A/N: I know, a chapter so soon! Well, it's the shortest one yet, but I think still worth your time. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Twilight is the intellectual property of Stephanie Meyer. I am merely playing with her characters to create new art under the guidelines set out by Fair Use. I am in no way profiting from the following. Also any associated lyrics noted for inspiration are attributed to their respective authors.


Part One: Young Adult

Chapter Five: In Between

"Said it's a culmination of a story and a goodbye session
It's the tick of our time and the tick in her hair
That made me feel so strange
So I could call you baby, I could call you dammit
It's one in a million…"

-17 by The Kings of Leon

Waking up the next morning, Bella found herself warm and comfortable but laying on something that felt very hard – like a body.

Her hands continued to roam the soft, firm plane they were lying on when she felt a bendy peak.

Definitely a nipple.

The thought made her jump, as did the squeeze she felt on her own appendage. Looking down at the owner of the at least half naked body below her, she noticed that he was out. Passed out with a shit-eating grin on his face and hands that were very awake…

"You ass! You're playing chicken!" Bella shouted at him, attempting to whack Edward's grin right off his face with her pillow, but instead causing him to burst into a fit of laughter.

"You started it with your roaming – and dare I say audacious – hands, I was merely acting reflexively."

It was then, when Bella felt the sheet pool at her navel, that she noticed her chest was bare as well.

Frenetically she sprang out of the guest bed, haphazardly wrapping the navy sheet around her body only to find out that southern regions of Edward were awake too. Honestly, it was the first time she had seen an erection, or more like tented boxer briefs, in the flesh and she couldn't tear her eyes away despite the inappropriateness.

"Shit!" she heard Edward murmur as he noticed where her undivided attention lay and he quickly, not with the least amount of grace, rolled off the side of the bed and knelt down beside it, his lower half covered by the bed frame.

"Where are my clothes? I have to find my clothes! I have to go home!" Bella breathed out boisterously, twisting her body in multiple directions to survey the bedroom for her missing clothes and finding nothing.

"They're in the bathroom," Edward shouted as he found his way in there to collect his own, hanging on the towel rack.

After she was dressed and had successfully avoided talking to him with the exception of anxious murmurs and scoldings under her breath, she headed towards the main house in search of breakfast items.

It seemed like the pool house rarely saw visitors who cooked as the refrigerator consisted only of the previous night's leftovers.

Sitting down with a bowl of half Rice Krispies and half Kashi, chomping away like the bad guys in Super Mario, Bella scrunched her eyebrows together trying to imagine the events that led to her waking up in bed with Edward.

There was his confession of wanting to be with her in any way she would let him, wine, her trying to decipher what that meant, more wine, swimming in the pool fully clothed, finishing off the wine, showering (separately of course – she hadn't drank enough for anything else to have happened), and lying down staring at one another –

"Bella! What are you doing here? Why are you wearing –"

"Alice! Ww-here did you come from? Weren't you at a sleepover? Oh my god, are your parents with you? Please Lord, please tell me your parents aren't here," Bella shifted her eyes away from Alice and to the digital clock on the microwave, murmuring to herself.

"Hey munchkin, why are you here?" Edward entered the kitchen to find Bella in the beginning stages of a panic attack, a natural reaction to Alice's overwhelming alacrity.

"It's noon Edward. I'm back from Charlotte's sleepover," Alice explained with an unspoken 'duh' but her relationship acumen, inherited from her savvy mother of course, allowed her to surmise that Bella had spent the night in a romantic way.

"How was it? Prank call anyone good?" he asked nudging Bella and playfully stealing her bowl of cereal. It was all that was needed for Bella to abate the blame she placed on him for coercing her into staying over.

Alice only huffed in response to his teasing, but was secretly, or maybe not so secretly, pleased at the relationship she saw blossoming before her.

"Do Mom and Dad know Bella stayed over last night?" she asked with singsong innocence.

"No and you're not going to tell them," Edward's seething response and flared nostrils ended the conversation before it went any further.

As much as Alice craved annoying her older siblings, she knew when she was pushing Edward too far. She could blackmail him later, now she wanted more Bella time.

"I can't believe you're here, in Lake Forest, Bella! We'll have to go downtown next weekend and go shopping! I've been dying to get into the new TopShop on Michigan Ave –"

"Enough squirt, we've got to get back to campus. I'll see you later."

