Uh, yeah, not dead or anything. Real life just decided to be a dear and kick me in the ass.

Disclaimer: Those Edward and Bella kids aren't mine, or anyone else's except Stephenie Meyer, who is very generous to allow us all to play with them.

Chapter 12: Pretend to be Nice

"You should stop staring," Patrick reminded me dutifully. "It's impolite and makes you cross-eyed. Plus you never know who might stare back."

"I can stare at who I want to stare at," I shot back. "I mean even you, the vampire, has to admit that this," I gestured in the general direction of what I was staring at, "is weird. Your best friend sitting at lunch with the girl he hates the most, and not only that, but he looks happy about it. It's official, Forks has become a breeding ground for random couples."

"They're not dating," Patrick corrected quickly. "He's probably asking her questions for biology." He looked thoughtful for a moment. "And he doesn't hate her."

"Yeah," I scoffed. "Since when have any of you ever needed help on anything? And you're the one with superpowers. Can't you just listen in on their conversation? Or is that against the code of ethics with the Justice League?"

Patrick shot me a scathing glare. "We aren't superheroes, and I don't even know what the Justice League is so I assure you we aren't in that either. And didn't your mother ever tell you it was rude to listen in on other people's conversations?"

"Nope," I grinned impishly. "She's the one that taught me how."

Patrick shook his head, his eyes looking upward. "Why me?"

I shrugged, allowing that, before getting up and making my way towards the exit. I overheard snatches of quick whispers containing Bella and Edward's names. It made me feel a little better to know that I wasn't the only one who found the situation weird. I'm sure none of the school gossips knew what to do with this information. First Edward and Patrick don't date anyone, then Patrick starts dating me and Edward starts sitting alone with Bella. It was enough to make my head spin a little, let alone anyone else's.

I didn't need to turn around to know that he was right behind me, because I could feel him, feel his gaze on my back and the slight hint of his emotions, a mixture of reluctance and nerves. That was how it always had been with me, once I'd known someone and spent enough time with them one on one. I could learn their emotions, their facial expressions, and their movements. He was still walking, but a little faster in order to catch up to me. I decided to beat him to it. "Hi Jack. What do you want?"

"How do you do that?" Jack mumbled, half to himself. "I would always try to scare you and you would end up scaring me. It's not fair."

"On a schedule here," I tapped my foot impatiently. "What do you need?"

"Can't I just say hello to my sister?" He asked easily. I raised my eyebrow. "No, well then fine. I was wondering if maybe you wouldn't mind if while Dad was on his trip to get the deposition if Christine and Diane maybe came to visit? I know they want to see you."

"Um," I stalled, my mind working quickly. Diane, I was still a little pissed at, but I wouldn't mind being able to see her again. Christine, on the other hand, was a heinous bitch and a cheater at that. "Yes to Diane, no to Christine."

Jack rolled his eyes, sighing dramatically. "Well I wasn't really asking your permission, because they're coming in tonight, so deal with it. We need to drive to Port Angeles to pick them up."

"I have plans," I snapped. "You're going to have to go get them yourself."

"Why are you being so difficult?" Jack was quickly getting more irritated with me.

"I just don't like your girlfriend," I replied.

He smirked. "Well I don't like your boyfriend, so there."

I burst out laughing. "You're such a loser Jack." I hugged him lightly. "What am I going to do without you next year?"

"Kill yourself?" Jack hugged me back, and I smiled internally, happy that we hadn't gotten into one of those huge fights that seemed to happen every so often. "But seriously Sara, there's something about that guy. He's not horrible, but be careful."

"Wait," I stammered. "What do you mean?"

Jack shrugged half-heartedly. "I'm telling you what I mean. Be careful. I know guys, and I remember what I was like as a sophomore. He might just turn around and dump you one day, without a warning." He reached out and ruffled my hair. "Tell you what, if he does, I'll kick his ass for you." He spun on his heel and sauntered off towards the parking lot, leaving me with my mouth open.

