Title: Fighting Words
Pairing/Character(s): Leah/Jake, Rose/Emmett, Alice/Jasper, Esme/Carlisle, pre Nessie/Nahuel
Word Count: ~4,000
Warnings/Spoilers: Takes place vaugely after the end of The Guide Triology; language.
Disclaimer: All characters, situations, quotes et al are properties of their respective owners and I am merely using them under Title 17 of the US Code, § 107, aka the Fair Use Doctrine, without intents to infringe upon or defame anyone's legal rights. It wouldn't be worth the cost to sue me anyway.
Summery: Nessie has her turn at a crazy idea... Or, Aunt Leah wants YOU to write Blackwater. [Mocking of the Twilight series ensues.]
An Article of Recruitment for the Blackwater Cause
"I wouldn't recommend sex, drugs, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me."
Hunter S Thompson
She'd never been quite an ordinary two-year-old, and Ness's room belayed that sentiment in a way that nothing else could. Oh, there was a pink princess bed against one wall (an insistence of Aunt Alice's that no amount of logic, fighting, or fake tears could rid her of) and a rocking chair near the window. Thanks to the majority of her pseudo-relations and their almost compulsive need to provide her with gifts on every holiday man had yet invented, the corner with the rocking chair was surrounded by dolls and plushes of every variety. Her favourite was a fuzzy white rabbit Uncle Emmett had given her for her first Easter. She called it Wimples.
But, whereas those areas of her room were quite the expected for a toddler, the rest was rather... peculiar. There was a state-of-the-art sound system set up in one corner and, if one had gone to the iPod there and pressed shuffle, one would have discovered a peculiar combination of Baroque and rock, with a smattering of pop and folk music to round out her collection. A pair of roller-skates stuck out from under her desk, which was currently littered with paper print-outs, photocopies of books, and a pink frilly thing that might have been a feather boa but was in actuality a pen. Ness hated the pen (an Aunt Alice purchase), but she was desperate and a search for any other writing implement would've led her to the basement, and, despite Aunt Leah's best attempts, in two years she'd made little progress past the papers. Though Aunt Leah had found Aunt Alice's AMS seal, she'd yet to find anything anyone could actually use – though Aunt Rose had made good use of the cheese grater, but Ness was pretty sure hers wasn't the intended use of the object.
At least Mother didn't have the same obsession with pink Aunt Alice did. That was one of the few things about her mother than Ness – named Renesmee by said mother and called either Ness or Nessie by everyone else, despite the fact she'd put in a strong effort into having them change her name to Vanessa – liked. Not that she didn't like Mother, but, as cousin Kate had pointed out, Mother and Father were permanently stuck in their teens and, as such, were rather self-centred and hormonal and whatnot, meaning that they were great pals when she wanted to talk about religion or politics (well, Father was) or the ignominy of the people in magazines (Mother, specifically, though even she had her limits with that), but neither was very parental. Though Father did tend to get overprotective with her, especially whenever Nahuel came to visit. Especially the last time, when he'd brought his half-sisters with him. U'Yara is the oldest, almost two-fifty, and then there's Alkithoe, who's almost two centuries, and Wirapu'ku, who's just a couple decades older than Nahuel. They're very strange, his sisters, and act like people out of a Brazilian version of Gone with the Wind, and call themselves Gabriela, Micaela and Rafaela respectively, and call Nahuel Miguel, which he doesn't like but puts up with 'cause they're his sisters...
But Ness only thought of Mother right now 'cause it was all her fault she had to do this. She only thought of Nahuel because he was his last visit had been back in June, and he was supposed to be showing up any day now for Christmas – without his annoying sisters and their hoop-skirts and their refusal to speak anything but português and their annoying way of calling her Ariel, which really wouldn't've been so bad if she could figure out if they were referring to Judeo-Christian archangel, Prospero's helper in The Tempest, or the girl from The Little Mermaid. And, unlike cousin Kate, who'd tell you why she called so some bizarre name, usually with some strange meaning behind it, Nahuel's sisters would just ignore her and start asking her what a movie was, though you knew perfectly well they knew – and she was anxious about it. And not (or so she told herself) because she'd looked like a lowly ten-year-old last time he'd seen her and now, well, everyone said she looked at least twelve and, since he'd said by the time he was about her real age, his ageing had slowed down, until he looked about sixteen or eighteen when he was really seven, and hadn't aged since. She was only anxious because it meant she could go to school next year, and she'd never been around kids of any age much, and Nahuel was her best friend and she didn't want him to think she was planning on replacing him.
But back to Mother, who was the reason for the stupid pen and the photocopies and the computer print-outs. Mother and Father were out looking at colleges somewhere in the Midwest with Grandma Esme, and Grandpa Carlisle had been called to deal with some sort of emergency at the hospital, meaning it was the perfect time to put her plan in place. She just had to wait.
