sheisourheart: (Focused on something)
She walked down the stairs with a newly empty laundry basket. Another floor away there are still two cycles running. It's part of the many normal sounds that run through the house on a given day. All of the normal ones are there. And one extra. She had been waiting to see if it would stop. If it would come to her.

But it continued. Simple and rushed and agitated. Over and over, where it was. Her steps, toward it, aren't hurried or too careful. She stopped in the hallway, the basket balanced on her hip, as she finally set her eyes on her husband pacing in the hallway outside the darkened, but still open, coat closet. All the details add up too well.



"Are you planning to wear a hole into our floor?" Her words and tone are gentle, meaning a different question than the one she asked, but not giving into the taught emotion that rests underneath it in her, in all of her family, still, right now.
sheisourheart: (Simple Joys)
It's early spring and Esme is outside attending to the flower banks which have newly opened. Kneeling in the beds pulling out handfuls of weeds with decided affection toward both the task and the garden itself. Even toward the silence of the afternoon, now that Edward has stopped banging out his newest piece a few minutes ago.

Something had settled out finally with the acceptance to his new school.
An unexpected outcome to their unexpected blessings.

Where there has once been the combined presences of the piano that Carlisle had kept and then finally Edward, without any playing, since the letter, there had been ceaseless sound all day and night long. But it wasn't only sound. It was as though Edward was using his hands as a hammer to press out all the sound as loud and hard and fast through the keys as were it possible while still leaving it standing.

There was nothing precious to the playing any longer, and the gift that it was happening waned weeks back. She didn't need a musical degree to be able to tell how these pieces were picked, or why he played them. More often than not she needed more patience not to frown or make a pointed comment with her thought.
sheisourheart: (Always A Woman)
1931;
she walks the thin white line between the body and the soul


"Edward."

She's standing in front of him by the time he looks up from his newest hardcover, holding out her left hand, trying not to focus, not to think. Which she hopes is why he gives her the odd expression while letting the book settle one of his thighs.

"Yes?"

She emphasized her left hand being held out with a shift to the extended fingers. "Could you--"

And, of course, he's standing up, pushing the book aside from her thoughts before she can even get the words to figure themselves out correctly. The look of confused, concern blossoming in his eyes and along his cheekbones as result of the tension in his jaw.

"Nothing's happened," she says almost too quickly. Earning her a look of disconcerted confusion that turned his face slowly, searchingly. She wonders how much of what she's thinking at that second is being dissected across his mind, and then flushes, flustering apologetically, a little for the thought.

She swallowed, unnecessarily, and reached out to take his right hand with her left since he still hasn't understood. There was uncertain resistance, before his hand simply went as she directed it. His expression would be puzzled she knew, but she had to keep going.

Esme unbuttoned the cuff of his shirt, half pulling, half pushing it back until she could see the bracer hidden under. There was a millisecond of hesitation, before her first two fingers traced the outer circle of the well known emblem. The one he let no one see, no less touch. The one he'd kept even when he hadn't kept them.

Then she looked up at him. "You love him."

And whatever lazy, relaxed bit that was left from before she walked into the room evaporated into the look that told her very clearly he would have suddenly rather been anywhere but in front of her now.

Edward's lips pressed, and his hand tightened reflexively in hers, but he didn't speak. She watched things she could not name or recognize war in the eyes she knew second best of her world. Eyes that were more crimson than butterscotch still. And she knew that thought registered when they suddenly dropped away from her face.

She knew that, knew this part of him that Carlisle could not. The waiting. The endless reminders in the face before them while the days wouldn't leave. The weight of the mistake that branded apparent deformity even beyond remorse; tastelessly and excessively staining. She thought about reaching out to stroke the disarray of hair across his forehead.

As soft breath announced that maybe even when she didn't the thought had mattered. At least until he tried to move, tried to take a step back and she refused to let go of his hand. One under it and one still holding over his bracered wrist. When he looked up it was removed, but she swore she almost saw something that was darkly pleading.

He said, quietly, a well worn dense. "He loves you."

Esme nodded, her chest loosening with that endless undoubted truth. The truth that had set her free from her past and given her a future more than even having a new life had. "He does, and I love him. More than this entire life we've made or any tomorrow I have."

Edward wasn't cringing. She wasn't sure what he was doing. For all that he was not looking directly at her face, it was almost impossible to hide his expression when she was shorter than he was and so close. He was looking downward, with his lashes near his cheek. When his gaze back shifted to her she wondered how anyone who passed him could not see the depth of the pain in him. No beauty or lie seemed enough it could disguise that truth.

"I would nev--" His lips had formed the words slowly, specifically, enough, that when she raised her right hand from the bracer to right before his mouth, it was with an unbidden agony of relief that she had. She stared at her fingers and his silenced mouth.

"But he needs you." She said it with the air of something so commonplace she could have been addressing a chair, her thoughts hoping he wouldn't make her point out that no one living in this house was either blind or stupid.

Before he could disagree, she went on, with more emphasis. "We need you."

