As always, gigantic thanks to my lovely beta, rubiesymusica, for making my ramblings sound pretty. You're the peanut butter to my jelly, chica!

Thanks to my wonderful pre-readers – EToMyB and CanadianDreamer – I appreciate you gals so much.

Disclaimer: Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer – if it belonged to me, I'd be a lot richer! "All Along" belongs to Blessed Union of Souls – and I have the lovely Indy_Bratt to thank for introducing me to the song. Love you, girl! *hugs*

All Along – a Twilight Fanfiction by ScottishRose1028

Seems like yesterday but years have passed us by
Precious memories are clear before my eyes
I can hear your voice calling out my name
But I don't know you now, nothing stays the same


I blew a raspberry at my reflection, while my hands raked through my thick, wavy hair in frustration.

"Nice, Bells, nice. And how old are you? Four?" Rosalie Hale, my best friend, teased me as she exited a stall. We were freshening up in the bathroom of the restaurant where we were meeting for an impromptu celebratory dinner.

"Oh, shut up Miss Perfect-Wavy-Hair. Why does your hair just lay perfectly while mine looks like a poodle that stuck its paw in a light socket?" I complained and threw my hair clip at her.

"Well, maybe if you didn't run your hands through it every ten seconds..." Rosalie chided me gently. "It's not that bad. Here, let me see what I can do." Rosalie pulled back a few sections of my hair with nimble fingers, fastened them with the clip and stepped back. "There, now quit whining."

"You suck!" I laughed. "But thank you!"

"Anytime. We'd better get back to the table before Emmett bursts in here wondering where the hell we've been." Rosalie quickly looked herself over before turning away from the mirror.

"And he'd do it, too." I snorted at the thought.

"So, what are we celebrating, again?" Rosalie asked as we left the restroom.

"I dunno... Edward didn't really give me specifics when I talked to him on the phone. He just said I should dress nice and prepare to be surprised, whatever that means," I shrugged.

"God, it better not have anything to do with him and Tanya, I don't think my stomach could handle that." Rosalie made a face as we headed towards our table.

My heart plummeted; Edward dating anyone wasn't something my stomach could handle either. "Have you heard something -"

Rosalie cut me off before I could get my pity party in full swing. "No, nothing about her again. I swear, Bells, if he weren't my brother-in-law -"

"I know, Rose." I stopped her before she could really begin a proper rant. The last thing I needed to hear tonight was her list of all the reasons Edward Cullen needed to realize we should be together. I'd heard it many a time – and it was a long list. I'd known Edward nearly my entire life; our mothers were roommates in college and settled down in the same small town after graduating and getting married. Edward, Emmett, Alice and I had played together from infancy throughout our school years. While Alice and I were close, Edward and I shared a bond that transcended all attempts at definition.

All along I have wanted you
I pray tonight that you want me, too
All along there was no one else
I've been waiting here all by myself

We'd always been there for each other – he'd nursed my broken heart more times than I could count and I always knew that once his latest flame had burned out he'd be back, seeking out affection from me. We were each others "in case of emergency, break glass" – until one of us got lonely enough, we were just friends. We did love each other … just not in a certain way. Or at least that's how he felt.

Me on the other hand …


(Four months earlier)

While home on summer break, I took time to reassess things between Edward and myself – he seemed perfectly content to keep things going as they were, but the stress of having the famous Edward Cullen as a best friend was beginning to get to me. Girls threw themselves at him constantly, right in front of me, since they knew that I wasn't a threat.

One day I went shopping in Port Angeles with Alice and we ran into a former classmate of ours, Angela Weber, who promptly invited us to lunch. We accepted her invitation happily and grabbed lunch from a small deli and sat outside to enjoy the warm weather.

"I feel like the whole damn UW campus knows about Edward being my best friend," I sighed, lamenting to Alice and Angela. "It might be because he likes to pick me up from class in his huge-assed pimp daddy ride with the bass thumping." Angela and Alice laughed, and I shook my head. "It's not funny! Every girl in my Human Biology class has asked me if I can get her a date with the big dork! They don't care about me, just the fact that I'm best friends with Edward Cullen, sex god."

"I'm sure that's not true, Bells." Alice said sympathetically.

"What are you studying?" Angela tactfully changed the subject.

