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Juxtaposition

Summary:
Edward/Bella. Edward POV. Reality turns on its ear and you have no choice but to forget everything you think you know about Twilight. Is it AU? I guess you'll just have to read to find out.


Notes:


9. Binary Eclipse

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PART NINE: Binary Eclipse

"Eclipsing binary stars are just of one several types of variable stars. These stars appear as a single point of light to an observer, but based on its brightness variation and spectroscopic observations we can say for certain that the single point of light is actually two stars in close orbit around one another."

[POV shift- Isabel]

I watched him sleep, listening to the steady beep of the monitors. It was reassuring, proof that at least his heart was still beating. The memory of him in my arms, broken and covered in blood, was still too fresh. I never thought when he told me to save Jake that he meant to sacrifice himself. If I'd had even an inkling... Well, I never would have left his side.

Closing my eyes, I folded my arms on the bed, resting my head on them. The memories wouldn't stop. They kept playing over and over again in my head. He was fearless as he swung his makeshift club at the female Volturi, completely committed. Even when she plucked it from his hands he never hesitated. She picked him up and threw him like a rag doll, and the impact of his body against the tree made a sound that would haunt me. I think... if she hadn't fled, I might have killed her then. Certainly I would have tried. The sight of him, limp, pinned to the trunk by a broken branch, had stolen all reason from me. I didn't remember freeing Jake, or killing the Volturi that got in my way. I'm not sure how I got him down. Time didn't start again until he was a dead weight in my arms and I watched his blood pour out over my hands, uncertain whether I would cradle him close or feed.

My father's daughter won that battle, and somehow I managed to keep him alive.

I remembered feeling him slip away from me, tightening my arms around him as if that alone could hold him in his body. I remembered the dark blood on his lips, coming from inside where blood shouldn't flow. I remembered... when he said my name. Just a broken whisper as I laid him down on the sidewalk. God, I don't know how I left him. Taking those few steps inside, calling for help, was the hardest thing I've ever done.

Drawing a shaky breath, I straightened, reached out to lightly touch the bandages that covered his entire torso. His left side had taken most of the impact. Every rib on that side was fractured, and there was a gaping hole where the branch had pierced his lung. He had a hairline skull fracture, and they'd kept him on the ventilator and sedated for the last 24 hours.

'Why did you bring him here?' Emmett asked me earlier. 'You know it would have been simpler to change him.' I did know that. I knew it would have been safer for all of us. Maybe Edward would even have thanked me. Three days of agony in exchange for months of healing?

In my heart, however, I knew he wouldn't see it that way.

I couldn't explain it, how my heart knew these things. Why it moved without me, defying common sense and throwing caution to the wind. There were so many secrets in his eyes, secrets I wasn't sure I ever wanted to know, and still I wanted to trust him. My heart even suspected... that when he looked at me, he saw someone else. I knew. Why, when I knew these things could I not stop myself?

"Jake was right," I whispered. "I should have killed you that first night." Even as I said the words, I couldn't make myself believe them. "I don't want to love you." My hands found his warm human hand, covered in tape and wires, and held onto it like a lifeline. "I don't."

It didn't make sense. If there was anyone I owed my love to, it would be Jake. Passionate, infuriating, loyal and loving, he'd been waiting for me to accept his feelings for years. Jake was like me, suited for our cruel and vicious existence. There was no reason for this human to walk into my life, and in a matter of hours make a shambles of it. No reason for me to look at him, and know him, like the melody of a beautiful, half-forgotten song.

But I did. He had. So I sat by his bed and watched him sleep. Counted the steady beeps from the monitor, and was grateful for every single one.