Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

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Midnight Sun commentary, chapters 7-12

... with bonus Twilight recappage here and there. This is, after all, the kind of quality service you have come to expect from Cleolinda Industries. Even if we're not very punctual.

(Hey, guess whose computer crashed yesterday and ate three chapters of recap? ARRRRRRGH.)

To catch up: the first half of the recap is here; the free PDF download is here; a list of other Twilight recaps I've done is here.

New icons! New "Growing Up Cullen" icons from inthe_redshirt ("Even the monkeys leave after that" is still my favorite line from this one); icons of the first half of the recap from bisty_icons; from k_maedae, Outrageous Flavor feat. Furious Kitten, Summer '09! (Do feel free to make your own, seriously.)

ETA: Moar recap icons from bisty_icons; icons by paintanelephant; icons from diddakoi; from laughingacademy: gaze upon the fabulousity of mspaint_lolz.


(Again, you know how it works: all chapter titles are real; indented blockquotes and bolded phrases are really from the text... just so you know what I am or am not making up. )

Okay, so: I get a little tangled up in what's going on here, because it involves a good bit of tabbing back and forth between PDF files, but let's do some Twilight-Midnight Sun comparing:

Twilight, Chapter 6: "Scary Stories"

Back over in Twilight, Bella goes to the beach on the La Push reservation with a bunch of kids from school (it's still cold as hell so they basically sit around driftwood campfires and hike through damp woods a lot, but it is sunny, which is Plot Important for sparklepires), and she ends up running into Jacob Black (Quileute elder Billy Black is a good friend of her father's), who has not yet come down with a fever of a hundred and werewolf. He tells her old legends about how Edward's family is actually the "Cold Ones" (do you think it's a coincidence that "Cold Ones" sounds a little like "Cullens"?) who hunt animals instead of people and stay on their side of the forest and never ever go to the beach at La Push (sadface), according to an ancient truce with the Quileutes. But, you know, they're just dumb superstitions or whatever and Jacob doesn't really believe them. Actually, Bella flirts the story out of him, which is (intentionally) hilarious, as there's so much "alluring" and "smoldering" and "fluttering" that even Bella thinks she's laid it on too thick. Also, that girl Lauren is still a bitch. (Grrrrr, I say to you on behalf of all of us Laurens, GRRRRRR.)

Twilight, Chapter 7: "Nightmare"

So Bella goes home and blasts a Linkin Park CD all night and has nightmares about Jacobwolf and Edwardvamp fighting, even though she technically doesn't find out that Jacob's a werewolf until the second book (shit, Jacob doesn't find out until the second book). Then she gets up the next morning and Googles "vampire" (and gets "" or whatever), and comes up with fuck-all having to do with the Cullens Cold Ones, so it's time for a nice angsty think in the dark wet woods behind Charlie's house. And she decides, quite sensibly (given Edward's superheroics with the death van, and that's just for starters) that something is going on, even if she can't specifically map it to anything on And I will give Bella some credit: she doesn't waffle the way Edward does. She sits down, she weighs her options for a couple of minutes, and then she goes, "You know what? I am absolutely out of my fool goddamn mind, and I am going to own that shit. Self-destructive vampire love it is!"

And then there is a totally random line in Twilight about how Bella opens the window the next morning, "surprised when it opened silently, without sticking, not having opened it in who knows how many years." BECAUSE EDWARD OILED IT IN THIS BOOK, YOU GUYS. D:

So then she goes to school on Monday and Mike Newton asks her out to dinner and she tells him to ask Jessica instead and a lightbulb goes off over Mike's head so he does and Jessica wanted to go shopping in Port Angeles with Angela and Bella so they move their plans to the next night and JESSICA/MIKE WHATEVER WHATEVER WHATEVER. Seriously, I DON'T CARE, WE ARE WASTING PRIME BELLA PINE TIME:
As was my routine, I glanced first toward the Cullens' table. A shiver of panic trembled in my stomach as I realized it was empty. With dwindling hope, my eyes scoured the rest of the cafeteria, hoping to find him alone, waiting for me. The place was nearly filled--Spanish had made us late--but there was no sign of Edward or any of his family. Desolation hit me with crippling strength.
Oh noes! Where could Edward be? Let us read Austen in the backyard and sulk upon this.

