A/N: Whelp, it's been a long time since I've published anything, but my amazing Beta, Klldarkness says that I'm an epic writer after sharing my inspiration with him. He's convinced me to write out this and the next two chapters at the very least, and given how a fic like this one is basically non-existent, I'm about 75% sure I'll finish it even if it's just for my own enjoyment.

But I DO hope you twi-hards out there of all ages and genders also enjoy it. I'm trying my best here. THIS, unlike Nebulite, WILL be my endeavor into authorhood. So give me any constructive criticisms you have, and maybe… Just maybe… Your words might inspire my work even further.

Anyway, this is a male SI/OC with meta knowledge and a slight AU. You'll find out the big story twists in due time, but Bella will be the most OOC out of the bunch. Fret not, this ain't none of that "All human" bullcrap, though. We definitely supernatural up in this bih, got it?

So grab a drink, some snacks, your favorite cuddle item and chair, and prepare for something different that will challenge your conceptions of Twilight fanfic.

((Also, go read and review Kll's fics. /u/2747076/Klldarkness))

SideNote: From now on A/Ns will be at the bottom and only the disclaimer and word count will be here at the top. Word count will be the actual count for the chapter content, not the inflated count that includes the A/N and disclaimer, which FF includes in their word counts.

Also, I'll try to maintain an update schedule between weekly and monthly since, as a reader, I'm understanding that one can lose the plot if it goes on any longer. Expect weekly updates until we reach the start of canon in Forks.

Disclaimer: I have ZERO claim or creative control in official Twilight Saga content. All rights for the original content go to Stephanie Meyer. I'm just playing in this sandbox and only own my ideas and characters.

Word count: 8165


1920

Stillness. Absolute peace and tranquility permeated the forest all around. Not a bird chirped, nor a mammal walked. Even the insects were strangely quiet. The only sound that could be heard to her ears was rushing water nearby. It felt wrong, this stillness, but she could no longer recall the internal association for why. There was a layer of soft particulate substance that she could feel on her body where she wasn't covered by sheets of rough fibrous material, though she could not perceive where any of it came from or why it was there.

Had she been here for so long, motionless? What did it mean? It felt wrong to be a part of the tranquility, but equally wrong to disturb it to search for answers. Apart from a mild warmth in her throat, she felt entirely at ease, even with her eyes closed. She did not need to see what she could hear, smell, feel, and even taste to some extent.

Eventually, the tranquility was broken. Movement in the air picked up as a booming sound and a flash of light that shown through her eyelids came into existence somewhere above and away from her. These new thoughts and ideas; new words and information gave her pause, made her doubt her place in the environment and her lack of desire to not disturb it.

Wind
Lightning
Thunder

She did not understand why they came to her, nor was there context given to them. She simply knew to associate the words to the new aspects of the environment.

Rain

This new one confused her for a moment, as well, and something new flashed into existence behind her eyelids. Drops of water would fall from the sky out of clouds in a very short amount of time. The wind picked up again, and she was beginning to feel a sense of unease as this information and these disturbances flooded her void of tranquility both internal and external.

The first drops began falling an indeterminate amount of time later followed shortly by more lightning and thunder. The rain quickly picked up in earnest, a true and complete downpour fell upon the environment, her included. The water soaked her clothes and washed away the dust and dirt that had accumulated on her skin but even still… This new sensory information, these new words and thoughts that became clearer to her did not rouse her from her stillness.

The air cooled as the rainstorm went on. The light shining through her eyelids dulled severely for a while, taking the ethereal warmth she felt on her skin with it. Night. She thought. It is nighttime. The sun went down. The words tickled her this time, combining together more coherently instead of standing alone. And they had a beautiful sound to them as well. She'd realized she had formed what could only be a sentence a moment later. Something tugged in her face; a smile she thinks. Perhaps soon, she would move from this spot, but not yet. There was hardly a need given her lack of discomfort.

The sun came back out, lighting up her eyelids and returning to her the warmth she had felt the day before. The warmth in her throat grew with the sun, having never waned despite its leaving. Some part of her told her this was wrong, but she couldn't figure out why. She swallowed, and that seemed to soothe it just enough to stop thinking about it. The tranquility continued. Night came again, and so did Day once more. The warmth in her throat increased, yet she stayed still.

Eventually, more ideas came. More words. The surface beneath her body felt like stone or rock and the air around her smelt of pine and oak trees. She tried thinking for the first time, wanting to draw out more words. She quickly realized she was becoming bored but not having a frame of reference before now, she wasn't sure. She trusted her thoughts, her mind to fill her in as she needed to be, though, so she simply extracted more information from her perception of the environment. She wore nothing on her feet, though her legs were covered with pants of the same material as her shirt all the way up to her waist and then to her neck respectively.

