|Now and Then
Author: troublefollows1017 PM
Right now, she can't remember. He can't forget or let go. Then, she fell in love fast and hard. So did he. Can the heart remember what the mind has forgotten? Edward can only hope.Rated: Fiction M - English - Hurt/Comfort/Romance - Edward & Bella - Chapters: 16 - Words: 61,783 - Reviews: 3,603 - Favs: 2,048 - Follows: 2,175 - Updated: 02-19-13 - Published: 09-04-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8497520
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Anyone have Queen Ravenna on their bus?" Peter asks over the radio.
"She's not evil. She's just …" I sigh, not knowing why I'm defending her.
I look at Peter and his mustache like my dad's. My dad was so laidback and easy going. He wore way too much flannel and told bad jokes because they made my mom laugh. Every year on their anniversary, he wrote a letter to her instead of getting her a card. She never let Rose and I read them, but I know she still has them and reads them every year on their anniversary with a box of Kleenex at her side. He loved her like no one else ever will. I know how that feels. I know what it's like to be loved so completely that the world would cease to exist without it. If Edward died …
"She's not evil. She's lost."
Another driver on another bus replies he has the royal cargo. "Guess she's not so lost anymore," Peter says before replying he's ready to head out then.
"Hold up," another bus driver says over the radio. "Mirror, Mirror wants to join Snow White."
Peter pretends to flip imaginary hair over his shoulder while looking at himself in the rearview mirror. "Come on, who loves to look at herself in the mirror?"
My sister, of course. I can't help but laugh. "She'd love that nickname."
Peter opens the door when Rose raps on it. I don't even say anything, I just attack her with a hug and cry on her shoulder. And I know I'm forgiven because she lets me.
Rose and I lay in the bed in the back of the bus. She'd filled me in on how Emmett talked her off the ledge and made her realize that it's time she start being Rosalie Swan and not Isabella Swan's sister. He also helped her realize the music business was not the place for her to do that. He told her she needs to make a name for herself somewhere I won't follow.
"Emmett sounds pretty smart … for a football player."
Rosalie almost shoves me off the bed and we giggle as I almost pull her off with me. She saves us both. She always does.
"He's really smart. And hot. And he cares about me." She has that look on her face, the one she never gets when she talks about boys. This is the real thing.
"So if you aren't going to be a singer like me, what are you going to do, sister dear?"
She sighs and stretches her arms above her head. "I don't know. I think I'm going to go back to school. I kind of want to learn how to write children's books."
I roll over on my side and prop my head up on my hand, scrunching my nose. "What? Children's books?" Never in our entire lives has she ever shown any interest in writing nonetheless writing books for children.
"You don't know everything about me, sister dear. I have dreams I've kept to myself because I didn't want anyone to look at me like you're looking at me right now, like I'm an idiot for thinking I could do that."
I roll on top of her and give her a hug. I roll back on my side, facing her. "I'm not looking at you like you're an idiot. That was my surprised look. I'm surprised. I didn't know you liked to write."
"Dad loved to tell stories." Rosalie rolls to her side so we're nose to nose, a perfectly imperfect reflection of one another. Her blonde to my brunette. Her blue eyes to my brown. "Remember when he used to make up our bedtime stories instead of reading the books like Mom?"
I did remember. Dad would lay in between our two twin beds on the pile of pillows and stuffed animals we couldn't sleep with. He'd make up wild stories about giraffes who wanted to fly and two princesses who slayed the dragon without the help of any smelly knights. "I'll never forget."
"He was creative. I think I might be too. I want to try."
I push some of her pretty blonde hair from her face. I feel really proud of my sister. She's stepping up to the plate. She's taking care of herself. "You should. I want you to. I bet you'll be amazing."
"I was thinking the first book should be The Adventures of Teddy Eddie. It'll be about this ridiculously adorable bear with horrific anger management issues."
We both giggled like the children we used to be. "Oh, Edward will love that."
"So what did you tell Mom about first? Edward, the baby, or Alice Brandon?"
"I made the mistake of telling her about Alice first. Never got to the Edward and baby part."
"Bell! She walked out on you and doesn't even know the half of it?"
"Once I said, 'You're fired,' she wasn't really in the mood to hear anything else I had to say."
"Honey." Rose looks at me like I fail the mission. "I thought the worst was over, but you've barely begun!"
"I suspect she's got the Edward part almost figured out. I mean, she thinks he's been cheating on you with me. But she's pretty clear about him and I being together."
"Well, at least we'll have our men there to console us when we tell her the rest."
"Oh shit!" I pull my phone out of my back pocket and text Edward. I totally forgot to let him know I was okay. I wasn't, until Rosalie came aboard.
Fired my mom but found my sister. In the middle of making up. See you when we get to Cincinnati.
He replies almost immediately. Tell Rose I said welcome back. Tell Renee it's all going to be OK. If she's nice to me, I'll let her see her grandbaby.
I squeeze my eyes shut and curse under my breath. He thinks I told my mom everything. My phone beeps.
He makes me laugh when I need it most. "I have to call him. He's confused," I explain to Rose.
