Standard Disclaimers Apply. It's not mine, etc. etc.
A/N: This is a companion piece to Wolf to Wolf, which xtapx first asked for almost a year ago. But hey, I got around to it eventually...
"We could talk about the weather."
"Kid, the only things you haven't suggested yet are politics, religion and sex."
"No. We couldn't. Ever."
Nessie falls silent, having run out of ideas; she doesn't have much in common with the female werewolf on the best of days. Today is not the best of days.
Leah sighs. They do have two unfortunate things in common. For the moment. Leah plans to kill the two very stupid things she has in common with the mini-leech as soon as she gets home.
"I can't believe they ran off."
"I mean, come on. Here we are, looking gorgeous, and they think it's a good idea to run away and jump off cliffs? They're idiots."
"Well...maybe...if you hadn't been quite so..."
Nessie wisely decides to end the sentence there.
"I'm not allowed to be friendly?"
"Of course you are."
"Then what's the problem?"
Seth was right, Nessie admits. They should have just left when they saw Jacob and Leah out for a run on the beach. Considering the last time they had seen the older couple the werewolves had been far too close to having sex on the floor of the Clearwater living room it was only going to be awkward. Seth claimed he was still recovering from the sight—Jacob still hadn't looked her in the eye.
"I just think they found it more uncomfortable than you did, us all being together. That's all. That's why they took off."
Fled is more like it. The Great Protectors of La Push—and they were too scared to go on a double date. Leah makes a mental note to make fun of them for the next month or so (it might be worth not killing them just to tease them about everything).
"Please tell me you aren't going to defend them."
"Of course not. It's just..."
Leah can be slightly intimidating at the best of times, so Nessie isn't trying to defend the boys for leaving them alone. She was planning to give Seth a very thorough scolding the next time they were together. And then he would apologize and maybe even kiss her again and then maybe...
"It's just what?"
Leah doesn't ask why the baby vamp's face is as red as her hair. She doesn't want to know.
"At least now we can have a girl talk."
She's a genius and that's the best she can do? Really? Really?
"You want to girl talk?"
If Jacob could have held in his murderous rage at Bella's 'death' for the five whole minutes it would have taken for Blondie to kidnap the kid, none of this would have happened. There would be no clueless little vampire girl who needs Leah to explain the obvious.
As usual, it's Jacob's fault.
"We cannot girl talk. Ever. One, because they'd kick me out of the werewolf clubhouse if I did something as stupid as girl talk with a vampire. Two, because, sweetie, I'm not interested in talking about holding hands. Three, and perhaps I should have said this first—you are with MY BROTHER, which can only lead to too much information, so I would have to kill you afterwards and then gouge out my brain. And since that doesn't sounds like fun, there will be no girl talk."
Even though she knew it was a dim-witted idea, Nessie can't help feeling a tiny bit disappointed. Alice swears girl talks are the most funest things ever, and since she can't have them with her aunts (and especially not with her mother) there weren't that many other options left to her.
Her disappointment makes her bold.
"We could talk about you stealing my soul mate away from me instead. If you'd prefer?"
How did demon spawn manage to sound so innocent? Leah is baffled. And deathly embarrassed.
"Let's not go there."
"Very rational. Haven't you considered, Leah, that our present awkwardness would be lessened if we could simply discuss what is disturbing you?"
There. She had said what needed to be said. So why did Nessie feel less proud and more terrified?
"You want to talk about what's disturbing me? Fine. How about the small fact my brother was fifteen when you were born. Remember that? It's creepy."
"My father was eighty-six when my mother was born. Carlisle is two hundred and fifty-two years older than Esme. Forgive me for finding fifteen years quaint, as it makes us almost the same age."
"Two hundred and...ew."
"It's sweet that they finally found each other after all that time."
"No, hon. It's creepy as hell. Three years is pushing it—fifteen is an actual crime."
While Nessie hated being told she was wrong, one could not hope to out-argue Leah Clearwater, not with logic or facts. That was reality.
There were, however, other ways around the problem.
Nessie took a deep breath (more than one because she wasn't sure she would be able to do this even if she had to prove she was right) and then adopted the serene expression of her vampire family.
"I guess that's why he doesn't mind the handcuffs."
