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22 October 2007 @ 12:08 am
 
For fathomlesssky...

Title: Crisp Sunrise
Word Count: 7,064
Pairing/Character: Alice and Jasper
Summary: Alice and Jasper tell their story to the Cullens. The arguments, hardships, and ultimate love bring them together.
Warnings: No warnings (NO INCEST!)
Author's Note: At first, I was sort of reluctant to do Alice and Jasper, but you know what? I had fun. Bella and Edward are way overdone! Thank you for opening my eyes, fathomlesssky. Oh and I suck at making titles, so please bear with this one!


Alice looked around, a bit dazed, but still excited. He was here, she knew it. She thought of her vision for the hundredth time. Yes, right in that diner, that is where he and her would meet. She tried to look normal as she walked down the simple street, but Alice couldn’t resist skipping a few steps. She smiled as she saw the diner she was looking for. It had soft music playing from inside. She walked in and sat at a stool. Any second now he’d come through that door…

—0—

Jasper shook his head as he walked down a huge, traffic filled street. He barely looked at a huge sign on his right that read, “Welcome to Philadelphia!” He kept walking forward, like he’d been doing for god knows how long. Time didn't seem to exist anymore when you had all of eternity to make new discoveries, meet new people, lose new people. It didn't even seem to make sense to meet someone new. He would only lose that person to death when the time came down to it. Why bother? He smelt human blood in the air and his emotions started to change. But nothing could change his own mood. He was looking for something, but didn’t know what it was. How annoying was that?

He suddenly turned down a street, not really knowing where he was going and unsure why his feet seemed to draw him down this certain street. He heard soft music coming from one of the stores on the busy street. He kept walking for a few minutes, noticing the sky’s gray color starting to turn darker. Sure enough, rain started to pour. Knowing that standing in the rain would attract attention, Jasper ducked into the little diner that had music playing.

—0—

Alice hopped down from her stool with dancer’s elegance, and walked right to Jasper. She knew his face perfectly. She looked up at him and smiled, and he smiled back curiously.

“You’ve kept me waiting a long time,” Alice said. Her voice reminded Jasper of beautiful music.

“I’m sorry, ma’am,” Jasper said, ducking his head down. He wasn’t exactly sure why this beautiful creature was waiting for him, but he didn’t ask. For the first time in his whole vampire life, he felt hope. Alice held out her hand and Jasper took it. They walked out of the diner hand in hand.

—0—

“So there’s Edward, Emmett, Rosalie, Carlisle, and…Esme?” Jasper struggled to remember his future family members.

“How can you forget Esme?” Alice looked outraged. “She is the most caring and loving of them all. Don’t forget Esme.” Alice scowled and shook her finger at Jasper. He couldn’t help bending down and kissing her cheek. She smiled at him, her teeth sparkling in the sun.
“Where are we again?” Jasper asked. He looked around at the green grass and the huge mountains in the background.

“We are in British Columbia. In Canada,” Alice said, exasperated but smiling as Jasper thought again about the situation. “We are going to Denali, Alaska.”

“This is all still so strange. What will they think of us when we see them? What do we say?” Jasper chuckled slightly at the image of Alice skipping towards a house full of vampires.

“We’ll say, ‘Hi, Edward, Emmett, Rosalie, Carlisle, and Esme.’ And then they will say hi back.” Alice’s simple response made Jasper laugh.

“Okay, my dear,” He said and patted her hand.

—0—

Soon, Jasper and Alice were speeding down a deserted highway. Alice ran with such exuberance that Jasper was just keeping up with her. Her extreme joy was effecting Jasper’s emotions. He smiled as they passed another house. Jasper was happy that Alice seemed to know where she was going, because he sure didn’t.

Suddenly, Alice stopped. “It’s here.” Her voice was just a whisper. But she didn’t stop for long. Before Jasper knew it, Alice was darting down a small walkway, covered with snow, toward what looked like a forest. But Jasper knew better, and he could smell the vampires.

Alice seemed to be perfectly at ease, not even knocking on the front door. She walked right into the house and called out for Carlisle.

“Edward and Emmett are out hunting.” She informed me. A man came from the stairs, much too slowly for vampire, but Jasper knew it was Carlisle right away. Alice’s vivid visions and explanations came back to Jasper as he tried to smile at Carlisle. But he couldn’t really smile, knowing the importance of this meeting.

“Hello, Carlisle, Esme,” She nodded at a surprised female now standing next to Carlisle. “I’m Alice and this is Jasper. What room can I stay in?”

There was a long silence. Jasper tried to calm the mood, but he could only do so much.

