I'm not Stephenie Meyer, just dabbling in her Twilight world. Originally posted on Livejournal. Reviews are nice :)
Hunting with Emmett always ended up being more of an adventure than I initially thought it was going to be. This past trip had been longer than expected – Emmett had decided that the grizzlies in the mountain range we started in were too small, puny, and generally not worth our efforts, not when there were Kodiaks less then one hundred miles to the north which were bigger, stronger, and in his opinion, meaner. It had been successful, but we had been gone three days longer than originally planned as they hadn't actually been meaner, and Emmett had to antagonise them for a day to make them feisty enough for his liking. He claimed it was worth it.
As we grew nearer to the house, Emmett let out a growl from deep in his chest, and I immediately knew the source of his distress. The scent of unfamiliar vampires flooded my senses, and the tension built in my body, unconsciously preparing for a fight. I flexed my fingers tighter around the steering wheel and pushed the accelerator to the floor, forcing the car to its limits, trying to focus my mind on a familiar voice. I could hear Rosalie laughing along with an unfamiliar soprano voice, while Esme and Carlisle were having a more serious discussion with an unidentified male about restrictions and control. It seemed that it wasn't a threat. A new couple were visiting.
We were less than a mile from the house now, and as everything sounded perfectly safe inside, I eased off the gas, which promptly resulted in Emmett punching me in the shoulder. What the hell are you slowing down for?
"Calm down, Emmett. It appears that we just have visitors. Nothing has happened to the others." I couldn't help but be curious, regardless of my words to my brother. What was going on? Who were these people? As we turned the last corner to the house, I could see that we had a welcoming committee. Carlisle had left our guests and was waiting to meet us in front of the garage, leaning against the doorframe and smiling to himself. Edward's not going to like this.
Leaving the car in the driveway, Emmett and I jumped out of the car and approached Carlisle quickly. His calm exterior wasn't shaken by our agitation, "Welcome home. I trust you had a good time."
Always quick to the point, Emmett growled, "Who's here?"
"It appears that our family has gained two more members, for the time at least. Jasper and Alice. They've been searching for us." Edward's not going to like this. "They arrived shortly after you left. I think you'll like them very much. Alice comes already accustomed to our way of life and Jasper seems more than willing to try. Alice says that it'll take awhile, but he'll eventually get a grasp on it." Edward's not going to like this.
I started to open my mouth to question the contradiction between Carlisle's thoughts and his words. How could I both like them, and not like this all at the same time? The door behind him opened and a tiny, slight young woman with short dark hair popped out, beaming from ear to ear, "Hi! I'm Alice." Quickly, the girl came up to us and gave us a hug and a kiss on the cheek. I stepped back out of her grasp quickly, taken aback by her eagerness, and heard Carlisle now laughing in his head: she caught me by surprise too. Unlike myself, Emmett laughed and hugged her back, lifting her feet off the ground and spinning her in a circle.
"Hi to you too, new girl. I'm…"
"Emmett, I saw that Kodiak you took down. It was enormous! I'm looking forward to our hunting trip next weekend, even though we'll only find moose. At least Jasper will like it better than the badger he'll get tomorrow." Alice turned around to look at me, leaving a bewildered look Emmett now had staring at her, "Edward, please remember that you won't stay mad with me. You'll be fine by Wednesday. We are going to be the best of friends, you and I. Besides, when you are ready, I have a game I'd like to try and play with you. I think it'll be fun!" Alice pirouetted on the spot once more and dashed back into the house. I could hear her singing in her head. She was unlike any other person I had ever encountered.
The departure of Alice seemed to give Emmett the power of speech back, "That was… strange."
Carlisle nodded, "Alice is quite interesting. She has the gift of foresight – seeing the future. In fact, that's why she already refrains from feeding on humans, and how she and Jasper were able to find us. She already knew everything about us and that we'd take them in." he sighed, "Jasper's going to be a bit tougher. From what I understand so far, he's had a far different lifestyle than the rest of us," He looked from my face to Emmett's and back "He's from the south, and he was involved in the wars there for many years, although they both assure me that he wants to do this. He would have made the switch earlier, but Alice needed others to help restrain him. She saw that she wouldn't be able to do it alone." I was instantly intrigued by the couple. Very few vampires elected to change their eating habits, and those who did, it was often because they were staying with those who were already accustomed to it. Carlisle was the only one that I knew of it who had done it independently. They were actively seeking to become like us, to go against their innate desires.
Edward's not going to like this.
I was becoming increasingly irritable by the second. "Carlisle, can you please tell me what you are so convinced I'm not going to like, and what Alice knows that I'm going to be angry for?"
