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Love and Light Return with Thee (One-shot) by idealskeptic






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Story Notes:

"Love and Light Return with Thee" is my expansion of the sleepover that Alice kidnapped Bella for in Eclipse.

All couples are canon.

I've taken liberties to expand the story of Esme & Carlisle and Alice & Jasper.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Twilighted Validation Beta - Hannah81


“Oh, Bella, you don’t even need me to tell you that the boys will be back tomorrow morning, so stop jumping every time you hear a noise.” Alice quickly sat on her human friend to try and settle her. “If only Jazz’s talent was here,” she sighed ruefully.

“Yeah, at least that way I could be calm without being a popsicle,” Bella commented dryly as she tried to push Alice off her lap.

“Oops, sorry!” Alice chirped as she jumped up, tucked a thick blanket over Bella and promptly sat back down.

Esme came into the room then, carrying a tray with a steaming cup of hot cocoa and a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies. “A snack for the human,” she said with a smile as she set it on the coffee table.

“Trying to plump me up for your snack later?" Bella teased as she reached for a cookie, famished even after eating far too much lasagna for dinner.

Esme laughed softly as she sat on the other end of the sofa. “But of course,” she said with mock seriousness. “Alice and I are looking forward to being ripped apart and burned when Edward returns to your empty body.”

Alice gave a playful snarl and nuzzled Bella’s neck.

“About time,” Rosalie sighed dramatically as she appeared at the bottom of the stairs; arms full with four pink tank tops, four pairs of pink Capri pajama bottoms and a tray with hair accessories, make-up and nail polish, “We’re finally taking care of the human problem around here?”

“Don’t worry, Bella,” Alice giggled, leaping up and taking the tanks and pants from Rosalie and passing out one set to each of the four women. “She’s kidding. We’re having a girl talk, makeover, pajama party. Anyway, we snacked last night.”

The group when to private corners and changed into their pink pajamas. Bella managed to surprise everyone by being back on the sofa first.

“How’d you do that?” Alice said, hands on hips, as she raised an eyebrow. “I changed almost at vampire speed.”

“I didn’t want the cookies or my cocoa to get cold,” Bella said with a grin and a shrug.

“Humans,” Alice sighed, plopping onto the floor in front of Bella and rearranging the make-up and nail polish. “What color do you want on your toes?”

Bella leaned forward and looked over Alice’s shoulder, scrunching her nose at the dizzying array of colors to choose from. “That one,” she said without pointing at a particular one.

“Which one?” Alice demanded.

“The one I already picked,” Bella said, lightly tapping the side of Alice’s head. “Or the one you already picked for me.”

Her pale fingers ran over the tops of the bottles before plucking a shimmery bronze bottle. “Excellent choice,” she declared. “Very desert like. You’ll have this on your fingers as well.”

“If we are doing each other’s nails, someone is going to look really bad,” she declared with a groan. “I’m terrible at nail polish.”

“You can do mine,” Esme said as she came downstairs, her honey brown hair pulled back in a loose bun. “I’m not nearly as particular as Rosalie and Alice.”

“There ya go, darlin’,” Alice said, imitating her husband’s southern drawl. “I’ll do yours, you do Esme, Esme does Rosalie and Rosalie does me.”

“I don’t want Carlisle mad at me so I have to do somebody else’s make-up and hair,” Bella said as she blew on her cocoa. “It’s only fair, really.”

“You can do my make-up,” Rosalie offered, surprising everyone else in the house, including her psychic sister. “As long as you don’t cut anything, you can’t mess up Alice’s hair at all.”

Esme’s hand caught the bottle of nail polish as it sailed through the air. “Anyone who breaks anything will spend the rest of the night polish all the hardwood floors with a toothbrush,” she said firmly. “I’m still the parent here. And that means accidents, as well.”

“Yes, ma’am,” the three girls chorused.

“Good. Then let’s get started.”

Esme began to carefully paint Rosalie’s toes a flawless cherry red as Alice began applying the bronze to Bella’s feet.

“Can I ask you something, Bella?” Rosalie said with a tiny trace of nervousness in her musical voice. “What did you first think when you found out that Edward snuck in your bedroom and watched you sleep?”

“I thought it was really sweet,” she said, groaning softly as the blood rushed to her cheeks. “That he cared for me enough to keep watch over me like that.”

