Perfect Disguise/Tiny Cities Made of Ashes

A Christmas Present for JenniP (aka poochi_mama)

Song Lyrics courtesy of Modest Mouse
All characters do not belong to me. They belong to S. Meyer.
I do however own every single song ever made by Modest Mouse on my iPhone.
If they only knew how many stories they've helped me write.

A/N: JenniP and I both come from a small town where EVERYONE knows your business. They'll talk as sweet as they can to your face and then behind your back they'll talk so much shit you can't even believe the things they say about you. It's a town where everyone thinks their shit doesn't stink and they'll look down at you in a heartbeat. So this is my story dedicated to one girl who made it out, said fuck you, see you on the flipside and came back to throw it in their Southern Belle faces. JenniP, you'll appreciate this story, I'm sure. And merry fucking Christmas darling! LOVE YOU!

You've got the Perfect disguise and you're lookin' o.k.
From the bottom of the best of the worst, well what can I say
Cuz you cocked your head to shoot me down, down
And I don't give a damn about you or this town no more
No cuz I know the score
Need me to fall down, so you can climb up
Some fool ass ladder, well good luck
I hope, I hope there's something better up there
Cuz you cocked your head to shoot me down, down
And I don't give a damn about you or this town no more
No cuz I know the score
Well good luck believing every word that's said
I hope you have enough space in your head
I don't know, broke my back
Perfect Disguise – Modest Mouse

Were goin' down the road towards tiny cities made of ashes
I'm goin' to hit you on the face I'm goin' to punch you in your
glasses. Oh no!
I'm wearin' myself a t-shirt that says "The world is my ashtray"
Our hearts pump dust and our hairs all grey
And I just got a message sayin' that hell has frozen over
Got a phone call from the Lord sayin' "Hey boy get a
sweater. Right now!"
Does anybody know a way that a body could get away
Does anybody know a way
Were drinkin' drinkin' drinkin' drinkin' coca-coca-cola
I can feel it rollin' right on down oh right on down my throat
And as we're headed down the road towards tiny cities
made of ashes
Tiny Cities Made of Ashes – Modest Mouse

"Are you fucking serious?" I asked Alice as I fished for a pen out in my hair. "Has it already been ten years?"

"Apparently it has. Time's been good to us," she said. I could hear her rustling around on the other end of the phone line. It sounded like she was finishing off a bag of chips.

"So are you going to be there? I guess I mean, should I even bother to show up?"

"I'll go if you go. I just don't know how much I can put up with though. We both know how this could turn out."

"Do you think I give a damn about what happens in that town anymore?" I asked, writing down the date in my calendar.

"You haven't since the day you left. Well, since we left."

"I'll make you a deal, if you go, I'll go. My dad likes to fill me in on what's going on around Forks these days, but I just don't care. I think it makes him feel better to talk about it with me or something. Maybe he's still angry that I didn't take a job at the hospital there."

"He's still bitter about that? Why? Doesn't he realize the kind of money you are making now?"

"Apparently that's not enough for him."

Things had changed so much between my father and I over the years. After he learned of my scholarship to Washington State, he was so happy he could pop. However, when he learned that I wouldn't be returning to Forks to finish up my career path and work there, he got severely angry with me. I just couldn't imagine getting stuck there. Not that Forks was completely horrible, but I just couldn't deal with the people anymore. Give them one chance, and they would find something to talk about behind your back.

I'd taken a job in Seattle and Alice, my best friend since birth, had taken a job across town at a fancy advertising agency. She'd called to warn me of our impending 10 year class reunion. As much as I wanted to run and hide at the thought of it, a huge part of me wanted to waltz into the Fork's High School gym, give everyone a big fuck you, and walk out.

In fact, I think I could still do it if I was given half the chance.

"Okay ,so we're in agreement. We'll go together. Do you think we could stay with your family?" I asked.

"Sure. I'm positive Mom and Dad would love to have you." I loved Alice's family. They were so laid back, and even though they had more money than they knew what to do with, they never let themselves act like it. They acted more down to earth than some of the families there that had a third of the income they had. Money does change people.

Ask Jessica Stanley.

In kindergarten, she was very close to Alice and I. Her dad patented some sort of microchip in the late 80's, and before you knew it, they were loaded. Jessica went from being as down to earth as Alice to being a complete and total bitch. She would pick on me for not having name brand clothes or not having the newest TV, etc. As time flew by in high school, she found more and more things to ridicule me about to the point of having me sometimes in tears. I vowed that if I ever had a chance, I would tell her what I thought about her.

