Hello, lovely readers! And welcome!
Now, buckle your seatbelts everyone, because this is going to be a lengthy message from me, followed, eventually, by the prologue. I apologize in advance for the long author's note.
Many, many years ago, I wrote a Jasper/OC centric trilogy for the Twilight fandom. The stories were called 'When Nothing Crumbles', 'The Breaking Bough', and 'Days of Eternity'. It was my first serious venture into the world of fanfiction, but, since I was still fairly new to the game, my writing skill wasn't very strong. Regardless, the trilogy had a nice little following, which made me happy.
Fast forward to two years ago. I had long since finished writing the trilogy and had moved on from the Twilight fandom. I felt more comfortable with my writing and had turned into a bit of a perfectionist. And by bit, I mean a major perfectionist. I still enjoyed the general plot of the trilogy, but anytime I went back to read it, it would leave me cringing. There were so many mistakes that could have been avoided if I had edited before posting, but back then I was so eager to get chapters out that I didn't bother to fine tune. There were a lot of things about the stories that really bugged me, and the more time went on, the more it bothered me. Eventually I started to wonder if I should continue to leave the stories up or not. I almost felt embarrassed having them up for the public to read knowing how mistake-ridden and hastily put together they were. But I didn't really have the motivation to fix them up either, because I was already working on so many other projects. I went back and forth about it for a while, until I finally came to a decision.
I deleted the stories.
When I did this I truly, honestly believed that nobody would notice their absence. Because it had been so long since I had written the stories, I really didn't think anyone was reading them anymore and didn't think anyone would care if they were gone. Apparently I was wrong, because for the next several months my inbox was flooded with messages asking where the stories had gone and asking if I could repost them, mistakes and all. Needless to say, it didn't take long for me to realize I had made a mistake in taking the stories down.
As much as I wanted to repost the stories, the fact of the matter was that I no longer had any copies of my original work. I had written them on my previous laptop, which crashed several years ago, and I hadn't thought it necessary to download any of the work before I took it off the website. I was stuck. I couldn't repost the stories because I didn't have them anymore, and though people asked if I could simply rewrite them, I knew there was no way I'd be able to remember what I had written the first time around, nor would I even have the time to rewrite three stories from scratch. There was nothing I could do. They were gone, and that was that.
But then, a few months ago, a miracle happened! A fellow member on the website by the name of Fine Mournings reached out to me and said that she had read my previous message about not having the stories anymore, and how people were upset that the stories were gone. Turns out, she had actually saved copies of the stories to keep for her own personal use, and she was happy to share them with me if I wanted to repost them. I was hesitant at first, simply because I knew myself and knew I'd have to fix them before I posted anything. But after taking some time to think about it, I finally took the plunge and asked her to send them to me.
Here we are now. I've got my original work and I'm going through and revising every single bit of this story. I don't know if people will remember the stories, I don't know if people will even still care. But I'm doing it anyway, because it feels like the right thing to do. So for those new to Jasper & Danielle, welcome! To those who were along for the ride the first time around, welcome back! Working on this story again has made me realize that I still have a serious softspot for it, and I hope you guys will feel the same. I'm going to end this ridiculously long rant now. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I own nothing related to Twilight, only the OC's!
P.S. This story is not necessarily in the book universe, nor the movie universe. It's going to be a combination of the two. Also, in this story Jasper and Alice do not have a romantic relationship. Just a heads up!
ORIGINAL CHARACTER FACECLAIMS:
Danielle Clark - Jane Levy
Lynne Clark - Julianne Moore
Tom Fitzpatrick - Nicholas Hoult
When Nothing Crumbles
It was official. Danielle Clark hated moving.
The entire process – having to sort through all of her belongings, pack everything she owned, clean every inch of the home she was leaving – was nothing but one giant headache. But you know what was worse than moving? Having to move across the country, which was exactly what she and her mother, Lynne, were currently in the process of doing.
