This is the end, my friends.

Word Count: 1871, First Published 26/1/2024 Australian time

As always, thanks to Ms Meyer for permission to play in her sand pit.

Epilogue: Fragments


Jasper watched in concern as Bella paced in the Cullens' living room, running her hands through her hair in frustration. She stopped and faced Marcus, who stood calmly by the large window, watching the rising sun.

"Marcus, please. You have to let me tell Charlie I'm okay," Bella said, her voice low and determined. "I'm his only family. I know he has Sue now, but..."

Marcus sighed and frowned at her. "You know the law of secrecy, Bella. You know why it's important that we keep our existence hidden."

"But he's living with Sue and her children," Bella countered, her voice rising as her intensity grew. "He's bound to find out about the Quileute shapeshifters at some point. Charlie is already part of this world, even if he doesn't know it yet. And he has just as much reason to keep the secret as the Quileute elders do. More, once he knows about me."

Bella had agreed to a meeting with the Quileute elders, along with Sam and Jacob, later that morning. Jasper would go with her of course—he hadn't left her for a minute since the battle ended the previous morning, and didn't intend to do so any time soon—as would Carlisle. But Bella wanted to see Charlie first.

For a long moment, Marcus said nothing, and Bella thought he was about to refuse her. But then, to her surprise, he nodded. "Okay," he said. "Aro will grumble, but okay. But you must be careful. Tell him the truth, but make sure he understands the importance of secrecy. He can't let anyone know you're alive, ever. He'll have to continue playing the grief-stricken father."

Bella smiled, and Jasper couldn't help but smile too, feeling her joy. "Thank you, Marcus," she said. "I'll make sure he understands, I promise. I know how important this is."

Marcus smiled back, and Bella hugged him tightly. Jasper could feel how grateful she was, along with her relief. She hadn't been at all sure Marcus would agree.

"Go to him," he said gently. "And tell him what he needs to know."


"Bella," Carlisle began, watching her closely. "I wonder if you realise…"

"What?" she prompted, somewhat bemused by his tone.

"Just how—uncanny—it seems for Marcus to be…interacting so normally."

"What do you mean?" she asked. "I know he's a ruler and everything, but they all seemed to be relatively informal, not just with me, but with Jane and the others as well. And anyway, I'm not part of the guard."

"That's not what I meant," Carlisle replied. "Marcus…he doesn't usually talk to people. At all. When I was in Volterra, I rarely heard him speak. He would offer his hand to Aro occasionally or answer a direct question from Caius, but even that was only generally in the context of a judgement. Most of the time he just sat and stared into space. He would awaken to feed and then return to his fog. The way he is with you…"

"But—he's always been like this! I mean, his English was a bit more stilted when I first met him but aside from that…" she thought back to the very first memory she had after her change. Even then he'd seemed the most sympathetic of the vampires in Volterra. He'd been the one to suggest she needed to feed, and the one to eventually bring her animals to feed from.

"Carlisle is correct," Felix interjected. "Before you came to Volterra, Marcus did not truly live. There was actually speculation at first…" he trailed off, as if uncomfortable with what he'd been going to say.

"What?" she asked curiously.

"Of course, it's well known to be impossible. When a vampire loses his mate, he doesn't ever find another one. But then, for a vampire to survive millennia after his mate dies is also impossible. Marcus only survived because of Chelsea and Corin, everyone knows that. But when he first seemed to come back to life, so to speak, people wondered if another impossible thing was happening."

Jasper was growling softly, but Bella just stared at Felix, shocked. "That's not—Marcus doesn't feel that way, not at all, I promise you!"

"Oh I know." Felix laughed. "As if there could be any doubt after your reunion with Jasper! But in truth that speculation had been laid to rest weeks ago. You are very clearly a daughter to him, nothing more and nothing less. But you did bring him back to life."

Bella knew she would be blushing, if she were still human.


