Words: 950 words
A/N: Written for pexylexy's prompt, 'I wanna be with you at the end of the world and burn across the sky like two shooting stars', at jpex.
Disclaimer: They're not mine, never were. I didn't create them, I don't own them, and I didn't write the series, Meyer did. I just sort of take all the angst my muses throw at me for them.

Stand My Ground

They've been here before, several times in fact. On the edge of saying goodbye, but not being able to form the words or be strong enough to just let go. It's the letting go, the saying goodbye, that's the hardest, but they can't find it in themselves to do either.

It's something that both of them are into too deeply, and neither is willing nor wants to let go.

"I'm in this until the end Edward, you know that."

But still, Edward can't help but feel guilty; horrible gut-wrenching guilt at what he's done. He's dragged the one he loves, the one who means everything to him, into this personal vendetta against the Volturi, against the oldest and strongest vampire coven that there is. Edward knows that if anything happens to Jasper, at all, that he'll always blame himself; even if it isn't his fault.

Really, the entire situation isn't his fault, it's this stupid, stupid ability he has. It caught Aro's attention, and Aro always gets what he wants; he's not used to being thwarted. Which is precisely what Edward is doing by constantly refusing the offer, the 'honored' place as a guard.

There's one thing he knows, however, is that what Aro desires more then his ability, is his adopted sister's, Alice's. He wants to see the future almost at whim, he longs to possess, toown, Alice; just as he wishes to possess Edward.

However, neither of them are interested. But Aro is being patient, he's waiting, waiting until he can grasp at the advantage, at the first weakness that either of them demonstrate. Utilize that to it's fullest potential, until he finally has those two gems in his pale hands; puppets ready to dance at the commands of their master.

This is why Edward is putting Jasper at risk, and he hates himself for it.

He doesn't doubt that Aro knows already, he knows Edward's thoughts as well, or even better, then Edward himself knows them. Edward's greatest fear would be Aro taking an interest in Jasper's ability as well; people like Jasper are even rarer then those like Alice or himself. Those who have control over emotions, can feel and affect others, are a rarity, and Edward knows that what Aro loves more then anything else is his 'collection'.

You either join that collection, or you are destroyed.

The freedom you have is very limited, Aro knows to keep a close eye on you. Edward's been living with that for fifty years now, and it's not something that is pleasant. He's constantly looking over his shoulder, watching and waiting, for when the next offer may come, the next threat.

Jasper gave him peace at mind, with the older vampire at his side, he feels happy, content, and at ease with the world around him. He lets his head rest on Jasper's shoulder as the other vampire stares out at the sunset they're watching, skin sparkling red in the vanishing light, and lets his eyes close. He feels waves of love and contentedness wash through him, not Jasper's doing at all.

They know each other inside and out, there isn't much need for actual verbal conversation. In fact, that's kept to a bare minimum. Jasper is Edward's safe haven, a place he can run to whenever he needs the reassuring presence and the unique smell that is Jasper, and justJasper. This is why he hates to drag Jasper into his ongoing problems with the Volturi.

"It was only a matter of time, Edward, until they noticed me. Unless you haven't noticed, an empath like myself is extremely rare. I knew that they would come for me one day."

Nothing helps, nothing makes the guilt go away, fade away enough for him to think logically and rationally. Jasper has thrown that out the window every time that they lie in each other's arms, he doesn't want to think about the bad things, and Jasper doesn't let him; he protects him, shields him, from everything that is wrong with the world.

In a twisted way, Jasper is protecting what little innocence is still left in Edward; an innocence that the young vampire doesn't even know that he still possesses. Jasper wants to keep it, he covets it, and he hides the fact that he knows from everyone; even Edward.

Protecting that innocence is what matters most to him, and he's willing to be destroyed in order to keep it.

.:-o-:..:-o-:.

Edward's hand is tightly entwined with Jasper as they stand in the small clearing with the rest of their small coven; Carlisle's coven. The fear Edward feels nearly incapacitates him, but it's counteracted by the waves of calm that are rolling off his lover. That alone keeps him from collapsing to his knees; Jasper and his military attitude are all that keep him anchored.

When the first of them appear, Jasper's hand tightens just a little on Edward's, and he feels the flickers of fear in that calm feeling, but they're gone immediately.

I will die for you, for us.

And then, the dam nearly breaks. The careful hold that Edward's had on his emotions up until this point nearly breaks, and he finds his knees tremble a little, and he turns panicked eyes on Jasper. There's nothing in the older vampires face that gives away what has just passed through his mind, but his eyes are sad, almost as if they're saying goodbye. Edward clings to Jasper's hand for a few moments, his eyes drilling into the other's, before he's forced to look back towards their now arriving foe.

If they kill you now, I'll follow you. And if the situation is reversed and I die, then you'll follow.

It's not a question, Edward knows that no matter what will happen, the two of them will always be together.

FIN.

Enjoy your Jaspard angst, I do so love to write it.

Twilight.