DC: I don't own it
Summary: AUAH. A rainy night took Carlisle's wife from him, leaving him to raise his newborn twins. Edward and Alice adore their father beyond anything in the world and just want him to be happy. The desire to provide a better life sends Carlisle back to school to get his degree. But he didn't count on Esme Platt, the beautiful girl in his class that has her own tortured past. I fail at summaries.
It was rainy. Carlisle normally didn't mind the rain but he hated driving in it. He heard a sigh beside him and glanced over. His wife shifted a little.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
"I'm fine," she replied gently, "they're just getting active."
Carlisle pulled to a stop light and looked over at her. He adored her so completely. She smiled at him and tucked some of her bronze hair behind her ear. Carlisle reached over and put a hand on her large stomach. Sure enough a small foot nudged his hand. "Any day now. You're due Saturday right?"
"I can't wait," she admitted. "I want to see them! Oh I'll bet Edward will look just like you!"
"Haha probably," Carlisle laughed, "you and your recessive genes."
Elizabeth laughed and nodded. "I wonder if Alice will look like me."
"Oh probably," Carlisle said as the light turned green. He always waited a second or two for any stragglers before going.
"Any greener and it'll grow," Elizabeth teased. Carlisle gave her a look and proceeded into the intersection. She always teased him about his overly cautious driving habits that had become even more cautious when she was pregnant.
Tires screeched and a horn blasted. Carlisle had only a moment to react before something hit them hard on the side. Elizabeth screamed in surprise and Carlisle jerked the wheel as they started spinning. There were two more crashes after that. Carlisle's head collided with first the window then the wheel. His vision blurred and his head ached.
"Liz..." he mumbled, tasting blood on his tongue. Sirens blared in the distance. His body felt like lead. He reached over and felt his wife beside him. He could barely make her out, his vision was foggy and his head was spinning. She was laying back against her seat bleeding but he couldn't make out from where. His thoughts turned to the babies before he slipped into darkness.
It was light out when Carlisle woke up. He had a tube connected to his arm and cords on his chest. He looked around quickly and saw that the room was empty. He pushed the call button and a nurse came in shortly.
"Ah Mr. Cullen you're awake."
"Where am I?!"
"St. Peter's Hospital," the nurse said. "Dr. Harvey will be with you in a moment."
Carlisle had no choice but to stay still and let her do her work. The nurse left after taking his vitals and a comforting message that the doctor would be with him in a moment. Carlisle didn't take much comfort in it. He needed to know where his wife was and if she was okay! He needed to know if the children were okay! Had they been born? They were developed enough to survive outside of her womb as her due date was two days away. He wanted to know who had hit them initially and what else he had crashed into. He looked quickly at the time and saw it was early. He grabbed the remote by his bed and turned the t.v on.
"In other news a horrible car accident has hospitalized three people."
"Ah, Mr. Cullen," the doctor said walking in. He turned off the television and walked up to Carlisle's bed. "You were admitted with some bruises and a broken arm, but you seem to be doing fine. You'll be released within the hour."
"Where is Lizzy? Is she safe? What's going on?!"
"Mr. Cullen I'm sorry but your wife passed over the night," Dr. Harvey said grimly. "There was too much trauma to her body and..."
Carlisle drifted out. His Lizzy was dead. How was this possible? She was the strong one in the relationship. When they were in elementary school she used to beat up the bullies that picked on him! She was brilliant and beautiful. She was pregnant! What kind of god takes a pregnant woman?! Carlisle put his hands to his head and curled up. This wasn't happening. It was all a horrible dream. Some kind of premonition that he could control, like in that cheesy horror movie she made him watch the other night. He expected to flash back to the car at the stop light with greater knowledge of the future. It was silly but he was in no mood to be rational.
"Luckily we were able to save your children."
Carlisle perked up. His children? They were okay?! He pulled the cords off of his chest and jumped up. "Where are they?"
"They're in the nursery, I'll..."
Carlisle ran out of the room before the doctor could finish. He followed the signs and found the maternity ward. He came up to the large window that showed the infants. Carlisle put his hands on the glass and searched for his babies. The nurse let him into the room and took him to two cradles.
"A boy and a girl," she said.
