Disclaimer: If I owned Twilight, I wouldn't need to write fanfiction about it.
Jacob didn't need a surprise party. He had survived for years without one and Seth wasn't keen on surprise parties anyway, as a rule. The whole becoming a werewolf and scaring his dad to death had sort of turned him off surprises. But when Nessie begged him with those big brown eyes, he agreed to help her throw one for Jacob, despite how useless he thought the whole thing was.
Besides, who else was going to help her?
Embry and Quil were physically unable to keep secrets from Jake. Leah, as she repeatedly insisted, didn't do vampire parties. Carlisle and Esme were wonderful, but they were also her grandparents and even Nessie knew that was a little uncool. Rosalie wouldn't have helped Jacob if the world was ending and that meant Emmett couldn't help if he didn't want to end up in the doghouse Rosalie had built in the backyard after having to listen to one too many blonde jokes. Jasper would have been uncomfortable and while Alice could have thrown a party while blindfolded and in a straightjacket, she would have reduced Nessie's input to exactly nil. And Edward and Bella...that was just too weird, even for a half-vampire. So Seth was the only option; good thing he was happy to help.
"The streamers are still crooked."
Except it turned out that Nessie was not the easiest person to get along with when she was planning a party.
"It looks fine."
"The left side is two inches lower than the right."
"No one's going to notice."
"I noticed. Just move it two inches."
"Have you ever thought you might be trying too hard on this one, Nessie?"
Her face fell and Seth belatedly remembered that Nessie officially sucked at listening to criticism of any kind, though she tried to push onwards as if it hadn't bothered her at all. For some reason, she had gotten it into her brilliant head that no one really wanted her to be human.
"I know I'm being weird and anal. Again," she said with a sigh. "I just...today needs to be perfect."
"It will be. Even if the streamers are completely crooked."
She looked physically pained at the suggestion. "They aren't completely crooked."
Since he was standing right there...he was pretty sure she whimpered when he moved the streamer up a foot.
"Change it back," she begged. "Seth, it can't stay like that."
"I think it looks better this way."
She marched over, standing in front of him, scowling upwards. It wasn't often that he used her height against her, but sometimes it was too much fun to resist. Not that she was short by any means; for a girl, Nessie was pretty tall. But he was a giant and she was the one who had insisted that the streamers should be placed close to the ceiling.
"Then you're wrong," she informed him.
"That's not very nice. I think you hurt my feelings."
Crossing her arms, she intensified her glare. For the life of him, Seth could never figure out how Jacob could keep insisting she was just a kid. Sure, she had always looked more adult than she should, but nowadays she had an awareness about her body that unnerved Seth sometimes for reasons he wasn't sure he was allowed to put a finger on.
"Why don't you try jumping for it first?"
Rolling her eyes, Nessie couldn't quite keep her laughter at bay. "Mean," she pouted, but she did trying jumping. Watching her giggle always made him a little sorry that she didn't do it more often. She didn't even come close to the streamers, but she relaxed just a fraction and that was all he wanted. He obligingly moved the streamer so that it was straight.
"It's an inch too high," she muttered, but turned away quickly, embarrassed that she couldn't stop caring. He fixed it as he told her: "Everyone is going to a have great time no matter how the decorations look."
Her expression was so desolate that Seth began to get the feeling he was missing something. It should have just been a party for Jacob and it clearly wasn't, not to her. Following Nessie-logic was often impossible, so he did the only thing he could do. He shrugged and directed her towards the couch.
"Today will be perfect," he promised. "Just relax."
He got her to sit and even thought about offering a massage. He didn't go that far—sure, she was Jacob's imprint and Edward's daughter, but Nessie had kind of gotten sort of really extremely totally hot lately and it was a good idea for him to keep his hands to himself. He flopped onto the ground in front of her and started blowing up balloons instead.
He probably should have stayed on the couch, because her hair tickled against his neck when she leaned over his shoulder.
"Thank you for doing this."
"Anytime. And I owed you."
"No, you didn't. I didn't even want to go to...whatever that was."
"You didn't have to give me your ticket."
"You and Dad are so cute together. Who else could I ask?"
When he caught her eye, he could see the slight guilt, even though having Jacob hanging out with Edward and Bella all day in Seattle was just awkward. So he tossed a balloon at her instead.
