Theme: Musical Cues from the Free Writers and Readers One Shot Contests

Story Title: This Time

Rating E for Everyone!

I'd love a few more comments on this one, more Authors Notes on the flip side!

Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer is the creator of Twilight, and these characters are simply on location. The rest of the story is my imagination and any resemblance to actual occurrences and people is purely coincidental. Original ideas belong to Rebadams7 ©2010

Link to song: .com/watch?v=On2sYT6dUt8 IT's on You Tube, just search Ours by the Bravery!

Inspired by Veteran's Day and The Bravery's, "Ours", from the Eclipse Soundtrack

After tonight,

Who knows where we'll be tomorrow,

What if we're never here again?

The song lyrics caught his ear as he took the exit ramp. He hadn't heard it in a while. He hadn't been here in almost a year. Last time he'd gone right. Gone through the security checkpoint and marveled at the crisp salute. His memory was crystal.

"Lieutenant" The arm snapped into position, fingers to the edge of the brow.

"Sergeant, Good Morning." The cheer wasn't even false. That was the last time he'd seen her, the last time he'd held her. The first time he'd seen her salute.

Today he'd go left. Go where he hadn't gone before. Where he had to be. Left, left, right, another left and he was parked. His hands shook as he took them off the wheel. He was afraid of what he was about to see. He was afraid, as when he'd walked into his parent's kitchen almost a year ago as he'd seen the uniform.

She'd been sitting at the table, as he saw her through the doorway and the reality hit him as she stood and turned a slow circle for his mother, modeling her fashion statement for the New Year. It was really true.

This girl, this friend, this beautiful young woman was being deployed soon. The girl who had always been there, been part of the group was going to slip out of reach, really out of reach for too long.

He'd given her a hug, and sat down next to her as she told his Mother all about her preparations with her unit, her recent promotion to Lieutenant, her work at her civilian hospital. He didn't want to share her any more. The drumbeat of that song had come over the radio and he felt like a countdown clock had started.

After tonight,

This will be a lifetime ago

So let's stay up until the sky bleeds red.

So he'd asked her to breakfast. They talked for two hours, most of the food going cold. He'd gone with her to her Dad's house, she'd changed and they'd gone off together. They'd ended up at his apartment. All the wasted chances, all the times they'd dated each other's best friends. The one dance he'd dared her into at Prom, when she'd lost the bet to Rosalie and had to go with Emmett. It had all come down to this, to wanting to keep her away from the world, to taking his chance. He'd gone into his room to change. He'd come out and she was standing at his counter, looking, wishing, wanting. He'd kissed her then, after seven years of touches, and shoves and "hey Swaaan"

"Hey Cuulllen!" She kissed him back. That was Saturday afternoon.

They didn't leave the apartment till Wednesday morning. She'd made a haircut appointment and did not want to miss it. He'd dropped her off, the straw wrapper he'd wrapped around her finger playfully at breakfast burning a hole in his pocket. He's stopped at Bergstrom's with the ancient velvet box crumbling in his hands. It was perfect and made perfect again, placed in a new box. She'd been confused after he'd picked her up and then drove over to the Thriftway. She hadn't remembered that was where they'd first met, she'd been shopping with her dad and he'd been helping his mom. He was nervous, not as nervous when he'd called her father from the jewelry store lot, while waiting; Charlie had given him his blessing to try. He came around and opened her door, dropping to one knee before she had time to get out.

He heard himself mutter if the ring would be on her finger now, or on her chain where she'd told him she'd keep it near her heart. He had a long walk to reach the doors. At least it was a clear day.

And we'll stop stop stop the world from moving

Stop stop stop the grass from turning

Stop this night from fading away

Bella knew things, her position in the unit came to her rescue as she realized an engagement was not enough. In one day with her orders we could get the license. While we waited at the courthouse, she called Charlie to let him know dinner would be at 14:00 tomorrow at the Cullen's. I called my mom and she was delighted. Alice and Jasper were let in on the plan. Rosalie and Emmett were next. "About damn time!" slipped from Rosalie's lips as she agreed to our wish. Alice would handle the details; she said we'd see her at midnight. That seemed odd, but I didn't care. The clock was ticking.

