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100 Years Later

Summary:
What happened when Breaking dawn finished? What happened to the Cullens after the Volturi misunderstanding?
A brief guide through their life in the 100 years following Breaking Dawn and the days that follow.
Varying POV.


Notes:


27. Chapter 27

Rating 4/5   Word Count 4769   Review this Chapter

Three weeks later (ish)

Bella POV

Walking into the Cullen family's living room had a weird feeling swooping around the large open space and the white couches. There was a tension that you could almost feel, almost touch, almost taste. And a business like atmosphere, even though there was no-one in the room with me. I walked through to the dining room and found my assumption to be correct. Normally a room that was hardly, if ever, used and only existed to give us a human edge and a place to store Carlisle's old furniture or Esme's newly renovated. It had now turned into full on conference mode; where habitually the wooden surface was scattered with Esme's blue prints, our homework, or human dinner plates the whole family sat at their respective positions around the large antique circular dining table.

Carlisle sat at the head, his back to the window looking out onto the driveway, Esme sat to his right; their hands clasped upon the table. As I watched my parents I saw Esme whisper to Carlisle, "Are you sure about this?" to which he nodded softly in response. Edward sat alone on Carlisle's left, and he beckoned for me with his hand, and I walked over grasping it tightly with my own under the table just as a dim memory of the last time we had used this table for a full conference. Jasper and Alice sat together next to Esme; both laughing together, I am sure that whatever was going on Alice knew about, and so did my husband. Rose was glaring at Carlisle, a look on her face that I had seen many times before, from her perch beside Em who had his large arm wrapped supportively around her shoulder. Not that this was making any difference to his wife's state. Nessie and Jacob walked through the door just as Rose opened her mouth to mutter something, but closed it only to look like a fish while Jake and Nessie took the last two seats at my side.

Carlisle looked up from Esme and at all of first, before starting whatever it was that needed discussing. "I guess," he sighed, "the time has come for us all to move on once again." Already? We had only been back in Forks for just over two months. What does he mean, time to move on? I mean I kinda know where he is coming from; sure I want to move away at least for a little time to forget about the thing that happened nearly a month ago. If anything, the land sort of feels tainted, wronged somehow by that situation, but to move on so soon, isn't that a bit hasty?

"Carlisle, we just moved on," Rosalie started from across the table, her scowl lessening a touch. Out of everyone Rosalie was the most wary when it came to us moving. It caused her more heartache than the rest of us to go down in age, and to go through the repetitive simulation of high school when we would all get nothing out of it. I don't really know why she had the most trouble with this, but I have a feeling that it has something to do with her turning, to which Carlisle always berates himself for. I think, personally, but I would never ask her to tell me or ask Edward because I don't want to invade my sister's privacy, that it was the age she was turned, having just turned into an adult, as she was turned at eighteen. I think in moving schools and lowering our ages all the time she feels some sort of pointlessness towards what we do because there is nothing she can do to grow from the perfection she is now; no way that she can grow, get old, or have children. I feel sympathy for my sister; however I can't empathize with her, no matter how hard I may try. She will never be able to have children unless she does what Esme and Carlisle have done and adopt. And I have Nessie, not knowing what I would be throwing away by turning into a vampire until she was in my womb, and even though Rose and Esme realized their dreams somewhat when Ness was younger it still does not fill the void.

"Rose," Carlisle warned from his seat, probably knowing where this conversation was heading. The same place it had been and gone from, for how many years prior to me? And the hundred years of me being a Cullen.

"No, Carlisle. I am not going to argue this time. I just want to know why? I don't want to go back to seventeen again; can't we just stay our ages?"

"Well I was thinking that we could just head to university. We could go to Yale, or Columbia or even Cornell again, if you all approve. We would be able to use our house in Ithaca, or just buy a new one and settle in now before term starts, and it would give me enough time to find a suitable position in the hospital." I would love to go back to university, right now. It had been far too long since our last visit, and I would like to do what Edward and Carlisle had done and try to find my true calling, not mastering in English this time but something else. Well obviously not sport, I still don't trust my dependable vampire feet just yet.

