Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
AN: Hi everyone! *waves* I missed you all and I'm glad to be back. I'm excited (and a bit nervous) to be posting the first chapter to this time travel story. There will be some jumping into the past and future so be sure to watch the dates posted at the beginning of the chapters. I try to stay in canon to the Twilight universe as much as possible, but made some tweaks here and there (i.e., I don't like doormat Bella). This story has canon pairings with a new character, Elena Novikov, who will play a central role in this story.
This chapter utilizes dialogue and plot lines from Breaking Dawn. It begins when the Cullens meet with the Volturi in the forest clearing.
Prereader: IamtheAlleyCat and Tkegl
The shadowed Volturi faces were still expressionless for the most part. Only two sets of eyes betrayed any emotion at all. In the very center, touching hands, Aro and Caius had paused to evaluate, and the entire guard had paused with them, waiting for the order to kill. The two did not look at each other, but it was obvious that they were communicating. Marcus, though touching Aro's other hand, did not seem part of the conversation. His expression was not as mindless as the guards', but it was nearly blank. Like the one other time I'd seen him, he appeared to be utterly bored.
(Breaking Dawn, p. 683-684)
December 31, 2006
Chapter 1 – Turning Point
It was all too easy for Marcus to hide his thoughts from Aro; after centuries of practice, it was second nature to him. He merely opened a fraction of his mind to him when he insisted on that particular "method of communication," as Aro liked to put it. All he had to do was share that minute part of his mind that was meant for all things that Aro wanted to hear, allowing him to see only what was necessary and hiding the rest. Not once did Aro suspect that he had anything to hide.
To others who saw Marcus, it appeared as if he was bored; however, this was just another one of the skills he had acquired over the centuries. He had learned long ago that it was to his benefit to conceal his true feelings, for the one time he had allowed himself to be free with them, he had lost the one person in his existence that meant anything to him: Didyme.
It was times like these when Aro was on a quest—and particularly distracted that Marcus could dwell on his memories of her. Today would have been the perfect opportunity for him to daydream about Didyme and reminisce about how her mere presence could make even the most moody of vampires feel happy, or about her deep throaty laughter that was so contagious that even Caius was known to smile and even chuckle when she was around.
Yes, it would have been a perfect time to dwell on such memories without interruptions because Aro was focused on acquiring two new jewels, Edward and Alice, to add to his collection of talented vampires. So far, it was not going as he expected.
Aro and Caius were weighing their options and deciding on how to proceed when Marcus felt the familiar pull, that want of information from Aro.
Marcus glanced at Aro, maintaining a look of indifference. He is utterly predictable. I'll read the Cullens' bonds, and Aro will think the information I gather is for him when, in fact, it will be used by me to fulfill the plan that I will soon set in motion.
Marcus scanned the line of vampires that gathered in defiance against the Volturi. Various shades of gray and blue ribbons hung between the Cullens and their friends, some bonds more vibrant than others.
"Marcus is reading the strength of our ties to each other, looking for weak points," Edward explained to his family.
Marcus struggled to keep his disinterested façade when he heard Edward's explanation. To Marcus, Edward was just like Aro, a vampire with great power, yet only listening to what he wanted to hear. My dear youngling, would it surprise you to know that it is just too easy to hide parts of my mind from you as it is to hide it from Aro? Although Marcus was nineteen when he was changed and Edward seventeen, Marcus had centuries of experience in this life.
Edward showed no sign of hearing Marcus' thoughts, and in fact, he hadn't; so focused on Aro's mind as he was, he had missed the words that were directed straight toward him.
Marcus focused his attention back on those with the strongest bonds to the young one they called Renesmee. They would fight the hardest for her, and these would be the ones who would help him regain what he had lost so long ago.
Marcus provided some of this information to Aro, carefully shrouding the rest for himself.
"Let us counsel," Aro instructed to Marcus and Caius.
"Let us counsel," Marcus repeated, uninterested.
Marcus separated his thoughts into different compartments in his mind as he concentrated on communicating with Aro while at the same time listening to the conversations occurring amongst the Cullens and their friends. Most of the information was useless drivel about who wanted to fight whom. It was unfortunate that these vampire rebels did not see that there would be no battle, at least not in the way they had envisioned in their minds.
