A/n: um, in case you haven't read her bio - Stephenie Meyer wouldn't have written this. I thank her, however, for giving me these characters to manipulate to my unawesome delight.
This has been up on my LJ for a while, but I decided to post on FF. I wrote this for Angstgoddess003 as this weird challenge thing we have going. Um, it didn't meet the req's of our little challenge too much, but she liked it, so whatever.
If you like slash, I recommend you check out the TwiSlash blog at Twislash(dot)blogspot(dot)com.
Also, I'll post it over here after some time has passed, but I wrote ANOTHER Jasper/Edward one-shot for the Friday Free for All on Twilighted(dot)net, organized by my fellow peddler in porn, the highlarious ninapolitan. Go read.
The Bees and the Bees
A bee was buzzing overhead.
A girl in the front of the classroom shrieked as it swooped over her head. Mike Newton tried to swat at it. He had his usual degree of dexterity. He missed. The bee zoomed over the top of the class in a wide figure-eight, buzzing and zipping and diving with every ounce of buzzy bumblebee frenzy.
When it came his way, Edward trapped it against the window with his palm.
"You'll sting yourself!" Reese Metzger warned in a damsel-in-distress soprano.
He ignored her. He focused on the gentle vibrations underneath his fingers, the faint tickle of the small bug crawling across his palm. He unlatched the window then, and held out his open palm. After seeming to test the air for a moment, the bee took flight, zooming out into the murk of Forks.
No one said anything. The teacher started lecturing again, and class resumed.
When class was over, he felt a hand on his shoulder. He didn't have to look up to know who it was. His body knew instinctively.
"Thank you," Jasper said.
Edward turned slowly. "Why are you thanking me?" he murmured in a low tone. He wanted to make this moment last, the moment in which he had a reason to be talking to Jasper Whitlock.
"Because," Jasper said, jerking his eyes away from Edward at the same time that he pulled his hand off Edward's shoulder. Jasper scratched at the back of his neck in an awkward manner, like he was trying to make the gesture natural even though they both knew that it couldn't be.
Edward opened his mouth to say something, but no words came out.
Instead Jasper spun on his heel and made for the door.
Edward looked down at his hand, and for the first time, he felt the prick of pain. It would appear that he'd been stung, after all.
Edward had lived in Forks all his life. The small town was a simple place. Not all that much happened, really—and if it did, everyone and their brother, uncle, cousin, and neighbor had the details down to a level that would probably constitute identity theft in any other municipality. When he was younger, he loved it—the sense of community, how his family fit in, how he fit in, but now—Edward hated it.
It began the day Jasper Whitlock and his sister Rosalie came to Forks High School. Both blond haired and blue-eyed, they had both hunkered down at Edward's lunch table on the first day. At first, Edward had barely noticed. He was lost in a new book that his dad's friend had given him, 1776 by David McCullough. Thus, focusing on the new kids was not a priority, and after all, why should he fawn over every random new kid that passed through the small town?
He still noticed them, however. It was impossible not to. Rosalie had taken an immediate interest in Emmett—his linebacker older brother. No surprise there.
And then, Jasper. Edward had expected Jasper to take a fancy to the long line of cleavage that Jessica had so obviously displayed for him—or maybe even Lauren and her ass skirts and tiny waist—but that hadn't been the case. Jasper had looked bored. He had glanced about at the most typical of high school settings and looked like he would rather be anywhere else, but then Jasper had noticed Edward's book—he reached across the table and prodded it with his plastic cafeteria knife.
"Hey there—is that David McCullough?" he'd asked with a slight touch of an accent.
Edward put down his book, adjusting his reading glasses so he could look at the boy across the table.
He wondered later what it was that had done it. Jasper was good-looking, yes. That was certain, but there were other boys that had been good-looking, before, and yet Edward had never had such a reaction before. For when his eyes met Jasper's, some poltergeist seemed to seize hold of his body. He went rigid and uncontrolled. He gaped at Jasper in silence.
