Disclaimer: (To the Tune of the "Batman" song) Na na na na na na na na not mine!
Author's Note: The only true disappointment I had after finishing Breaking Dawn was how little fatherly fluff went on between Nessie and Edward. I wanted so much more—!
I guess I'll just have to write it myself.
Timeline: Mid-Breaking Dawn. Not sure where.
He knew that she was watching— always watching, that peculiar half-breed child: eyes cool and contemplative in her rosy-cheeked face— and privately smiled. She seemed to think she was spectacularly well-hidden with her body behind the wall and her face peeking around the corner. So naive… Nonetheless, he was feeling gracious, so he decided not to acknowledge her stare; he knew her mind, after all, and was well aware of the happiness she felt when allowed to simply observe those around her, when left to ponder wistfully. She'd let him know when she felt ready to share.
To fill the silence, he continued playing the piano.
Soft footfalls. The gentle tapping seemed impossibly loud over the singing of the keys, though he knew that was only true in his mind. Still, he said nothing— looked no further than his own hands— and allowed the little bird to creep closer at her own discretion.
A gentle tug on his sleeve. He turned his head to stare into his daughter's wide brown eyes, their chocolate depths full of wonder and curiosity.
"Yes?" He prompted gently, rotating his body to face her own. Unsurprisingly, she did not speak: instead, she lifted her arms. But this familiar gesture was different, somehow… and it was only with his own abilities that he was able to understand her wish; any other member of the family would assume she wanted to touch his face.
His smile returned. "Of course, little one," he breathed, and gingerly lifted her into his lap. She nestled comfortably down, then began eagerly eyeing the ivory before her.
Her mused desires echoed in his own mind.
"If that is what you wish to hear," he chuckled, and immediately began playing the overture to his lover's lullaby. The little girl's thoughts crackled with glee as she recognized the cadence dedicated to her mother; she swayed the smallest bit to the left and right, humming when he came to the refrain.
And she was happy.
But with the passing of time, her thoughts started to churn again. She pulled his sleeve once more, tilting her chin upwards so as to stare into her father's face. He recognized the gesticulation: silent permission to answer her unspoken question.
"I wrote it because I love her," he answered softly, still smiling. The small girl blinked owlishly, mulling over this fact as she watched his fingers finish with one last flourish.
Then— without warning— another thought crossed her mind. This was a heavier musing, almost disturbingly so. And though it was as intangible as any other mental process, her father could feel it nearly break his lifeless heart in two. How could she possibly think that I…?
While she had not yet given him the authority to answer her undeclared query, he did so all the same.
Under her watchful eyes, his hands started a second dance. It began with the lowest keys on the piano, the notes he knew she loved: the ones she'd plunk for fun when she thought no one else was listening, the ones that brought to mind Jacob's stories of sea creatures and Loch Ness and the ocean she adored. The tune lingered there for a moment, but soon her father's fingers had drifted higher, play chords that reminded her of her mother's voice, of her aunts' laughter, of the werewolves' moon-song… And with perfected grace, he merged these sounds to form a melody as crystalline, sweet, and clear as the fall of snow.
The child shivered with pleasure as the unfamiliar song tickled her senses, lulling her into a world of warmth in her father's arms. As the minutes passed and the music began to fade into a gentle, echoing decrescendo, she cocked her head once more and gazed inquiringly into his face. Despite himself, her apparent bewilderment amused him.
With a quiet laugh, he tucked a soft curl behind her ear. "That would be your lullaby, little one," he told her, placing a soft kiss on her forehead.
For a moment, she could merely gape. Then, with unprecedented delight, her face broke into the brightest smile he'd ever seen. Twisting round with astonishing swiftness, the small girl threw her arms around her father's waist, burying herself in his chest. And though she didn't need to speak aloud for him to know, she chose to anyway:
"I love you, too, Daddy."
Edward had never felt so warm. With the strange knowledge that he would be crying if he could, he wrapped his arms around his tiny daughter and held her close, murmuring the words back to his Nessie.