Fandom: Twilight Series
Characters: Edward, Alice, Bella. Pairing: Edward/Bella, some Jacob/Bella.
Summary: It is Alice and not Tanya who interrupts Edward’s solitary musings in Denali.
Word Count: 5 278
Spoilers: Chapter 2 of Midnight Sun, though AU.
Author's Note: Thanks as always to my beta, shagmedraco.
Distribution: Link only please.
Written: June 2010.
Edward opened his golden eyes to the stars above and wished he could join them; to escape from the temptation that'd followed him as he travelled the dark miles from the rainy town of Forks to the snow covered grounds of Denali – a temptation he feared would haunt him till the end of his days. Bella Swan's heart shaped and pale face swam before his eyes among the light points of the stars; her startled and wide dark eyes her most prominent feature in his mind. He recalled every second of their interaction with each other, however slight or distanced; and it pained him that the memories he had of her were so few.
He felt a flicker of surprise as he realised Alice was closing in on the spot he lay hiding. He'd not paid attention to his surroundings, his thoughts miles away with the human girl and her intoxicating scent, and his sister's arrival was unexpected. Her parting words had made Edward believe he would've come to decision to return on his own – as he'd just done, given that he'd admitted that all else would be running away – and not through Alice involving herself where she wasn't needed.
But then, her visions were not only subjective and changeable at the whim of a decision, but she often only saw the outcome and not the means that'd brought one there.
Alice joined him then, and a flurry of snowflakes disrupted the air as she threw herself down beside him on the ground.
"If you've come to try and convince me to return, you needn't have bothered," Edward said in lieu of a greeting, not even glancing at her as he spoke.
"I just came to show you something, a vision I had."
"I'm not in the mood." Edward watched as the flakes settled back on the ground around them – some fell onto his still body, joining the ones already covering him in a white powdered blanket.
Just as Edward had known she'd do, Alice disregarded his protest.
"I don't want you to freak out," she said. "Just let me show you."
Edward eyed her. Her mind was suspiciously quiet, her thoughts focused on Jasper and the moment she'd shared with him before going after Edward – a clear indication she was hiding something from him.
He sat up and turned to face her fully. "All right," he agreed. She wouldn't have come such a long way if she hadn't thought it absolutely necessary, but instead waited for him to return on his own.
They closed their eyes as one; a habit whenever they shared a vision in such a deliberate way. Not for the sake of focus, for their minds could handle far more at the same time without even the slightest bit of trouble, but because try as she might, thoughts of his facial reactions would filter into Alice's thoughts and thus into his, which was an unnecessary and easily avoidable distraction.
It was late evening and only the moon lit the small backyard and the forest surrounding it. A dark haired woman, no more than thirty, sat on the porch in the dark, her heart shaped face turned up towards the stars, visible in the clear and cloudless night. In her hand was a cell phone of a model not yet made and she sighed into it.
"I just don't know what's wrong with me, Angela," her clear voice rang out into the otherwise quiet night. A dog barked in the distance and her eyes turned automatically towards the sound. A moment later, her eyes fell on the delicate gold band wrapped around her left ring finger and she watched as it sparkled faintly in the light of the moon. "I mean, I just got married and all I can think about is how much I dislike the ring, how trapped I feel living in La Push and how much I rather sit outside in the cold on my own than lie next to my sleeping husband."
There was a pause as she listened to Angela's reply. Her eyes travelled back to the dark heavens above as she realised another deep sigh.
She fidgeted restlessly on the steps. "Of course there's something wrong with me," she spoke into the receiver. "I just don't know what. I can't even explain how it feels, it's just… there's a void." She pressed the heel of her left hand against her chest and rubbed at the pale skin over her heart. "It's been there since high school but lately, it's just gotten worse. At first I thought I was just missing my mother and Phoenix, but now I'm beginning to think that it's this place."
A light switched on in the house behind her and the woman turned. "Shit. Sorry, but I have to go. Thanks for listening. And sorry for calling so late with my post-wedding jitters." She laughed as the porch light lit up above her. "I'm sure if my husband gets his way I'll know soon enough what its like. You give him a big kiss from his aunty and tell him I said he should let you sleep," she said as the back door opened. She said her goodbyes to Angela before she turned towards the dark haired man who'd exited the house behind her.
