A.N.: So ... it's been awhile lol!

Now, I know this is a couple of days late to be a Christmas story, but if I don't post it now, I never will - maybe not even next Christmas. I've also been writing this for like three years and today I finally got a majority of it written today. So this is also un-beta'd.

Also this story was inspired by the song Drunk on Christmas by Jimmy Fallon and John Rich. I'm sure there's been a time during the holidays where we wanted to check ourselves out by consuming large quantities of alcohol, so this story is all for good humor. The song is one of the funniest songs performed on his show (when he was doing Late Night) and it was made into an iTunes song five years ago. Unfortunately, I'm unable to find that performance, so I'm linking the song - listen to it and I recommend you don't ignore the lyrics below. Listen to the song as you read the lyrics, then read the story - you won't be disappointed. (I had to write in the lyrics as I listened to the song over and over again. I think I finally got them down, and if not, oh well. I mean, that's FIVE YEARS of trying to get the lyrics right!)

Drunk on Christmas - youtube dot com/watch?v=NHtStejrSSM (you know what to do when it comes to websites)

Hope you enjoy the story! Leave a review telling me your thoughts :D

UPDATE 1/16/16: Drunk on Christmas has been recommended on TwiFanfictionRecs! Shout out to them and anybody else who rec'ed Drunk on Christmas! Thank you! xoxo I really appreciate it! Plus they made a really cool banner :)

twifanfictionrecs dot com/2016/01/16/drunk-on-christmas-by-k8ln713-k8ln713-os/

twitter dot com/TwiFictionRecs/status/688374631095529472/photo/1

Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight. I do not own the rights to Drunk on Christmas, only a copy of it on iTunes. No copyright infringement is intended.


DRUNK ON CHRISTMAS

Christmas is a time
A special time of year
For peace and joy and happiness
Wonderment and cheer

For opening your presents
Underneath the tree
And spending countless hours
With your family

That's why I'm drinking, drinking, drinking
I'm gonna drink all day
I'm going home for Christmas
And my family's insane
Just gotta make it through the day
And there's no other way
Gonna get drunk, drunk, drunk on Christmas

Can't be sober when I'm over
Everyone's bipolar
So cut the crap and get some Jack
And put it in my soda
And make it strong enough
To put a reindeer in a coma
Gonna get drunk, drunk, drunk on Christmas

I'm heading home for the holiday season
My dad's got a stick up his ass for some reason
My mother and my sister
Well, they're no longer speaking
And me ...
I'm drinking

Rumple Minze
By the shot
Gin and tonic
Yeah, why not?
Black and Tan
That's my jam
Irish whiskey
I was slammed
Jaigermeister, Hefeweizen
Stella, Stoli
And Budweiser

Santa, Santa, Santa
I've got the family blues
Just fill my stocking full of vodka
Any brand you choose
I need the Christmas spirit
And by spirit, I mean booze
Gonna get drunk, drunk, drunk on Christmas
Gonna get drunk, drunk, drunk on Christmas
Gonna get drunk, drunk, drunk
On Christmas Day

~Jimmy Fallon and John Rich – Drunk on Christmas~

~Drunk on Xmas~

EPOV

My family is totally insane!

They're especially fucking loony around Christmas. I don't even know why we even bother gathering for the holiday if we're dysfunctional and hard to deal with.

If you thought getting together with your "loved ones" made you want to check yourself into a psych ward, you haven't met my mine.

Let me count them off. There's my mom, Esme; my dad, Carlisle; my older brother, Emmett; and my younger sister, Alice. I'm in the middle. I'm basically the poster child of what a middle born is, a male Jan Brady if you think about it.

Now that you've met them, now it's time for you to get to know them and see the craziness that is the Cullen family.

My mother and Alice always fight … and I mean always. No matter what time of the year, if my sister is in the house, you're bound to hear her and my mother screaming at the top of their fucking lungs at each other. You'd think that because Alice is the baby, she'd be babied; that if either my brother or I distressed her, or even if she was the cause of us getting pissed off, we'd get our asses verbally kicked. But in fact, she's the one that causes my mother's blood pressure to rise.

It's been said that the younger children are the rebels of the family because at some point the parents know that there is nothing much they can do wrong when it comes to raising their youngest as they've been through it all. They're usually more uptight with their eldest children because they're the ones the parents walk on eggshells over, the ones they're initially shaping. From there on out, they just go with the flow.