Thinking of her neck brought the warmth in her throat to the forefront in her mind, yet no answers about this sensation came. She moved on. Nothing else covered her body, though the shirt did have sleeves that ended about midway down her upper arms. Although having upper ones would imply she had lower ones as well and she could only sense the two. Tempted to raise them up and open her eyes for answers, she instead saw while they were closed. She indeed only had two arms, not a set of upper and lower ones. Confused, she waited for an answer that came quickly.

Forearms
Hands
Fingers

These words, along with images representing them flashed behind her closed eyes. It was strange, this new sensory data. She'd experienced it before with the rain and just now when she'd wanted to look at her arms. Sight and Vision entered her mind, blossoming beautifully as they directly showed her the one thing she was missing this entire time.

She finally decided to break the tranquility. She wanted to experience this sensation for herself, but as she did so, everything seemed to double up and cascade in a disorienting sea of swirling colors and shapes. An indeterminate amount of time later, after she realized she'd opened her eyes, things solidified and came into crisp clarity. What she saw before her baffled her even more than the ideas flitting through her head. Having already disturbed the peace this much, she decided to act further, to take in more data and actively discover things by moving her body.

It started small, of course, but everything did that way. The sensations and thoughts quickly cascaded, information pouring in faster than the rain did last night. She was in a forest surrounded by trees. There were leaves and sticks and rocks on the ground, and she was now sitting atop a boulder examining everything around her with clarity and focus not fathomable to her until the moment she decided to do it. But she was not the only one to break the tranquility that was only tenuously kept in place by a thread as it was.

The wind picked up again, carrying with it a scent and a sound, the former musky and the latter wet as it filler her nose and ears respectively. The warmth in her throat flared into a burn and before she knew it, her body lurched forward into a run as she raced towards the source of the sensations. Something in her, a different voice than before told her this smell was prey even if it was lesser. Her gut twisted in anticipation, an empty but eager feeling that the first and second voices both told her was hunger.

Moments later, she could see her prey, its head down as it, itself, fed upon something on the ground. Her body reacted for her, the second voice seemingly taking over as she dove for the animal and opened her mouth to sink her teeth into its neck. Warmth, soothing, delicious, RED warmth came gushing out. It coated her face, her neck, stained her clothes, but it most importantly rushed into her mouth and down her throat, soothing the burn and satiating the hunger within.

Blood, her inner voices sang back, the second, DARKER one echoing with adjectives such as beautiful, satisfying, and fulfilling. This was natural, that side told her. But, as the flow stalled and no more gushed out, the first voice recoiled, "wrong" it said. The second voice agreed though she sensed it was for different reasons. Lackluster the darker voice provided. But she had no frame of reference to compare to and if the hunger and burn both being satiated were anything to go by, the darker voice was wrong, not the first one.

She scoffed in annoyance, the first sound to come out of her mouth. She needed answers; she needed to see.

Go to the water

Another inner sentence. She wondered why it had said that but received no answers this time, only a vision: There, at the water's edge, she would peer into the rippled surface of the liquid and see her own reflection-

The vision stopped before she could analyze further, her body already in motion as her ears pinpointed the rushing sound nearby. Within moments, she had come across the creek and curiosity drove her quickly to the edge as she peered over with her own eyes to see for herself, and not just in that flash from before, what she looked like.

Her features were dainty and small. Delicate, but with a hint of sharpness to them. An oval or perhaps rounded triangle shape overall with balanced cheekbones, a slight jaw and a cute, but pronounced and slightly pointed chin. Her mouth was a touch narrow, with cute, slightly thin, bow-shaped lips. Her nose was small in general, with a slightly concave bridge. The nostril width was well proportioned to it while the bottom of it was flat, only slightly angled up to its somewhat narrow conclusion at the gentle tip.

Her hair reached slightly past her chin, perhaps midway down her neck when she pulled it down as straight as possible, and it was raven black, even where matted with blood. Her eyes were averagely set and spaced on her face, but large and round and a vivid candy red color. Though she could detect a tiny hint of blood orange in them. Her eyebrows were gently S-shaped with a slightly more pronounced arch towards the end. Her forehead was curved along the hairline and somewhat narrow.

All of this information rushing through her mind almost overwhelmed her, but the analysis was done and over with seemingly before even a drop of that delicious blood she was coated in could hit the water. When it did, it drew her attention to the spot that was impacted, and there in her reflection, she saw words on her shirt.