"Who were you talking to?" he asked as the woman rose.
"Angela. Mason's not sleeping well."
"Oh. Are you coming back to bed?"
She nodded and followed him back inside, casting one last glance up at the stars before stepping through the doorway. The door shut and a moment later, the house was dark once more.
Edward frowned as the vision ended and Alice's thoughts returned back to the present.
"That wasn't so bad," he said, his fists clenching. "It's not surprising she would marry one day. Why did you think showing me that was going to make me freak out?"
"That's not the end." Alice took an unnecessary breath. "And this is the part that will upset you."
Edward sat up straighter. "Does he hurt her?" he growled out, surprised at his own fury at the mere thought.
"No. He doesn't."
Before Edward had a chance to ask her to elaborate, Alice closed her eyes and with a pained expression marring her delicate features, allowed Edward to see what she'd seen mere hours ago.
It was late evening. A new moon lit the bright town. Laughter and music filtered up towards the open window where Edward stood, watching the moon and the stars above him. His eyes were the colour of the brightest of red, his face a mask of indifference as he stood, still as a statue.
His hand was fisted around a crumpled wedding announcement; the words Swan and Jacob Black visible on the paper. The heel of his left hand pressed against his chest and the only part of him moving was the hand that rubbed over the place where his heart laid dormant.
Suddenly, the marble statue came to life and his red eyes flew down towards the street below he'd so long ignored, easily singling out the human that'd caught his interest.
The woman's heart shaped face was flushed a pretty pink as she looked up at the tall, dark haired man holding her delicate hand in his.
The red eyes narrowed as they followed the couple's progress down the street. Just before they turned a corner and disappeared from his view, he jumped out the window and out onto the roof of the building across from his.
With unnatural agility, he followed the couple as they walked on, unaware of his presence and their doom. The crowds thinned as the three neared a residential area and that was when the red-eyed monster made his move.
Too fast for the eyes of a mere human to see, he jumped down at them. With a roar, he grabbed the man by the neck, breaking it by the force of his grip. The monster threw the man into an alley, where he laid dead, bleeding and forgotten. The red eyes turned towards the wide and terrified brown of the woman who, in shock, stood staring at her husbands still form several feet away.
He moved towards her, slowly savouring her terror. A slow predatory smile spread on his face as her dark eyes flew up to meet his and she began to back away from him. Her back hit a wall and tears began to fill her already glassy eyes as she watched him coming towards her.
Her weak voice made the red eyed monster pause a step away from her. He leaned his head to one side as he studied her.
"It's been a long time since anyone has called me that," he said.
He closed the space between them in the space between one heartbeat and the next, holding her trapped against the wall, her tears streaming down her cheeks, by placing his hands on either side of her head. The blood of her husband had stained his left hand red and the sight of it made the woman tremble.
Her own hands fluttered up and pressed against her chest and stomach. The gold of her wedding band caught the faint glow of an overhead streetlight and glinted at them. At the sight of it, the red eyed monster grabbed her hand and ripped the ring off her. Crumbling it in his hand, he threw the gold dust behind his back – much like he'd done her husband moments earlier.
The same hand then gently traced the tear tracks on her cheek.
"Don't cry, Bella," he whispered against her face. "It'll be over quick, I promise."
With a crocked grin, he took a deep breath, visibly enjoying the inhale of her scent before he leaned down and bit into the soft and yielding flesh of her neck.
"Stop," Edward begged.
"No," Alice said. "You need to see."
Edward watched in yet growing horror as, in the heat of the moment, the red eyed monster that was him ripped the fabric of Bella's dress and pawed at her chest – all the while drinking deep from his bite in her pale throat.
Despite himself, Edward found himself growing hard as he watched the possible outcome of his hands touching parts of Bella he'd not yet imagined them going and his lips on her neck, drinking down the blood he craved more than anything, ever before. He was glad the layer of snow covering him meant Alice wouldn't notice his predicament – he was ashamed and horrified many times over as it was.
