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The Mythical Creature's Guide to Manners and Decorum (20/22)

 


"Passion is the source of our finest moments. the joy of love...the clarity of hatred...and the ecstasy of grief.
It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion, maybe we'd know some kind of peace.
But we would be hollow. Empty rooms, shuttered and dank. Without passion, we'd truly be dead."
Angel in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "Passion"


If you've not read the one-shot You, you might want to. Like before, it's not vitally important, but it may help.

 


Chapter Twenty, Resh


 

"You," he began slowly, quietly, entering the room, dripping on the patch of dark tiles that made up the entryway. Swallowing compulsively, Sam paused and took a breath I wasn't entirely sure he needed. I stepped back, towards the couch – the new, honeygold couch that stood against the wall instead of with its back to the stairs – just as slowly, quaking (I told myself) from anger, not nerves. I wasn't interested in what he had to say – well, academically I was, I'll admit that, but nothing he could say would change anything. Not after all this time. Especially after all this time. "You have to understand," he tried again.

"I fucking understand. I understand so well that I'm not just past it, I'm over-standing too. Since we have that shit worked out, you might getting the hell out off my porch and – finally – out of my life?"

He didn't leave. I didn't sit down. I just sorta lifted the basket with the (now human) twins in it off the floor and placed it on the couch behind me. And it so wasn't a Broadway crouch I fell into before it. It wasn't even a crouch. Sort of... Okay, so maybe it might have counted as a crouch – but only to the untrained eye. It was a perfect position to be in if you might need to phase mid-jump and have greatest mauling capabilities when you land. Which is so why non-mythical creatures (and people) should leave those of us with magic alone. Unless one of them ever figures out how our ancestors became fur-balls in the first place, let alone what happened to make the original vampires.

And on the eighth day- No. I'm better off without that image in my head.

Anyway, I was in my entirely cool crouch and Sam was standing, still rather dripping, by the door, closing it behind him but not, thank God, coming closer for the moment. I don't know what I would have done had he tried to invade my personal bubble again, let alone touch me. No, wait, I take that back. If he touches me to try and kill me, I'll castrate him. If he touches me to try and kiss me, I'll kill him. After I castrate him.

Well, glad that's settled.

What was Sam trying to do again? Oh yes, try to explain to me how he still loved me. I personally haven't the slightest idea what he thinks it has to do with anything. Loser.

"I," he paused again and then, door firmly closed, little bit of door frame moulding dangling off the end of the chain with the pulled-out hook. I took vindictive pleasure in that as Sam built up his steam. It looked like it was coming to a head... "I've thought long and hard 'bout this Leah."

"Oh, yeah? How'd that work out for you? The thinking, I mean. I wasn't aware they rented out brains, but the leeches are more haemophiliacs than anything else, so I may be out of the creepy-modern-science loop."

He ignored me. Idiot. You come over to a girl's house to profess your love for her and ignore her? Be still my heart, Casanova. And, yes, that was wholly unsarcastic too. Vodka... I needed vodka... the expensive stuff... and an entire season of Sesame Street – for the twins, that is, to watch while I was occupied. It's all Nessie's fault. If she hadn't gone and gotten herself born, Jake would've never broken with the original pack, and then Seth and Jake and I would've never had to spend so much time in the woods around the Cullens', and if thathadn't happened I wouldn't've gone all "girlie" again (and, yes, that's what I'm calling it) and then there would've been no twins, meaning we wouldn't've had to actually find a house and stuff to live at, meaning we wouldn't've moved back to the Rez, meaning Sam couldn't come and harass me like this when I was all alone, minus the twins and Sonia, who should be arriving soon and, hopefully, would be a too annoying presence to allow Sam's to get all weepy and decide that his attempt to hold civil discussion with me were beyond useless.

God, I wanted to get all angry – angry weepy even – and start yelling and phase and even kill the bastard for all he'd done (not to me, like I'd get weepy over myself but, God, he could have hurt Ness or the twins or gotten the pups hurt and he had, one way or another, gotten Matty hurt) but I couldn't. 'Cause I wasn't an irresponsible adult who wanted young children who wouldn't even know how to begin to protect themselves if something went wrong to be in any way, shape, or form involved in any argument I might get into with Sammy dearest that might involve claws. Damn him. 'Couldn't he have come some more convenient time? Like never. Never's good with me.

But then he started talking again, and I did my best to shut off my mind, to get rid of him that much faster. "I think the problem is, Leah, that none of the others had anybody. Paul was always a bit of a womaniser and Jared had stopped seeing what's-her-name-"

"Marian Ayock," I told him, then remembered that I was trying to ignore him to death, and bit my lip. If ignoring didn't work, I could regale him with the latest in the Cullens' fake inheritance controversy, wherein one of the people Edward was playing had been diagnosed with incurable cancer and one of the others had gone ahead and married Bella's character in all this (who I think they were calling Beatrice in this incarnation for some unexplained reason that made Alice giggle, Rose snort, and Edward roll his eyes) and the rest of the "family" was trying to have him written out of the will. This has resulted in Alice, Jasper, and Edward, each playing something like three people, having a shouting match on conference call (as their lawyers thought they were in Orléans, El Paso, and Bristol respectively, rather than opposite ends of the house) about just what they thought about that. And then add how they were going to have Benjamin and Felix be "born" into the family soon-

As angry as I am at Sam, I keep forgetting he's in the room, trying to explain something to me. That probably says something. Major Payne and Doctor van Helsing probably want to psychoanalyse me or something when they find out. That'll be-

And I'm doing it again. But, then again, I always have been good at suppressing painful things.

