Bella's friends intervene on her self-imposed isolation for a much needed solo spa day. She's sent to Edward's Cimmerian Salon for more than just a touch up. Rated T: O/S

Disclaimer: Just toying with someone else's characters. I also curse a lot, you've been warned.

Cimmerian Salon

To say that Bella Swan is a little stressed would be a gross understatement. To say that it is all her doing would be a perfectly accurate assumption. She loves the work, loves being stretched for time, pushing her deadlines, but frankly, as April comes and goes, she is just about ready to crack. Her thesis is almost complete, but still needs a few things, a few finishing touches; her courses are coming to a close, papers galore. Isabella - Call me Bella - has even taken it so far as to reject all social invitations, even those from her two best friends, Alice and Rosie.

When Rosie and Alice walk into Bella's UW dorm room, they are equal parts disgusted and in awe. There are Chinese takeout containers on the counters, coffee cups from the campus coffee shop overflowing in the trashcan, and sink, and a not-so-tidy pile (see; explosion) of clothes and textbooks scattered on every available surface.

Alice looks mildly sick as she goes to open the window to let in some fresh air. After a few seconds, the stale stench of lo mein and barbecue chicken dissipates, leaving behind the permeating smell of dirty laundry.

"Swan, this is fucking gross," Rosie calls out, effectively waking Bella up from her studying stupor. "We should be wearing Haz Mat suits, Alice."

"Shut the fuck up," Bella moans, pushing herself up from the desk, the Accounting book - her former pillow and drool deposit - being pushed aside and closed. She wipes the spare drool off the corner of her mouth and stretches, wiping the sleep out of her eyes.

"Bella, sweetie, we didn't know it was this bad! You're like… agoraphobic now."

"I've been busy, Alice. I'm a double major, and it's not as if computer science or business is easy… but I'm not afraid to leave my dorm. Shit, that's ridiculous."

"When was the last time you left the atomic bomb drop zone?" Rosie asks, pulling a pen out of her purse to pick up a stiff and starchy tank top off of Bella's desk. "This is disgusting, I hope you weren't hoping to get laid in this dump, the guy would catch something."

"For your information, Rosalie," Bella sighs irritably. "I left my dorm four days ago to meet with my thesis advisor. And then just this morning to get coffee." She takes the dirty shirt from the tip of Rosie's pen, embarrassed as it crunches in her hand. "The intern work's just got me working overtime lately, but it's already paying off. I'm getting hired on as the PR Assistant at the end of the term."

"That's great Bella, but they'll take the position right back if you look as strung out as you do. I'm surprised you don't have track marks on your arms," Alice says, wrinkling her nose in distaste. "We're staging an intervention, Bella Swan. You've got three minutes to put on some clean clothes-"

"Hey! These are clean," Bella protests. "Kind of."

"Cleaner clothes then. Rosie and I are staying here to clean up this hell hole while you meet with my ambiguous big brother, Edward."

"Alice set up the GPS in your less-than-cared for car, so just follow the directions. Emmett's gonna meet you at the salon and take your car, keys, and school shit - because we know you'll sneak some with you to work on – and make sure you get into Cimmerian." Rosie looks pleased as punch… Bella just wants to punch the shit out of her smug face. Rosie pulls out a pair of rubber gloves and pulls them onto her well-manicured hands. "We know what's trash, and what's not, so don't think we'll throw your homework and shit away."

"And," Alice continues, looking just as smug. "If you think about leaving, Edward will call us. He's doing yours truly a mondo favor by putting you in for the full treatment, so be good." Alice says, pointing to herself.

"Plus, Emmett's taking your car to get a tune up and then to get it detailed. It's almost as disgusting as this dorm room," Rosie shivers. "You're in desperate need of an oil change."

"You can say that again," Alice says, looking Bella up and down. Bella rolls her eyes and pulls her tangled and greasy brunette hair up into a messy bun.

