I can't even remember when I started writing this. I was goofing around in my gdocs last night and found it, mostly completed, so I decided to finish it.
This happened because agu eat world said she wanted Daddyward and I said I'd write it. (We're kind of ridiculous that way sometimes.) I'm so glad you enjoyed it, bb. Lub ywu!
Thanks to Little Miss Whitlock for looking this over.
I bit the inside of my cheek to keep from crying out as my wife squeezed my hand tighter.
"You're doing so well baby," I said through gritted teeth. "So good. I'm so proud of you."
"Fuck you. I don't know why I let you talk me in to this," she spat, just before screwing her face up in pain again.
I didn't remind her that she was the one who wanted a baby, that she'd worked on breaking me down for over a year before I agreed that maybe a baby wouldn't be such a terrible idea and that she'd been far more calm about the whole thing for the past nine months than I'd ever been.
I read all of the books, went to all of the classes, waited patiently with her while she told me the subtle differences between car seats. It still freaked me out.
"Bella, you're doing great. On the next contraction, I want you to push as hard as you can," the doctor said.
Bella squeezed her eyes tight and bit her lower lip and as her face turned red, I gently reminded her to breathe. A few seconds later, I heard the sweet sound of my baby's cry and the doctor's voice telling me to look so I could announce to Bella what we'd had.
"It's a girl, Bella. Baby, we have a baby girl!" I said. I blinked tears out of my eyes and kissed the top of Bella's head. "We have a girl, sweetheart."
I buried my face into her hair and whispered quiet words of gratitude and love while the nurses took care of cleaning the baby up.
A small woman with a big smile walked carefully over to us and I was grateful; I knew she had to do this multiple times a week, but she still treated our daughter as though she were the most precious thing in the world.
"Here you go, Mommy!" She gently placed the tiny bundle wrapped in a fuzzy pink blanket into Bella's arms. "She's beautiful. My name is Alice, I'm your nurse and I'll be here all night. What's this precious girl's name?"
Bella looked up at me with a serene smile and quietly told Alice what we'd chosen. "Her name is Elle. Elle Marie."
Alice popped in a few times to check on Bella and Elle and giggled every time she saw me holding Elle . . . which was pretty much any time Bella wasn't feeding her.
"She's already got you wrapped around her finger, doesn't she?" Alice whispered just after midnight when she came to check the baby's vitals.
Elle was sleeping on my chest with her little hand wrapped around my thumb. I smiled down at her and nodded. "She does."
A sharp cry sounded over the monitor and I jumped up before it woke Bella. She'd been up the entire night before with Elle and I knew she needed to sleep.
I stumbled through the dark, biting my lip when I kicked the jumperoo that Bella insisted on keeping in our bedroom.
"Shhhh, baby girl," I said softly, picking Elle up out of her crib.
She calmed a bit, but her lower lip still quivered and she hiccupped.
"Daddy's here, Elle. Let's get you some food."
I carried her down to the kitchen and quickly prepared a bottle. I shifted her in my arms and she sucked greedily at it as I walked her back up to her room. Settling into the rocker, I sang quietly as she finished her bottle, burped and dosed on my chest.
"You know something Elle? You can be whatever you want to be. You're already Daddy's princess, but you can do whatever you want to do. If you want to write books like Mama, you can. I'm going to teach you how to play the piano and Mommy and me can't wait to teach you how to read and write and learn your colors. You can touch the moon if you want to. We want to give you the world, Elle, and we will. I love you, baby girl," I said as I kissed her head and laid her gently back in the crib.
I made my way quietly back to our bedroom and pulled back the covers to crawl in. Bella shifted slightly and her eyes opened.
"Edward?" she asked sleepily. "What's wrong?"
"It's nothing, baby. Elle woke up. I took care of it and she's back to sleep now." I held out an arm and kissed Bella's temple as she curled into my side.
"You're wonderful, you know," she said with a sigh.
"Daddy daddy daddy!"
Elle came bounding into my office, wide smile on her face and braids flying behind her.
"Mommy says you're taking me to Daisies today," she said, hands on her hips and a stern look that rivaled her mother's.
"That's right, munchkin. We're leaving in 15 minutes," I said, pointing to the clock on my desk. "Can you show me where the little hand will be in 15 minutes?"
She huffed and rolled her eyes as she pointed to the number. "Three! I know how to tell time, Daddy."
I chuckled quietly as Elle ran to her little table and grabbed a coloring book to pass the time. I returned a few e-mails and phone calls and was ready to go two minutes before three. "Ready to go, munchkin?"
"Uh huh," she nodded. "I made you a picture!"
I looked at the paper she'd carefully torn out of one the coloring book and smiled. It was Cinderella and Prince Charming and the Prince was sliding a glass slipper on to Cinderella's foot.
"Thank you, Elle. It's very pretty," I said, hanging it up on the small cork board I'd installed just for her art work. "Why did you choose this picture?"
"Mommy says you make her feel like Cinderella every day," Elle said with a shrug.
