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The New Kids

Summary:
The Cullens start high school for the first time since Bella has been changed and Renesmee has been born. Will Nessie learn to love Jacob the way he wants her to? Or will she meet someone at school and repeat the history that brought her Mom and Dad together? The sequel to this story - Nothing But Time- should be up ASAP! Keep a look out for it!


Notes:


22. Chapter 22

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3056   Review this Chapter

I took my time changing and walked out into the hall, hoping that Jake and Owen were smart enough to not be waiting for me. I was relieved when Aunt Alice appeared, even though she wore a concerned look on her face.

"Is everything okay? Owen found me and asked me to come walk to choir with you. He looked terrible."

"It's a long story. I'm upset, but it'll blow over." I already felt my anger fading as I thought about Owen searching for Alice just to make sure I had someone to walk to class with.

"Well, you can't be too mad, I still see you over at Owens this afternoon."

"Oh crap," I grumbled. "I forgot about that. I shouldn't go, just to teach him a lesson."

"No, you're definitely going," Aunt Alice replied confidently.

We were in the final stages of practicing for the winter concert in choir, so class passed quickly as we worked out the bumps in 'Carol of the Bells'. Thanksgiving break was next week, and the concert was the week after, so Mr. Barnes kept us singing through the entire hour. When the bell rang, Alice headed off toward her final class and I walked slowly toward English, thinking about what I should say to Owen, or if I should even talk to him at all.

As soon as I walked into class and saw him, all the anger I had been feeling evaporated and was replaced with shock. Alice wasn't kidding when she said he looked terrible. His sleeves were pushed up to his elbows and at least half of the exposed skin was covered in deep purple and yellow bruises from where Jake had slammed into him repeatedly. He looked ten times worse than he had at the end of gym class.

"Oh my God!" I gasped loudly. I didn't care that the entire class was staring at me as I made my way across the room to him. I dropped my books on my chair and knelt next to Owens seat, taking his arm in my hands. It was even worse up close, all swollen and knotted. He didn't meet my eyes and winced at my touch. "You need to see Carlisle," I told him.

"It's fine, really," He sighed.

Mrs. Cross entered the room and called the class to attention without noticing me on the floor next to Owen. I didn't care if he said it was fine, it didn't look fine to me at all. I got up and moved to the front of the room, prepared to muster all of my powers of persuasion to get her to let me take him to the hospital.

"Mrs. Cross?" I spoke quietly so that only she could hear, I could practically feel the entire class straining their ears trying to listen in. "I'm sorry to interrupt you, but Owen hurt himself badly in gym class and I think it needs medical attention. My uncle is an ER doctor, and I'd like to call him to come get us if you don't mind."

She looked like she was about to protest, until her eyes scanned over Owen and she saw the massive bruises. "Oh my," she said, her eyes wide with surprise and concern. "Yes, I think you're right. Please go to the office first and check out, and be sure to call Owen's parents as well."

Once we were safely out of the classroom Owen shook his head and finally looked me in the face, his jaw set in a rigid line. "That was humiliating, Ness. I'm fine!

"Don't lie to her, you know you're hurt."

"Dad!" I was so relieved to see him walk up behind us that I could have cried. "Please, you have to get us to the ER."

He nodded and led the way to the Volvo. It was still pouring outside, causing him to drive slower than normal, which caused me to fidget impatiently all the way to the hospital. Owen wasn't speaking, but I could imagine what he must be thinking by the way my fathers face alternated between an amused smile and a menacing scowl. Dad parked the car under the covered entrance to the emergency room and paused to listen as we walked in the door.

"He's in his office," he said, picking up on Grandpa Carlisles thoughts.

"This is a surprise! What are you doing here, shouldn't you be in school?" Carlisle exclaimed after we knocked and opened the door. Owen was the last to walk in, and as soon as Grandpa Carlisle spotted him he understood. "What happened?"

Instead of rehashing the whole event out loud, I touched his face and showed him the basketball game. By the time I had finished, his usually kind face looked livid. He hated violence of any kind, so I knew Jake was going to get an earful tonight. Just so Grandpa wouldn't be too hard on him, I put my hand back up and showed him the stretching before class, and the kiss after. Though Jake had done the most damage physically, Owen wasn't innocent in this ordeal.

"Why did you show him that?" My father asked.

"Jake wasn't unprovoked, he doesn't deserve all the blame," I told them bluntly. Owen shifted uncomfortably in place.

"Let's get you off for some x-rays," Grandpa Carlisle said calmly to him. "You two can wait for me in here."

"This week just keeps getting better," I groaned, dropping into a chair after they had left the room. "Sorry you had to see all that stuff from gym class, Dad. I how much you hate it anytime Owen looks at me."

