Moonlights and Sunrises
The gang survives an unspeakable tragedy and are left wondering, how will they cope? What secrets will emerge? And how do they keep on living? Be warned, for adults only and dark themes. (AU/AH Do not read if offended by death, rape, torture... etc)
1. Little Bit of Time to Clear My Head
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Little Bit of Time to Clear My Head
The sound of the gunshot silenced the room for only a moment. Children screamed and cried as a gentle mist of scarlet drops rained down on them.
The deafening scream pulled me from the nightmare. It took me a minute to realize that I was the one screaming. I was able to stop my screaming but it was only replaced by unrelenting sobs. I didn’t even try to hide it when my door burst open. It was only going to be Jake. It was his night. Charlie allowed him to move in shortly after the incident, with the condition that he stayed on the couch. At first Charlie had refused but after two sleepless weeks he finally agreed with Jacob, I needed a babysitter. I guess he thought it would be easier if I was never alone. But that is just about all I wanted.
I felt strong arms wrap themselves protectively around me. I folded myself into my fiance, letting him envelope me in comfort. "Do you want to talk about it?" Jacob asked me, his voice still rough from the sudden awakening. I pulled myself away from him, sitting up in the bed we shared. My sobs had stopped as the anger boiled inside of me. "Bella, it’s been over a month. You’re going to have to talk about it sometime."
I glared at him, knowing that he couldn’t see it in the dark but it still made me feel a little better. "No, I don’t," I spoke with finality. And that was going to be the end of it. I got out of bed and quickly started clothes on.
We had been having this same argument for weeks. He keeps pushing me. Pushing me to talk to him. Pushing me to return my life to normal. But I know without a doubt that my life will never be normal again. And he wasn’t willing to accept that. But to him the benefit of the doubt he didn’t have a clue. He had no idea what it was like. And I want to keep it that way.
"Bella, please," he whined. "Come back to bed. We’ll deal with this later."
"No," I refused, slipping into a comfortable pair of jeans. "We will not deal with this later. We will not deal with this ever. When are you going to get that?" I had never been able to sound this mean before but I was glad that I could now. He wants me to talk to him. To tell him all about those three days. But I can’t. All he wants is to know. And all I want to do is forget.
"Bella," he called after me again but I ignored him, threw a sweatshirt on and flew out the door with nothing more than the keys to my truck. I needed to get away. I needed to get out.
It was a process. I was put through hell for three days. The next three days was spent in the hospital being harassed by doctors, police officers, detectives, you name it. Then, I spent the first week lying on the couch in a sort of a daze. I don’t know if the TV was on. I don’t know who came and went. I don’t even remember eating. But slowly that slipped away. The week after, everything finally caught up with me and I cried. I cried everyday almost all day. After two weeks my family started to worry I could see it in their faces and hear it in their voices as they talked about me right in front of me like I wasn’t even there. So the following week I reassumed some sort of a life. I got off the couch and wandered around the house. I ate and I showered and I tried to move on. But the moment I thought that I was getting my life back to normal I would break down and spend the next hour crying until there was nothing left. And these past few weeks, to anyone who didn’t know me would say that things were finally back to normal. But that’s not the case. I’m still a mess. I just chose not to let everyone see that.
I drove the truck around hardly paying attention to where I was going. But I should have known where I would end up. It was the last place I wanted to be. But I had been driving there everyday for the past week. I wanted to get my life back. I kept trying. But my feet would never allow me to get out of the truck. I took the keys out of the ignition as I looked at the building. From the outside, it looked the same. Through the window I could see a fresh coat of paint, a necessity to silence the walls from telling the grizzly tale. And I’m sure that a new security system had been put in place. All the windows and doors were replaced with the new safety measures. But even with all of that, I still couldn’t get out of the truck. I rested my head against the steering wheel, trying to keep myself from crying. A soft knock on my window forced me to look up, my eyes bloodshot and wide with fear. "Jesus Christ!" I shouted, looking at a familiar face. "You scared the shit of me. Never do that again," I screamed, rolling down my window.
Jasper smiled and forced a laugh. "I’m sorry," he drawled. "I didn’t mean to scare you." There was a long pause as we both looked away uncomfortably. "I thought I saw your truck through the window. It’s good to see you."
"Yeah," I breathed softly. It was the first time I had seen someone from those days since the incident. It brought back a lot of painful memories. "You too."
"Your hair looks good short. I like it." He kept the talk light and cheery.
"Thanks," I nodded. I looked down and found myself holding the steering wheel so tightly that my knuckles were white.
