A/N I've read a lot of "abuse" fics, and I frankly have not been impressed. I decided to do one on my own, and it's a little bit different. It does not focus on pain or melodrama or violence. If that's the kind of fic you like then you might not prefer this one. I decided to focus more on the healing after the abuse.

In the process, I have pulled selections from two songs and one essay and incorporated them into the story. If that's confusing to the reader, then I apologize. It will make more sense by the end. I've tried to differentiate them to help by using different fonts. The first is the song "Sound of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkle. The essay is from Frederick Buchner's book "Beyond Words." The last song is called "Mad World" by Gary Jules.

Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.

Within the Sound of Silence

Chapter One: A Home


Hello darkness, my old friend

I've come to talk with you again…


Carlisle would argue, but he knew the truth.

The world is unfeeling.

He barely remembered his parents. They died when he was very young. What kind of universe would take a child from his parents?

He sits on the couch, not moving, never moving… wanting to pound the wall in frustration. But he doesn't… because he never shows his frustration and anger. It builds inside of him anyway.

He looks furtively around the living room. His family was watching a movie together – "together" being perhaps a loose term.

If he was silent and unable to say out loud what was inside his head, then the others were too.


Nothing for breakfast. A diet soda for lunch. Maybe a little lettuce with low-calorie dressing for supper. Or once in a while, when everybody has gone to bed, a binge on ice cream, which you get rid of in the bathroom later. Relentless exercise. Obsession with food, cooking great quantities of it for everybody except yourself…


His parents were snatched from him. The same was not true for the other kids Carlisle and Esme sheltered.

Rosalie and Jasper were twins. They lived with their parents in Mexico City because of their father's prominent job in the oil industry. Their house was attacked one humid, clear evening by an anti-American mob sparked by political unrest in the region. Dozens of Americans were killed. Their parents were murdered. Rosalie was raped. Jasper was out of the house at the time and returned to find his family torn apart in a house that was torn apart. He lives in silent guilt because he does not understand why he was spared …

The world is also irrational.

Alice was abandoned by her mother, who couldn't understand, and finally couldn't live with, her daughter's dreams. Alice is perhaps the strangest and yet sanest of them all. She only happens to have dreams at night which sometimes come true, if one believes her. And yet, she somehow manages to dance through the house intent on living through the present moment until her visions greet her. They're like old friends that she is waiting impatiently to meet again…


All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere…


Emmett would say that the world is mad.

He came from the mountains of Tennessee, abandoned because he was the final straw in a family that had birthed one too many final straws. Emmett's is the story that Edward least understood.

Emmett was like Alice – strong, resilient, cheerful, whole. He managed to shine an innocence even when surrounded by the filth and mud of his parents' trailer park dump. He cannot understand why two people like them would be abandoned.

His mother's story is typical for those mountain regions. Pregnant at fourteen. Ninth grade school drop-out. Married her druggie boyfriend. Had a kid a year until she finally overdosed on crack and who knows what else. Emmett tried to take care of his younger brothers, but just couldn't do it. He had to watch them all scatter to the four winds … to relatives … foster homes …

Because a vision softly creeping,

Left its seeds while I was sleeping…


Carlisle and Esme take in the difficult cases, the teenagers no one wants – the ones moved from home to home so often that they stop unpacking their bags. And somehow… somehow… they try to provide healing in their home.

Carlisle does it because he was abandoned by his father many years ago and never wanted another child to feel that lonely again.

Esme has never told why she does what she does so willingly. But he saw the scars on her back once. And he can see the things in her eyes that never quite make it to her mouth. Esme was hurt too. He doesn't know when or by whom, but he knows she has experienced similar pain.

But Esme does was she does not because of her past, whatever that past might hold. Esme does it for love. Esme is moved by love.

Despite Carlisle's compassion and Esme's love, he wonders if the five can be healed. They live around each other, occasionally crossing paths, never really able to reach beyond the silence to the real problem.

But if anyone could heal Edward, Rosalie, Jasper, Emmett and Alice, it would be Carlisle and Esme.

In time, you come to look like a victim of Dachau – the sunken eyes and hollow cheeks, the marionette arms and calfless legs… If you are told that your life is in jeopardy, it makes no difference, because not even dying is as fearsome as getting fat, a view that the combined industries of fashion, dietetic food, and advertising all endorse. In every respect but this, you may be as sane as everybody else. In this, you are mad as a hatter…