And the Oscar Goes To…
For The Best Fall From Grace: Bella Swan
The Oscars … everybody's heard of them. The glitz and the glamour, the night of all nights. However, most people don't even know the half of it. For all the bullshit you go through to get there, you end up spending the first part of the evening getting pushed and shoved about by a bunch of assholes. You are then obliged to sit through hours and hours of dull speeches, lip synched musical performances, and you are forced into clapping every five goddamn minutes. Furthermore, trying to act polite, courteous and somewhat normal for hours on end can become excruciatingly painful.
The only good thing about the annual Academy Award ceremony is that I make a lot of money from it. It's not because I get to rub shoulders with the entertainment industry 'big guns', who are likely to woo a bankable commodity (like me) to star in their next huge blockbuster. No, that's not it at all … it's because every year I place bets on the major winners. The whole thing is so fixed, that picking winners is like child's play.
Betting on the Oscars has always earned me enough to treat myself to a great holiday every year. This year I plan to go to Australia. If he wasn't already happily married, I'd say the trip was an integral part of my mission to shack up with Mr. Hugh Jackman. Wow! That guy has got the IT factor. Though my IT factor, and Hollywood's IT factor, were probably two different things entirely. I mean, sure … the guy's got talent, but he's really got talent, if you know what I'm saying … and I think you do…
Alice, my ADHD, Ritalin munching, talented stylist/ dressmaker friend, buzzed around me like … well, like a fucking bee. She poked me intermittently with ridiculous styling equipment, and I'd yell at her to just fuck off each and every time she did. A thousand hair pins were pushed up into my heavy curls and were guaranteed to give me a migraine as big as Hercules by the end of the night. Lip liner, lipstick and lip gloss graced my lips. Fuck, it's a wonder that millions of women don't die every year from ingesting all that lip product bullshit. There were eye brushes, cheek brushes, hair brushes and god knows what other types of brushes; all shoved in my face.
By the time Alice was finished, I was pretty sure that my head was going to roll off my shoulders, it felt that heavy. I could only hope that it would roll right into her shins, thereby bowling the bitch over and giving me a strike.
"Just you wait until you see your dress. You're going to fucking hate me!" Alice squealed.
"I already do!" I copied her tone, mocking her.
Then she pulled out the weirdest, fucked up shit I've ever seen. It was black and it had puffy bits.
That was my professional description.
I burst into laughter at the sight of it. Alice had clearly outdone herself this year. I may hate all the bullshit and the ugly dresses, but I loved her idea. It was about three years ago that Alice decided to use her talent to make a joke of the red carpet. I readily agreed to her plan; simply, because I don't give a shit what people think of me. I'm here to do what I love; and that is to act.
The plan was for Alice to make the ugliest dress possible, and then to sit back and watch the Hollywood sycophants do their work. It was quite comical when each year we'd purposely set out to make me look completely ridiculous, only to appear on the red carpet's 'best dressed list' the following day. The people here are moronic, and that's perfectly okay with me; they keep me entertained. I only stay around because, apparently, I'm good at what I do, and because of that, I get paid bucket loads of money to do what I love.
I put the latest ridiculousness on and groaned when I realized where all the puffy bits went. It was a tight fitting black dress that would have been really nice if not for the huge ass bows and bubbles that were gathered around the chest area and then expanded beyond my arms. A bow (or whatever it was) moved out to a point beside my head. If someone should be stupid enough to stand close behind me, it will surely take an eye out.
I couldn't tilt my head down for fear of poking my own eyes out. It was eccentric eighties, meets the emo nineties. It was brilliant.
When I was finally released from the 'room of doom', I jumped in the limo and headed to the Kodak. On my arrival, I met Jane; the assistant my manager had said would be there to help guide me down the red carpet. I wasn't looking forward to the red carpet; mainly, because journalists are pushy, unfeeling assholes, so I'd had a couple of champagnes in the car to help me relax.
"So, who dressed you tonight, your dress looks … interesting?" One of the said 'moronic assholes' asked.
"You think?" I moved my head to the side until it touched the puffy bow, or whatever, beside it. "I just thought it'd be politer than bringing my pillow …you know, just in case we have to listen to Kristen Stewart stutter her way through some demented speech again. We could be here all damn night!"
