This was written for the Remember When This Was Fun contest. Check it out to see the prompts and all the great fics!
Biggest of thanks to my lovely and brilliant beta, jessica1971 and to my beloved SM, stephk0525 for pre-reading this.
Disclaimer: Ms Meyer owns Twilight. No copyright infringement intended. Any similarities (real or imagined) are purely coincidental. *nods* Frealz.
"Well, what's a wedding without some family drama?" Charlie stated as the lights and sirens faded into the distance. The small crowd erupted in laughter.
"That's true," Esme responded. "Although, I'm really grateful it was your family and not mine that was the reason for the ambulance."
As the laughter faded, Bella looked at Edward and whispered, "I guess it's apropos that this night would end the same way our relationship began."
He smiled affectionately at her and kissed her forehead. "So true, love. So true."
Bella was running late. Again. As she rushed to get to her class, flashing lights on her left caught her attention. She looked to see what was happening. She caught glimpses of a stretcher and EMT workers. She hoped whoever they were helping would be okay as she continued on and hoped she wouldn't be too late. She had almost cleared the crowd when she hit something, hard. When Bella looked up to see what she hit, she heard an "ow" below her. She looked down and saw a guy sitting on his ass. A gorgeous guy. An unbelievably gorgeous guy – that she just ran into and knocked down. Shit!
"Shit! Oh shit! Are you okay? Oh my God. Did I just knock you on your ass?"
"Um, yeah." He was momentarily stunned by her wide eyes and blush. He shook his head and cleared his throat. "Yes, I'm okay and, um, yeah, you did knock me on my ass." Literally and figuratively, he thought.
"I'm so sorry. I'm running late and wasn't paying attention," she said as she gestured to the ambulance. "Shit. I'm really sorry."
Bella extended her hand to help him. He placed his hand in hers and they both gasped as they felt a shock. They looked at each other, surprised by what happened. He allowed her to help him stand up ….or at least she thought she helped.
He smiled crookedly and said, "Hi, I'm Edward. Edward Cullen."
"Hi, Edward… Edward Cullen. I'm Bella." She smiled back and then bit her lip.
The noise from the crowd grew. He was annoyed and wanted more time with her.
"So, Bella, would you like to grab a coffee? With me?" Edward asked hopefully.
Bella looked at her watch. She was already late for class, but if she hurried she would at least catch part of the lecture. On the other hand, there was an incredibly attractive man who wanted to spend time with her. This was a no brainer. "Sure. That would be great. "
Edward tentatively placed his hand on the small of her back as he led her through the crowd to the closest coffee shop he could find. He could care less about the coffee. He just wanted….no, needed… to be around her for as long as he could.
Bella couldn't believe her luck as she sat across from him. For once she was grateful for her clumsiness and tardiness.
They spent the rest of the afternoon talking. They talked and laughed through dinner and into the evening. Neither cared about school or missed classes, just the person across the small table from them.
Reluctantly, Edward walked her back to her car. They exchanged numbers and their first kiss. As Bella drove off, he stood there until he could no longer see her taillights. He wondered how soon was too soon to call her and couldn't wait for tomorrow.
"Hey, Bella, what was the song you danced to earlier? For your first dance?" Maria asked.
Bella noticed that some of her other friends looked intrigued. Bella smiled. "Everything."
"Everything?" She shook her head. "I haven't heard of that one before."
"Yeah, it's by Lifehouse. Edward, um ….he pulled a Lloyd Dobler and played that song for me."
"He pulled a Lloyd Dobler? No way."
"Yeah, well, Edward did something stupid. You know like, man stupid." The women nodded in understanding. "And well, when he realized what a dumbass he was, he came to my apartment to apologize. He stood outside my apartment, holding, I swear to God, an iPod boom box above his head, and played that song."
Bella was pissed. She couldn't even begin to understand why he was being so stupid. How could he even suggest that they break up during his deployment? What the fuck was wrong with him?
