Fact - This chapter has been completed for weeks.

Another fact - The only thing holding up the posting was my lack of author's note.

One more fact - I obviously suck.

All characters and song titles do not belong to me, they are the property of Stephenie Meyer and The White Stripes, respectively.

Chapter 17

***Sister Do You Know My Name?***

EPov

- by the way, your makeup looks really pretty today.

I felt better immediately after I sent that text. I had wanted to tell her earlier, but I didn't really want an audience for it, so I held back.

- thanks. :) i actually just texted mikey to ask if it was okay.

- why wouldn't it be okay?

- ugh. james. he looked at me as if i were a mutant.

- well what does he know?

- not much, i suppose. lol.

"Edward, who are you texting?" Alice whispers from the seat behind me.

I barely give her a glance, "None of your business, nosey."

She huffs, but drops the subject. I end up putting my phone away. I don't think I'll have another opportunity to text anyway, since Mrs. French is dedicated to actually teaching us the wonders of the English language. Whatever.

After English comes algebra... after algebra comes Spanish. It's all fairly basic. The only difference today is that everyone seems pretty keyed up about the game tonight. Apparently it's a big deal. According to J, for the past five years the opening game has pretty much dictated how the rest of the season would go. He seems fairly confident that if tonight's game is won the state championship is in the bag. His thought process entertains me. I remember the feeling I used to get before a big game. I miss it. Still though, I asked for this... there's no sense letting it get to me too much.

The bell rings for lunch and before I know it we're all sitting at our regular table. Today is different though- because all of the guys, with the exception of Mikey, Jasper, and myself, aren't with us.

"So why aren't they sitting with us again?" Alice inquires.

Bella rolls her eyes, "It's 'tradition.' The players all sit together on game day."

"Have we ironed out details for tonight?" Alice again.

Angela is the first to speak up, "Well, I have to take pictures at the game, so I won't be able to meet up beforehand; I will be with you guys at the pep rally though. Felix said he'd be on camera duty for me."

"Well that sucks about the game, but awesome about the pep rally," Bella smiles, "I can't remember the last time you actually got to sit with me and make fun of everyone."

"I know, right?" Angela laughs, "I can't wait."

"So when is this pep rally?" I ask.

"Right after fifth period," Mikey answers.

Rosalie looks to him, "And what exactly does it entail?"

He shrugs, "Eh, just your basic stuff. Cheers, a choreographed dance, maybe a shaky pyramid and lots of speeches."

She chuckles, "Well that sounds like a hoot."

"It actually is," Bella insists, "it's a hoot poking fun at the stupid cheerleaders and wondering what inappropriate comments the coaches are going to make."

I turn to her, "Do they have these pep rallies every Friday?"

She shakes her head, "Nah... only for the big games. Opening game, Homecoming, big rival schools, and of course playoffs."

I nod, "Makes sense."

She starts to say something more, but Alice steals her attention, "So Bella, what are you doing before the game?"

"Dinner with Papa and Mama Swan at the diner. The usual," she says.

Alice's eyes light up, "Oh my gosh, I have the best idea ever!"

I groan, "Oh shit."

She narrows her eyes at me and continues, "We should all meet up there and have dinner together! It'll give Daddy and Chief Swan a chance to bond."

Bella snorts, "Ha. Yeah. Dad's all about the male-bonding."

"I know I am," Jasper finally decides to jump into the conversation, making Bella laugh outright.

"I just bet you are, Miss Jazzy. Really though, Alice, I think it's a good idea."

Alice beams and immediately starts contemplating what outfit she's going to be wearing to the game. This causes a great debate once the rest of the girls say that they plan on just wearing the jerseys they already have on; even Rosalie, which shocks the shit out of all of us. She's got it so bad for Emmett it's not even funny. While the rest of the table is distracted, I ask Bella about tomorrow.

"So, what time do we have to leave tomorrow morning?"

She thinks a moment before answering, "Um... the store opens at 9:30 on Saturday, so to be safe, we should leave at like eight... fifteen... ish."

I chuckle, "Okay, I'll be there."

"There where?" she asks confused, "The store? You just want to meet me there?"

"No, silly. Your house. I'll be there to pick you up at eight. Fifteen. Ish."

