Title: Bring on the Rain
Summary: In which Leah reaches her breaking point, and Jacob imprints. Will be multiple chapters...
Pairings: Leah/Jacob (my new obsession)
Spoilers: Written after reading Eclipse, but before reading the sneak-peak chapter of Breaking Dawn
Rating: M-ish for some nudity latter on (the post-phasing-can't-help-it kind, not the let's-get-it-on kind) and some slight over-use of the F word... when werewolves get pissed, they get pissed...
Disclaimer: Everything belongs to the awesomely awesome Stephenie Meyer. I'm just playing with them a little, but I'll return them in one piece, promise. Title borrowed from the song "Thunder" by Boys Like Girls.
A/N: Okay, so, I need to learn to check my facts BEFORE I start fanfic'ing it up. I wrote this and then said... hmm... let's go back and look at Eclipse to see how accurate it is... I rule. So anyway, for the sake of this fic, just pretend that on page 124 of Eclipse, Jacob DOESN'T say that Leah's going to be a bride's maid. My story and I much appreciate it.
It had been two weeks since Jacob had left. Three days since he'd been back. And a week until Bella Swan's wedding.
He hadn't gone very far, relatively speaking. He stayed within the state of Washington, at least, running through the woods as fast and as far as he dared. He toyed with the idea of never going back. He could stay out there, forever in wolf form, but deep down, he knew it would never be enough, would never make it better. Besides, Billy needed him. And the pack, his brothers. He couldn't abandon them. They were just as much his family as Billy.
Billy hadn't said much when Jacob returned, wandering into the house at eight in the morning, his face a sad mix of bitter shame. Billy just looked at his son with tired eyes, understanding that there wasn't much to be said, and placed his hand firmly but warmly on his shoulder.
"Welcome home, son."
Jacob nodded stiffly, not daring to say anything lest he break the careful (albeit false) composure it took him two weeks to construct. He shut himself in his room and didn't leave the house for two days. He didn't want to see any of the pack. Not yet, at least. The only temptation might have been the beach, but it was a place too full of Bella, and after the run-in he'd had with Leah... He could still feel the sarcasm rolling off her like waves.
"Really, kid. You have no idea how hard this is for me."
The beach was the last thing he needed right now.
The third day after he'd been back found him out in the woods with his brothers. And sister, if he counted Leah, though he rarely did.
Though the trouble with the army of newborn vampires was behind them, Sam insisted that they not get sloppy and continue making runs of the woods.
"Better safe than sorry," he'd said as he all but dragged Jacob out of his bed and into the twilight.
Besides, he'd said, it was time Jacob got back in the swing of things.
The night was incredibly typical. They'd split up into small groups and gone off as directed by Sam. With the lack of trouble brewing, their thoughts were predictable. Jared thought of Kim. Quil was hungry. Leah's mind was terrible as ever, breaking Sam's concentration, causing the usual thoughts of pity and remorse to seep through the otherwise constant stream of directions and orders.
Jacob tried unsuccessfully to keep his thoughts off of Bella. He settled for non-nondescript bike-fixing memories, hoping they'd be generic enough to keep the pack, especially Leah, from giving him any crap about it. But grudgingly he had to admit to himself that he'd gladly take Leah's bullshit over the well-meaning but ineffectual sympathies of his brothers any day.
The night was ending. The sun would be rising in just an hour or so. The pack, still in wolf-form, made their way to a small clearing a few miles from Billy's to wrap up the evening before going back to their respective houses. It had been a long night of listening to thoughts he didn't want to hear, especially his own.
"God, Jacob, try and be a little more pathetic tomorrow night, okay?"
"Shut up, Leah."
"Hey, I'm just saying. If you're gonna do it, do it right."
They were all converging on the clearing now, changing back into human form. "I don't know what the hell you're talking about," Jacob said through gritted teeth as he pulled on the shorts he'd had tied around his ankle, and the rest of the boys followed suit.
"I think you know exactly what I'm talking about." An ugly smile adorned her face as she lazily pulled the blue sun dress she stashed in a tree at the beginning of the evening over her head. "You think you can fool us all with your sappy little bicycle memories, but it's a waste, Jake. I thought two weeks out in the woods would find you a little smarter, but clearly..." She trailed off, shaking her head and smirking at the sight of Jacob's clenched fists.
The rest of the pack hung back watching. They were all used to Leah's tantrums by now, but didn't dare say anything to her with Sam standing so near. Sam himself never quite knew how to handle her, torn between his own guilt and the desire to tell her to give it a rest, already.
"The wedding is in a week. She's marrying that blood-sucker and she's never coming back to you, no matter how hard you pine."
"Screw you, Leah."
