Title: Twilight Soldier
Author: Azure the Dragonlady
Disclaimer: Don't own Dark Angel or Twilight.
Summary: Dark Angel/ Twilight Crossover. X5 Bella/Edward. No Pulse. After escaping the harsh treatment at the hands of a secret government organisation known as Manticore, X5-472 has tried to settle into life as an Ordinary with varying degrees of success. Going by the name Bella, which was given to her by the CO of her unit, Zack, she comes across the Swan family and is soon adopted by them.
Years later, after an Eyes Only broadcast revealing the possibility of her location being compromised, she decides to go to a small town called Forks. There, she meets Edward Cullen. They both have their seeming impossible secrets, but that doesn't stop them from being drawn to each other. However, when Bella's past finally begins to catch up with her after ten years on the run, she finds that her life just got even more complicated.
Author's Note: NaNoWriMo 2009 Entry. It is set during season one of Dark Angel. This chapter is not beta'd. I will repost it once it is. This is my first venture into a romance story, so feedback is appreciated.
Chapter 3: Edward Cullen
The second day in the new town began as much the same as the first. When Bella woke up in the morning, she made a list of the groceries she will need to get on her way home from school. Charlie didn't have much in the pantry or cupboards. Several minutes after she had finished compiling the list, her adoptive father made his way down the stairs.
"Morning. I will be going shopping after school, I think, so I will be late getting back."
"Sorry, I haven't got anything in awhile."
"I noticed," Bella told him, amused. "Don't worry, Charlie, I will take over the shopping and cooking from now on."
"Thanks Bells. The money is in the top cupboard by the stove." Charlie said, pointing to the cupboard he described.
Bella opened the draw and found the money, kept to together with a silver money clip. She grabbed the money from the clip and put it in her purse.
Soon enough, it was time to go for her second day of school. She timed it so she got there a few minutes before the first bell, to ward of anybody who didn't take the hint from yesterday.
She noticed all the cars were parked in mostly the same spot as yesterday. Ordinaries, she discovered over the years, liked routines. So she too, being as adaptable as she was, parked in the same spot as the day before.
The first half of the day was tedious, like yesterday, except nobody approached her to become friends. It seemed like her plan was working. When the bell finally rang for lunch, she decided to go to the cafeteria today.
When it finally came for her turn to be served, she ordered a burger and chips, as well as a bottle of milk. It contained tryptophan, which supplemented the tablets a little. Taking pills in the middle of the cafeteria and under the scrutinising eyes of her peers would spread unsavoury rumours.And I know exactly who was the type to do spread them, she thought as she watched Lauren and Jessica take their food tray to one of the middle tables, which already seemed to be reserved by Michael Newton, Angela Webber and Tyler Crowley.
Mike was leaning over his tray slightly, hands gesturing minutely as he talked to Tyler about some game, from what she could gather. Mike had the baby-faced look going. His blond hair seemed to always be gelled into spikes. On the whole, his body language gave her the impression of puppy-dog innocence.
Tyler was nodding in agreement to whatever comment Mike had just said. His tan hand reached out to grab the can of soda as his eyes locked onto those of Lauren and Jessica as they approached the table. He ran his fingers through his dark hair in some kind of flirtatious technique of the Ordinaries, Bella suspected.
When the girls sat down, Angela, the quiet one, greeted them as she pushed her glasses up. They all settled into a comfortable conversation. That is, until Lauren saw Bella looking and shot her a sharp I'm-better-than-you glare.
The group at that table were all the popular kids at Forks. And Bella had angered its key members. That couldn't be helped though. Besides, she could take anything they dished out and more.
After paying for her food, she picked up the lunch tray and sat on an unoccupied table to the side of the cafeteria. It was also conveniently located a couple of tables across from the Cullens. She discreetly looked over. They were all looking off in different directions. They each had a tray of food, which sat untouched despite it being a while into the lunch break.
Strange,Bella thought,why buy something if they weren't going to eat it, or even touch it for that manner?
Suddenly, the shorter girl of the group picked up her untouched food and walked with a quick, dancelike step and dumped the contents of her tray in the bin and the tray on its place on top of the bin. She then danced back to her seat, next to the blond male. She grabbed his hands.
