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Rewriting History

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In theory, school was, at its' heart, a simple concept. It was a building where one went to learn. Nessie found that it was often not like that at all. She doodled angles in her calculus notebook, pretending to pay attention. She pondered the concept of “socialization,” turning some of those angles into a very bad attempt at a rendition of Harlow’s monkeys. Socialization had never really been a problem for her before. She had her family, she had Jacob and his pack. They had enough money that a secretive trip back to Forks now and then for fishing with Grandpa Charlie, or blueberry muffins with Emily while Jacob commiserated with Sam and his pack was beyond reasonable. She had some acquaintances at school she called her friends, but she had to hide so much from them that it made real friendship impractical. 

Here, though, well, she was out of options and she was not the kind of person who would do well as a hermit. As calculus ended, she sighed and made her way to the lockers, slamming her locker door shut as she put her book away, she turned to find herself face-to-face with a boy who had been in her Civics class. 

“Hey, Vanessa, right?” The boy asked, holding his hand out to her. “I’m Tyler.”

“Nice to meet you, Tyler.” Nessie replied, shaking his hand. “Are you on your way to lunch?”

“Yeah, want to join us?” Tyler said, with a grin. “Me, Ben, Mike, Bella, Angela and Jessica, that is.”

“Sounds like you have a full crew already. Sure you have room?” Nessie replied, a little playfully. She was mimicking, mimicking Sarai from New Hampshire, Cindy from the Appalachians. She wasn’t sure about making friends, but she had been good at mimicking from a very early age. 

She sat between Tyler, friendly and with only hints of ulterior motive, and Bella, who seemed glad for her presence. Nessie knew that it was because Bella hated being the “new girl,” the one everyone talked about, but she could pretend. Being immortal, you had to be very good at pretending. 

“Where’d you live before here?” Mike asks, curious. 

“All over,” Nessie said with a slight laugh. “Most recently? Virginia. Before that Alaska, before that it was New Hampshire…” She gestured slightly. “You get the idea.”

“Army brat?” Angela asked sympathetically, interrupting before one of the boys could continue the interrogation. 

“Not exactly,” Nessie said thoughtfully. “Though my mom works in defense.” It was as good a job description as she could give a shield, anyway. The boys at the table let out sounds of appreciation at the thought.

“What about you, Vanessa?” Ben asked, leaning forward slightly. “Any good gossip, like what it’s like living in the Cullen house? Police records? Embarrassing tattoos?”

Nessie waved a carrot stick. “Not embarrassing. ” She watched as multiple jaws dropped open. “But you’re still not seeing it.”

She tolerated the questions, laughing off the innuendos, perfecting the mask as the subjects changed. Of course, there were things that caused cracks in the facade, like the words La Push . She shook her head when the new circle tried to include her in their outing. “I couldn’t.” She said honestly. “I’m going to try retracing my steps this weekend, see if I can remember anymore from before Chief Swan found me.” She hadn’t been planning anything, but the words spilled out before she’d thought them out, and they fit. She decided that it was as good a course as any. Despite this new resolve, she barely managed not to make a face as she took a bite of her salad. If human food was unappetizing to start with, it was doubly unappetizing surrounded by the smell of blood. She was a Cullen, however, and as always, she resisted.

By the time Nessie left school, she was ready to go home and be around people who didn’t expect her to talk so much. She didn’t like words, they were terribly unwieldy things. However, her desire to go home and sink into the big couch or work out the new pointe shoes she had found at the end of her bed that morning. Her boredom burned away when she saw Jacob Black standing off to one side near the high school. A huge smile crossed her face, but then tempered slightly as Bella went over to say hello, and she saw Jake’s face light up. 

Jealousy reared its ugly head, and she took a deep breath, trying to ignore her instincts. She was in the past, and things would change when she got rid of the nomads and disappeared herself from existence. This Jake wasn’t hers. His life would be better without her. Everyone’s would. Keeping the image of Irina’s death in her mind, the old clips of the newborn army and the faces of as many as she could, she steeled herself. 

