|Snide & Prejudiced
Author: AngryBadgerGirl PM
Snide & Prejudiced: A Story of Absolutely No Consequence or Merit. This is a crossover with lots of banter between Edward and Bella. All human, canon pairings, rated M for lemons in later chapters.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Humor - Chapters: 4 - Words: 25,545 - Reviews: 346 - Favs: 223 - Follows: 305 - Updated: 07-05-09 - Published: 06-03-09 - id: 5110067
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Snide & Prejudiced: A Story of Absolutely No Consequence or Merit
A/N: This is a short crossover between Twilight and Pride & Prejudice (I think the name gives that away.) It will be around ten chapters and I will most likely be done within a month. This will be and will always remain purely fanfic; I have no plans to develop it into anything else. I'm writing it as an exercise in banter primarily. If the plot seems remarkably similar to Pride & Prejudice, that's because it is. This isn't something I'm heavily invested in; its purpose is to help me practice. So feel free to read, to steal, to line a bird cage with it and/or wrap fish with it.
I do not own Twilight, I'm just trying to improve my crappy "dialouge."
Once upon a time, in a little hamlet known as Forks, lived a very disenchanted young lady named Isabella Swan. This is her not-so-fairy-tale story…
"RISE AND SHINE, MY LOVELY," bellowed my mother, opening the drapes behind the picture windows of my large bedroom.
"Muh-thur!" I whined as I blinked at the clock at my bedside. "It's only 6am and it's a Saturday," I informed her. I felt as grumpy as a wombat with a bug up its ass.
"No matter, my dearest, no matter," she beamed. I absolutely despised my mother's warm and fuzzy disposition. I swear sometimes I could see the sunshine glaring into my eyeballs right from her ass.
"What are you so chipper about?" I asked.
"Oh, no reason," my mother answered, so very obviously lying. She snorted and chuckled when she lied. God, it was so transparent. An elephant farting in an elevator was less conspicuous.
"What is the reason, mother?" I asked, insistent that she get on with it and spit out whatever trivial thing was causing her ADHD flare-up this time.
"Oh nothing, really," she said, trying to sound coy. My mother couldn't make a coy expression anymore. A botched injection of Botox at a quack Seattle doctor's office last year put an end to that. She now had what I called "Perma-Surprise!!!" on her face.
"It's just that I heard the most fantastic bit of news from Mrs. Stanley up the street!" she grated as she laid out my clothes for the day.
Yes, my mother still dressed me, but only on weekends or special occasions. She did not dress me for school or anything else. Honestly, I didn't even give a flying fart. Clothes kept me from being naked. I wasn't a slob. I liked to look pretty, feminine. But colors and styles or whatever stupid fads were popular held no interest to me whatsoever. I liked pretty flowy blouses and long skirts. I liked putting my hair up, away from my face so that when I was preoccupied with reading or whatever, it didn't get in my way.
"Well, don't you want to know what the news is?" my mother prodded, willing me to show even a modicum of interest in whatever the hell she was carrying on about.
"Sure," I replied, nodding my head with complete insincerity.
"We've got new neighbors!" my mother squealed. "And they're fabulously posh and well-to-do, can you believe it? Here in Forks of all places!" she squawked, rather like a chicken with a terribly bad crack habit.
"Oh, isn't that nice?" I replied. I literally had a rote dialogue memorized in my head of scripted conversation for my mother. This way, I could only half-consciously talk with her, almost on autopilot so that my real thinking could be devoted to things that were actually worthwhile.
"Nice? It's spectacular, Bella dear. They have a son! A perfectly eligible son! I do believe he'd be very well suited for your sister," she exclaimed, the machinations and chicanery already turning full kilter in that tiny little brain of hers.
"Right, sounds really good," I replied without much thought. I was getting dressed and frankly, making sure my clothes were on right demanded more attention right now.
The truth was that I refused to put much thought into most of the things that preoccupied my mother. She and I were as different as two people could be. While I saw myself as level-headed, practical, and stubborn but logical, my mother was exactly 180 degrees from all of those traits. She was flighty, utterly distractible, impractical, and so easily swayed on just about anything you could think of.
The subject came up again at the breakfast table. I sat by and watched my mother get carried away on her fluffy little cloud of utter nonsense while I heavily buttered my toast.
