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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...


16. Chapter 16: Rose Is Shut Up

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1617   Review this Chapter

Alice’s POV:

The rest of the afternoon and evening went well. Carlisle, Esme, Emmett, Jasper and Robyn all went out hunting together, while Rosalie, Edward (of course), Jacob (again, of course), Sean and I all stayed home with Bella. The rain, which had started out light in the afternoon, had steadily increased as the evening went on, and was now a steady downpour.

Sean was sitting on the loveseat across from the couch, and I was curled up against him. Edward was still in place next to Bella, who was feeling a little bit better at the moment. Rose was flipping channels on the TV while Jacob and she continued putting each other down—Rose with her nasty comments to Jacob, and he with his blonde jokes, which occasionally made me laugh. When I did, Rose would shoot a dirty look at me, only to find Sean glaring at her, and then quickly turn back to the TV. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear she was almost scared of Sean. Of course, I’d never dare tell her that!

Finally, as Rose said, “Ew. Someone put the dog out.” And Jacob responded with, “Have you heard this one, Psycho? How do a blonde’s brain cells die?” Sean exploded. “OK, that’s IT!” he exclaimed, shooting up off the love seat. “You two—KNOCK IT OFF RIGHT NOW!!” They both stared at him in shock. He stood there, breathing heavily, hands balled tightly into fists, glaring at hem…I think they thought he was about to attack them or something. Actually, Edward and I thought so, too. I put my hand on his arm, and gently said, “Sean.” He looked at me, and his expression softened. He slowly sat back down, his gaze returning to Rose and Jacob. “Good grief,” Sean muttered. “I feel like I’m babysitting a couple of kindergarteners for free, the way you two act!”

I giggled, and Bella said, “Yeah, I really wish you guys could just pretend to get a long…or at least ignore each other. It bothers me, makes me sad.”

That seemed to do it. At least the two of them took her advice and became silent. Sean leaned back, sighed, and closed his eyes. I snuggled closer to him, and sighed also. He opened an eye and looked at me.

“What?” He asked.

“Nothing,” I replied, smiling at him. “I’m just happy.” He put his arm around me, and closed his eyes again. It was quiet for several minutes, except for the sounds from the TV.

Suddenly Bella spoke. “Sean, are you a religious man?”

The comment seemed to take us by surprise. All except Sean. He smiled, but didn’t open his eyes. “Honey, I’m Irish—of course I’m religious! Why do you ask?”

“Well--“ Bella broke off, hesitated a moment, then replied in a very quiet voice, “Will…will you pray for me?”

Rose turned around to face Bella with a sharp, “What?!”

Jacob said, “Hey—easy off, Blondie!”

“Rose!” I exclaimed. Edward just sighed. Sean didn’t move, and Bella said, “I’m scared. What’s wrong with praying, Rose?”

“Because if there really was a God, why is everything the way it is—so messed up? Why am I a vampire? Why couldn’t life work out right?” She was practically yelling now.

“Do you think you’re the only one who’s ever suffered, Rosalie?” Jacob asked. “Look at us—we’re all suffering! Are you so selfish that you really think that? Look, I don’t really believe all this God stuff myself, but everyone has the right to believe—or not believe--whatever they want, and you shouldn’t put them down for it!”

Suddenly, I was caught up in a vision…it lasted only a few seconds, and when I came out of it, I glanced at Rose, then Sean, then laughed! It had to have been a short vision, because Rose was still caught up in her anti-religion tirade. “And in my book, anyone who believes in God or the Bible or any of that is a total moron! I mean seriously, come on, how can anyone fall for religion?”

Sean slowly opened his eyes. He sat up, and said, “Rosalie?” She turned her glare on him. “What, Bible Man?” She said snidely.

Sean looked her in the eye, and said, “Qui Verbum Dei contempserunt, eis auferetur etiam verbum hominis!” Then he made a little gesture, like he was tossing something at her.

Rose stared blankly at him for a few seconds, and then sneered. “What was that? Some stupid Bible verse or something? Please! Don’t make me laugh! Why, I asdkj ritu sdkjf wiucnv gj xzmvn–DJIUE?? GJIOPE!” Her words suddenly became gibberish. She clamped her hands over her mouth, and stared horrified at Sean, who smiled slightly. He stood and walked over to the couch, kneeling down in front of Bella, and gently took her hand, smiling at her. Then he closed his eyes, and prayed quietly in Gaelic. Edward had shut his eyes and looked like he was praying, too.

