Disclaimer: I do not own these characters and no copyright infringement is intended.

Not beta'd – forgive my mistakes.

My head was a jumble of thoughts and memories when Janet dropped me off at home. I ran into the house as the threatening storm was upon us, the rain was just starting to fall, thunder claps were loud and lightening lit up the sky. Hearing the sounds of my family I made my way to the doorway of the lounge, just standing there watching them just being together and happy. This made me feel sad, like I was an outsider looking at what I wanted, but couldn't have. It hurt. I had always felt part of the family, and now I wasn't, it was like they could continue without me, they didn't need me.

As if she sensed me, my mom turned around and smiled at me. She looked as if she was going to come over to me, but she must've caught the look on my face before I could mask it and I saw the confusion on her face. Pulling myself together I managed a weak smile in return before I shook my head, telling her that I wanted to be alone. Needing to pull myself back together I shut myself in my bedroom and curled up on my bed. I hoped that these sessions with Janet would help. I wanted to get to the bottom of my feelings toward Bella, I needed to be able to put this behind me and move on with my life, but why was there a voice in the back of my mind that was telling me things were not always what they seemed. Part of me thought that this was down to the counseling sessions. Working things through in my head, examining the details of the relationship, having to talk about them for the first time brought feelings back to the surface that I wanted to bury, no matter how painful they would be for me.

There was a soft knocking on the door to my room, I didn't acknowledge. Closing my eyes and feigning sleep I heard the door open. I knew that it would my mom checking up on me. The edge of the bed dipped as she sat down. Her hand brushed my hair off my face. Her gentle voice whispered to me. "Edward I love you, come back to me. I miss my son." Then another voice which was my father's came into the room.

"Esme, come back downstairs, he needs to rest. Janet said that they sessions would take it out of him."

I struggled to keep the tidal wave of emotions inside me as she laid a gentle kiss on my forehead before she stood and left the room, the soft click of the door closing gave me the confirmation that I was once again alone, then and only then did I let the emotions out. I must've cried myself to sleep as I woke up feeling better, but also drained. The room was dark so I grabbed my cell phone to check the time and was horrified to see that it was 8pm, I had slept for hours and probably missed dinner.

Making my way rather slowly downstairs I could hear the voices of my family as they carried towards me, causing me to pause on the stairs, before I sat down, hidden out of sight. I could hear Rose and she sounded angry, it sounded like my father was trying to calm her down without success. I heard her voice get closer as she flew out of the lounge declaring. "This is crap, all of it. He and Jake have been friends for years. Something caused their fight, and I'm going to find out what is going on." My heart was in my throat, she was going to speak to Jake, but yet I couldn't move to stop her. Thankfully Emmett was a couple of steps behind her, and he slammed his hand against the front door, stopping her from leaving.

"No Rose. I know that he's your brother, but you have to let him work things out for himself. He will never be able to stand on his own two feet if you are constantly there, holding his hand. Fighting his battles for him." His hand moved from the door and he placed it on her shoulder.

She seemed to be frustrated. "Emmett, you know he's been to hell and back. After what happened with that bitch Tanya. I should've known that something was happening there, she was my best friend and she… she…"

Then the unthinkable happened, Rose started to cry. My sister was not the kind to cry, and this hurt me. Knowing that I was the cause of her upset I wanted to go to her and tell her how sorry I was, but there was no point. I watched as Emmett pulled her into his arms and held her as she cried, he just stood there, holding her while she let out all the emotions that she had been fighting to suppress.

Emmett looked straight at me, and smiled. He knew that I was there, yet said nothing. I made my way back upstairs before I made noise as I slammed my bedroom door closed and stomped down the stairs, making out I hadn't seen Emmett and Rose as I went straight to the kitchen, sticking my head inside the fridge looking for something to eat.

I felt a strong hand pat me on the back and I turned around to see Emmett is standing behind me, I had to ask.

"Is Rose okay?"

He smiled at me. "Yeah, she wants to rip someone, anyone a new one. She loves you and wants to protect you."

