Here With Me
Disclaimer; all characters and copyright belong to SM.
A/N-initially set at end of Eclipse then reverts back to Twilight-AU of course.
Bella stretched her neck so she could whisper in his ear. "You know I love you."
"I know." Jacob breathed in agony. His arm tightened automatically around her waist as he tried to stop the inevitable happening. "You know how much I wish it was enough."
"Yes." A single tear slid out of Bella's eye and remained suspended on her thick lashes.
"I'll always be waiting in the wings, Bells." Jacob promised. His chest tightened as if being squeezed by a vice. "You'll always have that spare option if you want it."
Bella's mouth wobbled as she pulled away from him reluctantly. His arm was still firmly wrapped around her waist. As Jacob loosened his hold, his heart constricted in his chest. He felt strange.
"Until my heart stops beating." Bella whispered sadly.
"Maybe even then." Jacob's airways were suddenly cut off as a sudden pain ripped through his chest. His lungs burned as he tried to gasp for air. Black spots filled his vision. Something was terribly wrong with his heart. It lurched in his chest like a drunken sailor. "Bells?" He rasped as his frightened eyes sought hers.
"I'll get help." Bella promised him as she fled the room in a panic.
The last thing Jacob heard was her beautiful voice screaming for help and then nothing.
Loud beeping made his ears bleed. Jacob cracked his eyes open to slits and recoiled immediately as the bright light shining through the partially opened curtains burned his eyeballs.
"Shit!" He cussed under his breath.
What the hell was that incessant beeping?
Jacob forced his eyes open again and looked around cautiously. He was relieved to see he was still in his room. He shifted slightly-waiting for the inevitable pain from his injuries to hit him-but when nothing happened he looked around in confusion. Perhaps the vamp doctor had found a new combination of drugs to numb the pain. He wished he had a cure for the pain in his heart. He wondered how long he had been out of it. The last thing he remembered was Bella running off in a panic screaming for help. Was she still here waiting for him to regain consciousness? Or had she already left for good? He hoped for the former.
The continuous beeping broke through his troubled thoughts. Jacob turned his head to glare sharply in the direction of the noise. It was coming from the small cabinet squeezed next to his bed. His dark eyes alighted on the clock radio which only set off more confusion inside of him. The last time he had seen the clock radio it had been shattered into a million pieces when he had accidentally woken up from a deep sleep and hit it with his fist to silence it. But that was months ago. Had Billy paid for a replacement? He hoped not. It was just an unnecessary expense. It wasn't like he had ever been attached to the thing or bothered that it was broken.
Jacob sucked in a sharp breath. To reach it he was going to have to move. His injured arm was bound across his chest, which meant he was going to have to try and use his good one. That was going to prove difficult, but he couldn't stand the noise any longer, the beeping was grating on his nerves. Reluctantly he shifted his body to the right. He waited for the pain to strike but he still felt nothing at all. In fact he felt perfectly fine. Good in fact. Bewildered, Jacob raised his head so he could get a closer look at his injured body. He got the shock of his life when long, silky black hair fell around his face cutting off his view.
"What the hell?"
He pushed the heavy strands out of his face and sat up abruptly. He tugged hard at the hair on his head, half expecting it to fall off into his hands. He had been growing it out again, but it only fell to his chin. This hair was long and luxuriantly thick, just like it used to be before he was forced to cut it all off when he changed.
"This can't be real." Jacob mumbled under his breath. "I'm tripping."
He blamed the drugs. He was definitely hallucinating. In reality he was pinned to the bed in unspeakable pain. Jacob tested this theory. He swung his legs off the two small bed and paused when his feet hit the floor. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. He didn't even feel a twinge. A surprised grin spread across his face as he tried standing.
"Jeez, I'm definitely tripping."
In delight Jacob turned in a circle. Or his definition of one. His room was so small there wasn't much room to manoeuvre. He stretched his long arms out until his fingers were touching the walls on opposite sides of the room. He laughed, turning in a circle again.
"This is so weird."
Suddenly the door to his room was shoved open. It hit him in the shin and he winced at the stinging pain. He fell back on the bed and it groaned in protest.
