Rating (E, T, M, NC17): E
You were almost dead when I found you. I'd been tracking you psychically for days, ever since I felt the sudden pain in my chest and knew it was from you. I hadn't felt you for so long it was strange for you to suddenly be there again.
I don't know how you blocked us out but then, you always did things I thought were impossible.
I went alone. You hadn't let any of the others in so I didn't tell them anything. I drove a car so that I wouldn't have to change and let them see into my mind. I went alone and, after three days driving and searching, I found you.
You were in human form which was the first surprise. I barely had time to notice this though when I saw the blood covering you. The injuries so violent that I couldn't tell what had happened. I ignored all the rules about not moving injured people and lifted you into the truck. There was blood all over the seat but at that moment I didn't care, couldn't care. I climbed in the other side and accelerated as fast as possible. I had to find a town and a hospital before you died. My only thoughts were for keeping you alive.
"Sam." Your voice was hoarse, scratched and worn as it if hadn't been used in too long. "Sam, s'that you?"
"Yeah, Jake. It's me, I'm here." I tried not to let any of the fear show through in my voice. You were a wolf, you had to make it, had to heal.
"You didn't… didn't tell the others."
"Good." Your head fell sideways, too much effort required to hold it up, and rested on my shoulder. I slid an arm around your shoulders, trying not to flinch at the chill in your skin. "Good," you breathed again and your eyes closed. I had to force myself not to panic.
Later I was sitting by your bed. The hospital staff had finally left us after so many stupid questions like 'are you family?' Of course I was family. I was all the family you had now but you wouldn't know about that. It was just another thing I'd have to tell you.
They said you'd be lucky to survive but if you lasted the night then I could start hoping. I was already hoping though, hoping your wolf blood would be enough to combat the wounds. It scared me though, the fact that you weren't healing scared me.
You looked very different to how I remembered you. The young, laughing boy had completely vanished in the shadows of your face. Even the young man I had come to love like a brother had faded leaving a gaunt stranger, a shadow of the man I knew. I couldn't imagine this person laughing as he chased vampires across a plain. I couldn't imagine this man chasing a young girl, loving her.
"Sam?" The same hoarse whisper. I leant closer to you so we could talk.
"Jake, how are you feeling?"
"Like crap. Like crap that's been pummelled and beaten until it aches all over." He shifted slightly with a moan. "I guess I didn't really expect you to come. I didn't even know if you heard me."
"I heard," I replied slowly. "And of course I came." I paused, resting a hand on your arm. You flinched slightly at the warmth in my skin at the same time as I shook from the chill in yours. "It's been a long time. Almost twenty years, Jake." You paused, apparently unaware of this fact.
"How's Claire?" you asked eventually.
"Married," I replied with a sigh.
"To Quill? I hope he's happy." You leant back on the pillows and closed your eyes. I didn't have the heart to disagree with you, didn't have the heart to tell you how few of us were left. I remembered the bonfire suddenly, for the first time in years, with all of us sitting around it telling stories. Happy. Safe.
The fight against the newborn where we were all laughing and making sure we fought enough. You were injured then, your whole side was shattered and we were terrified but you were healing then.
You weren't healing now. I'd been sitting beside you for two hours and the wounds were just as deep, just as violent. I needed you to heal. I needed you to open your eyes, Jake.
I don't want to be alone.
"I remember Claire," you said in a soft voice. I jumped, leaning closer after fearing the worst. "I remember an afternoon with Quill and Embry and we were playing. Quill was so protective of her and we were laughing. So much laughter." I couldn't imagine you laughing now. Lying there, gaunt and scratched.
"You'll get better," I urged. "You'll get better and we'll go home and play with Claire again. You can laugh again." I wasn't sure how I would tell you about Quill, about Leah, about Seth. That would have to come later.
"You left Emily to see me, I know how much she means to you." You paused. "No… I don't. I could imagine maybe. Maybe."
"You never imprinted." It was strangely surreal this conversation. It was surreal to see you again. Even more surreal to see you like this. I can only remember you laughing, I have so many memories of you smiling and laughing and playing.
I would give anything to see you laugh again.
"No… There was no one but Bella. Never anyone but Bella."
"There's still time."
"You can't believe that." A soft whimper escaped you, the first sign of weakness. "I'm not… I can't live through this. Your doctor said no human could survive."
"You're more than human, Jake."
"Am I?" You pushed yourself up and I wanted to tell you to save your strength, save your energy. But you had that look in your eyes, the one I remembered so well.
"Save your strength," I managed to mutter.
"For what?" You were looking into my eyes now and your eyes were the same, in your eyes I found the child I knew. "There's nothing left, Sam. No more second chances."
"I'm going to see you recover, Jake. I'm going to see you laugh again. I'd give anything to see you laugh again." I felt tears fall down my cheeks from the despair and pity in your eyes. I hated this, I hated the fact that I was hurting you more. "Jake? Jacob?"
You managed a smile. A small half-smile on one side of your mouth. "Sorry, Sam. I wanted to see someone. I needed to see someone before… before."
"You're like my brother, Jake. I'm not going to let you go, I won't let you."
"There's nothing to be sorry for!"
"I wish… I wish I could help you." Your eyes were closing and it was all I could do not to panic completely.
"Jake you're the only one I could count on."
"You can count on Quill. Quill and Leah."
"Quill's dead! Leah's dead!" I sank down beside your bed and felt all my emotions well up and fall down my cheeks as salt water. "I don't want you to die too."
"I'm sorry, Sam. I wish… I wish I could be the one you remember. I wish I could laugh again." And you were laughing. Hysterical and frightening and I could help myself pulling away. "They're all dead and Bella's worse then dead and why would I want to live anymore?"
"Because I need you!"
"I'm sorry, Sam."
"You keep saying sorry! Do something!"
"I can't." Your eyes were so pleading but I couldn't help you. I couldn't stay here and watch you let yourself die. I turned away in agony and walked towards the door.
"I'm sorry," I heard you whisper behind me. "But goodbye."
I leant my stupid, hot forehead against the glass. I wanted the Jacob I knew. I didn't want this husk, this empty shell.
I wanted you to run towards me like always. Playing and smiling and jumping.
I wanted you to laugh again.