207 Chapter 207: Fast Forward (2)


After school, Edward discreetly made a stop at a hospital. Haley, who was with him and noticed his actions, felt a sense of curiosity but decided to follow along without asking any questions.

Edward was dressed in a simple ensemble, wearing blue jeans and a beige shirt and hiding his face with a cap, while Haley opted for a stylish dark one-piece dress paired with thigh-high boots.

As Haley followed Edward to the children ward, suddenly a crowd of children went silent as they entered the room.

"Hi Everyone." Edward said as he took off his cap. The children lit up and pointed at Edward with excitement while murmuring. 

With a warm smile, Edward spent several hours with the children, engaging in games, sharing stories, and even singing for them. It was an intimate and heartfelt experience, carefully kept away from the media's attention.

Edward's genuine act of kindness and compassion brought joy to the children, creating cherished memories for both them and himself. 

As Edward played with the children, Haley noticed a little girl with auburn hair who stared at her intently. The girl, who had to walk with an IV pole, pointed at Haley and inquired, "Are you his girlfriend?"

Caught off guard, Haley replied defensively, "No, I'm not! I'm just his friend, that's it." She felt a bit anxious, sensing that the girl was a fan of TaylorXEdward and didn't want to get into any complicated situations.

However, the little girl continued, saying, "Really? But you're so pretty. How come he didn't make you his girlfriend?"

Haley, slightly startled, fixed her hair and glanced in Edward's direction. She then turned back to the little girl, a hint of amusement in her voice, and responded, "I don't know. Sometimes he can be pretty stupid."

The little girl nodded in understanding and shared a surprising revelation, "I understand that. My brother can be quite stupid too."

As Haley and the girl were talking, Edward stole a glance at their direction, and he showed an affectionate smile as he saw Haley talking and laughing with the girl. 

"I enjoyed that better than I thought I would." Haley exclaimed after they went back home, riding in the ford convertible together.

Edward chuckled and replied, "Yeah, you even became the Queen of the children in less than an hour. I guess it helps when you are on the same mental level as them."

Haley playfully shot an angry glare at Edward before bursting into laughter. "Speak for yourself. How can you lose at the game of tag, 10 times in a row!?"

Edward shrugged, jokingly defending himself, "Hey, the kids are really fast! And I can't really tag them because they have the IV pole as a defense."

After Haley finished laughing at Edward's playful explanation, she shifted the conversation to the upcoming VMA awards. "Hey, you're attending the VMA awards, right? Have you decided on your outfit yet?"

Edward smirked and replied, "Not yet. My stylist seems to have forgotten to do her job. I think I should fire her."

Haley raised an eyebrow, pretending to be surprised. "Really? Well then, she'll have to work extra hard in the next few days. Can't let her favorite client go to the VMAs looking like a beggar. Wait, she has never been paid before? Or do you think that might be why she's not working?"

Edward played along and said, "Nah, she just likes to mess around. She's kinda a feral girl, so there's really no need for money. I just have to provide her with some food and shelter, and she'll work for me till the end of time."

Haley was angry and said, "Who's a feral girl!? I'm a beauty! There's something wrong with your head if you can't see that!" She then pouted and turned her face away from Edward.

Edward smiled softly as he saw her pouting and mumbled to himself, "I guess…There is something wrong with me…"

When Edward finally walked Haley to her door, she turned to face him, her nerves evident in her voice. "If I can't make it, you have other options for your outfit, right?" She had clearly been pondering the matter.

Unexpectedly, Edward shook his head and replied, "No. I want only yours. If you don't come up with something, I will literally go there shirtless."

Haley was taken aback by his determination, and she couldn't help but shout angrily, "That's too much pressure! I don't even have good designs right now!"

"Then, you'd better start working," Edward responded teasingly. Haley stomped her leg in dissatisfaction before turning to walk into her house. Edward called after her, "Oh, come on. Don't be mad."