Danielle sighed and shifted around in the passenger seat of her mother's car. They were in the last stretch of their drive from Houston, Texas to Forks, Washington, which was somewhat of a relief. She was sick of being on the road, and by now her butt was so numb from sitting for so long that she wasn't confident she even had a butt anymore. Sighing again, she glanced at her mother, who seemed oblivious to Danielle's moodiness as she concentrated on the road. Frowning grumpily, Danielle turned her eyes back to the window, watching as the green, wet, and gloomy landscape jumped past the window.
To be honest, she wasn't really sure what her mother had been thinking when she had accepted the job offer that had resulted in them moving to this place.
Their life in Houston hadn't been perfect, but it certainly hadn't been horrible, either. Her parents were divorced and she hadn't seen her father since she had been a little girl, so it had just been the two of them. They'd lived in a small house in a suburb outside of Houston, and though it wasn't the nicest place anyone had ever seen, it had been home. But for her mother, being a single parent wasn't easy. She had worked herself to the bone at a number of different jobs over the years - most of which she had absolutely hated - all so she could try to provide Danielle with a good life. Money had been tight more often than not, and though Lynne never discussed it with Danielle, she knew there had been a time or two where her mother had had to dig them out of serious financial troubles.
She could recall hearing her mother express the desire to go somewhere different and start anew at least a hundred times in her life. Over the years, Lynne had grown weary of being in Houston, where she could never seem to find a job she truly loved and where she could never seem to find true, stable footing in life. It didn't help that her love-life in Houston had been total crap, too. She had dated a handful of guys over the years, none of which had ever really gotten too serious simply because all of the guys her mother ended up with always turned out to be complete jerks. After all she had been through, Danielle didn't blame her mother for wanting to start somewhere fresh, to go somewhere where nobody knew them and try to begin a fresh chapter of their lives.
But though she understood her mother's desires on some level, Danielle had never thought she would actually go through with the urge to move.
Boy, how wrong she had been. Because here they were, moving to some tiny town hundreds upon hundreds of miles away from home right smack in the middle of her senior year of high school. A town, mind you, that Danielle had never even heard of until Lynne had told her it would be their new place of residence.
She still couldn't say she was completely sure how her mother had heard about the bookstore in Forks that she had agreed to take ownership of, the very same bookstore that had been the catalyst for this move – she thought Lynne had heard through a friend that a cousin's mother-in-law was looking to retire and sell the shop, or some equaly confusing line of relation like that. Her mother, seeing the opportunity to move somewhere that was new and much cheaper, and, for the first time her life, be her own boss, had reached out to the woman and, after a few days of going back and forth, they finally came to an agreement.
When Lynne had broken the news, Danielle had not been happy. The thought of moving across country and having to finish her high school career in an entirely knew place sounded positively awful. She had tried to talk her out of it, had begged for her to wait to move until she had finished high school so that she could graduate with her friends, but it had been in vain. Lynne had already accepted the job and secured a new house for them to live in, as well as sold off their previous house in Texas. There would be no putting off the move – it was happening whether Danielle wanted it to or not.
So they had left the warmth and sunshine of Houston for the cold, rainy town of Forks. And with each mile that brought them closer to their new home, the dread in Danielle's stomach grew stronger and stronger.
She'd have to start all over. At a time where she was supposed to be looking forward to embarking on the next stage of her life with her friends by her side, she was moving to a strange new place where she wouldn't know anyone or anything. She'd be going to a new school, where she'd have to make new friends and embrace a new life. The problem was that she didn't want a new life. She'd liked her old one just fine, thank you very much.
"This could be a really wonderful experience for us, sweetheart," her mother suddenly spoke up in a reassuring tone. Perhaps she hadn't been as oblivious to Danielle's mood as she had thought. "In a town like this you're bound to make friends pretty quick," Lynne added.
"Or I'll get stared at like I'm some freak who ran away from the circus," Danielle countered, her voice dripping with cynicism.