Midnight Sun, Chapter 7: "Melody"

Okay, let's rewind to the previous Thursday or whenever, with Edward wallowing in his Bella-scented car after he took her home from "Blood Typing": "I had no idea if Bella was attracted to me." I'm going to move past my initial reaction of "BUUUULLSHIIIIIT" to note that what Edward does not know is that Bella is going to spend several hundred pages of this series trying to hit that like the fist of an angry god, culminating in a delightful scene in Breaking Dawn where Bella literally rips Edward's clothes off. God bless.
What if it had been Bella [rather than THAT HOOR Jessica] imagining me with my arms wrapped around her fragile body? Feeling me pull her tightly against my chest and then cupping my hand under her chin? Brushing the heavy curtain of her hair back from her blushing face? Tracing the shape of her full lips with my fingertips? Leaning my face closer to hers, where I could feel the heat of her breath on my mouth? Moving closer still....

Are we sure that this is what Jessica was imagining? Because I think of Jessica's fantasies as having more of a Skinemax aesthetic, really. Anyway, Edward "ache[s] to be a normal man." In his pants. Blah blah wanted to be a soldier in the Great War, blah blah real mother wouldn't let him, blah blah never felt anything but a mother's love before (really? seriously? he was seventeen when he died and he never--? not even thought--? even at night--? really--?), blah blah UNEXPECTED EMMETT IS UNEXPECTED, SUCKAAAAA!

(Do you know how hard it is to sneak up on someone who can hear your thoughts a mile away?)

So Edward drives Emmett and Alice home and we get a little slice of life Chez Sparklepire wherein "Growing Up Cullen" totally becomes canon, if it wasn't already: "They wouldn't let me play; only Alice would play games with me anymore." Yes, well, after that tantrum you threw over the Scrabble game, EDWARD, I imagine not. So Emmett and Jasper play chess on eight boards (oh, WHATEVER, Emmett wouldn't even make it through a game of checkers), and Alice is helping Jasper cheat from across the room while she designs clothes for Rosalie, who is sulking on the couch channel-surfing, and Esme is upstairs lovingly working on blueprints for some building project. Maybe a cottage or something. I don't know where Carlisle is, but he's probably off being compassionate somewhere. And Edward sits down at his piano to compose for the first time in ages because O, the light that Bella has brought into his life, and Esme is overjoyed that he has finally found love after a hundred years of empty solitude, and Rosalie is like, FUCK YOU, EDWARD, I HATE YOU FOR NOT WANTING ME. I MEAN, NOT THAT I EVER WANTED YOU, BUT FUCK YOU. Rosalie... Rosalie has issues. I mean, she's thinking this silently, but guess who the only person in the house who can read minds is? Yeah. Awkward. Well, for Rosalie; Edward's laughing his ass off. So she storms off, but of course, Edward is too chivalrous to tell anyone else why he's laughing at her vain pain. And then Esme and Alice sit down on the bench with Edward while he finishes Bella's Lullaby, which apparently we will hear in some form in the movie, although I've lost track of who's supposed to be composing it now.

And then Edward finds out that Peter and Charlotte (hey! You remember Peter and Charlotte? They didn't really do anything, but... you remember them, right?) are coming to visit and he is Deeply Chagrined because they are not animal-snacking "vegetarians" like the Cullens and Alice is like CHILL YOUR ASS, I PSYCHICALLY SEE THAT THEY ARE NOT GOING TO EAT BELLA, GOD.

And then pretty much the most awesome thing ever happens as Emmett and Edward go off on their hunting trip and Emmett fights a bear.

"Hasn't anyone ever told you not to play with your food?" I called to Emmett.

"Oh, hey Edward!" he shouted back, grinning and waving at me. The bear took advantage of his distraction to rake its heavy paw across Emmett's chest. The sharp claws shredded through his shirt and squealed across his [marble-like] skin.

The bear bellowed at the high-pitched noise.

Aw, hell, Rose gave me this shirt!
So then Emmett and Edward have a manpire-to-manpire talk about how pure Edward's love for Bella is and how fragile she is, "like silk over glass," and how outrageous her flavor, and how easily she could fall over and die, and Emmett's like, "So... you can't ever fuck her then? Man, that sucks."

So they go home and Edward flails over to Casa de Swan to make sure Bella hasn't been struck by lightning or a speeding train or a falling jet engine--this is now the night before JESSICA/MIKE WHATEVER, keep in mind.
Bella was sleeping peacefully when I climbed up to her bedroom window early Monday morning. I'd remembered oil this time, and the window now moved silently out of my way.

So anyway, he sits and obsesses over the "thirst fire rak[ing his] throat" and the scrapes on her hands (WHERE DID SHE GET THEM THE MONSTER MUST KNOWWWW!!!!1) and the titles of the books on her shelves (which it would be unchivalrous to read) and the softness of her lips and the not-belonging-to-himness of her, and he's going to stalk her all the way to school but then he smells her scent out in the dark wet woods (see "Nightmare," above) and starts freaking out because PETER AND CHARLOTTE COULD HAVE EATEN HER! PETER AND CHARLOTTE COULD HAVE EATEN HER!! SOMEONE! MUST! PROTECT! HERRRRRR!!!
I suddenly found myself wishing that Peter and Charlotte would make an extended stay.

