Disclaimer: The only place I own Twilight is in my dreams.
Summary: In which we find out what happened that night after Bella slammed shut her window, then quickly changed her mind.
In Your Atmosphere
We could live for a thousand years
But if I hurt you, I'd make wine from your tears
As cliché as it was, the silence was deafening. It felt as though every second of the hush that passed vibrated very loudly on its own, not rippling past fast enough to avoid colliding with the waves behind it, each one replacing and overlapping repeatedly. It was torture. I was enraged, but he was quiet and serene.
When I returned from my shower, I was unsurprised to see him sitting calmly in the chair in the corner, slowly rocking back and forth with his eyes folded softly shut and his hands clasped together in his lap. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought that he'd fallen asleep waiting for me.
I slowly sat on the edge of the bed facing him, and his eyes finally peeled back to stare at me curiously. I was sure he had been waiting for a tempestuous, indignant outburst, and had been shocked when I stayed voiceless. I didn't know what to say. There were very, very few occasions when I'd actually been angry with him - this very well may be the only one. How was I supposed to begin the furious tangent that was rolling through my head without being rude? Although he was the source of all of this madness, he and his feelings were still my top priority.
And so we remained - I on the bed, my fists clenched around my old quilt and he tranquil in the rocking chair, as though he was waiting for the storm (me) to commence.
At long last, I could take no longer - I would risk his feelings, because I knew that no matter what I said, it wouldn't change how he loved me. It was odd that, in this moment, the only true fight we'd had to date, I found the confidence in our relationship - in myself, really - that I had been lacking since day one. I spoke.
"You're an ass, you know that, right?" My lips were a tight line and my arms moved to cross themselves bitterly across my chest.
"Yes," and for a moment, I was shocked to see that he had agreed with me and seemed repentant. My anger began to quickly melt away, until he continued, "I can see how you would think that."
How I could think that!? I thought to myself - I had never been more sure of anything in my life.
My only answer was to huff and childishly roll my eyes. The muteness continued for several unmeasured moments, until the rocking chair creaked as he leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees and his soft, angelic face in his hands. Even in my crazed (and possibly overreacting) state, I couldn't deny his beauty.
"Please, Bella, please," he begged, and the way he was begging caused my soul to stir unpleasantly, "Please try to understand where I am coming from."
His voice was so desperate and sweet, so completely and utterly regretful and sincere, that I couldn't help but immediately forgive him. It was foolish of me to think I could hold any sort of grudge, however minuscule or short-lived, against him. While I had told myself that I had opened the window because we had some very important things to discuss, and I was determined to give him a good talking-to, I knew that it was really because I couldn't bear to be away from him for any more time than was absolutely necessary.
While I knew this, my ego and pride would not allow me to admit it out loud. Both forced me to at least drag it out a little longer. I justified this - what would the harm be in finding out what was really going on in that gorgeous head of his?
"That's just it, Edward!" I said finally, finding the right words that would betray neither my hidden satiation nor my too-stubborn mind set, "I don't understand. I trust Jacob, my family has known his for years, and I know he would never hurt me!" It was the truth, and although it wasn't as harsh as my earlier words, I figured we might as well get the discussion out of the way.
"Jacob is a werewolf, Bella, a young one at that. I know that he's your friend, and it's not your friend that I don't trust. He can not control himself, and neither can we control the situation. It is not a matter how much you faith you or I put into him. Can you see what I'm saying?" My only answer was to purse my lips, a very definite no. I waited silently - he was clearly looking for the words to explain how he was feeling.
"Let me put it this way," he began again, briefly stopping to cradle his chin in his propped up palm, "Truthfully, it is not even the fact that he's a werewolf. While that does play into the real reason, it is more the fact that I can't see what is going on. We can not predict his actions, or the actions of those around him. If Alice could definitely tell me that you would go and come back safely, I would have no qualms whatsoever with it - but she can not. There is no guarantee whatsoever that you will come home to me, safe and healthy," he paused briefly, striding over to sit next to me at human pace, knowing that I was much less hostile and volatile than before. If I hadn't already granted him forgiveness, I sure as hell would have by now. I already felt terrible about the position I had put him in, and he was already speaking again.
"And it's not just Jacob," he said softly, coercing, "Say you're in the car driving home, and - God forbid - you get into an accident. Alice still can't see your fate while you're on the reservation. You could die just driving down the street, and I would never know about it. I couldn't do anything to save you."
His voice wavered and cracked at the end of his statement, and I knew that the idea of it would be causing real, salty tears to stream down his face, if he had them. My bottom lip quivered, my heart laden heavily with guilt. I'd never even tried to see things from his perspective. I was so consumed with my oppression, I couldn't see what my decisions were doing to him.
