I've been milling this idea around for a couple years; never really taking a shape or a concrete identity but its decided it wants to play with my other stories as well. And who am I to deny its right to do so?
Summary: Isabella has always been told she was "big boned"; always a little curvier than her other friends and never being able to fit in. Others, like Edward Cullen were less tactful, "you're fat Bella, plain and simple- pun intended." This is Bella's journey to self-confidence, self-acceptance and angry love. OOC, fluffy and future citrus.
4.12.13. Thank you sooo much to the girls at Project Team Beta for helping me out: Mod Monica, hammondgirl, Nlr287bells, TheSandWillPrevail, Batgirl8968. You know how everyone says "it takes a village to [blank]"? Yeah well it does take a village to write good fanfiction (if I do say so myself.) :]
Disclaimer: This author in no way is gaining a profit from the use any published literature and/or other media. She rejects otherwise and it is for the sole entertainment of she and the website's- fanfiction dot net- audience.
Edvard Grieg- Good Mood
"Oh, Charlie, look at her," Renee Higginbotham-Swan told her misting husband as she held her exceptionally big newborn in her arms. Bouquets of every flower available at the town's flower shop and pink, white and yellow balloons were spread out in the small private hospital room declaring the baby a girl.
"She's beautiful, Renee." Charlie leaned over his wife and kissed her forehead, putting some of her blonde hair behind her ear. Twenty hours of painful labor and an emergency cesarean later, his wife looked relieved and happy. Or so he thought. "What shall we name her?"
"Esme and I were thinking about Olivia," Renee offered. The couple hadn't spoken about baby names, deciding to make a decision after the birth.
"I like that name, sweetie, but how about Kelly?" Charlie asked hopeful. "It was my great-grandmother's name— you know the one that came over from Ireland in 1910?"
Renee frowned. "In that case, I want her to carry my great-grandmother's name, Marie. She fled France during the first World War." She looked down at her pink bundle and mused, Kelly Marie Swan. Mulling it over soon caused her to frown. "I don't like the ring to it."
"All right, she won't have Kelly Swan's name. How about my maternal grandmother, Isabella di Gallo? If we're talking about her carrying her family's heritage, we can focus on my mother's Sicilian roots," he offered.
"How about looking into my German side?" Renee wasn't willing to let go of the reins; she'd always thought Charlie didn't think outside of the box—always focusing on following the rules. As any police trainee should, her conscience thought but her selfishness won out. "I've always loved the name Brigitta."
"Yeah, if we want her to be part of The Sound of Music revival at the Forks Playhouse," Charlie uncharacteristically fought back. This was his daughter too, half of him, and he wasn't going to let Renee take that away from him. "I vote for Isabella Marie Swan." He put his foot down.
Renee wanted to fight back, but looking into her husband's deep brown eyes, she saw nothing but determination. She still held out hope. Heaving a deep sigh she said, "All right, Charlie. Let's name her Isabella Marie."
Charlie grinned, going back to seeing his sleepy baby. "Good solid name. Right, Isabella?" he asked the fat-cheeked baby.
"Isabella..." Renee winced.
Falling in love, marrying her high school sweetheart and having a baby soon after had made Renee very unhappy. She had begun arguing over insignificant things a month after the wedding which made Charlie worried she regretted her decision to stay with him instead of going to college in New York like she'd planned in high school. Charlie hoped their newborn would change Renee's attitude and make her realize that she'd made the right decision in marrying him and staying in Forks.
"How about we name her Belle Marie? Doesn't that sound so romantic? Beautiful Mary." She wanted to manipulate him into saying yes.
"No." Charlie knew that if he didn't stand his ground now, Renee would never take him seriously, especially now that the baby was here. This could cause authoritative issues when raising and rearing the child. "Isabella Marie." Renee pursed her lips, studying her defiant husband. Not that it was lost cause.
"Okay, okay Isabella Marie." We'll call her Marie around the house, she thought bitterly.
Charlie smiled at his victory but he knew deep inside Renee would try to undermine him somehow; his only chance was hoping and praying Isabella changed her way of thinking. He looked to Isabella Marie grinning from ear to ear. The baby was waking up and cooing lightly, taking in her new surroundings. "Hi, Isabella Marie Swan," he whispered, having a delicate hold on the baby's chubby fingers. She had come into the world weighing nine-pounds, eight-ounces, making her a little big for a newborn and causing Renee to have the emergency cesarean. "Nice to meet you, beautiful." Charlie felt his throat close up. "I'm Charlie Swan, your daddy."
Isabella looked at her father without much recognition, of course. To her, this creature was just that, some indescribable thing that was bothering her sleeping.
