Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or any other copywrited thing that I may have mentioned.

Summary: Bella is sick. Edward volunteers to take care of her. The problem is, Edward has never actually spoken to her.

EPOV

AH

One-shot


Fever Dream

Alice had been having a fit. Her best friend, Bella Swan, had managed to get the flu the very weekend that Alice had Rose had been planning to go to Seattle. Bella had told Alice and Rose to go on without her, but Alice had all but begged our dad to go over to the Swan's house and tell Bella that she was okay. Dad wouldn't do it, of course, but instead packed the girls into Alice's Porsche and told them to have fun.

"So, Edward, what are you going to do this weekend?" my dad asked once Alice and Rose had disappeared from the driveway.

I shrugged, leaning in the doorway. "Not much."

"Aren't Jasper and Emmett going camping?" he asked.

"Yeah."

"They didn't invite you," his voice was disapproving. "Look, Edward, I can tell your brother—"

"No, no," I cut him off. "Emmett invited me," I reassured my dad. Carlisle was always worried that my stepbrother was leaving me out of things.

"Then why aren't you going?"

I shrugged again and walked back into the house. "I just—It's no big deal." I pushed my glasses up the bridge of my nose. "Emmett and Jasper like to do guy stuff together, and I—I'm not really into that stuff."

Emmett was a great guy. No one could ask for a better older brother. In the six years that Emmett had been my stepbrother he had scared the bullies away and kept them at a far distance. Emmett was always looking out for me, but Emmett was interested in sports and cars and girls. While I enjoyed those things, they didn't consume my whole life—well, mostly.

I sat down on my piano bench and turned to the keys, hoping that my dad would take the hint and let me be, but I could tell that this was going to be one of those talks that I wasn't going to get out of that easily.

Carlisle put his hand down on my shoulder. "Edward, is it Jasper? Do you not like him?"

"No," I shrugged my dad's hand off of my shoulder. "I like Jasper fine. He's a great guy." I could never say anything bad about Alice's boyfriend.

"Then why don't you want to spend the weekend with them?"

"I--," I scrambled for an excuse, "I have an essay that I need to work on."

Dad gave me a skeptical look. I had finished the essay a week earlier and I wasn't a good liar.

The truth was, I just didn't run with that crowd. Sure, I had been invited numerous times, but it never felt right. Alice and Emmett, Rosalie and Jasper for that matter, were always asking me to hang out with them, eat lunch with them, do anything with them, but I always refused. It was not because I didn't like them. I loved my stepbrother and stepsister, and the Hale's were great. I just felt like I never fit in with them.

They were popular, all of them. No matter what, someone was jealous of one of them for one reason or another. I just wasn't that kinda guy. I was the nerdy guy who was in all AP classes. I was the guy who came home everyday and played the piano for hours. I was the guy who played World of Warcraft online. I was the guy who read constantly. I knew nothing about sports or fashion or celebrities or school politics. I was in the Chess Club.

Carlisle's phone beeped. "Hello? Oh hi Charlie. What's going on?"

I paused in the middle of the bridge I was playing. The population of Forks wasn't huge. People who had the same name were few and far between. The chances were high that Carlisle was on the phone with Bella's dad.

Bella. Bella was the other reason that I refused to hang out with my stepsiblings and their significant others. Bella, the brown eyed goddess. Bella, the girl who had haunted my dreams since Alice had brought her home from school five years ago. The mere presence of the girl turned me into a blushing, stammering pile of mulch.

A cold sweat of fear ran through me. Bella was sick, Alice had said so many times. Her father was calling my father, my father the doctor. It must be bad. I started to freak out internally.

Carlisle listened on the phone. He didn't look appropriately concerned. This was Bella. "Alright Charlie, calm down. I'll come and have a look at her. Yes, it's no problem. Alice was bothering me about it anyway. I'll be there in a little bit." Carlisle closed the phone and shook his head. "Poor guy. He tends to over react whenever Bella is involved. She does seem to run into trouble, doesn't she?" he asked to no one in particular.

To say that Bella ran into trouble was an understatement. She didn't run into trouble, she tripped on it, tumbled over it and then it fell on top of her. Bella was usually in the hospital roughly once every three months. I assumed that was the reason why she wasn't a cheerleader like Alice and Rose; she was too much of an insurance risk.

"Edward," my dad was staring at me. "Is that alright?"

"I'm sorry," I shook my head. "What?"

"The Mercedes is still in the shop. Do you mind if I borrow your car so I car drive over to the Swan's?"

"Borrow?" I asked. "Borrow—" I stood up too quickly, knocking the piano bench over. I went to grab it before it hit the floor and tripped. I managed to right myself before hitting the ground as well. "No need," I laughed anxiously. "I'll drive you over there."

