Disclaimer: I have ZERO claim or creative control in official Twilight Saga content. All rights for the original content go to Stephanie Meyer. I'm just playing in this sandbox and only own my ideas and characters.
Word Count: 7160
We went back home and started 5th grade soon after. Our 11th birthday passed uneventfully, although we had a percussion set added to our base of instruments. I asked for a guitar or a bass, but Mom said I wasn't far enough along yet with the classical instruments. Joke's on her, I was already setting up contingency plans for this, and asking for an electric cello and/or violin was one of them. Never mind simply playing modern music -and recreating future music- on our existing instruments.
The Fall and Winter holidays came and went and we actually all got together as a family and vacationed in California for Christmas and New Years of 98. Mom and Dad were both amicable to each other, and between the epic road trip, presents, the beach -no swimming, though- and some tourism, we had a heck of a time.
In general, despite the weirdness of living in a divorced family with split custody again, my childhood was really good this time around. For one, I had a sibling my age that I was close to, and for two, I never had to go to foster care.
After the new year, Dad had tasked Bella and I with searching for a dojo to train in. He and Mom had a fight after he tried to convince her to let me sign up, so we were doing it behind her back but only after a "cooling off" period so she'd forget, and once her work started up again.
Now, when I said "karate" that was actually just a euphemism for the sake of everyone I asked. I didn't actually want to take karate, exactly, in part due to several things I researched in my past life. The problem was, I didn't put much thought into what I did want to learn until it finally became possible. So now I had to sift through old memories for knowledge on the subject.
It took me a few days before I'd decided I'd done my best and remembered what I could, and after all that I came back with 3 possibilities; Judo, Muay Thai, or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Now I had something to work with, and after telling Dad as much, I spent a couple of weeks staking out a few places with Bella. The unfortunate part was that she preferred the soft McDojo type places when it came to Judo and Muay Thai. I tried to explain to her why this was wrong, but… I suppose she was literally going to be a girl in this regard.
I took a day to sit down with her and really dig in, basically info-dumping everything I knew about each art on her. It took her a while to decide, but she eventually said she would try Judo, but if it became too intense, she demanded to be able to switch to BJJ. I agreed, stating that Jits was better for controlling a person and NON-life-threatening self-defense, which, if we came across any self-defense situations again, I hoped that's the kind they would be.
We narrowed down our choices and sat in on a few final places that taught each one more time before deciding. Man, I really wanted to train Muay Thai, but… Perhaps in the future. If Bella quit ballet, I wasn't so sure she'd stick with even Judo, let alone a vicious martial art like Muay Thai.
Thank God I didn't suggest Lethwei...
Anyway, we called Dad and gave him all the info we had. He was impressed with our diligence and said he'd let us know what was up. A few days later we had the verdict. Neither of the Judo gyms would let us train there. The liability form required the active parent's consent, and Dad didn't count. The first two of three BJJ gyms also declined, and the third said they would do it…
If we paid double…
I sighed heavily. Dad asked if those were our only options, and I relayed that they were our best ones. He really didn't like going behind Mom's back as it was, so I didn't expect him to go any further than this. Double was pretty expensive, and Bella and I never did very much apart or without each other.
"Look… Maybe I can take more hours at work or something… I just… I don't want you guys in danger." Dad admitted, looking for a suitable way out just as much as I was. I sighed again and took out my list again, going down it and picking two more Judo places and another Jiu-Jitsu gym. The least crummy of the places that seemed unsuitable to me.
Dad acquiesced and said he'd call again tomorrow after he heard back. When he did, it was surprisingly good news. All three places I'd given him last would take us on Dad's signature and the rates were fair, as well. When he asked where I wanted us to go I told him Judo for now, as it not only fit with the story since it was better for multiple attackers, but it would be a more active form of training for the both of us.
And with that, we tentatively got away with martial arts training behind mom's back, pawning it off most of the time as either hanging out with friends or exploring downtown Phoenix.
From February on of 99, everything was smooth sailing. We had several weekend trips with mom, branching out more with our activities, mini-vacations, stay-cations, and the more typical stuff like the movies. Man, I'll tell ya, seeing The Matrix in theaters was awesome. We just barely convinced mom to do it, but thankfully, the plot intrigued her enough and it was just barely rated R, so she relented.
