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Back In Town

Summary:
All of the Cullens are back in Forks after eighty years. Some things have stayed the same, but most has changed. When someone from their past shows up, questions are thrown right and left - will the future be jeopardized?


Notes:
Breaking Dawn Spoilers!


1. Chapter 1

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 2413   Review this Chapter

“There – the Cullens never existed in Forks. Just in case we ever come back.” Alice grinned up at me as we sped away from city hall in her Porsche and I smiled back wryly. Rose loved it here – she hated leaving and reestablishing in a new city, and she felt most human here, in this tiny, dreary little logging town. I had to say I liked it too, since I did meet Bella here. If we ever did come back, Bella would have to take on a different surname, and perhaps Renesmee too… and of course, Jacob, since he was now part of the family.

I took the files and records we’d stolen and burned them all in the cabin’s fire, ridding the town of the knowledge that the Cullens were ever here…

XOXO

Eighty years later:

Well this was bizarre. Normally a father and mother wished their child good luck on their first day of high school. This was not so for our family.

We kept up the adopted pretense as usual, but this time Renesmee – the child I’d mentioned earlier – was charading as my real sister. The similarities there could not be ignored, and humans would notice.

We’d come back to Forks at a good time, some eighty years later. The only people still alive from the past were Seth Clearwater, Quil Ateara and his Claire, and that worked out well. Jacob was staying with his “Great-Uncle Quil and Great-Aunt Claire” because he “hadn’t liked Canada,” where his “father had dragged him off to.”

He refused to attend the Quileute school though, since he abhorred having to be apart from my daughter for any amount of time.

After eighty or so years, seeing them together still got me somewhere, knowing that if I’d stayed away from Bella this is how she would have been, all those years ago.

But the past was past, and today was my first day of high school – for the second time in this tiny little town.

“Eeeee!” Alice squealed, “How many classes are we in together Edward? Nessie? Bella? Jake? Jazzy? …”

No one was responding to her with much enthusiasm, except for Renesmee. We’d all done this before; this was entirely new to her.

As Alice compared schedules with her, I wondered about her choice. Surely, in a normal human family it made sense, right?

As we’d moved over the years Bella and I had wanted her to attend high school, college, university, anything wherever we were. But Jake and her were smitten – the reason she didn’t give us willingly, but a reason nonetheless – and rarely parted. As for her given reason, well, I remembered that conversation she’d had with me and “Grandpa” in Alaska two decades ago all too well.

“Daddy,” – she still called me Daddy, though I had no idea why – “I want to go to school where I was born, in my hometown.” She’d touched my hand and emphasized it with a “childhood” memory of the forests and mountains of Forks. “I can wait a bit longer, right Grandpa?” She’d turned to Carlisle, her eyes pleading. “After that you can take me wherever you want me to go to college.”

I suppose that’s fair, Carlisle had pondered. We just have to wait until… Until everyone we knew was dead, yes that inevitable mortal ending of all humans. “Is that reasonable Edward?”

“Yes, that would be alright,” I had caved, unable to resist when Ness looked at me like that. So Bella and I did not attend school at all either, Bella being so stubborn as to want to go when Nessie did.

Ah, but there was nothing like nostalgia to bring out memories in a person, even one with perfect mental recall already. Perhaps Forks would remind Bella of her human years as well. Would she look upon them with happiness? Or sadness? Would they be too fuzzy, too human for her to remember?

She looked happy enough now, sitting beside me on the piano bench and facing the doorway, where Alice was still running around giggling and comparing schedules, along with Renesmee.

“Alright guys, time to head off to school,” Esme walked down the stairs with deliberate slowness and stopped on the last step, smiling down at her children. She even considered Jake a son now… Just as I did. A son and a brother; who would have guessed it would all fit together so well? Certainly not I.

“Who’s driving with whom?” Esme asked as she danced into the arms of her family. They all gave her a parting hug and a kiss on the cheek, and Emmett’s booming laugh resounded through the air. Bella and I stood to join the group, and were there within a second.

“See you in six hours and twelve minutes,” I whispered as she thought, I’m so proud Edward. Now you can truly enjoy high school. You have all your family with you now.

