I do not own anything to do with Twilight.
I am so sorry for the delay in chapters, an explanation at the bottom. Thank you to everyone who has PM'd me.
This is has not been checked, so any mistakes are mine.
With all my Love xx
Love you to the Moon and Back.
Edward grinned down towards Mike, who was giggling as he held on tight to the mobile IV stand tight. His little Batman slipper clad feet were firm on the base of the stand, his tiny bruised hands holding on to the metal pole while one of Edwards large hands supported him, proving security while allowing the sickly child some relief from the day to day battle that had become his life.
The plastic tubing drip fed fluids and drugs into his blood stream; the pumps soft beeps told Edward that the liquid was flowing freely. Soon the liver failing inside him would render Mike too poorly to feel like laughing at all.
Angela, Mike's Mother followed on behind with a wheelchair just in case Mike needed it. She chatted away to Kate, one of the nurses as they made their way back to the ward after their short trip to look out of the 15th floor window.
Mike had been drawing trees and wondered if their leaves had started to change colour. He had always loved jumping on the crisp fallen foliage and playing in the piles of leaves in the woods behind his house.
It has been such a long time since he left his home. He had arrived here at the hospital for an appointment some months ago, and had not gone home again since. His brothers and younger sister had been to visit, his Grandma Jane had moved into his house, and was sleeping in his bed while she helped his Dad Ben to look after the family allowing him to continue working.
It was too cold for Edward to think about taking Mike outside, but when he listened as his patient explained about his picture, he knew this trip to the window would help. It was really all he could do as they waited for a liver to become available for this small boy to be given any chance of survival.
His extended family and even an older brother Sam had been tested to see if they could donate part of their livers, but no match had been found so far. Time was not on their side.
"I don't understand Dr E..." Mike looked up at Edward as they waited on the elevator to arrive. "How can you think Superman is better than Batman?"
"There is simply no question, Mike... Superman is just soooooooo much cooler!" Edward laughed as he sounded like a girl talking about her favourite singer in a boy band, he lifted the hem of his trousers up to show Mike the superman socks he had put on that morning just to tease him.
The lift doors opened, and before him stood the prettiest girl he had ever seen. Her chocolate brown eyes met his emerald green; she smiled before looking at Mike who was looking at his favourite doctor who it seemed was now acting very strangely, and still holding his trouser leg up to show his novelty socks.
"E! You gotta push the stand...E!" Mike shouted up to the awe struck man towering over him and the IV stand.
"What? Oh yes, sorry Mike..." He pushed the stand forward, making sure the wee boy holding on was not jostled as he went over the edge of the lift door. Only then did Mike see who had caught Edward's attention.
"BIRDIE!" He cheered out!
Bella grinned, looking away again from Edward, who still couldn't take his eyes off her.
"Well, lookie, lookie here... It's Mike and is this your new car?" She asked the 6 year old who was now carefully stepping off the IV stand to walk into her open arms for a cuddle.
"No..." he chuckled. "Dr E was just taking me to see the leaves change on the trees." He explained about his picture, and the happy memories he had playing outside. "I can't wait till I can play outside again... I guess I will have to wait till next year to play with the leaves." He sighed.
The four adults now standing in the elevator knew there was a higher chance of Mike not being here at all next year, let alone being able to play outside.
"Would you like to do some more colouring, or perhaps some reading with me Mike?" Bella ask as Kate pulled a quietly sobbing Angela into her arms, hiding her from her son's view as she tried in vain to stop the tears from flowing down her face. She felt like all she did was cry now, for her beloved wee boy and the possibility she might lose him.
"Yeah, I fink I have got time for that...E?" He looked at Edward for confirmation.
"Sure Little Man... you can colour and we will take your next lot of IV meds to you in the playroom." Edward nodded, he knew the importance of the medication but realised the young boy needed to enjoy his short life too.
Kate told him she would take the meds to him, and walked away with Angela as she fell apart.
Edward didn't respond to the small one talking to him, he was spell bound by the woman now holding Mike's hand.
"E?" she looked at him.
"Sorry...?" He shook his head and tried to focus on the woman now chuckling in front of him who was shaking her head as Mike asked what was wrong with Edward.
"I was wondering if you needed me to take the IV stand while Mike and I went to the playroom?" She replied.
"No, I have got it...Birdie? Is that your name?" He asked softly.
"Bella, or Birdie, I am the play therapist here, I started a few weeks ago." Bella explained.
She waited for the usual scoffing reaction she had come to expect from the medical professionals resulting in her having to defended her career.