Her smile is beautiful, "Oh. Okay. Great!"

Apparently our conversation didn't go unnoticed. At least not by Jasper, "So my Eddie, what am I supposed to do without you tomorrow?"

"I dunno, precious, but I'm sure you'll think of something," I answer.

He looks to Alice and Rosalie, "Well ladies? What's the plan?"

"I've got plans tomorrow with Emmett, remember?" his twin says.

"Well shit," is his response, "Mary Alice?"

Before she can even address the questions Mikey lets out an excited squeal.

"O-M-G. Best idea EVER!" he pauses for dramatic effect, "DANCE PARTY!"

The reactions around the table vary.

Jasper looks slightly shell-shocked. He clearly wasn't prepared for something of this magnitude.

Rosalie is all wide-eyed and fighting a snicker.

Alice has a look of sheer excitement on her face at the prospect of a dance party.

Bella and Angela are giggling.

And me? Well I'm just thanking my lucky stars that I didn't get an invitation to said party.

Alice starts clapping her hands, "I love this idea," she sing-songs.

"Yay!" Mikey starts clapping his hands too and then raises his eyebrows to Jasper in silent question.

Jasper still seems to be at a loss for words, so I decide to answer for him.

"He'd love to!"

Yeah, yeah... I know it was a bitch move on my part, but the expression on Jasper's face was totally worth it. No doubt he'll want to kick my ass for this later. Luckily I don't have to deal with the wrath now, as Mikey and Alice have enlisted his help on making a playlist for tomorrow. I'm almost sorry I'm going to miss it.

"I've been to one of Mikey's dance parties before," Bella starts, "there was lots of dancing, if you can believe it."

I feign shock, "Shut the front door, for real?"

Rosalie plays in too, "You can't be serious!"

"My hand to God, she speaks the truth," Angela says, lifting her hand up to prove her point.

We all trade looks of amazement with one another for a few moments before erupting into laughter.

"So, what do you and my idiot brother have planned tomorrow, Rosalie?" Bella asks once we've calmed down.

Try as she might, Rosalie can't stop the smile that spreads across her face at the mention of Emmett "I honestly don't know. He just asked if we could spend the day together, there were no specifics."

Bella looks slightly impressed, "Wow, I never knew Emmers to be so cryptic."

I smirk at her, "You call him 'Emmers'?"

She looks at me, "Yeah, so? He calls me 'Balls', it's only fair."

I just nod, "Well I can't really argue with that logic."

"No doi," she replies and then proceeds to focus on her lunch.

The rest of us start to do the same and it was a good idea, because the lunch bell rings before I know it. Bella and I make our way to bio, after agreeing to meet everyone else before the pep rally. As we're taking our seats at the lab table, I ask the question I've been holding in.

"What really is the deal with the jersey?"

She gives a slight chuckle before answering, "It's just Emmett and his stupid 'traditions.' Apparently he plays better when I'm being humiliated."

"That doesn't seem very fair to you," I offer sincerely.

"Eh, he's my brother. And I guess I love him, so..." she trails off.

Her adoration for her brother makes me smile, "You're a nice girl, Isabella Swan."

She rolls her eyes at me, "Yeah yeah... don't tell anyone."

Just like Mrs. French, Mr. Banner seems to be dedicated to actually teaching us today, so Bella and I can focus on little more than our tasks at hand. When the bell finally rings to signal the end of fifth period, she grabs my hand and practically drags me out of the classroom and down the hall.

"The hell, Bella! Where's the fire?" I ask, trying to keep up.

She speaks without turning, or slowing down, "Shut it, asshole. We need to get to the gym before all the prime spots are taken!"

As requested, I 'shut it' and follow after her obediently. On the way Mikey and Jasper join us. And it's not too long before Alice, Rose and Angela are rounding out our little walking convoy. We near the gym and I now see why she was in such a hurry.

Students are literally packed in the hallway like sardines, attempting to get into the gym all at once.

"Ugh. Mother fucker!" Bella huffs. She seems to think for a few seconds before grabbing my hand and addresses our group, "Come on, guys. Follow me and move fucking quickly."

