Yeah, so I have no real excuse for not updating this for a month. *cringes* Don't hurt me!! Just remember that I AM NOT GIVING UP ON THIS STORY!! I WILL continue working on this. :)

Also, I just got the new Paramore CD, and it is AMAZING!!! I love it lots. ^^ And there are only 17 days until New Moon!! *insert scream here*

Disclaimer: I solemnly swear I do not own Twilight. (and that I am up to no good. XD)


I woke up, hearing loud thuds from downstairs.

"Rose? Do you hear that?" I asked tentatively as I rose and began the trek towards her room.

When I looked inside, she was nowhere to be seen. "Weird…" I muttered, throwing on a coat and walking outside.

I heard thumps coming from the alley between my apartment building and our neighboring building and started walking towards it, wishing fervently that I had brought the pepper spray Charlie made me take when I moved here.

I gasped when I saw it. Royce, Rosalie's boyfriend, was currently beating the crap out of someone against the wall of our apartment. I looked harder, trying to determine who it was.

Oh my God…It was Rosalie! Rosalie… I started to run towards him, furious, but was brushed aside by something larger, muscular, and heavy. It ran up to Royce and threw him away from Rose, making a loud crunching noise as he crumpled to the ground. It muttered "Shit…" and ran to Rosalie and crouched besides me as I cried, staring at Rose's crumpled figure.

"Bella! Pull it together. Help me get her to the hospital." I knew that voice…

"Emmett?" I questioned, looking up at him. I had thought that the immense strength had been something mystical, like Hercules, not human. I couldn't imagine such strength belonging to a human. I also noticed his blood red eyes, seeming to darken in fury as I watched him.

He muttered again and told me to look away. "Why?" I asked.

"I don't want you to see this. Listen, I'll explain later, but right now, I have to do something before I run out. Just…look away. You don't look at me like a monster, and I don't want that to change. Can you go get a car?" I shook my head.

"I won't be able to lift her into it." I decided to forgo the millions of questions running through my mind to help Rosalie.

"Damn. Okay, well can you pull it up here? I should be done by then, and I'll help you lift her. I don't suppose you'd be fine with leaving the douche bag here?" he jerked a thumb at Royce, who was starting to stare at us.

I shook my head again. "I hate him, always have, but I can't leave him. I couldn't live with myself if I did." My dad was a cop, after all.

"Shoulda known. Anyone who would bring us three into their apartment wouldn't leave someone to rot in an alley. You're too good for this city." He patted me on my shoulder companionably, and turned.

I shrugged and turned, going to get Rosalie's car. I would have taken my car, but I was willing to break a few traffic laws to get Rose to the hospital, and had no chance of that in my car. As a bonus, it might be easier to get her into the car, since it was a convertible.

I drove it up to the alley, almost blocking the way out, and heard a flurry of thuds. I winced, and, hoping I was wrong, I looked out the window to see Emmett pounding Royce. I sighed, knowing that that was what I was going to find. However, I couldn't bring myself to blame him, knowing that, if I had had the guts, or the strength, I would have done the same.

"Emmett? I need help with Rose. And if you can knock him out, that'd be nice. I can't stand to listen to him the whole way to the hospital." I decided that I would just ignore what I had seen, and hope it wouldn't come back to bite me.

He looked at me in shock, and I shrugged. He grinned happily and punched him one last time before letting him fall to the ground. He then turned to Rose and picked her up gently and laid her tenderly on the backseat. He brushed the hair out of her face and turned around, scowling.

"Where's he gonna go?"

I sighed. "No idea. I wish he could go in the trunk, but its too small, and I'm pretty sure that I would have to explain that to the police that showed up when I drive into the hospital with a knocked out, bruised man in my trunk."

"Front seat?"

"I really don't want him next to me. What if the douche-baggery rubs off on me?" I joked. "How about the floor next to Rose? They're both knocked out…and Rosalie's already been exposed."