"Isabella Swan," my mother snapped. "Too much butter!" she chided with a 'tut-tut.' "Do you want to put on weight? How would you ever find a man?"
Usually I'd never let my mother get away with such comments but my father shot me a quick glance that said "leave it be," and so I did. I had more respect in my pinky nail for my father than I did in my entire body for my mother. My father, known to most as simply Charlie, was an honest, hard working man with principles. I admired and respected him; in fact, I made every effort to emulate him as best I could.
So I heeded my father's plaintive glances and instead just ate my completely over buttered and high in saturated fat toast with an inane smile like a good little moppet. I refused to let my mother spoil my mood anyhow. Today was going to be a wonderful day filled with…nothing to do but think about how much I hated being bored to tears of small town, provincial life.
There were only a few days left of school before summer vacation—two glorious months of more of this. I so badly wanted to get a job—somewhere, anywhere. I would've jumped at the chance to even work at the small Forks Public Library but my mother put her foot down. For once, she decided she'd be stubborn and principled about something but it was entirely backward and moronic. She insisted we'd look "poor and desperate" if I got a job. She couldn't fathom that I'd want to get a job just to feel productive.
Much to my relief, once again my father came to my rescue in the form of a happy compromise. He offered to let me take my truck to Port Angeles or Seattle a couple of days a week to explore and just see where my feet would take me. I jumped at this golden opportunity to escape the sheer boredom that awaited me this summer.
"So, Rosalie, dearest, I was thinking perhaps we'd go and visit with our new neighbors this afternoon. You know, get acquainted?" my mother suggested with a charming snort.
"Sure, mother," my beautiful older sister replied with a genuine smile.
Rosalie was one year older than me. I adored her, but in the same vein I sort of hated her. Mildly. You see, my sister was a dream of a human being, and that was a description completely devoid of any sort of exaggeration. Simply put, she had all the outstanding qualities a person could want. She was beautiful, with lush blonde hair and sea blue eyes that sparkled when she laughed, but she was not haughty about her looks—not in the least. In fact, Rosalie was downright modest. She was also intelligent, with a quick wit, but not prone to be sarcastic or dark the way I tended to be. It was in her nature to be thoughtful and caring, to be non-judgmental and sweet.
My father doted on Rosalie and honestly, who could blame him? I would too if she were my daughter. Loving her came so naturally to the people closest to her. Of course my father's pride and admiration would know no bounds. I didn't hold a grudge. Much.
"Ooh, I want to go meet the neighbors too!" chirped my younger sister Alice. If my mother was a clucking chicken, then surely Alice was her little chirping chick, following quickly behind her, just as squawky and just as frenetic.
Behold, the prodigal daughter. My junior by one year, Mary Alice or just "Alice" was my mother's little pet indeed. She was just as flighty, just as superficial, and just as preoccupied with appearances and looks.
Where Rosalie was statuesque and shapely, Alice was petite and rather built like an eleven year old boy. She had mischievous dark blue eyes that always gave away her thoughts—not that Alice ever had a complex thought in her life. Her hair was a beautiful black color that contrasted perfectly with her porcelain, yet adorably freckled skin. So even though Alice's personality had the depth and dimension of a piece of cardboard, at least she had looks and a buoyancy to her that most men would instantly gravitate to, regardless of how banal she was.
And then there was me.
I was the epitome, no, the very definition of the words "plain Jane." My hair was a muddy brown with no tone to it at all. It fell in natural waves that in this damp weather would frizz horribly, so I just put it up. I had very ordinary brown eyes that lacked the spark I saw in the eyes of both my sisters. I wasn't tall like Rosalie or a cute little scamp, like Alice. I was average height, average weight and average looking.
I'd long accepted my lot in life as someone who was non-descript and generic on the outside because I'd promised myself that I would be anything but those things on the inside. I, Isabella Swan, would be different. I wouldn't just be smart. The world was full of smart people. I would have a mind of my own. I would defy most people's stereotypes about women—I wanted to be independent, logical, practical and level-headed. I set out to be a woman with a man's mind.
And why couldn't I be?
In this day and age, a woman should be able to do whatever she pleased. I had plans for college and they didn't involve the UW. I wanted out of this insanely muggy, wet, soppy state. I had designs on applying to schools all over California where the weather was pleasantly dry and warm.