Edward quickly grabbed Bella's elbow and they made their hasty exit to the mudroom and out the side door of the home to Edward's awaiting and already revved Volvo.

"Automatic starters. Gotta love them," Edward winked as he held Bella's door open for her like the good gentleman he was at least appearing to impersonate.

Once inside the car, Bella turned her body to face him over the console to ask him why they still had yet to put Alice on a sans caffeine diet, but instead felt a deep pressure placed on her lips. Aside from losing herself to the ultimate start of euphoria she was in just by his lips on hers, their actions from last night hit her equally hard.

The giggles that escaped her were childlike and uncontrollable. They both were fairly inebriated from their lack of abstemious behavior as evidenced by the empty bottle of red resting on the pool deck.

"Edward I didn't bring a change of clothes. You have to take me home." Bella giggled as she climbed out of the pool fully clothed.

"I can't drive. You can't drive. And there's no way in hell I'm calling a cab to take you away. You'll just have to stay the night," Edward murmured as his lips ghosted across Bella's long, lean neck down to her collarbone and savoring the strawberry and vanilla scent her hair and skin made at that apex.

So lost in the sensations of his lips and hands roaming her back, Bella said nothing in response except for encouraging murmurs that the wine was keeping her from controlling.

"Bbbut – "

"I promise to be a perfect gentleman. You can have the bed and I'll take the couch," he said looking her straight in the eye to assure her of his honorability.

"Well, if you promise to be a perfect gentleman, I don't see as to why you can't sleep in your own bed. I'm sure your parents spared none to ensure that their guests are quite comfortable when they stay over."

The alcohol not only made Bella brave but it seemed to deactivate her constant internal reflection. She was acting first and not even thinking second. She felt liberated and embraced her uninhibited self, especially as she became attuned to Edward's desires.

He was growing increasingly more excited at the prospect of where Bella's suggestion was leading them. He could offer to go to the main house and see if he could scavenge up some clothes for them to sleep in, but making it there without falling over or injuring himself in the process seemed improbable.

"I suppose you're right, but like you said, we're drenched and we'll have to let our clothes hang up to dry. There won't be too many layers between us."

"Well, I'm getting a bit cold. I wouldn't mind being wrapped up in an extra blanket or two."

That's when Edward felt the goose bumps on her delicate skin and the strong shiver rip through her body. It may have been an unseasonably warm evening, but it was still nearing September and the temperature had dipped quickly.

"Let's get you inside."

When Edward finally pulled away, it was out of necessity. The passion was still palpable in the small cabin, but the two shared a state of breathlessness.

"Thank you Bella. For last night, for now, for tomorrow. Thank you," Edward murmured half to himself and half to her. His words were his licentious prayer but for Bella, the lovesick girl who felt that her friend – and so much more – had returned to her, they were a promise.

"Put your hand on the gear shift. I'm going to teach you to drive a stick."

"If that was meant to be an innuendo, I think you can do better Mr. Cullen," Bella teased, giddy at the feeling of him grab her hand out of her lap.

"Seeing that it wasn't, I think I'll have to watch out for you Miss Swan. You might try to steal my virtue."

Bella never wanted this moment to end. Her back pressed up against the hard wooden door to her dorm room as Edward's adroit hands lay perfectly on her hips and lips murmuring what she believed people would call 'sweet nothings' in her ear.

Was this what it felt like to be in love, she wondered. It was amazing how in only twenty-four hours she was head over heels devoted to Edward Cullen.

Then her back gave way as the door that supported her opened. Edward quickly regained his bearings and pulled her to him before they could both fall into Rosalie's crossed and unforgiving arms.

"Will you two quit sucking face? I can hear you through the door and I'm trying to watch my boyfriend beat the shit out of Boston College.

"You two are welcome to join me as long as you keep it PG on the futon," Rosalie appeared stern face but her eyes undoubtedly danced with mirth.

"What about the bed?" Edward winked at Bella and dragged her into the small space, her cheeks flaming a brilliant hue of red.

Setting up a new bowl of popcorn and a few contraband bottles of Bud Light, which Bella abjured, still not over her hangover. Rosalie and Edward however comfortably reclined on the futon as if neither of them were previously intoxicated and watched St. Raphael's lead slowly diminish with an attention too keen for Bella's achy head.

"For the love of God Sanders, stop the play action, it's not working for you. Just set up a long play down the field, you've got a good arm, show them!" Rosalie yelled at the television as Edward leaned forward, gripping his second bottle of beer so hard his knuckles were beginning to turn white.

