AN: This is the last chapter for this story. Thanks for reading! They knew this had to happen eventually...
Afterlife - Breaking Up The Band
Edward and I called a family meeting. We knew that this conversation was coming but still; it was sad knowing that the time was here. We all cramped into the living room. Harry was sitting on my lap, sucking on his fist, the very picture of contentment. He was one month old and while not growing as fast as Ren did, he was growing quickly. It wouldn't be too long before he would be talking out loud instead of just sending us his demands into our thoughts.
Ren and Seth were curled up on the floor in front of the roaring fire. Yes, Ren demanded that we use the fireplace even though most of the family didn't get cold, and the rest of us ran at a toasty heat normally. What Ren wants, Ren gets, and it did sort of set the mood a little more seriously. Carlisle and Esme were standing by the window, frowns on both of their faces. Edward and I knew that they were concerned, Edward had told me that they had feared this for a long time. Bella and Jacob were completely obvious, staring at each other dreamily; those two were so in love it was nauseating. Jasper was on the lounge, with Alice perched on his lap, we were just waiting for Rosalie and Emmett. They came slinking through the door and Roaslie glanced back to glare at Emmett.
"Sorry we're late," she muttered her apology, "But Emmett just had to watch the end of the stupid football."
"Babe, they should have known better than to have a family meeting during a game," Emmett protested looking over at me and Edward and shaking his head at us, like we were in the wrong. I rolled my eyes.
Rosalie huffed and collapsed elegantly onto the lounge next to Jasper. Emmett moved to take the spot next to her, but a quick shake of her head sent him to the armchair in disgrace.
"So son, you called this meeting, what's up?" Carlisle asked solemnly addressing Edward and I felt Edward take my hand. He was nervous, I couldn't blame him, I felt like I was sweating bullets. I felt drool on my arm and looked down to see Harry had fallen asleep. Edward inhaled deeply before speaking.
"Leah and I have discussed it at great length and decided that for the sake of the family, we should split off."
There was a deafening silence at the end of his statement. I swear there should have been a tumble weed blow across the living room. Everyone looked horrified. Edward looked at me helplessly. I knew his head had to be spinning from everyone's thoughts getting thrown at him.
Keep going babe, you're doing so good, I thought at him affirming my thoughts with a nod of my head.
"Our family has been growing bigger and now with Harry, once he finds a mate, the family will be bigger still. The size of our family will raise questions and bring attention to us which is something we have always tried to avoid. Leah and I thought it wise to separate from the family," Edward continued and I squeezed his hand lovingly.
I knew this was hard for him, it was hard for me too, but mostly for Edward. He had lived with Carlisle and Esme since he became a vampire, and leaving them was a very big deal for him. Everyone was still speechless.
"We love you all desperately, but seriously, not many people will believe that Carlisle and Esme adopted eleven children and all of us just happened to pair off with each other apart from Harry, this has to happen," I added, hoping that they would see the situation as Edward and I did, and a hastened to assure them, "And of course we will visit often and keep in touch, and we will always be family, we just won't be living in the same town."
I hadn't realized but by the end of my speech there were tears running down my face. Edward reached over and brushed them away for me, but they kept coming.
Jasper turned to me, giving a rueful smile.
"Damnnit Yoko, you're breaking up the band," he cursed teasingly and I gave a hiccup laugh at his inappropriate 'Beatles' humour. Now was not the time for Jasper and his smart ass comments, although it did lift the mood in the room slightly. Well the joke did or Jasper did, either way, he did something.
"Carlisle, you know I'm right," Edward turned his attention to Carlisle who ran a hand through his hair sadly.
"It's just hard hearing it son, I never thought I'd have to see you off into the world," Carlisle admitted and Esme hugged him, her face showing her sadness.
"So you and Leah and Harry are just going to branch off and start somewhere new?" Alice asked in disbelief and Edward and I nodded. It would be a lonely existence without our family, but we also knew that this had to be done to keep the secret safe.
Rosalie and Emmett shared a knowing glance and when Emmett nodded his head Rosalie turned to me grinning.
"We're coming with you."
I turned to Seth and Ren and both of them gave me the thumbs up. I couldn't believe that Seth and Ren wanted to come with us.
