So, this is just a short one-shot for Edward and Bella. It's about the Metro... so this story is dedicated to all Washington DCians. Is that a word? Who cares. Enjoy(:
"Stand back, doors are closing." The automated voice on the Metro sounded throughout the car.
The Metro train in Washington, DC was as crowded as it always was at eight-thirty in the morning. People were crammed into each car like sardines, packed together so tightly that there was hardly any room to move at all.
People sitting in the discolored seats were either lolling their heads on the windows, asleep, or else sitting as far on the edge of the seat as possible, as though they were under the impression that the germs all over the seat would spread less that way.
The other people were standing up, hanging on to bars in various places of the car, trying to be as small as possible. The largest horde of people was around the doors; no one seemed to bother moving into the aisles to make more space. I supposed they all just preferred to be miserable in one area. The ever-present tourists seemed to be the only people on the train with enough sense to move down, as it was easier to shove their noses up to a map when they weren't boxed in by grim-faced locals.
"Farragut North, doors opening on the left," said the voice, as the train approached the stop. With a ding! the doors opened and people poured out, striding along with the crowd to the escalators, where they would then climb the steps by two in their haste to make it to work on time.
One of the seats nearby me was unoccupied now; I hastened to sit in it before anyone else could. I would be on the Metro for a while – I might as well make myself comfortable.
The person next to me was a large, dark-skinned girl who had iPod headphones sticking out of her ears, digging around in her purse and looking at her reflection in the dark window as she mouthed the words to a song. She did not seem to notice that I had sat next to her – but that was clearly explained by the fact that her music was so loud I could make out every word.
"Yo, yo, Young Jay is in the his-house, I wanna touch yuh, yeah guh, rub my hands all over yuh…"
I tuned out, thinking about work. As a lawyer, one might think that my job was exciting: arguing with people left and right, barking orders and fixing cases, and yet still respected. But it was not, it was mostly deskwork. Jasper Whitlock, my boss, had just recently set me one of the toughest cases I had faced yet – the King case. Rosalie Hale, my client, was charging her fiancé of rape and abuse. Although I was one of the youngest in my field of work – twenty-three years old and nearly fresh out of law school – many of my co-workers were envious that I was the one to receive this important assignment.
The girl's music next to me seemed, if possible, even louder with the following song.
"Homie, git you biz marked up, turn yuh into vapors…" A few more incoherent words, and I could make out something that sounded very much like "Anita Baker."
"Metro Center, doors opening on the left."
Upon hearing these words, I was instantly relieved; most people got off at Metro Center. Of course, many others board on at that point, but that may give me an opportunity to sit by myself, if I continued to sit on the outside. No one likes to bother sliding into the window seat if a stranger is sitting on the outside and refuses to move. The girl next to me stirred, paused her music, and popped the headphones out of her ears. She stowed them unceremoniously into her purse, which I noticed had a large picture of Tinkerbell on it.
"Excuse me," she said loudly. As everyone was much too tired and surly to speak at such and early time in the morning, no one spoke much, so naturally many heads turned in our direction. I got up and stood to the side in the aisle, trying to be small so I did not bother the man who was standing there, and the girl wormed her way through the mass of people to the doors. She leaned so close to the doors that when they opened she literally fell out of the car, stumbling on the landing and then scampering away to avoid being trampled by everyone else.
Now, the seat next to the window was available for occupancy, but I stayed where I was, hoping that no one would try to sit there. A heap of grouchy-looking people took their place in the few seats that were open, or else they grabbed the bar overhead as the train began to move with a jolt.
"Whoa!" shouted a voice. Next thing I knew, a woman had practically fallen into my lap. For any other normal man, this would have been a gift from heaven, but I was no normal man. I swore loudly and heaved her off of me.
"What the hell, lady?" I said crossly, running a hand over my pants to smooth them out again.
"I'm sorry!" she gasped, brushing her brown hair out of her eyes. "The train moved all of a sudden and I – I just fell over! I hope I didn't hurt you or anything!"
"You had just better be thankful that I didn't have my coffee today," I said.
"Oh, is that why you're so inconsiderate then?" she demanded heatedly, putting the hand that was not clutching the bar on her hip firmly.
"What the blazes are you talking about?" I was stunned that this woman was behaving so fiercely to me. It was not like I knew or cared who she was or what her business on the Metro was – I doubted I would ever see her again in my life.
"Well, I fell on top of you. You could have just helped me up and accepted my apology and be done with it, but you had to make an issue about it and now the whole train is listening to every word we say." Sure enough, the whole car had their heads turned to look at me. They were not so kind as to look away when I glared at all of them in turn. As I watched, one woman pulled a headphone out of one of her ears so that she could hear the argument better.
