Bella and Edward tell Charlie the good news. Immediately post-Eclipse. Charlie POV.
1. Chapter 1
Rating 4.5/5 Word Count 1888 Review this Chapter
- a post-Eclipse one shot.
It was almost nine thirty in the evening when Charlie Swan – Chief Swan, if you wanted to get official – started fidgeting. He snuggled deeper into his favorite armchair, flipped through the channels aimlessly, got up to get himself a little snack and then – halfway to the kitchen – changed his mind again and trudged back to his armchair, oh-so-inconspicuously staring at the front door.
The door that was about to open soon and reveal his daughter. His sweet, innocent, stubborn little baby girl. Of course, Charlie thought with an indignant huff and another 'accidental' look at the door, she got all the stubbornness from her mother. There was nothing stubborn about him and of surely there was no –
He froze in mid-movement as the familiar sound of a key turning in the lock reached his ears just as the clock struck nine thirty. Punctual as usual, Charlie observed with a smile. She got that from him.
"Hey, Char- ehm…dad."
Charlie's eyes narrowed. His sweet little darling looked flushed, her cheeks stained red and her eyes gleaming in an enthusiasm that immediately sent his protective-father-instincts into overdrive.
"Bella," he greeted her, panicked thoughts running through his head. This wouldn't have happened if she'd spent more time with Jake and goodness help him, if the Cullen boy had laid only one finger on her Charlie was more than willing to do…unpleasant things to the brat. Speaking of which, Charlie thought while suspiciously eyeing Bella, Cullen looked far too pleased with himself tonight. He looked - as surprising as it may sound – positively giddy, a fact that did nothing to soothe Charlie's fears. In fact, it infuriated him enough to forget all about his good intentions about "giving Edward a chance" and he fixed his daughter's boyfriend with his patented "Don't mess with me, brat or you'll spend the night in a cell"-glare that had full-grown delinquents cower in fear.
Cullen, however, gave him a dazzling one-thousand Watt smile that made Charlie lose his train of thought momentarily. Perhaps the kid really wasn't all that bad after all and –
Bella waved a hand in front of his face while giving Edward a reproachful look for some reason. "Daddy?" She asked again as some sort of unspoken communication seemed to go on between her and Cullen whose smile hadn't wavered one bit (though, on second thought, the smile did grow a tad bit more mischievous).
"Bel-" Charlie cleared his throat. "Bella. You look so happy." He frowned. "What's wrong? Did he drug you?"
For some inexplicable reason Bella smiled and Charlie found his fears confirmed. Yes, definitely drugs. He was going to kill Edward and he was going to do it slowly.
"You've been dazzled," Charlie's baby girl said, her eyes sparkling with amusement and Charlie mentally added that he somehow needed to involve a blunt spoon in the process of killing Edward.
"Don't worry, Char- dad," Bella babbled on, uncharacteristically giggly. "He does that sometimes but it's not intentionally and - guess what? We need to tell you something."
That got his attention. "You're breaking up?" Charlie asked hopefully but Bella didn't even seem to hear it, instead exchanging another look with the Cullen-boy who regarded her with an expression halfway between pure adoration and something distinctly…passionate while Bella, quite predictably, returned Edward's gaze with a smile and a full-blown blush.
And then it clicked. Charlie knew what they wanted to tell him. He just knew.
"I-I need to…" he gasped and stumbled back until he sat back down in his armchair, hiding his face in his hands. He didn't trust his temper if he were to look up and see Edward's pale face (was the kid constantly sick or what was wrong with him?).
Finally, after a tense moment Charlie forced himself to raise his head and meet Bella's smiling eyes, all the while carefully avoiding any eye contact with Cullen. There was, after all, a problem disposing of the body if Charlie were to lose his temper and Dr. Cullen surely wouldn't take too well to learning that his youngest "nephew" had been strangled in a fit of over-protective parental rage. Charlie sighed and was momentarily caught by surprise as Bella took his hands and pressed them, the joy obvious in her face.
"Yes, dad," she beamed and as much as it hurt to admit, Charlie realized that he'd never seen her look happier in her whole life. Not even after she'd been introduced to Mickey Mouse as a four-year old and that had undisputedly been the highlight of her life as far as he was informed.
"Oh, goodness, Bella," he groaned, halfway admitting defeat. After all, there wasn't much he could do about it now. "Why?"
"Because we're in love. And it's just…right."
Charlie shook his head, absentmindedly noticing with a pang of unwelcome gratefulness that Cullen kept a discreet distance and didn't seem too keen to get too close. Apparently the kid did have a sense of self-preservation after all. Charlie pressed his lips together, then nodded slowly. "But you're so young, Bella. You're too young."
"Like you and mom were?"