He dragged him to the car and, right before he slammed him in, realized that he might hit Rosalie, and sighed. He held him a few inches over the floor, and dropped him in, making sure he didn't get anywhere near Rosalie.

I started the car again, and he closed the door. "Well, see you soon? Maybe… Listen, I know that Rosalie would want me to do this. This is her number. Call her later? Preferably after she's out of the hospital." I wrote it down on a napkin and gave it to a shocked Emmett, and he waved as I pulled out.

I thought hard as I drove to the hospital - someplace I frequently visited - about what I would tell the police that would inevitably show up once I got there.

I decided that I would say I woke up, hearing something. Since I couldn't find my roommate, I went outside by myself to check on it. I saw my roommate being beaten by her now-ex boyfriend and got a muscular passerby - a stranger - to help me break it up. He had to punch Royce to subdue him, since he wouldn't stop. He helped me into the car, and left. I never got any information on him.

Most of that was the truth, with only a few lies. I should be able to pull that off. And I would just have to hope that they didn't ask about all the other bruises on his body.

I pulled in front of the hospital's emergency room, and called my doctor.

"Doctor Cullen speaking."

"Hey Carlisle, this is Bella. I'm in front of the emergency room in a red convertible."

"Bella? What did you do now?"

"Nothing. My roommate, Rosalie Hale, and her ex-boyfriend are hurt. I can't get them out of the car myself. Could you hurry?"

I could hear him running towards the emergency room. "Did you move them at all, other than to get them into the car?"

"No." I winced, thinking of Emmett dropping Royce into the car.

"Okay, I'll be right out with two gurneys and some doctors. Can you get out of the car so I can find you?"

I nodded, then spoke, realizing he couldn't see me. "Sure." I hung up and got out of the car, watching the doors.

I saw them coming, four doctors talking frantically to each other and two gurneys.

"Bella?" Carlisle asked. "Why didn't you just call 911?"

"I panicked…I just wanted to get them here as quickly as possible." It was the truth. It had never occurred to me to call the ambulance.

"Listen, we'll take it from here. Esme's in the emergency room waiting for you. Go to her, and I'll call when we find out what's wrong with your friends."

"Actually, only one of them is my friend. Rosalie, my roommate, was beaten by Royce, her soon to be ex-boyfriend, and that's why they're here. Someone walking by helped me separate them, and had to knock Royce out. You should probably keep them apart when they wake up. Rose will be furious. She might hurt him."

"Okay Bella. Don't worry, she'll be fine. Just go to Esme." He pushed me gently to the door, and I stumbled.

"Oops, sorry Bella."

"No problem doc, happens all the time." I walked towards the door, looking for the comfort that is Esme. I never understood how she could be so motherly without being able to have kids herself.

When I scanned the busy hospital room, the events of the past hour began to sink through and horrific images flashed through my mind. Royce screaming at Rose. Rose still and silent against the cold cement. The blank hospital room. An open coffin with Rosalie inside. I began crying, and my vision blurred. I ran towards the closest set of friendly looking arms I saw, panicking, and began babbling out the entire story.



I stared in shock as the petite woman crashed into me, sending waves of an unidentifiable fragrance drifting my way. I looked up in shock at Esme, who had conveniently disappeared for a moment.

I took a moment to evaluate the woman sobbing into my shirt. She didn't look like she was planning on stopping any time soon, so I decided to try and walk with her to the couches in the lobby, but she wouldn't move. I sighed, pinching the bridge of my nose. What could I do with her? I couldn't stand in the lobby for God only knows how long.

I picked her up, cradling her head against my chest, and tried not to think about how well she fit to my body. I started slowly walking, hoping she wouldn't mind me picking her up. She was so light - I noticed briefly. For some reason, I cared what this mystery woman did. What she ate, how long she slept, how healthy she was. I had a primal urge to protect her from the woes of the world. I scoffed silently at myself. How could I of all people help her? Look at where I was in life - I had messed everything up. For me, and my sister.

