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20 October 2007 @ 10:55 pm
 
For berrymafia...

Title: First Love
Word count: 1552
Pairing/Character: Charlie/Renee
Warnings: Fluff. And a bit of light cursing.
Author's Note: Hope you enjoy!

The sunshine here is brighter and bolder than he had imagined. Even under the shade of the eaves, the heat of the midday sun beams down upon his forehead, slicking it with sweat. He steps out into the direct path of the sun and as he begins to walk sweat beads congregate on his upper lip and the back of his neck. The streets here are always crowded, but today they're refreshingly vacant. His feet pound upon the pavement, echoing hollowly. Bees flock to the bunch of flowers he carries, but he waves them away.

As he nears her apartment his heart beats erratically and the stems of the flowers slide in his big hands. Suddenly, he trips. The flowers scatter and he hits the ground, forearms stuck out to catch himself. He springs back onto his feet, determined not to make a fool out of himself, but it is she that he tripped over in the first place.

"Renee?" he sputters, cheeks flushing a brilliant scarlet as he scurries to collect the flowers.

"Charlie!" she squeals, sitting up and shifting her sunglasses to her nose to peer over them.

He blinks rapidly, taking in the sight of her. She is something to behold indeed; laid out in the scorching sun on a plastic lawn chair, donning a florescent bathing suit and wide brimmed sun hat. This makes him think of the hat his mother wore for gardening and he grins. She smiles back, wide blue eyes crinkling behind the frames of her sunglasses.

"What were you doing?" he asks her as she fold the lawn chair up, ushering him into her small apartment.

She blinks. "Why sunbathing, of course," she replies, as if it had been obvious.

He watches her as she scrambles about, shoving things into drawers and pushing shoes under the couch. He chuckles to himself as he notices that her skin is every bit as pale as it was when he met her four months ago.

"Why? You always stay the same radiant pale," he laughs.

"'Even though she is pale doesn’t mean the sun can’t love her'," she recites as she drops the flowers in a vase she hand-painted herself.

"Who said that?" he smiles.

"My mother," she reminds him, oblivious to the joke.

x x x

His stomach twists and knots as he thinks of what he's going to say. The box in his front pocket suddenly feels much heavier. He fumbles with the lid and it clamps down on his thumb. She spins around, eyeing the box.

"Will you marry me?" he blurts.

Her eyes bug out and he hardly has time to react before she has fainted.

x x x

They watch from the porch as their two-year-old daughter, Bella, they named her, toddles along the grass. He smiles as she stumbles, crashing forward, but catching herself on small, fleshy arms. She giggles, standing up and continuing toward the shiny red ball that sits not two feet away.

"Daddy!" she shrieks. "Watch me!"

And he watches. Watches as she runs on short, chubby legs. Smiles as her tiny buckled shoe makes contact with the bright rubber of the ball. She over-extends her leg and misses it. Her feet fly out from under her and he rushes for her as she falls square on her back.

But she's okay.

x x x

She sleeps, peacefully, Bella curled up like a kitten in her lap. He lies awake, sleepless, as the storm rages outside. And as it rains, he wishes they could have stayed in Arizona.

"Arizona," he sighs wistfully, quietly so as not to wake his wife and precious child.

But his parents are dying. Wasting and withering away while he lies about in Arizona. He had to come home. And, try as he might to deny it, he loves being home. Especially with Renee and his Bella. He smiles at the sight of them, sleeping through the pounding rain and the rumbling thunder.

A crash of thunder shakes the small, rickety house. Bright white lightning flashes through the open window. She jumps, but Bella stays fast, fast asleep.

"Charlie?" she mumbles sleepily, searching for him in the pitch-dark room.

"Yes, Renee?"

"I'm glad that I decided to marry you after all," she murmurs, drifting back to sleep.

He chuckles softly to himself.

"Me too," he whispers, sleep finally claiming him. "Me too."

xxx

"Char-Charlie!" she shrieks, gripping the sides of the seat.

The car speeds along the road, sputtering a bit as he speeds up.

"Slow down!" she commands. Her knuckles are white, threatening to break through the delicate skin, so he slows.

