Summary: Sam Uley loves Leah Clearwater, and he doesn't know how to stop. Not when he is the first of his generation to turn into a monster, nor when she is the second only weeks later. Not even after the spirits choose for him another.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of Stephenie Meyer. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Rating: M for sexuality and violence.
Long, rambling A/N: This is a love story. For those of you who read my first fanfic, Dreamscapes, you may recognize that I wrote it in order to take Bella along a character arc that (I hope) developed her from a believably in-character girl generally consistent with canon into a protagonist I could respect, a girl who actually deserved the devotion that Jacob gave her. (And to write smut. Who am I kidding, I wrote it for the lemons).
Along the way, I started thinking about the supporting cast of characters more deeply than I'd bothered to do before, and I fell in love with Leah, who deserves a much better ending than the one she got in BD. I dabbled with this in Revelations as well as two shorter stories, and in so doing I struggled with her relationship with Sam. From what we know of them, they supposedly had a genuinely loving relationship before he imprinted, and we are given no indication that Leah in any way deserved what happened to her. Moreover, the concept of imprinting disturbs me deeply (in particular, it's removal of free will, which devalues real relationships and the honest and hard work it takes to keep them healthy and mutually supportive). Therefore I keep wanting Sam to break his imprint and return to Leah, and I love reading stories in which this happens. But after everything that happened off-screen between him and Emily, I could never quite justify why Leah would take him back. So the more I thought about this pair, the more I realized I wanted to write a version of their story in which Sam might actually deserve Leah. And since I can't resist Jacob/Bella, they'll be a part of this too. Eventually. Sometime after Emily shows up.
For orientation purposes, Emily is one year older than Sam, Leah, Rachel, and Rebecca Black; Bella, Jared and Paul are one year younger; Jacob, Embry and Quil are three years younger; Seth is four years younger.
Updates will be slower than they were for my previous stories due to RL. But the whole story is plotted out, epilogue and all, so it will be completed. I hope you enjoy it.
Sam Uley couldn't remember a specific moment when he had fallen for Leah Clearwater, because there wasn't a time in his memory when he hadn't loved her. She, or rather, the romantic girl she once was would have loved to have been able to say that they lay in adjacent bassinets in the nursery at Forks Community Hospital, but it was not the case. His birth preceded hers by an entire six month span, although she acted as if the opposite was true. But he reminded her that three and a half was much older than three, and the difference between four and three and a half even bigger. She didn't seem to mind.
It actually took them months to finally meet. He was seven and a half months old; she was just six weeks. Sammy had finally gone down for a nap, or so his mother told him, when a red-faced banshee was carried into the room and began screaming bloody murder when her mother handed her away. Sue had wanted to take more time off to be with her new baby, but money was tight, so she reluctantly dropped her off at the daycare where Allison Uley watched over the children less than a year old. Immediately upon being placed into Allison's capable arms, her high pitched squall began, instantly waking Sammy and startling the two other infants in the room. Within seconds the other babies decided to harmonize with Leah's new melody, and Sue backed slowly out of the room with guilty horror.
Sam's mother claimed that Leah did not stop screaming (except to gasp in desperate lungfuls of air) for fifty three minutes straight. Allison was somewhat used to this, of course, from her line of work. But not a single thing seemed to calm the tiny baby. Not changing, feeding, rocking, walking, singing, swaddling, shushing, or soothing. She tried sticking a pacifier in Leah's open mouth, but it was promptly ejected onto the floor. She attempted to dip the small rubber nipple into sugar water and reinsert it, but this only seemed to make Leah angry. She flipped the baby onto her stomach and cradled her along her forearm and began to gently swing her back and forth. Leah squirmed so much she was afraid she'd drop her, and there was no discernible lowering of the decibel output. She tried putting her down in an empty bassinet, but Leah just started to thrash. She peppered kisses all over the infant's cheeks and got a faceful of slobber for her trouble. Then Roy Jameson, who was slightly older than Sammy, reached around the phone cord hanging low over his crib and yanked, nearly pulling the appliance down on his own head. Allison dropped Leah into the nearest available space, Sammy's crib, and caught the phone before it fell.