It had been six days since he made the foolish suggestion. Six days since she told him to go fuck himself. Six days since she kicked his dumb ass out. Six days since she'd seen him. Six fucking days. Not that she was counting.
He said things like 'for the best' and 'if anything should happen to me'. She just didn't understand how a man who was so intelligent could also be such a phenomenal moron. Bella told him so. She told him she loved him and that they would make it through this separation and that she would support him through his deployment. And then he talked about doing this to 'protect her'.
She waited for him to call or text or stop by or send flowers or something, because she was not going to call him. He was being an idiot and he needed to admit it and apologize first. But after six days, she was wavering. Instead of calling him, Bella grabbed her iPod and found her 'Why men are idiots' playlist and then she found her resolution.
Edward knew the moment the words left his mouth he was being a monumental ass. He didn't want to end their relationship. He didn't want to lose Bella. As soon as she kicked him out, he knew how badly he'd fucked up and consequently spent six days trying to figure out how to make it up to her. Six days since he'd touched her, held her, kissed her. Six agonizing days.
What the fuck had he been thinking when he suggested they break up? He'd written dozens of texts, but it wasn't enough. Flowers wouldn't truly express what she meant to him. She was everything to him. Bella was his everything. Everything.
He knew what he had to do. He grabbed what he needed and raced to her apartment. He loaded the song, turned the volume up, and raised the boom box high above his head, and prayed that this would work. He waited and waited and waited ...
Edward stared at her apartment. He willed her to notice him. Others did, but not the person he wanted to see him. The one he needed to see him. His everything. Finally, he saw a flicker behind her window.
Her sliding door opened. "Bella," he sighed. He felt like he could breathe again for the first time in six fucking days. Again, he was stunned by her. Again, he wondered what the fuck he was thinking. All he wanted to do was run to her, but he waited. His arms were getting tired but he stayed and waited. And then she was gone. He couldn't believe it. It was over. He dropped his head and the boombox as the song played. As he turned to leave, he heard her.
"Edward! Wait! Please wait!" Bella yelled as she ran to him. She stopped in front of him with tears streaming down her face. "You Lloyd Doblered me?"
He chuckled. "What?"
"This. All this." She waved her hand up and down. "This was what Lloyd Dobler did. I just … why ….how did you know?"
"It's your favorite moment in your favorite movie from the 80's," he shrugged. "It's why you love John Cusack. Although, I didn't play 'In Your Eyes'."
"You remembered that?" Bella couldn't believe he would remember.
"Of course, Bella. I remember everything," he sighed, "Everything."
"Is that why you chose that song?"
"No, not exactly. It's because you are. YOU are my everything, Bella. I was an idiot. I was scared and stupid and an ass," he rambled. "And I've been miserable for the past week. I've been trying to think of what to do or say to let you know that I don't want to be without you. Not now. Not ever. I realized you were everything to me. You ARE everything to me, Bella. I'm so sorry. I love you."
"Shut up, Edward. Just shut up." Then Bella threw her arms around his neck. "You had me at 'I was an idiot.'" She kissed him. "I love you, too. So much. Don't ever do this again. Don't ever think about leaving me for my own good again."
"I won't. I promise." Edward leaned down and kissed her again. His kiss was tentative and gentle but quickly escalated.
"Come on," Bella said as she grabbed the belt loops on his jeans and pulled him towards her apartment. "We've given my neighbors enough of a show for tonight."
"Oh really? Will there be more show later?" He smirked.
"Yes," Bella replied. "You are going to apologize to me over and over again. Repeatedly. I want several apologies from you. Screaming, mind-blowing, multiple apologies. All. Night. Long."
Edward grabbed the back of her head and fisted his hand in her hair. He pulled her face to his and spoke quietly, "Love, I'm gonna apologize to every fucking inch of your body. I promise to apologize soft and sweet and then hard and fast. I will leave you breathless and begging me to stop. I promise that I'll apologize to you against the wall, on the counter, in the shower, on the couch, and in the bed. Repeatedly. By the time I'm done, you won't ever wonder if I'm sorry again. And you won't be able to walk ….for the next six days."
