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Categories: Twilight, Alternate Universe
Main Pairing: Bella/
THE RETURN HOME FROM WAR
Both have tasted the civil war and both know what it was like. They are proud to have fought for the south, but they didn't intend on becoming what they are now. Today is a day they were not looking forward to, but they were. It doesn't make sense at all.
They want to go home where there family is and their loved ones. But it isn't so easy, when you haven't been in touch with them in so long; you have almost forgotten what their letters were like. If they didn't keep the letters they would never know at all.
"Captain. Please see the Major. He's in his tent."
The young enlisted saluted and left immediately. Captain went to see the Major, he didn't know what to expect when he got there. What he found was a complete and utter mess of a Major. He was on the ground trying to hold it in check for the sake of sanity and his own respect. He had her letters there in front of him. Aahhh ... now the Captain understood. He was missing her. Can't blame him, they got engaged a month before he had to leave to fight.
Then the letters came when she could find time to write. She admitted to Charlotte that she hurts too much to write to him. She loves him too much to hurt him with the letters knowing she can't be there in his arms. At least that's what Charlotte said to Peter in the letter.
Sometimes being Major Jasper Whitlock's Captain really stinks. Today is the day they were both given to pack because they had to head out at twilight. The day has passed and they had just gotten their own horses back and headed home in plain clothes.
Isabella's last letter was sent a month ago. He never did reply because she expressed her deep sadness at always having to write but never seeing him. She hurts from it. The Major was always a little stubborn; it was good to some point. They're on their horses now and before they get out of the camp ground there called into the main tent.
Given one final set of orders. ..
The Captain had to go out to the other side of the camp and supervise the building of defences. The Major had to go out to escort some women and children to their camp so they can be taken to safety. They both head off to do that.
MAJOR JASPER WHITLOCK'S POV
"Can I help you ma'am? Are you hurt?"
"Oh my, aren't you a gentleman."
I hopped down from my horse and as I started to walk their way I felt a great unease around them, I knew there was a sense of danger to them. But one of them looked hurt, the gentleman in me as well as the soldier said to help them. I swallowed hard and sent a silent prayer to the lord to help me and to look after my own southern belle. She was waiting for me to return, as was Charlotte for Peter. So I walked over to them and I for some strange reason back stepped and placed my dog tags and hat on my horse. I stepped over to them and knelt down to help the wounded one. I hoped and prayed that I would make it home to her, but something told me I wouldn't be getting home. I do so love you my southern belle.
"Well, aren't you just the gentleman then, soldier."
She sounded wrong, like she was from some other ... holy fuck, union... I knew I was dead, before they drew the blade and it ran across my throat. My last thought was for my southern belle. She would on this third day of the week be expecting news from Charlotte of when our arrival would be...
CAPTAIN PETER WHITLOCK'S POV
I have to take these few items back with me of my brother; this is something I never wanted to do. He was going to be missed by everyone, especially me and Charlotte and his aptly named southern belle. She will be grief stricken; I decided to let her have all his items, except the uniform. She would understand. She never wanted him to go to war; she relented because he wanted it so badly. Her love for him was overpowering, it was so strong you couldn't be in the same room as them and not see or feel it.
I knocked on her door, took my hat off and held it in my left hand as I held the letter and his belongings in my right hand. I heard the footsteps descending the stairs from where their bedroom and private balcony and library is. She opened the door with the most beautiful smile on her face. But I couldn't look at her face so I looked down; she looked behind me and all around the yard. "Peter? Where is he?"
She looked down at my hand and I felt the sob in my own throat enlarge and choke me as I heard her broken sobs when she caught sight of what I had in my hand. She flung herself at me and screamed out her grief. I fell to the floor with her and then I noticed a shadow in the doorway to the kitchen, Charlotte. She understood it was a risk as did this grief stricken woman in front of me. But her grief was violent in its release, and I allowed her that outlet. She needs this and I think, in some odd way… I do too.
It was hours before she relented and let Char take her to her bedroom. I walked in and sat down on a dining chair and sank my head into my hands. This will get worse before it gets better; his body was being delivered today by wagon. I need to go down there and pick it up. I had to get it back to home for us. I explained this to the General and he understood fully. But he insisted that my brother get buried with full military honours. We got his flag and we got the one flown that day at camp we had them folded and my future sister in law and I would both be getting one each.