There was another long pause. "You coming back to work?"
"No," I shook my head quickly. "I’m not ready. Not even close," I scoff.
"Alice misses you. She says it’s just not the same without you."
"Yeah, she jumped right back in as soon as the doctors cleared her."
I sucked in my bottom lip and chewed on it nervously. "Good for her. And good for you." I paused not knowing where I should take the conversation. "I know that it couldn't have been very easy."
"It’s alright," he stopped me. "It’s not easy but it gets a little easier everyday."
The tears threatened to fall again. "I am so sorry," my voice cracked as I spoke.
Jasper laughed to keep his tears at bay. "None of it was your fault."
"Bella," His voice was strong. "It wasn’t your job. You did your job." He shook his head and looked away. "If it weren’t for you… everything you did… everything that happened to you…" his voice trailed off weakly. "You did what you could."
"It wasn’t en-"
"You did what you could." His voice was stern. She could tell that was the end of the topic.
"So what are you doing here?" She welcomed the change of subject.
"It’s time to pick up the pieces and get back in there." He nodded, his voice finally returning to normal. "There is a lot of work that still needs to be done. Carlisle and Esme have been freaking out. They got everything you can imagine in there now to insure that nothing like that can ever happen again. They’re keeping me busy."
I paused and stared at him. He’s amazing. I wished that I could have that same kind of courage that everyone else seemed to have. "How? How can you possibly go back there?"
"The past is the past. Nothing is going to change what happened. I’m never going to forget it. So I might as well just face it. Maybe that will help ease the pain a little."
Again I wanted a change of topic. Jasper may be ready, but I still wasn’t. "So how is everyone?"
"Okay." Jasper nodded. "Things are rough but we’re all getting there." He sucked in his bottom lip. "Look, we’ve all been meeting once a week for dinner. I think it would be good for you. We miss you."
"I know. It’s just…I don’t know." I sighed. "I’ve had this terrible flu." I rubbed her stomach for effect.
"It’s just dinner with friends, Bella. Promise me that you’ll think about it." I nodded when I saw the look on his face. "And promise that you’ll call me. I’d like to hear from you."
"Okay." I nodded again. "Look Jazz, I’ve got to go," I rushed the words. "I’m not feeling well."
"Yeah." Jasper chuckled. "You still look like hell. But promise ok. I would really like to see you there."
"Yeah." I nodded. "I’ll try." I raced home and quickly locked myself in the bathroom. After violently vomiting, I stepped into the shower and prayed that all the water would wash away my memories.
"Why is it that Friday is always the longest day?" I sighed, resting my head on Alice’s shoulder for a spilt second before getting back to my feet again.
"Because these parents know that they have to spend the whole weekend with their children so they want to have as much time to themselves as possible on Friday," she explained. "Plus, if this child belonged to you, would you ever want to come back?" She grimaced as she picked up the screaming infant.
"Be nice," I rolled my eyes handing her a bottle for him. "He’s not so bad when you’re not starving him."
"It’s just barely been over four hours," she whined.
I rolled by eyes. "Yeah, but he eats every three hours. And you get awful cranky too when you haven’t eaten."
"I know, what do you think all this popcorn is for?" She said, throwing another handful in her mouth.
"How is it that you can eat all day and not gain a pound?"
"Jealous?" She raised an eyebrow teasing me.
"Very much so," I said looking up at the clock. 4:50, in about ten minutes Carson, our screamer, will be going home and so will I. I did a quick check of the children's daily sheets and groaned, time for another round of diaper changes. The door opened and I did a little happy dance on the inside, but it was a little premature it was only Alice's brother, Edward. He didn't walk all the way into the room, men are always too scared to get close to the babies, so he stayed in our small entranceway and only watched us.
"What brings you here?" Alice asked, looking up at her brother.
He shrugged casually. "Tanya called and said she was running late and needed me to pick up Raena for her."
"Ooh, he's already playing daddy," Alice teased.
"Of course I am." He rolled his eyes. "Do you think I plan on marrying her without associating with her daughter?"
"How are the wedding plans going?" I asked joining the conversation.
He took in a deep breath. "Is there something about women that make them go absolutely crazy when they are planning a wedding? Like completely bat shit crazy."
Alice giggled softly. "Bella is the wrong woman to ask that to. She is being far to casual about her wedding. I've had to forcibly drag her out of her house and make her try on dresses. I think she'd be perfectly content to let me take over her wedding plans."
"I would if you wouldn't go overboard with them," I offered.
