Hello again! xD
First of all, I want to say THANK YOU so much again to all of you for sticking with Learning to Live, and for coming back again after all these months. :')
Below is the April Fool's chapter I wrote and originally posted as chapter 31, which I know some of you saw; but I posting it again in case anyone who missed it wants to read it. :P
I don't foresee myself writing any other outtakes for Learning to Live, so this is probably all there's going to be... I hope you enjoy it and its silliness!
(oh... and please do read the author's note at the end for an update on what I've been doing since you last heard from me! XD )
Chapter 31 ~ "Alternate" version
"Well, Bella, everything looks like it's coming along absolutely fine." Dr Gerandy smiled as he washed his hands in the small sink in the corner of the private hospital room Jasper's connections had managed to get for Bella. He glanced at Alice and Rosalie, whose excited and nervous energy was evident all through the room. "You know, this will probably be a long process. I'm sure Bella wouldn't mind if you two went for coffee or something in the hospital cafeteria. I imagine she and Edward would appreciate some alone time to prepare themselves for the next few hours."
Alice and Rosalie looked anxiously at Bella, who smiled and shrugged.
"There's no point in everyone hanging out in this room all night. Why don't you go and wait for Jasper and Emmett to get here? Edward can keep me company."
"Are you sure, Bella?"
Bella shooed at them with her free hand.
"Go! You won't be missing anything here!"
Alice and Rosalie left reluctantly, followed by Dr Gerandy who simply flashed Bella another encouraging smile, telling her she was "doing great".
The room finally empty and quiet, Edward sank down into the chair next to Bella's bed, sighing heavily and running his hands through his hair nervously.
"Are you sure you're ok, Bella? You keep telling everyone that you're fine, but..."
"Edward..." Bella began, rubbing her belly gently as small contraction washed quickly over her. "Was I expecting to go into labor this evening? No, not exactly; but Dr Gerandy says it's just fine. Am I nervous about giving birth? Of course. But I have a good feeling about this." She paused. "And I'm also excited, so much, to be finally meeting my baby." She couldn't help the grin that crept over her face as she glanced at her bulging stomach lovingly.
Edward grinned too, meeting her gaze as she looked back up again.
"I'm excited too, Bells. And I know you can do this. I'll be with you, every step of the way."
There was a gentle knock on the door, and Jasper's head suddenly appeared. The expression on his face was off – he almost looked worried.
"Hey, Bella. How are you doing?" His voice matched his face, and Bella was immediately concerned.
"I'm doing good... Jasper, is something wrong?"
"Edward, can I talk to you for a minute outside?"
Bella's eyes widened in an alarm to match Edward's who immediately shot out of his seat and followed Jasper, leaving the door ajar as Jasper spoke quietly. Bella's heart began to beat. Had Dr Gerandy told Jasper there was something wrong with the baby? She jumped as Edward's fist suddenly slammed against the door, sending it swinging back open into the room.
"What the hell is he doing here? I'm going to KILL him!"
Jasper grabbed Edward's arm as Bella's mouth dropped in confusion and alarm at the pure, unadulterated anger on Edward's face.
"Edward! What is going on?" Edward froze, as if he had forgotten Bella was still there. He opened his mouth, but Bella knew the look on his face all too well. "Do not tell me it's nothing, Edward. Who in the name of God is here that you need to 'kill'?" He paused, still hesitating. "Edward, I swear, if you do not tell me what's going on I'm getting out of this bed right now and going home."
Edward hung his head in defeat, his hand still balled into fists at his side; his knuckles white. He sat on the edge of Bella's bed while Jasper waited at the door, his foot tapping impatiently and a similar, foreign look of anger on his face.
"Bella, I don't want you to freak out, but... Felix is here." Bella barely heard her gasp of astonishment she took as the room wavered briefly before her eyes. "Jasper and Alice saw him walking around a corner on the ground floor. Jasper tried to follow him, but he lost him at the elevators." He squeezed Bella's hand. "He asked an orderly where your room was, Bells. We think he heard Emmett on the phone to Rosalie when he was leaving his apartment." Bella took a few deep breaths, trying to steady herself. Edward stood up. "Don't worry, Bells. We'll find him before you even notice he's here."
Edward was gone for what felt like hours. Bella's contractions had become obviously stronger, though they were still very much bearable. When she once again heard a gentle knock on the door, she knew it could only be Edward; back to tell her that Felix was gone at that everything was ok again. The large, dark head that appeared around the door said otherwise.