Not that she had to wait long. "Ness," Aunt Leah said, coming through the door with a puzzled expression, "I know it's a long way down the stairs, but you coulda just shouted." She waved her phone at the half-vampire, which was crooning a jazz number to tell her that she'd gotten a text message, and was about at the point of shouting at it she'd read the message already, so why wouldn't it shut up? "Do you really hate me so much you have to stoop to Kate's level?"
Pouting, "I am not stooping to cousin Kate's level. She's the one that wrote the code she put in your phone. Believe me, Uncle Emmett and I have tried to break it, but all we have gotten for our trouble so far is a virus on our phones that sings 'We Are The Champions' every time one of the Denalis call us."
Aunt Leah looked torn between laughing and destroying her phone, but settled for taking the phone over to the bed and stuffing it under one of the stuffed animals there before sprawling across the pink comforter with only a token nose-scrunch of disdain. "Kate is crazy. So, what you need?"
Ness tossed her one of the books from her desk and waited for the others to arrive.
Aunt Leah had no sooner unburied her head from the comforter then saw the cover of the book and, groaning, buried her head back in the blankets. "Ew ate bee, don't too?"
Ness was saved from answering when Aunt Alice came bouncing through the door, pulling Uncle Jasper along, chattering about how much fun this was going to be, followed shortly by Aunt Rose and Uncle Emmett and, bowl of popcorn in hand, Uncle Seth. She'd wanted Uncle Jacob to be here too, but he was at work, so Aunt Leah would just have to fill him in on the details later. Who knew when she'd get another chance like this?
"Nessie, dear," Aunt Rose said after a moment, having long ago decided that glaring at Uncle Seth for his eating habits helped nothing, "your text said you had something important to tell us?"
Uncle Emmett, though, had gone over to the bed and was looking curiously at Aunt Leah. Bending down, until his nose was almost in her hair, he gave a great sniff. "Well, the mutt's not pregnant, so I'm officially disa- Hey! Stop that!
"Emmett, stop playing with the puppy and-"
"Playing with her, Rose? I- Ow! She's attacking me!"
"You sniffed me-"
"I was curious alright! I- Since when have werewolves been able to hit this hard?"
"Considering I'm hitting you with the biggest piece of shit in history, I'd've thought it'd be a touch softer – it's all your fault, you know!"
"Ow! How is it – Stop that, Lee! This isn't funny!"
Sitting in a chair by the wall of bookcases opposite the desk, Uncle Jasper interrupted, filled with Aunt Alice's and Uncle Seth's own amusement, insisting it was. Aunt Rose even took a moment from studying her nails to comment, "You're the one who insisted we have that, that woman write those books." Aunt Rose hadn't slept with Uncle Emmett for a whole week over that. Nessie wasn't supposed to know, what with her being littler at the time, but she'd known. It'd made Uncle Emmett very unhappy. He'd gone through with it, and there were now movies and everything that he insisted everyone read and watch, as appropriate. He was very proud of himself for contributing to the family "trust fund" while protecting the entire vampire race and couldn't see why everyone wasn't as happy. It'd made him so sad Uncle Jasper had taken him to the zoo in desperate attempt to keep from going insane – not that'd worked out so well for the penguins, but Uncle Jasper had, at least, accomplished his goal. Which, Ness had always assumed, was to cheer up Uncle Emmett, not to almost have him get caught in the penguin enclosure of the Woodland Park Zoo, though, with her uncles, one could never be sure.
"Uncle Emmett was just trying to help," Ness tried, though she should have known better than to expect calm cooperation with this lot. "Now, Aunt Leah, if you will just stop hitting Uncle Emmett-"
"Not until the fucking dirt-bag apologizes," was her reply, now sitting soundly on the rather pink bed and hitting whatever parts of said dirt-bag with the book Ness had tossed her earlier. It was titled Breaking Dawn. "Not just for sniffing me, but for making me touch this book. Do you know if there's any acid in the basement? I've not seen any yet, but you have all sorts of junk and I'm going to need to burn my hands to get rid of the stain of this filth."
With a sigh, "That's why we are here, Aunt Leah."
"When I said acid, I meant the burning kind, not the LSD type."
"Leah, how many times do I have to tell you, we're not drug lords?"
