Summary: "It was always a phone call. All it always took was just one phone call for Edward's face to change. Happiness, laughter, frustration, or any emotion all wiped away to be replaced by his Jasper expression." A look at Jasper and Edward's relationship from Bella's eyes.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters; Stephanie Meyers does. The plot of this story is heavily inspired by and modeled after "Something about Jenny" by SpanishLullabies with some major changes. I just thought that Jasper and Edward were better people for this plot line.
This story is dedicated to Debbie for her encouragement and lovely help. She rocks this world like a million tiny stars.
Something about Jasper
It was always a phone call.
No matter what they were doing, where they were, or what time of day it was, all it always took was just one phone call for Edward's face to change. And in the time they'd been dating, she learned to expect disappointment every time that phone call came.
Happiness, laughter, frustration, or any emotion all wiped away to be replaced by his Jasper expression. Whatever they were talking about, whatever emotions she was able to wrench from his reserved self was instantly replaced by that crinkle between his brows and downward pull of the corners of his mouth.
It was a sort of worried relief-worried about what sort of trouble Jasper was in, and relief that Jasper had called-that would always steal her boyfriend from her whenever Jasper phoned.
She could never understand why Edward always felt the need drop everything he was doing to rescue the blonde man.
Edward was sweet, handsome, and well on his way to one of the most prestigious medical schools in the country.
Jasper was a lying, manipulative bastard with the penchant for fucking everything on two legs.
Edward spent his time reading books, playing the piano, or volunteering at the orphanage three blocks from his house.
Jasper spent half his time drunk or high, and the other half hungover-at least until he could get drunk again.
Bella asked Edward once, in a coffee shop, watching as he hung up his phone, getting ready to run to wherever Jasper was. She remembers feeling angry when she realized that she would be left alone again-in the middle of a serious discussion, no less-so Edward could tend to Jasper.
"What's so special about Jasper?" She had asked. Edward was stunned by her question and she was stunned by the hostility in her voice. She quickly offered a smile because she really liked Edward, and their relationship was tentative and new (only a few months in), and Jasper was Edward's best friend, and really she had only met Jasper twice before and therefore she shouldn't judge him.
Edward just looked at her, adorably confused, as if he'd never considered this before. As if why Jasper was special was never a question-Jasper just was.
After a while, all Edward could come up was, "I don't know. There's just something about Jasper."
Then he apologized quickly, and after promising that he'd call her that night, he never looked back as he walked to his car, pulled away, and sped to whatever ditch Jasper was lying in-no doubt drunk or high. If he had looked back, he would have seen Bella smiling after him, and trying to keep smiling, until her smile was replaced with a disturbed expression on the heart-shaped face.
There was something unnerving about what Edward said-and more so, the gentleness in which he said it-that made her uneasy and she couldn't figure out why.
If Bella was as wise then as she is now, she would have realized that she felt uneasy because even then she knew-in the deepest recess of her subconscious- that certain something about Jasper would always be able to steal her boyfriend away.
Edward asked Bella out near the end of their semester, on a wonderful, breezy day that signalled the coming of summer. They'd taken one class together that semester when they first met, and he was walking her back to her dorm when he asked if she'd want to have dinner with him.
Bella was ecstatic. The truth was, she had been silently crushing on him since he introduced himself that first day of class as he settled in the chair next to her. They worked on a project together, and she found herself more and more enamored with his smarts and his wit as time passed. Bella, being the kind of girl she was, would never have the guts to ask any guy out-especially one who looked like Edward. But Edward, being the kind of guy that he was, made even a girl like Bella think about asking him out. She even played out different scenarios in her head of how she would go about asking him out so she'd get at least one date before the semester was over. Thankfully, he asked her first.
It was in that restaurant, under the dimly lit overhead light and between the easy Jazz, that Edward admitted shyly-scratching his jaw nervously-that he had to work up his courage for three months (that is, for nearly as long as they had known each other) to ask her out.
