|All Becomes All Right
Author: LyricalKris PM
A peak into Sue Clearwater's mind during the events of Breaking Dawn, and how she ended up with Charlie instead of Billy. Written for Ninapolitan's D.I.L.F. contest. Canon. Sue/Billy, Sue/Charlie.Rated: Fiction M - English - Hurt/Comfort/Romance - Sue & Charlie S. - Words: 7,075 - Reviews: 38 - Favs: 39 - Follows: 7 - Published: 10-02-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5416835
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Ninapolitan's D.I.L.F. Contest
Story Title: All Becomes Alright
Author : LyricalKris
Pairing: Sue/Billy, Sue/Charlie
Vamp or Human: Humans, but the vamps are around.
A/N: Holy crap, what am I doing? I have NO idea where this came from. LOL. I suppose I always found it amusing how Sue was hanging out with Billy a lot and then Charlie totally swooped in and grabbed her. I was happy for Charlie. He deserves someone to love him and his porn 'stache self.
This picks up the night after Edward and Bella tell Charlie of their impending nuptials.
Very light lemons ahead.
Sue Clearwater's POV:
We were a pretty fucked up trio, but only two of us knew the extent of it.
Billy Black, Charlie Swan and my husband, rest his soul, had been friends for more years than I would personally admit to. Things had been a lot simpler back then; for most of us, anyway. It had only been Charlie with the fucked up situation.
Of course I'd had a soft spot for him since day one. How could I not? I might be rough around the edges but it still did things to my insides to see a father so in love with his kid. He was just trying so hard and failing so miserably, my heart went out to him. There he was, a young father with a completely befuddled expression on his face as he tried to get his quiet, painfully shy five-year-old to smile. I could see he was frustrated and confused – but he was extraordinarily patient with his stubborn child. I wanted to hug him.
And I kind of wanted to yell at him. I mean really – the girl obviously had no interest in fishing and he hadn't brought anything else to do. Parenting 101 – bring distractions. Don't depend on your child getting along with the other kids. He'd been encouraging little Bella to play with Billy's six-year-old twins with little success. Kids are like that. They're more likely to make friends with exactly the people you don't want them to and dislike the ones that are convenient and/or safe.
I wanted to tell him these things, but I had a husband and kids of my own to mother so I stayed quiet.
Thirteen years later and everything had changed. Nothing seemed simple anymore.
Charlie had summoned Billy and me to his house under the guise of watching some game on the big screen, but we knew better. The men were already two-thirds through a six-pack when I arrived at the Swan residence. Amateurs. I pulled out the big guns. Fuck Vitamin R, I was calling on Doctor Jim Beam. It was just one of those days. In the last 48 hours all of our lives had been thrown to the wolves, if you'll forgive the pun.
Knowing I was going to have to commit several lies of omission that night, I downed the first shot by myself at the counter before I pulled two more shot glasses out and sat at the table. I filled the glasses and distributed the shots around. Billy and I looked at Charlie and waited.
Charlie stared down at the shot I had poured him, looking into it as if it held the answer to how the town surgeon's pretty boy son had upended his life so completely in just a year and a half. Minutes went by before he suddenly downed it. "Bella's getting married."
Billy and I feigned surprise. We'd been practicing. We'd known this information for about 24 hours. Jacob knew, which meant the pack knew, which meant the council knew pretty quickly after that battle was over. The battle that had started over Charlie's daughter. Christ, if only he knew that Bella getting married too young was the least of his worries.
We comforted Charlie as best we knew how, assuring him that it would be alright even though we both knew it wouldn't. Billy empathized best as he had been in Charlie's spot only a couple of short years ago – except that Rebecca hadn't been about to willingly and knowingly marry an undead demon whose natural urge was to drain her body of blood like my kids used to drain Capri Sun pouches of juice.
I tried to get the annoying slurping sound out of my head.
Another round of silence before Charlie inquired about how Jacob was doing. It was Billy's turn to throw back his shot. "Your daughter messed Jacob up maybe about as bad as that bike," Billy said bluntly. "But he'll survive them both."
Charlie frowned, furrowing his eyebrows. "I didn't agree with Bella's timing on that."
I made my confession in my head. I was glad I couldn't say anything. Against both of their worries, my own seemed trivial. My son will not, I mean WILL NOT, shut up about Edward Cullen. As a mother, I'm ashamed to admit I want to hit him.
