Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.
This is something a little different. Takes place during New Moon. Edward successfully commits suicide via the Volturi, but finds he ended up somehwere he never thought possible.
Edward was only in the sunlight for a moment before the Volturi guards found him. He felt no pain as they ripped his body limb from a limb and lit his remains on fire. All he was focused on was being with his Bella. Nothing else mattered.
He knew that it was very likely that he would never see her again, for she was most definitely in Heaven with the other angels, while he would surely spend eternity in Hell repenting for his monstrous sins. But Edward would rather spend forever in Hell than walk the earth without his love.
Edward's eyes eventually fluttered open, his entire being prepared to be confronted by the ghosts of his past, to have to endure everyday facing those lives he had taken so many years ago. At the very least, Edward was expecting to be consumed by flames, the fire licking his skin endlessly for eternity. Edward was prepared for the worst, his worst nightmare brought to reality, but what he wasn't ready for was to see nothing but white; nothing but pure, clean white.
To say that he was more than a little confused as to his whereabouts would be an understatement. It was a vast expanse of white nothingness, devoid entirely of any color, and there was not a single soul around. No objects to be seen - just emptiness.
He turned around hundreds of times, walking aimlessly through the void, searching for anyone…preferably Bella. It felt like hours had passed when his eyes finally rested on two large oak doors that stood side by side. They were each about ten feet high and five feet wide. They had simple brass knobs and two cherub doorknockers.
Where did they come from?, he thought. They weren't there before.
He cautiously walked up to the doors, utterly baffled by how they had gotten there. Was this a usual occurrence in this place, wherever he was? Did doors always just appear out of nowhere? Not knowing what else to do, he lifted his hand and grabbed the knocker firmly in his grasp, ready knock. And just before he was about to let the knocker fall against the door, someone called his name.
"Edward Anthony Masen Cullen?" a manly voice asked from beside him.
Edward spun around immediately at the sound of his name. To the left of the door stood a large mahogany desk with hundreds of thousands of papers and files adorning it, the large stacks reaching high into the sky until he could not make out where the piles ended. An older man with gray hair and a full bushy beard sat behind the desk in a dark brown leather chair.
The man stood when he had Edward's attention and walked around to the front of the desk. He was roughly six feet tall and wore a dark blue suit, with a crisp white shirt and light blue satin tie. He held something in his hand – a file – and looked expectantly at Edward, who suddenly realized that he had not answered the man when he had called his name.
"Edward Anthony Masen Cullen?" has asked again in amusement, his lips turning up at the corner.
Edward nodded numbly. Where had this man come from? Where had the desk come from? What was going on?
The man smiled fully now. "Please, Edward, won't you sit?"
Edward was about to ask where when suddenly a chair appeared from thin air. Even with all that Edward had seen in his long life, all the powers that he had witnessed during his years in the vampire world, he was still startled by the chair's sudden appearance.
Edward moved to sit when he suddenly noticed how underdressed he was. His chest was completely bare; naked. And he felt ashamed. He realized, embarrassingly, that he had taken his shirt off in Volterra during his suicide attempt, thus resulting in his current state of undress.
The man noticed Edward's uneasiness and before he could even ask the mysterious man for something to wear, a shirt appeared, covering Edward's once bare torso.
Edward gasped. "How did you-" he began, but the man raised his hand to silence him.
"All in due time, Edward. All your questions will be answered very soon." He smiled a gentle and reassuring smile and sat down, motioning for Edward to do the same. "I'm surprised you haven't asked yet why you cannot hear my thoughts."
Edward hadn't even noticed. He was so preoccupied with what was going on, and finding a way to Bella, that he did not notice the silence. Edward frowned.
"No need to ask, Edward. You are dead. Therefore, your soul lacks the ability that you acquired during your change." He watched Edward as the reality of his predicament sunk in. "Does it bother you that you cannot hear me?"
Edward contemplated this for a moment, slightly irritated at the loss of his gift, yet feeling surprisingly free and unencumbered. It was a marvelous feeling not to be bombarded with other's thoughts.
"No," Edward replied, relief in his voice. "It'll take some getting used to, but I'm quite enjoying the silence." He smiled to himself as he let the quiet envelope him. He felt at peace. A peace he had only ever known when he was with Bella.
