A/N A while ago I got interested in Tanya/Edward and took a stab at writing them in a semi-realistic fashion. Until today I had given up on this but I got a muse and ran to the computer psychotically lol. This is an AU continuaton of New Moon where Edward never returned and Bella ended up with Jacob. I feel there is kind of a bizarr-ish tinge to the events in this one-shot but it fits when you think of the existentialism of Edward's life post Bella. Well I feel it's bizarr-ish anyway... Read and decide for youself! I think I'm just dubious about the whole thing period. I don't think I handled it the way I wanted to but... eh. Enjoy! :)
An Angel Knew
I wasn't sure what I was doing here.
It had been two years since I'd seen Carlisle or Esme, both begging that I return to them, both despairing and desolate.
And yet I was here.
Not with them. Not with Alice who I desperately missed. Not with Emmett or Jasper – both of whom had long since given up trying to bully me into becoming a Cullen again. Not with Rosalie who – though not overwhelmingly saddened by my absence – supposedly still wanted me back.
We were alone. Irinia wasn't in any mood to talk to me and given my experience I could hardly blame her. She had absented herself on my arrival giving a fairly miserable excuse. Kate, who would have been happy to see me, was in Canada, spending time with her newly found mate Garret. Carmen and Eleazer were hunting in the nearby wood.
We were sitting at the dining room table – fairly meaningless given the lack of its original use – she on one side and I on the other.
Her expression was not judgemental. I had on arrival distanced myself from her thoughts but the success of that had only ever been mild so I was surprised to learn that there was nothing romantic in her intent.
Nothing to tear me to shreds further.
That was comforting.
"I don't know." I replied honestly. "I…"
"I don't know."
She appraised me silently, biting her lip. I could see the pain in her expression at my state – hear the distress in her thoughts, though I desperately tried to ignore it. She was sad that I was grieving, like the rest of our family before her.
But I had been wrong in my first assessment. There was something more with Tanya. Something that missed the normal family concern. Something that reached an entirely romantic level.
"It hasn't got any better?" She guessed.
I shook my head, "Not that I ever expected it to." I said with a bitter laugh that didn't sound natural, "It's not in our nature for it to get any better."
She looked down at her hands, fiddling on the table in front of her.
No… No it's not.
I averted my gaze then. I took a deep breath and tried to push the focus off myself. It wasn't hard to do – it was something I'd become accustomed to. Any question that could have been asked of me, any inquiry as to how I was doing could be answered nicely with two words.
"Is Irinia any better?"
Tanya looked up then – there was fear in her expression. I sifted through her rapid thoughts and one caught my attention swiftly.
"I wasn't going to tell you…"
But now she was, because the question had lead to a domino effect in her head. Memory after memory cascaded into my sight until I was completely aware of the situation.
This had been one of the reasons I had isolated myself from my family.
All I had known of Irinia's situation was that she had found a mate abruptly, and lost him again just as abruptly. This new found information, including the girl I was so desperately despairing for made me glad that she had absented herself (something I had assumed was just the desire for isolation.)
I sprang up in a flash and disappeared into the corridor, mad with rage and despair. He had almost killed her… There was still danger even without me there. Werewolves… Victoria… Was she still alive now? I had not been successful in my tracking attempts.
Shudders ran through my immortal body like shocks and I fell to my knees at the sensation. There was no healing. No steps forward. Only the continual repetition of the overwhelming emotions. Despair, anger, loneliness, loss…
I closed my eyes. I could feel Tanya behind me, hesitant in her movements.
I shouldn't… He wouldn't want me to…
She was arguing with herself – arguing whether or not to put a comforting hand on my shoulder. It was these things that had kept me from Tanya before. I hated hearing the hurt in her thoughts because of my rejection. The fear at how I might interpret her actions.
She's alive Edward. The wolves killed Victoria when she crossed onto their territory, not long after they figured out what she was after in the first place.
I could see Alice in her memories, relaying this information. I grimaced; Alice had returned to Forks to attain it. Twice. Alice had seen Bella, twice. Twice more than I had.
