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The Girl You Think I Am

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Vera stumbled into the clearing. She stood up. Oh her moms were really going to kill her now. She glanced around. She had no idea where she was… or even when she was to be more precise. She could almost hear the lecture from her mom now.

“Vera Renee Swan, how dare you do something so stupid?”

But Vera had to do this. She had literally felt the timeline changing and it was in a major way. She had followed the pull she had felt, and had wound up here. She began making her way through the forest. She reached the edge of a town and stared at the sign, open-mouthed. It read “Welcome to Forks Washington.” Okay, she could work with this. Hopefully, the Cullens were still in the area. Vera made her way into town and spotted the grocery store. She made her way inside and found tabloid magazines near the front. The cashier gave her a weird look. She just gave him a smile and turned to the magazines on the rack. One’s issue date read “June 19-25th, 2005”

That meant her mom was still in high school. So the Cullens had to be there. She bit her lip, it had to be something there. But they were the only ones who could possibly help her. Vera sighed. She needed to get this done and fast. Even though she was a vampire, she really didn’t want to have to wait too long before seeing her family again. Vera made her way to the edge of town and then made her way to the Cullen household. They had visited it once or twice, never for long. Even though it had been years since Bella “died” there was still too much risk.

Vera found the house with ease but could feel the nerves in her stomach. Hopefully, her golden eyes would give her enough of a pass to get inside. She went to knock on the front door, but it was opened by her Aunt Alice before she even got the chance. She couldn’t help but smile in relief.

“Hello,” Alice said. “You’ve been expected.”

“Oh, alright,” Vera said. Oh great, a Cullen family meeting. At least this time it wouldn’t be her grandmother yelling at her Uncle Emmett about messing up her house.

She found all the Cullens sitting around the living room. Carlisle, Esme, Edward, Emmett, Jasper, and… her eyes focused on her mother. Rosalie Hale looked the same as she had when Vera had left, except a little more pissed off.

“Hello,” Carlisle said. “What business do you have in Forks?”

Vera was knocked out of her trance. “Sorry,” She sighed. “I doubt you’d even believe me.”

“Try us,” Rosalie said, her voice dead-pan.

Vera couldn’t help but let a smile rise to her face. “I have a vampiric ability. I can travel through time and I sensed a… well I guess Emmett would call it a ‘disturbance in the force’. I felt the timeline changing around me, so I needed to come back and fix what’s wrong.”

“What’s your name dear?” Esme asked.

“Vera,” Vera said, glancing over at Rosalie. Her hand drifted to the necklace under her shirt subconsciously. A gift for her sixteenth birthday from her mother. Apparently it was tradition for each Hale daughter to receive such a necklace when they turn sixteen.  

“Why can’t I read your mind?” Edward snapped. 

Vera titled her head and smirked. “A gift from my mother. I came here because in the future we associate, and I can tell the issue is something to do with you all. I don’t wish your coven any harm. I just wish to go home and I can only do that when the timeline is fixed.” She felt a bit choked up. “My moms are going to be so worried about me.”

“Moms?” Emmett asked.

Vera frowned. “Uh-uh-uh, too much info, remember?”

“Let me and my family discuss this among ourselves.”

“Understandable… I do have one question. Where’s Bella?”

“What?” 

“Well I’d like to see her.”

“That’s completely out of the question,” Edward growled.

Vera felt her own growl grow in her chest. “You don’t own her.”

“As her mate I have the right to protect her.”

Vera paused, her eyes going wide for a moment before readjusting her face. Oh shit, that’s the reason Edward had left the Cullens. Right, he should have already left by now.

Vera grew up knowing about Uncle Edward. He was in several family photos, and her parents talked about him in passing. But if he had made a false mate claim… Vera closed her eyes. She was surprised her mom hadn’t ripped out his throat yet. Unless… she glanced back over at her mom. Unless Rosalie didn’t know. She’d heard of cases like this, the mating bond was fainter with humans. If her mom was both in denial, and Edward had placed a false claim, of course she wouldn’t know.

That had to be the timeline error. Her mother had told her the bond link had clicked after Bella had been chased by vampires. While staying with her in the hotel room with Alice, she had realized that she was in love with the girl. Vera’s eyes flickered over to Alice, and narrowed her eyes. If she had to guess, it was something to do with her meddlesome Aunt.

“I wouldn’t harm her. She means a lot to me,” Vera said. Also the fact she’d probably cease to exist, at least in this way.

“I can’t read your mind, so I can’t trust you.”