“The whole vampire-in-my-room-while-I-sleep thing didn’t bother you?” Rosalie pressed.

“What was I going to do? Forbid him? Little old me can’t make a vampire do anything. If he was going to kill me, I couldn’t stop it. So, since I was rather enjoying myself, I decided to let what will happen, happen. I’m crazy, aren’t I?”

“Yes.” Rosalie was clear in her decision.

“Probably.” Alice seemed a bit on the fence about the whole thing.

“No.” Esme’s firm reply brought the room to a standstill.

“No?” Rosalie repeated doubtfully.

“No,” Esme insisted. “Haven’t any of you wondered why Carlisle and I didn’t fight harder to keep Edward out of her room at night?”

Alice squinted at her pseudo-mother. “I have. Why didn’t you?”

“Because we aren’t the type who say do as I say, not as I do,” she answered with a badly hidden smile as she focused on Rosalie’s left foot.

“Huh?” Bella said rather ungracefully.

“Carlisle could never ask Edward to do something that he, himself, could not do. And I made the decision for myself so I could not make the decision for you.” Esme couldn’t hold back any longer and smiled guiltily at her daughters. “When I was sixteen, I broke my leg getting a cat out of a tree. It was 1911 in rural Ohio and the town doctor was away for two weeks. My father drove to the next town to get a doctor. It was Carlisle. He set my leg and put me in a cast.

For the next two weeks, he came back almost every day to check on me. He treated people in his town and our town, always seeming to be in two places at once, though he only made house calls at night. No one could understand how he wasn’t exhausted enough to need a doctor himself. So being the most brazen teenager in 1911 America, or so my mother always told me, I asked him. He put his cold finger to my lips and promised that he would tell me later.

I hated the word later. For girls my age in that time, everything was always something you would find out later. So I figured that I had seen the last of the handsome Dr. Cullen due to my pushy, brazen nature.

But it was hot that night and my mother had left my big window wide open, the white muslin curtains not even blowing in the humid night. I woke up and propped myself on my elbow to take a drink of the warm water on my bedside table and something didn’t seem right. The moon was being blocked by something, it made a shadow on the floor that looked like the silhouette of a man. Carlisle was sitting on the windowsill.

He asked me if I was too warm. I said yes. He slid down from the sill and walked silently to my bed. He told me that I was to tell him to stop the moment I want him to stop and leave. I promised I would. And he told me that if he left suddenly, he was very sorry but it would be for my own good and he’d try to come back later. Then he gently slipped into the bed next to me and put his cool arm around me.

He told me everything that night, his calm voice whispering the words in my ear. I knew what he was and that he was risking his life by telling me.

When dawn started to break, he told me that he had to leave. He said that he would come back to examine me one final time. If I didn’t speak at all, he would never come again. If I spoke to him, he would return.

When he came back to examine me, I complimented his shirt.

He came almost every night for six months, unless he had a medical emergency. He told me that he had to move on, people were starting to notice his distinct lack of aging. I had to stay behind and be a proper woman. But I was in love with him. Hopelessly in love with a vampire!

Maybe that’s why I allowed myself to be married to the man I married. Because I knew I was settling. Settling for something less than what I wanted. Less than what I would have. One day.

Anyway, ten terrible years later, I threw myself off a cliff and into Carlisle’s waiting arms.”

“That’s beyond impossible!” Alice yelped at the conclusion of the story.

“I can’t believe you never told us!” Rosalie squealed as she applied the last of the eggshell blue color to Alice’s fingernails. “Edward knows, of course.”

“No, he doesn’t,” Esme corrected her gently as she admired the pale pink polish Bella had carefully applied to her nails. “I don’t think so, anyway. He’s very careful to not listen to private things and it happened so long ago that Carlisle and I had hardly thought about until Bella moved to Forks. And, of course, Carlisle’s memories of it are much more clear than mine so, if he does know, it would be from Carlisle thinking about it.”

“Isn’t that crazy, Bella?” Alice squeaked happily.

Bella shook her head slowly. “Yeah, amazing,” she said thoughtfully. “Esme, did you want Carlisle to…?”

Esme pursed her lips, searching for the proper way to answer the question and get the right reaction from Bella. “Yes. I asked him to make me like him. Begged him, really. But he refused. He said that I was only sixteen and that I had to live my life. He hadn’t ever changed anyone and wasn’t sure he knew how. But I knew, deep down, that one day I would be with him. I was willing to wait.”

