Heart and Soul
Edward is nearly broken when he loses a dear friend in an accident. When he meets Bella at Forks High, not only is his heart healed, but his soul as well. However, Bella has a secret that could make or break them. AU/AH Twilight meets Return to Me!
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. I once said ‘what’s the point of an AH Twilight story? Wouldn’t it be better to change the names and make it original?’ Then I read a few that were pretty good. Then, I was bitten by this rabid plot bunny…it had sharp, pointy teeth! So, if you’ve ever seen Return to Me, you may recognize certain key story lines :) Read on, and let me know what you think! Rest assured; this is Edward/Bella :)
2. Chapter 2
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Carlisle only had to finish his rounds and dictate some notes in his office before he could end his long and tiresome double-shift. He had pulled the double to cover for a young doctor whose wife had just delivered their first child. Carlisle had been on-call now for 19 hours, and he was ready to get home to his wife. He could not wait until Esme picked him up; she had promised to take him to a late dinner if he allowed Edward to pick up the Mercedes to take Tanya to Port Angeles.
Carlisle couldn’t help but smile to himself when he thought of his first adopted son and his son’s best friend. They had been friends through thick and thin and Carlisle had half-expected to hear an announcement from the two of them regarding the nature of their relationship. Poor Tanya had been trying to encourage Edward into something more than friendship for awhile now; Edward just wasn’t responding; the thought of his clueless son made Carlisle chuckle as he poured over the chart in his hands.
“We’ve got an emergency call coming in Dr. Cullen; we could use your help in the ER,” a frazzled nurse said when she saw Carlisle notating the chart he had been looking at outside the patient’s room.
“Sure, I guess I could stay a little longer,” Carlisle said. He looked at his watch and sighed to himself before apologizing to Esme in his mind. Apparently, their late romantic dinner would not be happening tonight. Shoving the chart into its cubby at the nurse’s station, he made his way into the emergency department.
“What’s the situation? Did someone freeze their tongue to a pole again?” Carlisle asked, hoping to ease the tension among the waiting doctors and nurses. The nervous energy in the room was typical when there was an emergency enroute. Carlisle was a seasoned emergency room doctor though. He knew that too much anxiety caused mistakes in the heat of the moment, and he tried to lighten the attitudes of his colleagues. He didn’t want any of the younger staff second-guessing any decisions that they made tonight. Working in an ER in a small town like Forks wasn’t as busy or as exciting as the big city hospitals in Seattle; the cases that came into the ER here in Forks were often more humorous or embarrassing than urgent. He had hoped that was the case tonight, rather than something truly traumatic.
“Car accident; the paramedics on scene radioed that it was a real mess. Two cars lost control on the ice on the old forest service overpass and hit head on; one of them was apparently driving too fast for the conditions on the road. The other driver lost control and left the road, rolling several times before hitting a tree,” a nurse at the check-in desk said.
“Well, I hope Edward is careful then; he was in Port Angeles tonight,” Carlisle said, a tone of worry creeping into his voice. A voice crackled over the radio, “We’ve got a woman, Victoria Laurent, late twenties with some minor injuries waiting for transport; James Laurent, driver of the car was deceased on our arrival. It appears he was killed on impact. The other vehicle left the road and the driver is still trapped inside; driver is aware but not very coherent…What?” the paramedic relaying information to the hospital paused; it was soon apparent that he was listening to someone at the second vehicle.
“Holy crow…we’ve got two occupants from the second vehicle, passenger was ejected from the vehicle. We’re calling for a helicopter; she’s in critical condition and requires life-flight to Seattle,” the radio operator paused again. “Is Dr. Cullen there?” he asked, with a reserved tone to his voice.
“Yes, I’m here,” Carlisle said, coming around the desk to be heard more clearly. His heart was starting to feel heavy. ‘Why would dispatch be worried about where I was?’ Carlisle thought.
“Driver of the second vehicle has been extricated for transport and is in critical condition; his blood pressure is 94/68, his pulse is 75 and he’s in and out of consciousness. Lots of cuts and contusions, but the airbags deployed, so he’s lucky. We’ve started an IV en route to raise his BP, but we suspect some internal bleeding,” The paramedic on the radio, David, if Carlisle remembered correctly, paused again before he dropped his bomb.
“Dr. Cullen? Carlisle… I’m sorry, but it’s your son, Edward.”
“Edward? Can you hear me? Eddie, can you hear me? Squeeze my hand. We’re working on getting you out,” said the voice.
“Tanya? Where’s Tanya?” Edward asked groggily. “I can’t hear Tanya…” he drifted off again.
“Crap…We’ve got a passenger somewhere! Tanya, according to our driver,” the paramedic yelled to his companions. Edward moaned in pain. His stomach ached and his hips and shoulder hurt where the seatbelt dug into them.