I scowl at her and dial Edward. He picks up on the first ring. "I would never keep our baby from his or her only grandparent. That was terrible of me to say. I am so sorry."
"I didn't tell her about the baby yet. She took off as soon as I told her she was fired."
He's silent on the other end. I can imagine the look on his face. He wanted this to be over and even though it pretty much is, it isn't.
"I will tell her," I assure him. "As soon as I can get her in the same room. I swear."
"I've been sitting here, thinking she's giving you a hundred and ten reasons to get an annulment and she doesn't even know about that either, does she?"
"I wanted to tell her as much as you wanted me to tell her, but she walked out. What was I supposed to do?"
"Whatever." He's tired and angry. Not a good combination. "Nothing."
"Don't be like that."
"Like what? Disappointed? Frustrated? Sorry, Bella. It pisses me off. You know I can't stand it anymore."
I roll away from Rosalie as if that will help exclude her from this conversation. She's already asking me to hand over my phone. "Well, I'm sorry that dealing with my family is so complicated. Sorry I can't handle this exactly like you want. I'm trying. Sorry it's not good enough."
"Hey, don't make me the bad guy in this!"
"No, I have to be the bad guy, Edward. I'm the one who had to break my mom's heart tonight. I'm the one who has to tell her about my lies and hope she wants anything to do with me after that. I'm the only bad guy obviously." I swipe at the tears sliding down my face and over my nose as I lay on my side.
"Dammit, Bella," Edward says in a sigh.
"Give me the phone," Rose demands from behind me. She wrestles it away. "Listen here, Edward Cullen, our mother might be a bitch, but she's our bitch. You're getting what you want. What does it matter if it happens tonight or tomorrow morning?"
"Rose!" I chase her around the very tight quarters to get my phone back.
"She's pregnant and exhausted and scared and in love with you. What more do you need?"
"Rose, please!" I tackle her on the bed.
"Tell her that, asshole. That's all she needs to hear."
I grab my phone away and begin to apologize.
"Stop. I'm sorry. I shouldn't make you feel bad. I know this is hard on you. I fucking love you. I will wait for you forever, okay? Forever."
This time he makes me cry for a completely different reason. I fucking love him too. "You won't have to wait forever."
"I know, baby. I know. I'm an impatient asshole and you are going to be the mother of my children. I think we know who's getting the better deal here."
He must know how ludicrous that sounds. "You are greatest thing that ever happened to me."
"That's my line."
"I'll see you in a few hours."
"Too long. Impatient asshole, remember?" he jokes.
A few hours does suddenly seem like a million years. I want to wrap my arms around him and never let him go. "I love you."
"I love you both. And I don't mean you and Rose."
I laugh and say goodbye. I feel like I've been on an emotional rollercoaster for the last few months. The ride is almost over, though. Once the truth is out, we'll all be okay. Even my mom.
I lay back down with Rose, who agrees to stop calling my husband mean names.
"I can't believe I missed your Donald Trump moment," she says, tugging on a lock of my hair.
"It wasn't as great as I hoped it would be."
Rose twines her fingers with mine. "I should have been here with you. I'll be here when you tell her about Edward and the baby. I promise."
"Thanks. Considering how badly the firing went, I can't imagine the whole I'm married and with child reveal will go much better."
"She loves you. She just doesn't know what she's doing anymore."
"I think she misses Dad."
"We all do."
"Yeah, but it's not the same." I get it now. I understand what it's like to be in love with someone.
"It's been years. You can't blame her bad moods on Dad."
"I'm not blaming Dad, but I do think Dad's death screwed everything up. You find the love of your life, get married, and have kids. You love your kids, but they grow up, they go away. They find their own love of their lives and have their own families. But the love of your life is still there, to grow old with. She was supposed to have Dad. He's gone, so she won't let us go. Otherwise, she'll be alone. I think that scares her more than anything."
"I think you're right," Rose concedes. "I feel bad for her. Wow, you must feel like a real jerk for firing her."
I let go of her hand and shove my sister's shoulder. "Firing her is the best way to get her to move on. We all need to move on."
A smile plays at Rosalie's lips as her hand touches my belly. "We do, Little Mama."
My twin and I talk about babies and books, love and careers, how to be a good mom and how important dads are until we fall fast asleep. I love my sister and she loves me.
That's the last thing I remember.
My head hurts. It hurts so bad. I can't even open my eyes. They have never felt so heavy, almost like they're sewn shut. I want to scream out but no sound escapes my lips.
"I think she's in pain. Can you do something for her pain?" There's a man near. His voice is filled with concern and so much sadness that makes my chest hurt. "Please," he begs. And before long the world goes black again.
Darkness is my friend. In the darkness, it doesn't hurt so much. I'm numb and it feels like I'm floating in space. I have no idea how much time passes. Time doesn't exist in the darkness. There is no beginning or end, there just is.
When I sense the bed under my body and see the glow of light on the other side of my eyelids, I feel the pain. It hurts to breathe, it hurts to move, it hurts to be still. It's in my head and in my ribs. My leg hurts and my arm hurts. Everything feels so heavy. It's like there is no way I could float. Not even in water. I'd sink like a rock. Until he tells them I'm in pain and the darkness makes it all go away. He always knows. He always takes care of me.
