A/N: Loved writing this prompt, thank you so much to Remember When This Was Fun for putting on this contest! Also a very special thanks to my lovely beta and friend Miss-Beckie-Louise.
As always I own nothing, SM owns all including my soul.
My life and hers were twisted into a single strand. Cut one, and you cut both.
That was how I had felt my entire life. Alice and I were...special so to say. We were unique. We were just us; Siamese twins.
I loved being so connected to her. She knew everything about me; from every freckle to every hardship we had endured together. Alice was my best friend.
But Alice didn't exactly feel the same way.
When we were 5, Alice tried to cut us apart with safety scissors despite my screams of terror. No physical damage was done, but I was afraid to fall asleep at night for almost a year. Our dad was beyond angry, but mom just shook her head in silence.
At age 9, Alice screamed how much she hated me before slamming the door in my face. Despite our age Alice had somehow managed so much force that we had to be hospitalized. We both had fractured ribs. Alice refused to speak to me for 2 weeks after that, convinced that if I didn't have to be stuck to her that she wouldn't have had to get so angry in the first place.
At 13, Alice was so frustrated with being unable to get away from me that she invented the "sheet" rule. Basically after 8PM we were to stay on our sides of the sheet. This rule didn't bother me, though, because while Alice talked in hushed tones to her friends about how horrible I was I could cry silently to myself.
I didn't hold any ill feelings towards Alice for these things though. It was frustrating in so many ways. Nothing was private or sacred with us. But I personally never blamed Alice, it's just how we were.
And now after so many years of Alice trying to get away from me here we sat. We waited nervously for our consultation to see about fulfilling one of Alice's biggest dreams; to be separated.
I half listened as the doctor explained the procedure, I could hardly understand what he was prattling on about. Instead my eyes were trained on Alice's look of excitement, searching for any flashes of regret or trepidation. It wasn't until he began explaining to us the risks that my attention was turned fully to him.
"We could die?" I whispered feeling the color drain from my face while the doctor held the documents out to us to sign.
"Belly," Alice said, her tone nearly begging, "of course nothing is going to happen to us."
I knew she wanted this more than anything and she knew that using her childhood nickname for me would make me crack.
"Okay," I said, hardly convinced but I signed it for her. For my best friend Ally.
The car ride home was silent as I thought more about what the doctor had said. Alice was so animated she was almost a stranger to me. I had never seen her happier. I realized that I would risk my life for her to be this happy, as long as Alice was okay.
Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of someone else, someone I loved. Wasn't it?
Although if I were being perfectly honest my actions for signing the papers weren't entirely selfless. Alice and I had recently both become engaged to our longtime boyfriends', Edward Cullen and Jasper Hale.
Currently Edward and I had hardly more than kissed on the lips. The thought of being able to be alone with Edward, to be with Edward excited me to no end.
Edward had told me multiple times that he was perfectly fine with me the way I was. Yet I couldn't imagine sharing my wedding day, let alone my wedding night with Alice and Jasper.
Edward and I had begun a regular routine of e-mailing one another early in our relationship. It was our only way to have true privacy. So that night when I sent Edward my usual e-mail I couldn't help but tell him about the risks of the surgery. By his response I could tell that his hesitation about the surgery was only getting worse.
"The thought of losing you is almost too much to bear. Of course, I will fully support you in your decision, but if you change your mind I will understand. I just want you to be healthy, and whole."
I shook my head as I read the last word; he knew how much I had been struggling with the thought of being separated from Alice. It was his final attempt at getting me to put an end to this madness.
But I knew that Alice would never forgive me if I called it all off. And honestly, I didn't know how much more of her hatred for me I could take.
The next few months nearly flew by as we made preparations for everything. The excitement in the air was palpable despite having to setup a will and decide what should happen should there be...complications.
Alice was nearly overflowing with anticipation and when she talked about the future I could see it too; it was beautiful. I tried not to remind myself too often that our futures would no longer be intertwined, instead living through her plans for her life.
