A/N: Hi all! This is the final chapter of Our Dark Angel, in which we find out just what Edward's choice could mean for the family. Still more J/R here, but a little J/Ed thrown in for the sake of finishing the chapter. I sincerely hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, and if not, fake it to protect my ego ;) Reviews are appreciated A LOT, and constructive critisisms are welcome, so please please please let me know what you think! Goodbye for now, but I'm sure I will post something twilight-related somewhere in the near future, provided my creative brain isn't too fried from school.
Disclaimer: Not even a little bit.
Carlisle was not happy.
Jasper could feel his father's attempts to keep calm, but his disbelief at the situation was hard to control, and he listened intently for his conversation with Edward upstairs. There was no doubting everyone's ability to hear them, but Carlisle preferred even a semblance of privacy when he spoke with his children, especially concerning something as important as this. The only thing that prevented Jasper from keeping up with the conversation was his brother's ability, meaning they only heard one side of the exchange as Edward read Carlisle's mind for his reply.
Jasper was sitting with Esme in the lounge room downstairs, her head resting on his shoulder as he fed her calm and reassurance. Like Rosalie, Esme preferred to stay in one place, and while he too was sorry for their impending move, Jasper was simply happy that he was not the one causing their departure this time. He loved his mother completely, and tried to ease her pain as much as possible as he watched his wife and brother.
Alice had planted herself across the room next to Emmett, who was fidgeting nervously as they listened. She had a comforting hand on his arm, both because of their situation, and the disappearance of his wife.
As soon as the school bell had rung that day, Rosalie had fled on foot and none of the family had heard from her since. Jasper could feel Emmett's concern, despite knowing that she could look after herself, but noted his efforts to keep his attention on Carlisle and Edward. It wasn't often that Emmett let his emotions get to him, but with the driving day they had just endured, he was struggling to stay positive.
"But Carlisle, surely you-"
Jasper felt his frustration grow at this, and soon heard Edward mutter "I'm sorry for interrupting…please continue."
As he continued to eavesdrop on the one-sided conversation happening above, Jasper also noticed how nervous Edward had become. He could be heard bouncing his foot as Carlisle paced in his office, anxiously listening to his father's thoughts. Something he thought must have been particularly austere, as Edward began to exude shame. His foot stopped bouncing immediately, and Jasper was sure that his brother finally understood the severity of his actions.
"I don't need you to tell me that," Edward said loudly, obviously directed at him. It was moments like this that Jasper wondered how many minds Edward could focus on at once. He himself could consciously read and manipulate many at one time, once influencing the entire newborn army in the South for days at a time, and so Jasper had always been curious as to his siblings limitations. He did not like to question Edward about his ability, just as Edward refrained from commenting on his, though he was sure that his brother needs only pay attention enough to his thoughts to understand just how it worked.
"I understand, Carlisle. I know that I have done something terrible for our family, but I assure you that we can trust her."
Jasper heard a snort from behind, and turned to find Rosalie standing in the doorway. She smelled strongly of pine trees, as if she had sat in one for a long period of time, which was highly plausible considering the time since they had seen her. Darkness had not long fallen when Carlisle called Edward upstairs, and now as the first stars could be seen clearly in the sky, Rosalie entered the house and looked around curiously.
"Why haven't we started packing?" she asked in a quiet voice, aware of the activity upstairs, and moved to sit on Emmett's lap just as Edward could be heard opening the door to Carlisle's office.
He sped down the stairs and looked at Rosalie incredulously, his emotions now dominated by anger. "Why would you do that?" he demanded, glaring at her and ignoring Carlisle's presence as he entered the living room.
"I had to be sure we were safe," Rosalie replied fiercely, moving to stand in front of Edward. "I had to be sure that she wouldn't say anything."
I turned immediately to Alice who did not look concerned, and relaxed slightly. Rosalie hadn't gone and done something stupid like harm Bella, at least not yet.
"You had no right to stalk her, Rosalie. What would you have done if she spoke to Charlie about it? Kill them both? Then we wouldn't have a choice in moving at all," Edward said.
"I wasn't aware we had a choice right now," she murmured, looking to Carlisle for confirmation. "A human knows of our existence, it's only a matter of time before the Volturi get involved. I was making sure that we were safe, Edward, something you've obviously forgotten."