"Now, be nice to Edward. He's sweet, and he cleared his day for this," Alice tells her. "I know how bitchy you are, but please remember that this will be his first impression of you. He's successful, and amazing, and talented, not to mention my brother, so be good."

"Hoorah," Bella cheers mirthlessly, her hand waving faintly through the air as she goes through her dorm looking for cleaner clothes.

"Jasper and Alice are on laundry detail, and after Emmett gets your car dropped off, he'll head back over here to help clear up this quarantine zone," Rosie explains. "After that, we'll leave you alone. We've got dinner with the 'rents right after this anyway."

Looking at her watch, Alice gasps and grins, clapping her hands together. "Bella, your appointment is in twenty minutes! Go! Go! Shoo! Emmett's already at the salon, waiting to introduce you to Edward."

Bella wants to protest - so, so bad! - wants to say, "Get the fuck out and let me finish my spreadsheets, you harpies," but she knows better than to fight both Rosie and Alice. Plus, she can take her Blackberry and work on some of her emails while she's getting the "full treatment." Can't she?

Grumbling about shitty friends, Bella grabs her messenger bag and her keys and heads off to her car. There's a post-it on the steering wheel from Alice with the address of Cimmerian Salon. "Just in case you fuck up the GPS, love Alice," Bella reads aloud, then sighs. "I have the shittiest friends, ever!"

The trip from her dorm to the salon isn't that far, nor is it hard to find. When she arrives, she automatically finds Emmett. His gigantic stature is clearly viewable from miles away, and he's standing with someone off to the side of the salon. Taking a closer look, Bella pulls up her sunglasses to take in whom she's sure is the newest Cullen to make her acquaintance.

He's tall, almost as tall as Emmett, but much thinner, leaner, like a track runner, as opposed to Emmett's wrestling build. His hair is in perfect disarray, and from the looks of it, it is completely natural in its wild coloring. His tight skinny black jeans accentuate his firm thighs and calves, down to his high-top Chucks. They're dingy, like they're well loved and well worn. His shirt is a thin cotton-like tee and is just tight enough for the vague appearance of a toned chest and stomach. The shirt is long enough until he raises his arms, barely covering his belt from view.

Bella's momentarily stunned. He doesn't look much like Emmett, aside from the fact that they're both aesthetically pleasing (very, very much so in fact). She looks down at herself and curses the fact that Rosie and Alice let her out of the apartment in gym shorts and an old wife beater. Something Alice said comes to mind then, the "ambiguous big brother" comment. From his looks, Edward could quite possibly be gay. Most of the hot ones were, and the fact that he's a hairdresser, well, the points are clearly not adding up in Bella's favor.

"Damn."

Sighing, she pushes her sunglasses back down to the bridge of her nose and carefully tucks her Blackberry into the elastic band of her gym shorts. She's ready to relinquish the rest of her work (life) to the Grizzly Bear that is Emmett Cullen, but not her baby. Her Blackberry is almost always in contact with some part of her flesh, and even if she has to give up everything else, the Blackberry stays. Period.

As she gets out of the car, she doesn't bother locking it since Emmett will just be stealing her only means of transportation (escape) here shortly. She keeps her eyes on the Brothers Cullen and moans to herself, biting her bottom lip, as Edward "I'm-Most-Likely-Not-Interested-in-Your-Nether-Regions" Cullen takes a long drag of his cigarette, his perfect glass-green eyes targeted on her. As she walks toward them, she tries not to break eye contact with him, not until he looks away and says, "That her?" to Emmett, just loud enough for her to make out.

To which, Emmett turns and boisterously replies, "Bella Swan, you're a bum, but shit son, you're hot!"

Such is the normal – and quite frankly – the expected greeting from Emmett.

"Yeah. If Rosie wasn't my best friend, I'd home wreck the shit out of you." She smirks and winks at the brothers.

Sex-In-Chucks sputters out a cough, laughing through the exhale of smoke as Emmett grins in her direction.

"Bella," Emmett points to her, and then Edward. "Edward. He's the middle kid, a regular Jan Brady."