A pale finger tilted my chin upwards, while the other arm gently tugged at my waist drawing me closer. "I'm not going to break up with you." He frowned. "I'm actually a little disappointed that Jack thought that I could do something like that."

My only response was to press my face in his jacket, breathing in the familiarity of him. Even though we'd been together for a short while, I couldn't imagine not being with him, because when I was it was like everything just fell into place. Every quirk and flaw that I contained was tempered with the ones that were in his personality. I needed him. I needed this.

"… can't go with you to class." Patrick was still talking, but I only caught the tail end of the sentence.

"Why not?"

"Emmett heard there was blood typing today in biology. Edward and I both agree that it's not in anyone's best interest for either of us to be near that room." He looked sad for a moment before smiling softly at me. "I'll wait for you until after school though. I think it would be better for both you and Jack if you didn't see each other until tonight."

I nodded. "Okay. Sounds good to me." I stood up on my tiptoes and rested my forehead on his. "I love you."

He broke out into an even bigger smile and started to walk away, throwing out over his shoulder, "I know."

I sat completely bored in French, easily conjugating the irregular verbs that the teacher threw at me. It was almost ridiculous how easy the public school French class was. Our teacher at Choate had been Russian and one of the most intimidating women I'd ever met. In fact, intimidating didn't even crack the surface. It was at times like this that I wished we hadn't moved to Forks, even if it would have meant that I wouldn't have met Patrick. I missed being academically stimulated, the thrill of going to class and being challenged on a daily basis. I shook myself out of my reverie. God, I sounded like a nerd.

Students poured out of the classrooms and I found myself looking for Bella among the onslaught of students coming from her classroom. I recognized one of her friends, Angela I remembered, and called out her name. "Do you know where Bella is?"

She shook her head. "She's probably still at the front office with the nurse. Mike said she was there with Edward Cullen when he came back."

What was Edward Cullen doing near her when she was probably bleeding? "Was she hurt?" I demanded lightly.

"No," Angela demurred. "She didn't even stay for the blood typing." She looked slightly uncomfortable to be talking with me. "I have to go to my next class, but if I see Bella I'll let her know you were looking for her."

I smiled my thanks and went to gym, and proceeded to kill the other team. It was awesome.

I was barely containing my glee as Patrick drove me home, bouncing up and down on the seat.

"Careful," Patrick warned me playfully. "People might see you and think you're a happy person."

I stuck my tongue out at him. "I could say the same for you."

I didn't notice anything unusual as Patrick and I joked our way into the house. I was dissolving into a fit of giggles as we entered the stoic silence of my living room.

"Sara Trent," a high-pitched voice commented to my left. "What a pleasant surprise."

I turned and opened my mouth to say something back when I got attacked from the side by something tall and blonde.

Crap.

When I was five I met Diane Landon. This, as my father always insisted, was the beginning of the end. Diane was everything I wasn't. Where I was sullen and withdrawn, she was bubbly and effervescent and as I grew older and became more athletic she became more concerned with boys and modeling. While the modeling was limited to a few gigs with mostly family friends, the boy thing had quickly lifted off the ground and hadn't stopped since. By the time we had finished the ninth grade, Diane had quickly made her way through most of the boys in our class at Choate and even a few guys a little older.

So I wasn't being attacked technically, although Diane could be considered a force of nature unto herself. I tried to disentangle myself from my blonde best friend as Patrick looked on, a bemused smile gracing his face.

"Oh laugh it up," I said sourly to him. "A little help?" He shook his head, chuckling to himself as Diane hugged me even tighter.

"Sara Trent!" She had the same tinkly voice as always. "You're much too fabulous for Forks, Washington. When are you coming back to Choate for good?"

"Not until August," I said, uncomfortably aware of Patrick's rigidity from across the room. "But that's not important right now."

Diane smiled beatifically and wrapped her arms around me again. "I'm so glad to see you." She cast a glance at Patrick and then one back at me, raising an eyebrow. Who's that, she mouthed. I shook my head firmly and dragged her into the kitchen.

"So that's why you don't want to leave Forks?" Diane observed quietly. "Can't say I blame you. He's seriously hot."

