A/N: Okay. So this is something I actually wrote a little while ago for a competition on the Twilighted site. Basically, it had to be a 'missing moment' from Breaking Dawn. This fits in P. (um..checks quickly) 354, just after Edward hands baby Renesmee to Rosalie.
Rather excitingly, it came runner up in the 'Envy' category – quite possibly because there were only 2 entries for that (lol) but the thought's there…and I got a cool picture for it, so I was happy. Doesn't take much, does it?
Anyway, this is another reason I'm taking sooooo unbelievably long to write my White Wolf story. Another is that I'm currently back at school…and that I'm flying to Scotland this weekend for a family funeral. Sorry about that, I'll update as soon as I've written the next chapter.
Please review to let me know what you think – it's only a one-shot, but I hope you like it! It's also in Rosalie's POV, please don't let that put you off…
Downstairs it was still and quiet, because Bella was dying.
I glided over to the couch and folded my legs gracefully with a care I had not had to think about for so long. When you're holding the most precious thing in the world, something which is so eminently breakable, everything suddenly seems so much more dangerous. I was acutely aware of the burning in my throat; intensely conscious of the strength in my deceptively delicate fingers.
Was this how Edward felt?
It was the knowing that a single careless twitch of my fingers, a moment of thoughtlessness could destroy this tiny life in my hands; that simply existing as what I was put this precious, precious little being in danger. Knowing that right now, in this world that seemed utterly empty of everything but myself and the child, I was solely responsible for the life that my brother had created, that his wife had nurtured, and that she was now dying for.
I had no doubt that she would die, one way or another, and I did feel sorry for it. She and I had never got along, but I objected to her more out of the utter impracticalities of her situation, of her blind pig-headedness and determination to die. Well, she was getting her wish now.
She was getting everything I had ever wished for. I had faith enough in Edward – not that I'd ever tell him – that he would somehow pull Bella through this; that through a mixture of that bizarre luck the girl had and the love she and Edward shared, Isabella Cullen would come out the other side of this alive or at least a player in the parody of life that my family shared.
Bitterness was a crushing weight in my heart – or at least where my heart should have been.
The baby stirred in my arms, wriggling with a vitality that reminded me she was perhaps not quite as fragile as I liked to paint her; certainly stronger than the weak shadow of the mother upstairs whose frail life my brother was fighting so hard to save.
The little girl's eyelashes batted weakly and I lifted one finger – so white against the queer pink-purple shade of her skin – to wipe away the stickiness of the blood that still coated her, blood which oddly enough held no attraction for me. Her eyelids were a faint lilac, the fully formed lashes dark like the matted, bloody curls on her head. Were all babies this beautiful, this perfect?
I took the time to study her. She was so soft, so small; an entire person in miniature with tiny fingers and toes that curled – Christ, she had fingernails. Why did that fill me so much with awe, with wonderment, as I held this person in my arms?
She wriggled, complained, and I felt a sudden flash of panic. In my arms, of course, she must be cold; must be hungry. The almost scorching heat of her skin must even now be seeping away into the air, into my granite hard body. Terrified, I leapt up as quickly as I dared – still at snail-speed as I tried to avoid jostling her – and paused for a fraction of a second as I debated whether it was safe to let go of her with one hand, even for an instant. Her complaints only grew louder, so I compensated by snatching up a blanket at vampire speed before she could be even slightly bumped and wrapping it oh-so-gently around her tiny form. I used a corner to wipe away some of the stickiness that coated her as well and practically floated into the kitchen to fetch her one of the pre-prepared metal bottles.
Perhaps Bella had everything I had always wanted, but right now the baby was mine; mine to hold and comfort in place of the woman whose heart, I could hear, barely fluttered.
It was an interesting image; one I considered as I settled the bottle at the baby's mouth, my ever-present bloodlust going unnoticed at the absolute pleasure I felt to watch her feed. Bella's heart; a butterfly beating its wings weakly against the confines of its glass cage. Or perhaps ice would be a better comparison. Either way, its struggles weakening as inevitably as the eventual stilling of Bella's heart. Stilling; stopping. I frowned as some part of my consciousness registered a deepening of the silence, an absence of one sound that I had been unconsciously monitoring.
Bella's heart had stopped. Bella was dead.