"Guys you don't have to do that," I declined feeling awful that they felt they had to leave the family too and Rosalie came over to me and hugged me to her tightly, near crushing Harry in-between us.
"But we want to," Rosalie assured me and I felt my whole body relax with relief. Rosalie was like my sister, she was my best friend, I knew I would have missed her dearly.
Bella was clutching onto Jacob like he was her life raft since she was now faced with the prospect of loosing her daughter. Jacob too looked distressed. Seth and I were the only ones left in the wolf pack, and Seth and I would be together, so Jacob would be the lone wolf. I gave him an apologetic look but Jacob just gave me a goofy smile, though his eyes welled with unshed tears.
"You'll be okay without me mom?" Ren asked turning to her mother and Bella bit her lip thoughtfully looking over at Edward and I. We both gave her the look that said we would watch over Ren.
"Of course sweet heart," Bella said finally clutching Jacob who hugged her and Ren and Seth hugged each other happily.
"So that's it, me and Edward, Rosalie and Emmett and Seth and Ren are going out on our own?" I asked giving them one last chance to bail, but all four of them nodded their affirmation, they were coming with us. This was it, the family was splitting up.
"And Bella, Jacob, Jasper and Alice will stay with Esme and myself," Carlisle concluded coming to slap a proud hand on Edward's shoulder.
Esme looked like she was lost. We were all her children, and I knew that it was hard to her.
"I will miss you all so much," I whispered moving over to hug Esme, and we were joined by Alice, then Bella, then Rosalie and Ren. The six of us hung onto each other tightly then Alice pulled back and grinned.
"I'm going to throw you one hell of a going away party!"
We decided to stay another couple of months in Canada before moving off. People were already getting suspicious of Carlisle's youthful appearance. We arrived here about five years ago and us 'kids' had all just 'finished' high school, so it was getting to be the time when we left anyway.
Those of us who were leaving were sitting in the living room while Esme quizzed us on our back stories.
"Okay, so lets go over the stories again," Esme prompted us then pointed to me.
"Seth and I are brother and sister, just moved into town. Harry is our younger brother. Our parents died in a car accident and left us the responsibility of raising him, we moved to Pittsfield for a fresh start," I recited perfectly and Esme beamed and patted my shoulder proudly.
"I get to go to school!" Harry cheered out loud, pumping his pudgy fist in the air, an action he had unfortunately learnt from Uncle Emmett.
It was strange hearing him speak so soon when he was only six months old, but we had gotten used to it. Unfortunately he would have to pretend to be a lot dumber than he was when we took him to school. He looked about two years old, but we were going to tell people he was five and just small for his age, so that when he grew it would seem as normal as possible.
We had taken care to choose where we would move to, considering Edward, Emmett, Rosalie and Ness required a town where it was overcast a lot of the time, plus they needed abundant wildlife for feeding. And so we came up with Pittsfield in West Massachusetts. To the west of the city lay the Pittsfield State Forest. Good news was, the Cullen's were moving to Peru which was 13 miles east from Pittsfield. We could visit each other daily if we wanted.
Seth grabbed Harry and threw him into the air causing Harry to giggle. Edward had been upset that he would have to pretend to just be my boyfriend, eventually, and not Harry's father, but this was part of the sacrifice that we made. Ren stood up proudly to tell their story.
"Edward and I are also brother and sister, and we both just moved to town as well, conveniently right next door to you," Ren winked at Seth lewdly which we all pretended to ignore then Ren continued gesturing to Rosalie, "Our eldest sister Rosalie and her new husband Emmett have guardianship of us. Our parents travel the world quite a bit but want us to grow up in a stable home environment."
Esme clapped her hands and congratulated Ren on her perfect delivery of her story. We had all gotten used to the new stories we had to learn when we moved into a new town, pretending to be starting high school all over again.
Edward pulled me back so that I could lean against his chest as we watched Seth run Harry around the room.
"And it just so happens I think I'm going to fall in love with the girl next door," Edward commented playing with a piece of my hair and I giggled.
"I think the girl next door is very open to the possibility."
"It's going to be hard to pretend I don't know you, when I want to do all sorts of things to you," Edward whispered into my ear before trailing kisses down my neck and I gave a throaty chuckle.
