Jun. 4th, 2010

themidnightson: (Default)
1950;
stop stop stop the past from turning



He's not sure how it happened.

He could recount the details. Who left when and why and where they were going and for how long. But he doesn't know why he didn't figure out they were alone in the house until the thumping sound started. He'd been reading. Maybe that was it. Even if he hadn't missed the direction of her thoughts. But the thumping was so constant, so unchanging, it brought him back from written words and he laid there listening to her, to it.

Thud.

Thud.


Thud.


Finger twined in her hair, as though her great strength could rend the black hair from her head, as though the wall wouldn't give way if she kept rocking back against it so hard, as though she were utterly alone in the house.

His feet took him there without any true intention. It's hard not to hear something so loud and so drastic. He wonders how Japer left her here at all today, and had he himself even noticed any signs that would have made this a likely assumption. And he was going to turn around and walk away. Except the thudding noise stopped when his footsteps did. For a sniffle of a nose that can't run and a choked down sound.

And he can see her. The way her knees are trembling. Both through her eyes, and through the strip of light dividing the wall from the door, even in the dark of the closet she's hiding in. Only a few feet to his left of where's he's stopped in the hallway.

"I know-" mixes with I'm sorry. I just "-you're there." wanted to see something.

Tell me there's something there.



He could walk away. She's used to him walking away now.

He let them stay, because he's the only one who really doesn't get a vote. Carlisle said it was his choice, but everyone is already over the roof. They just don't want to step on his feet to be it. But they do, and he lets them. And know they do, and still lets them. But he doesn't have to be in the same room. Doesn't have to fake this grand perfect friendship she keeps throwing him visions of.

He could walk away. Again. Like always.

With a frown, he leans against the wall and slides down to sitting.
Carlisle and Esme will both have his head if he leaves her here like this.

He feels her frustration grow. Because as close as he is, she knows he isn't. She has nothing in the past and what she has here is the imperfect points of the future she knows were right, aren't changing from her purview, and he still isn't here. He's less than three feet from her and he isn't at all the person she was running to. And not having the future in the midst of the terror of being unable to touch her past sends her off again.

The shaking. The grasp of her fingers in her hair. The quieter sound of her head hitting the wall.

Edward frowned at his own knees. It's only a passive, receptive, gift. And he'd call it more frequently a torture when not relating it to either education or protecting his family. He can't push. He can't seek. He can't go looking. He can only stare at his knees feeling helplessly unable to give her even some small bit of what she wants to find inside herself of her past previous to waking up as one of them.

He shakes his head even though she can't see him at all.

"It's only blackness. Not even whispers."

She sobs harder, and, as if in perfect unplanned unison, both their heads fall back against the walls behind them. Neither of them miss it, and he hopes, desperately she'll leave it alone. But nothing is a coincidence in Alice's head and she chokes out words, hard and bitter and pleading and broken all at once.

You were supposed to make it better.

Edward sighed. Heavy and put upon. Closing his eyes. It's only the newest thing he's forced to bear for his family. How many things can he continue to stack on top of himself for Carlisle and Esme's happiness? Even Rosalie had attached herself slightly more to the idea of Alice once the fashion topic came up, and Emmett loved the idea of having more people to rough house with and bait into playing.

When he didn't say anything, her thoughts cycled back to the original problem. There is no future, there is no past. And Edward stared at the wall as a sob echoed from the tiny closet once more. She isn't Esme, who he knows how to comfort with music and laughter and just letting things be okay or Carlisle who can be managed in any emotion with some effort. He can rile Rosalie from a funk usually by severe baiting, and Emmett never comes down enough things aren't solved by sex with his wife.

She's Alice. Entirely new. Entirely unknown.

Who is trying desperately at this moment not to hate him for not being someone he isn't. For the fact she's sitting next to the person who's supposed to be her best friend for all of eternity and beyond, but instead is still utterly alone. Devoid of her own past, Devoid of her promised future, alone in this house waiting for Jasper to return.



He knows that feeling. He lives that feeling. The one of being so close to the things that make the most, perfect, pristine sense, but that there is a glass wall between you and it. Whether it's something you, or your past actions, built, or something created by the status quo or other people. He's been behind one for so many years, and it tears at the pieces in him that have deep seated resentment.

He watches her vision dance and distort, flickers of other things he's had to watch, come and go and come and go, and she just grips her hair harder. She wants him to go away. She doesn't. She wants Jasper to be here most of all. Or Esme, maybe. Because there is the sensation of mother. But all she has is Edward, who doesn't want her.

He frowned, his shoulders sagging, and clenched his eyes closed hard.

Her voice next was the tiniest whisper, an apology for wanting him and hurting him, which says nothing of the fact he can tell how much she doesn't want to be apologizing, how much all of this hurts. "You said you needed me."

It flashes into her head, drug up from memory not a sudden vision, and she shudders at the same time as he stiffens:

They're sitting on the porch, staring at the sunset. A sky riotously lemon-orange shade, fading fast, with the scent of the salty blowing in from the distance. She curled up next to him, an arm wrapped around his, and she'd been saying something, or maybe they'd just been sitting in a perfect silence. There's the faint sensation of wry amusement, but easy felt. Comfortable.

Her head is against his shoulder, and her spiky black hair brushes his chin and lips, when he turns to look at it.

Saying, very quietly, very certainly, "I need you."

Alice sighed against his arm, content, home.







Edward eyes opened, staring at the grains in the wall. He didn't need her. He didn't need very much in all of the world. The things he did need he could name on one hand. And all of them, all of them, had broken him open, raped and flayed his sanity, only to piece if back together like a forsaken, for granted puzzle and shoved him back the only place he could remain half-heartedly part of this world.

He didn't want to need anything, if that was how it went, ever again.



But he didn't mean he wanted to be the cause of that in someone either.



He didn't have any words that would help -- she knew that already, she knew how he felt and what his decisions were -- but he did the only thing he could think of that might at least help her until someone else could. Help the pain and the utterly unavoidable lack of feeling there was nothing else in the world there.

Edward reached out to the side, in that slice of light, and laid his hand down, palm up.
Then, after a good minute of her staring at it, Alice placed her tiny hand inside his.

And they sat in the inescapable silence of need and lack of answers, together.

















































































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