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All the World's a Stage

The conversation between Rosalie and Edward regarding Bella's 'suicide' has tainted intentions. "It is fighting dirty, and Rosalie Hale is nothing if not clean."

Edward/Rosalie. One-shot, takes place during New Moon.

1. And All the Men and Women Merely Players

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1155   Review this Chapter

She pauses, fingers poised above the numbers of her cell phone. She knows she shouldn’t do this, it is wrong and very un-sisterly like of her to break him this way.

It is fighting dirty, and Rosalie Hale is nothing if not clean.

The words left unsaid. The never-ending loop of nights with an empty bed, not necessarily vacant, but void of him…It all suddenly comes crashing down on her and though she knows oxygen is utterly worthless to her long-since-fossilized lungs, she’s struggling to breathe.

She’s not quite sure how long it has been there (yes she is, since 1933); years unto decades (always, perhaps?). And she’s not quite sure of its brainless decision to manifest itself unto her at this; the most inopportune of times.

Everything with Edward happens inopportunely.

She grimaces, her porcelain features still radiant in this unseemly gesture. All of this silly human nonsense envelops and plagues the house now, she thinks. Bella Swan is a disease unto Rosalie and her perfected process of manufacturing indifference. A tragic slip-up upon the faultless choreographed dance that she performs every minute of every day. The sight of the brunette stirs something within Rosalie. This insignificant girl that masquerades about her family, vying for their attentions and affections.

It makes her sick to see them all willingly accept, succumb to the (unnecessary) change. While she knows her vanity will never allow her to comprehend why he seems to be so besotted with the girl, she is powerless to suppress that overwhelming (now constant) sense of stirring.

Rosalie Hale would never admit her envy of anyone.

It had not always been this way. No. It used to be different. Not better, not exactly worse…just different. When there were two and not five. Occasionally, memories slip through the self-fortified cracks in Rosalie’s mind. Vivid images of continuous snow blanketing an already icy tundra while the rivers of red drip viciously from her perfect lips. The destruction, the inescapable prospect of eternal life in this death cannot quite eclipse the intermingling memories of forlorn sighs and the brushing of fingertips.

During the day, she was a force to be reckoned with. In the sunlit hours, Edward rarely dared to speak to her. Her conceited pride and his incessant probing made conversation volatile. Edward was never one for confrontations. Instead, they would sit; her at the window, him on a chair with a book. When night had fallen, they divided with conciliatory partings of “Good night, Edward” and “See you in the morning, Rosalie”.

And they would exit their stage.

Those first few nights that she had not spent alone were a mishap, a flaw in her carefully constructed armor. She had wandered (no, gravitated) into Edward’s room one night and found him lounging on his sofa, book open, and marble face set into the usual mask of apathy.

“Something amiss, Rosalie? Have you lost your hairbrush?” he murmured, his eyes never leaving the weathered pages.

She scoffed, her thoughts raging with the accustomed that insufferable, unbearable... oh, Edward! With an external huff she crossed the room and sank next to him on the couch.

She swore she saw the corner of his lips pull up just a fraction of an inch.

“No,” was her reply.

He reluctantly cast his eyes over to her, expectant of an explanation, a request of some sort. She said nothing more, but Edward could have sworn he had heard a whisper of Idon’twanttobealone swirling about in her mind.

“I know.”

Long icicles left their position from the spine of the book and covered her own frozen fingers.

And she sat with him until the sun had risen.

The perfunctory days of silence went on without a trace of an allusion to the now regular nighttime occurrences. Some nights the pair would sit on Edward’s couch, never saying much. Though they both wanted so desperately to act on that stirring, that looming feeling that something should happen (something must happen). Both too stubborn in their own ways to admit defeat, to concede to not being miserable in this life of death; too content in their comfortably familiar act of stolidness.

Some nights he had come to her, the darkened hours when she would lie still in her bed (a habit she could not seem to give up) and he would enter her room with a slight tap on the door and cling tightly to her until the dawn would break. His hands would occasionally brush flaxen curls off her shoulder or smooth a cheek that he knew would be wet with tears (if she had anything other than that vile venom moistening her eyes).

And Rosalie Hale had ceased to be. How long she could go without acting on those feelings that she was still desperately trying to suppress (down, always further down) she did not know. Forever perhaps.

“Oh, Rose,” he would whisper into her ear as he held her against him, lips grazing the ivory skin of the shell. Only during the night would he dare such an intimate contact, such a close call. She shifted in his arms so that her face was inches from his own, their noses nearly touching. Their eyes would close; a flutter of ink against their alabaster flesh. Expectantly, waiting for the other to move, to strike.

In vain.

The well-rehearsed act has become just that.

“It’s for the best,” she says as she walks out the door. And Edward finally begins to see that they have something in common in their obstinacy.

Time passed and things inevitably changed. Every night spent together weaned to every few days, shrank to once in a while. Stopped.

So very long ago. But every now and then, when the night fell and Rosalie found herself alone (not necessarily unaccompanied, just without him) she felt that sickeningly familiar pang of loneliness. That weakened state of fear would creep up on her and she could not ignore that stirring. And her mind would drift like the constant snow, as it always did, back to the bed in the artic. When it was just two and not five. Back to the what if’s? and the maybes that never seemed to completely fade away with the years. Back to the place where everything was so much simpler, and yet so oddly complicated.

Rosalie Hale has always managed to get what she wants. It’s the translation of want that was (is) the problem.

From the deep, deep down she would always manage to push up that feigned indifference. She would put on her mask and it was on with the show.

Fuck it all, she thinks. But she knows if he were here it would be deciphered as a murmured plea of Idon’twanttobealone.

Rosalie sighs into the receiver,

“She’s dead, Edward.”

Since when did ambition become a sin?