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Morning Dew

Summary:
Did the battle scene at the end of Breaking Dawn leave you feeling cheated?
Were you expecting an epic fight and some well-deserved suffering?
Did Bella's perfect happiness get on your nerves? This is my alternate ending to Breaking Dawn.


Notes:
I don't know about you, but Breaking Dawn severely diminished my excitement about Twilight. I just didn't like the book much. The characters were all totally off, the plot was not well thought-through, and the writing made my eyes water. When the book finally advanced to the battle scene, I was exultant -- I thought that the story would finally take the right turn and amend for all the confusion from the beginning. But then nothing happened. SM later called it "strategy"... but I seriously see no connection between what happened in BD and The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare. So I decided to test the waters myself, and see if I could do any better. That being said, I would like to remind you of two things: a) I am not an author. I know I'm not better than SM. I'm just a sixteen-year-old venting her frustration.
b) I don't mean to offend anyone who liked BD. Everyone's entitled to an own opinion. You can still enjoy this story if you did :) The story kicks off right where the Volturi are deciding whether or not to attack. Until then everything stays as it is -- if you need to refresh your memory, feel free to check Breaking Dawn (I had to do that quite a lot, especially in the beginning. I hope there are no contradictions. If you find any, however, please let me know). The italics in the beginning are straight from the book. Beta'ed by TRDancer from fanfiction.net


4. Alliance

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3106   Review this Chapter

It was so tempting.

I'd dreamed of this, of the chance to get my daughter out of harm's way for good. Total amnesty meant that she could grow up in peace—not hiding—and enjoy life the way she should. It meant that I wouldn't have to stare at the moon and stars every night and wonder whether she was still alive to see them too. I would have gone through Hell to give her that.

And here it was: the offer to go through Hell in return for Nessie's safety. Her freedom came at a high price.

If I accepted, it would mean the end of life as I knew it. Since I hated the Volturi with the force of all the anger of the world, I would no doubt start hating myself if I were part of their ranks. I would watch them kill humans—and eventually help them at it, since it was improbable that I could sustain myself if they fed right under my nose. I'd have to see Jane every day, along with all the others I couldn't stand, and address them as siblings. I shuddered at the thought of Felix and the way he'd touched me today, and knew that it would never stop. If I accepted, I would truly go through Hell.

But in this case, Hell was the better alternative. The other option involved me putting Renesmee through Hell too.

I looked away from Aro's extended hand to find Edward looking me straight in the eye. It wasn't the type of stare you give to someone when you're simply acknowledging their presence, or trying to signal something to them. His stare was one he'd never even given me before. It was more intimate than any kiss could be, more intimate than sex. The intimacy his stare evoked was how I pictured Aro's and Edward's gifts to be like when they met, when both could see every ounce of the other's inner workings as clearly as their own. This was the stare Alice had given Jasper when we'd returned home after that awful trip to Italy, only much, much stronger.

And even though he couldn't read my mind, I knew he could read my thoughts right now. I was sure they resembled his very closely.

I suddenly felt proud of Edward. The same man who'd wanted an abortion was now willing to take any measures to keep his daughter safe, even at the expense of his own freedom.

I marveled at his stare for a moment, but broke it when the intimacy started getting too hot to touch. Forcing my eyes to avert, I looked around the field to see what the rest of us were thinking. Not surprisingly, others didn't look so sure of their decision. Benjamin, for example, looked virtually nauseous with Tia in his arms.

Nevertheless, I knew that my—and Edward's, as he was the half of everything I could name mine—decision was made. I could only pray that it was enough to protect Renesmee.

"What do you say, friends?" Aro demanded. The gleam in his eyes was worse than the bonfires around us.

"For little Nessie I would do anything," Zafrina avowed without hesitation, although visibly not without some regret. "You have my allegiance."

"And mine," Benjamin asserted. He held on to Tia and whispered something softly into her ear. I hated to see Benjamin caught in a corner—as long as I'd known him, he'd been such a free spirit that I'd been sure that nothing and no one could contain him, not even the Volturi. It seemed that Renesmee could tame everyone.