"So who is the designer?" She asked flatly. I had a feeling that she wasn't going to be particularly interested in my answer if it was anything like the last one I'd given her.
I tilted my head and furrowed my brow. "You know ... I really don't know," I fluttered my hand over the catastrophe at the front of my dress, "but they're obviously a moron. Oh ... except for the nifty pillow idea;" I patted the large bow by my head, "that was a stroke of genius." I often thought about outing Alice, but knew she would kill me without a second thought.
'Death by stiletto'. Now there's a head stone for you.
"So, you didn't bring a date with you tonight?" She'd clearly ignored that answer too. I began to wonder if they would even bother adding this interview to their … whatever it is they did.
"Well, I really wanted to bring my father, but he's dead, so …"
The journalist balked and was saved from having to say anything further when Jane interrupted us to say our time was up.
The rest of the interviews were much the same, and I gave the usual short, blunt answers. It was my best tactic for getting down the red carpet quickly. No one wanted someone swearing on live TV or speaking ill of their stylist in their interviews. The difference was that my stylist was at home, probably cackling away like an evil elf.
I made it to the foyer and grabbed myself two glasses of champagne from the first tray I saw. I sighed in relief and was about to take my very first sip, when I felt someone breathe on the back of my neck.
"Interesting dress, Swan. What eighties icon did you maim for that one?" I turned around slowly and came face to face with Edward Cullen.
Now close your eyes and imagine this; 'I just finished fucking' sex hair, lush green eyes that looked as though they held all your secrets, and a smile so devilishly handsome that your panties dropped; all of their own accord.
Now open your eyes, scroll to the top of this page and pick an adjective that pertains to Hollywood and all its subjects; Mr. Jackman excluded.
Now add 'egotistical' and 'pretentious' to that description, and you have the one and only, Edward Cullen; movie star extraordinaire.
"I saw Madonna in the parking lot. She was so busy with her latest childlike, orphan accessory, that she didn't even see me coming," I replied dryly and shrugged one shoulder before taking another sip of the bubbly liquid.
He flashed me that panty melting smile, and I tried not to grimace at him.
"So, where's your latest flavor, Cullen? It's very unlike you to not have a leech on your arm." I raised a brow at him, waiting for his reply. He almost chuckled but held it in.
Edward uncurled a finger from his champagne flute and pointed it over towards a group of people standing by the door. I saw a tall blonde talking to the Smiths. She felt us watching her and looked up. She smiled when she saw Edward, but then it promptly fell from her face when she saw me.
I waved with a wide grin on my face, and she scowled at me before returning to her conversation.
I chuckled. "Wow … friendly," I mumbled into my glass and took a sip. I looked back at Edward, and he was watching me with a small smile.
"She's predictable. Nice work." I smiled back at him.
I stared at him for a long moment, willing tears to well in my eyes. I felt them mist and then I gave him my best 'you killed my puppy dog' eyes.
"You know I've always had a crush on you. Why do you have to be so mean and bring that to shove in my face?" I asked in a whiny voice, motioning wildly with my hand towards his new bimbo, spilling a bit of champagne on the floor. She noticed and looked in our direction in confusion, but I ignored her.
He chuckled and took a sip of his drink.
"You're good, Swan. I'll give you that much," he said, still smiling.
I smiled back. "The best."
We distracted ourselves with our drinks, finishing them off and discarding them on trays as the servers passed by. I looked around quickly and noticed that the blonde woman was fast approaching.
"Incoming," I said in a sing song voice and then half turned away from Edward to gulp down some of my second glass of champagne.
Blegh! She had one of those high pitched girly voices that made your ears bleed.
"Hey." I heard Edward's hesitant reply. "Heidi, I would like you to meet Bella Swan. Bella, this is Heidi," he introduced.
I turned back to them and smiled at her genuinely. She plastered on a fake smile and shook my hand limply when I offered it to her.
"I had no idea you were nominated," she stated, making me wish that Alice had managed to squeeze some industrial style ear muffs in my clutch bag.
"I wasn't …. I'm presenting," I replied, trying to keep the bitter tone out of my voice. I knew the angle she was playing, and I wasn't one for games.