"I'm not MAD!" Haley shouted back. "I just have a lot of work to do! GO HOME! You're distracting me!"

Edward chuckled at her outburst and replied from a distance, "I'll wait for the good news!"

"SHUT IT!" Haley shouted as she slammed the door behind her, ready to immerse herself in the task at hand.

Claire and Phil were watching the entire thing from the window from the moment Edward's car pulled over to the front of their house. As they sipped their cup of tea, Claire spoke first, "Have you ever seen Haley like this before?"

"What? Not giving up the moment it gets tough for her? Never." Phil replied with a soft smile on his face. "I guess she's growing up."

"Or, she's in love. That's why she's doing crazy stuff." Claire added. 

As Edward was working with some advanced tech in his basement at night, Robin suddenly chimed in, "Sir. You were mentioned in actor Robert Downey Junior's interview. Simultaneously, Miss Taylor also mentioned you in her interview."

One of the main differences between ROBIN and other AIs in Edward's previous world was that she could have real time access to the internet as the previous one needed data provided to them as part of their 'training'.

"I specifically told her not to do it. It'll steal the limelight from her," Edward exclaimed, frustrated but couldn't help smiling. He wiped at a smudge on his cheek, only succeeding in smearing it further across his face.

The clip of RDJ's interview played, capturing the moment he was asked about the rumors circulating regarding his annoyance with Edward Newgate. The viewers were already at the edge of their seats when waiting for RDJ's answer as this could be one of the biggest news that would come out this week. 

"Well, as for that," RDJ replied playfully, "I meant every word. Before the movie even hit theaters, he had already jumped ship to another franchise? And to think Jon Favreau had such a soft spot for him, even adding his name to the list of assistant producers for the show."

The viewers laughed, obviously knowing what RDJ was talking about.

Edward's face froze with disbelief. "Robin, is this for real?" he asked urgently.

Robin took a moment to process the information before responding, "Based on the data extracted from Director Jon Favreau's communications with his staff members, the information appears to be accurate. You are indeed listed as an assistant producer for the show. They even sent a check to Entertain today, and your job title matches what is listed on IMDB."

Edward fell silent, his mind racing as he processed the information. After a moment of contemplation, he finally spoke up, his voice tinged with confusion, "But... why?"

Robin, ever the logical companion, responded, "The interview you requested contains the reasoning behind it. Would you like me to provide a summary beforehand?"

"No," Edward replied, his annoyance evident. "Just play the interview."

The interview was played again, and RDJ revealed that Edward had been actively engaging in conversations and exchanging opinions with Jon regarding the movie. As a result, some reshoots had to be done to accommodate Edward's input and suggestions.

"Well, let me tell you, if it was a bad suggestion, I wouldn't hold back—I'd straight-up say I hate the guy," RDJ quipped, his signature wit shining through. The audience laughed, knowing that RDJ was only joking.

"But truth be told, he's had some pretty damn great suggestions! So yeah, we ended up shelling out some extra cash for reshoots, and you know what? Not a single person on the team has complained. But here's the kicker: the guy goes and then…posts a video on his Instagram, hanging out with none other than George Lucas, the genius behind Star Wars."

"Like, seriously? He never even bothered to mention the times he swung by the studio. So yeah, you can say I'm a little annoyed with him right now. Jon is also a little depressed and has started to hit the bottle again, wondering what he did wrong." RDJ joked. 

Edward's face turned blank and he sighed, "Ah…That's why…"

Even though Edward's mention in the interview lasted only a brief three minutes, it was undeniably entertaining and captivating. The story of his ship jumping antics quickly spread like wildfire, and soon enough, people couldn't stop talking about it. 

Memes mocking Edward's decision to switch franchises began surfacing all over the internet, adding a touch of humor to the situation.

However, things took an unexpected turn when Marvel Studios released additional information about the film's previous storyline that had been cut from the final scene. 

