Disclaimer: Don't own Twilight.
O.k. so i had such an amazing response to 'keep you forever' i decided to turn it into a series of Carlisle/Alice one shots, one for each book.
This takes place in New Moon after the Cullen's leave Forks. Hope you enjoy.
I was on my way home from Cornell after another night lecturing.
As I pulled into the driveway of our new house I noticed Alice slip into the surrounding trees.
I let the engine idle as I slowed the car.
I knew Alice could take care of herself, but something didn't add up she'd only hunted yesterday.
I killed the engine with a sigh.
I couldn't shake my concern, Alice had been unusually quiet since we'd left Forks and I hadn't been able to take the time to make sure she was alright.
Following her scent I tracked her down to a small woodland pool where she was sitting dangling her feet in the water.
"You've lived a long life Carlisle, do you have many regrets?"
I knew she would have seen me coming but I had excepted some sort of greeting.
Blinking I tried to by myself some time to answer by settling on the ground next to her.
"I'm not sure if I'd call them regrets Alice, but I definitely have doubts about certain things I've done."
She bit her lip.
"Do you ever doubt letting us join the family?"
I glanced over at her sharply.
"No never. Why would you think that?"
She sighed as though she didn't believe me, with one look I knew what she was thinking.
"Alice I have never had one doubt about you or Jasper being a part of my family and I certainly don't blame Jasper for what happened in Forks."
Her shoulders slumped.
"Of course not it's my fault.
I was the one who insisted on a birthday party, I wanted her to unwrap the presents. I should have known something would go wrong, I should have been watching for something, I should…"
I grabbed her shoulders forcing her to look at me.
"It's not your fault, it is no ones fault. Sometimes these things happen and there really is nothing anyone can do."
She leant into me and I wrapped her in my arms.
"I don't know what to do Carlisle." she admitted in a small voice "I don't know how to help him."
Hugging her tighter I had to be honest "Neither do I."
She looked at me and I saw just how much all of this had taken out of her.
"He feels so guilty all the time and nothing I do or say helps.
I love him so much and I don't know what to do!"
It was so unusual for Alice and Jasper to open up about their feelings for each other I wasn't sure how to react, I simply pulled her back into my arms.
"I don't know what to tell you Alice, I think he just needs time. Just keep letting him know you're there, that you're not going to leave him and in time he'll be okay."
"What about Edward? You think he'll ever forgive me?"
I sighed sadly thinking about Edward.
"He never blamed you Alice, he blamed himself."
"I still get visions of her you know." she admitted a little guiltily.
"Alice, Edward asked you not to look." I reproached her.
"I can't help it." she defended "I don't look, but I'm attuned to her now, sometimes stuff slips through."
She sighed heavily "She's not doing so well."
"Alice." I warned, I knew her well enough to guess what she was thinking.
"I know, I know. But she's my best friend and it wasn't my choice to leave." her voice got stronger as anger spiked before she seemed to deflate again.
"But Edward's my brother and I promised him I'd steer clear and I will.
I jut feel so helpless, I'm stuck here and I can't help anyone!"
I could feel her frustration as she shook slightly in my embrace and my own helplessness at the situation seemed to increase.
"I know Alice, trust me I know."
Her arms tightened around me as she tried to offer her comfort.
We stayed silent for a while simply enjoying the comfort the other provided, but I couldn't let go of my concern over Alice's questions.
"Do you really think I'd regret letting you be a part of our family Alice?"
"I just wondered." she said in a small voice "I mean I never really gave you much choice!"
I chuckled slightly "Yes I remember."
Alice's giggles soothed me, she hadn't laughed in months.
"You never blame Jasper when he…struggles?"
I shook my head.
"I never blame anyone Alice, I know you don't believe it but I do know what it's like to struggle."
Sometimes my family think to highly of me.
But this line of questioning had me slightly worried.
"Do you blame him?" I asked softly.
Alice pulled back a shocked look on her face.
"Of course not! I know how hard he tries and how much he suffers. I know he pushes himself for my sake going to school and stuff." she sighed "He just always feels like he's letting you down and I just wondered, you know, if you thought he was."
"I see how hard he tries as well Alice and I can promise you I will never judge him or be disappointed in him. I'm proud to call him my son and I'm glad both of you are with us." I said with open honesty.
"I regret it sometimes you know." she bit her lip and refused to meet my eye.
I tried to stay calm as my heart seemed to constrict painfully.
She sighed heavily "I suppose you're right it's more doubts than regrets.
It's just sometimes he's so…depressed I can't help wondering if maybe things would have been easier if we were on our own , for you as well."
Swallowing she finally looked up at me. "I wouldn't change anything though, I know we're better off here.
It's just hard sometimes."
I nodded, the whirlwind of emotions making it impossible to speak.
"I'm sorry Carlisle, I didn't mean I regret finding you." she began to babble, worried she'd upset me.
"It's alright Alice." my voice sounded weak.
I pulled her back into my arms again.
"I can understand that Alice, it's hard for me sometimes too.
You and Jasper are connected in such a deep way I can see when one of you is hurting it affects the other so strongly and it hurts me because I know I can't help."
I paused for a second thinking how best to phrase what I wanted to say.
"You wont loose us Carlisle, we're not going to leave I promise."
The pain in my chest lessoned at her words, I couldn't loose anyone else.
First Bella, then Edward leaving.
My arms tightened instinctively around Alice, I couldn't let her go.
"I'm sorry Carlisle I didn't mean to upset you." the remorse in her voice was obvious.
I kissed the top of her head.
"It's fine Alice I'm just glad you can talk to me when you're hurting, it makes me feel useful."
She gave me a reproachful look.
"Carlisle you're the best doctor in the world, you're always going to be useful."
"Alice I can save a million people, it means nothing in comparison if I can't help one of my children when they're hurting."
She smiled softly and kissed my cheek.
"You've helped me, you always help me. And I know you always will."
With those words I felt lighter than I had in months.
I glanced down at Alice who was gazing out over the water.
How could she possibly think I'd regret letting her into my family?
Even when she was upset she could somehow make me feel everything would be alright.
And in that moment, despite everything that had happened, I truly believed it would be.