Remind me to buy the best wife in the world flowers.
I strapped her into her booster seat and listened to her rattle on about school and her friends on the drive to her Daisy Scout meeting. When we arrived, she fidgeted in her seat until I unbuckled her and took off running the moment her little feet hit the pavement.
I had just locked the car door, ready to head to the coffee shop across from the activity center where Elle's meeting was, when I heard someone call my name. I cringed when I recognized the voice as belonging to Jessica Stanley-Newton. I'd known her practically all my life and even after several years of marriage to Mike, she still hit on me every chance she got.
"So good to see you, Edward." Her voice really could rival nails on a chalkboard.
"Hello Jessica," I said, still walking toward the caffeine that would keep me awake for the rest of the day.
"You aren't staying for the meeting?" she asked with a pout.
I shook my head and was about to explain to her that Bella and I wanted Elle to learn to be independent when Jessica's daughter started tugging on her arm.
"Mommy, that girl threw dirt on me!" she wailed, pointing first at Elle, then to a place on her frilly pink skirt.
"I don't see anything, Hyacinth," Jessica said. "Go back and play with your friends. Your meeting starts in a few minutes."
"But mommmeeeee. Make her daddy pay for my dress," she huffed.
"Go. Play." Jessica jabbed her finger in the direction of where the other girls were playing and rolled her eyes. "Kids are so dramatic, aren't they?"
I nodded curtly and walked away. Prissy bitch, just like her mother.
"You're ruining my life!"
"Sweetheart, stop being so dramatic. Just because I won't let you go to Hyacinth's boy girl party does not mean your life is ruined," I said while rubbing my temples. We'd been having this argument for the better part of a week and Elle was absolutely furious with me. Who knew not being able to go to a party was detrimental to one's social life at age thirteen?
"Whatever, Edward. I'm going and you can't stop me!" She cried as stomped up the stairs to her room. A few moments later I heard the door slam.
"Trouble in paradise, dear?" Bella asked, massaging my shoulders gently. She leaned down and pressed a kiss to the side of my neck before turning back to the cookie dough she was rolling out.
"This too shall pass, lovely. How's the shortbread coming along?"
"Fine. I just need to make the cuts and then I'll have a break until they're done baking."
I quietly watched as my wife cut the cookie dough into various shapes, put the pieces onto a baking sheet and slid it into the oven. For nearly twenty years, I had been proud to call this beautiful creature mine. We'd been through high school drama, college on opposite coasts, parents who thought we married entirely too young, bad times, good times, the birth of our daughter and the current tragedy of our life - the teenage years. Through everything, Bella had supported me - though she never backed down from an argument she was passionate about - and loved me. I woke each morning astonished that she was still with me.
Bella rushed around the kitchen, picking things up and starting dishes. When she walked past me with nothing in her hands, I grabbed her wrist and pulled her into my lap.
"You know you're amazing?" I breathed into her hair.
"Happy birthday, sweetheart," I said as I fastened the chain of her gift around her neck.
"Thank you, Daddy. This was Grandma's?" she asked, fingering the delicate necklace.
I nodded. "Hers, and her mother's, and her grandmother's. That necklace has been in our family for nearly a hundred years. Grandma gave it to me and asked that I pass it on to you today."
"It's so pretty," she whispered.
I smiled, bursting with pride. My mother's necklace was a tradition in our family and I'd been thrilled when Mom had asked me to pass it on to Elle.
"Hey Dad? I know you and Mom had this huge dinner thing planned. Do you mind . . . do you think it would be okay if Travis came with us tonight?"
"Have you talked with your mother?"
"She said it was up to you, since these dinners are kind of a Cullen tradition or whatever. I know it's supposed to be just us and Grandpa, but I was really hoping you'd let Trav come. Please?"
I sighed and nodded.
Dinner was quite the event and it pained me to see Elle look at a boy the way she was looking at this boy. I didn't dislike him; in fact, I liked him a lot.
"Is he there?" Elle chewed on her lower lip, so much like her mother, and tried to peek through the sanctuary doors.
"He's there, baby. Are you nervous?"
"Yeah. What if this is wrong? What if we don't make it? I want to be like you and Mom, you know? Happy forever."
"Marriage isn't easy, Elle. It's hard work. But Mom and I will always be here to help you."
"I love you," I told her just before the doors opened.
Walking down that aisle with her was the hardest thing I'd ever done. When I spoke on behalf of myself and Bella, giving Elle to the man she was marrying, my voice cracked. I missed a bit of the ceremony as I remembered the day we brought her home. Bella's head lay on my shoulder when Elle said her "I do," and I heard her sniffling quietly. I laced my fingers through hers and brought her left hand up to kiss her ring.
"She gets a chance at her forever now," I whispered.
"I hope they're as happy as we've been."
Hope you enjoyed the fluff. I feel like I need to see a dentist about the possible cavities now.
I also just agreed to continue one of my one shots for my Wonder Twin. What WT wants, WT gets. (It's much deserved; TMHiT would not be half the story it is without her.)