"I help kids and families deal with situations they have found themselves in. Diagnosis and treatment can be overwhelming."
"I read your paper in last month's journal." Edward admitted, "I was delighted when Dad said you were joining the team."
"Oh..." Bella blushed and smiled at the handsome mad who was looking down out of the corner of his eye at her.
"I usually get a much less enthusiastic welcome." She explained.
"We are here, can I push the buttons please E?" Mike squealed as they arrived at the ward entrance. Edward carefully lifted the fragile child up, holding him protectively as he typed the numbers in the security keypad to allow access to the ward.
"I am not meant to know the numbers so don't tell anyone Birdie..." Mike lifted his finger up to his lips, and giggle as Bella did the same, only to pull her finger and thumb across her lips, locking the secret safely inside before throwing the imaginary key away. Mike nodded and turned to look at a smirking Edward, "It's ok...we can trust Birdie."
"I will take your word for it, since you seem to know her so well." Edward nodded back.
Bella giggled, following behind the two boys while Edward continued to carry Mike and push the IV stand with his other hand.
Edward's shift had finished some time ago but he felt unable to leave Bella and Mike as they settled down to colour in more trees and leaves, while Bella gently encouraged Mike to talk about his illness and his stay in hospital. Edward always found children to be so resilient and matter of fact about their illness. Adults were much more emotional about everything. It broke his heart when they lost a child, or he had delivered news that there was no more they could do for a child in his care.
He came from a family who all provided care. His Dad, Carlisle was Edward's hero & role model and was now the Chief of Surgery in this Hospital. His Mother, Esme was a Psychologist who specialised in supporting victims of assault. His older brother Emmett was an anaesthetist, as was his wife Rose. His other brother Jasper was a Charge nurse in the intensive care unit, and his wife Alice was a co-ordinator with the donor transplant services. The three brothers had grown up in the hospital learning just how precious life was.
Kate brought Mike's IV drugs and started them going as Angela came in and sat down watching as her son spoke about missing his dog at home, his siblings and how he worried about his Dad working so hard.
"I know my Mama gets sad too...she misses everyone..." Mike sighed. "You worry too much Mama." He said looking up at his Mother, who sat with tears in her eyes. Angela moved to sit nearer her precious boy, kissing his forehead and pushing some hair away from his face. "You need a haircut." She whispered.
"I can trim it if you want." Bella offered.
"Can you Birdie, are you sure you knows how to cut hair?" Mike asked cautiously.
"Sure, you know my Daddy, Chief Swan? Well I cut my Dad's hair and his moustache all the time," She shrugged while using a finger to swipe a non excising moustache on Mike's upper lip.
"Yes, but I don't have no moustache, Birdie!" he laughed while wiggling his nose in response to the tickle.
"Can you cut Edward's hair too?" He looked up at Edward with a twinkle in his eye.
"What's wrong with my hair?" Edward laughed, pretending to be insulted as he continued colouring in beside Mike. His attention focused on colouring the line of ducks swimming in the pond. His constant desire for perfection ensuring he stayed in the lines and used the correct colours at all times.
"Hum...let me see." Bella moved and stood behind Edward, who closed his eyes and hummed as Bella ran her fingers in his hair, checking to see if she would need to cut much from his soft, bronze locks.
"About time he had that mop trimmed!"
Bella stood back and Edward scowled at the sudden removal of her soothing touch as his oldest brother, as he, his father and mother all wandered into the play room to find Edward who had promised to meet them for coffee in the cafeteria while they planned a family meal for Carlisle's upcoming birthday.
Esme stepped forward and hugged Bella who sighed as she melted into the loving embrace. Edward looked up puzzled, until his Father explained that Bella had met Esme during some training workshops for children who had been involved in domestic abuse. It was Esme who had suggested to Carlisle that the hospital would benefit from a play therapist and had encouraged Bella to apply for the post and move back to Forks. She has simply been the best candidate by miles and the Hospital board had offered Bella the post straight away.
Moving back to be nearer to her Dad Charlie made Bella very happy as she had been looking to move back to her childhood town for some time. She had enjoyed her years moving around the States, working in various centres and hospitals, but it was ready to settle back home. Charlie had always been proud of his only daughter's career but was delighted she was home again. Having Bella stay with him until she found her own home was fantastic.
Bella laughed as Emmett tried to balance his huge 6 foot 4 frame on the bean bag beside Edward and Mike. Rolling his sleeves up he surveyed the activity in front of him before starting to add a Mohawk to the man on his colouring sheet and turning another character into a pirate, only made more determined with his alterations as his younger brother tutted at him while he carried on with his much neater effort.
