Heartbeat

Disclaimer: Ain't mine. If it were, Jacob and Leah would have been together, no doubt about it.


She feels her heartbeat thud faster and faster, the sound of everything else lost to the frantic beating flowing through her body.

He's there in the distance. She can't see his face. But she knows it's him. She knows him inside and out. The outline of his body, the length of his shaggy hair, the deep brown of his eyes. She always knows.

The figure moves forward at a fast pace. Then suddenly he stops, and she feels her own heart stop. She's been in this situation enough to know that hesitation is not a good sign. She's been let down enough that it's become almost easy pretending she doesn't care. Even if it is clawing her up on the inside.

She should have known. If you always believe that things are going to turn out badly then you don't get upset. Go in with no expectations, come out with no disappointments. Why can't she just stick to that?

He's stopped moving altogether now, and his hands are on his head, he's rubbing his face. She's trying not to break, because this is harder than anything she's ever experienced. She can see the pain in his actions. And even though she's not suppoed to care, she does. He's supposed to be happy. He can ride out in the sunset with his half-vampire and forget all about her. She's his imprint, it's how it works. She's been through this before.

She hasn't seen him in awhile. Everything had been happening at such a hectic pace. The baby brought everyone together. The pack and the bloodsuckers. All except for her. Leah hadn't wanted to get involved, not after all they'd been through. And not after Jacob had imprinted. All he could see after that was the baby, the beautiful baby, and Leah had never felt so alone in her life.

But here he is now, and she shrinks down a little. She doesn't want him to see her. She doesn't want him to rub it in his face that he's found the one he's going to spend the rest of his life with. She doesn't want to get her hopes up and washed away. You can't break away from an imprint. You just can't.

He drops his hands. They swing limply by his sides, and he begins walking again. This time at a slower, steadier pace. Her breath quickens, and she has to use all the strength she has left in her to compose herself. Mild tremors rock through her body so she takes deep breaths. She can't phase, not here, not right now. She has to put on her tough face. Her hard, untouchable exterior. Nobody's allowed to see her without it, especially not him.

She knows what he has come to say. The last goodbye. Her closure. She hates it, it makes everything so much more real, but it's what she needs at the same time. It's the last chapter. And she knows that after this, she has to try and move on. Even if it kills her. It's always been the hardest stage, the one that she could never surpass. Not with Sam, and not with him. It makes her feel so weak.

She can make out his face right now. All hardened lines and pursed lips. It's almost like he's concentrating on not phasing and she has to wonder why. It isn't like he's the one suffering. He has his happy ending; she's the one that will never get it. She bites her lip when she feels it washing over her. The pathetic heartbreak that she has become so susceptible to lately. She holds onto everything she has and tries not to tremble. Why can't he just get this over with?

Finally, he takes his last steps towards her, never looking straight at her. She can hear his breathing. It's not going to affect her. Not externally. She doesn't love him anymore. She doesn't.

Why can't it be that easy?

"Leah." He growls her name like he's angry with her. This makes her look up. What has she done this time? She flips through her memories. Nothing that would make him angry. Nothing that would make him look at her the way he's looking at her right now.

"Black," It's supposed to be done flippantly, but she's sure he catches the sound of her voice breaking. She clears her throat, "What are you doing here?" Now she sounds more like herself.

"I…" He pauses, and the anger loosens a little, softening his features. She tries not to look him in the eye. She can't stand it when they give her the pity look.

"I don't want to talk to you, Black. Just…just go back to your baby and stay out of my life."

There. It's out. No more lying and hidden meanings. She just wants life to go back to the way it used to be before everything had happened with him. When it was bearable.

"You don't love me anymore." He says this like a statement and it breaks her heart. Of course I do, she wants to scream. I love you so much it's tearing me apart. You're happy so why won't you just go away and leave me alone? She doesn't say any of this.

"Who said I ever did?"

Defiantly, she looks at him. His brown eyes she expects will be filled with relief. These words sound so convincing she's almost fooled herself into believing them. Almost. But he's not looking at her like that. His eyes are filled with…pain. It takes her awhile to figure it out. And she doesn't understand why.

"I did." He sounds like a child again, and she tries not to fall apart. She can't do this. She can't. She's not strong enough. He's just going to leave her. Again. Why does he have to draw this out? Can't he see it's hurting her? Doesn't he know her like the back of his hand, like he'd once claimed? Why does he look like he's the one who's shattering into a million pieces?

It's like he's stabbed her in the heart. Did. God, she can't stand how much she just wants to run away now. Take the cowards way out. Just so she can stop the hurt. Return to some sort of stable ground because lately everything's been too much for her. She chokes back a sob. Isn't she supposed to be the strong one here? The girl that doesn't break down in front of others? She doesn't crumble when things don't work out her way. She tries to move on.

But, really, how has that been going for her?

She swallows down the lump in her throat. Don't cry, stupid girl, don't cry.