Carlisle gave me a skeptical look. I normally never knocked things over. He was probably searching for some other sign of inebriation or something to explain my suddenly strange behavior.

"Alright," he said tentatively. "If you insist. I'll just—go get my bag." Carlisle walked up the stairs to his study, occasionally throwing concerned glances back down at me.

I sighed and went to dig my keys out of my coat pocket. I was going to get to see Bella. Well, maybe not see her, but I was going to get to see the place where she lived. Even if I had to wait outside in the car, at least I would be close to her.

I made an attempt to clam myself down. In six years I had barley even spoken to Bella, it's not like anything was going to happen all of a sudden. Honestly, I didn't know anything about the girl. I rarely ever saw her at school and when she came over I always hid up in my room for fear of embarrassing myself. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea.

********

I had never been inside the Swan's house. I had picked Alice up here on numerous occasions, but she was always in the car before I managed to work up the courage to knock on the door. Stepping into Bella's house was like steeping into another world.

The house was much smaller and darker than the one I had grown up in. Of course, I had always thought or way of life was a bit extravagant. The chief's house appeared as though it was usually neat and tidy, but had been suffering from lack of care the past few days.

Chief Swan was pacing around in the living room. Carlisle was trying to calm him down.

"—She wont stop coughing, and I think that she's running a fever. She keeps saying that she's fine, but I think she's trying to keep me from knowing how bad it really is."

"Charlie," my dad said in his most calming voice. "This bug has been going around. I'm sure that Bella's fine. I'll just go up and check on her, but don't worry. She's a fighter. Even of it is bad, no flu virus is going to get the best of Bella."

Charlie sighed and gave my father a weak smile. "Right."

"Okay," my dad made his way to the stairs. I didn't even realize until he turned around to look at me that I had been unconsciously following him.

"Uh, Edward. Maybe you should—"

"Oh right," I mumbled, embarrassed. I turned to head back down the stairs, but Charlie waved me up.

"Go on. She hasn't left that room in two days. She'll be glad to see a friend." I wondered what had given Charlie that idea that Bella and I were friends, much less even spoke to each other.

I looked up at my father. "Fine," he shrugged. "If you want to come up and say 'hi' then it's fine with me."

I followed my father up the stairs, wondering if even saying 'hi' would be possible.

Much to my surprise, Bella's room looked much like any teenager's room. She had the standard desk, littered with books. A shabby looking stereo with stacks of CDs in thin jewel cases. And a closet thrown half open to display the haphazardly arranged clothes. There were even pictures of my brother and sister pinned into a corkboard that hung over Bella's desk.

What surprised me was Bella's bookshelf. It was pretty tall and quite full. I had never taken Bella for much of a reader. Sure, my brother and sister were smart, as where there friends, but they didn't tend to read for pleasure. Bella's shelf was overflowing with Austen, Bronte, Shakespeare and more fantasy that I thought possible for a girl as socially popular as Bella was.

The girl in question was sitting in the center of a double bed that was pushed into the far corner of the room. The purple satiny comforter was littered with what looked like a weeks worth of used tissues. On the bed were several open textbooks and Bella sat rapping away at on a MacBook, chewing on her bottom lip as she typed.

Bella looked beautiful even when she was sick. Her pale skin was slightly flushed as she typed energetically. Her hair was tied back into braids that looked as though she had slept in them. I could see from where the comforter was turned up slightly that she was wearing an old pair of P.E. sweats and a thin tank top. I mentally thanked the powers that be that she appeared to be wearing a bra under the tank top. I didn't even want to consider what would happen if she wasn't.

Bella didn't look up from her computer until she had finished her paragraph. When I saw her face, I realized just how sick she was. Beyond the blush her skin had taken on the pale graying color of a mushroom. Her eyes had dark circles under them and she looked tired, like she hadn't slept in a while.

"Carlisle," she smiled. Her voice cracked when she spoke. "I didn't know that doctors still made house calls."

"Only for you, Bella," my dad smiled. He was fond of Bella. It was hard not to be.

Bella leaned forward a bit to look around my dad. "Hey Edward," she croaked out, a weak but beautiful smile on her lips.

"Heh—" I waved dumbly at her from the doorway. I stayed there in case I needed to make a quick exit

She pushed her laptop off of her lap and leaned back into her pillows. "What's up?"

"You're father called me," Carlisle said. "He was concerned."

Bella's shoulders fell slightly as she sighed. "I know. He gets himself a little worked up now and again. I'm fine!"

"I'm sure of that," dad smiled, setting his bag down on the floor. "But how about, for his sake, we give your father a little confirmation."

Bella gestured that he could go on.

