You Can't Run From Fate
(Banner made by JokesOnJane) What if there were no vampires? What would the shapeshifters exist to protect, and from whom? Their people, of course, from the enemy clan. Together, Jacob and Araea (OC) unravel secrets about their heritage that had previously been overlooked by the elders. The war is on between the Quileutes and the Makahs for the most powerful breed of shapeshifting-wolves. WARNING: I am reserving the right to break canon a bit, and to tweak around with ages and such - what you have read in the books about a character and their age, may not be the same in my fic, just for the sake of continuity, but I try to keep it all realistic. I use twilightsaga.wikia.com to help me with this. UPDATE (May 5th 2010): I pretty much went AWOL on this story, and if ANYONE out there really liked it enough to be saddened by this, I sincerely apologize. Being a senior in high school truly sucks, and I was constantly far too stressed out to think much about this story. However, I'm nearing the end of my high school education, summer is rolling around, and I've been plagued with the urge to WRITE. Unfortunately, about 3 months ago, my computer crashed, taking with it ALLLL the planning documents I had typed out, my plots, my twists, my details, EVERYTHING...so I will have to work on re-formulating those things before I can bang out chapters. ;/ It will happen though...I love this story too much to just let it die off and never see completion.
This story came from a wild idea I had, that just escalated and escalated until I couldn't contain it any longer, and I had to write it. I try to stay as close to the book as possible, but some things have changed. It does feature an original character, but to reveal anything else about her would be a spoiler.
2. Chapter 2: Starting All Over
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Because we were pummeled by the tragedy of Andrew's death so abruptly, I hadn't thought about any of the customs that usually succeeded a death. It was the third time I woke up, this time in the backseat of the moving car that the thought came to me: we weren't going to have a funeral? I was on the verge of voicing the question out loud, when I remembered the scrap of his white t-shirt, stained in blood. The most gruesome, but entirely probable solution to my question washed over me, and I cringed, sucking in air and shutting my eyes tightly, trying to force my tears back inside.
The scrap of his shirt was all they had found.
Without a body, there was no need for a funeral.
The sound of the car's engine purring subtly as it accelerated onward was calming, and somehow kept me from falling apart again. I could barely feel a pulse in my veins as it chugged sluggishly in an endless cycle. I stayed huddled across the backseat, staring intently at the small creases in the upholstery as my mind flickered through more questions that I would not ask aloud.
What would happen to our house? I supposed my aunt Aylen would watch over it; after all, she did live just across the street from us. The thought added a different kind of sadness to my already throbbing heart. I would miss the Quileute community, the feeling of closeness with everyone to the point where, if they weren't already family, they became as good as it. Everyone looked out for each other, and helped in any way that they could. It really was as if I was leaving my whole life behind on the reservation.
But as far as I could see, we had left all our furniture and belongings there, as there was no U-Haul following our car. Besides, we had left far too abruptly to allow my mother the time to order one to take our stuff with us. And there were no bags inside the car, but I guessed that the trunk was packed with essentials. I wondered if she had brought our family photos, or if she'd left those behind too, because they were now too painful for her to gaze upon. I really hoped that she didn't - those photos were all we had left of Andrew now, which was better than absolutely nothing.
The three questions that I couldn't get out of my head remained to be: where we were going, how we were going to go on without him, and mainly... how I was going to live with myself. I knew that I would go the rest of my existence blaming myself for Andrew's death, unless, of course, I saw a psychiatrist. But somehow I doubted very much that even a shrink could assuage my guilt.
And my mother - well, my mother and I had never been very close, to tell the truth. The only factor that seemed to tie us together was...Andrew. How was I going to coexist with a woman who more than likely also held me responsible for her son's death? It was sure to be an uncomfortable experience. If I were to be honest with myself, the prospect of going through such an ordeal desperately made me wish that my father were with us, which is something I had never seriously wished for before.
My father, Mige, died before I was born, and that was all I knew of him. So in actuality, Andrew was only my half brother, as we had different fathers, but that never meant a thing to me - he was always as good as my full, biological brother. But as far as my own biological father was concerned, my mother simply refused to explain anything more to me, but it was all I felt I needed to know. I couldn't feel sad about someone I'd never met, even if he helped give me life, and was supposed to be my father. I'd grown up well enough with one parent, and so, I felt no need to mourn the absence of the other.
I have to admit, however, I was slightly disappointed when Andrew's father did not stick around to watch him grow up, to be his father, and, by default, be my father as well. I had lived 5 years then with just my mother, but the thought that I could have had a fatherly figure, was a nice thought, that never came into fruition. My mother must have loved him more than she loved my own father, because when she explained to me that Andrew's father had left her, and wasn't coming back, she cried for months - morning, noon, and night.
