Disclaimer: Don't own Twilight.
Alice sat on the windowseat, her legs curled under her, and let out a sigh as she pressed her forehead against the glass window. She was usually quite peppy and upbeat, but all the recent happenings were seriously starting to get to her. All around her she was treated to sights of imprinters and imprintees slowly getting together (some faster than others) and of course Rosalie and Edward were even annoying her with how extremely happy they were. It seemed as if Alice was the only one who didn't have any sort of interaction with her imprinter, and that was so horribly unfair she was getting depressed!
Not only did she see the imprinters and imprintees around her getting closer to each other, slowly accepting each other and their relationships, but she also had to "see" it when one of the imprintees decided they actually didn't dislike being with the other person (even if they never said so out loud) or decided they wanted to get to know the other person better, or decided that they might actually be attracted to their imprinter.
Everyone's stories were trudging onwards, progressing, even if minial. Everyone's story but hers.
Alice groaned as she closed her eyes.
Just what was it about herself that was so unappealing?
Alice would give anything, even an arm, if Leah would show some form of interest in her!
A sigh escaped her lips as she suddenly "saw" Jared and Jasper together, training, and felt as Jasper finally smiled at Jared, genuinely, and realize that he actually liked spending time with the werewolf. She also "saw" Jared pick up on those emotions and the large grin he gave the vampire, despite the fact that he was covered in bruises and was apparently somewhat hurt.
Alice whimpered and brought a hand to her face.
Her life sucked.
"Life is great, don't you think?" Victoria grinned as she strolled into Charlie's office in a way too provocative dress for it to be work-appropriate.
He looked up at her and at the way the dress enhanced her curves, before he raised an eyebrow and returned his attention to the screen as he typed up his report. "Sure."
She pouted as she came over and leaned her hip against the side of his desk. "Would you like me to make you a cup of coffee?"
He looked up once more, this time in horror, and shook his head. "I haven't recovered from your last attempt."
Her pout grew. "You're seriously ungrateful, you know that, right?"
"I merely like staying alive." He once more lowered his gaze to the screen of his computer and he backspaced to correct something he'd spelt wrong.
Victoria huffed and pushed away as she stormed out of the office and slammed the door behind her.
Charlie scoffed, shook his head, and wondered when she'd figure out that he was onto her little game.
"No." Embry looked at himself in horror.
"Yes." James steamrolled over his rejection. "You'll be getting a couple more in these colors."
Embry had known that coming to Port Angeles had been a huge mistake, and when he'd seen that they were going into a store that sold clothes he'd become even more wary. And he should've been. Apparently James 'litle excursion' had been centered around getting Embry clothes James thought appropriate, which was really hysterical once one realized that James was a nomad and only had the clothes he wore (which were stylish, sure, Embry could admit to that).
"You need decent clothes," James stressed.
Embry frowned. "What about you?"
James turned a dark frown on him. "What about me?"
Somehow, a part of Embry warned him that this could get dangerous. He gulped. "You don't have much clothes of your own... so I mean... shouldn't you be buying clothes for yourself instead of worrying about me?"
James' glare turned darker. "Are you insinuating that I'm a hobo or something?"
"No." Embry felt seriously nervous now. "I'm not-."
"I'll have you know that I have an amazing wardrobe but I had to leave it all behind thanks to the fact that I'm running for my life!" Okay, James seemed seriously offended right now.
Embry gulped once more. "I'm sure you did, you have, uh, great taste."
James' annoyance seemed to decrease exponentially as he nodded and smiled. "I do. I agree."
Okay, so maybe Embry was going to be okay. Maybe he hadn't botched it all up. "So, uh, let's get you some things too." He motioned, nearly desperately, to a leather jacket in the window. "You'd look great in that, for example."
James narrowed his eyes suspiciously on Embry before he turned his gaze on the jacket. "It is nice."
Clutching onto the hope that this wouldn't be merely a trip for James to force him to buy things for himself, Embry grinned and looped his arm around James' as he led him towards the jacket.
"Don't think I don't know what game you're playing," James warned as he yanked the jacket off the mannequin and looked at it curiously. "And the only reason why I'm playing along is because I really like this jacket."
Embry merely grinned and decided not to push his luck by actually speaking.
The girlfriends glared at each other in rare annoyance as they sat on the bleachers behind the school, arguing.