They must be boyfriend and girlfriend, then, she deduced.
"Can you smell her now?" Edward was asking them.
"Yeah, and you were right."
"It's a little fuzzy," the pixie like one said.
"Are you sure, Alice?" Edward asked, frustrated.
"Yes." Alice stated.
"That's weird. What's with the little human?" the muscular boy said.
"I don't know," Edward said through forced teeth.
Bella frowned, turning away from them. They were suspicious of her… but, why? She had done nothing to warrant that.
Though, she had her suspicions of them. They didn't behave like any Ordinary she knew. Maybe they were from Manticore after all?
They had biology next, so Bella resolved to catch a glimpse of the back of Edward's neck to see of he had a barcode. That way she would now for sure. They could have escaped from Manticore, like her and her siblings did and were trying to fit in with the Ordinaries. It was hopeful thinking and she couldn't afford to be that blind. She needed proof one way or the other.
The bell went for class and Bella stood up, pushing her seat back. When she looked over at Edward's table, they were already gone. That was fast!
After putting her tray back, she made her way to the biology classroom and sat in her designated seat. Edward was already there. As she pulled her chair back, she looked over at the back of his neck. No barcode. Not even a trace of it.
Bella slumped back into her chair when she sat down. They weren't from Manticore. She sighed. She didn't know if she should be relieved or disappointed.
Her questions remained unsolved.
Why were they so different?
She needed more information. She would talk to Charlie tonight and see what he knew. They were bound to be the talk of the town, given all of their appearance. And as Police Chief he would be the perfect person to ask.
"Good afternoon, class," Mr. Banner said as he began the lesson. He explained that they were to be doing a lab today. The slides were out of order and working together with a their lab partner (the person sitting next to them) they had to separate the slides of the onion root tip cells into the phases of mitosis they presented and then label it accordingly. No cheating by using textbooks and he would be coming around in twenty minutes. "Get to work," Mr. Banner finally finished.
"Ladies first, partner?" Edward asked. Bella turned to him. He was looking at her with a crooked smile on his face. His forehead the only thing revealing a hint of the frustration she had seen earlier in the cafeteria.
Bella shrugged. "Sure."
She had glanced over at all the slides as Edward had taken the out of the box. She had figured out the order already, not that she was going to let on.
She leaned forward and snapped the first slide into place under the microscope. She turned the magnification up to the required times for a human to see the slide and glanced at it briefly.
"Prophase," she told Edward.
"Do you mind if I look?" he asked as Bella was about to take the slide off. He grabbed her wrist. His touch was surprisingly cold, but that was not the thing that nearly made her gasp. It was like there was an electric current flowing through him and into her. Static electricity, maybe? She tried to rationalise.
"No, go right ahead, then," Bella allowed, rolling her eyes a little. He glanced at it, examining it for the same amount of time she had.
"Prophase," he agreed.
"Like I said," Bella commented.
He wrote down their answer on the worksheet they had been given. He took the prophase slide off and picked up the anaphase slide. He examined it as briefly as the previous one.
"Uh-huh," Bella murmured.
"You don't want to look at it?" he asked, sounding a little confused.
"No, no. I believe you."
"You don't think I got it wrong?"
"You didn't get the first one wrong, did you?" Bella countered.
"Well, no," he said as he wrote down their next answer. Bella glanced at his writing and was a little stunned to see his elegant script. Not many teenagers wrote like that.
"Exactly," Bella said looking back up at him. "I'll do the next one."
They finished all the slides in record time. Bella glanced around the room to find they were the first ones finished. Her eyes darted back to Edward, who was staring at her. His eyes had changed from yesterday. The black irises had gone, and so had the purple blemishes under them. They were replaced with a golden, topaz really.
"Contacts?" she questioned softly to herself.
He blinked, surprised by her question. "No."
She examined his eyes closely. No sign of contacts. There was nothing covering his eyes at all. "No, no contacts," she agreed. She then realised how strange her comment must have been and quickly added, "Sorry, I thought there was something different about them, but I was wrong."
He shrugged and become silent. He turned back to the front of the room.
Bella watched the other labs going on in the room. There was a lot of cheating going on, but either Mr. Banner was particularly unobservant or he just didn't care. He was writing something down on a bit of paper as he sat at the teacher's desk at the front. It could be a combination of the two, she mused in boredom.
