Summery- Bella needs a little help after making a bad choice.
Warnings- none really except for my usual fluff alert and I should probably make it clear that I have NEVER read the Twilight books. I'm sorry if that makes me less human I just haven't gotten around to them yet. All I know is what I saw in the movie so all you avid readers out there may feel free to review and give me some tips (much appreciated).
Disclaimer- This is Stepehenie Meyer's sandbox, I'm just playing in it.
She didn't want to. She really, really didn't want too (she felt bad enough as it was). But… she had too.
"Can I help you dear?" the kind faced woman behind the desk asked Bella.
"Umm-uh," she stammered, forgetting where she was and why she had come for a moment. "Yes, I…I need to see someone." She took a deep breath and tried not to feel stupid.
"Of course dear, just give me your name." Right. Her name, she had a name.
"Isabella Swan. Umm, is there any way that maybe I could see Dr. Cullen? I feel more comfortable with him" She had to see a doctor. She really didn't want to but she had too and if she had to see a doctor, then it was going to be Carlisle.
"I'll see what I can do, hun. Have a seat and we'll call you when we're ready," Tracy (as her nameplate stated) told her.
Bella nodded and turned towards the waiting area, which consisted of eight chairs and a box of old toys scattered across the room. Bella sat in an empty seat far from the rest of the others and leaned back without thinking about it. A jolt of pain whizzed up her back and she quickly sat up again. She felt absolutely stupid.
Meanwhile, in the back of the clinic, Dr. Carlisle Cullen was logging a prescription when the front desk nurse, Tracy, walked up to him and handed him the chart for his next patient. "Thank you, Tracy" he said mildly and turned towards the room.
"Oh, Dr. Cullen?" He stopped and turned back. "There's a girl in the waiting room who asked for you expressly, so I moved the arthritis pain to Dr. Mooreland so you could see her. She said her name was… uhhh… Isabella Swan. Yes, that's right. Do you want to keep her?"
Bella? Carlisle concentrated for a moment, carefully perusing various scents for her smell in particular. "Of course. Put her in a room; I'll be with her as soon as I'm done here," he said, indicating the chart he was holding.
"Yes, doctor," Tracy muttered and walked back to the desk. Carlisle glanced down at the chart in front of him: two year old boy with severe diarrhea. Oh, goody.
She sat watching a little boy hold his tummy until he was called back and then she watched an old woman hold her hands as if they were hurting her badly and then she felt stupid again. Why didn't she think this through before she did it? She never did stuff like this; she never had before this anyway.
"Isabella Swan?" A nurse called her name and she stood up carefully, carrying her backpack instead of putting it on.
The nurse got Bella's height, weight and vitals before asking her if she was allergic to anything and when she had her last menstrual cycle. "Can you tell me why you're here today?" she asked.
Bella bit her bottom lip. "I'd rather discuss it with Dr. Cullen if that's alright." She looked down at the ground, embarrassed.
But the nurse didn't push. After all, whatever it was, the girl had come to see a doctor and that was the important part. "That's fine, Dr. Cullen will be with you in just a few minutes." With that she smiled and shut the door behind herself. Bella sighed.
Carlisle rolled his eyes, irritated that after letting their child live on a diet of McDonald's and Fruit by the Foot his parents have the nerve to even wonder why he gets sick. Humans were amazing.
A nurse approached him in the hallway handing him a chart. "The Swan girl is in exam room four and she wouldn't say what was wrong but she seems a little upset." That worried Carlisle somewhat. He took the chart, thanked the nurse and headed for the exam room.
She heard the door handle turn and Bella jumped a little. Carlisle walked in shutting the door and looking at Bella quickly. Well, she was all there and didn't smell of blood, so he relaxed a little. She looked up, "hi" she offered timidly.
"Hello, Bella. How are you?" Something was wrong. She wasn't usually this shy around him.
"I…" she started then stopped. She had to say it or this awkward silence was going to strangle her. Carlisle waited patiently; there was no point in rushing Bella to do anything.
"I… I did something kind of… stupid." There, she said it, sort of.
Ohh! This was all Jessica's fault anyway! Yeah, blame Jessica, that's the ticket.
