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Author's Chapter Notes:
So... there was this period in which I was concerned I wouldn't have the creative drive to write again... and I'm realizing that it must go in waves. I kicked out this and Year and a Half in a one week period, and I have a third finished already and in editing mode and a fourth still being written. I'm writing again, guys. I'm pleased with it, anyway.

I know the Bella-Burned thing has probably been done before, but I've never found one and decided to give it a shot.

Disclaimer:Unless you want to sue me for all eight physics books I own, I've got nothing. And I don't own these wonderful characters. Here's to hoping I'll get my own someday.
It had seemed like a good idea at the time, anyway. In hindsight, it was a really stupid idea.

“I told you so,” Edward murmured softly as he brushed his fingers carefully across my cheek to soothe the burn. I sighed in contentment; his icy hands really did make me feel better. Even though I was perhaps the most badly damaged from the event, I had the best First Aid. Everyone else was at home nursing their wounds with some Aloe Vera at best.

“I didn’t think it would be this bad,” I protested. Edward just shook his head as he moved his cool hand down to my collar bone, alleviating the pain there.

“Bella, did you really think you could go spend a day in the sunshine down by the beach – complete sunshine, mind you, not some of this half-overcast stuff we have – and not get burned at all?” I whimpered softly in response.

“But I put sunscreen on…”

“How often?”

“Just at the beginning,” I explained. Edward sighed, exasperated.

“I knew this would happen,” he murmured softly.

“He absolutely went crazy, you know,” Alice said cheerfully from the doorway, eyeing my position on the sofa, Edward kneeling next to me. “He was pacing, and cursing – it didn’t help I kept getting visions of you burning – and he couldn’t do anything about it. One of the few completely sunny days in Forks, and as such, we were cooped up inside.”

“Though there was that brief period of time where the cloud passed over. I took that opportunity to be ready to run into the store and grab some things for you, since Alice was able to warn me about it in advance. We don’t really have much use for Aloe Vera, you know. Everything I had was at the hospital,” Carlisle said soothingly as he glided into the room. He handed the bottle of green gel to Edward, and then appraised my burns. “Would you like some Advil? It would help with the burns,” he suggested helpfully.

“Yes please, I would-oh!” Edward had started applying the greenish gel to my burns, causing a freezing shiver to rock through my body. It was, in part, due to the coolness of the gel in response to my overly sensitive and over-heated skin, and in part due to his cold hands.

“Sorry,” he murmured shamefully.

“No, no, it feels wonderful, it just surprised me…” I trailed off as he continued to rub the Aloe in.

Carlisle had returned with the pain medicine and a glass of water. Gratefully, I took them both and thanked him as he settled into a chair, assessing that Edward had the situation under control.

Edward paused and glanced over to Alice who had her head cocked to the side.

“Good idea,” he said, nodding. He turned to me, then and spoke, “Alice is going to help you into a cool bath, okay?”

“Why do I need help? My legs aren’t broken,” I murmured dryly. Edward just stared at me long and hard for a moment before shaking his head.

“That’s not funny.” He turned his head sideways for a moment, listening. Without explanation, he looked back to me. “And when you’re finished, Alice is going to help you put Aloe all over your body, okay? Because you’re burned… nearly everywhere.” I sighed; it was true. The two-piece that Alice had purchased for me hadn’t left much protected from the sun’s rays.

“Alright, alright,” I assented, slowly sitting upright. Edward’s worried eyes watched me closely as I stood up stiffly and looked at Alice. Edward stood up with me, his hands following my every move like I were made of glass.

“Don’t worry,” I muttered. “I’m not going to turn to ash or anything, I’m fine now, it won’t get any worse than this.” Edward just chuckled in response as I walked toward the bathroom, Alice following behind me with a very soft-looking towel.

As we entered the bathroom, Alice flipped on the lights and shut the door, staring at me expectantly.

“Going to watch me get naked, as well?” I asked. It was a good thing I was sunburned; I was starting to blush already. Alice shrugged nonchalantly.

“How about I wait outside, and if you need anything, I’ll pop in about five seconds before you realize it, okay?” I grimaced, but nodded. It was the best deal I was going to get out of this.

Alice slipped outside, tugging the door closed behind her.

I peeled off the large shirt Edward had given me before shucking off the enormous pajama bottoms that belonged to Emmett. Why Emmett had pajama bottoms, I could only wonder. I started up the water, and let the steam fill the bathroom.

“Too hot, Bella! That’s going to hurt your burns,” Alice called from the other side of the door. I rolled my eyes and turned the cold water on more.

Very carefully I untied the halter top portion of the bikini, careful not to agitate the bright red marks outlining it. Setting it aside, I stepped out of the bottom with the same care.

Hesitantly, I tested the water. The cool water felt very comforting, and I stepped into the bathtub completely. Sitting down, I submerged myself in the large porcelain tub. After shutting off the water, I bobbed in the tub for a little bit, letting the cool water work wonders against the burns.

In hindsight, I should’ve known I would burn badly. I always had in Phoenix. When I was little, Renee would – occasionally – remember to put sunscreen on me before taking me to a park. It was my nature to burn.

