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When you didn't die

Summary:
New Moon AU: Alice never told Rosalie that Bella jumped, and so Edward never knew, and didn't go running off to the Volturi. Alice, however, still went to check on Bella. Starts during New Moon, when Charlie's at the funeral and Bella and Jake are at the kitchen table. Create your own banner at mybannermaker.com!


Notes:


13. A chapter in which lots of things occur.

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3986   Review this Chapter

We came to a fluid stop outside of the Cullen house. I could hear angry voices rising from inside.

“You are a part of this family and must do your part to contribute!” Jasper’s voice was loudest, and the most understandable to my human ears.

Edward frowned. “Would you like to wait outside?” He asked me.

I unhooked myself from around him and collapsed to the ground. “Uh, I’ll just go inside. Whatever is wrong, I don’t think I’ll affect the argument much.”

“I rather disagree,” Edward commented, though he held out a hand.

Edward pulled me to my feet, holding on to my hand for a second longer than courtesy demanded. I blushed, as always.

We walked up the stairs and through the doorway. Before my eyes lay a scene that was shocking – Rosalie and Emmet were facing the rest of the Cullen’s, and although Rosalie was furious, Emmet’s face showed nothing but…boredom.

“I will not allow my family to risk their lives for a human,” Rosalie spat.

“You were right,” I mumbled crossly to Edward.

He seemed a bit smug.

The Cullen’s turned to look at us.

Carlisle spoke up. “Good, Bella, you’re hear. You’ll be staying at the house with Rosalie, is that alright? The rest of us will go north to eliminate the problem, and then you’ll be free to do whatever you want,” He told me, his voice rather clinical.

Rosalie opened her mouth and let loose an incensed torrent of words, none of which was clear enough for my ears.

“Rosalie, I have had enough of this.” Carlisle said. “You will do as you’re told.”

She glared at him. Nobody spoke.

“Fine,” She finally muttered, sitting down on the couch.

“Alright, everybody, let’s go,” Esme said as cheerfully as she could muster. “I’ll see you tomorrow, dear,” She said to Rosalie. Her hand wove around her daughters shoulder, giving her a small hug. Rosalie closed her eyes.

“See you, mom,” She said. Even though she was angry, a trace of love was detectable.

Emmet kissed her gently, and followed Esme towards the door.

“Be good, Bella,” Esme said in a motherly way. Emmet laughed and ruffled my hair.

Alice danced after them into the night, with Jasper following silently.

Carlisle nodded at us before departing.

“Rosalie, you had better-” Edward began in a dark tone.

“Shut up, Edward. Go. Bella and I’ll be fine. We’ll be all best buddie. Cross my heart.” Rosalie told him acidly.

Edward frowned. “Goodbye, Bella,” He told me.

I nodded. “Bye,”

It was just Rosalie and I.

I sat down carefully into a chair, trying to leave her alone.

“You don’t know why I hate you, do you?” Rosalie said suddenly, after nearly an hour of silence.

I blinked in surprise. “Not really,” I said.

She sighed. “It’s not you, really.”

She stopped there. And I didn’t prod, because I had a feeling that I’d be left to fend for myself if I did anything extra to upset her.

We sat in silence for more time.

“Esme left food in the refrigerator,” Rosalie told me.

I cracked my eyes open, seeing as how I had started to drift towards sleep in the quietness.

“Thanks,” I whispered.

“You’re welcome,” She replied, and her tone was not unkind.

I got up and wandered into the kitchen. In the fridge, I saw a huge variety of food.

I ambled back to the living room holding a bowl filled with grapes.

“Is that appetizing?” Rosalie asked, wrinkling her nose.

“Well, it’s not like its blood…but it’s a nice snack for a human.” I informed her.

I saw the corner of her mouth twitch, but she didn’t let a smile show.

I slowly ate the grapes, savoring each one. I tried desperately not to think about the battle that was certainly going on.

The Cullen’s, with their marble skin and venom-covered teeth, I wasn’t as worried about. They were tough.

But the Quileute’s, they were just boys. Granted, they were boys who turned into freaky wolves, but still just boys. Jacob was soft, and warm, and had so much life in him, how could he defeat a vampire?