Rose was staring at Sean, still looking scared. When he was done praying for Bella, she thanked him, and he came back and sat by me on the couch. Not looking at Rose, he told her, “Don’t worry, it’ll wear off in an hour or so.” He glanced at Jacob. “Better enjoy it while you can, Jake,” he said.

Jacob laughed. “Hey, thanks, Sean! You’ll have to teach me how to do that sometime! What did you zap her with anyway?”

“It’s called, ‘The Curse of Babel’,” Edward replied, staring at Sean. “It’s not supposed to be real. I’m impressed, Sean. You’ll have to teach me that, too.”

“Pssh! I’ve been asking him to teach me that for decades!” Said a voice from the entry way. Everyone turned to see who had spoken. Maria stood there, shrugging off an expensive-looking raincoat.

“MARIA!” I cried, leaping off the couch. I blurred over and hugged her tightly. “When did you get here? We didn’t even hear you! How could we have missed you?”

She hugged me back, saying, “Aw, don’t worry ‘bout it! I imagine you were pretty wrapped up in something to notice me. ‘Sides, I kind of snuck in.” Then she stepped back and whispered, “So? Have you made any progress with Daddy? Can I call you ‘mom’ yet?”

I shook my head sadly. “No. And—there’s something else.” I took her hand and led her into the living room. When Maria saw Bella, she repeated the look Sean had made—wide-eyed and opened mouthed. Then she smiled and shrieked, “OH MY GOD!!! Oh, this is TOO COOL!! Oh, how did it happen so fast? Is it a boy or a girl? Do you need help setting up a nursery or anything?”

I smiled as I listened to Maria’s excited chatter. Bella smiled as well, seemingly happy for the moment. She and Maria made a few plans, and Maria asked Bella if she could put her hands on Bella’s stomach and feel the baby kick. She giggled when the baby moved, and gently hugged Bella.

I went back to sit by Sean, and thought about Maria’s excitement. I felt sorry that Maria would never know the joys of motherhood, then a sharp, unexpected jab of sadness that I wouldn’t either. I had never really thought about having kids before. Yet now, confronted by the situation with Bella, I began to understand a little bit about how Rose felt. Rose really, really wanted kids, but of course could never have them. I, on the other hand, hadn’t ever cared one way or the other. But suddenly I found, to my distress, that I, too wanted children. I sighed, incredibly depressed at the loss of a long buried wish. Well, at least I had Maria, I thought…that would help erase this sudden, inexplicable desire for kids. She’ll be a great daughter! That is, if Sean will ever get his act together!

Then I felt guilty for even thinking that way. Sean had been through a lot in his life. He loved me, and in his own time would come to understand it better. I had no right to be upset over the fact that all the others were blissfully married now. My time would come; I knew it would! And if I really loved Sean, I shouldn’t press him. I needed to let things progress normally, and everything would fall into place at the right time.

Sighing wistfully, I pulled myself out of my thoughts, and joined in the discussion of all things baby. Edward looked worried, but happy that Bella was distracted. Jacob and Sean exchanged pained looks, and Jacob shook his head. Rose, hands still firmly over her mouth, continued to stare fearfully at Sean, who noticed this, and winked at her. Then he stood up and said, “I’m going to go get a breath of air. I’ll be out on the porch.”

“I’ll go with you,” said Jacob. “It’s time to switch patrol with Leah anyway.” After Sean paused to hug Maria, the two of them walked out the door.

After a few minutes, during which Bella, Maria, and I kept on our discussion about baby things, I heard Sean begin talking to someone. A sudden burst of laughter. Then, I heard someone else join in the conversation for a few moments. After that, footsteps, as someone walked across the porch towards the house, and the front door opened. I turned to see who was coming in, while Maria continued talking babies with Bella.

“Hello, everybody!” A voice boomed out. “I’m back! Did you miss me?” Bella, Maria, and even Rose turned to see who it was.

And that was when things took a sudden, and very unexpected, turn…..