A/N: This story was written as a gift for Shenoahdesigns. I hope you enjoy it, sweets.
Many thanks to Maleficentknits for betaing.
As ever, I do not own Twilight
"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Flight BA 296 to London is now boarding. We are now inviting those passengers with small children, and any passengers-"
Jasper shook his head, pushing away the announcement as he said, "Sorry, babe, what was that? You got drowned out." He sighed, raking his hand through his hair as he jammed the phone between ear and shoulder in order to check yet again that he had his boarding pass ready.
Edward chuckled and Jasper could hear the rest of their family talking in the background. Not for the first time – or the last – Jasper cursed his boss for sending him on a last minute assignment. He'd already missed out on Christmas with his family, and he'd be damned if he'd lose out on New Year's, too. Though if the weather had its way, that was certainly a real danger of happening.
"I said," came Edward on the other end of the line, "that we're all looking forward to seeing you. Are you sure you don't want me to come pick you up at the airport, sweetheart?"
Jasper shook his head, though Edward obviously wasn't there to see it. He glanced around surreptitiously, giving an embarrassed grin when his eyes met those of a girl barely out of her teens. She smiled hopefully at him and blushed, which prompted a snort of amusement from Jasper. Edward gave no response to it, but Jasper could almost hear his lover's eyebrow cocking.
Clearing his throat, Jasper said quickly, "No, that's alright. I'll grab a taxi. Gonna be on Jenks' tab anyway. Fucker owes me for missing out on the holidays."
Edward's amused, though melancholy, "True. Missed you, baby," was nearly drowned out by the sound of Jasper's twin's, "Jazz, you better get your butt back here pronto! None of us can handle your beau's mooning over you any more!" Rosalie's comment was met with laughter from everyone else, and indignation from Edward, which only made Jasper's heart ache further.
There was another boarding announcement, this time for the flight to Minneapolis, followed almost immediately by one for Los Angeles. Jasper checked the boarding schedule and bit his lip. His flight would be coming up soon. Reluctantly, he said, "Missed you, too, Edward. So much. I'll be there soon, though. I'd better get off the phone. My flight's coming up here in a few."
They talked for a couple more minutes, wherein Edward caught Jasper up on what had been going on. Apparently Rose had gotten even bigger since the last time he'd seen her, and had been having some false alarms over the last few days. Edward assured Jasper that she and the babies were fine and that her doctor had declared it perfectly normal. It set Jasper's heart at ease to know he'd be home soon so he'd be able to see for himself how his sister was holding up. He knew she was due in the next couple of weeks, and he had every intention of being there for the big event. Rose would never forgive him if he missed the birth of his nephews.
"-Flight AA 1377 to Seattle is now boarding..."
"That's me!" said Jasper, excited. "Sorry, babe, I gotta go. Love you!"
"Love you, too, Jazz. Have a safe flight, okay?" said Edward with such tenderness it made Jasper ache to hold him. Soon, he promised himself.
Once Jasper got off the phone, he turned it off and put it in the front pocket of his carry-on. Clutching his boarding pass like a lifeline, he got up, grabbed his coat and his bag and hurried to stand in the already considerable line to board his flight.
Edward, meanwhile, stared wistfully at his phone, praying quietly for Jasper's flight to be smooth and for him to make it home safely. Alice crept up behind him and wrapped her arms around his waist. She glanced up at him with a warm smile. "Cheer up, Edward. Everything'll be fine. You'll see."
Edward grinned down at his little sister. "I know. I just miss him, 's all." Edward put his arms around Alice, hugging her back. Christmas had been hard without Jasper there, but they'd done the best they could given the circumstances. It wasn't just that Edward had missed having Jasper there, but that Edward knew how difficult it was for Jasper to be away from his family, especially now. He and Rosalie were very close, and they had each been there for every single milestone the other had. With Rose being so close to her due date, it killed Jasper to know he might miss it – and that, in turn, hurt Edward.
Emmett walked by, clapping Edward on the shoulder as he made his way over to his wife who sat reclined in the good armchair. Edward watched them as they spoke quietly together, Emmett reaching behind Rosalie to rub her back. Judging by the grimace she wore on her face, she was having another contraction. Edward frowned down at Alice, who looked up at him with a look of concern that mirrored his own.
Esme and Carlisle were in the kitchen, putting the finishing touches on dinner. Esme had shooed everyone else out, claiming there was not enough room for anyone else and that they were almost done anyway. Sarah and David, Rose and Jasper's parents, were sitting on the couch by Rose, both of them looking as anxious as Edward felt.