The vision changed – the dark night in Paris turned into bright day in Volterra, and Edward watched as he walked, sparkling unashamedly, through town. Not a speck of blood remained on his person or clothes as to hint at the crime he'd committed.
The vision ended with three Volturi guards pulling him into an alley and tearing him apart.
Edward opened his eyes to find Alice watching him, sadness in hers.
"I would never," he said.
"I know you believe that and I know you really do mean it, but Edward, you won't be able to stop yourself." Alice sighed. "Leaving us, leaving her, you'll have nothing left to fight for. One slip, two slips and the next thing you know, you're killing humans again to try and fill the void inside. The void of Bella. You know how difficult it was for you to refrain from killing her in Forks – and that was after seventy years of abstaining from human blood. It will impossible for you to stop yourself if you leave."
"I won't let it happen," Edward insisted, his voice hard. He thought of the Volturi; he now knew exactly what he needed to do to get them to end him. So many years, so long believing that Carlisle had truly tried everything to end his existence, and now he'd finally found the solution.
Alice gasped as his decision created a new outcome for him. Together with Alice, Edward saw, once more, his own demise – the difference between the two visions being that his eyes were gold and his clothes the ones he currently wore. What followed was a brief image of the family retiring to Alaska, effective immediately; to grieve him and then; a bloody vision of Bella as she was crushed between two cars in the school parking lot one morning before class.
"How come that didn't happen before?" Edward asked, swallowing. "How come she lived to get married if I just left, but not if I died?"
Alice looked pained. "If you just stayed away, we might not have joined you right away – one of us would've prevented it."
Edward nodded. Though not often interfering with human lives, that much sweet blood spread across the lot would've been difficult for all vampires close by to resist. Alice, upon having the vision, would've stopped it so as not to risk exposure.
"Stop." Alice placed a hand on his arm, knowing a part of him was getting ready to run away – far further this time. "I didn't come here just to show you what'll happen if you don't return to Forks. I came to show you something I've been keeping from you all these years."
Edward frowned, but didn't move, and Alice removed her hand.
"No one but Jasper knows and I only told him because until we joined the family, I had no idea it was something that needed to be kept secret."
"What do you mean?" Edward asked, suspicious.
"Before we met, you know I had visions of the family," Alice didn't give Edward time to nod before she continued, "What you don't know is that the vision were about all eight of us."
Edward hadn't expected such a revelation and it showed on his face as he blinked in shock.
"None of the visions suggested she wouldn't be there when we joined the family. And when we arrived, you were out hunting and I just assumed Bella had gone with you. But then you came back alone."
Edward remembered then; the excited greeting Alice had bestowed on him, the half finished sentence of 'Where is-‘ before her smile had dimmed and her thoughts had turned to Jasper. At the time, he'd been more focused on her presence and knowledge of his power to wonder at what she'd cut herself off from saying.
"To me, Bella has always been a part of the family."
"And you've kept this from me, all this time?" That shocked Edward more than anything; that Alice and Jasper had been able to keep it from him for so many years.
"It hasn't been easy. Every new place we moved to, I got my hopes up that it would be the place where you meet her. I never expected it to take you this long to find her."
"Why didn't you say something sooner?" Edward asked, unable to focus on anything other than the fact that Alice had kept a secret from him – if he started to think about Bella as a vampire, as his vampire, he would be lost and he wanted more for her. She deserved better.
"I was going to, but the one time I decided to, the vision I had of your reaction convinced me otherwise." She paused. "You became determined to stay out of everyone's lives, hiding in Alaska for the next hundred years. It would've ruined everything."
Edward's face was determinately set. "I'm not going to subject her to this kind of existence."
"Edward, she will be happy." Alice looked at him with sad eyes. "You both will."
The disbelief was plain on his face and Alice sighed, closing her eyes.
The vision she recalled and played out for him was one Edward had seen once before, long ago. It was Alice, walking through the forest. Light streamed down through the green foliage above her and her exposed skin sparkled in the rays. She entered a nondescript clearing, a bright smile breaking out on her face just a breath of a moment before Jasper wrapped his arms around her from behind and kissed her cheek.
