AN ~ here's an Edward/Bella oneshot...I don't usually write E/B but this was nagging at me...and nagging and nagging.
Disclaimer: I don't own any publically recognised characters or places. I also use one very well-known quote which, like the characters and places, belong to Steph. Meyer
Summary: Inspired by 'Just the Way You Are' by Bruno Mars. I still can't listen to the song without thinking of them! This one-shot, Edward reflects on his relationship with Bella :)
In slow motion, an angel entered Biology. She turned towards me, chocolate eyes glistening, soft lips parted slightly. Her hair blew out around her and her scent washed through me. I shuddered with pleasure and agony at the same time. Not knowing what her presence did to me, the angel took the empty seat beside me.
Those deep chocolate eyes, so observant and thoughtful for one her age, were entrancing. Her soft, dark brown locks framed her face beautifully even in sleep. She thought she was plain, but I had never seen a more beautiful creature in all my years. I've never yet failed to let her know.
Every time I complimented her, she looked away or blushed furiously. She didn't believe that I would want to spend so much time with her, that I could love her. Every morning, when the time came for me to leave her, I willed that she would one day see what I see. Until then, I would just have to keep telling her as much.
Whenever I saw her face, my world lit up to the brightest sun. How could she not see that she was the image of perfection? She wanted to be like me so she could be good enough, but she was amazing enough already. If my heart were still beating, she would stop it. When she smiled that coy, self-conscious smile, even Jessica paused to stare. The other girls were jealous of Bella because she had a charming beauty that none of them possessed. I couldn't help thinking she'd be a very dangerous vampire with that powerful charm...not that I'd ever be the one to change her.
"Come on, let's go to class." I hated those words for all the times they'd broken our lips apart. When I voiced my hatred, she'd laugh, and then groan, embarrassed. I loved her laugh; it was music to my ears. Just another thing to add to my list; Things I Love About Bella. I wanted so much to be with her forever, but I could never ask her to change. She had it all, her life was perfect, and to take that away would be criminal. I remembered setting eyes on a blushing Bella in her Prom dress; she hadn't even gotten the words out before I told her just what I thought.
She was beautiful, simply stunning. Alice often joked that I would think Bella looked great in a potato sack - which of course was entirely true. The objects of Alice's obsessions were entirely unnecessary for my Bella. A very proud Esme waltzed around the house singing about my newfound affection to the tune of the lullaby I was writing, inspired by Bella. I spent hours at my piano, trying to capture the way my world stopped the moment Bella stepped into it. My mother loved all my work, especially this one, but nothing short of perfection would be good enough to be called Bella's Lullaby.
Her smile. Her kiss. Her laugh. Her clumsiness, her shyness, her politeness, her intelligence, her maturity, her passion, her big heart, her determination, her independence. There was no denying it; Bella was an amazing young woman. The promise in her eyes that she wasn't scared, that she'd see all these messes through, meant the world to me. She was so beautiful, even if she was fragile. I wouldn't change a thing. I would protect her, keep her safe, but never change her. I couldn't bring her into this life, wipe that breathtaking smile from her face when she realised what it really meant. No, Bella was amazing just the human girl she was. One of these days, I vowed, I would make her see it. Until then, she'd have to live with the promise of a long and happy life with me.
After Prom, Bella seemed less pushy about joining my family, but I could tell she hadn't forgotten her mission. I hadn't forgotten either: hadn't forgotten what had happened at the ballet studio, what had almost happened when James bit her. Perhaps it would have been easier that way, if I'd let the change happen. Or perhaps she would have become a ghostly creature of the night, haunted by the loss of her family and friends, the inability to get married, have children and grow old with the man she loved - the human she loved. If that had happened, I never would have been able to forgive myself. As it was, I had a hard enough time reasoning with myself over letting her go, leaving her at the hands of that werewolf Jacob Black. And it was difficult to accept that I had failed to kill Victoria and because of my shortcoming, Bella had then been endangered a third time. Still, after all the trouble, all the life-threatening danger I put her through and the way I fought with Jacob for her as if she were a possession, my amazing angel Bella still loved me.
