The Sandbox Presents: Things That Go Bump in the Night
Story Title: Operation Halloween Hook-Up
Vamp or Human: Human OOC Alternative Universe
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or anything Twilightverse. I am just a huge fan who took a shot at writing something enjoyable. Hopefully it worked.
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"Is you uncle coming or not?"
I groaned, my eyes sliding both to the right and the left of me, looking out for eavesdroppers, while simultaneously hitting my head into the gray metal locker behind me. Why or why did I let this crazy girl talk me into one scheme after another was beyond me. Why couldn't I be good at football like Mike Newton? Why didn't I take him up on his offer of flag football lessons at recess instead of letting Alice drag me off to talk about her latest plan.
OPERATION HALLOWEEN HOOK-UP
God, it sounded so. . . girly. My father would flip, (and not in the good way), if he ever found out I was playing with a girl over hanging with the guys.
"He's the principal Alice – he's gonna be at the school party. . . it's like his job." I exaggerated the word principal as much as possible because although my best friend Alice Black claimed to be an all knowing psychic, the obvious was not her strong suit.
"Yeah, I guess your right." Alice answered flippantly, (I know this word after coming in second at the Washington State Spelling Bee Championship, I am quite proud that I spelled it right and try to use it at least once a day), and I watched her run her hands through her short spiky black hair.
Alice's short haircut was a sore spot for her, although quite honestly I thought it was nice, (for a girl). She used to have long hair like other every other girl in our fifth grade class, until the night Alice fell asleep with her signature three gum balls in her mouth. To make a long story short, her mom found her in the morning with chewed gum tangled all throughout her hair, and had no choice but to cut it. Alice tried locking herself in her bedroom in protest of the violation, (convinced it would eventually come out on its own), vowing never to show her face in school again. But Bella, (Alice's mom), called Jake, (Alice's dad), who came from his house with a screwdriver and took her door off the hinges. Needless to say Alice came back to school later that day, and has been here every day since.
Lots of kids teased her relentlessly about her "boy haircut", at least they did until I took a swing at Tyler Crowley and broke his nose. I mean really, she's a girl for pete's sake, she has all sorts of feelings and stuff. It looks fine (the hair) and now she doesn't have to stare at herself in the mirror forever, like every other girl in school.
"Don't you think it's weird that your trying to set your mom up with someone other than your dad?" I had to ask, I couldn't image my parents not being together, let alone being with other people.
"Jasper." I corrected.
Alice rolled her dark eyes at me, "You like it when I call you Jazz."
"I don't." I responded.
"Ugh." I folded my arms defiantly across my chest.
Alice shrugged, I guess used to my response to her "all seeing" crap, and continued, "As I was saying, Jazz, my father and my mother were destined to have me. . . that's it. They love each other, but they aren't in love with each other anymore. There is a difference. My dad found Nessie, who makes him happy, and now its my mom's turn to do the same."
I wanted to protest, love was love if you ask me, but saw a look cross Alice's face I knew to well and decided not to. The look on Alice's face pretty much said that if you really want to argue with me, I will start talking about our future. . .our married future. Yuck.
Seriously, the girl can go from frog catching partner to gooey girly mush in minutes, and I really despised the latter version of Alice. Once, when we were arguing the merits of the two teams heading to the World Series, Alice, out of the blue, asked me to refer to her as Alice Cullen, since that is what she would eventually become. We didn't talk for a week after that discussion.
I finally caved after her team won. But, I still think Alice is crazy.
"Okay, whatever, your call. My uncle will be there. I've done my part."
"Almost." I saw the corners of her mouth twitch up, which caused my stomach to jump into my chest, "except for one small part I may have forgot to mention."
I closed my eyes, willing that last tidbit of information away, "Which is?"
"Your parents, specifically your mother, needs to stay home."
I opened one eye, and saw Alice, directly in front of me, bite the corner of her lip. She was serious. She knew she was asking the impossible. Rosalie Cullen doesn't stay away from school functions, she thrives on them.
"My mom is head of the PTA."
I slapped my hand over my eyes, it would be easier to blow up the school then keep my mother out of it the day of the annual Fork's Elementary Halloween Party. "Alice the Halloween Party is like big shit, (swearing, it's all the rage this year). She bought her costume like months ago."
