Entry #84 - AH
Truly Anonymous Twilight O/S PP Contest
Title: Unscattered and Repairable
Picture Prompt Number: 5
Pairing: Edward and Bella
Word Count (minus A/N and Header): 3690
Summary (250 characters or less, including spaces and punctuation): Bella builds some walls around herself.
Warnings and Disclaimer:I do not own TWILIGHT or anything affiliated with it. Though I own this plot. Adult content not suitable for readers under 18 years of age. All Human. Angst themes. Unscattered and Repairable.
Bella Swan was nineteen when she lost her family. She was less jaded before the tragedy struck. But she was jaded, nevertheless. So things that were 'bad' before had aggravated now. Bella was bitter before and a bitch now. Bella was a hermit before and a sociopath now. Bella was plain before and ugly now…
Honestly, Bella didn't mind the quasi-mass-social boycott she was facing. It was a welcome relief.
But perfection is always flawed. She didn't foresee Edward Cullen to be the one flawing her 'perfection'.
(He speaks, first.)
"No faith or less faith is actually too much faith in the wrong thing."
"Wrong thing? Who defines this 'wrong thing'? Man came up with the concepts of wrong and right. 'Wrong and right' is not a real thing."
"A sudden blackout freaks you out. Restored power makes you 'phew' in relief."
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"That has everything to do with your rejection of the scales of wrong and right, black and white, God and a Non-God…"
"Human. Non-God is Human."
"I never said I didn't believe in humanity! What do you take me for?"
"You believe in humanity?"
"Of course— you're making fun of me?"
"Yes, I am. And by doing that I am trying to show you what you want to believe in but are also too afraid to believe in."
"Did that make any sense even in your head?"
"Yes, it did. And it made sense to you too. But, like I said, you're AFRAID."
Edward never wanted to sit alone during Magic Realism 101. He slid in next to her smelling of cheap cologne. Bella blamed Sartre and Camus for their predicament. Those two were Edward's favorite. And Edward thought of himself as an extension of them. What a pretentious nerd! He smirked at her before slipping her a scrap of paper.
You've got a test on Nietzsche day after. ;)
Bella glared at him. How did he know?
I'll be your study partner. It's not a choice.;)
In order to evade him, Bella ditched the library for a secluded corner in the Yearbook offices. Only to be joined by Edward and a huge tome titled 'Nietzsche Philosophy-A Complete Guide'.
Life is a cheeky little harpy. She just loves to rattle your peace.
(Sometimes, he lets me speak first.)
"So you're my preacher slash teacher?"
"No, I am your mentor."
"So you'll herd me to water and then force me to drink it?"
"No. I'll try to make you see that you're actually in a pool of water. But because you've scrubbed your skin raw off sensitivity, you can't feel the coolness, the respite, the bounty…"
"You are implying that I am an insensitive bitch."
"I'm too much of a gentleman to use that derogatory word, even in my mind. On the contrary, I'm implying that you're too sensitive to… to all things hurtful and that's where your fear is rooted."
"I'm a strong person. I am not afraid of anything!"
"You are afraid. You are afraid that if you'll feel, you'll feel everything. Every bruise, every abrasion, every broken bone, every scar, every cut, every—"
"You think you know everything, hmm? You know nothing, did you hear me? Not a thing!"
"I know that I know nothing."
"That is my sole aim: to know everything. Will you show me everything? Can you? Everything that you know but pretend to not know? Everything that's in you but not quite a part of you because you've cut it from your nerves to keep yourself from feeling?"
"You've no right to know."
"It's my ambition. I want to know. Ambitions are selfish. They don't care about the restraints of rights."
"I won't show you anything."
"So you agree that whatever I want to see exists? Your fears, I mean?"
"Every bruise, every abrasion, every broken bone, every scar, every cut—"
It had been a while since she had cried. And Bella was not proud of it. A few questions goaded her brain continuously— how did he know her so well? And why was he so persistent on infiltrating her life? Sure it was not something as lame as a crush or maybe just a crazy challenge to bed her? The thought made her stop crying.
A sense of emotional strength prevailed.
Bella ignored Edward for the next two weeks. She played deaf to his questions and even arrived late to Magic Realism 101 to avoid sitting with him. It was a small victory for her.
A small victory because there were moments when she craved an aimless, heated and overtly philosophical argument. She suppressed that need whenever it reared its ugly head.
And Edward… Edward was always smirking at her whenever he met her eyes. From across the classroom, from across the café, from across the quad…
I can accept periods of unhappiness, because I know I will also experience happiness to come. Quote, unquote, Albert fucking Camus.