Before I knew it we were laying on the gurney that would take us away as one and bring us back as two. My heart raced as I closed my eyes. I thought back to my last moments with Edward, his face above mine as he wished me luck before kissing the top of my hand.
"I'll be right here when you wake up. I love you."
His words still echoed in my ear, mixing with the sounds of the wheels squeaking across the tile.
I was pulled from my thoughts feeling Alice's hand clutch tightly onto my own. Turning my head to look at her I watched as she stared up at the ceiling tears pooled in her eyes.
"Thank you," she whispered so softly I barely heard.
She sniffled before turning her head to look at me. The tears slipped from her eyes, making a jagged descent down her cheeks before hitting the sheet beneath us.
"I love you, Belly."
For the first time I could hear the fear in her voice. For the first time I saw a waiver in her resolve to have us split into two pieces, but instead of making me panic I smiled at her instead.
"I love you, Ally."
I squeezed her hand, trying to give her reassurance. I held onto her hand as tightly as I could until the anesthesia finally kicked in forcing my hand to let go of hers.
My eyes popped open, but I was blinded by the light above me. Pain seared through my body. I felt a scream rising in my chest and my mouth opened in horror only to be met with silence.
"She's coding...get a crash cart...get her away from her sister..."
I tried to turn my head towards the voices, but found that it felt like a 100lb dead weight attached to my body. By some miracle I managed to get my head to fall in that direction only to be met with the sight of blood between Alice and I.
Alice was too far away. I could barely see her. No longer was I able to make out the pattern of her breathing.
Doctors and nurses surrounded her and I listened in vain as the sound of a defibrillator charged up.
Alice's body convulsed and rose from the table.
"Alice," I tried to grumble.
I wanted to reach out to her; I needed to touch her. My arms wouldn't cooperate and she was just too far away.
"Alice," I tried again, this time a nurse turned in my direction.
"She's awake...she's still not breathing...someone sedate her...no heart beat."
Voices all blurred together as a nurse put a mask over my face. My heart broke as I felt myself willing Alice to live. It was going to be hard enough being separated from her but I couldn't live in a world without Alice.
When I woke my head was pounding and everything seemed incredibly bright. Two people I didn't recognize talked next to me as they pointed at something in front of them, behind them I saw Edward. His eyes looked worried as he listened to what they said; his arms crossed in front of his chest defensively.
"Edward?" I tried to say, but it only came out as a soft whisper that I could barely even hear.
Edward's eyes lit up, but before he could reach me the two strangers were surrounding me. One shone a flashlight in my eyes as the other proceeded to take my pulse.
"What's going on?"
"Bella, it's okay. I'm Dr. Hannidy, and this is nurse Green. You've been out for a while so we just want to make sure everything is okay."
My hands flew to my side feeling nothing but the sheets around me. I remembered where I was, and suddenly panic filled my body as images from the surgery came flashing back.
"Is Alice okay?"
"Bella, please calm down. You're body cannot handle this much stress right now."
"Just tell me, is Alice okay?"
I knew I must look like a lunatic as I frantically tried to stand. I had to find Alice right now.
"Bella, if you don't calm down we're going to have to sedate you."
"EDWARD!" I screamed in panic.
"It's okay, I'm here," Edward said, moving to stand next to me his eyes full of worry. I could tell it'd been a while since he'd actually slept.
"Can we have a minute? Please she just woke up. I know I can calm her."
The nurse and doctor looked at one another reluctantly before leaving the room. They let us know that we only had five minutes and then I needed to get my rest.
"Edward, please just tell me Alice is okay?"
I breathed a sigh of relief a huge weight lifted from my chest. Why couldn't they just tell me that and save me from getting so upset?
"When can I see her."
Edward paused as he scratched the back of his neck his eyes dropping to the floor.
"Edward? I thought you said everything was okay?"
"It is, she's fine. She...er...she doesn't want to see you, baby."
The weight of his words hit me like a ton of bricks. I shouldn't have been surprised, but somehow with the way Alice had acted before the surgery I had hoped that maybe we could be closer.