"What are you doing, boy?" Billy didn't hide his irritation as he rolled his chair across the threshold. "I thought the bed was going to collapse. If you break it we can't afford another one, so you'll have to sleep on the floor."
"What?" Jacob exclaimed in confusion.
"You're not even dressed." Billy continued as if he hadn't even heard him. He made an irritated sound in the back of his throat. "Its ten in the morning."
"Dad, I don't-"
"Stop with the excuses, Jake." Billy cut him off as he rolled his chair back out into the hallway. "I need you to help me pack up my fishing gear. I'm going out with Harry and Charlie today."
Jacob sat on his bed feeling perplexed. "This is crazy. I'm going crazy." He shook his head to clear it.
"Jake, hurry up." Billy's annoyed voice drifted down the hall.
"I'm coming." Jacob called back. "I'm just going to have to go along with this craziness until I wake up." He muttered.
As he stood up he caught a glimpse of his reflection in the mirror hanging on his wardrobe. He froze in shock. It was like looking at his pre-phase past self. He was fifteen again-his dark eyes took in the high planes of his cheekbones, the hint of childish roundness still left around his chin. His long, glossy black hair hung around his shoulders. He hastily pulled it back into a low ponytail with a rubber band he found next to the clock radio.
"I'm officially insane." He mumbled again as he tore his puzzled gaze away from his reflection and hastily left the room.
Jacob stood on the front porch with his hands tucked deep in the pockets of his jeans. He watched as Harry's truck vanished down the dirt truck. Harry had picked up Billy and they were now on their way to collect Charlie. Jacob's head was still spinning at seeing Harry alive again. It felt so surreal talking and interacting with a dead man. Harry was just as he remembered him-big, jolly and full of the joys of life. This trip was getting eerie and was beginning to freak Jacob out after seeing Harry again. His philosophy of going with the flow until he woke up was wearing thin.
He turned on his heel and went back inside the house. It was so silent. Everything was the same but different. His eyes skimmed the cream coloured walls, the worn out old couch and the TV that was crammed in the tiny lounge. His eyes rested on the framed photographs hanging on the wall furthest from him. A lump lodged in his throat as his gaze lingered on the ones of his mom. Sarah looked back at him from the old photographs, her smile brighter than the sun.
Suddenly it was all too much. Jacob was ready to wake up now, even if it was to a world full of pain and anguish. He longed for Bella. She wouldn't have left him in his hour of need, he was sure of it. She wouldn't leave until she was certain he was okay. Jacob grabbed the skin on the back of his hand and pinched it sharply to give him an incentive to wake up. He sucked in a sharp breath between his clenched teeth when he felt a small stab of pain. He waited for the walls to dissolve around him as he was pulled back to his own reality, but when everything stayed the same he began to panic.
"Wake up, dammit! Wake the hell up!"
Jacob was left with nothing but bruises on the back of his hand. He eventually gave up on trying to force the unwanted hallucinatory dream to end and stared helplessly around the room. The house felt suddenly cloying and he was finding it difficult to breathe. What was he supposed to do now? He was stuck here in this trippy dream whether he liked it or not.
"Think, Jake. Think." He said aloud to the empty room. His brow furrowed as he tried to concentrate.
All that came to mind was an image of Bella. He longed to see her so badly it was like a violent ache in his heart. His throat tightened at the memory of her saying goodbye. She had been on the verge of leaving for good when he'd had some kind of fit.
"I can go and see her." Jacob brightened as this thought entered his frazzled mind. If he was stuck in the past in this trippy dream, then he would take advantage and wallow in the happiness of his unrequited crush for a while. He recalled how she had been the first time he had laid eyes on her after she moved back in with Charlie. She was so beautiful, even if she didn't believe it. Her lovely chocolate brown eyes had been clear of pain back then-he imagined her pale skin, highlighted by her long, straight, dark brown hair, which fell from a widows peak to frame her heart shaped face.
