This was my submission for the Fandom4Storms fundraiser and I hope you enjoy it.
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Edward & Bella. I just made Edward dorky and Bella a dancer.
I stood nervously with a huge bunch of red roses. After arranging this meeting, I googled "how to impress a woman" because I mean... Google knows everything, right? Well at least I thought it did.
On the eHow page, it said "Women always love roses" so today, I bought a huge bouquet and made my way to the airport in my beat up Volvo. It was filled with crap and I needed to sort it out. I planned to do it this morning but I got involved in World of Warcraft and when I have things like cleaning to do, World of Warcraft wins every time.
I got so involved that I'd almost forgotten that I had to come meet Tatiana. I'm sure she'd kill me if I left her stranded at an airport in a strange country. Tatiana is the Russian woman who contacted me on Facebook.
What? I'm young and horny. All I have for company is WoW and the work I do at the local computer store. I don't have any friends. I just plod along in my own little world and do what I need to survive. Nothing wrong with that, is there?
Well, that's how I see it but my brother and sister think, and I quote, that "I'm downright weird"
See, my brother and sister are bubbly, outgoing people. My brother, Emmett has had girls following him like lovesick puppies since fifth grade. My sister, Alice, was the life and the soul of every party. Hell, she was the thrower of almost every party that was ever thrown in our small hometown of Forks, Washington. If there was a party, Alice would no doubt be involved in it one way or another.
But all that seemed to skip me. I never had a following or was considered cool. From a young age, I tried and succeeded in blending into the background. I read my comics, played my games and watched Doctor Who re-runs. I'm pretty sure my elder brother and sister did more than enough partying to cover my share. When Emmett was out with his latest conquest, I'd be in my room being my normal old self.
There had been one girl, once. She'd changed the way I was and I loved her so damn much. But as much as I wanted to remember those days, it just hurt too much to remember so I blocked it out. Unfortunately blocking out didn't mean I could forget. I would never forget her.
I shook my head and realised that I was gripping the roses so hard that the thorns were cutting into my hands. I blew out a breath and checked the board. Tatiana's flight had landed and was going through security. She'd be out soon.
I threw my hand through my hair and studied the petals of the roses. I hadn't even realised that Tatiana had come through until I heard my name being called with a thick Russian accent.
I lifted my head and saw Tatiana. To say she was beautiful was an understatement. She had beautiful blonde hair and aqua blue eyes. She smiled and I swear in that moment, I saw something in that smile but I pushed it away and thrust the roses at her.
And when I say thrust, I mean I well and truly thrust. So much so I hit Tatiana straight in the face with them. "Oh God. I'm so, so sorry! I'm such a clutz."
"It's fine. Really. Fine."
I cocked my eyebrow. "You know English really well."
Tatiana's eyes grew wide. "I know some better than other."
I nodded and took hold of Tatiana's case. "Well let's get going. Are you hungry?"
"I'll stop at IHOP on the way back."
Tatiana nodded and I knew she had no clue what I was on about. I took her bag and walked her to my car. All the way to the garage, I couldn't help but feel this unexplainable pull toward her. Like I needed to touch her. I shook my head as I opened the door for her. Her eyes widened as she took in the state of my car. Yea, maybe I should have cleaned the car before I came to pick her up.
Tatiana slipped in and sat down while I loaded her case in the trunk. She sat twiddling her thumbs as I climbed in and I quickly started the car. Easing out the space, I drove us over to IHOP. If the tension between us was bad out in the open, it was even worse in the car. I itched to lean across and place my hand on her leg but I stopped myself. She'd think I was some kind of leachy freak if I did.
As we walked into the restaurant, I chanced a look at Tatiana. I mean, I really looked at her. Her blonde hair with soft curls stopped at the centre of her back, her eyes were a beautiful aqua blue and her lips full. She kept biting said lip and I put that down to her being in a strange, unknown country with a man she'd never met before.
We walked up to the podium and were quickly seated. I didn't really know what to do next. What do we talk about? Do I ask her about home or what? God, I wish I could call Emmett and ask him for advice but there was no way in hell I'd do that. He'd rip the piss out of me for doing this and I didn't want to deal with that.
There was always Alice but that in itself would open a whole can of worms and mean I'd been faced with the modern day equivalent of the Spanish Inquisition. No way in hell did I want that.
Aside from Emmett and Alice, I had no else to ask aside from my mom and as much as I loved her, I didn't want her to know about this. I sighed and Tatiana who was staring at the table looked up and reached out to touch my hand. Her thumb just grazed the back of my palm and I felt that energy again but it was so much more concentrated. It was like an electric jolt through me. What the hell?
