While You Were Sleeping
Chosen Face: ComaSper
Disclaimer: Please do not copy or reproduce any of this work without express permission from myself. All character names are the property of Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended.
Rating: M (For language)
A/N: I want to say a huge thanks to Simone and Marie for encouraging me to write this. You girls rock! And a big thanks to my wifey kymclark who pre read and beta'd for me. She made me get all happy while I wrote it.
The harsh beep of the monitor contrasted with the soft 'whoosh' of the ventilator keeping Jasper breathing as he lay in the bed, oblivious to all pain. His own and that of his family and friends. If it weren't for the tubes entering various parts of his body, many would think he were sleeping. A look of pure peace on his face which was no longer a hellish purple, but varying shades of yellow. His lips were starting to crack from the lack of moisture other than that in the IV connected to the back of his hand. The bruises the only indication of the violent attack that had placed him in his current situation.
Outside the closed door of his room, worried voices tried not to disturb the other patients.
"How could no one have known where he was for three days? I can't even bear to think of him being left alone like that. Just for doing something good on behalf of someone else. Always thinking of and helping others. Who would have thought it would be his downfall? Rosalie's voice was full of disbelief at the thought of her brother, battered, bruised and left for dead. "Why didn't this girl stick around to make sure he was fucking okay?" Tears of anger sprang to her eyes as she turned to enter his room.
"Rose, he will pull through." Alice's voice stopped her as she turned the handle.
"How do you know Alice?"
"I don't, but he has to. Too many people love him for him to just leave us." Rose looked at her future sister-in-law's tear filled green eyes. "He just has to Rose. I can't exist without him." Alice's usually upbeat voice began to crack through fear and the beginnings of loss. Rose let go of the door handle and pulled Alice into her arms and squeezing her tightly. After a moment, the two of them pulled apart so Rose could go and sit with her brother.
Rose shut the door quietly behind her and made her way over to the bed which held her brother's lifeless form.
"Hey Dog Breath. Look at you, all chilled out and catching up on your sleep." She sat down in the rigid, plastic chair. "But I think you've rested enough now." She gently shook his shoulder as she did every morning before she left for work, slowly shaking him harder and harder, almost as if she were trying to jolt him out of the coma.. "It's time to wake up." When she got no response, she took hold of his cool hand and rubbed it absentmindedly. "Looking at you lying there reminds me of that Christmas when we both got a bike. You were 6 I was 5. Your bike was pearlescent blue with a red trim. You said it looked like it was going really fast. Mine was bright pink with red and yellow flowers that had taken mum ages to stick on so there were no air bubbles. You were inspecting the body of yours when you found a big ass air bubble. You threw the biggest tantrum ever. Mum and dad had never seen you like that. Me, plenty of times, but not you. You were the one who always stayed calm." Rose couldn't carry on speaking. Her throat felt as if it were blocked. She laid her head onto the bed next to Jasper's arm. "I need to you wake up big brother. Who else is going to threaten to kick Emmett's arse when he pisses me off?" She stood up and brushed her fingers gently through his hair. Without saying another word, she kissed his forehead and left his room. As soon as she was back in the corridor, she collapsed into Emmett's arms, sobbing her heart out.
Edward watched as his brother carried his fiancee to a set of seats. He and Alice gave them some space to be alone.
"Do you mind if I go in next Al?" The petite girl simply nodded whilst watching her boyfriend's sister fall apart. Edward gently kissed the top of her head and entered the private room. Seeing his best friend simply lying in bed brought a lump to his throat.
