A/N: Yeah... It's been a while. We still don't own these guys, no matter what we've put them through. This is it though, folks. The epilogue you've been waiting for.
62 Years Later
"I loved Edward the first time I met him, and I'm pretty sure my dad did as well... even though it took a few years for them to get together. My dads were full of life and love for me, and I always knew they loved me because they told me almost every day. They also fought side by side for the right to marry, and I had the honor of standing by their side on the day that it finally happened and they became husband and husband." Bella paused here and wiped her eyes with the tissue that her son had so smartly given her. She thought she was going to be able to get through this without tears, but it was just so hard.
Even though her dads were in their early nineties, she still wasn't ready to say goodbye. If Edward hadn't been so stubborn... but that was just who he was. He was always ready for his next adventure. He didn't want to calm with age. Bella knew it was because her father was always behind him, supporting him at every turn.
Still, Bella was at least happy that they had died together, but she wished the police would have spared her the details of it all. Though, she wasn't surprised. Those two had always been crazy for each other. Still, to die in the middle of having sex...
She didn't like to really think about it.
Edward had gone first-heart attack. Then, after calling 911, Jasper had gone back to the bed to be with his husband. When the ambulance got there, they were both gone. It was almost as if Jasper had just given up.
Bella knew that his heart was broken. In all their years together, they were barely ever apart. There was no Jasper without Edward and no Edward without Jasper.
She smiled and dried her eyes. "I'd like to share a story with you all today. When I graduated high school, I got a scholarship to Dartmouth. My dads were so excited for me. On the drive to the school to drop me off, Edward was going on and on about how much fun I was going to have and the social aspects of school, but my dad was absolutely silent. Some of you I'm sure can remember how protective he was of me. My husband Embry can attest to that," Bella glanced at her husband, his face lined and his hair gray. Her three children and their spouses sat around him with their children. She was surrounded by love, but she was going to miss the love that can only come from one's parents. Her mother had died ten years earlier, and she had only made it through that because of her dads. She didn't think she was ever going to be the same now.
"Well, my dad was working himself up the entire ride to school, and about halfway there he just went off, muttering about the evil ways of men and the effects of alcohol and all these statistics about unwed college drop out teen mothers. He just went on and on. When he finally took a breath, Edward turned to him and said, 'Are you done now?'"
Bella laughed, the memory of them squabbling together like they always did, an old married couple long before they were just that.
"Then Edward turned and looked at me and winked before taking my dad's hand and calming him down in the way that only Edward could do. They were perfect for each other. They balanced each other out, and it just worked. I had a great example of what love was because of them, and I'm going to carry them with me until the end of my days."
The Pastor came forward and put her hand on Bella's shoulder, offering a small amount of comfort for the grieving woman. Bella closed her eyes for a moment, flashes of her dad's faces over the year running through her mind... all the love... all the support... all the silly arguments. She would cherish it always.
"Now Jasper and Edward's granddaughter, Vanessa, would like to say something," the Pastor spoke into the microphone. Vanessa stood and walked toward the front, giving her mother a hug as she made her way to the podium.
"I'm not one for speeches," she began nervously. She cleared her throat. "I will be forever grateful for my grandfathers. Without them, I'm one hundred percent positive that my teen-aged angst stage would have lasted forever. Even though I had gay grandparents, I was terrified about coming out. I knew I was a lesbian for as long as I can remember, but the thought of saying it aloud was so intimidating. I will always remember the day that I finally said it, finally admitted who I was. They had come to take me out to dinner, specifically requesting me and not my brother or sister, and I felt so special. I was fourteen at the time, but it still meant so much to me. Once we had ordered, Granddad E turned to me and said, 'So, your mother tells us you've been being a bit of an asshole." Vanessa laughed and smiled at her mother, Bella.
"Then, they both started sharing with me how they felt as teenagers and how trapped they felt. How freeing it was when they accepted themselves. How happy and good their life had been... and I just said it, told them I was a lesbian! Granddad Jay stood up and came over to my side of the table, wrapping me in a huge hug and then E did the same. They told me they loved me and they were proud of me. It was such a special moment."
