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Through The Open Door

Characters/Pairing: Cullens - canon pairings
Rating: PG-13
Category: Drama, AU
Spoilers:Includes content from all 4 books + Midnight Sun
Summary: It was just a normal, stressful day. That is, until this Twilight fan walked through a door and ended up in the Twilight-verse. What would you do, if you ended up in Bella's life - if everyone in Forks thought you were Chief Swan's daughter - if nobody, not even the Cullens, knew the difference? How do you live someone else's life when you know what's going to happen - or, at least, what should happen?

Summary: It was just a normal, stressful day. That is, until this Twilight fan walked through a door and ended up in the Twilight-verse. What would you do, if you ended up in Bella's life - if everyone in Forks thought you were Chief Swan's daughter - if nobody, not even the Cullens, knew the difference? How do you live someone else's life when you know what's going to happen - or, at least, what should happen?

3. Chapter 3

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2211   Review this Chapter

The final bell of the day rang and I followed the herd of other students out to the parking lot. My breath caught as my eyes focused in on Alice and Jasper, already standing by a shiny Volvo. Probably waiting for the rest of the group. And soon they’ll leave – go home. And then what do I do? I don’t even know where Bella lives. It’s not like the books had a freakin’ map in them!

My breath started to accelerate as panic set in again. I needed help. I needed to not feel so alone. I needed… Alice! Alice would help, wouldn’t she?

If Jasper doesn’t kill you first that small cynical voice echoed in my head. But I quickly shook that off. The desire to reach out to them was stronger than any possible fear that they wouldn’t accept me. Who knew, maybe Alice already knew about me and just wasn’t showing her hand.

With a deep breath and a silent wish that this would all work out, I took a small step closer to them. My eyes never leaving Alice’s face, I spread my hands in supplication and whispered in a breath so light that no one - no one but a Cullen - could possibly hear, “Alice?”

Her face didn’t turn from its original position. She stayed locked in conversation with Jasper, her body facing his. But I saw her eyes look in my direction. I could hear my heart thud out a stressful rhythm as everyone else in the parking lot seemed to fade from my vision.

“Alice,” I breathed again, “please -” My voice caught then as the panic overwhelmed me. I was terrified of what would happen if she pretended she hadn’t heard. How could I possibly live in a world with the Cullens and not be a part of them? It would be torture to be stuck in this life, watching from the outside, knowing of their family. Knowing the kind of happiness that Bella had found with them… The kind of happiness that I could, perhaps, find with them. I wouldn’t mind living someone else’s life if it meant I got to keep the Cullens.

I wish that had been my only concern: loosing them. But, that smaller voice in my head from before cautioned that the Cullens hadn’t liked Bella in the beginning. Jasper and Rosalie had wanted her dead and Alice had only chosen to side with Bella after having a vision of them together. What if Alice never had a vision like that about me? Would she side with Jasper then? And what about Edward. He’d hated Bella at first – he’d wanted to kill her himself once he smelled her. I’d avoided him thus far, but he could be here any minute. Was I sure he couldn’t hear my thoughts? Would my blood set him off the same way that Bella’s had? I didn’t know which answer to that question frightened me more.

“Please, I need your help,” I began again. And then my mind went blank with shock and my heart skipped a beat as Alice and Jasper halted their conversation and turned in my direction. “I-,” I whispered, but quickly stopped. I didn’t know what to say that would get them to listen. I didn’t want to scare them into running if they felt I threatened exposure.

“I know you. Please, I need your help.” I repeated my earlier plea. There was a long pause and then, poker face fully intact, Alice began walking slowly towards me. Jasper hesitated for less than a heartbeat and then followed closely behind her. Always the protector, I thought, as admiration and awe for these two swelled in me, despite my fears.

The feeling brought with it the realization that I should be worried as much about the feelings I was projecting as I was about the words I was saying. As they took the last handful of steps that would bring them within normal human speaking distance, I focused on feeling all the love, adoration, and respect I had for them. They always had been, after all, my favorite characters in the books. I eyed Jasper, trying to read if he felt the feelings of peace I was trying to push towards him.

If he did, he gave no indication. They both paused when they reached me, perhaps waiting for me to speak. And then Alice took the lead by asking in a polite, chipper tone, “You’re the new girl Bella Swan, aren’t you?”

I paused for an unnatural second as I tried to decide how to answer that. I didn’t want to lie to them. I didn’t want to play a role with them – I wanted to be me. Which was a good thing, I thought ruefully, since I could never be The Bella Swan anyways… even if I desperately wanted to be.

“Um… not exactly,” I replied. Alice’s eyebrows arched at that. Taking another deep breath, I spoke in a rush, “I know this is going to sound crazy, but I’m not really Bella. Somehow I got… placed, I guess, into her life. But it’s not me. I’m not her. I’m- I’m not even sure what happened but I just – I know you, ok? I can prove it to you! I know all about you guys – past and future. Please – I can prove it. Can we please just go somewhere and talk? I need help and I know you’re the only ones who will understand.”

I’d spoken all this in one quick breath, staring at my hands, too worried about their reaction to look them in the eyes as I sputtered insanely before them. Finally glancing up at Alice, I uttered one last “please, help me.” Then, I turned towards Jasper and, while concentrating on sending him vibes of honesty and peace and helplessness, looked him straight in the eye and said in a measured tone, “I am not an enemy.” Then, looking towards the ground, I muttered, “Please don’t be scared of me.”