"Felix!" she whispered, feeling the color drain from her face.
Slipping quickly into the room, he closed the door behind him, raising his hands in front of him as if to signal he meant no harm.
"Can I sit?" he asked quietly, motioning to Edward's empty chair. Bella said nothing, her heart beating hard. "Bella, please." He tried to take her hand. "I'm sorry for sneaking in on you like this, but I really need to talk to you." He paused, waiting for her to say something. She gritted her teeth. "I feel like such an idiot. All the things I've done; the pain I caused you. If I could take it all back, I would in a heartbeat." She caught his pleading look out of the corner of her eye; and through her anger, through her hatred of Felix and everything he had done... she was surprised to find a hint of sincerity on his face that she had never seen before. "I shouldn't have let Heidi talk to you like that that day in the park. I know it doesn't fix anything, but I haven't spoken to her since." He smiled sadly to himself, almost laughing, as Bella tried to cope with the confusing new things Felix was suddenly telling her. "I guess I was just caught off guard, is all. I really didn't believe you that day you came back to my apartment to tell me you were pregnant." He reached out tentatively to touch her hand, and Bella surprised herself by not flinching or pulling back. "It was a bit of a shock to suddenly discover... that I was going to be a father." He looked up at her, and she held his gaze this time, still confused by the new honesty she could see clearly in his face. "And here we are." He touched her round belly and she shivered. He sat up straighter. "I'm so sorry, Bella. For everything. I know there's not anything I could say or do to make it up to you; and I know you're with that guy Edward now; but I really want to be part of this baby's like. I want to be a daddy."
Bella's heart lurched, and somehow, she knew in her core what the right thing to do was. She took Felix's hand, and waited for his gaze to meet hers.
"I believe you."
The grin of pure joy that spread over Felix's face was shattered as the door suddenly opened and Edward walked in.
"Bella, I couldn't..." He stopped, and Felix stood up quickly, his stance non-threatening in comparison to Edward's fury. "GET AWAY FROM HER YOU PIECE OF CRAP!"
"Edward, it's ok!" Bella's small voice was lost on Edward as he strode across the room and grabbed Felix t-shirt, Felix's ridiculous bulk no match for Edward's strength. "Edward, please, just listen!" Bella tried to shout, to calm Edward, to tell him Felix was ok; but Edward was too far gone in his anger to hear her. She whimpered with another, stronger contraction as Edward slammed Felix up against the wall, Felix for his part just letting things happen as if he felt he deserved this.
But before any real damage could be done Dr Gerandy strode quickly into the room, followed by Alice, Rosalie, Jasper and Emmett, who all hissed when they caught sight of Felix.
"That's it gentlemen, you need to take this outside," said Dr Gerandy firmly, not seeming to care that interfering in this fight could get him seriously injured. "It is vital that Bella does not get stressed or upset, as that could be extremely dangerous to both her and the baby at this point."
To Bella's surprise, Edward backed off Felix slightly, though dragged him with him as he turned towards the door.
"I'll be right back, Bella," he growled, "I'm just taking the trash out."
"Edward, please," Bella begged, "just hear him out!"
Alice, Rosalie, Jasper and Emmett stared in wonder at Bella as Edward and Felix left the room and Dr Gerandy busied himself with Bella's charts, appropriately playing the part of a caring but personally detached doctor.
"Bella... What the hell just happened?" Alice's brow crinkled in confusion as she voiced what everyone was thinking.
Bella found herself wiping a single tear from her eye as she hoped Edward didn't hurt Felix.
"He's changed, you guys." Rosalie and Jasper both opened their mouths to argue, but she ploughed on. "I know I've thought that before, but it's different this time. When Felix spoke to me just now he had a look I'd never seen on him before. I really believe he's going to be there for me and this baby now, as well as Edward."
Emmett sighed as the others looked at her dubiously.
"You know, part of me doesn't want to believe you Bella; but the way that guy just stood there ready to take whatever Edward was going to throw at him kind of makes me think you're right. From what I've known of how Felix usually acts... It really does seem like he's changed."
Alice smiled, sitting on the bed next to Bella.
"Well, if it's good enough for you guys, it's good enough for me. If Felix is ready to step up and be a dad for this baby, that's just one more person who's going to love it to pieces."
Bella's labor progressed, yet neither Edward nor Felix showed any sign of returning. Bella groaned and squeezed Rosalie's hand as yet another strong wave of contractions washed over her.
