~ one ~
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy. I do not own Twilight. If you think I do, please make your way to the nearest insane asylum and let the nice doctors give you some medicine. Oh, wait, they have their own Maggie Walsh? So sad for you.
Timeframe: for Buffy, guess! For Twilight, sometime during Eclipse
, after Edward and Bella's departure and before the newborn smackdown.
Carlisle looked down, surprised at the tug on his sleeve. Esme was staring at him, nodding her head discretely toward the forest edge. Though he was curious, he turned and followed her without question. It was a good thing Edward had already left with Bella; if the strange, confused glances Alice kept throwing their way were any indication, this would not be a usual conversation.
Once they had reached the treeline, he expected that she would stop, but Esme kept going. Twenty feet into the forest proper, Esme finally halted, turning around.
“You are curious.” It was spoken in a low voice, edged with a small smile. This far into the forest, a low whisper would be unheard by their children.
Nodding slightly, his reply was as soft as hers. “Of course.”
Her smile widened. A shadow touched her face, dimming the brilliant gold of her eyes. “Carlisle, if, if things end tonight,” she started, faltering. She closed her eyes briefly, opening them with a tremulous smile. “If this battle should go badly, I love you. I will always love you; I will never regret our life together.”
Carlisle was still, uncertain how to respond. “Esme, why are you saying these things?”'
“I need to say this, love, if I am to be of any use tonight.” She flashed him a crooked grin. It slipped as another shadow fell across her face. “I...need to know. If things...go south, you, out of all of us will survive.”
Esme inhaled sharply, taking his hands in hers. “I need to know that you will survive, that you will go on.” She flashed that broken smile once more. “You have never forgotten her, you know.”
A hiss was his only reply. Carlisle's hands clenched tightly around the pale, diamond-hard hands of his wife. His gold-colored eyes narrowed to slits, the muscles in his face hardening into an angry mask. If he had been a cat, his fur would have been standing on end, his claws extended.
Ripping his hands from her grasp, he spun around, suddenly very glad that they had gone so far from Edward and Jasper. “We do not speak of her, Esme,” he said around gritted teeth. “I do not speak of her.”
He could hear her swallow. “If this plan should succeed, then I will never speak of her again,” she said, her voice unsteady. She bit her lip. “If the worst should happen, Carlisle, go to her. Find her again.”
Unable to bear hurting him anymore, she walked away, leaving him alone in the forest. Her last vision of him was his closed eyes and taut, stricken face. Her own eyes burning with tears that could not be shed, she ran back toward the clearing, toward the rest of their family. Toward the place it would all be finished. Esme lifted her head, setting her chin decisively. It would all
be finished. Tonight.
I know, I know, it ain't Star Screams
. I'm getting there, I swear. This little arc (only three chapters, eventually; two, really, as one is an alternative ending) is simply part of my sharpening exercises. *sigh* And again I'm too late to write for an FFA pairing. Damn.