I rolled my eyes at him, "I don't need looking after, I'm not a baby."

He held his hands up, palms facing me. "Hey I am saying nothing about that. You have been through a lot, and this impacts on your family. You need to realize that when you hurt, they hurt. It's all part of them caring for you. They are kinda lost, walking on eggshells, terrified that they are going to do or say the wrong thing and push you further away."

The look on his face was genuine, he spoke sense which surprised me at times. Opening my mouth to speak he cut me off.

"You need to sort yourself out, decide what you want and do it. This is ripping your family apart at the moment. I know you don't see it but it's happening. They put on the show for you, happy fucking families but we both know that's a million miles away from how things really are around here." Pausing for a moment he scrutinized my face. "You have to consider that your actions and reactions affect them. Let them in."

I nodded at him, adding simply. "Thanks."

Dad came into the kitchen, stopping when he saw just the two of us standing there, glancing at Emmett who gave the smallest of nods before he turned to me. "How was the session son?"

I shrugged. "Okay I guess. Look don't get me wrong-"

He cut me off. "I know, you don't wanna talk about it. That's okay I was probably being either nosey or just making conversation. You hungry?" Emmett made noises in agreement making us both laugh.

"Your mom's got a migraine coming on, so I'm in charge tonight and I say pizza all round?"

Nodding I went to grab the menu from the drawer, as I handed it to my dad I managed to say. "Thanks dad, for understanding"

He simply nodded at me before he asked. "Who wants what?"

We ate together, my mom didn't join us. I suspected the cover story of her headache was more to do with the fact that she was upset following my return from counseling with Janet than anything and I was determined to make more of an effort not to shut her out. It was great to feel like I was part of the family again. Not that they had ever made me feel excluded, that was probably just in my own head.

Once we had eaten I excused myself and went back up to my bedroom, hesitating at the door to my parents room, but not entering. I switched on my laptop, I decided to check Facebook. I was shocked to see how many people had sent me friend requests or written on my timeline. Then again most of them just wanted the gossip on what happened or to make fun of me. Most of these people never bothered with me at school and I couldn't see any value in them starting now. I decided to deactivate my profile, it really felt like it was for the best.

Then I moved on to check my emails, the usual spam and pointless emails waited for me. My messenger service signed in automatically and instantly I heard the familiar ping of a message being received, when I looked I saw that it was Jake. I hesitated before I read the words on the screen in front of me, knowing that I did need to speak to him. Unsure of what to say or even how to start to explain. From my talk with Janet this afternoon it was clear that we needed to sit down and get this mess sorted out, I needed to hear the truth no matter how painful without lashing out like I had done previously.

Taking a deep breath I stared at the screen and opened the message.

Ed, I know you probably won't even read this but I have to try. I want the chance to try to sort things out. We've been friends for too long to fall out over something so trivial.

Speak soon. Jake.

When I moved my hands toward the keyboard I saw that they were shaking slightly, so I pulled them back and balled them into fists to stop the shakes.

A chat window popped open, it was Bella. My heart both sank and soared at the same time.

Are you there?

I hesitated, my fingers uncurling and reaching out toward the keyboard but never quite making it Every part of me wanted to reply, I just couldn't. Another message popped up.

Please? Talk to me. I still love you x

That was like a dagger to my heart, seeing the words in front of me on the screen was different to hearing her say them. They were there, in front of me and there was no way to escape from them. I sat back in the chair, running my hands through my hair for something to do, I watched as more messages appeared;

Edward, are you there? I see you're online.

I know you're hurting but I want to make things right.

Okay. You know where I am. Please know I still love you.

Then a link appeared, my curser hovered as I debated clicking on the YouTube address that she had sent me. Holding my breath as the beautifully soft music and gentle voice came from the speakers.

I know you think that I shouldn't still love you,
Or tell you that.
But if I didn't say it, well I'd still have felt it
Where's the sense in that?