Which is why, when I asked her to marry me and she said yes, I was blown away. I remember every moment of it perfectly: she blushed and turned her face away and told me that she wanted to take me up on my offer. I brushed my fingers over her cheek and turned her face back towards me, and locked my eyes on hers. Her eyes were full of hope and joy, but there was a whisper of sorrow she was trying to hide.
My marriage proposal had taken some bargaining, and in the end I had been convinced that changing Bella may soon be necessary. It may even be the right thing. She had looked forward to it for so long, even though she understood the consequences. It was only now that she started to worry; one look at her eyes and I knew what that sorrow was about.
"Don't you worry about Charlie," I told her, trying to be as gentle as possible. "I know this is scary for you, but trust me - we'll sort everything out."
"I know. I believe you." She was a little choked up, but I could tell she meant every word. She leant against my chest and sighed. "Oh, Edward, I love you so much. I'm so happy to be with you, and I do understand what it means, I just...sometimes I worry. You know; about Charlie, about Renee. About Jake."
She sniffed and sat down on the bed, and I could smell her salty tears as they fell down her cheeks, onto her shirt, into her hair. I sat down beside her and brushed the hair out of her face.
"Sorry," she sniffed, wiping at her eyes. "I totally killed the moment, didn't I?"
"No, no, I understand," I assured her. "Bella, we're all with you on this one. Carlisle and I will sort something out. In fact, I'll go talk to him right now."
We didn't end up sorting out the Charlie predicament, but we did address Bella's other concern: her wish for a real honeymoon. I remembered being perched on the edge of the bed as the sun broke through the windows, watching Bella begin to stir in the midst of a sea of silky sheets. Her hair, twisted and wild, dragged itself between pillows, wrapped itself around her arms as she half-heartedly tried to block out the sun, and fell across her face as she sat up at last.
She saw me looking on at this point, and smiled ruefully as she watched the last tendrils slip across her face to hang down against her shoulder. Order had returned to the former mahogany chaos, without her even trying. I chuckled to myself at the ease with which Bella maintained her beauty. No hair product and lipstick for her, oh no, hers was a natural gift.
"What?" she demanded, threatening to throw a pillow at me. In answer, I reached for her hair. It slipped easily through my fingers, and Bella laughed. Her stomach rumbled and she reluctantly rolled away from my touch.
"Go downstairs and...I dunno, start making me a roast or something. Whatever you Cullens would eat for breakfast if you were human." She waved a hand in a dismissive gesture, already rummaging through Esme's wardrobe before she realised what she was doing. When she reached a short-skirted, spaghetti-strapped, fairly low-cut and particularly pricey floral number that she never would have worn (but of course would look stunning in), Bella paused, swallowed and backed away from the cupboard.
"That could have been embarrassing," she mumbled, reaching for her enormous suitcase. I grinned.
"You were almost up to the swimsuit section," I informed her. She blushed and pulled her chin to her chest as she dug through the suitcase, so that her rich brown curtain of hair covered her face. Her stomach rumbled again and I was off downstairs to see what I could create.
Bella came downstairs in Esme's floral dress; a light garment covered in blue flowers. Bella had always looked good in blue, and I know it might sound sexist of me but I often wished she would wear dresses more often. It was such a shame she felt the need to disguise her beautiful curves in her usual masculine clothes. Then again, I doubted I'd be able to keep myself under control if I got to see them every day - it was hard enough already.
Oh, I'm glad Emmett is not the mind-reader in this family. He'd have fun with all this material.
"Do I look okay?" Bella asked from the bottom of the stairs. I didn't need words to answer her - she wouldn't believe me anyway: I flitted across the kitchen, swung her around and dipped her over one arm before she could so much as shout in surprise.
"You are amazing, Bella. Beautiful, caring, delightful..." I separated each word with a kiss, trailing off when Bella shoved me away and, laughing, ran for the kitchen to save the scrambled eggs I had forgotten about.
