Author: gschelt PM
The night before Bella gets married. Lots of unrequited love and angst. Alice/Bella, oneshot.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst/Romance - Alice & Bella - Words: 1,384 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 20 - Follows: 3 - Published: 12-11-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5573637
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: This oneshot's dedicated to obnubilado, who won my find-the-tegan-and-sara-quote contest in chapter 3 of The Ocean. (I tried to keep the setting pretty vague because I know absolutely nothing about Eclipse or Breaking Dawn or whichever book Edward and Bella get married in. Didn't want to write the wrong thing.) Angst, angst, more angst. :D
It's like acid and you don't know why. It's like acid, it's like sickness, it's like a car crash, you're sitting in silence as a thunderstorm barrages the roof and walls and it's like you're stuck still and hushed in a bomb shelter. It's like acid. And you hate it, the way it tugs your brow down, down, until all you can do is frown, the way it curls your lip in a kind of angry despair. It's like acid inside of you, crawling up your stomach and up your throat, but you're not angry. Not really. You sort of hate yourself for letting this ugly feeling enclose you. You sort of hate this silence; this night-before, holding-your-breath, awkward quiet.
Bella had asked you over earlier that day, asked you to come over at night and just go over a few last minute things. You said yes, you didn't and you still don't have a choice. You never did. You can't not be there, you can't not be the perfect best friend. The perfect sister.
Your insides coil. The candles, lit after the power went out an hour ago, flicker.
You don't have a choice, and even if you did, you would have done the exact same thing. You would still be lying on her bed, absentmindedly braiding the drawstrings of your sweatpants, while she sat at her desk reading. You do. She does. You would have ended up here no matter what.
Will you… Will you stay with me tonight? she had said. You said yes, and it wasn't a choice at all. It was involuntary, the words falling unbidden from your lips, the desire to stay springing unbidden in your chest. You hate the way you feel. You hate the way you are. But still you said yes, because you wanted to anyway. And you still want to, because you care so much for her. She wants you here, here you stay. She's scared for tomorrow. It's the unknown, it's what she wants, right, but is it her choice?
Of course it is.
And you should feel honored to be her sister.
A thunderclap; Bella twitches, sighs, goes back to her book. You sigh too, as though it's contagious like a yawn. And, contagious too, are those apprehensions that you know are fogging her eyes. She's thinking about her future, you worry about her future too because you care so much for her. She's having those doubts, those necessary doubts, and you're sharing her doubts too because you care so much for her. And she's worrying about after. And steadily you too start worrying about after, getting sick over after, drinking down that after like acid. After it's over (and it all begins), twenty four hours from now, in some honeymoon suite, she'll be…
If this were a novel or a movie, if you were the predator and if you felt like being clever, you'd get her to voice those insecurities. What should I do? What should I say? What if I'm not good at it? You would smile disarmingly and offer your help, you would slide in close, hypnotizingly, tell her to imagine you as him. Then you would show her. You would say/think that you were just trying to ease things for her, that you would start to kiss her and whisper to her because you want to help her. But you would know that it wouldn't ease anything, no, it would just cause you to swell with that delirious pressure like a balloon.
This isn't a novel, nor is it a movie. This is the night before, and you're sitting tight in a bomb shelter, and you're holding your breath, and you're drinking acid. And you hate it.
You don't want tomorrow to ever come.
You look up and she's set her book down, eyes tired and apprehensive and you're just intuitive enough to dread what comes next. She fidgets in her lap and you long to tell her to just stop worrying, that she's beautiful and she needn't fret, that… But if you did that, soon you wouldn't be able to stop and you'd be telling her things that you could never bear for her to find out.
"This is going to sound silly of me, but…" She sighs. The (modestly short) guest list leers at you from the desk. "I keep thinking about… well… I've never done it before." She blushes furiously and the acid bubbles and she forces herself to continue. "You know, like, tomorrow night. And oh, I dunno, I'm just kind of worrying, like…" She trails off and gives you an imploring look. And you loathe the irony and the predictability of it all and you really loathe yourself.
"It's going to be fine," you manage. "It's the first time for both of you and it'll be… it'll just be magic. You'll see." And you have to say this because you care for her so much and so achingly, and you have to say the things that will make her feel better, and you have to say the truth even though it stings you like acid. And it's not a novel or a movie and it's not going to get you closer to her lips. But oh, you just care so much.
And when Bella smiles, slowly relieved by your words, you know you said the right thing and you for one don't feel better at all. You stare at the ceiling, jaw clenching and unclenching, as raindrops roll around the roof like artillery fire.
"Bella," you rasp in a short voice. In a voice not your own, abrupt and staccato like a hiccup.
"Hm?" Her eyebrows raise and she comes to the edge of the bed to be nearer and hear you better, because she must care about you too (but not in the same way…). And you're not expecting that, and though you hate the involuntary action with every particle of your being, you cringe away from her ever so slightly. She wouldn't and doesn't even notice. You prepare to say the words, you prepare to tell her and lay it all out in this of the last precious few hours, but the air you've drug in specifically to string together the words dies. And a lump forms in your throat instead of truth.
"Nothing," you say instead. The acid chuckles thickly in your gut, and you hate hate hate yourself. Everything. Were it any other night, she would have leaned in and persisted, asked come on, what is it. Because she cares. But tonight she doesn't (ask, not care), she just sighs and accepts it.
"Okay," she says. And she falls back on her back, exhaling deep, and lies beside you, looking at the same ceiling as you but absorbed in a world of completely different thoughts. You hate that she has to be like this, so quiet and easy to just lie next to. Maddeningly accepting of your awkward silence, making you swell with fond gratitude and tortured pressure at the same time.
You gather the courage to snake up your hand and twine your fingers in Bella's hair lazily. Just like you used to, innocently and thoughtlessly. And it's good, it's good to feel again and Bella smiles beside you and breathes deep. You care for her so much.
And you want tomorrow to never come, even if the bomb-shelter waiting of tonight is like walking on glass or drinking acid.
You don't want tomorrow to ever come.