"It's going to be a boy." Rosalie raised an eyebrow as she anchored her hands on her hips. "Look at the trend. Almost everyone has imprinted on someone from the same sex. Seth is going to do the very same thing and imprint on a boy."
"No he's not." Bella shook her head. "I can't imagine him with a boy. Anyway, not everyone imprints on someone of the same sex. I mean, look at my dad."
"Sheriff Black Swan is the exception to the rule," Rosalie argued. "Seth is going to imprint on an older guy, mark my words."
"Why an older guy?" Bella frowned at the very thought. "Why couldn't it be a guy around his age?"
"He's like a puppy, he'll totally bottom." Rosalie shook her head. "He'll imprint on a big and manly vampire."
"I disagree." Bella stood at her tallest, which really wasn't that tall at all. "Seth's definitely going to imprint on a petite little vampire girl who'll be so pretty he'll be unable to speak without stuttering."
Rosalie snorted. "He speaks just fine to me, it's doubtful he'd have that problem."
"Yeah, but you're my vampire, not his." Bella glared at her.
Suddenly the annoyance seemed to gush out of Rosalie as she grinned.
Bella blushed as she realized what she said and looked away, lips pursed. "It's going to be a girl."
"Boooooooy," Rosalie sing-songed, now in a much better mood than she'd been in before.
"Girl." Bella let out a sigh. "I'm telling you Rose, it's gonna be a girl."
Rosalie merely smiled, too content to continue this argument with her naive little werewolf.
Bella narrowed her eyes as if able to hear Rosalie's thoughts. "I'm telling you, it'll be a girl."
Rosalie grinned toothily and kissed her girlfriend.
The argument ended.
Alice was seriously beginning to resent the others more and more every time she saw the future change and get better and better for them. Not even when she'd been thrown into an asylum for her visions as a human had she resented her 'gift' more than she did now. It wasn't fair. It wasn't. She didn't want to have to watch everyone else so happy. Okay, so she was happy for them, but she kept failing to see herself in any of these glimpses. It was getting to the point where she was worried that nothing was ever going to happen and she and Leah would end up in this horrible stalemate.
Weren't imprinters supposed to need to be around their imprintees? Wasn't that the whole gist of it? Hadn't she seen this (and the imprintees acting the same towards their imprinters) even in the sitautions where those involved were either in denial or just plain fighting their connection?
So why was it so easy for Leah to ignore her existence?
Depression continued to grow in her gut as she stared out of the window.
"So..." Jacob made a face. "Want to explain exactly what's going on here?"
Edward wanted the world to swallow him up as he stood in the middle of the woods, covered in whipcream, and with all sorts of insects flying around him. "I was, uh, trying to be sexy."
Jacob was visibly trying not to laugh at him, and it made the vampire feel even lamer than before. "Sexy."
Edward hung his head. "I might've missed the mark."
Jacob snorted and his voice was tinged with laughter. "Please tell me you're not reading the "How to Keep Him Interested" book Eric gave us."
Edward would be blushing at this moment if he weren't a vampire, but he could feel his eyes go darker and betray his emotions. "Of course not."
"Because this looks a lot like chapter eight."
Edward blinked and looked up at Jacob. "Wait, have you read it?"
Jacob was a werewolf and thus he was prone to the rare blush, which he began to suffer from right now. "Of course not."
Liar. Edward smiled and felt less lame right now.
Jacob frowned and glared at him. I was bored.
The vampire chuckled as he batted a fly away from him. "I should, uh, probably take a dip in the river to get all this off of me." He made a face. "I feel really sticky."
Jacob tilted his head to the side as he eyed him. "Have you used some whipcream as hair gel?"
Edward huffed in embarrassment and turned to get in that damned river when he felt Jacob's arms go around him from behind, the werewolf licking a bit of whipcream from his shoulder, sending a shiver down his spine.
"That would be a waste of whipcream," Jacob whispered as he began to lick a trail up Edward's neck.
The vampire groaned as he tilted his neck to the side and closed his eyes.
This was all Edward's fault.
Emmett was annoyed at his adopted brother for many things, one of them being the fact that he and Jake (as well as Alice) had skipped school, and Rosalie and Bella were arguing about something, so that meant that he was very much alone in school today. If he'd known how things would've been he would've skipped too. But had anyone given him a heads up? No.
