This is a response to a challenge by nadia the demented one:
Just two Cullens, sitting by the fireplace, talking about something emotional and deep and meaningful. Cannot be romance relationships - eg. Carlisle/Esme not allowed, nor is Alice/Jasper.
Word Limit - preferably finished within 2,000 words.
Disclaimer: I own nothing of the Twilight series
"What do you think would have happened if you never joined the Civil War?" Rosalie asked Jasper as she sat herself down across from him by the fireplace.
Jasper looked up from his book to stare back at his sister who was now looking through a box of beads, string in her hand. He was able to read quite undisturbed until then, with the house being desolate for some time. "Why do you ask?"
Rosalie shrugged as she started to tie knots in her string. "I don't know. Forgive me for being curious."
Jasper studied her for a moment and sighed, putting his bookmark in his book. There were no menacing waves coming off of her, just simple curiosity, along with slight poignancy and relaxation radiating from her presence. It was the Rosalie he liked to speak with. "Don't tell me you haven't thought about it, because I know you have," she continued.
"Well," Jasper started. "I suppose the same thing as what would have happened if you never met Royce King." She gave a slight flinch at the sound of his name.
"I suppose you are going to say something along the lines of, 'well I never would have met Alice,' right?" she asked sardonically.
"It's true though," Jasper said. "However, I might also add that I never would have met you." There was a slight teasing smile playing on his lips, which she returned.
"Oh, yes! The most important day of your life!"
"You never would have become a vampire." The smile quickly left Jasper's lips.
"I don't know that," Jasper countered. "Some other vampire might have come along and got me."
Rosalie gave a slight shrug as she started to string the fine beads in her hand. "Why did you join the war? I mean you weren't even eighteen."
"I suppose the same reason that everyone else did, for glory. Also, I wanted the fighting to end as quickly as possible, for the North to leave us alone. I don't really know anymore, Rosalie, I was young, young and stupid."
"So you wanted to secede?"
"Suppose I did," his answer was sharp and short.
Rosalie however, still continued. "You were from a well-off family weren't you?"
"You could say that."
"You had slaves too, right?"
"Some, not many."
"Did you think that was right? To own people that is?"
"It was the way people thought back then," Jasper started to open his book again, annoyed. "A part of me wasn't sure, but since those of authority told us it was right, I assumed that it was right. We didn't truly look at them as humans."
Rosalie nodded. Jasper was relieved to see that there were no negative emotions directed towards him. "And now?" she asked.
"Now I recognize that they too are human," Jasper then added, "unlike me." Rosalie nodded again in grim agreement. "Don't envision me as a terrible slave owner though. I never had one of my own, just my parents had about two each, you know a cook, a field hand…. My sister and I taught some of the colored children how to read before we knew that it was against the law. The white folks wanted to prevent slaves from reading, partly I think because they didn't want to see them as human, and if they can read, it proves they have the same intelligence as any white person. My sister though, I think she taught them still even if she knew she was wrong," Jasper paused. "No, she was right, she knew the world was wrong and that she was right."
"Did she really?" Rosalie asked. "She was a brave girl."
"That she was," Jasper agreed and Rosalie could see that she was losing his attention as he gazed into the fire.
"Do I not replace her?" Rosalie asked quickly, and regretted doing so as soon as the words were out of her mouth.
Jasper seemed taken aback. "As a sister?" he asked. "Oh, you two are poles apart."
"I'm sorry I asked."
"No but," Jasper continued. "You both did treat the mirror as your best friend…."
"Both of you thought yourself pretty…."
"I am pretty!"
"And what else…."
"What?" Jasper asked, his teasing smile appearing again.
"We both think that you are the best big brother any girl could as for." His smile faded again, but not out of sadness.
"Is that so?"
"It is so."
Jasper barked a laugh. "Janelle, now she was something else. We were really close due to our parents' absence in our lives, being busy being a socialite and what not. She was one of my biggest joys when I was a human, and one of my greatest regrets in joining the war, in becoming a vampire." He sighed and tossed his book aside on the nearby table. "She wasn't married when I left, but I know she did. I did some research after I became a vampire on my family. I randomly bumped into a young relative of mine at one point, about thirty or so years after I left home. A son of one of my cousins. I asked him if he knew much of his great aunt and uncle and he told me about a son who ran off and joined the Confederate army. I asked if that son had a sister, for I recalled hearing from my grandmother about them, or so I said to him, and he said yes. As he has been told by his father, my cousin, she had been married off soon after my departure and died of childbirth." Rosalie gave a gasp. "I recognized the surname in which she married into from my human years, and I recalled that she nor I thought highly of the man she most likely married in that family. He was much too old for her, and I doubt he made her happy. She simply married into wealth."
"The worst way," Rosalie stated bitterly.
