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Now You're One of Us

Summary:
While vacationing, Alice and Jasper Hale stumble across the planning of a massacre. Emma Volding is a six-year-old who's mother is killed in the fray. Seeing she has a similar gift, Carlisle grants permission for Alice and Jasper to take her in as theirs.


Notes:
My first Twilight fanfic. It has gotten a lot of positive feedback at Fanfiction.net. And I wanted to share it with other Twilight fans.


9. Chapter 9

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3001   Review this Chapter

Chapter Nine

Emma was intrigued when she was called into the living room later in the evening. Normally, Jasper and Alice had her in bed by eight o’clock, and it was nine. “What’s going on?” She was immediately suspicious, seeing Rosalie in the room. It wasn’t usually like Rosalie to want to be around while she was in the same room.

“Well....” Carlisle came over, and took her by the hand, leading her to his seat. He sat down, and put her in his lap. “The truth of the matter is, Emmeline…we’ve reached a decision about…things.” He wasn’t sure how to approach the subject of her transformation. He wasn’t entirely sure Emma would understand what that entailed. “Our family is in a lot of trouble, because we took you in.” He said slowly. He was quick to rush on, when she looked like she might apologize. “It’s not your fault, little one. We felt like we owed you.” He looked up at Jasper, and Alice, then back to Emma. “There are only two ways this could possibly go, Emmeline. We either…change you, or you die at the hands of the Volturi.” He wanted to give her the choice, knowing what she’d choose without a doubt.

Emma was silent for a long time after that. She glanced at Rosalie. The girl was biting her lower lip in disapproval. Or maybe she was forbidding herself to speak up again. The child wasn’t sure. But she did wonder at her presence anyway.

“Rosalie’s here because she is a part of this.” Edward answered her unspoken question. “She’s not going to try and scare you again.” Carlisle, Emmett and Edward had given Rosalie a strong talking to after her explosion upstairs. He offered her a half smile of encouragement, wanting her to feel comfortable to ask any questions she had about anything. It had occurred to the family that Emma probably had thousands of questions pent up from the months she’d been there she’d barely asked. “If you have any questions that you need to ask, now is the time to do it.” He added kindly. He moved to sit near Bella, who was holding their daughter close as she slept soundly against her chest.

Emma shook her head. She was feeling pretty bad that things had come to this, all because of her. She could feel the pain and anguish that ripped through Alice and Jasper. She felt the anger that swelled in Rosalie, and the sadness that overwhelmed Emmett’s otherwise carefree nature. Carlisle and Esme were more concerned than anything else. Bella, Edward and Renesmee all seemed cautionary as well. “I’d do anything to make Jasper and Alice stop hurting so much.” She said this solemnly, as she went over, and climbed into Alice’s lap. “It’s because of me.”

Jasper shook his head, but he wouldn’t try and tell her differently. She was conflicted enough, that he didn’t think trying to explain one more thing to her of that nature was going to help at all. He merely just laid a hand on her shoulder, willing her to feel more at ease about things. “We don’t want to lose you, Em…” He said quietly. “We’d like it if you…joined us..”

“It will mean some preparations that must happen immediately, Emmeline.” Alice said now. She ran a hand through Emma’s hair. “We need you to understand what will happen, and what to expect.”

“Will it hurt…?” Emma asked now. That was her only concern at the moment.

“Well, I’m not going to lie to you…” Jasper said quietly. “It will be uncomfortable…” He cradled her gently. “But we’ll be by your side the entire time.

Emma nodded silently. She leaned against Jasper. “And my other question before…?” She honestly wanted to know who would be the one to change her.

“Well…” Carlisle wasn’t even certain if any of his children could do it without possibly going too far He knew of her question, because he and Jasper had spoken of it. “Who do you want to do it?” He asked casually. He smiled kindly. It seemed odd for them to be discussing this so casually. They were, in essence, discussing who would end her life as she’d known it.

“Alice, Jasper, or Emmett.”

“No!” Rosalie said immediately. “Emmett’s not in this.”