"Neonatal nursing - I only have one year left," I grinned proudly. "Edward wants to help me pay for school, but so far, I've done it completely on my own. I don't want him to help me."

"You know he only wants to because he loves you," Alice pointed out.

"And I'm so anxious to discuss this topic for the nine hundredth time," I shot my best friend a look.

"What topic?" Angela looked puzzled.

Alice rolled her eyes at me and turned to Angela. "See ... Bella and Edward love each other, but they're both so damn stubborn that they refuse to see what's right in front of them. They should be a couple and quit with the charade."

"Easy for you to say, Allie," I sighed.

"Have you guys ever tried dating?" Angela wondered.

"Yeah ... lots of times. He just can't make up his mind ... or we start to get serious and he bails." I picked at my napkin.

"Does he know how you feel?" Angela asked gently.

"I don't know ... can we please talk about something else? I'm so not in the mood to discuss this." I slapped my hand down on the table, effectively ending the discussion.


If you have to be something, just being friends is better than nothing at all. I thought and sighed, bringing myself back to the present.

"You know I'm just looking out for you, right?" Rose touched my shoulder gently, her pretty violet eyes filled with concern.

"Yeah. And I love you, you know that." I hugged her quickly. "I know you've got my back."

"Good," Rose laughed. "Don't you forget it either."

"Like I could," I smiled and took a deep breath, steeling my nerves as we approached our table. Emmett was chatting excitedly with his sister Alice and her boyfriend, Rosalie's cousin Jasper Whitlock. Edward stood with his back to me; even from behind, he was perfect.

I sighed wistfully, gasping when Edward turned around.

"Oh my God ... Edward! What happened to you?"

He looked up at my outburst, his mouth curving into a crooked grin. "Well, hello to you too Bella."

"Edward Anthony Cullen - what happened? Are those stitches?" I pulled his face close to mine and inspected a nasty cut above his left eyebrow that was now held together with a neat row of stitches and had started to bruise.

Rosalie turned to Emmett for an explanation. "Did something happen while you were golfing with your dad?"

"Yes and no," Emmett explained. "Let's just say that Edward and Jasper had a slight … disagreement in scoring today."

I shot daggers at Edward; this had his inability to lose gracefully written all over it. He hugged me close and whispered in my ear. "I know ... I owe you a full explanation and you'll get it - later. I promise."

I snorted and rolled my eyes. "You're damn right you owe me a full explanation … let me guess … more betting?"

Edward at least had the grace to duck his head and look contrite. "Something like that," he mumbled in reply.

"God – you guys can be such idiots. Sometimes I wish you'd all start acting your ages instead of half of your shoe size," Rose scolded, directing a look at Emmett.

"I guess we'd just better come out and say it," Jasper sighed and Edward nodded in resignation.

"So what happened?" Alice questioned, her hazel eyes worried.

"Jasper hit me with a golf club," Edward said calmly.

It took about ten seconds for Rosalie, Alice and me to register what he had said before we all started asking questions at once.

"Excuse me?" Alice asked.

"He did what?" Rose exclaimed.

"Why?" I wondered.

Edward held up his hands, pleading with us to stop. "In all fairness, I did sucker punch him first."

Silence met this declaration.

Rose broke the silence. "I have a feeling I'm going to need a drink for this story," she sighed, signaling for our waiter and ordering a bottle of Riesling for the table. She waved weakly at Edward. "Continue."

"So we went golfing today with Dad and we were getting near the end of the course when Jasper announced that he needed to tell us something," Edward began.

"He'd been acting weird the whole morning," Emmett interjected.

"So we stopped playing and Dad told him to go ahead and spit it out," Edward continued, catching Jasper's eye. "You want to tell them what you said?"

Jasper looked at Alice and she rubbed his shoulder gently, nodding. "Alice is pregnant."

Rose and I looked at each other in surprise and then looked at Alice, who was beaming. "Really?" We squealed in unison.

"Really," Alice confirmed, her smile radiant. Jasper kissed her cheek, which made her giggle. He then looked at Edward with a wry expression before continuing. "And then this asshole hit me."

"Edward!" I scolded, shaking my head. "Honestly?"

Edward sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Okay, so it wasn't the most mature response."

"I'll say," Rose snorted, taking a huge sip of her wine.

"I overreacted, I'll admit it," Edward confessed, meeting Alice's narrowed eyes. "I'm sorry, Allie."

