Disclaimer: The Twilight Saga & all associated characters are the copyrighted creation & property of Stephenie Meyer. Any other publicly recognized characters, brands, quotes or "catch phrases" are the sole trademarked &/or copyrighted property of their respective creators. No copyright or trademark infringement is purposely intended with this story. The plot & any original characters of this story are the property of the Artemis Leaena. This work may not be reposted, reproduced, or translated into another language without the author's permission. This disclaimer will only appear once throughout this fic.

At What Cost

"Why does this have to be so hard," the brunette beauty standing beside me muttered as she clutched her paper cup of coffee to her chest, her gaze drawn somewhere off in the distance. "I thought it was supposed to get easier with time."

"I don't think it's supposed to be hard forever. I don't know, but I think it gets easier … eventually."

She continued to stare into the oblivion of the nondescript corner or the pockmarked ceiling – basically looking everywhere but at me. Bella very rarely looked directly at me, or anyone for that matter. There had been a few times where I'd thought she might make eye contact with me, when we would be standing like this during the mid-point breaks, but even when her velvety brown depths were pointed in my direction it was as if she were looking through and not at me. It gutted me each and every time – the pain a tactile, burning sensation in the middle of my chest. I just wanted – desperately – for her to acknowledge me.


This is my first attempt at a drabble, & it was born out of a very dark/depressive mood I found myself stuck in for some time. FYI: some chapters are going to be more drabble-ish than others. This fic is completely written & will update 2 or 3 times a day daily until finished (ch23), & this will be the only A/N in the entire story. Please understand that, because of school & the quick updating schedule, I won't be able to do review replies per chapter…but I hope you leave me some love anyway.

Huge thanks & love to Tammygrrrl for lending her beta services to this piece & to the best damn pre-reader in the fandom, caz12771, just for being her! =) Any mistakes throughout are my own as I tend to tinker after these lovely ladies are done working their magic, & I don't always "send it back to the cleaners." =)