Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight, its characters, setting, or anything there-related. If I did, I would be rich… and this would not be fanfic, but something akin to the changes I would have made to the horrendous works SM attempts to pass as literature.
… Untrue, so many more changes would have been made to the books that it would, likely, be unrecognizable to the products currently on the market.
It was too damn early in the morning to be up. It was too damn clammy and cold to be up. And it was certainly too depressing to be up. She just had to keep reminding herself that this was all for the best. Renee could spend time with her cradle-robbed husband Phil, she could finish high school away from the stupid rumors about her, and it gave her father the chance to bond with her. Nevertheless, that did not stop Forks, Washington from being the equivalent of small-town-hell. It was cold. It was wet. The sky was perpetually overcast, which limited the amount of healthy sunlight she could enjoy… and she was fairly sure that there had been studies about the necessity of sunlight for physical and mental health… and there was little to nothing in town. In fact, the place was so small, she was somewhat certain that her arrival at the stupid school would cause a stir, especially halfway through the year.
Equally aggravating about this whole situation was that Charlie was, in essence, a morning person, which she was most certainly not. He had not considered this when pounding on her door earlier that day, despite it being bloody Sunday, and telling her that they would have visitors in about an hour. She'd grumbled, she'd groaned, but she'd gotten up, and showered. They were only getting her in her weekend lazies, whoever these invaders of her peaceful attempt at sleeping the place away were, and certainly no make-up… rare though it was for her to wear any anyway. She'd thrown on a pair of simple sweats, which she always had to roll at the waist because they were a bit big and long on her… but they were comfortable. Her torso had been granted a tanktop, simple and faded purple. She dragged a zip-up hoodie down the stairs behind her, eyes still bleary with the early hours on a weekend, hair thrown into a messy, and still mostly damp, bun.
"Glad to see you live, Bells." Charlie smiled brightly at her, mug of coffee in hand, and she blushed, wincing through her squinting at him, at the name. It had been years since she'd gone by her childhood nickname of Bella. When the first snotty girl in middle school had asked if being called that made her feel as if she were actually 'pretty' instead of ordinary, she'd dropped the name. Renee hadn't liked it, or understood the insistence on either her full name or Izzy, but had gone along with it. She'd likely have to go through the same, drawn-out process with her father, if she bothered at all. "Renee… um…" the man's cheeks darkened slightly with a faint blush, which she had inherited from him along with the mousy-brown hair that, on the man at least, was combed neatly. "… said you like your coffee… well… black with sugar."
"Black with raw sugar, but yeah." She grumbled, still tired, and squinted at the mug still steaming on the counter. He'd made her coffee. He was an angel sent from heaven. He was a god. He was wonderful… oh god he used Sweet'n'low… "What's that?"
He glanced at the packet on the counter, and smiled sheepishly. "Mine. Don't worry. Yours is regular white sugar… I don't know what raw sugar is." He was blushing again, but she smiled at him sleepily, cradling the warm mug between her hands, and enjoying the aroma. Even if he didn't have the right sugar, and few people did really, he had made her coffee… and that was more than enough to make up for having to wake up early on a Sunday. "So… erm… did you sleep well?"
No. I'm not used to the incessant drizzle and dripping. And there was creepy creaking of your house's various parts all night. And you snore. Her thoughts went unvoiced, and she gave him a bleary smile. "Mostly. I'll have to get used to the rain." The smile remained in place, making him nod, and blush. The conversation was a bit awkward, if it could even be called a conversation, but the silence was certainly comfortable. They didn't know each other well, and hadn't for most of her adolescent years, but she took after the man enough that they shared the same silent, easily-embarrassed, traits. "We're having visitors?"
"Yeah. Billy Black and his son. You probably don't remember them, but you used to play with Billy's daughters when you were very young." He grinned sheepishly again, and settled into one of the chairs, not looking at her for very long. "Jake doesn't go to Forks High, he attends on the reservation, but at least it's one person in town for you to know while you get used to it all."
There was an odd, rumbling growl that was slowly starting to invade their hearing, then. As it drew nearer, she suspected it to be some kind of low-flying jet… or perhaps one beginning its dying descent. At Charlie's smile, though, she quickly began drinking her still warm coffee. That was a very suspicious smile. In fact, the smile almost frightened her. Renee had smiled in similar manners just before springing very unwanted shopping trips on her… or that brief, and unfortunate, foray into ballet when she was ten.
The rumbling growl became louder, and then quickly petered out, followed by the loud blast of a car horn, and her eyes widened marginally. Charlie left his unfinished mug cooling on the kitchen table, smiling even more broadly, and moving toward the front door. She, in turn, gulped down the rest of hers and moved to follow, throwing on the zip-up hoodie reluctantly. She was still struggling an arm into it when Charlie opened the door, revealing their guests, an old- somewhat rusty- car, and the chill breeze of outside.
