One Froggy Twi-Night
Disclaimer: I don't own any material contained within this story. All copyrighted content remains the property of the person, people, or organization that holds the copyright. This story is solely for fun.
AN: After my last Looney Tunes/Twilight crossover, I vowed to myself that THAT would be it- that I'd never write another fic using material from the horror that is Twilight... BUT, I just couldn't help myself. This idea popped into my head, and I just couldn't resist. So, I guess I'm breaking that vow today, but I hope you guys and gals get some enjoyment out of the result of my vow breaking. :P This story evolved primarily out of three things: my HATE of Edward, an old cartoon called "One Froggy Evening" and... a surprisingly very good (non-Twilight bashing) Hellsing/Twilight crossover fic called "Survivor: Vampire Island". As such this one-shot takes into account fanfiction "canon" introduced in S:VI. Don't worry, Lila (the author of S:VI) was gracious enough to grant me her permission to do this... though she wouldn't answer the only really important question I had about the fic- whether or not she was going to kill off any characters by the end. So, if anyone dies in S:VI and they're alive in this... I blame the Lazarus Pits. :P LoL Well, I think I've rambled on enough now. On with the one-shot...
Edward drove his shovel into the soft earth once more, extracted it and dumped the dirt beside the grave. He couldn't believe it. He, Edward, the 'graceful gazelle', reduced to grave robbing? It... it just wasn't right. He should've been in the arms of his wife, playing with his little girl, educating English aristocrats on the finer points of Wagner*- anywhere but a two-bit cemetery in the dead of night. But, alas, there was nothing he could do about it. His family was having financial difficulties; they'd lost nearly everything in the stock market. And Carlisle just didn't make enough money to keep his "family" in the same lap of luxury that they were accustomed to. Their one chance to get things back to normal had come in the form of a reality-contest show called Survivor: Vampire Island. But it had been a trap. Forget the prize money, they'd been lucky to escape the island with their lives!
The Cullen had briefly considered getting a job, but no- not after last time- not after his very short lived career at Wal~mart. He swore that the people who shopped there had to be the absolute dumbest humans on the planet... and their taste in music was atrocious. No, he could never again bring himself to play servant to such fools! And begging, too, was out of the question. Too proud to work, too proud to beg- that left only one option. Edward would have to steal. And of course Carlisle had torpedoed his "son's" bank job scheme- which, to Edward, seemed utterly ridiculous. One haul and they could've all been set for life... (un)life! But no, Carlisle didn't want to take the chance on any humans getting hurt.
"Hmph," Edward huffed in annoyance at the memory, his shovel pausing in mid-air.
So this was it for him, huh? He was destined to live the ghoulish life of a grave robber- stealing things from people whom it was completely impossible to harm- how far he had fallen. Such were the bitter, depressed thoughts that swirled around Edward's head... until, that is, a strange croaking sound momentarily broke the creature from his self-pity.
Edward looked up to find a green frog perched atop the tombstone of the grave he was currently planning to loot. He huffed again and was just about to return to his digging when something very strange happened. The frog suddenly stood up on its hind legs, pulled a small cane and top hat from behind its back and began to dance and sing. "Hello, my baby! Hello, my honey! Hello, my ragtime gal! Send me a kiss by wire. Baby, my heart's on fire! If you refuse me, Honey, you lose me. Then you'll be left alone. Oh baby, telephooonne... And tell me I'm... Your ooownn!"
Edward's jaw hung loosely- giving his head a rather long, pointed appearance -as he gaped at the frog. It was sitting down again, for all intents and purposes appearing like any other amphibian. But he was sure of what he'd just seen. This frog... This small, mucus covered, green, warted *thing* was his ticket back into the lap of luxury. And upon realizing this, the stuffy little night stalker momentarily forgot himself. He picked up the gross critter, planted a big wet one on its slimy back and spun around happily.
The frog seemed completely unimpressed by the action that would've driven millions of teenage, American girls giddy with glee. It just let out another, rather drawn out, "Riiiibbiit."
