Wow. I haven't written anything much... in a year? *sigh*
I found myself wondering one night... If Paul had been in Jake's position, would Bella Swan have become Bella Cullen? What would the aggressive wolf have done to change her mind?
This is my first real attempt at a drabble style fic. I'm trying to go simple... I tried the over-complicated thing and look where it got me... 3 unfinished WIP's! I have about 8 chapters written, so I'm ahead of the game here!
Chapters will be fairly short, but will be posted every Monday.
In this chapter (and in others), you'll see chunks of text that are familiar - There are passages lifted from the original saga. I did that to keep a "canon" sort of feeling.
Kudos to my internet wifey, littlefurrycannibals. Everyone should join her fics and give her lots of fuzzy warm spectacular reviews. So go. NOW! :-D
Much love to my twi-pervy soulmate, PMU (you can thank you for the awesomesauce manip banner).
And thanks to Twi_Maggs and Call Me Mrs. Meraz for pre-reading!
BTW - the lyrics here are from my friend's band. They just finished a tour with Young the Giant through MTV, and were on David Letterman on the 20th. Their next tour will be with Fun.
Blah, blah, blah - I don't own this. If I did, I sure as hell wouldn't have put Bella with Edward.
"I saw, a glimpse, a shimmer, a shadow
Of something, I had once but since lost
And now I, I've got a feeling that I'm not complete anymore
Don't even tell me where, we are going
Hands over my eyes, hands over my eyes
Don't even tell me where, we are going
Just walk, just walk, by my side…"
Fixin' by Walk the Moon
"I found a good car for you, really cheap."
Bella blinked. Wait, what?
Charlie hadn't said much since they had climbed into the cruiser at the airport. The silence had been awkward, but she hadn't been able to think of anything to say. It had been easier to pretend she was too engrossed in the scenery to hold a conversation. He didn't need to know she was chewing on the inside of her cheek to keep from crying.
She missed Phoenix already.
"What kind of car?"
"Well, it's a truck actually, a Chevy," Charlie replied.
She stared at him. Did he really think she knew what that meant? "Where did you find it?"
"Do you remember Billy Black down in La Push?"
She felt lost. Had their conversations always been completely confusing?
"No." She didn't, really. It had been years since she'd been in Forks. Just thinking about how long it had been made those nasty guilty feelings appear again.
"He used to go fishing with us during the summer," Charlie prompted, looking over at her expectantly.
Nope. Still nothing. She raised an eyebrow at him.
"Remember? Noah Lahote and Harry Clearwater came with us."
She could only vaguely recall her father's best friends. She was almost ashamed how little she remembered about her times in Forks. She'd often felt awkward around her father and his friends, so she would plead with Charlie to let her stay home and read instead of going out. Unfortunately, the less time she spent with him, the more awkward she felt. It became a vicious cycle, and her mother had never pushed the issue. She had been too busy taking yoga, bird-watching, or crystal reading to pay much attention to whether or not Bella spent time with her father.
The sound of a throat clearing startled her. "Anyway, Billy's in a wheelchair now," Charlie explained. "So, since he can't drive anymore, and he offered to sell me his truck cheap."
Cheap, huh? Bella rolled her eyes. To Charlie, cheap was synonymous with old. "What year is it?" He at least had the grace to blush. Like father, like daughter, she supposed.
"Well, Billy's done a lot of work on the engine – it's only a few years old, really." He was avoiding answering her.
"Uh-huh," She replied doubtfully. As much as Bella loved her father, she'd always known that he'd kept a tight grip on his wallet. "When did he buy it?"
"He bought it in 1984, I think."
"Did he buy it new?"
"Well, no. I think it was new in the early sixties – or late fifties at the earliest," he admitted sheepishly.
"Ch – Dad, I don't really know anything about cars. I wouldn't be able to fix it if anything went wrong, and I couldn't afford a mechanic…" She blustered, feeling rather uncomfortable with the whole thing. She worried he had done it to butter her up, buy her love, that sort of thing.
"Really, Bella, the thing runs great. They don't build them like that anymore!" He sounded so eager to please her that she couldn't bear to hurt his feelings by being disappointed. He'd obviously gone to a lot of effort to find a vehicle for her.
"How cheap is cheap?" She had a little money in her college fund, but not much.
"Well, honey, I kind of already bought it for you. As a home-coming gift." Charlie peeked sideways at her with a hopeful expression.
"You didn't need to do that, Dad. I was going to buy myself a car." More nagging guilty feelings rose. She nibbled at a finger nail and pushing the thoughts down.
Ignorance was bliss.
"I don't mind. I want you to be happy here." He seemed pleased with himself.
"That's really nice, Dad. Thanks. I really appreciate it." She didn't bother to mention that she would probably never be happy here.
"Well, now, you're welcome," he mumbled, now looking embarrassed.
They sat in silence for a few minutes. Bella fidgeted with her sleeves. "So… Billy fixed it up?"
Charlie shrugged. "Actually, his son Jacob did most of the work. But when Paul mentioned that they were looking for a buyer, I immediately thought of you. Now you can drive yourself to school and to the store…" She coughed suddenly, realizing Charlie was hoping she'd cook for him. "Or wherever else you want to go," he added hastily, as if realizing how presumptuous he sounded.
"Yeah, Dad, definitely," she replied. There was more sleeve fidgeting while Bella considered his words. "Wait, you still talk to Paul?"
He glanced over at her. "Of course I do." There was a pause. "You don't?"
Bella shook her head slowly, feeling awkward. She hadn't meant to lose touch with him, but….
"Huh." Charlie shrugged. "Well, he's dropping off the truck later, so I guess you'll have some time to catch up, won't you?"
Bella nodded. She wasn't quite sure how she felt about that. Paul had always been… well, Paul; The boy who made mud pies with her and chased her on the beach with stinky seaweed. She vaguely remembered a tan skinned, dark haired, scrawny boy with bright eyes and a cautious smile.
"Yeah…" she finally replied. She tried to smile, but the knots in her stomach told her that it wouldn't be as easy as it sounded. "Catch up. That will be nice. Hopefully Paul has outgrown his propensity for dirt flinging and teasing."
Charlie laughed. "He's still a trouble maker; he certainly didn't grow out of that!"
"Awesome," Bella sighed, rolling her eyes. That was just what she needed; some boy complicating her life.
Turning her gaze out the window, Bella watched the green scenery pass by. It was beautiful, of course; she couldn't deny that. Everything was green: the trees, their trunks covered with moss, their branches hanging with a canopy of it, the ground covered with ferns. Even the air filtered down greenly through the leaves.
She hit the button for the automatic window. Bella took a deep breath of the cool, moist air. In Phoenix, her nose could only detect the aroma of dry sand and red clay. But Forks? She inhaled, breathing in the scent of the forest, of the damp earth, of leaf litter.
Forks smelled wild.
Reviews would be much appreciated.