A/N: ANOTHER UPDATE! Damn, I'm on a roll :D
Jasper recollected us with a, "So how long is this little farce going to last for? Any big drama bombs planned? Scandals, maybe?"
Alice laughed and just shrugged. "Who knows! Probably until we leave, but it depends on how this test run goes. Who knows, I might decide to keep her!"
I rolled my eyes and chuckled out, "Oh, lucky me." I plucked an apple from my tray and took a bite, considering while I chewed. "Drama bombs might be fun, though. But you're all supposed to be keeping a low profile, aren't you? I mean, we could have a lot of fun with it otherwise."
Edward laughed, "Yeah, just throw one of us out into the sun."
"Jasper could make them all fall in love with their teachers," Rosalie chuckled.
"I could read their futures," Alice mused.
"I could breath fire," I muttered more to myself but looked up at the sudden drop in conversation to see five amused faces staring back at me.
"Well then," Edward sighed. "Bella wins."
School was already becoming tedious, and I had yet to make it through a full day. Earth science was interesting in itself, but my classmates made it hard. They were constantly abuzz with gossip and without Alice there to make it fun, it was just annoying. At least Angela had the common decency to ask me about it to my face, even though I felt kind of flaky lying to her.
"So Bella, I've heard some buzz going around the school. You mind talking about it?" She asked, her voice a bit timid.
I laughed a little and smiled. "Wow, someone's actually going to say it to my face, I'm stunned! Yeah, I don't mind," I said with a little shrug.
Angela smiled, relieved. "It's true, then?"
"Be more specific, you know how gossip goes." I rolled my eyes.
"You and Alice are together?"
Those damn butterflies twisted my stomach again. I smiled, a tiny blush covering my cheeks. "Yeah, we are. But it's nothing too serious, you know?"
"New relationship?" Angela asked with a smile.
I just nodded.
"She must be one special girl then. I bet just about any guy in the school, few girls too I'd bet, would go cliff diving to be with you. I've heard them talking."
She said it so nonchalantly. I blushed, tilting my head down so my hair would hide most of it away. I ignored Edward's chuckling on the other side of class. "Yeah, she really is," I mumbled, smiling to myself. At least that wasn't a lie. Alice was really, really one of a kind.
Angela laughed and leaned over her desk to ruffle my hair. "D'aww, you're so cute, all shy and what not. I'm sure you and Alice are adorable together."
I huffed and pouted, fixing my hair. "Hey now!" I said with a small laugh.
Edward insisted walking me to Psych, a knowing smile on his face, and one that concerned me greatly. "So, I'll admit I'm surprised you agreed to this whole thing," he chuckled out.
I smiled as well. "Yeah, you and me both."
"Why did you?" Edward asked. "Normally I would just be able to read your thoughts and find out, but since it's you, I'll confess to being quite curious."
I chewed my lip, considering. "You know, I don't even know. I guess I just thought it'd be fun. Kind of a 'Why the hell not?' thing."
Edward nodded, thinking. Finally he laughed again and said, "Alice is actually going off the walls with it. I swear, that girl is mental. You don't know what you've gotten yourself into."
I just laughed and smiled and shrugged, all at the same time. I couldn't help it. The prospect of dating Alice wasn't entirely unpleasant, though it did have me honestly considering my sexuality. Not that I had ever been interested in men or woman before, but the fact that I might have found interest in anyone at all was a curious thing. I mean, was I interested? Is this even what it felt like? Or did I just enjoy Alice's company? I had no idea about the symptoms I should be looking out for.
"I don't know," I said finally. "It could be worse."
Edward's eyes gleamed. "How so?"
I laughed and scrunched up my face in a playful manner and shoved his shoulder. "Oh I don't know, I could be dating you Mr. Nosey!"
I'm sure he was surprised when I actually had the strength to move him, but oh well. He stumbled a few feet. "Hey now, hey now!" he laughed. "It was just a question! I can't help that I'm a curious man!"
"Yeah, you're Carlisle's son alright." We had arrived at my class so I waved him off and stepped inside.
Rosalie was at my side instantly. For a quiet moment we just watched each other as if we were both surprised. "Hey," she said shyly.
She wrung her hands and looked down before saying, "I... I mean, now that we're alone-" I realized Jasper hadn't arrived yet. "-I wanted to apologize."
I blinked. "For what?"
"For practically attacking you a few days ago," she muttered. "I'm sorry. I didn't know you, and I acted before I thought about it."
I smiled gently and shook my head, "Nah, you don't need to apologize. You were just protecting your family. I practically did the same thing when we first met at the Quilleute border. No sweat. But we're good now, right?"
Rosalie smiled too. "We're good."
