Written for: addicted-to-romione-bedward
Written By: lmhsfan
Summary/Prompt used: The snow storm caught two cars on an empty, now blocked road.
If you would like to see all the stories that are a part of this exchange visit the facebook group: Fanficaholics Anon: Where Obsession Never Sleeps or add the C2 to get all the stories direct to your inbox.
This is my FAGE gift for addicted-to-romione-bedward, which, for reasons I will message her with directly, is both late and woefully imperfect. I beg her forgiveness on both counts. I will be updated a few short chapters a day until the weekend.
Edward knew it was a bad idea, the whole goddamn thing: Alice's over-the-top wedding, her idiotic husband, the "old friend" he was being set up with, this ridiculous beater of a rental car, and Aspen. More than all the rest, Edward hated the idea of Aspen in the spring.
Who in their right mind would choose to have their wedding in Colorado? It's wasn't as though there weren't enough mountains in Washington. Was it the arid, brown landscape that drew Alice in? Or maybe the absolute unpredictability of the weather in this state? The day before it had been in the forties with heavy clouds that would not rain. Just that morning, it had been nearing sixty—another clear, dry day that Edward had been told was the norm. But now…now it was snowing, and he couldn't remember any of the overly-tanned weather men saying anything about it.
"I hate Colorado," he said to himself. "It's too dry…unless you actually need to get somewhere. No, not then. Then it's a fucking blizzard."
The roads became more and more slick as he drove, with fewer and fewer cars passing in the other direction. A few seconds of radio told him why: the pass had been closed up ahead. He mumbled a few obscenities to himself. A few minutes more and he learned that the road had been closed behind him as well.
A cop came by and flashed his lights. There really wasn't anywhere for Edward to pull over, so he just stopped in the middle of his lane. The cop didn't seem to mind; he just pulled up right beside him.
"Afternoon, sir!" the cop shouted once everyone's windows were rolled down. "This road's been closed. It gets worse up ahead, so I'm gonna need you to head back toward the highway. I don't think your car can make it."
Edward suppressed a growl and scrubbed at his face. "Of course," he mumbled to himself, then said again, louder, "Of course! I'll just turn around. It's this stupid rental," he said, pounding the steering wheel. "I knew I should've gone somewhere else, but I just wanted to get out of there. And the forecast didn't say anything about snow."
The officer chuckled good-naturedly. "Not from around here, huh?"
Edward sighed in response.
The cop continued with laughter in his voice. "Just coast down 'til you hit civilization. Down shift whenever possible. Try not to brake too much." Edward wanted to say that just because it was his first time in Colorado didn't necessarily mean it was also his first encounter with snow, but wisely held his tongue. "Just make sure you're off the road in an hour or so; you don't wanna tangle with the plows."
Given its obviousness, Edward followed the officer's advice and coasted, more or less, down the mountain. He made good time. Though not much of a car, Edward's rental made a damn decent sled.
He was halfway to home free when the storm kicked up a notch. Edward's arms began to burn with the strain of fighting the wind, his back ached from the slight hunch and extreme tension he had taken on to feel at the ready, and his eyes…his eyes had practically gone to sleep. The drive up and the first leg back down and had been tenuous vision-wise. Edward had squinted and strained until he'd given himself a headache. Now, though, his eyes were on break, as there really was no point to their working; he couldn't see a damn thing. As far as Edward knew, the world had succumb to blinding white.
Lucky for him he was barely moving, or he never would have seen it in time. A hulking gray figure leaped out of the snow and Edward instinctively slammed the brakes. He regretted the action immediately. As the car began its spin, Edward somehow noted that the figure was a truck, but then his view changed to something slightly more interesting: an approaching guard rail, beyond which was only abyss.
Eyes clenched tight, Edward awaited the crunch of his fender meeting the metal barrier. He hoped for a solid crash and not the creaking give of his car—and his life—falling off the edge of a cliff. After a minute without any sort of jolt, Edward opened his eyes, surprised to find himself in as much of a fetal position as the driver's seat would allow. Once he was able to disengage his clawed fingers from his hair enough to lift his head, he saw that he was on the opposite side of the road, car sideways, face to face with the guard rail. He estimated to have missed it by fewer than six inches, being that, were he any further away, he likely wouldn't be able to see it so clearly.
Edward did a brief overview of his vehicle's status. The motor was still running, so he hadn't stalled; there was no crunch, so he hadn't crashed. But would he be able to move? At first, the tires only spun and Edward cursed God for his plight, but he reversed that decision when he saw that the car was still in Drive.
"Ah. Well…. Thank you, then," he said to whatever deity might hear him. With the shifter solidly in the 'R' position, Edward easily swung the car around to what he guessed to be the right direction. If he hadn't been on a slope, he'd have been totally lost. Still in Reverse, Edward backed slowly, inch by inch, up the middle of the road. When he reached the shadow, he stopped.
He pulled over so that he was in line with the truck, as far to what could be considered the "side of the road" as possible, and jumped out. It wasn't as bitterly cold as he'd assumed, but the wind tore straight through his jacket, and the snow seemed to find every unprotected crevice to settle in and melt, making him wet, and therefore freezing, almost instantly.
The truck was still, engine off, and the cab was dark. A few inches of powder had accumulated on the rusted metal and bore the unmistakable marks of wind. It had been there a while. Edward cursed the owner of the truck, having learned his lesson about God, and began his retreat. His car started quickly, and the heater was still warm; all signs indicated a swift and safe journey. But when he put his hand to the gear shift, Edward paused. The little D would take him home—hell, the N would likely do it—but he couldn't take his eyes off that R.
He didn't know if it was the ball of anxious doom in the pit of his stomach, the overwhelming sense of deja vu, or just being the cautious son of a doctor, but Edward cut the engine and braved the Colorado weather yet again.
Just to be safe, he told himself. Just to be sure. There was no one in there, there couldn't be, he just had to see it for himself, so no one could ever ask him how it felt to know he could have saved a life if he'd only been paying attention.
The cab was just as dark and still as he remembered it, but this time he didn't just glance, he looked in. Edward scrubbed away at the layer of ice over the window, melting a small hole with his breath. He cupped his hands to the glass and pushed his forehead close, then everything went black.