Author's Note: I know, I know, I know. I suck. I have two projects coming up—two!—and I'm still writing my little songfic-type, Jella-angst, let's-take-a-look-inside-of-Bella's-head one-shots. The thing is, though, I can't start the project I'm most excited for (an upcoming Blackwater/Quileute fic) until I finish the big one-shot I'm writing right now (Youth Knows No Pain, Part II)… and that is taking me f-o-r-e-v-e-r. So, until I can get the ovaries to finish that, the little one-shots like this (and "Hot and Cold in a Lonely Hotel Room" and "Palm Trees in Black and White" and "The Only Way to Heal" and all of those other little one-shots) are gonna keep coming. What can you say? I'm crazy. Sooo, anyway, here is "Hands into the Flame." It is a sequel of some sorts to "Every Fire is a Lesson Learned." Yeah, I know. I am silly. I write all these little one-shots, label them as complete, and then write stupid sequels to them. I'm insane! All of these little second-person, Bella-to-Jacob, angsty one-shots are interconnected, and they really shouldn't be. …Damn. I need to start a one-shot burrow or something. But here's the catch: I'm obsessed with getting the number of fics I have up. I am totally obsessed with it. I'm at like 28 now (29 including this!). I want to get to 30 soon. Now before this note gets longer than the actual story, here it is.


Hands into the Flame


touch me and then turn away / and put your hands into the flame

tell me if you feel this pain / cause I don't want to be a ball and chain

Ellie Goulding, "Hanging On"


x

I don't come back.

You don't want me to get hurt. Why would I take that chance again? I'm tired of being stupid. I'm tired of being hopeless. I'm tired of being confused.

I don't want to care anymore.

I tried, Jacob. I tried. But you pushed me away.

So I'm not going to come back, ever. It's not me that's the problem, after all. It's you, remember? Someday, you're really going to regret pushing me away. You have only carved fresh, bigger holes into my chest. You have only given me false support, just as I gave you false hope. And look at where we are now. We're apart. You've dropped me, and I've stopped caring.

I never wanted to stop caring. I never wanted you to leave me.

I know you've been hurt. I know you're suffering right now. Sam isn't helping you. Hell no. He took you away from me. He pried you from my loose grip that I should have made righter. I know you didn't choose this. You didn't choose to hurt me, to leave me burned, and to leave me frustrated. You may be almost as frustrated as I am, but I doubt it. I can't make anybody as discouraged as you have made me. I know you didn't do this on purpose, though.

I'm still going to treat you like you did, Jake.

I never meant to distrust you. I never meant to lose you, or to hurt you, or to give you false hope.

I never meant to love you in the first place. I never even meant to be loved by you in the first place.

I guess love chooses you sometimes.

Pain doesn't.

I don't want to cry anymore. I am so tired of sitting in my bed, under the protection of my comforter, and moping, but here I am. I don't know how much time has passed. Who cares about time, anyway? Not me.

And certainly not you, since you just had to leave me at one of the worse times possible.

Even as I keep telling myself, Leave it all alone, he doesn't love you, you don't care anymore, I can't bring myself to stop caring. It's hard to suddenly stop caring about someone that you care for and would protect with your life.

I was right all along; love really does give someone the power to break you. But what's the case if you're already broken and you inadvertently love another person?

I hope you can feel this pain. I've felt this pain for days now. It feels like weeks, or months, or years. How am I supposed to keep hanging on to you and I when I am in so much pain? I don't want to anchor myself to you, but I need to know.

Oh, God.

I'm so weak.

I'm starting to care again. How is that even healthy, when I'm not fixed myself yet? I know an answer to that: it's not healthy.

I can't help but worry about you, Jake. Pathetic, right? I can't leave you alone. I don't want to. I don't want to be without you. I was lucky enough to have you in the first place; why should I have to lose you for good?

I want to understand now. I just want to help. That's the difference between you and Edward: I can't help Edward; he wouldn't let me. I can't save him or play the hero.

I want to be your hero. It's the least I could do, since you're mine.

I can't not forgive you, Jake. It's like we're a middle-aged married couple that disagree and disappoint each other but in the end still love each other unconditionally.

I want to take a chance with you. I already can't leave you alone. I need to… I need to figure you out now.

