Summary: Alice is convinced that Bella is destined to be part of their family. While Edward ignores Bella, Alice is desperately trying to be her friend. What would have happened if Bella and Alice became friends before Bella fell in love with Edward? Before she even knew the Cullen's secret? Set in Twilight, multi-chapter.
A/N: Portions of dialogue were taken from pages 81-88 of Midnight Sun, which can be found on Stephenie Meyer's website. Under 17 U.S.C. § 107, this is an unsubstantial amount for non-profit use that does not infringe on market value of Stephenie Meyer's copyrighted work. (can you tell I'm a law student?)
"Absolutely not!" Edward hissed.
We were gathered around the dining table. It was purely for show, of course, but it worked well for important discussions. There was something soothing about deliberating while seated around the oval mahogany. It lent civility to some of our more heated arguments.
Well, when we were sitting. As of right now, Carlisle and myself were the only ones still seated. My toes barely brushed the floor. Everyone else was on their feet, either bristling or trying to calm the person next to them.
I yawned. This was boring. I already knew the outcome. For the millionth time in the past hour, I looked forward, sifting through the mess of futures, of probabilities and maybes and scenarios. There, in the distance, I found what I was looking for.
Slightly throbbing was a still image of Bella Swan with gleaming red eyes. She was standing on a boulder, her hand intertwined with Edward's. It was obvious they had just finished hunting. The image was so clear. Normally futures that far in advance would be slippery, but this image was rock solid. It was going to happen.
It was as easy as remembering something that hadn't happened yet.
"Look deeper, Alice." Edward gritted his teeth, ignoring the barrage of insults that Rosalie was throwing his way.
I complied, allowing the picture to fade into the fog. I kept looking, shifting through scenarios until I found the ones Edward was looking for. I heard him breathe out raggedly.
Edward stalking Bella. There were fifty different ways it was happening- in her home, before school, as she walked to her truck, in a mall. Crouched low to the ground, eyes black with thirst, pouncing on her. Eyes bloody red. These scenarios kept shifting and fading into each other.
"They aren't mutually exclusive, Edward," I said out loud for everyone's benefit.
"Yes, they are!" Edward snarled, slamming his hand on the table.
But he was wrong. Just because he might attack Bella didn't change the fact she was going to become a vampire. I saw them both at the same time, but Bella as one of us was the most clear. You'd stop yourself, I thought confidently. You might attack her, but she's still going to be one of us. And she'll forgive you.
Edward pinched the bridge of his nose. "Alice," he moaned. "Why are you doing this to me?"
"What do you see?" Emmett asked me. His hand was on Rosalie's shoulder. Everyone at the table had turned to me except for Jasper. He was still staring at the table, resolved. I directed my answer towards him.
"I see her as one of us. It's clear as day- no decisions made can change it. Even if" I stressed the word "Edward attacked her, she's still going to become one of us."
"And what if I do it for him?" Rose asked sharply. There was heat behind Rosalie's words, but no action. I couldn't see any scenario of Rosalie attacking Bella. Jasper, on the other hand…
"It won't happen."
Rosalie snarled. "This - this stunt, with the car! It has endangered every one of us. We can't allow the human a chance to say anything." She directed her plea towards the head of the table. "Carlisle, you must see that. Even if we decided to all disappear, it's not safe to leave stories behind us. We live so differently from the rest of our kind—you know there are those who would love an excuse to point fingers. We have to be more careful than anyone else!"
Edward rolled his eyes at Rosalie's dramatics. "We've left rumors behind us before," he said.
Rosalie refused to look at him, still directing everything towards Carlisle. "Just rumors and suspicions, Edward. Not eyewitnesses and evidence!"
Jasper was nodding, still not meeting anyone's eye. In the background, I heard Carlisle speaking, but I didn't listen. I put my head in my hands, trying to block out any light and followed the path of his future.
It was difficult to watch. He had been raised in the heat of battle. I watched a hundred different times as he crept to Bella's house, only to be cut off every instance by Edward. Sometimes they fought, sometimes they didn't. Sometimes they both survived.
Sometimes they didn't.
"Jazz," I said, lifting my head.
"Don't bother telling me you can protect yourself, Alice," he said, not looking at me. "I already know that. I've still got to—"
"That's not what I was going to say," I said, overly calm. "I was going to ask you for a favor."
Edward looked at me in irritation. One glance at my mind and it was over- his jaw dropped and he gasped.
Everyone was paying attention now. "What'd she see?" Rosalie whispered to Emmett.
"Obviously something shocking," he grumbled back.
I ignored them. "I would really appreciate it if you didn't try to kill Bella," I said. "First of all, Edward is serious and I don't enjoy seeing the two of you fight it out a million different ways." I smiled wanly.
"Secondly, she's my friend. At least, she will be."
You could cut the tension with a knife. I smiled, kicking my feet back and forth. "Well, now that that's settled," I said cheerily.
"Wait," Jasper said quietly. "You're going to be friends with her… when?"
"Yeah, I mean, it was kind of assumed we'd have to like her after the first hundred years," Emmett laughed. Rosalie snorted derisively.
