Not of Dust, But of Darkness
It's been well established that no vampire is ever going to have children. Unless, you know, you change a child into a vampire. Now, whoever would be as selfish as to do something like that? If you guessed Rosalie, you would be right. But perhaps this action isn't as shallow as Carlisle thinks... maybe she's just taking cues from dear old Dad.
1. Not of Dust, But of Darkness
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1098 Review this Chapter
Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. Matthew 12:33-35
It had been a long day at the hospital, and if Carlisle could feel weary, he would. He didn't mind the long days, though. Now that his family was scattered around the world, with the exception of Esme, he didn't have much to fill the long nights with. That's why he was surprised when he saw Rosalie's red car parked outside of the house. She was supposed to be in Africa with Emmett, Vampires Without Borders. She wanted more control over her thirst.
He opened the front door of his home, not quite sure what to expect. Esme was not there to greet him as she usually was, so he whispered her name.
"We're upstairs in Rosalie's bedroom, dear," came the reply from upstairs.
He took the stairs four at a time, and was pushing open the door to Rosalie's room in a few moments. Esme was sitting in a chair by the bed (a prop), and Rosalie and Emmett stood on the other side. All eyes were trained on the small figure lying in the bed.
It was a young girl, no more than twelve, he guessed. Her skin was dark like a coffee bean and her eyes were darker. She absolutely, unnaturally gorgeous.
"Where did you find her? She is so new, who turned her? Who would turn a child?" Carlisle forced his questions through the lump in his throat.
The vampires outside of the few "vegetarians" could surely be cruel. The Volturi alone probably murdered thousands of humans a year, and generally it was not a kind death. But in all their cruelty, none would turn a child into one of them. A child would remain so for all eternity, never growing, never changing. A thousand years could pass and they would still never be allowed into an R movie, among other things. It was utterly reprehensible. There were exceptions, of course, like Jane and Alec. But, they were to be burned at the stake, and Aro had wanted them so badly.
"When we found her, she was alone in a hut with the bodies of her parents. They were both dead of AIDS. She would have followed them quickly enough. I did what I had to, to save her. Like you did with Edward." Rosalie spoke with her eyes cast down at the girl. Emmett, too, did not look at Carlisle, just clasped a heavy hand on Rosalie's shoulder.
Carlisle could feel the world spinning around him. He could see the scene too easily in his eyes. He had spent more than a few years in Africa this century. He witnessed AIDS ravaging the continent, leaving countless orphans and ghost villages. He nursed so many people to their death. In the Western world, they would have a chance. The medication could give them an extra decade or two. Precautions could be taken to prevent the disease from infecting children as they were born. But Africa didn't have the money. Carlisle nearly decimated his own fortune in the early nineties, buying and importing the antiretrovirals needed to stave off the progression of the disease.
In the end, he only left the continent because of Esme. Oh, she loved and nursed as well as any human caregiver, but her compassion was killing her. Many nights they kept vigil at a child's bedside, easing her through the last of the pneumonia that filled her lungs. Carlisle would share a long look with Esme, and the thought was always present in their minds. But he knew in his heart that a brief childhood was better than an eternal one.
"She is a child!", he hissed. "How dare you change a child! You have doomed her!" The volume of his voice raised until the last word shook the foundations of the house.
Rosalie hissed right back at him. "How dare I? Change a child? What was I when you changed me? I was only eighteen! And how about Edward, even younger. And you let him change Bella, and she had a life to live! Her parents are living and love her, is she not doomed?
"You cannot judge me, Carlisle. For if you judge me, you are judging yourself. Of course she will never change. Her breasts will never grow, she will never bleed. But she will live, and she will have Emmett and I to protect her. We will never leave her. She is our child." At this, Rosalie bent down and took the girl in her arms, and pressed a pale cheek to her forehead. The contrast between Rosalie's blonde hair and the child's dark curls was striking. The girl who had not yet said a word clung to her new mother.
Carlisle felt sick. His eyes did not see the vampires in front of him; instead, he saw countless pairs of brown eyes going dim. He saw a different Esme, in khaki, shoulders shaking with sobs, her eyes dry. Edward, green eyes rolling in his head, moaning as the fever sucked the life from his body. Edward, with eyes filled with blood, reeling with his new senses.
Eventually the room came back to him. The girl had thrown back the covers and stood in front of him.
"Please do not be angry," the child whispered. Her English was heavily accented, perhaps learned in a schoolhouse from missionaries. "My mother saved me, like you saved her. I am happy, to be here. I love my parents. My grandmother. And you, if you will let me."
He grabbed the child in a fierce hug. She beamed at him when he let her go. Carlisle stepped back and looked straight into Rosalie's golden eyes.
"You are right, Rosalie. I can not judge you, for the log in my own eye is large. The only one who can judge, truly, is God. I only pray that our good deeds make up for the egregious errors we all have made." He turned to leave the room, but paused and turned to smile beautifully at the newest addition to his family.
"Welcome, little one. Please, rest a little more. We can go hunting together later. As a family."