And All Was Right With The World
Quil has always been there for Claire. Will this continue when everything else starts to change, or will their relationship change as well? Written for the Q/C oneshot challenge at Tm_Switzerland. Disclaimer: Not mine. Get over it.
1. Chapter 1
Rating 5/5 Word Count 3567 Review this Chapter
Quil has always been in my life; as far back as I can remember. He has been my babysitter, my best friend, and confidante. He knows more about me than anyone else in the world, and is always there to take care of me, and he never minds dropping whatever he is doing to be there for me and help me out of scrapes. And, between you and me, there have been quite a few.
Quil was always the one who picked me up from school after I got suspended for fighting or skipping class, and he was always the first one to forgive me for harsh words. He understood my attitude and temper issues, and never worried about what I was going to turn out like, as my mother did.
I asked him why once, and all he said was that I was too good of a person to turn out to be an axe murderer. Yeah, I’m serious. When I pressed him, all he did was ruffle my hair and say, “Kid, I know you, remember? And I also know that you are not a bad person. So stop worrying and just sit back and enjoy it!”
I had done just that, and now life was getting easier. There were less fights and less mouthing off to teachers, and more studying and apologizing for words said in the heat of anger.
My mom didn’t agree that Quil was a positive influence, but hadn’t freaked about it… until now. I had just admitted that I was in love with him, and yes, that was the reason I was not going to college. She had ordered me to pack up my things and get out, and told me that she was not going to have her deadbeat, stupid, hell raising daughter living in her house any longer, especially with ‘that boy’ coming around all of the time.
So here I was at Quil’s, practically bawling, with no one to talk to. I didn’t have any idea where he was, and I was alone. I wandered around in the familiar rooms, looking for any sign of where he might be.
There was nothing in his bedroom but an unmade bed and dirty clothes. A few beer cans and empty pizza boxes in the kitchen, and the old battered couch and television were the only things in the living room. Where could he be?
Maybe at Aunt Emily’s? I ran back out to the car and drove over there.
“Claire?” Emily asked with surprise, concern showing on her face. “Hon, what’s wrong? You look like your cat died.” She ushered me inside and gave me a glass of water and a pat on the shoulder.
“Mom kicked me out.” I said emotionlessly. Aunt Em didn’t look surprised as she asked, “Why?”
Aunt Em and I had both known this was coming. Mom wanted me to be a miniature version of her, and I would rather kill myself. Ok, that might be a little extreme, an example of the teenage drama Mom accused me of over-using, but seriously, my mother was a psychopath. She was anal and compulsive, overly controlling and moody, and practically married to her job, which was not normal for people in La Push. I had been rebelling since I had turned twelve, and Aunt Emily had always said that if I didn’t tone it down that I was going to end up losing my mother.
Well, it had happened. And to say I didn’t really care would be a lie, but I wasn’t going to become a depressed little emo or anything. I was strong; living with my mother had made me that way.
And Quil had always helped.
“I told her that I wasn’t going to college,” I told the only woman who had ever truly cared about me, my uncaring façade wavering a little as I repeated our earlier conversation.
Aunt Emily stroked my hair and murmured loving words in my ear.
The screen door slammed shut behind Uncle Sam, and he took one look at us crying at the kitchen table and asked, “Where’s Quil?” to whoever was behind him.
Jacob Black’s voice entered my hearing range, “Still there.” He said cryptically.
“He’s convinced that they’re coming for her.”
I had a strange feeling that I wasn’t supposed to hear that, but I closed my eyes and stopped listening to the conversation, suddenly too emotionally spent to care about anything other than finding Quil and making him hold me for a good long time. Oh, yeah, and maybe having a discussion that is long overdue, like my telling him that I’m in love with him.
“Why don’t you want to go to college?” Emily asked, drawing a chair up for her husband and managing to pay complete attention to me as she asked. That was one of Aunt Em’s special talents, she could make anyone feel comfortable and cared for – no matter what was going wrong in their lives.
I glanced apprehensively at Sam and Jacob, my cheeks going crimson at the thought of admitting it in front of them. They were Quil’s best friends, and would most likely make both of our lives a living hell if I said anything about it in front of them.
