Eddie and The Cruisers

"Can you see the light
Can you hear the sound
Can you feel this whole world turning around"
Season in Hell (reprise) from the motion picture, Eddie and The Cruisers

Several years later…

The Clallam County Corrections facility sat nestled in the middle of downtown Port Angeles. It looked nothing like what you might have seen from an episode of Law and Order. Instead, it was just another building, amongst the throngs of businesses along Lincoln Street.

It was however, as drab and grey as the weather in good old Washington State. Eddie, clad in only his signature black leather jacket to shield him from the rain, took one last puff off of his cigarette before tossing it aside. The familiar face of a long time friend had begun his descent into the open free world. With small steps, Eddie walked to meet him, unsure as to what the reunion was going to hold.

Mike exited the corrections facility, unaware that anyone was going to be waiting for him. He half expected Jessica or some other equally fanatic roadie to appear to help ease him back into the real world. What waited for him made him chuckle to himself. He had heard the rumors although the man behind those rumors had never shown his face while he had been behind bars. All the better, Mike thought. At least now his rage and pent up frustration wouldn't be kept at bay with a piece of glass between them.

In all the time he had been gone, Mike had missed him just as much as the others. A part of him blamed Eddie for the route his life had taken but with the help of counselors inside the prison, Mike was able to keep that animosity at bay. Upon seeing Eddie's face, the hatred and love all came flooding back.

When they met in the middle, Mike wrapped Eddie into a fierce man hug, gripping him a little too tightly. That was the love of the man before him seeping out. But just as soon as that love for a brother came over him, anger burst through the surface. Mike stepped away from their embrace and studied the man before him. He was much older than he remembered but it was still him all the same. The same coward that had left them all in shambles. The same man that not only walked away from his best friends and the music he had inspired in so many, but more importantly, a man who walked away from the love of his life.

Mike reared his fist back but Eddie was prepared. He had been blindsided when he was reunited with Emmett, but he was prepared for the punch Mike was about to deliver.

"Don't," Eddie simply said.

"Why not?" Mike questioned.

Eddie sighed and rubbed his jaw remembering the crack he heard when Emmett's fist had connected. "Because I'm finally getting over Em doing that very same thing to me. I don't need to have my jaw reset again."

Eddie looked down at the bag in Mike's hand. "That all?" he asked.

Mike nodded. "Not like I've been staying at the Ritz or something, Eddie. I didn't have much."

The two began to walk silently to where Eddie had parked the car. When they were close enough for Mike to realize it was his ride, he snorted a laugh.

"What?" Eddie asked, fighting back his own smile.

"Nothing. I mean, when you arose you couldn't bring your car back with you? What is this thing?" Mike asked, running his finger along the silver paint. "Your soccer mom mobile?"

"Funny," Eddie said flatly. "It's Bella's. She's at the cottage writing today. It's the only car we have."

"We?" Mike asked. "Man, I guess some things never change. That girl has had it bad for you since we were kids. You're one lucky bastard, you know that? She could have easily found someone else when we all thought you were dead. She had every right to, ya know?"

Unlocking the doors, Eddie opened the car door and slid in, Mike following suit. He sighed as he put the car into gear. "I know. Believe me, I know."

"She's either stupid or you're hung like a mule."

"Hey," Eddie snapped, shoving his finger into Mike's face. "Don't talk about my fiancée like that."

Mike's eyes widened. He didn't utter a word, only shook his head.

"She's not stupid," Eddie finally said, clearing the awkward silence in the car as they drove out of downtown. "I was stupid. I'm a lucky son of a bitch. I know that and believe me I prove to her every damn day how lucky I am to have her. There will never be another day that goes by that she won't know how much I love her and how sorry I am for what I did. We've had our problems in the past couple of years. Nothin's easy. Love ain't easy," he stressed.

With his verbal spat of diarrhea lacking a filter, Eddie continued talking. "We've been seeing someone. A doc. She's nice and it's helping us. I don't want to lose her. I can't lose her."

Mike contemplated Eddie's words for a minute. "Yeah, well," he finally said. "All's I'm saying is, if she did leave you, you'd have no one to blame but yourself."

Mike was right, and as much as he hated to admit it to anyone that was the one fear he had. That after all this time, she might still walk away from it all. In his private sessions with Dr. Platt, he had spent hours, crying over that one simple admission. She could walk away, and he'd have no one to blame but himself.