“We found her! We need a helicopter! She needs to go to Seattle, STAT! Forks General can’t handle her injuries,” another paramedic said. Instantly the request was radioed in; it was only ten minutes later that a low thum, thum, thum, thum, thum, thum was heard coming from Port Angeles. Edward was freed from the mangled Mercedes and was being strapped to a backboard as he heard the rotors beating. His body felt as though it was on fire, and he couldn’t seem to keep his eyes open. He felt groggy and disconnected, as though he wasn’t quite awake and he was dreaming the whole thing. He couldn’t see the helicopter, but he could feel the cold breeze coming from up the hill, on the road where the helicopter had landed. Edward wondered why there was a helicopter on the highway. Didn’t they know they couldn’t land on the road? Someone must have told the pilots they weren’t allowed to be there, because a few minutes later, Edward could hear the blades start their rhythmic thum, thum, thum, and the breeze faded away with the sound.
“Let’s get you loaded up, Eddie; we’ll take you to see your Dad, and you’ll be better in no time,” said a disembodied voice. Edward couldn’t turn his head to see who had said it; his head was completely immobilized. He did recognize the voice as the original paramedic to speak to him, when he was still hanging upside down in the car. When had they gotten him out? How did he miss that? Edward was jolted out of his thoughts when he realized that three men in firefighter’s uniforms were carrying him up the icy slope to the road where an ambulance waited. The rain had turned to snow; icy flakes were falling onto Edward’s immobilized face.
The persistent voice near his head kept blabbering nonsense. The ringing in Edward’s ears kept him from hearing much of what the man was saying, and occasionally the man would lean over Edward’s face and grin. Something about “stay with us.” Where would he go? He couldn’t move. “You’ll be fine” What was wrong with him? Eddie, Eddie, Eddie.
“Don’t…call…me…Eddie…” he groaned. Edward heard a few people around him chuckle. The paramedic holding Edward’s feet lost his footing and slipped to one knee, causing Edward to grimace and yell out in pain.
“Sorry,” the paramedic said as he got to his feet and they continued climbing. Then Edward was being jostled as the paramedics laid his backboard on a gurney and buckled several straps over him before they loaded the stretcher into the ambulance.
“You’ll be alright, Edward; you’ve got lots of fight in you,” said a female paramedic at his head. She leaned over his face and put an oxygen mask over his mouth and nose. “Just rest, we’ll be at the hospital soon,” she said, and patted his hand that didn’t have an IV in it. Edward drifted back into unconsciousness.
“Where is he?! Where’s my son?! Where is Edward?!” Esme nearly screamed as she rushed into the reception area of the hospital with her four other children on her heels.
“Mrs. Cullen, your husband is in surgery with him right now,” said a nurse Esme was vaguely familiar with. “He had some internal bleeding when he came in. Carlisle is the best surgeon in the state; and he’s got Dr. Gerandy on board to keep him focused. They’ll do the best they can.”
“Internal bleeding? The best they can? What exactly does that mean? He’s going to be fine, right? What happened?!” Esme was near hysterical, tears coming hard and fast. “Tanya?! What about his friend, Tanya? Where is she? Has anyone told her father or sisters?” Esme asked after taking a moment to wipe the moisture from her eyes and cheeks.
“She was air-lifted to Seattle; anymore than that, you’ll have to talk to her family, we’re not able to share anything more, nor do we have a current update on her,” the receptionist behind the front desk said.
Esme was reeling, how could this be happening? She couldn’t lose Edward. She and Carlisle had adopted him as a young boy after Esme had just lost her sixth pregnancy. Her last pregnancy had gone the farthest; she had been able to hold the tiny premature boy as he had breathed his last breath, but it had nearly destroyed her. Adopting Edward was the only thing that had healed her heart. She would never admit it to any of her other children that had joined their family in the years following, but Edward was her favorite. She had a feeling that the other kids knew it regardless and teased Edward because of it.
She couldn’t lose him. Esme’s eyes burned with tears that threatened once more to spill out over her cheeks, and she sank to her knees. Instantly, her bear of a son, Emmett was picking her up and taking her over to the stiff vinyl couch in the family waiting area near the ER. Emmett set her down in the middle of it and sat next to her, while Alice sat on her other side. Rosalie and Jasper pulled up a couple of plastic chairs and held each other’s hands, communicating as only twins could. Jasper reached out and took Alice’s hand while Rosalie took Emmett’s, completing the family circle as they waited for news of their son and brother.
“He’s going into cardiac arrest, bring the paddles…” disembodied voices started swimming out of the blackness towards Edward, saying things that sounded familiar, yet strange. He felt like he was watching one of the reality shows on the cable health channel that his father loved to record. Carlisle had driven everyone nuts when he filled all the DVR memory with Trauma in the ER episodes.
Suddenly, Edward found himself looking down on the scene that he had been listening to. It was as though he were standing in the observation gallery directly over the operating room at Forks General. Curious, he looked down and realized that his father was in the operating room, frantic, and shouting out orders to the harassed nurses before the other doctor took over and had him sit down.
“Edward, fight! You can’t do this to Esme… it would kill her too…” Carlisle said; his head in his hands, elbows on his knees. It was then that Edward realized that it was him on the table, being operated on. The car accident came rushing back in fast forward; he watched as a nurse handed the defibrillator paddles to Dr. Gerandy while Carlisle sobbed into his hands and whispered prayers; then he felt a tremendous JOLT!
