This story is AU since Esme wasn't changed, everything else is the same. The Cullens now live in Oregon, two years after they moved away from Forks. Please read and review.
Carlisle's point of view:
"Grandpa, Grandpa!" My little granddaughter's voice yelled as soon as I entered the kitchen.
"Renesmee!" I called back as I kneeled onto the tile and held out my arms.
My precious girl ran into my arms and hugged me tight.
"Oh, I missed you so much, Grandpa!" Renesmee said into my ear.
"Me too, my darling." I smiled and kissed her hair. "What did you learn today?"
"We read Alice and Wonderland today, Grandpa." Ness said as I stood with her arms around my neck. "It was wonderful."
"I enjoy that book."
"Really, Grandpa?" Ness asked in awe.
"Of course, sweetie." I kissed her cheek. "I remember buying it when I was younger, and I believe I read it so many times that I wore out the copy."
"Wow, Grandpa," Ness whispered with amazement, making me laugh. "Will we make dinner together tonight, Grandpa?"
"Of course, sweetie." I set her down. "Macaroni and cheese?"
"May we put hot dogs in it, Grandpa?" She tugged on my hand.
"I think we can, sweet girl."
"Oh, I'm so excited for our date night, Grandpa!" She hugged me tight around my waist, and I patted her head.
"Me too, sweetie."
"She's actually been talking all day about tonight, Dad," Edward said as he entered the kitchen in a suit.
I chuckled. "I've been thinking about it all day."
"We're going to make macaroni and hot dogs, Daddy."
"Boy, your can talk your grandfather into everything." Edward laughed.
"May I go get my bag, Daddy?" Renesmee hugged his waist now. "I can go all by myself. I'll come right back so Grandpa and I can start our date. Please, Daddy, please."
"I suppose, but come straight back, young lady." Edward caressed her hair. "And bring Mommy with you."
"Okay, Daddy!" Ness jogged off as fast as her seven year old legs would take her.
I laughed as I started to pull out the things for dinner.
"She's been talking about tonight nonstop," Edward said. I looked over my shoulder to see him leaning against the counter. "It was like pulling teeth to get her school work done today."
I laughed. "Definitely had something to look forward to at work."
"Carlisle?" Edward said.
"Yes?" I placed the box of macaroni and cheese on the counter and faced Edward.
"We're … we're worried about you," Edward said. "I know you love spending time with my daughter, and we appreciate this time on our anniversary. We're worried about you."
"Why?" I furrowed my brows. Where was this going?
"You never get out there other than to do things with the family. I think you should get out there," Edward said slowly and made it sound like a question.
"Like dating?" I said.
"Yes," Edward said. "I think it's time for you."
"I don't think she's out there," I said. "I've waited for years and she hasn't come."
"I thought the same," Edward muttered. "So did Jasper."
"Son, I … I just don't think …"
"Just a thought, Dad. I want to see you happy as I've been."
"Thank you. That means a lot to me." I grinned. "Although, I love being a grandfather."
"Just as much as I love being a father, but you need a mate, Dad." He grinned back as we heard two voices approaching the house, one of them young and the other older. "Speaking of which."
We moved to the porch to see Ness and Bella holding hands as they walked. Bella wore a red, form fitting, strapless dress, and I heard Edward catch his breath. I smiled as Ness waved to me while she carried a duffle bag over her shoulder. I waved back to her. Within moments, the two were up on the porch, Ness hugging me again as Edward took his wife's hand.
"May we make dinner now, Grandpa?" Ness asked eagerly.
"Of course, but you need to tell your mom and dad good-bye first, my dear," I said, giving her a quick squeeze.
"Bye, Mom!" Ness turned and quickly gave her mom a hug before hugging Edward. "Bye, Dad!"
"Listen to your grandfather," Edward said, kissing Ness' head. "Remember to call us before bed."
"Okay, Daddy." She reached up to give him a kiss. "I love you."
"I love you, too, sweetie." He reached down to give her a kiss.
"I love you, Mom." Ness hugged Bella one more time before her parents left.
"I'll go put this in my room and then meet you in the kitchen, Grandpa," Ness said quickly and she ran up the stairs.
I chuckled as I walked at a slow pace to go into the kitchen. A moment later, Ness came skipping up next to me.
"Shall I wash my hands, Grandpa?" Ness asked.
"That's my girl," I said, smiling at her.
We both washed our hands, and she giggled when I splashed her with water. After making dinner, reading Alice in Wonderland, and watching a movie, I tucked Ness into her bed.
"Good night, Grandpa." She kissed my cheek. "I love you."
"I love you, too, sweetie." I kissed her forehead. "Sleep well, my darling. I'll be next door if you need me."
She yawned after I pulled the blankets around her. As I walked out the door, I turned off the light.
I went to my office, just next door to Ness' bedroom; I couldn't stay far away from her. Picking up the latest medical journal I started to read, but ended up rereading the same paragraph over and over. The house, with the exception of Ness' soft breathing, we absolutely quiet. An uneasy, uncomfortable feeling settled into my chest.