My mother hated the idea of me going further than Seattle for college. She wanted to keep me close so she could meddle in my life as much as possible. Well, maybe Rosalie had a sweet enough disposition to tolerate that kind of idiocy, but I didn't. My older sister was graduating high school next year and planned on going to the UW that fall. She'd be home every weekend, would let my mother set her up on endless blind dates and would no doubt be engaged within a couple of years at the most.
I vowed never to get married. I would carve that into granite if I had the chance.
Simply put, I considered love to be a lie, plain and simple. It was a carefully designed deceit created by Mother Nature to keep us reproducing. Simple biology bore this out. I looked at it from a pragmatic standpoint. Why should we feel an emotion that defied reason and good sense? There had to be some purpose for it, surely.
My mother interrupted my daydreaming once again.
"Isabella!" she shrieked. "Hurry up and finish eating, you're keeping the rest of us waiting," she scolded with pursed lips.
Renee Higginbotham Swan adhered to very strict rules about etiquette, especially where it pertained to table manners. We all had to sit, eat, and leave the table at precisely the same time or her day was completely ruined. I was holding her up, apparently. No doubt she had more important things to do like crochet a toilet seat cozy or whatever domestic pursuit she challenged herself with these days.
"I'm done, mother, sorry. I was just thinking," I explained with a sigh.
"That's my girl," my father replied with a warm smile. "Think terribly cerebral thoughts with that amazing brain of yours," he added.
If I didn't know better, I could swear that my father fancied me to be the son he never had. He must have noticed early on that I was nothing like my sisters—I was far more serious, with a very natural curiosity for learning for the sake of gaining knowledge. Where my father saw Rosalie as the ideal daughter, I think I was the ideal son, just dressed remarkably like a girl.
After breakfast, I retreated to my bedroom. I longed for the peace and quiet that I craved so badly since waking up. School was winding down rapidly and I only had a couple of finals left to take that I was already quite prepared for. I spent an hour or so reviewing my materials nonetheless, just to be sure. Soon I found myself poring over books from the massive shelves that covered every wall simply for the sake of reading. If I had to endure living in this small boring town, at least my mind could be free to escape, to wander about the world, to learn everything there is to know on any given subject.
Just as I was happily passing the hours, Rosalie walked into my bedroom. I knew my sister well and I could anticipate what she wanted to talk about. She wanted me to come with her and Mother and Alice to visit with the new neighbors. I couldn't be less interested if I tried.
"Hi, Bella," Rosalie greeted with a serene smile as she sat next to me on my big four poster bed.
"I'm not going, Rosalie," I replied. I felt it best to skip the formalities and cut straight to the chase. No use bandying about the subject at hand.
"I didn't even ask you to," she protested. My sister was under the impression that I was as imperceptive as my mother and Alice.
"No, but you were about to," I countered, knowing full well her what her intentions were.
"Alright," she conceded with a smile, "but will you at least listen to why I'd like for you to come?" she asked.
"Go on then, explain." I respected my sister enough to hear her out. Rosalie was intelligent and nothing like my mother. She had no ulterior motives in any given situation, and I had no reason to believe she had any now.
"If you're there, I'd at least have someone on my side. I know how mother and Alice are going to behave and it's going to be embarrassing. If you're there we can make sure our new acquaintances will see that at least part of the Swan family has intelligence and poise."
She knew how to be persuasive. She was flattering me, and frankly, I loved her for it. Few people gave compliments as earnestly as Rosalie and for a second when she referred to me as "poised" I almost believed her. But in truth there was nothing poised about me. I could trip over any flat surface and constantly broke things by accident.
"Rosalie, I am not poised. I'm the clumsiest person in existence," I shrugged. It didn't bother me to have this fault. I knew what I was. When you'd exposed yourself to the kind of physical buffoonery that I had, you grew accustomed to it, really.
"Maybe not physically," she argued. "But with words, when you speak, oh Bella, you're a ballerina. Your words are graceful and elegant," she added.
Oh yes, my sister knew exactly what to say. She was, indeed, no fool. And while I didn't particularly care what the new neighbors thought of our family, I did care about Rosalie's feelings. If this was something that was important to her, then surely I owed her the decency to stand beside her and help her when she needed me.