M- Alice -do-

She couldn't entirely make sense of it, even after reaching down and pulling the piece of cloth out so she could view it directly. It seemed her prey had scratched out two of the three words there. Thinking of the fragments together brought back wrong from her gentle inner voice, however Alice by itself sounded right to both it and her, and a complete idea, one of identity that she hadn't known she was missing until that point slotted into place and sent utter elation fluttering throughout her body.

My name is Alice.

She smiled again, looking down into the water and appreciating her reflection's reaction. Pride and excitement overflowed her as a beautiful wind-chime sound escaped her lips in spurts.

Laughter. I'm… Laughing! She thought, the sound her body made matching the tone of the lighter voice in her head. MY voice… I… She paused, another thought coming to mind. If she could make- If she could laugh then she should be able to speak as well, right? There was barely a hesitation before she tried. It took her two tires to figure out how to shape her lips and move her tongue, but she was all but certain that it would work.

"My name is Alice. This is my voice." She said jubilantly to her reflection, laughing again and relishing the novel discoveries that kept coming. Something in the back of her mind told her this shouldn't be new, but when everything was so vivid and engaging and beautiful it was hard to care and easy to ignore that thought. And just when she thought she'd seen it all, new sights suddenly overtook her, blocking out her reflection, and even the water itself, entirely:

A young man sat in a room full of others, himself seeming out of place compared to them. Dressed differently, styled differently, with a different look on his face and a different, more alert set to his posture. Sharper, more calculating, as if he knew something they didn't and was more on edge for it. The others ate while he watched, looking either for or at something that was out of her field of view.

The vision shifted, revealing something new once again:

A girl, fair-skinned with brown eyes and hair; plain compared to the one she sat next to and was almost touching, but beautiful in her own way with nice features. A large room with many, but at her table sat just a half dozen others.

The vision changed yet again, bouncing this time from an individual to a group:

Others, with skin like hers, with strength and speed like hers, but with golden yellow eyes. They drank only from animals, like she just did. She saw herself with them, they all hugged warmly and smiled fondly at each other. She could see the love and adoration on both her face and their faces. She seemed specifically close to the bronze-haired boy.

Alice came out of these visions gasping deep breaths she didn't know she didn't need. It was hard to make sense of them given how there was nothing in her vicinity that looked remotely like what she saw. And, aside from the smell of cooling, old, drying blood and two animal carcasses, she could sense nothing beyond the creek and the trees around her. She gathered her wits and steeled her resolve, this time closing her eyes and wilfully diving back into herself, trying to find the visions in a near desperate attempt for context.

She saw the same family, the warm looks on their faces from before replaced with apprehension and trepidation, her own look replaced with sheepishness but honesty. She was talking to them, explaining who she was and why she was there, but the words weren't as clear, especially after her introduction.

This was better, but still not what she needed. Alice needed to know how, and the more she thought about it, the more she realized she needed to know when and where, as well.

Everything stopped and Alice tried to look around the paused scene; to search for clues and details that would allow her to arrive here and meet these people. New words kept flooding in, helping her find the correct context. She looked at street signs and buildings and finally found a newspaper. Picking it up and reading it, she found the time and place where she would meet the pale family that she grew so close with.

Alice dropped out of the vision when she had what she needed, committing it perfectly to memory as if it were carved deeply into stone. But this was not all she was destined to see, as her vision blurred again to another point in time:

Herself with the young man from the first vision, passionately entangled in a position that elicited a heady wanton desire in her that she didn't quite understand yet. Their lips met in a crash as they seemed to fight for control in the encounter, them ultimately coming to the conclusion of equal exchange as the young man became more tender and she relaxed into his welcoming embrace.

That one quickly ended, and other snippets of her with the young man showed that their relationship was not destined to simply be Lustful in its design. She saw the look of dedication in his eyes for her, how he thought he didn't deserve her and how it was wrong for him to have her. But her own expression showed she would be utterly devoted to him even if he made mistakes. He needed it, deserved it after what he'd been through, especially for doing his best to better himself after being set free from his past. She wasn't sure she would be told the whole story, at least not at first, but she could see it in his eyes and face, a secret -the reason behind his reluctance to accept that she was his- tore at him even in their moment of passion.

But his dedication to his loved ones was unyielding, and Alice found herself touched that she was among that rather limited group. As she replayed the beginning of the vision in her head, her hand came up to her lips, before trailing down her body in the exact path the young man kissed and caressed her in her vision, feeling the phantom touches and kisses he'd given her. She yearned for this, knew somehow that meeting that family would lead to it, or that meeting him would lead to that family… But it felt so incredibly far away that a new emotion found her.