Nessie laughed as it bounced off her hair and across the room. As she scrambled after it, he enjoyed the view of her long, creamy white legs. Things had been much simpler when Nessie didn't have legs.
"Hey!" he cried, not noticing the balloon until it hit him right in the face. She just stood there giggling, looking so sweet he couldn't help smile.
"They're going to be here soon," she reminded him. "Come on. We need the balloons every three feet, starting with the corner."
With a lot of concentration, they finished the decorations to her standards, put out the food, and even arranged the napkins in order. Two minutes before the guests were supposed to start arriving Seth collapsed onto the couch.
"Wake me up when the party starts." He felt the couch shift as a new weight was added to it. Cracking open one eye, he discovered Nessie perched by his hip. Her hair was tucked back but she kept pushing it behind her ear, anyway, eyes huge. Sitting up quickly, Seth hurried to ask, "What's wrong?"
"Nessie...it's perfect. Look around us. You did it. Jacob's going to have the best birthday ever, thanks to you."
"Us," she corrected absently.
"I guess the manual labor does deserve some recognition."
"Why do you always do that? You're not just—" she was blushing and he felt the faintest brush against his hand and suddenly Seth was a little unsure of where all this was going. "You never asked why I needed everything to be perfect today."
"It's not because you're adorably neurotic?" he asked quietly.
Her head shook back and forth. Seth didn't mean to take her hand, exactly, but she looked like she needed that. And her hand slipped so easily into his it made him wonder why he hadn't taken it before.
"I need the party perfect so I don't have to be. So I can...I don't know. Not be—I hate not being able to say what I mean."
Over the years, she had become more concerned about having permission, but Seth had always been happy to give it. Transmitting images was her gift. Why shouldn't she use it? It was just her way of talking.
Her hand came up to rest against his cheek. Her hands always unsettled him a little. Humans usually felt cold to his werewolf skin, but Nessie always felt just right, even though he knew she probably shouldn't. He closed his eyes, waiting for the images to flash threw his mind. But nothing happened. Nothing that he expected to happen, at any rate. As he sat there, blind, he felt the slightest pressure against his lips.
He had to open his eyes then and the furious blush on her usually pale cheeks told him he hadn't just entered a strange dream world. She really had just kissed him.
"I think I get it."
So he leaned over and kissed her.
The kisses were sweet and slow, at first, but when her tongue tentatively brushed his lips, he deepened the kiss. She didn't seem to mind, responded eagerly, in fact, but then she started giggling against his mouth, so they pulled away, foreheads pressed together.
"Sorry," she whispered, cheeks flaming red, that beautiful smile on her face. "I just...yeah. Okay."
"I think I should feel guilty for this," Seth muttered.
It was a good question. There was no such thing as a Bro Code, not really and Jacob always did snap, 'she's like my little sister', whenever Leah or Embry started mocking his constant presence in the half-vampire's life.
Seth managed: "Huh. I hadn't thought of it that way."
"The more important question is do you feel guilty? Or maybe repentant? Or—"
"I think I mostly wish I had done it sooner." Seth mulled his thoughts and feelings around a little more. Yeah, there wasn't much guilt, not compared to the overwhelming desire to just kiss her again. "And that's pretty much it."
Nessie was incredible when she smiled; it was easy to smile back and assure her, "Yeah. What about you?"
"I'm still mostly in shock. I didn't think you'd kiss me back," she said. "A little bit guilty. But that's what the party's for."
"You're family's late," Seth noticed.
Very good, because she pushed him flat on his back and lay on top of him as they got back to the kissing. They were so busy with their new exploration that it was a while before they came back to the real world.
To Edward clearing his throat.
Seth hastily removed his hand from Nessie's ass—not that he was doing anything but resting against the most convenient surface, not that he thought of Nessie as convenient, even if she did have a great ass, he just wouldn't do that to her, at least not right away, not before she said it was okay, not that he expected...really, Edward was going to kill him no matter what so it didn't matter that he couldn't get his thoughts to calm down—surprised it hadn't been removed for him. Nessie was scrambling off him and staring up at her family members, with a sheepish look on her face, trying to placate her family with her brilliant smile.