The thought of his angel brought him back to the present and the reason for all that was happening. Wherever he was, he needed to find Bella.
"Where am I?" Edward asked, briefly looking around the still empty space, save for the desk and doors.
"You honestly do not know?" the man asked surprised, quirking a bushy grey eyebrow.
Edward shook his head. "I have no idea."
Should Edward have known?
"Edward, I am St. Peter, and those," he said, waving a hand toward the wooden doors to Edward's right, "are the gates to Heaven."
Edward's mouth dropped slightly, his mouth hanging obnoxiously agape. He stared at the man, who had just introduced himself as St. Peter, the guardian of the gates of Heaven, his eyes unblinking. Edward looked back over at the doors, which he, along with many others, had believed to be pearly – not wooden - upon reaching Heaven.
Makes sense, Edward thought to himself with a small smirk. Jesus was a carpenter, after all.
"Now, Edward, I'm afraid you don't belong here," Peter said, shaking his head and marking something down in the file before him.
Edward's dream of being reunited with is love was dashed instantly; he would never see her again. Never see her face, the flush of her skin when she was embarrassed or excited, never see the warm brown of her eyes that would melt into dark chocolate with anger or passion, nor would he ever see her beautiful smile again; the smile that brought his very being to life. It tore at his dead heart to be away from her, to even think of a life without her.
He slumped in his chair with the words that had sealed his fate – I'm afraid you don't belong here. Though, if Edward was being honest with himself, he wasn't surprised by this news. Of course he wouldn't be allowed into Heaven. What made him think he would be?
"I didn't think so," Edward muttered sadly. "I knew it must have been a mistake sending me here. It didn't seem right that I would be allowed in after all that I've done."
The man laughed, and the sound tore at the last vestiges of his already shredded hope. "No, no, my dear boy. You are in the right place, we are simply not ready for you yet."
Edward was sure he misunderstood. Not ready for him yet? "I'm sorry. I'm a bit confused. Where am I supposed to be going then?"
Was this a game?
"Back to earth, of course," Peter said, his tone implying it was obvious.
"Why?" Edward demanded. "I have nothing left there."
Edward refused to leave if he was allowed into Heaven, allowed to be with his Bella again. He didn't understand why he would be granted access to paradise, but he was not leaving if staying was an option. If he were to be sent back to earth, then he would kill himself again. He would do it repeatedly until they gave in to his demands; until they saw the light. The only place he wanted to be, the only place he belonged, was with Bella.
Edward looked away from Peter, pondering his next move. How could he convince him to allow him to stay? Was there something he could do to prove his worth?
St. Peter frowned, perplexed at Edward's angered response. "Of course you do," he assured him gently. "You have your family, Edward. You have Bella."
Edward's eyes snapped back to Peter's. What did he say about Bella?
Peter nodded, as if reading Edward's thoughts. "Yes, Edward. Bella is still alive."
Edward instantly jumped to his feet, his mind racing. "She's not here? In Heaven?" he asked frantically. Peter shook his head. "But I thought she drowned. I thought she…she…killed herself." The last words caught in his throat, barely able to utter them, and he fell back into his chair at the mere thought of Bella taking her own life, especially because of the pain he had caused her. What would possess her to do such a thing?
Peter's features softened as he looked upon Edward, knowing the love he felt for Bella, a love so strong that it caused him to leave her when he only longed to be with her. He felt for him, which is why he was giving him this chance.
"No. Your sister was mistaken. Bella was not trying to take her own life. She was merely cliff diving and got caught in the riptide," Peter explained. "The undertow nearly took her under, but fortunately a friend got to her in time."
Edward leaned back in his chair and breathed a sigh of relief. She was alive. She was safe. But Edward couldn't help the anger that tore through him at the thought of Bella doing something so reckless, so irresponsible. She had promised to take care of herself, to not doing anything stupid.
Peter laughed at the suddenly hardened features of Edward's face, recognizing his anger. "Edward, you couldn't honestly expect her to keep her word when you left her. You had promised to love her forever, to always be with her, and then you took that love away for your own selfish reasons. You broke your promise first. Why should she be held to hers?"