"Jazz if she comes my mother will go into hiding. You know your mom is a bitch (swearing, see all the rage), right?"
To clarify, my mom wasn't a bitch. . .technically, she was. . . opinionated (the word I got wrong at the spelling bee). She was opinionated and more importantly she was my mother, and Alice was crossing the line.
"Alice, I'm out." I pushed off the locker I was leaning on and headed toward the library. The one room in the school Alice couldn't nag me at.
A small hand shot out and grabbed my elbow.
Man if any of the guys saw this little display I'd never be able to show my face in school again.
"Don't worry, I'll learn to love her before the wedding, I swear."
Squinting my eyes, I spotted Jessica Stanley down the hall heading in our direction. If she saw this, the whole fifth grade. . .no the whole school would be buzzing about how Alice and I were in love or something equally horrific, in a matter of seconds.
"Alice," I hissed between my teeth, "let go of my arm."
"Jasper, please...my mom cries herself to sleep some nights. She is so lonely since the divorce. I can't stand it anymore."
I looked sideways at my friend, noting the desperation and sadness on her usual happy face. Her abnormal gloominess made me feel like crap.
"I can't explain it, but I just know if she met your uncle they would hit it off and she wouldn't have to be by herself anymore."
I blew out the breath I was holding and moved my hand cautiously over the top of hers, still keeping an eye on Big-Mouth Stanley, who was lost in her reflection on a window, "I'll see what I can do. No promises. . ."
Alice fallen face immediately perked up and I felt the mood between both of us lighten considerably.
"Thanks Jazz, your the best."
I sighed. . .wondering again why I didn't just hang with Newton.
I groaned dramatically, flinging myself against the shopping cart, very Broadway like if I do say so myself, "You cannot, I repeat, cannot buy a costume for the party at Target. I simply won't allow it."
I watched in horror as my mother picked up the packaged banana costume off the hook and threw it into the basket she was pushing, "I can and I will."
She attempted to move forward, so I stood in front of her, feet planted. There was no way Principal Cullen would look at her twice dressed up as a banana.
"I doubt Jasper's mother would be caught dead in that costume."
My mother cocked her eyebrow at me, challengingly, "Your not exactly making your case with that comment."
I sighed again (dramatic again), before leaning forward and snatching the costume out of the cart. Without another word I flung it onto a pile of discarded costumes that had fallen on the floor.
My mother's eyes widened as if I slapped her across the face. I hadn't intended on using her maiden name, as she still went by Isabella Black, but desperate times called for desperate measures.
My father would call it hitting below the belt. I felt a little shitty.
"Mom, you need to stop dressing like your married. You need to dress like your. . . you know. . .looking."
My mother leaned down and snatched the banana costume off the to the pile, her cheeks burning a fierce red color. I'd be lucky if I made it to the Halloween party this year. This little stunt could get me grounded for sure.
"Alice Black, you need to watch a little less TV and play with a little more Barbie."
Barbie – was she serious?
Impulsively, (my father's favorite term to explain or defend my actions), I grabbed at the costume, my mother held firmly to the other end.
"Drop it." I commanded.
"I think it might be wise for you to take your own advise," my mother warned in response.
We were actually getting into a tug of war in the middle of Target. I'd be horrified if it wasn't such a life or death situation.
Our eyes locked, my mother could be stubborn at times. I inherited this from her, so we might be here a while.
"Alice Black, is that you?"
My eyes widened in shock at the sound of the voice calling my name, which was quickly replaced by hope. This couldn't be more perfect if I planned it. I knew fate was on my side this time.
Acting quickly, I let go of the package and watched my unsuspecting (clumsy) mother fall backward and into the shocked awaiting arms of my principal.
Score one for Alice.
I smirked as I watched my mother, confused, look up into the dreamy green eyes of Edward Cullen.
"Mrs. Black I presume."
Principal Cullen cleared his throat and I noticed, to my utter delight, he still had my mother wrapped in his arms, despite the fact she had more then enough time to right herself.
And my mother, whose brown eyes had widened noticeably at the sound of his voice, was nervously running her tongue over her lips. Kinda gross in my opinion, but whatever, Mr. Cullen didn't seem to mind. He actually looked kinda into the whole licking thing, which was a wee-bit unsettling.
