At First Sight

Twilight - rewritten from Jacob's perspective

← Chapter 1: Homecoming      Chapter 3: Beach →

Chapter 2: Christmas

The Clearwater's house was a little ways down the road, but we could almost see it from our house with all of the colorful Christmas lights strung around the porch and walkway. I sniffed appreciatively as we approached the house. Although Rachel had made good on her cooking claim, there was just something about Sue's food. Maybe it was just that I had such fond memories of all of our holidays spent at her house. She had been a surrogate mother for all of us, particularly for the girls - taking them shopping for prom dresses, giving them the birds and the bees talk, and the like. I knew how grateful Billy was for all of that.

The Clearwater's home was almost identical to ours in design, but it reflected a homey-ness that ours lacked completely. The living room was painted a soft calming blue, but was crammed full of knick-knacks, pictures, and evidence of Sue's passion for all types of crafts. A large Christmas tree, weighted down by jewel-toned baubles, took over half the space but instead of making it feel crowded, it warmed up the room and made it feel inviting. We greeted Sue, who gave us an ecstatic hug and kiss, before waving me and Billy away from the kitchen.

I helped Billy settle in by the fireplace where Harry was stoking the flames. Charlie was the only one missing from this all too familiar scene. Billy, Harry, and Charlie - the three amigos, the three musketeers, the three stooges - whatever you wanted to call them. They had been friends for over 20 years and rarely did a week go by when they didn't see each other.

During baseball season, they got together even more often, usually at our house or here at the Clearwater's which had the clear advantage of Sue's cooking. But our house had the clear advantage of having no women around to nag or scoff. There were no women at Charlie's house either, but he lived in Forks - 15 miles out - which was not all that convenient for Billy. Though Billy might be willing to make an effort now that there was a new flat screen involved.

A loud clatter came from the kitchen and the three of us looked up quickly in alarm.

"Seth! Get out!" Leah's voice was easily recognizable over the commotion.

Seth Clearwater ambled out of the kitchen with a sheepish smile. He was a nice kid, a year younger than me. We had never hung out much, but that didn't stop Seth from looking up to me in a strange big brother way. I suspected it was mostly admiration for my ability to put up with two overbearing sisters, while he could barely put up with just one.

"You ruin the ham, buddy?" Harry asked with a teasing grin.

"Nah, just knocked over some pans trying to reach the cookies." Seth smiled as he settled into the sofa next to me where I was aimlessly flipping through the channels.

"Anything good?" he asked.

"Nothing but holiday specials," I said as I landed on a channel where an overly made-up woman wearing felt reindeer antlers was hawking some beauty product. We looked at each other quickly and cracked up. It was easy to hang out with Seth. We settled into a comfortable silence, half-listening to our fathers chatting away and half-watching some terrible action film on TV. It was pretty much what we did every year.

"Dinner's ready!" Sue announced coming into the living room holding a gigantic ham. I jumped up to take the dish from her and put it on the table which groaned from the weight of the food on it.

Sue looked around and then frowned. "Where's Charlie? It's not like him to be late."

"We ran into him yesterday and he said he was coming," Billy replied. "Maybe something happened on the job to keep him."

"On Christmas Day!? What is the world coming to when folks can't even behave themselves today of all days," Sue muttered to herself loudly.

Just then, as if we had summoned him with our thoughts, Charlie's police cruiser came around the corner and pulled into the driveway. He jumped out of the car and there was a jaunt in his step as he hurried up the walkway.

"Sorry, I'm late!" He exclaimed as soon as Sue opened the door.

"As long as you made it safely," Sue smiled, kissing him softly on the cheek. Then she stepped back to take a better look at him. "Well you look like you just got the best Christmas present of your life. What's going on?"

It was true. Charlie was almost glowing. Something had clearly happened since we saw him yesterday. But I couldn't imagine what. As I far as I knew, things just weren't all that exciting in Forks.

"Something happen in town to hold you up?" Harry asked with a frown as he relieved him of the cases of Vitamin R.

"No, no. All quiet there. I'm late because I got a phone call from Isabella."

