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28 September 2008 @ 08:30 pm
All The Little Details Slipped Me By /// for whomever  
For: whomever
Title: All The Little Details Slipped Me By
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1122
Characters/Couple: Carlisle/Alice
Summary: It's not his fault, he tells himself, venom pooling behind his teeth and kept locked with tight lips -- and some days he can believe it's true.
Author's Notes: I love you, mystery recipient! You really made me think for this request. I hope this fic works for you. And I have a feeling I'm not very anonymous. Whoops. Many hugs to my betas A and E. <3

one.
Those bright green eyes grab hold of him like nothing else has, arms reaching out and shaking him, screaming This is the one.

It's not quite love-at-first-sight, but it might as well be.

What if he doesn't want this? is squashed by Not enough time, until the overriding thought is Nownownow and he's acting on impulse, ears absorbing the sound of a struggling heart that beats slower as he approaches and faster as he draws away.

Another patient gone; it echoes through the corridors like resignation without much sadness, like routine.

Who can blame him for something beyond his control?

And he puts so much time into the hospital, too.


The voices follow him to his hiding place and he lets the screams drown them out, drown them all out.

(None of his medicines help, apparently.)



---



The boy's heart fights harder than he does --

thump      thump   thump thumpthumpthump

-- and stops.

Edward dimly hopes this isn't a result of the flu. He wouldn't want his mother to suffer through this.



---



Stay, Carlisle pleads, golden hair falling into his face. He brushes it away impatiently.

You're a monster and you don't even know it, comes the bitter reply. And the worst part is, I can't even hate you for it.

With one hand on the door and one hand in Carlisle's soul, Edward whispers --

What if I don't want this?

-- and leaves.



---




two.

She wakes up without memories to keep her company, so she creates her own.

Well, that's not strictly true -- she steals them. But no one will ever know.

The man from half a block away is thinking of proposal plans, rejecting each potential outcome in favor of a different location. In her head she tells him to go back to the place he and Cheryl first met, because it's far more romantic than Paris.

The girl down the street lost her doll, imagining places she might look and Alice thinks, It's under your bed, silly, where it always is.

She likes to imagine she has some power over reality. After all, she can manipulate the future. Even so, there's a hollow in her heart that won't heal.

And somewhere, she knows imaginary friends wouldn't hold up to real ones.



---



The day she gets the vision is the day her life is saved.

Figuratively, of course.

Tall and blond, roughly handsome, wandering lost through the trees like a runaway, like someone in search of something they don't recognize.

Like her.

She doesn't have to watch the future play out for him (although she does, anyway) to know that they're perfect for each other.



---



Sorry, but do I know you?

She looks up at him with wide eyes, smiling.

You're my soulmate!

The way he takes a half-step back tells her it was the complete wrong thing to say.



---




three.

A woman steps onto empty air in Ohio and he tries not to feel guilty when human methods don't save her.

It's not his fault, he tells himself, venom pooling behind his teeth and kept locked with tight lips -- and some days he can believe it's true.



---



She would have been beautiful, he thinks, staring down at her cold cheeks and pale hair matted with blood. Her skin tone is no longer distinguishable after so long being dead; he pretends it glitters under the bright white lights.

The right thing to do.

What's right anymore?



---



He doesn't ever hear a grizzly bear.



---



Edward said the truth so long ago.

So why does he still feel so beaten?



---




four.

She smiles up at him in complete adoration and pretends she doesn't notice him squirm.

When did all this lying start?

He's too polite to send her away but not polite enough to accept her invitation of a life together.

They hardly exchange three words.



---



They run into other vampire covens sometimes, and Jasper ducks his head in embarrassment every time someone assumes.

Just friends,
he tells them in that fading accent of his.

They wink conspiratorially.



---



Visions of their future together fade as she tells herself she's not worried.

Maybe she hasn't quite gotten the hang of it, yet.



---



I'm afraid this won't work, he says softly, and she can see his wings are fighting to be freed.

As if she hadn't seen it coming. As if it doesn't still break her heart.

Of course.

When he's gone, she turns her face away and sobs.

Their lives were planned so many years in advance; she can't comprehend the blank space she's facing.

It hits her, then: she suddenly has nothing to live for.



---




five.

It's not until later -- after drifting aimlessly through the country with wishes on the tip of her tongue -- that she gets the vision.

She almost cries.

He's alone, she learns with unseeing eyes wide open, alone by way of his own mistakes. His heart was broken too, long ago, by a beautiful bronze-haired boy, because the truth hurt.

Oh, how it hurts.

How long she waits, she can't say, but the entire time her mind wars with her heart. Barbed regrets and hope for the future fight for the upper hand until she crushes her palms to her eyes and screams with indecision.

Remember last time? Haven't you learned what happens when you interfere?

Years or minutes pass and she takes the first step.

Just to say hello, she decides -- no attachment required.

She concentrates on the futures of humans she's smelled in the streets but never met, learning about their plans and their dreams and watching some of them come to fruition.

The more she focuses on them, the less likely it is that she'll see her own future.

She doesn't want to know the outcome, this time.



---



He meets her on his doorstep with a warm smile.

"Welcome."

She walks in the door and says, "I've screwed up, too."

Wide eyes and her hand slaps over her mouth like a reprimand; she isn't supposed to say anything stupid. What if he runs away? What if he hates her knowing everything, hates--

Curiosity is his reaction, not shock or anger. "How do you know that?"

Her eyes return to normal size and she whispers, "It's my curse."



---



"It's because I interfered," he says, looking out to the horizon.

"I know."

With her hands around his neck, she feels like they can both start over.



---



Maybe this was the blond she should have been looking for.