Summary: In 1927, Edward leaves.
In case you haven’t seen the results of the VampSlash Contest, In Between was voted Best non-Edward/Jasper and, as decided by the impartial scoring of our wonderful Judges, the First Place winner overall.
At first glance, In Between might look like your basic “Edward and Carlisle are more-than-just-companions/Carlisle changes Esme/Carlisle marries Esme/Edward leaves in an act of rebellion” story. I strongly urge you to look further. With just a few minor tweaks, avioleta turns this pairing and their story on its side.
First of all, Esme will not marry Carlisle. She says that it’s because her first marriage was horrible and cruel, but it seems clear to me that it’s because she knows Carlisle prefers and pines for Edward.
Then, Edward isn’t plagued with guilt and doubt about his decisions. Instead, he believes his actions to be completely justified and, like a petulant child, blames them on his “father:”
“They deserve it, Carlisle. They always deserve it.[…] Never would have thought it of me, hmm?” The boy’s voice was cold, dispassionate.
“No. No remorse, Carlisle. No regret or guilt for what I’ve done.” He looked up, bloodied eyes dark. “Does that disturb you? This child of thine?”
How could you…how can you?
“I know, right?” And Edward laughed again. He watched Carlisle steadily; his expression was cool, calculating. “You wanted me to leave, Carlisle. […] This is what you wanted, isn’t it? What else did you expect?”
There’s even a hint of vamp-Carlisle and human-Edward:
Carlisle’s perfect memory recalled a scene many years before when he’d presented himself in the same way. Only then, he could hear the wild thrum of his heart, beating too fast, belying his calm.
Personally, I’d love to see the scene that Carlisle is remembering there. (Hint, hint.)
If you have seen the results of the VampSlash Contest, you know that this was also mynameisserendipity’s and my pick as a Host’s Choice. One of the reasons it was my favorite is that it gave Edward’s rebellious years meaning in a context greater than that of just the Twilight mythology. Interspersed throughout the narrative are headlines and snippets of news stories from the late 1920s about famous (or infamous) crimes. The implication, confirmed about halfway through the story, is that the crimes (murders) are not the direct result of gang violence or mafia activity, but of Edward.
The other thing that I particularly liked here was the fact that it’s honestly more about Carlisle than it is about Edward’s rebellious years. Sure, Edward is off on his canon-dictated murderous walkabout, but In Between is really a spotlight on how Carlisle’s world falls apart because he denies Edward and denies himself.
I think mynameisserendipity and I are the last people in the fandom to discover avioleta, but in case there’s even one other person out there who hasn’t read her, I have to make a mention of her other work even though it’s not vampslash (can you believe this was her first???). Everything in its Right Place was heartbreakingly beautiful, and A Cinderella Story is my new bedtime favorite. And of course, you must read Stay from the Slash/Backslash 2.0 contest. She writes Carlisle and Edward with such elegance and passion, and I can’t possibly do it justice here.