I looked up, trying not to be too obvious in my interest. It was stupid really. Just a childhood crush that I had long outgrown, but I was always curious to hear about her. Bella used to spend a few weeks each summer here in Forks. Charlie never knew what to do with her, so he often brought her over to our house to play with the girls.

She spent one afternoon making mud pies with me while my sisters were away at a birthday party and she had shared her ice cream cone with me afterwards. It was love for a seven-year old. Not that she knew or even remembered who I was. Even at a young age, I had gotten the impression that she hadn't liked her time in Forks, but had put on a brave face so that she wouldn’t hurt Charlie. After a while, she stopped coming and she and Charlie had vacationed in California instead.

"How's she doing? Bet she ribbed you about the crappy weather here. huh?" Billy asked with a wide grin. "Not that I can blame her. It's probably 70 degrees in Phoenix right now."

"Well she'll find out about the weather here soon enough." Charlie was smiling so broadly that his cheeks were turning red from the strain. "She called to tell me that she's moving to Forks in January!"

Ah. That explained his excitement. Charlie doted on his only daughter and this was definitely the best Christmas gift he could ever have received.

But I didn't know how to explain my excitement at the news. My heart was pounding heavily over the roar in my head, and I felt my skin grow warm as I blushed. It was really stupid for me to get excited about this. Even though Billy and Charlie were friends, the chances that she would remember me were slim. And even if she did, there wasn't anything to remember. Like I said, it was stupid.

"That's great news! It trumps getting the flat screen for sure," Billy reached up to high-five Charlie.

"Flat screen? What flat screen?" Harry asked momentarily distracted.

Sue ignored him as she reached over to affectionately pat Charlie's shoulder. "I'm glad. I hope she'll take good care of you. You've been looking tired this fall - all of that diner food is not good for you."

"I don't know if Bella can cook much. Well she definitely can't if she takes after Renee or me. But it'll be good to have her here regardless," Charlie said with a satisfied smile.

"So tell us the details. When is she getting here? Why is she leaving Renee? No problems, I hope?

I was intensely grateful to Billy at that moment, for asking the questions that I wanted to know but couldn't bring myself to ask.

"She's coming in mid-January. I guess Renee's husband, Phil, just got signed by a baseball team and will be going on the road for the spring. Bella figured she'd come live here to let Renee travel with him."

"Any team we've heard of?" Harry asked, his eyes glinting at the possibilities. He was, arguably, the most baseball-crazy of the three.

"No, just some minor league. Bella didn't know the name. We'll see how it turns out." Charlie was too good of a guy to begrudge Renee's happiness, but I had always gotten the sense that he had never really gotten over his ex-wife.

"What's going on?" Rachel asked as she and Leah came into the room carrying more food. "I thought we were eating?"

"We are," Charlie apologized. "We just got caught up chatting. Bella's coming to live with me."

"For how long?" Rachel asked, her eyes glowing with enthusiasm in response to his obvious excitement. We all knew how much this meant to Charlie.

"Don't really know. Until she gets tired of me, the weather, or hanging out with you folks I guess." Charlie laughed as he slung his arm around her shoulder and led the way into the dining room.

Charlie's good mood was infectious and everyone - well everyone except Leah - was in high spirits as we dug into the feast. The food was phenomenal. Made a thousand times tastier by the fact that I hadn't eaten this way since Rebecca left.

As the conversation flowed, I became slightly irritated that no one asked any more questions about Bella. Which, of course, just made me irritated for being irritated in the first place. Why did it even matter? It was stupid getting excited about this. I knew that. But it was also a reflection of having lived all of my life on a small reservation where I had known every girl around my age since we were in diapers. And our parents knew each other, and our grandparents knew each other, and our ancestors knew each other - it made it kind of hard to see them as anything other than family. Not that everyone felt the same way as I did I thought, shooting a surreptitious glance at Leah across the table.

Leah was really beautiful, with her glossy hair and pretty features. I may even have had a mini-crush on her when I was in middle school, but it was hard to think of her as beautiful now. She hadn't taken the break-up well. She was sullen and rarely spoke. And when she did speak, she usually snapped or snarled at us, making us wish that we had never asked her anything in the first place. Sue was at her wit's end, not knowing how to help. Harry was more philosophical, like Billy, feeling that the breakup was for the better. I had to admit that I was on Sue's side. Harry seemed to be taking his daughter's anguish a bit too lightly in my opinion.

