Fic: I Lost Myself to the Moonlight Glow 3/?
Title: I Lost Myself to the Moonlight Glow
Pairing: Edward/Jacob (main), Edward/Bella (beginning), some Bella/Jacob & all other canon pairings
Warnings: this will be slash people so if that does not float your boat don't read this.
Summary: Werewolves are vicious and insane. They care about nothing but the kill and the Moon. They are also lethal to vampires.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, nada, neinte. It all belongs to Stephanie Meyer and whoever publishes the books where you are.
Author's Notes: I am very sorry that it has been so long since my last update. I am blaming, in no particular order, writer's block, a new job, the search for another new job, Christmas and the flu. But I have not abandoned this fic, hence the update. I am sorry that this chapter is somewhat exposition heavy but it is necessary, please bear with me. On another note, just to clarify, I am using the physicality of the actors in the films and not the books for this story. I just don't like the way SM has the pack as such hulking great giants. Other than that... Enjoy!
It is odd, but without Bella in the room Jacob suddenly feels vulnerable. It has nothing to do with his feelings for her. She does not make him feel manly and strong like the songs on the radio suggest she should, it is simply that he knows what the Cullens' feel for her. They might be monsters, but the insubstantial girl that has just fled the room is a better barrier between them and him than a lead-lined concrete wall. But she is gone, and he is distinctly uncomfortable. He should not be here, the fact is very apparent now. It was apparent before, but the focus was on Bella then. Now, all their eyes are fixed on him and Jacob does not like it.
"Well," Jacob says, shifting from foot to foot, "I'm gonna head." He jerks his head towards the door and stuffs his hands in his pockets. He scuffs his foot on the floor, like a child being chastised and forces his father's words from his throat. "Um, well, I mean – if you need anything...you can call the pack or well, me. If you need anything." He trails off.
It is highly embarrassing. He's never been tongue-tied before, but telling the vampires that they can call upon him should they need anything makes his tongue thick and the words stick in his throat. He isn't sure what 'anything' involves, but it is a standard practice that everyone falls back upon when someone has family issues. You offer to be there if they need it and pray that they really don't. Or, at least, that is what Jacob decides he is going to do.
They are still staring at him, though he thinks that it is incredulity in their eyes rather than hunger, or at least he hopes so. He can feel their golden eyes trained on his back as he moves towards the door, it makes the short hairs on the back of his neck rise. His hands curl into fists, the material of his jeans tight around them, and his teeth clench. It is all he can do not to phase right there. He feels cornered and threatened and that is never comfortable. Jacob does not care what people say about love being the most powerful emotion around, anger and fear are the most primal. Anger and fear are the two emotions that are certain to cause a shifter to phase, because they are the most intense. They are the kill or be killed emotions. They are the ones that save your life. As far as Jacob's experience goes, love is just another way of tying you to someone. It's like a leash.
Fear is definitely ruling him now. His heart is racing and he dare not breathe, just in case they really aren't paying him any attention and he manages to catch it.
He has a hand curled around the door handle, the metal cool in his hot palm and can smell the fresh forest beyond, before his escape is prevented.
"I am afraid, Jacob, that I cannot let you leave." As with everything he does, Carlisle speaks softly but all Jacob hears is a threat.
Startled, Jacob turns back to face the vampires. "Excuse me?"
"I said, I cannot allow you to leave. Not now."
Jacob snarls and the urge to shift almost overtakes him. His shoulders bunch upwards and his blood thunders in his ears and, if their eyes are anything to go by, they can hear the surge of blood below his skin. He is incandescent with fury and incredulity and his tattered control snaps like a brittle twig. "Why not?" he demands, the vitriol in his voice is almost tangible. "What, now I've seen the inner sanctum I can't be allowed out? You gonna trap me in the basement or just kill me here?"