The first Saturday night of every month Solar Eclipse had a packed house. Normally they came out to hear the vintage sounds of a tribute band. Tonight the patrons were wrapped around the building, hoping to get in and hear there favorite band perform once again live in person for the first time in over fifteen years. Even if most weren't allowed inside the doors, they each hoped to at least catch a glance at them as they left. Eddie was notorious for leaving through the front doors where his beloved car would have been parked. Outside the front door, parked along the curb, was a simple silver Volvo.

Inside, the crowd barely had any room to breathe. People were packed in rows deep at the front of the stage. Tables were removed to provide more room for everyone to gather. The air crackled with noise, hopefulness that fed off of everyone there. The Cruisers were back! Eddie had returned and now they were finally going to give their fans what they wanted. One last show to close out their torrid story.

Behind the stage, a small waiting area had been set up. It wasn't big and in past times, the band never required a space to gather their bearings. But this wasn't the past. This was the first time the group had taken the stage together. This was the first time they would play the music they were notorious for, as well as the music that was once lost; now still climbing the charts.

It was a somber moment. Each one of them lost in their own thoughts. Jasper off to the side, cleaning his saxophone so that it would give off the best possible sound. Mike twirling his drumsticks through his fingers like a majorette. Garrett, alone in the corner, thinking to himself how he was the outsider of the bunch. He had never truly felt a part of the band but then again, he had big shoes to fill. Shoes that no man could have filled.

Then there was Emmett who was torn between pretending to tune his guitar or stare at the back of Eddie's head wondering if this was all real or a dream. After that night, where he had returned from the shadows, their relationship had been tense. Sure, Emmett hugged the man upon seeing him, but he also knocked him out cold. It was going to take time to mend their relationship. Eddie was his best friend, his brother, and it was that part of the love he shared for the man he had known practically his whole life, that allowed him to be able to work at putting their relationship back together. Rosalie of course, was a big help. It seemed that Bella wasn't the only one Eddie was concerned with making amends with. He seemed to have personally accepted the role that he now had two other people to spend the rest of time assuring he wouldn't leave again. Rosalie was one tough cookie. Eddie had taken a liking to her immediately but the sentiment couldn't be returned. She was too focused on making sure that Emmett was okay after the reunion of epic proportions and while it was going to take time, Emmett knew that day by day things were looking brighter. Still, sitting with the man himself, surrounded by the one thing that they had loved more than pussy, was the music. It was Eddie's idea to reunite the group for one final show and of course, Alice was all too excited to be the biggest supporter for Eddie's idea.

Alice. She and Eddie had become close since his return. It was almost like a brother and sister type of relationship. Being the biggest outsider in the group itself, having known no one upon the initial interviews, she took a liking to the mysterious man only after she knew that Jasper wasn't too traumatized with his return. Unlike Emmett, Jasper didn't take his aggressions or anger out on Eddie in a physical sense. Everything was mental for Jasper. Maybe it was the years he had spent in the classroom with teenagers. Maybe it was just in his nature, being the guy who was admitted to the group well after they had already formed a bond. Whatever the case was, Jasper and Eddie had spent lots of time talking. Sure Eddie and Bella both were seeing a doctor about everything that had happened between them, but Jasper felt like it was easier for Eddie to talk to him, a friend. He could tell him things about his fears and desires and know that he wasn't getting some standard bullshit clinical response. With Jasper everything was one hundred percent real. No sugar coating, no hand holding. It was what it was. And for that, Eddie respected the man even more.

Doc poked his head through the curtain letting the band know they had only a few minutes before the show would start. The mood grew even more somber than it had before. Bella had moved to stand beside Edward, wrapping her arms tightly around his waist. Her hands, clasped together, were resting on his stomach. Eddie took them in his and gave them a squeeze.

"You'll do great," she whispered.

He smirked, aware that she couldn't really see him. He turned his head and looked at her with the same love and devotion he had been giving her since his return.

"I love you," he said in response.

Bella lifted herself to her tip toes and kissed him gently on the mouth. "I love you too. And after the show, you can show me just how much."

Alice and Rosalie sat together at a table that was reserved for just them. It was arguably the best seat in the house. Away from the bodies packing the stage area, or those waiting at the bar for another drink. They could see the whole stage and the reactions of the patrons around it. Which was good, Alice thought. Seth, who was standing right behind them, would be able to get the whole show from his vantage point. It was to help show the world that the dynamic between the Cruisers was still there. For her upcoming prime time special, everyone in America, whether they had ever been able to see the band perform back in the day, would see it, over fifteen years later and know that no amount of time or space could damper the classic sounds from a classic band.

