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With Open Sores and Open Jaw

Summary:
The emotions cannot enter or exit, but can only move around inside. She will always feel guilty for it. Leah-centric


Notes:
Time of day doesn't exactly coincide with canon, but whatever; while we're at it, let's pretend Bella didn't try to fly. Artistic liberties, right? Written for chem15try on LJ.


1. Chapter 1

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2691   Review this Chapter

There must be something going around, Leah thinks as she tosses and turns in her bed, her mother placing a cool towel over her forehead. This fever is burning her up and she watches, bleary eyed, blinded from the searing heat in her, as her parents speak in urgent, hushed voices in the hall between her and Seth's room. She remembers how Quil and Embry and Jacob and basically every teen she knows had been sick not entirely long ago. Whatever is ailing her, it's a pain and she hates it.

"Sweetie," her mother says, sitting at her bedside. Leah groans and turns her head away, not wanting to be around anyone. "Your father and I think we should take you and Seth to the clinic. Your fevers are running over 100."

"No," she mumbles, "I don't want to go. I'm fine, I'll be fine. Just let me sleep, leave me alone."

"Leah-"

"I said I want to be left alone," Leah snaps, jerking away from her mother's concerned touch to curl against the wall.

"This could be a life or death situation," Sue presses.

"I don't care," Leah responds through gritted teeth. She almost wants to die. Maybe that would show Sam he should have stuck around. Maybe she could muster the energy to write a fake suicide note saying how she injected herself with Meningitis or some other horrible disease because she couldn't take the pain of his betrayal any longer.

There's the sound of shattering glass from Seth's room across the hall and Sue gasps. Leah can only manage to look wearily in the direction of her open door. Harry stumbles into the room, his face lacking its normal amount of color and eyes wide in shock.

"Seth, he, he," her father stutters. Sue looks to him, hand over her mouth which is in a surprised O. "The legends, they're true. Seth, he's turned into a- a wolf."

"You're talking nonsense," her mother whispers with disbelief.

"He changed and jumped through the window and ran off into the dark as if someone called his name."

Tears leak from Sue's eyes.

"You don't think. . ." Harry starts and both parents look to Leah.

"Stop looking at me," Leah complains, "I'm not some circus freak on display, you know."

She feels her hair stand on end, the hairs at the nape of her neck bristling. Sue chokes out a sob and Leah has had it with her mother's melodrama. She's fine. She doesn't need the rez clinic. She doesn't care that Seth is a legendary wolf and jumped out his own window. She doesn't care about anything anymore. She just wants to sleep and be left alone.

"Get out," Leah spits at them.

"Leah, honey-" her mother begins, concerned.

"I said, leave, get out!" Leah yells as much as she can and before she even knows what's happening she's different and on all fours and covered in fur. She sees her mom and she sees her dad, who looks like he's in pain and is clutching at his shoulder, between his heart and left arm.

Leah?

She recognizes that voice anywhere and as always, is torn between resentment and adoration. Beneath it there are whispers that she can't decipher because Sam's voice in her head is so clear.

I don't know how, but you're one of us. Come on.

Leah hesitates, watching her mother call the clinic, hysterically crying how her husband is having a heart attack. Leah hears a whimper come from her throat before copying Seth's actions and jumping out the window. She was thankful she'd opened it earlier to try and cool her fever. She only ended up breaking the wooden frame because of her large size.

All the whispers in her head become more pronounced as she nears the others and she recognizes all of the voices. Seth's stands out the most in her head. They all saw what she saw. Her father, his heart stopping because of her. Guilt rips her, guilt she has no control over.

Is he dead? Seth's voice rings in her head with frantic worry. Leah approaches the rest of them who look at her curiously, a piece of art on display. They're all undeniably solid, tall, shaggy. She feels more lean, smaller, and seems to have more fur covering her body, sandy colored flecked with reds and browns. She wonders if the other sandy colored one is Seth. She can't really decipher who is who because they're all speaking, thinking, and staring at her.

I don't know. Leah thinks and realizes she can't stand the bombardment of all their thoughts in her mind. What's going on? How did this happen? She instinctively looks to Sam, somehow she can tell which one is him so easily. She catches pieces of his thoughts, explaining to her. ". . .loved you. . . Emily. . . imprinting. . . couldn't. . .so sorry." The missing pieces are lost in the confused thoughts of everyone else.

