So, dear friends, I know I've been away for a while and I do apologize. However, as sort of a peace offering, I'm going to post this little bit of outtake fluff. I usually abhor songfic (but somehow Jasper always gets me to break all my rules), but this caught in my head and wouldn't let go. While I work on the next chapter of Pieces, I hope this gives you a little fun. My version of Jasper sings it like Boyce Avenue. Do a YouTube search for: "Breakeven (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)" to hear the inside of my head :)

Not mine, just mucking about in the cooks' kitchens.


I had just hung up with Charlie. Bella had been right; he called me first. I ran a hand through my hair. As difficult as the entire situation had been, Bella had done what she had set out to do. Her parents were at peace with her death. I sat my phone back down on my desk and started to head out to the beach. I paused when I heard Edward's piano. I was distracted by my conversation with Charlie when he had come in and hadn't noticed he was playing. I didn't recognize the tune but it sounded quite contemporary for him. I wondered if it was someone else playing his piano, though it was unlikely. I headed towards the music room – it contained almost every instrument any of us played, even Emmett's rarely used drums.

I leaned against the doorjamb; indeed, it was Edward playing. He looked up at me and I was almost overcome by the extreme melancholy of his emotions. We stared at each other without speaking for a few long minutes. I felt his conflicting desires but decided not to comment. As idiotic as my brother had been, he was still my brother and I loved him. I wanted things to be right between us. My patience paid off.

"If you have a minute, I think this would go better with guitar." Edward stilled his fingers against the piano and looked down.

I smiled ever so slightly and stepped into the room, grabbing an old guitar of mine and sat down in the window seat near the piano stool.

"I always have time for my brother."

He nodded without turning to look at me; he played a few notes and began singing. At first I was almost too shocked by Edward singing something so modern sounding that I almost didn't catch the words.

"I'm still alive but I'm barely breathing
Just prayed to a god that I don't believe in
Cos I got time while she got freedom
Cos when a heart breaks no it don't break even

Her best days will be some of my worst
She finally met a man that's gonna put her first
While I'm wide awake she's no trouble sleeping
Cos when a heart breaks no it don't break even

They say bad things happen for a reason
But no wise words gonna stop the bleeding
Cos she's moved on while I'm still grieving
Cos when a heart breaks no it don't break even

You got his heart and my heart and none of the pain
You took your suitcase, I took the blame.
Now I'm tryin' to make sense of what little remains

Cos you left me with no love, no love to my name.

What am I gonna do when the best part of me was always you
What am I suppose to say when I'm all choked up and your ok
I'm falling to pieces"

He didn't look to me when he was done; I was glad, I know I wore an expression of shock and I had no idea how best to respond. Edward had laid his emotions bare for me, much more so than my gift ever could. Knowing how precious this chance to mend things with my brother was, I let my guitar speak for me, weaving a melody for his words. I instinctively knew to arrange the last verse he sang as a chorus. I played for several minutes before I stopped and looked up to him.

"Do you mind if I sing it back to you?"

I knew how intensely personal lyrics could be, I'd written some songs in my time I couldn't bear to hear sung. Edward looked up, our eyes meeting for the first time since I first entered the room. He nodded cautiously. I took a deep breath, opening myself, not only to Edward's emotions but to my memories of how I felt when Alice and I divorced and how Bella felt when she left Edward. I lowered my head, hair falling into my eyes as I strummed my guitar and began singing.

"I'm still alive but I'm barely breathing,
Just prayed to a god that I don't believe in,
'Coz I got time while she got freedom,
'Coz when a heart breaks
no it don't break even.

Her best days will be some of my worst,
She finally met a man that's gonna put her first,
While I'm wide awake, she's no trouble sleeping,
'Coz when a heart breaks
no it don't break even, even no."

Edward started playing his piano at this point, adding depth to the melody.

"What am I supposed to do when the best part of me was always you
What am I supposed to say when I'm all choked up and you're ok
I'm falling to pieces
I'm falling to pieces

They say bad things happen for a reason
But no wise words gonna stop the bleeding, no
'Coz she's moved on while I'm still grieving
And when a heart breaks
no it don't break even, even no

What am I gonna do when the best part of me was always you
What am I supposed to say when I'm all choked up and you're ok
I'm falling to pieces, yeah
I'm falling to pieces, yeah
I'm falling to pieces
(One still in love while the other one's leaving)
I'm falling to pieces,
(Cuz when a heart breaks no it don't break even)"

Edward surprised me yet again when he joined in, signing backup vocals to my lead. They fit perfectly.

"You got his heart and my heart and none of the pain,
You took your suitcase, I took the blame.
Now I'm tryin' to make sense of what little remains, oh.
'Coz you left me with no love, with no love to my name.

I'm still alive but I'm barely breathing,
Just prayed to a god that I don't believe in,
'Coz I got time while she got freedom,
'Coz when a heart breaks
no it don't break, no it don't
break, no it don't break even no.

What am I gonna do when the best part of me was always you
What am I supposed to say when I'm all choked up and you're ok
I'm falling to pieces, yeah
I'm falling to pieces, yeah
I'm falling to pieces
(One still in love while the other one's leaving)
I'm falling to pieces,
(Cuz when a heart breaks no it don't break even)

Oh, it don't break even, no
Oh, it don't break even, no
Oh, It don't break even, no"

I stopped playing before he did, the sound of the piano alone closing out the melody. It was wonderful, yet heartbreaking. I started playing the tune once more, Edward singing the verses in my arrangement without prompting. He needed this, needed ownership of this song of his. I sang along where he had previously. When the last note had faded completely into silence, Edward spoke.

"It just hurts so much, Jasper. I want to hate you, but I can't… Just take care of her, please."

I sat aside my guitar and went to my brother. I stood next to him, laying my hand on his shoulder. Rarely did our age difference show as it did now, not only had I lived longer than he as an immortal, but I had lived longer as a mortal. I had seen more things, war, marriage, heartache… for all his abilities, knowing wasn't the same as experiencing. I flooded him with as much comfort as I could.

"We do better than that, Edward. We take care of each other. She'll always love you, but she wasn't a prize to be captured, she's a woman who needed to be loved unconditionally. She was yours for a time, but time moves on. You needed the lessons her love has taught you, just as she needed the lessons from your love and I needed mine from Alice. Your heart will heal, Edward, and when you meet your true mate, this will have all been worth it for the capacity it gives you to love again, to love freely, vulnerably and without strings. You'll be able to love as a man should, not a boy. For what it's worth, I'm proud of you, brother."

Edward stood up and turned, he hugged me tightly and with no shame.

"I looked down on you, so much, for your struggle with our diet, for your beginnings in this life… I was wrong, Jasper, I'm sorry. Thank you for this. Thank you for being willing to act as my brother when I so often did not, thank you for a being a man I can look up to."

He released me and smiled that crooked smile of his, "and for what it's worth, brother, I'm proud of you."

We both grinned and laughed, brothers once again.