The mind reader and the empath.

The passive observer and the subtle influencer.

You'd be hard put to find two boys so different.

Ironically, Edward has always been controlled more by his emotions and Jasper more by his thoughts. Yet Edward's domain is other's thoughts and Jasper's their emotions.

Fate loves irony.

Yet maybe, just maybe, these brothers are not so different as they think.

Both fight to keep hold of themselves, of who they are, in the midst of being overwhelmed by everyone else.

Each struggles to find his own thoughts or emotions amidst the chaos that is his mind.

Both would give so much for a single moment of sweet release when the others are gone, just a single moment to be really and truly alone.

Both can never be alone, though, not even in their own head.

Neither can find this peace.

Both have moments, of course, during which they are grateful for their eccentricities. But these moments, as relieving as they were, were few and far between for these brothers.

Both brothers are brave and, for the sake of their family, do not show how they hurt.

But disguises cannot rid them of the pain.

So they suffer in silence.

Until Edward slips.

--

He thought he was alone. He could have sworn he was alone. He wasn't alone.

The only time he ever allowed himself the emotional release of thinking about it was when he was alone.

Or when he though he was alone.

But somehow, someway, Jasper was there.

He must've been meditating.

Jasper did that sometimes. Made his head completely blank, a very difficult thing to do for a vampire.

No one understood why Jasper did it. He had complete control of his emotions (if not his instincts), and so therefore had no need to calm himself with meditation.

They didn't know that he was hoping that if he could let the fog envelope his mind enough, he could block out the world.

He hadn't succeeded yet, but he felt that he was close. Or perhaps that was just wistful thinking.

What ever else was true, Jasper was in the house when Edward let go of his carefully controlled emotions.

At first Jasper thought the feeling was coming from himself. It felt exactly as he did when he indulged himself in a bit of, not self pity exactly, but a bit of "forbidden emotion," as he had dubbed it.

But Jasper had tight reign over his emotions and he had not set them free.

He probed, grabbing the end of the strand of emotion and following it back to the source. He quickly identified the emotion base of a bit of lonely mixed with endless restlessness, as though he was searching but didn't know what he was searching for, as Edward.

Jasper could identify each and every one of the family by his or her distinctive emotional base.

Of course it was Edward, Jasper realized, coming out of his trance. Who else could ever or would ever feel that way?

Yet, somehow, before the proof was (figuratively, of course) staring him in the eye, Jasper had never guessed that his brother might suffer the same as he.

It was less than a second before Jasper was at his brother's side. Though Jasper was not a mind reader, he knew what Edward's thought was when he saw Jasper. 'Oh #$%.'

"Jasper!" Edward scrambled to pull his emotions back behind their carefully constructed wall, despite the fact that he knew Jasper had already felt them.

Jasper didn't speak. He didn't have to. Edward filled the silence.

"I… That wasn't… I didn't…"

"Edward." Edward shut up. It unnerved Jasper that normally very fluent Edward was unable to find words. "I'm not going to scorn you. I understand."

"You do? How… Oh." He paused. "You too?" Jasper nodded.

"I never guessed, though I suppose it's obvious now." Jasper inclined his head in agreement.

"You are not alone," Jasper said.

"You do realize that means that you are not alone either." Edward knew Jasper so well.

Edward watched Jasper's eyes as he let that sink in. It took him a moment to believe it. Jasper always had been one to do everything alone. He considered it a weakness to ask for help.

"Knock down the wall," Jasper whispered. Edward smiled slightly. Simultaneously, they both knocked down the wall in their mind and let it go.

Both had the same thought at the same time, and were slightly ashamed of it, for it meant appreciating the other's pain.

'It's good to have company.'