I smiled warmly at her as I pulled out of the hug, my eyes shining, but no tears came.

“Daddy?” Renesmee tugged on my sweater’s sleeve and asked (she was getting used to speaking rather than showing, now that she was to be interacting with humans so much more), “Can Jake and I come with you and Mamma?”

“Of course,” I laughed because I still saw her images. Right now she was imagining Jake trying to fit in the back seat of my new Volvo – you know what they say: for life! It was as small a space as the old ones. “And Nessie dear, please call me Edward at school, and Mamma Bella. The humans would get scared if they knew, or guessed. And you’re my “sister,” so annoy me as much as Rose and Alice do.”

Very funny, Edward. Rose rolled her eyes as she passed me on the way to the garage.

I foresee public humiliation in your future, brother. Alice pictured me wearing a dress to school tomorrow as she stuck her tongue out at me on her way into the kitchen and out the back door.

“At least it’s Chanel!” I called after her, waiting for Emmett’s confused WTF. All I got from him was laughter as Alice explained, followed by Jasper’s chuckle and Rosalie’s mental images.

So we annoy you, do we? The blonde was tenacious, but she was happy today, so her jokes were all in good fun – for once.

“Come on Bella, let’s go!” Renesmee called from the kitchen, and Bella looked shocked at hearing her name come out of her daughter’s mouth. I gave her a meaningful look as we stood there in the living room and she sighed.

“Oh yes, that’s right,” she rolled her eyes and snaked her arm around my waist. “Let’s go see if Mike Newton had any spawn, shall we?”

“Oh how I would simply love that,” I replied, laughing as I pulled Bella along behind Ness and Jake.

XOXO

“Here we are,” I announced a short time later, “Forks High School.”

“Finally, I can actually graduate!” Jake laughed, and was soon joined by Renesmee. Everyone knew he had dropped out when she was born and refused to go back until she did.

I parked in my old spot by the forest and sighed. It was all so… the same. Sure, the buildings had gotten new siding and the inside had most likely been revamped as well, but the atmosphere and the thoughts remained incredibly similar. Teenagers were all so… flat.

Nessie and Jacob were out of the car and into the school before I could reinforce some rules. No doubt Alice had warned them I was planning on it… No matter, I’d let them know at lunch.

“Shall we?” I asked the beautiful vampire by my side and she nodded, smiling down at her schedule. I hadn’t even looked at mine… “We have Biology first, dear.”

I had to laugh at the irony, and hastened to quit the car. There was still a good ten minutes until the bell.

She was out her door and onto her feet before I could offer her my hand and shook my head when I saw her laughing.

“Eighty years later and you still won’t accept acts of chivalry,” I muttered as we walked in to the main building.

“That’s because it is eighty years later Edward,” Bella shook her head at me in obvious amusement, her mahogany hair swaying in the process. “People just don’t do things like that anymore.”

“They should.”

“Yo brotha, wassup?” Emmett boomed over the teenage chatter, and everyone stopped to stare at him. So much for not attracting attention to ourselves… At least three of them were wondering if he was mentally sane.

“I think,” I spoke louder than necessary as I towed Bella over to Em and Rose, “someone watches too much retro television, Emmett.”

Oh Eddy, you’re just jealous cuz I’m so gangsta!

I raised an eyebrow, which caused Emmett to laugh. “C’mon Bella, let’s go to class. I don’t want to antagonize the gangster much longer.” She chuckled and let herself be led along the hallways, while I pretended as if I didn’t have the school’s layout tattooed into my brain.

As I hesitated at one of the forks in the science building, Bella ran down the correct hallway and I watched as a blonde haired boy casually introduced himself to her.

“Hey, you’re new to town, aren’t you? I’m Nixon Newton, but everyone around here calls me Nix. What’s your name?” Bella hesitated and I knew for a fact she had been about to say “Bella Cullen – my husband Edward is over there” but she refrained and said instead, “Nice to meet you, Nix. I’m Bella…Swanson, and that’s my…boyfriend, Edward Cullen.” I, of course, caught her hesitations, but the boy could never have picked them up. I strode over to where they stood and shook Nixon’s hand to stop myself from rolling around on the floor and laughing.

