"Playing with Pudding"
A Penal Code outtake submitted originally to the Fandom4LLS cause
Written by: BellaFlan and FictionFreak95
Rated R for Ridiculous
Pre-read by: Obsmama, Twilover76
Beta'd by: SueBee0619
It's been a crazy couple of weeks at the precinct. In fact, it's been a hell of a month all the way around for Bella and me. Between the crazy night shifts that she's been picking up (no, not as a hooker, just to be clear) and the twelve hour a day seminars I've been sent to attend, we've barely seen each other. When we see the kids, it's either to tell them goodbye in the mornings when we leave or kiss them goodnight when we tuck them in at bedtime.
I've missed my family.
But now, finally, we have a weekend together to wind down and do quality family things. Like cleaning the house and grocery shopping. It sounds mundane, but I'm just glad the four of us are together at the same time for more than five minutes.
It's been going rather smoothly too, until someone asks a nonchalant question about a very not nonchalant subject.
"Mommy, can we get pudding?"
Bella turns away, like she's looking for something on the shelves as she tries desperately to either hide a smile or suppress a belch. Honestly, it's hard to tell. She presses her lips together as we stroll down the snack aisle of the Shop and Go, but I know what's going through that head of hers, because it's going through mine too.
Three weekends ago, our babysitter let Vanessa have a snack cup to stop her from whining about something of no consequence, I'm sure, and she hasn't stopped asking about it since.
"Nooooooo pudding," I casually sing as I avoid eye contact with our daughter. I'm hoping we can get past this section and find something else for them to beg for. But our son, EJ, has other plans. Now that he knows I don't want them to have it, he wants it even though he probably didn't two seconds ago.
"Yeah! Pudding!" he screams. "I want 'nilla!"
"No, chocolate," Nessa corrects him. And now Bella and I lock eyes, attempting to come up with a plan by performing a Jedi mind-meld that only parents of hysterical toddlers can manage.
"Hold on, kids," I start. "There are lots more snacks to choose from down-"
"Nilla puddannnnng!" EJ screams, louder than before. We are collecting stares now. This could get messy.
"Batte, batte. Choc. Oh. Latte!" Nessa sings a song from Dora the Explorer, letting each syllable out as sharply as she can, and I want to pull my hair out. Considering the fact that baldness supposedly skips a generation, and my father had a pretty full head of hair at the ripe age of eighty-two, I try not to do that very often anymore. Just in case.
"NILLA!" EJ stands his ground. Loudly.
"Oh my God, kids!" Bella warns, but they're already at it again.
"Nilla! Nilla! Nilla!"
"Gonna eat some nilllllll...ah!" EJ sings, then he continues, like a conga line repetition. "Gonna eat some pud...ding!"
And Nessa mocks him now. "Gonna eat some choc...late... pud...ding!"
They both laugh, but I've had it. Imagining my daughter eating someone's pudding sends me right over the edge.
"Nobody is eating anybody's pudding!" I finally yell from in between the two of them. If EJ's look of shock doesn't tell me I just crossed a line, the quivering lip of our daughter, Vanessa, should.
I hate the quivering lip. The quivering lip is like the kiss of death. It kills me.
I can't back down, though. Dr. Phil says follow through whether you're right or wrong and goddammit, I'm following through on this.
Until I catch the expression on Bella's face as she stands across from me. Her eyes are wide and her mouth is hanging open like she wants to catch some flies today.
I blink, suddenly speechless.
No, Bella's got this. I wink at her, waiting for her to show off the motherly instincts that she's so easily slipped into since our children arrived into this world.
"Shut the fuck up! Seriously. What the fuck is everyone's problem? And goddamn it, Edward, it's just motherfucking pudding." She tears opens two packages and hands one to each kid. "You both get Chocolate Fudge because it's on sale. I love you guys, I do, but if you pull that shit with me again, I'm sending you to Grandpa's place for the rest of the summer."
"B-bella," I stutter.
"You too, Edward."
Okay. I was not expecting that.
"Are you okay?" I ask her as we hit the checkout.
