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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


7. Worrisome Love

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2878   Review this Chapter

I wasn't really aware of my surroundings as we walked back to the house—all I could feel was Edward's hand in mine, all I could see was his white skin reflecting the sunlight, and all I could hear was his steady breathing and his nimble footsteps.

And then there was all that I couldn't see or hear around me. Whenever I closed my eyes I saw Renesmee staring back at me, scared and alone, and each time it drove another dagger through my already unbeating heart. It was as if I had a wall that ran crossways through my mind, and the two people I loved most in the world lived on either side of it, making it impossible to reconcile the desire and the loss. Somewhere along the way I had forgotten that Edward was part of Renesmee's life too.

Those thoughts continued to swirl in my head as we slowly approached our home. After some confusion we'd settled into a brisk jog—neither of us wanted to face the rest of the family, but at the same time we felt Renesmee's minutes slipping away and couldn't bear the thought of just walking.

Because of this slow speed it took us a while to get back. The sunlight was already dimming when we finally reached the perimeter of our house, its reddish glow preparing for sunset, and for a swift second I imagined how romantic it would be without all the worries looming over us all the time. It was funny how happiness seemed to go hand-in-hand with misery.

Once the house finally came into view—looking ironically peaceful with its creamy colors and large windows—Edward suddenly stopped and squeezed my hand so tightly that it should have crushed the bones. I twirled around to see what was wrong.

Edward had heavy shadows under his eyes and cheekbones. For the first time ever I realized how much he looked like a vampire—a real one, the kind you only see in horror movies. I wondered if I looked like that.

"What's wrong?" I asked him uneasily, worried that he'd changed his mind about returning home. Edward simply gazed out towards the house with pitch-black eyes. No, not pitch-black—when I looked closer I saw that his irises were pools swirling with emotion. They were black ink.

Eventually, Edward shook his head and continued walking across the lawn wordlessly.

"Nothing," he said. "I was just… no, it was nothing."

I pursed my lips. Since when was he the one keeping secrets?

"Tell me, Edward. I can see something's wrong."

Edward turned his head to the side to look at me but didn't stop. His hand was still crushing mine.

"I'm nervous, that's all," he stated and turned his gaze away. Was it just me or did I hear some embarrassment in his voice?

"It's okay, you know," I told him. "I'm nervous too. It's normal."

"Not for me," Edward immediately countered, startling me with the fierceness of his voice. He was still refusing to look at me. "I never used to be nervous—not even when I returned home after my years of rebellion. Of course I felt remorse and shame, but never nervousness. It's just not the way I work. What use is it to feel nervous about something if it's going to happen anyway? But now, ever since I met you—" Edward's jaw muscles tightened. "—ever since I met you, nervousness seems to be my second nature. All I do is worry all the time! About you getting hurt, about you running off with someone, about our honeymoon going wrong, about Renesmee… Nothing but worries, worries, and worries!"

I forced him to stop by halting. For a fleet second his eyes passed over me—I believe unintentionally—before he averted his gaze to the trees again. Feeling my stomach twist sickeningly, I strode in front of him and tried to get him to look at me.

"Edward, look at me," I demanded. Edward turned his eyes to me hesitantly, his irises still molten metal. "Worrying is not a bad thing. It just means that you care. It's just part of loving someone, and you shouldn't try to push the feeling away, but cope with it. Worrying is a sign of a loving heart." I patted his chest, thankfully noting that it was no longer completely tensed.

"It's a sign of weakness," Edward sighed. He brought our clasped hands to his nose and inhaled my scent. He closed his eyes.

"It's funny how the person I love more than my existence is also the person who has brought me the most pain," he concluded in a softer tone.

I dropped my gaze to the floor and mumbled, "I'm sorry."

"Don't be sorry." Edward's hand reached for my cheek and brought my gaze back up. Although filled with dark humor, his eyes were gentle once again. I felt my heart melt.

Edward smiled at me. "Besides, I'm sure I've brought you more pain than you could ever bring me."

I nodded—it was true. The few last years of my life included both the most beautiful and most ghastly memories of my entire life. Love had brought me joy and pain.

"That's what makes life worthwhile," I whispered. Edward's smile widened.

"Let's get inside."

We dropped our joint hands again and made our way to the front door at walking pace. Strangely, I felt more peaceful now than before Edward had thrown his fit. Maybe I'd sensed his dark shadows and was relieved to have them out in the open.

Edward stepped to the front door first. Throwing a short smile at me, he pushed it open.

