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Through The Open Door

Summary:
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?


Notes:
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?


9. Chapter 9

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2657   Review this Chapter

Alice stayed true to her word, arriving early in the morning to drive me to school in her flashy car. At her insistence, I sat with the Cullens at lunch as the entire cafeteria stared at me in horror-struck awe. I remained relatively quiet throughout the meal, avoiding eye contact with Rosalie, as Alice chattered on continuously. Rosalie seemed content to pretend I didn’t exist, which suited me just fine until she got over her anger towards me. I wondered if I’d be old and gray before that happened and then shuddered at the thought of growing old here.

After a seemingly endless day of boring classes - biology, unsurprisingly, being no exception with Edward absent - Alice drove me to the Cullen home again, a mischievous grin on her face. Watching her as we turned onto the drive that would lead to the house, I finally asked, “What are you up to?”

“Hm?,” she asked in an innocent tone that didn’t fool me for a second.

“You. You look like you swallowed a canary. What’s going on?”

She laughed at that and said, “Oh nothing,” flapping her hand at me placatingly.

“Right,” I said with an unladylike snort.

“Oh fine, if you really must ruin the surprise. We have visitors. And they want to meet you!”

“Charlotte and Peter?,” I asked, startled. I hadn’t thought they would arrive so soon.

“You’ll see,” Alice responded in a sing-song voice as we pulled into the garage. As we walked inside, Alice all but shoved me towards the living room, where I could hear the abrupt cutoff of a murmured conversation.

Steeling myself, I rounded the corner and entered the room before Alice had the chance to force me. If I was going to meet a batch of non-vegetarian vamps, I didn’t want their first impression of me to be as a cowering girl-child. Better to greet them head-on – eyes sharp and chin in the air – hopefully conveying the message that, even if the Cullens weren’t around to protect me, I was a snack not worth the trouble I could cause.

Ok, so there was actually no way I was going to cause these visitors to quake in their boots at the sight of me. But, maybe my cool demeanor could at least convince them I would cause indigestion or something.

All pretense was forgotten, however, when I entered the living room and noticed, not two unknown faces, but five! And not simply a man and a woman as I had expected, but a man and four women, golden eyes all trained on me. For a brief moment, I stared at them dumbfounded, wondering who they were and then recognition fluttered in the back of my mind: the Denalis had come to visit.

Well, that does it, I thought, we are definitely off script now. I don’t even remember the Denalis being MENTIONED in the Twilight book…Oh crap, butterfly effect much?

I was debating whether to try and address them all by name (I wasn’t sure I remembered the character descriptions well enough to be 100% right) when the strawberry blond spoke up. “So this is your newest fortune teller, Carlisle?” Her tone was full of lighthearted skepticism and sarcasm. I knew I should probably bristle at the challenge in her voice, but instead a slow grin spread across my face as her attitude sparked recognition in me.

“Hi Tanya,” I said as my grin broke into a shy smile.

“Alice told you,” the girl with a short blond cut accused. As I began to shake my head no, Alice chimed in from my side that she hadn’t spoiled the surprise.

The longer-haired blond in the group looped over to my side with an open smile. “Aw, come on girls. Give her a break. I’m Kate,” she said with a small wave to me. Returning the greeting with a renewed smile, I finally noticed a sixth unexpected visitor. At the very back of the living room, hovering so far away he was practically in the kitchen, stood Edward. Jasper and Emmett stood casually in front of him, having blocked my view of him at first. They looked relaxed and casual, but the way everyone but them continued to shift around me pointed to the obvious: they were there as blockers incase Edward lost control again.

After Kate’s introduction, the rest of the family took turns with their introductions, Carmen giving me a light hug as Eleazar stared at me openly. I tried my best to focus on meeting this new extension of the family, but my eyes continued to invariably shift back towards Edward no matter how hard I tried to ignore his presence.

Always one to get to the point, after all the introductions were finished, I couldn’t help spitting out, “So, I bet you want to know what I know about your futures.”

“I know that’s why I came,” Kate said with a smile.

“Oh please,” Tanya said with an eye roll. “You don’t even know if she’s legit Kate. She probably can’t tell you anything a dime-store fortune teller couldn’t.”