Grief slashed through me like a machete. I should have been used to it – attuned to how weakening it was. But I wasn't, nothing prepared me for that sensation and nothing made it any less unbearable. Not time, or distractions.
The grief would never cease.
Tanya's thoughts infiltrated my despair – not lessoning it, but merely blending with it to make me feel guilt as well as intense grief. I could see my shoulder hunched in her mind – I could feel her own despair, attuned to mine.
I really didn't know why I had come here.
To lead Tanya on? No. I knew she didn't hope for that. But I was still hurting her. She wanted to ease my pain and it killed her that she couldn't. She wanted me in ways I had only ever wanted someone untouchable. I groaned at the intensity of the pain of it all.
I should have known it would only make things worse.
She gripped my shoulder suddenly – her fingers digging into my shoulder blade. There was desperation in her touch – she needed me to be alright. She needed me to stop grieving. She needed my touch… My lips on hers…
I lingered on the image of our embrace, fresh in her mind. I could feel her fingers digging deeper into my shoulder.
Why did she have to feel this way?
Why couldn't I feel the same about her?
I knew I couldn't. An impossibility. That was reserved for Bella. The moment I had met her it had changed me completely – changed my entire way of thinking. Her loss had changed me in the same way; altering and damaging me beyond repair.
The grief washed over me again and I found myself holding the image longer, as though it was some kind of alleviant. That surprised me because I had long ago stopped believing in any kind of pain alleviant.
Without registering it properly in my brain I found myself turning and rising, standing inches above her five foot seven stance.
Confusion swirled in her thoughts. It swirled in mine, along with the grief and the insanity and the loss and…
I captured her lips with mine then, shattering my train of thought completely – something so gratifying my arms were around her waist and pulling her into me as well, out of pure desperation.
Her thoughts were no longer confused, the image of us embracing extended into other images that I no longer rejected and no longer objected to. How could I? I could still feel the grief, it was always at the forefront of my mind, but it was as if this was a way of channelling it. My grief heightened the desperation of the kiss; the loss influenced the speed at which I ripped the clothing from her body. It was as if the grief was flowing freely from me into her through the most direct means possible. I didn't think about the effect that would have on her, or the consequence of how she would now view our relationship. Nothing mattered. Nothing beyond this moment mattered. Only our sighs and groans and the release of her passion and my anguish.
x x x
Rationality only started to seep back into our thoughts when I sensed the return of Carmen and Eleazer. They were an hour away but still close to the house.
I was not surprised when I felt the beginnings of guilt as I sat contemplating on the edge of her bed. She was inches from me, her back turned. I could sense the change in her emotions. The euphoria. The contentment. But there was an edge of fear to those happy thoughts that made my guilt multiply in intensity.
He could leave… I know this is different for him than it is for me.
Her accurate perception made me bow my head. It was different.
"That bothers you." I said sadly.
She sat up behind me, contemplating again as she had in the hall whether it was alright to touch me but also inwardly answering my question.
Lying would be ineffectual.
I nodded; "Yes."
But you know I'm willing to live with it. The difference I mean..
The guilt raged again; "Are you?"
I thought about that critically. Was I willing to live with it? I didn't love Tanya the way I loved Bella. I loved her the way I had always loved her. Not in a sisterly way, but not in the way a mate should love a mate either. I was still not certain about what had prompted my actions. I could only guess at the gratification of a release, one I had been searching for for so long. But there was a tiny echo in my mind that gave a different reason.
I did care about Tanya, even if it was barely a portion of the passion I had felt for Bella. Even if the grief and the loss were still my most prominent emotions. Even if I knew I could never be happy with Tanya. Never get rid of the anguish.
But Tanya deserved more than what I could give her. She deserved a proper mate who completely and truly loved her. She deserved someone who was happy to be with her – not anguished.
"You deserve better."
I could hear the protest in her thoughts.
Maybe I don't want better. Maybe I'd rather be with you, whatever that entails.
