a/n: Welcome to the place where I imagine what might happen if characters from Twilight encounter characters from other parts of the multiverse. This will be a series of ten one-shot crossovers that I'll be posting as I finish them. There's really no rhyme or reason to these; they are mostly writing exercises to keep my creative juices flowing when I'm feeling frustrated or stumped by my main story.
Some of these will be longer than others.
These are not beta-read, so feel free to keep your opinions on my inability to type cleanly or effectively proofread my own writing to yourself. ;) Writing exercises, people.
Disclaimer at the bottom.
Need to Know
In which Charlie, in Breaking Dawn, has good reason to tell Jacob he doesn't need to know the details.
They're in the woods now behind the Swan home. "Charlie," Jacob says, "I have something to show you."
When Jacob starts taking off his clothes, Charlie's eyes near about pop out of his head. What in God's name is Billy's son doing? Something must have happened to the kid when he ran away. Charlie steadily keeps eyes off to the left of the too-tall teen who is now completely naked in the wild greenery behind his house. "Son," he starts to say, with no idea how to get Billy's kid clothed, and wondering already what he's going to tell his closest friend about his only boy.
"Just watch, Charlie."
Charlie is positive that no matter what Jacob thinks he's going to do, this old man does not, in any way, want to see it. Nothing good comes of a teenage boy stripping down in what is practically your back yard. Suddenly, there is--an explosion?--and Jacob isn't standing there, looking older than his years and trying not to laugh at Charlie. In his place is an enormous rust-colored wolf. 'I didn't want this,' Charlie thinks to himself. 'I didn't want to know. Nothing good comes of knowing.' For a moment, his memory of a time when he did want to know washes over him, and he just stands there, gaping at the giant wolf in front of him.
He'd been in the uniform for less than two years when he drove to Seattle to talk to the Assistant D.A. in a case he'd been involved in. It was a case that spanned jurisdictions, and so was out of the hands of the small town of Forks. He wasn't fond of the city. There was too much metal, too much brick and pavement. Being in the city made his heart ache for the trees and fresh air of home. It was late in the day when he'd finished up with the Assistant D.A. Upon leaving the D.A.'s office, he'd needed to work off some nerves, so he'd taken a walk. He'd passed the alley shortly after sundown, on the way back to his car. Down the way, he'd seen a sign for a place called Serengeti Club, and wondered if it was the kind of bar that served beer he liked and not that yuppie microbrewery stuff that was starting to become popular.
He'd never found out, because he'd passed that alley, and just had to help. Had to interfere. Had to know.
Jacob is suddenly Jacob again, putting on his clothes. 'Thank God,' Charlie thinks. He likes the kid much better clothed, and not a wolf. His breath comes to him again, and he repeats a mantra in his head: 'This isn't the same. This isn't what I knew before.' But he doesn't believe it.
The fool boy is talking again, the hint of a smile on his face. The older man wants to wipe the almost-smile from his face. He doesn't want his world turned upside down yet again. Some of the words Jacob is speaking makes it through the fog of denial he's built in his head. "Charlie, you don't live in the world you thought you lived." Charlie most definitely does not snort. He wonders just what kind of world Jacob thinks they live in. Does he know about those...creatures? Does being one mythological, impossible, creature mean that you automatically know about all the others?
He'd walked past the mouth of the alley. There were people there, sounds of scuffling. Of course he'd tried to help. It was what he did. There were two men and a woman, and another person on the ground. The three standing were tall, blonde, and even he took note of how attractive they were. He had noted their posture, seen that they were, all three of them, the aggressors. He'd seen this, and gone into the alley to help the poor person on the ground.
He'd very nearly died. As they'd turned on him, he had thought that they must have martial arts training, to disarm him so quickly. Then, out of nowhere, the three attackers were gone, pulled off of him and dispatched after a short fight.
"Jake, you said that Bella isn't sick any more. Tell me what's really going on with her, with this rare disease." Charlie can't keep the note of desperation out of his voice. This is his baby girl, his little Isabella, who had been so sick.
"Bella was sick, but she's better now. But, she's changed a little in the process." Jake manages to look both serious and jovial.
It is clear to Charlie that Billy's kid is serious, telling him something significant, but thinks this is all good fun. He swallows hard and asks the question he doesn't want to know the answer to. "What do you mean," Charlie asks the boy who is altering his entire world, "when you say Bella 'changed?'" He can feel the nausea roiling in his stomach as he thinks about what he might be about to learn. 'I didn't want this.'
Jacob is grinning at him. "Well, she looks more like Esme now, than Renee."