“You can’t read Bella’s mind.”

“That’s-that’s different,” Edward said.

“Perhaps it’s better to wait unless it’s necessary,” Esme said, playing peacemaker. “We don’t need to unnecessarily trigger the butterfly effect.”

“As you wish,” Vera said with a nod. “I will wait in the woods while you talk.”

Vera sprinted out of the house and went a far distance away. She was sure she could already predict the conversation. Edward and her mother would be protective of the family, and would argue against her. Jasper would be neutral, concerned about Aunt Alice, but knowing that Vera’s emotions were real. But everyoneelse would agree to help her. She waited a few minutes, beginning to climb a tree. 

When Vera still been alive as a human, her mothers would get so nervous when she climbed trees. It was only because Uncle Emmett promised to watch her and catch her that she was able to do so. She’d usually do it near the house while others went hunting. Vera sat on a branch, swinging her legs back and forth. God, her mother and Edward were dating, how disgusting. She wrinkled her nose. She could not wait to tease her mother about dating Edward when her mom was right there .

Vera watched as a blonde blur made it’s way towards her. Her grandfather glanced up at her. 

Vera loved her grandfather. They had always been close. He was always willing to answer her questions and the two of them would spend hours together in the library, paging over books, going over research. Mama would shake her head as the two got into deep discussions that none of the others could really follow.

“We’ve made a decision to help you. Come along,” Carlisle said. Vera followed her grandfather up the stairs to his study. She smiled spotting the familiar cross. In her grandfather’s study, books lined the wall. She sighed, this might take awhile. She felt her grandfather’s stare as she glanced over the books.

“Do you have a question?

“There’s something different isn’t there.” It wasn’t really a question, more a statement. “Something is wrong and you know what it is.”

“Yes I do,” Vera said.

“But you aren’t going to tell me?”

“I need to figure out the best way to navigate the situation for now. I may be staying here for a bit.”

“Then it’s best you blend in,” Carlisle said. “We’ll say you’re one of our cousins from Denali if anyone asks. Bella should be over in a few hours if you wish to say hello. I believe we should keep your time-traveler origins a secret for now. ”

“Is Rosalie in the garage?” Vera asked.

“Yes but-”

Vera zoomed down the stairs and out to the garage. Her mom was under a red convertible. 

“Is that a ‘57 Cadillac?” She asked. 

Rosalie continued working. “Yes.”

“It’s gorgeous. I have a ‘63 Cobra MkII 289 I’m repairing,” Vera said, sitting down. “It was basically just the shell of the car when I bought it.”

“Good car,” Rosalie said. “Is there a reason you’re in here?”

“I can’t just want to spend time with you?” Vera asked. She was sure others would be offended by her mother’s rough exterior, but Vera had lived with her long enough to know that was just a defense. 

“Hmm,” Rosalie said. “Aren’t you worried about changing the timeline in a negative way or something?”

“Of course,” Vera said. “But I think if I go to the living room I’m going to be pulled into some sort of game with Alice, and you taught me a long time ago to not play games with Alice. I get too upset.”

“Sounds familiar,” Rosalie said, Vera could hear her mother’s smirk.

“Bella is coming over later right?”

Vera heard her mother’s anger in her voice. “So I’ve heard.”

“Do you not like Bella?”

“Not particularly.”

Vera nodded. Oh so it was even worse then she thought. How the hell had they gone from this to being so in love it made Vera nauseous? Vera spent the next several hours hanging out with her mother, helping her with small things on the car. She knew better then to 

Vera heard a noisy truck pulling up outside. She shivered. 

“What the hell is that?” Vera asked.

That is Bella Swan’s car,” Rosalie said. “It’s a crime against nature.”

Vera winced at the sound. “How is it still running?”
Rosalie smirked. “I have no idea.”

Vera made her way into the house and watched as Edward guided her other mother inside. Bella’s eyes were brown, and her hair was up in a ponytail today to get it out of her eyes. Vera watched as Bella’s eyes darted over to her. 

“Who are you?” She asked as Edward glared at Vera. Vera held out her hand and Bella shook it.

“Vera,” Vera said. “Denali Coven.”

“That’s a pretty name,” Bella said.

“You gave it to me,” Vera thought. “Thank you.”

“Oh, I’m Bella,” Bella said, blushing red. Vera smiled politely. Her mother’s usual confidence was nowhere to be found on her face.

“Vera, have you…” Rosalie walked out of the garage. “Oh, hello Bella.” She turned back to Vera. “Can you come back and help me with something?”