He cannot believe the nerve of the vampire. It isn't as though he actually wanted to come, Bella dragged him here. It's not as if he's even learned anything he didn't already know. The pack has always known where the Cullen's lived; their scent was like a beacon continually screaming at them. He's trembling, the muscles in his thighs and arms contracting and relaxing so fast that he barely feels it, tensing for the fight that is to come. If he can just get outside he knows that he can outrun them. He's one of the fastest in his pack – he just has to get out of the door.
Carlisle laughs, then at seeing Jacob's panic stops himself quickly. His hands reach out to Jacob but Jacob shies away, backing up until the very door handle he had been gripping seconds ago is digging into the flesh of his back.
"That is not what I meant Jacob. Please," he beckons Jacob closer, "please don't be scared. Forgive me; that came out incorrectly."
Jacob stays tensed by the door. It does not matter how soothing Carlisle tries to be, he is still the enemy. Still a threat. "I'm not scared," he says defiantly.
Rosalie snorts and Esme shushes her quickly. Her eyes are full of worry, mostly for Edward, Jacob imagines, but he can see glimmers of it aimed at him. Emmett is looking amused, though his eyes are tight with grief and Jasper just looks pained. Carlisle looks at his family and makes a hesitant step towards Jacob, and it takes everything Jacob has not to shrink away from him.
"Jacob, I apologise. I promise that we mean you no harm. While you are under this roof no-one," he says, gesturing to his family "will harm you. You have my word."
Jacob fights the urge to roll his eyes and hates that the vampire's words provide enough comfort that he relaxes slightly. He sighs, "Why can't I leave?"
Carlisle doesn't speak immediately; he looks as though he is weighing his words carefully before speaking. Jacob only recognises the expression because it is the same one his father used before he shifted for the first time, back when Billy was prohibited from telling his son the truth of why Sam dropped by so often and why Embry was no longer hanging out with him and Quil, shunning them in favour of the older boys. Apparently, it is an expression which is not confined to age or species, and Jacob hates it as much on Carlisle as he did on his father.
"Just tell me," he says, through clenched teeth. His patience is in shreds, just like his clothing after a spontaneous shift, and he is not sure that he can take any more of it. He does not want to play games; he just wants to go home.
Carlisle looks weary, but nods in acceptance of Jacob's demands. "Did Bella mention that I had forbidden the family to leave the house?"
Jacob nods slowly. "She said no one could come and get her, yeah."
"She lied, Jacob. Or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that she misquoted us." He pauses and glances at the door. Bella and Alice have disappeared, and if Jacob focuses hard enough, he can hear Bella moving slightly upstairs. He knows it is Bella by the simple fact that vampires do not move if they do not have to. "I emphatically told Alice that Bella was to remain at home. No one was to leave the house and Bella was to remain indoors as well."
"Alice relayed the message Carlisle," Esme interjects softly. The need to protect her daughter, adopted though Alice is, colours every word and her hand on Carlisle's arm appears just a tad too tight to be comforting.
Laying his hand over his wife's, Carlisle smiles softly at her. "I heard her tell Bella too." He turns back to Jacob. "Alice told Bella that no one was allowed to come to get her and that she was to stay at home. I had intended for Alice to collect her in the morning, when it was light out."
Jacob shakes his head. "I don't – that doesn't explain why I have to stay."
For a moment Carlisle regards him, before turning and sharing a speaking look with Jasper. He sighs wearily and Jacob is forcefully reminded of his high-school English teacher. "All of you please sit. Jacob is not the only one who needs to hear this."
No one, bar Jacob and Carlisle, has moved since the girls left to visit Edward, and Carlisle motions for them all to return to their seats before taking a spot on the sofa beside Jasper. Esme curls herself in Carlisle's chair, her hands tucked into the sleeves of the large woollen cardigan she has wrapped around her slender frame. Rosalie takes a seat on Emmett's knee, his arms around her waist, as regal as any queen. Only Jacob remains standing, not quite comfortable enough to sit, but his anxiety has eased now that the vampires are no longer standing. The vibration under his skin has slowed to more of a crawl, but he is still decidedly uncomfortable. Carlisle seems to be waiting for Jacob to sit, but Jacob has no intention of doing so and so he just sighs before he starts speaking.
