The Rain Brings Me Home

The Rain Brings Me Home

They'd planned on never returning to Forks again.

Not mine, but enjoy(:

Chapter 1

The Rain Brings Me Home

by: jellybab
They had to run to make it in time for their evening history class. The sun had just set moments before and though it took them no time at all to make it across campus from their house and they were in their seats before the Professor had even entered the lecture hall, Bella hated having to cut it so close.

Two boys seated in front of them were complaining about not getting any sleep, and next to Bella, Jasper snorted. When she turned to look at him, he grinned at her and Bella couldn't help but smile back, even though she felt sad. These boys were complaining because they hadn't gotten their usual eight hours a night in lately. But she, who had not slept in forty years and as such had also not dreamed herself away in her subconscious, couldn't complain.

At least not out loud. It was a small price to pay, not being able to sleep or dream ever again, to be with her husband forever. But Bella missed it. And she wished there was someone she could talk to about it - but it was something she'd only feel comfortable with revealing to Alice or Esme. And while Alice would listen and try her hardest not to reveal to Edward what she knew, she could also not fully relate as she couldn't remember her human life. And Bella hated talking to Alice about her human life, the same way she hated to talk to Rosalie about it, though for entirely different reasons.

And Esme, try as she might, would not likely be able to keep it from Edward. Such was the curse of being married to someone who would read minds, without even trying.

And Bella did not want him to find out how much she missed it, especially at certain times. He was still feeling guilty for taking her away from her friends and her parents, and for essentially stealing the rest of her life from her.

"They're both lying," Edward said from next to her, his voice too low for the human ear to catch. "I'll never understand the human need to make themselves look better than they are and lie about insignificant things such as how much sleep they've been getting, just to try and out-do each other. As if it's some sort of competition."

Before Bella and Jasper had a chance to reply, their Professor sailed through the door, cutting all conversation in the lecture hall short.

Bella knew it was mostly for her benefit that the two vampires at her sides were quiet, as Edward and Jasper had no real need for the class; Edward having taken it before and Jasper having lived through most of it.

Both of them had only truly taken the course to give her company despite her initial objections. Now she was glad for it, because though she didn't actually need either of them there with her and was perfectly capable of withstanding the temptations for her classmates' blood, it was her first time in college and it wouldn't be the same if she didn't spend it with the people she loved.

She was glad their family, sans Carlisle and Esme, had joined them at school. It hadn't been planned. When she and Edward came back from their extended honeymoon around the world they stopped by Denali where the rest of the family had ended up. Alice and Jasper had already been packed and ready to go, thanks to Alice's vision of Bella and Edward at college, finally after years of putting it off in favour of travelling.

Bella hadn't minded the company in the slightest. Though they'd seen each other many times over the years and she loved seeing the world, she still missed the days the four of them lived together in the small house in Alaska where she'd been turned and where they'd stayed for nearly a decade.

They hadn't needed to stay for as long as they did, for with such a large and wonderful support system, Bella had been able to withstand the temptation of human blood. It had been very difficult at times, as expected.

Even worse than the blood-lust had been not seeing her parents, for fear she'd kill them. And then too much time had passed without her having aged. She couldn't tell them. Not because she didn't want to, or because she didn't trust them. But because she feared the Volturi and what they would do if they found out her parents knew. And they would find out, of that she was certain.

Bella couldn't risk it and though her parents would grieve her, as she would grieve the loss of them, it had to be done. Bella had known that she would have to say a final goodbye to them ever since she first made the decision to be with Edward but with time had, though not forgotten it, pushed it further and further away. The original plan had been for her to say her final goodbye just after the wedding and for her and Edward to die in a car crash on their way to Alaska for college.

The car crash had stayed the same, but the location and time changed. Bella simply couldn't let go, and through emails and the occasional phone call kept in touch with her parents for ten years.

