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Shattered- Twilight

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Nov. 15th, 2010 | 12:23 am
posted by: merefish in rinfic

pairing: Jacob/Bella
series: Twilight
rated: R for language and some unpleasantness.
notes: Follows "Selfish". I wasn't happy with where I left them, and I'm still not.




Jacob rolls over, picking himself up from the bottom of a crater that is easily twenty five feet deep. He's laid at the bottom of it for a good forty minutes, for the most part thinking how much he wishes it had fucking worked, and a tiny, tiny part glad it had not.

He'd thrown himself off the bridge- an old railroad crossing spanning a dried-out river valley somewhere in the New Mexico desert- and had easily dropped a thousand feet into the sun-baked adobe, permanently altering the landscape but doing nothing- nothing to his recently vampirized body. He sits the rest of the day away, staring at the clouds. It is easy to waste a single day when there's an eternity of them stretching ahead of you.

His skin, still unfamiliar in it's dusky imitation of his once tanned expanse, shimmers in the sun like a mirage. She sees him from five miles out, or more, but suspects that she wouldn't need her own vampire senses to do so. He stands out, even amongst the formerly living that she's known.

Bella.

He knows she's coming- she hasn't left him alone since she took his life, knows that she will flash into sight and settle down beside him until he decides to move again, no matter if it takes a day or a week. She's an old enough vampire to control her thirst, and he has enough self-control from his days of phasing to beat back the disgusting fire in his throat. They haven't spoken much since the cabin four months ago. He had asked her one question, and gotten one answer. Unsatisfied with it, he's sought his own solution.

--

"Can I go to the Volturi?" The shock was still in the cabin, the elephant in the corner.

"They won't kill you," she'd responded. "You're an oddity, Jacob, and Aro loves his collection of oddities. He'll starve you into submission before he lets you leave Volterra- or this world, for that matter."


Then the door had slammed as he flew from the room, propelled by his rage, straight into a cliff. He hit it at astonishing speed, and Bella followed, anxious and concerned, only to watch him yank his lithe, muscular body out of the ruined rock and shake as though it were an insect annoying him rather than thousands of tons of shale. She stared at him, and called, "You're immortal, not invincible, you know."

"What are you talking about?" he'd snarled back. "It didn't feel like anything."

"Nothing?" Her fear overrode her already admittedly slim sense of self-preservation; she glided over to his side and grabbed one hand, yanking as hard as she could. His eyes were empty and blank as her weight failed to shift him. She put all of her significant strength into yanking on him, dropping the limb in horror as it began to tear his skin, revealing dull, beet-colored sinew below. His expression remained the same, unaffected. Instantly, fluid wept from the wound and began to knit the skin back together.

"You couldn't feel that?"

He whirled on her suddenly, his newborn agility obvious; he snatched her arm and before he'd even begun to repeat her motions, she screamed in pain and hissed, her teeth involuntarily coating with venom and her pupils dilating. At her shriek, he stepped back several paces, looking, if possible, even more disgusted with himself.

"I didn't mean to hurt you." His voice is soft now, muted, wondering. A Jacob she never wanted to see- and the one she was responsible for creating. She had closed her eyes and thought back, the photographic images of her memory flashing, scanning pages read and words committed to her now endless resource of storage.

"You're talented. You have an ability; you can't feel pain. You're-" she stumbled over the word- "a perfect warrior. Unlimited in your capacity for viciousness, since your reflexes cannot be distracted by agony. You'd better never see Aro now; he'd put you on his personal guard."

A flicker of him reignited at the challenge.

"Well don't worry your heart too much, honey"-the playful nickname now dripping with sarcasm-"because I don't plan on being half-dead long enough for that to matter."

---

In the last four months there had been many ravines leapt into, a walk across the bottom of Lake Superior, an industrial-strength wind turbine bent beyond all saving, and two trains thrown off their tracks in the middle of the night by his attempted suicides. Fortunately, Bella had been close enough to catch the locomotives and place them gently back on the rails before their drowsing passengers had startled in their slumber. He thought of diving into volcano, but a lingering, wild-animal fear of fire, and a personal fear of burning to death kept him off the rims of any active lava pits. He was still contemplating walking across the ocean's floor to Hawaii, though, just to analyze the prospect of a Burning Man recreation first-hand.

Bella was always right there. Jacob had no idea what had happened to Edward or even Nessie; already, his human relationships, his Brother Wolf, his imprint felt like another world, an afternoon matinee he'd attended but never a life he'd lived. Bella trailed behind him, as she had before she'd turned him; as a human, he had suspected at times that she had been on his trail since Nessie's rejection, but now he knew for certain that she had.

At the bottom of his latest ecological disaster, he glances at her left hand. Her ring finger is empty, smooth and glittering softly; it does not dazzle him, though at one time the sudden disappearance of her diamonds would have put his heart straight out of his seldom-worn shirt sleeves; go ahead and take it, take everything I have; I don't want it anyway. After a pair of lives lived in tandem but never together, she still has a hold on his heart, dead though it lies in his chest.

He reaches for her and points at the open place above her knuckle. "Divorced?"

"Something like that." She acts as though she were expecting this for weeks, like she thinks they can so easily go back to the people they always were, just Jake and Bells on a Wednesday afternoon in the garage. The problem, of course, is that they aren't people anymore, and the reason he is not a person is because she, as a vampire, killed him, and the reason that she is a vampire is because of god-damned Edward Cullen, who has, in fact, damned them all by proxy due to the fact that he himself is damned and took a fucking human as a wife. A human he in turn impregnated, leading directly to the resulting clusterfuck of Jacob's current situation.

He reaches out and grinds a nearby cactus between his fingers, the spines bending and moisture bleeding out of the green fleshly bits as he broods. Amazingly, she swats at his hand, just as he reaches to tear another arm off it.

"Leave it alone, it's a Cirio cactus; they're endangered."

And with that- that stupid, moronic, utterly Bella thing to say, a vampire concerned about a plant, he feels a bit of his old weakness slipping back. The little part of him that's still glad to exist is the same bit that will forgive her trespasses every time. His trust in her is shattered, now, but they have forever- however long that might be- for it to begin to heal.

He lets her follow him for just a while longer, smiling to himself as he imagines walking straight into the Pacific ocean. The salt water is going to ruin her hair.

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