"Can you be a little more specific?" he asked, not wanting to upset her more but he was getting worried again.
She almost said something but instead she groaned, stood up, turned around and pulled up her shirt to reveal a large white bandage covering most of her lower back.
Carlisle was not expecting that but the doctor in him took over and he stepped forward, looking at the bandage.
"Did you hurt yourself Bella?" It was not bleeding, he knew that.
"Ha! That's certainly one of putting it" Carlisle didn't understand that but decided the only way he was going to get any answers was to see what was under the bandage. He put a pair of gloves on and gestured for Bella to lean against the exam table, which she did. Very carefully, he peeled a corner of the gauze away. Whoever did this must have been blind, he decided.
Carlisle saw Bella tense. Not in pain, the adhesive wasn't that strong. He peeled it a little further and saw… an E.
With the whole bandage off he could clearly see why Bella was so upset.
Edward Cullen was tattooed on her back in intricate calligraphy. That was not the problem. The problem was that the tattoo was infected. He touched the skin to find soft bumps with moisture gathering around them, the whole area an angry red color.
The color reflected Carlisle's mood. "Bella!" he admonished her harshly.
She stood up and turned around but didn't look Carlisle in the eye.
He crossed his arms "Well?" he asked.
Bella knew she had to say something, he wasn't so patient now. "Jessica talked me into it, we were shopping and she saw the parlor and wanted to get one and… and she, she kept bugging me to get one too and I know it was dumb but I… didn't think this would happen." Even she thought her argument sounded weak. Maybe seeing Carlisle was bad idea after all. She should have known she would only be subjecting herself to his disapproval.
Of course, she had not noticed but Carlisle's eyes were slightly dark. Hunger, serving to shorten his usually long fuse a little.
"The keywords in that sentence, Bella, were: didn't and think." He sighed, annoyed. "Turn around and bend over." She did, not wanting to make him any angrier.
Carlisle looked over her back again. "When and where did you have this done?" he asked impatiently.
Bella's voice was small but she knew Carlisle could hear her. "At the Bear's Den between the hardware store and the Chinese Place, nine days ago." Bella blushed deep crimson when he tugged at her jeans so he could see the whole thing.
"An establishment well known for their sterile practices, I'm sure," he commented sarcastically
"Well, the bar had a high health rating," she said trying to redeem herself.
"What bar?" he asked
"There was a bar in the tattoo parlor." Maybe she should have left that part out.
Carlisle stopped "You got a tattoo in a bar? Were you drunk at the time?" She could not be serious, he thought. Bella just was not that stupid. Jessica on the other hand was, for lack of a more politically correct way to put it, a brainless slut.
He did not give her a chance to explain that it was not that she got a tattoo in a bar, there was just a bar in the tattoo parlor. It was more parlor than bar.
"Bella… how long has it been hurting?" Humans were amazing.
"About two days," she said quietly.
"And you just now decide to come in?" She did not respond to that.
"Bella! I am beyond disappointed in you right now!" He emphasized the "beyond" with a sharp swat to her backside. Then he went to the cabinets behind him and pulled his gloves off, getting new ones from the box above the sharps container.
That really hurt. Not the swat, that did hurt but not half as much as what Carlisle had said. She hated knowing that he was disappointed in her. And even though it made her feel a little guilty, she cared more about what Carlisle thought than Charlie (not that he knew). Bella just stood up straight again but stayed facing the wall, trying not to cry.
Carlisle took out a sterile plastic sheet and some antiseptic and cotton balls to clean the infected skin with. In reality, the infection was not that severe, it could have been, but it was really just a bad heat rash on the verge of becoming infected because her skin could not breathe through the bandage. Whoever did that had absolutely no idea what they were doing, which meant that Jessica would probably be in here soon with the same problem.
He was extremely disappointed with Bella, not so much for getting his son's name tattooed on her back but for doing something so stereotypical of a girl her age. Also doing something she didn't really want to do and knew was a bad idea, then waiting to ask for help a lot longer than she should have. She was smarter than that. That was what Carlisle was disappointed with.
He spread the plastic sheet over the exam table. "Lie down on your side," he told her.
