If It Kills Me

Summary: New Moon Songfic told from Jacob's perspective. Song is "If It Kills Me," (from the Casanova Sessions) by Jason Mraz.

Disclaimer: I do not own the Twilight Saga. I'm just borrowing Stephenie Meyer's characters for a bit. I also do not own "If It Kills Me," by Jason Mraz.

"You like me, right?" I spoke quickly from our bench outside the movie theater's bathroom. I should probably feel bad that Bella's friend was sick, but he had presented me with an opportunity I could not pass up. Bella shifted uncomfortably within the circle of the arm I had placed around her shoulder, but she did not completely shrug me off.

I know she did not want to talk about this. She did not want to admit that her feelings for me were growing, and I knew now was not the time for that admission. However, I could tell she already knew how I felt, and though I knew I would have to wait for her to finally be honest with herself over her feelings, I wanted her to hear where I stood.

Hello, tell me you know
Yeah, you figured me out
Something gave it away

"You know I do." Her response, although strained, was like music to my ears. It was not what I ultimately wanted, but it was a start. However, under my arm I could feel her shoulders tense, and knew I had to put her at ease. In response to her comment I added, "Better than that joker puking his guts out in there?"

"Yes," I heard her sigh and I could almost hear the smile she tried to hold back. Pressing on after her response, I continued, "Better than any of the other guys you know?"

"Better than the girls, too," She supplied, turning to look at me for the first time since I started.

"But that's all." I replied in answer, reflexively tightening my arm around her, knowing that would sting at the wounds she carried from the Cullens' departure. I did not want to hurt her, but she also needed to know where we both stood.

And it would be such a beautiful moment
To see the look on your face
To know that I know that you know now

"Yes." Bella supplied in a whisper, her eyes willing me to understand that she could not give me anything else. I just smiled at her before replying. "That's okay, you know. As long as you like me the best. And you think I'm good looking – sort of. I'm prepared to be annoyingly persistent." Maybe I laid it on a bit thick at the end, but she, herself had admitted that I was "sort of beautiful." That was the day I knew there were cracks in the walls she had put up around her and I had every intention of breaking through those cracks, even if it was a slow process.

And baby that's a case of my wishful thinking
You know nothing

"I'm not going to change." She spoke with a mournful tone, reminding me of the mess she had been the day she brought our bikes to me. She had looked dead that day, but with each passing day we've spent together I've watched her gradually come back to life. The loss of her boyfriend and taken its toll and although I would never say it, I secretly wished he would pay the price for what he did to her.

I took a moment to think of how best to respond to her. I knew what she was trying to say, but if I voiced it aloud, would she run from me? And if I said nothing would I ever get anywhere with her? I told myself I would be patient, but at the same time I knew we needed honesty to build on the foundations of our friendship if we were ever going to have our relationship progress.

Resolved to what I wanted, I softened my tone as I stated, "It's still the other one, isn't it?" Despite the gentleness in my tone I still watched her cringe and added, "You don't have to talk about it. But don't get mad at me for hanging around, okay?" I patted her head in a friendly gesture in an attempt to lighten the mood before finishing with "Because I'm not giving up. I've got loads of time."

Cause you and I
Why, we go carrying on for hours on end
We get along much better
Than you and your boyfriend

At least that Mike character, Bella brought along with us, had the good grace to keep away until after my little speech was done. I had my chance and now I knew Bella would work through the rest in her own mind. As if to confirm my point, the concern in her voice when she thought I had a fever on our trip home made me feel as if sparks were shooting from my heart. She cared, and one day she would realize just how much.

I longed to stay with her for a few more minutes that night, but I was not lying when I told her I felt strange. I hoped that stupid "friend" of hers had not contaminated the two of us with his flu. However, even if the strange feelings coursing through my body were a result of the flu, it could not stop the bubble of happiness that swelled inside me. Time would push away the painful memories of her past and one day Bella would be mine, and happy images of a future with her followed me home and through my front door.

Well all I really want to do is love you
A kind much closer than friends use
But I still can't say it after all we've been through
And all I really want from you is to feel me
As the feeling inside keeps building
And I will find a way to you if it kills me
If it kills me

What a difference a day makes. One moment I'm ready to spout off cheesy sonnets to the girl of my dreams and the next moment I become a monster. However, the worst feeling was the brief flicker of betrayal I felt directed at her when I realized it was her bloodsucker that had caused me to become a nightmare. I knew she had no possible way of knowing about the consequences I would face as a result of the Cullens' presence in Forks, but knowing she had allowed that leech into her world, her heart, made my vision go red.