"He's seriously off limits, Diane." I said crossly. "I haven't forgotten about Matt Bishop yet."

"Ugh," Diane groaned good-naturedly. "He's so 8th grade Sara. He was a horrible kisser too. I was right to take him off your hands."

"Who's Matt Bishop?" Patrick asked curiously. "You haven't mentioned him before."

Diane stifled a giggle and turned around, extending a hand. "I don't believe we've been properly introduced. I'm Sara's best friend, Diane Landon. And you are?"

Patrick looked at me for confirmation and I nodded almost imperceptibly. He smiled disarmingly at Diane. "Patrick Cullen, Sara's boyfriend. So I take it you're the person responsible for those pictures a while back?"

Diane blanched and turned back towards me. "You forgive me for that right? I totally didn't mean it; I seriously thought it was for something else. The reporter totally misled me, that bitch." She held out her arms. "Friends?"

"Totally," I smiled hugely. Sometimes it was so easy to like Diane.

She squealed and linked her arm around mine, leading me up the stairs. "Gosh, your boyfriend is really hot. How did you hook up with him?" She paused mid-step and craned her neck back down the stairs to where Patrick was patiently sitting on the couch. "I totally have to steal him from you!" She giggled her tinkly laugh and skipped up the rest of the stairs.

And sometimes it was easy to hate Diane.

oooo

The next day, word had spread like wildfire throughout the school about Bella almost fainting in Biology. Various girls had claimed to actually seeing Edward Cullen pick her up and carry her into the front office, but no one could actually confirm what exactly had happened. It seemed that drama had pervaded the halls of Forks high school.

Not that I had really been able to add any comments myself, considering I was part of the rumor mill and anything I would say would be blown up out of proportion. God, I hated high school.

Jack was off being all couple-y with Christine and making anyone within fifteen feet of them absolutely nauseous. Thank god for Diane. She was exactly what I had needed this week.

She tried to convince me to bring her to school so she could meet all the friends I'd made, but I had told her that the only time she could come was during lunch. So, it was with apprehension that I waited outside the cafeteria for Diane to appear from the parking lot.

She definitely knew how to make an appearance. Even though it had to be about 56 degrees outside, Diane was dressed in a thin white dress, complete with thick black belt and pencil thin red shoes. In other words, she was definitely trying to assert her superiority over the residents of Forks. And it was working.

Diane smirked over her shoulder and extended her hand towards me. "Are you ready to show the world your fabulousness Sara Trent?"

No, I wasn't, because I wasn't all that fabulous, but dammit if I wasn't going to let my best friend make a fool out of herself alone. God knows she'd never let me embarrass myself alone.

As we entered the cafeteria Patrick wordlessly appeared by my side and slung an arm around me. I smiled my thanks as Diane cast a cool and appraising look around the cafeteria.

"This is it?" Diane asked uncertainly. "This is what you guys do for lunch? Where's the salad bar?"

"Yep," Patrick drawled with a slow smile. "Better get food while you still can, city kid."

She cautiously poked at the entrée on her tray and looked up at me worriedly.

"Well Dorothy," I cracked. "I guess you're not in Kansas anymore."

She laughed and looked around the room again. "Who's that?"

I didn't even have to look. "Is he sitting with a brunette?"

"Yeah," she wrinkled her nose. "She's not that pretty though."

"Forget it Diane," I muttered. "Not even you can get Edward Cullen."

She frowned for a minute as realization dawned on her. "Is that your brother?" she asked Patrick excitedly.

"Kind of," he said lamely. "We're not really related."

"Who's the girl?" Diane craned her neck to get a better look. "How long have they been together?"

"They aren't dating," Patrick and I said at the same time. Patrick shot me a glance before continuing. "Bella and Edward aren't dating, they're just lab partners."

Diane had a predatory gleam in her eyes. "I could totally get Edward Cullen," she said triumphantly. "I think you're underestimating the Landon charm."

"Why don't you go try out that charm then," Patrick suggested gleefully. "If you're so confident it's going to work."

