White Roses
by Chaotic Serenity

Author's Notes: So little focus is put on Charlotte's family. How they felt about it all, what their true worries were. So what did Alan think after he learned of his sister's death? Oh, and note, white roses signify death while red ones symbolize love.

Warnings: Mention of death, adult themes.

Spoilers: Well...the movie...

Obligatory Disclaimer: I own no part of Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust or any of its simply scrumptious characters.

White Roses

          There are white roses on your window sill, little sister.
          I stare at them with a sort of resolute denial as they twitch and flutter in the wind blowing through the open window. The bouquet was given to us soon after news of your death reached town. The woman had said she was sorry for what had happened before handing Father the hand-picked flowers. At the memory, my fists tightened, and I run my finger over the gold ring in my right hand.
          I don't want to believe that your gone.
          Why Charlotte? Why did you leave? Was it because of him? That vampire? Damn him to hell. He destroyed our family, our love for one another. What was once beloved became hated. Why did she trust him so much? Why did you love him? He was a demon, for God's sakes! A child of darkness! He would have betrayed you eventually, didn't you know that?
          Or so I tell myself.
          But you weren't changed when you returned, now where you? You died a mortal, human death, killed by a vampire nonetheless, but it still wasn't him.
          Not Meier Link.
          Words cannot communicate the shock I felt upon seeing your body. Yes, we had asked that if all else failed that you be killed mercifully, but never in all my years had I dreamed that I would face the day when I would have to say goodbye to Little Charlotte, my beautiful, sweet, and compassionate sister.
          I hate him. And I want to hate you, too. You were too loving, bearing affection for a man--no, a creature that had no heart. What did it take for him to win you over? One look into his eyes and then you found herself entrapped within his intricately spun web?
          But how Charlotte, how could you have loved him?
          I heard about the town you went through, as well as the fates of the bounty hunters we sent. The former became nothing more than a dead zone full of zombies, and the Marcus brothers all died with the exception of the woman Leila.
          How, Charlotte? How could you have condoned it? How could you have stood by his side, loving and trusting him as he drank the blood of innocent people? The Charlotte Elbourne I knew would never have accepted such evil in someone she loved.
          Or were you no longer her when you joined him? No longer Charlotte Elbourne, daughter of the wealthy and prestigious Dr. Elbourne, but Charlotte Link, lover and companion of Count Meier Link?
          You thought I wasn't aware, thought that I didn't know what was going on. But I've always known you so well little sister. I've always followed your patterns.
          You think I wasn't aware of those clandestine meeting beneath a pale moon and blanket of glittering stars? Did you think I wouldn't have noticed the paradoxical sparkle of both sorrow and joy in your eyes when I spoke of the night to you? And did you not think that I couldn't hear you, those nights he so brazenly entered our home through your window and made love to you through the night, holding time to some ancient rhythm of which I knew not?
          I wept those nights when the heavy rhythm echoed in both my ears and heart, cried for the innocence he took from you and that he continued to slaughter each time the dark shroud of night fell upon us all. I knew without ever speaking a word or raising my voice in question that our family was slowly being torn apart by your sordid affair with a child of the night.
          But you didn't mind. You claimed to love him with all your heart and soul. He was your dark knight, your beloved and predestined. He was the one for which you were made, the one you adored.
          I can remember so clearly the argument between you and father that night that seems so very long ago. You had fallen before him, your hands clasped and eyes filled with tears, confessing to your father with every piece of your being in full honesty of your love for the vampire named Meier Link.
          "I love him," you had said, your voice cracking, "I would do anything for him."
          Did that include dying?
          I miss you already. The house isn't the same without your singing echoing down the stairway or your laughter leaking through the cracks of the house, the spirit of your being infusing and strengthening our own.
          You changed so much after he came into your life. You cried when you meant to laugh and you laughed when you meant to weep. He turned your world upside down and over, shaking you, breaking you, making you his. You lived for the night, pined through the days, and slowly wheedled your spirit of resistance down to nothing.
          You did resist him at one point, didn't you? Tell me, please, Charlotte. I must know. Tell me that at least you tried to stave off his advances. Comfort me with the thought that you at least wouldn't allow him to change you.
          I don't want to believe that you shattered the bonds of our family in a fit of passion.
          Then again, I don't know what to think anymore.
          When that hunter returned--D, I think his name was--he said very little, simply tossing me the ring and apologizing about your death. "I'm sorry," he'd said, "I was not able to save her. But I doubt anyone could have."
          "Damn him," I had whispered, grief overwhelming me as I gazed at the worthless gold piece that sat within my trembling palm, "Damn him for taking her from us." I remember looking up at him, forcing the tears from spilling over. "Tell me, did you kill him? Did you make him feel her pain as well?"