He half smiled and raised his eyebrows, "You don't think I was listening while you were in gym?"

I blushed angrily. "No I didn't think so. I thought my father respected my privacy enough to stay out of my head as much as possible."

"I wasn't in your head. You knew that I had to keep tabs on Owen today."

"If you saw all of that happen, and saw how hurt he was, why didn't you do anything?" My voice was unsteady and tinged with ire.

"He's a big boy, and it's not my battle to fight. I'm very impressed at how he handled things though...well, minus that horribly inappropriate kiss, anyway. He could have done much worse."

I didn't want to talk about this anymore, so I didn't respond to what my father was saying. I just sat in silence, counting and recounting the books that lined the opposite wall. 258.

"The green and brown leather bound book on the second shelf is actually one, you've been counting it as two," he said after 20 minutes of ignoring one another.

I hissed and went back to counting. 257.

After what felt like an eternity of doing nothing but count I broke the silence with my thoughts. 'Do you really consider this thing between Jake and Owen a battle? Something that needs to be fought?'

I could see him thinking over his answer carefully, trying to find the right way to put it. "I don't, but I'm sure they do. I think you should be with whomever you choose, but I also think that you will eventually choose Jake." I opened my mouth to protest, but he put a hand out to stop me. "I'm not saying that you'll chose him right now, or next year...or even in 10 years. But at some point, you will. You're young and he's impatient, but eventually you'll be in sync."

"But what about what Aunt Alice sees?"

"You know how subjective that is. And she doesn't see you and Owen beyond college right now, so who knows?"

Before the conversation could continue any further, Grandpa Carlisle walked back in, closing the door behind him.

"Where's Owen?" I asked, eager to see him and make sure he was okay.

"He's getting dressed, a nurse will bring him by in a moment. I wanted to show your father some x-rays first."

He held the translucent sheets up to the light pointed to a few spots. I couldn't really tell what I was seeing, but the look on my fathers face told me it wasn't good. I started feeling panicky. "What? What is it?"

Grandpa Carlisle sighed and shook his head, "It's nothing too serious, but it's worse that I thought. His arm is only sprained, but he has severe deep bruising over a large portion of his body. He also has 3 fractured ribs on his left side. There really isn't anything we can do about any of it other than give him some pain medication."

"He's pretty tough," my father stated. "I heard pain in his thoughts, but not enough to allude to anything this bad."

I felt like I was going to be sick. Did Jacob know how much damage he had caused?

My dad answered my thoughts, "Definitely not. He was just trying to rough him up a bit and intimidate him. Jacob would never do this on purpose."

I believed him, and I knew Jake would feel horrible when he found out what he'd done, but I couldn't help being upset. My boyfriend was in the hospital, and I was indirectly to blame. "There's really nothing you can do other than give him pain pills? Nothing that might make him better, faster?"

Grandpa Carlisle sifted through a drawer full of pamphlets and handed me one. "This might help ease some of the pain and make the swelling go down more quickly."

I looked at the thin booklet- "Firstaid: Bruise Treatment". I folded it and put it in my pocket for later. I quickly tried to formulate a plan to convince my father that I should stay the night at Owens to care for him, I knew John and Karen wouldn't mind...

"Out of the question," he said before I could even get the whole sentence through my head.

"Daddy, he's going to need me. What could we do with him in that condition anyway? Please, Dad, please?" I gave him my best pleading, sad puppy dog eyes, and the face I knew he couldn't refuse.

Grandpa Carlisle laughed lightly, "You're a goner now Edward, just spare us all and give in."

Dad huffed his agreement, and I ran to hug him. "Thank you," I whispered into his shirt. I saw him squint his eyes and tilt his head, looking past me and toward the door. "What is it?" I asked.

"A nurse is bringing Owen in a wheelchair, I guess he had trouble getting dressed because of his ribs. She insisted on the chair and Owen is not happy about it. I hope he doesn't use language like that around you."

I ignored him for the umpteenth time that day and listened closely as the squeaky wheels rolled closer to the door. About 10 feet away I heard Owen ask the nurse, "Can I please get up and walk the rest of the way...or just let me get up right outside the door. Please." He begged a bit more, and the nurse finally relented. I heard him groan in pain as he stood up, but refuse the chair she pushed toward him. "I'm fine," He grunted.

I couldn't stand it anymore, I opened the office door and marched into the hallway. He was standing with one hand braced against the wall a few feet away, a look of pain marring his features. "Owen Ross, sit back down in that wheelchair right now. Don't hurt yourself because you're too proud. If you don't sit down, I will carry you, and you know I'm not joking."

He gave me a nasty look, but sat down. The nurse rolled him the rest of the way to me and then starting walking back toward the nurses station, chuckling as she went. "She told him..." I heard heard her muttering under her breath.

