Leading character: Leah Clearwater
Warning: Contains graphic details of a miscarriage.
Betas: Jakejunkie, Ninmesarra, Joanne Swift / Pre-Readers: WolfGirl_JB and Jake'sGirl
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Just A Phase
Sam was missing.
At first Leah was worried, but after a couple more days, she was out of her mind. Where could he be? Leah wondered.
Sam wasn't the type of person to just go missing. Something bad must have happened. She drove her father's old truck down every tiny street she knew hoping to find him, but it was as if he'd fallen off the face of the earth.
Her father noted with a certain cautiousness, "Maybe Sam up and left the reservation just like his father."
Leah knew better, Sam would never be like his father. He was a man of honor. He would never just leave her without a word.
Leah wouldn't give up her search for him. She continued doing so daily. She even roamed the woods, alone, and sometimes even at night. There was something out there that was calling to her, something that seemed to pull her into the forest.
There was an itching in her legs that made her want to run.
Leah couldn't find a trace of Sam. She couldn't find any clues or signs of him at all. With every day passing and no sign of him, she grew more and more frustrated. Where could he have gone?
One night, after unsuccessfully roaming for hours, she was too drained out of energy and hope to ever find her Sam. She sat down at the side of the Quillayute river; her tiredness had made her lose the track of time.
Suddenly, a huge, black wolf stepped out of the forest and drank from the river.
She gasped, shocked by the horse-sized wolf in front of her. Hastily, she scrambled to her feet. The wolf was really huge. She'd never seen such a gigantic wolf before; she was mesmerized and in awe.
Alerted by the noise she made, the wolf turned his head to look at her. His eyes locked onto hers.
She was stunned by how intelligent his eyes seemed, but she wasn't stupid, right? This was a wild animal. One wrong move and it would attack her. Slowly, she backed away.
The wolf turned around fully and started to walk towards her, tilting his head, still looking at her with interest.
Leah stopped in her tracks. Her heart pounded in her chest as the wolf stalked closer. She knew running would only trigger his hunting instincts. So she stood. Frozen. Waiting.
The wolf stopped right in front of her, sniffing at her hand, then her thigh, his breath hot as it met her shivering form. Scared, she didn't dare move; however, she felt comfortable around him - somehow. She was sure the wolf didn't mean her any harm.
With a small nudge at her arm, he finally turned around and leaped over a fallen tree, disappearing into the dark forest.
Getting out of the woods as fast as she could, Leah couldn't stop thinking how the wolf's eyes had seemed strangely intelligent. Humanlike even. But that couldn't be, or could it?
Sam finally returned - six weeks had gone by since his mysterious disappearance. He seemed very different and he acted even stranger.
He'd grown several inches and had packed on muscles as if he were on steroids. His face was hard, and sometimes she noticed that there was this dangerous and strangely dark glint in his eyes.
He didn't spend the night with her anymore. He didn't want her to come over to his place, either. They hadn't slept with each other since the day after his return, and then their love making had been frenzied. He'd been wild and unrestrained, not that she didn't like it, but it really wasn't the Sam she knew.
The worst part was that she just knew he was hiding something from her. She could feel it in every action and in every look he gave her. He wasn't being honest; he was hiding something big from her, and that pissed her off immensely.
She asked him where he'd been. She wanted to know where he was spending all those nights he wouldn't be at home. She demanded an answer on what was really going on with him.
All he said was that he couldn't tell her, that he wasn't allowed to tell her. She did not want to accept this answer and when she insisted he tell her, he would become very angry.
Then his hands would shake like that of a junkie, and his voice would turn into a furious growl.
Leah wasn't a girl who was easily frightened, but this Sam scared her. He was acting like a stranger. She could hardly recognize him…and, yes, she was afraid.
There was so much anger inside of her she thought she'd explode out of her skin.
Yesterday, she had seen him – hugging her cousin way too intimately and way too long. He was clinging to her lips like she were the air he needed to breathe.
This morning, he told Leah he was sorry and dropped her like a bad habit.