Couldn't say the same for Fight Club later in the year, but Bella and I bribed some college kids one afternoon and then snuck in. I had to say, there was a massive benefit for shenanigans being in the '90s when surveillance in general and camera usage were much lower.
When the time came for Summer Vacation once again, we let our Judo instructor know and he gave us a list of forms and exercises to work on in our spare time. I was diligent with it, and while Bella was much less enthusiastic, she let me drag her into it most of the time.
It really was great for her balance, and she was actually starting to see that now. Hence why she let me "convince her" so much in the first place. I don't think she'd ever admit she actually had fun throwing me around and not tripping over her two feet, but my knowing grin made her flush embarrassedly whenever she got one over on me.
Maybe she'd admit it when we made 1st Dan. That is to say, it'll be a few years.
We spent most of this summer with the Blacks given Dad's work increasing. Call me suspicious, but I think the man took those extra shifts, anyway. Either way, despite no elaborate camping trip this year, The Res is mostly where we hung out. We got a good mix of backyard shenanigans, First Beach, music, and no girls/no boys allowed stuff done between either of our sets of twins and Jacob.
It was so much more fun at first, kicking his butt now that I was learning Judo. But after it got boring -and Jake got whinny- I actually started trying to teach him a little so he could keep up. I also gave him handicaps, for instance, by working out before we wrestled. Kid picked things up well, too. He had good instincts. I hoped the Res schools had wrestling. It'd be interesting to see how far he took it. Maybe I could talk Billy into enrolling him at Forks High, at least for the sport.
There was only one more surprise in store for us that summer, and it was rather… Unpleasant for Bella. I'll just say, all of us were glad that Rachael, Rebecca, and Sarah were there to help her with that instead of just me or Dad, or God-forbid Billy.
Dunno which one of those two would be worse. At least I could get through with the facts without stuttering or being weird. I doubt I could've brought Bella much comfort, though, being the same age as her, technically.
In any case, we finally started the 6th grade, and middle school was everything I dreaded it to be. We remained honors students, got picked on for being quiet and nerdy, and we had to put our Judo training to use before people got the picture.
Mom was NOT happy. I was barely, and I mean barely able to get her off our tail by telling her I saw it in a movie while at a friends' house. I had dad call the instructor to hold off lessons for a month. Bella and I still practiced, but in secret and with trustworthy and silent friends, but it sucked not being able to actually go.
After all, we had friends there, too.
The worst part was that we still got suspended for knocking out five kids. Beyond that, the three that I fought had to go to the ER. I worried about that, but they all came out alive and in one piece, the more I thought about it, though…
Our birthday came and went. I almost convinced Mom to get us an electric Cello and Violin, citing their price to performance ratio over acoustic ones, and their travel benefits, but she still said no. Mostly due to the ancillary costs of buying an amplifier for each one, but I also got the feeling that she was a purist.
About a month later, we'd heard the news that Sarah Black -Jake's mom and Uncle Billy's wife- died in a car crash. The girls were taking it hard, even Jake was just… Lost… Or so we heard. Bella and I decided ahead of time to give them their space next summer; to let them come to us if they wanted to socialize.
Christmas came and went. We had our mutual vacation with Dad and Mom around that time. We went to Flagstaff this year and skied. Bella still hates the cold, but with her new ability to balance like a normal person, she actually had fun. The snow had such a magical, mystical quality to it that was different from the drudge and ice that Forks likely had.
Damn, I've never seen Forks' winter, have I?
New years was exciting for everyone. There was a crescendoing buzz in the air seemingly all year about "the end of the world". I knew it was bullshit, of course, but I indulged in the fun and festivities nonetheless. "Party like it's 1999" indeed. I only wish I was older so I could throw back a shot or something. After all, this was literally something that only came once every THOUSAND years.
'Heh. Maybe I'll see the next millennium party. Won't THAT be interesting?' I thought to myself, as the ball finally dropped and a solid half-hour-long continuous fireworks display went off. The vlogs I filmed today would definitely be going in the "greatest hits" collection.