"Oh, that's right! I read that you got kicked off your last movie for demanding a pay rise. I haven't seen you in anything all year. Is it because of that?" She smiled at me cloyingly, and I wanted to gag. How fucking high school.
I could see Edward stiffen, and I glanced at him momentarily before I answered her.
"Earlier in the year, I was in a movie called 'Sinful Thoughts'. It received rave reviews at Sundance. And I didn't get kicked off the movie 'Because The Night'. My father died, and I left to mourn and help look after my ill mother. But, hey! If you pay $2.95 for the magazine, it must be full of facts, right?" I gulped the rest of my drink and put it on a passing tray. I looked up at Edward and saw him staring at me with curiosity. "If you'll excuse me, I'm off to find my seat, so I can swap around the names of whatever morons they've put near me."
I stepped away from the egotistical asshole and his leech, but didn't get far before I was stopped by none other than Hugh Jackman.
"Bella, hey." He leaned into me and my breath hitched. "I just wanted to say, sorry 'bout your dad. He was a bloody good bloke."
I looked at him in shock. My dad wasn't really talked about. It had only been six months, and my team had done everything in their power to make sure I was left well alone by the paparazzi.
"I - thanks." I stuttered. I had no idea what to say. My star crush was right before me, but rather than whispering dirty words in my ear with his sexy Aussie accent, like I had always fantasized, he was bringing up the subject of my dead father. Total buzz kill.
Oh, did I mention his wife was standing next to him? Yeah, that was like the ultimate punishment from officer killjoy. He introduced me to his wife, Deborra-lee, and she was depressingly lovely.
"You know you make it really hard for me to hate you. Now I'm not so sure that I could proposition your husband without feeling a tinge of guilt. Sometimes I hate that I'm so damned human," I blurted.
Surprisingly, she laughed. I gave her a mock glare.
"And you get my jokes. Seriously, you can go now."
"We need to move and find our seats anyway. We'll probably need to swap the names of whatever wankers are sitting next to us. It was nice meeting you, Bella," she chuckled.
Well move over, Hugh. I just found my soul mate in your wife.
"You too?" I replied trying my best not to sound like the instant fan-girl I'd just become. She moved in order to hug me, and I held her at a distance.
"Whoa there, Debbie! I don't want to poke your eye out on this mess here," I said, motioning with my head to my dress.
She laughed lightly, leaned in, kissed my cheek, and then they were gone.
No kiss from Hugh.
The universe hates me.
I made my way through the doors of the audience chamber and managed to get to an usher without any further interruptions.
A weedy guy with curly black hair motioned to an aisle. "Miss Swan, you are just in here, toward the middle."
I thanked him and made my way down. A few people had to stand up to let me through, and I thanked them all as I swept past them. I stopped abruptly when I saw my seat and the ass that sat next to it.
Jesus, the world really does fucking hate me.
"You already changed the names around, didn't you?" I accused the owner of the lopsided smile that was currently pointed in my direction.
Edward's large hands rose up in a defensive move. "I swear, Swan; this is how they were."
I looked at him skeptically and then looked at his leech with a raised, questioning eyebrow. The woman was pretending that I wasn't even there. My airbag dress obviously offended her.
I sat down with a childish huff, only to have to stand up again to let more people pass. Someone sat next to me, and I looked over to see the cute, round face of Jacob. Jacob Black was an up and coming young actor with the cutest baby face ever. Every time I had seen him, I'd wanted to pinch his cheeks, but could never get close enough. So I reached over and did just that.
"Jacob!" I cooed, as I grabbed his cheeks between my thumbs and fingers.
He looked at me like I was a crazed woman, but he maintained a smile.
"Bella!" he mocked my tone. "Nice dress." He smirked at me, and I pinched his cheeks, harder, before settling back in my chair.
"What? You don't like my air bags? Safety first, young man! At least if I break my ankles in these heels, my face will be saved when I fall forward on my puffy chest." I shot him a proud smile.
He shook his head at me slowly and then looked past me to Edward seated on the other side.
"Edward, man. Good to see you."
They reached over me and shook hands, their arms inadvertently rubbing up and down my bubbles and bows. I moaned deeply and closed my eyes a little.