"Better?" he asks.

"Much," she breathes.

He pouts childishly. This is way too slow for his liking. But, he loves her and if this is what she wants, then he will suck it up and man it out. He sighs. Love or not, this is dull. His foot itches to press down on the gas pedal, knowing that the slightest pressure will send them flying down the highway. He pushes down slowly, watching her face from the corner of his eye to see if she notices. Not yet…

The wind whips past his ears steadily faster as the pedal inches slowly toward the fuzzy carpet of the floor. His foot jerks and he floors it, shouting in exhilaration.

"DAMN IT, CHARLIE!" she screams, groping blindly for his shoulder.

He can't hear her though and he continues on, barreling through two stop signs, three red lights, and one DO NOT ENTER sign.

"We're going to crash, Charlie!"

And they do. They are fine, a little shaken and bruised, but essentially fine. The car, however, is totaled. He holds it a small funeral by the beach. Even his best friend, Billy Black, won't come. It sinks alone.

xxx

Something about her is odd these days. He can't quite put his finger on it and it's troubling. She doesn't smile much anymore and when she does it's small, wistful. Her laughter doesn't remind him of bells anymore; it's just a ghostly chuckle, soft and faint. But she doesn't seem unhappy though, and that's enough to placate him.

"Renee…are you alright?" he asks her one day.

"What? Oh. Yeah, Charlie. I’m fine," she tells him.

But, he's not that dense. And as much as he'd like to believe her, he knows that something is up and she is most definitely not fine. So, he takes her to the beach. She loves it there, and he knows this. He knows how happy it will make her, and he wants it. He wants so badly to see her smile and hear her laugh and feel so very loved again. This will do it, and he knows it.

"Can I take this off now, Charlie?" she whines, motioning to the blindfold her has tied over her eyes.

"Not yet…not yet…okay, now," he says, sitting her down on the checkered blanket her has set out on the sand.

She reaches behind her, untying the cloth quickly, but pulling it away from her eyes slowly, cautiously. Her entire faces lights up as she takes in the picnic he has set up for her. The soft checkered red blanket he has taken from the table out in their backyard, the tiny flower-scented candles he bought fir her birthday two months ago, the worn wicker basket from the closet overflowing with paper plates, napkins, and a thickly frosted cake. Little things that would otherwise go unnoticed, she notices now. He has worked hard and it means the world to her.

Her eyes well up and her voice breaks. "Thank you, Charlie."

"You seemed…unhappy. I wanted to do something for you," he whispers, taking her in his arms.

"I…I’m happy, Charlie," she murmurs, eyes fixated on the lapping, foamy, navy-colored waves.

"That's good," he chuckles.

They lapse into silence, mesmerized by the pulsing currents and the blinding reflection of the copper sun. He starts to doze off, lulled by the swishing waves that slosh up against the tall jagged cliffs and lick at their toes. The gleeful shouts of the La Push children echo around the entire beach. She shifts in his arms.

"Is Bella okay with Billy and Sarah?" she asks, never taking her eyes from the dimming horizon.

"Of course. She always loves playing with Jacob…Rachel and Rebecca like to play dress-up with her too," he assures her.

"Did Sarah help you with that cake?" she asks, smiling. She knows full well that he can't cook worth jack.

"Yeah. Actually, she made the whole thing…I just picked up the ingredients," he admits, grinning sheepishly.

"I'm sure it tastes just as good," she says, rubbing his arm.

"Probably better," he laughs.

It becomes abruptly silent again. His laugh hangs suspended in the air, awkward. The sun has almost completely disappeared from view and a dusky light washes over them, bathing their bodies and pale faces in stony gray moonlight. She begins to nod off, chin slumping to her chest. He chuckles softly, watching her sleeping form and enjoying the rhythmic rises and falls of her chest as she breathes.

That feeling is back, he notices. That warm, amazingly pure and good feeling. That feeling you get when you are so spectacularly loved.

"Renee?" he whispers, knowing she can't hear, "I love you."
 
 
 
BerryMafiaberrymafia on October 25th, 2007 03:32 am (UTC)
Thanks for the story! It was nice