"Werewolves are the ultimate perversion of man-kind. They are human but the full moon forces them into an excruciating transformation that is both mental and physical. I am sure, of all of us, Jacob is the only one capable of commenting on the pain of such a metamorphosis, not to mention the difficulties of balancing a lupine and human mind. However, I imagine that for Jacob and his pack, every transformation is easier than the last."
Carlisle's assumptions are accurate. It is unnerving to realise just how much of their behaviour the doctor has either intuited or learned. But, that is a slow trickle of wariness compared to the ice-bath when he realises what this man must be going through.
"However, shape-shifters are human. Even when they are in wolf form, underneath they are still human. They still think and feel as a human would, the wolf's senses are secondary – important, yes, but they never quite manage to turn a shape-shifter into a real wolf. But werewolves are both man and beast, all the time. Each is continually struggling to overpower the other and eventually, both man and beast lose their minds." Carlisle is, somehow, managing to include all of them in his lecture but his eyes fixed on the floor. "We often think, perhaps rather arrogantly, that a vampire is the ultimate killing machine. We most certainly are apex predators. We are fast, we are strong and we have a very specific prey that has no real defence against us. Ultimately, the death of our prey is entirely within our hands. But, even the oldest amongst us is still rational. A vampire may kill a human for their blood, but I doubt that there is a single vampire in existence that would consider slaughtering an entire village in this day and age."
He raises his hand, and Jacob realises that a comment was forming on Esme's lips but she bit it back at Carlisle's imperious gesture. "In the past, murdering a village would have been easy. It would be at least a day before the massacre would be uncovered and superstition was so rampant that it would easily be explained away as murderous vagrants or an act of God. In today's society though, to kill more than one person at a time would arouse suspicion. In this sense, vampires are rational. We take only what we need. Only the Volturi partakes in gluttony and even then, it is done with the utmost discretion."
Jacob feels sick. What Carlisle is saying is horrific. They might be able to accept it as purely academic reasoning, but Jacob knows that it is not. The stories of his tribe are full of tales of the Cold Ones trying to destroy the village. It is why he exists after all, to stop it happening.
"That's interesting," he manages to say around the bile in his throat, "but I don't understand."
Looking around he realises that he is not alone. Esme's brow is furrowed in concentration. Rosalie no longer looks bored which suggests to Jacob that she is listening intently to what is being said, and thinking about it; which, makes Jacob snort in his head. He is honestly surprised that there is any room in there for thoughts with all the peroxide that must have leeched through her skull over the years. Emmett has his face buried in Rosalie's shoulder, as if he is trying to hide from Carlisle's words. Jacob understands the sentiment.
It is only Jasper who looks as though he understands what it is that Carlisle is working his way towards.
"Werewolves are not like vampires Jacob. They do not think of the consequences of their actions. If they want to slaughter a village, nothing – and I mean nothing – can stop them." He looks at his family. In his eyes there is a burning determination that is dulled around the edges by fear. "Werewolves are strong – just like us. They are fast – just like us. They are lethal – just like us. But, they are insane; horribly and irredeemably insane. Imagine a killing machine without a shred of conscience or rationality. One that does not care about the damage it wreaks or the devastation it causes. A werewolf is something that kills just because it can. It does not need to, in fact, I have never heard of a werewolf actually eating a human. They merely kill them. They kill anything that crosses their path."
Jacob swallows heavily. In all honesty, he's been thinking that a werewolf was similar to his own pack. The only difference he could truly see was that they phased with the moon. He's actually been feeling sorry for them, seeing them as having less freedom because they could not choose how and when to shift. He's pitied them. Now he is beginning to fear them.
