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Heart and Soul

Summary:
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!


Notes:
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 :)


9. Chapter 9

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3284   Review this Chapter

Heart and Soul Chapter 9

Edward was nearly calm by the time the ambulance pulled onto the highway. He constantly scanned his sibling’s thoughts, trying to keep his tentative focus intact. Joe the EMT kept up a steady stream of conversation during the ride, and Edward’s eyes flew open when he heard Joe think, ‘He’s falling asleep…damn…he must have hit his head harder than he realized…I’ll have to make sure and tell Dr. Cullen…’

‘I will not spend all day in the emergency room because this oaf can’t tell the difference between concentration and sleep!’ Edward thought.

“So, you guys are all paired up huh? That’s nice…at least you guys don’t have to pick your girl up for a date right? It’s like a dinner date every night!” Joe rambled absently.

Thank you Captain Obvious,’ Rosalie snarked in her head though she was seemingly unaffected by the semi-abrasive man as she inspected her nails. Edward smirked at her sarcasm and started listening to the paramedic again.

“…I mean, I asked Megan here to marry me…we’ve been dating awhile now…she said if we had kids they’d all get my toilet mouth, so I’m trying to get the swearing down…” Joe said, though Edward could hear him mentally cataloguing Edward’s vital signs and writing them down on his clipboard.

This is a hell of a lot easier ride than last time…at least he’s not crashing on me…’ Joe pictured that night while he thought this, causing Edward to cringe and groan at the vaguely familiar mental pictures that brought forth his own painful memories.

Edward, just ignore him…I think I can imagine what he’s thinking…don’t let his memories get to you,’ Alice thought as she squeezed Edward’s hand in support. Edward squeezed back and joked, “I’m fine you guys…you don’t have to act like you’re riding in a hearse…”

Emmett and Jasper laughed and each gave Edward a small punch to each of his shoulders in support. Alice squeezed his hand harder. Rosalie scoffed and smacked Edward’s leg with the back of her hand.

“Don’t even go there, Edward Cullen,” Rosalie snapped. Edward was surprised to see her thinking about the last time Edward was in this position, and was oddly touched by her display of affection, as indirect as it was.

After a few more minutes, the drive was over; the ambulance slowed and they were all jostled as the large vehicle lumbered over the curb and sidled up to the special entrance reserved for ambulances. Edward was pulled from his musings when he heard his father’s thoughts as he watched an ambulance pull up carrying his son for the second time in as many years.

Edward…I would prefer if you didn’t visit me at work in this manner anymore…I’d rather you used the visitor’s entrance, son,’ thought Carlisle.

Edward grimaced, and hoped that Esme wouldn’t actually consider the bubble wrap that Alice had teased him about earlier.

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Bella met Charlie outside of her doctor’s office less than half an hour after he dropped her off at the hospital entrance. The office nurse, Grace, had given her a quick evaluation and had deemed her in perfect health; a fact which Bella had wasted no time in communicating to Charlie.

“She said I’m fine, Dad. Not even a scratch,” she said.

“Well…that’s good; now you can call your mother, and give her the latest news,” Charlie replied.

“No, I want to check on Edward first.” Bella saw the uncomfortable expression come over her father’s face. Rather than be interrogated over a relationship that didn’t truly exist, she continued in a sarcastic tone, “I’d better not forget blood type and fingerprints; she may want to run things by the FBI.” Bella had to fight the grin that threatened to cross her face when Charlie visibly relaxed.

“Now, Bells, she can’t be all that bad…” he said.

Bella just let out a frustrated breath and started towards the emergency room, muttering, “You have no idea,” as Charlie followed behind her. Bella turned around just before the automatic doors to the ER; saw the look on her father’s face and his hand resting on the hip that held his service gun.

She narrowed her eyes at him and said, “Ch-Dad…you are not going to go in there and intimidate him! He saved our lives, and he’s a nice person.”

“You like him?” he asked, the uncomfortable expression taking over his face once again.

