Renesmee's First Lie
Disclaimer: Everything in the Twilight universe belongs to Stephenie Meyer. However, cruciferous vegetable torture is all us.
Renesmee Cullen believes that broccoli is a four-letter word. Edward is shocked by how far his little girl will go to avoid the excruciating cruciferous torture and finds that he has to step up to the plate of parenthood. Collaboration by Gleena and ebhg.
AN (Gleena): Hi! This is a short canon-based story which was developed jointly by edward-bella-harry-ginny and me; it fleshes out a memory which is referred to in the discussion among Carlisle, Edward, and Renesmee in Ch. 24 of my multi-chapter story The Cold War. This short was inspired by the beautiful stories of the early years of Edward, Bella, and Renesmee by Justine Lark, ebhg, and TheSingingGirl. In particular, some aspects are inspired by TheSingingGirl's story called "Renesmee's First Christmas." ebhg and I dedicate the story to Justine Lark, the Queen of Canon. Without her pointed comments on my initial draft of Ch. 24, this scenario would have never developed!
AN (ebhg): Links on our profiles to the banner I made for Renesmee's First Lie:) Collaborating with Gleena is awesome fun:) Our writing styles jive pretty well, so I bet you won't be able to tell who wrote what! Here's to more collaborative fun!
Chapter 1: Nessie.
I sat at the big table in the dining room all by myself. My chair was facing so I could look out the big window while I was eating. Grandma was in the kitchen cleaning up the pots from making my dinner. I could hear Daddy playing the piano in the other room. The music wasn't my favorite song, but it was pretty.
"It's called Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven, sweetheart," called Daddy.
I made swirls in the air with my fork. There were always three low notes circling, and it made the music sound like it was moving like waves on water. A picture formed in my head of the moon over the ocean at La Push. The moonlight made a path on the water, and I could see the waves moving in the moonlight. I made the fork circle with the notes while I closed my eyes.
"You have a good ear, Nessie, but you need to eat your dinner."
I touched my ear. How could an ear be good? Mine didn't really do anything. When Jake was a werewolf, he could make his ears do lots of things. I was learning how to understand wolf ear talk since I couldn't hear the wolves in my head like Daddy.
I looked at my plate. Grandpa wanted me to eat a human dinner every day. I loved Grandpa, but he never ate human food and he was very strong. Uncle Emmett said I would never get hair on my chest if I didn't eat my peas, but that didn't sound like something I wanted anyway.
The chicken was cut up in small pieces, and I had already eaten two of the pieces, which seemed like enough. There was only a dark red smear where the cranberry sauce had been. The chicken had tasted better when it was dipped in the cranberry sauce. I ate one more piece of chicken very quickly. It didn't taste as bad if you went really fast.
"Nessie. You have to eat at least one piece of broccoli."
I had been trying to forget the broccoli. I frowned at it. Chicken tasted better with cranberry sauce on it, but broccoli made the cranberry sauce taste bad. The broccoli was broken, and it couldn't be fixed.
"Grandma, did you know that broccoli is really called Brassica oleracea and it comes from Italy?" I had read that in one of Grandpa's books. I was learning different parts of science with Grandpa when he was home during the day. Grandma liked gardening, so she liked it when I knew facts about botany.
Grandma Esme came into the dining room with me. "Just one piece, Nessie. Do you want me to cut a piece up into little bites?"
"Will one of the little pieces count as one piece?" That seemed like a good trade.
"No, you'll have to eat all the little pieces, sweetheart." Grandma was trying to have a mean face, but it wasn't working.
Grandpa was working at the hospital, so he wouldn't know if I didn't eat dinner. Uncle Emmett and Uncle Jasper had gone to a game, and Mommy and Auntie Alice and Auntie Rosalie had all gone hunting together. If Daddy and Grandma promised not to tell, I wouldn't have to eat the rest.
"Please cut it for me, Grandma," I asked. Grandma smiled and cut one of the broccoli pieces into much smaller pieces.
