AN: This story was my contribution for the Fandom for LLS Compilation. It is an outtake for The Little Pink House and White Picket Fences. I know I haven't updated White Picket Fences in a while, but I'm still trying to decide if I should pull both stories. We'll see.
Mauigirl60 is wonderful. I am thankful for her every day.
Thank you for reading.
All the Fish: The Little Pink House/White Picket Fences Outtake
It really should have been an easy experience. What could possibility happen at a kindergarten field trip? Bella had always said that Annie's class was surprisingly well-behaved for a gaggle of six-year-olds. Edward had decided pretty quickly that his lady love was a bold-faced liar. She just didn't want to chaperone. She'd rather attempt to get Matt potty trained. Actually, Edward would have preferred cleaning up the mess that Matt seemed to spray in all corners of the house than deal with Annie's classmates.
This realization was made on the bus trip there. Edward hadn't even stepped foot off the bus and onto the grounds of the aquarium when this was made apparent. This tin can of a vehicle was the home of tiny anarchists.
It was bedlam. The high-pitched noises coming from the children made his ear drums explode and his brain pound like there was a heavy metal drummer using it. He was in hell.
"Aah! Daddy, this is going to be so much fun!" Annie screamed in his ear from the seat behind him. His child was the worst one.
His nephew sat next to him. Sam was the only child not acting like he was on a sugar high. He pushed up his glasses and looked up from his book, saying to his uncle, "You need to watch out for Harris."
Edward glanced at the flaxen-haired boy with cherubic cheeks. Harris seemed pretty non-threatening. That was until the boy stuck his finger up his nose and pulled it out, sticking it in his mouth. Harris noticed Edward watching him and announced, "Want some?"
That child was disgusting. Edward was certain now that the only children he could actually ever be fond of were Annie, Matt and Sam. The rest were small hellions who were cute looking only to hide their truly evil intentions.
He could now see why Emmett laughed hysterically when he told him he was helping today.
"Told you," Sam pointed out, not looking up from his book. Edward glanced down at it with a grin. The tyrannosaurus eating a stegosaurus was a fitting image for how Edward felt. These children were going to eat him alive.
All of a sudden, from the drone of high-pitched voices, a little girl screamed, "I think a shark is going to eat us! My big brother watched Jaws and said the shark is going to break through the glass and eat us!"
There was a chorus of screams. It was like devils singing. Annie was really loud.
"Annie! Princess! Quiet down!" Edward begged. This was embarrassing. What kind of father was he?
Sam just covered his ears.
Annie's poor teacher - with her halo of salt and pepper hair - was trying to desperately calm down the panicking class of screamers.
The woman is a saint. A poor forsaken saint, thought Edward.
He tried to help her get the students back under control. What did the other chaperones do? They played with their cell phones.
Harris yelled, "I think I peed!"
The day was not off to a good start.
The aquarium wasn't intimidating in size but, with the amount of children from the various schools around the state and random mothers pushing around strollers in an attempt to pacify their toddlers, the place seemed gigantic and ripe for bedlam.
Edward noticed that the other groups congregating around the ticket booths were wearing matching shirts whose bright colors made identification very easy. Annie's class wore name tags with the school's name printed on them. This seemed like a not-very-well–planned-out idea. He wondered aloud if he could tie string around their wrists and lead them around like puppies on leashes.
If the look that Annie's haggard teacher gave him was any indication, she was not at all impressed with his idea.
"All right everybody, we need to get our groups together!" the teacher yelled out. Edward was already corralling Annie and Sam. "Dr. Cullen, you have Annie, Sage and Harris."
Harris? What in the world had he done to deserve Harris? Was he that horrible a person before he met Bella to ever deserve such punishment?
"I was going to have Annie, Sam and umm..." Edward looked around and saw a quiet girl standing next to the teacher. "That girl."
Annie pulled his sleeve. "Daddy! Sarah eats glue!"
"I already have a list, Dr. Cullen. That's not on the list." The teacher waved her list in the air.
That list had him paired up with Harris and Sage, with her dark pigtails, who wore a Miley Cyrus concert t-shirt and a smirking expression. These were two children he absolutely positively did not want to deal with. Even more importantly, Edward didn't want Annie to pick up some terrible habits.
"I think Sam needs me, because as his uncle..." Edward began to explain.
Sam looked at Edward like he was crazy.
The teacher sighed in annoyance. "The list, Dr. Cullen."
It was official - Edward hated that list.
Annie thought the belugas were looking at her. They seemed to follow her every move.
"Sage, do you think they eat people?" She glared at the large tank.
It was hot outside, the sun shining brightly, making the water on the beluga enclosure glimmer. Annie had been not impressed that the permission slip instructed that she had to wear sneakers. Didn't these people understand that her toes needed to breathe?
"Yes," Sage answered, pointing to the belugas' mouths. "Those things are so big that they can swallow you whole."
Annie had to agree that this logic made a whole lot of sense.
"No, Annie. The belugas eat fish," Edward pointed out, as the trainers started feeding the massive sea giants.
Harris looked at Edward skeptically. "Belugas are cannibals, then, if they eat fish."
"How do you know about cannibals?" Edward was pretty certain that the kid knew, because he was probably a sociopath in training.
"My big brother told me. He's in eighth grade, so he knows things. Cannibals are living zombies," Harris said. "Belugas are fish, so they eat themselves."
The belugas were staring at the children again. Edward wished that they would just stare quietly at the gentle sea creatures. He also wished that Bella would let Annie be home-schooled. These kids were not the best influences.
"Harris, belugas are mammals like you and me. They aren't related to fish," he explained to the boy.
"Mr. Cullen, they have fins. They're fish!"
