themidnightson: ([Person] Bella - Beautiful Together)
[personal profile] themidnightson
The Door opens and so little time has passed here.

Even so, she's fretting and twisted up in her sheets. The scent of the room is overwhelming and ignorable in comparison to the rasping out bare half words frantically. To sitting on a half foot of the bed, and reaching out a hand, ever so tentative in case she were to jump or shake, and letting his fingers cup her cheek.

Another bad dream. She had them every night. None of the ones like Charlie remembers all too vividly for him to miss, coming to check on her nearly every night long past when she'd known he was doing so. Screaming fits in her sleep. Continuously at first. But even when he thought she was getting better, it was never all gone. Not as bad, but still constant. Even now.

When she hadn't moved much for the first minute he scooted a little closer, and brushed her hair back from her cheek and her eyes. Careful. Delicate. The pressure to touching a line in a spider web without breaking the strings, to lean down, closing his eyes against the soft, fearful whimpering and press the smallest kiss against her temple.

"Shhhh. I'm here."

Even if he's supposed to be leaving.




Which didn't stay as a thought when she turned into his hand, eyelashes flickering. Almost waking, but only searching across the blanket and curling up against him. The tiny death grip of the fingers that found his hand couldn't hold him any more than the wind, but they mean something.

The press of fingers until her knuckles are white like his skin. He reached out and traced, gently, his fingers tips over her desperate clutch. Stroking her skin until consciousness fades with the color, from white to pink to pale peach.

He did this. Took the most beautiful thing ever placed in his hands and threw it away, every second he'd imagined her healing and moving on she was here broken and bleeding, a china de Milo made only of sharp, biting shards.





Carlisle asked if he cared, as though there were some way he hadn't noticed. Cared.
That he'd almost killed Isabella. Left her to werewolves and Victoria and dangerous stunts.
That Alice and Bella had literally stood on the precipice and almost died in the pit of Volterra.

That his family was hanging on by threads. He'd only need the few hours with Alice on the plane to have a reasonable view of months. Esme's grief and Carlisle's silence, Jasper's guilt and Rosalie's anger. The different trips breaking off from each other. The lack of any sensible communication, any laughter.

The fighting. The hopelessness. The repeated events that only one other could recognize in their exactness. All of it was his. His fault. He'd thought he'd made the wisest decision for the sake of all of them, at the expense of himself, but instead he'd nearly torn all of them apart in his idiocy.

He'd nearly died, and he and Alice would forever carry the flicked memories of moments and worlds where he had. Quartered and burning. The news being carried. The idea that he could not care at all. There was no way to care less. There was no way to be numb enough to not feel the gravity of every action taken, every memory that assailed him, every link in the chain he'd shackled them all to.





Guilt and loathing roiled in and out of emptiness. Forgiveness was not something he sought, or deserved. If anything his awareness of the events and consequences, made him even less inclined to agree that he was anything but a monster. And yet she still had her 'epiphany,' still she had said that nothing had or would ever change how she loved him.

Stole his entire world of ability to think with the simplest waves of breathing in and out as she finally slipped back into a deeper, calmer sleep.

All of that tangled up in the fierce anger over the subject of her being changed. To be backed up, on that being an even worse mistake to add to the pile of travesties, by only Rosalie. He could understand Esme and Alice. Even Emmett. But Carlisle, he couldn't, didn't even want to. The idea cut so deeply into everything left there.








Carlisle who was expecting him.





Edward closed his eyes, taking all of it in. The sound of her breathing in and out. The steady strum of her heart. The lazy curl of her fingers with her arm slung casually across him. The intensity of the fragility of all of this. The endless blighting weight of everything. The miracle that somehow he was here again.

Unable to crush her to him, Edward swallowed and picked up her arm, placing it gently on the blanket.
He slipped off the side of the bed, a fast enough movement the bed didn't even shiver.

He looked at her bed table only to end up looking back at her, as she began to shift and turn, looking for something missing, now that she was bereft again. He reached out for her hand on the blanket as he realized a note really wouldn't suffice. Nothing would. He wouldn't want one left for him now either, if the reverse were possible.






His voice was soft, for her sleep and Charlie's sake, but insistent. He only had to say her name twice before she was blinking her eyes confused. He brushed the knuckles of her hand against his cheek and his lips while she focused. Changing the static of her breath, even as her heart beat skittered slightly faster.

"I need to leave for a while." He spoke against her fingers, telling himself he'd be fine.
He'd made it through three hours, and the end wasn't as horrific as the beginning had been.

Her expression shifted through so many things. Waking up more to think, fear and uncertainty, a hesitation so fluent in all her actions that basked in the ever-present silent of her thoughts. She seemed to gather her shoulders and hold herself, even when her expression didn't clear, and he wondered how Carlisle would take being canceled on.

Her hand shifted in his. Like a bird finding life, his stilled completely to give her freedom from her cage. Her fingers uncurled to touch the side of his face. His cheek, stopping next to his eyes. Her tone was so cryptic, and patient, accepting while failing the attempt not to be sad. "I knew you'd have to eventually."

Edward's head bowed against her fingers. Pinpricks of warmth, the very source of Life in his world.

"Will you be back before morning?"

Doubtful. Even the thought felt like a stab inside of him.

"If not by then, I will call as soon as I'm back in the area."

Her hand pulled back to her blanket, and it was a struggle, locking his jaw, not to follow it. Her fingers wound into the cloth and her shoulders never unset still. He hovered on the edge of saying he'd stay, right there on that spot, as long as she needed him to. He'd done such cruelty to her, no matter the claims for how or why, and he would do anything she felt it required.

"I love you, Edward." Surprised him again, as she tugged her blanket up.
Quiet brown eyes, in the face that had indelibly changed who he was, closing again.

Edward pushed up, half to standing and he leaned over, placing a kiss in her hair. "Forever."

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themidnightson

March 2012

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