Note: Soooo. This is something I wrote months ago for a Twilight collection in a co-writing account (WriterESK!) that, in the end, failed to pick up. But I figure I should post it, you know? After all, it's the only serious Bella x Edward I think I'll ever write. And it's not even a canon piece, haha.

Warning: Written BEFORE Breaking Dawn. Not canonical!

Disclaimer: The Twilight series belongs to Stephenie Meyer. This amuses me.


When I sit here, my fingers dance. There's no other way to explain the way they fly, ivory and ebony keys gliding beneath them as they weave a melody laced with emotion I don't otherwise dare show. It echoes through the house, numbing me, numbing everything around me until nothing's left, the music completely overtakes me, and I am enslaved by its lilting whispers. Like alcohol, it addicts me, and I'm pulled ever closer to a world that I don't understand, but that my soul longs for.


"Edward? Are you busy?"

Her reflection is distorted in the glossy sheen of the piano, and I turn to see her, my Bella. A pale finger twirls with a strand of unruly brown hair as she approaches me, eyes imploring me in a way words cannot. They flash red.

"…It's gotten worse, hasn't it?" I state, my voice softening. Yes, there are dark circles beneath those beautiful eyes, and she's trembling, her legs moving towards the piano with more grace than I had ever known she could possess. Without a word, she fills the space beside me, and I take her hand in my own, squeezing comfort into her ice cold palm.

"It's so strange," she whispers, and something cracks in that lovely voice as she bows her head, tears glittering in those ruby eyes. "I—I've never wanted to hurt anyone before. Edward, it's so hard, I don't know how you…I mean, what if I can't…"

I watch a tear slide down her cheek, and catch it on my finger, emotion trapped in a tangible form. "Bella," I murmur, and I lift her chin towards me, parting her hair like a curtain to reveal those frightened eyes. "We're here for you. We won't let anything happen." She quivers beneath my touch, a frightened dove, and I caress her gently, I sooth her, I tell her it will fade.

"How long?" she begs, letting her head fit in the crook of my arms. "How much longer until…I can smell it? And I won't hunger?"

Brutal honesty slips past my lips: "Years." My grip tightens as she shudders, the word a weight her frail shoulders now carry.

"I'm scared of myself, Edward," she breathes into my ear. "I'm terrified of me, and I can't—how'd you do it? How'd you manage to live like this, without going insane?"

And I remember, briefly, the way this same girl would turn at the sight of blood in a science lab, and the way she'd shivered at the sound of the Volturi feasting in their halls. Her hand fits in my own, and I pull it towards the keys, letting them fall onto the shining surface.

"I lost myself," I reply, and with my hands upon her own, the music begins again. Slower than before, I lead her, until her hands and my own move as one across the keys. "I let my soul, for just one moment, get lost in something out of this world." The refrain continues—her lullaby—and as the music repeats, I let go, and her hands move freely. Hesitantly, she follows the pattern I've left her, steadily gaining momentum as the memory strengthens. "I freed myself from my body and my desires, and became one with something I couldn't explain—neither human nor vampire."

The melody is changing now, no longer the familiar lullaby I wrote in her dreams. Faster, faster: something furious, urgent, and afraid. This is her song, her terror and agonized lust for blood, poured out onto the keys: amateur and beautifully raw.

This is no longer me, but Bella.

Some notes are flat, some notes are disjointed, but she plays on, and finished, stares at the shining surface of the piano in a stupefied wonder. Her fingers remain immovable upon the keys, and her eyes widen, a golden tint about her crimson orbs. "Um…wow. That's, I mean—"

"Play it as long as you wish," I assure her, standing to leave her to her passion. A small hand clutches my shoulder, and I hear a quiet plea:


I smile at the way she says my name, in that beautiful way only she can master, and ask, "Yes?"

Her hands fall to her lap, and she bites her lip, uncertain. "One day…when I'm not struggling anymore…I want to learn how to really play it." A hesitant grin. "I want to play your duet."

"And you will." I tuck a strand of hair behind her ear, and add, "We'll play together. Our own duet."

The music echoes once more through the house, traveling up the stairs and through the hallways and bouncing off the walls, and Bella plays a song only she can know, as the off-key passions of a young vampire pierce the night.


End Note: Personally, I'd like to have seen Bella handle her vampire-ness in this fashion in the books. Meyer's version made me feel cheated of the potential depth, you know? Gah. I like inner struggles way, way too much. :P