Just Yesterday

Twilight One Shot- Breaking Dawn

Charlie POV

Rated PG

A little look into the mind of our beloved Forks Police Chief on Bella's wedding day.

All characters and things Twilight belong to Stephenie Meyer. No disrespect is intended.


~~~oo~~~

It seemed like just yesterday she came into our world, a quiet and happy baby. She didn't cause us any trouble. She rarely cried, her eyes wide and expressive as I held her that first time. She was so light in my arms, that tiny hand clutching at my finger as if asking me to promise to never let her go.

Now, as I held her again, her arm tucked in mine as we walked, they glimmered with that same expressive love I remember when she was a little girl. Only now she was looking ahead to the boy that, in moments would take my little girl from me forever.

My little girl had a new man in her life.

And true to the tradition of weddings, we were walking towards her new life, and I was about to give my only daughter to a boy who claimed to love her more than anything.

They were so young. So much like Renee and I when we had thought there was nothing more but the love between us. How wrong we had been. How little we knew about the world before it came crashing down.

Love.

Marriage.

A child.

Gone.

It seemed like only yesterday.

And now I was handing my little Bells to the Cullen boy.

How could he love her?

It was too soon. They were too young.

God I hope she's not pregnant!

I trusted Bells, but this wedding seemed so sudden.

It's a father's suspicion. And the way he looked at her.

Possessive. Hungry. Intensely focused on her.

As we crossed the space that would transform my baby girl to Mrs. Cullen, I could see the look on Edward's face as he tracked her progress towards forever. He seemed much calmer than I had been when I had stood as he did nineteen years ago, watching Renee walk towards me. The idea of forever seemed daunting when you were that young.

Forever is a mighty long time.

But the Cullen boy stood there, radiant and smiling as my Bells moved towards him, as her arm gently slipped from mine. Her hand in mine, I gently laid it into his awaiting hand, lingering over it for just a moment before I would lose it forever. He glanced at me tentatively, silently asking me for her hand. On so many levels.

Taking my girl from me.

Taking the life I had found again when she came back to me.

Taking my little girl who was now a woman.

My little girl.

You better be good to her, boy. I will hunt you down. You better treat her like she is the world to you.

"I promise," he whispered to me, a hint of a smile on his lips when he noticed me look at him strangely.

He promised what?

Had I made that threat out loud?

But before I knew it, I was standing alone as my dearest Bells drifted away from me. With the man that would take my place in her heart.

Be good to her boy.

I sat down in the seat reserved for me beside Renee, and I felt a moment's regret that I had not worked harder at making Renee happy when we had been married. I had worked to keep us in our home, to keep a roof over my family's head. But I had overlooked the love that Renee desperately had needed from me. I loved her still, and her hand on mine as she squeezed it during the ceremony made my heart ache. Because she was not mine.

I would be alone again.

In a few hours, I would be going home again to an empty house.

There was Sue, I knew. But I had to move slowly with that relationship.

We both had scars to mend.

I didn't pay much attention to the ceremony.

My mind wandered as I watched my little girl blush and smile at the man beside her.

Would the Cullen boy really know how to take care of her?

Bella was independent, but she needed love.

And when he had disappeared, she had been so lost. What if he did that again? I watched him as they listened and recited their vows, seeing the boy in a new light as he looked down at my little girl.

His eyes shone with such love. I didn't see the possessive boy beside her anymore, but a man who loved the young woman beside him with all his heart. He spoke softly, pledging his soul to her, as she would do for him, promising an eternity of love to her. He was promising her forever.

Did he know what forever really meant?

Could he possibly know, being so young, that forever was a long time indeed?

His smile broadened when Bella recited her lines, promising him an eternity of love and life together. They were so young. How could they possibly understand what they were pledging? I glanced over at Carlisle and Esme Cullen, as they smiled and held one another close. They were the perfect models of a perfect marriage. I was the opposite.

Maybe Bells would take my failings and improve on them. They certainly looked to be in love. His soft kiss on her lips as they sealed their pledge was met with loud applause, alerting me that not only was the ceremony over, but my only girl was now no longer mine.

She was his. For eternity.

My little Bells, who had looked at me with such wonder as a child was now smiling and wrapped in the arms of her husband. She was now Mrs. Edward Cullen.

Treat her right, Edward.

The reception was a blur, many congratulations made to me over glasses of champagne. I mumbled my thanks and wandered around the party, my eyes on the new couple. They looked beautiful together, like the perfect pairing as they mingled with family and friends. Edward held her close, his eyes always on her and his smile brilliant as she laughed and smiled up at him.

He loved her.

He truly did.

And I knew that my little girl loved him in return.

Bella had never jumped into anything she wasn't sure about, and even though this marriage was sudden, it was something she believed in. I could see that now as she held her husband to her and sighed at his loving gaze.

They weren't like Renee and I.

Maybe they would love one another for eternity.

"They look so beautiful together don't they?"

I turned at the tinkling voice and looked down to find Edward's sister, Alice, grinning up at me. I smiled and cleared my throat that had closed up at some point as I watched my little girl dancing elegantly with her husband.

