Disclaimer: I in no way claim to be the great SM.
A/N: This is AU, I suppose, as Breaking Dawn was technically a novel. So it takes place after Eclipse.
"I couldn't do it."
She knew she'd find him here today. He looks so broken for such a big boy, his broad shoulders bent over. He doesn't turn his head. His fingers tease some moldy bark from the trunk of the washed-up tree, but he gives no indication that he has heard her words.
I think you're frozen, Jacob. He has to know what she is referring to. She knows him like the back of her hand and he knows her even better- he's always been the only one on the same mutated wavelength as her.
She takes a few shaky steps toward him. The chiffon of her dress makes a rustling sound, the white lengths grass-and-mud-stained. Alice, who loved every humiliating opportunity to have her own warm, living paper doll, would understand. So would Edward, as much as he could, and this fact sent a jolt of pain through her.
"I don't know who I am," she muttered. "I told him I'm not that girl. But I hate who I've become, whoever this girl is. I- I suck the sunlight out of everything." Her voice broke on the last few words. Have I sucked the sunlight out of you, Jake? My Jake?
He finally speaks, and she can tell from the huskier-than-usual tone that he hasn't spoken in his human form for a long time. Since he ran away.
"Nice to see you're not dead, Jake. After, you know, you went missing for a while." The bitterness of his tone sends another jolt of pain into her. She revels in it. She deserves every jolt of pain either boy sends through her heart. She deserves so much worse. She deserves to look into his eyes and see rejection there, but he won't turn his head.
"You know I was worried about you," she says stubbornly. "I only called Sam about every day."
"Yeah, I know." His voice is softer and he turns around for the first time, his breath catching as he sees her in her wedding dress.
She shudders to think what she must look like. Rain parka thrown over her designer gown, the silk torn from branches and muddied from the sloshing of the earth against her bare feet (no way she was running in satin high heels) and a few falls.
(… Maybe more than a few falls)
Alice's meticulous china-doll makeup job underwent torrential tears while she ran, realizing she was more than her emotions, and realizing that choices had consequences. Realizing that she had once wanted to be a doctor, and then a writer when it occurred to her that she fainted at the sight and smell of blood, and realizing- oh, blood, and realizing forever's an awfully long time and wincing when part of her, a part that had been buried when the icy avalanche that was Edward Cullen had hit, emerged and started shouting who are you, Bella Swan? Does he know who you are? Does your vampire know who you are?!
(Only one person knows who Bella Swan is, knows herness of her in every essence and every facet.)
He's still staring at her. "You look awful, Bells," he says matter-of-factly, and she loves him for it.
He's frowning and turns his head again, and she steps closer, afraid to touch him but longing to embrace him and never let go. "You're going to turn around," she hears him mutter, more to himself than to her, "you're going to turn around and go right back to him."
Jab. She has always been the type to make solid decisions- make one solid decision and stick with it. But love is so much stronger than will-power. She had long ago decided that she was In Love with Edward- with such a beautiful boy, such a darkly complex boy, such an old boy. But despite all of her literary background, she knew so little about love, lord, she knew so little… Edward's ever-changing eyes were pools of amber she could drown in, and would, willingly.
And when she realized- really realized how he pulled her in, like a Jovian planet to its satellite, aching horror filled her. She loved him so much, loved him impossibly. Anyone would fall in love with him. Many, many had.
Love is supposed to be self-sacrificial, but love between a man and a woman is also about a relationship, two points. She can't fool herself into thinking that an addiction is true love anymore. To love Edward would be to put herself in the utter shadow of the incomprehensible- or she knows she would see it like that. To love Edward is to stop being Bella. How can she jump into marriage, jump into a new life- death- when she is barely even sure who she is herself? Unfair to her, unfair to him. To love Edward is to die. So romantically obvious, and she'd been so heartbreakingly oblivious. She partly wishes she still could be.
This flood of information rushed her when she looked at herself in the mirror earlier that day, Alice gone momentarily to change into bridesmaid gear. And suddenly, with this new self-awareness and confusion, more images flooded her, tinted a hot red color like her eyelids had during her should've-been-first kiss with Jacob…
She realized she missed her old truck, the brightness of the colors and the loudness of the engine. She missed her motorcycle, how Jacob had looked that day when he'd agreed to help her fix them (when he'd started to fix her), how he had pulled his long hair back with a rubber band. How they had snuck around like children to hide things from their parents, how his smell was tinged with engine-grease, and how later, after he'd transformed, he smelled like earth and warmth and forest (and still some engine grease). She missed his snarky comments when he tried to steal her from Edward, she missed how fundamentally human he was, how he made mistakes and acknowledged that and tried anyway… And most of all, she missed how she was Bella around him. How in La Push, there was no one she strived to be but the best herself possible- he shone and she didn't revolve around him, but she shone with him- because she was no one but Bella Swan and he was no one but Jacob Black.
How can she say all of this to Jacob? How can she possibly ask him to take her, after all she has done to him?
She can't possibly begin to explain. So she touches his bare arm from the back, presses her face against his shoulder, slides her arms to wrap around his waist.
"Jake," she whispers, tears flooding her vision because Edward's heart is broken, but now she is finally alive, now she is finally in the light, and now she is herself, she is Bella Swan, and she can become a novelist, or a physicist, or a Snapple can manufacturer, or a normal woman, and she can hold the sunlight in her arms and to her chest and let it help her frozen-for-so-long-in-Edward heart to beat again…
"Jake," she says again, lets her tears fall onto his skin, kisses his warm shoulder, "eclipses only last for so long."
A/N: I love Jacob/Bella so much more than Edward/Bella. They actually seem to have a relationship, one with growth involved. I think that self-sacrificing love is terribly romantic and love is supposed to be humble and all, but Edward/Bella is so... lackluster? I don't feel their relationship at all. Please no flames for the Jacob/Bella writer. But tell me if you like it, if I have any spelling mistakes (I don't have a Beta and I wrote this late at night), if I should edit it at all... also, if you think I should continue, because I just might if enough people like it. :)