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Cullen Family Camping Trip

Summary:
Charlie insists Bella go camping with the Cullens, in order to acclimate herself with the great outdoors. After all, the Cullens are practically revered in town for their family camping trips, so they must know
what they're doing, right? *Post Eclipse Cullen Camping Banner


Notes:
Cullen Camping Banner


6. Chapter 6

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3322   Review this Chapter

Chapter 6:

"When is she going to wake up? We’ve been waiting for half an hour now - it’s supposed to be just a nap," an impatient voice hissed.

"Well, thanks to you, she’s already waking up, and she’ll be fully alert in about a minute," another whisper replied.

Hesitantly, I cracked an eye open to assess the situation. Two wide, golden orbs blinked back at me, only about an inch from my face, making me jump back under the blankets in surprise.

"Told you," Alice said, her laugh tinkling through the air.

"Where’s Edward?" I asked from under the covers.

"The boys went hunting, so it’s girl time!" Alice exclaimed, ripping the covers from my body.

Rosalie sat in the corner, perched on top of a hefty stack of blankets, her laptop balanced on a pile of pillows, nails clicking impatiently against the edge of the computer.

"Hmph. What exactly is this going to involve?" I asked, knowing it wouldn’t be good.

"Well...I thought we could start with manicures, then move onto hair - yours could definitely use some work, Bella. Then we can try on lots of different clothes for fun!" Alice exclaimed, proud of herself for packing an entire mall’s worth of outfits.

"Fine - we might as well get started. The sooner we begin, the sooner it will be over," I replied, dreading the process. I fought off the remaining blankets I was lying on as they tried to cling to the tape that still covered most of my body.

"Yay! I love camping!" Alice squealed, hopping up and down while clapping her hands. Rosalie simply sighed.

The three of us moved to Alice’s tent, where she’d set out an assortment of nail polish, hair pins, and cordless curling irons. I sat down silently, and waited for them to pounce.

"Bella? Are you really not having any fun at all? Has the entire trip been that awful?" Alice asked quietly, gazing at me in concern.

"Well...I have enjoyed parts of it...I guess I just feel ridiculous, mostly. I mean, look at all the things that have happened here. I guess I’m just embarrassed at how much humor everyone gets from my very existence sometimes," I sighed.

"Oh Bella...I’m sorry. We didn’t mean to make you feel bad. We weren’t laughing at you - ok - maybe Emmett has laughed at you, but in all fairness, look at how much we laugh at him, right Rosalie?" Rosalie rolled her eyes, nodding in agreement. "He just does so many stupid things! It’s just the situations that can be somewhat...humorous. We love you, Bella, so please don’t be upset, ok?" Alice pleaded; she looked so sincere.

"Alright, alright - it’s ok. So, when the heck does this tape come off, anyway?" I asked, picking at the squares on my calves. When I didn’t get a response, I glanced up. "Alice?"

Rosalie and I waited for Alice to snap out of the vision she was having. After a moment, she lightly shook her head, then clapped her hands together. "Excellent," she hissed, her eyes gleaming. "You know, Bella...I think I might just have a way to make you feel even better, to maybe even up the score, if you will," she laughed lightly.

Alice explained how she had seen that the guys were going back to the cliffs where the waterfall was to cliff dive and swim.

"Cliff diving? Are you freaking kidding me? After all the slack I caught from it, Edward’s just going to throw himself over the edge, and think it’s fine?" I huffed, fairly annoyed at the injustice. Suddenly, the vampires had something in common with the werewolves - who knew? Maybe they could form a club.

"Well, he is a vampire, Bella - much less risk for him to do it, silly. He’ll be fine. Anyway, we’re going to have some fun with them," Alice continued. She told us her plan to sneak up to the falls, and steal the clothes they’d left up at the top, and leave them with ridiculous replacements. "It’ll have to be you that actually takes them, Bella - they’ll be far enough down that they won’t smell you, and Edward can’t hear your thoughts. We’ll run you close, but you’ll have to go the rest of the way by yourself. Don’t worry - it will work, and nothing will happen to you, as long as you’re careful," she added, as she gave me a warning glance.

"I’ll pay more attention than I ever have before - I’ll watch every single step I take, Alice," I laughed; it was exciting to think I’d finally be getting some revenge.

