Edward Cullen is a rock star in the biggest band of the decade. He's America's "It Boy," but he's still unhappy. Will Bella be in time to save him? AH AU
Disclaimer: Stephanie Meyer created Twilight; I'm just toying around with her characters.
AN: I've been feeling really uninspired lately, and I've recently moved, and started at a new university. Everything changed for me in a matter of months, and I'm still adjusting. I'm sorry for having a real life, and I hope you'll forgive me for taking so long to update. I will never abandon or take down this story, it might just take a while to be updated.
RECAP: Bella finds Edward in a closet, he tries to kill himself, she saves him. He develops Superman Complex, where he focuses on Bella as his savior. She leaves to Forks with him without explaining anything to anyone, not even her best friend, Angela. She lives with Edward's family in their house, secluded from everyone and everything. The first attempt to acclimate to society doesn't go well, Edward freaks out and begs Bella to leave. Bella refuses to go. Lunch with Bella's dad goes way better, the day before Dr. Carmen Salazar arrives. Carmen is a little condescending, doesn't really give them much of a chance, but when Bella and Edward are interviewed, she changes her mind. Edward pushes Bella for sex after Carmen says they can, and probably should do it. Bella asks for time.
And that's what you missed on Glee. Oh wait, uh, on Superman Complex
Bella and Edward fall into a bit of a groove—learning more about each other without being sexual. Truth be told, Bella's a little frightened that when she does has sex with Edward again, it will be too overwhelming—for both of them. She doesn't know what to do, and because she's trying not to think about it, it's the only thing she's can think about.
"Bella? Did you hear me? I was asking if you wanted to make banana bread tonight, for when Carmen comes back?"
Bella blinks. Carmen is coming in tomorrow, finally, after two weeks of silence; she finally called yesterday and said she'd be coming back tomorrow to talk with Edward and Bella.
"Oh, yeah Esme, that sounds great. I haven't made bread in a long time, though, so I might not be very helpful."
"Of course you will be dear. You'll keep me company at the very least. Plus, Edward said something about the boys recording tonight, so you'll probably end up bored out of your skull."
Bella smirks, nodding at Esme's assessment of her night, if the boys do choose to record. She's really hoping they do. Edward's been talking about it for a while—since the night after Carmen left. That first couple of days were really strained, and now, Bella's just glad they've come to some type of understanding.
"Should we go to the store first? Do we have everything we need?" Bella asks, after a long companionable silence. She looks around the kitchen. Her eyes sweep over the counters for bananas. "Bananas?"
"I'll have Alice stop by the store on her way home."
"Oh, right, she's with a client in Port Angeles, right? That's not too far, is it?"
Esme shakes her head no and smiles, walking over to Bella and kissing the top of her head. "Go see how Edward's doing, or take a bath or something. You look frazzled."
Bella almost says, "I want to have sex with Edward," but stops herself, remembering just in time that Esme is Edward'smother, not hers. Instead, she says, "You know what? I think I'm going to take you up on that bath. I need a good bath right now." She grins and stands up, leaving Esme in the kitchen and goes to find Edward.
She finds him in the practice room, playing around with two or three chords and humming along to the sounds. It's nothing really coherent. Leaning against the doorframe, Bella watches him twiddle through the different sounds, going from light to dark. She clears her throat when she realizes that he's not going to notice her right away. He stops immediately and smiles up at her from his spot on the floor.
"What's up, Bella?" he asks. He sets his guitar back on the stand and walks to her. "You ok?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," she nods. "I'm gonna go relax and prepare for tomorrow. Carmen's coming, remember?"
"I do," he answers with a quick grimace. "We got the all clear already. I'm not even going to stress over her coming."
"Good," Bella smirks. "I'll do enough worrying for the both of us. Now, I'm going to take a bath, and then your mother and I are making some banana bread. You want to help us out? I mean if you're not recording? We'll probably start after Alice gets back from her meeting with her client."
He shrugs. "You want me to help? I mean, I can serenade the two greatest ladies in my life as they bake." His grin makes Bella giggle.
"How about you don't mortify me?" Bella decides. "Remember when we made pancakes? Your whole family watched us make out by the stove."
"That wasn't making out, Bella Swan. Someday, I'll show you making out." He waggles his eyebrows. "Now come with me, I'll set up your bath for you."
