The doors to the airport slid open and we entered in. People were everywhere: a feeding ground for vampires, but my family would be fine, I knew. I still kept Bella's hand tightly in my own, ready to react in a moment, if need be. Edward stayed close to Jasper, but I knew he'd rather be with Bella. But Bella was a newborn, and I was her creator, so I needed to be the one to train her. Besides: there would be forever for him to be by her side.
Renesmee, nicknamed Nessie by Emmett, fussed slightly in Esme's arms, but she soothed her and placed a kiss on her forehead. Somewhere in the area in front of us, a little boy wiped out and started crying, blood trailing down his leg, and Bella's hand tightened in mine.
"Breath, Child," I ordered, "It's just a little blood. You'll be okay."
I saw her stop breathing and her eyes turning dark, so, with a nod toward Esme, I quickly led the girl to a family restroom. I pushed her in first and closed and locked the door behind me, leaning against it as she slumped against the wall, putting her head in her hands.
When she looked back up at me, her eyes had faded once more to a dark gold, but they were filled with tears. I pushed off the door and kept my hand there while opening my other arm to Bella. She came to me and put her head on my shoulder and I crushed her against me.
All my children had gone through the "I'm a monster" phase, some more than once. This was nothing new.
"There now, Sweetheart," I said in her ear, "It's not your fault, and nothing happened. We got you out of there on time, and you did a good job controlling yourself until we did."
"But what if I had attacked?" she cried.
"It wouldn't have been your fault," I repeated, "Everyone in the family has slipped up at one point or another. We take care of it and move on."
"You never did," she accused, as though it was my fault I had flawless self-control.
"Yes, well, your Daddy is flawed in many another way," I assured her, silently begging her not to ask what ways.
"N-no he's not," Bella replied, "He's perfect."
"I'm glad you think so, Darling," I whispered in her ear, "But please don't think any less of me if you discover something that isn't perfect. 'Kay?"
Her shaking stopped and I pushed her back to smile at her.
"Now, my newborn," I said, bringing a smile to her face, "We have a plane to England to catch."
I opened the door and put a hand on the small of her back to direct her back out, but she looked at me.
"You've got a British accent that sounds like it's from colonial times," she declared.
"So Renee told me," I replied sourly, and she giggled.
"Do you think your mother's being driven nuts by Alice, yet?" I asked as we pushed our way through the crowd.
"Undoubtedly," she replied, mimicking my accent, "And Emmett's probably making Rosalie pull her hair out."
We rounded the corner to find Rosalie sitting with her back to Emmett and Alice pointing out every pair of shoes she liked. Nessie was asleep in Jasper's arms.
I had booked us a private cabin in the airplane, so we spread out. Bella, Edward, Emmett, and Rosalie sat down, Bella and Edward with books, Rosalie with her drawing pad, and Emmett with a video game. Alice and Jasper went to lay down together on a pair of seats that folded back and Esme laid down with Nessie on another one.
I took the seat beside Bella and put my head in my hands, more worn out since the Spanish Influenza had kept me emotionally and physically spent. This time, however, the emotions coursing through me were tinged with relief. Bella had earned a place and future in our family months ago, and now we finally had her to call our own.
I stayed very still not moving at all as the plane launched into the sky, and then I closed my eyes. I wondered if I could sleep if I willed myself to. I'd have to look into it. Just because we didn't need to didn't mean we didn't want to.
I jolted to attention nearly an hour later when Emmett lost the last level of his video game on his last life and spiked the electronic so hard it shattered like a water glass. He stared at it in shock while I stared at him, irritated. Bella stifled a laugh and Rosalie smacked her husband with the notebook.
Emmett laughed, shrugged, and reached into his carry-on for another one. I almost turned to Esme and mentioned that we were raising a monster. Edward gave me a smirk and I forced a new sentence into my mind:
He learns from the best, big brother.
Edward arched an eyebrow and I returned to my exhausted position.
We landed in London the next day and split up. Bella went with Rosalie, Jasper, and Alice to get the cars which were arriving at the dock; Esme, Nessie, and Emmett were going to the house where the two older ones would start unloading the furniture and decorating and Nessie would hopefully take a nap. I was expected at the hospital for a meeting.
I gave each of them a hug and then gestured Jasper over where Bella couldn't hear us.
"Don't worry, Carlisle," Jasper said immediately, "I'll make sure nothing happens to Bella."
"She'd never forgive herself if she hurt someone," I murmured, "Just keep her calm. I don't like leaving her, but..."
"Yeah, we know. It's okay, Dad."
I smiled and squeezed his shoulder.
I got home later that night. Rosalie had dropped my Mercedes off at the hospital for me to drive home. I pulled into the garage and got out, grabbing my black bag. I entered the house and set it down on the entry table, slipping out of my coat and folding it over my arm and walking into the living room.
Esme was stretched out on the couch, Nessie Teresa asleep on her chest. Emmett, Edward, and Jasper were playing their warped version of chess they had created over the past three decades. It included six chess boards, two sets of pieces per person, and a strange assortment of Sorry, Monopoly, Risk, Stratego, and Candy Land pieces.
