Still don't own Twilight.

"We should totally stop at all of the roadside attractions."

I threw an arm over my eyes and prayed that Edward would eventually shut the hell up and go to sleep. We'd been driving for over eight hours and I just needed to… not think. Which was stupid really because what else could I do? No matter how I tried not to, Maria was all I could think about.

"And IHOP is happening in the AM, Jasper. I wanna Rooty-Tooty the fuck out of Albuquerque."

I shook my head. "That sounds like a bad name for a porn involving anal, Edward."

"Don't knock it till you've tried it." He threw his duffle bag on the bed and started digging through it. "By the way, I'll need to borrow some toothpaste. And do you have an extra t-shirt or something? Not that I don't look debonair in a tuxedo, but I think I've taken that look as far as I can."

Edward then picked my suitcase up and started unzipping it. I sat up on my elbows and watched him. "What exactly did you pack when we went by your house?"

"The essentials." He held up a pile of my clothes and shook his head. "What the fuck, Jasper? Were you planning on going on your honeymoon or a fucking business trip? Khaki pants and loafers? Really? Are you fifty?" He threw the clothes back in my bag and sighed. "I can't wear any of this."

"Then don't, asshole." I got off of the bed I was laying on and took the mess of clothes from Edward. He watched in amusement as I started refolding all of them. "I don't want my clothes wrinkled to shit."

He gave me a sarcastic thumbs-up before smelling the white undershirt he'd been wearing all day. "Well, this is pretty ripe so I don't have a choice. Maybe they have souvenir t-shirts in the lobby. I'll look in the- Hey!"

I grabbed his ratty duffle bag off of his bed and started looking through what all he considered to be essentials for this trip. It shouldn't have surprised me that there was nothing "essential" but his damn passport. "Fruit Rollups and a bong, Edward? Are you seventeen?"

He shrugged and pulled the box of fruit snacks out of my hand. "I'll just buy shit as we go. Can I use your toothbrush?"

xXxXxXx

"Mom is freaking out, Jasper! You just left and… what am I supposed to tell her? You've been gone for three days!"

I rubbed my forehead before moving the phone to my other ear. "Tell her I'm with Edward."

"Where are you going? What about the house? Have you-"

I knew my sister was just concerned but playing the million questions game was annoying the shit out of me. "Rosalie, I am a grown man. I don't know where we are going. I… I can't be there right now."

The sound of my sister sniffling made me want to turn around and drive back to Texas. "Just… don't disappear okay? Maria hurt you Jasper, I know that, but you're my only brother and I can't…"

I leaned against the car and closed my eyes. "I'll come back, Rosalie. You know that."

After a few more minutes of reassuring my sister that I wasn't going to just vanish off the face of the earth, we hung up. While I waited for Edward to finish paying for the gas, I turned my phone over in my hands and debated if calling Maria was a good idea or not. Eventually we would have to talk to each other and decide what to do with the house and all of the things we had accumulated together over the years.

I stared down at the familiar phone number on the screen of my phone and then canceled the call. We would have to talk to each other soon, but that didn't mean it had to be today. I slipped my sunglasses back on before getting back in the car.

"Well, Seattle was fun." Edward tossed me a bottle of water before tearing into a bag of beef jerky. "You sure you don't want me to drive?"

I shook my head before thanking him for the drink. "I'm okay."

We drove in silence for a while, Edward gnawing on dehydrated beef and me trying not to think about Maria. I wondered what she was doing, but then the mental images started coming into focus and I had to stop myself. For some reason, the fact that she'd left with Nettie made the entire thing more difficult.

After an hour of driving in silence, I briefly looked at Edward before telling him what I was thinking about. He listened while I explained everything. "I was going to call Maria but I can't talk to her. Not yet, anyway."

Edward might have been an irresponsible asshole ninety percent of the time, but he was my best friend, and he normally knew exactly what to say to make shit better. He tossed his bag of jerky onto the dash and turned in his seat to look at me.