Then Edward took Bella into her apartment and did exactly what he promised.
"Edward, congrats man." Paul said as he slapped him on his back.
"Thanks, Paul. I'm so glad that you guys could make it tonight."
Edward chuckled as he hugged his wife into his side. His wife. It felt so good to finally say that. "Bella, you remember Paul and Alec from my unit?"
"Of course. It's great to see you again. Thanks for coming today." Bella was genuinely happy they were there.
"Thanks. You had such a beautiful day today. I'm sure you were happy it didn't rain."
Edward smiled. "It would have been okay if it rained today. I don't mind the rain."
"Yeah," Bella added, "some of my favorite things happened in the rain."
Edward kissed her. "Mine too."
Edward was nervous. He couldn't remember a time when he had been more nervous. He knew it was what he wanted. He wanted to marry Bella. Of that he had no doubts, but actually asking Bella the question had him terrified. But today was the day. He had the girl, he had the ring, and he had the plan. Now he just needed to grow some balls and ask the question.
He picked Bella up and drove to their meadow. They accidentally discovered it years ago and it remained a special place for them. Edward knew it was the only place he could ask Bella to be his wife.
Bella watched Edward squirm and twitch in his seat. She couldn't understand why he was so nervous. As he turned onto the side street, she knew where they were headed.
"We haven't been to the meadow in months."
"I know. It's supposed to be a nice day so I thought it would be a great time to visit."
She sat back and smiled. Bella loved going to the meadow, their meadow. It truly was a magical place.
Edward was still quiet as they walked to their spot. His nerves were frayed. He decided to relax and enjoy his day with Bella. With their crazy schedules, they hadn't seen each other much and he just needed to be with her.
They spent a lovely afternoon together. They talked and laughed. They reconnected. Edward promised himself he wouldn't wait so long to be with her. After consuming all the wine, they both slept. Edward hadn't realized that the skies grew overcast until the sound of thunder woke them.
"Crap. We need to get going before the storm get here, Edward," she said as she quickly gathered up their food.
"Wait! We still have some time. I'm... uh, I'm not ready to leave yet."
"What are you talking about? We need to go." No sooner had those words passed Bella's lips when it started pouring.
"Shit! Let's go!" Bella yelled over the rain as she grabbed the basket.
"No, wait, Bella." Edward grabbed her wrist.
"Are you nuts? It's pouring."
"Damn it, Bella. Please wait." He ran his fingers through his hair. Fuck. This is not how this day was supposed to go.
"Shit!" He yelled as he began pacing. "This wasn't supposed to happen. I had it all planned. The great day. The picnic and wine. Everything was going to be perfect. And now it's fucking raining and I haven't even done what I planned yet."
"What the hell are you talking about? We're soaked. We need to go," Bella said as she started to walk back to the car.
"NO! Damn it, Bella. Come back!"
She turned around, ready to yell at Edward for being ridiculous. The words caught in her throat. Instead of standing behind her, he was down on one knee.
"Edward?" She barely uttered.
"Shhh. Bella, I love you. This was supposed to be beautiful and perfect because you are, and that's what you deserve. But it didn't work out that way. And now I just need to say the words. I need to tell you that I love you. That everyday I'm thankful you knocked me on my ass. That you are my everything and that… oh God, Bella, I want you to be my everything forever."
He took Bella's hand and said, "Isabella Marie Swan, I love you. I promise to love you forever. Every single day of forever. Would you do me the great honor of being my wife?"
"YES! Oh my God, yes!" She beamed and hugged him tightly. "I love you. I love you. I love you"
They kissed passionately in the rain. They were muddy and soaked and they had never been happier.
"Oh Bella, Edward, everything was so lovely today."
"Thanks Cynthia. I'm very happy with how everything turned out." Bella said as the couple beamed.
"Bella, I absolutely loved your colors today."
Bella smiled and Edward gently squeezed her side. "Thanks. I'm glad you that liked it."
"I'm surprised that you didn't go with gray. It would have complemented the other colors so nicely."