"It's not the play action Rose. If the refs would get their heads out of their asses and call some pass interference for the first time in their lives, we might have a fair shot at winning this game."

Between the griping, Bella couldn't help but smirk at Edward and Rosalie's animation. For all the animosity between them, they seemed more like brother and sister than foes. This – watching a football game with her roommate and Edward, yelling at the TV, making inappropriate jokes, and just enjoying herself – was right, this was comfortable, this was belonging, this is what she craved; the mere simplicity of it all. Even if Bella didn't care for football, she didn't mind it with Edward by her side.


2004

Bella's eyes, albeit crusty, began to open up as the soft early morning sun streamed through the windows of the Cullen's guest bedroom. She was spending the weekend with the Cullens while her parents went out of town for a weekend away in Seattle. She hadn't been immune to their yelling and bickering that overwhelmed the house. Bella could only hope that this weekend would bring at least a temporary moratorium to the increasing antipathy.

After yawning and stretching out of bed, Bella could hear the faint electrical static from a running television down the hallway and padded towards where she knew either Edward or Emmett would be. As she opened the door towards the upstairs entertainment room she found Edward, Emmett, and Carlisle eating bowls of cereal and watching what appeared to be really old and really bad British television.

Completely engrossed in their program, the boys and Mr. Cullen ignored Bella even after she sandwiched her way in between Edward and Emmett on the sofa and began eating out of Edward's cereal bowl.

"What is this?" she asked Edward with a mouthful of what she deduced to be granola, cornflakes, almonds, and Rice Krispies.

Waving his hand at her, dismissing her question, Bella continued to eat away at Edward's forgotten cereal focusing her attention on masticating every bite and trying to understand why her best friend was so enthralled by an R2D2 knock off.

A few chuckles and nervous chompings later, the three overgrown boys fell back into their seats and began enjoying their breakfast again.

"Hey, what happened to my cereal?" Edward asked until his eyes focused on Bella for what seemed to be the first time and narrowed at the empty white bowl in her hands.

"Looks like Bella stole it," Emmett bestowed his accolades on her, "well done Belly."

"Hey! Don't call me that!"

"Well you seemed to think and act with your belly –"

"Emmett –"

"Why'd you have to go and eat my cereal Bella? I live for –"

"Excuse me, but what is going on in here? Some people like to be sleeping at seven o'clock on Saturday mornings." Esme Cullen appeared with a stern face that silenced the four aggrandizing voices and left them cowering.

"I'm sorry darling, we'll keep it down," Carlisle stood up moving towards his wife with an apologetic smile and open arms.

"The boys and I just finished up one of the oldies. You go back to bed and I'll have breakfast waiting for you when you get up," he kissed her cheek and subtlely guided her back towards their bedroom, playing the role of doting husband.

"Well, I'm already up Carlisle," Esme huffed, but her gusto had lessened and to even an untrained ear, her teasing could be detected.

"There are other ways I can think up in which you can make it up to me."

The pair was last heard walking down the hall giggling before Emmett, with the dexterity and speed of a ninja, ran to close the door disgusted and terrified.

"Our parents are the grossest," he breathed out as Edward continued to sulk on the couch.

"Now I can't go and refill my bowl," he pouted to which Emmett and Bella rolled their eyes and ignored his whining.

"So what were you watching?"

"Doctor Who," Emmett responded in a tone of complete nonchalance, but his eyes danced with excitement as he tried to capture his younger brother's attention.

"Who?"

Now a full grin had emerged across Emmett's face, showcasing his expressive dimples. Even Edward was caught with a twitching lip.

"The Doctor."

"Who's the Doctor?"

"A Time Lord from Gallifrey who travels through space and time defeating evil and protecting the Earth," Edward piped in beginning an exchange with his brother that was so rhythmically timed, they could have been correctly mistaken for having rehearsed.

"Also known as the ultimate badass and coolest alien ever."

"Beats every superhero I know."

"A legend."

"Wait, he's an alien superhero?" Bella asked as she scrunched her eyebrows and begin retreating inside her head as if she was solving a very difficult math problem about trains. One word came to Edward's mind as he studied her furrowed brow: cute.

"Yeah, I guess you could put it that way, but he's more than that…he's a Time Lord."

"What's a Time Lord?"

"Oh yee of little knowledge. Come and educate yourself young grasshopper."

