Disclaimer: My psychiatrist tells me that I don't own Twilight…or Harry Potter for that matter. And apparently I'm not really married to Colin Firth circa 1995. Dang.

Prologue –Black

He always thought that one day someone would snatch her from them, one way or another. Or maybe she'd simply get sick of them. He was paranoid, it was true. Bella didn't like that about him. She saw right through him. It made her mad sometimes, and other times it made her smile.

"You're so silly, Jasper." She would say. Or, "Stop being such a depressing dog, Jasper. I'm right here!"

But she wasn't there now, was she? He wished hard for her to appear next to him at that very moment, for things to be right again, for normalcy. It seemed that was all he could hope to strive for. Their "normal" wasn't everyone else's normal, but it was perfect, and he had never wished for a boring life more than he did now.

Jasper sat stiff at his desk. His classroom was empty. School had let out half an hour earlier, which didn't matter much since he hadn't been present for most of the day. Nearly everyone was gone, and normally he would be, too. He'd be racing out of that door faster than anyone, rushing to get home, to be with her, to be happy.

Not today. He couldn't move. He'd have felt dead if not for the damning beat of his heart and the lazy contractions of his lungs.

He paid no attention to the person standing in the doorway. They were watching him, but he didn't care. The person came closer, having made up their mind to approach, and a moment later a pale hand was on his shoulder, squeezing him.

"Come on, Jazz, we have to go. We're not doing anyone good by acting like zombies. We're not doing her any good. We have to keep going like everything is as it should be."

Jasper's face scrunched up in disgust. He looked up at his youngest brother, about to chew into him until he noticed that his brown eyes were glossy with tears. "You don't really believe any of that, do you Emmett? Nothing is as it should be, and it's impossible to pretend otherwise. There's no point. I'm not going to act as if life is good when I want to fucking kill someone."

Emmett bowed his head. "I know. But we have to…we have to at least try to be strong. We can't give up." He extended a hand towards his brother. "Come on, let's go home."

Jasper stood up slowly, a set grimace on his lips. "I'm not doing this anymore. I can't."

Emmett stared at him for a good long minute, then nodded. "Okay."

Jasper gathered his bag up, ready to go home, dreading it and needing it at the same time. He wanted to be near her things, to smell her clothes and her shampoo and to see her toothbrush on the bathroom counter. He wanted evidence that she was there, and that she would be again.

He peered wistfully into Edward's old classroom as they passed. The door was wide open, void of any living thing. The new teacher had gone home, a Miss. Tinsel, but Jasper didn't pay her much attention. Jasper missed Edward. He missed him everyday when he was in school. It just wasn't the same, and right now, he really needed both of his brothers. Emmett was the only thing keeping him from going off the deep end at that moment.

Emmett drove them home, keeping one eye on Jasper. It wasn't that Emmett wasn't just as torn up as his older brother, he was, but he knew that at least one of them had to stay strong. For now. One break down at a time. He had to be there for his family first, then he could go crazy.

"Mom and dad are coming over tonight." Emmett said, breaking the silence.

"Why?" Jasper didn't actually care why.

"Why do you think?" Emmett pulled into the driveway, relieved to be home. He gripped the wheel as he spoke, trying to keep himself from crying. "They're our parents. They want to take care of us. God knows it's hard enough to get up in the morning, much less make breakfast and take out the garbage. I can barely manage to take a shower. They're worried about us, and honestly, I'm glad they're coming. I don't think I've ever needed them as much as I do now."

Jasper pursed his lips. "Tell mom not to wash any of Bella's clothes. Or the sheets. And tell her not to move any of her stuff."

"I will."

"And the pictures. Tell her not to touch them. I don't care if she thinks it's unhealthy…" He said the last part under his breath, remembering how his mom had tried to "help" him the other day by taking away the photos he had grasped in his hand. She meant well, but she had no idea how painful it was. He wasn't simply grasping onto a couple of photographs, he was grasping onto the last remnants of a beautiful life. No one was allowed to take that away.

He went into the house first, heading straight for the bedroom, as Emmett knew he would. He watched him get into the bed, bury himself under the sheets (her scent was strong, he swore) and clutch some of Bella's night clothes to his chest.

He didn't move for hours, but Emmett checked in on him frequently…just in case.

Suicide watch. That was part of the reason their parents were coming over. They had to make sure they didn't try anything. They insisted on staying for a few days. Emmett wasn't going to complain. It was a lot of pressure to look after a potentially suicidal grown man, especially when he was feeling a bit suicidal himself.

It was hard to move, hard to be positive. But Emmett was good at pretending, and even though his hope was almost non-existent, there was just enough to keep him holding on. Maybe…maybe life wasn't over. Maybe it was all a mistake, a misunderstanding. Maybe she would be with them the very next day, that night, in the next minute. Maybe he could do something…

Emmett walked into the bathroom, his steps purposeful and motivated. He picked up a lone hairbrush laying on the counter, jabbing his finger into the tangles of hair, her hair, until he was caught.

Bella…come back.

A/N That was depressing. But don't worry, it get's better!