AN: I don't know if this should be considered an outtake or not but I hope you like it. Title is based off of song called Unfair by Kate Voegele.
I own nothing.
After spending my days with Alice and the kids, it was difficult for me to go back to the empty house that waited for me. Granted, I was glad to have gotten rid of the majority of my mother's crap, but the vacant rooms and naked walls didn't help with the loneliness that always seemed to rear its ugly head just as I was starting to get ready for bed; a time that was too late for busying myself by playing with Peter and Charlotte, catching up with Alice and Emmett, or randomly showing up at my father's house without granting him the right to be worried about me. So, I would wander up to the bedroom at my mother's house and try to make myself fall asleep. It never worked.
I'd lay there, my arms folded underneath my head, thinking about all of the things I shouldn't have been. My mind would take me back to when we'd been in high school, to the first night that I'd spent sleeping in Edward's- not Alice's- bed at the Cullen's house. It had all started because, like now, I couldn't sleep. When I'd finally had enough of the tossing and turning, I'd snuck out of my mother's house and walked the entire way to the Cullen's. Like I'd always done, I crawled along the fence and up to the roof that led to their second story. That time though, I had made my way to the back of the house and quietly knocked on Edward's bedroom window. He'd lifted the paned glass, without looking shocked to see me standing there, and when I had told him I couldn't sleep he let me inside and tucked me into his bed. Looking back I can see how scandalous it really was, us being sixteen and me sneaking into his bedroom in the middle of the night, but at the time it made perfect sense. There wasn't sex, at least not then, only the feeling of finally being able to relax enough to finally fall asleep.
Here and now though, it was a different story. I couldn't run to his house in the middle of the night and ask him to just hold me while I fall asleep, not only because I didn't know where he lived, but mainly because I shouldn't want to. Despite the fact that I'd made it plainly obvious to anyone who might have had even a small idea about Edward and me becoming anything more than a part of each other's past, I couldn't make myself stop remembering him.
It was logical, I suppose, since he had been one of my only sources of love and comfort since I was fifteen years old- and a friend several years before that- but it still made me feel like I was giving in somehow. Did it make me weak to want him to comfort me? Was it like I'd given up and let him win? Edward had hurt me, deeply. How could my heart forgive him, want him, when my mind didn't? It didn't make sense that part of me craved to see him, talk to him, when the other part never wanted to see him again.
Turning onto my side, I closed my eyes and squeezed a pillow to my chest. And for the third night in a row, I tried to ignore the tears that slipped down my cheek and prayed for the morning to hurry up and get here.
"Is Bella coming to play tomorrow?" Peter asked, shoving his green beans off of his plate.
At the mention of her name, my head snapped up and my eyes immediately found Alice's. I tried not to seem alarmed- or shocked- by the fact that my nephew not only knew who Bella was, but was asking if she was going to come to their house. I am pretty sure I didn't pull it off.
Jasper roughly cleared his throat, trying to relieve the silence that had filled their kitchen. But my sister gave me a look that clearly meant we would have that conversation later before putting the vegetables back onto her son's plate. "She won't if you don't eat, Peter. Now come on, you can't just eat bread for dinner."
He made a face before turning to look up at me. "Do you know Bella?"
"Um…" I shook my head, slightly, trying to make sense of this conversation. "I… yeah, I do. She is Mommy's friend."
He opened his mouth, no doubt to tell me more about Bella, but his father quickly put a stop to the chattering with a threat of early bed and no desert if he didn't finish eating his food. Peter begrudgingly picked up a green bean, under Alice's glare, while his sister smiled at her clean plate. I normally loved Alice's cooking, but tonight I had to agree with my nephew. Every bite I took was forced; in an attempt to at least act like I wasn't wondering what my ex-fiancé had been doing playing with my niece and nephew, and why my sister hadn't told me.
While Jasper bathed the kids and put them to bed, I sat on their back porch waiting for Alice to finish the dishes and join me. Before she could even open the screen door, I was demanding to know what the hell had been going on. "She just comes over and hangs out? You don't feel that is something I need to know? Alice-"
"Whoa." My sister held her hands up to stop me. "First off, Bella is my friend, Edward. If I want her to meet my children before she leaves again then I certainly have the right to do that. Secondly, I didn't tell you because I didn't want you to react like this."