Desperation. It led to her trying again to search these phantom visions for information and clues, but sadly, this time nothing came to her. Alice huffed in a mixture of disappointment and irritation, sniffling as something wet slid down her face from her eyes.

Tears… I'm crying…? But I don't even know them. ANY of them! She thought, but despite her inner turmoil she couldn't HELP but feel strongly for these people. Searching herself, she found no connections and no memories that she had any emotional attachment to. She spent the remainder of the day and the next night trying, but all that came were more words and ideas. Never people or emotions.

She only felt love when she thought of them. Even the plain girl she felt strongly for, having been the only clear one in that vision besides the boy she sat next to. If she were clear, she must be important, AS important as the others, who were also clear. It made perfect sense in Alice's desperation.

But the more she remained still, the murkier and vaguer the visions became. Panic set in as Alice rebelled against the thought of losing even these tenuous few connections to people she'd never known and hadn't been in the presence of yet, and she decided to seek them out as soon as possible and stop at nothing to figure out how to find them. And alas, even with just the decision a new vision came to her.

Alice held a newspaper in her hand. "Biloxi Bugle, August 17, 1920" was the date on it as she stood on a street corner somewhere in the city. She was covered head to toe in clothing other than what she wore now, and she was cleaned of the blood that dried on her skin and matted her hair.

Alice grimaced, disappointed that her family was so far away in time. Decades, her mind supplied her, at least for all of them -including the plain girl- to be together. Nonetheless, Alice grit her teeth in determination and decided to get to work. After all, the last time she decided not to act, the vision of her future dimmed, and that was several orders of magnitude more wrong than anything she'd felt before, including when she'd first considered the tranquility of the rock she awoke on sacrosanct.


1987

Through a hazy mental fog, an individual who had lived once before glimpsed what he thought was an angel at the time, cradling him tenderly in her arms and whispering words he wouldn't understand until his physical mind developed once again. He would never be able to remember her face in detail, nor the specifics of what she said, but she was beyond compare and one of his first -and most confusing- memories in this new life that he had yet to recognize was more than merely an odd dream.


1988

I remembered nothing from my first year except a hazy memory of a beautiful face and gentle sing-song voice. Even now, in my second year, it was difficult to think for very long with any level of coherency or recall and then assess old memories. Two people -a man and woman- often argued in the background, but my ever-growing confusion -and slight horror- made it easy to ignore them. Worse than both them and the ideas I so desperately struggled to grasp were the exceedingly brief and infrequent bouts of absolute clarity and lucidity.

I was pretty sure I had died and been reborn, and the more often I woke up to unfamiliar surroundings and an unfamiliar state of being, the more I was unable to escape that tragedy. I tried to remember how and why, but it was still, agonizingly impossible.

I cried. I bawled. I RAGED at the universe.

It was the only time those two bastards shut up.

But my crying only triggered another's


1989

As time progressed, my bouts of lucidity grew. I had a feeling my memories were driving my body and physiological progress even when I wasn't in control. I'd hit all of the "milestones" early and even things I wasn't "awake" for, I was retaining memories about. I'd learned my parents' names were Charlie and Renee and that I had a sister named Isabella. I could feel that those names were significant, but no matter how hard I pulled on memories or forced my higher thought processes to the surface, I couldn't remember why.

I pooped
I cried
I got hungry
I cried

My parents were diligent but argued every other day with a big one once or twice a month. The other baby cried… I let her have the attention from mom and dad. Honestly, I'd have preferred to have my whole mind back.

I cried

I got attention anyway

Instincts I wanted to reject had me calming in my parents' arms. If I couldn't have myself, I needed something. ANY connection or feeling was better than desolation and loss.

I gave in and rolled with it. If these times taught me anything, it was that patience was a virtue, and what I needed and wanted would come at the right time. They were hard lessons to learn, and only sank in subconsciously to meld with my previous memories for later analysis when my brain developed some more, but I calmed nonetheless.

I didn't know what to feel when the woman took me and the other baby away from the man.


1990

"I'd never given much thought to how I would die…" Is a phrase that, at some point, my twin sister would either say or think. Of course, she'd follow it by a self-sacrificing diatribe or some other melodramatic teen love-story bullshit, probably as she was either passed out or writhed in pain from James' venom. Me, on the other hand, well… I'd given considerable thought to how I would die both in this life and my last.

Oh yeah, I suppose I should mention that. Getting ahead of myself, but then again, my thoughts as a three-year-old tend to be jumbled and all over the place despite my memories of a past life with solid intelligence and a wildly powerful but selective memory. At least I can actually think properly now, even if only a few hours or a day at a time and with a fair bit of lost time in between.

