What Have We Done?
Chapter 1: Different
A/N: Very short chapter, I know. Longer ones to come, I promise. Please leave a review! Theme song for the chapter: "All We Are" by Matt Nathanson.
"Why do you keep asking me about Bella?!" Alice snapped at me, her flash of irritation slapping me in the face. "You know Edward told me not to check up on her!"
"That didn't stop you from trying before," I said calmly, trying to calm her down as I spoke. That only made her more irritable, though.
"Stop messing with me, Jasper!" She snapped in reproof before continuing, "Sure, I tried checking in on Bella a couple times, but after Edward's last visit…"
"That's my point, Alice," I said. "When Edward came by a couple weeks ago, he seemed different… Something isn't right there, Alice. The emotions I was picking up from him made no sense. He was still sad and still grieving, but there was something else… I know you don't want to hear it, but he almost felt relieved… Like he's getting better. It hasn't even been a full three months since we left Forks. None of us expected him to recover so quickly after leaving Bella. Can't you understand why that makes me wonder about Bella? How she is or isn't recovering? If something in her life responsible for Edward's change in attitude? If Edward knows something about Bella that we don't…"
"Jasper, I don't want to talk about Bella right now!" Alice's anger was starting to make me uncomfortable. I was starting to feel irritable too, as I absorbed some of her emotion. I didn't want to end up lashing out at her in response, so I abandoned my course of questioning and changed tact:
"What do you want to talk about, Alice?" I asked her evenly. The change in approach worked. The emotional climate in the room shifted abruptly… to sadness, frustration, fear, and anxiety. I wasn't expecting that reaction. I waited for some kind of explanation… and, nothing. Alice just stared at me with an ambivalent expression that was somewhat unnerving.
"Alice?" I pressed. She looked down at the floor.
"I saw something, Jasper," she whispered almost inaudibly, even to my ears.
"What did you see, Alice? Why are you so upset?"
"It's about us… About you and me…" Alice's voice was still barely audible. Her emotions were much stronger: Guilt, sadness, fear, uncertainty… It made no sense.
"Alice, what is it?" I encouraged her, "Please, tell me." Alice sniffed, as though she would be crying, were that possible.
"We're going to… break up. We're going to grow apart. It's already started, but… I can't see everything, yet. I just… I don't understand it!" Alice's earlier frustration returned with a vengeance while I gaped at her, stunned by what she was saying. "It happened right after we left Forks. My visions just went haywire! I thought something was wrong with me! I saw all of us coming back up here, to Denali. What was really strange was that I still saw Bella becoming a vampire… I really don't understand that one… Then, I had a vision about you and me. I couldn't believe it was true, at first. I was waiting for whatever changed to change back, but it hasn't changed!" Alice finally looked back up at me, and her expression was pained.
"I'm so sorry, Jasper," she breathed. "I saw someone else… The same way I saw you, I mean… When I first saw that I would find you, and that we'd be together. It isn't just me, though! It's you, too! I saw us both finding different soul mates, true mates! I guess what changed was… our souls? Or maybe our true mates just weren't attainable until now… I saw that we'd still be like family to each other; like brother and sister, but… for anything more than that… we aren't right for each other anymore. Or we won't be for much longer, anyway. The vision was in pieces. It wasn't all clear. Too many decisions still have to be made, but… It hasn't changed, Jasper. That's why I've been so upset lately. I… I don't know what to do about this..."
I was frozen. Completely dumbstruck. As a vampire, my mind was much more complex and efficient than a human's, but it still short-circuited as it tried to process Alice's words. I was aware that my mouth was slightly open, waiting for my mind to project some kind of sound through it; a growl, words, anything. Words came first.
"We'll both still stay with the family, though?" I wasn't entirely sure why that particular question came out first. I suppose it was a sensible question, though. Alice and the rest of my family were all that kept me to this lifestyle; they were my reason for sticking with the vegetarian diet. I had to know if I was going to be able to hold onto some part of that.
"Yes," Alice said immediately. She paused for a moment and her eyes became unfocused. After a few seconds, she came back out of her vision. "Like I said, I see us becoming more like brother and sister, within our whole family. We'll go our separate ways here and there… we'll each separate from the family at different times. Those parts are a little cloudy, but I see us coming back in the end. We'll still be part of the Cullen family."
"Yes," Alice gave another quick response. "You'll be fine, Jasper." Of course she knew what I was worried about. "You'll stick to the diet. You'll be okay, as far as that goes. You'll still be part of the family. You'll always have that, and it will keep you strong."
"You and me, though?" I asked slowly, still recovering from Alice's revelation. "I don't understand…"
"Nor do I, Jasper," Alice said softly. She walked over to me and took my hands in hers a little tentatively. "It's just what I saw." Alice paused for a moment, and then she let out a frustrated sigh. "Things have felt a little different between us, though… since about the time we left Forks, when I had the vision. That could be self-fulfilling prophecy, I guess, but… maybe not. I still love you, Jasper. I really do, but it just feels…"
"Different," I sighed. I had felt the same thing, of course. For a couple months, I'd felt it… Different. There was really no other way to put it. Something was different. Something had changed and, according to Alice, it wasn't going to change back.