She shivered lightly, tugging the hoodie a bit more firmly on, and stumbled down the front steps after him. "Billy! Jake!" The enthusiastic tone of her father was unusual to say the least. Even from what little she remembered of her time in Forks, with him, she knew him to be about as expressive as she was, if not less. Taking in the sight of a tanned, friendly-looking man in a wheelchair, and a lanky teen boy of similar features, she squinted again. They looked a little familiar, but the greeting from her father was still strange. "You brought it!" The words startled and frightened her, and she glanced warily from the two people she was inspecting, to her father, and then back again. All three males beamed at her, making her fidget nervously. "Welcome home Bells… it's your coming home gift! All yours!"
Charlie's excited tone scared her even more than his enthusiastic greeting of the other two, and she glanced around warily for whatever surprise he'd decided to spring on her. She didn't much like surprises, or gifts. They made her uncomfortable. Especially when she hardly knew the people doing such things. It took her several moments to realize the teen boy was gesturing as discreetly as he could, directly to the car. Her eyes widened immensely, finally taking in what sat in their driveway next to the cruiser. They gently, hungrily, traced over the somewhat dinged, barely rusted, surface that had likely once been a cool, blue-silver, and had now dulled to a generic steel color. The tires looked new, though, and the car itself was something she would be able to identify anywhere.
"R… really?" It came out in a shocked, overwhelmed whisper, and all three men nodded. Her throat caught, her eyebrows rose, and unexpectedly, she squealed. All three jerked in shock at the reaction, and Charlie turned bright red as she stumble-ran to him, jumped up at him in a hug, and then proceeded to repeat the procedure with the two she'd barely, if that, recognized. Charlie was still bright red as she ran around the car, catching herself from falling more than once, inspecting every single bit of the outside before even dreaming of looking at the interior. Oh, how she wanted to pop the hood too.
"I… um… helped to restore it myself. It still has a bit of a way to go… but it'll get you places and back… and it's got a really solid, strong frame. Better than the body makes it seem… it's why we got this one." The boy said, both men too embarrassed and bemused to really add anything. She nodded eagerly, eyeing the line of the tires, and the balance from one side to the other. It looked like it was well aligned… though driving it would tell her more than just looking. "The seats are still original, but had a few breaks and cuts that one of the other guys from the Rez had to stitch and patch… I had to half rebuild the engine, we were barely able to get it back from the lot."
"It's a sixty-seven, right? Manual? It wasn't converted to automatic, right?" She gushed, surprising the boy, and making Charlie chuckle as he pushed the other man inside. The boy stared at her in shock. "Is it really a Shelby? I can't believe it's a Shelby!" The boy was smiling at her goofily as she continued questioning, giggling almost at the pair of fuzzy dice that had been hung from the rearview mirror.
"Um, yeah, it's a '67 GT500…" He still had that goofy smile on his face. "You like cars?"
"I want to be a mechanic… open a shop restoring muscle cars." She babbled, staring intently at the grill. That had to be a newer addition, considering the state of the rest of the body. She had to get to a library, or book store, and get all of the information on Shelbys, especially sixty-sevens, as she could. The boy had said he restored it to this point himself, maybe she could get him to help her, or teach her.
"Um… you're real, right? Like, not gonna disappear." He whispered, making her laugh lightly. "Damn it's hot when girls gush over cars like that."
"Down boy… but… you'll help me work on it, right? I want to see if I can buff out, or raise the money to replace, the rusted spots… and maybe repaint it. Shiny black or silver…" Her eyes sparkled as she looked up at him. "How did you guys know about all this? Renee, mom, hates even thinking about me and getting greasy with cars."
"It was all luck, really." Jake grinned impishly and moved forward to pop the hood for her, intent on impressing the girl with his knowledge. "Charlie, when he found out you were moving back up here with him, knew he couldn't just drive you around in his cruiser all the time, and got to talking with my dad. He knows I have a thing for cars, and am working on one for myself… and figured he'd see if I could do anything with any of the old heaps that were being auctioned off from the various PDs within driving distance. We lucked out that this one had gotten booted and never claimed… it was a steal. We got lucky that something like this was even available, or in this condition to ward others off. He kept freaking that we should have gotten the little Bug from the same auction instead."
"Jake, you have my undying love for convincing them to get this one instead." She squealed again, then bounced in place, staring at the engine, only to stumble over herself in the process and end up halfway to the ground. She was quick to recover, much to his amusement. "Okay, I barely got to learn anything back home because Mom would freak out… so tell me everything. Every part. I should learn how to change its oil too. And it needs a name."
"We can take a ride around town, while you get used to how it runs. The clutch can be a little stubborn, and you have to pump it twice to pass into any decent speeds, but she growls like a champ" Jake claimed, looking quickly as excited as she did. "I'll show you the different parts of the engine then, and how to change the fuses and everything… and changing the oil too, but we'll have to get some supplies for that."