"Marcia, Marcia, Marcia," Edward squawks, winking at Bella as he crosses his arms petulantly, carefully ashing his cigarette.

"What's your boyfriend's name again?" Emmett asks Edward, nudging his shoulder. Edward just rolls his eyes and sighs, like its nothing new. "I'm not gay," he flatly voices. "I'm comfortable with myself, and I'm good at my job. Now shut the fuck up or I'll tell mom."

"Edward's the ambiguous mystery of the Cullen family," Emmett explains. "I mean, seriously, look at his outfit… it screams-"

Before he can finish, Edward says, "Well put together." Bella says, "Sexy as all hell," and Emmett replies, "Flaming homo."

Bella laughs at all of their descriptions.

"'Sexy as all hell,' Bella, really?" Emmett asks, looking mock-affronted. "Bella, his pants are so tight they're sticking to his legs. That's not sexy, honey. That's gay."

"Knock off the gay jokes, Em, it's obnoxious," Edward says, rolling the cherry out of the butt of his cigarette, tossing the burnt out end into the trashcan.

"Edward, bro, you know I love you."

"Yeah, yeah," Edward replies affectionately. "Now, Bella, let's get this train wreck," he points to her. "Off the streets and into my salon."

"See! That's what I'm talking about," Emmett laughs. "Bring the boyfriend to dinner tonight." He reaches for Bella's purse and keys, looking through the bag thoughtfully, searching. "Books, check, notebook, check." He turns to leave and walks a few steps before doubling back, putting his hands on her hips and pulling her to him, effectively feeling the clandestine Blackberry.

"Naughty girl, Bella," Emmett says and reaches under the elastic band to get the phone.

Bella pouts and waves at the electronic device as it's taken away. "Bye bye, Humphrey, I'll miss you baby!"

"You named your phone Humphrey?" Edward asks as Emmetts leaves them.

"No, that's Emmett's code name in our affair," Bella says, rolling her eyes. "Of course that's the name of my Blackberry. You know, of the Bogart persuasion?"

Edward nods. He laughs and lifts the left sleeve of his shirt. The tattoo work is impeccable, and just another sexy detail about "ambiguous" Edward Cullen that Bella doesn't quite know what to make of.

"I wanted to be a film student, a director actually, before I got into hair dressing and cosmetology. I was twenty-four before I changed my mind. I have a degree from UCLA's Film School. Casablanca's one of my favorite movies. I got the scene marker my sophomore year, after we got our first short film finished. My junior year, I added in the scene and take number from my favorite part of Casablanca. Then after I changed my mind, after I got my degree and everything, I got 'Here's looking at you, kid' added to the bottom."

The quarter sleeve has more than just a movie marker and some words. Above the whole piece are the words, "LABELLE AURORE", Humphrey Bogart's Hollywood star off to the right of the marker, a piano, and a music staff of "As Time Goes By" on the left of the marker. The last part of the tattoo is a map of Morocco, a small star marking Casablanca.

"Is that a canon's fire, or is that my heart pounding?" Bella quotes. She puts her hand over her heart and flutters her eyelashes.

"You're my kind of girl, Bella Swan. Definitely my kind of girl."

Bella rolls her eyes and shrugs, looking nonchalant, but inside, she's doing a happy dance, adding one point to the straight side of the 'Edward Equation.' "Well, aren't you lucky, Edward, my schedule was conveniently cleared, just for you. So, for the rest of the day, I'm yours," she flirtatiously says and smiles brightly.

"So, Cimmerian is usually just a hair salon, but, you're getting the V.I.P treatment, which includes a massage on top of everything that comes with hair styling. My other stylists are in with their clients for another hour, so while they're still here, I'll get started on your hair."

"Hey Edward?" Bella asks, grinning as she thinks about what she's about to say. When Edward turns around, she winks. "What's your boyfriend's name again?"

"Emmett just teases me about all that because I don't want to settle down. I've got a great job, and my whole life ahead of me for the house with the fence, the wife and the two point five kids. Right now, I'm just content with being me."