"Oh, Bella," she sighed. "You only get married once. Or at least that is the hope. So why not go all out and enjoy it a little?" I eyed her suspiciously. "Please, please, please let me help you?" she begged. "Emmett's already married and Rosalie was a major bridezilla. Edward is getting married and Tanya is the bridezilla from hell. And I don't think Jasper is too keen on the idea of marriage at all. So this might be my only chance to create the fairy tale wedding."
"See," Edward interjected. "Bat shit crazy. And she's not even getting married. It's just the thought of weddings drive most women crazy. What I wouldn't kill for Tanya to just ask me to drive away to Vegas and just get it over with."
"I couldn't agree more," I said.
"And let the record state that I will kill you if you do that to me. That goes for both of you. You are not denying me a wedding." Her brown eyes narrowed as she tried to force us into submission.
"I'm going to have to have a talk with Jazz," Edward said, finally breaking into laughter. "He needs to get his ass in gear and pop the question already. All this waiting around is making you even more crazy than you already are, sis."
"Don't scare him away!" Alice shouted. "But a little friendly encouragement might be nice." She shrugged and smiled sheepishly. "We've been together for two years and it's really throwing off my plan."
"Good luck with that," Edward interrupted. "You can't plan life, Ali. Like this, I'm sure you had big plans for the night." She nodded. "Well, mom sent me in to tell you that she forgot about dad's conference tonight and she needs you to close."
"Why me?" she whined. "Can't someone else do it?"
"I'm just the messenger." He shrugged, leaning against the side of the wall.
"What about Emmett? Why doesn't he ever have to close?" Alice whined.
Edward laughed. "Would you trust Emmett?"
"Very true," Alice agreed. "What about you?" she said with a huge innocent smile. "Please," she added for good measure.
"Nice try, sis. But I'm not in the family business. The thought of even having the smallest chance of changing a diaper just disgusts me."
"You know as soon as you and Tanya finally tie the knot mom is going to be expecting babies. She hasn't stopped harassing Emmett. And I'm surprised she hasn't started on you yet."
Edward shrugs. "Yeah, yeah, yeah," Edward laughed it off. "Maybe someday. I think my own wouldn't be so bad. But having to..." he grimaces as I lay an infant on the changing table. "God, Bella," he cries. "How can you do that? It smells awful."
I shrug and laugh. Typical man. There is something in their DNA that just prevents them from being able to deal with children. And the younger the child the more awkward they are. "You get used to it."
"I don't think it's possible to get used to that. That is not normal. Get out of here while you still can. There are much better career choices than ass wiper or snot cleaner," he frowned as he stared at Carson who was still screaming, snot running from his nose and right into his mouth. I shrugged and wiped it clean with a tissue.
"You forgot about-" Alice was interrupted as the infant she was in the process of burping spit up on her pants. "the vomit," she added with a sigh. "I can't wait until mom retires and I can take over all the administrative duties."
"And leave me all alone?" I teased, picking up another infant and carrying her to the changing table. I had just unfastened her diaper when I heard a scream from the hallway. And another second later the door opened and I looked up to find a man dressed in black holding a gun to the back of Edward's head. "No one moves," he demanded.
"Bella," Jacob said through the bathroom door. "You have a call." Jacob slipped the phone through the door and left me alone.
"Hello," I greeted the caller.
"Hey. Sorry about before," I apologized. "This flu is really kicking my ass."
"Is it really just the flu?" Jasper pushed.
I sighed heavily. Why does he always have to be so damn perceptive. "What else would it be?"
"I’ve heard, you’ve been ignoring everyone. Could this flu just be your excuse?"
"I haven’t been ignoring," I protested with a shake of my head as if he could somehow see me and interpret that as being strong and indignant. "Things have been crazy. Me and Jake are working on the wedding and it’s just been a crazy time for me."
"It’s been crazy for everyone, Bella." Jasper sighed heavily. "I don’t want to lecture you or anything. I know it was hard in there. But we promised that we would stick together and…"
"I know. I’m sorry." I sniffed.
"Edward left you a message."
I sucked in my bottom lip. "I know. I got it."
There was a long pause on the other end of the phone. "We decided that dinner is tonight. In an hour. We hope that you’ll come."
"I’ll try," I said just above a whisper.
"Please," Jasper pleaded.
"Yeah," I agreed, licking my lips nervously. "I’ll be there." I hung up and threw myself back onto the bed. I covered my face in my hands and inhaled deeply, trying to gather enough strength to get myself through the night.