"This is your mommy," Charlie went on.
"Charlie, she doesn't understand a word you're saying." Renee rolled her eyes and readjusted Isabella in her arms.
"Renee, I'm going to speak to her in sentences. I I don't think baby talk helps anything, and Carlisle said as much, too." He added proudly. The new—and youngest—lead doctor of the little Forks Hospital, Carlisle Cullen, told him that studies had shown baby talk hindered the early development of the cognitive thought process of babies, hence never speaking to his own children in "cute gibberish."
"But do you really think she understands you introducing us? She's only a few hours old!" Renee whispered, causing Isabella to cry. "Look what you've done!" Renee accused Charlie, trying to rock Isabella and suddenly feeling nervous. "Call the nurse; I don't know what I'm doing!" Charlie didn't need telling twice. He ran out and grabbed the nearest nurse and brought her back to room 106.
"Don't worry, Renee, she's just hungry," Nurse Gunderson said as she took out a breast pump, making Charlie uncomfortable and hot. "Now do you want to try to get the baby to latch on, or do you want to pump?"
"I'd rather the pump." Renee looked at Isabella as if she was a foreign object. "I'm not ready to feed her myself."
Charlie looked away, blood pooling in his cheeks as Mrs. Gunderson helped his wife begin to use the breast pump. "Charlie, you'll need to help Renee whenever she uses the pump, though." This might prove difficult since Charlie was an introverted sheepish man, but his daughter came first.
Renee didn't believe he would be willing to help her out; he was very awkward and too straight-laced to even come close to anything so personal. Charlie had always been nervous around anything remotely taboo. Their sex life was to the point, not really exploring their tastes or fantasies, leaving Renee feeling empty and lonely. She knew Charlie loved her, but he'd never moved on from his thirteen-year-old boy's view on girls and intercourse. That's the problem, thought Renee, it's intercourse with Charlie, not sex. Medical versus exciting and fun.
Not being able to take much more of it, Charlie excused himself, saying he needed to fill out Isabella's federal forms. She had been born in the early hours of September 13th,making a usually not-superstitious Charlie nervous. No, Isabella is my lucky charm, he thought, willing himself to remember it was all hokum. Besides, she wasn't even born in October. Isn't that the true month of bad luck?
"Charlie!" Carlisle Cullen walked towards him, medical chart in hand, wearing a white coat and stethoscope around his neck, stopping Charlie's thoughts. "Congratulations, my man!" He shook a smiling Charlie's hand and gave him a hug. "She's a beautiful, healthy girl!" He looked through the chart, green eyes sparkling. "A little bigger than anticipated, but nothing to worry about; her vitals are great and nothing seems out of the ordinary." He grinned.
"How often should we bring her by for checkups?"
"Renee won't be discharged until Tuesday, giving her three days' rest and time with the nurses to help her get accustomed to the baby. I would say come by two week's Tuesday."
"Great, I'll make sure to bring them by." He remembered something and chuckled. "By next month, it'll be your turn again." Charlie thought of Carlisle's wife Esme, who was eight months pregnant herself. She and Renee had gone to school together and had stayed in touch since then.
Carlisle ran his hand behind his neck looking sheepish. "Yeah, it's going to be a girl. To tell you the truth, I'm really nervous." Charlie cocked an eyebrow. "I think two boys are easy, you know? There isn't much to raising boys except teaching them how to treat a lady and how to wrap it." Charlie blushed slightly but said nothing. Carlisle went on, "with girls, it's more complicated."
Charlie nodded, realization dawning for the first time. All of the female talks are going to be torture. We'll cross that bridge when we get there and besides, Renee will be there to help me out. He wiped his palms on his sides.
"Did you decide on a name?" Carlisle recognized the look of dread on Charlie's face and decided to change the subject. He led the new father to the front office where they held all of the federal forms.
"Yes, Isabella Marie Swan," he announced proudly. He felt an indescribable amount of pride and happiness erupt inside of him.
"Wow, what a beautiful name!" Carlisle nodded. "Does it have a meaning behind it?"
"Well, I'm sure each name has its own specific meaning. But we named her after Isabella, my maternal grandmother, and Marie after Renee's great-grandmother."
"I have to say, Charlie, it really is a beautiful name." They reached the front desk and requested the forms for Charlie to begin filling out.
"The U.S. Social Security Administration will send you a letter requesting you to go to the nearest Social Security Office, the closest being in Port Angeles," Carlisle informed Charlie before beginning to fill a folder of official-looking forms. "There, they'll fingerprint her and further the paperwork; her social security card should be mailed to you in the next two months, depending on how long it takes them to process her information. Same goes for her birth certificate and the like."
