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Only Human24

Only Human24

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Published by Ana Karen

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Published by: Ana Karen on Mar 02, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/13/2012

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Chapter 24
Title:
Only Human (24/27)
Author:
Amethyst Jackson
Rating:
M/NC-17
Category:
Drama, Angst, Romance
Pairing:
Edward/Bella 
Summary:
A wish sends Bella back in time to Chicago, 1918, and to a human Edward.
Disclaimer:
 
 All this genius belongs to Stephanie Meyer. I’m just having a little fun.
 Carlisle returned after sunset and came straight to us, checking over Edward and Elizabeth.
“What’s the prognosis?” I asked quietly to avoid waking 
them.
“It’s not wonderful,” Carlisle sighed as he removed his stethoscope. “Edward’s condition appearsto be mostly unchanged, but Mrs. Masen… Her lungs are worse. It sounds like there’s more fluidthere than yesterday. And her fever is higher.”
 
“I think she’s given up,” I told him. His eyes were sorrowful but 
resigned a darkening brown. He
obviously hadn’t taken time to hunt lately.
 
“It happens too often,” he said. “As much as she’s lost and stands to lose, I can imagine how easy it  would be.”
 For a moment, he looked as though he was speaking from experience, and I wondered if he was
remembering his first days as a vampire, how he’d unsuccessfully tried to destroy himself. Again, I
 
marveled at the strength of character that had urged him to keep living, to help others, to withstandover two-
hundred years of loneliness. As much as I mourned the loss of Edward’s human life, a 
part of me was glad that he would be with Carlisle soon. No one as good as Carlisle deserved to bealone for so long.
“Have you considered leaving the hospital for a bit?” Carlisle suggested. “You won’t help anyoneby exhausting yourself.”
 
I shook my head. “I can’t, Carlisle.” I’d had this argument before. “How can I go home to bed,knowing that he’s here and I might lose him at any moment?”
 
“You might at least consider leaving for a few moments to obtain some decent food,” he saidruefully. “What they have here smells so bad that I’m reluctant to feed it to the patients.”
 
I laughed shakily. “I’ll consider it.” But we both knew I wo
uld never go. With Carlisle back, I relaxed a little, and I was able to sleep again. I woke several times during thenight, my body aching with stiffness from the hard chair. I would stretch out the kinks and soonsleep would find me again. I was so tired that it was inevitable.Close to dawn, a strange, rattling sound kept me from drifting to sleep again. I looked around forthe source until I realized it was Elizabeth. Her breath was the sound as the fluid in her lungshindered the flow of air. I winced as I caught sight of her pained eyes.
“Is there anything I can do?” I whispered to her.
 
Her head shook and she struggled to speak. “There’s nothing to be done now.”
 The knowledge that she was absolutely right settled on my shoulders like a lead weight.The
day that followed brought no improvements. Edward’s skin grew even hotter, in spite of theconstant care I tried to give him. I’d known all along that he would likely be unable to withstand
the disease that 
perhaps he wasn’t 
supposed 
to overcome it, but I
hadn’t been at all prepared for
him to waste away before my eyes.
I tried to tend to Elizabeth as well, but she continually pushed me away. “Take care of Edward,”
she insisted repeatedly. I wanted to urge her not to give up, but how could I argue with a m
other’s
love?Nevertheless, Edward continued to worsen as sunset approached.
I had slumped to the floor to rest a moment, laying my head down on the side of Edward’s cot,
 when I heard Elizabeth struggling to speak again.
“Dr. Cullen…”
 
 
I froze, not looking up. I wanted to hear what she would say to Carlisle, and some instinct told menot to interrupt.
“Mrs. Masen?”
 
“Save him!” It was the strongest her voice had been all day, but anyone could hear what it cost her.
 
Carlisle’s voice wouldn’t have sounded flustered to anyone unused to hearing it. “I’ll do everything in my power,” he told her.
 
“You must! You must do everything in your power. What others cannot do, that is what you must do for my Edward.”
 I clutched the edge of the cot, knowing for the first time exactly how much time I had. Carlisle hadtold me that Elizabeth had died less than an hour after making her request. She had lost consciousness and never recovered. After she died, he would take Edward from the hospital.I looked up to Carlisle, whose eyes were somber.
“There’s not much time left,” I whispered.
 
“No,” he agreed. “Are you prepared for this?”
 
“There’s no way I could be prepared,” I sighed.
 
“No, I don’t suppose there is. I’m going to make my rounds. I’ll be back as soon as possible.”
 
“Okay.” I
 
 wanted to ask him to stay; I was afraid to be left alone to face Elizabeth’s impending 
death. I could only hope he would return before that moment.
I held onto Edward’s hand as I listened to Elizabeth’s ragged breathing. The inhales and exhales
grew quicker and quicker as she struggled to take in enough oxygen. It was painful to listen to. I
clutched Edward’s hand tighter, though he took no notice. Suddenly, I felt desperately alone. I
 would have given anything to have my unbreakable Edward with me now.I thought the time would pass quickly, the way it does when a dreaded event approaches, but eachminute felt like an hour, filled with the sounds of suffering.
 When she suddenly gasped for air, I felt as though my heart had stopped. I said Carlisle’s name
aloud, hoping he would hear wherever he was. It took him a minute to return, to remove himself from whatever he was doing. By the time he arrived, limited to a human pace, it was all over.Carlisle leaned over her, checking for a pulse. When he found none, he turned back to my tear-streaked face and placed a hand on my shoulder.

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