A/N: Thanks and love to the usual suspects-Jen, Carla, Mary, Erin, Ness and Laurel! To my pervy twin-I love you girl and my prayers are with you and Dr. McDreamy!

To my new readers and reviewers-I love you all and appreciate your kind(and not so kind, lol that is for you Blackie) words.

Lots of great links on the profile, I add a new set on polyvore for each chapter, there is a link for the thread on twilighted that my dearest Carla started, and so on and so forth, go check it all out!

Life gets way more complicated for these two so let's see how they handle it...


Chapter 9- I need to get home

Bella

The next few hours were a whirlwind of activity. I had decided I better stop at work first as I was now late for my shift, I spoke with my supervisor who told me to take as much time as I needed. She assured me that I would always have a job when I was ready to return.

I was also able to speak with my Professors; they each gave me several reading assignments and papers to write. Because of the mitigating circumstances they understood that I would more than likely not be back before the end of the semester and instead of taking finals they each assigned me an additional paper to complete, I would just e-mail the papers by the agreed upon dates. This allowed me to complete the semester with full credit and honestly gave me one less thing to worry about. I only had about a month until we left for winter break so I could finish up with ease in Forks.

When I finally made it back to our room, I sat watching Angela as she packed my clothes into a suitcase. I don't know how I ever got so lucky to have a friend like her; she has been incredible to me.

I called Charlie to tell him the flight time and number that Ben booked me a seat on. I was a little worried about flying after hearing about Renee and Phil, but honestly how else was I going to get back to Charlie.

I called my Doctor and told them what happened. I asked if I needed to worry about flying at this stage in my pregnancy, I also canceled my appointment for my monthly check and my 20-week ultrasound. I was really looking forward to this appointment, my first ultrasound was at 12 weeks and the baby looked more like a sea horse then a baby. The Doctor assured me that it was very safe for me to fly at this time and called me in a mild sedative, stating that it will not only help me with the nerves on the flight but will help me deal with some of the stress. That of course reminded me that stress isn't good for the baby so I was grateful for him being proactive. He instructed me to take one tablet when I get on the flight and verified that I had someone pick me up at the airport just in case they hadn't worn off before I got there.

I decided that with everything that was going on I needed to call Alice, I needed my best friend, and while I really wanted to call Edward, I figured it was best to start small. I had about four hours before my flight when I called Alice, as soon as I heard her voice I lost it; I just started crying uncontrollably. Thankfully Angela took the phone and explained what had happened today, and about my flight home to Forks, they talked for a while before Angela gave the phone back to me. I held it up to my ear and continued to cry while Alice calmed me down, like only Alice could. She spoke to me for what seemed like hours and told me that everything would be okay; she told me she could fly back with me if I needed. As always Alice said all the things I needed to hear, and by the time we were done on the phone I felt ready to fly to Forks.

Angela and Ben drove me to the airport, and helped me get checked in. They waited patiently with me until I had to go through security. When I couldn't wait any longer I turned towards Angela, who was already holding out the pill I needed, along with a bottle of water. I silently took the pill and hugged her and Ben. I mumbled my thanks and took my place in line, fortunately security was quick for once and I was able to get to my gate and relax a little before I had to board. I had only been sitting for about 5 minutes when I felt my phone vibrate; I opened it immediately expecting it to be Charlie, I hesitated when I heard the voice on the other end of the phone but if there was ever a time I needed to hear from Edward it was now.I needed to hear him say things would be okay.

"Bella, I hope its okay that I called. I just talked to Alice and I wanted to check on you. Is this okay?" His voice was thick with emotion and uncertainty.

"Edward, of course it's okay. I appreciate you checking on me." I knew that I wanted to tell him so many things. Starting with I'm having your baby and ending with I still love you; come make my life all okay again. So I filled the void with meaningless chatter to keep the truth out. "I'm just about to catch a flight back to Forks. Charlie thought that it would be better for me to be at home with him, that way we would be together when other news came in. I think I'm okay, but I feel like I'm in a fog, you know?"

