Stephenie Meyers own all TWILIGHT characters.

Happy Holidays, SeverelyLupine!


VICISSITUDE

-noun. One of the sudden or unexpected changes or shifts often encountered in one's life, activities, or surroundings.

From what she has learned about her family, Renesmee expects to find love quickly and easily. Her parents knew the moment they first saw each other, though she is quick to give her father a padded time frame for that love since Renesmee suspects he loved her mother's blood first. Alice knew she loved Jasper before she even met him. Rosalie wanted Emmett enough to change him and the second her uncle woke up, he called her an angel and fell in love. The wolves, her second family, talk of imprinting and the sudden flash of knowing. It scares her a little bit, the way everyone around her seems to fall in love so quickly, but it also thrills her and she wants that moment of understanding, that one second that will change her life.

On her 7th birthday, her final one before her body freezes in time, Renesmee opens her eyes from sleep and stares at the ceiling of the latest Cullen house in Arkhangelsk. She's not an idiot so she doesn't expect to just know who the love of her life is this morning, but that doesn't mean she didn't hope for it. She can hear the light treading of family members on the floor below her and she lets out a sigh before sitting up in bed, pushing back hair that she's determined to cut one day if only her father wouldn't give her that longing look like cutting her hair would be a travesty.

"It may be your birthday, Renesmee, but I can still hear your thoughts." The reprimand hits her ears before her father even says — "And happy birthday."

Later that day, she finds herself in the living room, surrounded by gifts wrapped in white and silver paper. Not everyone is actually present this time around, but her parents are, and Rosalie and Emmett too, and despite how much she loves her entire family, it's the four of them that have raised her for the past seven years, so they're all she really needs right now. The others have sent their love in the form of necklaces and artwork and one-of-a-kind designs and she smiles especially wide when her father hands her a small slip of paper that states a new harp will be delivered later that day. The music room in the house is already too full but she's picked up Edward's love of music and that means learning how to play as many instruments as possible.

The doorbell rings and Renesmee sees the flash of annoyance on Rosalie's face for a split-second and she stands up quickly because there's only one person who could ever make Rosalie grimace that much. When Renesmee pulls the door open, she lets out a tiny squeal when she sees her best friend standing there and jumps up, wrapping her limbs around his body. Jake laughs and squeezes her back with a light "Happy Birthday, Ness," and then puts her down when Edward clears his throat. "Poppa Vamp," Jake says because he knows it annoys Edward to no end. "Thanks for the invite."

"Hey Jake," is all Bella says before she goes to hug him hello. When they pull apart, Renesmee feels a twitch in her stomach that she can't explain. Jake looks over at her suddenly and she shrugs, banishing it from her mind.

He's staying longer than normal, he tells her later that night, when they're both sitting at the dining room table with enough food to feed the entire Pack. When she asks how long that might be, Jake shrugs and says, "'Til after the New Year, I guess," around a mouthful of food. The announcement makes her feel warm inside because it's been too long since she's seen him – for the two of them, anyway – and now she gets him at least three and a half months. A bubble of happiness bursts open inside her chest and it shocks her into a stillness because while she's always happy to spend time with Jake, she's never been this happy about it.

Again, Jake's body turns; he's always been eerily in tune with her but now his eyebrows are furrowed together, like there's a problem he can't figure out. His eyes study her closely and he inhales a sharp breath before he stands quickly, almost knocking his chair to the ground. "Jake?" she's confused when she says his name because he's acting strangely and like nothing she's ever seen of him before but he just mutters nonsensical words before saying he needs to go for a moment.

The dining room is quiet now and the only reason Renesmee knows Jake was standing next to her mere seconds before is that his scent lingers in the air and her hair is still brushing against her shoulder from his sudden departure. The bubble that was in her chest suddenly feels like it's expanding and the next thing she knows, she gasps for air and her mother is next to her with wide eyes and trying to figure out what just happened. In the next minute, Renesmee is fine again and she blinks at Bella. "You okay, baby?" and Renesmee nods. "What happened?"

"No idea," she replies softly before shaking her head. "That was so weird." That's all she says before saying she's going to go read in her room and that if Jake comes back from… wherever… to just let him know she'll see him tomorrow.

Renesmee disappears up the stairs and then Edward is standing next to Bella with a pained look on his face. Bella turns her face up to him and he lets out a long-suffering sigh and presses a kiss against her hair. "And so it begins," he says and Bella rolls her eyes at his dramatics.

~o~ ~o~ ~o~ ~o~ ~o~

METAMORPHOSE

-verb. To undergo or be capable of undergoing a change in form or nature.