I hadn't felt anything like this since…
I quickly shot that thought down. I wasn't going to go there. She was gone and wasn't coming back. Not now. Not ever.
I looked up to Tatiana's blue eyes. "Yes?"
"You not happy?"
I shook my head. "No, I'm fine. I'm better than fine. Honestly."
Tatiana nodded but didn't seem convinced. The waitress came over and I ordered us blueberry pancakes with syrup and coffee. I knew I needed to speak before Tatiana thought I'd become a mute.
"So, what's it like in Russia?"
"Cold and dank. I just wanted to go."
I nodded. "I've always wanted to visit Russia. That's what studying Russian History does to you, I guess."
"Yes, lots of people who come to Moscow are there for history and to see Lenin."
Tatiana sounded disgusted at that and I couldn't help but laugh. "What? Creepy, going all that way to see a dead man!"
"I suppose it is. Tell me about you."
Our food arrived as I spoke and as we ate Tatiana began to tell me about her family. Her father worked hard in the police force and she never saw him that much. I guess you could say he was married to his job. Her mother was a seamstress but had given up work to raise her. Her mother had passed away a few years ago from ill health and she was pretty much alone most the time. I couldn't help but feel sorry for the poor girl. She'd had so much thrown at her in her life and yet here she was. She seemed so intelligent and confident and I couldn't help but wonder why she'd felt the need to contact a complete stranger over the internet. It just didn't seem to click. At all. The whole time we ate, it bugged me and when we were finally back in the car, I bit the bullet and decided to ask her.
"Tatiana, I hope you don't mind me asking but why did you feel the need to contact me? You're beautiful and stunning and I'm sure any man would want you."
She shrugged and looked up to me. "When I saw the picture. I knew. I had to see you."
To say I was floored by her admission would be an understatement, she'd come all this way on the basis of one picture. I just couldn't wrap it around my head. I was just me, Edward who lives in beat up sweaters and has floppy hair that never does what I need or want it to. Just plain ole me but it seemed like I was everything Tatiana wanted. I looked over at her when we reached a stop light.
"Wow, I don't know what to say. At all. I'm floored."
Tatiana's brow furrowed. "Floored?"
I smiled. "It means shocked."
Tatiana smiled too and I was hit by memories of her again and this time as much as I tried I couldn't push them back down again.
"Edward, put me down. You're such a dork sometimes."
I laughed. "Isn't that why you love me because, and I quote, I'm 'a dork and you don't give a fuck that I am'?"
"Yes but right now you're being an uber dork. I'm sorry I didn't know who Luke Skywalker was."
I tickled Bella's side and hauled her further down my back. "Edward Anthony Cullen, you are SO going to pay!"
"Well Bellarina, you'll have to get down first."
"Oh trust me I will and once I do you, my sweet, lovely Dorkward are gonna pay."
As I came back to the here and now I looked over to Tatiana. "I'm sorry. I zoned out. I was remembering something that was too painful"
Tatiana placed her hand over mine and squeezed it. "I'm here."
I couldn't help but feel that Tatiana's words had a double meaning but I just put that down to blind hope. I always hoped I'd see Bella again. Some day.
"I know and I need to stop dwelling on the past. The past is the past. She isn't coming back. She hasn't come back for twelve years. Why would she come back now?"
The look of shock on Tatiana's face and the tears in her eyes knocked me for six. I pulled over and reached over to console her. "Hey. I'm sorry if that sounded harsh but I'm not like that. It's just I was remembering things I would rather forget. That's all."
Tatiana nodded and scrubbed her hand over her face. I kissed her on the forehead and drove us home resolving never to bring up Bella in front of her again. Bella always brought the worst out of me since she'd left me all those years ago.
"Edward, I'm leaving. I have to leave. I can't stay here anymore. I have dreams. I want to see the world and staying here with you will mean I never will."
"I want to come with."
"You can't Edward. I need to do this. I'm sorry. I'll always love you."
I couldn't help the vicious snort that came from me. "You'll always love me? If you loved me, you wouldn't be leaving me. You'd stay here with me and we'd go to Seattle and start a life together."
And just like that Bella walked out my life forever.
I pulled up to the house and knew I had to stop thinking about Bella. I had to concentrate on Tatiana. She was here and Bella wasn't. That told me all I needed to know.
Tatiana had been here a few days and seemed to have settled in. She always seemed to want to be with me and we'd been going out constantly. I'd never been out this much before. Well, not since Bella. Bella had dragged me out to her prom, to parties. You name it, we were there together. She'd help me find that balance I'd needed but once she'd left, I'd gone back to how I'd been before the most popular girl had started to date me. In fact, I think I got worse.
