2nd Annual "For My Valentine": A Twilight Love Story Contest
Title: Get Me to the Church On Time
Rating: M-rated for language and adult themes
Pairing: (it's a surprise)
Summary: Edward and Carlisle fly back to Boston for a last-minute Valentine's Day wedding. Jasper and Alice meet them at the gate.
For more information please see contest details at http://www(dot)fanfiction(dot)net/~formyvalentinetwilight
"It's just… ugh… I mean, Boston. I just don't get why it is has to be Boston. That's a hell of a long way from Seattle, Carlisle."
"It's what works for everyone, and our choices are kind of limited. We can call it all off, if you want. Here. Call Jasper and tell him that you aren't showing up."
Edward rolled his eyes at his uncle but declined to take the slim metallic cell phone that he was holding in his hand.
"No, Jasper asked me and I said yes. I am not backing out on him now, after all this time."
Carlisle slipped the device back in his pocket and smiled at his nephew.
"Just as well. We will be up in the air in a moment. I'm glad we paid for first-class seats, because I could really use some shut-eye on the way over. If that is okay with you, Edward."
Edward nodded that it was okay. He was too keyed up at the moment to think much about sleep, although he knew it probably do him some good. A wedding, Carlisle and he were flying out to a wedding. And it wasn't like there was going to be much downtime once they got there. Alice had seen to it that they were going to be met at the airport by some fancy stretch limo and then whisked away to a small and private chapel, without much time in between for either party to chicken out. Tasteful but speedy. That is what Alice kept saying to them all. Edward wondered to himself why the mad dash to get married. It wasn't like anyone was pregnant, after all. As far as he knew, that wasn't even a possibility.
Alice was probably already going overboard with her plans, Edward mused silently, flipping through a magazine. The traditional walk down the aisle, something borrowed and something blue, the reception afterwards at a nice hotel. Just two fools in love, she would always say. And she loved Jasper dearly. So why not pull out all the stops? Even if the wedding was going to a whirlwind affair, at least it should be something that Alice would look back at later and smile to remember. It wasn't like people fell in love everyday, she would remind them all, as she turned her attention back to some bridal magazine. And Jasper had promised to be there with her, so what else did Edward need to know, she had asked him pointedly.
"Nothing", he told her. "That's enough. Jasper is enough," he had said. "The rest is just details." And he wasn't lying. His sister meant the world to him, now that their parents were dead. And if Alice was happy with the arrangements, then he should be too.
Still, when the moment finally came, when Edward finally had to commit to the engagement and agree to be there for the wedding, he had to rearrange his entire work schedule to fit in the trip back east for the ceremony. He had spoken with his receptionist Shirley and she had rescheduled all his patients for him. Always glad to have anyone fall in love and commit to a lifetime together, she had kissed Edward on the cheek and had almost made him blush. Shirley always seemed to like to press herself up against Edward whenever she could, even though she was nearly twenty years older than him. She didn't mean much by it, she would say, just that she thought Edward was "a real cutie-pie." This is what she called him when the patients weren't around, and Edward was pretty sure that it was an innocent flirtation. But he made sure he never got left alone in the medical office after hours with Shirley either, just in case it wasn't.
Half an hour into the flight, the flight attendant came by with a cart, offering snacks and headphones and drinks. Carlisle stirred and asked Edward to get him a bottle of water. As the flight attendant walked away, Carlisle leaned in to whisper to his nephew.
"What you looking at, Edward?" he taunted him.
"Nothing. Really, just nothing. Just, wow. I am completely over one-night stands but Jesus, that flight attendant… oh no, bending over…"
Edward returned his gaze to the magazine, staring at it blankly for a while before realizing it was the wrong side up.
"No harm in looking, Edward," Carlisle continued.
"Yes. Yes, there is. I have absolutely no willpower. Jasper always likes to tease me about it, actually."
"So do you think Alice will be happy with the way it turns out today?" asked Carlisle.
"She's planning the whole damn thing, so I should seriously hope that she is happy with it."
"You don't seem convinced."
