A/N This was actually easier than I thought it would be. I imagined sitting at the computer for hours going – NOW WHAT? I know how it ends but unfortunately I haven't clarified the middle yet. I'd also like to thank all my reviewers, a lot of whom I didn't get round to thanking. I am so sorry! I've had the worst week imaginable and I haven't actually been on the computer until today (and I don't have great internet… oy) so thank you!!! Every single one was appreciated!!! :) And I should be able to reply now because I'm getting wireless at my flat! Woo! :D
Just for interest, my muse (or muses? lol) for this chapter were the two songs: Medicine, by Birds of Tokyo, and Walking On A Dream by Empire of the Sun. Just a sliver of trivia before the actual chapter J The first one got me through the first half and the second through the second. They're awesome songs so if you have the time and limewire, check them out!
Chapter Two – Medicine
He hoped to God that there were no other cars on the short stretch of highway between Forks and the Cullen driveway.
He was speeding of course, that was nothing new, but his attention was not focused on where in the road the car was situated and he was sure that before long he was going to have a head on with a car-full of unsuspecting humans.
Humans who could die so easily. He could imagine them now; casually travelling along at seventy miles an hour and then stopped in an instant. Such a large change in momentum in so little time. Organs smashed against rib cages as the result of inertia. Brains mashed against skulls. He closed his eyes as his throat struggled to contain a sob.
Renesmee was beside him; strapped into the passenger seat so tight he was sure not even he could be as much protection as the seat belt. She was contemplative, quiet. So unlike a month old baby. Her bronze curls bounced frequently as the high speed was sensitive to even the slightest of bumps on the road.
Stop the car.
His eyes snapped open, a growl slipping past his clenched teeth. Renesmee glanced up, her angel face worried. Trying to avoid her glance and the consequent raised hand, he pressed his foot harder on the accelerator. He didn't bother to glance at the speedometer.
You're being an arse.
Another growl; mainly the result of the insult, but also slightly due to the fact his foot was now literally pressed to the floor and the Volvo wasn't going any faster.
Fuck it Edward, pull over.
He resisted the urge to slam hard on the brakes and scream; "OR WHAT?"
Renesmee glanced behind him, sensing his distress. He wanted to stop her from doing that – maybe tighten her already air constricting seat belt so she couldn't see who was trying to stop their escape.
He knew as soon as she realised. Her thoughts were insistent and desperate; wanting the person in the car behind them so badly it almost physically hurt.
It was that in the end that made Edward ease his foot off the accelerator and onto the brake bringing the car to an easy stop on the side of the road.
He didn't bother unstrapping Renesmee, already too angry by how impossible it was for him to ignore her needs.
The Mercedes came to a less steady stop behind the Volvo, squelching a little in the mud. Its occupant slid out at inhuman speed, approaching Edward in overly exaggerated intimidating movements.
"What do you think you're doing?" Jacob roared.
"What business is it to you what I do?" Edward snapped; "I'm in my own right to go anywhere I like."
"I don't begrudge you that. I meant, what are you doing taking her with you?"
Edward's fist clenched and unclenched. On top of everything, on top of everything, Jacob thought he had a claim on Renesmee already?
"You may have imprinted on her but don't think for one minute that you're going to get her before she's anywhere near ready dog."
"I don't think that!" Jacob shouted in response his hands waving, "Of course I don't! You can freaking see I don't!"
"Then what?" Edward's tone turned from acidic to apathetic. It didn't matter what he wanted. If Jacob was really intent on stopping them it'd turn into a fight. And he would win it and continue on his trip with Renesmee as planned.
"Have you thought about what taking her away does to her?"
Thought about it?
More like obsessed over it.
The funeral hadn't been as hard as he was expecting. He had expected that to be the final factor. The one thing that would cement Bella's non existence into his heart. Instead it had been the beginning of what was now like a perpetual finality. Every moment was filled with another reminder that she was gone forever. No, the funeral aftermath was exponentially worse than the funeral.
The worst part though was that, even in her infancy, Renesmee could see the pain caused by those reminders. Edward hated seeing his own grief stricken face in her thoughts and the increase in her grief because of it. She had been the one to suggest it in the first place, reaching her tiny hand up to touch his face and showing him the image of just he and her, sitting together at a piano stool playing a dulcet melody as life commenced around them. She didn't know the word for city but he could infer from the business around them that that's what she had meant.
There had been pain at that thought too. She hated the thought of leaving Aunty Rosalie – couldn't bear the thought of leaving Jacob. But seeing his anguish had been impossible for her to comprehend.
He pinched the bridge of his nose and said quietly; "This is the only way I can… Jacob and if I don't…"
He struggled. What was he trying to say? What was the expression? If he didn't deal with it? That barely covered the summarised version of what he was trying so fruitlessly to do.
"If I don't cope, then she won't either." He choked the words out.
Jacob's mouth formed an O as an understanding formed in his mind. It was in that second that the thought sprang to his mind and Edward lifted his head in horror and anger.