"Understood." Charlie nodded, but he was thinking of something else. "Listen, Carlisle, I've been planning a surprise welcome party for both Renee and Isabella, and I was wondering if you and your family could come. Esme is good friends with Renee and well," he became red at the next admission, "I consider you a good friend, too. I would love it if you came."
Carlisle beamed and shook his hand. "I agree, Charlie, and we'd be more than happy to come over. When do you plan to have it?"
"Next Saturday. My house." He suddenly remembered something. "You know where we just moved to, right?"
"Esme mentioned you moved from Mr. Harkin's back house to a small Dutch colonial somewhere on Tulip Drive?" he asked, thinking about it.
"That's right, 690 East Tulip Drive," he corrected. He bought it from Mr. Harkin's nephew after he moved to Cincinnati and needed it off his hands."
"The Hales live two blocks away; that's a great neighborhood. Carlisle commented approvingly.
Charlie grinned yet again. "Yeah, it's a great little house and I got it at a good price."
"How's the training going, by the way?" Carlisle leaned against the wall.
"It's going great. I finished most of my physical training and now I'm going into gun safety; everything is going well." He thought briefly of his constant marital arguing but said nothing of it. It's just a phase. Once we get accustomed to the changes and the new baby, everything will be okay, he told himself.
Just then, he heard children's voices arguing. He noticed Carlisle stand up straight and grin from ear to ear, staring somewhere behind Charlie. The latter turned around to see Carlisle's two very rowdy boys and very pregnant wife, Esme Platt Cullen, who was carrying a bouquet of wild flowers.
Her face had the pregnant woman radiance on top her natural beauty. She had always held the place of the most beautiful girl in Forks since childhood but seeing her pregnant made her look unbelievably beautiful. Renee had the glow, but she never looked as happy and radiant as Esme, Charlie thought briefly before Esme reached the men.
"You kicked me in the car!" Carlisle's youngest boy accused and pushed his older brother with one hand holding a big pink It's a Girl! balloon with a little white dress as decoration; the other carried a white balloon with pink dots reading the same message. They walked ahead of their mother, almost knocking down an older man with a portable IV. The man was able to hold on for dear life on a nearby chair and glowered at the boys, who were too caught up in their argument to notice.
Charlie knew the accuser was Edward and the other was Emmett. Emmett was a brunette with blue eyes and slightly taller and broader than his younger brother, who had a slight frame, a weird blondish auburn tint to his hair Charlie couldn't name and green eyes. Emmett resembled his mother and Edward, his father.
"Did not!" Emmett whined, punching him back with more force because of his size. Edward let go of the balloon which drifted to the ceiling, yelling in pain as he threw himself on Emmett, and they began hitting each other with their tiny fists and legs. Emmett let go of his own balloon, too, which met its counterpart at the ceiling. Edward got a clear shot of his brother's jaw and the latter gave him a swift kick in the thigh.
"Boys!" the Cullen parents reprimanded simultaneously. Carlisle made his way around Charlie toward his family, while Esme stopped in her tracks and put her hands on her pregnant belly. They stopped what they were doing to see their father towering over them. They let go of each other as if the other was burning hot and looked to the ground, arms behind their back, eyes on the ground, ashamed. Charlie quietly approved of Carlisle's child-rearing.
"You are in a hospital," Carlisle began firmly. "You must respect the patients that are here for whatever reason." The boys said nothing, still looking down, shame-faced. "You must always show respect when you're inside any such facility. I have told you this much countless times." He waited for a response. "Well?"
"Yes, sir." Suddenly, two consecutive pops were heard overhead. Everyone gasped frantically, and the boys threw their hands on their ears, closing their eyes. Esme held on to her belly looking around, and Charlie's hand reflexively went to where his gun usually hung. Remembering he wasn't wearing his gun belt, he looked around, expecting to see two criminals wielding weapons around.
All he saw were pink and white pieces of reflective plastic drifting to the ground and the tiny thud of ribbon hitting the ground. Charlie looked over the boys' heads and realized the balloons popped.
"Boys!" Esme exclaimed after she herself assessed the situation. The nurses went to check on the patients that were housed in the immediate rooms. Charlie could make out an older woman's cries as a nurse tried to calm her down.
"Go find Mr. Lewis and apologize. You almost knocked him over with your bad behavior," Carlisle instructed his children while rubbing his temple. "We'll talk about your punishment when I get home tonight."
"Yes, sir." The boys turned to their mother who had softened.
