A/N: Surprise! So this is the official first outtake to CoC. I'm hoping to do more in the future, possibly for some author auctions or something like that : ) I've had this lil thing in my head for awhile, but just haven't had the time to write it. It was inspired by this awesome video I saw about military members surprising their loved ones and I bawled my little blue eyes out. Also just to let you know, this is a Jasper/Alice outtake. I know that's a little odd considering CoC was entirely through Edward and Bella's POV, but 1. I've always wanted to play around with an A/J fic, and 2. This scenario would not work with Edward and Bella for various reasons which you should all know if you read CoC, which you should have if you're reading this FYI. Go read that first. : )
I hope you guys enjoy it. I've missed these characters a lot, but have also been doing some great things with some new material, I hope you'll check out Game, Set, Match and Secret Life if you haven't already.
I'm an American soldier. I never say no. I never call in sick when I've had a rough night or just don't feel like going in. I go days without sleep or decent food. I put my life on the line for complete strangers because I know in my heart that it's the right thing to do. I spend months and months away from my family to protect them. It's not a job someone necessarily raves about, but I do it without complaint. I'm an American soldier.
I stared down at the photograph and smiled. The edges were all crinkled and worn from being in my front pocket all the time, but I couldn't leave my room without it. Alice's beautiful smile stared back at me while Evan through a hunk of cookie dough at her face. Maddie's settled comfortably on her hip, looking up with that adorable little grin of hers.
I placed the picture back in my breast pocket and sighed. Even though they were always with me, I carried it over my heart just to feel the small indent against my skin. It was the next best thing to being with them, and honestly it wasn't enough. I haven't seen my family in eight months and when you can't stand to be away from them for more than a day that's an eternity.
I missed Alice. I missed the way she smelled, the way she tasted. I missed the way she'd wake up every morning with a smile, even if it was to Evan jumping on our bed. She never complained about our life and I couldn't imagine what I'd done to deserve her. There aren't many people who can handle it, but she does. God love her.
I didn't tell her I was coming home. Part of me didn't want to disappoint her if it ended up falling through. I'd made that mistake once and I never wanted to hear that sadness in her voice ever again.
Bella and Edward were picking me up from the airport. I debated on even telling her because I thought she would tell Alice, but she's assured me that she's kept her mouth shut.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, we are beginning our descent into Seattle. Please fasten your seatbelts and move your trays into the upright position," the flight attendant announced.
I leaned over my seat and glanced out the window. It was cloudy and raining, just like usual, but I loved it. Alice had moved back to Forks to be closer to everyone since I was gone so much. She did mostly everything by herself, but even she needed help sometimes. I hated that I couldn't be there to help.
It took us over a half hour to get to the gate and by that time I was anxious as Hell. My leg was bouncing up and down and I was biting on my nails like I hadn't eaten in months. I was nervous. I'd been in command of many men and women, made major decisions, been in the middle of a war…and I was nervous to see my family.
I took a deep breath and stood up from my seat when they turned the seatbelt light off. I grabbed my bag from the overheard compartment and helped and older couple get theirs down as well. The woman smiled and said 'thank you' as her eyes fell upon my uniform.
"Good for you honey." She patted my shoulder. "I know a lot of people are against all these wars and conflicts all over the world, but you young people are the bravest in the world. We're all behind you." She smiled and glanced at her husband.
"Thank you ma'am." I nodded and pulled my bag up on my shoulder.
The passengers all filed out of the plane and down the little hamster cage deal into the airport.
I blushed a little when I saw Bella, Edward and Elizabeth waiting for me past security. Bella was holding a sign with "Jasper Whitlock: American Hero" scribbled across it. She started jumping up and down as I started towards them, immediately dropping the sign and running at me.
"Well hello to you too!" I laughed as she jumped up into my arms. Edward shuffled up behind her and shook my hand.
"Welcome home man," he said.
"Alice is going to flip," Bella said, kissing my cheek. "Like literally flip out."
"I hope so." I set Bella down and glanced beside Edward. Lizzie stood half behind his leg, holding tightly onto one of his hands. "And who is this?" I teased. "This can't be Elizabeth."
"It's me," she said, grinning from ear to ear.
"I don't know." I bent down and looked her over. "The Elizabeth Cullen I know is a baby, you're way too grown up."
"Uncle Jasper it's me I promise." She stepped around Edward and gave me a hug.
"How old are you now? Twenty?"
"Five," she giggled.
