Disclaimer: It's all SMeyer's-- I just play with the characters.
Author's Notes: I couldn't stop with just a oneshot for this pairing. I'm not sure how long it will be; one more chapter at the very, very least. Oh, and one important fact: this takes place two days after the "battle" with the Volturi in Breaking Dawn.
Enjoy, and I'd love to hear what you think!
Jacob, this is so fucking stupid.
Why thank you, little Miss Sunshine.
Even though we're on opposite sides of the forest, I know he can hear my annoyed howl echo through the trees. I'm serious. I just want to go home. You remember home, don't you?
Shuddup. I'm not a hobo.
Jesus. Does he have to have such an even temper nowadays? There's no point arguing with him if we won't get into a fight about it.
Did you ever think that maybe that was the plan, Beta-dearest?
Please never call me that again.
You're just pissed 'cause I'm the Alpha and I can order you around if I want. Aha...
You wouldn't, I think mildly, because I know I'm right. Doing whatever the lupine equivalent of rolling my eyes was, I hop over a particularly wide root, my paw lodging on a thorn as I land. Ow, shit, ow...
Jacob's thoughts back at me are smug. I'm sorry, what? Was that the sound of karma biting you in the ass?
I don't bother answering with anything other than a string of obscenities. Why does he deserve anything better? He's the one making me go to the damn leeches house. Again. What a bastard.
Y'know, I'm not making you do anything, Jacob points out. Don't pin this on me.
Okay, it's not like he's not still a total bastard and everything, but... if he wants me to go to the freakin' crypt, I'll go to the freakin' crypt. Ugh. But it's still his damn fault for being so nice to me. If he hadn't been, I could have said 'no' and gone back to a place were I'm forced to sleep on a bed of grass. I hear Jacob's rough bark more clearly as we circle back towards the same spot, his wolf-laugh.
So it's basically just because I'm an awesome and debonair sort of guy that you listen to me, right?
Yeah, that and your charming humility.
I draw closer and closer to the clearing at the edge of the forest, our agreed upon spot to phase back and walk up the Casa de Crypt. It's illuminated in the moonlight, almost creepy looking, and I phase as quickly as I can manage, almost falling on my ass. Graceful. And because I'm that kind of lucky, Jacob bounds up just as I'm trying to brush all the pine needles off my tank top, still shirtless. No, not awkward at all. But Jake, since he's actually sort of gentleman-y (he has his moments), turns around to phase back and stays that way until I stop muttering child-inappropriate words underneath my breath.
"Don't say that stuff around Nessie," he tells me, hurrying up to my side when I start to stalk through the overgrown weeds that will lead us to the house.
"Emmett does." Very poor argument, but the best I can do with a tree branch in my face. Stupid wolf tallness.
"Nobody listens to Emmett," Jacob argues, pulling the annoying as hell branch off me. I don't punch him as thanks. "He's like a voice in the wind..." He whistles to enunciate this. I roll my eyes.
"One day your eyes are gonna get stuck like that," Jake announces, bursting through the final collection of trees and helping me through, so that the edge of the Crypt is visible. "And you're going to come to me and be all, 'Jake, my eyes are stuck like this!" And I'll be like, 'Yeah. Shouldn't have been such a smart ass. Sucks to be you.' And I'll slam the door in your face."
I stare at the back of his head, then jog to catch up with him. "Thank you for that interesting monologue, Oh Mighty Alpha, but one: I would never come to you for help. Two: that's bullshit, no one's eyes have ever gotten stuck that way, and three: even if that did happen in some insane way probably caused by more freakish magical creatures, you wouldn't slam the door at me. You're too annoyingly nice for that."
Jacob considers this for a moment. "Yeah, definitely. I gotta quit with this 'nice' jag. I'm sure it's getting old." I laugh, nodding my agreement.
Then the smell hits.
Jacob is already a few feet in front of where I've frozen, but he turns around when he notices I'm no longer shadowing him. His face goes exasperated and he grabs my forearm, dragging me along, up the steps to the front door. "Don't be a drama queen. You'll get used to it. And try not to be outright rude, please?"
"But subtle rudeness is okay, right?"
He inclines his head, eyes twinkling. "Of course."
Jacob doesn't even bother knocking anymore, which I start to tell him off for... but then remember that they're leeches. I shudder, half-hiding behind him. Because this so isn't uncomfortable.
"God, how many are still here?" I ask, horror-stricken. I'm proud to say that I just master the urge to pinch my nose against the overwhelming stench of sweetness. Christ, it's like wandering into a Bath and Body Work's store. Ew. Jacob's face looks a little strained too, but the annoying bastard straightens it out when he sees me watching.
"Not many, actually, so cut the drama," he mutters, leading me from room to disgusting room, towards the one where they're all congregated. "The Amazons are still here, I think they're over playing with Nessie, and so're the Irish ones-- and trust me, I only know that 'cause Seth's been hitting on the redhead since after the battle..."
"Awesome. Just what I need, my little brother trying to get some from a bloodsucker. Uh-huh, perfect."
Jacob rolls his eyes ("Ha!" I yelled, "they'll get stuck that way, loser!"), and grabs my arm again. What is it with him and dragging me places today? It's not like I'm going to turn tail and run.
...Tempting as that may be.
Finally, at the end of the hallway, Jacob pushes open a door that absolutely reeks of vampire. Nostrils burning, I attempt to treat it like the ocean: take a deep breath and dive in.
Except this is one effed up ocean full of abnormally pretty people.
"Look, food!" Jacob says loudly, eyes lighting up as he spots a long table in the corner that appears to be set up fully for us shapeshifter's benefit. Boy has a one-track mind.