Esme saw it register with a weight of guilt from abandonment and the houses wounds therein rather than anything she'd meant by it. Her right hand found the front of his shirt and she tugged him to her level, and Edward moved, wary with exhaustion, at not understanding how or why or what. As though expecting only to be given something even worse to hear.

His mouth formed her name, between them, a frustrated suit that didn't sound as if it knew whether it begged to be hurt more or to be left alone entirely. That was stopped entirely when she pressed her lips against his.

Try as she might in those first few seconds, Edward did not budge even a millimeter. The hand above hers, and the face, turned remote, as though cast in a Roman style of blankness somewhere far beyond or far within. She pressed onward, against defense and sanity, the absence of anything as second ticked louder and louder down her spine.

But when he didn't move, didn't even react, foolishness, flush with hot shame and embarrassment, for even thinking it might, flooded through her body. She went to step back, trying to think of any words that could salvage the damage she'd done, when just as suddenly hands at her sides fisted, crushing her sweater and skirt and skin, denied her the ability to leave.
sheisourheart: (These (Those) Many Years)
In light of Edward making 'the promise' that will come back to bite him hard in the ass at New Moon and because Steph and I talk of these things when left to our lonesome at my three am:

Conversational Lead-up )

So even though I really, really, really wanted to write Golden Carlisle-Edward AU spawned by THIS -- as it's been in my head all freakin' day since I saw the picture this morning. To the point of blush worthy distraction while teaching four year olds -- this is once again proof that the headvoices care not what my focus of the moment is and write their own drabbles without my say so, because they can.

Maybe you'll get the peanut gallery Double E conversations’ too soonish but they can be rather heartful and heartless with each other in turns. So for now you get adorableness before I decide to start giving you play-by-plays of them learning to live with what I (and Steph and Canon) have given them both to live with.

~*~


2006;
I look for you, to light my heart
"Bella asked me about the two of you," Esme said, crossing from the closet, where her skirt and blouse had exchanged for a shift, to sit at the large dark, mahogany dresser.

"I had thought she might. Her determination with all the sides of this situation at the meeting spoke for itself." Carlisle had laid down on his lap the book he'd been skimming. His comment was evenly above board, while Bell's inquiry was by its own means singular in purpose and pursuit, even as it charged head long into places left alone.

He watched his wife brush her hair before he asked, quieter, "What did you say?"

Esme turned from the dresser, looking more, his expression gave away, at peace than he'd expected. She moved to sit on the bed at his side, taking the book from him. Her eyes stayed on him even as the dropped it on the bed table. "I told her in the scope of eternity, life and death, and love, become far larger than words can explain."

Carlisle brushed a curl back over her shoulder, before pulling his wife against his side. "What would I do without you?"

Esme curled into his arms, fitting as she always had and always would be amazed at. She loved her life and her husband. All that came with him, every piece of his complex simplicity. And it was with that thought, that she said, warmly content, against his chest. "You'll never have to find out."

Because it was months, maybe even years too early to even jokingly say wither away and die. Again.
sheisourheart: (Carlisle - Talking)
"You're sure you don't mind?"

"It's good for me to go out."

When the door opens, Esme's hair is tied back with a green ribbon, that matches the dress just barely peeking out from the bottom of a long, warm looking jacket, and her hand is already holding the bottom-crook handle of an umbrella.

They don't need it, but they don't need to arrive at the exhibit in soaking wet clothing either, no matter how much of it is driving. She's looking back into the house, back to Carlisle, who can't yet be seen through the door, before she turns to step on to the covered front.

Before she turns, the flash of a smile frozen for milliseconds before there isn't even a way to control the gasp that breaks it.
sheisourheart: (The Children: Edward)
"Are you going to say it, or not?"

Her voice, the sudden statement of thoughts, actually surprises Edward. He sat up straighter. "Excuse me?"

"You've been watching me for the last thirty minutes. I know you aren't obsessed with the laundry, so I assume--" Esme looked over to catch the tight grimace on the boy's face, just as he looked away. "Now you're really going to have to tell me."

Or not, so says the silence that has him not looking back at him, and holding himself more still. Esme turned back to folding the clothes, humming softly. And he can see it. She can wait. She doesn't even mind it. She's dealt with longer and deeper silences than his few minutes can compel her to concern. Though she is curious.

When did she become so certain of herself, of time and her place?

It's so much more her house than it is either of theirs.

"I was wondering when you were going to talk to me."

Esme made a face at the green sweater she was folding, tossing him a look. "Aren't I talking to you already?"

"Yes." Pause.

"I meant about--" He didn't go on. It just hung there on the air.

The folded green was placed on the stack and she turned toward him again. "You want to know when I'm going yell at you, you mean?"

Edward said nothing, studying her with red eyes, so very still. Reminding her too easily of someone both ready to take a house being dropped on them and still was ready to run at the drop of hat, at even the smallest whispered thought of being unwelcome in this place. She sat on the arm of the chair that held the clothing she was folding.

"You want me to take out my last five years on you? You want me to tell you that you took my friend and my husband and my life away when the door closed?" Esme laced her fingers together, setting them on her knee. "Do you think you are the only person in the world, or even this house, who found themselves in a situation that was less than perfect and decided running away made it better?"

