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Morning Dew

Summary:
Did the battle scene at the end of Breaking Dawn leave you feeling cheated?
Were you expecting an epic fight and some well-deserved suffering?
Did Bella's perfect happiness get on your nerves? This is my alternate ending to Breaking Dawn.


Notes:
I don't know about you, but Breaking Dawn severely diminished my excitement about Twilight. I just didn't like the book much. The characters were all totally off, the plot was not well thought-through, and the writing made my eyes water. When the book finally advanced to the battle scene, I was exultant -- I thought that the story would finally take the right turn and amend for all the confusion from the beginning. But then nothing happened. SM later called it "strategy"... but I seriously see no connection between what happened in BD and The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare. So I decided to test the waters myself, and see if I could do any better. That being said, I would like to remind you of two things: a) I am not an author. I know I'm not better than SM. I'm just a sixteen-year-old venting her frustration.
b) I don't mean to offend anyone who liked BD. Everyone's entitled to an own opinion. You can still enjoy this story if you did :) The story kicks off right where the Volturi are deciding whether or not to attack. Until then everything stays as it is -- if you need to refresh your memory, feel free to check Breaking Dawn (I had to do that quite a lot, especially in the beginning. I hope there are no contradictions. If you find any, however, please let me know). The italics in the beginning are straight from the book. Beta'ed by TRDancer from fanfiction.net


5. Entries and Exits

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2592   Review this Chapter

"May I come in, Bella?"

Startled by the voice, I jumped up. I felt like I had been dragged out of a hole in time and felt the minutes weighing down on me again like boulders, heavy and unrelenting. How many days had passed? One? Ten?

"Bella?" the voice inquired. Someone tapped gently on the bolted door.

"Just one sec," I answered, surprised that I could make a sound, and strained to get up. The room was dimly lit so everything looked like shadows, but the light was still enough for my vampire eyes to see. For a moment I contemplated drawing back the curtains to let some sunshine into the room, but finally decided I couldn't face it. Sunshine was too happy.

I slipped off the bed onto the floor—flinching at the tiny thump it made—and steadied myself. I couldn't believe that I was feeling like this. This faintness was what I'd expected to feel as a human and never again as a vampire, and yet something was clouding my vision and weakening my knees.

Once I let my ears focus on their surroundings for the first time since I'd locked myself in my room, I heard a soft breathing from the other side of the door. Someone was still patiently waiting for me to open it.

I made my way slowly across the dark room, jumping over some inanimate objects on the floor. Books, I realized. Books and broken vases.

It took me just a second to open the bolt, and only that long because I hesitated. I wasn't sure that I wanted to talk to anyone at the moment.

I let the door spring open. Shielding my eyes from the light in the hallway, I saw Esme waiting for me on the other side with a sincere look on her face.

"Bella," she sighed, sounding almost relieved. I attempted a weak smile and failed.

"May I come in?" she asked again softly with a sad smile. I realized that I was blocking the doorway and reluctantly stepped to the side.

As soon as Esme was in, I shut the door again. The hallway lights were too bright and cheerful for my mood, and the sounds that came from the downstairs living room were upsetting—people arguing and people sobbing.

Esme sat on the bed and looked at me in a way that demanded nothing. I decided then that if I had to let one person into my room, she was the best option. But there was something off about her too—Esme's usually kind expression was one of sadness now, and her posture was as limp as the thick black pullover she was wearing.

She looked over me unhappily, making me feel slightly self-conscious. I realized I was still wearing the heavy blanket that Edward had wrapped around my shoulders, but even though I was sure it made me look like a homeless person, I didn't have the heart to drop it.

"Bella," Esme said quietly, "are you all right?"

I shrugged. "Not really."

Esme looked at me understandingly. She put her arms around her chest and hugged herself. "Nobody is fine right now."

I nodded. After all, what could I say to a statement like that? Especially since it was mostly my fault that nobody was fine.

"Carlisle especially is very miserable," Esme continued. I instantly knew what she was hinting at—in fact, I'd known it even before she'd entered the room. I looked down at the floor and started counting the floorboards.

"Bella," Esme sighed again and stood up. With one stride she was in front of me, hugging me against her chest. I tensed at first, but soon her warmth was enough to make me melt into her affection. I leaned against her chest and buried my face into her clothes, still holding on to that heavy blanket for dear life with both my hands.

