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Black and White

Summary:
“Save him!” The voice startles me. I had no idea that she was capable of speech, deteriorating as her condition was. Her voice is hoarse, no more than a rasp among many other rasps, and yet it holds a commanding power, daring me to oppose her wish.

“I’ll do everything in my power,” I promise her, knowing that this is true, and it will never be enough.

“You must!” she says, as if seeing through my words. “You must do everything in your power. What others cannot do, that is what you must do for my Edward.”
This is Edward's transformation, as seen through the eyes of the one who changed him.


Notes:
I'm sorry I haven't updated in a while; I've been busy with school. Anyway, this story just came to me, and I just sat down and wrote. I know that there are probably many stories like this, but this is my take on Edward's transformation, Carlisle POV. I might do an Edward POV later on. There is some dialogue from New Moon. Enjoy! Disclaimer: I do not own any characters or themes from Twilight. This is just fanfiction. The honorary title of creator belongs to the great STEPHENIE MEYER. Translation: (Please, please don't sue me.)


1. Decision

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1868   Review this Chapter

The world is painted, not in black and white, but rather in shades of gray.

Anonymous

There have been times – many, many times – in my very long life when I have asked myself if justice exists at all.

I stride down the sterilized corridor, the moans of the sick mingling with the wails of those who had already lost loved ones, creating a grotesque symphony that is all the more painful for me, inhumanly acute as my hearing is. It is a cursed fate, having to stride towards a destination that I do not want to reach, all the while supporting a calm and purposeful façade. And yet I must. I have been granted these gifts of speed, strength, and immortality, and I intend to use them to at leas offer some small comfort to those lacking what I have.

All too soon, I reach my goal; ward C3, one of the many rooms reserved for those suffering from an acute attack of the Spanish Influenza. I make my way through the clusters of sick and dying, through those screaming feverishly, pleading for water, crying out for loved ones. From my left emanates the shrill cry of a child, sobbing that she is cold, so cold, and my heart gives out to this child. I wish I could do something, anything, to help, and yet I cannot. I do not have the power to heal instantly. I hate feeling helpless, weak, but what I hate even more is having to hide in my house as soon as the first rays of light appear over the horizon, while all around me people die.

I reach the bed that I am least eager to see, and yet strive towards fervently.

When you are immortal, it is never healthy to become attached to a human. They die so quickly, so easily, and then you are left with nothing but a hollow pain within your chest. And yet, against my better judgment, I find myself growing attached to the two people I have come to see.

Elizabeth Masen’s eyes are closed. She breathes unevenly, the gasps coming in and out like she has just run a marathon she was not prepared for. I immediately sense that her health has taken a turn for the worse; her skin is pale and clammy, and her hands shake. Again, I am overcome by a feeling of helplessness; there is nothing I can do.

Beside her lies her son. Edward Masen’s eyes are closed as well, but there is a finality to them that is not apparent on his mother. He appears to not breathe at all, then draws air in a great heaving gasp, shuddering and rasping. His fever is worse than his mother’s; I can see, without a doubt, that he will not last to see the sun rise.

I examine his face. Even with sweat on his brow and the sickly pallor that pervades all infected by the influenza, there is something… good about his face. It shines out of him, marking his face with the lines of honesty and good judgment. He seems like the type of person that is so rarely found these days, someone self-sacrificing and brave. It is the face that any father would be proud to see on his son.

I glance from mother to son, seeking out resemblances. They have the same reddish-brown hair, almost bronze, hers long and wavy, his untidy as if tousled by a perpetual wind. I know that, were they open, their eyes would be the same. These faces that I have gotten so used to seeing, and have felt almost a protective love for since the father died, are so precariously balanced on the edge of a cliff.

Suddenly, a rustle from Elizabeth’s bed startles me. I turn towards her, expecting to see that she has merely shifted to try and cool off the fever, to see that her hand has curled into a tight, tense fist.

And then, she lifts her head and opens her eyes.

The color of these eyes strikes me. They are a deep green, like sunlight shining through leaves, hard emeralds glinting in the lamplight. They are clear, too bright; the sickness has gotten strong within her body. And yet, they are aware, conscious, and staring at me with a hard, resolved anger.

“Save him!” The voice startles me. I had no idea that she was capable of speech, deteriorating as her condition was. Her voice is hoarse, no more than a rasp among many other rasps, and yet it holds a commanding power, daring me to oppose her wish.