Carlisle looked at the two babies. His daughter, Alice, was awake. She was looking at her brother with partially opened eyes. Carlisle reached down and touched her soft dark hair. She turned her head. Her cheeks were pink and chubby. She was wrapped in a neutral colored blanket. One small pink fist was poking out of the blanket. Her little fingers flexed and balled again. She had kicked one small foot out of the blanket. It was covered in a small white sock. Carlisle reached in and took the baby into his arms. She turned her head towards him and looked up with narrow eyes. He knew it would be a while before they were completely open and sparkling but they were still pretty.
"Alice," he murmured. In the cradle beside hers, little Edward was waking up from his slumber. Carlisle put his daughter down and turned to meet his son for the first time. "Edward."
His hair was bronze like his mother's. Carlisle's eyes welled with tears and with a sad breath he lifted his son. Like his sister he had very small pink fists that opened and closed off and on. Carlisle thought it was kind of sweet. The babies were still getting used to themselves. Edward yawned and kicked one foot lazily. He was wearing a simple pair of pajamas and socks. He looked so sweet that it made it even harder for Carlisle to look at him. Lizzy would have loved them. She did love them. Carlisle put his son back in the cradle and looked at the two babies. How was he going to care for them? It wasn't like they came with manuals. Lizzy was the one that knew what to do having helped raise her siblings.
Carlisle sighed and went to find a phone.
"I know things are hard right now," his mom said as they walked into the house.
"Mom Lizzy is dead! She isn't coming back! We were barely ready for the babies as it was! But I can't handle twins! I can't do this!"
"You can do this," his mother said, walking into the small bedroom in which Carlisle and Elizabeth had managed to squeeze two cribs and a dresser. Packages of diapers were stacked up in the corner. Carlisle looked at them and realized that the babies would go through all of them by the end of the month tops. His mother was making Alice comfortable in her new crib. Carlisle looked at the baby monitors on the dresser just waiting to be used. How often did he have to change the batteries if they were always on? How much would those cost?! They were going to be drinking formula. At maximum they would feed twelve times every twenty four hours. One bottle for every hour! They had counted way too much on Liz being able to nurse them for the first six months at least to a year that they didn't budget for formula. They only had six bottles and that was because they were a gift at the baby shower! They hadn't planned on needing them! From Carlisle's research he also found that babies peed six times or more per day and pooed about four times per day when they were getting enough milk. That meant at a guess, that was ten diapers each. Twenty diapers a day. Forty diapers per pack. Thirty packs. That was more than Carlisle could count at the moment! His breath was getting thinner and thinner and his heart was racing. How in the world was he going to handle this?! They had counted on the dual income! He worked as a file clerk downtown! He made 27,000 a year! He had twins!
Edward was snatched from Carlisle's arms as he fell to ground unable to breathe. He was slipping into a full blown panic attack. He was crying and trying to hard to breathe. Lizzy was supposed to be here to help him! He wasn't supposed to be alone. But he was. His mother could help but only for so long. What about when he went back to work? His parents were retired and had agreed a month ago that they would babysit during the day but what about night? He wouldn't get to sleep ever! He didn't know how he was going to handle this.
"Baby deep breaths," his mother coached. "In and out Carly, come on breathe with me."
"I need air," Carlisle gasped. He stumbled out the front door and fell against the railing. He made his way to the stairs and sat down.
"Hey Carlisle what's up?"
It was one of his neighbors. A recently divorced bartender named Bill with a smoking problem. He was leaning against the wall with a cigarette in one hand and the other in his pocket.
"Nightmare," Carlisle mumbled running a hand through his hair.
"What happened to your arm?"
"Car wreck," he mumbled.
"Shit," Bill muttered around his cigarette. "You okay?" he asked as he blew the smoke.
Carlisle started to cry again. Bill shifted awkwardly. He patted him nervously on the shoulder. "Shit, your kids...?"
"Healthy," Carlisle sobbed, "I have twins and my wife is dead."
Bill shifted. He offered Carlisle a cigarette. Carlisle wasn't much of a smoker. He had in high school as a rebellious move but quit. He took the cigarette and Bill lit it for him. It reminded him of happier times. High school. He hadn't been the most popular kid in school but he wasn't the most unpopular. He just blended in. He had a network of friends that he loved and best of all he had Lizzy. They had started dating their junior year. He liked to selfishly think that the babies were a blessing in a secret way. Their arrival in Lizzy's life kept her from going off to California for college. It kept him from facing an undeclared major at the University of Illinois. His dad wanted him to become a lawyer.