Guilt coursed hot and angry through my veins, shamed tears choking any words that might have the hope of escaping in the back of my throat. He scooted closer to me, and my skin lit up not only with his proximity, but with the fact that I had caused him not only worry and strife, but real, tangible pain. No matter the number of sins I had committed in my lifetime, I was surely going straight to hell for causing this perfect, saintlike creature any sort of anguish.
"And therein lies my problem," he concluded quietly, "Putting you in danger...allowing the possibility - and with your luck, the certainty - of you getting hurt, and sitting back to watch it happen is almost as bad as risking your life myself. Can you understand that this is completely unacceptable to me? I am more than willing to have you angry with me if it means I can secure your safety," he said, his eyes closed as he hung his head, his hand reaching out to grasp mine, and I accepted eagerly.
"I can not lose you, Bella," he whispered, leaning over to allow his forehead to lean against mine, and I gently pressed my lips to the corner of his snowy ones. He smiled, knowing the small action was my admission of his pardon.
I resolved immediately to never do something as terrible as I had done tonight. Even more so than my own, Edward's pain was torturous to me. If he ever even became upset over a broken glass or torn sheet of paper, I felt as though my entire soul was being ripped to shreds at his discomfort. All I wanted was to make him happy. All I wanted was him.
But I continually caused him trouble - and I wasn't worth the trouble I caused. I could never be of any use to him. I could never stand next to him and feel like I was worthy, like I deserved to even be in his presence. I was the weak link, the sagging, contemptible hanger-on to his glorious, splendid existence, and I voiced as much.
"I'm not worth the effort you put in to keeping me alive," I said stupidly, knowing that he would vehemently disagree with me, and I would still feel as useless as before.
However, it was in these moments that I was sure he lied when he told me that he couldn't read my mind, because he leaned back to grasp my cheeks between his strong, glacial hands, and looked deep into my eyes. I felt my heart flutter erratically as he murmured, softly and sincerely, the exact words I never knew I needed to hear.
"Isabella. You are worth everything. You are the love of my eternal life." My heart skipped a frantic beat. "You're my very best friend. You are my soulmate. I love you more than anything, more than the stars and the moon, more than life itself. I love you so much it hurts," he smiled and tilted his head at my raised eyebrow, "And not just because you smell like a tasty snack," he said sarcastically, the mood lightening ever so briefly, but he struggled over his next words. "I just feel...like I love you so much, that one body, one being is not enough to contain all of the emotion. Not two, not a million. Like I'm going to explode out of sheer joy every time I lay eyes upon you. It is as though you were made for me, and only me, and I've been waiting for you since the day I was born. Mere words can never express this to you. Even now, even trying to verbalize it, it is impossible to say.
"I love you so, my sweet Bella," he smiled exquisitely, "I wish I could tell you, to reassure you that I am the unworthy one in this relationship. That it is I who is so undeserving. You are perfection. You need not doubt yourself."
I couldn't breathe. Tears were escaping every so often, slowly creeping down my cheeks. Of course, he'd been adamant on letting me know that he did love me, and how much he loved me. He had reiterated it over and over, but never put it into so many words, never thoroughly described the emotion, never explained to me the sweetly strangling feeling I was so incredibly familiar with.
He gently kissed away the few tears that had managed to escape over the fort of my eyelids, and then rested his angelic head gently on my shoulder, his lips pressing softly on the ridge of my collarbone.
I wrapped my arms tightly around him, resting my cheek on his soft, sweet smelling hair as I promised to myself that I would never, so long as I lived, whether it be a hundred or a hundred million years, hurt him or worry him the way I had this evening. The hours would never be long and torturous for him, and if it was the last thing I did, I would make him happy, every second of every day.
The situation with Jacob would have to work itself out. I couldn't make an effort to be his friend anymore, if he didn't want to speak to me. The ache that I felt at the loss of my best friend paled in comparison to the shattering I felt at Edward's torment.
"I love you," I whispered out into the darkness, my simple, insufficient words splintering through the silence, and I held on tighter.
You were standing, I was there
Two worlds collided
And they could never tear us apart
A/N: Okay, so you might think that was a bit cheesy, but come on - that's how Edward talks. Seriously, if my boyfriend said things the way Edward does, I'd be a puddle of goop, and hardly able to spend a few minutes typing up this stuff. Oyyyy veeeyyyy.
So anyways, I just made my happy little version of Eclipse by taking Jacob out of the picture, as well as filling in a missing scene from the book. You can imagine your own version of Eclipse after this small change in plot, or I might continue, if enough people are interested.
Until then, though, this shall remain a one-parter.
Read. Review. Enjoy. :)