Camus and his duality were equal to Edward and his complacence.
And she was fully aware that Edward was silently telling her something each time he smirked at her.
You're so not winning.
So when he made a scene in the quad by kissing Ariel Badgley, surrounded by throngs of people who were cheering and wooing, Bella thought it was another effort from his side to get a rise out of her. This time when he met her eyes, his gaze didn't even linger for the next second.
Defeat; She had felt something akin to this when she couldn't make out what her dying sister was trying to tell her.
But Bella was stubborn. She told herself that the Edward Cullen episode was now over.
And she decided she could pretend to love Nietzsche. And hate everything alive with an I.Q less than hers.
Love the man who killed God and called himself an Ubermensch. Love the man who defined women as God's second mistake.
What an asshole.
Bella never wanted to think about Edward Cullen. Why would she want to think about someone who liked to annoy her, goad her and hurt her? Of course she was a strong person who was dealing with the consequences of her life's tragedy with élan. She had cried because of Edward on one occasion. She wasn't going to cry ever again.
When Heather from Magic Realism 101 had asked her how she was 'coping', she had replied with a snarky, 'I'm alive, aren't I?' Little did she know that Heather wasn't referring to the car crash in which all her family had died, less than ten weeks ago. She was referring to Bella and Edward's break up. In college, romantic tragedies are the worst things that can happen.
Unfortunately for Bella, a small motley group of girls thought that she had a thing for Edward who couldn't reciprocate with the same feelings. So he had left her.
Gossip is a cruel thing. It makes your little paper doll self look like a voodoo doll with evil powers.
Paper dolls are so easy to destroy… Bella knew that if Edward hadn't left, he would have torn her into tiny bits.
But Bella caught herself. She'd be damned if she thought of herself as a paper doll!
Who knew she'd hate it?Oh how she hated herself for hating it. But it was a shocking self-revelation. The hurt that accompanied that pure hate for the… er, situation was unbelievably strong. What was he trying to accomplish by doing this to her?
It was one of those lame frat parties that she avoided. She never wanted to be there but tonight she had this acute want for a tasteless and free alcoholic drink. Someone said it was a birthday party… It was a birthday party— Ariel Bradgley's birthday party.
And then there was all the fun that Edward and Ariel were having.
When he was grinding and groping against her on the dance floor, Bella watched them unblinkingly. It was purely sexual; hollow, animalistic and superficial. It was easy to watch.
But when he kissed Ariel… Bella blinked. And then she just blinked faster. It was too much for her to take. A voice in her head screamed that Edward shouldn't have kissed the girl like that.
So she ran. All the while she was running, Bella wished she was strong enough to sit there and watch him kiss that girl.
She was not strong enough. But she was not going to cry! Never. (He doesn't make it a habit, though…)
"Do you sit in the moonlight to appreciate the romance of it?"
(He doesn't make it a habit, though…)
"Have you counted the number of times you have invaded my privacy?"
"Why do you think you fail to push me away every time?"
"Are you a mutation or do you come from a planet of insolent asses?"
"Why can I see all your defenses crumbling?"
"Apart from insolence, you suffer from delusions, too?"
"It hit you sharply when I kissed that blonde on the dance floor, didn't it?"
"Maybe… Maybe y-your round-about philosophy burnt your brain cells enough to make you hallucinate?"
"Are you going to pretend you didn't swallow a lump in your throat and fight back tears?"
"When are you going to leave me alone?"
"Why do you ask all the wrong questions?"
"Why do you harass me so much?"
"Why do you harass me so much?"
"What the hell did I do to harass you?"
"Didn't you just walk a hundred steps back after realizing that you'd crossed your line by a couple of steps?"
"Isn't that a non-entendre?"
"Did you not run backwards as soon as jealousy hit you in your face?"
"I didn't run anywhere! I didn't walk beyond any fucking line! I didn't take any step forward or backward! I'm not going to let you get to me!"
"Why are you crying?"
"I want you to leave me alone!"
"Why did you wince at 'alone'?"
"You are interference. You are an annoyance."
"When are you going to admit that you hate 'alone'?"
"You are my personal Hell."
"When are you going to admit you've lost your battle?"
"You are HELL!"
"When are you going to say that I filled your 'alone'?"
"You fill me with anger!"
"You believe in passionate things like hate, hell and anger now, don't you?"
"You want to destroy me."
"Haven't you destroyed yourself enough?"
