songforevela (songforevela) wrote,
songforevela
songforevela

Turning Back (8/?)

Title: Turning Back (8/?)
Author: songforevela
Rating: M for sexual content
Genre:
Drama, Romance, Angst (heavy on the angst)
Characters/Pairings:
Edward/Bella, other canon pairings, the Pack (minus Jacob)
Short summary:
Our lives never remain normal for long. My blood can turn vampires back to their human selves, and I live in a house with six vampires now facing a choice they never expected to make.
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns them. I just write them into difficult situations, and see how they react.

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Being carried through the forest on Alice's back is a hundred times more frightening than riding on Edward's ever was. Edward could run faster, but what Alice lacks in speed she makes up for in daredevil shortcuts and flying leaps. She soars over fallen trees, launching us off their trunks like a gazelle, defying the theory that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points. Somehow this gets her where she wants to go.

The first time I ran through the woods on Edward's back, I felt sick. The first time on Alice's back, I feel like a sick form of death that has no business breathing.

"Sorry, Bella," Alice mumbles as she emerges from the tree line, gently lowering me to the floor at the edge of the clearing. I crumple into a fetal position. "My hours like this are numbered. I thought I should take advantage of running while I can," she explains, trying to make amends by picking some stray twigs out of my hair.

"You think your hours are numbered. You might as well just let the Volturi take me now," I barely manage through tight lips, shut in an effort to keep dinner from making a reappearance. My eyes are closed, but the memory of trees turning into night sky as we leapt over that last down log will forever be etched into my retinas.

"You should have closed your eyes," she chastises.

"Yeah, you think I would have learned that by now."

I try to breathe deeply with my cheek pressed against the cool grass, grasping for a bit of stillness in the spinning of my head and pounding of my ears. The werewolves will be at the clearing soon, ready to hear our plan and decide if they are willing to help us, and I'd like to be at least semi-coherent by then. Although she's silent, I know Alice is still kneeling by my head, occasionally finding another leaf buried somewhere in my messy curls.

She's taking this very well, I think.

Everyone is taking it well considering one day is down and there are two more to go until the Volturi make their appearance. We spent the first day finalizing our plan to not get killed. There were heated words, hurt feelings, fear, but ultimately enough love to agree to a plan that will keep our family together, and ultimately, if we are together and alive in some form, that's what matters.

I start to hear other noises in the clearing, and I crack an eye open just in time to see Edward dropping down from Emmett's back, the two brothers laughing and animated.

"Look at those two," Alice frowns. "You'd think life as we know it isn't about to change forever."

"No kidding," I mutter, "Although I'd take this over the no-talking policy of the past weeks any day. Perhaps the Volturi are a blessing in disguise." I say sarcastically.

"I don't think I'd go that far."

Edward begins scanning the edge of the clearing for me, a look of concern wiping away his smile as he finally finds me still curled up on the ground.

"Bella?" He jogs over to me and kneels next to my curled form, softly brushing my forehead with his fingertips. "Are you going to be sick? Alice is a little spastic with the running."

"I'm a little better actually," I say, surprised at how quickly my head has cleared. "How was your run?"

He shrugs as he begins helping me to my feet. "A little slow."

"Hey, watch it there, weakling," Emmett calls from the middle of the clearing. "I can still take you."

"Yeah, well, not for long," Edward teases back.

"You boys are awfully chipper," Alice grumbles as the three of us start walking towards the center of the clearing, Edward's arm secured around my waist.

Unsure of the right words, I stay silent. During the last 24 hours, it has been heartbreaking to watch Alice wrestle with her decision whether or not to become human. Everyone will be giving up something of the life they know, but none more than Alice, it seems.

"Alice, I'm sorry. Truly, I am," Edward says gravely, all traces of humor gone from his voice. "I know this is hard. I wish I could somehow convince you that nothing fundamental about you will change. You'll still be the Alice we know and love."

