Ice cream

Teeny tiny twilight

I was griping.

I know, terrible, right? I had some of the best, most loyal friends anyone could ever meet, I played the sport I loved with a team that (mostly) respected me, I did eh so-so in math but well at all my other subjects, and—best of all—I had Edward. Which pretty much summed up the glow-ie, giggly, beaming Bella Alice was teasing me about right now.

"God, what do you two even do? Arm wrestle? Play eye-spy? Play platonic footsie?"

"Pretty big word for someone so short. I think that was even three syllables."

Alice glared but Jasper grinned, his arm around her shoulders. He was sitting on the other side of Alice, so he leaned a little past her to speak. "Short? Yes. But she's a fine short thang. Besides, I think duo-syllable words suit her better."

"Jasp-er." She moaned, and then they laughed.

I pushed her into him playfully, but Jasper's eyes sliced up to mine warningly. Overprotective much? Yes, very much, but he would much rather cut off a finger than do anything to hurt me, being Alice's-best-friend-in-the-whole-wide-world and all.

"Ew, guys," I laughed, ignoring his look, though the hair at the back of my neck stood on end. "Not on the couch."

They looked at each other, and it was part guilty, part mischievous.

I tried to make it look casual as I slid off the couch to sit cross legged on the floor in front of them. Of course, moving to avoid the place's where your room mate and her boyfriend had sex wasn't exactly the most graceful motion. Oh well, better then my initial cringe-and-run reaction.

Alice seemed unperturbed by this, redirecting us to the topic of my apparently—apparently being the operative word here—lack luster relationship. "Bella, come on. You spend most of your time with him in sports bras and sweat pants. Does he really think that's sexy?"

Jasper shrugged. "If she's only wearing a sports bra and sweat pants, I don't think he'd mind." And then he grinned at Alice in an almost lecherously way.

She stared at him for a second and then turned back to me, deadly serious. "Bella? Can I borrow a sports bra from you?"

"Only if you burn it after."

Alice grinned at Jasper. "That's a yes if I've ever heard one." He laughed, and seemed to radiate with it.

I rolled my eyes, smiling. "Yeah. Leaving now. Love you lots."

I got up and went to the door, looking back only once to see Jasper tenderly touch the tips of his fingers against the tips of hers with a hauntingly deep emotion though his lips were pulled up into a smile.

As I was closing the door, behind me, I swore I thought I heard Alice's voice, soft and low. "More than life." she agreed to the silence.

I shuddered and started towards the stairs. It shocked me how they could be both so tender and freaky as hell. Though, I guess, considering what Alice has told me about how Jasper was before he met her, he has every right to his claim. She is still the only person who can make him actually laugh since the Black Watch.

And then I forgot about them almost entirely as I realized where I intended going. Edward's place.

I felt an almost sharp desire to cut across first towards the Athletics Building to visit the weight room for a quick work out first. A strange desire since I rarely deviated from my path if I was heading for Edward. There was no where else that called to me.

I sighed. Probably the effects of the crap day I had been grumbling to Alice about before she went on her tirade about sweat pants and sports bras. But excuse me if I didn't want to giggle about while Edward and I played around between our favoured sports (though somehow, we mostly played football) and running.

Besides the fact that mine and Edward's relationship was rarely sedentary, we had mostly fallen in love with each other in sports wear. I wasn't the only guilty one, either; Edward wore sweats too. Though I thought it was sexy as hell, Alice constantly picked at our clothes often and irritably. She even offered to take him shopping for jeans.

I felt suddenly tired, and rather than take the stairs as was my per-usual these days, I took the elevator. My mood pretty much boiled down to this: Renee called at four this morning (seven O'clock there. She thought I'd be up for school) and cried to me that she and Phil had had a huge blow out the night before about something to do with a toilet seat. The thought that my flighty mother might just call it quits on an other wise happy marriage stressed me out, and even by the end of our conversation she only sounded a little better.

Then when I really woke up, I found my period had snuck up on me, and not only did I have to change and wash my sheets right away, but I had freaking terrible cramps. This meant that in early practice I was lagging behind in my own damn drills and in pain, intensifying the stitch that jumped on me. Then, because I wasn't willing to admit to anyone on my team why I was off my game (they couldn't really emphasize anyways), Tyler ragged on me, and then to the rest of the guys that I was holding them back.

Found out that this month's gift of fertility was not only painful, exhausting, and slightly nauseating, but that I was suddenly overly emotional. I had to push the palms of my hands into my eyes in the changing room to keep from crying right there, though I regularly took Tyler's hassling with little bother most days.