“Excuse me?” Carlisle asked. Jasper was just glad they weren’t being hostile. But of course, they wouldn’t just be hostile, they were the Cullens. Jasper laughed at himself for using the common response that Alice used: “they are the Cullens!”

“I’m Alice,” Alice said it slower now, as if talking to a stupid person.

“Yes, I got that. Do I know you?”

“Oh, yeah.” Alice put her hand on her hip, laughing slightly. She had forgotten to tell them how she knew them. “I can see the future.”

Jasper felt he must intercept now. “Alice can tell the future and knew that she’d part of your family. You are the vampires who don’t kill humans.” Jasper almost said it as if he were asking a question. He tried to smile again, but his mouth didn’t seem to be working.

“So, which room?” Alice asked again, and Jasper shook his head slightly. She was going a bit too fast, even for vampires.

“Room?” Esme looked confused. She looked from Jasper to Alice and back to Jasper.

“Yes, a room for Jasper and I to stay in. If we’re going to be part of your family, we must have a room.” She looked exasperated as she walked over to Esme and kissed her cheek. Esme didn’t move, but a small smile played on her lips.

“Oh yes, a room! Carlisle, we are being so rude! Here, let me show you your room.” Alice knew exactly how to make Esme soft, and playing Esme’s child was exactly what she did. She started up the stairs, but Alice stopped her.

“I know which room I want, but unfortunately it is Edward’s room.” Alice shrugged and ran upstairs. Jasper still stood in front of the door a bit awkwardly as Carlisle studied his face.

“She can see the future?” Carlisle asked quietly. Jasper nodded. He deliberated this. “Can you do anything?” He asked.

“I can manipulate emotions.” Just then, a tall, beautiful blonde came from outside. Though her clothes were ripped and greasy, she looked like the definition of perfect.

“Hello, I’m Rosalie.” Her voice was alluring and she seemed to glide over toward Jasper and shake his hand. It looked like she had a smug expression, or was it a scowl? Jasper wasn’t sure, but he did feel protectiveness coming from her.

“Edward and Emmett will be home soon. They won’t believe this,” Carlisle said, shaking his head. He ran up the stairs back to his study. Jasper turned to Rosalie, who was smiling slightly.

“Very strange…” She said, walking around Jasper and looking at him as if he were an exhibit in a museum. He felt very uncomfortable, but since his upbringing told him not to talk harshly to ladies, he let her check him out.

“Rosalie!”

Jasper turned to hear someone calling out her name. He knew it came from far away, but he wasn’t sure whom it was. Soon enough Emmett (he assumed he was Emmett) bolted into the house and sat on the nearby couch immediately. Rosalie sat down next to him, kissing him for far too long. Jasper looked away, embarrassed for feeling the couple’s lust. And as he was turning away, he came face to face with Edward. The mind reader.

“This is incredible.” Edward shook his head. But before he could say more, Alice was skipping down the stairs.

“Oh, Edward!” She hugged him tightly, kissing him on the cheek. Alice moved to hug the kissing duo on the couch. They looked angry as they pulled apart.

“I’m just so happy to meet you all. It’s been far too long.” She sat down on a chair and crossed her legs. She put her elbow on her knees and put her chin in her hands, giving the impression of old friends catching up.

“So what have I missed?” She asked, smiling at everyone. Jasper went to sit next to her, putting his arm around her waist. Edward shook his head, and said he’d be right back; he needed something from his room. Emmett was grinning stupidly at Rosalie, and she was picking at her nails.

“What have you missed?” Emmett said incredulously. “Do you mean what have we missed?” Carlisle and Esme came into the room and sat on the sofa.

“No, I meant what I said.” Alice smiled at Emmett as if he were a little kid. She winked at him and his jaw just dropped. Jasper felt the confusion in the air.

“Okay, Alice, I think you’re going a bit to fast,” Jasper said, smiling apologetically.

“Too fast? I’ve been waiting forever.”

“Yes, but they have no clue what you’re talking about.”

“Edward does,” She said haughtily.

“And he’s the only one.”

“Yeah, but…” Alice didn’t finish because Jasper put his fingers to her lips.

“Just shh for a second,” He said, putting a small kiss on her forehead. Once he was sure she was going to be quiet, he turned his eyes to the group of vampires in front of him. They were all reacting differently, but were equally confused.

“Ask us anything,” Jasper said, smiling again. Edward then came running down so quickly he almost slammed into the wall.

