This is a collaboration with O. N. Labbit :) Who is my fellow lover of Leah :)
VERY AU: This is the main story, and first stage, in the Superhero Saga. This is Leah's POV, since she's the main superhero. There is also, "Sidekick Registry: Superhero Saga; Stage Two," in Bella's POV, and "FPI, Paranormal Investigations: Superhero Saga; Stage Three," in Rose's POV.
Please enjoy our collaboration that we're working on through the summer. We're trying to make this similar to a comic series, but with all the Twilight characters. For now – here's Leah, the kick-ass superhero, kicking some ass.
"We've always been ready for female superheroes, because women want to be them and men want to do them."
Leah is a Kick-Ass Superhero
Tall; sleek; dark; beautiful; exquisite; exotic; hot; simmering; Victoria's secret model meets animal magnetism.
Hah, the last one was my favorite. The articles were hidden on page 5 or 9 or even on a front page if the town was small enough - all about me. The woman they began to call Wolf Girl or She-Wolf. It was like some second rate comic book character produced by Vertigo or maybe Top Cow comics; they loved female heroines that were hot; of course, if I was in a Top Cow comic my bra size would be a D, rather than a B.
I left Forks and the Quileute reservation three years ago to make a change. I definitely needed a change in my life. I had studied to be a firefighter before this whole wolf mess and then obtained my first dan in Aikido (it's like a black belt) after becoming a wolf. I wasn't sure why I had taken such an interest in Aikido; I think I wanted to feel more in control of my destiny or I just needed something to do, whatever, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Besides I didn't think being a shape-shifting giant wolf would work on a resume later on in life. I didn't think I'd be doing this forever – little did I know.
So, I applied to be a firefighter and EMT, since that was what I had studied at the community college. But then my pack told me I couldn't work outside the Res. I needed to be on call as a protector of humans – as a wolf. And as a firefighter I would live at the station for days at a time and since there had been a rise in vampire attacks in the southwest they feared eventually it would spill to our area of the great northwest.
I made a decision; I wasn't going to wait. Vampires were ruining my life and they had been ruining my life for a long time. They were the reason I became a wolf – killing my dad with the shock of his only daughter transforming into a beast. Those vampires were the reason I would never have children and never be normal. I pretty much blamed vampires for everything, especially this horrible thing that was my life.
So I left Forks and the reservation, against the wishes of my pack of course, to find my life and my purpose. I decided to go to the vampires in the southwest and try to find out why their attacks were proliferating. That and I wanted to be able to kill vampires without any Res rules to stop me. Turning on my Alpha, who was a jerk anyway - I was a lone wolf now.
That all brought me to here: Phoenix, Arizona on a lonely night. The streets were empty at 3 a.m., the witching hour. This was when people who were up to no good came out to do some of that no good crap.
So here I was, crouching on the roof of a Taco Bell, as I watched three perps. (Yes, I used the lingo of a hard-boiled detective because one, I read too much Pulp Fiction; and two, I watched too many reruns of Law and Order - the first shows with Lenny and Green, after that they sucked.)
The perps were attacking a defenseless young college age girl. She had long, brunette hair, and cried out for help that wasn't forthcoming. She actually tried hard to fight them off. These men were not vampires, but they were no less monsters.
They grabbed the young woman, struggling in their grasp, as they pulled her from the parking lot and to the alley behind the store.
She had come out to buy a few items at the Quik Mart, completely oblivious to the fact there would be jerks wanting to get their rocks off at her expense. I saw the one bag she had dropped on the ground after they roughly grabbed her. On closer inspection I could see it was a box of Lucky Charms and milk. She risked coming out at 3am to buy milk and Lucky Charms; and I thought my life was pathetic. Although I felt it was really stupid of her to go out so late at night by herself, I did feel sorry that she had been pulled to the back alley of a Quik Mart to be raped.
This was it – time for me to be a superhero. I leapt into the air, shimmering light all around me, and then hit the ground on four paws. A small sack was tied to my left ankle.
In my wolf form I prowled around the corner of the mart. They held her down, laughing at her feeble attempts to escape them. One, young, greasy-looking guy with scruffy hair knelt at her head, his dirty hand over her mouth. The second one already had his pants unzipped, standing at her legs, while the last one held across her torso, effectively pinning her down. He looked the oldest and had dark, short hair. I was sure I got here in time. They hadn't done anything yet.
Suddenly the one at her head stood, which elicited some blood curdling screams from the girl. The screams weren't because she was being attacked - it was because she saw me. But once she stopped the wild screaming continued; from the men. The one who'd been at her head stood there frozen, watching me, his eyes so wide they were nearly popping out of his head. Literally, they were bulging.