I promise I'm not trying to make your life harder
Or return to where we were

I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I'm in love and always will be

I know I left too much mess and
Destruction to come back again
And I caused nothing but trouble
I understand if you can't talk to me again
And if you live by the rules of "it's over"
Then I'm sure that that makes sense

I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I'm in love and always will be

And when we meet
Which I'm sure we will
All that was there
Will be there still
I'll let it pass
And hold my tongue
And you will think
That I've moved on...

I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I'm in love and always will be

The lyrics resonated deep inside me, so I listened to it again. She was saying that she still loved me but that she was willing to let me go as that was what I wanted. As the song finished for a second time tears filled my eyes, but I couldn't reply. Why? Why could I not bring myself to type on a piece of stupid plastic and press the return key, to tell her that she hurt me in ways that I never thought possible. I had let her in, she was the only person to get that close and look how that turned out.

Grabbing my cell phone I dialled the number quickly as hesitated as I heard their voice at the other end.

"Hello? Edward? What's wrong? Are you there?"I sighed into the phone letting them know that I was still here. "Do you need me to come over, or I can call your father?"

That got my attention. "Janet, no! Please, I'm okay, I just needed to talk to someone."

"Okay, so shoot. What's on your mind?"

I sighed once again. "I… they.." Then in a jumble of words I told her about coming home and seeing Rose so upset, my chat with Emmett and then my messages from both Jake and Bella, and of course the song that she sent me. Janet never interrupted me, just letting me get the words out.

Finally once I was done she spoke. "So how do you feel about Bella messaging you, and that song choice. Have you listened to the lyrics she is sending you a message there. You have to decide what you want to do with it."

"I don't know. I guess that she wanted me to tell her it's okay, that I forgive her. But the song, it talks about moving on, forgetting me and at the same time that she still loves me."

"Do you still love her? Would you be happy if she walked out of your life and never looked back?" She asked the million dollar question.

"Yes, no, yes… Shit! I don't know. My head is still all jumbled up and everybody wants me to be okay, it's like there is this immense pressure in there. You know?"

"Tell me Edward, describe the feeling that you have." She was gentle when she spoke.

I got up and began pacing the floor as I searched for the words that would help her to see what I meant, how I felt.

"It's like taking a bottle of soda and shaking it so hard that you know it will explode when you take the cap off, but you don't. You like it settle before you shake it all over again, and again before you finally remove the cap and it just goes everywhere."

There was silence at the other end of the phone. That scared me, but I continued. The last thing I needed now was silence. "Am I making any sense here? It sounds crazy I know, but that is the only way I can describe what I feel is happening in my brain."

Finally Janet spoke. "Metaphorically speaking, do you want to remove the cap? Let it all out?"

I thought for a moment before I replied. "Yes."

"Good. Then you know what you need to do. Edward you are an incredibly intelligent young man, you really don't need me to tell you what you have to do next. But if you need me, you can always call me."

I smiled. "Will you be there with me, please? I don't think I can do this alone."

There was a small chuckle from Janet. "Edward, you are stronger than you think, or even give yourself credit for. But yes, if you want me to be there then I will. Just let me know when and where. Good Luck."

"Okay Janet, and thank you. Goodnight."

"Goodnight Edward, oh and well done for not running from this tonight."

I ended the call and immediately sent an SMS on my phone.

Meet me tomorrow. First Beach, 1pm. If you're not there then I understand. Edward.

I got into bed and heard the sound of my phone message alert, with trepidation I read it, three simple words on the screen that signaled turning point for me. Now all I had to do was get to tomorrow.

The message simply read. I'll be there.

Authors Note:

White Flag lyrics remain copyright of Dido, Rollo Armstrong and Rick Nowels.

Phew! Sorry it has been so long since I last updated, there as been a lot happening. Firstly I hit a massive brick wall in regards to my writing and had to stop completely until they started talking again. THEN whack on top of that the fact that I was made redundant a few weeks back and there you have it, not a great time. Good news though, they are starting to talk to me AND I have a new job. I hope that you are still with me on this and will leave me a review.

This is not beta'd as Cosmom is still out of commission, so all mistakes are my own. Pre-read by Ffaddward – thanks hunny I really appreciate it.