“Quil, right?” she asked softly. “They understand, I promise. And if they say anything, Sam will have to sleep on the couch all week,” she said, shooting a ruthless glance towards the offender.
Sam looked offended. “Of course not.” Then, his expression changed to worry, and he interjected, “This is going to have to wait. Emily, I need to talk to you.”
When Aunt Em showed no sign of movement, he reiterated angrily, “It’s important, Emily. Now!”
She huffed and stood to follow him, telling me that she would be right back.
“Where’s Quil?” I asked Jake, begging pathetically for him to tell me. I needed him, now.
“He’s busy right now,” was all that he would tell me.
Emily and Sam emerged from their bedroom a minute later, her face pale and frightened looking.
“I’m going to go find Quil,” Sam said abruptly. “Jake is going to stay here, and you aren’t allowed to leave,” he ordered me, pissing me off.
Who was he to order me around? Quil and the rest of their little posse might do whatever he said, but I’m not going to let him keep me away from the one person who can make me feel human again just to keep up his ego.
“If you think for one minute that I’m just going to sit here and do whatever you tell me to, then you are even dumber than you look. Just because every one else in this freakin’ place lets you walk all over them and treat them like shit doesn’t mean I will!”
“I’m not arguing with you on this. Emily, talk to her, and we’ll be back.” Sam didn’t even bat an eyelash at my rant, his face remaining unnaturally calm. I hated it when he did that, it made him look untouchable, like nothing I could do would faze him. It made me feel powerless, which made me even angrier.
“You can’t just dismiss me like that!” I screamed, all of my frustration and grief at my mother, my usual anger, and every other bad emotion I was feeling fueling the fire in my eyes.
“I hate you,” I spat at him, and walked out of the house, ignoring Emily’s cry for me to come back, and Sam’s horrified expression.
Maybe it wasn’t the right thing to say. I knew it wasn’t true… Uncle Sam loved me. He always got me presents and stuff for birthdays and treated me like I was his and Emily’s daughter instead of niece. But he had pushed me too far that time, and I never went back on anything I said, especially when I was still supremely pissed at the person.
I started meandering through the forest, without any particular destination in mind. I would go back to Quil’s later… hopefully he would actually be there and I could explain everything before he found out from Sam.
A wolf howled in the distance, a cry of pain.
I have no idea why, but I started running as soon as the cry ended, irrationally afraid that something had happened to the animal.
It wasn’t until after the ground rushed up to meet me that I realized that I was running, and then I started again, ignoring the stickiness of my knees where I had cut them on a sharp twig.
The trees cleared up ahead, and I burst into a clearing where several men that I knew circled a wolf lying on the ground shaking violently. One of them was Quil.
Then, I noticed the others in the clearing… two men, circling menacingly around the La Push gang.
One of them looked towards me, and I instinctively backed away from his gaze. The eyes staring at me were blood red and frightening, something that would have starred in my nightmares when I was a child.
Quil followed the frightening man’s gaze, and his face paled as he noticed me, the tremors running through his body intensifying.
The other man in the clearing had noticed me by this time too, and the two had abandoned the injured wolf and my friends, which was the up side. The down side however – they were now coming towards me.
“Look, Angelo. Free food!” one leered at me suggestively. I stood there, mesmerized by his stunningly good looks.
“There now. No need to be scared, right love?” His voice was pure seduction, and I could only stare at his god-like face.
His friend, Angelo, was now standing beside him. “I wonder what such a tantalizing young woman is doing walking in the woods all alone? Well, sugar? What do you say you come with us?”
His body brushed against mine, and icy skin made me jump. In that instant, Quil’s face shot through my mind, making me snap out of the trance.
“Get away from me!” I shouted, trying to shove him away.
His lips stretched into a menacing smile, and he grabbed my arms and twisted them painfully behind my back, making me yelp.
There was a loud roar from beside us, and Quil was running towards us, a feral expression on his face.
There was a loud pop, and a giant, chocolate colored wolf appeared in his place.