Then the Cullen, realizing what a fool he must've looked like, quickly stopped his spinning and looked around. Thankfully the graveyard was still as deserted as ever- no one had seen his shame, the momentary lapse in his usually pretentious demeanor. Edward, inwardly, sighed in relief and stuffed the frog into his pocket. Then he reached down and, firmly grasping his shovel, defiantly broke it over his knee. That was it- from where the moon now stood, he would dig no more forever.*
Making sure the "cash cow" frog was firmly secure in his pocket and would not be hopping out, Edward quickly dashed home at full gallop*.
When he arrived home, he found his Bella waiting for him. Edward planted a light kiss on his wife's cheek, and Bella looked surprised- happy, but surprised. Edward had been so down in the dumps lately, and his wife wondered what had happened to so completely turn his mood around in one night. "What's going on?" she asked in a pleased but slightly bewildered tone.
Edward just favored her with a coy smile and a sly reply. "You'll see... but first, we need to get the whole family together. Tell everyone to meet me in the parlor."
"Okay," Bella replied sounding a little unsure, but hopeful none the less.
A few minutes later everyone was gathered together in the living room where Edward had used two candles, an old hardcover book and an empty DVD case to construct a small, model stage on top of the coffee table. "Okay," Jasper said, his right eyebrow raised as he stared at the testament to Edward's arts and crafts talent. "What's going on here?"
"Jasper," Edward replied with uncharacteristic excitement in his voice. "I have just solved all of our money problems." The family members exchanged unconvinced, but intrigued sideways glances at each other, and Edward motioned them to the couch.
After everyone had taken their seats, Edward walked around to the back of the stage, pulled the frog out of his pocket and set the amphibian down in the center of the model stage. Once again the family members exchanged sideways glances, but this time their eyes held a little bit less intrigue and a little bit more worry.
"So..." Rosalie began, her left eyebrow arched upward. "This... frog is suppose to solve our money problems?" Edward nodded in reply. Good grief! His face was practically beaming. What had gotten into him?
"What? Is Rosalie going to kiss it and turn it into a handsome prince who'll give us gifts of gold us for uniting him with his true love?" Jasper dryly, quietly commented out of the side of his mouth, his voice oozing sarcasm.
"Hey!" Emmett objected, having overheard what his brother had said and not being overly thrilled with the idea of his Rosalie running off with some froggy prince.
"Come on boys, settle down." Esme cut in, her voice maintaining that perpetually motherly tone that had been so inescapable during the old days of black and white TV sitcoms.
"Thank you, Esme," Edward responded, his tone ever carrying the slightly prideful edge of a nineteenth century gentleman. "Now, watch this," so saying, Edward poked the frog's side.
But, rather than starting to sing and dance, the little, green creature just let out a rather drawn out, "Riiiibbiit."
Edward's brow furrowed, and Alice innocently asked, "Was the frog suppose to do something?"
Edward couldn't help but shoot a slight glare at his sister. Of course the frog was suppose to do something! It was suppose to stand up and sing and dance. What could have gone wrong? It was then that a little light bulb went off above Edward's head. Oh yes, of course... he'd forgotten about the frog's props! The small cane and top-hat must've been somehow tied to the amphibian's magical singing and dancing powers.
Edward removed the items from his pocket and placed them on the frog. The other Cullens just eyed their family member strangely. They were starting to have serious doubts about Edward's mental stability.
He poked the frog again, but once again the creature refused to preform.
"Ummmm, Edward?" Bella began, a concerned edge to her voice. "Perhaps you should lie down." Edward quickly snapped his head up, the scornful look on his face briefly startling his wife. "Just for a little while?" she added in a voice scarce above a whisper.
And all the anger drained from Edward's face. He couldn't be mad at Bella; he just couldn't. Why, the entire universe might possibly fall apart. It would be as if all of a sudden, instead of water, Limburger cheese began to rain down from the clouds in the sky. Besides, it wasn't like it was her fault that the frog wouldn't preform, making him look like a complete idiot.
"No, you don't understand. The frog... it sings and dances." Edward saw the strange looks that his statement provoked and was quick to continue, "No, really it does." He reached down and, firmly grasping the frog, shook it a little out of frustration. "Come on, sing! 'Hello, my baby! Hello, my honey! Hello, my ragtime gal!' Don't you remember?"