"Come on, let's go find Mr. Lewis," Esme said, shooting Carlisle an understanding look. "I'll be right back, Charlie. I came to visit Renee and the baby. I'll go to the gift shop and get new balloons." She smiled at Charlie and guided her boys toward the end of the hallway.
"I'm sorry you had to witness that." Carlisle turned to Charlie and heaved a heavy sigh. "I guess boys are just as difficult as girls, for different reasons." Charlie laughed, agreeing with him. The former excused himself to check on his patients while the latter went back to his family.
"I heard a noise. What happened?" Renee asked nervously as Charlie walked in. He quickly noticed the nurses had placed a sleeping Isabella in a portable, hospital issued crib.
"Nothing happened." Charlie went to Renee and took her hand soothingly. "The Cullen boys accidentally let go of the balloons they were bringing Isabella and they exploded under the harsh lights—that's all." Renee visibly relaxed after his explanation. "Esme's coming to see you and the baby. She went to buy some new balloons for you."
"All right." Renee nodded, looking towards the door. After a few minutes, Charlie could hear the footfalls of the Cullen boys and nervously looked at the sleeping form of his newborn.
"Quietly, boys," Esme was heard whispering. "Remember what your father said." They got to the threshold. Both boys had freshly inflated balloons, similar to the original ones. They looked to Charlie, nervously waiting for him to let them in.
He smiled as he noticed their apprehensive looks on their faces. "Will you promise to be quiet?" He bent down to their eye level, and pointed to the crib. "She's sleeping, you see." Emmett nodded furiously and Edward swallowed hard and nodded too. "All right, you may come in." Charlie stood out of their way as both boys took each other's hands as if an evil creature was in their midst.
"Quietly, boys," Esme stressed as she walked behind them with a fresh bouquet. "Renee," she greeted her warmly, handing her the flowers but still keeping an eye on her unpredictable children.
Charlie held his arms out to Emmett since he was too short to have a good look of Isabella. Emmett flung himself at Charlie, taking the police trainee by surprise from the sudden trust and power behind the five-year-old boy.
"Whoa, nelly," Charlie exclaimed, trying to cover up his surprise; Esme and Renee giggled behind him. After adjusting to Emmett, Charlie walked over to the baby. Emmett craned his neck for a better look.
"Wow," he said, his big blue eyes sparkled.
Charlie felt Edward near his leg trying to share what his brother was seeing. Edward frowned when he could see nothing but blankets.
The new dad got used to the idea of Emmett on his side and suddenly wanted to fast forward time so Isabella could be this big and do the same with her. "I wanna see, I wanna see." Edward tugged on Charlie's jeans, who looked down, a little surprised about how it made him feel.
He liked being wanted.
"No fair," Emmett said as Charlie put him down. "Eddie cut my turn in half."
"I haven't even had my turn," Edward answered back, putting his arms out for Charlie to take. When he did, Edward grinned, excitement all over him.
"Here we go." Charlie said, taking Edward and lifting him up. Because he was younger and smaller, it was easier to lift him than Emmet.
"Careful, Edward," Esme instructed when Edward tried craning his neck to the point where Charlie had to lean in or lose control of him, possibly sending him toward the baby. This brought terror to Charlie's heart.
"Sorry," Edward apologized meekly; Charlie grinned, accepting his apology. Edward turned back to the big pink ball with wisps of brown hair. "What is it?" he asked for the gender.
"A girl," Charlie answered.
"Oh." Edward nodded briefly while looking at Charlie then turned back to Isabella. "She smells nice," commented after her natural baby smell reached his nostrils. Itt made him want to reach down and smell her more. "What's her name?" he asked, whispering, staring at her with utter fascination.
"Isabella Marie." Charlie grinned for what felt like the millionth time in the last ten hours.
"That's a long name," Edward noted, scrunching his name thinking about it.
"You don't like it?" Charlie felt himself get wrapped up in Edward's conversation.
"I like it, it's just long." He scowled again, his little eyebrows furrowed in disappointment and deep thought.
"Oh, really, what do you suggest then?"
"How about just calling her Marie?" Renee asked from the bed; Charlie looked at her questioningly.
"No," Edward mused, thinking hard, his little eyebrows furrowing in thought. "I like Isabella," he thought harder not finding a good solution to his problem though.
"How about Isa?" Emmett asked, trying to be part of the conversation."
Edward turned to him from Charlie's hip, scowling more. "No."
"You don't have any suggestions, sweetie?" Esme sat down in the lone chair by Renee.
Edward thought about it for another second and suddenly grinned. "How about Bella?"
