Do not go gentle into that good night
Old age should burn and rave at close of day
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay
Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage, rage against the dying of the light

Dylan Thomas

i. within

"It could still be another way, you know," Edward says as he and Bella are lying on her bed in his room just looking at each other thoughtfully.

Bella laughs, though there is no real amusement behind it. "We're getting married in two days and you want to back out now?"

He smiles. "Of course I don't want to back out of marrying you. That may be the only thing that will convince you I'm not going anywhere. No matter how ever change."

She frowns at him, realizing what this is about. "I'm not the one stopping us from being together as a teenager and granny in sixty years. It's you."

He raises an eyebrow. "I'm afraid you have to explain that."

"You've made it quite clear how well you're going to handle it if I die," she says, trying to put as much mocking sarcasm in her tone as she can. "So how could I do anything but promise to stay with you forever?"

She is smiling, idly running a finger along his collarbone inside the open collar of his shirt, but he finds himself unable to smile back. Is this how it is? Still? He just looks back at her seriously, not able to say it. She's right. They are getting married in two days and they've made all the necessary arrangements to make it look like they're going to live in Alaska two weeks after that. There can't possibly be any stopping her now.

"Edward," she says softly, nestling herself closer to him with her face buried against him under his chin. "You know something could still happen to me. I've only known your family for a couple years and I've already seen more than enough to show me you're pretty capable of making enemies. And - "

"Oh, Bella," he interrupts, smoothing a hand down her back, "you don't have anything to be afraid of. Surely you've also seen enough to show you that we look out for each other in this family. I'd never let anything happen - "

"That's not what I'm worried about," she says in a slightly exasperated voice. "I just . . . I wish more than anything, even more than I want to be with you for the rest of my entire existence, that I could just know you'll be okay even if something ever does happen to me."

"I would be fine," he promises. "Granted I . . . could somehow find relief from my suffering soon afterwards."

She sighs heavily. "That doesn't help at all."

"I'm sorry, love. What do you want me to tell you? That I could just one day stop being incomplete without you? I can't say that. When you become one of us, you'll understand how these things are unfortunately different for our kind. I will never be able to stop needing you exactly as much as I do now. And I would never stop mourning you."

She pulls back away from him a little so she can look up at him, directly into his eyes. "But I'd never stop being a part of you," she tells him firmly. "If I died and you went on living, you would continue to carry the most important part of me with you. Because it's so set in stone and never-changing, your love will always make me more immortal than anything. That's how I've started to see it. And you know what else?" She takes one of his hands and places it over her heart. "You can't tell me you have no soul. Because I know you do; I have it with me right here. Even if I'm the only thing in the world that redeems you for what you are, I'm going to take care of it."

An unreadable, intense look crosses over Edward's face. He takes her face in both his hands and kisses her forehead with his eyes squeezed closed almost like he's in pain, and then he puts another delicate kiss on each of her closed eyelids, his lips cool as metal. She feels like a dead body being burned with coins placed over each of her eyes for her to pay the ferryman to take her across the river Styx. A shiver goes down her back, but not from the cold sensation; it is like the sudden thrill and fluttering of your heartbeat when your car in a rollercoaster starts moving and you suddenly hope you're strapped in right, that this is a good idea. Here we go, she thinks darkly.