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Chasing You

Summary:
[Implied love triangle] Post New Moon. Bella's made her decision and Jacob's made his. She's trying to let everything go...and he's fighting with all his might to hold on. Common sense and instict dictates that he should hate her now. Bella had chosen her side, and it wasn't his. She's picked the vampires over the werewolves. She may as well be a bloodsucker now. She's the enemy. But underneath the bitter mask and anger, he yerns to repair what's left of their relationship...still wants to try and save Bella from a fate worse than death, but she's not interested. She keeps running away, and he chases right after her. But she can't run forever. Right...?


Notes:
There are 4 chapters to this story, so enjoy walking 4 miles in Jacob Black's shoes. :)


2. Running

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3776   Review this Chapter

Chasing You: Chapter 2

Running

Warui-Usagi

‘Friendship is one soul sharing two bodies.'

Connected for all eternity as kindred spirits,

In a bond that only they can truly understand

Because they are, in essense, the same person.’

--Anonymous

It's only been a week since you last talked to her.

It's only been seven days, 168 hours or 25200 minutes, in which you haven't uttered a word to her. You told yourself all those months ago when you knew she was considering it that you'd be prepared.

But you're not.

Because you know that there was a part of you that hoped you could change her mind - that there was some way of showing her just exactly what would happen to her if, not when, she went through with this suicide. Again there's Embry in your head telling you that you'll have your revenge; that those stupid blood suckerswill pay. But you don't want revenge because that would make Bella unhappy. You could never kill her bloodsucker because Bella would never forgive you. You don't want to lose her, but unless Edward leaves, you can't have her.

Ever.

But if he's not around, then Bella's all falling to pieces and you hate it when she does that...and even then you can't have her because her heart is still grieving after that jerk who did it in the first place.

Paul's joining in now, too...and Sam's quiet, yet stern voice is in the background trying to get you to snap out of it because you have a "duty as a protector". You're getting sick of all this bullshit. The person you were protecting has been brainwashed by that leech. You're screaming at them to shut up and piss off; telling them that you just don't care, but they only talk louder.

You faintly remember being happy, "You're my best friend Jacob" but that flew away like a bat outta hell when she finished up with "I won't live without them". You were so close to phasing, for a minute; you honestly believed that in your rage you were actually going to hurt her. You wanted to scream back "Yeah well they lived without you for seven months and didn't seem all broken up about it did they?!" but your jaw was clenched so tightly, you couldn't even move your lips. You had to run before you hurt her...you had to phase before you cried. Now you've given up all hope that you'll ever see her again.

That's why you were really, really surprised when she showed up on your doorstep on another sunny day.

Really, really surprised...but also really, really angry!

It was your turn to be hostile. "Hi Jacob," she said meekly, a fragile smile on her face. So, she was playing the let's-pretend-that-discussion-didn't-happen-yesterday game. Too bad for her that you don't want to play - you've always been a bad loser...and you're well aware that you've already lost the prize.

"What?" She winces at your bitter tone, but she seems hardly surprised.

She laughs-a hollow, throaty sound that bears absolutely no humor. "Yeah...I deserve that, huh?"

"Yeah, you do," you agree; half in spite, half in confusion. What the hell is she doing here?

"Sorry. Would you like to go down to the beach for a walk?"

Did you just hear her right...?

You can feel the blank incomprehension on your face, but you try and right yourself quickly. She can't just want to be here...and even if she does, it could only be out of pity. You don't want pity...even if you still love her so much you want to be sick...

"Listen, aren't you supposed to be with Edward or something?" The bite in your voice is still there - even you can hear it, but she's hurt you. Hurt you deeply. At this point, you love her just as much as you hate her for dumping you the minute those stupid vampires returned. She still cares about you; that much is plain to see, but that doesn't make you as happy as you hoped it would...maybe because she only seems to care about you when her wonderful Edward isn't around.

"No. He's...busy," she says finally. There's obvious reluctance in her voice, but you don't ask...that'll just make this whole situation even more worse than it already is. You're starting to shudder. You can't take this, you realize. You can't stand her talking about him because it hurts so much. You love her so much...

"Goodbye, Bells," you choke, stepping back and swinging the door closed half-heartedly. Of course she stops it.

"Please, Jacob. Give me a chance to explain." You haven't heard her sound this desperate in awhile.

No. "You shouldn't be here, I'm pretty sure that's the only thing your bloodsucker and I agree on!"

