I'm never going to be the girl who's content with the status quo, happy with what she's been given. There's always a detail that's been overlooked, a possibility that's gone unexplored, and I absolutely itch to discover them, flesh them out, bring them to the forefront.
It's the very reason why I'm so stubbornly UC in most of my fandoms - there's nothing satisfying, for me, in the star-crossed sweetness of doomed-but-perfect love. In all obstacles being external. I want that battle within, that struggle from the inside... I want things messy and visceral and not perfect at all. Watching two people fight everything the universe throws at them to be together gets boring after awhile - I'd rather see them fight with themselves for the strength to stay away. I like a lot of bitter with my sweet. Otherwise it's just vanilla.
I'll leave the why must I be such a raging angst-whore? bemoaning for another day.
At any rate, this is my problem. To quote Adrian Monk and all his insane brilliance, it's a gift. And a curse. Which brings us to my current dilemma.
Twilight. By now, everyone knows the general premise - unspectacular Bella Swan moves to small-town America, where she's accosted by torrential rain, curious locals, tribal cautionary tales, and the inhuman beauty of Edward Cullen. It's beautifully written, if a little maudlin. Yes, I know it's the first person narrative of a seventeen-year-old girl, but there were times I nearly drowned in the melodrama. There's also the damsel-in-distress factor - her constant peril (and Edward's answering anguish) got to be grating.
Those points made, they weren't my biggest issues with the book. The whole thing smacked of Roswell right off the bat, and every other story of this nature - Smallville, Dark Angel, 90% of Joss-verse - but that one parallel in particular stuck out in my mind. And I think it's because Edward became Max in my mind. Max with a healthy helping of charm, in any case. The constant reminders of his absolute perfection, the mood swings and quick temper, the glorified martyr complex...
I'm torn, because I actually liked Edward. There's something about his cadence, his bearing, his very presence on the page that is absolutely charming and downright magnetic. I see where all the f-list EDWARD CULLEN!!!!!11ELEVENTY!s come from, I do. I just can't share in the enthusiasm, because while I genuinely like him, I'm not sure if I like him with Bella.
Which, given the inordinate amount of energy and attention and "You are my life now"s he hurls in her direction, is a bit of a problem.
Now, when faced with this issue in other fandoms, it's never long before an intriguing alternative presents itself. As most of you know, my Roswell alternative is and has always been Michael. Michael, his scars, his trust issues, and all his resentment. Anything but vanilla. There's Spike for Buffy and Chloe for Smallville and Alec for Dark Angel (because, let's face it, almost anything can be solved with a little Alec). I didn't see that happening here.
Then, folks, I cracked New Moon. And there was Jacob in all his matured, earnest, sincere glory. A warning bell went off in my head... surely the answer couldn't be Jake. He's young. He's innocent. He's so damn obvious.
And then he wasn't, and it was all over for me.
Post-phase Jake intrigues me to no end. His struggle, his duty, his inherited destiny, yes... but his promise. His potential. It has to mean something that he's as powerful as he is, so soon after his transformation. Something pivotal. But even taking into account his human side alone, I love that he's still torn and conflicted and a little selfish, even in the face of loving Bella, and trying to protect her. There's such truth in that side. The emotion grounds it, makes it real. Somehow it's easier to swallow than Edward's unending selflessness, and more delicious going down.
Ultimately, I love Jake's confidence as a wolf but not as a man. It makes me wonder if Edward was like this in the beginning, struggling to reconcile the human with the inhuman, and somehow make it all fit inside.
I wonder a lot of things.
I wonder if Bella would love Edward if he wasn't a vampire. They are, after all, designed to be unfailingly appealing to their prey. I wonder if Edward actually loves Bella, or if he simply loves what she represents - a mind he can't know, a soul he can save, and his greatest triumph over temptation. I wonder why the end of New Moon felt less like a line being drawn than a gauntlet being thrown. Why Bella's beloved Edward seemed to have, in that last moment, stripped her free will.
More than anything, I wonder why Jake seems to know Bella's mind when Edward and all his power cannot. I hope I'll actually get an answer to that one.
Please - one of you Twilight fans out there, tell me I'm not the only Jacob/Bella girl in these parts. I don't mind being out on a limb on my own, but I've wandered to an entirely different tree now.
In slightly more conformist news, I'm absolutely infatuated with Carlisle, and am seriously considering historical crossover fic with him and half the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Help. Me.