Jasper broke the moment by reaching across the table and seizing the book.
"It is," he confirmed, peering down at the cover for only a moment. "1776. I've been meaning to read this one." He patted the cover twice and then reached across the table, holding the book out for Edward. "I'm Jasper Whitlock, by the way." He smiled lazily as he took in Edward's befuddled expression. Oddly enough, he didn't seem remotely surprised by it.
"I'm Edward," he replied in a soft voice. "If you'd like to borrow it…?" He trailed off, before losing his train of thought and fixing his gaze over Jasper's shoulder.
"Sure—whenever you're finished with it." Jasper nodded, but then his face lost his expression as he turned to see his sister with her eyes boring into his. Rosalie's mouth was tight as she gave her brother a disapproving look. "What?" Jasper took a bit off a carrot and chomped down. When she didn't say anything, Jasper shrugged her shoulders and turned away from her.
Rosalie turned to Edward then. "So, Edward—Emmett says you like cars."
Edward assessed her before answering. She was beautiful—cheek bones cut at right angles, luminescent skin, honey-colored hair, and bright blue eyes—dark blue in the outer ring with a sunny yellow around the iris. In fact, she was easily the most beautiful girl ever to come to this high school. At her side, Emmett was lost in raptures, which made Edward blink—not because Emmett wasn't a walking testosterone sack (becausehe was)—but because it dawned on Edward that he hadn't even noticed Rosalie before. He hadn't noticed her beauty, and now that he had noticed, he realized he didn't care. He didn't like her manner: the tight pout of her lips, her hard-edged voice, or the boutique-y scent of her perfume. He did like cars, though—the faster the better, as far as he was concerned, and realizing the topic was the path toward politeness, he finally settled for giving Rosalie a nod.
"You and Emmett should come check out my M3 after school," she offered. She looked down at her plate while she said it, carefully eyeing the various leaves of salad before delicately stabbing a bite-sized piece.
At her side, Emmett put both thumbs up in the air and winked at Edward. Edward smiled back at him, though he could not return his enthusiasm.
The rest of the lunch continued with few words from Edward, but this was because he sat with his nose deep in his book—though he wasn't actually reading, and when the lunch bell rang, he made a bee line for the door. He didn't look up to see where his table companions were headed. He didn't wave goodbye to Emmett like he normally did. He didn't glance at Rosalie. And most importantly, he looked nowhere remotely near the direction of Jasper Whitlock.
Edward kissed Lauren Mallory during a campout party hosted by Mike Newton.
The camp fire had been roaring in the center of the clearing, and the night had been one of s'mores, flannel, and Rummy by the firelight. Edward was an eager participant when Newton rolled out the keg.
It was the first time he really got drunk.
And since he was drunk, all he could do was stare at Jasper. Jasper, who never seemed to say much but was always surrounded by admirers. Jasper, who looked golden in the shadow and drizzle of the camp fire flames. Jasper, whose eyes cast spells upon him with every glance. Jasper, about whom Edward thought as he touched himself in silent of the night.
Edward hatedit. He wanted to make it stop.
He realized later that things could have been very different that night. If Jasper had sat near him, who knows what Edward would have done? But it wasn't Jasper that touched him.
When Lauren had snuggled up against him, he had drawn her closer. He had found the crook of her neck and breathed in there. She smelled like smoke and forest. She smelled like now. She had gasped slightly when he brushed his lips against the soft spot on her ear. They had sat like that for a minute, side by side, and then she had stood. The pace of her breathing was obvious as her frozen breaths seem to form then fade into the night air.
Lauren had grabbed his hand and pulled him toward the dark profile of trees. He had followed with drunken gusto. When they were several yards back along the trail, he had pulled her toward him. He found her mouth and kissed it. A simple kiss. Just lips to lips—no smack, no give and take. Just a touch.