"Shit man. You look rough." Was the only greeting he could think of as he sat in the chair. "Only you could save a damsel in distress and wind up in hospital." Edward felt like an idiot having a one way conversation. He was so used to Jasper taking the piss out him and always having an answer for everything, the lack of response freaked him out. "I mean, all power to you, but did you really have to get yourself knocked out. It's just like the time your parents went away, stupidly leaving us alone with an unlocked liquor cabinet within our grasp. I mean, who does that knowing there are two sixteen year olds in the house?" Edward chuckled at the memory that was forming in his mind. "That's the night you discovered your love of whiskey, and your dislike of Gin. Who'd have thought they wouldn't mix? Oh, yeah. Me. I told you not to fucking drink that cocktail." Edward's laughter built up and built up until he could barely breathe. Suddenly he realised where he was, and laughter wasn't exactly suitable for the Intensive Care ward of a hospital. "Sorry man, I can't help but laugh every time I get a flashback of your face. I've never seen anyone turn green before."
Edward took a few deep breaths. "Listen dude. You gotta wake up, not for me, not for Rose, but for Alice. She's seriously falling apart out there. I honestly don't think she could survive without you. Come back to us man." He lightly fist bumped Jasper's limp hand before getting and leaving the room without looking back. Once back out in the corridor, he released the breath he didn't realize he had been holding. "That shit's just messed up." For once, he wasn't ashamed of the tears rolling down his face. Rose and Alice wrapped their arms around him while Emmett clapped a hand on his shoulder.
"The doctor should be here to check him over soon. We should grab a bite to eat while we can, Jasper won't be alone." Rose suggested; ever the level headed one in a crisis. As one unit, the four of them headed toward the hospital canteen.
After they'd managed to pass an hour of making small talk about anything and everything, they headed back up to Jasper's room. None of them could imagine life without him. He was their glue, their backbone. More than once he's managed to employ his 'southern charm' to sweet talk them out of tight situations, usually caused by Emmett and his chronic case of speaking before thinking. Everything they'd ever done as a group included him. Things wouldn't be the same if he didn't wake up. The corridor from the lifts to his room felt foreboding and intimidating without him by their sides. The door was closed, but they could see that he was alone.
"Do you mind?" Emmett asked Alice as he placed his hand on the handle.
"Go ahead Em, I'm still not ready." She turned and took a seat, holding her head in her hands. Emmett watched her for a second, agony of watching his friend in pain flashed across his blue eyes. Slowly, he turned and entered the room.
For the first time in his life, Emmett was speechless. He may not have been friends with Jasper as long as Edward and Alice, but since he'd gotten to know him as a person rather than his little brother's ever present friend, he'd never met anyone who had a bad word to say against him. Jasper Whitlock-Hale was the epitome of a 'nice guy'. It was just a shame that being a nice guy had to end this way.
"Hey Jas." Emmett folded his large frame into the plastic chair nest to the bed. "I have so much respect for you right now. Not many guys would step in and help someone they don't know." Emmett struggled to find the right words, it was surreal. He'd watched moments like this on tv and in the movies, but never expected to do it himself. "You do realise Rose is gonna whup your ass when you wake up. She's starting to get mad about you being left in the street unconscious." Emmett looked at the door as if he could see through it at the reason for his existence. "About Rose. I just wanted to say thanks. Not many big brothers would have been so accepting of a new guy in her life. Most guys with such a hot sister wouldn't be so accommodating. Yeah, you did give me the whole big brother talk. I distinctly remember you threatening to rip my balls off if ever I hurt her. Then we had a beer." Emmett wiped the smile off his face. "We need to go for a beer again soon. Hurry up and come back to us huh." Rather than stand up, Emmett simply sat looking at his girlfriend's brother for a while. "Listen, I have a favour to ask you. I was going to do this soon, and if I plan it right, it'll work out perfectly. You know how Rose's birthday's coming up next month? What am I saying, of course you do. Big brother and all that. Well, I wanted to take her away for the weekend, but keep it a surprise. there's no way I'm telling Alice; that girl, as much as I love her, couldn't keep a secret even if it taped her mouth shut. I need the help of my boys. Edward's sorting out flights, but you need to help me pick the perfect hotel." Emmett's voice drifted off as he looked at the monitors. "Anyway, we'll talk later dude."