A week or so earlier, when our wedding day had arrived after much anticipation, I had admitted to myself, though of course I wouldn't say so to anyone else, that a large part of me couldn't wait for Bella to join this world. Knowing that she wanted to be with me forever, and was not just concerned about her own inadequacy, made it a lot easier to let myself think like that. Maybe, just maybe, Bella would win this argument too. Of course, even the slightest thought about this sent Alice's spidey senses tingling; she grinned knowingly at me as she passed to begin preparing Bella for the wedding. One thing was certain: I hoped Bella was prepared for my gushing of praise when we finally got a word or two to ourselves after all this.
It was agony, waiting outside for my Bella to pass through the house and out into my field of vision. The stretch of red carpet between us seemed much longer than it really was, and it felt as though Rosalie had slowed Pachelbel's Canon to one tenth of the usual speed. Nevertheless, when that moment arrived, a gentle breeze blew Bella's hair around her, and I felt the breath stolen from my lungs. A shudder of pleasure and pain ran through me, and a little voice in my head whispered; it won't be long now. Not long until Bella and I were officially, legally bonded. Not long until she was one of us, and could hold true to her promise to be with me forever. Only if it's necessary, I reminded myself.
As it so happens, it was necessary. Bella, being Bella, had seduced me, and that night of passion caused a bigger problem than we ever could have imagined. Nevertheless, being Bella, she had refused to give it up. Despite her complete inability to see what the rest of us were seeing - a lifeless girl, barely alive because of the unknown entity she carried within her - we all admired her strength.
When the child came, it was a scary time for us all. Carlisle had been away at the time, and the second something had gone wrong, Rose and Jake were instantly at each others' throats over it. At least they stayed out of my way; it was hard enough to concentrate with all the blood - Bella's blood, no less - cascading around the place. I had managed to save the baby, just in time, and then had turned to Bella's broken, bleeding body. Flying on a wing and a prayer, I plunged the syringe into her heart and pushed the plunger. Carlisle flew up the stairs, five steps at a time, and rushed us all out of the room, promising to take care of everything. In parting, he grabbed my arm and looked deep into my eyes.
"Bella is amazing young woman, Edward," he said. "She will get through this, I promise you."
Now I sit in the living room of the cottage Esme and the others made for Bella and I - and, more recently, our beautiful daughter Renesmee. The fire under the mantle flickers warmly, and a hand-me-down record player in the corner exudes cheesy old love songs. It is Valentine's Day, and Bella is upstairs preparing for our outing; we were headed to a certain small Italian restaurant in Port Angeles, where it had all started for us. We couldn't eat, of course, but vampires are surprisingly sentimental.
Werewolf - sorry, shapeshifter - Jacob Black sits on the carpet with Renesmee - now almost a year old, going on seven - who insists she isn't tired and yet is practically asleep in her companion's lap. Jake and I get on better now. Bella has brought us closer. I'm glad for it; Jake is a great kid. Better than I give him credit for.
All thoughts of Jacob disappeared as I heard Bella make her way to the bottom of the stairs. Her beautiful mahogany hair was twisted up into a bun, and her golden eyes shone in her beautiful, immortal face.
"Do I look okay?" she asked, holding her arms out and looking down at her dress; lavender purple, light material that hugged her bust but hung around her knees. I smiled crookedly at her. She mirrored me, already knowing what I was about to say. I said it anyway.
"Bella, love, you look amazing."
She rolled her eyes and tugged me out to the car. She settled against my shoulder as we skimmed across the road and asked;
"Do you ever regret it? Being forced to change me?"
"How could I?" I responded. "I wouldn't trade Isle Esme and Nessie for the world. The only thing I'd give them up for is you, and I still have you, so that's not a problem. You're just...less breakable now, that's all." My smile widened as she ran her smooth granite fingers down my arm and laughed.
"I sure need it, don't I?" she replied. "That's why I was surprised about the whole shield thing. With my record, my special power should be Danger Magnet-ism."
"That's my Bella, full of surprises." I took her hand, kissed it and returned it to her as I pulled into a parking bay out the front of the restaurant. "Just remember; without your danger magnet, we wouldn't be here."
"And so the lion fell in love with the lamb..." she murmured, getting out of the car and staring up at the restaurant sign. Both of us sighed nostalgically. Bella Italia. "This place hasn't changed a bit."
"Don't you change either," I reminded her as we started forward to escape the rain. "You're amazing, just the way you are."