Well, how long, can I go on like this,
Wishing to kiss you,
Before I rightly explode?

That first time I realized what that leech had done to me, I had burst from my skin in the middle of my father's tale. Sam was there to help me regain control, but ultimately my anger ebbed because I could see Bella's face in my mind, just as Sam always sees the face of his Emily. As angry as I was at her bloodsucker and her feelings towards him, I could not stay angry at Bella. She had not asked for the leech to come to Forks any more than I had. Remembering the pain that leech had caused her and the happiness we had found together settled my frayed nerves and allowed me to transform back to myself.

And this double life I lead isn't healthy for me
In fact it makes me nervous
If I get caught I could be risking it all

Avoiding Bella after my transformation into a monster was the hardest thing I had to do. I knew it was hurting her, having me gone. I could hear through her bedroom window that nightmares plagued her dreams while I faithfully stood guard over her house during the night. The past few times I had caught a glance of her through the trees I could see the toll the restless nights were taking on her and I longed to take her into my arms and chase the nightmares away.

I cursed the leech while she screamed through her night terrors, but it never seemed to help. The few times I had decided to give up and go to Bella, Sam was always there to stop me and remind me of the dangers there were with humans interacting with werewolves. I know I would have felt terrible if I had struck out at Bella and hurt her, but deep down I knew that would never happen.

Sam meant well to keep me away from Bella, I knew it. I even tried to stick with his plan when Bella came to see me, but the dead look in her eyes as I told her to leave tugged at my heart. Sam told me I had done the right thing afterwards, but I knew that I did not. I might not have given the woman I love physical scars, but I was certain the ache in my heart was echoed in her own. I let that pain eat at me through nightfall and let my pack brothers go on the hunt without me before slipping away towards her house, knowing I would not have long to talk to her if my pack brothers figured out what I was up to. However, werewolf or no, I could not give up on Bella. She needed me, and I had already waited too long to give up on her now.

Well baby there's a lot that I miss
In case I'm wrong

I should have known of all the Quileute stories I told Bella, it's the bloodsucker one she would remember first. I know it is late and remembering all the stories is probably difficult on no sleep, but why does she have to so readily recall that one? I curse myself for ever telling her that story. It would have been much simpler if I could just retell the wolf story to Bella myself, but Sam had banned that from me a few days ago. I do not want to be the "Alpha," but it is times like this where I seriously reconsider my decision to defer to Sam. However, despite my irritation with Bella's memory and the leech, I am glad that I got to see her. If nothing else I hope my presence will brush aside her nightmares so she is well rested for what I need her to remember tomorrow.

All I really want to do is love you
A kind much closer than friends use
But I still can't say it after all we've been through
And all I really want from you is to feel me
As the feeling inside keeps building
And I will find a way to you if it kills me
If it kills me

My moment of excitement at seeing Bella the following day vanishes in an instant. "How does being afraid of a monster make me a hypocrite?" I hear Bella's words echo in my head and a shiver of revulsion ripples through me. You would have thought the bloodsucker story would have evoked fear in her, but no it was the wolf tale. Why did the leech deserve such devotion? What did he do to deserve the girl? He left her!

In anger I respond to Bella's condemnation, "Well, I'm so sorry that I can't be the right kind of monster for you, Bella." I can't fight the trembling in my body as I clench my teeth and glare at her. How dare she compare me to her leech!

"It's not what you are, stupid, it's what you do!" My ears ring at her shouted words and my vision begins to tunnel as I fight the blinding rage building within me. I can't even remember what I yelled back at her, but suddenly her own face clouds over as if she was distracted by something. Then in a tone soft and even she turns her attention back to me and speaks, "Jacob, isn't there some other way? I mean, if vampires can find a way to survive without murdering people, couldn't you give it a try too?"

"Killing people?" I ask, my vision instantly clearing and the trembling stopping.

"What did you think we were talking about?" She asks in the same soft tone, a look of disappointment spreading across her features as if the end of my anger has caused her to lose something in return.

"I thought we were talking about your disgust for werewolves." I state, praying she'll deny it. The bubble of happiness from the night we spent at the movies returns at her response.

"No, Jake, no. It's not that you're a… wolf. That's fine. If you could just find a way not to hurt people… that's all that upsets me."

I know she was offended by my answering smile and laugh, but I could not help it. Our argument was just a misunderstanding. One we would work through like everything else.