Leah growls. Can you all stop thinking for just five seconds? She looks to Sam. Yeah, you're sorry, I'm sorry, Emily's sorry, everyone's sorry. Just tell me why I'm a wolf; why I'm like the rest of you.

It must be in your blood. Must be your genes, you and Seth both. Sam looks to Seth who's staring at his own sister with hurt and angry eyes.

You better not have killed Dad, Seth threatens. Leah growls at him as if to tell him to shut up. The sirens approaching her house can be heard as the clinic on-call medics race to save her father.

There are things you and Seth need to know and understand. . . Sam begins and tells them all they need to know. Leah can't stop thinking how much her heart aches for Sam and how his voice in her head is an acid torture. She can't stop worrying that her father is dead because of something she couldn't control. Worst of all, she can't stop hearing everyone else talking to each other uncomfortably, hearing her thoughts and dreading all their impending time together with their new female friend. She snarls at the others and Sam reprimands her with a snarl of his own at her. She needs to focus, to understand what she needs to know.

Seth is restless. He wants to phase back, be human, see his father. Sam understands.

You may want to return home before changing back, Sam lets them know.

Why? Seth asks curiously. He hears Jacob, Quil, and Embry snicker in his head.

When you phase, you implode and explode at the same time. Your clothes are shreds and if you were to change back now, you'd be naked, Sam explains calmly while the others giggle at themselves and Seth and Leah can see no one took the care to tell them this fact. Seth seems to smile wryly, his wolf mouth grinning, amused at their memories but too upset over his father to really appreciate the embarrassing hilarity. Leah turns and runs back to the house as fast as she can. She needs to know if her father is alive. Seth quickly follows her.

They barge into the house through their respective windows and meet awkwardly in the front room, pants and T-shirts carelessly thrown on. Without even putting on shoes, Leah races to the car and puts the car in reverse as soon as Seth slams the passenger door. The car beeps at her angrily, telling her to put her seatbelt on, but she doesn't pay it any attention. She speeds to the clinic and they enter, flushed and coated in thin films of sweat.

"Mom," Leah chokes as she sees their mother, tissues gathered in her lap and one placed beneath her nose. Emily is there, an arm wrapped around her mother. Leah stops where she stands and knows the worst has happened.

Seth's jaw sets and he sits next to Sue, holding tears in his eyes. She envelops him in a wet, teary hug and he lets his own tears flow. Emily greets Leah with a smile of sympathy and comfort on the pretty half of her face. Leah feels a lump in her throat and feels the water flowing down her face before she even realizes she's crying.

"I'm sorry," she whispers to her mother before a sob chokes her and she sniffles, feeling completely inhuman, cruel, pathetic, and monstrous. Emily places a hand on her shoulder and she puts her own over it. Emily gives her a knowing look, feeling the warmth of her cousin's skin. Leah coughs another sob and her cousin brings her into a hug, the four of them in the waiting room, crying and upset. Not long after, the rest of the pack enters the clinic and Leah can't bring herself to meet any of their eyes. In fact, when they try and show her any sympathy, she feels the foreign sensation of a rumbling growl move in her human chest and vocal chords. She wants them to stay away, leave her alone. She doesn't even want Emily touching her like she is, holding her hand like they used to when they were young and so much closer.

Seth, Leah, and their mother return home. Emily goes with them and insists Sam go back to their house. Everyone else went home a while ago. Now it's one in the morning and Sue has been filling out paperwork. Leah drives, knuckles white on the steering wheel, silent, and icy cold. When they arrive home, Sue bursts into a new wave of tears as she goes to the room she shared with Harry. Leah and Seth stand numbly in the living room while Emily makes tea. She also goes into Seth and Leah's rooms where she cleans the broken glass in his and the wood splinters in hers.

"You can sleep in my room with me if you want," Leah whispers, like they used to. Emily smiles sweetly. They both know Leah will not sleep tonight and it's possible Emily won't either. Leah breaks into a fresh wave of tears when Emily places a comforting hand on her shoulder and is for once glad Emily is there to hug her and rock her and tell her it's going to be okay in hushes, loving whispers while she tears her own heart out.