Taking a deep breath, Rosalie straightened a little in her seat as she took in everyone's expressions. "Oh for crying out loud, you guys. I'm fine! The doctor said it's just Braxton Hicks. Really, I'm fine. Stop worrying."
Her tone was brusque as usual, but Edward felt sure there was more of an edge to it than normal. Giving him one final squeeze, Alice skipped over to Rosalie, settling on the armrest and immediately started to chat animatedly about the babies and how excited she was to meet them. Edward couldn't keep the fond smile from forming on his lips as he watched them.
Alice was the baby of the family, only just turned thirteen the month before. She'd been an unexpected surprise to their parents, but a welcome one. It had taken Edward until holding his baby sister in his arms to warm up to the idea of having a sibling after being an only child for fourteen years. Once he'd held her, though, all bets had been off and a surge of protectiveness had settled into his bones. He'd doted on her and she, in turn, had grown to idolize her big brother - and Emmett, who'd been Edward's best friend since Kindergarten.
Emmett grinned at Edward with a knowing look even as Edward inwardly grumbled about whatever guy'd catch Alice's heart and dare to date her. Emmett snorted, knowing full well where Edward's thoughts were. Edward shot him a glare, muttering, "Just you wait til it's your turn, fucker."
Then again, Edward thought, Emmett and Rose were expecting boys, so he supposed it wouldn't be the same for them. Edward might not have kids of his own, but at times he still felt as if Alice might as well be, due to their age difference. Watching her grow up the way he'd done had had a profound impact on him, to say the least.
"Edward, honey, could you come here a sec?" called Esme from the kitchen, rousing him from his musings.
As Edward made his way to the kitchen, he smiled - the easy interaction between his parents always served to make him feel lucky. Not just because of the love they shared – both with each other and with each of their children – but also because of what Edward shared with Jasper. He'd found his soulmate in Jasper, and he knew he had the good example of his parents' marriage to thank for that. Well, partly, at least.
"Oh, there you are, sweetheart. Here, be a dear and start bringing these to the table, would you?" Esme asked, looking up from the sauce she was stirring.
Carlisle was carving the turkey, the ham already sliced and ready. He grinned, pausing as Edward snatched a piece of turkey from the cutting board. "Edward!" scolded Esme.
"Oh, don't fuss, dear," soothed Carlisle, winking at his son even as he stole a small bite himself.
Esme rolled her eyes at them, causing both father and son to laugh. Edward grabbed the green bean casserole and a basket of rolls and took them to the dinner table. Alice, noticing what he was doing, soon came to help out and before too long the table was set and Esme called everyone to come eat. Emmett carefully helped his wife out of her chair before making sure she had her feet under her and guiding her slowly to the table.
Once everyone was seated and David had said grace, they began their feast. Dishes were passed from person to person until each had what they wanted on their plate. Conversation flowed easily, as did the sparkling apple cider. It had been agreed that since Rosalie wasn't allowed any alcohol, that they'd keep the holidays alcohol-free, especially because Rose lamented not being able to have a beer or wine whenever anyone offered.
As dinner went on, Edward couldn't keep from glancing at the clock and wondering where Jasper was at, how his flight was going. The only time that his thoughts were not at least somewhat focused on his lover was when Rosalie cursed and clutched at the edge of the table, panting, her face scrunched up in pain. Emmett leaned in, his hand hovering briefly before rubbing her back soothingly, murmuring quietly for her to just breathe.
"Rosalie, sweetheart-" Sarah began, only to be cut off by Rose's sharp, "No! I'm fine. Just... give me a minute."
Everyone stared at her, a feeling of helpless concern clear in each face, which only aggravated Rose further. She hated to show weakness at the best of times and her pregnancy had not made that inclination any better. "I said, I'm fine," Rose bit out. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes before opening them again, her gaze locking with her mother's. "Really. I'm okay now. Don't worry about me."
Sarah nodded reluctantly and the conversations slowly started again. At one point, Alice cried out, pointing toward the windows, "It's snowing! Look!"
Edward turned to look outside with a groan. The weatherman had predicted it would snow tonight, so he wasn't too surprised to see the thick, white flakes come down. However, it made him worry for Jasper and whether or not he'd be able to land and make it home okay. Seattle was, after all, not known for being able to function too well under these conditions. As if hearing his thoughts, Esme patted Edward's hands and said quietly, "He'll be alright, sweetheart. I'm sure it won't be too bad by the time his flight's supposed to land."
Edward merely nodded and turned his attention back to his food, eventually able to forget his concerns for a while. After everyone had had their fill of the delicious spread, Edward helped his mother and Alice clear the table before putting together a plate for Jasper. Once that was taken care of, he helped Esme get the desserts on the table. They'd all just started on their various slices of pie when Rose made an odd noise in the back of her throat, causing everyone to pause and look at her.
