Disclaimer; I do not own any of the character's and yes it is a slight crossover with Supernatural, and when I mean slight I mean I used them for their looks and personality, which is why I didn't put it in the cross over section, because it isn't about them, it's about Leah and Claire.
Warning this is a very anti-imprint short story. I know a lot of people think it's the greatest idea since cheese whiz but I am not one of them. I personally find it heart wrenching and disturbing, so I should apologize for any offence.
Author's note; Just would like to point out that this isn't meant to go into great detail, it leaves a lot of unanswered questions, and many possible stories that I probably won't write. The whole thing is in Claire's POV, it is a recollection of fragments in a part of her life that she is sharing with someone. It does need a bit of editing as grammar is my weakness; any helpful criticism would be appreciated.
It started with Aunt Leah asking me one question, "Claire, will you be my maid of honor?" I was so shocked and excited that I didn't realize the other women in our family thought it was a dig at Aunt Emily. I, of course agreed whole heartedly, for Aunt Leah was my mentor and confidant.
While I was growing up I had a best friend. He did everything I asked of him and I loved him very much. I was ten when I became suspicious of him, I realized I kept growing and he stayed the same. I began to realize that everything we did together was what I wanted, and he never told me no. First, I asked Aunt Emily; she smiled crinkling her scarred face and told me that I would understand how special my relationship with him was when I grew up. So next I asked my mother; she just looked at me sadly and kissed my forehead.
I began to withdraw from everyone because I realized something was going on something everyone knew and I didn't, and it made me very uncomfortable not knowing. I began to withdraw from them and in return they began to smother me. It made me angry, and finally I decided I would run away. So I did. I collected all my money from the piggy bank and snuck to the bus stop. I remember how my heart pounded because I had never been on a bus without Quil before. But I was determined; I entered the awaiting bus and rode it all the way to my Aunt Leah's.
Aunt Leah was special to me, she always took me seriously, treated me like an adult, and she knew how to listen. When I arrived to her small town I walked all the way to her house. It was a small two story house with a porch swing and a beautiful garden.
Then noticed her, my tall beautiful aunt with the strength of a lion and long flowing hair that I envied and struggled to mimic. "Hey, kiddo." She had said and I rushed into her arms, breathing in her scent, finally feeling safer then I had in weeks. "So you decided to runaway huh? Why?"
I took a deep breath and told her everything that was bothering me. She listened, and with a heartbreaking look on her face, she sat me down and explained everything. At first it was hard to believe, but she had me stay on the porch and she transformed right in front of me.
I began to cry.
The next seven years were hard. From the moment that the pack knew I understood the truth they began pushing Quil on me; more so from my Aunt's then from the pack. Quil was just as uncomfortable, he didn't know what to think of me, but we sat down and talked, and we knew then everything would be the way it was meant to be.
Whenever I was troubled I would call Aunt Leah or go visit her, of course I had to let Quil know first. I watched as almost an outsider would; how my favorite Aunt was shunned from her old friends. I watched the pack be mean to her when she would visit and how she always would bite back. I watched how they acted like mindless slaves to their imprints.
One day she brought home a guy, one she only let me and Seth meet. I loved him. Dean Winchester was the funniest hottest thing I had ever seen in my fifteen years. I watched them act disgustingly cute together and suddenly, they began to fight, yell, shout, I think Aunt Leah even threw something at him.
Dean had stormed out angry and a few moments later the Impala gunned out of the drive way. I was shocked. I had never seen a couple fight before, my father had passed away before I was born so the only couples I had around me were imprinted.
I remembering watching Aunt Leah shake with anger, pacing nervously, and as she looked at me I could see her fear that he wouldn't come back. Then she did something unexpected; she laughed. She laughed and cried and hugged me tight. "This is love" she told me with a whirlwind of emotions displayed in her eyes. I felt confused at first but when I heard the Impala pull up the next day, and watched them apologize to each other, I began to understand what she meant.
