AN: This is the JackPOV Outtake that was written for the Fandom for Preemies fundraiser, which raised over $5000! I was honored to be a part of it and proud at how much was accomplished!
The sky was getting dark and the sun was hiding behind the clouds. The little boy wrapped his arms around his legs and shivered violently. Mommy would be back soon, and she'd take him to Daddy. All he had to do was stay here like she told him. His stomach growled angrily and his pants were damp from where his tears had soaked through them. He felt the first drop of rain hit his head, and he looked up. The drops started coming faster and he began to panic and crawled underneath the bench to try and stay dry. The sky opened up and it started to pour. The water soaked through to his skin, even though he tried to stay covered. At this point, he couldn't help but sob. All he wanted was his Daddy.
A little while later, the rain stopped and the boy made his way out from under the bench. The sky was really dark now, and he was more scared than ever. He stood and looked around the park. There was no one around and he started to walk, which turned into running. Soon, he found himself in a dark alley, his body pressed as close to the wall as he could physically get. There were strange people yelling and making loud noises, so he covered his ears and tried to fall asleep again.
He didn't know how much time had passed, but he heard noises once again. This time they were closer. He started to cry and buried his face in his lap, trying not to make any sound. The sound of someone walking down the alley grew louder.
"Hello? Are you hurt? Do you need some help?"
The voice sounded comforting, but he couldn't move. He was frozen and scared. He felt a soft hand touch his hair. It was at this point in his memories that he looked up and saw an angel. This time, however, instead of brown hair and warm eyes, lightning flashed and illuminated flame red hair and cold blue eyes. His mother's angry face glared back at him.
"I told you to stay put, boy. Do you not listen to a word I say?" she yelled at him. She reached out and grabbed him roughly by the arm and he cried out.
"No! No! Don' hurt me!"
He started to shake and felt the tears run down his face.
"Jack! Jack! Wake up, honey!"
The little boy's eyes flew open and met with the warm brown ones that he had been desperate to see in his dream. He flung himself against Bella's chest and sobbed. She ran her fingers through his hair and rocked him gently.
"Ssh, I've got you, Little Bit. No one's going to hurt you, baby," she whispered over and over.
After a few minutes, his tears started to be abate and his body ceased its shuddering. Jack pulled back and wiped his cheeks with his pajama sleeves. Bella cupped his face and leaned down to kiss his forehead. She settled herself next to him in bed and he curled up against her side, resting his head against her shoulder. She gently rubbed his back and he felt his eyes getting heavy.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"No," he murmured sleepily. "Will you sing to me?"
Bella hummed in agreement and started to sing softly.
I've heard there was a secret chord,
That David played and it pleased the Lord.
But you don't really care for music, do you?
Well it goes like this the fourth, the fifth,
The minor fall and the major lift.
The baffled king composing Hallelujah.
His breathing was deep and steady before Bella had even finished the chorus.
The boy stood at the hotel window, gazing out at the lights that lit up the night. Being here in Disney World was such a dream come true. He smiled when he thought about how much he and his mom had done today with Pops and Nana. He turned his head when he heard a knock at the door. It opened and a shadow fell across the room. The woman from earlier stood in front of him. Bella's mother. His eyes widened and he took an automatic step backwards, hitting the window ledge.
"Wha-what do you want?"
The woman smiled strangely and pointed at him. He shook his head.
"MOM!" he called. Another figure entered his room and he sighed in relief.
When he got a better look at the woman, his heart stopped. Red instead of brown framed her face. His breathing quickened and he started to shake.
"It's not real, I'm dreaming," he whispered and squeezed his eyes closed. He felt sharp nails dig into his arm and his eyes shot open.
His mother's face was inches from his own, her cold blue eyes staring into his.
"You've been gone for too long, Jackson," she spoke in a sickly sweet voice. "Mommy missed you."
He shook his head. "No, you're not my mom anymore. Bella is. She loves me."
The woman cocked her head to the side. "No, no she's not," she replied. "You're coming with me. Renee is going to stay and take care of her daughter. You are going home with me. Don't you want to see your Daddy?"
