Wanna Be A Hardcore Nerdward Contest

Title: Zombie Fighters

Author: solostintwilight

Rating: M

Summary: Edward Cullen may be Mr. Popular at school, but he spends most of his time at home playing video games. He's good, but a mysterious player, BlackSwan08 is better and shows him the ropes. What if this mystery player is someone he knows?

Word Count: 5440

Disclaimer: All things Twilight belong to Stephenie Meyer. All games listed are purely fictional.

Beta: theatregirl


~~oo~~

click clickclick groan click click clickclick

"Oh! Not the blade cannon!" I exclaimed.

I had joined this game because BlackSwan08 looked to be the best.

His scores and attributes were off the charts.

All I needed was one more level boost and I'd get the power up I needed to beat this stupid game. And playing with someone like BlackSwan08 would let me coast up to the next level.

So why did he take out the frickin' blade cannon to kill the zombies?

"Everyone knows you have to hit them with your pulse rifle," I muttered and pulled out my own to start killing the zombies that were coming for me.

BlackSwan08 had let me down and was way ahead of me. Kinda made me want to aim my pulse rifle at him. I was knee deep in zombies now and I watched as my health bar dipped to danger levels.

I was contemplating quiting the game and going back to my physics homework when I got an IM from BlackSwan08.

-Hit the gas tanks on the far side of you and duck.

What?

I paused for a second, deliberating whether I should even bother.

-JUST DO IT.

Fine.

Whatever.

Gonna die anyway.

I grumbled and turned to hit the gas tanks, just as the zombies closed in. One shot and then I ducked.

My screen filled with yellow explosions and red splatter and body parts, including my own.

Great. Killed. Thanks BlackSwan08.

The blood on the screen froze then and a game message popped up.

Sacrifice equals courage. Point score doubled.

Wait. Doubled? I looked at my screen name and watched as the points tallied up and my ranking changed colors.

"Holy shit," I said loudly, hopping in my seat at the boost, causing my glasses to slip down my nose a bit. Pushing them back up I looked at my stats.

I had my power up and my ranking had increased by two!

I typed in a message to BlackSwan08.

-Thanks! I needed that! You rock, dude!

He IM'd me back almost immediately.

-No prob. Always happy to help the underdog. Catch you later, gotta jet.

I signed off and stretched, happy in at least one thing accomplished this weekend.

I had been trying to defeat Zombie Combat since I bought it on Tuesday. I was close to doing just that.

I glanced over at the physics book lying beside me. Best take care of this before I tackle anymore zombies. A little break, if you will. And then maybe tonight I could finish off this game once and for all.

Emmett would be pissed I actually beat the game.

He still thought I was too cool for video games.

What did he know?

~~oo~~

I paused in the bathroom, checking no one was around before digging into my bag.

My contacts were killing me today, and I needed to pull one of them out to clean it. I made quick work of it, popping the blue tinted lens back in my eye before a group of my teammates burst through the door.

Fist pumps and banter followed as I shoved my cleaning solution back in my bag and I was hustling off to my next class.

Biology.

Biology is my favorite class.

No not for all the talk of, well, biology. That stuff was boring as hell.I could sleep through the class and still get an A. No my biology class was my favorite because I had the best lab partner.

Bella Swan.

I always got to class early, because I could her come in, her IPod jamming to some loud mass of music I that I could hear from our seat, and her hair swaying just a little as she walked. She was always really quiet, like me. Which I liked because I had no idea what to say to the girl of my dreams.

No really.

She occupied my dreams. Day dreams, night dreams. Wet dreams.

She was all over it in my head.

It was too bad she wanted nothing to do with the popular guy. She all but ignored me the first week of classes, saying no more than yes or anaphase to me while we worked. At the end of class, she'd pack up and throw her ear buds back into her ears, hitting play and effectively drowning out anything I might have to say to her.

See you tomorrow.

I like your Star Wars pencil.

You wanna study biology together sometime.

Will you marry me?

Yeah, she never heard it. She just ignored me and went on her way. She didn't even acknowledge me in English class.

I understood why.

She hung around the mega geeks of our class. Angela and Eric were on the yearbook and school paper committees.

The only thing more nerdy than that was Chess club.

I was good at chess.

Maybe I should join the club.