“Rose.” Emmett warned. He glanced over at Emma, smiling gently. “I think it’d be more appropriate if Jazz or Alice did it, but I promise I won’t be too far away if you need me.” He smiled encouragingly at Jasper when Jasper gave him a look of thanks.”Carlisle, do you think Jazz could do it?”

Jasper remained silent, glancing over at the patriarch of the family. He wondered how Carlisle would feel about it.

“I think Jasper should, actually.” Carlisle replied. He turned to Jasper. “It’s the right way to go about it, if you think about it.”

Jasper merely nodded. He wasn’t sure what he thought of it. “…And about the preparations?” He wanted to get Emma’s mind off of the actual changing if he could. Emma’s emotions were all over the radar again. It felt like she wasn’t sure how she should feel about any of this.

“We thought it would be a good idea, if she actually saw what we did, in a controlled environment.” Esme said now. She turned to Emma. “That’s why you’ve been allowed to stay up. Carlisle and I are about to go out for our hunt. We thought you should come with Jasper, Emmett and Alice, to witness it.”

Emma’s eyes lit up. She’d been hoping for that the most! “Can I really?” She looked up at Alice and Jasper. Jasper looked like he wanted to strongly protest this idea, and Alice looked like she was trying to see what the result of that outing would be. “Please, Jasper? Can I go?”

Jasper finally relented. “Yes. But understand this isn’t a game, Emmeline.” He said firmly. He sighed, however, when Emmett came over, and scooped her up jubilantly. “Emmett…”

“No, Jazz, this is perfect! She’ll see exactly how much more in control we are when we’re not panicking.” He meant himself of course. He hugged Emma close. “Watch carefully, okay?”

“I will, I will!” Her excitement was toned down when Rosalie came over. She reflexively pulled away when she got too close.

“Yes, be sure to watch very carefully, Emmeline. Because this is the way you will have to live once you’re one of us. There is no turning back.” She sighed. “You don’t have to be afraid of me. I won’t hurt you, or try to frighten you anymore.” She held out her arms, and was surprised when Emma allowed her to take her into them. “I really wish you didn’t have to be turned…you’re so sweet. I’ve noticed how you genuinely worry about all of us. It’s more than what we deserve, you know.”

“You’re wrong, Rosalie…” Emma said softly. “Your family saved my life, and have showed me more love and affection as family than I’ve ever had. I’ve only ever wanted to make them happy in return…”

Rosalie blinked. She hadn’t given Emma enough credit. The child was smart, and she picked up on things she couldn’t imagine she would have at her age. She gave credit for her speech patterned to her prior upbringing. “Well, I still regret that it’s come to this, but…I will help.” She set Emma down. “You guys be careful out there.”

“Emmeline, come get your sweater on.” Jasper said quietly. He didn’t really want her out there while his family members were hunting, but he supposed he saw Esme’s point in a way. Emma had to see what it was they hunted. She needed to be prepared, and armed with the knowledge she’d need. It would ease her transition. He helped her into the pale blue fleece that Alice had bought for her. She had outgrown the jackets she’d come to them in. It surprised him, how big she had gotten in the four months they had her. “Do you want me to carry you, or do you want to go with Emmett?” He asked her.

“I want to stay with you…” Emma’s mood was suddenly apprehensive. It was as if it had dawned on her she was about to be introduced into the secret life that her family had kept from her as best as they could. She reached up for Jasper to take her into his arms.

Jasper felt her apprehension, and he picked her up, automatically trying to make her feel at ease. He nodded to Esme and Carlisle. His adopted parents headed out, and he followed with Alice and Emmett behind him.

***************************************************************************

The forest was eerily dark. Jasper felt Emma grip him tighter, and he rubbed her back to sooth her. He wondered idly if her fear of the dark would follow her into her new life. “Alright, Emmeline. We have to stay really quiet.” He could hear all kinds of creatures around them. He even caught a whiff of one of his favorites of choice. He steadied himself, forcing himself to pay attention to the child in his arms. She was squirming a little. “Hmm?”

