Author's Note: Right, so this is my first Twilight fanfiction, so please be kind and review.
Summary: Jasper's thoughts while Alice and Bella are in Italy to save Edward.
Disclaimer: The thought of me owning Twilight and New Moon is completely laughable. If Stephenie is willing to sell the rights, though, I will gladly give up life and limb to buy them.
The small sliver cell phone lay still and silent on the table.
More than anything else in the world, I wanted that phone to ring and vibrate across the table.
I was staring at the phone as if by sheer mind power alone I could make it come to life. Of course, I knew it wouldn't work. Nevertheless, I had been sitting on the couch for innumerable hours staring at the small chunk of plastic. It hadn't moved an inch, and neither had I.
Well, if you counted the tremors in my hand, then I had moved. My hands were shaking uncontrollably, as they always did when I was overly anxious or upset. It was an annoying trait that had plagued my humanity growing up, and had followed me into this life. It was a nervous habit. An involuntary muscle spasm. Something that I couldn't control. Since I met Alice, my hands rarely bothered me. Only at times like this, times full of uncertainty and anxiety, times when Alice wasn't at my side to hold my hand and assure me of the future, times when I was unsure of myself and of what was going to happen, did my hands shake.
In all the times that my hands had trembled like this, this had to be the worse. Esme had tried to comfort me, but I was inconsolable. Not to mention, she was shaken herself. Perhaps she needed to say comforting words to me in order to hear them herself. But my anxiety and worry were far to great to be softened by the soothing words of a woman who loved me like I was her child. Nothing but the sound of the phone ringing, followed soon by the voice of Alice's soft melodic voice in my ear would put a stop to my tumult of emotions.
Normally, I controlled my emotions well. With my gift, it was almost a necessity. When I lost my temper, everyone else around me lost theirs too. A residual effect. When I was around people, even my own family, my emotional control was iron clad. I could calm people around me with no effort, and just as easily could I rile them. But it was necessary for me to keep my emotions, my feelings, in control to do so. Normally, Alice could see through my pretenses. She could tell something was wrong when I pretended that everything was fine.
Alice wasn't here to see through my pretenses.
Not that I had pretenses to hide behind.
My anxiety was clearly written on my face as I continued to stare at phone, ignoring Carlisle and Esme sitting on the couch, hand-in-hand, at the other side of the room, and blocking out the sound of Emmett trying to console Rosalie in the next room. They were worried too. I could feel it roll off them in waves, and meanwhile, when I should have been busy sending them calming thoughts, my own unease added to their worries. They worried about Edward and Bella and Alice just as I did. They worried about the three of them equally. I couldn't claim that feat, though. Nor did I pretend to.
Edward and Bella be damned, so long as Alice made it out. Of course, I wanted Edward and Bella to survive this suicide mission as well. I considered them family. But neither of them were nearly as important to me as Alice was. If either of them, or even both of them didn't survive, I would mourn for them, but so long as I had Alice, I would be okay
Rosalie hadn't agreed with me. Rarely did we agree on anything. She and I never quite understood each other. Her vanity and petty jealousies had never struck me as endearing, and my tendency to hide everything I thought and felt behind a neutral mask bothered her to no end. After I told Carlisle and Esme what had transpired while they were out, when I had still held my emotions tightly to ease the pain of the news as much as I could, she had accused me of not caring. That's what set me off.
I quickly left the room, trying to escape the anxiety and fear that Esme and Carlisle felt for three of their children. 'The odds aren't good.' Those had been Alice's words to me on the phone just one short hour ago. After she spoke those words, I reminded her that the odds weren't good for her or Bella either. She knew that, and she promised she'd come back to me. She made me swear I wouldn't follow her. She'd get out. And she loved me. Her last words to me had been all that held me together so far, but I knew I was going to fall to pieces as time wore on.
The Volturi. Of all the stupid things Edward had to go and do. Of all the things he had done in the past year that had inadvertently inflicted pain on everyone, this was the worst. I couldn't blame him, though. Not really. I knew how he felt about Bella. It was so similar to how I felt about Alice. Not the same, but similar. If Alice died, I wouldn't linger any longer than I had to.
If Alice died . . .
Right now, it was a possibility, even a probability. No matter that she promised me she'd get out, if things went wrong, if things got out of hand. . . I couldn't even think about it. I closed my eyes, fighting back a wave of pain that accompanied the thought of a life without Alice, and leaned against the closed door behind me. I could hear Esme's dry sobs and tried to push the sound out of my mind.
"Rose, don't," Emmett's voice called in my direction. I opened my eyes to see Rosalie, looking guilty, furious, anxious, and scared all at the same time, coming straight toward me.
I stared at her levelly, not at all interested in dealing with her now. The guilt she felt alone was almost enough to overpower me. "What do you want, Rosalie?" I asked, my tone flat.
"How'd they take the news?" she asked, her voice quiet and uncertain.
"You can hear Esme's sobs as well as I can," I answered. "That should be answer enough."