Bella had smiled (inwardly, of course) because she thought it was adorable.
So she was surprised that after he answered the call that interrupted their conversation, Edward frantically apologized to her before asking her if he could make it up to her for leaving early on their first date. It was just that his best friend needed help and he had to go right away.
That was the first time she heard Jasper's name.
She told him it was okay, that they could definitely have a second date, and he should see to his friend. She even thought, with a mixture of twisted pride and young naivete, her date was the kind of guy that was loyal and would sacrifice his personal interest to rescue his friends.
She just found it a bit odd, because there was something in the way three months worth of courage could not compete with a single phone call from Jasper.
Bella first met Jasper at a party hosted by one of Edward's closest friends, Emmett.
Emmett and Rose were a beautiful on-and-off couple, and Bella found them both easy to be friends with, though in different ways. Emmett, despite his size, was jovial and incredibly easygoing (the only times she'd ever seen him mad was when somebody has the balls to offend Rose). Rose was sharper than a knife with the sort of blunt honesty that was refreshing, and Bella found that she could only earn Rose's respect and friendship by being honest right back (which was hard to do because the girl looked like a Victoria's Secret model and wanted to design race cars for a living).
Alice-Edward's sister-was a curious mix of bouncy prep and sarcastic sass that Bella had no idea how to deal with. She got the same searing green eyes as her brother, and an almost-same shade of copper brown in her cropped-short hair (though hers was definitely duller in an unnatural way). Her figure was rather boyish was well, so much that she and Edward could easily be mistaken as twins.
Bella knew who Jasper was before he even introduced himself, just by the way Edward's face lit up as her boyfriend's eyes traced the steps of a tall blonde that parted the crowd as if he owned them.
Jasper had easy eyes with lids that draped lazily over an impossible blue, as if he knew that nobody could stand a chance against him if he opened them fully, and a pretty mouth that spread into a crooked smirk as if he knew all sorts of secrets. Jasper had soft (she thought) playboy curls just past his neck that he tucked haphazardly behind his ears in a way that suggested he just rolled out of bed. Someone else's bed.
The thing was, Jasper didn't even notice Bella was there. His eyes were trained solely on Edward, and it wasn't even until Edward introduced her that Jasper, with startled realization, knew Bella even existed.
The look in Jasper's eyes when Edward introduced her as his girlfriend made her stomach twist. It was predatory.
Jasper clapped Edward's shoulder and made some joke about how Edward finally landed himself a babe, but all Bella could think about was Jasper's hand was less on Edward's shoulder and more on the nape of his neck. She couldn't help but wonder if the blush on Edward's cheeks was less because of the comments and more because of that hand.
Jasper proceeded to get drunker and drunker that evening, flirting with everything that would flirt back (and they all would, because Jasper looked like Jasper and talked like Jasper and made lazy eyes the way only Jasper could).
At the end of the night, Bella accidentally caught Jasper and Alice making out at the end of the hallway, hands possessively buried in her almost-copper hair, hips grinding aggressively against her. Before he drunkenly pushed her inside the room by nuzzling her neck, Alice caught Bella's stare.
And the brunette's heart stopped, because there was something in the way
Alice-with her almost-copper hair and searing green eyes-looked just like Edward that made Bella think there was something Alice knew about Jasper that Bella didn't.
She thought they had a connection. She'd like to think it was because Edward could tell her anything about his-Bella was starting to find out-increasingly complex life and she would never judge him for it.
Edward trusted her, she knew that much, and he appreciated the way she absorbed his thoughts. He worried about getting to medical school, not because he doubted he could get into Harvard or John Hopkins but because he craved playing the piano more than he craved being a doctor like his father. He worried about Alice and her rebellious personality and her need to look like him and do things he liked to do-like playing the piano-but he liked that she wanted to spend time with him more (Bella couldn't tell him that perhaps it had less to do with him and more to do with his blonde best friend). He worried that Emmett and Rose's on-again-off-again relationship might tear their group apart.