"I think it would probably be better if you see for yourself," and he turned and walked through the door behind him, giving the impression that Emmett and I were to follow him.
There were all of my belongings; in the garage. Everything that had been in my room when Emmett and I had left, was now sitting here amongst our cars. Records stacked on top of each other. Sofa wedged between Emmett and Carlisle's cars. Even my clothes were hanging haphazardly from the ceiling rafters. I had never felt more like the territorial predator that I was until this moment. Who was this newcomer to uproot me from my home? I had the urge to rip that new female apart. I could hear myself growling, but didn't seem to have any sort of control over the reflex. Emmett chuckled to himself, and thumped me on the back good naturedly. "All I can say is 'let the games begin'. Well, that and to just be glad that it isn't my stuff in the garage."
I snarled once more at Emmett and he laughed as he walked into the house, off to look for Rosalie. Carlisle held back, watching me closely. Do you want me to help somehow?
I shook my head minutely, rage coursing down my neck, "No. Leave, please. I'm going to stay in here awhile."
I turned to face the disaster that was in front of me, and heard Carlisle leave. As soon as he shut the door there was a solid crunching noise, and I found that there was a hole in the wall, and it looked as if my fist was right in the middle of it. I lowered my arm and surveyed the damage. There wasn't as much as I felt the garage deserved. Traitor.
Trying to calm myself down, I started to breathe long and deep, which was an immediate mistake as the newcomer's scents were everywhere, aggravating me further. I closed my eyes and tried to clear my mind, but as always, attempting to clear my mind opened it to the internal voices of those nearest to me. Rosalie's joy to see Emmett again, Esme's internal scolding of Carlisle's handling of our introductions to Alice after she heard my attack on the wall, and the new male, Jasper, was thinking about coming to see me, thinking he could calm me down. I found his to be the most intriguing. It was odd idea considering we had never met and his companion was the cause of my problem.
In spite of my instincts, I attempted to think rationally. As Carlisle and Esme had welcomed these two into our home, I had to accept them. I didn't have to like them. I also had to decide what to do with my possessions, as I didn't particularly want to leave them in the garage. The best option that I was able to think of was to move my sofa into the lobby, my records into the sitting room, and my clothes into the pantry, which was vacant. With the arrival of these newcomers, it was obvious that we were going to need a bigger house if they were going to stay long term. I was just about ready to get started when there was a knock on the door. It was the new male.
"Come in, Jasper."
The door opened and Jasper walked in. I was thrown by the physical difference between him and his diminutive mate. Jasper was huge but I couldn't grasp why I thought that. He wasn't as bulky as Emmett, and we were approximately the same height, but something about him that commanded my attention. It was not quite intimidation, but it wasn't far off. Jasper was being careful, not getting too close to me, giving the predator its distance and his dark red eyes were watching me closely. I sat down on the couch and waited.
Satisfied that I was not going to pounce and was willing to listen, he gestured around the garage, "I wanted to apologise for Alice's exuberance. I told her that she should have waited until you came home and she should ask before moving your furniture, but she had seen that we were in that room at some point and she moved right in. She knew that you'll calm down about it in a couple days, but she doesn't always think about how you don't know that you'll calm down."
I could relate with that. The way that I lived in the minds of others: answering their unasked questions, hearing things I wasn't supposed to. Sometimes the lines get blurred. Perhaps Alice and I did have something in common, other than the location of a bedroom. "That's understandable. I heard you aren't going to like your catch tomorrow."
"I'm hoping that I'll prove her wrong. Maybe I'll find something bigger. Or I'll pretend to like it to make her think she was mistaken. The future is always subject to change."
I frowned hearing this. I couldn't help but think that perhaps Alice wasn't being entirely truthful with her claim of fortune telling. It was one thing to make a prediction and another completely to take a shot in the dark and miraculously hit a target. This could all be a trick, and we here we were, trusting complete strangers. "How do you know that she's really able to see the future then, if she's sometimes wrong?"
One of Jasper's eyebrows rose up, eyeing me critically. "We found you, didn't we?"
He had a rather valid point. Despite our reputation of being mythical monsters, it was completely outrageous to make a claim such as being a seer without having something to back it up with. Those of us with additional aptitudes were rarities amongst the rare.
I decided to change the line of conversation, somewhere safer, less confrontational. "How long do the two of you plan on staying?"
Jasper shrugged indifferently. As long as Alice wants. I'm here for her.