And now that he thought about it, this going to high school again for the hundredth time was seriously ridiculous. The next time they moved Emmett was going to be the "recently graduated" son and skip out on this.
Then again, he began to wonder how the Cullens' continuous need to move (to help hide the fact that they were ageless) would work now that they were tied down to the werewolves. He wasn't too worried about the age thing because as long as the werewolves continued to shift they wouldn't grow old (or so Paul had told him once when he'd asked) but Emmett wondered how things would work considering the fact that he doubted the werewolves who actually wanted their imprintees would handle well the imprintees leaving. And considering the werewolves' duty to protect this place, well, that would clash with their desire to leave with their imprintees, wouldn't it?
Considering his issue he doubted Paul would care, but for others like Jacob and Bella, he had a feeling it'd be a struggle. Despite that, he could see the twins leaving with them when the time came. He could also see Seth doing the same thing considering how anxious and excited the younger wolf was at the mere thought of imprinting. But what about the others? How would they react?
His mind strayed to Paul once more as he wondered if the damned wolf would even realize he was gone or if he'd be too busy being a daddy as well as Charlie's beta.
Annoyance swirled in him that he actually cared about this.
It was all Edward's fault for making him think about that shit the other day.
It was also Paul's fault for being the shittiest imprinter a vampire could ever have.
And maybe, just maybe, some of this was Emmett's fault, and that thought annoyed him more than anything else.
Okay, so maybe he was going a little too hard on Jared all things considering, but Jasper knew that this was being done in the wolf's best interests. Already he could see an improvement in Jared's combat while in his human form, and he knew that in time Jared would be able to hold his own against him. Despite the fact that Jared had told him, time and time again, that in their human form they couldn't harnass their wolf attributes, Jasper failed to believe it. Not only was that idea ridiculous considering that the wolf and human were two sides of the same person, but he could already see hints of Jared (unknowingly) tapping into his wolf-like agility.
"Stop feeling so damned self-satisfied," Jared grumbled as he lay on his back. "I'm in agony right now. There's no reason to rub it in like that."
Jasper bent on his knees next to the wolf. "I am sorry."
Jared turned his head to face him. "No, you're not."
The vampire didn't even try to keep his lips from twitching in amusement.
"You sadist," Jared accused.
Jasper snorted in amusement. At first the thought of someone else being able to sense his emotions the way Jasper did everyone else had not only made him uncomfortable, but had made him feel wary as hell. He hadn't liked how vulnerable that had made him, and he'd resented this wolf's ability with a passion. But now things were different, and Jasper had come to find it amusing because mostly whatever it was that Jared felt from him annoyed the wolf and many times left him pouting.
On top of that, not once had Jared tried to use his knowledge of Jasper's emotions against him. The vampire appreciated that.
The other thing about Jared that had made Jasper want to keep his distance was the fact that he couldn't sense anything from the wolf, and yet now it was one of the reasons why the vampire liked to spend time with him, especially when they were alone. In times like these Jasper could merely relax, could enjoy himself, and could remember how it'd been like when he was a human and didn't have the ability to sense everyone's emotions.
It was peaceful, and he appreciated it immensely.
Jared eyed Jasper thoughtfully, still not making any attempt to get off of the ground. "You okay?"
The question caught him off-guard and Jasper blinked. "Yes, I am. Why do you ask?"
"I don't know." Jared eyed him curiously. "It's just that I've never felt whatever it is you're feeling right now, before."
Jasper cleared his throat. "You ready for round two?"
A groan escaped Jared's lips as shook his head. "Just show me mercy for once."
Amusement filled him because no matter how much Jared complained, he still did it. He stood and then reached down and offered his hand.
Jared stared at it, huffed a: "I told you to stop being so amused, that ticks me off!", and grabbed Jasper's hand, accepting his help to his feet.
"Alice, dear?" Esme's voice broke into the haze of Alice's dark, resentful thoughts.
She took in a deep breath and turned to face her mother-figure, and then froze, her eyes wide as she saw the awkward looking girl next to her. "Leah?" The vampire jumped to her feet and realized in horror just how unappealing she looked now compared to how she usually did. She wasn't wearing one of her cute outfits and her hair wasn't as flippy as usual.
Why was it that Leah would come the day Alice let her depression get the best of her and affect her physical appearance?