All the empty promises he had made to never leave her, his oaths of everlasting love, his proposal three months ago – it all was forgotten with one look at Emily.
Leah couldn't understand. She didn't want to understand. Both of them were wrong. There was too much pain in her, too much hurt, and too much hate. She needed to get out of here. She only wanted to run. Outrun the pain she felt in her heart.
She didn't deserve to be treated like that.
She had heard that Emily got mauled by a bear. Her injuries were severe and she almost didn't make it.
As much as Leah had tried, she didn't have it in her to be sorry, especially not after what they had put her through. They didn't seem to give a crap about her feelings, either. She was too fucking angry with her cousin for taking away her man.
If that made her a bad person, Leah didn't care.
Leah felt sick and tired down to the bones. All the ranting, all the anger and all the hurt had exhausted her. She wasn't eating properly. She'd become so slim that her tightest pair of jeans would sit loose on her hips, threatening to slide down.
She sought refuge in sleep, but her dreams haunted her almost every night. She dreamed of running through the forest with the huge black wolf following her. The weirdest part was that, sometimes, she would be running on all fours. Then, she'd be faster than the black wolf. How freaky was that?
Leah decided that sleeping didn't do her any good. She'd only wake up even more exhausted. So she invented some techniques to keep herself awake for as long as she could: She spent a lot of time at the beach, listening to the waves crashing and rolling against the shore. She would be day-dreaming how she'd be happily married to a loving husband and have many kids in the future. She had always wanted a big family.
She couldn't say that her dream world was lessening her pain, but the numbness that settled over her felt better than the rage. It was certainly less tiring. She'd given up fighting.
She could almost relate to the Swan girl, who had been pining for months over the Cullen kid. Well, almost.
No man would ever break her. She would make sure of that.
Leah was starting to burn up. Her whole body was cramping. She was in so much pain, she wanted to scream.
As if she were an animal, she fled into the forest, wanting to be left alone to die. She had never experienced such pain. She was visibly vibrating and shaking and it was frightening her. Her whole body was on fire.
She finally curled up behind some bushes, in a soft patch of moss. She couldn't walk anymore; her knees were shaking too hard.
As the cramping got worse she started to cry, feeling more alone than ever. Revolting, fighting the pain, but to no avail, she suddenly felt something warm and sticky flow down her legs, soaking right through her underwear and jeans. She smelled the rusty stench of…blood?
Was that why she'd been feeling so sick and tired all the time? She pressed her hands on her stomach, trying to control what was happening, but it was useless. Leah finally recognized that her womb caused the cramping and that the bleeding was more than just her menstrual flow. This was when she realized that she was miscarrying, and she hadn't even known she'd been pregnant with Sam's baby in the first place.
She shouldn't be alone here, she thought. She needed help. Forcing herself into an upright position, she attempted to get up and walk home. She needed to walk home.
A new wave of excruciating pain ripped through her, making her scream out in agony. Automatically, she removed her jeans and panties, her instincts guiding her actions. Something slipped out of her, landing on the forest floor with a sickening slick sound. She looked down, crouched low. Between her legs lay a mass of... of... something... What was that? Bloody and so tiny...
A gurgling sob escaped her throat as she touched it. Too hot. The fetus was too hot. And shouldn't it have more similarity to a human than to a... dog?
It all became too much. The pain. The blood loss. This tiny… thing… monster… baby?
She passed out.
She dug a hole and put her …the baby… in it. She couldn't have given birth to… this? It surely couldn't be hers.
Her arms and legs heavy, she dragged herself home, glad when nobody was there waiting for her.
She put her clothes in the washer and took a shower. Then she made sure to shove away the memory of her... baby, a child that would never grow up, putting it behind lock and key in her head.
Nobody was ever to know what had happened today.
The anger was back. It was worse than before.
Why couldn't she keep the baby if she had lost Sam already? She could have loved her baby. She'd always wanted kids, a family. Why take it away from her? She would have found a way to raise it on her own. She really could have made it. If only…
Yeah, Leah was angry. She didn't know she was mourning, too.