"Lady. Her name is Lady." Her eyes lit up, and he smiled brightly back at her. It didn't take them long to become consumed with talking about the various aspects and parts of the car, and cars in general. Before the day was out, she had an entire extra set of fuses, had successfully aided in changing the oil, and hung the fuzzy dice in her room, instead of bobbling about the car.
Charlie had been more than happy that she'd gotten on so well with Jake, and certainly surprised at her enthusiasm for cars and engines. He was more of a sports man, than a car man, but was familiar enough with them to enjoy her excited babble over dinner that night more than he could have imagined… even if he didn't really know what a 'Shelby' was supposed to be. Once he had drawn out a sketchy map to the high school, added a house key to her key ring, and insisted she keep to reasonable speeds while driving, he bid her a good night and mentioned something about probably being gone by the time she made her way downstairs.
She didn't really catch what he'd said, though, overly tired from the early rising and full day, but had slept significantly better than the previous night. Another pounding at her door, accompanied by incessant beeping from her alarm clock, woke her the next morning, and was greeted by cursing, grumbling protest. She did vaguely remember, however, that it was Monday… and her first day of school. It was tempting to skip, but she doubted that would go over for her first day, especially with Charlie. "Uh. Stupid school. Stupid Forks." She stubbed her toe, and growled, hopping toward the bathroom while nursing the bruised digit. "Stupid doorway."
Getting ready for the day was hurried, too anxious to not be late, after having lain debating for too long in bed, and she barely paid attention to the clothes she threw on. Her pants were a simple set of snug, skinny jeans that sported a shaggy run up one knee. That had happened naturally, from a rough fall, rather than coming pre-designed. Her shirt was just an off-the-shoulder band-tee, which she had snagged out of her favorite thrift and save shop in Phoenix. Her shoes were the same lace-up, beaten things she always wore, and her hair only rated a quick run through with a brush, and the assurance that it didn't look, seem, or smell greasy from the previous day's events. She found a note taped to the front door, struggling to read it as she shrugged into her knee-length, nylon hooded jacket. It was the only jacket she had, and would have to do until she hand the time, and patience, to find something warmer.
Charlie had had to get to work early, as was usual, and wished her a good first day at school. Apparently he had slipped her schedule, map, and various other paperwork paraphernalia that had been shipped in a packet for her, into her front seat. There were also a couple of bills hidden between the papers for her to use for lunch, as they didn't have anything around the house for her to consider bringing to eat yet. Glancing forlornly in the direction of the kitchen, she realized quickly that even if she did have the time for breakfast, there probably wasn't anything for that either. She at least wished she'd had the chance for some coffee. "I'd growl stupid Charlie too… but he gave me Lady. Anything is forgiven for Lady." Her tone as she said that was still a sleepy grumble, but she smiled happily at the car before getting in. Even living in a town as dreary, boring, and rainy as Forks was worth this kind of car… and the potential to learn how to work on them.
The drive to school was spent listening to the growl of the engine, instead of turning on the radio, enjoying, again, the wonder of her first car being something that she, at least, considered a legend in automotive history. It didn't factor in to her imaginings, however, that the loud rumble of the engine, or make of the car, would garner her even more attention at school. She was already blushing by the time she was exiting the car, seeing the few people already in the parking lot staring in her direction curiously. Luckily none of them approached as she closed and locked the doors, though someone did move to intercept her as she aimed for the front doors to the first building she saw.
"Hi! You must be Isabella Swan!" His voice was pitched high, excited, and she almost froze with a panicked expression at the sudden greeting. She swallowed hard instead, still blushing, and clutched the strap of her bag, staring at him. "Ah, sorry, I probably sound creepy, knowing who you are. I'm Erik Yorkie… editor of the school newspaper. You're big news. We don't get a lot of transfer students mid year. So, mind if I walk you to class?"
"Um… Hi." She said, still overwhelmed by his excited and over-energized presence. "It's… Izzy, really. To most people. If you don't mind." She just knew that her cheeks had to be the shade of red wine, and she'd probably start feeling faint if any more of her blood decided to congregate there. He smiled even more broadly and nodded, throwing an arm over her shoulders companionably. Isabella nearly cringed, seeing the over-gelled slick of his hair getting too close to her in the movement, and tried not to wince.
"Izzy. Weird, but cool." He laughed lightly. "So tell me everything. Like I said, you're big news here. What're your hopes? Your dreams? What do you look for in a man?" He was still awfully cheerful, and she used the growing crowd attempting to pass into the school as an excuse to disengage from his arm, and get away from the gelled mess of hair. I don't look for enough hair gel to grease my car's engine. She thought, though offered a shy smile instead, making the overly enthusiastic boy blush in turn.
"I… uh… hope you don't intend to publish any stories about me coming to school. I mean… that's really embarrassing… and kind of invading my privacy." She shrugged uncomfortably, and ducked her head a little to hide behind her hair. She was not going to play twenty questions only to find her answers posted in some stupid school paper. He chuckled, obviously embarrassed, and assured her that the story was cancelled as of that moment in a voice an octave higher than he'd been speaking.