Mike was just delighted with his colouring buddies, the ward had been quiet, a few lucky kids he had made friends with had been discharged home, and two long term patients he had gotten to know had sadly died earlier on this week. Mike had been quiet and scared, wondering if he was going to die to, but not knowing how to ask the questions he feared. Esme sat down beside Angela and patted her hand, while retrieving the younger woman tissue for her tears.
It was a small town and everyone knew the reality of Mike's prognosis. Alice had been working hard to find Mike a match, and the whole family had become very fond of the young lad and his family. Emmett reached into his pocket while carrying on colouring, the green crayon he had used for his man's hair now tucked behind his ear and he sent his wife and Jasper a text telling them he had found Edward and to meet them all in the playroom on the 3rd floor. "Mikey dude..."
"Yeah..." Mike looked up, un-phased by the much larger, over grown child like colouring buddy he had acquired.
"Are you hungry Dude?"
"Eh... I could eat." Mike shrugged. He had eaten very little lately. Nothing tastes right and his loss of appetite had caused concern to his Mom and the ward staff.
"Are there any restrictions here?" He whispered to Edward quietly, Edward shook his head. It looked more like quality of life rather than quantity.
"What do you fancy Little Man?" Emmett asked as he casually continued to colour in.
"Pizza!" Mike asked excitedly. It had been a long time since he had enjoyed pizza.
"Daddy used to take us when we went into town!" He smiled before frowning at the memory. "I wonder if my Daddy would like Pizza too...?"
Carlisle whispered to Angela, "Can your family join us this evening?"
Angela nodded and took her cell phone out, calling her husband and asking to take everyone to come to the Hospital.
"What toppings do you like Little Dude?" Emmett asked Mike before leaning over and adding sunglasses to a duck Edward had coloured while Edward was busy disconnecting the completed IV bag of drugs that were now administered into Mike. Emmett winked at Mike who was giggling at Emmett.
"I like pepperoni...oh no can we have ham and pineapple...or Mama likes mushrooms, but I don't really like them. I can pick them off if we get that..." Mike gave his pizza topping a lot of consideration before announcing that Bella should choose.
"Oh I do like Mushroom too..."Bella pondered...and started laughing when Mike screwed his face up at the thought of mushrooms on a pizza.
"If you really like them Birdie..." he sighed.
"It's ok Dude, we can order lots of different pizzas. No Mushrooms on our boy pizza...Right?"
Emmett held his first up and Mike grinned as he bumped his tiny bunched fist up against the huge boulder that belonged to Emmett.
"Can you stay Bella?" Edward asked shyly.
"Yeah Bella Birdie...can you?" Emmett fluttered his eyelids and pretended to be all coy, enjoying his usually uninterested brother obvious attraction to this charming woman before him.
"I can..." Bella giggled shaking her head at the brothers who were poles apart behaviour wise.
She called Charlie; he would be expecting her home. He answered her call and hadn't yet eaten so when Bella suggested he come and join them, he happily accepted the invitation. "Oh and can you take my hair cutting bag Dad?" She asked before ending the call.
"You really cut hair too?" Edward asked her.
"I do, I was a Saturday girl in the salon while I worked through College, and I learned the basics." She shrugged her shoulder and started to colour in again.
Jasper appeared with Alice and Rose just before Charlie appeared and they all joined Mike and the others colouring in. The playroom had never had so many adults in it at one time before.
Many Pizzas were ordered just as Ben and his Mother wandered into the room with Sam, Paul and Emily, Mike's siblings. Tables were pushed together and the children all joined Edward and his siblings as they sat round colouring while Esme, Carlisle, Angela, Ben, Granny Jane and Rose now sat at the other table talking.
Charlie wandered in smiling at the collection of people before him.
"Hey Dad!" Bella stood up and went over to hug her beloved Father. He grinned and handed her the bag she had requested after releasing her from his embrace. Seeing Bella so happy made his day.
Introductions were not really required but made as everyone settled into comfortable conversation. Mike now sat up on Bella's lap. He had allowed Bella to trim his hair and giggled when she offered to cut Edwards hair too. Charlie wiggled his moustache at Mike when Bella said it needed trimming as well.
Enough Pizza arrived to feed an army, Mike ate almost two slices and enjoyed it before falling asleep now snuggled in his mother's arms.
Ben, Angela and Jane thanked everyone before Ben and Granny Jane took the sleepy siblings home. Angela carried Mike to his bed, while Carlisle pushed IV stand. Jasper took the left over pizza and soda to hospital staff working on the ward on the evening shift.