“Why is all my stuff in the garage?” Edward asked, obviously outraged. His question caught Jasper off guard, but Alice jumped out of her chair and skipped around the room. Jasper applauded Alice quietly for keeping Edward out of her head. He wondered what she had thought of to keep him from looking.

“I had to have your room,” Alice replied. Jasper had enough time to look at what Edward was holding, which was a light pink blanket and what looked like hot pink curtains. What had Alice done to his room?

“Put everything back.”

“No,” Alice said, smiling hugely at him, and then turning to look at something on the wall. Jasper could feel the rising tension.

“Okay, okay,” He said. “Alice will put it back, don’t worry. Any other questions?” Jasper wanted to defuse the situation quickly.

“Tell us everything,” Esme said, leaning into Carlisle, who put his arm around her shoulders. “Tell us about before you met, how you met, and everything. I think that’s the only way.”

Jasper nodded and Alice seemed to lose interest in the wall. She skipped back to Jasper and put her head on his shoulder.

“This is a rather long story, I have to warn you,” Jasper said.

“We’ve got all the time in the world,” Carlisle replied, smiling kindly. Jasper took a deep breath and looked at Alice, who was smiling (as usual).

“Well it all started when I was changed. I joined the Confederate Army when I was seventeen in 1861…” Jasper explained the three women who found him and changed him: Maria, Nettie, and Lucy. He told the Cullens about the harsh war he was “born” into between vampires. The Cullens were in awe at the struggles that they’d only heard in stories, and Jasper’s horrible descriptions of endless killings left little to imagination. Jasper explained how Maria and him took over a large part of Mexico and Texas, and how a three-year old vampire he met, named Peter, lured him away from Maria.

“Peter still killed humans, but he didn’t fight. That was the reason I escaped with him, the idea of peace. But soon, the feeling of killing people was too great and I left Peter and his companion, Charlotte. I was mostly wandering then, and I ended up in Philadelphia. That’s where I met Alice.” Jasper’s story took a ninety-degree turn as his hard expression turned into a warm smile. Alice put her head on his shoulder. Esme smiled at the beautiful couple.

“Well, let’s say it wasn’t a nightmare anymore.” Jasper chuckled.

“Yep, it was just perfect.” Alice’s high voice contrasted delightfully against Jasper’s.

“Well…what about you, Alice?” Emmett asked.

“What about me?”

“How were you changed?”

“Well that’s a mystery to me,” Alice said nonchalantly.

“I was wondering about that.” Edward interrupted, leaning forward in his chair. “It doesn’t make any sense to me.”

Alice laughed loudly, and everyone looked at her strangely. Edward was the only one who understood the thoughts behind the action. “If it’s hard for you to understand, think about how hard it is for me, the one who actually lived it!”

“I’m confused,” Rosalie said simply, her voice was soft but her expression was hard.

“Alice, you need to slow down.” Jasper reminded her. She was too excited, and she knew everything about them yet they didn’t know anything about her.

“Right.” She took a deep breath. “Okay, well I’m a vampire¬¬¬ —” There were a few laughs. “— and I’m not sure how I became one. I can’t remember anything. Not my change or anything shortly after my change. It’s all very confusing. All I know is that I came out of the darkness and I had visions of Jasper and this family, and it helped me so much.”

“That’s very interesting…” Carlisle thought out loud. “So you don’t know who changed you?”

“Nope.” Alice shook her head. There was a short silence before Rosalie got up.

“I’m sorry to interrupt everything, but I was working on my car outside and I need to finish it before it starts to freeze.” Her smile was apologetic, and she glided out of the room. Jasper knew she was under the car when he heard her loud music and Rosalie singing softly with it. Soon, everyone had something to do. Edward wanted to listen to music, which Jasper remembered he was very fond of, Emmett was content with watching Rosalie work on her car, and Carlisle had some paperwork for the hospital. But strangely, Esme still sat there, staring intently at Jasper and Alice. Jasper could feel warm happiness come over him and he knew it was Esme’s emotions. It felt as if Esme loved Jasper and Alice just as much as they loved her. The feeling was comfortable and he didn’t mind basking in it. Both Jasper and Alice waited for Esme to ask her question. Alice could see it was going to be about their lives together. Jasper could vaguely predict the same thing, judging from her character and emotions.

Finally, she spoke. “What happened after you two met?” Her delicate smile made Jasper even more comfortable.

“It’s pretty mushy,” Alice said, laughing slightly as Jasper rolled his eyes. “But I know you’d like that, Esme.” Esme merely smiled wider.

“Well, let’s see…” Alice closed her eyes, trying to find a place to start, but Jasper interrupted her thoughts.

