Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns these characters. I am merely happy to give them new stories.
A/N I'd never considered writing a one shot before, but I read some really wonderful Christmas ones. A B&E New Year's story popped into my head. Hope you like it. Please review!
Happy New Year to you!
I flew in from New York to Washington, grabbed my bags, and found my rental car. The roads were slick, and at times it was difficult to see in the rain/sleet mix, but nothing could dampen my mood. Warmth filled me as I thought of returning home, returning to my family and to her. I had stayed away too many years during the holidays, hiding my true feelings, but not anymore. A surge of anticipation and determination shot through me.
As I drove, I thought back to the last two New Years I had spent at home. Both were spaced years apart, but were pivotal.
The first had been when I was 23. I was home on holidays from Julliard. It was good to be home with Mom, Dad, my older brother Emmett, and younger sister Alice. Alice and Emmett filled me in on their adventures. I had been surprised that Alice's best friend, Bella, wasn't there, but was told that she had spent Christmas with her mom in Florida, but would be back for New Year's Eve.
I remembered thinking then what a good friend Bella was to Alice, a calming force to Alice's hyperactive nature. Bella was a quiet and shy. She was a smart kid who'd shadowed Carlisle for years, as she wanted to become a doctor. She was cute in an awkward, mousy kind of way, but I didn't give that much thought as she was seven years younger than me and practically family.
We always had a big New Year's Eve party at the house. I was in the kitchen a few hours before the party started, getting something to eat, when Bella walked in. I hadn't seen her since the previous year, having stayed in New York over the summer, and I was stunned. She didn't look much like the awkward teen I'd remembered. Startled, I dropped the glass I'd been holding, and tried unsuccessfully to grab it before it shattered on the counter. I winced and swore as glass cut into the palm of my hand.
I felt the blood drain from my face. My hands were everything. Without them I couldn't play the piano.
Bella rushed to my side and led me to a kitchen stool. She commanded softly, "Sit down and take it easy, you big baby." She gave me a teasing smile.
She pressed a towel gently to my hand and then got a wet towel and the first aid kit.
Her arm imprisoned mine under hers to steady my upturned hand. Her brow furrowed in concentration as she carefully cleaned the small cut, making sure no glass was still in my hand. I couldn't help noticing that my hand was very close to her chest. I swallowed painfully. What was I thinking? This was Bella Swan, for Pete's sake. I felt guilty thinking of her in any way other than my little sister's friend. But as I scanned her face, I noticed how pretty she'd become. Not pretty, beautiful.
As she put antibiotic ointment on the cut and bandaged my hand, I smirked, desperate to push down the alarming adoration I was feeling for her and said rather snidely, "Well done, Dr. Swan. However, you should work on your doctor/patient relationship. I don't think Dad would ever call a patient a big baby."
Her chocolate brown eyes sparkled, and she gave me a small smile. "How about I kiss it better?" and placed a gentle kiss over my band aid.
I pulled away from her quickly and started to clean up the glass, my mind reeling.
I was painfully aware of Bella that night. I watched her dance with her friends, and she looked like an angel in a dark blue party dress. Emmett passed her to me to dance with. At first I was very tense dancing with her, but as I held her close, I relaxed. I could allow myself to enjoy this one dance. The countdown to the New Year started. Bella bit her lip as she stared wide eyed at my mouth. As the countdown ended, I leaned down, and her eyes shut. Right before my lips reached hers, I chickened out, afraid I wouldn't be able to stop at the chaste little kiss the situation warranted. So I gave her a brotherly peck on the cheek instead.
"Happy New Year, Bella." I murmured. It was a Cullen family tradition to make a wish on New Year's Eve. My wish was to properly kiss Bella one day.
She looked up at me with tears glistening in her eyes, "Happy New Year, Edward" and disappeared into the crowd.
I'd kicked myself for hurting her feelings, but knew I'd done what was best. After I'd had time to process my feelings, I realized that I loved her. So I decided to stay away until she was older, but I made sure to keep up with her life via Alice. I finished college and started my career as a concert pianist.
The next important New Year's happened a few years later. She had finished high school at 17 and was in her third year of pre-med. We had both been absent for the last few years so finally I would have a chance to talk to her, but was dismayed when she brought along a boyfriend. Of course I couldn't expect her not to have found love, but it still hurt that I hadn't been able to share my feelings with her. I'd felt absolutely sick when James proposed to her at midnight. I'd lost my chance with this beautiful woman.