We fell silent, neither of us knowing exactly what to say.
"How long was I out?"
I nodded my head trying to wrap my head around the fact that I had been in a coma for three weeks. No wonder why Edward looked so tired he had probably been scared to death.
"Thank you for being honest with me," I whispered. Squeezing his hand tightly I looked up at him my eyes brimming with tears.
He sighed sitting next to me on the mattress pressing his lips against the top of my head.
"You're welcome. And don't ever scare me like that again."
I only had to stay in the hospital a week longer after I woke from my coma. It was a pleasant surprise to find that I had slept through a good majority of the healing and the pain.
My spot where Alice and I had once been joined was no longer an open gaping wound, it was a mere fizure now; a small crack in my being. Yet the ache inside of me didn't heal quite as easily while I desperately tried to adjust to being alone for the first time in my life.
Going home was the most difficult part. Where did I call home now? I knew that I would never be able to return to our childhood room to share our bed alone. Alice had been staying with Jasper, so when Edward offered for me to stay with him I happily agreed.
Edward had setup a separate room for me. He was so incredibly understanding through everything we had been through. Though he knew how hard it was for me to be alone he also knew how nervous and unready I was to be with him just yet.
So here I sat, staring out into the overcast sky. I couldn't help but to think that when life offers you a dream so far beyond any of your expectations, it's not reasonable to grieve when it comes to an end.
Alice and I had something that was once in a lifetime. A unique bond that rarely anybody else would ever be able to experience in their lifetime, and I wasn't sure how to let go of that. But I knew it wasn't fair to Edward to sit around and mope for the rest of my life. He was my future now.
I thought about how good he had been to be through all of this. I was finding it hard, even with being separated from Alice, to voice my thoughts with him. So when I checked my e-mail that night I felt my eyes fill with tears seeing Edward's name in my inbox. I poured out my thoughts and my feelings to him as I cried in my new room only feet from him.
Today was no different as I heard the small ding from my computer letting me know that I had received a new message. Turning towards my laptop I read what Edward had to say: I can't imagine how hard it must be to not hear from Alice. But maybe she's struggling just as much as you? Give her some time, I'm sure she will come around.
My heart clenched as I read the words. Maybe Alice was struggling, but I doubted that considering how much she wanted to be split apart. It had been her lifelong goal, and now she had achieved it and I was nothing more but a bad memory. Another ding pulled me from my thoughts as I read the next message through my tears: Regardless, I love you more than anything. I will do whatever it takes to make you happy again.
Suddenly my feet were on the cold hardwood floor as I made my way quietly to Edward's door. I peeked around the corner seeing Edward sitting up against his headboard staring down at his screen. His forehead creased deep in the middle, and I realized he must be waiting for my response.
I took a minute to take in the sight before me. He was wearing dark pajama pants, his chest was bare and I noticed for the first time just how toned his chest was. He wore thick black rimmed glasses, so I knew he must've already taken his contacts out for the night. He was the vision of beauty.
I realized what an idiot I was being mulling around in the other room while this godlike creature sat a few feet away every night ready to take care of me in any way possible.
His head shot up, but when he saw it was me one corner of his mouth lifted into a grin. I must've looked horrible; tears still stained my cheeks as I stood there in an oversized gray shirt wringing my hands in front of me.
"Can I come in?"
Over the next couple of weeks Edward and I fell into an easy routine. I no longer slept in the spare room, and found it much easier to talk to him with his arms wrapped around me. Edward being the ever gentleman was still going slow with me and we still hadn't done anything more than kissing, much to my dismay.
I found myself smiling and laughing more than I could remember in my entire life when I was with Edward, whether it was while we were doing mundane things like watching tv, or when he took me out on our first date night alone.
Standing in the spare bedroom I stared at my reflection in the full length mirror. Edward had asked me to put on a bathing suit and meet him downstairs. He said he had a surprise for me.