“Good answer,” Rosalie commented as she watched Bella process. “Edward’s going to kill you either way, though.”

“No one is going to kill anyone,” Alice announced cheerfully. “I actually see Bella telling Edward that she might consider waiting until after college. Inspired by Esme and all.”

“Crap,” Bella muttered grumpily as she stood up. “I need a human minute.”

When she returned, Alice was standing with arms full of pillows and blankets. “We forgot about sleep. Do you need to sleep?”

“I am a little tired but I don’t want to stop talking,” she admitted as she sunk back into the sofa cushions.

“We can talk while you fall asleep,” Rosalie suggested, spreading a blanket tenderly over her future sister. “And then, if you want to surprise Edward, we can get you up really early to do hair and make-up. Alice can loan you a dress and we’ll all surprise our men when they get back to dolled up ladies.”

“Go ahead and ask your question,” Alice prodded, with a badly suppressed grin, as she stuck two pillows behind her. “Rosalie won’t be offended.”

“Alice!” Bella groaned as she felt the familiar color rise to her cheeks. “Why don’t you just answer the question?”

“Alice, stop looking at the future,” Rosalie admonished her. “Just ask, Bella. If we’re going to spend eternity together we might as well not be afraid to speak to each other.”

“It isn’t a question for you, Rosalie. It’s for Alice, actually. Or maybe for both of you. I just wanted to know why Alice and Jasper only got married once and you and Emmett get married every few years. That’s all.”

“Alice and I are not that much alike, you know,” Rosalie said with a snicker. “And Emmett and I do not get married every few years because I have some uncontrollable need to be the center of attention, if that’s what Edward told you. You know that I want to be human, very badly. And to me, it just seems like humans go to high school, graduate, go to college, get married. So that’s what I want to do. And I do it.”

“And me,” Alice said as she lounged on the coffee table, looking more comfortable than anyone should on a piece of wood, “I’m never leaving Jazz and he’s still so darn convinced that I deserve better than him that I worry if I want to do it again, he’ll think I don’t like him anymore or something. Crazy man. Plus, our wedding was just too absolutely perfect to ever do again.”

“Here we go,” Rosalie groaned.

“She’s gone to get the pictures and film,” Esme sighed.

“Do you want to look at pictures?” Alice called out, having disappeared into a closet.

“Yeah, of course,” Bella agreed, mildly confused by Esme and Rosalie’s reactions.

“This may put me to sleep,” Rosalie muttered with a snicker.

“At least Bella will be seeing them for the first time,” Esme pointed out.

“I can hear every word you two say,” Alice announced with a growl and a grin. “But I don’t care.”

“Jazz and I got married in 1956. We’d been Cullens for six years and together for ten. I was shopping with Esme and I saw this,” her pale finger poked a black and white photo of herself in a white, off the shoulder, belted, sleeveless, full skirt, tea length lace and tulle dress, “and promptly saw myself getting married.

Jazz, of course, agreed in a heartbeat. I think he even liked the idea, being the proper gentleman on the 1850s that he is. But he still wasn’t so great at being a vegetarian so our guest list was limited to the minister, his wife and the family. But it was super perfect.

Oh, the dress had to have a full skirt. Jazz insisted it did so he could twirl me properly. Isn’t that sweet?” Alice sighed happily at the memory.

“Very,” Bella agreed as she looked through the photos and studied the Cullens frozen, for a moment, in 1956.

“Edward had just got a film camera and he recorded the wedding, do you want to watch?” Alice, for once, seemed unsure of the answer.

“Definitely,” Bella said enthusiastically as Alice perked up considerably. “Then I’ll sleep. And then we’ll dress up for the boys.”

“Go ahead, Rosalie,” Alice chirped. “I already saw you sneak to the garage. I don’t mind. And you should go to your blueprints, Esme.”

Bella laughed at the speed with which the other two left the room. “They’ve seen it before?” she guessed.

Alice gave an easy shrug. “Probably too many times,” she admitted with a grin. “No sound could be recorded back then so, when Emmett put it on DVD as a 50th anniversary present, he added the songs that we danced to that night. We lived in a little town in Maine called Dickey then. It was near the Canadian border.”