"Actually she is Ms. Swan, as in divorced and looking for love." I replied in response, smiling innocently.
My mother's jaw dropped and I watched her immediately right herself, untangling her body from Mr. Cullen's arms. Her face seemed to go from fierce red to Incredible Hulk green.
I was going to have to be on my best behavior from this point on – no doubt.
However, I noticed Mr. Cullen smirk, straightening his tie in the process. He seemed to find my mother's status amusing.
"Well it's nice to finally meet you Ms. Swan."
My mother nodded, shooting me dirty looks, before turning once again to Mr. Cullen. I noticed her shoulders straighten and her feet shuffle. She was nervous and flustered and. . .it was kinda cute. A far better state then moody or mousy, her usual emotions of choice.
As for her outfit, well. . . it was a disaster, but I gave up that fight a long time ago.
"You to. I've meant to come over to the school and introduce myself, as I'm sure Alice will become a fixture at your office, but I wanted to give you time to settle in."
I found myself begin to bounce on my feet, not wanting to interrupt but to darned pleased with myself to stay still. This was going better than I imagined.
I recently read a book on body language at the local library and could totally see both Mr. Cullen and my mom subconsciously leaning towards each other. Definite attraction there.
"A fixture, oh that's hard to believe, she seems so harmless."
I heard my mother snort and Mr. Cullen shot me a wink.
He was gonna make an awesome stepfather.
"Are you here picking out a costume, Mr. Cullen?" I decided it was time to progress things before my mother found an excuse to leave. She was hopeless sometimes and her first inclination when she was flustered is to cut and run. Thank goodness I get my boldness from my father or the two of us would never leave the house.
Now it was Mr. Cullen turn to become red and I was delighted to see he shared my mother's ability to go from normal to mortification in two point two seconds. Although his blushing was less apparent (which is good, being a guy and all).
They were so perfect for each other it was downright frightening.
"No, my brother's wife, Rosalie, took it upon herself to get me a costume."
Inwardly I groaned, outwardly my mother groaned.
Mr. Cullen laughed.
My mom, quickly covered her face with her hands noticing her mistake. I don't think she meant to do that, voice her opinion, out loud at least.
It was very un-mom like.
"I am so sorry" she whispered.
"Don't be." I watched Mr. Cullen gently grab each of my mother wrist and lower her them from her face.
I wanted to dance, shout and jump up and down in delight.
My mother looked like she wanted to crawl into a hole and die. But she wasn't pulling her hands away from Edward either, so that was an improvement.
Edward. . . I would so call him that once the two got married. He in a dashing black suit, her in simple cotton sun dress, very understated, I totally could see it.
"Isabella, Bella, don't be embarrassed. I love the fact that you don't idolize Rosalie like most of the mother's at the school. I sometimes feel like Rosalie is the Borg Queen of the school and her little drones are just implementing her every command. "
My mother laughed at the corny reference and I couldn't help but flinch. Star Trek references, really? Oh well, no one was perfect.
I noticed both Principal Cullen and my mother were still attached, there eyes intently watching each other and neither one acknowledging my presence.
I also noticed the word love.
I wanted to swoon at the word love.
"Rosalie was convinced if I picked out a bad Halloween costume it was be a direct reflection upon her. Sometimes I find its just easier to let her have her way."
My mother nodded. I'm sure she was biting back additional comments on Rosalie Cullen and I applauded her restraint. Once she and Edward began dating, (and they will), I didn't want things to be more awkward then they already would be.
I believe my dad referred to Rosalie Cullen and my mom as oil and water.
"Are you getting your costume here, Bella?" Mr. Cullen asked my mother while his thumbs began rubbing tiny circles around my mother's wrist. I don't think he even realized what he was doing and my mother, whose eyes seemed entranced by his relaxing movements, looked like she rather die than have him stop.
"No," she smiled sheepishly, before pulling her wide brown eyes away from his hands and locking instead on mine, "my daughter wouldn't let me be caught dead in a costume from Target."
Mr. Cullen again laughed, his perfect white teeth sparkling in the overhead florescent lights, and I mentally patted myself on the back. Oh was I good or what.
My mother was upstairs dressing for the Halloween party and I was downstairs pacing up a storm. I had been racking my brain all week on ways to possibly stop my mom from coming to the Halloween party. . . and everything I tried backfired.