I wore a 2 piece and at the time it had seemed like a good idea, but now looking at myself I wasn't too sure. My scar was more exposed than ever, and Edward had never even seen it. What if he didn't want me? What if it was too disgusting?
I ran my fingertips over the rigid edges that spanned down my side. It was amazing to think that only a couple of months ago someone had been attached to that part of me. A living, breathing person. Someone who still had yet to see me since our separation.
"Bella?" I could see Edward peaking into the room through the reflection in the mirror, "Everything okay?"
Now that Edward was there everything wasn't okay. Everything was far from okay.
My fingers again ran down the scar at my side that I was unable to take my eyes off of.
"No, you're beautiful."
"You think this is beautiful?"
I spat the words out before spinning around to face him, allowing him to see the slightly red scar still a little inflamed from the healing process. Edward looked into my eyes questioningly as I waited for him to say something; anything.
"It's beautiful because it's a part of you. Everything about you is beautiful."
Tears filled my eyes, my hands flying up to cover my face.
"Baby, please don't cry."
"My own blood doesn't love me! My own sister with a matching scar can't even stand to look at me! How could you? How could you possibly stand to be around me?"
Sobs wracked my body and Edward moved to wrap his arms around me. The smell of him engulfed me.
"You are beautiful," he murmured into my hair, pulling one hand from my face he brushed his lips softly against it. "Beautiful."
He repeated the same gesture with my other hand. Placing his finger beneath my chin he lifted my face to look at him.
"Beautiful," he whispered, his thumbs lightly wiped away the tears on my cheeks sending a shiver down my body. "See what I see."
Edward gently turned me around to face the full length mirror.
I stared into his eyes watching him in our reflection. His own eyes never breaking contact with mine. He combed one hand lightly through my hair.
"Your hair is soft like silk."
His lips were nearly touching my ear as I felt his warm breath across my neck.
He brushed my hair to the side before running his fingertips lightly down my neck, making me shudder once again.
"Your skin is so smooth and fair."
His hand slid down my chest. I tried to calm my nerves realizing this was the most intimate contact we'd ever had in our relationship. For a moment I thought he was going to grab my breast before his hand came to rest atop my heart.
"It's as though you're heart beats the names of those you love."
His fingertips lightly brushed between my breasts as his hand moved slowly down my stomach.
"And this," his fingers traced the line of my scar as my own hands had just done only minutes before, "is the most beautiful part of all."
He paused his movements looking at me for a long minute.
"Do you know what this is?"
I shook my head.
"This is your self sacrifice."
My eyes finally broke away from his, looking at myself the way he had just describe. In that moment I saw what he saw. I saw my beauty through his eyes.
"Edward," I whispered turning to face him, unsure of how to tell him what I needed.
But in that moment we didn't need words as his lips crashed into mine. My hands dug into the sides of his hair trying to pull myself closer to him. My body pushed towards his trying to meld with him.
"Bella, if you don't stop that I may not be able to stop," Edward said breaking away from our kiss.
Edward's arms wrapped around me hoisting me up, my legs instinctively wrapped around his waist. Our lips met once again as our tongues danced together.
I felt my back being laid gently into the soft comforter on the bed. Edward stood back to admire me laying below him. Staring down at me and it was almost as though I could see myself through his eyes.
My dark hair was fanned out across the bed, and my lips must be swollen from kissing him. I bit my bottom lip, I felt self-conscious of how they must look and heard Edward groan softly. I could feel my chest rise and fall, while I desperately tried to catch my breath. My breasts seemed to be heaving themselves at Edward; inviting him to examine them closer.
His eyes scanned down my body before again resting on my scar. Leaning over, I felt his breath across my stomach causing goosebumps to ripple across my skin.
"So beautiful," he murmured before brushing his lips against my side.
My back arched and I couldn't help but to moan. His eyes looked up into mine, one eyebrow arched, that sexy half grin plastered on his face.
I watched him again lower his head towards my side this time trailing open mouth kisses across my scar. His hands moved up my sides his fingers toying with the string on my bikini top. I arched my back again, Edward's hands moving slowly towards the strings at my back, pulling them apart. The top began to slide down my breasts with every labored breath, and was quickly tossed aside.
