A/N: So . . . it's a new fic! Don't hit me - I missed you guys! I've been trying to write on about a hundred different things and this is the only project I've managed to have any manner of success on. Which is weird, considering it popped into my head about five hours ago. I'm excited about it, and I hope you guys like it. It'll be a short, multi-chap that basically consists of vignettes from here on out. As you can guess, each one will describe a song on the playlist and how it relates to Jake/Nessie. I've already got a few ideas, but if you have any you'd like to share, by all means let me know!
As for my other projects, and I have about a hundred between those WIPs that have been on hiatus, the things I'm working on that haven't been posted, and the ideas bouncing around in my head, they'll come out as soon as I can get them to. I've started college, and summer classes have wrapped up but I've been really involved with the mosque here (we've become official and are moving to a new location), Muslim Students Association (I'm VP), and Ramadan is coming up, not to mention everything that's going on in Libya. Anyway, point is: busy.
I'm always on twitter, so you need to find me there - writeitaway. I always answer my tweets. I'm gonna try to keep up with my reviews from here on out, but I don't see anyway I can reply all the ones I've let pile up - there are so many because you guys are so awesome. Anyway, please read, please enjoy, please keep in touch, even if it's to scream at me for not updating.
God, I've missed you guys.
Disclaimer: Don't own anything you recognize.
With a running jump, forty pounds of excited little boy landed on Jacob Black's unsuspecting stomach. He oofed at the weight and pulled his face out of his wife's neck, where it had been resting. He jabbed her with his shoulder for laughing at him and looked down at their son.
"Sarah has your ipod!" He all but shouted, both his hands balled into tiny fists that he held in front of him to help express the direness of the situation. "Your ipod we're not s'posed to touch - she has it! She has it right now!"
"Okay," Jacob said in as level a voice as he could. His eyes widened as his son literally shook with the glee of a tattling younger sibling. "Calm - calm down. Thank you for telling us, but next time you don't have to be so excited about it."
Beside him, Nessie had put her face in his neck to keep from laughing. Her lips brushed his skin as she shook with the effort of keeping it in, much like little Masen on his lap here.
Masen bounced on Jacob's legs. "What are you gonna do to her?"
The four-year-old didn't even try to sound anything but absolutely delighted. His tiny, tanned fists were still balled up tight and his dark eyes were bright and shining. He was still shaking. Nessie shook a little harder too, and Jacob reckoned he needed to get rid of his son before she broke. He let himself smile, a little. He couldn't help it.
"We've got it from here, thank you," he said, picking Masen up and setting him on his feet. He was surprised he didn't do a jig. "Go play in your room while me and Momma handle it. Call Sarah in here."
Masen's eyes lit up and he literally galloped from the room, one arm held straight up in the air. For what reason, Jacob didn't know.
"Sa-rah!" They heard him call as he hopped down the hallway and Nessie succumbed to her giggling fit. "I told them! And you're in - big - trouble!"
"Why - " Nessie asked through her laughter, gasping for breath. "Why did you let him do that? You know that's what he wanted."
Jacob chuckled and watched as Nessie slowly brought herself back to calm, one giggle at a time. She sat up and pushed her beautiful hair out of her face, still chuckling a little bit. He pulled at the grey tights she was wearing, letting them snap back against her leg.
"I felt bad for the kid," he admitted, not even bothering to hold back his grin. "And he was helping us out. Why not throw him a bone?"
"I don't think that's very good for fostering sibling relations," Nessie returned, pushing his fingers away when he plucked at her tights again. There was a small tussle between their hands and Jacob won out, pulling them and letting them snap back one more time, grinning. "Pitting them against one another."
"And what would you know about sibling relations, Ms. Miracle Child?" He asked, to which Nessie rolled her eyes. "Tattling is good for parents. Trust me, you do not want them to start working together."
"You little rat! You little flea!"