Alice was gonna kill me.
"Hey little man, you seem stressed, like more stressed than usual."
I stopped my stride and turned the direction of the doorway where my dad stood. He was huge, muscular, dark haired, and it really truly sucked I inherited none of it. I was tall, lanky, pale and blond like my mother. All traits that a young boy did not want when trying to survive recess, bullies and gym class.
"Hey dad, no. . . I'm okay."
My dad, Emmett Cullen, walked into my room and sat on my desk chair. He was really to big for the less than full sized chair, and resembled a giant rather than a normal man. I suppose the fact he was dressed like the Jolly Green Giant, complete with green paint, didn't help the matter.
"Jasper, I'm your dad, I can tell when something is wrong."
He raised an eyebrow, a green eyebrow, and I giggled. Really, how my mother talked him into that ridiculous outfit was beyond me. Seemed like whenever she wanted something he didn't, she would whisper in his ear, and he would cave.
I often wondered what she whispered.
When I told Alice about the strange phenomenon, she said I didn't want to know.
I have no idea what she meant by that.
"It's. . .do you guys have to go tonight?"
I shuffled between my feet, not sure where I was going with this. I highly doubted there was anything I could say to my dad that would persuade him and my mother from going to tonights festivities.
My dad laughed, "Jasper, are you kidding?" I saw his large green hands rub together.
I cautiously raised my head, compete with cowboy hat, to meet him in the eye, "No."
I watched my dad's eyes widen, first in amazement, then in confusion. "Little man, your mom's like president of the PTA."
"Co-President." I whispered.
My dad's eyes widened wider (which I didn't think possible), before leaning to the side and gently nudging my bedroom door closed, his green hand leaving a noticeable smudge on the otherwise perfectly white door.
"Don't let your mother hear you say that."
I nodded mutely. I wasn't born yesterday.
"Why don't you want us there, Jasper? Your mother and I have always attended these events before?"
I felt his gaze burning into me. Although I preferred my dad over my mom for interrogations, the fact remained he still greatly intimidated me at times. This was a perfect example of one of those times.
I felt any line I had planned slowly dissipate, "Ummm. . .Alice. . . "
I stuttered, not sure how to put, Alice wants to set up your brother with her mom without my mom's intrusion.
My dad however nodded, as if reading my mind, his eyes taking on a light, almost amused look, "Oh I see."
I'm glad he did, I didn't.
"This is about a girl."
I nodded. I mean it was. Sort of.
"Afraid of mom cramping your style."
Yeah. . .did my dad get this?
"Jasper, you should of told me you and Alice were like a thing. I mean its a little early, but you got your old man's genes, I get it." my father said smugly, almost proudly.
Me and Alice a thing. . . me and Alice. . . oh no no no no.
I opened my mouth to protest but my dad had already jumped up from the chair.
"We Cullen men stick together, I'll figure out someway to keep your mother at home." He winked and I felt my dinner rise to my throat, "I mean it's middle school next year anyway right. It's about time your mother and I let you grow up and hell, maybe start working on that brother or sister for you."
He laughed again.
I attempted to swallow the vomit rising to my mouth. Alice owed me. . . big.
"Have fun, son." He patted me lovingly on the shoulder, seemingly oblivious to the green hand print he was leaving in his wake, "and don't ever be afraid to come to me with your problems. That is what a dad is for you know."
I grinned, turning around again in the mirror to inspect my reflection. I totally rocked the pink cowgirl costume, complete with glittery silver cowboy boots and a pink flare skirt with matching purple leather vest. It was totally worth spending all last weekend begging, pleading, whining and more begging my father for it, despite the hefty price tag.
Thank goodness Nessie had some fashion sense and helped me argue my case to my dad. If it was up to my dad and mom, I would totally be matching my mother in the packaged banana costume, or wearing my dad's old basketball jersey. I was totally in luck that fashion sense was not genetic.
And, I was sure, Jasper was gonna totally flip (in a good way), when he saw my costume. I had told him I was going as Snow White (as if) so he would spill the beans on his costume. I know he will likely panic, at first, when he sees we match, (totally cute by the way), but once he sees how perfect we looked together he will most definitely get over it. It was fate and once the boy stopped fighting it, life would get so much easier.