The other two watched me carefully, fear in their eyes. They stunk of the stuff.
"Fuck – what is that?!" The man by her feet yelled. "What the fuck is that thing?!"
I could ask the same thing noting what was hanging from his unzipped pants.
I wished I could speak when I was a wolf; I always came up with the best comebacks when I was a wolf.
Now it was time for me to have some fun. I growled deep in my chest then snarled curling my lip and pulling my teeth back threateningly. I began moving forward slowly, stalking my prey, letting them experience the full sound of my growl and large presence as a predator. My mouth brought on extreme terror since it was the size of one of their heads – which would fit nicely in my bite if I were a cannibal. But I had no desire to eat humans, especially stinky, dirty ones like them. If I could laugh as a wolf I would have when I saw their faces; which were so smug a second ago when they grabbed a defenseless woman to rape, now pale white and petrified. Now, two out of the three were running hard and away from the giant wolf, crying and screaming like little girls.
I let out a roar so horrifying that the two running doubled their speed. I leapt at the last one left standing knocking him to the ground so that I landed on top of him, effectively pinning him beneath my huge hulking body. I leaned over his face, dripping drool onto his shirt as it fell from my fangs.
And then I smelled the piss, and knew my teeth did their job. I let go a rumbling, throaty growl – blowing at his face, my wolf drool slapping along his mouth, chin and nose before I backed off him, giving him room.
Within seconds he turned and took off, his pants unzipped and nearly falling round his knees as he kept running.
When I looked down at the woman she was trembling, her eyes never leaving me. Usually they fainted; people don't see giant wolves all that often, but this one was wide awake, maybe she just wasn't all that right in the head. Who shops at three in the morning for cereal anyway? She slowly made her way to a sitting position, stuttering,
"Y-y-you aren't… going… t-t-to hurt me, are you?"
She said it more as a statement – a realization. At least she was smart enough to know I saved her 'virtue.' I turned and trotted to her fallen shopping bag with the milk and cereal lifting it with my teeth before returning to her side and placing the bag beside her.
Her eyes then widened, more in awe and wonder than fear. She slowly stood gathering up her bag and I backed up. Her face was bruised and her lip cut. She had tried to fight them off. The girl had guts; I had to give her that.
She continued to shudder as she breathed deeply to try and calm herself, I'm guessing because of the aftershock at having almost been raped. I didn't think she was scared of me.
"Thanks," she said quietly after a couple of moments.
I nudged my snout toward her, lowering my head once to say you're welcome, and then leapt away.
I had excellent hearing and heard her say, "I'm Bella… Bella Swan. I wish I knew who you were."
It made me grin inside. That was a first. Most wouldn't be thinking about wanting to know who I was or even thank me. They simply thought I was a giant wolf or monster.
I didn't do this for accolades or attention and I really didn't need her telling me in my human form how brave I was, and then watch her get mushy. I had done that with the first two people I saved as a wolf and realized after the articles began to pop up that I really didn't need the attention. It would just help Jacob and Seth find me. And right now I didn't want to be found. Not yet anyway.
I loped behind a conveniently placed warehouse, changed back and then pulled on my dress and flip flops from the small bag I had tied to my ankle. I also kept a small wallet in the bag with my identification and cash. Nonchalantly I walked back to the boulevard, lined with Saguaros and scrubby brush along the median. I found my car, a small VW bug, vintage and painted dark grey. I loved my little bug.
Getting in, I started it up, switched on a hard rock station, just as a really good song started up; Led Zeppelin's "The Immigrant Song."
"Ahhhhhhhh. Ahhhhhhhh. We come from the land of the ice and snow. From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow…." And then I played my air guitar on the steering wheel, mumbling the rest of the lyrics, "Nananananana-nananananana-nana-nana-nana-na-na-nananananana – Ahhhhhhhhhh. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh…."
As I drove along the moon was nearly full and I'm sure the stories would arise that a werewolf was on the loose in the streets of Phoenix. Those were my favorite stories. I wasn't a werewolf by any means. I was a shape shifter. Some might say a shape shifter abusing her powers. But, I figured if I was going to be a weirdo – the only female wolf shape shifter from my tribe and possibly in existence – I might as well put it to good use as a super hero.
What was it Spidey's uncle said to him, "with great power comes great responsibility" or some shit like that. It was a really cool mantra. It was like saying, yes Leah since you have the power you must kick every bad guy's ass like Superman and Spiderman before you.