About ten minutes later, we were back in the woods, having retraced our earlier path. Alice slowed, and I carefully lowered myself to the ground - she’s carried me on her back as we’d run. "Ok, Bella - are you ready?" she asked.

Nodding in response, I remove the bag on my back that Alice had packed. She pointed me in the right direction, and warned me to be careful, again. I paid close attention to everything - there was no way I was going to mess this up. I made sure to put each item in exactly the right place, so each of them would put on the appropriate item. After I completed my mission, I hurried back to Alice and Rosalie, who were impatiently waiting. I hopped back up on Alice’s back, and we made it back to the campsite in record time. We went to the food tent, so that I could get a drink, and once we sat down, we all erupted in laughter.

"This is going to be so funny! Wait - what if they just refuse to wear them? It’s not like they’ll get cold without shirts," I said, suddenly worried I wouldn’t get to see our results.

"Bella - there is no way Edward will walk around in front of you without a shirt, not to mention let his brothers - he’ll insist they wear them," Alice laughed. "Now that we’ve cheered you up, let’s get back to work! Rosalie, will you go get the back-up makeup bag I left in the Jeep?" she asked.

"Sure, Alice. I wonder where the keys are...I’ll bet they’re in Emmett’s jacket," Rosalie answered, smiling. She was excited about our scheme too, and wanted to get Emmett back for the whole snail incident. Looking around, she noticed his jacket lying on the bean bag outside their tent, and went to retrieve it.

When I was playing with my bottle of water, Rosalie started digging through the pockets, muttering something to herself. Curious, I kept watching as I took a huge gulp of water. Suddenly, she threw Emmett’s jacket across the campsite, arms thrashing, screaming.

"EMMETT!! What the hell - DAMN IT!!" she roared, scaring the heck out of me.

I jumped up, smacking my wrist hard on the underside of the table, while trying to regain my equilibrium. The water in the bottle sloshed all over me, and I immediately started choking. The splash of the cold water shocked me, and I lost my balance and began falling sideways, toward a metal pole supporting part of the tent.

As soon as it’d started, I’d heard a small dainty sigh, which was followed a tinkling, "Oh, no," before I felt the strong, tiny arms encase me. I was tumbling across the ground, completely protected by steel, which appeared to be muttering about ‘people randomly freaking out about stupid things.’

When the motion stopped, and I could focus, I looked up into Alice’s eyes. "Thanks for that, Alice," I murmured, feeling ridiculous once again.

"Sure, Bella. This one wasn’t really your fault anyway - Rosalie freaked out, and she scared you - your natural inclination to defy gravity was within reason this time," Alice laughed, helping me up. Almost instantly, our gaze focused back on Rosalie, who was fuming.

"What happened, Alice?" I whispered, afraid to ask Rosalie herself.

"It seems Emmett was collecting salamanders, and keeping them in his jacket pocket," Alice whispered back, watching Rosalie warily.

"Salamanders? What’s up with him? Didn’t he learn anything after the snail episode?" I asked incredulously.

"Well, he didn’t have them inside the tent, at least," Alice chuckled.

"What happened here?" Carlisle’s voice interrupted. He and Esme had been out on a walk, and had just returned.

"Emmett," Rosalie simply hissed.

"Rosalie scared Bella by freaking out, and she fell - she was going to crack her head off of that pole, but I stopped her in time. She would have needed four stitches. Thankfully, I think all she needs now is for you to look at her wrist - she hit it pretty hard, but it was far better than the alternative," Alice replied.

"Ah. Well then, Bella, why don’t you follow me?" Carlisle said, chuckling. Dazedly, I obeyed, still shocked over Alice’s assessment of the situation. We rounded the back of the food tent, where a large trunk sat outside near the generators. He unhitched the latches, and opened the top, revealing it’s contents. I gasped.

Within the massive trunk were tons upon tons of medical supplies. Everything from pills to crutches was packed in there. "Alright, wrist injury," he said quietly, moving bins aside, looking for something. As I stood staring in silence, I noticed various labels within the giant chest.

Nu Gauze,’ ‘Hernia Belts,’ ‘Ankle braces( with velcro and without),’ ‘Liquid Bandages for minor cuts,’ ‘Post Surgery (For Draining Wounds)’...it was endless.