"Okay, for starters, how are you feeling?"

"Well," Bella thought for a moment. "My throat feels like sandpaper. I'm coughing. My nose is runny, but thankfully I can still breathe. I'm a little achy, but that might have something to do with being confined to a bed for two days straight. I'm having trouble sleeping because of the coughing, but," she shrugged, "that's about it."

"Are you sure?"

"I have to pee, like, every half an hour, but I think that has to do with all the tea that dad keeps bringing me." She gestured to her nightstand where three different mugs, all with teabags in them, sat.

"Probably," dad smiled. "Okay, just let me check your vitals." He lifted her wrist up slightly and stared at his watch. He pulled out his stethoscope and pressed it over Bella's heart. "Deep breath," he muttered. Bella's chest heaved. He moved the instrument and bit. "Again."

He had Bella lean forward and lift up the back of her shirt so he could listen to her lungs. "Sounds good," he said, helping Bella to lean back into the pillows.

He pressed his fingers into her throat, felling if her glands where swollen. He looked into her eyes, ears, nose and throat. I wasn't sure if it was all necessary, but if my dad was anything it was thorough.

He never said anything, keeping a perfectly calm face the whole time. He stood up straight and looked down at Bella, who relaxed herself further into the pillows. "So what's the word Doc?" she asked playfully. "I'm not dying, right?"

"You just have the bug. Rest is all you need."

"Rest and cough drops," Bella nodded. "Listen, can you tell my dad that he doesn't need to hang out here? It's just that, he's all worried about me, and he tends to be overbearing when he gets like that. He was supposed to go on a fishing trip this weekend. It's really important to him, but if he thinks that I need help he'll stay. He's been planning this longer than Alice has been planning that shopping trip. I'd feel really bad if he stayed home because of me."

Oh, Bella was so selfless and caring. I was learning more and more about her with each passing moment. It helped that this was the longest I had ever managed to be around her without finding some excuse to leave.

"I'll see what I can do, but you need to rest." Dad eyed the books and laptop strewn across the bed. "Actual rest. No homework."

Bella pouted. She was pouting about not doing homework? "Fine."

Carlisle nodded and then steered me out the door and back down the stairs.

Charlie was waiting eagerly at the bottom for us.

"She's fine," Carlisle said before Charlie could ask. "She just needs some sleep and she'll be as good as new by Monday."

"Okay, rest. Anything else I need to know?"

"Yes, she wants you to go on your trip. I think you should to. All the stress is not good for you, Charlie. Remember, you are not too young for a heart attack. Your job keeps you stressed enough. Take some time off. You deserve it."

Charlie's eyes looked sad. "I really don't want to leave her on her own."

"If it makes you feel better I will come and check on her periodically. But as your doctor I am telling you that you need to get out for a while."

"But she shouldn't be alone while she's sick." Charlie's voice was anxious. He sounded more like Carlisle had just asked him if he could cut Bella's leg off and borrow it for a few days.

"I'll stay." The words left my mouth before I had time to stop them. Both my father and the chief looked at me, stunned. "I can stay. Keep an eye on her. It's no problem, really." The words came out in a rush.

Charlie looked at my dad, something close to hope in his eyes. "Well," Carlisle said evenly, "if Edward wants to stay, then of course it's fine with Esme and I. Just so long as Bella wants him here."

"I'll go ask," Charlie went up the stairs. He seemed a little too eager to leave his daughter alone with a teenage boy. He was smart enough to know that nothing was going to happen.

Carlisle was looking at me quizzically. "Edward, why do you want to stay?"

"I just—" I couldn't find a reasonable explanation. It didn't matter though; he had already figured it out. My dad was smart.

"Oh," he said. "I get it." He put a hand on my shoulder. I had never talked to my father about girls before, and I wasn't really ready to start.

"You're not mad?" I asked.

Dad looked confused. "Why would I be mad?"

"Because I'm taking advantage of a sick girl?" I guessed. He didn't know what kind of feelings I had for Bella. My motives could have easily been misconstrued.

Carlisle smiled at me. "Now son, I know you well enough to know that you would never do something like that. And besides, I know Bella. No one, not anybody, is going to take advantage of that girl if she doesn't want them to. And if she does, well, I feel bad for whomever it is because they are sure in for a surprise."

I laughed just as Charlie came back down the stairs looking chipper. "She's fine with it. Edward, you can stay on the couch. I'll be back Monday evening."

"Monday?" I asked. I had forgotten that it was a three-day weekend. "Oh right." Three whole days and two whole nights with Bella. If I could have sang, I would have.

