A/N: It's PerfectlyPersuasive's big day. I hope you have a great one, bb, and that you enjoy a bit of Carlisle POV from "Live Like No Tomorrow."
Prompts and POV provided by SorceressCirce, who also beta'd these along with kimberlycullen10.
We stand one by the other. Jasper has his arms around Edward, keeping him on his feet when it's obvious all he wants is to fall to his knees and just crumble.
I have my arms around Esme and Alice as they cling to me for comfort, and I'm left to find some for myself - somehow.
The day has been bleak; I look up at the gray sky - it suits our moods. There is no joy to be found while we watch Lizzie's coffin as it is lowered into the ground.
I pray that she, at least, knows peace.
It's been months, and Edward is finally showing signs of coming alive again. I cannot imagine what he's had to go through, how he must be feeling - and I've had front row seats for it all.
We sit on the back porch, gazing at the stars above on this clear night, taking turns at the telescope. I watch him as he stares, searching for...something. I barely hear his whispered, "Do you think she's up there?"
I place my hand on his shoulder, squeezing it gently.
"Yes, I do."
He looks up at me and smiles sadly as he nods.
They don't finish first – in fact, they aren't even in the top fifty that cross the finish line – but they cross it.
They have trained long and hard for this marathon to raise money for leukemia awareness and research, running day and night without fail, and Esme, Alice, and I are there at the end, waiting for them.
His movements – normally so graceful and fluid – are less so; he is tired, having given this his all.
He stumbles into Esme's arms with a wide smile, and I hand both boys a bottle of water.
"I'm proud of you, son."
We talk for a while. I ask questions; he answers them. He says he's been getting tired more easily lately, and that he's not been feeling very well in general.
"I didn't think anything of it. So many kids have had the flu these past few weeks. I just..."
He sighs, running a hand through his hair. Lizzie's hair.
I notice a bruise just below his elbow. Coupled with what he has just told me, it dawns on me, and my heart rate picks up.
I take a slow, deep breath to calm down – I need to focus on Edward.
"Don't forget to live."
I pull him to me, hugging him tight, almost clinging to him. I'm worried that the shock of the news has left him hopeless, that he's going to give up without even trying this time.
He's come so far, gone through so, so much. I don't understand how fate could be so cruel as to let this happen to him.
I remind him that he is loved, that he's not alone, and that he needs to fight. We can do this. We have to.
Edward deserves a good life. To love, and to be happy.