Glancing around nervously at the people discreetly, or not so discreetly, watching them, she moved to start inside as well, barely noticing a shiny silver Volvo newly parked in the lot. It stood out among the used and beaten cars typical for school kids, and seemed to be immaculately clean as well. Several people were just beginning to slip out of it, looking too graceful as they did so, and she noticed a gorgeous blond emerging just as she passed through the school doorway, and walked into someone.
"Hey, you must be the new girl." His voice wasn't as high as Erik's, and the bump and greeting had drawn her attention away from the Volvo kids. Looking up, surprised and embarrassed, she noted blue eyes, dirty blond hair, and a baby face, before stepping to the side so that she wasn't so damn close. He was wearing a letterman jacket, and smiling broadly at her. "I'm Newton. Mike Newton."
The poor imitation of James Bond made her blush even harder than her klutzy moment, and she ducked her head again, so as not to laugh. "Hey Mike. This is Isabella Swan, but she prefers Izzy." Erik threw his arm up to drape over her shoulder again, though she saw the step closer and beginning of the movement, and sidled enough away that it fell short. Mike seemed amused when she looked back up at him, then around at the hall. "I was just walking her to class, since she has Trig with me."
"I'll walk with you." Mike offered, taking the opposite side as the hair-slicked editor, and Isabella blushed. Both of them seemed to trade off with supposedly amusing stories, questions, and jibes at each other as they walked. She barely had to say anything, though both boys seemed to think she had been paying more attention to them, than the other. "So I guess I'll see you later, Izzy. You should sit with all of us at lunch."
"Er… maybe…" She hedged, quickly shuffling to the teacher's desk, and trying to ignore the prying eyes of all of the class students. Erik hurried back to a desk, shoving his bag onto the one between himself and another girl, smiling broadly at her. It took her until the bell had rung to finally get the teacher's attention, and introduce herself as the new student.
"Ah, yes… Miss Swan. The chief's daughter…" The man grunted, nodding thoughtfully, looking at his attendance chart as if it had been the thing's fault he had been absentminded. "Yes… yes… well take a seat next to Mr. Yorkie. He looks eager enough to catch you up." She blushed again, but hurried back to the seat, careful not to trip on the way. "Class, this is Miss Isabella Swan, the Police Chief's daughter, who will be joining us for the rest of the year. As you were warned last week, do not let this become a distraction to you. You can get to know her well enough outside of class. Now, as we were on last Friday…"
As the teacher trailed off in his lesson, Isabella tried not to cringe at the increased attention that his introduction had given her. It was halfway through the hour before she realized that she'd already gone over the material he was covering back in Phoenix. During class, while the instructor was most distracted, Erik introduced her to the girl that sat on the other side of her, Angela Webber. Angela seemed quieter than Isabella was, even, perhaps as shy, and only sweetly smiled at her, paying more attention to the lesson than Erik's antics.
"Hey, Isabella," She looked up, startled, as she stuffed her new text book into her bag. She had a feeling she'd have to go to the office eventually for her locker and combination… these books were going to get heavy over the course of the day. Angela was cuddling her books to her chest, looking shyly, but sweetly, down at her. "We have our next class together, so I thought I'd show you the way. I had to beat Erik away to get him to go to class instead of being late by trailing after you… so I hope you don't mind."
"Um… not at all, really." She smiled as brightly as she could, hiding behind her hair again as she swung her bag back up. "It would be appreciated… actually. Um… he's kind of… you know, enthusiastic."
"Our paper hasn't had anything interesting in it all year. It's been stuff like mystery meats in the cafeteria and debates on adding mechanical pencils to the library vending machine. You're the first big news he's gotten." Angela offered in her still calm, quiet tone, easily weaving between the crowds of the hallway. Isabella suspected that the only reason that she wasn't running in to most of them was that they were all staring at her as she passed.
"Um… I asked him to cancel the article." She blushed brightly when Angela turned to look at her, surprised. "It's just… you know… embarrassing… and I don't think I want the whole school knowing everything about me."
Angela nodded, blushing as well, and tugged her down a different hallway. "Yeah… I'd probably feel the same. I guess we'll figure something else out to write on. How do you like Forks so far, though? It's got to be different than Phoenix."
"Drastically." Isabella laughed lightly, already liking the calm, sweet girl. "I don't much like the cold… or wet… but it's not terrible. It gives me the chance to get to know my dad again, and he got me an amazing car so that I don't have to catch rides everywhere. So, you know, that's always a bonus."
"Ooh, what did he get you?" She smiled brightly, and Isabella's eyes lit up as she stumbled into the classroom after the girl.