Vera’s eyes darted over to her other mother’s face, which seemed a bit upset. Perhaps she was hurt by Rosalie’s dismissal of her?

“If you insist,” Vera said. “Um, talk to you later Bella?”

“Sure,” Bella said. The two were guided away by their respective vampires. 

 

Vera was playing chess with Jasper later when Edward came down the stairs with Bella. Rosalie and Alice were also sitting in the living room, deep in discussion about this year’s fashion. Esme was in the kitchen cooking something for Bella.

“You’re playing chess with Jasper?” Bella asked, surprised. Before Edward could stop her, she walked over to the table. Jasper’s face was wrenched up in concentration.

“I enjoy playing with him,” Vera said.

“I haven’t seen anyone beat him except Edward or Alice, and that’s only because of their abilities,” Bella said.

“Hmm,” Vera said, moving a piece. “Checkmate Jazz.”

Jasper laughed, surprising everyone else in the room. Vera smiled. 

“No need to pull your punches with me old man,” Vera said, rearranging the board. “I’m obviously no amateur.”

“Old man?” Jasper scoffed.

“Jazz, you act like someone’s Texan grandpa.”

“You take that back.”

“Only if you win.”

“You’re on,” Jasper said eagerly.

“How long have you been a vampire Vera?” Bella asked, crossing her arms. 

“Hmm, about… 25 years now? Give or take.” Vera said, deciding to go with the truth. 

“What about your bloodlust?” Bella asked.

Vera shrugged. “My family likes to joke that I got my resistance from my mom.”

“Mom?”

“The woman who turned me,” Vera corrected. It was technically true. Rosalie was the one to turn her. Bella had volunteered, but Rosalie had been the one who ended up doing it. “Eternally 16, if you were wondering.” Vera moved a piece. 

“Why has Edward never mentioned you before?”

“New addition,” Vera said. “Tanya is amazing. I’m honored to spend time with their coven. They’ve taught me a lot.”

“Do you have a mate?” 

Vera smiled, her mind flashing to Maggie. Her red hair and her laugh. Maggie would probably be the one calming her moms down right now. “Yes”

“What’s he like?”

She has a great sense of humor, and she doesn’t take any of my bullshit. She’s my everything,” Vera admitted. “I love her.”

“You’re gay?” Bella said, surprised.

“Is that an issue?” Vera asked, suddenly feeling defensive.

“No, I’m actually bi, just a bit surprised. How did you meet?” Bella pulled up a chair.

“I met her and her coven when they were passing through the area we were in right before I was turned. And when I saw her…” Vera shook her head. “I mean, I just knew I was screwed.”

“So it was love at first sight?” Bella asked.

Vera smiled. Seemed in any timeline, her mother found that very romantic. Vera spotted her other mom rolling her eyes on the couch. 

“Yes.”

“Bella, stop bothering Vera,” Edward said.

“She’s not bothering me at all,” Vera said, eying Edward. “How did you two meet?’

“Oh, Edward was in my bio class,” Bella said. “I found out the whole vampire thing because he saved me from a van.”

“I still think that was a mistake,” Rosalie muttered, just loud enough the vampires in the room could hear her.

Vera just shook her head. 

Alice froze on the couch. Vera moved her piece, seemed Alice was getting a vision. 

“It’s going to storm.”

“Oh my god, can we play baseball?” Vera asked excitedly. 

Bella winced. 

“I knew I liked you,” Rosalie muttered.

Vera flashed her mother a grin. 

“That sounds like a great idea,” Esme said, coming in the room. “Want to come along Bella?”

“I don’t know,” Bella said. 

“You have to come,” Edward said.

“She doesn’t have to if she doesn’t want to,” Vera said, feeling defensive over her mother.
“I’d prefer not to,” Bella admitted quietly. 

“See?” Vera said. “Case closed.”

“Let’s get going,” Alice said eagerly.

 

The baseball field was a bit overgrown, but still playable. Thunder cracked across the sky as Vera stretched. 

“Now Darling, you know better then to bet against me,” Maggie purred.

Maggie was leaning on her bat as she watched Vera stretch.

“No, I know better then to bet against Alice. And as she hasn’t made any predictions, I feel pretty good about my chances here.”
“And why is that?”

“I have mom on my team and we Hales do not lose easily.”

“Hey! What about me!” Bella said, running over to them.

“Mama, we both know even Maggie is better then you.”

Maggie laughed as Bella pouted, crossing her arms.