And while Alice is the more rebellious one, my parents, especially my mother, do not overlook the things Alice has done. My mom and sister will be arguing, usually when it comes to Alice's boy toys that come with her to our childhood home. Alice always has some new boyfriend my parents do not approve of, whether it be a guy with no job or no ambitions or a guy pierced and inked within an inch of his life; they just dislike any guy Alice likes.

Now my father is always an asshole. Nothing seems to please him and he's always judgmental. He especially hates it when Emmett visits because Emmett chose not to follow the family tradition in becoming a doctor. Emmett chose to go for nursing instead, which is not a bad field. In fact, I think that nurses do more in the medical field than the doctors do, at least from personal experience.

Regardless, my father is just traditional … okay, archaic. He thinks the men should be doctors and women should be nurses. Nurses are just the assistants to the doctors in his eyes, but, as I said before, the nurses are just as important when it comes to a healing a patient, if not more!

I'll just say that when it comes to those two, they either fight or give each other the silent treatment.

Emmett's fiancée, Rosalie, is a bitch and I find it hard to be in the same room as her, but I tolerate her. She just has an iciness about her that makes you feel uncomfortable, and she always criticizes something about our childhood home or my mother's cooking. I just try my best to avoid her at all costs. Alice, my mom and Rose hate each other. It's best to keep them apart a much as possible.

So yeah … my family is insane and a pain in the ass to deal with. And the only way I can get through any family occasions is with … drum roll please … alcohol! Alcohol is my best friend on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and any other occasion my family and I are forced to come in contact with each other. No matter what day it is, it's just best that as soon as I walk in the door I better have a glass or bottle of something strong in my hand.

Today is Christmas Day and I'm at my parents' house. It won't be long before the drama begins. I am the first to arrive. My mom hugs me tight and then says in a concerned tone that I'm too thin. Five minutes later, I have a sandwich in front of me and am ordered to eat while she goes back to cooking and baking. I really am the male Jan Brady—I'm cared for and deeply loved, but I'm not the one my parents have to worry about, almost to the point that I'm ignored, and honestly, I'm cool with that.

My dad comes in and shakes my hand. He and I get along much better than he and Emmett do because I am following in my dad's footsteps and becoming a doctor. Although that might change. I'm only in my first year of med school and I'm already thinking of quitting because it's much harder than I thought it would be. I don't even like it, and I love science. But I'll stick through it just so I can keep normalcy between my parents and me. I'm the only child who doesn't cause any drama or trouble and I'd like to keep it that way.

My father asks when the others will be here with a heavy sigh. He's not looking forward to Christmas with all of us in the same house.

You're not the only one, Dad.

It's not long before the drama that Alice and Emmett bring with them when they arrive ensues, leading me to stuff the last bite of my sandwich and head over to the small bar in the family room. It's time for me to drink, drink and drink some more.

It's barely twenty minutes after I've arrived that Emmett comes in with Rose. Emmett and I get along. He still treats me like a kid, but I let him have his fun because I want to avoid any shit-fest with him. Rose just greets me with a tight smile and a short, "Merry Christmas," but Emmett pulls me up from my seat and squeezes me and fucks up my hair my giving me a noogie. Come on, really? Are we eight?

My mom babies Emmett, but is a bitch to Rose. She offers her son some food to feed his still growing body, as if it could get any bigger, but doesn't with Rose. I wonder if she just assumes Rose doesn't eat because she's got the perfect thin body I'm sure every woman craves to have. Then again, Rosalie would probably turn down food from my mother in fear that she might get food poisoning, whether it was on accident or on purpose.

My dad doesn't speak to Emmett, already starting the silent game with him. I roll my eyes at their behavior and walk over to the bar.

Not too long after that, Alice arrives. She greets us all with cheerful hugs and kisses and introduces us to her current boyfriend, Jasper, and her friend, Bella.

Now, I'm going to be honest. I've met Bella and Jasper before. Alice and I get along well, as we're only a year apart and live in the same neighborhood, so I see her all the time and tend to meet her boyfriends before the others do. I've tried to tell her who is worth bringing home to meet the 'rents, but she won't listen to me. I've given up. Also Alice likes to set me up with people and usually I double date with her and her current beau, but I don't find any of the girls she sets me up with all that appealing. They're too fake most of the time, whether it be something physical or personality-wise.