"I sense bonding going on!" Jasper said as he walked through the door. Rose and I laughed. "Great, now we're all one big happy family."
Apparently in Psychology we were learning about body language, which was interesting enough to capture my attention. Having forgotten life before, having to reestablish myself had really trashed my social skills. I was horrible at guessing the intentions and thoughts of others, I just couldn't pick up on the cues. Jasper noticed.
"You're really into this, aren't you?" He asked, sounding a bit surprised.
I laughed and shrugged. "I'm very bad at understanding others. Thousands of years of dormancy will do that to you."
Jasper smiled and nodded slowly. "Understandable. But you seem so good with communication, regardless."
I just shrugged. "I have a way with people I suppose. The wolves used to say that when I got mad, the Queen came out, because I had this way about me that made people do what I asked with their tail tucked between their legs," I smiled and Jasper and Rosalie laughed.
"I still can't wrap my mind around the prospect of you being the ruler of the entire world, though. Like... sitting here, right before me, used to be the Queen of everything."
"Operative word being used to, Jasper," I rolled my eyes.
Jasper shrugged. "Still. I was a soldier centuries ago, but I still introduce myself as Major Jasper Whitlock to other vampires. Just because time has passed or you no longer fill that occupation doesn't mean you shouldn't credit yourself for the things you did do."
I mulled that over, but eventually just said, "I suppose."
I was back into the lesson then, and Jasper let me be. Eventually, Gym reared it's ugly head.
Walking in the halls, I couldn't keep a scowl from my face. Rosalie laughed and nudged me, saying, "Hey at least Alice will be there."
I sighed, knowing that the gymnasium would be abuzz with whispers the whole time. "Wonderful. Tell me, are all humans this petty?"
Jasper laughed and said, "It's a small town. Small town people are extremely self-involved. They think they're big because their town is small. Go to somewhere like New York? No, they know exactly what they're worth. Not here, though. I really wouldn't bother myself with what they think."
"It's just so annoying! It's like honestly, do you have nothing better to talk about?"
"Was setting them off the entire reason you agreed to this whole business?" Rosalie asked, leaning around her brother to display an eyebrow quirked.
I frowned. Was it? I didn't even know anymore. "Yes. But it's still annoying. I mostly agreed because Alice seemed so excited and I didn't mind overmuch."
Rosalie laughed and furrowed her brows, and odd combination. "You were willing to engage in a lesbian relationship, real or otherwise, just because Alice wanted to? Just like that? Bella, you're spoiling her."
I laughed and shrugged. "It's not really that big of a deal. What is sexuality to someone who has been dormant for thousands of years? I feel no need to conform to the petty social norms of this new, horrible world. I detest everything it is, and crippling standards are a part of that. I just don't care. Plus I can never reproduce, so it doesn't mater anyways."
I didn't expect that little tidbit to go over the way it did.
"What?" Rosalie asked, stopping in her tracks. "Why?"
Jasper looked equally surprised.
I hugged my books tighter to my chest. "I just can't. I'm barren, I suppose. I have the body of a sorceress, but there are aspects of me that expect to work like a dragon's. They're not meant to mesh together, and as a result, certain parts don't agree. My DNA can't combine to produce offspring. I've come to terms with it."
"Bella..." Rosalie said softly, like she was searching for words, but instead we had arrived at the gymnasium.
I forced a smile onto my face and said, "See ya later, wish me luck."
I turned my back and walked a few paces. "Good luck," came Jasper's somewhat dazed reply.
Alice was waiting for me outside the lockers with a smiled on her face. "About time!"
"Sorry, I was talking with Rose and Jasper."
Alice applauded. "Good to see you making nice, I'm very proud."
"Yeah, yeah, shut up. I need to go apologize to the teacher for skipping class the last few days."
Alice waved me off then slipped into the locker room to change, I assumed. The teacher, who demanded I refer to him as 'Coach Clap' when I addressed him with a simple 'sir.'
"And where the hell have you been?" he asked gruffly.
I liked this guy. "Sorry Coach. String of bad luck, settling into the new school. But I'm here now."
"I'll decide that. You can prove it by being captain today."
I just nodded.
"We're playing dodgeball. Go get changed."
"Yes, Coach," I said and ducked away into the lockers.
Alice laughed as I walked in wit a thumbs up. "I didn't hear any screaming, sounds like you got off easy."
I just rolled my eyes, catching reflexively as Alice hurled a wad of clothes at my face. "Here, these are some of Rose's. I knew you'd forget."
It honestly hadn't even crossed my mind that I would need gym clothes until I arrived here, and then I figured maybe they'd be provided. Apparently not. I smiled at Alice and said, "Aw, thanks. You're right, I did forget. I've never had to dress out before," I said with a shrug.