In the meantime, Jasper was shifting anxiously in his seat, glancing out the tiny window at the dark, stormy looking sky with a frown. When the flight attendant walked past, he stopped her. "Ma'am? Will we be able to get to Seattle okay?" The flight attendant smiled reassuringly as she confirmed they would be setting down in Seattle with only a slight delay due to the snow, but that everything would be just fine.
Relieved, Jasper settled back in his seat, his gaze flickering between the small screen featuring some movie he hadn't been paying any real attention to, and the world outside. When the sign went on to fasten your seatbelts, he let out an audible sigh of relief, knowing it wouldn't be too much longer before he'd see his family again.
All the same, it took about an hour or so from touchdown to getting his suitcase and making his way to find a cab. In a hurry as he was, Jasper still let a young couple with two small kids take the taxi that was to be his when he noticed that she was pregnant. They looked harried and he felt bad for them, especially in this weather, so he flipped up the collar of his coat and waited for the next one.
One rough taxi ride with more slipping and sliding than Jasper'd felt comfortable with later, he hurried up the path to Edward's parents' house and let himself in. The fact that he'd had to use his key didn't faze him much, as Esme had a habit of locking the door whether they were home or not.
"Edward, baby, I'm home!" Jasper called as he dumped his bag and carry-on and opened his coat. He frowned as he stepped out of the hallway and looked around. All the lights were on, the music was still playing in the background, and the table appeared to have been abandoned in the middle of dessert. For some reason, a stack of towels was lying haphazardly on one of the dining room chairs and on the floor. Confused, Jasper called out again, "Hello? Anybody?"
He went from room to room, searching for either someone or a note or any indication as to what was going on. He came up empty. Jasper was beginning to panic when he remembered his phone, still turned off and forgotten in the front of his carry-on. With fumbling fingers, he finally managed to turn it back on. Tapping the screen impatiently, he waited for the indication of a text or voicemail. Sure enough, he'd received both. He checked the texts first: one from Edward, Emmett, and Sarah, all saying they'd gone to the hospital and to meet them there.
The voicemail was from Edward. "Baby, Rose's water broke so we rushed her to the hospital. We're all here, since we didn't want her to be alone and the weather's just worse and... oh nevermind all that, I'm rambling, sorry. Anyway, get here as soon as you can. Love you."
Jasper simply stared at his phone for a few minutes before his brain kicked into gear. "Shit," he muttered, raking his fingers through his hair as he pondered how best to make it to the hospital in one piece. A quick glance outside told him that the weather wasn't letting up, and that they'd apparently piled up in Esme's van and Emmett's SUV. Edward's SUV was still parked in the driveway.
Thanking his lucky stars, Jasper hastened out the door, making sure to lock it behind him before carefully making his way to the car. Never had he been so glad that Edward had insisted they each carry spare keys to the other's car than he was in that moment. Jasper hated driving in the snow, but Edward's SUV made the trip a little easier for him than his own Impala would've been, though it still took at least twice as long as it ordinarily would've done.
After navigating his way to the hospital and finally finding a parking spot – he'd had to crawl around the lot three times before someone happened to pull out just as he approached – he checked the time on the dash. He cursed when it showed it was nearly midnight already. As quickly as he could, he skidded more than walked across to the hospital entrance from the far side of the parking lot. Once inside, he wasn't sure where to go, so he tried to call Edward but got no reply. The same thing happened when he tried his parents, and then Edward's. Frustrated, he walked up to the front desk and asked where he might find his sister. The nurse directed him to the maternity ward.
Almost the second he got off the elevator, Jasper's arms were filled with an overly-excited Alice who'd happened to be heading to the waiting area after visiting the restroom. She was babbling a mile-a-minute as she was wont to do whenever she was worked up about something, be it good or bad. "Ohmygosh, Jazzie, it was so gross! I mean, Rose's water broke and it just smelled awful and everyone was just panicking and running around like crazy! Mom had me grab some towels and ordered everyone around, she was so level-headed, you know? Your mom was nearly hyperventilating, and-"
Jasper let the rest of her story wash over him as they walked to meet the rest of their family, his arm around Alice's shoulder while hers was comfortably around his waist. Edward walked up to them as he heard them – well, Alice, to be precise – and folded his lover into a tight hug, murmuring, "I'm so glad you're here," into Jasper's ear while Alice tactfully stepped away. The two men held each other for a few minutes before Jasper remembered why they were all there to begin with.
