The Twilight Series belongs to S. Meyer, no copyright infringement is intended. I'm just playing with the characters.
AN: This is the last chapter of Kim's story, but I do have a rough outline for Quil's story. I also have a O/S I'm working on that will be from Charlie's POV and will show how he figured things out. And probably a O/S from Claire's POV. I know, I know, why would you torture yourself and have more planned stories...well... 1. I'm crazy 2. Notice the list making? 3. This story was meant to be exactly 40 chaps, including the prologue and epilogue. 4. I think it would be much more interesting to get in a few people's minds and explore things. 5. Did I mention I'm crazy? Anyway enjoy this last part, but know that more will be coming later. Charlie's will be attached to this story. While Quil's story I'll open up in a new story and Claire's will be in that one. If you're interested in another story that takes on a slightly darker side of imprinting and Leah - I'd recommend Dark Solace, while the pairing is made known until halfway through, it will be surprising and I think you'll like it.
Revenge (transitive verb) to avenge (as oneself) usually by retaliating in kind or degree
12 years later…
The phasing explosion I'd wondered about when we first returned to Washington all those years ago had occurred. Most of the pack's children phased just before their fifteenth birthday. Harry was the first, followed by Sam and Emily's two boys Joseph and Aaron. There was a couple of year's gap until Jared and Beth's son Ben and Embry and Leah's other son Michael joined.
The last year was the hardest as for the first time in nearly 30 years we had children that phased – not teenagers, but children. Paul and Rachel's twin boys William and Ethan weren't even 13. Jared and Beth's second son Zachary followed a few weeks after Jonathan, both of them 12.
The summer that we'd lost Claire and Billy – we ended up having one thing to celebrate and that was the impetuous nuptials of Seth and his girlfriend of 4 years, Sophia. Within 6 months, they'd welcomed a son and 2 years later a daughter. Their son Gavin was the youngest member of the pack, phasing at only 11. We quickly realized something big was going on.
We'd lived in relative peace for too long. Our lands barely touched by the vampire threat which lurked in the shadows. While Alex had stepped down as Alpha – Harry taking over his birthright a few years after his first phase – he felt something coming the same way Quinn did. Their connection remained just as strong as it always had and likely always would; even though they'd both married and had children of their own to worry and fuss over. William and Ethan's was the same.
Over the years, I'd kept my promise to Renee, the kids and I made our trip to see her and Phil despite all the losses we encountered our first summer in La Push. We even brought two extras – Quil and Jonathan. As helpful as the tribe and pack thought they were being; they were also suffocating at times. Even better was how it gave the four of them time to spend together without having the ever-watchful eyes of the pack and elders trained on them.
It was the break we'd all needed. Quinn and Alex were able to spend a few weeks being the kids they were and getting to know their dad outside the context of his duties and obligations. And Renee was a sucker for babies. Little Jonathan gained another grandma without even asking for one. I think all the females in his life were determined that he never missed out on the love of a motherly figure. We wouldn't be able to replace Claire, but we could ensure that he'd grow to know how much she was loved and how much she loved him.
That trip also gave Quil and me the closure we needed on our past. Finally, we were able to forgive each other for the decisions we'd made and realize the chaos we'd created. It was the beginning of our future though it took more years for either one of us to feel comfortable putting a label on our relationship. It was Jonathan who finally got us to take the step we'd hedged around for 6 years.
"Dad, if Quinn and Alex are my siblings," he began one night during our weekly family dinner. "And Kim's their mom – how come she can't be mine too? I know my momma is in heaven watching over me, but it'd be nice to have a mom like they got too."
At 5 years old, he was the spitting image of Claire expect for his hair and chin; those were all Quil's. His personality the perfect mix of his father's clowning and his mother's sunny disposition. Every time Quinn and Alex slept over he'd beg them to tell him the story of his mom who he'd decided was a princess with her very own protector. Quinn was always quick to please him and added that our ancestors had made sure that we'd come home so I could breathe life into him and his mom asked that he have a protector like she did.
It was something that Quinn despite her fear, at first, had come to cherish. Their imprint had truly righted the wrongs and healed the wounds left over from our childhoods. Suddenly, all the curses became the blessings they were meant to be.
