Everyone knows he's coming before he hits the door.
He isn't making an effort to be quiet as he walks to the house.
And it isn't as though he misses the looks they exchange with each other. Relieved and conflicted, so many different emotions. Hands that end up in other hands. Still, when he does open the door and then close it, quietly, it's like everything pauses. Not exactly. Electronics are still on, screens making noise, but there's a static stillness.
They know where each other are.
All home. All accounted for.
It can only be him.
He walked toward the staircase, making it one step up before he has to look over.
Jasper's gaze was even elusive, already too in tune with everything he was feeling, and Alice smiled, wobbly but bright. Rose looked away, only to elbow Emmett for good measure as if she could read his mind for what he was planning to say, which earned the first sound of theirs to break the silence at a What?.
Edward meant to say something. That was what you did when everyone was waiting on something. His hand lay on the railing and he looked over them. The so many different facets, different reactions and emotions and opinions. How much damage. And the strange, uncomfortable, yet obvious, relief his presence brought them in different way without relaxing them.
There really weren't words.
He met their eyes and then headed up the stairs.
No one was all that surprised or disappointed by it.
As Edward neared the second floor, conversation started back up in the living room with Jasper commenting on vacuousness of the woman rambling about What Not To Wear still. It wasn't an easy starting line, but it worked. Especially when Alice frowned and Rose threw a pillow at his head, which he ducked and Alice had to deflect straight back to them.
The anxious tension was still there, but so was the riotous assortment of voices suddenly. Which left two. Esme was another floor above, paused in the act of sorting something, listening, and Carlisle was ---
"Seriously?" is quiet, right outside the study door.