By the time the second semester had come around, I'd grown six inches in six months. I was now 5'7" to Bella's 5'2". Who's taller now, Ms. "girls hit puberty earlier"? We continued to progress with our music and Judo at a steady pace, and now since finding something we liked, Mom was much less pushy with dragging us into her new, short-lived hobbies.
I thought at one point she might be onto us again, but she was so flighty that the extra hours we spent "out" never really sunk in. I wasn't gonna jinx it by talking about "karate" anymore, either. I doubt she would notice my silence on the subject.
The second half of sixth grade is also when we finally made our first real friend. Jesse Martinez was pretty cool. He was a year older than us, and ahead a year in school, too. Smart and mature, like us, with a couple of odd hobbies, also like us. We got along famously, and our little "group" began to form, catching a couple of other nerdy, geeky, otaku types.
It actually reminded me that Anime and Manga existed, and with the 2000s rolling into existence, rekindled a spark in me that I thought almost died out.
I'd have to watch the shelves closely for some of the OG's to come back out. If I recall correctly, both One Piece AND Naruto should be out by now. Not to mention the "backlog" of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z I now realized I had. Too bad we didn't have cable or a computer or internet.
Man, gonna have to start saving my allowance, now. I wonder just how much further I can steer Bella's interests before she gets set in her adolescence…
In any case, we finished out the school year on a good note, once again passing with flying colors. This time we both placed top five in the school, but no longer one and two. I was thrown for a loop with that one and would have some catching up to do. Or I could just let it slide for middle school, being stressful enough as it is...
Seriously. Fuck middle school. The second time has been objectively worse even though I can subjectively deal with it better this time around. Kids are assholes. I was half-heartedly hoping 7th grade would be better, and Jesse said it would be given how he was a year ahead of us, but… Murphy's law and all. "Hope in one hand, crap in the other" you know?
Summer vacation came again, and between the Blacks' silence and Dad being busy, it was the most boring one, yet. Bella complained a lot this year, but I did my best to keep her occupied with both kinds of practice that we could do. We actually had a fight or two about it, and… my antagonizing her about her hormones didn't help with that.
Touchy touchy. She glared at me for a week before she even let me apologize.
Dad snuck a week of half days at work in here and there, and a few whole and even three day weekends and took us out shooting and fishing more. Billy and Jake joined on occasion, with the other twins spending time with their grandparents on Sarah's side. We gave our condolences but afterward said nothing on the subject unless one of them brought it up.
Jake gave up wrestling with me, though it wasn't only because I dwarfed him now. I didn't blame him. I knew what it was like to lose a parent from my past life… That shit's rough. We were much more reserved in our time hanging out this year.
Bella and I had another fight towards the end of Summer. She wanted to tell Dad about the kidnapping now, and I put my foot down. Or, more accurately, I slammed my fist through the kitchen table, snapping it in half and sending it to the floor in a heap of splintered scrap wood.
Bella blanched at my display of fury, and even I actually took a step back from the situation -and her- when it happened. I immediately apologized for scaring her and placated her. She knew -at least I hope she did- that I would never directly physically hurt her.
I'd sooner cut off my own arms.
But anyway, thinking about it more over the years had me pulling back from the idea more and more. We'd already gotten Judo lessons from telling him about the "bullies" and I didn't think it would gain us anything to tell him. Dad would probably force us to move up here if he knew the real truth.
And it just wasn't time for that, yet.
After a terrible explanation for the broken table to Dad and a promise to make it up to him, we both apologized and I explained it to her. She reluctantly agreed and dropped it, especially since she made it absolutely clear that she didn't want any professional help butting in, which would've surely happened at some point if we told anybody.
I rolled my eyes at that.
Realizing I'd only made one film all summer dampened my mood, but things picked up when it was birthday time, again. Mom and Dad collaborated once more, buying us electric versions of our Cello and Violin as well as a couple of amps and associated components. Epic win for me, it was time to put a plan or two into motion.
We both doubled down on practice and Mom also FINALLY let me start Guitar lessons. Having experience with instruments already, things progressed rather quickly, and I was soon covering songs and creating my own little riffs and licks like no tomorrow.