The sudden silence in the room stunned her. Allison was afraid she had dropped Leah onto her head. But when she turned around, Leah had a thick lock of Sammy's hair grasped in her miniature fist and a serene look on her face. Sammy wasn't moving at all, but his eyes turned up to try to determine what was going on above and next to him, unable to actually move his head due to Leah's unusually strong hold. After a few long beats he reached up to explore what was happening to him, but his pudgy arms were too short to reach to the top of his head. Instead his fingers ran into the fabric of Leah's onesie. He latched on to the cotton with a vice grip. No sounds were exchanged. Neither of them let go of the other for another four minutes, at which time their respective grasps relaxed into sleep. And from then on if Allison couldn't calm Leah, she handed her to the not-so-capable arms of her son and thus achieved blessed silence.
Oddly, if Sammy was the only one with the power to quiet Leah, she was the only one who could coax him to speak. His first word, mama, arrived on time at seven months of age. But his second didn't appear until he was a year old. It was LeeLee. Then there no more words of any kind until he was almost two years old. At first Allison was worried that something was wrong. His pediatrician tested his hearing, wondering if he might be partly deaf. But the rest of his developmental milestones were on task, so once his perfectly normal hearing was confirmed, the doctor tried to reassure Allison that everything was probably fine. Sammy was just a quiet and thoughtful child. Eventually the young mother came to realize something important while watching Sammy and Leah. He didn't need to speak, not around her. Leah always knew what he wanted to say, and she said it much more clearly than he did.
If Leah called out, "Baba," Allison knew to give her a bottle. But upon receiving said bottle, if she screwed up her face in anger and yelled, "Bababababa!", Allison knew to give it to her son instead. If Leah said, "Up," Allison picked her up. But if Leah cried, "Upupupupup!", Allison would turn around and find her son behind her waving his arms in the air toward her. And when Leah wasn't nearby, Allison was well in tune with her baby's needs, and he didn't have to say what he needed because his mother was very good at figuring it out.
Of course, his silence didn't last forever. Leah might have been willing to speak on his behalf, but it didn't mean she didn't want to hear him. If she was upset, his small voice calling out "Leeleeleeleeleeleelee" calmed her. Eventually even that wasn't enough to soothe her, though. She wanted more from him. So when he was twenty two months old and she was sixteen months, she startled to pat at his mouth with her fingers ordering, "Say!" Allison wasn't certain exactly what this meant since Leah lacked the enunciation to say either "Sammy" or "Sam". His name when issuing from her mouth sounded like "say". But one way or another, if she said the word and stuck her hand in his face, she wanted him to talk to her.
So he did. Sam went from saying only "mama" and "LeeLee" directly to "LeeLee have cookie. Sammy want cookie." And after speaking his third, fourth, fifth, and sixth words ever, in sentence fragments no less, Sam reached for the treat in Leah's other hand and stuffed it in his mouth. Instead of getting angry, Leah just grinned at him with her new teeth and picked up a chocolate chip that had fallen off and munched on it happily.
When they were older, Leah doubted the veracity of such tales, but Sam believed every word. He couldn't actually remember that far back, but it certainly sounded like him, and it definitely sounded like her.
When he was old enough, he was grateful that Sue had chosen his mother's daycare for Leah. He heard someone use the phrase "like ships passing in the night" and asked his mother what it meant. He was disturbed by the idea of people coming into close contact and just barely missing one another, and he tried to imagine what his life would be like without the presence of key figures. His mother and father, of course, and LeeLee. No LeeLee was almost as unfathomable as no Mommy or Daddy. And he realized that if it weren't for the daycare, he wouldn't have known her until they both got to the tribal school.
Their mothers knew each other since every single person on the tiny reservation knew every single other person, but they weren't close friends despite having children so close in age. And despite the fact that Sue Clearwater (nee Uley) was distantly related to Joshua Uley, it wasn't as if Sue's maiden name got them invitations to the Clearwater house for dinner, nor would Joshua have gone if invited. Sue herself could never remember if they were second cousins once removed or third cousins not removed at all, nor what either of those things actually meant. Joshua had no idea and didn't care.