And it wasn't just Jessica that I had issues with. All her little cronies were just as bad. They all came from old money and even hand their own table in the cafeteria in high school. I made the mistake of asking to sit with them on the first day of the 9th grade. I learned fast what they thought of me. Lauren Mallory, Jessica's new best friend, threw my lunch all over my brand new sweater that my mom sent me from Florida. I dropped my tray, ran out of the cafeteria and never talked to them again. Jessica's boyfriend Mike Newton got into a lot of trouble all during high school. That whole table had secrets, but there's something they didn't know.

I knew things that no one should know about other people. Having a father who worked in law enforcement had its privileges. That meant that I heard all the stories about things that no one else should know about. I remembered them all and sometimes journaled them. I knew there would eventually come a time and place for me to unleash all this onto the world.

And I thought I'd found my platform.

Alice and I finished up our conversation just as the first patient arrived at my office for a consult. Oh, did I mention that I was named the top plastic surgeon in the Seattle area and was also named the up and coming medical professional of the Northwest? I have Carlisle Cullen, Alice's dad, to thank for my career path. He saw my love for medicine and pushed me into it. I haven't looked back since.

Days passed, and as I perfected my speech for the class reunion, a huge smile came across my face. I received a confirmation email from Angela Weber, who was the student class vice president about making a speech at the reunion. She wanted to me talk about how much everyone had changed since high school. If she only knew what I really had planned.

The week of the reunion finally arrived. I picked Alice up in my Mercedes and packed all her belongings in the trunk.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" Alice asked as we drove up to the main highway to Forks.

"I'm very sure. I have so much to unleash on these fuckers. It'll feel good to watch them all squirm."

Alice looked at me wide eyed. "Do I even want to know?" she asked.

"Um, no. That way you can be in complete denial if I get in trouble," I said, laughing out loud.

"Just be gentle with them," she replied, staring out of the window.

"I'll try," I said with a sly grin on my face.

As we drove through Forks, nothing had changed. Everything looked as it had since the day I left over 10 years ago. I drove past the diner that my dad and I used to frequent. I'd told him that I was coming into town, and that was about the extent of it. I told him I would try to see him before I left, but I had a feeling if I did it would only be brief.

Carlisle and Esme, Alice's mom and dad, greeted us as we walked up to the door of their huge house.

"It's so good to see the two of you," Esme said as she hugged me. She was my mom away from mom after my own mother walked out on my dad and me when I was just a baby. She took care of all the motherly things that my dad just couldn't understand.

"It's good to see you too," I said. "I just can't believe I'm back."

"Well, hopefully you'll have a good time at the reunion."

"I think we will," I said, winking at Alice. She rolled her eyes.

The day was spent catching up with Alice's family. Her brother Emmett had married his high school sweetheart, Rosalie Hale, and moved away. Her other brother Edward was supposed to show up, too. He and Alice were twins, and he had graduated with us. We were waiting on him to arrive from Chicago so we could go to dinner. I remembered him being adorable as hell in high school, but it was awkward to say so since he was Alice's brother. I must admit though, I was excited to see him tonight.

He finally arrived at dusk, and we headed out to dinner at the only nice restaurant in town. Sure enough, the moment we walked in, I saw Jessica Stanley sitting with her now husband, Mike Newton. She came straight up to Alice and me and nearly had a conniption fit.

"Oh my Gosh, look who it is!" she exclaimed. "How the heck are the two of you doing? I'm sure you are here for the reunion."

Alice who had a little more politeness than I could muster at the time said, "It's good to see you too, Jessica. We are here for the reunion. If you'll excuse us, our table is ready. We'll catch up tomorrow night."

She was taken aback by Alice's abruptness but said she couldn't wait to talk with us. She walked back to her table, leaning in whispering to Mike.

Figures.

"So what do you think she's saying to him?" I said as we sat down.

"Do you really care?" Edward asked, leaning over to me.

"Not really."

"Then why do you question it? If you don't care so much about them then why do you worry so much about what they have to say?"

I cocked my head to the side for a moment and stared.

"Edward, you didn't go through the same kind of bullshit that Alice and I did. You were captain of the football team. Everything you did you did well so no one ever had anything to say to you."

"Yeah, but still I wouldn't have created such a huge deal about someone saying shit to me in high school. You are so successful now. You own your own practice; you've done makeovers on famous people. Why do you care so much about revenge?"