"A 1967 Shelby GT500. It still needs a lot of work on it… but she's amazing." Her eyes were still sparkling with joy just thinking about the car, but she quickly realized that Angela was looking at her in confusion, obviously unfamiliar with what she was talking about. "Uh… well…" She frowned, trying to think of a reference, and then winced. "Did you ever see Gone in 60 Seconds?" Angela nodded, brows knitting. Obviously she hadn't enjoyed it much. "Eleanor, the unicorn. That's a Shelby. Mine's not in that good of condition, though." Angela still looked a bit confused, so Isabella was grateful when the bell rang, and she had to go through the same thing with that teacher. Luckily, it was only a single term class, instead of a full year, so everyone in the class was relatively new to the material as well. They only had two weeks on her. She still felt as if she should have taken something more interesting than first aid. It wasn't like she would really be able to use the training anyway… she got woozy at the scent of blood.
"So… I don't have the next period with you, but this girl, Jessica, that we know is supposed to be there. Most of the classes got the whole be nice to the new girl and don't get distracted lecture last week, so pretty much everyone knows your class schedule…" Angela offered, blushing at revealing the information. Isabella held back a groan. "I can point you in the direction you need…"
For the first time that morning, she pulled out the somewhat wrinkled and creased map that had been with her papers, squinting at it in comparison with her schedule. Angela was kind enough to point out where they currently were, and how to get to the next class, which was in another building. When she did finally get to her history class, it was too easy to spot Jessica, who chose to approach her instead, after having apparently talked to the boys in the previous hour. The girl was even more hyperactive and giddy than Erik had been, with a grating, screechy voice that made Isabella shudder to listen to. She didn't need to talk much, though Jessica's babble and gossip distracted her far too much from the history lesson going on, and she wished that the teacher had placed her next to the quiet, stiff boy in the back. He looked like he was in pain, from the few glances she got of him, but at least he was quiet.
After the hour had ended, she found herself even more reluctant to join the group's table for lunch. It was almost more appealing to get her food, find a table alone, and read through her meal. That would be far too embarrassing and awkward, though. She had to go into the cafeteria to get her food, as she wasn't able to bring it from home that day, which meant that she would be even more conspicuous sitting alone. Someone could even assume it was just because she was new, and attempt to interrupt the meal by sitting with her. Hell, they'd all be staring at her anyway, even if someone didn't do that, and she wouldn't be able to concentrate on her reading either.
Reluctantly, she let the chattering girl drag her into the food line, concentrating more on wondering if the amount of make-up on the girl's face would need to be chipped off, or if it could be scraped. She supposed that had more to do with how much it hardened over the course of the day. Surely if it dried out there would be some cracks in the thick stuff from how much the girl's mouth moved to talk. She supposed that it could be scraped away. "And he's such a cutie… I'm so jealous that he likes you. You're so lucky."
She barely caught the tail end of that babble stream, and winced, deciding against asking who the girl was gossiping about. She didn't care who it was, she didn't 'like' anyone at the school yet. She didn't even know anyone enough to like someone. Who the hell would think they knew her well enough to like her, unless they were some shallow creep that based it off of looks? At that, what idiot would think she was attractive enough to go after based on looks alone?
When she had finally managed to slide into a seat at the lunch table that Erik and Angela's group of friends sat at, she had only stumbled once, and managed not to spill any of her food in the process. Jessica hadn't even noticed. There were two others there that she had yet to meet, who were quickly introduced as Tyler and Lauren, and Isabella was grateful for the moment that she hadn't had the unfortunate experience of having to have Lauren in any of her classes. The girl looked like she had the personality of a harpy.
"So… Bella…" Tyler's tone came out somewhat slimy, though it probably was supposed to be smooth, and her gaze snapped up to him. She hadn't told anyone to call her that, and had been quite clear, each time, that she preferred Izzy. "Erik tells me that you didn't want to answer any of his questions for the paper… but I figured I'd ask. You're single, right? No way you'd be dating anyone yet, with a beautiful example of manliness such as me still available for you."
Isabella blushed, though it was more in embarrassment and annoyance than flattery, and couldn't keep the sneer completely off of her face. "Um… no…. to both. Thank-you." She mumbled, making Erik and Mike start laughing. "And I prefer Izzy. If not, then Isabella. I haven't gone by Bella since I was still in the single digits."
"That was way cheesy, Tyler!" Mike laughed, then nudged Isabella's shoulder companionably, making her drop her fork to her try by accident. "I told him that you were way too hot to go for him. You need someone more like a quarterback to hang on the arm of… not a kicker."
"Um… I don't really know what that means." She murmured, though she gathered vaguely that he was probably trying to flirt with her. Her cheeks flushed, and she glanced around nervously. Angela was smiling sympathetically, and both Lauren and Jessica seemed to be glaring daggers at her. "But I'm not really interested in dating right now. Most of my free time will go to my car."
"Yeah, guys. She seemed really excited about it." Angela added, attempting to take the subject in the direction that Isabella had tried, though she would have really preferred the attention to be off of her completely. "She said it was a Shelly Jeet 600."
