Warning: Disciplinary story. Contains the physical correction of a certain soldier. If corporal punishment offends, please avoid this story.
Disclaimer: As always, the mighty Major, patient Papa, or any of the other Twilight characters don't belong to me. They remain the property of Stephenie Meyers, but should she ever feel the need to kick them out...
AN: This is another part of my Nano 2015 challenge and is complete. I was going to post it as a one shot, but decided to break it into two or three sections so I can share it while still doing proofreading. The holidays and work leave me tired so proofing it in its entirety seemed pretty daunting. I truly miss my beta. I would also like to apologize for the mistakes I've managed to overlook. Hope they aren't too painful.
This is my version of Jasper's first real taste of Cullen correction. It's set a few years after Alice and Jasper joined the Cullens. While Alice took to them all as family, Jasper, naturally is still unsure of his place in the grand scheme of things. Carlisle has yet to earn "Papa" status, and the soldier is just starting to warm up to Esme. Hope you enjoy.
The sound of the front door opening summoned Esme from the kitchen to greet her returning brood. The day had been trying and she was looking forward to their smiling faces which was certain to always brighten her mood.
"Welcome home. How was school?" she happily called while wiping her hands on a dish rag, but her smile swiftly faded as she caught sight of her newest son. "Jasper, what happened?"
The southerner was covered in grime and his new plaid shirt was ripped in several places, but it was his pained expression that caused Esme the most worry.
"I rather not talk about it just yet, ma'am," he quietly drawled while evading eye contact. "I think I need a little time, and just want to go up to my room and lie down. Promise, you'll find out soon enough."
"Where's everyone else?"
"They stopped at the soda shop. Alice was partnered up with a girl in her class to write a research paper. Figured they could formulate their plan of attack a bit better in public with the other kids. Keepin' up appearances and all. Rose and Em stayed back to walk Alice home, and Edward was headin' to buy some new sheet music the last I saw of him."
"I don't under..."
"Yes, ma'am. I know that, and I'll explain, but need some time to get right in my head first. May I please be excused?"
"Of course, sweetheart, and if there's anything I can do."
"Thank you, ma'am." The youth had taken a few steps when he suddenly froze. "Your worry is unfounded."
"Jasper, I know this is still a hard concept for you to grasp, but we're a family and family can't help but worry about each other. You're a son to me. When something's hurting you, it hurts me."
Closing his eyes, the boy swallowed hard to control the emotion that threatened to overwhelm him.
"Will the doctor be home soon?"
"Good. I'll need ta talk ta both of ya."
With a soft sigh the youth disappeared down the hall leaving his mother behind to fret as the clock counted down the time until her husband's return.
Nearly a hour passed before the door opened again to admit the rest of her boisterous brood.
"Hey there, momma!" Emmett boomed as he scooped Esme up into his arms and swung her around before giving her a kiss on the cheek. "Missed me?"
"Always, Emmy," the brunette said with a giggle at her bearish boy's antics. "How was your day?"
"Great! Even managed to pull a passing grade on that history exam."
"Well I should hope so."
"Living it ain't the same as trying to put it to paper. They get the facts wrong, but don't want to know the true stories, you know?"
"So I've heard on many occasions."
"Momma, did Jazzy make it home?" Alice inquired with a faint waver in her voice.
"Eh, you know he did," Emmett countered. "You said you saw it. Old Rebel Yell is good. At least he will be until Pops gets his hands on him for being stupid with that kid."
"Shut up, Emmett," Edward snarled while Rosalie thumped her mate on the back of the head.
"It was a fight, wasn't it?" Esme asked, while already knowing the answer.
"Yes, ma'am, but it's Jazz's place to say, not ours," Alice replied as she glanced at her big brother.
"What? He made it home first, so how was I to know he didn't tell momma what happened? I would have."
"You would have told the world, Emmett, but Jasper is much more private. He keeps to himself. You know that," Edward groused.
"Hell, it's not like he can hide it anyway."
"He can't," Rose agreed. "But it is up to him to share his story, not us. You wouldn't want someone ratting you out, would you?"