I didn't make a New Year wish that year and threw myself into my work, touring around the world, not giving myself time to think about anything but music. Or so I told myself, as Bella was often in my thoughts. She'd graduated with honors and moved on to Harvard Med.
I continued to avoid going home for the holidays until Alice called and begged me to come home.
"Bella's going to be here too!" She'd giggled.
"Alice, you know that's not going to work." I grumbled.
"Does it help to know that she broke off her engagement with James?"
"What? But she's finished med school (I knew that they had planned get marry after she finished school). I thought you were even picking out dresses." I said, surprised and secretly delighted.
"She decided that she couldn't go through with it and dumped his ass."
"Oh." I said, not so intelligently.
"Come home, Edward."
She giggled. "It's about time."
I'd entered Forks and was heading home, when it happened. A deer darted out in front of the car, and I slammed on the breaks. The tires hit ice, and I slid off the road. The car slammed into a tree, and I lost consciousness.
I was vaguely aware of small hands that ran carefully over me, checking my injuries I guessed, and then I smelled gasoline. The hands gently but urgently shook me. An angel's voice said, "Edward, you need to get out of the car, it's leaking gas. Oh my god, it's on fire!" The hands yanked on me, and I managed to stumble out of the car. Searing pain shot through me as I tried to put weight on my leg. Everything went black as someone pulled me away from something intensely hot.
"Edward?" I slowly opened my eyes and focused on my father's face hovering above me.
"Dad? Ow." Where was I, and why did I hurt?
"Once I check you over, I can up your pain medicine. Do you remember what happened?" he asked as he held a light up and checked my eyes.
It all came back to me, "A deer ran into the road, and I slid on ice. I hit a tree." I paused, "It's really fuzzy, but I think I remember smelling gas and someone helping me out of the car."
"You sustained a nasty blow to the head and a broken leg. We're going to keep you over night. It's lucky for you Bella was not far behind you. She pulled you out of the car as it caught on fire."
Dad teared up a bit, "You would have died without her."
"Bella helped me?" I asked dazed.
"Yes, she also stabilized your leg, so you had minimal blood loss."
Dad finished checking me over, patted my shoulder, and gave me some more pain medicine. "Get some sleep, son."
I started to feel drowsy as the medicine quickly took effect. I thought I heard Dad say loudly in the hall, "I don't give a shit about visiting rules. She can stay with him if she wants." But Dad didn't swear, so I maybe I was dreaming.
I dreamed that I'd died in the accident. "Bella," I moaned in regret. I'd waited too long, and now I'm dead.
"Shh, Edward. It's okay." My angel was with me. I thought I felt her brush my hair off my forehead and kiss my temple.
I sighed and sank back into a deep sleep.
I woke up again feeling sore, but more alert. The pain in my head was gone.
I looked over and saw that Bella was asleep in a chair next to me, her hand on the hospital bed. I carefully reached out and took her hand in mine. Her eyes fluttered open, and I could see that she'd been crying.
"How do you feel?" she asked softly.
I gave her a half grin, "Like I hit a tree."
She gave me a small smile in return.
I looked at her intently, "Thank you." I gently squeezed her hand, "I've missed you."
She blushed and looked down. "I've missed you too. It's been too long."
"Yes, it has. Bella, this may not be the best time to say this, but I care about you… I love you."
Tears welled in her eyes, and she leaned down very carefully and kissed me.
"I love you too."
"What about James?" I had to know.
"Every time I thought about walking down the aisle, I couldn't picture James waiting for me. I went to his office to break it off and caught him having sex with his secretary."
I rubbed her knuckles with my thumb, "I'm sorry, Bella."
"I'm not. He and I haven't been together for a long time. I lived and breathed school, and then when it was time to make decisions, I realized I wanted to be with you. I'm interning at New York-Presbyterian."
"That's great! That's a really good teaching hospital, one of the best." But I couldn't resist teasing her, "But how did you know I wasn't snatched up?"
"I followed your tours and stuff through Alice. She also told me that we were both idiots, so we were meant to be together."
I should have known Alice had meddled but wasn't annoyed. I was too happy.
Bella said, "Oh, it's almost the New Year!"
She flipped on the TV, and we held hands as we watched the ball come down. We kissed again.
"Happy New Year, Edward."
"Happy New Year, love."
As Carlisle and Bella helped me get settled at home the next day, Alice asked, "So Edward did you make your New Year's wish?"
Bella and I smiled at each other. "I didn't need to. My wish already came true."
Alice laughed and hugged us both. "I knew it!"