The stage lights dimmed, and the bar grew silent. This was it. This was the signal that the show was about to take place. After about a minute of complete darkness, the familiar sound of Mike hitting the cymbals of his drums was heard like a rumble throughout the bar. Immediately, Garrett followed him, playing the all too haunting keys of the piano. Eddie stood at the stage, his head bowed as the music crept its way into his veins. It had been a long time, too long, since he had been here. Even though he knew it was Garrett that was providing the signature sounds, he couldn't help but think of his friend, Jacob. He closed his eyes tightly, and pictured his friend behind him. His eyes would have been intent on his fingers as they ghosted over the keys. His head would be down and concentration would be alive on his face. Eddie had wondered several times if that was when his life took its downfall. Was it when Jacob died? Had that been the first domino to fall, resulting in the rest to follow suit? It was something he couldn't think about in that particular moment. Something he would have to share with Dr. Platt in their next session. Right now, he needed to focus on the music that was filling the room.

The spotlight shined against the stage, revealing Eddie. His head still down, not bothering to make eye contact with the audience. Of course gasps could be heard throughout the room. Almost as if the crowd had heard a pin drop. Eddie being the pin. Besides the fact that he had been gone, nothing else was different about this moment. Not even Garrett on the piano because in his mind, and deep down in his soul, he could feel Jacob in the room. In his cut off black shirt, and fitted jeans, Eddie let the first note belt out from his lips.

"Darkside's calling out, nothing is real.

She'll never know just how I feel.

From out of the shadows she walks like a dream.

Makes me feel crazy, makes me feel so mean.

Nothing's gonna save me from a life that's blind,

Slip through the darkside and cross that line.

On the darkside…oh yeah…

On the darkside…oh yeah."

And with that final note, the lights sparked to life and Mike began to tap out a rhythm against the drums that had the band and the crowd themselves, on their feet, clapping along.

It was as if the past fifteen years had never happened. To the revelers listening to the music or the Cruisers themselves, nothing mattered in that moment but that the Cruisers were back and they were just as good as everyone remembered.

Eddie had sweat dripping down his face, either from the heat of the lights or the nervousness of being in front of a crowd again. He flipped his head back to rid himself of the hair that had fallen into his eyes. A signature Eddie move that made the cougars in the audience shriek with glee.

When the song picked up again, Eddie played like he had never played before. His expression was serious, yet playful at the same time. He turned his body around, away from the people in the audience and studied the faces of his friends, his family.

Garrett looked determined to prove that he had a place on the stage. Mike looked at home, banging his drumsticks against the cymbals. A huge smile lit up his face and Eddie had to wonder if it was the first genuine smile from him since his release from prison. Jasper, was…well, Jasper. He was the perfect picture of a man at ease. His gaze lingered on one area of the crowd, never wavering to anything, or more importantly, anyone else. Alice, Eddie was sure, was over the moon at watching her man do his thing.

Even Emmett, Eddie thought, and the way he moved across the stage, dropping down to play his guitar right alongside Eddie, just like in the old days. Reassurance filled his chest when Emmett would smile at him and taunt him into dueling the guitars for the crowd.

And then there was Bella. Eddie's Bella. The love of his life, the future mother of his children. The woman who deserved so much more, but this time, Eddie was quite certain that more was him. She danced around, sliding her back against Eddie's and shimming her body toward Jasper as he took his solo. She looked just like she use to in her tight black off the shoulder shirt and black cigarette pants. She was a vision on the stage, right out of bed, in the shower, and while she read a book. He couldn't wait to make an honest woman out of her, even if she teased that she was keeping her last name, at least as a pen name for her writing.

As the song wound down, the crowd was still on their feet, cheering them on for another song, and then another, and then another. By the time the show wrapped up, Eddie had one thing on his mind. Getting out of the bar and getting Bella into their bed.

Leaving, apparently, wasn't an option. Alice had insisted that Eddie and the Cruisers needed to mingle around the bar, as if the past had never really happened.

"Pretend this is back in your younger days," she had said to him with a wink. "I want to get some raw footage for the show."

