It wasn't a date. Or, at least, like no date Bella had ever been on.

Actually, come to think of it, she still wasn't quite sure as to how she had gotten roped into this particular non-date. There she had been, just casually lying on her back in her driveway, and bam!. Alice Cullen dazzled and bewildered and completely discombobulated Bella in the space of a minute long conversation, steam-rolling her into stunned acquiescence.

Bella liked to try to convince herself, later, that had she been at all in the right frame of mind (which she hadn't been, really; lying on one's back in one's driveway is hardly the most comfortingly sane action), she would have politely declined, while smoothly affirming a solid and life-long friendship with the other girl. But then, after moments when Alice would spring up out of nowhere between classes, hug her tightly, then vanish just as suddenly, Bella would admit dazedly to herself that a 'right frame of mind' seemed completely impossible to keep in sight, let alone possess, when in the presence of that specific pixie-like Cullen. Which Bella didn't really mind as much as she would have thought.

Alice had arrived on her doorstep at exactly 7 pm, dressed far too stylishly for Bella to even recognise any of the brands, and proceeded to completely charm Charlie in the two minute wait before they were completely ready to leave. Like father like daughter, eh, Charlie? Bella had just shaken her head in amusement at his absentminded farewell as he closed the door behind the two of them.

Now, the first surprise of the evening (not including Alice's easy conquering of Charlie, because it was hardly a surprise), had been when Alice, before they entered the theater, forcibly pushed Bella into the bathroom. I know you have to go, even though I don't, because that's what people do, and you're a person. She had chosen not to argue, because Alice seemed inordinately proud of herself for being so conscientious, and had grinned blindingly at Bella when she had exited, grabbing her hand and leading her to the back row seats.

Alice had conveniently forgotten to let go of Bella's hand, once seated, and consequently Bella hadn't paid too much attention to the actual film. First she was distracted by what must be a circulatory disorder the smaller girl had, and secondly...Well, Alice Cullen was holding her hand. If she had been asked later what the movie had been about (which, luckily, she hadn't), a vague, stuttered explanation of a man who bred dogs or horses or something would have been all she could have supplied. Maybe.

The second surprise of the evening had been when the two of them went to a late dinner. Or, rather, Bella had a late dinner, while Alice pushed and prodded her Caesar salad around her plate for half an hour, nibbling periodically on a crouton or two. The actual surprise had occurred in the following conversation, as Bella tried to help her new friend (date?) through her awful eating disorder.

"Alice, I...I know I've only been in the town a week or so, and that, in the scheme of things, it's a really short time to know somebody, but I just wanted to let you know...Well, that I'm here for you if you need any help." Bella leaned toward the pixie on the opposite side of the table, catching her eyes seriously and with as much sincerity as she could muster.

The deep moment that Bella felt was about to transpire was ruined by the fact that Alice looked, for a moment, more confused than touched. The small furrow between her eyebrows smoothed after a second, before she began giggling, then all out laughing, completely oblivious to the curious looks they were getting from the other patrons in the quiet restaurant.

After getting herself under control, with only a few stray delicate snorts, Alice raised her eyes to the thoroughly embarrassed girl across from her.

Bella had expected that Alice may have reacted with offense, or burst into relieved tears at the touching show of support, but she hadn't really been ready for hysterical laughter.

Damn.

Her face was suddenly serious, and she placed her hand softly atop of Bella's.

"You're too sweet, Bella, really. But it's just that I've got a lot of allergies, and don't feel too comfortable eating outside of my own home."

Ah. Well, now Bella felt like a right idiot. You just don't go around casually accusing people of having body image disorders, you tool. Way to go, Bella. Another one bites the dust.

So, like Bella was renowned for being good at, she awkwardly scrambled. "Ah, shit. I'm so sorry, Alice. I - It's just, your circulation... I had seen a documentary on eating disorders, and it's, you know, a sign. And you're so pale. I was just connecting the...And then what with the stupid croutons, and -"

"Bella, stop."

Bella gulped and closed her mouth.

Alice grinned, amused, and stood up from the table. "Come on," she threw some bills down on the table, and when Bella opened her mouth to protest she levelled a quelling glance at her, "let's go for a drive. I've got a ride."

She opened her mouth, because Yes, she knew Alice had a car, but the pixie continued.

"I've got a smooth, slick, shiny ride." Here Bella wrinkled her nose in distaste.

"Is that, like, a euphemism? I like you Alice, I do, but don't you think it's a little early?"

Alice raised her brows innocently, and opened the door for her. "I don't know what you're talking about. It's a song."

Oh. Bella blushed spectacularly.

The third, and final, surprise of the evening was that, while parked in a secluded clearing simply chatting about the benefits of classic Chanel versus Dior, Alice revealed to Bella that she was a vampire.

Well, shit.

Definitely like no other date she'd ever been on.