"Then don't do it to him," the blonde advised. "We're a family. We look after each other."
"Yeah," Emmett muttered as his head drooped. "Momma, forget that I said anything. I was just talking to hear myself. You know how I get. Nothing happened that's worthy talking about."
"Except for your brother getting into a fight," the matriarch countered.
The bruin shrugged, but offered no further information.
Esme groaned inwardly as she surveyed her children. It touched her heart that they would band together in an attempt to protect each other, but at times that quality could be frustrating. She needed to know what had happened. How bad was it? What sort of damage control would need to occur? How was she going to buffer Jasper from Carlisle's brand of justice?
Audibly she sighed.
For all his aloofness and stand on protocol, Jasper was a sensitive boy. He mostly kept to himself, and was the least likely to cause any sort of trouble; a quality that sprang from an inborn desire to please. While he still struggled to find his place in their family, Esme had accepted him from the moment he and Alice showed up on their doorstep. She had easily seen through his cool exterior and found the lost, loving little boy inside.
Jasper flourished on praise, but a single word of reproach could cause him to wither. Oh, he would try to hide that fact, and considering his gift, he managed quite well, but the hurt always shown in his eyes.
The few times Carlisle had to reprimand their soldier boy had broken her heart. Luckily, then it had just been for minor infractions, and punishment had been more token than anything else. Her mate had restricted the youth to the house or given him some menial task to complete. Harsher corrections had not been required, but this time was different. This was a major violation of the rules and she knew that would be dealt with accordingly.
Her golden gaze shifted to her eldest while her mind continued to race.
"It's not the first time. Jasper's had to face Dad before and he did fine. I promise you, he'll be okay."
Esme stared at Edward for a few seconds before slowly nodding. Jasper had earned a trip to his father's study about a year ago, but the punishment inflicted had been mild. Carlisle knew the boy hadn't been consciously defiant. His misbehavior had been a mistake and was treated as such. This time would be different. Jasper knew the rules. He knew that physical altercations with family members was strictly forbidden, and using force against a frail human was so much worse.
Closing her eyes, the matriarch exhaled slowly in an attempt to override her rising panic.
"Momma, is it alright for me to go to Jazzy? I know sometimes... I know Daddy likes to leave us alone to ruminate over the error of our ways for a while, but I think it would be better ... May I please go be with my husband until Daddy gets home?"
"Oh course, Alice."
The pixie disappeared down the hall in a flash to offer her mate all the support she could.
Jasper hugged Alice tightly to his chest and nibbled on her ear before whispering,
"Hummingbird, as much as I love having you in my arms, I think it might be best for you to go out and find something to keep that searching mind of yours busy for a spell."
Alice rolled over and stared into her mate's eyes.
"You don't want me to be with you?" she asked in a dejected voice.
"Now don't go gettin' all silly on me. You know the answer to that. If I had my way, I'd have you at my side every second of the day, but the truth is, you're making me more nervous than I should be."
Alice held his gaze for several seconds, before suddenly blinking in comprehension.
"Oh," she murmured. "I can be less jittery."
"No ya can't." He smiled while gently caressing her pale cheek. "You're worried, and so am I. Combined, that's a truck load of nervous energy that just keep feeding itself."
"But I want to be here for you."
"Ya always are, darlin'. You're my heart. I carry you with me wherever I go, and that will never change."
Cupping her cheek, he drew her close and tenderly kissed her lips, delighting in her sweetness. Reluctantly pulling away, Jasper gazed into dark amber eyes that were so full of love of worry, they made his heart break. With a light smile, he sent a wave of calmness over her.
"Ya worry too much. There's nothing' that ol' Doc can do that I can't handle. You fergit who ya talkin' to. Us Whitlocks are made of sturdy stock. Doc Cullen might bend my ear a bit, but he's all bark."
"All bark?" a voice asked from the doorway. "Really?"
The reclining teens jumped off the bed in panic before registering the source of the words.
"Damn it, Edward. Don't you ever knock?" Jasper groused as he tucked his shirt tail into his trousers.
