Pulling Down Heaven
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight. Sole copyright belongs to Stephanie Meyer. I'm poor so don't sue. I do, however, own Maria, Izzy, Vincent, Zolan and T'eir. They're mine, all mine.
Rating: M for later chapters.
Summary: Sometimes good things can come from tragedy. Sometimes love can make someone sacrifice everything. An accident in the woods leads to some very big changes for Edward, Bella and the Cullen family.
A/N: I shouldn't be writing this. I ought to be writing on Soul of a Fox, but this plot bunny would not leave me alone. So I decided to use it as a way to develop some characters that are upcoming in Soul and get rid of this Twilight bug in the process.
WARNING: This is an AU. It's weird and wonky and I'm not entirely sure how well it will be received, but I figured with all the Twilight fic here, it couldn't hurt to try. All feedback and crit welcomed. Please see my profile for my webpage, and links to more of my work.
Pulling Down Heaven
The wind was soft on his skin, the gentle brush of the wildflowers in their meadow feather-light across his arm, almost as light as Bella's fingertips pressed ever so delicately against the inside of his elbow. It was a soft spot on her, he knew, and somewhat of a soft spot on him, relatively speaking – the nerves on his hardened skin being more sensitive in that area than, say, his wrist or the back of his hand. It didn't matter, though. He was sensitive no matter where Bella touched him, finely tuned to her touch like the strings of his piano. Only Bella had ever played him so well.
Slowly he rolled his head and cracked his eyes open to look at her lying in the grass beside him, sunlight warming her skin even as it reflected off his. His bride-to-be, in only another four short weeks.
'Bella. My fiancée…' The idea was a miracle, as miraculous as her being in his life in the first place. He managed a tender smile.
"What are you thinking?" he asked. It was his most frequent question when he was with her. He reasoned that he ought to be used to not hearing her thoughts, but it never seemed to get any easier, especially when her brow was furrowed and her eyes far away.
'Is it the wolf? Is she thinking of him even now when she is with me?' he wondered, trying not to let jealousy and frustration color his mood.
She seemed to realize that her silence was worrying him so she forced a smile (he knew her face so well that he knew it was an effort for her.) "It's nothing."
"Aren't we past all pretenses now?" he asked, trying to tease. He found that gently cajoling worked best with her, especially if he used his eyes.
She looked away and sighed. "Alice was showing me place settings and seating charts today…"
Ah. So it was the wedding that was weighing so heavily on her. That was almost a relief.
"And?" he prompted.
"And I was thinking that Vegas is beautiful this time of year."
He chuckled and waved a hand. "You have but to say the word, my love. We can leave today, be back tomorrow."
"Even if I wanted to get married at a drive-thru chapel with an Elvis impersonator as the Justice of the Peace?" she asked, one eyebrow raised.
She wasn't serious and he knew it; he didn't need to read her mind to catch the twinkle of humor in her eye and the blush to her cheek. How he loved her blushes. He would miss them when she was cold and dead like him.
"Even if you wanted Hunka Hunka Burning Love as our wedding song," he agreed.
"Eww," she snorted, crinkling her nose in distaste, but it was enough to make her smile.
"I'm serious, though," he continued, commanding her gaze. "If that is what you want, I'll call Alice. We'll cancel the whole thing and just go somewhere, you and I..."
She grimaced and shook her head. "No. No, don't disappoint Alice. I'll survive. Besides, you can't call Alice. I left my cell phone at home and yours blipped off an hour ago when the battery ran out."
He cringed. She was right. He had forgotten to plug it in. He blamed Bella. She was such a distraction that he often forgot to breathe let alone see to the daily minutia like recharging his electronic devices.
"As you wish, my love. But if you change your mind…"
She grinned. It was their inside joke. "You'll be the first to know."
He smiled at her, marveling at her beauty, at the sunlight so rare in Forks dancing on her hair. He couldn't help but be drawn to her, her warmth, her scent… He rolled to his side and leaned towards her… Her heart started pounding in anticipation of his kiss. Something else he would dearly miss once she was born to vampirism: her heartbeat.
Their lips met. She sighed into his mouth and he closed his eyes, stunned each time by the wonder of their love and her sweetness in his arms.
"Edward…" she breathed, her scent all around him.
It was a snarl, a noxious scent, and a warning thrill up his spine that made him tense and twist to his feet.
"Edward?" Bella called from behind him.
"Stay back," he ordered, searching, trying to pinpoint the location of the threat. Trying to figure out what it was.