“Vera! Are you ready?” Rosalie called.

“Of course,” Vera said, standing up. “I’m on your team right?”

“If you want.”
“Good, I know a Hale doesn’t lose easily.”

Rosalie smiled. “No, we do not.”

“Are you ready or not?” Emmett called.

Vera stepped up to bat. Alice wound up and threw the ball. Vera’s bat made contact with a sickening Crack . As Emmett and Edward chased after the ball, Vera sprinted around the bases, making it to home safely. Rosalie and Jasper high-fived her. 

 

Vera and Rosalie emerged from the garage as the sun rose. Vera was happy she was able to spend so much time with her mother.

“Bella’s on her way!” Edward called. Vera could see her mom tense up a bit. 

Vera plopped down next to Rosalie on the couch. 

“What do you like to do in your free time?” Rosalie asked.

“Paint. Maggie and I like to go to art galleries on dates.”

“Maggie?” Rosalie said. “As in, the girl from the Irish Coven?”

Alice ran into the room. “No way!”

“Shit,” Vera put her face in her hands. “I probably shouldn’t have told you guys that.”

“Tell them what?” Vera turned to see Bella and Edward come in. Edward looked, confused at her.

“Vera’s mate is Maggie!” Alice said bouncing on her toes. “From the Irish Coven! You know, red hair? Ability to tell when you’re lying?”
“But doesn’t she drink human blood?” Edward asked.

“She did,” Vera said. “She drinks animal blood now. I was nervous the first time we met because I was sure she wanted to drink my blood. But it turned out she didn’t feel much draw to my blood at all, since we’re mates and everything.”

Bella sat down. “What do you mean?”

Vera glanced up at the vampires staring at her. 

“You know, the way you can tell your mate is a human is you don’t thirst after their blood? I mean how else are the human drinkers supposed to not kill their mates?” Vera said. “Pretty common knowledge in the Vampire world I thought.”

The silence was deafening, and Vera knew every vampire in the house had heard her statement.

“What?” Vera asked. The rest of the Cullens came into the living room.

“You’re wrong,” Edward said, his voice shaky.

“No, I’m not,” Vera said, standing. “There are ancient vampire texts stating it.”

“Bella is my singer, but she’s also my mate.”

Vera laughed. “You’re lucky no one will report you to the Volturri, a false mate claim is a serious thing.”

“Is that true Edward?” Bella asked.

“What? I-”

“I can’t believe you!” Rosalie growled, standing up. “How dare you!”

“Alice told me she was mine!”

“No! I said that I saw our family all together in the future with golden eyes,” Alice said, her voice much more calm.

Edward pulled Bella close. “She’s mine, I won’t let you take her.”

“We’re not taking her away,” Carlisle said. “It’s her right to choose who she wants to be with.”

“Edward let me go, you’re hurting me,” Bella said, scared.

Vera wrenched Edward off Bella. “You don’t belong with her. You are nothing in the future. A nomad, separated from your family.”

“Oh yeah?” Edward asked. “Says who, you? The future is not set in stone Vera.”

“Both of you, take a walk!” Carlisle said. Vera glanced over at her grandfather, who seemed exhausted. She sighed and left.

 

Rosalie found Vera sitting on a cliff overlooking the forests later. Vera had her arms wrapped around her legs. 

“I fucked up,” Vera said, not turning towards her mother. Rosalie sat down next to Vera. “I’m supposed to find the problem, fix it, and cause little damage.”

“You were upset,” Rosalie said. “I mean you haven’t disappeared. So that’s good right? You didn’t pull a McFly. Your family is waiting for you. Head home Vera.”

“But-”

Rosalie just smiled. “I promise, I’ll make sure Bella is okay, we’ll figure it out.”

Vera studied her mother and stood up. If Rosalie said she had it under control, Vera felt inclined to believe her. 

“I-I guess so,” Vera said. 

“I’ll tell everyone you’ve returned home to the future,” Rosalie said. 

Vera appeared at her home in the present. She entered the house, sighing. “Mama! I’m home!”

“Marie!”

Vera stared as her mother sprinted and threw her arms around her.

“Marie?” Vera asked.

“Don’t tell me you forgot your name,” Bells said with a smile. 

Vera felt her stomach drop.

“Where’s mom?”

“I’m right here?” Bella asked, confused.

“Where’s Rosalie?”

Bella paused. “How do you know who Rosalie is?”

“The timeline wasn’t saved,” Vera said, stumbling back. She had to go back.

