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Author's Note: Written for [ profile] comment_fic "Twilight/Daybreakers, Edward/Edward, a meeting of the emo vampires"

A diner in the middle of the downtown area of the city: it wasn't Edward Dalton's usual hangout, but after the catastrophe in the lab, he needed to avoid familiar places. The novelty of an unfamiliar location would clear his head and get him focusing on things other than his embarrassment at the latest failed attempt at a cure and the lingering disgust at the results.

He was sitting in a booth toward the back, nursing a cup of coffee cut with blood (only twenty percent, down already from the day before) when he spotted a young man sitting at a booth opposite his, poring over a newspaper. The youth looked up, blinking. "You're Edward Dalton, the researcher who's looking for a cure, aren't you?" the young man said. "I'm Edward Cullen, I've wanted to meet you."

"I'm he," Edward Dalton replied, calmly. "The cure is a long way from becoming a reality."

"But you are working on one," Cullen replied. "My wife Bella wants to be cured: she's starting to lose her humanity." The young man paused, drawing in a breath he really didn't need. "And I only have myself to blame for turning her."

"Did she want you to turn her?" Dalton asked.

Cullen furrowed his brows. "Excuse me?"

"Did she ask you to turn her? Not everyone who's ended up with this condition wanted to have it," Dalton said, his hand going to the side of his neck involuntarily, thinking of the night when Frankie had broken into his apartment and turned him.

"Yes, and no," Cullen replied. "She wanted to become something like me, and I tried to hold her off. I wanted her to wait till we were married. Then she ended up pregnant and nearly died giving birth, so I had to turn her to keep her from dying. It happened so quickly..." The boy looked away, clearly troubled.

"At least she wanted it in the first place," he says. "But I'm afraid she and others like her are going to have to wait till a cure is discovered."

"But you're still working on it, aren't you?" Cullen asked.

Dalton thought of the volunteer who had died horribly in the lab. He was tempted to give up, but the concern in the young man's eyes told him otherwise. "Yes, I am," he replied.
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April 2017


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