"Edward, would you take out the trash for me?" Grandma asked. She didn't yell because she knew Daddy could hear her. The music stopped and I heard Daddy go into the kitchen and then out the door. The trash was far away, all the way at the big garage with all the cars.
Grandma finished cutting the broccoli for me and went back into the kitchen. This was even better since Daddy was gone, too. I didn't think Daddy would like keeping a secret from Grandpa. I picked up the plate and went to the kitchen and dumped all the bad tasting food into the new garbage bag. Grandma was very surprised.
"Nessie, you cannot throw away your dinner before you finish," she said. Her face was really angry this time, and she bent down to talk to me. I put my hand on her cheek, and I showed her how everything could have happened if I had eaten all the broccoli. It was the way she wanted it to happen, so I pushed the picture harder.
When I was done, Grandma was smiling and not angry anymore. "That was a great job you did with your broccoli, sweetheart. I'm really proud of you." It seemed good that Grandma was happy now and not angry.
I smiled at Grandma and she gave me a cookie for finishing my dinner. Dessert was the best part of every meal. Chocolate chips were better than broccoli any day.
I froze. Daddy didn't sound happy. I turned around and tried to smile at him to cheer him up, but he didn't smile back like he usually did. His face looked hard, and his hands were on his hips. His eyebrows were pulled closely together. I started to feel worried. I let my smile fade and I stuck out my lip. I knew Daddy was upset at me, but I didn't know why. I made Grandma happy, right?
Daddy let out a deep breath and pinched his nose like he did when Uncle Emmett said something to make Aunt Rose hit him in the head. Daddy smiled a little before he looked at me again.
"I think you and I need to go for a little walk," he said, and he scooped me up and held me like a baby. He started running with me and I knew that he was upset when he took me out to the woods to talk to me in private.
I was nervous. Daddy took Jake out in private the other day when Jake had taken me on his bike after Daddy said no. Jake's wolfy ears had laid flat on his head for a while after that, and Jake said no more bikes 'til I was a big girl. We came to a clearing in the trees and I realized that Daddy had stopped. He put me down on the ground and walked a few steps further before he stopped with his back to me and put his hands on his hips. He looked up into the puffy white clouds and let out a big breath again. Daddy sure was breathing a lot for someone who doesn't have to…Why was Daddy so upset? He didn't like cookies; was he jealous of my cookies?
"Daddy?" I asked with my lower lip trembling. I didn't want Daddy to get mad at me. I could feel my eyes burning, and my sight was suddenly blurry. Daddy started to mumble something about a parent being cursed by little versions of themselves, but I just didn't get it. Didn't Daddy love me anymore?
"Renesmee Carlie Cullen…you know that I love you…" he paused. Even with his back to me, I could tell he was pinching his nose again. What did I do wrong?
"Daddy, why are you mad at me?" I asked, but my throat was choked up and my voice sounded wobbly like when Uncle Emmett put on old records at the wrong speed.
"You threw your broccoli in the trash, sweetheart."
"But it was broken! It tasted real bad, Daddy. It even broke the cranberry sauce!" My tears hadn't fallen yet, but I wouldn't be able to stop them much longer.
"Renesmee…Ness…" Daddy said as he turned around. He saw my face and moved even faster than I could see and knelt in front of me with his hands on my shoulders. "It's not so much that you threw it away. It's what you did afterwards, honey."
"But I just made Grandma happy!" My tears fell and I couldn't stop them anymore. I didn't understand why Daddy was so mad when I was so nice to Grandma. Daddy sighed and reached up with one hand and wiped my tears away.
"Ness, I had hoped that I would never have to say this, but I was very disappointed by the choice you made in the kitchen."
"But I don't like broccoli! Grandma never made you eat yucky blood! It's not fair for you to make me eat yucky veggies!" I argued. Daddy's face got real stern again.
"It's not about the broccoli Ness. You lied to Grandma about it."
"I just made her happy!" I insisted with a stamp of my foot. Daddy shook his head.