Carlisle has not done talking though. "On top of that, their bite is fatal. I have only met one vampire to have ever survived a werewolf and that was only because he threw other vampires it its path."
"Caius," Esme says, and Jacob realises that she is naming the vampire who had survived. Something in her tone tells Jacob that Caius is not someone he wants to meet.
"He then began his purge," Jasper states softly. "My maker told me about it, she made it sound like some doomed quest. According to Maria," and Jacob has to assume she was the Maker in question, "over two hundred vampires set out across Europe, travelling eastwards from London to Moscow, determined to drive the werewolves out of hiding and slaughter them. Maria said that it was like a crusade, although she was not there. They were successful, until they reached Romania." Jasper laughs, a sardonic sound that curls through the room like acrid smoke and when he speaks again his voice is bitter. "Everyone thinks that Romania is the heartland of the vampires but really, it belongs to wolves. It's why the Romanian Coven was so easily usurped and the Volturi settled elsewhere. Caius' army got no further than the foothills before they were attacked, though. Only Caius and a few others returned."
Carlisle nods, picking up swiftly when Jasper falls silent. "Maria had the story right. I was there when Caius returned to Volterra; he and only six other vampires. Among them was Felix, it was how he came to join the Guard. I had never seen Caius afraid, but he was when he returned then and I could not help but wonder, what in God's name could make a vampire as cruel as Caius afraid."
Jacob cannot help but feel a little lost. The Cullens are all nodding, which is somewhat expected. Obviously they know who Carlisle was talking about, but Jacob does not. He has heard Bella mention the name, but she had told him little of what had happened in Italy and, even though he had heard the name Caius, he has no idea of who the vampire really is. Bella has only really talked about Aro, the one who had said she must die. Still, that is not the over-riding thought in his head.
He coughs lightly, drawing Carlisle's attention. "How many werewolves were there?" Because, really, he needs to know what exactly they are dealing with.
"Caius never truly said. But, if Aro's reaction was anything to go by, I would say not very many. Not anywhere near the two hundred Caius had with him."
And suddenly, there is a weight in the room, the inescapable spectre of what it was that was somewhere out in the woods. What is hunting them. Jacob staggers forward, dropping heavily into the remaining vacant seat. He cannot believe, after what he has seen, than anything short of two hundred werewolves would be able to successfully take on a small army of vampires. His experience with the Newborns has left a lasting impression on the young shifter, and has robbed him of his cocky attitude towards vampires. It is a begrudging appreciation of their strength and speed, a wary respect, and he is very much like an animal – once bitten, twice shy. The idea of a small number of werewolves destroying so many vampires rattles around his brain, deafening in the silence that Carlisle's comment has left. The silence does not last long, and is broken abruptly by a snort from Emmett.
"So they're strong and fast – good for them. I still say its bull that Edward is going to die." Rosalie is still sitting on his knee, but Emmett is bunching his muscles and bearing his teeth in an arrogant show of dominance.
Jacob hates to admit that the vampire is right. Carlisle may have explained why werewolves should be feared and, if possible, avoided but he was not gotten around to why they were so deadly to vampires. Not that Jacob really cares, but it would be nice to be able to tell the Pack everything he can. Any information Carlisle can offer up will give them a chance to defend themselves. It may be selfish of him, especially when everyone around him is suffering so terribly, but Jacob has to put his tribe first. He has spent far too long putting Bella first; but she has chosen her life now and he cannot keep putting her ahead of his family
"Emmett, please," Esme begs softly, her voice as gentle as honey. "Let Carlisle speak, in his own time."
Though Esme is naturally gentle, Jacob can see the core of steel within her as she defends her Mate. He wonders what will happen if Emmett decides to push things, press Carlisle for more information or challenge his opinion, because while Carlisle is obviously in no state to protect himself, Esme most certainly is prepared to do so. Emmett however subsides, though that could be due to Rosalie digging her nails into his forearms. Jasper gently touches Carlisle on the arm and a ripple of calm travels around the room, though it feels sluggish, almost as though Jasper cannot quite bring himself to help manage the tensions in the room.