But the mucus coated frog just slowly slid out of Edward's grasp as it emitted another long, drawn out croaking sound. Edward looked furious. That stupid frog was making him look completely insane in front of the rest of his family. Briefly Edward cursed his mind reading abilities. He could hear what each family member was thinking.
'He's gotta be joking, right?' Emmett thought.
'Has he finally snapped?' Bella worried.
'It's okay, Edward. Be calm... just relax. It'll all be okay.' Jasper was obviously trying to use his own power to calm Edward as much as possible.
'Oh, the poor dear.' Esme sympathetically frowned.
'I came down here... for this? Emmett and I were just about to...'
Edward snapped a fiery glare at Rosalie. How could she think of that at a time like this? But Rosalie, catching the glare, simply responded by snapping her mind back to what her and Emmett had been doing. Then the corner of her lip curled slightly in triumph as she saw the green tinge that began to spread across Edward's face.
'And that's why you shouldn't go poking around in other people's minds... never know what might jump out at you.' She loudly thought back at the mind-reader.
Edward was just about to flash his sister another nasty glare. But then he felt Bella's comforting hand on his shoulder, and the venom vanished from his face. He stared down at his Bella with more love and adoration than anyone, not familiar with the two, would've thought was even possible.
"Edward... Husband, It's... it's just a frog," Bella said, her voice tender and concerned. Edward's heart melted and he nodded his head. Bella kindly smiled up at her husband. She pecked his cheek and then turned to look out of the room. "Come on," she continued, her dainty hand still wrapped around his. "You've been working too hard. Lets go and... relax for awhile."
Edward smiled and nodded. He left the room with his Bella, and pretty soon everyone else began to file out too. Carlisle was the last one to get up from the couch. He turned towards the makeshift stage and looked for the frog. No sense letting the creature go to waste. But apparently, while the rest of the family's attention was focused on Edward- and his on Bella -the frog had disappeared.
A few hours later, Edward came down from his and Bella's room. The Cullen was suddenly feeling much better... and a little hungry. In fact that was why he'd come downstairs. He wanted to go out, do a little hunting and score a fresh meal for himself... and his wife. After what they'd just done, he figured she'd earned it.
However, just as Edward reached the front door, the frog hopped out from behind the couch. "Everybody do the Michigan raaaag. Everybody likes the Michigan raaaaaag. Every babe- and Jane-and Ruth, they're all walking to Deluth."
"Everybody," Edward quickly exclaimed and pointed at the frog, who was once again singing and dancing like some kind of vaudeville act. Oh this was his chance to prove that he wasn't crazy- that he'd never been crazy.
"Slide, ride, fly to Michigan- Stomp, romp, hop to Michigan- Jump, hop, up to Michigan Rag."
"Somebody- Anybody, come quick! It's... an emergency!!!"
"That lovin' raaaaag."
Suddenly the sound of rapid footsteps filled the air, and the various family members began to appear as soon as the frog had finished the last verse of its new song and squatted back down. By the time the family members entered the living room, they saw nothing but Edward pointing at a frog that appeared completely ordinary in every way, save one- the black top hat still rested on its head. Edward's left eye twitched briefly.
Carlisle sighed and very fatherly put his arm around Edward's neck. "Son, I think we need to talk."
But Edward just shrugged the arm off. He didn't need to talk. He knew that the frog could sing and dance. He knew he wasn't crazy. But if the rest of the family didn't want to believe him, that was fine. He'd show them. He'd show them all. He walked over, picked up the frog, placed it once more into his pocket and then headed for the door.
Bella nearly threw herself in front of her husband. "No, Edward, don't go!"
The Cullen smiled at his wife. He cupped her chin and leaned down to plant a soft, goodbye kiss on her lips. "Don't worry, Bella. I'll be back. I couldn't stand to be away from you for too long. But I've gotta prove it to them... and you. I've gotta show you all that I'm not crazy," he whispered into her ear.
Bella's eyes stung with tears that she was no longer capable of shedding. "But... But, Edward. It's... It's just a frog." It couldn't be happening. After everything they'd been through, how could she lose him like this? No, it couldn't be happening.
