Title: Fix You
Disclaimer: Twilight and all its characters belong to Stephenie Meyer.
Word Count: 3,224
Summary: Set shortly after New Moon, Edward has to leave to hunt for the first time, but can they handle the separation?
Warnings: Angst and pain abound in this fic.
Notes: Thank you auntpsycho for beta’ing this for me!
The ground was shaky beneath my legs and I reached my hands out, desperate for something to steady myself on. There was nothing, of course, so I continued to stumble on, uneasy, through this thick fog. This was ridiculous; I couldn’t make out anything around me.
“Edward?” I called out hesitantly.
He would come, he would rescue me from this.
But silence wrapped tighter around me, like the fog, and paranoia began to set in. It was pressing tight against my chest, suffocating me from the inside.
“Edward!” My voice shouted now. Despite feeling off balanced, I forced my legs to move faster. I was running through the mist, but to where? I had no idea where I was or where I was going.
Then I slipped. My feet slid out from under me and my hands flailed about in the air. I waited to feel the uncomfortable hardness of the ground against my bottom, waited to feel the scrapes on my arms and legs… but that never came.
I kept falling, sliding down, through the pressing fog.
“Edward, HELP ME!”
It was one last futile attempt at rescue and there was no response. I was shaking then, because I knew… it had all been a dream. It was not real, it was all…
I woke from the nightmare with a deep breath of fresh air. A weight had been lifted off my chest and I eagerly sucked in the crisp air around me. It felt like my heart was about to burst out of my chest while sweat was pulsing down my face in tiny droplets.
It was a dream, it wasn’t real, it was…
I turned my face to the side and saw Edward, propped up on his elbow, gazing down at me. Pain reflected clearly in his eyes and I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach.
He must have heard everything.
I tried to smile, I could play this one off.
“It wasn’t that bad,” I murmured. I tried to raise a hand to my face to wipe away the cold sweat lingering there, but I couldn’t keep my hand steady.
Edward shook his head slowly. He pulled the sleeve of his sweater over his hand and wiped it across my forehead for me.
“Yes it was Bella,” he said softly. I could hear the darkness in his voice and the knotting in my stomach grew tighter.
I let out a shallow breath and blinked hard. A tear slid down the side of my face and Edward caught it with his fingertip.
“You don’t have to lie,” he said quietly.
We lay in silence for a moment. I watched him, with his eyes closed and his brows knitted together in fierce concentration and wondered what thoughts were in his head right now.
I leaned against him and ran my hand over the hard planes of his chest. It felt strong to me, protective. My nightmare was just a dream, not even real. Laying here in bed, next to this perfect creature… my protector… I felt safe.
That was real.
“What are you thinking?” I asked, slightly anxious to hear his response.
He sighed and opened his eyes. I hadn’t noticed before, when I had been too startled from my dream. Edward’s eyes stared down at me, cold, empty and black. I couldn’t help but gasp and feel the knot in my stomach flip over. This was what I’d been dreading.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered. His hand reached around me and I felt his fingers entwine with my hair.
I sighed and laid my head down on his chest. “Don’t say that,” I whispered. “It’s not your fault.” I swallowed hard and lied. “I’ll be fine. You should go… tomorrow night.”
My heart thundered in my chest as I spoke, betraying my lie.
His hand tugged on my hair, gently urging me to look up into his face. His eyes narrowed but he did not question me. “I don’t know if… I’m ready for that,” he admitted. “I can’t bring myself to leave you yet.”
I know I shouldn’t have felt happy about this. I know that the pain of his thirst must be burning him right now. But I was happy he was having trouble… that I wasn’t the only person having trouble with this.
But he had to go sometime.
It had been three weeks since Italy . I didn’t want him to push himself any further.
“Tomorrow night,” I whispered, resting my hand against his cheek. “Go tomorrow night with Emmett. Alice can come stay with me.”
Edward began to shake his head, dissatisfied with this plan.
“Don’t,” I said firmly. “You have to do this Edward. Please… don’t be difficult with me.” I saw the hardness in his eyes and I sighed mentally. “Fine, don’t go. But you’re not allowed in my room tomorrow night, so you might as well quench your thirst.” I smiled at him, trying to convey the lightness towards his brooding darkness.
He did not acknowledge my joke. His face remained hard but he nodded, once. I felt the knot sliding around my stomach and I swallowed hard, as if to steady it.
“Are you sure you’ll be ok?” he asked.
I shut my eyes and my dream rushed back down on me- the pressure, the blindness, the falling- and I opened my eyes.
“Yes,” I lied, pressing my body tighter against his. “I’ll be fine.”
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The following day dawned with thunder closing in on Forks. The knot in my stomach had not unraveled overnight. If anything, it had twisted tighter. There was a new ball of nerves in my throat and I fought hard to keep it pressed down.
“Bella,” Edward whispered next to me, his cool hand against my cheek. His dark eyes were more frightening and urgent in the faint sunlight through my window. “Are you sure about this?”
