Disclaimer: None of this is mine.

"It hurts. Just kill me now."

Bella was moaning piteously, lying on her stomach length-ways along her couch, trying to ignore the unwaveringly cheerful vampire perched on its arm.

"You know," Alice began with consideration, as though she'd just discovered something unexpected, "I think you're a whiner."

This completely useless comment really didn't go down too well with the other occupant of the battered furniture.

"You know," Bella spoke mockingly, "I think you're a bitch."

Alice grinned, and tweaked Bella's cold toes, leaning back slightly as they tried to kick out at her. "You're cute when you're grumpy."

Bella lifted her head, sending a dark glare over her shoulder, "I'm also homicidal."

"I can't seem to recall your violent streak working out too well that time with Jake, so you might want to tone it down a tad around the superhuman."

Bella grumbled.

"Seriously, though, do you want me to get you anything? I'm sure I could manage a mug of tea or something. Isn't that s'posed to help, when one is," here she lowered her voice, leaning in conspiratorially, "riding the crimson wave?"

"Please don't ever say that again."

Alice sighed dramatically, "Fine. I was just trying to connect. Not like I really know what you're going through."

Rolling over, Bella sat up, swinging her legs over the side and running a hand through her hair. "It's appreciated, Alice, really. But unless you can arrange it for me to have my uterus removed, it's kind of moot."

Alice eyed her. "How 'bout a hug? I know I'm not Edward, 'cause he can't be around you without getting all 'Grr' at the moment, but I like to think I'm a fairly good replacement."

"Prettier, too." Bella smiled slightly, patting the spot next to her in invitation.

The vampire was already pressed against her side, arms wrapped tightly, but not too tightly, around her middle. She mumbled into Bella's shirt, "Totally telling him you said that."

"Go ahead."


And hour later, they had shifted from the couch to the floor, Bella leaning against the piece of furniture, Alice situated between her legs. Some generic fantasy program was running on the television.

"How come, in all the stories, vampires exist with witches and the like? I think you guys got gypped, with only vampires and werewolves."

"Yeah, well," Alice shrugged, resting her head in the crook of Bella's neck, "claims of magic and sorcery were just people's way of being sore losers. Nowadays we've got law suits for that."

Bella laughed, and they lapsed into silence. For a few minutes, at least.

"Alice," Bella whispered.


"I would really like some of that tea, now."

Alice turned around slowly, as if in wonder, and gazed fake incredulously at Bella.

"Did I just hear someone ask for tea?"


"Does this mean that someone is feeling better?" Alice's smile widened, and she slightly dug her fingers into Bella's sides, making her laugh and squirm away.


"Ha!," Alice leaped to her feet, triumphantly, "I knew my hugging abilities would make you feel better. Your bad moods stand no chance against my skills of drug-less comfort."

"Yes, yes, well done. Though you're acting as though you brought me back from the brink of depression."

Alice laughed from where she'd disappeared to, presumably the kitchen, while Bella wondered if she would ever get used to the Houdini impersonations.

"You have no idea how effective my skills can be."

Bella raised an eyebrow, even though Alice couldn't see it, "No?"

The vampire appeared in the doorway, looking smug, "Nup. Didn't even need to bring out the big guns."

Taking the proffered cup gingerly, blowing gently on it, Bella questioned curiously, "And they would be...?"

Grinning, Alice sat back down, this time next to Bella, "Considering you're all cured, you don't really need to know, do you?"

"What if I wasn't," here Bella made quotation marks, " 'cured'? What would you do then?"

"Well, if you weren't cured, I'd probably up it a notch with some good old fashioned hair-braiding, complete with a scalp massage."

"And then?"

Alice turned to look at Bella, her eyes mischievous, "Then I'd just have to kiss you, wouldn't I?"

AN: The 'Grr' part was inspired by line in an episode of Angel. If you were wondering. Which you might not've been but whatever. Now you know.