A/N: First place winner (tied with clara_eloise's fic Crossing the Line ) in theair_thesun's Anonymous Musical Prompt Drabble Shot Contest (1000 words or less). Musical prompt was the song Crawling Back to You by Daughtry. My prize was this lovely banner made by the even lovelier, dontcallmeleelee.

Apologies, Fails & Puppy Dog's Tails

It was early evening and he'd just finished a sixteen hour patrol after only four hours sleep the night before. His stomach was growling and he couldn't decide if he wanted to eat something or just fall in a heap on his bed and pass out.

A little oblivion would be great. If he was unconscious, he wouldn't be able to think about six nights ago.

She'd shown up at his house unannounced, and they'd had a terrible confrontation. She'd been so upset, and his heart broke to see her so sad. To know that it was his fault that she was crying.

Fucking Sam!

Fucking alpha orders!

Fucking werewolf genes!

He had been unable to leave things like that, so he'd gone to her room and begged her to remember the stories he'd told her on the beach the spring before. The legends that would clue her in to what he'd become.

She'd promised to call him when she figured out what he was trying to tell her. If she decided she ever wanted to see him again when she knew the truth.

After four days and no word from Bella, he'd been unable to help himself; he'd called her. When he said hello, and she hung up the phone on him, he knew. Any lingering doubts he may have had to her reaction were answered in that moment.

You're a freak and she knows it, Black.

Head down, he stumbled across the porch, half-asleep, to the front door. His eyes were already shut when he opened it, and tripped over something on the threshold.

What the… ?

It was a stuffed animal. Jacob looked around the small living room for some kind of clue as to how a toy got left on the doorstep. But the room was empty.

It was a wolf. A little wolf cub, with shaggy fur, dark markings and a tiny pink felt tongue hanging from its mouth.

Ooookay.

And he smelled her all over it.

Bella.

He pushed his bedroom door open, and there she was, sitting on the edge of his bed, waiting for him.

"Will you talk to me?" Her voice sounded tight and hoarse.

"Why? I'm too weird for you to handle. Remember?" He held the toy up for her to see. "This could be me."

He tossed it onto the bed, alongside her.

She smiled at him hesitantly. "You're really cute then, Jake."

She placed the dog on her lap and rubbed its synthetic fur ears, cooing to it playfully, while watching him from under her lashes. He rolled his eyes, but smiled in spite of himself.

"It's gonna take a little more than scratching my ears, Bella."

"I could rub your tummy." She flipped the wolf pup over and scratched its belly. "Aww, look. He forgives me."

Jacob flopped onto the bed on his back, beside her. "You could give it a try." He smirked. "But I make no guarantees of the reaction I'll have. Just a warning."

"Jacob…" She set the toy aside. "I didn't know. When I figured it out, I thought that you and the others… I thought at first that you were the ones killing people."

"They're not people, Bella! They're vampires!"

"No, Jake, you don't understand! I thought that the killings – the supposed bear killings - were you."

"You thought…" He shakes his head, disbelieving. "And that's why you hung up on me?"

She nods.

"Not because you couldn't handle me being such a freak, but because you thought I was killing people?"

"Yes."

"So, Einstein, when did you figure it out?"

"When I actually stopped and thought about it for more than half a minute. You and the others saved me from Laurent. His eyes were red. I realized he had to be the one killing people in the area."

He smiled, relieved, before a worried frown creased his brow. "But I'm still… I still morph into a giant dog. Are you sure you're okay with that?"

She grinned. "I'm good with weird. And I always wanted a dog."

"I'm not a pet, Bella." He scowled.

She stood from the bed and pointed at him. "Lie down."

He rolled his eyes.

"Stay." She bent and pat his head. "Good boy."

He grabbed her wrist and pulled her down alongside him.

"Well, if I'm supposed to just forgive you after you actually thought I was killing people," he glared daggers at her. "Then there are going to be some rule changes around here."

"Like what?"

"Like this, for one." He leaned down and kissed her lightly on the lips before she could protest.

"I don't know…" She said it like she was unsure, but he could see her lips fighting a grin.

"How about this?" He swiped his tongue from her chin, all the way up and over her cheek in one big lick.

She screamed, giggling. "Those are my choices, huh?"

"Yep." He nodded. "I know it's tough. Take your time. Should I repeat them?"

He almost fell off the bed when she said yes.

He pushed up onto his hands, and hovered over her.

"Okay, one more time. This?" He licked her face again as she giggled and fisted his bed-covers.

He pulled back, laughing at her reaction. "Or this?" he whispered.

He bent down and kissed her softly, his lips pressed to hers just a few seconds longer than the first time.

"You know how indecisive I am," she told him. "I may need a few more times to make up my mind."

He leaned down and she cringed, prepared for a lick across her face.

"You're forgiven, Bells," he whispered in her ear, instead.