Bella sighed, already tired with the class. Edward's attention was drawn back to her.
"It's too bad about the snow, isn't it?" he asked.
The comment made her frown slightly. Was he really making small talk with her? She scoffed inwardly. Then a thought occurred to her. Maybe it was because he felt he had to?
"You don't have to talk to me if you don't want to," Bella informed him. "I'm perfectly fine with just sitting here."
He quirked an eyebrow, clearly he didn't believe her.
"Well, I'm a little bored," she admitted, although she didn't exactly know why. She supposed it would make the perfect opportunity to find out some more about him, at least.
"I want to know. And I'm bored too," he added with a smile. "You never know, it might make the rest of the class go faster."
He has a point… Bella reluctantly admitted.
"Fine," she relented. "I guess it is too bad," she continued, answering his earlier question. "I'm indifferent about the snow."
Edward blinked again. He hadn't expected that answer.
"Why's that?" Edward asked, his tone full of curiosity.
Bella knew exactly why that was. It brought back both good and bad memories of the day of the escape, but she wasn't exactly going to tell him that. "Memories," she finally said stiffly and with a tone indicating that she wasn't going to elaborate. Judging by the look on her lab partner's face he had caught on to it as well.
"Where were you living before?" he changed the subject quickly.
"This must be a different place for you to live."
"I guess you could say that."
"Why did you move?"
"Renee remarried to Phil. He moves travels a lot. He plays baseball for a living."
"Have I heard of him?" he asked kindly.
"He plays minor league baseball, so I wouldn't expect you would know of him. He doesn't play very well."
"And your mother sent you here, so that she could live with him," he assumed.
"No, not really. I sent myself. Living with newly wed, you know?" Bella said with a hint of a smile.
Edward smiled understandingly. "I could guess." This smile seemed as if he really did know. Did he have older brother or sister who was married? Bella was a little confused.
"Besides," she went on. "I hadn't seen Charlie in a while. I figured we could have some time to catch up. Get to know each other again. He's been good to me."
"You don't call your parents by there first names," Edward observed.
"No, no. They aren't by real parents, you see. I'm adopted," Bella answered.
"Adopted?" Edward echoed.
"Yeah. Renee and Charlie, when they were together, adopted me about ten years ago, now," Bella explained.
"Oh," was all he said.
"I'm surprised it isn't already a rumour or something. It seems to spread quickly around here," she noted casually.
"Well," Edward started to say, but then Mr. Banner finally got up to their table. He looked at the completed worksheet.
"So, Edward, didn't you think Isabella should get a chance with the microscope?" Mr. Banner asked.
"Bella," she corrected automatically.
"Actually, sir, she correctly identified three out of five," Edward told him.
"Where you in the advanced placement back in Phoenix?" Mr. Banner asked her.
"Yes," Bella said simply.
"Did you complete this lab before?"
Bella shook her head. "No, sir."
Mr. Banner frowned. He still seemed unsure that she did do the work.
"I missed the lab. I was very ill that week. Afterwards, I made sure I read the chapter thoroughly," Bella explained in more detail.
"Well," he said after a moment. His forehead stopped creasing so much that Bella took it as a positive sign that he was beginning to believe her explanation. It was true, after all. She was sick – seizing in fact. "I guess it's a good thing you two are lab partners then."
He turned away and mumbled, "So the other kids can get a chance to learn something for themselves." Bella was able to hear that, and wondered briefly if her lab partner did as well. She glanced at Edward. His face revealed nothing. She couldn't tell if he heard it or not. Probably not, Mr. Banner had said it under his breath, after all. She rolled her eyes at the line her thoughts were going down. He wasn't from Manticore, she reminded herself.
"So, what about you? Your family?" Bella tried to ask once Mr. Banner had moved on to the girls on the front table, but was interrupted by the bell. Edward packed away his things and stood up. Bella followed his lead.
"It will have to wait. I have got to get to the next class." Edward quickly left the classroom, leaving Bella staring after him. He seemed to avoid any sort of questions involving him. Bella was very curious to find out why. It looked like she would have to be talking to Charlie after all.
