This story is a continuation of my Indies one-shot called The Corner of Your Heart. If you haven't read it, take a trip to my profile after you read the prologue - the link is there. It's not imperative that you read it to understand this, but it does provide a bit more back-story.
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight.
They faced off on the playground, the diminutive little boy and the girl whose hair shone like liquid gold underneath the sun.
She appraised him with cool blue eyes, her gaze finally stopping at the top of his head. She sniffed and said, "Your head looks like it's on fire."
His hand flew to his hair and he flattened his palms over it, trying hard to hide it from her.
"You're stupid!" he shouted, his voice infused with all the passion that his five-year-old heart could muster. He watched in fascination as the girl's nostrils flared and her eyes grew large. She looked a little bit like a monster he had read about in one of his new books last night.
"You're stupid!" she bellowed. "And you have cooties!"
"I do not!"
"Edward, Rosalie, please use your inside voices," Mrs. Cross called from the swings.
"But we're outside," Rosalie responded loudly, hands on hips.
Edward secretly agreed, but she'd just accused him of having cooties so he smiled widely as Mrs. Cross marched over and ushered the girl inside, ending her recess early. She glared back at him the whole way.
After school, Edward shuffled out the front doors with the other students to meet his mom. He didn't see the extended foot of an older boy until he had already tripped over it. His palms stung painfully as they hit the sidewalk, his backpack flying up and hitting him square on the back of the head. His eyes stung, too, and he blinked profusely. He hauled himself up, dusting off his dirty hands on his Spiderman t-shirt. A hot, fat tear rolled down his cheek and he angrily wiped it away.
The older boy was laughing at him, pointing his finger and clutching his stomach. Edward furrowed his brow fiercely, trying to stave off the ensuing tears but they just kept coming. He re-adjusted his backpack and started to walk away, his breath coming out in little gasps.
It was the sound that stopped him, a metallic clank followed by a pained howl. He looked back over his shoulder and saw Rosalie, Care Bears lunch box in hand, glaring at the older boy. He was clutching his head, staring down at her like she was crazy. Edward thought she might be.
"Pick on someone your own size, stupid!" Rosalie shouted. She turned to Edward. This time she didn't glare at him. She didn't look so much like a monster anymore. "Are you okay?"
"Yes," he whispered, watching the boy slink away, still rubbing his head.
"Well, you need to stick up for yourself, you know," she said matter-of-factly.
"Okay." He thought it was better to just agree with her. She seemed to know what she was talking about.
She squinted at him for a minute before nodding her head. "You want to be friends?"
"You said I had cooties."
She rolled her eyes. "All boys have cooties. I'll still be your friend."
He shrugged, placated enough. He probably needed a friend, seeing as how he didn't have any. "Okay."
"That means that I'll always be there for you when you need me," she told him. "Like if you're sad or someone's beating you up or something. My mom told me that real friends are forever." She looked at him closely. "You can be my real friend if you want."
"That sounds fine," he said slowly. He liked the idea of a real friend.
"Okay, well, see you later," she said, skipping away from him.
"Bye," he replied, starting to walk towards the line of cars parked by the curb. His mom's silver car glinted in the sunlight as it pulled up at the end of the line.
He turned around to face Rosalie. "Yeah?"
"You might not have cooties, you know," she conceded and then tilted her head thoughtfully. "But your head still looks like it's on fire."
She left Edward standing there, mouth slightly agape, until he heard his name being called.
He hopped into the car, his hands firmly woven through his hair, and collected a kiss from his mom. He thought of the bossy girl with the loud voice as they pulled out of the parking lot. He contemplated his first day of kindergarten, how he had started with no friends and ended up with one real friend, which seemed to him the best kind of all. One real friend was probably worth ten regular ones.
With that thought, a grin spread across his face and his hands drifted from his head.
A/N: A couple of housekeeping items. I'll try to be succinct:
First on the list - this would not be possible without hmonster4. I can't even call her my beta…she's more like a shining beacon of light on a dark and stormy night in the middle of an angry sea (are you horking yet?). You are amazing and yes, I'm a dork. Thank you for letting me borrow 12/28 :)
Secondly - LightStarDusting, LoreliD, AccioBourbon and Daisy3853 have all provided a ton of support –encouraging comments and kind words, *pat*s and Tommett porn. I couldn't ask for more (well, I could but…). Thank you all so, so much.
And finally, it's my intention to update this on a weekly basis, so barring any catastrophes I'll have a new chapter up every Monday.
Yep, I failed at the succinct. Sorry!