All publicly recognizable characters, settings etc are property of their respective owners. The original plot is my own creation.
I am in no way associated with the owners or creators of any media franchise.
No copyright infringement is intended.
Firstly, i would like to send a huge, very well deserved THANK YOU to my Beta, Nachos4Children. I love her so much! Thank you for all your hard work darling *huggles*
(Any mistakes in this posting are my own)
So. Here's my new Carlisle/Bella story.
Hope you enjoy!
I'm not too sure how often updates will be because i just started at college, but i will try update as soon as i can!
I guess all i really have left to say is - Enjoy!
Fumbling around in the dark, I found the offensive object and glared at it with blurry eyes. It was ringing, that much I could tell, so I quickly answered – whoever was calling me at this hour had better have a good excuse…
"What?" I grumbled, rolling onto my back and rubbing a hand over my forehead.
"Isabella - it's Carlisle."
I shot up, and immediately began to apologise for being so rude.
"Bella…" he croaked, silencing me – he sounded so broken. "It's Edward."
"What's wrong?" I asked quickly.
"He's – there's - he's in hospital," he stuttered, and I found myself nodding as I struggled out of bed and flicked my lamp on.
"I'll see you there," I told him as I jumped around to pull my loose jogging bottoms on.
"Are you sure?" he asked, and I nodded again. Clearly, being woken made me forget how phones worked.
"Very sure. See you soon," I said as I pulled a hoodie from the end of my bed and began putting it on as I ended the call.
Dialing the number of a local taxi firm, I grabbed a hair band and dragged my hair up into a rough pony tail. "As soon as possible, please," I almost begged as I opened the doors leading to my small balcony and stepped out into the cool night air.
I paced as I waited for the car to pull up downstairs, and as my phone rang once on call back, I quickly locked the door before jumping in the car and telling him my destination.
The roads were quiet, and it took no time at all to get to the hospital – there was only one in the city with an accident and emergency department, so I knew exactly where Edward and Carlisle would be.
After pulling up outside, I paid the driver quickly, hopefully leaving him a good tip, and hurried inside, and asked the desk where Edward was. When I reached the corridor they directed me to, I spotted Carlisle, pacing.
His blond hair was messy, and his shirt sleeves were rolled up to his elbows, a few top buttons undone. Carefully, I approached him where he paused near a door, his head now against the wall, and I touched his shoulder gently.
His head shot round, and he looked at me for a moment before I took him into my arms and held him tight. "He looks so broken," he choked out, and I swallowed hard.
"What happened?" I asked, and Carlisle took a step backwards.
"All they know is that his car hit a tree, and he wasn't wearing a belt…" and he choked off, pulling further away from me and resuming his pacing. I winced at his description.
I took a step towards him again, when the door he had been pacing near opened. Carlisle straightened quickly, and a doctor stepped out.
"Dr. Cullen," he said, stepping towards him. "Edward is stable, but still in a rather critical condition. He suffered a TBI – traumatic brain injury - which caused the brain tissue to swell, and his body's response to the injury increased swelling, causing cerebral edema – swelling to the brain," the doctor added, looking to me quickly before back at Carlisle. "We performed a procedure in theatre called a ventriculostomy. A surgeon cut a small hole in the skull and inserted a plastic drain tube so cerebrospinal fluid can be drained from inside the brain, helping to relieve the pressure. He's also received some oxygen treatment, so the brain isn't starved of any."
Gasping, Carlisle fell back into a nearby chair, his hands gripping the arms and turning his knuckles white. "Will… there be damage?" he asked quietly as he stared at the floor.
"It's difficult to say at this time, but we'll know more when he wakes up."
Carlisle just nodded as he began biting his nails.
"Can we see him?" I asked in a small voice, and the doctor nodded.
"Th- thank you," I muttered, and with another nod he left. Bending down in front of Carlisle, I took his hands and knelt before him in silence for a few moments while he silently cried, and I ran my thumbs gently over his knuckles. "Why don't we go see him?" I suggested softly as I rubbed his shaking hands.