"Don't worry about it," Bill said, "you're young and full of energy. Us old guys have to worry about keeping up with kids. Besides you're a damn genius. I'm sure you'll figure something out. Sorry I can't be more comforting."
"You're fine," Carlisle mumbled, blowing some smoke.
"I'm off to work. But let me know if you need anything."
Carlisle nodded and waved as he left. He would probably never take Bill up on his offer. The man was nice and all but Carlisle shuddered at the thought of him with kids, especially having seen his own child. He sighed heavily. Lizzie had always liked the smell of smoke. Her parents had worked in a bar and a restaurant so they always smelled like it. Carlisle hated the smell himself but he had to admit sometimes it made him feel good. He flicked it down and stomped out the ashes.
"Carlisle Cullen you were smoking," his mother said the moment he came back in.
"I was talking with Bill, he smokes."
"And you had one," his mother pressed. She raised one blonde eyebrow and Carlisle held his hands up.
"You caught me. I had the smoke that he offered me. I'm going to take a shower."
"Wrap your cast," his mother snapped throwing saran wrap at him. She hated it when he smoked and had forcibly made him quit. "Just remember dear you're a father now and you can't keep doing silly things to piss off your own!"
"Mom can you please just let me take a shower and figure out my next move!"
"Well your next move is crying for milk!" his mom said shrilly.
"My next move is crying because you woke him or her up!"
"If you didn't smell like an ash tray I'd make you go feed them. Wash up boy!"
Carlisle rolled his eyes and shut the bathroom door. He turned on the water and while he waited for it to warm up he angrily wrapped his cast. He sealed it with waterproof tape and stepped into the shower stall. The water was the same as always. Low pressure and when a neighbor flushed their toilet he felt it. He washed his hair and winced as the water ran over the cut on his forehead. He closed his eyes but when he did he saw Lizzy smiling at him in the dark car and blood seeping down her face.
Angrily Carlisle rubbed himself down with soap and washed off. He let the water flow over him. Usually it brought him comfort. He heard the pitter patter of water on the plastic and looked at his cast. It was a boring white cast that his mother signed. How was it that he, the useless one in the relationship, survived with some bumps, bruises and a broken arm while Lizzy, the one that was cool and calm and ready for motherhood, died.
In the kitchen Mary Cullen was feeding her granddaughter. "You're such a pretty baby," she cooed as she rocked softly. "Pretty baby with a healthy appetite."
Mary looked up towards the bathroom and winced when she heard what sounded like a shampoo bottle bounced off of the wall. She looked down at Alice and sighed. "Your daddy is going insane. That happens sometimes when they have sex and get babies at nineteen. So remember precious, never have sex."
"FUCK SHIT BALLS! KISS MY ASS GOD! KISS IT! KISS IT THEN PISS OF!"
"Oh lord my son is a heathen!" Mary cried. "CARLISLE CULLEN YOU TAKE THAT BACK RIGHT NOW!"
"YOU TOO MOM! YOU TOO!"
"See when he was a little boy your daddy was a sweet little angel," Mary said sitting on the sofa with the baby, beside her feet Edward slept in a carrier. "He went to high school and hung out with the wrong people and now he's only got a high school degree and working in a dead end job that he hates. But don't worry little angels you have Nana to keep you normal."
"Mom you know I can hear you right?" Carlisle growled as he walked out of the bathroom to his room.
"Oh hello son," Mary said pleasantly. "Did I interrupt your denouncing our Lord and Savior?"
"Yes, mom, you heard me denounce the spiteful deity that took my Lizzy from me and her children."
"And left your children in perfect health when they probably should have died too. Imagine that."
"Mom I am in no mood to find a silver lining," Carlisle snapped from his room. He angrily pulled on his sweats and a t-shirt and came out. There was a bottle waiting for Edward and Carlisle took it. He held his son and offered him the bottle. Edward took it quickly enough and started sucking.
"I hope you're ready for this."