Vanessa looked over at her partner, Sarah, and smiled before continuing. "Then, Granddad E asked me if it felt like a weight had been lifted. I told him it did, that I felt light and happy. Then, he said, and I won't ever forget it, 'So, you're going to stop being such an a-hole?'" Vanessa laughed. He never minced words, especially as he got older. "They let you know all the time that they loved you, but they weren't shy to tell you to stop being an 'a-hole' either. They were two of the best men I ever knew, and I'm so proud to call them my grandfathers."
Vanessa went and sat back with her family while the Pastor spoke a few more words. They bowed their heads and remembered the men that had meant so much to them, and then each took a turn walking by their caskets to say good-bye. After the graveside service, the tears turned to hugs and smiles as friends and generations of family gathered together at Bella's house. They drank bottles and bottles of wine and shared storied and laughs about Jasper and Edward. Tears were mixed in of course, but there was also a sense of peace and calm that the people in the house felt. They would miss them, but they just knew that Edward and Jasper were still together, wherever they were.
And, honestly, they couldn't ask for more for them.
"Out of all the stories that Bella could have told she chose that one?" Jasper remarked with a shake of his head. Edward looked over at his husband, looking fresh and young like the day they met. He smiled and then turned his face back toward the sun, letting the warmth wash over him.
"I like that story," Edward said.
"Of course you do," Jasper replied, sounding a bit exasperated. "You looked like the good guy!"
"Well, what about me?" Edward asked. "Vanessa told everyone that I called her an asshole when she was fourteen!"
Jasper laughed. "You did call her an asshole," he reminded his husband.
Edward scoffed. "I told her she was being a bit of an asshole. There is a huge difference between the two!"
Jasper put his sunglasses back on his face. "If you say so," he said with a smirk.
Edward crossed his arms over his chest. "I don't know what I'm going to do with you for the rest of Eternity." He glared out at the pool filled with half-naked men. It was definitely paradise.
Jasper smiled. "Love me, I guess," was his answer.
"You better be thankful I do!" Edward cut in.
Jasper reached over and grabbed his husband's hand, bringing it his lips. "I am unbelievably thankful and grateful and honored and-"
"Okay, I get it. Enough!" Edward interrupted, sound a bit perturbed still, but he couldn't hide the smile on his face. " I swear, you are such a sap."
"I am not," Jasper said with a shake of his head.
Edward gave his husband a pointed look over his sunglasses. "Babe, you died of a broken heart," he reminded him.
"Yeah, well you died while you were riding my-" Jasper was muffled by his husband's hand over his mouth.
"Okay, you win," Edward snapped.
Jasper smiled. "Yay! I win," he laughed, once his husband removed his hand.
"You are impossible," Edward said, but laughed all the same. Jasper grabbed Edward's hand that was resting on his chest, intertwining their fingers.
"Boys, cocktails in five in the disco!" The Cabana Boy shouted.
"Come on," Jasper said, tugging Edward as he stood up. Edward smiled and grabbed his towel. Before following the mass of men into the disco, Jasper pulled Edward close and kissed him.
"There is no one else for me but you," he stated sincerely, staring at his husband's unwrinkled face. That had been the one of the best parts of this whole Heaven thing - being young again.
Edward leaned in and kissed Jasper, letting his lips linger as he said, "There better not be!"
With those words and a smile on both their faces, they walked away hand in hand.
Yoga note: And so it ends. PerfectlyPersuasive put her own fabulous special spin on this epilogue. If you want to read more fabulosity from her, check out her awesome WIP, A Tangible Dichotomy (and bust out the pom poms and encourage her to finish it. *ahem*). A link to her profile can be found in our favorites.
Yoga/PP note: Now - a massive apology that it took so long to get the epilogue out. Crazy times & real life got in the way. No excuse, but it's what we've got.
That being said... WE DID IT! We set out to create a collab of fab fic authors...not knowing what the story was or where it was going, and it happened. There were some twists, some turns, some unexpected curve balls, but we did it. Thank you to all the authors that participated, and thank you to everyone has who read, reviewed, and stuck with us throughout this crazy experiment! Make sure to check out the authors we've featured, as they've all been up to something in the past few months.
Until next time... ;)