Maybe then she'd notice me.

~~oo~~

I sat at our table, drawing doodles on my paper while I waited for class to start. My eye was half on the paper and half on the door, waiting for her to enter. It was hot today and the fan was on in the room. Already Jessica Stanley had made a show of playing in front of it as she had walked in. Pretending to be Marilyn Monroe or something. I don't know. I just wanted to see Bella walk past, watch her hair fly away so I could save the image for later that night when I was alone in bed.

Bella was occupying much of my time at night.

I had even thought about her while playing my newest video game last night.

BlackSwan08 had changed his avi to one of the characters in the game. All dressed up in black leather and low cut vest. It was a hot picture of Devildamsel. Kind of weird for a dude to have it as an avi but I wasn't complaining when I got to watch it while I played beside him in the game.

Video games were shoved to the back of my memory when I saw familiar chestnut at the doorway. Ear buds in her ears, like always, and a tiny t-shirt today with a vest over it. She looked a little like Devildamsel to be honest.

Vest a little tight across her pert breasts and that pout on her lips as she passed the fan.

And then the hair.

Oh, that gave me a reaction instantly as I watched her hair fan forward over her shoulders and across her face.

I swallowed and looked away when her eyes rose up to find mine regarding her as she pushed her hair back behind her shoulder. She sat heavily beside me and pulled out her notebook and pencil, chewing on the end of it for a moment before diving into her own sort of doodling.

Glancing at my own doodles I hurriedly closed my notebook before she saw all the suggestive curves and lines I connected. My entire page seemed to be full of breasts and thighs. Bella's on the other hand were of blocks and mazes.

Weird, it reminded me a lot of the map from the game last night.

Mr. Banner cleared his throat and called the class to order, making a halfhearted attempt to quiet the class down. He had little success with us. Well, Bella and I were listening, but that's what I loved best about her. She was attentive.

It was near the end of lab when we sat there quietly waiting for the rest of the class to finish up. Bella had gone back to doodling and I drew up the courage finally to make some kind of small talk.

"So," I started, wincing when I noticed her Star Wars pencil pause over one block. She looked up from her paper and looked at me expectantly. Her eyes captured mine, and I was struck dumb.

What was I going to say again?

You're hot.

I just want to bury my head in your…

"What?" she asked, her eyes boring into mine.

"Um," I started again. "It looks like a maze. What you're drawing."

She sat up and shrugged, closing her book and placing it back into her backpack.

"Yeah I guess," she murmured and then shook her head and looked back at me.

"Um, I like mazes," I said.

Pathetic I know.

But it gained me a slight quirk of her mouth and a playful twist of her hair. I loved it when she did that. I knew it was because she was nervous.

Did I make her nervous?

She definitely made me nervous.

The bell rang, and she seemed to shake herself out of her stare. She zipped up her backpack and stood up, shuffling with her ear buds as she licked at her lips and glanced my way again.

"I guess I'll catch you later, I gotta jet," she mumbled and rushed off, music blaring by the time she got to the door.

"Yeah," I whispered to myself. "Catch you later."

~~oo~~

Jasper passed me in the hall, slowing when he noticed my melancholy face.

"Dude, what's up. You look like the coach benched you or something," he said and tagged along beside me on the way to my car.

"It's nothing, Jasper. Just a lot on my mind," I murmured and toyed with my keys as I neared the car.

"Well, don't forget, we have that costume party Alice is throwing Saturday night. I hear she's got college girls coming! Score for you Mister Varsity Man!" he exclaimed and waved me off as he caught sight of Alice down the lane.

"Yeah, great," I responded half-heartedly.

I had no desire to go to Alice's party. I knew how it would go. Girls I wanted nothing to do with would be pawing over my letter jacket. Asking me all sorts of things about me and my life. Wanting a lot more than I wanted to give.

I was waiting.

I know, how dorky is that?

When most guys wanted to get their rocks off on the first girl that said yes.

I had plenty saying yes, I just wanted it to be the right one.

Who understood me.

Perhaps a certain pretty brunette that smelled like strawberries most days.

I caught sight of her in my rearview mirror and waited until she climbed into her beast of a truck before I pulled out.

I wasn't following her.

Not really.

My home was sort of on the way.

She pulled into the driveway of the Chief's while I continued on.

