I Don't Want To Be The Rain
"I don't want to be the rain on your impossible parade, Bella, but even if you weren't planning on going through with this, we could never go back to just being friends. That time is gone, and it has been for a long time." Jacob/Bella, Edward/Bella, Jacob/Angela. Prequel to "A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar" (you do not need to read that fic to understand this one.)
This is my response to my twilight_tables prompt "celebration" over at LJ. Thank you to angel423 for her amazingly speedy beta. Title and similar line in fic/summary taken from the song "Impossible" by Something For Kate.
1. I Don't Want To Be The Rain
Rating 4.5/5 Word Count 3635 Review this Chapter
My head snapped up as someone shook my shoulder and I stared into a very annoyed Alice's narrowed eyes.
I smiled back at her sheepishly. "Sorry. I guess I zoned out. What did you ask me again?"
It was two weeks to my wedding, and Alice was being nothing if not diligent in making sure that every last detail was absolutely perfect. Color schemes had to match, place settings had to be arranged so that no one was sitting where there would be a conflict, and flowers were meticulously chosen for the most beautiful arrangements. Alice consulted me on all decisions, but I knew that this was only a front - she often pulled away one choice or another before I'd even gotten a word out as to whether I liked the blue patterned tablecloth or the red better, but that was perfectly fine with me - this was all for hers and Edward's benefit anyway.
Instead of berating me and lecturing me as to the importance of choosing the very perfect wedding cake style, Alice simply blinked, pushed aside the binder of pictures she'd previously set in front of me, and sat down on the coffee table.
"Bella," she hesitated. Then, she glanced around as if searching to see if any of her other family members were present. I knew that Edward, Carlisle, and Jasper had gone on a hunting trip, and Emmett and Rosalie were in the garage, but Esme had been on her way upstairs the last time I'd seen her.
Apparently, she decided that whatever she said was not safe even for Esme to hear, because she dropped her voice to a whisper so low, I had to lean my face closer to hers to hear. "Bella, I know you've had a lot on your mind lately with the wedding and all, but there's something I need to tell you. Something I think you deserve to know."
My heart automatically sped up in response. "What?" I was getting married in less than two weeks, what was supposed to be the happiest day of my life - what could possibly happen now?
Alice hesitated again, but pressed forward. "Your wedding. Bella... I can't see it."
My breathing stuttered and then halted, my heartbeat following shortly after. "What?" I asked, my voice coming out strangled. I had to fight to keep my voice as quiet as Alice's had been, and wasn't sure that I succeeded. "What do you mean? Alice - how can you not see the wedding? Oh god," I said, putting my hand to my mouth. "I don't change my mind, do I?"
"No, no Bella!" Alice gripped my shoulders and stared straight into my eyes as if begging me to understand her. "You're misunderstanding me. I can see your future, but only up until a certain point. Bella, I can't see your wedding day."
I was about to tell her to stop toying with me and tell me straight out when understanding flooded through me, thick and painful, and I had to take a deep breath or risk passing out from not breathing at all.
"Jacob," I was barely able to say his name - I felt like my throat had closed. "He's going to be at the wedding."
"I think so," Alice said softly. "I didn't actually expect him to come after-"
"After what?" My eyes went hard and I could feel them narrowing as I asked her, "Alice, what else aren't you telling me?"
"Nothing," she said much too quickly, her eyes cast on the wall behind me. She knew she'd locked herself into a corner.
I wasn't going to be swayed. I didn't want to be devious, but desperate times called for desperate measures. "Whatever it is, I'm going to find out in two weeks anyway, and you wouldn't want to ruin my wedding day by keeping secrets from me would you?"
Alice looked absolutely torn. She rolled her eyes to the ceiling and I thought I heard her mumble, "He's going to tear me to pieces for this," before she turned back to me. "Edward sent Jacob a wedding invitation."
I stood up, my pulse quickening, my jaw dropping open in shock. "What? When? Why?"
"He said he thought that Jacob should be able to make the choice for himself about whether or not he wanted to come - that if their roles were reversed, he would want to be given that same choice."
