[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]
Edward: Even the strongest of us fall off the wagon, don’t we?
Bella: I wouldn't know. That would require me to: a) know the strongest of us, b) know that they had an addiction, c) note them falling off the wagon, d) put all of that together into a pithy saying, e) see no difference between that and murder. I mean- *doing Arlo Guthrie impression* I mean- I MEAN *beat* when most people fall off the wagon it doesn't result in someone else's death.
Bella: Usually it just results in a logically impossible space ship not being flagged down with a towel. Or something like that.
Edward: Why must you always go off script?
Bella: Because the alternative would be to say something that acknowledged that you might be classed amoungst "the best of us" and I do not hold to that.
Edward: But you're supposed to.
Bella: Do you always do what you're supposed to do?
Bella: So I shouldn't have to fear you killing me, right? Because you're not supposed to do that.
Edward: No, you should have that possibility in mind because the book says it's there and the book is what you're supposed to do.
Bella: So the book trumps common sense and morality in terms of "supposed to"?
Bella: I call bullshit.
Edward: You would.
Bella: What you're supposed to do does not include murder so if you always do what you're supposed to I have nothing to fear.
Edward: What I'm supposed to do, as a character, is follow the narrative.
Bella: Always hiding behind the moral shield of, "The narrative says this," or, "The narrative says that," never taking responsibility for your actions.
Edward: Can we get on with it?
Bella: I suppose. Where were we?
Edward: The concept of me eating you.
Bella: Ah, yes. *flatly* Are you asking my permission? *melodramatically* I mean is there no hope then?! *pause* How was that?
Bella: So you agree with me that the script sucks.
Edward: No. Just your delivery.
Bella: I can't take it seriously, and the fault for that rests with the writer.
Edward: What was that you said about responsibility?
Bella: What was that you said about your brothers being murders and then completely glossed over by making it sound like they went down to the pub and had a shot of tequila thus completely erasing the people whose deaths they caused from discussion by means of analogy and a cliched turn of phrase?
Edward: That was in the script.
Bella: Which was by the writer.
Bella: So if I accept your claim that the script must be followed the fault lies with whom?
Edward: Can we just-
Bella: Sure. Has all the hope been sucked from the world by your statement that even the best fall off the wagon?
Edward: No, no! Of course there’s hope! I mean, of course I won’t . . .
Bella: You see how strange and out of place that sounds at this point?
Edward: I wasn't finished yet.
Bella: You'd just stopped talking.
Edward: Could you not feel my eyes burning into yours?
Bella: Did you know that I once had tea with Medusa's surviving sisters? *beat* She was one of triplets you know, the only mortal one. So when someone wanted a gorgon head they had to go after her.
Edward: *ignoring the fact the conversation has gone off track* It’s different for us.
Bella: Because we're main characters?
Edward: Yes- no! You're not supposed to know that. You're way too meta. It's different for us because... Emmett . . . these were strangers he happened across. It was a long time ago, and he wasn’t as . . . practiced, as careful, as he is now.
*silence filled with Edward watching Bella intently*
Bella: I'm about to stick to the script. Word for word. Ellipsis for ellipsis. I'm going to do it without sarcasm or playing around. Does that make you happy?
Bella: So if we’d met . . . oh, in a dark alley or something . . .
Edward: It took everything I had not to jump up in the middle of that class full of children and —
*Edward stops and looks away*
Bella: You are aware that I'm the same age as those "children", right, old man?
Edward resumed not having heard: When you walked past me, I could have ruined everything Carlisle has built for us, right then and there.
Bella: It's so nice to know that what Carlisle has built for you ranks above my life or death on your list of priorities.
Edward: *ignoring Bella's comment* If I hadn’t been denying my thirst for the last, well, too many years-
Bella: Hang on. How can a streak of not killing people possibly be considered "too many years"? If I live a thousand years without a single murder to my name that won't be too many years without a murder. Ditto for a million. Or a hundred million. *beat* Are there vampire dinosaurs?
Edward: Can I finish?
Bella: I'm just imagining a velociraptor, rock hard features, brilliant white plumage, deciding it doesn't give a damn about the masquerade and strolling through Time Square.
