A/N: I wrote this awhile ago for The Countdown. It's AH Alice/Jasper and I love it. There is a bit of a lemon at the end and I'm sorry to say it's not the best thing I've ever written. Part of the deal was that there HAD to be a lemon, and that's just where it fit in best. Enjoy!
March 17th, 1991
St. Patrick's Day in Mrs. Deer's kindergarten class
Alice Brandon sat cradling her head in her tiny hands, as silent tears streamed down her cheeks. In front of her was an eggshell filled with soil, but unlike the rest of the class there were no clovers growing out of hers.
Jasper Hale wondered over to Alice's table with his eggshell and its over-growth of clovers. This made five year old Alice hysterical.
"Why did yours grow and mine didn't?" She wailed.
Jasper leaned over and gave her eggshell a critical eye. He poked a tiny finger into the soil. It was moist, and cold. He pulled his finger out and inspected it closely. Tucked gently in between flecks of soil were sparkly multi-colored dots.
"What's this?" He asked, holding the finger close to Alice's eyes.
Alice gave a cross eyed glance at his finger, "Twinkles. I wanted my clovers to sparkle."
Jasper quirked a tiny eyebrow at the rosy cheeked girl. "I'm not sure it works that way."
"You don't know anything Jasper Hale. It's Patrick's day, and things are supposed to sparkle and be magic." With that, she stood and marched off to the table with the cupcakes and punch.
Jasper knew things. He knew that Alice's favorite cereal was Lucky Charms, but her mom had to go through the whole box and pick out the red balloons. He knew that Alice wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything red, because her mom said it made her hyper.
He also knew that Alice loved red things. So sometimes they would meet in the field behind their houses and he would bring Hawaiian Punch in his Batman thermos and a baggie full of red balloons.
They would feast on red dye, and then they would hold hands and twirl in the grass until their bodies fell to the earth exhausted.
Sometimes she would look up at the sky with that little twinkle in her eye, and she would say, "They really are magically delicious." The red dye made her see stars behind her eyes, and she felt like she could fly.
March 17th, 1996
The field between the Hale's and the Brandon's.
Alice sat cross legged in the tall grass. She brought her index finger to her mouth and began to nibble gently at its nail. It was a habit that her mother despised, but Alice couldn't seem to help it.
"Quit biting your nails, Twink. Your mama's going to have a cow." Jasper's drawl carried slow and heavy over the grass, but she couldn't quite see him yet.
Jasper had started calling Alice "Twinkle" in Kindergarten. He was having trouble making the "s" sound, and the kids sometimes made fun of him. So instead of calling her "Alith" he called her "Twinkle". The nickname stuck with them. It just worked.
Alice withdrew the nail from her mouth, and lay down in the grass. Her head rested in a soft patch of clovers that had grown downy and green with fresh spring rain.
Uneasiness rolled off of Alice in forceful waves.
"What's wrong, Twink?" Jasper asked, sitting down beside her.
The counselor had come in this week to talk to the class about middle school, and then she had divided the girls and the boys and they had gone to separate rooms to have a "talk". Alice was already nervous thinking of middle school and the changes it would bring. The counselor had given her a brand new list of things to worry about. Apparently, her body was getting ready to go through some serious changes. Jasper had been her best friend since forever, but she couldn't talk to him about this. What would he know about periods and boobs?
Jasper reached over and squeezed Alice's shoulder gently. "It's Patty's day, Twink. You can't be sad today."
Alice simply shook her head.
There were times in their friendship when words just didn't do the trick. Sometimes they needed a reminder that this friendship was more than words. Jasper pulled the little baggie out of his pocket.
"Alright, Twink. Close your eyes and open your mouth." The small smile that graced her face told him he was headed in the right direction.
He pulled a tiny marshmallow out of the bag. It was hard and chalky between his fingers. He placed it gently in her mouth, and watched as her features softened. There she was. That was his Twink.
They sat in silence for a short period of time, before Jasper attempted to launch a pot of gold into Alice's mouth and the field erupted in shrieks of laughter.
Once they had consumed each morsel of sugary cereal Alice smiled up at Jasper. "The sugar makes me hungrier."
Jasper looked around the field, and then plucked a few clovers from the ground. He took the very top off of each one, and then gave Alice a cautious look.
"Ok. Sit very still." Jasper took a clover, and licked it. Alice's face squished in disgust, but she didn't move.
Gently, he stuck the tiny clover to her cheek. It was followed by three others, creating a clover shape on her cheek.
"How does this help my hunger?" Alice asked through her lips, careful not to disrupt his creation.
Jasper reached down and pulled another clover out of the patch. He bit the top off, and then gave her a zany smile.
"They taste sort of like pickles."
March 17th, 2001
Train tracks behind a ballet studio.