Charlie grinned, thinking about it himself. "Sure, I like that." Edward smiled broadly. Charlie noted Edward's eyes sparkled when he smiled this widely. The new dad found himself wishing for Bella to smile just as brilliantly.
Just then, Renee's gynecologist walked in. "I'm sorry, Mrs. Cullen, but only two people can be in the room at once. I'm going to have to ask you to leave." His voice cracked at the end; telling your boss' family to get out must have been nerve-wracking. "And I need to give Mrs. Swan a quick checkup," he added as an afterthought.
"I understand, Neil, don't worry," Esme said. Charlie put Edward down feeling a slight sense of loss. "Do you mind if we take two quick photos? I want to remember today." Esme turned to Renee. "Please?"
Dr. Crowley nodded, possibly because he didn't want to say no to the First Lady of Medicine as she was dubbed around Forks Hospital.
Renee glanced at Charlie who shrugged. "Why not?"
"All right." Renee smiled, Charlie took Bella and handed her to Renee, who still looked afraid of her baby.
"Is it okay if you take the photo, Neil?" Esme offered the Polaroid camera to Dr. Crowley, who took it willingly. "Edward, you go to Renee's side; Emmett, stand next to Charlie," Esme instructed everyone like she was professional photographer. She took her own place behind Edward, standing beside Renee. "I want two photos, Neil." The good doctor nodded, positioning the camera behind his face.
"Cheeeseee!" everyone said in unison. The bright glare of the flash going off took everyone by surprise, even though they expected it, but soon recovered for the second photo.
After they developed both Polaroids, Esme looked to Neil, grinning like the Cheshire Cat. "I'm sorry, how about two more?"
"Mrs. Cullen," he protested, but she wouldn't have any of it.
"Come on, honey. It'll only take two seconds."
Neil bit his lips in thought, an obvious internal fight going on in his head. "All right but that's it, Mrs. Cullen. I insist."
"Thank you." Esme beamed and turned to the Swans who weren't surprised at her sweet talk. "How about just the children?"
"Sure." Charlie bolted from the shot; Esme assumed this would offend Charlie, but he'd always hated taking photos. He didn't like attention and attention didn't like him.
"Why don't you stay in the shot, Esme; I mean, you're carrying a child, and even though you're pregnant, it could also serve as a memory of your pregnancy with baby girl Cullen," Renee offered. Esme thought about it for a moment, but didn't agree, claiming it would be unfair to Charlie, who had been the only one to step away.
"Oh no, Esme, don't exclude yourself on my account; I really don't mind." Esme looked at Charlie to make sure it was alright, and after a moment of searching, she decided to do as Renee asked.
"Mommy, I'm hungry!" Emmett stomped his foot impatiently. "Can we go to the diner and get double cheeseburgers?"
"Honey, we're almost done. I'm sure you can wait a few minutes. Besides, a double cheeseburger is way too much for someone your age, and you know your father doesn't like you eating fast food."
"I want some apple pie, Mommy!" Edward was not to be forgotten or ignored.
Their mother pursed her lips and looked at both of them with a stern eye. "Take these two photos and we'll see."
"Yay! I want a large chocolate milkshake!" Emmett said, jumping up and down in excitement. Charlie couldn't help but smile at the kids' excitement.
"I want the red toy car! It's the only one I'm missing from the collection!" Edward followed suit.
"Mrs. Cullen, I really must get going... I have to check up on other patients as well as Mrs. Swan," Dr. Crowley said, nervously looking at the door as if expecting an angry mob of sick patients and their IVs to come busting in.
"Okay okay." Esme glanced at him and turned to her boys. "Photo. Now," Esme ordered, and the boys quickly took their places again. She stood by Emmett this time. "Say cheese!"
"Okay, here goes one," Charlie said as the camera spit out another Polaroid, after Neil handed him the camera.
"Cheese!" Renee, Esme and the boys sang happily.
After writing a quick caption and dating them, Esme handed Charlie two of each as mementos of Bella's birth. They left soon after, allowing a relieved Dr. Crowley to examine Renee.
Mrs. Gunderson came in and took the baby back to the small nursery. Feeling awkward and embarrassed, Charlie went with her. "So you decided on a name?" she asked. Charlie laughed, knowing this was going to be a popular question.
But instead of feeling annoyed, he swelled up with pride, more so than before. "Her name is Isabella Marie Swan, but you can call her Bella."
The balloon thing? Yeah it happened to me when I went to see my little sister at the hospital when she was born. My punishment? I wasn't allowed to carry her. Like my parents would ever let a five year old carry a newborn, but hey I didn't know any better lol. Since then I hold balloons tightly at the hospital~ I.E.