“We met in a diner. She took my hand and we walked. We walked for a long time and in no particular direction. I couldn’t comprehend this gigantic feeling coming from her. I’d never felt it, or learned to know what it was. And the way Alice acted around me, as if we had been friends for years? Oh man, I was so confused. And of course, Alice kept talking and talking and talking!” Alice nudged him playfully. “And I got more confused. There was no one there to tell her to stop and calm down, as I do now. But finally, I understood. Once I understood her powers, she told me about ‘The Cullens.’” Jasper used air quotes and his voice got dramatic.

“You were a mystery to me, and almost like a mythology. After all that carnage, there were vampires who didn’t suck human blood?” Jasper shook his head. “I had this little weirdo telling me everything about this family. ‘Edward is very serious and he was the first to be changed. Esme is with Carlisle, and they are the sweetest couple ever.’ It all crowded my head and I didn’t believe it. I desperately wanted to, but there was something warning me that Alice was mentally ill. Her feelings were sincere, yes, but mental people don’t think they are lying, so it wasn’t much of an indicator.” Jasper chuckled.

“He was exactly as I’d seen him,” Alice said dreamily. “And the way he’d say ma’am even though he was so utterly confused he couldn’t form sentences. It was all so adorable.”

Jasper looked down, embarrassed. “Well anyways, I tried to convince him about you guys. We talked for three days straight before he understood everything, and believed it.”

One night, they were just lying in this grass field, looking up at the clear night sky. It was all very romantic and Alice knew what was on Jasper’s mind, and she knew he wouldn’t start anything because he was too polite.

“Jazz, why are you such a gentleman?” Alice asked, rolling over onto her side to look at him staring at the sky.

Jasper laughed. “To be honest, it was just the way I was raised, I guess. Nothing more.”

“So doing this —” Alice put her cool lips onto Jasper’s and kissed him softly. “That would not be correct etiquette, right?”

“No, that would be bad, unless we were married.” Jasper rolled over onto his side so that their faces were close to touching.

“Then we should get married.” Alice smiled. She started humming an unfamiliar tune.

“That isn’t proper either.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because it is supposed to be planned out, the whole proposing thing.”

“Oh really? Well, I can see my whole life planned out already, so would that count?”

“Do you see us married?” Jasper asked, raising an eyebrow curiously.

“I’m not sure…” Alice smiled slyly. “Let me see…” She leaned in again and this time Jasper was ready. The kiss was slow, meant to last. Jasper rolled onto his back so that Alice’s small frame was on top of his.

“Now that was unfair.” Jasper whispered as they pulled apart.

“Manners are for boring people.” Alice smiled playfully, tapping her fingers on his chest to beat of her humming. Jasper pretended to look insulted, and Alice kissed him tenderly again.

“You don’t know how long I’ve been seeing that and actually wanting to do it.” She whispered, and laid her head on Jasper’s chest, sighing deeply. Jasper was beyond confused. He felt this overwhelming feeling that he’d never felt before. He was sure it was coming from Alice, but now it felt different. It felt like it had a direct path to his emotions and now he was feeling the same way she was, but it was different than other people’s emotions. With other people, he felt the emotions, but he didn’t know why. There was no reason for the feelings, so the feelings weren’t as strong. But Alice’s feelings, which now seemed to be his, were real. It felt loud and tough inside his head. Jasper wasn’t sure what the feeling was called, but he knew that he liked it.

“What’s wrong with your face, Jazz?” Alice’s voice brought Jasper out of his reverie. The way she said Jazz made his stomach jump.

“I’m sorry, it’s always like that.” Jasper wasn’t paying attention to the conversation, just to Alice’s beautiful eyes.

“You looked like you were trying to figure something out.” She smiled. “What are you trying to figure out?’

“You,” He said without thinking.

“Me.” Alice repeated. It wasn’t a question.

“What…what are you?” Jasper’s voice sounded awed.

“I am…yours.” For the first time, Jasper saw Alice embarrassed. She looked down at her fingers, which were playing with Jasper’s shirt.

“So that’s what it is?” Jasper asked. The explanation wasn’t perfect, but he was slowly starting to understand this feeling.

“What is what?”

“This feeling! I don’t understand it, and I know it’s coming from you. I just can’t understand!”

Suddenly, Alice grinned, and got up. “Come on,” She said, holding out her hand. Again, without any answers, Jasper took it.

—0—

“And then you started looking for us?” Esme asked, smiling wonderfully.

