7. One Is Enough.
Six days and three hours ago, Jasper had gone with Alice to the airport to board a plane to New York for Fashion Week. Alice had only recently discovered the event, and it was her newest favorite holiday.
Six days and two hours ago, Alice had a vision that someone on the plane would get a papercut and Jasper wouldn't be able to resist in the confined space. Not wanting to chance the massacre and not wanting to make Alice miss her favorite holiday of the year, six days and one hour ago Jasper had stayed behind while Alice went to New York.
Not that Jasper was counting.
He knew it was irrational to worry about her, but he just felt uncomfortable when they were apart. And years of experience had taught Jasper that just because there was no immediate danger, it didn't mean you were safe.
Alice had offered to take the next flight with him, but it would have made her miss the Betsey Johnson event. Being a sweet husband, Jasper insisted she go on without him. He could have taken the next flight himself, but he didn't trust his restraint alone in a tin can of humans in the sky. He was never as strong without Alice.
It would only be a week, so Jasper went back to the Cullens.
It had been a very long quiet and boring week. Jasper was sat on the living room couch, holding a book but spending more time gazing out the window at nothing than reading it when Esme came in.
"Hello Jasper," she greeted warmly, taking a seat opposite him, opening a book of her own. "Where is everybody?"
"Not sure," Jasper answered quietly. That was the kind of thing to ask Alice, he wasn't used to the question. Esme's entrance to the room brought with it a soothing joy.
Although they had very little in common and nothing to talk about, Jasper enjoyed being around Esme. Her emotional climate was warm and pleasant; the closest to Alice's in the house.
After so many years with Alice, Jasper was quite addicted to being surrounded with happiness and light giddy emotions. It counteracted the dark emotions in him and balanced him out so that he was comfortable.
A while later when Esme left to fold some towels, Jasper followed her.
Esme had noticed him tagging along after her all week. Being a kind woman, she hadn't said a word about it. She even gave him little tasks to do when she could. Esme saw how Jasper liked to be kept busy. When he didn't have an immediate task, he sat around the house like he was waiting for Alice to come through the door and tell him what to do.
"I'm surprised Edward or Emmett or Rosalie aren't making the most of you being without Alice to distract your attention," Esme said kindly.
They continued folding towels in silence for a minute until Jasper answered,
"They're not really interested in talking to me," Jasper answered quietly. He said it matter of factly, but Esme was shocked and saddened that he would believe such a thing.
"I'm sure that's not true, dear," she said earnestly. "I expect they just aren't sure how to approach you."
Esme herself always wondered if she was saying the right thing to Jasper. He was such a quiet and withdrawn man, and while he could make her feel comfortable and at ease, she could never tell if that was because he was comfortable or if he was just using his ability to make things pleasant for the people around him.
Jasper shrugged. "I know they don't dislike me. I'm just not of particular interest to them." Though he stated it calmly, Esme was sure she could feel a creeping loneliness, and touches of something deep, like sorrow. It felt so deep that maybe Jasper wasn't even consciously aware of it.
"Alice is the interesting one," he added.
Esme was struck with not being sure what to say. She wanted to reach out and rub his back, but he would almost definitely flinch away from her or instinctively crouch to attack if she tried. She'd never seen him let anyone but Alice touch him without invitation. Esme tried to reassure Jasper with words instead,
"You know you are cared about just as much as Alice, you are an equally important a part of this family."
"I know that," he responded, with a soft nod. "I know I'm welcome and wanted here. Loved, even," he frowned at the concept.
"But I can't force people to be interested in talking to me if they're not." He picked up another towel.
"Well, I could actually," he added with a deep sound that was almost a laugh. "But I won't. It's up to them what they do. They should have fun. I know I'm not much fun." Jasper finished up his pile of towels and reached for a heap of Carlisle's dress shirts to fold.
He and Esme worked in silence for a few minutes until Jasper's phone vibrated with a text from Alice, who had just seen their conversation in a vision.
You're lots of fun. I'm always interested in talking to you. ;)
Jasper smiled as he read it then turned back to the towels, "I really don't mind. I don't need a lot of people to be interested in me. I already have one. That's enough."
And he looked so happy suddenly, that Esme believed him and didn't say anything more.
A/N: If you're looking for more to read, my favorite J/A fic of the moment is MY COMMENTARY ON THE WORLD by WutheringBites, it's so good! Hilarious and romantic. Go check it out right now if you haven't.
Also loving THE BRANDONS by jmolly - best Southern Jasper I've ever read and Alice's human family!
And the J/A one-shot CAUGHT UP IN THE SILENCE by RAEcouter, really draws you in and is amazing and hot.
I don't know why these fics don't have hundreds of reviews. Go check them out and leave them reviews! They are so good, you won't be disappointed.