Most of the words Marcus heard spoken among the Cullens were whispers of love to each other. It was touching, really, to hear such words. It took him back to a time when he once felt the same type of love in his vampire life. But ever since Didyme ceased to exist, words of love were never felt or shared in the Volturi clan. Even the bond between Aro and his wife, Sulpicia, was a bond of convenience, a bond that was mediocre in its strength, at best, but was fortified by Chelsea's gift.
"I love you," Renesmee whispered to her mother.
"I love you, too," Bella said. "More than my life."
Marcus envisioned Bella in the part of his mind that was shrouded from Aro. She possessed great strength in her that became stronger when she had to protect her child. What are you willing to do to keep her, my dear Bella?
His ears perked up when he heard the wolf closest to Renesmee and Bella whine uneasily. He had seen the bond between them glow with a great intensity and, for a moment, he had doubted his gift, as he had never seen such a bond between two creatures such as these. He reflected on whether the wolf would be useful to him in his quest, and after a moment's thought, decided that he would be a liability.
"Wait until they're totally distracted, then run with her. Get as far from this place as you possibly can," Bella whispered to the wolf.
"This is what you kept from me?" Edward whispered.
"From Aro," Bella said softly.
Marcus froze at hearing Bella's words. He relaxed when he realized that Aro and Caius were so deep in thought and mentally arguing with each other that they had not heard her.
He admired Bella for keeping her daughter's escape plan from Aro, knowing that those who Aro touched would know of the plan. Well done, my dear. This only confirms that you are the one to assist me in my quest. However, you must watch yourself carefully. To have such naiveté, thinking that we cannot hear what you are saying, is a dangerous weakness. You will need to do much better than this if you are ever to get Renesmee back.
Aro was beginning to lose his confidence as he noticed that both Jane's and Alec's gifts were useless against the invisible shield that Bella was using. He decided that he should call a vote before chaos ensued.
"Before we vote," Aro said. "Let me remind you that whatever the council's decision, there need not be any violence."
That was Aro's cue to Marcus and Caius that they were to vote in a manner that would not lead to a battle. They would be leaving soon, without acquiring his prizes.
"I see no immediate danger. The child is safe enough for now. We can always reevaluate later. Let us leave in peace." Marcus recited his lines with perfection.
Just as Aro was about to cast his vote, Alice, closely followed by Jasper and three others, arrived.
While everyone focused on Alice and her guests, Marcus studied Jasper, noting the fierce look in his eyes and the scars that littered his body. He had the look of a warrior who had seen and won many battles. He was the perfect soldier that Marcus needed to complete his plan. With Jasper on his side, there would be no doubt that his plan would succeed. The only question was, would his plan work on convincing Jasper to join him?
Marcus looked to the tiny vampire next to Jasper. Jasper hovered over her, watching her every move. He didn't need his gift to see the strength of their bond. As his plan began to solidify in his mind, Marcus was filled with a sense of satisfaction. His eyes skimmed admiringly over those who would help him to fulfill it—Edward, Bella, and Jasper: the mind reader, the shield, the warrior. One to find, one to protect, and one to kill. It was all he needed.
Jasper glanced at Marcus, whose face was a mask of apathy. He was confused at the conflicting emotions that were coming from the Volturi brothers: frustration from Aro, anger from Caius, and from Marcus . . . happiness?
Why is he happy? Jasper thought with trepidation.
Aro interrupted Jasper's thoughts as he announced he was giving the final vote.
"Brother," Aro said softly to Caius. "There appears to be no danger. This is an unusual development, but I see no threat."
It took all of Marcus' will power to not smile at Aro's words and to keep the bored expression on his face. It was just as Elena had seen it.
Marcus knew that Aro would not let this go too easily, for it was his deepest desire to have Alice and Edward by his side. Now, it was clear that Aro had set his eyes on Bella as well. Dear brother, she shall be mine first, for I have need of her gift.
Aro and Caius spoke amongst themselves, suggesting that they make a special visit to Joham, insinuating that they would punish him for the creatures he had created—another part of their façade in front of the rebel vampires.
Of course, Aro and Caius would do just that, but not for the reason that the others thought. After all, it was Aro who had asked Joham to conduct these experiments to create a master vampire race. Pity that Joham failed to be discrete with his work and allowed himself and his creations to be discovered. It was for that reason that he would be severely punished—after he had shared all of his knowledge with Aro, of course.
Marcus grew excited when Aro dismissed the guard, knowing that he would soon be able to contact Elena with instructions to move forward with the plan.
