Disclaimer: I don't own the Twilight characters or any of the songs used throughout this fanfiction.
Recap on everyone's new lives:
By now, everyone is married and out of college. Jasper and Alice have twins, two girls, both are short like Alice but have Jasper's blonde hair; One is super hyper and outgoing (Lillian [or Lily, after Rose's middle name] age 7) while the other is more timid (Mary [Alice's real first name] also age 7). Emmett and Rose have one son who has Rose's blonde hair and natural 'model' look, but also has Emmett's curls and sense of humor (Richard [Ricky, after Rose's father] age 8.)
10 years later…
"Honey, I'm home!" The front door banged closed and I smiled, feeling all warm at seeing Edward.
"In the kitchen!" I called back, stirring the spaghetti sauce. I listened to his footsteps as he traveled through the house, pausing to hang up his coat, and then continuing into the kitchen. He came up behind me, resting his hands on my stomach and his chin on my shoulder.
"Mmm, smells good, baby." He breathed in deeply and I smiled, turning and kissing his cheek.
"How was work?" I turned off the stove, moved the sauce, and turned around in his arms.
He kissed me softly and then pulled back, "It was good, the orchestra finally perfected that one piece that the violinists were having trouble with."
I nodded, "That's good to hear."
"You know what's better to hear?" He whispered, smiling. I raised an eyebrow and he held up a finger, falling silent. I listened and felt my smile soften as I heard the quiet playing of a piano. "Anthony," Edward whispered, "Do you recognize the song I've been teaching him? He wanted to learn it very badly." I listened closer and I felt myself tear up. Edward wiped them away, "I can't believe hearing your lullaby after all these years still makes you tear up, love." I just shrugged and then my hand fell to my stomach as I looked down. "Elizabeth?" I nodded and took his hand, bringing it to rest at the top of my stomach where I could feel my baby kicking. His smile widened and he rested his forehead on mine, still looking down at our hands on my stomach above our baby girl. "My two favorite girls." He whispered and I smiled. He kissed me again and I returned it, moving my hand to wrap my arms around his neck gently.
"You know what, Edward?"
"You make beautiful babies." He laughed and I joined him, turning to start pulling out dishes for dinner. "Dinner!" I called towards the stairs, and waited for response, which I didn't get.
After a minute of no pounding footsteps on the stairs, Edward walking into the entryway where he could look up the stairs, "Your mother called you down for dinner!" He hollered up the stairs, "You better come apologize." Immediately there was the rush of footsteps on the second floor and Edward came back in the kitchen with a satisfied smile. "They're coming."
"I heard," I replied, laughing. I grinned when two little boys ran into the kitchen and up to me, hugging me in apology. I squeezed them back, "Apology accepted."
"How's Elizabe-beth?" Charles stuttered out in his adorable five year old voice. I brushed some brown hair out of his striking green eyes as he placed his ear on my stomach, listening with wide eyes. He knocked softly on my stomach and Edward and I burst into laughter as Anthony rolled his eyes.
"She can't hear you," He muttered, rolling his eyes again.
"Actually, babies can hear you; it's a good thing to talk to them." Edward said and both their eyes grew wide.
"Really?!" Charles exclaimed and we both nodded. He placed his ear on my stomach again, "Hi, Elizabe-beth," I suppressed another giggle, "it's Charlie. Is it dark in there? When will you come out? Are you sure you can't be a boy? How are you going to get outta there?" He poked my stomach and I gently pried him off, steering him to the kitchen table. Edward laid a plate of spaghetti and a glass of milk in front of him.
"That's enough questions, bud." Edward said, sharing a smile with me and ruffling his hair.