"Remember when we were like seven or something and I was scared to jump off of the roof and onto the trampoline?" I smiled before nodding my head. Edward continued. "And you told me that I didn't have to do it if I didn't want to. But once I did, then I would realize I was making it out to be higher than it really was. Same rules apply with this."

I couldn't help but laugh. "When you did finally jump, you missed the trampoline and ended up breaking your leg."

"Exactly." Edward nodded.

"I'm not seeing how this applies to the fact that the woman I was supposed to marry, left me at the altar and took another female on our honeymo-"

"Should I have been on that roof to begin with?" He interrupted me. "No. I shouldn't have. But you know what? It took me three weeks to build up the courage to jump, and even if I did break my leg and end up looking like a complete pussy in front of all the kids in our neighborhood, it was still worth the fall."

I nodded my head and we went back to the silence that had filled the car moments earlier. As I drove, I wondered if Edward was right. Would I ever be able to look back on what had happened with Maria and say that it had been worth the fall? Right now, it didn't seem like anything in my life made sense, but I had to at least try to believe that eventually all of this would.

"Hey, Edward?"

My best friend stopped drawing on the leg of his jeans and looked up at me. "Yeah?"

"How long did it take for you to realize that falling was worth it?"

He smiled and tossed the pen into the back seat. "About a month ago when I was at a party in Austin. These dumbass kids were trying to jump off a roof, onto a trampoline and into a pool. I remembered how fucking shitty it was to be in a full leg cast and didn't participate." He slapped my shoulder and smiled. "But you're way more mature than I am so I would say you'll be all healed up in no time."

xXxXxXx

I was in the middle of focusing on the map in my hands when Edward interrupted my train of thought. He'd taken over the driving a few miles back and had been uncharacteristically quiet.

"We aren't going to go live in a bus or anything are we?"

I frowned before looking up at him. "What the hell are you talking about?"

He kept his eyes on the road but answered me in a quiet voice. "You know that book you were obsessed with in high school, where the kid took off for Alaska and ended up living in a bus and dying. We aren't doing that, right? Because I'll be honest, I'm down for just about anything but I am not hiking my ass through the Alaskan wilderness and -"

"You read Into the Wild?"

Edward shook his head and looked at me. "I saw the movie. And I love you and all Jasper but I'm not going to live off of berries and twigs until you're ready to rejoin society."

I laughed while folding the map up. "Edward."

He slapped the map out of my hands. "Dude, I'm serious! I am not into nature and shit. If we-"

"Watch out!" I yelled, bracing my arms against the dash.

Edward slammed his foot onto the break to miss the fucking moose that was standing in the middle of the highway and my car fishtailed on the wet pavement. We both screamed and braced ourselves for whatever my car decided to collide with. When the front passenger side rammed into a tree, the windshield splintered and a sickening metal grinding noise drowned out our voices. Then, just as quick as it had happened, everything stopped.

"What the… Are you okay?" I asked Edward. He nodded his head but kept his hands glued on the steering wheel. I slowly took off my seatbelt and looked around at the damage I could see from my seat. We definitely wouldn't be driving away from this. "Do you even know where we are?"

Edward shook his head. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, yeah I'm fine." I felt around in the floorboard for my phone. "Can you open your door?"

Luckily, the driver's side was completely fine. After Edward got out, I crawled over the middle console and got out of the car. Seeing the full extent of the damage was sickening.

"I'm sorry, Jasper, I didn't… I wasn't paying attention."

I shook my head at his apology. "I'm just glad we're both okay."

While I called to give our mile marker to the closest emergency services, Edward was able to get our bags out of the back of the car. Forty-five minutes later, we were both sitting on the side of the road, soaking wet and watched as a tow truck pulled up next to us.

My best friend elbowed my arm and nodded towards the door of the truck where "BJ Service and Automotive" was written across the door. I rolled my eyes at his juvenile humor and stood up to greet the mechanic.