As Marcus drifted through the woods with his brothers, he heard cheers erupting from behind them.
"How dare they!" Caius growled, disturbed by the outward defiance of the rebel vampires. "Let us return and destroy them all, Aro. We have no need for Edward and Alice."
Marcus stiffened at his brother's words. If Aro agreed to a surprise attack, he may lose Edward—and perhaps Bella too—in the battle. He hadn't had a chance yet to inform Elena of his plan, and if he lost them now, there may not be a way for his plan to work.
"Patience, my brother. Your emotions run away with you," Aro said calmly. "We shall return in due time. First, we will track Joham. When we last spoke, he informed me that he had several hundred creatures that grew stronger with each passing year. Perhaps now is the time to provide these creatures with the necessary training that is needed for battle."
"Ah, brother, you never fail to surprise me." Caius grinned. "I'll take the liberty of gathering some of the guard to provide the training to the creatures. I'll even oversee the training myself."
"Caius, must you leave so soon? I grow tired of being alone at Volterra." Athenodora approached Caius and placed her hand on his chest.
Caius gazed lovingly into his wife's eyes, and for a moment, his face softened. He brushed a strand of her pale blonde hair behind her cheek. "Love, it will only be for a short time."
"Then let me come with you."
"Yes, Aro, I too would like to join you on your trip to South America," Sulpicia said with a pleading look on her face.
"Dear, you are much too precious to place you near any kind of danger." Aro patted his wife's head.
"You allowed us to join you here," she pointed out gently, hoping that Aro would rethink his decision.
"Yes, and with the wolves here too," Athenodora said in support. "Surely it would be much safer to assist you with allies in South America than it was to be here with your enemies."
Caius snorted at the notion implying that the Cullens were even remotely a danger to them.
Aro waved away Athenodora's comments and took Sulpicia's hands into his, kissing them tenderly. "My dear, the Cullens and their friends were never a danger to us."
"Then why did you not just take what you came for?" Sulpicia looked confused.
"Yes," Aro sighed, "it would have been easier to take them, but I fear we would risk losing Edward and Bella in the process. I have no doubt that they all would fight us, just as I have no doubt that we would have won the battle."
"Oh, Aro." Athenodora chuckled. "What is that human saying . . . you want to have your cake, and you want to eat it, too?"
"Yes, my love." Caius chuckled at his wife's distortion of human vernacular. "Aro wants everyone to eat cake."
Marcus stood back, watching Caius and his wife tease each other lovingly. It was times like these that left him with a bittersweet taste in his mouth. He missed the sounds of a woman's laughter as he whispered sweet-nothings into her ear. If he closed his eyes, he could almost imagine Didyme laughing along with his brothers' wives . . . almost.
Marcus became impatient, wanting to move forward with his plan. "Aro, let us leave now. I grow weary of this place."
Aro frowned at Marcus. Over the centuries since Marcus lost Didyme, his feelings grew from grief, to guilt, and now to impatience for Marcus. Although Chelsea's gift kept Marcus bonded to him, it could not bring back the happy, cheerful brother he had once known. Marcus' continuous melancholy was wearing him down, and he was beginning to think that he had to take some action to resolve this problem soon.
"Yes, let us take our leave. We shall go back to Volterra with Sulpicia and Athenodora and then take our journey to South America. This will allow Jane, Felix, and Demetri time to find Joham. Caius, make plans for our visit with Joham." Aro opened the door and gestured to the wives to get into the luxury SUV that awaited them. "My dears, after you."
Marcus climbed into the second SUV as Aro and the wives sat in the first. Before they drove off to their personal airplane hangar where they had a private jet waiting for them, Caius spoke with Felix, giving him instructions. At the same time, Aro was explaining to the wives the differences between shape-shifters and the children of the moon. As both his brothers were distracted, Marcus knew it was the right time to set his plan in motion.
He pulled his cell phone and sent out a text with instructions to place the plan in motion. He snapped his phone shut, knowing it would only be a matter of seconds before it would take effect.
As he slipped the phone back into his pocket and they began to drive away, he heard it. Victory cheers turned into blood curdling screams.
And for the first time in centuries, Marcus smiled.
AN: What is Marcus up to and what happened to the Cullens? What are Aro's plans for Joham's creations? hmm . . .
I'd love to hear what you think of this chapter. Let me know if you want a teaser.