AN: The beat down occurred Thursday afternoon
The first night was just hell. I didn't sleep well; my body ached and my rest was plagued with bizarre and terrifying dreams.
With the massive doses of painkillers Rosalie injected periodically, I was in and out of consciousness but it was almost worse. I didn't know what I was just dreaming or what was actually being said around me. Charlie's constant scent and presence was the only thing that reassured me and I could not release contact with him. Just touching him was enough to impart some semblance of peace in my confused and muddled mind.
The sun rose with startling brilliance and I woke to it streaming through the sheer curtains. Half of my face was still wrapped but when I opened my eyes, I could feel that my injured eye was less swollen than the night before. I reached my hand up to my face, the memory of how it had felt just after Jacob had beat the living shit out of me, clear in my mind. I knew that my face had been horribly mangled.
I breathed quickly, trying to keep the panic in me tamped down. My right side hurt like hell when I breathed deeply, so I tried to calm down. I felt Charlie move beside me and a couple seconds later; he sat up and rubbed a hand down his face. He turned and looked down at me and when he saw I was awake, he smiled.
"Hey," he said softly. "How are you feeling?"
I made a little grimace, the thought of talking too much to even consider. My jaw throbbed and my face just hurt all over. He frowned a little.
"I'll get Rosalie. Do you need water?"
I nodded and he left the bed to cross to the door. When he opened it, Bella was at the door, a glass of juice with a straw in her hand. She smiled at Charlie and I knew he didn't have a clue that everyone had heard him.
"Hey dad," she said quietly and he scratched his head with a little confused smile.
"I just came to see if Leah was okay, and I thought she might need something a little more than water."
He took the glass from her. "Thanks. She actually needs Rosalie to give her some more meds."
Bella nodded. "Sure, I'll get her. Do you need anything? I could make you some coffee."
Charlie sighed and rubbed a hand over his face. "That'd be great, hun."
He helped me sit up a little and stuck another pillow behind me and was holding the glass for me to drink when Rosalie came in with a little black case.
As much as I loved Charlie, he definitely could not maneuver me as painlessly as the vampires could. Even Seth wasn't as deft in his handling as Emmett and the others.
"Good morning," Rosalie said with a smile and I nodded. My jaw was really throbbing and I could barely even suck through the straw.
She pulled out a syringe and a little vial and twenty seconds later she had finished giving me the shot. I started to feel the relief within minutes and relaxed as the intense pain in my body receded. I felt all grungy; covered in sweat and medicinal wash that Carlisle must have used when I was unconscious. It burned my nose and made me feel nauseous.
"Can I take a shower?" I asked Rosalie in a slurred whisper. She gave me a little smile that was just a touch patronizing and I narrowed my good eye at her. She chuckled a little and shook her head.
"Carlisle will have to answer that question and I still need to look at your face."
The reminder of my battered, destroyed face had me tensing in anxiety and Charlie took my hand in his. "You'll be okay baby. You're awake and that's all that matters."
Half an hour later, Carlisle gave me his little doctor smile and stepped back so Rosalie could put a new bandage on my chest wound.
"Well, you aren't healing quite as fast as I expected, but your body is still mending itself quickly."
"What do you mean by as fast as you expected?" Charlie asked him sharply; his face pulled into a fierce frown.
Carlisle looked almost startled, but quickly masked it with a nod in Charlie's direction.
"Leah; and the rest of the pack; have the ability to heal exceptionally fast. She is lagging a little from my previous observations, but she is a woman, so it may be a factor."
Charlie did not look reassured and shook his head. "So, what does that mean? Is she going to be okay?"
Rosalie was leaning over me and I grabbed her wrist. She looked at me questioningly and I just moved her hand to peel back the edge of the square bandage she was applying.
"Charlie," I said quietly and his head turned towards me. I pointed to the angry but sealed red line. "I'm healing fine."
His eyes widened and he breathed out in a whoosh. "That…" He scrubbed his face with his hand and then gave me a slight, shaky smile. "Need to know; right?"
"There is something with their ability that causes their bodies to mend and rejuvenate almost immediately." Carlisle spoke quietly and Charlie nodded again.