Kate made no answer. She was staring forlornly at a pile of burning objects. Somewhere in the corners of my mind I found space to pity her—she'd lost her whole family today, everyone but Garrett. I could understand if she no longer wanted to stand by our side. She'd already given everything she possibly could.

My family was looking and Edward and me questioningly, waiting for our response. I grasped that all their fates were in our hands. If we decided it was best to consent, all of them would follow us without hesitation. Only then did I realize how much I owed them. Would eternity be long enough to get even? Probably not.

"Well, you know our ans—" Edward started, but was cut off by a sudden loud noise coming from the woods around us. A thunderous howling filled the quiet field with life again. Startled, Edward's jaw dropped open when he saw who it was.

The wolves were there, all sixteen of them, each leaving a gap to the next so that they encircled the whole field. In-between stood people whom I'd never thought I'd see again: Tanya, Carmen, Elaezar, Kachiri, Charles and Makenna… nearly everyone who'd stayed to fight was there, looking as alive as ever.

Kate sprung up despite both Garrett's and a Volturi guard's hold and sprinted over to her sisters, hugging and kissing them in joy. She was laughing out loud.

"Sisters, you're alive! How… When did you… My goodness, you can't fathom my relief!"

The Denalis smiled but soon calmed her down. "The fight is far from over, Kate," Tanya reminded her. "But now we are more even."

"More even?" Kate pondered out loud. I was wondering the same when I heard a gasp from beside me.

"Yes!" Edward gasped under his breath. I nearly startled when I saw him—he looked totally transformed. The resigned look was replaced by a contagious hopeful one. I knew there was something he knew that we were not aware about—something good.

Aro looked just as startled, but recovered fast. "More friends!" he exulted, but his joy sounded genuinely false now. "How joyful of you to join us! I am glad you were not lost in the short battle."

"Yeah, it sucks, doesn't it?" Benjamin interjected so quietly that I wasn't sure whether we were supposed to hear.

"You," Tanya replied, suddenly furious. "You feel nothing but what is most convenient for you. Did you think you could fool my friends into joining your little army by letting them believe we were dead?"

"How sad of you to think so, dearest Tanya. Mark my words, if I had had even the slightest notion that you were still alive I would have shared the wonderful news with all your friends. Nothing is worse than losing a loved one…"

"Just shut it, Aro," Benjamin said, this time loud and clear. His usually blithe eyes were dark with revulsion.

Aro seemed unable to react. I could tell that he'd been brought off his course—which most likely happened to him only very rarely.

Once the first ecstasy of sudden hope passed, I started having doubts again. We were still seriously outnumbered; Aro could just capture the rest too and continue with his plan. He could make them the same offer and chase them into a corner, just like the rest of us. Nothing had changed about our situation.

"Aro, perhaps you would like to repeat your offer," Edward called out to him, still looking hopeful. Did he not see the holes in the plan?

"Excuse me?" Aro inquired, looking lost. Beside him Caius was gathering the Volturi guard around himself warily, looking angry and incredulous. Marcus was numbly idle, apparently not caring a fig for what was happening. I brooded over how such a characterless person could have made it to the top of vampire hierarchy.

Edward didn't answer Aro's question, but gestured towards the skirts of the field. I followed his gaze.

More vampires were emerging from between the trees. They came to sight slowly, as if they were afraid of the sun. But as I focused my eyes I saw that it was not fear on their faces that made them slow—it was incredulity, distrust, and, above all, conviction. There were dozens of them.

"These friends here would like to see for themselves how the Volturi delivers justice," Tanya explained triumphantly. "Please, don't let us bother you. Act as if we were not here."

Aro's eyes went wide when he took in the amount of new witnesses. All together, they outnumbered his guard by far. It looked as though every vampire on this side of the world had assembled in Forks.

And then I understood the ingenious plan. Tanya and the others were using Aro's biggest weakness, his need of a clean public image, against him. As long as these vampires were here to witness his actions, he could do nothing unjust.