"When she's human, of course. When—" I stopped and grabbed a future, any future, to concentrate on. I still hadn't told Edward-
"Tell me what?" Edward choked out.
"I told you there was a change coming," I warned him. I kept concentrating on the picture I had in my head- it was Esme driving to the library tomorrow.
"What are you hiding?"
Emmett muttered under his breath. He so hated being out of the loop.
"Is it about the girl? About Bella?" Edward was more insistent.
I focused on the dark blue of the car flying down slick streets- it was supposed to rain tomorrow. Esme would wear a burgundy dress. I stared at her hair in the image and tried to imagine how long she curled it for.
"Alice!" Edward roared.
And for a split second, my concentration wavered and what I was trying so hard to hide broke through. Bella and Edward, snuggled together on a couch, watching TV. Bella and Edward in our house, Edward attempting (and failing) to make pancakes. Bella and Edward laughing together in a restaurant.
These images had something in common. Bella was still human in all of them.
"NO!" Edward shouted, knocking over his chair. Carlisle jumped to his feet, his hand on Edward's shoulder. "Edward, calm down," he instructed soothingly. Edward didn't listen.
"It's solidifying," I whispered. I'm sorry, I thought. But there really is no other way.
"No," he repeated hollowly.
"Will somebody please let the rest of us in on the mystery?" Emmett complained loudly.
"I have to leave," Edward muttered to himself.
"I don't see you going anywhere," I told him softly. "I don't even know if you can. This girl—her pull—"
"I have to leave," he repeated, trying to convince himself.
I love her. You will too.
He looked at me incredulously. "I don't care what you see," he said. "I don't have to follow that course."
I sighed. You are so blind. Can't you see where you two are heading?
"We aren't heading anywhere!" he roared.
"Oh, come on!" Emmett bellowed.
"Pay attention," Rosalie hissed. "Alice sees him falling for Bella!"
Emmett looked confused. "Well, that's alright. I mean, it was bound to happen if she joins with us. The two odd people out."
"While she's human," I amended. "They're going to fall in love while she's still human."
"What?" Emmett said, startled. Then he started to laugh. "Is that all? Tough break, man."
"Fall for a human?" Esme whispered, stunned. "The girl he saved today? He's going to fall in love with her?"
"What do you see, Alice?" Jasper demanded.
Edward wouldn't look at me.
"I see her as one of us, but that's so far off- I can't tell when that's going to happen." I sifted around. "But before that, when she's still human, they're going to fall in love."
"Does she know?" Rosalie demanded. "Does she know about his eating habits?"
I sifted around. "I think so," I said.
"And she's just okay with that?" Edward piped up, sarcasm dripping from his words. "She doesn't mind that we're vampires?" he spat out the word.
"She doesn't mind," I said softly. My head was starting to hurt, trying to hold onto all of these futures at once. I closed my eyes. "She knows, I think. She –" I saw a blurry image of her in Carlisle's study, looking at his wall of memorabilia. "She knows about Carlisle," I confirmed. "I think it's safe to say she'd know about the rest."
There was silence for a few moments. We were all watching Edward, a tortured expression on his face.
Carlisle sighed. "Well, this complicates things."
"Great," Rose muttered.
Edward stalked out of the room. I heard something crash.
"Well, that settles it," I said, overly cheery again, letting the images snake away from me until all I could see was my family. I rubbed my temples. "So I'll talk to her tomorrow."
"What?!" In an instant, Edward was back. "You're going to what?"
"Talk to her," I repeated. "Since she's going to be my friend, your girlfriend, all of that."
"Be careful, Alice," Jasper said quietly. I smiled.
"I'm not about to walk up to her and ask her if she wants a June wedding. I was planning on the classic 'hi'."
"I don't see any harm in that," Carlisle mused.
"I do!" Edward snapped. "Even if what Alice says does come true—"
"It will," I said confidently.
Edward ignored me. "—That doesn't mean we should just accept it. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. If we just ignore the girl, it won't happen. Alice won't be her friend, she won't become one of us—"
"You won't fall in love with her," Emmett continued, a glimmer in his eye.
Edward gritted his teeth. "That too."
"That doesn't matter," I said impatiently. It's going to happen. Accept it.
Edward shook his head.
You're going to be so happy! She's going to make you so happy, Edward, you don't even know—
He ignored me.
"Edward," Carlisle said gently. Everyone turned to look at him. Whatever he said next, the family would respect his decision.
He paused, letting his words take weight. "I don't think there is any reason that Alice cannot befriend her. If anything, it can help us. Alice talking to her can assuage any suspicions Bella has. At the very least, she can alert us to any misgivings the girl has."
Edward clenched his jaw, but he wouldn't argue with Carlisle. I sighed. It was much more peaceful in my head now. I could see a brief future laid out for me- I was going to meet her in the hallway after third period.
"Well, since that's now actually settled," I said lightly, breaking the silence. "I'm going to go pick out an outfit. First impressions matter when you're meeting your new sister!"
Edward's head was in his hands.