Summary: AU - Bella gets into a wreck after Edward is gone. Jacob is there to pick up the pieces... slight Edward/Bella building Jacob/Bella
Author's note: This is the first Twilight fanfic I've written in a while, so I hope I'm not jumping the gun by going ahead and getting this out there! If it feels rushed, jumpy or incomplete, please let me know. :) Anyway, I would say this is an Alternate Universe story. It takes place after Edward has left Bella and what I consider to be right before she reconnected with Jacob in New Moon. This may be a one-shot, with possibly one more chapter after this one. Or I may continue it further, but I'm not sure if this could be a fully developed chapter fic seeing as I don't really have the time right now to devote to a full length story. So I suppose we'll see…pretty much, it's all subject to change. haha :) Even if it doesn't continue, I hope you can enjoy this for what it is. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and, if you feel so compelled, review.
Out of Nowhere
The tree had come out of nowhere, she insisted. The rain had been too dense, the fog too thick, the sky too dark. The tree had come out of nowhere.
After the sudden impact, her throbbing head slumped back against the headrest; the coolness of the air was the only thing that kept her conscious. Gusts of cool wind billowed through the shattered windows, kicking up fragments of glass and barely drowning out the sound of the horn that would not subside. She would not forget the sound of that continuous blast.
She would not forget the sound of his voice just before her head smacked against the steering wheel. "Bella, watch out!"
The flashes of blue and red lights, the yelling, the sirens, the yank she felt around her shoulders, the rush on the way to the hospital where his father would not be, all passed with rapid succession. Through the slow, veiled blinking of her eyes, Charlie's distressed face consumed her. The tree had come out of nowhere, she whispered.
Several stitches and a bandage later, Charlie was holding her hand. She could've sworn she saw tears in his eyes. The lump in her throat ached. He rubbed her cheek with his other hand as he sniffed the air and looked away. "Let's get you home."
The following weeks were unpleasant. Charlie made a fuss about her staying off her feet and away from school for a few days, even though her feet were perfectly fine. And when the conversation over dinner was begun about that night, about the accident that left her truck windows shattered and cab sunken in, it was a struggle not to argue. Of course she hadn't slammed the side of her truck into a tree because of him. Why would that thought cross her father's mind?
But it wasn't only his mind that the thought entered. Jessica called her, blabbering on about her health and how even the absence of Cullen wasn't a good excuse to end it all, especially not with prom coming up in a few months. Who would be her lifesaver and be the deciding factor on dresses?
But the one thing that bothered her most was not the whispers about her head, Edward Cullen, or her sanity. It was the lack of freedom she had earned herself; it was her truck. Since the accident, Charlie chauffeured her to and from school when her friends wouldn't, taken her to the grocery store and actually helped with the shopping. The world seemed to be off its axis and shrinking rapidly with her father constantly by her side and her mother calling every hour.
In retrospect that was the reason she turned to Jacob Black, the sunny teenager who had a way with mechanics; she had to get her freedom back. Her truck had been returned to the Blacks shortly after the accident, Charlie thinking it ridiculous to let his daughter behind the wheel anytime soon, and in the back of his mind he wondered if the old truck's breaks had failed.
He had made no complaint however when she asked if she could tag along to Billy's one Saturday. After three weeks of pleading for her to get out of the house, he would've agreed to any idea. He had even let her drive the cruiser down to La Push, though barely letting her get above 50.
The looks on their faces, she decided, should have been expected. After all, they had only heard things from Charlie and seen her truck, they had not seen her. Jacob's smile faded as his dark eyes flickered to the bandage above her eyebrow, the bruise the seatbelt left on her neck and collar bone. He took a step forward and she met him halfway.
"Can we go to your garage?"
"Yeah…sure," he replied in a hushed tone before he turned his eyes to her father.
"You kids do whatever you want. Billy and I will be happy with the game." He approved.
That was all she needed, before taking hold of Jacob's arm and pulling him outside. The expression on Jacob's face was a mix of fluster and gratification until she stopped at her truck. He slowly put the pieces together.
"Can you fix this?" Her eyes were hollow and needy.
"Yes," he murmured, swallowing hard.
"Good," she smiled, as she turned to the Chevy and yanked at the driver's door handle. It wouldn't budge.
"Hey, go easy," Jacob was at her side in an instant, removing her hands from the smashed in door. "I don't want you getting hurt again."
He smiled softly, braced on hand on the rusty frame and gave a firm tug on the caved in door with the other. The door groaned as it slowly opened, bits of glass and paint falling off in the process. The seat, she saw, was covered with shards of glass and blood, her blood.
She suddenly felt woozy as she turned away from the cab, holding on to the back on the truck's bed for support. No wonder she had tiny cuts all over her arm.
"Bella? Are you okay?" Jacob's frantic voice sounded as he appeared in front of her.
Her stomach flipped as he put a hand on her shoulder. She could feel the blood in her veins racing wildly. Her hands grew sticky with sweat; she was beginning to feel sick. "I…" she began, searching for his face; he leaned down to meet her eyes. "I think I need to sit."
"Sure, sure…" he said quickly, wrapping an arm under her shoulders and leading her into the garage.
Guiding her around his toolbox and carelessly strewn equipment, he set her down on the backseat of one of the cars he'd gutted a few weeks ago. He looked down at her apologetically after his eyes swept around the dismal room and back to the dingy, uncomfortable seat.
"I'm sorry this place is such a wreck," he said, hand snaking around the back of his neck and giving it a firm squeeze. "Are you too uncomfortable?"
She wordlessly shook her head before allowing her head to fall back on the cushion, sending cascading waves of brown along the back of the seat. For a moment, Jacob only watched her, barely breathing, barely thinking as her body grew still and breathing grew ragged.
Running an unstable hand through his hair, he averted his eyes as she sat up again. Her eyes were red and wet, tears trickled down her cheeks. Without thinking, Jacob fell to his knees in front of her, his hands falling instinctively on either side of her legs.
"Bella…" he whispered unsurely.
She stared back at him, blankly, as if everything had just come crashing down on her: Edward's absence, the wreck, her pain. Her lips trembled as he bridged the gap, wrapping his lanky arms about her tightly. Her head fell somberly on his shoulder, her arms freeing themselves out of their trapped position between their chests.
"The tree," she murmured shakily, her arms clutching firmly around his shoulders. "It didn't come out of nowhere…I saw it and I didn't care anymore…"