"We'll think of something," Esme assured me. "There's not a place in the world they could go that would make them lost forever. We'll turn over every stone if the need be."

I nodded again. The words would have helped, had I not known that I'd wished precisely this to happen—for them to go underground forever, eternally out of everyone's reach. It was so cruelly ironic.

"But we have to do this as a family," Esme asserted.

I squeezed my eyes tightly shut and tried to drown in the flood of my emotions. "I know," I whispered. "I know, but I can't."

"Shhh, Bella. It's okay. I know how you feel, and believe me—one day you'll notice that you can. It just takes some time."

I simply shook my head. There was no way I was ever recovering from this. It was all too much for anyone to bear.

Esme loosened her grip a little to look me in the face. Her expression had suddenly shifted into one of desperation, the complete opposite of what she was trying to talk into me. The sides of her lips were hanging down.

"Please, Bella, could you try to talk to him?" she pleaded with me forlornly. "Carlisle hasn't smiled in days. He just sits in his office without doing anything—not reading, not talking, hardly even breathing. When I try to get him to get out he just says that he should stay there and wait."

"Wait… for Edward?" I asked meekly, unable to imagine what Esme was describing to me. Carlisle wasn't the type of person to lose his head. It was improbable that anything could have affected him this way.

"Yes," Esme whispered. She drew her arms back to hug herself again. "I've never seen him like this, so… traumatized. And over everything else, he feels guilty and torn between his two sides. He knows that you have every reason in the world to hate him, and yet he wouldn't change what he's done. He stands behind his decision."

I tried to suppress the burst of anger that inflamed inside of me, but it was no use—I couldn't deny that there was a part of me that was angry with Carlisle. Part of me would never understand why he would let a serious threat run free, why he had ruined Renesmee's chances of survival. But a far bigger part of me had already forgiven him, as I had no energy left to hate.

"I've tried looking for Edward, but he keeps avoiding me," Esme continued, looking at the window drapes as if she could see right through them. "He's loitering in the woods doing God-knows-what. I'm just grateful he's here at all."

"In the woods?" I was surprised. I'd thought that he'd left for good. He'd said he would…

"Yes," Esme responded. "But like I said, he won't listen to any of us."

"I can't help you," I told her sadly, pulling the blanket closer to myself. It was difficult to take in that despite everything we'd said to each other, Edward was still so close. All this time I had thought of him as lost forever, just like Renesmee.

Esme remained persisting. "He admires you. There's not a person in the world he would listen to more. If you could just—"

"He won't listen to me." I shook my head and tried to erase any thoughts of dashing into the woods right there and then. "Not any more than Carlisle is listening to you right now. He's shut me completely out."

Esme's brows furrowed. And then, as if perceiving her surroundings for the first time, she looked around and noticed the disheveled state of my room. The shelf of CDs was still knocked over and its contents spread across the floor—hundreds of irreplaceable classics that were no doubt in useless shatters now. Our clothes were scattered all over the place, some completely torn or ripped in two. Esme's eyes widened at the sight.

"What happened here?" she asked unevenly.

I closed my eyes only to find the images staring back at me more strongly than before—the images of Edward yelling at me and throwing furniture across the room, and of my own hands doing the same and my own voice screaming back. I opened my eyes again quickly before it had time to get any worse.

Esme was looking at my curiously, waiting for an answer. "We had an argument," I explained shakily.

Hell of an argument, anyone else would have said, but of course Esme couldn't be that bold. She simply glanced around herself again and shook her head.

Suddenly, the desire to tell her everything overwhelmed me. I fell into her arms again and hugged her closer than I ever had before, letting the blanket drop to the floor. Esme was startled at first, but was soon hugging me back with equal ferocity. "We've never fought like this before," I whispered. "He was—he was furious. And in a way, I was too. Or I wasn't really furious at him, but furious at life in general, and he just happened to be there and I had to scream at someone…"

Esme patted me on the shoulder, slowing my erratic talking down. "Start from the beginning, Bella. I can't follow you."

I drew in a deep breath and started again. "When we came home from the—the battle, we didn't say a word. But we were still pretty much normal—he was hugging me, and we were consoling each other… the way it's supposed to be, you know?

"But after a while Edward started talking, and not about kind things. He talked about… murder and revenge." I fought against the images in my mind, the images of a cold and stone-hard Edward proclaiming death to everyone who'd ever stood in his way. "I was shocked. He'd never been so fierce before, or so hateful. He said he'd kill Carlisle."