Bella liked to think their connection is a solid one, and getting better everyday. She liked to think it was significant the way she was getting to know Edward more and more, not just about what he liked to eat on Sunday mornings but also what he was thinking about when his brows furrowed this way and that.
She knew she was wrong when she saw them together.
She came over one Sunday morning because her exam week was over and she wanted to spend the day with her boyfriend. But when Edward opened the door to his house and Jasper peered his head passed Edward's shoulder holding a stack of pancakes, she knew even though Edward was her boyfriend she was the intruder.
There was nothing they were doing that wasn't absolutely innocent. They weren't holding hands or kissing or even giving any indication that anything other than friendship was between them.
There was nothing except for the lingering looks Edward gave Jasper when the blonde's head was turned away. There was nothing except the way Jasper nudged Edward playfully, eyes trained on her boyfriend's profile full of something she couldn't identify and really didn't want to.
There was nothing in the way they laughed or talked that even hinted at something more, but a crooked smirk on Jasper's part - or a shy laugh on Edward's - that made the connection she'd thought was so significant pale in comparison to whatever Edward had with Jasper.
Because she realized that was something she would never have with Edward.
"We were gonna watch this boring Civil documentary that Jasper's been nagging me about." Edward teased as Jasper rolled his eyes smilingly. There was something unfathomable in the way Jasper smiled, not the crooked smile but one filled with incredible tenderness.
Bella wondered if she'd have to watch Edward watching Jasper all day.
She also wondered about that smile, because there was something in the way Edward hated anything history-related but still content to spend his entire Sunday watching a historical documentary with Jasper.
Bella didn't think that Jasper was absolutely evil. After all, if somebody as sweet as Edward could be best friend with Jasper, then he couldn't be half bad.
However, Bella couldn't help but think Jasper was a lying, manipulative bastard when he waltzed in on their double date with Jacob Black on his arm, and a daring smirk dancing on those perfect lips.
Belle knew for sure, for sure, that Jacob Black wasn't gay. There was no way that Jacob Black could possibly be interested in Jasper (no matter how pretty his lips were), because Bella had spent two years of her life (before she met Edward) letting Jacob Black shatter her heart repeatedly while he cheated on her with strangers, his friends, her friends, and even one of her cousins.
When Jasper gave her that malicious grin as Edward shook Jacob's hand, she knew that Jacob being on this date was no coincidence: Jasper was out for blood.
She stammered through dinner, avoiding everybody's eyes (especially Edward's), refusing to let Jasper pull her back to that little girl-lost and heartbroken, because the boy who was supposed to love her hurt her the most. Jacob was charming, laughing as if Bella had never existed in his life, giving Jasper sweet little kisses that made her nauseous. She thought her feelings for Jacob Black were a thing of the past. She was on her way to loving Edward now after all, but the way her heart hammered and her palms sweat let her know that while she no longer loved Jacob, she was still not completely over him.
She told Edward, when he asked why she acted so strangely on their double date, the whole story. She never wanted to be dishonest to him, and Edward-sweet as he was-held her as she sobbed through her painful past. He had whispered sweet nothings in her ear, telling her she was beautiful and wonderful and deserved the world. She fell asleep in his arms, her heart full of this kind man.
But when she straddled that fine line between consciousness and sleep, her mind reminded her of the way Edward had frowned every time Jacob kissed Jasper, and the way his body tensed every time Jasper brushed his fingers through Jacob's cropped hair.
There was something in the way Edward seemed more comfortable with his girlfriend still having feelings for another man than he was with his best friend dating said man that kept Bella from falling into deep, content sleep.
She cried the whole way home.
This evening, when she was cooking them dinner-Edward's favorite-and Jasper called for help, she insisted on going with Edward. He didn't want her to, didn't want her worry over his best friend.