"I don't see the need to get married is all, not really. Lots of unhappy married people out there. Lot of happy single people too. Marriage isn't a cure-all for misery. Sometimes it is just causes it instead."
"You are such a cynic, Edward. Perhaps, losing your parents when you were so young. Or maybe those wild years in college. Who knows where you get it from, but you have to believe that marriage is a good thing—on today of all days. That people get married because they love each other."
"I think people get married because one of them says it's time to get married."
"Exactly. But I don't think you don't understand how that is actually a good thing. One person in the relationship says, 'I need this' and the other person says, 'And I want to give that to you'. It's a beautiful thing, to give in, even when it is difficult for you. Especially when it is difficult for you. I hope that you can understand how that kind of compromise can actually strengthen a relationship."
"Still seems a bit like extortion to me, Carlisle."
"Whatever you say, Edward. But I think once we get there and you see Jasper and Alice, you are going to change your mind."
A couple hours later, after an in-flight movie and some lunch, the conversation drifted again back to the upcoming nuptials.
"So, do you know what music Alice is going to pick for the reception?" queried the older man.
"Oh, you know Alice, Carlisle. She thinks we all like show tunes. I'll be lucky if she doesn't make me get up and sing 'Any Dream Will Do'."
"I'd like to see that."
"Yeah, Jasper would probably like to see that too. I probably need to prepare some kind of speech or toast or something…" Edward trailed off.
"I think everyone will just be glad if you show up, Edward. I know I speak for Alice when I say this. Jasper too."
Edward winced a little. "Everyone thinks I am a stick in the mud then."
"A bit. But we all know you have your quirks. And… oh, I nearly forgot. Please tell me that you have the rings."
"I have one ring in my pocket. I hope Jasper has the other one. We can sort it all out when we get there. Don't worry, I may be a stick in the mud, but I am not shirking my duties. I do have a ring. The wedding can continue as planned. Get some more shut-eye, if you can. I think I am going to do the crossword. In pen. See how reckless I can be when I want to be?"
Even later into the flight, after Carlisle had woken back up, the conversation once again drifted towards topics of love.
"A romantic day to get married, Valentine's Day weekend. Don't you think?"
"I guess. If you say so."
"You think another date would have been better?"
"Valentine's Day is just so corporate is all. If two people want to spend their lives together, they shouldn't start that life on a day filled with sappy movies, bad chocolates and really pricey long-stem roses."
"Coming from you, Edward, that is almost romantic."
"Well, you know me, I'm a romantic kind of guy. Mr. Romance they call me. Wait just a second…" and Edward called over the flight attendant.
"Could you bring another scotch and soda, please?" he asked. "Thanks, sweetie."
"Flirting now, Edward?"
"Just being nice to the flight staff is all."
"Especially the very attractive flight staff."
"I have good taste. What can I say? Great, thanks…" Edward paused as he was handed his drink. "No, I have enough napkins…oh, okay. Well, thanks anyway. You too."
Carlisle chuckled. "What was that all about?"
Edward looked down at the napkin. You could see the black-ink writing on the other side and he didn't even bother to turn it over. Instead, he just handed it over to his uncle and rested his head against the back of the seat and sighed.
"A phone number. I have just been given a phone number," he looked out across the first-class cabin. "Do you think I should go explain myself…"
"No, I think you have done enough damage for one day, Edward."
"It is just like that girl in college, Jessica. I flirted around a little and got myself in way over my head."
"She really liked you. I remember that. You slept with her, didn't you?"
"One very tawdry weekend, back when I was trying to figure some things out. Not too bad in the sack, but she used to scream 'Oh baby! Oh baby! Oh baby! I'm coming, I'm coming, I'm coming for yoooooouuuu.' Nearly scarred me for life."
"Swore off college girls after that, didn't you?"
"Something like that."
"But it got better, it always does."
"I chose my partners more carefully after Jessica. But I still broke a few hearts before it was all said and done with. Medical school pretty much put the kibosh on my running around. Jasper always said those days were numbered anyway."
"Jasper sounds like a smart man."