His heart started to hurt and he felt so sad thinking about his dad. He wanted to see him and hug him so bad, but not if he had to leave Bella.
"Yes, I want Daddy," he whispered, "but I'm not going with you. Never again."
Anger flashed across her face and she hit him across the cheek. His hand shot to his face and rubbed the stinging area. His mind whirled and he remembered flashes of the last time she had hit him. Crying on a plane and staring out at the sky. Calling out that he wanted Daddy. Being dragged into an empty bathroom. Being hit when he wouldn't quiet down. Having his pants pulled down when he only cried harder.
He fell down on his bottom, overwhelmed with memories. His mother reached for him again, but he scrambled away.
"No, you can't have me!" he yelled at her.
From nowhere, he felt strong arms wrap around him from behind, forgetting that Renee was in the room. His mother walked slowly towards him and reached out for him. He struggled and tears started to fall.
"No! No! NO!"
"Jack! Baby! Wake up! Please, Mama is here, baby. Please!"
Jack's eyes flew open and he launched himself into Bella's arms before he even fully realized where he was.
"Little Bit, baby, it's okay," she whispered as she rubbed his back in comfort. "It was just a nightmare."
He rubbed his face against her shirt to discreetly dry his face. He took a shuddering breath and pulled back to look at her, his eyes wild with fright. Bella sighed and caressed his face.
"I'm so sorry. I guess seeing my mom brought back bad memories for you, huh?" She smiled sadly at him.
He nodded and ran his hands through his hair. As always, Bella settled next to him in the bed and curled up with him.
She began singing before he even had to ask.
When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I can offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love
When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love
She held him and sang softly until they fell asleep together in quiet peace.
Jack tugged his tie nervously and stared at his reflection in the mirror. Sometimes, when he saw himself, his eyes look more blue than green and his hair more red than brown. His birth mother's face haunted his dreams occasionally, and lately, she had been invading his waking thoughts as well. It was only fitting though, surrounded in this place filled by memories of the past. As much as he loved his father and grandparents, deep down, he didn't want to remember his previous life. He wanted to permanently forever the loneliness and sadness that he felt whenever his father worked and left him home for the day with Victoria. He wanted to forget how she ignored him and left him alone for hours; how she would only clean him up and feed him right before his father came home. He remembered howthose were the only times he was happy to see her, because he knew that meant Daddywould be home soon.
After the past five years of living with Bella and pushing all of those memories behind a door, he now knew what a mother was supposed to be like. She loved you and protected you, no matter what. She kept you warm and held you when you were frightened. She stood by you and helped you learn to make the right decisions. She may not have carried him for nine months, but he knew without an ounce of doubt that Bella was his mom.
His eyes teared up and he watched his mirrored reflection's lower lip quiver while emotions shot around his chest wildly. For the longest time, he had tried so hard to be grown up, thinking that maybe if he wasn't too much trouble, Bella would want to keep him. There were times when he wanted to scream and shout and throw a tantrum like he'd seen normal kids do, but he didn't. He wasn't normal and he knew it. He was the kid whose birth mother didn't love him and left him alone in a foreign place. He had needed to be good so that Bella didn't leave him, too.
It had taken years of therapy with Dr. Kate, but slowly those feelings changed. They still simmered under the surface, but he had learned to manage them. Secretly, he was jealous of his friends. Riley and Garrett had their own issues, but they could talk back and break the rules with the knowledge that yeah, they would get punished, but their parents love was innate and would never waver. As much as he knew in his heart that Bella's love was unconditional, there was still that small part of him that felt broken and unwanted.
Standing here in his bedroom in Chicago, getting ready to be an important guest for a big party in honor of his mom's charity, all of those feelings crashed down upon him. Unease and dread weighed heavily upon his shoulders, even if he himself couldn't name those emotions. Something about tonight wasn't sitting well with him. A knock sounded at the door and he took a deep breath to try and settle himself.