Carlisle seemed to catch on. "Bella, I was just being overcautious - I wanted to make sure we’d have anything we might need, in case of an emergency. Obviously, it was unnecessary - you haven’t had any serious injuries at all," he tried to reassure me. He tenderly looked over my wrist, and assessed that it was just a slight sprain. Within minutes, he’d wrapped it up in some gauze, just to keep it secure, and prevent me from hurting it more. After I’d thanked him, I went back out front.

Esme asked if she could get me anything, which I declined, thanking her. After I got back to Alice’s tent, I entered cautiously, wondering what Rosalie’s mood was like now. The two of them were sitting in silence, Alice playing with the bottles of polish, and Rosalie studying her computer again. Alice informed me it was time to remove all the tape, which made me feel relieved - it was annoying to have on. Eventually, after a few moments, Alice tried to test the waters with Rosalie.

"So...Rosalie, what do you think we should do when the guys get back?" she asked warily, probably hoping she didn’t set Rosalie off again. It didn’t work.

"When they get back, I’m going to have a little talk with Emmett," Rosalie hissed. Suddenly, she snapped her laptop closed, and looked up at us. "You know what? Get in the Jeep. We’re going for a nice, leisurely drive."

Alice paused, her eyes glazing over. "Excellent," she whispered as she jumped up.

"What are you guys talking about? Where are we driving to?" I asked, completely confused.

"Just do it, Bella. You’ll see," Alice whispered.

We all filed out of the tent, and made our way to the Jeep. Carlisle and Esme glanced up at us curiously.

"Just going for a little drive - we thought showing Bella nature from within the confines of a vehicle might be a better approach for the afternoon," Alice trilled. Carlisle and Esme smiled, and told us to have fun.

As soon as we were out of sight, Rosalie pressed firmly down on the gas pedal, and we took off at an alarming rate. She was worse than Edward. "Ok, what’s going on?" I asked, clutching the sides of the seat. Clearly we weren’t driving around to see nature - we were going to fast to see anything.

"Kingston. I’ve had enough of this outdoors crap, and I need a break," Rosalie replied.

"Kingston? How are we going to make it and get back at a reasonable time? What’s there anyway?" I continued my interrogation.

"Actually, our campgrounds were already an hour away from Forks - an hour in the right direction, too. That makes Kingston only about an hour and a half away, which, with the way Rosalie drives, makes it only about a thirty minute trip. No problem - it’s only one o’clock now, so we’ll be back before it’s even five," Alice informed me. "We’ll probably even beat the guys back."

"Oh...well, what’s there? You didn’t tell me that," I reminded them.

"The nicest hotel I could find within a hundred mile radius - I searched online," Rosalie answered. "We’re checking in for a couple of hours, and enjoying the luxury of the indoors."

Dumbfounded, I sat back in my seat and tried to process that. We were driving all the way to another city so that we could check into a hotel for a couple of hours, feel refreshed, and then go back to our campground. All because Rosalie had found salamanders in Emmett’s jacket and snapped. Wow.

Sure enough, about thirty minutes later, we pulled up to Hotel Deca, and hopped out as the valet driver took the keys. Of course he openly gawked at Rosalie and Alice, while I stumbled along, feeling completely insignificant next to them, as usual. It’s a good thing I was used to it.

Rosalie worked her magic, and we were now lounging quite comfortably in the nicest suite they had. It was an incredible hotel, with an Art Deco-style decor. The bathroom of the suite was amazing - it had glass countertops, double sinks, a huge soaking tub, and a beautiful separate shower. Each of us had taken long, hot showers, and Alice ordered me every dessert item on the room service menu. The three of us were watching an old movie on the giant tv, lying across the giant bed, all clad in the brand new, soft, plush white robes the hotel provided.

"Now this is much better," Rosalie murmured, her mood much lighter.

"Yes, like I said before, I love camping," Alice agreed.

"Alice, your idea of camping is completely off-base, and more than a little bizarre," I replied, taking a bite out of a chocolate covered strawberry. "I like it," I added, smiling at her.

After two hours had passed, and we’d enjoyed every luxury we could think of, Alice announced it was time to leave if we wanted to get back before the guys, so we did. The drive back was short, again only about thirty minutes. It was just approaching four o’clock when we pulled in, alerting Carlisle and Esme of our return.

"Did you girls have fun? Did you see anything good?" Esme asked, happy to have us back.