"Oooh yeah, right there boys. I love it when you rub my fun bags." They both shot their hands back and looked at me like I was crazy. I gave them both a smirk and then settled further in my seat as the lights began to dim.
The opening was mildly entertaining. Some new band played some new song, and I tapped my foot along to the beat. The host was an overseas comedian who had made a few movies in the US. He listed names of celebrities who were in the room, and made jokes about their lives or the rumors surrounding them.
I was shocked when my name was mentioned, and I stiffened a little as a bright spotlight shone on me.
"You look comfortable sitting there between two of Hollywood's hottest commodities. How are you doing, Bella?"
"I'd be better if they stopped trying to play with my fun bags, Ricki," I replied, stroking my bubbles and bows on my chest.
I could see our image on the large screens at the sides of the stage. I saw both Edward and Jake's eyes go wide, while the face of the leech soured. The audience laughed, and I sighed in relief when the light was finally spotting someone else on the other side of the room.
Presenting was just as boring as watching the show, but at least it gave me a chance to stretch my legs a little. That was nice. I had to lean over my bows and bubbles to talk into the microphone which had made everyone laugh.
When it was over, and time to leave, I thought seriously about going home, but I knew I needed to get myself back out there; so I went to the Vanity Fair after party. I ended up walking in at the same time as Hugh and Deborra-lee, so I hung around with them for a while, talking politely, somewhat, with all who managed to slink their way into our circle.
After a while, I excused myself and visited the ladies room. I was washing my hands, when Edward's leech walked out of a stall. I looked at her via my reflection in the mirror and smiled. She scowled at me and then walked out.
Eww, gross! Bitch didn't even wash her hands.
I dried my hands and exited the bathroom just in time to watch the leech call a bemused Edward "an asshole" and storm off in a huff. I raised an eyebrow at him, and he simply shrugged his shoulders.
"Came to her senses did she?"
"What can I say? I'm more man than she can handle." He smirked at me.
"You wanna hope she didn't handle you. That woman doesn't even wash her hands." I'm pretty sure my distaste showed clearly on my face.
"Yuck." I heard Edward mumble.
"What a shame … no notch on your bedpost tonight. What's a blockbuster movie star to do?" I mocked.
"Well, I don't know about that," he said as he moved closer to me and snaked his arm over my shoulders.
I shrugged his arm off and looked up at him in disgust.
"That would just make you a notch on my bedpost and that will never happen." I gave him a stern look and his only reply was a panty dropping smile. I pointed at him. "That shit don't work with me, Cullen."
"Nonsense, it works with everyone," he stated.
"Oh, yes. Two rejections in one night is proof of that."
"One rejection," he corrected, "and she doesn't even wash her hands, so I'm sure she doesn't actually count, since I wouldn't have gone there anyway." He was leaning down, his face now closer to mine, but I didn't back away; I didn't want him thinking that he affected me.
"You seem to have forgotten that I rejected you too, you idiot."
"If that was a rejection, then why are you still standing here?" He was way too close now. His breath fanned across my face, and I breathed him in.
A loud click broke our gazes and we both turned to see a photographer smiling sheepishly at us. I narrowed my eyes and pointed at the greasy haired asshole.
"If that shows up on TMZ tomorrow with a headline about me being his next thing, Eric, I will personally come to your house and tie your balls into a bow, with a double knot. Do you understand me?"
"Ouch! Are you really that embarrassed to be seen with me?" Edward asked.
"Well, wouldn't you be?" I asked with a straight face.
He shrugged and went to take another sip of his beer but quickly realized it was gone. He frowned into the bottle and then grabbed my hand.
"C'mon, we need fresh drinks," he stated and started pulling me along.
"Hold it there; can I get a photo of you two together?" Eric asked.
With a slight huff, Edward abruptly stopped us and turned me to face the camera. I plastered on a smile, feeling suddenly overwhelmed, and then blinked dazedly after the flash went off in my eyes. Before I knew it, I was once again being pulled along, but all I could see was white spots before me.
Ugh! It serves me right for looking into the flash.
I felt myself starting to lose my footing, and I began to topple. Edwards' arm wrapped around my waist tightly and then all Hell broke loose.