I was more than a little wary living so close to an infestation of disgusting parasites. Needless to say, Seth babbling on and on about one like teenage girls babble about Zac Efron was concerning. And annoying. If I have to hear about the bloodsucker's "sweet moves" against the redheaded vampire one more time, I'm going to make Sam keep him in wolf form until he gets over it.
I downed my shot in silence and Charlie gave me a perplexed look. I just shook my head at him. Maybe he thought I was thinking of Harry again. He patted my hand and I let that comfort me, refilling our shot glasses before either one asked.
It's about a month later, mid July, when I get the call.
"He's gone, Sue."
I didn't need to ask who, or why. Leah had been more than a little vocal about her disdain over Jacob's pining, and then we had received a wedding invitation in the mail. I had been shocked. Leah had been angry. She nearly ripped the thing to shreds before Seth grabbed it from her. He was excited, of course.
I was over at Billy's in a matter of minutes.
He was sitting on the couch in his tiny living room, just staring dejectedly at nothing. I sat beside him and he just started talking. He recounted the last hour or so in a monotone voice, devoid of any emotion. How Jacob had been out wallowing and had come home to the wedding invitation. Billy hadn't known there was a letter from the bloodsucker prince, thanking Jacob of all things, and promising to take care of his prize.
My own anger roiled. Take care of her – he would kill the girl as surely as anything, whether or not he succeeded in not giving in to his instincts. It's not so much that I cared for her, but this was the girl my children and my friend's children had risked their lives to protect. This was Charlie Swan's daughter – Charlie who had no idea that this marriage also meant her death.
No wonder Jake had run. The anger, for me, was almost too much to deal with and I hadn't been in love with the idiot girl.
Finally, Billy told me how he had received a call from Sam saying Jake needed time.
How could I comfort him? I knew well enough about watching your child suffer the agony of a broken heart. But Leah hadn't left. She'd screamed and cried and not showered for two weeks, but she'd stayed. Even when she'd been forced into Sam's pack and his mind, having to hear and feel what he felt for another – her cousin no less - she'd stayed. I couldn't imagine what Billy was going through. I couldn't imagine not knowing where my children were. It wasn't as if Jacob was carrying a phone.
Though he was trying really hard not to show it, I could tell that Billy was devastated. First his daughters had run, escaping the loss of their mother and leaving Jacob and Billy to heal alone. Now his only son was gone. I couldn't imagine the possibility that I would never talk to my child again. I knew as well as he did that Jacob could choose to remain in his wolf form forever.
I wanted more than anything to turn back to the clock. Back to that day we shared pizza on Billy's front porch. Back when I was still teasing Harry about eating right. When Charlie was watching as Jacob slowly brought his daughter out of her obvious depression, guiding her away from her obsession with the Cullen boy. Back to when Seth was just a child idolizing Jacob and Leah was broken, but mending. Back when werewolves and vampires were still fiction in my mind – stories my elders had shared with their children and my parents had shared with me.
Of course, I couldn't turn back the clock, so I did the only thing I could think to do. I curled myself against him, stroking his fine lined cheek. He stiffened immediately at my gentle touch, his rough exterior straining at the idea of being comforted. He was struggling to remain stoic. I pressed a tender kiss on his forehead, silently encouraging him to let go.
After a minute or two, Billy shoulders suddenly slumped. He leaned into me, his head resting on my shoulder.
I don't know how long we sat like that – me offering silent comfort with my hands running through his long hair while he lay against me, trying to find solace when it seemed impossible. When he looked up at me, I was honestly startled at what I saw. It was a kind of desperation – a need to escape, or to at least release some of what he was feeling. He wanted to forget. He couldn't fix anything and so he wanted it gone.
Just as suddenly as his walls had come down, I was on the same page with him. Surely, for just tonight we could forget. Forget the plights and pain that we could not spare our children. Forget that his son was running away from his tribe and family to get over a girl who'd chosen his mortal enemy over him. Forget that my daughter was jilted and barren. Forget that both of our sons had literally and figuratively been forced to grow up before they were old enough to vote. Forget about all the lucky parents out there for whom myths and legends were fiction instead of a reality their children had to face alone.
So I kissed him.
Neither of us spoke. I straddled him right there on the couch, wondering vaguely if I should feel guilty. Harry hadn't been dead for four months. But then, that was something else I wanted to forget, if only for tonight. Something else my children's heritage had stolen from them and me. After all, it had been Leah and Seth's transformation that had triggered Harry's heart attack. Besides that, I was not giving another man my heart – only my body. Touch, taste, sex. I sent up a silent prayer that, just for tonight, we could lose ourselves in those physical realms.
