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17 April 2008 @ 12:47 am
A Dance With Her Dead Boy  
Title: A Dance With Her Dead Boy
Fandom: Twilight
Rating: G
Summary: Edward/Bella post-Eclipse fluff, essentially.
AN: Unbeta'd, so I apologize for any mistakes. I like all kinds of feedback.
Word Count: ~1400

A Dance With Her Dead Boy

Edward glared with narrowed eyes across the mirrored room at Mrs. Williams. Today was the waltz. It would have been only minutely less insufferable had Edward not already known how to waltz, but he detested nearly all of the girls in his ballroom lessons and preferred not to dance with any of them. There was one that caught his interest. She seemed introspective, and he could imagine that she was lost in more important thoughts than boys and dancing. Her dark hair was never done up properly. None of the boys wanted to dance with her merely because she always seemed to find something to trip over, though her path could be completely clear. He attributed that to her distracted, busy mind. If these boys had been accomplished dancers, they could have compensated for her inadequacies.

But the girl was too straightforward, too easy to read, too predictable. She, like any of the middle-class girls in the lessons, found Edward Masen intimidating and wouldn't come near him. The upper-class girls, alas, were always pressing too closely. Vexed by the young women of his own class and feared by those of the lower, Edward was mired in his aloneness.

Mrs. Williams cued the music, and Roberta Penney, Edward's waltz partner for the afternoon, stepped into his arms. He danced with proficiency, but mostly did not notice Roberta, apart from her clammy hands.

"I... I don't feel so well," Roberta mumbled, interjecting herself into Edward's thoughts. She asked to sit down, and Edward helped the tiny redhead to a chair, forcing water upon her. She was flushed in the cheeks, and he pressed his hand to her forehead. Feverish. Hopefully she had contracted a cold, and none of the more serious illnesses ravishing the city.

She slumped in her chair. Edward resolved to walk her home, or carry her, as the need may be. She didn't live far, he knew. He could take her now and, fortunately, miss the rest of this droll lesson.

Edward strode towards Mrs. Williams to explain, aware that he was alone and partner-less in a room full of dancing couples. Perhaps that was the natural order of things. All these years of ballroom lessons and he'd never once danced out of feelings other than obligation. He wondered when he would want to, when he would find the girl who'd make him desirous of a dance. Probably never. After wrapping her in his jacket, Edward lifted the feather-light Roberta into his arms and left for her parents' apartments.

* * * *

"No, here. Step this way." Edward's patient, cool voice coaxed me as I tried to track his too-deft, too-swift feet. If I couldn't do this barefoot and in the meadow grass, what hope did I ever have of waltzing on a dance floor in actual shoes? I'd so wanted to dance under my own steam for our wedding, to try and be Edward's equal in some way, but it just wasn't happening. I groaned in frustration.

"Bella," he held me close, "it's a simple pattern." In an instant he was behind me, my feet on top of his. His left hand hugged me tightly to his body, his right hand held my own up to an invisible partner. He began to move, asking me to pay attention to the steps in a low whisper. But how could I pay attention, with his breath glancing off my ear, my neck?

"Bella." Edward sounded mildly amused.

"What?" I huffed in frustration.

"You aren't even trying."

"It's no use."

"You wanted this. You know that I don't care."

"I know. It's just impossible. No human can dance as well as you."

Edward was in front of me again, and smiling deviously. "I disagree."

"Easy for you to say."

"Bella, my dancing did not improve when Carlisle affected changes to my... dietary habits." His smile was sly. It might have been sinister on anyone else, maybe even predatory, but on Edward's face, it simply meant that he was teasing me.

"Oh great," I moaned. "If that was supposed to make me feel better, it didn't work. I won't be able to waltz as a vampire either?"

"No matter what's in your veins, your feet only move where you tell them to," he answered cryptically. "It takes practice. My mother had me in ballroom lessons as soon as I could go to school."

My mood was not improved by this revelation. "I can't believe it. Ballroom lessons?!" My eyes flicked to the diamond-crested ring, the icy heart that Alice had hinted was diamond as well. "I couldn't have deserved you even if we were both human! You probably wouldn't have given me the time of day."

Edward's brow furrowed as he looked down at me, all signs of teasing wiped from his face. "There was this girl in my ballroom lessons. Middle-class. I can't remember much about her, but she reminded me of you. So I very much do think I would have noticed you, Bella."

