What If Alice and Bella made it to Volterra a little bit too late?
1. Chapter 1
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It's been 4 days, 11 hours, 43 minutes and 22 seconds since I had a vision of Bella jumping off a cliff; it's been 3 days, 8 hours, 16 minutes and 16 seconds since I found out that she was still alive. It's been 9 hours, 5 minutes and 56 seconds since I had a vision of Edward going to the Volturi and asking to die, it's been 6 hours, 52 minutes and 44 seconds since we got on this plane and it's been 6 hours, 40 minutes and 1 second since I last talked to Jasper.
Bella and I are currently on the airplane heading from New York to Florence, which then will be another 1 hour car drive, for slow drivers, into Volterra. I had jumped to conclusions about having to save Bella from killing herself and got on the airplane from near Denali to Forks to find out she was still alive, that doesn't mean that it was stupid of me to come and visit Bella. It's like some missing part of my life for the last year and a half has just been put back in, even though I didn't know I missed it. However, another part of me could be broken if this damn plane does not hurry up! I had a vision, just today and in it I saw that someone, not mentioning any names but Rose told Edward that Bella was dead so he took it into his own hands to set off on the thing he once told Bella; "I wasn't going to live without you." Yep, he's going to try and get killed. Stupid Boy. As much as my visions show, the current scene is that the Volturi have just made their decision to tell him that they won't kill him, so he's currently leaning on the melodramatic, his plans are changing from minute to minute. Attacking a human or one of the guards, going into the sun, throwing something at a wall. His plans haven't changed in the last hour however so I think that he is currently not contemplating anything.
I'm sitting to the left of Bella with one arm draped over her shoulder, knees tucked up into my chest, head resting on them, concentrating as hard as I once did when first starting my search for the Cullen's. Bella is sitting with her head leant against the wall, blind shut, slowly drifting to sleep. The next vision slams into my head without me having to do or think anything. Edward is standing to the north side of a building, in the shade, he's standing next to a blue car. He picks up the car and throws it with all his might into the wall at the opposite end of the town clearing, everyone near him turn to locate him with shocked and slightly scared looks on their faces. Two cloaked men walk into the alley Edward is in, "Now Edward was there any need for that?" One of them drawls. Both men grab one of Edwards's arms and pull him further and further into the darkness. The vision abruptly stops as abruptly as it started. That vision can't be good, why did it stop like that? That's never happened when looking into the future of anyone not least Edward. I look over at Bella who is still peacefully asleep, I can't tell her what's just happened until I'm sure what has just happened, I can't tell her that Edward may be in serious trouble without her getting really upset and causing disruption in a plane full of people. I need to be sure. I remove my hand slowly from Bella's shoulders and place my head against my knees once again. Blocking out the noises around me; the plane's engine whirring, the passengers slow breathing or whispered conversations and I rub my temples with my free hands while concentrating hard on Edwards face and looking for his future. There's nothing more than just a few seconds of that original vision and then it stops again. Why is his future stopping, it can't mean that he's in touch with werewolves can it? No. So then what, if his future just disappears that would insinuate that he has no future after that event, which would mean that he is no longer living. I can't think of that. There is no way Edward can be dead, Aro wouldn't do that to Carlisle. But would the guard? That can't be it, no Edward can't be dead, he just can't be. But what other explanation fits? None. Nooo. I force myself not to think of this event, it just can't be happening, what will it mean if he ceased to exist? What would it do to Bella? To Emmett? To Carlisle? To Esme? It would kill us all.
I pull up the bright yellow Porsche up to the sidewalk where Bella is frantically pacing. "Hurry Bella." You don't understand how quick we have to be, I finish in my head. We drive on for about 10 minutes before I think that there is no other way to put it, I can't let her find out from any other person than me.
"Bella... There's no easy way to tell you this. When I was on the plane, I had a vision of Edward throwing a car across Volterra, which he thought was the quickest way to force a reaction. Well two guards show up and take him into the darkness, but the vision just stopped. I didn't know what it meant. Bella, I think Edward may have been killed."
