A/N: Oh, plunging into Mike Newton's mind. I have to admit, it's pretty fun.

And, by the way, for those who asked – I'm not not talking about the Twilight movie because I didn't like it. I just tend to get a little ramble-y when I'm discussing films, and I'd rather spare you that joy.



"It's the La Push kid," Jessica noted, nodding firmly and precisely.

"Why do you say that?" Mike asked her, frowning.

Jessica snorted, rolling her eyes. "It's obvious," she said. "I mean, if Bella wasn't constantly comparing him to Cullen, I wouldn't be the only one to point out how gorgeous he is. He's got that dark skin and those muscles…" Jessica trailed off, fanning a hand in front of her face. "Plus he's got the whole exotic thing going for him."

Mike cringed, not particularly enthused by Jessica's description of Jacob Black. Mike knew that he himself was far from exotic. "Bella's not that superficial," he mumbled.

Jessica let out another high-pitched giggle, swaying the beer in her hand. Mike looked around at the sound, realizing that there were still a fair amount of people dancing and sitting and talking – Forks High School may be small, but its students still knew how to throw a party.

"Are you kidding?" Jessica screeched, louder than was actually needed. "She dated Edward Cullen, Mike. That's gotta say something about her."

Mike shook his head resolutely. "No," he said. "Bella's not like that, Jess."

Jessica took another sip from her red cup, the shiny plastic reflecting back onto the walls. "Whatever."

"No," Mike continued, "No, you can't honestly think of her that way, can you? I mean, she's probably the most humble person me or you or any of us know."

Jessica shrugged. "I don't know if I can believe that."

"Come on. You saw her when she came to Forks," Mike pointed out. "She never wanted any of that popularity. We just gave it to her."

"She was new," Jessica said. "No one enjoys being the new kid. But she stayed, didn't she? She never tried to make new friends or even spend time away from us, apart from chasing Cullen around."

Mike grit his teeth. "She was like this plaything for all of you," he grimaced, looking at Jessica's glassy – empty – brown eyes. Jessica glared back until Mike finally broke her gaze.

"Okay," she tried, "say she isn't superficial. It's still Jacob."

"But why?"

Jessica smiled again, a little sadly. "God, Mike, can't you see it? Everyone else does. Even the kid. Well, everyone except Bella. But she's always been pretty ignorant."

Mike stared at her, aggravated. "See what?" he asked.

"She loves him," Jess sang, taking another swig of her drink. "She is completely, resolutely, head-over-heels, melt-from-his-every-look in fucking love."

Now it was Mike's turn to snort. "You're delusional, Jess."

Jessica raised an eyebrow. "Really?" she asked. "Have you ever seen the way she looks at him, Michael?" Mike glared at her and she snickered. "It's like the sun shines out of his fucking ass. It's not exactly the same look she gave Edward, but it's still just as powerful."

Mike thought about that for a moment. He had seen Bella look at the Black kid, but he had never really thought about it without the pretense of friendship. After all, even Mike couldn't deny that when Cullen was with Bella they were almost sickeningly devoted, in a way that seemed a million years too mature for high schoolers.

But now, sitting on some dirty couch with a girl that he had never really loved in the same way that he fell for Bella Swan, Mike tried to recall the way Bella's eyes lit up when she looked at Jacob Black. He had always known that the sixteen-year-old had a giant crush on Bella – well, what else is new, right? – but he had never considered the possibility of it being anything but one-sided.

Jessica was right, though. The way Bella's eyes set on Jacob's smile couldn't rightly be described with anything but love.

Mike scowled. "That's disturbing," he said quietly, taking Jessica's beer.

"Yup." Jessica watched him, and for a second her eyes seemed wider, fuller, like maybe there was some part of her that understood a whole lot more than she let on. "It's gotta be nice, though," she whispered. "Having someone put you back together like that. Someone that cares about you enough to wait for you to be ready."

"I hope he gets her," Mike said, turning to look at her.

Jessica nodded. "Forever," she sighed. "Bella deserves a forever."

Mike smiled in the leftover silence and waited for the music to stop.