Title: PLAN B

By: Missus T

Rating: T

Summary: Lying to your mother is never a good idea. Lying about being engaged is crazy, so is the plan they came up with so she wouldn't find out. Edward (& Garrett) BROMANCE - Not slash. This o/s is a prequel to Accidentally in Love and was originally posted in the TwiFanG compilation.

A/N: Banner by GossipLips1. Betas/Prereaders: SydneyGen, Seastarr08, GossipLips1

A good friend has your back.

A best friend helps you place an ad on Craigslist for a fiancée.

-x-o-x-Plan B-x-o-x-

I'd been exhausted when I got home from the hospital, both physically and mentally, but the phone call with my mother changed all of that. The monumental fuck-up of a conversation we had struck me like a lightening bolt—I was in a panic and didn't know how to fix things.

I called my best friend, Garrett, and despite several hours and more than a few beers, we hadn't come up with a solution. I sighed and pinched the bridge of my nose. I was so screwed.

"Stop brooding, fucker," he laughed, tossing a bottle cap at me.

"I'm not brooding. I just can't figure out what the fuck to do." I shook my head. "I can't believe I told my mother I got engaged. She's gonna flip if I show up for the Fourth without a fiancée."

Garrett groaned and dropped his head on the back of the couch. "We've been over this a thousand times tonight, man. You're just going to have to get engaged."

"To who, genius?" I rolled my eyes. If I had a girlfriend I would have already proposed, even if I wasn't ready, but I didn't. All I had was Garrett, and I was so not pretending to be gay, even to appease my mother.

"Fuck if I know. Best case scenario is that we find someone you know who's willing to fake it for you."

"I don't," I sighed, exasperated, and ran my hands through my hair. "Don't you think if I knew someone who could do this I'd have already asked?"

"I'm just saying that would be easiest. In that case, we have to go with plan B. You need to meet someone new, and you're sure as hell not going to do it at the hospital or here in your condo."

"You're the one who always wants to watch baseball on my TV."

"It's bigger than mine."

"Damn straight."

He threw another beer cap at me.

"Let's think about this." He scrubbed his hands over his face. "You need to meet a woman who's willing to get engaged almost immediately...Bottom line, Edward?" He sipped his beer and sat it down hard on the coffee table.

I nodded. We were at the point where I had little choice between coming clean with my mother and, oh, I don't know, killing myself before she cut off my nuts for lying to her.

"I think you might need to pay someone to be your fiancée."

"What?" I sputtered, my beer spraying a little. "You mean, like a prostitute?"

"No, fuck, no. You're not taking a prostitute home to your parent's swanky beach house in the Hamptons. I think you're gonna have to advertise."

"And exactly where do I put up an ad asking some stranger to pretend to be engaged to me and meet my crazy family?"

"Um, Craigslist, dumbass. You can advertise for anything on there. Well, except for body parts. I think they learned from eBay that there has to be a no go policy on that shit."

"Are you kidding me, this is your plan B? You can't advertise on there for a woman. Don't you remember the Craigslist killer? What kind of person answers a personal ad from Craigslist? What's plan C, genius?"

"What kind of person answers a personal ad from Craigslist?" he mimicked before taking another drink of beer and standing up. "I don't know, what a kind of douchebag tells his mother he's bringing home a fiancée when he hasn't been on a fucking date in six months? Oh wait, you do. Also, there is no plan C, this is all I can come up with."

"You suck."

"You would know," he called over his shoulder as he headed down the hall towards my bathroom.

"Jackass." I threw a beer cap in his general direction, and it bounced and rolled down the hall.

Apparently, Garrett hadn't shut the bathroom door, because I had to listen to him taking a piss and washing his hands before he returned to the living room with my laptop.

"What are you doing?" I asked as he opened up the computer and powered it up.

"Making you a Craigslist account. Duh." He looked at me as if I'd asked a stupid question. "Get me a beer, Doc. I'm parched."

I rolled my eyes but made my way to the kitchen to get us both another beer. At least he'd paid for it this time. He'd picked it up on his way to my place after I called panicking when I realized I had no idea how to find a woman to take home to meet my parents.

"Alright." He laced his fingers and pushed them forward, making a reverse bridge and cracking his knuckles. He typed for a few seconds, and I had no idea what he was doing. He clicked the mouse around a few times and sighed. "Okay, let's choose a username."

"What the fuck did you just do? And don't use my name," I said quickly.

He rolled his eyes. "I'm not an amateur, dumb ass. I've set up sock accounts before. I made you a new gmail account and emailed you the password and shit to your regular email."

"What the fuck is a sock account?"

"You're such a tool. It's no wonder you've fucked yourself like this. It's like being anonymous. You create a profile that doesn't link back to any of your other accounts."

"Oh-kay."

I wondered what kind of shady shit my friend did online that he made anonymous accounts.

He shook his head and laughed. "Back to usernames. Dumb doc? Greeneyed douche?"

"Hot doc? Wait no, future husband. I need a fiancée, so yeah. Future husband."

"All one word?"

"Sure." I shrugged and sipped my beer.

His fingers flew over the keyboard. "Bam. Futurehusband has a Craigslist account."