I met Bella when coerced into a double date with Alice and Jasper. Bella is Jasper's cousin and Alice wanted to set me up with her. The blind date with Bella and Alice and Jasper was the best set up my sister came up with. The date went extremely well and since then, Bella and I had been exclusively dating. It's been about four months and I'm already so close to asking her to move in with me, but then again, we haven't even spewed out the "I love you's" yet. I do love Bella. I'm just afraid to tell her because I don't want to lose her.

When making plans for the holidays, I had offered to take Bella to meet my family on Christmas when Alice would take Jasper, but she had said that she was going to Florida to see her mother and stepfather. That conversation took place about two weeks ago and we hadn't been able to see each other since because of other obligations.

I wonder what happened to going to Florida.

So it's a shock for me to see my girlfriend in my house when I thought she wasn't able to come with me. A part of me is glad she's here because then I don't have to suffer through the insanity that is my family alone, but then I'm fucking upset because it would have been nice to be notified that, yeah, she was able to come. I would have been able to introduce her as my girlfriend, the girl I loved and probably wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Now I can't and it's awkward.

I head over to the bar again and refill my glass of Jack without so much as telling Bella hello or "introducing" myself or giving her a sweet kiss on her plump lips while Alice introduces Jasper and Bella to the rest of the group. And so far so good … no yelling or screaming by Alice or my mother.

As I'm pouring my drink, I feel a soft hand on my back. "Hey."

I close my eyes and take a deep breath before facing my girlfriend. "Hey."

"How are you?"

"I'm okay. You?"

"Fine." Bella sighs deeply. "Look … I'm sorry for dropping in like this without giving you any warning. Things have been so crazy."

"So crazy that you couldn't even text me to warn me, Bella?" I whisper gruffly.

"I didn't know if I should. I wasn't sure if the invitation was still good and I didn't want to find out via text message that it wasn't okay with you. Besides, I was literally pushed into the car by Alice. She said it was okay and that you wouldn't care."

I pinch the bridge of my nose and then take a gulp of my drink. I then realize I'm drinking and I haven't even offered Bella one. I know what she likes—she is my girlfriend after all and she always drinks the same thing. I grab a tumbler, scoop a few cubes of ice into the glass and then pour her some of the amaretto we have. I hand her the glass and she quietly thanks me before sipping it.

"Bella, of course the invitation was still open. I just wish you told me."

"I wish I told you, too. And it was rude of Alice to assume it'd be okay with you."

"I haven't talked to Alice in a few days. What happened anyway? Weren't you supposed to go down to Florida?"

Bella takes a sip of her drink before speaking. "I was. But plans changed last minute. While my mom was open to me coming down for Christmas, Phil was not in on the plan. He surprised her with an early Christmas gift of going on vacation to Bermuda. Seriously, just yesterday as I'm packing for my trip, my plane ticket booked, she calls me to apologize and tell me that I couldn't come down. Well, actually I was able to; just that no one would be there for me to be with."

"That fucking sucks, Bella," I tell her. God, if I'd known, I would have drove to her apartment and physically dragged her to my car and drive her to my childhood home with me.

"Yeah. It was so last minute. I forgive her. She's just so flaky and she totally forgot to tell Phil, which hurts because he's her husband and he should know about certain plans being discussed. She should have told him. But whatever … it's done and over with."

"Why didn't you call me?" I ask. Like, really? This was all last night. I drove home this morning. She could have told me that plans changed and asked if it'd be all right.

"I wasn't thinking, Edward! And I assumed. I thought the invitation was closed."

"You know what happens when you assume. You make an ass out of you and me. You should have let me know to avoid this mess."

"Shoulda, woulda, coulda. Jasper came over to tell me he was leaving with Alice and that I should enjoy my trip to Florida. I told him it was cancelled and he called Alice. Alice rushed over, packed a few clothes for me and pushed me into the back of Jasper's SUV. We're in the car when she tells me I'm spending Christmas with her and you. I didn't think to text you."

"Look, we're just gonna keep fighting over what could have been done. We can't change the past. Only thing is that you're my girlfriend, but only Alice and Jasper know that."

"Well, we could always play the part of getting to know each other for your parents. Maybe have Alice insist on having us sit next to each other or pushing us underneath mistletoe. That way we can be a couple, but on the down low."

"Ugh … I'm gonna need a lot more alcohol if I have to do that."

"What? You don't want to be couple-y with me?" Bella cocks her eyebrow at me. Fuck, it's hot.

"I do, baby … but you know I can't lie and I act for shit."

"We just act like we normally would. Everyone will just think we're getting close with one another."