"What is it?" Her voice frightened now, her heart pounding again, but not with excitement. Fear laced through her scent, acrid and bitter. The scent, once so appealing to him on his hunts, only made him edgy and more protective now. He could not stand the scent of Bella's fear.
"I don't know." It was true. He only knew something was approaching at great speed. Something big and heavy. Bear? Wolf? He had no idea. The scent was all wrong…
It broke out of the trees a moment later. A monster the likes of which he had never seen. It looked like a huge lizard that walked on two legs. A lizard that wore armor and carried weapons. It saw him and Bella, and roared; opening its mouth full of crocodilian teeth. He roared back, confident that no matter what it was, it was no match for his speed and strength. He was a perfect killer after all.
He rushed the beast, meeting it head on. It slammed into him, claws ripping into his flesh. The sudden pain stunned him as he was flipped upward, spun head over heels by the impact, then the excruciating agony as the creature bit down on his side.
He was thrashed around in the thing's mouth, shaken like a shark rends its prey, and thrown to the ground, the impact rattling his teeth and the brain in his head. Then the thing was on him again, jaws crunching down on his arm. He thought he might have screamed.
There was a loud thud and the creature was knocked back. He heard it land somewhere nearby and a new voice cursing loudly.
"Damnit! Just what we needed. Son of a..."
The scent was human. Female. She was crouching beside him. Her breath was labored, her smell laced with anger. He tried to roll, to get his good arm under him so he could see… but the pain was nearly mind-numbing. Then he heard Bella scream.
He panicked, suddenly terrified. That thing… able to do so much damage to his hard body…
The human female growled beside him, cursing again.
"You stay down. I'll get her."
'How?' he wondered, but she wasn't there anymore.
He bit back the pain and rolled to his side, forcing his eyes to focus on the area where he knew Bella ought to be. He was surprised to find himself clear across the clearing from where they had been, and the thing was headed for Bella, poor Bella who was frozen with fear, her eyes wide and horrified.
"Bella…" he choked, struggling to make his body work.
Her scream filled his ears again, and he echoed it with a roar of his own as he watched the beast barrel down on his fiancée.
"NO!" he cried.
A second before the beast reached her a small woman appeared beside Bella. She grabbed his fiancée and then blipped out of sight. It was so fast he didn't even know what had happened. And then Bella was beside him, sobbing, curled over his broken body, her warm hands on his cold skin.
'How did she…'
"He's been bitten," the woman said, huffing, and he became aware of another human female now with them.
"How bad?" the new voice asked.
Someone knelt beside him, fingers tearing away what was left of his shirt to expose the bite wounds.
"Here," she was saying, speaking to Bella. "Open these and spread the gel on the wounds. It will help slow the spread of the poison."
"Poison? What?" Bella stammered between sobs.
The second woman was moving, handing Bella something. Bella was still sniffling but getting herself under control. He wanted to talk to her, to say something comforting, but his mouth wouldn't work.
"I'll make the anti-venom later. But this will help for now. Do it quickly!"
"Mom!" a third voice called, a child's, a boy. What was a boy doing there now?
"Vincent! Help Izzy! Hurry! We have to corner it before it gets any further!"
"I'm on it!"
He struggled to sit, shrugging off Bella's hands as she was spreading something on his wounds. A strange hand pressed on his shoulder.
"No. You must be still. Movement will only hasten the spread of the venom," the second woman warned.
'Be still,' a voice told him mentally.
'Get down and stay down, you idiot!' another commanded, the first woman.
He growled. No one spoke to him like that, but he grudgingly obeyed if only because Bella was begging him to lie back down. His one defiance, however, was in placing himself where he could see the battle going on in the clearing. There were three humans how, each at a point forming a triangle that had trapped the beast in their midst. The first woman was stocky brunette, dressed in jeans and a long-sleeved shirt. She was on the far side of the clearing, facing the beast. She was taunting it and waving her hands. The second woman was small like Alice, with black hair like Alice as well, but in thick, glossy curls. She was closest to him, her hand gripping what looked to be a whip made of something green. The boy was about ten, the same black hair as his mother but not as curly. He was dressed in jeans and a sleeveless black shirt. He had black, fingerless gloves on both hands, up to his elbows.
"Edward. Edward, are you alright?" Bella hissed, drawing his attention away from the fight. The three were circling the thing, keeping it from leaving the clearing, although why it should fear three humans when it could rend a vampire to pieces, he didn't know.