Somehow my head managed to move up and down on its own, my lips managed to force themselves up into a half smile. I reached out and ran my fingers through his perfect bronze hair. “Just go already!” I said, actually faking a decent laugh.
He reached his arms around me, pressing me tight to him as his lips pressed softly against mine. As his lips moved against mine, I felt the desperation, the urgency he was trying to convey. I wound my hands around his neck and pressed him harder to me.
With a deep breath, he pulled back, his eyes burning down into mine.
“We’re not going far,” he said in a hushed, dark tone. “I’ll be back later tonight.”
I nodded again and closed my eyes. When I opened them, the cool embrace of his arms had abandoned me and he was gone. Sadly, I shut them again, already feeling the phantom pain of the hole spreading, widening in my chest. When I opened my eyes again, Alice was perched on the edge of my bed, watching me with curious eyes.
She tilted her head, judging me. “You shouldn’t lie to him like that,” she said finally.
I pushed myself up and out of bed, tossing my blankets aside angrily. “And if I didn’t, he’d stay here and torture himself. I wouldn’t let him do that Alice .”
Alice watched as I rummaged through my clothes, tossing aside anything nice I had to wear and settling on a loose pair of jeans and a comfortable long-sleeve knit. She scrunched up her nose as she watched me change. “I guess you’re right,” she murmured finally. “And I’ll overlook your terrible fashion sense today because you’re distraught,” she said, smiling as if she was doing me some huge sort of favor. “Come on… even if I drive your truck at normal speed, we’ll be late to school.” She stood from the bed, grabbed first my bag from next to my desk then my hand.
My stomach was knotted and clenched through most of the day. I had gotten so used to Edward being here since his return that his sudden absence left me feeling lost. On top of that, people continually asked me where he was. After all, it was not an overly sunny day out. Alice was at school.
Where is Edward? They all wanted to know. And as the knot in my stomach wound tighter and grew larger, I wanted to know the same thing.
At lunch, I sighed and laid my head down on the table. The day was close to being over and I was thankful; all the questioning and distracting thoughts in my head were pushing me to the brink of exhaustion. If I was lucky, I’d be able to go straight home, crawl into bed, and not wake up until tomorrow morning, when Edward’s arms would be wrapped tight around me again.
“Hey Bella,” Angela said, sliding into the seat next to me. “Thanks for letting me borrow your calculus book.”
“Sure,” I mumbled from the safety of my arms.
She leaned close to me and whispered in my ear, “And I found this note in there for you, right in today’s chapter. Did you miss it during second period?”
My head snapped up and I snatched the crisp note from her hands. I had not, in fact, opened my book in second period. I had let myself use my book as a pillow to lay my head upon, as I was too exhausted to deal with numbers today. My heart pounded as I took the note from her.
“Don’t worry, I didn’t read it,” Angela said quickly, leaning back away from me. “I figured it was personal.”
I offered her a small smile. “Thanks Angela.” I tilted my head down to read the note, my heartbeat pounding in my ears.
I want you to know I’m missing you right now. Wherever I am, my heart is only longing to be with you. Take care love, I’ll see you soon.
I flipped the note over and set it back down on the table, my fingers trembling. It seemed like every bit of my body was shaking and I could not figure out how to right it. The note was meant to encourage me, to help get me through a day without him.
But its effects were opposite.
I slid off my chair and took a step back from the table. The note was clenched in my hand and I had a blank look on my face.
Alice stared up at me. “Bella?” she asked. Then her eyes glazed for a moment before she snapped up. “Bella, don’t,” she said lowly, her tone threatening.
I stared into her eyes and I could feel the stitched up hole inside of me stretching, pulling apart. It was a vivid and familiar pain that ripped through me.
Alice saw the reflection in my eyes and slowly sat back down.
“Go,” she whispered.
I turned my back to the table and took off across the cafeteria, tearing through the double doors to the outside.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A mist had risen around the area. My face was wet from new tears and the mist just blurred my vision further. I fumbled with the keys in my pocket and had to take a deep breath to ease my shaking hand. By the time I was in the driver’s seat, I felt like I could control the outer emotions. The tears had stopped and a fierce determination had settled across my face.
My insides, however, were twisting and stretching, wrenching apart in painful convulsions. With one hand on the wheel, I wrapped my other arm across my midsection. I bit my lip, remembering how familiar this position had been for me not too long ago. It was an ache then, a dull pain. Now it was a fierce, ripping sting that I could not suppress no matter how hard I tried.
I wasn’t driving blindly; I knew where I wanted to go. So what if it didn’t seem like a logical place to be found? Alice would have said something to me if there was extreme danger in my plan.
I swallowed hard, trying to keep the knotted ball of fear down in my throat.
I sped down the highway and down to where the road ended. I got out of the truck in such a hurry that I left my jacket slung across the passenger seat. Nothing mattered to me now except getting to him.