Bella settled into her pillows and watched the grainy black and white footage of Jasper twirling Alice magically across the lawn of their home at the time. “Were your feet touching the ground?” she asked with a giggle.

“No,” Alice grinned happily. “Too short. Jazz held me in the air. I should have had a full length skirt to hide that but full skirts make me look even shorter. And it was just us there so it didn’t really matter.”

“I recognize that music,” Bella said quietly as a familiar melody drifted over her tired brain. “But I can’t think what it is.”

“Did your parents like Elvis Presley? Because that’s the music from his song Love Me Tender, which came out the year we got married.”

“Those aren’t the words to Love Me Tender?” Bella argued sleepily.

“You didn’t let me finish,” Alice chastised her as she perched on the back of the sofa and watched herself on the screen. “Elvis stole the music from a Civil War song called Aura Lea that Jazz said soldiers always sang about the girl they left at home. I’ll sing you some of it and then you’ll be asleep.”

Aura Lea! the bird may flee,

The willow's golden hair

Swing through winter fitfully,

On the stormy air.

Yet if thy blue eyes I see,

Gloom will soon depart;

For to me, sweet Aura Lea

Is sunshine through the heart.

......

 

When the mistletoe was green,

Midst the winter's snows,

Sunshine in thy face was seen,

Kissing lips of rose.

Aura Lea, Aura Lea,

Take my golden ring;

Love and light return with thee,

And swallows with the spring.

 

“Did you have good dreams?”

“Jeez! Alice!” Bella yelped, covering her face from the tiny vampire still perched on the back of the sofa. “Just because you knew I was about to wake up doesn’t mean you scare me like that?”

“Sorry,” she said with a pout before turning her frown around. “So did you? Edward said you have nightmares sometimes.”

“No, it was good dreams,” Bella confirmed, making a mental note to yell at Edward for sharing details like that. “Black and white ones about hanging out in my room in a wedding dress waiting for a handsome doctor to climb in and sing Love Me Tender.”

“Fine, don’t tell me the details,” Alice pouted again. “But I believe that you had good dreams.”

“Are they back yet?”

Alice shook her head and whipped a shimmering bronze dress of the same design as Marilyn Monroe’s famous white one from behind the sofa. “No. And we have just enough time to get all fixed up for them.”

“That’s beautiful, Alice,” Bella said as she fingered the dress. “Have you had it long?”

She shook her tiny head again, thrilled that Bella liked the dress as she hadn’t believed her vision. “Not long. I made it while you slept.”

Bella rubbed her eyes and pinched her arm, thinking maybe she was still asleep. “You made it while I slept?”

“Heeellloooo,” Alice drawled pointing at her own chest. “Vampire? Remember? I thought it would be super cute if we all had the same style dress, just in different colors. So I made this shimmery bronze one for you, cherry red for Rosalie, pale pink for Esme and eggshell blue for me.”

“Well, give me a human minute and then we can work on hair and make-up.”

Alice had already hopped off the sofa and threw her arms around Esme. “That’s a perfect idea, Esme!” she squeaked.

“What’s perfect?” Rosalie asked, coming downstairs in her red dress.

“Yes, Alice, what perfect idea did I have this time?” Esme asked with laugh.

“We each sit at the top of one of the four fir trees that line the riverbank. The boys will be coming over the ridge. They’ll see us from the distance and love it.” Alice squealed with delight. “They’ll have to come up and get us down.”

“That is perfect!” Rosalie agreed excitedly.

“No, no, it isn’t,” Bella said as she stepped out of the kitchen eating one of the croissants that Esme had left on the counter. “Look, I’m eating without being told!”

“Good girl,” Alice said quickly, looking at her critically. “But why isn’t it a good idea? I see you at the top of the tree.”

“How do I get up the tree?” she asked, warily eyeing the tree from the safety of the house. “And, perhaps more importantly, it looks windy out. How do I stay in the tree?”

“Have you no faith at all in me?” Alice sighed as she began to undress her human friend around the croissant. “I take you up the tree and deposit you safely on a branch and stay with you. Then, just before the boys can see us, I use my trusty freaky brain for this part, I leap gracefully to the next tree where I await Jazz. Simple, isn’t it?”

“I trust you, Alice,” Bella said solemnly as she rolled her eyes. “Honest.”