But then it was time. She couldn't put it off any longer, couldn't lie to them about why they wouldn't visit. Why they didn't have any grandchildren and why she never sent them any new photos.

It'd simply been time for Bella to let her parents move on and mourn her as they should have been allowed to long before. After all, she was never going to be able to come back and prolonging the goodbye would only end up hurting everyone involved in the long run.

Bella was brought out of the memories of her parents by the sound of twenty-odd students standing up and rifling through their papers as they packed up to leave the hall. Edward smiled at her when he noticed her bewildered expression. "End of class," he told her unnecessarily. "Let's go home."

Bella nodded and stood, not bothering to put her books back into the bag she carelessly slung over her shoulder.

"I'm surprised Professor Blaine knew so much about real history," Jasper told Edward as the three exited the building and stepped into the dark night.

Edward nodded in agreement. "I've read a lot of history books in my time, but he's put a new spin on things. That is the mark of a good teacher." He looked back at Bella, walking a few steps behind them. "Don't you agree love?"

She smiled. "Yes. Of course. Good teacher. Interesting subject. Lots to learn."

Edward smiled adoringly at her, the way he always did whenever she said or did something foolish. Human. "You didn't listen at all did you?" he asked.

"Well, not really," Bella admitted sheepishly. Edward laughed as he took her hand and Bella didn't have the heart to tell him that the reason she hadn't been listening to Professor Blaine, something she otherwise would have, was because she'd been preoccupied with thoughts of her parents, whom she missed very much.

Bella glanced at Jasper, who walked alongside them, completely oblivious to her melancholy mood and she was once again glad she had the ability to block out other vampire's gifts, including Jasper and Alice's now. Of course, blocking out Alice never truly worked as Bella couldn't be sure when she'd have a vision and blocking Alice from having visions of her only lead to badness.

"You think Emmett and Rosalie will have arrived yet?" Jasper asked suddenly.

"Should've arrived last night," Edward answered with a shrug.

"And knowing the two of them they won't actually show for another week," Bella continued, smiling.

Jasper laughed. "I just hope they bring us back better gifts this time."

"I figure we're lucky if they bring us back anything at all," Edward said, smiling.

Bella could tell he was looking forward the return of Emmett and Rosalie, as was she. The two had gone on a spur of the moment honeymoon rather than joining their siblings at Dartmouth the previous year. But now they were due back, and save for Carlisle and Esme, once they showed their family would be living together under one roof for the first time in too long.

Bella was leisurely flipping through her history book to pass the time. Edward and Jasper had gone out hunting earlier in the evening and though more hours than necessary had passed, Bella thought nothing of it. Alice was home, completing her own homework as they waited for the phone to ring. As expected, Emmett and Rosalie hadn't shown up and as it was almost daylight out, they both knew they weren't going to come for several hours yet, at least. But they would call. Alice had seen that.

Bella was just about to suggest a movie when Alice's eyes glazed over as a vision hit her. It was a fairly short one, as visions go, and when Alice came out of it, she looked sad.

"Did something happen to-" Bella didn't get further as Edward and Jasper chose that moment to all but crash through the back door in their hurry to reach their wives. Bella frowned at them, wondering if they'd been closer to the house than she thought.

"I'm so sorry Bella," Alice said. She reached out a hand to place on Bella's. "It's Charlie. He's dying."

"Bella," Edward whispered into her hair as he wrapped his strong arms around her.

Bella didn't even think. "I have to go to him. I have to see him." She hadn't been able to be there for Renee, but if there was still time, she could be there for Charlie.

Edward nodded.

"You'll have to leave now then," Alice said quietly from the other side of the table. "He's not going to last long."

Bella had barely paused to fling some clothes and other necessities into a bag while Edward emailed their teachers. They would miss three classes, but with their track record and it being a family emergency, it shouldn't be much a problem. Jasper and Alice would make sure they had the information they'd miss once they came back.