She had shopping to do first, though.
After school, she glanced at Edward, already seated inside his Volvo. He was looking at her in his rear-vision mirror. She looked away and pulled out of the parking lot, heading to the grocery store.
She managed to find a car spot near the front of the store. Getting out, she grabbed her purse and headed in the direction of the store. She completed the shopping almost on autopilot. She was filled with thoughts on Manticore and the siblings that she hadn't seen since they had escaped. She sighed sadly. She was beginning to think that she would never come across another Transgenic again. Maybe that was why she had hoped, deep down, that maybe Edward was like her – and had escaped too. She shook herself out of those depressing thoughts and headed into the direction of her truck, the shopping bags secure in both her hands.
Something made her stop in her tracks.
All her instincts were screaming at her that she was being watched. She placed her groceries in the back of her truck. Her hand clenched tightly, readying herself for a fight. Was it Manticore? Had they somehow managed to find her?
She heard something breathe behind her. Instantly, she whipped around and faced her adversary.
Only it wasn't.
It was a woman. She was extremely pale, like Edward and from their closeness; Bella could feel the coldness seeping from her body, again, like Edward. She looked to be in her mid-twenties and had a slender, round figure. Her caramel-coloured wavy hair reached down to her shoulders.
Standing next to her was a tall, blond haired male and the pixie girl from school.
How did they get there, Bella thought, without me hearing them approach?
"Sorry I frightened you, dear," the women said.
"No harm down. It was nothing," Bella replied.
"You must be Charlie's daughter, Isabella Swan?" the male asked.
"Bella," she corrected automatically.
"Bella then," the women smiled.
"Hello Bella," the pixie chimed in.
They all seemed to have to musical voice, like Edward did. They must definitely be related, although they didn't much look alike except for a few details.
"I'm Carlisle Cullen," the man introduced. "This is my wife, Esme. And my daughter Alice. She goes to your school. You may have seen her around?"
Bella nodded. She was still wondering why they had approached her.
"And you may have met my son, Edward. He told us he was your lab partner."
"That's right," Bella acknowledged. "Um, is there anything you wanted?"
"We are sorry that we startled you. You take care, now," Esme said sweetly, before they headed back to the black Mercedes. It seemed as if new, expensive cars were a family thing.
That was a weird encounter, Bella thought later as she was unpacking the groceries. She wiped her brow. She was sweating a little. She took off her jacket in an attempt to cool herself down. She would have to have a cold shower before she went to bed.
Charlie walked in the door at that moment.
"How was school?" Charlie asked "Did you meet anyone?"
"Yeah," Bella said. Well, it was true to some extent. She did meet a few people, though it wasn't exactly what he was asking. "Do you know the Cullen family?" Bella came right out and asked when they were eating dinner.
"Dr. Cullen's family? Sure. Dr. Cullen's a great man. Are people talking about them again? Dr. Cullen is a brilliant surgeon and we're lucky to have him – lucky that his wife wanted to live in a small town," Charlie explained. "All his kids are well behaved, haven't had a speck of trouble with them. That's more then I can say for the children of some folks who have lived in this town for generations. And they stick together like a family should."
Bella winced inwardly at that. It was a reminder that Zack had ordered them to split up. She listened intensely as her adoptive dad continued loudly, "camping trip every other weekend… just because they're newcomers, people have to talk."
Charlie cleared his throat a little. "I just don't like narrow-mindedness, is all."
"I hear you," Bella mumbled, but apparently Charlie heard her, because he said, "Are people giving you a hard time?"
"No," Bella said quickly. "Just moving to a new home and school is different…" she trailed off.
They lapsed into a comfortable silence for the rest of the meal. After doing the dishes, despite Charlie's protests, Bella excused herself.
Later, in her room, she opened the window, desperate for some cool, refreshing air. She was still hot, despite the cold shower she had and the crisp air of Forks.
She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply before settling down on top of the covers of her bed. She couldn't get the Cullen encounter out of her head. There was something bugging her about it. Her instincts told her that bumping into them wasn't just a coincidence. They had ulterior motives.
She just had to figure out what those motives were, and if they were a concern to her. And if they were… well, she will have to deal with it if it comes to that.
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-Azure the Dragonlady-