I had no business being infatuated with the Police Chief's daughter.

He didn't think much of me, given all the times I somehow managed to get out of sticky situations based on my popularity with the community. Baseball scholarship and hopeful for being a future Mariner.

You'd think that would score points for him.

But he eyed me with suspicion every time our paths crossed.

Yeah, there was no chance I'd make a good impression with him.

Maybe that's why Bella didn't like to talk with me.

I drove home, lost in thoughts of mazes and Star Wars pencils.

Maybe a good game with BlackSwan08 would pull me out of my dreary mood.

~~oo~~

"Crap! How did he know to go there!" I yelled at my television.

I had been playing for three hours, and BlackSwan08 was kicking my ass.

Again.

This stupid maze kept giving me dead ends while he seemed to find all the hidden niches with all the treasure. I had to admit, he was really good. He had to have a mental memory for space, because as I followed along behind him he knew exactly how to bypass all the booby traps and monsters.

I could learn a thing or two from BlackSwan08.

He IM'd me while I was in the bathroom, taking out my contacts.

-Where'd you go? You missed the Death laser volley.

I typed back as quick as I could.

-Sorry, had to take a piss. Catching up now.

I dodged as many bad guys and finally caught up to him in a large cave. On the other side of the cave was the treasure that would win us the game. We just had to get past the lasers and mutant bats that swooped down to grab at us.

-Watch out for the floor in the middle.

-What about it?

-It's booby-trapped to take you back to level 3.

I started to type back when a bat came swooping down and almost grabbed me. This typing crap was getting old. I liked talking better.

-Dude, why don't you ever use your mic?

-Broken. You can use yours if you want. I'll type back.

It was a little weird, talking to the screen, but it was better then typing. And this was an intense level. I needed all my dexterity to fight. I turned on my mic and started talking.

"Hey, So," I started, only to clench my jaw when a swarm came after me.

-What?

"Sorry. Got distracted. So how did you get so good, dude? Whoa! Look out for that- oh cool okay you got it," I said.

-Lot's of practice. Not much to do where I live.

"Don't I know it, there is nothing to do here either. Where do you live?" I asked, curious.

Not that I'd tell a perfect stranger where I lived. No way.

-U.S., you?

I laughed and shook my head.

"Well, that's pretty vague. I live in the Pacific Northwest," I said, a little less vague than he was.

-Nice. Rains a lot there I hear.

"Wettest place on Earth," I muttered and killed a couple more bats.

We were halfway there.

-Really? Weird.

"Why's that weird?"

-I thought I lived in the wettest place on earth.

"Where's that?" I asked, beyond curious now.

-Sorry, no can do.

Heck, BlackSwan could be my neighbor. Because I did live in wettest place on Earth.

"It's cool. I get it. No location information. Wouldn't want to have to call the cops on you when you come hunt me down when I beat you," I teased.

Ha. Dad's a cop. I know how to get around the law.

Interesting.

This guy was pretty cool. Reckless and good at video games.

I was quiet for a minute while we battled through the cave, getting closer and closer to our goal.

-So what does your handle mean?

I laughed and thought about how to explain my name.

EAMC17.

I mean, it was pretty clear it was my initials. And my age. But I wasn't going to tell him that. He didn't need to know I was still in high school, playing a game that was labeled Mature.

"It's a code. You now, an acronym or whatever," I said, trying to be all too serious.

-Eat Al's Messy Cheeseburger 17 times?

I laughed and tried to concentrate on the game. He was getting ahead of me.

"No, try again, BS."

He was busy fighting a swarm through the lasers before he could respond again.

-Every ass must cave…

"Nope."

-Each Arm measures correctly 17.

"You suck at acronyms, dude! Oh! I got ahead of you! Ha!"

"Edward! Get off that thing and go to sleep!"

I clamped my hand around my mic, afraid that maybe BlackSwan08 had heard my mom shrieking.

It was quiet for a moment, and then he dropped out of the game, only to send me an IM.

Catch you later, gotta jet…. EDWARD. :D

I looked at the time and groaned. I could have won this game, if mom hadn't yelled.

Now my gaming friend knew my name.

Had even mocked me with a wide grinned smiley face.

How gay was that?