I heard him yell, "Ow! Shit! Swan!" and then his supportive arm turned corrupt, pushing me away.
I toppled forward at a ridiculous speed, and put my hands out to break the fall, before discovering that I was falling toward a potted palm. Instead of bracing for the fall, my hands instinctively wrapped around the small palm trunk which only made the tree and the pot it was in, hit the floor sideways at the same moment I did. Before the plant and I hit the ground, my cheek planted into the corner of the wall.
After assessing myself mentally and taking an inventory of which parts of my body were hurting, I became vaguely aware of a heavy weight on my legs. I sat upright and looked down to see Edward lying sprawled across my legs, face down in the carpet. I hadn't realized I had taken him down with me during all the chaos. I heard him groan before he moved to get up.
The crowd around us became deathly quiet, and I just knew that half the room would be staring in our direction. I didn't dare to look around me, so I instead concentrated on watching Edward as he moved to sit up. His face was covered in potting mix, but I could still see the complete look of shock on it. He looked at me for a long moment. His face went from shock, to worry and then the corner of his mouth twitched.
He looked absolutely ridiculous, and I couldn't stop the giggle that escaped me. He chuckled along with me, and before I knew it, we were both in complete hysterics. Edward moved to stand up and then held his hand out to me. I took it and he pulled me up gently. I heard the sound of a clicking lens as I brushed down my dress. I looked up and saw Eric snapping away with his camera.
"Eric!" I warned him.
He had the audacity to smile at me, obviously pleased with himself. "I promise to buy you something sweet with the profits, Bella. Just smile." I grimaced and stuck up my middle finger at him. He took a couple of shots and then quickly disappeared when Edward gave him a threatening glare, but not before taking a close up of Edward's dirt covered face, of course.
The people around us slowly started to resume their conversations, and a few of the workers set about righting the plant and cleaning up the mess we had made. I apologized to them profusely, but they waived me off and continued their work.
"I can't believe you did that!" I heard Edward accuse from behind me. I turned on him.
"You can't believe I did what? You pushed me!" I yelled, louder than I had intended. I was in some serious pain, and I really didn't take kindly to being told that it was my fault when I was the one who'd just been pushed into a wall.
"You poked me in the eye!" I looked at the eye he pointed to, and it was actually quite red.
"No I didn't!" I countered.
"Yes, you did! Or, your … bow, or whatever it is, got me right in the eye."
"Well it's your own fault for standing too close to me!"
"If I hadn't been close to you, you would have broken your legs tripping over your own feet!"
"Yeah, well fat load of help that did anyway." I scoffed.
I limped up to the wall and leaned against it. Edward looked me up and down with furrowed brows and wide eyes. It made him look like a muppet.
"Are you hurt?" he asked, suddenly sounding concerned.
"Yeah, I think I've broken my ankle, or at least badly sprained it."
I moved to slide down the wall and sit down when I saw Edward kneel down and take a look at my foot. I looked down at him with a questioning glare, but he didn't look fazed. He reached out and put his hands around the ankle that I held up off the ground.
"It's pretty swollen. We should see if there's a doctor around." He turned away from me, still on one knee and asked the nearest worker if a first aid kit was available anywhere. I waited patiently and concentrated on the pain that was coursing through my head. I put a finger to my cheek bone and winced.
"Yeah, you're gonna have a bitch of a bruise tomorrow," Edward stated, his face suddenly next to mine. I then yelped in surprise when he lifted me and cradled me to him.
"What the fuck are you doing?" I hissed at him.
"These lovely people are going to lead us to one of their kitchens, so we can get some first aid. I really don't feel like waiting around forever for you to limp your sorry ass all the way there."
I scowled at him, but held on tight as he carried me through a back hallway, managing to steer clear of the crowd. We went through two large doors, and then entered a kitchen that was wrapped in stainless steel.
He put me on one of the shiny benches, and I gasped as the cool metal chilled the skin of my thighs. I watched on as Edward knelt in front of me and gingerly began to take off my shoe. I took a sharp intake of breath and tried to pull my foot away. He sighed and grabbed it back.
"Stop being such a girl."
"I am a girl, you moron."
"Hardly," he mumbled.
