Her decision to move to Forks was easier than it was the first time. Her mom was not yet married. No guilt of holding Renee down pushed her to her Father's home. No, this time, it was because she knew her destiny. Her mother didn't recall anything, and it wasn't like she had any friends in Phoenix to test her theory out on, but after a mundane phone call with Charlie turned into breathless whispers, hushed voices of father and daughter muttering words like rebirth, knew she had to return to the last home of her human life. Her father remembered too. But like Renee, Billy Black did not. Nor did Sue Clearwater, or Old Quil, or Reverend Weber, those supposedly favored by magic or by God.
For Charlie, he found himself planted almost 50 years to the day before his death. Bella found herself an even more staggering 500 years in the past, though her last memory from her past life was not of her last breath; it was actually of her reading a text for a history class outlining the changes in American foreign diplomacy during the Pence Presidency. An uneventful, but peaceful evening, waiting for her husband to return from an exam.
So that's how 14-year-old Bella decided to spend the entirety of her new human high school years in Forks.
One thing that Edward respected about Bella was her steadfast commitment to her father. Their relationship was strange to an outsider, and everyone was an outsider, including the doting boyfriend. Isabella and Charlie Swan were in their own little bubble, a relationship that nobody could ever fully understand the nuances of. Bella's commitment to her father was found in daily tasks, cooking every night, washing his sheets, beating the mud off his boots at the back door after he settled into his armchair to watch the game. None of this was required of her, but she did it without prompting as small ways to show her love. The father-daughter duo were not one to speak, so they showed their love for one another through their actions.
Unfortunately, from Edward Cullen's perspective, that meant enduring awkward evenings on occasion with his girlfriend's father. Bella endured Rosalie's animosity with a regal grace when she spent evenings at the Cullen's, so a movie night at Bella's with Charlie should be the least Edward could do to make her happy. Her father's thoughts had always been a blur to Edward, catching intentions and emotions rather than anything solid, but that did not prevent Edward from realizing on their first acquaintance that the man did not care for him. Not at all. He honestly feared for his immortal life when after the disaster on the baseball field, Bella swung into the little yellow kitchen dragging her keyed-up vampire boyfriend behind her and informed her father that she was leaving with him for the foreseeable future. Don't expect them back anytime soon, and don't worry if he doesn't hear from her. She will probably be out of state, maybe the country.
Charlie merely closed the fridge, where he was fetching a cold can, popped the tab, and after taking a calming swallow, asked, "Do you need any money?"
Bella kissed her father on the cheek and told him "No, we're good. Thank you though." And flittered up the stairs to throw some clothing into a duffel and her passport from a pink music box, "just for good measure."
When he returned Bella home, five days later, Charlie waited in the doorway, inward thoughts turbulent, but outwardly calm. First, he grasped her by the elbows and kissed her forehead when she met him at the door, then he took a step back and examined her for injury, not that there was anything, thank god.
"You don't think I am a good father." Charlie stated plainly.
"No sir, That's not what I meant at all," Edward shifted his weight under his gaze, mindful of Bella's head in his lap. "I just don't really understand what you are thinking sometimes; I can't even guess what you mean by some of your actions. Clearly, you adore Bella."
At this Charlie nodded, "She's my most meaningful contribution to this universe. I couldn't be more proud of her."
"Yes," Edward hedged, "But most fathers who I am aware of, would not be so free with… the freedom they give their daughters."
"Like letting their daughter go MIA for several days with a boy who isn't even old enough to rent a hotel room?" Again, Edward nodded slowly. Charlie sighed as he turned his attention away from the screen, and looked down from his chair at his teenage daughter curled up on the young man's lap, dozing. He felt like the truth was called for here, no matter how vague it might be, to try to properly explain his reactions.
"Bells can handle just about anything. She was always such a good kid, took on responsibilities that kids' her age would never have had an inkling of, cooking, cleaning, taxes. Part of it is her mother's fault. Renee could never look after herself. Anyway, Bella had her head screwed on tight from a young age. Hardly uttered a breath otherwise. When she threw a fit saying she no longer wanted to visit Forks, I bent easily. Two sunny weeks a year, and not because we would vacation in California, but because I would get my daughter for fourteen glorious days. When she got older, she took on more responsibility. Not just taxes though, stuff she felt like she couldn't tell me about. She would disappear for days sometimes, most always showing back up again worse for wear, with some half-assed excuse.
Italy was when I got really mad. Mad because I was terrified for her, felt helpless, useless. I'm her dad, you know? It was my job to protect her, but it was obvious at that point that whatever she was juggling was past what she trusted me with to help. That hurt. She threated to cut-off our relationship when I started pushing too hard. I folded. I had to; you won't understand until you have a kid, son, how far you would go, or how far you would stay away in this case, to keep 'em.
Anyways, a year or so later I saw some things… impossible things. I was obviously out of my element, but Bells was just as obviously in hers. I just had her promise me to keep me in her life no matter what, even if she couldn't tell me things. Hell, I don't want to know about those things honestly."
"Three days in Italy?" Edward asked, frozen, throat dry.
"Yeah…" the Chief sighed running a hand through his hair and scratch the back of his neck.
"She was gone three days. Just left us a note. I was at a funeral at the time. I went mad with worry, and then she showed back up three days later, looking like she didn't sleep at all. Her nightmares stopped after that, which I guess was one of the only nice things about that."
Edward's mind, for as advanced as it was, had a hard time processing the new information. He felt a slap on his knee and looked up from the spot on the ground his eyes were boring into. Charlie leaned into him as if confessing something, "Listen here kid, I guess what I trying to say is that I seem like a relaxed Dad because I have finally arrived to a point where I trust my kid. Look, I don't know what she may be doing all the time, but I know it's not intentionally malicious. She loves me, wouldn't ever purposely hurt me. If I can know about it, she'll tell me, otherwise, I'll support her however she needs me to. If that's money, fine. But mostly, she just wants my love, and the promise I won't hold things against her."
At that point, the movie flickered to an end, and the flicker of the credits brought Bella out of her slumber. Charlie leaned back into his armchair, moving his hand off of Edward's thigh, his daughter none the wiser of their conversation.