Now, instead of us being caught in a corner, he'd been chased into one.

"Let me help you find the thread again," Edward said gleefully. "You were just about to offer amnesty to an innocent child by binding her gifted parents to yourself, correct?"

Aro looked like a deer caught in the spotlights. He stood there for a long while, unsure of what to do. I decided that even if we ended up losing after all, those few seconds of distress were worth dying for.

"Well? May we give our answer?" Edward pushed on.

"I… suppose," Aro answered. Now that he'd recovered, he looked more annoyed than afraid.

"If we refuse, we are free to go, am I right?" Edward smiled. "After all, we've broken no rules."

Aro stared at him. After a while, the stare turned into the first honest manifestation of emotion that I'd ever seen from him—a glare.

"Absolutely." His voice clashed against his expression.

"Well, then our answer is no." Edward attempted to stand up, but was pushed back down by a guard. He looked up at him, annoyed. "Excuse me," he said.

Aro looked at them blankly for a few seconds and then dismissed his guards with a wave of his hand, obviously more than irritated. By some miracle we'd managed to hurt his pride, and that was not something Aro was accustomed to.

Caius, on the other hand, didn't even try to conceal his irritation—or rather outright anger. "Idiot!" he barked out, looking at Aro as if he had broken his favorite game console. "I have indulged your behavior for more than a millennium, and yet you continue to treat me as if I didn't exist. This time—"

Caius never had time to finish what he was saying because he was waved off by Aro, who looked him sternly in the eye. "Caius."

With some effort Caius managed to swallow his words, but his expression remained livid. Could this be the break in their ranks we'd been hoping for?

The rest of the guards were puzzled. Judging by their faces, the Volturi had never been in this kind of situation before, a situation where they had to play by somebody else's rules. Waiting for a clear command, they all looked questioningly at Aro.

When the command finally came, it did not straighten their confusion.

"Friends, come," Aro spoke impassively, "we have no more business here."

A low mumbling filled the field as the guard took in his order, casting bewildered looks at each other. Nobody moved.

And as the whole Volturi Guard puzzled over the bizarre situation, I realized one thing: they were paying no attention to us. Even Felix was angrily whispering with another of his friends and had loosened his grip of me enough that I could easily wriggle myself free. Aro stood in the middle of the field, totally unprotected apart from Renata, who was no more concentrated than the rest of them.

This was the one-million-dollar chance, my unique shot at the jackpot.

So I bent down an inch away from Felix's shoulder, so that I would have a better position to attack. I closed my eyes for a second and saw Renesmee looking back at me, scared and lonely at some bus stop in the rain. Hatred flared up inside of me again. I needed to do it.

But just as I was going to attack, a sudden movement from my right made me forget my plans.

Edward was soaring through the air, silent as a bomb, flying straight towards a fixed target—Demetri.

"This is for my family," he hissed just as he hit him. Demetri yelled out in shock and flew hard onto the ground.

Gasping in shock, the people around them backed away from the pair as if they were afraid of getting hurt themselves. And I couldn't blame them—Edward was outraged. His otherwise gentle eyes were black as coal and hard as stone, and the hands that normally caressed me were deadly claws. His teeth seemed sharper than usual in his fury, and they were aimed for Demetri's throat.

I suddenly realized how stupid my plan was—I'd wanted to attack the wrong person! Aro might have been the figurehead of all my misery, but Demetri was the true threat. If he was eliminated, I would never have to worry about my daughter again. As long as he was in the world, she could not be safe.

I broke myself free from Felix who was too distracted to react on time and rushed over to help. Demetri was not an inexperienced fighter, and Edward was struggling to stay on top as he twisted and turned in the snow. He expertly dodged all of Edward's attacks, and I could tell it was only a matter of time until he'd break free and return the favor…

"Stop him!" Aro cried out, gesturing wildly at his guards to put an end to the scene. The first glimpse of real fear was visible in his eyes—he was afraid of losing one of his best assets, the man who could bring him whomever he wanted whenever he needed. But his guard was either too confused or too scared to care. Nobody came to Demetri's aid.

