Edited as of September 2010 to include a few more things.
Just a warning. Don't read this if the characters in Twilight never get on your nerves a little. Let me explain.
Bella was really annoying me, because she never explained anything fully to Edward, so she left him thinking she was silly and didn't make sense. Edward was annoying me because he wasn't behaving very logically, and he never thought his fears for Bella through. He was behaving like a drip, and I thought that since he was so dead set against Bella becoming a vampire, the least she could do was actually explain herself and her reasons for what she wanted.
The annoyance got to the point where, desperate to 'fix' this (at least in my mind) I was starting to imagine how I would have handled the situation. That's when I realised it was probably time to write something before I went insane. Something to lay Bella's and Edward's ghosts (and my mind!) at rest.
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight. That much is evident because if I did… Actually, let's not get into that right now.
Lay These Ghosts to Rest
It was a hot summer's night. But that was fine with me. Actually, it was much, much more than fine, because tonight it was definitely hot enough for Edward to lie beside me with no blanket between us. I had gone to bed early, in fact, just to be near him like this for longer. We talked and talked for as long as I could stand, enjoying the moments we had, until finally I had to close my eyes and he held me as I slipped into sleep. My dreams were uneasy.
I was woken three hours later by the slight creak of bedsprings and the sudden absence of Edward's cool skin on mine. My eyes opened slowly. I watched him sleepily as he went to the window.
He stared out of it for what seemed ages, his skin luminescent in the moonlight (reflected sunlight, I reminded myself), and I wondered what he could see. From the bed, all I percieved was a surprisingly dark sky, softened by the many scattered moonbeams in the air, and just below, what might be treetops. The tiny amount that I could see of the scene outside was beautiful. No doubt, standing where he was, for Edward, it was a wonderland out there.
I wondered what he was thinking about as he stood there, so silent and still. There were so many things I didn't understand. Come to think of it, there were so many things he didn't understand. For a hundred-year-old vampire, and one who could read minds at that, there was a lot he just didn't get. I flung myself free of the clawing, sticky sheets, moved onto my front, and rested my face on my arm, where I wondered if he just hadn't paid enough attention to the world to know.
Edward was instantly back at my side, a cool hand lightly resting on my arm.
"Bella?" he whispered, unsure if I was awake.
"Just a minute, Edward. I need to think. No, don't leave—" as he drew back slightly "—stay with me. I just want to think, that's all." I found his hand with my free one, and he settled back onto the bed.
"I never know what you're thinking," he muttered, disgruntled.
"I never know what anyone's thinking," I told him back.
"Is it?" I asked him, my voice muffled by the pillow. He didn't reply to that.
We sat in silence for a long time, his fingers tracing delicate patterns on my skin, making me shiver despite the stifling heat, as I contemplated my life. I knew he'd been dead for so long before he found me. I, however, hadn't. Up until now, I had had a totally human life, and fresh in my mind were some things that he no longer had knowledge of-how humans thought, for one thing.
I knew some things he didn't. The realisation was stunning.
Even more stunning was the realisation that I'd never told him any of this. I'd always treated him as though he was on exactly the same wavelength as I. When, in reality, he wasn't. Hindsight pointed out that it was stupid of me to think that Edward would see the world in exactly the same way as I did. He'd had experiences I'd never had, but, having to protect himself and his family, being alone, he'd never let himself really feel. And so, though it was nowhere near his fault, he didn't understand.
He didn't understand that I'd grown up in the past months; I'd thought about life and death and everything in between them more than ever. I'd pondered my options until I was finally certain, and then I had pondered some more. The problem was, Edward knew nothing about how I had matured, or about how I had come to my decisions, the decisions he fought so hard against. Because I had never told him my reasons for deciding them. And so he didn't understand why I always told him that some things didn't matter to me. Though it wasn't his fault, he just didn't understand.
He didn't understand that I'd not only chosen him, and loved him, but I had also chosen to love him: a powerful choice. That I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, with my teenaged-going-on-thirty-five mind, that I would want him forever, because I would choose to. And though that choice I loved him with a deeper love. This love could overcome the pain of losing my family, my friends, my old life, my humanity.
It was a risk, but so many choices in life were. And if I never stepped out now, I might not step out at all.
A life without Edward: who could imagine it?
