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Imprinting

Summary:
WARNING: DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T READ BREAKING DAWN


Notes:


1. Chapter 1

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 2340   Review this Chapter

He knew it was time to tell the truth when he heard the front door slam from his cosy position in the study. He could hear her stomping all the way up the stairs – ungraceful in comparison to an immortal but more graceful than any human could hope to be.

He knew it was time. And he knew it was going to be hard.

“Are you alright?” Getting up and poking his head out of the study. She stopped when she saw him; her beautiful face scrunched up in frustration.

“Not really.” She snapped.

He saw it as it played out in her head. Her moving forward slightly, inches from Jacob’s face. His stillness as he realised what was coming and then…

He sighed. This was the moment he had been anticipating for seven years. The moment he was nowhere near ready for (not that he’d ever be). How did he even begin to broach this subject?

How did he even begin to want to broach this subject?

“Come downstairs and I’ll make you a cup of tea.”

With a somewhat irritated glance his way, she sighed and followed him down the stairs. On their way down they passed seven years worth of photos of one beaming, bronze haired angel. She stopped at the bottom of the stairs and stared at one in contempt.

Edward stopped and turned.

“There’s something I’m missing.” She sighed in frustration; “Something he’s keeping from me and I don’t understand! If only he’d tell me! But he’s adamant… or nervous… he’s too spineless to be adamant…” She growled at the picture of her and the dark haired boy spitefully.

“Renesmee….”

Her eyes snapped up to his. He never used her full name. She couldn’t remember a time when anyone had. What could possibly warrant her father addressing her by her full name?

She looked back at the photo and frowned. Did it have something to do with Jacob…? Did…?

“You know what he’s keeping from me.” She said her eyes fixed on the picture.

Silence. Deadly silence.

“Right? That’s it isn’t it? You know.”

More silence.

She turned on her heel and wheeled to face him; “And Mum knows right? And Aunt Rose? And Emmett? And Alice and Jasper and Carlisle and Esme?”

He didn’t break their gaze before nodding slightly.

She sunk to the floor. She couldn’t decide whether it was out of frustration or not, but she had to grit her teeth to stop the unnamed emotion from sending tears rolling down her cheeks. She was determined not to cry about it.

“I want to know now.” She said determinedly. “I don’t care about the sentimentality of him being the one to tell me, and I don’t care what Mom thinks. You have to tell me.”

He was very good about it. He pulled her up from her position on the floor and had her seated in one of the kitchen chairs before she could even blink.

She had known before she’d known there was something to know that he would be the one to tell her, she realised with an inward chuckle. He’d always been the same, the father she so resembled. He had been the one to explain her nature, their nature, Jacob’s nature. When her mother and her Jacob (she snarled inwardly at the subconscious ownership) had been too concerned for her safety and too immobilised by her well being and happiness, he had always been the one to step in.

She knew that he was not blinded by her loveliness quite to the extent of everybody else. It was something she had never resented; just a statement of fact. That blindness was reserved for her mother, and her mother only. She knew of course, that she was an equal priority; but he was immune to her chocolate brown eyes and intoxicating presence. It was so much harder to wrap him around her finger than it was her mother and her Jacob.

And if she was being honest, she liked it that way.

It allowed for a closeness that not even Jacob could touch. A closeness that allowed the pair of them to sit in a comfortable silence for hours on end. A closeness that allowed for sarcasm and cynicism and fights and all the normal daughter and father things that they had thought were not possible in their unique situation.

She was brought out of her musing by the thud of a mug being placed on the table in front of her.

He was seated next to her before she could even blink.

“We were going to tell you,” He began in a breath, “When you first started developing feelings for him.”

She frowned; “I thought Mom was going out of her way now to block you from hearing my thoughts.” It had become obvious with her growing maturity that she needed some privacy from her Father's mind probing abilities. It had been very embarrassing for the both of them for a time. Her mother seemed to be the logical solution to this problem. A logical solution that inconveniently was only available when she was in a fifty mile radius - Renesmee's thoughts were now quite unprotected from her father.

“She made an exception for this,” He sighed. “Obviously we couldn’t tell you when you were younger. That would have been wrong. You wouldn’t have understood seeing Jacob as anything other than a big brother.”

She leaned back in the chair and folded her arms. So, her family didn’t find her attraction to Jacob as sick after all?

“But then your feelings began to change,” he tried to force a smile; “Frightened me to death. It frightened all three of us. Jacob the most.”

She winced slightly. So she was right. Jacob didn’t feel the same way. So what did that mean? That her being a half vampire automatically meant she was going to fall in love with or lust over anyone in a five mile radius with the same chromosome count? Was she bound by nature to live out her life chasing after a werewolf who was petrified of her advances?

She was more of a freak than she thought.

He grabbed her hand; “Will you stop making assumptions?”

“You realise this would be easier if you told me what it is and then proceeded to explain all the details.”

He chuckled; “Do you realise that if it was that easy we would have told you a year ago?”

She groaned in frustration; “Dad… You know what happened… You know he ran off… I’ve already used up my quota of embarrassment and frustration for the evening, can’t you just tell me quickly and cleanly?”

He smiled; “I’d like to. But you’d go into shock.”

She peeked out from underneath her hands and snorted; “My parents are vampires, I’m in love with a werewolf and I’m six and a half years old and feature the mentality and physicality of a seventeen year old. Can we appreciate for a moment that perhaps shock doesn’t factor into my life experience?”

He shook his head; “Always a smart answer.”

“And always with a smart question,” she replied evenly; “Tell me Dad.”

He paused, pulling his hand away gently. She watched curiously as he tried to fight off his inward protests.