Slowly, Carlisle rose and waited for me before entering Edward's room.
Machines beeped, and lines and wires were hooked into to him. I gasped at the sight of my best friend. A tube was in his mouth, and a machine aided his breathing. Gauze covered most of his head, cuts and bruises forming the rest. His hospital gown was open to reveal a bandage covering most of the left half of his chest, and his legs and one arm were bandaged up, too.
I took Carlisle's arm as he staggered to his son's side, letting go once he sat down.
Moving to stand at the back of the room, I watched quietly as Carlisle cried some more by his son's side. He just sat, stroking what bit of Edward's hair poked out of the bandage.
It didn't take a moment for my own tears to fall as I looked at my broken best friend.
But I wasn't as quiet though, and when a sob escaped, Carlisle turned to look at me before motioning me over. Taking a seat on the edge of Edward's bed, I held his cut hand gently, but squeezed Carlisle's with my other. To me, this was a thing of really violent movies. I'd never had to witness it for real before, and I hoped I'd never have to again.
Here lay my best friend, the person I had been joking with hours earlier, all bruised and battered. I prayed I'd wake from this nightmare soon.
At some point in the night, we moved to the chairs that sat at the side of Edward's bed and just watched him - listening to the beeps of the machines, staring as his chest continued to rise and fall.
I had lost all track of time, only vaguely aware that I had arrived at the hospital around 1am, and at some point, Carlisle got up and left to answer a call at the nurse's station from a frantic Alice, Edward's twin sister, who was currently away in Paris on a university study trip, and had just received at least two dozen messages from her Dad. I didn't hear him come back, however, and when I woke, I was wrapped in a soft blanket and could just hear a nurse's gentle, reassuring words from nearby.
Looking around, I rubbed my eyes – so it hadn't all been some bad dream.
Yawning, stretching, and sighing, I sat up and looked over at Carlisle who was thanking the nurse with the smallest of forced smiles.
"Morning," he whispered, and I searched around for my phone. Feeling it in my pocket, I quickly pulled it out and checked the time – 11am.
"Oh, Carlisle, I'm so sorry!" I apologised, feeling awful that I had managed to sleep while he probably spent the night driving himself crazy.
"Don't worry about it," he reassured me, a genuine smile creeping up. "I'm sorry I dragged you out in the middle of the night."
"Oh, don't worry about that - I'm glad you did." I pushed the blanket off and stood up, stretching again before folding and setting it on the chair. "No change then?" I asked stupidly, and he shook his head. "And Alice?"
"She was getting the first train home. Her tutor understands, of course, so she dropped everything and rushed back to pack. She should be here this evening."
I nodded and smiled, glad she was on her way home. They would certainly need each other for this.
"There's some water on the side if you'd like a drink. I bought a bottle at the vending machine – it doesn't taste too good from the tap here," he told me as I spotted the bottle and reached for it. I took a few large swallows before replacing the cap and setting it back down. "I was going to pop home – the nurse says he's stable for now, and they'll call me as soon as anything changes. I just need to shower and sort cover out for work. Would you like a lift home?" he added.
"Would you mind?" I asked, and he shook his head. "I don't want you going out of your way," I added, but he smiled.
"It's no problem, especially after all you've done for me tonight."
Thanking him, I turned back to Edward. "Do you mind much if I visit him?" I wondered as I stroked Edward's arm.
"Not at all," he replied as he stood up. "Are you ready to go now?"
"I am," I breathed as I bent down to place a kiss on a small part of Edward's cheek that wasn't cut or bandaged up. "I'll be back soon," I whispered to him before making my way to the door. Carlisle, too, placed a kiss on his son's cheek before once again asking the nurse to call him if there was any change.
The drive to my flat was silent until we arrived. As we pulled up to the curb, I searched my pockets for my keys, only to come up short.
