I do not own Twilight or any of the characters in it. They are the sole property of Stephenie Meyer.

TINY DANCER

(With apologies to Elton John)

Isabella Marie Swan. Daughter of Renee and Charlie Swan. Born in Forks, Washington. High School graduate, aged 18.

Jacob Ephraim Black. Son of Sarah and William Black. Born in La Push, Washington. High School junior, aged 16.

Charlie was the Chief of Police of Forks, Washington. His wife Renee was a kindergarten teacher. His
best friend and constant fishing partner was Billy Black, Chief of the Quileute Tribe of the La Push
Reservation. Billy's wife, Sarah Black served on the Tribal Council and mothered their three children.
The Blacks had older twin daughters, Rachel and Rebecca, two years older than Bella.

Bella and Jacob met when they were babies. They became aware of each other when Jacob
was two and Bella was four. Their parents spent a lot of time together, so naturally, so did the
children. For some reason Bella gravitated more toward Jacob than his older sisters. It was the
two of them exclusively when their parents got together. Bella and Jacob were best friends. They
made mud pies, played tag, and watched TV. Bella loved to read. Jacob loved for Bella to read
to him. They were always together and they were never bored. They never fought as some children
might do. They got along splendidly. Well, there was that one time when Jacob brought a
lizard to Bella as a Valentine gift. The screams could be heard for quite a distance. That aside, they
were best friends.

Once when Bella was about 10 and Jacob was 8, their families were having a picnic at First Beach
on the reservation. Bella and Jacob were building a sand castle and having the biggest time. They
were almost finished with the project, when an older boy from the reservation stomped over to
their construction. There was fury in his eyes as he turned to Bella and said, "We don't like it when
palefaces come to our beach!" Bella and Jacob were stunned and speechless when the boy kicked
through the castle, scattering sand into Bella's eyes and hair. She screamed and began to wail
loudly. Though the boy was at least 13 and much bigger than Jacob, he flew into the boy in a blind
rage. By the time Billy had pulled Jacob off of him, the boy was sporting a bloody nose and the
beginnings of a brilliant shiner.

"What's the matter with you, Jacob? What were you thinking?"

Billy held him firmly, shaking him a little to keep his attention away from the boy, as
Jacob was struggling to get back to him and continue the beating.

"He tore up our castle! And he made Bella cry! I'm gonna kill him!"

Billy gathered up his son and headed for the car. Renee and Sarah were trying to quiet Bella as Charlie
hustled the older boy down the beach to his family. When Bella saw Billy grab Jacob and start
toward the parking lot with him, she screamed again and tore away from Renee and Sarah. She
ran Billy down and grabbed Jacob by the arm, trying to release him from Billy's grip.

"No! Don't hurt him! It wasn't his fault! He was trying to protect me! He's My Jacob! Please Mr. Chief Billy!"

Billy pulled up short when Bella called him 'Mr. Chief Billy' turning to look down at this tiny girl
trying to wrestle Jacob out of his arms. He set his son back down on the ground and couldn't stop
smiling as Bella and Jacob threw their arms around each other, holding on tightly. None of the
parents could separate the two for the rest of that day or, for that matter, for the next 8 years.
From that day on, you never saw Bella without Jacob. They were best friends. Jacob was Bella's Paladin,
her protector. He was HER Jake. She was HIS Bells. As they grew up, they moved side by side through
everything life could throw at them.

Two years after the beach incident, Sarah Black was called to God. The Police Chief and his daughter
hurried to the Black home. Bella ran to Jacob when she jumped from Charlie's cruiser and held him
to her as tightly as she could. She didn't release him for more than a few minutes at a time for the
next three days. Jacob never spoke but clung to Bella as if his life depended on her. A year after Sarah's
death, Renee went through a mid-life crisis that sent her a little wonky. She took off to Florida suddenly
and out of the blue. She left Charlie and Bella behind. Bella was 13. Charlie was bereft and lost. Billy
brought Jacob with him to the Swan house. Bella was alone in her room, just staring. Jacob knocked
lightly on the door but got no answer. He gently eased into her room and sat down on the bed next to
Bella. Without a word, she leaned toward his shoulder, putting her head on his chest. Jacob wound
his arms around her and held her until hours after she cried herself to sleep. When Charlie and Billy
peeked in the door, Jacob and Bella were both sound asleep. The two men didn't have the heart to wake
them and headed back downstairs.

The years went by. Charlie and Billy fished a lot, watched a lot of sports on TV, and drank a lot. Rachel
and Rebecca both went off to college and began to thrive out on their own. Bella and Jacob spent enough
time together to be considered steady girlfriend and boyfriend. But that's not what they were.
They were more than that to each other. 'Best friends' barely scratched the surface. They were everything
to one another.

Bella had taken ballet lessons from her earliest years. She continued to dance through her teens with
Jacob cheering the loudest for her in the audience of each recital. Jacob had developed into something
of a mechanical genius. There was nothing he couldn't build, from scratch, from his own design up.
This included a stage for Bella to dance on that Jacob erected in the woods behind his house. The
curtain was suspended between two trees, the stage was perfectly leveled, tongue and groove fir,
with candle footlights and spotlights for evening performances. Jacob was the only audience member
besides the creatures of the forest, who must certainly have wondered what or who had invaded their
private sanctuary. Bella would bring her toe shoes with her after supper and repeat that days lessons
for an enraptured Jacob. He would whoop and clap and shout, "Bravo! Encore!" Bella would blush and
grace him with her deepest curtsey.