About three months before the wedding I realized I had no gift and no speech prepared. I sat in Aunt Emily's house and watched her flutter about like a Disney princess while thinking about that fight between Dean and Leah. I frown in confusion and bit my lip before asking something that might make my fragile aunt cry. I took a deep breath and asked as calmly as possible, "Aunt Emily, do you and Sam ever fight?" she stopped and glanced at me and then smiled widely. "Once," she touched her scar "when he tried to fight off the imprint, but after that…oh Claire I can't wait for you to realize how perfect this life is. You never fear they will leave you, you never have to fight, Quill will always love you, it's such a perfect ending don't you think." I nodded afraid to say something offensive and got up claiming I had to do homework.
It was a few weeks later when Sam pulled me aside, he had heard that I had applied to Florida International University as well as Harvard, and Boston and a few other long distance colleges. "You can't leave here Claire. Quil can't leave the territory, and if you leave he would have to follow. Now, we've taken it upon ourselves to get you a spot at the University a few hours away, that will have to do."
I pulled my arm from him and glared, stomping away angrily. I wanted to yell at him and tell him he had not right to dictate my life. Instead I ran to the library and shook the thoughts from my head and focused on finding a poem to recite at Leah's wedding.
Giving up I went online to ask in a forum, when suddenly I read one that was already posted. I stared at it, rereading it over and over again, a grand plan forming in my mind. I smiled, and printed it out. I had both a gift from me and Quil, as well as my speech. I was going to make Aunt Leah proud.
The wedding was a beautiful simple beach wedding. Dean looked horribly embarrassed to be dressed the way he was, but when he saw Aunt Leah he stopped fidgeting and gave his brother a wicked grin. His brother Sam winked at me with a smile and I giggled and ignored the sight of Quil shifting uncomfortably in his seat. I wasn't worried though, we had talked about my idea and decisions and though it made him nervous, he was excited about our announcement.
As I watched Leah and Dean give their vows I could see how hard the journey to get to this moment, was on them. They loved each other, on a much more meaningful level than anyone watching understood.
We were sitting at the table when Dean's brother elbowed me to get up and give my speech. I stood and the room quieted down. Biting my lip nervously I glanced at Quil who gave me a comforting grin. Taking a deep breath I descended into chaos.
"Today, we here to celebrate something profound and meaningful, I was so excited to be Aunt Leah's maid of honor that I had to get this speech just right. I had the hardest time finding something to say and an even harder time finding the right gift to give her. See, Aunt Leah is the strongest woman I know; she is my confidant and one of my best friends. She taught me everything nobody wanted me to know, and everything that I needed to know. I found an excerpt from a book called Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres. It fits the one thing that I learned from Leah and Dean's relationship, the one thing about life that everyone else in here screwed up and screwed over." I glanced around at the shocked and slightly upset faces. Taking a deep breath I began to recite;
'Love is a temporary madness;
it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.
And when it subsides you have to make a decision.
You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together
that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness,
it is not excitement,
it is not the promulgation of eternal passion,
it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day,
it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body.
No, don't blush, I am telling you some truths.
That is just being "in love" which any fool can do.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away,
and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground,
and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches,
they find that they are one tree and not two.
I stopped and glanced around the room, some imprints were burning with embarrassment. Emily looked stunned, and Rachel looked thoughtful, biting her lip in slight confusion. I continued,
"Aunt Leah, you taught me what love really is, you taught me that knowing you could lose the ones you love makes you love them even more; that you have to fight for it. That it is something so much stronger and so much more disappointing than anyone here would understand or accept. You taught me that fate is something you create and destroy on your own, and to make my own destiny." I paused, ready to shock the world." Quil and I have been thinking and talking about this since I learned the truths about our legends," I took a deep breath to calm my nerves, and to take a second to glance around the room. I held the urge to grin and laugh as all the imprints who were sitting on the edge of the seat waiting in excitement. It dawned on me then that they must have an idea of what Quil and I wanted to say.
Shaking the thought from my head I looked back at Leah, noticing her worried glance to Dean, and this time I did grin. "So this is our gift to you." I motioned for Quill to come stand by me, watching him carefully as he seemed almost faint and nervous. He stood and glanced back behind me before turning to our captive audience and with an excited smile on his face he announced "I'm getting married,"
Before I could get a word in all the imprints began cheering loudly. Leah looked upset and confused but Dean nudged her to look at me and I gave them an encouraging smile before I suddenly announced as loud as I could "And I am going NYU in the fall with a full scholarship!"