"Bella promised she'd come back to Volterra to visit from time to time," Marcus told Carlisle. "But I will also travel more myself, and will likely visit your family whenever it's convenient. It's too long that I've been shut up in Volterra."

"You will be very welcome, of course," Carlisle replied. "It's clear that Bella is sincerely attached to you, but the whole family would welcome you."


"Do you think Marcus will revert to his usual malaise, once we leave Bella?" Alex asked his sister.

"I hope not," Jane replied. "He's so different now."

"Don't you think it's strange though? For millennia, the brothers have depended on Corin and Chelsea to keep him from going mad. Now, with neither one of them around, he seems fine. I thought it was impossible for a vampire to recover from the loss of a mate."


Two weeks after the battle with Maria, the Cullens were preparing to move on from Forks. Carlisle had given notice at the hospital, saying his family needed a fresh start. In reality they wanted to go somewhere where Jasper and Bella wouldn't have to stay hidden. Bella also wanted to be somewhere she wouldn't be surrounded by humans, but where she could regularly expose herself, to build up her tolerance. So they'd decided to spend a few months staying near their Denali cousins in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness, but with regular visits to the nearest town.

Before they left, they had planned a small, private wedding ceremony. Carlisle had registered online to become a wedding celebrant, so the only humans at the ceremony would be Charlie, Sue and Billy.

Bella was sorry to be leaving Charlie behind—although not sorry to be leaving his mouth watering scent—but they had each promised to call often. She hoped those phone calls wouldn't be as awkward as the semi-regular calls they'd had when she was in Phoenix. At least now she knew he would be able to share any news from the wolves with her, so that should give them something to talk about.

Marcus was planning to leave directly after the wedding, as were Bella and Jasper. They would all travel together as far as Seattle. From there, Marcus would travel back to Volterra with his guard, while Bella and Jasper would fly to anchorage on a private jet - a wedding gift from Marcus - and spend a week alone in the family's home in Denali, before the rest of the Cullen's arrived.

"Will you go straight back?" Bella asked Marcus, the night before the wedding.

"Yes," Marcus said. "I spoke to Aro earlier while you and Jasper were hunting. He is expecting Heidi back in two days, which will be perfect timing."

"Ah." Bella couldn't help her grimace, but she knew Marcus wouldn't be offended. He understood her perspective. She'd been thinking about something else though, but she wasn't sure how to bring it up. She'd debated endlessly with herself as to whether she ought to. Jasper thought not. But in the end, she couldn't stay silent.

"Marcus," she began again, hesitantly. He just looked at her expectantly. "I was thinking… I mean, I've been wondering…" She trailed off, then taking a deep breath she said in a rush. "I can't be the only person to ever be reincarnated right? So what if—what if the reason Vampires don't usually long survive their mates is so that they can be reborn together?"

Marcus couldn't have looked more shocked if she'd slapped him. "I don't mean—" she rushed on. "That is, I wasn't saying— God, that came out so wrong. Marcus, I wasn't saying I thought you should have died. I was just saying, what if Didyme was reincarnated? What if—"

Marcus groaned and turned away from her, holding up one hand to stop her from speaking. After a pause of a few moments, he lowered his hand. "Do you not think I've thought of this?" he asked in a strangled voice, without turning around. "Do you not think I've been considering it ever since I heard your story? She might have been reborn a hundred times by now, never knowing what she was looking for, but never finding it. All because I have been holed up in Volterra, lost in my own mind."

"But then," she stepped closer to him and gently turned him towards her, her hand on his shoulder, "why are you going back Marcus?"

"I plan to travel," he answered. "I plan to leave regularly. But each of your lives, as far as we know, you were reborn somewhere near Jasper. Or, the first time, when Jasper could have been a danger to you, near Carlisle, who would later encounter Jasper."

"That's true," Bella said slowly. "So you think—?"

"I plan to investigate my own city first. I will meet every person in Volterra before I leave there again."