Alice nodded. “I started telling Jasper every detail of my visions, and they were mostly about the background and things like that because I needed to figure out your surroundings. For a long time, all I saw was white in the background. I guessed it was snow, but Jasper wasn’t sure.”

“We are just going to walk around and try to find them?” Jasper asked. “The world is rather large, even for vampires, Alice.” Even though what he said sounded skeptical, she knew that he really believed her and it was only the sane part of his brain that was making him ask these questions.

“Jazz, don’t worry. My visions are going to lead us there, no matter how long it takes. I still see us meeting them one day, so that hasn’t changed yet. Just calm down!” She smiled, playfully slapping him on the shoulder. Jasper was about to counter, but then stopped himself. He sounded like an old mother, and he was tired of trying to make sense of things.

Jasper exhaled. “I trust you, Alice.” Alice smiled and kissed him on the cheek, and Jasper felt a sudden jolt of the mysterious feeling. He was starting to understand it. Was it because Alice cared for him so much? Jasper wasn’t sure, but he knew he had to find out soon. It was becoming an irksome mystery.

“Why don’t we walk north?” Alice asked.

“Because you see white?”

“Yeah, and I really think that they are up north,” Alice said, recalling her vision.

“Whatever you say,” Jasper said, holding his hand out. Alice took it immediately, and started jogging. Alice’s confidence with Jasper still amazed him slightly. He had done nothing to deserve such a magnificent creature.

Soon, Alice and Jasper were sprinting through an unknown forest with their hands linked.

“I’m hungry,” Alice said, stopping suddenly. Jasper stopped quickly, his reflexes fast enough, but he was still surprised at the abrupt halt.

“Well, I’m sure there’s a town nearby…” Jasper thought out loud, internally cringing. Another day a human lost its precious life.

“Have you forgotten?” Alice said, her eyebrows high on her forehead. Jasper looked at her for a second before he understood what she was saying.

“Oh yes, animals.” He put his hand to his forehead. “Yes, I guess I forgot. This will be…new.”

Though Jasper was a little nervous about this new food source, he was thrilled at not killing another innocent human. Humans eat animals all the time. It was almost like Jasper was a little more human now.

“Let’s see how it goes.” Alice smiled. She looked around, trying to catch a particular smell or noise, but Jasper was faster. He had already smelled some sort of deer or maybe it was a bear, he wasn’t sure. When he caught up to it, he found it was a huge bear. He tackled it down and drank its blood.

“Very nice, for the first time,” Alice commented. Jasper quickly looked up, whipping his mouth just in case there was any blood there. He shrugged.

Jasper and Alice ate three more animals before they stopped. The sun was setting and Alice insisted on lying down to watch it.

“It’s pretty,” She said simply.

“Yes, you are,” Jasper said. He smiled as she turned her face to him. They kissed again, and Alice sighed. This was perfect…

“And now it gets bad?” Esme predicted, looking worriedly at Alice and Jasper. Jasper was looking down at his hands and Alice was rubbing his back.

“Well, you want to know the whole story, right?” Alice asked and Esme nodded.

Jasper was thirsty, and he couldn’t stand it anymore. The burning sensation in the back of his throat was going to be the death of him, but also the guilt of wanting to kill a human was going to kill him.

“Jazz, come on, you can do it. Just concentrate on me,” Alice whispered into his ear. She had tackled him to the ground.

“I need to eat. Let me go.” Jasper’s voice was different. Alice knew not to be scared, but she couldn’t help but shiver slightly at the change.

“No, you don’t. Go to the forest and drink from the animals, but no humans. You don’t like it, remember? You hate the feeling of despair they feel, and you hate taking their lives away.” Alice hopelessly tried to remind him.

“I don’t care. I need to drink.” Again, Jasper tried pushing her off. Alice hung desperately onto the ground, but she knew that Jasper was slightly stronger than her.

“Jasper Whitlock, stop now.” Alice tried to sound like an authority, but Jasper pushed against her even more. “Jasper…” She clamped her teeth for more strength, but by then it was useless. Jasper heaved once more and Alice went flying up into the air. She hit the ground with a thud, but she didn’t stop to complain. Jasper was running at full speed toward the nearest town and Alice started right behind him. Now she could see him just a few seconds up ahead.

“Jasper, if you do this you’ll regret it, I promise,” Alice said, now running next to him. He looked over and Alice almost gasped. His eyes were pitch black and ravenous. They weren’t Alice’s Jasper, no, this was someone else. But that didn’t stop Alice. She wasn’t going to give up now.

“Jasper, do it for me. Please, just remember the Cullens and how they wouldn’t want to do this.”