Edward's head shot up and he instinctively glared at Peter. "Selfish? I left to protect her. How is that selfish?" Edward knew that if he were still a vampire, he would be snarling at this moment.
Peter gave Edward a reproachful look, disappointed in him for being so blind to the obvious truth. "Edward, your intentions may have been noble, and may have put Bella's well-being above all else, but you still left because of your own reasons."
Edward bit his lip nervously - a gesture that suddenly reminded him of Bella - and screwed his eyes shut in thought. What did he mean by his own reasons?
"I'm not sure I follow," Edward said softly. "The last person I was thinking of was myself. Bella was always my top priority - always will be."
Peter shook his head and leaned forward on his desk, his forearms resting casually in front of him on the wood. "Edward, you may have been thinking about keeping Bella safe, but the thought that was at the forefront of your mind each and every second was that you could not live with yourself if Bella's life ended because of you. You could not live with the guilt of her ceasing to exist because of what you were." Peter shook his head softly. "That, my boy, is entirely selfish, worrying how you would feel had Bella died. Did you once consider how her life would turn out without you by her side; without the love that you promised would never fade?"
Edward cringed at Peter's words, letting his misery and self-loathing wash over him. Had he been even more selfish in leaving than if he had stayed? Edward knew that lying about not loving her that day in the woods would hurt her, that she perhaps be heartbroken for a time, but he had always assumed she would eventually get past it.
"She loves you, Edward," Peter pressed on. "And no matter how much distance or time you put between the two of you, that will never change. No matter if she moves on and marries another man like you wanted her to," Edward's lips turned into a snarl at the thought of another man having her in his arms, "or if she remains alone for the rest of her days, she will only ever love you."
Edward sunk further into his chair, defeated by these words. Had he made such a grave mistake in leaving her when all he thought he was doing was protecting her? Was Alice right all along? Was his entire family right? Edward could only assume that what Peter was telling him was the complete truth. Why would a saint lie to him? He was selfish for leaving. If he had only listened to his family, listened when Bella begged him not to go, they would still be happy, still be together. It was he who ruined everything; his actions, his choices, not what he was. No matter how many problems his being a vampire would cause, their love and devotion undoubtedly would have brought them through to the other side unscathed. This he was suddenly sure of.
Edward raked a shaky hand through his hair and let out a sigh, which came out as more of a whimper than anything else. He had ruined everything.
"What am I supposed to do then?" he asked, hoping Peter would enlighten him as to what to do next.
Peter smiled and walked around the large desk, coming to rest against the front of it, his legs crossed at the ankles as he braced himself against the dark wood with his hands.
"It is simple, Edward. You will go back and make right what went wrong."
"I don't understand," Edward replied, the confusion overtaking him. Everything that had just transpired was difficult to grasp. What did all of this mean for him? "You're sending me back, to be with Bella?"
St . Peter nodded.
"But why? Why give me this second chance? Why am I even allowed into Heaven to begin with? Surely there are people more worthy of such a gift?" he rambled.
Peter touched a comforting hand to Edward's shoulder. "Bella was right all along you know. You did have a soul. It was never lost." Edward looked up at him in, the astonishment clear on his face. Bella had been right? "If you did not possess one, how could you feel any remorse, any guilt, or shame? How could you feel love?"
Edward shook his head, still not comprehending why he was given this opportunity. Fine, he had had a soul, but why him?
"But I've taken so many lives, killed so many innocent people. Surely you cannot overlook that. How can you just ignore the injustice of what I've done?"
Edward's voice was rising with each word that passed his lips. How could they just ignore something like that? His sins were unforgivable. No matter if he did have a soul, he destroyed his chances at Heaven when he took his first life; when he drained his first human of blood to satiated his need. He was a monster and he belonged in the only place that monsters were granted access - Hell.
"I do not deserve this chance. I do not belong in Heaven. I am a monster, a murderer, a demon. I belong in Hell." Edward bowed his head in shame, his anger at himself increasing the longer he thought about his misdeeds. He had destroyed his own life entirely.
"Edward, but you do deserve this chance. You have earned this opportunity to change your life." Peter raised an eyebrow. "We all sin, Edward. Even me."