Bella and Edward try to sneak peeks at each other while clearing up the playroom and moving tables back to their former places with help from Esme and Alice, who watched the shy interactions before them. Both giddy with hope that Edward and Bella were interested in pursuing the obvious spark between them.
Charlie lifted and table with Edward, after clearing his throat to catch Edward's attention which was firmly held by his daughter.
He grinned as Edward blushed at being caught staring by the Chief of police.
"Do you want me to trim your hair too before I take my stuff home?" She asked Edward who nodded, not believing his luck. The thought of having her touch & play with his hair again thrilled him very much.
"Maybe you should do it up in Edward's office." Rose suggested while trying not to smirk. She was a great match for her husband, and could more than equal his wit and sarcasm easily but was much more subtle when she wanted to be.
"Do what exactly?" Charlie growled, causing Edward to jump back from the close stand he had taken beside Bella.
"I am cutting Edward's hair." Bella explained.
"You can do that here..." Charlie muttered.
"I can, but I am not going to do it while you are all watching me." Bella challenged. Charlie shrugged, then smirked, "Well I will come with you, since you will need a lift home afterwards."
"I can give you a lift home if you need Bella." Edward offered, really not wanting to say good bye yet to the beautiful woman in front of him.
"Thank you Edward. That will be lovely." Bella smile at Edward before turning to stick her tongue out at her Dad who just laughed and muttered "Real mature Birdie." Bella winked at her Dad, hugged him, telling him she loved him, and turned to pick up her bag while Edward said bye his family who were now looking on amused at Bella and the usually gruff Chief's playful behaviour. "Love you Birdie, to the moon and back." Bella blushed at the words her Dad always said to her, when they parted. "Love you too Daddy."
They waved bye to everyone and left to walk towards the elevator. Edward guided Bella with his hand placed gently on the small of her back. The both felt the spark as he moved his hand and it brushed against her much smaller one. Edward looked down, puzzled by the static. He inched his fingers towards Bella, who turned her hand round so they met palm to palm.
"May I?" he asked nervously. Bella nodded and moved to stand closer, their fingers entwining, both of them sighing as they relished the physical connection simply holding hands gave them. As they neared the floor Edward's office was on, he lifted their joined hands and kissed the back of Bella's hand, holding it at his lips for a few seconds until the door opened and he led her out along the hallway towards his office.
There was no one else on the floor, everyone else having gone home or on the wards they were working on this evening.
"Why do they children call you Birdie?" Edward asked as he sat down on the chair they had moved into his small bathroom a joining his office. Bella grinned as she told him how she was very small when she born early and Charlie thought she looked like a small bird, so he called her his little Birdie. A name that stuck, and now lots of folks seemed to call her Birdie. "And what about your Mother?" Edward asked cautiously since Bella had not spoken about her, and he didn't seem to remember the chief being married.
"She died when I was 7, Breast Cancer." Bella whispered sadly. "Dad did his best, and he took me to see a counsellor when I needed more help." Bella smiled at the reflection of Edward meeting her gaze in the mirror.
"As I grew up I realised he did what he knew I needed to grieve and gave me the best chance of dealing with my broken heart."
Her hands lay gently on Edward's shoulders; she draped a towel around him and smoothed it down before running her fingers into his hair as she spoke more about losing her Mom. She spoke about her Dad's grief and his amazing strength in supporting his beloved fragile child, while his own heart was breaking.
"I wanted to give back when I was deciding on my own career. And I had been to a talk your Mom gave about different therapies. I have always loved art and play, so it was something I could do that combine everything I wanted to do."
Bella stepped forward and lay out her scissors and comb on the vanity unit. "Do you mind if I dampen your hair?" Bella whispered.
"No...You can do what you want to me." Edward replied softly in return.
Bella bit down on her lip as she watched his lips move when he spoke to her. "What do you want to me to do...?" She asked as loud as she dared to.
"I want...want...you to kiss me, I want to kiss you." He said cautiously, as if she was a nervous creature he did not want to spook.
"Please..." She turned so she was facing him, her hands now resting on his shoulders, but her thumbs caressing his neck, moving up to his face as his hands reached out to her hips and manoeuvred Bella carefully so she now sat down on his lap.
Their lips met, and their connection was complete.
Sometime later, when they both came up for air, Bella rested her forehead against Edwards, and they sat and spoke, about everything, anything and nothing in particular.
His arms wrapped around her, holding her against him.
"I better take you home."