It was Lauren who pushed things. She had forked her hands through his hair and pulled him against her, half-growling as she pushed him back, her lips seeking his bottom lip and then his top lip until his back smacked against a tree and she pressed her body up against his, pulling his right hand down to cup her ass while her tongue edged inside his mouth until it found his.
Her eyes almost broke him—because they did nothing. He felt not an ounce of what he felt when looked at grey eyes.
The guilt was… He felt he owedLauren something. He pulled his mouth away from hers and whispered breathlessly, "Tell me what you want."
She had undone the button on her jeans and pushed them down, then grabbed his hand and pressed it between her legs. The whole event had made Edward shiver. He realized he had no idea what the hell he was doing and yet… well, he would do what he could, so he had continued to kiss her, moving his fingers up and down the fabric, trying to listen to the low sounds she was making so he could figure out what the hell he was supposed to do. And then Lauren had taken her palm and put it over his hand and pressed down with his fingers and moved them in circles and that seemed to help, because then she was getting louder and louder… and Edward pressed harder and faster because that's what his instincts seemed to recommend.
After a few minutes and some very tired fingers, her moans seemed to dwindle and then she pushed his hand away, nuzzling up against him and sighing against his chest.
And then she had gone for his zipper.
He had pushed her hand away.
She looked up at him in surprise.
"Too much beer," he blurted.
She had laughed. She bought his lie.
Edward had pulled them back to the party. He had stayed for only a few minutes longer, just long enough to see something horrible in Jasper's expression. Edward wasn't sure if it was pity or pain or inebriated stupor. But he knew that if he looked for too long, he would lose himself.
So he'd left.
Edward woke up late one morning to the sound of voices downstairs. His could hear his mom in the kitchen, pans clinking, and her laughter echoing up the hall. It was still early—not yet noon. He had slept late, and his stomach growled, and he was hopeful that he might be able to coax something better than cereal out of her if he begged enough.
Edward came down the stairs sleepy-eyed and dressed in a grubby t-shit and boxers. His hair was in full riot. He jerked to a halt when rounded the counter in the kitchen.
Jasper was in the kitchen. He was sitting on a stool at the kitchen island and had a huge smile on his face as he listened to Esme. Both of them turned to look at Edward as he stood there.
"Oh, hey, Jasper," he managed weakly, meanwhile his hand was furiously trying to smooth down his hair.
Jasper nodded at him. His expression was unreadable.
"Rosalie and Jasper brought doughnuts over this morning." His mom beckoned him in, pointing at the open box of pastries on the table.
Edward tripped on his way to the counter. He didn't know how it had happened. There wasn't anything to trip on except smooth tile.
His mom laughed at him, and then shoved a coffee cup into his hands. "Drink this—it'll help," she insisted. "Oh, and get a doughnut." She pointed again—in the direction of Jasper. The doughnuts were right next to Jasper.
"Pull up seat." Jasper patted the stool next to him.
Edward moved forward rather awkwardly, trying to focus on not spilling the coffee down his front. He wasn't normally clumsy. He hated that he was right now.
It seemed like an eon had passed when he finally made it to the island. He set the coffee down carefully on the counter before pulling himself onto the stool. He grabbed the first doughnut his fingers touched.
"Hmmm…." Esme tapped her chin speculatively. "Those two have been out in that garage for quite some time now—I think I'd better go see if they'd like a glass of water. What do you think Jasper?"
"Sure," he replied, and then he made to stand up.
"No, no! Sit right back down!" Esme waved her hands in objection. "Keep Edward company. I'll be right back." And then with a glass of water in each hand, she headed out the door.
Edward was suddenly alone with Jasper. Something he'd wanted, and also something that was currently terrifying him. He bit unthinkingly into the doughnut.
It was a jelly doughnut.