He didn't seem to know that, far from being careless, I might worry about the ultimate future, because once I died, I knew that he would, too. That a shadow, the knowledge that I would be the cause of Edward's death and his doom, forever hung over me. One day, we would both die, and it would be my fault.
He didn't understand that when I looked at him I never saw the monster he was convinced of being, but instead seeing the beautiful nature inside of him. That I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he must have a soul. He didn't see himself properly, but I did. I'd seen his good side and his bad side. I'd seen how deep his love and care for me ran, that he wanted my happiness so much that, however painful it would be for him, he would let me go if I so wished (though of course, that was completely out of the question). I'd seen his worry and his struggle—I'd experienced it for myself when he'd sucked James' venom out of my hand—and I'd seen his triumph over it, again and again and again. Every time he let himself be in my company without harming me was another time that he was victorious. Edward Cullen didn't realise how much he underestimated himself; for him, the restraint was probably normal by now.
Most of all, he didn't realise that I had freely chosen his way of life, that I knew what it would cost me, and had chosen, nonetheless. He didn't understand that I knew all of the risks involved in it, and I had made my decision anyway. That I deserved to live my life the way I chose. That love was about sacrifice, and that I would freely choose to sacrifice the small things of a human life, that I loved him enough even to go through the pain of separation from my family, and the pain of changing. He didn't know, never had known, really, that he couldn't stop me from experiencing any pain, ever, of any sort, that I could, would, and had to face these things, if I was to gain him, the final prize, and gain him fully.
Because what he didn't know was that, even though these things would hurt bitterly, losing him would, for me, be the worst pain of all.
And why didn't he know? Because I had never told him.
What I hadn't understood until now was that our view of life, like our view out of my bedroom window had been a second ago, was different. And neither of us had tried to bridge the ever-widening gap between us.
I'd never persisted in trying to make him understand my reasons for choosing him—when he disagreed with me, I'd always shaken my head and sighed and tried to forget about it. And what was worse, I'd tried to make him forget about his reservations, but all the while, underneath and undealt with, his worries were growing stronger and stronger inside of him.
And it was my fault, for expecting him to read my mind.
I loved him. I was determined to fix this. Before it was too late. Before we were both unhappy. I moved my head so that I could look at him.
"Edward," I said softly.
"Yes?" His voice was anxious. He had been patient, and it was killing him.
I took a deep breath. "Will you take it the wrong way, if, first of all, I tell you I'm sorry?"
"Why are you sorry, Bella?" His voice was almost amused, but I knew him well enough to be able to detect the instant worry he felt.
I sat up, and leaned into his side. He automatically put an arm around me, and I looked up at his face, told him I loved him, and began.
Edward Cullen was silent for a long, long time. Then finally:
I didn't understand. "What?"
"You win, Bella. You get to become a vampire."
"I can't argue with you," he continued while I sat in shock, "though I'd prefer that…"
I found my tongue. "I know what I'm getting into," I reminded him.
"You do." I could tell he wasn't happy with my choice, but there was nothing he could do about it. He had, after all, given his word.
It would take time, a lot of time, but Edward would come round. At least, that's what I was resigning myself to—after all, he had already come this far towards accepting what I had to say, something I couldn't quite believe. But then he did something totally unexpected—he pulled me close and kissed my forehead.
"However, I really am very angry with you, Bella," he murmured, but there was a laugh in his voice.
"Why?" I asked, suddenly apprehensive, though in a good way.
"Because I can see I'm going to have to find out who you are all over again, and it's going to be way too much fun." He kissed me again, this time, enthusiastically. I laughed as quietly as I could, trying not to wake Charlie. Apparently the heat of the night was too good to waste—he didn't want to argue.
Maybe it wouldn't take that much time…
It took a while before I was satisfied enough to post this. Even now I'm not sure if it's okay. I mean, would Edward, having everything spelled out to him, relent that way? Or would he still go all 'I Will Never Vampirise You Bella' and moody? I'm not sure. I do like the ending, but I'm not sure if it fits.
Again, thanks for reading, and for putting up with my little rant :). I'm all in a good mood again, after writing that.
Updated A/N: I've edited this, adding in soul discussion, etc, because this story's been hanging over my head for over a year now, and I hate unfinished things. I just want to say that I'm not sure I agree with the themes of this story anymore, like Bella sneaking around behind her Dad's back, and choosing to become a frozen at such a young age, and other stuff-but I'm leaving it up anyway. I guess it's an exercise in writing from a different POV.