Bella looked at him. "Home...with you?" She questioned bashfully.
"Well as much as I would love to invite you home with me, I believe I promised the Chief of Police that I would see his baby girl home safely."
Bella giggled before sighing, "I am not in the habit of going home with men I have just met DR Cullen."
"Would you like to come out on a date with me tomorrow, get to know me better?" He asked with a twinkle in his eye as he gave her his best persuasive smile.
Plans were made as they started their drive to take Bella home to her father's house.
A few more kisses were exchanged as they sat parked outside the Chiefs house, until a text to Bella's cell phone asking if she was going to come in or did he have to come out and get her! Edward chuckled, but reluctantly got out of his car, walked round and opened the passenger's door and offered Bella his hand to assist her out of her seat. He held her hand all the way to the front door, kissed the back of her hand before gently applying one more sweet kiss to her lips and a promise to pick Bella up tomorrow for their date.
Charlie was delighted that Bella had met Edward; he worried about her being alone. None of her previous boyfriends treated her like the precious gift she was to him. The Cullen's were a well loved family in the community. Charlie had a lot of time for all of them.
It wasn't until Edward called by to pick up Bella the next day, and Charlie pointed out that his hair was still as long as it had been the day before, that they realised Bella had not cut Edwards hair , they had instead spent hours kissing, talking, and kissing some more.
And so their courtship began, Bella & Edward spent many hours getting to know each other better. They had so much in common and Edward loved spending time with the sweetheart who quickly became his new best friend. Bella cut his hair, Edward declared no one but Bella would ever cut his hair again.
The two families became one big unit and many meals were spent together as Edward and Bella fell more and more in love with each other every day.
It was Edward who held Bella after she spent an upsetting afternoon with Mike and his family. He wanted to know they would be ok if he died. He wanted to make sure his Mama would share his toys between his brothers and take what he had saved in his money bank to buy his sister something nice, since she wouldn't like boy's toys. Mike was getting weaker, everyone knew it...time was quickly running out. Alice worked so hard but there simply was no organ matching up with Mikes failing liver.
"Do you want children?" Bella asked as they sat snuggled up in his living room one evening.
"Yes, I do Birdie, one day, I want them with you." Edward held her close as he declared his intentions for them.
"Even though we see so many children die?" Bella wondered.
"Yes, but so many more children are healthy, so many never have the illness and problems we see Honey." He assured her.
Bella turned and looked Edward in the eyes and she said the words that she had felt in her heart, but had yet to be spoken aloud.
"I love you Edward Cullen."
"I love you too Bella Swan."
As their bodies joined together to be one that night, it was a deeper connection than ever before. They had both had previous lovers, but at the moment they joined that night, they both knew they never wanted to call anyone else their lovers.
Christmas was drawing near; Charlie had been roped into play Santa at the Hospital party. He sat and listened to all the young patients as they asked him for the gift their heart desired. Mike now unable to walk was wheeled towards Santa and lifted from his chair by his dad Ben to sit on Charlie's lap.
Charlie struggled with his emotions as he saw the deterioration in child's condition. It was hard to believe this sickly child was once the happy active young boy who used to ride his bike on the street in front of his house, or playing ball with his brother. But now, he was barely managing to hold himself steady on Charlie's knee.
"Have you been a good boy this year Mike?" Charlie asked in his best Santa's voice.
"I fink so...yeah..." Mike answered, looking up to his Daddy for confirmation.
"Yeah you have been, Mike." Ben quietly assured his son.
"I have Santa, yeah. I have been a good boy."
"Good lad Mike." Charlie's voice quivered. "What would you like me to bring you this year?"
"Can I have anything?" Mike questioned.
"If I can give it to you I will..." Charlie knew this was dangerous territory he was on. He was anxious to hear what Mike would ask for.
Mike beckoned Santa to come closer so he could whisper in his ear.
"Can you make my Mama & Daddy happy?" Mike asked hopefully.
"Oh Son, I really wish I could." Charlie sighed. "I will do my very best." He promised.
"Thanks Santa. I know you always do your best to keep your promises."
"Do you want anything else son?" Charlie asked hoping he could offer this amazing young boy something to make him happy.
"Can I have a dolly please Santa? And a football, and the Harry Potter DVD please?"
Charlie looked at him puzzled by his first request. "Why do you want a Dolly son?" He asked.
"Well, I can't get to the shops, and I have nuffin to give my brothers and sister for Christmas." Mike explained.
It was then that Angela started to cry again, and Ben closed his eyes as a tear fell slowly down his cheek.