"Edward, you need to leave this room. Please, I'm worried about you."
"I'm not going anywhere."
"Edward, come on. We've always been close. Please tell me what happened, please."
"Alice, I don't want to talk about it. Just leave me alone. Please."
"Edward, it's Dad's honouring ceremony. You can't miss that!"
"Alice, I said no. Leave me the fuck alone."
I heard Alice stand and curled up on my bed. I hadn't left my room for three days. The only reason I'd gotten away with it was because my parents were away but they were coming back later for my father's honouring. I knew I should go but I couldn't bear it. The whole town would be there. Looking, watching, whispering and I just couldn't take it. I couldn't do it.
She was my Bella, I really knew her but this town thought they owned her and now she was gone I was easy pickings. Poor nerdy Edward who got fooled by the popular girl.
I couldn't face that. I'd stay in this room forever if I had to.
I didn't stay in there forever but for another two days at least. Alice covered for me at the ceremony and told my parents I had flu. Despite it being the height of summer. For two days, my peace remained until my mother unlocked my door with the spare key and forced me out my room. Away from my games and my sanctuary. At the time I hated her for it but now I was grateful. If she hadn't done that I'd have had no doubt I would've done something that would have hurt them all.
I needed to stop remembering those days. Now Tatiana was here, I needed to stop going back there.
"Ana, are you ready?"
Shortly after she arrived Tatiana, I accidently called her Ana and she had told me she preferred it.
She walked out and looked stunning. Her hair was tied back and she wore tight jeans and a worn out Clash t-shirt. That t-shirt sent me back to Bella. She lived in her Clash t-shirt when we were together.
Today I was taking Ana to the Space Needle and then to lunch at Sky City. We'd done pretty much everything else and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to talk to her properly. We'd been together but we'd been so busy we hadn't actually had a chance to sit down and talk since we'd been in IHOP. I had things I needed to ask her and find out. There was something that just wasn't settling right with me.
I led Ana to my car. With my quick but safe driving, we quickly made it to the centre of town. I parked up and walked with Ana to the Space Needle. She loved the sights and smiled that smile so many times but this time unlike all the other times, I didn't just see Bella. I just saw Ana.
"You ready for lunch?"
Ana nodded and put her hand around my waist. I once again felt that electricity between us. I looked down to her, flicking my eyes between her lips and her eyes. She nodded slightly and that was all I needed.
I leant down and captured her lips with mine. If I thought the electricity between us was unbearable just touching, there were no words for this. It was all consuming and I just wanted more of her. To feel more of her. I'd only known her a few days but I wanted her. I knew that much.
I broke away and leant my forehead against Ana's. A lazy smile spread across her face and I couldn't help but return it. Maybe Ana would be my future.
I'd been smart enough to reserve us a table so we were quickly seated once we'd arrived at Sky City. We were sat on a small table far back in the restaurant. A rare sunny Seattle day surrounded us and as our starters arrived, I decided there was no time like the present to finally talk to Ana. Really talk.
However, fate had other ideas and I prayed for the ground to swallow me whole when I heard that oh so familiar tinkling voice.
I turned to be faced with my tiny elder sister walking over to me. Well, when I say walk, I really mean waddle. She was eight and a half months pregnant. Being as tiny as she was, her bump had shown early on. That and coupled with the fact she seemed to be growing a mini toddler, never mind a baby.
Jasper, her forever loving husband trailed behind her carrying a ton of bags with him. I gave him a sympathetic smile which he returned. As Alice reached our table her eyes fell upon Ana.
Ana stood. "Would you like to sit?"
Who knew words and a smile could cause my bubble to pop? Because those words and the smile that followed them caused just that.
"Oh. My. God! What are you doing here? Do you have ANY idea what you did to him when you left? Any idea?"
My mouth fell open. "Alice, th-"
"Let me guess, Tatiana?"
My mouth fell to the floor. "How'd you know?"
"Oh Tatiana and I have met before and she's met you too."
"What? How? When?"
Alice's eyes narrowed as she stared at Ana. "So Tatiana ... are you going to tell him or am I going to be the one to do it?"
Ana shook her head. "No, I will."
When Ana spoke her Russian accent was gone, replaced with a voice I'd remember anywhere. The voice that had haunted my dreams for so long. Her name wasn't Ana, she was Bella. The same Bella I'd fallen in love with all those years ago and the same one who had just up and left with no explanation.