"Bella, it's a little hard to take in that kind of news and not feel like that, it's going to be alright. Just get to Forks and take care of yourself, okay? Can you promise me that?"

"I will Edward, I have to go they are calling for me to board. Can you call me later when I get to Forks?"

"I will love, talk to you soon."

I suddenly felt calm, and I was sure it was the combination of the medicine and talking to Edward. His voice always did wonders for my soul and calmed me like no other ever would.

I texted Alice quickly before the pilot came on and asked us to turn off our cell phones and we took off.

A

Thanks for having E call me, how do you always know exactly what I need?

U R the best! Luv 2 U! Call U when I get to Forks.

B

I shut the phone, and closed my eyes.

The next thing I knew the Flight Attendant was waking me because we had arrived in Seattle. I stood and grabbed my carry on, and made my way off of the plane.

Charlie was waiting for me right outside of the gate. I guess he had used his badge to get all the way up here. I was so thankful, I wasn't sure I could make my way around the airport looking for him. I still felt a little woozy and wanted to sleep. He hugged me and we went to look for my suitcase.

I opened my phone and sent a quick text to Angela.

Ang

I'm here, Dad was the gate and we're on the way home.

Thnks agn for all ur help! I'll call u when I know something.

B

I then typed another to Alice and Edward.

A & E

I'm in Forks, Charlie was the gate waiting for me.

I'm almost home now.

Thnks 2 u both, u both r the best frnds I could have.

Call u when I know something. Luv 2 u both!

B

I turned my phone off; I wanted a few minutes to be with Charlie. I wanted some peace and quiet, before all hell broke loose. Because I was sure that all hell was definitely about to break loose, it was only a matter of time. I could feel it in my bones. I took a deep calming breath and laid my head back against the headrest in the car.

Edward

"Alice this had better be good, I have a massive test tomorrow and I need to study." I flipped open my third text book to search for the answer to the question that had eluded me for a half an hour. "Really, I don't want to hear about your shopping trip! If that is what this call is for, then sorry but I don't have time." I knew I was a little short with her, but I really needed to study. I was not in the mood to hear about the twentieth shopping trip this week. She really needed to make some friends at school, so she could share this shit with them.

"Edward, Bella just called, she's on her way back to Forks. Her Mom and Phil were on their way to California for a charity event and their plane lost communication with the tower and disappeared from radar as well." I was certain that I had not heard Alice correctly.

"What?" I almost shouted at Alice.

"Bella was so upset she couldn't even tell me herself, I had to talk to Angela to understand what was going on. I just talked to her for about two hours. She's not good, and I 'm afraid that Charlie only wants her to get home so he can tell her that Renee and Phil aren't just lost. I don't know what to do for her Edward, she's my best friend and I can't help her. I need help, what do I do?" She was in tears, emotions laced between all of her words.

I had never heard Alice like this before, usually she knew the outcome about things before they happened and was able to stay calm and reassure me when I freaked out.

"Alice I'm going to call Jasper for you and tell him what has happened. I'll have him call you, and I'll check on Bella. I know we aren't together anymore, but we were close friends for a long time, hopefully I can help her feel better. I'll call you later, it'll be fine Alice. I'll take care of it, okay?"

"Okay, Edward, thanks, I love you!"

I hung up and just sat in shock. I had no idea how to handle this.

Bella was all alone and had to deal with this…alone. My heart ached to be with her, hold her and tell her that she would make it through all of this. It wouldn't be easy at all, but she was strong, so she would make it through.

I knew first hand how much this would hurt; I had lived through the pain of losing my parents. Granted it was a long time ago, but at times the pain was still just as strong. For years I held onto so much guilt because I felt like it was my fault they died.