Alex and Quinn laughed at his statement while Quil and I reddened. Quinn reaching over to ruffle Jonathan's hair, "Jon, I'm sure they'll get around to it eventually – it only took mom 15 years to move back here, so we've probably got another 10 years to go before they figure it out."
"Not funny, Quinn," I reprimanded.
"Well, I think you should. Then we could have dinner together every night and Quinn and Alex could sleep over every day," he added enthusiastically.
That was the beginning of many times in which Jonathan badgered us. It was the fall after his sixth birthday that we finally tied the knot. The house I'd bought when I returned was sold along with the house he lived with Claire in; instead, we'd built a home in La Push on an empty plot of land. Quil had known about my fantasy home and designed it so that it resembled the house of my dreams. He'd even given me a cat as an anniversary gift on our first year of marriage. Though we didn't name the cat Patches – Jonathan was insistent that the cat's name was Wolfe with an 'e,' so we went along with it.
Nessie had followed my advice and talked to Jake. Though their dreams of children weren't realized – they seemed happier. Both of them taking the time to be a couple and not worrying about things that might never happen. She'd also set some boundaries with her family. Too often they tried to control hers and Jake's life – it had been a consistent issue in their marriage. Finally, they vacationed and visited the Cullens on their own terms.
After Billy's death, Jake effortlessly took over as chief of the tribe. If the tribe noticed that he hadn't aged in decades, none of them said anything about it. There was nearly a whole generation of us who'd barely aged and another after us. In some ways I think it gave the tribe a renewed belief in the magic and lore of our humble beginnings.
I hadn't been surprised that after years of Alex and Sarah being friends that once they entered college how their relationship blossomed. There'd been something in both their eyes the day he imprinted, which led me to believe their imprint would only deepen with time. It was the same way Sam had looked at Emily and Paul at Rachel. They existed for each other; their strengths and weaknesses balancing each other out. The perfect melding of two halves of the same whole – where one ended and the other began was so finite that you couldn't gauge it.
And Quinn had found her way too. Her nature had always reminded me of Leah – before the Sam and Emily debacle. When she'd still been a regular girl who believed in the power of love and was stubborn and focused on what she wanted from life. Quinn had been the bridge on which Leah and I had built a friendship. I'd finally been able to make amends for not understanding Leah and giving her the support she needed.
Quinn was a handful and she needed someone who'd be patient with her. Someone who wouldn't be fazed by her extremes in mood and temper. And that person just happened to be Leah and Embry's oldest son. Poor Harry – he didn't know what he'd signed up for when he'd confessed his undying love for her after his first phase.
She'd rebuked his advances. Quoting my words of wisdom that I'd given to Alex after he'd imprinted on Sarah. The poor boy was tied in knots and even though he hadn't imprinted – he knew in his heart that she was who he wanted. But Quinn didn't want her future to be planned out, not at 17. She wanted what I'd promised.
Quil had been the one to help and guide Harry in winning her heart. It may seem strange that a father would willingly help a boy win over his daughter, but Embry was his best friend, so Quil knew the type of man that Harry would be. So Harry became the friend Quinn wanted and needed. As their friendship grew and strengthened, it didn't take long before we heard her complain that the boys she dated weren't like Harry. Their first date ended up being Harry's senior prom and they went as friends, but returned that night as something more.
Their relationship cemented Harry's status as the Alpha of the pack. Quinn becoming the Alpha female as Leah had before her. And it seemed to solve the mystery of so many years ago - who Embry's father was. It seemed Billy had secrets of his own and I could understand after everything I'd been through how one little moment in time could cause you to create an entire pretense in which the truth was never revealed.
Rachel was the one who put together the pieces as she remembered a time before Jake was born when their parents had been fighting. Sarah had kicked Billy out of the house and he'd left and stayed with his sister Nora on the Makah reservation. Tiffany confirmed the entire story when Rachel, Jake, and Embry confronted her about it. Tiffany's silence was bought with the offer that she and Embry would have a place in the tribe after her parents had kicked her out. And of course, there'd been a tribal job thrown in too. At 18, she'd taken the offer because she had nowhere else to go and no one to help her. It was another thing that I could understand.
Quinn's voice pulled me from my memories. "Mom," I heard her call as she entered our house. "Is dad home?"
"Not yet, but he'll be home soon," I answered, giving her a hug as she entered the kitchen.
