A/N: I wrote most of this piece on my phone before the film came out, but a certain part in the film inspired me and I was able to finish it faster. This is a short missing scene between books 2 and 3 of Breaking Dawn, and it doesn't contain film spoilers in any way. Also, writing is present tense comes less naturally for me, but it felt right to use it in this scene, so if you spot any grammatical mistakes, I apologize.
He is watching her intently as she is laying on the operating table. She looks so fragile, every inch of her as breakable as glass. They have cleaned her up a while ago, so the sight of her is less gory now, but just as dreadful, as far as he is concerned. Her cheeks are sunken and there are dark bags beneath her eyes. Even her lips have lost their color. The quilt he has previously covered her with doesn't hide the sight of her bony shoulders. He cringes ever so slightly, and reaches forward to tuck the quilt closer around her.
As she is laying there, still and motionless, she almost seems unreal. But she is real. The faint pumping of the blood that is still coursing through her veins, as well as the weakening rhythm of her heart, are solid proof, as solid as his unending love for her. The quilt conceals her battered body, but as he pictures it beneath the thin fabric, he feels overwhelmed with defeat. Guilt is searing through him like the venom in her system; he finds himself at loss against it. He shouldn't have listened to her. He shouldn't have allowed her to get on with it. If they have done things his way he wouldn't have to face this, watching life slowly sipping out of her, and wondering whether it has already been too late.
But he cannot regret it, not wholeheartedly, because she has given him something he has never known he has been yearning for. In less than a month, he has somehow gotten more than he has asked for, more than just a wife. Even in this darkest of moments, he feels blessed in a way he has not known possible. He knows it is probably wrong to relish the feeling with her existence still at stake, but he cannot help it. The baby in the other room, more of an angel than a monster to him now – marks the perfect union of the two of them. Later, if everything goes according to plan, he will be able to look at the child, his daughter, and be reminded of her human mother, the woman who has changed his existence forever.
He glances at her, and pretends to see her twitch. He isn't sure it has happened, or if it is a figment of his imagination. He knows nothing, sees nothing, but the broken body on the table in front of him. Soon Alice will be there to dress her up. He can hear her fussing in her studio, wondering which outfit would look best. He wishes he could be so easily distracted by such vanities. He wishes he's had his sister's confidence in her recovery. The word brings a bitter chuckle to his lips, but he cannot think of a more appropriate term.
He's sitting very close to her, close enough to touch. He reaches out and takes her hand in his. Already it has lost its warmth. Beneath his touch, it feels harder than it has ever been before. It feels neither warm nor cold, but something in between. He laces their fingers together for a moment. The motion floods his mind with memories of their first night together on Isle Esme, but those are quickly transforming into images of the bruises that have formed on her skin afterwards, ones he has inflicted. He unwinds his fingers from around hers, gently placing her hand against the table. His mind is a mess, and the dark recollections that now occupy it are no help. He's not sure if the changing texture of her skin is in accordance with the normal procedure of the transformation, or simply the inevitable consequence of death.
Sitting there watching her feels like an ending, the end of everything known to him, everything safe and familiar and comforting. He will never see her blush again. He will miss that faint rose tint that used to wash her cheeks. He will miss her clumsiness. He will miss watching slumber play patterns on her face, different ones each night. He has become an expert in knowing when her sleep is peaceful, and when she is having a nightmare. Her face is blank now, void of any emotion, but he can still tell her sleep is not peaceful.
He knows every end is a new beginning, and that he should be rejoiced by this particular beginning. Soon she will be his equal, her body compatible to his. Soon he will not have to fret about hurting her, breaking her. Soon he will not have to watch over her anymore; she wouldn't need anyone's protection. Soon he could kiss her like he's always wanted to. Soon he would be able to show her just how much he's loved her, how much he's desired her. Soon.
But as far as he is concerned, soon doesn't exist just yet. Not until she opens her eyes. Her awakening is the only thing that will reassure him now, and he holds on to it for dear life. He barely remembers how long it has been since the venom has first entered her system. Two days, or has it been three already? Either way it feels like too long. Not for the first time, he wishes he has been able to sleep, simply to be able to numb the excruciating pain of waiting.
He steals another glance at her, and then another. This time he knows it isn't a figment of his imagination. There is the slightest change in her appearance. Her features are sharper, more defined. The circles beneath her eyes are different now, bruise-like, resembling his own. Her cheekbones are more prominent. The color of her hair becomes luscious and alive, and in this brief moment of clarity he finds it ironic, considering how dead the rest of her looks. Its color is vibrant chestnut now, spilling like a halo on the metal surface of the table, as perfect as though she has just left the hairdresser's. Its radiance is a startling contrast to her paling skin.
He takes her hand again, hesitantly, and presses two fingers to the inside of her wrist. The faint pulse is still there, but the feeling is different now. The skin there is harder, but it doesn't feel hard beneath his fluttering fingers. It feels just right, as it should be. He can no longer see her veins just below the surface. These are all signs that the transformation is taking place, and that it is going well. But whereas the evident change in her body comforts him, she doesn't. She remains unmoving.
He vaguely remembers fairytales he has heard from his grandmother in his childhood. For one crazy moment she looks like Snow White to him, fast asleep in her glass coffin, waiting to be awakened with a single kiss; but he is no Prince Charming, and his is the kiss of death. At least, he will think of it as such, until she opens her eyes.
Live, he pleads with her wordlessly, locking his yearning gaze on her supposedly peaceful face. Come back to me. Come back to Renesmee. Thinking of his daughter brings back guilt. It hits him full force. If she doesn't make it, he will spend forever looking at his daughter knowing he has killed her mother. He hasn't blamed his baby girl for killing her, not anymore. She has survived Renesmee, like she has always believed she would. If she doesn't wake up now, he will have no one to blame, but himself. He must have done something wrong.
Carlisle peeks into the room, sighs and leaves without saying anything. He gets a glimpse of his thoughts. He's concerned about him, about her, but he knows better than interfering. He thinks she will be just fine shortly. He can hear him stopping Alice from walking inside. Jacob is still there, pacing on the bottom floor. He frowns for a moment, but quickly composes himself. He will have plenty of time to dwell on the issue of Jacob's imprinting when this is all behind them. Instead he lets himself focus on the other heartbeat in the room downstairs, steady yet slightly faster than normal. The frown slowly dissipates as he pictures her, all rosy cheeks and chocolate-brown eyes. Rosalie's soft voice echoes as she's humming an old lullaby to her.
He smiles to himself; it's his first smile in days. Before he knows it, he joins Rosalie in singing, barely murmuring each syllable. A few of them break before he manages to fully utter them, but he doesn't stop. He sings to the wounded girl on the operating table; the mother of his child, the love of his existence, his miracle, his everything. And as he sings to her, everything falls into place, and strange serenity washes over him. He can count the number of times he has felt this way before. When she said she would marry him. When they stood side by side at the altar. When he heard their daughter's thoughts for the first time. In all these times, the voice in his head was telling him the exact same thing.
Everything is going to be alright.
But this time is different, he thinks. He lifts her lifeless hand and lays it against his cheek. Now he knows. She is going to be alright.