What Edward didn't know was that she didn't worry for Jasper. She couldn't care less if Jasper was lying in his drunken vomit somewhere, but she just wanted to know where Edward went off to every time that bloody phone rang. She wanted to know what happened between Edward and Jasper when that phone rang that always kept Edward running to him.
Edward hesitated for a moment before agreeing, but there was something in the way he nodded that made Bella wonder whether he agreed to please her, or so they wouldn't waste another moment to get to Jasper.
They found Jasper lying in a bathroom stall of a dirty, shady club, reeking of alcohol and smoke, pants undone, barely conscious. His blond curls stuck to his forehead, body shaking.
"Jazz!" Edward called out when he spotted his best friend, and for a moment, Bella felt pity for Jasper. Nobody who was truly happy could ever do something like this to themselves. "What the hell did you take?"
"E-Edward?" Jasper called out, his voice so vulnerable and broken Bella forgot momentarily all her wariness of him. "You came."
"Of course I came." Edward picked Jasper up by the arm, and hoisting the blonde to his feet, he dragged his best friend out of the club, with Bella trailing behind clutching Jasper's jacket. "Come on, let's get you home."
"I-I'm...sorry." Jasper mumbled unintelligibly. "He-He….I can't…"
Edward stopped dead. "Who? What did he do to you?"
"No-no…" Jasper gasped. "I...I wanted it...He said….I'm a tease….I wouldn't...couldn't…sorry...I'm sorry...sorry...sorry…" His voice broke.
Bella couldn't miss the way Edward squeezed his best friend tighter, as if wanting to squeeze the sadness out of Jasper. "It's okay. Let's just get you home, okay?"
They drove to Jasper's apartment in silence, except for the occasional heartbreaking sorry uttered by the blonde lying on the back seat, barely conscious. Bella could almost understand why Edward always came to Jasper's rescue: she couldn't imagine leaving one of her friends alone in that state either.
Bella couldn't even pay attention to his apartment, because as soon as they arrived at Jasper's place, Edward hauled his friend to the bathroom, wasting no time to strip Jasper from the clothes that smelled of tainted youth as if he'd done this a million times before.
"I'm going to find him some Aspirin." Bella called out, though she doubted Edward noticed anything other than Jasper right now.
After putting an Aspirin and a tall glass of water on his bedside table, Bella went to check on Edward. What she saw behind the ajar door made her voice die in her throat.
Jasper was sitting in the bathtub, completely naked, face to the wall. All Bella could see was the expanse of his broad back and his wet blond hair. Edward was kneeling on the floor, hands buried in the blond locks, trying to scrub the hurt away from his best friend. The hands that always held hers massaged Jasper's scalp, and Jasper was so still she'd have thought he was dead if it weren't for the occasional shudders rushing through him.
"Let's get you dried up and in bed." Her boyfriend said after rinsing Jasper off. Pulling the blonde up and helping him step out of the tub, Edward ran an off-white towel all over Jasper, kneeling before the naked man to dry his legs before standing up and wrapping the towel around his hair.
Bella could catch the tears running down Jasper's cheeks as a broken sob left his pretty mouth. He looked like a fallen angel, his wings clipped by God himself.
"What's wrong with me?" Jasper asked hoarsely, eyes far away as if he was only talking to himself, while tears fell freely. At least he was speaking in coherent sentences, sobered by the bath. "Why do I keep doing this to myself?
Edward stared hard at his best friend before wrapping his arms around Jasper. The blonde's nakedness meaningless (or all the more meaningful). "Nothing is wrong with you, Jasper." Edward breathed, forehead against Jasper's, hand stroking the damp blond curls. "You're so special, Jasper. This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you."
Bella choked, because there was something in the way Edward held Jasper that was just so raw. So beautiful. Too perfect.