Carlisle and Esme stepped out into the sun, hand in hand. Esme turned her head as a tree wobbled in the distance, a fond smile playing on her face. A moment later, a laughing Rosalie joined them, Emmett chasing behind her.
Edward entered the clearing from the left just then, sharing a look with Alice across the clearing. The only other time Alice had shown Edward the vision, that was where it'd cut off.
This time, it continued.
Edward watched, his real eyes closed, as the image of his future self smiled. A smile so content, it almost seemed to transform his whole face. A twinkling laugh rang out behind him and as future Edward turned, the small body of a brown haired girl threw herself into his open arms.
The real Edward startled and his eyes flew open as he realised it was Bella - her eyes golden and her skin sparkling brightly, just like his.
"Do you see it now?" Alice asked him.
The vision ended with Edward and Bella kissing in the sunshine, his family all around.
The image left Edward momentarily speechless. "I can't imagine she'll be happy like this."
"She'll be no more happy or sad than the rest of us," Alice said. "Well, with the exception of Rosalie I'd imagine – but then, we're all generally happier with our existence than she is."
"One vision does not tell you she'll be happy with me." He'd meant to say as a vampire, but the words had slipped out. With Alice, he could be more open than with most other members of his family – even Carlisle, who was his best friend in addition to his father figure.
Alice smiled kindly. "I've had more than one vision with her."
"I still can't get over how you've been able to keep this from me all these years."
"Honestly, Edward – you don't really pay as much attention as you think you do."
Smiling happily now, Alice closed her eyes.
Rosalie and Bella stood side by side in a clothing store, looking through racks of clothing; Rosalie with a well trained eye and Bella reluctantly.
On the other side of the store, Alice sorted through the jewellery display, half grimacing at the poor selection.
"How can you stand it?" Bella asked Rosalie.
"What, the shopping?" Rosalie asked, glancing down at the brunette.
"No, I mean," she sighed, "Edward and I have been married longer than most of these people's grandparents have been alive – you and Emmett even longer. But, because of our teenage appearance, when people find out we're married, they send off those ‘aw, how cute, the delusional teenagers think they're going to last' looks. Like we're just playing house without a clue as to what a real relationship is like." She directed her golden-eyed glare at the clothes in front of her.
"I have learned not to let it get to me," Rosalie said.
Alice scoffed from across the store as Bella raised an eyebrow at the blonde, a doubtful look on her heart shaped face.
"What? I have – I – oh, fine. Yes, it bothers me. But, if everyone thinks you're just a hormonal teenager fresh from a honeymoon, they can't hold it against you when you act accordingly."
Alice laughed as she joined them, her arms laden with colourful clothes.
"You have a point there," Bella said, smiling. "Now, how about this one?" She held up a green shirt in front of her chest.
"It's hideous," Rosalie said before turning back to her own search.
"You're not even trying!" Alice accused, grabbing the shirt and hanging it back.
"You know how much I hate shopping," Bella grumbled.
"Just think of something Edward would like to see you in," Alice suggested.
Rosalie snorted. "I think he likes her best out of everything."
"You're not helping," Alice hissed at her.
The woods were quiet around them as Alice and Edward stared at each other.
"You can not take her away from me, Edward," Alice finally said. "And trying will only hurt the both of you in the end, not to mention make you both dead."
"So what, I should just go back to Forks and kill her and we'll live happily ever after?"
"You could always try talking to her," Alice suggested.
"And how am I to do that when I can't breathe around her?"
Alice frowned. "Talk to her outside so her scent isn't as concentrated? Stand down-wind?"
"And then, what, ask if I have her permission?" Edward asked incredulous.
"I heard her tell Angela she's accident prone, so I'm sure she'll end up in a life threatening situation Carlisle can save her from soon enough."
Edward gave her a look. "You mean something besides me will threaten her life?"
"Yes." Alice gave him a sympathetic look, which he ignored.
He lay back down against the snow, closed his eyes and thought of Bella.
She'd not seemed unhappy in the visions Alice had shared with him, but he couldn't be certain she wasn't – though Alice wouldn't lie to him about something so important, she truly wanted Bella to join their family, so even if she'd had visions that told him the truth of Bella's feelings regarding her change, she wouldn't show them in the fear of him resisting it.