"So, why do you care what they think of us?" I asked as my curiosity piqued.
"Well, if their son is a nice fellow, the least we can do is become friends with him, don't you think? I mean, what harm could come of that?" she reasoned. I hated it when my sister was so logical, yet kind and warm. It was such a dangerous combination. Nothing good could ever come of such a rare combination.
"Alright then, when you put it that way, I suppose I can tag along," I replied. I was clearly out-gunned in this scenario. Rosalie had me dead to rights and she knew it.
"Thanks, Bella, I knew you'd be reasonable. You always are!" she exclaimed, giving me a quick peck on the cheek and a tight hug.
"OK, OK, no need to be all fawning and obsequious, I already said yes," I complained, even though I was laughing and hugging her back. She knew I was teasing her.
"I wonder if they'll be nice people," she mused out loud.
"I wonder if they'll offer us cake," I mused back. I was serious. I happened to be dying for a nice, fat slice of chocolate cake. It was my undoing. "Listen, if we meet this wonderful son of theirs, you must remember to keep a level head. Don't believe like Mother or Alice. Be nice but a little aloof," I advised.
Now I knew nothing about boys. Why I felt the need to give my sister any sort of dating strategy was beyond me. It was just my knee-jerk instinct to tell her to protect herself. I feared my sister's warmth would be misinterpreted as flirting. What if this guy was a numbskull? What if he rebuked her, insulted her? I didn't want my sister getting hurt.
"I think I can handle myself quite nicely, Bella," she replied with a knowing glance.
"Just make him earn your affections, dear sister," I said with a fake nasally voice that cracked us both up completely.
The quarter mile walk up the road should've been relatively quick and painless, but of course with my mother involved, it was neither of those things. I listened to her endless litany of commands and tried my very hardest to hold my tongue but I was clearly being tested beyond my endurance. After she told me for the tenth time to stand up straight, I'd reached my boiling point.
"Mother, I heard you the first nine times! I'm walking down a quiet country road; this isn't a catwalk at a Paris fashion show. If I wanted to walk the way you demanded, I would," I snapped.
"Listen to yourself Isabella. What man would put up with you? Honestly, I have no idea where you get your terrible temper," she chided with her nose in the air.
"Clearly I was adopted," I shot back, not caring how it made her feel. Frankly, sometimes I really wished it was the case. It would explain so much. I was so entirely different from the rest of the women in my family. The only person who was remotely similar to me was my older sister Rosalie, but our intelligence was the only thing we had in common. Her looks were nothing like mine. My sister had a rare ethereal beauty that most women would envy tremendously. I was rather plain, to say the least.
"Will you two please stop bickering?" Rosalie asked sincerely. She hated any sort of discord and she took it upon herself regularly to act as mediator between my mother and me. It was only out of deference to my sister that I let the matter drop and just kept walking.
Upon hearing my mother's rather loud knock, our neighbor opened the door to her new home. She looked to me to be the lady of house. She was a pleasant enough looking woman, with wavy brown hair and happy light green eyes. She greeted us with a smile and that was all the incentive my mother needed to begin her rapid fire barrage at this poor soul.
"Why hello, I'm Mrs. Charles Swan. I live just up this lovely little road of ours. These are my daughters. Girls, where are your manners? Greet our new neighbor properly. Good gracious, I do apologize," she blathered on, simply railroading the innocent women standing in front of us. She hadn't spoken a single word yet. We hadn't even heard her name yet and already my mother was apologizing in advance.
"Forgive me," Rosalie broke in, finally getting my mother to slow down her motor mouth. "I'm Rosalie and these are my younger sisters, Isabella and Alice," she continued, pointing and me and Alice, respectively.
"Hello, so lovely to meet you all," the kindly woman replied. "I'm Evelyn McCarty, won't you come in? I've got some iced tea in the fridge," she added, being very cordial indeed.
"That would be wonderful," my mother beamed.
She glommed on to any opportunity to schmooze like a leech on a fat man's behind. If there was an elbow to rub, then surely it called out to my mother like a siren song. She never met a hobnobber she didn't like, quite frankly. I let out a long deep breath because I knew this particular visit was going to be sheer torture and an exercise in the art of mortification. Yes, to me being mortified was an art form. It happened to me so damned often, either with me tripping or breaking something, or as a result of my mother's utter tomfoolery that I'd become something of an embarrassment connoisseur.