"That I can do Son...that I can do." Charlie was barely managing to maintain his Santa persona now at all.
Mike held his fist up to Santa and Charlie looked down at him puzzled; he glanced up and spotted Edward & Emmett who were dressed as elves for some help. The two men who had tears on their cheeks looked at each other and double bumped their fists together. Charlie realised that since Mike had been hanging out with them a lot of the time now, it must be what he was waiting for him to respond with.
He lifted his first and ever so gently copied what the two brothers had done with Mike.
A huge smile spread over the young boys face, and he thanks Santa before allowing his Dad to lift him off Santa's knee and return him to his festively decorated wheelchair chariot.
As the party finished and everything was being cleared away only the Cullen's, Bella and Charlie remained. Edward was not sure he should still carry out his planned romantic gesture as the mood had become so sad after Charlie had told everyone what Mike had asked him for. But when Bella sat down on Santa's grand chair still dressed as a Christmas Fairy, he knew it was absolutely the right time. He walked over, feeling slightly daft in his elf outfit, and got down on one knee in front of his beloved Birdie.
"Bella... Birdie... Isabella..."
She gasped as soon as she realised exactly what he was doing.
"I love you, I fell under your spell here, so this is the very place to ask you this...will you love me as I love you, forever?"
She nodded frantically as he continued to speak, the diamond he held between his fingers sparkling just like her shimmering glittery skin that had been dusted by Alice to make her fairy outfit complete.
"Will you please do me the incredible honour of becoming my wife and ...and marry me?"
"Yes." Bella leapt up and almost knocked Edward over as she tried to get as close to him as she physically could. Their kiss was only broken as their family cheered in delight at the sight before them.
Charlie, now minus the Santa beard and hat turned to Carlisle and offered his fist for him to bump like Mike had done a short while ago with him.
It was only a few days later as Charlie left the shop, with a doll, a ball and a DVD in his bag that the accident that would change everything happened.
Tyler had hit a patch of ice, and lost control of his delivery van.
Charlie didn't stand a chance as he pushed Kate who had been standing beside him out of the path of the oncoming vehicle.
Kate tended to Charlie as Tyler frantically called 911.
Charlie was floating in and out of conscious and even tried to reassure Tyler that it was an accident. He made sure Kate took the bag of gifts with them asking her to promise that Mike would get them on Christmas morning.
Edward ran to the ER answering his father's page about his future father in law. Esme was there waiting, she had been with Carlisle when the call had come in about Charlie.
As the team worked on Charlie, he opened his eyes and whispered Edward's name.
"I am here Sir." He placed a slightly shaking hand on Charlie's shoulder, one of the few places on his body that was uninjured.
"She is on her way, Emmett is bringing her..."
"You promise me...something, before she gets here, Son."
"Anything Charlie..." Edward was frantically assessing Charlie, and it was not looking good, right now all he could hope for is that he would be able to hold on till Bella got here.
"Tell her...tell her I love her... I am so proud of her..." He cried out as the pain ripped through him. "You love her for me. You keep her safe and happy..."
"I will do my best every day Charlie, just wait a bit longer, she will here soon."
"She has always been my...everything..." Charlie whispered.
Charlie nodded, calmer now his request had been agreed upon.
"DAD!" Bella cried out as she ran into the room with Emmett right behind her. "Daddy..."
"Love you Birdie." Charlie opened his eyes, and looked into Bella's brown eyes that mirrored his own. She was the double of his beloved Renee, but she has his eyes. "To the moon...and...back...Birdie."
"Don't leave me Daddy..." She sobbed.
Charlie groaned, and opened his eyes wide in panic as Bella cried out in distress. "Edward..." he looked at him pleading with him to take Bella away from this tragic sight. Edward tried to turn Bella away, to protect her from the scene before her, but she was having none of it.
He was her Daddy and she would be strong and stay as long as he needed her. She would fight with all she had to do what she hard to do.
Alarms attached to Charlie's battered body sounded out as he arrested. All hell broke loose. Edward pulled Bella back against him and he gave the team room to try to respond and fight to save Charlie Swan's life.
They got him back, only to watch as his body started to close down again.
Bella sobs grew louder, her plea bargains to anyone one or God listening to save her Daddy proved fruitless.
Emmett, Jasper, Rose and Carlisle all worked with the code team to stop the bleeding and keep Charlie's body functioning.
Esme and Alice stood beside Edward as they all tried to hold Bella together.
Emmett and Rose worked together to place a breathing tube in Charlie's mouth, and a scanner was brought in to investigate the head injury that they sadly discovered Charlie had sustained.