I stressed about the early final task we were assigned. It was due in the same week as our finals, so I had to hand it in a week earlier than everyone else. I Found the same thing about Spanish. Saw that I barely scrapped by on a math test that was heavily weighted, making me feel like a complete idiot. And then to finish off the day, I tripped and nearly caused serious bodily harm to a girl who hated me anyways because of some past thing with Edward and her which was apparently my all my fault though I probably hadn't even known he existed at the time.

But, I tried to think positively, a smiled climbing up my lips, I had lunch with Edward, who stayed up last night to cook—over a stove—a delicious chicken curry. This impressed my for some reason I couldn't seem to articulate. Alice tried to steal some and I ended up pridefully showing off his culinary expertise to our group. Minus Jasper who was still on his campus and blissfully unaware of the ambrosia I was very generously sharing.

And I got a few quick kisses from my Master Chef before the classes he walked me to. All in all, I think the bad equalled the good.

I reached Edward and Emmett's room and knocked. Emmett opened the door and grinned. "Bella!"

I grinned brightly at him. "Emmett!" We had both thrown our arms up in simultaneously in a whoopie kind of gesture. We laughed and he stepped aside to let me in.

"Is Edward here?" I wondered, looking towards the short hall where Edward's room was.

"Naw, he went to the weight room to work out." Then Emmett curled the considerable muscle in his arm. "Still trying to get a body as sexy as this."

I tried to laugh, but I felt a great crushing disappointment. "Oh. Well...can I hang out here?"

I really had no reason for my disappointment. Edward and I were nearly inseparable since we started dating a little over a month ago. God, I had even told him up front that I wouldn't be offended if he wanted a few moments away to go spend some time with some of his other friends. I still remember his exact expression when he had said "Oh... Do I have to?"

"Yeah, sure." He looked at me funny. "Something going on?" he wondered, looking concerned.

I didn't lie to Emmett. I liked him too much. "Crap day." I admitted.

Emmett pulled out his cell phone. "Want me to call him?" He offered helpfully.

I shook my head and fell heavily onto the couch. He joined me, and then hesitantly offered me the remote for the TV.

Emmett was caught in a tender balance when it came to me. I was, to him, one of the guys. But I was also a girl. This meant that though we could hoot and poke fun and thumb wrestle, he was nervous about hurting me if we actually wrestled playfully, wouldn't engage in mercy fights, and offered me the first hand full of pop corn from the bowl. It also meant that there was no man law to restrict the range of my emotions, so, like now, he considered it very possible that he might just end up with a teary female on his hands.

I completely sympathized with his fear. I mean, what the hell do you do with those?

So I took the remote and searched through the sport channels, looking for football, but settled on rugby. I saw Em relax out of the corner of my eye.

We watched it for a little while before Emmett asked if I wanted anything as he headed towards the kitchen. I was about to turn him down when I realized I did want something. And call me moody and cliche, but I desperately wanted refreshingly chilly sugar. "You don't happen to have Ice cream of any kind?" I wondered hopefully.

Emmett shook his head apologetically. "Sorry. Anything else?"

I shrugged, I hadn't really expected him to. "No thanks."

I heard the microwave start, and then he came back in with his favourite sports munchie: sugar popcorn. I laughed at him and he offered me some—the first hand full, naturally—but I turned him down, not really in the mood.

Not ten minutes later Edward came in. He looked like he had just bolted from the Athletics Building, his coat not even zipped up, his eyes wide and concerned. I worried for a second that something bad had happened until his eyes landed on me, searching my face for signs of distress.

I suddenly realized that Emmett had—in that odd one-of-the-guys-yet-female relationship we had—texted Edward to tell him I was upset.

And the proof?

He had ice cream.

Ridiculously, I burst into tears.

Edward was across the room and crouched in front of me in a second. "No, Bella. Shh, Bella, shh." He pried my hands away from where I had raised them in an attempt to hide my tears and started to pepper kisses over my face, kissing away the streaking tears. "Tell me how to fix it. Tell me how to make it better."

Emmett, on the other hand, was up and out the door faster than I have ever seen him move. He called something about seeing Rose over his shoulder, which, translated, really means: Dude, I can't stand to see you cry.

Which was fine with me. I really didn't want an audience.