"And before Dad or I could stop them, these two were going at it," Emmett gestured to Edward and Jasper. "Edward was growling at Jasper about being irresponsible and Jasper wacked him in the head with the club he was holding."

"You have to admit, it did shut you up," Jasper said to Edward with a small smile.

"It nearly knocked me out," Edward replied, grimacing when he touched his cut.

"So, to end the story, Dad and I got these two calmed down, Dad checked out Edward's head – turns out it really is as thick as we've always suspected," Emmett winked at me, making me laugh.

"No concussion?" I asked Edward with concern.

"No – Dad says I should take it easy for a few days, but other than that, I'm fine," he replied, his green eyes serious as he studied my face. "You mad?"

"A little – why did you punch Jasper?" I wondered.

Edward frowned, his brow furrowing. "I don't know … I just – that's my baby sister he knocked up – I guess I just was … defending her honor?"

"Edward – they've been together for five years," I scoffed. "They live together for God's sake."

"I know," he moaned in frustration, rubbing at his eyes. "It's not like I don't know that he's going to take care of her, that they don't love each other … I just … I fucked up, okay?" His eyes were pleading with me for my forgiveness.

"While I think it was very noble of you to stand up for Alice, I think that you – just maybe – might have overreacted a tad." I smiled at him, bumping his shoulder with mine.

He bumped me back, grinning. "Prone to overreaction, that's me."


An hour later over dinner, we were happily discussing wedding and baby plans for Alice and Jasper and into a third bottle of Riesling. I was feeling fuzzy from the wine; warm and happy with Edward by my side.

Edward noticed my smile and grinned back at me. "What are you laughing at?"

"I'm not laughing, I'm smiling," I replied, sticking out my tongue at him.

"I wish you'd do it more often, you frown too much, Bell," he said seriously.

I looked at him questioningly. "What are you talking about, Edward?"

"I dunno - it just seems like lately you don't seem very happy." Edward shrugged.

"Maybe it's because I don't have a whole lot to smile about," I pointed out, my eyes cast downward. Edward tilted my chin up to look at him, smiled at me sweetly, and touched my lips with his in a soft kiss. I almost let myself fall into the kiss before my brain kicked in and I pulled back quickly. "Don't."

Edward looked hurt. "What?"

"Don't do that, Edward. I'm not going to go through this again, my heart can't take it." I cast him a look of apology before throwing my napkin down on the table, standing up and walking away.


If you were here with me we'd ride the ocean tide
To that special place I held for you deep inside
I've kept good company since you've been away
Lonely stayed with me with pride began to fade

"Yo, Eddie ... what are you staring at like a lovesick cow?" Emmett teased me.

"One – don't call me Eddie. Two – you wouldn't understand," I shook my head sadly.

"I wouldn't understand what? The fact that you like Bella a lot? The fact that you need to stop being a wuss and just ask her out? Stop me when I'm right," Emmett said sarcastically.

"It's complicated," I huffed, glaring at him with irritation.

Jasper snorted. "Yeah, it's complicated all right. Man, we've seen you guys be like this for years – constantly missing what's right in front of you."

I turned my glare on Jasper. "And what would that be, exactly?"

"The fact that you love her," Alice said calmly, taking a sip of her water.

All along I have wanted you
I pray tonight that you want me, too
All along there was no one else
I've been waiting here all by myself

I scoffed, spluttering through a denial. "I-I … what …?"

Emmett looked at me strangely. "Dude, you love her – just go for it – or you'll be kicking yourself later."

"She loves you too, Edward – she was going nuts tonight trying to find something to wear. She took forever, Rose almost had kittens," Alice laughed.

I shoved myself back from the table, disgusted with myself for trying to deny the obvious and annoyed with my family for trying to point it out to me. "If you all are quite finished discussing my relationship with Bella, I think I'd better go after her."

"Go get her, Eddie!" Emmett boomed, winking.

I rolled my eyes and headed after Bella.


I stepped outside into the soft warm air of a late summer evening, knowing it wouldn't be long before I would hear Edward following behind me. As if on cue, I felt his fingers wrap around my arm and turn me to face him.

"What the hell, Bella?" Edward's eyes were cloudy, unreadable. "What did I do wrong?"

"You didn't do anything, really... I just can't do this anymore." I smiled gently at my best friend.