Edward: Can I Finish?
Bella: *dismissively, still thinking about vampire dinosaurs* Sure. You can even restart if you want.
Edward: If I hadn’t been denying my thirst for the last, well, too many years, I wouldn’t have been able to stop myself.
*Edward scowls at trees*
Bella: What did the trees ever do to you?
Edward: It's in the book for fuck's sake. I didn't write it.
Bella: Then why follow it?
Edward: Because we're characters. People should know their places and my place is-
Bella: To be an asshole.
Edward: To do what the book says I do.
Bella: Then do it, and hurry up. I'm getting bored.
*pause while Edward takes an unnecessary breath and tries to get in the right frame of mind*
*Edward glances at Bella dimly and they both recall their first meeting lo those many pages ago*
Edward: You must have thought I was possessed.
Bella: That was one of the more charitable interpretations, yes.
Edward: To me, it was like you were some kind of demon, summoned straight from my own personal hell to ruin me.
Bella: Who says I'm not?
Edward: The fragrance coming off your skin . . . I thought it would make me deranged that first day.
Bella: Most people can control themselves regardless of the particles entering their nasal passages.
Edward: In that one hour, I thought of a hundred different ways to lure you from the room with me, to get you alone.
Bella: Only a hundred?
Edward: And I fought them each back, thinking of my family, what I could do to them.
Bella: Once more the life of the murder victim doesn't enter into your consideration of whether or not to commit murder.
Edward: I had to run out, to get away before I could speak the words that would make you follow. . . .
*Edward pauses to scorch Bella with his eyes*
Bella: I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Some of them had more impressive eyes than anything you will ever be able to muster.
*Edward continues to attempt the smolder*
Edward: You would have come.
Bella: No, I wouldn't.
Edward: Yes, you would.
Edward: You totally would have-
Bella: Let's review the facts here for a moment. One: you were clearly aggressive, maintaining a threatening posture for a full fucking hour. Two: supernatural romance with aspirations, however flat they may have fallen, to romance thriller as evidenced by the prologue. Sorry, the preface. Three: your obviously inhuman form. Four: the fact that you match the profile of evil supernatural thing for the real love interest to save me from much more than that of real love interest. Five: in that hour you only came up with one hundred ways to lure me out while I came up with many times that many ways of getting away from you, labeled them with numbers (in four bases) and letters (in three alphabets) broke them down by type, and subclassified them on a scale of where they would leave you ranging from "At large in the community," to, "Chopped into little pieces each of them drenched in silver nitrate, UV emitting fluids, essence of garlic, and so forth, locked in separate lead lined boxes, surrounded by symbols of every religion practiced in the last five thousand years, and then dropped into separate concrete foundations spread out over an area with a radius of approximately 200 miles."
Bella: At this point you're just pathetic, but at that first meeting you were downright scary.
Bella: Plus an hour is a long time to think.
Edward: *somewhat shaky at the start, but gaining force throughout* And then, as I tried to rearrange my schedule in a pointless attempt to avoid you, you were there — in that close, warm little room, the scent was maddening.
Bella: Still blaming my BO for your murderous urges.
Edward: I so very nearly took you then.
Bella: That's comforting. Fortunately I had exit strategies.
Edward: There was only one other frail human there — so easily dealt with.
Bella: She has a name, you know.
Bella: The person whose death you were nearly responsible for just because you wanted to get to succulent me, she has a name. Ms. Cope. Maybe if you focused less on your own murderous desires and inclinations and more on the people you'd be hurting to fulfill them you'd find it easier to resist.
Bella: If all that was holding you back was being worried about ruining the life Carlisle built for you that means you were overlooking a critical factor: if you gave into your urges people would die. Focus on the people. Bring them into your fucking heart if you have one.
Bella: Think about their lives and relations and hopes and dreams and pains and fears. Think about how much they matter. People much older than you who have traveled much more widely than you have yet to meet someone who isn't important.
Bella: Each person is important, and end in themselves, not a means by which you can get the fun smelling blood. Maybe if you focused on that you'd have an easier time staying on the "not-murdering wagon".
Bella: Failing that, you could always remind yourself that some things smell great but taste horrible.