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The Black Swan

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Lupe loves napping in the sun as it flows in through the window of her camper van, warming but not over heating. She sighs softly and then pulls off her sunglasses as her step-brother Noah knocks on the window from outside of the camper, Lupe groans and looks to him, he smirks at her and sets his own sunglasses over his eyes before leaning in through the open side door.

“Morning” he greets overly happily, she hates that about him, he's always happy. Much like his father. Lupe's step-father. It's the Irish in them. Happy little leprechauns. And she loves them for it at the same time.

“Why the fuck are you awake?” she complains.

“The sky's awake, so I'm awake” he answers sing-songy and dramatically, she groans.

“No, don't quote Frozen you berk” she counters sitting up. “Seriously? Which of us is the bloody girl?” she climbs out of the camper her feet hitting the warm sand of the Mexican beach, she takes a deep breath and then turns back to the camper and pulls her bag closer and pulls out a shirt. “So what's say we hit up Los Mochis?” she asks changing her shirt, Noah shakes his head.

“You said you'd pick up your cousin” Noah reminds her, Lupe looks to him. “Bella” he adds, she makes a face and nods.

“Yeah” she stretches her neck and her hands out in front of her before bending down to touch her toes.

“We should be heading back anyway” he adds as he grabs his toiletry bag from the camper and pulls out his toothbrush and paste before he climbs into the camper. “It'll take about....9 maybe 10 hours to get to Phoenix” he points out looking over the map on the counter. “Depends how we get on at the border” Lupe sighs and throws her head back to look up at the sky.

“I'm going to miss Mexico” she admits sitting in the open side door pulling her boot up to retie the laces.

“We could always come back” he offers around his toothbrush, he leans over the sink and spits before turning to her. “Hey, maybe next time we can bring Bella, maybe she'll end up being really cool” she looks to him and shoots him a look.

“Last time I saw Bella” Lupe starts. “I was seven...and I was bored”

“You were seven” Noah argues.

“Well my Uncle Charlie has never moved, and the only place he's been on holiday is Phoenix....”

“Okay, if we're doing the apple thing, should we look at you” he teases nudging her back with his boot. “You and Ash are nothing a like....”

“Well neither are you and Pop” she argues standing and climbing into the camper.

“Nice defence” he counters with a smirk, she shoots him a look as he slides the door shut and they both climb into the front. Lupe rolls down the driver's side window and then starts the camper. “Know what I'm going to miss?” Noah asks grabbing a smokers tin from the dash, she looks to him. “Freedom” he answers, she shakes her head and starts to drive away.

“Your mom's not that bad” she counters as he rolls a joint with the weed in the tin. “She let you come to Mexico”

“Yeah, wearing this” he holds up the tracking pendant around his neck, Lupe looks to it and fights a laugh, it's hilarious really. “Not like yours” he mumbles. “Yours let you move out” she scoffs. “I love Ash” he tells her. “Ash is awesome” he adds and then licks along the paper to act as glue.

“Into the back garden” she argues back. “She let me move into the back garden”

“Yard” Noah corrects. “It's back yard. Damn English woman” he grumbles with a smirk.

“I can pull over and leave you in Guaymas” she threatens, he laughs and lights up. “I swear to whichever God is real I will do it” he laughs harder lighting the joint between his lips. She holds out her hand for it when it's lit.

“No” he argues. “You're driving....” he smirks at her as she shoots him a look.

“Since when does that matter?” she argues setting her hand back on the steering wheel. “Put the tape in” she tells him, Noah smirks and pushes the tape hanging out of the tape deck into the player. They both relax into their seats to enjoy the drive to Phoenix.

….....................

9 hours later, Phoenix, Arizona: Noah leans against the camper as Lupe knocks on the door of the house in front of her, her sort of Aunt Renee's, she actually rather likes the woman, completely out of Charlie's league. The door opens and suddenly Lupe is engulfed in arms. Renee's arms. Bella sighs behind her mother completely embarrassed by this display, Bella is more like Charlie is every way, not that Lupe is that different from them, none of them are people people, they prefer their own company and being alone, which seems to be a Swan trait. Renee pulls back from Lupe.