Halloween came around, and Bella and I had another fight. This time over what to go as. Was it just me, or were these spats getting ridiculous? I wished I could tell her just how ironic it was that we went as either Vampires or Werewolves every year, but I honestly feel like, at this point, even her knowing wouldn't change her ire on the subject.
As it stood, Bella was going as Trinity from The Matrix, which… Kinda surprised me. Almost as much as Mom not insisting I go as Neo. I raised my eyebrow at that, and Mom cryptically said "Don't you think you're more like Morpheus sometimes?"
God damn was this woman hyper-perceptive about certain things.
"No, I'm definitely the chosen one, and I'm always looking out for Bella." I replied, giving her a sidelong glance.
"But you always seem to have the answers." She countered, narrowing her eyes.
"Maybe I should be The Oracle, then?" I shot, causing them both to roll their eyes in exasperation. I can already see the petty rebuttal forming on their lips. I held up my hands to stop them from interjecting.
'Just wait till they see the next two movies' I thought. 'I kinda feel more like The Architect if anything.'
"Fine, fine. Just flip a coin and trench coat me. We don't have all night." I relented, grinning as Bella flipped a coin and Mom disappeared into her bedroom only to come out with two more costumes, AND the camcorder running.
'Of course, she bought both…' I thought fondly 'And, of course, she's gonna film this.' I added, smiling and shaking my head at my mother's antics -and quite frankly, sister's, too.-
Thanksgiving happened as it usually did, without turkey this year, but with a couple of wild additions courtesy of Mom. She'd… actually invited a man over. That wasn't Dad. I was completely floored, and by the looks of it, so was Bella. When the hell had this happened!?
What was weirder -or perhaps not- was that when he introduced himself, it wasn't Phil. In any case, he seemed okay enough, slightly cautious under mine and Bella's all too knowing gazes, but that was understandable. Not every day you get watched like a hawk by two 13-year-olds that have an odd parently vibe about them in regards to their own mother.
Thankfully, Mom didn't demand our silence, even telling Dad herself during our Christmas get-together. Apparently, they'd gotten together over summer, but it was getting just a little rocky. Seems Mom was too much for the guy. I shared a quiet chuckle with Bella over that, and we moved on with our lives.
I started the New Year off with something I'd been procrastinating about for a while. Bella and I had both noticed it at least three times now, and I was determined to figure out just what this weird strength thing was. A kid my age, even with an adrenaline rush, shouldn't be able to put other kids in hospitals, kill grown men, and decimate a kitchen table in several blows.
Let alone the one or two it actually took me.
I needed answers, and the only thing I could think of was to push myself. I ramped up my training to the extreme, forcing my body through set after set of calisthenics, adding weight to my body when it wasn't enough to tire me. But no matter how hard I tired or how much I improved, I never displayed that absurd level of strength again or at will.
I moved on from mere coaxing and tried to force it out. I quite literally beat myself up punching things and straining to perform impossible feats like lifting the front of Mom's car up. Nothing worked, and when the questions rolled in, I knew I had to stop.
I didn't know if it freaked me out or pissed me off more. I knew it was impossible to be this strong, and yet… I knew that the impossible was very likely out there, lurking with iridescent skin and black eyes. Or with another larger form just beneath the surface to burst free of its confines and run and hunt. So. Why. Wouldn't. THIS. WORK!?
Without warning, my arm flew out and smashed into the concrete barrier next to me as Bella and I ambled back towards home. She jumped at the sound of it -like a shotgun blast right next to her- and I turned slowly to examine my fist, which was dusted with the powdered concrete residue and completely unharmed.
It was in that moment of success that I analyzed every aspect of how I was feeling. I breathed deeply and felt my lungs expand, every millimeter of movement. I could hear the buzzing in my ears, that was relentless, and when I looked, really looked, it almost felt like everything was more crisp. I heard a breath behind me, and then a soft, tentative footstep.
I felt the movement of air before her hand touched my shoulder and my head whipped towards my sister, causing her to jump again. The buzzing dulled to a rapid pound, and my first moment of mental clarity about all of this came to me.