I pulled away and placed a kiss on her forehead before standing back up.
"So we drove two cars so you could take one." Edward handed me a set of keys. "We can get it when we come to get the kids later."
"Are Evan and Maddie coming over?" Elizabeth asked.
"Just for a little bit pumpkin," Edward answered. "Uncle Jasper and Aunt Alice are going to have some Mommy and Daddy time."
"Are you going to play games?" Her eyes lit up. Edward stifled a laugh.
"I hope so." I smiled.
I adjusted my bag on my shoulder and we started out towards the parking lot. I gave them all one last hug before jumping into Bella's car and starting towards the school. I wanted to surprise Evan before I went home.
I wasn't quite sure what his room number was so I went to the main office to see if they could help.
"Can I help you?" The secretary asked.
"I hope so."
She finally looked up at me and I realized it was Jessica Stanley. I didn't realize she worked here.
"Jasper Whitlock." She smiled. "Now Alice didn't tell me you were coming home for a visit."
"Well that's because she doesn't know. I wanted to pick up Evan first though if that's alright. I don't want to make a big scene or anything but I just want to see my kid."
"I'm sure we can make an exception. Let me show you to his room." She stood up and led me out the door and down the hallway. There were paintings and artwork hung all along the walls and lockers, along with little raincoats at each one.
Jessica stopped at one room in particular and knocked on the door. I smiled when I saw the "1st grade" sign on the door and couldn't believe he was already that old. Times flies. A part of me felt like I was missing out on everything.
The teacher walked over to the door and cracked it open, smiling at the both of us. "Miss Stanley, how can I help you?"
"Could I speak with you in private for just one moment?" Jessica motioned to the hallway and the teacher gave one last look in on the classroom before stepping out. "This is Jasper Whitlock, Evan's father."
"Ma'am." I smiled and nodded my head.
"He's just flown in from overseas and wants to surprise him, if that's okay…" Jessica continued.
"Oh that's so sweet." The teacher smiled and nodded. "Of course. I'll just let them know we have a special guest." She stepped back into the classroom and I waited a moment before I slipped inside.
All the kids watched her as she walked around to the front of the classroom, her hands clasped loosely in front of her. I scanned the classroom looking for Evan's messy mop of blonde hair and grinned when I spotted him in the corner. He was scribbling away on a piece of paper with some crayons and was totally oblivious to my presence.
"Okay class….3….2…1…" The teacher counted down on her hands and the classroom fell silent. Evan stopped coloring and looked up to the front. "Now listen closely everyone. We have a very…very special visitor in the classroom today." Her eyes turned to me. "Would you like to say hello?"
"Hi guys!" I waved as twelve little pairs of eyes turned my way. I was focused completely on Evan, waiting for his reaction. His eyes grew big as they took me in.
"Daddy?" He whispered. He dropped his crayon on the desk and shot up from his seat. "Daddy!"
I held back tears as he darted through the mess of desks and kids to get to me. I crouched down a moment before he reached me and scooped him up into my arms.
"I missed you Daddy," he cried. I smiled into his little cardigan and kissed his cheek.
"I missed you too Bud."
The kids started cheering and clapping and I smiled at all of them. I felt this overwhelming sense of happiness. Like every fiber of my being was alive. Everything felt right in the world, like it was supposed to. The only things that could make it better were Alice and Maddie. And every part of me was itching to get to them.
"How bout we go home see Momma and Maddie?" I asked.
"Yeah!" He yelled.
I laughed and waved to the teacher. Jessica led me down to the office so I could sign him out for the day and we started home. Evan refused to let go of my arm the entire ride and I was more than okay with that. I know kids can be a pain in the ass sometimes, but you never realize how much you need to be around them until you aren't. I need to be around my kids. Simple as that.
We pulled into the driveway and I hoped that Alice wasn't sitting in the living room. I wanted it to be a surprise.
"Okay bud, Momma doesn't know I'm home so we're going to surprise her okay?" I leaned in real close and smiled.
"Operation Surprise Momma is in full effect." His face turned serious and he nodded. This kid was like a mini me and I loved it.
"Okay let's move out troops," I whispered and nodded towards the house. We both crept out of the car and up to the front door. I could hear music playing from somewhere inside the house.
I inched open the door and peeked inside. It sounded like they were in the kitchen. I could hear Alice singing along softly to some Brad Paisley song. She'd never struck me as a country music fan but since that small time we lived in Texas, she's been obsessed. It kind of cements the feeling that we were meant to be together. I'm a country boy at heart and there's nothing sexier than Alice in cowgirl boots swaying along to a romantic country song.