“Dad! I am not going to answer that, just so that you can give him the third degree,” she said exasperatedly. Charlie looked nervous now. Bella hadn’t exactly confirmed or denied her status with or feelings for Edward, but she knew it was only a matter of time before her father invited Edward over at a time when he could see Charlie polish his gun collection.

Charlie merely pursed his lips and said, “Okay, let’s go get your diagram; just scars and birthmarks? Or can I add tattoos to the list?” Then he passed Bella before she could do more than stare in open-mouthed shock as he strode into the ER in full sheriff mode. Bella groaned and walked over to the receptionist’s desk, intent on finding Edward.

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“Dad, I’m fine, would you please get me off this board and take off this ridiculous neck brace?!” Edward said. He was tiring of the stiff board beneath him and the stiff plastic foam brace attached to the board that immobilized his head and neck. If he weren’t surfing through all the thoughts and borrowing the eyes of everyone around him, he surely would have gone mad staring up at the same patch of water-stained ceiling tile for the past half-hour.

“Well, I’d like to see the x-ray first, rule out the need for a CT scan…” Carlisle said absentmindedly while he looked over Edward’s chart.

“Dad…I do not need a cat scan,” Edward said.

“How about you let me decide that? Last I checked, you didn’t have a medical degree, unless you managed to attend medical school without my knowledge,” Carlisle said with a grin. ‘Your mother said you were fairly advanced in your science studies, you didn’t by chance go to online med school did you?’ Carlisle joked silently for Edward’s benefit.

“I’m just going to go check in radiology…maybe I can speed up the process a bit,” Carlisle said aloud before he walked out of Edward’s room and shut the door behind him leaving Edward to the company of his adopted siblings.

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Bella looked around the waiting area of the not-yet familiar Emergency Room. There were clusters of teenagers that Bella was vaguely familiar with awaiting the latest update on their fellow classmates. Charlie was already at the receptionist desk asking for Tyler Crowley, who, Bella learned, was driving the van that had nearly crushed her and Edward.

"Can I help you?"

Bella turned around to see a short woman in scrubs. Her arms were full of clipboards and patient charts, and she seemed frazzled by the sudden unexpected influx of teenagers overflowing the waiting room and hallways of the hospital.

"Can you help me find Edward Cullen?" she asked.

"Sure, Hon; he’s in exam two," she said before turning around and leaving Bella to find the room on her own.

"Ok…thanks for your help," she called to the woman's retreating back. The short woman merely lifted a hand in acknowledgement without looking back.

Bella let out a breath and followed the hallway marked ‘exam rooms one through five’ until she had found a blond doctor outside the door she was looking for. He was holding some x-ray films up to the florescent lights above him, while inexplicably whistling the theme to the Andy Griffith show. Bella cleared her throat to get his attention, and was momentarily stunned when he turned his face to acknowledge her. He was the best looking doctor that Bella had ever seen, which was saying something, considering the number of specialists she had seen for her heart disease. This doctor looked young, yet distinguished all the same.

"Uh...I'm looking for Edward Cullen..." she managed to stammer through her blush. The doctor held her gaze for a few seconds; he seemed momentarily confused. Then, his eyes widened in recognition and he smirked.

"You must be Bella Swan. I'm Edward’s father, Carlisle Cullen.” He held out his hand and Bella shook it.

“Please, after you," he said, stepping aside and gesturing for her to precede him into the room beside them.

"Thanks," Bella said as her cheeks reddened involuntarily for the second time since meeting Dr. Cullen.

"Edward," Carlisle started as he came into the room.

"Please! The Andy Griffith theme song is nearly as bad as the chicken song! Please tell me you're coming to spring me out of here; I really want to sit up, and this brace is really starting to get on my nerves!" Edward growled out.

Carlisle cleared his throat and raised his eyebrows at his adoptive son. Bella looked around the room, taking in Edward’s brothers and sisters. His blond brother sat in a chair beside the bed; Alice was perched on his lap. His huge brother and his blonde sister stood beside the supply cabinets along the wall. The tall blonde girl was pulling a handful of tongue depressors from the enormous brother’s hands.

“Edward, you have a friend here to see you,” Carlisle scolded.

“Can I take off this completely unnecessary neck brace now?” Edward asked, not acknowledging what Carlisle had said.