"It's me Edward. I'm sorry I lied to you. I was just scared. I didn't think you'd want to see me after what I did."
"Too fucking right, Bella."
Alice was fuming. I could tell. Jasper placed a hand on her arm. "Babe, you need to calm down. This isn't good for the baby."
Alice swallowed and turned to Jasper. "And letting her walk all over my baby brother and hurt him again is?"
Alice's eyes widened as she finished speaking and turned to Ana, I mean Bella. God this was so confusing. "Why the fuck did you come back?"
I looked at Jasper. Pleading with my eyes as much as I loved my sister, I didn't need her fighting my battles. He sighed and nodded. "Babe, we need to go. Come on."
Alice nodded and followed but stopped and turned to glare at Bella. "Hurt him and I will kill you."
Jasper got Alice out the restaurant quickly. Shooting an apologetic look to me before he disappeared out the door. I took a few deep breaths and turned back to Bella. I was angry. No I was beyond angry. I was livid.
Bella didn't argue. I threw enough money to cover our bill down on the table and left. I didn't hold her hand this time. I just walked with my fists balled at my sides to my car. I got in and waited until Bella was in to speed off. We didn't talk and the tension in the car grew and grew as I drove.
After what felt like a lifetime, I was at the house. I didn't say anything until we were inside.
"You owe me an explanation."
Bella nodded. Her hand went to her scalp and she pulled off the wig she wore, freeing her hair from the cover and letting it fall down her back. She took the coloured contacts out her eyes and I gasped.
It really was her. It was Bella. Those brown eyes were there and the hair and that smile. That's why it had bugged me ever she'd arrived. It was because she was Bella. She was the woman who'd up and left me without so much as an explanation as to why. I couldn't take this in. I had to look away, get away. Christ, I didn't know what to do. All I knew was that I couldn't look at her.
"Edward, I'm sorry really I am. I didn't want to hurt again. I wanted to find you again. I never wanted to leave you ever but I was forced to."
"Really Bella? That's the best you can come up with?"
"Yes Edward because it's the truth. You know how much my mom hated you. She blamed you for me picking the University of Washington over great schools like Tisch and Julliard. She thought that I was settling because I loved you but I wasn't. I really did love UoW. I thought she'd let it go but God how wrong was I? She'd taken my UoW letter and forged a rejection letter. A few days later, my acceptances came through from Tisch and Julliard. I was going to refuse them both and work harder and reapply for UoW but she forced my hand. She told me that if I didn't go, I'd be cut off forever. I was eighteen and scared, I couldn't see any way I could support myself so I did what I was told. She told me what to say to you and that's why I left Edward. I didn't want to and it broke my heart to do it but I was young and stupid. I went where I was directed where my mother was concerned."
I pushed my hand through my hair. "Fuck, Bella. Why not just tell me the truth? Why use Tatiana? And by the way how in the hell does Alice know about her?"
"I was scared Edward. Scared of telling you the truth and hurting you. I now see that was the wrong choice. I should have just told you and got it over with but I was a coward. Alice knows about her because she was my acting audition piece and my mother made me go all out with it. With the wig and the contacts. Alice used to sit and watch me practice. That's how."
"Did you fly to Russia just to fly back to me?"
"No, I'd been out there doing a ballet recital. When I contacted you, I was out there and due to land here so I decided to meet you. Edward, I'm so sorry I never wanted to hurt you."
I nodded; this was too much to take in. I couldn't think of anything to say to Bella. I wanted to open my arms and welcome her back into my life but after she'd lied to me and used this alias to get back into my life, I wasn't sure I could. How could I ever trust her again?
"Bella, I need some time. I need to think."
"I get that Edward. Really I do. I'll leave and get a hotel to stay in."
Bella ripped out a piece of paper on the notepad by the phone and scribbled something down. "Here's my number. Call me when you decide. I really am sorry Edward and I still love you. I always have and always will."
Bella left me stood there and walked away. I don't think I moved until she reappeared when there was the sound of a car horn outside, "That'll be my taxi. I truly am sorry Edward"
Bella stood on her tip-toes and kissed my cheek. Her eyes filled with tears. "Goodbye Edward"
I still couldn't move. I only woke when I heard the front door close. I slid down to the floor and sobbed into my crossed arms. For the second time in my life Bella had hurt me and I had no clue if I could forgive her.
Days past and I knew Alice wouldn't have been able to keep her mouth shut. My mother as of this morning knew that Bella was back and had taken it upon herself to visit me. She'd parked herself in my kitchen and forced me to tell her everything. So I did. I told her the whole story. She listened quietly and waited until I was finished to speak.