Chapter 8: "Ghost"

So Edward goes around stalking Bella as best he can on Monday because it's sunny and the sparklepires can't go to school, and he watches Mike ask Bella out to dinner (see JESSICA/MIKE WHATEVER, "Nightmare," above), and
I accidentally uprooted the young spruce tree my hand was resting on when he pinched a strand of her hair between his fingers.
GOD, EDWARD, GET A GRIP. I MEAN, ON SOMETHING STURDIER. Anyway, Mike is just as happy going out with THAT HOOR JESSICA, much to Edward's disgust, and Edward starts "plan[ning his] own surveillance" for the Port Angeles trip and then he follows Bella home, you know, just to make sure that Peter and Charlotte don't mistake her for an hors d'oeuvre.

So we're back to the part in "Nightmare" where Bella is fussing over how Edward didn't come to school and half the heroes in Jane Austen have Ed names, and she falls asleep on her blanket in the backyard. You know, one of the scenes which Edward was not present for and never knew what happened in. OH WAIT:
Silently, I climbed into the higher branches of the closest tree overlooking the yard. ...

I read over her shoulder. Ah--more classics. She was an Austen fan. ...

She lay very still, moving just once to yank her hair away from her face. It fanned out over her head, a river of chestnut. And then she was motionless again.

Her breathing slowed. After several long minutes her lips because to tremble. Mumbling in her sleep....

There was no one close by. I jumped to the ground, landing silently on my toes. ...

But I couldn't ignore the rainbow sparkles that reflected onto her skin when I got closer. My jaw locked at the sight. Could I be any more of a freak? I imagined her terror if she opened her eyes now...

It's like, suspense! thriller thriller thriller omg so creepy ~*SPARRRRRKLES*~. Not to mention the fact that you can now go back and read this scene in Twilight knowing that HE WAS THERE THE WHOLE TIME. I can't decide if it's horrible or hilarious. Hilarrible, maybe. So she wakes up and he hides again and watches approvingly as she makes dinner for her father, because Bella is such a selfless caretaker omg.

And then I left, knowing I would return when she was asleep.

So he goes home, because it would be unchivalrous and Mike Newtonesque to watch her undress, and Emmett's left a note all like COME ON BRO WE'RE GONNA PLAY VAMPIRE FOOTBALL and Edward writes back NO I MUST RETURN TO WATCH FAIR BELLA SLUMBER IN HOPES THAT SHE PERCHANCE MIGHT MOAN MY NAME AGAIN, and the next day, Emmett grumps at him, You're pathetic. I can't believe you missed the game last night just to watch somebody sleep. HA!

And then Peter and Charlotte leave--yes, they have been staying with the Cullens the whole time. That's how polite a host Edward is, ignoring them completely--and he hears them thinking in tandem, "That boy ain't right." Sing it, random vampire people! Sing it loud.

Chapter 9: "Port Angeles"

Guilty confession: I also kind of love this chapter as well. Again, both versions. *hangs head*

So Edward's cruising Port Angeles on his own personal bodyguard mission while the girls shop for dresses for the dance that Bella's not going to, because she's just so selfless that she wanted to help them out grumbling all the way, and he's getting super bored monitoring Jessica's snitty thoughts, and it would be unchivalrous even to listen to Angela's while she's changing, so he starts musing over how Bella is kitten-furious that Tyler's telling everyone he'll take her to prom, and maybe he should call Alice and tell her to meet him at the restaurant where Bella and the girls will be having dinner so he'll have a reason to just to happen to wander by their table even though neither he nor Alice eat food and Alice will probably blow their cover all like "Hi Bella! I love you! He does too! Let's go play dress-up!" because Alice, she is so awesome silly, and HOSHIT WHERE DID BELLA GO? Way to guard her body, Sparkles. So he's searching people's minds looking for her, ducking through the shadows trying not to glitter in public (he's saving that for his suicide attempt in New Moon), trawling the streets of Port Angeles in the Silver Stalkmobile desperately searching for his lady fair when he realizes that the one serial killer-rapist in the entire Olympic Peninsula ("Lonnie") is HEADED RIGHT FOR HER.
"NO!" I roared, and a volley of snarls erupted from my throat.... The sound of my growls shook the frame of the car, but did not distract me.
So Edward swoops in with The Volvo of Great Justice--well, let's get it from Bella's perspective in Twilight:
Headlights suddenly flew around the corner, the car almost hitting the stocky one [Lonnie], forcing him to jump back toward the sidewalk. I dove into the road--this car was going to stop, or have to hit me. But the silver car unexpectedly fishtailed around, skidding to a stop with the passenger door open just a few feet from me.