There was silence for a few moments before Edward's anger grew. "Is that what you really think of me, Rosalie? You think that little of me?"
"You believe I would kill her, so what's wrong in thinking the same of you?"
"I would never lay a hand on her, no matter how much her blood appeals to me," Edward said vehemently, moving closer to Rosalie until their noses were almost touching. "You never even needed that excuse to murder people."
"Edward!" Carlisle admonished, but it was too late.
Jasper watched as Rosalie's expression changed dramatically; it was as if she had been slapped in the face by Edward. "That was different, and you know it," she whispered, her voice filled with pain. She stepped back from him, and Jasper noted the devils' return to his sister's emotional line.
"You shut your mouth," Emmett said loudly, taking Rosalie's place in front of Edward and glowering down at his brother. Jasper could feel the resentment rolling off of him, and quickly placed himself beside them in case either let their emotions take over.
"I'm merely stating the truth, Emmett. Your wife is a killer, so why shouldn't-"
Jasper felt her emotions a moment before he acted – Rosalie's level of anger could only have been matched by one other person he knew; Maria lived off of the emotion during the wars. This made him realise just how dangerous his sister could really be when provoked, and so his fighting reflexes were able to save Edward inches from harm. Before Jasper knew what had really happened, he had Rosalie pinned beneath him on the floor, arms behind her back to prevent her struggling.
The next thing he registered was fear; not only from Rosalie, but from every member of the family. Jasper raised his head to see the stunned face of Edward, quickly finding the same look on everyone's faces except for Alice. She was the only one in the family to have truly seen his fighting ability, and so his speed and precision did not seem to faze her; on the contrary, she was feeling almost relieved at his action.
This could not be said for the rest of the family, however. Emmett and Edward seemed only a little scared of his reaction, having wrestled with him on many occasions, though Jasper could easily sense their unease at just how fast he moved. Emmett was also clearly upset at his treatment of Rosalie, and he probably didn't truly understand why he had tackled her, though Jasper was sure he would understand if he felt her the way he could. Jasper's parents, on the other hand, visibly reacted to his movement – Carlisle unconsciously shifted to block Jasper from Esme, who had taken a few steps back until she was braced against the wall. Neither were familiar with this sort of behaviour, and the level of fear his mother felt towards him conjured a feeling reminiscent of human nausea.
This was not improved by Rosalie, who Jasper realised had her eyes clenched shut and was drawing shaky breaths. She was terrified, almost all anger dispersing from his actions, and he quickly realised why; the last time Rosalie had been handled like that left her close to death.
Edward was obviously thinking along the same lines, or had read her mind, as he murmured "let her go, Jasper…and thank you." Jasper was sure only he and Rosalie heard the last part, but he immediately followed Edward's advice and released his tight grip on Rosalie's wrists before pulling her gently to her feet.
"Are you trying to start something?" Emmett boomed, taking a protective stance over Rosalie the moment she was standing and glaring at Jasper with obvious intent.
"It's okay, Emmett, he was only trying to stop me from hurting Edward," she whispered, but did not look Jasper in the eye, choosing instead to look at his shoes. "I'm sorry I overreacted."
"It was still no excuse to treat you like that, Rose…I hope you can forgive me for my inappropriate behaviour." Jasper took a steady step towards Rosalie, who flinched slightly despite his slow and exaggerated movement.
Shocking everyone, including Jasper, Rosalie reached out and took Jasper's hand, ignoring the warning growl directed his way from Emmett. Through their connection, Jasper was able to feel the smallest traces of love beneath her still prominent fear, and from this he knew she would be alright.
"You see what she is doing to us?" Rosalie said quietly, looking directly at Edward. Her voice sounded tired, almost resigned, as if she knew what she said would have no influence over him. "She is tearing us apart…and this is only the beginning."
Jasper felt her squeeze his hand briefly before letting it drop, moving over to her husband and pulling him into a tight embrace. While they were usually more ostentatious with their physical relationship, Jasper knew better than anyone the emotional connection they shared. It was nowhere near that of his own relationship with Alice, but it was their own, and anyone could see the adoration they held for each other.
Jasper both felt and saw Rosalie relax in Emmett's hold before letting him go and moving upstairs quickly. Her emotions were not as forceful as they had been, but being Rosalie, they were still enough to affect him. Her fear was still evident, however, and so Jasper knew better than to approach her right now. He would allow her a night with her thoughts, and hopefully she would permit Emmett to comfort her as Jasper knew he wanted to; they needed each other tonight.