"Bella, check my pulse." I blurted out, moving the hand I used to punch the barrier into her line of sight and unclenching my fist. She dithered for a moment, unsure, to which I shook it at her incessantly. "Come on, hurry up! Before it wears off!" I urged, taking a step closer as she blinked, huffed, and fumbled with her watch to get the timer function working.
A second later, or fifteen seconds later actually, she shook her head, seeming to give up.
"It's too fast, I can't tell… I can't count that high, that fast, for that long… Maybe seven or eight beats per second? It's slowing..." She stated, her eyes going distant as she dropped my hand and tried to calculate that mentally.
I shortcutted it, but ended up at the same answer she did at the same time. We both looked up to stare into each others' eyes at the revelation.
"That's over 400 beats per minute…" I exclaimed, the pounding hesitating as it remained where it was. "That's impossible." We both said, echoing each other and trying to come to terms with this. It seemed to only give me more questions, though. So what, I had an extremely high heart rate as a symptom of my strength… Or maybe a signifier… But what was the cause?
"Maybe it's stress." My twin suggested, causing me to swallow as the thrum slowed a little. "What were you thinking right before it happened?" She asked.
"I was thinking "why won't this work?"" I replied, and she shook her head in denial, causing me to scoff petulantly.
"Okay, but… HOW were you thinking it… and why?" She clarified, cutting me off before I could call her out. Sure enough, I paused again, my heart rate lowered further as I began to analyze the situation. I explained it to her more precisely and she completed her hypothesis with my testimony.
"Okay, do it again." Bella stated simply. I looked around in bafflement at our surroundings, the edge dulling further.
I hesitated, holding my fist close to my chest with my other hand while examining the area for onlookers. Finding none, I nodded, turning back to the concrete barrier and focusing on both it and my bodily reactions. By now it felt as though my heart rate was within normal parameters, if still elevated from normal. The other side effects that seemed to heighten my perception were also dulling down.
Nonetheless, I tried to remember the sensations from before and draw them back to the surface. I recounted the feelings of frustration and failure at making any progress this whole time, how fruitless it felt to slave away on my body for only the normal improvements, and the daunting prospect of getting found out by mom, which I had anxiety would lead to her finding out about other stuff.
My heart picked back up, my breathing following suit as I felt I could sense Bella behind me again through means other than my eyesight. I closed my eyes, hoping that cutting of one sense would help the others and allow me to focus on my heart and emotions. I was quickly rewarded for my efforts, but the blazing buzz from early had still not returned to full force.
I growled in frustration, the sound coming out even more ragged than usual to my ears, and Bella, who was starting to come closer in support, stopped a mere inch from touching my shoulder.
'It isn't ENOUGH!' I thought angrily, getting another slight uptick, but only temporarily. Subconsciously, I thought back to my previous life, one wrought with failure and a lack of motivation all around. Had I truly changed any since then? Was I really a different person now if THIS were the outcome of my efforts? No, I was merely an impostor living a privileged life that wasn't truly mine in a world that didn't exist.
I didn't exist. I was fucking dead on a gym floor in a city I thought I would finally pull myself out of my pit of fuckery in but ended up doing NOTHING but estranging and pushing away my generous older brother and allowing myself the excuse of falling to the enablism of my mother as to why I was STILL stuck.
I couldn't even fucking DIE properly! I had to be stuck in this godforsaken FALSE HOPE of a fucking PURGATORY of a fucking DYING GODDAMN FEVER DREAM!
My fist snapped out, crashing against the barrier with unyielding strength and leaving a good half-inch deep crater in the concrete next to my other mark.
And then the flood gates stayed open as I unleashed crucifying fury on an inanimate object.
I finally ended my assault when my fist went clean through the corner of the barrier I was assaulting, stepping back and near-hyperventilating from the effort. A football-sized chunk of concrete slowly tilted, slid, and then clattered to the sidewalk, joining the pulverized dust I had made out of the area it was previously attached to.
In the previous moment, Bella had taken several steps back and covered her ears. But, having brought up old memories, I wasn't done yet. I reached down in a flash and snatched up the chunk of concrete I broke off, digging my fingers into the surface with one hand and lifting it up before throwing it over my head -and over the edge of the bridge- into the drainage channel below.
