Author Note: Alright, hands up who's seen Breaking Dawn? I have, twice, lol, although I had good reason (other than the fact it's my fav of the four films so far, hehe.) But yeah, little kid next to me fidgeted and talked the whole way through the film the first time I saw it. Was very offputting. So I just had to go and see it again, just so that I could well and truly enjoy it. But yeah, that then made me realise that I haven't updated this story for a while, so here I am, updating once again. Sorry for the wait, and sorry if I slip out of character...it's been a while since I've written anything, so I'm a little out of practice.
Hopefully I haven't destroyed the Saga too much with my wild ramblings, hehe.
Anyways, enjoy, as always, and reviews are much appreciated :)
I have to admit, I didn't know what to expect when I walked into the private room where Charlie was being kept under constant surveillance by the medical team. But even with my intimate knowledge of hospitals – being the accident prone klutz that I had once been – I still was not prepared for the sight before me.
Because there on the bed was Charlie, unconscious...or maybe just asleep. But he looked nothing like the father I knew and loved. His skin was pale – so pale it gave my own pearlescent skin a run for its money - and there were wires and tubes snaking everywhere, all over his body. Various machines beeped in time with the rhythm of his body, and I could barely hear his heart beating within the chest that I could tell was clearly wrapped in bandages and padding. Somewhere, very faintly at the back of my mind, I registered the smell of blood, but for the moment, the shock of seeing Charlie so vulnerable and - well broken - it was enough to hold off the terrible thirst that the blood usually brought out in me.
"Oh Charlie," I muttered, crossing the room in three lightning quick strides and taking his hand in my own. Even though it was cold and clammy, it still felt much warmer than my own skin, but then that was no surprise. I was part of a different crowd these days.
Mind you, I couldn't help thinking how close Charlie had come to joining us. Because I'd known all along that if it came to it, I'd have transformed him myself, there and then in the bank, if it had meant that he'd see another sunrise.
"Grandpa?" Nessie called up as she stood beside the bed on tip-toes. Carlisle moved forwards and lifted her gently onto the chair so that she was now my height. She wrapped an arm round my shoulder for support, so that she didn't fall, then leaned over and poked Charlie's shoulder.
"Wake up Grandpa."
"Renesmee!" I said sharply – too sharply. I immediately regretted it as Nessie's hand shot back by her side like she'd just been stung.
"I just wanted to say hello," she whispered quietly, hanging her head, and I took a deep breath, then turned and hugged her.
"I know baby. I know. I'm sorry."
"Tell you what Nessie, how about we go and buy some sweets for when Grandpa Charlie wakes up?" Carlisle suggested, apparently sensing that my nerves were on edge as it was, and I really didn't want to snap at my poor daughter any more. I guess my look of gratitude was not lost on him, because he smiled and nodded in understanding, as Nessie hopped down and took his hand. As they walked through the door and Carlisle turned to close it behind them, he looked back at me and said, "Talk to him, Bella."
"Talk...right," I nodded. It should have been easy. There was so much I could have talked about, but no matter how many times I opened my mouth to start a sentence, I just couldn't bring myself to start it. To the nurses outside, watching through the window, I must have looked like a fish out of water as my mouth opened and closed over and over.
Sitting down in the chair beside the bed, I leaned forward and kissed his cold hand. "Hey," I muttered eventually, then closed my eyes, silently kicking myself. Of all the things I could have said, I had to go and say 'hi'?
Well, it was a start, I suppose. Every great conversation starts with the word "hey" or "hello" doesn't it?
Taking a deep breath – then regretting it as the smell of blood tickled my throat once more – I tried again. "Well, this is different. It's usually the other way round. You're supposed to be the one sitting by my bedside after one of my stupid accidents. Do you remember that time I went back to Phoenix, and ended up falling down two flights of stairs and through a window?"
This was a lie, but Charlie needn't know the truth – that I was actually attacked and almost killed by a vampire called James, who'd hunted me all the way from Forks to Phoenix.
"Or that time Tyler almost run me down with his van and Edward pushed me out the way?...All those accidents I had in Jacob's garage when we were fixing up his bikes?...It's usually me who gets into these scrapes. Not you. I mean, you're Charlie. My Dad. You're a cop. You're supposed to be like some kind of superhero, right? The guy who saves the day and wears the uniform and makes his girl proud. Because yeah, I don't say it nearly enough Dad. But I'm so proud of you. And now you're like this, and no daughter should have to see her Dad like this. So come on, why don't you open your eyes, you daft thing. Come on Dad. Talk to me. Don't leave me hanging like this. Because there's so much I need to tell you. About me and Edward...and about Nessie."