I dragged my mind away from thoughts of the past, and looked down at the woman curled into my side, still sobbing. But, she had run out of things to say, it seemed. From what I had gathered, she had a friend, Rose, who had been rushed here, and could die. She was apparently her best friend, and a strong person. The one part that really intrigued me, however, was when she had talked briefly about this friend helping her through 'what happened' along with 'me,' who I could only assume was Esme, and some other people, whose names I hadn't caught. All in all, very intriguing. She whimpered a bit, and I smoothed her hair down softly, soothing her. I had had practice with comforting women through pain, I think it must come with being in the hospital all the time.

The couch sank next to me, and I looked up to see Esme smiling sadly at me.

"What is it?" I questioned softly, not wanting to wake the now-sleeping woman on my lap.

"Do you know her?" She asked, avoiding my question.

"I don't think so… but you do, don't you? I just happened to be standing next to you."

She nodded. "Yes, I do. Her name is Bella. She is an amazingly sweet, beautiful girl, but she's been through so much more than even the average troubled person. She's one of the strongest people I know." This surprised me. Esme knew a lot of very strong people. So there must be something especially different about this one. "Her friends would die for her, and know her like the back of their hands. She has an amazing support group, who all show up with her whenever she shows up for her appointment. And now, her best friend was just beaten almost to death by her boyfriend." Her eyes turned fierce. "If he doesn't get out of this hospital soon, I'm going after him. I can't stand men like that." It was times like these that I remembered why we all called her a mother bear. She was so protective and caring, even of us.

Esme turned to me. "Are you alright? You never told me why you were here. We got a little…distracted."

I smirked. "Don't worry, I just wanted to stop by and say hi. I thought I had met all the cancer patients."

She looked at me sympathetically;. She knew how much it disappointed me, having to give up medical school. Or, at least, she was sympathetic up until I started talking about cancer patients. "What do you mean? You have…"

"But, you said she came here for her appointment. The hospital doesn't do any other regular appointments that would require a support group than for cancer…"

She fidgeted nervously. "Bella is…a special case. And I'm not going to say anymore." She said warningly. "This is her private business, and I won't be spreading it around without her consent."

Bella started to stir, and we both looked at her worriedly. I know that I didn't know her at all, but I was still worried. I saw what grief did to people.

She looked up, and I swam in her coffee eyes. I was shaken out of my reverie by her voice.

"I'm just going to give up being surprised by now. Hello, Edward. I'm sorry for falling asleep and bawling on you… I can replace the shirt if you want. Oh, hi Esme. Any word on Rosalie?"

I was amazed that she could be so calm. Just an hour ago she had been crying unstoppably, and now she's making small talk? And I would have to agree with her. We had run into each other so many times by now, it had stopped being a surprise.

"Edward! You told me you didn't know her!" Esme scolded me.

"Sorry Mom. I honestly thought I didn't. I hadn't gotten a good look at her face. And, besides, every time I see her, we ended up fighting anyways."

She seemed placated enough by this answer, though I knew that I would have to explain later.

"Mom? Esme, you don't have any kids!" Bella exclaimed, now sitting in between Esme and me.

She chuckled dryly. "It's a little joke I have with the three of them. When I met them, they were just constantly getting into trouble, so I became their adoptive mother. They were all in situations kind of like yours, dear."

She looked wary. "You mean like…"

Esme shook her head fervently. "Oh, no. Not like that. Their parents were all just so far away, they didn't have anyone to look after them." Or dead… This conversation was really starting to confuse me; there was obviously something that they didn't want me to know. And if I was good at anything, it was finding things out. But…later, I think.

"Esme! We were in college! We didn't need any looking after." She shot me a glare. "Okay, not much looking after."

"Esme…" Bella started quietly. She took one look at her and immediately held her tight in a hug, and, after a moment, I took her hand in mine.

"I'm worried about Rose still." She continued quietly, staring at the couch, tracing patterns with the hand I didn't have clutched between mine. I started rubbing soothing circles in the back of her hand, and gathered the other one.

Esme patted her back. "Oh, don't worry Bella, honey. Rose will be fine, just fine. And that idiot that did that to her will go to jail."