Once the water is running and the candles are lit, Edward politely averts his eyes, so Bella can undress and slide into the water. This is part of their new groove. He is finally giving her what she asked for two weeks ago—time. She realizes this, and silently thanks him every time he does something sweet like this for her.
"Ok, I'm covered," she grins, flicking some of the bubbles at him. He rolls his eyes and sits on the lip of the tub and smiles at her.
"So, at this exact moment, what is the percentage of me attempting to kiss you? And succeeding?"
She pretends to think about this for a while. She rubs her forefinger and thumb against jaw. "Well, that all depends. What's the percentage of you actually attempting said kiss?"
He doesn't even hesitate before he says, "One hundred percent."
Bella laughs. "Well then, I suppose the percentage of your success would be about ninety-nine point nine percent."
"Oh, is that all?" Edward asks, laughing. He leans forward and kisses her softly, nothing like their previous bath time make out session. This time, his lips are soft and warm on hers, his body angled over her protectively, as opposed to climbing into the tub with her and straddling her hips. He smiles at her sweetly as he pulls away, twirling a stray strand of hair out of her face. "Want me to stay?"
"Sure, if you want to. I mean—you don't have to."
She watches as he makes himself comfortable, rolling up a towel, so he can rest his neck against the lip of the tub. She runs her hand through his hair as he lies back, and together, they just rest, knowing that with Carmen coming, things might change.
This time, Bella's not as worried about the changes that Carmen might bring with her. She's resigned herself to knowing that she'll do whatever it takes to make him better—even if that means sleeping in separate rooms, or leaving for a time, or giving him space. He's done as much for her in the last few weeks, and she's grateful for it. She could do the same if she's asked to.
As the bath water loses its warmth, Bella—whose fingers are pruned—giggles. She waits for Edward to leave before she gets out of the bath and returns to her closet to find something to wear.
She decides on a pair of black leggings and a dark blue top. She pulls her hair back with a blue headband and puts lotion on her hands and arms before she follows the sounds of Edward's guitar in the practice room.
Jasper and Emmett are there too, on their respective instruments, all of them laughing over Edward's last chord failure.
"So, recording tonight?" They all look up at her. All three of them look guilty. "What? What did you do?"
Jasper smirks. "Nothing, Edward was just telling us about your bath," he grins, waggling his eyebrows.
"He totally peeked," Emmett says, nodding. "Said the bubbles were gone by the time you got out."
Bella gasps with her hand over her chest and laughs. "You pervert!" she says, pointing at him with her free hand. "You're never sitting in with me again!"
"No, Bella," Edward says fast, putting his guitar down to run to her, shooting glares at both of the boys in the room. "They're teasing. I mean, I did see, but I looked away. I know you want time, and I respect that."
Bella looks at him appraisingly, and then looks to the boys, who are laughing silently.
"Fine. But if this happens again, Edward Cullen, we're never having bath time again," she tells him, pointing her finger at him. She laughs and turns to leave. "Time to bake."
When she gets downstairs, she sees the front door open. Alice is talking to someone coming up the front porch. Alice says, "She'll be surprised to see you, and we're going to be baking, so it will give you some time to get caught up again." Bella walks to the door and screams.
"Oh my God!" she squeaks, running to Alice. Next to Alice is Angela, toting her luggage. She tackles Angela right there on the porch. She hugs her fiercely, swaying back and forth.
A stampede of feet comes down the stairs as the boys come down to make sure Bella's alright after her screaming.
Edward is the front runner, "Bella, baby, are you ok?" he asks as he comes to the front door. He looks confused as he sees her hugging another person.
"She's perfectly fine," Alice answers, grinning. "Boys, this is Angela. Angela, these are the boys."
Bella doesn't let go, just moves so Angela can greet them. She smiles, blushing. Bella tugs at her hand and pulls her into the house. "Angie, this is Edward Cullen, Emmett McCarty, and Jasper Whitlock. They already know that we're über fans and that we used to listen to their records all the time, so don't be embarrassed."
She smiles, laughing softly and waves with her free hand. Emmett grabs Angela's luggage from the porch. Alice tells him to put it in Bella's room.
"Angela, what are you doing here?" Bella asks, leading her to the couch. Everyone follows in, moving to arrange themselves on the living room furniture, and on the floor. Edward sits at Bella's feet, holding her hand.