Edward gave St. Peter a disbelieving look. "Your denial of Jesus three times does not compare to what I've done," he argued with a raised eyebrow of his own. "It doesn't even come close."
"No, I suppose not," Peter agreed on a laugh. "But God grants forgiveness to anyone who seeks it; to those who are truly sorry for what they have done."
"But why?" he asked, his head buried in his hands, his voice fading, his body growing tired. "Why me?"
"Look at me, Edward," Peter ordered, his tone forceful and unwavering.
Edward's face rose from his hands, and stared at him, at this man who had the power to change the course of his life forever, if he would only let him.
"No matter what you think of yourself, you are a good man. You may have faltered along the way, you may have erred in your judgment, but you did what you could with the life you were given."
Edward shook his head and looked away, thoroughly ashamed that he did not have better self-control; that he could not, from the very beginning, live the life that Carlisle had offered him. He was weak. He was a fool.
"I could have done better," Edward reasoned. "I allowed my weakness to consume me and I threw right and wrong out the window simply because I thought I knew a better way of life. An easier way of life."
"No, Edward," Peter reprimanded forcefully. "You may have lost your way. You may have at first chosen the path less traveled by your kind, but you found your way back. You realized the error of your ways and asked for forgiveness. You changed when not many in your situation would have."
Edward just looked at him, now completely at a loss for words. How could this man have so much faith in a creature like him? How could he think so highly of him? He sincerely thought he was good.
"You, Edward, have spent your remaining days repenting for your sins, striving to make right what you set wrong. You fought day in and day out, side by side with your family against the urge to do what came so naturally to your kind – to all of you." Peter's eyes shone with his belief in his words. "Going against nature, the nature of a vampire, is not an easy task, but you have managed it for many years, knowing that you could not live a life of such darkness, such death. You and your family are a rarity amongst your kind. You are good and honest and decent." He smiled down at him. "Never forget that."
Edward's wall of denial was slowly coming down. He did not want to believe that he was good, but it was hard to ignore these words when they came from a Saint.
"If you truly were unworthy of such a gift, I would not have offered it to you. This is my decision," Peter said, leaning down and patting him lightly on the shoulder. "And any man who can resist the urge to take from his la tua cantante is worthy in my book."
"What?" Edward asked, startled by the phrase. "What do you mean?"
St. Peter shook his head gently as he laughed. "Every fifty years I am given the rare opportunity to bestow this gift, the gift to change the future, to only one person. That day in your biology class, the first day you came into contact with your Bella and resisted her call, I knew you were the one."
"You did? But why?"
Peter shrugged. "It takes a strong man, a good man, to fight against something so powerful, something that feels so right, when he knew it was simply in his nature to do it. But you withstood the lure of her blood because you knew it was wrong. You fought against it, no matter how much you wanted to give in."
Edward shook his head softly, dispelling the clouds from his mind. Peter had known all along that Edward was the one?
"I have been keeping an eye on you ever since that day. There were two ways your future could have gone." He watched Edward, sure he had his full attention now. "Either you stayed with Bella, or you left her. The latter resulting in your death, which would ultimately lead you to me."
"What-what would staying have done?" Edward asked, curious now as to another possible future.
Peter shrugged, his hands resting in his pockets. "I do not know. Since you did not choose that path, we will never know the outcome. There is a strong possibility that you would have changed her like she had always wanted. Yet there is still the chance that you would have refused her request, and she would have grown old by your side until her days were up. She would have been unhappy with your decision, but you two would still have been together."
Edward nodded, understanding what he meant. They would have been together, like they had both wanted, but Bella would have been unhappy with her life as a human, and Edward never would have seen it for she certainly would have hidden her true feelings. He would have denied her the only thing she ever wanted….a true life him.
"Now," Peter said, clasping his hands together excitedly. "Are you ready to go back?" Peter's eyes were alight with zeal, the idea of giving Edward his second chance exciting him to no end.
Edward nodded unsurely, ready to see his Bella again, but afraid he would make the same mistakes the second time around; afraid he would hurt her again.
Peter bid him to rise, and Edward did so, his feet suddenly unsteady as he stood before him. He was ready to be sent back, no matter how frightened he was.
But what if Bella didn't want him back? After all he had done, would she even want to see him? What if she refused to give him another chance?