I never knew you were going to visit me tonight, though. I never, ever anticipated on you climbing up the tree near my window like the lovable fool you are, swinging into my bedroom agilely, and giving me a smile that nearly makes me sick because it's not you.

You tell me you're sorry. You approach me, begging for my forgiveness with your arms open with a hug.

Do you really think you can win me over like that? You give me the puppy-dog eyes and expect me to become putty in your hands? You expect me to forgive you as if nothing happened? As if you didn't leave me in the cold, burned by my memories of you, or of us?

I can't stand this. I want to forgive you, Jacob.

I just can't forgive you now.

Time obviously doesn't apply to you; you've never really given me time, and that is all I need right now. Time to sleep, time to breathe, time to get my thoughts together…

But how much time do you have?

You sit down on my bed, since you "literally can't" explain what's going on, and I can't help but be selfish. I wouldn't let you reach out and touch me, but here I am, reaching out and connecting with you. That's the difference between us: I can't open up or accept anything; you can. You've accepted me for all that I am, every broken bit and piece of me.

I put my hands on your burning hot cheeks, stroking them with my thumbs. I've tried to let you go before. I've tried to let you down easy. Here I am, though, back at the flame. I can't pull away. I am not like a child, pulling away from the flame as an instinct; I am like a moth, unapologetically attracted to the flame, never leaving it alone.

"I hate what they've done to you."

Did those words really slip from my lips?

Yes. Yes, they did. Good.

You look up at me and bring my arm down. You notice the cold, crescent-shaped bite mark on my arm and you stroke it gently, as if you'll open up a thousand stories and explanations if you're not careful enough. You want that to happen, though. You don't care about the consequences. You just want me to open up.

You know I can't.

I cover the mark on my arm. Time is all I need. You just need to give me time.

According to you, I already know what's wrong. I just need to recall the memories of us on the beach, which was so long ago. We'd only been kids then. There were no rivers to divide us back then, but nothing to keep us together, either.

There has to be something you can do, though. I don't care that you're in it for life. You need to do something.

We have to do something.

I want to run away with you. I would take all the pain for you if I could. I wouldn't do this for anybody else. Edward is irrelevant now. This is… this is you. This is us.

This is Jake and Bells.

Edward can't change that. Only we can.

We need to get away. The thing is with loving someone, you would do anything for them. You would risk anything for them. I don't want to just feel love; I want to feel strength and I want you to feel better. This is a two-way situation. You can't just save me all the time. I still want to be your hero.

And you want me to be your hero. I know you do. You said it yourself, Jake. You would run away with me… if you could.

Why can't you? Sam's not holding a gun to your head. Please, just come with me. Don't say a word. Just run with me. Fly with me. Forget everything and just be with me. I don't care if—

Now you have to go?

No.

No.

I don't want you to go. Not again. I am so above not caring. You already know I'm incapable of finishing what I've started. I'm hopelessly desperate to have you here. Not as a crutch but… but a human being. I can't lean on you now that you need to lean on me. We both can't be weak here. We'd crumble. I can feel you slipping away from me—slipping away from yourself—now.

Before I know it, you pull me in for a hug. No, it can't just be called a hug. This is much, much more than that. This is…

This is the epitome of us. Our friendship. Everything.

And as of now, this is the one rock-solid thing between us. Even if you left me in the cold like that, frozen in shock and heartbreak, you know how to thaw me out a little with a hug like this.

Your warmth makes me shiver at first, but I eventually sigh into your torso. My arms are wrapped around your muscles and I know that that's where they belong. We belong like this. We deserve to be solid. I should be able to count on you to be there. You're the sun to me. The air. Without you, I'm nothing. I'm dead.

I want to open up to you. I'll do that when I figure out what's happening, though. All we need is time, even as it's ticking and ticking…

You pull away from me, and I immediately need the warmth back. I yearn for your touch more than I probably should. I love you just a little too much. Isn't it obvious?

I never stick to what I say or think I'm going to do. I can't leave you alone, Jacob. I don't want to. It's easy to say that I'm a pathetic, helpless moth in comparison to your bright, scorching flame. I don't want to change that, though. Wherever you go, I'll go with you. I've lost you before; I can't lose you again.

I can hang on. We can hang on.

A little time is all it takes.

x