Edward's eyes were black as he spat the words out between his teeth; "That's not going to happen."
I can live by myself close by. I wouldn't be around twenty four seven. Just enough that I could watch over her too. I can't leave her now, it's impossible. And you can't stay, so I only see one feasible option.
"Except it's not feasible." He hissed, "Now return that car to Carlisle and get back to La Push before I do something I'll regret."
There were no traces of mockery in Jacob's thought as he considered Edward's threat. He could see from his expression – his burning man expression – that there was only truth behind it.
I don't expect you to understand but you're just going to have to make me into road kill because I'm not going anywhere.
He closed his eyes then and thought of the strength of the connection between he and Renesmee. He thought about how he knew before she did when she was ready to sleep, eat and be placed on ground. How her tiny hand wrapped exactly around his pinkie finger like it was meant for nothing else. How he couldn't lose her – not now, and not ever.
The burning man moaned. "Please don't make it any more difficult Jacob."
Jacob bowed his head. I'm trying. You know that. I wish it was different. If it was, I could go home. I could turn around. But she's mine too, and neither of us can change that.
Edward's hands balled into fists as he grasped at his hair desperately. Jacob was being more difficult than his family had been.
"You can't leave!" Rosalie yelled, her beautiful face contorted in pain. She turned to her husband who was leaning against the window sill his eyebrows furrowed in some indistinguishable emotion.
"If he has to leave he has to leave." Emmett said quietly.
Alice, whose pixie features formed an expression of sadness and emptiness, raised her head to speak; "Leave Edward. It's…. Better if you do."
His dark eyes met hers for a moment as he saw what she saw. That silent exchange finalised his plans; now he was determined.
Rosalie glanced around at the rest of the family; her thoughts were desperate but tinged with anger.
How could they let him go? She screamed inwardly.
Half an hour later every possession he owned that was of any importance to him was piled into the Volvo. Rosalie who still protested the idea was sulking inside. Edward hardly cared. He hadn't spoken to her for a month. He wasn't sure if he ever would again and that thought didn't bother him either. Renesmee was sad though; she liked Aunty Rosalie and couldn't understand her Father's anger.
Alice didn't linger outside long, she simply gave a curt nod in their direction and disappeared inside. Emmett followed her soon after, caressing his niece's cheek softly before offering Edward a grim grin and turning away.
Esme tried to smile at Renesmee but faltered and let a few sobs loose.
She hugged them both, whispering in Edward's ear the simple phrase; "Come back." She drew away and tried to give them a smile before she turned obviously trying to fight away her sorrow.
Carlisle's face like Emmett's was contorted in pain; "I wish it didn't have to be like this."
"You will come back son?"
Edward nodded again. Like Alice he was sure that it would not be the last time they saw each other.
"Then it's only right you leave now." Carlisle sighed; "I'll keep up with my research of course, and we'll all continue searching for answers."
He was talking about Renesmee's nature now of course. Edward closed his eyes. He didn't want to think of the results of her half breed status. He didn't want to know how short her life span was. His vampire mind had no trouble calculating the time it would take before she would reach adult hood and beyond. Even taking into account the minor decrease in her growth each day it was a simple exponential equation.
Seven years until adult hood.
Carlisle argued that because her rate of growth was slowing that it would never stop slowing. That while she continued to grow eventually it would be so slow that it would be too difficult to detect. Eventually her growth would be physically non existent. It would take thousands of years for her to even show a day of her age.
Edward argued that that was a perfectly valid theory except how old would she be physically before her growth was physically non existent? Fifty? Sixty? Eighty? He didn't want to imagine her living an eternity as a geriatric half vampire. The thought would have made him laugh if it wasn't so serious.
"We'll be in contact with you if we uncover anything. But we'll only disturb you to cease your worrying… We won't intrude."
"In simple terms, you don't expect me to call back." Edward forced a dark smile.
Carlisle smiled; "Yes."
Edward nodded and slid into the car and idled out of the driveway. He didn't know where he and Renesmee were going but as soon as they were on the highway he was going to speed there.
A flash of blonde hair made him slam his foot on the brake. Rosalie was at Renesmee's window.
Her expression was pleading and Edward's was murderous.
I'm not trying to stop you.
Her thoughts were honest, Edward could see. He wound down the passenger side window, gritting his teeth harder with each inch the window slid.
Rosalie didn't bother glancing his way – she knew it was ineffectual, he was too angry – instead she only looked at Renesmee stroking her cheek softly.
"I want you to have this," She said slipping a leather bound book into Renesmee's lap. A photo album.
Renesmee placed a small hand against Rosalie's face, a tear rolling down her ruby cheek.
Rosalie nodded, grasping the hand with her own; "I love you too."
She blew them both a kiss before Edward rolled the window up and forgot about trying to go slow on the undergrowth hidden drive way.