This time is ours

If I could hold this moment in my hands

I'd stop the world from moving

I'd stop the grass from turning

We'd gone back to my place, to home; to plan, to dream, to be with each other. I was startled awake by the banging on the door at midnight. All too soon, Alice and Rosalie had convinced Bella to leave with them. Jasper and Emmett brought Jack and Coca-Cola, promising the girls not to do too much damage. I was in a daze as they congratulated me on getting my head in the game, before the buzzer rang out.

The giant revolving doors did not need a push as he walked through them toward the information desk. A kind-eyed lady in a blue smock directed him toward a bank of elevators. He pulled out his phone, opening it to a favorite picture.

This time is ours

inside a frozen memory of us

And we are motionless, motionless

I arrived, sober, shaved and in my suit at a quarter to two. My mother looked oddly at me, remarking that I was taking her no jeans request a little too seriously. I heard my dad answer the front door to greet Charlie. She told me Rose and Bella were upstairs. I asked her to come into the living room with me. She'd sat on the sofa; my dad had just come in with drinks for Charlie and himself. I stood with my back to the fireplace, as nervous as when I had to start my first rotation in the ER. "Bella and I have a surprise for you three today, I'd like to borrow..." Charlie had smiled, nodded and then the doorbell rang again. It was Rev. Webber. As he came in and shook hands with everyone, Alice came and asked Charlie to come with her. After she had led him out, she came back, stood in the center of the room and announced "It's Time"

Gone like a dream that I have just awoken from

Fading away, just out of reach

And we are here, but I already miss you

Even as you're lying next to me

The nurse's station was busy. After a few moments, he was directed to a dim alcove with a few chairs. He sat, unable to relax and wishing he'd had gotten a cup of coffee to bring along.

Rose had started playing the piano as Alice moved everyone into her version of the perfect place. I hadn't even noticed all the candles were lit until I looked toward the staircase. Jasper took a photograph of Bella and her father at the foot of the stairs. She wore white velvet, it sparkled along the sweetheart neckline and the sleeves fitted her arms, She carried a bright bouquet and there was a small veil covering her face. It made her beyond beautiful and I was only disappointed it hid her eyes. I heard my mom gasp and let out what I could only hope was a happy sob as Charlie brought her to me, lifting her veil and putting a kiss on her cheek. I'd learned the vows by heart from watching the video, nearly once each week. I really only remembered one thing from the ceremony: putting the ring on her finger and her placing mine on my finger with a kiss.

He rubbed his ring with his thumb inside his hand. It was his nervous gesture, his worry bead when he missed her too much and was too busy to do anything else.

And we'll stop stop stop the world from moving

Stop stop stop the grass from turning

Stop this night from fading away

The rest of the day had been amazing. What would have been just another Thanksgiving morphed into our wedding. The tradition of going to Sam's place with all the other friends in town wasn't broken. Emmett and Alice had arranged for a cake to be there. Charlie and my folks came along and we'd been surprised with an impromptu wedding dance. Bella had cried on my shoulder as we danced, telling me it was more than perfect. She had never been one for a big fuss, but she'd wanted to give Charlie the chance to walk her down the aisle, to dance with her. Her mom and Phil would be in town Saturday night; they'd planned to see her off. She knew her mother would understand; she'd eloped with Phil while Bella was visiting her dad one summer. Then she'd moved here for her senior year. I'd met her and I'd almost missed her. Almost

This time is ours

If I could hold this moment in my hands

I'd stop the world from moving

I'd stop the grass from turning

Jazz drove us to a beautiful Bed & Breakfast; promising Alice would have our car here in the morning. Not even 24 hours and I was thinking of everything as ours.

No one saw us until dinner with Renee and Phil on Saturday night. We disappeared again until Sunday night at Charlie's house. Everyone had been there, even the boys from La Push. The house had never been that full. Jacob had stared daggers at me until he saw Bella's face. Then he just asked me to be good to her, understanding. He'd be here later in the week. He and his fiancée were driving out to her folk's place, past Seattle when the news had arrived.

This time is ours

inside a frozen memory of us

And we are motionless, motionless

Motionless, motionless

That Monday was the worst and the best of my life. It would be the best because we'd found each other in time. We were each other's, we were each other's reason to get up each day and do what we had to, do our duties. I'd watched her go up to the counter, pulling over the logbook and signing in.