A simple fight with her brother was all it took and she literally ripped out of her skin and burst into a monster.
Landing on all fours, she roared out, ready to attack anyone close enough to her.
From the corner of her eyes, she saw her father, pale, clutching his chest. "Daddy," she called out, but only another horrible growl passed her lips. Her mother and brother were screaming. Voices in her head were telling her to turn around and leave the house.
Undecided, she backed away and then stepped forward again. Her father still held his chest, his breath coming in rough gasps. Her mother seemed to talk, talk insistently with her, but Leah couldn't understand. She wanted to help her father. She stepped forward once more and that was when her brother exploded into a giant wolf, chasing her away from her father.
Her father tumbled to the floor.
She was a killer.
Not only had she killed the baby growing inside of her; the monster she'd become killed the life inside her. She'd also killed her father. She truly was a monster, her new form manifesting what she believed about herself.
As she couldn't let go of her anger and self-disgust, she wasn't able to calm down enough to phase back to human. So Leah wasn't there when the women gave Harry Clearwater his last washing, as was her right and privilege. She wasn't there to dress him in his family's native regalia, or comb and braid his hair, nor wrap him in his dog hair blanket.
She also couldn't attend at the funeral.
From her place in the woods, she watched her father's funeral service. Seth, too upset to phase back human, was trembling and quietly whimpering beside her.
Later on, Sam and Jacob placed her father's body in a canoe which was tied on a second canoe and crossed over to A-Ka-Lat, James Island, to bury him where all the Quileute Chiefs and highly regarded Elders were laid to rest.
The only way she could pay her respects to her father was swimming alongside the canoe that held her father's remains. When they carried the canoe up the mountain and then placed it between the forks of a massive tree as it was custom, Leah and Seth were nearby, huddled on the sand, watching.
She raised her head to the sky, howling out in grief and pain.
Seth adapted quickly, finding a great friend in Jacob.
She would not let any of the other wolves come close to her. Every time they tried she would lash out, bite and attack. She loathed the pity she continuously noticed in her pack brothers' eyes. She hated that Sam was her Alpha and in command, able to order her around with his fucking Alpha voice.
She also hated that their minds were connected. While she managed to keep her darkest secret hidden, she couldn't stop reliving her times with Sam. Whenever he slipped and thought about Emily, Leah responded, letting slip a memory of their past together.
Living in her pack brothers' heads was pure torture. Did she want to know about Paul getting pushed around by his drunken skunk of a father? No! Did she want to hear Jacob's fantasies about Bella all the time? Definitely not! And heaven forbid if she ever had to sing along with Quil for one more time.
Chasing vampires was the only uplifting thing to do anymore. Wasn't life just fucking great?
She hadn't managed to get herself killed during the fight with the newborns. Instead she'd loaded even more guilt upon her shoulders when Jacob got between her and the vampire, almost getting crushed in the process.
Leah had almost killed the true Alpha with her actions and the others sure let it show what they thought about her. They didn't even bother to hide anymore how much they truly hated her. That was what she believed anyway.
And Jacob, Goddammit, why did he have to be so forgiving and understanding?
Leah didn't want to be here anymore.
Jacob got an invitation to the wedding. He snapped and ran away. Leah wanted to go with him. Not to keep him company, but to get away from La Push. An order from Sam made her stay. No matter how hard she fought, she couldn't break her Alpha's order. She hated Sam even more for doing that to her.
The Swan girl got married and went on her honeymoon. Probably to never be seen again. Leah at least hoped so.
Jacob grieved. He didn't speak. He didn't eat. He didn't phase.
She wanted to slam Jacob's head into a boulder. Maybe that would bring him to his senses. The leech-lover was never worth his love.
Leah hated to see Jacob that broken. When had she started to care?
Damn those Cullens to hell and back!
They were back and what do you know? Bella was pregnant, courtesy of her sparkling, undead and oh so very dumb husband.
How Jacob managed to break free from Sam's hold was beyond her. Maybe it was because he was strong enough being the true Alpha and all. She didn't care that Jacob did it to protect Bella. She couldn't care less about Bella fucking Cullen. But she sure cared about being free, too. So she went after Jake, practically forcing herself upon him.