He looked at her. She was holding something that looked like an aloe plant but it was bright purple. Smears of its gel were on her hands and on his flesh where she had spread it over the bites: bites that stung and throbbed. He moaned. Bella sobbed and began smearing more gel on his stomach and on his back. The thing had grabbed him from the side, crunching down on both sides of his torso and on his right arm.
"Bella…" he managed. She looked terrified, but unharmed.
"Edward, what is that thing?"
"I don't know," he admitted, letting his head fall back to the grass. His wounds were burning even more now. 'It's the poison…' he reasoned. 'A monster that can poison a monster…'
He turned to the fight again as the boy took off his gloves and thrust his hands out at the beast. Bursts of fire erupted from both of his palms, making him and Bella gasp, and the fireballs landed by the monster's feet, making it take a step back.
He watched as they circled the beast, noting that the black-haired woman was always behind it, realizing that the other two were merely distracting the thing from her as they ran loops around the monster. The first woman was fast, blipping in and out of sight. He couldn't imagine that she was running, because if she was then she was almost as fast as him. Together with the boy, they kept the thing spinning, always with the second woman behind. Finally a decision seemed to be made, and the black-haired woman took a wide stance, at the ready. Then both the first woman and the boy forced the beast back towards the center of the clearing.
"Mia, NOW!" the first woman yelled.
The black-haired woman flicked her wrist, and he saw the green whip lift up from where it had been hidden in the grass, only now it was in multiple loops all surrounding the beast. The loops rose up, encircling the creature, until the woman gave a hard yank and the loops closed, slicing the monster into a dozen or so pieces with one pull. The chunks fell in wet, bloody thuds on the grass, and the thing twitched its last.
A moment later both women were at his and Bella's side while the boy lingered to set fire to the dismembered corpse with more fireballs.
"That was the third one. We should be safe for now," the black-haired woman said to her companion.
"Unless they sent two teams… Damnit, the venom is spreading," the first woman cursed, looking at him. He glanced at his stomach to see blue-black tendrils radiating out across his skin from the bite wounds.
"We need to get him back to the house so I can make the antidote," the second woman replied, an edge of desperation in her voice.
"I'll have to Jump us there," the first woman said.
"Can you Jump all five of us at once?" the second asked.
"Do I have a choice? Sparky! You done?"
The boy ran to them, slipping his long gloves back onto his hands. "Yeah."
"I'm gonna Jump all of us back home. Get close."
"Okay," the boy agreed.
They knelt around her and she reached to grab onto him, lifting him up into a sitting position against her.
"Girlfriend, grab hold of my shoulder. Do it now."
Amazingly, for once Bella didn't argue. She threw one arm around him and one arm around the first woman's shoulder. The second woman embraced her son and the first woman, and the boy completed the circle by holding onto his mother and Bella. He heard the first woman take a deep breath, and then they were shifting, going somewhere cold and formless. A moment later, they appeared on the front lawn of a log cabin in the woods. They broke apart, the second woman and the boy running for the house while Bella stayed with him and the first woman, who now looked spent and stressed.
By now he could feel the effects of the venom burning its way through his body. The instinct to hunt was growing stronger as the pain increased, and he began to struggle with the thirst. There were deer and elk not far away. He needed their blood…
'No way. Believe me. Drinking anything but the anti-venom would just spread the poison further. If you were to hunt now, you'd be killing yourself,' the mental rebuke came.
'But I'm a vampire…'
'No, really? You think you're immune? Newsflash, the thing's just as deadly to you as it is to me.'
'How can that be?'
'You think there aren't demons out there that are deadly to other demons?'
When he thought about it, it did make sense, but the pain was quickly robbing him of his senses and his instincts were starting to take over – starting with them showing a very unhealthy interest in his personal brand of heroin.
'No. Oh God, no. I have to get away from her…'
'You have to get inside where Maria can give you the anti-venom.'
"Girlfriend, help me get Lover-Boy here into the house, ok?" the woman said.
He tried to protest but his complaints came out as incoherent growls, and of course, Bella couldn't read his mind any more than he could read hers.
"Oh, God, Edward…" Bella sobbed, helping the woman pick him up by putting her shoulder under his armpit. The woman had him under the other one, and together they managed to half-drag him into the house. "Is he going to be all right?"
"He'll be fine once we get the anti-venom into him," the woman assured her.
"Do you have that here?" Bella asked as they stumbled along with him propped between them.
"Maria's making it."