She scoffs at you, exasperated. "When are you going to believe me when I say that nobody tells me what to do with my life?"

"Sure."

"What the hell are you on about, Jake?" She's getting teary again...she always did when she was mad.

"Shouldn't you be under house arrest?" You arch an eyebrow at her and she just stares back with an unfathomable expression, jabbing a thumb over her shoulder. "Charlie gave me a ride."

"Oh," was the only reply you could think of. Sure enough as you tear your eyes away from Bella, there's Charlie sitting in the cruiser waving from across the road. You wave back, plastering a cheesy smile across your face. You're not fooling anybody. When your gaze returns to Bella, you can see that the tears pooling in her eyes have leaked over the edge, and now you're feeling like a jerk because you made her cry...because you broke your promise. The cheesy smile vanishes.

"Look, I'm sor-"

"No," she interrupts you, lifting her head to gaze at you through watery eyes. "It's not your fault at all."

You really would do anything for her.

"Alright," you sigh in defeat. "Let's go for a walk."

You grab her hand by habit and tow her down the hill away from your house without another word. You stop suddenly when you realize that you took her hand and she actually let you. You ignore the fact that it's limp and cold in your grasp...or at least, you try to. She doesn't complain, though, so you keep going - a small, real smile growing on your lips...but you can't let yourself get too excited. She's only here to talk after all.

A few more minutes and already you can feel the grainy texture of the sand in-between your toes. You hear Bella stumbling along behind you and you grin even wider...some things never change.

"So," you start off in a cool, business-like tone, and it's hard to maintain because you're in a much better mood now that she's alone with you and you're still holding her hand! "What do you want to talk about?"

"Do you...want to hang out for a bit?" she asks and you tell that that's not what she really wanted to say, but how could you say no?

"Sure." You feel the muscles in your cheeks stretch to their limits and you remember that this was what happened whenever you spent time with her. You quickly realize that you're falling back into habit with her again and try to tell yourself that it's not going to last but you know you're not listening; her hand is too distracting because you're still holding it.

Her hand slips out of yours and you feel yourself frown, but then you see that she's just gone over to look at the small rock pools accumulated a few feet from where she was standing, and you follow.

"Be very careful, Jacob. You know she's not here for long." Sam's warning echoes in your head and you roll your eyes...you know you won't hurt her. "That's not what I meant," Sam objects, his tone much firmer this time. "You know she's not yours..."

"I know!" you roar back, completely pissed off with him for being in your head at a time like this.

"She never was..." you mumble dejectedly under your breath.

"What?"

You said that last part out loud? Idiot! "Nothing," you reassure her worried expression with a smile. She doesn't buy it.

"Ummm...so how's the...werewolf-ing going?" Bella asks awkwardly, giggling at how stupid she sounds. You laugh too, and again you realize how easily you click together with her. Kindred Spirits...

For one day.

You shrug, hiding your disappointment at your revelation. "Pretty good. How's your life going?"

"Great!" You watch the huge smile creep onto her face and her eyes sparkle. Your intuition flickers and you realize that smile isn't for you. You don't even notice that you're shaking until her voice is there in your ear, telling you to calm down. Both of you feel the chasm in-between you and how desperate you are to fill it in, but because you're both on opposing sides, you can't talk without inevitably offending each other. You can't even look at her; both of you are so busy pretending to be fascinated with that stupid seaweed...

You grab her hand again, determined now to not leave things awkward like they are. "That there's some darn good seaweed." She gives you a weak smile. That tension breaker sounded a lot better in your head, but Embry disagrees. You drag her away from the pools and upward onto the sand dunes, catching her by the wrists when she falls. You do that a lot. You don't pull her up by the waist like you used to. You know she probably wouldn't like it and you can see that she knows you're hesitant to touch her and looks away, biting her lip. Her hand slips from yours and you want to grab it again but you don't because she still looks uneasy. That bothers you quite a bit because she was never uncomfortable around you before. You swore to yourself once that you didn't care that she didn't feel the same way, but that was when there was a chance that she eventually might. You can see now that she never felt that way...and never would.