But in light of the tragedy, I felt that in order to make existing more...bearable, I should become closer to my mother. I wanted to talk to her, right that very moment, but was stopped by doing so upon hearing her give a great, rasping gasp for air, followed by a fresh wave of sobs. It reminded me of how she was during the months that Andrew's father left her, which startled me - she was an absolute mess for so long, and that was merely her soulmate. But Andrew...Andrew was her own flesh and blood, her creation. I gulped the burning sensation in my throat the told me tears were trying to force their way out, as I did not want to break down and cry myself. I didn't want my mother to know that I was intruding upon her grief, although it was the same as mine, and so I readjusted myself slightly, and feigned sleep, until eventually, nothingness consumed me yet again.
The next time I woke up, it was because my mother was gently shaking me. I stirred awake, rubbing my eyes and opening them to see that it was pitch black except for the bright lights of a building next to us. Before I could ask where we were, I heard the roaring of an engine somewhere above us, and immediately knew we were at an airport. "Come on Araea, help me with the bags."
Just like I had thought, our trunk was packed with luggage. After getting it all out and draping ourselves in backpacks with handles clasped in our hands, my mother closed the trunk, and placed the single, solitary key to the car on the hood of the trunk, and started walking. I stared at the key, and then back at her - she turned around, noticing I wasn't following her.
"Araea, let's go, please," she said in a voice of utmost exasperation and tiredness. "But...mom...the car?"
She pursed her lips before saying, "It doesn't matter anymore. Let's go."
Slowly, I started walking after her. I wasn't being materialistic, but rather, genuinely astonished that my mother would just leave the car and the key, for anyone to take, in the middle of the parking lot.
Inside the airport, the bright lights stung my eyes, and despite the lateness of the hour - a clock hanging on the wall told me it was 1:43 AM - there were so many people buzzing about, and the noise made my head hurt. I followed my mother up to the ticket booth, and saw, judging by the board hanging on the wall, that we were in Seattle, as every blinking notice said "Seattle to" followed by a name of a different city.
"I'd like to purchase two one way tickets to Marquette, Michigan, please," my mother told the woman behind the counter, and my head snapped toward her. She really was going to take me halfway across the country...
I couldn't help it; I began to cry, yet again. I had just realized right then and there that a part of me was still holding onto the thinnest thread of hope that this was all just a bad dream, that my mother was overreacting, and that we weren't going to be very far from home after all, but being in the airport, and finally learning where our next destination was, cut through that thread, and I couldn't control my tears anymore. The woman looked at me sympathetically as she handed the tickets to my mother and said, "Your flight leaves in one hour. Enjoy your trip." I guessed that she had to say that, to everyone, no matter how unhappy they looked and by extent, unlikely to "enjoy their trip," because I was dead certain my mother and I were the most obviously unhappy people to have purchased plane tickets during that given day.
We sat down in a lobby-like area, and I was still letting tears flow freely down my face. After a while, when my mother probably assumed I wouldn't stop crying unless she comforted me, she grabbed my hand in hers and squeezed it gently. I couldn't look at her at that moment - I was still feeling just a bit upset with her for taking me to God-knows-where, so far away from my home.
Before long, the announcement that our flight was boarding, rang over the intercom. By then, I was feeling the tiring-effect I always got from crying so much, and I felt like a zombie, shuffling through lines for luggage and ticket inspection, and before I knew it I was seated on a rather small jet with about 15 other passengers. I stayed conscious long enough to listen to the stewardess tick off the rules of the flight, to hear and feel the engine start up, and to see the jet depart from the ground. But seeing as it was so dark, there was no scenery to enjoy as the jet cut through the clouds.
As if I could "enjoy" anything at that moment.
My mother asked the stewardess for a blanket and a pillow, and then handed them to me wordlessly. Once I felt comfortable enough, I fell into the darkness of sleep, yet again.
Needless to say, I was dumbfounded to find out that Marquette, Michigan wasn't our final destination after all.
When we left the jet, the sun was creeping up into the sky; I guessed that it was around 5 o'clock in the morning. As soon as we entered the airport, my mother pulled me with her to the information booth.
"Excuse me, where is there the nearest Greyhound bus station?" she asked. My mouth opened, and I somewhat glared at my mother. Where was she taking us now?!
After we received the directions, we left and hailed down a taxi, which dropped us off at the bus station.
More tickets, more waiting.
We were going to Nahma, Michigan. Or at least, I hoped that would be the last stretch of our trip.
I fell asleep while waiting, and fell asleep yet again on the uncomfortable seats of the bus. I felt like I could never get enough sleep.