Of course, Alice had offered to come with them to Forks, and though Bella had first thought about saying yes - after all, Alice had known and loved her father too - she'd ultimately said no. She needed to say goodbye to her father in private. She'd never had the opportunity to say goodbye to her mother, having been in Spain with Edward when she died. It had been difficult and painful, more so for not being able to tell her mother the truth or say goodbye than her actual death. As a vampire, Bella saw death in a different light. It was simply another step in the life of humans, and unless they were turned, everyone turned to dust in the end. But she would've liked to hug her mother one last time and assure her that she was happy and alive, more or less.

But that was in the past now. The time had come and passed and Bella had missed the opportunity. But she was not going to miss saying goodbye to her father.

Half an hour after Alice had first had her vision; Bella and Edward were in their car and on their way. Bella had always known the day would come when Charlie would be gone forever but as a vampire time didn't mean the same now that she had unlimited amounts of it. The thirty years she and Edward had spent travelling the world hadn't felt like three decades. The days simply passed, almost unnoticed as she didn't sleep. And with no physical changes in herself, her husband or the few people she saw with regularity, it was even harder to tell.

Her father would be eighty-three years old now. He would look different.

"Wait!" Bella called out as the car speed down the road. Edward looked at her, the car slowing just a fraction as he waited for her to continue. "I don't even know where he's living now."

Edward placed a hand on her knee as the car speed up once more. "He's at home, in Forks. He never left. Alice saw it."

"Did she see..." Bella couldn't complete the thought, but Edward knew. He always knew.

"He's just old Bella, that's all. He'll fall asleep in his own bed. Peacefully."

Bella breathed a sigh of relief. At least her father wouldn't have to suffer. The way her mother had. She struggled to push all thoughts of her mother's death to the back of her mind.

"We'll get there in time," Edward assured her. "He won't be alone."

Bella nodded. "Right. Good."

She looked out the window at the scenery speeding past faster than traffic control allowed. Not too quickly for her to see it clearly though, not with her enhanced eyesight. Her fingers laced through Edward's, still resting on her knee. He gave her a small squeeze and Bella gratefully squeezed back.

It was raining as Edward drove through town. Bella hadn't expected anything else.

It had been four decades since she last saw Forks and not much had changed; only the people - some were gone, some were new, but most were simply older.

Bella smiled a sad smile as their car turned onto the driveway of her father's home. He'd stayed, all this time, in the house he'd bought with her mother a lifetime ago. When she was turned, Bella clung to the memory of her parents desperately, not wanting to forget them even the slightest. She shouldn't have worried though, because once she woke up a vampire, she could still remember her human life with clarity. Better even, than she had whilst still being human.

They weren't supposed to be there, in Forks. It was dangerous for many reasons, least of all because someone might recognise them, still as young looking as the day they married. But this was her last chance to say goodbye to her father, this time for truly ever.

And she was not going to waste it.

Bella hadn't noticed that the car stood still until the passenger door opened, and it wasn't until Edward held out his hand for her to take that she woke to the present. She took his hand, glad for the support, as she stepped out of the car.

She looked up at her father's house, looking the same as it ever had. Bella took a deep unnecessary breath to prepare herself for what she was about to do before she and Edward walked towards the house that used to be her home, together.

The house was quiet, save for the softly beating heart of the old, dying man on the second floor. There were recent traces of an unfamiliar scent in the house, but the person was gone now. Bella froze at the bottom of the stairs, suddenly feeling the weight of all her years.

Her father was up there. The man who had taken her in quite out of the blue with no explanation needed, a smile on his face. The man who'd given her away and cried as she said 'I do.' The man who'd helped her pack up for the move to Alaska, never knowing it would be the last time he'd see his daughter alive.

She hadn't laid eyes on him in forty years, though she'd been tempted to, many times. Even if she could only see him from a distance and in secret.

"I'll wait down here. Give you some privacy," Edward told her softly, motioning to the living room.