"If she didn't have this… ability; she would have died, wouldn't she?"
Rosalie and Carlisle didn't answer Charlie's question and he blew out a breath.
"Okay. Well; I guess this means I can shoot Jake too, seeing as he'll heal up real fast."
"I heard you shot Sam Uley," Rosalie said and she had a grin as she looked at Charlie. He glanced over at her and nodded; a dark look on his face.
"You shot Sam?" I asked, my words still a little slurred as I tried to hold my jaw still. He looked at me with an uncertain expression and nodded again.
"For me?" I pressed and he chuckled. I gave him the best attempt at a smile I could and he sat next to me.
"Well, he held Seth back from stopping Jake and somehow that pissed me off more." He took my hand in one of his. "It was only a shoulder wound, and now that I know he's going to heal up quick, I'm wishing I had done something a little more painful."
I closed my eyes, trying not to laugh at his tone of voice. Rosalie was bad enough, chuckling and nodding.
"I would give you a hundred grand to watch you shoot Jake in the ass," she said to Charlie and I shook my head, not appreciating her adding to the mental images in my mind.
Carlisle smiled at me and his eyes were full of amusement. He was too proper to verbally enjoy Charlie shooting Sam, but I could see he enjoyed it none the less. "Rosalie will take care of your face now and I'll come later to see how you're progressing."
"Esme is making breakfast," he said to Charlie.
Charlie looked to me and I gave him a little wave.
"You should go eat. I'll be fine with Rosalie."
He frowned. "Are you sure?"
I nodded and Rosalie gave him a small smile. "I'll make sure she's okay," she assured him and he relented, leaving the room with Carlisle.
Rosalie sat beside me, as I was still lying down, and took the bandages off my face. I was too terrified about the possibility of being permanently deformed to move or say anything as she looked and touched and checked over the right side of my face.
"Would it be too uncomfortable to sit up?" Rosalie asked and I shook my head a little. She helped me move and I rested with my legs hanging over the side. She did another full examination of my face, now that gravity could take effect.
When she was finished, she gave me a small smile. "Despite you not being able to phase, you are still healing quickly." She held up a small mirror. "Do you want to look?"
I stared at her, fearing what I would see. What if I looked like Emily?
"It's okay; we can wait." Rosalie turned and I grabbed her arm.
She seemed to get it and lifted the mirror. I closed my eyes before I could see myself and I could feel my hands shaking. When I opened my eyes finally, I just stared.
In disbelief, I reached on hand and felt the places that had been crushed with careful finger tips. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
"You fixed me," I whispered in awe.
There was nothing but a small line of stitches and bruising and a little swelling that spoke of what had been done to my face. I was so relieved and grateful, I just started crying.
"Seriously Seth; if you don't stop hovering, I am going to kick your ass."
It was Saturday afternoon and I was getting exasperated with the continual attention I was getting from him and the rest of the Cullens. It was already bad enough that Charlie was staying with me around the clock, but to have all eight of the Cullens and my brother waiting on me hand and foot; it was overwhelming.
Embry was around too, but he stayed at a respectful distance. In a moment of peace while the Cullens hunted and Seth was gone, he had apologized to me, making sure to let me know that he didn't expect me to accept it and certainly didn't expect me to be friends with him again; but he just wanted me to know he was sorry.
I didn't hate him; hell I could barely blame him for doing nothing while Jake beat me down. I had been a heinous bitch to him in the past and it wasn't like anyone in either pack made it easy to be him. In a way, Embry was a lot like me. We both struggled to know why things were the way they were and where we fit in to everything.
They hadn't come out and said anything specific, but from both him and Seth, I got the feeling that there was a lot of rage towards Jacob, Sam and any of the wolves who thought in the same way.
It made me wonder how things were going to go, once the high tensions and emotions settled down a little. It had only been forty eight hours since the "beat down", so I doubted everything would be back to normal for them anytime soon.
"I'm not hovering Leah," my brother said and scowled. "You almost died and now you're being stubborn by not letting us take care of you."
I rolled my eyes. I loved the kid and he was only trying to make sure I was okay, but my arms weren't broken. I could hold my own glass up to drink. "Let's make a deal; okay?"