“Yes, Edward, your x-rays were normal,” Carlisle said. Before Carlisle could move any further, Edward reached up and started pulling on the Velcro straps immobilizing his head and neck. His siblings all started helping him with the straps on his lower body, and in no time, he was sitting up, pulling the brace off of his neck and tossing it across the room. Carlisle raised an eyebrow at Edward, but he shrugged unrepentantly and turned to face Bella, his legs hanging off the side of his stretcher.

“Are you alright? Do you need Dr. Cullen here to give you the third degree as well?” Edward asked her playfully. The earnest look in his eyes made Bella bite back the somewhat sarcastic reply she’d had on the tip of her tongue. Instead, she shook her head and gave him a small smile.

“No, no, I got checked out by my doctor’s office; healthy as a horse,” Bella said.

“Good…” Edward trailed off as his eyes wandered around the crowded room. Carlisle looked meaningfully at the others and cleared his throat. Edward’s siblings and his father all wordlessly left the room; Carlisle promised to be back shortly.

They just started at each other, content to listen to the thick silence that covered the room.

“Thank you…” Edward and Bella said together. They broke off and laughed together, relieved.

“Really…Thanks. You saved me twice today,” Edward said. He didn’t elaborate, but Bella knew he was referring to his panic attack in addition to her rolling them beneath her truck.

“You saved us first, I couldn’t have done anything if you hadn’t tackled me,” Bella said. Silence permeated the room once more.

“You’re welcome,” they said together, smiling again.

“How did you get us under your truck? I was a little dazed…then my kidneys were getting acquainted with your truck’s drive train…I can’t believe we fit under there, let alone that you moved me. I must have at least seventy-five pounds on you…” Edward trailed off, though he was looking at her expectantly.

“Uh…I think it must have been the adrenaline…strong stuff…you can Google it…” Bella said. Her blush seemed permanent now. Edward smiled his crooked smile and they laughed together.

“I don’t think you’re proud or disagreeable…I wasn’t thinking of Elizabeth’s first impression when I said that,” Bella blurted out; she turned red as soon as she realized what she said.

“I know…Alice was sure to let me know that I needed to learn how to properly use literature while flirting,” Edward turned red himself when Bella gasped at his admission of flirting with her. Then, Edward and Bella were spared any further embarrassment of their own doing when Carlisle and Charlie entered the room and took over.

“Edward, how are you feeling now that you’ve sat up? Any dizziness or soreness?” Carlisle questioned while gently probing Edward’s head where he had hit the pavement, and the truck chassis. Edward winced when his father’s fingers touched the goose egg he had.

“I take it that’s a yes on the soreness,” Carlisle said, and Edward grimaced in response.

“How’s your back?” Carlisle continued, moving around behind Edward and reaching for the hem of his shirt. “Let me see…you have some bruising…nothing too bad…”

Edward had clamped his hands over his shirt front, trying to keep his stomach covered when Carlisle rolled up the back of his shirt to examine where Edward had been pressed against the underside of Bella’s truck. He wasn’t quick enough, however, to keep Bella from catching a glimpse of the long scar running the length of his abdomen. Ironically, it was quite similar to the one Bella kept hidden on her chest.

Edward looked indignantly over at Charlie and said, “I don’t have any tattoos and I don’t think you need to know about any other scars, or birthmarks for that matter.” Then, his face went pale when he noticed the shocked expression on Charlie’s face, and the bright red blush that covered Bella’s face and neck.

“Sorry Edward, I guess I forget sometimes that I’m more dad than doctor to you. Chief Swan, Bella? Would you mind waiting outside? I think Edward could use a little privacy,” Carlisle quickly interjected, saving Edward from explaining how he had heard their private joke.

“Sure Dr. Cullen…Bells?” Charlie said. He looked a little unnerved, and eager to leave the room.

‘What is he hiding?’ thought Bella. ‘How did he know what we had been joking about? Does he have super hearing or something? Get real, Bella, we weren’t even in the ER when we were talking about that…he’s not Superman… I feel like I just walked into the Twilight Zone episodes that Renee scares herself silly with…I wonder if his scar is from his accident. He must have been hurt pretty badly to have a surgical scar like that. What is his inexplicable source of embarrassing knowledge, though?’