Her face recognized nothing but shock or blankness, as if I hadn't actually spoken at all, for a few moments, before she started screaming. "Alice, why? Why do you think that? It can't be right, it just can't! It can't! Nooooo! ALICE!" Bella continues screaming and puts one hand on the handle of the door looking as if she wants to jump out. Where would she go?
"Bella, I'm sorry for telling you this now." I tell her, slowly putting one hand onto hers that braced against the door and pulling her closer. "I think you should be prepared for the worst though. You wouldn't want to find this out from Aro. I'm sorry Bella. I'm so sorry." I hear a ripping sound that seems to be coming from my own chest, I have to keep it together for Bella, she can't see me like this. I continue to hold Bella's hand, while a shaking is pulsing through me, why is the car shaking? I look at my hand, their shaking too. Oh, what I hadn't got was that it was not the car that was shaking but me, not just my hands but my whole body, and not just shaking but sobbing.
It's quiet for a little while longer, except the sounds of our breathing, the ripping sound coming from my chest and the sharp intakes of breath from Bella which fuel her crying. I pull up into the queue waiting to get through the gates of Volterra. Everyone seems to be being turned away; I pull quickly past the first parking guard and drive straight through to the second. He looks at Bella, broken Bella, then at me who probably looks like devastation walking because he doesn't say anything and just lets us through.
We pull through into an alleyway not unlike that which Edward was in, and jump out of the car. From Carlisle's tales the entrance to the Volturi home is down anyone of the grates on these cobbled streets. I pull Bella out of the car, holding her close to my chest and pull her towards one of the grates. I drop myself into it first, and then brace myself to catch Bella as she drops. We walk quickly down the sewerage, through another grated door, down a paneled corridor, through a comfy and pleasant reception area, with a plain human girl working behind the desk, through more doors and I finally hear the wispy sound of one of the elder's voice. I knock on the large gilded door; it swings open without anyone touching it. I march in and come face to face with Aro.
"Alice, my dear. How are you?" He asks in the wispy voice I heard from outside the door. How on earth does he know my name? He looks to the left of me, and down at what I'm clutching and whose clutching me in return. "And Bella to?" he asks disbelievingly. I look up at Aro again, how does he know us? He sees my questioning look and answers the questions forming in my head just as Edward would have done if he was in the room with us. "You're wondering how I know you, aren't you? Well dear Edward introduced us. You see I like him are a mind reader but I am limited when he was not." I heard the past tense mentioned in his words and so did Bella as I felt her tense her arms around me and take another deep, shuddering breath. "I get people's thoughts by touching the subject but I also get every thought a person has ever had by doing this, so I think I know you two very well now thanks to your brother's thoughts. But your gift, Alice, is wonderful. Not foolproof, due to what I see before me but still it's wonderful."
"Oh, I'm far from infallible." I say through gritted teeth. "Where's Edward?"
Aro looks at me for a moment or two, and then says in a quiet voice, that I don't think Bella heard, "Gone."
"What do you mean "Gone"? How could you do this to him, to Carlisle?"
"It was very easy. He jeopardized us in front of the whole city. The only law for us undead and he broke it. Does that answer your question?"
I stared back at his shielded face for a long time and asked really quietly, "Do you have anything of him I can give to Carlisle and Esme?"
"Yes, as a matter of fact we do. Here" He clicks his fingers twice and a cloaked figure steps forward carrying in his hands a blue vase which I know to be an urn.
"Thank you." I turn to leave but feel a cold, slate like hand on my shoulder holding me back.
"This girl knows too much. She cannot go from here free. She may tell someone. I need to know she will either become one of us or get killed by one of us now."
I can't let that happen to Bella or to our family. I step forward and grasp his hand, quickly, I show him my thoughts, every special day with Jasper, every day at school, everything Esme or Carlisle has said, every vision I have had is know Aro's which means that the vision I had of Bella becoming one of us is also his now. I drop his hand after a minute or two.
"Happy? Can we go?"
"Yes, that was quite insightful. Do not forget to come and see us again. We might come and see you dear friends and see if you have kept your side of our bargain."