It sailed a good 30 yards before crashing down and bouncing, then rolling another ten or so. I sat there, staring off into middle distance and regaining my composure as the buzzing I now noticed simmered down into a thrumming again. Bella slowly approached, but I was distracted when she reached for my wrist, and jerked away on reflex, scaring her a bit.
"Sorry…" I apologized meekly as she reached out again, pressing her pointer and middle fingers onto the pulse point at the base of my thumb.
"Wow, it's even faster, now…" She murmured, staring off for another second before looking back to me. "What were you thinking about?" My sister asked, causing me to huff in exasperation before having to come up with a half-truth.
"That night…" I told her, referencing internally to the night of my death, though, to her it would have been the night we were almost kidnapped. "Didn't really think it would work, but I grabbed onto the feeling of failure… Helplessness…" And that much was true in either situation.
'Man, this feels really toxic… I hope this isn't the only way to do this…' A part of my mind commented, while the majority of it pushed away the old memories and started to hype me up about my success.
Bella wasn't far behind as she congratulated me and confessed her confidence in me that I could do it the whole time. I wondered, not for the first time, what I did to get this good of a second chance at life.
"It's still pretty high… Wanna try something else?" She asked, getting my attention once again as I calmed down some more. I was going to ask "Like what?" when a light bulb went off in my head and a devious grin adorned my face. My sister immediately went on the back foot, but she was literally too slow to stop me now as I scooped her up unceremoniously and began sprinting down the street with her in my arms.
Her vocal protests, nor her physical ones did a thing to stop me, but as she came to terms with what was happening, her cries died down and turned into peals of laughter that quickly accompanied my whoops of joy.
I was fast! Like Usain Bolt fast! Like MOPED fast! AND I was fucking CARRYING someone, too!
I couldn't help it, I LEAPED into the air, clearing TEN feet with my passenger and bounding completely over the fence to our back yard and clear onto the ROOF of the house. Bella cursed, claiming the experience exhilarating, while simultaneously slapping me on the shoulder and threatening to kill me if I ever did that again.
Pffbt "C'mon, after that showing, I'm probably bulletproof." I told her, to which we both laughed as we shook out the nerves and flopped down to lie upon the shingles.
"I'm glad we figured it out." She said introspectively.
"Yeah… I just hope I don't have to torment myself every time." I replied, the "bitter" coming in to tarnish the "sweet"
"Don't worry about that now. Victory first, specifics later." Bella urged, whacking my hand with hers before returning it to her stomach and interlacing it with the other. I had to agree, too.
Victory first. Full commitment to happiness; no exceptions.
The next morning, I discovered the hard way that "victory first" sometimes translated to "premature celebration" as the apparent aftermath of utilizing my discovered ability set in. My entire body, from head to toe, seared with pain that was particularly focused in my arms, shoulders, chest, and legs. I felt wholly swollen, while at the same time, as though I were being torn open and having my wounds fingered repeatedly.
Every single movement I made exacerbated my pain, my body protesting to ANY kind of motion that either stretched or contracted my muscles. This was compounded further by the intense full-body cramps and muscle spasms, which would set off another chain reaction of flinching, pain, more flinching, more pain, and eventually circle back to another spasm or cramp.
Worse still was that I was WOKEN UP by said pain at FOUR in the morning. Or, at least that what I thought I saw on my bedside alarm clock as I grit my teeth and my vision blurred, trying my very best to keep this pain private, at least until I was discovered naturally.
'Which won't be for another five hours…' I thought to myself despairingly during a moment where the cramps stopped and the pain dulled. After the first hour, I'd considered multiple times to never use my powers again, unless it was life or death. But during the second hour, as the pain and spasms began to slowly wane, I realized that was an overreaction, and that I'd been using it -admittedly at much lower levels and in shorter bursts- rather often, actually.
During the third hour, the urge to go to the bathroom finally became too strong to ignore anymore. It was getting to the point where I was having difficulty not doing the "peepee dance" in bed. As such, I decided to face the music and finally get up at 7:30.