Anyway, I was born, or reborn actually, on September 13th, 1987 as David Isaiah Swan to one Charlie Swan and Renee Swan-Higginbotham just twenty-seven minutes after my twin sister Isabella. And honestly, thank GOD Charlie went to bat for me and vetoed "Isaiah Bradley Swan" because if I ended up with the initials "IBS", I probably wouldn't have gotten along well with my new mother. Conveniently, this also meant my first name was the same as my previous life, which I suppose made my transition easier.

Of course, this is all well and good, but once I could lucidly comprehend these ideas again and have a train of thought of my own, it threw up several red flags within my incredible but selective memory. Being born in Forks, Washington, and then having my mother take my sister and I and flee to the Southwest was another. And her airheaded and wild lifestyle that truly toed the line on neglectful and in serious need of parental assistance, yet again, was another.

I mean Jesus Christ, woman, giving a three-year-old spare ribs? I enjoyed the taste, but holy fuck was it actually difficult to eat. Bella cried as she struggled to strip the pork from the bones, and Renee, after a full TEN minutes "trying" to get off the phone FINALLY came over and cut the majority of the meat off the bones for her.

I'm sorry to say that the last few years haven't been rough just for me. Renee trying to be a single mother to twins just doesn't work for who she is, and though I could tough it out -better when I was lucid- and get by, Bella was not doing so hot. Sure, we were in reasonable enough health, well-fed, cleaned, and taken care of. I was already "potty trained" and Bella was on her way to it, but… There were just so many idiosyncrasies with Renee it wasn't funny. Between that causing her to run ragged, and our precarious housing situation not helped by Renee's unstable work situation, it was… burdensome on my conscience.

'What a waste…' I thought absently as the woman slid the bones with a fair bit of meat still on them in the trash. If it isn't clear, she ignored my own struggle with the ribs given how I wasn't crying about it. But then again, after realizing where I might well be AND getting a second shot at life, I was relishing the challenges to get stronger for the first time in what quite literally might have been forever. I also sacrificed much to grasp and maintain what little control I had over life. It didn't ease my conscience much -I wanted to help more, or at least be self-sufficient again- but I did what I could to make it easier on Renee. One real toddler was enough for her.

What was I supposed to be talking about, again? Right, reincarnation and second chances…

Stupid toddler brain. I'd given a lot of thought to how I would die. I'd even considered the very real possibility that my obesity would kill me somehow, and in an ironic twist of fate, after a surge of motivation following a LONG period of self-loathing and inaction I died while trying to save myself; that is to say, I had a heart attack in the gym I was working out in. I was terrified when it happened, one minute I was "feeling the burn" and "getting in the zone" thinking that all was going good, and the next minute the burn burned too much as my heart started pounding painfully against my chest. I could think of nothing but the people who would lose me as I took my last breaths and the gym goers surrounded me and tried to get help.

My sister -the one from my past life- had already been through too much with her mom and our dad dying. I feel like out of the rest of the family, extended or otherwise, she loved and connected with me the most, despite our physical distance and lack of visiting each other. To say I was worried about her mental health after I died would be an understatement. My mother had also not been the most stable. Her "reason for existence" was her boys -my brothers and I- and given her own battered past, I doubt she did well after finding out what happened to me. And I knew my brothers would be sad, but… I don't know. It was still difficult to process complex emotions as a three-year-old and I was lowkey kinda happy about that. It would give me more time to bury the shit and forget it as I got on with my new life.

Regardless of how I felt, though, I knew there was no going back. I would have to make the best of getting this second chance at life, especially in regards to myself and my family. If I made myself three extra life promises right now, they would be:

-Live my best life, whether it involves the supernatural or this is all just a coincidence.
-Love and cherish and grow close to my new family, faults and all. No holding back, anymore.

-No regrets for lack of trying.

And with that, my time for lucidity was up this week. Damn fuckin shittin ass dickwad toddler brain, I swear to fuck I can't turn five fast enough!


1993

Having a birthday in the middle of September is a real son of a bitch in Arizona. You see, you had to be five before September 1st in order to qualify for kindergarten, and since Bella and I were born September 13th, that put us back an entire year. Yeah, we'd be two of those kids who would graduate high school at 18 instead of 17. I honestly wasn't sure yet if I wanted to flex my "adult brain" and shoot ahead a couple-few years or not, yet. After all, we've been living with mom this entire time, so I wasn't able to find out what Forks looked like and who else besides dad even lived there. Not that it would necessarily help prove this world contained the paranormal since the Cullens wouldn't theoretically even be IN Forks until 2003, so I had a solid decade of waiting before I could investigate further into the potential coincidence of my reincarnated life.

