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The More things Change

Summary:
The Cullen family undergoes many changes--some people leave, some people arrive. Marriages, babies, and imprints confuse the issue even more.


Notes:
This is a sequel to "Home"...you don't have to read that to totally understand this, but it would probably help alot! Yeah, I know I sound like I'm begging for reads, but I'm just trying to be helpful! So go read "Home" if you get confused...


14. Chapter 14: Doofus...I mean Sean...Finally Comes to his Senses

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1858   Review this Chapter

Sean’s POV:

Me and my big mouth…

I hate shopping. No, I REALLY hate shopping! But I asked Alice out on a date to go shopping…and boy, did I do a lot of it…well, Alice did the actually shopping, whilst I just went along…and carried her purchases…LOTS of purchases…

We started our day at Lakewood Towne Center. Spent at least an hour there, then moved up to Westfield Southcenter, after which came Northgate mall in Seattle, and finally Crossroads shopping center in Bellevue…and this does not include several stop in between all these for any and every other shop that caught her eye. Never in my life had I ever seen anyone do that much shopping in one day.

By the time we finally made it back to the Cullens house, my brain was completely frazzled. And on top of it all, I hadn’t even said anything to Alice all day about my leaving. There just never seems to be an opportunity—the girl could talk! And it was all about shopping! Which meant it would have to be done tonight now, with all the Cullens as audience. Unless we went for a walk way off in the woods somewhere.

Maria snickered at me, and followed along behind us as I followed Alice up the stairs. The two of them were talking nonstop about Alice’s purchases, with Maria trying to sneak peeks inside several of the parcels, nearly causing me to trip several times. Robyn heard the commotion, and appeared in the hallway to see what was going on, and immediately joined in. My head was spinning…

After depositing Alice’s things on her bed, I escaped downstairs and collapsed on the couch. Jasper was the only one around, and he looked at me with a smirk. “You’d better get used to it,” he said, chuckling. “Robyn’s bad enough when it comes to shopping, but she doesn’t hold a candle to Alice! Guess no one warned you about that.”

“And I thought Maria was bad,” I muttered. I buried my face in my hands and sighed. “It is so nice to be sitting down again,” I said.

“You were sitting for the whole drive here,” Jasper laughed. “But I know how you feel—I remember those days. Good thing that Alice has Robyn and Maria. They can be the Three Shopping Musketeers. At least it lets you and I off the hook, and gives Alice others who share her interests. Rose likes to shop, but her real passion is cars. And Bella HATES shopping!” He paused and looked at me intently, leaning forward a little. He lowered his voice so that I could barely hear him. “Have you told her yet?”

I shook my head. “There was no time! Not only can she shop until I drop, but she can talk about shopping the entire time that she’s doing it! I’ve never seen the like of it before!”

“You’ve got to tell, her, Sean…and soon. Neither of you can handle things going on as they are for much longer.”

“I know, I know…I promise I’ll talk to her tonight.” I sighed. It was nice and peaceful at the moment. I cold hear the three girls upstairs talking and laughing. Carlisle and Esme were gone to some theater thing in Seattle—ballet or opera or some such. Edward and Bella were off on their honeymoon, of course, and who knew where rose and Emmett were. Actually, I didn’t WANT to know. I lay back on the couch and tried to relax. But I couldn’t, thanks to what I had to tell Alice…whenever she got done with sorting out and outing away her new things.

Jasper must have felt my tension, because I suddenly noticed that I was relaxing. I propped myself up on an elbow, and twisted my head around to glare at him.

“Quit it!” I said. “You know, you’re as bad as Edward in your own way.”

He laughed. “I’ll take that as a compliment.”

“You would,” I muttered, settling back on the couch.

Three hours later, Robyn came down and sat next to Jasper. I opened one eye and looked at them. She whispered something so low and fast that even I couldn’t make it out. Jasper heard it, though, and his face broke into an extremely excited grin. Then they took off upstairs in a blur. This I did not need.

“OK!” I said, jumping to my feet. “Time to go for a walk!” I hurried out the door and into the woods, not stopping until al I could hear were animal noises. Finding a relatively dry tree stump, I sat down and sighed. Jasper was right…Alice and I were the only unhappy ones in the whole house, and it was all my fault. I knew exactly how she felt about me, so it was up to me to decide how I felt. No more hesitating and debating…time to fish or cut bait. Do I love her, or not? Was I over having my poor male ego crushed (1700 freaking years ago!), and ready to figure out how I really felt? Time, now, tonight.