For ordinary people, Edward's contribution was just so-and-so, but for the nerds, they instantly captured what Edward was talking about and realized that Edward was one of those guys.

Suddenly, he was hailed as a messiah, a savior for the nerds who felt their voices were finally being heard. The internet buzzed with praise and admiration for Edward, as he became an unexpected hero in the eyes of Marvel enthusiasts.

And people began to speculate about what he was doing with George Lucas.

As Leonard and Howard watched the interview, a revelation struck them. With ashen faces, they shared an exciting moment. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Leonard asked. Howard replied with excitement, "That Ed will bring back Star Wars to the big screens? Yeah, I'm calling him Ed now." 

Back to Edward. 

"Yeah…Nerds are crazy. What about Taylor?" Edward asked with a look of resignation on his face. Deep down, he felt flattered that Marvel Studios had embraced his suggestions and even given him a role in the production. Although he suspected it was a calculated marketing move, there was still a hint of satisfaction in his heart.

Robin played the interview on the screen. There, Taylor was asked a question about how Edward was in real life.

With unexpected candor, Taylor declared, "In real life? Well, I can sum it up in one word: he's a dork."

"Pfft-" Edward burst out laughing as he heard that. Taylor then smiled and said to the audience who was exclaiming and laughing, "I know, it surprised me too."

The interviewer asked with a light laugh and probed further, "Why do you think he's a dork?"

"I know he carried himself like the cool guy in the interviews and all, but it was far from the truth. He loves to crack lame jokes when we are hanging out."

"Just yesterday, he told me a joke about a bear who went into a bar."

Interviewer asked, "Oh, can you tell us, and let us decide if he's a dork too?"

"Sure. I will make sure to expose him today." Taylor joked, which made a lot of people laugh. "The joke starts like this, so there's this menacing bear who walked into a bar."

"Then, the bartender nervously asked him, "What drink do you want?"

"The bear said…Rum.................................…..And Coke."

"The bartender wiped his sweat and asked, "Why the big pause?""

"The bear replied, 'I don't know. I was just born with them–' "

The interviewee let out a snorty laugh for a second before saying, "I finally get it." 

The audience laughed for a while before the interviewer asked Taylor, "Right now, I can say, he's 30 percent a dork. Is there any more evidence to support your claims?"

"There is more!" Taylor said in excitement. "Just this morning, when we went to get coffee, he took one sip and said, 'Ugh, My grandpa didn't fight in 2 wars for a coffee this shi– this bad."

Taylor playfully excused her near-word slip, causing more laughter from the audience. The interviewer was confused, "Wait. 2 wars? Is his grandpa over 100 years old?"

"That's exactly what I asked him." Taylor replied with an irritated expression. "Then, with a smug look on his face, he said, 'That's why I said he DIDN'T fight THE 2 wars.' I almost threw my bagel at him."

"60! He's 60 percent a dork!" The interviewer replied, sharing the same sentiment as Taylor. Edward was grinning from ear to ear in his basement and mumbled, "Well at least it's a good interview."

That same night when Edward went to Taylor's house, she appeared to be annoyed and irritated. Edward was confused and asked, "What's wrong? Did you have a bad day?"

"No." Taylor replied grumpily.

"Have you eaten yet?" Edward asked again.

Taylor rolled her eyes and said, "I'm not the type that gets mad if I'm hungry!"

"But…have you eaten yet?" Edward asked again.

Taylor went silent and replied meekly, "No…"

Edward smiled and said, "I'll cook you something to eat while you tell me all about your day. Does that sound good to you?"

Taylor hesitated for a bit, torn between wanting to stay angry and becoming happy. Then she decided to indulge in the pampering, "Yes."


After school, Edward visited the Dunphy's house to teach Luke how to play the guitar, driven by his desire to improve at Guitar Hero. 

As Luke left to get a drink, Edward and Haley remained alone in the living room. Haley mischievously smirked and asked Edward to show her the G chord.

