Disclaimer: I do not own any part of this story. It all belongs to the wonderful, incredibly talented Stephenie Meyer. Thank you for inspiring me!
Author's Note: This idea suddenly occured to me while reading "New Moon" for the zillionth time. I always knew Jasper would be guilty especially if his actions, however distantly, lead to a near suicide of Edward's. And who else would have to deal with that but Alice.
This was going to be a one-shot but sort of spiralled out of control. You know how it is. Characters have a mind of their own!
Enjoy! Its my first fanfic EVER!
This was driving me crazy…
I told my family that I was going to hunt but I didn't really need to. More than anything I wanted some time to myself. To think. To try and understand what had nearly happened. I wanted to believe it had been one of my horrible visions that eventually didn't come true.
Well, it didn't really. But the thought that it nearly did was just as frightening.
I didn't know what scared me more. The fact that the Volturi nearly killed all of us or Bella, or the fact that my brother had seriously contemplated and nearly committed suicide.
The thought of it sent a wave of pain through me…
This was exactly why I needed to get away from everyone for a while. I was driving Jasper insane with worry at my tormented feelings and even the others could sense the tension. And they were all in varying degrees of emotional upheaval themselves.
Carlisle and Esme were as shattered as any parent would be. They truly thought of us as their children and Edward had been with them the longest. Especially with Carlisle. And though Esme joined the family later she had taken over the role of being Edward's mother with all the pleasure and love her heart could hold. I could tell that both were blown away by the fact that he nearly died and faint with relief that it never happened.
Emmett looked like he had been punched in the gut. And this was saying something about the strongest Cullen. He had put on a brave face at the airport for Bella's sake. Not that she would have noticed-she could hardly stand straight for drowsiness. The girl took stubborn to a whole new level. But my normally playful, happy-go-lucky brother had never looked less cheerful in his life. Edward was the one he connected to the closest in our family apart from Rosalie. It was amazing how Edward could drop his constant seriousness and loosen up when with Emmett. My theory was that Emmet was as good a companion for Edward as Edward was to Emmett. The thought of Edward gone forever had shaken him considerably.
Rose was still rocked with guilt. I would never cease to be amazed at Edward's patience with her. I loved Rose, but her self-centered nature got on my nerves often. It would be a long time before I completely forgave her for so callously calling Edward. The least she could have done was discussed it with us…. Her antagonistic attitude towards Bella was irritating to say the least. Edward claimed he understood why even though he didn't agree with her. He wouldn't tell us what his reasons were, and none of us expected him to. He respected Rose's privacy even though she obviously respected very little of his. I hoped she would get her priorities straight at least now.
I could hear footsteps running towards me. I knew it was my husband. I was surprised he had let me be alone even this long.
I turned around a few moments after he had come to a standstill…
I wordlessly held my hand out to him.
He was at my side in an instant, one hand softly caressing my face. His eyes silently asked me if I was all right.
"Better," I whispered. "Just confused…and hurt. I can't believe it nearly came true." I wound my arms around his neck.
"It's all over now," he said holding me close.
I let myself be calmed by him. I didn't need his ability of controlling emotions to relax me. It was natural when he held me like this.
Suddenly he tensed.
I pulled out of his embrace. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing," he said much too quickly. He tried to hug me back to his body.
I wasn't giving in. "Jasper…" I said a warning in my voice.
He bit his lip. He looked so helpless and vulnerable. I knew I was the only person he let his guard down with. He wouldn't let anyone else know how insecure he felt. Especially when it was so much harder to control his thirst. I alone knew he felt ashamed and unworthy to be in Carlisle's family.
I didn't need a vision to know what he was going to say…
"This was all my fault," he said in a broken voice.
"Hush love," I said placing my finger on his lips. His eyes still looked agonized. I knew this had been boiling up in him though I waited for him to initiate the topic. He had been getting less depressed about the whole thing after we moved from Forks. Of course Edward was rarely with us to remind him and he never saw Bella after that.
But now I could tell the events and intense anxiety of the past few days had made everything come crashing down on him again.
"No!" he said forcefully. I removed my finger from his mouth. Agony changed to anguish. "It is Alice, don't' you see?" He let go of me and walked away. I let him go knowing that he needed to get this off his chest.
"I started this. If only I didn't- if only I could have had more control-if I wasn't such a slave to my thirst…" His voice broke. It broke my heart to hear that. I couldn't bear to see him in pain.
I went to him and wrapped my arms around him from behind. He brought his hands up to hold mine.