It was their anniversary and I suggested that they go out for dinner, even got myself invited to a friend's house to spend the night. They could enjoy their night out without worrying about me at all. Little did I know that it would be the worst decision I had ever made. They went to dinner, they went dancing and on the way home a drunk driver killed them both. To make matters worse, I never even said goodbye to them. I rushed off to play with my friend without a single word of farewell. My second biggest regret.

I became bitter and angry, shutting out everyone around me. Punishing myself like I punished them. Never realizing that it was not actually my fault at all, the responsibility rested squarely on the shoulders of the man who decided that on that particular night he would drink and drive. My eleven year old mind never even pondered that concept at all.

Thankfully Carlisle and Esme took me in. Made me a part of their family and never gave up on me when I resisted. They never turned me away no matter how hard I worked to make them hate me. No matter how much I wanted to punish myself, they never allowed it.

All of them, Emmett and Alice as well, worked hard until it finally sunk into the deep recesses of my brain that I did not actually kill my parents. I did nothing wrong. I was a small child who only wanted his parents to enjoy a special night. Esme made me realize that my parents would never want me to be this angry or bitter about their death. They would want me to remember the fond memories and know that I was loved. As loved as any child could ever have been loved.

It took some work but eventually I 'belonged' to the Cullens. I fit in their puzzle and filled my spot. Emmett was the big brother that I never knew I wanted. He was loud, obnoxious, always ready with a joke, full of smart assed comebacks-and absolutely perfect for my sullen self. Alice was full of life, she was always in motion, and she never allowed me to say no to her hair brained schemes. I was always a part of them, often times not willingly, but still a part.

Carlisle and Esme also played a large part in my change. Carlisle was so patient and willing to listen. He was the first to allow me to talk, speak my mind. No matter how mean, bitter or wrong I was he allowed me to vent the confusing emotions. Esme on the other hand was my calm and peaceful resting place. I would go to her when I needed to be held and soothed. Often Esme was the person that I allowed to soothe my tears. Talking with Carlisle allowed me to open the festering wound and cleanse it of the vile feelings that kept it steeped in sickness, while Esme's gentle spirit and love was the salve that healed it and allowed it to close without any visible scars. All of them in their own way pulled me out of my shell. Showed me that life must go on and I could still enjoy being part of a family.

Later when Emmett started dating Rosalie and eventually Jasper started dating Alice, it simply added to the dynamics. Jasper provided the quiet calm reassurances of strength and fortitude. Rosalie had a hard exterior but a really soft heart under it all. She didn't let you in easily but once she did, she would die protecting you. They completed their partners in ways that were indescribable. I hoped, begged and prayed for a partner so that I had that possibility of the perfect future that I saw when I looked at all of them. When my eyes met Bella's across the cafeteria her first day of school in Forks, I knew. I knew I had found her, the one, my other half.

My heart skipped a beat and lurched in pain as I thought of her alone, and dealing with this kind of pain. I wanted to take it all away for her, make it all better. I quickly dialed Jasper to fill him in so I could call Bella.

He answered right away.

"Jas, you free?"

"Yeah, what's up, I thought you had to study today?" He sounded distracted.

"I do, but Alice just called me. Bella's Mom and Phil were on the plane that went missing in California. Bella's on her way back to Forks; Charlie wants her to go home."

"Holy shit, Edward, are you kidding me?" Jasper's normal laid-back manner was gone for the moment and he sounded just as blown away as I was over this news.

"No, I wish I was. Alice is a wreck." I ran my hand through my hair, the fairly common sign that I was indeed worried. "She's worried that Charlie will tell Bella that they didn't survive when she gets back to Forks. She's really scared, I told her I'd call you so you could call her and calm her down."

"Hold on, how did Alice find out?" The sounds that just seconds before surrounded Jasper suddenly quieted, he must have slipped off somewhere so he wouldn't be bothered by the noise any longer.