"Yep," she answers, leafing through some cheesy cocksucking rag mag while we wait for the lady in front of us to use her two million coupons. I mean, how many questions can one have about a fucking coupon? You buy a product, you get a discount, end of story.
"Why do people coupon anyway?" I ask my wife as I watch the woman at the cash register argue with the customer over the fact that the cereal she's purchasing isn't the size her coupon says it should be. "Most of the time they're for products you don't even need. So what? You buy the shit to get the discount? But then it goes bad, because, hello, you don't even use it. In the end, you actually spend more than you would have because you have to go back to the store and get the thing you should have gotten in the first place."
Bella looks up from her magazine, eyeing me like she's considering what size pine box to bury me in after she murders me.
She's stone faced when I see an offer on one of the cans of black beans we grabbed today. I tear it off and hold it up for her, showing all my teeth.
Bella throws her reading material back onto the rack, completely ignoring me as it finally becomes our turn to pay, and I spend time keeping the kids entertained with silly father faces and shit while she takes care of business.
As we walk to the car, I'm still a little thrown by her outburst in the store, followed by her quiet annoyance in line. I keep my mouth shut, though. I know by now, it's best to just let Bella come out with whatever it is that's bothering her in her own time. Otherwise, things could get ugly.
Edward is sulking. I can tell—it's in the way his bottom lip pops out a little too far. He runs his hands through his crazy hair, creating tufts like waves on a choppy ocean. He gives me a timid smile and glances at the backseat of the car to make sure everyone has their seatbelts on.
"Daddy's sulking." I grin, glancing back at Nessa's chocolate covered face.
She smiles that crazy grin only a child can pull off without looking psychotic. "Mother trucking peach fizz," she says and wipes her hand on her brother's shirt. "EJ, shut up shut up shut up shut up."
"Mommy, she's touching me!" EJ replies. "Mother trucker."
"Vanessa, stop annoying your brother. EJ, no one likes a narc. And Edward, stop sulking."
"What? I'm not!" Edward says...sulkily.
"I'm sorry, Edward, but you were causing a scene."
"Uh...right. I was causing a scene. Hey, um, are you feeling alright?"
"Sure." I shrug, and Jeebus help me, I'm staring at his crotch. Our kids are not even two feet away, and I'm thinking about sex. "Hey, do you think Alice would take the kids this afternoon? I want to do something."
"Probably, but do you really want to schlep them all the way to Manhattan?"
"I'll make it worth your while," I pretty much purr, walking my fingers up his thigh, stopping just short of his pistol. And he's not packing heat, if you catch my drift. I mean, except for the heat he packs usually. You know, his cock.
I'm not good with subtle. And yeah, I'm not completely oblivious—I get that I'm acting a little irrational this afternoon for whatever reason. My moods seemed to have taken on more of an even keel after Edward and I had the kids. Everything's not always perfect all the time, but it's perfect for us.
But I digress.
So...Edward's dick. I need a piece of that, and soon.
"You guys wanna visit Aunt Alice's this afternoon?" I ask over my shoulder.
"Woo-hoo!" they cheer and high five one another as if they won the lottery.
"Do you think Uncle Jasper will be home? I want to play cowboy on the Wii."
There's just no good way to stand on a street corner in a pleather skirt and ratty fishnet without calling attention to oneself. I run my fingers through my hair - a nervous habit - and cringe as my fingers tangle in the crusted-over hairsprayed knots.
A creeper keeps staring at me from across the block, and I keep my head down, pretending to find my red stilettos fascinating.
Where are you? I text Edward.
Dude down the block waves like he's trying to get my attention. I'm considering losing the shoes and high-tailing it to the nearest precinct when my phone chimes.
Traffic is nuts. Looking for parking.
Me and my brilliant ideas.
Hurry! I'm on 40th near the old coffee shop. I'm pretty sure I'm about to bite my lower lip clear off my face. And it's so fucking cold all the sudden. My nipples are indicating the turkey is ready... the turkey being the creeper from across the street. He's about fifteen feet closer than he was a few minutes ago.
You're waiting in the street? I thought you were shopping!
