Bella Cullen sat on the edge of the bed, head bowed low, tears rolling down her cheeks. Her eyes bounced between the man lying beneath the sheets and the monitor, where a continuous green line crested and dropped, measuring the beats of his heart. The room was quiet, save the soft sounds of crying and the click and whoosh of the respirator.
"Oh, Edward," she whispered. "Why did this happen?"
She ran her finger along Edward's hand, down his ring finger, stopping at the gold band she had placed there only thirty-six hours before.
"We're supposed to be on the beach, not here. Never here," she said softly.
Reaching up with her other hand, she swept it across his forehead. Her fingers grazed the blood-stained bandages there. The nurse would be in shortly to replace them, as she had already three times during her shift.
"Edward, squeeze my hand," Bella heard, and looked across the bed to his mother, who had been tireless in her ICU vigil. "Please come back to us."
Esme's face showed the stress she had been under. Dark circles stood out against her pale skin, and her eyes were red and puffy from crying, tears dripped off her chin.
Both of their heads turned when the door slid aside and the doctor entered the room.
"Good evening," he said as he looked over the chart.
Edward's mother immediately asked, "Do you know anything more? Will he be waking up soon?"
The doctor shook his head.
"His condition hasn't changed, and we're waiting for the results of his latest CAT scan. He's still in a medically induced coma, so he won't be waking up right now," he reminded her.
He did an examination, shining a light in Edward's eyes and noting the condition of the bandages with a scowl.
"I'll send the nurse in to change these again," he said. "How are you holding up?"
Bella stroked Edward's cheek.
Esme answered, "Carlisle just went for food and coffee for us. The nurses offered a place to shower, and I think I'll take them up on it soon. I should probably stretch, anyway."
They chatted for a few more minutes, but Bella didn't listen to them.
Instead, she talked to Edward.
"Do you remember what you said to me after the wedding? You promised me that we would never be apart. I hope you'll keep that promise, Edward."
He didn't respond. The only movement she could see was his chest as it rose and fell.
"The wedding was everything I'd hoped," Bella continued. "The flowers were perfect. And the cake. I bet the photographer got some amazing shots. And you, you looked incredible in your tux."
Esme stood and moved to walk the doctor out into the hall, peppering him with questions. Bella barely acknowledged the motion, choosing instead to focus on her husband.
"Your mother hasn't left your side. I know she's desperate for you to wake up," she said. "It's all she can talk about when the doctor comes in. Your dad is getting restless. He wants to be able to do something to help, and he can't."
She looked toward the door.
"My parents are still here, too. They've been in the waiting room since you went into surgery. I'll bet your dad stopped to update them on what's happening."
Bella continued to talk, reminding Edward of the house they had built, the furnishings they had chosen together, and their wedding day.
"I've never been so happy," she said, smiling at the memory of their first dance as a married couple. "You are the answer to my every prayer."
Esme returned and took her seat at the side of the bed. She took Edward's hand in hers.
"He'll be fine," Esme said. "He's got to be." She looked up at the ceiling, as if she were pleading with God to make her words true.
"How could this happen on your wedding night? Why did you get in an accident? You should have waited for the storm to end. I'm sure you could have taken a later flight," she said, as if chastising him.
Esme started to cry again, her sobs ringing out through the room.
Bella whispered to Edward. "See. She doesn't want to lose you. She's not giving up."
Edward's father walked into the room a few minutes later, his arms full of food and drinks from a fast food restaurant near the hospital, and a grocery bag with some necessities for their long stay.
"Hungry?" he asked.
Esme shrugged. "I'll try to eat."
Bella ignored them both, her hands caressing Edward's face.
"Is it selfish of me to want you with me?" she asked him in a whisper.
Bella watched Esme sleeping in the chair, her head on her arms on the bed near Edward's legs.
It was early, and the nurses had been in and out of the room all night.
She glanced at the monitor again, noticing the change in the rate of Edward's heart.
The alarms were silenced, so there was no noise to rouse Esme when things changed drastically.
When Bella looked back at her husband, she noticed a change.
Edward had opened his green eyes and was looking around. His gaze stopped on his wife.
"There you are," she said. "I've been waiting."
Edward sat, gripping her hand, and leaned forward to kiss her softly.
"I promised we'd never be apart, and I always keep my promises, Bella."
She stood from her spot on his bed, pulling on his hand as she did, and he followed.
"I'm so sorry, Esme," she said, looking with sorrow at the sleeping woman.
Edward walked to his mother and kissed her head.
"I love you Mom, but I promised Bella that I'd never leave her. She stayed for me, and now it's time for us to go."
They walked hand-in-hand to the door, passing the nurses who had rushed into the room with a crash cart.
Edward turned to take in the scene he was leaving behind.
Esme had awakened with a start when a nurse pulled the blanket back. She stood with her hands over her mouth. Bella could hear her saying 'no' repeatedly as the nurse prepped Edward's chest for the defibrillator.
The last words Bella heard as she turned to walk with Edward toward the growing light ahead of them were, "We can't lose both of them."
"They'll be okay eventually," Edward told her. "They have each other."
He squeezed Bella's hand, and pulled her forward to start their forever.
AN - Hey guys. It's been a while since I posted anything. (I have an epilogue for Letters that just needs some TLC. I'll be posting it soon.)
I had a crazy little plot bunny that hit me today, and it wouldn't stop bouncing until I got it on paper. Not long enough for a regular story, only a one-shot. So here I am.
This is unbeta'd, so all mistakes are mine.