Jacob Black finds closure for his heartbreak over Bella Swan in the swiftest and least likely way he could have imagined.
La Push, WA: Beach
July 24, 2015
Sitting crouched on the beach, dressed in nothing but cargo shorts and a sleeveless hoodie, the front open to reveal his bare chest, Jacob Black looks rather like the cover art of a tween-age romance novel. And, as mentally sighs the word--her name--he immediately feels a twinge of disgust. She'd sure led him on, let him hope, but even after he'd told her everything, trusted her, tried to protect her--she'd still gone running to the demon-leech who would, undoubtedly, be the one to kill her.
It was so stupid, so utterly without reason, that even in his own mental voice, Jacob is moved to express it: Shit. That's what it is--shit. All of it. And maybe that's all the eloquence that the thought is due. Then and there, scowling out over the stormy pacific, Jacob silently swears to himself that this is the last time. He'll strive not even to think her name in the future.
It's time to move on.
Jason Christopher is sitting on a branch of a downed tree. Looking out over the waves he is slowly strumming a guitar. Singing softly to himself, hardly audible over the waves. At least not to human ears anyway. He has spent several days watching, following. It was time to make contact.
I remember when all the games beganHe shifts slightly, still looking out over the waves as he quietly strums the guitar and hums some more of the song, before picking the lyrics back up again.
Remember every little lie and every last goodbye
Promises you broke, words you choked on
And I never walked away,
It's still a mystery to me
Well I'm so empty
I'm better off without you and you're better off without me
Well you're so unclean
I'm better off without you and you're better off without me
Paint the mirrors black to forget youTaking a breath he sighs thoughtfully and sets the guitar aside, looking out over the surf and seemingly unaware of anyone within earshot. Much less anyone his song might have an impact on. Seemingly.
I still picture your face and the way you used to taste
Roses in a glass, dead and wilted
To you this all was nothing
Everything to you is nothing
In the midst of his moment of attempted serenity, Jacob is startled by the sudden song, carried on the wind like stolen thoughts. (He brushes the annoyance that accompanies that concept aside. Damn mind-readers, anyway. He follows the sound, seeing the man perched there, playing so casually. When did the guy get here? Why hadn't Jacob noticed? It's troubling--but not half so troubling as those lyrics. He draws close, making his presence clear enough to anyone with much situation awareness, and folds his arms across his chest. And he watches, waiting, for the man to finish.
Jason Christopher glances over to Jacob Black and smiles in greeting. Casually brushing his bangs out of his face. "Sorry if I was bothering you." He gestures to the guitar. "Hobby of mine-" he glances back out over the water "and beaches sometimes bring out melancholy songs." He smiles again and looks back to the younger teen. "I'm Jason, Jason Christopher. You're from the reservation?" Doesn't take much to deduce it. But he makes it a question just the same.
Jacob opens his mouth to answer, his mouth already set in a smirk to offer a cocky reply--but it never happens. Instead, something changes in Jacob's face, as if his whole being had suddenly lost focus. His jaw goes slack, and his brow furrows for just a moment, before he suddenly drops. Not that he falls, but suddenly he's kneeling, one hand pressed to the sand, as he stares dazedly at this mysterious stranger. For a moment, it's all turmoil--confusion, panic, denial--but in the space of a few eye blinks, he seems to recover himself. His whole manner has changed, though, and any trace of snarky banter is gone. "S-sorry," he says, shaking his head as if to clear it. "I... I guess I just..." he gropes after language he barely has at all, finishing lamely, "Kinda felt gravity... like for the first time."
Jason Christopher stares a moment, his brow furrowed in a moments confusion. Whatever just happened was unexpected. Perhaps the leech lover had impacted him more than was calculated? For the sixth time in several days Jason pondered fondly killing her. But again he shrugged the idea away. She was the sheriffs daughter, there would be investigations and he was new in town. Plus no telling what further negative impact it would have on this situation. "It's alright, need a hand?" Jason reaches out to offer Jacob an assist standing back up.