I pushed all other thoughts out of my head, concentrating instead on working the buttons of Billy's shirt. We both knew where this was going. After years of taking the pill I had finally gotten that birth control implant about a year back, so there was nothing else at all to worry about.
Billy was, unsurprisingly, very good with his hands. His physique above the waist was nice – much more fit than I had expected, for sure. Not that I would have minded otherwise. Harry had had quite the gut and that had never stopped us from having fun, but I was not above appreciating the well toned muscles across Billy's flat stomach.
As his hands palming my breasts and I nipped at his earlobe, I could tell that Billy was fully functional below the waist. He was appreciative of the noises I was making, or my fingers exploring his upper body – whichever one, he was very appreciative. His legs might have been useless, but everything else was in fine working order.
When we were both rid of our clothes I guided him into me. It was a good, sweet feeling to be filled by another again, and I moaned against his neck with the pleasure of it. As I began moving on him, rolling my hips slowly at first as I found a good rhythm, I was surprised by how right this position was. It was cathartic to be in control of something – even if it was only his and my gratification. Soon I found that my thoughts and worries had mercifully faded away, lost in groans and the occasional taking of the lord's name in vain.
We never talked about it; never indicated to anyone else what we were doing. I found comfort in his arms and pleasure in his touch several times over the next months. It was safe, easy and simple. In times as tumultuous as these, it was exactly what we both needed.
August 13, 2006
I was experiencing one of those defining moments in parenting where you just have no idea what the heck to want for your child, let alone what to do with them.
On the one hand, I wanted Seth to be as normal a teenager as was possible when you could turn into a giant wolf. Part of that included interacting with, flirting with and thinking about (but God, please not doing) not so chaste things involving the opposite sex.
Or the same sex, whatever floats his boat. But this?
It had been bad enough when Seth had wrapped his arms around Edward Cullen as easily as if he had been hugging a brother. This wedding was the first time I'd ever seen a vampire, let alone the eleven that were currently in attendance. The very sight of them made me twitchy. Too perfect. Unnatural. Evil. I was very aware that every person in this room could be dead in an instant with that many vampires present. I was only vaguely comforted knowing the pack was in the distance, just beyond the trees, having obtained Carlisle Cullen's permission to be on Cullen land.
Seth didn't show the slightest hint of discomfort. Not only was he not bothered by these unnatural monsters but, once he'd had a turn on the dance floor with the new Mrs. Cullen, he'd bounded right up to two of the vampires from out of town. "Cousins" of the Cullens, if I had caught their ridiculous charade of family ties correctly.
What in heaven's name did that boy think he was doing?
Apparently, the two vampires he approached were equally unaware of his intentions. Their looks were wary and defensive, but calm. As Seth spoke to them, gesturing at the dance floor, the two vampires nearly recoiled in shock.
I was torn. I'd never thought I'd be one of those mothers who would drag their child away from a girl but – well, Jesus, these were vampires. Bloodsucking monsters? Surely there was an exception in the mom handbook for this kind of thing. I wondered whether I should call for Sam.
A low whistle alerted me to the fact that I was no longer by myself. "The kid sure shoots high, doesn't he?" Charlie's voice said from beside me. I automatically bristled at the implication that these "girls" were out of my son's league. But if I were being honest with myself, I knew that, to all the humans in the room, they were. Stunningly, flawlessly gorgeous and looking like they were in their early 20's, my fifteen year old son would have never stood a chance, even if he did look like he was at least 19.
"I'm just the mother, don't look at me," I grumbled instead of telling him that these "girls" and his son-in-law, the super leech, combined wouldn't be worth my son's bought-yesterday-Target-brand dress shoes. And that was being generous only because one of the girls had said yes to his dance request despite the fact she was wrinkling her nose.
Charlie let out a soft snort. I noticed that his eyes were no longer on my son, but on his daughter, watching her with her new husband.
For the second time that day I was struck by the look in Edward Cullen's eyes, the first time being just after the minister pronounced him and Bella husband and wife. It was not the look of a predator, as I naturally saw him, or of the smug victor having completely fooled his vulnerable, human prey.