But thankfully, Sue had brought Leah into his life, and there was really no need to worry about LeeLee going anywhere. They had found each other, and they weren't letting go.
Sammy trailed after Leah everywhere they went. He was always big for his age and in comparison, she looked tiny. But even though he was so much bigger and an entire half a year older, there was no question who was in charge. Leah always knew what she wanted to do and where she wanted to go. And she was so good at finding fun things to explore that Sam didn't hesitate to follow. If left to his own devices, he would probably have stayed unquestioningly by his mother's side when they went to the beach or played in the park. But Leah always wanted to see what was around the bend, over the hill, or under the rock. So she ran ahead and discovered things like a perfect climbing tree, a giant puddle, or the biggest grubs they had ever seen. Sammy couldn't let himself be outdone. So if she clambered up the branches, he hoisted himself up next to her. If she ran through the water, he jumped in with both feet and splashed her. If she poked the grub with a stick, he picked it up with his bare fingers. Then she might dare him to eat it, and he'd throw the squirming thing back onto the ground and they'd both shudder in delighted horror.
Things got even better when a treehouse appeared in Leah's backyard. Or rather, when Harry Clearwater, Billy Black, and Charlie Swan spent a long weekend drinking beer and trying not to nail their fingers to two-by-fours. By Monday afternoon, a surprisingly sturdy structure was settled fifteen feet off the ground, and only one of the three men had fallen out of the tree.
Leah was thrilled and Sam was ecstatic. They had both been vibrating on the ground below waiting for it to be completed. A hugely pregnant Sue leaned on the back porch and watched the two children scramble up the swinging rope ladder. Then she thanked her husband and his friends for making their little girl so happy before calling up to Leah that her about-to-be baby brother had told her to give Leah the gift on his behalf. Leah's head poked through the little window facing the house and asked, "When can he come up? I want him to see it!" Sue explained that he would arrive any day now, but that it would be years before he could climb as well as his sister. Sammy declared that no one would ever be as good a climber as Leah.
The kids stayed in the treehouse for hours that first day. They giggled when they realized that no one could get to them without the ladder and immediately pulled it up. They lowered a basket from time to time so that Harry could pass them flashlights or sticks or styrofoam cups or balls of twine, and later so that Sue could pass up sandwiches, juice boxes, and finally pillows and blankets. It was the first night they spent sleeping curled together in the treehouse, but it would not be the last.
Climbing into the treehouse was great fun, but as the weather turned cooler Sammy quickly realized that it wasn't always the most comfortable place to try to sleep. And if he wanted a calm place to go when his father was yelling or his mother was making that awful sobbing sound, the treehouse was his first stop. But often LeeLee was in her room instead of the treehouse, and he didn't want to go knocking on the front door and asking someone else for her. So he quickly realized that the roof overlying the back porch was just underneath her window, and the railing of the porch, the support studs for the roof, the adjacent trellis for Sue's plants, and the pipe that drained the gutter water were almost as easy to climb as the rope ladder.
The first time he climbed into her room, Leah heard him coming (apparently he wasn't as stealthy as he thought he was) and opened the window. She was leaning out by the time he hoisted himself onto the roof. She grinned at him, and he saw that she was already in her penguin pyjamas and had lost her first tooth since the last time he saw her two days prior. "You're a monkey!" she declared.
He frowned. "I'm not a monkey. I'm, uh, a gorilla. A big one."
Sam didn't know what that was, so she tugged him in through the window and got her animal book off her bookshelf. They made a tent out of the blankets on her bed and huddled inside the small, warm space with the book and a flashlight. Both of them fell asleep within minutes since it was well after eleven o'clock, and neither woke up three hours later when a frantic Allison called the house, nor when Sue opened the door to find a glowing lump under the sheets that was much too large to only be her daughter. Sammy did finally awaken ten minutes after that to find a tearful and disheveled Allison hovering above them. He was about to resist leaving the squishy comfort of his best friend when he spotted the sadness and fear in his mother's eyes, so he just turned back to his LeeLee to squeeze her goodbye. She mumbled something that might have been his name before rolling over, and he followed his mother home.
Two nights later, he was back in Leah's bed again.