“Screw the Cullens,” Jasper snarled, and turned his head at the smell of human blood.

He slowed to a walk as he came near to the lights of the town. Alice swore to herself. He couldn’t do this! She followed close behind him, not able to tackle him in the middle of the street. She hoped that if Jasper saw anything, she’d be able to see it and stop it.

Jasper kept walking, eyeing different men and women walking past him. Then, Jasper saw what he wanted. He felt loneliness and hopelessness coming from a middle-aged woman. He veered into a pub, sitting right next to the woman. He wasn’t sure how he was restraining himself around all these people, but he did his best and concentrated on the woman.

She glanced at him and he winked at her. She was very intoxicated, Jasper noted, so this would be easy. He came up close to her and put his mouth to her ear.

“Come outside with me,” He said in a deep voice. She merely nodded, dazed by the smell of his breath and skin. Jasper and the woman walked outside, and Jasper led her to the back of the building, where the dumpsters were.

Alice was around the corner, waiting for the right moment.

“I like your dress,” Jasper said, stepping closer so that he and the woman were touching. She made a strange noise in the back of her throat.

Alice jumped, tackling Jasper to the ground, but he dodged her. Alice quickly got back up and was in mid-jump when Jasper sunk his teeth into the woman. Alice hit the ground, shaking her head. She had to be strong for Jasper, but she just failed him. How could she let this happen?

“Jasper, we have to go now,” Alice said firmly, getting up slowly. Jasper looked confused as he stared down at the now limp body. He looked at Alice and then back toward the body. He dropped the woman to the floor and got up stiffly.

“What have I done?” He whispered, his mouth open.

“Let’s just go.” Alice tugged him away. They were miles away before anyone even noticed the woman was gone.

And it only got worse.

Jasper’s grief stayed for long periods, but when he got tired of drinking unfulfilling animals, it was another slip. And each time he did it, he felt guilty and like a failure. Alice was sad, of course, but she knew he was trying his best. How could someone abstain after eighty years of human blood? It was near to impossible, Alice knew that, but the deaths were starting to take a toll on her. And Jasper knew this by her emotions, which were steadily becoming sadder and there was less of that feeling he loved inside her. He knew that his presence was causing her pain, and he felt, more than ever, that he didn’t deserve Alice.

“This isn’t working,” Jasper said one day as they sat across from each other in a restaurant. Alice had brought him here to practice being around humans.

“Sure it is. Nothing has happened, yet.” Alice smiled, watching a clumsy human trip over her own feet from across the street. The little restaurant they were sitting in was empty.

“The problem is that you said yet. And it isn’t because you don’t trust me. You have given me more trust than I deserve! It’s just it seems like me slipping is just inevitable, and I know how I make you feel. I know that you will soon be crushed by the deaths I have caused. I can’t do this anymore.” Jasper got up, looking at Alice’s face, but not her eyes. He walked away, looking back once as Alice looked after him. Her forehead was wrinkled as she tried to think things through.

“Wait,” She whispered, but her voice was firm. Jasper kept going until he was outside. It was dark now and there weren’t many people in the streets. Alice came up next to him. “You’re leaving me, now? What, you think I can’t stand your mistakes? Jasper, I love you, do you understand? I’m not going anywhere.”

“I’m hurting you.” Alice shook her head. “Don’t lie to me, Alice! I’m not stupid, I know!” Jasper almost yelled.

“You’re acting stupid right now! How can you turn your back on me?” Alice said, holding his hands.

“So I stop making you feel like crap.” Jasper countered.

“Jazz, I will feel like crap if you leave me. Anything you feel, I feel too. I am no more just one person. You are a part of me.” Alice was desperately trying to make him understand this. Jasper looked away, feeling Alice’s anxiety. Truthfully, he didn’t know what he’d do without Alice. His breath caught slightly as he thought of a world without his love.

“Fine,” He said, slightly smiling at Alice. Jasper promised himself he wouldn’t kill another human for the hundredth time.

“Esme, do you know where my Bach record is?” Edward interrupted Jasper and Alice’s story.

“Edward, don’t be rude!” Esme chastised, and Edward smiled inwardly at the motherly tone.

“Sorry, but I really need it.”

“I think I saw it in Carlisle’s hands,” Esme said, looking back at Alice, who was now rubbing Jasper’s knee. He seemed very uncomfortable.

“Thanks.” Edward ran up the stairs.

“I’m so sorry. Please, carry on.” Esme smiled at Jasper, trying to make him feel better. It didn’t seem to work.