Aunt Leah snorted at Aunt Alice. "That's what you say, but then I found the hats in the basement, and the papers from when you were Argentina." Aunt Leah had a slight obsession with the hats she found in the basement and kept on using them to prove her theories, her drug lord theory being just one of the oldest of her hat-caused ideas. Once, she'd found a collection of straw boaters that, with cousin Kate's help, had become a conspiracy theory involving the murder of John Jacob Aster IV, the sinking of the Titanic to cover it up, and the theft of several million dollars from Madeleine Talmage Force Aster. Father was somehow involved, though he'd only have been eleven at the time and not yet turned, as were several telegraph messages, half a bottle of port, and the bribing of one Morgan Robertson fourteen years before the occurrence in a manner quite similar to Emmett's ghost-writing campaign, nevermind that Father was three years from being born at the time of said bribing and Grandfather Carlisle was working as a doctor in the backwoods of Wisconsin. Aunt Leah often had odd ideas when it came to the source of the family money, and Nessie had long learned to let it slide or else allow herself to be driven slightly mad.
Aunt Alice rolled her eyes.
"I was actually talking about the filth," Ness said, speaking with as much authority as she could force into her voice. "Aunt Leah is right – Uncle Emmett let the ghost-writer get away with too much in the books, but especially the last one. She makes Aunt Rose out to be so mean, and has Aunt Leah all mopy over Sam for ages, and then has the nerve to have Uncle Jake 'imprint' on me and leave out the twins altogether."
"And gives your mom way too many superpowers," Aunt Leah added, throwing the book at Uncle Emmett, who caught it and cradled it like it was something precious. "Not to mention a brain. She never had a brain before; I don't see why she should get one when she's done the bimbo thing and become a vampire. I was led to believe nothing changed after you became a vampire, and the growing of internal organs sounds like a hell of a change to me."
Looking hurt, "But it's brilliant! We're hiding in plain sight – after all, anyone who happens to notice anything will just think they've read the books or seen the movie, and, while, okay, she left out some pretty key details, but the fourth one she was gunning for some 'literary license' and threatening to tell the truth – well, as much of the real truth, that is, that she knew – and, while, yes, they might just have institutionalized her, you never know. Some people mighta believed her, and then where would we be? 'Sides, this way we don't have to worry about anyone getting too smart about us, 'cause there's enough difference where people will defiantly think they're crazy if they think we are who we really are." Nessie began to worry that Uncle Jasper would have to take him to see the penguins again if he kept this up. There were only so many penguins that could go mysteriously missing (only to wind up, surprised but unharmed, in a woman's restroom halfway across the zoo, especially when it was a male penguin) before someone at the zoo began to get overly curious.
"We wouldn't have to worry about that," Aunt Leah glared at him (with Number Thirty-Seven glare, patent pending) and, picking up the stuffed animal she'd been silencing her phone with, and aimed to throw it at Emmett, "if you'd just-"
"Aunt Leah! Not Wimples!"
-upon which she dropped the stuffed bunny back on the phone, picked up the teddy bear beside it, and tossed it at Emmett, continuing, "-left well enough alone. But no, you have to go and have them make stupid books and stupider movies and-"
"As much as I hate to agree with the mutt, I rather do."
"You needn't sound so pained, Rose."
Aunt Alice just continued bouncing slightly on her perch on the edge of Jasper's chair. Her happiness looked like it might soon cause her husband psychical pain. She was such a thunder-stealer. "Oh, do get on with it. I want to do this!"
"If you didn't keep interrupting Ness, maybe she'll tell us."
"I dunno," Aunt Leah interrupted her brother. "Anything involving Emmett and his book can't be good."
Rather peeved that this wasn't going as planned, Nessie frowned and stomped her foot. "I don't like the book either, Aunt Leah! It has everything all wrong! That is why I'm saying we have to write the real version!"
"The real version?" Uncle Seth asked, setting down his bowl of popcorn. "What was the point of paying someone to write the story in the first place if we've just have to clean everything up behind them?" Nearly all of her collected aunts and uncles' heads were nodding at this statement, which made Ness frown all the harder. The truth must be told – especially if it involved people thinking that Aunt Rose was so mean, and Aunt Leah a bimbo who couldn't get over Sam Uley, and Uncle Jake in love with her, and all the rest. Especially the last part. She really wanted to get that part taken care of before Nahuel came to visit – but just so he wouldn't tease her about it again. Ness wanted to see the wind fall out of his sails the next time he tried to bring that up, that was all. It wasn't as if she cared if Nahuel thought her to be a silly little pre-teen–resembling toddler in love with a married man with children almost as old as she really was, not in the least. And, if for some God unknown reason he decided to bring Gabriela, Micaela and Rafaela along, well, they wouldn't be able to tease her about that either. It was so annoying to have the only other female members of her hybrid species be so, well, annoying. But, then again, all the members of every other subspecies she'd met were annoying at times, so Nessie put it down to the general angst of not belonging to a species of ones own, and tried to figure out how to best need to answer Uncle Seth.
Aunt Leah solved that problem for her, luckily, and in her own semi-logical way, explained, "'Cause that's how leeches work, brother dearest."
