The Kid Contest
Title of Entry: You'll Do
Word Count: 4,667 approx
Genre: AU/AH- Comedy/Romance
*** Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or any of it's characters. If I did, there wouldn't have been any fade to black business.
"You're sure about this Edward?" my best friend asked me for the millionth time. "You don't get second chances at things like this."
I looked at Jasper, smiling and nodding my head. "This will be perfect. She won't see it coming, and it will definitely be something we will always remember," I told him with all of the confidence I had.
He shuffled his feet as he walked around the side of my couch. "I dunno man…" He sighed and rubbed the back of his neck nervously. "If Alice finds out about this…"
"Alice already knows!" We both turned at the sound of her excited voice as she shut the front door behind her. She practically ran at me, passing Jasper and his half raised arms. She came to an abrupt stop in front of me and held her hand out expectantly. Jasper laughed and stood beside her, draping his long arm around her small shoulders. "Show me," she demanded.
Still smiling, I pulled the small box out of my pocket and placed it in her palm. Alice's opinion meant a lot. She knew Bella better than anyone else on the planet, and I knew that if Alice approved, then Bella would be ecstatic.
She gave a quick squeal of delight before taking a deep breath to calm herself. Very carefully, she lifted the lid of the box. I watched with anxious excitement as her eyes widened and a huge smile covered her tiny face. I waited for a few seconds for her to say something, but when she just kept staring at it, I started to get worried.
"Say something, Alice. Will she like it? I mean I know it's small, but once I graduate in May and start working fulltime at the agency, I can always get her a bigger one if she wants," I said quickly while looking between her and Jasper. I had been saving for two years to be able to buy her a ring, but if it wasn't good enough, I could definitely promise her something better.
"No Edward, it's…" Jasper started, but Alice finished his sentence.
"Perfect," she finally said in a small, quiet voice. She closed the box and looked up at me, her eyes bright and excited, though a few tears slowly slid down her cheeks. "This ring is perfect for Bella."
I released a breath I wasn't aware I had been holding, and my heart started beating erratically.
"So everything is set!" Alice cleared her throat after quickly wiping her eyes. "Bella is at her apartment getting dressed and she has no idea what's going on."
"She didn't ask why I wanted her to go to dinner with me?" Jasper asked with a note of skepticism in his voice.
"Nope, she is totally fine. She just thinks you need her advice on how to ask me to marry you."
I held back a laugh as Jasper's head shot up and he started sputtering and babbling words that didn't even make sense. Alice and Jasper had been together for years, longer than Bella and I, actually. We all knew it was just a matter of time before they got engaged, but little did Alice know that Jasper was actually planning to ask her next month at Christmas.
"Oh Jasper, calm down," Alice said with a sigh, giving him an exasperated look. "I'm not expecting anything."
She wrapped her arms around his sides, and although he hugged her back and kissed the top of her head, his eyes found mine. They were wide with worry, so I shook my head slightly. There was no way Alice could know what he was planning. His normally calm and cool expression returned before Alice let him go.
"So you just take her dinner, let her eat and enjoy your company, and then…"
"And then bombard her with my undying love and affection that I have supposedly been hiding from her since we were eight. I got it," Jasper rolled his eyes while Alice and I laughed. "Edward, you only get one opportunity at a proposal, and you're sure this is how you want to do it?"
I nodded my head. "There is no other way I would do this."
Jasper finally agreed, and after he and Alice left, I started double checking that I had everything ready. Technically, all I needed was myself and a ring, but I wanted this to be perfect for Bella. I looked back down at the ring I had picked out for her; it was beautiful, but nothing compared to the ring I had given her back in fourth grade. I shook my head and smiled. I couldn't believe it had really been that long ago.
I had been in love with Bella Swan since the first day I saw her. The moment she walked into our classroom, all shy and utterly adorable, I knew I loved her. Granted, when you are eight it was more of a puppy love than undying devotion, but nevertheless, it was there.
I watched with envy as her and Alice became fast friends, and got seriously annoyed when Alice always found a way to get Bella to herself in group projects. I had rehearsed for hours every night for a month to audition for the school play, knowing full well that my character would play the opposite to Bella's. When Mike Newton got the part over me, I'd purposefully hit him in the head with a tetherball during recess.