Lynne shook her head and sighed. "You could try to be a little more enthusiastic."
Danielle felt her annoyance spike at those words, but tried very hard not to show it. "I had to leave practically everything I've ever known and loved back home, and in my senior year of high school no less," she reminded her with forced calmness. "This isn't as easy for me as it is for you, Mom."
"It wasn't easy for me either," Lynne rebutted. "I've lived in Texas almost all my life. You aren't the only one who had to make sacrifices, Dani," Lynne reminded her. "I'm the odd person out here, too."
Danielle stared at her for a moment, then closed her eyes and nodded. She wasn't in the mood for an argument, especially when said argument wouldn't make a difference anyway. "You're right," she said simply, before leaning her forehead against the cool window.
As their conversation ceased and they car continued ever onward, she couldn't help but think her mother was getting the better end of the deal here. This was what Lynne had wanted, right? To go someplace new and start over? Well, she had gotten her wish, and Danielle was pretty sure Lynne wouldn't have a hard time adjusting to their new life. She was going to start working at the bookshop and all the adults in town would love her and it would be all rainbows and sunshine for her. But for Danielle, who was going to have to try to find a way to fit in and make friends with her schoolmates, she didn't think it was going to be so easy. In a small town like Forks, everyone knew each other and everyone was friends. They didn't normally take kindly to outsiders, which is exactly what Danielle was. An outsider. An outcast.
This was going to be an absolute nightmare.
At some point Danielle dozed off, finding herself lulled to sleep by the steady hum of the car engine and the soft music floating through their car speakers. When she finally woke again, the car was stopped and her mother was gently shaking her shoulder.
"We're here," Lynne announced. There was a note of excitement in her voice that was impossible to miss.
Lynne exited the car, and after rubbing the sleep from her eyes, Danielle did the same. While her mother went to the trunk to start unloading the bags that they had brought with them, Danielle took a moment to stand in the driveway and observe their new neighborhood.
It was nicer than she had expected it would be. In her mind, she had imagined that the houses in small towns like this would look old and rundown, but that wasn't the case here. Sure, the houses weren't brand new, but they looked well-kept and actually quite cozy. The yards were huge, too, and the houses were more spaced out, which was a big difference from their neighborhood back in Houston, where the houses had practically been on top of each other. Danielle shoved her hands into the pockets of her jacket, shivering against the cold wind that whipped around her, and eyed a group of kids playing basketball down the street. She then looked up at her new home, which was a brick, two story house that had leafy vines slowly growing along the outside walls. It was bigger than their house in Texas.
When Lynne walked past her and carried a few bags up to the front door, Danielle finally went to the trunk to grab a few bags containing her clothes. She followed her mother inside, her eyes full of curiosity as she finally stepped into the house and was able to get a good look at everything for the first time. She immediately felt comforted by the familiar site of their furniture, which had been packed into a truck and moved up a week prior to their arrival.
"What do you think?" Lynne asked expectantly, watching as Danielle took everything in.
"It's…nice," Danielle admitted.
Lynne seemed pleased with her approval. "I thought so, too," she said, setting down the bags she'd carried inside. "It's a pretty quiet neighborhood, which should be a nice change," she said, referring to the fact that their old neighborhood had usually been the complete opposite. "I didn't get much of a chance to meet many of the neighbors while I was here helping the movers set up last weekend, but there is a nice man across the street who was kind enough to come and introduce himself. He's the chief of police around here, and he has a daughter about your age, too," she added with raised brows. "And, like you, she just moved here. So maybe you're not so alone after all."
Danielle just nodded in understanding. She had not missed the tone in her mother's voice, the one that was not so subtly hinting that she thought Danielle should be friends with this girl. She could admit that she did kind of like the thought of having a neighbor her age to befriend, but, then again, who was to say they'd even get along? The majority of Danielle's friends back home had been guys simply because teenage girls were catty and dramatic, and Danielle didn't have the time or patience for nonsense like that. If this girl was anything like the girls she had gone to school with back in Texas, Danielle wasn't even going to waste her time.