He just smiled at her again and gently ran his thumb over her lips and down her chin. "Just try to believe in me, okay? Believe in me like you use to- like you always have."
"Alright, Edward, I-I believe. And I'll... I'll come with you." She didn't really believe. But she was trying her hardest to, and that was enough for her husband.
He bent down once more and kissed her forehead. "No, you need to stay here and take care of Renesmee."
"We can bring her," Bella suggested.
And for a moment Edward looked as if he was considering the idea. "No, the open road is no place for a kid."
"Don't worry, I'll be back before you know it... and with enough money to get this family back on track too." The Cullen flashed his wife a reassuring smile*, and she was quiet. He opened up the door, walked outside and assumed a sprinter's pose.
But just before Edward dashed off, Bella swung her upper body out of the house. "I'll be waiting for you, Edward. You come back to me, hear?"
The graceful gazelle snapped off a quick salute and then took off running.
Two Weeks Later:
Edward sat in his apartment, a worn down "studio" in the cheapest, most crime ridden part of San Fransisco. The Cullen was dejected, depressed and completely miserable. The frog simply refused to sing for anyone but him, and Edward just didn't get it. He could not sense any malicious intent from the frog's mind... although he always had had difficulty with animal minds. They were so different from human ones, and the frog's was even stranger than most.
It seemed to exist as a constant swirl of a multitude of voices- perhaps that was a part of what gave this magical frog such range? Edward had seen it sing everything from show tunes to rock to German opera, and they had all been excellently preformed. If only that blasted frog would sing in front of others... He'd be a millionaire over night. And then he could return home as the triumphant hero; he could lift his family out of their squalor and revel in the apologies they would heap upon him for ever having doubted his sanity.
But... but the frog would not sing for anyone else. Why... WHY? Why would it only sing for him?
And then, almost as if the amphibian had been reading his mind, it broke out into a new song; and another light bulb went off above Edward's head.
"Just the two of us, we can make it if we try. Just the two of us... just the two of us... just the two of us, building castles in the sky. Just the two of us, you and I."
Could that be it? Could it be that the frog didn't want anyone else getting involved? But why? Edward thought back to the reactions everyone always had when he'd tried to tell them about the singing, dancing frog. They'd been... skeptical, to say the least. They looked down on the frog... and they looked down on him for suggesting what the frog was truly capable of. They had no faith! Could... could that be why the frog had kept silent? Could it be that it simply didn't want anyone who didn't believe in it, from the start, to profit off its talent? That... that had to be it. What other explanation could there possibly be?
But if that was the case, what good did it do him? How could he possibly get a hold of enough capital to start things up without some kind of a backer? As Edward pondered this, he rubbed his chin thoughtfully.
And then the frog began to sing a new song, "I wasn't born to walk on water. I wasn't born to sack and slaughter. But on my soul, I wasn't born to stoop to scorn and knuckle under!"
Well that was certainly true. Edward had never been one to knuckle under for anyone or anything... and, by Job, he wasn't going to start now! But what could he do? Where could he get the money?
"A man can learn to steal some thunder."
Was... was the frog suggesting that he steal the start up capitol? Edward thought about that. It... it could be done. He knew all of his family's bank accounts and information- it wasn't exactly easy to keep things from a mind reader. He could withdraw what was left of their money and use it to... NO! What, what was he thinking?! They had little enough as it was. He couldn't take the small amount that was left and risk it on the frog that, so far, hadn't sung for anyone except him.
"A man can learn to work some wonder. And when the gauntlet's down it's time to rise and climb the sky."
But... but if he was right... If the Frog would preform so long as only the two of them would reap the profits, then... then he could return the money a thousand fold! He could raise them all back to their proper status. Why, he could even buy back his and Bella's cottage- their wedding gift from Esme! But... but could he take that chance?
"And soon the moon will smolder. And the winds will drive. Yes a man grows older. But his soul remains alive. All those tremulous stars still glitter, and I will survive! Let my heart grow colder and as bitter as a falcon in the dive!"