He takes a step forward, and she knows she should move but she can't. She's locked on the spot, watching him as he struggles not to phase. He's shaking badly, and she almost wants to put her hand on his arm, touch him, because he looks so awful. She doesn't know why he's going to phase. Why would he? He's the lucky one here, and that's the only thing stopping her from consoling him. But she wants to. Desperately. She squashes down the feeling because it makes everything more definite. This is going to end soon.

"Well, it's too late now, isn't it?"

The words have no meaning. They're just monotonous, something that she's practised a thousand times over because they're simple, and it's what he wants to hear, right? But they don't hold any meaning. She's tried to inject some kind of feeling into them, but it doesn't work. It sounds too fake. This is something that she can't pretend. She can shield herself from everything else with her lies, but when it comes to him, all her resolve crumbles, and her lies are exactly what they are. Lies.

She forces herself to look at him. He's trying to contain himself, but he looks so hurt it's painful for her to watch him. He's so bad at hiding it, but in a way this makes him even stronger than her. He's not avoiding her, like she would have done. He's there, he came to her. Even if it meant that it would hurt him as much as it would hurt her. Although she's sure that nothing could hurt more than being in her position.

He stands there in silence, scrutinising her, not saying a word. She bites her tongue. Say something. Anything.

"What do you want?" It's bitter and impatient. She just wants to get this over with. For him to hurry up and say what's on his mind. "Just tell me that you don't want me anymore. You never loved me. Don't lie to me just to make everything better."

"Is that what you think?" She's suprised to find that he sounds angry. Furious even. All his control is basically gone, and his body is rocking so horribly she's afraid that he's going to transform any second now.

She glares at him because, honestly, what else could she have been thinking? He neglected her as soon as the baby came along. Left her, forgot about her. Doesn't he know how much that stung? How much it got to her?

"How could you even think that?" His voice is lower now. He's trying to hold onto the remaining control he has left. "That I never loved you? God, Leah, I-I loved you so much. You know how scared it made me? Imprinting on Renesmee? I was so scared. It...it wasn't something that I planned on. I never wanted it, Leah, but it happened."

She clenches her hands because he's making this harder than it has to be. Just shut up. Go away. Never come back. She doesn't want him anymore.

"But you don't want me anymore."

These six words contain more emotion than anything she's said before. They're so very real and honest. They override every other feeling she's experienced, and this is why it's so painful. She's exhausted. She just wants it to end.

"Leah..." It's so soft, so gentle, she has to look at him. It's nearing the end.

But then he does something unexpected. He move forward and cups her face in his hands, his warm, rough hands, and that pathetic fluttering in her stomach starts up. The hope that she thought had died long ago suddenly lifts it's head in anticipation. Her mind tells her that she's just going to be let down again. She can't let him get to her, but she can't move away.

"I've always wanted you." He's so close to her face, his breath sends tingles along her cheek to her ear. She's shaking. Why is he doing this to her?

"But-But..." She hates how she sounds. So uncertain and unsure, but what does he mean? He has his imprint. He doesn't need her. Why would he?

"Renesmee?" He chuckles, slightly, and there's no spite in it. "I love her. Of course I do, but...but I don't love her the way that I love you. I've never loved anyone the way I love you."

Her breath catches in her throat. What is he saying? Of course he's meant to end up with the imprint, they always do. She never gets the happy ending. This is not something that she's accustomed to. She's so used to getting the short end of the stick that she doesn't know how to act now.

"I thought you forgot about me..." She trails off, keeping her eyes on the hard concrete beneath her.

"Never. How could I, Clearwater? I have seen you naked. That's something I could never forget." He smirks, and she's so relieved, so happy, that all she can do is roll her eyes at him, and punch him lightly on the shoulder.

Then it hits her. I've never loved anyone the way I love you. That can't be right. Her heart plunges down into the pit of her stomach. Obviously that couldn't be right. What about before her? He couldn't have loved her more than...no. That's just a dream. She's just second best, as always. He notices the change in her demeanor, and all playfulness is gone from his face. He's worried, and she can't help but voice her thoughts.

"What about Bella Swan?" The words are pushed out of her before she can stop them. He must have loved her more. At first, he looks slightly confused, but realisation hits a second later, then he's raising an eyebrow, slyly, smirk back on his face.

"Who?" He asks, before lowering his face to hers, his hands still cupping her face.

She smiles, his mouth pressed against hers, because maybe, just this once, she gets to have the happy ending she's always wanted.


A/N: So. I wrote this a while ago...but only half of it, and I finished the rest today. Even though in five days I'm going to have to sit three exams. Oh, procrastination, how I adore thee. But this is my happy Jacob/Leah fic. I have come to the conclusion that I like to make characters suffer a little before I give them their happy ending :)
But I haven't posted anything in seven months...so, yeah, this is my contribution. Please review! Longest fic yet!