"Shelby GT500." Isabella corrected absently, smirking into her hair at Angela's cluelessness. Jessica looked just as clueless, though relieved and curious, and Lauren didn't seem to even be paying attention to the conversation. The boys, when she glanced around at them, seemed to be equally in the dark, though they were attempting to nod and look impressed as if they did. Isabella simply sighed, and was relieved when Lauren and Jessica started up with some sort of inane gossip, overtaking the table's conversation.
An odd lull hit their table, and seemed to spread throughout the whole of the cafeteria, leaving it completely silent save for the opening of one of the outside doors. In the lack of voices from the dining students, the sound of the door was oddly loud, and brought Isabella's attention over to see who had entered. She didn't seem to be the only person staring, and didn't blame most of the students at all. Five people filed in through the doorway, their movements flowing and graceful. It was almost like a scene from a cheesy movie, and she half-expected stupid, instrumental music to start playing somewhere in the background. All five of them were completely gorgeous; she hadn't ever seen anyone like that before… not in person.
The girl in the lead was tiny, her frame as delicate as her stature, with inky black hair that fluffed out and away from her head in a wild array of spikes and tufts. On anyone else, it probably would have looked foolish and unkempt, but the girl simply seemed elfish and mischievous. It reminded Isabella of Puck, from Midsummer Night's Dream, and she wondered, idly, as she took in the pale skin and designer clothes if the girl was a merry trickster, or simply playful. The dancing, lilting movements that the girl made as she moved, instead of just walking, certainly seemed more energetic and playful than your average person.
Behind her was a pair of boys, one lanky and languid. His bronze hair was as wild as the small girl's, though it seemed more as if he had run his hands through it a few too many times. The dark, though obviously expensive, clothing he wore contrasted with his pale skin and pouting lips, and made him look like some sort of over-emotional poet. He was certainly attractive, the pretty-boy of the group, but his expression was brooding, and made her shift toward looking at the boy next to him. Probably an inch or so shorter, with waving blond hair that hung about his head and face in shaggy locks, it was the stiff shoulders and rigid posture as he walked that made her realize that it was the same boy from her History class with Jessica. He was attractive and pale as well, with more defined muscles than the brooding boy, though he still looked as if he were in pain.
Bringing up the rear of the group had to be the most impressive of the lot. There was the tallest of the three boys, and certainly muscular enough to put any other male of the school to shame. His build somewhat reminded her of a professional athlete or body builder, with short-cropped black hair that curled lightly and lay evenly. His arm wrapped comfortably around the shoulders of the other girl of the group, instead of laying heavily across it as Erik had been trying to do that morning. Her long, flowing, blonde hair sparked the vague beginnings of recognition in Isabella, though she was distracted just as quickly by the girl's appearance. Long, elegant, gorgeous legs were covered in white stockings, leading up to a pleated, dark skirt that was short enough to entice, but long enough to still remain dignified. The sweater that covered her endowed, but not overly so, torso was soft looking, with a ballet neck, in a muted peach color. She looked elegant, gorgeous, and had the over all build and appearance of a model. Her looks were so classic that she probably could have been one of those artistic pin-up girls in the old days.
Isabella was just realizing, as she gazed at the girl curiously, that it had been her that she'd seen getting out of the silver Volvo with the others. The blonde's face was set into a passively annoyed expression, but something about it made her sad. She bit her lip gently, still watching as the five gathered trays of the school food, and moved toward a still-vacant table off to one side, that the blonde just seemed so sad, lonely even, behind that glare. The bronze boy glanced curiously in her direction for a moment, then smirked and seemed to lean back toward the blonde, whispering. Unexpectedly, the blonde girl turned to look in her direction, and sent a fierce glare at her.
She didn't really know what it was about her that had offended the girl, as she'd been certain most of the cafeteria had been watching their arrival with just as much interest, but glaring back or pretending she hadn't been doing anything wouldn't fix the problem. Instead, she blushed lightly, and turned her head to look more fully, acknowledging that she'd been caught staring, and smiled as politely as she could. The gesture seemed to make the blonde's glare falter just slightly, before returning with an angry sneer, and the blonde girl grabbed her tray, flouncing the rest of the way to the table. The bronze-haired boy only laughed lightly, shaking his head as he followed after, and Isabella blushed brightly, turning to stare down at her food awkwardly.
Slowly, the chatter of the cafeteria began to return, muted at first, before eventually becoming the same bland ruckus it had been before the five's entrance. Her own table still seemed a little halting, however, and she didn't realize why until Jessica's foot connected a little too roughly with her shin, and she glanced up sharply. "Izzy… the Cullens are all staring at you."
She twitched a little, surprised at the alert from the girl, and the resultant quiet of her table, and turned to glance discreetly around the cafeteria again, to see who the Cullens were. It didn't take her more than a second to realize it was the table of attractive, pale people that had entered only a moment or two before. Indeed, all five of them were staring at her, or glaring in the case of the two blondes… though the blonde boy seemed more as if it were because of his grimaced discomfort. Blushing lightly again, she quickly turned back to her table, and swallowed hard. "Who are they?"