This was going to be a very bad day.
"Cleveland Park, doors opening on the left," said the voice. The doors opened and people got out, and more people got on. The rustling of noise seemed like a break in which I could relax, as I was sure that this mad woman was going to give it a rest now that a quarter of her audience was gone. But I was wrong.
"Since you've made this such a big deal about it, you're going to scoot over and let me sit down, or else you will kindly stand up and let me sit in the seat next to you."
I was astonished. Who did this woman think she was? "Now see here," I began, glowering up at her, "I am Edward Masen, a highly respected and prominent attorney at law. And as accomplished as I happen to be, I will not tolerate –"
"Oh-ho!" said the woman, laughing dryly. "So that's what you think, Mr. Masen?" She laughed humorlessly again and made to move away and bother someone else. "I see now why you're sitting by yourself – your head seems too big to fit in one seat! I wouldn't be able to sit next to you even if I had tried. Your ego is so big it could probably keep you company!" And with that, she stormed away, marching through the hordes of people with evident grace, just as the doors to L'Enfant Plaza opened with a ding!
"Hullo, Edward," greeted Emmett McCarthy when I thundered into the office thirty minutes later. "What's up?" he asked when I slammed my briefcase on my desk with an angry huff.
"Metro ride," I grumbled, opening the briefcase and fingering through all of the papers inside until I found the ones I wanted. Unbinding the clip on top, I set the papers down on the desk and reached for a pen in the cup I usually kept next to my computer. But when I looked to pick the one I wanted, I saw that there were no more pens inside, and my fingers closed around thin air.
"Damn," I growled.
"Edward, calm down," Emmett said, laughing. "The cup doesn't always have to be half-empty. What could possibly have been so bad to put you in this state?"
When I didn't answer and continued filing through my documents, Emmett looked around for the usually-present McDonald's coffee cup.
"Ah," he said. "No Coffee Monday."
I found a paper titled, "Abuse penalties 36B" and pulled it out, restacking the other papers back into their neat pile.
"If you're going to be like this all day, Edward," said Emmett, "I'll cancel our plans to go out for lunch with Alice Brandon today."
I carefully placed the rest of the pile back in the briefcase and slammed the top shut with unnecessary brutality.
I scowled at Emmett. "I'll be right back," I said, picking up the briefcase and holding it in my left hand. "If you need me, I'll be getting my coffee."
"Coffee, please," I found myself telling the foreign cashier at McDonald's.
"Coffee?" she said with an extremely heavy accent, eyes wide. "Would 'oo like shugaar?"
"No," I said, "no sugar."
"No shugaar? Okeey. Cree'?"
"No," I said again, "no cream, either."
"Okeey." She pressed a bunch of random buttons on the cash register; she clearly had no idea what the hell she was doing. "So, coffee?"
"Yes, I would like coffee," I clarified in frustration, "with nothing in it."
"Okeey. I weil be right bachk."
When she turned her back I rolled my eyes in exasperation. Couldn't McDonald's hire someone who was American? Or, at least someone who knew an inkling of what they were supposed to be hired to do?
I heard an irritated huff from the customer behind me, who was also waiting to get their coffee (that was the only thing people in Washington DC really liked at McDonald's,) and I turned to tell them to piss off my back and leave me be. They were just going to have to get over the fact that I was here first and this cashier was an idiot. Screw me, for wanting my damn coffee.
I wanted my damn coffee and I was going to get my damn coffee. Screw me, for wanting my damn coffee. I exhaled in an angry puff.
"Sorry," I said, not sorry at all, turning to stare the person down. But when I turned to look at the person, I saw that it was the exact same woman that had fallen on me on the Metro, the same woman who had yelled her ass off at me.
"You!" she exclaimed when I turned, her mouth agape.
"You!" I growled, my eyes popping. How could this be happening?
She continued to stare at me with her mouth gaping open. "You know, it's not good to have your mouth open like that," I told her waspishly. "Bugs may fly in and nest there."
She immediately shut her mouth and folded her arms across her chest. "How'd you get that head of yours through the door? Did you have to use the garage?"
I ground my teeth together, sudden anger boiling up inside of me. "No," I told her. "And how many people did you happen to kill before you came in here?"
The woman smirked and straightened out her blue dress that showed off her body. My hormones seemed to make note of this as she said simply, "Looks kill." She seemed to not take my insults very seriously – but of course, no one did, really. I knew I was pathetic at humor and I did not try to increase that particular character trait. As long as I was smart and sophisticated I would get very far, with my bout of humor and my lack thereof.