"That's it. Marian. Jared had stopped seeing her months before he started phasing, and as for Quil, he never mentioned anyone. So I was the only one with someone when I imprinted – and you know how that is. You've seen in our heads. It's like... It's like there's no one else but the person you imprint on."

I resisted the desire to say, "And I care why?" I knew it was true. I knew it all so well. I didn't really care, per-say, that I wasn't the love of his life, and that, for some reason the PTB had thought that I wasn't good enough breeding material for the Levite- After that thought I resisted the desire to be sick all over the new carpet. Alice would never forgive me.

"But that's not how it works," Sam continued, still rather moist, and sat down on one of the matching chairs, rather insuring, if Jake and I didn't kill him for coming to our house and saying these idiotic things to me, Alice would murder him for ruining the upholstery. Thank God for Alice. "I know," he said decidedly looking at a point somewhere over my left shoulder, not sadly or slowly or angrily, but with a touch of something I could far from name, though recognized clearly, having seen it in most of the vampires I'd gotten to know far too well. Maybe it was magic induced, or something to do with the whole the-world-is-not-what-it-seems – I dunno – but it was something like remorse and sadness and self-pity, and of misplaced nostalgia, and futility and and frailty and desire for things that were gone, and maybe a little bit of shame and sorrow and despondency all mixed together – something I'm sure that there's a word for but high school is too long ago for me to remember if we ever learned it, and things like college or the ability to even have an afternoon to myself to sit and read are too far out of reach for me to ever be taught it, but that's what it was. It's the same tone that Kate gets when she talks about her long dead cousin. Or Mary, when she talked of her brothers' war with the Mayflower colonists, or like Stefan and Vladimir when they were, well, talking about anything. Maybe it's cause of this I felt my feet even more solidly on the floor.

"It took me a long time to really get it, but I know you never loved me now. I should've known it a long time ago, but I guess I just didn't want to believe it. With the way you-" but he stopped himself, and I wondered what it was that he didn't want to say that had given him away. My general indifference to all things us related? The fact that I hadn't done anything to try and get him back? Or maybe he'd heard of my belief he and Edward had a thing that summer before the mind-raper and his peeps came to their senses and left. Of course, he also could have heard my thoughts on just what kind of a whore and/or idiot would fall into such a stupor when their stupid idiotic boyfriend up and left them for no reason, he could have just made the corollary. But I liked my ideas better. "I realize it now, though. You were always off in your own little world-"

Abruptly straightening, "I'm not crazy," I hissed, insulted. Kate was crazy, always talking about her long-dead incestuous lovers; Emmett was crazy, and if you need me to explain that there's no hope for you; Alice is certifiable. And those are just the most obvious. Okay, okay, so I may spend half the time in my head, thinking stupid thoughts like these, but I'm not crazy. Even thinking back over my "And then God made the vampires" idea.

Sam ignored my anger, though, as he always had. And he said I was the one in my own little world. Retard, "-and never gave a shit about anything you didn't want to. I think that's one of the reasons I fell in love with you. That, and that day in the lunch room-" He caught himself and derailed that line of thinking. I didn't know why he loved me. I only wanted to know why he still did. I think. Only so I could make him stop.

I didn't know what Jake saw in me either, even after being in his head for the better part of forever, or so it seemed. With Jake, though, it was okay, 'cause he was kind and sweet and hot and funny and all the rest. He didn't mind me being me, whereas, obviously, Sam thought I was crazy, just adding more flame to the fire that was my list of reasons why I was glad I had Jake.

Suddenly, I realized what I had done and started to lower myself back into my preparatory crouch. "I've never given you any cause to think I loved you," I said rather harshly. "And I don't care why you think you do. All I want to know is why you're here, rather than up at Uncle Eric's begging for Emily to talk to you again. And, if you're going to ask me to talk to dear cousin Em on your behalf, I'm going to tell you now that, first, I'm going to laugh in your face for a good half-hour, and then-" I felt something touch my back. At couch level. A blind hand lifted the offender to a position balanced on my hip. It was Di. "And then," I continued, "you and I, Diane, are going to have a long talk 'bout how you don't interrupt Mommy in the middle of mocking one's enemies."

"Why do you have to make everything so difficult?" anger was seeping into his world-weary tones.

"Why do I have to make things difficult? What part of me not loving you don't you understand? How many different ways do I have to say it-?"