"Bella, are you there when we're together? You know how we become horn dogs with each other at some point. And that is just not cool in front of my parents."

She frowns. "Oh, right."

Bella and I get disgustingly lovey dovey when we're in front of a crowd. And even when we're not in public, the little things we do get out of hand at some point. A simple kiss to her lips leads her to grabbing my head and starting a twenty minute make-out session on the couch. Her rubbing my back leads to hot sex in bed. Giving her a foot massage leads me to yanking down her yoga pants and proceeding to tongue fuck her.

I cannot let things like that happen with my parents around. I really can't lie for shit and pretend Bella and I aren't "together." I know that eventually Bella and I will slip and reveal that we've known each other for more than a couple of hours. And for that, I need to be tipsy. I need to have the liquid courage and the confidence alcohol gives me in order for us to pull this off. Or alcohol will seriously fuck this up.

Well … here goes nothing. I down the rest of my glass and pour another one.

"Perhaps you should slow it down, Edward. Knowing you, you'll fuck this charade up in a matter of minutes if you're completely inebriated," Bella tells me.

"I'm gonna give you the number one tip of surviving any get-together with my family: have alcohol in your hand at every moment. Seriously, you're going to need it. But for you, I will take a bottle of water now and drink that before I drink this glass." And I do so.

"I understand that family parties get crazy. I mean, what family isn't dysfunctional?"

"No, you don't understand, Bella," I stress. "No family is as fucking dysfunctional as mine is."

"What can go wrong, Edward?" she asks, not fucking getting it. Perhaps Alice shouldn't have pushed her into her car.

"Everything!"

"Don't be so dramatic."

"Don't say I didn't warn ya, Bella."

"Whatever. Let's just start our performance. I see your mother is coming in now."

"Oh, Edward!" my mom exclaims. "I see you've met Bella."

"Uh …" I stammer. "Yes. I have, Mom."

"And …" she trails off.

"She's very nice."

"I apologize for Edward," Mom tells Bella. "He's not very good when it comes to conversation." She looks at me again. "I mean, really, Edward? All you can come up with to describe Bella is that she's nice?"

"I've only just met her!" I lie. "And she is nice."

"It's quite all right, Mrs. Cullen," Bella intervenes. "I find Edward positively polite and very kind. He was nice enough to offer me a drink and we've just started getting to know one another."

"Oh, good. Well, I'll leave you two to it. We'll catch up later, dear. And it's Esme."

When my mother disappears, I sigh heavily. "That was fucking excruciating."

"I don't know what you mean."

"Did you see the way she scolded me for saying you were nice, Bella. I told you I can't act."

"It's fine, Edward. Besides, I think I'm in your mother's good graces. She said I can call her 'Esme' instead of 'Mrs. Cullen.'"

"She does that with everybody she meets. She hates Rosalie, but allows her to call her 'Esme.' She just can't stand being called 'Mrs. Cullen' because it associates herself with my grandmother, my father's mother. She despises the woman."

"Why does she hate Rose? I think she's okay."

"That's what we all thought of Rose until we really got to know her. I think she's okay, but everybody except Emmett and I truly hates her. She's just very selfish and cold-hearted. Must be because she's much richer than us, so everything isn't to her standards."

"That can't be so. She loves Emmett."

"Yeah. You're right. And I guess if she was so stuck-up about her wealth then she wouldn't be with Emmett."

"I think I understand her predicament. I am getting my Ph.D. in Psychology."

"What do you think is her predicament?"

"She's being judged for possibly a defense mechanism. Rose has grown up in a wealthy atmosphere, probably being told nothing below her stature is good enough for her. She ended up choosing a man who is below her wealthy status in socioeconomic standards, as well as career choice. What does she do?"

"I think she's in law school. At least I think that's what Emmett said."

"Okay, she's probably a law student, perhaps because she grew up in a family of lawyers. She could also be rebelling in a way—she could be pursuing a career that maybe only men in her family do and the women are considered trophy wives, and with that she's choosing to not be the arm candy. She's going to have the high status career while her husband does something else.

"I don't think it's for street cred in her world that she's going to be the lawyer and Emmett is going to be her arm candy. I think she just wants to be accepted. Your family has judged her for God knows how long and she hasn't dropped her wall. I think deep down she's a very nice woman."

"Wow … you never cease to amaze me." Fuck, I want to kiss her so bad. No … I just want to drag her up to my childhood bedroom and fuck her. I can't though. Damn you, Alice. You just made this so hard for Bella and me.