"Alright, give me the computer and I'll write up some sort of ad."

He raised an eyebrow but still slid the laptop across the coffee table towards me. "Go for it."

I took a deep breath and decided to start typing. I had a feeling that putting too much thought into it could totally backfire.

*Due to a family reunion of sorts over the July 4th weekend and my ability to lie out of my ass at my family, I require the company of a female willing to act as my fiancée.

A little about me: I am a medical student studying in Seattle. I don't have a girlfriend or a fiancée, despite my family's beliefs.*

I let the words pour onto the page, and Garrett laughed, scooting closer to me on the couch so he could look over my shoulder. "Jesus, are you writing the great American novel?"

"Shut up, dumbass. I'm just giving an overview."

He laughed, but it was more of a snort. "Whatever. The important part is what you're looking for. Did you tell your mom anything specific about this girl?"

"Fuck." I raked my hands through my hair. "I think I said she was brunette."

"Seriously?" He shook his head at me. "That's the detail you gave? You didn't say she was nice or cute, you said something specific like that?"

I shrugged, remembering the conversation with my mother.

"I heard that all of the Clearwater's will be out at the beach for the Fourth this year. You haven't seen Leah in years, have you? She's such a beautiful young woman. I think she's a buyer at Macy's. I'll have to talk to Sue."

"Mom, don't set me up on any dates."

"It wouldn't be a set up. I'll just see if she's single, dear."

"Mom, don't."

"Well, if you're not even trying..."

My chest was tight, and I felt like I might have a panic attack. She was right. I hadn't been trying. I'd been letting life pass me by, and I was done with that. I needed to start living, but I needed her to stop talking about Leah Clearwater and her long black hair. I was not going to let my mother play matchmaker any longer. It was my life. My wife. And I was going to find her on my own.

"I've met someone. It's serious. Don't set me up on any dates." The words came out of my mouth before I could stop them. I was breathing heavy and sweating. What the fuck had I done?

She gasped. "It's serious? What does that mean? Why haven't you mentioned anything about this girl?"

"It's serious, mom. I asked her to marry me."

"Oh my God! Edward, this is... I'm so happy for you!"

She sobbed. She actually sobbed, and I realized there was no going back. Then she rambled on about wanting engagement pictures and putting an announcement in the newspaper, and I knew I had to get her off the phone. My mouth was filling with saliva, and I thought I might throw up.

"I have to go, mom. I'm spent. Work was crazy. I'll talk to you soon."

"Wait! I still have so many questions! Just tell me, it's not that girl with the white hair your father and I met last year? She didn't seem like a good fit for you, but if she's what you-"

"No," I cut her off. "She's a brunette. I love you. I'll call you later." I hung up before I dug myself an even bigger hole.

Garrett continued to look at me, waiting for an answer.

"Dude, I don't know. It just came out. She wanted to make sure it wasn't Tia, you know, the blond? So I told her my fiancée was a brunette."

He sipped his beer, and I could tell he was trying to figure out who I was talking about. Sure, I'd dated, so did he, but neither of us had actually had a girlfriend since we started our residencies.

"Wait, that nurse you went out with, like twice?"

"Yeah, but my parents met her at the hospital."

"Ah, gotcha. Okay, so a brunette," he said, nodding at the computer and reminding me that there was a point to what we were doing.

"Yes. And maybe she should be shy? I don't need someone trying to win an Oscar."

"Exactly. And she shouldn't drink too much." He chuckled. "Esme's got that in the bag."

"Right?" I said with a laugh.

I was really getting into it. I added few more things and sat back to read it over.

"Looks good," Garrett said, "but what is she getting out of it, I mean besides a trip to the Hamptons? You going to break into the trust fund?"

"Fuck. Should I?"

"Probably." He nodded. "Who's going to want to do this and not get anything in return?"

I started another section outlining the benefits, including a $5,000 reward. I had no idea how much was appropriate in a situation like this, but it seemed reasonable for a few days time and a trip out of state. Garrett tossed out a few more ideas, she had to be over twenty one, she had to be above a four in looks, and I would pay the travel expenses.

We sat back and looked over the finished ad. I thought it looked good, bizarre, but good.

"Good to go?" I asked, glancing at Garrett. I have no idea why I needed his approval, but I felt the need for it before posting.

He nodded. "Pull the trigger."

I hit the button and my post swirled through cyberspace. It was done. I felt elated and drained at the same time. Excited for the potential of finding someone to help me pull this off and fucking exhausted from work and trying to wrack my brain to figure this out. All of the beer I had drunk probably didn't help either.

Garrett stretched his arms over his head and cracked his neck. "I've had too much to drink, so I'm sleeping on your couch."

"No problem."

I stared at the computer, debating if I should shut it down or wait to see if there was a response right away.

"Go to bed, dude," Garrett laughed, leaning down to take his shoes off. "But get me a blanket first."

-x-o-x-Plan B-x-o-x-

In the morning light, Craiglist still seemed like a decent idea. It took twelve hours for someone to respond and for me to begin to question the feasibility of actually meeting someone worth taking home.