She starts to walk towards the students, but before she gets us stuck in the crowd, she cuts to the left and into the boys' locker room.

Alice notices where we're headed and hesitates a bit, "Um... there aren't going to be any naked boys in here are there?"

Mikey snorts, "With any luck, there will be."

"Now that's what I'm talkin' about," Jasper smirks.

Bella just ignores them and keeps walking... clearly an old hand at this. She walks us through the locker room, past the showers and up the back stairs... right into the gym, which is surprisingly not yet full.

I hear a sigh of relief come from Bella, "He is such a well-trained baby brother."

Looking in the same direction she's facing, I see Seth steadfastly shooing people away from what one would consider 'prime real estate' for a pep rally.

"Kid, you've once again proved you're good for something," Bella says to her brother as she gives him a big hug.

Seth tries to play off the compliment, but we can see his cheeks pink up a little. He makes his exit, saying he's got to join up with the rest of the team. We all take a seat, the girls sitting in front of us guys. As we watch the rest of the students file in, Bella, Angela, and Mikey offer up gossip on random people.

"See her?" Mikey whispers loudly, "she totally stripped down to nothing during amateur night down at 'The Eager Beaver'."

Alice's eyes go wide, "You do NOT have a club around here called 'The Eager Beaver'."

"Oh fuck yes we do, my spritely friend," Bella answers smugly, as though she's very proud of this establishment.

Rosalie snickers, "Well this town is just full of surprises."

"That guy there is rumored to have been kicked out of his last three schools before being sent here," Angela chips in, referring to a boy dressed in head to toe black.

"He sits next to me in 'Civil War', we had a decent conversation about Tecumseh Sherman. He knows his stuff," Jasper offers.

"You mean you're actually learning something in Civil War, Jazz?" I ask with a raised eyebrow.

He smirks at me, "Oh I learn all sorts of things on a daily basis, Eddie."

The cheerleaders make their entrance, earning a few catcalls and an eye roll from Bella.

"And of course, we have 'the whore' Jess," Bella says.

"Why is she a whore?" Jasper and Rosalie ask at the same time.

Bella smiles at the twin synchronicity, "Oh nothing really. She just broke Emmett's heart a little."

Rosalie narrows her eyes at the girl in question, "Yes... definitely a whore."

This makes Bella's smile turn into a full-blown grin, "Oh I knew I liked you for a reason."

"Um... keep in mind that said heartbreak happened ages ago," Mikey chirps.

"So?" Bella and Rosalie snap back in tandem.

The rest of us laugh at their hostility, while the cheerleaders start they're dance routine. I'm far from an expert, but I don't find them to be that bad. Their pyramid is executing damn near perfectly. Okay, so I might have seen 'Bring It On' more than a few times, so sue me. They do another routine and get the crowd involved in a few cheers, before the principal appears on stage.

He gives the standard 'school spirit' speech that sounds a lot like the one from the assembly earlier in the week. The coach is up next. He actually changes his speech a little bit. Letting us all know how hard the team has been working and how proud he is to coach such 'stand-up guys'. There was even an added bit about how hard they're going to 'pound' tonight's competition, earning him a fair amount of snickers from the student body and some of the teachers. At last the players are called to the stage.

Everyone claps pretty equally for most of the team; however, like during the assembly, they seem to save their loudest cheers for the last few guys.

"James Myers..."

Despite the fact that he's a dick, I clap for him. So does Bella, of course... he is her boyfriend and all.

"Jacob Black..."

Again with the claps, but in addition we add some hoots and hollers for good measure. I find it entertaining that Angela is the one cheering the loudest for him.

"And last, but not least... starting quarterback... EMMETT SWAN!"

The whole gym goes crazy, proving again just how loved this guy is. Our group cheers especially loud, though we're nearly drowned out by Rosalie. She's got it bad.

After Emmett gives a bow and does the whole 'wave to the crowd' thing, he steps back to stand with the rest of the team. He doesn't get too far before a chant starts in the crowd...

"Speech... speech... speech... speech..."

"Oh Jesus..." Bella groans.

"Speech... speech... speech... speech..."

I lean down to ask her, "What's so bad about a speech?"

She leans back to me, "Trust me... this will end badly."