Jasper was acting strangely, and Alice knew it, but she didn’t know why. He seemed so dazed, and didn’t even seem to hear Alice when she talked to him something. A few times she saw his face form into a disgusted and annoyed mask, and she worried that maybe her future with Jasper wasn’t set in stone. But whenever she thought of this, she referred to her visions and nothing had changed. She wasn’t sure what was going on.

“Jazz?” She asked him as they walked through an empty forest. It was about to rain and no animals were in sight.

Jasper didn’t seem to hear her.

“Jasper!” She almost yelled. Jasper looked down at her as if she were someone new.

“Yes?”

“Oh nothing.” Alice crossed her arms, annoyed. After a few minutes of walking in silence, she sighed heavily.

“Nevermind, I’ve got something to say to you,” She said harshly. “What is wrong with you? Are you bored with me or are you just like this all the time?”

“Nothing is wrong with me,” He said blankly. Alice noticed he didn’t answer her second question, but she wasn’t giving up that easily.

“So you are bored with me?”

“No,” Jasper said plainly.

“Then why are you so out of it? I don’t understand!” Alice looked him straight in the eyes, and she thought she saw something change.

“I’m not out of it,” Jasper said weakly, and Alice knew it was going to come out soon. She looked at him skeptically. “I’m not!”

There was an eerie silence and his shout echoed slightly. Alice looked out of the corner of her eye at him, wondering what could be happening inside his head.

Jasper kept walking, actively ignoring Alice’s sidelong stares. He would have to tell her some time…

Alice sighed in disbelief, and that threw Jasper over the edge.

“Fine! I’ll tell you.” Alice smiled. “Maria is near. She and I talked.”

Alice didn’t know what to say. Her mouth was hanging open, unable to understand.

“What?”

“I talked to Maria,” Jasper repeated calmly.

“Maria? You mean the Maria?”

“Yes, the Maria.”

“When?”

“You were hunting.”

“But I would have seen it,” Alice said, doubting her visions now.

“Well, I guess you didn’t.” Jasper shrugged.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Alice now felt more than just confusion. Jasper’s betrayal hit her hard.

“Because I thought you would find out soon enough.”

“Soon enough?” Alice repeated.

“I’m going with Maria,” Jasper said. He didn’t seem like himself, Alice noted, but what could she do now? He had been planning this the whole time, and she had no idea.

“But you hated that life. I don’t understand why you would go back to it.”

“Yes, I hated that life, but I think I can get to like it —”

“Hah, you lived that life for almost a century, and now you think you’ll be able to like it?” Alice scoffed.

“You think you know me so well, but you don’t, Alice.” Jasper crossed his arms. The way his mouth sharply bit around her name made Alice jump. There was definitely something wrong.

“What did Maria do to you?”

“Alice, I can’t live this life of denial. I’m a vampire, and I drink human’s blood. It is impossible to deny what I am.”

“The Cullens are doing it! It must be possible!” Alice reminded him.

“I don’t believe there are any Cullens!” Jasper yelled. “You are just crazy!”

“I’m crazy, am I? I’m not the one sucking human blood!” Alice retorted.

“I’m not the one prancing around everywhere, pretending everything will be okay!” Jasper yelled back.

“Fine, go with Maria, you aren’t Cullen material anyway.” Alice turned. She masked her increasing sorrow with cruelty. Jasper didn’t reply, and Alice knew he had run off.

She walked around, not sure what to do with herself. She wandered into a nearby city, what she thought might be somewhere in northern Canada. She didn’t know anymore, and she didn’t care. She looked back to her visions and saw herself meeting the Cullens with Jasper. She had never been one to doubt herself, but maybe Jasper was right. Her visions obviously didn’t reflect what just happened, and why didn’t she see Maria before? Jasper had been thinking about it for days now. She shook her head, turning into a busy street with many people on.

Though it was noon, it was somewhat dark because of the clouds. As she was walking, she suddenly smelled human blood. She felt a small craving, but she had just fed, so there wasn’t much behind it. She walked toward the smell, wondering why the smell was so strong. She turned into a dark alleyway, with the bad smell of garbage, but she didn’t notice because at the end of the alleyway was Jasper, and what she assumed was Maria, draining three humans. Alice stood there, bewildered. Jasper turned, a small speck of blood on his chin.
He locked eyes with Alice and smiled.

Esme looked as though she was about to have a seizure. Alice smiled at her, but Esme still looked horrified.

“Let me remind you that Jasper and I are here today, in front of you.” Alice whispered to her. Esme nodded. “Yes, it’s a grueling story, but it has a happy ending.”

Jasper was quiet, and feeling guilty and stupid.