Appearing reluctant, but secretly intrigued, Bella followed Emmett out of the room feeling increasingly artless. Sitting in front of his laptop she was faced with a black screen and lots of dancing gifs. It was sci-fi hell.

"It's way too early for me to read reverse text. Where's the Wikipedia page?"

Both boys scoffed at her remark, offended that she could speak in such an ill manner towards what was one of the most, in their humble opinion, sophisticated fan sites online. Walking out of the room with their shoulders straight and heads held high they told her she couldn't come out until she could recount to them Dalek history.

Bella really would have preferred that math problem.


2008

Class was supposed to start in five minutes and Jasper was alone at his two-person desk. Bella was never late, punctuality was probably her middle name if her parents had some type of time fetish when they gave birth to her, Jasper mused.

That really didn't make any sense. I'm so off, it's not even amusing.

Life was not going so well for Jasper as of late. Bella seemed completely disinterested in anything he had to say these days and for being what he considered his really only friend, aside from his roommate Peter. His parents were moving again and forgot to tell him, leaving his only mementos the ones currently in a small shoebox in his small dorm.

The annoying disequilibrium generated in the air with someone's wheezing and the horrendous sound, prompted Jasper to quit his doodling. Bella was seated right next to him, looking flushed. She had all the symptoms of someone who just completed a physically demanding workout, but the smile teasing at her lips proved she was anything but tired.

"Where were you?" Jasper asked but didn't get an answer because Dr. Bernard-Banner had just began his dulling lecture.

Minutes seemed like hours as their history professor began single-handedly ruining Jasper's favorite battle of the War of 1812.

You never answered my question, where were you?

Jasper pushed his notebook just slightly to Bella so that she noticed his message.

I didn't have a chance.

Bella wrote on her own notebook in response, taking a long pause before nudging her spiral notebook.

You can't blame everything on Doctor Double Bs. Now's your opportunity though.

Doesn't it seem so odd that someone who spends an hour and half twice a week on a lecture about guns that he is obviously as a chest banging proclamation of his testosterone levels, hyphenated his name when he got married?

Dr. Bernard-Banner was in fact the husband of Dr. Banner the gender studies professor who both Jasper and Bella had next semester to fulfill their world citizenship and social justice requirement. She was notorious for her sexuality lectures that made her St. Raphael's very own Dr. Kinsey. The two were still trying to figure out how a university started by Jesuit priests could keep such a provocative and beloved professor on tenure.

Bella, you're evading…

That's a great impression of my dad.

Frustrated with her responses, Jasper roughly tugged his notebook and began copying down the nonsensical words on the projected PowerPoint that were supposed to be an outline of the lecture, but really shared more semblance with a New York Times crossword puzzle.

When class finally ended and the students began rushing out of the classroom in fear that their professor may start talking again if they didn't, Jasper attempted to get answers from Bella again. But, rather than waiting for him to pack up his things and follow her out of their row, she had fled with the same hasty speed as their classmates. As he headed out of the room, even more pissed than he was last Friday when he all but damaged the screen on his laptop with the force he used in closing it, trying to make dramatic exit out of the cafeteria after his conversation with Bella, he spotted Bella leaning up against the white cinder block walls.

She wasn't alone though. In fact, it was really difficult to make out that is was Bella with her back pressed against the wall as she appeared all but engulfed by a tall, bronze haired guy who Jasper guessed to be maybe a junior. Scoffs and snickers started to break out from his fellow passerby as they saw Bella and the mystery man as well. It wasn't exactly kosher to be pawing and making out with someone in the hallway, and the excessive PDA left Jasper and others feeling incredibly uncomfortable.

Deciding he needed to get out of there and quickly, Jasper ducked into the nearest men's restroom to take a leak. As he washed his hands he saw the same guy Bella was previously playing tonsil hockey with walk in. Trying to figure out a way to strike up a conversation with a total stranger while he's at the urinal proved fruitless as Jasper heard his name called from behind him.

"It's Jasper, right?"

Jasper turned around to see the guy in question walk up next to him towards the sinks.

"I'm Edward, I believe you're friends with my girlfriend Bella?"


A/N: Hmmm. What did you guys think? I wonder how Bella's relationship with Edward is going to change her other friendships? What about Jasper, Riley, and Rosalie? Also, who else out there is a Doctor Who fan? Let me know your thoughts or any other musings filling your pretty heads! Until next time lovelies.