Eddie found it hard to say no to Alice, especially when Rosalie was standing behind her giving him her best bitchface. He always seemed to be on the recieving end of her penetrating scowl and he learned early on that the best way to make Rosalie happy was not to piss her off. So he obliged and was currently sitting next to a logger from the town and rehashing stories from the man's glory days. It wasn't as if Eddie didn't appreciate the stories from the old man, but he had one thing and one thing only on his mind. And that "thing" or more appropriate, that beautiful woman was currently watching him from across the bar, subtly eyeing the door; a signal that it was time to leave.

Eddie smirked and watched Bella's face light up with a devilish smile. Oh the things they would do to each other later on. He scanned the bar during a brief moment of silence with the logger for Alice. When he found her, she rolled her eyes and nodded her head toward the door. It was all playful as Alice had a smile on her face the whole time. With a polite slap on the back, Eddie thanked the man for the drink and the conversation, but as he told the old timer, "I've got a date with destiny and I don't want to be late."

Bella was waiting for Edward at the door. She had been watching him all evening, in awe of the man he used to be and the man he had become. It had been a rough road but like she had told him and the others, what seemed like a lifetime ago, she loved him and she would only ever love him. He was what she needed and now that he was back and things were slowly but surely getting into a normal routine, she found herself needing him all the time. He never complained. Then again, when you had been abstinent for over fifteen years, I guess you never turned down a lay.

Dr. Esme, as Bella preferred to call her, was an amazing woman. She had spotted her earlier in the night talking very close with Doc. She had never seen the man, in all of their time together, with a woman and it was interesting to watch him lay the moves on a highly educated woman like Esme Platt. Bella caught herself several times smiling when Doc would lean in and whisper something into Dr. Esme's ear, prompting her to throw her head back in a laugh. Maybe in the end everyone would get someone. Alice and Jasper had each other, although, Alice kept hinting at a ring. Bella had to all but spell out that Alice wanted to get married to Jasper as the boy was so clueless when it came to matters of the heart. They currently had a standing date the following weekend to pick out her ring.

Then there was the matter of Rosalie and Emmett's wedding. The date had been set and the wedding party assembled. Well, most of the wedding party at least. There was still the matter of the best man to contend with. Emmett knew who he wanted to ask, but like Jasper, he hadn't worked up the nerve. With the date fast approaching, Emmett was running out of time and Bella had asked him not to wait until the day of to ask Edward, seeing as how he wouldn't have a tux to wear.

"Why does he need a tux, B?" Emmett had asked her. "Not like he's going to wear some monkey suit anyway. You know Eddie. He'll show up in his signature black and it's not like you and I would have it any other way."

It was the truth, at least. However, Bella had flat out insisted that for their very own wedding he ditch the black for something a little more beach appropriate. Where else would they get married but on the shores of the beach, just steps away from their own house? It was going to be a change for him. Going from all black to the softness of white and khaki. She could already see his pale skin reflecting the sun, blinding everyone around them. The thought had her smiling to herself as Edward walked toward her, wrapping his arm tightly around her waist.

"I love that smile," he whispered as he guided her toward the front door. "That smile tells me that you've got something up your sleeve."

"Does it now," she fired back innocently.

He hummed seductively into her ear which sent a wave of chills down her spine. As he opened the door, leading them toward the car parked out front, the blinding lights of the paparazzi cameras flashed before them. Thankfully the Volvo was directly in front of the door because bobbing and weaving through this mess was going to be hell.

As Eddie opened the door for Bella, a round of gasps and more bulbs flashing gave way. Several people were heard saying, "That can't be Eddie's car!" or "It's a shame he couldn't bring that fine piece of metal back with him."

Little did they know that he was restoring a replica of that car, the one Doc had used when he decided to play Eddie for the night. It was a small price to pay, Eddie had reasoned, given everything Doc had put them through.

The car ride home wasn't filled with silence. Eddie and Bella rehashed the events of the night. The looks of awe and bewilderment on the faces of those in the crowd. The high of being on stage again. The feeling that a single beat had never been skipped. It was just like it once was.

When they arrived back at the cottage, they both headed inside and straight to the bedroom where neither would be emerging for a while. Just as the air in the car had been charged with the energy still pouring off of them, the feeling now was more charged than it had when they were surrounded by hundreds of people. It was just the two of them, watching each other remove piece after piece of clothing until neither had any sort of barriers in their way. Bella made her way to the bed first, moving over and around the sheets, putting on a show for Edward. He watched with rapid fascination as she danced her own private dance, beckoning him to join her.