"Bella called her and told her, I guess. Look, I told Alice I'd call and talk to Bella. Do you think that is a good idea? I don't want to take advantage of an already terrible situation, but I know Bella needs some support right now." Once again I felt my hand run through my already unruly hair. My tell tale sign that I was nervous as hell. "Please tell me Jas, if this was you, would you call?" I begged him, worry and fear for Bella growing in my mind as the minutes ticked by. I felt the worst kind of pain knowing that she was alone here and needing to get home to Charlie.

"Edward, you should call. Bella needs the support, and we were all very close for a long time. It'd be normal for any of us to call. I'll call her later after I talk to Alice, to check in with her as well." I nodded like a fucking idiot, knowing that Jasper couldn't see it but the action made me feel better. "We need to be there for her, she's our family, no matter what happened. Call her dude. But look, just keep it short unless she wants to talk. Keep it friendly, no love stuff, got it?"

"Of course not, call Emmett and Rose for me, and then call Alice. I'll call Bella now. Please ask Em and Rose to check in on her as well, maybe if we all call she won't feel any pressure. She'll just know we care for her."

"Sure thing, you good?"

"Yeah, man, thanks. Talk to you later."

"Later."

I closed the phone, sat down on the edge of the bed, and took a deep breath.

I could do this. Concentrate on her pain, and helping her, that will get you through the call. She needs you, and she's probably at her lowest now, so just take care of her.

I would worry about myself later. With that final thought I dialed the number and waited.

"Hello."

She sounded terrible; her voice was flat, and emotionless. I could hear the panic right below the surface.

Maybe I could call Dad and have him give her something to help with her nerves, something mild to get her through this.

"Bella, I hope it's okay that I called, I just talked to Alice and I wanted to check on you. Is this okay?"

I held my breath; I hoped that I haven't made anything worse on her.

Please, please say it's okay Bella.

Bella began talking to me; I couldn't tell you what in the world she said. I only listened to the tone of her voice, the absence of her emotions and the flat cadence that it flowed over the phone lines and into my ears. I realized that I had basically tuned out her words and had no idea what she was saying and if she needed me to do anything to help her get to Forks.

"I think I'm okay, but I feel like I'm in a fog, you know?"

All I wanted to do in that moment was hold her in my arms and let her cry her hurt out. It hurt knowing that I couldn't do that for her, her pain was hers this time and I couldn't help her. All I could do was offer her some useless words and hope that was enough. I would fly to Forks right now if she needed me, but I couldn't push her. She needed to ask for me.

I tried to reassure her with silly words about getting news like that and not taking it hard. I asked her to take care of herself. She had to know that she was still the most important person in my life, even though she wasn't technically still in my life; she still meant everything to me. She was my whole world. I never stopped loving her not for one moment and I knew that even after everything I never would love anyone else, she was it for me, I just hoped that one day she would realize it. I made her promise me that she would be careful.

"I will Edward, I have to go they're calling for me to board, call me later when I get to Forks, okay?"

My heart skipped a beat, hearing her ask for my call was the purest form of joy for me.

"I will love, talk to you soon."

I shut the phone and lay back on my bed. I thought that the pain of losing Bella was the greatest pain I've ever known, I was wrong, this was. I couldn't take this pain away for her. I couldn't really even make it any better, no matter what I did. I felt so helpless.

I called Em and Rose to make sure that Jasper called them, he could have a one track mind when it came to Alice. I couldn't blame him, I was the same with Bella, I put her before everything else.

"Hey Edward, you okay?"

"Yeah, Emmett, did Jasper call you about Bella?"

"He did, but he didn't talk much. He wanted to call Alice and check on her, but he told us what he knew. Did you call Bella?"

"Yeah, we didn't get to talk long. She was being called to board her flight. I think that might have been for the best though, not enough time to get myself into any trouble, just enough to let her know I was here for her. You know?"