Back on the airplane back to Seattle, I ring Jasper off the pay phone off the back of the seat in front of me. He answers after the first ring which makes me think he's been waiting for me to ring since I rang him before. I put on a brave voice, Jasper can't know something is wrong until we get home; this is as much for his benefit as for Emmett's, Carlisle's and Esme's.
"Jasper, we will be landing in about 6 hours in SeaTac airport. Can you meet us there with just Carlisle and Esme? Promise me it will me just them two and you."
"I promise Alice, just them two. But what's ...."
"Jasper I can't talk now, just make sure you are there with just them two, in six hours. It's important. I love you."
"I love you too Alice" The phone goes dead.
I go back to watching the moving people on the movie but not really taking anything in. Bella's future has just changed and disappeared, just like Edwards I think I know what she's planning now and to be honest I wouldn't have thought anything different. I'll have to try and stop her when we're at home but by the look of her future I think she's already pretty set.
Why was Alice acting like that? Especially to me. My Alice? We've always been truthful to each other. Why just Carlisle and Esme, why not Rose and Emmett I'm sure they will want to welcome Edward back home? Why was she in such a protective mood, why did she sound so upset, she should be happy, shouldn't she?
"Carlisle? Esme?" I call not louder than a talked conversation between two friends, they could hear if they were anywhere close. Sure enough, here they come walking down the stairs.
"What is it Jasper?"
"Erm, do will you come for a walk with me? Now?"
They exchanged a guarded glance and Esme answered "Of Course." Ah, my loveable mother.
We run into the forest and keep running for about ten miles. That should be far enough for us not to be overheard. I turn to them standing a meter in front of me, waiting. "Well Alice just called. She told me that they were all on their way home; they will be landing in about 6 hours. But the thing is she sounded really odd, and she told us, just us, to meet them there. Not Em and Rose. I don't know what it means and I don't know if something's happened because she wouldn't tell me over the phone. It's got to be weird hasn't it?"
Carlisle and Esme are still standing patiently with the same air of worrying over someone that they do when one of us gets worked up. Carlisle walks forward and lays a hand on my shoulder. "Jasper, son, it doesn't mean anything out of the ordinary. It'll just mean that she doesn't want to be overheard on the plane, and I think that she will want you to be there for her and us two for Edward and Bella, we don't want to overwhelm them, do we?"
I knew I was overreacting, it was silly. I let Carlisle calm me down the way I always do, but deep down I had a nagging suspicion that all was not as it should be. Alice has never used the tone she used today, she's never been so guarded with me, we tell each other everything, why is today different?
We're at the airport now, just me, Carlisle and Esme like I promised Alice. We told Em and Rose to wait at home for us, we didn't want to overwhelm them and Edward may be a bit pissed with Rose so we would go alone. Esme and Carlisle are standing not far from where I am pacing, as I have been for nearly half an hour. The arrivals board says the flight from London, their exchange point, to here will arrive in about 10 minutes, only ten minutes until she's home.
That ten minutes was possibly one of the longest waits of my life, staring at the arrival board, all of the planes, arriving or delayed until the flight they're on flashes up "Arrived." I breathe out a sigh of relief and go over to where Esme and Carlisle are waiting just by the gate. We wait for about five minutes until a line of passengers file out of the door towards where we are standing. At last I see her, walking towards me. I can feel the emotional climate around me change, Esme sees them just after I do the emotion is one of the happiest I have ever come across, her children are home, but there's only two, Bella and Alice, the emotion radiating from Esme changes to alarm as she registers the two figures walking towards us, her emotions finally land on the point that me and Carlisle were already on, Panic, full scaled Panic, I mean I thought if Edward was not with them then he wouldn't be far behind, but the crowd is thinning. Where the hell is Edward? My parents panic is starting to get to me but staring back at my wife and new sister, I am unable to send out calm vibes to everyone by just looking at the two in front of me.