She rolled her eyes. "Real original, Jake."
The anger in him continued to boil as his eyes narrowed, dark, in Leah's direction. "Oh, really, Leah. You want to talk about originality? What about you?!"
"What about me?" Her eyes mirrored his, glaring straight into him.
"Two weeks hasn't seemed to make you any smarter, either. I come back and you're still thinking about Sam all the time."
It was her turn to ball her fists, her entire body tensing. The pack seemed to tense up, too. People said a lot of things, both to and about Leah, but never that blunt, never in front of the whole pack, never in front of Sam.
"You want to call me pathetic? Then what the fuck does that make you?"
"Shut up, Jacob," she hissed at him.
"No. This is bullshit, Leah. Everyone's too afraid to say something to you in front of the pack, and Sam's so goddamn protective of you, like you deserve it."
"Jacob..." Sam said warily, taking a step forward.
"Fuck you, Sam," Leah shot in his direction, "He wants to say it, let him say it. Let him fucking say it." It was all the invitation he needed.
"Night after night, thinking the same bullshit thoughts, trying to make Sam feel bad for being happy with Emily. Like you've got some sort of claim over him." He paused, expecting Leah to jump in with a scathing comment of her own, but she just continued to stand there, tense, narrowed eyes cutting into him.
"Look around you, Leah. You're a freak. Even in a bunch of werewolves, you're still a freak. A joke. They've all imprinted. Jared with Kim. Quil with Claire. Sam with Emily. Maybe I haven't yet, but I will. But last time I checked, no one's imprinted on you. Fate won't be that cruel to any of us."
He could hear what he was saying, knew it was cruel. He could see the anger on her face falter slightly, almost slipping to sadness every time he mentioned Sam, but it seemed all the anger and frustration he'd felt over the last few months was quickly boiling over; he couldn't stop himself even if he'd wanted to.
"Imprinting's fate, Leah. It's two people, meant for each other. You think he loved you, you think you're better for him than Emily, but you were nothing, Leah. Nothing! A mistake, bad enough that even fate felt the need to step in and correct.
"Maybe I am pining over Bella, but at least I know she loves me. Maybe not the way I want her to, not like I felt for her, but I know, in some way or other, she does. But guess what, Leah? Bitch all you want, make everyone around you miserable, but at the end of the day, he was never your's. Not for a second. He was always Emily's. He probably would've left you, imprint or not, you're such a bitch! No one wants to be around you, no one can stand it! I know it. You know it. The pack knows it. The whole damn reservation knows it! So get the fuck over yourself."
Silence reigned over the clearing as Jacob ceased. The whole pack seemed to be bracing themselves, ready to pull Leah off of Jacob; she would surely attack him now.
Leah stood opposite Jacob, frozen in her spot. Her eyes were black with fury, her breathing heavy. She growled at Jacob and bent her body as if about to pounce. But she didn't. She looked at the other members of the pack, all except Sam, whose eyes she avoided at all costs, and then looked back at Jacob, holding back nothing in her expression.
Jacob remembered the pictures he'd seen in Sam's head of Bella, the night he'd found her in the woods, the night Edward left. Bella had looked so small, so pale and fragile. Catatonic, someone had said.
Leah looked nothing like that.
She was not numb. She was not fragile. She was far too broken for that. The look on her face cut deep to the bone. He had seen a look of pain cross her features for a moment that day on the beach, but that had been fleeting, and easily pushed aside. The anguish and pure, raw pain he saw on her now could not be ignored. She tore her broken eyes from him and, throwing her head back to the moon, let out a scream more primal than anything she could have produced in her wolf form.
It happened so quickly, they barely saw it happen at all. She threw herself toward the break in the trees, transforming mid-air. The shredded remnants of her pale blue sun dress scattered across the forest floor as she ran out of sight.
Jacob stared after her until he could no longer see her. There was a sudden shift in the air. A feeling washed over him, heavy; nondescript, but palpable. Not remorse. Much more than that. So much more.
Jacob dared to turn back to his brothers. They all stood in various sates of sock and discomfort, staring at the ground, unsure of what they should say or do, if they should even move at all. Seth's tired eyes told Jacob that, shocked as the rest of them may be, he was used to seeing his sister this way.
"I hear her cry, at home, when she thinks no one is listening," Seth said, so quietly Jacob wasn't sure he'd said it at all.
He knew he'd hurt her, rubbed salt in fresh wounds; tore them open for all to see. The pain in her eyes was already irreversibly etched in his mind; her scream played on repeat in his ears.
Had there been any lingering doubt in his mind that he'd said too much, pushed her too far, the pain and disappointment painted across Sam's features confirmed it.