The living room was dark and stuffy. It took me off guard—I was used to seeing the Cullen household in nothing but light, fresh colors, and now everything looked dusty and in need of a thorough cleaning. Both of our lips dropped gradually into grimaces as Edward lead me deeper inside, leaving the door open to give the living room a breath of fresh air.

The heavy silence was broken by a cry from upstairs.

"Edward!"

A pair of feet shuffled down the many stairs, and soon Esme's figure appeared at the top of the staircase. Her face looked even more drained than before and she was still wearing that awful, baggy pullover, but her eyes held a glimmer of light in them and her mouth was a gentle smile. She walked down the rest of the stairs more slowly and took Edward into her arms.

"I'm so glad you're all right," she breathed out against Edward's shoulder. Edward was impassive at first, but finally wrapped his arms around his mother too and returned the hug.

"We're both fine, Mum," he said gently. I was happy to hear the affection in his voice.

They let go of each other and Esme proceeded to embrace me. She whispered a thanks in my ear while squeezing me with all her might. I wondered if I could ever be as unconditionally loving as she was.

"What happened here?" I asked her, gesturing towards the sinister room where the bad mood was still clearly tangible.

Esme's smile vanished from her lips. "Rosalie had a little argument with Carlisle. She and Emmett have gone to their room."

It didn't help my own apprehension to feel Edward tense up again at the mention of his father's name. I grabbed his hand and squeezed it, reminding him of his promise and the reason he was here.

Esme noticed his reaction as well.

"He feels terrible," she told him quietly, pleading with her eyes. "Please try to understand his side. His whole family is angry at him—"

"For a reason," Edward countered harshly. His eyes were ink again.

"He had his reasons too," Esme reminded him. "You know that better than any of us."

"His reasoning is idealistic and full of holes. And to top it all, he is too much of a coward to fix his mistakes personally."

"Edward!" Esme exclaimed, her eyes sorrowful and earnest. "Carlisle wanted to seek you out himself, but I thought it would be better to let someone else talk to you first. But if you want to talk to him you can go to his study, or he can come down here and—"

"I don't want to talk to him," Edward replied. He turned away from Esme and took my hand again. "But I do need to have a word with Rosalie and Emmett. They are upstairs in their room, you said?"

"Edward, please," Esme implored.

Edward turned her down with an icy gaze. "I don't want to talk to him."

Esme looked at me with a desperate expression that seemed to be a plea for help. I simply shook my head—there was nothing I could say that would change Edward's mind when he was this determined.

She closed her eyes but nodded understandingly.

"Very well," she said wearily, "you don't have to talk to him. Emmett and Rosalie are still in their room, you should find them there."

Edward pushed passed her—pulling me with him—and walked halfway up the stairs, when he suddenly halted and turned around again, his eyes warm and loving again. Letting go of my hand, he darting back down, took Esme in his arms, and gave her a peck on the cheek.

"I love you, Mum," he whispered. "We're not going anywhere."

Esme nodded. "I know that, Edward. I love you too. I'm glad you're back." She lifted her head and looked up at me. "You too, Bella."

"Thanks, Esme—" I started and realized my mistake a second too late. "—I mean, Mum."

She beamed up at me, and I managed a genuine smile. Edward joined me at the stairs again and took my hand, his face and eyes golden once again.

***

"My God, Edward, you actually came back," Rosalie mocked him. "We all thought you were gone for good."

"Glad to see you too, sister," Edward grumbled, but met Emmett's high-five with more enthusiasm than I thought he could manage. Emmett, on the other hand, was giving it less enthusiasm than I'd expected.

"Man, we really are happy," he said sincerely. His usually boyish face looked oddly old, like it belonged to an old man. Maybe it was the missing smile that deformed it so.

I held back against the wall. It wasn't often that I still felt like an outsider with the Cullens, but now I felt as though I was intruding on an intimate family moment that I had no business to witness. I wondered if I'd always feel this way. Would even a century be enough to make up for the decades that I'd missed? Their bonds were knit together so tightly…

It didn't help that Rosalie seemed to be completely ignoring me again. My only consolation was that she wasn't paying much attention to Edward either—she was just cuddled up in a corner of her huge bed, her arms wrapped tightly over her chest, and her high cheekbones even more emphasized than usual by her starved appearance. Her hair was bound into a messy bun on the top of her head and she was tensing the muscles in her jaws strangely—she didn't look ugly, of course, because there was not a single chance that anything would mutilate her enough to make her ugly, but there was little left of the brilliant beauty that was able to stun whole football teams by just walking by. Emmett cast worried glances at her every now and then. He didn't look much healthier.

"Bella," he said, pulling me out of my reverie. "Thanks for coming."

I nodded. I'd never felt so small beside Emmett before.