By this time Emmett has stepped up to mic, dimples in full effect, clearly intent on giving everyone what they're asking for.

"You guys really are the best. No doubt. I can't really take all the credit for the fantasticness that's about to be unleashed tonight. The credit also goes to all of these outstanding gentlemen that are standing behind me, so give them some love too..."

His fans have no problem doing what is asked of them and they break out into applause for the entire team.

"And, of course, we wouldn't be half the team we are without the superb coaching from Coach Barshinger. Please... give the man what he deserves..."

We once again do his bidding, applauding the coach for all of his hard work. I swear, the man looks to be on the verge of tears, he's so moved.

"While we're at it, give it up for our esteemed principal and the rest of the faculty..."

Everyone begins cheering and whistling. Around the gym, teachers give little bows to show their appreciation. Applause starts to die down and most of us assume that Em's speech is over... how wrong we are.

"Lastly, I'd like to thank someone very special," he smirks.

"Uh oh... I know that smirk," Mikey chuckles.

"As most of you know, we football players have a lot of traditions. Some serious, some silly, some kind of sentimental..."

"Oh dear," Angela adds.

"I'm not sure if you guys are aware of this, but my sister is a saint..."

"No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no..." Bella starts to chant.

He looks over the crowd, "Where ya at, Balls?"

Bella attempts to slump down a little, but her effort is quickly thwarted as Mikey starts waving his hands, shouting, "Here! Here! She's right here!"

Everyone looks our way and Emmett smiles, dimples in full effect, "Ahh... there she is! Now, I think it needs to be said that Bella has truly been one of my biggest supporters, for as long as I can remember."

"Please... someone stop him," Bella whimpers.

"She puts up with my 'football talk'. She sings with me. She wears the personalized jerseys I have made for her without even the slightest argument. She holds ridiculous grudges on my behalf. And just this past Monday morning, she was good enough to let me have the last package of Pop Tarts."

There's a collective 'awwww' from the crowd, but Bella seems a bit panicked as she shakes her head and whispers, "Stop now. Please stop now."

"So I'd like for you all to do me a huge favor. I'd like you to get on your feet and applaud the girl who I feel is singlehandedly responsible for my continued success on, and off, the football field."

His grin is now ridiculously huge as he starts clapping and looking in Bella's direction. Everyone starts to follow his lead and gets up to clap for Bella as well.

Emmett is practically screaming now, so he can be heard over the applause, "Balls, you're the best and I seriously don't know what I would do without you. DID YOU EVER KNOW THAT YOU'RE MY HEROOOOO? Come on, Spartans! I know you know the words!"

The entire student body is now serenading Bella with 'Wind Beneath My Wings', myself included, because this shit is priceless.

Bella's turned a shade of red that I didn't even know existed. She's attempting to smile and be gracious, but it's coming across as kind of a painful grimace. The situation is so terribly awkward, it's almost funny. Okay... there's no 'almost' about it, it IS funny. Mikey actually seems to find it hysterical. He's currently giggling like a lunatic.

"Oh. My. God. I. Love. Him. So. Much," he wheezes.

There are more hoots and hollers before we settle down and give the principal a chance to wrap things up. The players take a few last bows and the cheerleaders grace us with one more routine... thus putting an official end to our first Forks High pep rally.

As students slowly start to trickle out of the gym, more than one person comes up to personally thank Bella for her sisterly dedication.

She's polite, but I can totally tell she wants to slap them all. It's quite entertaining.

Once we get outside, and away from mixed company, she begins her tirade.

"Someone please tell me that just didn't fucking happen. Someone please tell me I was knocked unconscious before the rally and had a nightmare where the entire fucking school sang Bette Midler to me. Someone please tell me that Emmett is not, in fact, the most embarrassing asshole on the face of the fucking Earth. SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME THAT I DIDN'T HEAR YOU ALL SINGING A-FUCKING-LONG!"

I'd like to say that we all kept straight faces and were wholly apologetic. Not so much. If anything, we were laughing harder now than we had been in the gym. Bella looks so pissed and I'm kind of starting to fear which one of us is going to be victim of her wrath.

"What'd you guys think of my speech? Pretty sweet, huh?"

Ahh... saved by the quarterback.