“Would you like to paint your nails?” Rosalie suggested suddenly. “I need a new color, so I thought that maybe you’d like to join me.” She explained.

“Okay,” I said uncertainly. Out of the blue Rosalie was showing me something akin to friendship?

She ran up the stairs, returning a second later with a huge box. She lifted the lid to reveal at least a hundred bottles of bright nail polish.

She sat on the flood in front of the couch. “Come on over,” She said.

I slid off of my chair and sat across the box from her.

“Hmm,” She murmured, looking through the colors. “Here,” She picked up a dark, dark red bottle and handed it to me. “This color would look good with your skin tone.”

She plucked out a bottle of pale pink for herself.

I unscrewed the top and lifted the glistening brush, admiring the shiny color. I lowered it onto my first finger, trying hard not to spill.

Rosalie painted her nails with a human slowness, taking the time to lovingly lather each nail in a thick coat.

Mine were soon glistening as I waited for them to dry.

“I don’t see why you want to be involved with this family,” She told me. As were many things this night, it was an abrupt confession.

“Well,” I started, “Alice is my best friend. And the rest of you are just so good to me…I consider you all like a second family.”

She sighed and looked up from her nails. “Bella, we are vampires. You are a human. And it’s not right for us to bring you into this world. It’s not safe for you. Nor for us.” Her eyes flicked back to her nails.

“I’m…sorry you feel that way. But really, I’m a danger magnet, so hanging around with you guys is probably safer for me.” I admitted.

She sighed. “Yeah. Whatever. You probably need sleep or something. You can sleep in Edward’s room.”

Our conversation, however brief, left me with a lot to think about. “Night,” I said quietly.

I walked up the stairs until I reached the achingly familiar door that led to Edward’s room. I pushed the door open gently and crept inside.

Rather than turn on the light, I let the moonlight streaming in to guide my way to the large black couch. A blanket was folded neatly on the end, and a pillow sat below the blanket.

I curled up in the blanket and let my eyes drift close.

This day had been very packed, and very much over my human head. Sleep overcame me before I had time to even think my own name.

I woke up naturally, with no cheerful sunlight to greet me.

“Bella, there’s some eggs in the refrigerator…how the hell are you supposed to eat them?” Rosalie asked me, her voice coming from close by.

I sat up to see her standing by the door. I sighed. She was too beautiful.

“You don’t eat them raw, you have to cook them. Otherwise you could get sick,” I explained groggily.

“I hear that most people like eggs…what do they taste like?” She asked me wistfully.

“Um, they taste like…eggs? Really, you can’t get more basic. They just taste good.” I explained. I rolled off of the couch and followed her down the stairs.

In the kitchen, I grabbed a brand new pan and two eggs. The stove took a few tries to light up.

I cracked the two eggs and let them fall into a bowl, adding some of the milk Esme had thoughtfully put into the fridge. A pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper, and I had the perfect scrambled egg mix.

I poured it onto the pan, which was now emanating heat thanks to the stove’s flame.

Rosalie watched me, fascinated. “You humans certainly do have complicated food.” She commented.

“It’s not that bad,” I disagreed. “Now, a three cheese and meat lasagna, that takes practice.”

Rosalie continued to watch me with interest as I flipped the eggs around on the griddle, and then as I piled them onto a plate.

I sat down at the table and began nibbling my breakfast.

“It’s about nine o’clock,” Rosalie informed me, sitting down across from me.

“Do…do you know when they’ll be back?” I asked timidly, barely disguising my anxiety.

She shrugged. “Whenever they’re done. Soon, probably. But they may have to take care of some evidence or something, and that could take some time.”

I continued eating, trying to take careful bites that made me appreciate the full flavor.

Anything to take my mind off of the fear that any of them had been hurt.

I washed my dishes slowly, taking the time to dry and put them away.

Rosalie walked outside to the backyard, where she flipped open a magazine and lounged on a chair.

I followed and lay back in the grass, knowing the dew that smothered the grass was seeping into my shirt but not really caring.

There was too much at stake to care about something as trivial as wet grass.