"I'm not… I'll never be happy to be with you Tanya. Not even content. Why would you want someone who's only ever going to be sad to be with you?" I groaned in frustration.
I could see the hurt in her eyes and hear it in her thoughts but her desire still remained stronger. I wondered briefly through my guilt clouded thoughts if she was a bigger masochist than I was.
"Not everybody gets a fairy tale Edward, and I never asked for one."
She kissed my jaw then, leaning around me to get better access. She made her way from my jaw to my lips which responded instantly on contact. It was strange and I was still not used to the cooler, harder texture of her lips – something I probably would never get used to – but it felt natural. I didn't struggle to resist her blood (although, with a twinge of guilt, I realised I would have liked it better if I had.)
The thought of Carmen and Elezaer's return drifted into unimportance. I didn't notice when their thoughts entered the house and neither of us really cared enough to stop anyway.
I was very new to this; I wasn't used to not catering for human needs. I could tell from her thoughts that she wasn't either, remembering the countless men she'd seduced. The time simply dragged on. Evening turned to night, night turned to morning, morning to afternoon and afternoon into evening once more. The pattern flowed and soon I lost count of how many days it had been. It didn't seem to matter. I shouldn't have been surprised by that though. Time had never affected anything else. My grief had not lessened and her passion had not dimmed; perhaps the only thing that had changed was that I had grown slightly thirstier, but not to the extent that it was unbearable to contain.
Something I was thankful for, because now that I had a release and somebody who could feel my anguish, I was in no hurry to give it away.
x x x
The piano keys fell easily beneath my long fingers creating a soft mournful melody. It was not so much enjoyment that kept me playing the piano but more the routine. It reminded me of my human days when playing the piano had been harder and more challenging. Playing then had been the result of a strict routine rather than pleasure.
I could hear Tanya's thoughts from two rooms away.
I nodded my head once and continued. I didn't exactly disagree with her, but sad songs were always more beautiful to those who didn't have to be saddened to write them.
The song greatly resembled one I had once played Esme. The reminder was painful but I pushed on anyway. Esme was happy enough that I was still with family of some sort.
Healthier than roaming around the country aimlessly. Had been her exact thoughts, and she'd thought them with a grim smile, but a smile none the less.
Rosalie was ecstatic – of course. My non-relationship relationship with Tanya made more sense to her than my relationship with Bella had ever made. And now there was no reason for Emmett to be unhappy.
Alice was the only one who remained completely against it. Of course with Alice, the reasoning lay with the future. According to her visions, no matter what path we took, Tanya and I would eventually part ways. I'd argued that that was only valid up until the point I changed my mind and decided I wanted to stay with Tanya forever, but inwardly there had been no protest to Alice's vision. My anguish rendered me completely apathetic to my future. Or lack there of. Without Bella there was no future – simply pointless existence.
I sensed that someone was behind me and I said with a slight grin; "You should know better than to sneak up on people."
I could tell Kate was smiling – her thoughts hinted that she found my good mood slightly humorous – and she slipped into the piano stool beside me.
"Glad you're making good use of this thing." She said absently, "It wasn't getting any before."
"I know," I said, "It needed a hell of a tuning."
She's going to get hurt you know.
I frowned; "Alice talked to you."
Alice is worried. She was grimacing now – she had meant to broach the subject softly.
"Alice should be worried." I said shortly, "She's sees economic downfalls, imminent tsunamis, and one day, she'll see the sun blowing up."
Kate grimaced again. "Don't joke Edward."
I didn't respond. I found her comment too ironic.
"Really," I could see Tanya's devastated mind in her head, "She loves you. And you should care about her enough to acknowledge that when you leave – and you will – that it's going to come at a price."
"So you're warning me to stay." I snapped, my fingers coming to an abrupt halt.
She sighed. If you would, I would have demanded it already.
"Alice's visions are not set in stone. I can change my mind." I was angrier than I had been in months – I had not had a reason to fight with any of the Denali clan. None of them had questioned my actions like my family had in the beginning.
