Baby You Can Drive My Car
DISCLAIMER: All of these characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. Thanks SM, for letting me play with them!
Renesmee Cullen was looking forward to the summer.
She had had an enjoyable year. Unlike the rest of her family, this was the first time Renesmee had experienced the wonders of high school. She had finally been old enough, both chronologically and physically, to attend without drawing undue attention to herself. It had been an exciting and eye-opening time, allowing her to make friends and to gain a better understanding of the world outside of her immediate family.
Of course, there were the inevitable drawbacks. Attending classes with the rest of her eternally youthful family, her "cousins" as it were, had been at the best, somewhat challenging, and at the worst, just downright annoying. They loved her, and wanted to protect her, Renesmee knew, but having two aunts and two uncles watch over her every social interaction was irksome indeed. However, that was nothing compared to attending school with her parents. When they were added into the mix, especially a father with the ability to read minds, she had to constantly remind herself that their monitoring of her and her friends' behavior was only out of concern, and should not be considered interference. Her father and mother might always resemble seventeen-year-olds in their looks, but they definitely had the mindset of long-term experienced parents.
Renesmee was determined to be as normal as her schoolmates as possible. She did not want to stand out as being different, a fact she knew she could not totally escape no matter how hard she tried. It was with this in mind that she decided to approach her parents one day regarding a familiar teenage rite of passage.
Renesmee wanted to learn to drive.
On the face of it, learning to drive seemed rather ridiculous. After all, everyone else in the Cullen family already drove. There was nowhere she would ever need to go at any time that she would not be able to find someone to happily drive her. Because, as everyone in town knew, the Cullens loved their cars.
So it was that Renesmee approached her father one day hesitant yet determined regarding the matter. She had hoped to find him alone, but in a house full of vampires that was not always easy. She heard the gentle strains of his latest composition coming from the greatroom and considered herself fortunate. Edward was always most absorbed when he was at his piano, and she hoped that the distraction would give her the advantage she wanted when bringing up the possibility of driving to him.
When she entered the room, however, Renesmee almost turned back around and left. It seemed like everyone in the household was there. There was no way she could escape their notice. She noted, however, that at least her grandparents and her Uncle Jasper were not around. And more importantly, her mother was nowhere to be seen.
"Hey 'Nessie, come over here and let me whup your butt!" Uncle Emmett was camped out on the floor in front of the big screen, busily killing aliens with his newest video game, and hated to play alone. He loved the competition.
Renesmee laughed and shook her head. "Maybe later." She then glanced over toward her father, who had looked up from the piano when she spoke. She smiled timidly at him.
"Why?" Edward suddenly asked as she met his eye. He smiled back at her. "You have a room full of more than willing chauffeurs right here, you know," he joked. Edward's remarks weren't really a surprise. He had read her thoughts before Renesmee even had a chance to put them into words. It was a habit of his that could sometimes be irritating.
"Why what?" Renesmee was startled to hear her mother's beautiful voice. She was surprised to see Bella laying behind the sofa flat on her back, under the piano no less, eyes closed, seemingly enraptured by her husband's music. Renesmee rolled her eyes. Her parents' relationship was so... intense at times. She had hoped to avoid a confrontation with Bella until she had persuaded her father of her idea. It wasn't that she didn't love her mother; on the contrary, they were so much alike that they frequently butted heads, especially where Bella thought her daughter's well-being was at stake. Renesmee's father, on the other hand, seemed more content to trust her judgment, this sometimes surprising the rest of the family. They attributed it to Edward's desire to spoil his daughter, but Renesmee believed it was more likely that he could read the sincerity and maturity behind her thoughts.
"Renesmee thinks it is time for her to start driving," Edward said dryly.
"Oh, honey, I don't know." Bella said, propping herself up on one elbow. "Don't you think you're a little too young?" Her mother did have a point. Technically Renesmee was only eight years old.
"Mama, Papa Carlisle says that physically I'm sixteen now." Her grandfather had kept meticulous records of Renesmee's accelerated growth, fascinated by it as only a physician could be. He felt that she was exhibiting all the physical traits of a teenager in her mid-teens, albeit a very mature one, in spite of her chronological age. "That's older than when either you or Papa learned to drive." Renesmee tried her best not to sound whiny.
"You obviously have been considering how to present your argument, complete with rationalizations." Edward chuckled. "And who were you planning on getting to teach you?"
Before Renesmee could answer Jacob came bounding into the room. "Did you ask them yet?" he asked eagerly.
Edward grimaced. "Why am I not surprised?" After years of having Jake in the family, Renesmee's father still had not completely accepted his presence. He knew that Jacob Black would always be involved in their lives, but this fact certainly didn't make him like him any better. There was just too much history between them.
"Oh come on, Edward, you know she'd be safe with me!" Jake pleaded.
"Which car were you planning on using?" Bella asked. Renesmee perked up. It seemed like her mother was giving her tacit consent without even putting up a fight. Listening to her father's playing must have really put her in a good mood.
Jake grinned. "You know I've been working on my car, and I think -"
"Oh please," Rosalie interrupted, looking up from her latest issue of Car and Driver. "That piece of junk? A Cullen wouldn't be caught dead in it!" She said sarcastically.
"Interesting choice of words, Blondie." There was no love lost between Jacob and Renesmee's aunt. "And I'll have you know, it's a classic!" Renesmee knew that Jake was very proud of his '67 Shelby Mustang. He had been working on it tirelessly for the past couple of months with the express intention of taking her out in the automobile when it was ready. "Whose car would you suggest then? Yours?" Rose's current vehicle of choice was a fire engine red Lamborghini.
Rosalie snorted. "Certainly not! I'd never get the dog stink out!"
"Hey 'Ness," Emmett interjected. "You can have my Jeep!" He laughed. "I've wanted to get a Hummer anyway!"
"Ooh, why don't you take my Porsche?" Renesmee's Aunt Alice chimed in. She didn't even bother to look up from her computer. "Of course, it would just be a loaner," she added.
"Too bad I don't have my truck anymore," Bella mused.
Everyone groaned. "Bella!"
"The Volvo has certainly been road tested enough. " Edward considered thoughtfully. "That would probably be the best choice."
Renesmee's head was spinning. She had no idea that learning to drive would be so complicated, and she wasn't even behind the wheel yet.
At that moment Uncle Jasper walked into the room. He sensed her distress and looked at her with concern. Before he could ask Renesmee darted over to Jasper and wrapped her arms around him in a loving hug. He paused. "Why sure, darlin', I guess so," he said as he looked down at her quizzically. He could see what she had envisioned, but didn't understand the meaning behind it. He glanced across the room toward Edward, who returned his look with a glare.
"Absolutely not!" Edward announced sternly.
"What's wrong?" Bella asked with concern in her voice.
"Oh chill out, Edward, it's going to being fine," Alice laughed.
"What?" Emmett, Rose, Jake, and Bella demanded together.
"Uncle Jasper is going to teach me to ride his Ducati!" Renesmee crowed triumphantly.
"All right!" Jake pumped his fist in the air and grinned. "Now that's what I'm talking about!"
Edward narrowed his eyes at Jacob, a low growl rumbling in his chest. Everyone knew Edward's feelings about Jake. And about motorcycles. And most especially, about Jake and motorcycles. Just too much history there.
Renesmee sighed. It was going to be a long summer.