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What Could Have Been

Summary:
When Edward left, we know that it had a huge impact on Bella's life. But, it also had a huge impact on Jacob's. If Bella had never come to La Push, Jake would have been able to live a normal life... at least as normal as a werewolf can be. Found a nice girl, imprinted, enjoyed being a 'monster'... all of it. This is another Jacob/Angela. Just so you know. And it's AU, too. I'm trying to keep in the New Moon and Eclipse timeline as much as possible... but there are some parts that I have to make up on my own, as the books were from Bella's PoV.


Notes:
This book would replace New Moon... from Jake's PoV.


1. First Sight

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2162   Review this Chapter

I hate school. Seriously. I mean, what sane sixteen-year-old guy likes school? But getting up early, homework, and a whole bunch of people that I don’t really like crammed together in the place we call La Push High… well, its just Hell.

And did I mention that I’m not a morning person? Well, I’m not. And if that damn alarm didn’t shut off the next time I pushed the off button, I might just – oh, yeah. It’s screwed.

Smash. Yeah. The thing was history.

“Jake, are you up yet?” Billy yelled down the hall, obviously expecting me to growl back. He knew me well.

“Yes.” I grumbled, and swung my extraordinarily long legs off of the bed. Of course, when I stood up, I smacked my head off of the ceiling. Today was going to be a great day, I could tell already.

I pulled on my jeans with one hand, and nursed my head with the other. I swear, the shack we called home was shrinking every day. Maybe it was falling down – no, I’d better not get my hopes up. If I started thinking like that, next it would be the school, and it would just crush me when it didn’t happen. Sigh.

Breakfast was relatively uneventful – I just dropped the milk carton. What was wrong with me today? It was like I was walking around in a fog, and anything that got in my way was screwed. Bad things were bound to happen.

“Jake, what are you doing out there? Trying to tear the place down with your bare hands?” My dad’s voice echoed through the kitchen.

“I wish,” I growled, and finished my cereal. A small smile played on the corners of his lips, but he knew better than to laugh at me, I suppose. I would have had a fit.

I caught the bus at the usual spot, down by the dirt road that served as the main route everywhere on our humble reservation. Quil had saved me and Embry a seat, and I slid into the window, careful not to hit anyone with a gangly elbow. Man, puberty sucks.

“Yo, dude. What’s up?” Quil asked, talking like a gangster with a bad attitude.

“Hey, Quil. And what’s with the city talk? You move while I wasn’t paying attention?” I shot back, bringing a grin to my friend’s face.

“Whateva, man,” he replied, pretending to look hurt. Embry had gotten on the bus behind me, and spoke for the first time.

“Knock it off, Quil, that’s getting on my nerves.” He rolled his eyes at me, but still grinning at Quil’s childish antics.

The bus pulled up at the school just then, interrupting Quil’s pained response. He really enjoyed yanking our chains with that kind of lingo – he knew it was driving us crazy.

School was as bad as I’d knew it would be. I forgot most of my books in my locker, dropped the one I remembered in the hallway, scattering papers everywhere, and got an ‘F’ on my English paper. There’s one Dad could hang on the fridge!

Now, at least, I was home. I went straight to the garage, stopping only to wave at my dad from the porch. The Rabbit was so close to being done! I just needed to get the Master Cylinder that dad had anted up for, and I had wheels.

I was well into that project, when a voice spoke behind me. “Um, excuse me,”

I would have jumped a mile… if I hadn’t been under the car at the time. Instead, I just smacked my already-bruised head off it.

Biting back a stream of colorful language, I slid out, wiping my grease-stained hands on my jeans, which weren’t really any cleaner, and took a long look at my unexpected visitor.

It was a girl, probably around my age, maybe a little older. She was petite and average height, with light brown hair and expressive hazel eyes. Her face told me she was a kind, honest person, but she seemed worried.

“Hi,” I said, filling the awkward silence. I was well aware that I didn’t look my best, covered in grease and other grime from the garage, while she was spotless and looked like the kind of person who paid attention to appearances.

“Hi. This is kind of embarrassing, but my car broke down on the road, about a mile away, and I left my cell at home. Do you have a phone I could use to call and get it towed?” Her voice was light and feminine, and made me want to listen to her talk all day.

“Yeah, sure. But, if you want, I could take a look at it. As you can see,” I gestured to the Rabbit sitting in front of us, “I work on cars a lot. It would be a lot less expensive.”

The girl smiled with relief. “Sure. Come on, I’ll show you where.”

As they walked, I had to fill the silence again. It seemed that this girl was shy, at least around me.

“I’m Jacob.” I told her, hoping that she would respond. “Jacob Black.”

She looked up with a flash of recognition as I told her my name, but it vanished quickly. “Angela Weber. I think you know my friend Bella, actually.”

Bella Swan was my dad’s best friend’s daughter, and I knew her. Not very well, really, but I knew her. She was dating a Cullen, who my father was sure was a vampire. How embarrassing was that? To make things worse, he had made me crash her prom to ‘warn’ her about them. Seriously! My dad definitely has issues.

“Yeah, I know her. Her dad and my dad are friends.” I explained, pulling back a tree branch for her to walk under.

“You came to the Prom to see her last year, right?”

I winced at the reminder and nodded. That had not been the best night for me. I had tried to hit on her, and her super-attractive, ‘vampire’ boyfriend had shut me right down.

