A/N: Soo...yeah, I totally failed at completing the challenge, but I've decided to continue posting these as they come to me. I guess we can consider this an unrelated series of wolfpack drabbles now, and I'll probably pull prompts from other places in the future, but I had this one sitting on my flashdrive, so I thought I'd post it. Oh, and the next chapter of 40 weeks is coming soon—promise!
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and situations are the property of Stephanie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: Bella tries to figure out why Leah's so bitter. Leah makes her realize she should be a little more ticked. They lament over Leah's lost virginity and Bella's past idiocy.
The Twilight Twenty-Five
Prompt: 2. Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.
Pen Name: kerigocrazy
Rated for language and underage drinking.
"Keep 'em Crossed"
If there was anyone in the world, outside of the redheaded vampire currently set on killing her, that hated Bella Swan, it was, in all likely hood, Leah Clearwater. At least that's how Bella felt after countless run-ins with the angry shapeshifter. So color her surprised, when Victoria was spotted dancing along the border between Forks and La Push late one evening, and the pack plopped her down on Leah's couch before taking off to hunt down a vampire.
Neither girl was particularly pleased.
They sat in an awkward silence for awhile, but Leah hated feeling uncomfortable, and she wasn't going to feel put out in her own home because of the insipid, little leech lover. Standing abruptly, she stomped off into the kitchen without a word to the other girl.
She came back a few minutes later, clutching a bottle of Johnny Walker in her fist, to find that Bella hadn't moved an inch. Sighing, she gestured toward the back porch and said, "Look, I'm going to sit out there and have a drink. Join me or don't, but this is ridiculous." She continued on her way without pause, but her muttering was still clearly heard by Bella. "This whole fucking thing is ridiculous. Let's just make sure the little ladies are tucked in safe and sound at home, while we fight the good fight. Jackasses. It's not like I'm a werewolf or anything."
Bella continued to sit for another few minutes, unsure if she wanted to follow the clearly insane woman out into the dark night, but boredom decided the issue for her. You ran with vampires, Bella. You have the bite to prove it. You can handle a crazed shifter.
Her pep-talk gave her enough false courage to slip quietly onto the front porch, unheard by Leah since the other woman was still involved in her one person rant.
"...think just 'cause he's got a dick, he can order me around like his creepy, little stepford wife..."
The aggression had the potential to be a little intimidating, but Bella Swan was known for her lack of self preservation. She barreled on in spite of the anger, which seemed to seep right out of Leah's pores. "I was just wondering...um..."
"Well? Spit it out, Swan," she muttered, taking a large swig straight from the bottle and passing it over. "Here, it always helps to lube the way, first. Makes swallowing easier."
Bella could feel the fire seeping into her cheeks, but she braved a small sip, almost choking to death immediately after.
The mood was lightened, when Leah collapsed to the side, laughing at her. Even more than being the center of attention, she hated being the butt of a joke, so she brought the bottle back to her lips and took an even bigger pull, this time managing to contain the coughing—albeit just barely.
"Not bad," Leah acknowledged, reclaiming the bottle. "So, ask your question then."
"I was just wondering why you're, well, so angry all the time?"
"Huh, maybe you are braver than I thought." Leah sighed and leaned back against the top step. "You know the story? About the incredible Alpha and I?"
"Yeah, Jake told me."
"Figured, blabbermouthed little shit, isn't he?"
"How would you feel?" Leah asked without looking at her. "If it happened to you and you were forced to live in your ex's head? To follow his orders?"
She had a point, Bella silently conceded. "But isn't it exhausting? Being so bitter, I mean?"
"I'm not bitter."
Bella shot her an incredulous look.
"Well, maybe a little bit. But I think I have a right to be. And you, why aren't you more fucking angry? The bloodsucker abandons you in the woods and you're still fawning over him. What the hell's your problem?"
Bristling at her tone, Bella tensed up to snap back...but, maybe she was right? Why wasn't she more angry? She thought back to her ill-thought relationship with Edward and realized that she had a lot to be angry about. He'd treated her like a child. A precious one, but still a child. "You don't want to do that, do you? Don't you think the blue looks better, Bella? You should listen to Alice more, she's very knowledgeable about this sort of thing. I have your best interests at heart, you know that. If you loved me, you'd listen to me."
Oh my god, she thought, a little frantically. When had she become a doormat? So willing to please that she let him dress her up and parade her around like a little human barbie doll. Was this what the pack thought about her? That she was spineless?
She looked at Leah with astonished, tear-filled eyes. "Oh."
"Yeah, oh," Leah replied, not unsympathetically. "Men are the pits."
"Would you take it back?" Bella wondered out loud.
"Maybe. Parts of it at least. The sex definitely. I hate that he was my first. Feels like I gave him something he didn't deserve."
Bella couldn't understand that. She'd done everything short of stripping and swinging on a pole to get Edward to give it up. "At least you know he wanted you. That you're desirable, you know?"
"Fuck that. I'd sew my hymen back together if I could."
Choking and sputtering on her most recent sip of liquor, Bella howled. "But why? Isn't it better to not have to worry about jumping over that hurdle anymore?"
"Whatever. I'd be more satisfied if I were able to hold it over his head that he'd never been inside of me. Seems to make him even more unbearably smug. Although memories do 'slip' into the pack mind at opportune times." Leah gave a slightly evil grin. "Sometimes I wonder how Saint Emily would feel if she knew that her precious imprint still pictures me naked from time to time."
"She's a nice person, you know."
"Yeah, yeah. Nice. Although, I guess if I was looking for payback, I didn't have to work very hard."
"What do you mean?"
Leah knocked her shoulder into Bella's and gave a short, albeit genuine, laugh. "He tries to keep it to himself, but she's not very adventurous in the bedroom. It's all missionary with the lights out in the Uley house these days."
Bella blushed and gave a semi-shocked laugh. "I take it you were more, um, adventurous?"
"So," Bella said, a mischievousness of her own seeping into her voice, "wouldn't the ultimate payback be moving on yourself?"
"I can't help but think that you being happy would take care of the anger problem. And, well, if you're having great sex, than you're still kinda slamming it home, since there aren't any secrets between you all."
"Oh, Swan," Leah breathed. She was kind of in awe. "You are so much more devious than you first appear."
"What?" Bella was interrupted by warm lips pressed against hers. It was strange, though not entirely unpleasant.
"Oh yeah," Paul's voice drifted across the yard. "Someone please tell me that was real."
"What...what?" Bella sputtered, trying to stay quiet.
Leah leaned in and whispered, "That was the very first step in taking my life back."
"You're welcome," Bella muttered, still mildly dazed. One thing had become very clear for her, though. Leah wasn't the only one who needed to move on. And, looking at the pack of bare-chested muscle striding toward them, Bella had a feeling it wouldn't be too much of a hardship. And hey, at least loving a vampire had led her to her current view. Maybe it was time to start making some lemonade.