“Maybe we should stop…” Jasper suggested tentatively.

“No, please. We can’t stop now!” Esme looked outraged and Alice laughed.

Jasper felt extremely satisfied. Yes, that was the word, or at least, what Maria called it. Jasper laughed at himself. Maria had to tell him how he felt!

Killing humans was extremely fulfilling. Jasper never felt hungry right after feeding and his thirst was less of a concern. He tried not to think of Alice, but unfortunately, she was always on his mind.

Maria had been elated at Jasper’s return. She had lost everything once he left and now was unwelcome in most southern covens. She came to find him and successively tear him away from his distraction. She called Alice a distraction.

“Now we can do what we are best at.” She smiled at Jasper.

“Yes, finally.” Jasper nodded. For the first few months, he was guilt-free, but soon, Alice’s beautiful voice was back in his head.

Jasper kept killing and for no reason now except thirst. Maria and him weren’t in a war or any dire situation

A year went by this way, meaningless killing and wandering. Maria’s feelings were unclear to Jasper and he wasn’t sure why he was not able to decipher them clearly. Altogether, Jasper felt defective.

“You’re changing your mind again, aren’t you?” Maria asked him one day after they killed four humans.

“What do you mean?” Jasper didn’t immediately admit his faultiness.

“Don’t give me crap, Jasper. I know what’s happening. Let me give you advice.” Maria started and Jasper almost laughed out loud. Maria turned into a psychologist all of a sudden. “You need to go back to Alice and try to live her way as best as you can. It will be hard, that is given, but you love Alice and you will do it. So go, please, before I start to throw up at the sight of you.” The last part shocked Jasper.

“Oh, thanks,” He said, not sure whether to feel grateful or mystified of Maria.

“You’re so deeply in love, I can’t even think of a reason why you left her.”

Jasper didn’t answer, getting up slowly. Where will he start to look for her?

“She’s going to be near where you left her,” Maria said, seeming to read her thoughts. Like Edward, Jasper noted. He smiled at the mention of a Cullen.

“How do you know?”

“I could tell she’d wait for you.”

“I definitely don’t deserve it.”

“No, you don’t.”

“Maria, thank you…”

“Just go.” Maria shoved him slightly and Jasper took off.

As he ran, he thought of the past year. What a waste! He went completely backwards, not forwards. His guilt was huge, and he was sure he’d never forgive himself for leaving Alice.

—0—

Alice was shuffling glumly up a road, still waiting. A boy passed by her, looking curiously at her beautiful face.

“Hi, what’s your name?” Alice asked, smiling as kindly as she could. He almost seemed to cringe away from her. She was desperate for company.

“What’s wrong? I won’t hurt you.” Alice started toward him, her arms wide to envelope the poor boy into a hug. He ran off, screaming. She looked down sadly. She needed a friend.

Again, she recalled her vision. He was going to come back, she knew it. She tried, as she did almost every minute, to convince herself that her visions were real. She turned and started walking back down the road. He’d definitely come back, all she had to do was stay in one place. Alice looked up, wanting to see Jasper, but knowing she wouldn’t.

Alice shook her head, trying to clear her pessimistic thoughts. She scanned over the dirt road, trees, and the city that was within a few miles from where she was. She looked back down and kept shuffling. But then Alice’s head shot back up. She thought she’d saw something. She scanned again, and sure enough, there was a figure running toward her. She squinted, forcing her already perfect eyesight to zoom in. She didn’t have to look twice to know that it was Jasper. She ran as fast as she ever had toward him, and when they hit each other, there was a huge thump as if two rocks hit each other. Alice ended up on top of him, smiling and kissing him.

“I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.” Jasper kept repeating, kissing her back and running his hands up and down her arms.

“You big oaf! Don’t do that again!” Alice grinned, kissing him fully on the lips.
“Never,” Jasper said breathlessly as he held her tight.

Esme sighed, “Well, that was a relief!”

“Yes, it was.” Alice exhaled and nodded. Jasper held her tighter against the side of his body. He loved Alice and knew he ought to be proud of their story, but it was too recent, and so Jasper was a little self-conscious. There was a silence between the three vampires. Esme was admiring Jasper and Alice’s struggle, Jasper was feeling emotions from different people, and Alice was thinking how she’d get Edward to get out of her room.

“So now what?” Esme said, standing up slowly.

“I must stop Edward from being a jerk, as usual.” Alice rolled her eyes and skipped out. Jasper and Esme smiled at each other.

“Welcome to the family, Jasper.”

“Finally.” Jasper beamed.