I was Leah Clearwater, and I was one kick-ass superhero.
The motel room was like every other motel room I stayed in. This one was off the 17 in Peoria. The bedding was mauve, a color I felt should die, and the walls and pictures cheap.
I pulled out my laptop searching for unusual killings in various online newspapers around the country. Whilst I enjoyed saving damsels in distress my true goal was to find vampires and kill them. I hated vampires with a passion, but I stated that at the beginning. This was part of my wolf make-up, hating vampires – but for me, it ran much deeper.
In some strange occurrence of the universe shape-shifting wolves were made to protect humans from vamps. We lived in a world where there were evil vamps that roamed about killing. The answer to even out the predators in all of nature was to have something that would keep their numbers contained. At least, that was my guess as to why giant wolves were made.
A rap came at the door.
I looked over at the clock on the bedside table. It was 4:44 in the morning. Who'd be knocking at my door this time of night?
There was another pounding knock at the door.
Someone wanted me to open. Maybe the motel was on fire. That's funny, I didn't smell smoke.
I walked over and peered out the peep hole cautiously. Someone was standing there but the person's head was down so that I couldn't see their face. The person had a small head with brown hair and was really short.
"Who is it?" I called out, my voice dark.
The only answer was more pounding on the door.
I looked over my room. If I changed into a wolf I'd make a big mess in here, the room was as big as a closet. I had a small knife in my backpack. I walked over and pulled it out unsheathed, and then held it to my side just in case I needed it. I was a super hero and someone might be after me. This was when my martial arts came in handy. I stood with my back to the wall beside the door then turned my head.
"I'll ask again, who the hell are you?" I yelled through the door clenching my fist around the knife, ready for anything.
"Please, just open the door," I heard her say. So - brown hair was a she. She was talking very quietly.
I had to think. She sounded desperate.
I had very good hearing and I heard her say once more, "Please… I know… what you are. Help me. They'll find me… please?"
She must have known I had great hearing because she was whispering really low.
This might be something I'd regret, but… something in her voice sounded so frightened and scared. I carefully unlocked the door and swung it open slowly.
She nearly fell inside and into me. I closed the door quickly, locking it, and looked down at this really small person in my arms. I stood at 5'9" and I don't think she was more than five feet tall.
Her body leaned against me, her head tucked onto my shoulder as she whispered softly again, "I knew… you'd be here. I need," she looked up at me, her face pale accentuating big brown eyes, "your help."
Her size instantly brought about empathy from me but I wondered why this little girl was at my door in the middle of the morning and sounding so scared.
I asked, "What kind of help? And why would you think I could help you – here – at four in the morning – at a motel?"
"Because I saw you… I'm…" she looked over my motel room pulling away from me, "Would you have some water? I'm really thirsty."
She rocked on the balls of her feet and heels, like she was nervous. I could her breathing and the sound of her pulse, which was beating fast.
But I was suspicious. "What do you mean… you saw me?"
"I am so thirsty – please?"
"You tell me what you mean first."
Her eyes were large, brown and set within a lovely small face. She sounded as winsome as she looked – with a lyrical quality in her tone. It actually sounded pleasant to my acute hearing. It was definitely a southern accent with that gentle lilt that you would hear in civil war movies.
"I've…" she looked over the room again. She wasn't looking very well. All the color seemed drained from her face, and then her eyes rolled back in her head.
"Oh fuck," I breathed.
Within a second she was falling to the floor. Instantly I grabbed around her, catching her around the waist just before she hit. She wasn't heavy, and I hefted her in my arms and placed her on the bed.
"Hey," I nudged her and her eyelids fluttered back open as she came to her senses. I sighed, "Look, I'll get you some water. Just a sec."
I walked to the bathroom to grab a glass, grumbling, "Why didn't you tell me you needed a drink or you'd pass out?"
After filling the glass with water I walked back to the bed. She was sitting up, leaning up against the headboard. I handed her the glass which she accepted thankfully.
"Thank you," she said, smiling so that one dimple creased.
She guzzled the water down in a second. She was really thirsty. She held out the glass, motioning for more.
I walked over grabbing the glass from her, and then refilled and brought it back. She guzzled it down again. This time she took a breath and smiled, with a little more color in her cheeks, saying, "Thank you so much."
I walked to my backpack; pulled out a protein bar, brought it to her, placing it on her lap, "Eat that. You probably fainted because you're hungry."
"Thank you again."
I sat down on the chair at the table and across from her on the bed, watching her open the wrapper over the bar and start eating. She was ravenous. I wanted to ask her more questions but I didn't need to; she began talking all on her own. I started to get the distinct impression that she liked talking.