She looked at her through blurry eyes. "But Esme, she looked so broken. She was barely breathing. And Royce is rich. He can buy his way out of anything."

"Don't worry, we'll do everything we can. And if that doesn't work, I'll convince Carlisle to give him some horrible disease."

She laughed shakily, as Esme had meant her to, and I chuckled silently. "I would say that I wish that we had met again under better circumstances, but it would have been me in the gurney then. Or…" I wonder what she meant by that. There was so much about this woman I didn't know.

Esme laughed. "Dear, this is the only reason I come with Carlisle every day. I want to see you. Your parents are too far away for them to be there for you when you come in. All this is too difficult for you to handle by yourself."

"Oh, but I'm not by myself. I have Rose, and Andy, and Angela. I'm not alone. Though why so many of us pick here, I don't know. Wait, why are we talking about me? My best friend is in the hospital, which is not as normal for her as it is me." This was getting immensely confusing for me. I knew that I would start researching about her in my spare time, because I was vastly curious.

"I know dear, I just haven't seen you in a while. When's your next appointment?"

She sighed, sounding like she wasn't sure what to say. "Listen, Esme…"

She was interrupted by a ringing phone, which Esme quickly answered and looked at us apologetically.

"I'm sorry you two. Can I leave you here? Carlisle needs me for something."

"No problem Mom."

"It's fine Esme." She said softly. Why did I care that she seemed so upset? She so obviously hated me.

After she left, we sat in an uncomfortable silence, shifting restlessly and avoiding looking at each other. Finally, I sighed, frustrated.

"Listen, Bella, I know you don't like me, but I can't just leave you here, and I really need to go do some things. Would you mind coming with me?" I cringed mentally, hoping she wouldn't take it the wrong way.

She looked down, uncertain, and I added in, "I'll make sure Esme calls me when she gets word on how Rosalie is doing." I could see the decision being made in her eyes.

She nodded slightly, and I had the sudden urge to leap to my feet and pump my fist up and down in victory. And I had no idea why. All I was doing was asking her to accompany me on some errands, because I didn't want to leave her alone.

Either way, I got up, without jumping around in triumph, and offered her my hand. She looked at it, and I was about to retract it when she grabbed it, squeezed it tight, and refused to let go, looking like she was afraid to let go. I refused to think of how well her hand fit into mine as we walked out the door to my Volvo.

She looked at me. "This is your car?"


And that was the end of that conversation. We sat in the car, in uncomfortable silence, until we met up with Emmett in the grocery store.


I hugged him furiously crying into his shoulder. He patted my back, awkwardly at first, then comfortably.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you Emmett. I don't know what would have happened to her if you weren't there." I sobbed out.

"It's okay Bella Bean. It's okay. We've just got to remember that what could have happened didn't."

Edward looked shocked at this profound statement coming from his brother. Actually, I was still confused as to how that worked.

After my small bout with insanity was finished, we walked through the grocery, and I tried to get them to but something remotely healthy. How could they stand to live off of Ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese from a box?

I pretended to ignore the small worried glances they would throw at me, despite my confusion. I thought that Edward hated me. After all, I had threatened to turn him in, and I was a total bitch to him every time we met.

We got into the car, after checking out, when I had not convinced them to buy all that junk food. I sat in the back so Emmett could sit by his brother, and I fell asleep.

I woke up groggy, and being shaken. I looked around blurrily, rubbing my eyes.

"Bella Bean, we're at the hospital. Esme said that you could see Rosalie now."

"Okay Emmett." I nodded, having no idea what he just said.

He chuckled. "Bella, don't you want to see your friend? She's awake."

I nodded sleepily, and settled back into my comfy pillow. It smelled amazing. I inhaled and the pillow started shaking. I slapped it and mumbled.

"Pillow, stop moving. I'm tired." I nuzzled closer to the warmth, and bolted upright two minutes.

"Rosalie's awake?!" The top of my head hit something hard and I collapsed. "Ow… that hurt."

