A/N: Hi guys, I'm back again with another Twilight story but this time the focus is on Alice, primarily how Bella sees her relationship with Jasper and gains a knowledge of her past. There is obviously quite a bit of A/J in this, but also some B/E, and the story is from Bella's perspective. This is my take on Alice's past and her integration into her human charade, and I hope you enjoy it! Reviews are amazing even if they're just a few words, and they mean a lot to me, so please please let me know what you think of it!
Disclaimer: Not even close.
This is where I belong.
I lie facing the door, strong granite arms wrapped around my body protectively as my lullaby vibrates through his chest. I can hear Esme humming softly from across the hall, and Rosalie arguing with Emmett over her latest addition to her car. Carlisle is at the hospital, and Alice disappeared with Jasper moments after I arrived. Everything feels…normal. While there is still a small voice in my head reminding me against this thought, it is true.
After arriving back from Italy, Edward has hardly left my side, not that I would complain about that. I spend much more time in the Cullen house now, Charlie's anger towards Edward seemingly growing every time he steps through our front door. None of the Cullen's object to my visiting more often, Alice even insisting that she buy me my own set of 'human supplies' to leave here. Even after my objections about her spending any more money on me, I returned the next afternoon to find the fridge full of food and a closet with my name intricately painted across the doors in Edwards' room. I have opened the closet only once, nearly crying at the collection of expensive yet plain jumpers and jeans that Alice claims is 'middle ground'. I didn't need anyone to explain the restraint she used during that shopping trip, and for that I am forever grateful.
Shifting slightly in Edwards arms, I smile as the song slowly dies out and we are left in silence. Settling down, I close my eyes and feel my breath steadying as I begin drifting off to sleep. Allowing my mind to wander, I feel his cold hand run slowly up my side, gently applying pressure until I have lost my balance and fallen from the daybed.
Turning to face him, I find an amused smirk across his lovely face.
"What was that for?" I ask indignantly, catching my breath from the shock of falling.
"You were falling asleep," he replies simply, offering a hand which I accept. Both of us are now standing, our hands still joined as he smiles down at me.
Glaring back at him, I state, "You're just jealous that you can't sleep."
He chuckles at this, and I feel myself being pulled out of his room at a human pace. We pass Esme in the lounge, who smiles gently at us before returning to her book. Reaching the front door, I turn to Edward with a confused look.
"There's something I want to show you," he says, and unexpectedly I am rested on his back. Feeling me tense, he leans back and whispers in my ear that the journey won't take very long.
I close my eyes and he takes off running, the sudden movement inducing a familiar sense of nausea. In an attempt to quell the feeling, I bury my face in Edwards' neck and breathe in his scent, earning yet another chuckle from him when he realises the meaning behind this action.
A few minutes later, the wind stops rushing through my hair and I deem it safe to open my eyes. The spin of queasiness appears immediately after opening them, but following this, I am able to appreciate my surroundings.
We are perched on a ledge overlooking the forest, the trees seemingly stretching on for miles ahead of us. I spot the small river near the Cullen's house winding out of view, and even the grey sky above us does not seem as bleak when compared with the expanse of green that in any other situation I would have ignored.
Maybe there are some good points to Forks after all.
I look down to find Edward sitting at my feet and do the same, being careful not to lose my balance here but knowing that he would save me.
"This is beautiful, Edward," I whisper, not wanting to destroy the moment.
He takes my hand to get my attention, and shakes his head. "That isn't what I brought you to see, Bella. Look down there."
I follow his finger to the point where the river disappears, and can just make out a light shape that could be anything. Cursing my extremely human vision and squinting harder, I still can't see well enough to understand Edward's attention.
"I can't see…what is it?"
I can practically feel him roll his eyes at me, but the next second there is an arm wrapped around my waist, a hand across my mouth, and we are falling. My screams are muffled by his hand, and fear floods my system despite knowing that Edward would never endanger me.
I feel us land and cautiously open my eyes, finding that we are now on a much lower ledge. I immediately turn to Edward and try to look angry but find it hard when I have no breath and my heart is still racing from fear.
"You're safe, Bella," he affirms, and I feel myself calm dramatically. Too dramatically.
"Jasper?" I question, looking around for the vampire who has no doubt messed with my emotions. Edward nods once again towards the figure that is now clearly his siblings, Alice's dark hair the only contrast to their white clothing and pale complexions.
She lies on top of Jasper with their feet aligned so that her head rests in the centre of his chest, strong arms wrapped around her waist and a serene smile gracing her face. I am pleasantly surprised to notice that Jasper's expression mirrors hers despite a clear knowledge of our presence, rarely finding anything other than pain on his face when in the vicinity of humans. It is nice to see him so at ease, and I can't help but smile at their picture perfect moment.