"It's just a thought, a possible scenario. Besides, I'm not a psychologist yet, so I shouldn't even be doing this. We won't really know unless someone has the guts to ask her why she has a stick up her ass."

"Okay … you do it. No one knows you."

"I most certainly will not. I may be someone she doesn't know, but I'm not the one who for years has judged her because of her attitude. Perhaps you should. Rose may be icy toward you, but at least she knows you don't necessarily hate her."

"Noooo," I whine.

"I'm not asking you to do it now, Edward. Just eventually. She's going to be your sister-in-law soon. Don't you think your family should have a clean slate with her when it's official?"

Before I can answer, arguing rings throughout the house.

"Mom! Why can't you be happy for me?!" I hear Alice cry.

"Oh, God," I groan, rubbing my hand against my forehead. "Brace yourself," I say to Bella.

"Why?"

"Just do it."

Alice comes storming into the living room, my mother following behind her. Jasper is hiding in the corner. I can't decipher his facial expression except for the look of being uncomfortable.

My mother screams, "How can I be happy for you when all you do is jump from one man to another?! You don't even give me a chance to get to know someone before you dump them like their old news and move on to someone else."

"Well, it's not like you give them a chance anyway! You're always so quick to judge!"

"Well, if you'd stop giving us heart attacks, maybe I won't!"

"What does she mean by that?" Bella whispers to me. The arguing around us continues.

"Alice is known for going through phases with boys. She went through one where her boyfriend was pierced and tattooed almost everywhere and rode a motorcycle, so she became a biker chick, too. She wore black leather, dyed her hair pitch black and pierced her nose. She brought him home one Thanksgiving and Mom just said, 'Get out!' as soon as Alice came in the door."

"Oh. I don't want to offend you or anything, and your mom is really sweet, but she's quite all over the place. Like she wants to get to know someone, but doesn't because she's quick to judge based on outer appearances."

"None taken. I know how she is. And that pierced and tatted guy was a tattoo artist who owned many shops in the city. He's quite the artist and the businessman. Very nice, too."

"What about the others?"

"Alice always has been one who sensed people's characters. Sometimes it's on instant and sometimes it took a while. And she goes through phases, never content on settling. Like, she really liked that biker boyfriend of hers, but she realized she didn't want that lifestyle forever. Plus her nose piercing got infected, so it turned her off from wanting to get any other piercings except in her earlobes, and knowing that guy, he'd get her to pierce other things."

"So what about my cousin and me?" Bella asks.

I turn to her and smile. "Well, she knew you before Jasper, and she loves you like a sister she never had. No lie; she told me so. You pimped out your cousin, and because she likes you a lot, there was no way she'd hate Jasper. I think from the moment she laid eyes on him that she was done for. I've never seen her happier. Plus, so far, this is the longest relationship she's had. Six months is quite an achievement. I think she also chose to wait to bring him home because she didn't want to fuck it up with Jasper by bringing him home so soon. That's why she didn't at Thanksgiving this year. Despite it being a month ago, it was too soon."

"I think that's sweet."

"Why do you not like Jasper?!" Alice screams.

"There's nothing wrong with Jasper!" Mom yells. "He's been here an hour and he's perfect, Alice! It's you! You're the one I worry so much about! It's like a curse, you know? You bring boys home and then it's not long before you get rid of them. I know it won't be long before you decide Jasper's not good enough for you or for our family and you'll bring home someone new. That's why I'm upset with you! I'm being so irrational now by arguing with you because I think Jasper is who you need and I'm afraid we won't ever see you happy with him again!"

"Wow," I murmur. "I've never seen my mother admit her feelings like that before. Especially when it comes to Alice."

"Is that all, Mom?" Alice inquires. She also scoffs. "You're so quick to judge, but the one time I bring home someone remotely perfect, someone I actually am sure I'm going to spend the rest of my life with, you just assume it's not going to last and pick a fight with me."

"I worry about you, Alice! I've worried about you since the day you were born. You were always unlike your brothers personality-wise. You make my blood pressure rise. You're the reason I have to dye my hair so no one would see the greys I'd been sprouting! You were always one who was never content with things in your life, always needing to try something new, and it transferred to your taste in men. Yes, I'm quick to judge. You shock the living daylights out of me when you bring home your boyfriends, whether it's how they look and dress, how they act, how old they are …"

"I forgot one time Alice brought home her forty-year-old English professor when she was twenty-one," I whisper to Bella as my mother ranted. "She went through a phase where she loved older men."