Rosalie hung her head for a moment, her prized blonde hair cascading around her face and shoulders. In the next instant, her head had snapped up and she was glaring at me with a new intensity. "How can you stand there," she started suddenly. Her voice was tight with emotions. "How can you just stand there looking so calm, so sure when our brother's life is on the line?" Behind her, Emmett flinched. Even he knew that was the wrong thing to say.
"Never mind that there are two other members of our family on a plane to Italy right now to save him," I retorted sharply. "Never mind that they are at risk just as much as he is."
An almost hysteric laugh caught in Rosalie's throat. She was distraught. I should just walk away and let Emmett calm her down. Her temper had always been frightening. "Oh, I forgot," she said derisively. "Alice. It doesn't matter if other people get hurt, so long as your precious Alice is fine."
"Rose," Emmett warned behind her. He was unnaturally solemn as he eyed me sympathetically. "Let's go into the other room and talk."
But she wasn't going to allow herself to be deterred. She had something to say, and she was going to say it. "If it hadn't been for her stupid vision–"
I snapped. "If it hadn't been for your stupid phone call! What were you thinking, telling Edward like that!"
"He deserved to know!" she hollered at me as I felt her guilt increase tenfold.
"Over the phone? Really, Rose, I thought even you had more tact than that." Fight pain with pain. "He deserved to know, but it was never your place to tell him!"
"Who was going to tell him, then? Were you going to, Jasper? Were you going to use your special little gift to soften the blow for him? To numb the pain?" she hissed spitefully at me, ignoring Emmett's hand on her shoulder.
"I never would have done him that disservice, and you know it."
"Stop pretending like you care about him!" she cried. "All you care about is Alice, and we all know it! You're so selfish!"
"Oh, forgive me for caring about my wife, Rosalie. The world will go on without Edward, but life would be meaningless without Alice."
"Well, its her own fault she's in this mess! If she hadn't been looking for visions of Bella like Edward asked her–"
"STOP BLAMING THIS ON HER!"
"She would be well served if the Volturi killed her!"
Rage consumed me, and I launched myself at Rosalie, solely intent on causing her as much pain as she caused me with those words. Emmett stepped in my path, grabbing me by the shoulders and forcing me back. "She didn't mean that, Jasper," he said quickly. "You know she didn't. She's hurt and upset and scared. You know this. She didn't mean to hurt you."
"A twist of the knife in an already bleeding wound– it doesn't matter if she meant to do it or not," I hissed. "She's not the only one who's upset and scared, Emmett. My wife's life is on the line, and I can't exist without her." My voice caught in my throat and my walls started to crumble before my eyes. "She's everything to me, and if she doesn't come back . . ." I shook my head, pulling myself from Emmett's grip as he gave me an empathetic look.
I backed up so I was leaning against the wall, sank slowly to the floor, and covered my face with my shaking hands.
It was then that Esme and Carlisle reappeared. They were more than aware of what had transpired, and they sought to pick up the pieces. Esme had sat next to me for over an hour, rubbing my back gently and murmuring words of comfort at me. For her own benefit or for mine, I didn't know. Nor did I care. My fears and anxieties were multiplied by hers, which made the whole situation more disparaging. When I had endured all I could take, I stood up, grabbed the phone Alice had originally called me on and retreated into another room. My hands never stopped shaking.
Nothing could distract me. I continued to stare at the cell phone as if it were my only lifeline. In my head, I replayed my last conversation with Alice over and over again. She promised she would get out. One way or another, she said, she would get out. She promised. She loved me. She promised she'd come back. As much as I tried to delude myself with these comforting thoughts, I was always ended up considering the horrible what ifs of this disastrous excursion. What if she couldn't keep her promise? What if things got out of hand? It was entirely probable. More than anyone else in the family, I understood how volatile others of our kind were. I spent more of my life living with vampires like those in the Volturi than I had spent living with Alice and Carlisle. I understood how easily offended they were. I understood how quick their tempers were. And I shuddered to think that Alice, my beautiful Alice, my angel and my light, was at their mercy.
My thoughts took another unpleasant turn. What if she was lying to me? Under normal circumstances, she would never think of deceiving me, but this was different. If she thought she was protecting me, even at the risk of her own life, she would lie through her teeth to me. If she had seen a vision of her eminent demise, if she knew when she was talking to me on the phone that she was not going to make it, she would have promised to get out anyway. She would have done anything to prevent me from following after. I knew she would. I knew her as well as myself, and I knew she loved me as much as I loved her. If this was the end . . .
She'd want me to stay strong. She'd want me to keep living with the family. She'd want me to find solace in the arms of the family that had taken us in. And if Edward survived and she didn't, she'd want me to tell him what she could not. That she didn't blame him. That she was happy that he made it out alive. She'd want me to be happy. She'd want me to keep loving. She'd want me to find someone else to love, so I wouldn't be alone.
A dry sob caught in my throat. If she did die, I would try to do as she asked me. I wouldn't care how much pain it would cause me. If Alice wanted me to go on without her, I would do it. I'd do it for her, because I loved her and I would do anything for her. No matter how much it hurt me to do so, I would try.