"I'll go home and get your things," Carlisle said. "I may have a few things lying around the house that may help Bella sleep better." I handed him my car keys. I did my best not to make eye contact with my father. If he saw how nervous I was then he might say something, or give me the opportunity to back out, which I didn't want. If had the opportunity to back out I probably would have taken it.

Charlie showed me where a few things were in the house. It really shocked me just how trusting he was. I guess, like Carlisle, he knew better than to be worried about Bella being alone with me. I still wasn't sure if I had the courage to go back up to her room let alone speak to her.

Charlie came back up with me so he could say goodbye to Bella. She was still rapping at her laptop. She gave her dad a halfhearted farewell and told him to have fun. Even though the father and daughter loved each other, they did not have an overtly affectionate relationship.

Charlie left. It wasn't until we heard the police cruiser back out of the driveway that either of us even said anything.

"Hi," I waved at her awkwardly from the back corner of her room.

She laughed. "Hi." It got quiet, very quiet. I managed to fill the silence by staring at her like I had never seen a female before.

"Well, now that the greetings are out of the way." Bella turned back to her laptop and began to type again.

"You-you're not supposed to be doing homework," I said. Way to stutter Edward.

She smiled at me. "Are you going to tell on me Edward?" she said in a sweet voice.

"Y-you need to rest." I moved to her bed and began to close her books.

The first book I picked up looked familiar. I turned it over and recognized the geometric cover art of my AP Calculus book. I didn't know that Bella was in AP Calc. I also picked up AP Biology and AP US History up off her bed. Bella must have been in all of the same AP classes that I was in.

At Forks High School there were only thirty advanced placement students. Instead of having us all in one class they divided us up into two classes of fifteen. Usually, the way schedules worked out, you always had class with the same fourteen people. Bella must have been in the other rotation. I had half of my classes with Alice, one of the few people who had to be in both rotations due to cheerleading practice, I could only assume that her other classes were with Bella.

It took me a moment before I realized that I had been standing frozen at the foot of Bella's bed, looking blankly at the covered wagon on the front of the History book.

"Edward," Bella said for what I hoped, but part of me doubted, was the first time. The last thing I needed was for her to think I was some kind of whack job.

"Yeah," I looked up from the book into her brown eyes. I then realized that this was a bad move, seeing as looking into her eyes made my brain short circuit. I found a focus point on her wall instead.

"Are you feeling alright?"

I mentally cursed myself. "Yeah, I'm fine. I was just thinking about school."

"Really?" Bella asked. "It looked like you were on another planet to me."

My initial reaction was to feel embarrassed by the taunt just thrown at me, before I realized that Bella was still smiling at me. Shocked, I smiled back. I tired to say something, anything, but all attempts managed to come out and nervous laughter and heavy breathing.

"You really don't have to do this, Edward, just to make Charlie feel better. If you want to go home I'll understand. He will be none the wiser."

I fiddled with the peeling cardboard cover on one of her books. "It's no problem, really. Anything for a friend of my sister." Wow, I sounded awkward and desperate.

Bella smiled again. "Cool. It'll be nice to have some company. I do want to get to know you, Edward. It's weird, we've known each other for almost five years now and I feel like I know nothing about you."

"Not much to know really," I muttered.

"Now, I'm sure that's not true." While Bella's heart was in the right place, she was beginning to sound a little bit like my mother.

Upon realizing that I had been holding them throughout the whole conversation, I set the stack of books that I had collected off of Bella's bed down on her desk. It was also a good excuse to turn away from her for a moment.

"So, are you writing the essay for English?" I asked. This being the essay that I had finished over a week ago. I wondered if she needed any help.

"Not so much writing as rewriting," Bella shrugged. "I'm trying to condense it a little bit." I gave her a confused look. "I got into a little trouble with our last essay. It was a bit over the maximum word count.

I didn't even know that we had a maximum word count on our essays. "How much over?"

Bella looked embarrassed. "About five pages."

"Jeez," was the most intelligent thing I managed to say.

"Yeah," Bella nodded. "Hence the condensing." She started to type again. I watched for a moment as Bella's swift fingers rewrote an entire paragraph so it was roughly three sentences. It was quite astounding to watch.

"You're not supposed to be doing homework," I repeated myself. I heard a knock on the door downstairs. "That's my dad," I looked out the window. "That computer better be gone when I get back."

Bella stuck her tiny pink tongue out at me as I walked out the door.

"How's our patient doing?" Carlisle asked when I let him back in.

"Fine," I sighed. "I may have to wrestle her laptop away from her, but otherwise fine."

Carlisle chuckled. He handed me a bag of clothes and another bag of precooked food. "From your mom," he explained. "Esme knows that you're not much of a cook, and she didn't want Bella to have to suffer."