But food does sound hella good right now.
We walk over, me glancing around like a caged animal. There have to be at least ten bloodsuckers still milling around-- most clumped together around the piano that takes up a large portion of the room, where Mind-Rapist Leech is sitting on the bench, devil spawn in his lap, Mrs. Love-Shield beside them. How lovely, it's like they're eternally posing for a family portrait. Gross.
I think I must have muttered that part out loud, because Jacob elbows me in the side. "Ooow," I whine, even though it really doesn't hurt at all. Whatever.
"Don't say 'gross'," he instructs, eyes on the Spawn. I sigh, closing my eyes and leaning against the table while he piled chips on a paper plate. Ladies and gentlemen, you have just witnessed the last bit of attention I'll be getting from him as long as that kid's around. Don't we all just love being one-upped by a six-month old?
"Give me some," I grumble, able to snag a few of his chips before he waves his hand at me.
"I'm gonna go see Nessie."
"Shocker," I murmured, but he didn't appear to notice, apparently having gone spontaneously deaf. "Yo, when can I leave?" I call to his back, ignoring the low murmurings of leech-voices around me. They all talk too damn quiet.
Jacob actually manages to turn around for half a second. "Nine. Be good." And he's gone.
"Don't tell me to be good, I'm not a dog!" I yell half-heartedly, the chips becoming crumbs as I clench my hand together. Christ. Time for me to wander around for an hour feeling incredibly awkward. I never get how Jacob can come over here without the profound urge to, I don't know, take a damn shower. Repositioning myself against the wall, I tug out my ponytail only to have a smattering of tiny bits of leaves fall into my palm. I stare at them for a moment, uncomprehending, before letting them drop to the floor. Shit. I always forget to shake out my fur before I phase back; finally trying to grow my hair out again is a pain in the ass.
Right. I'll just stay here all night. Trying to look menacing or something.
I manage this for about ten minutes.
"Leah!" a half-familiar voice cries, just when I pop open a bottle of water that sits, dripping condensation, on the table's edge. When I bother to look up, wiping my mouth with the edge of my wrist, the smell wraps around me again; leech. The little one, who sees the future.
"Yeah," I grunt. She stands in front of me, at least a foot shorter than I am. Tiny freak. Her smile, when it spreads across her face, looks wide enough to split it.
"Esme and Carlisle want to talk with you. And so do I. You look lonely."
Excuse me? Lonely? A shudder of heat ripples down my spine, and when I glance at the bottle I hold in my hand I can see how it's warped from how hard I've gripped it. "I'm not lonely," I say tightly.
Her smiled doesn't waver. "But would you still come and talk with us? Everyone's busy fussing over Nessie," she giggles. Ugh. If Spawn wasn't so freaking annoying, I'd feel bad for the kid. Must suck to never be left alone. "And now Siobhan and Kachiri are talking to Emmett." Dude, where do the bloodsuckers get their names? Honestly. "Could you join us? Please?"
Oh, crap. No way am I joining their parasitic Circle o' Fun. "Um, no, I'm good," I tell her, starting to edge away. "Really..."
Now her smile flickers, like white Christmas lights that start looking duller after Christmas is gone. "Are you sure? I mean, Esme's very nice..."
"That's okay, seriously. Uh..." Subtle, Leah, smooth and subtle. I should look into a career as a spy. "Actually, yeah, I'm gonna go find Seth. He promised to bring me something." Lie, lie, lie. For all I know Seth's busy putting the moves on that redheaded leech.
"Oh, all right... but, you really should, later, you know..." Her stupid, pretty, awful pale face turns hopeful when she glances back at me. I nod vigorously, taking one giant step away.
"Sure, right, yeah. See ya."
Before she can try to answer I hurry away, pressing into the crowd of bloodsuckers around the piano, trying to get to the center. I have the feeling I'm going in circles here. Crap, crap, crap. Where the hell is Jacob? Fuck him and his Alpha powers, I'm out of here. A tall, olive-skinned woman with glowing red eyes blocks my path to the center of the circle, where Jacob is surely sitting on the floor, Spawn in his arms. Disgusting. She glares at me as I try to push through. Screw this.
My lungs are beginning to burn. I decide, belatedly, that I don't need to tell Jacob anything-- what do I owe him? I shove my way back out of the group, but there are still a few rogue leeches, some red-eyed and some golden-eyed, milling around, talking and laughing. Great, even the vampires have a better social life than I did.
I guess I really should have kept my eyes on something other than the floor. Because the second I get to the doorway Jake had led me through earlier-- wham. Collision.
And I really, really guess that what led me to apologize in the first place was the fact that, well, whoever I ran into didn't smell. And if I had been considering things rationally (which, honestly, when do I ever?) I would have noticed that the person also didn't smell like one of my pack mates. But, like I said, I don't do rational thinking. So it made sense that instead of a leech related insult, the first words out of my mouth are, "Oh, shit, I'm sorry. Are you okay?"
And do you know what, right then, I really, really, start to hate about myself?
I have a thing for eye contact.
So, when whoever the hell I just rammed into says, "Don't be, it's my fault. I apologize," I look up. Because suddenly, I can't place the accent, and suddenly, I can't remember who the hell isn't in my pack and is that much taller than me.
So I look up. And I say, "Oh."
"Oh," I say, when I can finally focus on something other than his face.
"Oh," I say, when the world finishes realigning itself.
"Oh," I say, when everything else I can see looks a little less beautiful than the man in front of me.
"Oh," I say, and the words come out dazed. "You have got to be kidding me."