Nessie sighed, but she was smiling while she did it. "And here she comes now . . . "
Jacob sat up and both he and Nessie put on their most serious Momma and Daddy faces as their six-year-old daughter Sarah stomped backwards into the room, still yelling down the hall.
"You little flea on a rat! I hope a cat eats you!"
"Sarah!" Nessie said sharply, while Jacob bit his tongue. His daughter tossed her long brown hair and had the nerve to look shocked, like she hadn't realized she was out of hallway yet, or they couldn't hear her from a mile away. "That's enough."
Sarah opened her mouth and then closed it again. She reached up to play with one of her curls, a trait from her mother Jacob was glad she inherited, and he saw the battered white ipod clutched in her small hand.
After a few seconds in which Sarah didn't do anything but stand and stare at them, Jacob said very seriously, "Come here."
She came, dragging her bare feet on the wooden floor and moving the hand with the ipod in it behind her back, like that would conceal all the evidence of her crime and leave her parents stumped. When she was finally standing in front of them, Nessie held her hand out.
"Ipod," she instructed firmly, and Sarah handed it over.
Jacob took her hand and pulled her into his lap. She crawled up and stuck her face in his chest to avoid meeting his eyes. As big and bad a wolf as she tried to be with her brother, she always reverted into a little puppy when caught red-handed.
"Why did you take Daddy's ipod when you know you aren't supposed to use it?" Nessie asked, and Jacob felt her shrug against his chest.
"Na-uh," he corrected her, prodding her with his shoulder. "Answer your Momma when she asks you a question."
"I don't know . . ."
"Sarah, your Daddy has had this since before Momma was born. It's very old, and if something happens to it, we might not be able to fix it," his wife scolded and Jacob let himself smile when he was sure Sarah couldn't see. He loved watching her parent. "You can listen to Momma's ipod whenever you want, but you know you're not supposed to touch Daddy's."
Sarah stayed silent. She tried to bury her face in Jacob's chest but he made a disapproving noise and she turned her face back towards her mother.
"If something had happened to it, that would have hurt Daddy's feelings very much," she said seriously, and Jacob rolled his eyes. Though it was true he'd be beyond upset if something happened to the ipod, she didn't have to make him out like such a softie. "And you wouldn't want to do that, would you?"
"No . . ." She answered with her whole head, which she shook back and forth against her dad's chest. "I just wanted to see what was on it . . . I didn't wanna hurt Daddy's feelings . . . "
Jacob's heart softened. He shot Nessie a look and she rolled her eyes, knowing he was about to cave. He just had a soft spot for his girls. He couldn't stand to see them upset.
"Hey now, the ipod's fine, Daddy's feelings aren't hurt," he consoled, and felt a little better when Sarah looked up at him with wide eyes. He made sure his expression was serious, and it was. "But next time when you're told not to touch something, I don't expect to hear from Masen or anybody else that you're touching it, do you understand?"
Jacob liked their formula. He opened and closed and Nessie did all the filler. She was really good with the lecturing and scolding - he had no idea where she'd gotten in from either, because she'd never been gotten on to a day in her life.
Sarah nodded and wrapped her small arms around Jacob's neck, hugging him tight. "I'm sorry, Daddy."
"It's okay, but no more name calling," he warned her, hugging her back. He remembered when Ness was this size, but Sarah was his daughter and he had to be the tough guy. "Masen didn't do anything wrong by telling us you were messing with things you shouldn't . . . even if he didn't have to be so - eager."
"Mmhm." He could tell she didn't think much of that.
She pulled back with a scrunched face, so Jacob scrunched his back. Sarah laughed a little and kissed him, then leaned over to hug her mom, who had begun scrolling through the ipod. "Love you, Momma."
"Love you too, baby," she said, hugging her back and kissing her too. "Even though Daddy's not upset, I want you to go stay in your room until supper for name calling and doing things you knew you weren't supposed to do."
Normally Jake would consider that a little harsh ("Only if it was Sarah," Nessie would point out), but when he thought about something happening to the ipod, he decided he agreed completely. He'd had that thing a long time - as Nessie had said, longer than she'd been alive - and there were a lot of important memories in there.