"Of course she will." Jaspers hoarse whisper startles me. I didn't hear him approach our small group from behind. He pulls Alice into a deep hug, the tension in her back visibly evaporating as Jasper's arms wind around her waist.

"Jasper...but I can't see..." Her eyes are pinched shut against his chest. "How do you know?" she whispers so softly I can barely hear her pained voice.

"I know. I won't lose you, I promise."

I look at Edward, trying to tell him with my eyes that we should give them some space. He nods and pulls me further into the clearing to meet the rest of our family already assembled there. As we walk, he pulls me closer, pressing his lips into my hair.

"I love you," he whispers.

I look up into his face and am surprised to see deep worry lines etched into his forehead. I stop walking and reach up to touch them. "What is it?"

He shakes his head, trying to distract my concern. "It's nothing..."

I open my mouth to protest, but Edward quickly leans in to kiss me, winding his free hand into my hair. He sweetly kisses my lips, his lazy, slow passion leaving me just as weak as when fire burns between us. Leaving my mouth, he trails kisses across my face, ending on the soft skin of my eye lids. His eyes glimmer with moisture as he finally pulls away.

"I will give you your normal life back," he says fiercely, quietly.

"Wh...What?" I sputter. "Is that what you're worried about?"

Edward eyes me skeptically. "You can pretend to not miss the normal life we've had these past weeks, but I won't believe you," he says softly.

Again, I open my mouth to speak, but he silences me with a finger against my lips. "I know you were ready to leave your normal life behind to be with me, Bella, but after seeing how happy you've been, I am never letting you give up that life again. I will fight to keep it for you, for us."

He brushes the finger that was used to silence me across my lips, burning his eyes into mine.

I swallow a lump in my throat. This talk of fighting scares me. "I can't deny that I've been happy, Edward, but I've been happy because I'm building a life with you."

Edward pulls me back into his arms, and kisses the top of my head, allowing his lips to linger there. "I know. I feel the same. There are moments, though, that I never even allowed myself to imagine because their absence was too painful, and now, it's too painful to imagine letting them go."

"Like what?" I venture, curious.

I can feel him smile against my hair. "Waking up next to you every morning, making love to you," he says, his voice husky and breathless as his mouth moves closer to my ear. "Feeling your pregnant belly swell...I don't think I'll be able to keep my hands off you..."

My heart starts to beat wildly, and I'm simultaneously aroused and panicked by his answer. "Edward, I haven't even gone to college. Children...Jesus, someday, but I...that's..."

He smiles fully as he pulls back to look at me. "I'm not saying let's have them this second, but someday, I'd like to start a family with you, if that's something you want."

"Sure, ok." My voice raises an octave as I get us walking again. "That just seems so far away. Let's get past the Volturi first, and then we can talk about kids."

"Deal," he smiles. "I just want you to know," he says seriously, taking my hand firmly in his, "Aro will not take this life away from you."

As sweet as Edward's intentions are, something in his voice fills me with dread, and I shiver.
________________________

We join the rest of the Cullens in the clearing, waiting for Sam and the others to join us. In the past, Edward would have been able to warn us of their approach, but now we wait, dependent on the family's acute hearing to signal the arrival of the Quileutes.

The vampires are poised and ready for the meeting, bodies tense, in a line facing the woods where the pack is expected to emerge. Edward and I linger a little behind our family's formation. The werewolves don't yet know what has happened to Edward, what I'm capable of. Wary to give Sam a lot of details over the phone, Carlisle had simply said we were in need of the pack's help, and the treaty was no longer in danger of being breached. When Carlisle explained that it would be necessary for the pack to meet as humans, since Edward would not be able to act as their translator, we had almost lost our chance to speak with them, but with a little pleading from Carlisle, and hints of an imminent threat that would endanger everyone in Forks, Sam had agreed to hear us out.

Autumn in Forks is chilly, and I bury myself a little further into Edward's fleece, eyes weary from staring at the dark line of trees. I let my mind wander back to a similar night spent in this clearing with the werewolves, although tonight, I remind myself, there will be one less wolf. 