"Prompt as always, Lieutenant Swan."

"It's Lieutenant Cullen now, Sergeant." There were immediate squeals and congratulations as Bella introduced me to her commanding officer and others in her unit. Some of the guys had promised to take special care of their little Lieutenant, as she was towered over by at least half of her troops. She'd known how to fly through the paperwork, she'd stood with me as she got me my identification and we signed forms. "You're now officially my responsibility." She'd risked a chaste kiss to my cheek as I pocketed my wallet with my new cards. I'd tried to just be proud as I heard her call her troops into formation. As the commander asked for the newlyweds to fall out and give their spouses a kiss, she'd bounded toward me, all her official bearing gone, giving me the one memory to hold on to as they boarded their buses. I was filled with pride and pain in equal measure, as I'd let the tears fall on my drive back to my apartment. I figured I had a good reason to miss Monday's courses.

And we'll stop stop stop the world from moving

Stop stop stop the grass from turning

Stop this night from fading away, fading away

In our letters and emails we'd shared the day-to-day concerns, the little victories we could appreciate and the little losses we could console each other. Even if it was just an occasional Skype call, seeing her face, even red with the heat and lined with the fatigue of long duty hours was nothing short of a miracle. Her tour of duty was winding down, she'd begun to speak about things we should do when I got my internship placement. Looking for a position for her, how we'd move, little bits of a future, our future to give her something better to focus on than the tragedies she worked with every single day.

This time is ours

If I could hold this moment in my hands

I'd stop the world from moving

I'd stop the grass from turning

Through Alice, Bella had managed to get flowers and champagne to my graduation ceremony; the time difference was too great for her to watch it live, Jasper had put it on YouTube and we watched it together, or at least at the same time a few days later.

"Dr. Cullen, I get to fool around with a doctor at last, my dream will come true."

"It was always a dream to fool around with a doctor?"

"No, just one silly. You, you as a doctor has been my fantasy for a long time."

"How long?"

"Since the day in biology when you told me it was your dream to be one."

I had wasted all those years, all those chances except the last one.

At last, a recognizable white coat approached him, spilling out the clinical information, informing him she was resting, comfortable. Unconscious, still unconscious since shortly after the blast; she'd only been alert for a moment, worried about her troops and the other patients. The blast from a bomb in her operating room had brought her here.

I entered the room that was eerily familiar. I had spent time with patients in rooms like these many times while in school. I never expected my first experience, as a doctor would be as a loved one, not a clinician. My training took over as I assessed the set up, trying not to break down in front of her.

Her color was good, her lips too pale and the bandages on her head too white. She'd be upset her hair was gone; it was the one thing about her appearance she'd ever fussed over. The bruises were beginning to fade, but their shadow made her look all the more fragile, like a porcelain doll in a tissue paper box.

I picked up a chair and moved it to her bedside, placing a kiss on her lips, thinking I would bring her some Carmex to care for them, they were too dry.

I noticed her rings were on her chain with her dog tags, I could see their outline through the hospital gown, over her heart. I touched them with my fingertips, telling her out loud how proud I was of her, how beautiful she looked, how I remembered every single thing of every single hour we'd had together since I'd seen her in my mother's kitchen last November. I finally lost my voice, not wanting her to hear the tears.

I laid my head on the bed next to her, turning my head to look up toward hers, placing her hand where she could feel my hair; she'd loved to run her fingers through it, waking me from sleep like that. I'd barely slept since we'd gotten the news, the days waiting for her to arrive here growing to an almost unbearable number. Being so far and unable to do anything but pray had worn me out, I could not keep my eyes open any longer as I rested my head against her hip.

I slid my hand around hers, it was a bit backward, but I curled her fingers around my thumb and prayed another silent plea. I kissed her hand again as my eyes closed.

This time is ours

inside a frozen memory of us

And we are motionless, motionless

They flew open a few moments later when I felt her squeeze my thumb and I swore I heard a whisper. "Edward"

This time is ours

This time is ours

This time is ours

This time is ours

This time is ours

Fin

Authors Note:

Yep, just one song out of 39 entries, many wonderful stories - but it would mean the world to me if you press review - if you would like to get Bella's Response, I had some requests for more, so If you review, you will get a little more. I may post it here at some time but if you want to see it now, please press review ! Thanks

Reb