"I'm… Alice – Mary Alice Brandon – but, you can call me Alice."
"I'm Leah – that's all you need to know right now."
She busily chewed the protein bar.
"Okay… Alice. Can you tell me what you're doing here now? You said something like you know what I am and needed my help. I'm not sure I understand why you said that."
"I see things." Her big eyes moved about, as if searching my room, but I was sure she was searching for what she'd feel comfortable telling me.
"What kind of things?" I asked, but with a touch of sarcasm.
She sniggered lightly.
"You think I'm crazy. Everyone does. That's why I was kept in an asylum," she looked into my eyes direly, "I'm not. I really do see things. I saw you tonight save that girl… Bella - and I know you change into a wolf and you are one of the few things on this earth that can fight vampires and actually win."
How did she know the name of the girl when I could barely hear her speak?
She went on, "And I need you because of that. I'm running away from a vampire that stole me from one horrible place and made me live for the last three years in a life even more horrible."
I stood up, pacing to the door, taking this time to peek out the peep hole to see if she was maybe followed, and then looking out the curtain, and then back to the bed.
Standing at the edge of the bed I asked her, "You say you were kept by a vampire? For three years? That's impossible."
"He would have either changed you or killed you. Who are you really?" I went down to her, my palms hitting the bed. "Come on – stop the act!"
She pinched her lips together tightly, and recoiled at my action.
"I understand… why you're upset – but… you have a bad temper, don't you?" she asked, unfazed by my outburst. "I'm not your enemy – in fact, I think… well I see things."
"Yeah – you said that. I'm pretty sure there is a character in a comic named Layla Miller who says the exact same line."
"But that's a comic book character and I'm real. And I saw you and I know what you are and you are what I need right now."
She was a really strange person. Why the hell did I open my door to her?
Running my fingers through my hair totally frustrated and disbelieving this was happening, I sat back on the chair and sighed. Alice looked upset at my reaction.
"I saw you – I know you're nice, but you act like you're tough and not as nice – but you are."
There she was saying she saw me again.
"Okay – let's not get too personal," I said, "Why do you keep saying you saw me? Why are you here? Why me?"
"I… have visions, like of the future or future events and I saw you. I was running and saw you save that girl, Bella – who needs to be with Edward – but… I don't have a real clear picture of that yet…" her voice drifted again. She was kind of spacey. "…and then I saw that you came here and I knew. I knew you'd help me."
"Oh… got it," I threw out, very non-committed in believing her.
She was insane. She was an escaped patient from an asylum and probably saw me walk into the motel and decided to play this game – possibly because she was delusional. This was some elaborate story she made up in her psychotic head. I'd have to find out what asylum to return her to.
She sat up from the headboard indignantly.
"You don't believe me at all. I understand. But then you're a wolf – a shape-shifting wolf and most people wouldn't believe that. But I do – because…"
"…You saw me – got it."
My eyes drifted toward the door again. How'd she know? She couldn't have followed me from the warehouse and made it up here this quickly.
"I know what you are," Alice told me, "And now you either have to kill me or keep me around. You're not a killer, so I know that you'll keep me around. I have no one and neither do you right now. You know I'm telling you the truth but you're afraid."
"Afraid of what?" I scoffed, sitting back in the chair.
"That maybe you'll care and like me." She grinned to the side. "You've decided to always be alone and now I'm here and you're afraid you'll like me and you'd rather send me back to the asylum and forget me - which isn't very nice."
"Well – nice or not – you might need to return."
She tightened her lips, and then looked past me, at nothing in particular, just past me, her eyes growing moist. She looked like she was about to cry.
"I'm scared. Nowhere is safe for me. James will be really, really angry at me for escaping this time." She was breathing more deeply, gulping air. "He'll make sure that I don't die, but that I barely cling to life. That way he can keep torturing me and keep me as his human servant. He'll be really upset this time if he finds me. He makes me tell him the future to help them."
I looked at her finally, really looked at her. She was telling the truth, wasn't she?
"This James guy, does he know when you left? Will he come here soon?"
"I left… I think it was yesterday. He was out with a new group of vampires – they went to Las Vegas, and so I was alone. I waggled out of the cuffs and ran. I saw my chance and kept running. He must have been very busy because I ran farther than I've ever run and then I saw you and that girl… that girl Bella," she stared off after saying the name, as if it was familiar. "Anyway, I knew where I had to go."
Once she started talking her southern lilt was more defined and she sounded older. Her voice reminded me of wind chimes on a porch.