"I can! I am!"
"Then why have you been fisting the collar of my shirt all this while?"
When Edward pressed Bella to him abruptly, he let out a quick sigh of relief. The embrace was controlled. He always knew that she would never let him hug her easily. For Bella giving into an embrace would be equal to selling her self-esteem at a second hand store. So he forced a hug on her. Crazy girl pushed at his shoulders but he had already framed her into his arms.
This girl was too hard on the outside. Figuratively, of course. She called him vile names, fought her sobs and fisted the fabric of his shirt with such madness. She was on the verge of crumbling. But she was still fighting against it.
When Edward made Bella's well-being his life's aim some three months back, he had not known he was going to be more than just a good friend to this lonely, intelligent and beautiful girl.
He couldn't help it.
He was in too deep.
He was falling for a girl who would probably never fall for anyone, forget Edward Cullen.
Bella acted like that night never happened. Edward never hugged her. She never had a breakdown in his arms. He never dropped her to home. In all nothing maudlin or melodramatic happened.
Throwing herself into Gabriel Garcia Marquez was a great thing to do. Intellectual exhaustion would help her purge her demons.
Unfortunately, some demons are too strong to ever go away. When Edward slid into the seat across from hers in the library late that night, she decided to behave as if alcohol had washed her memory of the previous night.
(He speaks before I; to win.)
"I thought your walls were crumbling but you won."
"I'm too exhausted for this, please."
"Please? Please what?"
"Leave me alone."
"I don't want to be left alone."
"I am asking you to leave me alone."
"You swallowed at 'leave' and 'alone'. That gives me a selfish hope."
"Why are you doing this?"
"Why? Well, the answer is easy to give but not simple to explain. If you really want to know, I'd request you to let me stay for a little while longer."
"As if you were going to go away…"
Bella Swan had now resigned herself to his constant presence. Edward Cullen panicked thinking she had found a way to resist him. While he treated her as a unique and challenging woman with an enviable intellect and botched up emotions, she treated him like a boy with no brains and an average personality.
But Edward Cullen was not going to lose. Or in other words, he was not going to let her lose.
That night he found her sitting on a bench behind her residential hall. It was a clear summer night and she had her laptop with her. When she saw him approaching, she shut her machine and started to pack her things up, all ready to leave.
But he was too determined tonight. He had had enough of it. And it was time to tell her that she had had enough of it too.
(He initiates with words so that he wins. Every. Time!)
"You hoped, didn't you?"
"Hoped that I'd defeat you."
"Cryptic is medieval, you know. Be clear."
"Okay. I'll be clear."
"Hmm. Your skin's growing back."
"What does that mean?"
"It goose pimpled at my touch."
At first it was just a tip of his finger on the expanse of skin on her shoulder. And then suddenly it was the back of his fingers across her cheeks. Unceremoniously, he snatched her bag from her hand and silenced her protest with his finger on her lips. Things like this don't happen slowly. The way they happen is akin to the way a sudden tornado strikes— mad, raucous and unreasonably destructive.
Just that this was a type of destruction that Bella needed—craved, desired, longed…
He kissed her. And it was too fiery for a first kiss. At first his tongue traced her mouth. Sensually, he sucked her lower lip into his mouth. It was shocking for Bella. Her bones were sinking, her skin was experiencing a storm of sensations and her blood never felt so hot beneath her skin. It was the movement of his lips that manipulated hers. And all she could think about at that moment was him.
Just when she thought it couldn't feel any better, he scrapped her lips with his teeth. That's when Bella Swan wrapped herself around his body and kissed him back.
While their tongues laved around each other, they both thought the same thing.
No stopping at this. Fuck the consequences.
They ended up at Edward's apartment. Bella was too far gone. Edward could feel a scratch from her finger nails burning up at the back of his neck.
Bella just didn't know how to go ahead with it. She had lost her virginity to a freak netball injury. Sexual experience was an uncharted territory. So she kept on doing what she felt like doing. She kissed his throat and ran her tongue across his jaw. Her hands greedily explored the naked skin of his back, driving him mad with need.
He pushed her back and started to get her out of her clothes. Undressing was unceremonious and ungraceful. It was a chore getting in the way what they both were dying for.
Nakedness— it was strangely cathartic for Bella. She was breathing hard trying to accept her vulnerability in nakedness and his beauty in nakedness. He moved to stand a breath away from her and lifted her hand only to place it on his cock. He placed her other palm on his heart, making her feel his racing heartbeat. What he said next destroyed the final wall of her fortress:
"I'm vulnerable, too."