No, this was the victorious look of a man in love. It was a look that was tender, adoring and hungry, though not in the predatory sense. His arms around her as they danced were protective, leading her body around the floor with such grace and sureness that, clumsy as I knew the girl to be, I knew he would never let her fall. Bella Swan – excuse me – Bella Cullen had looked happy but slightly uncomfortable in Seth's gangly arms just a few dances ago, but now she looked peaceful, and absolutely trusting. Her eyes mirrored the bloodsucker's emotions.
Even with my obvious and entirely reasonable prejudice I couldn't help but be struck by the sense of beauty – watching them and their happiness.
Beside me Charlie sighed. He was trying hard to be happy for his daughter, but he wasn't always succeeding. He was worried, naturally. I was torn between wanting to comfort him and wanting to warn him. If he knew, maybe he could get her to see what she was doing.
But no, it was not my secret to tell. Besides breaking the treaty, it would put Charlie in danger. Though it didn't sit well, I decided comforting him was the best I could do under the circumstances. I searched for words that wouldn't be a lie.
"They look good together Charlie. They look …pretty darn blissful actually." This much was true. They were obviously both delirious with joy and ridiculously good looking to boot. I'd seen Bella a few times over the past year and a half and she'd never looked as radiant.
Charlie sighed again, scratching his thumb against his chin absently, a nervous tick of his. "Renee and I looked happy too. And she wasn't even a year older than Bella."
Before I could think about what I was doing I slipped my hand into his, squeezing it tightly. I saw the surprise register on his face, but he didn't let go. "Do you regret it? I mean, Bella aside, do you regret marrying Renee?"
At that, Charlie glanced over at where his ex-wife was dancing with her current husband. Her head was thrown back in laughter at something he was saying, her hand on his chest. I felt a pang when I looked at her. Charlie deserved that happiness too. I squeezed his hand again and he squeezed back. Surprisingly, he had a small smile on his face. "No – I don't regret it. I would do a lot of things differently – but…," he trailed off, watching as, for whatever reason, Edward turned Bella toward the house, pointing out their reflection in the window.
Charlie's expression hardened for a moment. "I just wonder what forever means to a kid who's already left her once."
Again I bit back my initial reaction to scoff at how very loosely the term "kid" applied to the leech and outright ignored the weighty connotation of the forever Edward Cullen had promised Charlie's daughter not two hours previous. Instead I concentrated on the other feelings coursing through me – like that soft spot in me that was just smitten with the protective Papa Bear side of Charlie Swan.
It's less than a month later I get the call.
"They won't let me see her, Sue."
I don't have to ask who they are or who he can't see. Billy had been at my house when Charlie called about Bella. I remembered the way my stomach twisted at his words. Bella was sick and he couldn't see her. Sick was putting it mildly. At the time, we all thought it was confirmation that she was one of them – a bloodthirsty, soulless creature that'd just as soon kill Charlie as even look at him. Her own father.
I thought there was no possible way I could get more pissed at Bella. Since Charlie's last call everything had changed. The pack, close as brothers just 24 hours ago, was torn. My children were gone. Now Charlie's pained voice on my phone made my anger flair again. I don't know that I'd ever hated anything more than I hated his daughter at that very moment.
I was so angry, I almost told him.
The only illness Bella Cullen, even in my head I sneered the name, had was some sort of mental illness; something that made her selfish to the point of cruelty. At least a soulless, stone creature the pack could handle. It had been one thing when the girl was just throwing her own life away, but this? She was risking the lives of my tribe, the people of Forks and my children all for the sake of the demon spawn she carried.
But I didn't tell him these things. I wasn't angry at him. How could I be? He was as powerless to stop any of this as I had been to stop Seth and Leah's transformations. Even more so because he still had no clue what was really going on. All he knew was that his daughter was very sick and he couldn't be there.
I battled back my anger and I called Sam to let him know where I would be. Then I drove to Forks. I cooked Charlie a dinner which he poked at while rambling a bit about what could possibly be wrong with Bella.
When he looked up at me his eyes were huge and unexpectedly vulnerable. "If she.… She can't die, Sue. I can't lose her like this."
I wished I had the words for him, but I didn't. His daughter was absolutely going to die; the question was how many lives she would take with her. Instead of speaking I stood and walked the few steps around the kitchen table. I wrapped one arm around his shoulder, the other stroking his stubble-covered cheek. I was surprised when he didn't hesitate; he just wrapped his arms around my waist and laid his head against my chest. It reminded me of how many times he did this for me after Harry died; just letting me shed my tough exterior for a few minutes and lean on someone else for a change. I was glad that I could do this for him since I hadn't been able to do anything else.