“Emmett…”She said softly, reaching for her friend.

Emmett took her from Jasper, and hugged her close. “Aww, c’mon, Em. You’re not afraid of the dark are you?” He chuckled lightly when she nodded without hesitancy. “We’ll have to fix that somehow.” He said gently, rubbing her back a bit. He fell silent, as Carlisle gave them the signal to stay still. He turned her so that she could see. He whispered close to her ear. “Watch this. Carlisle’s got wicked reflexes.”

Emma watched the older two vampires now. Carlisle was crouched in a stance that reminded her very much of the mountain lion that she’d seen at the zoo when Jasper had taken her a few weeks ago. Esme had disappeared a little ahead of him. She suddenly saw Carlisle lunge. She gasped, hearing the sound of a startled animal. She then heard nothing for a few minutes. She felt Emmett pull her closer, probably sensing her unease. “Do…they hurt much..?” She asked barely above a whisper.

“Nope. We’re as quick as we can be, so they feel nothing. Most of the time, they don’t have time to feel anything.” Emmett whispered against her ear. “It’s okay.” She saw Esme come back momentarily. She looked as elegant as ever. She went over to Emmett and Emma.

“Are you okay, little one…?” Esme was concerned, seeing the look of shock on Emma’s face. She reached out to put a cool hand on her cheek. “You needn’t worry. They suffered very little.” She smiled up at Carlisle, as he rejoined them. “She’s concerned about the animals…”

“Aww…” Carlisle smiled. “Emmeline..did you have a lot of pets where you lived before?”

“We had chickens, and cows….and pigs….and some cats and dogs.” Emma could just barely remember that. But her memories of her pre-Cullen life were starting to fade with each passing day. She felt like it belonged to some other little girl. €

“Well. You know that sometimes you eat chicken? Well. This is almost the same as that. However, sometimes we have to pick off animals that aren’t necessarily a part of the human diet. Most of the time, these are over populated animals in the area.” Carlisle blinked suddenly. Emma had grown from attentive, to listless. “Emmeline?”

Emma leaned her head against Emmett’s chest, whimpering suddenly. She felt Emmett flinch slightly. “mm..”

“She’s burning up..” Emmett said now, worry plain in his voice. He shook his head, as Jasper and Alice came forward to take her. “Let me get her back to the house. You two need to eat.” He turned to Carlisle. “Carlisle?”

“Coming.” Carlisle was immediately concerned. He remembered now that Emma had barely eaten dinner that night after Jacob left. They had all assumed it had been stress that had killed her appetite. Now he wondered if something else had been brewing. He tried to remember if he’d heard her coughing or sniffling, and found with frustration he couldn’t. He followed Emmett quickly back to the house.

Rosalie met them at the door. “What happened?” She took in the site of Emma curled up, and looking weak in Emmett’s arms. “What’s wrong with her? She didn’t take it well?”

“No, it wasn’t that…” Emmett said. His voice was low, and trying to be soothing. “We think she’s sick.”

Rosalie blinked. “Sick? But…how?”

“Oh, it happens all the time in children her age. It comes on very suddenly.” Carlisle said. “I see it all the time at the hospital.” He took Emma from Emmett, and gently laid her on the couch. “Emmett, bring me my kit over here, please.” The nice thing about being a doctor as long as he had been was that Carlisle had accumulated enough of his own equipment that he could do his own house calls if he wanted to. He took the stethoscope out of his bag, and listened to Emma’s chest, and heart. He frowned. He did not like the sound of any of it “She got a lot of congestion building up in there. It could be worse than just a cold.” He looked over as Esme came now. “She needs to be in bed for a couple of days.”

“That’s going to throw all our training off…” Esme lamented.

“I know…we’ll just have to make do with the time we get.” Carlisle wasn’t happy about it either, but Emma’s health must be made priority. It would make him look like a terrible doctor if he didn’t put it first. He turned to Emmett. “Put her to bed. I’ll explain things to Jasper and Alice when they come in.”