With her image conjured in his mind Jacob eagerly left the house in pursuit of this perfection. It was only when he got outside and tried to phase that he realised he wasn't at that stage in his life in the stupid dream. He scowled in frustration. He was just going to have to get there the old fashioned way. Sighing in defeat he went to retrieve his old bike from the back of the house. He wished he could have driven the Rabbit, but the old VW was still sitting on bricks in the Taj. She was still a work in progress.
Cycling to Forks with a cool breeze blowing on his skin gave him plenty of time to ponder over the bizarre situation he now found himself in. The hallucination felt so real. He'd had vivid dreams before, but this was on a whole other level. The wind ruffled his hair and he wondered how he was even able to feel the sensation. He could hear birdsong coming from the trees crowding on either side of the road. He could smell the acrid stench of exhaust fumes when cars raced past him on his bike.
Jacob was breathless when he reached the outskirts of Forks. He was so used to inexhaustible reserves of energy, that it felt strange to feel the muscles aching in his legs as he pushed hard on the pedals. The traffic was more frequent now. Trees had been replaced with houses. He steered his bike out of the path of some pedestrians crossing the road. He was glad when he was free of the high street, it meant he could ride faster. His feet pumped the pedals as he coasted toward the Swan house which was about a ten minute drive away from the town.
Soon, in the distance, the familiar white walls of the house hove into view. As Jacob drew closer his eyes were immediately drawn to the window of Bella's bedroom. His throat tightened as memories made him feel suddenly melancholy. The two bedroom house was small, with white sidings, but compared to his own it was like a mansion. Jacob braked and then dumped his bike in the driveway behind Bella's old red Chevy truck. He was pleased to see the old monster because it meant she was at home. He hadn't even thought to ring and check if she was in before he left La Push.
Wiping his sweaty palms on the legs of his jeans Jacob ran up the porch steps and rapped his knuckles on the front door. It seemed an age before anyone answered. As he hadn't phased yet he was forced to rely on his dulled human senses. He was finding it difficult to adjust. Eventually he heard the lock clicking and the door juddered as it slowly opened. Jacob waited with baited breath for Bella to appear.
And then there she was, just like she used to be. The girl of his dreams. The girl he had been crushing on forever. She stood on the doorstep, her pretty brown eyes clouded with confusion as she looked up at him. One hand went up to loop a lock of hair behind her ear. This small gesture broke his heart in its familiarity. The air gushed out of his lungs as he thoughtlessly stepped forward and threw his arms around Bella in a tight bear hug. Lifting her off her feet, he swung her around, before pressing his face into the crook of her neck.
"I've missed you." He mumbled against her cool skin.
At first he was unaware of the small hands pushing at his chest. He was too caught up in the feel of her in his arms. He breathed in the strawberry smell of the shampoo she used to wash her hair. She was so tiny, delicate and precious wrapped up in his arms. He never wanted to let go, until-
"Put me down!" Bella snapped as she fought to extricate herself from his embrace. "What do you think you're doing?"
Jacob instantly let go. He stared at her in confusion for a moment until realisation dawned on him. Bella hadn't been long back in Forks. They hadn't had time to build up their friendship yet. She was looking at him like he was crazy.
"Um...hi." He said lamely.
Bella kept her distance as she studied him warily. "Hi." She responded cautiously. "Do you always greet people like that?"
Only you. Forever you. That's our thing.
Jacob's head was spinning. He was suddenly tongue tied. He shrugged helplessly as he flashed her a sheepish smile. "Sorry." He mumbled in apology.
"Uh huh." Bella was still regarding him oddly. "Are you here to check on the truck?" She asked suddenly. "Dad said you might come by to service it or something. But she's been running fine."
Jacob could have hugged her again. She had just given him a perfect excuse for being there. "Yeah, that's it."
"Right." Bella's expression softened. The wariness left her face now that she was faced with a plausible reason for him showing up unexpectedly on her doorstep. "Wait there and I'll just get the keys."
"Great." Jacob's smile widened until he was practically beaming.
Bella blinked against the brightness of his smile before she turned and went back inside.
"Dial it down, Jake." Jacob castigated himself as he tried to wipe the smile off his face. He pinched the back of his hand again and the slight pain sobered him up enough so he could act normal.
A/N-thanks for reading! I had to get this plot bunny out of my head. I feel better now.