I was, for one disgusting second, glad that the maniac was holding me up, or I probably would have fallen to the ground for sure.
Quil, my Quil, my best friend, my confidante, my one and only love, was a wolf.
I couldn’t even think about it. My mind could not even handle the possibility, so it shut down; I passed out.
I came to slowly, my head spinning, to the cries of a dying man. I haven’t ever heard the sound before, but, somehow, I knew what it was.
The giant, Quil-like wolf was tearing the attractive man’s head off, and other wolves were tearing up other bodies, that were already dead.
I lay about ten feet away from the goings-on, thoroughly sickened by the way my best friend killed so callously.
“Stop!” I said frantically, pushing myself to my feet, but the ground started swaying beneath me, so I had to sit back down.
The chocolate wolf – Quil – whirled around to stare at me, and ran behind a tree.
Minutes later, he appeared again, a human, wearing only a pair of cut off jeans.
“Claire, come on. We’ll go over here and talk…”
“You stay away from me!” I yelped, backing away as fast as my dizziness would allow.
Quil looked hurt, but tried to hide it. “Claire, seriously, come on. You don’t need to see this, and we’ve obviously got some things to talk about.”
“I don’t want to talk to you! I just want to know how the hell I missed you being a deranged killer all this time. Maybe mom was right!” I cried, tears falling from my eyes as I remembered all of our conversations about my turning out right, when I had been afraid of myself. Maybe I had needed to be afraid of Quil, instead.
I started running back the way I had come, blinded by stinging tears.
I heard him behind me, and suddenly, I was wrapped in his powerful, warm arms.
“Claire, I swear to you, I am not a murderer.” His voice was so sad that it was making me cry harder.
“Yeah? Explain that!” I said, gesturing wildly behind me to the clearing.
“They were vampires!” He exclaimed, his voice breaking. “Claire, I would never hurt anyone – you know that. I had to though, to protect you, and the whole rez. Claire, I’m a werewolf.” His words came out in a rush. He was begging me to believe him, as if it actually mattered to him what I thought.
“I kinda figured that out. But that doesn’t make it any easier to erase what I saw,” I continued heartlessly, while my own heart was shattering.
Quil looked down, his face a mask of misery. “I know. But, Claire, please.”
I looked up into his face, seeing there a truth that I couldn’t deny. He was doing what he thought he had to. It was important… and I knew I had to believe him. How could I not,
when Quil had been my rock for so long?
I nodded slowly, cocking my head to one side. “Can we go somewhere? I don’t really want to stay here.”
A relieved smile appeared on his face, and he nodded. “Of course. I’m supposed to take you to Emily’s, anyway. Sam wants to talk to you.”
I suppressed a sharp retort and settled for, “What the hell does Sam have to do with this?”
An amused, tired smile this time. “He’s a werewolf too. The Alpha. I couldn’t tell you about us unless he let me.”
I was too tired to think of something witty to say, so I simply nodded. “Whatever.”
Aunt Emily was waiting at the door, a seriously worried expression on her face.
“Thank God!” she yelled, and grabbed me, hugging me tightly. “I was so worried!”
“Aunt Em, back off. I’m fine, I think.”
She looked at Quil for an explanation.
“A vampire had her. I had to do something!” He defended.
“I’ll talk to Sam.” She said mildly.
“I don’t think so, Emily.” Uncle Sam’s deep voice echoed from the doorway behind us. “Quil obviously needs to be reminded how Pack law works.”
His eyes were a steely grey, glaring angrily at Quil, the rest of their friends behind him.
Quil stared back. “Fine. Just let me take Claire home first, her mother will be worried.”
I flinched. “Uh… about that…”
Quil stared at me. Hard. “Yes?” he asked through gritted teeth.
“Mom kind of… kicked me out.” I finished in a rush.
A tremor slid down his back, and I stepped away quickly. “It’s really no big deal. I’ll figure something out. And, seriously, Sam, lay off. You look like you’re about to tear his head off for saving my life. The next time you’re mad at me, how about yelling or something? Not deciding to let a bunch of bloodthirsty vamps kill me… I really don’t want to die that way.”