"Alice, I don't know about this"
I sighed and turned my attention to the closed bathroom door, where my mother had locked herself in hours before.
She was totally in love with Mr. Cullen. Bella Swan had a crush on Mr. Cullen. It was in the stars.
"Mom, I can't comment until I see myself."
I smiled, remembering us leaving Target just one short week ago, after our little run in with Mr. Cullen. I thought, I was sure, my mother was gonna throttle me for the little incident. But instead on her typical mom response, once we were safely alone in our Jeep Cherokee, she surprised me (not an easy task) by turning to me and, totally calm, saying, "Okay Ms. Smarty-Pants, where do I get a costume."
She was grinning.
I was grinning.
And three hours later we were home with the best witch costume the state of Washington had left. Not exactly my first, or fiftieth choice, but my mom had (with only mild reluctance) agreed to wear a dress in public. This was major. And the dress wasn't to grandmotherly either, but still classy enough, she claimed, not to cause rumors.
I say let the old hags talk, but mom says views like that is why I, or Jasper, are always in the principals office.
The doorknob turned.
I held my breath.
The doorbell rang.
The doorknob stopped.
"Alice," my mother's panicky voice came through the door, a pitch higher than normal, "what did you do? Who is that? If that is your principal, I am grounding you for life."
I snickered, she knew me only to well. I wish I had thought of inviting Mr. Cullen over, or booby-trapping her car not to start, or something.
"Not me." I said sweetly, turning toward the hall, "you finish, I'll get the door. But seriously mom, you have like five minutes and than we have to go."
Skipping, humming to myself, I opened the front door.
My favorite pair of eyes were waiting on the other side.
"Jazz, what are you doing here?"
I thought she was going as Snow White or some other dumb girl shit like that. Not. . .a cowgirl, all western like and matching me.
"Al..." a lump was caught in my throat and for the life of me I couldn't figure out why except Alice was there and all...well hell cute and crap.
Man this sucks. . . and yet, not suck. I mean she looked nice...really nice. . . for a girl...FOR A GIRL!!!
"Jazz, what are you doing here?"
For a moment I wasn't sure if I remembered how to use my mouth. Darn.
"Jazz. . . Earth to Jasper."
Finally, after realizing what a dork I looked like, I sheepishly shrugged, while pulling out the surprise I had for her in my pocket. Keys.
I shook them in Alice's direction.
See what I mean about the obvious, totally evades her sometimes.
"Uncle Edward has seemed to have misplaced his keys. My parents have chosen not to attend tonights events, so. . . I promised Uncle Edward I would see if one of my friends could drive us."
I winked and watched Alice face go from surprised to ecstatic. She was glowing.
"Jazzy, you are amazing." She whispered and my heartbeat quickened at the praise. If she looked cute before, now, with her cheeks all flushed and her body bouncing on the heels of her boots, she looked beautiful. She didn't look like my fishing buddy. . .she looked. . .better.
Alice leaned forward, almost in slow motion. I watched in a mixture of dread and. . .excitement, as Alice's face leaned in towards me and her pink color lips line up to mine.
I knew what she was doing and I think I wanted her to.
Oh hell hell hell hell.
Her lips quickly brushed against mine and everything else around us faded. For a moment it was just her and I and this warm feeling that was running through my whole body and it was wonderful.
And then, almost as quick as it began it was over, Alice broke away from the kiss and the really wonderful warm feeling left with her. I think I missed the contact. . .the kiss.
I warily eyed Alice, who had her eyes closed and the goofiest grin plastered on her face.
"You totally love me."
Her declaration made my knees waver and cautiously I grabbed the door frame. If I didn't get things under control, soon, this was only gonna get worse. She was gonna make me call her Alice Cullen again and right now, feeling the way I do, I'm not sure I could deny her anything.
Oh hell in a hand basket.
"Alice, Uncle Edward will call my mom soon if I don't produce a ride."
Slowly Alice opened her eyes and I watched her long dark eyelashes bat dramatically. She was doing that on purpose and yet, I found my eyes glued on hers as if it was the most entertaining thing anyone had ever done before.
I swallowed, not sure exactly sure if I was begging her to get her mom, begging her to stop, or begging her to maybe kiss me again.