Jacob looked at him pleadingly. Edward could see that he would follow them anyway. The only way he could possibly stop Jacob was by fighting him. And that would upset Renesmee so much…
He shuddered at the thought of hurting his daughter that badly.
"Please Jacob… Just…"
But he couldn't say it. Jacob was hoping beyond hope that he wouldn't ask that question. Jacob didn't want to deny him what he wanted so badly, but of course he would because he couldn't leave Renesmee.
And Edward could hear Renesmee's thoughts now only too clearly. She wanted Jacob badly. So badly that it almost reminded him of how he had felt about…
Seattle had not been the first place he'd imagined. Originally, his thoughts had been trained towards Chicago which surprised him; in all his immortal life he had not been drawn back to his human home. He mused that the longing was probably the result of his totally unbearably human feelings overwhelming his decision.
Seattle, he realised, was more practical in the short term. It was rainy a great deal of the time, much closer to Forks than Chicago (it was in the same state which was a plus) and thus Renesmee felt more at home. Her thoughts on entering the city had been happier and more content than they had ever been in her short life.
Her contentment made him feel lighter. No less despairing than he would ever be, but lighter. And that was what made him turn into the first hotel he came across. It was almost midnight and he could sense that Renesmee was close to sleep.
Jacob was right behind him of course, eager to see how Renesmee was coping in this new environment. Edward wasn't in the mood to deal with him yet though, encircling his precious daughter in his arms and shooting him a warning look.
I know… I'll give you as much space as you need.
And with that Jacob disappeared into the hotel before Edward, leaving him in the cool night air murmuring to his daughter softly.
She was very tired. He could sense it in her thoughts but he could also sense that she didn't want to let on that she was tired. Her large brown eyes would droop in fatigue before she would realise what she was doing and open them wide in defiance.
"Sleep." He whispered placing a kiss on her forehead.
Her brown eyes were anxiety stricken then. It reminded him so much of Bella that he had to turn away for a moment to regain his composure.
He felt her warm hand against his cheek. She was frightened that if she went to sleep he couldn't be there when she woke up.
He shook his head placing another kiss on her forehead. It struck him then that Bella's lullaby might have the same soothing effect on their daughter. He tried not to remember how long it had been since he'd sung that song and hummed softly in her ear.
It didn't take long before her eyelids gave in to the melody and her breathing became slower and calmer. He could hardly contemplate how something so beautiful and precious belonged to him. Just like her mother, beautiful in her delicateness and softness.
He carried her carefully into the reception area. Jacob was nowhere to be seen, obviously having booked a room and gone off to rest for the night. Edward didn't even think to wonder where he had got the money for a hotel. Savings?
He hadn't given much thought to the amount of money he'd taken from the household before leaving; it hadn't really mattered. He had enough to keep himself and Renesmee for a century. He thought grudgingly that he would probably have to help Jacob financially. It was then of course that Jacob's face popped into Renesmee's dreams and the grudging trace to his thoughts disappeared.
"Room for two?" The receptionist asked politely.
He looked up; she was a pleasant faced lady with long curly blonde hair. She reminded him somewhat of Rosalie (if it was even possible for a human to resemble Rosalie in any way.) Perhaps it was the adoring expression she had watching Renesmee sleep.
"One." He corrected.
She nodded and handed him a key.
The room was elegantly furnished but Edward didn't bother turning on the light to inspect it further – with his vision he could see it was a nice room and he didn't want to wake Renesmee. He laid her carefully on the single bed placed in the centre of the room and gently pulled the blankets around her. Though she probably couldn't feel it, it was a chilly night and he wanted to make sure she slept soundly.
It was only then that he really began to notice his thirst. He hadn't fed since…
He bowed his head and tried to swallow the venom that rushed to his mouth at the thought of it. So far away from his family with only one single precious memory of Bella lying asleep on the bed, it was more difficult to ignore the burn.
Perhaps he could slip out for a few hours? It wouldn't take long to escape the city limits and find vegetation fit for animals.
He crossed the room and took one last look at Renesmee.
Her face was so peaceful. He could see the images in her head as she dreamed. Rosalie appeared a lot, along with Jacob. But it was the image of he and she sitting at the piano stool that made him stop. The image had changed now; they were in a simple room with wooden floors and white walls – similar to that of the Cullen house. It looked a lot like an art studio except there was no art work on the walls and the only item in the room was the piano and its stool. There was a massive window set in the wall that over looked a great deal of the city and in her dream glassy rain drops were streaming down it.
He could hear the tune in her thoughts as he played – it was the lullaby.
It was not happiness that filled him in that moment, but it was a beautiful emotion whatever it was. Unnamed and disarming.
He stood there for a long time, enjoying the moment, letting his senses absorb the new surroundings.
And with one last contented look at Renesmee he opened the door quietly and started running.
So... I don't suppose anyone would be interested in either angst!Edward or Passionate!Jacob? For reviews? Which I promise I will reply to... *is ashamed of self for despicable lack of replies in past* :)