"Do you love her?"
I sighed. "I think so. I mean I've never forgotten about her and always wished she'd return but she lied to me. She invented a whole other person to lie to me. Who does that?"
"Someone who is scared. I'm not defending her actions Edward but just think if you had been forced to leave her and suddenly years later, you had a chance to reconnect what would you have been like?"
"Scared but still, an entire different person? I just don't get it Mom. At all."
"Darling, you need to remember that all Bella's life she's hidden behind her talent when she has been scared. She did it when you were young. It's just what she does. I know what she did was wrong but maybe talk to her and ask her why she did what she did."
"I have Mom and she said it was because she was scared."
Mom folded her arms over her chest in a smug, "see I told you so" way. I rolled my eyes. She laughed and took hold of my hand. "Edward, darling. I love you and I loved Bella. If it's meant to work out, you'll find a way to forgive her. Just talk to her and take it from there"
I smiled. How did Mom's always know the right thing to say? A while later, Mom left and that meant I had no one for company but my thoughts. I don't think I'd ever thought this much before in my life. I wish things could go back to normal. I wish Bella had never been forced to leave and that we'd had all these years together instead of apart. When I'd been with her these last few days, even as Tatiana I'd felt just like I had when we were together all those years ago. The question I was now faced was whether that was enough of a reason to forgive her.
A few hours later, I decided to take my Mom's advice and speak to Bella. I called the number she gave me and she picked up on the third ring. "Hello?"
"Bella, it's Edward."
"Look, can you meet me for coffee? We need to talk."
"The Starbucks we went to the other day? Do you want me to pick you up?"
"No, I have a car but thank you. I'll see you soon Edward."
I ended the call and wondered why Bella would have a car but shook it off and made my way to Starbucks. I walked in and found Bella sat down with a mug in front of her. I placed my order and went to join her once I had it.
"Edward, before you start I just want to tell you how truly sorry I am. This whole situation is a clusterfuck of huge proportions and that's all due to me. I'm sorry I couldn't be honest right from the start. I was scared of what you'd say to me and how you'd react. I've always hidden behind my talent when I was scared and that's what I was doing. I didn't want to face the possibility that you hated me. When I saw you at the airport, I resolved to tell you as soon as we were at your house but after what you said in the car about me I just couldn't."
I thought back to that car ride and tried to recall what I'd said and then it hit me like a ton of bricks, "I know and I need to stop dwelling on the past. The past is the past. She isn't coming back. She hasn't come back for twelve years. Why would she come back now?"
I pulled at my hair. "Fuck Bella! I'm so sorry. It's just I honestly thought I'd never see you again and here you are."
"Here I am."
I met Bella's eyes and her face broke out into a small, hopeful smile that I returned. In that moment, I remembered just how good we had been when we'd been together all those years ago and I knew that I wanted that again.
I took hold of her hand and look directly at her. "If you want to, I want to give us a go."
Bella smiled and launched herself across the table hugging me. I tilted her face up to mine and placed a small kiss on her lips. "How are we going to work this?"
Bella bit her lip. "I have a job here in Seattle. I found out the other night. The Russian ballet was my last gig with the company. As sad as this is, I've gone far over the retirement age for a ballerina so I'm going to teach. That's why I looked you up in the first place. I knew I was coming here and the last I heard you were here so I thought why not try? I never intended to use Tatiana to contact you, I just got so scared and I used her. I'm sorry."
"It's fine Bella. Really. I forgive you. It's going to take a lot of work for us to get where we were but I'm willing to try."
Bella smiled. "It's great to have you back Dorkward."
I laughed at the stupid nickname Bella had always used for me when we were young. "It's great to have you back too Bellarina."
Bella laughed as I said the nickname I'd always had for her and somehow I thought we'd be okay. It would take a lot of work but we'd get there in the end. Together.
I have a few thank you's for this fic! So bear with me! First off thanks to everybody who donated to receive the compilation.
Second, thanks has to go to Bee (IrishTwiFicster) for placing this plot bunny in my head after she saw a guy at the airport with roses looking just a bit nervous. Russian mail order bride was thrown around on Twitter and that's how Dorkward & Bellarina were born.
Second off, thanks to my amazing friend Lucy for beta'ing this for me. Love you bb! Thanks to the lovely ChocoMG2112 for pre-reading it for me.
Finally, thank you to TwistedIn for making the banner for this fic. You can find the link to it on my profile.
I'm done now, I promise. I'd love to hear what you thought of Dorkward and Bellarina. :)