Kisses that followed were plain sexual need.
When he finally settled between her legs and admired the glistening pale insides of her thighs, he realized how deep he had fallen. There was no going back for him. Never before this had he stopped to admire a woman like this. Edward felt her wetness on his fingers and didn't fight the urge to feel it on his tongue, too. The first swipe of his tongue against her slit sent Bella's senses through the sky. She wrapped her fingers in his hair pushing herself against his mouth. He lapped at her with an instinctual fervor sending her crashing down in a surprisingly fast orgasm.
He couldn't stop. He removed his lips from her slit and situated his cock against her involuntarily shuddering labia. She let out a moan before clutching the back of his head to pull his face to hers for a kiss. She pushed her sex against his dripping cock and locked her legs around his hips. Her urge matched his desperation and he slid into her tightness, bit by a steady bit.
Bella couldn't believe it could feel like this. In a brief moment of clarity, she searched her head for a critique of what was happening between them. She found nothing but an intense feeling of satisfaction. She felt how meaningful it all was. Unbelievably meaningful!
When they eventually started to move, it was arduous and unrestrained. Edward hands didn't let go of Bella's body. He feasted on her lips and kept murmuring how beautiful she was. His hands clutched her waist as his thrusts increased in pace. Bella felt her womb lush with the sensations his long complete strokes were emanating. Her pleas of 'more' bought them both teetering on the edge, every muscle clenched and ready to explode. He bent his head to catch her lips in his sloppily just as their tightly wound bodies tumbled into the abyss through a long avalanche of their climaxes.
Her heart had burst in her chest and physically she felt purged of an internal straight jacket. Edward eyes locked with hers. His lips were parted as he breathed in short pants against her lips. He kissed her forehead, her eyelids, her nose, her lips… and her tears leaked from her eyes as she felt the honesty of his emotions seep into her skin from his lips.
He held her close as she cried. And she cried for a good part of the night. She finally succumbed to an exhausted sleep on his chest. Her skin on Edward's skin was like a panacea for his constant mental and emotional influx. Just like his skin on hers was like her safest place to hide.
The dawn broke. But what they had built the night before did not.
When she woke, Edward kissed her softly and carried her to his bath. His gestures and soft, affectionate touches were sealing the wounds on her soul shut. He was hell bent on healing her. They had not said much during the course of the previous night. There was no need for that. Her tears were no more in her control. Instead, she was their slave now.
Edward let her straddle him as they sat surrounded by white clouds of soap suds in the bath tub. His arms surrounded her tightly as she cried and told him everything thing that hurt.
How her father Charlie's car was mowed over by a speeding truck… How her mother Renee had died as her skull had crushed under the weight of the debris… How Angela had fought her severe hemorrhages and had tried to tell her sister something that her dislocated jaw wasn't allowing her to say… How she had clutched her dead father's hand as they hurriedly wheeled him to the morgue… How the wet smell of freshly dug earth of their graves had made her nauseous… How she had laid hugging her mother's grave in the rain, never shedding a tear…
He let her shed tears in his hair, on his chest and against his neck.
He sat there ignoring the cramps the weight of her body was causing. It was easy to ignore it. Because you see, he was in love with her.
(He won. Dammit, he won! Dammit! Dammit!)
"You're beautiful when you cry."
"Yeah. I never expected you to be a flatterer."
"No. You're beautiful. You're not rigid when you cry; you're not armored with fake when you cry. You are so real in my arms when you cry."
"You can't feel how much it hurts to reveal everything."
"I can feel it. Love hurts, you know."
"You won't wipe my tears?"
"Not yet. I'll wait till your armor melts, till your heart starts beating again."
"It is starting to…"
A month later, Edward told Bella that he was in love with her.
When he said it to her, he was in his pajamas and was standing at her door at seven o'clock in the morning. She had opened her door to find him standing there all disheveled and sleep rumpled. His hands were shoved in his pajama pockets and his face was set in a grim, business-like expression.
"I want you to know that I love you. It's never going to change. It's all that I feel for you and I don't expect you to feel the same. But if you feel the same, please tell me."
"I-I-" she cleared the throat, "I do love you, Edward."
His exhale of relief was a whoosh.
And her resultant kiss was breathtaking.
(I can't believe it, but I won, too! He let me speak.)
"I believed love had died. I'm glad I was wrong."
"You didn't die. How could've love died?"
"I love you, too."
(Guess I wasn't warring him. I was warring withhim. And we won.)