When Bella graduated from Forks High School, Jacob was practically torn in two. He was bursting with
pride because she had a scholarship to study at the Royal Ballet School in London. He was grieving
because she had a scholarship to study at the Royal Ballet School in London. Jacob never shared that
second fact with Bella. He fought back the tears, kissed her cheek, hugged her and waved her goodbye
at the airport. He stood by his car at the end of the runway and watched until her plane was a tiny
speck in the blue sky. He drew in a ragged breath, got in his car and headed back home to La Push.
The rez was going to be awfully lonely from now on.

Jacob and Bella kept in touch by phone and email as best they could. Bella's classes and practices took
up a great deal of her time. They updated each other on all the news of their lives. They sent their
love through the wires and the ether. Jacob threw himself into school and began taking college
courses online along with his high school classwork. He got his diploma at 17 and his degree in
Mechanical Engineering by the time he was 20. About the same time, Bella accepted a position as
a dancer with the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. It wasn't long before Bella was their principal prima ballerina.
She longed for Jake to come see her dance because she had always told him that not long after they
met, she decided she would only dance for him. His bright smile was all the spotlight she would ever need.

But Jake couldn't make it to Chicago. Soon after his college graduation, he was called to serve. With his
degree in engineering he was just what the Army needed, they said. He was commissioned an officer
with the first Army Ranger outfit to head to Iraq. Jacob's expertise would prove invaluable in securing
the infrastructure in the desolate desert villages. It was a brutal war, a brutal existence and Jacob saw
things that were too horrible to comprehend. He could never have imagined that one human could be
that savage toward another human. The nightmares would probably stay with him for some time.

Bella was having great success with the Joffrey. She danced the classics and the contemporary. She was
hailed for her 'Swan Lake', the critics saying that "Miss Swan's spot-on performance" was "a given!"
She was acclaimed for her work with the Martha Graham company. Finally, she branched out into solo
work and began a world tour. The only thing to mar all of these wonderful accomplishments was the
news she received informing her that Captain Jacob Black, U.S. Army Rangers, was MIA.

Bella staggered back until her legs hit a chaise in her dressing room and she flopped down lifelessly.
The telegram in her hand fell to the floor and the darkness swam up around her. The performance was
delayed. But Bells danced that night. She danced for Jacob. She danced for her life. She was brilliant.
At the end, after her last curtain call, she walked back out on stage after asking the stage manager not
to raise the house lights just yet. She made her way into the bright spot in the middle of the stage
and she lifted her eyes to her audience.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for being here with me tonight. I must tell you, I needed the company.
A dear friend of mine, who is serving with our Armed Forces in Iraq, is missing. I would like to ask each of
you tonight to keep him in your thoughts and perhaps together we can bring him home safe and sound. And
please, I also ask you, anytime you see someone in the uniform of our country's military forces, thank them.
Thank them for me. I know that many of them are searching for my friend right now. Thank you, again. Goodnight."

Bella continued her performances. Jake wouldn't have had it any other way. Besides, what could she possibly
do for him by cancelling her tour? Three weeks after the first word came, she danced in Seattle. After that
performance, she headed for Forks, La Push, a short break, to wait. Five days later, she managed to steel
herself enough, and she made her way to First Beach. She had dressed in her rehearsal/workout clothes and
thought some stretching and a little activity would be good for her. She rolled out a towel to use for a mat.
She worked her way through some simple stretching and basic positions. She blended in some yoga to try
and settle her mind. On one foot, she leaned down until her torso was horizontal with the beach and her other
leg was straight up, toe pointed toward the sun. She held the position for some time, completely unaware that she
had an audience. Finally rising once again, she started to sink into a lotus position, but she couldn't do it. She
simply fell to her knees and began to weep into her hands. What would she do if he never came back? He was
her soul, her breath, her heart. Even though they were half a world apart, she could feel his warmth deep
within her core.

Her mind drifted back to that day on this very beach when he had gone to war for her. He had stepped into
battle with a single-minded purpose, to protect HIS Bells. She had loved him that day. She loved him today.
She would love him tomorrow. Unable to bear the fear gripping her heart any longer, she lifted her face to
the sky and let out a wail that would bring tears to the eyes of angels. "Jaaacccooob!" She screamed until her
voice left her and she collapsed on the coarse sand.

She only lay there for a few moments sobbing onto her arms. Within a minute, a pair of large, warm arms
wrapped softly and gently around her. Warm hands tangled into her hair. Warm kisses seared the skin on
her neck and soon covered her face, blotting away all traces of tears. She couldn't speak as warm, strong
hands held her cheeks and turned her to face the man for whom she was grieving.

"Oh Bells! My Bella! It's alright, honey. I'm here. I'm home. We're home, baby. It's me, Bells. I missed you
so much! My beautiful Bells. I saw you dance for me, Bells. I love you, Bells."

FIN