"Uni's a good idea, dad," Emmett butted in, "it means we can stay there afterwards for a while."

"Do you know what, I would love to go back to Cornell," Jasper aired his opinion; I can remember Alice saying that Jasper found Cornell's university fulfilling when he had completed his philosophy degree. "We can just say that we transferred from Columbia, or something. Does this mean that and I will have to pay Jenks Jr. a visit?"

"Erm...Jazz," I stopped my brother, if anyone should go to see him, shouldn't it be me? As with the past men in Seattle I was always better than Jasper to get the job done.

"Relax Bell," he drawled, and suddenly I did. "A little persuasion is what we may need on a tight schedule. So should I make Alice, Jacob, Nessie, Edward and Bella eighteen, and Rose, Em and I nineteen?"

"Sounds good, son," Carlisle commended.

There was just one more question that I would like to ask, before we go. "Can we come back?" I asked quietly. Out of everywhere I had ever been nowhere seems more like home than Forks, and although we would not sell the house, just yet, it seems that some of the family could be so opposed to coming back, and so we would not.

"Of course, dear. It's our true home," Esme smiled, and I smiled in return.

"Is everyone in agreement, then?" Carlisle asked around the table, to which we all said yes and Emmett even whooped. "Okay then," he muttered, clapping his hands together once, "I want us gone within the day."

At once the five couples that were just situated in their respective pairs clasped hands, and within seconds all were at their personal rooms/cottage. Edward and I making it back home in little under thirty seconds. We had been through this before and we knew that all we had to take with us were the personal things we would need, or didn't want to leave behind. For me this included some clothes; Alice of course would more than make up for those I left, my books, personal items, and some pictures I had accumulated over the years in both of my lives. Edward was taking the same; walking into our bedroom he ran to the closet only returning with a handful of jeans, shirts and my favorite leather jacket. He placed them upon our bed before running to the other room and coming back with his hands laden with his favorite collection of books, music, medical journals etc. All I saw next was a blur of his coppered color hair, and beautiful white skin and he was seated at our bed, a cardboard box situated by his side with a knapsack on his other and his long, perfect fingers fiddling with a bottle cap from an old Sprite bottle. A bottle I had seen before.

I followed his lead, as he watched me tenderly still seated on the bed. I walked, sedately, into my closet and looked for those worn clothes. I laughed slightly at the still wrapped dresses by the door as I walked over to chest of drawers at the western wall, depicting my jeans, shirts and sweats and throwing them into a suitcase beside me. I'm sure Alice would be seeing exactly what I was packing at this present moment and probably deciding what to buy me next in New York, or pulling her hair out at the roots about how her century of teaching had done no good on me. I walked back into my bedroom, switching off the closet light for the last time in a while, before I placed the suitcase by my husband, and running to our study or Renesmee's old room. Whatever you want to call it. As I lifted my hands above my head to pick the first set of books from the shelf I heard a knock on our front door, and a heartbeat outside it.

"Mom? Dad?" Nessie asked, "Are you guys ready?"

I hear Edward's footsteps approach the door to the room I was now in, and in a moment he appeared at the door; knapsack on his back, and my suitcase and his box in his hands. "Are you coming, love?" he asks looking at the unfinished room.

"I'll be over in a minute," I inform him before he nods and I hear his footsteps, and my daughter's fade further and further into the distant forest. Once my books are all packed into the cardboard box that lay open upon my desk I turned to the most important shelf, for me anyway, in the house. Upon it has everything I treasure from every aspect of my life. My jewelry; all incased inside the ornately carved wooden box Aro had given me a hundred years ago. Inside was every piece of jewelry I have ever been given except the necklace from Aro which Nessie did actually play with, like I had intended her too, collapsing the intricate gold rope until it resembled something of Esme's old cutlery. As I open the lid to the box, seeing the array of gemstones, gold and mother of pearl accents glitter in the light from the lamp, I saw for the first time in a while how much I have actually received. At the top of the mixture of jewelry I had received from Edward, my vampire family, some from Charlie, some I inherited from Renee and other's from my childhood were three sets that held a huge place within my heart. The thin, golden band with two charms linked on opposite sides; like the used to be in my life, I use the term "used" loosely. I pick up the bracelet, gently holding it on my palm and look at the wolf charm; the wood warm upon my palm, and then I look upon the heart of my Edward, "stone, cold, and mine" he had said. Next to this was other bits and bobs, "heirlooms" Edward had told me, that belonged to his mother, just like Elizabeth Mason's ring had from its regular perch upon my ring finger. Finally, the last piece within the box was the intimate piece from my family; I slipped the light chain around my neck and hid it beneath my shirt so the crest of the Cullen's lay by my unbeating heart.