The news was not hopeful.
Tests proved conclusively that he was gone.
"Bella, Honey..." Carlisle stood ready to tell his newest daughter the devastating news.
"Nooooooooooooooooooooo..." Bella screamed. Her mouth remained open but the disbelief turned the wailing to a heartbreaking silence. She crumbled into Edward arms; he barely caught her as she fell. The two lovers heaped onto the floor, tears falling down everyone's face as they realised Chief Swan was now brain dead.
Bella couldn't move. She watched as Jasper and Carlisle cleared all traces on the trauma from Charlie and other staff cleared the unfortunate debris from the room. The breathing tube remained. Charlie looked like he was simply sleeping. The machines whirred, beeped and gasped, ensuring the empty shell that was once the strong man they had all loved and admired was kept functioning. Jasper and his Father applied dressings and cleaned away all the blood that tainted his skin. Edward sat next to Charlie, his arms holding Bella safely on his lap, as she reached one hand out and started stroking her Daddy's hair.
Rose kept watch over Charlie's observations while he was still attached to the ventilator. She spoke softly to him the whole time. This gave Bella comfort. She knew he was gone, but he deserved this respect that the whole Cullen family were showing him now. Her head knew he was never going to wake up again, her heart just could not believe it yet.
As she looked up and saw Alice beside her, she understood what she needed to do.
Getting up from Edward's hold she whispered into her Dad's ear how much she loved him and how she would always be his Baby Birdie.
Slowly she kissed his cheek, feeling his moustache against her face. Standing tall, she looked at Alice and clearly she started to speak.
"My Dad wanted to be an organ donor."
Alice nodded, "He was registered on the organ donor list."
"And you can still do it; after all he has been through?" Bella asked, never looking away from Alice.
"Yes." Alice was struggling to keep calm; she had come to love Charlie very much. This was the last thing she could do to help Charlie and she would then break down and start her own grieving for him as she helped Bella in her pain.
"Then some good can come from this."
"Only when you are ready Bella, nothing will happen until you are ready." Rose assured her friend.
"I am not sure I will ever be ready..." Bella confessed. "If I had the choice I would never let him go, I would always want one more day with him, one more chance to tell him how much I love...loved him."
Rose nodded at her brave friend who was just keeping it all together and no more.
"I know it is what he wanted. So let's get this done."
"You are doing a wonderful thing." Edward whispered in Bella's ear.
"Stay with me?" Bella asked.
"Always." He promised faithfully.
Paperwork completed, and goodbyes were said. Bella and her new extended family gathered around Charlie's bedside.
"It's time to take Charlie upstairs now." Carlisle spoke gently as he took hold of her hand. Bella simply nodded.
Emmett, Jasper, Carlisle and Rose prepared the equipment and machinery required to continue ventilating Charlie as they moved him to the OR.
Outside, in the hallway it seemed that the whole of the Police dept had arrived to form a guard of honour for their well respected boss as he was moved on his last journey.
Staff and people of the town stood silently, as the procession began to move.
"You can come as far as the OR doors if you want to Honey?" Rose asked.
Bella nodded. Edward was on one side holding her up, her hand holding Charlie's all the way, walking with her father one last time. "Where is Alice?" Bella wondered out loud. "She is sorting everything out for Charlie." Edward whispered.
"She will come to say goodbye?" Bella looked around.
"I am sure she will." Esme reassured her quietly from behind them.
None of the hospital staff who had now gathered in the hallways spoke, the odd sob, and sniffle was all that could be heard.
Bella noticed Angela and Ben standing to the side. Both sets of tear filled brown eyes met.
"I am so sorry Bella." Angela offered her heartfelt condolences.
Bella nodded, "Thank you..." She was barely holding it together now.
The procession began moving again, Bella noticed Alice approach Ben & Angela, whispering something before they followed one of her colleagues down the hall, Angela looked back to Bella before breaking out into tears again.
"What's going on?" Bella asked Rose.
"I am not sure..."Rose looked puzzled but quickly returned her focus to caring for Charlie.
All too soon, OR staff opened the doors to the operating theatres and solemnly waiting to receive Charlie into their care.
"It's time Honey." Alice appeared once again beside Bella and held her hand over Bella's shaking hand that was clasping her beloved Daddy's still hand.
"When you are ready, we are ready." Rose said with emotion spilling into her normally calm voice.
Bella looked at the two sisters in laws and knew they would look after her Dad.