His tawny eyes opened and he eyed Alice who sat patiently waiting by his side. "Are those the only visions you've had of her?"
A smile graced her face as she image of a high school cafeteria flashed in her mind and into Edward's. The cafeteria looked no different than other lunch rooms of past high schools, but in the vision, Edward and Bella, along with his four siblings, were laughing and talking – unlike most other lunch hours he'd shared with his siblings.
Emmett and Rosalie had just returned from another honeymoon and were sharing stories from their travels. Edward didn't listen to the words as he watched the vision; they were unimportant. Instead he focused on Bella and the way she interacted with vision-Edward. She held his hand on top of the table and the hand not clasped in his played with a piece of string on his shirt as she leaned her head against his shoulder. Vision-Edward played with Bella's hair and every so often, she looked up and they shared a secret smile.
The vision was short and mostly wordless, as far as Edward was aware. The vision ended after Emmett had thrown an apple at vision-Edward to catch his attention; Bella caught it inches from his face and Edward watched as his future self startled in surprise and pulled his eyes away from Bella's face to glare at his brother.
The image changed from the boring beige of a high school cafeteria to the lush green of a forest; from a scene with all four of his siblings to Edward and Bella standing alone.
A bird flew above them, squawking as it fled in terror of them. Bella eyed it as they strolled leisurely over the moss covered grounds, between the high trees surrounding them.
"Can you hear the thoughts of animals?" she asked, looking up at him. A gust of wind blew by, catching in her long dark hair as it travelled further into the forest.
"Animals don't really think in words," he replied. "It's more… images than anything. Instincts."
"What about the thoughts of someone who speak a language you don't know, how do you know what they're thinking?"
He smirked. "Haven't met one of those as of yet."
Bella gave him a look. "Showing off a bit there, are we?"
He laughed. "I had years upon years of sleepless nights on my own before I met you. By the time I had enough control to travel and met people from other countries, I'd had time to learn." He looked down at her, smiling as he took her hand. "You will too."
Bella returned the smile. "I'm looking forward to it. Although I must admit that I don't anticipate many sleepless nights without you."
He grinned, stopped her in her tracks and kissed her. As she wrapped her arms around his neck and held his head to hers, the white of her wedding band caught the dim light and gleamed.
The image of her pale and delicate female hand sharpened as the scene around it changed; it left the tangle of Edward's hair and slid down his naked back as the candles littered around the room flickered a soft glow over them.
His hand slid over Bella's pale skin, taking with it the strap of her dress, following its fall down the outside of her arm with a finger. His lips followed the falling cloth down over the exposed flesh of her breast, the pink of his tongue circling around a dark and pebbled nipple.
He was rewarded with a breathy moan of his name and her breast rose as she arched into him and-
Alice laughed nervously as she hurriedly pushed the image away. It'd flickered to life for a mere breath of a second, yet it'd been enough for him to see. "You weren't supposed to see that one," she admitted.
Edward stared at her, not blinking and not breathing. He swallowed back a mouthful of venom before he dared open his mouth. "What was that?"
Alice sighed. "I didn't mean to show that to you, but the ring just-"
"We are married?" he asked, stupidly.
"Yes." A brief smile flashed over her face as she looked up at him, awaiting his reaction.
"And she is happy?"
"I haven't seen anything to suggest otherwise," Alice assured him.
Edward frowned. "That doesn't mean she's happy all the time."
"No," Alice agreed, "but just because I'm happy with Jasper doesn't mean we don't have our moments – just like every other couple in the history of the world."
"And just because she's happy eventually doesn't mean she'll be happy about it right away," Edward continued, seemingly not having heard her reply.
Alice placed a hand on his arm, this time in comfort and not to keep him from running.
"Edward, it will be worth it. Trust me on this."
Edward inhaled the fresh nature air, free from the freesia waiting for him in Forks and nodded slowly. Alice smiled at his acceptance, the smile widening as a brief vision of their return home before first light flashed before her eyes.
"Esme will be pleased," she said as she stood. "She has waited longer than I have for this, even if she's not known any specifics."