"I feel guilty sometimes, that I'm happily married, despite the situation, surrounded by a loving family, despite the fact that we are all vampires, while I left her, her only true family, and left to marry unhappily." Rosalie fidgeted uncomfortably. "Some brother I was."
"I'm sure you were a wonderful brother, and I think I can have some opinion in that," Rosalie said for a lack of better things to say. Her hands started to tie a final knot in her beaded string.
"Who's that for?"
"Your third sister," Rosalie stated naturally as she looked down at the necklace she made. "Do you think she would like it?"
"Bella? Of course, any gift from you, a handmade gift of all things, she would be elated."
"Well, I need to make up for the grief I caused that girl. I haven't technically been the most welcoming in the family."
"It's not like I have been any better," Jasper stated. "Emmett and Alice, especially, have been quite taken by her though."
"She'll realize the joys of being your sister quickly, I'm sure."
"But I doubt we would become as close as the two of us are, ever," he gave her another smile. "You don't replace her."
"Janelle, you don't replace Janelle."
"Oh," he could feel waves of disappointment rolling off of her.
"I have two sisters, one each in two different families in two different lifestyles, and I love them both very much. Rosalie, you can never fill the void she left in me, you do not replace her, but you are another joy entirely."
Rosalie stared back at him for a while then broke out into a broad grin. "I try my best." Jasper laughed. "I love our relationship."
"I do too," Jasper sighed in contentment. "We are almost like best friends."
"What do you mean by almost," she said in a teasing tone.
"Alice and Edward are really close to, in the way we are."
"Suppose Bella will be Emmett's best friend then?"
"I don't know, and…" Jasper trailed wondering if Emmett even cared to have a best friend. "She has that werewolf boy."
"Who else?" Jasper countered. "What are your thoughts on him?"
Rosalie looked off into the fireplace. "I wonder how much Edward knows about my thoughts on that situation."
"Would you be in trouble if he did?"
"I don't like how that boy can peek into our own personal thoughts like that."
"It is inconvenient," Jasper acknowledged.
"I just, I don't have a problem in seeing that she could love two at once. You're the empath, what is your take on this."
"She loves Jacob, and he loves her."
"But her love for Edward is stronger."
"She loves Jacob though, it's completely genuine. She loves him how I love you. I don't think it's right to make them split up."
"Best friends shouldn't have to."
"It's like making you choose between Emmett and me."
"Of course I would choose Emmett…but it would still hurt. I'm thankful I don't have to be placed in that situation. It's like one of those stupid questions…."
"If you could only save one life, Jasper's or Emmett's…."
"You read my mind!"
"…who would you choose?"
"Or you having to choose between Alice and me."
"Can I give up my life and save both of you?"
"Alice would hate me forever."
"Don't be so sure about that."
"Maybe we should have a talk with Edward," Rosalie started. "To have Bella and Jacob be able to still be friends even after they are married."
"Don't know how well that would work out."
"Why does it have to be so hard," Rosalie said with a slight pout. "And why do I care?"
"Because you do, despite what others think, you care…deep deep deep down."
"Hey!" Rosalie said, feigning offence. "You know Edward thinks me a shallow pool."
"That's all that matters," Rosalie mock-chirped.
"I mean, I know you think little around him, think of clothes and make-up and keep him out of your mind."
"Well glad you know me so well, Jasper," Rosalie said. "It's just so hard to keep secrets in this family."
"Tell me about it."
"I don't know why I even try," she claimed and gazed back into the fire. When she realized Jasper was studying her face she said, "what?"
"I was just trying to remember what I know of your two brothers. The youngest was placed in an asylum…."
"He was considered crazy back then. When I think of his symptoms now I think he would be classified as autistic in this day in age."
"And the other…."
"Joined WWII in his early twenties. He was two years my junior. He came back clearly effected, and became crazy. He too was placed in a mental institution, and died there, I think."
"So I remembered correctly," Jasper nodded. "Why do those we love have such tragic endings?"
Rosalie laughed a sardonic laugh, "I believe tragedy has quite a fondness for us."
"You don't say."
"You haven't answered my question yet."
"What would have happened if you never joined the Civil War?"
"Janelle and I would still be close, I might have helped gotten her a better husband. I might have died a wealthy landowner. I'll never know. And not to sound to corny, but I would never have had this conversation with you."
"It is corny."
"I never would have become a vampire. And so, I never would have met Alice."
"And I never would have found this coven."
"Do you sometimes wish that you didn't join?" Rosalie asked tentatively.
"Sometimes," he answered truthfully. "But…" Just then they heard the front door open as the rest of their family entered in their home. The twins got up to go greet them at the doorway only to find a disheveled Edward, an overwhelmed Bella, Emmett and Alice arguing and Esme trying to get them to calm down.
"Sometimes," Jasper said softly to Rosalie. "Sometimes, I'm oddly glad I did."