After he saw the three literally disappear into a cloud of gold dust, he turned to the man who'd saved him. And looked up. And up. He had to be six and a half feet. Black hair. Lean. Held himself like a fighter. "What," he'd gasped, having had the wind knocked out of him, "was that? What were they?"
The tall man had offered Charlie his hand and hauled him to his feet. "That," he'd answered, " is something you don't want to know about. The things that go bump in the night. You're safe. You can go back to pretending you don't believe any of this." His rescuer had a wry twist to his lips as he gestured out to the street Charlie had been walking a few short minutes before.
Charlie'd looked at the body lying on the littered ground. So much blood. The man's throat and wrists had been ripped apart. "I need to know about this," a young and naive Charlie Swan said. I need to know how to protect people, my daughter." He didn't expect an answer, or any response at all. The man who'd saved him had already given his opinion.
"They feed on blood, and use it to suck the soul out of humans. A strong soul can keep them alive for some time." The man had cocked his head, examining Charlie. He'd been reminded of a cat examining a curious toy. "They're stronger and faster than you. Stay in at night. Stay out of alleys. Don't interfere."
They feed on souls. He'd believed the man spouting crazy things. Knew in his heart it was true. And he'd quietly vowed that his toddler daughter would never be out at night alone.
Charlie has a sinking feeling. His voice is quiet when he asks, "Does she turn into an animal, too?" 'Please, say yes. I can handle that. It means she isn't what I think she is.'
But Jacob is snorting in mirth as he answers, "She wishes she were that cool!"
Something in Charlie dies.
"It's so cool, Charlie. I'm a werewo--"
"I'd rather not know the specifics, Jacob." He's quick to cut the boy off. He decides, desperately, that his little girl had been duped. She can't have known. A strong soul can keep them alive for some time. "Did she know what she was getting herself into? When she married Edward?" His innocent girl...
"Yeah. She's known all about this since she came to Forks." The boy's voice is still chipper, happy, like this is a conversation about...about fishing. Or girls. Not monsters and impossible things. Charlie can't hold it in. He lets Jacob know, vocally, how he feels about this.
A strong soul can keep them alive for some time. "I want to see her." Breathe. "I want to know as little as possible."
"As little as possible, Jacob. Need to know only. I can already tell you that I don't need to know."
"There's something else. Something you do need to know." He's reassuring, now, speaking calmly. "Bella and Edward inherited a new mouth to feed." At Charlie's horrified expression, he continues. "She's an orphan. Bella and Edward have taken her in. All the Cullens have, really."
"Like a daughter? So I'm like a grandfather?" Charlie can't breathe. 'I didn't want this. I didn't need to know.' But...a granddaughter. Can he handle that?
"Yes." Jacob is beaming. Charlie does not want to know why the kid sitting next to him is so damn happy about all this. "Congrats, Gramps. She's special. More special than all of us combined."
Charlie forces a smile. 'A granddaughter.' The smile comes more naturally. "I don't need to know the details, Jake. I mean it. Need to know, only." He draws in a breath. "I need to see her."
Jacob nods. "It'll be better if you give me a head start to explain."
Carlie moves his head in agreement, and the child of his best friend, this over-grown teenager who turns into a wolf, flashes him a blinding smile that he will never see the same again. "I'll let her know you're coming," he promises. Then he's off.
Charlie does his level best not to hyperventilate. His child. His baby. One of them. A strong soul can keep them alive for some time. Bella can't handle the smell of blood. How...? No. He doesn't want to know.
"You'll know," the tall man had told him, "them by sight. You saw the attackers. What did they have in common?"
He'd responded by pure habit. "Tall. Blonde. Fit."
"A racial trait. They stand out in a crowd."
The tightness in his chest loosens. Esme has brownish hair. Alice's is black, and she's shorter than even Bella. Edward's hair is oddly red. He breathes easier. He carefully does not think about Dr. Cullen or the two blonde children, even though none of the Cullens, excepting the big one, are tall enough to be one of them. His daughter is...something different than those creatures that nearly took his life.
He doesn't know what Bella is, now.
He'll never ask.
a/n: Charlie Swan is Stephanie Meyer's, even if she did under utilize him in her books. She owns Jacob, and a fair chunk of the Jake/Charlie dialogue, too. (Much of which is found in chapter 25 of Breaking Dawn.) Ravyn, Serengeti Club, the Dark-Hunters, and Daimons are the product of Sherrilyn Kenyon's creative brain. None of them belong to me. If you're a Dark-hunter fan, you know that actually not all Daimons/Apollites are of the very tall and blonde variety--they have, after all, been intermarrying and breeding with humans for thousands and thousands of years. But I don't see why Ravyn would give Charlie more than a general overview. I'm surprised he told Charlie as much as he did, really.