"Don't worry I'm not," Carlisle assured her. Edward looked up at him with sleepy eyes and Carlisle couldn't help but smile sadly at him. He was a cute little thing.
He couldn't sleep. Every time he tried he saw Lizzie and woke up sweating. So when he heard restless mumbles over the baby monitor he walked into the baby's room and saw that Edward was quite awake. He smiled at the boy and picked him up. He walked out into the living room so as not to disturb his daughter and took a seat in the easy chair. Edward was starting to open up. He wasn't smiling yet but his eyes were wide and curious and he was reaching for things. He had his mother's eyes. They had been wrong after all, Edward looked more like his mother.
"I'm not going to be a good dad," Carlisle said, tapping Edward's palm with one finger. The baby grabbed the tip of Carlisle's finger and wouldn't let go. "I didn't want this. I mean you're a sweetheart, don't get me wrong, and I love you dearly but I'm not grown up material."
Edward looked at his hand, seeming curious as to what it was. He started to suck on it and Carlisle knew it was feeding time.
"See kid, I spent all of my high school career running away from who my dad wanted me to be. My teens were all a rebellious streak. I hated when that old man started trying to tell me how to change into a better person."
He heated up the bottle after putting in the right amount of formula.
"I'm going to tell you this right now," Carlisle said, shifting Edward to his unbroken arm. "You'll meet him later and you'll see, the man is an asshole. Pardon my language. I mean the man makes a living spinning stories."
The bottle was done and Carlisle checked the warmth, then he let it cool for a few minutes. Alice would be awake wanting hers no doubt. Carlisle put Edward in the carrier in the living room to go check. Sure enough Alice was awake and sucking on her hand. Carlisle sighed and picked her up. She made a noise when he did so and kept sucking on her fingers. He put her in the other carrier and went to fix her bottle.
When they were both done Carlisle returned and sat between the carriers. He held the bottles for the babies and they took them. He wasn't sure if feeding babies in carriers was safe but how couldn't it be? Besides, it was better than trying to balance them on his lap. Twins was a horrible horrible idea.
But they were so darn cute. Alice was going to break a lot of hearts, Carlisle was sure of that already. She had his beautiful blue eyes, clear, watery and captivating. Her hair was dark like his mother-in-law's. She had plump red lips that would surely last into her adulthood. Carlisle sighed when a dribble of formula went down her chin. He would have to get that later. He looked over at Edward who was sucking happily on his bottle. He had stronger features somehow. Carlisle felt a little smug when he thought about how his children would probably be like their mother as teenagers, beautiful and popular.
Alice finished her bottle first. She was a fast eater, Carlisle decided. Edward seemed to like to take his time. That was probably going to get a bit annoying later. Carlisle put Edward's bottle down, ignoring the protest from the baby, and lifted Alice. He put her gently against his shoulder where he had remembered to put a towel, and patted her back until she burped.
"Good girl," he praised as he set her back down. He picked up the bottle and gave it back to Edward. "Here you're highness," he sighed.
Edward shut up the minute he had the bottle back and went back to happily sucking on it. Carlisle reached over and rubbed Alice's tummy gently with his hand. He didn't know if it was doing anything but he felt fidgety. Alice seemed to appreciate it because just before Edward finished his bottle she drifted off to sleep. Carlisle smiled at her and patted her small head.
It was Edward's turn to be burped. Carlisle held him against his shoulder and patted his back. Edward's burp came out the southern end and Carlisle grumbled. He pulled the baby back and looked at him. "Are we going to have problems?" he asked.
Edward drooled a little. Carlisle wiped it away and gathered Alice sloppily into his arm, waking her up. She wasn't happy about that. She let out a shrill cry that scared Edward so he cried too. Carlisle joined them. He put Alice in her crib and Edward on the floor on an old towel.
"You kids...I don't know what I'm going to do...I can't handle two of you!"
Carlisle took off Edward's diaper and sighed. He marked off on a chart that Edward had gone number two. Carlisle was wondering about number one as he was cleaning Edward's messy bottom when it came. Carlisle couldn't do much but sit in shock and be peed on. Alice was still crying. The added smell told him that she had now voided her bowls and was sitting in her own filth. Babies were cute but so disgusting. Carlisle decided that. He grabbed Alice and, very annoyed, took her diaper off. She had peed where she was supposed to. She was going to be the good child.