Thankfully, Emmett seemed to understand that I wasn't in the talking mood. He nodded and patted my shoulder reassuringly—except that instead of reassuring me, the gesture made me feel like crying all over again. I had to hold my breath to keep from giving it away.

Edward seemed to sense my unease and came to stand beside me, pulling me tightly against his chest. After assessing me to make sure I was all right, he looked over at Rosalie.

"Self-pity isn't what we need right now, Rosalie," He said softly.

Rosalie's head shot up. "Don't be a hypocrite. I'm not the one who disappeared into a forest for three days!" she hissed, her eyes looking like dark, endless caves.

Edward furrowed his brow and pulled me tighter against him. "Please, Rosalie. I know we've had our differences, but this is Renesmee's life we're talking about here."

Although Rosalie looked like she wanted to snap something back, she held her mouth and looked away.

"Thank you, Rosalie," Edward continued. He gestured something to Emmett with his eyes, who instantly flew to Rosalie's side to hug her. Rosalie let go of her own chest and embraced her husband instead.

"Bella, Esme, and I all think it would be most effective to start where Renesmee and Jacob were last seen—at the clearing," Edward explained. There was not a hint of emotion in his voice—he sounded like lawyer who was reading something from a law book. "They're sure to have left some tracks in the vegetation that we can follow. Then, once we reach civilization, we can find out if anyone has noticed them. Jacob would probably prefer to stay in his wolf form—" Edward glanced at me. "—but as I understand, Bella made some arrangements beforehand that might affect their path?"

I swallowed my swell of emotions and nodded. "Yes. I provided Renesmee with a fake passport and flight tickets to Rio." I hesitated. "It… was Alice's idea."

Emmett and Rosalie both startled. "Alice?"

"Yes." I glimpsed at Edward to make sure I wasn't saying anything I wasn't supposed to.

He nodded. "Alice must have seen the outcome of the battle, but couldn't bear to leave without somehow notifying us of it first. So she helped Bella get Renesmee into safety, because Bella is the only one of us who is able to keep a secret. We owe her a lot."

"But why didn't she stop all this from happening?" Rosalie cried. "She could have told us that we had no hope. We could have all fled together!"

"I don't know," Edward answered, but something about the way the shadows moved in his eyes made me suspect that he was holding back something.

Rosalie scoffed. "A fine family I have here."

"Rose," Emmett reproached her, caressing Rosalie's arm. She bit down on her lip and shook her head.

I walked around Edward—who looked at me questioningly—and kneeled on the floor beside Rosalie. Her shallow, black eyes stared at me discordantly.

"Rose, I never thanked you for everything you did for Renesmee and me. It truly means the world to us. And trust me—I know how forlorn you feel right now. I'm not any better. But if we want to find Renesmee we have to pull ourselves together and reign in our emotions and accusations. You're strong—I know you can do that."

From behind her shoulder, Emmett smiled at me, but Rosalie just continued to stare at me icily without saying a word. After a few seconds she finally replied.

"If I had to kill you to save her, I would," she simply stated and turned her head away.

For a few moments I froze on the floor and was unable to answer. Edward strode to my side and pulled me up, a growl building in his chest and his eyes furiously glaring at his sister. Emmett's jaw dropped open.

But when I regained my senses, I pushed Edward away and cut off his growl. "Don't. I understand."

Both Edward and Emmett looked at me with raised eyebrows, doubting my words. But I really did understand Rosalie. Even though she was being cynical and cruel, I saw through her façade, and instead saw in her a disappointed foster mother whose child had been taken away by the real parents. How could I only be so selfish? Why hadn't I seen the impossible hope that I'd given her again by having Renesmee? If I'd had any sense in me, I would have kept far, far away from her. But instead I'd begged for her help. I had made her like this.

"Sorry, Rose," I whispered and covered my face with Edward's pullover. He hugged me tightly and stroked my back, clearly confused. Once again I was glad Edward couldn't read my mind—he would have argued against my deduction.

Rosalie looked at me judgingly for a few moments, and then sighed.

"We have to get a move on it. Is Esme helping us?"

"Yes," Edward answered and took my hand, leading me to the door. His strides were suddenly full of determination.

"And what about Carlisle?" Emmett inquired. I shot him a frantic glare.

It was too late. Both Edward and Rosalie froze and stiffened, looking like a piece of food had gotten stuck in their throats.

"I don't know anything about him," Edward muttered and made his exit, his stride now angry instead of determined. Rosalie and Emmett followed close behind, the former pounding down the hallway like a steam engine. I exchanged a short, desperate look with Emmett, and hurried after.