"Well, if it makes you feel any better, I get the feeling that Alice has a cupid plot going on with this V.I.P. shindig. I'm way into my work and finishing my degree, and she doesn't understand that sometimes. I mean, I'm twenty-two for Christ's sake. I don't need to go out every night, or you know, do laundry… like ever."

Edward nods in understanding and backs away, all the while laughing. He opens the door to lead her into the establishment with a large, albeit contemplative grin on his face.

"Edward!"

In a flurry of movement, there's a girl at his side, talking and asking questions, and if Bella didn't know any better, she'd think that he'd planned this. Hands on her hips, Bella watches as Edward answers the questions as they come, about tinting, length, and styles, and after a minute or so, the girl stops, looking at Bella.

"Welcome to Cimmerian," she says sweetly, for Edward's benefit, Bella's sure. The face the girl is sporting isn't exactly one of excellent customer service, more like an "I'll cut you" face. Bella wouldn't trust this girl with a pair of kindergarten scissors, let alone hair cutting shears. "I'm Jessica, do you have an appointment?"

"Mhm," Bella says, her voice is downright angelic. She blinks and smiles wide at Jessica. "Maybe you can help me find my stylist, Jessica?" She catches Edward's amused grin. "I have an appointment with… shoot! I plum forgot his name," she sighs dramatically. "My best friend made the appointment for me. Said he's a total heart throb."

Jessica looks less than amused, but nods. "Well, Tyler's in the back, but he's got a customer right now, not to mention married, and Nick's off for the day. What's your name, I'll see who you're supposed to be with."

"Oh! I remember now," Bella exclaims, hand over her heart. "Edward!"

"I think you're mistaken, sweetie, Edward's schedule is cleared for the day for a family friend, but I can see if Tyler can squeeze you in, or maybe his wife, Lizzie." Jessica adds, emphasizing the word 'wife' quite a bit.

"Jessica," Edward says, laughing. "That's the family friend. Now, Nicole is waiting for her low-lights. Remember, just because she says go platinum, give your professional opinion, remember what happened last time? She wants highlights, not frylights."

"She walked out looking like a dead beat," Jessica says petulantly. "It's not my fault she asked for the lightest blonde we have." She walks away after that, tossing that same dirty look at Bella before heading over to her station.

"Did you have fun, Bella?" Edward asks, still laughing.

"Absolutely. Now, where do we start? I don't mean to be rude, even if you are hot, but I've got a thesis to finish, and a project to complete for my internship, I'm all tapped out on time, and this little intervention is a time-eating beast." She reaches up and pulls the hair band out of her ratty hair and shakes her head easily, the auburn tresses reaching about mid-shoulder.

"Jesus, I didn't know what we were working with. This will take a lot longer than I thought it would," Edward says, pulling a comb from his back pocket. "What kind of cut do you want? Obviously something low maintenance, but still something professional and provocative. Right?"

"That sounds about right. What about something old school, like traditional 50's or something? Like a bob?"

Edward tilts his head to the side, pulling her hair back to see what it would look like. "I'm thinking more modern for your face shape, perhaps an A-Line like Beckham's wife?"

"Actually, let's do that."

"Suivez-moi."

Bella blinks her eyes open as Edward takes her hand and laces their fingers. 'Finding Nemo' might just be her second favorite movie of all time, and … well, for him to use the French accent and voice, and… She almost says something ridiculous, like, "To the ends of the Earth," but stops herself as McHot-Hair-Dresser leads the way. She follows like Edward's little puppy, a silly little grin on her face as he pulls her behind the curtain of the shampooing station. He sits her down in a soft chair and props her neck up with a towel. "Close your eyes, Bella, so the shampoo doesn't get in your eyes."

She does, and Edward turns on the taps, waiting for the water to warm up before he begins to dampen her hair, carefully making sure to get every strand before getting three pumps of the shampoo. When he starts lathering the product in her hair, he sighs.