He marked down her stats too and cleaned them both. He sprinkled some baby powder on them both and put new diapers on. They were only a few days old and already he was at the end of his rope. They were going to drive him insane. He bid each of them sweet dreams (wondering what they would dream about) and walked out, peeling his shirt off. He threw it into the hamper in the bathroom and washed his face and chest off. He looked at his reflection in the mirror. Messy milky blonde hair was hanging over exhausted blue eyes. He was getting dark rings under his eyes. When was the last time he smiled? He tried to force one and it failed. He felt even worse than before.
Carlisle was asleep on the couch when his mother arrived. She smiled and pulled a blanket over him. She tucked a monitor into her back pocket and proceeded to take Carlisle's laundry from the hamper and into the small nook where they had crammed a washer and dryer. She started a load and went to make breakfast, including two bottles for the twins.
Carlisle awoke when he heard the sound of bacon. He perked up a little. Lizzy loved bacon! It was one of her cravings while she was pregnant. Carlisle jumped up and ran to the kitchen.
He stopped when his mother looked at him. His face fell and he sighed. "Oh, hey mom."
"Come here muffin," Mary said holding her arms out. Carlisle walked up to her and she hugged him. She was shorter than him by a foot at least but Carlisle didn't care right then. He started to cry again. His mother rubbed soothing circles on his back. "There, there baby it's okay. Let it out."
"Why her? Why did I just get out of it with a broken arm?"
"Sometimes things just happen in ways we don't plan," Mary said gently, "honey I can't tell you how it broke my heart when we lost your brother. Sometimes I still ask god why he took my son. Carlisle I can promise you that this will pass. You'll find love again and you'll recover. I have faith in you. But you have to remember that you have children now. You have to put them first."
"Mom I can't do this. I can't raise both of them!"
"Yes you can," Mary said with a smile, "I believe in you Carly. Now your son is crying. Or maybe it's your daughter. Either way one of them is crying now go get them."
Carlisle nodded and went into the baby's room where both of his children were screaming their lungs out.
Carlisle was happy when his cast came off. He made it home, still rotating his arm to get used to using it again. When he got home his mother left after making dinner for him and Carlisle was alone. He walked into the small bedroom where the babies slept. They were cute little things. Alice looked at him with sweet eyes and he smiled. He reached down and tickled her lightly. She squirmed and smiled. He heard Edward coo from his crib and he gathered him up too.
He set the babies in their carriers and laid beside them. Edward fussed and Carlisle sighed. He took his son out of the carrier and set him on his stomach. Edward grabbed a bit of Carlisle's shirt in one small fist and felt it. Carlisle chuckled, sending ripples through his stomach and causing Edward to move. The boy froze and Carlisle laughed again. At almost two months Carlisle was starting to see his children's personalities show through.
Edward was curious and cautious. He had to make sure he knew exactly what was going on at every moment. Carlisle figured that his son would probably be the bookish type. Edward released his fist full of Carlisle's shirt and reached for his face. Carlisle chuckled again and held his hand up for his son to grab. Edward's little fingers grabbed Carlisle's and he squeezed it.
Alice whined and Carlisle let her out. He put her on his chest where she curled up and grabbed Edward's hand. Carlisle laughed when she started to suck on her brother's fingers. Edward whined and pulled his hand away.
"Now now you two."
Carlisle held them and curled onto his side. He let them lay on the floor beside him. Edward was grabbed his sister's pajamas and Alice was curling up for a nap. Carlisle poked Alice lightly on the back of the head and she looked around. He tapped her forehead and she whimpered and squirmed. Her blue eyes scanned the room and she yawned. As she did her little fingers stretched.
"Tired baby girl?" he asked.
Edward curled up as well and yawned. He laid on his back and stared groggily up at him. Carlisle stroked his cheek lightly with the back of his finger. He smoothed Edward's ever thickening hair and smiled.
"I love you two so much," Carlisle murmured. "I'm going to make you two happy. Nothing will happen as long as I'm around."
Somehow he was going to find a way to survive without Lizzy. He loved his children so dearly and he would get them the life they deserved. He just had to figure out how.