And boy was it a struggle just to get to the door. My body fought me every step of the way, causing me to stumble, nearly fall, and overall look like I was disabled several times between the time I finally planted my feet on the floor and finally got my hand clenched around the doorknob. I was also profusely sweating with the effort and cringed physically at the prospect of taking a shower, which caused another round of spasms and pain that, while nowhere near as bad as the first two hours, were on par with the strongest fatigue and soreness I'd felt in my past life. This is to say, it made me reconsider the need to relieve myself using a toilet.
But I steeled myself and soldiered through the pain, opening my door and looking directly into the -thankfully- open one of the bathroom. I leaned my head out, checking both of the other doors in the hallway, and then hobbled my ass across and into the bathroom, shutting and locking the door behind me. I thanked my lucky stars and used the sink counter to assist me on my way to the toilet, discarding my boxers, and sitting down.
Yeah, not taking any chances with trying aim and balance in this state.
Fifteen minutes later, -yes, I was procrastinating, thank you- I'd finished my business and managed to hobble back to my room. It was now 7:55, and it was a miracle that neither Bella nor Mom were up yet since it was Saturday. Either way, I thanked my lucky stars and collapsed back into bed as I caught my breath and tried to remain still.
An hour later, Mom came in with breakfast -courtesy of Bella- and I finally felt like I could at least sit up and eat without wanting to die. Of course, being as hawk-eyed as ever she asked me what was wrong and I had to come up with some sort of lie about rough-housing and over-exertion. She asked if it was bullies again and I laughed her off, which despite the sour look she gave me, seemed to appease her worry.
A half-hour after that and I was fed, dressed, and only slightly limping towards the sink with my dishes. Bella, being more privy to our activities, gave me a probing look, causing me to look over my shoulder at Mom engrossed with her painting before I leaned in and whispered my explanation and theories. She seemed a bit stunned but reasoned, much like myself, that with great power came great responsibility, which meant that it was only reasonable that using it frivolously to that extent would have backlash.
Then she surprised the hell out of me as she snickered and commented "You know, it seems kinda like that Kaio-Ken thing that Goku can do, don't you think? Only without the red aura..."
Who the hell was this and what did I do to Bella? Apparently, my flabbergasted expression made her snicker some more as we finished washing the dishes. "I guess we know what to call it, then…" I trailed off thoughtfully, moving to the garage to play some music with her and make plans for future testing.
Unfortunately, future testing was mostly a bust until summer vacation rolled around. Our schedule was busy as it was what with me having crammed it full of a mixture of hobbies, sports, preparedness (Judo and exercise), and then the school talent show arriving towards the end of the school year.
Since it was the last year before Jesse was off to High School -and therefore disqualified from any Middle School Talent Show proceedings- we, as a group, decided to get our act together and, well… Come up with an act for the show.
"Dude, I've seen the two of you play. You should cover a popular song for the Talent Show." He urged, grabbing my camcorder off the shelf of my room. "Plus, I can totally film it. Then we can send it off to an agent and you guys can be famous!" He enthused, causing me to grin satisfactorily while Bella started to look anxious.
Still wasn't too much for the spotlight, that girl. I'll admit, I was tempted. As the years dragged on I became more and more impatient for music I remembered to exist and every time I remembered something else, I made a quick "sample" of it the best I could so I wouldn't forget again.
But I digress. Any strides towards fame, fortune, or public spectacle would have to take place in or after 2007. Sure, I'll go ahead and "leak" the plots to a few things anonymously online, but I won't be recreating any Nickelback albums or Skrillex songs until we get past the vampire singularity.
At least not if I couldn't do the songs FULL justice with either a perfect recollection -which, while excellent and selective, mine definitely was not perfect- or with my own remix and unique lyrics, which I just didn't care to do, mostly for sentimental reasons. Though I'll admit, just a bit of insecurity stuck with me.
It's why most of my and Bella's music were either covers or instrumentals.
"Yeah, but just me and Bella? I know we're good, but is that really gonna blow everyone away to the point where it flips our infamy to fame? Makes us popular?" I question in good faith, to which Bella perks up with her own addition.
