I've been dying to write another brother fic for ages. Word in Italics are either story titles or thoughts. Here we go, hope you guys like it! Reviews are Christmas presents.
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight, I rent.
Jasper was in his study, reading 'The Story of Philosophy' for the tenth time. He was tired. He didn't want to think about the newborns. About how close Alice was to being attacked. About how any member of his family could easily have died. He didn't want to think about the vicious bloodlust of the newborns that he hadn't felt in decades.
He rubbed absentmindedly at the inflamed patch of skin on his arm. Back when he was with Maria, he had been bitten so many times that often he wouldn't even feel a new bite. Jasper clenched his teeth in an effort to stop growling as he felt the venom flowing through his body. He heard small ripping sounds and noticed that he was gripping the book so tight it was tearing. Jasper sighed and closed his eyes. The recent fight refilled his mind with so many memories he tried so hard to lose.
Lost in his reverie, Jasper started. The book fell off his lap and hit the floor with a dull thud. Edward was at the door, his arm poised uncertainly on it as if he were going to knock.
"Sorry. I didn't mean to disturb you."
"No, um... I'm fine," he lied.
"Are you okay?" Edward asked, eyeing Jasper's arm. He was grasping it tightly with his other hand. Jasper quickly withdrew it.
"Yeah, fine." His tone was flat and irritated.
"Has Carlisle checked that out?"
"It's fine. Really." It's not like I haven't had it before.
Edward glanced pitifully at Jasper. Jasper dropped his gaze down to the floor "How's Bella?" he attempted to change the subject.
"She's okay. She's worried about Jacob. But considering things, she's actually holding up pretty well. Alice is with her now."
"That's good... How's Jacob?"
"Carlisle says he'll have to be confined to bedrest for a couple of days, but he's already started healing and joking around, so I won't be surprised if Jacob's up and about later."
"That's good, too."
An uncomfortable silence fell between the two. Ever since what happened at Bella's last birthday, their relationship hadn't quite been the same. Edward told Jasper that he forgave him, but neither of the two really felt comfortable being around each other afterward. They didn't talk to each other after Edward returned from Italy, and both knew the reason why. Jasper was glad that he was alive, but if he hadn't gone, Alice would never have become exposed to the Volturi and to Aro. When Edward had gone to Jasper for advice regarding Victoria and the newborns, it had been handled almost like a business agreement and nothing more. They had never simply talked like they could with Emmett.
Edward fiddled with the cuffs of his jacket, uncomfortable at hearing Jasper's thoughts and Jasper bided his time picking up the book, feeling Edward's discomfort.
"It was a brilliant plan," Edward finally said. "It was kind of cool watching it unfold."
Jasper smirked. "Please thank Bella for smearing her blood on the rocks. The newborns went berserk."
Edward laughed. "She was more than willing to do it."
"None of us predicted Victoria, though. I was so certain that we would get her before she got through to you," Jasper's jaw tightened. He remembered when Maria gave him a small group to get rid of some newborns that had crossed their territory. His miscalculation about their leader had cost him all the newborns that were with him. He was barely alive by the time he got back to Maria, only to be punished by her for his failure. It didn't bother him that he lost the newborns. It bothered him when he thought of the similarities between that situation and the battle he had recently fought.
Edward winced at Jasper's thoughts. "Nobody could have foreseen that. She planned it out perfectly so that not even Alice would see her plan."
Jasper glared out the window. Victoria was dead. She wouldn't come after them again. Yet it bothered him that the one time his family needed his skills as a soldier, he had failed to protect them from harm.
Edward opened his mouth as if to say something, but stopped when he realized that Jasper wasn't look for anymore pity.
Another awkward moment fell upon them. Jasper was so immersed in his thoughts that he had forgotten that Edward was there.
"Listen, Jasper. I wanted to thank you."
"I know that it was difficult for you to... to go back to that part of your life... and I'm thankful to you for doing so. For doing it to help protect Bella. Really, Jasper. Thank you. And Bella is thankful as well."
Jasper nodded. "You're welcome."
Jasper couldn't help the anger that fueled inside of him whenever he remembered what Edward did. Their recent visit from the Volturi only reminded him of how much Aro wanted Alice.
"I was thinking of hunting. Wanna come along?" Jasper could tell Edward was doing his best to ignore his thoughts.
Edward sighed. His guilt turned into frustration. "Look, I'm sorry. I'm sorry for what happened in Italy. I detest Aro wanting Alice just as much as you do. And if you're angry with me about it, then yell at me. Don't sulk and brood like this."
Jasper continued to stare at the floor, slightly taken aback by Edward's growing frustration. "It's alright. Everybody makes mistakes."
Jasper prepared himself for more irritated remarks, for yelling, and even for Edward to storm out. He wasn't prepared when all he felt from Edward was a deep feeling of sadness and loss. For the first time since he entered, Jasper looked into his eyes, and saw that Edward hadn't been trying to pity him or to simply apologize, he was trying to get his brother back. Over the past few months, their close bond had fallen apart. Edward missed Jasper, and Jasper missed him as well.
His anger towards Edward quickly melted away and was replaced by guilt. He was the older brother. He was responsible for caring for him.
"Uhm...," Jasper's voice had gone hoarse. It's alright, Edward. Really. I'm sorry. He smiled.
Jasper sent calming emotions toward Edward, almost like a white flag telling him their argument was over. Edward visibly relaxed and smiled slightly.
Jasper tossed his book aside. "Well, I'm just about finished with that for the tenth time. I don't need to hunt but what do you say to some Halo?" Jasper picked up the controllers to the Xbox and gave a suggestive smile.
"You want to go from one battle straight to the next?"
"Yes," the certainty with which Jasper said it made Edward laugh.
Jasper couldn't help but smile as he prepared the game. He didn't feel this comfortable around Edward in months. "Ed?"
"You would never have this conversation with Emmett, would you?"
Edward laughed. He shook his head silently as they both heard heavy footsteps approaching. Jasper snickered.
"Have my conversation with what?" Emmett eyed the Xbox greedily.
"Nothing, Emmett," Jasper and Edward replied in unison, both completely absorbed in their game.
Emmett knelt down behind the couch until he was level with his brothers. "What? ... I wanna know! Please?" his tone wasn't far from that of a child who couldn't get his favorite toy.
Emmett walked away, grumbling. "I hate you both."
Jasper and Edward laughed, occasionally bumping the other in an effort to sabotage his game.
Jasper would always regret what happened in Italy, but it was Aro who willingly put Alice in danger, not Edward. Edward was his family and after the battle they had, Jasper's protectiveness of his family grew stronger than it had ever been before. He knew that no matter what they did, his love for them was always there.
Edward smiled slightly but kept his eyes on the screen, which was quickly replaced by a scowl when Jasper blew Edward's soldier away.
"Not fair, you distracted me on purpose!"
"I'm just better than you."
Jasper laughed as he realized just how much he missed his little brother.