survivors

---

She's going away.

He was sitting in his garage, fiddling with the transmission on the car he's had for almost one hundred years (he keeps it for purely sentimental reasons now; it hasn't run in half a century) when Leah opened the side door, dripping from the rain, and drops the bomb.

Please. Don't leave me alone.

They're the last two. The survivors, he'll think sometimes as they take long runs along the edge of the Maine beaches, splashing in the dark blue waves and leaving deep impressions in the sand with their paws. Everyone else had grown old with their respective imprints, their children and grandchildren holding their hands in hospital beds as the shape shifters drifted off into existence's next great adventure.

But Leah and Jacob just kept surviving. They weren't a pack anymore; that need hadn't existed for a very long time. But she has stayed with him, beside him, through every move in his life since he made her his beta. It's kind of funny, in that fucked-up way that makes someone want to laugh and then kill himself, because she never thought she could play second fiddle to another woman, and it turns out that it's the only part she can read the music for.

---

Why?

There are a million and one explanations: She's never imprinted. There's nothing left for her since Seth and his wife died. She's just plain tired of phasing. She needs a change of scenery. She wants to see the sun.

They're all lies, of course, and she respects Jacob too much to lie to him, so she tells him the truth.

I never wanted forever.

Truthfully, he doesn't want forever either.

---

He asks her where she'll go; she won't say.

I'll miss you

---

He kisses her.

I love you.

---

She feels like a teenager again, as he pushes her up against the peeling paint of the car, and claws at the back of her neck and runs his fingers through her hair. She grew it back out after Sam died, perhaps a last acknowledgement of how deeply their parting so many years before had affected her. Right now, in moments like these that are too far and too in between, she doesn't think of him. It's a comfort, because she's pretty sure that one hundred years of suffering is enough.

Don't let me go.

They won't have sex. No, that would be the one boundary she could never cross, because he's still a husband and she's still not his wife. But that doesn't mean that she won't try and make him forget his imprint, even if for just the briefest of moments.

---

Before she leaves, he takes her back to La Push, and they run along the trails they both played on when they were little. She remembers when they met. He had pulled her ponytail and she had slapped him and he cried.

She gives in, just this one time, as he runs his hand along her thigh in a dark motel outside the reservation.

---

She doesn't pack her bags when she finally leaves.

She won't need those things where she's going anyway.

---

Nessie is the one who tells him what's happened. She cries, because she knows how important Leah was to her soul mate.

He plans the funeral that he knows he won't attend.

---

He's the one who continues on, but he doesn't even survive anymore. He just is.

He hopes Leah is in a better place.

---

Notes: I should really stop writing about my hatred of Nessie.

Disclaimer: I don't own it. Seriously.