Edward quickly jumped up from his chair- sending it flying halfway across the small room. Yes... yes- he could do it. He would do it. And in the end, they would all thank him for doing it.
The Cullen sang the next verse himself, "There was a dream-a dying ember. There was a dream-I don't remember. But I will resurrect that dream, though rivers stream and hills grow steeper." A piece of the rundown apartment's ceiling came down and landed on Edward's head. The Cullen scowled, and then continued with slightly more force, "For here in Hell, where life gets cheaper-Oh here in Hell, the blood runs deeper. And when the final duel is near, I'll lift my spear and fly..."
The frog joined in, "Piercing into the sky and higher. And the strong will thrive! Yes the weak will cower, while the fittest will survive! If we wait for the darkest hour, till we spring alive. Then with claws of fire, we devour like a falcon in the dive."
Edward's voice faded, and the frog took over the song. "These are the days- Yes! Days of glory! Days of rage! And the dream- And the dream of Paris preys on my bones, gnawing night and day and... Clawing through my brain and- … No! Never kneel! Never bend! Rend him to bits! Bite! Now the beauty of the fight!"
The frog stopped, and Edward shook his head. Then, almost is if in reply to the last few lines, the Cullen continued, "I am not a man to hunger for blood, but the spirit can try- To be younger and fiercer and fly-"
The frog joined back in and the two finished the song together. "Piercing into the sky and higher! And the strong will thrive. Yes the weak will cower, while the fittest will survive! If we wait for the darkest hour, till we spring alive. Then with claws of fire we devour like a falcon in... the diiiiiiive!!!"
Edward spent the following morning hitting the local branches of his family's banks. He completely cleared out every account- even the one Carlisle had set up as a college fund for Renesmee. It didn't matter, by the end of the week, he'd be rich and easily able to pay it all back... and more (or so the Cullen told himself). Then he found an old derelict theater-house that was just within his price range. Edward used most of the money he had for a down payment and took out a loan for the rest. And then he set about using the few thousand he had left... and a lot of elbow grease to fix the place up as much as possible.
Thanks to the Cullen's enhanced speed... and an eighties montage sung by the frog, the work didn't take all that long. And by that night, the "Froggy Theater" was open for business. And the frog was already singing its little heart out as it walked across a high tightrope. "The time was in June. The bees humm'd a tune. The perfume of rose fill'd the air. When just o'er the way, sat a baby one day... All alone and so no one seem'd to care. But one passer by, turn'd and look'd with a sigh, at the tears and the eyes swollen red. Then close to her breast, the young darling, she press'd. And tenderly to her she said..."
Edward felt his chest puff out in pride as he threw open the doors and stepped aside- so as to not be trampled in the stampede of patrons he fully expected to immediately rush into his theater. However... no one came through the door. Edward rubbed his chin for a moment, and then coming up with an idea, he hastily drew a free admission sign and placed it outside of the theater.
After all, it didn't matter if he didn't make any money the first night. Once word got around about the singing, dancing frog, he could charge pretty much whatever he wanted. Edward ran back into the theater and waited for a few minutes. He heard the frog continuing to sing.
"Won't you come over to my house? Won't you come over and play? I've lots of playthings- a dolly or two. We live in the house 'cross the way. I'll give you candy and sweet things. I'll put your hair in a curl. Won't you come over to my house, and play that you're my little girl," the frog continued as it twirled a little yellow umbrella high above the stage.
The Cullen peaked out from "back stage" and just didn't get it. Free admission, and still no one was coming in? Edward sighed and came up with one last idea. He drew up another sign, this one proclaiming, "FREE BEER!!!" He didn't have any beer of course, but that wouldn't matter. Once people saw the frog, surely they'd forget all about the beer. Edward placed this new sign in front of his theater and almost instantly was caught up in a torrent of "patrons" rushing past him.
Oh this was just perfect, Edward thought as he brushed himself off and entered the theater to find it filled to capacity. And best of all, the frog was still singing! Everything had worked out perfectly! All the Cullen had to do now was raise the curtain.