Jasper's thoughts troubled me, worrying me about his dedication to our lifestyle, but I managed to keep my face impassive. Don't worry. I'll get it eventually. I do want to. I don't enjoy killing humans. His eyes, despite the colour, looked true to his thoughts. He looked in physical pain at the thought of taking lives. Interesting.
My entire body and mind was at ease instantaneously. Without warning, I was no longer worried; about Jasper or anything else for that matter. In fact, I was confident that Jasper could adapt with some assistance. It was alright that Alice had moved into my space. I didn't have a care in the world anymore, which was more than confusing, as it didn't seem to have anything to do with Jasper's words. I looked to him, and found him grinning back at me.
"Sorry about that. You and Alice aren't the only ones with unusual talents. I can let you be angry again if you wish. Sometimes it's better to let emotions express themselves instead of just covering them up" Jasper looked to the opposing wall "However, judging by the fresh hole over there, I'd say you may have expressed yourself enough"
I couldn't help but smile, "Both Emmett and Rosalie have both put significant damage in this garage over time. It was about time that I took my turn at it." I stood back up and pointed to the stacks of albums, "Would you help me take the records back inside? I won't be able to carry them all in one trip. Alice didn't damage any, but…"
Jasper chuckled, "She stacked them the wrong way, didn't she?"
"You sound like you speak from experience."
"And yet I keep her around." he said nodding.
When we entered the living room, Alice was there in front of the roaring fireplace, sitting in a large cushy chair and staring into the depths of the fire. Her thoughts were flickering quickly, analyzing everyone she had met in our family; their words and actions on her and Jasper's arrival. They had all been positive, except for mine, making me feel like the monster that I try so hard not to be. Perhaps whatever Jasper did to me in the garage still had a hold on me, but I felt terrible for the way I reacted to Alice taking over my room. A bedroom that I didn't sleep in. I didn't normally think of myself as a discourteous being, maybe I was simply out of practice interacting with strangers. I really need to get out more.
As Jasper and I approached, she turned to me with a smile, "Edward! Are you ready to try and play our game? I want to see if it will work. I can't tell if it will, as you haven't decided if you are actually going to play or not yet." Alice's face took on a puppy like expression, waiting for my response. Please? It will be fun.
Determined to make up for my earlier rudeness, I put down the albums I was carrying, and sat down into the chair beside her, smiling. "I'll play with you Alice. What is this game that only you and I seem to be able to play?"
"I want to see what happens if you read my mind while I'm seeing the future. I'm curious about it. Will you just hear me looking for the future, or will you see what I'm seeing. Have you ever wanted to see the future, Edward Cullen?"
I hadn't. I had long since accepted that whatever was going to happen in the world in the future, I would be a fixed and unmoving point carrying though within it. When you have the ability to live for eternity, the future really doesn't have much desire. It's much of the same thing repeatedly. Still, I was curious to see if this would work. "I don't think I've given enough thought to the matter, never thinking it would be possible for me to see it." What was the point focusing on something that had no promise of anew?
"Fair enough. Let's see if you see what I see." Alice closed her eyes and I waited. My eyes flashed over to Jasper, who had sunk down to the floor. He grinned at me as he flipped through my record collection, and then it was there. I was there.
It was like nothing I had ever seen or heard before. It wasn't a moving picture like I had been half expecting. There was a series of flashes coursed through my mind, bright and loud: Emmett and I crouching in the forest, guarding a perimeter of some sort; Alice darting around the trees just south of our house; Jasper tackling a badger, breaking its neck; Rosalie shadowing Jasper's movements; Emmett and I meeting up with Alice to get closer to Jasper and Rosalie's position; Jasper spitting blood out of his mouth.
Then it was dark. I hadn't realised that I had closed my eyes until I had to open them back up again. I saw Alice staring back at me, examining my face closely. "That's tomorrow." You do see what I see.
"I know." I was telling the truth. It wasn't something that I could explain. It was just something that I understood. We were going to take Jasper on his first vegetarian hunt. I couldn't help but laugh. "Jasper, she was right. You really won't like that badger."
Stretching his legs out in front of him, Jasper eyed me challengingly, "I'll bet you five hundred dollars that you are wrong."
Emmett walked into the living room with his arm wrapped tightly around Rosalie's waist, and they sat down on the floor beside Jasper. "I'll take that bet. No one likes badger."
Jasper raised his hands in protest, and the argument started. I sat in the chair watching my family bicker and laugh. That is what they were: family. Emmett, Rosalie and I had earned a new brother and sister. The new additions were blending right in, it was as if they had always belonged; had always been there. It wasn't hard for me to think of the future now. Changes could happen to us, some more permanent than others. Carlisle was wrong.
I am going to like this.
Thanks for reading :)