"Never mind, Edward. You wouldn't understand," I said.

The rest of the dinner I focused on the conversation with Esme and Carlisle. They were just so excited to have us at home that they tried hard to cram so much into one dinner conversation. A few hours and a couple of bottles of wine later, we were heading home to the Cullen household.

I sat in the guest bedroom and began work on the final touches of my speech.

"Hasn't anyone ever told you that revenge is a dish best served cold?" Edward asked as he peered around the corner.

"Hasn't anyone ever told you to knock or mind your own business?"

"I have heard that plenty of times, ask Alice."

"So are you in here to try to talk me out of my speech or what?" I asked as I closed my laptop.

"No, actually. If you want to do it, I'm not going to stop you. I just don't get why you care so much. That's the part I'm having a hard time understanding."

I sighed. "Edward, do you remember our eleventh grade year of high school?"

"Some parts, why?"

I took a deep breath and prepared myself to reveal a secret I'd never even told Alice.

"It was the beginning of our school year, and I sat in the bleachers watching the football team practice. Jessica Stanley and the rest of her friends were sitting below me, and I could overhear a conversation they were having. Jessica was saying that you told her that you wouldn't have touched me with a 10 foot pole. Edward, I had the biggest crush on you, and not even two weeks after I overhead that conversation, you asked her out on a date. This was right after she and Mike took a brief break from dating. Do you not remember all this?"

Edward stopped for a second, and a laugh bellowed from him.

"That's so fucked up."

"What is?" I asked.

"Jessica was my biology partner that year. I asked her if she knew what you thought of me because I wanted to ask you out on a date. I'd even gotten permission from Alice to do it. Jessica told me that you thought that I wasn't worth the effort."

Everything started to come together then.

"So you liked me, I liked you, and Jessica stood in the way of it all?"

"Seems so," he said, taking a sip of coffee.

"So now do you see the reason why I have to do this?"

Edward laughed. "Go for it. It seems like some of them really do deserve the unleashing of Bella Swan."

"Thanks Edward," I said.

"Don't thank me. Besides, you probably wouldn't have said yes if I'd asked you out."

"Want to bet?" I asked.

He laughed and walked away for me to finish my speech.

0o0o0o0

I barely slept a wink the night before the reunion. I went over my speech more times than I could count. Everything I wrote seemed so perfect, yet I was scared to death that I couldn't actually do this. No one would expect it from me, but I had to do it anyway.

The day passed by so quickly that I didn't even realize it was time to get ready for the reunion until Alice knocked on the door asking for my advice on a pair of shoes to wear with her dress. I picked the modest ones, and of course, she went with the opposite. I never understood why she asked my opinion but never took it.

We were supposed to be at the gymnasium around 7:30. I waited patiently for our limo to come pick us up, ready for the night to arrive.

On the way, Edward complimented me on my dress, and I blushed. Alice rolled her eyes.

"You know, you two should just fuck and get it over with. This shit's been going on for way too long."

"Shut it Alice, you don't know what you are talking about!" Edward exclaimed.

I laughed.

As we approached Forks High School, I nearly felt like puking. The limo driver opened our door, and as we stepped outside, I felt like escaping into the woods. However, I stayed calm and walked right up to the registration table. Angela Weber was there handing out name cards.

"Oh my goodness," she said as she stood to give me a hug. "You guys actually made it. It's so good to see you." Angela was always such a nice girl. I felt so bad that I talked her into letting me give a speech that night, but the things I had to say wouldn't be her fault.

"It's good to see you too," I said, hugging her back. "This is some night, huh?"

She nodded, so proud of what she'd done to accomplish the night. "I did most of the decorating myself. Jessica helped…some." Jessica also liked to pick on Angela even though Angel hung around her. I think it was more of a survival tactic than anything. You could always tell Angela didn't like being around her.

As we walked into the gym, the DJ was playing songs from the 90's, and everyone was either drinking, dancing or hanging around in their old cliques. We walked towards an empty table and sat down, observing the people. Not many had changed, but a few had changed so much that I barely recognized them.

A couple of people came by to say hello, and thank God for name tags or I would have been so lost. I was waiting on Jessica's crew to make an arrival at our table, but all she did was wave from across the room. Even at the reunion she was being rude.

About an hour and a half into the reunion, I was bored out of my mind. The alcohol wasn't doing anything to make the place any fun. I tried to hold a conversation with Alice, but the music was too loud. Edward did the punch run for us every once in a while, and finally, I got up to get a plate of finger foods. As I stood in the line, Mike Newton came up to me.