I placed the jewelry box safely on top of the books I had placed within the box, turning towards the pictures I wanted to take. Moving along the line of the shelf I picked up each picture in turn as they depicted my life up to this point. The picture of Charlie, Renee and I in the hospital about thirty minutes after my birth taken by a helpful nurse. The picture of Renee and I, smiling happily on the trail just off Camelback Mountain, as usual it was one of those stupid things that we had tried but never succeeded to do, the heat becoming far too much so we turned around, walked back to the car and stopped at the nearest fast-food restaurant. About six pictures, all inside the blue cardboard frames they were sent to my dad in, from my school years; mainly present in the cottage through Edward's persuasion. A picture of Charlie and I in California, one of the times I had refused to visit Forks. The picture taken at prom of Mike, Angela, Jess, Eric, Edward and I. The picture I had taken on my eighteenth birthday with the old camera my mother had given me as a present, from the kitchen table, the smile of a forgotten joke on Edward's beautiful face. "If I get this developed, will you show up?" I remember ribbing him, and he had to my delight. The graduation picture, two weeks before Victoria's return. All the hats from my peers flying upwards in a flurry, I stared blankly out of the screen, while Edward had a confused look upon his face from my side. The wedding picture of Edward and I during our first dance, then the picture Emmett had taken of us as I shoved cake down my non-food eating husband's face, Emmett's thumb half covering the screen. And finally, the picture of my vampire family taken one Christmas. I placed this one on the top of all the others in the box, smiling at our completeness within the picture as I closed the lid softly upon my memories.

I place the complete box safely under my arm and turn upon my heel turning the lamp off on the way out. As I walk through our garden, moments after locking our wooden front door I turn taking one last look at my surroundings. The small stream out back, the rose bush on the trellis to the right of the door, the smell of freesia and orange blossom that still brings back memories of my human wedding, that haven't faded with time and the tiny chirping of birds to the back of our house. I turn once again and start to run towards the house, why is it always hard to leave the place I live? This time more so than the others. I know we are going now, and I am okay with it, however there is but one thing I want, no need to do before that time comes. I jump carefully over the river, skipping into the open area of our garden then into the house itself.

When I walk through to the living area I see Edward and Ness sat on the piano stool, Nessie playing this time and not her father, but it could have been him with the perfect resonance the piece that her fingers were playing has. I could hear Rosalie and Alice on the second floor, both in their own rooms. By the sounds of things both were having tremendous difficulty in closing their suitcases. I can hear Emmett's quiet muttering to himself coming through from the garage, deciding which cars to take with us, Esme is quietly humming to herself from Carlisle's office as she takes the pictures down from his wall. And Carlisle is standing on the stairwell, looking contemplating at the wooden cross that has always hung on the wall, as I watch he gently takes it down, his nimble fingers being excessively gentle with the very old wood, he wraps it up cautiously before placing it upon the boxes by the front door and running from the house, I hear his car start up from the garage, and the soft hum of the Mercedes as he drives down the driveway and to the hospital.

"I'm going to visit Charlie's grave," I announce to Edward and Ness, voicing the epiphany I had on the way over here.

Edward looks up from where his eyes had been resting upon Nessie's flowing fingers and he looks at me with sympathy in his eyes, "Do you want me to come?" he asks, gently.

"No it's okay," I respond. "I think...yeah, it's kind of something I need to do alone." I stumble over my words and Edward's face saddens slightly, before he nods solemnly.

"I want to see grandpa too, Momma," Nessie pipes up, her fingers finishing the piece in a flurry, and looking up to me, and I can see the truth to her words written in her chocolate eyes, or on every piece of her face.