She groaned. "No gray. Never again."
He just chuckled and agreed. "You're right. Never again."
Edward had just stepped through the door and saw Bella standing in their family room looking out the window. He loved coming home to her. It made leaving her in the morning almost bearable. For the first time Edward noticed her, the room, and it's color. He was surprised he hadn't noticed this before. Maybe it was seeing Bella wearing the same colors as the room that made the fact that the room was basically one color more noticeable. Just shades of the same color.
"Huh?" Bella responded, confused.
"This room. It's gray. It's like fifty shades of gray in here."
"You're insane. It is not."
"No, seriously, it is. Look. Look around." He motioned to the room. "Hell, you're even in all gray today. That's fucked up."
Bella looked around the room and noticed he was right. It was gray. All of it. Fifty shades of it. The walls, the carpet, the furniture, all of it - gray. She wondered how and why this happened. What would possess her to make a room monochromatic? Well, not entirely monochromatic. It was fiftychromatic.
She looked down and noticed her shoes. They were steel gray, and she had on her charcoal gray pants and light gray sweater. Fuck.
And gray? Gray was drab and boring and depressing and gloomy. Eeyore was gray! Gray skies, gray hair, gray moods, they were all negative.
"Oh my God - you're right. It is all gray. That is fucked up. How did this happen? Why would I ... why would we ever think this was a good idea?"
"I don't know, love. I think it started slowly. A little bit here, a little bit there, and then it just snowballed and got outta hand. It's overwhelming, isn't it?"
"Yes, very overwhelming," she nodded her head slowly, still in disbelief ….but she finally made a decision.
"What? What are you talking about?"
"We need turpentine, right? Turpentine will get the paint off that table. Why would I ever paint a table gray?" she asked, genuinely perplexed.
"I don't know why you painted the table, but, yeah, turpentine should get the paint off," Edward replied.
"Good. We can just repaint the walls. Gray walls. Jesus Christ - it's like being inside an elephant's ass. Edward, we are living in an elephant's anus!"
He laughed. "It's not that bad."
"Yes it is. Somehow, I've managed to fuck up our home with all the grays of an elephant's rectum. All fifty shades of it," she screeched.
As Bella continued to silently berate herself, Edward came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her. "Sweetie, it's okay. We can fix this. It's really not that big a deal."
"You're right. We can fix this. We'll paint the walls alabaster white and strip the table. I'm not fucking with that carpet or the couch." She turned in his arms. "I have fond memories of that sofa."
Edward slowly kissed up her neck and gently bit her ear. "So do I, love. And I'm glad we are keeping the table too. Remember when I ate …."
Bella gasped and covered his mouth. "Yes, I do, too. That's why we're keeping it. And I'm keeping these heels 'because they're awesome. I mean, a 'lil gray is okay, right?"
"Mmhmm, small doses of gray is fine. Too much gray – all the fucking time," as he gestured toward the room, "is bad. Gray really doesn't deserve this much attention. It's not even a real color." He lowered his voice and said, "He's the bastard son of black and white."
Bella giggled, "Oh my God, you're right. It's not even a legitimate color. It's like we've stolen the essences of black and white and tried to make it our own. Shameful."
He threw his head back and laughed. "You're ridiculous. Come on, let's go. We need go to the store and turpentine all this gray from our lives."
"I love it when you beg," he growled. "Although, feel free to keep that one gray nightie you own… ya know, the see-through one with the panties?"
"Definitely," she smiled. "That's my Edward."
"So, are you ready, love?" Edward and Bella were wrapped in each other's arms. They danced slowly to the last song of the night.
Bella looked up at him and smiled. "For what?"
"Whatever life has to offer us next."
"As long as we're together? Absolutely." She reached up and gently kissed him.
"Forever?" He asked.
"That sounds right to me."
Everything by Lifehouse http:/www(dot)youtube(dot)com/watch?v=fjDojEOiMcE
FYI - the inspiration for the ambulance at their reception came from my own reception. Trufax.