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Carlisle's Return

Summary:
Edward never came back during New Moon. Carlisle wants too look around Forks just to see how things are, and he's very unhappy with what he finds. Bella isn't herself anymore. Something bad has happened, and he needs to set right what was made wrong five years ago. It's my first fan fic. Please bear with me, and tell me what you think.


Notes:
It's all from Carlisle's point of view.


2. Chapter 2 - A Mess

Rating 4/5   Word Count 1535   Review this Chapter

Charlie’s voice was hoarse. His face was dull and unexpressive. He blinked, looking like he knew he should be surprised but he didn’t have it in him to show it.

“Yes, Charlie. It’s me.” My voice was soft and quiet. He looked so much more fragile than most humans normally did. I was afraid that my words could break him. I had no idea what he had been through.

“Uh, do you want to come in?”

I smiled gently. “I would love to.”

I was appalled by the state of Charlie’s house. Although I knew that Bella used to help him keep it up, I hadn’t expected her absence to send his housekeeping into such total disarray. The caret badly needed to be cleaned. There were stacks of pizza boxes everywhere, and the sink overflowed with dirty dishes. The windows all had the blinds shut, and the only light in the living room came from the TV.

Whatever had happened to Bella, it didn’t look as if he was coping well.

“May I sit?” I asked, hovering before the couch. He nodded, and sunk himself into a large armchair in front of me.

“I guess you heard about what happened to Bella,” he said gruffly.

I shook my head. “ I stopped by the hospital and saw her. It’s against hospital policy for me to ask what happened. But, Charlie…”

He sighed. “Yeah, I’ll tell you all right. I’ll tell you what the damned Black boy did.”

Black. Why did that name ring a bell? Oh right. Ephraim Black. “Jacob Black?” I prompted. Could it be? Was that why Bella’s room stank of wolf? That would be so unfair. What could have happened? What had he done? Why were the wolves back? My mind was racing as Charlie began his story.

“Look,” he said. His voice was very low, like it took a lot out of him to speak with much force or conviction now. “I don’t know what made you leave, and I’m not going to ask. I’m not going to go into that. All I’m saying is that you hurt Bella when you did. She was hurt real bad. It was horrible.”

I bit back my apologies, knowing full well that they wouldn’t do any good. I watched Charlie as he put his face in his hands and moaned.

“Just horrible,” he repeated mechanically. “But then she met Jacob Black, and everything seemed to get better. Bit by bit, she pulled herself together again. She was more human again. She had color in her cheeks when she came home. She started to be happy again.” He stopped to take a deep, shuddering breath. His heartbeat sounded uneven, and his breathing was shallow. This was bad for him. I shouldn’t have been pressing like this.

“A year, almost two into their relationship, Jake graduated. He got a job, and Bella moved in with him. I didn’t mind so much. If it meant seeing her happy again, seeing her look like the Bella I knew and loved, I could cope with it. But then Jake started seeing another girl.”
All the color that had been left in Charlie’s sagging face drained out.

“He tried to keep it from her at first. I think he actually felt bad about what he was doing. Didn’t stop him from doing it, though. He came home later and later, left Bella alone. She tried to hold on. She’d already lost one; she couldn’t lose him, too.

“Holding on didn’t go over to well with Jacob. He got angry with her. Real angry.” Charlie shuddered. “It wasn’t long before she started coming over to visit, and I would see bruises on her arms, her neck. She hid them real well, but on a brave face, and pretended like everything was fine. I was stupid. I thought everything would turn out okay between them. I was wrong.

“Two months ago, Bella went into the hospital. She’d been hurt real bad that night. He’d broken her arm, and she’d tripped and hurt her leg. While she was there, they found even more damage. And they found out she was pregnant. I think that’s what did her in. She fell asleep that night and never woke up. Jake still visits her, like he actually cares or something. Billy and I aren’t talking anymore.”