When Mike had noticed that the weather was going to be perfectly sunny this weekend, he had excitedly set up a beach trip that Friday. On such short notice, only Angela, myself, Ben, Tyler, and a couple of other girls from one of Mike’s classes could agree to go. It had been a nice little outing; several if Mike’s friends and people I knew casually had been there. Most of them had forgiven me by now for my zombie phase. Jess had been invited, but she had turned down the invitation when she realized I was going. There had been soda, hot dogs, hamburgers, icecream and all sorts of snacks to eat.

I had spent most of my time lying in the sand, watching everyone else run up and down the beach. It had looked far too dangerous to allow myself to join in. Then Mike had set up the volleyball net.

Somehow, Angela convinced me to join. I was no better at beach volleyball than I had been at regular volleyball in gym class. Angela had showed me a clever – and relatively easy – way to set a ball for a spike. I had only jammed my fingers four times, much to my amazement. Angela had been remarkably good at spiking the shots I had managed to set, her tallness lending to her ability. I’d never performed so well in a sport before. I seemed to be even better at the volleyball – at least the setting part of it; I hadn’t fared quite as well in the other aspects of the game – than I was at walking.

I ducked my head under the bathwater, letting my hair get completely damp. Surfacing, I spit out a bit of water. Resting back against the edge of the large tub, I was surprised to find out that my legs could stretch out completely in the bath tub. I smiled softly, my body floating. Vampires didn’t need to worry about sunburns. Or jammed fingers. Or those sharp seashells. I swore I had stepped on about a dozen.

I raised my toes above the surface of the water. The pink nail polish that Alice had painted on last weekend glittered back at me under the lighting of the bathroom. Leaning forward, I took my foot in my hands and ran my fingertips over the sole. It didn’t feel so bad, nor did it hurt anymore.

Lazily, I took some shampoo and massaged it through my hair. After dipping underwater to rinse if off, I gently lathered soap over my body with my hands instead of a poof – my skin was too sensitive for a poof. After rinsing, I carefully stood up.

The door banged open and Alice ran in. I yelped in surprise, grabbing the towel and wrapping it around me. In the process I lost my balance and pitched forward.

Alice’s stone hands closed around my arms as she caught me.

“I wouldn’t have fallen if you hadn’t barged in,” I muttered as she set me on my feet.

“Actually, you would’ve. You would have stepped on the tile and slipped, falling backward and smacking your head on the tub. At least this way I could catch you,” she explained. I sighed. Alice giggled softly as she released me and stepped back. “Now, let’s put some Aloe on you.”

“Must you?” I grumbled. I really didn’t feel like stripping down naked. Again. Or having Alice’s cold hands on my body.

“Edward could always do it,” she suggested helpfully.

“Or I could do it myself. Later,” I added. Alice glared at me, and I could only stare back.

“Oh, all right. Let’s find you some comfortable clothes. Edward’s anxious to see if you’re any better,” she suggested. I obliged her this time and waited in the bathroom while she excused herself to find something for me to put on.

I studied my reflection in the mirror. My normally pale skin was now riddled with patterns of bright red splotches over a soft pink hue. I grimaced. It was going to hurt for a while.

Alice returned within minutes, and offered me a clean set of my undergarments. She also laid a long-sleeved cotton shirt and a pair of soft, draw-string pants across the counter, then stepped back out to give me my privacy.

Carefully, I crawled into the garments. Much to my surprise, I discovered they were quite comfortable against the agitated skin. I smiled and leaned down, taking a deep breath. The shirt smelled like Edward.

Bare-toed, I opened the door and walked out into the hallway, carrying my swimsuit and other set of clothing. Alice quickly swooped in and took them from my arms before steering me in the direction of Edward. He was at my side in a moment.

“How are you? Does it hurt?” He started to wrap his arms around me, but then paused and seemed to search for a place he could place his hands and not hurt my skin.

“It’s alright. It’s better.” I wrapped my arms around his hard body and snuggled against his chest. Carefully, more so than usual, he placed his arms around me and kissed my forehead.

“I just don’t know what to do with you… I’ve never had to deal with this sort of thing,” he fumbled, trying to explain. I just laughed softly.

“Of course you didn’t,” I said. “But that's okay,” I added quickly as I saw the humor in his eyes falter slightly. I hadn't meant to hurt his feelings. “We can learn together.”

His cold lips pressed lightly against my forehead and he pulled me closer against his body. The cold from his skin was soothing against my burns, sublimating the aches away. His breath was intoxicating as it brushed over my face, lulling me into a state of painless haze.

I heard a murmur of voices behind me, and I felt Edward's chest vibrate with a chuckle.

“No, Carlisle, I don't think Bella needs anymore Advil; she seems to have the best medicine already,” Alice said. I heard Carlisle reply, but I couldn't make out what he said – Edward's lips had found my own.

Instantly, my body was filled with butterflies, and I could vaguely remember that I had ever been sunburned. All I was consciously aware of were Edward's kisses, and his feather-light fingers on my sides. Best medicine, indeed.
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