"Well, dude, I'll call her later when Rose gets here so we can both talk to her. Don't worry about her. Between us and Charlie, we'll take care of her Ed. She's our family, as much as Rose and Jasper are, you know?"

"That's funny that's what Jasper said. I guess I never realized how everyone had really woven into one big family, and I didn't know you guys were so attached to Bella."

"Edward, you and Bella are meant to be together, you may take the long route to get there, but trust me it'll happen. She is our sister and we take care of our family. Don't ever forget that. She'll be fine. I'll call you after we talk to her, or call me if you get any more news. Okay?"

"Okay, talk to you later."

Who knew Emmett could have such a soft side. I knew he always liked Bella, but I never knew how attached he was to her. Now that I looked at it she completed our family, in a way no one else ever could. She had formed an attachment with each member in her own way, an attachment that each of us was looking for. She filled a void that couldn't be filled by any of the rest of us. I realized for the first time how her leaving affected us all, not just me. I was too involved in my own pain to see anyone else's pain. I felt like I had let them down a little, I retreated into my own world, and left them alone. Hopefully I could make that up to them.

I began pacing and wondering how long it would take her to get to Seattle, then Forks, and then settled at Charlie's. How long before I could call her again? I knew studying was not going to happen. So, I cleaned up my desk and closed my books. I knew this material anyway. I would pass with flying colors. I needed to talk to someone to keep from going crazy and flying home right now. I called our home number, and waited for someone to pick up.

"Hello."

"Mom, are you okay, you sound out of breath?"

"I'm fine, I was in the garage looking for something, and I had to run to get the phone in time. What about you Edward, are you okay?" The knowing tone to her voice let me know that she already knew what I was going through.

"Yeah, Alice called me about Bella. I called her and she was about to get on the plane, so we couldn't talk for long. It was so good to hear her voice but Mom, she sounded like hell. I almost didn't recognize her voice. I'm so worried about her. I don't know if she can take this, this is too much for her. How do I help her?" I let the emotions rush out of me and into the phone, hoping that Esme had the miracle answer for all of this.

"Edward, you can only be there for her, and be her friend. If she wants more than that she'll let you know. I know Alice is worried about the same thing, she feels terrible that she's all the way in New York when Bella needs her. I told her to hang on, you only have about a month to winter break, and all of you can come home. You all can see Bella then. Besides, she's stronger than any of you give her credit for." I sniffed and tried to stop the tears that were flowing when I thought of how broken Bella would end up over this if it turned out badly. "I'll go by later and see her and Charlie. I'll take them some food and offer my help. I don't know if I can really do anything but be there for them. Edward, she'll be okay, and you will as well." Her voice sounded so tender and sweet. Just as soothing as my Mom's did.

I closed my eyes and allowed my brain to drift back and remember my Mom as she was before her death.

I still can't believe when I look back that I ever thought Esme Cullen wasn't going to be a good mother, I had convinced myself when I came to live with them that she could never be as good as a mother as my mom was. I of course was wrong, Esme was born to be a mother and she waited patiently until I came around. She was wise enough not to try to push herself on me; she let me come to her. I loved her for every single thing she has ever done for me. I was so thankful for her being close to Bella as well; she has always been able to comfort Bella.

"How do you do that?" I asked my eyes still closed as the images of both my Mom and Esme together floated before my eyes.

"What?"

"Say exactly what I need to hear. You do it all of the time. Thanks for helping Bella, it means a lot to me. I'm sorry I interrupted you. I'll let you go. I'm going to try to get some studying done. Thanks Mom." I rarely called Esme Mom, and I knew how her eyes softened when I did, I knew she would understand the gratitude I felt towards her when I used those two words.

"You're welcome Edward, call me later, I'll update you."

And with that she hung up. I felt better knowing that my Mom was going to be with Bella shortly. It was as good as I was going to get. At least with her there I can call and check on Bella without pushing Bella's limits.


E/N: So...? They talked that is a start, right? Let me know what you think! Till next week...