“Look at you all grown up” Renee coos pinching Lupe's cheek, Lupe smiles slightly as Noah chuckles away watching. “And so beautiful” Renee cups Lupe's cheeks and smiles. “I can't believe it's been nine years”

“Mom” Bella complains. “Leave Lupe alone” Though the last time they met was when they were 7, the cousins have been in contact over the years, swapping news and updates, and the likes. Bella actually likes hearing about Lupe's adventures, Ashlee is more free with her daughter, has been since she turned 15, since then Lupe's been travelling all over the place in what was her mother's camper, England is a small country after all, compared to America anyway, and the last 4 weeks in the states have been spent with Noah catching up and travelling whilst her mother and his father set up in Forks. And unfortunately it is now time to go back to reality.

“All packed?” Renee asks turning to Bella.

“Yes” Bella answers and then turns back into the house to grab her bag, Renee turns to Lupe.

“It must be weird for you, being in the states?” Renee asks, Lupe shrugs.

“Not really, I mean, not any more, at first it was...” Lupe admits. “Mostly because people kept staring when I talk, Americans have this weird thing about the British accent” Renee laughs and nods.

“We do” she agrees. “I don't know why” Renee admits, Lupe shrugs back in agreement. “Who's the young man by the camper?” Renee asks eyeing Noah over Lupe's shoulder.

“Noah” Lupe answers. “Pop's boy”

“Wow” Renee whispers. “I mean, the Irish must have something in them....” Lupe smirks a little and nods.

“Must be the Irish” she agrees as Bella returns with her things. “I'll let you both....have a moment” Lupe offers and heads towards the camper, Noah opens his arms and Lupe sets herself in them, resting her head over his heart as he wraps his arms around her. “I'm already exhausted....why do I have to fake nice?”

“Because you're human” he answers. “And that, dear not-sister, is what we do” she sighs against his chest and flexes her jaw, it hurts from fake smiling at Renee, it's not that she hates the woman, she's just not comfortable with niceties, or interactions, or physical interactions. She's fine with Noah, cause they've been family and friends since they were both 4 years old, twelve years of friendship and honestly it's only the last few years in which Lupe was comfortable with him enough to let her barriers down around him, and not even he knows the real her. Not deep down. She takes a breath and closes her eyes, Noah strokes her arm watching Renee and Bella say goodbye. Bella, clutching a cactus from Renee, turns to the Noah and Lupe. Noah nudges Lupe and she looks up and to Bella as she walks towards them, nervous, awkward, so much like Charlie.

“Bella, this is Noah” Lupe introduces. “The step-brother. Noah, this is Bella...cousin”

“Oh, nice to meet you” Bella offers, Noah smiles back at her and nods.

“Same” Noah counters. “We should get on the road, it's two days to Forks”

“Two days?” Bella asks.

“We can't drive for 24hrs” Lupe offers. “Me and Noah will switch in LA, and then stop in Sacramento, switch again in Portland and then home for tea” she tells Bella. “It'll be fun”

“Fun?” Bella asks.

“You told me you wanted to travel more” Lupe reminds Bella.

“I do” Bella agrees and then nods. “Two days” looks between them. “Fun” she agrees. Lupe shoots Noah a look before sighing, she has a feeling this will be the longs two days of her life. She turns back to Bella and smiles.

“Let's find a space for you bag” Lupe moves to the camper. “There should be some....somewhere” she mumbles and pulls a few things out from under the chair in the camper. Bella looks around the inside of the camper. “Sorry about the mess” Lupe offers. “We've been living in it for the last 4 weeks” She manages to slide Bella's case into the camper. Lupe smiles at the cactus. “And there is plenty of space for him” she teases taking the plant and setting him in the sink. Bella takes a deep breath. “Don't look so worried, it's safe, there's a seat belt here” Lupe tugs on the seat belt on the small sofa. “Legally required” Bella looks to Lupe.

“It wasn't...I wasn't...”

“It's fine” Lupe assures her as Noah climbs into the passenger side. Lupe sighs and turns to the drivers side as Bella climbs in closing the side door behind her, Lupe shoots Noah another look, he shrugs and tucks their little pot stash under his seat, they both already have the feeling Bella's a....rule follower, everything has to be done by the book, there's not going to much about them that they have in common. Which means that all their 'extra-curricular' activities will have to be put on hold for the next two days.