Bloodlust

Summary: After Jasper tries to attack Bella in the beginning of "New Moon", he wonders how Alice can possibly love him.


Thirst.

Jasper felt lightheaded, dizzy. He stared at the blood that dripped from Bella's slender white finger and couldn't look away, his eyes boring into that one spot as if to blink would make him loose control.

His control was shaky as it was. He felt himself trembling, and he knew that he must look like a madman; his face was growing even paler then usual, his eyes brighter, the skin stretching taunt as he clenched his teeth together. Desperately, he tried to imagine that his feet were concreted to the ground, that no matter how much he wanted the blood, he could not get to it.

Thirst.

Fiery hot pain screamed through his throat, burning away at his insides. The need for relief was so great that tears formed at the corners of his now blazing red eyes. He couldn't hurt Bella. He liked Bella. And he knew how much Edward loved her. She was Alice's best friend, and the last thing he ever wanted to do was hurt Alice.

But these reasonable thoughts had no affect on him, accept for a very distant guilt at what he knew he was about to do. He had no control over it, no power to force himself to turn away. Another powerful and agonizing wave of thirst swept through him, and before he knew it he was launching himself across the room, flying though the air towards that pale, bleeding hand.

He was almost there, his jaw inches away from that dark red elixir, when something shoved the hand away, shoved Bella away, flinging her to the side. Then that same something smashed into him.

Edward.

Of course. He would do anything to protect Bella. Even attack his own brother. For a moment, fierce resentment swelled in him. He punched Edward in the jaw and spun towards Bella once more. She had crashed into a glass table, and a piece of broken glass had sliced her arm. The cut was deep, and blood poured down her arm. Pain was in her eyes, but also shock and fear. It was the fear that brought him to his senses, even as Edward slammed him into the ground once more, snarling dangerously in his ear.

Fear.

She was afraid of him. He remembered the last time people had been afraid of him. Once he had been fierce, and terrible, bringing pain to so many… he had been certain that time had passed. He was calm, now. Gentle. Passive, even. He rarely spoke, and only used his power for good. He was determined to be as inoffensive as possible, and he had been doing a brilliant job. Until today. He closed his eyes. He could not look at Bella. Or at Edward, who he knew would never believe him if he claimed it would never happen again. Most of all, he couldn't look at Alice. The girl he loved so much… how could he betray her like this?

A surge of strength welled up in him and he threw Edward off his back and scrambled to his feet. Before anyone else could attack him, he bolted around Bella and out the door into the brisk night air.

Pain.

He hadn't caused pain in so long. Had forgotten how powerful that look of absolute terror could make him feel. He hated these feelings. Hated feeling like he could do anything, as long as he showed people he would not be messed with. He needed air. However unnecessary, he needed it. He breathed in deeply, gulping down the oxygen like a human who'd been underwater for too long.

"Jasper?"

Jasper whirled around. How could he not have heard Alice come up behind him? He had to have been really distracted not to have heard her leave the house. He sighed and spun away from her again.

"Go away, Alice."

She didn't, just ran up to him before he could walk away, grasping his arm tightly with her pale hands.

"Stop. Jasper, where are you going?"

"Away. Somewhere safe. Away from humans. Damn it, Alice, we knew I wasn't ready for this. We knew."

"You knew. Or thought you did. I knew you could handle it." She argued.

"You thought I could handle it." Their conversation was sounding ridiculous, so he tried to yank his arm from hers. She hung on. "You were wrong, Alice. You saw what I just did. I could have killed her."

She shook her head fiercely, her short black hair whipping around her small face. "We wouldn't have let you. That wasn't your fault, Jasper. It was just a paper cut, just a coincidence. No one could have seen that coming." She gave a small, self-deprecating grimace. "Not even me."

He stopped trying to push her away and stared at her dark, pained eyes. "You think this is your fault?"

She sighed. "No. Not really. I meant what I said - it was just an unfortunate coincidence. It was no one's fault. If you don't blame me for not foreseeing that this would happen, don't blame yourself for acting on an instinct you can't control!"

Her voice was rising with each word until she was shouting at him, determined to make him see reason. "Any one of us could have lost control just as easily at the sight of blood. You're just newer at this, it was not your fault!"

He stared at her for a moment, wishing he could believe her. Wishing that he could just accept what she was saying and let her comfort him, let her convince him that all was well. But it wasn't.

"You don't realize how dangerous I am, Alice." His voice was steady, outwardly calm accept to those who knew him well. Alice could hear the chill in his tone, the almost hidden darkness. "You know how bad I was before. But you never really got it, did you?"

Alice saw it happening, saw him pulling back from her, saw that cruel gleam in his eyes. This was not her Jasper. He was trying to make her afraid of him, so that she would let him leave. But she couldn't break. She had to make him realize how good he really was.

"Jasper, please. Don't do this."

Ignoring her, he said, "You never really realized how dark I could be. How evil. You see me using my powers to make people feel safe. To make people feel happy. Have you ever seen me make people cry?"

