Disclaimer: I do not own Stephanie Meyer's Twilight or any of its related characters, plot points or merchandise. I make no profit from this story and no offence is intended by the opinions or actions of characters within.
A/N: This relates to my Running Through Rainstorms series however can be followed without having read that. From the universe Angela and Jasper are together, and everything else remains canon except for Renesmee who has become the human girl Nessie that Jacob has imprinted on. As context for this story, Jacob, Quill, Angela and Bella are being hunted throughout the woods without help, Jacob has broken his leg and it has started to set badly. Can be read as Jacob/Angela.
"Just jump and give it all you've got." Quinn's instructions vibrate through Angela from where his hands are creating a reassuring weight on her forearms. His hands are large, so much so that the hot, heavy weight that comes from his wolfish nature has snaked itself around her entire forearm from the elbow downwards. "You can do this Angie, just stick the landing."
She nods and bites her lip. For a second she thinks about how this must look to passers-by, but then she remembers there is only the creatures, the trees and the wind. It's just the four of them. One in charge, one broken, one shielded and one too delicate to be doing what she's asked.
"You can do this," Bella murmurs reassuringly from somewhere over her shoulder as if some of her husband's mind reading power has rubbed off on her. She can do this. She most definitely can do this.
"I'll count to three," Quinn is saying. His voice is thick and warm like honey and Angela almost laughs because she's always hated honey and she's starting to feel that again now. Jacob groans wetly beneath them as if he's about to cough up blood.
"We look like some sort of acrobatic act gone wrong," Angela's voice sounds wrong to her own ears. She can hear the wavering of doubt in it, the hysteria that's building. She thinks it may only get worse.
"Angie, just listen to me and I'll count down from three okay." She can tell Quinn is looking at her like he's trying not to scare her. She's reminded of the time Claire crashed her car. She'd been horrified when she'd found out that she'd hit the dog she was swerving for and Quinn had had to sit with her on the side of the road for a good three hours after emergency had checked her over and cleared the scene. Angela had been there. She had admired his technique then.
"Yep. You're right. I can do this on three," her throat is clearer now and she can feel icy determination setting into her muscles. She doesn't want to jump. They look ridiculous the two of them. Quinn with his darkly tanned hands braced against her pasty forearms, standing like a sumo wrestler waiting to catch her. Her hands are gripping the skin near his elbows like it's going to save her from dying. Her hands barely cover the width of his arms.
Jacob lets out another groan though Angela thinks it may be more of a sob now. The boy is curled onto his side, legs twisted so that one, the top one, is lying straight out. His other leg twitches, thrown jarringly at a ninety degree angle between Quinn's feet. She wishes there was someone else here to do this, but everyone else has already been counted out. Bella is too strong; she'd snap him in half. Quinn is much the same, he wouldn't know how to control the pressure; wouldn't get up in time.
She wishes Jasper was here. He would have the control to fix it, unlike Bella. She feels Quinn's muscles begin to tense beneath her grip as he readies himself. It's just one jump, a drop and a catch. It has to be done. There is no going around it. It is fight or flight and they are determined to fight their way out of this mess. Lost in the woods and hunted is not how Angela pictured she would be going.
Her nails dig so hard into Quinn's arm that she's surprised he isn't bleeding. For a second she almost feels as if time has stopped and just left her hanging there in mid-air above a sobbing werewolf. With a short growl she braces her legs up and then thrusts them down without mercy.
After that there is a quick whoosh as Quinn grabs her back up and swings her backwards with a force that almost knocks the breath from her. His arms steady her on the ground but let go too soon and she stumbles a second before catching herself. The adrenaline pumping makes it seem like everything is moving in slow motion. All she can hear is the rush of air and a distant buzz like her ears have been entirely stuffed with cotton wool.
"Ah," she can hear the sharp intake of air her that she takes as the fingers of her right hand brush the dirt and then push into the ground to throw her upright again. With a crashing that she vaguely remembers experiencing before, her breathing rushes back to her ears and the buzzing becomes a high pitched growl followed by some keening noise that makes her insides throb nervously with sympathetic affection.
"Move," her hands are pushing at Bella's arm as if they can move her, and they do so without her own minds consent. But the stony exterior of white skin and deadly muscle move under her hands anyway, as does tanned heat and cropped dark hair, "Jacob?"
He screams brokenly from below her and her hands rush first to his face where his cheeks have caved in as if hollow. The noise lessens at the touch and she can almost feel the relief as he shoves his face roughly into her palm and breathes in the heady human scent. Angela wonders when she found the strength to do these things.
"You need to pull his leg straight," her voice is the one that speaks into the dampened air but it doesn't feel like it. Angela is weirdly disjointed from her body, like she's watching the three of them crowd around Jacob and analysing the situation from afar, "You need to pull it straight now before it starts to set again. We can't do this twice."
Quinn makes a noise like he's out of breath but moves towards Jacobs's feet anyway. He hesitates a second with his hand hovering above his ankle, as if he's forgetting something that should be important. He stands straight and Angela can pointedly feel him starring at the back of her head, Jacob forgotten.
"He might turn and kill you, he's weak and vulnerable and too strong for you," Quinn is reciting it like a speech but they all know that Angela has to be the one that sits and nurses him anyway, because the only thing more dangerous than a werewolf biting her head off is a werewolf who has torn a vampire and one of his own apart and is then coming to bite her head off.
