A/N: This was my entry for the 80's Power Ballad Contest. It won third place in the public vote! Thank you to all who read and voted :-) Also, thank you to the incredible JacklynnFrost, who beta'd this story! I hope you enjoy it!
A link to the banner for this story, created by the talented Cristag_Banner, can be found on my profile!
The 80's Power Ballad Contest: Twilight Edition
Name of song and artist chosen: We Belong by Pat Benatar
twitter name: venusenvy626
Title: We Belong Together
Word Count: 2,219
Rating: M for language
Pairing: Edward and Bella
Summary: We all have our bad habits. Edward Cullen is mine. He says we belong together, he loves me, he'll change. Sometimes no matter how bad something is for us, we just can't seem to walk away.
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or its characters. No copyright infringement is intended.
I stand alone in the shadows, watching him and waiting. He'll do it again. He always does.
The smoky club is alive and pulsating with the beating of the music and the writhing of sweaty bodies. Too many drugs and too much alcohol, like always.
He doesn't know I'm here. I had just wanted to surprise him. Finally put that new red dress to use. Maybe he'll see me and for once see things clearly. Maybe he'll finally change. Maybe he'll finally offer me some sort of commitment. Some kind of stability. A girl can hope, right? I always hope.
But he doesn't see me. And he's not going to change. I see her before he does and I know she'll be his next target. She's beautiful – all strawberry blond waves, firm body with just the right amount of curves, and a perfect gleaming smile. He tells me he prefers brunettes, but it's always the blonds that pull him back on that dark path. The path that tears us apart and slowly pushes me away from him.
My heart clenches and my stomach heaves when I see that I was right. Oh, for once I'd love to be wrong. He's scanning the room, lazy smile on his face, head bobbing back and forth to the beat of the music. Then his green eyes land on her and that lazy smile morphs into a knowing smirk. He knows it will be too easy. He'll sweet talk her, flash his crooked smile and weave his hand through his bronze sex hair, buy her a drink, get her alone some place. He never changes.
Then he'll come home to me.
I'll scream and accuse, he'll deny and deflect and distort truths. It will somehow be my fault. He'll conjure up a few tears and I'll eventually cave. He'll say we belong together. He'll promise to change. He'll declare his undying love for me. And I'll fucking buy it and swallow it just like I always do.
I try to convince myself he's just afraid. He pushes me away because he doesn't know how else to deal with the intense feelings. He doesn't know how to love and give himself to one person faithfully. I tell myself he'll learn – maybe I can love enough for the both of us. I lie to myself when I see the lipstick on his collar, when he rushes to take a shower when he finally stumbles into the house, when he holds me and makes love to me.
I can't lie to myself anymore. The truth is here, in some God forsaken shit hole in a bad part of town, staring me right in the fucking face. I can't lie when I see it with my own eyes. I've seen it before and I'll see it again.
He says he loves me and we belong together. I don't fucking belong here.
His hand reaches up to caress her overly blushed cheek. He whispers in her ear. He's touching her. He's feeding her lies, just like he feeds me. I wonder if she'd be so receptive to his bullshit if she knew I was standing here, if she knew I'm the one who's going to be at home waiting for him when he finally decides to rejoin me in reality. Our reality – it's always soiled by his lies. Would she even care? Somehow, I doubt it. She'll get off and go about her life, never knowing that I stood here and watched the scene play out right before me.
Maybe we do belong together. Maybe this is just as good as it gets for me. I just wanted him to love me – not with words, but with actions. How can you love someone as he says he loves me and then come here and do what he's doing to her? She's some nameless skank in a bar – that's all she'll ever be to him.
But what am I to him?
He's made it clear that he can't and won't commit to me. He has nothing to offer me. I'm 28 – I want and deserve a commitment. We should be acting like fucking adults. Marriage, kids, long-term – the things I want, but he'll never be able to give me. I've given him 6 years of my life. I've invested everything I can into this relationship. I share his bed. I share everything with him.
But he shares me with her – there's always a her.
I turn to leave. I may be stupid enough to stay in this fucked up situation, but I don't have to stay here. This is one place I can leave. This is one thing I can control. I can't stop him, but I don't have to watch.
How did I get to this point? Seven years ago, before Edward Cullen came waltzing into my life; I would have punched someone in the nuts for treating me this way. I would never have put up with this. But here I am. How can one man have so much control over me? How can he cut me to the bone with simple words and actions? Why am I still fucking here? They say it takes two weeks to undo a bad habit. For me, 6 years isn't even enough. He'll always be my vice. He'll always be my kryptonite.
He will eventually destroy me.
We belong together.
No, apparently I belong to him, but I know he'll never belong to me.
The cab ride home is suffocating. I know where he is and what he's doing. I wish I didn't know – I would love to be blissfully unaware at this moment. I'd love to have the safe haven of thinking he's just out playing pool with the guys. He'll come home any minute and everything will be fine.
I'm pretty good at spinning my own distorted truth.
Walking into our house is harder than I've ever experienced. This night is different. I've made this trip before – the trip to realization and back, but something has changed. This place smells of him. His cologne seeps into every fabric covered surface. He's here in everything – he picked out that sofa and I picked out the throw pillows. He hung that painting over the dining room table. The same table we've fucked on too many times to count. He fixed the sink last year when it started to leak. He sprained his knee carrying that flat screen TV from the car, refusing my many offers of help.