Perhaps, to anyone else, their exchange would have been strange. She was perceptive and learned enough to understand that something was going on with Jacob that had halted their less than platonic relationship from beginning (and she was perceptive and learned enough to realise that his brotherly affection towards her had nothing to do with it.) She was also perceptive enough to understand what her father was explaining without great detail. She could piece it together herself. Something they had all known from birth that had kept Jacob near her and was now keeping them apart. She understood this even though to an outsider her understanding would have been incomprehensible.

But what she couldn’t understand was what made it so shocking and ridiculous that neither her mother or Jacob would have told her about it before.

“I don’t know quite how it works,” Edward began, “I’m not a werewolf. I do get an insight into it occasionally when you’re mother is letting her guard down around Jacob. As of the last year or so it’s been almost unbearable to think about. Similar to how it was when you were born – surprisingly my objections were for entirely the same reason.”

Renesmee frowned. Perhaps an outsider would have been less lost now – she was as confused as any average seventeen year old would be. Even with her perception and supernatural intuition she had no idea what he was talking about.

“It’s called imprinting,” he sighed, “And it’s what Jacob did when he saw you for the first time.”

She waited her mouth open slightly for him to continue.

“His entire world began to revolve around you. Everything that meant anything to him changed and morphed into the importance that you held in his life. Importance doesn’t even begin to cover it. Initially, having only limited information, I thought it was sick.”

“Limited information being…?”

“Sam and Emily.” Edward said softly.

She frowned. How did Emily and Sam come to have anything to do with this story? The married friends of Jacob. The parents of the children she had looked after with Jacob frequently over the years…

Something in her head clicked. “Sam imprinted – or whatever – on Emily? And you thought…”

“I thought that was how it would be with Jacob.”

She suddenly felt very dizzy, something she wasn’t accustomed to. She was human enough to feel human emotions to a very intense extent, but immortal enough not to receive the physical repercussions of them very often.

Her lips trembled slightly.

She grasped desperately at everything her father had said. She couldn’t imagine Jacob thinking like that… Her Jacob was not sick…

“You thought that was how it would be…?” She choked, “But it’s not?”

She didn’t know whether to be happy or not about that. On the one hand, it meant Jacob didn’t share her affections, which left her with a painful dose of unrequited love. On the other, it meant he hadn’t lusted over her as an infant child.

Happy, she decided.

“That’s not how it works.” He was grasping her hand again; “Do you understand why we didn’t tell you earlier? Why we hesitated?”

She nodded.

“I had to realise that it wasn’t like that too.” He said soothingly.

“How is it really?” She asked swallowing thickly, “This imprinting thing. If he didn’t… look at me as an infant and see me as Sam sees Emily.”

“You were the most important thing to him. He loved you like a protective brother. But that changes… Relative to your changing emotions.”

She swallowed again, for a different reason now.

She wasn’t arrogant, but she knew that she was piecing this together much faster than a human. He changed to suit the role she needed. When she was younger, what had she needed? A big brother to complete her extended family. As she had grown into her early teens, he had become her friend. And now…

Now…

Now he would be her partner.

“He… waited?”

“He’s still waiting. He’ll wait for as long as you’ll like. But he can be whatever you’d like him to be. You don’t have to be together.” The tone in her father’s voice made her think that that idea was a very preferable option; “But you’ll always be the centre of his universe.”

Renesmee thought about this. So he hadn’t waited in some sick perverted way for her to grow into what she was now? He was just existing and capable of morphing into what she needed… Or wanted. But to be the centre of his universe didn’t that mean logically they should be together? Be as close as possible?

But he didn’t want that. She had discovered that hurtful fact that evening.

“He’s scared.” Edward murmured.

“Of what?”

“Of how you’re going to react to all of this. How you’re going to see him now.”

“But…” She bit her lip, “In reality he has been waiting right? I mean… We can be anything we want, but he’s sure we’re going to be together. Isn’t that still a little…” She knew her father would hear the word sick bouncing around in her head, “He’s looked at me as an infant and thought ‘One day I’m going to marry her and…”

She tried not to finish that sentence, but trying was fruitless. The sentence extended into an image that she’d had quite frequently for months.

Edward set his jaw, “Do you mind trying to keep that under control?”

Her cheeks burned uncomfortably, “I can’t help it! Do you think I like having my father seeing those kinds of things?”

He tried to chuckle; “Bella has to block him for me too now.”

Her heart rate increased at the thought of Jacob having the same kind of thoughts as she did; “But… as I said… He’s been waiting since…”

“It’s not like that Ness,” he shook his head, “He hasn’t been waiting. It was just something he knew was going to happen eventually. He didn’t hope… not then. He only started hoping a few months ago.”

“But I still don’t understand why he’d reject my advances,” she cried in frustration; “I like him… If I’m the centre of his universe, does that not make him the centre of mine? Doesn’t that mean I’d love him no matter what? Doesn’t he understand that”

This time Edward did chuckle, “None of us are designed to believe the one we love is going to love us back. None of us. Not humans, vampires, werewolves or half vampires.”

“Or leprechauns, or banshees, or Harry Potter…”

He laughed and drew her into a hug. She realised despite her embarrassing fantasies and all the grown up chatter about imprinting, she was still the little girl with bronze curls who needed her father just a little bit more for his immunity to her magic.

“You’ve got me wrapped around your little finger.” He muttered, “How does that equal immunity?”

“We’re the same,” she said with a grin, “You know how I perform all my magic tricks - as Mom calls them.”

He chuckled. “I love you though. As blindly and devoutly as everyone else who’s still oblivious as to how you cut them all in half.”

“Bad joke,” She snorted, “But I love you too.”