"Can't do what?" Edward asked, obviously confused.

"This ... this whole we are/we aren't thing that you and I have been dancing around forever. It's making me miserable and it shows. Alice and Angela were talking with me about it a while ago and they helped me realize that I can't let you use me like this anymore." I said firmly.

And I will follow you til the end of time
Til our love is at the end of the line
You rolled out of my life just like the wind
And left behind a broken heart

"Angela? Angela Weber? You're going to listen to someone you haven't seen since high school over your best friend of twenty years?" Edward quickly grew angry. "I've never used you, Bella - and you know it."

"Then what do you call what's been going on for the past ten years, Edward?" My eyes narrowed. "This whole 'best friends with benefits' situation that we've had since high school? It seems like I'm only your best friend because you know that when you don't have someone to hold – when there's no one to warm the other side of the bed – you know that I'll be the one to fill that void. I'm not doing it a day longer, Edward. I'm done being your girl until the next best thing comes along; my heart can't take it anymore."


I took a step back from my best friend - the girl I loved more than anything in the world, the girl I would be with if I just ignored my stupid pride and let her in. My shoulders slumped and I shook my head. "I'm sorry, Bella."

"Are you?" Bella questioned, her dander still up.

"Yes, I'm so sorry." I looked at her sincerely, kicking at the pavement. "God, I'm an idiot."

"I'm not inclined to disagree ... but why are you an idiot?" She asked, her eyebrow raised.

"Because I am." I didn't want to say anything further until I had the chance to sort out my thoughts. "I promise I'll make this whole thing up to you."

Bella sighed and put her arm around my waist. "Edward ... I don't know how you manage to redeem yourself everytime. No matter what you do to piss me off, you always manage to make me forgive you."

"That's because you love me, right?" I attempted a grin as I looked down at her.

"Yeah," she sighed. "Unfortunately, I do."

I cleared my throat uncomfortably. "So … I'm going to be an uncle it seems and a best man."

"Alice asked me to be her maid of honor," Bella colored slightly, shifting away from me and wrapping her arms around herself.

"An interesting turn of events today," I remarked.

"I think it's romantic," Bella sighed happily. "To know when you've met the one and that no matter what happens, you're in it together."

"That's not romantic," I scoffed. "That's idiocy."

"What, you're saying there's no such thing as love at first sight? That there's not that one person out there for everyone? You wouldn't know true love if it came up and bit you on the ass," Bella retorted, her brown eyes full of fire.

"Hey, I would too!" I protested.

"Right ... sure you would." Bella rolled her eyes. "When have you ever been in love – and being in lust doesn't count."

"I've been in love, Isabella Marie Swan." The use of her full name shocked Bella into silence. "I remember this girl who I went to school with, we were best friends. I thought she was the most perfect, the most ... beautiful girl I'd ever seen ... we started dating and things were great ... until she wanted more and I was too much of a coward to give it to her."

All along I have wanted you
I pray tonight that you want me, too
All along there was no one else
I've been waiting here all by myself

Bella stood in stunned silence, blinking back tears of surprise.

I continued, "So yes Bella, I've been in love ... I've been in love with you, more than once. Maybe I never stopped."

"Edward ... I don't know what to say ..."

"Are you telling me that I've actually rendered you speechless?" I raised an eyebrow and looked at her with a small smile.

Bella gave me a wry look. "Slightly ... I'll recover." She started to say when she realized how closely I had moved to her; I could feel her shiver as I leaned close to whisper in her ear.

"I wonder if this will render you completely speechless." I kissed her gently on the lips, deepening the kiss when I felt her arms tighten around my neck. Bella moaned softly, allowing my tongue access to the warm recess of her mouth, our kisses growing harder and more urgent. Bella leaned back against the wall and I pressed against her, relishing the feel of my body on hers, loving the way we had always felt complete together. I slipped my hands down, cupping her backside as I kissed her deeply, and -


My eyes locked with Bella's. "Should I ignore whoever that is?"

Bella kissed me softly. "Yes. Ignore them."

I chuckled. "Yes ma'am ... now, where were we?"

Bella moved my hands back to her butt. "Right about here."

Emmett shrugged at Jasper and Alice and looked back at Rosalie who snickered.

"Well, it's about damn time."

All along I have wanted you
I pray tonight that you want me, too
All along there was no one else
I've been waiting here all by myself