I'd suffered through that entire fall and winter, watching her from a distance, wishing that she would just look at me. When it came time for Christmas and my mother took me to go buy presents for my classmates, I picked something extra special out for Bella. When she opened the snow globe I'd picked out just for her, she smiled shyly at me and whispered a thank you. I thought I would finally get my chance. That was until Jasper Whitlock moved to town. He showed up with his Texan accent, and became the immediate object of Bella's affection.
*** Flashback to third grade***
"He is so cute!" Bella gushed from the seat in front of mine, and I looked up to see who she was talking about. I didn't really need to though; she had been in love with Jasper Whitlock since he showed up and pointed out Texas on the big map at the front of the classroom, explaining that it was where he'd just moved from.
Alice also looked up to see who Bella was talking about, but only shook her head and went back to double checking her homework. "He is so weird Bella."
Bella sighed and followed Jasper with her eyes until he took the seat next to mine, directly behind Alice. "Hi Edward," he said as he took his seat. I muttered a hello back and tried not look like I had been staring at Bella. "Hey listen, my dad got me the new Nintendo game and I was going to see if you wanted to come by and play tonight."
"Really? The new one?" I asked with excitement. All I had was the old one my parent's had gotten my brother, Emmett, a few years ago. I was actually pretty good, and had the highest score for Duck Hunt in our house.
"Yeah!" Jasper nodded with enthusiasm. "Do you think your mom will let you? You could stay for dinner. My mom is making meatloaf!"
"Meatloaf?" Alice asked and turned around in her seat. "Who in the world likes meatloaf? It's gross!"
Jasper's face turned red as he glared at Alice. "I like my mom's meatloaf, Alice! Besides, this is an A and B conversation, so why don't you C your way out of it?"
Bella made a quiet gasping sound and looked between the two of them. Alice's mouth fell open, while Jasper smiled proudly. No one ever talked to Alice like that; she was mean. And if you made her mad, she normally made you regret it.
I swallowed thickly, hoping Alice wouldn't start hating me just because Jasper and I hung out every now and then. I had been on Alice's bad side once, and to get back at me, she took my brand new package of Crayons and set them on the furnace. They all melted, and because my name had been written on the box, I got in trouble for purposely ruining my supplies.
With a huff, Alice turned back around in her seat and went back to what she was doing. Bella gave one last nervous look at Jasper before doing the same.
Jasper moved his desk a little closer to mine and smiled. "So what do you say? Do you want me to go home with you after school to ask your mom? If I ask and a friend is there, my parents never say no!"
Mrs. Jones called the class to order, so I quickly nodded in agreement and pulled my spelling book out from under my desk. Before we started, I saw Alice turn her head and glare at me before focusing on her book. I gulped.
After spelling, Mrs. Jones gave us a paper snowflake that we each had to color and decorate; when we worked on projects like these, it normally meant you could talk freely as long as you got your work done. So while I colored my snowflake, I secretly listened to Alice and Bella, ignoring Jasper's humming. "Recess will be in the gym today, so we could do it!" Bella whispered excitedly while Alice only shrugged her shoulders. "Jessica and Lauren said they would play, too, but I don't want to do it unless you'll play."
Alice kept coloring and ignored Bella, until she started whining and begging Alice to go along with whatever it was they were planning. "Ugh, I guess Bella, but you have to ask him yourself. I am not talking to him until he says he's sorry!" she whispered harshly.
I noticed Bella looking over her shoulder toward Jasper, who got up to go turn his snowflake in. After a quick look to make sure Jasper wasn't within hearing range, she looked back at Alice. "I took one of my mom's tapes so we could have music. I always see her and my dad dancing and stuff to it. It's really pretty!"
"Have you been planning this all week?" Alice asked in a whisper as Jasper walked back to his desk. Bella nodded excitedly as she finished sprinkling glitter on her snowflake.
As recess got closer and closer, I got more nervous. I didn't know what the girls were planning to ask Jasper, but I was sure that if it caused the silly smile Bella had on her face, then I probably wouldn't like it.
I walked with my hands shoved in my pockets as we made our way to the gym. Jasper was twirling a basketball in his hands and talking about all the different levels of the game he had already beaten. Once we were all inside, he turned and started walking backwards, asking if I wanted to play basketball with him. I didn't see Bella or Alice, so I agreed and hoped that maybe Bella had changed her mind.