“Timeline? Marie what’s going on?”

“I have to go mom, I have to fix things.”

Vera appeared right outside the Cullen home. She entered the home to hear the end of Rosalie saying. “-had to go back home. Her job was done.”
Vera emerged in the living room. Both Bella and Edward were nowhere to be seen. “No, it wasn’t.”

They turned to her with surprise. 

“What do you mean?” Rosalie asked. 

“The future’s changed,” Vera said pacing. 

“Why? Didn’y you fix it by showing Bella wasn’t Edward’s mate?” Alice asked, leaning on her hand.

“No, it wasn’t enough, this timeline is all wrong. They should have broken up back in March,” Vera said, sitting down, rubbing the bridge of her nose. “I need to know exactly what happened at the baseball game. Why didn’t Rosalie go with Bella to the hotel?”

“Jasper went instead, we just thought it would be better,” Alice said.

Vera looked over at her mother who nodded.

“Okay, so you stayed here instead?”

Rosalie nodded. 

“How many months since you’ve met Bella?” Vera asked.

“What’s with this line of questioning?”

“I’m trying to figure out why you’re dead! And if you could stop being stubborn for five minutes and just help me out so I don’t go back to a future where my mom is never actually my mom because she’s dead, I would be thankful for it.”

There was a silence in the living room.

Rosalie stared at her. “Mom?”

Vera fished into her shirt and pulled out a necklace, causing Rosalie to gasp. “My last name may not be Hale, but I have the same necklace given to all Hale women when they turn sixteen. You and Mama gave me my name after your best friend in your human life.”

Rosalie approached her, examining the necklace. She let it drop. “So you’re… I mean you really…”

Vera nodded.

Rosalie broke into a smile. “I have a daughter.”

“I think I’ll have to travel back to the days before the baseball game. Perhaps even before then,” Vera mused. 

“Why?” Rosalie asked.

“Do you know what happens to Vampires who don’t accept the mating bond?”

Rosalie shook her head. 

“It kills you slowly. It can take 1-5 years to kill you.”

“Are you saying I already know my mate?” Rosalie asked, astounded.

“Do you know what my full name is?” Vera asked. “Vera Renee Swan.”

There was a silence in the Cullen home.

“Why are you telling us this?” Alice asked.

“Because I think I’m going to have to go back even farther in time to stop this, so hopefully, the effects will erase this from ever happening. So I need a detailed account of how exactly the Cullens got involved with Bella Swan.”

Vera arrived in Forks March 6th, 2005. As it was a Saturday, Vera made her way towards the Cullen house. “Take two,” She muttered, knocking on the door. She had exactly two weeks to insert herself into the Cullen Coven before the infamous baseball game and save her moms, no pressure.

The door opened to reveal her Aunt Alice, beaming up at her. “You’ve been expected.”

Vera just nodded, following the short pixie through the home to the living room. Same as the first time.

“Hello,” Carlisle said. “What business do you have in Forks?”

“Hi, my name is Marie. I wish to join your coven,” Vera said with what she hoped was a winning smile. 

Carlisle glanced over at Edward who had his nose wrinkled. “I can’t read her mind.”

“A shield then,” Carlisle said with a nod. “Alice?”

Alice studied Vera. “She seems sincere. I see her with our coven for the next month or so, why she leaves is unknown. But it doesn’t seem to be because she falls off the bandwagon or anything similar.”

“Why?”

Vera turned to see her mother. 

“I’m sorry?” Vera asked.

“Why do you want to join?” 

“I’ve been on the vegetarian lifestyle for a while. And it’s been lonely. Someone said I should seek you all out.”

“Who?” Edward asked.

“Siobhan, Irish Coven,” Vera said quickly.

“I see no issue,” Carlisle said.

“Thank you,” Vera said. “It means the world to me.”

“We will fake documents and you’ll be introduced as the child of one of our deceased family members finishing out her senior year here with us. Alright?”

Vera nodded. “Thank you, so much.”

“We’re planning to have a human over sometime soon, do you believe you can handle that?” Carlisle asked.

“My control is very, very good,” Vera said. 

Edward snorted.

“She’s right,” Alice said, glaring at Edward. 

“Why don’t we let you get settled in?” Esme said. 

 

Once again, Vera found herself making her way to Rosalie’s garage. Her mother came in two minutes later. The older vampire seemed surprised to find Vera hunched over the hood of the car examining the engine. 

Vera glanced up. “Can I help?” 

“You know how to fix up cars?”