"Hey..." Leah cleared her throat. "I, uh, hope I'm not intruding, I mean, I can come back-."
"No!" Alice cried out as she hurried towards the other girl and then stopped and cleared her throat. She'd be blushing right now if she could, embarrassed by how eager she'd sounded. "Now is more than fine. Great in fact. Perfect timing. How are you? Would you like something to drink?"
"No, I'm fine." Leah gazed away.
Esme took a step backwards, gave Alice a thumbs up, and then disappeared to give them some privacy.
Leah cleared her throat as she shucked her hands in her jacket's pockets. "So, you're probably wondering what I'm doing here."
Alice couldn't answer that without sounding seriously lame, so she merely tilted her head and fought the urge to try and fix her hair.
"I, uh, you know, my brother's been spending a lot of time over at this house with you all." Leah seemed highly uncomfortable and gazed all around the room, everywhere but Alice. "I figured I should, you know, get to know everyone here better given the fact that he's my baby brother, and an idiot."
Alice snorted in amusement about that and then her eyes widened in horror. She was being more and more unattractive as this conversation went on! "We all love your brother. He's a total sweetheart."
"Please, he's annoying at best." And yet Leah's smile turned somewhat doting before she cleared her throat and shook her head. "My mom knows, you know? About us being werewolves." She pursed her lips. "She found out about the whole vampire imprinting thing last night. She, uh, had to sit down for a while."
Alice had an idea where this conversation was heading and fought depression. "She asked you to come over today, didn't she?"
"Something like that, yeah." Leah still wouldn't look at Alice as she licked her lips. "Seth talks about you all the time."
Alice blinked. Seth had told her that he spoke about her to Leah, but she hadn't really thought much about it. "Oh."
Leah nodded as she took in a breath. "Has my baby brother imprinted on you?"
Alice stared at her with wide-eyed shock, not having expected that question at all.
"Because he really does speak about you, all the time, and my mom kept asking me if you were his girlfriend and I kept telling her you weren't but now I realize you haven't been imprinted on so..."
Alice gulped. "Um..."
"...and it's not that I have anything against you, but you're, well, you're older, and I'm worried because my brother might be big in his britches but he's still my baby brother and..." Leah was rambling. "...I know I shouldn't be babying him, but I think I have a right to know because he's my annoying brat of a brother, and..."
Alice stared at the girl. "He didn't imprint on me."
Leah finally turned to look at her, relief in her eyes. "Are you sure?"
Biting back the utterly dark disappointment in her, Alice nodded. "Yeah. I'm sure."
"How can you be sure?" Leah pressed.
"Well, when vampires and werewolves imprint they share powers, and considering that Seth hasn't suddenly become psychic, well..." she was more depressed than ever right now. "I just know it's not him."
"Oh. Okay. Good." Leah's eyes widened. "Not that I think you'd be a bad imprintee!" She cleared her throat. "Not that I've thought about you in an imprinting way." She glared at no one in particular. "Not that I've thought about you."
Okay, the vampire just wanted to crawl into a corner and cry now.
"So, it must be weird, being the only one in your family who hasn't been imprinted on." Leah shifted her weight on the balls of her feet.
"I've been imprinted on." Alice couldn't stop herself, her voice low.
Leah turned to look at her, a strange expression crossing her face. "Oh?"
"Not by your brother." Alice tried for a smile but couldn't really keep it.
"You, uh, don't seem too happy about it." Leah licked her lips. "What's the story there? Aren't you the spokesperson for this interspecies thing?"
"Yeah." Alice couldn't swallow the irony of this whole conversation. "It's my imprintee who isn't getting the picture."
"Oh." Again Leah looked around the room. "So, uh, who imprinted on you? I haven't heard about anyone at the Rez imprinting other than the ones that we already knew about." She then changed the subject so quickly Alice had no time to comment on her previous question. "Is it possible for two wolves to imprint on the same vampire?"
That question confused Alice, and pulled her out of the mire of depression she'd been sinking in. "Excuse me?"
"Hypothetically, of course." Leah cleared her throat and looked even more uncomfortable. "Is that possible?"
"I have no idea." Alice was seriously intrigued by that question and the scenario it presented. "I don't know much about imprinting, I figure you'd probably know more about it than I do." She took in a deep breath. "But I'd like to think that it wouldn't be impossible."