I cried out as he squeezed my foot once my shoe was off. "Mother ,shit, son of a … eat shit and die mother fucker!"
He looked up at me and smirked. I wanted to kick him, but I was in too much pain to move. I took to insulting him instead.
"You look like big foot with a beady red eye." The pain was seriously depleting my stock of witty insults and come backs.
"Yeah? Well, you're going to have one hell of a black eye tomorrow." He chuckled. "Serves you right for being so clumsy," he muttered as he returned his gaze upon my foot.
"You pushed me! Asshole!" I screamed at him.
A young girl handed Edward a medium sized red box, blushed at him, and then walked away. I hadn't even heard her enter, and her embarrassment rubbed off on me. He thanked her and then opened the box. It was full to the brim with medications, sticking plasters, creams, bandages and a few other unidentifiable objects. He pulled out one of the bandages, and then looked around the room, curiously. He spied something, turned to tell me to "stay put", to which I rolled my eyes, and then he rushed around the room, opening various drawers and cabinets.
He returned a minute later, with a few bottles of champagne and a small hand-towel filled with ice. He popped open one of the champagne bottles and then handed it to me. I looked at him, confused.
"I don't think it's broken, but you've sprained it pretty badly. I really don't want to hear you screaming, unless it's my name in bed, so you might wanna drink some of this while I ice it. Then I'll wrap it up."
I snatched the bottle from him and took some large swigs. I could feel the small bubbles coalescing in my gullet, eventually making one big bubble that I just had to let rip in a magnificent burp that echoed against the walls.
"Charming," he commented dryly, as he wrapped the towel loosely around my ankle.
I just smiled and watched him as he moved to the sink to wash his face with water. He dried it with one of the flashy kitchen towels.
"Is all the dirt off my face?" he asked, turning to me.
He had a long wet streak across one cheek and a small bit on his chin that made him look he had tried to grow a clit tickler beard, just like the one sported by that has-been, Billy Ray Cyrus.
"Yep," I answered, straight faced.
He lifted himself up and sat on the table next to me. "You sharing?"
He grabbed a new bottle of champagne and opened it. He took a couple of gulps before putting it down and then looked to me again.
"Are you feeling any better?"
"I'm not drunk yet, if that's what you mean?"
We looked at each other for a long moment, and then he chuckled.
"What?" I snapped, unleashing another scowl at him.
"Your hair is like …," he made a motion with his hands to emphasize that I had big hair, "wild! At least it goes with your dress now." He leaned into me and began picking at my hair. "You have bits of palm fronds in it, too."
I took another swig of the champagne while he fussed with my hair, and then I looked at his red eye.
"Just call me 'Betty Rubble'. How's your eye feeling?"
"It's been better." He stopped fussing over my hair, but he didn't move away.
"You look like you've been sucker-punched," I slurred a little. Okay … Maybe I'm a little tipsy.
"So do you," he replied and reached up to brush his thumb across my cheek.
Goose bumps broke out over my flesh. They surprised me, and I flinched.
He mistook my recoiling for pain and apologized, then held the cold bottle of bubbles up to my cheek. He smiled at me kindly, and it was hard not to return it.
The double doors were loudly banged open, and we startled apart, as if we were two children getting caught by their parents for doing something naughty. I released a long breath I hadn't realized I'd been holding.
What the heck was that?
AN: Yes, I have something wrong with me. It gets weirder. All hate mail from KStew lovers please hit the button below.
Thanks to BoB for making sense of this ridiculousness. Seriously, this thing was a mess. I'd ditch me if I was her but she keeps on goin' on.
Thanks to my supporters at FanficAholics Anon, for always pushing me along and making me smile like a loon. Especially Pups, celesticbliss, QFX, for loving my pre-teasers and of course Feral, who gave me the title for this story.
My Skype buddies, for putting up with my drunken ramblings.
Last, but not least, thank you, my readers. You're awfully supportive of my inability to concentrate on finishing one project before starting another. Mephis/Udo and Vampmama/Readingmama, I hope you're both okay with me using your fics as Bella's movies. If you haven't read the goods these two ladies offer up, then you need to get there quick smart.
Oh! And to Buzzkill for laughing at me.
Okay. Essay over. You can move along now. Next chapter, or review box. See you there.