"Tell her thanks." I was relieved. Alice said that Bella really knew her stuff in the kitchen. I couldn't tell the different kinds of forks apart. I put the food into Bella's nearly empty fridge.

"Here is some tea that should help her sleep." Carlisle handed me a blue box that claimed to be some kind of a flue remedy. I took the stuff when I was sick. It tasted terrible, but it worked.

"Edward," Carlisle's voice took on a tone that I had never heard before. "You are a kind and charming young man. I have seen you rebuild an entire computer. If you can do that, then you can talk to this girl. Don't be nervous. Bella is very genuinely nice. Just be yourself and everything will work out."

Ah, the standard 'be yourself' speech that every parent gives to their children. I wondered just how often the parents were actually correct.

"Thanks dad," I mumbled.

Carlisle walked out the door. "Call me if anything changes. Oh, and Edward," he tapped the frame of his glasses.

"Oh right," I mumbled. I pulled my own glasses off and folded them up into my pocket.

When I got back upstairs Bella had managed to put her laptop away. Her hair was much neater now. It looked as though she had brushed and re-braided her hair while I was downstairs. Huh.

Bella gave me a puzzled look. "Edward, where are your glasses?"

"I-um-don't need them right now." I chose to stare at my shoes rather than look at her. I couldn't help but be a little embarrassed. "I only need them for reading. I'm supposed to take them off if I'm not using them. They give me a headache, but I usually forget. Dad just reminded me."

I couldn't read Bella's expression as she regarded me now. "I've never seen you with them off."

"Yeah," I shrugged. "Well, school." Good explanation, I thought sarcastically.

"I didn't know that your eyes were green."

"Um, yeah." I blinked a few times and looked away from her, choosing instead to stare into the tree right outside her window. "Yeah, they are."

It was amazing that no matter what Bella said it seemed to make me embarrassed. The mere fact that she was talking to me made me embarrassed. I felt like an idiot. I sounded like an idiot to.

"You should take them off more often," she said, rearranging herself in the bed. "Let people see how pretty your eyes are."

I know what I should have done. I should have pretended that I was insulted by the pretty comment. I should have told her that I was a man and that there was nothing pretty about me. I had seen Emmett do it a number of times. When pulled of correctly, he always managed to get a laugh or two.

Instead, all I managed to do was turn yet another shade of red and laugh nervously.

Yeah, I'm real cool. How can the girls keep their hands off me?

"Are you okay, Edward?" she asked again. She seemed so concerned about me. Maybe she was concerned about being trapped in her own house with a mental patient.

"Yeah I'm fine. It's just—" I decided that it was best if I was honest with her. "It's just that y—girls make me kind of nervous." Okay, not completely honest.

"Is that it?" she asked, her voice incredulous. "Jeez, Edward. You should have told me that a long time ago. And here I thought you just didn't like me."

Didn't like her? "Didn't like you!" I said a little to forcefully. "Where would you ever get that idea?"

Bella shrugged, looking sheepish. "Well, you never hang out with us, and I know that Emmett and Alice ask you to. I know you will sometimes when Rose and Jasper are around, but whenever I come over you always disappear up to your room. I—I never see you. I thought that maybe you were avoiding me or something." Bella's voice almost sounded a little sad.

I felt terrible. I had hurt her. She thought that I didn't want to be around her. Part of me wanted to tell her the truth. To tell her that I not only wanted to be around her, but that I wanted her. That she was all I thought about. That the mere thought of her made my knees shake and my voice crack. I could go on forever.

Deciding that confessing my feelings probably wouldn't be very productive I instead chose to tease her to the best of my abilities, which were severely lacking. "That's ridiculous. I thought that you were supposed to be smart."

Bella threw me a warning glance, but realized that I was teasing her and smiled.

"You've always been such a confident presence," I sat down in her desk chair. "It always made me a little nervous." Closer to the truth.

"I'm not confident," Bella admitted. "That's all Alice and Rose. I'm really actually very shy, but Alice says that she wont put up with any of that crap from me." Bella blushed. "I'm just as nervous as you, Edward. I just mask it better."

I laughed, finally starting to feel relaxed. Bella was just as shy as I was. I liked that. I also liked that she now had a better idea of why I always ran from her. Maybe in future I wouldn't run anymore.

Bella and I talked. We talked about school, mostly. About my siblings and about their significant others. It felt a little like Bella knew my brother and sister better than I did. Of course, she spent more time with them than I did. I hadn't even been aware of the fact that Rose and Emmett were planning on getting married after they graduated this spring. I wondered if my parents knew.

We talked about upcoming school stuff. Somehow prom became a topic of conversation.

"Who are you going to go with?" I asked casually.