Another minute passed on the digital screen of the phone. Three thousand, one hundred, twenty-three minutes. Approximately 52 hours and three minutes. Two days, four hours, and three minutes. That was one hundred eighty-seven thousand, three hundred, twenty seconds. That was how long I had been staring at this damned phone, keeping track of every solitary minute. That, with an added two and a half hours that had passed before I retreated to watch the phone, was how long it had been since I had heard Alice. I couldn't block out the part of my mind that despaired because that might have been the last time I ever had the chance to talk to her.
I wondered if there had been anything I could have done to prevented this. I thought back to Bella's eighteenth birthday party– the last time anyone in my family had ever really been happy. We were content at our new home in Ithaca, but we were never happy. Even Alice, who was so sure that Edward wouldn't be able to keep himself from Bella for long, hadn't been happy. Satisfied, yes. Happy, no. How could we be happy when we all knew that Edward was in so much despair? If I had been able to control myself when Bella got the damn paper cut, if I hadn't given into my baser instincts, Edward would probably not have decided that we–he, our family, and I– were a danger to Bella, and he would not have left.
And even if Edward had to decided to leave, I was the one who kept Alice from talking him around. I believed strongly in the idea that everyone had the right to choose what they thought was best for him. I kept Alice from convincing Edward to stay in Forks, because I believed he had to make the choice for himself. I knew he was going to be miserable, and I knew that Bella was going to be miserable. But no one but Edward had the right to make that choice. If I hadn't argued with Alice, then perhaps we would all still be in Forks.
If we were in Forks, then Bella would never have jumped, and Alice wouldn't have seen a vision of her jumping, and Rosalie wouldn't have called Edward to tell him that Bella was dead. If Edward didn't think Bella was dead, he never would ve gone to the Volturi as a suicide attempt, and Alice never would have felt obligated to save him.
Three thousand, one hundred, twenty-five.
All my speculation was fruitless, I knew. What happened in the past was definite and unchangeable. There was nothing I could do about it. The future was still up in the air, and I didn't have Alice to tell me how it would land. My stomach clenched at the thought of the unknown. I found myself clinging to my memories of Alice. The sound of her voice. The feel of her skin against mine. The way she moved. The way sun glinted off her skin. The way her mind functioned in the future while her body always seemed stuck behind. The way her smile lit up her whole face.
The way she understood me better than anyone else.
The way she knew when to leave me be, and when I needed her by my side.
The way she could make me laugh when I was in my darkest of moods.
I tried to prepare myself for what life without her would be like. I had endured that life before– in the fifteen odd years between when I left Maria's coven and when Alice found me. I remembered those years with startling clarity. I remembered the despair and the hopelessness. The unending nights. The darkness.
Three thousand, one hundred, twenty-six.
If this was the end, I would try to be happy as she would want me to. I would try to live. I would try to find solace and comfort in my family. I would try as hard as I could for her. I would try because she'd want me to. But I knew, even now as I stared at the phone, that I would never be able to succeed.
My life was intertwined with hers. It had been since the moment I laid eyes on her. Our fates were tied together.
I didn't know what would upset Alice more– the idea of me killing myself after her death or the idea of me wandering this earth as miserable and listless as I had been when she found me.
Three thousand, one hundred, twenty–
The phone buzzed across the table, a precursor to the merry ring-tone that followed. I stared at it with wide, unbelieving eyes before I snatched it up, flipped it open with a flick of my wrist, and held it to my ear.
"Alice?" My voice trembled at the question.
"It's me, Jasper," Alice spoke softly. Her voice was content and almost a little pleased, as though she were happy just saying my name.
"You're okay?" I asked, aware that Esme and Carlisle were looking at me expectantly and that Rosalie and Emmett had emerged from the other room, a similar expression on their faces.
"I'm perfectly fine," she answered, and I sighed audibly in relief. It was like a great burden had been lifted off my shoulders. Rain clouds parted and revealed my personal sun. "You can stop worrying about me, now."
I glanced around the room. I had to ask, even though I feared the answer. "And Edward and Bella?"
"Well," Alice started, her tone still as soft and gentle as before. "I was worried about Bella for a while. She went into hysterics, or something, but she certainly seems fine now. She looks very content in Edward's arms. We're on a plane on the way back to Seattle right now. We should be there in about twelve hours."
"Hold on," I muttered. I looked up at my family. "Alice, Edward, and Bella are all fine. They're on a plane to Seattle right now. Alice says they'll land in about twelve hours."
I was sure that the instant relief was evident to everyone in the room and not just myself. I turned back to the phone. "Alice?" I asked, my voice sure and confident now as I stood up with the cell phone and walked out of the room.
"Yes, Jazz?" she answered.
"I love you."
"I love you, too," she mused. "And this latest experience has only reaffirmed that, I assure you."
I smiled gently, even though I knew she couldn't see me. "Just promise me one thing."
"Don't ever set foot in Volterra again."
A small laugh echoed through the phone. "Gladly."
Author's Note Part Two: Right, so now that you've read this, you have to review. It's the courteous thing to do. Who knows-- if enough people liked this I might be back with more sometime.