Peter patted Edward on the back and led him off into the white nothingness. "You'll be fine, Edward. Everything will work out just as it should. Do not be afraid."
Edward looked up at Peter, gratitude overwhelming him, and pure unadulterated happiness threatening to envelope him at the knowledge that he was going to be with Bella again.
"Thank you," Edward said sincerely. "The words don't feel like nearly enough, but I am eternally grateful for what you are doing."
Peter nodded. "You're very welcome, Edward. I am happy to be able to give you this chance. I know you will not waste it." Peter suddenly stopped in his tracks, but continued to push Edward forward.
"What do I do? Where do I go," Edward called as he continued to walk backwards into the nothingness as he kept his eyes on Peter.
"Just keep going, my boy. Don't stop."
Edward nodded his head and turned around, picking up his pace, nearly running to get back to Bella.
"And Edward," Peter shouted, now a good distance away. "Be careful."
Edward glanced over his shoulders and Peter winked at him. He did not understand his warning, but nodded all the same. He continued on, slowing to a walk as he tried his best to keep Peter in focus with every peek over his shoulder. But his form faded away into nothing, the doors the only vision remaining. But they too began to disappear, the brown giving way to white as he continued on his path, until they were no more.
Edward stopped as he lost sight of the gates, not understanding why they had suddenly vanished. But Edward could not ponder that for long, for at that moment he felt his entire body tighten as if his chest were being constricted, the air unable to move in and out of his lungs. Bright light shone all around him as he was pulled forward by an invisible force. He felt the air move around him, thick and unforgiving as it tingled and expanded. The sensation was both refreshing as it tickled his skin, and terrifying as it continued to compress around him. He tried desperately to gasp for breath, but it was useless. When he finally felt like his body was about to give out on him, the light disappeared, and the air returned to his lungs. His eyes snapped open, having no choice but to focus on the scene around him.
He blinked a few times as his eyes adjusted to the new light. The familiar purple walls were beginning to come into focus, the rest of the room still slightly hazy as he continued to blink. As the last of the images began to form into their natural shapes and sizes, he realized where he was. He was in Bella's room, but as he turned about, he noticed that she was not there.
Edward knew where he was, that much was obvious, but when was he? What day was it? When he left earth he was in Volterra. What was he doing back in Forks, in Bella's room? He realized that he was standing by her bed, a picture in his hands. As his eyes scanned the photo, he realized exactly what day it was. The day that would forever be burned into his memory.
It was the day he left.
He was holding the picture of him and Bella, though she had folded it in half to reveal only him. Her photo album that she received for her birthday just the other day was lying open on the bed. This was the moment when he would take all that would remind her of him. This was when he would end things, thinking it was for the best.
Well, not today.
Edward heard Bella's truck pull into the driveway, the rumbling of the old engine kicking and sputtering as she turned it off. It crossed Edward's mind only briefly that he only just heard her coming, but he shook that thought from his mind as he leapt for the door, anxious to be near her again. He breathed a sigh of relief that Peter had thought to send him back just before he did the unthinkable, before he ruined both their lives.
As he ran toward Bella's bedroom door, Edward accidentally stumbled over his own feet with the speed at which he was trying to run; a speed that seemed too fast for him. The wood came closer and closer as he fell to the floor below. His head made contact with the door that sat ajar, a loud crack reverberating throughout the room.
He immediately sat up, a sharp pain shooting through his skull, the ache growing as it expanded around his head. He looked back at the door, noticing it was completely unharmed. The corner of the door should have been missing, or at the very least, dented from the force of his head, but it was perfectly fine. What was going on?
As Edward contemplated that, the pain in his head continued to pound, the throbbing more pronounced at top of his forehead. He touched his fingers to the aching spot and as he pulled them away, a small spattering of blood covered his fingertips. He was bleeding?
He touched the wounded spot again, just to make sure he wasn't hallucinating. When he brought his hand back for inspection, more blood covered his fingers. He was bleeding, and his head was pounding like a freight train had just run over it. Edward's hand immediately went to his chest, to the spot that he often ignored since his change. A spot that he longed to be filled once again with a beating heart, but never thought would happen. But as he felt that spot, the one that felt empty and hollow, that ached at the loss of Bella, he did not feel nothing like he was so used to. No, he felt the strong and steady beat of his heart.
