Title: A Contradiction in Terms

Fandom: Twilight Saga

Author: Nietzsche's Itch

Character/Pairing: Jasper/Leah

Genre: Romance, Hurt/Comfort

Rating: T (for profanity)

Status: Oneshot, Complete

Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight

Summary: He knows how she feels, but not why. And he's determined to find out.

"Why are you sad?"

The soft voice broke Leah out of her reverie, and she gave a withering glare to the one who had dared to disturb her when she so clearly desired to be left alone.

"Leech" she greeted, lips pursed in annoyance.

"My name is Jasper. I don't call you mutt, or even wolf" he said chidingly. Leah felt the slightest twinge of remorse, and then was aggravated all over again because she knew this particular pestilence could feel it.

"I'm aware of that" she snapped. He raised an eyebrow, as if to say he had doubted her before, and took a seat on the couch next to her. She glared indignantly at him, and he smiled serenely back. Moving on to Plan B, Leah gathered all the resentful thoughts that had been on her mind all day and essentially let the emotional fucker-upper have it. His smile did falter then.

"You seem to be uncomfortable in my presence" he noted. Leah snorted.

"Do I have a reason to be otherwise?" she asked sarcastically. Jasper looked askance at her.

"I suppose not, although I might say that it's a little hypocritical of you to be as fractious as you are at my presence. I do live here, after all" Jasper said coolly.

'He has you there Clearwater' her mental voice rudely interjected. She pushed it away impatiently.

"Whatever Jasper, I just wanted to be alone and since all of your family know better than to try and make conversation with the 'bitch' I thought this place was a pretty safe bet" she snapped. She had a moments uncertainty when Jasper narrowed his eyes, and was reminded that he had been some kind of hotshot soldier in both human and bloodsucker wars. He was dangerous, more so than the others.

"None of my family dislike you, and I would know. But you don't go out of your way to talk with someone who is only going to give you abuse either" he said reprovingly, and this time Leah felt properly guilty. She was here for Jacob, for her alpha, but no matter how much she personally disliked the coven, she was intruding onto their turf, not the reverse. In lieu of that, she had to admit that they had been more than accommodating of her brooding presence. Her own former pack mates had been far less so, but they had had her thoughts to deal with into the bargain.

"If you say so" she muttered, knowing Jasper could feel what he needed to know. His face relaxed, and he tucked a stray lock of hair behind his ear. Leah's eyes followed the movement, noting how it seemed to catch the light, and willing away the unwelcome emotions that would have accompanied the thought. She could acknowledge that yes, aesthetically he was quite pleasing to look at, but that he likely hadn't had anything close to the level of sheer handsomeness he possessed now when he was still human. It was fake, bloodsuckers trickery, that's all it was.

"You were sad, a moment ago" he informed her, as if she didn't know.

"I know I was" she griped back.

"Which brings me back to my original question as regards your emotional state, why were you feeling so sad when I walked into the room? I sensed shades of anger too" he pressed. Leah gave him an exasperated look.

"Why are you even asking me that? You know why" she replied, rolling her eyes, trying not to dwell on the cause of her despair. It was too painful to contemplate any further.

"No, I do not. My ability allows me to put a name to the emotion, or emotions that you are feeling at any given time. It does not, however, tell me why you are feeling them, which would be Edward's area of expertise" he finished.

"Fine, fine, I get the message. Well why don't you ask your nosy brother then?" she demanded, determined that this obscenely persistent leech wouldn't make her spill her guts to him.

"Because he is, as you say, nosy and he doesn't need any more encouragement to go rifling through peoples minds" Jasper replied blithely. Leah snickered.

"I guess so" she chuckled. He smiled too, and then went in for the kill.

"So you'll just have to tell me what you're feeling so sad about" he said persuasively. Leah groaned.

"I don't have to tell you anything. Fuck off" she growled. He smirked at her.

"And as I said before, I live here and you don't, Leah" he quipped, and she ground her teeth in frustration.

"Fine, you really want to know? Today is the day that the guy who I considered to be the love of my life married the girl I considered a sister. And I didn't even get an invite to their lousy wedding because apparently they were afraid I'd object to the marriage and cause a scene or something" she snarled. Jasper winced, and Leah couldn't help but feel a little comforted. He hadn't laughed at her at least. Even Seth had given her a look as if to say she should have expected something like this to happen.

"It was uncalled for on their part" he said soothingly. Leah grunted noncommittally.

"Sure I've been a bitch about Sam imprinting on Emily, but I wouldn't ruin their day. I've given up on ever getting him back. He made my own mother tell me that I wasn't invited, didn't even have the balls to do it himself" she snarled, angry tears gathering against her will. She jerked, startled, when a box of tissues were pressed into her hand, and she realised that a few traitorous tears had escaped. Leah grabbed one and quickly wiped them away.

He gave her an understanding look, and she found with some surprise that she didn't want to hurt him for it. Other people could claim to know how she felt, but only he literally knew. He wasn't being sycophantic, or patronising.

"Why are you being so damned nice to me anyway?" she hissed, though the stress of the day was catching up to her, and her voice was lacking its customary acerbic bite. Her free hand was abruptly occupied by another cold one, and Leah shuddered at the cooling sensation.

"Why not? You've never done anything to cause me personal affront, and you're far less excitable than your alpha, who does get on my nerves, I regret to say" Jasper said amusedly, and Leah's lips quirked upwards infinitesimally in riposte.

"He does have a gift for pissing people off" she smirked. He grinned back at her, and gave her a hand a gentle squeeze before releasing it. Leah's mood plummeted, and Jasper glanced confusedly at her as she kept her hand curled up. Hesitantly he took it again, and this time she tightened her grip around his hand. Vampire or not, she would take her blessings where they came today.

"I don't want to be alone" she admitted. A flutter of compassion that didn't belong to her made Leah smile wanly.

They eventually separated, though Leah made no move to leave, and Jasper gave no sign that he wanted her to either. But time wouldn't stand still just because she desired it so, and eventually she rose to her feet. He looked quizzically at her.

"I need to go home and face the music" she explained. He nodded in understanding, and rose with her. Together they walked to the front door, whereupon Leah began to fidget awkwardly, not entirely sure what to say in this unprecedented scenario.

"You don't need to say anything" he said easily. Leah raised a bemused eyebrow at him. For not knowing her thoughts, and merely her emotions, he certainly had gotten a grasp on what made Leah Clearwater tick. And stranger still, he didn't seem to be repulsed by what he'd seen. Which made him the first outside her family since her transformation, when everyone began to hate her.

"If you say so. Anyway, I should go..." she said awkwardly, gesturing towards the woods and fiddling with the ends of her shirt. She didn't want to go home to the concern and the apologies and copious walking-on-of-eggshells that she would have to endure for the next few days, and the irony of finding the company of an uncommonly insightful vampire preferable to this purgatorial chore was not lost on her.

"I'll see you the next time Jacob comes to see Nessie then, I expect" Jasper said warmly. She chuckled, not a little disbelievingly, and after nodding an affirmative, she walked away past the cover of the trees. Jasper gazed contemplatively at the spot where she had vanished from sight, and swore to himself that he would help her to heal, this most intriguing woman.

"I promise" he called into the wind, and somewhere not too far away, a wolf howled mournfully.

This will be continued, though it likely won't be a very long story.