"Um, this is totally overwhelming. I thought you were abducted by the mob, not living with our favorite band," Angela admits, looking a little angry. "I'm totally mad at you, but we can discuss that later, uh, in private?"
Bella nods, laughing as Edward tugs at her hand. "Fine, Jesus," she says. "Edward, Angela is my bestie from Arizona. She's the one I've been emailing back and forth with?"
"Did you invite her here?" he asks, smiling cautiously at Angela. "What about the gag order?"
"I invited her," Alice says from the love seat, sitting next to Jasper. "I background checked her like I background checked Bella."
"You background checked me?" Bella asks, looking at Alice.
"Duh, we've all been background checked, but you two in particular were fairly boring. Rosalie at least had a record," Alice sighs.
"Hey—hey, leave my indecent exposure out of this, Mary Alice," Rosalie laughs, leaning into Emmett on the floor by the fireplace. "It was one time—ten years ago."
"Anyway," Alice continues, looking back to Edward. "I spoke with Carlisle and Esme, and they agreed. Bella needs someone who knows her like we don't. It's not fair to her to be forced to stay here, and Angela is a peach. You'll all love her."
"Hey, I'm not being forced to stay," Bella says, mostly for Edward's benefit. "I mean, I'm glad Angela's here. She's my best friend and having her in the dark about it really sucked, but it was my choice to come here, and I don't regret that," she smiles, looking at Edward's grinning face.
Edward leans up, kissing Bella softly. She blushes and looks to Angela with a shrug. "Uh, I'm also dating him," she confesses. "My dad likes him. I mean, he doesn't know who Edward Cullen is, but he knows he's a musician, and he likes him."
Angela smirks. "I can't believe you're hooking up with Edward Cullen," she says, nudging Bella. "Oh my god. I said that out loud, didn't I?"
Emmett laughs and nods appreciatively. "I like her; she can stay."
"Well, it wasn't up to you any way, but I'm glad we have your approval," Alice says. "She's staying for a week, up in Bella's room. She's agreed to sign the necessary paperwork about our privacy, and she's Bella's best friend, so we can trust her."
Bella looks at Alice with a grateful smile. "I love you, Alice," she tells her, hugging Angela again. "So, so much for this."
Alice waves her hand dismissively. "Now, I think the boys had some things to do. We can continue this shindig at dinner. We've got breads and cookies and shit to bake. Shoo!" she says, swatting at Jasper.
Edward and Emmett follow Jasper back up the stairs with Angela's luggage. When they're out of sight, Angela tugs on Bella's shirt and mouths, "Oh my fucking god!" Bella just laughs.
"Yeah, welcome to my life. Follow me, I want you to meet Esme," Bella says, pulling her and Alice along. Rosalie follows into the kitchen and sits back, smiling.
"Is this Angela?" Esme says, looking from Alice to Bella, and then back at Angela. Bella nods. "Well, you're beautiful, and we've heard so much about you! Welcome, welcome."
"Thank you for having me," Angela says, smiling shyly. "It's good to be here."
The chit-chat doesn't last very long, not once Bella sees Esme nod her head toward upstairs. Taking the hint, Bella smiles in thanks and then pulls Angela along with her upstairs where they can have some privacy.
As soon as the door is closed, Angela turns on Bella, hands on her hips, eyes squinted. "You're dating, Edward-freaking-Cullen? Holy shit, Isabella Marie."
"You know why I couldn't say anything," Bella sighs, sitting on the bed. "And yes, we're dating. But it's complicated. I don't know how much Alice told you, but it's this whole, long, drawn out thing, and—Well, shit, what did she tell you?"
"Nothing really, just that there was an accident, and you helped Edward. She didn't go into too many details. She just said that it was their fault that you never told me."
Bella takes a deep breath and then pats the bed beside her. "Well, sit down, this will take a while."
When Angela sits down, Bella explains the whole thing out. She tells her about finding Edward in the closet, about the asshole doctor, Tyler Crowley, and then about coming out here. She tells Angela about going to La Push, with Jake and Nessie, and then going to lunch with her father. When she gets to Carmen, Angela holds up her hand.
"Wait—wait, you slept with him?"
Rolling her eyes, Bella groans, "I knew that's all you'd catch."