"That's - that's -," I didn't have the words for all of the sense that didn't make, so instead of rationalizing, I hastily grabbed my sweatshirt and my car keys from the couch.
"Bella, don't!" Alice stood up and blocked my path so quickly that I stumbled.
I glared at her. "Move, Alice."
"What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to go see Jacob," I said, attempting to move around her.
Alice simply grabbed my arm. "Bella, I don't know if that's such a good-"
"Try and stop me then," I said, a lot more brazenly than I felt. I knew that Alice could easily pick me up and drag me kicking and screaming back into the house and lock me in a closet if she wanted to until Edward got home. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that Esme was making her way downstairs to see what all the commotion was about.
Instead, Alice shocked me by sighing and stepping out of my way. "Take this," she said, handing me her cell phone. "I don't know how he'll react to seeing you again, and I have no other way of knowing what's going on while you're there."
I simply nodded and practically ran out the front door just as Esme approached Alice and asked, "What's going on?"
I didn't wait to hear Alice's answer. My feet were flying and I was in my truck and on my way down the familiar roads to La Push before I had a chance to mentally process the implications of this entire situation.
First of all, I was going to kill Edward when he came home - I knew there was a chance he would be just as angry with me as I was with him, but at that point, I didn't care. I'd told him I hadn't wanted the pack invited, known how deeply it would hurt Jacob, and he'd gone behind my back and sent the invitation anyway. Angry grizzly bears did not hold a candle to my fury at the moment.
Second, I had to figure out what exactly I was going to say to Jacob. I couldn't exactly rescind the invitation; that would imply that I didn't want him there - and I did, more than I should. But I didn't want him to be there because he felt he had an obligation to me - that wouldn't be fair to him.
I was pulling up to Jacob's house much sooner than I would have liked, and my heart thundered against my ribs as I jumped out of the cab and up to the front door. Before I even had a chance to knock, the door swung open, and I had to fight back the urge to gasp.
Jacob was standing there, clad in nothing but a pair of shorts. His face was haggard, there were dark circles under his eyes, and he seemed to be regarding me with a cool indifference that made me want to squirm.
Instead, I blushed, but stood up straighter. "Hi," I said, not knowing what else to say.
"What are you doing here, Bella?" He asked me, crossing his arms. I took a step back. His voice was closed off, much like it had been in the days when he'd first changed into a werewolf and had tried to cut himself out of my life. This wasn't my Jacob, and I had to forcefully remind myself that he couldn't ever be my Jacob - not anymore, and not ever again.
I couldn't answer him right away. The fractured piece of my heart was throbbing painfully, more so than usual, and I swallowed past the lump that was rising in my throat.
The mask on Jacob's face fell away, just the slightest bit. "Bells, are you okay?"
"I'm sorry about the invitation," I blurted out, and then flushed a fierce crimson.
The mask fell back into place. I mourned its appearance. "Oh," was all he said. He stared at me for an awkward moment and I only blushed harder. "Is that all you're here about?"
"No," I stated defensively. "I wanted to see you."
Jacob looked hard at me and I met his stare with one of my own. After a few minutes of silence, he sighed and muttered, "Give me a second." Then, he turned around and stepped back into the house.
The door was still open, so I heard him moving around and some muttering. When Billy asked him, "Are you sure?" I turned my head away and crossed my arms. I wasn't sure what Jacob had said in the first place but I didn't want to hear his answer.
Jacob was pulling a t-shirt over his head as he stepped back outside. He grabbed my arm and I couldn't help the way my heartbeat jumped at his touch. I was still amazed at how different his touch felt compared to Edward's.
He seemed to think better of it, though, and dropped his hand almost at once. "Come on," he murmured, heading off in the general direction of the beach. I simply followed him in silence.
Eventually, Jacob stopped walking and turned to me. He could see the question in my eyes. "There's more privacy here. Less of a chance of someone hearing us."
I knew that, I thought to myself. How many afternoons had we spent here after fixing up our motorbikes or his car or just hanging out, enjoying each other's company? This beach held so many memories, ones that were almost painful to think about as I sat down on a fallen tree that we'd sat on together countless times before.