“Alright.” Emmett carefully picked Emma up, and took her up to her room. Rosalie followed. He laid her down in the bed, and sat down in the chair next to the bed, as she immediately began to fall into a deep, restless sleep. He looked up at Rosalie. “I forget sometimes how fragile a human body system can be. When I look at her, it’s hard to believe something so strong willed can be taken down so suddenly.”

“Emma has been through a lot in the last five months. She lost her mother, she was taken in by complete strangers. It had to have been taking it’s toll on her somehow. We just didn’t see it because, like Jasper, she was too busy worrying about what her actions did to us.” Rosalie understood Emma now. And she felt immensely guilty for the extra stress she was sure was her fault. “She’ll be okay, Emmett. Carlisle will know how to make her feel better.”

Emmett nodded, and he stood up slowly. He pulled the blankets over Emma very carefully. He flinched when she started coughing. It sounded like it had hurt her. “Now would be the time to turn her…right now.” He was seriously considering it, when Carlisle walked in with some kind of syringe. “What’s that?”

“Antibiotic.” Carlisle took Emma’s little arm from under the covers. “Emmeline, you’re going to feel a little pinch, but it’s going to start to make you feel better, okay?” He saw the little girl’s head move slightly up and down. She was lethargic. He looked to Rosalie. “Can you take her hand for me?” He was giving his daughter the chance to be a part Emma’s life now.

Rosalie took Emma’s hand gently, and she felt her squeeze tightly as she yelped, when Carlisle stuck the needle into her forearm to administer the antibiotic. She tentatively stroked Emma’s hair, pushing it back off her sweaty forehad. “Shh..” She looked to Carlisle. “What’s wrong with her, Carlisle?”

“Sounds like pneumonia.” Carlisle replied grimly. “It’s not uncommon for young children to get it, but it’s tricky to get rid of. I’ll need to run a blood test at some point to make sure, but not tonight. She’s been through enough.” He stood up and disposed of the harp needle in a special place where Emma wouldn’t find it to get hurt. “We’ll know if it worked later. Right now, she needs to rest.”

“Right….” Rosalie walked out of the room with Emmett. “I feel horrible for her…”

“She’ll be fine.” Carlisle insisted. “We just need to keep an eye on her breathing and all of that, while she’s going through this.” He walked back downstairs with them. “I gave her the antibiotic. When they come in, and can someone fill Jasper and Alice in? I need to go to the hospital and pick up some supplies.” His family nodded. Those remaining glanced up towards Emma’s room. They could hear her coughing.

“She wants Jasper…” Rosalie said sadly. “I hope he can handle this….”

“If you notice, Jasper has gotten a lot better with her. Fatherhood has really suited him well.” Esme said now. She was really very proud of both Alice and Jasper. Things had gone a lot smoother with Emma than any of them had any right to hope for. Esme was under the impression that even if they could, Emma wouldn’t have wanted to be removed from their lives now.”I’ll go and put some hot water on…tea might be good for her right now.” She wandered off to do so, leaving Emmett and Rosalie to wait with Edward, Bella and Renesmee.

Edward shifted slightly. “We should probably go put Renesmee in bed…”

“Yeah…” Bella turned to Emmett and Rosalie. “You guys will tell us if anything changes, right?”

“Sure.” Emmett nodded. “No problem there.” He glanced up as Jasper and Alice all but bolted into the house. “Guys, calm down. She’s asleep.”

“What happened? What’s wrong with her?” Jasper demanded. He was very worried. It had been many years since he’d been around anyone that was sick, and so wasn’t quite accustomed to it anymore.

“Carlisle called Pnuemonia. He says it’s nearly always fatal if it’s not caught in time.” Emmett told him. He put a hand on Jasper’s shoulder. “But we might have, so don’t worry. Beside, we always have a back up plan.”

“This is not how I wanted her to remember the last of her human life!” Jasper growled, pulling away. He went straight upstairs, and to his daughter’s room.