"They're here," Jasper whispers, just as a tall, single form emerges from the trees.

The form, which with enough squinting through the darkness looks a lot like Sam, pauses at the tree line for a few moments before walking slowly towards us. He stops when he's still about ten yards away, only wearing a white T-shirt in this freezing weather.

"Hello," he says, thankfully loud enough for both Edward and I to hear.

"Thank you for coming, Sam," Carlisle says, the gratitude easily apparent in his voice.

"I've had the pack stay in the woods, although they're close by. I wanted to hear you out for myself before having the others approach. They aren't comfortable meeting you in their human forms." Sam sounds uncomfortable himself.

"That's perfectly understandable. Hopefully we can put you at ease by coming straight to the point. Edward, Bella, if you would come closer, please."

Edward squeezes my hand, and we walk slowly to Carlisle, stopping at his side. 

"Hi, Sam," I say.

"Hello, Bella. Nice to see you...still human."

Although I can just make out Sam's face, I can feel him shift his attention to Edward, can almost hear the realization dawn in Sam's brain.

"I don't understand. Is this some kind of joke?" Sam's spits out, his biting accusation eliciting a low growl from Emmett.

Carlisle holds a palm out to Emmett before shifting his gaze back to Sam. "This is not a trick, Sam. Edward is human."

"How is that possible?" The disbelief is still thick in Sam's voice.

Carlisle proceeds to explain my talent as a vampire antidote and the details of Edward's transformation.  Sam still seems skeptical until he allows Edward to approach, tentatively shakes his hand, feels his pulse, and only then is he finally convinced. 

"Wow, this is not what I expected," Sam chuckles, but his humor is short-lived and his voice turns serious. "I'll bring in the pack now, if that's acceptable. They will want to hear for themselves."

The other seven boys and Leah approach, very apprehensive, their eyes continuously darting to Sam for direction. Carlisle repeats the explanation, and they each take a turn touching Edward, accepting the truth with different degrees of surprise. Leah seems entirely uninterested, her eyes darting back to me just as often as they do to Edward. By the time these preliminaries are complete, an hour or so has already passed, and we haven't even mentioned the Volturi.

"So, this is pretty amazing Carlisle, I'll admit, but you said our help is needed," Sam prods.

"Yes. As you remember from our battle with the newborns last spring, there is a clan of vampires in Italy known as the Volturi." Sam nods, and Carlisle continues. "They are en route here, and according to Alice's visions are due to arrive in approximately 48 hours. Aro, the Volturi's leader, is in the group, as well as Demetri and Jane, two of his particular favorites. He also brings an elite force of approximately 20 highly trained, highly skilled tactical vampires."

"Why are they coming?" Sam asks calmly, although I can sense anger brewing just beneath the surface.

"Demetri, their tracker, is able to track an individual's mind. With Edward's change, Demetri has lost the ability to track Edward, and they are coming to investigate."

Carlisle explains more regarding Aro, Demetri and Jane and their powers. He also explains Aro's  interest in my relationship with Edward and his desire to bring Edward and I into his fold, as well as the rules the Volturi hold so dear, giving a good deal of attention to the one outlawing the existence of humans that are aware of vampires.

Sam and the others absorb the information quietly, only occasionally asking for clarification.

Another hour passes before Carlisle finishes the preliminaries, and I realize I'm swaying a little in place, my legs tired and numb from cold. Edward pulls me a little closer and presses a kiss to my temple.

"We're almost done," he says gently, next to my ear.

I raise my eyebrows at him in disbelief.

"Alright, we're not, but at least we're getting to the good part," he concedes.

"If by good part, you mean really dangerous part," I mumble.

"So, I assume you have a plan to avoid these guys...and girl, I guess," Paul says, with not a little disgust, and for the first time, I take note of his stance next to Sam. He's trying to take Jacob's place as second in command, I think to myself.

"We do, and that's where you come in, if you agree to offer your services," Carlisle begins.

And then stops.