I shut down my x-box and grabbed my biology book, needing to glance over the book for tomorrow's quiz. I settled into bed, book in hand. I traced over the pages while I glanced at the chapter we were covering. But just the thought of Biology had me thinking of Bella again. And thoughts of Bella always ended with me slipping down a little deeper into my sheets and thinking about her mouth in pleasant places.

I turned off my light, tossing my glasses on the nightstand and closed my eyes, imagining her from earlier that day.

That slight smile on her face and those big brown eyes as they stared at me. I felt my hand slip under my pajama bottoms and I adjusted slightly, tossing the book aside so that I could enjoy the moment with Bella.

In my mind at least.

Her eyes as they drew me in.

Her hair, fanned out above me.

Her hand, slipping lower down my stomach.

Her mouth, teasing.

"Oh yes," I whispered and moved a little quicker.

Those lips as they smirked and chewed on each other, so needing something else in her mouth. I could hear my soft pants in the room as I worked to my release, the idea of her riding me making me blast off like a rocket. I let out a relieved sigh and reached for my tissues, cleanup more than routine now since having her as my lab partner.

I relaxed back against my pillow, sated into pleasurable bliss as sleep slipped over me. Bella was on my mind still, as she always was, and I smiled as I thought of the little bit of progress we had made today.

I had spoken to her.

And she had responded.

"Catch you later, I gotta jet."

My eyes slammed open at the words in my head.

Shit!

No.

Couldn't be.

Could it?

~~oo~~

"What's with you man? You keep staring at the geeks," Emmett grumbled beside me at lunch.

I sat there, my sandwich crumbled in my fingertips as I watched Bella eat. I liked the way she chewed, and she was completely oblivious to me watching her. Watching her fingers as she licked away the peanut butter from them and laughed when Eric said something.

Could she be laughing at a nerd joke?

I wondered if he played video games.

Maybe he said the same thing as she did.

Like a nerd saying.

Like we had awesome and cool. And things like BRB and WTF.

Catch you later, I gotta jet.

It could be a saying with them.

Crap I needed to find out.

Maybe cool BlackSwan08 was Eric.

Or Tyler.

He was a shady sort of geek like me. Played video games on the side, but was pretty popular with the in crowd. The only reason I knew his secret was because he and I had bumped into one another at the GameStop in Port Angeles.

We were sworn to secrecy and never spoke about it again.

Yeah, he could be BlackSwan.

Much more plausible than Bella.

Swan.

Huh.

~~oo~~

Biology was more tense than usual.

Bella sat there beside me, listening to the teacher while I toyed with ways to strike up conversation. I'm sure I seemed nervous, because she glanced my way more than once, perhaps because my leg wouldn't stop shaking. I finally put my hand on it to stop it from knocking the table.

But I was nervous.

I mean, what if Bella was BlackSwan08?

What would I do?

I didn't talk with her, really.

And while the idea of her playing video games was hot as hell, I couldn't see it in her to be the type.

She was too quiet.

The class was wrapping up and I was seconds from being cut off from any conversation by her damn ear buds. I cleared my throat while I watched her put her notebook away, earning a glance my way. I cleared my throat again, purely from my nerves and looked down at her bag.

"Um, so did you hear about the party Alice is throwing this Saturday?" I asked.

I felt my eye twitch at the stupidity of even asking.

Of course Bella wouldn't know about it.

She wasn't part of that crowd.

She made a noise that sounded like a snort and shook her head.

"No, Edward. I haven't. Don't run in quite the same circles, you know," she said and tossed her bag onto her shoulder.

I swallowed hard and nodded.

She was right of course.

"Well, it's a costume party, and she's booked the bowling alley for it. I don't think there's a guest list, so maybe… you know," I stammered, losing my nerve at her pinched eyes.

"Why would I want to go to a costume party where no one knows or cares that I'm there?" she asked.

I kept my eyes lowered and shrugged.

"I'll be there. I just thought… you wouldn't be unknown that way."

"I have plans. Catch you later, I gotta jet. Edward," she said, my name a whisper on her lips as she turned and walked out.

"Dude," I heard behind me. Turning I frowned when I saw Jasper standing behind me, open mouthed.

"Did you just ask the Sulky Swan to the party?" he asked, incredulous.

I shrugged, trying to brush it off.

