A/N : All disclaimer regarding original characters applies. So anyway, here is the deleted scene from Jasper's birthday. It is solely Carlisle's POV because I love me some dad and son moment.


Gift

Carlisle POV

"Love, why don't you take the couch and get some shut eye?" I said to her softly as I pulled her up from the chair and guided her bodily towards the piece of furniture in the semi darkened surrounding of Jasper's room. The kids had finally left and returned to the apartment, it was 11 and the evening was had winded down.

"Mmm...in a moment..let's just stay like this for a bit…" She murmured into my chest, melding her body to mine, if that was possible. Her elegant digits were pressing ever so gently onto the skin of my back, massaging me, pushing at stress points I didn't even know existed until her fingers were there, releasing them. I fought the urge to groan against the wonderful treatment. Instead, I let my own fingers roam the expanse of her back, and my head to fall down and relax atop her head. We swayed wordlessly to the silent music that was seemingly dancing and traipsing the air around us this holy night.

"This evening was good wasn't it?" She asked softly, her left hand skating across my chest to rest on my right shoulder. I covered her hand with mine and hummed my answer. Despite my earlier worries, she was right, this evening had been good. To be honest, this was the best day I'd had, feeling wise, since the day Jasper seized for the second time and they discovered the clot in his brain. I was more than just grateful for this small mercy, this respite.

The days prior hadn't been easy. If only because I was dreading this evening's outcome. Knowing the merriment and joy that had always accompanied today's double celebration years past and not knowing how, if – my sons, my wife, I – would be able to go through it this time around with our hearts intact. Today we would have been treated to his cheerful laughter all day and all evening. Today he'd have been all bouncy and excited; his cheerful mood would have blessed the evening and infected everyone. 18 years we had celebrated his birthday after every Christmas dinner. That should have been the case. It would have been the case…

"Honey… don't dwell in it," I heard Esme's soft urging, as if she'd read my mind.

"I'm sorry.. I just got distracted…" I murmured apologetically and managed a smile, despite my watery eyes.

I felt her sigh into my chest. Was she sad? Resigned? I wasn't sure. I buried my nose in her hair, letting her scent distract me from the sad thoughts piling back into my head.

"I expected today would be hard for everyone … but it's funny, I haven't felt this lighthearted in days."

I caught her upward gaze and felt a small smile curling on my lips again. My eyes answering her, sharing her sentiment.

"It feels as though he's with us…doing what he does best this time of the year.. you know what I mean?"

I nodded and squeezed her hand slightly.

"I know...I told Edward the same thing this evening… it does feel like it."

She laughed suddenly.

"That boy… you never know if he's 22 or 5 when it comes to his presents…he always gets so excited…remember last year?"

I chuckled at the memory. I had bought him a NIKON D3 camera and lens set – something I knew from his brothers he'd been eyeing for quite a while but being a student with limited income – it was just way over his budget. While he had been passionate about writing for ages, he recently became engrossed with photography again and had been experimenting and teaching himself the finer techniques of shot taking. I had always tried to support the boys in expanding their creative talents and photography was definitely one of Jasper's. Just as good as he was at emoting feelings; I found that he had an eye for capturing them on people's faces as well. I could easily see him carving a career out of it if he chose to. I laughed just remembering how huge his eyes had gone when he realized what his present was. From the initial exclamation to the boyish laugh and then finally the jig he did in front of all of us. Esme was right – he didn't seem at all his age considering all that reaction from him. He was so chuffed that he almost knocked me to the ground when he mauled me for a hug.

"Thanks dad. It's awesome. I promise I'll take good care of it.."

Here I thought crying was a woman's thing.

I should have known better than to dwell on memories, even if they were happy ones.

I found myself struggling for air even as the burden of sorrow hit me.

There goes the good day….

"Carlisle…."

She sounded like a siren calling a sailor to his death against rocky shores then. The longing – the ache in my chest bloomed even as my lips trembled and whispered them out without permission.

"I miss hearing his voice Esme… I miss hearing his laughter tonight – we should have been hearing him laugh and joke today... I miss seeing those blue eyes staring back at me when I talk to him....I just……I just.."

"Ohh sweetheart..."

"God... I miss hearing him so much that it hurts…"

"Let it out honey…let it out…"

I wept it out. All that pain and longing, I wept it out silently, while she, my angel of a wife, held me tightly in her embrace, her tears falling even as mine did. The pain increased in not so minuscule an amount when I turned and glanced over to the bed and saw our son, lying – still as a statue, as he had been for the last 1 month and some. Cut off from the world, from everybody – from us.

I just...I wanted my son back. I just wanted my boy back.

I needed him back with us.

************

She left me alone to sit up with Jasper. Bless my wife for her intuitiveness. She probably thought I needed this. She was usually right.

"Happy birthday son…you made it.. you're 23.." I smiled and traced the invisible patterns along his arm for the hundredth time.

"You'll be happy to know that the girls have spoiled you rotten with presents this year…It'll probably take you a whole week to open everything.."