He didn't cry, but I did. For the first time since this all began I let it all out, crying silent tears against his hair. I cried for him because Renee left him all those years ago – this beautiful, kind man – taking his infant daughter away from him. I cried because I knew how happy he'd been to have her back. I cried because, one way or another, he was going to lose his child, and while he was worried about it, he didn't know it with the certainty I did. As a parent the idea of outliving a child was unfathomable. I cried because I knew and I couldn't tell him. It felt like betrayal to have kept these things from him when he had still had a chance to save her.
And I cried because I was so scared that I would be grieving with him, for my children, when the time came.
Another week passed with agonizing slowness before Jacob reappeared on the reservation. Jesus Christ, could things possibly get more confusing? Jacob had imprinted on the newborn vampire baby and Sam had renegotiated a treaty between the wolves and our ancient enemies. Quil and Embry had migrated over to Jacob's pack, effectively splitting the pack in two. But at least my children were back home, off and on. Crisis averted for the moment.
Of course, just as I was finally wrapping my head around the whole situation, Seth called me from the Cullen's house. Charlie knew – to a certain extent.
On the one hand it was a relief. How many times had I wanted to be able to talk freely around him? On the other hand, my heart inexplicably ached for him. He must have been reeling. He was already coming over to my house for dinner that night with Billy. I automatically adjusted the menu in my head. We'd kept him in the dark and he knew it. If that didn't deserve steak and potatoes I didn't know what did.
When Charlie finally arrived at my house later that night he took one look at Billy's and my face and threw his hands up in a stopping motion. "I don't want to talk about it."
Dinner was awkward. Even Seth, happy-go-lucky as he usually is, could sense the tension. He squirmed in his seat, glancing up at Charlie every once in a while. It didn't escape my notice that Charlie wasn't really looking at him.
I was trying hard to be understanding of the place Charlie was in, but it was getting difficult. Here Seth had risked his life to stand up to Sam and the pack for his daughter's sake, and Charlie was, consciously or not, treating him like a pariah – not looking him in the eye or getting too close to him. By the time Seth started to wheel Billy out the door I was glad because he and I were going to have words. There was going to be yelling.
But before they left Charlie sighed and put a hand on Seth's shoulder. "I'm sorry if I've been rude, kid. It's just – a lot to take in in one day, you know?"
Seth grinned. "Oh, hey. No problem Charlie. Not everyone is a dog person. I understand." He winked at Charlie and with that he took off down the hill on the back of Billy's chair – coasting and whooping like he was ten years old again.
I turned back to Charlie, and my anger dissipated when I saw the look on his face.
It was that same look he'd had all those years ago when he was a divorced dad who didn't know what to do with his quiet, stranger daughter. Now, instead of trying to figure out how to interact with a girl he only saw 2 weeks out of the year, he was trying to adjust the picture in his head – whatever he had hoped for his daughter's life – to what her life had become.
Except finally, finally, I could empathize with him. Finally, I could talk to him. Finally, he knew.
"It's not fair is it? They tell us, the parents, only after it's too late to do anything about it," I said softly, with more wistfulness than anything else.
Charlie's head snapped up and he just looked at me with the vulnerable expression he'd worn a few short days ago in his kitchen. He opened and shut his mouth a few times, putting everything together.
"Your son is … whatever Jacob is." It wasn't a question. I just nodded.
"And my daughter is…" he trailed off and then his jaw dropped. I waited, wondering what he had possibly put together in his head. Had he figured out what type of monster his daughter was?
But when he turned to me his eyes were not full of revulsion, terror or any emotion I had been expecting. Instead they were full of an incredulous wonder. "Sue…my daughter is a mother."
That was…not what I was expecting.
For the next hour Charlie went into detail about his amazing granddaughter. Nessie, he called her, and I had to stop myself from scoffing at Jacob's ridiculous nickname for the baby. Werewolves, vampires, and sea serpent-half-vampire babies – this was my life.
No, this was his life.
I shook my head to rid myself of the errant thought. He was obviously waiting for some type of reaction. "She sounds wonderful, Charlie." I was surprised when the words came out and they weren't a lie. Seeing her through his eyes chipped away at the mental image of a demon child and I was able to think about the human parts of her. I had to admit I wondered what it would be like – staring at my child's child and seeing pieces of me in their eyes and the curl of their hair. Because my daughter might never have children of her own, and both my children's lives were so up in the air right now, I didn't know if it was wise to dream of holding a grandchild of my own in my arms.