"Yeah, they look good," I murmured and finished off my beer.

"She loves you very much," Alice continued. "She is going to miss you when she leaves for Dartmouth."

I sighed and shook my head at the thought that not only was my little girl married, but she would be going off to college in another month. So much was changing, when just yesterday I had picked her up from the airport to bring her home to live with me again.

"I'm glad she has you as a friend, Alice. I have always liked you," I said quietly.

Of all the Cullens, the little sister had been the best thing for Bella. She had been the friend she needed when all the others had judged her. Alice had been a good friend indeed.

"Well, now she's my sister. The best thing I could have wished for," she replied happily and hugged me tight.

For a small girl, she had quite the grip.

I excused myself before she had me confessing my feelings of loss over my little girl and found another beer, watching Bella as she made her way upstairs to change for the honeymoon. I grimaced at the thought of what that meant and took another deep drink of my beer. The guests had slowly cleared out, leaving only Renee and I to wish the happy couple along to their new life. The rest of the Cullens lingered by the bottom of the staircase, but I remained where I was, off to the side.

I didn't want to say goodbye just yet.

Saying goodbye made it final.

Saying goodbye meant letting my little girl go, forever.

The door opened upstairs and my Bells made her way down, a timid smile on her lips as she said her farewells to Renee and Phil. Glancing around, her lips pursed slightly as she looked around for me. It wasn't until Alice stepped to the side that she saw where I leaned, half hidden in the shadow.

Stepping up to me, she stood there awkwardly for a moment, looking down at her feet. She and I were the same in so many ways; outward emotions were not our thing. But as I watched her breathe in deeply, preparing herself to say those dreaded words, I knew I needed to put her at ease.

"There there, Bells. You don't want to miss your flight," I mumbled into her hair as she held me tight.

She clutched at me a little harder, the emotions rolling through her as she cried softly into my shoulder. She knew this was goodbye as well. She knew that she was on her way to something more. Something without me.

My baby girl was all grown up.

"Love you, Dad."

It was soft, almost too hard to hear in the midst of the noise of the house. But it was there. I kissed her on the forehead and smiled down at her, so grown up now as she prepared to step out with her husband. I let her go slowly, my hand last to slip away as she smiled and nodded at me, her eyes wet from crying.

And then she was gone from my touch, in the arms of her husband and making her way out to their car. I was seconds from seeing her ride away from me. A sudden feeling of calm washed over me, and I smiled as watched her slip into the car, Edward closing the door gently on her before waving at us and sliding into the drivers seat. I didn't understand why I felt so at ease, but it was welcome.

Maybe I was coming to terms with her growing up.

Maybe I finally understood that she would be all right.

Maybe the beer had finally kicked in.

Edward's brother, Jasper, smiled as I looked his way, the relaxed feeling coming a little stronger as he nodded and pulled Alice closer to him. He must have noticed me relax. I was probably tense all night. I turned to watch as the car pulled away, and my Bells started her own journey of her life.

I sighed as the brake lights disappeared around the bend in the trees, such finality taking hold that seemed to dispel the calm I had felt moments earlier.

Time to go home. Alone.

I said my goodbyes, turning down the Cullen's invitation to stay.

I needed to be alone.

I don't remember the drive; not that I was too drunk to drive, just contemplative as the road sped past. Before I knew it, the cruiser was pulled into the driveway, the house dark save the porch light. It was eerily quiet in the house as I made my way through it, imaging at any moment, I would hear the creak of Bella's bed as she settled in for sleep, or the shuffle of her slippers as she caught me pulling out another beer from the fridge. But instead, I was met with the silence of a house with just one occupant.

I sighed as I sunk into my chair, not feeling up to turning on the flat screen for a sports recap. I sat there in the dark, sipping my beer and glancing at the pictures on the mantle. All of my Bells. Through the years.

The baby pictures.

The awkward pre-teen years.

And the pictures from the last two years when she had returned to me.

They were all I had now.

And soon, maybe there would be more than simply Bella.

I hoped they'd wait to start a family. But I knew how it was when young lovers first got married. I'd be a grandpa before I knew it. And Renee would be a grandma. I smiled at the thought of Renee freaking out over being a grandma so soon. And as I sipped on my beer and looked at the pictures again and again, that warm feeling of calm washed over me once more. I wasn't saying goodbye to my only daughter, not really.

I was allowing her to start her life, and she had happiness where she was going. She had grown up to be an amazing young woman. The Cullen boy had seen that, and cherished it I knew. Perhaps he was her true love. And if that were true, she was on her way to utter happiness. She had found joy, now I needed to find mine. I let my eyes close on her smiling face on my mantle, the warm happiness washing over me as sleep descended.

I'd call Sue in the morning.

Bells had found her true love; it was time for me to find mine.

~~~oo~~~


Many thanks to the organizers of the Fandom Fights the Floods for organising and creating this worthwhile cause. It was a privilege to support it with this little look into Charlie's mind on a most special day.

Thanks for reading!

MWAH!

steph