I was not comfortable with this. . .any of this. . . at all. Why couldn't she had been Snow White? Cowboys (and girls now – ugh) were my thing.
"Sure Jazz. . .why don't you go out to the car and we will meet you there."
My mom looked good, real good. . .except for the scowl that was plastered on her face as she drove to Mr. Cullen's condo.
"I didn't have anything to do with this I swear."
This was the third time I had pronounced my innocence and for once, it was the truth. I didn't.
She, however, didn't believe me. I guess the story of the boy and the wolf and some merit after all.
My mom sighed (she does that a lot) and switched her attention to Jasper, who was focused on his boots as if they were alive and threatening to devour his feet. He was a crappy liar and bless his heart he knew it.
Jasper...ahhh...things were finally shaping up on that front. I was so going to analyze our situation later, once I had my mother and Mr. Cullen thing situated. My dad says I need to start focusing on one task at a time and who knows, maybe he is right.
Jasper's head finally lifted from his boots and he smiled all sweet and innocent as he gave her direction.
Could the boy finally be learning how to lie.
I couldn't help but smile and feel a little proud.
He responded with a wink. . .a wink. Jasper Cullen just winked at me.
Edward had winked to, maybe it was a family thing.
My mom's eyes narrowed suspiciously, but shrugged. You just couldn't deny the power of Jasper's smile, whether you were an adult or a child.
She turned her attention ahead.
"Which one is his?"
I wasn't sure, so I turned to Jasper.
Jasper was suddenly squirming in his seat, looking at the ceiling, avoiding all glances. I knew this routine, he was in on the biggest joke in the world, and wasn't sharing.
"Jazz, which one?"
I raised an eyebrow quizzically, wanting so badly to know what could be so funny and why he was hiding it from me.
He looked at me, lips pursed, his whole body quaking. I knew my friend, he was about ready to explode.
He finally began to laugh, a belly laugh so hard I feared he might pee his pants, or something equally as gross, "The one with. . .the one with the life size banana waiting for a ride.
My jaw dropped, stunned.
I eyed my mother, whose expression was identical to my own. She had stopped the car and just stared gaping at Mr. Cullen, who was lounged against his gray Volvo, trying to pull off cool (and failing miserably – despite the Ray Bans or whatever his outdated sunglasses were).
"Yeah, Edward says my mother has a cruel sense of humor."
I turned to my mother, she turned her head at the same time towards me.
"Alice, whatever you are thinking. . .keep it to yourself."
I watched my mother quickly eye herself in the mirror, totally checking herself out.
"I was just going to say I wish I had let you dress as a banana."
I wasn't sure what the girls in the car were talking about, but it was quick, and then we were again moving and Uncle Edward finally noted our arrival. Pushing himself off the car he strode over, and despite being in the most stupid costume on the planet, he somehow came off looking cool.
If I had even an ounce of his coolness at his ancient age, I would be thrilled.
"Ladies and Jasper, it nice of you all to come to my aid."
He leaned through the front window, his glasses sliding down his nose, his eyes looking right at Alice's mom, (or more precisely Mrs. Black. . .Swan's . . .whatever her name is today. . . dress. My mother would call him a pervert is she was here. My father would call him, "The Man". Adults – strange.)
I think Alice or maybe her mom giggled.
That was Alice and I hoped she was kidding. He looked like a tool.
"Yeah well, we can't all be cowboys or pull off witch costumes as well as the fine passengers in this car." He smiled and winked at me.
Man. . .did we all wink? Was it genetic?
Surprisingly Alice didn't correct him by requesting the more gender neutral, "cow people".
I smiled back quick like, before Alice turned her attention back to me and figured out I was hiding something. I wondered if he was right, if Alice, or her mother, really wouldn't figure out it was Uncle Edward's idea to swipe the keys and get a ride with them.
I watched Alice's mother lean over to the passenger side and open to open the door.
"Care to get inside before the neighbors start to talk."
My uncle laughed before sliding in. "Who cares what the neighbors say. However, we do have a party to get to, and I believe I may have scored the hottest date there. Don't want to be late rubbing the noses of the single dads I beat out."
Besides me Alice squealed and grabbed my hand. I don't think I minded at the least.
Operation Halloween Hookup seems to be a success.