"Get in," a furious voice commanded.

It was amazing how instantaneously the choking fear vanished, amazing how suddenly the feeling of security washed over me--even before I was off the street--as soon as I heard his voice. I jumped into the seat, slamming the door shut behind me.
Edward is so very, very beyond a paltry CHIVALRY SMASH at this point; he is in full-on PEEL THAT BITCH LIKE AN ORANGE rage, AN ORAAAAANGE! RAAAAAGE!, and Bella's like, "Are you okay?," and he's like, "NO I AM NOT OKAY I AM RADIATING RIGHTEOUS VENGEANCE AND ALSO PUT ON YOUR SEAT BELT!--wait, am I okay? You just escaped the one serial killer-rapist in the Olympic Peninsula and you want to know if I'm okay?" Yup:
[Bella/Twilight:] I stared at his face in profound relief, relief that went beyond my sudden deliverance. I studied his flawless features in the limited light, waiting for my breath to return to normal, until it occurred to me that his expression was murderously angry.
This is, by the way, mention #386 of how angel god Adonis-like Edward is in that book. So is he okay? No, he is still not okay. Babble about your foolish boy troubles and your "tiger-kitten outrage," Bella! Your impotent fantasies of smearing Death-Van Tyler across the pavement distract him from his VAMPIRE GLITTER VENGEANCE RAGE, RAAAAAAGE!

And even in the middle of this, he has time to emo, "Bella deserved better than a killer. ... Her breath filled my nose, and I was reminded why I could not deserve her. After all of this, even with as much as I loved her... she still made my mouth water." Mmm, kinky.

So after some more angstastic waffling from Edward ("Run, Bella, run. Stay, Bella, stay"), they run into Jessica and Angela again in front of La Bella Italia. The girls have, by the way, already eaten without her in the fifteen minutes it took Bella to get lost and nearly assaulted and/or killed. They are also stunned to see her show up with Edward Hotass Cullen, who informs them that, as Keeper of the Bella, he will be taking her to dinner and driving her home himself kthnx, and he is, in turn, shocked when Bella winks at them (that little minx!) to signal that they need to GTFO, SRSLY, and Jessica's all like BY GOD YOU WILL GIVE ME THE DEETS WHEN YOU GET HOME while sympathetic Angela drags Jessica off by, like, her hair.

The thing that's really funny here is that in Twilight, the hostess and the waitress are obviously digging on Edward, and Bella is surprised but pleased when he has eyes only for her. In Midnight Sun, since we get Edward's mind-reading POV, we discover that the hostess is, additionally, kind of a snot (Edward is irritated that she cannot "see the soft perfection of the girl beside [him]," which is hilarious when you think back to the first chapter where he was like GAH, BORING NEW GIRL, INTRUDING ON MY FOODLESS HELL), and that the waitress FLINGS HERSELF AT HIM. For real, she even puts a card with her name and number in the folder with the check while giving him the glad eye right in front of Bella ("I wanted to roll my eyes at some of the offerings she'd had in mind"). Classy.

Also, we get the immortal Dazzle Exchange, which I will present to you in stereo (Bella/Twilight in purple, Edward/Midnight Sun in red) for the ultimate in recap satisfaction:
"You really shouldn't do that to people," I criticized. "It's hardly fair."

"Do what?"

"Dazzle them like that--[the hostess is] probably hyperventilating in the kitchen right now."

He seemed confused.

"Oh, come on," I said dubiously. "You have to know the effect you have on people."

He tilted his head to one side, and his eyes were curious. "I dazzle people?"
That was an interesting way of phrasing it. Accurate enough for tonight. I wondered why the difference...

"You haven't noticed? Do you think everybody gets their way so easily?"

He ignored my questions. "Do I dazzle you?"
I voiced my curiosity impulsively, and then the words were out, and it was too late to recall them.

But before I had time to too deeply regret speaking the words aloud she answered, "Frequently." And her cheeks took on a faint pink glow.

I dazzled her.