“Just a hobby,” Vera said. 

“Well don’t touch my cars,” Rosalie snapped.

Vera threw up her hands. “Sorry I just noticed the carborator…”

“The carburetor is fine.”

“...is bent in an odd direction.” Vera finished.

“Let me see,” Rosalie paused over the car and frowned. 

“Um, but I’ll let you be if you want,” Vera inched towards the door. Rosalie didn’t respond, already wrapped back up in the project. Vera made her way back towards the kitchen. Esme smiled at her kindly from where she was sitting at the kitchen table.

“Don’t take it too personally dear, she’s not the biggest fan of strangers.”

“I understand,” Vera said. It seemed her mother was suspicious of her this time. To be fair, Rosalie always had been able to tell when she wasn’t telling the truth. “We’ve just met.”

“Tell me more about yourself dear,” Esme said. “Where are you from?”

“Quebec, Canada,” Vera said. “Can I say how much I love your house?”

“Really? I designed it myself.”

“Get out of here, really?” Vera said, as if she hadn’t heard her grandmother gush for hours on end about her newest project before.

“You’ll find each of us has a special interest,” Esme said. “Helps us keep our minds off things. Edward’s is music, Emmett’s is videogames, Rosalie’s is cars-”

“Bella’s is fucking my mom,” Vera thought. 

“-Jasper’s is history and Alice’s is fashion.”

“And Carlisle’s?”

“He enjoys his work.”

“How can he do it?” Vera asked. She was good, but she wasn’t that good.

“Years and years of practice my dear,” Esme said. She tilted her head. “Do you have any concerns about high school? You don’t have to go just yet if you don’t want to.”

Vera felt a little bit of warmth in her chest for her grandmother. Esme was always thinking of other people. “I’ll be fine. I promise.”

 

Vera sat down in her Trigonometry class only to realize she was sitting next to her Mama.

“Wierd.” She thought as Bella peered at her through the curtain of hair.

“Hi, I’m Marie,” Vera said offering her hand.

“Um, Bella,” Bella said. “You’re the newest Cullen right?”

Vera nodded. 

“You’re more talkative then the others are.”

“Oh,” Vera said. 

“Not that that’s bad, I just think it’s nice,” Bella said quickly, turning bright red. 

“You’re in Edward’s biology class right?”

Bella huffed. “Yeah, he’s, weird. Hot and cold and stuff.”

“Don’t worry too much, I’m sure everything will work out.”

 

It was weird as the week rolled on, seeing her mama as a teenager. There was none of the confidence usually there with Bella. Vera had noticed it the first time she had visited, but it was still odd. Vera had to constantly remind herself that even though her mothers looked almost identical to the ones she knew, they were not the same people.  It took everything in Vera not to beat the shit out of Edward once she found out where he was every night. But she couldn’t intercede, not yet. It would technically screw up the timeline. Even if he was being a stalkerish creep. 

“Come here,” Rosalie said. 

Vera glanced up. It was Saturday, and her mother was covered in motor oil. “Me?” 

“Yes you,” Rosalie said, rolling her eyes. Vera follows her mother to the garage. “Take a look at this car?” 

Vera got underneath the hood, finding the problem quite quickly. “See?” She motioned, holding up the broken part. 

“Thanks,” Rosalie said relieved. “I couldn’t find the issue, I needed new eyes.” 

“You’re welcome,” Vera said smiling at her. 

“This doesn’t mean I like you.” 

“Of course not,” Vera said, shaking her head. “Need help with anythingelse?”

 

“Game of chess?” Jasper asked. 

It was Sunday afternoon and Jasper was motioning to the board. Vera couldn’t resist, sitting down. 

They played in silence at first.

“I feel like we don’t know much about you,” Jasper finally spoke up.

“Not much to discuss,” Vera said.

“I understand not wanting to repeat your past, believe me,” Jasper said, moving a piece. “But if you lay a finger on Alice, I will not hesitate to end you. Am I understood?”

“Completely,” Vera said. “Checkmate.”

Jasper frowned at the board. “Rematch?

The beginning of the week went alright. Vera internally rolling her eyes as Rosalie glared at Bella.

“Why don’t you like Bella?” Vera asked. It was after school Wednesday. The two of them were in the Cullen garage. Rosalie was under a car, while Vera sat nearby doing trigonometry homework.

“She puts us in danger.”

“But isn’t she also putting herself in danger?”

“Exactly,” Rosalie said. 

“Don’t you think she might be scared?”