"It was what I did on Bella's birthday that made Edward decide to leave. We both know that." His voice sounded lifeless. Dead. "If I hadn't….attacked her, he wouldn't have left her"
"You know that Edward always thought it might come to this," I gently reminded him. "He always wondered when something would happen that would lead to the only choice. In his mind at least."
He sighed. "But did I have to be the one to help make up his mind?" he said softly. I tightened my hold on him. "Edward has always been someone I could relate to. I truly think of him as my brother and I hated knowing I caused him so much pain. Both by nearly killing the woman he loves and by separating them."
He turned around to face me. "And I know how intensely he would have been hurting. I only have to imagine existing without you to feel that pain. How he did it for all this time I have no idea."
He cupped my face in his hands, "And because of my lack of self-control, not only did I nearly lose a brother, I nearly lost you as well…" If vampires had the ability to cry I swear both of us would have been. "You don't know how I tortured myself wondering how I would exist if you never returned. And I realized the depth of Edward's feeling for Bella. I always wondered how he could be with her and not resist the temptation. But I understand how, if you love someone, you will move heaven and earth to keep them safe…"
I decided it was time he stopped tormenting himself.
I placed my hands over his on my face and looked him straight in the eye. "Jasper Whitlock Hale." I said slowly and softly. "You will not blame yourself over so many things that you never could have known were to happen. All you did was act on natural instincts. How many times has Carlisle explained that it goes against our nature to deny ourselves of human blood?"
He didn't look convinced.
"You made a mistake. That's all love. And none of us hold you to it. We all look out for each other. That's what families do. That's what we are here for. We were there for Edward when he was so tempted by Bella at the beginning. And we will do the same for all. Bella never blamed you and neither did Edward. None of us do"
"That just makes it worse"
"Edward was always looking for reasons to see himself as the bad person. The monster." I said somewhat bitterly. My brother had serious self-esteem issues. "You know how he thinks. Eternally damned and all that."
Finally! The hint of a smile.
"He would have found some way to blame himself no matter whose fault it was."
"As for me," I continued, "I returned. The whole time I was in Italy, I had only three things in mind. Save Edward, keep Bella out of trouble and return to you."
I leaned toward him and gently pressed my lips against his. He responded equally gently.
I broke away and whispered, "So promise me you will stop blaming yourself…"
He sighed and leaned his forehead against mine. "I will."
I smiled though I knew he was just saying that for my benefit. But I knew he would deal with it on his own. I closed my eyes and tried to concentrate on the fact that no one had died and we were all with the people we loved once again. We hadn't discussed this yet but I had a feeling things would go back to normal again. I cheered up at the thought of more quality time with Bella. I loved having her in my life. She was a much better sister to me than Rose and we connected despite our opposite personalities. And the happiness she brought Edward only made me love her that much more. I snuggled into Jasper's embrace and thought of better times ahead.
My body stiffened as sudden pictures flashed through my mind. They were blurred and constantly changing, which meant nothing was decided…
"Alice? Alice!" Jasper's voice shook me out of my vision. "What is it? What did you see?"
My answer was a tortured whisper "Edward…"
"What about him?" Jasper's voice was urgent with worry.
"He's thinking of leaving her again"
Jasper was stunned into silence.
"After all this….?" He couldn't finish his sentence.
"He hasn't decided. He's just thinking it's for her best…" I trailed off.
Suddenly I was angry. This was taking selflessness to another extreme. How dare he simply assume that Bella would be all right without him? He refused to listen to me earlier when I told him leaving her was a bad idea. And it was the worst. According to Charlie, when I came back to Forks, Bella was a lot better. I shuddered remembering how thin she had looked and how there was a dead-ness in her eyes that never left. Like she had given up living and just existed because she must. If that was how she looked when she was 'better' how had she been earlier? How could my usually intelligent brother have deluded himself into believing that Bella would simply move on? He was insane. She may have not jumped off a cliff this time but if he left her again, I didn't need a vision to know for certain that she would willingly kill herself. Could he really not see how much she needed him as much as he needed her? Men! I thought.
I looked at Jasper.
"I think I need to have a word with Edward" I murmured.
"Go", he said. This was why I loved him. He understood the implications of what I said without my having to explain.
I gave him a swift kiss and ran off to Bella's house.
A/N: Sorry to leave a cliff hanger! =)
Just a note on Jasper's personality- I know he is the one Cullen who doesn't show emotions, but that's in Bella's eyes. I personally feel he would show all his insecurities in fronnt of Alice! Ater all she is his soul-mate.
Please, please, please review! I'll post chapter 2 depending on the reviews!