though as a Southern gentleman, he'd never admit it.
Gerald Pierre Butler was born with a heavy set of lungs and a demanding air that his parents adored. Mammy's warnings that 'boys were troublesome' proved accurate as his lusty cries filled the house.
When his brother, Edward Rhett Butler arrived, eighteen months later, the family noticed he had a calmer energy about him. A determination, similar to his mother's but matched with the patience of his father. They soon saw that where Gerald demanded, Edward charmed. His name had been of Rhett's choosing and was the result of childhood identification with the wild and uncontrollable figure of Edward Teach, more commonly known as Blackbeard. Scarlett found the choice amusing and satisfied herself that she had named their first son, so she was willing to concede to her husband's whims. At least this one time.
Gerald O'Hara had died peacefully after his namesake's birth.
Rhett had comforted his wife when her grief bordered on inconsolable. But with her husband's devotion and the love of her children, she was able to accept that Gerald was finally happy as he was back with Ellen.
The Butlers continued to prosper in their endeavours from child-rearing to assisting an ailing Frank in keeping his business afloat. Never in his wildest dreams, or nightmares, did Rhett think he'd ever have to adjust to life with Frank as a brother-in-law but knowing Scarlett relished his company made all the difference.
As the children grew and the Republicans and Scallywags finally lost their hold on Atlanta, the town and its inhabitants were able to breathe anew. Rhett had become a welcome sight around Atlanta, especially after he slowly backed the Democrats with his hard-earned cash. He joked that the Democrats made a better investment than his wife.
Scarlett had learned to grin and lock her bedroom door, which always made him extra 'nice' the following morning.
The years passed and the children grew up and began carving their own futures.
Their marriages weren't always the smoothest but they were filled with love and it was the happiest moment when Elena gave birth to the first Butler-Wilkes grand-child.
Melanie had never again risked child-birth having been convinced not to risk denying Beau a mother just to give him a sibling. Instead he found a place in Aunt Scarlett's family and although everyone expected him and Bonnie to marry, there was more of the father in him than the mother and his choice of dreamier, literary Elena was more satisfying to all.
Bonnie eventually healed from the rejection – her first – and married a man who, like her father, refused to let her charm him with Southern Belle simpers. He was a man who challenged her tempers and was proud of her intelligence. Although he was no millionaire, he was proud enough to insist that his bride's dowry be kept under her own control, as long as she kept it aside for their children's future.
It became known as the Butler Inheritance.
Meanwhile, Scarlett was forced to accept her role as grandmother and unexpected confidante. With the children grown, she and Rhett were able to see more of the world, at a leisurely pace. They were no longer the same dashing figures but none of that mattered. After all aging was inevitable for everyone.
They continued to fight and say things that would hurt the other party but their apologies were always as spectacular as their arguments.
We're going to leave them now as both are planning on taking a final trip in Rhett's boat, having secured their children and mutual grand-children's happiness; it was time for the Blockade runner and Southern Belle to take their leave of the world, to be reunited in the next. For something as simple as death could never part such a pair of lovers as Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler. Nor would any of us wish it to.