"You didn't have the door completely closed, so I doubted I was interrupting anything too intimate, and given your current situation..."
A withering glare from the soldier cut his brother off.
"You git more and more like Emmett every God damn day. Ya know that, don't ya?"
"I'm not here to tease you, Jasper. I'm here with advice. You're in a pretty bad situation, but the rest of us have been there, too. I think it would be good if you learned from our mistakes instead of having to make your own. Let me just say, the learning curve for this one sucks."
"I don't need any advice. I ain't scared of Doctor Cullen. Compared to Maria, his methods of maintaining order in the ranks amount to nothing."
"You think that now, but..."
The mind reader sighed as he caught a flash of a vision that caused his little sister to cringe. It was as bad as he feared, but he also knew that Alice's visions weren't set in stone. While Jasper's predicament would never be considered 'good', there were ways to make it better. He just had to get through his mule of a brother's thick skull. Piece of cake. Edward drew a breath as he swiftly formulated a plan.
"Alice, it's not going to be like that," he reassured. "Or, I should say, it doesn't have to be like that if your mate listens to me, and does what I tell him to do."
Jasper's back went ramrod straight while his eyes blackened.
"I don't take orders from you," he growled in a deep, threatening tone.
Edward raised his hands in an attempt to pacify the predator.
"No orders, Jasper. Merely suggestions from someone who's been there a few too many times. I don't want to see you suffer any worse than necessary. Believe me, I know what you're going through."
"You have no idea what I'm going through," the southerner hissed as the weight of his fury filled the room. "You didn't feel the lust streaming off that cretin when my Alice walked by."
"No," Edward replied softly. "But I did hear his thoughts."
Jasper's jaw tightened as he glared at the bronzed haired boy through narrowed eyes for a few tense seconds before the truth of the youth's words sunk in. Lowering his head, the blond closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths.
"And it's worse when Rosalie is around."
Edward shut the door and leaned his back against it as he thrust his hands deeply into the pockets of his slacks.
"Jasper, you haven't been around human teenagers in a long time, and, I imagine, never with a wife at your side. Your gift isn't much of a blessing in a high school setting. Neither is mine. I know everyday you get bombarded with all of the out of control emotions of the people around you. Anxiety. Depression. Damn raging hormones. It's bad enough when those feelings are yours, but when it's coming at you from a hundred other people, dealing with that has to suck. If they could all be happy, that would be great, but that just isn't life. This is an awkward time for humans, and a period we're lucky enough to get stuck in. We have to learn to work around the issues, and we can."
The southerner was riveted by his coven mate's words. No one had ever been able to understand him, but Edward appeared to. Alice tried, but seeing the future was a very different experience from enduring the emotion storms of others. She could sympathize, but this odd boy actually empathized with his plight.
"I do, because I have to deal with it too. Girls lusting after me is one thing. I've learned to tune them out, but when guys create these vile monologues about my sisters it makes me see red. Rose and I may not always get along, but she's still my family and I'll defend her. Alice, too. So, when you felt that boy's dick getting hard, I was hearing what was going on in his head. I wanted to lash out, but I knew better."
The bronze haired boy inhaled deeply then held the breath as he collected his thoughts. Finally he released the breath in a slow calming exhalation.
"Shit. I'm about to sound just like Carlisle. Guess it rubs off over enough years," he said as he flash his siblings a crooked smile.
"We can't blame people for what they think and feel. They really can't control that, and we shouldn't expect them to. As long as they don't act out inappropriately on their urges, they haven't done anything wrong."
"He had no right to look at Alice like that," Jasper snarled, his hand clenching into fists of frustration.
"Like some rutting goat."
"Ask yourself something, Jazz. If you didn't have your gift, would you have known what he felt? Would you have even noticed him in the first place?"
Jasper began to nod, then stopped, his brow creasing with annoyance.