"Where are they?"
"Ok, Bella, it's time to push!" announced Dr Gerandy from between her legs.
"No, they need to be here!" Bella looked around frantically at the others in the room. "You don't think Edward's done something to him, do you?"
Alice stroked her hair, a worried expression on her face.
"I'm sure they're just talking it out," she murmured.
"Sorry Bella, but this baby isn't going to wait." Dr Gerandy's voice took on a hint more authoritativeness. "You need to start pushing now."
Bella felt herself drifting in and out of awareness, the pain intermingling with her worries that Edward wasn't there; that Felix was going to miss the birth of his child. All of a sudden, the sense of pressure that had been building inside her all evening disappeared and the room was filled with shrill cries.
"Congratulations, Bella," said Dr Gerandy, placing a bundle onto her chest as the room filled with gasps and smiles, "it's a girl!"
Bella peered eagerly into the blankets in her arms, her heart almost bursting with joy and love and everything else forgotten as she looked down at the tiny face. "Hello, beautiful," she whispered. She didn't even notice as Dr Gerandy moved around the room, couldn't take her eyes off the baby as one of the nurses cleaned her up, desperate to have her daughter back in her arms again. Finally, the medical staff had left, and Alice, Rosalie, Emmett and Jasper crowded around her, the girls cooing quietly at the baby.
"Congratulations, Bella," smiled Jasper warmly. "You did great."
"She's beautiful, Bells," said Rosalie gently.
Bella looked around at her friends at bit her lip, and inkling of worry creeping up on her when she was reminded who was missing. Alice noticed immediately.
"We'll go and see if we can find Edward and Felix. They should be here. Will you be ok on your own for a few minutes, Bella?"
"Thanks guys," mumbled Bella, relieved. She stroked her daughter's small head gently and smiled. "And don't worry, I won't be on my own."
Alice grinned, and followed the others as they left in search of Felix and Edward. Bella rocked the baby gently in her arms, humming a quiet lullaby her mother used to sing to her as a child. She expected it to take a while to find Edward and Felix, wherever they had gone to – hopefully – sort things out, and was surprised when the door opened slowly again just a few minutes later. Bella felt a smile fill her face as Edward appeared, and felt that smile grow as Felix followed him; not a trace of anger left on their faces and neither of them looking hurt.
"Bella," whispered Edward when he spotted the bundle of blankets in her arms, "I'm so sorry I wasn't here for you. I promised you I'd help you through this..."
Bella smiled, unable to find it in herself to be even the slightest bit annoyed at him right now.
"It's ok, Edward. You're here now." She looked up at Felix, who was now standing next to Edward, an expression of awe and joy on his face as he looked down at his beautiful baby girl. "And you guys sorted everything out?"
"I'm sorry I didn't listen when you tried to tell me Felix had changed." He shifted his gaze from Bella up to Felix, and suddenly his face became nervous. "Actually, Bella... There's something you should know." Edward bit his lip and dropped his gaze, and Felix put a hand gently on his shoulder.
"It's ok, Edward. You can do this."
Bella frowned in confusion.
Edward took a deep, decisive breath.
"Bella, when Felix and I were talking... Well, we discovered some things. We... Well, I..." Felix squeezed Edward's shoulder encouragingly, and Edward looked at him shyly. "I guess I discovered how you fell for Felix in the first place, Bella." Felix's smile broadened and he reached down to take Edward's hand in his.
"And I know why you fell for Edward."
Edward met Bella's gaze nervously but hopefully, and she felt her mouth gape in astonishment.
"You two... You mean... you... you're..." She looked from Edward to Felix, to the hands that hung between them, fingers intertwined; and back to their faces, suddenly noticing the way they were looking at each other. "Aw geeze..."
Edward sank immediately to the chair beside Bella, touching her arm gently.
"I'm so sorry, Bella. I feel so bad about deserting you like this, so guilty. I still want to be a part of your life, if you'll let me, but the way I feel about Felix... I can't help it. I'm sorry Bella." He looked at her imploringly as Felix chimed in too.
"I never meant to come between you and Edward, Bella. I hope this hasn't ruined everything I've only just managed to get back."
Bella shook her head slowly, cogs turning in her mind as she allowed everything to figure itself out. She found herself smiling up at Edward and Felix, slightly bemused but otherwise unfazed.