          "No," he answered, much to my utter despair. "But I didn't have to." He turned his horse and prepared to leave.
          I looked up then and gazed into fierce eyes. "What?"
          "She loved him," he said softly. His features altered slightly and a flash of pity passed through his eyes before being quickly dismissed and fading to cold resolve once again, "And he loved her too."
          With that, the hunter left our life as quickly he had entered it, leaving me with only the whisper of the wind and a single golden ring to comfort me.
          So why, Charlotte, why did you keep loving him? You knew you would die. You knew that it would never work out. Damned if you did and damned if you didn't. Meier was your weakness, the one for which you would do anything.
          I can picture it in my eye now, how you must have died. That girl Leila said afterwards said that you were in his arms. So there you were, bleeding and dying, your blood pooled around your body, your hand against his cheek. In that moment, you faced the world and you failed. I can see it, even if I wasn't there. That was your moment of greatest weakness, of most hated sin.
          And you have no idea how helpless and guilty I felt upon hearing those words, because I wasn't there to protect you, because I wasn't able to return the favor you gave so easily.
          "Accept him," you had asked of us, "Let me love him."
          We couldn't.
          There is so much hate in a world, within hearts that are just as easily capable of love. So why do we abhor? Why must we strive to hurt one another in the worst ways, by killing the heart, the soul, the spirit?
          He loved you, Charlotte, he cared. He wasn't just some heartless bastard who wanted your blood. He didn't take you away for the sake of desire or to cause pain. He loved you.
          I think those truths are the ones that hurt most of all.
          I'm not going to tell father any of this. I pray you don't mind. His health is failing; he's lost the will to live since you died. He leaves this world without the daughter he cherished--let him at least die with his dignity, without knowing his sin.
          And we have sinned. In the worst way. We have betrayed you. As your father and brother we should have protected you; we should have allowed whatever love you chose to blossom and bloom into the fullest of red roses, just like the ones you'd place on your window each night before he came. Roses that the servants grew and cultivated just for you. Roses that you would place in your window just for him only to find them wilted in the morning.
          We grow and thrive and live and love but we always, always die.
          And we are as guilty for your death as much as the one who killed you. The father who hands the sharpened blade to his ignorant child is as much responsible for the man who lies on the ground bleeding years later as the son. Together, we were that mindless, thoughtless parent, and the bounty hunters were our children for whom we sharpened the blade yet never told them the truth.
          We loved you, Charlotte, we really did. We only wanted the best for you, to protect you, to keep us with you forever. Mother had died just recently, and to lose you immediately afterwards...it was too much to bear. We loved you too much Charlotte.
          But he loved you more.
          I wonder sometimes where he is now, that Meier Link. Is he in that city of the night that he promised you, with your body clutched to his bosom, grief and rage flowing through his form like the raging tidal waters of the Northern Seas?
          I would pity him, would give him my sympathy and respect, but I...I still have too much hate in me, Charlotte. I can only hope that he found resolution somewhere among those stars.
          So now I sit here on your bed, gazing at a vase of white roses that should be red and clutching the ring he gave you with which you swore your eternal fidelity. I keep it with me always in my left pocket, hoping it will release me from this terrible guilt I wallow in.
          I don't want to forget the sacrifices made.
          So much lost for something so foolish and worthless. Why was it that Father and I hated where you saw love? Why wasn't the world clear until after you died, until after we lost you forever?
          You could have had the stars, Charlotte, but we took that way from you, tore it from your hands and plunged the stake into your heart ourselves. Now all that's left of you is memory, and all that Meier has left is your body, neck punctured with the mark of a vampire, as if it was his very hand that slay you.
          Who was the real monster in the end?
          You could have flown to the city of the night on the wings of your lover, the night your warm cloak, his arms your salvation. You could have had the stars, the world, the universe. These white rose swaying in the breeze could so easily be red. We could have loved and never lost.
          But we didn't.  And now you pay the penance.
          I'm so sorry, Charlotte...

Final Notes From the Author:

          I apologize for the dark nature of this story, but I couldn't help but think that Charlotte's family took steps that were...less than noble. I think the true moral of Charlotte and Meier is that darkness is not found only in those who have given their souls to evil, such as vampires. Evil lives in the minds and hearts of every man, woman, and child, and we are all capable of it, even our families. And that is the true sorrow of it all. Meier may not have died a physical death, but the one Charlotte's family handed him when the hunt led to her death was just as devastating.

          For those who missed the first notes, the significance of the roses has to do with their colors. Red roses symbolize love. White roses symbolize death. Understand now?
          Thank you for reading.

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