"I'm honestly curious, bitch. Was it good?"
"Um, well, it was kind of sad, actually. I was really scared that I was going to have to leave, and he was terrified that I was leaving, and it just kind of happened? I mean, it was good, but …bittersweet?"
"And you haven't, since?"
"No," she shrugs. "The doctor said we could, because our dynamic is so close, but I just can't. I'm still adjusting to everything. Carmen's coming back, tomorrow, and Edward's agreed to give me some time. I just feel like we're not really dating as much as I'm just caring for him, or well, that's how I felt in the beginning, not anymore. I realized early on that what I felt was more than just—"
"Oh my god, you love him!" Angela gasps. "You totally love him." She smirks.
"That's the problem, Ang. He might not really love me back. The doctors don't know much about his condition, just how it manifests and some of the stages. Edward is completely off the charts, and Carmen said she wouldn't have known Edward had anything wrong with him."
"Well, that's good, right?"
"Yes and no. He could be pretending. We don't really know. I mean, I'd like to think he's getting better—and he is—to an extent. And a few weeks ago, he had this huge thing, and Carmen still doesn't know what to make of us."
"Bingo." Bella laughs.
They talk for a little while longer, laughing and going over what Angela's been up to. That is, until the smell of banana bread wafts through the house and into her room. "Shit," Bella laughs. "We were supposed to be doing that."
"Alice told me that she expected us to wander off," Angela shrugs. "She's—"
Bella just nods, laughing. "Yep."
They giggle for a little while longer until Edward knocks on the door, peeking inside. "So, ladies, um, can I borrow Bella for a minute?"
Bella looks to Angela, who nods. She gets up and closes the door behind her. "What's up, Edward?"
"I just miss you. You've been holed away for like two hours."
"She's my best friend, Edward. I haven't seen her in a long time. We had a lot to talk about."
"I know, I just missed you, and we recorded some acoustic tracks, and I wanted you to hear them, and tell me what you think."
Edward grimaces slightly, scrunching up his nose. Bella raises an eyebrow and puts her hands on her hips. "Really, Edward?"
"Having you listen was also code for making out?" he says, pleading. When Bella doesn't relent, he sighs. "Can we make out later?"
Bella smiles and kisses him on the cheek. "I'll meet you in the practice room." She goes back inside the room and grabs Angela, practically dragging her to the practice room.
"You understand we'll be the first to hear these tracks?" Bella says, looking at Angela. "That's awesome, right?"
"And you're sure Edward doesn't mind?" Angela asks, looking nervous.
"Yes, I'm sure. It's only a few tracks; he's fine with it." Bella notices that Angela still looks skeptical, but follows along with Bella into the room anyway. Edward's sitting behind the glass, ready to start the tracks as Bella and Angela sit down.
They're older tracks, from their first two CDs, which makes both Bella and Angela extremely happy. Acoustically, the songs seem to take on a new meaning, and Bella watches Edward as he moves his fingers along the fret of the guitar silently as the tracks play.
"That's what we've got today, and then we did a cover, just for fun. Um, do you want to hear it?" Edward asks, looking to both girls. "It's just something, you know, just for us."
Bella nods, as does Angela, so he presses the play button for the cover. Bella giggles when she hears the opening rifts. "The Weight" by The Band, is one of Bella's all-time favorite songs. Charlie used to play this song all the time when she was little, and as Edward's voice sings the words softly on the track, Bella can't help the goofy grin on her face. Eventually, both Jasper's and Emmett's voices come in for the chorus, which is when Angela joins in—blushing bright red.
When the song ends, Bella nudges Angela, who is still pretty red, and stands up, giggling. "You're such a girl!" Bella teases and winks at her.
Edward comes over and kisses Bella's temple, wrapping his arm over her shoulders. "What did you think?" he asks her softly. Bella nods enthusiastically and wraps her arms around his waist.
"They were amazing," Bella nods. "Seriously. And how did you know about 'The Weight?' That's my favorite song since forever!"
Edward just laughs and shrugs. "I didn't know, not really. I love that song, too, and Jasper's a big softie for it, so—"
Bella looks at Angela and winks. Edward looks between them and notices the blush returning to Angela's cheeks.
"Oh, so Jasper's your favorite?"
"Um, can we not talk about this?" Angela pleads and looks at Bella for help.