We tiptoed through the living room and I finally saw her. She was doing the dishes, a towel flung over her shoulder as Maddie watched from her high chair. I wiped away the tears again, seeing how big she'd gotten.
Alice sighed and wiped at her forehead. I could tell from here that even though I still found her breathtakingly beautiful she was exhausted. I couldn't imagine taking care of two kids on your own and she does it with so much grace that it amazes me.
"Daddy," Maddie whispered. Leave it to her to give up the surprise.
Alice dropped the dish she was working on and placed her hands on the side of the counter for support. "Daddy isn't here right now honey." Her voice broke at the end as she shook her head and wiped a tear away from her cheek.
"Daddy," Maddie said again. She pointed my way and laughed. Alice slowly turned towards me and froze.
"Surprise." I shrugged and smiled.
She buried her face into her hands and started crying uncontrollably. A moment later she ran towards me and leaped up into my arms. Evan and Maddie watched on the sidelines, laughing and smiling at us.
"I missed you Ali." I kissed her neck and hugged her tighter. She wrapped her legs around my waist and buried her face into my chest.
"I thought I was dreaming," she cried. "I've seen you so many times around the house and it's never real."
"I'm here." I rubbed her back and winked at Evan and Maddie.
We stayed like that for a long time before I asked Evan to grab Maddie. We walked down to our bedroom and laid in bed watching cartoons, just like we used to do Sunday mornings. Alice refused to let go of me, her fist clenched tightly into the fabric of my shirt. She was snuggled into one side with Evan on the other. Maddie was on my chest, poking and prodding at my face. My worst fear was that I'd come home and she wouldn't know me, but she did.
"Daddy?" Evan said.
"I'm glad you're home."
"Me too," Alice said.
"Me free!" Maddie yelled.
A few hours felt like mere moments with them. To anyone else watching cartoons with their wife and kids might sound like something small and mundane but this was the best part of my life right now. I appreciate every single moment I have with them. Nothing is ever small or mundane. Everything is….everything. It's the best morning. The best bedtime story. The best burnt chicken. It's even the best thing when I stub my toe on one of Evan's toys. I know a lot of men and women that don't ever get to return to this. I feel lucky to be able to. I'm lucky.
I heard the knock on the door but nobody moved. I figured it was Edward or Bella and they'd just come in anyway.
"Hello!" Edward yelled.
"In here!" I answered.
He walked down the hallway and smiled as soon as he saw us. "Good surprise?" He asked, leaning against the doorframe.
"Great surprise," Alice whispered.
"Alright munchkins let's go." He waved out into the hallway. "I'll bring you back later." He walked over and plucked Maddie from my chest. Evan quickly followed him and waved at Alice and I.
"Have fun playing your games Momma," he said.
Edward laughed and quickly closed the door behind them. When I heard the front door close, I snuggled further down in the bed so I could see Alice.
She stared at my face for a few moments as she traced her fingers over my features. "Why didn't you tell me?" She said softly.
"Because I didn't want to disappoint you if it didn't happen."
She swallowed hard and placed her hand over my heart. "Are you okay?"
"I am now." I tucked a piece of her short dark hair behind her ear and leaned forward to kiss her. She tasted like a slice of Heaven, a piece of perfection right here on Earth.
I pulled myself closer to her, cupping her face in my hands. I smiled against her lips and pushed her gently into the bed, rolling on top of her. I pressed my entire body down the length of hers, enough to feel every inch of her. My skin was buzzing, pulsating at every point it touched hers.
She whimpered and laced her fingers through my hair, holding my lips to hers. I gently ran my tongue along her bottom lip and sucked it between mine.
"Jazz," she whispered. She reached for the hem of my shirt and pulled it up over my head.
I darted down and nibbled on her neck, nipping and sucking at her delicate skin. My hand found its way to the bottom of her shirt and slipped under, rediscovering her body. She arched her back off the bed and allowed me to pull her shirt off.
I slid the straps of her bra down, tracing my tongue along the soft indents on her skin. I'd memorized every inch of her the first time we made love and it was something I'd never forget.
She fumbled with the button on my jeans and shimmied them down a little ways. I kicked them off and quickly discarded her sweatpants and panties.
"I love you baby," I murmured, nuzzling her jaw lightly with my nose. She moaned under her breath and tilted her head back.