"…I love you, Alice, but I'm not getting any younger. My children are all grown up. And I want a family again, filled with babies. I want us to all be together and to stop fighting. I want to know that all my children are happy, settled into their lives for good and that maybe we'll actually have peaceful get-togethers."

I sip my whiskey. Really, alcohol gets you through the holidays, but it also keeps you busy when there's an argument. And a rant. And even an apology.

"I'm sorry, Alice, for how I've acted all these years. I'm sorry for now, treating you and Jasper so horribly. I just want you to be happy and I have a feeling Jasper will keep you happy."

"He does, Mom," Alice replies, tears spilling from her cheeks. "I love him. I won't find anyone else like him." With that Jasper sidles up next to her and kisses her forehead.

"I won't find anyone else like you, Alice. I love you."

My mom and Alice hug. While I think we've officially settled the drama between my mother and Alice, drama keeps getting brought up during the holidays in the Cullen residence. I just know it.

"I have a feeling we're going to need more booze, Bella." I turn back to the bar and pour us each another glass of our preferred libations. I'm getting ready for another meltdown … in three, two, one …

"Why do you hate me so, Esme?!" Rosalie exclaims.

Esme gently pushes my sister away, stomping up to Emmett's fiancée. I just continue to drink my alcohol, watching the fallout. "You want to know why? I hate to cuss, but Rosalie Hale, you're a stuck-up bitch. You think that because you're wealthy and have the best of everything that everything and everyone else isn't good enough. I don't even know why Emmett loves you or even asked you to marry him. I don't even understand how you paired up to begin with. He's everything you don't even like."

"Well, maybe if you got to know her, Mom, then you'd understand," Emmett seethes, pulling Rose into his arms. "I love her and I'm happy. Isn't that enough?"

"Didn't you hear my rant a few minutes ago? I want to stop the fighting! I want us all to have peaceful holidays and dinners as a family."

"Then get to know Rose."

"How can I when she spits her fire back at us?"

"Esme … I love Emmett," Rosalie starts. "You think I'm stuck-up, but it's all I've ever known before I met your son. The lifestyle I grew up in let me have anything and everything my heart desired. I was even engaged to someone of my stature before, but it wasn't because of love. It was for security. He treated me like I was every other woman in our social circle, like arm candy, and I hated it. I'm my own person and I can be and do anything I wanted if I had the mindset. After I finished college, I applied to law school and I cancelled the wedding.

"After doing so, my parents disowned me. I haven't been welcomed back since. When I met Emmett one night, this big, strong man with a heart of gold and dimples to make you melt, I knew that not every man was like my ex. He wasn't of high status and I reveled in it, knowing he wasn't going to be like any of the men I'd known my entire life. He didn't judge me and call me a bitch when I acted like one to him the night we met. He looked past my wall."

Who knew Christmas was the time to open up other things besides presents? I make the decision that I should just hold the bottle of Jack instead of constantly going back and forth between the bar and where I stood next to Bella.

"Apparently, you can't, Esme. Yes, I act so stuck up, but instead of telling me you loved me, instead of embracing me like I wished my own mother did, you barely tolerate me for the sake of pleasing Emmett. None of you took the chance to actually confront me and tell me to stop acting so uptight. None of you accepted me." Rose turned to Emmett. "I don't even know how this will work, Emmett, if I can't even have a family again. I'm sorry." She pulls off her engagement ring and hands it to Emmett before walking out of the room.

After a quiet minute, my brother faces our mother. "Look what you did, Mom. It's been three years. You'd think you'd actually get to know her, but the second you do, she finally throws in the towel, unable to take it." He also turns to our dad. "And fuck you, Dad. I'm fucking sick of you judging me for my career choice. It's 2015! Anybody can do anything with their lives. Get over it! I decided I wanted to be a nurse and am now. And I love it! I wouldn't trade it for the world."

He storms out of the room. As soon as we hear the door slam, my mother collapses. "What have I done?" she whimpers out. "I lost my baby boy. I destroyed his happiness all because I'm judgmental. I'm a monster."

Bella nudges me hard, pointedly looking at me to do something. I hand her my glass before walking over to my mother. "You're not a monster, Mom. You're a mother who is overprotective. Yes, you judge before getting to know someone, but that doesn't make you a monster; it only makes you human. We were all wrong for judging Rosalie. Now we can only hope we can fix our wrongdoings."