If I should be so bold
I'd ask you to hold my heart in your hand
Tell you from the start how I've longed to be your man

Since patching up our misunderstanding, I can really sense that Bella is starting to come around. My patience is paying off. We are back to being Bella and Jacob and the tension is gone. She does worry when I leave for the pack's hunts, but it just shows how strong her feelings are for me. Maybe it is wishful thinking, but I think she may be close to giving up on her bloodsucker.

Personally I'm offended that he left her without any protection from others of his kind, particularly the one Bella calls Victoria, but luckily my pack brothers and I can take them down. Bella is safe with me, and as I run along the fresh trail of the elusive leech that is tracking her, I will make sure things stay that way. Bella needs protection and happiness and I will make sure she has both.

But I never said a word
I guess I'm gonna miss my chance again

I rushed home the minute Victoria, circled back towards the water, praying Bella was not waiting for me on the beach like she often did. I was relieved when I didn't see her, but then I spotted tire tracks leading towards the cliffs and heard a scream to make my own heart still in imitation of my bloodsucking enemies. I honestly thought I was going to lose her and acted on instinct as I dove in after her.

I was so relieved when she started breathing and speaking to me. I wanted to yell at her for nearly killing herself, but I was too relieved to know she was alive to start a fight. I did tell her how stupid she was, but not with the vehemence I should have had. I just held her close as I carried her to my house so I could get her warmed up. We were both silent as we reflected on what had just happened, and with my adrenaline wearing off and her near death experience we both fell asleep, both content and safe, side by side.

It was not until later when I drove her home that I sensed a change in her demeanor. A change I could sense was what I had been waiting for all this time. Seizing the moment I pulled her into my arms in the cab of her truck and crushed her to my chest. I did try to give her an out, murmuring, "Sorry. I know you don't feel exactly the way I do, Bells. I swear I don't mind. I'm just so glad you're okay that I could sing – and that's something no one wants to hear."

My heart flutters when she doesn't pull away from me and again I sense that something has changed in her. As always, I wait for her, silently urging her to see things for what they are, but willing to give her the space she needs. When I do feel her stiffen in my arms, I release her and turn towards the truck's door, telling myself to give her another day. She is close to giving me what I want and one more day will not hurt. How was I to know all my dreams would come crashing down when a vampire's car glinted in the headlights of her truck, and that car happened to belong to the Cullens?

Well, all I really want to do is love you
A kind much closer than friends use
But I still can't say it after all we've been through
And all I really want from you is to feel me
As the feeling inside keeps building
And I will find a way to you if it kills me
If it kills me
If it kills me

I'll admit that I lost it the night I saw the Cullens' car in Bella's driveway. I was equally hurt that she ran to them without batting an eye, rather than staying with me, but I could not stay there and let my heart be shattered further. I was not able to go back until I could swallow my pride and will myself over there.

I should not have been as hostile as my first words were to her, but I could not fight the betrayal I felt. After all my waiting, she still went back to her bloodsuckers. For a moment I took some vindictive pleasure in the pain I inflicted on her as I told her I would not come around as long as a Cullen was around. However, watching her face crumple was too much for me and even my heart softened. Especially when she told me the Cullens were not staying. As soon as the stray leech left, we could be back to being Bella and Jacob, and this brought my hope back.

I was just about to seal that hope with our first kiss when fate once again came back to mock me with a phone call. I picked up the phone, while cupping Bella's face, hoping to hang up the phone quickly before completely killing the mood. Unfortunately I succeeded that on my own with my curt response to Carlisle Cullen, but honestly it was just one too many leeches to deal with in one day.

I think it might kill me

I've said it before and I'll say it now. What a difference a day makes. Just last night, Bella was mine. Now I stand in the doorway, hating myself for losing my temper on the phone. I've never heard Carlisle Cullen's voice before. How was I to know it was actually Bella's leech calling? Every argument I can give her to stay will not work, she is determined to go to him. Despite all my waiting, I know she still loves him and it tears at my heart to watch her go.

I continue to plead with her as she makes her way out of the house and urges me to take care of Charlie in the event she does not return from the rescue mission she has set for herself. Her complete disregard of me causes the trembling in my body to start. Like our argument on the beach the day she accused me of being a monster, my vision begins to tunnel and I know it is inevitable that I will phase into a wolf. I manage to hold myself together until she is in the leech's car and begins to speed away from the house before my body explodes and I run into the sanctuary of the woods, where I howl in agony over losing my girl.

And all I really want from you is to feel me
It's a feeling inside that keeps building
And I will find a way to you if it kills me
If it kills me
It might kill me