"Yes, blame me, Leah, 'cause it was always my fault, wasn't it? I at least tried to make us work, to make you happy – though, by God, I know now what a futile effort that was. I swear, I'd almost think you enjoyed being miserable if I'd not been in your head. And, despite it all, I loved you – I still love you – and was willing to do whatever it took to get you to do the same. You can't just turn these things on and off. I didn't want to imprint on Emily-"

"Don't give me this shit. I know you had no choice. You're supposed to be whatever she wants from you. Not your fault Em wanted to be a two-bit whore. Mighta appreciated not finding out about it the way I did, but it's not like I was ever upset that I lost you-"

"You think I don't know that?" The furore was clear as he pushed himself out of the chair and, though I nearly sprung anyway, paced angrily to the window by the door. "What do you think it was like, everything in me telling me that I had to love Emily? Oh, it worked out fine when she was around, but take her away or bring you into the picture, and it was like – is still like – I want to hate you-"

There was a tightness in my chest. I could feel the couch against the back of my legs and was hyper-aware of the twins and how young and helpless they were and my nerves were screaming out (though God knows to who) not to phase. And it was like... "Go ahead and fucking hate me, Uley-"

"I want to hate you, I really do – you could've at least made a token effort – but I can't-"

"Fine then," I shouted, "don't hate me then. I don't care. Just stop trying to do things like kiss me or kill the people I actually don't mind having around, and get the mother-fucking hell out of my house-"

"You just don't get it. Hatred's not something you can turn on and off either-"

"Fine, for God's sake, I don't care. You still love me, you love Em more, got it, good, will you leave now?"

"I'm trying to fucking explain myself-"

"Not doing a very good job of it, are you?"

"Might do better if you stopped interrupting me."

"Wouldn't have to interrupt you if you were making an ounce of sense."

"You want all the dirty laundry then?" I almost made a point that I was surrounded by nice, clean, folded laundry at the moment, that I'd already had to do all everyone else's 'cause I was home all day anyway and (or so the thought went) might as well have something to occupy my time with, and that there was no way in hell I was going to wash anything of his, excepting maybe his blood, and that was only to get it out of the carpet as soon as I found a way to get the twins out of the way. It took all I could not to phase. "What I'm trying to get through to you is that Emily called off the wedding because of you, because she couldn't stand the fact that you were always-"

"Then try harder!"

"I have been, but when you-"

"Oh, make this my fault now. You're the idiot who wanted to kill Nessie – a fucking baby – and tried to kill me several times in the process. If that's your idea of love, I'm surprised Em's not more cut up than she is."

"You-"

"Yes, me."

"Why can't the two of us just have a simple conversation-"

"'Cause you, for some idiotic reason, think you love me. Now, unless you've got something useful to add-"

"Useful!" He turned away from the window. "I'm trying to explain to you-"

I fought the desire to roll my eyes. Sam had never had the best hold on his temper- "She wore a raspberry beret, the kind you find in a second hand store," suddenly sounded from nearby. I'd forgotten I'd put the phone back in my pocket, "Raspberry beret, and if it was warm she wouldn't wear much more," I pulled it out and, ignoring the look of furry that grew on Sammy's face, answered. "How in God's name did you manage that? 'Cause this is just too coincidental-"

"Manage what, Kiwi?"

"Kate? What are you doing?" I went from feeling like a very bored kindergärtner to one who was told she'd be getting ice cream for lunch. "Alice said you wouldn't be calling for-"

"I changed my mind," she said in a way that said full well that she enjoyed playing these kinda games with her cousin. "Anyway, my and Gilead's flight hasn't left yet, so, obviously, I won't be there in time to stop Alice ourselves, but I just talked to her and she said she's going to have what's-her-face? Sonia. She's going to have Sonia put in highlights-"

"Wait, slow down Kate. My brains on dealing-with-idiots level, but how is Alice going to tell Sonia anything? She's coming to my place, and she can't come on the Rez-"

"That? Oh, she probably asked Yisra'el if she could. I mean, did you think everyone was going to skip the ceremony? Of course not. It's on your land anyway. Not much point in it, since no one's going to be killing anyone on either side, and-"

"She can't come here!"

I could hear Kate frown on the other end, "Why not?"

"'Cause You-Know-Who is here!"

"Voldemort?"

Almost throwing the phone down. "Esau," I corrected, speaking her own insane language.

"Oh. Why didn't you say so?"

"I didn't think you'd expect me to have invited fictional Dark Lords over for tea instead." Speaking of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, he was looking distinctly unhappier, and seemed to be catching on to the general idea of the call.

"Well, I didn't expect you to invite over your insane ex either, but... So, why is he there?"

"He seems to think," I wrinkled my nose, "he still loves me."

"That's-"

Sam seemed to decide this was a good time to interrupt, and said, in a tone that in no way belayed his earlier words, "The Cullens are coming? Here?"

"Yes, but-" But he was already flinging the door open and, with that I'm-about-to-phase shake about him, flew out the door.

Cursing, I grabbed the twins and rushed out after.

Chapter Twenty-One