So a random statement in a Personal Correspondence column on the Lexicon caught my attention - according to StephMey, if somebody gets turned into a vampire while they're pregnant, they stay that way forever. I thought I'd wind that in with some of the events in Breaking Dawn and see how it turned out. This story is classic Shekiah-fare: humor-angst-angst-humor-humor-angst and back again. Where it stops, nobody knows! Oh, and I don't own the Twilight. Oh well. Enjoy! :D
Bella had been watching TV for what felt like hours. People came and went and card games abounded, but there weren't any worthwhile distractions anymore, aside from Edward's perpetual presence. And he hardly seemed himself anymore. He talked to the other family members more often in that fast vampire-speak that she couldn't understand. Bella used to think that they refrained from doing that as some kind of courtesy to her, but now it seemed as though there were things that they honestly didn't want her to hear.
Bella's chest was still hurting from the last cracked rib, and despite the steady consumption of human blood, she hardly felt herself. Her head felt kind of light, and there was the strange feeling in her gut that she still hadn't entirely gotten used to. Unanticipated movements – movements that weren't her own. It was thrilling, yes, but she couldn't help but get anxious when she felt baby EJ – or Renesmee, whoever it was – get restless.
Aside from Edward, Rosalie had been the only one sitting beside her consistently. It seemed very odd to be so terribly close with Rosalie, of all people. It was very much like that weird hour of familiarity when she had stayed overnight at the Cullens after Alice "kidnapped" her.
That felt like a lifetime ago.
"How are you feeling?" Rosalie asked, giving Bella's hand a quick squeeze. As accustomed as she was to Edward's touch, Bella hardly noticed the cold anymore.
"Not so bad," she smiled grimly, running her fingers through her hair.
"Liar," Edward replied, giving her a forced half-smile. Bella kicked him lightly with her right foot, which rested on his knee. Though Edward continued to force his lips to smile, the weakness of the kick obviously made him even more anxious.
"Pregnancy isn't an easy thing, Bella, no matter who you are," Rosalie said, in that odd, wise way she had sometimes.
Bella nodded, slightly confused at the seemingly random statement. She felt Edward tense.
"I'm pregnant, you know," Rosalie said calmly.
Edward groaned loudly as Bella's eyes widened in shock.
"Rosalie, don't start with that; I knew it was only a matter of time," Edward snapped.
Rosalie's eyebrows narrowed.
"I am, and you know it as well as I do!" she exclaimed. "Don't deny it, you've listened every time I thought about it."
"It's not possible," Edward replied, "and it doesn't make it possible just because you think it's true."
"Oh, and that is SO much more possible," Rosalie replied coyly, motioning towards Bella's inflated stomach.
Edward fell silent.
"That's what I thought," Rosalie said. "But seriously, Bella, you hadn't suspected it?"
"I… I had no idea it was possible, Rose," Bella replied, her eyes still wide with shock. "How...?"
"I was when I was changed. It's as simple as that," Rosalie replied. Edward continued to look the other direction, still visibly angry that the conversation was taking place.
"You were?" Bella asked. "How… how far along were you – er, are you?"
"Well, about three days and a few hours, I guess," Rosalie admitted, laughing a little bitterly. "I was in denial for a lot of years, though."
"How does that all work?" Bella asked, feeling as though she couldn't do anything but ask vague "how" questions. She was still completely taken aback.
"Well, I didn't get into the grimy details of my near-death experience, but you're not that naive, are you, Bella? I mean, even though you are married tohim."
Edward turned around again, flashing Rosalie an angry look.
"Can you stop it already?" he demanded. "First your stupid, desperate, impossible theories, and now you're insulting me. I think Bella and I could use a break-"
"No," Bella interrupted him. "Sorry, Edward, but I've got to hear this. Go on, Rosalie. I mean, yeah, I guess I figured out what happened with your fiancée and the others. But do you really think you… got pregnant?"
"Bella, you of all people know that we can just know these things."
Though she was still terribly confused about the circumstances regarding Rosalie's bizarre condition of pregnancy as a vampire, the knowing Rosalie described was something Bella could understand easily. Being pregnant was a complete feeling, a feeling of glowing and beauty and excitement as palpable as fear. But would it feel like that… if you didn't love the person whose child you carried? How would it feel?
"Is it Royce's, Rosalie?" Bella asked softly.
Rosalie shrugged, her eyes clouding over with anger and hurt almost a century old.
"Probably. It could have been any of theirs, I guess, but something makes me think it was his."
Bella nodded sympathetically, putting her hand over Rosalie's. Though Rosalie quickly withdrew her hand and wiped away tears that obviously couldn't exist, Bella wasn't offended.
"I'm really sorry if I'm prying, Rose, tell me to shut up whenever you want… but I'm just really curious. What happened to the baby when Carlisle changed you?"
"Well, it was hardly a baby," Rosalie replied. "At three days old, it was more like a collection of random cells. When my heart stopped beating, it couldn't survive, of course. But I also don't think it died. I think it's just kind of… there."
"So it can't grow?"
"Of course it can't grow, Bella," Rosalie snapped. "My body can't change like yours to accommodate life. But… at the same time, I still know. It hasn't gone anywhere."
"It's been there for the last seventy years?" Bella breathed. "Why didn't it change when you did – like, into a vampire?"
"I think it did," Rosalie replied, speaking slowly, as though addressing a small child. "That's what I'm saying. But that means it's frozen, too. Yeah, I know, a vampire fetus. It doesn't seem like it could be real."