I would be surprised if she came out of this with a minimum of emotional scarring. Charlotte has a plate in front of me with a mug of water, but I cannot stomach anything at the moment.
"We now go by the wishes of the Majors family and fiancée. We will talk not from the bible or any other book, but from the heart."
The General looked briefly at me then his eyes flickered to my fiancée then to my future sister in law. He saw her face; it spoke volumes of unspoken emotions. I truly was preparing for her to die of heartache. I listened to the General continue,
"The Major has always been a proud man, honourable to the last breath. He aided when he had to and volunteered when he didn't have to. He was a kind hearted and generous man. He held an unspoken level of love for who he calls his southern belle. Lord we lay our Major in the ground at his private family's own cemetery. We request you look after him and welcome him with open arms. May you bless him now as you did the day he was born. AMEN."
Then we heard it, high keening scream as she fell from the chair and crumpled to the ground in broken sobs and screams of pain. Charlotte held onto her and I got her onto the chair. She had his tags and hat placed on the folded flag that they gave her. Then she fainted, her last words of the day were whispered loud enough for most to hear.
"I'm coming my love, soon, so very soon."
She stood as we all watched and she walked like she was on death row back to the house she would call her final resting place. She flat out refused to move anywhere when associates suggested it.
She stayed in her room grieving for weeks, barely eating but enough to stay alive. She was dying, I felt it. She wasn't killing herself, no.
It is heartache that was doing it, I could almost feel it. Death had hung its hat above her door and she allowed him entrance. Today had started out sombrely, and then we heard her door open and she came down the stairs. She walked out to the garden and straight down to the grave site.
She had plucked some of my brother's favourite wildflowers on her way and placed them in a small vase with what I assume was water. She walked back inside and straight back up the stairs and in their room after going to the gravesite. She moved so slow and looked like the weight of the world was on her shoulders. But I knew it was only one thing, it was killing her and I can't do anything to stop it. The General came by once and found out what she was going through, he left with a knowing, but sad expression on his face.
Its morning now and I walked up and knocked on her door "It's me, Peter, I am coming in now." I walk in and she was still lying there her eyes closed and her sadness was evident in her room, but the look on her face was of joy and love, although her eyes were closed I felt... Oh shit.
"Charlotte. Here, now." I noticed a slip of paper on the bed beside her; it was in her hand that it was written.
To my Darlin' family of only two.
Dear Peter and Charlotte.
I know it is sad to see me suffer as such. I know that I cannot stop what will happen.
You both have been my guiding light, but my one soul is only half. My heart is torn. Blackened with death and grief.
Please understand that I tried to keep going, but my heart yearns to hold him, to hear him whisper
In my ear his love for me.
To have his sweet kisses upon my lips once again. But mostly…..
To be with him.
I love you both dearly.
Bury me with my engagement dress on and store my already paid for wedding dress away until Charlotte needs it, please.
I know you would want to keep his hat, tags and flag here, so I will gladly let you have them.
I will see you in many years' time...
It will be when I come down to check on my many nieces and nephews that you will create.
They alone will see me, as is the way of children's innocence.
But when they do, they will let you know.
Do not be afraid my family, life must go on.
I leave you now as death holds his hand out for me. I must join my Major.
Isabella Swan, (soon to be Whitlock).
(Once I get up to him.)
I read it and reread it. Then Charlotte read it. By now the doctor had come and he told us what we already knew. Heartache killed our southern belle. We stayed with her until she was taken to be what the doctor called, 'dealt with'; Charlotte went with her so they treat her with respect.
It was a warm spring day with white clouds in a bright blue sky.
"We lay to rest a true southern belle, the one and only Mrs Jasper Whitlock. She held her head up with pride for her family and her Major. She loved limitless. She gave unconditionally. She was selfless in her actions and care of others. We lay you down beside your own soldier, Mrs Whitlock; we hope you find peace there, where you never found it here after his leaving. AMEN." We put the flowers down onto her coffin, her tulips that she loved and the wildflowers she loved her Major loving. We waited until the coffin was placed down beside my brothers. I looked up at the sky, I swear I saw two smiling faces turn to each other, kiss then turn to us and smile.