Just like that, I was jealous of Charlie.
I was still trying to sort out my conflicting and completely irrational emotions when Charlie suddenly grabbed my hand across the table. "Come with me tomorrow, Sue. Meet my…granddaughter," he said fervently. In his eyes I could see the desire to share everything – his happiness, his pride, his terror, and his confusion. He wanted someone there by his side, on his side, and he wanted it to be me.
I was helpless to do anything but nod.
I spent a lot of the night worrying about being in the same house as 8.5 vampires – away from the public extravaganza of a wedding – where they could easily kill Charlie and me before we had a chance to blink. Then I spent even more of the night irritated with myself for letting pathetic parasites scare me.
Of course, it wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined it. It was never quite comfortable but the Cullens were hospitable and kind even though I was cold – figuratively speaking. I mean, technically they were colder than I was but – oh, never mind.
But more surreal, and, as Charlie promised, incredible, than the fact I was willingly socializing with vampires, was the baby. Almost as soon as we were in the door, Renesmee had looked up at her grandfather with the most brilliant, beautiful smile I had ever seen on a child. She'd reached, stretching from her mother's arms, for him immediately. Charlie had curled her into his arms, rocking her and talking to her softly. He looked a thousand times more at ease with this strange creature than I had ever seen him with his own daughter.
I didn't want to impose on the moment, but it registered that he was telling the baby girl about me. When Renesmee looked up at me I literally gasped out loud.
Those eyes – lit now with curiosity, were the eyes I'd seen so many times in the past year. They had looked at me with sympathy and sadness as we both grieved the loss of my husband in our own ways; they had tightened with worry for his daughter who was committing to a forever he couldn't fathom, way too early; they had burned with agony and fear for his daughter's health, knowing he was far away when she was so sick and finally, last night, they had been the eyes that had looked at me with confusion, horror and hope all at once.
They were Charlie's eyes; a deep, soulful, beautiful brown.
She reached for me – a perfect stranger she had no reason to trust – and I took her from Charlie's arms as naturally as I had once held for my own children. "Pretty baby," I cooed at her absently. Both Charlie and Bella laughed lightly.
"That was Charlie's first reaction too," Bella explained. Her new voice was odd, and normally would have made me shudder instinctually, but I was too wrapped up in the child I held in my arms.
I finally looked up at Charlie, knowing my face had to be a mask of wide-eyed awe. He was smiling. His eyes reflected an emotion I had never seen there before. It was soft, and tender. Our eyes locked and for that moment, holding his granddaughter, I felt a connection to him I hadn't felt before.
I had made him breakfast that morning, and driven him to the Cullen's house. As I drove him back to his place that evening the silence was maddening. The connection I had felt with him in the Cullen's home had not faded. If anything, it seemed to get worse, constricted as it was in the space of my little car. My thoughts were everywhere. I was remembering how he looked in his Police Chief uniform – hands on his hips and gun in his holster. I was so used to pushing that little turn-on away. Suddenly I couldn't stop it from invading my head. That and other forbidden images. Charlie's lips on mine, his moustache tickling my skin as our tongues danced. His hands over my body. His face above mine as we lay together in bed, his eyes reflecting that same soft emotion it had just hours before.
I stopped the car, but neither of us moved to get out. I glanced out of the corner of my eye to see that Charlie's eyebrows were furrowed. He too was deep in thought. I fought back an automatic smile at the look on his face. For lack of a better term it was almost adorable.
Then, I just knew. There was a hidden part of me that I had never acknowledged. Though I had been happy with Harry, there was always this side of me, this soft spot reserved for Charlie Swan and Charlie Swan alone. The part of me that had unconsciously wondered what it would have been like if I could have been there for him as his daughter was growing up far away from him. What it would have been like if he hadn't come had to come home to an empty house year after year. There was that part of me that had longed to see him happy, and further longed to be the one to make him happy.
I couldn't give him back the years he'd spent in loneliness, but I could be there for all the years ahead. The challenges we would no doubt face – all three of our children wrapped up in a life we could never fully be a part of – we could face together. And we could be happy.
I looked up at him then, unsure of how to voice what I was feeling inside. He was already looking at me. His look was pensive and hopeful all at once; a mirror image of my own. Of course, I should have known. We had never needed words to express our emotions – comfort, friendship…and now something more.