Well, shit. I don't want to ruin the surprise, but I'm becoming all sorts of paranoid. I had asked Edward to drop me off at Victoria's Secret about thirty minutes ago, feigning the need to purchase crotchless panties. Can I just digress for a second to mention no woman in the history of any time ever actually needed crotchless panties? Cute bikinis or a sexy thong, sure, but there is literally no reason to have underwear that bares the gotch. Why not cut out the middle man and go commando?
Once, Edward dropped me off before taking the kids to Alice's, I called Jasper for the address of the sex store he frequents. And not that I even want to know these kind of details about my sister-in-law's sex life, but let's just say her fiancé has some freaky shit in his arsenal of, er, sexessories.
Two words: tranny device.
My phone buzzes again. Bella? Where are you.
I grin as I spot Edward looking around for me. He squints his eyes as if to see better, pushing his messy dark-red hair away from his face. Creeper stops creeping and gives my husband an appraising glance as Edward finally notices me.
"Jesus fuck. Fuck me, just, fuck."
I wave, laughing at the string of obscenities pouring out of Edward's mouth.
"Fuck, fuck, fuckity, fuck a duck, fuck."
"Hey, sexy!" I call out, taking a few wobbly steps and pushing the girls out. "Looking for a good time?"
"Well...that depends, sugar. Are you working tonight?" Edward takes my hand before I trip over my own damn feet in these stupid shoes.
"Can I interest you in a pudding cup?"
He drags his tongue over his lower lip. He does this because he thinks it's sexy. The man doesn't need to try to be sexy, he just is. I wish he'd stop licking his goddamn mouth.
"How much?" he kind of growls, and I suppress a giggle.
"Well, let's see...what's the going rate for a hand job again? Fifty dollars?"
And that's when I feel something cold and metal lock around my wrist. At first I think Edward is getting kinky in the middle of the street, but then I notice he's not the one cuffing me.
"Alright," creeper-from-across-the-block says. "You're under arrest for soliciting."
"I'm not a hooker," I scream, and it's like déjà vu all over again.
Oh fuck. Not again.
I start trying to explain to the officer what's going on. I start out strong, confident.
"She's not a hooker," I tell him, then follow up with a little bit of nervous laughter. "I mean, I'm a cop." His brow takes a nose dive and he starts reaching for his cuffs. This is when I realize my attempt to straighten this out has failed.
"No, you don't understand," I tell him, but he's already calling this in.
"Oh, I understand alright, you sick fuck."
"No!" I scream, pulling at the roots of my hair, trying to think. "We were just... I wasn't paying her or anything, she's my... I mean we..."
"I'm pregnant!" Bella blurts out with her hands stretched toward us. Not only is the officer, who's determined to make a collar today, silenced, but um... me the fuck too.
"What?" the two of us ask in unison and that sly grin of Bella's appears as the cop gives me an even dirtier look than before.
"You're just racking up the charges today, aren't you, officer."
I blink twice and it hits me what my wife is up to here.
"I'm pregnant," she blathers, tears now spilling down her face. "And maybe I haven't eaten enough today, I dunno, but I'm not a hooker. Fuck, it's been years. Years since anyone's accused me of soliciting. It's like this weird-ass theme in my life I can't seem to shake." She pulls a handkerchief out of her bra and dabs her eyes. "Edward, explain it. I'm pregnant, and you're my husband. Tell him."
And she is genius.
I smile at the man, finding my confidence again.
"Cullen, I'm Cullen," I explain, then clear my throat. "I mean, Officer Cullen, and this Bella Cullen. She used to be Bella Swan. As in, the Chief's daughter." I finally get it all out there and realization finally hits him, too. His expression changes then he stares blankly as understanding washes over him.
Everyone's heard the story by now.
"Ohhhhh," he breathes out. "That is..." he looks over at Bella, gives her an approving once over then smiles and nods to me with as much of a professional demeanor as he can muster considering the situation. "Okay, well, carry on then. Sorry to bother you, Officer Cullen."
One more smile to Bella. "Mrs. Cullen."