Pulling away slightly, he asked quietly, "How's Rose?" A quick glance told him his parents weren't there with the others, nor was Emmett. Edward confirmed his assumption that they were all with Rose, but that nothing had happened yet beyond her contractions becoming more severe and closer together. Edward gave a lopsided smile as he tucked a strand of hair behind Jasper's ear and said, "I think they were waiting for their uncle to get here."
Before Jasper could ask what he meant, a nurse came walking up to them, smiling widely. "You're Jasper, I presume?" she said as she stopped in front of them. Jasper nodded, not surprised at the assumption, and the nurse continued. "Your sister just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and girl, you can go in for a second if you like. I know she'd love to see you, she's been asking for you. A lot."
Jasper and Edward exchanged wide-eyed looks. "But-" Jasper stammered, but before he could continue, the nurse chuckled. "Oh yes, I'm aware they were expecting twin boys. Your brother-in-law was quite... vocal, in his shock." At this, Edward stifled a laugh, muttering, "Serves him right." Jasper rolled his eyes, his lips twitching as he fought a smile.
"Can we both go?" Jasper asked, instead of responding to his lover's comment. The nurse nodded. "Only briefly, though. Your sister's very tired, after all." The two men nodded and, hand-in-hand, they followed the nurse to Rosalie's room. She knocked quietly and spoke in hushed tones to let them know she'd brought visitors. Sarah and David both got to their feet, hugging both men in turn before stepping outside to allow them a moment.
Jasper stepped up to the bed, gazing down at the sight of his sister holding her baby girl, while Emmett, who sat on the edge of the bed by Rosalie's head, was holding their little boy. Rosalie held out her hand to her twin and smiled tiredly. "You made it," she said hoarsely. Jasper nodded, leaning in to place a tender kiss on first Rose's, then each baby's foreheads. Emmett shifted away as if Jasper intended to kiss him, too, which had Jasper snorting and shaking his head. "Not on your life, Em, you're not that pretty."
Behind Jasper, Edward coughed a laugh. Jasper grinned over his shoulder at him and winked before turning his attention to his sister once more. "I'm sorry I wasn't here-" he began, but she cut him off. "Don't. It's okay. And you're here now. That's all that matters." Jasper rested his hip against the side of the bed and nodded, his eyes continuously drawn to his niece. "So... a girl, huh?" he asked, reaching a tentative finger to her face.
Edward put his hand on Jasper's lower back, his own focus drawn on the two tiny creatures. He tilted his head a little, then turned to Rose in all seriousness and said, "Thank God they take after their mother." Rose, Jasper, and Edward all laughed – Rose wincing as she did – at Emmett's indignant, "Hey! Watch it, fu-.. I mean... just... watch it."
Rose cleared her throat as she gazed lovingly at her little girl. "Yeah, she's a surprise. Guess the doctor was wrong. They said it was probably her umbilical they saw and mistook for... you know." Both Edward and Jasper nodded at this. Edward asked quietly, "So what are their names? I mean, obviously you can't give her a boy's name – and which of the two will he be?" Edward knew that the names Emmett and Rose had picked out – David and Alec, after Rose's father and grandfather respectively – wouldn't really work for both kids.
Rose and Emmett exchanged a look before he nodded and she turned to Edward. "That's Alec," she said, nodding to the boy asleep in Emmett's arms. Then, turning to her baby girl, she said with a soft smile, "And this is Jane, after grandma. Seemed only fitting, really," she added with a glance up at her twin, who nodded with a warm smile. Jasper took Jane's tiny fist in his hand and shook it ever so gently as he whispered, "Nice to meet you, Jane. I know Grams would be so proud to have you named after her." Jane's quiet gurgle was her only response.
Edward's eyes flickered to his watch. He grinned when he saw the hands tick into place, showing it was midnight. "Hey guys," he murmured to get their attention. When they all looked at him questioningly, he continued, "Happy New Year."
Jasper turned, placing his hand at Edward's nape as he pulled him in for a tender kiss while Emmett dipped down carefully to kiss his wife. "Happy New Year's" filled the air, mixed with, "I love you"'s. With their arms around each other, Jasper and Edward gazed at each other with fond smiles. Each man feeling blessed, and happier than they'd ever thought to be. With one final peck on the lips, they turned to talk to Emmett and Rose for a minute more, then headed back to the rest of the family in order to let Rosalie get some much needed rest.
As they exchanged wishes for happiness and health with the others, Jasper smiled, glad that he'd made it back in time for this and glad that Rose had had their whole family by her side after all. Esme echoed his thoughts, adding, "I'm so happy you made it home safely, Jasper."
Jasper nodded, putting an arm around Edward's waist. "Me, too. It's good to be home," he said, smiling.