It is this thought that pulls me up short. Jasper is aware of us, and Alice would have no doubt seen us coming the moment Edward decided to bring me here, so why haven't they moved yet? My heart must be beating loud enough for them to hear a mile away...
I turn to Edward who is looking down at me with equal curiosity, gauging my reaction.
"What are they doing?" I ask quietly, knowing full well that they can hear me but trying not to ruin their moment. "Should we even be here?"
Edward chuckles at his, and I'm sure that I see Jasper's smile widen a little.
At this point I'm certain my brain stops functioning properly. Edward had informed me early on that vampires cannot sleep at all, the Cullens spending the night hours together at the house or hunting inconspicuously. He does not have a bed in his bedroom, but is intrigued by the act of sleeping so much that he watches me every night. I don't understand Edward's fascination with watching me lying inert for hours at a time, and yet I was always so sure that the rest of his family did not share his interest, let alone did it themselves.
"Edward..." I begin slowly, watching his face carefully for any sign of a joke, "you can't sleep. You told me that yourself."
He smiles knowingly in response, amusement at my confusion clear on his face. "That is true. Vampires cannot physically shift between consciousness and unconsciousness; that is, we cannot sleep, or dream for that matter. We are forever awake, forever cognizant."
I feel my uncertainty grow further, and question whether I misunderstood Edward's statement. "Are trying to confuse me on purpose? Because it's working."
His smile widens as he takes my hand and draws me a little closer. "Bella," he sighs, "humanity is sketchy at best in our minds. Most of us can recall particular moments during our lives, and some only remember faces or sounds or smells that meant something to them. At the very least, we can bring to mind the very things that made us distinctly human – the need to eat and sleep, the illnesses and injuries we experienced, the connections to family and friends, aging and changing…and certainly the excruciating pain of our transformation.
"And yet, as I'm sure you're aware, Alice doesn't remember anything from before she was turned. She simply woke with the burning in her throat and an image of Jasper's face in her mind. He is her earliest memory, and he is all she's ever known. Her creator obviously had no intention of teaching her about this way of life, let alone to stay inconspicuous. Without her visions of Jasper's unhappiness and Carlisle's way of life, she would have no doubt become a complete savage. The Volturi would have stepped in before anything too nasty happened, but without her prescience she likely wouldn't have survived very long.
"By the time that Alice and Jasper found us, they had both learnt to live from animal blood and were truly committed to living as we do. We had just recently moved and so Carlisle deemed to safe for Alice to begin school with the rest of us; Jasper wasn't quite ready to face that many humans in such a confined space. It only took a few hours for people to notice she wasn't quite normal, aside from her appearance. She was too still and too fast, she barely blinked at all, and no one could even see her breathing. It was then that we truly understood how little she understood of human life, and so it became our job to teach her about blending in.
"She confided in me that it was all completely foreign to her, and that while she knew she was different, merely seeing how humans lived and interacted was not enough to help her change. Of course observation taught her many things, but not having any recollection of acting that way herself left her with nothing to compare to. The bare necessities of humanity were not ingrained for her as they are for the rest of us that remember our past lives, and this caused her to lament the blackness in her memory further."
I look back over at Alice, who surprisingly hasn't moved at all since our arrival. A peaceful smile still spread across her face, I can hardly imagine her in that sort of situation. She always appears completely confident with her human charade, only ever impaired by an unexpected vision, and the thought of her being so lost is almost scary.
"There are things about humanity that each of us miss, that we wish we could experience again. Some are overarching – Jasper yearns for a life of peace without the constant burn in his throat, a life where he is able to interact with humans as he did before. Some of us miss more basic things, like Rosalie's desire to grow old and have a family. But understandably, Alice has a different sort of longing for the things of her past. She has no idea of what she has and hasn't done, and so she clutches to the things that came naturally to her in this life."
This statement puzzled me. "Like what, shopping and parties?"
I see Jasper's lips curl up into a full-blown grin, and now I am certain he is listening to us. Hoping he isn't too offended by our conversation, I can't help but be caught up in Edward's laughter.
"Not quite, though I suppose they come naturally to her too. By the time Jasper finally reached Alice she had only experienced three visions involving the rest of us, but the moment they left together she began having many more. As would be expected with Alice, she wanted to start searching for us straight away, but she also wanted to get to know Jasper alone. They decided that they would travel and hunt at night to remain inconspicuous, and during the day they would spend time together and avoid the sun.
"During the day Alice's emotions would be anywhere from excited to irritable, so Jasper often used his ability to keep her calm. The level to which he influenced her varied from day to day depending on her emotional state, and some days she would be almost oblivious to the world around her. Jasper cannot make a vampire truly sleep as he can a human, but this is the closest any of us have ever seen. Alice feels truly connected to her humanity through it, as if she has something to draw on. It has helped her to let go of some of her resentment towards her past, whatever it may be, and she is better for it. They both are."
