This is just a random one-shot I thought up while I was drawing (the newest Muse album cover—love that band) and it just came to me. It takes place during Twilight, as Esme reflects on Edward's newfound love. Sorry if I confuse you with the music language, and please leave a review if you wish, I love to hear your thoughts!
The first few rays of dawn leaked through the windows of my home—casting the faintest shadow on the large sketchpad in my hand. I sat on the stairs of the first floor, the dark polished mahogany wood stretching out in front of me. I narrowed my eyes the tiniest bit, the pencil in my pale, graceful hand drifting lazily along lines of graphite I had created. I drew at a human pace, reminiscing in the comforting moments of eternity. Every miniscule detail was ingrained in my mind—lines too pale for a human to see flashed up at me in astounding clarity, and I took pleasure in the lack of flaws that reflected in my golden eyes. I sketched the outlines of a rose quietly, the pencil obeying my wishes, dragging along with my hand fluidly.
Absentmindedly, I stretched my hearing out to the rest of my large home, listening to the sounds of my family in quiet peace. The open window carried in the slightest breeze, altering me to the scent of Jasper and Alice, gracefully sprinting through the woods, and slowly fading from my hearing. My dear Carlisle was in his study, the sound of pages turning at a rapid pace told me he was flipping through his beloved medical journals again. The smallest drag of air through my lungs brought two scents to my attention: a light, airy scent, like morning dew on lovely flowers in the morning, which I recognized as my beautiful daughter Rosalie. The other was musky, like fresh cut grass in the afternoon sun, combined with the homey scent of wood in a crackling fire, which I easily identified as Emmett. The two were cuddling on the couch in their bedroom, Emmett's arm draped across her shoulder. I smiled at their content peace, and I knew they were happy just being in each other's presence. The light sound of wind from across the house stirred my thoughts, followed by the scent of honey, lilac, and sunshine. I couldn't help but full out grin as I registered Edward, sitting on the piano bench of his mother's Steinway. Light, happy notes filled the room, the sound of fingers brushing gently across ivory keys drifted to my ears. This was a new piece, but one that I had heard, unedited, before. A lullaby. My son slowed, drifting to a stop, and adjusted a few chords before returning to a slow, steady tempo of about 70 beats per minute for a quarter note. Don't stop. I called to him in my head, and resumed sketching lazily across the paper, keeping time with the slow tempo of the piano.
I turned my pencil ever so slightly, indicating the gentle curve of a rose petal. Several flowing petals followed, while the sweet melody echoed in my mind. I drew darker lines, making them more profound and intricate, lines that swept across the page with the utmost detail. I shaded just below the edges, fading them and rubbing them in with my finger. Several smaller petals wrapped around each other in the middle of the rose, huddling closely together. I sighed happily, content. I couldn't help but drift my thoughts to Edward again as his dynamics rose from a soft piano to a swift metso forte, and I smiled to myself. I had watched and listened to him play his piano countless times, he was better than Debussy and Mozart combined. But this piece was different. It flowed, glided, and curved, more accurately than it had the first time. This was unusual; Edward normally composed a piece once and was satisfied with a "rough" draft. But he could be a professional piano player within minutes if he wanted to. Not that he didn't put effort into it before, but today he was stopping every few seconds to edit a chord or add an accidental. My heart swelled with happiness as I remembered the inspiration for his piece. Bella. Edward's hand slipped, adding an extra note, and he looked up. I continued perfecting the rose in front of me, smiling. I could feel him staring at me for a moment longer, and then he continued playing, more slowly than before. I was irrevocably happy for him; he had gone a century without someone to share his life with. Being human just made her more special, and in a way, more made for him. I guess you could call in Mother's intuition. I smiled at the thought, and my pencil flew under my hand, adding more flowers and an elegant stem, laced with thorns. As I added the last detail, shaded the last petal, and drew the last thorn, I held it up at arm's length, admiring it. A single rose occupied the center of the page, while a line of several other flowers flowed above it. I heard swift footsteps fly down the stairs, and I looked up to see Carlisle peering over my shoulder. I smiled widely.
"What do you think?" I asked tentatively, knowing the strength of his eyes was as good as mine, if not better.
"It's beautiful." He said simply, smiling and sitting down next to me, taking my warm hand in his. I smiled and leaned my head on his shoulder, looking down at the drawing before me. Edward hand drifted to the last note, a high C. That was beautiful. I thought, and smiled at him. He returned the smile, walking swiftly to the stair above me, looking down at my design. His eyes widened a little, and I thought I saw his lips curve upward a few millimeters, but I couldn't be sure.
"Roses and Freesia." He said, as if he was contemplating something very important.