"I was just being nice. She's not so bad," I replied.

He laughed and shook his head as he walked past.

"She's weird, Edward. Quiet and always in her notebook. You can do much better," he said and walked out before I could say anything.

He was probably right.

She was not one for talking really, and pretty aloof when I thought about it.

She wasn't the type to be crazy about gaming like me.

She didn't fit the type.

I had no idea what I was thinking.

She wasn't BlackSwan08.

~~oo~~

"You're not around tomorrow night?" I asked as I killed the last of the zombies on this level.

-Got plans. Stupid social event. Can't get out of it.

I glanced at the time and groaned. It was well past three in the morning.

And Alice wanted me to help with decorations tomorrow. And I still needed a costume.

"Yeah. I actually have stuff to do too. Look I gotta go, I'll catch you later?" I asked, chuckling that the saying was sticking with me.

-Catch you later, Edward Always Munches Chicken. :D

"You really do suck at that, dude." I said laughing.

-I'll figure it out. Gotta jet, later…

I climbed into bed, exhausted and settled into the position I always did when I wanted to reminisce on Bella. But this night, I couldn't get past the biting comment she had made.

We don't run in the same circles.

I sighed and closed my eyes, turning on my side to let my melancholy mood wash over me.

I couldn't really understand why we needed to run in circles at all.

Why we couldn't just be who we were, and forget about everyone's opinions.

Popular Edward Cullen and Sulky Bella Swan.

Why not just Edward and Bella?

I hated high school sometimes.

~~oo~~

"Edward, what are you wearing?" Alice asked, scrunching up her nose in disgust.

I looked down at my costume, straightening out the gun holster.

"I'm BackLasher," I said, like that was obvious.

He was a really popular gaming character.

"What is that? I've never heard of it. Is this some guy thing?" she asked, poking at my machete I wore down my thigh.

I just groaned and shook my head, stalking off to find a dark corner to hide in.

I didn't want to be here to begin with.

I hadn't had time to go tot Port Angeles for some other more acceptable costume, so I dug out my gaming convention costume. It just barely fit. I had to leave a couple buttons open down the shirt; I guess my pushups were doing something for my chest. But this costume sort of labeled me now. Only a few people would know who it was. Tyler had already nodded at me as if in silent code that he liked it.

He was dressed up as a zombie.

My thoughts about BlackSwan08 entered my mind again.

Maybe he was….

I looked around the room at all the generic superheros and childhood fairy tale figures moving around. Only a few of us stood out. Many wore masks, but you could identify them as soon as they spoke. We really didn't have that big of a town.

Alice's college friends had yet to show.

I glanced at the door many times, expecting them to arrive and make me want to run for the back door. I had no interest in meeting up with older girls. I was bad enough with girls my own age. I'd never make it past kissing a college girl.

I looked towards the door as if by routine now and my breath left me at the sight of the girl at the door.

Good god, that was the best DevilDamsel costume ever!

The girl was unbelievably attractive, at least from the back that I could see.

All leather with tall boots and a gun holster at her side.

And her hair was wild and cascaded down her back in luxurious waves, with red streaks that glowed in the lights of the dance floor.

I found myself making my way towards her. Perhaps I could handle a college girl after all. Especially one that dressed like one of my favorite characters. As I drew closer to her, a few other guys stepped up, smiling and leaning in close to her. She waved them off and shook her head, obviously not interested in lesser heroes like Batman and Superman. I stood a little straighter and put on my sunglasses.

It was part of the costume.

Really.

As I stepped close, I heard Emmett's voice near me.

"Now that is what I call a sexy hot costume! Go get you some of that, Cullen!"

The girl turned, and my footsteps froze in fear. But only for a second.

Because standing before me, made up like a vixen from Activision was none other than my true fantasy girl.

"Bella?"

Her smoky eyes widened, the blush creeping up even through the makeup she was wearing. She glanced around nervously then, as people started to recognize her. I stood there openmouthed and speechless. Her fingers went to her hair, twining one piece furiously as people looked on and stared.

Why wouldn't they stare?

"You're beautiful," I whispered, not meaning to vocalize my thoughts out loud.

"I shouldn't have come," she started and made to turn around.

"No, wait," I said and reached out to touch her arm, to stop her retreat.

She froze and shook her head.