When we got off at the station, I noticed it was absolutely miniscule compared to the station we had just come from. That immediately screamed "small town" inside my head, and I groaned. I just knew that we were walking into a death trap, completely cut off from civilization. I bet they didn't even have phone lines here.
Amazingly enough, there was just one taxi available, and we hopped in immediately. My mother told him the directions, and as we drove, I stared at the surroundings that confirmed my suspicions.
There were vast expanses of land, and that was all that could truly be said about the town of Nahma. Every now and then we passed by a farm-like home, but that was it.
At last, the taxi halted to a stop before a house that looked, well...old, but still sturdy. It was a log cabin, which I found exceedingly strange. The chimney was made of bricks, and there was smoke emitting from it. These kinds of houses still existed? I wondered in amazement. Apart from the other houses we had passed by, this house in particular was surrounded by acres of trees, a kind of mini-forest area, and some mountainous terrain in the distance. Stepping out of the taxi, I registered for the first time that the air was bitterly cold, and I shivered - I was only wearing jeans and a t-shirt.
My mother paid the taxi driver, and retrieved our luggage from the trunk. With me in tow, she walked up to the door, and knocked.
When the door opened, I gasped. A man stood before us, looking like the spitting image of the woman who stood beside me, except his face was hard and masculine rather than soft and feminine. His expression registered at first, shock, and then, understanding. I stared back and forth between the two. Had we crashed and fallen into some sort of alternate reality? This was simply too bizarre to be true.
"Analli. It has been so long," he smiled, and his smile created the same wrinkles in the corners of his eyes that my mother's did, that even I held faint traces of. He held his arms open, inviting her into his embrace, which she took.
"Asis, I've missed you so. It was a mistake not to leave with you," she whimpered, clearly about to break out into tears again. Asis "shhh-ed" her softly, patting her gently on her back. "No no, don't say that, Analli. You know very well that you couldn't have left, even if you wanted to, and you know that you truly didn't." He released her, still holding her hands in his. He then turned to look at me, and smiled again. "But of course, this is Araea. It is a pleasure to finally meet you."
All I could do was stare at him in bewilderment. How on Earth did this man already know my name?! I had never seen him before in living memory! My expression must have come off as rude, but the kind look on his face didn't falter. "Yes, this is her, Araea Summers." My mother turned to smile at me. Upon seeing my confused expression, she leaned in closer to me and whispered in my ear. "Araea...there is a lot that I have kept from you, and I hope you can forgive me. I promise I will tell you everything in due time, but right now, let's get you inside, you're shivering cold."
I hadn't even realized that I was, indeed, trembling from head to foot due to the fact that I was overwhelmed by the onslaught of questions concerning whom exactly Asis was, and why we were here. Asis ushered me into his home, and my mother took my bags from me.
"Here you are, Araea. Sit by the fire side, and warm up," Asis suggested, motioning toward the crackling fire that was the source of the smoke seen from outside. I thankfully sank down to the floor, immediately feeling the effect of the fire warming me up all over, in addition to the thick blanket that Asis draped over my shoulders. I wrapped myself in it completely, temporarily forgetting my questions to appreciate the warmth.
I paid little attention as Asis showed my mom where to put our bags - "in Jamika's room." I took a wild guess that Jamika was his daughter, or, perhaps, some other unknown blood relative, I mused sarcastically. My mother muttered something about "sorry for the inconvenience," but Asis dismissed her apologies, replying with "anything for family."
Before long, the two adults seated themselves on the couch behind me, and I turned to face them.
"Araea, you will be sleeping in Jamika's room. My daughter, Jamika, is younger and smaller than you are, but her bed should still be comfortable," Asis said, still smiling at me. It was almost unnerving how benignly calm the man seemed to be, despite the fact that two relatives had appeared unannounced with a bunch of belongings on his doorstep.
"Oh sir, I really don't want to take your daughter's bed away from her, that's not-"
"No no, Araea, I assure you, it is quite alright. The bed I share with my wife is quite big enough to accompany our daughter while you are staying here, or at least until we can rearrange our home to better accommodate you and your mother."
I stared sadly at him, and nodded, thankful for his kindness, but all the same still feeling wretched for putting such a strain on what appeared to me, to be a once simple and quiet lifestyle.
I didn't quite notice the silent exchange between the two adults, as they gazed at each other, speaking with their eyes rather than words. It wasn't until my mother cleared her throat softly, that my attention was brought back to them.
"Araea, there is a lot that needs to be said, but I'm afraid that right now, I can only tell you half of what you need to know. Actually, it just might be less than half. But it is for your own good, I assure you, that I leave out the most crucial of details. Like I said before, you will know everything when the time comes for you to know it all."