Confused, Edward positioned his fingers on the guitar, saying, "This is G…"

Amusingly, Haley took a crisp dollar bill, folded it, and placed it between the strings.

Edward chuckled and exclaimed, "Did you just... slide a dollar bill onto my G-string?"

Haley's laughter filled the air as she playfully attempted to tickle Edward. However, Edward, maintaining his composure, gently set his guitar down and turned the tables on her.

Haley found herself breathless and squirming on the living room couch as Edward skillfully tickled her. But just as the tickling reached its peak, Edward abruptly stopped. Their eyes met, and an electric tension filled the room as their lips drew closer, inch by inch.

Then, it met. Both of them widened their eyes and they separated from each other quickly. Haley's face flushed and she couldn't meet Edward in the eye.


"Hey I came out with a few things. I'll bring my sketchbook down so that you can take a look." Haley interrupted Edward quickly.

[Haley's commentary]

"I had to interrupt. I can't bear it if he says 'I'm sorry'. I realized that right now we're in a weird place, but it's not like it's something bad…Right?" She asked with a confused expression. 

[Commentary ends]


As Edward entered Sage's classroom, she immediately sprayed him with a bottle, scolding him in anger. "What's wrong with you?" she exclaimed. "I specifically told you not to do that!"

Edward hung his head, feeling guilty for his actions. He now faced the consequences of his impulsive behavior—a relentless barrage of nagging from Sage.

Wiping his wet face with his hand, Edward tried to explain, "I cannot control myself. Blame these teenage hormones."

Sage retorted, "Excuses! You're a warthog."

Edward was taken aback. "Are you calling me a pig?" he asked, disbelief evident in his voice.

Sage calmed herself down and said, "I don't want to tell you how to live your life. And, I don't really care about the girls. You can date both of them if you want. "

Edward was a bit taken aback, "Then, why?"

Sage glared at Edward, making his heart jump for a second. She explained, "You know you have been acting really deluded ever since you have ROBIN."

Edward replied casually, "Well, my workplace has become 1500% more efficient. I can focus my time on creating stuff–"

"Not that. That's all the good part." Sage interrupted. "I was talking about the part where you think you can solve everything if you have her. That's a dangerous thought, and you know it yourself."

Edward was silent for a while, and then he looked at Sage with a serious expression. He said, "So what if I know? I don't have a solution to it. Do you have any solution to it?"

Sage was the one taken aback this time. She replied with confusion, "No?"

Edward locked eyes with Sage for a while before he sighed. "Then, if you don't have the solution, and I don't have the solution, is it really the best use of our time worrying about it?"

"Edward. If there's a ticking bomb counting down inside your house, will you ignore it, or try to do something about it? You can read some books…I don't know? Get a professional to come take a look? Or just wait until the countdown finishes?" Sage said sarcastically.

"Well it's not like I'm creating Ultron. There's really no risk to it." Edward replied.

"Do you even believe what you're saying right now?" Sage asked. 

Edward was silent for a while, and then he was saved from answering the question by the bell ring and the other students entering the class. 

Later, after school had ended, Edward found himself unexpectedly running into Mrs. Henderson, his middle school teacher, at a nearby diner. 

"Hello Pretty Lady. Are you eating alone? Want some company?" Edward flirted as he sat at her table without even asking permission.

Mrs Henderson raised an eyebrow and said, "Hello Mr Newgate. Nice to see you aren't changing much."

"That's…rude?" Edward asked in confusion. He shrugged and said, "I don't know whether to be offended by that statement or not."

Mrs Henderson smiled and said, "That's what I was going for."

Edward grimaced and said, "Well, nice to see you aren't changing too."

"Anything on your mind? You seem… a bit distressed." Mrs Henderson asked.

Edward was taken aback and joked, "Shouldn't we order some food and lead the conversation with some small talk first before getting into the more serious topic?"