High school had brought a new set of challenges to Alice and Jasper's friendship. Cars and drivers licenses brought sweet freedom, and busy schedules. The field sat idle and forgotten behind their houses.
Jasper had begun dating Leah in December, and his friendship with Alice had taken a backseat. As they climbed into their cars in the mornings, she'd send him a sweet smile and a little wave. Usually that was enough. It was enough to let him know that even though they barely saw each other, she was still there. She would always be there.
Today was different though. Today he stood balanced on the set of train tracks just behind her dance studio. Alice had taken up dance in middle school as a way to find her place. She fit perfectly in with the dancers. Alice was elegant, and endlessly graceful. For years, they had met in the field behind their houses on this day, but she had practice and she couldn't miss it. He wouldn't let it pass without acknowledgement. It was their day.
He sent a text to her phone asking her to meet him near the tracks after she finished with practice. She had sent back a simple "ok". He was early, and he spent the dwindling minutes pacing the tracks. He worried that the gift was a little too extravagant, but she was his best friend and he wanted her to wear something that reminded her of him.
Without warning Alice flew out of the backdoor of the dance studio, and straight into Jasper. Her arms wrapped around his neck, and her little cheek pressed into the spot that had been made to fit it.
"Happy Patty's day, Jas," she whispered.
He hugged her tightly, relishing in the feeling of the friendship that never let go. "Happy Patty's day, Twink. I, um, I got you something."
Alice eyed him curiously. "We don't do gifts on Patty's day, Jas."
His hand fiddled with the little velvet box in his pocket. "I know, but I saw it and I couldn't help but think of you."
He had been shopping for a gift for Leah. They had been dating for almost three months, and she was insistent that they celebrate their three month anniversary. Jasper had gone out to search for a necklace for her, and ended up finding one for Alice.
She gave him a cheerful smile, and then held her hand out.
Jasper pulled the little box out of his pocket, and fidgeted nervously as she turned it over in her hands. "It's nothing big. I hope you like it. I think I could dig the receipt out of the trash if you want to return it or something."
Alice smacked him playfully on the shoulder and then opened up the box. Inside was a little gold four leaf clover with a star cut out of one of its leaves. It hung on a simple gold chain, and it took her breath away.
"It's perfect. Will you put it on?" She asked, as she gave the box back to him.
He gently lifted her hair, and placed the necklace securely on her neck. She turned, and he loved seeing the necklace around her neck more than he thought he would.
She took his hand, and they walked up and down the tracks until the sun sank into the sky.
March 17th, 2003
The field behind the Hale's and the Brandon's.
In just a little over two months they would be walking across the stage and receiving their high school diplomas. That was the least of Jasper's worries. Over the last year he had begun to notice a shift in his feelings for the pretty girl with the sparkling blue eyes that lived next door to him. His heart had moved from the gentle beat of friendship to the quickened pace of a feeling that he wouldn't name unless she felt it for him, too.
This was the last Saint Patrick's Day that they would spend in this field. Jasper would be attending the University of Texas in Austin, and Alice would be heading off to the University of Washington in Seattle.
Alice came huffing through the tall grass, pink cheeked with anger.
"What's wrong, Twink?"
"Just irritated. Mike Newton took every opportunity to pinch me because I wasn't wearing green today."
Inside, Jasper was fuming. Mike Newton didn't get to touch her. He took a deep breath, and let it out. He needed to stay calm.
"Mike Newton is a juvenile. C'mere, Twink."
Alice scooted into Jasper's arms. "Oh, crap. I'm going to get grass stains on my skirt."
Jasper stood up and gently pulled Alice's hand until she was standing. He laid his blue and green flannel shirt down in the grass, and motioned for her to sit on top of it. As they spoke of plans and futures and graduation, Jasper's long fingers fashioned a loop of clovers and tiny yellow flowers.
Gently, he placed the wreath on top of her hair. "Now you have your green. Happy Patty's day, Twink."
March 17th, 2006
A dive bar in Seattle.
She missed him. She missed him in that way where your stomach hurts, and your body feels shaky with the absence. He was in Austin, and she was in Seattle. Their relationship had taken an odd turn during the last few months of their senior year. Though they had maintained a solid friendship throughout the majority of their lives, the impending separation changed something. It began with sweet stolen kisses on cheeks and foreheads, and ended in warm whispers and bare bodies hidden behind tall grass.
They had managed long distance just fine, but it was their day and she needed him.
Alice was supposed to be out with friends, but it felt so strange not to be in the field with him. She felt out of place, and out of her mind as she wished for him to walk through the door and sweep her up into his arms.
She picked up her phone and dialed the familiar number. Their relationship over the last three years consisted of phone calls and video chats.