With all of my adopted children gone and Ness asleep, I was completely alone. Edward's words of me needing a mate echoed through my mind. For years I'd hope I could find a woman that I could change; someone who'd complete my life and bring me companionship, but I never found her. There were a few times where I thought about perusing a relationship with a human, but here was always something missing. They weren't the woman I was looking for.
The hours slowly crept by as these thoughts swirled through my mind, and eventually the sun started to rise. Just as the sun came up and flooded my office with light, I heard Jasper and Alice approaching, and I pushed my feelings aside. I knew Jasper wouldn't pry, but after Edward's talk, I wanted to keep my feelings a secret.
I stood and put down my unread journal. When I got to the kitchen, Alice and Jasper were pulling out the makings of pancakes; something they made with Ness every Saturday.
"How was your night?" Alice asked as she whirred around the kitchen, grabbing a large bowl, a whisk, and measuring cups.
"Enjoyable. Ness was very excited. She stayed up late, but should be up soon," I replied. "Do you need any help?"
"No, but I'm sure she'll want you here," Jasper replied. "Her 'date' with her grandpa was all she talked about Thursday during our history lesson."
I chuckled. "We did have a good time."
The phone rang, and I picked up the phone with an inkling of who'd it'd be.
"Dr. Cullen," I said into the phone.
"Yes, Dr. Cullen," the voice of a nurse at work said. "Sorry to call you on your day off, but we had a large car accident, and we need you to come in."
My heart sank; I didn't want to leave Ness, knowing she'd be devastated. "Sure. I'll be there in fifteen."
I hung up the phone and sighed. "We'll watch her, Carlisle," Alice said. "She understands."
"I know, but I'll go say goodbye anyway."
I jogged up the stairs to Ness' room, where she slept. I kneeled down next to her bed.
"Ness," I said softly. "Wake up, sweetie."
"Mmmm," she said as she moved and fluttered her eyes opened. "Is it time to get up?"
"No, honey, but I got called into work and I wanted to tell you goodbye," I said preparing myself for her becoming upset.
"Okay, Grandpa. Go help people." She sat up and wrapped her arms around my neck.
"I will, darling." I kissed her hair. "I love you."
"I love you, too, Grandpa." She kissed my cheek.
"Be good for Uncle Jasper and Aunt Alice, and I'll be home soon," I told her. I hope, I thought to myself.
I gave her a kiss on the forehead, mentally preparing myself for a long shift at work.
"We need you to check in on this woman," a nurse explained as I took off my blood stained grubs. I just gotten out of the second surgery, and one I hated the most; working on a child with severe internal bleeding. "She was taken in from the crash with a large gash on her head, a concussion, and a severely broken leg."
"Has she seen an orthopedic yet?" I asked, following the nurse.
"Yes, she doesn't have to have surgery, but her head needs to checked out and be cleared to leave," the nurse, Lucy, explained.
"Were any of her family members …?" I asked quietly.
"Yes, there were four others in the car with her, only the child survived, and she's in critical condition," Lucy said.
"Has anyone told her yet?"
"Not that I'm aware of. Let me know if you need help."
She gave me a smile of sympathy. I loved my job and helping humans, but we all loathed this part of this job. The heart break of seeing people hearing the devastating news, especially with more than one person. I picked up the clip board explaining her injuries, which didn't give much more information other than her name, Angela.
"Good afternoon, Angela," I said pulling back the curtain to revile the young woman with large brown eyes.
My heart caught in my through at I looked into her eyes. Her eyes were pulling me forward, to pull her close and hold her close to my heart. I blinked at my unusual feelings. Never had I once had feelings for a woman, let alone a patient.
"Dr. Cullen?" she whispered.
"Yes …" I cleared my throat.
"You're Edward and Alice's father." Her face scrunched up as she tried to sit up.
"Wait." I moved to her side and held her shoulder, stopping her from sitting up.
"How … you look the same," she whispered. "I don't …"
I thought quickly. I vaguely remembered that she went to the school with the children, but she'd grown up and turned into a beautiful, young woman.
"You've got a concussion," I said, distracting her. "How do you feel?"
"Like I've been hit by a truck," she said, softly.
"That's understandable," I replied, pulling out my light pin to check her reflexes. "I'd like to run a few tests, and then you may go home."
"I'd like to see my family," she said as she followed the light with her beautiful eyes.
I stayed silent as I finished my battery of tests, taking in her appearance. She was thin, but not overly so. Her narrow face were taken up by her large eyes and lips. I tried not to stare and stay focused on my task at hand, but I was struggling. This couldn't be like this, this easy, not after Edward talked to me about just this very thing. Could she be … Edward knew right after talking with Bella, as did Jasper and Emmett, that they'd found their mate, but I didn't believe it'd be this easy.
Pushing those thoughts aside, I put my tools away and pulled up a chair. My heart broke as those brown eyes watched me.
"I'm afraid I have some news, Angela," I said softly.
Without blinking Angela said, "They're gone, aren't they?"
"Yes," I replied, "with the exception of the child."