Emmett left the room without looking behind him. He didn't want a reminder of how easily vibrancy could be taken away. Jasper had always been full of life and strong. It killed Emmett to see him so vulnerable.
Edward had never seen his brother so withdrawn. He couldn't do anything other than simply watch him he flopped into a chair and stare into space. Emmett was the joker. The one who always had something to say. Seeing him like this freaked him out.
"Are you ready Alice" Rose's voice cut through the tension. Emmett and Edward both looked at their cousin as she bit her lip and wrung her hands. "If you're not, we'll all understand honey." At those words, Alice pulled herself straight and to her full height. A look of steely determination on her face.
"I need to do this. I need to talk to him. I need to tell him that he needs to come back to me, to us all." She took a deep breath and entered his room.
All traces of determination abandoned her as soon as she was alone with the love of her life. She slid down the door into a heap on the floor. Tears streamed down her face and she was unable to speak. She held her head in her hands as she sobbed not knowing how to get to her feet and go and sit next to him.
"Jas, baby. I need you." Her light voice travelled across the room. "I can't do any of it without you. I just can't function without you by my side." Alice could feel her chest aching from the separation from Jasper. This alone made her get to her feet and slowly walk across the room. rather than sit in the horrid plastic chair, she decided to sit on the bed. She tucked herself in next to his legs and sat and examined his face. "You're going to need a shave. Maybe I'll bring a razor tomorrow and do it for you. You don't want to look a mess when you wake up and get a chance to look in the mirror. You will be waking up. You have to. Things aren't supposed to go this way."
Alice took Jasper's large hand between her two delicate ones and squeezed it tightly. It didn't escape her notice that it felt like a dead weight. There was no fingers intertwining with her own, no warmth coming from his work roughened skin.
"We're supposed to be happy and together. You have to come back to me so you can keep your promise to be my forever." She didn't even bother wiping the tears away. "Do you remember that day? We were having a picnic in the park just before you started your new job at the riding school. I was worried that you'd meet some frisky young blonde groom and gallop off into the sunset with her. You kissed me so softly and told me that I wasn't getting rid of you that easily and then you promised to always be in my life. my forever." Alice could feel the blush as she remembered what happened after Jasper's declaration. The park warden hadn't been impressed with them either and threatened to ban them. "You told me that you always keep your promises, so you need to wake up baby."
Alice managed to tuck herself alongside her boyfriend's form and rested her head on his chest, careful not to disturb any of the wires or tubes. She could feel the stress of the last few days taking its toll on her and soon fell asleep.
Her family and friends watched them through the window into the room and decided that the two of them deserved some privacy. Rose turned to head to the lifts to go home for a while. She walked straight into a girl who was in floods of tears.
"Sorry." The girl mumbled.
"It was my fault, I wasn't looking where I was going." Rose saw the bruises on her wrists. "Hey, are you okay? They look sore. You really should get a doctor to look at them."
"They're fine. I'm just looking for someone." The dark haired girl glanced into Jasper's room. "Oh my God! What did they do to him?" Her voice raised in shock.
"Wait. You know Jasper?" Emmett looked at her, not recognizing her face. He could feel Rose trembling beside him. "Babe?" He turned to her surprised to see a look of pure rage on her face.
"It's all your fault!" She screamed in the strange girl's face. "It's because of you my brother is in that bed with no-one knowing if he'll ever wake up." She shrugged out of Emmett's hands and started to walk towards the girl. "Why did you leave him lying in the street as if he was nothing but a bit of fucking rubbish?" Rose demanded.
"Rose. Calm down. Let the poor girl get herself together. Jumping down her throat isn't helping Jasper." Edward managed to get between the two women as Emmett managed to lead Rose to the seating area.
Alice jolted awake thinking she had something crawling in her hair. She lifted her hand gingerly, terrified of finding a creepy crawly. She sat bolt upright when her hand came into contact with skin.