"This was stupid, I don't fit in here," she stammered and looked up at me with timid eyes.

Eyes that were so much sexier now with her makeup.

"I don't much either," I replied and pulled my glasses off so she could see me more clearly.

She smirked and nodded past me towards all the people in the room.

"You fit in more than I ever would Edward," she replied.

I swallowed down my fear and took a close step towards her, so that I could speak to her a little more intimately.

"I have never belonged anywhere more than where I am right here, with you," I whispered.

Her blush deepened her hand moved up, laying flat across my arm. And then she smirked and looked up at me with wicked eyes.

"I suppose we do work well together, Edward Anthony Masen Cullen 17," she whispered.

My grin widened, and I pulled her a little closer to me, wrapping my arm around her slim leather clad waist.

"We most certainly do, BlackSwan08," I murmured and chuckled when she laughed.

A bright and joyful sort of laughter that only sounded better because it came from her.

"I was wondering when you'd figure it out," she said.

I looked down at her, confused.

"What do you mean? You mean you knew who I was all along?" I asked.

"I'll never tell," she replied and let her hand slide up my arm, until it reached my shoulder.

"Do you want to get out of here?" I asked, watching as her tongue licked at her lips just enough to wet them over the dark lipstick she was wearing.

She nodded and reached for my hand, pulling me back outside.

I stopped her just outside the door, my mind whirling with thoughts I couldn't even get my head around.

"When did you know?" I asked.

She laughed and pulled me along, closer to the parking lot.

"There are some things a good gamer keeps secret. Like their voice, Edward. I'd know your voice anywhere," she said and offered me that wicked smirk again.

I pulled her close to me, the feeling of warm leather against most of me. I couldn't believe she was here, in my arms. And she enjoyed the same things I did. I wanted to know everything about this girl. And the first thing I wanted to do was something I had fantasized about for a few months now.

I leaned in, her eyes widening for just a second before closing. I kept mine open, wanting to see every bit of this moment. My lips brushed across hers lightly, not wanting to seem too presumptuous. I felt her hand in mine tighten and pull me a little closer, willing me on. I kissed her with a little more pressure and moaned when she kissed me back.

When she pulled away, her eyes were darker, and her smile shy as she looked up at me.

"Let's get out of here," she whispered.

"I have just the place," I replied softly and turned her to my car, refusing to let her go now.

~~oo~~

"Wait! No! you can't hit them with a pulse rifle unless you blow off the head!"

"Now you tell me," I said, laughing as I struggled to break free of the zombies.

"You're going to get killed any second. Use your fire cannon!"

"Dude! You are so far ahead of me!" I cried out.

"Dude? I'm not a dude," she chuckled.

I paused my side of the game and turned to her beside me on my sofa.

"You most definitely are not," I said low, and tossed my game controller over my shoulder.

She looked at me with wide eyes, but the smile made me think she liked what I had in mind.

"You… you're forfeiting?" she breathed, her lips so close to mine I could taste her.

"No. Just starting a new game," I whispered.

"Oh," she murmured. I heard the controller drop somewhere beside her and felt as her hands moved up into my hair as my lips descended.

"I like this game much better," she whispered and pulled me down against her.

"It's my new favorite," I replied and kissed her more fully.

We let the game run out on the television, long forgotten as we explored this new level we had encountered together.

Games get old and you search out new ones.

This one with Bella however would never grow old.

There never seemed to be a limit to the level of satisfaction with her.

I looked down at her, my glasses slipping a little from the gravity. She smiled up at me and pushed them back in place, sighing as she eyed me.

"I like you better with glasses. It makes your eyes look more green," she whispered.

I laughed nervously and smiled.

"You just get to see my secret identity," I replied and let my fingers slide a little lower down her shoulder, emboldened by her darkening eyes.

"Double points," she giggled when I traced along the top of her bra through her shirt.

"That puts me ahead, right?" I said, smiling.

Her eyes narrowed and she let her hands travel down my back, until the traced over my ass.

"I'll let you win this one, if you follow through," she challenged.

I groaned and slid my hands further down, her challenge met.

There really were no limits to this game.

I couldn't wait to see what she had to beat me.

I had a feeling this game would be never ending.

And Bella made the best teammate.

Ever.

~~oo~~