Twenty-four hours after going live, I'd received over thirty responses to my ad.

Not one was remotely acceptable.

Three days later, Garrett found me in the doctor's lounge banging my head on the table after reading the latest reply to my ad. It was a nightmare. I'd received over one hundred replies and not one had panned out. On the surface, a couple of them had potential, but when I picked up the phone and called, it turned out Michelle was actually Mike, Jennifer was only seventeen, and Alison had to make sure her husband would watch the kids because their divorce wasn't quite final. I was pretty sure that meant she hadn't even filed.

"What's the word?" he asked, angling his head towards my laptop.

"The bird is the word," I mumbled. I didn't even have the energy to rip on him the way I normally did.

"I hate it when you say that."

I rolled my eyes. "Then stop walking into it."

"Whatever." He hated that particular joke, which was the main reason I continued to use it. "Any good leads today, or are they all still scary as hell?"

"Let's see," I sighed. "Of the twenty replies I got this morning, ten included naked photos—nine of which I would not wish on anyone, ever—they included, among other things, a parolee who thinks she can get permission to travel out of state, an over the road trucker, two "dancers," and a grandmother."

By the time I was finished Garrett was laughing so hard he was holding his stomach.

"This is never going to work," I groaned.

"Just hang in there, man. There have to be some decent women out there trolling Craigslist." He cracked up laughing again and I threw a plastic spoon at him.

"Fuck you."

"You're not my type."

My pager vibrated on the table, and I grabbed it as Garrett pulled his off his waistband. We quickly read the messages directing us to report to the emergency room. Garrett stood, pushing his chair back while I began quickly trying to shut down my laptop.

"Saved by the bell," he joked.

I crossed the room and stashed my laptop in a locker. It was vacant, and it didn't have a lock on it, but it would do the trick since I didn't have time to run back to the actual locker room before making my way to the ER.

"Listen, Edward, I have a feeling about this, just give it til the end of the weekend. If you haven't found anyone decent by then, we'll figure something out."

"Fine," I sighed, following him out of the lounge. "I'm still considering giving the grandmother your phone number."

"Grandmother? I was hoping for the dancer's contact info!"

-x-o-x-Plan B-x-o-x-

I told Garrett I'd give it until the end of the weekend. It was only late afternoon on Saturday, but I was ready to throw in the towel. My inbox was again full of replies to the ad on Craigslist. Every crazy woman, and apparently her grandmother, had responded to my post. Everyone wanted a free trip to the Hamptons.

I clicked open the first response and groaned.

Deer Futirehusband -

Your sirching for a fiance and I'm not werking, so my shedule is wide open. I wood love to meat your family. Lets get 2gether!

There was a picture attached, but you couldn't pay me to open it. I closed the tab and took a deep breath before opening the next message.

Dear futurehusband -

I would love to hear more about your family and the opportunity to travel to New York with you. Unfortunately, $5,000 is less than what I typically charge for an entire weekend including travel. Is that rate negotiable?

Looking forward to working with you!

I sighed and closed that tab too. So close... But no. Then again, maybe I should save her message as a last resort. I stared at my inbox for a few seconds, contemplating just closing out of the program and coming back to it later, but I knew that there would probably just be more messages to deal with by then. I slid the cursor around on the page for a second and clicked on a reply in the middle of the list.

Dear FutureHusband:

Wow, it feels totally weird to call you that. LOL

I'm responding to your ad because I think we may be able to help each other out. I've always wanted to see the East Coast and the Atlantic, but I haven't made it past the Mississippi River in my travels.

I have to admit that your requirements seem very specific, but I think I meet most, if not all, of them. I'm a brunette, a non-drug user, and casual drinker. I'm a teacher, so I have the summer off and would be available to travel with you. My father is a cop, so I can relate to your brother on the force. I'm not sure how I feel about your sister dressing me up like a Barbie, but I'm pretty low maintenance so fashion advice is always welcome. My roommate says that I'm shy (I would disagree and say that I'm just contemplative) and that I am a strong eight in the looks department (she says I have to explain that I'm petite and short or she'd score me higher).

Now that I'm completely embarrassed, I'd like to propose—if you're interested in allowing me to act as your fake fiancée—that we meet for coffee or a glass of wine to see if it could work out.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

IdealFakeFiancée

"No way," I whispered, stunned.

She couldn't be real.

Garrett had to be fucking with me. He had to be. But, he wouldn't do that. Would he?

After all of the crazy responses I'd received, this one was so spot-on it was unbelievable. I read it again. Laughing right off the bat at her comment about calling me futurehusband. Everything she said was perfect. Brunette. Casual drinker. Her father was a cop. Modest. Funny. No. She was real.

I grinned from ear to ear as I thought about my response.

After a week and a half of feeling like there was no hope in sight, I finally thought it was actually possible. I might have found my fiancée on Craigslist.

I'd never know if I didn't try. I ran my hands through my hair and took a deep breath before flexing my fingers over the keyboard and beginning to type...

-x-o-x-Plan B-x-o-x-

*Note* The starred excerpt of Edward's Craigslist ad was written by ShinyVolvoLurverin her entry in the Twilight of Craigslist entry.