Disclaimer: The awesome "Twilight" and all characters belong to the lovely Stephenie Meyer. I am making no monetary gain from this fic, I am just a poor, lowly college girl, who owns the books but not the characters (though Marie is mine!).
Summary: On a rainy day in Philadelphia, soul mates meet and a great love story begins. . .
Dedication: To Dia.Dahling, who is such an encouragement in my writing – particularly my forays in to the Twilight universe. And to Mama Jo: mom, beta, and friend. Thank you both!
Author's note: I know there are a lot of stories out there about how Alice and Jasper met, written before and after Stephenie revealed the details, but this is kind of my own personal spin on it. Just a little drabble to relieve some stress, and because Alice and Jazz are the awesomeness. Thank you so much for taking the time to check this out – and I hope you enjoy!
I sat on the same stool every day. The old one at the farthest end of the counter, the one with the cracked tan vinyl seat, by the potted plant. At sunrise, as the diner opened, I would come in, sit down, and order coffee. Then, when the wait staff wasn't looking, I'd gift the potted plant with the vile-tasting – and smelling – drink. I noticed they'd replaced the plant four times since I'd started coming here, but I don't think they ever connected the old ones' deaths with me. I just hoped they wouldn't stop buying them.
Occasionally I would order some food, just to try to blend in. I went through a variety of different tastes, but never found anything particularly appetizing or that would stay down easily. I also made sure the rays of the sun leaking through the large front windows never touched me, lest I blow my cover.
I knew, eventually, all this stealth and torture would be worth it. I just had to wait, to bide my time until he came. I waited from sunrise to far after sunset, when the diner would close and the manager would kick me out. No one ever asked me why I stayed so long, or came in every day – perhaps they, like every other human, were too unsettled by my too-pale skin, my painstakingly-maintained gold eyes, my cold touch. Whatever things that bothered them about me, however (if there was anything that bothered them), didn't prevent them from taking my money each day, or letting me come and sit and wait.
I hoped he'd come soon. I was almost out of money to pay. It wouldn't look good if I just came in, sat, waited, and didn't eat or drink anything.
Eventually I struck up a friendship with one of the waitresses. A tall brunette, she had a wide, welcoming smile that crinkled the corners of her big blue-grey eyes. Marie, her name tag said. She didn't seem to be as unsettled around me as others, and on the slow times in her shift she would come talk to me.
"You seem to be waiting for something, honey," she said. Her accent was very light, but obviously a throwback to centuries past, when the first settlers came to America. "Care to share with a sympathetic ear?"
I didn't explain everything, of course. I didn't know much about the vampire world I'd been born into with no memory, but I did know we didn't reveal our identities, risk ourselves and others of our kind. Neither did I tell her of the Gift, my Sight, which gave me glimpses of the one I waited so patiently but eagerly for.
"I am waiting," I said when I got my thoughts in order.
Marie clucked her tongue. "You've been waiting a good while, sweetie. I don't know if he's worth it."
I tipped my head to the side and thought about that for a minute. I'd never considered this angle before. From the moment I woke as a vampire, I'd been looking forward to meeting this man. I'd traveled a very long ways, and waited a very long time, to meet him. I knew he'd come to this diner; I knew I'd meet him. I knew I'd be happy with him, I could See that. But. . . That was only a short time into the future after I met him. Would I be happy with him all the time? How could I not, though? To wait so long for him, only to be disappointed later. . . It was impossible. Simple as that.
"I think he's worth it," I finally responded. My voice was so soft I could barely hear it, but my answer was certain.
Marie smiled. "Sweet girl like you deserves someone who's worth it." She nodded. "That's right. Don't you let anyone tell you differently." Then she picked up her coffee pot and swirled off to serve a couple sitting at the opposite end of the counter from me.
I had the same conversation with Marie a good nine or ten times. Each time I would say with determination he was worth waiting for. And Marie would smile and say "He'd better be worth it, after standing you up so many days." But she never asked why I waited, why I seemed so determined to wait forever, if that's what it took.