Jake treads lightly when he's in the same room as Renesmee now. He's been in Russia for about two months and winter has already started. It's cold but nowhere near as horrible as Jake originally thought; it's not like he can really feel the bitter chill anyway. For the first time since he ever laid eyes on her, Jake isn't sure what to do around Renesmee. She looks at him sometimes, stares at him like she's not sure what to say or do, and it unnerves him because he knows.

The imprint happened on the day she was born and he hadn't lied to Bella and Edward when he had said he only wanted to be there for their daughter. He loved her the moment he set eyes on her but there was no romance. She was a child, a baby, and he wanted nothing more than to protect her. He was attuned to her back then and he still is; he automatically knows what she needs and wants from him because that's how it works.

He lives to make her happy.

Renesmee's 7th birthday, though, changed things and Jake is wondering what happens next. The only person who could help him is 7,500 miles away and Jake wouldn't even bring this up to Quil if he could because he's pretty sure all those times he teased the kid about Claire in the beginning would bite him in the ass now.

He thinks a lot, especially when the others are gallivanting as university students at their respective schools, about the changes happening around him. He's always been a friend and a brother to Renesmee but he can sense her emotions changing, her feelings swirling around because she sees him in a different light. He's lost for the first time since Bella told him she chose Edward while he was recovering from Victoria and her gang of misfits.

His mind is a swirling mess and he waits for Edward to talk to him, dreads it really, because what the hell is he supposed to tell the father of the girl who suddenly wants him to… Right, he can't even say it in his own mind because then he'd be dead before he can talk to Renesmee about it. There is a smirk on Edward's face every time he sees Jake but he doesn't say anything and it's freaking Jake out because who really wants Edward Cullen looking like he ate a –

"Canaries are not filling, Jacob." Edward breezes into the house and smirks at Jake who tries his hardest not to shudder in apprehension. "I'm not sure what you're waiting for," he says flippantly, leaning against the door frame to the living room where Jake has taken up residence on the couch. Jake stares at him, wondering when Edward became so — "I wouldn't go there, Jacob," is said in a warning and suddenly, Edward's all tough and harsh like he's supposed to be and Jake can breathe just a little bit easier. That is, until he hears familiar voices that cause his body to tense up and Edward lets out a chuckle that is somehow both dark and amused. "Ah, yes," and he sounds like the old vampire from Italy, but Jake hides that thought before Edward can hear it. "My baby girl is home with her mother," and Jake winces at the term because it sounded like Edward put extra emphasis on the words baby girl and he's not sure if Edward did that because it's what he always does or if it's a warning. Another chuckle escapes Edward's mouth and he smirks again, "Do control your thoughts and emotions. Even if I couldn't read your mind, I'd know exactly how you felt about Nessie."

And then he's gone and the room is still for two seconds before Renesmee is in the doorway with bright eyes and a memory of a boy who has just asked her out on a date and how Bella almost throttled him for it. It's the first time Jake's chest constricts when she talks about other relationships.

~o~ ~o~ ~o~ ~o~ ~o~

EXCOGITATE

-verb. To study intently and carefully in order to grasp or comprehend fully; to consider or think out carefully and thoroughly.

Father and daughter walk along the row of shops on Pomorskaya, though most would argue they looked more like a couple. Edward grimaced at the thoughts around him about that one. He glances at Renesmee, bundled up in a thick jacket and a scarf and gloves. He's dressed the same way even though he doesn't need it and Renesmee pulls a single glove off and touches the sliver of skin between Edward's jacket and gloved hand to show him how utterly amusing it is that the girls around them are going crazy over him even bundled up.

"So," he begins after she has tugged the glove back on her hand.

"Yes?" she suppresses a smile and wonders who will win their one-word game this time. It's always something they've done since they don't really need to speak to have a conversation with each other. The others find it amusing if not a bit annoying.

"Jacob." When he says the name, Edward stops in front of a store with an old-fashioned wooden sign hanging above the door. He tilts his head and though Renesmee can make him lose by not answering right away, she nods so that they can continue.

Once they're inside, Renesmee unwraps the scarf from her neck and unbuttons her coat, looking around at the tiny trinkets. "Mom?" she asks him and Edward nods, moving immediately to a glass counter full of antique necklaces.

"Jacob?" he asks this time but he still doesn't look at his daughter because he's too busy wondering which crystal pendant would look the best against Bella's collarbone.

Moving next to him after smiling at the shop owner who came out of the back room the second the tiny bell jingled on the door, Renesmee points to a multi-faceted star whose lowest tip drops a good two inches. "That."

"Renesmee." He's exasperated because her mind won't even give him a clue on what she thinks or feels of Jacob Black.

She shrugs with a "Dunno" and Edward wants to call her out on the misuse of a contraction-turned-slang word but he doesn't.

"Thoughts?" He eyes the shop owner and then points to the necklace, waving a hand when she asks if he'd like it wrapped.