Anthony walked over and crouched near my stomach, "Hey, Elizabeth, it's Anthony." He said in a voice that when he was older I was sure would sound just like his father's. He looked like Edward too. He was like a carbon-copy of his father…without the scars. I pushed that thought out of my mind and listened to what my eldest son was saying to the most recent addition to our family. "You're gonna love it here, Mom is an awesome cook and she has a voice like an angel!" I blushed but he didn't notice as he continued, "And Dad can play the coolest things on piano, he teaching me some of what he knows. I bet he'll teach you too, or maybe you can play guitar like Mom." I smiled gently and patted his shoulder, causing him to glance up at me.
"Dad's got out a plate for you, why don't you go eat? You can talk to Elizabeth later tonight." He frowned, pouting a little, before sitting down at the table, digging into his dinner. I sat down across from Edward and we all started eating, easy conversation starting to flow. "How was Johnny's house?" I asked of Anthony, taking a sip of water.
"It was cool, we played guitar hero and I kicked his butt!" Edward raised an eyebrow at his son and when Anthony caught the expression, he hung his head a little, "Bum, I meant bum," He muttered.
"What else?"Edward asked and I saw Charles pout a little at not being asked a question.
"We played catch with his football and played with DJ."He answered, smiling cheerfully and taking a bite of his food.
"DJ's the dog?" Edward asked and Anthony nodded happily, slurping at his drink.
I couldn't help staring at him for a moment. My baby, my first son, was nine years old. It amazed me. I took in a deep breath before slowly turning to Charles. "And how was your day?" I smiled at him and he grinned excitedly.
"I watched The Lion King and played 'Lions' with Jaden." Jaden was the neighbor's boy; I liked him, sweet kid.
"And who won?" Edward asked right as Charles shoveled a bite of spaghetti into his mouth. Emmett would be proud of that bite. I held up a finger so Charles wouldn't speak with his mouth full like it looked like he would. He chewed quickly and swallowed before answering that he had won.
And dinner continued like that. Edward and I pretty much asked questions and let our boys' monotonies the conversation. After we finished eating I told the boys to get ready for bed and when they were done they could come in our room and we'd read them a story and let them talk to Elizabeth.
They ran up the stairs to shower and change into pajama's while Edward and I did the dishes. Edward sighed happily and I looked up, smiling at him, "What?"
He smiled crookedly, washing another plate. "I love our family." He looked up at me and I felt my whole body relax when I met his eyes. Ten years later and he still had so much effect on me.
"Mm, I'll keep you all." I grinned and he shook his head, laughing quietly. We finished up the dishes in a comfortable silence before walking up to our room and laying down in our bed. Every night we did this, the boys took turns picking a book, one of us would read it to them, and then they'd talk to Elizabeth about who'd be the better brother until bed time at 8:30, eight for Charles.
"So, what are we reading tonight?" Edward asked them when they came in, holding out a hand for the book in Charles hands. "The Lion King? Didn't you just watch the movie?" Edward asked, opening the book and scooting over so Charles could lie in between us. Anthony, I noticed, had stopped listening to the stories a long time ago and since then, Edward usually read to Charles while I told Anthony stories I'd made up myself. Anthony was quite the mommy's boy, but I had no problem with that.
"What do you want to hear about tonight?"I whispered when he lay on my other side, resting his head on my shoulder, staring up at the ceiling.
"I was wondering…How long have you known Dad?" I thought for a moment, wondering what had brought this question on. I could ask him another time, it was probably just curiosity; sometimes I wondered about my parents.
"Over ten years now." I answered, "Longer then you've been alive." I tapped his nose and he smiled, still looking at the ceiling.
"How did you meet?" I looked down at him and raised an eyebrow.
"Someone feeling a little curious?" He just shrugged so I continued, "We met at college, in a coffee shop." I smiled, thinking back to that day; the first time I'd seen Edward play and sing, the first time we'd talked. "You're Dad was playing piano as the live entertainment. Even then your father was an amazing player, and when he sang his voice had my immediate attention."
"Dad can sing?!" He whisper-yelled, looking at me with wide eyes.
I grinned and nodded, "Yes, you wanna hear him?"