Jasper passed me the ball and I bounced it a few times while following him to the hoop at the back of the gym. I tossed it back to him, agreeing to play H.O.R.S.E. and waiting for his turn to go. He took the ball, and was getting ready to shoot when Bella interrupted him. "Um… Jasper?" she asked in a small voice while holding her hands in front of her and twisting her fingers together.
"Huh?" he asked without even looking at her.
"Well… you know last week when Mike and Tyler played with us?" she asked while moving closer to him. He nodded so she continued. "Well, I was going to see if you wanted to play with me."
He dropped the ball and looked back at her. She was smiling hopefully and blinking an awful lot. That was weird. "Didn't ya'll play getting married last week?" he asked her with a sour look on his face.
She nodded while her face turned bright red. Jasper snorted a laugh and picked the ball back up. "No thanks. I don't want to marry you." He laughed and tossed the ball toward the hoop. It went in, and he pumped his fists in victory. "Did you see that shot Edward?"
I didn't see it, because I was too busy watching Bella's eyes fill with tears before she slowly walked away and went to rejoin her friends. I looked at Jasper for a second before making the decision to follow her.
Maybe I wasn't who she wanted to play with, but I couldn't let her go back over there to explain that Jasper had told her no. It would embarrass her, and even thinking about that made me sad. "Bella!" I called after her. She stopped and looked back at me as I jogged to reach her. Her face was beet red now, and there were tears streaking down her cheeks.
"What Edward?" she asked in a sniffling voice. It made me want to hug her. That's what my mom did when I cried, but I doubted she would like that, so I shoved my hands back in my pockets.
"Um, I know you wanted Jasper to play with you, but…" I shrugged my shoulders nervously and looked down at the floor. "If you want, I could… I mean, I wouldn't mind marrying you."
Bella crossed her arms and looked back over her shoulder at her friends. I looked too, and I saw Jessica and Lauren watching us curiously. Alice was glaring at Jasper while making a fake bouquet of flowers out of a paper towel holder and Kleenexes.
Bella wiped her face roughly with her sleeves and shook her head dramatically. "I just don't see why he had to be so mean about it."
I shrugged my shoulders, not really knowing what to say.
She looked down at the floor for a few seconds, then back at me. "Okay Edward, I guess you'll do. I'll let you marry me, but you have to let me do all the talking. I don't want them to know Jasper said no."
I smiled, trying not to act too excited when I nodded and followed her back over to her friends. Alice's eyebrows shot up as she saw me, and both Lauren and Jessica stopped giggling when we reached them.
"I decided to ask Edward because he doesn't talk all weird," she explained while I nodded in agreement.
Alice started telling people where to stand, and I followed her directions carefully. I didn't want to mess up and have her mad at me, or worse, make Bella upset.
"Edward, you're going to play with them?" I heard Jasper ask from behind me, so I turned quickly to look at him.
He opened his mouth to say something else but I stopped him. "Alice, give us just a second. I need to ask Jasper a question," I explained quickly and grabbed his arm to pull him aside.
"Edward, you're playing with girls!" he whispered loudly, so I shushed him.
"Jasper, Bella is my friend and I want to do this for her. So don't say anything about her asking you, okay?" I asked quietly while Bella and Alice watched us.
He rolled his eyes and sighed. "I guess. I just don't see why you want to get married. You're only eight."
I thanked him for agreeing to not say anything then started to walk away before I remembered something. "Jasper, would you want to be my best man? I mean we can finish H.O.R.S.E. after the wedding if you want," I said, and after another sigh, he agreed.
So we stood there, and I smiled the biggest smile ever as Bella walked down the fake aisle with her paper flowers. Alice walked behind her while Bella's parent's tape softly played in the background. I asked if she wanted to hold my hand during the vows part, and after a second to think about it, she held her hand out toward me. I heard Jasper snort when I took it, but ignored him.
"So Edward, do you promise to love Bella forever? And do whatever she asks you to?" Lauren asked while Jessica giggled. "Do you promise you will take out the trash every night and always pick up the dog poop? And always kill the spiders and bugs that come in your house?"