Rosalie sighed. “Even if she is, Edward continues-”

“So blame Edward, not her. I doubt she fully knows what she’s getting into.”

Rosalie fell silent, lost in thought.

 

Saturday approached, Edward claiming he and Bella had a date set up. Edward arrived back the next morning after the date to tell them Bella had agreed to come over later as Alice had predicted. Vera knew she didn't have to do too much, just guide Rosalie and her mother in a general direction.

“I just don’t understand why we have to cook for her,” Rosalie grumbled tossing the salad. 

“We have to try for Edward,” Esme said softly.

“I mean, is she even Italian?” Rosalie asked.

“Don’t be silly, her name is Isabella,” Esme said.

“I don’t think that’s how it works,” Vera muttered. 

Rosalie flashed her a smile. 

They heard Bella’s truck pull up. Edward escorting her inside.

“Meet my adoptive mother Esme and Carlisle, and you know Rosalie and…”

“Marie!” Bella said with a smile, shocking everyone. “It’s nice to see you.”

“Hi Bella,” Vera said, smiling at her mother. “I’m happy you could come over.”

“Did you do well on that Trigonometry test?”

“Trigonometry isn’t my strong suit in the slightest,” Vera said. 

“I don’t think it’s anyone’s strength,” Bella said.

“Rosalie has been helping me,” Vera nodded to the blonde who was still tossing the salad. “She’s really smart.”

“I’m not shocked,” Bella said, her demeanor suddenly became shy as she looked over at Rosalie. “Edward mentioned that you work on the families cars?”

“Yes,” Rosalie said, shifting.

“That’s so cool,” Bella said, the personality Vera knew beginning to peek through. “What are you working on right now?”
“I’m planning to get a Mustang convertible soon.”

“Cool. What are you making?” Bella asked sitting down at the counter. 

“But Bella you already-”

“I’m still hungry,” Bella said, cutting him off. “I want to see what your mom made.”

Vera spotted Rosalie smile a little from the corner of her eye at Bella cutting off Edward. 

“Oh well, I made Italian food,” Esme said eagerly. 

“I don’t know if I can eat all of that,” Bella said, staring at the amount of food Esme had cooked up for her. 

“You can bring some home to Charlie,” Esme assured her. “Let me make you a plate.”

Bella ate happily and then went upstairs with Edward.

“See? She’s not so bad,” Vera said softly. Rosalie rolled her eyes.

“I still think she’s foolish,” Rosalie stalked off.

Alice had a vision, a storm was coming. Rosalie suggested the baseball game, her eyes glimmering. Vera knew she had to tread carefully through the next events. 

The baseball game (Rosalie was definitely trying to show off), the nomads (Vera wondered if it was inappropriate to ask her mother why she failed to mention that Victoria was actually hot), and finally Vera was pulled into the car with Alice, Edward, and Bella. Edward freaking out. 

“No hear me out!” Bella finally snapped. “I go home, tell Charlie I’m leaving, and I’m going to Phoenix.”

“That could work,”  Vera spoke up. “Alice, Rosalie, and I will go with her. Alice can predict their movements, and perhaps my shield can deter his abilities a bit.”

“Why Rosale?”
“Jasper should stay here,” Vera pointed out. “He can help with the hunting.”
“But his gift-”

“I don’t want to be mentally drugged Edward!” Bella exclaimed. 

“Will it work?” Edward asked.

Alice closed her eyes, the car going silent. “I believe so.”

 

Vera listened as the family argued. She leaned on her hand, knowing her Aunt Alice would win out eventually. She always did. Rosalie stood next to her, strangely silent.

“Don’t wish to give your opinion?” Vera muttered.

“If she gets killed, I’ll never forgive myself,” Rosalie whispered. Vera looked over at her mother. To those who didn’t know Rosalie, she would look the same. Uninterested, not to be bothered. But Vera could detect the panic in Rosalie’s eyes at the thought of Bella dying. She had only seen that panic a few times before. Mostly when Bella or Vera had put themselves in danger. Rosalie cared for Bella, whether she realized it or not.

“Then it’s settled, Marie, Alice and Rosalie will go with Bella to the hotel,” Carlisle said, pulling Vera out of her thoughts.

 

The drive to Phoenix was silent and awkward, interrupted only by Alice’s random comments. Vera could see Rosalie beginning to lose her patience as Alice pointed out another cow. Bella fell asleep, her head against the window.

They sat in the hotel room. Vera watched as Bella paced back and forth. 