"Perhaps you don't know, that not long ago, these toys I am giving to you... were my little girl's. Yes, my one little Pearl's. And her eyes were like yours- large and blue. But one night I found, that the angels came 'round, and they took her way up to the sky. So don't stay away, but come over each day. Or you'll make your new Mama cryyyy."
Edward was visible as nothing more than a slight blur as he raced back stage, grabbed the rope to raise the curtain and yanked it. … Unfortunately, for Edward, the rope was very old and broke. A "why me look" fell over Edward's statuesque face. However, it quickly vanished as he realized that yes, the frog was still singing- in fact it had just started in on a new song, "Everybody do the Michigan raaaag. Everybody likes the Michigan raaaaaag. Every babe- and Jane-and Ruth, they're all walking to Deluth."
The curtain was only a temporary set back. The frog leapt off the tightrope- slowly descending (thanks to the yellow umbrella) as it continued to sing, "Slide, ride, fly to Michigan- Stomp, romp, hop to Michigan- Jump, hop, up to Michigan Rag."
With one push of Edward's powerful legs, he effortlessly leapt up the thirty feet and grabbed what was left of the rope. The frog finished, "That lovin' raaaaag," just as the Cullen slowly came down and the curtain rose up.
Alas Edward was a split second too late; and by the time his audience could see the frog, it was just sitting there like any other amphibian would.
No... No! Edward thought as the frog let out another of its trademark, drawn out croaks. No-NO!!! It... it wasn't possible. Surely the frog wouldn't do this to him now- not after they'd bonded together over that song back at his apartment. It... it was just stage-fright. It... it had to be. The frog just needed a little coaxing.
Edward quickly tied off the rope and walked out onto the stage. He slipped two fingers underneath the frog's legs and grabbed the amphibian's arms with his other hand. Then Edward, the graceful gazelle, Bella's perpetual protector, began to move the frog as if it were a puppet. With his hands, the Cullen made the frog "dance", but it just wasn't enough to satisfy the audience members- who were already in a bad mood since they had yet to receive their "free beer".
They pelted the Cullen with rotten fruit; and as Edward moved his hands to do his best to block the onslaught of stinky, squishy produce, the frog hopped off stage. It passed through the crowd unnoticed and exited the theater. Then it hopped into a dark alleyway... and there it began to change.
First it turned pitch black. Then extra sets of eyes appeared all across its back. And finally it dissolved into swirling shadows that parted a few seconds later to reveal the form of a young, teenage "girl". "She" grinned and thought that she didn't care what Angel said about the American cartoons- that played before movies back when they used to go to the movie theater. Those things gave her some truly wonderful ideas. The girl giggled. That would teach the sparkly, little faker to make "goo-goo-eyes" at her master. The girl nodded as she saw Edward being chased out of the theater by an angry mob. Yes, that would certainly teach him a lesson about trying to steal someone else's master... and making fun of Bugs' operatic debut too.
After the last of the mob passed, the girl came out from the dark alleyway and began to calmly stroll away, all the while quietly singing, "Kiww the wabbit. Kiww the wabbit. Kiww the wabbit."*
*A reference to one of Edward and Sir Integra's discussions from S:VI. (Apparently the Cullen has a problem with "Ride of the Valkyries". O_o?)
*An adaption of Chief Joseph's last words during his surrender to Nelson A. Miles.
*He's a "graceful gazelle", remember?
*In case anyone's wondering all the smiling is an nod to the grievous overuse of smiles in the first book's discussion on how humans "can't stand the smell of blood". (Thanks to SystemAurora for pointing that out. :)) And as if... Most of us are fine with the smell of blood. A few of us even like it- metallic and strong... and such a lovely shade of red too. It looks especially nice when splattered across a stretch of other wise untouched snow, no?
*Okay, I... "borrowed" the idea of "her" sinning this at the end directly from a scene in S:VI where Integra's thinking the song- in order to annoy Edward. Thanks, Lila. :)
(Well, what did you think? Please review and let me know if you liked it, thanks.
PS. Yes, I know it was likely very unrealistic that Integra would let Alucard out of her sight for a week... never mind two. But this isn't up in the Hellsing section, so I thought I could get away with it.
Have a good day, and God bless.