Slowly, he inched his way on to the bed, pulling her legs flat against the white sheets. His eyes never left hers as he slithered his way between her thighs. Teasing her, he kissed the insides, skimming his nose over the place where she craved him most. Her breathing had picked up, the steady rise and fall of her chest as his head was finally positioned at her entrance. He snaked his tongue out and lapped at her parted folds, causing Bella to close her eyes and throw her head back.

So good, she thought to herself. So damn good. Even better than the night before, or fifteen years before. The man worked magic with that tongue.

Edward didn't stay down below for long. Bella had reached out to hold on to his hardness, letting her hand pump him as he moved his way over her body. When their faces were so close that their noses were touching, she parted her legs and guided him into her, each of them letting out a shaky breath and an audible moan like it was the first time for either of them.

That was the best part about making love. Each time, no matter how many times they had consummated their love for one another, was just like the first time all over again. The slowness Edward took as he pumped himself in and out, in and out. The way Bella wrapped her legs around his waist drawing him in deeper. When the positions changed and she was the one hovering above him, she rode him like a prized horse at the Kentucky Derby. Soft and with calculated movements to draw out the best possible feeling for them both. Her hips would rise and fall and circle over him like she was doing some sort of hula dance. His hands placed firmly at her sides or massaging her breasts as the motions picked up. Even when he took her from behind, raw and rough and needy, she never felt anything but one hundred percent love and adoration from the man.

And as their bodies collided with the sweat of their workout, they would both pronounce just how much they loved each other before succumbing to the powers that sent them overboard. Sometimes it would just be a soft, "yes, yes, oh yes." Other times, it was more vocal. "Yes baby, that's it. Harder baby, oh yeah I'm gonna…"

But every time, no matter what words were uttered during their orgasmic state, the same thing was always said. "I need you, I want you, I love you forever."

A week later, everyone had gathered for dinner and drinks, celebrating Alice and Jasper's engagement. It was a night to remember by everyone. Between new and old friends professing their eternal love for one another, or a best friend asking a brother to stand next to him as his best man, or the announcement that a baby was on it's way, that night, The Cruisers' future was looking brighter than it had a week ago and for the first time, there was no awkward feelings lingering in the air.

Later that evening, as Bella and Edward lay in bed wrapped in each others embrace, they watched Alice's special about a man who had wronged those that he loved, but returned home to find that sometimes running away doesn't always solve your problems.

"Eddie Mason is a close friend of mine," Alice said as the show was ending. "He's going to marry my best friend and in turn, I'm going to marry one of his best friends. We're now bound together for life. And Eddie, I know you're watching but if for one second you think I'm going to let you run again, well, you can damn well guarantee that you will be dead this go round."

Alice smiled sweetly for the camera. Edward and Bella laughed at their friend, but secretly Bella loved the fact that she had a tiger like Alice as her friend.

"I'm Alice Brandon, soon to be Whitlock," she added with a wink and that smile again. "And that's our show for tonight. Thank you all for watching."

The light on the TV faded but there was still a glow in the room. Eddie turned to face his beautiful fiancée and placed his hand on top of hers that rested on her belly. With their hands intertwined, they were holding together a shaky past, a clear present, and a happily ever after as their unborn child grew to know that despite everything it's parents had been through, all you ever really need is love.

A/N- I hope that this was an epilogue that you all enjoyed. I think it closes up a few things and gives a good insight as to where they have all been and where they are all going.

Heidi with The Avant Garde awards interviewed me! http:/www (dot) avantgardeawards (dot) com/ It's a bittersweet feeling having the interview (my first ever interview) go up the day of the epilogue but also because today marks the final chapter for me as a fanfiction writer. I've been apart of this fandom for 2 1/2 years and I don't have words to describe the amazing friends and experiences I've gotten from it. But it's time for me to step away. NANO is only a few months away and I'd like to focus on the original story that I've been making notes on since January. I've also signed myself up for a 6 week creative writing class that begins next month.

In no way shape or form will I be pulling my stories to publish. They were written with Edward and Bella, or Bella and Carlisle in mind and slapping someone else's name on them will not make them original. The stories will remain on FF for all of you to enjoy. I'm also not leaving the fandom. I'll still be around; reading and on twitter but it may be a little less than before.

Please know that you've all given me so much support through my time here that I couldn't be prouder to come from such a wonderful fandom. I know I've been fail on responding to reviews, but with this being the final chapter in the story of Eddie and Bella, I will be responding to each and every one of you. Thank you again for everything.