Jacob, his warm, sunny self, could be hurt, killed, bitten by any of those young vampires. Edward could be ripped apart, Alice, Emmet, Esme, Carlisle, Jasper…

One thing I learned about Rosalie that day was that she was an abrupt person. When she wanted to do something, she did it. When she wanted to say something, she said it. No meaningless chatter to introduce her next thing.

I also learned about where she came from.

“I was always beautiful,” She had murmured softly. “As a human, my beauty was all I cared about. I preened, I received gifts, and I was the girl that caused all others to be jealous. And that was good enough for me.”

Her best friend got married to a poor man, something she could not understand, and had a beautiful baby boy. They were a happy little family, and Rosalie, being the selfish person she was (her words, not mine) was jealous. She eventually won the affections of the bank owner’s son, Royce, and got engaged.

Royce was drunk one night. He and his friends were drunk and wandering the streets. Rosalie was walking home from the happy little family’s house and her fiancée and his friends appeared around her, and they didn’t exactly treat her like a lady. They pretty much abused and raped her. She was left for dead in the gutter, and that’s when Carlisle changed her.

“My record is almost as good as his; I’ve never even tasted human blood,” She told me proudly, after a lull in the story. “I did, however, go back and kill Royce and his friends. One by one. Each night, another of them would go missing…”

And when she saw Emmet being mauled by a bear a few years later, she was so drawn to him mainly because he looked so much like the beautiful baby boy her best friend had. That’s why she exerted such control and carried the bleeding Emmet back to Carlisle.

The biggest thing that I learned about Rosalie that day was that she didn’t really hate me. She just didn’t want me to give up the life I had to be with mythical creatures. That thought left me with plenty to think about, pushing the less pleasant thoughts to the back of my mind.

Eventually I wandered back inside, my stomach leading me to the fridge. I pulled out some bread and peanut butter, making myself a simple sandwich.

“Bella,” Rosalie called her voice plain. “Come out here, please,”

I frowned and followed her voice, stepping out into the yard.

“They’re coming,” She said, glancing up from her magazine to look me in the eyes. From that simple gesture, I could see that even though she appeared to be unbothered by the battle that had taken place, she was worried.

I sat next to her. “Are they…all coming?”

She knew what I meant. “Two dogs are coming here too,” She said, her petite nose wrinkling.

“Where’s Carlisle?” She asked silently. I looked at her fearfully.

Her eyes widened, and she jumped up out of her chair. She dashed towards the forest.

The other Cullen’s met her on the edge of the trees, and Emmet’s arms wrapped around her immediately.

Two russet boys appeared after the Cullen’s, pulling on pairs of shorts.

Alice came over to stand by me, and Jasper, as always, followed her like a shadow.

Edward supported Esme, whose leg had a large chunk missing. She carried a white block in her arms.

“Esme, are you okay?” I blurted, unable to ignore the section of her leg that she carried.

She smiled warmly at me. “Oh, Bella dear, I’m fine. I just forgot what I was doing for a moment, and a little one took a snap at me.”

She held her body part to her leg and hobbled inside.

“Alice, is everyone okay? Where is Carlisle?” I asked her.

She smiled…it was too innocent. “Bella, we’re all fine. Carlisle will be back soon.”

Embry and Quil snuck behind the Cullen’s and came to stand beside me. Quil was shaking slightly, but nobody seemed afraid of his changing.

Embry looked at me for a moment. “Bella, let’s go inside.” He said solemnly. My mind turned off. I didn’t allow myself to think, because if I had, then I would’ve started freaking out. Instead, I walked calmly inside and sat down on the couch. The two Quileute’s stood in front of me. The other’s waited outside.

“Bella, Jake got hurt.” Embry said bluntly.

Goodbye, mental ignorance. I sucked in a deep breath. “What do you mean by ‘hurt’?” I asked.

Quil’s shaking subsided. “He…he got in the way, for Leah. Same with Jared. They both got in the way of a newborn, and it hit them both with full force. They’re kind of hard, you know. His spine in cracked and the doctor vampire thinks there may be something wrong inside of him,” His voice wavered.

Embry swallowed. “It’s…it’s really not looking so good right now.”