"Is that a dare?" She stood up eagerly. "I accept Mr. Cullen."

As she set off to go get Edward, I turned towards Patrick. "You know if she gets him, she's going to be insufferable for the rest of the weekend."

"She's not going to get anything close to a date," Patrick said firmly.

I raised an eyebrow. "I don't know anyone that Diane hasn't been able to get. She's dated practically every guy I've ever met. If she can't get Edward, nobody can."

Patrick shook his head, and smiled. "I wouldn't be so sure about that last one."

I let that sink in. "Wait a second." I looked at Edward and Bella. They seemed wrapped up in their own little world, and Diane was about to ruin that little bubble of peace. "He likes Bella?"

Patrick shrugged. "Personally, I think so. It makes a lot more sense than whatever crap Rosalie's been spouting for the past few weeks."

"That sounds about right," I nodded. That did make more sense. It explained the sudden interest in what it was like being with a human a few days earlier, the meaningful stare in Biology and the fact that he'd saved her life.

Patrick snorted. "Thank you, love guru. Glad to know my theory gets your seal of approval."

"That's right," I shot back. "I am the love guru." Diane's hair flashed in the corner of my eye and I turned curiously, to see what was going to happen.

Half the school was staring at the blonde leaning against the table that Bella and Edward were currently sitting at. Bella was staring at Diane, with something akin to shock in her eyes, whereas Edward's face was that of annoyance and amusement. Diane bent down towards Edward's ears and whispered something. God only knows what she was doing. She pulled away and smirked down at Bella before glancing at Edward again. Edward shook his head and I saw his mouth move, but had no idea what he was saying.

Patrick snickered beside me. "Classic Edward." He grabbed the tray and stood up. "I should probably leave you two alone, so she doesn't try to get me to explain what just happened."

Diane's face was placid, but I could sense the swirling of anger and frustration behind it. She sat down in a huff.

"So he said no?" I ventured.

Diane's expression was mutinous. "Who the hell does he think he is?" she fumed. "I'm Diane Landon. I dated Jesse McCartney as a freshman in high school." She looked at me. "Well? Aren't you going to say anything?"

"I think Edward Cullen's a little hotter than Jesse McCartney, Diane." She glowered at me and opened her mouth again. "Not that you aren't completely capable of getting him. It's just, you interrupted his lunch with Bella, and this is just me, but I would have told you 'no' too. Not that I don't love you, because you're my best friend, but still. Not the smartest plan you've ever come up with."

She sighed. "Yeah, I probably could have gone about that a different way." She shook her head. "Why didn't I wear the Gucci?" She asked plaintively. "I know he would have gone for the Gucci."

"Because the Gucci's not made for Forks, Washington." I countered. "But, seriously Diane. Let's focus on the task at hand. What are we going to do this weekend? Patrick and his family are going camping, so it's you and I all weekend."

Diane grinned. "Duh."

I looked at her questioningly. She smirked. "Sara Trent, don't tell me you've forgotten how to party."

Double Crap.

oooo

"So if you're not going camping, what are you doing?" We were currently in his car, listening to some random music off his iPod.

Patrick looked at me with a smirk on his face. "You're a straight A student Sara, you figure it out."

It took a couple of minutes. "Ohhhh," I murmured. "Why couldn't you just tell me that earlier?"

"I'm sure that would have really thrown Diane for a loop," Patrick snickered. "Can you imagine us all sitting there, and me turning to you. 'Hey, sorry we can't hang out this weekend, I'll be killing a few bears so that I don't kill people. Love you, bye.'"

"Well, when you put it that way," I trailed off. "Knowing Diane she probably would have liked you even more."

Patrick shuddered. "She's predatory. You can totally tell."

"How's that?" I was interested.

Patrick pulled me closer, moving his lips down towards my ear. "It's all in the forward pointing eyes."

"Can't you just pretend to be nice?" I shoved at him ineffectually. "That's my best friend you're talking about here. Just because you're my boyfriend doesn't mean you get best friend mockery status. You'll just have to keep those kind of thoughts to yourself."