“Actually,” Carlisle said, coming to my defense, “as I mentioned on the phone when I spoke to Kate before you all came down here, she has proven herself to us more than enough. We believe that her story, which I relayed to you, is true and trust her as we do all the other members of our family.”

“If you don’t want to hear what she has to say, you can always leave Tanya,” Alice said, stepping between Tanya and me.

I expected Tanya to get even more defensive and snotty at this, much like a certain blond Cullen I knew who shall remain nameless. However, she simply shrugged and, uncrossing her arms from her chest, said, “Alright, what’s our destiny, Fortune Cookie?”

I gave a smile in response, liking the way she’d handled Carlisle’s and Alice’s comments. You gotta love a girl who doesn’t sulk. “Well, Tanya, I don’t actually know too much about your future. All I really know is that you aren’t going to find your soulmate in the next three years, but you will find them eventually. I’m afraid I don’t really have anything to tell Carmen and Eleazar either. Sorry,” I said, looking at them apologetically.

Turning to Irina, I continued. “I do, however, have a warning for you.” I paused then, waiting to see if she wanted to hear what I had to say, having been mostly silent so far. She gave a slight nod so I continued. “You may end up meeting a vampire named Laurent. Hot accented and red eyed, he’ll charm you. He’ll say he’s intrigued by your lifestyle and attempt to try it for himself. Not long afterwards, you’ll fall in love with him. Don’t. He’ll betray you and your family. While you might think you’d found your soulmate, he would only see you as an infatuation. Don’t trust him! Don’t let him into your life. All he’ll bring is pain… I’m sorry I don’t have better news.”

Slowly, I turned from Irina to Kate. “You, I have better news for, if you’d like to hear it.”

Bring it on, she gestured.

You do find your soulmate.” And with that simple sentence, dawn broke across her face. Echoing her broad smile, I continued. “His name is Garrett. He has long sandy-brown hair and he was turned during the revolutionary war. When you first meet him, he’ll be intrigued by your powers.” She nodded, seeming to concentrate on every word I said - committing them to memory no doubt. “When he asks to test out your powers, knock him on his ass,” I said and she laughed.

“He’s an adventurer and you’ll be the adventure of his lifetime,” I finished, enjoying how happy she looked at my news. She was almost glowing with excitement.

Finally, unable to contain my curiosity any longer, I turned back to Eleazar and said, “Now I have a question for you.” He hadn’t stopped scrutinizing me since our introductions, so I already thought I knew my answer, but I had to hear what he would say. “Am I a shield,” I asked, spreading my arms out from my body in supplication.

Eleazar blinked in surprise at my question, as Carlisle murmured, “A shield?”

“Oh come now Carlisle,” Eleazar lightly scolded, eyes never leaving mine, “you must remember Renata. And do you remember Gisele? Ah, no, I suppose she was before your time… Anyhow, Aro has always coveted shields. He sent me scouring the earth searching for them. I never did come across any who seem to be as powerful as this child.” When I bristled at his use of the word ‘child’ he gave a nod of apology and corrected himself, “This young woman seems to be blocking me even now… I can’t quite tell the extent of her powers. However, that very fact proves that they must be extraordinary. Do you know much about what you can do,” he asked me.

I gave a shrug. “I’m not entirely sure. I know Edward and Aro can’t hear my thoughts. And other mental powers, like Jane’s, won’t affect me. But, Alice and Jasper’s powers can. I know that, as a vampire, Kate can’t hurt me and I can prevent powers like hers from affecting other people… I’m not really sure if I’m that strong as a human though.” I met Kate’s eyes and saw the eagerness and curiosity I was feeling to test her out, reflected back at me. Grinning mischievously, I took a step towards her saying, “come on Kate, wanna try it out?”

She was already reaching for my hand as numerous resounding “NO!”s echoed through the room. From the corner of my eye, I saw five people move towards us, as if ready to snatch me away from Kate, should she try to touch me. Kate hesitated, her hand poised two inches from mine, as we took in the reaction of those around us.