It was time to go find the normads. She blew a breath out, with one last longing look at Jacob Black, before turning away and heading for the woods. 

She was so wrapped up in her justifications that she didn’t notice her father a few feet behind her.

It wasn’t particularly hard to find the nomads, they were close enough to the heart of Cullen territory, and she was enough of an oddity to catch their attention. A few buzzes just in range of their senses, and curiosity would have them follow. She slowed in the clearing they liked to use for baseball, and waited, choosing to take the opportunity to break in her new shoes, in case her strangeness made them think she was not a vampire. This is where it had first happened, and it seemed best to deviate as little as possible for the best outcome.

Renesmee didn’t have to wait long, the three strode gracefully into the clearing. She ignored them for a moment, finishing her cycle of thirty-two fouetté turns at hybrid speed, before curtseying to the flummoxed nomads. 

Laurent clapped slowly. “You know, that ballet was quite unpopular when it premiered.” 

“I know.” Nessie replied, tilting her head and studying Laurent. She had never had the chance to know him or Irina. “Thank you for the applause..”

“I am Laurent,” He replied, gesturing slightly to his companions. “And this is Victoria and James.”

“I’m Nessie.” The hybrid replied, not about to give out her real name, or lie and give out her alias when there was a tracker in front of her. She picked up a nearby rock and began rolling it in her hand. 

“A pleasure to meet you.” Laurent purred, but there was something in his eyes and the eyes of the others that made her nervous. 

“Indeed.” Nessie said, politely. “Though I may ask that you hunt further afield. Your activities have been noticed by the locals, and well, I don’t think either of our covens want the Volturi to see fit to punish us for exposure.”

“Our apologies, we didn’t realize the territory had been claimed.” Laurent replied, looking and sounding somewhat startled. 

Nessie gave a small shrug. “We maintain a number of properties, this one we’ve had since 1936, though obviously we must move when the humans start asking questions. We wish to maintain this residence for a few more years before relocating again.”

“ what you are?” James asked, breaking his silence and suddenly right in front of Nessie, sniffing her in interest. 

Nessie resisted the urge to tense. “I am...somewhat less noticeable.” She said, as if her skin wasn’t crawling. “But yes, people do begin to notice when you don’t age, we all know this.” 

“Your heart beats…” James said, his head tilting to watch the blood pulse under her skin. “And your smell is strange.”

“And I can still rip you limb from limb.” Nessie hissed back. 

“Peace, we mean no quarrel with you or your coven.” Lauent replied. “We’re only passing through. James is merely puzzled by your...strangeness.”

La vérité est une étrange créature.” Renesmee replied, in perfect French. 

“And what is your truth, little bird?” James asked. “Do you taste as sweet as you smell?”

Nessie’s lip curled, as her fingers did around the rock she was holding, crumbling it to dust. “We’re both mated, so you’ll never know.”

The tension was thick, with Victoria shifting slightly, as if preparing for something. 

Then Edward’s voice broke over the clearing, and he appeared, jumping down from a tree. “There you are, Vanessa. Carlisle and Esme want you back at the house, but I see that you’ve made some new...friends…”

Nessie’s lips quirked into a smile, practically seeing the math of the situation change in James’s mind. One of her versus the three of them was tilted in their favor, but two, when they didn’t understand her was a different story. 

“Friends…” Nessie agreed. “My apologies friends , but I have been called, and it is unwise to keep the head of my coven waiting.. It was nice to meet you. Laurent, I hope when you find your mate in Alaska, we have a chance to discuss ballet at more length.”

Laurent’s crimson eyes went wide. “Something to look forward to then.” He made an abrupt gesture, and with a growl. James moved off, and the moment was broken.

Nessie watched them leave, refusing to cede her territory, but when it was over, she had a sinking feeling it was not the last she’d seen of James.