"He is. He is a very smart man. He's my best friend. Alice was right, you know. Alice is always right, of course. Never ever ever bet against Alice, my advice."
"I bet you there will be 300 text messages from her when we finally touch down and I can turn my phone back on. 'I have ordered some flowers… I don't like those flowers… I have ordered some more flowers… fuck the flowers, we are just going with shrubbery.' What the devil that girl would do without a credit card and your parents' trust fund to spend, I will never know."
"Flowers… ring… wait, don't I need to get a gift for her? Isn't that part of the whole process?"
"Not if you don't want to. But maybe you can get her something in the gift shop at the airport."
"Lovely. Perhaps the newest Stephen King novel or a Tshirt that says 'I'm With Stupid'."
"Relax, Edward. The plane is going to be on the ground in about ten minutes. You can talk to Alice then and ask her directly if there is anything she wants or needs."
By the time the plane landed, Edward was already leaning forward in his seat, ready to grab his carry-on bag and make a dash for the door. The flight attendant was starting to get a little brazen, and Edward was trying to avoid eye contact to avoid any further misunderstanding. He didn't mean to dazzle people—it was just in his nature to be friendly. And he had been told by quite a few people, his receptionist Shirley included, that he was "quite a catch". Would make a really good husband one day, her words exactly. Just hadn't found the right girl yet, she would say.
The voice over the intercom said that could now exit the aircraft. Edward stood up and reached for his bag.
"Is there anything I can get you, Mr. Cullen, before you leave." It was the flight attendant, persistent and hopeful to the very end.
"Dr. Cullen, and no… you see, I am late for a wedding. Listen, you are very pretty. But I am not really up for a one-night stand and there is someone out there who would be very hurt if I don't show up in the next ten minutes, so I'm sorry… but I have go," and Edward darted as quickly as he could out the door of the plane, up the ramp to the terminal, Carlisle trailing after him and laughing all the way to the waiting area.
Jasper and Alice were standing on the other side of a row of chairs. Jasper was staring out the window at the planes flying in and taking off, but Alice jumped up and down to see her brother and ran to give him a hug.
"I knew it! I knew it! I told Jasper that you would show up. I mean it isn't everyday that your boyfriend asks you to marry him, now, is it?"
"No, no it isn't. And I'm here. Just like I promised. I'm here, Jasper. So please just look at me and say hello."
Jasper turned his head. "Hello, Edward. Did you have a good flight?"
"Would have been better if you were with me. A flight attendant named Carl nearly forced me into the lavatory and had his way with me, there towards the end."
"Which was totally Edward's fault," Carlisle added in, throwing his nephew to the wolves. "Edward smiled at him and called him sweetie. You can't blame Carl for falling in love on the spot."
"Sweetie?" Jasper raised both eyebrows.
"We aren't still in college, Jasper, and I'm not fucking around on you anymore," sighed Edward. "You know that I'm in love with you, and only you. So are you going to come over here and kiss me, or do I have to tackle you and make a scene in front of all of the tourists?"
"If you insist," and Jasper pressed himself up against Edward. Lost in a moment of bliss—like the first time that they kissed ten years ago, when neither one had a clue what it was that they were starting, but a kiss and a caress and a hand running across the chin and up into the hair, it just felt like the right thing to do—it took the lovers a while to realize that Alice was very loudly clearing her throat.
"Come on, you two. I'm all for the smooching. And I promise, after this, you can play Ianto Jones and Captain Jack Harkness all you want in the bridal suite. But we have a wedding to get to and these things absolutely just do not keep. So what do you say, brother. Is it a good day to get married? Because I absolutely adore my new brother-in-law, and it is about time you let him make an honest man out of you."
Edward reached down and held Jasper's hand in his own. It felt good there, wrapped in his fingers, where it belonged, where it would stay for the rest of his life.
"You know what, sis. Yes, it is. It is a good day to get married. So let's get this show on the road. Don't need to go baggage claim. I have everything I need right here," he reached over for one last kiss before they left. "And so, lead on, Alice. Get us out of the airport. Get us into that fancy stretch limo. And for the love of all that this holy, get me to the church on time."