The seconds ticked by as I stared at their feet. At least I knew they were still there. They hadn’t made a run for it. Yet. I had begun to convince myself that they were seconds away from bolting when I heard Alice’s chime voice again.

“Jasper and I were just getting ready to head home. Would you like to come along and visit our house? I think the rest of our family would be greatly interested in meeting you.”

A very calculated answer. It revealed nothing on their part – whether they thought I was crazy, whether they believed me, whether they planned to kill me once I got there… But, at least they weren’t running away from me.

I met Alice’s eyes then Jasper’s as relief washed over me. They were giving me a chance to explain. That was all I had ever thought to hope for. Tears welled in my eyes and I mentally scolded myself for being so overly emotional about all this. What must Jasper think! But, it had been undoubtedly the weirdest day in existence. I thought I more than deserved the ability to freak out a little.

Too choked up to trust my voice, I nodded to Alice enthusiastically. She smiled and they both started to turn back towards the Volvo as I followed. I noticed then that the rest of the Cullen siblings had arrived during our conversation and were staring at us from the other side of the car. Edward included. I blushed (in embarrassment or panic I had no idea) and stopped dead in my tracks. “Alice?” I asked timidly, “Should – should I ride with you or – um, I think I have a car here. I could follow you…” My voice trailed off as my head turned, scanning the parking lot. The cars had thinned a bit during our brief whispered conversation, so it didn’t take long for me to notice the only beat up looking red truck left in the parking lot. My goodness, it was massive. I gulped and looked back towards Alice.

“That’s probably a good idea,” she said slowly.

Yeah, I bet. A human stuck in a car full of vampires who had no reason to care for her was probably not the best idea. Especially a human they had already guessed knew too much.

I nodded and turned away towards the truck. It took a long minute for me to find the keys in the backpack that I had carried around all day like a life vest. I could feel the stares of the Cullens on my back as I fished around for them. Or at least, I imagined I could feel their stares. Finally, I climbed - literally climbed - into the truck and put the key in the ignition. The car roared to life as I turned the key, startling me even though I had anticipated the noise. My left hand gripped the steering wheel as my right hand reached behind it for the gear shift and… gripped nothing but air. I glanced at the steering wheel in confusion and then looked next to me to see if the gear shift was lower.

And then the knowledge I’d already known somewhere deep down clicked, and I was suddenly turning towards my window in a panic to look out at the Volvo that idled, waiting for me to pull out and follow it. “Alice,” I squeaked, “I don’t know how to drive a stick!” There were two windows and 20 feet of space separating us, but I knew she heard me. There was a pause and then the back door to the Volvo opened. But it wasn’t Alice as I’d expected. It was Rosalie. And she looked pissed.

I gulped as she walked towards my side of the car. The door opened and I stayed gapping at her like a fish.

“Well move over,” she said in an exasperated tone. She seemed to be seething with anger. I guessed it was because of having to stoop so low as to help some poor human drive her car.

Great. Nice first impression, I thought as I quickly scrambled to the other side of the car. She climbed – well, more like ascended – into the car and then we were backing out of the space and following behind the Volvo faster than I would have thought possible in this old truck.

We sat in silence as she drove. I wanted to talk to her, to try and smooth things over – to maybe get her partially on my side before I had to lay myself at the judgment of the group, but I had no idea how to begin. I had no idea how to talk to someone like Rosalie. And it wasn’t like I had any piece of good news I could tell her about the future, nor any happy memory I could recall to gain her acceptance. ‘I know you were raped’ isn’t exactly the best opener. So, I settled for the easy way to start and said, “Thanks. I know it’s pretty pathetic that I can’t even drive myself.”

Self deprecation seemed a good way to begin with Rosalie. I probably should have followed by complimenting her in some way, but I hadn’t the slightest idea how to do that without it sounding contrived. She didn’t respond or give any acknowledgement that she’d heard me. Oh well. I tried to focus on planning what I would say to the group. Again, the hardest part was figuring out where to begin and then how much to tell. Did I run through all the books? Tell them everything? Were there some things they shouldn’t know?

I glanced at Rosalie as a fresh thought occurred. Yes, there could be some things that I shouldn’t disclose right away. For instance, Rosalie wanted to be a human more than anything. Why? Because she had wanted a child. But I knew that Rosalie could have a child, or at least Emmett could, if they wanted to. And Rosalie would want that very much. I wasn’t quite sure how much, but a part of me worried that it might be enough not to seek a willing surrogate. And Emmett would do what Rosalie wanted him to do.

I felt colder at the thought. There were definitely some things I should keep to myself, at least for now.

The engine cut off abruptly and Rosalie quickly exited the car before I had a chance to register that we had stopped. I glanced around me in surprise. We were here already. The Cullen house loomed a few feet from my door, more impressive than I’d imagined it would be. The rest of the Cullen siblings were already filing through the front door. I noted that they did so at a human pace, Rosalie “rushing” to join them. Still keeping up pretenses, I thought with a sigh. Only Alice waited by the front door, looking expectantly towards me. I took a deep breath and then stepped out of the car.

I really hoped someone in there ended up liking me because, if not, I was completely screwed.