Alice is walking towards us holding Bella securely around the waist with two arms, it looks like Bella will fall and crumple if Alice's support wasn't keeping her up. Bella is dazed; she has glassy eyes, a ripping sobbing noise coming from her chest, bright red eyes, and a glazed wet face with no more tears able to be shed. She is registering nothing but shock and devastation. I look to Alice's face, she looks as if there would be tears streaming down her face if it was possible, she's trembling from her centre and sending out the same concentration of devastation that Bella was. The only thing that could make both Bella and Alice look like this is if something had happened to Edward.
Bella stagers into Esme's open arms and breaks down again. Alice turns to me and rushes into my arms and starts vibrating unceasingly with sobs. I look over my wife's head and see Esme hugging Bella, whispering words into her ears and smoothing her hair, with Carlisle looking up from Bella with a disturbed look to me. I just shrug back to him. I can't comprehend what is happening or what has already happened.
We need to get out of here and back home, so I grab Alice around the waist securely and pull her from the airport with Esme and Carlisle doing the same behind us to Bella. I stop at Carlisle's Mercedes and keep hold of Alice and wait for the others to catch up.
Esme comes out of the door, hurrying toward us, visibly shaken. "Alice, Where's Edward?"
Alice takes a couple of shuddering deep breaths trying to calm herself before looking at Carlisle and Esme and saying in a timid, faint voice; "I'm sorry Esme but he's gone. I had a vision of the guard" deep breath "..... Killing" deep breath "...... Edward because he threw a car across the town." I couldn't comprehend what Alice had just said; the power of those two words, "He's gone" could have knocked me back off my feet. Esme looks at Alice for a moment before registering that she did in fact say that and falls to the floor. Shaking uncontrollably, she can't seem to register that Edward, her first son, Edward is gone, neither can we. Carlisle looks at Alice with a distraught face, that I never seen on him before, and emotions before smoothing his face into nothingness that can't quite hide what he's feeling and soothes his fallen wife, he tries hard but he can't hide his emotions from me.
We get Esme, Alice and Bella into the car. Alice and I take the front, with me at the wheel, holding Alice close to my side to show I'm still here. Carlisle, Esme and Bella are in the back, Carlisle in the middle with his arms around both sobbing women trying with no avail to stop their emotions with his soothing manner and words. He tries so hard to end other people's suffering that his emotions are suffering themselves. We get home in little under half an hour and walk through the front door, where Emmett is wandering up and down, stomping his feet nervously and Rose is sitting by the back window staring at the front door. When Emmett and Rose comprehend that there is only 5 people in front of them not the six they were expecting, three of whom are sobbing and screaming and me and Carlisle whose emotions are wavering, their emotions move to misunderstanding, thinking the things that we were all thinking earlier.
Emmett stops pacing just in front of us, blinking his eyes stupidly as if they're tricking him somehow, not showing him the true image that is in front of his face. "Where's Edward?!"
I pull myself together for a moment while Rose creeps forward, I have to be the one to say it as I am in more control of my external emotions thanks to my gift, but my internal core is shaking and shattering to pieces. "Em, bro, he's dead."
"No, no. No, Edward can't be dead, Jasper why are you saying that. Don't kid me, man."
"Emmett, I'm not. Why would I joke?"
He stares at me for a while dumbfounded, then breaks down onto the floor, sobbing into the white carpet. He just can't comprehend that our brother, his favorite brother can be gone. Rosalie's sense of misunderstanding changes simultaneously to shame, shame for being the catalyst to his death.
This atmosphere can't be good for Bella, "Bella I think you should take a rest." I take her arm and pull her slowly up the stairs to mine and Jaspers suite on the second floor. She should be comfortable.
"Alice, I can't go on. I mean it, I'm set. Can you get Carlisle to get me something to make me sleep, please?"
I knew she was set but I still can't let her go without a fight. I walk slowly down the stairs feeling my entire weight shift towards my feet and walk through the living room to our unused kitchen. "Carlisle." I call through to the other room; he gets up slowly from his seat and walks through to where I'm standing. "Have you got anything that will help Bella sleep? I think it would be best for her." I can hear my voice shaking with what I am actually asking, a way to kill my best friend? He walks silently over to his hospital bag, picks up a cylindrical packet and handing it wordlessly to me and walking back out. I walk back through the living room and back to my suite where Bella is writing over a piece of paper on my desk.