Jacob takes the hand without any reservation, and a grin--warm and genuine this time, such that it really lights his eyes--crosses his face. "Thanks--Jason, you said? Wow, that was... something. Hope you won't think that's how I greet all mysterious strangers." He pauses, a hint of his smirk returning, and adds, "'Cause, yeah, that'd be weird." Now on his feet again, he gives the hand he's holding a firm shake before letting go. "Jacob Black. I'm really glad to meet you, Jason." It's odd. In the space of that moment, the dark mood that had hovered over him seems to have utterly evaporated. It's evident in everything from his body language to his scent. He's suddenly completely content.
Something was amiss, or at least changed. Jason considered the possibility he had miscalculated. But the last several days all pointed to Jacob brooding. Still if he was over her, for whatever reason. Well that was a gift, and he would happily accept it. "It's my pleasure Jacob Black. Believe me. So you live around here? I'm thinking of moving into the area myself. It might be nice to settle down for a while again."
Something in Jacob's eyes lights up even more at this, and he nods, saying emphatically, "Yeah, you should! This place is great. I mean, some of the locals suck--" His smirk returns at what he believes to be a private joke, there. "But the forests are beautiful, the coast is perfect, and there aren't so many people that you feel crowded. I'll show you around! Let you check out the neighborhoods, hangouts... all the essentials." He reaches out somewhat abruptly to clap Jason on the arm, grin still wide, and declares, "I think you just made a new best friend."
Jason Christopher still is a bit unnerved at this change in Jacob Black. It was hardly the person he was expecting. His enthusiasm is very nearly contagious it is so powerful. But whatever the cause for it, well there is no denying it's good fortune as far as his plans go. Jason catches the reference to the sucking and smirks himself. "Well, one has to anticipate that sometimes a few of your neighbors may just bite. It helps I suppose if they know you are prepared to bite back." A veiled reference, to be sure. But perhaps just enough to make Jacob wonder what if anything he knows. To draw him in even closer still. "I'd like that, for you to show me around. I am quite at home outdoors. Present attire to the contrary." He fights the urge to withdraw when Jacob claps him on the arm, and manages to overcome it. He doesn't especially like people within touching distance. Ruefully he ponders how for this to work, he may need to adjust that some. "A new best friend. I can't say that is something I have had in some time." Without even really meaning to his voice dips a little when he finishes it up. His mind's eye travels back to other places, and other times. But he savagely pushes those thoughts away. That was then, and this is now. "It would be nice to have that again."
Jason's reply draws a wide, bright smile from Jacob. "Oh, we are so gonna get along," he declares cheerfully. "I kinda fell out with my best friend recently, anyway, and it'd gotten all weird a long time back." It's not the strictest truth, calling her his best friend, but it's close enough. "So I agree. It'll be good to move on!" He pops a fist into one open palm, apparently not noticing (or, perhaps, minding) the near-flinch, and says, "Come on! Let's get out of here. This beach is like a funeral." And perhaps, in a way, it is--a funeral for a part of his youth, and for a naively obsessive first love. If so, he hardly seems inclined to mourn. As he heads up the beach, he turns to grin over his shoulder at Jason. "At home in the outdoors? Then I've gotta show you the woods around here. They're basically my back yard--maybe even more like my home."
Jason Christopher picks up the guitar and straps it over his shoulder, on his back. He lithely jumps from the tree branch, and follows Jacob. "Like I said, there is a certain melancholy to an empty beach." He doesn't seem disinclined to move on either. "I've hiked through some of the region before. It is rugged, and utterly beautiful country side. But I am sure I'd benefit from a local appreciation of it." He keeps pace with Jacob easily, walking alongside of him as if it was the most natural place in the world for him to be. But subtly watching the young man all the time to see how he reacts to his presence.
It might be almost eerie how comfortable Jacob is with Jason. Not that it would be a challenge for someone of Jason's athleticism to begin with, but of course it's easy to keep step with Jacob--it's as though he's unconsciously matching Jason's stride, as if they'd walked side by side their entire lives, not just for the last thirty seconds. Everything about his body language radiates a curious mix of serenity and excitement, a constant contrast to his earlier despondency. "Well, it looks like it's coming on to rain," he observes. "Do you have anywhere to stow your stuff? Wouldn't want to get it spoiled." He doesn't even seem to consider, though, that the weather might be cause to go indoors.