She did, telling herself it would be over soon. But even when it was, what would Carlisle do? Would he tell Edward not to bother with such a stupid little girl, would he never let her join them? She felt scared and she wanted Edward but he would probably think she was just another dumb girl like all the others he'd passed over in his life. To top it all off her back hurt, a lot.
He moved the rolling stool beside the table and raised it as high as it would go then sat down, Bella's infected act of devotion staring him in the face.
Carlisle wet a cotton ball with antiseptic. "You could've gotten gangrene; that could've spread to your spinal fluid and then you would be paralyzed! You never answered me, were you drunk when you had it done?" he asked for one more nail to hammer into her coffin.
Bella's voice broke but did answer. "The tattoo artist gave me a shot of vodka first so I would relax." Oh, if he wasn't reporting them before then he sure as Hell was now.
"Unbelievable" he chastised her. That, however, was all Bella could take. She started to cry.
"I'm-I'm sorr-y" she choked out. Carlisle put the cotton ball down and sighed. This wasn't his goal. "Oh, Bella," he said gently stroking the backs of his fingers over her bare hip. "It's alright Bella; I'm only upset because I care about you, because Edward cares about you." No effect, she was crying now. He took off his gloves and rolled to his left a little.
"Bella, look at me," he sighed softly, rubbing her shoulder. Reluctantly, she flipped over onto her stomach, holding herself up on her elbows and looked at him. She then stared down at the table, ashamed of herself.
Carlisle reached up and brushed her unruly hair back out of her face to the side of her shoulder. He lifted her chin and wiped the tears off of her cheek with his thumb. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have scolded you so harshly and I shouldn't have tried to scare you," he smiled. "It's just a heat rash really. You'll be fine," he assured her.
Bella smiled a little, glad Carlisle was not mad anymore. "Come here," he said pulling her forward into a hug.
It was not warm, not physically anyway, (although over time the vampires' cold, marbley skin had grown on Bella) but the act itself was very affectionate. Carlisle kissed her cheek and stroked her hair for few minutes while she calmed down.
Carlisle loved Bella very much. Not like one of his own, the like no longer applied. His love for her was not a simile but simply fact.
"Alright?" he asked.
Bella nodded, returning his kiss and turning back over onto her side.
Carlisle got up and put more gloves on and then picked the cotton ball back up, suddenly aware that this would actually sting quite a bit. A fact that moment ago he thought served her right, he now regretted entirely.
He tried just dabbing it gently at first but every time he touched even a little, she flinched away and gasped. He sighed again, standing and placing one firm hand on her hip. He had not wanted to do it this way but it was really easier for both of them. He held her down and cleaned it quickly; she made a very pained noise but it was over in a moment.
"Done!" he announced, going over to the cabinet again for a tube of antibiotic cream which he rubbed onto her back to sooth the pain and kill the infection. He bandaged her up (correctly) and lifted the sheet out from under her, throwing it and its contents away.
Bella sat up, looking over her shoulder at the new bandage then back at Carlisle who was getting a syringe out of the drawer. "I'm going to give you a tetanus shot, just to be on the safe side." He could have gotten a nurse to do it but he wanted to do it himself. She nodded. Bella hated needles (how was she ever going to handle her transformation?) but understood Carlisle's reasoning.
He drew the medicine up then tapped the syringe, getting the air bubbles out and squirting a little of the clear liquid in the air.
He wiped her arm with an alcohol swab and Bella shut her eyes turning her head the other way, waiting for the pain to come. When it never did, she looked back over at Carlisle who smiled and showed her the empty syringe. Bella laughed. These people would never cease to surprise her she decided.
He disposed of the needle in the sharps container along with his last pair of gloves.
He handed her another tube of the cream and some sterile bandages. "Put the cream on and change the bandage every day until the rash clears up, then you should have Edward's name on your lower back forever." Bella smiled because she knew he was not annoyed anymore.
She put the cream in her backpack then turned back to Carlisle, putting her arms around his neck (which required her to stand on her toes). "Thank you, Carlisle. I better go find Edward before he has a conniption fit." Bella said, still a little embarrassed but glad she had come.