Bella looked up at him and smiled sadly. They both knew Edward would be able to hear everything going on upstairs thanks for his vampire hearing and his mind reading gift. But Bella didn't mind.

She let go of his hand as she began the slow trek up the stairs, all the while feeling Edward's eyes on her back. She ignored the twinge of morbid desire to see her old room, to see what'd become of it and continued instead in the other direction to her father's room. The door was not completely closed and all Bella had to do was push at it carefully for it to swing open.

Charlie was sleeping, the soft rhythm of his heart and the raspy breaths he took peaceful in the warm room.

Bella stepped closer to the bed, taking in the white wispy hair adorning her father's head. He looked old and there were deep lines on his face Bella was sure couldn't be attributed solely to age. But despite it all, he still looked very much like her dad.

His eyes opened slowly as she sat down next to him on the bed. She placed a hand over his through the covers as his eyes found hers.

"Bella," he breathed, such joy in his tone that Bella couldn't help but smile big at him.

"Hi dad."

Three and a half hours later, former police chief Charlie Swan fell asleep for the last time. Bella had sat with him through it all, telling him stories of her life with Edward. He was too weak to reply most of the time and fell in and out of sleep. Mostly he simply held her hand in his with a smile on his face. The wondrous and tear filled way he looked at her made Bella think he didn't really hear a word she said. But that was all right. He seemed to like the sound of her voice, even if he wasn't listening to the words.

The sun rose almost unnoticed and the arrival of her dad's nurse forced Bella and Edward out of the house. Bella wasn't ready to leave completely so they drove up to the old mansion Carlisle still owned, despite the fact that none of them had set foot in it in decades and weren't suppose to ever again.

Edward took care of her, leading her through the house and up the stairs to the room that used to be his. The bed frame was still there and with a little poking around Edward found the mattress and some bedding.

Together they lay on the bed, just holding each other, as Bella told Edward stories of her dad. Things she'd told him before over the years and things she hadn't mentioned yet. They'd done the same when her mother died, lying on their bed in Spain as Bella grieved without tears.

It helped this time, as it had then. By nightfall Bella felt more like herself again.

Her father was gone completely from her life now. But she'd been able to say goodbye. He'd been able to see her again before he died, even if he'd thought it was just his imagination. She'd been able to be there for him. He hadn't died alone.

The sun was shining on the day of her father's funeral. Though she'd already said her goodbye and she wouldn't have been able to go even if it wasn't sunny, it was a cruel twist of bad luck that she didn't even have the opportunity to hide and look on from a distance.

Edward took her to their meadow. For old times sakes, he carried her on his back. The wind rushed around them, the trees there and gone in the next second as they moved quickly down the same path they had decades before. Back when she'd been human.

"You all right love?" Edward asked, watching her skin sparkle in the light. Just like his.

Despite himself, he had often thought about what it would be like if Bella was a vampire - long before he actually turned her. That's why Alice had never wavered from her belief that Bella would join their family one day. Because though he'd fought against it and tried to persuade Bella to wait, part of him had always wanted it. Wanted her with him for the rest of time.

"Yeah." Bella sighed. "It was nice to see him again, to talk to him."

Edward wrapped an arm around her, leaning back against the ground. Bella curled up around him, laying her head on his shoulder.

"I never thought I'd get to say goodbye."

Before the official deaths of Edward and Isabella Cullen she'd called her parents. She couldn't act as if anything was wrong, had to pretend that she would call back the following day as they planned - when in fact, the following day, she and Edward left for England not to return to the States for thirty years.

Compared to the rest of her family, she'd been given a lot. She'd had an additional ten years with her parents, even if it'd only been at a distance.

And she'd been able to be there for her dad. Few could say the same. He might've believed himself already dead or dreaming, but Bella didn't care. She'd brought him comfort.

He was at peace now.

As was she.

Bella smiled up at Edward. She really was all right.

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