"Yes, like-" He paused and blinked, then gave her a reproachful look as he simultaneously tuned out the amused snort that came from the dark corner Cullen had retreated to. "It's not like that at all."
Bella raised an eyebrow – a gesture she'd picked up from that abominable boyfriend of hers, Charlie thought and shot Edward a cold look – only to be taken slightly aback from the way the boy's eyes flickered golden in the darkness. Like a predator's eyes, he thought with a shudder. There was something distinctly scary about that boy. Something foreign. Unnatural.
"It not like that," he repeated though he could tell that he wasn't convincing anyone, least of all Bella who seemed to be glowing with joy.
"No, it's not like that," she agreed. "With Edward and me it's going to work. We're aiming for forever," she said, smiling about some kind of inside joke the two of them seemed to share and again, from the corner of his eyes, Charlie noticed Edward's shoulders shaking with barely suppressed laughter. Like he knew something they didn't in that dark corner of his. Charlie instinctively shuddered and once again wished that Bella had fallen for the normal boy – namely Jacob and suddenly, as if the shock that gripped him for the past minutes since this life-altering revelation suddenly wore off Charlie felt a wave of anger wash over him. His eyes narrowed and with a sudden movement he was out of his chair and in front of Edward who hadn't moved at all. Almost as if he didn't care. As if he wasn't afraid of what an irate father could do.
"You-" Charlie snarled, incensed by the slightly amused look in Edward's cold eyes. "How dare you? How dare you touch my daughter?"
A fleeting look of guilt passed over Edward's face and before Charlie realized what happened Bella was at his side, tugging at his arm in an attempt to protect Cullen.
"Charlie," she interrupted him, too upset to remind herself to call him 'dad. "He didn't touch me. Goodness knows I wanted him to, but he didn't. I swear."
Charlie almost growled, his eyes fixed on Edward's with a look of pure loathing. "Really? How did he get you pregnant, then?"
And then, to his utter surprise, Edward Cullen – the boy with unrivalled self-control – started laughing hysterically, soon to be joined by Bella who quickly needed to sit down as tears of mirth rolled down her face.
"Preg-" She hiccupped, "Pregnant? Dad, I assure you I'm not pregnant."
Charlie frowned again, anger giving way to confusion. "But…what else were you talking about if not a baby?"
Obviously not trusting herself to speak Bella wordlessly held out her hand and with a feeling as if the floor had just vanished from beneath his feet Charlie understood. For real, this time as he looked at the doubtlessly expensive piece of jewelry.
"Oh," he said eloquently, sinking down to the floor next his daughter as Edward, regaining a bit of his composure, retreated to give them some privacy.
"And again," Bella smiled, "Yes, dad. I'm getting married. This is my happy ending."
Charlie took a deep, shaky breath, absentmindedly noticing that his hands trembled. She was about to get married. Bella was getting married. Bella was getting married.
Biting his bottom lip Charlie looked at her, taking in her elated expression and – though he hated to admit it – the tender looks Bella and Edward exchanged when they thought no one was watching (and sometimes even if they knew people were watching) and he saw that this, indeed, was her happy ending. That this meant that Edward was never going to leave her again – was never going to hurt her again that way – and finally some part of him admitted that she must have known how head react to the news. She'd known and yet she'd told him instead of eloping – a course of action that had been well within her range of possibilities.
Overwhelmed by the sudden surge of love he felt for his daughter Charlie did something unexpected and suddenly pulled her into a tight hug. "You really want this, don't you?"
"Yes," she admitted, her voice thick with emotion as she returned the hug.
He sniffed as a sudden wetness blurred his vision. His baby girl was going to get married. Goodness!
"Well," Charlie finally said, surprised at finding his voice shaky. "I'm glad you told me. And you-" he waved at Edward to come over. "You will make her happy."
"Yes, Sir," Edward immediately agreed, every bit the obedient son-in-law.
"If you don't, boy, I will hurt you," Charlie threatened, a bit taken aback by the hint of amusement that crossed Edward's face at the expression, though the boy nodded obediently. "I will hurt you badly," Charlie emphasized and Edward nodded again, apparently not impressed at all.
"So we have your blessing?" Cullen asked, almost uncharacteristically shy and Charlie winced. No, they didn't, he thought but there was no way to keep these two apart, so this seemed to be the only way to stay a part of Bella's life. And to be worthy of the trust she'd put into him when she decided to include him in this instead of eloping.
"Yes. Yes, you do."” Charlie sighed, hugging Bella closer who gave a high-pitched squeal of delight and enthusiastically returned the hug.
"Cullen," Charlie finally said and watched the muscles in the young man's body tense in reaction (a fact that secretly pleased him more that he'd like to admit). "I will not kill you now."
"I appreciate that," Edward grinned and Charlie returned the smile with a devious smirk.
"I'll leave that to Renee."