She didn't want to be in Sam's pack anymore. Not that she really wanted to be in Jacob's pack, either. To be precise, she wanted to be in no pack at all, but she really had no choice here, and if she needed Jacob to get out of Sam's pack so be it. Even when it meant she had to partner with leeches and protect Bella…
Leah would never say it out loud, but when her baby brother joined their little pack as well, she felt content – somewhat – for the first time in a long while.
She still hated her life.
The demon spawn was killing Bella. Slowly. From the inside. Bella had never been much, but being with child made her look haggard while her stomach rounded in an obscure way. Still, she was adamant to keep it. She'd teamed up with Rosalie, the blond bitch, making Rosalie protect her and her unborn child.
Seeing Edward Cullen suffer, Leah almost felt sympathy for him. His rash actions had brought the death sentence over his wife, and now he was forced to watch her die a slow and painful death in the foreseeable future.
Yeah, death really was staring in Bella's eyes. She was going to die one way or the other. Even if Cullen managed to turn her before her heart was going to stop.
Bella was dead.
Jacob planned on killing the demon child as soon as it was born. With sick satisfaction, Leah agreed. Whatever would force its way out of Bella Cullen, it couldn't be human, given its father was a vampire.
Her baby hadn't looked very human. Given that she and Sam both turned into giant wolves, it was no wonder a puppy had grown inside her. She wondered if it would still have been a wolf puppy if it had been born at term and been alive, or if it would have been born looking human—
"Why are you thinking about puppies?" Jacob asked.
Leah became aware that she hadn't watched her thoughts carefully enough while being phased with her Alpha. "I'm not," she responded, banning all thoughts of her miscarriage from her mind.
Leah didn't want Jacob Black to kill the demon spawn. Gosh, not for the spawn's sake and not for Bella's sake, either.
It was only about Jacob. He shouldn't be responsible for something like that. He was too young, too innocent. Killing vampires that killed humans was one point, but killing a baby not even knowing if it was a killer or not… That was just wrong.
She could feel Jacob's indecision. She could tell he was afraid.
She'd rather that Bella simply keel over and die than wait for the day that the child would be born and a decision would have to be made.
Leah had to come up with a plan.
The next day she stepped foot into the Cullen mansion for the very first time.
"They are gone," Jacob said exasperated. "They just up and left. They took Bella with them."
"Of course they did." Leah shrugged. "I told them you were planning on killing the demon spawn."
Jacob got a phone call two weeks later. The baby had been born, and Bella had survived the birth. Sort of. She was a vampire now.
When Jacob got off the phone he told Leah that Bella's voice had been hurting his ears and that he didn't know how he should feel about Bella's transformation. He wanted to be relieved that she was alive, but knowing that she was his mortal enemy now and that he would never ever see her again, made it hard for him to feel anything but grief.
"They're never coming back, are they?" Jacob asked.
She shook her head no.
Thanks to the pack mind, Leah understood Jacob's conflicted feelings about Bella and the baby, because even though he hated it, it was still half of her.
Leah really understood, and for the first time in a long while she didn't make a nasty remark. She sat down next to Jacob, putting his hand in between both of hers, giving him silent support by just being there.
Five years later...
The sand of Second Beach a gentle caress beneath the naked soles of her feet, Leah walked along the aisle in a flowing white dress. She felt whole. Her heart was healed. She'd forgiven Sam and Emily. A baby was growing inside her. "Strong and healthy," the doctor had reassured her after a thorough ultrasound exam.
She was happy, and she was in love. So much in love.
Her heart drummed excitedly in her chest, when she saw her love and best friend waiting for her at the end of the aisle. He was dressed in black dress pants and a simple white shirt, looking absolutely breathtaking.
He smiled broadly as she approached him and his smile never once faltered when he spoke the wedding vow, one hand resting on Leah's beautifully rounded belly.
"I, Jacob Black, take you, Leah Clearwater, to be my friend, my lover, the mother of my children and my wife…"