Carlisle and Esme I’d expected to protest such a reckless experiment. Carmen was a nice surprise. I was moved that she cared after having just met me. Jasper was a bit shocking as well, but once I thought about it, I was more touched than surprised. The real surprise, the one that made my jaw drop and froze me mid-step though, was Edward. He’d dashed right past Jasper and Emmett (who hadn’t moved an inch, probably just as curious as I was to see what would happen) and stood hovering a few feet from us, hand outstretched. A perfect statue of that slow motion “nooooooooooooo” moment you see in movies. As I continued to stare at him, dumbfounded, he retracted his hand and leaned away from me. The room was still as everyone waited to see how he would react next.

I had just enough time to speculate as to whether he’d continue to act all protective or brush it off, formulating likely explanations he would give, when he abruptly turned on his heels and marched purposefully out of the living room without a word, towards the back of the house. Carlisle’s brow furrowed as we all watched Edward go. Finally I shrugged and turned my attention to Alice. She hadn’t been one of the ones who had shouted or reacted when Kate had reached for me earlier and I was interested to see her reaction now. She looked at me when I turned to her and shrugged as well, nodding encouragingly for me to continue with Kate.

Grinning, I grabbed Kate’s hand before anyone had a chance to interrupt and felt… nothing. Well, not nothing, but not pain either. Actually, the only difference I noted was a slight tingling in my scalp. My forehead was scrunching in confusion at that when I heard Alice’s tinkling laugh. Whipping my head around to her, I felt my hair shift weirdly. As I reached up with my free hand to pull my hair around so I could get a better look, I heard a guffaw from Jasper, which he tried to cover up with a cough as my eyes flashed to him. And then I realized what had everyone around me trying to hold back their laughter. My hair stood on end like someone had been rubbing a balloon all over it for the last hour.

Static electricity. My arch nemesis since I was old enough to care about my appearance.

“Ah man!,” I whined, finally letting go of Kate and trying to smooth down my hair. At my exclamation, most who had been politely trying to withhold their amusement let out a chorus of laughter. “Alice,” I accused, turning towards her.

“Hey, you wanted to know,” she responded with another laugh. My pout only made her laugh harder. “Come on,” she said, taking pity on me and steering me out of the living room, down the back hallway, and through another sitting room of some sort. “Here, just wet it down a little bit, run a comb through, and you’ll be fine,” she said, leaving me at the door to a bathroom stocked with more toiletries and accessories than I could ever imagine the Cullens using.

It took a good ten minutes, but I finally managed to get my hair lying back flat against my head. Grumbling about looking like a troll doll, I left the bathroom and was about to head back the way Alice had brought me, when I heard two hushed voices conversing around the opposite corner. I paused, wondering who it was that had snuck away from the rest of the family to talk.

“She seems legit to me Edward,” I heard Kate murmur in the other room. At his disdainful snort she asked, “Don’t you think so? She seems to honestly want to help you – all of us. And she’s obviously won everyone else over – Rosalie doesn’t count,” she added before he could interject that Rosalie was definitely not enjoying my company.

“That’s just it,” Edward responded in a growl. “She just showed up out of the blue one day and expected to be part of the family.”

“It’s not much different from how Alice joined you,” Kate argued.

“She is nothing like Alice,” Edward responded coldly.

“Well, I like her,” Kate said matter-of-factly.

I was surprised to hear Rosalie’s voice then, not having realized she was even in the house. “She’s only being nice to you, telling you what you want to hear, to make herself seem useful so that we’ll help and protect her.” There was a pause and then she added, “She’s nothing more than a parasite.” Then Rosalie came around the corner, head held high, mouth tight and eyes focused straight ahead, already giving me a wide berth as if she’d known all along that I was standing there.

The rational part of my brain that was used to fighting against such paranoid thoughts began assuring me that wasn’t the case, but then stopped – here, the odds were in favor of everyone in this house knowing my exact location, be it from sight, smell, or sound. Here, my paranoia was downright rational.

This thought was confirmed as Kate rounded the corner herself, leaving Edward behind, eyes already trained on my face. “Don’t worry,” she murmured, giving me a light hug around the shoulders, “they’ll come around… And if they don’t,” she added with a wicked grin, holding her far palm up and letting the electricity grow in waves, “then I’ll make them.”

The breath I’d been holding since hearing Edward’s voice escaped in a chuckle and she gave my shoulder another squeeze. With that, she steered me back to the living room, where I was quickly surrounded by smiling faces, regaled with humorous tales of Tanya’s latest conquests, and embraced by the members of my new family. Edward was nowhere in sight.