"How are you going to get him to sing?" I put a finger to my lips and we both fell silent for a moment. Edward was still reading to Charles, and when he paused to turn a page I sang softly. "I found God, on the corner of First and Amistad."I sang it an octave higher and I could practically hear Edward freeze, then, just as I planned it, he started to sing with me. I almost laughed; it was like he couldn't help it.
"Where the West was all but won. All alone, smokin' his last cigarette, I said 'Where've you been?'He said 'Ask anything.'" I stopped singing and looked at Edward, who was staring at me. Then I looked down at Anthony, "Pretty good, huh?" I grinned and he laughed, looking between us.
"That was good." Edward blushed a little and I giggled, I'd been rubbing off on him.
"Okay, guys, time for bed." Edward stood and grabbed Charles by the ankles, pulling the now squealing boy closer and slinging him over his shoulder. "Come on, Anthony."Anthony kissed my cheek and followed Edward out of the room. I flopped back on the pillows and smiled up at the ceiling. It was odd that Anthony had asked about Edward and I when we were younger, I'd seen kids do that before, but it wasn't usually for around two more years. I shrugged it off and when I felt the sensation of Elizabeth kicking inside me, my hand flew to my stomach.
"I love you, Elizabeth," I murmured, rubbing my stomach. I couldn't wait to see her. Edward was almost as bad as me, talking to her every night before we fell asleep. He babied me most of the time so we'd both be waited on hand and foot, which wasn't bad, it was actually pretty nice.
After a minute I felt a sudden urge to crunch on some ice, when Edward came back in our room I held up a hand before he laid down. "Can you go downstairs and get me a cup of that pellet ice?" He smiled, shaking his head slightly.
"Of course, beautiful." He was almost out the door when I yelled for him to stop. He turned and raised an eyebrow, he looked amused.
"Can you get me a pickle, too?" He laughed at that and I rolled my eyes.
"I don't get it, Bella, you hate pickles, yet every time you've been pregnant you've craved them…" I shrugged sheepishly and he left the room. A couple minutes later, he came back with what I'd requested and I took a big bite out of the pickle, crunching it noisily. That was one thing I didn't like about them, they were so loud. I ate it quickly and then had to brush my teeth cause the smell was starting to bother me.
Edward turned out the lights and flipped on the TV, pulling me close as I sucked on my sonic ice. I Rested my head on his chest and he placed his hand on my stomach. When Elizabeth kicked a moment later, I moved his hand to the proper site and he smiled, looking down.
"Hey, baby, how you doing in there? You know, we can't wait for your arrival. We have the guest room all set up for you when you're a little older, it'll be great." He kissed my forehead and I sighed happily.
"I love you, Edward."
He grinned and kissed me gently, "I love you too, Bella…Mommy," He teased and I rolled my eyes.
"Not to you, but I've been told I'm a pretty cool Mommy."I waggled my eyebrows and he pouted.
"Am I a good Daddy?" He whined and I smiled, touching his cheek.
"The best." I answered quietly and his crooked smile softened. He turned off the TV and I laid back on his chest, just looking at him in the faded moonlight.
"Oh, dang, one minute." I carefully got up and went into the closet to change; I hadn't even realized I was still wearing my clothes. I changed into one of Edward's T-shirts and looked around for some pants. I pulled open a drawer in our smaller dresser and moved some clothes over to find some shorts when I froze. There, pushed into the back of the drawer, was the shadow box Edward had given me for a wedding gift. I felt my hand lift to my lips by its own accord as I stared at it. I didn't even know I'd put it in here. It had just seemingly disappeared one day. I pulled it out and silently set it on the top of the dresser, looking inside it.