Jasper whimpered and reached his hands to Edward's face and Bella watched in horror as those perfect, pretty lips kissed her boyfriend. Edward's eyes flew wide open, a cry dying in his throat.
Oh God, what those hips were doing to her boyfriend should be illegal.
Jasper pushed away first, gasping and turning away as if too afraid to face the shame of what he had done. Edward stood there motionlessly, but there was something in his blush that told Bella he didn't absolutely hate Jasper for that kiss.
Bell couldn't watch any longer, couldn't stand to see how much there was something in Edward that needed that something in Jasper.
She wrote a quick note to her boyfriend, telling him he should stay to watch Jasper and she was taking the car home and she would pick him up in the morning.
She cried the whole way home, because she could have loved Edward to the moon and back, but there was something about Jasper that just made Edward bleed.
Jasper and Edward had a fight.
She didn't know what happened, only that it'd been four months and Edward had been steadily avoiding Jasper and her boyfriend had been more doting than ever. They were approaching their anniversary, and she really thought it might work. She tried really hard to forget that night, and sometimes when Edward brought her her favorite Starbucks drink on mornings and made sweet love to her in the dark of night, she really thought that she could.
For once in their relationship, she did not have to compete with that something about Jasper.
They fell into an easy pattern of movie-cuddle dates and Sunday-mornings-pancakes and yes, sometimes she could see a flash of disappointment on his face when his phone rang it is wasn't that person, but she thought that finally, their relationship was going somewhere.
That is, until he got that phone call.
She watched in something akin to horror as the relationship that she thought was going somewhere came to a screeching crashing halt when he furrowed his brows like that and his lips tugged down like this and his Jasper face slipped into place.
He hung up and looked at her apologetically. Her face steeled.
"I'm sorry." He explained. "It's just, he called, and I really don't like the sound of where he is right now."
"Just go." Bella said coldly. "Call me when you're done." She spat, as if daring him to call her, knowing that there was only contempt in her voice as she sneered-not at him-but at the blonde who had that something that could steal her boyfriend away even though she thought they were going somewhere.
It hurt, when he walked away and hadn't looked back even though he knew she was upset, because she knew-long before he did-that she'd lost.
She'd lost him to a blond boy who hadn't spoken to him in months.
He twisted that knife in her heart some more when he came to her place that night and they had their first real horrible fight instead of their anniversary because he went to save Jasper even though he knew she hurt.
She cried when she watched him walked away and she knew, just knew, that this was the beginning of the end.
She cried because there was something in the way her going-somewhere could not even compete with Jasper's standing-still, and there was something about Edward where Jasper was concerned, and she could never never never fight it.
They broke up three months later, on Emmett and Rose's wedding.
She sat in the audience, watching him stand behind his best friend as the best man that Emmett had always asked for. Emmett looked radiant-she knew the adjective was often used on the bride, but there was really no other way to describe Emmett-as he spotted his beautiful bride walking down the aisle.
Rose looked like she was on top of the world. She was marrying the love of her life. Her brother had been sober for three months. Her life was perfect.
She felt hope flickered in her chest when she glanced at Emmett and saw him grinning ear to ear. She wanted to believe that there could be hope for her and Edward because people like Rose and Emmett had been up and down for years and in the end they still belonged together.
That little spark of hope died a bit as she watched Edward watching him, because the tight smile that Edward had been spotting since the morning-when they had broken up-faded as he saw Jasper walking down the aisle with his sister on his arms.
Because somebody who had just ended a relationship should not be smiling like that at someone who had interfered with their relationship.
Hurt welled in her when she saw Jasper winked at Edward-Jasper who was more beautiful and angelic than ever because he wasn't high or drunk or tainted anymore-and saw Edward blushed at the unexpected attention. Because someone who just broken up with someone else wasn't meant to blush like that.
She stayed as long as it was appropriate. Then, bidding Rose and Emmett a lifetime of happiness, she fled the scene with hope of burying this day forever in the dark recess of her memory.