My silent heart swelled with a hope more intense than I could ever remember having felt before.
And then the waitress comes in and cockblocks him. Anyway, this goes on forever and I love it, so let me try to fly here: Edward starts forcing Cokes and ravioli and beige leather jackets on Bella because he's afraid she's going to go into shock (he knows this because of his medical learnings), and if the Lonnie incident didn't send her, the imminent Conversation of Vampire Revelation will. (Did you know, by the way, that you actually can get mushroom ravioli at La Bella Italia now?) So they start bargaining over who will ask whom what first, and--you know, I'm still not sure exactly when or how or where Bella figured out that Edward could read minds; when I was scanning the chapter, I noticed she said that, among other vampirish qualities that Edward had, he seemed to know what everyone was thinking... but her. But I can't figure out when she first noticed this. Anyway, Bella goes on the offensive, asking, "If hypothetically someone could read minds, how could they hypothetically find someone right when they were in danger omg I want to touch your cold stone hands" and Edward is like, "God, only you could go from zero to deep shit that fast omg I want to touch your lips, I want to turn your frown upside down" * and she's like "HEY, SHUT UP. JUST FOR THAT I'M GOING TO TOUCH YOU WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT":
She brushed her fingertips lightly across the back of my hand. The heat of her gentle, willing touch was like nothing I'd ever felt before. It was almost pure pleasure.
It's like porn for the preteen set, y'all. So Edward basically rolls over and spills his guts as fast as he can talk: he was following her through her friends' thoughts because he was afraid that, like, an earthquake was going to swallow her up or a condor was going to swoop down and carry her off but it turns out he kind of sucked at it, and so then he tore through Port Angeles and just managed to find her before she got Lonnied ARRRRGH RAGE KILL EMO MONSTER GUILT *sob*--NO, YOU MINIMUM-WAGE HOOR, I DON'T WANT YOUR PHONE NUMBER! So they leave the restaurant before Edward has a total avenging-angel glitter-rage meltdown and there's another half-and-half moment where Edward can't figure out what Bella's thinking over here in Midnight Sun, and in Twilight we see that what she's actually thinking is, "Jessica said that she and Mike would be at the first-kiss stage soon. *sigh of despair* God, I'm glad Edward can't tell what I'm thinking." Heh.

Chapter 9: "Theory"

Okay, so now it's Edward's turn to ask questions in The Vampire Volvo of Vengeance, and he wants to know Bella's latest What the Hell Your Deal Might Actually Be theory, and she's like, "Well, so... I was flirting with some Quileutes this weekend...," and Edward's like, FUCK. Or whatever the chivalrous equivalent of "fuck" is. FUDGE, maybe. (Interesting side note: he finds Bella's admission that she dazzled the story out of Jacob to be amusing, even adorable. So it's deeply ironic that the stalker rage-o-matic isn't tripped by this little revelation at all, given that Edward and Jacob are going to spend most of Eclipse fighting over Bella.) And there's a conversational detour where he says that maybe the reason he can't hear her thoughts is because it might be that she has a vampire mind shield of BELLA SMASH her thoughts are metaphorically on a different wavelength than everyone else's, and Bella's like, "SO WHAT, I'M A FREAK? JUST FOR THAT I'M GONNA TOUCH YOU A LOT NOW," but before she can initiate Edward-groping she starts freaking out because he is driving, as all the Cullens drive (although usually in much hotter cars), at like 150 miles an hour, blah blah you're going to get us or at least me killed, blah blah you're really bad at this protecting thing, blah blah grumble eighty miles an hour blee. SO ANYWAY, Bella tells him that she Googled vampires and he's playing it all cool, like, "So, how did that work out for you?" and she's like, "Well, I decided it didn't matter."
[Edward/Midnight Sun:] "No," she said in a low voice that was inexplicably tender. "It doesn't matter to me what you are."

[Bella/Twilight:] He was silent, staring straight ahead again. His face was bleak and cold.

Edward's "bleak and cold" reaction in his own head can perhaps best be translated as BITCH, ARE YOU FOR REAL?
I supposed that I could arrange for her to receive the best care available... Carlisle would have the connections to find her the most skilled doctors, the most talented therapists. Perhaps something could be done to fix whatever it was that was wrong with her, whatever it was that made her content to sit beside a vampire with her heart beating calmly. I would watch over the facility, naturally, and visit as often as I was allowed...
Oh, Edward. Only you would seek out the best healthcare plan for stalking.

So they talk about which vampire myths apply to sparklepires (short version: NONE OF THEM), and Bella's like, well, if the sun doesn't crisp you out then why weren't you in school, WHY WEREN'T YOU IN SCHOOL, HUH? I CAN'T STALK MYSELF, YOU KNOW, YOU GOTTA KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE HERE, and Edward realizes that the whole thing has gone too far, woe, Bella is kinda freaky too attached to him already! Bella, you must not care for me! I will so care for you, Edward, and you can't stop me, I DO WHAT I WANT! Edward then throws "Run, Bella, Run! (The Stay, Bella, Stay! Remix)" on the turntable. Bella sobs (Twilight: "traitor tears were there, betraying me"), and Edward berates himself for his cadliness. Quick, Sparkles, change the subject!
"What were you thinking tonight, just before I came around the corner? .... You looked like you were concentrating very hard on something."