Sam stared at me, shock on his dark face. “Claire, I don’t want you to die!” he practically yelled. “I just want Quil to be a little more careful phasing in front of random people!”
“What, I’m a random person now? Since when? Stupid me, I thought I was family.” I retorted.
“That isn’t what I meant!” Sam said, sounding flustered. “I just meant that you could have been a –“
“Just knock it off. You’ve yelled at and insulted me enough for one day, don’t you think? Quil and I need to have a discussion here, or can’t you tell?”
Sam left the room in a daze, Jacob and the others following with huge grins on their faces. Embry even winked at me!
“I guess we’ll head over to my place, then.” Quil grabbed my hand. “And you can fill me in on what exactly happened.”
I sighed. This was going to be a long night.
We got to Quil’s in record time, much to my dismay. Of course, the day I wanted to dodge something, he was all over it.
“Well?” he demanded, sitting on the sofa and frowning irritably when he realized that he was sitting on a stack of magazines.
“Well what? I told Mom that I wasn’t going to college and she freaked out. She said that she wasn’t going to have a deadbeat, hell-raising daughter in her house if I wasn’t even going to try to better myself. So, I left.”
Quil stared at me, his gaze intense. “And, why, exactly, aren’t you going to college?”
I shrugged uncomfortably. “I just don’t want to. You didn’t go to college, nothing terrible happened to you. I just want to work at the nursery, anyway. They don’t require a college degree.”
It was a very convincing lie, if I do say so myself. Unfortunately, Quil knows me better than that.
“Ok. How about the rest of the story now?”
I bit my lip nervously, wondering how in the world I could tell him. He would know if I lied, he had proven that. But I also knew that he only thought of me as a friend, not at all the way I thought of him.
“She doesn’t like the guy that I’ve recently decided I’m in love with.” I told him, hoping that would put off any further questions. Guys had always been the one thing I couldn’t talk about with Quil.
“What guy is worth tossing away your entire life?” he demanded, hurt written all over his face. Why was he hurt? It didn’t make sense. Surely he realized that I was talking about him, not some random fling. He knew there was no one in my life but him… he had made sure of that a long time ago.
“You, stupid!” I cried, and ran out the door trying to cover my embarrassment.
I felt him behind me, amazingly. I was so sure that he would never talk to me again…
“Silly, silly girl. Did you really think you would get away with telling me that and running off?” he asked skeptically, already knowing the answer. “You have no idea how long I have been waiting to hear those words.” He was silent for a second, then amended, “Well, not exactly those words, but words that meant the same thing. I just want you to know that I feel the same way, so stop running.”
I fell into him, wanting to wrap my arms around his neck and never let go.
“How—?” I gasped.
“I’ve felt that way about you since you were two.” At my startled, somewhat sickened expression, he hastily filled in, “It wasn’t that way! Imprinting doesn’t work that way.”
Now I was confused, tired, and really just wanted him to tell me what the hell he was talking about without confusing me any worse.
And explanations about werewolves spilled forth; imprinting, vampires, phasing, protectors, and the role I had in Quil’s life since he had first set eyes on me, all of those years ago.
“So, you see, I do love you,” he told me shyly.
A slow smile covered my face, and then I couldn’t stop. I was so happy that everything looked different… without mom breathing down our necks; we can do whatever we wanted. His being a werewolf could be fun… I saw a movie once where a girl rode on a wolf – I bet Quil would let me try it. Plus, I had someone who would never leave me or hurt me… everything would be perfect forever.
Ok, that was a little too optimistic and sunny. Life would probably be harder. Quil would be off fighting vampires at all hours of the night. I would have to deal with Paul and Leah more often, and my mom was never going to speak to me again. But really, what did all of that matter when I had – literally – the man of my dreams?
“I love you, too.” The words were so simple, but they held so much meaning. Those four little words had the power to change my life – me – forever. And, strangely, I was ok with that.
Quil’s face lit with a grin to rival my own, and he pulled me towards him roughly, his breath quickening. We sealed our words with kisses… many, many kisses, and all seemed right with the world… for once.