Her mother headed back outside after that to fetch the rest of the bags from the car. Danielle left her to it and went upstairs so she could haul her clothes to her bedroom. Her room was the first door on the right, and as soon as she saw her bed, already made and with her favorite quilt on top of it, she sighed with relief. Dropping her bags carelessly onto the floor, she went straight for the bed and flopped onto it, her face burying into the pillow.
After a moment or two she rolled onto her back and fished out the flip phone that had been in her back pocket. The urge to call her best friend, Tom Fitzpatrick, hit her swiftly, but when she remembered how much of her complaining he'd had to endure before she had left, she thought maybe it would be better to leave him be for now. She sent him a quick text to let him know that she had finally arrived in Forks safe and sound, and left it at that.
"Here's the last of your things," Lynne said as she appeared in the doorway of Danielle's room. She dropped a bag down onto the ground next to the ones Danielle had deposited there minutes ago, then gave her a pointed look. "Unpack these bags tonight, please," she commanded. "Tomorrow's your first say of school. You don't want to be late just because you had to go searching for clothes."
Lynne left after that, claiming she was going to figure out dinner. Danielle pinched the bridge of her nose and heaved once she was alone. Was a little relaxation time too much to ask? Apparently so.
The ringing of her cell phone made her drop her hand from her face. She quickly checked to see who was calling, then smiled. "Hey, Pickles," she said as she answered the phone, referring to him by one of her favorite nicknames for him. Apparently he wanted to talk anyway, despite the mass amount of griping she had done before leaving Texas.
"Hey yourself, Dani-lani-ding-dong," he responded.
Danielle cringed. "You know I hate that nickname," she said sourly.
"Which is why I keep saying it," Tom countered without missing a beat.
Danielle just laughed and shook her head. "Jerk," she accused good-naturedly.
"Takes one to know one," he retorted smartly.
Danielle sighed, their familiar, friendly banter bringing a pang of longing to her heart. She had known Tom since they had been just kids. They had grown up together and done damn near everything together - they had learned to read, ride bikes, play sports, drive cars. He had been her constant companion over the years, someone she trusted and relied on and cared very much about. He was more than just a friend - he was the brother she had never had. And to be so far away from him now, to know that she wouldn't see his smiling, friendly, familiar face on a daily basis anymore downright sucked.
"So, how's the new town?" Tom asked conversationally, though she thought she could detect a hint of sadness in his tone.
"Small. Cold. Green," she said dully. "It's not Houston, that's for sure," she told him with a small frown.
"You'll get used to it," Tom said reassuringly.
"Yeah, I guess," she agreed without much enthusiasm.
"What have you been doing so far?" Tom asked next.
"I was about to start unpacking, but then you called," she told him.
"Unpacking already after being in a car for so long?" Tom asked incredulously. "Why don't you wait until tomorrow?"
"I've got school tomorrow," she reminded him.
"What?" Tom said, sounded a little outraged. "But it's the middle of the week and you only just got there! Why not just wait until next week to go?"
Danielle sat up in bed and picked at a loose string hanging off the quilt. "Mom said I could wait until next week if I wanted, but I mean...why put it off? Most of the furniture and stuff is already set up, so there isn't much to do around the house. I'll be bored as hell sitting around while mom goes to work. I might as well just start school and get it over with," she explained.
Tom huffed. "Well, I think you're crazy. If it were me, I would've enjoyed a few days off," he said matter-of-factly.
"I think you're just crazy period," Danielle accused jokingly.
"I'll take that as a compliment," Tom said with a laugh. "Normal people are boring."
"Dani?" Lynne's voice called to her from the first floor. "You're unpacking your clothes, right?" she called next, though the tone she used hinted that she wasn't really asking as so much telling her that she had better be doing as she had been told.