I made an attempt to grab Demetri's head to hold it in place for Edward. But instead of connected with his head, my hand only touched his mouth—and his teeth with it, teeth that snapped closed with my hand in between. I gasped and pulled my hand away. In the brilliant light of the sun I could see a dent where Demetri had bitten me in my sparkly skin.

This only made Edward more furious. He suddenly doubled his efforts, and was soon firmly in control again.

All of a sudden I sensed movement around us. Somewhere in our vicinity people were shifting away, someone was yelling, and frightened murmurs filled the air. I dimly perceived that Caius was the one who was yelling, ordering his people to retreat. In response the Volturi Guard was leaving the scene, cowardly running away from the danger and abandoning their companion. Sadistically, I pictured Aro's expression. I wondered if he would accept the indignity of being forced to leave his best man behind.

Edward's teeth were inches away from the crucial spot at Demetri's throat. The latter was giving up, presumably accepting that his mates would not be saving him from his fate. My spirit danced at the thought of killing him.

"Edward, stop!"

Demetri's spirits were leaving him—the fight was practically over. Just a few more seconds and he would be out of our way…

"Edward! Leave him be. He is not responsible for all this."

What was that familiar voice? My hazy mind failed to recognize it.

"Stop."

Out of the blue, Carlisle was there, holding Edward's arms back and speaking something into his ear. He wrapped his arms around his torso and hauled him off Demetri, a movement which made them both sink onto the snowy grass. Edward growled fiercely and clawed at the restraint.

I realized what was happening an instant too late. I emitted a loud "No!" and made a surge for Demetri's neck, but was stopped by another pair of arms that pushed me to the ground. Agonized, I watched Demetri shrug the snow off his shoulders, stand up, and make a run for the shelter of the trees.

"Let me go!" I yelled at whoever was holding me—Emmett, I guessed by the scent and thickness of the arms. He didn't even loosen his grip.

Somewhere beside me, Edward was putting up an even bigger fight. "Get off me, Carlisle," he hissed venomously, kicking against the man who was like a father to him. "This is not your call. Let me finish my job!"

"No, Edward," Carlisle told him. His voice was gentle but firm. "They gave up. Respect their right to leave."

"Get off!" Edward screamed.

I'd stopped struggling to listen to their fight. It was unreal, hearing Edward speak like this to his father. There was nothing friendly in his tone—it reminded me of how he'd spoken to Aro.

Realizing that I'd given up, Emmett carefully slackened his hold. Once he was satisfied that I would not jump up and run after Demetri, he straightened himself and held a hand out to me, a remorseful expression on his face. "Sorry," he said.

I knocked his hand away in disgust and stood up on my own, relishing how it deepened that look of remorse.

On the floor, Edward had stopped kicking. Carlisle charily let go off him, ready to pounce again if necessary. His face was a mask of sadness.

"You don't understand," Edward said to him. His voice was cruel.

Carlisle shook his head. "Edward, we cannot disrespect the rules any more than they can. The Volturi chose to retreat—we cannot—"

"You don't believe that yourself."

He jumped up but made no move to go after Demetri. His face was void of emotion.

Carlisle looked at him cautiously. "I do, Edward."

Edward barked out a humorless, cruel laugh. "Of course you do. You've never had to make priorities. To you life is one endless courtroom where everything works by its laws. You'd push your own child off a cliff if the laws demanded it."

Carlisle's face blanched. "You know that's not true, son."

"Stop calling me that," Edward bellowed. Somewhere in the distance, Esme gasped.

"Demetri will find Renesmee and kill her," he continued in a quieter tone, but with no less hatred in his voice. "You couldn't possibly understand what that means to me, as you've never had a child. As far as I'm concerned, you've just helped him commit murder." Carlisle opened his mouth as if to say something, but seemed to change his mind.

Edward's hands rolled into fists. "I hope you enjoy the feeling," was the last thing he said before turning his back to him and walking away.

I looked at my broken family and wondered what I'd done to deserve this. Then I just dashed after him.