"I remind you of her, you mean." I was confused.

"No, I'm quite sure that I meant what I said. I didn't know you yet, of course, but she drew my attention, if not my affections." He smiled quite brilliantly and my heart fluttered. "I guess I have been preparing to dance with you for quite a while, Bella. If my dancing is any good, you have only yourself to blame."

"You're not making any sense," I mumbled.

"Bella. Bella, love, I dreamed of finding a woman I loved and laying all my talents on her instead of on the girls in my ballroom classes, or the audiences at my recitals-- they were fools, and I didn't want to perform to them. I was always hoping to one day share these moments with you in particular. I learned to compose so that I could write you a song. I learned to waltz so that I could waltz with you. It is immaterial that I hadn't met you yet, or that I doubted I ever would. I was preparing anyway."

"Don't you think you're giving fate a little too much credit, Edward?" I was sure my eyebrow was raised in the picture of skepticism.

"Perhaps," he smiled. "Perhaps not. Who's to say? If I hadn't been in those classes..." He went still in that way he had.

"What is it?" I had the strange sense that what he was about to say was important. The summer evening throbbed with humidity as a fog bank rolled in from the ocean. I shivered with cold and Edward moved to tuck the collar of my jacket closed. His eyes refocused on me.

"If I hadn't been in those classes, I might not have died. I contracted influenza there. From a girl. I don't clearly remember her."

"From a girl? This is a very convenient time to start forgetting things. That's the second girl you've forgotten in the last minute."

He chuckled. "She was sick and I carried her home, and I'm quite sure that was the extent of our relationship."

I sighed and leaned against him. "I'm so glad you died. Is that wrong?"

He wrapped his arms around me and I was warmer even though he was cold; he sheltered me from the cool wind. "Only if you will fault me for my own joy for meeting such an ungodly fate, and for dooming you to it as well. Maybe I was meant to be a nightmarish creature."

I turned my head up and kissed the corner of his mouth. I didn't like when he said things like that, so self-deprecating, but I knew better than to argue just now. "My nightmarish creature."

He smiled. "Exactly." We stood a moment, and I swayed slightly in his arms, until he broke the silence again. "Bella, how do you think we both came to be here?"

"You drove," I answered, hiding the smile at my own joke.

He nudged me. "Silly. You know what I meant."

"I do, and I don't know the answer. I am grateful, though. Maybe that's enough."

He ran a hand over my hair and then again, stroking. His whispered reply was so quiet that I had to pull myself closer to hear, though being closer to Edward was no hardship. The breeze and his words together seemed to make music, and I did marvel at the miracle of coincidentally meeting my long-dead more-than-fated love in a small-town high school.

"Mia bellezza," Edward whispered, "it is more than enough. It's enough for forever, and then some."
Current Location: St. Paul, MN
Current Mood: creativecreative
Current Music: SSBB
Jen: Edwardjay_hay on April 17th, 2008 06:33 am (UTC)
!!! That was amazing!! You totally got Edward and Bella's characters! I've read a lot of fanfiction where Edward is too romantic, or Bella is too sarcastic, but you found the perfect amount for each character! Nicely done! :D
Georgemllesinistre on April 17th, 2008 07:02 am (UTC)
OMG that was adorable! The background story about the dance classes was a perfect excuse for him contracting influenza. I love how you managed to fit that in and have it make sense! You've done a great job with their POVs. I love that she wanted to learn the waltz just for him. It's nice to know she's not completely struggling with the idea of having a proper wedding.

Great job! I must check out your other work since I love your writing style.
defune_hime on April 17th, 2008 07:43 am (UTC)
i really like the idea of the dance lessons as well. it was very unique and extremely well-written, and so makes me fall in love with bella and edward all over again. thank you for sharing this! :) i love it!
Synchestra Duende: Bella and Edward - holding handsmysduende on April 17th, 2008 04:51 pm (UTC)
Oooh. shall be printing and reading this on lunchbreak!

Edited at 2008-04-17 04:52 pm (UTC)
midget_sizemidget_size on April 17th, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC)
Your writing is just so...pretty. But not in a ugh-shut-up, flowery way. In a good way. Hopefully you're used to my babble-comments that don't make sense by now...
anarogue587: edward bella biology labanarogue587 on April 17th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
This was so perfectly in character, and I completely loved it! What Edward said about learning to dance to dance with her and so on and so on was so spot-on as something he would say, and I adored it. Great job!