Edward frowned as he joined her on his feet. "Alice," he said, "you can't tell anyone. I'd like you not to tell Jasper either, but I will of course understand if you are unwilling to keep it from him. It's just that I don't know when I'm going to be ready or how it's going to work out – I don't want Esme to get her hopes up too soon and have that kind of pressure on me, not to mention the argument with Rosalie I'd like to not have until I absolutely have to."
"Rosalie won't complain," Alice protested. At Edward's look, she retracted. "All right, yes, she will complain. I see your point and I will do as you ask. Just… don't take too long."
Edward nodded, but didn't say anything one way or the other.
"Come on, we better say goodbye now if we're to make it back in time for school."
Together they returned home.
Edward played distractedly with his food, ignoring most of the voices and thoughts of the general student body of Forks High.
Only one mind was of any interest to him and try as he might, three weeks in he was still not able to hear the thoughts of the girl who'd so easily become the focal point of his entire existence.
She was seated fifty-three feet away from him; eight tables and forty-two students separated them, and she was blushing as Jessica Stanley teased her about their weekend trip to La Push, completely ignoring Bella's reluctance or Michael Newton as he stewed with jealousy.
Edward stewed also; for to him, it was not merely a boy Bella had been talking to, but Jacob Black.
So much was encompassed in that name; the ancient secret of his true nature as well as his future happiness, not to mention Bella's demise.
Though Jessica and Michael both exaggerated Bella's meeting with the boy, though in two completely different ways, what they did get right as they each recalled the scene they'd found was enough to rattle Edward's confidence. When he'd first heard of it, in the hallway before first period, accompanied by an image of Bella and Jacob seated closely together a distance away from their friends, he'd had to use all of his hard earned control and self-discipline to not break the door of his locker completely off.
It'd thrown him completely. He'd not even introduced himself to her yet and she'd already met the boy who, in a still possible outcome of her life, would become her husband. He'd had no warning from Alice that Bella would meet Jacob so soon – so now, along with worrying about her wanting to be with him knowing that he was a vampire, for he would not be able to hide it from her, he had to worry about her falling in love with someone else too.
He wished now more than ever that he could hear her thoughts.
Relax, Jasper chided silently from across the table.
And Edward did try.
If you just talked to her, Alice suggested, as she had every day since they returned from Denali three weeks prior, despite promising she would let him handle it in his own time.
Had it not been for the skidding car he'd saved Bella from, he would've talked to her before now – but because of the car, he had another worry to add to the growing list; had he scared her away by his freakish nature before he'd even had a chance to converse with her properly?
Jasper eyed him and Edward sighed as his brother once again told him to calm down.
Edward shot him a hard look; a look that transformed as soon as he'd sent it, for behind Jasper's shoulder, some distance away, sat Bella.
You need help, Jasper thought, noticing Edward's distraction and knowing the cause for it.
Edward ignored him, his eyes on Bella and her flushed cheeks. She looked up at him and instead of looking away, pretending he hadn't been looking as he'd done so many times in the past, his eyes remained on her. Bella didn't look away either, as he'd feared she'd do, and they stared eat each other, eyes locked, for the few precious minutes that remained of lunch – until Michael waved a hand in front of Bella's face to break her out of her spell.
Her cheeks flushing brightly, she hurried out of the lunch room with her friends. Edward watched her go, and realised with a light heart that they had Biology next.
And it was high time he introduced himself properly.
Alice smiled as they parted for class. It'll work out, Edward. Stop worrying so much.
Edward stepped into the Biology classroom, his eyes on Bella as her heart picked up speed the closer he came. He sat down beside her, smiled and said hello.
End Note: Regarding Jacob not being a werewolf – in my mind, in the first vision where Edward never returned to Forks, the others would’ve left soon after also once it became clear he wasn’t coming back (and there was no one to reassure the rest of the family Bella wouldn’t tattle on Alice’s freaky strength and speed after Alice saved Bella from the van) and as such, he never came into his werewolf ‘legacy’ because the vampires hadn’t been there “long enough” during a time when he was maturing and able to change, so he wasn’t needed, though Sam had by then already changed.