Renesmee turns and shrugs. She walks around the store slowly and Edward's eyes follow her. Pausing at a table, she picks up a small wooden box, plain and dark, and turns around to show it to Edward. She lifts it up for his inspection and soon, he's standing in front of her to take it from her hand. He turns it and nods after a few moments. "Changing," she finally says.

"What?"

"Feelings?"

"On?"

"Relationship."

"How?"

Renesmee pauses and her eyes are wide and uncertain when they stare up at Edward. He's immediately reminded of her first few weeks when she was completely innocent. Back then, she didn't yet know about pain or heartache or love.

"Game over?" she whispers.

Edward nods. "Game over." The owner comes back with a thin box and Edward pays for the necklace and doesn't say anything except "Thank you" then waits for Renesmee to pay for the box. After wrapping themselves in leather and cashmere, they walk back out into the cold and head towards the harbor where waves crash harshly against the steel of the bridge. Bella doesn't like going there so it's usually a father-daughter outing.

The closer they get to the water, the clearer Renesmee's mind gets. She's always been comfortable around oceans and seas and Edward's loathe to admit that it's probably due to all the time she spent at La Push as a child, well, a baby. By the time the two of them are standing on sand, Renesmee is trying to put her thoughts into words but her mouth opens and no sound comes out. There's too much to sort through, too much she wants to say aloud, but there's also not enough words to say what she needs to.

Pulling her close, Edward holds his daughter tightly and doesn't say anything for a while. Her face is pressed against her shoulder and his chin rests on the top of her head. If anyone walked by, they would think they were two lovers but Edward knows better and is determined to ignore all passing thoughts because Renesmee needs him right now. After minutes and minutes of silence, Renesmee leans away and with a shaky breath, she tugs off her glove again and, after a quick glance around, presses her palm on Edward's cheek.

A one-month old Renesmee laughing with Jake as an enraged Rosalie stomps back into the house, trailing mud behind her.

Leah sending her first smile towards Renesmee before letting it turn into a grimace when Jake showed up.

Bella and Jake in a kitchen, arguing whether pancakes or deer was better for breakfast.

Edward at his piano, playing with a smile on his face, while Renesmee listened, swaying with an invisible partner.

Jake charging through the front yard in wolf form seconds before Renesmee launched herself on his back.

Christmas in Maine, the first time Jake ever joined them for a holiday.

"We've always been a family," Renesmee says when she finally pulls her hand away. Edwards nods slightly. "Jake's always been a brother."

Immediately, Edwards knows what's happening. "It doesn't have to stay that way, sweetheart, not if you don't want it to."

"I don't know what I want," she admits.

Edwards knows better and he gives her a small smile because all the arguments going through her mind are the same ones he once had about Bella. "You know what you want," he argues, "but you have to feel like you need it first."

~o~ ~o~ ~o~ ~o~ ~o~

COUNTENANCE

-noun. Approval or favor; encouragement; moral support.

With three weeks left until Christmas, Jake wonders if he will ever get the "talking-to" most guys get from the fathers of teenage – sort of – girls. In the past couple of weeks, it's become painfully obvious that Renesmee wants more from him and he can't help the fact that his mind and body are reacting to her. When Bella walks into the bedroom he's claimed as his late one night, he grins and asks her what's up.

"So this thing with Renesmee," is the first thing she says and Jake feels like all the blood has drained from his body, not from the bloodsucker in the room, but because he's suddenly utterly terrified of his best friend. He stutters and Bella sits on his bed, "Right. Breathe. I just want to know what's happening."

"Nothing," but he says it a little too quickly.

She gives him a bemused smile. "Truth now, please."

And then it all comes spilling out, how he didn't mean for it to happen, didn't know it actually was happening until it was too late because the moment he arrived in the Arkhangelsk house, he knew Renesmee was different and that he was different for her.

He's worried about it because while he's done everything for her and tried his best to keep her happy for the past seven years, this is different. Jake rambles on and on and on about how he might not be enough and she's from a family that would rip him to shreds if he messed one thing up. Bella smiles at that one but lets him continue even though she can hear Edward and Renesmee on the outskirts of town, returning from their hunting trip. Right before they are close enough and focused enough to hear Jake's worries, Bella stops him with a hand on his arm.

Jake watches with a confused expression as Bella takes off the bracelet that holds his carved wolf and Edward's diamond. Taking his hand, Bella opens his fist and drops the piece of jewelry into his palm before curving his fingers back over it. He stares at her and she gives him a smile.

"Once, you and Edward were the two most important guys in my life. Now, you're the most important men in Renesmee's." She leans over and brushes the faintest of kisses on his warm cheek. "Treat her well."