When Bella opens her eyes, she asks, "What?"

"Do you ever feel like you're just lonely? Like, all that shit that Emmett teases with, you know? I'm happy with my career, and for my house and everything, but at the end of the day-"

"You still go back to your empty dorm room with three-day-old Chinese food?" Bella asks, finishing Edward's sentence.

"Exactly."

"Sometimes, I guess. I've been so busy for the last four years that I really haven't thought much about it, you know? I suppose I'd like to sleep next to someone, or tell someone about the mundane details of my day, but…" She lets the sentence trail off, and Edward doesn't try to finish it.

As Edward finishes up with Bella's shampooing, he towel dries her hair out and views the tips. "So, you've got great coloring, that's obvious, but it's all washed out, so if you're not opposed, we'll add some high lights and low lights?"

"I'm not really opposed to anything, Edward. Really. I don't care; I've got deadlines…"

"So, you're looking for a 'wham bam thank you ma'am' kind of deal? In. Out. On your way?" Edward asks. He's smiling brightly, and Bella nods earnestly. "Alright, well the tinting will take the longest, but we'll get started now, and call in a rain check for the rest of the appointment?"

"You can't tell Alice," Bella says. "She told me to be nice."

"Well, perhaps, while the tint is in, and your head's under the dryer, I can convince Emmett to bring Humphrey back, and instead of just sitting there, making awkward conversation with your lowly hair stylist, you can get some work done?"

There's a hint of amusement there. Bella doesn't feel as if she's being rude, just dedicated and understood by a fellow professional. "I can multi-task like a pro, Edward Cullen, you just wait. If you get me my phone back, not only will I feel useful, but I will also guarantee perfect conversation as well as my rapier wit."

As Edward begins to part her hair into sections, he looks at her through the mirror and says, "You've got yourself a deal, Bella Swan, but I'll be expecting damn fine conversation."

The cut goes quick enough, and as it goes, Bella tries to keep her word, asking questions of Edward, about Alice and Emmett and how being a middle child influenced his choices.

"Well, see, Emmett's the oldest, so naturally, everything he screwed up, I knew to avoid. And with Alice as the baby, I didn't get any special treatment, but I was also kind of off the hook for a lot of things. Emmett and I are way overprotective of Alice, but we're her big brothers, so that's our job. I'm much more responsible than Emmett and much more carefree than Alice. My mother says I'm the best of both worlds," he says with a huge grin on his face as he stares at Bella in the mirror.

"We have dinner every Sunday, and now that Alice's engaged to Jasper and Emmett's seeing Rosie, I'm the main topic of conversation at our little get-togethers."

"I know how that goes," Bella laughs, watching as Edward cuts little snippets here and there from her long hair. "My mom and dad live in Texas, so when I do go out there, it's all about how I need to settle down. Like…. Don't they understand that I'm just not interested in that right now?"

He turns the chair around so that she's facing his chest. He wants to finish up the bangs for the look, and shake her hair out so all the loose pieces fall onto the floor. "This is a really good style for you, Bella, and I think it will be manageable for you for a long time. You won't have to touch up the low lights, they'll fade naturally with the sun, and the cut should flow out well as your hair grows."

Edward pulls his phone out and dials for Emmett. "Em, hey, it's Edward, I need you to come back to Cimmerian," he pauses. "No, she's fine, I just need you to bring her phone back. Yes, I know its Sunday. I don't care. She has to have her head under the dryer for thirty minutes; she needs something to do, so let her work. Bring the phone back."

As Edward hangs the phone up and stuffs it back into his pocket, Bella smiles wide, "I could just kiss you!" She doesn't obviously, but looks into the mirror, standing to see her hair better, fingering the ends as she examines her new look. "I really like it, by the way. I think it's great."

"It looks good on you," Edward nods. "It's short, kinda sassy." His teasing does not go unnoticed, and Bella turns to face him hands on her hips.