"We should get the school band in on it, or at least the top players." She said, causing me to run through several relevant songs that could properly utilize Brass and Woodwind instruments.
"Oooh, shit! We could play Smooth by Santanna!" I exclaimed, snapping my fingers and pointing at her excitedly as the idea came to me. Jesse replied with a slow nod and a cool "Hell yeah." before going on about how I would be an absolute Casanova if I played Smooth at the Talent Show with a full band backing me up.
"Okay, okay, but if you play Lead Guitar, who's playing Drums, and who's playing Bass?" Bella asked seriously, trying to diffuse my and Jesse's bro moment before it spiraled out of control.
"Well, given how percussion is a part of all music, there are obviously students in band class that can play drums. At least well enough to get us by with a little practice. After all, the Talent Show is still a month away. We have time." I replied. "Besides, I'd rather have you on Bass, anyway. We're a team, a pair, a dynamic duo, we're TWINS for crying out loud! You and I need to make a "show of force" on stage, front and center!" I continued "Not to mention you need to step out of your bubble every once in a while, and while you're not taking lead, you definitely aren't sitting this one out in the corner on drums of all things."
She looked a little peeved at being called out and promised to be pulled out of her comfort zone, but conceded the point with just a little more convincing from both Jesse and I.
And so, we made our plans, found our other players, practiced, bonded, got Jesse's camcorder to film the event with, and smashed it out of the park if I do say so myself. I mean, I fricken moonwalked across the stage while playing guitar, then flung my Panama hat out to the crowd. I damn near took my shirt off and tried to crowd surf, but I don't think they were quite that hyped despite definitely being packed tightly enough.
In any case, it made for an AMAZING home video, courtesy of my best Middle School friend and his newer and more expensive camera and better filmography skills. I got Dad dead to rights speechless with the most amazingly brilliant "I'm both proud and impressed right now" look I'd ever seen on the man's face, and I got his reaction on video, too!
It was really too bad that he was swamped with work that summer. Buuuuut, it gave us plenty of time to test my "Kaio-Ken" limits without being discovered. Even after I felt like I'd hit a wall with that and plateaued in our discovery/testing phase, Summer didn't get as boring as it had before. Uncle Billy finally called us, and we got to hang out with him and Jake, again.
Something about the man seemed off, though. As though he wasn't at 100% or something. Not to mention he seemed to be hiding something from us to the point where even Dad was out of the loop when we subtly tried to grill him about it. I thought long and hard on the subject and towards the end of summer, I realized that he wasn't in a wheelchair yet.
And that he would be by the time we moved here to Forks.
I didn't mention this to Bella. Much like with Sarah Black dying, it would be difficult to explain how I knew personalized future stuff like this to Bella. Not to mention how with her sharp mind, it would likely bring out more questions; ones I couldn't answer. Or how I'd actually forgotten that Sarah was supposed to die until after it happened.
Sadly, shortly after summer vacation ended, I realized it wasn't the only "major event" that had slipped my mind in these 14 years of life as I watched the aftermath of the World Trade Center attack on TV. I was 90% sure I saw Carlisle on the news helping people. I guess that was Alice's doing.
I vowed from that day forth to never forget again and started making journals with every detail of everything I could remember from my past life.
A/N: So, a week late and several hours of sleep short, I now present to you fine folks, the END of the "prologue".
Yes, I am expediting things on the account of not wanting to be 30k+ deep before we reach canon. Not to mention that it'll get boring rehashing summer vacation and school for another 2 years AND anything I have left to mention can be mentioned in dialogue or exposition AFTER they get to Forks, and likely with other characters.
I mean, if I went over their entire lives before canon, there would be nothing to talk about in canon, I'd just be repeating stuff to the other characters that you've already read. That would be boring, and if I didn't do it, it would be incomplete. I'd have to find other content to fill those spaces, heck, I STILL do and I'm already saving a few things!
Oof, lemme stop before my sleep-deprived mind says something stupid.
Anyway, next chap is the trip to Forks, a Bella POV (*nervous*), and some cheeky shit that I think you guys will like. Our first small bits of canon divergence, so to speak.
Rate and Review and join me on Kll's discord for discussion! gg/CBHnaEPTn7