"Shit, shit, shit," I grumbled to myself as my head fell back against the head rest.
"Problem?" Carlisle asked, and I swore I could hear amusement in his voice.
"I left my keys inside."
Smirking just a little bit, Carlisle offered me their guest room and pulled off again as I thanked him many times before calling my landlord to try get a spare key.
"Tomorrow?!" I repeated in disbelief as he explained he was out of town and could only get to me the next day.
"You're more than welcome to stay," Carlisle mouthed, and I smiled as I agreed to a time to meet the landlord at the flat. "You can shower at ours and borrow some of Alice's clothes," he said as I put my phone back in my pocket.
"Thank you so much, I don't mean to be a pain," I mumbled as I settled into the comfy leather seat.
"No, thank you. I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't been there for me," he said as he put his hand on top of mine and squeezed gently.
"Anytime," I whispered before he took his hand back and the rest of the drive across town was done in silence.
When we arrived at the Cullen house, Carlisle worried over making a quick call to see if everything was still fine before he jumped in the shower.
I went into Alice's room and rummaged through her large wardrobe full of designer clothes until I finally came across a pair of jeans and a plain t shirt, then jumped in the shower myself in the second bathroom.
Wrapping my wet hair in a towel, I made my way across the hall and stopped at Edward's bedroom, the door slightly ajar. Slowly, I pushed it open and stepped inside.
His bed was still messy and this made me laugh. To say how vain Edward could be and how he had to have his hair just right - his clothes perfect, you'd expect some kind of OCD. But he was the messiest person I knew - it still made me giggle like a child when he left his plate and bowl in the living room and Carlisle would scold him like a child for it...
I wiped a stray tear from my cheek. I'd hardly realized I'd been crying until i felt the salty drop on my lips.
I walked around his room looking at everything I already knew so well like his wall of photos - all his friends and family. A couple of Edward and I were in there, and I stared at one. It had been taken just two months ago, in the back garden on what I was told was a rare sunny day. We were both smiling up at the camera Alice held above us, her reflection smiling down in our sunglasses, his arm tightly around my bare shoulder. In this picture, I could see how pale I'd gotten since moving here.
Sighing, I wiped my cheeks and turned to head back to the spare room, leaving Edward's just as it was.
After I got dressed, I went downstairs and was surprised to see a busy Carlisle in the kitchen.
"I made us lunch - I didn't know if you would be hungry, but... eating seems like something I should do," he shrugged.
"Gotta keep our energy up," I mumbled, and he nodded as we took our seats. As we ate, he spoke about his work before asking me how my studies were coming on.
"We're currently discussing issues in developmental psychology," I told him before taking a bite of my sandwich.
"Oh?" he asked, eyebrow raised - his curiosity piqued.
Swallowing, I continued. "Well, there are major questions surrounding it. For example - is development due more to genetics or environment?"
"Hmm, Nature vs. Nurture," he muttered, seeming to think on it
I waited, taking another bite of my sandwich.
"There are some philosophers such as Plato and Descartes who believe that some ideas are inborn... and I think I'd agree with that," he said.
I smiled. "Yes, but there are thinkers such as John Locke that argued the concept of tabula rasa- the belief that your mind is a blank state at birth, and our experience determines our knowledge."
Carlisle stopped chewing for a moment, thinking this through before nodding and smiling a little.
We stood up from the breakfast bar, and Carlisle took my plate and placed it in the sink before we moved into the living room to settle down on the couch. "Is that where you stand on the issue?" he asked.
I shrugged. "I can see both points, but I believe maybe there's an interaction between these two forces that causes development. I mean, there are some aspects of our development that are distinctly biological, like puberty. But the onset of puberty can be affected by environmental factors such as diet and nutrition."
"That's very true," he smiled.
I grinned, feeling good about being able to talk to Carlisle like this. It wasn't that Alice and Edward didn't understand - it was just that, in their own words, they didn't really care.