"Who do you seem to think you are?" I demanded furiously.
"Bella Swan, featured Washington Post columnist," she said airily, tucking her hair behind her ear. "And our little incident on the Metro today will undoubtedly be in the paper tomorrow." She clasped her hands behind her back and rocked forward onto the balls of her feet; which, I was sure, was quite painful, seeing as her heel were about five inches tall.
"'Eere is your coffee, meester," said the foreign cashier, holding the coffee cup out for me to take. I turned away from Bella and gave the lady a five dollar bill, though the coffee was only three dollars and fifty-two cents. I grabbed the coffee cup roughly from her hand and stalked toward the door.
Bella made sure to bump my shoulder as I rushed past. "Look for it tomorrow, 'Metro Manners Matter!'" she called after me. I hurried down the street and back towards my office.
When I had to cross the street, I was in such a hurry to put as much space between Bella and me as possible that I failed to notice the "Don't Walk" light on the other side of the street. I was in the middle of the road before I realized, and I was honked at by a car. The driver stuck his head out at me and bellowed, "Why don't you try reading the sign and get your arse out of the road!"
"Bastard," I grumbled to myself as I hurried to the sidewalk.
I fervently sipped my coffee, allowing the hot liquid to sidle down my throat. I thought this was going to make me feel better, but it did not. "Metro Manners Matter," I scoffed as I threw open the door to my office and jabbed the button on the elevator. "Ha, like I'll be reading that…"
Metro Manners Matter
By Bella Swan, Columnist.
The Metro is an ideal place to mull over work, relationships, and the countdown until Friday; it is not a place to be greedy. From yesterday's experience on the Metro, I have come to save the day and give you, Washington, DC, a few handy Metro tips.
Now, we all know that the morning Metro ride is essential to whether or not you are going to have a good day or a bad day. Everyone on the Metro is tired and surly, not wanting to ride the Metro with the other tired and surly people; especially not before work. As yesterday was a Monday, everyone was even more grumpy than usual. Just make sure you have your morning coffee before you dump your mood out on other people.
The first thing that I have to say is that the seats on the Metro have enough room for two people. Not just one. Please people, if there is a seat next to you that is available, please move out of the way so someone else can sit there – or else you will be having a newspaper story written about you. You know who you are, and I hope you feel guilty.
While on the Metro during the rush hour periods, the space in each car is restricted, though Washington, DC is known to push the car's capacity to its limit. When all the seats are filled, people stand and hang onto the bars located on the ceiling and on the sides of walls and seats. But when people stand, all the tired and surly people tend to crowd around the doors. What I'm saying is: don't stand there. Move into the aisle where there is more room. It seems to me that the only people who have enough sense to linger in the aisle are the tourists, who need room to stuff their noses into maps and mutter about which museum to visit first. Sorry if you're a tourist.
Anyway, if you hadn't noticed, the bar on the aisle is the same exact bar that's by the door. Just move over and don't fart in people's faces, because that's gross.
By the way, my boss is probably going to kill me for this column. Of course, that's what I said last column but I'm still here. So if I am murdered, and if you like my columns, please come to my funeral.
Another thing: the Metro jolts when it starts and stops. If someone is trying to move out of your way but they fall on you accidentally, don't yell curses at them and practically throw them off your lap. Let them scramble off you themselves, mumble an apology, and you accept. Don't make it a big issue, because then if you happen to see each other in McDonald's to buy coffee you'll make it an even bigger issue then you know that you and that person will never ever get along and that will be the end of it.
And if you make a big deal about it you'll be getting a newspaper story written about you. You know who you are.
A few extra tips, if I may – please brush your teeth, and put on deodorant. No one wants to smell your body odor while you're lifting your arm up to hold the bar.
I'm not saying that you have body odor, of course.
Please do not wear too much cologne or perfume. I prefer not choking to death by Brittany Spears' Fantasy, thank you. DO NOT spray on your excessive cologne or perfume while on the Metro. Do not play your music too loudly and please, for the sake of everyone else in the vicinity, do not sing along to your tunes.
Thank you, and have a great day. I am Bella Swan with Washington's news.
"Hey, Edward, Emmett!" Alice Brandon bounded into our cubicle with evident excitement.
"Hello, Alice," I said, not looking up from my papers.
"Alice," Emmett groaned, rubbing his face with his hands, "it's seven in the morning. Can you please, for me, try to not be such a morning person?"
I looked up, amused. Alice looked slightly put out, but the feeling was clearly short-lived.
"I brought you the paper, Edward," she said to me, holding out the Washington Post.
"Oh," I said, taking it, "thanks." I set it on the desk to read later.