Leah sat stunned momentarily before cheering as loud as my mom. The rest of the pack stared in silence. "You can't do that!" I heard someone shout.
Emily looked at us in confusion and disappointment before asking the obvious "what about the tribe? How can you just leave the tribe Quil?"
Quil and I shared a look of confusion "why would I leave, I have a job and home here remember?" he said. The room became even quieter and a sense of discomfort began to emerge.
Sam, ever the leader of the pack, stood. "How is it possible that Claire is going to New York and you're staying here? It will kill you!"
Quil shared a wicked grin with me and we looked to Dean and Leah, "because I'm not marrying Claire," he answered in the calmest manner I've ever seen him in. The majority of the room gasped and I giggled as Aunt Leah's eyes began to glow with understanding and pride.
"Everyone, I want you to meet Anna, my fiancée." Anna blushed as she stood up from the table behind me and walked to stand in-between us, grasping Quil's hand for comfort. The rest of the pack was in shock, and surprisingly it was Kim who spoke up and asked the question everyone wanted to know. "What the heck is going on and who the hell is Anna?"
I smiled proudly. "Everyone remember the first time I ran away," most nodded, some stared, just stunned, "well when we got home Quil and I had a long talk, see I don't love Quil like that, he's my brother in every sense of the word. I hated that he was my slave that he had no free will around me. I cried because I didn't even know who he truly was, he liked everything I told him to like, and hated everything I told him to hate I felt as though I was killing him. How can he be alive if he's just my puppet and I'm a puppet master?" The imprints shifted uncomfortably as I continued my rant "I told him I didn't want him to stay with me, I told him to grow up and find someone else to love, that he could be my friend but I wanted him to get a life, so he did!"
Quil touched my arm to stop me as I was getting carried away ranting about what we thought was an injustice. He glanced at Anna who smiled and reached for my hand as he took up our story were I left off. "I did as she said, I got a job at a bookstore in Forks and things began to change, I began to decide things on my own, figure out my own opinions, my age began to keep up with me, I even began taking correspondence classes online. I began to find out who I was as a person, not who Claire needed or wanted me to be."
"How is we never noticed?" one of the pack asked. Quil shrugged, "Leah taught me to block my thoughts while on patrol and well the rest of you are too busy pleasing your imprints to care."
The uncomfortable feeling grew stronger as Quil continued on "about two years ago I met Anna at work and we just clicked. Claire and I explained to her everything and a few months ago Claire came to me with an idea. I was so proud that she was going NYU and that's when I realized the thought of her leaving didn't kill me, I was proud...like a brother would be. We finally tested it and we realized Claire must have broken the imprint on her own years ago."
Jacob stood up with a hurt glint in his eyes, "and just how did you test it?" he asked calmly.
I glanced at Aunt Leah, for I suddenly felt as though I was stealing her show, but the pride and laughter in her eyes made me even more confidant and willing to share more of our secret. I looked right into Jacob's eyes while answering. "Well when everyone thought that I was with Aunt Leah for a few weeks last month, you know getting ready for the wedding? I wasn't, I never told Quil where I was going or when I'd be back, and he never asked. I went on a road trip to check out NYU instead"
Quil's grin widened as the knowledge of a broken imprint settled within the pack, "and while she was gone I planned a proposal to Anna and we went house hunting," he said proudly and with that he gave me a quick hug and kiss on the head before pulling Anna into his arms happily dragging her back to his seat getting away from the spot light. I giggled and looked around the room; only those who were affected by the imprint seemed hurt, angry, and highly embarrassed. All the others seemed to understand that this gave them something to think about and cheered as loud as they could, hoping to eliminate the unease that was left over.
But their opinion didn't matter to me, instead I looked to the one person who understood, the one person who taught me what it was to want something more and to defy fate if necessary.
Aunt Leah looked happily tearful and proud.