A/N: Takes place a significant number of years after Breaking Dawn. I wrote a companion piece to this called Man to Man.
Awkward. They both think it but neither of them dares say it. Jacob's older and the Alpha. He has to talk first. It's moments like this where he wishes he had just done what Sam said and torn the Cullens to pieces.
Yeah, mass murder would have been a lot easier.
Seth loves helping Jacob—it's his favorite hobby. Just that second, he's perfectly content to let his mind wander far away from the conversation Jacob is attempting to have. He wonders if Leah stayed in the house like they asked her to and hopes that Nessie made it home okay. He's going to call her right after this is over. If his mom doesn't kill him for dating so off the reservation he's seeing another species, he's going to call her like he promised.
"You and Nessie?"
"You and Leah?"
Jacob's the Alpha so he should be able to have a mature conversation without blushing, but apparently not. Then the thought of Nessie as mature almost makes him throw up.
"What?" Seth always was a little too innocent for his own good. It takes a good minute for Jacob's meaning to become clear. Jacob is just about desperate to take the two thoughtless words back, but their supernatural know-how doesn't include time travel. Yet. It's too easy to see the exact second it dawns on the kid because his eyes grow three sizes. "What? No way, Jake. Nessie's special. I wouldn't—you..."
It takes another long moment for him to get the words out.
"You and Leah?"
Silence is worth a hundred words.
"She's my sister. She's...Leah."
"She's Leah," Jacob repeats. It's the only explanation he wants to give. 'She's hot' isn't one Seth would understand.
It does explain why Leah has been in such a good mood after patrol lately, Seth thinks to himself. It's his turn to feel sick.
Right. They are having a mature conversation. Jacob tries to remind them of this, by asking probing, personal questions.
"How did this happen?"
"I asked first."
"Yeah...well. You first."
Jacob sighs, runs a hand through his hair, wishes he had let Leah handle her brother. The insanity only lasts for a second. Poor Seth doesn't deserve that, even if he had seduced Jacob's imprint.
"I don't know. One night after patrol we just...we were fighting."
Seth is a Clearwater. He can use sarcasm when the situation calls for it.
"Shut up. I don't know what happened, Seth. We just...we got to talking and then we sort of just...yeah." She hit him in the jaw. Twice. He called her an evil shrew. He's pretty sure he kissed her first, but he knows she'd argue. That's the problem. Arguing with Leah is a lot more fun than it should be. When Leah isn't trying to make his life miserable, she's actually really great. "She's always been there for me. Sarcastic and rude, but always there. She's pretty amazing that way. In lots of ways."
"Yeah. I always knew that."
"Yeah. You did."
"Don't hurt her."
He's begging, a little. Begging a lot and not just because Leah's a bitch when she's broken-hearted but because his Dad always told him to look out for his sister.
The voice of an Alpha. Unbreakable.
"What about Nessie?"
Seth turns bright red.
"What about Nessie?"
Now that he doesn't have to worry about Seth feeling betrayed, Jacob's starting to relax.
"Stealing my imprint just sounded fun one day?"
"I didn't...shut up."
"Hey, you took her away from me. I think I should be a little hurt. Didn't want one of your own so you just decided to take mine?"
"I didn't mean to."
The poor kid looks apologetic. Jacob feels like a dick.
"I know. So, what's going on?"
"It's just...we like hanging out." Super special or not, there's not that many options for a half-human, half-vampire freak of nature. Nahuel's boring and slightly obsessed with her mother. "What with you so busy with the Council and stuff now...she needed someone to talk to. And we just sort of...I didn't think you'd mind. You always said she was like a little sister."
That's where the awkward comes in.
"I think I'm supposed to punch you right now."
"I think I'm supposed to punch you first. Leah's blood."
"You couldn't have gone to her house? Jeez, Seth, she's not even technically supposed to be on our land."
"Edward's there. Besides, if you had knocked instead of bursting through the door all—never mind."
Half-undressed and on top of one another, but still coherent enough to notice the way Nessie was curled far too intimately against Seth. Jacob sighs and wishes for the hundredth time he had insisted they just screw on the forest floor.
"Sorry about that."
Seth tries not to think about Jacob's hands under his big sister's shirt. It doesn't work. He starts wondering if pouring bleach in your ear actually does help get rid of things. Nessie would know. She knows all kinds of stuff. She's so cool that way.
"Whatever. Are you going to hit me, Jake?"
"You going to hit me?"
"Leah would kick my ass."
Ever since his Dad died, his mom and Leah have been fighting over who gets to be the man of the house. It's all Seth can do to escape the carnage alive.
Knowing that Leah would not be above attacking her Alpha (and would consider it her right to destroy her boyfriend if he touched her baby brother), Jacob admits:
"I'm not going to hit you."
They both scratch the back of their heads. Since violence isn't going to be forthcoming they have to proceed to the next stage.
"You want to go first?"
"Uh...I guess." Seth scratches the back of his head again. It still itches. And it hasn't gotten less awkward. "You hurt her, I'll kill you."
Jacob shakes his head. "Aw, come on, Seth. You can do better than that. At least growl or something. If you can't sound like you hate me, at least sound like you have a sore throat or something. Come on. Try again."
Jacob does. Seth almost wets himself.
"Did you get that?"
"Yeah," Seth nods, trying to make himself swallow. "You got good at that."
"Practice. Growling at Edward, growling at Sam...it gets kind of boring after a while, actually."
"I guess it would."
Seth takes a deep breath and tries again.
"Better," Jacob allows. "We'll work on it."
They stand there and together they glance back at the Clearwater house.
"You think we've spent enough time out here?"
The real question: Do you think Leah is calm enough for us to risk going back into the house?
"Feels long enough. You want to talk to my sister or should I?"
"I think we should stick together on this one."
Seth lets out a sigh of relief. "Sounds good."
The two werewolves walk slowly back inside.
"Let's never do this again."
Seth is positive that's one order he won't mind following.