"Not right now, sweetheart. Maybe later."

"Okay," Nessie consented, nodding slightly.

I started to walk towards the door and I heard Edward whisper softly from behind, "Hurry back to us." I take Edward's car and follow the trail Carlisle had just left, turning right at the end of the drive and following the road to the turn off for the graveyard, which like everything is just off Forks main highway. I parked the car beside the low hanging willow of the necropolis and began my journey to my dad's grave.

As I walked down the pathway leading to the newer graves the distinction between my destination and where I was now were huge. The marble tombs were crumbling, decaying, darkening with age so that the names couldn't be seen. The people buried under the earth I was walking by would never be recognized anymore, was that the way that they should be? Finally, the graves became bright under the white sky of Forks cloud, the dates upon the graves became more recent and the names more recognizable. Whether a surname I would recognize of someone I knew a hundred years ago, a friend such as Angela and Ben lying side by side within the cemetery of their hometown, or family. A black marble slab highlighted with golden scriptures marked the place of my dad. It read:

Here lies:

Charlie Swan

1963 - 2050

Police Chief of Forks, WA

Protector, Savior, Father, Husband, Grandfather, Dearly Missed.

"Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid."

I hunker down next to him, and look only at his name as I begin to address him. "Hey dad," I started, unsure now of what to tell him, I have came here today to say things to him, but how to get them out. As usual my awkwardness has not been lost from my dad. "There's a lot of things that I didn't get to tell you, while you were alive. And it's only now that I am able to tell you them, when you can't talk back, or try to stop me. That's wrong, I should have told you, the time has just gone to fast and next thing I knew you were gone from my life. Thank you dad, for everything. Thanks for letting me come and stay in the first place, if not for it I wouldn't have been able to live with you again, learn things from my favorite chief. Thank you for all your help when he left me, I know it broke your heart to see me like that and I want to apologize. Thank you for being really amazing through the whole, well the strictly "need to know business", you know. I'm so glad you were so great with it.

"There are so many times that I will cherish from my time with you, I can't begin to remember how many days we had together and when days are going from my memory those I spent with you and mom are there forever. I can still remember being scared of your moustache when I was four, and when you had to shave it off to come near me. The awkward days where we would sit in silence, the way both of us liked it either watching the television or having dinner, neither of us trying to break the comfortableness that surrounded us.

"I'm really sorry dad that I haven't been coming much, that I haven't been able to say these things before now, or tell you all the time how much I miss you. Well you've seen what has been going on, but that's not an excuse. I hope you're truly okay, dad. I hope you're happy with Sue. Tell her Seth and Leah are both fine, I know she worries about them too; I wish you both were here right now with us. I'm asking after mom, also, I love you both so much.

"Everyone else is also fine; the Cullen's, the La Push boys. You don't have to worry over me dad, Carlisle and Esme are amazing, Emmett and Alice both miss you, Nessie misses her "grandpa", sure she still has Carlisle but she no longer has the human one, with the miss matched, bare Christmas tree or the burnt food. We're moving today, yeah I know again. New York, Alice is going to be a nightmare, I promise I will keep coming back to visit, forever. I love you dad, sorry for never telling you that much when I had the opportunity. Goodbye." I placed the wreath of flowers I had bought earlier upon his grave, and it was one of the few times in my vampire life that I have ever wanted to cry, ever wanted the tears to leak down my face and blur the image in front of me from my eyes so I could pretend for an instant that everything was back to normal. My breath caught in my throat, the only crying I could do as I continue to stare at the marble in front of me; however I relished in the feeling of humanity it brought with it, all the same.

I heard footsteps approach in the same direction that I had come, "Bella?" someone asks of me. I lift my eyes away from the words and looked up to find a familiar face looking on from a few yards away; his hands in his jacket pocket, scarf wrapped around his neck, and a worried, loving look in his golden eyes. "Are you okay?" he asks.

"I am now," I answer, "thanks Carlisle." His face drops into a gentle smile as he walks forward, bending down beside me and placing his arm around my shoulder and a kiss on my forehead.