We shuffled inside the beautiful McCarty home. It was a grand mission-style abode, complete with artwork gracing the walls and all manner of expensive, well-appointed décor. To say that it was obvious that the McCartys came from money was like saying it was obvious the Pope was Catholic.
Soon we were all sitting in their beautiful parlor enjoying some nice cold iced tea. Mrs. McCarty was a pleasant enough woman—very cordial, well-mannered and attractive for a woman her age. I had the good manners to smile and nod while she was talking even though I wasn't listening to a word she said. She and my mother prattled on about whatever interested middle aged women.
"So, Evelyn, do you have any children?" my mother asked, batting her eyelashes and smirking.
"Why yes, I have a son named Emmett. He'll be a senior in high school this year," Mrs. McCarty replies.
"Oh, my Rosalie will be a senior too!" my mother shrieked as if this coincidence was akin to winning the lottery. I could feel my skin blush lightly as Mrs. McCarty looked at her incredulously for the shortest split second before regaining her well-mannered composure.
"Mrs. McCarty," Rosalie cut in. "What made your family decide to move to our little town?" she asked with a small smile, her hands clasped in her lap.
Mrs. McCarty smiled back before replying. "My husband, Benjamin, is an orthopedic surgeon. We've moved here from Seattle so that he could join the staff of the new hospital. He's to be Chief of his department. Two other families moved here as well, and they're good friends of ours—the Whitlocks and the Cullens. Dr. Whitlock is a psychiatrist and Dr. Cullen is an emergency room physician," she explains.
As it turned out, all three doctors moved here to accept chief positions at the new Forks Hospital. I wondered if this meant our small town would somehow rise above "sticks" status but I seriously doubted it. A new hospital was a step in the right direction but I failed to see how it would cause people to flock here. Forks was still a small town surrounded by woods and hills in every direction. Even the homes were spaced a generous amount apart. It would take some time before this little village of ours turned into something more than a pit stop between Seattle and Vancouver.
"Oh, here's Emmett now," Mrs. McCarty said, the pride in her voice clear. She smiled from ear to ear as we watched a rather large and ostentatious SUV pull into their gigantic circular cobblestone driveway.
We couldn't get too good of a look at him because of the shrubbery outside the windows, but that didn't stop Mother and Alice from ogling this Emmett person like he was a Christmas ham and they hadn't eaten all week. I didn't care how handsome a guy was, there was no call for staring and making a fool of yourself. Of course there were guys that I found attractive but it was bad enough that my blush would give me away. I didn't need to embarrass myself any further than that.
Soon Emmett came through the front door. He smiled politely when he heard his mother call him over and announce that they had company.
"Hello ladies," he said, bowing his head slightly as he entered the room.
Emmett certainly was a good enough looking guy. He was built like a rugby player—stout, but muscular. He had short wavy black hair and light eyes that were almost a sea green color.
And then I noticed the unfortunate look on my older sister's face. I cringed inwardly. I'd never seen my sister look at anyone like that before. She appeared to be positively stricken stupid, like someone just hit her over the head with a very heavy, blunt object. I almost expected her to open her mouth and hear the sound 'dur' come out, but thankfully, it didn't.
He went around the room, cordially shaking hands and saying "Emmett McCarty, pleasure to meet you." He approached Rosalie last, shaking her hand entirely too long and too slowly, but she didn't seem to mind in the slightest.
"Emmett," my mother began with a gleeful smile on her face, "won't you have a seat next to my dear Rosalie? You'll both be starting your senior year in the fall," she reminded us all, as if this was still some kind of miraculous event worthy of a parade or a fireworks display.
"I'd love to sit, may I?" he asked Rosalie. She just nodded her head and parted her lips slightly.
I felt sorry for my sister all of a sudden. What a shame to lose brain cells just because you had the unfortunate luck of looking at someone. I would hate for someone to turn me stupid. In fact, I think I would find it downright disturbing and irritating. Who did men think they were, anyway? First they stole your intellect, then your opinions, then your independence. Oh no, not to me they wouldn't.
I would sooner chew broken glass, if I could be so blunt.