A team of surgeons stood waiting; Bella looked around and met each person's eyes. In turn one by one they acknowledged the gift that would about to be given. Carlisle, Esme, Rose, Alice and Emmett all stood and either kissed Charlie's cheek or held his shoulder before saying their own goodbyes.
Edward ensured his own father had Bella safely in his arms before her let go to say goodbye to her father and his friend.
You are not going in with him?" Bella panicked, she didn't want to think of him being with strangers. "We thought Charlie would rather we made sure you were ok." Carlisle explained.
"I don't want him to be alone." Bella shook her hair as she frantically looked around at the Cullen's gathered around her.
"I will be honoured to stay with him Birdie." Emmett stood beside Bella, kissed her forehead and walked back to stand beside the Chief again. "Thank you."
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath as she tried to gather the last piece of courage and strength she processed. It seemed as if everyone stood back to offer he as much privacy as they could.
Bella held her palm to her father's cheek. He was still warm to touch, she could pretend she couldn't hear the machines keeping his body maintained, and almost imagine he was still with her. She was the young girl sitting on his bed, waiting for him to wake up, as he pretended to be asleep. She spoke the words she needed to say under her breath, her heart believing that her Dad would hear them as his spirit stood beside her. Edward watched, his heart breaking as his beloved Bella whispered pledges to love her father forever, and to hold him in her heart for all her days and more.
"Tell Mom, I love her... give her a hug from me." She said softly. Bella opened her eyes and lowered her head to give her father one last kiss to his cheek. She was sure she felt his moustache twitch against her skin.
She stood tall and clearly said her last goodbye.
"I love you Daddy, stay safe."
She swore she could hear him as he repeated the words he always said to his only child. "Love you Birdie, to the moon and back."
Emmett kept his word and stayed with Charlie throughout the whole procedure. The rest of the Cullen clan stayed with Bella, who sat outside the operating theatres until Emmett came out and said it was completed.
The whole team from the funeral home came in all their finery and collected Charlie's remains, and a police escort drove in front of the hearse with lights flashing and the sirens switched off. The whole town it seemed lined the streets, heads bowed in respect from the man who had spent so many years keeping them safe. He was a hero to so many, even now he was dead. He would forever belong in their hearts.
"What happens now?" Bella asked Carlisle.
"We go home and then we prepare for Charlie's funeral." He replied.
"I can't go home...I can't go back there..." Bella looked at Edward.
"Come home with me Baby." Edward suggested.
Bella nodded and allowed Edward to guide her out to his car, before they sat together on the back seat as Emmett drove them to Edward's house. Preparations were made, and the long process grieving truly began.
Bella never returned to the Chiefs house to stay again. In the weeks that followed The Cullen's helped her pack up the house ad she made her home with Edward. Friends and neighbours helped sort out the Police house make it ready as Charlie's deputy Mark stepped up and became the new Chief of Police. Bella stood beside him as he proudly received his new rank and title in front of the people of Forks. She was proud to be asked and stood representing her Father in this solemn moment.
He thanked Charlie Swan for helping him become the man he was today and told him that his town would never forget him.
Life went on, and Bella learned to live without her father by her side. She sat at home, opening the mail and last in the pile was a thank you letter from the Donor co-ordinator that Alice had passed Charlie's care onto. She was asking if Bella would like to receive letters from the recipient's and their families, if so to let Alice know or to contact her at the number on the letter.
Bella picked up her phone and dialled Alice, asking her advice.
After talking it through with her dear friend, she decided she did want to read the letters. Alice brought them home from work that night.
Edward lay on the sofa behind Bella as she read the letters, his arms as always keeping her safe. The wedding ring Charlie had once worn was now on his left ring finger. Bella had not wanted to wait, stating life was too short, so they had exchanged vows and rings just a few weeks previously.
Bella cried tears of sorrow and then of joy as each person thanked her for allowing Charlie to gift them life.
The last letter she picked up was written in a child's best handwriting. She started to read aloud but quickly began sobbing as she recognised the author.
Thank you very much for helping me get better. My liver was poorly and I needed a new one. I will take such good care of the bit of one that you gifted to me. My Mummy and Daddy are happy now I am home and not poorly at the Hospital any more. I asked Santa to make them happy and he did. He also gave my sister a Dolly and my brothers a DVD and a ball. I will not ask Santa for anything this year, as he was so kind to me last year.
I hope you get what you want from Santa.
With lots of love.
A/N. As you may know, my beloved Mum died last year, and a few months later as I struggled to pick up the pieces, my Beloved Daddy took poorly and died too. I take comfort that they are together again. It has been a hard year.