"Leave her be," Bella says, pulling herself out of Edward's grasp. "Let's go down and help with the baking. We were supposed to be doing that anyway."
"The boys are down there now, too. When Carlisle gets back, it'll be just like pancakes," Edward smiles to Bella.
Bella rolls her eyes and links arms with Angela, explaining the whole thing on their way downstairs. Edward follows closely behind them, a small strand of Bella's hair wrapped around his fingers as he trails.
When they get into the kitchen, Bella finds that almost everything is already done. There are four or five loaves of bread already cooling, and by the looks of it, two more in the oven. She frowns and sits down at the kitchen island. "I'm so sorry, Esme. We were gonna come down, but I lost track of time."
"No need to apologize, sweetheart. We'll do it again sometime. Although, I was going to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies. You and Angela could help me with that?"
Bella nods and looks to Angela, who looks equally excited about the idea. They get started on the batter, still rehashing memories. Angela tells the family more about Bella and what she was like as a kid, and Esme tells Angela about all the boys.
After the cookies are done, everyone gathers in the living room with a glass of milk and a few freshly baked treats, sitting around the fire. Eventually, Edward yawns, and when Bella looks at the clock, she groans and sits up.
"Time for bed, it seems. Carmen will be here bright and early."
Everyone seems to agree, each of them getting up and heading upstairs. "Angie, your bathroom connects with Edward's room, so if you use it, just lock the door, that way we don't walk in on you," Bella laughs. "All my bath stuff's in there already, so you can use all of it."
Angela nods, saying goodnight to everyone. "See you in the morning, then," she smiles, closing the door behind her.
Edward pulls Bella into their shared room and hugs her tight to his chest. "You're not really tired, are you?" he asks with a mischievous smirk.
They don't go to sleep until much later—with swollen lips and breathless.
In the morning, Carmen arrives with much less fanfare than the last time. Bella isn't as nervous, even though she thinks she probably should be. She greets everyone amicably and settles into the downstairs guest room, allowing the family to wake up. After she unpacks her things, Bella offers to help Esme in the kitchen with breakfast. They all congregate there, Angela sitting next to Emmett, looking just as star struck as the day before.
"You're quiet, kid," Emmett says, nudging her. "I figured someone who is friends with Jellybean would be a little more talkative."
"Leave her alone, Em. She'll be fine after some coffee, right Ang?" Bella asks, handing over a mug full.
Angela nods, gratefully, and sips it slowly. Carmen comes in and takes the seat next to her, introducing herself.
"Everyone knows I'm here just to observe for a week or two. I want to try and gauge the next course of action in Edward's condition. Right now," she turns her attention to the whole room. "I'm kind of impressed. I mean, in the two weeks since I was here, I can see a major improvement with Edward. In sessions, I'd like to dwell on that."
Edward and Bella both nod. As the eggs and bacon are cooked, Bella helps Esme slice up some of the breads from last night and gets everything on the table for a buffet style breakfast.
After everyone eats, Angela offers to help clean up the dishes while Edward and Bella go into the den with Carmen.
"I must say, you look much calmer today, Bella," Carmen smiles. "Is that because your friend is here?"
Bella sighs and thinks about how Carmen just delves right in. "Kind of, I suppose. Though, it's more the fact that you're not going to separate us—Edward and me. That's what had me so worked up that day. That and the shower thing."
"Ah, yes, the shower thing," Carmen nods, looking back through her notes. "Carlisle told me about that. Edward, what was going through your mind when you saw the razor?"
"At first," Edward begins, grabbing Bella's hand. "I was just picking it up to tease Bella about it. It had yellow flowers on it, and I was going to laugh about how girly it was. Then I saw the blade, and it was like a flashback in movies? You know, when there's no sound, and it's just image after image after image."
"Alright, what did you see then?"
"I saw everything I'd done that day during the concert. I saw Bella trying to stop me, and then me turning the weapon back at her. I felt it all over again," he murmurs, looking down at his lap."
"Bella? What did you do when you found him in this state? What would you say it was like?"
"He was completely zoned out," she says, smiling softly at Edward. "The razor was tight in his fist, and he was just staring at it. When I pulled it out of his hands, it slipped. W hen it hit the ground, it was as if the trance was broken. He fell against me. Out cold. I called for Carlisle and Jasper, and they came in and woke him up."