"Looks like you guys had a little accident." The voice coming from the tow truck took both of us by surprise. A girl, who had to be our age our a little younger, with long brown hair jumped out of the cab and smiled. She nodded towards my car while pulling her hair into a ponytail. "Need some help?"

"You're the mechanic?" Edward practically yelled.

I shook my head at his nonexistent manners and held my hand out. "Hi, I'm Jasper and yes, we need some help towing the car into town."

The girl shook my hand and smiled. "I'm Bella. Welcome to Forks, Jasper."

xXxXxXx

Sitting in the office of BJ Service and Automotive was beyond boring. We'd been stuck there for over an hour and I'd been forced to endure Edward's constant commentary about Bella the entire time.

"Did you see how perfect her lips are?" He whispered. "And she knows how to fix cars, Jasper! That's so fucking hot!"

I flipped to the next page of my magazine. "And you don't suppose that that large Native American guy out in the garage with her could be her boyfriend?"

Before he had a chance to answer the door from the garage opened and Bella walked into the office. "Well, Jake took a look at your car and I have some good news and some bad news."

Edward practically jumped out of his chair and leaned against her desk once she sat down. I had to move him over so that I could see what Bella was pulling up on their computer.

She gave him a quick smile before looking back at me. "So which do you want first? The good or the bad?"

I rubbed the back of my neck and shrugged my shoulders. "Good, I guess."

"The good news is that we can fix it and your insurance will cover the majority of it. We have a friend down on the reservation that does body work, so we can get you taken care of."

"And the bad?" I asked hesitantly.

"The bad news is that unless you want us to tow your car to Olympia or Port Angeles then it will be about a week before we can get you up and running again. We're a pretty small town and we don't keep a lot of parts in stock."

I groaned before leaning back in the chair. "A week?"

Bella shrugged her shoulders. "Sorry. We can tow it for you and your insurance will pay for it."

My mouth opened to tell her to make the arrangements to tow it, but Edward kicked the leg of my chair before smiling back at Bella.

"Can you give us just a second?" She nodded before pushing away from her desk and walking back into the garage. As soon as the door shut, Edward got two inches away from my face. "We are not towing your car! Are you crazy?"

I pushed him away from me and stood up. "What? I'm not waiting here for a week, Edward."

"Dude! She's… I mean… you'd be helping the local economy! A small town like this? They could probably use all the help they can get!" Edward grabbed the sleeve of my shirt. "I am literally begging, Jasper."

I wasn't buying this "helping the economy" bullshit. I knew damn well why he wanted to stay here and it was because of a five foot four brunette that had her head under the hood of my car. I shook my head. "Edward, this isn't-"

The door opened again and I rolled my eyes at Edward's silent begging.

"Texas plates? That's a long way from home." I turned around at the sound of another feminine voice. A tiny little thing of a girl smiled up at me. "Welcome to Forks. Are you guys staying in town? Jake and Bella really do excellent work." She spoke quickly while her eyes flew between mine and Edward's.

Bella closed the door to the garage and smiled behind her friend. "Do I need to arrange a tow?"

My best friend cleared his throat before hitting my shoe with his. "Jasper."

With three sets of eyes staring at me, I caved. "Is there a hotel in Forks?"

While Edward basically swarmed Bella, getting lodging information, I fell back into my chair and watched as the other girl dropped an armful of baskets onto the desk. I could feel her watching me out of the corner of my eye but kept my attention focused on the magazine I'd been reading.

"I'm Alice." I looked up to see her sitting in the chair next to mine, her small hand held out for mine. "You're Jasper?"

I nodded and shook her hand. "Nice to meet yo-"

"Your soul is sad, Jasper." She whispered. Her hand squeezed mine before she continued. "But just remember that your heart will heal."

Without another word she stood up and left me sitting by myself. I watched as the door shut behind her and tried to ignore the tingling in my hand that she'd been holding.

"How did she know?" I asked the empty room.

AN: So glad that some of you who have never read A/J stories are giving this a try. There is just something about their back story in Twilight that just makes my heart melt. Anyway, hope you guys enjoyed this!