Hell, the reason I didn't do something crazy like call Volterra or look for the signs of Nomads was because I had a healthy respect for living and being healthy after I died the first time. Even in a world where I could possibly "live twice" by being turned into a vampire, I wasn't planning on risking it unless I either knew I was "worth something" AKA had a gift, or I could convince some trustworthy vamps to do it. Not to mention, MUCH later in life given how I would detest repeating high school to keep up the facade. And, y'know… also because Immortal Children are illegal.

In any case, given how Bella's "fate" was to end up with Dickward -and NO, that doesn't make me "Team Jacob" thank you VERY much- I wasn't too concerned with the "who" so much as the "if", the "where", and the "when". Assuming of course this was all real.

After all, Bella and I were closer than tungsten atoms in a black hole. If she got an in with the Cullens, so would I. I could be exaggerating just a bit, but I could feel this… invisible bond between us on some cosmic level. We had excellent synergy and "twinstincts" and we were already almost things kept going the way they were, I was 95% sure it would be as described, if not stronger. It kinda scared me on some level, but being "alone" with my thoughts, I was glad that such a relationship could possibly exist for me. At the very least she'd never keep secrets from me and would offer to change me herself if I asked and she could. THAT I was sure of no matter how early it was.

On a side note, I also genuinely believe that she was getting some kind of secondhand boost from my adult brain, but that could also be due to the fact that we've had to at least somewhat raise ourselves with minimal help from the state, meaning pre-K and daycare and stuff. Uhh, crap, wasn't I supposed to be talking about school school? Screw it. Kindergarten is boring, anyway and I already knew this SUUUPER basic math. And English. And literally everything else. Hell, the teacher stopped calling on me when she realized I was getting everything right and that the other kids weren't getting their chance to learn. Even Bella only got called on half as much, and we definitely weren't far from the start of the school year.

But back to my inner monologue.

Mom recently got a far more stable and full-time job doing fuck knows what that took up basically all of her time. It was the reason we were able to, and the catalyst for moving from Riverside, California to Phoenix, Arizona. She made good money and all, but she had no time for us, and sadly, adults don't get a summer vacation. It wasn't the only bit of interesting news or change of pace, either.

After all, next year we were finally going to spend our first summer with Dad in Forks. Between his demands, threats to file in court, and mine and Bella's pestering, we were able to obliterate her excuses and start our summer visits two years ahead of schedule. 'Fuck yeah, childish exuberance and puppy dog eyes for the win!' I had thought victoriously, immediately excited for something 9 months out. I will admit, waiting the two years so we could take connecting flights as unaccompanied minors would be cheaper and more convenient than going now, but given how we were going to stay all summer instead of just one month like in "canon" Charlie wasn't bothered by having to drive to Seattle and back two days out of the year.

I found it really odd when I figured out that neither of my parents had so far involved court and custody, especially given Renee's personality. This fact however made it genuinely (read: ironically) more financially economical -not to mention emotionally and developmentally beneficial- for Bella and I to go to Forks next summer, anyway since dad didn't have to pay child support. I was all too glad for it no matter what, though. I missed having a Dad, especially since mine died when I was 19 in my past life, and Bella needed a solid parent, so no matter which way you sliced it, this was a GREAT deal.

It was so weird to think about my past life, now. One of the hardest questions I'd asked myself was how to consider my age and mentality. Despite existing for 30 years at this point I really only count the 24 of my first life due to being in and out of lucidity as a toddler in this one, and even considering that, I felt emotionally and socially stunted back then on account of my old upbringing and poor choices I made in my adolescence.

Far different poor choices than most teenagers, but damaging nonetheless. I was ready to have at least ONE good parent in my formative years, even if I was lucid of the fact that they've already technically passed. Why was I like this? Well, let's just say I'm good at recognizing patterns, and despite having the memories and even some of the tendencies, likes, dislikes, and so on of my previous life, I can definitely tell that my BRAIN has been reset. I'm starting fresh developmentally, and if things go right, I'll be able to detach from at least half of the bullshit that was holding me back before.

I was already WAY ahead on that front given that my own body was no longer fucking me over with low testosterone and addictions and obesity causing a negative feedback loop of epic proportions. And given my newfound curiosity and neuroplasticity, my drive to do new things -to do the right things, given I had a frame of reference- was probably twice as vigorous as even a normal young child's was. It was contagious, too. Bella was nothing like she was described as a child in the books, and given all of the logical things I knew about psychology, I was able to steer her towards a more stable and less self-deprecating path.

