So... I have a load of scenes which got cut from the If It's Not Too Late story, so I thought I'd start popping them into a collection of one-shots every so often. Let me know if you want me to continue.
You don't need to have read If It's Not Too Late, but it helps if you want context! Non-chronological. Writing isn't necessarily amazing!
July 15th 2005 - Seattle - Takes place between Twilight and New Moon.
"You're going to hell. Straight to hell. There's no saving your soul now."
"Shhh, shut up and act ill! You wanted this as much as I did."
"I didn't want it enough to damn your soul for eternity!"
Midnight was fast approaching, and Carlisle and Carys found themselves whispering to each other as they slowly but surely advanced through the queue which began at the entrance of the bookstore, and wound around the block.
Carlisle had popped away to buy coffee from the red and white cart making excellent business from the fans, and thanks to Carys, word had begun to spread of his "condition". When he'd returned a mere five minutes later, he'd found Carys no less than twenty places ahead of where he'd left her.
Carys tugged on Carlisle's hoodie, drawing his attention away from the thirty or so people they'd just passed, who were either averting their gaze or openly staring at him. Their expressions varied between sympathy, pity, or thinly veiled attraction.
Carys took her coffee, kissed Carlisle gently on the cheek, and ran her fingers through his hair. When she reached the nape of his neck and his eyes closed in contentment, she nearly grinned in triumph. The group of five, directly in front of them, hadn't seen Carlisle until a few moments before and hadn't been privy to their whispered conversation. They now took Carlisle's reaction to be a result of extreme exhaustion.
Instead of grinning as she wanted to, Carys retained her highly concerned expression and pressed the back of one hand to his forehead. Tutting for effect, she then wrapped an arm around his waist and urged him closer, glancing towards the front of the queue.
"Are you sure we shouldn't go home, lovely? I know how much you want this, but you're awfully cold..."
"You're overselling it," Carlisle whispered against her temple, barely loud enough for her to hear. "They're never going to-oh, it's working..." He pulled back just enough that Carys could see him gently roll his eyes, and then winked and groaned dramatically, dropping his forehead to her shoulder.
"... blood transfusion every two weeks..."
"... so pale and tired looking.."
"... he just wants to know what happens..."
"... so strong... Both of them..."
Whispers rose up around them, and Carys gave into temptation, burying her face against Carlisle's chest when she heard some of the more sympathetic comments. Carlisle stroked her back as if he were comforting her, rather than helping to hide her guilt-stricken laughter.
"You should go ahead," one of the women Carys had been filling in about Carlisle's imaginary disease piped up, and Carys controlled her face and wiped her eyes before turning to face her.
"Oh no," she countered, drawing the most of her accent from each and every word, amazed her acting had worked on yet another group. "No, no, everyone's been so kind already."
"You sound like Morticia Addams," Carlisle hissed in her ear, obviously trying not to laugh.
"Look who's talking, Dracula," Carys shot back under her breath.
Carlisle's hand wandered underneath her cloak. "I didn't say you should stop."
"Carlisle Cullen... Do you want this book or not?"
"Go ahead," a man standing beside the woman urged when he saw an opening in their near silent conversation, sending a wary glance in Carlisle's direction when he suddenly swayed on his feet. "No offence, but you don't look like you should be standing much longer."
"If you're sure?" Carlisle checked, his voice far rougher than usual. He, unlike Carys, had affected an American accent, and performed it so well that not a single eyelid had been batted so far.
"We're sure. Don't want you jostled about too much, not in your condition."
Carys held her wand, an exact replica of McGonagall's, and coffee in one hand. When she raised the coffee to her lips, it showed the yellow band on the sleeve of her robes to better effect. It had previously been hidden below the long black cloak Carlisle had leant her for the occasion.
"Thank you. I'm sorry, it's just, he doesn't like to make a fuss, you see?"
"We're both Hufflepuffs," Carlisle explained, poking Carys in the side when they were waved forward again. "But I think Carys must have Gryffindor hiding in there somewhere... Or Slytherin," he added on a whisper, before turning a faintly pained smile on the next group and shrugging sadly for effect. "I would be wearing robes, but I couldn't find any warm enough, and it was too expensive to get them made. What with the medical bills."
Unlike Carys, Carlisle was wearing "Muggle" clothes, consisting of a black hoodie, jeans, and t-shirt. The only colour came from his Hufflepuff converse. He looked every bit his age, perhaps younger. It added to the effect of his drawn out words and sad, Oliver Twist-esque frown.
Carys pressed her lips together and squeezed Carlisle's hard hand as tightly as she could. "Now who's being overdramatic and going to hell?" she whispered when they were begrudgingly waved ahead of the latest couple.
Carys' phone buzzed in her pocket, and she lifted her cloak and turned Carlisle's wrist against her waist, checking his watch. She smiled smugly and took a sip of her coffee. Five minutes to midnight, and Alice had sent her the signal.
They were in prime position to receive one of the first copies of Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince, but just far enough back in the queue that they wouldn't be photographed on their way in or out of the bookshop.
"What disease do I have?" Carlisle asked a minute later when the whispering about his condition had turned back to excited chatter about the impending book release.
Carys, bouncing on her tiptoes and leaning out of the queue to get a better look, took a little while to answer. A shout went up, and she was further distracted by a rush of anxious anticipation.
"What?" she finally called over chanting which came from the larger of the groups they'd just passed.
"What disease do I have!?" Carlisle called back, directly into her ear.
Almost everyone in the queue had quickly taken up the chant, and those who hadn't had taken to cheering, clapping, or jumping up and down like Carys.
"Oh!" Carys yelled back. "Brandon's disease!"
"Brandon's disease!?" Carlisle repeated near her ear, tugging her flush against him, her back to his front, when she was jostled by the clamouring crowd. Whilst they were all still queuing, the gaps between groups had lessened to near nothing.
"Yeah," Carys' called over her shoulder, the sound lost below the roar. "Look it up! There's a whole webpage about it. Very, very rare. Named after Mary Brando-woooo!"
"So Alice conspired with you-?" Carlisle cut off when the crowd surged again, and joined in the countdown, pressing up on his tiptoes and raising his coffee in the air. "Fifteen! Fourteen-! Wait!"
"Esme and the kids can never know about this!"
"Of course!" Carys agreed, thankful yet again for his exceptional hearing when she found it hard to hear herself shout over the roar. "Same as they don't know you own three copies of each book, or that you're a Hufflepuff!"
Carlisle dropped his arm and then abandoned his cup in a flash that everyone was too distracted to notice. Palming Carys' cheek, he turned her face to meet his kiss.
He pulled away just in time to join in: "Three! Two! One!", and then used the distraction of the bookstore opening its doors to cover the way he lifted Carys an inch off the ground and carried her until she focused again, just before they reached the store.