After that, Carlisle and I fell into a comfortable silence. After a while, I noticed him lean his head back on the couch cushions, his eyes closing a little. He was probably so tired having been up all night, that I just let him be, and after a few more minutes, his breathing changed, and I could tell he was sleeping.
Carefully getting up and trying my hardest not to disturb him, I went to the kitchen to find his phone.
Picking it up, I looked at the last number dialed and called it again.
"Oh, hi," I whispered when the call connected. "I was there earlier with DoctorCarlisle Cullen... I was just calling to see how Edward was."
The nurse assured me there was still no change and that the second something happened, they would contact us.
Setting the phone down, I smiled and headed to the closet at the top of the stairs. There, I found the throw that Carlisle usually kept on the sofa during the winter. I brought it downstairs with me and carefully draped it over a peaceful looking Carlisle. He needed some rest, and knowing that Edward was still as okay as he could be right now, I'd let him sleep.
Settling on the couch next to him, I looked up at the ceiling, my body getting lost to the comfy cushions of the couch, until my eyes lost the battle against my drooping eyelids.
My eyelids fluttered open, and I groaned in annoyance as a wave of déjà vu came over me.
A phone ringing... Carlisle's phone... EDWARD!
Turning slightly, I shook Carlisle's arm gently. "Carlisle... your phone's ringing," I said, and he stirred.
For a moment he sat still, staring down between us. It was then that I realised I'd wrapped myself in the throw, too, and had been sleeping against him. A blush rose, colouring my cheeks, but thankfully Carlisle missed it - suddenly hearing his phone start up again, he jumped up and rushed into the kitchen.
I heard his breathy answer and his short responses before he came back into the living room.
"Looks like Edward is waking up," he told me, a smile creeping up on his face.
"Lets go then!" I grinned, happy my best friend was finally awake.
When we arrived at the hospital, Edward was agitated, dazed, and confused.
"Dad..." he breathed with relief when Carlisle came through the door. He rushed over to Edward's side to hold his hand. "What happened?" Edward asked quickly as Carlisle pulled a chair closer so he could sit down.
"You had a car accident…" Carlisle explained as Edward looked over his arms and legs.
"How – how did it happen?" Edward asked, clearly shocked by what he saw.
"You don't remember?" Carlisle glanced at me before looking back at Edward a little concerned.
"No… Why can't I remember?!" Edward asked angrily.
Sitting down next to him and Carlisle, I took Edwards hand in mine. "It could be short term amnesia – your body and brain are quite simply in shock, so you're protecting yourself – you'll probably remember soon," I soothed.
"I had a fight with Chelsea…" he began.
As he struggled to piece together what happened next, the doctor came in carrying Edward's notes. He took a look at his observation chart before gesturing Carlisle over to the side. They quickly had a hushed conversation, and the doctor showed Carlisle something before leaving.
I had no idea what had just been said, But Carlisle looked angry about it.
"Dad…?" Edward whispered.
I was just about to leave, sensing this was something very personal, and I shouldn't be around to witness it, when Carlisle spoke.
"You were drinking," he simply said - a little too calmly.
Edward was shaking his head and mumbling.
"You were drunk, and you still got in the car and drove." His tone was unnerving.
"Dad, honestly, I don't…" Edward began, but Carlisle cut him off sharply.
"Don't! You were drunk - why didn't you get a cab?!," Carlisle snapped as he started pacing at the foot of the bed.
It even made me jump a little, and I noticed out the corner of my eye, Edward flinching at his father's voice.
"Dad…" Edward began again, but this time he had no words.
"Just answer me," Carlisle asked in that same angry tone as he stopped pacing and stood staring at Edward. "Did you drink?"
My eyes darted between the two of them as I waited for one of them to speak.
Eventually, Edward swallowed hard and nodded somewhat reluctantly.