"They're Dr. Cullen's adoptive kids." Angela offered in a subdued tone of voice, obviously not really wanting to gossip about them. Isabella nodded, accepting the information and returning to her food, wondering what she had done to gather their attention. They were certainly impressive enough to not need to bother staring at the new kid.
"Yeah… they're really weird too." Jessica scoffed, rolling her eyes. "I mean, especially that Alice chick. She's always so hyperactive and stuff, but she's as bad as the rest of them. They don't really talk to, or notice, anyone outside of their family."
"Alice Cullen is the short girl. I think she has ADHD, because she's always bouncing around like that, but seems to zone out at random too, as if someone just flipped a switch to reboot her system or something." Lauren rolled her eyes, gesturing imperiously with her plastic fork. "The one who looks like he's in pain is Jasper Hale. He doesn't talk to anyone… ever. Well, he answers questions in class if he's called on, but he never talks to any of us students. The one next to him, with the sexy bronze hair, is Edward Cullen. He's beautiful, and deep… but he's really shallow too. He doesn't think anyone in the school is good enough for him. The big guy is Emmett Cullen, Alice's older brother, and the blonde girl with the glare is Rosalie Hale. She's a bitch, so everyone tries to stay out of her way."
"Yeah… it's kinda obvious that she and Emmett are together. Which is, like, really gross, you know. I mean, yeah, they're adopted, but they're supposed to be brother and sister. It's, like, totally ick-worthy. They never kiss or anything in public, but they're always around each other and stuff. I totally wouldn't be surprised if, like, they eloped or something after graduation." Jessica babbled, still sneering.
Isabella's eyes narrowed, and she glanced back at the table. They were all still looking in her direction, though their expressions had turned to glares, save for Alice's, who seemed to, indeed, be spacing out. Turning back to the table, Isabella glowered angrily at Jessica, who looked shocked at her expression. "Well la-di-fucking-da. If you two are an example of the rest of the school, I wouldn't blame her!" Jessica's mouth dropped, and the rest of her table stared at her in just as much shock. "Maybe they're just really close, as siblings. You do understand sibling love, don't you? Or is your head too far up your ass to think about that? And what if they are dating? That's none of your business, especially since they are adopted, and of no relation. Maybe she glares like that because she's tired of damn harpies like you two gossiping about her family. All I did was ask who they were… I didn't need you shoving your stupid rumors down my throat. Damn, I need bleach for my brain." She groaned and rolled her eyes, slamming her fork to her tray and shoving her way up. Nodding as politely as she could to Angela, who was smiling behind her blush, she stomped away from the table, tray in hand, and was shocked she didn't trip on her way.
The Cullens were all staring at her, still, as she approached her table, though they seemed more shocked than angry now. Alice, again, was the only exception, and she was grinning like a loon. It almost made Isabella smile in return, it was so infectious, but she shook her head to rid herself of the impulse. "Um… I'm sorry if I offended you by staring. I didn't mean to be rude, I was only curious. I'm especially sorry if it seemed that I was at all like Jessica because of my attention. I… um… guess I'll see you guys around school." Turning just as abruptly as she'd blown up at the gossiping brat, she stomped toward the doors to the cafeteria, ignoring the stares of the whole student body, or the musical giggles that she assumed were coming from Alice. She tripped when moving from the trash she'd dumped her tray in, but recovered and attempted to pretend that she hadn't made her dramatic exit look even more foolish than it already was by doing so.
Leaving lunch early gave her the opportunity to seek out the office, and get the information for her locker. Apparently she was supposed to have signed in at the beginning of the day for the information, but as she had been on time to all of her classes so far, they weren't going to punish her at all. Finding her locker was a bit more difficult, and when she finally had, she marked a little X on her map to remember where it was. In it, she stashed away all of her books for the morning, as well as her coat. Getting from there, to where her next class was supposed to be, however, was a bit of a chore, and she was a few minutes late by the time she finally found the Chemistry lab.
"You must be Isabella Swan." The man smiled at her kindly, though awkwardly, and it reminded her a little of her father. "I suppose you got lost finding your way here. That's alright, but do try to be on time next time. Please take your seat next to Mr. Cullen, and do what you can to catch up with the rest of the class. Mr. Cullen is my best student, so he should be able to help you where it is needed."
She glanced timidly in the direction of the various lab tables, noting almost absently that Mike was smiling at her brightly from the back of the room. The only empty seat seemed to be next to a tall, muscular boy that nodded at her in acknowledgement, who she recognized as Emmett Cullen. The blush returned to her cheeks full force, and she slid into her seat as carefully and quietly as she could, murmuring a thanks when the teacher slipped her text onto the table for her. The first half of the class was awkward, with the teacher droning on about some subject that she was sure she already knew, but wasn't paying enough attention to identify. Emmett, next to her, looked to be playing idly with his pen cap, balancing it on the tip of his finger, then rolling it around on the table surface.