"Fine," Patrick sighed dramatically. "But just so you know, censorship is so 1990's."

"That's so not the point of this conversation," I pointed out. "We should be talking about important stuff."

"What? Like calling each other honey, darling and being schmoopy?" Patrick mocked. "Because that's so how you and I interact with one another."

"No," I drew the word out slowly, enunciating the ridiculousness of his statement. "What I meant was, we should try and set up Edward and Bella together."

Patrick's eyes widened. "I don't think that's such a good idea Sara."

"Why not?" I challenged. "I think it's terribly romantic."

"I think it's romantically terrible," Patrick shot back with a dazzling grin.

I frowned. "You're romantically terrible."

Patrick laughed. "What do you expect me to say back, 'your mom's romantically terrible.' Which now that I think of it, she kind of is. I saw one of her movies the other day. The 1980's were none too kind."

"Hey!" I glared. "No mom mocking either. But seriously, why do you think it's such a bad idea? You and I work out fine."

Patrick cleared his throat. "First off, I'm much older than Edward, and I've actually had experience in dating. Secondly, your blood isn't half as appealing as Bella's is, and I don't have an urge to kill you everytime we start talking. Thirdly – "

"Wait," I interjected. "Blood? Killing?" I widened my eyes. "What are you, a vampire?"

"Ha ha," Patrick said dryly. "You think I'm kidding."

I smirked. "Blood's blood, isn't it?"

"Hardly," Patrick muttered. "Imagine it this way. You're Dior Poison, and she's Love Spell."

"Ew!" I shuddered. "If I smell like Dior Poison, why are you even dating me? God, I feel like I should shower now."

Patrick ran a hand through his hair. "I swear, for being as smart as you are, you surprise me with your stupidity."

"But how do you really feel?" I smirked. "But seriously, Patty. We need to plot."

"Patty?" He raised an eyebrow. "We're going to need to get new nicknames for one another."

"I happen to like my name," I informed him loftily. "It's short, concise, only two syllables, extremely easy to clap out. Patrick, on the other hand, has that tricky thing with the 'atr' and you stumble on the pronunciation. Patty is perfect."

"In a completely emasculating and twisted way," Patrick insisted. "No nicknames. New rule." I opened my mouth to protest but he stayed firm. "No plotting either. You don't need to get in any more trouble then you're already in."

"You suck," I muttered half-heartedly.

"No," Patrick said cheerily. "I bite. There's a difference."

oooo

With Patrick gone for the weekend my only social opportunities were Bella and Diane, and given the fact that Diane had so blatantly disregarded Bella that day in the cafeteria, it looked like Bella was out. So it was me, Diane, Jack and Christine. In a house. By ourselves. Kill me now, thanks.

Christine was a year younger than Jack, and she took great pride in the fact that she'd managed to sink her French manicured talons into Jack Trent as a mere freshman. I would have tried to point out on several occasions that I'd dated a junior as a freshman, but I enjoyed having my vision unimpaired, so I kept such thoughts to myself.

Yes, Christine was pretty, but so was Helen of Troy, and look where that got the Trojans. I wasn't interested in starting the apocalypse anytime soon by getting even more on Christine's bad side. Because, not gonna lie, Christine viewed me as a threat to her future happiness as a trophy wife. Just the thought of having to sit through Jack and Christine's wedding made me want to vomit.

So I was stuck up in my room with Diane flipping through fashion magazines, when I could have been doing like, homework or something equally as arduous. Which wasn't completely horrible, but still I would have much preferred being with my boyfriend.

"Hey!" I looked up from my reading just to barely avoid the piece of paper that was flying at me. Diane had her arms crossed. "I've been saying your name for, like, at least 5 minutes."

"Sorry," I shrugged, not knowing what else to say. "What do you want?"

"Hello?" Diane gave me a pointed look. "How did you meet him? Why is his family so hot? You know, all the important questions."

"They're not his family Diane," I explained. "He was taken in by Dr. Cullen and his wife a few years back, after his parents died in London in a car crash."