"Huh, well I guess I'll wait for him."
"What's going on?"
She chewed her lip and refused to meet my eyes. A gesture left over from her later teenage years when she'd learned to be just as devious – well, maybe not quite – as me.
"Quinn," I inquired, raising a brow in her direction.
"Ugh, I shouldn't tell you 'cause you'll just freak out and be all weird. Alex told me to keep quiet. He's gonna kill me and Harry probably will help him. Damn it."
"Language," I reprimanded. "Jon's upstairs doing homework and his hearing's a bit too keen for me at the moment. So, what's going on?"
"Well, the Cullens – they're back. Remember when those bad guys from Italy came when Nessie was a baby…umm…toddler…you know."
I nodded and waited for her to continue. "It seems like they're going to come here to settle the score. The Cullens – they want the pack to fight, but we're not exactly in agreement and Jake thinks they aren't telling us the whole story. Like numbers and such. Plus, you know we don't like the idea of kids fighting vampire battles."
Well, it seemed like there was finally a reason for all the phasing. Though it wasn't the answer I wanted. In my heart I knew we'd end up fighting because what they weren't telling us – was that the Volturi were after us too. And perhaps, they had a very specific plan for us.
I hadn't been there, but I knew what had happened that December day so long ago. I knew how one of the vampires could touch your hand and see everything you'd ever seen. Anything that you'd catalogued in your memories, no matter how trivial was there for the taking. And Edward had known about our wolves and imprinting. Back then, it had been our one and only weakness. We now knew the wolf could survive without the imprint and the drive could be overridden, but back then we'd been blinded by the stories the elders had told us.
"Well, it won't just be your dad there when this meeting occurs. I assume you want him because you need the elders' blessing."
"Mom! Really? You're just going to be strange about the whole thing and probably embarrass Alex and me."
Her protests were met by deaf ears and when Quil came home a few minutes later, he'd simply thrown his hands up in the air. He knew which battles to fight and which ones weren't worth the time. The oldest members of the new pack – Quinn, Alex, Harry, and Sam's two boys along with the elders – Embry, Leah, Jake, Quil, and Sam all went to the Cullens' place in Forks.
It had been decades since I'd set eyes on them and they hadn't changed. If anything they looked even creepier than what I remembered. How they ever thought they fooled humans into believing they weren't a danger was beyond me.
Jake and Carlisle lead the meeting. I must admit that I was proud of the strength and leadership Jake showed. For once, he was thinking about the good of the pack and the tribe. This wasn't his selfish desire to protect a girl who was choosing death over life. It was about the future of our children and children's children. This was the man that Billy had wanted his son to become and I knew that he and Sarah were proudly witnessing this moment.
"Will the pack fight with us?" Carlisle asked.
"Why should we," Jake countered. "According to what Edward told Ness the Volturi are coming for you…this isn't our battle to wage, not anymore."
Carlisle looked shocked, his face turning toward Edward before moving back to us, "I don't know why he said that. This fight involves you. From what Alice has been able to see – they are looking to enact their revenge for what happened all those years ago. Us standing with our enemy, the wolves, against the Volturi and making fools out of them. They never forget."
I knew it wasn't my place to speak, but I had to, "So, basically you're telling us that had we actually fought them all those years ago this wouldn't be an issue? I wouldn't have to worry about my children fighting a battle that isn't theirs."
There were several stiff nods on the Cullen side and I continued, "If – and it's a big if – we choose to fight, what's in it for us? Your arrival in Forks took our futures from us. Some that phased the first time we faced the Volturi were as young as 10, did you know that? And now we've got the same thing happening. The youngest this time is 11 – Seth's son. I – we," I motioned to Quil and myself, "stand to lose three children if we fight. Think about all the children we could lose. Not to mention if the original pack chooses to fight. In one day – I could be left a widow and childless, so again – what are you going to do so that this doesn't happen again?"
It seemed I'd struck a nerve. Several of the Cullens looked stricken by my words. One even reprimanded Bella and Edward.
"Did you know this? And you still allowed it to happen?!" the long-haired blonde vampire seethed.
"Rosalie," Edward beseeched, putting his hands up in defense.
