|Blue Book of Pain
Author: Heyl13 PM
In a universe where E.L. James relies on originality and Bella Swan actually has a backbone, the latter reads Fifty Shades of Grey. AU/AH.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor - Jacob & Bella - Words: 1,098 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 4 - Published: 06-10-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8203241
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: That's what happens when you brainstorm after midnight. Title is reference to (Edward Cullen's) Christian Grey's "Red Room of Pain".
Blue Book of Pain
When Jacob entered their house, the first thing that came to his attention was the complete lack of any sound. Usually it was Bella cooking, or singing ‒ very loudly and scary off-key ‒ in the bathroom, or maybe the the sound of some show on the TV.
"Bells?" he called as he discarded his jacket on the back of a chair.
"Living room," a feeble voice said.
Jacob crossed to the narrow room where he located his wife, cowered on the sole couch, knees close to her chest, a vacant look in her eyes. At first, he couldn't determine where exactly she was staring at, but soon his eyes fell on the opened book upon the coffee table. Its spine was soft and wrinkled, and the edges of the pages and cover were crumbled, as though someone had been tugging at them in a fit of rage.
He recognized the cover instantly: the silver tie on a dark background, the tacky typewriter font. . . .
A smile lifted the corners of his mouth. "You've been reading Fifty Shades of Grey, haven't you?"
Picking up the book, he noted that Bella had read up until page 235. That made his smile widen; he'd known Bella for so many years, and she had never left a book unfinished.
Bella nodded vaguely, still staring off into seemingly nothing, her posture unchanged.
"I told you not to read this thing," Jacob said. "Jared said that Kim did, and that it was ‒ and I quote ‒ 'the most offensive piece of shit I've read' and 'bad, bad, bad porn'. If Kim disapproves of erotica, then it's bad.
"It was terrible," Bella muttered through gritted teeth. "Jessica said that it's all the rage ‒ she called it 'mommy porn', I should've known. . . ."
"Has she read it?"
"I don't think so; she's just heard about it through word of mouth. Gah, I can't believe she got me to read this thing!"
Jacob sat beside Bella on the couch. "C'mon," he offered, "it can't be that terrible. I'm sure Kim hated it because of the bad sex, but . . . I mean, it has a plot, right?"
"Plot? What plot?" Bella shouted. Her voice had assumed a shrill, semi-hysterical tone that caused Jacob to flinch.
"What, it has no plot?"
"It's porn, Jacob," Bella said matter-of-factly. "What little plot porn has is ‒ when it has ‒ centered around sex. It's all sex."
"Since when is that a bad thing?"
Bella shot him an angry look. "As a reader and a consumer, I am offended by this book," she stated profusely. "If I'd known what I'd been spending my ten bucks on that," ‒ she beckoned at the book accusingly ‒ "I'd bought a new saucepan. So, there."
Jacob laughed; Bella already had too many saucepans. "Okay," he said, "what aspects of the book you did like? There has to be something."
"Uh . . . no? This— This novel ‒ and I am using this term in its loosest definition ‒ has no redeeming qualities. None. At all. First, the characters are just . . . horrible."
"So, it's like Wuthering Heights," Jacob deduced. "But it can't be, 'cause you keep raving about it."
"Well, the characters of Heights are awful ‒ selfish and self-destructive ‒ but they are actually interested and not entirely based on stupid clichés."
Jacob shrugged noncommittally ‒ not having read either book, he had no idea.
"Well, take Ana, for example. She's Shades' so called heroine."
"What of her?"
"Well, she's bland. And has no backbone. And is overly judgmental. And a doormat. Ugh, I hate Ana!"
"Okay, okay. Relax. She's a fictional character."
"The thought that millions of women think of her as a role model. . . ."
"Well, what about the love interest? There is one, right?"
"Of course there is, so to speak," Bella quipped. "You'd think that there would be one erotic-slash-romantic novel with a sexually active heroine, but they're all about pure, virginal saints at this point!"
"Virgins do exist, Bells," Jacob pointed out.
"Yeah, but I feel like all romance novels feel the need to stress their purity and superiority over sexually active women. Let's face it, the 'villains' of such books will always be the promiscuous ones. And of course the 'hero' doesn't respect those, because ‒ Jacob! ‒ they're sluts!"
"I've heard this rant before. Okay, now . . . what about the hero?"
"He's no hero at all! He's a controlling, manipulating, abusing, borderline sadistic prick. And it's a BDSM story, so naturally he is the Dom. It would've been so much more interesting and original to have the seemingly innocent college student be the Dom instead, but no! We have a billion clichés to succumb to."
"Christian Grey. Ugh."
"—does sound like an asshole. Okay, bad characters. . . ."
"Bad sex. . . . What else?"
"No plot. . . ."
"False portrayal of BDSM relationships, too. Gosh, Grey actually has Ana sign a contract at some point in the 'story' where she basically gives up her freedom. After, what, two days of knowing the guy? It's thinly veiled abuse!"
"I can't believe people read this thing," Jacob said, shaking his head in disapproval.
"'Mommy porn'. It's such an offensive term. Mothers ‒ and so called 'bored housewives' ‒ need better porn than that. I mean, period sex? Really?"
Jacob jerked his head, as if to shoo away an irksome bug. "Please tell me you didn't just say what I think you just said," he implored.
Bella propped herself up, resting her back on the arm of the sofa. "Oh, I meant exactly what I said," she asserted. "I mean, I get it, BDSM and all. The sex has to be creative and original and everything, but it also has to be hot. Like, what the fuck? Yanking a bloody tampon out and then slamming—"
"Okay, Bells. I think I get it," Jacob cut in. "That's one sick mental image."
"Well, I read it."
"Hey, at least we're having hotter sex than them," Jacob offered.
"My grand-parents had hotter sex than them. Now that's another bad mental picture for you." There was a beat. "And it's the first book in a trilogy! There's more of that crap!"
Jacob suppressed a smile.