"Probably no one," Bella shrugged. "I wouldn't even go if Alice wasn't making me. Why would I want to subject anybody else to my torture?"

"Oh. I had always thought that you and Mike Newton—"

"Ew," Bella cut me off before I could even finish my sentence. "That's just plain ew, Edward."

"Really?" This came as some kind of a surprise to me. Mike was the guy that every girl wanted, since Emmett and Jasper were taken. Next to my brother, he was the star on the football team and, Bella did go to every game. It did make sense. Everybody at school knew how much Mike wanted Bella.

"Why would you think for one second that I like him?" Bella looked really confused.

I shrugged. "You're always in the front row of all the football games. He's always over there talking to you. I just thought."

"For starters, I only go to the football games because two of my best friends are cheerleaders and another one is actually playing. I sit in the front because Jasper sits in the front. He wants to be as close to Alice as possible. And I can't do anything to stop Mike from talking to me, no matter how much I wish I could. Please Edward," she laughed and shook her head. "I bring a book to those things. I am not there willingly."

Again, this made me happy. Not only because of how dismissive she was of Mike, but because she seemed to have no love for the sport and was only there to support her friends just as I was there to support my siblings, and my best friend, Erick Yorkie, was in the mascot suit.

She went on with her rant. "Even if I wanted to date Mike, in some parallel universe, Alice and Rose, and Jasper and Emmett for that matter, would never let me." She chuckled when mentioning her friends and what I assumed was their fierce over protectiveness.

"Why not?" I had to ask. What did my sister and brother have to do with this?

"Besides the fact that Mike is total scum who doesn't have two brain cells to rub together and is only interested in getting into my pants?"

I nodded. I managed to suppress the rage that boiled up inside of me at Bella's words. No one should be allowed to look at her that way. Bella was a goddess who deserved to be worshipped, not some slutty—as a matter of fact, no girl deserved to be treated like that. I momentarily considered dealing with Mike myself, knowing that it would be pointless. Even though I what Emmett called 'deceptively strong' Mike was huge compared to me. Maybe I could sic Emmett on him.

Bella regarded her wall. She almost seemed to be hiding her face. "They all have someone else that they would rather see me with," she muttered.

"Who?" I couldn't stop myself from asking.

Bella blushed. I would have missed it, but her ears turned red. "No one. It doesn't matter." She shook her head.

I wanted to inform her that it did matter, very much, but I restrained myself. I put "ask Alice and Emmett about Bella" on my to do list for later.

"So are you upset that you have to miss this shopping thing?" I asked her an hour later.

Bella snorted over the cup of tea that I had brought her. "No. If I didn't feel like crap I would almost say that getting sick was worth missing the big shopping extravaganza."

This came as something of a surprise to me. I mean, she was Alice and Rose's friend, she should love shopping. Wasn't that the rule?

"If all Rose and Alice had going for them was clothes then I would not be friends with them," Bella informed me, correctly interpreting my look of surprise. "Clothes, fashion, whatever, I only put up with it because they like it. If it were up to me I would wear sweats to school everyday." Bella shrugged. "But dressing me like a dolly is fun for them, so I put on a brave face. I am not upset about missing the trip though. Alice doesn't need me there to try things on. She usually has her mind made up before I ever get to look at anything."

It sounded like my sister. She even dressed me.

It was late before I convinced Bella that she needed sleep.

When I went to sleep on the couch in her living room all I could think about was the fact that Bella and I had spent the entire afternoon talking. I had joked. I eventually stopped stuttering. Bella and I had actual conversations. I was so happy that I wasn't able to fall asleep for hours.

********

The next morning I caught Bella on her laptop again.

"Put it away."

Bella pouted at me, her lower lip sticking out dangerously far.

I shook my head, letting her know that she wasn't going to win.

"Fine," she said, failure in her voice.

She snapped the computer shut and handed it to me. I took it from her and put it on her desk.

"So, what do you want to do today?" I asked her.

"Homework?!" Bella bounced slightly on the bed with a little kiddish smile painted on her face. In that moment she reminded me of my sister.

"No," I said around my laugh.

Bella looked thoughtful for a moment. "Well, there is one thing."

Before I got an explanation Bella was turned upside-down rummaging under her bed. "I've suggested this a few times to everyone else." She pulled out a large cardboard box and proceeded to go through it contents, still hanging off the side of her bed. "They all said that we could if I really wanted to, but none of them seemed really that excited about it."

She sat up on her bed. I recognized that she was holding the box set of the extended versions of all three Lord of the Rings movies. She gave me a wary smile. "Unless you don't think you're up for it."

"All of them?" I asked.

"Well, I figure that I'm stuck in bed anyway. I may as well." She pouted slightly. "But if you're not into it then we don't have to."