“That’s what I like to hear. Now do Rosalie’s make-up and I’ll do Esme’s. Then we switch places. Then you do my hair while Esme does Rosalie’s and then another switch.”

“God, Alice, you’re like a drill sergeant,” Rosalie groaned as she sat in front of Bella. “Give it a rest.”

Half an hour later, Esme was thrilled with her soft, understated make-up, Bella was thoroughly enjoying her newly highlighted bouncing curls, Rosalie loved that Bella had dared to put cherry red lipstick on her pale face and Alice was tickled, almost literally by the way that her spiky short hair had been fluffed into a dark halo of sorts.

“All aboard!” Alice trilled as she snatched Bella and deposited her on her back. “Up we go.”

Rosalie and Esme climbed the outer pair of trees and settled themselves in the top branches, draping their skirts around their legs.

Alice climbed the tree next to Esme and carefully set Bella down. “Hold on right here,” she directed, wrapping Bella’s fingers around the trunk before she fluffed out the bronze skirt. “Try to look relaxed sexy, okay?”

“Relaxed and sexy?” Bella snorted ungracefully. “Sitting hundreds of feet in the air on a tree branch? Waiting for my boyfriend who I can’t do anything more with than kiss? Sure, I’m sexy and relaxed.”

“That’s the spirit, Bella!” Rosalie laughed loudly from her tree.

“Oh! They’re coming!” Alice squealed as she stepped to a branch that wouldn’t make Bella bounce too much when she jumped. “Thirty seconds. Stay there, Bella. And remember, sexy.”

Alice leapt gracefully to the empty tree next to Rosalie and draped herself over the branches.

“Now that’s the kind of welcome I like,” Emmett’s voice boomed from the other side of the river.

“And we’ve each got one,” Jasper drawled happily. “Even you, Carlisle.”

“Honey! I’m home!” Carlisle called out as he leapt effortlessly over the river.

Edward was first to his girl, though. “You look scared,” he whispered in her ear. “I didn’t want you to fall.”

“Thank you,” she whispered back. “But don’t I look nice?”

“Dazzling,” he confirmed as he lifted her into his arms. “But you’ll look even better when you aren’t worried about plummeting two hundred feet to the ground.”

“I’m fine now that you’re holding me,” she sighed, leaning into his chest.

“Did you have a good sleepover? Alice did let you sleep, right? And eat?”

“I ate far too much to be fitting into this dress right now, luckily Alice made it after I ate. And I did sleep. Good dreams too, though we have to talk about you telling people about my nightmares. As in, don’t do it.”

“Sorry, love. Won’t happen again.” Edward paused as he listened to someone’s thoughts. “Carlisle! You really should have told me!”

“It slipped my mind, Edward,” Carlisle said with an easy shrug as he nuzzled against Esme’s neck. “You always try so hard to keep out of our private thoughts anyway, you shouldn’t be upset.”

“But look, Edward!” Alice called from Jasper’s arms as she showed him her vision of Bella’s wavering mind.

“Never mind then,” Edward announced happily. “Thank you, Bella.”

“Considering it, Edward,” she cautioned. “Just considering it.”

“Anyway,” Jasper sighed, “what brings you ladies to the treetops in all of your finery?”

“We were bored and thought you might enjoy it,” Alice said lazily. “Do you?”

“Hell yeah!” Emmett cheered.

“But we can’t get all lustful,” Esme cautioned with a quiet laugh. “That would be unfair to Bella and Edward.”

“Why don’t we have a photo shoot?” Rosalie suggested, trying to keep Emmett’s pawing hands out of her dress. “You boys go put on suits and ties to match our dresses and then we can take pictures all around the house and the forest. It’ll be beautiful with the light of dawn.”

“We don’t have a choice, do we?” Jasper said as Alice started pushing him down the tree.

“Doesn’t look like it,” Carlisle chuckled.

The group raced around the house and surrounding forest posing for and taking pictures until noon. The day had turned sunny and Carlisle had a shift at the hospital and Bella was promised for Billy Black’s birthday party.

“I had a really good time,” Bella said, returned to her jeans and t-shirt, as Edward prepared to drive her to the border. “Thank you for entertaining me for the night.”

“Anytime, Bella,” Esme said as she gave her a hug. “We’ll have to do this again soon.”

“See ya,” Alice called out as the Volvo pulled away. “I’ll print all the pictures and give you copies of the pre-sparkle shots!”

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