I grabbed her hands and forced them above her head, pushing them down into the bed and enveloping them in a mess of blankets and fabric. I slowly pushed myself inside her and allowed my lips to linger over hers.
She pushed her hips up to meet mine with each movement, almost like no time had passed. We were still perfect. Still so attuned to one another. I always swore that I could feel her emotions, even when we were miles away from one another. If she had a bad day, I felt sad for her. If she was happy, I smiled for her. And when she missed me, I missed the hell out of her.
I ghosted my finger along her hip and down to her knee before pulling it up around my hip.
"God I can feel you everywhere," she whispered. She cried out and squeezed her fingers tightly against mine.
I leaned down and kissed her, rougher than before. My stomach clenched in pleasure and I felt myself bite down on her lip. She growled and pulled her hands away from mine. She pushed at my chest and rolled us over until she was straddling my waist, forcing me deeper with each move of her hips.
My fingertips found their way around her waist and settled there, grasping desperately onto her soft flesh.
"I love you," she said, forcing my eyes to hers with the absolute conviction in her voice. In that moment I knew we were going to be okay. This whole thing is hard and brutal and it fucking sucks sometimes, but its real. This love is real. Everything was going to be okay as long as I had her.
I clenched my eyes tight as the spring in my stomach snapped, sending chills and shivers throughout my entire body. Alice's nails dug into my chest, her fingers clasping tightly onto my dog tags as she followed. She arched her back one last time and collapsed onto my chest, heaving and breathing heavily as she tried to catch her breath.
We held each other as we came back down and I eventually pulled the covers over our heads.
"I miss waking up next to you…" I whispered.
"I miss smelling your aftershave in the bathroom," she said.
"I miss watching you help Evan with his homework."
"I miss watching you take a shower." She smirked and started laughing.
"Dirty little pervert." I grinned and leaned forward to kiss her. "Are you doing okay? I know it's rough on you." I smiled apologetically.
"I'm surviving. I guess sometimes that's all we can ask of one another right?"
I sighed and laced my fingers through hers. "Am I asking too much of you Ali?" I asked, barely above a whisper.
"Jasper I feel like I can't breathe without you here. I feel like nothing ever goes right and I'm so lonely sometimes I can't stand it. But moments like this? When you're here and I can hold you and kiss you and tell you how much I love you? These blow the sad moments out of the water. There's no comparison. If I have to suffer through a few not so good days to have these great ones with you then it's worth it. Always."
"I'm a lucky bastard. Do you know that?" I smiled.
"Yes you are. And I'm a lucky bastard's wife."
Alice fell asleep and I watched her for awhile, counting the number of times her chest rose up and down. I knew the kids would be back soon so I pulled on some sweatpants and slipped out into the living room to wait. Ten minutes later Bella pulled into the driveway and brought them up to the door.
"Did you two have a nice time?" She grinned and handed Maddie over to me.
"Yes we did thank you. And thanks for watching the kids. We appreciate it."
"I'm sure you do. Bye guys!" She waved at Maddie and Evan and left.
"Okay, so what do we want for dinner?" I asked. I sauntered to the kitchen and opened the fridge.
"Breakfast," Evan said.
"It's 4:30 in the afternoon and you want breakfast?"
"Yep," he said.
"Yep," Maddie answered.
"Alright. Breakfast it is." I pulled out some eggs and pancake mix. I was never very good at these things, but I'd try. It's all about how it tastes right? It doesn't matter if it's all flippy-floppied off to one side.
By the time I was ready to actually get the pancakes in the pan all three of us had flour all over us. It was tough juggling one kid, watching another and trying to make food. I'll never understand how Alice does it.
"What the heck is going on in here?" Alice asked from behind me.
I turned around and shrugged. "I'll clean it up."
She laughed and pulled herself up onto the counter. "Pancakes for dinner?"
"Sounds delicious." She pulled one of my mangled pancakes from the plate and took a bite.
"I know, I'm a commanding officer in the U.S. Army and can't make a decent pancake. Good thing I'm a better soldier than I am a cook."
"My soldier." She smiled and trapped me in her legs before pulling me closer.
I leaned forward and briefly pressed my lips to hers, savoring the simplicity of this moment. "Your soldier."
A/N: I hope you enjoyed it, even though it wasn't Edward and Bella. Most of the outtakes I ever do for this story will be Edward and Bella but I wanted to tell a little about Alice and Jasper's story too : ) Thanks for reading!