Rosalie paused for a moment that seemed incredibly long to Bella, who listened with bated breath.
"But I still feel kind of weird… like I should be a mom."
Bella put her arm around Rosalie, and this time, the girl didn't move. Edward had looked up to face them.
"You never admitted this much before, Rosalie – even to yourself," he said softly. Rosalie nodded, her eyes cold and sad beyond words.
"I never could make myself dwell on it too much," she replied. "But it's just there. And it kills me to know that. I've talked to Carlisle, of course, and we've both tried everything. I took human prenatal medication on the off chance that the change didn't extend to the baby, but naturally I couldn't keep it down. Next I tried taken human protein and calcium intravenously even though I obviously didn't need them, but nothing works. Not that I expected it to. I even begged Carlisle for an abortion about fifty years ago when I'd given up hope and just wanted to pretend it had never happened. But he wouldn't do it."
"Why not?" Bella asked, her human eyes now spilling over with tears. Giving Rosalie a break, Edward answered for her.
"Think of all of Jasper's battle scars, Bella. We don't heal well at all. That usually doesn't matter because very few things can hurt us, but if Carlisle did somehow manage to perform the abortion, there would still be the issue of her body healing. And it wouldn't."
Rosalie nodded from where she sat, her head rested in her hands. Bella pulled her closer.
"Why haven't you talked to Emmett?" Edward asked softly. Rosalie snorted.
"As if I could possibly come to him about something like that. You know how jealous he is – if he knew I'd had another man's baby with me all these years, he'd never let it go. Of course he wouldn't blame me, but it would tear him up. And I can't stand to see that happen. I love him."
"Of course," Bella replied soothingly.
"Of course... that's why you told us when Emmett was out hunting," Edward said slowly, beginning to understand. "But Rose... you just can't keep bearing this burden by yourself."
Rosalie gave him a scathing look.
"Now he believes me."
"I do. I'm sorry, Rose, but I get used to learning things from people's thoughts. And you've spent half of your vampire life in denial. What did you expect me to believe?"
"Definitely not my problem," Rosalie replied. She paused for a moment before continuing slowly.
"And I'm not really alone, either. I already told you I've talked the whole thing over with Carlisle. I was careful to do all of it while you were away so that at least some it could stay a secret, but I think Alice knows things. There are times when she's way too nice to me, especially after she told us that Bella was pregnant. And don't even get into that shit with me about Esme. Sure she'd be nice and it might even help me to talk to her, but you know better than any of us how touchy a subject the baby thing is with her."
"I guess there really isn't anything else to do," Edward admitted. "I'm sorry, Rose."
There was silence for a while. Edward and Bella sat on either side of Rosalie, their arms wrapped around her while she whimpered softly.
"That's why I can't let you and Carlisle get rid of Bella's baby," Rosalie said softly. "It means too much. None of you understand how much we need this – how much I need this. I have to to hold a baby; it doesn't even matter if it's mine. I just want to love something so small; something that needs me so much."
Bella continued to sob into Rosalie's shoulder, and Edward looked on wishing he could understand. He knew what Rosalie was thinking, but it was rather bare and difficult to decipher without feeling what she felt. For the first time, he wished that he could be like Jasper and perhaps truly know what they were feeling. That he could be the brother and husband who had the right words to say.
As though on cue, Jasper walked into the room silently. He seemed cautious, clearly sensing the tense emotional climate. The girls' crying, particularly Rosalie's tearless sobs, seemed to confuse him a little, but he quickly composed himself and mentally asked Edward what was going on. Gently taking his arm out from behind Rosalie, Edward got up and approached him.
"They got on the topic of Rosalie's baby," Edward said softly. Hearing Jasper's confusion before it could be voiced, he continued. "Ask Alice, she knows something about it. And tell her that I said it's really true. But for now, can you give those two a hand?"
"Of course," Jasper replied, taking a deep breath and relaxing. Almost as soon as he had done this, Edward began to feel calmness pervading the room like surf washing up on the beach when the tide comes in. Slowly, the girls' soft sobbing came to an end, and Edward returned to his place on the sofa.
"That's so annoying. Sometimes people want to be emotional," Rosalie said crossly, but Edward could tell that she was relieved to have been spared the difficulty of composing herself without Jasper's intervention. Bella gave Edward a wan smile, and he returned it, more genuinely than he had before Rosalie's story.
"If you put your hand right here – " Bella indicated a place on her lower abdomen, "you'll feel a little foot moving. Want to?"
After pausing for a moment, unsure, Edward carefully extended his hand. Bella guided it to the spot, and watched Edward's anxious look fade into an expression of awe.
"I really want it," he said softly and suddenly, his voice becoming steadily more confident. "For the first time since we found out about it, I can honestly say that I want this baby to live."
"Oh, Edward!" Bella exclaimed, a leftover tear sliding down her cheek.
"Hey, I want to feel," Rosalie said, pushing Edward's hand away and putting her own in its place. A few moments passed, but the restless nudge came again.
"Did you feel that?" Bella exclaimed, covering her mouth with her hands. "He's moving. And he's ours, Edward. Can you believe that? And he's Rosalie's, too. He's everybody's baby. He's the last thing our coven is missing!"
"Most people say 'family,' Bella," Edward said, laughing a little.
To all of their surprise, Rosalie smiled too.