Sarah hmph'd but ran off to her room anyway. Jacob listened carefully for signs of a pit-stop to Masen's room, but he was glad to hear her go directly to her own bedroom and shut the door. He heard the bedsprings creak as she threw herself onto her mattress, so he brought his attention back to his beautiful wife, who was settling into his chest.
Jacob wrapped his arm around her and let his hand slide down her hip. She was so beautiful. Her thigh rubbed his as she got comfortable, and he ran his lips over her hairline, coaxing her into tilting her head back so he could kiss her. She got the hint and their lips met a second later. Her lips were soft and warm, like they always were. He'd been kissing them for almost eight years, and he wasn't tired of them yet. Nessie pulled away, giving her cute little sigh that never failed to drive him crazy. She met his eyes and came back to kiss his bottom lip, pulling away just as he was wondering if maybe they could order pizza for supper and use that free time for . . . other activities.
"You know, this thing is pretty beat up," Nessie informed him, and Jacob just nodded, leaning in for another kiss. She only gave him one. "Why don't you let me get you a new one? You can still keep this one."
"It feels like cheating," he answered, leaning down to kissing her neck, even though he knew it would make her roll her eyes. She didn't get why the ipod was so important to him - she just tolerated it. "You wouldn't let me get a new wife, would you - even if I kept you around?"
Nessie scoffed and pushed him away from her, but his mouth found its way right back.
"First of all, that is not even cute," she said, her tone serious, but Jacob knew her too well to be fooled into thinking she was really angry. "How about I kiss Embry's cheek at the next bonfire and see who breaks a tree?"
Even though they were joking, just the thought made Jacob hold her tighter. His.
Nessie hummed, pleased that she'd won. "That's what I thought."
"If you were listening to me," Jacob continued, not ready to admit defeat, but Nessie cut him off.
"You don't even listen to it hardly."
"How do you know what I do?"
Nessie just rolled her eyes again. "I sleep on top of you and wash your underwear. I think I'm pretty hip to your schedule, Jake."
Disregarding all other parts of her sentence except the one that brought to mind the thought of Nessie collapsed on top of him in their bed, he answered with, "Yeah, you do."
"It won't even let me make a new playlist - look," she said, demonstrating. Jacob mmm'd in the affirmative and continued his venture across Nessie's neck. He tried to reach for the ipod but she evaded him, lifting it up in the air. Since his eyes were busy with the freckle on her shoulder and the silver hoop hanging from her ear, he didn't let himself get too beat up about it. "There hasn't been a new one made for, like, four years. Look at these: 'Phase Music', 'Dance Music' - like you dance or listen to music when you phase."
"Hey, I dance," Jacob argued, reaching again for the ipod and biting Nessie's shoulder softly when she held it out of his reach again. "With you."
"Yeah, our wedding doesn't count - and it doesn't count if we don't have all our clothes on either - "
Jacob stopped kissing his wife's neck and pulled back so he could see her face.
"I would dance with you," he told her honestly, searching her face. "If you wanted - I didn't know you did."
"If I wanted to dance, I'd let you know." Nessie smiled up at him wolfishly, and he felt better knowing she'd been joking. They did dance, but not to Frank Sinatra, and not - as Nessie pointed out - with most of their clothes on. "I just don't see why you have a playlist for it - there's not even any songs in it."
Jacob sighed and went back to work on Nessie's neck. He was saving his secret weapon for last, hoping he wouldn't have to pull it out. He knew she was trying not to pay him attention, but it was mostly show, because her scent was telling a different story. He decided he'd save the big guns in case she really decided to play hard ball.
"Aw," Nessie said softly, melting into his touch. He wrapped his arm around her waist and brought his lips up to tease her jaw. "Jake. 'Nessie's Mix'? You made a playlist for me?"
Jake made a last, slightly desperate grab for the ipod but once again, Nessie was ready. She leaned out of his reach and he saw her open the playlist. Uh-oh.