"I was trying to remember how to incapacitate an attacker," she said, her voice more composed, "You know, self-defense. I was going to smash his nose into his brain."
You know, I gotta stand up for Bella here right after I'm done laughing. She has a bad reputation for being completely passive and helpless, and I have to say, that's not always backed up by the text. She runs off to sacrifice herself for the Cullens' sake at the end of Twilight, she punches Jacob in Eclipse, she tries to fight at the end of that one as well, she spends the entire series trying to jump Edward and is, I would argue, the real aggressor in their relationship (once they're officially together, I mean). In fact, if she were completely passive, we wouldn't have half the fuckwittery of her running back and forth between Jacob and Edward in the third book. So it's not that Bella's completely "helpless" or "submissive"; it's that she goes out of her way to make really bad choices and tends to derive her entire self-worth from being with Edward. And while Edward is weirdly pushy and stalkery, particularly in this first double installment of the story, he spends a lot of time later in the books meebling that he just wants her to be happy, he will just run off to South America and pine away for her own good or let her have "puppies" with Jacob (!) or whatever she wants, and he will just be in a self-hating swoon over here on the fainting couch awaiting her decision. I don't know. It's a really fine distinction, and sometimes she really is passive (she does let Edward in right after he disables her truck; she does wait for Jacob to stop kissing her rather than immediately raise holy hell), but I feel like we also need to look at all the times where she does stand up for herself, fight for herself, and/or make her own, proactive, deeply stupid decisions. Give her credit and don't let her off the hook, is what I'm saying.

ANYWAY. They get to Bella's house and he promises to see her at school the next day, telling himself that he's got to protect her from her own dumbass bad luck. Then he convinces her to stay out of the Peter and Charlotte-ridden woods, stunning her with his +3 Predator Sexybreath.
"I'll see you tomorrow," I said, knowing that I would see her much sooner than that. She wouldn't see me until tomorrow, though.

Also, he still has her Snapple cap in his pocket, because Edward Cullen is a thirteen-year-old girl.

Chapter... something

I'm a little confused here, because the next chapter is labeled "11. Interrogations," but there's a whole swath on the tail end of "9. Theory" about Edward going to Carlisle and insisting they do something about Lonnie because his next victim might be someone else's Bella, but Edward doesn't think he has the vampirical fortitude to go out there and not floss his teeth with the guy's arteries. So Carlisle Sainted Cullen (I love him, I really do) goes out with Edward to whatever alley where Lonnie is passed out drunk with his rapist buddies and, we find out at the beginning of the next chapter, sedates Lonnie and dumps him over on the Portland police's doorstep. So basically, I'm separating it out as its own chapter, because I said so.

(Can I just stop here and note that the only Hispanic characters in the series are 1) Maria from the Mexican Vampire Wars who dicked over Jasper; 2) Eleazar's mate Carmen, who randomly throws Spanish into her dialogue even though she speaks English perfectly well; and, it would seem, 3) this guy? Alonzo "Lonnie" Calderas Wallace, a serial killer/rapist wanted in two states? I mean--traitorous murderer! Random stereotypical foreign lady! SKEEVY murderer! It just doesn't seem entirely on the level, y'all. Make of it what you will.)
Go, Edward, [Carlisle] told me gently. I'll make the rest of [Lonnie's future victims] safe. You go back to Bella.


So after Lonnie's taken care of, Edward runs all the way back to Bella's house and tiptoes past Charlie, who is dreaming of fishing trips (mmm... trouuuut...), to find a blanket to cover Bella because she looks cold. In her room. Where she's sleeping. COMPLETELY UNAWARE THAT EDWARD IS IN HER HOUSE, I AM JUST SAYING. He goes on some mental monologue about how he had imagined fate as a nasty hag but now he's seeing "the most foolish and reckless of angels" creating Bella for him ("A ridiculously potent scent to demand my attention, a silent mind to enflame my curiosity, a quiet beauty to hold my eyes, a selfless soul to earn my awe"), and then he's like, "God, she has the worst guardian angel ever," and then he realizes that he can be Bella's guardian vampire angel! You know, covering her with blankets and saving her hapless ass from serial killers! And there goes Bella moaning his name over and over in her sleep again. So he allows himself to be a happy little vampire angel, sitting there IN THE ROCKING CHAIR IN THE CORNER OF HER ROOM WHILE SHE DOESN'T KNOW HE'S THERE.

Chapter 11: Interrogations

So Edward shows up at Bella's house unannounced the next morning to drive her to school, and immediately he starts mind-bitching that she's wearing a frumpy green sweater that isn't as sexyhot as the blue v-neck she was wearing at the Dinner Date of Reckoning the night before, and he spirals off into all kinds of unchivalrous thoughts of "her lips... her skin... her body" and how these "hungers had evaded [him] for a hundred years" and how his happiness "had no precedent" and omg you guys, he's in a car sitting next to a girl!