"Well I'll be damned if it isn't Bella Swan. How the fuck are you lady?" he asked. You could tell that Mike was drunk as hell.

"I'm doing okay," I said. "How about you? Have any kids? How's work?"

He laughed. "Work, what's work? I've been out of a job since we lost the outfitters store. We have kids, but I'm pretty damn sure one of them isn't mine," he said. "And as far as how I'm doing, I'm doing great." The he had the nerve to reach over and smack my ass. I nearly reached over and slapped the goofy grin off his face, but then I remembered I had something that would sting much worse than that.

"Well if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to my table." I said, trying to make an escape.

"Wait, before you go… how about me and you meeting up by the one-oh-one motel later on tonight. I promise not to tell Jessie. She gets a little pissed about my escapades."

I nearly vomited in my mouth. "Um, that's okay. I'm actually here with someone." I quickly turned around and walked back to the table to unleash the entire story on Alice and Edward. Edward asked if I wanted him to kick his ass, and I told him to not worry about it. I could handle this.

Finally, the moment arrived as Angela took the stage. The music stopped and as she stared across the room, I reached into my purse and grabbed my speech.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the class of 1998, I wanted to thank you so much for coming out tonight. You have no idea how happy it makes me to see so many faces in attendance at our ten year class reunion."

Everyone clapped as Angela continued her speech.

"So many people have changed since graduation, and to give us insight on this subject is Dr. Isabella Swan."

The claps were a lot less as everyone whispered. "Doctor" and "Bella." Apparently, word doesn't travel as fast as I once thought in that town.

I took the stage, stared across the room and pulled out my speech.

"Hello class of 1998, it is such an honor to be able to give a speech to my graduating class. We've had so many fond memories as students here at Forks High School. I wanted to relive some of those moments with you."

I smiled as I read the first line. "Who all remembers the time that Lauren Mallory threw food on my brand new sweater? That was such a riot."

Everyone laughed, including Jessica, but you could see that there was a nervous look on her face.

"Or who remembers the time that Jessica Stanley got so drunk after our senior prom that they found her ass up and pants down outside the Lodge where she tried to take a piss and couldn't get back up."

Everyone got quiet as soon as they realized this wasn't exactly the trip down memory lane that we all had planned.

"Or how about the time that Mike Newton got busted for cocaine possession right outside the high school? Oh that's right, your mom and dad paid off a cop to keep that from happening."

"Hey that's not cool," Mike said, standing up to come at me. Edward quickly pushed him back down into his seat. I never even noticed how fast he'd gotten up to my aid.

"Oh yeah there was that one time when Jessica told me that she thought that she was pregnant, and it wasn't Mike's. Oh wait, one of their kids isn't his. In fact I'm sure it belongs to another person present tonight, isn't that right Mr. Mason?"

Our old English teacher nearly looked like he could shit himself.

"So as you can see, after all these years, it seems like nothing has changed. Lauren Mallory is now a stripper at the local titty bar, Mike Newton is a drunk who's broke as hell and raising someone else's illegitimate children with Jessica Stanley. Yet for some reason, these were the people that everyone thought were cool as hell as high school students. There are some of us who are present that never got a chance to even know what it was like to be the cool kid."

I readjusted my paper to read off names of those who deserved credit.

"Eric Yorkie, the guy you picked on for being the Asian Nerdy kid now runs his own consulting firm for the Apple Company."

I kept going.

"Tyler Crowley, the guy who wore pink socks all the time is now a fashion buyer for Versace."

"Angela Weber, the girl you thought was 'too innocent' and 'too quiet' is a successful restaurant owner in the San Fernando Valley in California."

"Alice Cullen is a respected and well known designer in Seattle and has worked with people like Tommy Hilfiger, Isaac Mizrahi and others."

"And, I, Dr. Isabella Swan have done plastic surgery work for stars like Joan Rivers, Pamela Anderson and Susan Lucci."

"So from now on, remember that those of you who have made it your life's effort to make everyone's life shitty, karma can be a bitch. Ask Jessica, Lauren and Mike. They'll tell you."

I dropped the microphone onto the stage as everyone sat at their tables with gaping mouths and walked towards the door until Angela stopped me along the way.

Her only words were, "Thank you." I nodded as Alice and Edward followed behind me.

Revenge may be a dish served cold, but that night I made it the tastiest dish ever eaten.

Merry Christmas JenniP