Underneath the shock and the horror and the oh-god-oh-god-why-me's? Leah is actually kind of impressed. Baby vamp is going to eat Leah's vanilla-loving little brother alive.
"Tell me you're joking."
"Tell me you're joking or I'm going to have to removing my brain with that dull seashell over there. And you're going to have to watch." Leah takes a deep breath. "Please."
"You said you didn't want to know about the hand holding let alone—"
Nessie isn't sure she can complete the sentence, even to prove a point, but fortunately Leah interrupts before she has to.
"Stop! Okay, you win. It's so creepy it's not even creepy anymore."
For such a slight person, the stuff that comes out of the girl's mouth is astounding. No wonder idiot brothers are amused for hours on end.
"I can't believe you."
"I know. You've told me so countless times."
"I didn't...I wasn't stealing Jake from anyone."
Nessie wisely says nothing.
"I couldn't help falling for him, even if I can't figure out why, but I wasn't going to actually do anything with him. It's just...he's very convincing. I don't know why I listened but..."
"Leah, you don't owe me an explanation."
"But maybe if I give you one now you'll hesitate before taking him away later."
"I'm not going to," the younger girl promises. "I'm glad you two are together."
If Leah doesn't mind having sex with Jacob on a dirty floor then Nessie is not going to judge.
"I don't get you, you know. Jacob's your soul mate. How do you forget about something that important and just...give him up?"
"I didn't forget."
"So you think it's a good idea to be with not-him because...?"
"Well, honestly? It got a little tiresome watching him stare at your breasts."
Leah has no response to that.
"I don't get you, Leah. Why can't you just be happy for the four of us and let it go?"
"Because when I kick your ass for hurting my brother's feelings not only is it going to piss off your family—who are overly sensitive anyway—Jacob's going to mock me for picking on someone smaller than me."
"I'm not going to hurt him, Leah. I...I wouldn't hurt him for anything."
Leah fights down the unholy urge to coo. It's not the werewolf's fault. The girl is good at the soulful sincerity. Damn. Oh well. Leah might not be able to object, but she knows her mother is going to be able to come up with something. No one is good enough for Sue's darling boy—and if Nessie proves super special enough to defy even that law of nature, then damn if she doesn't deserve the lavish praise the rest of the world gives her.
"I know, kid. Be careful he doesn't hurt you."
Her simple belief is kind of touching, kind of vomit inducing.
It isn't just because of Sam that Leah is a glass half empty girl now; it would be giving him too much credit. There are other events (Dad dying, getting stuck in La Push, having to learn important life lessons from Jacob Black) that made her all bitter. Or maybe it's just because she has two decades on the other girl, no matter how old she looks, that Leah knows better. That's why she keeps talking. Someone has to point out to the little vampire girl that not everything in life works out perfectly and no one else seems to want to volunteer.
"One day he's going to figure out vampires live forever and our families don't. Not any time soon, mind you, because we really did let him eat too much glue as a child, but one day."
Does Leah think she's a fool? Of course Nessie knows that. Of course she's trying to figure out a solution before things get too bad. Of course it seems insurmountable. Of course.
"I know," she whispers. "But he said...I don't know why I listened but..."
"They can be very convincing."
"Why is that?"
"I blame the abs."
Nessie forces herself to smile; Leah can't have that. It looks painful and she doesn't want Seth to think she broke his little girlfriend. At least this one knows how to show some respect.
"The two of you'll figure something out. Well, you will and he'll go along with it."
"Maybe. Or maybe vampires and werewolves don't mix."
"Good thing you're a half-vampire and he's a shapeshifter, then."
The remark seems to physically pain Leah and Nessie is all the more grateful for it.
"Thank you, Leah. I'm glad Jacob has you."
"So you can feel less guilty about giving up on your soul mate?"
"So my soul mate can be happy."
"You running for sainthood, kid?"
"I suppose that remark means you won't be glad to hear that I hope the two of you are very happy together and that you find peace?"
"Now you're just showing off."
"It's what I do."
Leah can't help the bark of laughter, nor can she stop the words that come out of her mouth next, though she will deny them to her dying day.
"Okay, fine. Let's have us a girl talk."