"Pick up, Jas," she whispered. Pick up. Pick up. Pick up. Her mind repeated.
"Alice." Just like that her soul settled back into her body. The sound of her name leaving his lips was the prayer her soul needed to rest.
"Happy Patty's Day, Twink."
"Thanks. You, too."
"Did you get the flowers?"
"I did. They were beautiful." That morning, seventeen green roses with sparkling tips were delivered to her apartment. She cried when she saw them, and cried a little more after reading the card. She always knew Jasper was something special.
"So, what are you doing?"
"Drinking and missing you. It's all I seem to be able to do today. What are you doing?"
"I'm sitting in a pub on 6th street, drinking green piss. They keep telling me its beer, but there is just no way."
Alice laughed, but it didn't sound right. "Promise me. Promise me you will be here next year."
"I promise, Twink. I wouldn't miss it for the world."
"I love you," she whispered.
"I love you the most." It would never get old. Two years of sweet declarations and she would never get tired of hearing those words leave his lips.
"'Night, Twink," Jasper said with his twang.
She smiled to herself, because she was incredibly lucky. Alice understood that rainbows didn't exist without the rain, so she would gladly accept it because when those colors took their place in the sky their breath would leave their chests and their souls would find peace.
March 17th, 2010
The ring had been burning a hole in his pocket since the day his mother set it in his hands. He was itching to ask her to spend the rest of her life with him, but he was waiting for the perfect moment.
Time hadn't changed Alice Brandon. She was the same beautiful, graceful, lovely girl she had been since the day he met her. She still believed in silly things like good luck, and pots of gold at the end of rainbows. She still held that twinkle in her eye, and a fire to set the world at peace.
It had been raining for four days straight, and the busy bodied girl was beginning to go stir crazy. The rain had tapered off, and just as Jasper had begun to mix the batter for pancakes Alice decided that they had to go for a drive.
In an unfortunate turn of events, they found themselves in front of the most beautiful rainbow with an empty gas tank and even emptier wallets. The walk to the pay phone was long, but they held hands and she twirled and sang.
When they finally managed to make it home, they were famished. So Jasper shooed Alice off to the shower, and finished up the pancakes from that morning.
When Alice returned from her shower music was playing softly in the background, and there were two sets of pancakes on the table. These weren't just any pancakes. They were rainbow pancakes, and they followed the pattern perfectly.
Alice let out a low whistle when Jasper walked into the room. "ROY G. BIV?"
"If you're gonna do it, you do it right," he said with a smirk.
Alice moved to sit in the chair closest to her, but Jasper cut her off.
"Um, I'm gonna sit there, Twink."
Alice nodded, and moved to the other seat. Jasper was sometimes particular about where he sat.
Jasper watched with cautious eyes, as Alice began to cut into her pancakes. He heard the distinct scrape of metal on metal as her knife met the band.
Alice lifted the stack of pancakes, and dropped it hastily when she realized what was underneath them. She looked up at Jasper with teary eyes, and he began to move towards her.
He took both of her hands in his, and he felt them shake slightly.
"God, I love you. I've been dying to do this for months, but today it feels right. Today I know that life won't lead me anywhere that I won't want you next to me. I look back on my life and I realize that the moments that I was the happiest are the ones I spent with you. I want to spend every single moment of forever with you. Will you marry me?"
She nodded, and then she whispered, "Yes. Always, always, yes."
He scooped her up, and carried her into their bedroom.
Her lips found his, and they fell together onto the bed. It wasn't long before their clothing littered the floor, and he began to realize that this wasn't exactly what he had imagined. He had wanted to make love to her slowly; show her exactly how much he loved her. It was supposed to be sweet, and achingly slow; what began to happen was fiery and powerful. It was like nothing they had ever experienced before, and he couldn't have slowed it down if he tried.
He trailed kisses up and back down her body. Occasionally he would stop and allow his tongue to dart out. She was moving against him, and he couldn't take much more.
"Please. Now." The words left her lips, breathless and wild.
Carefully he wrapped her left leg around his waist and rested her right leg on his shoulder. He pushed in slowly, but slow didn't last very long and his pace quickened. They were both completely out of control. Every emotion they were feeling was being poured into each of their movements.
She didn't need to tell him to go faster or to slow down, harder or softer. In that moment whatever he was doing was exactly what she needed. He listened as moans rushed from her lips, and his hips began to move faster as she began to tighten around him.
"Jas. Oh, Jas." She chanted as her orgasm ripped through her body.
His hips began to move erratically, as he too let go. His body fell limply next to hers on their bed. Their breathing was ragged, and neither of them could speak for the first few minutes.
Alice watched as the diamond ring cast rainbows on the wall, and she smiled. "Happy Patty's Day, Jas."
"You, too, Twink."