The jelly seemed to erupt out the back end as Edward bit into it, and he tried to catch it with his fingers, but the cherry jelly spilled right through them—out and onto his lap and then down and onto the floor. And Edward yelled an "oh shit!" and dropped the jelly doughnut at the same time that he reached for a napkin—but then Jasper's hand was there, and he had a napkin, but their hands collided and Edward's sticky red fingers brushed against Jasper's clean skin—and Edward said another "oh shit!" and was apologizing while Jasper was shaking his head and refusing his apologies, and then the jelly was just everywhere and Edward was wiping and Jasper was trying to help, and Jasper reached down, and he brushed—he wiped at the red spot on Edward's boxers—and then the other—oh holy motherfucker—Edward prayed he'd think it was just morning wood—
And Edward had jumped back and Jasper had jumped back, too. Edward had mumbled something?"Gottagowashupbadroomnow!"And then he had run up the steps to the upstairs bathroom and closed the door and slumped down to the floor. When his breathing finally steadied, he made himself take a shower. And the lingering stick of jelly doughnut had washed down the drain and away.
He didn't come back downstairs until he saw Jasper and Rosalie drive away an hour later.
The holidays were here. All of his parents' old friends had filled the house.
Edward had been sneaking glances at Alistair all night. He'd known Alistair since he was a kid. Alistair was his father's friend, a former colleague who worked at Seattle General. Edward was staring at Alistair because he'd just realized that Alistair was gay.
It had never simply occurred to him before.
And yet Alistair—funny as hell—his dad's best friend, really—had always spent Christmas parties on the back deck. He would sit on the swinging bench and nurse a whiskey while staring out into the night while the rest of the party goers drank themselves silly and sang off-tune carols inside.
Edward had always been close to Alistair, which made it only more surprising to Edward that he had only just now figured out the Alistair was gay—and also good-looking. He had a wry smile, tragic eyes, and black, curly hair with silver wing tips. He wasn't dressed like a gay man in the movies—he was wearing old jeans and a faded leather jacket and a cream collared shirt underneath, though the clothes fit him well. Edward couldn't help but notice these things.
Edward wondered if he had a boyfriend—if he'd ever had a boyfriend. He'd never brought anyone. Not once. No "friend." When he and Emmett were younger, they had asked Alistair if he was going to get married, too.
"Love is one long sweet dream, and marriage is the alarm clock," he'd quipped.
Edward realized Alistair always did that—someone would ask something personal, and Alistair would make a joke. In spite of this, however, Edward had always felt close to the man. Once you got past his coarseness, he was caring. He always showed up with a new book for Edward to read, and ready conversation to discuss all the books that Edward had read since they'd last met. Edward had once thought that Alistair had read everything.
And hence, it was perhaps because of this feeling—the sense that Alistair who had been his mentor in other aspects of life—that Edward decided to confide in him now. Thus he had sat back on the bench next to Alistair, letting them both swing slightly as the smoky trail of Alistair's cigarette curled back and forth. "I think I'm gay," Edward confessed in a whisper.
Alistair, who'd just taken in another drag, choked on the smoke. After he ceased his coughing, he turned to face Edward. "Yeh sure?" he asked, blinking through the haze of smoke.
Edward had shrugged slightly and then gave a quick nod. He couldn't seem to find his voice now.
"You like someone? Boy at your school?" Alistair nodded to himself before resting his sleeve on the arm of the seat and leaning so that he could rest his temple on his knuckles as he examined Edward's face.
Edward didn't really have control of his face—but he was pretty sure it was the taut jaw and guarded eyes that gave him away.
"Boy at your school," Alistair deduced, and then he exhaled a long puff.
Edward didn't say anything. He brought his legs up onto the bench, squeezing his knees to his chest and resting his chin on top of them.
"Well, if he doesn't like you—don't take it personally," Alistair muttered with no small amount of irascible irony in his voice.
"How would I even ask?"Edward whispered as he fingered the tear at the top of his knees.
Alistair's mouth opened like he was going to say something, but then he swallowed. "Well, you talked to me, didn't you?"