She caught them behind the chapel, far away from prying eyes, tangled in one another. Jasper had Edward pinned against the brick wall, pretty lips smiling that pretty, uncontrollable smile, whispering in Edward's ear. Edward looked at Jasper like he was the sun. She saw Edward brought his hand to tuck a strand of escaped blond curls behind Jasper's ear and it was her boyfriend (ex-boyfriend) who initiated the kiss this time.
She watched as Jasper pulled Edward closer by the waist and she watched as Edward wound his hands into Jasper's hair and grabbed at the blonde and she watched as Jasper did that thing with his hips-just like that one night long ago-and watched as Edward rolled his hips right back as he deepened the kiss. She felt like she was watching a car wreck, except she was in front of the car.
She didn't wipe away the tear that trailed down her cheeks, because it was silly to cry when she had known this would happen from their first fight months ago-and really, even before that, every time Edward walked away to save Jasper.
There was just something in the way Jasper's body fit into Edward, molding together like two pieces of a puzzle, that was just too perfect. Too meant to be.
It was unreasonable to cry about it, because there was something about Edward and something about Jasper and something about Edward and Jasper together that made what was happening before her eyes so inevitable, and she had known it every time that something popped into her head.
She saw him years later when she visited Seattle on a business trip and stopped by the coffee shop she vaguely remembered they used to have their dates in. It must have been ten years, though it seemed a lot longer. He had changed from that boy to the man she was seeing through the store window. His face sharpened up, his jaws chiselled out, but his hair was still that mop of unruly mess. His body filled out the dark grey suit he was wearing. He held himself taller, and there was an aura about him that exuded happiness.
She waited until his eyes caught hers, and when they did, he smiled. He turned and walked out the door towards her and she felt that hope-that hope she held years ago at Emmett's and Rose's wedding-flared up again in a brilliant moment before she caught light bouncing on the gold on the fourth finger of his left hand.
Still, she held her smile as he pulled her into a warm embrace. "Bella!" He smiled infectiously. "It's been so long!"
He asked her all sorts of things, like where she had been and how her book was and when she had come back to town. She answered the questions as enthusiastically as he'd asked them, braving herself for her own question.
"So who is she?" She asked, eyes glancing towards the gold ring on his finger and she saw that face and she knew who it was without him even speaking even though his brows no longer furrowed and his lips no longer frowned.
"It's Jasper, actually." He laughed, and she couldn't find it in herself to be jealous because she had never seen him so happy. "We got married about six years ago. Been trying to adopt, but you know how it is." He shrugged.
She didn't, because she was still hung up on this man and that something about a blonde boy of long ago. She felt like she needed to ask, because he was older now and wiser now and no longer a boy twisted up about something about Jasper Hale but a man who could answer her question. If she was really honest, she needed to ask because she couldn't spend ten more years of her life not letting go of this man.
"Edward, can I ask you something?" She asked, choosing to be blunt instead. He nodded. "What was that something about Jasper that always had you running to him when he needed help?"
Edward was taken back by the question and he took a while to answer. It was a long pause, and she was about to resign and ask him to forget it when he spoke. "He was my raison d'etre, Bella, my reason for existence. I always ran to him because even though he was broken to a million shards back then, he still loved me with his tiny pieces, and I loved him even then. I think, though, on some level, I wouldn't have been Edward without him. He needed to be saved, and I save myself by saving him."
Bella nodded. After a few more pleasantries, Edward bid his goodbye, telling Bella she should come by for dinner sometimes.
She watched him walked away from her for the last time, knowing that she would never see him again in this lifetime but was okay with it.
She was okay with it because all this time she had thought that Jasper stole her boyfriend away from her, when really, Edward was always Jasper's and she was only borrowing for a short and brilliant time.
I am in the process of writing an outtake from Jasper's POV. If the story is well-received, I will post the outtake :)
Love you all very much.