“Oh, here you are, Sean! I’ve been looking for you. How long have you been out here?” I turned slowly when I heard the voice, even though I recognized it at once. And then, suddenly, just like that, when I saw her walking towards me—moonlight glinting on her dark spiky hair, her tiny form dancing through the forest, bright smile on her face, love shinning so brightly in her eyes…love for me, a love that I so did not deserve—it was like a light switch had been turned on. And I knew, finally, that I was over Bridget. Very over her, in fact. My insides turned to mush just looking at her. I know love is much more than just a nice feeling, but at that instant I knew my heart belonged to Alice.

She stopped in front of me. Neither of us spoke—just stared into each other’s eyes. Gah, I am such a sap, I thought. Alice’s face held a searching look for a moment, then her smile blossomed even brighter. I swore that even though the moon was near full, her smile made it look dim. She put her hands on the sides of my face, and murmured, “I knew it! Oh, I just knew it!”

“Alice, I have to leave!” I blurted. Then I cringed. Her lovely, beaming smile slowly faded. She let go of me and backed up a couple steps, her face now looking shocked. In fact, she looked like I had hit her. I felt sick…great timing, moron, I told myself.

“Wh-what?” she said breathlessly. “Wh-what do you mean, y-you have to leave? What are you talking about?!” Then her eyes narrowed, and she looked like she was about to rip my head off. I gulped.

“Now you listen to me, Sean Murphy!” She hissed. “I am not Bella, and you are not Edward! I am not a fragile little human! I don’t care what kind of work you do, but you are not pulling an Edward and running away to protect me!”

“I was suddenly confused. What was she talking about? “But, I have to, I—“ I started, but she cut me off.

“No ‘buts’!” She yelled. “You are NOT leaving me!!! If you do, if you even try, I will have Emmett rip your legs off so you HAVE to stay! I am NOT loosing you just after finding you! I thought you had come to your senses, but I guess I was wrong! And if you somehow get away from Emmett and actually manage to leave, I will follow after you for the rest of your life! I will find you!” then she turned and started crying. “Oh, how can you say that? After everything we’ve said, after bringing Maria her! I-I cannot live without you! How can you even say that, Sean?” She was weeping inconsolably now. I lurched to my feet, feeling so dizzy and sick that I barely could, and grabbed her roughly, turning her around to face me. She buried her head against my chest and kept sobbing.

“Please stop crying, Alice,” I pleaded, nearly ready to cry myself. “I have to leave! Why are you so upset? It’s only for a couple of weeks, I promise! I’ll be back before you even realize I’m gone!”

“Fat chance,” she said between sobs. “I will know it! Every second will be agony! I’ll—“ Suddenly, she stopped. Looking up at me, she whispered, “What did you say?”

“I have to go back to close things out at the Agency, and pack up some of mine and Maria’s things from our apartment, and arrange to have the rest shipped out here to a storage facility…or be sold. I promise it’ll only be for a couple of weeks…three tops. I swear! Why are you carrying on so?”

She didn’t say anything for several moments…just stared at me. Then she said, “Two or three weeks?” I nodded. “What was all that about Bella and Edward? Did he go somewhere? I thought they were on their honeymoon?” I frowned, suddenly very confused.

And now, Alice was laughing. “I’m so sorry, Sean!” she said, throwing her arms around me. “I thought you were leaving leaving! For good! Running away to keep me safe, like Edward once did to Bella! Oh, How could I have been so wrong? Oh, it’s too funny…the look on your face!” She went off into a fit of near hysterical laughing, while I stood there still confused.

Ignoring her comment about Edward and Bella, I said, “Wait—you thought I was leaving you for good?” She put her hand over her mouth to still the giggles, and nodded.
Gah! I could no more walk away form you than I could cut my own heart out and then go skiing! How could you even think that? I don’t know what it is about this place—if it’s in the water or the air or what—but god, I love you! You’re the air I breathe! I am so, so sorry that it took me this long to figure it out and tell you…I don’t know what my problem was.”

“I do,” she said, staring up at me with the same look she’d had before—the radiant smile. “Your heart was broken. I know how you feel. It’s very hard to trust again after something like that.”

“Two broken hearts,” I whispered, hugging her closer to me. “When people like us finally stumble into each other…”

“We’ve got to hold on tight, and never let go,” she whispered back.

Next day, Maria and I left. I watched Alice out the back window of the taxi until the driveway turned and she left my sight. She waved the whole time, her face happy yet sad at the prospect of us being gone for 3 weeks. I turned forward and sighed sadly. “Don’t worry, Daddy,” Maria said, putting her arm around me. “We’ll be back soon!”

I sighed. It would be a very long two or there weeks…..