Leaning against the porch railing, I slowly shook my head before sighing. It took a few seconds before I could ask her, "Is she okay? You know I've been worried sick about her. Charlie said she wasn't seeing anyone, wouldn't talk to anyone, but yet she is coming over here to have tea parties with Peter and Charlotte?"
"She's stuck in a town where she thinks everyone hates her, where she is constantly facing things from her past that she'd rather forget, all the while dealing with Renee's shit. How do you think she is? She's miserable, which is why I invite her over here to hang out with us. The same reason why Emmett calls her every night to make sure she is okay, Edward. You aren't the only one that cares about her."
"You think I don't know that?" I asked, angrily. "But the least you could have done is tell me-"
Alice shook her head. "No. This is not for me to get in the middle of, Edward. I told you the night that Renee died not to run after Bella when she got here, to let her deal with this in her own time. But you showed up at the hospital looking for her and then the night of the funeral chased her upstairs to make her talk to you. She is scared to death of everything right now, and as her friend, I need to be there for her."
"And what about me, Alice? I am your fucking brother! You don't think this is hard for me? I showed up at the hospital hoping-I don't know- that she'd have a five year old kid by her side! That I'd finally get the answers I needed to understand why she left!" I yelled, pushing away from the railing. "And you know why I followed her upstairs? Why I chased after her? Because I love her, Alice! Because even after all of this, after everything, I still can't let her go! And what hurts more than anything else is knowing that I can't make this better for her! I can't do anything to help!"
In a quiet voice, Alice said, "Yes, you can."I turned away, not wanting to hear what she had to say, but she grabbed my arm forcing me back to look at her. "You have to be patient, Edward."
"For what?" I asked, laughing sarcastically before forcefully wiping stupid tears off of my cheeks. "Be patient for her to leave and never come back? She hates me."
"No." My sister shook her head. "She doesn't hate you, Edward. She hates this-she hates her mother, but Bella doesn't hate you. Right now she won't let anyone help her, barely lets anyone near her, but I know that she needs all of us, especially you. We just have to… wait."
"Wait?" I looked down at my feet, my voice shuddering. "I've waited six years."
Alice's small hand held mine and she squeezed my fingers before asking, "And would you wait six more if you had to?"
Without hesitating, I nodded.
That night, after leaving Alice and Jasper's house, I drove the familiar path that led to Renee Higginbotham's house. Once there, I parked my car across the street and did nothing but sit and stare at the only light that was on; the one in Bella's old bedroom. It was well past midnight before it was finally extinguished, and even then I stayed where I was, watching her window.
Despite the foul mood that I'd been in, I couldn't help but smile, remembering how Bella used show up outside my bedroom window in the middle of the night. She'd tell me how she couldn't sleep and I'd invite her inside without ever considering the fact that my parents, or her parents, would have been extremely irate if they'd ever found out. I didn't care, and neither did she. All I ever concerned myself with was taking care of her, making sure she knew that she was more than all of the vile things her mother called her. So I'd lead her to my bed, cover her up with my blankets, and hold her against my chest until she fell asleep. And now, all these years later, here I was outside of her house in the middle of the night because I couldn't sleep. I wanted to knock on her window, tell her I just needed to sleep beside her, but that was crazy.
Alice may think that Bella needed me, and I continued to hope that she did. But, in reality, I doubted very seriously that she needed anything from me other than being left alone. She'd left me six years ago and made a life for herself. I was the one who'd come back, who'd struggled, who'd never been able to let go… And now I was the one outside her window in the middle of the night. No, Bella didn't need me, and it was time that I learned to deal with the fact that I shouldn't need her either.
I gave her window one more look before starting my car and slowly pulling away from the curb outside Renee Higginbotham's house. And as I drove away, I tried very hard to ignore the fact that Bella's bedroom light had once again been turned on.
What do you think? JFI