Edward stared down at my bare chest for a long moment until finally his tongue flicked out to lick his lips quickly.
"So sexy," he said before his mouth devoured my nipple.
His tongue flicked across it, while his other hand moved up to squeeze my other breast. My hand moved to the back of his head, my fingers raked greedily through his hair demanding more.
Edward kissed his way up my neck before his lips met mine once again. I could feel him hard against me and I wondered what it would feel like to touch. Moving my leg I rubbed against him and I felt his body tense against me.
"Tell me to stop and I will," he said breathily against me the tip of his nose barely touching mine.
His hands once again roamed across my body stopping to rest just on top of my bathing suit bottoms. My heart began to race realizing what we were doing.
"I won't hurt you," he promised quietly, looking up at me for permission.
"I know." I managed quietly before pulling him down into a kiss.
Edward's finger slipped beneath my bottoms almost as soon as his tongue touched mine. I groaned as his finger pushed slowly into me. My hands clutched onto the back of Edward's shirt and I realized he was wearing far too many clothes.
"Wait, take this off," I said hastily tugging at his shirt.
Edward reached up to pull off his shirt and I felt the absence of his finger inside of me immediately. In moments his shirt was on the floor and a finger once again pushed into me. My nails dug into Edward's chest, his finger slowly moving in and out of me.
Edward added a second finger and I couldn't help my eyes from rolling into the back of my head. Looking up at Edward his eyes were fixed between us, he watched in awe as his fingers disappeared inside of me. Propping myself up I looked down between us and felt myself gasp at how sexy it was to watch his fingers move.
My gasp seemed to snap Edward out of his daze as he nearly ripped my bottoms from my body. His fingers again pushed into me but this time faster and a slightly rougher. His lips once again descended onto my breast.
My hands moved down between us, reaching into his shorts I grasped his penis causing him to gasp. He felt so warm and hard and smooth at the same time.
"Please," I whimpered.
Edward quickly kicked his shorts off before positioning himself between my legs.
Slowly, he pushed himself into me and I gave a sharp intake of breath. He stilled, looking down at me with a worried look in his eyes.
"Just give me some time to adjust."
He nodded resting his head against my chest, his hands slowly moved up and down my sides. Through the pain I felt my excitement rising again, his fingers brushing the undersides of my breasts. It was in that moment I realized I felt more complete, more connected with Edward than I ever had with anybody else in my life.
Groaning, I pushed my hips towards him letting him know that I was ready to continue. Edward began a slow, almost teasing rhythm, pulling himself almost completely out of me before pushing back in. I thought I would go insane.
"Faster," I groaned and I heard him grunt.
His movements came faster, his strokes shallower and I felt as though I were teetering on the edge of a cliff.
Edward dropped his head to my chest his tongue once again assaulting my nipples. I felt myself tumble over the edge all the while babbling incoherently. Edward wasn't far behind me, I felt the muscles in his chest tense before he threw his head back.
Edward collapsed next to me, pulling me close to him nuzzling his head into my neck.
"Too soon?" He asked.
"Not soon enough."
Edward and I could seem to keep our hands off of one another after that. Any spare time that I had was spent discovering myself and who I was.
I found that I loved to write and would often hide away in the spare bedroom to drown myself in the words. I had also taken to making crafts around the house, decorating to be more like ours instead of just Edward's. Edward loved seeing my creative side and was fascinated by some of the things I could do on a budget.
Today Edward had come home to find me painting my latest project. Somehow, in the explanation of what I was doing things began to heat him. I found my cheeks and chest covered in paint , a mirror image of Edward's chest from where our skin had just been pressed together when the doorbell rang.
Groaning I threw my painting shirt back on, skipping down the stairs. Opening the door I stared in awe. Alice stood before me, wringing her hands in front of her as she smiled nervously at me.
"Can I come in?" Alice finally asked after a few moments.