It takes awhile for the natural flow of conversation to start - you're both talking about the most cliché things; Billy and Charlie's health, Embry, Quil, Jared, Paul and Sam (well, maybe not too cliché considering that you and your friends are werewolves, but, still...) you knew things were getting pretty bad when you got on to the weather and the beautiful view. These topics were never strange before; you're both trying so hard not to offend each other, choosing your words so carefully. Eventually though, Bella asks you about your cars and mechanical skills and you can't stop yourself. You probably wouldn't have kept going if she hadn't seemed so interested. Then you're laughing and telling jokes, bending over and trying to breathe because your chest aches from lack of air. It's as if there was no gap now, but you don't reach for her hand again - that caution is still there. You can't stop smiling though and you find yourself wishing once again that you could stay like this with her, forever. She skips away from you toward the rock pools again, climbing carefully on hands and knees up along the ancient formation. She stops there to turn and beckons for you to follow.

You perch yourself down next to her and ignore the hard, irritating surface because you're actually sitting next to Bella and you'd be willing to put with a hell of a lot more for that privilege.

"I can't believe I've finished school..." she mumbles, her voice distant. You don't even realize until you turn to look at her that she's standing, her eyes gazing out unseeingly over the grey ocean. You stare at her, and suddenly you're feeling very uncomfortable in the silence of her thoughts because you know she isn't thinking about what college she's going to next year, or her plans to have a family in the future - she's thinking about Edward and being a vampire; about sucking blood and being all pale, shiny, glassy, and hollow. She's thinking about being dead...

You slouch down onto a smaller rock along the shore, the waves lapping soothingly at your feet in a lame attempt to calm your frenzied thoughts. You watch her the whole time and she doesn't move an inch. Running a nervous hand over your shorn hair and without even giving thought to the first thing that comes out of your mouth, you say it.

"I don't understand."

Still Bella doesn't budge, even though you know she heard you. She speaks after a moment, her tone casual. "I know, Jake. But you're still my best friend anyway. You'll always be my best friend."

"They're burning everything?"

It took you a moment to distinguish the voice in your heard from Bella's, but you did. It was Embry. Again.

"What the hell!"

"What's wrong?" Bella's off her rock now, giving you an anxious stare. You ignore her and turn to look behind you, your determined gaze locking on the horizon over the forest. Sure enough, there's a huge balloon of grey smoke there, and your eyes widen in alarm.

"Who is it?" You quiz Embry urgently in your head. Bella's come to stand beside you, her chocolate eyes also locked on the fire, her expression full of irrational panic.

Embry snarls in revulsion in your head. "Why don't you ask your little leech lover there? I'm sure she knows all about it."

"Don't call her that!"

"Whatever man."

"I wouldn't worry about it," Bella says finally, but the reassurance doesn't touch her eyes. You'd forgotten for a second that she was even there. "It looks controlled, and there are no laws against burning old scraps in a backyard. It'll rain tonight, anyway. It won't last long. Everything will be gone tomorrow morning, just as if it had never existed. Tell Sam not to worry."

You may have been imagining the double meaning behind her words. Or at least, you sure as hell hoped you were.

"What are you talking about?" You're completely lost as to why she's talking in riddles and it's the last thing you need.

She doesn't answer, her expression eerily calm as she turns her gaze skyward. "I should get home. It'll rain soon and Charlie's probably waiting."

Sure enough the ominous sound of thunder rings clear on the horizon and you watch Bella start her quick stumbling back up the sand dunes toward your house. A flash of orange lightening crackles loudly across the dark sky and you hear Bella yelp in fright as she falls to her knees in the soft sand. You start striding up the deep slope, and just as you grab her icy cold wrist, both of you are engulfed in a heavy downpour of costal rain.

"What the hell are you doing Jacob?! We're getting soaked!" She tries to wrench herself free, and because her pale skin is slippery, she maneuvers her wrist out of your grasp successfully and makes another dash for the house. You chase after her, your sharp eyes focusing on her drenched form fumbling down the hill, her balance faltering consistently yet somehow, she always manages to catch herself. You could easily catch her, but now that your house is within view, you can see Charlie's cruiser waiting out the front and you hesitate. There's no one inside and so you sprint to catch her. Luckily enough you grab her before she falls flat on her face.

Your help, though, seems to be last thing she wants. Bella whirls around to face you, her expression furious as her sodden brown hair sticks to her bleached cheeks. "Jacob! Can't you wait until we're inside and dry?!" The initial anger disappeared then, and you could tell she knew what you wanted to say, but she obviously had absolutely no intention of having this conversation with you at all. Her eyes are sad now and you think that's she probably been crying, a mixture of tears and rain pooling in the corners of her eyes. You don't want to have this conversation here anymore then she does, but if not now...if not here, then never.

You have to try one more time. You know how scared she is.