"I do!" I said proudly.
"And Bella, do you promise you will love Edward forever? And, like, cook him his favorite foods and make sure he always has clean clothes and shoes that fit?" she asked her.
"I do," Bella said quietly as she smiled.
"Then by the power ingested in me, I say you are husband and wife!" Lauren said happily while Alice, Jasper, and Jessica clapped.
I knew I didn't have to, but I quickly leaned over and kissed Bella's cheek. Her eyes got big and she turned to look at me. I only smiled and shrugged my shoulders. "That's part of my job now," I told her as she blushed again and gave me a small smile.
"You didn't even give her a ring," Jasper said while bouncing the ball and ignoring Alice's stare. "It can't be official without a ring."
"I don't need a ring," Bella told him in a mean voice.
I thought quickly about what I could use for ring while Alice and Jasper argued about whether a ring made it official. I could take one of my shoelaces off and tie it around her finger, I thought, and then wondered if my mom would get mad about it. Then I figured I'd just tell her it tore.
I was about to start untying my shoe when I remembered something. "Oh wait!" I said excitedly, and Jasper and Alice both looked at me. I dug into my pocket and pulled out a twisty tie that my mom had put around my bag of carrots. I straightened it out, making sure the paper that covered the wire wasn't twisted.
"Give me your hand, Bella," I told her, and once her hand was held out, I fastened the tie around her ring finger. I left the small knot on top where a diamond would have been if it was a real ring. "Do you like it?"
She looked down at her hand and nodded excitedly before throwing her arms around my neck and hugging me. Jasper laughed until Alice elbowed him in the stomach. Jessica and Lauren starting singing that annoying "here comes Bella with a baby carriage" song, but I ignored all of them. None of it mattered, because even though Bella hadn't originally picked me, I was the one that made her happy. And that was all that mattered.
***Bella's POV, current day***
I slipped slightly as my shoe made contact with the slick tile of the restaurant's lobby, but I quickly caught myself before falling. I sighed and pulled my damp scarf from around my neck and looked around for Jasper while shaking the snow off my coat.
"May I help you?" the hostess asked, so I told her who I was looking for. I followed behind her as she led me to a private room of the restaurant. I looked around curiously until I saw Jasper sitting at the only table in the room, his leg bouncing nervously.
"Hey," he said when he saw me and pushed himself up. "Is it still snowing?"
I laughed and nodded. "Big fat snow flakes."
Jasper smiled and pulled me into a hug, and when I hugged him back and started to pull away, he kept me pulled to him for a few more seconds before letting me go. Weird, but okay, I thought to myself.
"So why we are all the way back here? Are you afraid Alice might just show up?" I asked him while I sat down in the chair across from him and unfolded my napkin.
Alice had been asking for hints all day about what my dinner with Jasper was about, finally deciding that it was because he was going to ask her to marry him. It made me excited that two of my best friends were finally going to get married, but true to my promise to Jasper, I'd only told her that I had no idea why we were going to dinner.
Jasper shifted in his seat and laughed nervously before shaking his head. "No, I just didn't want to be interrupted," he said quietly. "I need to talk to you about something pretty serious, and I would prefer it if there weren't a bunch of people around."
I was about to ask him what he meant, but the waiter arrived wanting to take our drink orders. As the night passed, I couldn't help but notice how awkward Jasper was being. He was acting… well, weird. He was so soft-spoken, that his demeanor suggested that he was shy and nervous about our conversation. Anytime I mentioned Alice, he would change the subject, and more than once, I'd caught him staring at me in a weird way. Something was definitely going on.
"Okay Jasper, just spit it out," I told him with a sigh after the waiter dropped the check off at our table. "You're acting weird, and I want to know what's going on."
He smiled, giving me a look that bordered on the creepy side, and then he leaned back in his chair. "I need to tell you something," he started slowly, so I nodded my head for him to continue. "I've kind of been lying to myself for a while and I really think the only person that can help me is you."
That took me off guard. I thought he had invited me to dinner to help him plan his proposal for Alice, which I'd be happy to help with, but with his words, I wasn't sure about that anymore. "And what have you been lying about?" I asked carefully.
He slowly reached across the table and took my hands in his. I looked down at them before glancing back up at him.