"No," I assured her. "I'm into it. Really, really into it."

She flashed me a brilliant smile.

So Bella and I spent nearly an entire day watching roughly twelve hours of Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, epic battle sequences and evil jewelry. We had to pause occasionally to allow for Bella's excessive coughing, but we pretty much did it in one sitting.

At times I worried that Bella was going to tire herself out because she would bounce up and down from where she sat on the bed, yelling at the characters. She kept yelling bits of advice to them, things that in retrospect would have worked out a lot better for the characters. When she caught me laughing at her for this she simply smiled and said that she did the exact same things when she watched the Harry Potter movies. I made a promise to myself to see those movies with her one day.

I had never thought that an experience like this would occur in my life let alone with the most beautiful and smart girl that I had ever met. Her knowledge of the series and her sheer excitement over the movies in general were more than enough of an excuse to fall in love with the girl all over again.

Part of me wondered why I ever thought that Bella would never like a geek like me. She was almost as bad as I was.

After we finished our journey through New Zealand Bella insisted that I teach her how to play chess. Bella didn't own a chess set, but with some work Bella and I mangled to attach a small piece of paper to each checkers piece to define it as a chess piece.

She was atrocious, but had a good spirit about it. She was eager to learn and determined to beat me one day, but didn't immediately get frustrated and swear to never play again after the first time she lost like Emmett had.

I watched Bella's eyes droop and managed to talk her into lying down. She insisted that we continued to talk though. We went through every book on her shelf that I also read and talked about what we thought.

I had been excitedly telling her my feelings on The Chronicles of Prydain when I noticed that Bella had finally fallen asleep.

It was hard not to watch Bella sleep. Part of me knew that I should go downstairs and not invade her privacy, but I couldn't tear myself away. She looked like an angel when she slept. Her hair tangled all around her head in a halo. Nothing was more beautiful than the sight of Bella sleeping.

After a while she turned on her side, facing away from me. I started to get up, but something happened that compelled me to stay.

Bella spoke.

"Edward," she said so softly. The words almost coming out like a question.

I was rooted to my spot. Had Bella just said my name in her sleep? Was I dreaming? Probably. It didn't seem likely that I was awake. Maybe I would wake up tomorrow in my own bed, having dreamt up this whole weekend.

I settled myself back down in the chair, determined to enjoy my dream.

Bella shifter her shoulders and mumbled something that sounded like 'put the ring back,' which made me laugh.

She didn't speak again for a while. Just as soon as I was about to get up again she spoke. Really she started moaning and twisting around the bed. For a moment I felt highly embarrassed about what I was watching before I realized that Bella's face was contorted into a grimace. She looked like she was in pain, or at least under some kind of discomfort.

She continued to thrash around, kicking her legs fiercely as if she was trying to throw off her blankets.

I stood up and turned on the light on her bedside table so I could see better. Her face looked red.

When the light went on Bella rolled onto her back, nor longer thrashing. Her chest rose and fell rapidly. Her breathing sounded harsh.

"Edward," she whispered once again. It sounded weak, like some kind of a plea for help.

"Bella." I placed a hand on her bare shoulder and shook her slightly.

Bella rolled towards my hand and her eyes snapped open. "Edward?" she asked, still breathing hard.

"Bella, are you alright?"

"I-I'm okay." She looked at me thoughtfully for a minuet. "I was talking in my sleep, wasn't I?"

I nodded.

She sighed and pushed herself up into a seated position. "I was having these crazy dreams. They were really vivid and kind of scary."

I tried to not let my upset show on my face. I had been scarring her.

"All I can remember is calling out for help," she muttered, her brow knitted in thought. The she smiled up at me. "I guess you answered my call. You woke me up."

I was about to say something, but was too caught up in Bella's earlier expression of pain. "Bella, are you sure that you are alright?"

"Yeah," she waved me off. "I'm fine. I'm fine."

Part of me didn't believe her. In the bravest move that I had ever done I placed my hand on her forehead.

"Bella, you are burning up."

"No," she laughed. "Your hand is just really cold."

I pulled my hand away. "I'm going to go get a thermometer. Don't move."

"Okay." Bella sleepily leaned back against the wall.

When I came back she was in the exact place with her eyes closed.

I set my hand back down on her shoulder and she gently fluttered her eyelashes open. She saw I was holding the thermometer and she obligingly opened her mouth so I could place it under her tongue.

It was one of the old mercury ones, which was hard for me to read in the dim light, even with my glasses on. But one glance at it told me that her temperature was much higher than it should have been.

"Bella, I'm going to call my dad. Okay?"

Bella shook her head. "No. It's late. I want to sleep."

"Bella, you are burning up!"