Looking around at his family, Jasper observed the similarity between their last gathering in the lounge room and that moment. Despite agreeing wholeheartedly with Rosalie's last statement, he couldn't help but notice Bella's ability to bring their family together, and hoped for their sake that he was agreeing with the wrong side. The Cullen's were all he had, and if Bella's interference with his family did not play out as Alice's visions had, he would not hesitate to act. His family would always come first, even if that meant destroying his brother's hope at love.
Edward met his eyes at that thought, and Jasper felt the threat behind his stare.
'I thought this family was important to you too,' Jasper thought purposely, looking around at the people who had changed his existence – Carlisle with his calm patience and endless forgiveness for his mistakes; sweet Esme, who did nothing but love and care for him from their first moment together; Emmett's pleasurable attitude and easy acceptance of his new life; his exquisite Alice, who gave him a reason to truly live again; even Rosalie, with her fiery temperament and desire for humanity-
"Rosalie was out of line," Edward said firmly, drawing the attention of the entire family at his statement.
"Edward, she's your sister," Esme pleaded.
"Our sister," Alice chimed in.
Jasper watched as Carlisle physically and internally dealt with his emotions, clearly torn between supporting his first son and the rest of the family. "Edward, I understand why you would-"
"I can't believe you're taking her side in this! Bella will not say anything to anyone, I can assure you that much."
Jasper couldn't help but sigh in frustration; listening to one-sided conversations was getting very old. On top of that, he really couldn't afford for anyone to become more passionate on the subject without risking losing control himself. He used as much power as he could manage to calm his family, taking great care not to overdo Edward's dose.
Relaxing under the influence of Jasper's sudden calm, Carlisle turned his attention to Alice. "I assume that you see no harm coming from Edward's involvement in Bella's life?" A brief smile answered his question, and then his gaze returned to Edward. "Son, while there is no immediate threat that would cause the need to move, we must all be extremely cautious. I expect you to take great care around her, and the rest of you will need to accept this change.
"Bella is a part of this family now, whether we fully understand it yet or not. Edward cares for her greatly, and she obviously returns those feelings, so regardless of our individual opinions," he said a little louder, gaining Rosalie's attention, "we must respect Edward and trust that he has made the right decision not only for himself, but for this family.
"Rosalie was right in some respects; this could very well cause issues within our family. And while I am fully aware of the dangers their relationship entails, we will all support Edward and Bella through it. This family is the most important thing we have, and so we must do everything possible to keep in together."
Jasper let his hearing range expand to upstairs, finding no sound whatsoever from the second story. He then turned to his emotional ability, discovering through the emptiness that Rosalie had fled the house during Carlisle's declaration without his notice.
He acknowledged Edward's sigh at his thoughts, seemingly always on his twin during these moments, and turned to face his brother.
'I will support you, Edward, despite what you think. But this family comes first, and I will not tolerate you ruining this for any of us. It means too much to Alice, and to me for that matter, for you to throw it away on a human girl.'
His growl startled the rest of the family, though they said nothing of it as my silent conversation with him continued.
'I know better than anyone else that your world revolves around her now, I can feel just how important she is to you. But Edward, you can't jeopardise your relationships here for her, or Rosalie will be right. We need you for this family to be right, and if this battle with Rose continues I worry what will come if it.
'She doesn't show it often, but she truly does love you; that's why she acts as she does. Deep down, Rosalie is an angel, even if only a dark one at best. But that's the point, Edward – she is our dark angel, and we need her. This family needs everyone, so I beg that you take caution.'
A sharp nod was all Jasper received in reply, though he knew better than to expect anymore from him in the situation.
The rest of the family were beginning to rekindle forms of emotion other than what Edward expressed, and for that Jasper was grateful. He hadn't felt this constant form of poison since Maria, and while he knew without doubt that it would end, Jasper felt his own emotions slip a little into the darkness.
Now, Jasper realised with some frustration, all that was left to do was wait – wait to see what the future held for their family, for what it held for Bella, and at the very least, wait until their dark angel returned and made their family whole again.
A/N: There you go, Our Dark Angel is finished! As I mentioned above, reviews=love, so PLEASE contribute to the enlarging of my ego, or deflating if that's your opinion. Lucia-Swanne :D