I was rambling by now. Finally I'd found my stride, and suddenly, I didn't want to stop. I could have gone right ahead there and then, and revealed EVERYTHING to him! But I had to remind myself to reign it in. There were some things I could never tell him, no matter what. So I changed topic, a little reluctantly.
"She's here now, your beautiful granddaughter. Carlisle's taken her to get some sweets, but I know she's dying to see you. She begged me to bring her along. I shouldn't have, but how could I refuse? She's worried sick about you. We all are. Because seriously Dad. This isn't funny anymore. Come on, wake up and tell me to stop being so stupid. Don't make me call Mom and tell her what's happened."
An impatient cough from one of the nurses waiting to come in and check on Charlie's condition reminded me that time was not on my side. I sighed and closed my eyes briefly.
"I'll come back and see you tomorrow," I promised eventually, before standing. The nurse was at the door instantly, and had I not known any better, I'd have assumed she was a vampire, too. But her eyes were cobalt blue, her skin was tanned, and there was definitely a heart beating inside her chest.
"You're very lucky Dr Cullen allowed you to come at such a time," she remarked, not making any attempt to hide the annoyance and contempt in her tone. "Visiting hours are pinned quite clearly to the board out front. I suggest you review them before you leave. Family or not, we do not make any exceptions to this rule."
I forcefully held back the snarl that was building in my throat, and left without another word, holding my head high and deciding to take the high road. Though I did make a note of her name (or at least what I could read from the quick glimpse as I passed) – Her name was Lauren? Go figure.
I lingered outside Charlie's room for a few minutes, hoping she'd leave and I'd be able to sneak back in again, but clearly she had other ideas, deliberately taking her time over her routine checks, and glancing up at me every few seconds to see if I was still waiting.
Truth be told, I could have waited there all night. But Carlisle's distant voice called to me gently.
"Coming," I sighed quietly, admitting defeat on the vigil I'd been intending to keep over my father. I turned away, and heard Lauren the nurse mutter, "Finally! I thought she'd never leave."
This time the growl escaped before I could control myself, and I quickened my pace, desperate to get away before anyone realised.
Carlisle and Renesmee were waiting for me near the canteen. "Mommy!" Nessie grinned as she jumped into my arms, munching happily on a packet of jelly babies. She very thoughtfully offered me one, which I turned down with a smile and a shake of my head.
"Can I see Grandpa Charlie now?"
"Not now. He's sleeping. Maybe tomorrow." Then I looked at Carlisle. "Would you mind taking her home?" I asked, not really having to work too hard to sound more than a little stressed. Thankfully, Carlisle put it down to the sight of Charlie unsettling me.
"What will you do?" he asked, though I could see he'd already made up his mind to do as I'd asked.
"I'm gonna run. I need some air," I lied.
"Alright," he nodded, holding out his arms to take Nessie again. She jumped down and stood by his side, holding his hand. I crouched down in front of her and gave her one last hug.
"I'll see you soon," I told her, kissing her gently. Then I stood and smiled at Carlisle, before quickly turning my back so that he could not see what I really had in mind. Because yes, I was going for a run.
But not back towards home.
I was going to go back to the burnt out van, in the woods. And then I was going to run, straight after the men who did this to my father. What I was going to do, once I found them...well, not even I could say, at the moment. But as I left the hospital, jogged into the nearby forest, then broke into a run, a hundred and one images flashed through my mind – of things I could do to them, once I caught up to them.
Because it wasn't a question of IF I caught them, but rather WHEN.
I only hoped the wolf pack wasn't out in force tonight. Because Jacob might have shared my idea of justice (or maybe he didn't. These days, I couldn't be too sure). But I sure as hell knew for a fact the other wolves would not condone any course of action I decided to take against the men. Neither would the Cullens, for that matter.
And that was why I'd chosen to come alone.
Although, Alice being Alice, she'd no doubt already seen my intentions. That was why, once again, time was not on my side. Whatever I was going to do, I'd have to do it quick.