Edward gasped as he felt it, breathing in deeply the air that he had no use for for nearly a century. He was human.
He now understood what Peter meant by be careful.
Edward laughed. He laughed long and hard as he allowed the beat of his heart to overtake him. He was human again. There would no longer be any boundaries or inhibitions when it came to he and Bella. They could truly be together, as they were meant to be.
Edward heard the front door open and close and his laughter halted immediately.
"Edward?" Bella called. "Is that you?"
"Yes, it's me." He tried to rise from his spot on the floor, but his head swam with the movement and he fell back down with a loud thud.
"Are you alright? What was that?" she asked, worry dripping from each word.
He heard her footsteps grow closer as she ascended the stairs at a run, and all he could think about was that if she fell, he would not be able to reach her in time to catch her.
Bella reached her room without incident and once she took in Edward's position on the floor, she immediately fell to her knees beside him.
"Edward, what happened?" she asked frantically.
Before he could answer, her eyes grew wide as they land on his forehead. Her mouth fell open as she took in the sight of blood.
"Edward. What happened? Whose blood is this?"
He smiled and shifted to a sitting position. "It's mine," he answered softly.
Confusion clouded her eyes as she took in his words. "Yours?" she whispered. "But how can that be? Vampires don't bleed." Edward reached out to her and cupped her face in his hand. "You're warm," she gasped in astonishment, pulling back only slightly from the unexpected feel of his warm skin against her own.
"I'm human," he breathed. "I'm alive."
Bella's brow scrunched together, her eyes still disbelieving as she looked at him. Edward took her hand and placed it over his heart, certain that she could not refute his claims once she felt that.
As she gently touched his chest, his heart beat wildly beneath her hand in response to her touch; her mere presence. He reveled in the fact that he would now be able to show her just how much she affected him as he always did her. They would now be on an even playing field.
Bella's eyes widened further and a small, hesitant smile began to form on her lips. She sunk further to her knees, pressing her hand more firmly to his chest.
"But how?" she wondered aloud on a breath. "How can this be?"
Edward smiled crookedly and pulled her closer, his lips a hair's breath away from hers. "It's a long story," he began. "But before I explain," his eyes darted hesitantly to her lips and back, "there's something I want to do first."
He leaned in then, touching his lips to hers. It was no longer ice against fire, but heat on heat. They were equals now, and there would be no more holding back. With that thought swimming through his mind, he opened his mouth slightly, and she immediately did the same, allowing his tongue to sweep into the warm depth and touch hers for the very first time.
Edward had never imagined or even dared to dream that he would be able to kiss his angel this way. He never believed he would ever be able to truly touch her and hold her the way that he desired; the way that she longed for. But now there were no restrictions, no consequences, no worries.
As he deepened the kiss, they both moaned at the new sensations coursing through them, both gasped as they felt the other so intimately, more intimately than they ever dared to before. As Edward let his emotions take over, no longer needing his mind to play mediator, he shifted around, pressing Bella against the floor beneath them, pushing his body into hers, using all his weight to touch every inch of his body to every inch of hers. He was finally letting go. Finally losing control with her.
When Edward realized that he was nearly out of breath, an occurrence he never had to worry about before, he lifted his lips from hers, a whimper escaping her at the loss of his touch; his kiss. He smiled down at her, marveling at the flush of her skin, the panting of her breaths, the desire in her eyes, all which no doubt mirrored his own current state.
These new, human emotions overwhelmed him and he felt the once foreign sting of tears on the brim of his eyes. He hadn't cried since learning of his mother's passing in 1918, merely minutes before he was bitten, and never imagined he would again. But he was now, and he couldn't for the life of him bring himself to feel ashamed. He didn't care that Bella was going to witness him weeping, for these tears were for her and her alone.
Bella's eyes softened as they took in Edward's tears. She watched as they rolled down his cheeks, the warm salt water falling from his chin onto her skin.
"You're crying," she whispered, her own eyes welling at the beautiful sight.
"I know," he breathed, his smile growing, his tears continuing to fall. "Isn't it great?"
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