She still seemed to be picking up some of her "canon" traits and habits, like her clumsiness and general quietness, but she definitely wasn't a giver-upper, if that's a word. Sadly, she still lacked the base knowledge that I had from being reincarnated, but between her own smarts, me, and the school system she was catching up like a proper prodigy.

I'll tell you, though… One bad thing about being six for the second time, and specifically being a grown man that was on the spectrum and was an info sponge while being six for the second time was how scatterbrained my train of thought could be. I don't know if I got it from Renee, if it was because my brain and body were six, if I had ADHD in this life, too, or if it was just because I had nobody to talk to given my circumstances, but it was WILD in my head most of the time.

I could only ever pay half attention to what was going on around me unless it was truly important or someone important asked for my attention. Another thing was that despite not losing any more time to a fugue state like I did in my toddler years, I still got headaches when I thought too hard or too long. I guess five wasn't the magic number and that "95% hardwired" wasn't enough for my brain to continue thinking in the deep and complex manner that it used to as an adult.

Maybe ten will be that number. Maybe it'll be puberty. 'Fuck me, not puberty…' I thought with a mild amount of despair as I groaned and laid my head down on the table. True, I would get to go through it properly this time, and hopefully without a porn and masturbation addiction, and DEFINITELY without obesity, but still… "Properly" meant acne and anxiety and stuff, and I wasn't looking forward to that.

I sighed. 'What a drag.' I thought, smirking internally at my reference to a series that wouldn't exist for another ten-plus years.

"Dadid, you okay?" Bella asked in her cherubic voice next to me, laying a concerned -and cute- little hand on my shoulder. I rolled my head to the side and looked up into her chocolate brown eyes, blinking my own blue ones at her as my face showed a mix between reluctance and a semi-dismissive grimace.

"Just another headache, Belly." I admitted, exchanging "nicknames" with her.

"You been thinking too much!" She stated more than asked, nodding and going back to her math work -which was completed now that I look at it- and now practicing her writing at the bottom. I smirked at her fondly. I really loved this kid as much as I did my other little sister in my past life. Maybe even a little more if I'm being honest. After all, we grew up together this time around, and like the affection I felt for and from my new parents, the desires of the heart can't be helped.

"I know. But there's nothing else to do, Bella! I already understand all this stuff." I replied, the "all it takes is one try" going unsaid due to a mixture of twin telepathy and how often I used the excuse to cover my ass. Good thing mom actually thought it up one day when the teachers called to say how exceptional I was. I'd been a "genius" the whole time growing up, so continuing to do so in school was, thankfully, nothing new and not abnormal. I could blaze through and draw no strange attention as long as I did things in order and didn't, say, skip straight to algebra in pre-K.

In any case, I was also kinda glad she decided not to let them advance me. She had a mixture of reasons -some I'd approved of, and a couple I didn't- but I'd made the decision when I was four that I'd stick by Bella no matter what. If -and only if- she wanted to advance, would I follow along with her. If she wanted to chill, so would I. Given what I knew of her personality in canon, and the trends I was seeing now, as well as our bond, I had a feeling she would try to sense what I wanted and play off of that, provided she could keep up. I had a feeling this would land us in AP honors classes, but probably no skipping years. After all, I really only effectively had a middle-school education followed by an A-, B, B, and C- passing GED later on.

"Then tell me how I did!" She exclaimed, having finished her sentence at the bottom of the page before handing it off to me. Her exuberance and people skills were kinda incredible as she once again came up with an idea that would satisfy -at least a little- my boredom in life right now.

And thus, our pattern continued. I essentially pre-graded her paper for the teacher, marking the two out of twenty that she got wrong before commenting on her writing and asking her to retry the math problems. Five minutes later -and that was still only ¾ the time the rest of the class took- and she had every problem correct. Her English wasn't looking bad, either, especially for a six-year-old. By winter break she'd be at the 3rd-grade level minimum if we both tried our hardest. Man, it's going to be a bitch being held back by our mother. Maybe I should tutor Bella less…

A kiss on my cheek, a soft hug, and a genuine "thank you" from her after the teacher collected the papers and praised our work once again had me rolling back such thoughts. After all, it was going to "suck" for me anyway, so I'll just let Bella be happy however she needs to be.

"You're welcome, Belly. Love you." I told her, hugging her back.

"Love you too, Dadid." She butchered my name on purpose.


1995

'95 Was a GREAT year. Perhaps one of the best of my second childhood. The headaches were minimized and kept getting weaker and easier to deal with over time, and between all the promises I made to myself and progress on all fronts, I was finally starting to settle in and find my place in this new life.