"Oh, of course, of course."
I stepped aside watching her walk into my home.
"Edward, Alice is here," I shouted up to him, warning him not to come downstairs naked.
"Come on in," I beckoned towards the front room.
"Can I get you anything to drink?"
Alice looked around the room, sitting nervously on the edge of her seat.
"No, thank you."
The room was silent, neither one of us really sure what to say. I could feel the tension in my body, and suddenly thought that maybe it wasn't a good idea for her to be here. She was invading my safe place, my happy place. I didn't want any negativity associated here.
"Why now?" I finally asked breaking the silence.
"I missed you."
Alice looked at me nervously and I could hear myself snort in response.
"I highly doubt that. It's been over three months. You didn't once make sure I was okay. You didn't call. You didn't do anything."
Alice didn't say anything but I watched the tears fill her eyes. I wanted to feel sorry, wanted to take the hurtful words back but I couldn't hold onto all this guiltIhad when she was the one who wasn't there for me.
"You've hated me our entire lives. Why come back into my life now? You have everything you've ever wanted."
"I don't hate you," Alice said quietly.
Edward suddenly appeared and I wondered if he could feel how thick the tension was in the room.
"Hey Alice," he said before kissing my forehead.
"Hey," she smiled timidly at him.
"I was just going to run to the store for a few things, do you want me to pick anything up on the way home? Maybe something for dinner?"
"No," I answered curtly, never taking my eyes from Alice's face.
Edward leaned towards me concern in his eyes.
"I love you," he whispered before kissing me.
The click from the door resounded throughout the room.
"Belly, please let me explain," Alice said finally breaking the silence between us.
I crossed my arms sitting back in my chair.
"I didn't know it would be like this."
Alice paused pushing a strand of hair behind her ears.
"All my life I've wanted to be my own person, and I have been so terrible to you. But you never got angry with me, you were always so forgiving and loving. After the surgery I felt so alone. I never expected to feel that. Never expected to miss what we had. When I found out what happened, I couldn't stand to look into your face. To know that I was the one who caused all of this pain."
"What do you mean when you found out what happened?"
"Didn't they tell you?"
I shook my head wracking my brain trying to remember anything significant I'd been told about the surgery.
"Right after they separated us I died on the table. They told me you woke up, you were screaming my name. They told me you said, 'not like this'. They tried to sedate you but your own heart stopped beating. At that exact moment mine started again. Oh Bella, you sacrificed your life for us. You never wanted to do the surgery but you did it for me anyway. And I don't care what medicine or anyone else says. You tried to die so that I could live. How could you be so selfless when I've always been so mean?"
Tears streamed down Alice's face and I remembered bits and pieces of what she told me. I thought they had just been a dream, but now the images flashed back to my mind more vivid than ever.
"I will never be able to forgive myself. The emptiness I've felt without you is unbearable. I'm surprised Jasper's still around I've hardly spent any time with him. I'm bitter and angry, and all I do is cry most of the time."
I moved to sit next to Alice, hugging her tightly to me.
"Alice, I don't regret anything."
She looked up at me allowing me to wipe the tears from her eyes.
"This was the best decision we could have made. Sure I've had a rough time with it, but I wouldn't take it back. I am so grateful that you pushed me to do this. I've never been happier. Please, don't hold it against yourself. I would still give my life for you in a heartbeat."
Sobs continued to wrack Alice's body but I continued to hold her tightly to me, feeling tears on my own cheeks.
"Belly, I love you so much." Alice whispered and I was reminded of when we were young, the brief fleeting moments when Alice would allow me to see the loving side of her.
"I love you too, Ally. Now cheer up, we have some weddings to plan!"
A/N: Now that is finished I will say I became far more enraptured in this story than I had originally thought I could become. I just couldn't seem to stop myself from writing and physically had to force myself to so that I wouldn't go over the word limit. I do plan on expanding on this in the future, so if you liked this keep an eye out for it! Thank you again to everyone who stuck with me thus far, you all rock!