“We really need to get back to La Push. Would you like to come with us?” Quil said shakily.

“Excuse me,” I choked out, and ran to the prop bathroom that the Cullen’s had.

I shut the door and locked it behind me, sat on the closed toilet, and put my head in my hands and let go.

All of the fear that had been building inside of me was converted into tears, and all of the sudden worry about Jacob caused even more cries.

“Bella?” He asked. Cool fingers lifted my head up from my hands, and suddenly Edward’s golden eyes held mine. I didn’t know, or care, how he had gotten in the small room.

In answer, I sniffed. “Please go away, Edward.”

“No, Bella,” Edward said simply. He lifted me so that I was standing, and wrapped his arms around me.

For some reason, I didn’t fight it. I just leaned in against his marble chest and bawled some more.

“Shhh, don’t cry,” Edward hummed. He kept up a steady stream of soft, musical assurances. Thankfully he never said ‘it’s okay’, because it wasn’t.

“Bella?” Embry knocked on the door.

I pulled back from Edward and rubbed my nose. “Yeah?”

“Quil and I are going to leave now. You wanna come?”

“Yeah,” I said, my voice weighing a hundred pounds. I looked up at Edward, whose smoldering eyes were concerned.

“Come back here soon, please,” He told me almost silently.

I just nodded and pushed through the door.

I followed the two huge teenagers outside.

“We don’t have a car, so we’ll transform and you can ride on Embry,” Quil said. A flicker of a grin lit his face. “And no, that was not a sexual innuendo.”

The brown boys ran into the forest and emerged a second later, one as a chocolate colored wolf and one as a wolf with gray fur.

I looked doubtfully at the gray one. “Really?”

The two animals laughed; at least that’s what it seemed.

The gray one nudged me with his long nose. Sighing, I swung one leg over his back, like I was riding a horse. I wrapped my arms around is shaggy neck.

We quickly trotted forward into the forest. I buried my face into the warm fur and tried to hold back the fear that gripped me. Jacob and Jared were hurt. And it was, obviously, my fault. If I hadn’t been a stupid, defenseless human, if Victoria hadn’t longed to kill me, if everyone had just let me give myself up.

I could hear loud curses coming from up ahead. “Well, I think they’re still alive,” I muttered to the werewolves with me.

Jacob’s voice rang through the forest around me, and Jared’s was tiny in comparison. Apparently werewolves had a colorful vocabulary.

The wolves stopped right outside the front door of Jacob’s house. I scrambled off of Embry’s back and ran through the open door.

“Jacob!” I called, rushing into the living room. Jake lay on the couch, his feet held up by a chair dragged over. Jared was sitting cross legged on the flood, seemingly unhurt asides from a bloodstained bandage wrapped around his arm. Carlisle stood over Jacob with a needle and some strange looking doctor device. Sam, Billy, and Paul stood to the side coolly. Well, Billy sat, but the meaning is still the same. It was appeared that, although it was helping his son, Billy was not entirely happy about having a vampire in his house.

Jacob’s yelps ceased as he looked at me with joy. “Bella!”

Carlisle looked at me, nodded in greeting, and turned back to Jacob with a concentrated look.

“Come over here,” Jake ordered me, beckoning with a hand.

I ran to his side and held his face in my hands. “Jake, you had better get fixed up soon, or I will be very, incredibly, upset with you.”

He gave me a smile, which turned to a grimace as Carlisle poked something. “I’ll be fine, Bells, don’t spend any time worrying about me.”

Jared sighed. “I can see that nobody cares about me.” His voice was pathetic and dreary. I glanced down at him and laughed at his forlorn face.

“I’m so sorry; Jared, oh my, are you alright?”

“Yes I am thank you very much,” He responded.

I turned back to my werewolf. “Jacob, I…heard it’s pretty bad. What’s wrong with you?”

Jacob laughed at this. It sounded a bit strained. “Bad? Psh. I’m fit as a fiddle. Doc here just says that I broke something, and I’m sure I’ll be good as new by tomorrow.”

Carlisle frowned. “Jacob, you move too much. I’m going to have to put some drugs in your system to put you into a sleep, alright?” Carlisle warned, speaking to both Jacob and Sam.