"Like a vampire, a werewolf has a venomous bite and like a vampire, should a werewolf bite a human the human will turn. Providing they survive, of course." Jacob is relieved that Carlisle sounds grieved even at the notion of a human being attacked by either species. "This is where the greatest difference between your species lie," he says to Jacob, "Your kind does not have a venomous bite. You rely on strength and speed but a werewolf needs only one bite to incapacitate its prey."
Jacob desperately wants to point out the difference really lies between the fact that never, in the history of the Quileute Wolves, has a wolf attacked a person but he keeps his mouth shut, reminding himself that Carlisle is in the process of losing his son and he cannot truly know the history of the Quileute – not even Jacob does.
"But, whilst a vampire's bite is only venomous to humans, a werewolf's bite can affect even vampires. To the best of my knowledge, lycanthropy is a virulent virus injected into the bloodstream by a bite. There is no cure and by the end of the Full Moon, and for werewolves this includes the two days either side, the infection has forced the human's body into a permanent metamorphosis. Vampirism can be seen in similar terms but I do believe the venom of a vampire's bite to be weaker than that of a werewolf's. We can, after all, draw the venom back out of a wound. And, more importantly, our venom relies on a heartbeat to distribute it throughout a body. A vampire cannot turn a dead person. The venom in a werewolf's bite on the other hand is a living thing, it can move through the bloodstream without aid."
"Which means that it can spread through a vampire's system," Jacob needlessly confirms.
Carlisle nods sombrely, "Indeed. And when the venom from a werewolf bite meets the venom already in our system, the two wage war on one another. It is like combining an acid and a base, within the body of the vampire there is a violent reaction as the venoms attack one another and eventually cancel one another out. However, the vampire is killed because ultimately, the venom sustaining their 'life' is neutralised."
Jacob had never been too keen on chemistry; but like most boys his age, he had enjoyed watching the affects of combining baking soda and vinegar and watching the mixture bubble violently. He had much preferred seeing the affect water had on sodium but he understood the symbolism. And so did everyone else in the room, if their blanched expressions are anything to go by. Edward is heading towards a very painful and violent death, even though he will never leave the bed Carlisle has probably placed him in.
There is really nothing more to say except, "Why can't I leave? I am sure that none of you want me here and if I am honest," which is something Jacob always tries to be, "I would rather not be here. Edward would not want me here."
It is a compelling argument, and one Jacob thinks will win – because if Edward could speak right now, he is sure that he would demand that Jacob leave the house. Rosalie seems to agree, as she is nodding along with him and even Esme seems contemplative. But Carlisle has a bland, yet stubborn, look upon his face and Jacob has the sinking feeling that the oldest vampire is not going to capitulate easily.
"Let the mutt go, the sooner he leaves the sooner we get the smell out of the house." Rosalie's words might be vicious, but her tone shows that she is merely putting her thoughts into words, and very little effort has gone into those thoughts. She does not truly care if he is there or not. Edward is most probably the first and foremost thing in her mind, and even insulting Jacob would not provide enough of a distraction. She is merely objecting to his presence because she has to. She is Rosalie; everyone expects her to be a bitch.
Esme, ever the peacekeeper, began to speak, but slowly, as if she was carefully weighing every word. "Perhaps, Carlisle, it is best if Jacob goes. I do not want anyone uncomfortable. Tonight is going to be..." she trails off, as if she cannot quite think of words powerful enough to describe just how awful the coming night is going to be.
Carlisle shakes his head. "I cannot let Jacob leave knowing that there is a werewolf out there. Firstly, it would be highly irresponsible of me to put you in such danger and secondly, what would your pack do should something happened to you?" He pauses, a determined look entering his golden eyes. "I am sorry Jacob, but, until the sun rises, you are staying here."