"I am not sassy, I'm confident. There is a difference, Cullen," she says, rolling her eyes. "I just want to get Alice and Rosie off my back. If it's not my dorm, it's my internship, and if it's neither of those, it's my relationships, or lack thereof. Can't I just be a slob until graduation?"

Edward laughs, but nods, understanding exactly how Alice is, knowing that Emmett is no better. "Em is a huge jerk to me about stuff like that, but he's my brother, and he wants me happy. I get that. He just doesn't get that I am happy. Alice's no better, but I love them both."

Bella sits back down, hands folded, bored and waiting for her phone. It takes a couple of minutes, where Edward is idly working on her hair, and she's trying not to look awkward, but Emmett finally shows up with Humphrey and hands it over.

"So how's my dorm?" she asks, almost afraid to know the answer. "I'm scared to see how it's gonna turn out."

"I don't know about your place, but your car was a wreck, babe. You were low on oil, brake fluid, water, everything. Your tire pressure was low. You were running on fumes, and you're interior smelled like crusty, old bread."

"I've been busy," Bella defends herself automatically, holding Humphrey closer, like Emmett'll take it away again.

"You've been neglectful," Emmett argues.

"Don't even start, Emmett, I get enough from Alice and Rosie."

"Because they care about you. You could have died in your car. It was so bad it leaked, the car could have overheated and you wouldn't have even noticed."

"Cut it out, Emmett," Edward intervenes. "Just go fix it for her, and get Rosie and Alice out of her place. I'll be done in an hour."

"Yeah, yeah," Emmett mumbles, heading out the door. "Mom wants you at dinner right after, and don't even think about ditching out. She misses you."

Edward rolls his eyes and flips Emmett off, waiting for him to leave the salon completely.

"So, uh, thanks for that," Bella says shyly. "Emmett means well, but he's like… a major pain in the ass when he pulls the big brother card on me."

"I've dealt with it all my life," Edward laughs, nudging her shoulder softly. "I've got your back. And anyway, you've got your phone now, so I can start with the coloring, and voila, we'll be done. Then you can go back to work, and I can go to my oh-so-amazing family dinner."

"You could ditch it," she grins, feeling somewhat back to normal after Emmett's mini-lecture. "I mean, what would it hurt? You can just go see your mom tomorrow or something, right?"

"I like the way you think, Swan. Deceiving, yet thoughtful," he laughs. "I'm just gonna head back and get the tinting and color ready, I'll be right back. You have fun with your emails."

As they continue through the hair dying, drying, and tinting process, Bella follows through with her multitasking promise, getting to know Edward better and proving that she can, indeed, do more than one thing at a time. She's almost disappointed when he's finished, because he just… gets her, and she feels like maybe she gets him too.

"All done, Miss Swan. Now let's get you back home, so you can see how much damage the girls have done to your place."

She groans and follows behind Edward as he locks up Cimmerian and waits for him to lead her to his car. The black Mercedes is sleek and so clean she's afraid to sit in it with her dirty gym shorts, and when she tells him this, he just laughs at her and pulls her into the passenger seat.

She directs him back to the dorm, the time spent relatively quiet except for Bella's minor directional comments. When they get into the parking lot, she smiles sadly, not truly wanting to say goodbye, and wonders if he's feeling the same way.

"So, thank you for this," she says, her tone a little defeated, but trying to hide it with faux-happy.

"Would it be weird for me to ask to see you again? I mean... I don't really have too many friends beside the happy couples. Single friends are hard to come by at our age," he makes a joke out of it, and Bella lets out a relieved sigh. She hands him Humphrey and takes his phone, adding her number to it as he does the same.

"If you go to the dinner tonight," Bella says, getting out of the car, leaning in through the open passenger window. "Have a good time. See you around."

She pulls out her keys and walks with caution up to her door, grimacing as she smells the cleaning products from all the way in the walkway. She turns around and waves a final farewell to Edward and walks into her dorm.