This time, Jacob stayed standing, staring down at me. The effect was disconcerting, to say the least.
"I really am sorry about the-" I almost said wedding, but changed my mind last minute. "The invitation," I whispered. "I didn't know that Edward sent it to you."
"You said that already," Jacob said stoically, and I shrugged.
"That doesn't mean that I don't mean it."
"Do you not want me there?" The barest amount of pain slipped through his voice and I stood up. I ached to embrace him, to wash away the anguish that was so stark and raw in his eyes, but the best I could do was hesitatingly raise my hand to his shoulder.
"You know that's not it," I said, my voice just barely above a whisper. "I- I want you there. Probably more than I should, but I know that- that it would hurt you being there more than it would hurt me... if you weren't."
Jacob's eyes were softer now as he looked at me, as if he finally understood me, and I almost sighed with relief.
That relief was short lived, however. Jacob raised a shaky hand to cup my face and I almost pulled away, but I could refuse him almost nothing while he looked at me that way. "Bella... I need you to be honest with me about something."
"Anything." I shouldn't have been so willing to be honest.
Jacob took a deep breath before he asked me, "Is he still going to change you into a vampire after the wedding?"
I froze. All coherent thought ceased. I didn't know how to answer this question, and even though I'd promised him an honest answer, I knew how Jacob would react to that. He'd rather see me dead.
Jacob frowned and dropped his hand. "Well, I guess I have my answer."
"Jacob, please don't be like that," I begged him, grasping his hand in mine. He seemed shocked at the gesture, shocked enough that he stopped walking away from me. "I know you'd rather see me dead than a vampire, but this is what I want."
"To become a bloodsucking leech?" He spat the words between his teeth.
I dropped his hand as violently as I could. "No, to be with him forever!"
Jacob winced at my words and I cringed myself. I hadn't meant for them to come out like that.
"Jake," I tried to make my voice softer now and tentatively reached for his hand again. Jacob eyed me furtively but still twined his fingers with mine. "This isn't- this isn't easy for me either. I know it's harder for you, and that I have no right to complain, but... but it still hurts me, too." I smiled up at him, but I'm sure he could tell that the smile was strained. "Sometimes, I sort of wish we could go back to the way things used to be - go back to just being friends."
Jacob barked out a laugh and I was startled as to how similar the sound was to when he was a wolf. "I don't want to be the rain on your impossible parade, Bella, but even if you weren't planning on going through with this, we could never go back to just being friends. That time is gone, and it has been for a long time."
I nodded. As much as I hated to admit it, he was right.
The sun was beginning to set in the sky behind him, and I sighed, "I should go." Reluctantly, Jacob released his hand from my grasp. I didn't want to say goodbye, because if I said goodbye now, there was a good chance it would be forever, so instead, I gave him a smile and headed back to my car.
I only walked a few steps before Jacob called after me. "Bella?" I turned, hearing the hesitance in his voice.
"August thirteenth at three o'clock, right?"
I knew what he was asking me without actually saying the words - he wanted me to tell him that I still wanted him to be at my wedding. He was letting me know that he would be there, no matter how much it hurt.
I felt my eyes fill with tears and instead of answering, I told him, "I love you." I probably shouldn't have said the words, but I needed him to know that they were still as true as they were the day that I walked out of his bedroom.
Jacob gave me a half smile, although I could tell that it didn't reach his eyes. "I know."
"Don't you dare let me fall, Edward Cullen."
"Isabella Cullen," I sighed as the name crossed his lips - I could get used to the sound of that. He kissed my neck and grinned at the shiver that ran through me. "I would never let you fall."
I smiled up at him. Edward always looked stunning, but today, he looked absolutely breathtaking in his tuxedo. I was amazed - the wedding went off without a hitch, despite Alice's grumblings that she still wasn't able to see anything that would happen at the reception. Apparently, Jacob had opted out of coming to the actual ceremony, and while part of me was disappointed, another, larger part of me was glad - I didn't want him to put himself through anymore pain.