This living room is where he first told me of his past. A childhood filled with death, abandonment, foster homes, and adoptive parents who showed the right kind of love just a little too late. It's here that I first understood that who he is now is ingrained in his very being. He can't change without help and he refuses help. He likes the status quo. He wants me here waiting. He wants to have his cake and eat it too.
Why should he change when I'll stay here and take whatever hurt he dishes out? There's no reason for him to change.
With perfect clarity, I understand that I can't belong to him anymore.
So I start packing. I fill suitcases with clothes and essential stuff. He can keep the furniture – I want nothing from this life when I go. I need to start over. New things and new people. Safe things and safe people. People who won't take my heart and stomp on it every damn day.
It takes hours. With every trinket or memory I come across, the pain deepens and the tears fall. I can't keep sobbing over this man. These tears mean nothing to him. He says they do and sometimes I think he actually believes that – he's told the lies for so long, I don't even know if he can distinguish between truth and deception any longer.
Suitcases stacked neatly by the door.
My coat and purse are hanging on my forearm. I'm just waiting; ready and waiting. The smart thing to do would be to leave now, while he's gone. Leave a note maybe.
But I can't seem to convince my feet to walk. I need to see his face. I need to watch his eyes when they realize I'm serious this time. This time. How many times have there been? How many times have the suitcases held my most important possessions as I've made this walk through that door? Will this be the last time?
It's nearly 2 AM when the doorknob finally turns.
He's drunk, his clothes are disheveled, per the usual.
He looks at the suitcases, stares at them far too long. He knows. He's working on his strategy. Should he cry? Should he yell and threaten? Should he just let me leave?
There's no looking forward, there's no turning back.
I beg with my eyes, pleading with him to understand. Please just let me go. Give me up. You don't deserve me and I don't know if I have the strength to do this.
Maybe I just wouldn't know what to do with my strength, anyway.
That's the irony right there.
His eyes finally meet mine – blazing green meets somber brown.
"Just let me go, Edward." It's a desperate plea, no louder than a whisper.
Eyes on fire, he slowly shakes his head. No, I didn't think it would be that easy.
"It hurts too much…please…just let me go."
"I can't." He's breathless, his voice husky and scratchy with emotion.
"I can't stay."
"You can't leave."
It always comes down to this. Neither one of us backing down.
I hear your voice inside me. I see your face everywhere.
He'll never let me go. He'll find me, he always does.
He steps forward, cautiously, warning me with his eyes. He wants to touch me. He's going to try to fuck the doubts out of me. His arms encircle me, embracing me, holding me as tight as possible. I can't breathe. His face in my hair, jagged breaths turning to muffled cries. His tears are nothing compared to those I've cried. He cries to me – his tears are nothing more than a show, his proof that he cares. My tears are always cried alone. I can scream into the darkness the things I've never been able to tell him to his face.
"Don't, baby. Please don't do this. Nothing happened tonight." Tonight. What he can't say is that nothing's ever happened.
"I saw you there with her. I came to see you. I just wanted you to come home with me for once. I saw you touch her. Don't fucking lie to me!" By the end, I'm screaming, a hoarse, scratchy cry, nowhere near to reaching the force of emotion behind it.
He pulls back sharply.
"You were spying on me? Why can't you ever just trust me? Just for one fucking night, trust me? God damn it, Bella!"
It's always my fault. Deny and deflect. He's the expert at this game.
"I wasn't spying on you! I just wanted to surprise you! You fucking touched her, Edward! Don't try to deny it," I spit back. Defensive maneuver.
His hands reach up, palms digging into his eyes. This is his frustrated look. He won't talk about this anymore tonight. There will be no acknowledgement for me. I just want him to fucking own his actions for once. Is that so hard? Can't he just admit that he fucked her? Act like a man and fucking own it. Too many lies for far too long.
"Don't go. Please just stay and we'll talk about this in the morning after we've calmed down." His voice is soft now, pleading. Buy some time and he can convince me, work his charms on me.
Not this time.
I shake my head. No words are needed.
"You can't leave me, baby. You belong here. You belong with me. We belong together. No matter what."
"I'm not a possession, Edward. I don't belong to you anymore."
We belong to the light. We belong to the thunder.
"You're wrong, Edward. We don't belong together. The problem has always been that you belong to everyone else. I may be yours, but you're not mine." The tears are rolling now; I can't even try to hold them back.
We belong to the sounds of the words we've both fallen under.
The words are always the same, the outcome never changes. We can't go back and change it, but there is no future for us.
"Bella, I have never loved another woman. You are the only one. My only one. Don't….don't do this…we can fix this." His tears are slower, but there nonetheless. The shadows cast on his face in the low light emphasize the desperation and fear there. He's vulnerable. For once.
Whatever we deny or embrace, for worse or for better.
Suitcases in hand, I walk past him and out the door.
Gone. Done. Over.
But we both know I'll be back.
He'll find me. He'll send flowers. He'll show up at my job. He'll beg and plead and I'll listen and forgive.
We'll love, we'll fight, he'll cheat, I'll pretend.
It's what we do. What we've always done.
We belong, we belong, we belong together.