The place, as the smells led her to believe, is spotless. Her counters don't have trash or dirty clothes on them. She can see her carpet, her furniture upholstery, and can even see the marks from the vacuum on the rugs. Her desk is free of all the papers and notes she'd taken and –

"Wait, where are my notes?"

Alice and Rosie look up from the kitchen table which is cleaner than she's seen it in months. "You mean the scribbled pages on top of the pizza box by your desk?" Alice asks. When Bella nods, she shrugs. "We put all the questionable papers in the mail bin, unsure what the scribbles meant, we didn't want to throw anything away."

"Also, your laundry took five loads. Five whole loads. Shit, I mean, I know we like to drag you shopping, but that doesn't mean you don't have to wash your old clothes, Bella."

Bella rolls her eyes and squats down next to the bin of all of her notes. All the pages are balled up and crinkled from when Alice and Rosie threw them there. "Your hair looks so cute, Bella," she says to herself. "Edward really did a great job, didn't he?"

"No need to get melodramatic, Bella," Rosie says, sighing. "Of course your hair looks amazing. We get our hair done by Edward. We wouldn't have sent you to an amateur."

"It would have been nice for you to say something about it, I mean, you two are the ones who exiled me, taking all of my work, and thrust me into a shitty situation." She stands, tossing her notes back into the bin to go through later. Walking to the cupboard, she reaches up to get out a cup for water and finds all of her dishes rearranged.

"Where are my cups?"

"Your kitchen was such a mess, you seriously don't even know. I had to rearrange everything just to get all your mismatched dishes to fit," Alice says, shrugging.

"My cupboards were fine the way they were," Bella says, trying not to get mad.

"You put your cups next to your spice cupboard? That's ridiculous."

"I put my cups where I want to put my cups," she says through gritted teeth. "I like my cups next to the sink because I like to wake up at ass-o'clock in the morning for water without having to look through my mismatched dishes to find them."

"We were just trying to help you, Bella, the least you could do is thank us," Rosie says, crossing her arms. "You don't have to yell at us. This place was a disaster. It smelled like rotting food and dirty clothes, and I wasn't even sure if you had a couch anymore because all of the trash."

"Not to mention all of the clothes everywhere," Alice adds. "The laundry was out of control. You seriously should get out of this place more often I mean-"

Before Alice can finish her sentence, Bella throws the glass against the wall, watching it shatter all over the pristinely cleaned kitchen tiles.

"I like disorder! I like not having to worry about clothes or dishes or anything besides my schoolwork, and the intern work. If you'd have bothered to ask, you'd know that I was done in a week. I'd be having this same sort of deal with myself then. But you didn't ask, you demanded! Shit, guys, I love you. You're the best friends I could ever ask for, and I know you all care about me, but Jesus fucking Christ!"

She picks up her phone, her keys, and walks to the door, turning for a moment so she can finish her tantrum. "Don't clean up the fucking glass. I'll do it when I get home. You can lock up." As she turns around, there's a knock at the door.

She pulls it open quickly and sees Edward's hand still up in a knocking formation. "What are you doing here?"

"I heard a glass break. Is everything ok?"

She screams, stomping her foot. "Everything is just fucking fine!" She pushes past him, and he looks inside her apartment to see Rosie and Alice both stunned into a frozen-like silence. He laughs and closes the door.

"So," he begins, following next to her. "I didn't know if the guy-rules applied, but I didn't want to wait a week before I got to see you again. Want to go get some coffee?"

"What about dinner with your mother?"

"I'm sure Rosie and Alice will tell her about your little screaming match, and tell them that I followed after you. So… coffee?"

"Yeah, that sounds great," she sighs, leaning against him as he wraps his arm over her shoulder. "I'll be up all night rearranging my cupboard and my thesis notes. I need the caffeine."

They go to a quiet little cafe and sit down with their coffees. Bella explains everything about her clean apartment and her tirade to Edward and he explains his inner monologue about seeing her again so soon.

He smirks and holds up his cup to Bella for a toast. "Here's looking at you, kid."

Fin

Beta'd by snshyne