Slowly, people started lean back in their chairs as they stuffed themselves to their limit. I got up to help clean up the plates and bring out dessert – or desserts really – as there was no shortage of pies, cookies, and cakes.

"So Jacob, before I forget, I wanted to ask you about your truck," Charlie said as he sat down next to me with a healthy sampling of every dessert offering on his plate.

"Okay?" I was confused. Charlie wasn't much of a car guy.

"Well, I know you spent a lot of time rebuilding it last fall. How is it running?"

"Pretty good. You've got to double-pump the clutch when you shift, but otherwise it's great. We took it all the way to Port Angeles and back yesterday with no problems. I almost made it to the speed limit too..." I trailed off, remembering that I wasn't technically legally allowed to drive yet. But Charlie didn't seem to notice.

"Well that's great because I was wondering if you guys would be interested in selling it to me?"

"Planning to go undercover or something?" Billy quipped with a barking laugh. Harry almost choked on a cookie as he joined in the laughter.

"No, it's for Bella. She'll need a car to get around and I want something safe for her. I thought the truck would fit the bill."

"Yeah, that thing is practically indestructible," I joked. It actually wasn't a bad idea.

"They don't make them like that anymore," Billy agreed. Seeming to read my mind, he continued, "Works for us. Jake's been itching to work on something else and I've got something in mind for him." I looked up eagerly as he looked towards me with a questioning glance. "Quil Sr. has a nice Volkswagen Rabbit that they're looking to sell. It'll take a lot of work, but I thought you might like it as a Christmas gift."

"No way! That would be awesome!" I had seen it at the garage last week and it was in pretty decent shape – at least the chassis was – I hadn't checked under the hood.

"But you guys already gave me some clothes and stuff for Christmas…" My voice trailed off, knowing that we didn't exactly have a lot of money right now.

"We'll count it as your Christmas and birthday gift rolled into one, how about that?" Billy responded with a smile that made me suspect that it was already a done deal.

"Awesome!" This really was awesome. Finally a chance to build a decent car that I wouldn't be embarrassed to drive once I was legal.

"I guess this means you can take the Chevy," Billy joked to Charlie.

"But won't that leave you guys without a car until Jake gets the Rabbit fixed?" Charlie pointed out.

"They can borrow ours anytime they need it," Harry chimed in. "We're getting another truck for the store so we won't be needing it as much anyway."

"Well that settles it then! We'll drive the Chevy down the next time we come over and Harry can give us a ride back," Billy concluded as he and Charlie shook hands. And with that, the men settled into the living room to watch the game.

I was too excited to concentrate, my mind whirling with plans for the Rabbit. The chassis and interior had seemed decent, but the engine probably had to be gutted and entirely redone. I would have to start saving for parts immediately, but it would be manageable as long as some crucial parts of the engine could be salvaged.

I grinned as I imagined myself cruising down La Push Road, actually surpassing the speed limit for once. Having a car meant freedom when you lived on a rez. This really was turning out to be the best Christmas ever – for me and for Charlie. I suddenly had an image of Bella riding next to me as we drove through Forks.

I grimaced as I forced myself to wipe that thought out of my head. I had to stop thinking about that. It really was ridiculous. It was stupid to think that anything was going to happen. And it was even more stupid to wish for things that were never going to happen. Exciting things just didn't happen in La Push. And they definitely didn't happen to me.

← Chapter 1: Homecoming      Chapter 3: Beach →

About Me

I'm a Twilight fan who believes that Jacob Black is better for Bella than Edward, so I wrote these Team Jacob fanfiction stories to try to convert as many people to my side as possible. :)

I've tried to stay as faithful to the original books as possible up through At the Cliffs, which is when I break off from canon and write out Eclipse the way I wish it had happened!

So ... what do you think? Good? Bad? Ideas for other stories?

Please let me know!

Jane

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