"Bella. Please don't do this. I love you. Everybody else loves you. Esme - Carlisle think of them, they love you like their daughter. Em and Jasper, even Rosalie, we all love you; you are home here with us. You don't have to do this."
"Alice," she interrupts me without looking up from her writing, "there's nothing for me in this world without him. He died to get closer to me and we ended up even further away then we were before. I need to be with him, forever, and now we can."
"Can you hug Edward for me when you meet him?"
"I will, and can you read this to everybody in an hour's time? I'm going to write a letter to Charlie, Renee and Jacob, if I leave them here would you mind taking them?"
"Of course Bella, I'll do anything for you." I walk towards her and hug her tightly to my chest, I pull back and look into her chocolate brown eyes, looking into her soul and say with as much feeling as I can muster, "I love you, I'll always love you. I'll never forget you and I'll miss you forever. You were the best friend and best sister I could have ever wished for. I love you, so much. I hope you're happy, forever." I give her another long hug and kiss her cheek once, and turn to leave with her last thoughts implanted in my memory forever and on the piece of paper in my pocket.
After Alice has closed the door, I return to her desk and pick up three more pieces of paper. With a numbness spreading through me that I can't comprehend, I start to write my notes, the first to Charlie and making an identical copy to Renee;
I'm sorry, I can't do this anymore, I can't continue without Edward there's nothing for me to live for anymore. It's nobody's fault at all, not yours, you did all you could after Edward left me, this isn't the Cullen's fault, please don't think it is, it's mine, I just can't go on, Please never forget that I love you so much, I'm so sorry, I'll never forget you, never. Bells.
I set down those two pieces of paper and pick up the third, addressed this one to Jake and start to write;
Jake, I'm sorry. I know you tried everything to help me, even after you weren't allowed. Thank you for teaching me how to work on a bike, thank you for teaching me how to ride that bike, even though I wasn't very good. Thank you for helping me when I fell off that bike, thank you for killing Laurent, thank you for keeping Victoria away from me, thank you for saving me from the cliff, thank you for stitching up my emotional wounds and finally, thank you for being there for me. You were my sun, in my own personal hell, you shone through my days with your brilliant smile and good natured fun and kept me safe during the nights. I hope you're forever happy, I love you and I'll always love you. I just can't go on, there's nothing you could have done for me, Jake, not even keeping me from Italy, it was always going to happen like this, if not now, and then another time it was already written. Thank all of the other wolves for me; especially Sam for helping me on more than one occasion, Emily and Quil. Don't think this breaks the treaty too, there's things coming, and you and Cullen's have to stand together, they're good people, yes people, don't start anything with them. I'm so sorry to do this to you, just when you started your other thing. I'll never forget you, my sun, my teacher, my savior, my best friend, my Paris, my Jake. I Love You. Goodbye. Bella x
I put this letter in an envelope too, and place it with Charlie and Renee's letters on Alice's desk. That's all my loved ones, who will know how much I love them. I pick up a bubble-gum pink post it note from the stationary draw and stick it to my letter's for Alice;
Here are my letters. I'm Sorry Alice, I Love you so much forever. Bella x
I walk over to Alice's bed and sit down on the edge and pick up the packet of pills. It's funny when you watch people committing suicide in movies, when their whole life flashes across their eyes; the only thing that flashed across my mind was Edwards face. I know that he is who I want and where my future is heading. I unscrew the cap and tip out most of the contents into my hand and rest back against the pillows, put all the pills into my mouth and swallow. Edwards face, my safe haven, smiles gently to me as I drift.