She winks and he walks off with his tail between his legs, no doubt hoping upon hope that Charlie doesn't hear about this little incident.
I'm chuckling to myself as I watch him go, remembering once upon a time with Bella, when it was a lot more difficult to get out of a situation much like this one.
I turn to her and she's beautiful, staring up at me with the most gorgeous smile on her lips.
I take her face in my hands and laugh out loud now, appreciating every inch of the outfit she's wearing before kissing her.
"There is never a dull fucking moment with you, Mrs. Cullen," I murmur with my head resting against hers. She keeps her eyes closed as she answers me.
"You have no goddamn idea, Edward."
"Let's get you home." I pull us apart, taking her hand in mine as we head back to the car.
"Quick thinking by the way," I tell her.
"With that pregnancy announcement to get him to shut up back there."
I laugh again, thinking about it.
"I mean, did you see that guy's face?"
"You've got to be the single most ingenious woman I have ever met."
"Edward." She stops suddenly, jerking my arm back in the process.
I'm still giddy but the look on her face is frustration incarnate.
"I wasn't fucking with him."
My brow curls upward. He's clearly confused. "I'm sorry, what?"
She takes my other hand in hers and looks up at me like she's a school teacher trying to explain something extremely complicated to a Kindergartener. She seems worried all of a sudden, just before she speaks.
And when she does, I realize I'm the idiot, not the cop.
"I'm really pregnant...and you're an asshole."
"Preg...nant," she says, slower this time, grinning. "And you're an asshole."
Her words sink in as I'm standing there, losing my balance. I vaguely recall the last time she gave me this news and we were happy. Because, you know, one of each … but three?
And just as I'm beginning to understand the near future, meaning mood swings, cravings and late night diaper changes... and that's just me... I hit the pavement. Face first.
An eternity later, I'm waking up in a hospital bed and I'm surrounded by people. Lots and lots of people. Including my hooker resembling wife and her father, the Chief of Police, Charlie Swan. The kids are here too and I'm suddenly concerned.
"Am I dead?" I croak out. Bella laughs and in turn, so do our children. Charlie, however, is standing there, crossed-armed and scowly. That's how I know I'm not dead, by the way. There's a much nicer version of Chalie Swan in my afterlife, I'm sure.
At least I hope so.
"What happened?" I ask, rubbing the sore spot on the back of my head that's throbbing all of a sudden.
"You fell pretty hard; knocked over a restaurant lunch specials stand on your way down. It clocked you pretty good."
Charlie's eyebrows do a weird tango as his mouth quirks, and he pats Bella on the back.
"I guess since he's fine now, I'll leave you two alone," he tells her, then eyes me and says, "Don't leave my baby husbandless in her condition, son. I'll pull you outta the afterlife and kick your ass ten ways to Sunday."
I nod and it hurts, but I don't show it. Charlie hates weakness.
He leaves and I breathe a little easier. Then Bella leans down and kisses me softly.
"You scared me a little, shithead."
I have to laugh at my wife's version of tender loving care. After all, it's a promotion from asshole.
"I'm sorry, it was just... your news caught me off guard a little."
She twists her mouth up and scrunches her nose. "Are you mad?"
Am I mad. This woman. I smile for her.
"I am so far from mad - I'm like the anti-mad. Are you kidding?" I look at our two little people who are now dancing as a hospital worker brings in a tray with something on it that they obviously are very happy about. "Three will be great."
We watch the kids, and Bella snorts.
"Three will be seriously fucked, Edward, who are we kidding?" she muses, but I smile. It'll be great.
"PUDDING!" EJ and Vanessa scream in unison. The nurse hands over the tray and leaves, probably in fear for his life. Then the kids fight over who gets the pudding cup, and I let my head fall back, laughing.
Bella exhales a contented sounding sigh. She stands next to me with an arm around my shoulders as we both shake our heads at the crazy, wonderful, evil little spawn we created together.
"We should probably buy stock," I tell her.
"And product," she adds, as EJ and Vanessa tear into the single serving pudding cup like bears on salmon. "Lots and lots of product."