"It's going to be hard to pretend I don't see the girls at school drooling over you," I replied bringing his lips to mine so that we could kiss. We forgot that there were other people around, as happened quite regularly when we saw each other.
"You guys are gag worthy, and I thought me and Seth were bad," Ren nudged us both so that we broke apart and Seth looked like he wanted to throw up, handing Harry over to us. I nudged Ren back playfully and Harry wiggled out of my arms and ran to find someone else to play with. Harry was a real boy's boy, he preferred play fighting with Emmett and Seth than anything else.
Carlisle came into the room holding three envelopes that were jingling.
"Ok here are the keys for the Clearwater's," Carlisle announced handing me an envelope, then he handed one to Edward and one to Rosalie, "And here are the keys for the Masen's, and Hale's."
Seth and I were keeping our last name, while Edward and Ren had taken on Masen as their last name. Masen was Edward's surname when he was human, he thought it time he took it on again. Rosalie and Emmett would be the Hale's, Rosalie refused to give up her surname, she was stubborn as she was beautiful.
Those of us who were leaving headed out to our cars, while those who were staying came outside to stand with us. Seth and I would arrive at the new home first, while the others stayed in a town nearby. About two weeks after we get there Edward and the others would move in. Two weeks without Edward, I didn't know how I would manage, although I knew he would be sneaking into my room at night. I turned to look at the Cullen's fondly, the ones that were left, Carlisle, Esme, Alice, Jasper, Bella and Jacob.
"This is it," Esme said, and I knew if she could she would be crying. Carlisle was rubbing her back trying to comfort her but I knew Esme was taking our leaving hard. We were all her children and it was hard for her to let us go. I leant over and hugged Esme.
"You have been such a wonderful mother to me Esme, thank you," I whispered and Esme kissed my cheek.
"You have been a wonderful daughter," she assured me fondly.
Jasper came over and hugged me to him roughly.
"See you Yoko," he told me smiling fondly and I punched his arm playfully.
Bella came up to me next and she engulfed me in an affectionate hug.
"Take care Leah," she told me fondly and I laughed.
"You too Bells."
"Clearwater, you will miss me, I just know it," Jacob bellowed coming over and crushing me in his arms. I elbowed his gut for him to put me down which he did faking a grimace of pain.
"Bet you miss me first Black," I retorted and Jacob just shook his head like I was the crazy one.
"Take care Leah, we will miss you," Carlisle told me, hugging me to him. Carlisle was never really super affectionate to us like Esme was, so this was a really special moment. I came face to face with Alice who went on her tip toes to kiss my cheek.
"Take care you crazy midget," I joked ruffling her hair and Alice folded her arms across her chest.
"Take care of yourself you giant lumberjack," she retorted, and I had to laugh.
"I thought saying goodbye would feel sadder, more final," I mused out loud and Alice laughed rushing to envelope me in a huge hug.
"That's because its not goodbye Leah, its just a see you later," Alice assured me, kissing my cheek again then she moved on to everyone else before warning, "Don't forget the annual Cullen Christmas Party this year will be held at out house in Peru."
"We could never forget that Alice," Edward promised his sister and she beamed.
We all hugged and kissed goodbye and then we got into our cars. Seth was driving with Ren in the passenger seat and Edward and I sat with Harry in between us in the back seat. I glanced back through the rearview mirror to look at the Cullen's longingly, but my heart felt lighter. Alice was right, this wasn't goodbye, this was just 'see you later'.
I glanced over at my husband and our eyes met. This was the start of our new lives together, and we didn't care what happened, as long as we were together.
AN: For those who did not get the joke ("Damnnit Yoko, you're breaking up the band,") since Jasper can be a little off the wall at times. Yoko Ono is thought by some to be the reason that The Beatles split up due to her relationship with John Lennon. I don't really care whether she did or didn't, it just seems like something my Jasper would say. He's a little fruity, that's why he and Alice love each other so much! They are both crazy :)
So this is the end! Thanks to all those who have been reading this. It started off as a one shot and became….whatever the hell it was you just read hahahaha. Hope you enjoyed it!
Please review if you liked it!