"Don't do this Bella. Please. You don't have the faintest idea what you're getting yourself into." You tighten your grasp on her shoulders, trying to get your message across through with some sort of physical recognition.

"Oh? And you do?" Now her face is turning into a bitter mask of disapproval.

"Yes, Bella. I see them for what they are."

"I see them too, Jacob. They're not monsters, they have emotions, they have souls. I love them. I need them."

You always get so angry when she stands here and defends them like they're damnsaints when they're the ones who shattered her heart and left her to pick up the pieces.

"Charlie and Renée need you," you tell her in a shaky, matter-of-fact voice.

There's no hint of remorse or guilt in her eyes, only pain - a pain you know is just common sense. "They don't need me...I'll miss them of course. I'll miss you all so much. But Charlie was living by himself for fifteen years before I came along, and as for Renée, she has Phil and her own life to lead. So do I."

"Is he really worth losing everything? Your family? Your friends? Your life?" you ask incredulously, blinking away the water constantly dripping in your eyes. It's hard to talk over the storm rumbling overhead.

She doesn't hesitate, and her voice is strong with unshakable conviction despite her violent shivering. "Yes."

You move your large hands up to clasp her face, and her skin is surprisingly warm. She stiffens, her head rigid in-between your palms. It's hard to keep a firm grip and at first you think it's because of her dampened skin. But then you realize that you're shaking...a lot and Bella's trying to tell you to calm down through her clenched jaw. It's so hard to concentrate though when you know the instant you let her go, you'll never see her again. You want to find another way to ground her to keep her away from that stupid bloodsucker, to kidnap her and keep her safe. Keep her human. But you know that'll never work...Bella's stubborn to a fault and she'll do whatever it takes to go through with this insanity.

"You could've kept it a secret and just...disappeared. So why come to see me. I bet Edward doesn't want you here anymore than he wants you to -"

"FOR THE LAST TIME JACOB, NO-ONE TELLS ME WHAT TO DO WITH MY LIFE! EDWARD DOES NOT CONTROL IT! EDWARD DOESN'T EVEN KNOW I'M HERE!"

"What? Then why the hell are you here?!"

Bella closes her eyes and breaths deeply; you push the guilty feeling to one side. "To say goodbye," she says simply, with just the tiniest hint of a growl, and you soften your grasp so she can speak freely. "You are my best friend, after all." The words physically sting you - sending a shock right through your whole body. The sudden pain throbbing madly in your chest is making it hard to breathe...and so finally, in that split second, those words push to a decision you thought you'd never, ever consider.

You let her go.

She doesn't make any move to run away; she stays frozen in the street, watching you struggling to keep your heart in one piece. You're on your knees now; the will to stand has been taken away by the pain. You're at her mercy in the middle of this abandoned street and both of you are soaking wet. She gingerly places a cool, shaky palm against your blazing cheek, a deep sadness resonating in her eyes. She leans forward slowly - her entire fragile frame shivering with the cold - and presses her lips lightly to your forehead, like a singeing ice burn against your boiling skin.

"Goodbye, Jacob. I'm...sorry. For everything. For hurting you, for...for leaving you, for leaving everyone." She sounded genuine - her voice broke twice. Not that it mattered.

She starts to walk back to the house, hesitates, then turns and comes back, kneeling down in front of you - tremors are violently wracking her body and her lips are a disturbing shade of blue. It takes her a few tries, but she mimics your previous actions - placing her frosty palms against your hot cheeks and resting her forehead against yours. Her sudden proximity alarms you, but you fight back the urge to grab her; your fists clenching painfully at your side. "J-Jacob...please...I know I have...no right, but can I...ask you to do something for me...no...two things, actually?" You don't answer, but she continues anyway. "P-Please...look after Charlie, and...and, and I know I sound like a...a hypocrite, but p-please...just...move on with your life...don't let me hurt you anymore than I already have. Be someone else's sun; make them as happy as you made me...happier, even."

Again, she stands up, turns, and walks back to the house.

You don't follow her. You don't move. You phase right there, howling in the storm.

The final goodbye.

After that day, you never saw her again. She didn't make it home that night. According the police reports, she disappeared without a trace. They had suspected the Cullens, who moved out of the area the next day because their house was burnt to the ground in a "tragic" accident. But nothing could ever proved.

You were sitting at the kitchen table when Charlie rang Billy, and you were already talking to the others in your head...already preparing. The treaty was broken.

This meant War.

And this time...it really was personal.