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Fair by Marauder by Midnight Rosalie Hale had stayed silent since after the night of the voting, but she continues to endure feelings of self-guilt and frustration as she watches Isabella Swann integrate herself deeply into Rosalie's family. Rosalie itches to show Bella what she would lose - humanity - and finally finds her chance the night Bella sleeps over. One thing stands between her and Bella now: Alice. Response to a prompt given by the LJ community twilightathon "A story centering on a conversation between Alice and Rosalie." Eclipse spoilers.

I'm responding to twilightathon's round 2 of prompts. #3: A story centering on a conversation between Alice and Rosalie.

1. Fair

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2060   Review this Chapter

by Marauder by Midnight

It was absurd. This entire idea was preposterous. And for what? To protect a human from something she adamantly refuses to be protected from?

I was glad Edward wasn’t here; surely, my thoughts would annoy and anger him to no end. No matter what this human might think, I loved him and would cause him no more pain.

After what had happened back in March, I had remained in the background shamefully. I couldn’t very well approach Bella, not after what I had said during the night of the vote. I had done her wrong, and she and Edward had assured me I was forgiven. I could not so easily excuse my behavior.

There had been so many days when I wondered if I had deliberately lied to Edward that day when Alice had sprung up and left. Did I really want so badly for Bella to disappear from our lives? Was I truly hoping that by telling Edward what I had so quickly concluded, I would erase a tainted fragment from our lives? Did I really expect Edward to get over the death of his love and carry on eternity with us and without her?

All these thoughts ravaged my mind, often leaving me either irritable or sullen most of the time. Emmett tried his best to help me overcome them, but they were my demons to face, not his. However, I finally heeded his appeals to be nicer to our visitor, not so much for him as for her.

Isabella. What a beautiful name for such a plain girl. Yet how gloriously has she awoken a part of my brother I had so long ago given up on. I may disapprove of her, but I was in their debt, her and Edward’s, for my role in the fiasco last spring. And for my brother, I would not make that error again.

So I had pretended to listen as Alice chattered on and on about trivial human matters to Bella as she ate her dinner. I had watched the movie with Alice, Esme, and Bella silently, keeping an expressionless face the entire time (I hadn’t mastered a convincing smile just yet). I had let Esme paint my toenails as Alice did the same to Bella. I was a good sport about the whole thing, but this…this was ridiculous.

“Hey Jake, it’s me.”

Esme patted my leg soothingly as she saw me tense. What was she doing? I raged inside. She couldn’t have it both ways. She couldn’t possibly believe she could dally with that dog when she had been so fervently to join us. No human had ever driven me to the brink of madness like her. One moment, I was indifferent to her existence. The next, I was either infuriated beyond belief or guilt-stricken to the point of depression.

I listened to this side of the conversation, and there was no mistaking the love she felt for this Jacob character, whom I had the pleasure of never meeting. I wondered if Bella had any idea what would happen when she joined us. The war was one thing, but what of her emotions? Did she know she’d never have the friendship and the love of that wolf? Did she know she would never be able to straddle the boundary line as she could now when she was human?

It was frustrating for this young woman to not see what she had. If she had known, would she throw it all away as easily as she thought she would?

It was time I let her know. It was only fair.

Alice shot a look of confusion at me from the other side of the room as she saw my decision. I met her gaze steadily, my mind set. I was nervous, but I couldn’t show it. This was the time I would let my guard down around Bella and perhaps answer any questions she might have about me. I had to do this calmly and efficiently. Change her mind while I still had the time. It was the opportune moment, with the men away.

“’Night, Jake.”

Immediately, Alice broke eye contact with me and returned to Bella’s side. She glanced at the number Bella was now dialing. “I don’t think he’ll have his phone on him,” she said.

Of course she’d call Edward. He was her anchor, as Emmett was mine. I almost smiled when she growled into the phone. As she hung up, she voiced her intentions to go to bed. It was now or never. I too stood up to follow Bella to her room.

However, just as approached Bella’s back, Alice danced in between. She shot me a warning look that clearly said, “Not now,” and followed Bella possessively up the stairs, keeping one eye on me the whole time. Bella made some remark about Alice’s overprotective manner, and Alice answered innocently. They disappeared into Edward’s room, and though they were still within earshot, I turned away.

I shouldn’t act on impulse. But the more I thought about it, the more Bella deserved to know my story. If it would save her from making a mistake, then I didn’t care how much it would hurt me to relive that night’s events. I owed her that much.

I had worked up the courage to dredge up those terrible memories, but after being so shot down, I didn’t have the time to rebuild the dam between my mind and my creation. Images of Royce and his friends, in drunken fun, flashed before me. I felt the pain and roughness as they penetrated me, ignoring my cries of protest. I experienced that familiar shame as I did that night when I had realized it was all my fault. But strongest of all, I suffered the remorse of knowing I will never have my king or my little prince. My knees almost buckled from the strength of that human emotion. I grabbed the railing for support, and one hand flew to my mouth to suppress my cry of anguish.