I frowned, looking down.
"What's wrong?" I asked, worried. Did I mess up the shading? I had noticed that the biggest petal was just a little bit darker than the others…
"Nothing. It's amazing, of course." He said swiftly, but I detected a deeper emotion hiding in his eyes.
What is it?
He just shook his head slowly, and smiled, chuckling so quietly I almost didn't hear it. I decided to let it go, and turned back to Carlisle, planting a swift kiss on his cheek. He smiled and let go of my hand, wrapping an arm around my waist, pulling me closer.
Edward walked away swiftly, running his fingers through his tousled hair. He ran to his room, where the soft notes of Debussy started to play. Claire De Lune. I thought, listening as soft chords melted into another. I knew this was one of Edward's favorite pieces, as well as composers. He had thousands of CD's and records stacked on the shelves of his room, we had to order extra custom made bookcases for his collection. Not that I minded, I enjoyed that my son loved music very much, but hoped that somehow he would find a love for something—someone—else. I grinned broadly, remembering Bella again. A very small, sharp intake of breath from the floor above me followed soon after. And that was just when he heard her name. I resisted the urge to laugh just the tiniest bit, but recovered quickly, shifting my thoughts so he wouldn't hear. I couldn't be happier in that moment, I was with Carlisle, and Edward was with Bella. It didn't matter that she was human, that was just a stumbling block I knew they would overcome.
I couldn't wait to meet her, to see Edward with someone. Finally, after over a century, he would find love. I knew he deserved it, even if he didn't. I knew what Edward believed, and frowned slightly. A "soulless monster" as he put it. Had I been human, tears would have pricked my eyes. My son was neither soulless or a monster. He was simply one who had yet to find meaning in this life. I could see how hard it was for him—to be surrounded by happy couples for such a long time, and not being able to experience it for himself. My thoughts flickered to a happier note, knowing that now he would experience it. He had found her, the one he hadn't been searching for, the one that would tie our family together. I wanted happiness for him, wanted it so bad, that him finding Bella was almost a relief. As if a weight had been lifted off not just Edward's shoulders, but the rest of my family's as well. He actually smiled now, and laughed, something he rarely did before. After all this time…I thought, and shifted my thoughts to memories. Memories of my son, some of which I longed to forget.
I heard loud, swift footsteps echoing down the stairs, and I looked up from my book, frowning at the unusually urgent sounds. "Son, you're better than this." Carlisle appeared at the top of the stairs, gripping one of the railing posts tightly, the wood splintering under his hands. Edward stood at the bottom of the stairs, anguish clear and loud on his face.
Something was wrong. Edward was often upset, with himself, his actions, his existence. But this was different. Carlisle never lost control.
I stood up quickly; my abandoned book tumbling to the ground with a small thud. "Carlisle? Edward? What's wrong?" I asked, panic lacing my tone. My eyes flicked nervously from one end of the staircase to the other, dismay threatening to overwhelm me.
"I can't stay. I'm a monster, Carlisle, and there's no getting around it anymore. You can't keep making excuses for me." Edward said, and his red eyes flicked to the door. "Edward, we all make mistakes." Carlisle said urgently, taking a few cautious steps closer, his eyes wide with fear. "You messed up, we've all done it!" Edward opened his mouth to remind him of the one exception to that rule, but he raised a hand, stopping him from speaking.
"They were at the wrong place, at the wrong time. It was my fault; I should have checked the woods before we went hunting." Carlisle said, and something clicked in my mind. I could see that the words had the opposite effect on my son; my husband taking the blame for him had repelled him even more. Edward shook his head, desperately, as if to force a thought from his mind. "I'm sorry." Edward said, his tone laced with self-disgust.
I didn't have to be a mind reader to know what would happen next. Edward turned toward the door, his unfamiliar blood red eyes swirling with emotion. I reacted a millisecond before he did, intending to grab him by the arm, knock him to the floor, anything to keep him from making it out the door. But Edward was faster, and I knew it. Tearless sobs racked my body, but I managed to grab onto his hand, pulling him back desperately.
He turned to face me, and a dozen emotions played across his face. Fear. Anguish. Loss. Anxiety. Determination. Shock. Horror. I could not name them all. "Don't leave." I whispered, and I knew what he was seeing. My face copied exactly in his mind, stained with desperation and angst. Carlisle was beside me in an instant and I didn't have to look to know that he wore the same expression. He raised an arm to place a hand on Edward's shoulder, but he jerked back, ripping his hand out of mine, despite my desperate attempts to pull him back. "Edward, please!" I yelled, a final, futile attempt. He looked back at the two of us and flinched. "Just let me go." He said, his voice torn with pain. And then he bolted out the door.