"Jasper?" She couldn't believe it. He was awake and stroking her hair.
"Hey baby." He tried to speak around the tube that was inserted in his throat.
"Shh, let me call a nurse. Oh baby! You don't understand how much we've all been worried." She hopped off the bed and ran out the room.
"Alice? What's wrong?" Rose was scared at the wild look on Alice's face.
"He's awake. I need a nurse." She ran off down the corridor to the nurses station. Rose, Emmett and Edward rushed in to see Jasper, tears of joy and relief streaming down their face.
"Don't you ever scare me like that again or I'll damage you myself." Rose told him off while hugging him. She was gently pulled off him by a nurse who expertly removed the feeding tube. Aliced winced at the pain that flashed across Jasper's face as the nurse slowly withdrew the tube. the grunt of discomfort was all she knew he would show, but anyone who knew him would know that it meant he was hurting. His doctor did a few tests and announced that he was satisfied that Jasper hadn't suffered any permanent damage, but warned them that he still needed to rest.
"Who's that?" Alice spotted the tear stained face of the dark haired girl as she hovered in the doorway.
"That is the reason that Jasper's in that bed." Rose looked at the girl with utter disdain on her face. Alice gasped and rushed over to her.
"Are you ok?" Rose couldn't believe Alice was worried about the girl who had caused them all their heartache over the last four days.
"Alice, what do we care if she's ok? She left him in the street like he was nothing." Rose turned back to her brother who was watching the interaction happening in the doorway.
"I...I...I didn't leave him." A quiet voice stuttered. Five pairs of eyes were on her now.
"Come and sit down and tell us what happened honey." Alice led her to the chair. She pulled Edward out of it by his shirt and sat her down. "Take your time." the girl took a deep breath.
"It was late Monday night. I was walking home from my evening class when they jumped me. there was three of them. One of them held my hands above my head. he was too strong for me." She rubbed absently at her bruised wrists. "Then the other two ripped my clothes." Even Rose, as angry as she was, couldn't help but listen in horror as the girl continued to tell her story in a dead voice. "He was just about to...you know...when he was grabbed from behind. Your friend there saved me. He yelled at me to run and find a policeman. So I ran. I've never run so fast in my life." She went on to tell them that she had ran into a police station and yelled for someone to come with her. "They sent one policeman out while two others pulled me into an interview room. by the time they let me go, the other one had come back saying he hadn't found anyone." Alice rubbed the girl's back as she burst into fresh tears. "They were going to charge me with wasting police time."
"Oh honey. That's awful. What made them change their minds?" Alice just had to know.
"I'd been held for two days with them yelling at me that I was lying. the fact that I was bruised and wearing torn clothes didn't seem to make a blind bit of difference. Eventually, they got a phone call that your friend had been found. A mile away from where I'd been attacked. They had to let me go then. I went home, got a wash and a change of clothes then went back to find out where he was. I had to make sure he was okay. I needed to make things right with him and to thank him."
"You didn't need to do that." Jasper's voice was husky from lack of use and made everyone jump. "You need to take care of yourself."
"I'm ok. This is all cosmetic." She indicated her wrists. "I would never have been able to go about my life knowing you were hurt because of me. it took me another day to find out where you were." She stood up and walked over to his bed. "I'll never be able to repay you for what you did, but I just wanted you to know that I tried to get you help. I really did."
"Shhh, I know you did. I don't expect you to repay me. I did what any decent person would have done. Please don't feel bad. It all worked out in the end." Jasper's innate ability to calm people down was in full force.
"I'm sorry I screamed at you. I didn't know the whole story." Rose still couldn't believe the hell this girl had been through.
"Please don't. You were worried about your brother. I completely understand." She gathered her things. "I'll leave you to enjoy being reunited." She walked towards the door to leave. Alice called out.
"Wait. can we at least know your name?" The girl turned.
"It's Bella. Bella Swan."