Notes: Written for pexylexy's prompt at jpex, 'You're taking the best of me with you / You're someone I just can't replace / And I'm dying here watching you / make up your mind / that I can't change'.
Title: come like the dusk
Pairing: Edward/Jasper
Words: 1 573 words
Disclaimer: Nothing to do with the Twilight series belongs to me; it's all Stephanie Meyer's. I'm just borrowing them to satisfy my muses, meaning I don't make any money from this.

. come like the dusk .

A lot goes into falling in love. You invest so much of yourself into another person that when it comes time to let go, you struggle with it; and its made even more difficult when the other is able to make such a clean break. For Jasper, it's just almost much too difficult but even though he knows that he has to let go, and that he should feel bitter, should hate Edward, he can't. No matter how hard he tries, he can't change.

Edward was, and still is, the best thing that ever happened to him. He can't change that, he can't change how only Edward could ever bring out that goodness that was inside of him; Edward brought out that side to him that no one else saw.

And now, no one else ever would.

There's a pressure behind his eyes, but Jasper knows that tears will not come. He can't cry, no matter how much he wishes he could. But what hurts him the most, is that he can't be what Edward needs; that a human girl can be what he does. His place has been usurped, and he's been left out in the cold outside, to fend for himself.

A growing distance had been between them, when the girl had first arrived, and then Edward had been gone for a time, leaving them with no knowledge of where they had gone. Alice said nothing; Edward didn't want them to know. One blow to the still heart, one set of stitches is ripped clean open, letting everything out.

This is how it all starts.

Jasper can remember there's an old saying that things have to get worse before they can get better, but he knows that this isn't so in this case. The pain isn't going to get better. He's having his heart ripped apart, and there will be no changing that. Trust has been broken, love has been tossed aside, and there will be no repairing him.

Now, all he has to do is last long enough to see that the girl makes it through whatever challenges face her and Edward. After that, he will feel free to do whatever he sees fit with himself. He knows what he's going to do, but it's a secret that he guards carefully.

Alice knows, she can see his decision has been made. It hurts her, but she knows and she understands him. She knows what he has planned, and she wanted stop him no matter what. So when they have to protect her, protect the girl, Bella, she knows that Jasper would immediately rush to the hunter in Bella's place if that would have helped.

He knows, when he sees her in the hospital and how Edward never leaves, that should have been what he should have done instead of following through with Alice's plan. It was a trap that they let Bella walk right into, all to keep her safe in the future; but the consequences... they couldn't have been foreseen until it was too late for them to be stopped.

Jasper didn't mean to lose control like that, but he's been slipping. His control isn't what it used to be, and he knows why, Alice knows why, but the others are left in the dark. But when he scented her blood, Bella's blood, he knew that there would be no turning back for him; the darkest, more harsh thoughts that he had been harboring towards her were unleashed.

No forgiveness for himself. He would never forgive himself for that lapse in control.

But Edward could understand him now, just a bit better, and he had been able to forgive him for that. And, somehow, that only made Jasper feel all the worse because it was more of a forgiveness given out of a guilt. That hurt, and only made him hate himself more.

The self-loathing was getting to him, dragging Jasper farther and farther into a deep, dark place from which there would be no return or escape. All there would be was release; and that would be in the most painful form possible. It was something that Jasper had been considering, and he knew that he would be taking that route out because spending eternity knowing that the one you loved, the one who you had found made you incapable of moving on, was going to spend that eternity with someone else was just too much to bear.

It would break Esme's heart, it would horribly hurt Alice, but Jasper was slowly getting tired of doing the selfless thing. If it would be the last thing that he did in the world, then he just wanted to be selfish for a moment. Before everything would quit mattering, and he would be gone.

Until Bella is as indestructible as they are, until she's one of them, he'll protect her. It's why he let's Alice go to her, even though he knows that Edward would be so mad with them. But if it was true that she was dead... It was something that he didn't want to think about.

For as much as he hated her for taking away his own happiness and the one he loved, had given everything too, he still couldn't find it within himself to want her dead. It was that still remain, still too strong, too potent love that he had for Edward that kept him from wishing her any harm. As long as she was the one who could bring that light into the younger vampire's eyes, the one who made him feel alive, then he would protect her with everything he had.

"She's not dead. It was cliff-diving, she's into extreme sports now apparently."

The relief that Jasper feels permeating his being makes that tension run clean. But then, he remembers Edward, and he knows that none of them are out of the woods yet. Alice has a plan, but it might end with their deaths.

"We're going to Italy, we'll stop Edward. All that we have to do is make sure that he sees Bella before he goes through with his plan." He can hear that far off sorrow in her voice, she's all too aware of the costs if they fail. "Please, wait until you hear from either Carlisle or me until you do anything Jasper. And don't worry, we'll make it through this. That I promise you."

"Be careful. This isn't your fight."

"I know, but this is my mess. I have to make it right."

"At least try and make it out alive, okay Alice? I don't want to cause Carlisle and Esme anymore pain..."

"I will."

The line clicked dead. Jasper sighed and let the phone drop to the couch. He couldn't sleep, couldn't dream, but still he couldn't sleep and yet he felt completely and utterly exhausted. With his bones aching, Jasper sank down onto the couch and let his weary body just lay there; waiting anxiously for the phone call that could either relieve him or tear his entire world to shreds.

It was all just a matter of time.

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

Eventually, he was relieved when Alice called him. Her voice was soft, a welcome sound from the vigil he'd been keeping by the phone.

"We're all fine, we made it out." A silent sigh of relief slipped past his lips. It was a feeling of extreme happiness, but there was an almost overpowering sorrow there too. His face cracked into a small, sad smile. They were okay; Edward was alive, fine. He wanted to ask, wanted to ask so badly, but he held his tongue and waited, knowing that he wouldn't have to ask. Alice would know, she would know what he wanted to say, and she would tell him what he needed so badly to know.

"More then fine, he's back Jasper. You don't have to worry anymore, that broken heart's been fixed right up."

There's a pressure behind his eyes, and he knows that he wants to cry, and he would if it was possible, "That's... that's great Alice." He lets his eyes close, "That's really, really great... I'm so happy, Alice..."

Oh she knows, and she knows too well how much he means that. Their love was never passionate, never more then a very deep and understanding love that could happen between two people who were incredibly close to each other. It was nothing like the rest of the couples in their family. They were more like two best friends.

Alice couldn't fill the hole in his heart, and Jasper couldn't be the man who Alice needed. But they had each other, and that was the most that either of them felt that they could hope for. It was enough, if only to stave off the loneliness and the ache that not having the one who you love causes.

The countdown is on, there's not much longer to go. Jasper's time is running out, slipping through his fingers like the sand in an hourglass.

As the human girl's life is on a timer, his is on the exact same one. When her time runs out, so will his; and that's an unchangeable fact. Until she's safe in the grasp of marble eternity, then his existence will continue. To guard the one he loves, he'll keep the beloved of his love alive. All Jasper has to do is last until then, and he can die, disappear, however you like to call it, feeling happy; or at least, as happy as he can be. He'll be at peace.

Somehow, he thinks that it's more then he deserves.

FIN.

I think this was the hardest one to write. But I think it was worth it, even though it didn't turn out as I'd hoped; in length, at least. It's my first Jaspard writing in a while, I wonder if maybe I'm getting rusty? Oh well, doesn't matter. I have a lot more time now to write, since I've finished exams and it's still the exam break, so I think that Poison should be next on the block since I want to finish at least two chapters.

Leave me some feedback?

Twilight.