Carlisle's eyes closed, and a small humourless laugh escaped before he looked at his son again. "You just sat there and lied to me," he said softly, returning to that tone that had even me on the edge of my seat.
"I… I didn't think I drank that much…"
"Oh, and that's supposed to make it okay, is it?" Carlisle snapped again, and although he obviously wasn't looking for an answer, Edward mumbled a quiet "no" that was quickly spoken over. "I thought I brought you up well – I thought I taught you important lessons! For the first time in twenty one years, Edward, I am actually disappointed in you," he said coldly, and without another word or a look back, Carlisle left the room.
A tear fell down Edward's bruised and swollen cheek as he watched his father leave, and as the door clicked shut, he turned to look at me.
"I just drank. I didn't know or care how much, I just drank until it stopped hurting – and that's all I can remember, I swear to you, Bella," he choked as more tears fell.
I nodded slowly, realisation dawning on me as I blinked repeatedly to pull myself from the feeling of utter bewilderment.
"Please, Bella – go and find him. Talk to him, I need to see him," Edward begged, and I stood, nodding again.
"We'll be back. It might take a while, but we will be back. Get some rest," I urged as I moved to the door, giving him a sympathetic smile before I slipped out.
I had no idea where to start looking. Not only was I unfamiliar with this hospital, I wasn't entirely sure I knew enough about Carlisle to guess his whereabouts. So I tried to think of people in general – where did you go when consumed with grief and heartache?
When I was around thirteen years old, my grandfather - or Papa Caius as I called him - passed away. My dad, Charlie, wasn't a very emotional man and simply paid his respects to his father-in-law, but my mom took it hard, and after the funeral, began attending church.
I was used to her having new hobbies every two months and assumed this might be one of them – I didn't know any better, and for me, I grieved alone in my room reading endless amounts of books and poetry. But she stuck at it for a long time and still occasionally attends.
I remembered her saying that God had helped her understand, listened, and gave no judgement. She found a peace there.
Turning to a sign screwed on the wall by the lifts I was near, I located the hospital chapel and pressed the button to call the lift.
As I approached the stained-glass doors, I wondered idly if Carlisle was the religious type. Edward had never mentioned going to church, though I did recall a photo I had seen of Edward and Alice with their mother Esme when they was being baptised.
I pushed the door open as quietly as I could and peaked through – there, sat at the front, was Carlisle, his head bowed low, palms pressed together, and his lips barely grazed them as they moved. I was going to leave, but his head turned, one eye creeping open, and he sat up when he saw me, inviting me over with a slight nod of the head.
I sat next to him, and he sighed as he looked up at the plain white ceiling. "Was it so terrible of me to react that way?" he asked.
"I don't think it was so terrible… it could have been worse, I suppose."
Carlisle nodded a little before looking at me. "What if – I'd rather go for a walk for a while before I see him again? Clear my head a little."
"I told him we'd be back, I just didn't say when. Do you want me to meet you here later?"
Carlisle shook his head. "If you wouldn't mind, would you stay with me?"
I smiled softly. "I don't mind at all, if that's what you want."
He whispered a thank you before getting up and stepping past me, and I followed him out.
We walked in silence for the most part, until Carlisle explained that he needed to pop into his office across the road. The Queens Medical Centre was also a university hospital, and Carlisle worked there as a professor.
Carlisle's office was rather small, and there wasn't a great deal in it. "Disappointed?" he asked, moving around the desk collecting things as I stood still at the door looking around.
"Ugly?" he offered, and I nodded as I stepped in further. "I don't spend a lot of time here, or I try not to. I'm either teaching or doing research and marking from home, so it seemed pointless to decorate, so to speak."
"I suppose," I mumbled as I walked to the desk and looked at the few items that sat on it - a lamp, a few pens, and a framed photo of a young Edward and Alice smiling up at the camera.