“Sit down,” Rosalie finally snapped.

“What if someone gets hurt?” Bella said, ignoring Rosalie’s order.

“They won’t,” Alice and Vera said at the same time. 

“Bella, you’re overthinking this,” Rosalie’s voice had taken on a softer tone. “They can handle themselves.”

“They’re probably just as worried about you,” Vera pointed out. 

 

“How did you turn Marie?” Bella asked.

They were sitting around a dining room table. Vera glanced up. Alice and Rosalie were also staring at her curiously.

“I was changed by my mother figure,” Vera said with a smile. “We’re not together right now, but I hope to see her again sometime soon.”

“What is she like?”

“Stubborn,” Vera said with a laugh. “Stubborn, and sometimes mean. But she’s fiercely protective. Once you have her loyalty, your enemies should beware. She’ll tear them apart. And her mate, god, she’s smart, and sarcastic, but she’s warmer. They bicker, but they compliment one another. She’s the sunshine to my maker’s moon.”

“I’ve never seen you this happy,” Rosalie noted.

Vera just shook her head. “I love them, a lot. They’re my family, no offense.”

“You don’t resent them for changing you?” Bella asked, surprising Rosalie with her question.

“No, no, it was my choice,” Vera said, laying down a card. “And I’ve never regretted it once.”

She glanced over at Rosalie who was looking longingly at Bella.

“So why aren’t you with them?” Bella asked.

“Something happened, and we cannot be together right now. That’s all I’ll say on the matter,” Vera said.

 

Vera paged over a book as Alice sketched, Rosalie and Bella talking in low tones in the bedroom. 

“Has the future changed?” Vera asked Alice.

Alice frowned. “She keeps ending up in this room, why does she continue to end up there?”

“Maybe it’s that way until we leave the city,” Vera consoled Alice.

“That’s not how my visions work,” Alice said. She sighed, but paused as a vision overcame her. Rosalie came out and sat down next to Vera. 

“I’m screwed,” She muttered, putting her face in her hands.

“I would say so!” Alice hissed. “You cannot have fallen for Edward’s girlfriend!”
“I tried not to!” Rosalie hissed back. “It’s not like that and you know it.”

“Homewrecker,” Alice muttered, crossing her arms. 

“Let’s calm down,” Vera soothed. 

“Stay out of this,” Rosalie snapped. 

“We should be focusing on keeping Bella safe,” Vera continued. “You can figure all this out afterwards.”

The other two women frowned but didn’t say anything more.

 

Bella managed somehow to escape out of the airport. It took them all not to convince Edward to sprint to the dance studio like a very sparkley Flash. Vera made her way with the family to the dance studio. The car was tense.

“Is there a reason you’re only thinking about the song Jesse’s girl?” Edward snapped at Rosalie. Vera snorted. 

“I’m so sorry my thoughts are bothering you,” She retorted.

“Please,” Carlisle said, his voice tired. 

The next events were a blur. Rosalie tearing apart James, Carlisle being forced to suck the venom out since Edward didn’t have the control, and bringing Bella to the hospital.

 

Vera waited outside the hospital room for Rosalie to emerge. 

“I’m leaving.”

“Really?” Rosalie asked. “So soon?”

“You’ll see me again someday,” Vera said with a smile, lightly touching her necklace. “Now that the timeline is back on track.” 

“Timeline?”

“You’ll understand someday,” Vera said. “You know, you should really ask Bella to prom. She’ll say yes.”

 Vera left her bewildered mother behind in the hospital. 

 

Vera stepped outside her house. Maggie was sitting on her porch. She shot up, sprinting over and throwing her arms around Vera. 

“Hey,” Vera said awkwardly. Maggie punched her in the shoulder. 

“Never do that again!”

“I’m sorry there was a timeline error and-”

Maggie pulled her into a kiss, making Vera melt a little. “I would prefer if my wife would at least tell me before she left on a time-travel trip.”

“Noted,” Vera said.

“Vera Renee Swan!” 

Vera glanced up to see Rosalie and Bella exiting the house. She threw her arms around them. 

“You’re alright,” She whispered.

“What happened?” Rosalie asked.

“Remember when I told you you’d understand one day?” Vera asked.

Rosalie just smiled. “So you finally went back there.”

“Can I just ask why you never mentioned in the stories about the battle with Victoria how hot she was?”

Maggie hit her shoulder, causing Vera to laugh.

“Not appropriate,” Bella chided. 

Vera just smiled. It was good to be home, finally.