"Come on kid, let's get home," he mutters and I smile at my second father, before bending down to rub my fingers over Charlie's name.

"Goodbye dad," I whisper at him, before I push myself up from the crouch and start to walk in the direction of my parked car. I hear no footsteps behind me and I turn to find Carlisle still crouched by the grave, his eyes closed in concentration, praying by the look of his hands clasped tightly in front of him. I raise my arm in the air, as an invitation, "are you ready?"

"One minute," he answered softly, opening his eyes and looking again at the grave. He starts to speak, real quietly, so even I have trouble hearing his speech, what I think I'm hearing is; "I promise I will take care of her for all eternity. Thank you for everything, Charlie. Goodbye and God bless, my friend." Carlisle stood, with one last sweeping look at my dad's grave he came over to me, smiling down at my hand he took it gently and I held onto it like the lifeline he was. We continued to our cars, his Mercedes parked by the Volvo's side with no words spoken between the pair and he helped me into my car before taking off for his own. As I set off once again onto Forks high street, the last time in quite some time I believe, I smiled at the past memories I have of this place and more memories that are due to be formed.

As I pulled up onto our driveway I saw a flash of black in my rear view mirror and was watching just as Carlisle pulled up behind me. Coming into view was the Cullen house and the Cullen cars all lined up alongside one another filled to the brim with cardboard boxes and suitcases. I pulled the Volvo into the space beside Alice's Lamborghini and Rose's BM, as Carlisle pulled up beside Jacob's Aston, and as soon as I was out of the car Jasper and Emmett started to load my stuff into the car as I walked over to where my husband and daughter stood. Edward slipped his hand around my waist when I approached him, "Are you okay?" he whispers into my hair.

"I will be," I responded, quietly, looking up to my husband's face, everything was perfect. I was at peace at last.

"Oh, Bella," Jasper called from where he stood beside Alice. "Jenks was excessively happy to see me, but he would prefer me to send you next time for health reasons," a smug smile pulled his lips up, teeth shimmering as they appeared, "he also said hi." With this he got into the driver side of Alice's car and the car started with a purr of a great cat before they were first to pull away from the house.

"See you guys in New York!" Emmett boomed, before sliding into the passenger side of Rose's car, as he got in I could hear him grumbling to an unwavering Rose about missing his jeep already. Esme and Carlisle gave the house one last look before they also got into Carlisle's car setting off for our new start of life in a new town.

I turned around for a last look at the house before looking at the open area surrounding by the aging forest of trees, and it really started to sink in that I was once again leaving home. How different would my life have been if I didn't come here? Sure I would not have been the unsuspecting human brought into the world of supernatural; but without that my life would not have been living. If I stayed in Phoenix with Renee; would I have met Edward, no matter how much fate a person believes in, and thinks has control over their life, I don't think we would have been brought together. I would have never met the greatest friends on the other end of the mystical spectrum, I would never have received the siblings that I had always wanted but only received once I married into this family, or the best parents-in-law, if I can call Carlisle and Esme that, I don't want to really. And even after I had received all of these my life could have been thrown away and only centered on the bizarre world I became part of without my wolf's help; opening his large trap at the complete wrong time actually developed into one of the biggest blessings of my entire existence.

"Jake," I call over to where he and my daughter were just jumping into his green car, much better than that Rabbit that rusted and died on the road. He stopped mid way his entry, one leg in the foot well of his car and the rest of his body sticking out. "I didn't get to tell you thanks," I answered his questioning look.

"What for?"

"Well you know, meddling in the beginning."

He smiled at me, his russet lips pulling back off his teeth and his black eyes crinkling at the sides. "It was my pleasure, Bells." And with this he inserted the rest of his large form into the driver's side, waving once before taking off down the road and leaving Edward and I as the last ones to leave the house.

"Are you ready to go, love?" he asked, starting to gently guide me over to our car.

"Do you know what, I really am," I answered him as I got into the passenger side. He started the car silently and I got one last glimpsing look at the big white house on the Sol Duc River, before my sight was over taken by the mossy trees bordering the 101 out of Forks, as we followed our family eastwards. And together as a family we continued blissfully into the perfect piece of forever we had all been granted.