Days passed. They were all blurs of avoiding sunlight, food, and coffee as much as possible; talking with Marie; and more of this endless waiting. I didn't lose hope, though. Each day I checked my Sight, to make sure he was still on the same track, the same path. Each day he seemed to come closer, my Vision coming closer to coming true.
On a gloomy, rainy day, I took a chance of going into the diner without being careful to feed beforehand. Even though the clouds protected me, I hated rainy weather. I tried to be naturally upbeat and cheerful, and the sun helped that. Rain just made me depressed.
As I settled onto my normal stool and accepted the cup of coffee Marie gave me (and then gifted the newest potted plant with it as soon as her back was turned), I became aware of a certain electric charge in the air. It wasn't from the storm outside, with the flashes of bright lightning and the rolling thunder right after. No, it was a taste of excitement, of anticipation of sorts. It was different than any of my other days.
And, somehow, I knew today was finally the day.
Marie filled my coffee cup. "You think today's the day, honey?" She asked. It was the same question she asked me every day as she refilled my cup for the first time.
"No. I know today's the day." I cradled the chipped white mug in my hands, enjoying the warmth against my cold, hard skin.
My friend nearly dropped her carafe. "Really? It's today?" A small smile twitched her lips. "Then I'll be watching the front door, sweetie."
I returned her smile, waited until her back was turned, and dumped out some of my coffee. Why not – this was the last plant I'd have to kill.
The day wore on, seeming longer and more tiring than any others that passed before it. My eternal clock had granted me patience, but that luxury passed me by today. I sat turned on my stool, watching the front windows, holding my breath (and not just because of the somewhat tantalizing scents around me), waiting for him.
"More coffee, Alice?"
I turned to smile at her. "Yes, thank you."
Marie filled my cup as she hummed, a soft sound that slowly calmed my excited nerves. Behind me, the bell on the door jingled merrily. My friend glanced up, turned back to my cup, and then did a double take. "Oh my gosh," she whispered. "Sweetie, is that him?"
I hardly dared hope. After all these years, all these miles, all this anticipation – could I dare risk being disappointed? But I steeled my nerves and turned to look at the person who had just entered the diner.
Honey-blond hair fell in slight disarray around a face as pale as mine. The ethereal beauty of those familiar features; the leonine grace with which he stood, surveying the room; the worn jeans and dusty shirt which he wore. . . All this, and more, was what I'd been waiting for.
He looked up, and his eyes met mine. They were black, a deep onyx that seemed to draw me into a depth so powerful I couldn't breathe. I'd seen those eyes many colors in the past years: bright burgundy, the black they were now – and, in the still-uncertain future, the same gold as mine.
For a moment I couldn't move, so trapped was I by that gaze. Then Marie poked me in the back, and I jumped a little. "That's him," I breathed.
"Go, sweetie. He's waiting for you."
She was right. He was waiting on me, and I was waiting on him. I slid off my stool and slowly walked across the room toward him, begging my knees not to shake. He watched me come with those suspicious black eyes, his powerful muscles tensed as if to flee at the slightest wrong move by me. His breathing was shallow, through his mouth, and I could somehow sense the struggle he was having. I knew, without asking, this was a struggle for him. To trust. To keep from giving in to his most basic of instincts, to attack and destroy me and kill everyone in the diner.
But he was already disciplined, I could tell. In his eyes, I saw a tiredness, a plea for help from this existence, from the norm for us. I felt more confident, more in love, happier, the closer to him I got.
I stopped less than a foot away and looked up into his eyes, which were now more surprised than suspicious. I stuck out my hand toward him, smiled my sweetest, and addressed him for the first time. "You've kept me waiting a long time." It wasn't really what I meant to say, though it was the truth. The rest would come later – in time.
To my surprise, he ducked his head and looked at me from beneath long lashes, the same color as his hair, as he reached out his hand to shake mine. "I'm sorry, ma'am," he said. His accent, deeply Southern – Texas, if I had to hazard a guess – immediately made me feel warm inside, where I'd been so cold and empty for so long.
And as we shook hands, I knew the wait was worth it, simply because we were meant to be.
-End Part I-