This started out as a single one-shot, but then grew into something more. I've split it into two chapters because it felt right to do so. It's just a little fic exploring Edward, but I hope you enjoy it.
He'd thought he'd known what intimacy was. After spending 90 years in other people's heads how could he not? He knew people inside out. He knew how they ticked, knew the motivations that kept people going. Even when he was human he's been exceptionally good at reading people. He could predict their actions, he could judge their character. He had walked through the world with his sixth sense, tied to every person he met with invisible twine.
He'd seen humanity at its worst. People at their weakest, and basest. Those whose minds were shrouded in nothing but darkness, and made excuses for every deplorable act. He had an open window into depravity and poverty in a way that literature and art had never captured. Shakespeare may have penned existential soliloquies, but he saw "to be or not to be's" play out around him in real-time.
He thought he'd known joy too. He walked past people in the streets who had struck gold. He'd seen into every corner of their mind. He'd seen every patch of light, every win, every possible way to be on top of the world.
He had come to understand the nuances of the mind. People do not think in sentences alone. There are jumbles of phrases, and patterns of words that waltz through people's heads, there are colours and pictures and sounds. Some are more linear and practical than others, they think in repeating stoic rhythms, plodding through life with their reliability. Others are more conceptual, they think in swirls and tangles, starting at one place and ending up in a different direction entirely. It had been much like reading music, and to him, it had come as instinct.
Surely he had the most intimate existence that was even remotely possible. He was bound to the whole of humanity.
His own relationships hadn't faulted either.
Carlisle, his father, creator, the man who raised him in this new life, the man who had grown to be his closest companion, the first mind he had ever known. He knew his father inside out, as he knew him. There was an open honesty between the two of them, upon which they had built their bond.
And then his mother, Esme. She had one of the most peaceful "voices" he's ever heard. Every thought that passed from her was effortlessly true. Although he didn't like prying, she was a joy to listen to when he could not help it. When in a silent room he often found himself drifting back to her as if her mind was a gramophone playing a lullaby.
Rosalie had entered his serene life like a battering ram. At first, he could not stand her vanity, and found her endlessly irritating- Leaving the room whenever she entered. But he had soon come to realise that her opinion of him was not dissimilar from his own thoughts of her. And so they had entered into a mutual understanding. What he had first thought of as an incompatible dynamic, he eventually came to understand was that of siblings. Both of them had been only children in their human lives and so had never experienced the nature of such a relationship. They bickered and scowled. She flipped her hair in his direction and he rolled his eyes. But they were family and he had found a name for this type of relationship. Sister.
Emmet was an open book and became a male companion in the way that Carlisle was not. They teased and taunted each other, often resulting in one of them in a headlock. Emmet, with his easy smile and boisterous laugh, had filled in a gap he didn't even know was there. He now had another strand of intimacy tied to his life. A brother.
And then he had been blessed with two more siblings.
He had bonded with Jasper over his insightfulness. Looking through this war-torn vampire's eyes had been fascinating. There was now another member of the family who also walked through the world tied to all those around him. They found easy compatibility between their gifts and an easier friendship followed.
And if Rosalie was the sister who had entered his life like a battering-ram, Alice entered like a whirlwind. She had skipped into his life and instantly charmed him. And now he had a relationship that could rival even his bond with Carlisle. He had such an intimate knowledge of her mind that the two of them had developed their own form of communication. She shared her gift with him so earnestly that the two of them were practically in mental sync.
Surely, he knew what intimacy was.
He was bound to the world in a way that no one else could ever experience, he was tied to his family in every conceivable way.
He knew what it was to love those around him and to be loved in return.
He was a fool.
How had he not seen that he was a fool?
He had spent his existence surrounded by those experiencing a far greater bond but had never considered that such a relationship could be meant for him.
He had read about love, he had heard songs and concerto's about love. He had seen the gentle love between his human parents, and the endless love between his immortal ones. He walked past young blushing lovers in the street and sat next to elderly couples in bookstores. He had heard their thoughts and their vows, their longings, and their adorations.
He'd heard Carlisle and Esme's boundless commitment, Emmet and Rosalie's intense attraction, and Jasper and Alice's quiet devotion.
But he did not understand.
His mental gift had made him arrogant. He thought he had the tools to pick any lock.
So when he slammed into the silent wall that was Isabella Swan he crashed hard.
He had been so solid in his understanding of himself, he was convinced he knew his place in the world. But her appearance had been like a tsunami.
The wall of water slammed into him and sent him tumbling over himself, like a punch to the gut he forgot how to breathe and was left gasping for air. He was pulled away from what he thought was solid ground and could find nothing to grip on to. Nothing to hold him steady. He had thought himself immobile and never changing- a permanent fixture on this earth. But with her silent mind, and powerful scent she had sent him reeling. Everything that he thought he knew was upended. And he could do nothing but let himself be dragged along with the tide.
This small, fragile girl had shifted him so absolutely that he was undoubtedly changed forever.
He thought she would be his disaster, his downfall, his unraveling, but when he eventually surfaced it was to the call of his name.
She had said his name in her sleep, breathing it out on a sigh so delicate he was afraid it would shatter.
She had shifted on her back, one hand gently twisting the sheets by her head. Her dark hair tangled around her like seaweed. Her siren perfume reached out to him. Her lips parted again but this time she only mouthed his name like a silent prayer.
She was moonlit dappled skin draped in cloth.
And he was gone.
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