Carmen nods, still scribbling. "Then what?"
"He apologized to me for what he did. I was scared, but relieved that he was okay. When I asked him if he was trying to do it again, he looked so hurt."
"I won't ever do anything like that again," Edward says, looking directly at Bella. "I saw what it did to everyone. I won't ever do that again."
Stopping them with a raised hand, Carmen says, "This sounds almost—and don't take my word on it right now, I still have a lot of research to do, mind you—almost like what the experts call, 'The Trigger.' Although, we don't have any experience with this, at this stage, it's just theoretical."
"Um, what?" Bella asks. "What does that mean?"
"'The Trigger' is the final stage of Superman Complex, Bella. No patient has ever gotten that far, that we know of, of course," she explains. "Theoretically, doctors have theorized that if the patient finds something that ties in the event to his present, that the disorder can be completely eradicated."
"Eradicated how?" Edward asks.
"Simple therapy and sure will," Carmen says. "Like I said, I have a lot of research to do, but from the sound of it, that event might just be what I think it is." She pauses for a second and writes down another little note.
"Bella, how was Edward after the event? Was he different in any way?"
"No—" Bella stops. "Wait, yes. I thought it was because you were coming, like he was putting on a face, but—but he did change. It was like he was back to being himself. The way he is now. How I think he was before the accident."
"Like he was before the attempted suicide?" Carmen asks. "Or before the shower incident?"
"Before the suicide," Bella says. "Mind you, I didn't know him, but he's much more confident, and he acts much more independently now, right?" she asks and looks at Edward. "Do you think so?"
"I don't really know," Edward shrugs. "I think so, I guess. But it's been a long time since I've felt like me again. I feel like the old me. Before the drugs. Before the band."
Carmen looks at him before scratching down another note. "Have you ever thought about going back to your life before all this? Do you think the stress of your fame has forced your hand a little?"
"Yeah, the stress was hard, and it built up and up and up," Edward nods. "But I can't just stop, you know? I love the music, I just—I wish—"
"What?" Bella asks. "What do you wish?"
"That we didn't have to tour and promote, and go out all the time. I like the music, I just hate the events," he says, breathing out a long exhale. "Whoa, it feels good to say that out loud," he smiles.
Bella laughs at him and rests her head on his shoulder.
Carmen nods. "I'd actually recommend that you take more time off. If you go back out at all, to tour, to promote, to travel, I'd say you take a good three to five years off."
Bella looks surprised. "Wait, why so long?"
"An event like this doesn't just go away, and if I'm right, Edward has been feeling depressed for much longer than he let on," she says, looking at Edward, who shrugs. "It's okay, Edward. That type of life isn't for everyone. Agents and producers, they aren't out there for your health, they're there for profit."
"So you think he should retire?" Bella asks.
"I'm asking him to take a long break, and until I research 'the Trigger,' I'd like him to keep an open mind about how his life will be if he doesn't go back at all."
"I can't just do that to Emmett and Jasper," Edward says. "And the fans. No way!"
Bella tightens her hand around his. "This is about you, Edward, not anyone else."
"Let me ask you, Edward," Carmen says. "You're almost thirty. Where do you see yourself in five years? Married? Family? Touring?"
Edward looks at Carmen curiously.
"You don't have to answer right now, Edward, just think it over. I'll meet with you guys again, tomorrow, and hopefully, we'll both have some answers."
Edward nods, and Bella smiles.
"Bella, you should also think about this. Your entire life has been turned upside down in three months. Can you go back to your life—the way it was? What will you be doing in five years?"
She leaves the question in the air as she starts to close her notebook. "That's all for today. I'll be observing everything around the house, but you don't have to worry about me being around. Honestly, it's more of a personal visit than professional. I haven't spent time with Esme for far too long," Carmen confides, winking at them both. "You can go."
a/n: This project is kind of my baby. The term "Superman Complex" (AS USED BY ME) is completely my own fabricated diagnosis. I have no medical background. Special thanks to the-glory-days, as always, for kicking me in the ass every time I stop writing. Updates will be few and far between, but because they're so much longer than my other chapter updates, I hope that's all right with you guys.
LIVEJOURNAL: cevuplay LJ
Reviews are appreciated. I'd love to hear your feedback :]