Even with the ability to see her making the allusion to all three of them, Edward sat staring at her, still, and Esme shook her head.

"This is your home, Edward, and from the sound of it--" From the sound of his discussions with Carlisle, and his music, the twice it had started in the afternoon hours a day or two ago. "--you're already doing a good enough job of beating yourself up on a nearly unending basis. You know what you did. For all of whatever happened where you were, and -- and you already see more of it than either of us ever wanted you to, correct? You don't need that from me, too."

"I don't deserve that. You're--" He couldn't even make the words form.

She watched it shudder across his youthful features, and those red eyes, that seemed so much older. Haunted. Eyes that carried the dead, struggling looked Carlisle's had lost when they'd brought him in again. Eyes that strained as though to find something else in her, something to damn himself on, that caught all her flawed reactions and her decision to stick with this still.

"Family isn't about deserving."

"I just want."

"What do you want, Edward?"

"To do something, to," but the words are too small, the past so big.

Esme smiled, faintly, moving to pull another piece out of the clean basket again, "You could help me with folding all of this."

"I don't know that I'm that apropos," Edward said with a crease that was both grimace and smirk. The amusement flitting across in how his cheeks lifted even when his lips didn't raise and eyes didn't change.

You do know that my aim with a pillow has gotten much better, right?

There was a chuckle. "You would have to."

Beat. "Esme."

"Hmm?"

"I don't know how to do this."

She walked over to his chair and held a hand out. He looked at it, and then her, uncertainly. Hesitant in just looking at it, and even more in slipping his hand into hers. He moved slowly for how fast everything came and went for him, still in the full swing of having had human blood, but he was the same height as Carlisle and still enough.

She pulled him down and put her arms around his shoulders. Waiting until he finally stopped being stock still, until his head ducked just enough against her own shoulder, "You belong here."

He doesn't move for the longest time. Minutes. Before he finally set his arms around her frame, wondering how, how he'd missed so much, how any of this was even possible, how he could manage another five minutes, how they could be this way. Let it ramble in his head, let it ramble until all that was left was her words. Her words and Carlisle's.

And the smallest whisper, that she doesn't miss it, that whole house can't. "Thank you."
sheisourheart: (Default)
She's always taken care of the house, but she learns in these years how to take care of life.

A lot of their first few weeks of nights out she plans. She knows what Carlisle likes, but she doesn't know what he has and hasn't seen. Where the differentiating line is between what he's seen and what they'd seen together, before or even after she arrived. These were their things and she didn't pry.

But she does know, all too well, the face he makes when she suddenly suggests one of the latter ones. The look that says he's looking somewhere else, somewhere far away, somewhere she can't follow and she waits knowing he'll be back.

Whether back is in five minutes or five days.


Which happened a few hours ago.


Again.




Instead of the Grand Ole Opry, Esme is organizing the bookshelves.

The first four were easy, but the one she's on is normal book for the top three shelves and then the bottom three are going to be for Carlisle's journals. She has the bookshelf redecoration mapped out in her head. The stacks around her, existing in a way that likely only makes sense to her. There's no one else to disturb them, but she's stuck staring at the piles of journals.

Wondering, logically, and testing the silence --

"Carlisle?"
sheisourheart: (Awash in Caramel Waves)
It's impossible to say the first night is the worse. Or the week following.

Carlisle had all but literally shut down when the door closed, that first night.

Then he'd demolished the piano bench on the second day, when she hadn't been sure he'd move at all. She hadn't been in the room, but she'd come back to him staring at the mess on the floor and in his hands. The only words he'd spoken that whole day, being a retort 'Did you want to sit there?' when she commented on it.

Whatever she'd said after that was lost on deaf ears, but she'd cleaned it up and sat by him.

Day three and four and five were remarkably alike. She didn't leave the house because there was nowhere else she would go while he wasn't leaving. He let himself be led, but didn't do anything specifically. Even when he'd rise as though with intention it seemed to get lost before anything ever made it.

She spent much of her time on those day reading to him from a book. Any book nearby that she hadn't seen Edward reading recently or heard them talk about (and how rare that was). Never once saying she felt like her mistake had helped lead to this, not giving voice to her own inner world of emotions that rocked both the leaving and the left. The house, even full of her voice, was not the expression of her sorrow or anger, both of which turned over each other daily.

When Monday came and she found him again in that chair looking out the window, blank of any receptive thought toward it, she'd bit her lip and walked in quietly. A hand curved gently around the crook of his neck and shoulder when she kissed his temple, saying softly, "It's a lovely sunrise."
sheisourheart: (Talking)
It's been a few weeks since Jasper and Alice settled into the house, enough that they are starting to slip into being part of the days rhythms and that Esme finds herself thinking toward their needs the same as everyone else's. It's a random weekday when she peeks her head into the room that look nothing like Edward had kept it.

Golden eyes settling on the girl with her note book, Esme's lips became a gentle smile watching her. "I was thinking about heading into town and wondered--"
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