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Story Notes:

This is the companion piece to my first fic, “Regret”. Not as intense but still sad. Not sure where that comes from - I am a happy and well-adjusted person in my normal life. Really. I think I should put these two together and call them the “Sturm und Drang” series. Happy to know what you think.

 

DISCLAIMER: These characters remain on temporary loan to me from the fabulous Stephenie Meyer.

 

Twilighted Beta: shabbyapple 


 

What Alice Saw

by amble63

“You won’t stop me.”

It wasn’t a plea, not a “don’t try to stop me”.

 

It wasn’t defiant, not a “you can’t stop me”.

 

It was a simple statement of fact.

 

I know, she thought quietly, staring at the ground.

 

Why would she even try? When she knew how she felt, her pain on the verge of unbearable. Yet it was infinitesimal compared to his.

There was nothing, not one thing that any of them could do for him. Not even her Jasper. So…no. She would not stop him. None of them would.

 

* * * * * * *

 

Only a day and a half ago she, Rose, and Esme had been in Seattle, picking up their dresses. Only a day and a half ago, the world still made sense. Birds still sang bright songs, flowers still blossomed, beauty still meant something.

 

She had just finished trying on her dress. As she shimmied out of the silvery folds, she felt more than a little self-satisfied. She had chosen well. The dress struck just the right balance: she looked brilliant but not so brilliant as to upstage the bride. She passed the dress over the dressing room door to the clerk and had just slipped back into her jeans and blouse when the vision came to her, without any forewarning, as these things did.

 

The force of it staggered her.

 

She was watching one hand on top of the other, pushing up and down rhythmically on a chest, the tempo being counted out silently.

The tempo slowed slightly as the paramedic’s gaze flicked to the patient’s face.

 

Oh god.

 

Her face. Her face. Heart-shaped, even more pale than usual, framed by long, straight dark hair.

At that moment, the paramedic realized nothing was served by further chest compressions. With that, everything fell into place.

She saw it all in a terrible crystalline clarity that her visions usually lacked. The future mapped out in a series of snapshots, each one more horrifying than the one preceding it.

 

Her own collapse into Jasper’s arms as he hurried into the admissions area at Forks Community Hospital with Edward, Emmett, and Carlisle.

 

Charlie slumped in a chair a few feet away, his face ashen and drawn.

 

Aro’s head cocked to one side, a quizzical expression on his face, as he listened to Carlisle on the phone telling him he no longer needed to make the drive from Seattle to Forks.

 

Edward, motionless, holding Bella’s hand in what had to be the morgue, his eyes, his face. . . empty.

 

Edward slipping into the Volvo and heading towards the highway as pink, orange, and gold streaks licked at the sky.

 

Edward striding purposefully out the doors of Westlake Center and into the middle of the plaza. Throngs of tourists mixing with the office workers escaping their cubicles for an early lunch outdoors on a sunny August day, all gasping and gaping at the sight of this shirtless. . .vision, this bronze-haired . . . god, head thrown back, eyes closed, face turned up to the sun, arms outstretched . . .glittering.

 

Oh. . .no. Tentacles of agony wound all around and through her.

 

Slowly, the world reasserted itself around her. She was crumpled in the corner of the dressing room. Rosalie’s hands were on her shoulders, shaking her, her face inches away, worried and imploring

Alice! Please. . .say something. What is it? Are you alright?”

 

“It will never be right.” she whispered brokenly.

 

* * * * * * * *

 

Faster than any human eye could track, she, Rose and Esme were back in their car and racing back to Forks. Why they hurried, she wasn’t sure. The vision had been so clear, so well-defined, so real, that she knew the future was set.

 

They were only minutes from Forks when Carlisle called. He confirmed what she somehow viscerally knew – that Edward had seen everything she had. It was amazing really, given the miles separating them. Or perhaps not, the force of her grief being what it had been, what it still was. It had been real enough for him. Jasper and Emmett had found him slumped against the carcass of his prey, catatonic. Emmett had slung him over his back and fairly flew back to the Jeep. Even now, according to Carlisle, Edward did not move, did not speak. She would have wept for him if she could.

 

* * * * * * *

 

Even as he brushed past her in the hospital admissions area, even as she collapsed into Jasper, she could see the tiniest spark of hope in his eyes. She ached for him, knowing the cruelty of that hope.

 

* * * * * * *

 

Esme, Rose, and Emmett had left the hospital hours ago. There were plans to cancel, notifications to be made. Jasper had gently suggested to her that they should leave as well. After all, what was there for them to do? She shook her head. As long as Edward stayed, she would be stay too. Even if there was nothing for her to do she would be there. Even if he was aware of nothing other than the icy hand cradled in his, she would be there, for him. So they remained, her tiny frame curled up in Jasper's lap in a hard hospital chair.

 

Jasper sent a tentative tendril of calm towards her.

 

“Don’t” she hissed sharply, glaring up at him. “I don’t want to feel better. How can I honor her if I don’t feel her loss?” Her voice caught on that last bitter word.

 

Jasper sighed his frustration but she had already stopped paying attention to him and turned her efforts elsewhere.

 

 

You’re not alone. She knew he heard her. She knew he didn’t care.

 

* * * * * * *

 

 

Eventually Jasper left, reluctant but unwilling to do anything other than her bidding. She remained in that hard chair for as many hours as Edward remained in the morgue, ignoring the curious stares of the hospital staff who wondered how she could sit there so immobile for so long.

 

It was early in the morning, the morning of his supposed to have been wedding, when he finally walked past her on his way to the parking lot. She jumped up and flitted after him, catching up to him just outside the hospital doors. Idly she noticed the rusty smear just below his jaw. Bear blood. In their haste to make him presentable on the frantic drive back to Forks, Carlisle and Jasper had, amazingly for them, been less thorough than required. Such had been their distraction.

 

She knew what was coming. She had seen it. It didn’t make it any easier to bear.

 

“You won’t stop me.”

 

I know, she thought quietly, staring at the ground.

 

His tone softened. “Love you, Alice. Love you all.” he whispered.

 

She just nodded, biting her lower lip, still staring down.

 

 

I know why you’re doing this. I understand. But you know I’d give anything to have you change your mind. She wouldn’t want you to. . .

 

 

He cupped her chin in his hand, smiled a crooked smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes and kissed her on the forehead. She drank in every detail of his face, knowing she would never see it again. She squeezed her eyes shut for a moment, then opened them as he turned away from her and walked out to the parking lot.

 

Pink, orange and gold danced across the skies as the sun continued to climb into the sky. She would have to get home soon.

Edward!

He didn’t turn, didn’t pause even.

 

Her mind wandered unwillingly to the last of the snapshots: the Cullen household, still subdued, still without real joy though it had been a hundred years since the loss of their son and brother, Edward, their daughter and sister, Bella. It seemed that he slowed just a little at that. Or maybe it was her wishful thinking.

 

She watched him walk into the parking lot, slip into the Volvo, and head towards the highway. He would be in Seattle well before noon.

Chapter End Notes:

okay, that's it. No more sad stuff for me. If I write anything else, I promise it will be fluffy. Or smutty. Constructive criticism always welcome.

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