"Well, it looks like you're all ready to go. Nessie is obviously going to be a proficient caretaker." Grandpa said to Owen as I pushed him toward the exit.

The car ride to his house was quiet. I sat reading the pamphlet on bruising, while Owen sulked and Dad stared sullenly ahead at the road. Luckily John and Karen weren't home yet, so I'd have a little bit of time to formulate an excuse for why their son had been beaten to a pulp. I was wondering how I was going to get Owen up to his room without having to carry him (an idea he would surely shoot down as soon as it left my mouth) when Dad pulled into the driveway and put the car in park.

"I'll bring his car by later, so just know that I'll be nearby." He said as Owen took his time getting out of the backseat.

I rolled my eyes and huffed, "Okay, Dad. I'll call you tonight and let you know how everything is going."

"Be good, you two," he told us as I wrapped my arms around Owen to help him to the door.

"He's going to be sitting in my front yard listening to us all night, isn't he?"

"I'd place money on it," I scowled.

Once inside I steered Owen toward the stairs. "This might take awhile," he flinched.

"It doesn't have to..." I held my arms out to him.

"No way. I'm way too heavy for you."

I pointed to myself, "Half vampire, remember?"

"I know...but, its still weird." He made a move to start up the stairs, but ended up gasping and gripping the banister 2 steps up.

Men. I swear they are the most stubborn creatures alive. Before he could protest, I gently scooped him up in my arms, careful of his ribs and bruises. I couldn't tell if the look of pain on his face was from his injuries or the fact that his girlfriend was carrying him up the stairs. I laid him down in his bed with a satisfied smile on my face.

"Now that wasn't so bad was it?"

"Ugh," was the only response I got, so I set about making sure that he was as comfortable as possible. I arranged his pillows, got him extra blankets, a glass of water for his pills, and the remote for his TV. When I was finally satisfied that he was fully situated, I grabbed a few ice packs and wrapped them in towels.

"My instructions say to ice your bruises for 30-40 minutes at a time for two days and then apply gentle heat to them a few times a day. The heat will definitely be easier," I said brushing my warm hands across his forehead. "Which bruises hurt the worst? We'll start there."

"Here," he said touching the side of his stomach. "And there." He pointed to a spot a few inches above his left knee.

"Okay...well...jeans and a sweater aren't really going to work for this, do you have a pair of shorts somewhere?" I was blushing furiously at the thought of having to change his clothes, and I couldn't believe that my father hadn't realized it would have to be done. Surely he would have stayed to help me if he had. I breathed a sigh of relief when my phone rang, a few minutes to gather my thoughts would be good. I stepped out into the hallway.

"Hello?"

"It's Alice. You better be glad I'm out shopping and not at home. Your father would go ballistic if he saw what you're about to do."

"I just need to get him into some shorts so I can put ice on his bruises, Aunt Alice. I swear."

"And you're going to be there all night?"

"Yes, and probably the whole weekend. Why?"

She paused and made a popping noise with her lips, like she was impatient or irritated. "Well, then I think I need to take a weekend shopping trip to LA...for all our sakes."

"Alice, you are the best! What do I owe you for this favor?"

"I'm not really doing it for you this time, I'm doing it for Edwards sanity."

I thanked her anyway and hung up the phone, returning to the bedroom. "Alice saw me stripping you down, she was concerned," I smiled.

"Too bad it's under these circumstances," he joked and pointed to a drawer that held his basketball shorts and undershirts. I took one of each and set them on the end of the bed.

"This isn't going to be pleasant," I said as I helped him sit up so I could pull the sweater over his head.

"Oh, I know. I already had to do it once at the hospital...and then put it all back on again. If you'll just pull gently when I tell you to, it should be okay."

He held his arms at an odd angle above his head and cringed. "Okay, go."

I pulled the sweater off as quickly and easily as possible, and he only elicited a minor grunt of pain. I very nearly broke out in tears when I sat back to look at him. What would have been a perfectly smooth and sculpted chest was marred with huge bruises and swelling.

He noticed the horror on my face. "Maybe I can do the pants by myself."

"Don't be silly. I just wasn't expecting it to look so bad. Come on, lets get your t-shirt on."

Getting his pants off was harder than the sweater, and I almost wished that I had let him try to do it himself. His legs looked just as awful as every other part of his body, and I couldn't help the tear that slid down my cheek. I wiped it away before he could notice. After 30 minutes he was finally wearing more comfortable clothing, and I was mentally exhausted.

I laid down next to him, held the ice to his bruises, and lightly placed small little kisses on his shoulder- the non black and blue parts anyway.

He closed his eyes and sighed, "Now this...this isn't so bad."