"No sweat," Alice giggled. As she passed me to go out the door, she rose up and pecked me on the cheek. "I'll see you out there."
As soon as the door closed I heard a muttered, "Ugh, fucking dykes," but it was obviously in human hearing range because several of the other girl's laughed. Looking up, why am I no surprised, Lauren, Jessica, and two girls I didn't recognize were still lounging around.
"Excuse me?" I asked, tone heated.
They seemed genuinely surprised that I could hear them, as if they expected their words to stay within their bubble. Lauren recovered quickly and replied, "You heard me. This is a girl's locker room, and I don't want to have to look at you nasty gays making out. It's bad enough that you're probably sneaking peaks while I'm changing."
"Oh, gross," some of the other girl's fretted.
I was shocked. Why would she even contemplate me looking at her, if I was supposedly in a relationship with Alice. "Are you serious?" I asked, expecting a joke.
"Um, yeah? I am. You're fucking gross." Lauren sneered at me.
"Okay," I said slowly, rolling my neck, cracking it in certain places. The looser I was, the easier it was to keep the other me caged. "I can see this could be a problem in the future, so I'm gonna lay it all out right now." I took a few steps closer, smiling as they shrunk closer together. If I had to guess, I'd wager they weren't used to confrontation.
"First things first. Does a kiss on the cheek really qualify as making out to you? Because if so, I'm sure there's a tiny kindergarten seat with your name on it, somewhere. Second, why would anyone, male or female, ever sneak a peek at you nasty-ass bitches? My god, you look like carrots! It's not hard to figure out how you got so 'tan,'" I air-quoted the word, "In fucking Washington. It's not exactly the sunny southwest. Finally, what on earth do you carrots have to worry about? You could really compare yourselves to Alice Cullen and worry about anything? Mother of fuck, you're dumber than I thought! Have you seen her lately? Her beauty doesn't come from a spray tan and a make up bottle, which is unfathomably more appealing than anything you lot could buy at Walmart. So you can get your snotty ass bigotry out of here right now before I beat this lesson in. I don't take bullshit from anyone, let alone petty high school bitches."
I doubt I really scared them, if anything they were surprised. So surprised that they did exactly what I'd hoped for; they scurried out the door right past me, hissing things at each other that I didn't really care to listen to. One thing I did catch was Lauren's growled out, "You're dead, Swan!"
Yeah, I'd like to see that.
Having changed, I walked out to find Alice there waiting for me, leaning on the wall outside the door. There was a deep frown on her face.
"What?" I asked.
"That was pleasant," she mumbled.
"Ah. You heard all that. I mean of course you did, duh! Go me. Sorry, did you not want me to fight them?" I was worried I had broken some special human courtship rule that would blow our cover but Alice laughed.
"No, no! I'm just upset that they had the balls to say it. What you said was very sweet though. You played your role perfectly."
It was my turn to laugh. "It wasn't a role! They really needed the lesson. I still have no idea how they were afraid I would look at them changing if I had you. It's baffling." My brow furrowed in thought, still trying to unravel it. Jasper was right, these small town folk were incredibly self-involved. Even the people on the rez were like that to a certain degree, the elders in particular.
"Aw, how sweet," Alice smiled, wrapping an arm around my waist.
I looked down at her and laughed. "I know right? I'm a regular old Romeo. But Coach Clapp asked me to be a captain, so I gotta go."
"Alright," she sighed and let me loose.
I went to stand by the coach who was looking over his clip board, ignoring the class who had the majority of their attention on Alice and I. I was impressed! I mean, you rarely saw humans keep attention any one thing for so long. I guess that's just kudos to Alice and I.
"Alright, Swan. Stand on my right. And-"
"Coach, can I be a Captain?" Fucking Lauren raised her hand and asked.
The coach shrugged and gestured to his left. "Swan, pick first."
"Alice," I said.
The class snickered and I just shrugged.
"Tyler," Lauren said, and a big football player moved to her side.
"Uhm... Eric." I said, noticing the helpful boy from my first day. I began scanning the crowd for faces I knew, which wasn't many.
"Mike," Lauren called.
I noticed the three bimbos from earlier looking more and more put out as Lauren opted for the best players over her friends. I, on the other hand, had an alternative strategy. "Angela," I smiled and called her over.
"Joseph," Lauren named.
Angela whispered in my ear, "Pick Ben, Jenny, Ethan, and Natalie."
I smiled at her and, back and forth with Lauren, followed her suggestions.