She went on, "I saw a truck driver and asked him to please take me to Phoenix because I had no money and I needed to meet my big sister, but someone mugged me. He felt sorry for me and was a dad with three girls and told me sure. He was really nice." She smiled when she said that, recalling the man's kindness. "I asked him if he had something I could change into. And he did. I knew that would help hide the smell. I went to the bathroom at the truck stop, washed up really good with nothing on and then put on his old clothes, leaving what I had on in that washroom."
I smiled watching her go on with her escape story. "That was really smart thinking," I told her.
She smiled proudly. "Thanks."
"I guess you can sleep here tonight and then I'm not sure. Do you have family? I can give you a ride."
Alice shook her head. "My family, they'll put me away again. I don't really have… anyone."
I exhaled so loudly even I could hear the troubled feelings in my sigh. I knew where she was leading. It happened in so many fictional stories it was cliché. She wanted me to take her in and then we'd become best buds and fight crime together. I knew it. She probably already had visions she was my superhero sidekick. Soon we'd be on the road doing a buddy movie.
"I could… help you." She lifted to her knees, "I can clean really well and I can… run errands. I… I have really good fashion sense. I had to pick out clothes for James partner, Victoria. She'd like to kick a lot when I didn't get the clothes right – but, I learned about colors and all sorts of things because I wanted to do a good job. I really worked hard to make her happy. I can sew. Do you need a new superhero outfit – I can make that."
"I change into a wolf," I said deadpanned.
"Oh well… I can sew other stuff."
She went on listing what she could sew, smiling, talking over something cruel like being kicked as if it was just another day at work, smiling and trying to get me to like her and want to keep her – keep her safe.
"Hold up – just a second." I held up my hand, "Calm down."
Alice was on her knees on the bed. She was begging, pleading for me not to leave her where that vamp would get her. She looked so desperate. A lump developed at my throat and I stood from the chair. I could see she was trying to think of other things to make me happy and I walked up to her.
"Okay – don't call me that. It makes me sound old."
"How old are you?"
"Seriously?" She looked 16 at the most.
Shoot, I was only 24-years-old.
I told her, "You don't have to sell to me any more. I can't just leave you to be captured by those vamps again. Okay?"
She nodded, with a really wide and dopey grin, looking too grateful. It made me uncomfortable. She was up on her knees in front of me, catching her breath after speaking so much. In an instant she leapt up and wrapped her arms around my neck, squeezing me in a death grip of appreciation.
This was uncomfortable. I wasn't used to random shows of affection.
And then I could hear her crying. I patted her back lightly, letting her know it would be okay and then slowly pulled away.
"Hey – you going to be okay?" I asked.
She nodded, wiping across her eyes.
"Good. You look tired. You probably passed out because you're hungry. I have some more protein bars in my backpack that should be enough to hold you over until breakfast. You can change into one of my T-shirts and clean up if you like. Then you should get some sleep. I want to take the stuff you're wearing and dump it. While you're sleeping - since it's already five in the morning and places are starting to open - I'll run to the Wal-Mart and buy you some items to wear like, you know… things you'll need. What size are you?"
"Extra small or… I think one – definitely petite."
Wow, she was small.
"All right, why don't you get in the shower, just throw your stuff outside the door. I'll get you something to wear for when you get out."
She did as I asked her and then opened the bathroom door, throwing what she was wearing outside of it. She left the door ajar and I pulled it closed, but first I saw her back in the mirror's reflection. When I saw her back I knew she wasn't lying to me. I'd never seen so many scars. It made me feel sick. I'd never seen anything like it. Right then and there I promised myself I'd never let that vamp take her back. It made me want to hunt him down and kill him now.
I shut the door and then threw everything into a trash bag apart from a piece of her shirt and took it with me, locking the door on the way out. I'd make this a quick trip. I didn't want to leave her alone for too long.
The girl was still asleep when I came back. I placed the new clothes at the foot of the bed and looked down at her. She was fragile and frail looking, too dainty to be running around with me. I know I told her that she could come with me, but she would only hold me back. I made my decision quickly as I put an envelope with $500 in it on top of her clothes. That would be enough to get her far away from this vampire named James. I placed a note on the clothes that told her to head as far away from here as she could and not to worry about James. I would make killing him my main priority. I had her scent from her old clothes, and he would find me. I would protect her. I quickly packed up my gear and left the motel room.
Whether I knew it at the time or not – Alice was going to change my life, taking it in a totally new direction.
A/N Thanks for reading and the reviews. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on our story. : )