(His excuse for showing up uninvited: she left her jacket in Jessica's car the night before, so he brought his for her to wear. "It was cold. She had no jacket. Surely this was an acceptable form of chivalry." I'm just saying, "chivalry" doesn't look like a word anymore. And I am so not making his obsession with it up. Entire drinking games could be organized around variants of this word as appearing in this book. Also: chivalry.)

And then he remembers making her cry the night before and is torn between joy and pain that she's trying to hide how deep her feelings are for him, etc., etc. Um, hey, where's your family? "Oh, they took Rosalie's cherry-red BMW convertible. You know, because we try to fit in."

So Jessica's all agog when they get to school together and is obviously going to give Bella the third degree so Edward's like, "Have fun! I'LL BE LISTENING," much to Bella's horror, and of course Jessica turns on the interrogation lamp the moment she and Bella are alone in trig. "Did you plan to meet him in Port Angeles? Are you dating in secret? Are you going out again? Do you like him better than Mike? Can I have him when he dumps you? Did you suck face?" and over in Edward's English class,

For a half-second I was distracted by the idea, the impossibility, of what it would be like to try to kiss her. My lips to her lips, cold stone to warm, yielding silk...

And then she dies.
Man, Edward's a buzzkill even in his own fantasies. Anyway, back to trig where Jessica is sweating Bella, who throws in, "Oh, and he drives like a bat out of hell, EDWARD," and Edward laughs out loud in the middle of English on the other side of the school and his teacher is like GOD, YOU ARE SO WEIRD. Finally Jessica is able to get Bella to admit that she likes him -likes him, and Edward all but starts doing a victory lap around his own classroom (USA! USA!) until Bella despairs that she cares for Edward more than he cares for her and he stops cold (USA! USwhat?) and Edward's teacher is like SERIOUSLY, WHAT IS YOUR DEAL? Meanwhile over in trig JESSICA/MIKE WHATEVER, I DON'T CARE, all the way up to lunch where Edward is still sulking over the fact that Bella doesn't understand that his love for her is So Epic and True, maybe because HE FORGOT TO INFORM HER OF THIS FACT. Also, he buys her a ton of food for lunch, which I wouldn't mention except that it results in, hands down, my absolute favorite exchange in the entire series. Let me give it to you from Twilight:
"You're always curious." He grimaced, shaking his head. He glared at me, holding my eyes as he lifted the slice of pizza off the tray, and deliberately bit off a mouthful, chewed quickly, and then swallowed. I watched, eyes wide.

"If someone dared you to eat dirt, you could, couldn't you?" he asked condescendingly.

I wrinkled my nose. "I did once. . . on a dare," I admitted.
Oh, Bella. And now Edward's all cranky because he's going to have to go purge later. Aww. Anyway, now it's Edward's turn to interrogate her about Jessica's interrogation, although he does wander off every now and then to compare "the soft cling of her thin blouse" from the night before to the hiddy sweater she's wearing now (yes, he is STILL going on about that sweater), and all I can think of is "Growing Up Cullen" Edward knitting her a new one. A sexy one. But not too sexy, because that would be unchivalrous. Maybe it would have a furious kitten cat on it like Esme's. And then they argue over who loves whom more and who's prettier ("Her existence alone was excuse enough to justify the creation of the entire world" vs. "all his bewildering perfection") and then he dazzles her some more. Yes, their relationship really does go on like this for three more books. And meanwhile, Rosalie has just realized that Bella knows everything, and she's mentally shrieking at him across the lunchroom (HA) but Edward doesn't care because he's reminiscing about the warm fragile meatiness of Bella's body under his (unf!) while he was saving her from the death van, a thought that is interrupted by Alice future-thinking very urgently at him re: his newly formed plans to take Bella frolicking in the Meadow of Great Sparkle on Saturday:
It's the same place, Alice thought, her mind full of a horror that did not match the vision. Tension, perhaps, but horror? What did she mean, the same place?

And then I saw it.
Alice's previous vision that he would kill Bella, that is.
Edward! Alice protested shrilly. I love her, Edward!

(Sadly, that's also how Alice fell in love with Jasper--because she foresaw that she would. So she started loving him then, because she saw that she would, but she saw that she would because she decided to love him when she saw that she would. It's like she skips the parts in the present where things actually happen. I would be weirded out except that Alice's awesome is too strong. Perhaps I foresaw that she would be awesome in New Moon, so I went ahead and started loving her?)