"No! I can't believe you'd ask this of them – that you asked this of them! The pack leaders were practically children themselves. It was wrong, so very wrong and now truthfully they're left without a choice but to fight. You, Bella, and Nessie should've gone to the Volturi and turned yourselves in."
It was what I'd needed to hear. What I think we all needed to hear – the fact that Edward and Bella had selfishly been willing to sacrifice everyone's lives for their own. We couldn't change the past, but the future was in our hands.
In the end, the pack chose to fight – both, the new one which consisted of our children and the original one. This time they were fighting for something much different and this time they wouldn't stand in a meadow and talk – they'd battle. The imprints fell into their old roles – feeding, clothing, and taking care of the pack. We pulled together like we had all those years ago and ran the behind the scenes while the pack trained and learned to fight together.
There wasn't time for fear or doubt. We were strong and unstoppable. Centuries of magic ran through our veins along with the will to live. This would be a battle which we'd record in our histories.
It was on a cold December day, nearly 30 years to the date when the Volturi arrived in our small part of the world. Everything that happened that day on the battlefield – I heard through the others.
The imprints, we'd gathered the tribe at the community center – the young, the old, and everyone in-between. In their eyes, I saw the worry that lingered as though they knew the truth of our deception. This wasn't a gathering to preserve our history – it was a gathering to try and ensure no human lives were lost.
Our warriors were fighting in battle for us and we'd be here waiting for them to return to our arms.
The skies were a dismal grey, the sun non-existent, and in the distance I could see the purple plumes of smoke. The smoke signaling that we'd managed to defeat some of our enemies, but it couldn't tell me how many. As the day went on, we gathered into a circle – one elder whose name escaped me began to pray in Quileute. Her voice ringing loud and true – its tempo resonated in our hearts. I imagined that the pack could hear and feel it too. That it gave them the strength they needed to continue.
It was near sunset, when the first survivors began to trickle in. The walking wounded. We got to work and began to triage them. The older residents of the tribe scooped up the young children and moved them to the meeting rooms. The older children and teens followed – their fear outweighing their curiosity.
It was long after nightfall when our dead arrived. They came carried on the shoulders of their brothers. The remaining Cullens came to help where they could. Their pale faces in stark contrast to our darkened complexions.
I began to sort through who of the Cullens weren't present. Edward, Jasper, and Alice. Then I moved to those of ours we'd lost. Their bodies forever stilled.
Sam, Harry's younger brother Michael, Collin, and Jared. We'd lost 4 to their 3. Nearly even numbers, which gave me the impression they'd fought just as hard as we had. The fact most were still standing meant we'd won. The Volturi would never bother us again – I doubted any of them were still alive; else the pack would still be out there fighting.
Rachel brushed against me, her voice low as she whispered, "Have you seen Nessie?"
I shook my head, but began to glance around the room. A shrill keening cry had a shiver running down my spine. I turned toward the direction that it'd come from and realized it was Bella. It answered Rachel's question – there lying with our dead was one body that was paler and slighter than any of our warriors, but covered in blood. Unlike her vampire relatives, her genetics made her closer to us than them.
Our heroes that day were the dead. Jared sacrificing himself to save Quinn – his imprint on me overriding his desire to protect himself as he knew I wouldn't be able to handle burying my child. Sam died protecting his sons; the legacy that he and Emily would leave behind. Nessie's death saved Gavin – the youngest of the pack. Michael had leapt in front of Esme, his body crushed by Felix's arms.
Collin and Alice were Paul and Rachel's twins' saviors. Without them, one or both of the young boys would have been lost, forcing Paul to explain to Rachel why he'd come home alone. When Alice's life was ended, Jasper went on a rampage. His fury quickly caused him to make a poor choice and he'd fallen prey to the Volturi. Lastly, Edward had given his existence to save Jake and now that Nessie was gone – Jake was getting a second chance to have a different life.
We'd come full circle. Our losses equal and this would be the last time we'd fight together. The remaining Cullens would take the Volturi's place in Italy – proclaiming themselves the rulers of the vampire world. The Cullens giving us the one thing we'd longed for – peace. We'd never have to fear another vampire crossing our land or our children phasing because they were always watching to ensure it never happened. Our grandchildren would be no longer be bound to protect the tribe.
What had been started over 30 years ago could finally be put to rest. An ending to our beginning.
FF_9072904_40 05/16/13 10:20PM