Bella was sitting on the couch across from Esme, Rosalie and Alice on either of her sides, being taught how to knit. I kissed Esme's cheek and put my coat in the closet before taking the armchair overlooking my sons hard at work at their eye-crossing board game.
I knew for a fact that Jasper had yet to be beaten by anyone other than Alice who could properly predict her opponent's decisions 98% of the time. Jasper pretended to think for a moment before completing a complex series of moves which ended with Emmett's purple gingerbread man in the enemy holding cell.
"Bail's up to seventeen count," Jasper reminded his brother, and Emmett glared at him.
Nearly an hour passed before Emmett captured Edward's Monopoly: National Parks Edition grizzly bear, which was revealed to be his exiled king. From what I could understand, this meant that Emmett got Edward's pieces, and Edward was out of the game.
He stood up and looked at Bella, she smiled at him. He went over to her and sat down beside her feet, gently pulling the knitting out of her hands. Alice slipped off the couch and came to sit on the arm of my chair, a smile on her face. I took her hand and kissed it gently and Rosalie crossed the room to stand by Esme.
"Leaving you was a mistake, Bella," Edward started quietly, "And it's a mistake I take full responsibility for making, and regret more than anything. I hope you know I still love you more than anyone has ever loved another."
"There's one exception..." Bella murmured.
Edward smiled slightly and shook his head before shifting into a kneeling position and pulling a box out of his pocket and opening it.
"Carlisle took this off my mother's finger the day she died," he said, glancing back at me, "And I'd like you to have it, Bella. Would you be my wife?"
Bella didn't say anything for a long time. She only kept her hand covering her face, and she leaned forward until she fell into him and he wrapped his arms around her, moving to sit beside her.
"Yes," she said at last.
Edward put the ring on her finger and they shared a kiss before Bella looked around at the rest of us. Rosalie made the first move, flashing across the room to embrace her, and then Alice. Jasper kissed her cheek and congratulated her and Esme murmured a few loving words. I stood up to embrace my youngest daughter, but when I opened my mouth to speak, Emmett beat me to it.
"So, Jasper, you missed your turn, so I went for you. Your Stratego Spy happened to meet my queen at the gates. He's your exiled king, right?"
Keeping Isabella tucked under my arm, I turned to face my middle son who looked completely unabashed. This was us, I supposed. Emmett smiled and laughed aloud.
"I'm just kidding. Congrats, Bells."
Bella laughed, and then Emmett turned to Jasper.
"I wasn't kidding about the game, though. You lost."
"Well," Jasper told him, "I hope you're happy knowing the only time you could beat me was when I literally wasn't playing."
The smile seemed to melt off Emmett's face leaving the most bemused expression that had us all laughing.
It wasn't a just Coven living here. It wasn't a just a Clan or only a group under one protector. We were a family, and we always would be, no matter where we were.
Connected by fear, or controlled by one's power
Not so, ruled by care and the love that will flower.
Wherever they go, and whatever may come
They're family with children, a dad and a mum.
They weren't born right into his own heart
And maybe they weren't his at the first start.
But it doesn't matter, because whatever the case
His home is their home, still whatever the place.
She had felt loss even before he was there
When she lost a baby, both young and fair.
But then he loved her, and along had arrived
The children she wanted and had been deprived.
Gentle and quiet, and it came to pass
Hated the image he found in the glass.
He turned and he left them, but still they forgave
And then he accepted the love that they gave.
The past made her bitter, and the present was frozen
It wasn't the kind of life that she had chosen.
They loved her and cared for her 'till she believed
That family was real, she'd not been deceived.
Strong, dark, and handsome he joined their small clan
The blond one fell for him, and that's how it began.
He protected the small ones and was a nice teddy bear
And when bullies picked on siblings, he evened it square.
Sensitive to others, yet raised to be cruel
He didn't like that way, so he followed their rule.
The humans were equal, but sometimes he fell
But the family and fairy had all loved him well.
The fairy was gentle, and happy, and sweet
She searched for the others she knew she would meet.
The family accepted her, and she fit in with them
And never regretted the day she had come.
More weak than the others, but loved just as much
She came a far way, and accepted their touch.
She joined to the family and then made it complete
Breaking through their closed walls, not an easy feat.
The last one was a surprise, to be true
She belonged unto them and connected them anew.
At first the thought scared them, before they could trust
That her joining them was not may, it was must.
Just one person's choices saved so many others
Created a family of sisters and brothers.
Assured them them that any place they chose to roam
With Carlisle and Esme was their Eternal Home.
Well, my readers... this is the end. I loved writing this fanfiction, and I loved reading what you thought of it. Please leave reviews! Thank you all, and please keep updated on my profile. I'll keep writing sometimes, but NaNoWriMo is starting soon, and then I have to focus on my creative writing class which doesn't consider fanfiction as a suitable NaNoWriMo project. Thank you all, again, and I love all of you!