She stared at her hands in silence for several long moments, and I let her process my words. She didn't cry or respond the way most did when hearing the news of a death in the family- she just remained silent.
"May I see her?" she asked.
"My niece, Sarah," she replied, looking up at me with pain in her eyes.
"Yes, of course," I say, "but let me make sure she's stable. I worked on her earlier this morning. She had some internal bleeding."
"Will, she be … okay?" Angela asked.
"She should be, but there were some complications which will cause some problems later down the road."
She nodded looking down at her hands again. My fingers twitch to reach out to her, take her hand in mine, to comfort her.
"I'll be right back," I said. "I'll make sure you'll see her."
"Thank you," she whispered as I left. It sounded so numb, that I wanted to turn and take her in my arms. Soon, I knew she's go from numb to heart-wrenching brokenness. I've seen it so many times.
I quickly walked down the hall, but it was too slow for my taste. I wanted to run down to the little girl's room and back to Angela's side. Stepping into the pediatric intensive unit, I picked up Sarah's paper work, which was thick with well documented notes. Since I worked on her, she's been given many medications to keep her stable. I stepped inside, where Lucy was changing her IV liquids.
"How is she?" I asked.
"Stable," Lucy replied without taking her eyes off of me. "I think she'll make it, but you and I both she has a long recovery in front of her."
"Is she well enough for a visitor?" I asked.
"Yes, but I thought she didn't have anyone after …."
"It's Angela," I explained. "She's her niece."
"Poor girls," Lucy whispered and sighed.
"Very much so," I said quietly. "I'll bring Angela right over."
I stepped out of the room, grabbed a wheel chair, and made my way back to Angela's room to find her still sitting up in bed, but this time her eyes were red. The sight made my heart ache for her, and once again, I wanted to take her into my arms and tell her I wouldn't let anything like this ever happen like this again.
"You'll be able to see your niece now," I said quietly.
"Thank you," she whispered.
"May I?" I said stepping up to her and holding out my arms.
She nodded, and I gently lifted my arms. A rush of unexplained affection rushed through me.
"Let me know if I'm hurting you," I whispered.
"I will," she whispered, looking at me, searching my face.
I gently lowered her to the wheelchair. When she left my arms, a loneliness settled into my chest. I ignored it as I attached her IV to the wheelchair. Walking slowly, I pushed her to where her niece rested.
"Can you tell me what happened to Sarah?" Angela whispered.
"She had some internal bleeding," I explained. "We had to go in to stop it. We got the bleeding to stop, but during surgery her heart stopped briefly. We don't know they kind of damage this did, but there will be some kind of brain damage."
She was silent as I pushed her into Sarah's room. Sarah lay perfectly still, with many tubes coming from her body.
"Oh," Angela said. "Oh, you precious, little girl."
I stopped the chair by the bed, and Angela reached her hand out to her niece.
"It's okay. Touch will be good for her," I explained.
Angela took the little hand and she leaned her bandaged head forward to kiss the hand. "I'm so sorry, my little bug."
Her shoulders started to shake as she rested her forehead on Sarah's hand, making my teeth grind together. Her sob where literally tearing through me as if someone was stabbing my insides. Lucy crouched down beside Angela, something that I badly wanted to do myself, but I couldn't be unprofessional or scare her. Lucy talked to Angela quietly, which helped calm the young woman down. After a few moments, Angela sat up with red eyes, making me shutter internally.
"Will you take me back to my room?" she whispered.
"Of course," I said, stepping forward.
"Thank you," Angela said to Lucy.
"No problem, sugar." Lucy smiled at Angela.
I pushed the wheelchair down the hallway, both of us quiet. I stopped us beside her bed.
"Do you have a place to go to and someone to watch you?" I asked, kneeling down in front of her.
"No …" she said with tears in her eyes. "My family is now …"
"Is there someone who could pick you up and watch over you?"
"I don't have anyone." She swallowed hard. "I just moved here after graduating."
"Would you object one of my daughters helping you?" I asked quietly.
Angela shook her head.
"Good. It's important that you aren't alone with your concussion."
She nodded and yawn. "May I lay down for a little while?"
"Of course." I lifted her up and place her into the bed again as Angela's eyes drooped.
"Sleep," I said touching her hair. "I'll be back."
She fell asleep as I stepped away from her. After watching her for a moment, I turned and left the small room. I froze as I heard Alice's voice at the front desk.
"Yes, hello," she said. "I'm here to bring my dad his lunch. He forgot it."
"Alice?" I said before anyone else could say anything.
"Hi, Dad," she said cheerfully as she held up a lunch bag. "You forgot this."
"May I talk to you for a moment?" I asked.
"Sure." She smiled widely.
I led her into my office after turning on my pager just in case one of my patients (or more importantly, Angela) needed me. We walked up to my office, and I could tell Alice was brimming with excitement over something.
"Oh my gosh, Carlisle," Alice brimmed. "I don't know why I didn't see it earlier, but this is perfect. I see things going quickly, and …"
"Whoa, Alice slow down," I said. "What are you talking about?"
"Angela's your mate," Alice said smiley.
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