"Oh," Diane looked contrite for a minute, before brightening. "Were they rich? Because that means he's got all the money they had."

"Uh, I guess so, Diane," I resisted rolling my eyes. "I was more concerned with not making him depressed about his family then asking him just how much his net worth."

"Gosh, Trent," Diane scoffed, rolling over to file her nails. "I was just asking. Sorry for like insulting your relationship with your boyfriend."

"He's not just my boyfriend!" I blurted out, immediately regretting what I had just said.

Diane turned to face me, eyebrow raised. "Well, than what is he then?" She lowered your voice. "Have you guys done it yet?"

"No!" I exclaimed, trying to figure out why I had just said that Patrick wasn't just my boyfriend. "I just love him, is all I meant. We haven't even talked about sex yet Diane. Not all of us girls are like you, Diane."

"I know," Diane giggled. "But that's why it's so much fun being me." She grinned before returning back to the fashion magazine.

I shuddered internally. For once I was really seeing my best friend for what she was, vapid and shallow. I mean, she'd always been this carefree girl who didn't let everything affect her, but this was the first time it had really dawned on me what I could have become. If I hadn't moved to Forks would I have ended up like this? I quickly abandoned this line of thinking, instead suggesting to Diane that we go out to dinner. She jumped at the opportunity to leave the house, dressing herself in some ridiculously inappropriate outfit.

We were about to leave the house when Christine appeared in front of us.

"Where are you two going?" She asked superciliously.

I tried to push past her, but she was already in front of me. "We're going to dinner Christine. You know, that thing you do when you put food in your mouth and swallow." I smiled sweetly at her. "But you wouldn't know about any of that, would you?"

She sneered at me. "Whatever Sara. Figures you would find something you liked in this hick town anyways."

I pushed past her without responding, some things just weren't worth my time. Diane followed me, but not before smiling tightly at Christine. I guess it's hard when your second cousin is your best friend's least favorite person. Thankfully, in Diane's case, blood didn't run thicker than water.

We wound up at this tiny little diner on the edge of Forks, complete with flickering sign and empty parking lot.

Diane grimaced. "Perfect, we're stuck in a horror movie. If we get attacked by a homicidal maniac, I'm using you as a human shield."

"Thanks," I said wryly. "I'll be sure to keep that in mind when I get married." I checked my phone for messages, just in case Patrick had decided to call me. Nothing. This was the longest I'd been away from him since I'd found out what he was. But that was okay, I would have to deal with it soon, when I left to go back to New York.

"So, what are you and lover boy doing when you come back home?" Diane seemed to read my mind.

I shrugged. "We're not really thinking about it. I don't want to break up with him, and I'm pretty sure that he doesn't want to break up with me. It's just hard with his family, and the fact that I have to leave in a couple of months, especially when I'll be living with my mother again."

"Yeah," Diane looked thoughtful, a rare look for her. "I guess you just have to ask yourself what you really want. Do you want to stay here with no family and the guy you think you're in love with, or do you want to come back to New York, where most of your other friends are? There's always going to be other guys, Sara. Plus you'll be closer to Jack, and I know you wouldn't like being across the country from him."

I was silent for a moment, letting all this process, while Diane patiently waited for my response. "I wouldn't be able to stay here without a parent, so unless Dad falls in love with his job, which he seems to think is just okay, I guess I'd have to go back to New York, but I don't know if I'd be very happy about it."

"Oh my God," Diane leaned back, shell-shocked. "You really do like this guy." I tried to defend myself but she put her hand up. "I thought you were maybe just with him because he was attractive and a good distraction, but you, Miss I Love New York, would actually consider living in this little town until graduation, just so you could date that boy."

"I guess so."

Diane beamed, reaching across the table to give me a hug. "My little Sara is all grown up. I feel like such a proud mother."

I shoved her hands away ineffectually, not fully realizing the implications of what had just happened, but I felt like something had just changed in my life, and I wasn't sure if it was exactly what I'd been hoping for.

A/N: Can anyone else totally picture Diane being Scarlett Johansson? That's who I picture her as, so that's who she is.