Esme gasped and pulled away. Her eyes were like whirlpools, swirling with confusion. I suddenly regretted having told her of Edward's mad state.

I hurried to continue. "At first I thought he was only very angry and he'd get over it soon, but when he wouldn't stop I started contradicting him. I said that we couldn't find Renesmee if we only murdered everyone else in our family. Then he said I was a coward if I didn't want to protect my child in any way I could. He said I was just like Carlisle. So I got angry too and started screaming back at him, saying that he was acting like a monster…"

I clamped my mouth shut before I got to the worst part—the part where I'd just stopped doing anything at all and he'd come to me with a remorseful expression, and how I'd just blocked him out instead of trying to talk it over. He'd wrapped the blanket around me and kissed me on the forehead, saying that he was sorry and that he would fix it. And what had I done? Ignored him.

By hindsight, I realized that I should have stopped him right then. Maybe if I'd made him stay just long enough to talk I could have shaken both of us back into our senses.

But I'd just let him go.

"Bella," Esme said, sounding out of breath. "He was only talking when he said he'd hurt Carlisle, right?"

I looked at her. She was hugging herself again and standing as still as a statue, a reaction that I'd come to notice was similar to that of humans trembling.

"I don't know," I admitted, although every rational part of me was screaming in protest. I knew Edward, and he would never, ever hurt Carlisle no matter what came between them. But then again, I'd hardly known the murderous Edward who had started yelling at me.

"I'm sure he was. Edward would never do such a thing," Esme declared, clearly trying to convince herself more than me. She looked at the curtained window again and seemed to get lost in thought.

"The situation is worse than I thought," she finally said without looking at me. "But there has got to be something we can do. We have to stop Edward before he does anything that he'll regret. If we want to find Renesmee and Jacob we'll need his mind-reading—maybe they've left a trail in people's thoughts. We'll have to work as a team… a family."

A family. I gulped. The overwhelming fear for my daughter washed over me again, numbing all other emotion. I knew I couldn't wait out eternity like this, and that I couldn't rest until I had her securely in my arms again—but I couldn't find her on my own.

The image of the sweet Edward who'd come to kiss me at the end of our fight filled my mind again. He'd clearly forgiven me—maybe, just maybe, he was capable of listening to me if I tried again. This time I would avoid the mistake of heating up. This time I would know what I was facing.

"Esme," I said wearily, "I'll try to talk to him. Maybe he's calmed down. I can't—we can't continue like this. We're all behaving like little children."

My mother looked at me and smiled a tiny smile. She let her hands drop from her sides to grip mine. "Thank you, Bella," she replied. "We owe you."

I shook my head. "You don't owe me anything." In fact, I didn't think I could ever pay them back.

Esme smiled for one last time and left, thankfully closing the door behind her again. I was once again alone in the darkness, caught between my misery and my knowledge of what I had to do next. The thought of sulking in my room forever was tempting, but I knew I couldn't do it. Not when my daughter was in danger of others, and my husband in danger of himself.

I forced my legs to move to the curtained window. The light was bright enough to overcome the thick material so I knew the sun still had to be shining. What irony—the sun was shining in Forks on the one day I wished it wouldn't. I didn't want to see the rainbows dancing on my skin.

Unsurely, I pushed one curtain slightly to the side. Instantly a bright beam of light entered through the crack and reflected off my skin, send another beam to the wall. I winced with the light—the sun was so much brighter than the artificial lights in our hallway. So much happier.

After giving myself a few seconds to get used to it, I pulled the other curtain completely aside. I now had a clear view of our backyard and the forest that stretched out behind it. My nerves tingled at the thought that Edward was hiding somewhere beneath that copious canopy.

As I didn't want to face anyone else today, I decided to avoid using the front door. After all, the Cullens had always used the windows as entries or exits just as much as the doors. My only fear was that somebody would be looking right outside the living room window when I jumped—I didn't want to see anyone.

Pushing the window pane to the side, I took a deep breath of the musky outdoor air. It could have just been my imagination, but I thought I could smell a little bit of Edward in it—a bit of sunshine and moonlight mixed together. The wind blew into my face and seemed to carry the dirt away. For some odd reason, I felt like smiling.

And then I jumped.