Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns the Twilight universe. The title of this chapter and opening quote belong to Ross Copperman.
Synopsis: Jasper and Alice find her grave.
"Don't you cry tonight. Rest your weary eyes. Cause all that you are is broken inside. It's nothing you could change, it's nothing you could hide." - They'll Never Know by Ross Copperman
They'll Never Know
The stone marking the grave was simple. Some of the others surrounding it were large and ornate, casting long shadows over the wild vegetation. But this one was short and plain. It was nearly overtaken by the unkempt weeds and creeping vines.
Jasper felt Alice dance behind him, clearing away the overgrowth from nameplates and markers. He reached out a gentle hand and tugged at the vegetation that was curling around the gravestone. Pieces of the stone gave way as he tugged. The thick vine had found cracks in the crumbling stone and was clinging persistently.
He saw the name, her name. He clawed at the vines, frantic now to free the stone. "Alice," he called.
She flitted over to his side, her breathing uneven as she saw his hands dusting over her name. He stood from his work and felt her little hand whisper across his as she sought his familiar support. He threaded their fingers together and squeezed.
Alice stared at the stone. "Look at the date, Jazz."
"I know," he said gently. Her full name arched across the short stone. Two dates were etched underneath. And that was all. There was no mention of her being someone's daughter or sister. They had reduced her human life to two dates, birth and the day they had given up on her. The day she died in their eyes. The day they admitted her to the asylum.
"Do you think they had a proper funeral?"
"I don't know."
Her eyes were glued to the stone. "What do you think is buried under there?"
Jasper offered her a tight smile. "I don't know." He paused and followed her gaze to the little grave and the weeds dancing in the wind. "We could find out."
She closed her eyes and shook her head, perhaps seeing that there was nothing there to find.
She tugged her hand away and stepped forward to bend down over the stone. Even amongst knee-high grass and clinging vines, she was still the most graceful creature he had ever seen. She let gentle fingers trail over the letters of her name. "What do you think I did? I mean, what do you think made them send me away, in the end?" Her voice was quiet and low, so different from her usual cheer.
He shrugged, wishing he could offer her a better answer. "I don't know, Alice." He moved forward to stand next to her, feeling the magnetic tug he had felt for decades. He let his fingers trail through her dark hair as she crouched in front of the gravestone, her knees drawn up to her chest and her arms wrapped tight around them. "Maybe they were just afraid of the visions. Maybe – maybe they were bad people."
She kept staring at the stone. "I suppose I should be happy with the answers I've got."
Jasper continued to gently trail his fingers through her short hair. "We've solved so many mysteries, love." He felt her emotions swell at the seldom-used term of endearment. She leaned back into his comforting hand as he continued. "We know about your memory loss and your name and your family and your change..." He smiled and paused to let her finish the list.
"And my hair."
"Most importantly," he said gently. The teasing edge in his voice made her look up and smile at her husband. She had expressed her curiosity about having short hair so many times during their years together that even he was happy to have an explanation.
She stood slowly with another fleeting touch across the letters. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and they stood together, alone and quiet. The wind swirled around them softly. The wrought iron of the rusty gate creaked as it moved back and forth in the breeze.
"We can go now," she said after some time. Alice slipped from under his arm and started toward their car.
Jasper watched her move slowly, her eyes carefully avoiding her gravestone now. He glanced at it, the piece of rock that said so much about his wife's past. He had a sudden urge to crush the stone, to make it so that none of that past ever existed. He wanted to go back a year to when she was still able to say that her life had started with a vision of him.
He was stopped by the sudden onslaught of her crushing sadness. He darted forward and touched her hand. She stopped but didn't turn. He tugged her around and was stricken by the agony contorting her features. Her shoulders were shaking as she cried, tearlessly.
Jasper pulled her close and she twisted her fingers through the fabric of his shirt. "They didn't even wait to see if I would get better," she said in shaky bursts. "How terrible were they? How terrible was I?"
"Alice," he said softly. He bent his head down and pressed a kiss to the top of her head. "You weren't terrible. And they aren't your parents." He invoked the feelings of warm love that he always felt from Esme and let them wash over her. "Esme is your mother." He let his lips trail over her silky hair and held her tighter. "Carlisle is your father."
"I know," she said into his chest. He could feel her fighting for calm and he loosened his hold. "I know, Jasper." She tilted her head back and he was relieved to see her face had smoothed into a more neutral expression. "The past has never mattered before, why should it now, right?"
He smiled and ran a thumb over her cheekbone. "They didn't do right by you, Alice." The accent that he usually managed to keep at bay was suddenly making its presence known.
She smiled and pulled out of his embrace. "The accent," she said with a little laugh. "You do know how to turn my mood around."
"I so rarely have to."
Alice smiled and gripped her husband's hands. "Let's get out of here."
"Where will we go?"
She tilted her head and he squeezed her hands. "Home." Her smile widened and her voice suddenly regained a bit of its usual cheerfulness. "Let's go home, Jazz." He could still feel the lingering sadness, whether she tried to cover it with a smile or not.
Jasper trailed a hand down Alice's cheek and started to pick his way through thick grass. He reached the creaky gate and turned, his hand braced on the crumbling rails. Alice had stepped forward only a step from where he left her. Her arms were wrapped around her waist, her eyes again taking in her cracked gravestone.
He let her be for a moment and then said her name softly. Her head turned as if he had shouted against the sound of the strengthening evening wind. They stared at each other for long moments before Jasper held out his hand just as she had for him so long ago. She spared another glance at the gravestone and crossed to meet her husband.
Her hand was small and solid and familiar in his and as she shifted to twine their fingers together, he felt her usual comforting mixture of pleasant emotions.
Jasper looked down at her, as she settled in at his side, until she glanced up to meet his gaze. "Home?" he asked simply.
She nodded and smiled, the sadness he could still feel lessening as she worked to let it all go. "Let's go see our family."
A/N: I have been working on some Alice/Jasper one shots for awhile now and I thought I'd post them in a collection. I am posting the first 4 now but I will be posting more every week until I run out of ideas or get tired of my own work, whichever comes first. ;)
I am obsessed with Alice's reaction to finding out about her past. I might explore this even further in another one shot down the line.