The box had been made by Edward out of parts from the piano, a reminder of the past, the rough things we'd gotten through. I brushed the dust of the glass and looked in and saw my Chuck Taylor Converse; I felt my eyes well up with tears as I looked at them. 'Carry me with you.' And then my lullaby written on the soles. Next to it, glued in place, was the CD with my lullaby that Edward had given me for Christmas that had been scratched so he put it in here. The shoes, he had said, represented our blossoming feelings for each other at the time. The CD spoke for our love for music, what brought us closer than most anything. On the other side of my shoes were two pictures. One with Edward and I, standing in the middle of who-knew-where with Edward's arms around my waist and his chin on my shoulder. He was looking at me as I smiled at the camera. The other picture was of the rest of the gang, hanging out at Edward's house, just being a 'dysfunctional family' as Emmett called us.
Tears were blocking my vision and I covered my mouth again. They were happy tears, remembering all we'd been through, gosh, I loved him so much. I couldn't even remember what had held me back from telling him I loved him that one night, I'd cost myself time with him and that would seem unforgivable, but Edward…forgave me. Easily. As if cued by my thoughts, Edward walked into the closet.
"Bella?! Are you okay?" He pulled me to his chest and held me tightly. I nodded, pressing my face into his chest. I felt him freeze slightly when he looked over my shoulder and saw the shadow box. "You still have that?"He whispered into my hair. Again, I nodded and I felt him smile, taking it into his hands. He touched the glass, his eyes seeming far away. After a minute of silence, in which I stopped the flow of tears, he handed me the box and I left the closet, Edward following me. I walked to my side of the bed and I set it on my bedside table, touching it gently before lying down on the bed, patting it so Edward would lie next to me.
He climbed in and pulled me close again, kissing the top of my head. We lay in silence for a long time and I was starting to think Edward had fallen asleep, so I let my own eyelids slip closed.
"Bella?" He whispered and I looked up at him.
"Yes, Edward?" I reached up and touched his cheek, brushing my fingers across his lips.
"Thank you…for everything. Two amazing sons and a daughter on the way. All the memories, good and bad, all the laughs and smiles. I can't imagine what life would've been like without you…" I felt my eyes tear up again. Stupid pregnancy hormones.
"Thank you, too, I couldn't have had the kids by myself," We both smiled, laughing kind of breathlessly, "I love you, so much, I can't thank you enough for forgiving me that day. I still don't know why I would even need to pause to think, let alone leave for the night…"
Edward shook his head, "It doesn't matter, you're here now."
"And I'm staying." He smiled, sighing softly and I felt like some burden I hadn't even known was there, suddenly be lifted from my shoulders.
Years later, ten years later, I had paid my debt. I knew I deserved Edward's forgiveness now; I'd paid him for forgiving me now. I didn't need to worry about that in the middle of the night anymore, the burden had been lifted. The weight was gone. The debt was paid. And now we could be happy, truly happy. Because before now, even if I hadn't always really noticed the weight, it had been there. But not anymore. I was free of it, free to be with Edward, in every way possible.
A/N: And now it is OFFICIALLY over :] Actually, if you guys want and say so, I might do an extra. But you have to ask for it ;] I hope you guys enjoyed reading it, I know I loved writing this. I had fun writing this Edward and Bella as well as going more in depth with Emmett. I hope in my new story, 'She Was A Skater Girl,' I'll be able to write more about Jasper. I want to. Anyway, review, tell me what you thought of the epilogue and the story! Then go check out my little website for my fanfics and my new story! :D Now, for a few thank you's:
I need to thank all of you overall, for being awesome readers/reviewers! I haven't been flamed; thank Forks' rainy sky, that would suck… By the way, for you flamers who may be reading this, just a suggestion, criticism works way better than a flame. I'm just saying.
Also a thank you to my family and friends for dealing with my whole 'One more minute' crap. I'm really bad about that, "I'm almost done!" Yeah, that's rarely ever true, but they dealt with it pretty well…
Then to those of you I spoke to, even just about random things. I got some really good music from a few of you, thank you so much ;] And some ideas, that reminds me, thank you to for the shadow box idea! It helped me get to where I wanted at the end. Again, thanks to you all, and I hope you read/enjoy my new story!! :]
Love you, guys!