I killed him, is all that goes through Leah's head and she's thankful she's not a wolf right now. Seth would be more than happy to agree. She feels a flash of anger burst through her. They'll all blame her, everyone. Emily will try to tell her different - hell, maybe even Sam will try, too - but it won't change that their accusations are true. Sitting together on the sofa, Emily and Leah hear a mournful howl in the woods. Leah gets up and looks in Seth's room, but he's gone and she knows it was him they heard. They'll all feel his pain and all know it's her fault. Damn that stupid pack connection. Damn Seth. He's already made himself a nice, new addition. She feels left out, alone, like normal. She wonders if maybe she needs this, this new wolfishness. Maybe she can finally mend things with Sam, but she snorts to herself, knowing that it's an impossible long shot that she'll never make.

"Do you want to talk about it?" Emily asks cautiously as she watches her cousin's features harden. She already looks older, just as all the boys had. Seth will be maturing physically soon as well. Leah seems like she'll change slightly, too. But the sudden maturation of her face probably has more to do with her father's death rather than being a wolf.

"Talk about what?" Leah replies stiffly, her mind making her unsure if it's her father or Sam Emily wants to talk about.

"Your father," Emily whispers.

"No. I want. . ."

Emily looks at her hopeful that maybe Leah is finally coming around, sharing her emotions, not being so closed off from the world. Not just about this, but about everything.

"I want to go out," Leah decides and leaves the house. Emily watches her from the kitchen window and her cousin disappears into the woods.

Leah walks a good distance from the house before stripping and almost finding it pleasantly convenient that the cold air doesn't bother her in the least. She folds her clothes neatly and stores them in the branches of a tree before phasing and racing through the woods to find what she now can call her brothers, even if they don't like her.

She hears Seth's angry, muddled thoughts and they whip at her, leaving new marks next to the scars Sam left. She enters their little circle in a soft walk, trying to stay visually inconspicuous. Seth doesn't pause in his mental abusing of her. She hears Sam delicately tell him that's enough. Seth blurts one more bad thing about Leah almost involuntarily and Jacob has her brother pinned to the ground, letting Seth know enough is enough when Sam says so.

With stern commandment, Sam is about to tell Jacob to get off Seth, but Leah pounces on Jacob, knocking him off her brother. She barks at him and bites at his face. Jacob is stronger than she is and fights her off, biting at her in return, both of them snarling. Leah doesn't care what Seth says about her, no one attacks her little brother.

Sam steps between them, growling with authority and anger. Jacob backs off, the hair on his back standing up. He slinks off between Quil and Embry, eying Leah with contempt.

She can see she's not going to fit in here at all. Seth looks terrified at the fight that just took place before him, over him. Leah pushes against him, almost playfully as if to tell him to forget about it, that it doesn't matter. Sam looks at Jacob scoldingly, but spares Leah the same look. She can hear the buzz of discontent at her presence. She has entered the Boys Club and can't help that she's a member. The hair on her haunches bristles slightly with anger at how unabashedly open the pack is for their dislike of her, not even trying to think different thoughts.

This is when she decides that if they're going to make her feel unwelcome, she's going to make them feel irritated, awkward, anything uncomfortable.

Sam leads the pack elsewhere; they all need to clear their heads. It's been a long, hectic night for everyone.

It's when they're moving out, they all see Leah's memories of her and Sam together, kissing in the theater at Port Angeles, holding hands at First Beach, feeling Leah's pain at Sam leaving her for Emily. Jacob makes a disgruntled moan in his throat in annoyance. He doesn't want to feel her pain on top of Seth's whether the pain is from Harry's death or not. None of them do.

Sam looks to Leah with an annoyed expression in his intelligent eyes. He'd rather their memories be as private as possible; the pack already knows how badly he feels about leaving Leah, how much of his time is spent in complete self-loathing for something he cannot help.

But Leah does not care and it fuels uncomfortable dislike amongst the pack that she can't bring herself to care about either. She feels them pushing her from their minds as much as they can and knows that somehow, once again, she's landed the position of an outsider, a position she never even applied for. And once again, she realizes she seems to have brought it on herself.