We'd been to Forks twice, now, with the second time being filmed on a multitude of home videos. Between Mom and Dad's income, they were able to afford ONE top-of-the-line camcorder and enough tapes to film 2-3 hours of life per month. I wasn't really big on filmography and photography, but I did understand the basics and, more than anything, I wanted to make and save memories of experiences that I had and stuff that we did. I was TOTALLY on a "time capsule" kick and wanted to preserve all the nostalgia, eccentricities, and differences of the 90's so we could look back in 20 some-odd years and remember the "good ole days".

There was some stuff I disliked -like some of the styles, especially the jeans and horizontally striped shirts with 90's colors and black bases- but I mostly enjoyed growing up in such a novel and different era. I craved the technology of the "future" but I also knew that living in the now was important, and even beneficial since things were so comparatively calm, disconnected, and stable. The frenzy of the 2010s and 2020s, with memes, politics, social media… It was rough, especially with my issues in my past life.

The '90s were like an idyllic vacation in a movie compared to that.

In any case, between our 7th birthday, 8th birthday, shooting guns for the first time -I liked it more than Bella, but she at least put up with the basics- catching a HUGE fish with dad, some other stuff in the woods, and going to theme parks a few times a year, I filmed everything I could and deeply cherished every memory I made. Between being poor and in foster care for a bit in my past life and trauma-blocking a bunch of memories, I was lightyears beyond eager to just live. Hell, it was even easy to be a KID again, and while on some level that scared me, I just found that all the bullshit rolled off when me and Bella did something fun, or Mom had some time off to chase a new hobby, or ESPECIALLY when we had summer vacation with dad.

Next year the flights would get cheaper since me and Bella would be allowed on connecting flights, so it was even possible that we might go see dad more often. God, could life get any better?

I genuinely didn't worry about Jinxing myself with that one, if that answers the question.

But Dad, theme parks, vlogs, and birthdays weren't the only highlights. Whenever mom chased a new hobby, she tended to bring us into it too, and while some of them I could definitely do without (knitting, dancing, art), I always at least learned something from them and got the basics. She even let us keep doing anything we were interested in when she had to start work up again, and while Bella and I didn't settle on anything, yet, we still found ways to entertain ourselves. Usually by playing old video games and hanging out with friends.

Friends. Such a weird concept for my self-perceived 30-ish-year-old ass to consider these children "peers" much less "friends" but the longer I lived, the more I found myself mixing my past life with my current one more fluidly. There were times when I really WAS just an 8-year-old kid again and didn't even realize it until I reflected on it either later in privacy, or in my dreams. Nothing so much as haunted me as it did just feel a little weird when I thought about it too much.

But given how I never had any odd desires and kept strong boundaries with certain things, I just rolled with it. In the back of my mind, I still dreaded puberty, but living in the moment and not obsessing over things I genuinely couldn't change, affect, or control was one of the soft promises I made to myself, so I rolled with it as best I could. 'Problems for future me to deal with.' I thought.

Bella and I excelled in school, and, as predicted, we qualified and enrolled in honors AP classes or whatever the equivalents were starting in third grade. The schools offered to advance us a year -even two in one case- but Mom declined, again with a mixture of reasons I agreed and partially disagreed with, but couldn't come to care about. As long as Bella was happy and we found other stuff to do, I was more than content to endure the boredom of school for now. Besides, it was kinda fun to place first and second place all the time in the school district. I was definitely dabbing on the (admittedly few) people who picked on us and called us "nerds".

It was extra ironic that they did so at all given how I took up little league sports. I tried whatever they would let me, somehow kindling a fondness I didn't know I had for the classic "stick and ball" type sports like football, soccer, baseball, and so on. Mom wouldn't let me do martial arts because of "violence" no matter how I reasoned it to her, but pee wee football let me get the "aggression" out so I was fine for now.

Definitely going to wrestle or something in High-School, though. I'll sic dad on her if I have to. One of my goals in this life is to get and remain physically fit, and I'll be damned if I'm hindered at all in that.

Out of all the sports I've tried so far, though, and including football being the best for my male energy, my favorite -much to my father's delight- was baseball. Whether you blame it on genetics, my upbringing, or how I felt baseball was the most tolerable of the stick and ball sports in my past life, it didn't matter. Baseball was satisfying in a way that football never could be. Perhaps it was the simplicity of it, or maybe it was the pride in hitting that perfect homer and being able to jog all the way to home base. Either way, aside from some of my past passions -which I would take up again in the future- I'd found my "calling" in baseball, for now.

Damn, I hope they let me take two sports in High School. It'll be a bitch to balance if I can, especially with Music thrown in as a hobby, but still. Worth it.