I didn't know why I decided to talk, rehash old memories and just ramble, but once I started, I couldn't stop. It was cathartic – the words slipping out of my tongue, the chuckle here and there when a funny memory drew them out of me, my fingers running up and down his arm just the way he loved it when he was small.

(Flashbacks)

***********

He was 6 at the time, and was sick in bed with fever. I got an early off time from the hospital having just spent a gruelling back to back long shift from the weekend and was looking forward to just chill in and sleep the tiredness away. I found him tossing and turning in bed, restless and unable to sleep from the fever.

I ended up carrying him downstairs to the lounge. I was tired as hell, but never too tired to have a chat with my son. He asked me about work and we chatted about all sorts of random stuff his restless mind could think of. He was a bright kid.

"You're an angel daddy.."

I looked at his medicine lidded eyes curiously and wondered for a second what he was mumbling about. I could sense he was about to fall asleep soon.

"Why do you say that?" I asked softly, running my fingers down his arm absently.

"Well…Mrs. Cope says that people who help other people are angels… you're a doctor and you always help sick people get better… and you work really hard…and you never complain.."

"So…I'm angel then? Cause of that?" I asked softly, grinning at the simplicity and innocence of his mind.

"Yeah… but then," he pursed his tiny mouth for a second, as if trying to remember something.

"I always knew you and mommy were… since the day I saw you.." he murmured dreamily and snuggled further into my hold, sleep finally claiming him. The smile on my face grew exponentially wider at his little admission. The sincere words a balm that soothed my tired bones. I ran my hand over his forehead, swiping the curls away from his still too warm skin and settled myself comfortably in the couch – knowing it would be a long, restful afternoon for the both of us.

*********

"I'm sorry daddy…I... Owww… that hurts!" He yelped as I wrapped the bandage around the makeshift splint over his hand and wrist.

"Well that's what happens when you don't listen to mommy and dance on a stool.." I chided firmly, all the while trying to hide my own emotion at his pain. I got a tad angry with him when Edward finally told us this evening that he thought Jasper might've have hurt himself this afternoon because he'd been cooped up in his room all day after having fallen from the stool. The boys knew I didn't condone hiding truths and lying – even if it was by omission.

"Sorry….I won't be punished still will I?" He started, trying to wrangle out a deal. Cunning little boy.

"Daddy??" He whispered cautiously, peering into my face from under his long dark lashes. I caught his peering glance from the corner of my eyes and pretended to focus on the bandage still. At my silence, he tried another angle.

"Wow…you're good daddy..you're the best… it doesn't even hurt anymore..." Smooth talker. I almost rolled my eyes, and wondered where in the world did a 9 year old learn such trick already. Then Emmett crossed my mind. I should have known.

I tried to look stern but it was impossible. I felt his tiny body relax the moment he caught my traitorous grin. I snorted, but the smirk on my face stayed.

"Hah... don't think I don't know what you're doing boy.."

It was pointless. He knew he was off the hook even though punishing him was the least of my concern then. He'd been in pain for nearly half the day and it hurt to know that I wasn't able to prevent it. I saw the mischievous glint appear in his huge blue eyes again – proof that he had been caught trying to smooth talk me. Seconds later, his entire body all but shook as he laughed shamelessly at being caught. My heart was soothed. The pain he felt from his from his broken wrist was forgotten for a moment.

*********

"Can you tell me why you have an F on this paper Jasper?" I looked at him questioningly.

"Plagiarism.." He mumbled the word so softly, I nearly missed it.

"What was that?"

"Plagiarism…" He repeated, a little louder. I could have sworn his head hung just a little lower than where it was two seconds ago.

I was shocked when Esme told me that he'd been given an F for one of his papers – history for that matter, a subject I thought he loved. Since he started school, that was 11 years ago – this was the first time he'd ever been given an F for a subject. We believed in nipping out the problem at the roots so naturally Esme thought we should not let this one slide, just in case there was a bigger issue at hand that we needed to be prepared with. Girls. Drugs. Peer pressure. He was 14 after all.

"I thought you liked history.."

"I do…just…"

"You know plagiarism is a serious offence…you're better than that son.." I sighed then when I saw his head hang even lower. The last thing I wanted was give him a complex about himself.

"So..what have you got to say for yourself then? Or have you no excuse at all?" I started again. Just because I was giving him a chance to explain himself, it didn't mean I condoned his action.

He grinned. I raised an eyebrow at him, hoping he knew that it was a warning.

"Okay.. I know it's probably the wrong way to teach the old man..but something needed to be done… You know I love the subject..but he was ruining it for me..for everyone…"

"He's the teacher…he should be teaching us, not regurgitate the lesson word for word from the textbook…we can all read… and we still have to copy it from the board?? If anyone should be punished for Plagiarism it should be him first…I was trying to make a point.. and I did… I actually got a C at first.."

I looked at the paper again and sure enough I saw the outline of a C behind the F.

"Why did he change it to an F?"

"I might've told him what I thought..."

"You gave him lip you mean.."

He smirked.

"And what exactly did you say to him that he found it worthy to change your C to and F? I prompted, forcing another sigh back. The joys of being a dad.