Instantly, Edward was conscious on the table, aware of the excruciating pain that was coursing through his body. He groaned and was instantly sorry; he had been intubated for the surgery. The breathing tube down his throat felt large and he fought back the instinctive gag reflex. His constant swallowing motions and attempted sounds caused him a good deal of discomfort. He was unconsciously trying to fight the ventilator; his brain unable to turn of the reflexive breathing instinct. The anesthesiologist sitting at the head of the table swore when he realized that Edward was lucid; then he leaned over and injected something into Edward’s IV line.
“There, that should do it,” came from the anesthesiologist but Edward could have sworn his lips never moved. “Kid must have gained since he got his license…had a growth spurt…makes sense, he is 16…” Again the man hovering over Edward’s face, checking his tubing and IV, never moved his lips. Though Edward could have sworn he heard him speaking clear as day. Before he could think any further on it, the medications started to take effect, numbing him and pulling the blackness back over his eyes.
This was the one duty as police chief that Charlie Swan despised. Tanya’s father had nearly collapsed when he came to the door and Charlie told him that there had been an accident. Kate and Irina were both in the kitchen cleaning up from dinner. They came in when they heard the chief of police speaking to their father about their sister.
“I’m sorry, I know this is rough,” Charlie said. “They said she’s been taken to a bigger hospital in Seattle. Do you need some help getting there?” he asked.
“No, no, my Kate can drive us…” He looked up and looked to his other daughters, hugging each other for support. “Let’s get packed. We’re going to stay in Seattle for a while,” he said.
“Mr. Duchovny, we have special funds for things like this,” said Charlie uncomfortably. He didn’t feel like it was his place to point out the Duchovny family’s lack of wealth. He knew that they were great friends with the Cullens, who were probably the richest folks in town, and that they would offer him money as well.
“No, we are just renting this house; we can just pack our things and rent another place in Seattle until our Tanya is better. That will be easier for us,” said Mr. Duchovny.
“Okay, then, best of luck,” said Charlie.
“Bella? Bella, sweetie? Wake up honey!” said Renee.
“What? I’m awake, I’m awake,” Bella said. She rolled over in her stiff hospital bed, feeling tired and run down from the effort. She blinked as the harsh fluorescent light above her head flickered to life and she looked over at the clock on the wall across the room.
“Mom? It’s 4:30 in the morning… what’s going on?” Bella asked, confused.
“We got a heart, sweetie…you’re going to get a new heart…it’s coming in on a plane from Washington as we speak…the doctor said that you were the most perfect match in the western United States. We’ve got to get you showered and prepped; we haven’t got a moment to lose.”
Bella was overwhelmed as her mother assisted her to shower with the special pre-surgery antibacterial body wash. Her limbs felt heavy and her lungs burned as she paid special attention to the space in the center of her chest, where the surgeon would make the incision. As she toweled off and her mother helped her into a clean, fresh hospital gown, Bella thought back on the journey that she had taken to get to where she was now.
Bella had been on the waiting list for a heart transplant since she was thirteen. It had seemed lately that it would never happen and she would die before her sixteenth birthday. As she shuffled back to her bed and collapsed exhausted into it, Bella looked over at the calendar next to the clock on the wall. Every day that she had lain in her hospital bed, Bella or her mother had crossed it off on the calendar. Bella fought the chuckle that seemed to sprout from her lips at the irony of the situation. It was September the thirteenth, 2003; her sixteenth birthday. The day that she had been given earthly life was the day that she would be re-born through someone else’s death.
“Happy birthday, sweetie!” said Renee, her eyes full of tears. Her mother was too relieved at the hope that they had before them to see the melancholy that Bella had momentarily felt. Her spirits were uplifted though, when Phil came over and wrapped his arm around Renee, in grateful relief before he leaned in and gave Bella a light punch in the shoulder.
“Congratulations, kiddo,” he said good-naturedly. Suddenly they were all three crying and hugging each other.
“It’s really happening…I’m ready…I want to live,” Bella said, though with that realization, she felt renewed guilt that she would live because someone else had died; had unknowingly given their life for her, Bella Swan.
“How’s our patient?” asked Bella’s cardiologist, Dr. Wilcox, as he walked into her room. He was eager to get things moving after a long three year wait.
“I’m ready,” Bella repeated, reassuring herself as much as her mother and Phil.
“Let’s get his show on the road then,” her doctor said enthusiastically. Several smiling nurses came in with some disposable booties and a hair net for Bella to wear while she was in surgery.
“We’ll be waiting outside, Sweetie, stay strong. I’ve got to call Charlie,” said Renee.
“Thanks Mom, I’ll see you when I get out.” Renee leaned in and pressed a kiss on her forehead before taking Phil’s hand and walking out, already pulling out her cell phone and turning it on.
“Charlie? It’s Renee… Bella got a heart; they’re taking her in right now… you’re probably asleep or out fishing already… you always did like to get an early start. We’ll call you when she’s out. Bye.”
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- 13 Jan 09
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