Sam grimaced. “Whatever you need to do,”

Jacob grimaced. “I don’t want any drugs in me, Doc,” He said stubbornly. “I’m above the influence.”

Billy growled at his son. “What you want doesn’t matter, Jake. You’re getting drugs and you’ll be happy about it!”

Even Sam smiled briefly at this statement.

Jacob sighed. “Fine. Bella, give me kiss before I go under, okay?”

I hurried to oblige. I gently pressed my lips to his burning forehead, careful not to put any pressure on him.

“Night-y night,” Jacob muttered as Carlisle inserted a long needle into his arm. I shuddered.

Jacob eyes started to droop instantly, and within a moment he was snoring lightly.

I turned to Carlisle. “Really, Carlisle; how is he?”

Carlisle fidgeted. “Well, Bella…his spine is broken. Also, there appears to be some internal bleeding near his lungs, which could cause greater damage. Do you hear his heart? It’s pounding faster than normal. It has to work harder than usual. He is in very bad shape.”

Billy wheeled himself into the kitchen. He’d already heard the problems.

Sam touched my shoulder. “Bella, I know how close you are to Jacob,” He started.

I glanced at him with worry in my eyes. He almost never directly spoke to me.

He gulped, and his usually solemn, old face was suddenly much younger, much more vulnerable. “You will always be welcome here,”

I could clearly hear what he was insinuating. It caused me to let out a breath of air and clutch my stomach, something I hadn’t done for what felt like an eternity. Since I had Jacob. How long would I still have him?

I had forgotten Quil and Embry’s presence, and when Quil slammed his fist against the wall, I jumped a mile.

Embry grabbed his arm gently. Instead of talking, he merely held his arm and his gaze. The two best friends looked a wreck.

Quil turned his eyes towards me. “Sorry, Bella. I’m just so, sorry,”

Embry’s eyes were pained. “We’ve gotta go,” He said quickly. They rushed out of the room.

I could feel my face crumpling. “I’ll be in the kitchen,” I mumbled incoherently. I stumbled out of the room and into the brightly lit, tiny kitchen.

Billy was stirring something in a pot on the stove. He turned at the sound of me entering the kitchen, and I glimpsed tears dotting his ancient cheeks. He went back to his pot of something.

“Damn onions,” He grumbled.

“I think there are lots of onions in here, Billy,” I agreed.

“Come here,” He said, wheeling around to face me.

I bent down to hug him. His arms clasped me tightly, holding on to what he had. “He’d better be alright, Bella,”

“He will, Billy, I know he will,” I assured him, a few traitor tears escaping.

Billy seemed to hear the effort it took to say it. “Whatever happens, though, you’re welcome here. You have been so good to him, Bella. You’ve done so much, given him so much,” He stopped, and I could see in his face that it was physically hurting him to keep talking.

“Well I’ll ask him, okay? Once he’s better, I’ll ask him if he’s sure I was good or him.” I said desperately. Not if he’s better, once.

“You should go to the Cullen’s house, Bella,” Billy told me after we shared a moment of silence. “Leader leech needs to do his work, and I have some cooking to do…”

I nodded dumbly. “See ya,” I said quietly.

I returned to the living room. “I called Edward,” Carlisle told me quietly, not looking up from where he was gently prodding Jacob’s chest. “He’s on his way.”

“I’ll wait outside,” I informed the remaining werewolves and Carlisle.

I headed outside and ended up facing the gray ocean, standing at the edge of the magnificent beach that I had paced so much. The large, familiar driftwood log seemed to call my name, and I sat down on its cool, moist seat.

Jacob and I had sat together here so many times.

So many, many times.

I could feel him sit down beside me, but I never stopped staring out at the expanse of frothy, blue waves. Mist was whipped around by the wind. It captivated me.

Edward didn’t speak, so we continued to sit.

I watched as the sun got high above, causing a few diamonds to appear on the water.

I kept watched as a blanket was thrown around my freezing shoulders.

The waves crashed onto the shoreline, and I still watched, motionless. If I stopped watching, even for a second, then reality would grab hold of my mind, and no one wanted that.