"I told him he should really spend a little more time at the library reading and doing research before his classes…so we didn't all die of boredom from having to rewrite the textbook..."

"Jasper…" I hissed, the sigh finally escaping me.

"Here…..see for yourself and tell me I'm not right.." He showed me his textbook and his notes.

"This still doesn't excuse what you did.."

"I'm not contesting that… but this wise man told me a long time ago that I gotta lead by example…I was, in a manner of speaking…" he grinned. I, was that wise man. I groaned.

He knew he'd won me on the argument. The smile on his face told me so. I ended up meeting with the principal and telling him my piece of mind the next week.

*********

"Jasper..I'm sorry son… You know I don't mean to hurt you.."

He was quiet. 10 days he hadn't spoken a word to me. 10 days since I threw him into this place. 6 days since he tried…

His silence killed me. I felt as though I had failed him. I was supposed to protect my child from this sort of shit and if I had been more prying, looked closer, hadn't been too involved with work…

How could someone do that? Hurt my son like this? It was plain and simple abuse.

Another week flew by before he finally ended my punishment.

"I thought..I don't know what I thought…I'm so stupid…I thought she loved me.."

"Hurting you like that is not love Jasper!" I almost lashed out in anger. He was almost 17. Surely he knew better?

"I know okay! I know…. She just used me okay?! Are you happy that I acknowledge that?!" His eyes flashed angrily and despairingly at me. He was lost. He was hurting. I shouldn't remind him of it any more than he already was.

"But…I still …loved her..okay? I still cared for her, and I wanted to help her… she said she needed me…"

I gripped the handle of the chair tightly, my rage for that white trash of a girl was beyond anything I had ever felt for anyone. She used my son's kindness of soul to maim him. Hurt him!

"Why did she do that to me dad? Is it because I'm a bad seed? Is that why my real parents left me too?"

"Jasper no..you're a good person okay? This is not your fault.. sometimes.. bad things happen to good people, it doesn't mean you deserve it!"

The haunting look in his eyes told me he didn't quite believe it. It made me hate this Maria person even more.

I could see from the way his jaw was clenching, he was trying hard not to cry. I wanted so much then to embrace him and tell him that he could, and that he should cry and I would be there for him. As I had always been. But there were no more tears from him that day. Instead I saw my son shut himself, lock his heart away and threw the keys. I lost the little sunny boy we found in Texas that day.

**********

"Happy Christmas daddy!"

"What is this huh?" I wiggled my eyebrows at him as I shook the content of the haphazardly wrapped parcel my recently turned 6 year old had just handed me.

"Open it! Open it!"

I tore the wrapper with extra flourish and enthusiasm. The boys loved it when I did that and who was I to turn them down?

"Oh wow…"

"Do you like it?"

It was a hand painted mug with stick figure drawings in brilliant colors. One of those DIY craft projects Esme had gotten for all of them from the craft market. I had already gotten a paperweight/pen holder from Emmett.

"Best... daddy…in … the world…" I muttered as I slowly read the childish writing around the mug, before looking back at a patiently expectant blue eyed wonder, waiting for my final seal of approval.

"Now this is just the mug I need for coffee right now…. don't you think so mom?"

He squealed even as I wrapped one arm around his tiny waist and pulled him in for a hug and a tickle.

"I love you son..thank you..it's awesome."

"Love you too daddy…"

( end flashback)

*********

It was close to 2 a.m. before my eyes finally started bailing on me. Had it been 2 hours already? I must have talked shit loads.

I shrugged the kink forming between my blades from hunching over the seat for so long and stood up to stretch my legs and back.

A sigh escaped my lips tiredly as I glanced down on his sleeping form. The small rise and fall of his chest barely noticeable in the soft light provided by the overhead reading light above his bed.

If you could give me one gift this year son.. it'll be you waking up. That's all I'm asking for.

The tell tale tears had unwittingly made their entrance again but I managed to sniff them back before any of them escaped. Leaning over, I planted a kiss on his forehead – the way I usually kissed them goodnight years ago when they were still kids, before settling back down on the chair to get some much needed shut eye.

I didn't notice he'd been groaning to awareness until his hand jerked slightly in my grip.

I almost jumped from the seat when I heard his raspy voice cutting the silence of the morning.

"Jasper?"

I was almost too afraid to hope that it was real and not just a figment of my tired mind.

I stopped breathing just to minimize noise so I'd be able to discern if he made any more audible groans to indicate he was waking.

"Jasper?" I whispered again.

Time trickled slowly then as I watched with swelling gratitude his eyelids flickering open before my eyes. I leaned closer, hovering above his face. My chest very nearly exploded when I saw the familiar blue pan and then slowly focus on me.

"D..ad…."

It was barely a rasp. It sounded more like a gurgle than a word. But it was enough. God it was enough.

"… welcome back son…." I uttered, even as I cupped the side of his face tenderly.

He smiled weakly and the festering wound in my heart closed, healed at the sight. I barely managed to gasp a breath in before the tears of gratitude broke through the barricades and ran streams down my face again.

My gift.

My son was awake. He was awake!


A/N: So????