"I've known you forever—and you're—well…"
Alistair rolled his eyes. "Say 'GAY,' Edward," his tone mocked and he moved his hands like he was conducting an orchestra. "GAY. Not a dirty word."
Edward looked down, ashamed. "Sorry."
Alistair took a really long drag on his cigarette. "Tis alright." He waved his hand dismissively. "And besides, I'm not really the best person to talk to about this, you know?"
Edward raised his head and frowned at Alistair. "Why would that be?"
"Because my dear boy—the man in front of you is a genuine coward."
"I'm here alone, aren't I?"
Edward felt like he should say something, but he had no idea how to respond.
Alistair smiled weakly at him. "Love is the same in any relationship—it takes courage, and it's scary," he whispered. And then, so low that Edward could barely hear, Alistair said, "But it is wonderful…"
It was on the next day at school that Edward caught the bee.
And that Jasper's words—or lack of words—left a stinging hole.
As Edward walked out to his car in the parking lot, he thought of the small honey bee—the one that had stung him. It would be dead now. The loss of its stinger equaling its certain end. Suicide in its own self-defense.
Useless, Edward thought. Whatever Alistair might say, sometimes courage could kill just as easily cowardice.
Only in epics did heroes always prevail.
His mom and dad had taken a ski trip, and Emmett had decided to throw a party while they were out. Edward had locked himself in his bedroom, feigning illness—he really didn't want to risk drinking again—and even more so, he didn't want to have to tolerate the presence of Lauren Mallory while sober.
He knew he'd hurt her after the camp fire incident. "I was drunk—and I… need to focus on school" weren't the nicest words to hear. But he had decided to be honest… Sort of.
He started when he heard the knock on the door. He thought about ignoring it at first, but there was something about the knock—not expectant or insistent. Just a polite knock. Edward unlocked and opened the door.
Jasper was standing there, looking ill-composed for Jasper. He had a beer in each hand. Jasper glanced down at them as he spoke. "These were the last two—Emmett said you were sick—but I thought I'd see if you—if you wanted it—the beer—I mean." Jasper held the bottles out to him.
Edward didn't take them. "Come in," he said, holding the door wide open and stepping back.
Jasper came into his room without another word. He set the beers down on the end table and then sat down into the cushions on Edward's sofa. It was an old, black leather sofa. Edward had inherited it from Alistair. Edward closed the door. He locked it. He wondered if Jasper noticed that he'd locked it—if Jasper would think anything of it. And then Edward went to grab a beer. Liquid courage. He picked up the bottle and just stared. "Oh, I don't have a bottle opener up here," he muttered, spinning the bottle in his hand.
"I have one." Jasper sat up and reached into his back pocket to pull out a set of two keys—and a small bottle opener. Jasper's shirt rode up as he slumped back again, and Edward could see a small triangle of Jasper's warm torso. Jasper handed the bottle opener to Edward.
Edward was just about to open his bottle when Jasper proceeded to blurt out, "I'm sorry."
Edward blinked at him.
"I'm sorry," Jasper repeated, looking at him and then looking away, before looking back.
Edward's brow furrowed. "Why would you be...?" Edward looked into Jasper's eyes and he understood. "Oh—Oh." Jasper knew. Jasper knew that Edward—liked—him. But Jasper didn't want him. Jasper knew—he'd seen him lock the door—he'd seen his pathetic optimism and his googly-eyed stares. I'msorrybecause you're an obvious little gay boy—and no—SORRY—not interested. Sorry. Jasper had said "sorry" so simply. But the pain Edward felt—the shame—was indefinable. This was how it felt to be rejected. And for all of that, Jasper was being honest and trying to let him down easily. Like Edward had with Lauren.
"You have nothing to be sorry for," Edward muttered, staring red-faced down at his beer bottle.
Jasper coughed in surprise. "Groping you? I shouldn't be sorry for that?"