I smiled as Angela caught my eye and waved from where she was sitting across the yard. I had to remember to breathe as I turned my head back to my partner and Edward's eyes met mine. I wound my arms tightly around his neck and whispered, "Do you think anyone will notice that I'm not actually dancing?" I hadn't wanted to make a fool of myself - so far, miraculously, I hadn't tripped, stumbled, or fallen once today, and I wanted to continue the trend. I was dancing with my feet resting on top of Edward's, but I hoped my dress was long enough to keep that fact from the eyes of others, specifically Emmett - he'd never let me hear the end of it.
"I think we've fooled them." His voice was amused and I laughed as he effortlessly twirled me about the makeshift dance floor Alive had laid out in their front yard. "And even if we haven't, does it matter? You are still the most beautiful person here." I couldn't help but blush.
The music stopped and clapping sounded from all corners of the yard. Edward laughed as I blushed yet again, but I didn't stay embarrassed for long - I laughed joyously, feeling completely buoyant as Edward subtlety edged me back onto my own two feet. I grinned at him. Nothing could ruin this day for me. Nothing at all.
Then, Edward's hands froze on my arm, and I instantly stilled in response. The smile was still plastered on his face, but I could see how his eyes had tensed at the corners. "Edward," I reached up a hand to brush against his cheek. "What's wrong?"
Edward sighed, but he wasn't looking at me. "Oh, Bella."
I turned around and followed his gaze and instantly, I froze where I stood.
Jacob was standing across the meadow, Embry and Quil close behind him. They were grinning from ear to ear and whispering to each other. Jacob's attention was focused on someone else, however, and when I followed his gaze, it took all of ten seconds for me to realize what had happened.
Angela was staring back at Jacob, confused, but Jacob was staring at Angela as if she were the only person in the meadow. As if the earth itself had shifted to form around her.
Gravity moves, I remembered him telling me. "Oh," I whispered, and felt Edward's hands fall to my waist to pull me against him.
How appropriately ironic that Jacob would imprint on someone at my wedding. The smile that fell across my face was bittersweet.
I had to wait over an hour before I could even approach Jacob - Embry and Quil had dragged him off into the woods, and Edward had dragged me over to Alice to explain the situation. The pity on her face was plain, and I'd glared at her.
"I don't want your pity," I'd said, and both she and Edward had been shocked as I grabbed Edward's arm and dragged him back out onto the dance floor. He knew that I needed a distraction, but for God's sake, it was my wedding day, and I was going to at least try to enjoy myself. This was a celebration, and I wasn't going to let this be the rain on my parade.
I'd made my choice quite final when I'd said "I do." I had absolutely no right to be upset, or to complain.
"Her name is Angela."
They're the first words I said to Jacob, and I felt sort of guilty, like I should have at least said hello, but Jacob blinked at me, as if coming out of a deep fog, and I realized that greetings were the last thing on his mind at that moment.
"Angela," he said, and I nodded. I could feel Edward's eyes on my back watching the two of us with a close eye, but I chose to ignore him, focusing all of my attention on Jacob and the girl slowly approaching him from behind.
"Bella, have you seen...Ben...?" The words slowly faded on Angela's lips, and I couldn't blame her - under the full weight of Jacob's stare, I would have lost all sense of speech, too. I don't even think he ever looked at me that way. And that was saying something.
"Angela, this is Jacob," I said quickly, simply wanting to get this over with. "Jacob Black, Angela Weber."
"Hi," Jacob said. He couldn't take his eyes off of her and I fought back the irrational urge to step between them.
"Hello," she murmured, reaching out her hand to shake his. The look in Jacob's eyes softened as their fingers twined together, and I had to look away. I didn't want to see anymore.
I could feel Jacob's eyes on my back as I walked back towards Edward, but I couldn't bring myself to say goodbye - this one would be more final than I ever could have imagined. I fought back the tears as I lifted my right hand to my left wrist and fingered the small wolf charm on the bracelet that I still never removed.
"Are you all right?" Edward murmured, instantly pulling me into his arms.
I nodded, burying my face in his chest and letting his comforting scent wash over me. "I will be," I whispered, then stood up on my toes to kiss him so that he knew I wasn't lying. I would.
I wasn't the only one who deserved a happy ending.