He looked skeptical for a second, so I gave him a well-practiced stare. He nodded quickly. "Okay, fine."
"I'll hold my own drinks and I'll allow you to carry me down the stairs."
He sighed. "Fine. But you're only saying that because you know you're not going any further than this bed."
I gave him a little smile. Exactly.
"Do you need anything else?" He asked solicitously. I sighed again in exasperation.
"Yeah; could you not talk to me like I'm your grandmother in a nursing home? Geez; yes, Jake beat the shit out of me, but it didn't cause my brain to suddenly stop working. If I need something, I'll yell at you to get your ass up here. Now, go play video games with Emmett and pig out on the mountain of food that Esme keeps making for you and Embry."
He looked at me for a second and then gave me a huge smile. Leaning over, he hugged me as best as he could without causing me any pain and stood back up. "Oh man, I am so happy to have you yelling at me. It freaked me out that you've been all quiet and sweet since you woke up. I've just been thinking that something really bad was going on and no one would tell me."
I chuckled a little and shook my head. "I'm fine Seth, or I will be. Just give me enough space to breathe."
He nodded eagerly. "So you don't mind if I go eat and play games?"
"No, just tell Emmett to turn the volume down before I come down and smash his TV. It's making my head hurt to hear those guns over and over."
The sentence wasn't even completed before the sound of the video game was muted and I laughed. "You don't have to turn it off completely," I said, knowing they could hear me. I had a feeling it had probably Rosalie who had muted it.
"Hey." Seth stopped at the door and looked back at me. "Could you see if I have any pineapple ice cream real quick?"
His eyes got really big at my question and I glared at him. "Did you eat all the ice cream I had in the freezer?"
"Um, maybe. I don't know for sure though." He actually looked scared and I sighed.
"It's fine, go on. I'll get some later."
He left quickly and I relaxed against my pillows. The water stopped running and I smiled; wondering how Charlie was enjoying his shower alone. He hadn't ever used that particular shower without me in there with him.
A moment later, he cracked the door and looked out and I smiled fully.
"Coast is clear," I told him and he crossed to the door, locking it with only a towel around his waist.
"If you need to check in at the station or anything; don't feel like you can't leave me for a little while," I told Charlie as he dressed. He didn't respond verbally as he pulled his clothes on.
When he was finished, he sat on the side of the bed and looked at me critically. "I'm not going to leave you when you're hurt."
I smiled at him, touched by his loyalty to me. "Thank you," I told him sincerely and he leaned down to touch his lips to mine. When he pulled back, I kept my eyes closed for a second. It wasn't that I didn't want him here with me, but I really needed to find something out and I was hindered with him being here.
"You do realize though that there are ten adults that will wait on me hand and foot while you take a quick trip into town and you could grab some clothes too."
He narrowed his eyes and tilted his head to the side. "Are you trying to get rid of me?"
My eyes widened in surprise that he was so astute and he chuckled. "I'm just kidding. If you really think you'll be okay, it would be good for me to check in with Henderson and make sure everything is going okay. Plus, these are the last clean clothes I have here."
Esme would do his laundry for him no problem; hell Bella probably would too, but I doubt that had even crossed his mind.
I smiled at him. "I'll be okay," I assured him and squeezed his hand lightly. "I'll miss you," I whispered so he would know I wasn't trying to get rid of him.
He touched my face and smiled. "Do you need me to get you anything?"
I nodded. "Yes; two Pineapple Coconut Haagen Daz, and then at least four cartons of ice cream so the boys will leave mine alone. Anything with candy bars or chocolate; they're just pigs."
He chuckled. "Okay. I'll be back in a few hours."
I waved at him and closed my eyes as he left the room. I would wait until I heard him drive away.
It seemed like an hour until I heard his cruiser start up and crunch down the driveway.
"Hey," Rosalie said and I looked up to see her standing next to me. She smiled. "Edward said you wanted to talk to me."
Now that she was standing right there, my stomach clenched and it felt like someone was standing on my chest.
"What's wrong?" She asked, looking concerned. "If you don't want anyone else to hear, don't worry. They all went out for a run with Seth and Embry. Only Emmett is right outside the house on guard."