"You know what? I'm happy for you guys. Really. I know I should be mad at both of you, but I'm not. I can't explain it, I just..." She smiled as the baby in her arms moved. "Maybe I'm just too busy loving this little one."
Felix sat gently on the bed next to Bella and smiled, stroking the baby's head gently.
"Has she got a name yet?"
Bella looked at him shyly.
"I was thinking, maybe, if you're ok with it... Felicity. After her dad."
"It's perfect. Little Felicity..." Felicity wriggled again in her blankets at the sound of his voice. "Can I hold her?" Bella carefully passed Felicity into Felix's arms, and he grinned, showing her to Edward. "Isn't she perfect?"
"She's beautiful," smiled Edward, his hand on Felix's knee as he leaned closer to see her. All three of them turned their heads at the sound of a gentle knocking on the door. Jasper poked his head into the room.
"Can we come in?"
Bella nodded, smiling sleepily as all of her friends traipsed back into the room once more. Alice quickly took stock of the mood and grinned, nodding and Felix and Edward.
"So everything went ok in here?"
Bella laughed gently.
"Yes, Alice. Everybody's happy, and we're all enjoying darling Felicity." Alice laughed in return, nodding her approval at Bella's choice of baby name, as a young, russet-skinned man in blue overalls bumbled into the already crowded room with a small cleaning trolley.
"Oh, sorry," he mumbled, noticing the full room. I'll come back la..." His eyes fell on bundle of blankets and baby that rested on Felix's lap, Felicity's face just poking out of the corner. A soft look fell across his face. "Is that your baby?" He seemed not to be able to help himself as he took a step across the room towards her. "She's beautiful..."
Bella, bemused, smiled despite herself. Right now, she loved anybody that loved her baby.
"Her name's Felicity."
The man grinned.
"She's adorable." He looked at Bella earnestly. "I really mean it. A buddy of mine runs 'Bonniest Baby' competitions all the time, and she really is the most adorable newborn I've ever seen..." He looked back at Felicity, almost longingly, and hesitated. "I never asked this before... And I hope I don't lose my job over this but... Could I hold her?" He bit his lip and looked back at Bella for permission. "She's just so pretty and beautiful, I feel like I just want to... hug her forever!" The young man blushed and cleared his throat, looking at Bella nervously. "My name's Jake, by the way."
Bella smiled kindly, faintly amused at this not-much-more-than-a-teenager but willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
"Well Jake, if it's ok with her dad, I'm sure Felicity would love to have you hold her." She glanced at Felix, who smiled at Jake as well, beaming with pride at the adoration of his daughter.
"Sure thing, Jake." He passed Felicity gently into Jake's equally strong-looking arms, and Jake seemed to melt as he looked into her tiny, curious eyes.
"I hope this doesn't seem weird, but any time you need a sitter..." Bella almost laughed at Jake's eagerness, though with so many friends and family to love her, she doubted Felicity would ever be without someone to watch her. But Jake pressed on. "I swear, I'd do bottles, diaper changes, bath time... I just have this in explicable urge to spend as much time as you'll let me with beautiful little Felicity." He half pulled a face. "I know that sounds kind of weird..." A quiet murmur of understanding laughter spread across the room, as Felicity began to fuss. "I think someone wants to be back with her mom," Jake smiled, planting a gentle kiss on the baby's dusty pink cheek before passing her carefully back to Bella. Bella thanked him quietly, stroking the downy wisps of hair on her daughters head as she soothed her.
"Don't worry, my baby," she murmured. "You're surrounded by so many people who love you and care for you. I promise, nothing bad is ever going to happen to us again."
So anyway... :L
Some of you might have been wondering what I've been up to over the last - wow, it's coming on a year now, right? :O Well, I haven't been sitting around doing nothing...
Last summer, I spent two months working on the first draft of my first original novel, Raven! It's my goal to eventually edit it properly and get it (and its as-yet-unwritten sequel) published, but what I really need now is peoples thoughts and opinions on it as it stands.
So, if you're interested in young adult fantasy (which I'm guessing most of you are due to Twilight! :P), I'd love if you'd take a look at it and let me know what you think!
Please remember that it is only a first draft, so I know there are a lot of things which need work; but other than that, tell me anything that comes to mind!
At the moment, you can read the first draft of Raven here:
figment . com
(remove spaces and put all on one line - if it doesn't work, there's a link on my profile too! :D)
THANKS AGAIN FOR EVERYTHING! :D