Turning around to look at his framed certificates on the wall, my elbow bumped into the pile of papers he had stacked on the desk, sending them tumbling to the floor and scattering everywhere.
"Oh gosh, Carlisle, I'm so sorry," I quickly apologised as I bent to pick them up. He was laughing as he knelt down to help me, and from this angle I could see how much Edward looked like his dad.
Picking up a small piece of paper with pink handwriting on, Carlisle groaned as he quickly read it and put it on his desk, standing and muttering something about harassment. As I placed a few papers on his newly formed pile, I glanced at the note and laughed.
"So Professor Cullen has an admirer!" I teased, and he rolled his eyes as he smirked.
"I'm beginning to tire of her little hints and notes attached to her work."
"What not to do to get the professor's attention," I mumbled.
Silence filled the space between us, and I looked round some more as Carlisle moved to take a seat at his desk.
I began watching him out the corner of my eye again – his head was tilted downwards, his eyes closed, and a hand reached to the back of his neck, his fingers working into the soft skin…
"I thought he'd learnt from the past - that losing his mother was enough of a warning," he almost whispered, surprising me.
"Esme – she was killed by a drunk driver?" I guessed. He just stared straight ahead at the floor and answered with a short stiff nod. "Edward told me he just drank, drank until it didn't hurt." I moved across the room and sat on his desk in front of him, and he looked up, resting back. "Maybe, to Edward, drinking connects him to his mother. Losing her at 6 years old must have been such a painful time for him, and now he uses it to feel closer to her. It's probably the strongest memory he has of that time, and maybe in some twisted way he connects more to that pain than any other pain in his life and turns to drink."
Carlisle was shaking his head, but I continued. "I know it doesn't make much sense, and I think that's his problem. Nothing makes sense to him, so he's using drinking the wrong way. Edward doesn't have a good time drinking – I've seen him out in town. When Edward's had a bad day, he drinks. When he argues with Chelsea, he drinks. I think he's confused it all, and it's become his escape."
"You're right – it doesn't make much sense. Where did I go wrong?" he asked, and I took his hand in mine.
"You didn't do anything wrong! You brought him up well – he really is a credit to you. And so much like you! Kind, caring, intelligent, funny, and so thoughtful. I couldn't imagine my life without such a person."
As Carlisle looked deep into my eyes, I swallowed hard. I knew all those things were true of Edward, but had I really been talking about him just then?
Slowly, he took his hand from mine and moved closer, his fingertips brushing the stray hair from my face, until his palm settled on my cheek. I knew it was stupid – it was utterly ridiculous, but being so close to him - it was now i noticed just how beautiful Carlisle smelt. His eyes seemed to sparkle and his lips looked so fine i just wanted to...
Moving forward, I pressed my lips to his.
They quivered as I took his bottom lip between them and pulled myself closer to him. But he didn't respond, and I drew away suddenly. Without looking at him, I quickly tried to get up and leave, embarrassment colouring my cheeks.
"Please Bella…" he breathed as he grabbed my hand, pulling me back towards him.
Slowly, I turned to face him, fisting my hand in his shirt and drawing him closer, pressing my lips to his again.
Only this time he didn't draw away.
He pushed me back to sitting on the desk, his paperwork littering the floor again. But we were far from caring.
But when the ring of his mobile phone filled the room, and he pulled away quickly, both of us panting.
Pulling it from his pocket, he answered. "Alice, baby… it's okay… no, I'm coming now."
As soon as her name left his lips, I drew away and pushed past him.
Oh god, how selfish had I been?!
While one of my best friends lay in hospital, and the other sat somewhere, scared and upset, here I was - making out with their father…
Their father. I had just kissed Carlisle… I… I really just kissed him.
"See you soon," Carlisle finished, ending the call and popping his phone back in the pocket of his jeans. "Alice is home," he said softly, neither of us making eye contact.
I didn't say anything, I just got up and strode to the door, Carlisle close behind me, the paperwork and the kiss forgotten.