"What's going on?" Tanya was in the door way then, her face pinched in panic.
"Nothing." Kate said quickly, forcing a smile. I copied her movements but my acting felt feeble and unconvincing.
She looked between us both suspiciously. I could hear the thoughts bouncing around in her head guessing at different reasons for our spat. She had not paid any attention to our discussion until it had risen in amplitude.
"Edward and I were just going to go hunting." Kate said.
More time to talk sense into him.
"Actually I was just going to continue playing the piano. How about you go hunting with Tanya?"
Her name seemed to prick her intuition. She looked between us again and her thoughts were decisive.
They were fighting about me.
I shook my head but my anger had rendered my lying unconvincing. I instantly wished that I had tried harder because Tanya's expression became one of fury.
"Yes Kate let's go hunting."
Without another look in my direction she whirled out the door. Kate followed shooting me a glare.
I placed my fingers on the keys once more and tried to let them flow gently like they had done before. Now though; my fingers seemed to have an erratic mind of their own and they splayed across the top of the keys violently, creating a quick paced and menacing sound.
I clenched my teeth and tried to calm them.
In gleeful protest they ran faster and in a tempestuously sporadic fashion.
I like that.
I groaned, Garrett didn't seem to understand that the music reflected the mood but I pressed on, intending to ignore him.
Why were he and Kate fighting? He looks really torn up. He'd probably go nuts if I asked him about it…
"Correct." I snapped
Out of the corner of my eye I saw him jump slightly. I suppressed a grin – Garrett was not used to having his thoughts probed by somebody else.
"Well, what were you and Kate fighting about anyway?"
I sighed; "Something Alice said when she and Jasper visited a week ago."
"What'd she say?"
"Nothing important." I paused now annoyed; "Why are you playing dumb if Kate told you?"
He bowed his head meekly; "Trying to figure you out. Something doesn't quite make sense with you and Tanya. You don't act like any other mates I've seen. Kate doesn't really tell me anything about it because she likes to give you both privacy but… Alice said you'd leave eventually and I just can't figure out why you'd do that."
I could sense the anger in his thoughts – he was defending Tanya.
I growled; "Because she's not my mate."
"She's not my mate."
"No I heard you," He said waving his hand in impatience, "But…"
I stopped playing abruptly. I could hear shouting. Garrett looked up too.
A jolt of shock ran through my body when I saw the image running through the head of my tiny sister.
I vaulted out of the room and into the dining room. Kate was trying to comfort Tanya who seemed to be refusing to look at Alice.
"You came back… To show me… Why?" I demanded, advancing on her quickly.
"Because I didn't think you'd go any other way." She explained, unfazed by me towering over her, "Kind of like the self fulfilling prophecy theory except to my advantage."
"Your advantage?" I spat; "Not mine! I promised her I wouldn't go back. She's had vampires out her life for years according to you. Why do you want me to jeopardise that?"
"Because you'll finally accept it." She said placing a soft hand on my cheek.
I heard Tanya growling behind me.
I could see me standing in the rain facing her; she was more mature looking and it suited her personality. She was smiling and it was so angelic…
I tore away from Alice's hand and fumbled my way to Tanya's room, slamming the door on entrance.
I felt my knees give away as I slid down the length of the door.
I couldn't think. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't do anything except replay the image of her smiling face.
Each time I saw her face it was as if for the first time. The feeling ripped my insides apart. I should have been dead. I felt dead.
I was dead.
I didn't move.
The image had added an entirely new dimension to my grief – my apathy. My want for nothingness. To everything. And nothing at the same time.
I could hear knocking on the door from somewhere. Behind me, I mused motionlessly and thoughtlessly.
It was Tanya's voice. She was panicked. There was something in my chest that ached to reach out to her; I wanted to stop the panic and show her that I was still here.
Or that I would be until I went to see Bella.
And then I'd be gone.
The image replayed in my head again. This time I groaned grabbing at the handle to the door wildly and pulling it open with unnecessary force.