"Just do it." Angela doesn't like how her voice sounds so defeated. She's tired. She's been tired for a while now.
Quinn bends down to Jacob's ankle again and wraps his fingers gently around it. As if by second thought he motions Bella backwards and she's by the trees in the blink of an eye. Angela wraps her hands around Jacob's head, holding it gently against the dry, grassy ground, "it's going to be alright. Okay? It's all going to be alright."
Quinn makes a breathy noise and Angela steals herself, muscles tightening from her jaw down through her neck and torso until it's her fingers that are tightening against Jacob's face. His eyes snap open intently and stare at her, a heady pool of darkness. They barely look human, but regardless they look afraid.
It's a simple pull and all of a sudden there is too much for Angela. Too much heat beneath her hands and too much noise as Jacob lets loose a feral growl that breaks off into howling and then wracking sobs. His body tries to throw himself upright and all Angela can do is throw herself forward and hope that she is enough. Enough reassurance, enough weight.
Her face is tipped into the crook of his neck and she can feel herself breathing raggedly against his skin, her own hot breath pushing back into her space. It's hot and uncomfortable and she can register her hands wrapped around Jacob's neck slick with sweat and burning. She can hear his rough breathing in her ear and she knows that it's not entirely human. There's an animal smell pervading her every inhale and she wonders if this is what it's like for Jasper all the time. The sheer heavy presence of scent is almost overwhelming.
"Angela?" Quinn's voice is hesitant from somewhere nearby, quiet, but loud enough that she knows he has moved back towards the trees a considerable way. She moves to raise a hand and turn her head to acknowledge his unspoken question but the grip that she can suddenly register on her hips makes her freeze.
Jacob's fingers are hot and heavy and they press sharply like blunt knives against her hip and her waist. She can feel them dig almost imperceptibly further into her skin as she adjusts her position, but they relax as she sags against him the tension from her body gone.
Jacob's breath is like steam against her cheek and Angela feels like she should be holding her breath. She's done this before. Jasper sometimes needs her to be strong for him like this. If she stays very still it should all fade into the realms of okay.
Jacob makes a low growling noise in the back of his throat and Angela can tell Quinn has tried to move closer. The noise is vibrating through every part of her body and when it stops she feels momentarily cold. Jacob's teeth gently graze the side of her cheek and travel down her jaw to her neck.
Her breath catches and the sudden movement makes Jacob clutch her tighter again. His fingers dig in and a small noise from the back of her throat escapes unbidden. It hurts. She can tell that he isn't piercing the skin, but the bruises she knows she will feel in the morning; the next month of mornings.
"Jacob?" her voice is quiet, it tremors and the damp animal smell catches her by surprise again as it thickens with the opening of her mouth, "Jacob, you're hurting me."
His breath rages up again and begins coming in bursts, his fingers dig but twist as if they aren't sure what they're supposed to be doing anymore and Angela leans her body away from the warmth of his chest so that she can look at his face. It is immovable like statue and his breath is indeed coming in short puffs of steam. His eyebrows are furrowed and his eyes are black like hollowed out pits, a thought that turns Angela cold but melts her insides with sympathy anyway.
"Jacob, you're hurting me," her voice is a little more structured now, a little louder, harsher, more forthright. She can see in his face and feel in the loaded grip of his fingers that he is registering her voice, her words, "it's just me."
His fingers squeeze at her hips tighter than before and for a second Angela thinks he may just crush her, her bones crumbling beneath the strength and weight of his hands. A breath catches, her heart pounds, her eyes begin to water and then Jacob snaps his head so that he's looking directly into her eyes.
His fingers gently ease backwards until his hands are just a light reassuring weight of heat on her hips, but they don't let go. Angela moves her hands to Jacobs face and just rests them on each of his cheeks, breathing with relief but wincing at the pained feeling of muscle and bone brought too closely against the skin.
"Angela?" it's quiet and ragged, an almost feral voice now, and Angela can tell that it's Jacob even though she can't discern the movement of his lips.
"It's going to be alright," her voice is a little shaky but Angela knows that it isn't fear, doubt or shock this time; it's relief.
"Okay," Jacob's voice is cracked and he still snarls instinctively in the back of his throat when Quinn tries to approach them from somewhere in Angela's peripheral vision, "…okay."
He drops his head forward onto Angela's shoulder and she wraps a hand around his neck. She makes a motion to Quinn and Bella with her free arm, hoping that it conveys what she wants it to convey. He's fine, I'm fine, we're fine, it's all alright. Her arm is heavy and it feels like its sinking in the air so she wraps it around Jacob's neck with her other and lets his broad shoulders take the weight for her. He makes a low noise in the back of his throat that feels like an apology and a complaint all at once and Angela smiles insanely dropping her head forward into his hair.
His nose pushes into the skin of her neck and he inhales deeply what she assumes is the human scent, bathing himself in it like he's washing himself clean and coming back to life like it should be. Angela lets herself smile for a little bit; let's herself forget that they're trapped in a forest and being hunted by rogue vampire assassins. She lets herself forget Jasper for a second. She forgets that he isn't there and lets her feelings wash over her.
Jacob's teeth scratch gently at the side of her neck again and Angela feels a forceful wash of love and security at the familiar contact. Jacob huffs like he's thinking of his love too, and Angela laughs, letting the blanket of hysteria comfort them both.