"Not answering questions that haven't been voiced has been the hardest skill for me to learn. It's natural to respond, but we have to be extra cautious because we've been given these gifts. Our safety depends on appearing as human as we possibly can. Beating someone up because his emotions cue you into the fact that he thinks your mate is hot is not a human reaction. It's no different from me answering the teachers question while it's still forming in his head. It makes us stand out. It makes us appear different and strange. Anything strange to a human sends up a red flag, and suddenly we're dangerous."
Jasper sat in silent contemplation then slowly nodded.
"Is this the lecture I'll be getting?"
Edward narrowed his eyes thoughtfully and smiled. "Something along those lines."
"So why the preview?"
"To give you a chance to think about it before hand. Hopefully it will make you less confrontational if you already understand where Carlisle is coming from. You're going to want to defend yourself, but you need to realize that he's not wrong."
The Major scrubbed a hand over his face. The mind reader's logic made remarkable sense, but he still felt that his actions were justified. Hell, he had even shown restraint by not doing serious damage to that little prick.
Alice's nervousness gnawed at the edges of his ragged emotions and reminded him that his well being wasn't the only thing to consider. He could take anything the doctor could dish out, but the worse it was, the harder it would be for his sweet Alice to endure. It would be better to just accept what he had coming. He would hold his tongue and take his punishment like a man. There would be no argument or excuses. If his leader thought he was wrong, then he would freely bear the burden of blame without comment. That would be the best thing for everyone involved.
"You're wrong on that account."
The empath looked up at his adviser with mildly irritated curiosity.
"What account is that, Edward?"
"You need to be open and honest about what you felt. Telling Carlisle why you jumped that kid isn't making an excuse for your behavior, nor does it justify your actions. All it does is help him see where you're coming from, and give him something to work with."
"You're giving me a headache. First you tell that what I did was wrong and I need to own my mistake without defending myself. Now, you want me to explain my side to Dr. Cullen. Isn't that the same as trying to defend my actions?"
Alice gently caressed her husband's arm to draw his attention.
"Daddy doesn't want to punish any of us, but he feels that it's his duty," Alice softly said.
"Well, it is," was Jasper's simply reply.
"If you don't give him a reason as to why you did what you did, he can only assume that it was a random act of violence and treat it accordingly," Edward remarked solemnly.
"That's a frightening prospect, Jazzy, and it's based on a wrong assumption," Alice joined in.
"I ain't afraid."
"Neither am I. At least, not of him. He's never given us a reason to fear, but I respect his power and authority. I've seen what can happen. You have to promise me that you'll talk to him rather than suffer in silence."
Jasper scoffed, but the earnest concern in his wife's eyes had him giving his word that he would explain his actions to his coven leader.
"Great. Now that's settled, there's just one more ...,"Edward paused as the sound of a car pulling into the driveway alerted them to their father's arrival.
"Jasper, there's no time to explain the finer details, but you have to tell him everything. Don't skip anything that happened today. Full disclosure is a must."
"I don't lie, Edward."
"I didn't mean to suggest that you would, but sometimes important things don't seem very important at the time. Carlisle needs to know about everything that happened at school, and believe me when I say, it really should come directly from you. He and Esme have to sign you back in tomorrow, so they're going to find out. You don't want them to be caught off guard."
The jiggle of keys dropped onto the sideboard brought Alice to her feet.
"I'll stay if you ask me to, Jazzy. I don't want to leave you."
"I know, Hummingbird, but this isn't your battle. Besides, it's all going to be okay. I promise to mind my manners."
Jasper cradled his mate's cheek in his large scarred hand as he gazed lovingly into her eyes. Brushing his thumb across her lips, he smiled.
"The old Doc can't blame me too much for wanting to protect the most precious thing God has ever given me. It's still just a lickin' and that's a mighty small price to pay."
"Alright, lovebirds. It's time to break this up." Edward caught Alice's hand and gave it a light tug while Jasper captured her lips for a sweet parting kiss.
"Come on, Alice. Let's go for a walk by the old mill. It will relax you," Edward encouraged, as he drew her away and wrapped a supporting arm around his sister's slender shoulders, causing his brother to bristle. "Jasper, remember, full disclosure. Tell him about Richards. You're guaranteed Richards will say something tomorrow, and you want all of this behind you tonight. It's not pleasant, but at least it will be over with. Don't let it drag out."