"I've already read the paper today," said Emmett in a muffled voice.
Alice and I eyed him skeptically. Emmett looked up at us.
"What? I read the paper," he said. "The columns and the comics."
"I always wonder how you made it into law school," I said in astonishment.
"Ooh," said Alice, instantly animated, "I just adore the columns. Bella Swan has got to be the funniest writer in the world!"
"What?" I had snatched up the paper and was looking at the columns page before Alice had even finished speaking. Sure enough, there it was – "Metro Manners Matter." I saw the words "you know who you are" printed in the report several times.
While Emmett and Alice chatted excitedly about Bella, I read her column. And, much to my surprise, I liked it. I liked it a lot. And I suddenly found myself laughing. Actually laughing. I hadn't laughed so deeply since I broke up with my girlfriend, Jessica Stanley, three months ago. I felt my chest rising a falling, and my stomach felt funny. My head was light, and the room was spinning, weaving in and out of focus. That may have been to blame on the chair, which was rotating around so fast I felt like a child at Disneyworld riding the teacups.
"Edward?" Alice's voice stopped me from spinning; I set my foot down on the ground firmly.
"I've got to go," I said abruptly, climbing out of the spinning chair. I was still so dizzy that when I stood I walked straight into a file cabinet – the sound echoed throughout the office with a resounding crack! A few people in cubicles nearby poked their heads over the top of the wall to see what the sound was, but I had regained my composure so it did not look like it had been me. But I was still laughing; I tried to stop, but the action was half-hearted.
I dashed to the elevator and stuck my hand inside, so the doors could not close. Once inside, I could not stop smiling. I found myself humming. I didn't know what it was – spur of the moment, perhaps – but it felt as though a terrible weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I felt weightless, like I could do anything. And right now I felt like going and kissing Bella Swan full on the mouth.
All the thoughts of being smart and sophisticated escaped me. All traces of rational thought disappeared, in a time span of less than five minutes. I was elated, blissful… and her eyes. Bella's dark chocolate eyes that were so depthless, shining with anger and amusement at the same time.
I knew I barely knew her, but right then, at that very moment, I felt as though I belonged with her. I could picture she and I in a big house, with little bronze-haired children running all around us. I could picture us boarding on the Metro together holding hands, and standing in the aisle, happily assisting tourists and pointing them to the nearest Smithsonian. I could practically feel her lips as she would kiss me goodbye before work, as she walked one way and I walked the other.
Lips I had only seem twice, lips that I had only seen angry. Lips that I had only heard laugh humorlessly, dryly, sardonically.
My feeling of bliss seemed to crash around my ears, just as the elevator doors opened and I toppled out onto the first-floor landing.
"…to Edward Masen?" I heard a female voice say. I knew that voice all too well now, as it had appeared in my dreams last night, calling out my name over and over again. What was Bella doing here?
"Sure thing, miss, I'll be sure he gets it," said the desk manager. I could hear high-heeled shoes clicking against the floor as she left… I had to stop her.
"Wait!" I shouted, running around the corner. Bella stopped in her tracks and turned to stare at me. I had to have her – today she was wearing a purple dress that hugged her slender frame perfectly, a black belt around her middle that made her waist tiny, and strappy black high heels that accented her legs. Her hair was down and tumbling down her back – I longed to run my hand through it. But that would have to wait.
"Edward?" Bella gasped in disbelief. She couldn't say a word more – my lips had glued themselves to hers. My hands gripped the top of her arms, while her arms stayed glued to her side.
After a few seconds, or maybe a few days, it seemed, we broke apart.
"What the hell?" Bella said breathlessly.
I laughed, winded. "I'm sorry."
Bella laughed, too. "Would you like me to make a big deal out of it?" she asked when we caught our breath.
"That'd be nice," I said.
Bella fisted my red tie, pulled me closer, and whispered, "I knew you were special."
I felt giddy. "You know you could have just accepted my apology and be done with it, but you had to make an issue about it and now the whole lobby is listening to every word we say."
"Edward, there's no one in the lobby," Bella pointed out.
"So? I'm just quoting what you told me. Quit ruining me moment."
"Me?" Bella scoffed. "You're the moment-ruiner."
"You're the… the… insult-giver," I retorted lamely.
Laughing, Bella said, "Well, I suppose we'll have plenty of time to work on that later." She wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed me once more.
A/N: there you go. A nice, short little one-shot. I was just recently in Washington, DC, and what with the Metro crash and all I thought that you might be interested.
Songs: Stay Awake (Acoustic) - All Time Low; End Of The World - Blake Lewis; Beauty In The Breakdown - Scene Anesthetic
Please review, this took a long car ride to write.