"Yes, Mom!" Danielle called back. Sighing, she turned her attention back to Tom. "Look, I've gotta start unpacking my clothes before my mom comes up here and gives me an earful."
"Alright," Tom said, sounding disappointed. "I miss you already, you weirdo," he then said, his tone obviously sad now.
Danielle smiled sadly. "I miss you too, you goof," she said back. "It's gonna be weird, going to a school that you're not at," she admitted.
"Trust me, I know how you feel," Tom said in return. "Tell all those north-westerners that they better treat you right, otherwise I'm gonna come up there and open up a can of whoop-ass," he added threateningly.
Danielle laughed again. "Will do," she assured him. "Thanks for calling. It was good to hear your voice," she said fondly.
"No problem," Tom said, and she could practically hear the smile in his words. "Good luck at school tomorrow. Just be yourself and everyone will like you just fine," he told her.
"I'll try," Danielle promised. "I'll talk to you later, okay?"
Danielle finally pulled the phone from her ear and clicked a button to end the call, her heart feeling a bit heavier as she thought about her friend, who she already missed to the point of almost feeling sick. Finally, set her phone aside and forced herself to move past her sadness, then got up to do as her mother had said, knowing Lynne would just continue to hassle her until all of her things were put away.
Danielle turned on the radio that had been set up in her room and started unpacking, hanging her clothes up in her closet and rearranging her belongings to her liking. By the time she had finished, the sun had disappeared and the pizza her mother had decided to order for dinner had arrived. She went downstairs to eat, feeling a little less moody once she had some food in her belly. After dinner she chatted with her mom for a bit, then, when Lynne said she was going to get to work unpacking her own things, Danielle cleaned up their dishes from dinner and headed back upstairs.
After days of being in the car and an entire afternoon of unpacking, it felt good to take a nice, hot shower. Her spirits brightened even more once she was squeaky clean and toasty from the hot water…but the moment she stepped out of her steam-filled bathroom, her spirits dropped again. The house was freezing, no doubt due to the fact that it also freezing outside. Shivering a bit in spite of the pajama pants and long sleeve shirt she wore, Danielle stomped over to the window just to double check that it was closed. Once she was satisfied that there was no way for the cold, traitorous, Washington air to sneak into her room, she glanced out into the street before starting to turn away from the window. Danielle paused, however, when something caught her attention.
Her gaze was on the house across the street, the one that had an old, red truck parked in front of it. It wasn't the truck that had caught her attention, though, nor the house itself. Her eyes were instead peering at a window on the second floor. The curtains were pulled back and she could clearly see the a teenage girl standing there. And currently, that teenage girl was staring right back at Danielle.
The girl seemed to jump a bit when she realized she'd been caught spying, which made Danielle smirk with amusement. Danielle paused, then raised a hand and waved, figuring she might as well do something to acknowledge her. The girl hesitated, then awkwardly waved back. She disappeared from the window after that, and when a few seconds ticked by without a reappearance, Danielle finally closed the curtains over her own window.
She spent the rest of the night in her room, alternating between texting with a few random friends wanting to check in on her and reading one of her books. Eventually her mother, showered and looking exhausted, came upstairs to say goodnight. Once her mother closed the door and retreated back downstairs, Danielle realized how tired she was herself. Thinking it best to get a good night of sleep before her first day at her new school, she closed her book, clicked off the light and got settled in bed.
Just as she rolled onto her side and got comfortable, the rain started. Danielle looked to the window, listening to the roll of thunder and watching lighting flash behind the curtains. She then rolled her eyes and put a pillow over her head, hoping it would be enough to muffle the sounds outside. She'd experienced her fair share of thunderstorms back in Houston, but here in Forks, Washington, rain was as common as oxygen. As she thought about all of the nights of thunderstorms she was likely going to endure for the foreseeable future, she had to heave.
This was definitely going to take some getting used to.
Ah, it's just like old times! Please review! I'd love to know what you guys think!