‘It’s like he just pulled that right out of Charlie’s head...Stop it Bella; surviving a tragic accident does not make one into a mind reader… He was looking at me funny in biology though, like he was concentrating really hard…I did say he looked like Carnac…Bella! This is not a creepy black and white television show! People don’t just read other people’s minds. I think this town is driving me insane…’

“Bells?” Charlie startled her from her thoughts, “I think I’ve got everything I need. It was an accident, pure and simple. I think that someone needs to be reminded not to eavesdrop on private conversations; I can’t believe they told Edward about our joke. I’ll mention it to Dr. Cullen when I see him again.”

“Good idea Dad,” Bella agreed quickly.

“Do you want me to hang out with you today? I can take the rest of the day off…”

“No Dad, I think I’ll just go back to school, otherwise everyone might think that Edward and I died,” Bella said only partially joking. Bella had found in the short time that she had been in Forks that rumors, regardless of truth, spread around town faster than wildfire in the Arizona desert during drought.

“Ok, Bella. You can call your mom on the way; I’ll give you a ride. Though there may not be any students left at school. I think they’re all here…” Charlie joked.

Bella groaned as she recalled the phone call she still had to make, and the stuffed waiting room. Maybe she was already presumed dead, and she could just enter a relocation program. Surely that would be better than facing the curious masses.

Mike Newton and Jessica Stanley were sure to be unbearable, especially if Edward decided not to come back to school for a few days. Jessica would want every little detail; Mike would be jealous, and mope like Edward had kicked Mike’s dog, rather than done something heroic. Bella sighed and turned to Charlie.

“Thanks, Dad. I’d like to tell Edward goodbye first though.”

“Sure, sure, Bells. I’ll just bring the car around. See you out front…” Charlie said. Then he patted her shoulder and walked in the direction of the exit. Bella turned on her heel and walked towards exam room two once more. She paused in front of the door and raised her fist to knock when she noticed there were several voices muffled behind the door.

Rosalie, just relax,” it was Dr. Cullen’s voice.

He just slipped in front of her and her father, the chief of police! Edward is going to be in some lab rat loony bin wearing a straight jacket and a foil helmet before the month is over unless he drops her,” Rosalie huffed.

Rose!” several of the voices said at once.

What? It’s true...” she defended herself.

She won’t tell anyone, Edward you can trust her. She’ll be good for you…you’ll be good for each other. She’s had a rough time too, I think…’ it was Alice.

I think what I tell her is my business, Rosalie, and I will not ‘drop her.’ Alice is right…I trust Bella, even if I can’t hear her,” Edward’s voice said finally.

Can’t hear me? What is this secret he’s keeping? And why can’t he hear me? Am I broken?!’ Bella thought.

Before they could say anything more, Bella knocked on the door with her still raised hand. After a silent moment, Dr. Cullen opened the door and invited her in as though he had known it would be her.

“I just wanted to let you know I was leaving…I’m sorry if my Dad embarrassed you, Edward. She turned to Edward’s father. Ch-Dad mentioned that maybe you should warn the staff not to eavesdropandspreadstories,” Bella emphasized the last few words to let them know that Charlie wasn’t suspicious; that she was, though she wasn’t going to say anything.

“Yes! Please let him know I will mention it in the next staff meeting,” Carlisle promised. Bella could see his relief in his eyes. She turned to Edward and saw the same look on his face and that of his brothers. Rosalie looked agitated but resigned, and Alice was smiling like the Cheshire Cat.

“Edward, will I see you later at school?” Bella asked. Before he could answer, Dr. Cullen replied, “I’m going to recommend that he go home and rest today.”

“Oh; tomorrow then?” Bella asked, and Edward shrugged, though he didn’t agree or disagree.

“Bye, Edward, Dr. Cullen…” Bella trailed off and left the room to find her father. She wasn’t certain, but she thought she heard Edward softly call, “Bye, Bella.”

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