"You know Bella. I know you know," he said quietly.
"What…" I began, shaking my head as I tried to figure out what the hell he was talking about. When his fingers tightened around mine, it clicked. My eyes widened and I gasped. "JASPER WHITLOCK!"
I pulled my hands out of his and pushed myself away from the table, letting my chair topple backwards.
Jasper stood up and quickly walked around the table toward me. "Bella, we have to stop lying to ourselves. This… what we have between us…" he said, gesturing between us. "It's been there for a long time. I was just too stupid to see it." He grabbed my hands again and held them in his own.
"Jasper what are you talking about? You love Alice; you've been in love with her since seventh grade!" I tried to pull my hands away while backing up, but he just followed me.
"I do love Alice, but Bella, what we have between us is… It's more powerful, and I've been denying it since third grade."
Third Grade!? I thought to myself, shaking my head as the memory of that school year filled my mind. My stupid childhood crush on Jasper, which I always knew would come back and bite me in the ass one day, was finally rearing its ugly head.
"Jasper, you are a really nice guy and all, but I love Edward and I can't just… God, Jasper! Alice is my best friend and Edward is your best friend!" I sputtered angrily as he leaned toward me for what I guessed was a kiss.
I pushed myself away from him and spun around so that I could get away from him without the threat of being backed into a wall.
"Bella, you asked me first and I was stupid enough to say no, and now I see how wrong I was. I mean, you said it yourself: 'Edward would do,' but he wasn't your first choice," he said calmly while stalking toward me again.
I held my hands up and started backing toward the door. I had to get the hell out of there. "Jasper, you have to stop! I don't know if you are drunk… or… or on drugs, but Edward is my choice. I love him…" I said breathlessly, but stopped when I backed into something. I turned too quickly, but the something I'd backed into turned out to be someone; they held me steady to make sure I wouldn't fall. I sighed with relief when I saw it was Edward.
"Oh thank God!" I exclaimed. "Edward, Jasper's…" I began to explain, but stopped when I looked up at him and saw the huge smile on Edward's face. He was fidgeting with something in his hands, so I asked, "What's going on?"
I looked back at Jasper who had his hands deep in his pockets, while his face was lit up with a stupid, goofy smile.
"So am I really your first choice?" Edward asked quietly, still smiling and still twirling something between his fingers.
"Yes," I answered fiercely. I was about to demand to know what the hell was going on, but when the room was suddenly filled the sound of a familiar song, I stopped.
Was that Chicago? God, hadn't I stolen that tape and had it played at Edward's and mine fake wedding in third…
My breath caught in my chest and I looked back to see Alice quietly moving into the room from a side door. She stood next to Jasper with tears streaming down her face, and I looked back at Edward while all the pieces started fitting together.
"So if I gave you this, would you be willing wear it again?" he asked coyly while showing me the familiar green twisty tie ring that he had given me so many years ago; I'd kept it for all these years. I covered my mouth and nodded my head slowly while looking up at him.
"Well if I 'will do' this time, then I guess you deserve a little something better that a twisty tie I think." He dropped down on one knee.
I smiled, holding back the girly scream that was building in my chest. I watched him while tears filled my eyes as he pulled a small box out of his jacket pocket and slowly opened it.
Some girls would have expected romantic words, filled with promises of love and devotion, but when Edward looked up at me and said, "I wouldn't mind marrying you," it meant more to me than anything else he could have said. "What do you say Bella? Want to do it for real this time?"
He smiled up at me and I nodded my head. "You will do, and I will definitely let you marry me," I said quietly, watching as he slid the ring on my finger.
Without even waiting for him to get up, I launched myself at him. I held onto his shoulders as tight as I could, kissing him as deeply and ignoring Jasper's laugh and Alice's excited clapping.
After thoroughly embarrassing myself, I looked down at Edward, who was lying on his back on the floor and smiling up at me. "Sorry, I just got a little excited."
I laughed when he pulled me back down to him and kissed me softly. "It's okay, it's all part of my job now," he whispered against my lips.
"See, I've always said you needed a ring to make it official," Jasper said obnoxiously, and all four of us started laughing.
AN: Oh those kids!! Thanks to HammonGirl and Little Miss Whitlock for all of their help! Thanks to everyone for reading!!