Edward stroked my hair away from my face, his face slowly contorting closer and closer towards that terrible helpless anguish you feel seeing someone else in pain. "Do you want a different ice cream? I can get you whatever flavour you want." And I knew that even if I asked for guacamole flavoured ice cream, he'd find it.

I shook my hands free of his and pressed the heels of my hands into my eyes, trying to force the flow to stop through physical means since I couldn't seem to get a grip on myself emotionally. I laughed awkwardly, which seemed to somehow increase the flow of tears rather than hinder it. "God, Edward, I'm so sorry."

"No, no, no, Bella, shh. It's okay, it's fine."

At that I actually started laughing. "Oh, yeah, it's fantastic."

Edward didn't laugh. He pulled my hands away from my face again, and I opened my eyes. Big black dots danced across my vision from the force I had used to try and stop my tears, which faded to red, then yellow before finally disappearing.

I was just starting to get myself under control when Edward sat down beside me and half lifted, half dragged me into his lap. "Tell me what's wrong. What happened?" He murmured into my hair.

A deluge of fresh tears started again and I told him pretty much everything, even some of the embarrassing girly stuff, though only where it was necessary to the explination. I didn't dare tell him about the soiled sheets, to which I was most ashamed.

So after word vomiting all over him, I curled closer into him, praying to God he wouldn't let me go. "I don't know how I deserve you." I whispered. Here he had gone out of his way to make me happy today and I was crying. Wonderful.

Edward, who had been silent all through my venting, cried out in protest. "Bella!"

I sighed, "Edward, you do all these amazing little gestures like cooking for me, and writing me compositions, and"—I gestured towards the now likely softened ice cream—"and buy me ice cream when I'm sad. The closest I've come to returning them is cooking for you. And you're a hell of a better cook than me, so even that one is pretty moot."

I blamed this hopeless attitude and sudden rage of insecurities on my stressful day and hormone flux.

"Bella," Edward started more softly, "You give me so much. You found my iPod when I had thought I lost it, and rather than just give it back, you added a new playlist of all my favourite songs I loved but keep forgetting put on. You sewed the holes in my favourite shirt so I wouldn't have to toss it. And when you cook for me—oh God, especially when it's your spaghetti—I'm ready to fall down at my knees to worship you."

I laughed a little at that and Edward tightened his hold on me, hugging me close. "Besides," He murmured, leaning in to press his lips to my temple. "I love doing things for you. When ever I cook, you treat me like the Iron Chef. I feel on top of the world when you give me this look...I don't even know how to describe it, but I feel like the single most incredible being on the planet when you do."

I looked up at him, feeling my heart swell to nearly painful proportions for this man. Edward grinned, white teeth flashing. "Yes, that one."

I laughed, feeling much better than before and swung around on his lap so I could more comfortably reach him. I kissed his throat, then his jaw, and finally his lips. "I love you."

"I love you more." he murmured against my lips, and I almost shook my head at the ridiculousness of that. Impossible. "And don't worry about Renee, Bella." He said, pulling away to meet my eyes, his green ones sincerer. "She might not always make the best decisions from what you've told me, but I'm pretty sure she knows when she's happy. She only called you because, well, you're her daughter. Her grounding platform. Bella, I look to you first for advice, and I'm not the one who's been reliant on you for the past eleven years."

"How do you know how to make everything perfect? Seriously, Edward, what would I do without you."

"I don't know." He murmured, leaning in for a kiss. "Continue to rescue and redeem all us lost souls. Do good deeds. Kick ass." I laughed and he pressed his lips to mine and I melted into him. He pulled away after a few moments, eyes vividly jubilant. "Me though, I'd be lost. Lost, lost, lost. Poor Edward."

I laughed again, pulling him in close for a much longer kiss, and he chuckled against me. After a long moment of only the whisper of our lips, he pulled away, glancing at the ice cream on the table. "Um, should we get spoons?" then he kissed me one more quick kiss and got up to get them.

To be honest, I had almost completely forgotten about it.

I had found something much sweeter.

A/N: Woot! I'm back baby! Kind of. Anyway, I wanted to thank SonnyCows for being so amazing as to edit this chapter (and it seriously needed it). I am also going to formally (and publicly) apologize for 1. potentially missing any of her suggestions and

2. Forcing her to edit it by Friday, only to drop off the face of the earth and then reappear Sunday. (sorry!)

^_^ Enjoy, and I think I might actually not do the birth next, because another (sadder) piece is nagging at me, and I think I really like it.

Wow, have I always been so obsessed with brackets?