The soldier's breath caught for a second before he forcibly exhaled. He hadn't even thought about Mr. Richards. His focus had been entirely on Alice and that cretin who wanted her, so much so that it had entire eclipsed that little incident in the office.
Edward stopped at the door and gave a snort of disbelief as he glanced back over his shoulder.
"Little? You must be joking."
Jasper pulled himself to his full height and clasped his hands behind his back. "Nothing came from it, Edward."
"Thankfully, but you can't keep that from Carlisle. Don't let him get broadsided by that tomorrow. It's really not advisable."
The cowboy nodded, then watched as his mate slipped away from him, leaving him alone to face his Coven leader and atone for his crimes.
"Hello, Sweetheart." Esme purred as she slide into her husband's arms and gave him a lingering welcome home kiss. "How was your day?'
"Much better now," he replied with a sly grin. "Maybe I should sign up for some overtime hours. It appears that absence truly does make the heart grow fonder."
Esme giggled and kissed him once more before pulling away to allow him to shed his jacket and get comfortable.
"Any interesting cases?"
"Let's see. A sprained ankle, a colicky infant who manged to vomit on me, and a case of the mumps." He stop and thought for a second as he placed his coat on the rack. "Oh, and Mr. Johansson got bit by his mule. That foul tempered creature nearly tore the man's lip off."
"I don't think I even want to know how something like that happens."
"Trust me. You really don't," Carlisle confided with a smirk. "Hope your day was just as eventful."
"Just the normal..."
"Hi, dad!" Edward shouted as he ushered Alice into the room and startled Esme into silence. "Nice to have you back home. Hope it was an easy day. Alice and I are heading out to ... um."
"Insects?" the pixie whispered.
"To catch some bugs for a school project," the mind reader said with a nod. "We'll be back in a bit."
"Bye, Daddy. I know you always are, but please be extra patient," Alice remarked as she kissed his cheek before Edward rushed her out the front door.
Without a word, Carlisle looked to his wife for some sort of explanation, but she simply responded to his questioning look with a shrug.
"Our children are poor liars, and so is there mother," he said while wrapping an arm around his mate's waist to guide her into the living room.
"That's hardly a bad quality, Carlisle."
"No it isn't," he admitted softly. "Where are the others?"
"Emmett and Rose are at a poetry reading."
"And that leaves one," the patriarch surmised. "How bad is it?"
Esme's shoulders rose and fell with a silent sigh.
"I don't really know. He didn't want to talk about it until you came home. All I know is there was some sort of fight at school that he took part in."
Carlisle groaned as he worried the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger.
"Let's not jump to conclusions. It might not be all that terrible."
"Our children have voluntarily abandoned the house to partake of poetry and bugs. That leads me to believe we are talking somewhere on the catastrophic scale of disasters."
"Carlisle, this is Jasper we're talking about. It just can't be that bad. He's a good, smart, responsible boy. Whatever happened, I'm sure it wasn't fully his fault."
"Your children's reactions would disagree, but I hope you're right. I really hoped for Jasper to be more integrated in the family before any sort of real trouble found him. I don't like the idea of having to discipline him at this stage. The boy is already so skittish around us."
"With good reason, given his history."
"With good reason," Carlisle agreed softly with an inward sigh. He had worked hard to make the empathic youth feel comfortable in their family, but Jasper always kept a safe distance. He was extremely polite and well mannered which had lulled the patriarch into believing he would never be placed in this position. Now that it loomed ahead, Carlisle wasn't sure how to approach it.
Enforcing the consequences of breaking the rules was never easy for the soft hearted physician, and each of his fledglings had brought their own challenges which he had to overcome. Edward's sensitivity had been his first challenge. Carlisle had mucked that up, but eventually he figured out how best to handle his first born, and they managed to survive that rocky start.
His mate's indiscretions as a newborn were blessedly few. With her history of abuse, the physician constantly worried about touching on some deeply embedded emotional scarring that would spark issues. When she was first adjusting, a stern voice was enough to cause her to tremble, but with gently encouragement over time, Esme had finally over come her fears.
