Title: Cause and Effect
Fandom: The Twilight Saga
Pairings: [Gen] Edward, Jasper, Emmett
Rating: PG - General Audiences
Summary: For cascadewaters's prompt, "Twilight, Emmett + Jasper + Edward, the reason he'd been so sure that they would never help him harm himself―and why he should have known what they'd do to him when he got home."
Note: It's been so long since my Twilight phase, but after all these years, I still love the Cullens―which is strange, to say the least, because I don't like the series at all (or that much, I should say) these days. I'd like to emphasize 'years' in the previous sentence, because it's been years since I last read the books or watched one of the movies, which means I've probably misinterpreted the prompt. (I'm probably failing to remember some happening related to this prompt, for which I apologize.) Regardless, I hope you still enjoy this fill, cascadewaters!
. . .
“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
. . .
Deep down, Edward knew he wasn't thinking rationally. Love made fools of everyone, and it was no surprise that the mere suggestion of Bella's evident death drove him to the point of insanity. For days, he'd wept, miserable and depressed, wanting nothing more than to die. He'd gone so far as to beg his brothers to end his life, though the rational part of him―still there; always there, but masked by his loss―knew that the request at hand was far beyond ridiculous. Jasper and Emmett treasured the significance of brotherhood just as much as Edward did; they would never want Edward's blood on their hands, just as Edward would never want to be responsible for slaying the only brothers he'd ever had.
Still, the grief consumed him. A life without Bella wasn't a life he ever wanted to experience, not especially with her dead. With shaky hands, Edward addressed letters to each member of his family, going out of his way when the time came to write his farewells to Jasper and Emmett. "Forgive me," he wrote at the end. "Please, forgive me. I can't live like this any longer. Think of Alice. Think of Rose. Think of how you'd feel if you ever lost them."
Enclosing each letter in their respective envelope, Edward took one long glance at his room―it'd be the last time, and he wanted to remember the very scent of his sisters' perfume; he wanted to engrave the words, 'to our son', written so thoughtfully and carefully by Carlisle and Esme, into his mind; he wanted to be able to envision his brothers' faces before he rejoined Bella in the after life, their carefree faces a visual reminder of a happier time, so free of the darkness he now carried.
Goodbye, Edward thought. (The pang in his chest, he later realized, had little to do with Bella in that moment and more to do with the very thought of departing from his family.)
"You stupid, selfish jerk," Emmett spat. A fist collided with Edward's face, nearly making him lose his balance altogether. Emmett looked furious, eyes blazing with a temper Edward never knew his brother had. "How could you? How could you even think of doing that to us?" A familiar hand settled on Emmett's arm, then, stopping the rant Edward had been sure was inevitable after his return.
"Edward," Jasper said, more collected. He regarded Edward with a soft smile, understanding so plain to see on his face. Of course Jasper understood; he'd voiced similar thoughts to Edward before, speaking of memories he desperately wanted to forget but never could. "Some days," Jasper had told him, voice thick with emotion, "I just want it all to be over." Bella's apparent death had allowed him to forget Jasper's own struggles, but subconsciously, he'd known both Jasper and Emmett would have eventually understood―even without Alice and Rosalie.
"It's good to have you home." Under normal circumstances, Edward would have been surprised by the warm embrace that followed, but Jasper's arms around him felt right in their current situation. Instinctually, his own arms wrapped around Jasper's figure, pulling Jasper even closer to him. Edward gestured for Emmett to join them, hoping his eyes conveyed the apology he knew would fail in words. It seemed to do the trick, because Emmett tugged them both into a group hug.
It was good to be home. With his brothers.
(The pang in his chest had been the same reason he always knew his brothers would never harm him: the price of brotherhood was practically immeasurable. His brothers couldn't lose him. Edward sure as hell couldn't lose them, either.)