Emmett started laughing again. "You two are pathetic."

"Two? It's just me and the super comfy pillow back here Emmett."

He nodded, still laughing uproariously. I got a bad feeling, and looked behind me. Edward was rubbing his jaw and smiling crookedly at me. I tried not to get caught up in his beautiful smile as I blushed furiously.

"Sorry Edward. You make a very nice pillow I guess…"

He laughed a bit. "Your head is really hard. Do you have a helmet under that hair?"

I giggled. "I don't know. Can you check for me?"

He laughed, and ran his fingers through my hair, feeling my scalp. I tried not to flinch when they passed over the bump from hitting him, but he must have noticed anyway.

I laughed weakly. "I guess your jaw isn't too soft either." God, no, it wasn't soft. Totally chiseled jaw line.

Emmett interrupted the now-extremely awkward conversation. "Bella, did you want to go see Rosalie? We can go in with you if you want." Did I imagine the gleam of hope in his eyes?

I looked at Edward, and he laughed and rolled his eyes at Emmett. I think not. But, Rose could use a date with him. At the very least, he'd make her laugh. To tell the truth, they were perfect for each other. He wouldn't take any of her crap, and she might be able to reign him in a little.

I nodded. "I'd love it if you guys would come with me. I'm a little scared to go in alone."

Edward rubbed my arm soothingly as Emmett whooped, and leapt out of the car. I guess he was excited.

We walked into the hospital, and I spotted Esme. I ran over to her, without tripping, and hugged her.

"How's Rose?"

"She's… as well as can be expected. Emmett stopped anything from happening." That didn't sound too good.

"Emmett? You mean the random person walking by who helped me? It wasn't Emmett…" I stuttered.

Emmett came up behind me and clapped me on the shoulder, laughing. "Wow Bella Bean. Never, ever try to lie again. That was miserable."

I shrugged. "I figured I would try."

Esme turned to him then. "And what did I tell you about losing your temper, mister?" She scolded, pulling on his ear.

I tried to hold in my laughter as Emmett mumbled something, and then said "…Sorry Mom…"

Edward walked up, and Esme raised an eyebrow at him. He looked shocked, and shook his head furiously. Then, looked confused when Esme walked over to him and whispered in his ear. He pinched the bridge of his nose and mumbled at her. The only thing I caught was "…mind." She looked a little worried, but patted him on the back and dragged him over to stand by Emmett and I.

"No more of that, either of you. Jasper either. If I see any of you with it, you're going to be in a lot of trouble misters."

I just shook my head, laughing a little. This 'family' of theirs was weird. But, somehow, I felt like they were really connected.

When they were done I tapped Esme's shoulder. "Esme, do you want to come with us to check on Rosalie?"

"Sure hon, I want to know how she's doing. I haven't talked to her in awhile anyways. I'm sure she'd like the support."

The closer we got to her room, the more worried I got. What if she was unconscious again? What if something permanent had happened? What if we hadn't gotten there on time? What if this is just temporary, and she'll fall back asleep? Permanently this time?

Emmett could obviously tell that I was nervous and came to walk by me. He ruffled my hair, and whispered in my ear.

"Don't worry. Your friend will be fine. And we'll all be here to help her through whatever healing may be. You've met Alice, you know that she won't give her new best friend up without a fight."

I laughed weakly, knowing it was true. I gave him a little hug, and stood on tiptoe to murmur in his ear.

"Thanks for that Emmett. And, for the record, she's gonna love you. You're perfect for her."

I squared my shoulders right before we walked into her room and took a deep breath. Whatever happened in there, whatever Rose was going through, she'd be fine, and I'd be by her side, helping her through it like she's always done for me.

I walked in, putting a brave face on, and looked at Rosalie.

"Oh, Rose…" I said sympathetically, and tried not to burst into tears.

Mini-cliffy!! Hehe. Maybe now I'll get some reviews? Not that I'm fishing or anything... *whistles* I'll try to get the next chapter out soon, PROMISE!! Luv you all!