I watch as Jasper begins gently stroking her hair, and in this moment I am justly aware of how deep their relationship runs. They are not just connected as Carlisle is to Esme, or Rosalie to Emmett, or even Edward and me. It is obvious just by watching them that they understand each other as well as they do themselves, and their emotional connection isn't just enhanced by Jaspers ability. Against everything they are somehow rightly together, their relationship built on something greater than any of us. They are soul-mates in every sense of the word – they love and care for each other, they saved each other from their pasts, and have made the other better. I have no doubt that they would do anything for each other, or that they would die for each other. Alice and Jasper are truly perfect together, and this moment in front of me is proof of it.
Once again I feel as if I am intruding on something personal and private, and even more so after hearing Edward's explanation. How could it possibly be right to share this with me, someone who isn't even part of their family? While I am in love with Edward, and wish more than anything to become like him, surely there are things that remain beyond my worth as a mere human girl.
Edward's head snaps around towards me, his gaze full of confusion and anger. Confounded by his reaction, I cannot draw any explanation other than my self-deprecating thoughts, though that in itself is not possible. How is he aware of my train of thought when he is immune to my head?
"Why are you feeling inadequate?" he demands quietly, taking a careful step towards me and placing a hand on my arm. "Did I say something wrong?"
I can't help but notice the wording of his question, addressing my emotions rather than thoughts themselves, and suddenly it all makes sense. Jasper has obviously been monitoring me from the start, and with Edward reading his thoughts, it would be almost impossible for something regarding me to be missed. They are both testing my reaction to Edward's story, looking for anything concerning, and apparently my self-deprecation fits.
"I shouldn't be here," I murmur quickly before walking in the other direction as fast as my legs will take me. No matter how futile the attempt, knowing that Edward will likely stop me, I cannot stay here knowing that Alice and Jasper are sharing something so important to them with me.
As predicted, I manage less than a dozen steps before Edward is blocking my path. "Bella, what are you talking about?"
Side-stepping him and continuing my path towards the tree line, I keep my voice low when answering, "Why would they want me to know something so personal when I'm not even a part of your family? I don't deserve this, Edward, not something so –"
Edward grips me earnestly before I can even finish speaking, his eyes dangerously dark. "You are a part of this family, Bella. Even if you never become one of us, you will always be a sister to Alice and Jasper and Emmett and even Rosalie, a daughter to Carlisle and Esme, and the one true love of my existence. Never doubt your place here.
"Alice had a vision of you seeing this and was more than happy to share it with you. She and Jasper introduced each of us to this quite early on, and it comes so naturally to them that they don't feel a need to hide it. They just come out here to avoid distractions, leaving only Jasper's emotions to calm them both. While it is important to them, you are more than worthy of understanding this part of their lives, Bella. As I'm sure you've realised by now, we don't have many secrets in our family, and they wanted you to know this."
Feeling slightly embarrassed by Edward's declaration, I notice a small amount of strangely surprising love rise within me, and I know that Jasper is confirming Edward's words in his own way. Alice is still motionless, smiling peacefully despite the disturbance surrounding her, and I wonder if she is listening too.
"Edward, does Alice know we're here?"
He smiles slightly, pleased with his small victory over my self-confidence. "She can hear us right now, but isn't focused on the conversation. Jasper is keeping her effectively subdued for the moment, but Alice prefers it – she can fully appreciate the peace this way."
Nodding slowly, I take in the image ahead of me one last time. They are now sparkling slightly, the sun beginning to emerge from behind the almost constant cloud cover, and I find myself smiling at the beauty of this moment.
My smile grows wider as I turn to face Edward, a similar glow surrounding his skin. "We should go."
Without speaking, he takes my hand and guides me onto his back once again. Gripping tightly and burying my face in between his shoulder blades, I let my thoughts wander in the hope of distracting myself from the trees rushing past me.
Something Edward said during his story intrigued me to no end – 'there are things about humanity that each of us miss, that we wish we could experience again'. He mentioned some of his family, but what does Carlisle miss? Or Esme? What is it from his human life that Edward truly longs for?
If it is anything as special as what Alice just shared with me, Edward has every right to keep it to himself. Maybe one day I will bring it up, but for now it will remain Cullen knowledge only, and if he chooses to tell me I will more than willingly hear his own story. Until then, I tell myself that knowing Alice's story is enough for now. She and Jasper have opened up an important part of their lives to me and have welcomed me into their family – for that I will be eternally grateful.
A/N: Well there you go! This has been a work-in-progress for a long time, and I'm glad I finally managed to finish it. As I said above, reviews=love, so PLEASE let me know what you think of this even if it's just a few words! Also, if enough people seem interested, I might write a spin-off of sorts about how Alice introduces the rest of the Cullens to her sleeping, and another about each of the Cullens and what they miss of their humanity, so if you would read these, let me know! Lucia-Swanne :)