A/N: *Shifty eyes* So.. at some point... I seem to have gotten over my Carlisle having a penis aversion. I was listening to music and this song kept coming up on shuffle and I'll be damned if I didn't think about my rocker Carlisle and his Bella. You know... of my own volition. Without prompting or begging or me trying to apologize for being an asshole.

Sofa King weird. WHO AM I?! I blame jessypt and barburella.

Anyway. This is a very short little vignette I thought I'd share with you since it insisted on being written.

They'd both known their relationship wasn't going to be easy. Some nights, though, were harder than others.

Of course, of course, it had to be the night before he had to go away that a paparazzi surprised them. They always hurled the most hideous questions, trying to get a reaction. Last night, they'd gotten one.

Bella was one tough chick, but she wasn't invincible. The press knew every sordid detail of his past. Everyone had their share of days they would rather forget, but too many of Carlisle's were available in high colored glossy.

He didn't regret his life. He'd been sure to learn from each and every mistake he'd made. Still, it was difficult to when those mistakes were not only thrown back at him, but put in the very worst light possible.

As if that weren't bad enough, the pap had gone on to goad Bella, playing to her every insecurity. The media painted her one of two ways. Either she was a gold digging little twit or a doe-eyed, naive girl. Either way, she was small town trash and the pap had a number of theories as to what a little girl might have done to catch such a big fish.

He'd gotten what he wanted. Carlisle got right in his face, and in the morning, there would be pictures of him looking threatening. Who knew which way they would spin it.

"I know who you are, and I know who I am," Bella had told him the night before. "I love you, but I need some space tonight."

Now he was awake with the dawn and lonely in one of his mansion's many guest bedrooms.

It was such a frustrating thing. Because he was so high profile, he couldn't have a relationship without a million well meaning fans having an opinion about it. The problem was, Bella wasn't high profile. No one knew the first thing about her. They didn't know him as well as they thought, but Bella didn't come equipped with a fanbase.

As a result, she had to live with all of the negatives - the judgements and jealousy of her peers - without any of the glory.

All she got in return was him.

With nothing to do but stew all night, Carlisle found himself desperate to go to her, tell her how incredible she was. He'd written song after song trying to put it all down in words - everything the rest of the world didn't see. That was the curse of the artist, he felt. Sometimes, he saw a world no one else did, and he tried to communicate what he saw with his songs.

Bella was the only one who'd ever understood them so completely.

He could go to her with something new, something else for her, but there was so much in his head, he didn't know where to start.

Very early that morning, it occurred to him that he didn't have to have all the words. Maybe he was a rockstar in his own right, but he wasn't the only one.

Mentally, he began flipping through songs. When he found the right one - a soft, simple, lovely tune - he jumped out of bed, eager to make her happy again before he had to leave her.

It only took a few minutes to assemble what he needed: his acoustic guitar and a few hand picked flowers from the garden. Then he eased open the door to the master bedroom.

She looked so small, all alone in his big bed. Her expression, as she slept, was not peaceful, and the dried tear tracks on her cheek made his heart ache. Tenderly, he brushed her hair away from her eyes. She very nearly stirred, mumbling something nonsensical in her sleep as she turned her head to meet his palm. He smiled, feeling nothing but lucky that she was still here, still his.

Seating himself cross-legged at the foot of the bed, he pulled his guitar into his lap and began to pluck out the first few notes of The Plain White Tee's "Hey There Delilah".

It was a sweet song that perfectly encapsulated the beauty of what he'd found in her and the ache he felt when he was away.

She came awake slowly, blinking like a newborn kitten, her expression adorably perplexed at first. But as she came more conscious a soft smile spread across her face, and she lay back down, her head on her folded hands on the pillow, watching him, hearing what he was trying to tell her.

It was a good song for where they were at right then, though she smirked when he sang about how he might pay the bills with his guitar someday.

"By the time that we get through the world will never ever be the same, and you're to blame."

She sat upright then, scooting closer, and the song seemed to get all the more personal.

"Hey there, Delilah, you be good and don't you miss me. Two more years and you'll be done with school, and I'll be making history."

She was sitting right in front of him now, their knees touching. The look on her face - so passionate and full of love - was exactly what he felt in his heart. The world had shrunk again. There was just them, and what they felt for each other. Despite what all the voices clamoring around them tried to say, they knew the truth.

They were good together, and their lives, though not without problems, were better for having found each other.

He brought the song to a close and leaned in to kiss her. Without breaking that connection, he pushed his guitar to the side so he could pull her into his lap instead. She came willingly, wrapping her arms around his neck and her legs around his body.

"I'm sorry," she whispered against his lips. "I wasted our night."

Cupping her face in his hands, he shook his head. "No," he murmured, kissing the tip of her nose. "It's okay to need to regroup sometimes." He stroked her hair back, his fingers trailing down her neck. "I know we'll never struggle to make ends meet, but that doesn't make this life easy."

For a few long moments, the merely cuddled, Bella's head on his shoulder and his resting against hers, reconnecting and reaffirming.

"There's still some time yet," she whispered in his ear. She leaned back, bringing him with her.

Still a little time before they had to remember the rest of the world existed, and they had other things to do.

And he was going to soak up every second he had with her, now and for the rest of his life.

A/N: So there's that.

Just in case any of you are curious, I'm still writing the pirate E/B fic. I just took a little time off fic to finish my first novel. EEEEEE so excited.