“What are you trying to pull, Rosalie?” Alice had returned, catching me in my moment of weakness, but her voice contained cool malice as she ignored my shriveled state.

I straightened slowly and as normally as possible, but Alice watched my every move. I was good at hiding my passion. “Is she tucked in?” I asked with indifference. I knew I sounded innocent, too innocent, but I didn’t mean to be. I turned around to face her.

She narrowed her eyes, scrutinizing me. As her eyes flitted to my face, I showed my concern and my sorrow in my expression. I was never one to wear her feelings on her sleeves, so Alice twitched with surprise.

Finally, she lowered her gaze. “What are you doing here, Rose? She doesn’t need to talk to you right now.”

“Yes, I can’t really say I don’t understand why.”

Alice’s small face hardened. “If you’re trying to scare her out of this, it won’t work.” She glared at me. “She’s got enough nightmares to deal with without your help.” She added a snarl at the end to warn me.

I turned away again. I wasn’t going to fight her about this, but I was going to talk to Bella, whether Alice approved or not. She had to see from my point of view.

“Alice,” my voice was uncharacteristically small, “this is something only I understand. Only I can point out her options and her mistakes. If you truly call yourself her friend – “ Alice emitted a defensive growl, “then you’d agree to let her know everything that might affect her ultimate decision in the end.”

“I can’t believe you,” Alice’s voice trembled with anger. I looked back at her, surprised at how Alice was reacting. I thought I had reasoned with her. I had thought that if I mentioned her friendship with Bella that she’d feel obligated, just as I do.

“I can’t believe that you’d do this. I knew you were vain, but this is just selfish, Rosalie Hale.” I opened my mouth to retort with indignation, but Alice cut me off. “You don’t like her, Rosalie. Fine. This family dealt with your animosity as best we could. We tried to persuade you. We compromised with Bella. We even ignored it when it became so strong that even Bella felt uncomfortable. But still you want to chase her away like some prey, trying to protect our lifestyle.”

Alice didn’t raise her voice, but I barely suppressed the shudder that rippled through me as she spoke more and more vehemently. Esme, who had left to give us privacy, swiftly entered the room, concern shining in her golden eyes. I glanced at her, conveying to her that we weren’t to be interrupted, no matter how ugly this might get.

“Well, I’ve had it, Rosalie. It’s not about him and Bella anymore. We’re connected. You, me, Emmett, Edward, everyone. I’d lose my friend. And Edward…he’d lose his life. And then what?” This time, Alice’s voice went up a few pitches. “That would hurt Esme and Carlisle. That would hurt everyone in this family. And it might even hurt you, the one without a heart even metaphorically speaking.” I winced. Her accusations weren’t unfounded, but they hurt all the same.

“Alice!” Esme exclaimed with displeasure.

“The decision is Bella’s, that’s true enough,” Alice continued, ignoring Esme’s interruption, “She has the right to change her mind for whatever reason she wants. But damn it, Rosalie, if I let you hurt her in the process.”

“Those aren’t my intentions, Alice,” I murmured. “I need to speak with Bella. My story is crucial to her decision, but I won’t try to scare her into remaining human. Humanity isn’t something that should be frightening anyway. I…I want her to know what she has that she’ll have to give up to join us. She could have so much that we can’t offer her. A husband who won’t lust after her blood. Children to play with and love. Friends she won’t have to guard herself against. And a rest.” I knew I was treading on dangerous ground, but I had to say it. “Death isn’t always a bad thing, Alice. I wouldn’t have minded dying because in my human years. Humans usually come to terms with the fact that they have a definite end. What makes you think she wouldn’t want that after maybe seventy, eighty years of life?

“She might not see all the benefits yet, and I just want her to see that…future as a human isn’t so bad.” Alice still stood stonily in my way. “Look, Alice. I’m not going to tell her to stay away from us, okay? That wouldn’t be fair to her or Edward, and they certainly can’t handle separation anyway.” I tried to ignore the guilt that tugged on me. Memories of that March day and images of what could have happened flashed in my mind.

“She has a werewolf friend, Alice. What we’re doing is asking her to forget about him and whatever he had done to help her cope with our abandonment. And what about Charlie? Reneé? Are you asking her to leave them behind without a second thought? You’re asking to tear her in two. She’s so blinded by her love for Edward and us that she doesn’t even see that she has other options. I want to present to her the case for humanity, however biased that might be. That, I think, is fair.”

Alice finally seemed to understand my argument. She struggled with the decision, but I already knew I would talk to Bella tonight. After a long period of time, she warned menacingly, “You’re not allowed to lose your temper around her. Be patient when you explain your story. You’re not to frighten her. If you do anything to hurt her, Rosalie, not even Emmett will save you.” She straightened. “I’ll be listening.”

I nodded. “I promise to behave, Alice, but,” I hesitated, “I can’t promise I’ll be her friend.”

Alice nodded too. “We can’t ask that much from you, now can we?”

I ignored her retort and brushed past her toward the stairs on my way to reveal the weakest part of my life I had sworn never to relive again. But it was only fair.