My first thought was for Edward. My God, he's going to be devastated. I'd never told him – made certain to keep it out of my thoughts – just how much he meant to me, how much I relied on my so-serious 'older' brother. How much I truly loved him.
My second thought was for Bella herself. A flash of pity that she would never see her child as I currently saw her; a compassion for a woman in a situation I understood too completely – to never be able to hold your own child.
This led so quickly to a third thought which leapt straight from that primal, animalistic part of me. A fierce, fiery joy, because if Bella was dead she would never come to reclaim her baby. That thought had me suddenly ashamed of myself; an emotion most of my family would have classed as uncharacteristic, would have been stunned to realize that I, Rosalie Hale, was not the selfish, inhuman, cold girl I so often pretended to be.
Selfish, yes. How could I not be?
Inhuman – of course. Vampire, anyone?
But cold? Never. Hiding my feelings just made it simpler, easier to go on, day by day in this pretence of life when in fact our course had already been written, indelible, in stone. Only Emmett knew my secret; only Emmett could make my barriers crumble.
Maybe this baby as well. I fought for her – God, how I fought – for all of the wrong reasons, but perhaps there was sense behind my madness. Now I could see the way her throat bobbed as she swallowed, pulsing with two kind of blood; from the bottle and from the beating of her own heart that throbbed so loudly in my ears.
She was so beautiful – and so perfect – and so alive.
Although every instinct told me at that moment that I was the only mother this incredible little girl would ever have, I held back. Edward would never give up, never stop trying, and if Bella did make it through it would only rend my non-existent heart further, should I begin to think of the baby as my own.
Renesmee. Her name was Renesmee.
Even if Bella was dead, even in the face of my brother's agony, how could I regret this? Regret her.
Hesitantly, I reached out a finger to stroke the little girl's face. She was soft and warm, seemingly unaware of the phenomenon of the way her heart beat, of the blood that flowed through her veins to color her cheeks rosy. Unaware of the incredibility of her existence.
At my touch, her eyes opened. I'd never had much time for the pale, earthy, human looks of Edward's Bella, but the sheer chocolate warmth of Renesmee's eyes had the breath catching in my throat. The intelligence in them, the absolute innocence, melted my heart –
Why was that particular organ coming up so frequently? I clenched a fist over it as if to remind myself that nothing beat inside my chest, that all of the emotions so commonly connected with it were redundantly pointless. But nonetheless, Renesmee had something aching within me, but it was less a pain than the hurt of a long-forgotten wound healing.
Unable to resist, I set the metal bottle aside, lifted her so that I could press my cheek against hers; feel the warmth of her, hear the steady throb of her heartbeat, breathe in the soft scent of her. For a moment, I permitted myself to pretend that she was mine.
Emmett would be standing just behind me, his arm around me as he grinned that massive smile I loved so much, tenderness shining through in his eyes. As long as I loved him, he was happy, but this…this went beyond everything.
I could fool myself into thinking I could hear my husband's presence behind me, watching as I sat with Renesmee at the end of the white sofa. Holding her here, now, anything seemed possible; for a moment, she was my world. I knew she wasn't mine, but for now it was enough to hold her, to fill my senses with the soft warmth of the child, with that sweet smell of baby.
Smell…and then suddenly I wasn't the only one in the room. It was the werewolf – I started to turn, shifting Renesmee closer to me in an automatic bid to protect her from the creature whose heart thundered behind me.
Two hearts that I could hear racing, that single sound seemingly an embodiment of everything that I didn't have, could never have. My lips curled back in an automatic snarl – and I froze.
A new noise intruding on the very edges of my consciousness, butterfly-weak as if that struggling insect had found a sudden surge of life, was battling with everything it had against the icy cage that held it.
A butterfly battling against a prison of ice? Or a heart against the fire that it couldn't help but beat around its own body to kill it?
I'd known in some part of me that Edward wouldn't give up, that he wouldn't let Bella die.
I'd known that Renesmee wasn't truly mine.
But it still felt as if I'd lost her.
A/N: Love and virtual hugs to everybody who's taken the time to read this…maybe review for me? Let me know what you think! Also, go check out the twilighted (dot) com website, where it's a pre-requisite to have a beta and good spelling…
Please review! xxx :)