It's been about half an hour since I left Bella; I need to see my baby sister. I know I can't bring her back but I don't care, it's for me, I walk slowly across the landing into my suite and look in. Bella is lying apparently asleep on my bed, her chest still rising slowly, it will be a while before the pills kick in, I move over to Jasper's side of our bed and lie down with Bella in my arms, holding her close to where my silent heart is gripping with pain, I hold her and sing to her, for the next half an hour, talking to her, stroking her hair, my beautiful baby sister is gone and not coming back to me, not ever, she'll always be with me though, in the special place in my heart that was always saved for her since she met my brother. The clock ticks 1 p.m. and I get up without jostling the bed, walk over to my desk and pick up the three letters and put them into my back pocket with our letter, walk around to my side of the bed and gently kiss Bella on each cheek and then her forehead before going to read her last thoughts to my heartbroken family downstairs.
I walk slowly down the stairs, and when I'm on the second off last step, Rose looks up from Emmett and asks, "Where's Bella?"
When I look at Rose, I notice the scene in my family's living room. Esme is sat on one of our couches, curled over the urn containing Edward's ashes and sobbing into it. Carlisle is sitting beside her with both arms wrapped around her hiding his face in her hair so his children cannot see his heartache. Jasper is crouched by the back window, staring into nothingness, I don't think he has the ability to change the atmosphere now due to what he's feeling inside. Emmett is sitting on one of our chairs, with his head in his hands, shaking and sobbing tearless sobs, with Rose comforting him from the arm of the chair where's she's perched.
"She's where she wants to be." I answer Rose.
A movement in my peripheral vision shows me that Carlisle has looked up from Esme; he looks into my face with a look of pure despair etched on his face. I've never seen that look on anyone's face not least Carlisle's, none of us have ever seen him lose control like this, but he's hiding his grief to help Esme who would be worse if she saw her mate suffering like he is.
"What you just let her?" Emmett asks incredulously from his hands.
"She doesn't want to live without him, Em..... She told me to read this to you all now." I answer picking out the letter and showing it around.
I open up the letter and start to read to everyone;
"Carlisle, thank you for everything. Thanks for teaching me about religion; I know now what you meant, thank you for helping me during my klutzy moments and being there for me in Phoenix. Thank you for the compassion you have shown in me over the years I've know your family. I Love You." Carlisle doesn't look up from Esme but I hear him mutter "I love you" back.
"Rosalie, thank you for putting up with me for the last couple of years. I know you didn't like me but I liked you like my sister and I'm sorry I put you through everything.
"Jasper, Thank you for everything you did for me. For Phoenix, helping me control my emotions in that time and for killing James. I don't blame you for anything that happened on my birthday, I know you couldn't help it and don't beat yourself up about it, I've never have blamed you for anything and I will never blame you for it." I look over to Jasper who's just looked back into the room with a sad smile on his face and he falls onto the floor in agony.
"Emmett, thank you for being the big bear of a brother I always wanted. I'm so happy I got to finally say that to you without any ramifications on my part. Thank you for letting me laugh along with you, thank you for laughing at me and teaching me to laugh at myself too.
"Esme, Thank you for being my mother in Forks. I'm sorry I took Edward away from you today, I'm sorry you'll never get to see him smile again or hear him play his piano, but I know he's still with all of you. Thank you for teaching me the true meaning of family and I now know that I found that meaning in all of you. I love you so much, and forever.
"And Alice, Thank you for being the big sister, I never got, Thank you for being a better friend for me than my human friends, the best friend I've ever had and ever will have. Thank you for the amount of time you invested in the shopping trips, trying to style me a bit better and making me laugh. Thank you for everything you did for me in Phoenix, Thank you for coming back for me when you saw me jump. Just thank you for being there for me since I met your brother. I've always loved you and always will love you and I'll never forget you.
"I'll miss you all. I'm sorry for putting you through this, all of this, with James and now with losing Edward, especially Esme and Carlisle, I can't put into words how sorry I am for that. I love you all. I'll be watching over all of you forever, with Edward. I'll give him a hug from everyone. Goodbye, Bella."
Throughout that whole letter Bella kept saying that it's only Edward we lost today. I wish I could tell her and get her to realize that we lost more than one beloved one today. Em, Jazz and I lost a loved sister, even Rose may have and Carlisle and Esme not only lost their most beloved son, they also lost their new daughter.