Spring was always her favourite time of year. She was lucky enough to be able to travel regularly. She'd been everywhere with her job, performing at comedy festivals the world over. She wasn't the most highly paid or well-known comedian, but she made enough to be comfortable, and she loved that wherever she went, she left people smiling.

Spring though, always found her back home in Volterra. There was something about the hopefulness of Spring that made her want to be back with her family. Whenever she was away, she felt a longing to be home, but when she was home, she still felt something was missing. It was as though her lot in life was always to make other people happy, without the means to ever quite get there herself.

Not that she was unhappy, exactly. She was just missing something. She felt unfinished. Incomplete. As though she'd forgotten something, but she didn't know what. Only that whatever it was, it was the most important thing in her life. If only she could remember it!

She let herself in the front door of her parent's house and quietly went to her room to drop off her luggage, only then making her way back downstairs to greet her family. Her parents may both be at work still, but the scent of fresh bread permeated the house, so her grandmother was probably in the kitchen. Hopefully her baby sister—not such a baby anymore, she was almost finished the final semester of her Master's degree—would be there too. She'd be married and out of the family home soon.

She rounded the bend into the kitchen, and her grandmother immediately came over to gather her into an embrace. "Dido, my darling wanderer, you're home!" she said.




Final A/N

Thank you so much to all my readers old and new, and especially to all my reviewers. Whether you left a single comment on the last chapter or you've commented every time begging for more... wait, who am I kidding? I am ESPECIALLY grateful to those who have commented on every – or many – chapters. I honestly don't know if I would have kept on with the story without the knowledge that I had people who would be disappointed.

After all, I figured out what was going to happen ages ago, and it's the discovery part of writing that is the most exciting for me!

So thank you, for keeping me accountable, and for all the lovely dopamine hits, letting me know that you found something here that was worth your time. But thank you also to reviewers here for the first time, maybe only reading this now that it's complete. I get it, completely (haha, see what I did there?). Sometimes you just don't want another slow-updating, will-it-ever-be-completed WIP in your life!

Many thanks to all those who pre-read for me, even if it was just a chapter or two, and most especially to Triinityz: it was her heard work reading, re-reading, re-reading and re-reading – not to mention a lot of cheerleading – that got those last chapters past the finish line. Thank you, my lovely friend. I appreciate you so much!

SEQUEL? When I was writing the epilogue I kind of thought that was the end—everything implied that needs to be—but I might have sort of promised Triinityz I would write a sequel about Marcus… It will almost certainly be a one-shot, and it probably won't be the next thing I write, but we'll see.


Final recommendations:

WIPS I am anxiously awaiting updates for:

Love's Labour's Lost by xxAngelOfMusicx: "Carlisle." I whispered in disbelief. He stood there with something — my eyes squinted — someone small in his arms. Blood rushed to my ears and the ringing deafened me. The small thing in his arms began to fuss. "Bella," he sounded almost pained. Bella/Carlisle /s/14285985/1/Love-s-Labour-s-Lost

New Girl by triinityz: Bella is the new girl at Forks High and isn't afraid to speak her mind. When she sees the strange family on her first day, she knows something isn't quite right. When Jasper stops Edward in biology, Jasper realizes this new girl is his fate. What happens when Bella isn't quiet and clumsy, and goes after what she wants in life? J/B, Lang/future lemon potential /s/14248086/1/New-Girl

A Bella/Jasper one I've just started reading is Revenge Never Felt So Good by Theadosia57: I was sent packin' after the fiasco that was Bella's 18th Birthday. Edward almost drained her, but I got the blame! I was accused of pushing my bloodlust onto him. Oh, they all believed him, all except two! (Bella/Jasper) s/14317325/1/Revenge-Never-Felt-So-Good

And here's one that's complete – it's Bella/Caius

To Be His Queen by KaiaLuna: A mothers healing, a European vacation, stupidly saving one vampire from another and a castle hiding a long forgotten dream of an angel fighting demons and the promise they'd be together again in Italy, where she would be his queen and they would live forever together in his castle. /s/9143296/1/To-Be-His-Queen