You can feel the apprehension build as the wolves wait for him to continue, but no one speaks. Carlisle's face is concentrated but calm, as if he's listening to a particularly intricate passage of music or pondering a difficult clue in his crossword puzzle, not preparing to ask the wolves to help change his family's life forever.

Esme approaches him slowly, careful not to startle the wolves. She stands at his side, reaching up to turn his face towards her. For a moment, it's as if he doesn't even see her, but then his eyes focus, and she smiles. He offers a small smile back, hopefully garnering enough courage to continue, and he turns back to the pack with confidence.

"Aro leaves us little choice. We cannot run. Demetri can track Alice and I, and if we hide Bella and Edward only, Aro will be able to touch any one of us and instantly learn of Bella's ability. We cannot stay for reasons I've explained, most importantly that Bella and Edward's lives would be forfeit. We've decided..." He pauses, and starts again. "We, as a family, have decided to try Bella's antidote on ourselves, in hopes of eliminating Demetri's ability to track us. Once Alice and I are changed into humans, and if the antidote works the same--which is a rather large if, unfortunately--Demetri will be blind. He has not met the remaining members of our family, outside Edward, therefore he's not familiar with their minds and cannot track them."

"So, only you and Alice will try the antidote?" Sam asks.

"Alice and I will be the first. Once the threat of the the Volturi has passed, and if we are changed successfully, Jasper and Esme have decided to transition as well, as they desire to remain with us. Rosalie wishes to become human, and Emmett will change to stay with her. "

"But you said it takes three days for Bella's, you know, whatever...the antidote...to work fully. We only have two days left until the Volturi arrive," Paul points out.

"Precisely. During the first two days of the transition, the body is essentially still a vampire, as we saw with Edward. At the start of the third day, which should coincide with the arrival of the Volturi, Alice and I should lose consciousness as our bodies prepare for the final change. I'm hoping that this will mark the point where Demetri's power fails, and Alice and I can be moved to a safe location to recover without detection."

"And you need us to help with your transition. To help restrain you and Alice during the first day, when your strength is increased," Sam guesses.

Carlisle nods, his eyes hopeful. "Yes, that is what we hoped. Edward was unbelievably strong during the first day of his transformation, and although Jasper and Esme wish to remain with us during the change, they would not be strong enough to restrain both of us. Emmett and Rosalie will stay with Edward and Bella at a remote location, awaiting our return."

There is silence as Sam considers the plan. The rest of the pack looks to him, but they do not speak.

Sam turns to look at their faces before addressing Carlisle again. "We need a moment to discuss your proposition. Of course, we must also think of the safety of La Push while the Volturi are in town. I cannot leave it unguarded."

"Of course. We would not expect you to."

Sam turns back towards the line of trees, and begins running towards them, the rest of the Quileutes at his heels. Halfway there, they phase and continue to dash towards the woods as wolves.

"Carlisle, do you think they'll help us?" Alice whispers.

"I don't know. Edward, it would have been helpful to have your gift right about now," Carlisle says with a slight smile.

Edward smiles in return.
____________________

The pack is only gone for a few minutes before they return to the clearing.

"We will help you," Sam says with determination, "although we have a condition. Seven of us will remain with you through the first day of your transformation. After that, we feel we must return to La Push to guard our families and homes. You would be on your own, then."

Carlisle turns to us, awaiting any objections. Emmett and Jasper nod.

"That is acceptable. We are thankful for your help."

"So, when do we start this thing?" Paul asks, impatient.

"We begin tonight."


Keep on reading....Chapter 9

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A/N: I just have to thank my boyfriend for making me include the werewolves. I didn't want to include them (I sometimes have issues with Jacob), but he made a good argument.
      
    Me: So, what if we just had the Cullens chained in the basement by some, I don't know, awesome vampire-proof chains while they're becoming human?

    Him: *Covering his mouth, laughing* You're going to hate this, but what if the werewolves held them down?

    Me: Oh, that's way cooler.
Tags: fanfic, turning back, twilight
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