I shook my head mutely and looked at her as I felt my eyes water. This was too hard. I pushed myself up with my good arm and she immediately helped me to sit upright. Sitting at my side, she took my hands in hers with a worried look.
"Leah, what's wrong?" Her voice was just a whisper and I bit my lip trying to stem the urge to cry.
"I heard someone say…" I stopped and swallowed, trying to remember who had said it. "I was kind of out of it still, but I heard everyone talking."
She nodded. "Okay; what did you hear?"
"Renesmee told Jacob that I was…" It was too hard. I couldn't say the words. "That he ki…" I was starting to hyperventilate and tears spilled unheeded down my cheeks. I saw recognition in Rosalie's eyes and she looked feral with anger for just a split second before she masked it.
"Was I really?" I asked, not being able to actually voice what I had obsessed over for the past twenty four hours.
She closed her eyes for a second and shook her head. "No," she said quietly, looking at me again. "You were bleeding and I asked Carlisle if you were. Renesmee thought my question was a fact and she freaked out."
I nodded, relieved yet at the same time still feeling heartbroken. Thinking I had been pregnant and Jacob had killed my baby had been so devastating that I had not been able to bring myself to ask Charlie about it. But knowing I hadn't been was still devastating for some reason.
Rosalie hugged me for the second time that day. "I'm sorry," she said and rubbed my back. Her cool hand felt good on my always burning skin.
"I just," I said helplessly and she nodded.
"I know." She looked pained and somehow I knew she did know. "If you had been, I would have killed Jacob."
It would have destroyed me if I had been pregnant and Jacob had killed my baby. But knowing that I wasn't, set off some kind of perverse hormones in me and now I was crying because I didn't have the proof positive that I was capable of having a child.
Rosalie turned and scooted up against the headboard. I laid on her shoulder because it was like an ice pack on my still healing face.
Without anyone nearby to intrude on our minds, we just talked comfortably for a little while. Our strange relationship wasn't something we advertised to our family on either side, but Emmett knew all about it already. I wasn't sure how either one of them kept it secret from Edward though.
I felt tired again after an hour or so and Rosalie stood, laying me down on the pillow.
"When Charlie gets back, can you make Emmett stir my ice cream to soften it?"
She chuckled and stabbed me quick with pain medicine. "Sure. He needs something productive to do anyway."
"Please," we heard from the yard below. "I'll be plenty productive kicking the boys butts at Black Ops."
She left the room and I slipped under the effects of tiredness and narcotic.
"Welcome back Leah. Although I trust this is just another temporary visit."
I smiled at the fun-loving face of the speaker and smiled; my face surprisingly free of pain. "Yes, I won't stay."
She nodded. "Well, come on then. We don't have much time and there's someone I want you to see before you go."
I followed her, looking down at my body to see my long human legs running in stride with her, a white doeskin dress brushing my thighs and ending with a fringe at my knees.
She stopped in a clearing that was like the best movie set of a Native American village and smiled at me.
"Come," she motioned and I followed her slowly through the tipis and small huts. There were little bronze skinned children calling out to her and she answered in kind. To the young men who bird called and made remarks, she rolled her eyes and put them in their place in Quileute and somehow I could understand every word which was spoken.
"Halepwi!" A small boy dashed around a huge Tipi and dove into her, hugging her around the knees. She laughed and knocked the top of his head playfully.
"Watch your head, little man. You will split it open like a gourd one day." He didn't go on with his play like most of the children we had seen, but rather followed us until we stopped on the far side of the field. There were several traditionally dressed me sitting around a fire and sitting with his back to me was one man who stood out like a sore thumb.
In this picturesque picture of a traditional Quileute village, a stocky man sat on a log in a cotton ball cap and denim overshirt. He laughed and spoke with the men sitting in the circle with him and I took hesitant steps towards him, not really believing my eyes.
The men facing my direction looked at me silently, with shrewd eyes and the man dressed in casual modern attire turned to look up at me. He smiled widely and stood, reaching out his arms.
I felt my knees buckle under me and he caught me as I fell, hugging me tight.