She was on her knees next to me in seconds; "Edward! I told her it wouldn't make any difference – or make you any better. It's had-"
I didn't listen to what she was saying. It was frantic but there wasn't an edge of desperation as there had been at the door. She could see me, and her hand was grasping mine and that was evidence enough that I wasn't leaving her.
Her face was angelic. Not in a supernatural way but in her way – her human way. The way she had looked … Looked at me.
There had been two paths. One in which I had looked on harmlessly from the trees and the other in which I had approached her. I knew I would take one of them, it was inevitable.
I looked up then, blind myself. Tanya was an angel too but in a different way. Her magic wasn't powerful and it didn't spur emotions within me. It blocked them out and transferred a portion of their intensity to her. She understood what I was feeling.
I grabbed at her desperately, pulling her mouth to mine. I didn't have the energy or the awareness to read her thoughts but I could feel a grief of her own in the kiss. I could hear sobs banging in her chest to escape.
It was not her passion that determined how desperately she roamed my body with her hands or how loudly she cried. It was grief, and it matched mine. Because I had lost my love and now she was losing hers.
Facing her and I could read it in her eyes. In that moment when she wasn't kissing me urgently or working her way down my body; she gave me permission.
Her thoughts mirrored her eyes.
She leaned forward and kissed me then. Once. Twice. Three times, each time gently. She untwisted her limbs from nine and stood, grabbing some clothes from the floor. I watched her get dressed; my eyes never leaving her porcelain body before she walked out the door, closing it gently behind her.
x x x
I didn't remember the park. I had never ventured into town to really remember it, but now that I was here I could see why a mother would bring her children to visit it.
Children with dark brown hair and smiling faces.
A man with dark hair and skin sat at the bench watching guardedly. I made sure I was standing down wind from him. I knew he'd have her out of the park in seconds if he recognised my scent.
She looked mature enough for children but I knew she was only twenty three. That seemed awfully young to commit to a husband and children. But then; Bella had never been one to choose the easy path.
She gave them a full smile which had both children – a girl, and a boy – laughing and swinging higher in their swing seats. She took a few steps back and fell into the man's side. He put an arm around her and said something quietly that I couldn't catch from my distance.
She laughed and closed her eyes.
It wasn't long before it was raining. You could always count on that in Forks. As if it was a pre planned move the man knelt on the ground; the girl ran and jumped onto his shoulders while the buy jumped into his arms. He shouted something at Bella over his shoulder and ran back through the trees. Laughing and stumbling in the grass Bella grabbed a few back packs and made to follow.
I only had a few moments to make the decision. I knew if I appeared to her she would come back to me. Alice's vision confirmed it but I had known before I'd seen it. Bella had always been so dense when it came to what was and wasn't good for her.
If I didn't appear to her though, I would return to my family. To my Father and Mother and brothers and sisters. I could feel the warmth of that beating me dully from within. The image of Bella and I together again was like a raging fire coursing through every part of my body in comparison. I wanted her so badly it physically ached. And to be so close…
But then I remembered her face and her children. What could she get from me but an eternity of existence? She loved me; I knew she would come to me gladly but… What would happen when her children died? I knew of that pain from Esme. What about the man with the simple thoughts and life? What about her solid life without my complications?
I was frozen in indecision.
It was the other angel in the end who made the decision for me. Her example gave me the strength to fade further into the trees until I was running through the thick growth and away from the woman I loved with as much desperation as I could bottle.
It was grief, and it matched mine. Because I had lost my love and now she was losing hers.
And it wasn't a consolation. It didn't make me feel any better. It didn't give me the strength to care about anything beyond the woman I was running from but…
I wasn't alone. Someone understood. Someone knew.
And even if I had to exist in misery for an eternity with Esme and Alice trying to cheer me fruitlessly I would always know that I wasn't alone in the pain. Someone understood. Someone knew.
An angel knew.
Thoughts? An Edward to cheer up for every reviewer :)