Jason Christopher shrugs and shakes his head. "I am staying at a bed and breakfast over in Forks until I make more permanent arrangements. I hiked out here earlier today." A hike of about 15 miles one way, not something everyone would consider in an area with a lot of inclement weather, wild animals, and other hazards. Particularly some Jacob is aware of. But if Jason cares if the guitar is damaged by the weather, he is hardly displaying it. "So what do you do for fun around here anyway Jacob?" He is curious of course just what Jacob considers as fun.
Tilting his head a bit, Jacob says, "Well, kind of anything! I mean, there's movies and stuff like that between here and Forks, all the typical... whatever. But I usually either hang out with my--friends," he stumbles oddly on the word, though it doesn't seem to bother him, "and goof around, or... kind of whatever, really. I like to wander around the woods... we do some cliff-diving... just whatever comes along." Some distant corner of his mind remembers the cliff-diving having a bitterness attached to it, but for the moment he can't think why.
Jason Christopher nods thoughtfully as he listens to Jacob's description of things to do in the area. An eyebrow arches at cliff diving, as that certainly sounds entertaining to him. He points to some of the higher mountains to the north. Certainly none of them are that enormous, but for the region they have pretty decent heights. "Have you ever considered using a wing suit from up there? I imagine you could get some really great distance from up there." Clearly this is something he has done before.
Jacob's eyebrows shoot straight up at that. "Wing suit? What, like... Batman?" He laughs, shaking his head, and says, "Where would you even get one of those things? I mean, hey, it sounds fun! I'd definitely try it, but I'm not exactly Bill Gates over here. How much do those things cost?" He seems entertained, even charmed, by Jason's casual worldliness. Perhaps it's just a nice contrast from the simplistic small-town life.
Jason Christopher shrugs some and smiles. "They start around eighteen hundred, and then you can add other options. I have a couple of them." He eyes Jacob and shrugs some. "I think I might have one or two that would fit you. If not I know a guy. I can always get another one. After all, you are my new best friend." He smiles, flashing perfect teeth, if somehow abnormally long canines. "Not quite like Batman no. More like a flying squirrel actually, in an anatomical manner, less so like a bat." He pulls out a rather expensive looking phone and brings up pictures of various wing suits. The ones he is looking at, seem more expensive than he quoted.
"Nice," Jacob observes, letting the word speak for both the phone and the wing suit, though it's clear from his body language and inflection that he's not overly concerned about technology in general. "Like I said, I'd definitely try it! Anytime you want to teach a dedicated land mammal how to fly, just let me know." He gives a little bark of a laugh as they hit the road, then turns to gesture eastward. "The woods get thick as you head inland. There's really a lot to see." A mischievous smile touches his lips, and he glances over at Jason. "Hey--you like to run?"
Jason Christopher smiles and quite easily as if he has said it many times. "I run for two reasons Jacob. If there is something I want to catch, or something I do not wish to catch me." He pauses and then smirks a little. "Make that one reason. If there is something I want to catch." He takes a shallow breath and gestures ahead of them. "Like for example, my new best friend." He mentally checks off technology off the list of things to draw Jacob in. But that's alright, he has other means. "I suppose I'll need to buy a new car too. Any dealerships you'd recommend in the area?" He has seen enough to know that cars and mechanic work make Jacob practically throw wood. This was almost a sure thing. Not that he even seemed to need the assistance anymore. Absently he pondered if he could even draw Jacob in any more. It was like he just suddenly opened the door and walked in of his own volition, without the need to be drawn in.
At the mention of cars, Jason has clearly hit on the kind of technology that Jacob finds interesting. "Oh, yeah, definitely," he declares with a grin. "I'll take you around some places, find you something nice that can handle the roads around here." Then, laughing again, he says, "So... something to chance? Well, in that case... catch me if you can!" And, again with the easy comfort as if they were childhood friends instead of new acquaintances, he darts across the road, heading for the denser area of woodland, and begins to accelerate, dodging nimbly among the trees as though he does this every day of his life. (Which, of course, he does.)
Jason Christopher smiles and thinks to himself, And so the chase is on, Jacob Black. With a near feral grin he takes off in pursuit. What a grand chase it will be, too.