"We could. But I ordered my take away 10 minutes ago, and I usually only need to wait 15 minutes before leaving with my food." Mrs Henderson said casually.

Edward smiled and said with a fake sad expression, "You can't stay for 10 more minutes for our reunion. I'm hurt."

"Hurts…That reminds me. I saw your match last Sunday. Are you okay now? You got tackled pretty hard." Mrs Henderson asked, completely dismissing Edward's act. 

"Yeah the bruises are all gone." Edward replied honestly. 

"Well you should take good care of yourself. A lot of people will feel sad if something were to happen to you." Mrs Henderson said with a soft expression. 

Edward went silent for a while before he smiled, "I guess you're right."

Mrs Henderson's order came at the moment, and while she took her bag, she said to Edward, "And, you don't really need to worry too much. A lot of things are happening to you all at once, so you may feel overwhelmed… But if I know you Ed, I don't think it will bother you at all."

"Huh?" Edward was confused.

Mrs Henderson smiled and said, "if you think of them as challenges rather than problems, then maybe, you might have some fun solving them."

Edward was tongue tied when he heard it. After Mrs Henderson left, he stayed there for a while, ruminating on what she had said. A lot of things cleared up when he decided to look at them with a different perspective. 

"Is this what Sage was talking about? I guess Mrs Henderson is a professional in solving people's problems– Wait. She's a teacher. She's trained to do so. Sage is just an impostor." Edward mumbled to himself. 

However, as Edward left the diner, he had a nagging feeling that someone was watching him with ill intentions. He quickly scanned his surroundings but couldn't identify the culprit.

"Was I imagining things?" Edward mumbled to himself, on high alert as he returned to his car.

"Congratulations for breaking through 100 million views!!" Pepper popped a confetti bomb to Taylor as she entered his office together with Edward. They were currently at the Entertain building, making final preparations for the VMAs!

"Pep! You're back!" Edward said with excitement as he gave Pepper a giant hug.

"If I stay there any longer, I might have to call myself a New Yorker, and I have a lot of problems with that." Pepper said sarcastically. Taylor smiled and said, "100 Mil? Really?"

Edward grinned and turned to her, "Really! It just hit 100 Mil 20 minutes ago."

"ED!" Taylor rushed toward Edward and gave him a hug. Edward hugged her back but shortly after, she pulled her face back and asked Edward seriously, "Did you do anything to mess with the views?"

"Unfortunately, No. You got 100 Million views on Youtube, all on your own effort– Well, our effort. The MV is called, "Unnecessarily High Quality" and "4 Minute Movie" after all." Edward answered playfully. 

Pepper chuckled hearing that and added, "You forgot "Teenage Rom-Com You never knew you needed". That's enough hugging from you two. Let's talk about the VMAs."

Pepper held his paper fan in between Edward and Taylor before separating them. Taylor grimaced in dissatisfaction and shot Pepper a dirty look while Edward laughed. 

Pepper didn't take her glaring seriously at all and said, "The votes are closed tonight. Unexpectedly, they listed Edward's song inside the categories too. I'm sure you guys all know about it."

"Yeah. I'm skeptical about that. I have only debuted less than 5 months after all. Taylor has 3 years, and she's still being counted as a newbie."

Taylor nodded and hugged Edward's arm, "You're just awesome. Maybe they realize that too."

Pepper added, "Even if they were playing around, even getting nominated is such a huge honor for a new celeb."

Edward shrugged and said, "We don't really need this kind of suspense. I can ask ROBIN to just tell me who won."

"NOOO!!" Pepper and Taylor shouted at the same time. Edward was taken aback and he exclaimed, "Sheesh. Both of you guys are drama queens."

Friday night arrived, and Edward and Taylor had to fly to New York for the VMAs award show. Ted, offering his support, hugged Edward, "Good luck at the VMAs. Don't forget to bring a nice bag to put all of the trophies in."

"Don't worry. I already have." Edward joked back.

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