It had been a year since my son left.
I sat on my heels on the hardwood floor, staring forlornly at my hands, sitting in my lap. I let the unforgiving memories wash over me, remembering how I had been standing in this spot when he left, only to crumple to the floor when he did. The pain of losing your child….it was something you never get over. Its part of being a vampire, I suppose…you're doomed never to forget.
Through my flawless eyesight I could see the scratches his shoes had left on the floor when he turned on his heel and ran with unnatural speed, farther away from his parents. I flinched, remembering the look of pure agony on his face. I couldn't help but think of my first child, the first one I lost. He was just a tiny baby, only a day old when he died. He reminded me of the other son I had lost, only a few short months ago. My only comfort was that he was alive, if that's what we are, somewhere.
A sob raced through my lungs, threatening to break lose.
Carlisle and I stood in the corner of our house, listening to Rosalie and Emmett above us quietly. They were in their room, murmuring to each other. Rosalie's beautiful, melancholy voice rose an octave, and I turned to Carlisle, anxiety written plain on my face.
It had only been six months since Emmett had been changed, and Rosalie was still struggling with having a love that was not based on who was the most eligible bachelor in town, or who her parent's liked the most. It was based on love, a love that was confusing, and it both aggravated and pleased her to no end.
"I'm sorry, Em. Truly, I am." I heard her sweet voice reverberate around the house. Emmett had made the mistake of hugging Rosalie from behind, catching her by surprise. Shrieking, she had thrown him against the wall, leaving a gaping hole. "It's all right, Rose, I'm not hurt." Emmett said, but anguish was clear in his tone.
He hated Royce, hated him for what he had done, and hated that he wasn't still around for him to torture for his crimes. He was still trying to comfort her, to tell her that it was okay, and expected.
Edward had left a few minutes ago, after hearing the direction of Emmett's thoughts before he had time to stop him. He just ran, fleeing from the despaired thoughts he knew he would soon hear. He couldn't stand being around the four of us for too long, although he knew it hurt us all when he left. Rosalie's hurt, Emmett's…urgency, and mine and Carlisle's love; it was "just too much".
I knew it was hard for him, being around all of us, but I selfishly wished he would come back. He spent too much time by himself, and he hadn't even been playing his piano lately. I resisted the urge to panic, the unwelcome memories flooded through my mind of the years he spent on his own. I continued searching Carlisle's face, and he saw the emotion written in my eyes.
"It's all right, Esme. They need to have this talk. It was bound to happen eventually." He said, misunderstanding my thoughts, and pulled me close, wrapping his arms around me, stroking my hair. "And…Edward?" I asked, looking up at him urgently. He hesitated, then: "He'll come back." He said finally, but I detected an edge of familiar panic in his voice. "He promised."
I was snapped back into reality by Carlisle, who had both hands on my shoulders and was shaking me gently. The clarity of my thoughts astounded me. I swallowed, looking up to find Carlisle's eyes looking at me urgently, confusion and worry plain on his face.
"All you all right?" he asked, concerned.
"I'm…fine." I said quickly, shaking my head to clear it.
He sighed. "What's wrong, Esme? You can tell me." He said, moving a hand to stroke my cheek. I smiled at him sadly, wishing I could erase the unease on his face. I took a deep breath, and almost jumped when I recognized the lilac-honey-and-sunshine scent that appeared so close behind me. I turned to see Edward standing a few steps above me, his mouth partly open as if to convey the clear agony set in his face, an emotion he couldn't seem to put into words.
"I'm so…so, sorry…Esme." He said, his words coming out half strangled.
Carlisle turned to him immediately, his eyes flickering between us, and I knew he was asking Edward what was going on. He seemed to guess what I had been remembering, as Edward nodded slowly. I relaxed, taking another deep breath.
A dozen more memories played through my mind, each of them involving Edward and his loneliness. He flinched, and I looked up at him sadly. Sorry. I could tell he was going to apologize, so I cut him off. No, Edward. Let's not dwell on the past. Things have changed, and for the better. It was then that I realized the sincerity and truth of my words, a million times over. No longer would my son have to live alone, both surviving and dying through the happiness of everyone else around him.
"It's all right, Edward."I said, a clear happiness radiating my tone. He looked at me, his eyebrows pushing together, confused. I laughed, wondering how he couldn't tell what I was going to say.
"You have Bella now." I said, and smiled again. He would never leave, never go anywhere without Bella, ever again.
He smiled, a small one at first, but eventually grew into a full blown grin, lighting up his face.
In over a hundred years, it was the happiest Edward, my son, had ever looked.