"Oh yes...we saw lots of stuff. It was beautiful," Alice answered, trying to keep a straight face. I felt bad about the fact that they thought we’d been driving around through the mountains, so I kept my mouth shut.

"Oh! They’re almost here," Alice whispered, urging us to take our places around the campfire to fully reap the benefits of our previous efforts. We waited in silence, gazing intently into the trees.

About two minutes later, Edward, Jasper, and Emmett all appeared at the campsite’s edge, all looking quite surly. All three of us started laughing hysterically at the sight of their new wardrobe. We’d replaced their shirts with three new tees - Jasper’s read, ‘I shop a lot but I’ve still got nothing to wear,’ Edward’s read, ‘Warning: Contains Bitterness and Resentment,’ and Emmett’s read, ‘Pretty in Pink,’ - which also happened to be a nice bright shade of pink. All three shirts were entirely way too small for any of them, making them slightly resemble those awful cropped tees from the eighties. Even Carlisle and Esme had joined in the laughter.

"Why did you even have those t-shirts, Alice?" I barely managed through my laughter.

"Well, the ‘Pretty in Pink’ is Rosalie’s, the ‘I shop a lot but I’ve still got nothing to wear’ is mine, and the ‘Warning: Contains Bitterness and Resentment’ is one that I’d picked up for our ‘Worst Christmas Present Ever’ contest that we have every year - it’s just for fun, cause we get bored - but it was going to be for Rosalie...sorry Rose," Alice said, glancing at her sister warily, but Rosalie just waved her hand, saying it was worth it because it’d been put to such good use.

Almost abruptly, our laughter was interrupted. "What happened to Bella’s wrist?!" Edward roared, concern overriding his irritation. "Wait a minute - you guys went to Kingston, and checked into a hotel? What on earth happened while we were gone, exactly?" he continued, fury flashing in his eyes.

Silence rang out in the late afternoon air, and then Alice sighed. "Busted," she murmured, as Rosalie nodded in agreement, glancing guiltily at Carlisle and Esme, who were now fully focused on the three of us.

After apologizing profusely, and explaining to Edward about my wrist, everyone calmed down . Well, almost everyone.

Rosalie got up slowly, and stalked her way over to Emmett. She pinched his ear between her fingers, and pulled his face down to hers. "Emmett. I found your damn salamanders. If you even think about picking up one more slimy, disgusting thing, and somehow keeping it as a pet, or whatever the hell you’re doing, you will be sorry. The next time this happens, you will begin to lose upgrades I’ve installed on your Jeep. Got it?" she hissed menacingly.

Emmett looked petrified - only Rosalie could instill fear in him."They weren’t in the tent, though, Rose," he tried to murmur, but she pinched his ear harder, silencing him. He gulped, and nodded slowly.

"Good. Your jacket is...over there," she pointed vaguely to where she’d thrown it earlier. "Go get rid of those things, now." She let go of him, and Emmett sulked off into the trees to find his jacket and free the salamanders.

A while later, we were gathered back around the campfire, and I was snuggled next to Edward, who had ended up laughing about our trip to the hotel after he’d seen how happy I’d been about it. He only wanted for me to be happy, so he was glad I’d had so much fun. Esme had happily supplied me with another fantastic meal, and I was feeling quite content.

Alice and I had both felt guilty about the t-shirt charade since we’d been indulging all afternoon, so we’d promptly offered Jasper and Edward each an appropriate change of clothing. Rosalie tried to do the same after she’d made up with Emmett, but he claimed he was pretty in pink, and refused to change.

Squirming slightly, I tried to examine the blankets we were wrapped in. One of them was very itchy or something - it was starting to irritate me.

"I missed you a lot today, love. So, what do you want to do tonight?" Edward asked.

"I missed you too, Edward. Maybe just relaxing here with you would be nice," I replied, scratching my arm, then my leg, then my other arm. "Edward, one of these blankets must be wool or something - it’s really itchy," I complained.

Edward was staring back at me, his face full of sympathy. "It’s not one of the blankets, love," he murmured.

"What is it then? It’s really, really annoying," I replied as I went back to scratching my leg.

"Remember when you laid down at the waterfall? You seemed like you were actually truly enjoying yourself, so I didn’t want to tell you. I thought it best to just wait until it started to show up, which we knew it would," he said, glancing over at Alice. "You laid back into Poison Ivy, Bella," Edward explained regrettably.

Poison Ivy. Crap.