"Why?" Leah seemed somewhat hurt by that.
"I have nothing against triad or multiple relationships in general, but in this situation I feel differently." Alice tried to figure out a way of saying this without coming off as a total sap. She just didn't see Leah as someone who would appreciate sap. "Well, when you imprint it's because your wolf has found the other half of your soul, right? Your imprintee is the one person in the world who could complete and make you, I don't know, the best you that you could be."
"I just think it would be wrong to have to share that bond with someone else." Alice didn't like the thought of having to share Leah. "I think, if you've found your soulmate, it should be only your soulmate. It shouldn't be a part of someone else's soul as well."
"I, uh, I get what you're saying." Leah looked away. "It's a nice way of seeing it."
Alice liked to think so herself.
"So you really see the future." Leah once again changed the subject. "How does that work? Is it like in dreams? Or do you focus on something or someone? Or, I don't know, maybe it just hits you without any warning no matter where you are or what you're doing?"
Alice was grateful for any evidence of interest Leah had in her, no matter how random the questions. "Well, when I was alive I had all three, but ever since I turned into a vampire I only have the last two options."
"Why no more dreams?" Leah wanted to know, as if this was important.
"Well, vampires don't sleep." Alice gave a little shrug.
"But if you could sleep..." Leah let the sentence drag on.
"I would probably still have that ability, yes." Alice narrowed her eyes at how intently Leah was listening to her. "Is there something in particular that you want to know about concerning the future?" She gave a wry smile. "Do you want to ask me about your imprintee?"
"No!" Leah's eyes widened as she obviously realized how urgent that had sounded. She then cleared her throat. "I mean no. I'm fine. I don't want you checking in on that sort of stuff."
"Okay?" Alice was a little confused as to the passion behind that declaration.
"What about my little brother then?" Leah made a face. "I remember you told me last time that you couldn't see who he would imprint on other than that it was a vampire." She glanced around the room. "Has that changed?"
Alice sighed. "My ability to see the future relies on decision."
"Come again?" Leah blinked.
"When people decide things, and that changes the future, I see it. I see the results of that decision." She couldn't think of an easier way to put it. "Seth's desire to imprint is his decision, and because of that I get vision of other people talking about him and his imprintee or to him about his imprintee, but always in general terms." She paused. "They do sound very much like they're teasing him though. That always makes me so curious." She turned to Leah. "I really want to see things, but in some rare occassions it doesn't matter how hard I focus, they just don't appear clearly. And then, of course, there's you." Her eyes widened, unable to believe she'd said that.
Leah latched onto that, though. "What do you mean?"
Hiding a flinch, Alice gulped. "Well, I never picked up on your decision to come here, did I? I usually pick up on those sorts of things but with you..." she was getting very uncomfortable and not sure how much she should say. "...I don't seem able to pick up on you at all. It's frustrating."
Leah eyed her before a small smile tilted her lips. "Oh."
Was that her favorite word?
"So, uh, do you have this afternoon free?" Leah ran her hand over her hair. "I figured it was time I stopped pretending this isn't happening, and, I don't know, be proactive about it. Maybe take a couple of pages from the brat's book." Her eyes widened. "But don't tell him I ever said that!"
Alice nodded, hand to her heart. "Your secret is safe with me."
Leah sent her an awkward little smile before she nodded. "Nice to know."
Alice smiled back as that depression she'd been wallowing in all day lifted somewhat.
"So, do you? Have some time free?" Leah once again shifted her weight on the balls of her feet. "I figured you'd be the best person to answer my questions and basically help me figure things out."
This could get tricky considering everything, but Alice couldn't refuse an excuse to be close to Leah. She smiled brightly. "I'd love that." Her eyes widened. "I, uh, I'd love to help." She gazed away, embarrassed. "I'm a helper." She closed her eyes tightly. "I help."
Leah cleared her throat and nodded. "Wanna go for a walk while we talk? I feel more comfortable in the woods, amongst nature."
A walk amongst the trees with her imprinter. This could almost be romantic.
Alice grinned. "It's a date." She lowered her head. "Not, you know, an actual date."
"Uh, yeah. Totally." Leah agreed awkwardly.
Sure she was going to make an utter idiot of herself before this day was over, Alice grabbed a cute jacket and marched towards the door with Leah right behind her.