Edward looked up at him in confusion. "That was my stupidity—I made a fucking mess—you were trying to—" Edward's tongue kept tripping on itself.
"I would not be apologizing if it was just an… accident," Jasper groaned, covering his face with his hands.
It took a moment for Edward's brain to process the words, and then he jerked in reflex, and the bottle—which it would seem that he had opened at some point during their exchange of words—shot out beer. On to the wall. Down Edward's arm and onto the sofa. And all over Jasper, on his cheek, on his hand—splattered across the front of his shirt.
It was madness. Surreal and sublime—and Edward felt himself move. He pushed himself forward, over Jasper—his faces just inches from Jasper's. There was still a touch of doubt in his brain—that he was somehow incapable of truly interpreting sound or syntax, and yet there was no stopping him. Edward could see a single golden drop on Jasper's cheek. He leaned forward and licked it.
Jasper was staring back at him, grey eyes mysterious and lost. But then his hands—which had been bracing his body by pressing back against the black leather—let go and grabbed Edward, digging into Edward's hip bones and ass, pulling him close, and then Edward's head was thrown back with no small amount of shameless wonder as Jasper found a trail of amber liquid pooled in the gully in the corner of Edward's neck. He started there with a simple lick and began to draw his tongue upward, over Adam's apple, along the base of the throat, and they both groaned when Jasper's tongue found his way around the edge of Edward's jaw, and Edward's fingers flew to the back of Jasper's neck and grabbed and pulled and their chins scraped as Jasper's tongue found Edward's bottom lip and then Edward's mouth opened ever so slightly searching about Jasper's top lip and then the tingle and flustered surprise of Jasper's tongue touching the inner edge of Edward's mouth. And Edward shook and tightened himself against Jasper—and Jasper's hands slid under the edge of Edward's shirt. And then Edward could feel that he was rock hard and Jasper was tooand their breathing was furious and relieved and their mouths so wet and soft and full of delirious motion.
Jasper had to wrench his mouth away from Edward's with a gasp, but then in a voice that was low and husky and potently sexy, he gasped, "You're covered in beer." Edward dumbly agreed. And then Jasper pulled up on the edges of Edward's shirt—and Edward raised his arms in the air, and Jasper pulled, and then Edward was bare-chested and wanted Jasper to be as well, so he pulled on the sleeves of the over shirt that Jasper was wearing and pushed it back onto the couch and then Jasper was wearing an undershirt which he tore off with haste, and then Edward pulled Jasper against him, lips finding lips by licking and texture and shape. And the coolness of the room disappeared as the heat of their skin diffused into the non-space between them—and Edward was lost in the sensation of it all—the blurred reflection of his own eyes in grey ones, the slick torrid sucking and the rough catch of tongue on teeth, skin and hair and soft spots and hard lengths.
And the motion of tongues and groping of hands had a rhythm to it, a rhythm that seemed to translate into grinding and rocking as they moved without thought—and then the sensations below overcame the delicious connection above and they just gripped each other, Jasper moving Edward back and forth and Edward pushing with an extra thrust when Jasper pulled him close, jeans rubbing and groans erupting. And their mouths were separated but brushed softly every time they felt the friction and Edward's hands were gripping Jasper's biceps and Jasper was gritting his teeth, and Edward saw Jasper's eyes go stormy in the moment pulling at Edward with less force, and so Edward kissed him and ground and pressed and then Edward let his head slump over Jasper's shoulder, holding him close and feeling the tingle of perspiration and the gentle fading of their breathing.
Jasper muttered something that Edward couldn't make out.
"What was that?" he breathed against Jasper's shoulder.
Jasper laughed lightly and then pulled on Edward's jaw so that he could look at him. Edward moved to kiss him, but Jasper put his fingers on Edward's lips to stop.
"I said I changed my mind. I am not sorry."
Edward smiled back at him, and then kissed him again.