"Hey." The low, rumbling voice was oddly quiet, and she realized that it was Emmett's attempt at a discreet whisper. Her eyes widened in slight horror, staring up at him, and she saw the goofy, childish smile on his face as he looked at her. Glancing around, she noticed that the teacher was droning on, at length, to another student that had apparently asked a question. "I'm Emmett. Everyone heard… I mean heard about… what you said to Jessica in the cafeteria. We don't really need it… but thanks. Not a lot of people stuck up for our family." She smiled nervously, shyly at him. "And don't mind Rose. She's just grumpy. You surprised her by smiling at her. Not a lot of people dare to do that."
"I don't have any reason to glare at her." Isabella whispered, and was rewarded with Emmett's booming laugh.
"Mr. Cullen, is there something in particular that you find amusing?"
"No, Mr. Brommet." Emmett said with that same, childish smile. "Sorry." Suddenly, the teacher turned a question, likely from his earlier lecture on Isabella, and her eyes widened as her mind rolled over the various punishments she could get for not paying attention in class her first day. Nevertheless, her mouth shot off without consent of her head, and it seemed to be the correct answer, if the man's surprised expression was anything to go by. "Miss Swan, have you already covered this material?"
She glanced surreptitiously at Emmett's open book, hers still neatly closed where the teacher had placed it. Yes, she had covered that just before the winter break. "Er… it would… seem so… I think."
"Were you in advanced placement at your previous school, Miss Swan?" His eyebrows rose, and his expression didn't remind her one bit of her father this time. In fact, she was growing to like him less and less, especially with the attention he was keeping on her. Shyly, she nodded, and he made an odd noise in his throat. "Then I shall expect you to keep up with this class very well, as we do not have advanced placement sciences at this school. If you find yourself bored, again, with my lessons… feel free to ask for extra work to occupy your time."
"Y- yes sir." She mumbled, ducking her head again. Next to her, Emmett was chuckling lightly, and scribbled out a note. Glancing at it, the blocky, but neat, lettering spelled out one word: Sorry. Blushing, she only nodded, and tried not to draw any more attention to herself for the rest of the period.
"So… um… what do you have next period?" Emmett asked cheerfully as she quickly gathered her things, ready to hurry out of the room. She didn't want to risk another offer of extra work, or lecture, from the teacher, who was eying her a bit more than she liked. Eyes widening in slight panic, she looked quickly at her schedule, and breathed a sigh of relief. "Oh, cool. You have a free period. Walk me to class!"
She had little choice in the matter, as he scooped up her bag effortlessly, gesturing for her to follow him out, and waving goofily at the teacher, who was glaring at them. Emmett was still smiling happily as she trailed clumsily after him, trying to recover her things. "Um… I… where are we going?"
"My next class. I have Algebra II next." He said jovially, his loud voice drawing the attention of most of the students in the hall. They remained staring when they saw the new girl stumbling along with him, a Cullen. "I kinda skipped it a lot last year, so I have to take it again this year. Rose was pissed with me… but it's so boring!" She stared at him, a little surprised at the cheerful babble. "Yeah, it's kind of embarrassing to be a Cullen, and still be in Algebra II in my senior year… but I can't help it if it's boring."
Her eyebrows rose, and she glanced back in the direction they had come from. Was she taking a senior class? "Um… do you need help with it? I'm in Trigonometry already… so I could probably help… if you needed it… you know…" She trailed off quietly, realizing that she'd essentially just told someone that she'd just met that they needed tutoring.
"Nah, thanks though. It's actually really easy… that's why it's boring. I should have just asked to test out of it."
She smiled brightly, making his face light up. "That's how I got into trig." She was blushing again, but it had made him laugh. Immediately, she decided that she liked him.
"Uh… if I had tested out, I would take the free, instead of another math class." He groaned good-naturedly. "You're probably as much of a brain as Edward and Jazz. They're in your year. You'd probably like them."
"I…" She stammered, unsure of how to respond to that really. He just laughed again, ruffled her hair, handed back her bag, and bid her farewell as he ducked into the class. Everyone was still staring at her, so she quickly moved away, trying to neaten her hair as she went. The majority of her free period she spent reading in the cafeteria, enjoying the peace, silence, and lack of stares. The last class of the day was to be gym, and she was dreading it, so the opportunity to read was an appreciated chance to keep herself calm.
She was right to dread the class, considering her tendency to trip over her own feet on a regular basis. Volleyball, which many of the kids seemed to have difficulty in aiming the ball to begin with, was even worse for someone as clumsy as her. Isabella found that the only rewarding aspect of it seemed to be that, when she'd attempted to hit the stupid ball, it had aimed itself directly at Lauren's head. Mike, who was in the class with them, seemed more than amused by it as well, and congratulated her aim. He also apologized for the girls' rude gossiping at lunch, and promised that she wouldn't hear anything like that from him, if she still wanted to hang out sometimes.