Closing his eyes, he sent an invisible stream of emotion towards Alice. She felt it wave over her, horrible misery, a heart breaking loneliness and depression. Somewhere inside her, she knew it wasn't real. She knew she couldn't let Jasper see how much it hurt. But all that was buried under the pain until it seemed inconsequential. She dropped to her knees, tears pouring hot trails down her cheeks.

"How does it feel Alice? Are you happy, now? Do you want me to stay? At any moment, I could snap. I could come back to this, and make you hurt, make you cry. Is that what you want? Do you still want me here?"

She looked up through her tears. Even depressed, even when she felt like nothing could ever be good again, she knew the one emotion that would never fade when it came to Jasper.

"I love you." She whispered.

Jasper closed his eyes again, this time against the pain. He didn't want to hear her say that. He didn't want to see the misery in those beloved eyes. Desperate, he sent another wave of emotion that had her shaking and trembling, her whole body racked with sobs, as if she had lost everything dear to her.

Jasper himself felt tears in his eyes once more as he stared at her. Alice. He loved her so much. Why couldn't she tell him to leave? Tell him that she didn't want him there anymore? That was all it would take. He would leave, and he would force himself to never come back, no matter how much memories of her would haunt him.

Instantly, he made his mind blank. The misery disappeared, and after a moment of shocked silence, Alice rose shakily to her feet.

"Jasper…"

Without warning, he attacked again, sending wave after wave of terrifying, blinding fear. Alice screamed, dropping to the ground once more and scrambling back until her back slammed against a tree. She brought her knees up to her chest, wrapped her arms around herself and tried to make her body as small as possible against the tall tree. Her terror was too real for tears, to real for her to get up and run from whatever she was afraid of. She just sat there, her skin bone white, her eyes round and dark and horrified, like the only survivor of a brutal and life-shattering accident.

Again, it was the fear that jolted Jasper out of his craze.

Fear.

He had so much power. So much control over anyone, or anything. He could make an enemy drop to his knees without even a lift of his finger, just as easily as he could make a friend feel as if nothing could ever go wrong in the world again. After he had met Alice, he hadn't had the opportunity to use his power as a weapon. He'd been gentle, careful, not wanting her to know just how bad he could be.

And now look at what he had gone. He had lost control for one instant, and his own fear that he might hurt someone had lead him to cause the girl he loved unnecessary pain. He looked at the frozen, blank-faced form that huddled next to the tree and felt suddenly, violently sick. He dropped to his knees just as she had, and threw up.

He hadn't thrown up since he was a human! He had been certain it was something that just didn't happen to vampires. But the sickness that he felt wasn't an actual illness. Guilt churned within him, making him feel like a worm.

Finished, he staggered over to the tree and dropped down to Alice's side. He stopped the stream of fear, and replaced it with a stream of warmth and safety. Instantly, she swung her arms around him and began to cry again.

"Oh my God…" He muttered, clutching her tightly. "I'm so sorry Alice… I'm so sorry."

He pulled her onto his lap and began to rock her back and forth, apologizing over and over as he stroked her hair. How could he have done this? At first, he had meant well. He had only wanted to get away from her, from everyone, so that they would be safe. But something had snapped, and he had gone too far. Way too far.

Finally, Alice stopped crying, and stilled in his arms. She pulled her face from his shoulder and looked up into his eyes. Then she pressed a finger over his mouth.

"Stop apologizing." She whispered.

He looked down at her, searching her gaze for the anger he expected. It wasn't there. She looked tired, and was still clearly upset, but she still had that look in her eye, the look that said she loved him…but how could she, after everything?

As if guessing his thoughts, Alice moved her hand to his cheek.

"I love you, Jasper."

He gazed at her in disbelief. "Why?"

She gave a startled laugh. "Why? Because you're beautiful, outside and inside. Because you love me and protect me and make me laugh. Because you make people feel safe when there's danger, and happy when they're depressed, calm when they are nervous. Can't you see how special you are?"

"If I can do all that," He mumbled, "Can't you see that I can make people cry? That I can make them hurt, and fear? Or even that I can make them love when they hate?"

She stared at him. "You think your power makes me love you?"

"It's possible."

"No. It's not. I love you, Jasper. Of my own will, for exactly who you are, good at bad, risk and security. You're everything, Jasper, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Can't you see that?"

He could. He could see that she believed it, with every fibre of her being. That she meant every word she said, and had no doubts. How he wished he could be that certain.

"Jasper. There are always ups and downs. Always times when it seems that it can never work. But we are forever, right? You said once that nothing could ever come between us. 'Nothing' includes you."

He leaned down and kissed her. "I just don't want to hurt you."

"You won't." Then, she smiled. "You think you can take me, Jasper?"

He laughed at the mischievous, challenging look in her eyes. "I doubt it."

She laughed too. "See?" Serious again, she added, "You could hurt me, Jasper. But you wouldn't. You tried today because you wanted to keep me safe. But I'm strong. You can't hurt me anymore then I could hurt you. Do you believe me?"

He smiled, and kissed her again.

"Yes. I love you, Alice."

"I love you too."

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

The end.

I know that people don't really review on oneshots, but I really would like to know what you think! : )