"Why didn't you tell me? That's so . . ." He watched his wife's eyes narrow and the look on her face go from pleased to confused. Jacob flinched. "Jacob . . . what the hell is this?"
"It's a playlist."
"Thank you, I see that," she said, shooting him a look that she usually reserved for Masen. "But this doesn't look like any kind of playlist you make for your wife! Have you seen this thing? Look at some of these songs!"
She pointed the screen at him but Jacob didn't bother to look. He sat up. "I know what songs are on there - I'm the one that made the list."
"So why's it called Nessie's Mix?" Jacob found himself pulling a Sarah and just staying very still and quiet. Nessie widened her eyes at him, prompting him to answer. "Well?"
Jacob ran quickly over what exactly was the best way to explain this to her without making her mad or left her thinking he was crazy. Especially since she didn't seem to recognize the connection with any of them. Maybe she would if she looked harder, but right now she was probably just shocked that it wasn't the sappy, romantic kind of playlist she had been expecting. But when had he ever been sappy and romantic? When had Nessie?
He was still trying to get the words from his brain to his mouth when Nessie pulled out of his arms. Feeling the jolt in his gut he got every time (thankfully they were extremely few and far between) Nessie was upset with him, he reached out for her, but it was short-lived. His wife only swung herself around, settling her tiny body over his hips. Jacob's hands went to her waist out of habit, holding her tight as she leaned in close.
"Jake," she said, her voice soft, and even though she was being serious, he wanted to smile at how Nessie still wanted to be close to him. "What - the - hell?"
"You really don't know any of the songs?" He asked, raising an eyebrow. Maybe all he needed to do was jog her memory.
"Sure, I know them, but why are they on a playlist with my name on it? It doesn't make sense," Nessie pressed, and then shot him a look when he smiled. "Our wedding song isn't even on here."
"I don't even remember what song we danced to at our wedding, you realize that, right?"
Nessie huffed, but it was true. All he remembered was holding her close and trying to forget how everyone was watching, how soon they were going to come home and she would be his in every way. They could have been dancing to the Barbie song for all he knew. All he remembered was her.
"So you mean to tell me these songs - these songs - " She waved the ipod at him again and he finally snatched it from her. She scowled and he furrowed his brow right back, but he couldn't hold back a smirk. "Hold some deep meaning about our relationship for you?"
Jacob shrugged at the disbelieving look on her face. "Yeah."
"Well," Nessie got up, quickly, before he could stop her. He had half a mind to throw her over his shoulder and carry her back to the bedroom, but she was being very uncooperative today, and Jacob knew she wasn't about to let this playlist thing rest. If he knew Nessie at all, he knew that. "You can come tell me about them while I cook supper - but I warn you, if the stories aren't good, you're going on a full love embargo."
"Oh, they're good." Jacob wrapped her in his arms from behind as they made their way to the kitchen. He couldn't help but chuckle at her bluff. "And don't make threats you don't plan to keep."
Jacob swatted her ass for good measure before collapsing into one of the kitchen chairs. Nessie stuck her tongue out at him. She pulled some meat out of freezer and stuck it in the microwave, before setting it to defrost for fifteen minutes.
Jacob appraised her as she lifted herself up onto the counter and swung her legs. He loved when she did that. It reminded him of when they first started their relationship, when everything was new. He wouldn't trade now for then, but Jacob didn't want to forget a thing about them. That's what the playlist was for.
Sighing, he lifted the ipod off the table and looked at the first song. He'd better get started.
He glanced back up at his wife, pink toenails and grey tights and a white t-shirt, sitting on their kitchen counter with her wild curly hair all around her shoulders, looking like everything he'd ever wanted. Her hands braced on the counter, she was leaning towards him. She was so beautiful, it was distracting.
Nessie was staring him down with a challenge in her eyes, biting on her perfect bottom lip, one eyebrow raised. She smirked at him and he loved her more than he ever had.