"Edward, I don't know if I can this time," Mom cries. "My own son hates me."

"He doesn't hate you. And we won't know if we don't try."

"Let's go find them, Edward," Alice tells me. I nod in agreement.

Bella and Jasper follow us out, getting into Jasper's car. We drove for a few minutes around town before Alice says, "He had to have caught up to Rosalie. They came together. And they couldn't have gone far. We left barely a few minutes after they did."

"I've called both of them. Their phones are shut off because it went straight to voicemail."

"Think, Cullens. Where does Emmett go when he's upset?" Bella inquires sternly.

"Well, Em usually thinks and feels with his stomach," I answer. "If he's upset, he'll go get food."

"Where would he go that's open?"

"The diner's always open," Alice replies. "He had to have gone there. If not, then he's well on his way home."

"Lead the way, babe," Jasper says.

Alice gives him directions to the local diner that's always open, no matter what time of day or holiday. As we pull into the parking lot, I spot Emmett's Jeep.

"He's here. I see his car."

"Let's hope Rose is with him," Alice answers with a sigh. "I want to apologize to her. I've treated her just as badly as Mom has."

"Yeah, why is that?" I ask her.

"Same reason Mom hated her. She was bitchy. How could I have a sister who was a bitch to me? Now I know why. All I can do is say I'm sorry and that I'm going to try to be her friend."

The four of us enter the building. There's a large crowd waiting to get a table. We know that we must split up in order to find my brother. Bella and I head left while Alice and Jasper go right. I find Emmett with Rose in a booth. They're quietly chatting and eating French toast.

"Hey, guys," Bella murmurs as we reach them.

"Hi," Em answers.

"Hello," Rose says.

"May we join you? Alice and Jasper, too?" I ask.

Rose stiffens and looks over at Emmett. They nod. I shoot a text to Alice and a minute later, the four of us are surrounding their table. We know we're blocking paths, so Rose suggests she and Em take their food to go, all of us meeting at the nearby park where there are picnic tables to sit at.

After we've all convened there, Alice jumps into her apology, saying how sorry she was for not giving Rose a chance and how she hopes Rose and Emmett can forgive her. Rose tells her that it'll take some time but hopes they can all get along.

"Rose," I start. "Our relationship has always been a bit strained, but not terrible."

"That's an understatement, Edward," she says with a chuckle.

"I hope that it won't be so anymore. I'm not saying we have to be buddy-buddy, but perhaps we won't be so cold with one another anymore?"

"Agreed."

"So what's going on between you and Bella here?" Emmett asks.

"What do you mean? We only just met today."

"Ha! Yeah, and I'm Santa-fucking-Claus. There's no way you two just got acquainted a few hours ago. You've been standing so close together chatting. No awkwardness, and dude, you're awkward."

I duck my head into my chest and groan loudly. "Dude, you gotta say that in front of my woman?"

"Edward, baby, it's no surprise that you and I ended up together. You and I are so similar we were bound to become an awkward couple."

"Well, actually, like Emmett mentioned, you two accumulated to each other like a fish to water. No awkwardness whatsoever. Perhaps because you two are so alike that awkwardness fades to black when you two are with each other," Jasper pipes up.

"Why did you two pretend you didn't know each other?" Rose asks.

Bella and I tell them the story of how originally I was going to bring Bella home to introduce her to the family, just like Alice with Jasper, and how it all got messed up. "I was shocked to see her here and knew I couldn't just go up and kiss her in front of everyone. Mom would hand me my ass if I did so, assuming I didn't even invite Bella, that Alice had to be the one."

"You know, surely she would have understood the predicament if we just told her how it all played out," Bella says.

"Yeah, maybe. I just wanted to avoid drama. I'm so good at not being the one Mom and Dad worry about all the time."

"Do they even know much about you anymore? Do they know you don't want to be in med school anymore?"

"No, and what am I gonna tell them? I don't even know what I want."

"Well, what do you like, Edward?" Rose asks. This honestly is the first time she even attempted to get to know me in some fashion. God, where's the alcohol when you need it?

"I like reading. I like math and science. I've always been some kind of nerd."

"No shit, bro," Em interrupted. Rose just smacks him.

"I like kids. I mean, I've always seen myself as a dad at some point," I continue.

"Are you hinting at something?" Bella asks me, winking.

"Maybe."