I took it all in. Something was missing from the story – something that Charlie couldn’t know, I guessed. Couldn’t know, and didn’t know.

“What about you?” I said. “How are you coping?”

He shifted in his seat. “I started to worry too much when Bells started getting hurt. I tried to take more care of her than I did of myself. When she went into the coma, it all sort of collapsed. I’ve been having heart troubles. I’m not the young man I used to be.” He laughed weakly, and I joined in unenthusiastically.

My heart was breaking all over again. How could we have done this to them? We left them to the wolves. Quite literally.

“Listen, Carlisle,” he said. “You know I’m real fond of your family. But I don’t know if we could take your return right now. I mean, after what your boy did to Bella…”

I kept my face very controlled. If he only knew what Bella did to my boy… “I don’t know that we’re coming back, Charlie,” I assured him. “I only came back for business. But if you don’t mind, I think I might stay for a while just to be with Bella.”

He nodded blankly.

“If there’s anything I could do to help out,” I offered, “please let me know. I’ll be staying at our house again, and I think you still have my number.”

“Yes.” His voice sounded as if he were unused to using it now. Why did everything bad always have to happen to the good people?

“I should get going,” I heard myself saying, getting to my feet. “It was nice of you to have me.”

Charlie stood too. “It was good to see you again, Carlisle. Take care.” He trailed after me to the door, where I stopped and turned around.

“No, you take care, please” I pleaded. “I’ll see you around.”
I hurried back out to my car, and drove out of the driveway. As soon as I was out of sight, I stopped the vehicle and sat, staring blankly at the rain that pelted my windshield. I couldn’t get over how bad things were here. It was so horrible. And it was our fault.

Charlie and his heart problems. Bella in a near-death state with a dog’s child within her. Everything had gone wrong because of us. Maybe it would have been better if we didn’t exist, like Edward used to say. We shouldn’t exist. We may not have been monsters in the literal sense, but was it possible not to consider us monsters of an even worse sort after what we had done?

I needed Edward here. I knew it was impossible, but I needed him here. He would know what to do, if he were in a state in which he could think clearly. If he still wasn’t being himself, the worst he could do would be to tell me to go to Hell. And maybe go to the Volturi. I should call Alice, and tell her to keep an eye out for him. Yes, that was a very good idea.

“Alice,” I said. She answered the phone on the first ring.

“Carlisle,” she breathed. “What’s going on? I can’t see anything. Why not? Where are you? What do you think you are doing? Everyone is worried sick!”

“Alice, can you do me a favor?” I asked, not really paying attention to the rest of her little rant.

“Sure, what?”

“Keep an eye on Edward for me, please. I’m going to try to call him.”

She was silent for a moment. “It won’t work, Carlisle. The moment the word comatose comes out of your mouth, his phone will be smashed to pieces and he will be leaving the country.”

“Where is he right now?” I asked, momentarily distracted.

“Russia, I think. Somewhere cold. He’s trying to freeze himself to death or something.”

Good Lord. At least he wasn’t too near Italy. Yet. “Do you think it is worthwhile to try and call him?” I asked.

“Potentially, if you give us twenty-four hours to get to Italy before him.”

Fair enough. The last thing I needed right now was a dead Edward. He would be of no use. “That’s fine, Alice. When are you leaving?”

“In two hours.” I heard the sound of her fingers drumming the keyboard of her laptop far too quickly for any normal typist. “I just printed off our boarding passes.”

“Call me again when you get there,” I asked her. “And I’ll find something to do before then.” I knew exactly what I was going to do. I needed to pay a visit to this Jacob Black.

“Okay, I’ll talk to you then.” Alice hung up quickly. I wondered how things were at home. She’d said they were worried. That wasn’t good. And, why couldn’t she see anything?

Feeling confused, I drove towards the La Push boundary line. I refused to cross it, but knew that my scent would eventually draw them in to me. Content with this knowledge, I settled down and waited.