"I know. Just let me go back to sleep." She lay down and snuggled herself deep under the comforter. "If I'm still hot in the morning you can call your dad, but right now I am not interested."

I stood over her for a moment, willing to fight, but I gave up. "Fine. I'll be downstairs. If you start to feel worse just shout."

"Edward, wait." Bella sat up in the bed. "Stay with me."

"What?" I couldn't believe my ears.

She shifted over in the bed, making room for another person. "When I was little and I had a fever my mom used to sleep in my bed with me. I didn't get nightmares the same. This way you'll be close if I get worse and I'll have you near so I can feel better." She patted the empty space. "Please?"

The fact that I had to make a choice was destroying me. I knew that I should leave; it was the right thing to do. But Bella had looked so sick and upset and she seemed to really want me there. I knew that I wanted to stay, but how would Bella feel in the morning? Was the fever making her delusional to?

"Edward," she said again, her voice serious and her eyes pleading. "Please."

I sighed and turned off the light on Bella's desk. She smiled and slid closer to the wall. I warily sat down on the bed but Bella just lay back on her pillow and closed her eyes.

I awkwardly lay down, pulled the comforter over myself and turned off the light.

The moment the room went dark I was aware of Bella in a whole knew way. Because she was so close I could feel the heat coming off of her. I could also feel that she was shivering.

I rolled on my side and tried to pull the quilt up around her, but instead Bella wiggled herself into my open arms.

My brain momentarily started freaking out. This night was getting more and more confusing with each passing moment.

I was going to suggest that maybe this wasn't the best idea until I felt her relax against me. Her whole body un-tensed and she immediately stopped shivering. As awkward as it was you can't argue with results.

I dropped my arm around her waist and she sighed.

The heat that Bella was emitting scared me. I spent quite a while wondering if I shouldn't just wrap her up in the quilt and drive back to my house in Bella's old truck. Of course, I had to keep focused on something so that I wouldn't think about the girl that was fast asleep in my arms.

I never did come to a decision and instead drifted off to sleep myself.

********

When I woke up in the morning she was gone. The bed was empty. The side she had been sleeping on was cold.

I got up slowly, afraid that she might jump out of her closet or something silly. I walked downstairs to the living room but she was nowhere to be found.

I quickly changed clothes before I continued my search.

I found Bella in the kitchen.

She was wearing light blue cloth shorts and a pink tank top. Much better looking than the sweats that she had been wearing the last two days.

Her long brown hair was untied and looked wet, like she had taken a shower about an hour before.

In the amount of time that she had been up she had done an extraordinary amount of cleaning in the house.

"Bella," I said, startling her from her dishes.

She jumped. But turned to smile at me. "Hey. Good morning." She sounded chipper.

"Bella, why are you out of bed? Is everything okay."

"Yeah," she smiled, "I'm great." She walked over to me, took my hand and then pressed in into her forehead. "My fever broke last night. I've never felt better."

Her temperature did seem a lot less frightening. Her color looked better to. I still looked her over with a skeptical eye.

"I took my temperature myself," she said. "Ninety eight point seven. Trust me Edward, I feel great."

"Oh, great." I guessed that my work was done. "Well, then I guess that I should let you a have the rest of the weekend to yourself. Try not to do to much, you'll relapse. I'll get out of your hair."

I made a move towards the living room to collect my things but was stopped by Bella's hand on my arm.

"You don't have to go," she said. Then she blushed and pulled her hand away from me, her eyes darting to the floor. "I mean—if you don't want to. You can stay for a while. Dad wont be home until five-ish and I still can't so a whole lot because as you said I could tire myself out and get worse and I really wouldn't mind the company."

I wanted to laugh at Bella's run-on sentence, but was too caught up in what she was saying. "Bella?" I asked. I really had no clue about what was going on.

Bella turned her brown eyes up to me. She looked cautious, chewing on her bottom lip in indecision. Her eyes flashed something for a brief second and then she had thrown her arms around my neck and was kissing me.

My immediate reaction was to grasp her hips so that she wouldn't topple over from standing on her tiptoes.

By the time I really caught on to what was happening Bella was sinking back onto her heels. She was looking at me with a satisfied smile.

"I've been wanting to do that for five years," she said, almost smugly.

I laughed. My hands moved from her hips to her back, bringing her in closer.

She grinned up at me. "So, do you want to go to prom together?"


So I was pretty sick back in March and I wrote pretty much all of this while I was confined to my bed. Sadly I didn't have an Edward to keep my company. Just my mom, Disney movies and City if Glass which I managed to read in under five hours despite the fact that I was running a fever and was so tired I could barely keep my head up . Go me!

I hope you enjoyed my silly little story.

Thanks for reading! :)