Rosalie. Over indulged with material things while being emotionally abandoned by her parents. She had been used and abused from the moment of her birth, until her untimely death. This had caused her to form a protective shield built of harsh words and aloofness to keep others at bay, but Carlisle had seen through her hard shell. It would have been easy to use too much force with his kitten, but he had learned to control his temper when met with her bullishness.
By the time Emmett came along, Carlisle imagined himself some sort of pro at rearing teenage vampires, but the size and strength of this boy had concerned him. Happily, the patriarch quickly discovered that even though young Mr. McCarty had been a hell raiser, he proved to be a gentle giant when it came to his family. While he was the most prone to cause trouble, these instances were rarely malicious, and he yielded readily to Carlisle's authority.
Each had come with their challenges, but none quite prepared him for his latest additions.
Alice's visons seemed to keep her out of trouble, which he was thankful for. With her background a totally mystery, Carlisle felt at a complete loss should he be required to correct her. While he felt sure that time would eventually come, he prayed to be spared it a good while longer. The pixie was a shot of brightness and joy that they all welcomed. He could stand the idea of having to dim her light in anyway.
Then there was Jasper. Quite the opposite of his mate. He was prone to isolation and broodiness. He had been created to be a warrior and had survived by becoming harder and colder than those who opposed him. His battle scarred body spoke volumes. The youth had suffered unimaginable pain and inflicted the same and worse on his enemies. Jasper had been treated with brutality since his birth into this world. His creator had teased him with promised of love, but only used him as a means to an end. The fact that the boy was still capable of forming bonds of loyalty and love was a true testament to his character.
Trust was hard for Jasper to give, and Carlisle was still struggling to earn it. He couldn't help but notice how the soldier kept a close eye on him whenever they were in the same room. The patriarch felt like Jasper was just waiting for him to 'show his real colors' and become the violent dictator he expected. If for no other reason, this fact only made even the notion of having to physically discipline the soldier seem ludicrous.
"I'm sure he had a good reason for breaking the rules," Esme said, dragging him back to the present.
The elder raised a brow and shook his head.
"For fighting, Esme? I can't imagine there will ever be a good reason. Unless Jasper or Alice were in some sort of immediate danger, a rather unlikely situation, I don't believe a good excuse exists."
Carlisle ranked his hand through his hair as he tried to shake off the disappointment and dread that had already begun to lay heavily upon him. He would have to make sure to suppress these feelings to prevent upsetting the boy any more than necessary.
"One thing is for sure. Standing here and speculating isn't getting us anywhere. All we're doing is putting off the inevitable," he said as he released a held breath. "Let's go have a chat with our rebel and find out exactly where we stand."
The physician had taken a single step towards the hall when his wife's hand closed gently on his arm.
"Please try to be patient with him, Carlisle. He's already suffered so much."
The blond smiled softly as he placed his hand on top of his mate's and gave it a gentle squeeze.
"I plan to be, A Mhuirnín. I always try my best. The last thing I wish to do is to feed Jasper's anxiety at being part of our family, but I have to be fair. I can't allow him to get away with misbehavior that would earn punishment for the rest."
"I know, but he's just..." Esme stopped and heaved a sigh.
"Your newest baby boy," Carlisle said with a mild chuckle as he pulled her closer and kissed her forehead. "I understand, sweetheart. I don't want to push him away either. I promise to be a patient as I can. If I could, I'd be gentle as well, but I'm not sure that's possible."
"I know. I'm just overreacting, but I can't help it."
"Of course you can't, a Ghrá mo Chroi. You're his mother, and you will always protect him," the elder replied as he caressed his mate's cheek. "While it puts us at odds on occasion, I would never want you to change in anyway."
"Good, Carlisle, because I'm afraid you're stuck with me just as I am."
"And I thank God everyday for it."
Claiming her lips, he kissed her deeply, allowing their shared passion to eclipse all the negative emotions troubling his soul, and enjoyed a last moment of peace.