He stepped back involuntarily as I approached him; good, he had more sense than that idiot Mike ever did.

“W-what class do you guys have? Do you need help finding your way, Bella?” Oops, scratch that – he was just as annoying as his ancestor.

“We have Biology, with Mr. Ba-,” Bella began, and I shot her a warning look.

“With Mr. Bond,” I finished, then smiled when Nix practically began hopping towards the lab.

“I have Modern Technology – Be seeing you! Bye Bella…” He left us outside the door, his head filled with thoughts of my wife. We’d found the Newton spawn, that was for sure.

Maybe they’ll break up – my Great-Great-Great-Grandpa Mike always prattled on about a dark haired beauty with a tall, overprotective boyfriend… Wasn’t her name Bella too? And his… Cullen? I should’ve listened more to the crazy old man…

I did laugh now as I led Bella by the elbow to a table at the back of the room and she looked up at me questioningly as we took our seats, but not before stealing a glance at where our old spots were situated.

“His Great-Grandpa three times over told stories about you and me,” I whispered as students filled the room with chatter and general noise.

“You can’t be serious,” she whispered back, so fast that her mouth would appear not to have moved at all to the humans now staring at us and then quickly averting their eyes.

Who are they?

He is damn fine!

She looks stunning! What I’d like to do to her…

They’re so pale!

The Cullens are back?

“Edward, what’s wrong?” I barely registered Bella’s question as I sat rigid in my seat, my mind very far away from the classroom.

To get my attention back where it was supposed to be, Bella allowed me access to her thoughts and mentally screamed, Edward, look human, relax!

I couldn’t. This was pivotal; how had it come about? I had to alert Carlisle. Just then, the bell announced the start of a new school year and a balding man who appeared to like anything neither shaken nor stirred materialized at the front of the class.

“Mr. Bond, may I go to the washroom?” I raised my hand and forced myself to speak politely as I used the human excuse, even adding a smile.

Class just started… Must have a problem. He waved me off without speaking and turned his attention back to the class as I tried to casually walk out the door. My steps got quicker and quicker, however, as I strode out into the rainy Forks morning.

Once in my car I didn’t look back; I sped right on down Bogachiel Way to the hospital.

I quickly scanned their new doctor directory, a tracking device that marked where every doctor and nurse was in the hospital, and located the dot labeled “Dr. Cullen” in Surgery. I burst into the OR a moment later, abruptly stopping the work of my lungs.

“Excuse me, you can’t be in here,” a nurse reprimanded me, but I ignored her.

“Father,” I crossed my arms over my ivory turtleneck and put on a look of dead seriousness, “I need to speak to you.” Hopefully he wouldn’t require more of an explanation; I’d used all my air.

“Edward?” Carlisle looked up from his work on a coronary bypass to give me a confused look. Understanding soon replaced it, however, once he registered the look on my face. It was a vampire matter. “Give me a second to wash up; Dr. Stone, you can take over here.”

“B-but Dr. Cullen…” the older man began, but Carlisle clapped him on the back reassuringly and strode over to a large metal sink. I followed.

“Something’s happened already?” He raised an eyebrow as he dried his hands, and I nodded. “Follow me, son.” He said this out loud and I was glad he did. The nurse was thinking we were brothers…

I tagged along beside him through the bustling hallways until we reached his office, a cushy, high windowed mahogany corner room, very much like the one at home. They’d given him a good position here; he’d impressed them with his credentials. I thanked God we abolished his previous records from this hospital, all those years ago. People that told stories would always have their suspicions, though.

“Okay,” he sighed as he stared out the window into the parking lot, “lay it on me.”

I took the liberty to sit in one of the guest chairs and sighed as well.

I had to tell him; I would recognize that kind mental voice anywhere, even after all these years… I should have taken a look; her thoughts had been relatively close, but not in the same room. What if I was wrong? But I couldn’t be. “Angela Weber is alive, and she knows we’re here.”