My feet carried me along the familiar path to our spot. I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy haul, considering the amount of physical pain I seemed to be in, but I forced my feet forward, one leap at a time. There were slips and falls, the worst of which sliced open a deep cut across my palm.
But the blood didn’t slow me down. I kept pushing. It helped that the rain was falling intermittently throughout the treetops, causing the blood to run down my hand in little rivulets.
Push, I urged my body. Get there. He’ll be waiting for you. He’ll be….
After what felt like years, I could see the meadow through the trees. My heart thundered with the beat of my footsteps on the cold, wet forest floor.
He had to be there…
I tore past the brush that lined the clearing and came to a sudden halt. I threw my gaze around the meadow frantically, looking for some trace of him, perhaps lurking in the shadows.
My heart shattered into a thousand tiny shards as the realization dawned on me.
He’s not here.
He’s not waiting for you.
I fell to my knees in the wet grass, my hair now soaked and sticking to the back of my neck. I steadied my hands on the ground in front of me, desperately sucking in air, hoping that some part of me could continue to breathe while the rest of me felt broken.
The knot of nerves and fear that had been creeping up in my throat finally pushed through and I was sick. I wrapped my arms around my stomach, trying to close up the hole in my heart, trying to stop the shaking…
But relief would not come. This was a nightmare, all over again. And I was alone. I closed my eyes and fell forward into blackness.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
“Bella,” the velvet voice whispered to me in the darkness, wrapping itself around me and tugging me tight. “Bella, wake up,” it urged.
I shifted and felt my muscles ache and pull. “Ow,” I mumbled. My eyes fluttered open, against the will of my pounding brain. There was Edward’s face, staring down into mine, concern and pain laced across every feature.
It was like waving a magic wand; the stitches inside of me, where the hole had torn and expanded earlier, repaired themselves. Every bit of pain and torture I’d felt earlier got sucked in, bottled away, gone forever.
I felt whole again.
“Edward,” I sighed, choking out his name with relief and sadness. My arms wrapped up around his neck and he cradled me tighter in his arms. “I was so… afraid,” I whispered.
He pressed his lips to my forehead and ran his cool fingertips down the side of my face. “Afraid of what love? I told you I’d be back tonight… I promise you.”
I felt the trembling start all over again and I buried my face in his neck. “That doesn’t matter,” I mumbled. I felt miserable for admitting my weakness to him, but Alice was right. I couldn’t lie anymore. “It doesn’t matter what you promise me,” I whispered. “Every time you leave it’s like that time. And I can’t take that Edward… I can’t.”
His fingers wound under my chin and he lifted it slightly to look into my eyes. My heart ached for the pain I saw clearly in his golden-brown eyes. “Bella,” he whispered sadly. “I will never leave you like that… ever again. No matter what I do, I’ll never be able to fix the pain I caused… will I?”
“I wish it would just… go away,” I said softly. I ran my fingers through his hair, trying to pat away our problems, but it wasn’t that easy. “I’m so… weak when it comes to letting you go like that Edward. I’m sorry.”
Edward narrowed his eyes at me, released my chin, and gripped my shoulder tightly. “Don’t be sorry Bella. This is my fault… the damage here,” he said, moving his hand over my heart, “is my fault.” He reached around and removed one of my hands from his hair, the one with the cut across the palm. He raised it to his mouth and I froze as he inhaled the scent of my blood.
He opened his eyes calmly and stared at me. “How can I fix this Bella?” He sighed, as if resigned. “Tell me what you want.”
I blinked hard and tried to think about what he was really asking me. “I don’t want you to leave me again,” I murmured. “Next time, I want to go with you.”
He stared at me, calculating for a moment. “There are consequences Bella,” he said softly. “I want to make sure you understand them before you make this choice… for good.”
Memories of my family and friends flooded my brain for a moment: Renee, Charlie, Phil, Angela, Mike… I opened my eyes and looked at Edward. I thought of the future memories I would have, with him, Alice, Jasper, Rosalie, Emmett, Carlisle , Esme…
I licked my lower lip and felt my pounding heartbeat slow suddenly to an even pace.
“I know Edward,” I whispered. “And I still want this.” I brushed the back of my injured hand across his cheek. “I still choose you.”
Edward moaned as my fingertips brushed his skin. “You’re sure?”
A small smile formed on my face and I turned my hand back to him, offering. “Yes,” I said firmly.
He closed his eyes and lowered his nose to my hand, inhaling deeply. He breathed out a sigh and slowly lowered his lips to the cut. His icy tongue flicked out over the blood and I gasped. He looked up at me with guilty eyes.
“You won’t hurt me,” I murmured. I adjusted myself in his lap so I was facing him, my legs on either side of his waist. Brushing my hair to the side, I leaned my neck closer to him. “I love you.”
His eyes crumpled then, his defensives completely weakened and vulnerable.
I felt his strong hands wrap around my body, pulling me closer to him. His cool lips grazed along my neck for a moment before he settled on the right spot. His lips moved against my neck as he whispered, “I love you Bella Swan. Forever.”