~o~ ~o~ ~o~ ~o~ ~o~

TIMOROUS

-adjective. Subject to fear; timid.

The house is empty. The couples have gone off to hunt and then –

Renesmee doesn't want to think about the rest of that.

Instead, she walks down the staircase, holding a wrapped present in her hand. She hears Jake in the kitchen and rolls her eyes because of course he'd be in there. Calling his name softly, she soon finds herself in the doorway. Her body freezes because Jake is standing there, the way he often does, in front of the refrigerator with a bottle of water to his mouth. There's no shirt anywhere in the vicinity of his body and the only light on his dark features are the moonlight and the stupid twinkling lights Emmett strung all over the house.

Laughter escapes her lips because Renesmee realizes just how cliché that sounds in her head; Jake glances over at her and smiles when he lowers the bottle from his lips. "Hey, Ness."

"Come to the living room?" and the she disappears, leaving Jake staring after her with his eyebrows drawn inwards. She's sitting on the couch when he follows her and the box is in her lap. Jake makes his way to her, swiping a long, thin box from beneath the tree, and settles into the cushions. "You didn't have to get me anything."

Jake rolls his eyes, "Yeah, because that would have turned out well." He shrugs and Renesmee can see the tension around his eyes, the uncertain burn in his pupils. "It's just a little something. I mean, I won't take it too personally if you throw it back in my face."

With a raised eyebrow, she glances at the clock and it's almost midnight so she slides a finger beneath a crease in the wrapping and the tear sounds in the room like a giant echo. It's a plain white box and when she opens it, she stares. Delicate fingers lift the necklace out and her breath catches in her throat. Hanging from the thin, silver chain are two charms that she's always seen dangling from her mother's wrist.

"You don't have to wear it, but –"

Renesmee cuts him off by leaning over and hugging him tightly. She knows, even without words, why he's given this to her and she holds it up so that wood and diamond are in front of her face. Her eyes zoom in on the carved wolf and when she holds it, Jake shifts next to her. She spins it to see tiny letters etched there and her heart expands. She reaches for her hair and lifts it up with one hand, turning after handing Jake the necklace. His hands shake as they close the necklace around her and he can't help but lean forward when he's done. He presses his lips against her neck and she shivers at the warmth that seeps into her body.

Renesmee clears her throat, "This is yours." She hands him the wrapped present but doesn't let go. "I didn't know what to get you," she admits softly. "So just… I tried, okay?"

Jake nods and rips the paper like a little kid and he smiles at the wooden box. When he lifts it, he sees notes dancing around it in rows. "Is this –"

"I wrote it," she explains. "Dad helped."

"Play it for me sometime?" he asks because while he can admit to being talented in some areas, music was never his area of expertise.

She smiles and nods in response, then breathes out, "Open it."

He does and it's empty. He's confused but then Renesmee clears her throat and reaches in to lift the tiny piece of black cloth and Jake almost laughs out at how attuned they are to each other. Her locket is resting there and Renesmee whispers out the inscription, "Plus que ma propre vie," in a perfect French accent.

"The thing is," she continues, "I'm not really giving you the locket." Jake tilts his head at her. "You know my mom gave that to me and it's not something I'll give up easily."

"Okay," Jake says slowly.

Renesmee stares at him unblinkingly. "But it tells me who I am." She shakes her head and takes a deep breath. "I always wanted to find the easy love my parents had."

Jake lets out a quick laugh, "I'm sorry, Ness, but your parents' relationship was far from easy."

"Yeah, I know that now," she rolls her eyes at nudges him away slightly. "But they love each other, simple and true. I want that. I've always wanted that because it's the only thing I know."

"Everyone wants something like that, Ness."

Renesmee nods. "So I'm hoping you want that with me." The air stills around them. "But I'm still new at this whole thing and let's be honest, I'm sort of young and you're sort of not and my parents love you enough to trust you with me." She takes a deep breath. "What I'm trying to say is that I can't give you everything now, not all at once, because I don't know how to do that, but when I was a kid, my mom gave me this locket and said that she loved me more than her own life." Renesmee swallows and her voice is trembling. "I want you to know that I think I love you like that, I think I love you more than my own life and I'm kind of hoping that you'll love me back."

Jake doesn't say anything because he's not sure what to do. Renesmee has just said everything he hoped she would and nothing at all like how he imagined it. Her eyes are hopeful but scared. Jake's heart is pounding against his chest and he knows he should say something. He opens his mouth and then their eyes meet and it's like nothing in the world exists.

~o~ ~o~ ~o~ ~o~ ~o~

MAMIHLAPINATAPAI

-noun.

A look shared by two people with each wishing that the other will initiate something they both desire, but which neither one wants to start.


Thank you to Sara for the beta work.