"Come in," he called, turning away from the mirror. Alice walked in, wearing a pretty black dress that came to her knees; her normally spiky hair was smooth and straight. She smiled brightly when she saw him ready to go.
"Wow, you look very handsome, Jack. Are you all set?"
He nodded choppily and ran one of his hands through his hair. Allie narrowed her eyes and cocked her head slightly to the side.
"Something's wrong. Are you nervous, baby?"
He blinked and debated on whether or not to let everything out. In the end, he decided against it.
"A little, but I'll be fine," he responded, shaking his head. He gave her what he hoped was a dazzling smile. Allie reached out for his hand and escorted him downstairs, where everyone was waiting to leave.
I dreamed I was missing
You were so scared
But no one would listen
Cause no one else cared
After my dreaming
I woke with this fear
What am I leaving
When I'm done here
A few hours later, Jack found himself seated at a large table in an elegant ballroom, surrounded by a sea of people dressed in black and white. To his right, both sets of his grandparents were immersed in conversation that he had no interest in. He reached out for his wine glass filled with grape juice and took a sip. His eyes wandered around the open dance floor and found his parents in each other's arms, swaying. He watched their lips move and the smiles they exchanged. He had never seen either of them so happy and alive. He couldn't help but smile as he envisioned his dad moving to Washington, them getting married and someday giving him a brother or sister.
He had no idea how things would play out when it was time to leave at the end of the summer, but he knew that it would be okay no matter what. He didn't want to leave Port Angeles or any of his family or Riley and Garrett. He wanted to stay there and be happy and maybe ask the girl down the street, Bree, out on a date when they were older. He wanted that life, but he also wanted his dad in it. As he gazed at his parent's holding each other closely, he knew that that was a distinct possibility. He smile turned into a full blown grin when he saw his mother throw her head back and laugh. She had given him so much, a new life that was filled with so much love. He would do anything for her or to protect her. If she wanted them to move to Chicago, he'd do it in a heartbeat, no matter who he had to leave behind. As long as she was by his side, he knew it would all be okay.
He felt a sudden chill run down his spine and his eyes nervously shot around the room. There was a small commotion by the entrance and his heart started to pound in irrational fear.
Don't be afraid
I've taken my beating
I've shed but I made
I'm strong on the surface
Not all the way through
I've never been perfect
But neither have you
There she stood. The one person he had both dreaded and wanted to see. A not so small part of him wanted her to see how happy and loved he was; that he never needed her, especially not now. His hands started to shake, so he clenched them into fists. She was wearing a little blue dress and stood out from the crowd. Her red hair was shorter than he remembered, wavy and not quite hitting her shoulders. She stood tall and regal, gazing around the room until her cold blue eyes met his. A small, yet scary smile adorned her face as she started to make her way over to their table. His breathing started to pick up and the dread he had felt earlier came back in full force. He shakily reached his hand out blindly next to him, tapping his grandmother's shoulder.
"Yes, baby?" Esme asked as she turned to him. She quickly became concerned, noticing his shaking and labored breathing.
"Carlisle!" she called out in panic. Jack's face was locked in one spot and Esme quickly followed his gaze. With a fury to rival Ares himself, she stood up quickly, knocking over her chair. "Oh, hell no."
In an instant, Bella was was by Jack's side. She reached for his hands and rubbed them.
"Jack! Jack, sweetie, you need to calm down. Deep breaths, Little Bit. That's it, come back to mama," she soothed cooingly in his ear, while running her free hand through his hair. He turned his wide eyes to meet hers and opened his mouth to speak, but no sound came out. He blinked and swallowed.
"What is it, baby? What's got you so upset?"
His eyes cast back towards the woman who was now standing a few feet away, in front of their table, smirking at a livid Edward and Esme.
"Victoria," he whispered.
All the hurt inside
You've learned to hide so well
Someone else can come and save me from myself
I can't be who you are
AN: Music in this Outtake is also posted on the Parachute Blog!
Hallelujah by Kate Voegele
To Make You Feel My Love by Adele
Leave Out All The Rest by Linking Park