“So, if you’re friends with Bella, that would make you a senior, right?” I changed the subject and asked a question I really wanted to know the answer to.

“Yeah. Oh, there it is!”

A blue Grand Am sat in the middle of the secluded road, small tendrils of smoke escaping the hood.

“Well, let’s take a look.” I went over and opened it up, coughing as I inhaled more smoke.

It looked like a part of the engine had fried, probably one of the fuses leading to the central power coupling. It would need another fuse, which, luckily, I had back at the garage.

“Um, this could take a few days to fix. I’ll tell you what; I’ll borrow my friend Quil’s truck, and take it to my place, and you can come get it later. Can you borrow your parents’ car?”

She nodded. “But I can’t get home,” she said worriedly, but I put down that fear immediately. “I’ll take you. I finally finished my Rabbit, so this can be its’ test run.”

Angela locked the doors to her car we began to walk back the way we came.

“Well, I’ll call Embry; you can go on into the house if you want to. My dad’s in there, but he’ll love the company.” I told Angela, hoping she would be ok with that plan.

“Sure,” she agreed easily, and hopped gracefully up the steps. I pulled the phone out onto the porch and shut the door, dialing Embry’s number with the ease of familiarity.

His mom answered the phone, saying that Embry wasn’t there, but I could use the truck if I needed. I thanked her and hung up, then went into the house to get Angela.

She and my dad were in the living room, having an animated discussion about – of all things – baseball.

“No way! The Yankees will thrash the Redskins!” Angela was saying. “They always do.”

“But the ‘Skins just got that new pitcher, ah, what’s his name—?”

“Sanderson. But it won’t matter, he has such a slow – Oh. Hi Jacob.” Her face turned red for some unimaginable reason, and she stood up.

“Jake, you’re taking this young lady home?” Billy asked me, and I nodded, trying very hard to not laugh. Angela Weber did not seem like the kind of girl to get into heated discussions over baseball, yet here she was, arguing with my dad. I guess that goes to show you that you can’t judge people by what they look like.

“Well, you can’t do that! Not until after dinner, at least. We’ll make some of my secret pasta sauce…”

“Dad, how many times do I have to tell you? You did not invent Ragu.”

Angela tried to hide a snort, but started laughing anyway. “Thanks for the offer, Mr. Black,” she began after she caught her breath, her face still red from laughing, “But I really have to get home. My mom will be worried, I was supposed to be home an hour ago.”

Billy slumped in his wheelchair, pulling the old ‘I’m all alone with that kid, and you don’t want to stay for dinner?’ face on her. Her expression became less decisive, and she said uncertainly, “Well, maybe I could come back another day?”

My father immediately brightened and replied, “Of course! That would probably be better anyway, because then we could watch the ‘Skins vs. the Yanks, and I could say ‘I told you so’, when the Skins win. The game’s on Friday.”

Angela sucked in a breath and just shook her head at him ruefully saying, “You’ll learn,” and walked towards me.

After they said their goodbyes, I walked her to the garage and started the Rabbit, praying that it would work.

The engine sputtered a little, but roared to life when I turned the key. “Yes!” I cried happily, and began to back out of the garage.

“Why are you so happy about your car starting?” Angela asked curiously.

“Well, wouldn’t you be, right about now?” I asked, unable to resist teasing her.

She grinned back. “Touché. Was there something wrong with your car, too?”

“No. I built it, actually.” I said smugly, proud of my accomplishment. Angela gasped and looked up at me, surprise in her eyes.

“Wow! You built the whole thing?” I nodded.

“So, if you don’t mind me asking, what were you doing on that road anyway?” I wondered out loud.

“I was taking my brothers to a birthday party. They’re friends with Aaron Whitewater. Luckily, the car didn’t die ‘til after they were there, or I really would have been a wreck. That long with Isaac and Josh in the car would be enough to make me crack.”

“I know the Whitewaters. Nice people.” I said preoccupied. The car was making a strange noise, and making me nervous. Thankfully, it stopped in a minute, and I could relax.

“Isaac and Josh sure like them.” She agreed, and stared straight ahead, still being shy.

“So… are you really going to come down again on Friday?”

Angela looked up and smiled. “Well, if you can come get me, I’d love to. Will my car be done by then?”

“Yes, to both things. Wait, where’s your place at?”

“Take a right.” She directed, and I spun the wheel just in time to make the turn.

“There.” She gestured to a Parish next to the only Lutheran church in Forks.

“Your father is a Pastor?” I asked bewilderedly.

“Yeah. He got all of our names from the Bible, actually.” She looked up at me with a smile. “Caught you by surprise, didn’t it?”

I nodded, still mulling this over. She didn’t seem like a preacher’s kid. Maybe that was a stereotype, too?

“Well, thanks for the ride, and all of your help.”

“Any time. I’ll see you around four on Friday, then, right?” I clarified.

“Yup. See you then. Thanks again.”

I watched her vanish up the walkway and into the house before starting the car baseball again. She was definitely entertaining to be around… shy at times, and yelling about baseball others. Maybe she was bipolar? But overall, she was a genuinely nice person, and I liked her a lot. And, well, she was pretty… if you liked tall, girl-next-door kind of girls. Which I did. And she actually listened to what I had to say, uncaring of the fact that I was two years younger than she was.

I liked her. I knew that. The question was, what was I going to do about it?