Dedication: To Capricorn75. Happy birthday, my dear! You are made of amazing, and I can't tell you how much I value your friendship. So I'm trying out a new genre for you. Let's see how this goes. Thanks for putting up with me!
A/N: Hey so… I have no idea if I can pull this off. But...let's try it.
"Poor little beauty."
Bella Swan's first foster guardian stood over her where she lay in her crib, finally asleep. The woman stroked her tear-stained cheek and sifted her fingers through her hair, at a loss for what else to do with the poor child. She had cried herself hoarse, screaming for her mommy and daddy.
How did one explain to a fifteen-month-old baby that her mommy and daddy weren't ever going to come get her? The woman ran her finger gently over the scrape on the tiny girl's chin—the only evidence of the truly horrific accident she'd been rescued from. This baby didn't understand that it was a miracle she was alive, that the emergency workers had unearthed her from the twisted metal of three separate cars and found her somehow unharmed.
All she knew was she'd been surrounded by strangers for two days now. She wanted her own crib and her own toys. She wanted her mommy. She wanted her daddy. She wanted all the things that made her world good.
Her foster mother pushed her hair back out of her eyes, noting that little Bella looked miserable even in her sleep. "Pobresita," she said with a cluck of her tongue. "Your Grandma Marie just isn't up to caring for a baby, but she's going to make sure your momma and daddy's affairs are all in order for you. We're trying to find your auntie, baby."
The woman sighed. She knew how this story ended. Flighty young aunt. Even if they did find her, it was doubtful she'd want a baby, if the foster mother understood correctly, she'd never even met. "But you know, niñita bonita, you're such a pretty baby. Even if your aunt didn't come, I'm sure you'd be adopted right away. Such a beautiful girl."
She went out into the hallway and brought back a beautifully carved representation of an angel. "Here. This is yours now, baby. Whatever happens, there must be a reason for all this. No one should have made it out of that crash, mija. No one. And look at you. Hardly a scratch. Someone up there likes you, little one." She set the carving on a shelf overlooking the crib. "Never forget, beautiful Bella. Angels are watching over you."
"She was not your charge to watch."
The warrior angel knelt before the Council of Judgement, bowed in contrition.
The head of the council was one of the few angels with names. There were two kinds of angels who carried identifiers that separated them from the others: those, like Carlisle, who had earned their individuality and those who carried names in shame as punishment.
The warrior angel straightened up. "I saved my charge, as I was bidden. I—"
"Yes, you protected the human left in your charge, but also the baby girl. Do not change the subject." Thunder rumbled through the space, punctuating Carlisle's words and his anger. "You know what is at stake here. The deaths of humans are foretold. Written. Your charge needed your protection to ensure his survival, but the girl—she was to die."
The warrior angel cringed. "It was too much waste."
"Humans die. They all die. Some of them much sooner than others."
"I couldn't let her die," the warrior angel blurted. "I cannot explain. I simply could not."
"The urge to protect her is at least somewhat understandable. Angels are meant to protect humans. But you sacrificed a life to do so."
The warrior angel bowed his head again.
He had not even thought about what he was doing before it was done. It was a car accident. A bad one. His charge had been caught in the middle, and it was his job to ensure his human came out alive. He'd done so, but he had caught sight of one of the passengers of another car—a beautiful baby girl. There was no way she would make it out alive as things were happening, so he had acted on instinct. He had pushed one of the other cars, and the baby's car crumpled around her instead of on top of her.
Thunder rumbled as Carlisle sighed. "There are consequences to your actions. The child's life is a mystery—entirely unwritten."
No human's life was completely written, but some points were fixed, some events foretold. Angels, like humans, also had free will. Mistakes and choices were made. The baby wasn't the only anomaly in existence. It was a concern. Anomalies could interfere with foretold events, triggering a domino effect.
"And there is the concern of the human whose life you wasted without a thought."
"Human lives are a blink, an instant," the warrior said. "And he will be reborn. In the end, what does one life matter?"'
Carlisle tilted his head in incredulity. The others of the council sat, their faces etched in silent judgment. "Human lives are a breath, and that is what makes them so precious. I have to believe, since you saved the child, that you realize the value of human life. But I will make certain of it."
When he spoke again, his voice rang with the double timbre of condemnation and magic. This was the warrior's sentence. "You are hereby stripped of your rank and position. You will serve your sentence for the length of one human life. The child, Isabella Swan, is your charge alone. You will watch her."
The warrior kept his head bowed. His earlier sentiment, that a human life was the blink of an eye, was instantly proved foolish. To know he would be reduced to watching for the length of the child's life...it made the time far too long. It had taken him millennia to work up to the rank of warrior, and he couldn't begin again until his sentence had been served.
The warrior's head came up in surprise and horror.
"I bestow on you the name of the life you stole, the man whose years you negated. His name was Edward Cullen, and henceforth, as will it be yours."
The air rang with finality, and so it was, the angel who came in a powerful warrior, rose as Edward, a watcher.
A/N: SO THAT HAPPENED.
Yeah. Edward is an angel. Let's see how that goes.
So many thanks to GeekChick and Barburella.