We moved toward each other in slow motion, separated by the console like a couple of teenagers on a first date. His lips against mine were surprisingly unhesitant. Charlie Swan was a firm kisser. He was just the right amount of aggressive without being pushy. He didn't rush to stick his tongue in my mouth, instead waiting until it was my lips that encouraged his to open. As I predicted, his moustache tickled my skin as we kissed, adding a tactile sensation to the electricity that passed between us.
It was only when we broke apart that I realized we were wrapped in each other's arms. My hands were cupped around his face, feeling the stubble on his cheeks and chin. His hands were around my waist, pulling me as close as possible with the barrier in between us.
Charlie pulled back the slightest bit so he could look me in the eye. "Come inside?"
Those two words, so simple, held every single important question. Did I feel this? Did I want this? When everything else around us was myth, was this real?
My quick and sure, "Yes," held every answer.
We walked to the house, hand in hand, smiling at each other. When we were behind closed doors Charlie pulled me to him, kissing me again with his arms wrapped around my waist.
We took our time, kissing necks and slipping our hands beneath each other's shirts to feel soft, warm skin. Neither of us spoke as we got used to being able to touch, and nip and just – want, without pushing those feelings away.
It was well over an hour before we were standing in front of his bedroom. By then both of our shirts are off, leaving me with just a bra on and him in a wife-beater that made him look ten years younger. Charlie stopped with his hand on the door and looked at me. For the first time that night he looked uncertain; even a little shy. "Sue…It's been a long time since I've done this."
I had to smile as I took his face between my hands, kissing him sweetly. "Don't worry, Chief. I'll be there to help." I winked at him and he smiled back at me; a huge, happy smile. He pulled me into a tight embrace, lifting me off the ground as he carried me into his room and into his bed.
A Year Later
A year and a few weeks ago, if you would have told me my life would be what it was now, I would have laughed at you.
Charlie and I just worked as I knew we would. We were two humans living on the fringes of a supernatural world. We were never really faced with it directly, but we knew it was there all the same. We made our journey around the edge of that world hand in hand now, neither one of us alone as we had once been.
Of course, there were snags along the way.
Charlie didn't know everything and so he could not shoulder some parts of the burden. For instance, those terrible months when the distant threat of vicious, angry vampires loomed on all of our horizons, Charlie remained blissfully unaware. At least, he was as unaware as he chose to be.
I knew he could sense that something was wrong. The nights I came home from council meetings with a stiff, tense posture and no words, he never asked. He just pulled me to him and held me, running his hands up and down my back soothingly. He couldn't ask and I couldn't tell him even if he had. I knew his last shred of ignorance could be the difference between life and death. I gladly shouldered the burden of knowing our children, his granddaughter – my entire tribe – hung on the brink of extinction. It was comfort enough that I could keep him safe when I couldn't save anyone else.
Then there was Billy. I hadn't expected him to be so attached to the comfort we had once lent each other. I couldn't blame him, of course. It had occurred to me more than once that we were a natural fit. We were of the same people, facing the same crisis of our lineage – the transformation of our children. We had given each other pleasure when there was none to be had.
What could I say except that it was Charlie I wanted? That it was his arms I craved when I needed to lean on someone. It was his voice I wanted whispering in my ear at night. It was him that I wanted to make smile for as long as I was able to.
Billy came around, though, and eventually we were all an extended family.
A very strange, very unusual blended family.
Our family get-togethers were marked with werewolves, who each ate enough for five, and vampires who, thankfully, refrained from eating in my presence. I had, in Renesmee, a granddaughter who continued to amuse, amaze and love me. And I loved her as though she were my very own, though her face was the same as the beings I'd held as my enemies for so long. She called me grandma – a gift I couldn't even begin to comprehend or thank her for, even though she bestowed the same gift on the preternaturally youthful and beautiful Esme Cullen.
In Charlie I found a shared life and a shared fate. He was the road not taken, snaking back unexpectedly at a fork in my life at just the right time. He was the second chance to travel the less traveled path. He was passion, and faith, and steadiness in a world that could so often be uncertain.
He was peace. He was home.
A/N Pt II: The title doesn't specifically reference anything. I just had Eve 6's Nocturnal in my head as I was writing this. "Your sad eyes take and own me. Words are unnecessary. Grip the back of your neck and slowly move till it all becomes alright."
So – that was an interesting experience. Let me know what you think.