My mouth is so dry and, for the first time in forever, I want to open my eyes. He is reading to me. His voice low and melodic, almost like he's singing. He has a beautiful voice. It never fails to calm me. I've wondered if I'm alive or dead. If he's real or some kind of angel. Sometimes I'm sure he's an angel. I bet he's beautiful. I wonder if I can't open my eyes because he's too much for my human eyes to handle. The darkness takes over before I can test my theory.
"You never leave. She's my daughter. I want some time with her without you here."
"I'm not leaving until she wakes up."
"I'm sure you have other women out there waiting for your attention. You can leave me and my daughter alone."
Why is my mother arguing with him? I don't think it's very smart to argue with an angel. They probably don't like that. Plus, I don't want him to go. He watches out for me.
"There is no one but Bella. How many times do we have to go over this?"
They sound like they're underwater. Their voices aren't as clear as I'd like.
"Don't go," I try to say. I try to say it loud, but it barely comes out a whisper. I'm not even sure I said those words. It was more of a grunt. My body doesn't do what I tell it anymore. My eyes won't open, my mouth won't work, my head won't stop hurting.
"Bella?" He sounds so happy.
"Isabella? Baby?" So does Mom. "Someone get the nurse."
I try to open my eyes, but it's so hard. Marathon running would be easier. Climbing Mt. Everest would be simpler. Finally, my lids do what I ask and flutter a bit. The lights sting a little; it takes me a minute to adjust.
But then I see Mom. She got tears in her eyes. "Baby, can you hear me?"
"Mom." My voice sounds weird. Like it's not mine.
"Bella." He sounds overwhelmed and overjoyed at the same time. I turn my head so I can see him, he stands on the other side of the bed from Mom.
He's more beautiful than I imagined. A coppery halo of hair surrounds his head. I pictured him a clean shaven angel, but he's got scruff on top of scruff. It still looks good on him. His jaw clenches. It's a nice jaw under that beard, I bet. His lips are perfect and pink. His nose is a little crooked, but it gives him character. But it's his eyes that do it for me. His eyes look at me like they know me. They're green like the trees back home. That's what they make me think of - home.
I can't wait to find out who he is. Maybe Rosalie knows. She always knows the cute ones.
"Rose?" I manage. I'm not sure they understand. Mom looks at the angel and the angel looks back. They have some kind of silent conversation until he shakes his head.
Mom went from teary-eyed happy to teary-eyed sad instantly. "Baby, there was an accident. You two were in a terrible accident. You were hurt very badly."
I figured that much. I hurt. I hurt everywhere.
"Rose?" I just want my sister. She says silly things and makes me smile. I also want her to tell me this angel guy is for real.
"Honey, Rosalie …" Mom is wiping the trail of tears running down her face when the nurse comes in, interrupting us. She starts poking at me. She messes with the things attached to me and looks at the monitors to which I didn't realize I was connected. Then she starts asking me all these questions. They make my head hurt more.
Do I know who I am?
Do I know where I am?
Do I know what year it is?
Do I know my birthday?
I'm Bella Swan, but I can't make my mouth say that. It just sounds like I'm saying the letter B. I have no idea where I am. I should know what year it is but nothing is coming to me. Same thing happens when I try to think of my birthday. September. September something. My mouth won't work right, though.
"Rose?" It's the only word that sounds like I want it to. "Rose."
Mom and the angel have their heads together and I think they're arguing again. Why is she fighting with him so much? Maybe he's my doctor. He's a good doctor. I try to remember where I was and how I got hurt, but nothing makes any sense. I can't remember what I was doing before I woke up here. We were in a terrible accident. We. Rose and I. It starts to get hard to breathe. The breaths come too fast and my chest aches.
"Rose," I say, trying to get Mom's attention. Oh God, where is Rose? The machines start to beep and the nurse puts a mask over my nose and mouth.
"Relax, Miss Swan. Relax. Slow it down. Breathe in. Breathe out."
I shake my head. "Rose." I try to lift my arm, try to swat the mask off my face. My eyes start to fill with watery fear. "Rose!"
Mom and the angel come to my side. "Please, Bella. Please calm down," the angel says.
I think he took Rose. I think he took her and he wants to take me. That's why Mom is fighting him. I'm dying. I can't breathe.
The nurse leaves and comes back. She injects something into the tube attached to my arm. I must be dying. I know what this pain in my heart means. I know what's wrong. My eyelids are heavy again. I can't keep them open. I close them and push the tears out. The darkness is coming.
My sister is dead.
A/N: I don't own Twilight.
Thanks to momof4 for her eyes and her ears. She is wise, wise, wise.
Sorry to all of you who were hoping Rosalie was just a raging bitch like her mom, especially my dear bellalove72! Unfortunately, she is not. Almost done here. Only one or two more. Then an epi. Thanks for all your love and support. Thanks for reading and reviewing and brightening my day. I really mean it.
And to Rosalie and Memphis Lamb's Fighting Irish - RIP.