Edward sighed deeply. "They're mammals, Harris. They breathe air like you and I do. They have living babies that..."
"Gross!" Harris exclaimed. He jammed that finger back up his nose.
That child is a revolting booger consumer, Edward thought watching the boy stick that finger back in his mouth.
All of a sudden, Edward heard a familiar giggle. "Dada!"
It sounded a lot like Matt. He glanced around him, but only saw Harris snacking on the fruits of his nasal cavity.
Taking Annie's hand, Edward stalked towards the penguin tank. With a glance at his watch, he saw they had three hours left. Serenity now.
There were no penguins sitting outside on the rocks, so Edward led his little group into the inside viewing area where the tuxedo-wearing fowl were doing underwater aerobics in the aqua water.
He was so taken with the aquatic feats that the birds were performing that he almost missed the conversation that Annie was having with Sage.
"Mr. W is Mrs. Grant's boyfriend!" Sage exclaimed, as she picked what appeared to be dried-up cream cheese off her t-shirt.
This made Edward chuckle. Annie's teacher was married and in her sixties. Mr. Wieczynski was much younger and gay.
Harris started licking the glass.
Edward yelled, "No, Harris!"
That kid was going to bring the bubonic plague into school.
"Oh." Annie started looking skeptical.
Sage got a mischievous look on her face. "They wrestle in a bed. Naked."
What? Edward was paying attention now.
Annie shrugged. "Mommy and Daddy Prince do that. The wrestling."
"Really?" Sage asked, wide-eyed.
"They were dressed. Matt and I tickled them!" Annie explained.
Oh, thank God!
Of course, Annie couldn't have left it at that. "Wait! I went into their room one night, because I wasn't sleepy and saw them wrestling. I saw Mommy's butt! It looked boring so I went back to my own room."
Mouth dropping open, Edward looked at the giggling girls. He was going to faint.
"Aren't the penguins really neat?" he exclaimed, trying to distract them from thoughts of inappropriate naked wrestling.
"Nah," Harris pointed out.
Edward looked at his watch. It had only been seven minutes.
The sound of little Matt's voice filled Edward's brain. He never thought that three-year-olds sounded alike, but that must be the case. Matt should be playing with his trains at home right now with Bella.
"Janey, I wanna fish!" the voice cried. That was Matt!
Why would Jane be here? She hated people, children and the majority of sea creatures - the exception, of course, being sharks. That wasn't much of a surprise.
They were standing at the jellyfish exhibit and Edward's head whipped around to see where his son was hiding with Jane.
The only thing he found was no Harris.
"Annie, did you see where Harris went?" He crouched in front of his daughter.
He lost the booger eater! He couldn't even keep tabs on three kids! Bella was going to kill him!
"I'm going to marry Harris, Daddy!" Annie crooned.
Harris could stay lost, Edward thought, until he remembered: Bella is going to kill me.
Edward stood quickly and took each girl by the hand. "All right ladies, this is Operation Search and Recover Harris. Keep your eyes peeled and. when you see him. let out a scream!"
There was no Harris over by the clownfish.
"Can we look at Nemo?" Sage asked breathlessly watching the orange and black fish float around the neon coral.
Annie hopped around. "Is Dory in there?"
Edward moved the girls away from the living Finding Nemo. "Harris, ladies."
There was no Harris over by the sea turtles.
There was no Harris over by the sharks.
Maybe, a shark ate him? There wasn't any blood. So, no.
"Looking for this?"
It was Bella. Her hair was pulled back in a bouncy ponytail and her face was full of thunder. She was holding a soaking wet Harris by the scruff of his neck.
"Hi, sweetheart. You look so beautiful in that dress! Is that new?" Edward tried compliments. She did look hot in that dress. He would love to seduce her by the seahorses. She would probably knee him in the balls first.
"Edward, why was Harris doing laps in the touch tank?" she questioned.
Annie grabbed Bella's leg. "Mommy, you're here to save us! Daddy keeps telling us to stop touching stuff and makes us use lots of sanitizer. Sage! My brother is here! Aunt Jane is here! Do you see?"
"Why are you here, Bella?" Edward took his irate wife's hand.
Before she could answer, Jane strolled over to them with Matt, who launched himself at Edward.
"Dada!" the little boy yelled.
"Because, obviously, your Stepford wife knew you would be the cause of a child drowning or penguins escaping, Cullen." Jane just waved her pointer finger at him. "You're a menace like Emmett. I'll take the children around and you try to apologize to Bella for being an idiot. Kids...let me tell you about fish that change genders..."
Jane hooked a leash to Harris.
Bella looked appalled. "Why are you hooking Harris to a leash?"
"The question is why hasn't anyone hooked this Harris up to a leash before?" Jane answered.
Edward had to admit that sometimes Jane was brilliant.
The couple watched as Jane led the children off into the rain forest exhibit. Edward admitted, "She should have been the chaperone, Bella."
"Are you really mad?" Edward kissed her bare shoulder.
"Your flirtatious kisses will get you everywhere," she said with a grin. "Actually, Matt was driving me up the wall to be here with you at the aquarium and Jane was just driving me crazy. Plus, I missed you."
"I missed you too, wife." Edward wrapped his arms around her waist. "Want to make out behind the stingrays? There's something I'd love to sting you with."
Bella stroked his face. "Naughty boy."
Their mouths touched softly, as the brightly colored fish swam around them in the large tanks of coral and stone. It was like they were kissing in the sea.
"If you stick your hand in that piranha tank, I will let it eat you, kid!" Jane screamed. It echoed through the main observation room.
Bella and Edward pulled away from each other and said in unison, "Harris!"
Expressions of their love would have to wait, because there was a boy about to lose a finger to a flesh-eating fish.
They still had an hour to go.