This has just totally chagrined Edward's dazzle, though. The mood, it is ruined. "Can I drive on Saturday?" "WHATEVER, BELLA, I GUESS YOU CAN." "Can I make sure no one knows I'm with you just in case you lose your shit and chug my scrumptious blood?" "I REALLY THINK THAT WOULD BE A BAD IDEA, BELLA." "Can I watch you hunt?" "JESUS CHRIST NO, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?"

Chapter 12: "Complications"

So Edward is in a foul mood while they walk to biology, trying to focus on Bella instead of "Alice's deceitful, meaningless visions," because ALICE IS A LYING LIAR WHO LIES, LIEEEEEES! And then he and Bella spend all of class (the movie they spend like three weeks watching, if you ever wondered: Lorenzo's Oil) trying not to reach out and shock each other with their electric hot-cold touch, in the dark, at the tempting erotic closeness of their... lab table. Let me note here that we know from the two books that they're both sitting their with their fists clenched (Bella/Twilight: "The overpowering craving to touch him also refused to fade, and I crushed my fists safely against my ribs until my fingers were aching with the effort"), because it is apparently just as hard for Bella not to jump his bones as it is for Edward not to suck the marrow out of hers. Oh, I mean, this is totally in character. I just wanted to point that out.

And then, when he walks her to gym, he finally allows himself to stroke her cheek, his mind spinning out ("A thousand possibilities ran through my mind in an instant--a thousand different ways to touch her. The tip of my finger tracing the shape of her lips. My palm cupping under her chin. Pulling the clip from her hair and letting it spill out across my hand. My arms winding around her waist, holding her against the length of my body") into Victorian porn. And then he runs away. If you listen carefully, you can hear the instrumental "Run, Bella, Run (Stay, Bella, Stay!)" love theme woodling in the background.

And in Spanish Emmett is all like, "Bro, you have got to get some before you asplode."

So Edward distracts himself by doing a good deed for Angela, to pay her back for always thinking kindly in Bella's direction and dragging Jessica off by her hair and basically being way too sweet and cool for any of these people. He's heard in her thoughts that she digs Ben Cheney but she's six inches taller than Ben and so has despaired of ever going out with him, even though Edward knows that Ben also digs Angela, so he sets up a little amateur theatrical for Ben to overhear of him and Emmett being arrogant meatheads, which so stirs Ben's latent chivalry (OH I SEE WHAT YOU DID THAR, SPARKLES) that he makes up his mind to ask Angela out. Aw! And as we know from Eclipse, Ben and Angela end up happily encoupled and going to the same college together. And then, after they come to the wedding at the beginning of Breaking Dawn, we never see them again because Bella Swan doesn't need human friends, are you crazy?

And then Edward feels so virtuous that he decides to treat himself to mind-spying on Bella in gym, where they're playing badminton and she whacks Mike Newton in the arm and herself upside the head. Could it... could it be that Bella is... clumsy? Perhaps she will... always need a guardian vampire angel? YES, THIS SOUNDS GOOD.

Of course, when Bella realizes he saw her making an ass of herself, she gets her kitten-fury on again, so he dazzles her ("Her heartbeat thudded louder than before, and the rhythm was abruptly staccato. Her eyes widened, looking a little stunned") right back into her glad pants. And then they sit in his car outside her house and it gets all erotic up in there again:
The throbbing electricity made it feel like I had a pulse again. My body sang with it. Like I was human. More than anything in the world, I wanted to feel the heat of her lips against mine. For one second, I struggled desperately to find the strength, the control, to be able to put my mouth so close to her skin...
You know what? As Repressed Victorian as Edward's urges in his "forgotten core" are, I would argue that there's actually a very medieval view of sexuality going on here, particularly in light of later books where Bella is constantly trying to seduce him and Edward is always the responsible one slamming on the brakes: the idea that women are, by their nature, temptresses (see: Eve), and that it is the responsibility of a good Christian man to resist them, for they know not what they do. Whereas, of course, in Victorian culture, women are the delicate flowers who must be protected from the male rampaging monster. Which we also have going on. Man, it's like a whole matchy Louis Vuitton set of sexual baggage here.

Anyway, over in Twilight, the electricity of their not-touching carries over into Bella's dreams--
That night Edward starred in my dreams, as usual. However, the climate of my unconsciousness had changed. It thrilled with the same electricity that had charged the afternoon, and I tossed and turned restlessly, waking often. It was only in the early hours of the morning that I finally sank into an exhausted, dreamless sleep.
--which I'm sure Edward will enjoy (if Stephenie Meyer changes her mind and finishes Midnight Sun). From the rocking chair in the corner of Bella's room. WHERE SHE DOESN'T KNOW HE IS. AHHHHHHHHH.

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  • (no subject)

    I don't know why I woke up at 2 am, but I did, and I checked Twitter on my phone in bed and saw it: David Bowie passed away. So basically I'm posting…

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