“I’ll do everything in my power,” I promise her, knowing that this is true, and it will never be enough. She has spent her days worrying over Edward, wiping his brow with a cool cloth, and ultimately making herself sicker. Neither her ministrations nor my efforts will do anything to save him now.

I take my hand in hers, relishing that I can do this without startling her. A healthy human would feel startled at my cold touch, but in her feverish state, everything feels cold to her.

She grabs at my hand, with more strength than she should be capable of, and squeezes it with grasping fingers. “You must!” she says, as if seeing through my words. “You must do everything in your power. What others cannot do, that is what you must do for my Edward.”

I freeze. No. This is not possible. She cannot know. How would she? No!

And then she sighs – not a sigh of contentment, but of despair – and sinks into the bed, her eyes closing. She slips into agonized spasms, the fever finally overwhelming her.

As I watch Elizabeth Masen over the next hour, her life slipping away with every passing second, one thought permeates my being.

How does she know?

Sixty minutes pass. Elizabeth Masen breathers her last breath, a sharp, quick motion, and then moves no more. Even in death, her face is creased with worry, worry directed towards her son.

I now turn towards that son, who is even closer to death than he was an hour ago. I know that there is nothing I can do to save him – to save him and keep him human, at least. Elizabeth’s request strikes a chord inside me, a chord that sends longing, selfish greed, and shame resonating through my soul. I want, so badly, to have someone know me for who I really am – Carlisle Cullen of London, Carlisle Cullen the vampire. Someone with whom I can speak freely and grow attached to without fear of loss. This feeling has been strengthening within me for the past fifty years, and now, I was closer than ever to achieving my desire.

And yet I could not. I could not doom anyone to this life that I lead, a life of constant thirst. Never aging, never dying. My wish is selfish, greedy, and I am ashamed of myself. And yet I cannot deny it. I want a companion. And if I cannot find one, for I am weary of searching, I must create one. Here is the perfect opportunity.

What should I do? If I do nothing, allow nature to take its course, Edward will die. I know it. If I act upon my desire, I will have a companion, and Edward will quite possibly hate me for what I will turn him into. Again, I reflect upon Elizabeth’s request. Could any mother really want that for her son? Could she really know? Or was her dying wish the ramblings of the feverish mind? I am torn. I do not know what to do.

So I act on instinct. Without another thought, I grab Elizabeth’s bed and wheel her to the morgue. I hate being here, among the bodies of those that I should saved, but I have no choice. Then, I come back for Edward and again come to the morgue. No one would notice his absence. I was sure of that. There are so many patients and so few doctors and nurses that the ratio is almost twenty to one; not enough eyes, not enough hands, exist that can keep track of half of those sick.

Leaving Edward’s bed at the morgue, I take him in my arms and run. I run, exhilarated even in this hour of indecision and shame, feeling his weak pulse through the fabric of our clothing. When I reach the house that I pretend to sleep in during the day, I carry him upstairs and lay him on the bed that I never use. He has remained unconscious through my run, and breathes shallower than ever. Hesitating a second, I stare at his face, memorizing its shape, hoping against hope that what I am about to do is right.

Then I bend my head down and press my lips to his throat.

I am not sure how to proceed, so I recreate the wounds that were inflicted on me, so many years ago. My mouth brushes his wrists, his chest; this is the first time I have tasted human blood, and the taste is mouthwatering. But I do not drink. I have disciplined myself too rigidly for that. I cannot allow a lapse in control, not now that I am so close to creating a companion.

Once I am done, I step back and look at Edward. He is still for about two seconds, then his face scrunches up and he releases one hoarse, ragged scream.

His eyes snap open, then shut again. I am immediately at his side, murmuring words that I know will not comfort him in the least but cannot help saying. “I’m sorry Edward. I’m sorry, so sorry, please, please forgive me. It will all be over soon. Please, please, I’m so, so sorry, Edward…”

And I continue like this, all the while pondering this world.

I do not know if I have made the right choice. What I do know is that by no means have I made the wrong choice. If there is anything I have learned, it is that the world is not painted in black and white. A thing cannot be all good or all bad; there is always a little bit of both inside. Something can be mostly bad or mostly good, but always there will be someone who benefits or suffers. If I had left Edward in the hospital, he would have died; this is not good. I have changed him; this is not good either. But these were the only choices available, and so there must be something of each color inside.

I ponder this as I watch Edward’s eyelids turn black and his skin turn white.