"While Grandma may have been happy, she wasn't happy for the right reasons, sweetheart. You used your gift to make her believe something that wasn't true. That is lying."
My tears were thick and streaming down my face faster than Daddy was wiping them. I didn't like being scolded. Never had Daddy said anything about being disappointed in me.
"I didn't say I was disappointed in you, it was your choice that disappointed me Renesmee."
"My choice?" I asked between sniffles.
"Yes. You had a choice in the kitchen; eat the broccoli, and get a cookie, or refuse the broccoli and go without the cookie. You chose to lie to Grandma and make her think you ate the vegetables, when really you didn't."
"But eating veggies is hard, Daddy! I don't like them!"
"Ness, there was once a time that I didn't want to eat what my parents wanted to feed me too."
"You mean when you were naughty and left Grandma and Grandpa and drank humans?" I asked. When Daddy's eyes widened in surprise, I gasped and covered my mouth with my hand. "I wasn't supposed to tell!" I remembered Uncle Emmett getting hit in the head by Aunt Rose after he told me about how Daddy was naughty a long time ago. Daddy let out another big breath and pinched his nose again.
"Emmett…" he muttered.
"Daddy?" I asked, afraid that I'd made him mad at me again.
"I'm not mad at you sweetheart; that's just a story that I hoped to save until you were older and could understand things better."
"I'm a big girl! I do understand! I like how Jake tastes better than broccoli."
"I know…humans are friends, not food," I explained. Daddy shook his head and muttered something about Jake and Uncle Jasper using Disney to corrupt children…I didn't get that either.
"You should understand then, that I had a choice when I drank from humans, and I made a poor choice. Just as you made a poor choice when you lied to your Grandmother. But, I did a very difficult thing; I made a better choice after I realized what I did was wrong. I haven't drunk from humans since I returned back home to Grandma and Grandpa. You have a difficult choice before you Renesmee. Your gift would allow you to lie very easily to others Ness. Will you choose honesty, or will you choose deceit?"
I was surprised that Daddy was making me choose. I knew how easy it was to make Grandma believe me; but I never wanted Daddy to be disappointed in me like this again. Not when he had told me about how hard a choice he had made, and trusted me enough to tell me about it. Even though Uncle Emmett already did.
"Daddy? I don't ever want to disappoint you or Mommy or anybody ever again. If I promise not to ever lie again, would you please keep this our secret?" Daddy smiled at me and pulled me into a hug. Since Daddy was on his knees, my head was nestled right under his chin as he hugged me to his chest. My nose was filled with Daddy's scent and I remembered another time that I had been held like this. Even though I knew he could hear me without it, I pressed my hand to his cheek and replayed the memory of him walking with me as a newborn while Mommy changed.
"Yes, sweetheart, I promise. This will be our secret, so long as you never do it again."
I pulled back and looked at Daddy seriously. "Do I still have to eat broccoli?
AN2: (gleena) The second (and concluding) part of this story (EPOV!) will be posted on Sunday in honor of Father's Day. I wanted to do a little better on the attribution at the end of this chapter (now that the story has been told). The concept of Renesmee altering others' memories permanently was mine. Justine Lark thought it improbable that she could have kept it a secret from Edward. ebhg suggested the eating/lie scenario, and that took care of issues in The Cold War Ch. 24. I can't remember who decided we should write it as a standalone story, but I asked ebhg to please, please, please write it with me. One reader, Shavera, also thought it would be a good idea! Thanks for the pre-endorsement; I hope you like how it is coming out!
A/N2: (ebhg) I think we sort of stumbled on the idea of writing this at the same time:) Gleena handled the "lie" and I covered the "lecture." Hopefully you enjoyed this glimpse into Renesmee's mind, and you're looking forward to Edward's take on things! It's twice as long, and we both loved tackling our favorite vampire Dad! Happy Fathers Day, to all you dads out there!
Don't forget to vote for our first collaboration, Masen and Swan: The FBI's Most Unwanted, nominated for Best One-shot and Best Collaboration in the Sparkle Awards. Links on both our profiles!