A/N: I'm just doing a collection of one-shots throughout Nessie's childhood and it starts at six months.
March 11th, 2007
I stared at her in complete awe as she toddled toward me. Her eyes were fixed on my face and her brow was set with a determination I couldn't believe a six month old was capable of. Eighteen months, I corrected myself. She was aging mentally so much faster than biologically and her careful journey across the room was indicative of that. She must have seen my blatant excitement because she gave a little squeal and bounded the remaining three feet to me. Of course, she stumbled about a foot away from my knee and immediately latched onto it to steady herself. I brought a hand up to her head and gently stroked her curls, "Easy honey. That was amazing!"
She gave a soft coo like she understood my words she probably did. Her talking was slowly improving with just a few words here and there, but she favored little noises and sending her thoughts instead of speaking them. Bella and Edward were pushing her to rely more on verbal communication, but apparently I played the role of disciplinarian poorly because I never fought her hard on it. She instinctively knew how whipped I was and that I couldn't deny her anything, so she came to me for everything. The beautiful little devil knew I couldn't say no.
She continued to hold onto my leg and wrapped her own around it, plopping down on top of my foot. Her face nuzzled into my shin and I quickly scooped her up into my arms, cradling her against my chest. Her little bronze ringlets fell just past her shoulders and I swept them to one side, mesmerized by their movements. Everything about her was fascinating to me. I couldn't stop looking at her face and watching her reactions and discovering new aspects to the little bundle that was my entire world.
Her eyes were a little glassy and she blinked slowly, a sign that she was tired. She snuggled her face into my chest and her beautiful, brown eyes peered up at me. All of her depth and personality were hidden in those two chocolate orbs; I could see every emotion as it flitted across her face in those gorgeous eyes. I was committing each one to memory and became increasingly good at identifying repeats. This look was one I was quite familiar with and it warmed me from the inside out. I had labeled it the 'I love you' look in my head last month when I first saw it directed at me and Edward nearly broke my neck.
There was no other name for it though. The affection she had for me radiated through that gaze and met my adoration with her own in a way that felt too natural and perfect. I guess that was the nature of the imprint, but ever since she first put on that expression, I was hooked. Any shred of doubt I had for our bond completely disintegrated when she flashed me that look. Her delicate hand reached up to press against my cheek and I felt her musical voice reverberate in my mind, "Jacob."
That singular word sounded better than anything I'd ever heard spoken out loud. I knew I was looking at her with poorly veiled awe and maybe I should have tried to curb how much I adored her (or at least how much I let it show), but she didn't seem to mind. She beamed at my reaction and mentally whispered my name again. She had yet to say it out loud, though I had been coaxing for weeks. I was almost relieved that "mommy" and "daddy" were her first ones, since I'm sure Bella would have knocked my head off my shoulders if it was my name instead. She also mastered "tummy" as a means to say she was hungry and "Rosie" to Blondie's delight. That new development happened just last week and her smugness was still hanging in the air, making me nauseous. One glance at my angel's face recovered my good mood. I couldn't fathom how I was so unbelievably lucky to have her in my life and I squeezed her tighter to me.
I watched her eyes shifting from clear and focused to a dreamy, dazed expression and I knew she would fall asleep soon. She kept her hand pressed against my cheek but didn't send me anything else. Her breathing evened and I saw her eyes fluttering closed. I pressed a kiss to her forehead and whispered back to her, "Nessie."
Her mouth tugged upward in a little half smile, but she fell asleep before it even fully graced her face. Her fingers slid down and rested limply against my neck as she lost the ability to hold her arm upright. I rocked her gently and she let out an unconscious, happy sigh. It was unbelievable to me how tethered my very being was to her. I didn't process things the way I used to; I was largely stuck in the present with her. I didn't plan or look ahead to the future with any degree of interest, because my entire world was already napping peacefully in my arms.
I heard Edward clear his throat and I snapped my head upward from her relaxed face to his stressed one. He appraised us carefully and sat in the chair across from our window seat. I could see the sadness in his expression and maybe even muster a little guilt over it, but I couldn't apologize for the bond we had.
"She's just so little. We haven't had any time with her." It wasn't an accusation, but not far from it. I tried not to be defensive and acknowledge the reasonable argument that his daughter had already found her mate not a half hour into her life.
"I'm not planning to run off with her, Edward." I kept my tone light, but he growled at the mere suggestion.
I tried again, "I'll follow whatever rules you and Bella can think of. I just can't leave her." I gazed down at her as I spoke and my heart clenched painfully at the thought of not being in her immediate orbit. I shuddered at the intensity of the pain that rippled through me. No, I wouldn't survive that.
Edward sighed, probably listening to my thoughts and he moved to join us on the window seat, stroking her bronze curls.
"I'll admit, I am a little awed by the strength of the imprint." He didn't look at me as he said it, staring down at her face. I didn't really have a response for that other than my own surprise at its magnitude. I passed her carefully into his arms as a show of good faith and he laughed at my intentions.
"I'm her father," he began in a matter-of-fact voice. "I'm supposed to be the one to love her as completely and unconditionally as you do, maybe second only to her mother. I don't know how to share her."
I just nodded at him, because I certainly couldn't deny the strength of my connection to her. I was beyond grateful that he was willing to try and be open-minded. Bella certainly resisted my role in her life a lot more than Edward and I could only attribute that to him reading my thoughts and knowing how devoted I was to her. He nodded in agreement with my thoughts, a habit I had finally grown accustomed to. If he was letting me love his daughter, I could let him poke around in my brain. His frame shook with a silent laugh and he brushed his fingers along her cheekbone.
I fought my childish nature and attempted to sound reassuring. "She'll always be your daughter, just maybe with some extra reinforcements around her." We both grinned at the truth in my words.
"You know there are worse things than having the Alpha of an entire wolf pack devoted to your kid."
He glanced up at me then and I was floored when he squeezed my shoulder appreciatively. I resisted the urge to shudder and respect the gratitude he was trying to convey. "I know, Jacob, and I will be forever grateful to you for that aspect of it."
Our conversation was interrupted by her soft whimper and I immediately stiffened, wanting to snatch her back into my arms. Edward sighed again and willingly held her out to me. I quickly accepted and she exhaled a little when she made contact with my chest, drifting off again. I looked at him in astonishment and he wore the same agonized expression as before.
He explained her actions in a slightly jealous tone. "She felt the coolness of my skin and feared you left her." I naturally held her tighter to me and she drowsily tucked her face into my collarbone, pushing her cheek against my shoulder firmly.
He narrated again with a greater degree of contempt. "She recognizes your body heat and your scent so she's calming." I felt a little dizzy with admiration for the beautiful baby in my arms and a swelling sense of pride that I could comfort her more than anyone else. Edward released a low growl and I winced, knowing my thoughts were running away again.
She nuzzled further into my neck and let out a soft exhale, "Jacob." I couldn't control my elation at that moment even if I wanted to. My name. She said my name. She said my name in that dreamy, loving tone. My brain barely registered Edward's huff of annoyance as I leaned down to kiss her forehead and happily drowned in the overwhelming love coursing through me.
He let out a distressed groan as he caught one of her coppery spirals between his fingers, "I guess you and I are destined to fight over women for eternity."
A/N: Let me know any ideas you have for more moments and what you thought of the first one! Right now, I have a bunch from Jake's perspective but I might try Renesmee's later.