"Well, I don't like it."
"You don't like anything."
"On the contrary, I like several things, but the idea of writing about Edward and Bella and all their creepy mushy stuff is not one of those. Especially the stalking parts. If I did that to Ruth, I'd not have anything left to stalk with, but to each their own, I suppose."
"I, frankly, am baffled about how this ghost-writer of his managed to make Edward into such a sex god. I mean, okay, she wasn't around for his angst-y virgin century, but, still, his angst-y married years aren't much better," Aunt Rose complained. "And, no, I'm not saying this because I'm bitter he didn't like me, 'cause I'm not – bitter, that is, or any of the rest of it. But still. Edward. And then making Bella all-"
From the bed, still glaring at Emmett, Aunt Leah continued, "After reading the books," she visibly shuddered, "I don't know how anyone can think of sex at all. I mean, the whole thing when you were born," she waved her hand at Ness, "almost put me off sex, and Jake and I-"
Uncle Seth immediately clapped his hands to his head as if burned, "For the thousandth time, I don't want to hear about my alpha and my sister's love life. I don't want to hear about it, I don't want to think about it, I don't want to be in the general fifty-mile radius even of where the thoughts are being entertained, so, please, stop."
"Well," Nessie said brightly, seeing her opening, "I think other people might."
"What?" went Aunt Rose.
"What?" went Aunt Leah, throwing a pillow at Uncle Emmett now.
"Help! I'm being repressed!" went Uncle Emmett, catching the pillow and flinging it right back at Aunt Leah, "My first amendment rights are being denied!"
Aunt Alice only giggled and said, "Finally. I've been waiting for you to suggest this for ages. The Anti-Twilight campaign. I've buttons and t-shirts and posters already made up, just waiting to be sent to the printers-"
"Does no one see me being repressed over here?"
Alice, Jasper, and Rose all shouted at him to shut up. Nessie pinched the bridge of her nose – a terrible habit she'd gotten from her father, terrible mostly because her half-vampire strength could do some terrible things to her half-human parts. She'd managed to break a leg once – not that it hadn't healed completely within a week or so – and it'd hurt a lot, but Nahuel had been teaching her how to ice skate, saying it was quite ridiculous from someone who'd lived nearly all his live in tropical rainforests to know how to ice skate when she, a girl from a perfectly cold and snow-attaining clime, didn't, but she'd gotten a little carried away once she'd learned to stay upright without anyone's help, and she had been the one to challenge him to a race before she'd learned to stop properly. But, needless to say, breaking her leg on the tree that'd stopped her was probably preferable to breaking her own nose, as people didn't look at legs all the time. Noses, though, were right smack dead in the middle of the face and had far less muscle to hide things with, and God knows, if she did break it, Aunt Alice would ask Grandpa Carlisle to try rhinoplasty on her, and then he'd explain to her how he'd never studied otolaryngology, being more interested in immunology and endocrinology and hematology and hepatology and all the other -ologies that had absolutely nothing to do with what Alice would want him to do, and then Father would get all mad and say Aunt Alice shouldn't be forcing her to do anything she didn't want to do- and, well, Ness really didn't want all that.
"Please tell me you're not seriously thinking about publishing accounts of my sister's love life."
"Better than Edward and Bella's."
"Okay then," Aunt Alice clapped, "It's settled. So, who's going to write it?"
Seth immediately jumped up and, saying something about hearing the phone ring, ran out the room. Aunt Rose and Uncle Jasper shared twin looks of if-you-think-I'm-going-to-do-it,-you've-g
Which left Uncle Emmett, who was saying how he'd already paid one person to write the story, and wouldn't do it again, and Aunt Leah looking rather like she had when she found out she was pregnant with the twins, which was to say faint.
"You can't expect me to do this all alone," Nessie pouted again. This wasn't going at all how she planed. She needed help! She hadn't even been alive during some key parts. How could she be expected to write about things she hadn't been around for all on her lonesome?
In a way that made Ness wonder if her aunt had dipped into the Elf food groups (candy, candy cane, candy corn, and maple syrup – especially the maple syrup, as it was rather viscous and kind of like blood that way, and therefore the only one Ness could imagine Aunt managing to actually eat), "I'll help!"
Two was better than one, she supposed, but she'd expected back up. Hell, she'd expected armies pounding at her door in the holy and noble pursuit of truth! She didn't want to go around the rest of her half-dead life with people thinking Uncle Jake was in love with her and vice versa! Her cousins and aunts and uncles and especially Nahuel were just awful about it, and, when nomads stopped by, they were even worse whether they'd read the books or not, as it inevitability led to the nomad in question thinking she had an unrequited crush on Uncle Jake. What on earth was she going to do?