Our team looked weak from a side by side comparison, but Angela explained it a different way. "Jenny and Natalie play Lacrosse at the community center in Port Angelas," she said. "And Ben has a younger brother who he helps practice for baseball with all the time, he can throw. Ethan is on the reserve team on football because he's on probation for drinking, but he's a great player." And so on, and so forth.
And so it began. Alice and I, though maintaining human speed, were still the first ones to the line to grab the balls. We ran back again, choosing our targets carefully. "Leave Lauren for last," I muttered and she nodded.
The game didn't last long at all. Alice and I picked off the bigger players, like Mike and Tyler, while the other players focused on Lauren's leftovers. They were really good, I had to hand it to Angela. She knew a lot more about people than she let on to. Soon enough the boys on Lauren's team were cursing in frustration, not able to hit anyone.
"Come on," Lauren yelled. "Ugh, you're all worthless!"
"That's not very nice," Jessica muttered, as she cowered from another throw.
Finally it was just Lauren, Jessica, and Joseph left on the court. Alice and I, in the same motions, picked up a red rubber ball, wound up, and threw. They hit both Jessica and Joseph straight in the gut, pushing them back a few paces.
"Stanley, Harris! Out!" Coach Clapp called out.
Finally it was Lauren against Alice and I. She looked worried, but outwardly she wasn't showing anything but anger. Her team was silent with defeat but mine was roaring support.
"C'mon Bella! Go Alice!" Alice and I smiled.
A thought entered my head, and I turned to her, hoping she would see it as a vision. Her gaze went blank for just a moment, then she smiled. She picked up a ball and wound up like she was going to throw it, but stumbled. Her throw was botched, the ball flying high in the air. Lauren grinned and looked up, readying her hands to catch it. I grinned as her team groaned, realizing what was happening. With all the strength I wuold allow myself, I wound up and let loose, drilling my ball into her gut.
"Oof!" Lauren was flung off her feat, stumbling back onto the ground.
My team cheered and Coach Clapp blew his whistle. "What a game, eh? Took us to the bell, too. Go change." We all made out way to the lockers, but the coach stopped me. "Hey."
"Nice game, Swan."
"Thanks Coach," I said with a smile.
Alice and I loitered outside the locker rooms, helping to pick up the dodge balls and maybe to avoid any situation with Lauren, but it was unspoken.
We changed quickly and walked outside to find her family waiting for us. Edward looked concerned, as did Jasper, who was looking between Edward and Alice and I. "Something happened," Jasper said, breaking the ice.
"I nearly torched some meatbags, but no biggy. We got it all sorted out."
Alice must have been replaying the scene in her head because Edward laughed. "Wow Bella, who would've guessed you were such a pro at dodgeball."
"She had it coming," I muttered.
"Anyone wanna fill the rest of us in. If Bella is out there beating bitches, I wanna know about it!"
Alice filled them in as we walked to the cars.
We were the last to pull from the lot, Alice and I, and to my surprise she let an unusual amount of space grow between her and her siblings. I raised a questioning brow at her and she sighed, shrugging. "I don't know. I thought you might want to talk."
"About what? That thing in Gym? Nah, don't sweat it. I'm sure I would have gotten up in their faces about something sooner or later."
Alice just shook her head. "It never occurred to me that you would be teased. It seemed like such a fun idea that I didn't think it through."
I laughed. "Well I suppose that's true, I'm not sure what possessed you to go along with this in the first place, but now that we're here?" I shrugged. "It's whatever."
"What do you mean?" Alice asked, confused.
I chewed my lip, thinking. "Well... I guess the only reason the humans would object in the first place is because of sexuality and gender roles, concepts which are pretty foreign to me to begin with. I think it's silly, so anything they might throw at us would be silly as well. It reminds me of a young child trying to prove they know more than an adult. And beyond that, I do think it's fun," I said with a laugh. "I'm enjoying myself."
Alice grinned, "Well I'm glad to know you've been enjoying my company so far."
"I have! In fact, I was wondering if you would like to come with me to hunt for more eggs later on. It is Friday after all, we'd have the whole weekend. We could even make a date out of it," I said with a laugh.
Alice beamed, excitement shining from her features. "Really?"
"Sure! We can go flying, go on a treasure hunt, have a nice meal on a mountain top somewhere and watch the sunset. Real romantic stuff."
Alice chuckled and said, "You know what? You are such a Romeo. That's your new nickname."
"Alright Juliet. We'll just hope our story turns out better. So is that a yes for our date?"
"Absolutely," she grinned. "Do you have anywhere in mind?"
I just smiled.
A/N: Hmm... do you smell that? I think it's... is that fluff? I smell fluff in the air! Just around the bend. REVIEW with suggestions maybe? Because I'm still not very good at these things (:
I love you all!