"What about teaching, Edward? You took all those science and math courses in college; go for a Master's in Education. Become a math or science teacher," Alice suggests.

"That sounds kind of cool," I answer with a grin. Now all I can imagine myself is showing people younger than me the enjoyment of science and math and how it pertains to a lot of things we do today. Then my smile disappears. "How am I going to tell Dad? He'd be angry. All I want is to avoid disagreements; that's why I am in med school. I knew you upset him, Em, and I was his only hope for another Cullen being a doctor."

Emmett punches my arm and tells me, "Dude, you can't be afraid of the man. If he gets upset, then boo hoo for him. You do what makes you happy. If he can't understand that or be happy for you, then it's his loss."

I nod, knowing my older brother's completely right.

Eventually, we head back to the house. Emmett and Rose made up, the engagement back on. Who knows when the wedding will happen? Who knows if our parents even show up? As long as they're happy, then that's all the matters.

If I had a drink, I'd drink to that.

We pull into the driveway of our home and the six of us make our way inside, hoping to start this whole day over. Emmett rings the doorbell and Mom pulls the door open. She yanks Em into a tight hug, apologizing profusely.

"It's okay, Mom. Let's just start this day all over again. No arguing. No tears. No drama. Let's just enjoy Christmas. It is, after all, a time for family."

"Yes. You're absolutely right." Mom faces Rose. "Rosalie … it's so good to see you. Your sweater is gorgeous."

"Thank you, Esme. Something smells wonderful. Would you like any help with dinner?"

"I'd like that very much," Mom answers with a sweet smile. I think she's slowly accepting Rose and vice versa. She then hugs Alice and Jasper, the two of them following Em and Rose inside.

"Edward, honey." I'm pulled into the tightest hug ever.

"Hi, Mom. I, too, want to start this day over. First, I'd like you to meet someone." I take Bella's hand. "This is Bella Swan. She's my girlfriend. Has been for four months."

"Girlfriend? Why didn't you mention this before?"

"It's a long story, Mrs. Cullen."

"Didn't I already tell you to call me 'Esme,' Bella?"

"Well, since we're starting over and I'm now meeting you as Edward's girlfriend, I found it best to go back to calling you that until you said it was all right to call you by your first name."

"Well, I want you to call me 'Esme,' Bella. Now I want to hear about how you two met. I also want to know why Edward decided not to tell me you were his girlfriend from the very beginning."

We laugh and head inside, sitting around the living room and telling them the fucking hullabaloo of Bella showing up today.

My mom, Bella, Alice and Rose are all sitting in the kitchen chatting up a storm. Dad and Emmett discuss his career choice more and I think Dad is accepting it. I know I have to tell him, but I'm figuring I'll wait until New Year's.

I think we've had enough hysterics for Christmas. New Year's gives me a whole 'nother reason to drink it up to get through family drama.

But no matter the outcome of what I plan on telling my parents, I know Bella is beside me. After Christmas dinner and the exchanging of gifts, with Bella and I apologizing to each other that our own gift exchange will have to wait until we get home due to Bella's unannounced arrival, I drag Bella under the perfectly placed mistletoe over the front door.

"Merry Christmas, Bella."

"Merry Christmas, Edward."

"I may be able to give you one gift tonight."

"And what's that?"

"Me telling you that I love you. I have for some time and have been too chickenshit to tell you."

Bella giggles. "Well, I guess I can match that and admit that I love you, too. I've been nervous to admit it. I've never felt like this before with anyone."

"That's enough of a gift for me."

"Well, I still expect a physical gift from you when we head back to the city. I love you, but I'm a gift whore."

"Then it's not wrong for me to admit that I kind of want a gift from you to open?"

"No."

I sigh. "Good."

"Aren't you gonna kiss me? We've been standing underneath this mistletoe for a few minutes and you haven't smacked one on me. Get to it!"

"Yes, dear." I kiss Bella good and hard before letting her go, whispering to her again that I loved her. We head back to our family in the family room.

"Edward, when were you going to tell me that you planned on quitting medical school?" my dad asks from his recliner, his eyes narrowing at me.

Shit. Guess the drama cannot wait a week.

So with that I head over to my good friend Jack, pouring one finger's worth of the liquid and downing it before pouring another glass and walking over to my dad.

What would Christmas be like without a little family dysfunctionality and booze?


A.N.: Thanks for reading! If you celebrate Christmas, I hope it was wonderful. If not, then Happy Holidays and (soon) Happy New Year! :D